Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Just Ask Joyce: “I’m tired of trying to get my husband’s attention!”

Q: “I am exhausted with trying to get my husband’s affection. He seems disinterested in me and more interested in golf, hunting, fishing — anything but me. We have two young children, and I desperately need his help, but every weekend he is doing whatever he wants to do, never thinking about his family. He’s not into anyone else; he’s just not into us. How can I make him understand I’m done with this?”

Joyce: A woman’s gotta do what a woman’s gotta do. So, “Annie, get your gun!”

Imagine what fun the family could have if you all decided to take up Daddy’s interests. The next time Dad starts to head out the door, you guys grab your clubs, your poles, your hunting gear, and follow right behind him. Yep, make this a family affair. I know exactly what he’s going to say (hopefully in a nice way): “Honey, this just isn’t going to work at all!” And he’s right. Not the way he has it planned, anyway.

Your attempt at tagging along will likely cause a conversation to ensue — if not an argument. But it’s time for some face-to-face resolutions that will make him see what he’s missing at home, as well as a reminder about his responsibility at home. When he inquires (and he will), “What’s all this about?” that’s your cue to say, “We have to talk.” Then hit him with these suggestions:

  • Let him know how much you and the kids love him.
  • Tell him you need his help with the kids.
  • Explain how much the kids ask for him. (I’m sure they must.)
  • Come to a calendar agreement. Once (or twice) a month he can participate in his sports without hassle. No questions asked. No demands. No nagging. The other weekends are reserved for family time. That way, Mom gets to sleep in a couple of weekends.
  • Set an early-play-early-return time for his sports to end. That way everyone knows that Daddy will be home “in a little while,” and family fun can begin then. Many of his sporting events could be over by noon.
  • Be certain he’s aware of how agitated you are regarding his behavior. This is best displayed through heartfelt conversation rather than pouting, ignoring or the silent treatment.
  • If he insists on not changing his behavior, you will need to decide if this calls for professional counseling. Seeking a solution here is your first step, but don’t allow it to continue beyond the point of no return.

As for the lack of affection, use your womanly wiles to lure your man back into the I’ll-go-hunting-next-time-because-I’ve-got-better-things-to-do mentality. Your husband has some serious lack-of-involvement issues, or else you would not be writing to me. Some men know no other way to be because it was modeled the same way for them at their childhood home. I am of the opinion, however, that anyone who puts heart into what is really important can change habitual routines.
He seems to really enjoy his “single lifestyle,” so he could come home to an empty house from his next sports outing to find you and the kids have taken off on a trip yourselves. Empty houses are gentle reminders of how important family really is.

I would encourage you not to allow his seemingly selfish behavior to deny you and your children of fun and memorable times. Until he comes to understand what he is missing out on at home, he will likely be compelled to continue his solo activities. In the meantime, enjoy events with your kids. Then, make sure you talk it up at the dinner table when he’s present and make him yearn to make memories with you the next time. Whether he comes to his senses or not, there’s one thing for certain: you will have fewer regrets than he will.

Change your life … NOW! Write Joyce Oglesby, Family-Life Fix-It Pro™, at justaskjoyce@gmail.com. I’m here to help! Check out my books and other resources today at JustAskJoyce.com. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and get connected to great family nourishing ideas! Join me on Just Ask Joyce live on WFIA 94.7fm/900am weekdays at 3pm.

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