Updated: Oct 17, 2021
Well at least thats what it seems like. Every time you present an idea to attend a marriage focused event at church, with your favorite couple or online with one of the platforms you follow, he declines, changes the subject or proposes something else.
And you are wondering, "how come he doesn't want to participate in activities that will help bring us closer?"
Now, the first question is: have you asked him the reason why? Some wives complain about not knowing the answer to something but have never asked their husband this direct question. There is a way to do it without sounding annoying or like his mother, but first let's look at it from a different angle.
Marriage related events are unfortunately not packaged to be trendy, popular, or exciting in today's world so the way these activities are proposed to your hubby matters. Especially in the first 5 years, your husband may be confused about why this is even a "thing" or why these types of activities are essential to having a life long marriage. Not trying to make any excuses, but they are probably thinking about 10 better things they can do then talk about marriage.
Dealing with disappointment
The disappointment with this is so real. You had an expectation to grow together in this way and now that isn't happening. Remember there is very little you can change, but you can influence him in a great way. Continue to invest in your marriage, even if you have to attend events alone. The great thing is that you can always take notes and share what you learned, but better than that, you can apply those teachings and lessons into how you do things as a wife. Also remember, the topic, timing and everything in between matters when presenting these new ideas to your husband! If you are thinking that your husband should automatically care and want to go to a marriage retreat because YOU want to, well I can't say you are wrong, but I can guide you into helping you navigate this!
How to encourage your husband
Below are five ways to encourage your husband to participate in marriage related activities with you:
Show your excitement! Does he know how excited you are about participating in this counseling session, communication seminar, or couples retreat?! Come to him with enthusiasm and a smile expressing how much the event or activity you found means to you!
Tell him how YOU truly feel! Sis, does he know how you feel about the matter or did you just ask him how he felt? Make sure he knows how interested you are in the topic, the event, and why! I will give husbands the benefit of the doubt in that, most want to please their wives and make them happy! If he knows what this means to you then that could change his response.
Show him the benefit Some men need to know the specifics! Not that you have to be a saleswoman, but show him how attending this activity will help you relate to each other more, communicate better, have more sex, find more couple friends, do [fill in the blank] so he knows this isn't a waste of time.
Make the activity fun There are several things you can do to compromise on getting what you really want! If hubby doesn't find the activity interesting, you or him can find ways to incorporate some of the things you both enjoy before, during or after! That may be getting some of your favorite foods, making cocktails, smores bar or planning to do a physical activity like biking, hiking, or top golf, etc.
Wait for the right timing Be observant when it comes to when you decide to bring up your proposed activity! The best times may not be early in the morning, when one of you are leaving out the door, when there is high stress or in the middle of watching a show. Also, last minute things do not pan out well either especially if money is involved. Give yourself time to strike up this conversation!
So, when you try these five ways, the hope is you will see a different type of response and open the door to have conversations so you both can come to an agreement! I applaud you for trying and wanting to invest in your marriage. Don't give up hope!
Which one have you tried and which one are you going to try?