Did you fantasize about meeting your husband when you were growing up? I certainly did. Like so many little girls, I dreamed of meeting and falling in love with a wonderful man, but after seeing my parents go through a nasty divorce, I began to change my thinking. With all of the emotional trauma that my family and I went through, it was hard to think of marriage as anything but painful, exhausting, and temporary.
I knew that I wanted a passionate and loving relationship with my husband, but just didn’t know how to make it happen. We fought often and I told myself that I was justified in my arguments and complaints. After our quarrels, although I was left with a terrible after-taste from the nasty words I spoke to my husband, I would find consolation in rationalizing my behavior. If only he’d do things the way I suggested or the way I wanted, things wouldn’t be so difficult!
I was critical of my husband for jumping from job to job while I climbed the corporate ladder very quickly. Since I was earning more than he was, I felt justified in being resentful, arrogant, and disrespectful towards my husband, emasculating and criticizing everything he did.
After picking up Laura Doyle’s The Surrendered Wife one day on my lunch break, I caught a glimpse of myself in the pages but because of my pride, I failed to see the power in the words. I tried ‘practicing’ the principles, but it was really just a failed attempt to produce a certain outcome from my husband. I recognize now that at that time, it was much easier to focus on his shortcomings rather than facing the pain of dealing with my own.
I remembered the very first time I attempted to apologize for being disrespectful to my husband. The words felt so foreign and sounded strange coming from my mouth. One evening I called him at work and asked him to leave work to pick up our children because a storm was approaching. Instead of trusting that he would handle it, I gave him a lecture of what would happen if the kids got caught in the rain and how he should finish up his work in a timely manner. Needless to say he came home quite unhappy and didn’t talk to me throughout dinner. The thought of apologizing left me with a lump in my throat as I went to bed that night. I reluctantly approached him the next morning and told him I was sorry for being disrespectful towards him. I was so surprised at how quickly we were joking and talking like normal again, where in the past, incidents like this would leave us not talking to each other for days!
Learning the Intimacy Skills was one of the most valuable self-improvement projects I have ever taken on. When I learned to stop controlling the way my husband did things, practiced gratitude, and focused on self-care, the atmosphere at home changed. We were laughing and holding hands like newly-weds and my marriage was what I once dreamed of as a little girl!
Mastering the Intimacy Skills is a lifelong process but I am convinced that these are essential skills that every woman needs to have to prevent divorce and create fulfilling and lasting relationships. I dream of a world that stamps out divorce one at a time using the same Intimacy Skills that helped me rediscover my true happiness and love for my husband.
You can learn more about becoming a Laura Doyle Certified Relationship Coach here: https://lauradoyle.org/become-a-coach