Begin with the Prayer of Abandonment.
“A gracious wife delights her husband, her thoughtfulness puts flesh on his bones” (Sirach 26:13).
In her book By Love Refined (p.113), Alice von Hildebrand has this to say to the young woman whose husband did not spontaneously offer to help her put away some holiday decorations. “Might there be a subtle stubbornness in you that prefers to suffer rather than to ask for assistance? If so, that’s unfortunate, because it keeps you from tapping one of the great resources in the hands of women: an appeal to that sense of chivalry that is found deep within the hearts of most men (though it’s often hidden by a thick crust of selfishness).”
One of the more useful pieces of dating advice that I got from my mother was this sure-fire way to get a young man’s attention: “Ask him to help you. Reward with homemade cookies.”
So often in married life, we forget the power of the well-timed appeal to their manliness. Not a long-as-your-arm “Honey-do” list tacked to the refrigerator, but a batting-the-eyelashes, sweet-as-honey purr. “Sweetie, I just can’t manage to get the roaster down from on top of the pantry. Could you reach up with those long arms of yours and get it?”
Try it. You might be surprised at the response.
What if he doesn’t respond the way you’d hoped? He may need a little positive reinforcement. Appreciate … aloud … all the things he does for you and your family. Admire the way he plays with the kids. Thank him for getting the car serviced. Whatever he does, “thank him for it.”
Then try again tomorrow.