How to Avoid Divorce by Using Your Feminine Gifts
You were born to be cherished by a man.
At one time, you took that for granted.
You probably started fantasizing about it when you were little, dreaming about the moment you would finally meet, or kiss, or fall in love with and marry a cute boy.
You anticipated with great pleasure how much he would desire you, and how he would woo you.
You spoke to your friends and your sisters and your mom about the nature of boys, and marveled at how strange they are.
You delighted in romantic movies and books where the boy got the girl.
You obsessed. You developed crushes. They went nowhere. You agonized. You debated.
All of that was preparation for your job as Keeper of the Relationship.
Sure, you suffered disappointments and challenges in relationships, mostly because you didn’t know about your superpowers as a woman.
If your relationship isn’t all you dreamed it would be, this is the missing piece that you need to not just stop a divorce, but make your relationship worth saving.
How do women have more power than men in romantic relationships?
What are the gifts of the feminine, and how can you use them to create lasting love?
Glad you asked. I happen to have this list of 4 ways right here:
1. Women Have the Power to Receive Special Treatment
“Women who seek equality with men lack ambition.” –Marilyn Monroe
One big aspect of our gifts is receptivity, which is how willing you are to receive compliments, gifts and help.
It’s so subtle, you might not notice receptivity if you don’t know what to look for.
A receptive woman is inevitably a well-taken-care-of woman.
Her man takes every opportunity to do things he knows will please her.
He memorizes her favorite dessert, opens the door for her, puts gas in her car, tells her she’s beautiful and brings her flowers.
He also does the dishes, gives the baby a bath and works to support the family.
In return, she smiles and says thank you.
She is genuinely grateful. She doesn’t rebuff his offers so she can stay independent, nor does she criticize the way he bathes the baby.
That would be leaving her power by trying to control him, which would weaken them both. To stay in her power, she receives what he offers graciously.
Her man gets a lot out of it because he feels purposeful and successful at pleasing her. They both benefit from their interaction.
You probably enjoyed this kind of virtuous cycle during the early days of your relationship, when you were falling in love and you both felt amazing.
In the past, I might have observed such a woman and said something like, “She must be awfully good in bed to get that kind of treatment.”
But I was missing the whole point, which is that she was taken care of because she was willing to be taken care of.
That brings out a man’s natural desire to please his woman.
You have the same ability to inspire a man’s devotion, but you may not have been tapping into it.
Chances are, nobody ever gave you feminine training.
This is completely different from the assertiveness training we’ve received at work, where you instruct people to do what you want them to do.
That can never be as satisfying in a romance, because your man doesn’t want to feel like your employee.
And part of what we want is for our men to want to please us. Barking orders is no substitute for genuine romance.
Nothing causes the same butterflies of excitement as knowing that he is pursuing you because he finds you irresistible, and taking care of you because you inspire him.
Not that you need anyone to take care of you. You can always take care of yourself.
But it feels good to see a man who’s devoted to you making big and small gestures to delight you, just for the pleasure of seeing you happy.
I can be independent, but it’s even more gratifying to be interdependent.
That doesn’t make you weaker—quite the contrary. Having a man’s attention and help is fortifying.
2. Women Have More Power in the Bedroom
We women are the gatekeepers of sex from the very beginning of the relationship.
It’s up to the woman to say “not yet” or “not now,” because men usually need sex more than women do.
If your husband doesn’t seem that interested in sex lately, there’s an explanation for that here: How to Attract Your Husband in Bed.
Once a man is in an exclusive relationship, he’ll go a long way to make sure that his wife or girlfriend is not upset with him to avoid the unpleasant consequences of not being able to have sex.
That’s not his only motivation; his natural desire to please his woman is compounded by his desire to keep his one and only sex partner happy.
Keeping us happy, as you know, is not that easy to do.
For one thing, we are hormonal. And when we’re hormonal, we’re moody. And we’re hormonal a lot—every month, actually—and also when we’re pregnant, nearing menopause or experiencing menopause.
By comparison, men are a less emotional bunch.
Because they want us to be happy and they want to have sex with us, they do whatever they can to keep us calm even when our bodies are giving us reason to riot.
It’s not an easy task.
My husband has had the audacity to try to have sex with me right when I’m very busy and stressing out.
He’s right that it would help relieve stress to make love.
Whether we do or not is, of course, up to me, just like it’s always up to you.
That’s because we’ve got the power.
Whether they want to keep the sex coming or to please us, guys do things their women want them to do, even if they don’t want to do them.
And they don’t do things their women don’t want them to do, even though they want to.
And that explains why the tough-looking guy I saw at the mall with a shaved head and huge, tattooed arms was pushing a pink stroller and holding his wife’s purse in the bedding department.
Men are not only willing to sacrifice for their families, they see it as their purpose.
There are two more ways that you have enormous power to keep your marriage thriving and avoid divorce, no matter how lonely and broken it is now. Since this blog is getting pretty long, I’ll share them with you next week in part 2.
In the meantime, consider experimenting with your feminine gifts by receiving graciously and opening the gate to physical intimacy if it’s been closed.
3. Women Have More Power to Sustain Their Marriage for Life
Besides having the power to receive special treatment (#1) and being the gatekeepers for sex (#2), women as a gender also have more power when it comes to long-lasting matrimony.
Here’s why: men rarely initiate divorce—it’s largely women who take that step.
Some statistics have the number of divorces initiated by women as high as 91%.
That number resonates with me when I reflect on all the women my coaches and I have worked with who report that as soon as they got some relationship skills and starting using them in their marriages, their romances completely transformed in a very positive way.
These women reported lasting, amazing, magical results in their marriages just from changing their own behavior.
It stands to reason that these women held the key to improving their relationships, but until they used that power to affect the kind of change they wanted, it was hard for them to see that.
I remember it was hard for me to see it at first, too.
You might argue that a lot of divorces are still the husband’s fault, and that women only initiate more divorces because men do things to make women divorce them, but that’s not what the data shows.
One study found that among women and men whose parents were divorced, only the women had a higher divorce rates themselves—not the men.
The women from broken homes were using a failed recipe for intimacy in their marriages by modeling what they saw their mothers do.
It stands to reason that if the keeper of the relationship doesn’t have great skills for intimacy, the relationship will flounder.
The guys whose parents split up saw no change in their divorce rate because they don’t have much power to affect the relationship, and they aren’t the ones who initiate divorce, for the most part.
It doesn’t much matter what those men saw modeled in their childhood, because they can’t make or break the romance–that’s up to their wives.
The guys’ job is to show up and try to make us happy–if we’ll let them. And no matter how miserable we are, my experience is that men will keep trying to make us smile.
The reason we initiate more divorces is that as highly emotional beings, we women are constantly re-evaluating our situation, and searching out the source of any unhappiness (i.e., “I do all the work around here!”).
One of the questions we ask ourselves is, “I wonder if I could have married better?”
Familiarity really does breed contempt, and sometimes, because the man we married has certain good qualities that we’re used to having around, we start to crave the qualities he lacks.
If you married an ambitious hard-charger, you might wish for someone with a little more hakuna matata.
And if your partner is very laid back, you may find yourself craving someone more lively or driven.
Add some hormones to that line of thinking, some poor relationship skills and, let’s say, a few nights of inadequate sleep, and what do you get?
A wife who’s asking for a divorce.
Okay, that might be me I’m thinking of. Hopefully you’re less impulsive than I was.
Guys may gripe or feel unhappy, too, but they are a lot less likely to see divorce as an option to improve their situation.
From talking to them, I get the impression that no matter how unhappy they are, they feel their decision to marry their wives is done–and that’s that.
Unless their wives brings it up, most men will not even consider divorce.
Therefore, since you’re the one who’s far more likely to bring it up–not him–you have inordinate power to choose a lifelong marriage instead of divorce.
4. Women have the Power to Set the Culture of the Relationship
You know the expression, “If mama’s not happy, nobody’s happy?”
Of course you do. Because that’s what husbands swear by. They know it to be true.
You have the power to set the culture for the relationship, to make it tender or tense, playful or practical, flirtatious or frustrating.
If you’re having a hard time believing that, it’s only because you haven’t yet learned how to use your power.
You may not even know what your power is, or what it looks like, since it’s completely different from the power you wield at work. But you definitely have the power to Make Your Marriage Happier.
And once you know how to use it, you’ll be on your way to having your birthright, which is lifelong romance with a man who adores, cherishes and desires you.
I know it’s hard to believe.
I didn’t believe I had the key at first, either.
Every woman my coaches and I work with starts out thinking what I used to think: that if only her man would change, the relationship would get better.
But it turns out it’s just the opposite. The change has to come from us women.
You might be thinking, “You don’t know my husband, and he’s just not the type of guy to desire, cherish and adore me.”
That may be true, but if your husband is a good guy, then I know from my work with thousands of women in relationships with regular guys like yours that he really wants to make you happy.
The main thing that’s standing between him and doing that?
It’s most likely you.
Not that you’re trying to sabotage your relationship. I know you’re not.
It might seem like your guy is the one who needs to change, and I’m sure you’ve done what you can to help him improve.
But it turns out, he has very little power to transform your relationship.
And if it’s unhappy, then you have been unwittingly sabotaging it–perhaps because you had bad modeling or because no one taught you the skills to create a great relationship. That’s hardly your fault!
Conversely, if your relationship is dreamy–or at least, parts of it are dreamy–I give you all the credit for using your power wisely.
You can change things right now, starting today, by learning and practicing the skills that contribute to intimacy.
If you know the skills and you’re struggling to apply them in your relationship, that just means you need more support.
I also needed support to practice the skills.
I still do.
That’s why I created a worldwide community of women who are all committed to creating happy relationships, and therefore stronger families. We all help each other to stay encouraged and inspired. It helps a lot!
And together, we’ve been able to avoid divorce by making our marriages great again.
You can do the same thing by using your feminine gifts.
72 replies on “How to Avoid Divorce by Using Your Feminine Gifts”
What do you do when you have nothing to receive? My husband has still his walls up from all the years of disrespect and control i put him through. He cant seem to let himself forgive me. I understand it takes time to heal. He says it was 10 years of disrespect and i have been trying to change now for about 6 months now. He keeps bringing up the past insults and things i used to do and say. Is very sceptical when i thank him or practice spouse fulfilling prophecy….says he is used to me say the disrespectful things better. I would love to receive graciously…but he really is not at that stage yet….i will keep practicing though. However long it will take for him to start opening up to me…
NB, Good for you for staying the course. I know it seems like your husband is not giving you anything to receive, but I encourage you to open your eyes a little wider. Does he work to support the family? Does he help with the kids ever? Right now you are focused on what he’s not doing, and what you focus on expands. Consider spending your energy focused on the things you want to see more of. Have you had your discovery call yet?
I always try to apply your guidance to my marriage and it does make me think, this weekend is our 45 wedding anniversary and the last 5 dice retirement has been hell. But I guess it could always be worse. I truly did enjoy your seminar and meeting you.
Kathy, I’m sorry to hear about the difficulties in your marriage post retirement! I’m happy to hear you enjoyed my webinar. I’d love to hear that the Intimacy Skills are making your marriage easier and more fun again, even in retirement. Keep me posted.
Dear kathy so sorry to hear that….I’ve been married 45 years also and the last 5 retired too. It’s been both wonderful and terrible as I’ve recognised and confronted wrong behaviour….God promises U.S. victory if we keep persevering over adversities…..blessings
Thanks Angie, I too needed to hear that
Thank you for your insight Laura. I did havE the call and it was helpful. Unfortunately i cant afford private coaching right now. I will keep working with your books and this blog. They are defintely a great help!
What if your husband has absolutely no interest in sex?
Lisa, I remember those awful days! Here’s how that all got better:
Here is another article of hers for that question 🙂
What if your husband had an affair and moved out more then once. We are now separated and we have 3 kids. I think it is not fixable.
Lost, Sorry to hear. That sounds really heartbreaking and painful. It may still be fixable though, that’s for sure. And having three little people who are counting on you gives you some extra motivation to make absolutely sure before you give up, I’m sure. I’m guessing that’s why you’re reading this blog and writing to me, right? I suggest you consider a complimentary discovery call ASAP to see what’s possible for you and your family. You can do that here:
So DH started doing dishes which was a shock….he start doing much even repairs in home and is a provider…..he’s about to leave for work for 3 weeks away and attempts to fix a door before leaving I make a simple comment if door was washed or cleaned as it had been sitting in the garage and he shouts “You are so stupid”….I’m in shock……of course I said something back…..now I don’t contact him and threaten divorce (we’ve had ups and downs good and bad for the last 10 years) how can you have a smooth ride like this if as you say the female is emotionally prone to instability as well….I’m confused how we can use all this power when as you admit the female is subject to the crashing of the seas on a regular basis
J, Sorry to hear about the breakdown in your marriage. Sounds like you have a good man. I don’t think I said the female was prone to instability or crashing–just that you are emotionally brilliant. That doesn’t mean you have to say whatever comes to mind. It just means you’re more gifted at knowing how you’re feeling and being able to express it. When you were shocked and hurt and angry that he called you stupid, you could have expressed your hurt by saying, “Ouch!” I know it takes some focus to do it, but it’s possible. It took a while for me to learn it too. I’d love to see you get some support. Consider applying for a complimentary discovery call here:
“guys do things their women want them to do, even if they don’t want to do them.
And they don’t do things their women don’t want them to do, even though they want to.
And that explains why the tough-looking guy I saw at the mall with a shaved head and huge, tattooed arms was pushing a pink stroller and holding his wife’s purse in the bedding department”
…my husband has actually refused holding my purse when I’ve needed a hand. I am desperately trying to improve my marriage and have tried to be honest with myself and my own behavior in order to improve our marriage of four years. Our courtship was as you described but since then he never takes me out, it is his way or the highway, and he rarely compliments me. I am far from perfect but can honestly say I am a very grateful wife. I thank him for his hard work, I admire him, I compliment him….and honestly don’t nag. There have been times where I have asked for a favor or want him to join me for a family event and he gives me a terrible time. I don’t know what to do…maybe he just doesn’t love me. …he does compare me to other women…the pretty mothers at church that look pulled together even with all their children. He tells me if they can do it why cant I. He tells me I am complacent. I do my makeup, hair, try to look my best and all while caring for three under three, (Twins…)…I don’t complain about the lack of help but maybe I fall short because of the lack of help. I am so sad and wish he would recognize how hard I try for him and want to be cherished again.
Anna, I’m so sorry to hear about the painful comments and lack of support you’re enduring. That sounds really hard. I wouldn’t like that either. When you say your courtship was as I described, that tells me that there are things within your power to do to bring back the courtship experience in your marriage. I know it probably doesn’t seem possible, and your three little people are taking a lot of energy right now. I’d love to see you get some support. Come apply for a complimentary discovery call so you won’t be alone with these problems. You can do that here:
Thank you so much for your wonderful blog, and book, first The Empowered Wife, which i just finished reading for the second time! I am hooked on the 6 skills- love em!! I have an amazing husband thank G-d, and i always feel like the witch in the relationship because i can be disrespectful and controlling at times. I am now working on the 2 skills of letting go of control, and restoring respect. these are the 2 that apply to me the most! ( i actual got positive feedback “wow you’re so nice lately” yay!) But my issue is that i have bad moods, like most women do, and i always go back to my disrespectful, controlling behavior at those times! How do I battle low points, hormones and bad moods? I always revert back at those times, and then i feel terrible after! Please advise!
Moody, You sound just like me back when I first started practicing the Intimacy Skills! I’d do pretty good for a while and then…not so good at all. And then the tension and bickering would come back and I’d start again. What made the biggest difference for me was having a support group. I don’t think I could have done it on my own. Other women kept me inspired and motivated and reminded me that I had a choice and I wanted to choose the intimacy (most of the time). I’m still not perfect, but it’s so much easier now that I have some good habits in place. I’m still moody sometimes, and that’s okay. Most of the time I’m my best self and that makes a big difference. Have you seen this?
My situation is very confusing! We sold our house and are now buying separate houses in different towns about 15 mins away from each other! This is my husbands decision to do this! We have 3 kids one is mine one is his and one together and have been together for 13 yrs now and marries for over 5 yrs! We have a lot of disagreements on parenting which cause fights! He decided 2 months ago to sleep on the coach and has been ever since! We still have meal times together, spend evenings watching movies and we talk and txt during the day while at work! He wants to separate and keeps saying time will tell if he lets me back in his heart! His reason for separating is that all we do is fight! Our house closes June 6th so we will be living together until then! I know he still loves me but just won’t tell me that he doesn’t and won’t show any affection at all! Any advice?
Mel, Sorry to hear about the fighting and coldness in your marriage. Sounds painful. And having to break up your family must be very scary. However, I hear lots of reason to be hopeful in your comments and I suggest you immediately apply for a complimentary discovery call to get some support and get this situation solved so you can start feeling loved, adored and cherished again, and keep your family under one roof and enjoy a peaceful home without all the fighting. You’ll find the call very valuable. You can apply here:
My husband has decided to move out. He thinks we fight to much. I don’t think I pick these fights but I’m tired of living in an apartment home where he comes and goes as he pleases, stays out until all hours or the night, doesn’t say where he is ,sometimes doesn’t come home at all and refuses to sleep with me because he says “I’ll just try to trick him again” I have stage 4 cancer and two boys 10 and 12. I I have begged, pleaded and lost all self-respect at this point. He does not go with me to treatment, ask how I am, help with the boys, help around the house or even volunteer to cook dinner on days I work have treatment. He refuses intimacy and he is not very kind. My heart is broken. When Laura do you ever say enough is enough? One person should not hold all the power in a relationship. In fact a relationship shouldn’t be about power at all. I understand what your saying about being receptive and being genuinely grateful but why is it always the woman who have to fix everything and why can’t women be upfront about their needs without being threatening to a man? Why all the games? It feels like manipulation. Manipulation is not love. Love means treating the other person with respect and valuing them and lifting them up.Sometimes Laura I think I got sick from all the stress of always trying to “fix” things and make them better, always apologizing for things i didn’t do. Sometimes Laura a woman needs to walk away from the relationship and realize that she married a narcissistic, selfish pig. When is enough enough?
Be Brave, I’m sorry to hear about the stage 4 cancer and the heartbreak in your marriage. It sounds like you have a very hard life and I can see why you’re ready to be done with your husband. I was ready to be done with mine too, years ago. But it turns out I just didn’t have the right information, the right training. Once I did my relationship got easy and fun again.
Of course you are the expert on your own life and only you know what’s best for you. I’m not one to recommend games or manipulation at all. Everything I recommend is about relinquishing inappropriate control and expressing your desires and becoming your best self. Manipulation is exhausting. And I don’t recommend apologizing for things you didn’t do. I’m sure it is stressful to try to fix what’s not in your control. I think you’re working too hard at it, actually. I’d like to see you do much less for the relationship and much more for yourself. Since you’re not leaving today, what could it hurt to experiment with using The 6 Intimacy Skills in your relationship? If you need support with that you know where to find it. I hope things get better for you, and soon.
My husband and i have been going through a very tough forthe past, well, since ghe begining i guess. We`ll be together 10 yrs in Aug. There has been addiction, and emotional/physical abuse in the past. Not so much anymore, but has been very hard for him to let go and forgive. At this moment he has lost all attraction for me. He has a girlfriend. They have had one son together and one on the way. But he still cant decide what to do. He says that he doesnt want to break our hearts, and hes not ready to leave me yet. How do i win his affections back? I will never leave my husband. God will not let me give up. I just want him to want to kiss me again. To desire me. To see me. I thank God he is still here, and pray non stop, because i love him with every oince of my being. I crave and desire him, and him only. Please help.
Lonely Soldier, I know how painful it is to feel like your husband isn’t affectionate or attracted anymore. I still remember. It’s heartbreaking. The good news is that you have the power to completely transform your marriage and make it feel safe and passionate again. There are two little people who are depending on it, and you sound very committed, which I admire. I’d love to see you get a complimentary discovery call to figure out the best thing you can do for your relationship. It’s totally solvable, and you have the key. You can apply for your discovery call here:
He doesn’t have two kids with Lonely Soldier according to her post, he has two kids with his girlfriend. Do you really think she should try to save her marriage to a guy who is expecting a child with another woman?
Penelope, You’re right! I misread her post and thought she and her husband had a child and one on the way.
Lonely soldier said in another post that she has just one child with her husband, a son. As far as whether she should try to save her marriage or not, she is the expert on her own life and I trust her to decide what’s best for her. She wants to save her marriage. I respect that and support her in doing that.
There is such a thing as a divorce I endorse. When you’re married to a physical abuser, chronic cheater or active addict (drugs, alcohol or gambling), you’re not safe. What I know is that when women practice The 6 Intimacy Skills, what was once complicated and unmanageable becomes clear. It may be that Lonely Soldier is married to a man who is not capable of being faithful to her, but I don’t have enough information to know. She may not be. In which case, it is possible to save her marriage by making it great again.
There’s actually no such thing as working on your marriage. There’s working on yourself and then your partner responds to you differently. I know of no downside to gaining the virtues of learning the 6 Intimacy Skills, and the best way I know to do that is with the relationship you’re in. The upside is that it can revitalize your marriage b restoring your relationship to its original glory. I see that happen a lot.
Lonely Soldier is in pain, but she still has hope. I have hope for her too. If she told me that her husband was not capable of being faithful and that she wanted to leave him, I would be the first to support her getting out since she’s not safe.
Hi I can relate, I was pregnant my hubby cheated and he was on drugs. God helped me see where I played a part and worked on my heart as I was idolizing marriage over God. We separated I completely cut all ties no communication and lived my life to the fullest and focused on God. Well my husband came back! I’ve learned many things but I do know Laura’s books has helped me stay focused on myself and trust me her principles work. There’s still hope trust in Jesus and he will lead you.
So do you have any tips on how to make ourselves WANT to attract our husband? I’ve not been attracted to him for a long long time…especially since I pretty much had to be the initiator for affection or intimacy and now that I don’t, he seems content without it as well. Something about a passive man is just such a turn off…what the heck was I thinking????
Frustrated and Depressed about it, I can totally relate! I was in your boat too. It was awful. Turns out I was contributing to both problems–not being attracted to him and him not being interested in me. These two blogs will give you some insight:
It’s absolutely solvable. You married him for good reason and you can get that guy back.
Laura, you have the best blogs and books. Your advice is the only things that’s ever had any positive impact on my marriage. Years and years I tried to make him change, go to counseling, and make him read marriage books. I even had him sign contracts!!! Oh my goodness, so embarrassing. It’s not always easy, because you basically have to undo what you have believed your whole life and give up control. I think a great blog (or next book) would be how to get respect back too, because some women desire respect too. Or ways to build our confidence again. I see a lot of women (me bring one of them) doing things that turn their men off, because they lack confidence, like texting him all day, accusing him of cheating, not taking care of their looks, etc. I think these things repel men. They need a chase still. What do you think?
Linsay, First of all, I can so relate to feeling like I wanted my husband to sign contracts too! Thanks for the memories. I had endless charts for who should do which chores. It is embarrassing. I’m happy to hear my books have helped.
As far as men needing a chase still, I’m really focused on my own paper, what’s going on for Laura–my feelings and desires. Everything I do comes from a place of honoring myself and being dignified and feminine. So I don’t have time to think about games or manipulation. Too exhausting! The results at my house have been that my husband can’t get enough of me, and sometimes pulls out his phone and says, “don’t move!” and takes a bunch of pictures to show me how beautiful I am. It’s amazing and exhilarating. The confidence came for me with practicing The 6 Intimacy Skills. They are the best self-improvement program I’ve ever undertaken!
Having the support of other women made all the difference for me breaking through to the kind of relationship and life I have now. You might consider applying for a complimentary discovery call to see what’s possible for you. You can do that here:
Maybe really specific things that women should stop doing that are unattractive. How to get the chase going. I know it sounds like a game, but when I don’t text my husband all the time and I do my own thing and act happy, my husband is more interested in me and I have a lot more self respect!
Linsey, Absolutely doing your own thing and being happy are more attractive and self-respecting, in my experience. I don’t see it as a game though. Isn’t that just taking care of yourself and tending to your own happiness?
Very true!!! My husband’s been out of town for military training and he misses me so much. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that way!
That’s great, Linsey! Happy to hear.
I just gave birth to our 3rd daughter 15 weeks ago. Our other two are 8.5 and 5 years old. We have been together since we were in high school, now almost 16 years, married for almost 10 years. I am currently on maternity leave from my job (we live in Canada so we get 55% if my wages for 1 year) and I own a small business. We have a beautiful home, 2 vehicles and of course, some debt. I have always wanted 4 children. He always said he was “happy with our 2”. Number three was a surprise, a very welcome surprise. We’ve definitely had our ups and downs but things really seemed to level our during this pregnancy and after her birth. We seemed more in sync and he was being awesome 90% of the time with helping with the children and dividing the housework. He went and booked his vasectomy and told me after the fact. It is next month. I feel heartbroken and angry and emotional. I feel like he ruined our synchronicity and how happy things were going. I asked him to postpone it until she was one, to think of my emotions. He said im not considering his emotions and stress. I feel like I am going to be very resentful and afraid I am going to be so emotional and upset that I won’t be able to handle it. I just don’t know how to get past this and he doesn’t see how hormonal it is to have given birth just a few months ago.
He is a great provider and helps with the children and house but has never really been great with emotional support. I just don’t know how to deal because when we fight it tends to escalate and can go from 0-100 quickly (as can he).
Marie, Congratulations on the arrival of your baby girl! So exciting. I also hear the heartbreak about your husband making a unilateral decision to have a vasectomy and how it collides with your desire to have another child. That’s very difficult. In the book, The Empowered Wife, I explain how to express your desires in a way that inspires while still respecting your husband’s thinking, and that’s the information I would love for you to have. I hope you can get your hands on it in a hurry. Also, you’ll be able to get much more emotional support from him when you practice the 6 Intimacy Skills I describe in the book. You can read a free chapter here:
I’m still finding it hard that men have little power to transform the relationship. If my husband spent a third of the time and energy learning the skills and knowledge it takes in being a husband and learning to relate to me as a wife and learning about what makes me ‘tick’ like I have, I would surely be happy. But many women have commented already (and also includes me) that most men will not take the time to make this effort. I have always said that the effort my husband takes in his career etc. would be so refreshing and wonderful if he channeled some of that energy into taking our relationship to another level. But we women must be the instigators in order to be cherished and desired rather than it be something cultivated from both sides. For me it feels that the energy of maintaining a marriage is one sided.
Perplexed, I can so relate to you. This concept made my head explode at first and I was really resentful about having to do everything because I already felt I had been doing everything for so long.
But then I realized…it’s actually great news. I want a vibrant, passionate, playful relationship and….I can make it that way because I have more power! It’s been very liberating, and it’s all come to pass for me just that way. When I bring my happy, respectful, vulnerable, grateful self to the relationship (the same as I did when we were first dating) it’s full of compliments, romantic gestures, strawberry ice cream, laughs and hand-holding. If I want to pick a fight…well, I still can and then we have wall-to-wall hostility.
Also, it became clear I had been doing the wrong kind of work before learning The 6 Intimacy Skills, so that was exhausting and also ineffective. Learning what to do to have an amazing relationship made all the difference and was very empowering and much more relaxing.
Thinking he’s the one who needs to change never got me there. But focusing on myself and what I could change catapulted me from resentful kitchen elf to queen of my home.
This was an eye opening to me. It is hard to smile and be in a good mood, when you don’t feel that way. Thank You Laura for Your wise advise. I am trying… No wonder why when I have proposed Separation to my husband He has always been against it. Even when I proposed it for a 3 month period, to give each other a break.
Jackie, It is hard to smile and be in a good mood when you don’t feel that way, agreed. But I don’t want to stay in that bad mood anyway, and smiling can help me feel better, and also looking for ways to make myself happier. Playing my favorite music is a great way. Walking around the block. Watching a cat video. Life is too short to be in a bad mood anyway, right?
It is true most of the people I know that divorced, were intiated by women…
You do not know how much i adore you, how much I thank God that I get to know you and learn from you. You have build my skill and I so long that much to be e relationship couch one day.
I have these talents naturally, I call them leadership skills because I can influence people, and people listen to me. You really helped me to become a better wife, and how I am focusing on working on myself everyday.
Thanks, Christophine! Happy to hear! Sounds like you will be a wonderful coach.
I can see the logic, and yet my husband left – moving 1000 miles away – and is saying he wants a divorce. I have made it clear that I don’t want a divorce, so we’re at an impasse. I am moving closer in hopes we can work it out if we see more of each other. I have asked for help in moving, but he avoided answering (his go-to when he doesn’t want a confrontation, but wants to say “no”). I feel hurt by that, of course. Lost.
Sandra, I’m sorry to hear about the heartbreak in your marriage. I admire your commitment to saving your relationship by moving closer. I can see why you feel so hurt about his unresponsiveness. Sounds like you’re both pretty hurt right now. That’s so rough. You have a lot of power to get your marriage back and have it be better than ever, that’s for sure. I’d love to see you get some support with it as soon as possible. Consider applying for a complimentary discovery call to speak to one of my coaches about figuring out the best next move for your marriage. You’d find it so valuable. You can do that here:
You are so right that we instinctively model what we learned from watching our own mother, and if she was clueless in this area our intimacy skills will reflect that. I am leaning to be very mindful in this area of my life. I love my mother but I definitely should not be looking to her for advice or reassurance in this area of relationship intimacy skills. Thank you for filling this void that exists for many women…
My husband moved out a little over a month ago. He has not told me he wants a divorce but told a family member he is done, supposedly. I just finished reading “The Empowered Wife” and just started “The Surrendered Wife”. I realize now how much I contributed to the problems and actually helped push him away. I want nothing more than for things to work out. How do I successfully make these changes when the only time I see him is for a few minutes when he comes over to see our young daughter or as he is leaving? I don’t normally stay when he comes over and run errands or go work out because he said he wanted me to give him space to figure things out. I also don’t want to further push him away. Obviously I needed to make some positive changes about and for myself anyways, so I am continuing to work on me and have noticed a difference already. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to get ME back as I found I have not been the woman or wife I thought I was or that I want to be.
Angie, I love your accountability and openness. It takes a lot to look at yourself the way you are, and I love that about you. Good news–I see situations like yours completely heal and the marriage becomes better than it’s been in a long time. This is the breakdown before the breakthrough. There’s every reason to be hopeful. I would love to see you get lots of support. You can apply for a complimentary discovery call to figure out the best next move for your marriage here:
My husband also moved out and has filed for divorce, so it hurts to read the statistics that it’s usually women who initiate divorce. My first thought is “So how am I so awful that I drove my formerly sweet, attentive husband to believe that divorce was his only option?”
I realize now that I was controlling, ungracious, and unfeeling towards him. I depended on him to make me happy, when I didn’t even know how to do that myself. I see him often and I’m trying to show him that our marriage can be different, exciting, and loving again. I just pray it’s not too late. Good luck!!
Laura, I love your work, you have such wisdom. My parents had a very volatile marriage and my mother’s advice when things were tough in my own marriage was – “all marriages will always be filled with arguments because men don’t like strong women”. Yet my strength is now manifested in my willingness and choice to be tender and vulnerable in my marriage and this in no way takes away from my intelligence or ability. In fact, sInce I started following your advice I have so much extra time to invest in the work that I love because my husband wants me to be happy! No more time wasted in needless emotional turmoil! God bless you Laura!
Rachel, this is so beautiful! Congratulations on being a strong and wise wife! I’m so impressed.
My husband left me and our 3 children in their teens five years ago and living with other woman. I have realised my shortcomings how I could have avoided all this happened. I could have worked on it better, but have been regretting and pleading him to come back to us. I have forgiven all what he has done to me, praying and trusting in God to bring him back to us. We are not divorced but separated.
Binitta, I’m sorry to hear about your husband leaving you and the kids. So painful. I admire how you’re committed to making your family whole again, and I see it happen all the time, so there’s every reason to be hopeful. I’d love to see you get some support to help you reunite with him. I know it’s hard not to plead with him, but that seems to have the opposite effect of the one that you want. Staying open is good, and being happy when you see him and practicing The 6 Intimacy Skills, of course. I encourage you to apply for a complimentary discovery call to discuss with one of my coaches the best next move for your marriage. You can do that here:
I’m struggling. I can’t seem to figure out how to be happy, and I know how important that is to my marriage. When I’m happy, my husband is happy that I’m happy and life is good all around.
When things got bad last year, we decided I should quit my job (things weren’t going well at work either), figure out why I was so joy-less and go to counseling.
Short story: he’s happier now, mainly because his #1 complaint was that I “mothered” him, which I’ve stopped. I believe he also thinks I should be happy now because he’s doing the things I’ve asked him to do daily, but it’s like he’s checking off things on a ToDo list: kiss her goodbye in the morning, when I get home, and good night; text her midday and ask how she’s doing; thank her for meals; touch her affectionately periodically; bring her a small gift when I come back from traveling. I’m married to a robot!
There’s no intimacy behind those actions; he’s doing it because those were things mentioned in our costly counseling and he thinks that’s all I needed to be fixed and subsequently happy. I know I need to find my own happiness, but I don’t know what that is and I feel like we heading back to the bad stuff again.
Karen, Sorry to hear you’re struggling. I hear that your husband’s efforts to please you don’t seem authentic and that you want him to want to touch you or ask how you’re doing, rather than just checking off a box. I wanted the same thing! You’re really on the right track with focusing on making yourself happy, even though that feels challenging right now. I’d love to see you get some support with this. It makes a world of difference. I don’t mean counseling–I mean with learning and practicing The 6 Intimacy Skills. That’s how I was able to break-up with my misery and learn to make myself happy. You can apply for a complimentary discovery call here:
Thank you. I had been approved at one point for a comp session but had just started couples counsel and thought it might be too much at once. I will re-apply.
I am so happy that I discovered you! You have changed my life! I find it difficult to explain to friends what you so eloquently write about so I forward your blogs constantly. At first it doesn’t make sense to all of us strong -willed women, but why be married if we are all so self -sufficient? Because we crave love! We need it! Laura, you’re way of loving a man is a compromise like we have all been taught to do. We are not compromising ourselves. We are enhancing our lives. It’s worth it! I am stronger now that I am not arguing with my controlling man and we are both happy! He is treating me less like a child and more like an equal.
Now I witness my friends unknowingly sabotage their relationships with such frustration. It’s really quite easy to give a little and very rewarding to get so much in return. I thought I chose the wrong man and I’m embarrassed that I’ve actually said that aloud to so many people.
On the other hand I notice the friends who have ‘easy’ relationships follow the intimacy skills. I talk about the book and they look at me, like ‘duh’. Their mothers taught them well and I’m passing along my skills to my three daughters. Thanks!!!!
Jenny, Thanks for the great comment! This makes my day. I love hearing that you’re enjoying the rewards in your marriage, and that you no longer feel like you married the wrong guy. I can sure relate to that, sister! Thanks also for helping me get the word out.
I just finished your book which I thought was brilliant! It has totally changed my mindset. Thank you so much Laura! I have been practising the 6 intimacy skills and I can see the results straightaway. The ice is melting between me and my husband and the chemistry is starting to come back just like you said that it would! I know this is not going to be easy and it will take a lot of practise. I’m just scared whether I will be able to sustain it. I also feel that difficulties with the in laws hinder our connection and I wondered whether you had discussed this issue in a blog or had any views on how to deal with this particular issue?
Also, are you thinking of bring a smart phone app out as I would find reminders in relation the intimacy skills really helpful!
Tania, So happy to hear the ice is melting and the chemistry is coming back in your marriage! That’s great! Congratulations on having the courage to practice the skills. What’s helped me sustain my preferred behaviors all this time is having support of like-minded women. I’d love for you to have that too. Have you seen this:
The Adored Wife Roadmap
As far as in-laws, all the same skills apply–if you express your desires, bring respect and gratitude you’ll be amazed at how your relationship with them will improve as well, as will the way you interact with your husband about your in-laws. I’m excited to hear what unfolds for you now that you have the magic of the Intimacy Skills! Yay!
My spouse is amazing in bed – that sounds so crude, but really, sex is an amazing gift. I would have sex every day if I could. I always say yes. But he uses sex as a tool of power – withdrawing it (often for weeks – as with all other forms of communication) in order to maintain distance and control. I am implementing the 6 intimacy skills – but like the comment above he still holds the past against me. He shows zero interest in making me happy. He wants to control not only our family life but everything in my life – not just his own. He feels no need to account for anything he does, no need to respond to anything I say…. Sure I can spend as much time as I want making myself happy. But this still is not showing results in getting a relationship…. I’m tired of manipulation and control on his side. I’d like a little respect – I’m tired of showing tons and getting none.
Barb, I’m sorry to hear about the loneliness and rejection you describe in your comments. I still remember how painful that was. It’s awful. I see you looking for the answers and I recognize a lot of my old behaviors in your comments–you use the word “he” in your responses quite a lot, for example. And that was my hobby too, to focus on what my husband was and wasn’t doing while my life went by unattended to. Reading your comments is like looking in a mirror from my early marriage. You and I are a lot alike.
I would love to see you get support in implementing the Intimacy Skills. I detect a note of hopelessness in your comments, but so much is possible for you and your marriage despite the current situation. I hate to see you quit right before the miracle happens. You haven’t said anything to shake me from my conviction that your marriage can be amazing.
I see that you’re a committed student, with lots of great questions and I know for me what made all the difference was having a community and support to become the wife and woman I wanted to be. You’ve found something that resonates with you so you’re excited…and you’re afraid it won’t work for you. You can choose your faith or you can choose your fear. I’m rooting for you to pick your faith, of course. It takes courage, and I think you’ve got what it takes. Only you know for sure what’s best for you.
Consider giving yourself some structure and support with this. It can be tricky to do it by yourself. That’s why I created the programs and support that we offer–for women just like you and me.
Let me know how we can support you. I would love to celebrate your success with you!
My husband is the one who initiated separation. I’ve been resisting it for 15 years – determined to make all the changes, to make him feel respected and loved, to make it clear I would honour my vows,…. He brought up separation regularly. I’ve never felt I married the wrong guy, and have always made that clear. But he seems to resent the fact I exist in his life…. I have always been a very happy, upbeat person. But his relentless criticism, resentment, and control have worn me down. Sure I’ve made many mistakes – but I’ve apologized sincerely. He feels no need to apologize for anything – doing all the things to me that he would hate if done to him (controlling, name-calling, judging/labelling, ignoring, criticizing…). I’m exhausted and taking time for myself – which he dismisses and ridicules….
Cutting off the “air-hose” of love seems perfectly ok for him, but cutting off the air-hose of respect deserves life-long judgment….
I’ve been applying the intimacy skills and my husband and I are getting along much better, but he hasn’t moved back into the house. He is still seeing someone else as well, but is confused as to what to do. I have had a complimentary coaching session and would love to be able to sign up for the coaching, but it doesn’t fit into my budget at the moment. I’ve read 2 of your books and am currently te-reading “First Kill …”. Do you have any advice on how to approach having him move back home? Or do I just continue the skills and let him decide when the time is right to come home?
Donna, Congrats on practicing the intimacy skills in a tough situation! I admire your courage. There’s every reason to be hopeful. We have an expression around here that a wife with Intimacy Skills trumps a mistress every day of the week and twice on Sundays. Consider a vulnerable message, like, “I miss you” or “I miss having you in my bed.” I do wish you could get some support but I get it on the budget limits. Have you seen this?
Yes. I have told him that I miss him. He says we’ll figure it out soon, but hasn’t made a move. I don’t want to push, but I do miss him. The waiting is difficult.
Thank you …. I signed up for it!
I’m so happy to have stumbled across your blog and books. My husband and I have been mostly separated since January. He filed for divorce in April and it will be finalized late Oct. I took your intimacy quiz and scored high but I made some major mistakes (unknowingly) in our marriage which led to separation, AND I made some major mistakes during our separation. My husband adores me. This has come as a huge shock to our family and friends. He has made some unusual choices in the wake of our marital trouble in that he decided to move in with his elderly, infirm parents to give them full time care. I believe our marriage is so worth saving. Is it too late is my question. If not, how do I proceed.
Shiree, I’m so sorry to hear about your separation. Sounds very painful. I know it probably seems hopeless right now, but now that you have the right information you can absolutely save your marriage. It will take some focus, and I’d love to see you get some support with it ASAP. I invite you to apply for a complimentary discovery call to connect with a coach and figure out your best move. You can do that here:
My husband just told me he wants a divorce because he doesn’t want to be married anymore. He still loves and cares about me, but he doesn’t want to feel accountable to anyone. I’m desperate because I still love him. Help! How do I do anything if he wants to be left alone?
BrokenHearted, I’m sorry to hear your husband said he wants a divorce. That is devastating. I really admire your vulnerability and commitment to your marriage. There is hope! When I was on the brink of divorce, my husband had retreated from me, and everything I tried only pushed him further away. Then I found the 6 Intimacy Skills, which empowered me to create the playful, passionate marriage I’d always wanted. You can attract your husband back too. I’ll give you the tools in my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/