Laura Doyle Certified Relationship Coach
A Ridiculously Happy Wife
Before learning the 6 Intimacy Skills™, my 41-year marriage was full of prickly interactions, no shouting or screaming, just on-and-off bickering ending with one of us withdrawing into the cone of silence hoping it would all blow over. Which it did, eventually, and life would go on–until the next time (and there was always a next time).
No matter how hard I tried to be the “good wife,” one of us would end up hurt, resulting in distance and disconnection and a complete loss of intimacy.
I could see us growing further apart as we retreated more and more into our own worlds to salve our wounds and wonder how it had happened yet again.
I began to think maybe this was normal in long-term relationships, that that’s all there is. After all, we weren’t experiencing screaming matches or threats of divorce like some couples.
Then one day while doing a random search on relationship conflicts, Laura Doyle’s book
The Empowered Wife popped up. I downloaded a copy and as I read I realised I showed up in every chapter–the wrong way.
I started with self-care. One of the first things on my happiness list was to walk each morning. In the beginning I felt so guilty for taking this time rather than working that I kept it a secret from my husband. Then I realised it wasn’t serving me to feel or act this way and I stopped hiding my self-care.
Since then, my self-care and happiness levels have just kept on increasing, so much so I find myself happy for no real reason–just happy.
The amazing part is that the happier I became, the happier he became.
Now my husband supports and encourages me in any way he can. If I am pushed for time, he will encourage me to go for my run and offer to finish my tasks. Not long ago, I was feeling stressed about my nephew’s health, and he suggested I go visit my sister and nephew.
A month ago we were going away for a mini break and when we arrived, I found he had actually booked a massage for me, something he had never done before.
Being responsible for my own happiness has totally transformed how I show up for myself, my husband, and everyone else in my life.
Being able to express my desires in a way that inspires was really hard for me. I felt vulnerable even thinking about it because it was so far from my usual pattern of communication.
One of those seemingly small things that routinely wound me up was finding my husband’s used toothbrush lying in a pool of yuck on the vanity when I’d go to clean my teeth. Over the years I had asked politely, complained, nagged, put out different receptacles, and cleared out convenient shelves, but nothing ever changed. I gave up saying anything because it caused friction as he either went off to work or to bed and I still had a dirty basin.
I saw the toothbrush as a mark of disrespect for me and carried this resentment around with me.
A couple of days after deciding to experiment with this Skill, I was feeling courageous. As I walked out of the bathroom I said, “I love a clean vanity top.” Yes, that was it!
From that day on, the toothbrush has found its way into its place in the cupboard, twice a day, every day. How amazing! I still get pleasure every time I see that clean vanity.
Next, I embraced the concept of respect by not saying a single word that could be considered even remotely critical, controlling, or complaining for a two-week period.
To say that task was challenging is an understatement. I felt like I had been gagged.
Once I removed the disrespectful comments, I found I had not much to say at all, nothing except the odd pleasantry. The silence in between these words was deafening.
Then an amazing thing happened: into the silence, my husband of old–the funny, witty, clever, easygoing man–reappeared.
It was a very sobering moment when I realised how much I was bringing to the table. How could I have been so blind?
Since then my marriage has become so shiny and connected that it bears no resemblance to what it was. Gone are the mini cold wars, resentment and parallel lives.
In their place, we have lightness, humour, peace, and intimacy on all levels.
He is always looking for ways to please me. He constantly buys me big and little surprises that range from theatre tickets and bookings at fancy-pants restaurants to new books and special food treats he thinks I will like (and I do).
If I express a desire he goes all out to make it happen. Recently our old car had to be replaced and I expressed a desire for the replacement car to have good visibility.
He rang up all his contacts and came up with a car that I absolutely love and has excellent visibility.
Two days ago, I was borrowing his brain about which wine to buy for a gift. Tonight he walked in with two bottles, saying, “I am not sure what your friend likes, but either of these are great.” How amazing that he so loves doing sweet things for me.
He shares his days, thoughts, and dreams with me, and we now have our own insider jokes about what a princess I am these days.
I am grateful to have found these Skills and to rediscover the fun, passion, and joy in my marriage, to have made it shiny again, to be an adored wife.
I feel privileged to have discovered a community of women who support and coach women all around the world, not only to save their marriage, but to make them shiny again.
Laura and I want to help you rediscover the intimacy, passion and peace in your marriage. Click here to apply for your FREE Discovery call.