When Your Husband Isn’t Romantic

romanticI always knew my husband was romantic. Deep down in the inner recesses of his being my husband was a poem-writing, song-singing, bouquet-buying kind of guy. I waited and watched and then grew increasingly disappointed when his inner Romeo failed to emerge. He did not surprise me with expensive jewelry, throw me a big 40th birthday party or plan that special trip to a paradise far, far away (or arrange a sitter so our children would also be far, far away).

Then one day I accepted a hard truth.  I was married to an engineer.

I suppose there are romantic engineers, but in reality most men (regardless of their profession) aren’t romantic. Although I wanted to mourn the loss of the spontaneous, crazy and hopelessly romantic husband I was waiting for, I couldn’t. After over two decades of marriage, raising children, moving, changing jobs and being a grown up, I know now I didn’t need (or want) Prince Charming.

My husband didn’t bring me flowers because he was out late working long hours to provide for our family. He didn’t buy ridiculously expensive gifts for me because he was being a wise steward with our money. He didn’t sing or recite poetry to me because he was too busy fixing the tail lights on my car, repairing our washer or helping the kids with their algebra. My husband wasn’t romantic by Disney’s standards because my husband was taking care of me practically, financially and steadfastly.

A friend of mine recently asked me for advice because she was ready to leave her husband, in part because he wasn’t romantic. Like my husband, her husband was a good guy who went to work every day, who was a good dad and who loved his wife. I reminded my friend that a man who fixes the dryer (or pays to have it fixed because he can afford to), sets a mousetrap or reads a book to his kids is much more attractive than a romantic man who buys extravagant stuff or writes cheesy poetry (how will that help me dry my clothes?).

I also asked my friend to think of her son.  How would she feel about his future wife complaining that her husband didn’t surprise her on their anniversary even though he was a faithful, hard-working father and husband to her for ten years? Would she want her daughter-in-law to be thankful for the things her son was doing or would she be okay with her daughter-in-law wishing her son was more, different and “better?”

What have I learned accepting my husband is only marginally romantic, at best? I’ve learned to be grateful my husband hasn’t wished me to be something God did not innately equip me to be. I’ve learned my husband’s less emotional temperament is the perfect complement to my up and down, often crazy disposition. I’ve learned I can focus on what I love about my husband or I can focus on what I’d change about him. Choosing to appreciate what he is, rather than what he may lack, has helped me like, love and be extremely grateful for the stable, faithful, hard-working man I am married to and plan to stay married to, or a very long time. And love that lasts is the best kind of romance of all.



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11 Responses to When Your Husband Isn’t Romantic

  1. Jess February 9, 2016 at 9:04 am #

    This is absolutely perfect! Thank you for this, Laura – for your honesty and experience.

    • Laura
      Laura February 9, 2016 at 1:28 pm #

      Thanks, Jess! Glad you enjoyed the blog. YOU are an amazing photographer (I peeked at your blog)! I’m jealous. 🙂 !! P.S. I haven’t linked my personal blog to MKE Mom Blog yet (on my to do list), but if you’re interested: http://www.laurasandretti.blogspot.com 🙂 (I saw the picture of your Bible – you might enjoy my personal blog). 🙂 Thanks for writing.

  2. Kim C. February 9, 2016 at 2:09 pm #

    This speaks to me – like I could have written it myself! Thank you for the reminder of what we do have!

  3. Caitlin February 14, 2016 at 12:02 pm #

    Just because you don’t have everything doesn’t mean you don’t have the greatest thing. No amount of flowers or romance will replace how amazing it is to have the person that loves you be the person that loves what you love most (your kids).

  4. Betsy February 17, 2016 at 7:34 pm #

    Thank you so much for writing this! I’ve been married to my engineer husband for almost 8 years now and we are expecting our 3rd boy in May. It’s difficult at times when we compare our lives to others around us who may have romantic husbands, but man do I have someone to be incredibly thankful for! Steadfast and true…and always practical 😉 but is currently reading books and saying prayers with our two little boys while mommy has the flu. Couldn’t be happier! Thank you again, I’ll be bookmarking this for those moments when I forget just how lucky I am. 🙂

  5. Stu February 18, 2016 at 12:16 am #

    So my wife just shared this with me as a jab that I’m not romantic enough. I took the time to read the whole article and to me it doesn’t sound like that’s what this article was really about. Am I right? Admittedly I’m not the most romantic guy, but I think she may have missed the point of what you are getting at.

    • Sarah
      Sarah February 18, 2016 at 9:04 am #

      Stu, I admit that is a little funny. 🙂 The author’s point was mostly that she was admittedly a little slow on the uptake in learning what was actually “romantic” about her husband. While he didn’t do the things that were traditionally considered romantic in the dime novel sense, the things that he DID do were precisely the things she needed. Laura felt it was more important for her to consider how to love and appreciate her husband for who he is, rather than lament the tendencies he lacks. That way, those gestures of romance that ARE expressed are viewed within the context of his personality and how he expresses love.

      That being said, go buy your wife some flowers. 😉

      • Sisie Folkers January 27, 2017 at 8:13 am #

        BUT……when you think about we don’t want romance ALL the time…just once in awhile…something sweet, like a great dessert, or a nice vacation, something to remember and hold in our hearts fondly…its what we crave…like a chocolate…………….or maybe………..like men crave the physical side of marriage!!??!!??

        What if men were expected to be satisfied with us just being great moms and wives by our daily tasks like this article suggests women do?????

        What man would be willing to exchange that for what “they need” in a marriage?

        Hear me out….men need sex like women need a little romance…words, gestures, even a meaningful, NOT EXPENSIVE, gift. Its just one part of the differences in us as men and women.
        SO NOT BLAMING, just saying, we get that sometimes you want to be physical more than we do, but once the party starts most women are into it as much as men, WHY THEN is it NOT the same for men and romance?
        No, you may not feel like being romantic, but go ahead and get the party started!!!! Get a card, write a few words, surprise her with a $5 bouquet, or a warm pair of new gloves for when she walks the kids to school…..see if you don’t get into it a bit…and SERIOUSLY, can you NOT SEE the reward heading your way for your efforts???

        What a CLIMATE CHANGE this could usher in for the whole marriage!!!

  6. AllyV December 25, 2016 at 5:36 am #

    I love this! It is easy for me to be tempted to compare my husband to what I see on social media or in movies. But that is not real like the standard for man that God has set before me is. I mistook my husband’s lack of romance as a lack of love for the first 5 years of marriage, constantly nagging him to be and express himself as something God never intended him to be. Thanks for reminding so many what true joy in marriage looks like!!!

  7. Kimberly December 29, 2016 at 7:27 am #

    Isn’t it possible that a husband could try to be more romantic – even if not in his “nature” – because it would mean a lot to his wife? It seems like I often see women trying to change things about themselves in order to “accept” their partner or marriage, and I’m not sure I see men doing the same thing.

    • Sisie Folkers January 27, 2017 at 8:20 am #

      Yes, Kimberly!! I made a comment too…its long and I put it as a reply to.someone else’s comment and as a stand along comment as well.
      In short, my point is…how can we be expected to gove up what we NEED and be expected to always be happy with what a husband gives as a husband and father and not ever have any romance? This is where we are to get our NEEDS met…in our marriage! What if a man was expected to be satisfied with what we do as wives and moms and nevereet their NEEDS? That just would not fly!
      Most.of the time, men want sex more than women, but once we start we are into it and enjoy the moment….ROMANCE IS THE SAME! Men don’t want to be romantic most.of the time, but just go with it, put in a little effort, a card, a small bouquet, a favorite treat, anything? Do they NOT understand how.it will come back.to the ten-fold???
      We don’t want ot need it all the time…just a special treat to treasure and remember. Like the memory of a great meal out, a great vacation, or a favorite song….just something to hold in our hearts….we are women….GOD made us this way…

      Not criticising….just leveling the playing field! 😉

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