What Does It Mean When Your Wife Does Not Show Affection and What to Do About It

One of the most daunting prospects of any romantic relationship is that physical affection will run dry.

A relationship without physical affection is, or will in a short time be, no relationship at all. Physical touch is a cornerstone of any healthy relationship, establishing an emotional and psychological connection that differentiates your wife from everyone else on the planet.

And yet, despite its importance, affection is something that can easily wane in a marriage if you don’t give it the energy and intention it deserves.

Trust me; I’ve seen it repeatedly in my ten-plus years as a men’s relationship coach.

The first few years are heaven–endless affection, gratifying sex, and overall relational fulfillment for both parties. You think it will last forever, but anyone in a relationship of considerable length knows that the honeymoon phase can only last so long.

Kids, jobs and friends come along, and your passion begins to fade pretty soon. Other “more important” things take up your attention, and you stop showing affection–you stop putting in as much effort.

What starts as a bit of over-busyness and intentional focus on the kids turns into hurt feelings and hidden emotions, spiraling into full-fledged resentment and relational collapse.

So, how do you avoid this? How do you catch an affectionless relationship in its early stages before it has time to sprout, grow, blossom, and ruin what you have worked so hard to create? What if you try your darndest, but your wife has stopped showing affection altogether?

Is it too late? Is there anything you can do?

I’m here to tell you that it’s not too late. While an affection-starved relationship is dangerous, it can be rescued and turned completely around. The spark is still there as long as the connection remains–it can always be reignited.

To do this, you need to understand why the fire waned in the first place, how to bring it back, and how to avoid the same situation in the future.

5 Reasons Why Your Wife Does Not Show Affection

There are countless reasons your wife may not be showing affection, some that have almost nothing to do with you and some that have everything to do with you.

Regardless of whether or not you are a significant cause of this “no-touch” issue, you must understand that you, as her husband, play a central role.

Too often, husbands take their hands off the wheel of their relationship because it’s not their fault or they feel there’s nothing they can do about it. It’s your relationship–of course, there’s something you can do about it.

Here are five reasons your wife may not be showing you affection:

1. You’ve let your masculinity fade

The world’s fervent onslaught against masculinity and all it stands for has taken men a while to adjust to and has resulted in various adjustments in affection.

Some men, stubborn and unbending by nature, have resolved to stand their ground and have inadvertently swung too far in the other direction, becoming aggressive and overbearing in their attempt to be “manly.”

Hint: if a woman can tell your affection is “put-on” in an attempt to appear more masculine, it’ll turn them off immediately. Women want what is real and raw.

Some men have succeeded in remaining somewhat neutral, adjusting to the situation and their company to avoid conflict.

Still others, perhaps the most dangerous of all, have chosen the most peaceful route and have let their masculinity fade away entirely.

The world tells us that once we let go of our ego and the social construct of masculinity, we will get all the best girls and experience romance to the fullest. While the fear of the aggressive, arrogant man is justified, completely doing away with masculinity is, put lightly, a naive joke.

If your wife has stopped showing you affection, you likely let your masculinity slip. Women want to be able to feel feminine in your presence. They want to feel your power, not in an overbearing, controlling way, but in a calm, confident manner.

There is so much charm and mystery in self-control. Power contained. Strength withheld. Women die for this.

Masculinity is a vital part of any romantic relationship. If your wife’s affection seems to be waning, it’s time to rediscover your masculinity.

2. There’s been a loss of respect or trust

No matter the cause, any loss of respect or trust in a relationship will stop any woman from expressing affection.

Think of how you feel after an intense argument or fight with your wife; physical affection is the furthest thing from your mind.

When humans feel betrayed or hurt by another, expressing love and care through affection feels strange, even wrong, to us.

If your wife feels distant and has stopped being affectionate with you, there has likely been some lapse in respect or trust that has left her with resentment toward you.

Intentional or not, women often use physical neglect as a punishment for something that displeased them.

If this is the case, it’s time to reassess (hopefully with her) and figure out where things went awry and how you can get them back on track.

3. She’s having a personal crisis

As stated in the intro, sometimes your wife’s lack of affection can have nothing to do with you directly. She may be having a personal crisis in some other area of her life and unintentionally taking it out on you.

Changes in mental health caused by job issues or family affairs can result in depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder, negatively affecting how she treats you.

Is it your fault? No. Does that mean you should sit back and let her deal with it alone? No.

My advice to you would be not to take this to heart but rather to focus on how you can best help her get through this time.

Her crisis may be entirely her own, but that doesn’t mean it can’t significantly affect your relationship.

4. You’re predictable (in and out of the bedroom)

Predictability is the bane of any relationship.

The modern dating world has become so afraid of predictability that they are opting to do away with long-term relationships altogether.

If you feel the affection is fading from your relationship, it may be because you have become too predictable. When your wife feels she can predict your next move (in and out of the bedroom), she’ll stop getting excited.

Many men mistake thinking that all married woman wants stability. Dating is for spontaneity and excitement, they tell themselves. We’re grown up now. Married couples need good jobs, a good house, and a predictable future. This isn’t the case. No matter the stage in life, women desire a healthy dose of unpredictability and adventure. They want you to sweep them off their feet and take them somewhere they’ve never been.

If your woman isn’t giving you the affection you’re looking for, it’s likely you’ve become too predictable.

5. Your relationship has become too serious (no lightness or laughter)

Affection relies (at least in part) on a light-hearted mood. If you have been too serious in your interactions with your wife, it’s no wonder she doesn’t feel like she can be affectionate towards you.

She may feel reserved or uptight around you as if the two of you are tolerating each other rather than thrilled to be in each other’s presence.

While a “happy relationship” with 24/7 smiles and laughter is unachievable, it is critical to ensure that your relationship always has some lightness or humor to encourage playful and loving affection.

Physical affection must remain constant regardless of the difficult situation you find your relationship in.

6 Ways to Get Your Wife to Start Showing Affection Again

You now know why she’s stopped showing affection. But what about the “how”?

Here at Knowledge for Men, we are more than therapists sent to diagnose your issue, have a cup of tea, and say our goodbyes. We are about change and improvement. Your relationship only gets better when you take intentional action.

Here are six ways to get your wife to start showing affection again.

1. Stop mentioning it

One of the most prominent mistakes men make when they start to sense diminished affection from their wives is approaching the topic directly and frequently through nagging, joking, or begging.

While so much of the relational healing we encourage here at knowledge for men requires open communication, this is one of those rare circumstances where staying silent may be the better option (especially if you’re begging or joking).

Just like you can’t make your wife love you, you can’t make her touch you. Often, little comments or prodding jokes do nothing more than lower your self-esteem and decrease her respect for you.

Physical intimacy is profoundly complex, but the conversation about it rarely does any good. It’s better to focus on why this intimacy is lacking than to address the intimacy itself.

A loving relationship will breed physical affection, never the other way around. If you aren’t getting paid, you look for work, not money.

2. Learn what it means to love like a man

Rediscovering your masculine edge can save your relationship and help your woman reawaken her feminine side.

Women want some unpredictability. They want some fire. They want to feel, through the passion of your touch and the force of your kisses, how much you love them and what you would do to anything that stood between you two.

Learning to love like a man means understanding what it means to be masculine and controlled. It is your responsibility, your duty as a man, to be a man.

Be kind, considerate, and understanding. Despise arrogance, over-aggression, and anger. Build true masculinity with your actions!

3. Pay attention to her love language

People have different love languages. Pay attention to your wife’s love language–it may not be physical touch.

Or, maybe it is, and you’re just neglecting her other languages, and this lack of affection is caused by an emptiness in her different ways of receiving love.

I’ve worked with many men who fail to step outside of themselves enough to realize that their wife isn’t in touch as much as they are. They see physicality as the essential way of connecting, while their wife shows love in other ways.

Paying attention to how your partner shows and receives love can help you sort through the puzzle of their emotions and discover how to love them best.

Maybe spending time with her means more to her than touch or sex does. Perhaps words of appreciation and adoration are what makes her feel loved. Not everyone is interested in the same things.

The significant part is that once you spend time figuring her out, she’ll feel more loved and want to love you even more.

4. Avoid the blame game

Maybe it’s her fault. Perhaps it’s yours.

What’s proven to be the case repeatedly in relationships is that it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter who’s right or who’s wrong.

Finding out who is to blame for your affectionless relationship will do nothing for you. The best thing you can do (even if it is blatantly clear that it is more her fault than yours) is avoid accusations and make it clear that you don’t care whose fault it is.

This understanding (maybe forgiveness) will make her feel more loved than ever and lead to a more united, together-minded approach to the problem and finding a solution.

You can’t expect to receive any affection from someone you have just labeled as the sole cause of an issue.

Most people are aware when something’s their fault; reminding them of this fact does nothing more than sour the relationship.

5. Stop being predictable

Predictability can knock the stuffing out of a relationship as fast as anything.

Learning to walk the delicate line between stability and unpredictability is the key to winning your wife’s heart forever.

Here are some ways you can spice up your romantic life and reawaken the honeymoon phase:

Make a significant life change.

Often, our lives become stagnant and mundane when we stop living with intention. You must lean into your adventurous side to spice up your romantic life and reawaken your wife’s interest in you.

Do something you’ve always wanted but have been too afraid to do. Sell your house and move. Take time off of work and make that big Europe trip.

Even something as small as taking a weekend trip can make your wife feel loved again. I’m not encouraging you to blow all your savings without consulting your other half; think outside the box and avoid falling into a boring routine.

Try something new in bed.

Let her feel your love for her through your power. Surprise her with a new position or approach to sex. Find some way to step outside of your comfort zone and give her that tingly sensation she had in your dating days.

Tease her throughout the day (not just when you want sex).

Many men only get physical with their partner when “in the mood.” Often, this kills the mood because it shows the woman that you view them as a tool to use when the need comes around.

You want your wife to feel desired all the time, not just when the deed needs doing. A tender kiss and a playful spank there will make her feel your affection all the time and make the sex all the more meaningful and desired.

6. Avoid the Sex-Affection Trap

The sex-affection trap is a complex circle of cause and effect that can destroy your relationship if you don’t look out for it.

The sex-affection trap begins when one partner feels they are not getting enough of something they want (either sex or affection). They give up and stop giving of themselves (either sex or love), providing a good excuse for their other half to do the same. And on and on.

For example, a husband may feel his wife never wants to have sex, so he gives up on affection. She meanwhile feels like he is never affectionate, so she is never in the mood for sex.

After being refused many times, he gives up making any advances altogether, leaving her feeling even more alone.

Avoiding this endless spiral of misery is essential if you are looking to unlock your wife’s affection. It’ll require a healthy dose of understanding and likely some forgiveness, but trust me; it’s worth it in the end.


If your relationship lacks affection, you know better than just how miserable it can be.

I hope this article provides hope for your relationship and future, as I have seen so many men go through precisely what you are going through right now (and have indeed gone through it myself).

Whether you have lost some of the masculinity that got her interested, have seen a break in trust that makes relationships last, or are seeing the consequences of something unrelated to you, winning back your wife’s affection is doable.

With intentionality and an understanding approach, you can rediscover what it means to love like a man, bring adventure back into your relationship, and run from the dangerous patterns that got you here in the first place.

Give yourself a chance if you have difficulty with this idea or think your situation is too far gone. Here at Knowledge for Men, we have seen hundreds of “too far gone” situations transformed into the best relationships on the planet.

With the best-trained coaches in the industry and decades of experience on our backs, we are massive believers in the redeemable nature of any relationship. Help us help you rediscover this connection with your wife before it’s too late.

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