My partner doesn’t compliment me any more

When my husband and I first started courting in the 70s, we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. He

When my husband and I first started courting in the 70s, we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. He was affectionate, sweet and so complimentary. I remember him buying me pretty dresses and commenting on how gorgeous I looked. He was always showing me off and making me feel a million bucks… but it’s now 40 years on and that spark is well and truly gone.

I find my husband as handsome as ever, so it’s not a case of me not reciprocating the affection. I always tell him he looks great but I don’t hear it back. This has crushed me for as long as I can remember. At first I thought it was because he was cheating on me. I’d just had our first daughter and he would be coming home late or going on business trips. It turns out his brother (his business partner) had bowel cancer and my husband had to take on his responsibilities. He didn’t want to tell me his brother was sick as he promised not to tell any one. So that made me feel better that maybe my physical appearance wasn’t that bad. After a few months of average sex or even weeks without it, I thought I’d spice things up. I was dying for my husband to say I was sexy.

I went out to the lingerie shop and spent far too much on a bra, underwear and suspenders. I was 41 and still had a great body after 4 kids, or so I thought. I did the classic pose in the hallway and my husband took one look at me and said “You look ridiculous”. Talk about crushed. I hid away in my room, so embarrassed. I couldn’t believe how unattractive it made me feel. I tried to address it with him and he said that I looked fine and not to go overboard.

That was nearly 25 years ago and I’ve not tried the lingerie thing since, but I have lost 20kg, worn makeup every day – never let myself go. I just want to feel sexy and like someone thinks I’m sexy. I’ve tried to broach the subject with my husband but he always brushes it off. He never notices my new hair or a new dress any more either.

What do I do? Is romance dead? Or do other husbands do this too?