Shaunti Feldhahn

Shaunti Feldhahn is a best-selling author. Her books have sold two million copies and have been translated into fifteen different languages. Shaunti is a longtime nationally syndicated columnist and holds a master's degree in public policy from Harvard University. read bio

4 Ways to Bring Out Your Hubby's Romantic Side

By iSpecialist Shaunti Feldhahn

1. Encourage him.

Although a wife's appreciation is always needed, it is especially critical when the man is outside his comfort zone—which, when it comes to romance, is probably the case for half of the male population.  One man was blunt:

"Encourage me and affirm my efforts, and I'll run through a brick wall to please you. But don't just assume that I know you're pleased. I'm way outside my comfort zone. I'm willing to be a fool for you, but just tell me that I did good [sic]. And give me sex. That helps too."

Remember that many men view taking romantic initiative as a huge risk—a risk of "being humiliated" or "feeling inadequate." So prove to your man that it's not a risk!

2. Entice him.

Just as men want to be encouraged, they want to be enticed. One married man relayed this interchange with a female friend who was wondering why romance sometimes dies off in marriage:

Her: "Romance is the sense that you're still being pursued."

Him: "But we caught you. Hand me the remote."

Many men have told me whether in work or in romance, they are always looking for something to conquer—something to "catch." A key element in keeping romance alive is to keep giving our romance-loving husbands something to conquer.

Keep it fresh—give him something to pursue. Go hiking with him, play golf with him. Give him space when he needs it—and intimate attention when he needs that! Make yourself the kind of friend and lover he constantly wants to pursue.

3. Tell him what you need.

Several men suggested that since they can't read your mind, it is fine to drop hints about those romantic things you'd like to do as long as they truly are hints, not directives. For example, because cuddling tends to be a little more important to us than to guys, a little patient reeducation may be in order.

One man's response to the cuddling example was, "Men can learn to enjoy a time of closeness after sex. And in this case, it is definitely in our best interest to understand why it matters so much to you!"

4. Keep him number one.

If we let too many other priorities interfere with romance, it puts a damper on the man's enthusiasm. One of the most common concerns I heard is that we may unconsciously prioritize our kids over our husband. It could sound selfish, but it's not. One man said, "It's not just the kids that steal a wife. It's the whole 'to do' list. Even helping others can get in the way."  That is the cry of a man who just wants to spend more quality, romantic time with his wife. What an irony, considering that most women pine for the same thing! We have a tremendous opportunity to start over with our men, and in the process rediscover the delight of the mutual pursuit.


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Used with permission from the book For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn.

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