What to do When a Husband Says He Will Change But Doesn’t

If you’re in a marriage or partnership where the expectation is that your mate changes who they are in order for the union to progress, you need to ask yourself who this person was before you came so far in the relationship. 

Often flaws and quirks are overlooked in the initial stages of dating, even longer, with an unspoken understanding that these things will hopefully change once you commit. 

Unfortunately, when you view someone who is openly honest and vulnerable with who they are, you get that person in all their glory. It’s sort of on you if when the individual becomes your husband, he promises to change but doesn’t. 

In all fairness, your spouse is probably only being authentic and isn’t aware of changing what comes naturally. 

Now, suppose there’s unsettling behavior that doesn’t make itself known until after the commitment. In that case, that’s the reason to put the union on the line, especially if there is flirtation or openly cheating, including emotionally with other people, abuses or aggressions of any nature, or being irresponsible in the partnership.

Why won’t a husband change when he says he will

The reasons why a mate or a spouse won’t change are irrelevant and likely mere excuses. The truth of the matter is that if a man doesn’t change, it’s because there’s no desire to do so; it’s pretty plain and simple. 

When someone decides to improve their life, it needs to be because they want to. They can’t do it for someone else, or it won’t stick. 

For instance, if you have a husband who drinks to excess and you ask them to change this behavior on your behalf, your mate might slack off of the alcohol for a few days to appease you. 

Still, unless it’s something your partner wants for themself, the behavior will go right back to the way it was because the individual doesn’t want to stop.

It isn’t that he doesn’t care for you or hold concern that his behavior causes you frustration or perhaps pain. It’s more that it doesn’t bring him the motivation that he needs to do something about it. 

Instead, there need to be personal feelings of discomfort or guilt of your mate’s own volition that inspires a desire to want to do something to end those feelings. 

Maybe if he continues to come home late for dinner, you’ll stop joining him for brunch on Sunday with his parents. Or, if he stops doing the dishes, you’ll discontinue cooking the evening meals. 

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These are relatively simple examples, but they bring a result that will make him uncomfortable and unhappy to the point he may make a few changes that he might have promised but never followed through on.

How can you change a man who might be unwilling to change

There’s a fine line when a spouse or mate expresses to their partner that changes need to be made. When you make these “demands” attached to ultimatums or threats, you might get pushback from a significant other who decides to challenge you to do so. 

If that’s not legitimately something you want to happen, don’t say it unless the behavior is toxic. In that case, there should be no threats; you should simply leave. These actions are virtually impossible to change; in fact, they often worsen as time progresses – walk away.

There are also instances where a spouse or partner continues to ask a mate to change from the person they are. They make the requested changes only to find their significant other unhappy with the new person and eventually leave because their husband is no longer the one they fell in love with. What?! 

Again, it’s a fine line when you express a desire for someone to change. Make sure that’s indeed what you want to happen before either the person allows you to leave the relationship or becomes a different guy altogether and you hate it.

Needless to say, change among husbands is very doable, and a spouse can help them even without the spouse knowing subtle differences are happening. Let’s check out a few tips on how you can make this happen.

1. A training process

Remember, your spouse is unaware that this occurs because they would otherwise not likely participate. In the same vein that you would work with a child or even a pet, you can also work with a spouse you want to manipulate into changing. 

It’s an easy system of simply rewarding positive actions and producing a negative response for poor reactions. As an example, if your mate is someone who leaves dirty clothes all over the floor but finally picks them up, you could make a significant deal about it. 

You can either take him to dinner, cook his favorite meal, or surprise him with a small gesture of appreciation. 

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You’ll notice the behavior will start to happen more often, but you’ll need to provide rewards until it sticks. As a negative incentive, since clothes don’t hit the hamper and you’re the one in charge of washing the laundry, those clothes don’t get washed.

2. Let him believe he thought of it

As a rule, many husbands tend to lean towards big egos – albeit vulnerable. If you merely ask your spouse to change something about themself to make you happy, it’s not likely to happen. 

Most mates want to feel like they’re in control of their own situation. If there’s any notion that you’re attempting to take control somehow, there will be pushback, even bordering on rebellion against the idea. 

However, if a partner believes he thought of the idea to make some changes, he’ll likely continue on that path.

If your significant other does something kind for you, compliment the fact that there’s an effort to be friendlier and more giving. The mate will believe that some changes are taking place and continue with the action. 

You can also brag in front of him to your friends and family about how wonderful he’s becoming. He’ll want to do more.

3. Nagging and berating

One way to not bring about behavioral differences is by constantly complaining, bickering, or criticizing your significant other. It will likely make your spouse take a turn at whatever the household chore or errand might be to stop the arguing, but it will also make your partner resent you and hate the activity that much more. 

That means there will not be any time soon this mate will be volunteering to take over the duty. In fact, it will be avoided at all costs making your appeal have the opposite effect of what you had initially intended.

4. Play on envy

No husband wants to hear how much better a friend’s husband is at anything, let alone feel their spouse is jealous of how good the friend has it because of their partner. 

You express how much this friend’s partner does or the fact there are specific behavioral traits or sorts of differences between them and your mate.

That will end up kicking in your spouse’s natural competitive instincts. That means he’ll start doing those same things, if not more and perhaps better, so you don’t need to envy anyone; instead, you are proud to brag about what you have at home.

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You don’t want to overdo this specific tip. There’s a fine line between making someone jealous of another person and making them feel less confident or decreasing their self-esteem. 

Your goal is not to diminish how your husband feels about himself, merely to make a few changes here and there.

5. Spell it out

If you’re like some partners, you don’t realize that you can’t hint or give clues or use body language to express what you want to happen. Most husbands are literal, meaning they need to know precisely and to the point what you’re trying to say. 

You might not be clear with what you’re trying to say, and your mate might not be catching on to the message.

For instance, if you want someone a bit more attentive with perhaps small gestures every so often like a note in your lunch or some fresh flowers on a Friday night, tell him so just like that. 

Don’t leave it with “I need you to be more attentive.” A significant other won’t know how to fulfill the request believing there are kisses in the morning before work and hugs in the evening once work is done, leaving confusion as to what more could possibly be done.

In a heterosexual relationship between a man and a woman, this kind of conversation wouldn’t work well because men are more logical with their thought processes and thinking with their brains. In contrast, women think more emotionally and with their hearts.


When you date someone, usually you’re getting the authentic person. That means you need to pay close attention to all the quirks, flaws, and uniqueness to see if there would be anything significant to alter if the partnership were to change into an exclusive commitment.

Anything toxic is a definitive deal-breaker. Lifestyle differences need to be carefully considered for what you believe you can live with and what absolutely needs work. 

Talk about those things up front and honestly before a commitment comes into the equation. You can, at that point, express how vital these things are and if there’s no desire to fix what might be broken, move on to someone a little closer to what you need.

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