Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by Ekshika Parnami
Not all husbands are the kind who would bring bouquets home, shower you with kisses while going to work, or nudge you aside when you are doing the dishes at the sink and take over the chores. Nope, not everyone gets that lucky. “My husband is not romantic” is a refrain of many wistful wives whose spouses don’t attach importance to romantic gestures.
And over time, the complaints often escalate to “My husband shows no interest in me” or “My husband is not thoughtful”. It’s either not part of their character or that your relationship is just progressing as every relationship usually does. Some men try to be a wee bit romantic when they are dating or are courting but when the wedding bells chime, they go back to being their non-expressive, nonchalant selves.
Putting up with a husband who is not affectionate can surely be distressing, no doubt about that. A husband not affectionate to you can even make you question whether you’re enough for him or not. That coupled with a sense of emotional unfulfillment can bring up concerns about the future of your marriage. However, it’s not an insurmountable challenge in a relationship and it is indeed something that can be carefully dealt with. We’re here to help you figure out how to live with an unaffectionate husband without it taking a toll on you, or your marriage.
Related Reading: 40 Romantic Things To Say To Your Husband
Why Do Husbands Stop Being Romantic?
The signs of an unromantic husband must not be confused with your spouse having emotionally checked out from the marriage. It can simply mean that he is not expressive enough. Men are certainly not that good at expressing themselves and communicating their feelings in most cases.
If he was a little romantic before the marriage, he was doing that with a lot of effort just to impress you. Post marriage, most men become unromantic because it puts them back into their comfort zones. They feel that now you are already married and you’re his partner for life, there is no need to try to do something that does not come naturally to him. In fact, he might just start taking you for granted. But what do you do when your husband shows no affection? Let’s find out…
15 Things To Do When Husband Is Not Affectionate Or Romantic
“My husband is not romantic, what should I do?”, is the question that has brought you here today and we are definitely happy to answer it for you. But know that it is not something that can happen overnight. You can’t suddenly make him go from not saying ‘goodnight’ to now bringing you a little bedtime ice cream before you two crash. You both have to do the work when there’s no romance in marriage.
Have you ever stopped to think that his love language could be totally different from yours, and he may be expressing his love and affection in his own way but all you end up seeing are the signs of an unromantic husband? So, the next time you’re bogged down by the distressing “my husband does nothing special for me” thought, try to focus on the special things you can do for your husband. Perhaps, you could also take the initiative if your husband is not affectionate or romantic.
1. Accept your husband as he is
What do you do when your husband shows no affection? Focus on finding total acceptance for who your spouse is as an individual. As we said earlier, some people are simply not romantic but that does not mean they are not good at heart or that they do not care for you. If you can accept this reality, then the thought that “my husband is not thoughtful” won’t bother you anymore.
Your husband might have other good qualities that make it worth being with him. Perhaps, he is the most patient man you’ve ever met or he is a peace-loving person, he could be a good conversationalist or your husband could be into books. Accept him the way he is and you will be able to love him more easily.
2. Appreciate your husband for who he is
How to deal with unromantic husband is all about positive reinforcement. Find ways to appreciate your husband and in turn, he’ll naturally do all the things that make you happy. Instead of saying, “My husband is not romantic or thoughtful”, you take the initiative when it comes to romantic gestures for husband. Focus on the good parts and start showing love in the ways you want to be loved.
There has been much research to find the relationship between appreciation, gratitude, marital commitment, and satisfaction. One piece of research shows that if you appreciate and express gratitude toward your partner, you are more likely to have a satisfying relationship. Interestingly, the study also found that gratitude can benefit your overall emotional and physical health and improve your social relationships, including marriage.
3. Don’t let social media influence you
Half of the reason you think, “My husband never surprises me” or “My husband never plans dates like other men” is because of all that you see on social media. Perhaps, you read a mushy birthday wish a friend has posted on Facebook for his wife or saw a romantic beachside photo of your bestie with her husband, and that led you to think, “My husband shows no interest in me.” Don’t let the filtered, airbrushed portrayal of different people’s relationships determine your expectations from your spouse.
Just know many of the couples who have those picture-perfect lives on social media end up getting divorced. Don’t get swayed by social media romance and judge your husband. That’s the harshest thing to do. Instead, focus on what your spouse brings to the marriage and be grateful for it.
4. Manage expectations before saying “My husband is not affectionate or romantic”
Think about why you feel your husband is not affectionate or feel the need to say such things. Is your idea of romance sculpted by watching Hollywood films and reading Mills & Boons? Then, you really need to alter your romantic ideas and manage relationship expectations realistically. What they show in the movies and write in the books are all ideal romantic situations and the characters of the men are drawn up to appeal to the fancy of women. Trust us.
Men in real life might not subscribe to that idea of romance. If he is getting you your regular medicines without fail, ensuring the fridge is always full and there is fuel in your car, then that could be the idea of romance to him and that might just be enough in the real world. He believes he is taking care of you and that should make you happy enough.
A reality check on what love and romance feel like in real life can go a long way in shaking off the “What if my relationship is practical but not romantic?” feeling. Once you do, you will be in a better place to appreciate the little things that he does for you.
Related Reading: 15 Easy Ways To Flirt With Your Husband
5. Lack of affection from husband? Give him some ideas
“He shows no affection in relationship and I feel the spark is fizzling out. What do I do?” Lana asked her sister Sophie. And she replied, “Why is being affectionate and romantic his job alone? There are two of you in this marriage, and the key to making it work is to supplement and support your partner wherever you feel they’re lacking.”
This advice could do you a world of good if you’re wondering how to deal with a partner who is not affectionate. Some men are at a loss about what works as romance and what they could do to make their wives happy. Take the lead in that case. Instead of complaining “why my husband is not romantic”, go out there and make sure that you make up for his side of the romance.
Tell him about a few romantic places you could explore for quality time or tell him about the red long dress you have been eyeing at the boutique. Book a place at a fine-dining restaurant and surprise him. Take the initiative and put him in a romantic situation. Watch his dimples as he smiles and sips that wine. Watch the glow of candles on his face.
6. Build intimacy
Renowned psychotherapist Esther Perel explains, “One can live without sex but one cannot live without touch. Children who were not touched warmly during childhood develop attachment disorders when they grow up. If you don’t touch your partner, except for sex, they might become irritable. Humor, touch, playfulness, cuddling, skin-to-skin contact, eye contact, and an ongoing curiosity about who your partner is as a person—these are the secrets behind commitment in a marriage.”
This makes perfect sense given that marriage is a lifetime commitment, and it, therefore, becomes even more vital to keep the relationship and commitment alive. Some ways this can be done include:
- Holding hands more frequently
- Scheduling time to spend with your partner
- Experimenting with being more emotionally vulnerable in intimate situations
- Cuddling and hugging each other often
7. Stop thinking about other’s marriages
That’s the worst thing you can do to your husband and it might just further drive him away from you. If you wistfully keep telling him Dina’s husband got her a diamond ring on their anniversary and Laila’s husband took her on a vacation to Europe on her birthday, it will push him further into a shell.
How to deal with a partner who is not affectionate? Try not to belittle him in comparison to other men. Men hate comparisons. Instead, do something constructive. You can make plans for a vacation! Figure out the ideal vacation spot for you and your spouse and involve him in the nitty-gritty and make sure that you make him feel that it could be a budget vacay but it matters to you. After you come back from the vacation don’t be surprised to see him making the plans for the next one.
Related Reading: 35 Questions To Ask Your Husband For A Heart-To-Heart Conversation
8. Know that everyone has different love languages
“My husband is distant and not affectionate in public, he won’t even hold my hand while we’re out. Is he ashamed of me somehow?” Well, if you look at it this way, his lack of affection is going to appear more and more irksome by the day. However, there is another perspective to this situation: maybe he is the kind who hates PDA on social media as well as IRL.
Guess you need to understand him as a person in that case then. Romance to him might mean great sex and not flowers and candles. Understand his feelings and emotions, and you won’t have a reason to worry over no affection in relationship. There are five primary love languages (which one is yours and which one is his?):
- Words of Appreciation
- Quality Time
- Acts of Service
- Physical Touch
9. Communicate if your husband is distant and not affectionate
A Reddit user wrote, “You shouldn’t have to beg. Ever. You should say, “hubby, I’d really like it if you’d come to bed and cuddle me until I squeak” and then have that happen. He should want to do things that make you happy, just as much as you want to make him happy. Otherwise someone is getting neglected.”
Hence, you have to honestly, clearly and openly express your needs/desires. In fact, a study done to understand the relationship between marital satisfaction and good communication found that how well you and your partner talk to each other is one of the most important things for a happy marriage.
10. Bring the spark back with your unaffectionate husband
“My husband never surprises me” But, what if you surprise him? Bring back the mid-night ice cream outings or impromptu drives. Or anything equivalent that you both enjoy immensely. Here are some examples:
Related Reading: 12 Characteristics Of A Successful Marriage
- If midnight movies were your thing once, try doing that once a month
- If you enjoyed role-playing, surprise her with a sub dom variation of cosplay
- If you used to shop together, make it a Sunday ritual that you can’t miss
Not all your efforts may be well-received, but at least you’re putting in small efforts in a relationship, that make a big difference. If your partner, too, wants to reconnect, they will appreciate the effort and reciprocate. If you keep on wondering “Why my husband is not romantic?”, you must remind him of all that used to bring you together years ago. This will be eye-opening, for sure.
11. Stop criticizing
Maybe, he’s dealing with a nagging wife and you’re not ready to look at the flip side. You keep saying, “My husband does nothing special for me”. But are you stifling his independence by telling him:
- How long he can stay at the bar with his friends
- What trousers he should wear
- How he should deal with his boss
- What kind of a diet he should follow
When his independence and sense of confidence are being dented with all that nagging, there isn’t much scope left for romance. Have you ever thought that he could be thinking you are not thoughtful and rather unromantic too?
12. Have your own life
Instead of fixating on no romance relationship with your husband, build a romantic friendship with yourself first. If you do all these and more you will realize that you are thinking less that your husband is not affectionate or romantic:
- Do fun things with your girl gang
- Pick up a hobby
- Watch a movie
- Toss up a new dish
It is a fact that romancing your husband starts with romancing yourself. If you’re wrestling with no affection from husband, it’s time to look deeper and fill the void that you’re expecting others to fill. Of course, his love is a cherry on top but it can never replace the power of self-love.
13. Replace the ‘you’ with ‘us’
It’s easy to blame each other for the rut in the relationship. In fact, many people just resort to blame-shifting when they’re not able to figure out what is actually wrong with the relationship. It’s easy to say:
- “You work too much. That’s why there is no romance in marriage”
- “You spend more time with your friends”
- “You barely acknowledge me anymore”
Replace the ‘you’ with ‘us’. Instead of placing blame on each other, try talking about solutions. You are not there to figure out who is responsible for the distance that has crept into your relationship; doing so won’t serve any purpose. You are still with each other and working together to get yourselves out of the rut you are in. So, work toward it, not against each other. This is an important thing to remember for growing as a couple.
14. Treat your relationship like its brand new
Remember the attention you paid to your partner when you first started going out? Treat your relationship like that right now. Instead of sitting at home and complaining, “I have no romance relationship”, do something about it!
Set out to woo your partner again, flirt with him, seduce him, bring back the playfulness and banter. It might seem a little odd at first, but it might help. Bring that honeymoon phase back. Here are some ways to reconnect with your partner:
- Leave small sticky love notes on his phone/desk, saying “Thank you for being in my life”
- Give him a short call just to say, “Good morning. Have a great day ahead, Love”
- Flirt with him/say something like, “Working out again? No wonder you’ve got all that muscle”
15. Be creative in your marriage
If your husband is not romantic, try bringing in a sense of novelty. Instead of looking for new partners (which is why many marriages fail), start looking for new activities that you can enjoy as a married couple and spend some quality time together. Find different adventures to keep the spark going and the commitment alive; this will strengthen the personal commitment in your marriage. Some of them can include, but are not limited to:
- The first thing to do is build physical intimacy
- It’s not just one time; you have to put in effort every single day
- If you want to feel loved, you have to pour in love
- Couples therapy and quality time are essential components to reviving a relationship with husband who is not affectionate
- Treat date nights as a weekly ritual you can’t miss
Finally, relationship expert Pooja Priyamvada points out, “One must understand that, ultimately, marriage is about not only one but the two of you. Hence, having heart-to-heart communication about expectation management and what the general dos and don’ts need to be established and changed from time to time.”
Hence, if you have a perfect relationship but no passion, fixing it is not an easy task. But if you work on harnessing it, one day at a time, it is not too difficult either. If your husband is not romantic, don’t place him under a microscope and constantly express love, gratitude, and honesty toward him. Respect each other and give each other space to grow. If you find yourself struggling at any point, don’t shy away from seeking professional help. The counselors on Bonobology’s panel can help you with this.
Accept him as he is and focus on his strong points. He might be a dutiful, responsible and peace-loving person who just doesn’t know how to impress you with flowers.
No, a relationship cannot survive without affection. But some people may not show affection in a conventional way with cuddles and hugs. Some people might stay up for you all night when you are ill and show their affection and care.
If there is a complete lack of affection, then that is a reason to break up. If there is love and care in the relationship there is no overt show of affection and romance, then it can be handled.
This is a question that many women ask. Your husband could be shy or could feel that since you are married now there is no reason to be too romantic to impress you. Also, it could be since his childhood he has grown up in a home where showing affection was not the norm.