WWNH: Willingness of wife to change can be a stumbling block.
Eagerness to claim credit or to show she’s trying harder comes across as trying too hard. It works like the unearned gift that men don’t appreciate, and it too easily can weaken his respect or her self-respect.
On the other hand, subtlety pays off. Undetectable, unnoticed minor changes work far better than major ones that he detects and feels obligated to recognize verbally. Men don’t change to please their woman, and so they easily become suspicious of her changing to please him.
Trying to recover a marriage, only sincerity works. Attempts to manipulate probably signal that manipulation or phoniness caused marital problems in the first place.
As mentioned elsewhere, men see no need for relationship maintenance. Wives shouldn’t expect husband to fix it. He senses every one of her pressures as pushing him to change, but men don’t change—especially at the insistence of the woman they married or the counselor she hires.
(I realize counselors don’t push anyone to change, but men expect it. Their problem solving nature shows that directions precede solutions. Also, being forced to change admits to a man’s insignificance, which is his greatest fear. Expectation and fear explain why men dodge counselors and counseling.)
A sweeter wife goes a long way to sweetening a man’s attitude, because we become like those with whom we associate. That’s next.