How to Know When to Divorce
I hate hearing about anyone getting divorced.
But as a relationship coach, almost every day I hear from a woman who is in excruciating pain and on the verge of divorce because her husband is having an affair and refuses to end it.
Or his chronic, excessive drinking has put her over the edge and she is afraid of what the kids are seeing.
Or her self-esteem is gone because of the physical abuse in their home or because he engages prostitutes.
There was a time when I would have urged these women to leave such heartbreaking situations. I wrote exactly that in my first book and more recently in blogs like this one.
I presumed I knew what a woman in such a difficult situation should do.
As if I were the expert on her life.
Which I’m not.
Recently I’ve been confronted with something even worse about what I’ve written for all these years, and I’m embarrassed to say I was too afraid to admit it.
Here is what I didn’t want to admit about marriages to addicts, abusers or adulterers.
1. I Chose My Fear over My Faith
“Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself; (I am large, I contain multitudes.)” –Walt Whitman
When I was suffering in my marriage and thinking very seriously about ending it, I believed our challenges were insurmountable.
It turns out I was completely wrong. The root of our problems was my lack of training in the Six Intimacy Skills™.
But my husband was not physically abusive or drinking excessively, nor he has ever been unfaithful.
I have not lived through those particular hells, so those situations scared me.
Instead of standing for the possibility that marriages with challenges like these could be restored, I defaulted to conventional wisdom, which says a self-respecting woman should leave a bad man.
I made one exception because of my experience, and that was with verbal and emotional abuse.
I knew that wasn’t insurmountable because my husband and I both stopped saying terrible, hurtful, mean things to each other once I learned the Intimacy Skills.
Then I saw lots of other marriages where verbal abuse completely cleared up when the wife practiced Intimacy Skills.
I saw with my own eyes that verbal abuse was solvable, so whenever I heard women talking about that particular challenge, I brought my conviction about how her relationship could be magical again.
In other words, I chose my faith over my fear when it came to verbal abuse.
And I’ve gotten a lot of blowback about that, as you can see from the comments on this blog.
Some people got angry when I suggested that verbal abuse is not a clear-cut case of a victim and a perpetrator because both parties contribute to the melee.
So I was even more afraid to propose that women married to cheating, bullying drunks could also save their marriages and their dignity with the Intimacy Skills.
That was terrifying to say. It still is.
So here goes nothing: I’ve had the honor of watching courageous women who were married to alcoholics, physical abusers or cheaters make their marriages magical again.
Every relationship has challenges. And I now see that these three particular challenges don’t have to be deal breakers.
They are daunting but can be resolved as tender, connected marriages arise in their place.
I wouldn’t have believed it myself if I hadn’t seen it.
2. I Know Only a Little
I am definitely not the expert on your life–you are. So if you feel that your marriage challenge is unlivable or insurmountable, I absolutely trust that you know what’s best for you.
Which is why I never should have written that women married to alcoholics, physical abusers or chronic cheaters should leave.
That was arrogant and bossy of me. I regret it, and I apologize.
Fortunately, lots of women ignored me on that point anyway.
If you are one of the millions of women facing any of those challenges and you want to preserve your family by making your marriage vibrant again, I’m here to offer you hope that you can do just that.
I’ve seen it happen too many times to doubt it.
There was the woman who used the Spouse-Fulfilling Prophecy on her alcoholic husband, who subsequently (and to her amazement) quit drinking as she repeated what felt like a bold-faced lie: that he “didn’t drink much.”
She called me, astonished that he hadn’t had a drop to drink in the two weeks since she had changed her focus.
Another wife wrote a blog about her similar experience here.
Then there was the young wife devastated by her husband’s affair.
“People told me that I would never be able to trust him again, but I now know that’s a lie. I trust him because I decided to trust him, and he’s living up to that trust I give him,” she told me.
Another wife explained that it wasn’t until she stopped focusing on the other woman, who had been in their lives for years, that her husband’s mistress disappeared from their lives and he turned his affection and attention back to her.
Still another woman whose husband had a mistress overseas and had slept with prostitutes throughout their marriage applied the Intimacy Skills as best she could, even as he left the country to be with the other woman. To her surprise, he came back to her and said, “I love you. I miss you, and I’m sorry.”
And this week, a wife who separated from her husband because in her view he was both physically abusive and alcoholic confessed to me that she had been looking for an excuse to leave him.
Her evidence was an incident where he was drunk and she pulled out her phone to videotape him to show him later how stupid he was being. Her husband hurt her hand wresting the phone from her so he could smash it to bits by slamming it into the wall repeatedly.
It was definitely bad behavior by any measure. But now that she has reconciled with him, she says she would use neither “alcoholic” nor “physically abusive” to describe her supportive, hardworking, thoughtful husband and father of their three children.
She now feels safe and connected. And he’s the same guy. He still drinks, but she doesn’t call him an alcoholic anymore.
These are just a few of the miracles I’ve witnessed.
3. There Are No Good Guys or Bad Guys
Here’s another problem with what I wrote about husbands who are actively addicted, physically abusive or chronically unfaithful: I said if your husband is not one of those, he’s a good guy, which implies the other three I singled out are bad guys.
One of my coaches called me on this while training with me, and I felt terrible.
She explained that her husband identified as an alcoholic and had slips from time to time with his sobriety, but it didn’t make him a bad guy.
I couldn’t argue with that. Of course her husband was a good guy. She wouldn’t have married him otherwise.
Life isn’t so black and white. We’re all shades of gray with good qualities and not-so-good qualities.
Just as my husband went from being a hopeless loser-pants back to being the smart, handsome, funny man I’d married once I changed my perspective, I’ve seen that even alcoholics, abusers and cheaters improve dramatically when their wives choose respect and gratitude over criticism and blame.
Defining an alcoholic is tricky business. Who’s to say for sure that your husband qualifies?
Carla told me she was sure her husband was an alcoholic but he didn’t think so. It ended up being a source of conflict until he died after 45 years of marriage.
As a widow, she told me she wonders if perhaps she had been too eagerly looking for a problem and then found what she was looking for.
I could relate! When I was looking for a loser-pants, that’s what I found too.
4. We Have Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself
Safety still comes first. If you believe you are not safe or that your children are not safe, then I support you becoming safe, whatever that looks like for you.
I’m not suggesting that women with husbands in these three categories should just suck it up and put up with hurtful conditions indefinitely.
Not at all.
I’m talking about the real possibility of these wives creating amazing, vibrant marriages–the kind every woman dreams of. Nothing less.
Of course, if that’s your situation, you may be afraid that you’ll suffer trying to get there.
I get it.
The biggest problem early in my marriage was that I was afraid. I was terrified that I would be hurt, abandoned and treated unfairly.
I focused on that so much that I created a marriage where I felt hurt, abandoned and treated unfairly.
Just goes to show you how powerful I am at manifesting.
It’s not just me. We’re all creating what we focus on.
Today I’m careful where I point my manifester.
I choose what thoughts I dwell on and say aloud very carefully, picking only the ones I want to experience more of and avoiding the ones I don’t want to experience.
I know it’s impossible to experience anything but what I’ve been focusing on.
When my fear arises, as it does from time to time, I question it. I tear it down by gathering evidence to the contrary in the form of a gratitude list.
Now I understand what Franklin D. Roosevelt meant when he said that we have nothing to fear but fear itself.
Indulging my fear causes me Needless Emotional Turmoil.
So even though I feel some fear about coming out in favor of all women who want to use the Six Intimacy Skills to save their marriages–including those married to alcoholics, cheaters or physical abusers–I’ve decided to focus on how many have already come forward after successfully getting the relationship of their dreams.
By being the first to do it, you’ve paved the way for thousands more to create the marriage they’ve always wanted with the man they chose.
If that describes you, I acknowledge you for your courage! It inspires me to see what you have accomplished.
89 replies on “How to Know When to Divorce”
A Man abusing his Wife is the lowest of the low. NO Woman deserves that and it is her duty to her children and herself to get out and involve the police. Why do so many men abuse their wives? Well, they got nothing to fear. That needs to stop. Punishment needs to be jail, for a long long time. Women Shelters need to be stocked up.
Men have plenty to fear, it’s just not in their nature to admit it easily. They fear failure, inadequacy, lots of things. Men beat women because they have grown up witnessing and experiencing it. We all do things compulsively that we regret later… mine would be yelling tirades or meltdowns, what I grew up with. It has years of gradual work and training to shift that for me. Abusive men need this same opportunity. I don’t know how it can best be given, but as a society we need to figure it out because the victim perpetrator paradigm just doesn’t seem to be reducing rates of domestic abuse. Any more than the war on drugs is reducing drug use. We need to take the judgement away and see these “crimes” as health problems that the person would probably rather live without, if they felt they had the choice. I don’t know all the answers but my husband and I feel that some change of approach is needed.
Jane, again I appreciate your compassion, as well as your take that these types of men are unwell. Thanks for your thoughtful contributions to this conversation.
I am in total agreement with you Laura!
As a relationship coach I too have seen woman when they have the intimacy skills as you call them have magnificent turn arounds in there relationship
This is a new movement and new understandings of transformation in possibilities of how there is tremendous power unleashed in unconditional love that can alter seemingly unquestionable circumstances
Yes a woman experiencing violence needs to move into a safe environment. But from there she has a possibility to create a new culture and a new beginning and a new relationship potentially if that is a calling from her heart. Same with the booze and excessive seemingly cheaters- thank you!!!
I think u have a new book being called forth!
How about a utube interview with people like john gray who speaks vehemently about relationship violence and that both parties have a role in it, another author who had many cases of relationships that renewed that fell under these circumstances. And the one who wrote who kissed Cinderella writes beautiful stories of marriages that had alcoholics and violence and they turned around with women transmuting this awful darkness with the courageous skills of love in specific dynamic ways resulting in them being treated like princesses living happily ever after
In my relationship coaching practice I have always known of this possibility and actually invite a woman to consider taking on this opportunity to experience loves transformative power and I am not a fundamental Christian. I practice Zen Buddhism and other esoteric spiritual paths. This way of practice that many drops of love hollow stone is the new wave of the future when it comes to transforming the worst of the worst seemingly hopeless cases
Thank you for all you do , for all your books. They are the foundation stone principles I invite all women to base there relationships upon. It transformed my marriage my relationship with my adult children, my neighbors, my village!
Infinite love and gratitude!!!!!
Thank you for your commitment to this work, Elizabeth, and for your beautiful contribution here. I love your enthusiasm for unleashing the power of unconditional love! It sounds like we are cut from the same cloth. I would love to work side by side! If you’re interested in spreading infinite love and gratitude together, check out lauradoyle.org/become-a-coach
Jane, you are so right. These men are damaged and just need to be healed/repaired. A few years ago I read a book where the lead character is shown that his abusive father was ‘damaged’ as was the man who killed his daughter and both deserved his forgiveness. If we can forgive and find a way to help our husbands heal through the six intemacy skills it will be a great gift.
I can not believe that you are not using an abused woman to leave ASAP! You are basically helping the abuser.
Abuse is Abuse – and a very good reason for divorce. It is appalling to see a woman who proclaims to be christian urging fellow women to ignore abuse that is destroying them. It is NEVER the victims fault. NEVER!!!! There IS NO EXCUSE for abusive behavior. NONE!
Why not? Is it an unforgivable sin? I don’t think it’s about excuses. There’s no excuse for any sin. But habitual patterns in the face of severe distress are very powerful. If we look at research we find that perpetrators of social harm have universally been victims of similar degrees of social harm. Therefore wouldn’t it make sense to conclude that it’s those experiences that are the key contributing factors rather than the cause being them ‘being a bad persons who needs to be punished?’ We all need to be convicted of our own sin, and for people from violent, abusive backgrounds, it is often love that melts their hearts, and condemnation that hardens them towards further abusive or addictive behaviours. Wisdom, limits and community support for all parties are also essential pieces of the puzzle.
Jane, I love your compassion!
Honoring their limits and receiving support have been key for the women I’ve worked with too. Well said.
Silently Weeping/Freya, if a woman is not safe, that is still a divorce I endorse. The difference is that I no longer presume to be the expert on any woman’s life. I thought I knew what abused women’s duty was too–until I made room in my heart and mind to hear how many of them have had the courage to transform their marriages with the 6 Intimacy Skills. In openly sharing their triumph and in offering the Intimacy Skills to all, I seek to empower other women (not men and certainly not abusive men). I would never blame a victim of abuse for being at fault or make an excuse for abuse.
Then I saw lots of other marriages where verbal abuse completely cleared up when the wife practiced Intimacy Skills.
Sorry, I very much doubt it. The Wife most likely sucked it up and became lethargic. If that is what men prefer they should seek out robots.
I never sucked it up, and fought back often, and it just continued. After using the skills for a year and half, it stopped. I told my H vulnerably I can’t handle yelling. SFPed it’s not like you to yell and you are not a yeller. Focused on when my H was gentle and patient. Put on the duct tape when I wanted to say something in revenge. And now I can’t remember the last time I felt verbally abused by him or the last time he yelled at me when it was once a daily thing.
Amy, congratulations! What a relief to leave the yelling and verbal abuse behind. I give you all the credit for turning this around!
Laura, It is so great to read this. You are so vulnerable and courageous to correct the record. I love the hope you bring to humankind. I am so glad I too have seen women married to cheaters, alcoholics and gamblers create intimate, peaceful marriages. Thank you for making it possible for me to turn my hopeless marriage into one of great tenderness and love. When I arrived here, I thought my husband was a special kind of difficult and while these skills might work for you, they weren’t likely to work for me. I am so thankful to have been wrong. My marriage is beyond my best dreams now.
Norita, thank you for your acknowledgments and for sharing your own experience witnessing women in these challenges transform their marriages. I appreciate you sharing how the 6 Intimacy Skills have empowered you to turn around what seemed like the hopeless state of your own marriage. I am delighted that you now have a marriage beyond your wildest dreams and acknowledge you for your commitment and courage!
My name is Josey and I have been married for 20 years. This past Saturday my husband comes to me and says I want a divorce. He was in the service for 13 years and now is battling PTSD. His excuse he says ” 20 yrs ago before being married we separated and after being together for 3months. I went out on a date” He has never forgiven me for that. Why has he waited for 20 yrs to say that? 2 yrs ago he took someone out to dinner and i caught him and he says that it was just dinner. I’m heart broken. He tells me not to leave cause he will regret it.
Josey, I’m sorry to hear that your husband wants a divorce and still blames you for going on a date 20 years ago after doing the same thing! That is heartbreaking. I love your commitment to your marriage and your vulnerability in reaching out for support.
I used to think my marriage was hopeless. I was often angry, and there was little room for forgiveness of past transgressions. The 6 Intimacy Skills have not only healed our marriage but created grace so my husband is now quick to forgive if I make a mistake. I’m so grateful to have the playful, passionate marriage I’ve always wanted.
I know you can have that too! I’m eager to see how experimenting with the Intimacy Skills will attract your husband to stay and heal your marriage so you can regain the connection you once had. I’ll show you how 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/
Wow, this is truly inspiring. You have no idea how this has helped my thinking, which I will act on.
Anne, I want to acknowledge you for your courage and commitment! I’d love to empower you with the tools to take action. I’ll give them to you 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/. I can’t wait to hear how you transform your relationship with the 6 Intimacy Skills!
Hi Laura, this came just on time. I have been married for the second time, and just for 2 months now. And I want to divorce. You mention that emotional and verbal abuse can be changed, but can these two be change together with manipulation, threatening, lies. Just in two months I have learned that he is comfy with me because I am financially stable and he is not. I am happy on my own and he is not. I doubt that I should try and change myself to make the marriage work because I sob or cry or scared for my kids when he is drank, angry, in rage, shouts, spits on me, cuts wedding ring in half, owns me money but don’t want to work more that 2 days a week. Generally speaking, I am so happy when he is not around, have lovely job, friends, hobbies but as soon as he is at home I feel sick because whatever I do might be bad for him and make him angry. Yes, I know he wants me to love him deeply, but in the end… what is the purpose of love if then he says f*** you when he is not in the mood. I dont want to become a doormat. I have given too many chanced to him. I cannot support him financially, mentally but suffer myself.
Diane, I feel so sad to hear how you have been suffering, especially after only two months of marriage. I deeply admire your hope and your willingness to change things.
Of the thousands of women who have learned the 6 Intimacy Skills, many of them had husbands lying, manipulating or threatening them, in addition to being emotionally and verbally abusive. When I experienced such challenges, it was scary to stay committed to my marriage and to the Intimacy Skills. But the women who persevere in practicing the Skills have made their marriages as playful and passionate as mine now is.
If you feel that you and your children are safe, I know that you too can heal your marriage. I’ll show you how 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/
Love, love, love this! I have been seeing evidence that the most challenging situations like you describe are changed 180 degrees with the Six Intimacy Skills!
I invite you to take a moment, Laura, to see just what you have started here! Amazing, and growing every day!! Thank you very much!
Super proud of you as I know it’s tough to realize you were mistaken and admit it. I’ll stand with you in the realization that every woman really is the expert in her own life!
Thank you all (most?) for your kind words and encouragement!
Bethany, thank you for standing for other women right alongside me!
Wow Laura! I admire the strength and determination you have shown here by acknowledging that you were wrong.
I hope that this allows more women, whatever there story may be, to find the six intimacy skills and turn their marriage into one where they are truly cherished.
I urge you to visit a Shelter, to listen, truly listen to the stories these women tell. You will find that each one faced horrible situations and mastered these with grace, wisdom and humility. Maybe they will be able to challenge your hurtful and negative words. I had my views and beliefs challenged and I am eternally grateful to have worked alongside them to help those who are facing hell in their own homes. But I also know that you are not going to do that, you are living in your bubble.
Minniemuse/Medusa/Silently Weeping/Freya, I share your respect for these women’s harrowing stories and your admiration for how they have triumphed over their challenges. Like you, hearing their stories is what has challenged my own views.
I admit I’m fond of living in what you call my bubble. It is quite large, encompassing the experiences of thousands of women in diverse walks of life, from cultures around the world. I’ve had the honor and privilege of being witness to the miracles that happen when they have the courage to practice the 6 Intimacy Skills in the face of what seem like insurmountable challenges. Every day, I get to see families being reunited and women becoming cherished, desired and adored. I am eternally grateful to work alongside them too.
Thank you Laura. You are a real inspiration to me. I am just wondering, I think I remember reading that a “gambler” was one of the four men listed as one shall not stay married to. You haven’t mentioned it in this blog. Since I am married to one, who has recently almost emptied his IRA and our savings to the tune of $180,000, I am wondering why you haven’t mentioned, a gambler as one of the categories. Yes he’s wonderful, loving and has many good qualities. But there is the fear of the unknown. Who knows if at any given time, he’s given our house away, or borrowed money from a friend without me knowing, I constantly have doubts. It’s really hard to trust someone that has betrayed my trust. I don’t want to divorce, but what can I do about the trust issue. And it’s hard for me to trust him with anything he says, unrelated to money as well.
Could an urge for gambling be brought on because of a controlling wife? I know he did it to make me happy and “earn” more than he does with his salary, which is not enough to make ends meet. What are your thoughts? Thank you.
CC, thank you for raising this great question and for helping me to clarify. I do consider a gambler as part of the category of active addicts, so my comments apply to your husband as well. I can see why it’s hard to trust someone who has jeopardized your financial security. That is scary!
I love your commitment to your marriage and your willingness to be accountable. I would not say that you are causing him to gamble. Rather, what I have seen again and again is that, as the wife, you have the power to inspire him to be his best self.
I’ll show you how 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/
Wow Laura, entirely impressed with your admission! Always felt a bit uncomfortable with the concept that marriages in those categories had no hope, but trusted your opinion, as your teachings work wonders. I’m relieved to see that your experience has proved otherwise and am grateful that you had the courage to put your new view out there, openly and with full admission. Keep up your good work! Your work is GOLD
Laura, thank you so much for the work you do. I have thought of commenting about dealing with alcoholism for some time. Many years ago my husband developed a drinking problem which grew progressively worse over time. I began attending Alanon meetings and they literally changed my life. Many of ways one learns to deal with the “problem” is to work on yourself, not the other person. We were reminded that the only person we can change (or have the right to change) is ourselves. Kindness and self care were emphasized. In my case it became necessary to leave the marriage because my life became unsafe. But, I left with compassion for my husband. I began a new life (at 50) and eventually married a wonderful man. But, as you know, marriage is not easy. I discovered YOU and your work and the similarities with AlAnon are helpful. I will say I think you stress the importance of self-care and that is very positive. I had a very difficult time a little over a year ago and bought your book “Kill the Marriage Counselors.” I happened to be away from home for a week on a project and not only read the book but made a little notebook with notes from each chapter which I use as a quick reference to keep me on track. It really does work!!! Thank you so very much for all you do for us.
Gini, thank you for having the vulnerability to share your experience. I’m sorry to hear of your struggles in being married to an active alcoholic. I admire you for having the courage to leave when you became unsafe and for creating an intimate second marriage. I love that have been empowered to work on yourself and focus on your self-care. Kudos on your commitment to practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills. After all you’ve been through, you deserve happiness and intimacy, and I’m delighted that the Intimacy Skills, along with your recovery, are working for you!
This is awesome Laura. I have read that women have a very important role in nurturing the spiritual and emotional life of a society. I was impacted by that concept years ago and now I’m realizing that you are providing the ‘how to’ of that call for our modern society. Now you’re extending it to all families, not just some, and applying your work to remedying some of the commonest problems in society today. Thank you for the inspiration you provide. I am working on trying to find a way to support and spread your work in New Zealand.
You’re welcome, Jane. I’m glad you’re feeling inspired. The feeling is mutual! I admire and am grateful to you for seeking ways to support other women with the Intimacy Skills in New Zealand. Becoming a coach is a powerful way of doing that, if you’re interested: https://lauradoyle.org/become-a-coach/
This is very tricky. Many woman spend their entire lives in a co-dependent entanglement with someone who is abusive on many levels. Your advice to stay and try to work it out no matter what, Laura, might be encouraging a woman to try and “fix” a situation that is not healthy for her. I agree that we need to manifest our best selves in any relationship. And your beautifully show us how to do that, yet your premise that all divorce is bad might imply that if a woman genuinely tries to be her best self, but is still getting results from her spouse that are abusive and cruel that she has failed when she has finally decided she needs to have a strong boundary and leave.
I do think you are right, people can change and do. I was with a smoker and cocaine addict for 5 years, I am still with this man. He has changed, he is sober, we got through it. But I had to get really clear that being with an cocaine addict was unacceptable to me. My sister is now engaged to the love of her life, although he was an alcoholic when they met and he is now clean. She also came to the point where she had to get clear In herself that she was not willing to be with an alcoholic. Both of these men quit because of our clarity and our willingness to stand up for what we needed in our lives. If my husband was still using I would not be with him now. I see first hand how my actions affect my relationships around me. It truly is magical to see the positive changes in all my relationships when I follow your advice. I applaud you for your wisdom.
I believe if a woman follows your relationship advice she will either find herself manifesting a functional and loving relationship with her man, or she will get the clarity that she needs to leave. My hope is that a woman does not feel she has failed if she needs to leave the relationship out of self protection. For you to imply that if the woman becomes loving enough, joyful enough etc., she will change her man is sometimes entirely possible, but not always. I extend my hand and support to a woman who has become her best self, and let the outcome be what it is without saying either choice of leaving or staying was better.
Cora, I hear you! It is tricky. While I am letting go of endorsing divorce from these types of men in every case, I’m not ready to say all divorce is bad. Nor would I advise anyone to stay no matter what. I was trying to say that if a wife feels she is safe and chooses to stay, there is hope for her to transform her marriage with the 6 Intimacy Skills too.
I like how you describe how a woman practicing the Intimacy Skills can either manifest a functional, loving relationship or get the clarity that she needs to leave. I share your hope that she not feel she has failed if she needs to leave to protect herself. Thank you for your compassionate response.
I applaud you for your courage and commitment! I admire your vulnerability in sharing your story of hope.
Wow Laura! I applaud your courage in revising your statement. I too have seen marriages in those hitherto categories being turned around as I share the good news of the skills.
I too have doubted whether the skills can change those kind of relationships BUT I have friends who have persevered despite my doubts and Voila!
I like to think that those women were the experts on their lives. They showed such courage. Such determination. Such faith.
It’s not for everyone to tread that path but you never know what can be accomplished until you try. There are no guarantees in any situation I guess.
Thank you for standing with me. I didn’t think my marriage could ever change but after 2 years of working on myself, somehow my husband is more wonderful than I ever thought possible. I’m still pleasantly shocked at the changes.
Thank you thank you thank you.
Deb, I love that you were shocked to find out what was possible when you worked on yourself using the 6 Intimacy Skills. I’m thrilled to hear about your wonderful husband! Thank you for having the vulnerability to share your inspiring experience and the courage to persevere. I am happy and honored to stand with you. You’re welcome, you’re welcome!
Hi laura, how is it that you have been boosting your husband. In every area of his life. And after 16 years he says I will never give you what you want. And he does not want you to love him. And you will get somebody else to love you. He is always angry with me and the children. But you still love him and do not want anybody else. What do you do……
Natalie, I’m sorry to hear that your husband is so angry and shut down. That sounds painful. I acknowledge you for being so committed to your marriage and vulnerable enough to reach out for support.
I have not always boosted my husband up. Our marriage used to be quite nasty, and I felt hopeless when he withdrew from me. The 6 Intimacy Skills attracted him back to me and made him eager to please me.
If I can do it, you can too! I’ll show you how 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/
This is a great article except for the bad advice on the 6 intimacy skills. Wounded people marry wounded people. And when you are highly dysfunctional and your marriage is in regards to abuse, addictions and violence you really do need more support then Luara’s TM skills. Her book was helpful but it’s not what caused me to heal. Her book lacks real resources for truly helping people beyond the surface level. I wish she would own up to that.
Michelle, I own up to you being the expert on your own life, just as the other women I’m writing about are. Thousands of women have transformed their relationships by practicing the 6 Intimacy Skills. I hear that you needed outside help to heal and am glad you found it!
Laura, I used to go on your blogs with hidden names trying to find a reason not to make my situation work coz of the 3 reasons divorce u endorse…u always end with as a “fine print”….actually when I first coached with one of your coaches merilee back in 2010 that was the first thing she asked me..is he a bad guy let’s uncheck him or not……and I said “well he drinks he is military so are you telling me that to forget it and I’m pregnant right now with our 2nd child and I’m supposed to drop it because he doesn’t check off as a good guy?…….fast forward 6 years a life situation resurfaced with drinking problem and I go back to your blogs searching for an answer to tell me “it won’t work Laura says he’s a bad guy”
Until I dived into the program…..and rest is history…..thank you for putting out this in your blog….u chose faith and courage …..many will attack you for it…..but many more women will realize they have the power in their life to change things….that they don’t have to be victim mode….that skills can work any situation…..if the woman is committed enough…..thank you Laura you saved another wife from searching for an excuse trying to justify not to work on herself or her marriage if she choose to
Coz your program really is about
Empowering the female…luv u for putting this out…..in writing….goosebumps….
Empowered Wife, thank you for having the vulnerability to share your experience. I’m so inspired by your story and admire that you were committed and courageous enough to ignore me on that point! I acknowledge you for focusing on yourself and becoming empowered as a result.
Thank you for this! I needed to hear this. I knew this deep down in my heart, but I didn’t want to admit it…I definitely need to change my perspective and dwell more on what I want and not on what I don’t want. As the Word of God says, “the power of life and death are in the tongue.” Proverbs 18:21
Laura, how courageous. How insightful. I hear you. Only the wife knows what is best for her. Only she knows the reality of her marriage. The 6 intimacy skills produce fruit. Like you said, how do you know if your husband is incompetent or inconsiderate? until you relinquish control and give him the room to respond you will never know.
End world divorce! you just opened the door for more marriages to thrive.
Thank you for enabling me to save my marriage (from myself)
You are welcome, Diana! I admire your commitment to saving your marriage (from yourself). I love how you put that. Thank you for the beautiful acknowledgment.
Laura that was a heartwarming post! I’m sorry there are some people who seem to read things that you didn’t actually say or mean and come out with erroneous conclusions, but rest assured there are many out there who are so inspired by all your posts and this brave and vulnerable one in particular! I love your blogs (even when not specifically relevant to me) as they always leave me in a more positive frame of mind and give me a boost to keep working on my marriage from a peace-loving perspective! Thanks a lot!
Yocheved, thank you for your encouragement too! I’m glad your heart continues to be warmed. You sound like such a gracious receiver!
I honour your honesty and life path. There has to be a way for humanity to heal from addictions and other unhealthy decisions. In the Baha’i faith, marriage has a new designation. We marry for eternity; it doesn’t ‘end’ with death. The only grounds for divorce is when there is no love between them. There is a ‘Year of Patience’ once a couple decides to undergo separation. During that time, they make efforts toward reconciliation and healing. Marriage in all its forms is an institution that offers well-being, but it is a journey through layers of lessons. There is really nothing that protects or prevents the hardships. You have to learn as you live. I have been married for 23 years. My husband enjoyed craft beer and mead, but never would have been labelled ‘alcoholic’. Despite our efforts to have a healthy marriage, he had a repetitive affair with a young woman over a 2 month period in which alcohol-to-excess played a part; kind of a double-hit. The whole family was devastated, but there was still a powerful love. It has been a long and painful process of honesty, responsibility and love. I have seen the power of forgiveness faith that inspired him to completely abstain from alcohol and begin his own investigation of truth in life. We often say, “Love is bigger”. And it seems to be true.
Lorran, I’m sorry to hear that your husband had an affair when he was drinking. I admire you for having the commitment and courage to go through that painful process and healing your marriage. Thank you for sharing your experience that love is bigger.
Today, Laura, you have lost my respect. I am unsubscribing and will hear your voice no more.
You have not known these traumas and should not speak on them.
Camille, you’re right that I have not known these traumas firsthand. Rather, I respect and honor the experience of other women who have–and have come out on the other side of their trauma–just as I respect that you are the expert on your own life.
This was great Laura. I also appreciate a lot of the comments. For me, if I were to sum up the greater meaning of what I am experiencing with your program and the six skills, the broad message is self empowerment. To place a limitation/boundary is self empowerment. To focus on my happiness is self empowerment. To focus on MY responsibility is self empowerment. To learn to be vulnerable (authentic) is self empowerment. To apologize is to be self- empowered. To ask for and state what you want is to be self-empowered. Some people are getting the wrong message here… creating a victim and perpetrator dynamic is not the rhetoric. Creating an empowered self is. Big difference. I am thankful I found this program, and my husband know describes me as: “a lot calmer, I guess, I can’t describe it but your not loosing it all the time” lol! And it’s true. Even when he’s loosing it I am focusing on myself and not trying to “handle” him, i.e. control his reaction or the outcome. If you are looking for a change in your relationship you change yourself… or at least, for the love of God, earth, and mankind begin to broaden your perspective and thinking that you have power within yourself to feel and live the way you want. But key word here is You, not him.
It’s Cora again. I am so touched that you took the time to respond to all these comments. I have more understanding as to where you were coming from now in making your declaration that ALL men and marriages have the potential
To heal. I also now appreciate that you are not endorsing a woman to stay in a marriage that is habitually unsafe. You are saying even a potentially awful situation has the grace to also heal and change, and that it is up to the woman to make that choice. As I stated earlier I was in a relationship with a cocaine addict, by all accounts I should have left him when I discovered how full blown his addiction was. I stayed because he quit quickly and has never touched it again. Free from
the chaos of addiction my relationship became safe for me, and we had a new path to heal within and we both did. He is now the man of my dreams, and I see how using your skill set worked empowering magic in my life. I would never endorse a woman to stay with a man that is active in his addiction or abuse if she feels unsafe and it is out of control, I see you are not implying that she should either. But you are claiming that the seemingly worst relationships have potential and I applaud you for that. You have witnessed the power of grace and healing of the heart, that has humbled you and that is very beautiful. Thank you for all that you do.
Cora, thank you for hearing me and receiving my response so graciously. Your story is so powerful. I love it! If you’re interested in how your story could inspire other women to be with the men of their dreams too, check out lauradoyle.org/become-a-coach/
Thank you for your courage and honesty to open up and confront a strong belief that you realize may not have been a Truth to everyone. When I began to work on my marriage/relationship by taking responsibility for both my mistakes and my happiness I kind of had to do the same. Previously, I was sure that all the wrongs were his fault, and that my happiness had to come from him. I also realized that we are empowered; not victims. Once I confronted that Truth to not be solid, and did A LOT of work, everything changed. Myself, my husband and our relatioship.(Though the work never ends) Thank you!!
I have a question. My husband had an issue about 21/2 years ago for which we got counseling. I did not complelety trust him after that. In the last 6 months I think the issue resurfaced. I’m so confused and conflicted and I’m wondering. Did my focus and fear of the issue contribute to it recurring or is it his choice alone and nothing I could have done or not done about it? Btw, when I confronted him he did not deny it. Thank G-d he agreed to go for professional help again.
Another confusing factor is that he shows so much love, caring and really enjoys my happiness. So how could he have chosen to do something so wrong at the same time? Could he split himself into a great husband one side and act like that on the other side?
I’m hoping you can answer my questions.
Connie, I love how you’ve been empowered by taking responsibility for your own happiness and acknowledge you for transforming your marriage!
I hear how difficult it has been to restore trust in your husband after his issue resurfaced. For me, losing trust is insidious and can come out sideways, making it harder to implement all 6 Intimacy Skills and creating distance. I share in this article how one client’s husband transformed after she decided to trust him. Another client’s husband was seeing another woman, but she found ways to rebuild trust through the Intimacy Skills. He came back to her.
Have you seen my free webinar “How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life“? I’m eager to see what it will open up for you.
I have a feeling your situation also deserves a longer conversation, if you want to apply for a complimentary discovery call with a coach.
I love your books and blog, you have opened my eyes to a lot of different ideas that I never noticed like owning my side of the street. My husband cheated and it was a difficult time for me but you helped me to go through it and he said the affair ended. He has never apologized or acknowledge what he did, and sometimes I find myself going through the past in my mind and feeling hurt all over again. What if he does it again because he thinks it didn’t hurt me and it is ok? I want to be with my husband but I also want to get rid of these horrible feelings, is it possible?
Sharon, I’m sorry to hear of the hurt you’ve been through and that continues to come up, and I so admire how you are turning your marriage around. I get that it’s scary to think he may do it again if he believes what he did was okay.
And I hear how hard it is not to receive an apology. My husband used to stonewall me and show no inkling that his behavior was not okay. After I learned how to apply all of the 6 Intimacy Skills, he became quick to apologize, and I gained the tools to deal with my hurt. But most of the time I get to feel cherished, desired and adored!
I’d love to empower you with all of the Intimacy Skills, including how to share your feelings and hurt in a respectful way. I invite you to my upcoming webinar: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. You can register for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
Laura I just loved this blog post, both for its content and the deeper level of surrender it taught me. Thank you so much. You have changed my life into something I never dreamed it could be. For the women here who don’t know it’s possible, even though my husband and I are still not back living together, every moment we spend together just overflows with love, as do all of my other relationships. Because of the intimacy skills I have repaired my relationships with my parents and have enhanced my relationships with my three adult(ish) children.
And also Laura I want to acknowledge you for taking the time to answer all of these comments in addition to all the other amazing things you do. You are much more than a rock star!! Thanks for everything! Ladies, if you are reading this comment and you are on the fence and want to argue, what do you have to lose? You can also not do the skills next year!
Vivian, thank you for your beautiful acknowledgments and for sharing your inspiring experience. It is wonderful that your interactions with your husband are overflowing with love. I have such admiration for you for your commitment to practicing the Intimacy Skills and saving your marriage, not to mention other relationships!
Hi Laura, I hope you’re well. I come seeking counsel. My neighbour and her husband seem to have a turbulent marriage and we hear them fighting (arguing badly) at night. My husband and I know them and it sounds really nasty. I bought the The Surrendered Wife in case the topic of marriage came up when I see her/when I go for a haircut (as she works as a hairdresser)…in case a natural opportunity came up to bring up the book and so that, if it did and she showed interest, to offer it to her when we next met. We often see her husband, who is always very pleasant and polite to my husband, my kids and I. But therein lies the problem: he seems to drink heavily and seems intoxicated often when we see him in his car in the car park (not always). So the problem is that, In The Surrendered Wife, it talks about an alcoholic guy not being a good guy so I’m nervous that, if she shows interest in the book and reads it, she may decide he is not a good guy and I don’t wanna be the cause of that (in case he really is a good guy, which we have always experienced him to be: he seems to be in the car often and, sometimes drinking, as an escape and to numb…I couldn’t say if it was an addition.). So what should I do? Should I recommend First, Kill instead (should the opportunity arise)? I feel heartbroken for them and their little daughter, who hears it all (like we do). They seem like nice people. The other night, I was asleep and my husband invited our neighbour’s husband in to kind of break up a fight. I was awoken by the noise too, but didn’t tell my husband and he hasn’t mentioned it to me either (he honours people’s confidentiality…which I love). If I do see her and marriage comes up, what do you recommend I do? The topic did come up at my last haircut appointment with her: she mentioned my husband being helpful. Would love your guidance, Laura. Thank you.
W, I acknowledge you for being such a compassionate and respectful neighbor. I love your commitment to empowering her to have her own transformation, just like it sounds you have.
I invite you to read my blog post “How to Share the 6 Intimacy Skills with a Friend”. You are welcome to share the latest post with her about how there is hope for such marriages too.
Thanks, Laura. Just read the blog post you shared. I’ll keep that in mind. And I’ll keep in mind the Amazon show mentioned therein as an alternative to the books. Thank you for what you do <3 I did indeed complete my transformation with your book: the missing piece was vulnerability for me and that has taken us from pretty good to great. I'm so grateful. I recommend your work often. One of my friends recommend it to three women who reported back to her that they 'get it' now. Wish you all the best, Laura.
You’re welcome, W! That sounds great. Why not invite her to the Cherished for Life Weekend next month? I’d love to meet you there too!
Laura, I want to apologize up front because this will be necessarily a bit long winded. I’m the husband and have gone far astray from the “great guy” my wife met and married. Things have become very dysfunctional and my wife is hanging on by the slenderest of threads (for the umpteenth time). In the interest of full disclosure, I have been both verbally and physically abusive. For clarity (NO MINIMIZATION!), I’ve pushed, pulled, intimidated, slapped, spit on, and pretty much every other abusive behavior short of hitting her with a closed fist. I’ve also verbally denigrated her, called her insulting names, mocked her, her family, said cruel things (not true things) about her femininity, body, etc. It’s incredibly shameful to have to admit theses things, especially in writing. Things have gotten far better, but as a 30 yr recovering all/addict, I know that in the “real world” there’s no such thing as “better about abusing” your wife. To add insult to injury, about six months ago, I became briefly involved in an intimate phone relationship with someone I met while receiving technical help for an auto part I’d purchased. In a desperate attempt to salvage my marriage, I went looking on Amazon for something that might possibly give us a chance to heal. After MUCH searching, I found The Empowered Wife. We’re both Christians and don’t want divorce, but I realize that abuse is an absolutely valid reason to leave me and that she can only take so much. I read a lot about you and your opinions on divorce and how badly damaged a relationship can be and still recover. Your “almost anything can heal” attitude is what made me decide to get your book for my wife. I asked my wife if she would mind if I read “her” book also. She was a little hesitant because the three sentences about what makes a “bad” guy. When I read that, my heart sank because its pretty much said run for the hills. I knew I had read something contradictory to that somewhere. I found this and sent a link to my wife. She’s encouraged by your evolved opinion on those topics. Because of the damage caused by my abuse, she is reading your book with the (I think mistaken) view that it’s your position that EVERYTHING is HER fault. I’ve told her that what I read you saying is that as a woman, she inherently has characteristics and qualities that more readily lend themselves to inducing change. She read your responses to women who’ve taken issue with your “new” view on abusive situations and is having trouble reconciling the hurts and damage done w/the seemingly “simple” process of just following the six steps to intimacy. Her main issue (I think reasonably) is that while things are far better, I have still behaved abusively toward her. How does she begin to implement your techniques while wondering if/when the next shoe may drop? She’s found some of your responses to sound a little simplistic or from someone not genuinely acquainted with the complexities she’s experiencing. Please smile at this….she said she’s come to picture something like the horrifying Nancy Grace because she feels like her situation isn’t seriously addressed in your blog responses. My wife is the most incredible, long suffering, beautiful, alluring woman in the world. I’ve done things (and maybe) become someone I am ashamed of and find terrifying. I have a desperately aching need for physical intimacy. How can she possibly let down her walls and make herself vulnerable in that area w/this history? I know my needs are legitimate, but may be entirely unrealistic for anything in the near future. I’m guessing you’ll either tell her to run for the hills or suggest she apply for “a complimentary coaching call”. I don’t mean that disrespectfully. I just have had to reluctantly agree that most of the responses given here have seemed fairly simplistic and shallow. On an extremely positive note, we both identified strongly with your experience w/your marriage counselor. We also wasted considerable time and money and were almost definitely in far worse shape after two years of “help”. Another positive is that she DOES agree with your principles. She’s just not sure how to actually implement them. I KNOW there must be ABSOLUTELY NO MORE ABUSE! Aside from that, we would both appreciate some advice and/or clarification. Thank you so much.
H, I appreciate your vulnerability in sharing your perspective. I want to acknowledge you for your commitment to healing yourself and your marriage and to supporting your wife. I would love to support her too. It’s true that the blog comment format does not allow for the kind of in-depth response your inquiry merits. I love your idea that she apply for a free discovery call to have a full discussion with a coach. If she wants to experiment with the 6 Intimacy Skills, I invite her to check out my upcoming webinar in the meantime: How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life. The Intimacy Skills have empowered other women to let down their walls and have physical intimacy again, even after the kinds of trials you describe.
I just love your comment! I love that you are being accountable for your role in the problems in your marriage and that you are supporting your wife through her own journey!
I believe that coaching would be an amazing experience for your wife. I know there are many ways that you yourself can heal, too, and although we can’t really recommend them here, with your considerable googling skills I am confident that you are going to find your way. I am so pleased that you are committed to your marriage and that you are willing to be vulnerable and that you are committed to your wife’s happiness as well as your own! I can’t wait to meet your wife and see her stand up at a CFLW and hear how the skills saved her marriage! I know it’s going to happen for you!!
Thank you for that beautiful post Laura. My husband may not be an abuser or an alcoholic, but our marriage is certainly not without its challenges and your thoughtful, compassionate post has given me more hope than a qualified psychologist did for rather a lot of money 🙂
Thank you x
You’re welcome, Kylie! Thank you for your touching words of gratitude. I love that you’re feeling hopeful. There’s more where that came from! For more tools to empower you to navigate those challenges, check out my upcoming webinar, “How to Get Respect, Reconnect and Rev Up Your Love Life,” for free at https://lauradoyle.org/swewtraining/
Dear Laura, Props to you for redacting your previous writings & making reconsideration for Hope in all situations. It is certainly worth a try. I am separated 10 years now, having walked away in exhaustion & wits end, from a husband that was more in love with alcohol –
which I detested. By then, we’d known each other for 16years (married for 10years). I have no regrets of my decision at the time. I did it so that the kids would not see the negativity of relationship gone sour, and easier at a younger age for them – I moved to the other side of the globe. I have since put my energy toward my children and their welfare and have made no attempts to have a man in my new life. In retrospect, had I come across this info, I would have given it another chance. I was not patient enough, and we did lose a good thing. I would say, I’m sorry i do not have your mothers patience to wait til you are 60, to give up the bottle. Comparison to his dad made me worry about the future – I did not want the cycle to influence our son. Perpetuation of this bad habit was all too familiar about the community. For every milestone promised to give up the drink, it was broken each time.
I have opted to join your webinar shortly, in order to learn more on how to better myself as a person, should I ever be in a relationship again. Right now I am very distrusting & mostly wary for my childrens’ sake… Afraid of introducing the unknown with relationship matters. Not sure if this webinar is even relevant for me, but I would like to learn more. Thank you anyhow for all you have written – I am impressed by the short chapters, blogs & comment/reponses you have made. So useful and I hope it works for those who at least try this bit of practical magic. If it is worth saving, one can only but TRY.
I appreciate this! The essence of grace…
Thank you so much for this article Laura! It gives me so much hope & determination to really shift my focus of my husband! My husband made a really bad decision 4 years ago, while drinking. We’ve been on a downward spiral ever since. I can now see that I lost my trust and respect for him after that, which has completely shattered his confidence and the way he views himself. I can now clearly see that I have the power to build him back up! Thank you so much Laura from the bottom of my heart!??
I have been following the 6 intimacy skills for 4 months, studying and getting coaching from a Laura Doyle Certified Coach. My H meets criteria for Narcissism and while he doesn’t abuse any substances or cheat, he has been severely verbally abusive and has been violent with me. That being said, he is also a generous, helpful, affectionate man who only wants to love and be loved in return. He’s a former combat veteran, abused kid growing up poor and a former MMA fighter. We did some couples counseling and workshops and I’ve read every expert marriage therapists work. I want to speak on violence as there are levels of its severity. After learning of the 6 intimacy skills, I realized how I played a powerful role in the violence in my relationship. Not just this one but verging on it in my past relationships too. I was never punched but I was treated like the man above describes how he treated his wife. It was almost like reading my husband’s admission to his own violence with me. What I reflected on for my own situation, is that it never would have happened if I hadn’t done the pushing, verbal viloence of my own, following, shoving, challenging him, screaming, extreme disrespect (all which felt justified) and my own one too many glasses of wine! I’m not excusing him but in order to stop my own cycle I had to choose to stop doing battle with my man. He never, ever hurt me unprovoked. As contradictory as it sounds, he sees himself as a hero and champion of women, like a knight. Since I learned and have practicing the 6 intimacy skills, I have had no more verbal violence, NO physical viloence, I’ve been getting more love and intimacy, sharing and giving and he’s been able to be the knight he knows himself to truly be. I realized my own power in the relationship and it worked for me. I know now that my husband is not an abusive man and that I have the power to create the love I want with him because he does have the capacity. I used to see he brought out the worst in me and now I k ow he brings out the very best I have to give and that I have demonstrated the power to bring out the best in Him, too. It may shock some to know I am social worker but I knew, despite the violent moments, my man wasn’t one of the bad guys, because in my work I’ve seen them. I believed these skills might help my marriage and they did. They are healing our relationship day by day. We are each the expert on our own lives and that must be the rule. Thank you Laura for your honesty and powerful vulnerability. You’re saving lives and marriages.
To all those saying to leave the abuser if it is not relationship you should not comment on what we should do. Not every man that abuses does so all the time. In fact my husband has abused me physically over the course of our marriage including the day he left. They were rare instances it was spread out over a long period of time. The emotional abuse was worse then the physical and happened more frequently especially over the last few months before he left. I would take him back without question. All you can see from what I have written so far is the abuse. What you don’t see is the kind loving man that he is the majority of the time. His anger didn’t not come without an argument and there was no argument just because he was in a bad mood like you see on tv. If I the one he has been abusing love him in all of his faults in good and bad sickness and in health, then it is not the place of anyone else to tell me I am better off without him or that I should move on he is not worth it. He is a man , he is human , he makes mistakes like all humans do. He is also kind, loving , intelligent and my husband. I love him unconditionally and I know that lately he has been suffering. I know he has been depressed and the arguments with me has made him feel betrayed and unloved. In return he made me feel unloved. We can save this marriage I just need him to want to.
It would be awesome if you came out with maybe another book or another add on chapter for practical advice for women going through these things. I love your EW book and how you have specific things to say in certain situations. It would be great to have something like that when bigger explosions happens like with these types of men.
My sweet, once balanced husband of 6 years requested a divorce. Two children here under 5. He suffered a mental breakdown, chose to stay at his Mums. He is under psychiatric care
Am lost tearful and afraid. Mostly I’m hopeful but he is so unwell.
What do I do?
I have my faith in first place, and the fear in second place.
I told you sometimes. My hubby is bipolar, he was unfaifthful to me. He has a problem with drink too. And verbal abuse. We are not together now, he is with another woman. And he sent me papers of divorce.
However, something inside makes me to have faith and hope toward him. I think we can have a fresh start with your counsels. I saw before how your books helped us a lot. But i wanted to control all and that was the problem again.
I dont believe in divorce, but now i understand something more, i should believe in marriage, in a team together.
Thanks. I have faith over the fear, but whatever thing happen i accept. Now i know that only when a woman believes really in the marriage, it can work it and fix it and shine it again.
I’m going on be the blunt and honest woman here and say that in some (not all) abusive relationships the woman is an instigator!! I’ve witnessed it and done it myself. The man is just defending himself in some abusive relationships.
Y’all need to stop bashing Laura! Her books have saved my sanity and she did say she wasn’t an expert on all relationships. I’ve witnessed myself what the skills can do in an abusive relationship. How? My own! The verbal abuse has diminished because I love myself enough to stop instigating it from h. We are separated but get along now better than ever since I read The Empowered Wife! If we divorce at least I’ll have the skills for the next relationship if I decide I want to date again! The power of a woman is insanely strong!
Good luck ladies! Stop bashing Laura! She only speaks on what she knows!! You don’t believe it because you don’t follow the skills correctly! It has to be persistent. Not an overnight fix!
Your book is really wonderful. I am so grateful that I was blessed to cross paths with you and get a copy. My husband daily verbally abuses me telling me that he regrets marrying me, he will get someone younger and hotter, I am an old hag (I am a few years older than him), no one would have ever married me, I look so ugly (mind you I am quite attractive) etc. This goes on for at least 20 – 40 mins and 2/3 times every day – I say nothing and recently this has provoked some physical abuse. I love life and am grateful for everything around me – I don’t ever think of myself as older than him or unworthy – so you can imagine how difficult it is to hear such awful things daily when I am feeling so blessed to have this marriage and trying so hard to please him/uphold our vows. We are married one year now and he also had an emotional affair with a very attractive woman through daily calls and messages over 4 months. I am considering divorce because if he says such things now and he has found someone younger and hotter surely there is a message God is trying to tell me. I have made innumerable changes, forgave many times and held faith through this. My love is pure and I want only the best for us and my marriage but if your heart is telling you he doesn’t want you then should I listen. Any comments?
I am interested in your thoughts. I struggle with my husband’s harmful neglecting lifestyle. No specifics for privacy, but it has cost me a lot.
His denial is so bad we argue constantly, and when I have any kind of family crisis it is worse. He hasn’t wanted to use any tools or reminders of his own choosing to take care of things and has refused to be accountable to anyone. I have been used as an excuse for all of his major wrongs, and most of his minor ones. I am beyond weary and losing my thought that it will ever change no matter what I do.
I don’t understand how any intimacy skills I could learn can help him prioritize in a healthy balanced way in regards to safety and security or even love. If he ever admits wrong, he justifies it soon after, then blames again. I almost think if things were maintained safely and responsibly I could just give up on the love part. But I don’t have either.
I am constantly stressed and my health has suffered greatly.
I’ve looked at your book before and read some, but change brings his anger and worse neglect, denial and proven effective attempts to trigger me till he has my bad to claim his retroactive innocence. It’s exhausting, devaluing and hurtful.
How are your skills better than plain codependency awareness? How is your content more effective? This isn’t a challenge, I am beginning to look at codependency lit to find what I can do to stop the cycle, and not live miserably, and would sincerely like to know.
Thank you for your response.
I have an identical situation to Hurt but trying. Please, may I hear your response, Laura.
Hurt but Trying and About to Give up, It sounds like you’re completely exhausted and fed up with feelings so neglected and hurt from your own man. You shouldn’t have to live like that. It’s not right. I know you just want to be a happy wife, but first, you have to fix your relationship and it feels like it’s falling apart. One of the mistakes I made when I was struggling in my relationship and nearly divorced my husband was thinking that I needed to make him treat me better, or let him know how angry and hurt I was when he didn’t do what I wanted, or he hurt my feelings. But That never worked. Just the opposite–it created wall-to-wall hostility. I thought it was completely hopeless, but when I talked to women with happy marriages I discovered what I was doing was actually causing that reaction in him. Once I got the right information and support, I was able to single-handedly turn my relationship around so it became tender, playful and passionate again. I also became a better Laura in the process. All I’m doing is sharing what worked for me because it was so life-changing and made my marriage magical again. And so many women have wanted to be a part of this movement because it did the same for them. So get your hands on this proven method for fixing your relationship! Start with the book The Empowered Wife (or the audio version First, Kill All the Marriage Counselors) and then get a coach to support you in making the changes to become the best you and have your best relationship. So you can stop feeling hurt, scared and hopeless and start feeling desired, taken care of and special.
My husband loves me. I know he does, and he tells me.
My pain is that he tells me how he wants to sexually pursue other women. How he would love to “share” that experience with me. How he can enjoy other women sexually and still cherish and protect me and no one else would ever compare. How he might even like to have another wife, and that another wife would be good for me as well. He said he would never act on these things if I did not give him a 100% enthusiastic approval.
Hearing these words make me feel brittle inside, crushed, lifeless, and angry. I wake up at night thinking about it, feeling sick. I wake up and feel joyless. It’s always in the back of my mind.
What hope do I have? I question and doubt his integrity and judgement, and feel like trusting him, saying yes to him, was a horrible mistake. How can he possibly love me if he is so willing to treat me and our sexual relationship like it’s just another dish in the buffet line? I see no prudence, no foresight, no wisdom in him when he suggests these things, and I feel afraid and angry and sad. I wish I had chosen a man who meant his wedding vows of forsaking all others. I wish he wasn’t trying to have his cake and eat it too.
I am tired of the sadness stealing my joy and spontaniety. He has not acted on these things, but it is so painful to know that this is what is in his heart. That his true desire is for something which I absolutely cannot respect and cannot surrender to. I cannot admire this, and I hate that I chose so poorly as to give my soul and my life to a man who values me so cheaply.
Is there an answer? My heart aches and aches. I did not think love would be like this – where women and wives are nothing more than a fulfilment of sexual appetite.
Hi. You are teaching peace
Peace is the most precious thing on this earth
You are inspiring peace among many many people.
You should be rewarded for all you are doing to help people on this earth
Gosh sister, you are brave and humble. Way to go. I agree and IF someone reads what you wrote you are very clear. In a world where everyone is crucified for the slightest thing – im proud of you! You are not telling anyone to be unsafe but actually the opposite. I have heard people call others verbally abusive when they are verbally abusing themselves. Sometimes its our own thoughts about ourselves that make someone out to be a bad guy when they didnt say anything wrong. great examples.
im proud of you
What if your husband wants a second wife along with you? I can’t deal with that and it seems like the intimacy skills are failing me to keep him monogamous.