Seven years later and I can still remember the story of where we began. The shy and humble man I now call my husband chased me down until I finally caved and let him in to get to know all the most vulnerable parts of me. Things were simple when we were just getting to know each other. We were giddy in love with butterflies in our stomachs at the thought of one another. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the kind of giddy where you wait by the phone for his calls {or texts}. The kind of giddy that keeps you up all hours of the night while you lie in bed next to one another talking about everything in life. The kind of giddy that makes your stomach drop every time you touch or lock lips. Our love was the kind of love I never thought I’d actually find.

Love was hard to come by growing up. It’s such a simple and natural emotion that we so often take for granted. I am a damaged woman, tethered to painful memories of a broken home, an absent biological father and men who have left me hopeless when I looked for love in all the wrong places. So, it was an adjustment for me to take compliments from a man who thought so highly of me; who regularly embraced me in hugs and showered with me affection. This was a relationship I had so desperately longed for and dreamed of, but I didn’t always know how to love him back.

And oh, how relentless he was. For years he sought me, and many times I pushed him away. As the years went on, real life and my conditioned responses to him became a large and painful wedge in between our relationship. Eventually, my husband stopped chasing me and in a desperate attempt to regain his attention, I picked fights with him. He was still patient and humble and soft-spoken, but he stopped needing me and seeking me. I think somewhere along the way he just got tired. And maybe I was too. Tired, and damaged and good at taking him for granted.

Does this sound familiar to you? I don’t know where you’re at in your marriage and why you’re there. But if you are desperate to find your husband again, keep reading.

Maybe you’re up to your ears with kids and housework and careers. The lives you once lived as two have been replaced with kids and responsibilities and juggling all the things. Perhaps you are not damaged like me, but you just fell into a season of drought with your spouse. It happens. We have all been there and I am certain this won’t be the last time for any of us. What I can tell you is that the answer does not lie within him. It lies within you. Within me.

We cannot expect our husbands to give us what we aren’t giving back. Men want to feel appreciated and wanted. Women want to feel appreciated and wanted. It sounds simple enough, right? But so often we wait to feel those things before we can show the same for our husbands. Don’t we?

When we got to this place, I nitpicked at my husband. I compared him to others and listed his faults. I thought this would lead him back to me and make him chase me again, but it only drove the wedge even deeper between us. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t like an episode of Jerry Springer up in here; we loved each other and both of us knew that, our love just felt distant. We were both physically present, working back to back as parents, but both of us were emotionally absent. And that left my heart feeling very hollow and helpless.

Dear friends, the simple answer here is to stop waiting for your spouse to seek you. If you want to find your husband again, you don’t wait for him to look for you. It starts here, with us, right now. If you want to feel loved and appreciated, then love and appreciate him first. 

When he comes home from work, greet him at the door. Speak kindly even when he doesn’t. Tell him all that he does right, instead of all that he does wrong. Touch him with purpose and find time in the busy of your day to tell him you love him. Say it with meaning and intention. Listen to what he has to say and find the words to give back to him. And most importantly, love without expectation. Men were made and wired much differently than women and so his love will look much different than yours. We must let go of all our unfair expectations of our spouses and allow him to just be who he is. And when he can be just that, his love will show up in all your unexpected places.

Keep searching. Keep finding ways to look for him. Even if he doesn’t at first. We have a choice to make each day. And if we can change our attitudes and behaviors towards our spouses, then they, too, will be led to make changes.

Originally published on the author’s blog

Amy Bowser

I am just a mom and wife who loves Jesus and wine and sharing laughs and truth. Three years ago this blog became my saving grace during a very painful time in my life when I needed a platform to share my deepest thoughts and emotions. Over time it has evolved into a safe place to land for people who need to feel a little less alone in this world. When I'm not writing, you might find me indulging in a large glass of wine, deep belly laughing at the chaos that surrounds me with my family and two crazy pups.