My Marriage Is in Trouble

My Marriage Is in Trouble

How I Jumped Off the Fence and Into Love
Teresa, Laura Doyle Relationship Coach

I had been married for 20+ years to my third husband when I first discovered the 6 Intimacy Skills™. My first two marriages had ended in divorce. I did not want my third marriage to fail too.

The year before finding Laura Doyle’s books, I had moved out of our home for twelve months, uncertain whether my husband and I would reconcile or divorce.

I felt emotionally exhausted, particularly by the arguments, blame, criticism, distance, hurt feelings and lack of emotional trust and respect between us. Our marriage felt like so much hard work for both of us.

Here’s how I quit all the hard work of my marriage--and fell in love with my husband. Click To Tweet

Despite all the hard work, it was clear to me we still loved each other. We decided to “try” again. Still, when I moved back into our home, I remained emotionally reserved, guarded and suspicious, uncertain that our reconciliation would work.

After attending a self-help workshop, I got clear on my desire to have an amazing love relationship with my spouse.

When I stumbled upon the 6 Intimacy Skills™, I believed I was being guided on a path to fulfill this desire.

I have no idea how a Facebook post about Laura’s work showed up, but it led me to her audio book now entitled The Empowered Wife. I listened three times back to back.

Then, I downloaded the book The Surrendered Wife and later signed up for formal coach training. I felt challenged, curious and somewhat suspicious.

Laura talked about getting off the fence and fully committing. This thought terrified me. I’d had one foot in and one foot out for a long time.

I took the leap, as an experiment, and committed to trying out the Skills and giving our marriage every chance to succeed. I had nothing to lose by trying. I was prepared to leave if the experiment failed.

But as I applied the Skills, things started changing.

Instead of complaining about what I did not like, I began expressing my pure desires. I was surprised and pleased by my husband’s supportive responses.

Instead of arguing with or “improving” on his ideas, I started saying “I hear you” then shutting my mouth. The atmosphere between us became more peaceful. He began sharing more.

Instead of being critical of how he spent his leisure time, I started doing nice things for myself, effectively eliminating any resentment. I began to respect that we each had our own ways of doing down time.

Instead of reacting defensively, withdrawing or attacking him when he said something that hurt my feelings or used a tone of voice that felt harsh to me, I started saying “ouch” then being silent. It stopped the cycle of blame and criticism.

Instead of trying to control his occasional irritable moods, I started giving him space and trusting him to figure things out. His mood was on “his paper,” as Laura says. He began to bounce back quicker.

Instead of trying to communicate on his behalf or communicating to him on someone else’s behalf, I started getting out of the middle. This relieved stress for me and reduced conflict between us.

Instead of giving my opinions when asked about things that were really his business, I started saying “whatever you think” or “I trust your judgment.” He acted confused at first and then made his own decisions. Sometimes he was happy with his decisions, sometimes not. Either way, I stopped acting like the authority on his life.

Instead of focusing on what I perceived to be his faults, I started being grateful for the many ways he contributed to my life personally and our lives as a couple. As a result, we both became happier.

Instead of saying unflattering things, I started giving him the benefit of the doubt and speaking to him in ways that at first did not feel true, like telling him “You are so sweet” and “Thanks for being my rock.” He began to grow into his best self. I now see them as true.

Instead of being stoic, tough, suspicious and independent, I began to reveal my softer and more vulnerable side. I let myself cry and allowed him to see this side of me. I was terrified to trust him. He responded at first with surprise and then stepped up to be my protector and advocate in ways that felt so emotionally satisfying and safe.

Now, our household is peaceful. We communicate in warm, respectful, considerate and supportive ways most of the time. I am falling in love again.

I no longer think about divorce. Instead, I think about how lucky I am to be married to an amazing, sweet, generous and supportive man whom I can trust and who has my back.

 


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9 thoughts on “My Marriage Is in Trouble”

  1. Hello,

    I have been following your blog for awhile and I get the differences between men and women can be frustrating on a day to day basis. (wet towels on the bed, pee on the floor, video games, wife wanting attention and romance etc..) I can live with these minor annoyances. What is your suggestion for my situation?
    I have been married 3 and a half years. One year into our marriage my husband was acting very strange. He was leaving for work one to two hours early. Acting very suspicious. I could not pinpoint what the problem was. I decided to play private eye. (wrong yes, but I was desperate) I searched his phone. I found a couple facebook messages and several work email messages from a female coworker. One message in particular he was very flirty. Asking her where she was, that he was at work. This was an early morning message. My heart dropped. I realized at that moment that he had been meeting her. I remained quiet and kept my private eyeing going and he was not being honest with me at all. I messaged the girl and was nice. I told her he was married and I would appreciate that she remind him of that. She was completely defensive. Became very verbally abusive to me. I assumed it was her guilt. I ended up exploding on him. I told him about my checking up on him. I told him why I did it. He has continuously said he has done nothing wrong. (I don’t believe they have had sex. But I do know we have not had sex since the messaging started. 2 years ago!) It has been 2 years of Hell since. I do not trust him. He works along side of this girl every single day. I have gotten to the point that I cannot stand to look at him. I want to be able to trust him again and work this out but he refuses to communicate or go to counseling. Do I just throw in the towel? It seems all the blogs I have read of yours are just day to day annoyances between husband and wife. What happens when the problems are a little more serious?

    Reply
    • Laura HAS discussed these issues! Even if your man has gone astray or theres been an affair, there is a solution! You can win him back! You haven’t read the books if you are thinking of counselling! “First, kill all the marriage councellors!”

      Reply
    • Maggie, you should try catching him doing something sweet (or even semi-sweet) and tell him how much of a gentleman he is, or how sweet or that he takes such good care of you (and your family if applicable). For me it helps if I try to put myself in his place and see the intention rather than the outcome. For exemple for mothers day we went to the restaurant and after my husband decided we should stop by the grocery store so he could get me flowers. I could have complained that he should of gotten me flowers on his own time when i wasn’t there and that this wasn’t a real surprise but i chose to receive graciously and told him how sweet it was of him to think about that and that I really appreciated it. On a side note we have been married for 7 years and this is the first time he got me flowers for mothers day (we have a 4 and a 6 year old), i know that this is because i started the intimacy skills in the last year and it has changed alot between us since. I actually can’t believe how hard to please i must have seemed to my husband before. Good luck! Sending love your way!

      Reply
  2. Maggie- I think it’s being wise, not manipulative. Plus it’s all about perspective. It’s choosing to focus on positive. Should a man not tell his wife she’s pretty if to most she’s not? Perspective! Try to find anything good and compliment him on that. Laura also talks about this in her books and it’s called the spouse fulfilling prophecy. What you focus on grows!

    Reply
  3. I want to be happy again! The constant arguing and being alone is getting lonely. I want to date and feel loved again. I feel as if my relationship is only for our child. I want to be in love again!

    Reply
  4. I’ve read your books and been following for a while too. I don’t nag or try to control my husband. But *he* is constantly trying to get *me* to change. He’s an outdoorsy guy – loves camping, hiking, etc. I don’t enjoy this stuff and prefer to be indoors. I’m more than happy for him to go do this stuff with his friends. But he insists that I should go too. He says it’s very important to him to share this with me. He gets angry when I say I can’t. But I hate this stuff! When I express a desire to do something low key and indoors, he gets irritated and says I’m boring and not adventurous enough. If we ever do something I want, he bean counts and holds it against me – so I “owe” him a camping trip. It’s like he wants me to become someone I’m not. Help!

    Reply
    • VKL, That sounds awful! As an avid indoorswoman myself, I would feel oppressed if I had to camp to get to do the things I wanted to do. Marriage shouldn’t be so stressful. I’d love to see you get support with this, to turn things around so you feel more cherished, special and taken care of. It’s all possible, but you need a guide. You can see if relationship coaching is right for you by applying for a complimentary discovery call here: https://lauradoyle.org/marriage-relationship-coaching/

      Reply
  5. Please, i need help. My husband is in an affair again, i forgave him three years agi.He is bipolar, no meds, Because he diesnt want. I suffered a lot. I tried to be a good wife, but he insulted me, destroy my clothes shoes my tgings. And he told me i deserve what i receive Because i am not a submissive and good wife.
    I left him Because i couldnt be ok and also he doesnt work.i work in another city. He spends money in trivial things.
    Please, how can i be a good wife yo him? He is anger a lot with me, and now he is with another womam.
    Thanks.m

    Reply

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