By Empowered Wife Sheri
I thought that I was well seasoned when it came to the daily demands that come with being a military spouse of more than 20 years. I felt like I had achieved a perfect work-life balance, first as an accomplished journalist and public relations director, then a blissful stay-at-home mom, and an aerobic and dance instructor. I was living the dream that was supposed to make modern women happy and fulfilled. I really did have it all.
So why did I feel so miserable? Why did I feel so completely inadequate? I was depressed, and any effort on my husband’s part to cheer me up, please me, even touch me, I took as simply obligatory. Any and all suggestions of self-care felt like yet another thing that I should do, adding to my already lengthy list of obligations. When it came to the bedroom, I had a hard time believing that I was attractive with a few extra pounds, and so did not believe my husband’s affection was rooted in genuine love for me.
Then, one day after more than 20 years of marriage, my husband told me he wanted a divorce, and my world felt like it was crumbling right before my eyes. I wanted to revive and save my marriage because I truly did love my husband, but I just didn’t know how to make it work. We tried marriage counseling, briefly. My husband felt attacked and ambushed by the therapist, focusing on all the things that he was doing wrong and how he needed to change. We both saw that this approach was not working and decided to quit counseling.
I began to scour the internet feverishly grasping for a thread of hope. After a labyrinth of links, I ended up on a book review on “The Surrendered Wife” by Laura Doyle. I started reading more on this woman and her approach to strengthening marriages through a set of intimacy skills. I read testimonials from other women who’s relationships were not only saved, but revolutionized by surrendering!
I bought the book and devoured it in a single day. I tried to implement the intimacy skills into my marriage but even with the resources I had, I knew that I needed more help. I contacted one of Laura Doyle’s relationship coaches, and in the following months, felt like I was living my own Zero-to-Hero movie montage. I learned, practiced, and strengthened skill after skill, receiving tremendous support from my coach every step of the way. Even though I had setbacks, my coach taught me how to approach them with grace, dignity, and forgiveness.
The next year was the most joyful and painful of my life. I practiced intensive self-care, I expressed gratitude towards my husband for any and everything that he did, and treated every second of my time with my husband as a date. I began to see my husband differently and was genuinely happy as I would listen to his dreams, plans, and ideas. I learned how to accept my husband as he is and not try to change him and how to live my life and marriage in peace.
I can remember the exact moment when I knew that my marriage was going to survive. After living in separate bedrooms for over a year and having no physical or intimate connections, my husband approached me in the kitchen one day and kissed me. After over 11 months of no physical affection, this seemingly simple gesture was the turning point in our relationship, opening the floodgates of intimacy and passion that had been missing in our relationship for years!
Today, after 26 years of marriage, my husband and I enjoy a happy, intimate, and passion filled marriage. I was so incredibly inspired by the transformation of our relationship that I became a certified relationship coach, helping to empower and teach the skills to have cherished, fulfilled, and intimate marriages.
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