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?”
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?
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!
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.
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.