Does your man talk a good game but not come through for you? Does he say 'yes' when he really means 'no'? Being honest in a relationship is really important. So is being reliable. What is dismissed as "no big deal" can have serious implications because the outcome is a big deal. The real problem isn't mowing the lawn or forgetting to take out the trash. It's about trust or lack of trust which for most women means safety or lack of safety. Breaking promises damages trust which harms the bond, which is the foundation of the relationship. When repeated too many times, most women lose respect for their man, which can doom the relationship. So what can you do if your man is all talk and no action? Here are some tips:
1. Recognize his desire to please (or at least not be in the doghouse): Most men genuinely want to please their woman and he may be sincere in wanting you to be happy. When you're happy he is more comfortable and when he disappoints you, most men get very uncomfortable. Saying what he thinks you want to hear may be his way of trying to avoid trouble. It's a messed up strategy for him because it brings more trouble in the end. Some men have a very hard time saying no. He may be trying too hard to please you and over-committing himself; or he may be trying to avoid upsetting you.
2. Make it ok to say 'no'. If he's saying yes to avoid upsetting you, you've got to make it ok for him to say no. Some women get angry when they don't get their way; others cry; others give the glare and the silent treatment. During the growing up years, many children are not allowed to say no, so suddenly being able to do so as an adult may feel extra difficult. Plus, men don't like disappointing women. If you truly want honesty in your relationship, you must invite him to tell you when he doesn't want to do something. When he says no, you may not like it, but in the end you will respect him for being truthful and you'll have the honesty you seek in your relationship.
3. Reward the slightest try: When he does come through, be happy. Smile, thank him, show appreciation and don't nit-pick every detail. If he's usually late and this time he was almost on time...be happy to see him when he gets there. Don't look at your watch. Don't say, "Well, you're not as late as usual." Be nice. Show some gratitude. Men are happiest (and most motivated) when they please women so make sure that you are pleasable. For more on this see Lazy Husband.
4. Put a time limit on it: If he's committing and it's still not happening, put a time limit on it and handle it yourself. If you've been waiting at a restaurant for more than 20 minutes and he hasn't called to say he's late, order your meal without him or leave. If it's a task he's promised, hire someone else to do it. Don't be mad and don't punish him. Just be matter of fact and take the task away. "I needed it done by the time we agreed on, so I handled it myself. No problem." If he did want to come through for you, he may be inclined to try harder next time. If he really didn't want to do it in the first place, he'll be glad you handled it another way. Not every partner will want to do everything you want them to do so recognize you won't be able to count on him for everything.
5. Check your own expectations: I remember thinking my relationship was supposed to be like the ones I saw in the movies. Therefore, if my man truly loved me, he should want to do everything with me. He should watch movies with me, help weed the garden, carry heavy items, sit with me while I pay my bills, proof read my manuscripts, and watch me ride my horse. I do have a truly great guy and he does do a lot of these things some of the time but honestly... it's not like in the movies. Take a look at your own expectations. They may not seem unrealistic to you, but if the tables were turned, could you live up to your own expectations? Can your man be himself and still be with you or are you asking too much? Remember, you fell in love with the man you fell in love with, not some fantasy of what you dreamed love should be.
6. Is he the one for you? Hopefully, the items above will help the two of you find happiness, but if he truly is all talk and no action, that's makes for a pretty rough road ahead. Everyone has needs. You have needs and he has needs, too. If you need a guard dog, don't get a golden retriever. It's just not fair. If what you need is diametrically opposed to what he needs, and vice versa, the kindest thing may be to let each other go and give yourselves the opportunity to find someone else who can meet those needs better. It's not fair to try to make someone be something they're not. Compatibility is important for lifelong happiness, see: Is He The One? There is no completely perfect match out there. Still, it is important to be with someone who has the ability to meet at least some of your needs, most of the time, without compromising your standards.