Enlightening Answers: His Lack of Tenderness and Self-Improvement

I’ve been married for nearly 21 years. I’m 46, quite pretty for my age, a loving wife and mother, smart and intelligent. But I’ve never felt happy with my husband due to his lack of respect and tenderness. I do not feel his love. Please give me advice. So much hurts. I still love him.

The Wanting Wife


Dear Wanting,

Oh boy – 21 years is a long time to not feel a man’s love but to be by his side. I am of two minds with this question. One side of me wants you to make yourself your first priority for once and run, run, run and start a new life. The other part of me wants you to discover if you can reinvent your relationship. Is it possible to sit down with him and be honest about how you feel (without blaming him or putting him on the defensive, of course) and ask if you can renegotiate your relationship? You’ve been together for so long, but he may have no idea how much you’re suffering. Whatever you decide, make your needs your focus from now on – pursue your goals, hobbies, friendships, and whatever makes you happy separate from him. See if you can fall in love with yourself and your life independent of what he’s doing. And then see how you feel with him.

Good luck!


I’ve spent years in the spiritual realm, working on self-improvement, and consider myself incredibly blessed to have overcome incredible hurdles. That has worked for me in so many ways, except one: I find when there is something I truly and deeply desire more than anything else, my doubts and fears take over, and I begin to act on the anticipated obstacles, rather than respond to what’s right in front of me. Case in point, I was struck very hard by a first impression a man made on me two years ago. I hadn’t even dated in four years prior to meeting him because I had closed that door. I’ve made progress, but because of my incredible discomfort and my projection that I will be rejected, I just can’t break any ground and get closer to him. What advice can you give me?

Stuck In My Muck


Dear Stuck,

So you’re your own worst enemy, eh? This sounds like it’s very old and deep within you, and that the source of your self-sabotage is buried in your subconscious mind. For this reason, I’d get help with this. It’s bigger than you – enroll the help of a good therapist or relationship coach. I’d also recommend hypnosis to help you change your false beliefs for the better. And then take “baby steps” in your life. If going out with a man alone is too scary, go out in a group with friends, or enjoy informal non-date activities like hiking, bowling or attending a lecture – all during the day. Once you’re comfortable in these ways of interacting with men that you might like, then escalate things from there. Confidence comes from doing what we’re afraid of and finding that it doesn’t destroy us after all (not from avoiding things!), so over time do more of the kinds of things that could lead to what you want in your life and soon you’ll find that you’re unafraid and feeling strong, and your dreams will all naturally unfold.

All the best!

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