I would be quite afraid to use “wiles” on my husband. I have been taught that manipulation is evil, period. Whenever I wanted anything growing up, that was manipulation and meant punishment. If I want anything from my husband, that’s manipulation and I get ignored. What’s your secret? You seem to get a lot of romance and fun out of marriage. I don’t. I can’t wait for him to get to work in the morning because I’m so stressed out worrying about whether or not I’ve done a good enough job with lunch, with this, with that, etc. I don’t dare relax or even have any fun, and I hate it.
What’s the secret? What are you supposed to do? Because, quite frankly, I don’t like being married one bit and am focusing strictly on doing my duty as I’m supposed to do. Maybe it’s too late for me, but maybe you can at least give me some ideas so my daughters can have happy, fun marriages, at least once in a while (we all know it’s not fun all the time, that’s not my point).
1. First and foremost, don’t compare your marriage to other people’s. I understand what you were saying in your comment, but try to get the idea out of your head that you want fun and romance like them and change it to, I want fun and romance like us. You just don’t know what the romance and fun in your marriage is going to look like yet because you have to find that out.
2. Try to figure out why your husband doesn’t like manipulation. Maybe he had a woman in his life who was truly manipulative in the worse sense of the word. It could be he doesn’t trust because he has been badly burned in the past. Be understanding of his point of view and remember this whenever things get difficult.
3. Maybe you married a quiet man. As someone who married a quiet man myself, it took me a very long time to figure out that many of the times I thought he might be mad at me or ignoring me, it actually had nothing to do with me at all. He was just being quiet because that is who he is. Could this be the case for your husband? If so, be understanding and give him his space. Find your own thing to do during this time that makes you happy.
4. Your husband does not create your happiness and sense of fun. You do. It sounds like you are depending on him for these things. Do your duty as his wife, but make it fun while doing it. While making his lunch and dinner, or while cleaning the house have fun. Turn on some music, dance and sing with your girls and let them help you. Let this sense of happiness and fun last past the time your husband gets home. When he gets home, greet him calmly yet happily at the door. Welcome him home with a gentle kiss and a smile. Serve him dinner with a little bounce in your step and a smile on your face. Bring him a cup of coffee in the morning bright eyed and happy. Have your girls do the same. Expect nothing in return. You are doing this because he is your husband and you love him. Not because you want anything from him. Continue on happily with your evening. If your husband is quiet, let him be quiet. This quietness does not have to have an affect on your happiness. It does because you let it (I know reading this, I make this sound like an easy task. It’s not. Work at it and it will get easier). Find your own thing to do that makes you happy and let that feeling stay with you. Be easy with your smiles and let them reach your eyes. Your girls are going to watch you. They will learn this skill from you.
What you may find happens, over time, is that your husband may find this contagious and become more relaxed and happy himself. This should not be your end goal. That would be manipulative and will turn him away. You’re being happy because you want and choose to be happy for yourself.
5. When you do want or need something, you sit down with your husband and you ask for it. Tell him, “I would like to go out and have some fun with you tonight. Will you take me out?” or “Will you take the girls and I out for a fun night?” There is no manipulation there. You are being direct with what you want. If he takes you, have fun! Make up your mind to have a good time.
In all of this, the end goal is for you to be happy and have some fun. It is not to get your husband to do the same. Your happiness is dependent on you. Don’t be so afraid of your husband that you can’t find joy. Find this joy for you and your family. Not to manipulate him. Through all of this, you might just find that he slowly changes and finds it all contagious (this could take years or it night not happen at all. Don’t let that deter you). Show him that you can be fun and happy and that it is in no way manipulative. He can trust you as his wife because you are doing your duty and you are happy. Always, always keep in mind, changing him is not your goal. Your happiness is your goal. The happiness of your girls is your goal. Work hard to always be honest and direct with your husband, but do it while being happy.
You can choose to be joyful.