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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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Dr. Jeff Kane

Doctor in Marriage and Family Therapy

10 Signs Your Wife Needs More Attention

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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