Laura Doyle Certified Relationship Coach
How I Regained The Lost Connection in My Marriage
I have been married for 28 years to my high school sweetheart. We were pretty happy for the most part, and struggled with a small part, the part I tried to change and manipulate so I could have the man of my dreams be the way I thought he should be. We had children right away since we had been dating for 9 years before he finally popped the question.
I had a vision of how I thought our marriage should be, how we should parent our children, and I felt I needed to control the money since he hadn’t learned to manage a bank account in his bachelor days. After complaining about how “my plan” was not working out, I would demand that we “have a talk” in which I would blame him for why we had constant arguments. If he would just do what he was supposed to, we would get along just fine, I thought. I would tell him how to parent our children, too. I often got into the middle of his disciplining them to let him know I disagreed with his punishment, in front of the kids.
We joined small groups at church, thinking they would help us gain some perspective from other married couples, but we would fight on the way home about how I interrupted his conversations, corrected the details in his stories, and felt he couldn’t get the facts straight enough to even tell a story! I sought out self-help books, talked with other women, consulted with clergy, and, after a while, we were encouraged to seek marriage counseling. We tried it all, and it seemed to work for a little while, and then it didn’t anymore. We were right back where we started, but now were feeling a little more hopeless, financially strained, and emotionally defeated. I really didn’t know what to do anymore.
From then on, we really didn’t have many meaningful conversations. Day in and day out, we only talked about the kids. This past May, I found myself out of answers and contemplating divorce. I was unhappy and I was sure my husband was too! I just couldn’t go on like this anymore and started thinking of a life without him. My three children were all grown up and I started thinking about how we would split things up to be fair. I couldn’t believe I was having these thoughts, but I didn’t know what else to do.
Then a friend introduced me to one of Laura Doyle’s programs and invited me to enroll. She told me how she believed that it would save my marriage. Years ago, she had given me a copy of the book, The Surrendered Wife, so I took it off my shelf, dusted it off, and re-read it. Page by page, chapter by chapter, and little by little I found myself using the principles that were outlined in the book. I started applying them to my marriage immediately. With the encouragement of my friend and other women who were also doing this work, I started seeing some big changes in my husband toward me!
The concept of self-care was something I never thought of. I was always doing for others so I never had time for myself. Today, I do things for myself that bring me joy, which shows others how I want to be treated. I started respecting my husband’s decisions by accepting that his opinion is valid and he has a right to have one. I use the metaphor of “applying duct tape” whenever I have the urge to correct him, tell him how to drive, or what to wear so that it fits my agenda. It is such a great feeling! Recently, I let go of handling our finances, and he now pays the bills for our home and never seems to forget his wallet when we go to dinner. He’s more aware of our financial situation and makes comments about how he is doing better at work. He even turned in his expense report without me having to remind him, and let me know that I can get that laptop I have always wanted!
As a result, after only a few short months of replacing old habits with new ones, I began looking at what I love about my husband, rather than what I don’t! The love and support of the women in the program and the guidance of a coach who empowered me, has allowed me to move toward the intimacy in my marriage that I never thought possible. I realize that it is more about progress than perfection and I have a lifelong journey ahead of me. The difference today is that I am happier, living with the love of my life who cherishes me and looks for ways to adore me each and every day! I am blessed!
I know the difference that the Intimacy Skills™ can make in a relationship and encourage you to start using them to transform your marriage today! Laura and I want to help you have the same kind of intimacy, passion and peace in your relationship. To learn how, apply for a Discovery Session here.