My Relationship Is Hopeless
How to Make Marriage Sexy Again
Valerie, Laura Doyle Certified Coach
“Thank you for being a sexy, hot mama,” my husband says, then he kisses me goodbye and leaves for work.
Yum! I lay in my cozy bed feeling thankful for a hardworking and loving husband. Extra thankful, in fact, because of how dramatically our entire lives have changed.
My story actually begins with an exhausted and unfulfilled “heroine”: me, a.k.a. “Superwoman,” who was actually more like Mary Mary Quite Contrary.
Bitter. Mad. Lonely. Sad.
Feeling unloved, uncherished, undesired, and unlovely.
As an extrovert, I have a perversely large desire to be seen, heard, appreciated, applauded, and extravagantly loved. (Maybe I can blame my grandma, who knows practically everyone and can talk to a tree.)
Whatever the cause, it feels like a curse at times. And whatever the personality, I know I’m not alone in having a profound need to be seen, heard, appreciated, and loved.
I’ve spent much of my life jumping through just the right hoops, seeking attention and emotional gratification.
As a newlywed, I delighted in working long hours, weekends included, in a fulfilling career serving hundreds of children alongside about 200 coworkers. Being part of this supportive team felt like a great fit for me.
That’s because I came from a generations’ deep community, with lots of family living close by. From a family of six, the (know-it-all) oldest at that, I was accustomed to plenty of social interaction and massive amounts of appreciation, thank you very much!
With my career in place, I felt it was time to start our own family. So, after nine years of marriage, I found myself mothering our three little children full-time.
But who was mothering me? I was a wreck, and I was waiting for a permission slip to take care of myself. Ugh!
In the midst of my dream of a happy family, I actually felt unappreciated, invisible, silenced, and very alone. I was unhappy and angry, and of course my husband, who was often gone working long hours, was not making me happy. And I let him know it regularly!
In other words, I was pretty much the opposite of a surrendered and empowered woman.
I was convinced that my husband’s intimacy issues were the root cause. So I gave my marriage one year. With all the passionate fighting, why would I stay? Yes, I wanted our children to have an intact family. But how could an intelligent, charming, and independent woman like me have married such a jerk?!
It was an excruciating time for me. This was not what I’d dreamed of when I vowed “I do, for better or for worse.”
On the outside, I had everything. Inside, I was dying a painful death.
I was nursing our newborn son. But it was more like I was “nursing” everyone and everything that was actually out of my control. I was energetically striving so hard but felt so unhappy and hopeless. Secretly miserable (with a fake smile) would be the best description.
All of my pain seemed to be part of a walled-off, secret, neglected garden. When I shared this secret pain, I was shamed and betrayed and “advised.” Double ouch!
My husband now says thank God that I found the 6 Intimacy Skills™. I am thankful, too. I also found a new tribe of empowered women who make me feel so safe and supported along this surrendering journey.
It reminded me of Frances Hodges Burnett’s the children’s story The Secret Garden, in which Mary discovers the key to this walled garden. It is completely overgrown, but she takes good care of it, until it awakens and become beautiful. Mary herself changes in miraculous ways, growing happier and better and stronger every day.
This is my story too. I felt like a rose bush mowed over. My own garden and, yes, my own intimacy issues, had been left untended, full of prickly thorns. Ouch!
The key I discovered is the Intimacy Skills.
My journey into caring for my secret garden began with radical self-care, which transformed my entire life. My private coach asked me what it would be like to have my self-care at 100%. What an exciting experiment!
I took long walks. I traveled adventurously. I relaxed and snuggled. I danced joyfully. I connected with others in deep, rich, and meaningful ways. Even my extroverted soul gets worn out, and I relished my much-needed solitude. I connected with my own soul during meditation. I was able to be still and know that I am not God.
Desires long buried in my secret garden began to wake up and come alive, just like in the story.
I began asking myself daily, sometimes moment by moment: “How do I feel? What do I need? What do I desire?”
My new mantra became “The Surrendered Wife Empowered Woman puts her desires first and lets everything fall into place.”
As I explored my pure desires, they began to happen! Little by little, my life manifested all I was deeply yearning for, from passion and romance to, yes, cleaning and babysitting help.
Passionate intimacy became sweet, with lots of pillow talk, snuggling, and even gifts of lingerie. (My husband knows I adore lacy racy lingerie.)
Best of all, I am now experiencing deep and true intimacy with him. We share our lives, body, mind, and soul. Today, I feel so seen, heard, appreciated, and loved, especially by my husband.
The magic of self-care and honoring my true desires empowers me to practice all the other Skills.
My loving and loyal husband now cares for my heart in ways I did not think possible. He is so committed to making me happy! He is supportive of me, especially emotionally. He showers me with compliments, help, and delicious, lovingly cooked meals. He is a great provider. Even in the sometimes chaos of raising small children, I feel so taken care of.
He often thanks me for being a great wife and mom and for making our home a happy one.
Best of all, I feel like a happily surrendered and empowered woman!
With the Intimacy Skills, our hope for one more blessing, our fourth child, was made possible. My husband held my hand throughout my entire labor and was a huge support to me as we welcomed our little baby!
We hope to raise all our children in a happy home as we grow old together. We hope to gather a big happy family around us in the years to come. We hope our children will always be securely and happily nurtured by parents who are clearly madly in love!
It has been said that “Some people believe what they see, but some people see what they believe.” The Intimacy Skills help me to see with a powerful new pair of possibility glasses. Today, I see the glorious things in my life, myself, my husband, my true tribe, and our future together.
(My husband magically became more intelligent, charming, and independent, too! Wow, do I have great taste in men, or what?)
Together feels so good! While we are never perfect, the secret, shameful fighting and pain are gone. Our lives are filled with honor, loyalty, and commitment.
Today, my entire secret garden has oodles and oodles of beautiful fragrant roses, violets, and lilacs, which are always blooming.
I’m so excited to live out the wildest desires and dreams that are in my happy, thankful heart!
Hi! I’m Laura.
I was the perfect wife–until I actually got married. When I tried to tell my husband how to be more romantic, more ambitious, and tidier, he avoided me. I dragged him to marriage counseling and nearly divorced him. I then started talking to women who had what I wanted in their marriages and that’s when I got my miracle. The man who wooed me returned.
I wrote a few books about what I learned and accidentally started a worldwide movement of women who practice The Six Intimacy Skills™ that lead to having amazing, vibrant relationships. The thing I’m most proud of is my playful, passionate relationship with my hilarious husband John–who has been dressing himself since before I was born.