When Kindness Means A Favor: The ‘Only-Nice-When-Wants-Something’ Husband

It’s not uncommon to hear women talking about their partners with something akin to annoyance. “My husband is only nice when he wants something,” one might say in frustration. It almost seems like a cliché, but there are men out there who really do seem to truly care for their wife’s feelings only when they think it will benefit them somehow. In this article, we’ll explore what exactly the phenomenon of the “only-nice-when-wants-something” husband looks like and how couples can navigate through it.

What does an Only-Nice-When-Wants-Something Husband Look Like?

The classic example of an only-nice-when-wants-something (or ONWS for short) can be seen in a few common situations:

  1. The week before his buddies come over for poker night at your house: Suddenly your partner becomes Mr. Clean – wiping down counters that barely even have crumbs on them or scrubbing every surface so diligently you’re sure you could safely perform surgery on the kitchen table.
  2. Planning a big-ticket purchase together: Your spouse doesn’t just listen attentively when it comes to discussing which TV would work best in your home, he actively encourages whichever option you prefer… until you start nearing some kind of consensus and then suddenly insists upon buying whatever product was originally high up on his Amazon wishlist.
  3. When relatives or friends visit from out-of-town: All of the sudden instead of complaining about mowing the lawn or vacuuming constantly, he makes sure everything is done without being specifically asked hoping this extra labor touch-up helps win him good favor upon receiving visitors.

So why do these husbands act overly enthusiastic during these scenarios? The answer is straightforward – they want/need something from their better halves duh.

How Do You Know If Your Partner is an ONWS?

As with most things in human behavior, the signs that your partner might be classified as an Only-Nice-When-Wants-Something husband can be a little bit more subtle than humorously dramatic TV sitcom characters. Some common warning signs to look out for include:

  • Being overly nice or caring when he’s seeking something specific from you
  • Not being able to take no for an answer without getting upset or even angry
  • Suddenly becoming less attentive once his need has been fulfilled
  • Talking over/vetoing your opinions until they match up with what he wants

The last bullet point may not always necessarily involve long-lasting decisions, but rather small details like picking where to order dinner from tonight.

Of course this does not mean we are trying to throw our spouses under the bus and put them on blast disregarding how much effort they put into other aspects of day-to-day life.

Why Do These Types Of Men Act Like This?

For these men there are multiple thought patterns behind their actions – some of which might actually surprise you! Here are just a few reasons why guys become ONWS:

Fear of Rejection

Rejection sensitivity is one psychological explanation behind this type of love language expression gone wrong. These types often struggle coping with feeling unwanted and try everything possible to prevent it from happening again. They use the only act-kind-first approach as a defense mechanism so instead they feel wanted and appreciated by those closest around them.

Communication Breakdowns:

One theory suggests that these types of husbands simply have difficulty communicating effectively – either because their communication skills aren’t as strong overall or perhaps specifically within intimate relationships.
Either way, resorting to extra efforts forms part of trying make it clear they prioritize something without explicitly discussing specifics..eg poker night presentability before friends come visit — even if you didn’t want anything do exactly today anyway.

In conclusion ONWS husbands may not all have ill intentions and be acting this way intentionally. There are various reasons ranging from self-doubt, past hurt and poor communication habits that could lead to regular displays of kindness only when needed as leverage or insurance in case the relationship goes south.

How Can You Communicate With Your ONWS Partner?

We know it’s frustrating dealing with a partner who seems more concerned with manipulating you than actually building a genuine relationship foundation around respect, trust, love and good vibes! But how can one cope?

Here are some suggestions:

Be Honest

Tell your spouse specifically what kind of help/affection/support is needed, out right – being vague or assuming they “should just know” rarely works – might end up doing nothing at all!

Strong Disapproval

Be sure to express disapproval when he gets angry, upset or starts behaving in a controlling manner after trying to assert his needs upon you.

Express Appreciation

Even though their favors could come off manipulative try occasionally telling them something similar: “I really appreciate everything you do for me/us.” It will undoubtedly feel foreign but reinforcing positives motivates both parties involved.. like obtaining seats beside each other on an airplane without asking twice :wink wink:

Communication Breakdown:
Relationships go through stages where things seem disconnected–it’s inevitable. The pandemic certainly didn’t make much easier either!
Consider couples therapy if healthy attempts frequently give failed results over time outside everyday stressors (e.g., work/job frustrations) insert eyeroll emoji..

By working towards developing stronger communicative capacities within intimate relationships both individuals inevitably learn cooperation techniques that will prove useful even beyond particular disagreements following natural adjustment periods.


Like any social interaction challenge support comes from finding a common ground by setting expectations clearly.. Kindness isn’t conditional upon circumstance; rather unconditional appreciation efforts yields longer-lasting returns beyond circumstances affected directly by an ONWS behaviour. But we can’t all be perfect all the time now, can we? So try to communicate effectively and clearly with your partner even in ambiguous situations — that way their loving candour/sweet disposition comes across as genuine instead of manipulative thereby building stronger connections possible only via strong communication fundamentals!

So stay kind, regardless of whether you want something out of life or not.