You know what is the absolute worst? Remembering times when you were insufferable, pompous, belligerent and wrong, but too stubborn to admit it. I was often that person.
A few years ago I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and silently went off the deep end. To say I was unpleasant would be an understatement. I began drinking even more heavily, which is really bad to do with Crohn’s. My liver was a mess as well, and getting worse. So I quit drinking, and I quit smoking cigarettes. And on the 15th of every month I started giving up another food that made me feel ill. My body started slowly feeling better.
My brain, however, became my enemy. All it saw was what it was missing and letting go of. I found myself with all these 5-10 minute holes to fill. And I did. I filled them with complaints, anger, loneliness. My man tried to comfort me. Small gestures, big gestures. And I appreciated them, truly I did. But what came out of my mouth was something like, “Oh roses are nice, but I like lilies better.” So I went online to look up ways to discipline myself to think before I speak, to be more productive and positive. That’s where I found The Surrendered Wife.
I’ve always identified as a more submissive person, but I felt like that made me wrong, weak, un-feminist. So I fought it. Reading The Surrendered Wife was like finally getting permission to be okay with those feelings. Because I am a feminist, because I know myself, my worth, because I chose a man worthy of my affections, it’s okay to surrender. In fact, it is beautiful. Suddenly where I used to prefer lilies to roses, I was just as happy when he simply came home from work-no flowers needed! I found myself going through my day wondering what things I could do to make him happy— like making the bed, tidying the kitchen, and even frequently wearing the skirts and dresses he loves to see me in. Every little thing made me feel closer to him, which made me happier and happier. Those empty little 5-10 minutes began filling up with ideas on how to be better.
Laura Doyle’s book was the ultimate jumping off point for me. It’s incredible how when you learn to communicate simply a want or a need, things are far less complicated. I know he appreciates not having to guess at what I want. I’ve finally learned that I DO NOT know how he is going to respond. I have started asking point blank for things with no predetermined outcome. He says yes way more than I ever thought he would! I also find I’m not even that disappointed when he says no to something now days.
Just a few days ago, he turns to me and says, “You asked me a few months ago what would I change about you. At the time I thought of a few things right off the bat. But now, I honestly can’t think of a single thing I would change because you’ve changed it all yourself, without me even asking, and even more than I ever would have asked. I’m so proud of you. I love you.”