We bend over backwards to win our spouse. We keep it up all the way to the wedding and a few weeks beyond. Then, we take things for granted and wonder, "What happened?" Often, that scenario results in feelings of rejection. "She doesn't love me anymore." "She doesn't want me." "I don't think she's into me." "Why do I feel like the spark is gone, and she'd just rather not bother?"
Remember that this marriage idea is a long-term commitment. You're not the only one who took some vows. And where there's commitment and faithfulness, there's hope. Here are 10 things to do when you are feeling rejected by your wife.
1. Make sure you're not rejecting her.
Relationships are, by definition, interactive. Men and women often mirror each other, even if only in terms of perception. So make sure you become a model of openness and acceptance that is unconditional.
2. Avoid becoming defensive.
"Hey! What do you mean by that!" Seriously, one of the least effective interventions in a relationship is defensiveness. Arms folded, foot tapping, "You're wrong; I'm right," "You are the problem." It doesn't matter what the facts are. In relationships, truth is typically reached via humility and an openness to critique.
3. Remember what it was about you that attracted her in the first place—then be that guy.
It's too easy for men and women both to stop trying after the first flush of excitement wears off in the marriage. Are you being the exciting person she fell in love with, or are you are busy pursuing laziness and comfort? Dial it up a little bit.
4. Get back into the dating habit.
Related to # 3, above. When did you last ask your wife out on a romantic date? Demonstrate how much you care. Go anywhere other than a sports bar, and have some great "conversation starters" in your back pocket ready for dinner.
5. Start listening.
Aside from those conversation starters, get in the habit of really listening—active listening. One of the most attractive, passionate and endearing things a man can do is be a good listener to his wife.
6. Remember you can only change yourself.
"How can I make her change?" is a guaranteed useless question. You can't. It is remarkable, however, how positive change on one side of the relationship can lead to positive change on the other.
7. Make her a cup of tea.
Prepare a hot drink, serve it to her, sit down and enjoy it together. It's an act of service that says, "I want to spend some deliberate time, knee to knee, listening and connecting." Such an act of service reaches out and invites.
8. Look for more ways to serve her.
Many relationships become one-sided. Perhaps yours has as well, with your wife serving you more. Try out-serving her so the balance tips the other way. There's a good chance rejection might not be an issue so much anymore.
9. Try the "Fireproof" love challenge.
In the movie Fireproof, a man is challenged by his father to reach out to his wife via a series of unilateral self-giving efforts over a number of weeks. There's a book available that outlines the process.
10. Do not give up.
If you're doing everything right and she's still rejecting you, at least you're doing everything right. There's no need to quit doing the right thing because things aren't going your way. Be patient and pray.
How do you normally respond when you feel rejected by your wife?
This article originally appeared at allprodad.com.