Tired of Begging for Attention from Husband (How to Handle It)

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Sick and tired of begging your husband for attention?

You’re not alone. Many women experience this upsetting relationship dynamic, and many more have no idea how to handle it.

If you’re unsure of how to improve the situation and get your relationship back on track, here’s a quick breakdown of the steps you need to take:

  • Stop begging and reflect on what’s bothering you and how you and your husband respond to each other.
  • Communicate your needs and ask your husband to share his too.
  • Turn small moments into opportunities to reconnect
  • Nurture your emotional connection by being present with each other and rediscovering shared enjoyment
  • Don’t forget to focus on your own life and protect your sense of self-worth

If you’re struggling, seeking professional help can put your relationship back on track.

But if you’re not comfortable with couples therapy, you may be a perfect candidate for a marriage program that gives you the keys to change how your husband responds to you like Dr. Lee Baucom’s Save The Marriage.

Click the link above now, or keep reading to learn why you’re resorting to begging for attention from your husband, and what you can do about it.

Why Do I Feel Like I Have to Beg My Husband for Attention?

lonely woman hugging a pillow on a couch 

Let’s just acknowledge how upsetting, draining, and infuriating feeling like you have to beg for your spouse’s attention feels first.

Odds are, if you feel this way, there’s a reason.

Here are some common reasons why this situation happens:

  1. Your husband is unaware of your needs for attention and affection. People have different ways of expressing and receiving love, and it might be that he doesn’t understand the way you need him to show his care and affection for you.
  2. Your insecurity is eating away at you. If you don’t feel secure in yourself or in your relationship, you might get the urge to seek more reassurance and attention than you otherwise would.
  3. You’re trapped in a routine. As time passes and couples settle into a rhythm, they might inadvertently prioritize other aspects of their lives over their relationship.This, too, can influence the level of intimacy and attention between you and your partner.
  4. A significant change has occurred in your husband’s life. A new job or increased work responsibilities might be drawing his attention away from your relationship. This change in priorities can make it more challenging for him to devote time and energy to cultivating intimacy with you.
  5. Mental health issues. If your husband is dealing with stress, anxiety, or depression, these struggles might manifest themselves as a lack of attention towards your relationship. These underlying issues can directly impact his ability to connect with you emotionally.

Keep in mind, it’s normal to experience ups and downs in relationships.

But if you consistently feel like you’re begging your husband for attention, it’s time to address the issue to ensure a healthy and safe-feeling emotional connection.

Read Next: My Husband Hates Me But Says He Loves Me

What to Do If Your Husband Is Not Giving You Attention

hands hold each other close up

To be sure, feeling neglected in a relationship is disheartening and frustrating.

But there are ways to handle it, and even regain your partner’s attention and strengthen your bond.

Here are some key strategies to help you do this.

Don’t Beg!

If you’re begging for attention, stop. Don’t do this.

Being vulnerable and communicating your needs to your husband is one thing, but having to beg to get your needs met will only make you feel worse, and more neglected over time.

More to the point, it means there’s a real problem that needs to be fixed.

Which brings us to our next step…

Reflect

Explore what’s behind your feelings.

Take time to reflect on what exactly is bothering you, and think of specific examples of when you’ve had to beg for attention.

Be sure to consider your role in the situation, too.

Have you yourself been less engaged in your relationship lately? Less forthcoming with affection and emotional support?

Think on how you’ve requested attention in the past, and what your husband’s responses were.

Are your expectations reasonable, or are you pushing for more than your husband can give out of insecurity?

Assessing your relationship dynamics can help you identify areas where you can make improvements and bring effective talking points to a conversation about it with your husband.

If you’re unsure of how your relationship dynamics are affecting your marriage—or how to change them—we recommend seeing how Dr. Lee Baucom has helped his clients do this in his Save The Marriage Program.

Talk About It

Without a doubt, you will need to communicate your feelings with your husband candidly.

At this point, you should have specific examples of behaviors that have bothered you in mind.

Let him know how his lack of attention is affecting you. Also, be sure to state what you want from your husband—that is, what you want him to do specifically in the future.

Communicating your expectations clarifies what your husband might not actually understand about you and your needs.

Bear in mind, it’s important to express your thoughts calmly and clearly, without blame or accusation, in order to make genuine progress.

Find Out What Your Husband Needs from You

man hugging woman in bed

Don’t just tell your spouse what you need from him.

Open up the floor to let him tell you what he needs, too.

If you’re thinking, “But my needs are the ones being neglected,” you’re absolutely right.

But consider this: Showing him support and concern pays it forward so that he’ll be more motivated to show you the same.

Also, you may not otherwise find out if there’s something going on under the surface that’s affecting his ability to show you attention, like depression or anxiety.

Be Present in Your Relationship

Especially if you’ve found yourselves in a comfortable rut, make a concerted effort to be more present and in the moment together.

Share an interesting thing you’ve learned today with your husband.

Don’t seal yourself off out of self-defense—let your husband in on your inner world to encourage a connection on a deeper level.

When you’re talking together, actively listen and show real interest in what your husband is saying.

This shows respect for his thoughts and feelings, and may encourage him to reciprocate the attention and support that you need.

Reconnect

If the dynamic seems to have shifted between you in a negative way, try to identify areas where the two of you can reconnect.

If you don’t talk and share much anymore, save 10 minutes before you both go to work in the morning to sit down and have a cup of coffee together.

Get into a nighttime routine together where you chat over a glass of wine on the couch or give each other back rubs before bed.

Introduce activities you can both enjoy, like taking a couple’s cooking class, or going on nature hikes.

By spending quality time together and focusing on shared interests and little moments to reconnect, you can help revive a dwindling emotional connection.

Nurture Your Self-Esteem

It’s crucial to be patient and maintain a sense of self-worth during this process.

So, carve out a chunk of your schedule each day that is solely dedicated to self-care, whatever that means to you.

Focus on self-improvement, too.

When you invest time and energy into yourself, you subtly start to change the conditions surrounding your relationship dynamics and escape feeling like a victim in your relationship.

You’ll not only be less likely to seek validation from others, but you may also find that you attract more attention without seeking it.

Consider Professional Help

If you aren’t getting the results you want, you may decide to seek professional help.

Resources like couples therapy or coaching can provide valuable insights and guidance on addressing issues in your relationship that are driving the need for attention-seeking behaviors.

A professional can sit down with you and your spouse, listen objectively, and teach you the best methods to create open communication and serve each other’s emotional needs in a constructive and neutral environment.

How Do I Stop Begging My Husband for Attention?

If you’re stuck in the habit of extreme attention-seeking and need help finding alternative solutions, try the following:

  • Fill up your schedule. You’re not quite playing hard-to-get, so much as you’re stopping waiting around for your husband to notice you. Being less available—by doing things you love, pursuing your goals, and spending time with friends and family—can take your mind off of what you feel you’re not getting from your husband, and possibly also remind him that you’re not there to cater to his whims.
  • Invest in yourself by focusing on your personal growth. Building your self-confidence and self-esteem is important, and a fulfilling life outside of your marriage can improve your overall happiness. As you become more self-sufficient, you’ll naturally feel less dependent on your husband’s attention.
  • Respect each other’s boundaries. Understand your partner’s need for personal space and ensure that you’re not infringing on it. If giving space feels scary, it might be a point to reflect on for your own internal insecurities. But if you’re giving one another adequate room to breathe, you’ll be fostering a healthy environment where you can both grow and express your love for one another.

Signs of Lack of Attention

husband ignoring wife on a couch while playing with his phone

If you suspect it, recognizing the signs of lack of attention is the first step toward a solution.

Decreased Affection

One sign of a lack of attention is a decrease in affection.

If you notice that your husband is not as affectionate as he used to be, it could mean that he is not fully invested in the relationship.

The absence of physical touch, kind words, or thoughtful gestures shows, at the very least, that your needs for affection are not being met.

Strained Communication

Another sign can be the deterioration of communication between you and your husband.

If conversations seem more infrequent or feel forced, it could be a result of neglect in the relationship.

Good communication is essential for maintaining a strong connection with your partner. Pay attention to any changes in the way you talk to one another or the frequency of your conversations.

Related Reading: Signs of Poor Communication in Your Marriage

Not Speaking Your Love Language

Denying you expressions of love in your own love language, whether on purpose or out of ignorance, is definitely a sign of a lack of attention.

It’s shocking how many couples don’t speak each other’s love languages, only to realize this after getting married and experiencing dissatisfaction in the marriage.

Feeling Undervalued

A significant indicator of a lack of attention is feeling as though your self-worth is compromised.

Listen to your gut.

If you consistently feel unimportant or undervalued in your relationship, it’s possible that your husband is not giving you the attention you deserve.

Your self-worth is vital, and feeling neglected can have serious consequences for your mental and emotional well-being.

Read Also: Signs of a Disrespectful Husband

Not Responding to Bids for Your Partner’s Attention

We all make little bids for our partners’ attention throughout the day. All the time.

Research shows that one of the keys to maintaining a healthy relationship is how well each partner responds to their significant other’s bids for attention.

Does your husband look up when you laugh at something and ask what’s funny?

When you walk in the door and sigh and say it’s been a day at work, does he ask you with interest what happened?

If not, he may be depriving you of the attention you need.

Not Texting You Back

woman looking sadly at her phone

Sometimes not getting a text back from your husband can be chalked up to how busy he is, but if it’s a frequent offense, he may just be neglecting communication with you.

Which is most definitely a sign of lack of attention.

Being Taken for Granted

Do you feel invisible in your relationship? For example, is your husband ignoring you or doing nothing to make you feel appreciated?

Maybe your husband keeps making decisions that affect both of you, but without considering your desires or opinions.

Understandably, this can make you feel small and unseen in your relationship.

Not Making Time for You

Plain and simple, not spending time with you shows that your husband is not prioritizing you.

FYI, you shouldn’t have to always beg him to go out and do things with you, or even just hang out with you on the couch and watch a movie.

If he’s not initiating, that’s also a signal that he’s not giving you adequate attention.

Feeling Neglected

Lastly, a sense of neglect can result from a lack of involvement in each other’s lives.

If you find that your husband is no longer interested in the things that matter to you or not making an effort to participate in activities together, it might be a sign of waning attention.

Effects on Mental Health

Experiencing a lack of attention from your husband can have significant consequences on your mental health.

  • Anxiety and Depression – Feeling neglected or ignored by your partner can make you feel anxious. You might be worried about the future of your relationship or their intentions. This can also result in depression if the situation remains unchanged for an extended period.
  • Frustration – When you feel like your efforts to gain your partner’s attention go unnoticed, it’s natural to experience frustration. This frustration can build up, affecting your mood and interactions with others.
  • Self-esteem – Having to constantly beg for attention is hard on a person’s self-esteem. The rejection can lead to a feeling of unworthiness and a negative belief system about love and relationships. You may begin to question your value in the relationship and even doubt your self-worth in other areas of your life.

Effects on the Relationship

Feeling unappreciated and constantly begging for attention from your husband can lead to all sorts of negative effects in your relationship.

Some of these effects may include emotional distress, unresolved resentments, and increased misunderstandings between you.

In more severe cases, it might potentially contribute to traumatic experiences and even pave the way for infidelity.

Resentment that builds up if you constantly feel tempted to beg for attention can create a vicious cycle of one partner always pulling and one partner always pushing, further creating a rift in your relationship and affecting your own well-being.

How to Improve Communication with Your Husband

When you feel tired of begging for attention from your husband, taking the time to improve your communication is vital.

Here are some strategies to help you effectively communicate your needs and foster a healthier relationship dynamic.

  • Clearly communicate your needs. Express your feelings, and let your spouse know how his behavior affects you. Be direct, but also reiterate that you’re willing to work as a team to resolve issues.
  • Practice listening actively when your partner is talking. Give your husband the space to share his thoughts and feelings without interrupting or judging him. This will allow both of you to better understand each other’s needs and perspectives while fostering empathy within the relationship.
  • Understand the importance of compromise. It’s crucial to find a balance that meets both your and your husband’s needs. Be willing to make adjustments so that both you and your husband can feel satisfied and valued in the relationship.
  • Express sincere empathy. Show your partner that you care about his emotions by validating his feelings and putting yourself in his shoes. When empathy is present in a relationship, it nurtures a strong foundation for mutual understanding and closeness.

Setting Boundaries and Expectations

If you’re feeling neglected by your husband, make sure you don’t skip the all-important step of setting boundaries.

Boundaries provide a framework for healthy communication and mutual respect within a relationship.

Here’s what to do.

  • To set effective boundaries, start by identifying your needs and expectations. Be specific and clear about what you want from your husband in terms of attention and support. For example, you might ask for dedicated time spent together each week, or more focused attention during conversations. Note, you’ll want to express your needs calmly and confidently without being accusatory.
  • Next, be prepared to listen to your husband’s perspective. He might have different expectations regarding attention in relationships, and finding mutual understanding can help you both work towards a balanced middle ground. No matter what, you’ll need to approach this discussion with an open mind and empathy for your partner’s point of view. You might be surprised at what you learn about his perspective and how it can help you find your fulfillment.
  • Once you’re both on the same page, you can take concrete steps to work on these expectations. This might involve setting aside specific time each week for quality time together, or agreeing to minimize distractions during conversations. Additionally, consider setting boundaries on other aspects of your relationship, including work-life balance and technology use. By doing so, you can create a more balanced dynamic that allows you both to feel valued and attended to.
  • Last but not least, make sure to revisit your expectations regularly. As your lives and circumstances change, your needs and desires might evolve as well. But by regularly checking in on your relationship’s state and making adjustments where needed, you can ensure that both you and your husband remain happy, healthy, and attentive to each other’s needs.

Rebuilding the Connection

couple kissing on the beach standing in the water

Rebuilding the connection in your marriage involves making deliberate efforts to spend quality time together and rekindle the romance that may have faded.

This process requires open communication and an emphasis on strengthening the bond between you.

  • To start, plan regular date nights that provide opportunities for intimacy and tenderness. These can include trying out a new restaurant, going for a walk in the park, or even staying in and watching a movie together.
  • Be open with your feelings and needs, and encourage your partner to do the same. Because intimacy in a relationship goes beyond physical closeness—it involves emotional connection and support. Share your thoughts—this vulnerability can bring you closer and make your bond stronger.
  • Avoid resorting to passive-aggressive behavior, which can harm your connection and create tension. Instead, express your concerns or frustrations directly and with kindness in order to address any underlying issues that may be causing a distance between you and your partner.
  • Bring acts of tenderness to your daily interactions. Even small ones, like leaving a sweet note in your spouse’s bag, a gentle touch or hug, or simply reminding him of how much you care, can significantly enhance your romantic relationship.

Final Thoughts

You never want to beg for attention in your relationship.

In the long run, it’s far more effective to use strategies like sharing each other’s expectations, being present with each other, and finding small moments to reestablish your emotional intimacy.

At the end of the day, rebuilding the connection in your marriage doesn’t happen overnight.

It requires effort from both you and your partner, so be patient, open, and persistent to get to that positive shift in your relationship.

FAQ

Will ignoring my husband get his attention?

Ignoring your husband might catch his attention temporarily, but it’s not a healthy long-term solution.

It creates a vicious cycle of tension and may prompt your husband to ignore you back, assuming that you don’t want his attention, or that he’s incapable of making you happy.

Instead, consider having a genuine conversation with him about your feelings and needs in the relationship.

Silence can be misinterpreted and might lead to more misunderstanding between you and your husband.

What does lack of affection do to a woman?

Lack of affection can have a negative impact on a woman’s emotional and mental well-being.

It can lead to feelings of sadness, insecurity, and even depression.

Besides this, it affects self-esteem and can cause doubts about your partner’s commitment and love for you.

Lack of affection might also strain the relationship, which could eventually result in growing apart or even a breakup.

Why am I so needy in my marriage?

When one partner feels needy in a marriage, it could stem from various factors, such as past emotional experiences or current insecurities about oneself or the relationship.

Everyone has needs and expectations within a relationship, but the key is to make sure you’re not solely relying on your spouse for emotional support.

Strive towards achieving a balance of support from your partner, friends, family, and other social circles.

It might help to work on self-improvement, establishing boundaries, and fostering a strong sense of self-worth.

If you feel lost and don’t know where to start to rescue your marriage, we highly recommend Dr. Lee Baucom’s guide Save The Marriage.

It will teach you what you’ve been missing in your communications with each other, and how to reframe your marriage in a context that allows you to work together rather than against each other.

Click here to check out Save The Marriage.

Marlene Davis is an experienced blogger with a focus on interpersonal relationships. Her dream is to help improve people's lives and relationships through sharing of practical knowledge and evidence-based practices.