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10 Signs Your Wife Needs More Attention

10 Signs Your Wife Needs More Attention

Generations of men have complained that they just can’t make their spouse happy no matter what they do. A big reason for this is that men often miss the signs that their wife needs more attention. Have you ever heard the saying, “A Happy Wife is a Happy Life?” Well, it’s true. For the men out there thinking “that’s not fair,” you are right! The key thing to remember is that it’s about balance. You deserve to have your needs met as well. In this article, we will concentrate on the first half of the equation. I can promise you that if your wife is getting enough attention, you will greatly increase the likelihood of your needs being met as well.

Keeping score of how much you are giving is a recipe for problems. Instead, an alternative is to play “all out” and serve one another. You may not perceive her concerns as “worthy” of your time, but realize that invalidating her views will negatively affect your relationship. Creating space to attend to her needs will create a stronger connection and help you to know what to do when she is low on the attention scale. Let’s take a peek at some very important signs that your wife needs more attention, along with some solutions that can help ease the tension.

1. She is knit-picking on things that are “not very important.”

It can be irritating when she has the eagle eye on you and notices everything you are doing “wrong.” You might feel like she is being dramatic and can’t differentiate what’s important from what’s meaningless. Well, if your wife is yearning for more attention, she will often find a way to get to you — even if it doesn’t necessarily make sense. The truth is that even an emotionally-charged connection is better than no connection at all when she is looking to get your attention.

Women have a strong need to connect (silly idea, right?). If they lack attention, they will find small reasons to verbalize their displeasure just to get a response. Instead of being mad, use it as an opportunity to get closer. “Knit-picking” is usually a result of unresolved issues. Clarify what’s breaking down and some possible solutions. It may also help to ask, “What can I do to help you feel more connected to me?”

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2. She starts bothering you when you want space.

Yes, men like “space.” We need it like we need oxygen. It could be a nice workout at the gym or just watching a football game. You may feel like she treats you like you don’t deserve time for yourself, but the reality is usually that she just misses you and wants to feel more important. That’s why she may interrupt you in the middle of a game. She’s thinking, “Does he care more about me or the game?” I know it may sound like she is being a little dramatic or overly sensitive, but women are wired differently than men. Her “bothering” you may be a symptom of a bigger issue. She may even feel a little jealous that you seem to enjoy other activities more than the time you share with her.

The solution is to make her feel important. You may ask her, “What kinds of activities do you like to do that make you feel closer to me?” Be open to what she says and don’t judge her solutions. If you ignore her position, you will continue to see attention-seeking behavior that will make it extremely difficult for you get any space without a struggle.

3. She makes you feel guilty if you do something for yourself.

Guilt is probably the singular, most effective intervention used to alter another person’s behavior in a relationship. If your wife is making you feel guilty, there is a good chance she feels like she isn’t getting enough attention. She may tell you that you are spending too much time fixing your car or on the Internet. When she sends guilt your way, she is telling you on a deeper level that she wants your attention.

Finding time for the two of you to hang out and do activities one-on-one is important. The time you spend alone should always be balanced with relationship-building activities together. Your wife just wants her fair share of your time because she loves you. Is that too much to ask?

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4. Sometimes, it seems like she’s inciting a fight for no reason.

You may think that your wife actually likes to argue — this is false! Unless there is a deeper issue, (beyond the scope of this article) if she is pursuing you in an argumentative way it often means she is lacking attention from you. If you are sitting there and just nodding your head “yes,” but don’t really mean it, you can bet that she won’t be stopping her approach anytime soon. Ignoring the discomfort will just make it worse.

The solution is to stop what you are doing and give your wife your eyes and ears. She may feel like you don’t care about how she feels or are more into your own needs. Create space for a meaningful conversation and give her your undivided attention. Discover what’s wrong and work together to find a solution.

5. She tells you she misses you regularly.

Your wife missing you should be a good thing, right? Well, if it feels like a burden, it’s probably because she is asking you for more attention than you are willing to give. You probably don’t require as much attention as she does. She isn’t trying to keep you locked up or get in the way of your freedom. Women love connection time. See it as an opportunity to nourish your relationship.

Take time to check in with her and see if her “love tank” (aka emotional connection) is empty. Taking a preventative approach is way more effective than waiting until she is complaining that she is missing you. If she stops missing you, then you will have a bigger problem on your hands!

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6. She often says that you don’t love her that much.

I know it seems like you can never give her enough love. She always wants more. I hope this doesn’t scare you, but a woman’s thirst for love never ends. Just like men could always have more sex, women can always use more love.

If she is telling you that you don’t love her that much, it’s a sign that it’s time to get into action. You may not even be aware of what she is looking for. Instead of guessing, just ask.

7. She appears jealous when you spend too much time at work or with friends.

If your wife is telling you that you care more about your job or your buddies than you do about her it, could be a sign that she is feeling jealous. You might think she is making a mountain out of a mole hill, but what she is really telling you is she wants more time with you. Jealousy is a dangerous emotion to ignore in a relationship. If you pretend it doesn’t exist, your loved one may become resentful and you will grow apart.

Talk with her about the disconnection and get clear idea about what “more attention” looks like. Increasing attention takes a combined effort with both of you on board.

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8. She craves uninterrupted time and it seems that you can never give her enough.

In today’s world, uninterrupted time can feel like it’s difficult to find in your relationship. The more opportunities you can create to enjoy one another with no distractions, the better off you will be down the road. The less time you give, the more she will crave. The more time you give, the less she will complain that she needs more time.

If you have children, it’s a great idea to set up at least one night out of the week when you can have a date. It could be at home or away from home. Having dinner alone or a little wine by candlelight will feel amazing. You might even like the extra attention yourself!

9. She tries to bribe you or talk you into staying with her when you want time with your friends.

It may sound crazy that bribing is a part of marriage, but it exists. Especially if she feels like she needs to manipulate you in some way to get you to stay home. It’s a sign that you have been ignoring her for a long time.

Accepting a bribe from your wife can lead to further problems. You are validating a solution that will keep this behavior in place. The alternative is to approach her when she is offering the bribe and ask her what she would like to be different. Arrive at a solution that is a fit for both of you. It may take some give and take, so be willing to be flexible.

10. She makes you feel like you never make her a priority in your life.

This point pretty much sums everything up. In marriage, your spouse should be a priority in your life. If you fail in this area, you will see her approach you in a multitude of ways looking for attention. It’s the main way she knows that you care. Your wife notices if you put her first or if she is a secondary thought. Your behavior speaks loudly. The alternative is to create “us” time and make decisions as a couple. It’s really about being in the game of life together. Once you make your partner a part of the conversation, she will feel heard, and your days of frustration will begin to end.

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More by this author

Dr. Jeff Kane

Doctor in Marriage and Family Therapy

10 Signs Your Wife Needs More Attention

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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