As a young adult, it made me angry when someone implied that men and women are different because that showed they were prejudiced.
I saw that as the old, unenlightened thinking. I smugly believed I knew the truth: everyone was the same, regardless of gender.
But I didn’t know how to be feminine or even recognize my own astonishing power as a woman.
I equated femininity with weakness.
Now that I know what it looks like to be feminine, I find there’s such ease, dignity and comfort in it—what a relief! I feel good in my skin when I’m my feminine self.
When I say “feminine,” I don’t mean manipulative or overtly sexual. I’m talking about honoring my feminine spirit, which I’ll explain.
Learning how to be feminine rocked my relationship and my world in the best way I can imagine.
The Worst Relationship Advice of the Week goes to a common suggestion you hear to make sure you get treated well in a relationship but it backfires big time!
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Laura Doyle: My guest Angela’s husband was angry, controlling and distant and she was depressed and numb dreading the prospect of living the rest of her life in such an unfulfilling marriage.
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Laura Doyle: She decided to conduct an experiment. And today, her relaxed husband showers her with attention gifts and help. She’s going to explain what she did to make that happen. Angela. Welcome to the Empowered wife podcast.
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Angela Butcher: Thank you. Thanks, Laura. Thanks for having me. Yeah.
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Laura Doyle: I’m excited for everyone to hear your story. So take us back to the battle days will. What was it like in your relationship.
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Angela Butcher: It was very hostile and I never felt like I could get my point of view across to my husband and
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Angela Butcher: You know, we had quite a
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Angela Butcher: Quite an argumentative relationship and I just didn’t realize I didn’t know why. And
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Angela Butcher: So it was very frustrating for me and very depressing and like you say,
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Angela Butcher: I was just, I wasn’t the divorcing type. So I was sort of resigned to living in a measurable marriage for the rest of my life. So, yeah. And that was very sad and depressing for me. Yeah.
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Laura Doyle: And so where kinds of things have you done to try to fix this.
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Angela Butcher: So one of the first things that I found with the intimacy skills was the skill of her speak that really resonated with me and
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Angela Butcher: You know, I decided that I would try the skill of respect for a whole week and just experiment with it and
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Angela Butcher: So what I did or did not do was criticize my husband instruct him more comment on everything that he said all the time.
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Angela Butcher: And I decided to consciously abstain from this, for I was awake and I have to say, Laura, that it was very, very difficult because it was a habit for me a very automatic habit. So I had to be quite conscious of what I was saying and not saying and
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Angela Butcher: Wow, who, by the end of the week, my husband looks so different. He just looked happy he knocked relaxed. We were laughing in the kitchen. We were having some fun together. And yeah, I was, I was really shocked to your work because
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Angela Butcher: It’s just wow my critical words hip just
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Angela Butcher: You know, it was made that was kind of ruining our marriage change.
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Angela Butcher: Wow, it’s just correct see him happy. And I felt so much more happy and
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Angela Butcher: And I just realized that nobody had ever taught me how to be respectful in my relationship. And it was quite an epiphany for me and
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Angela Butcher: The start of a new beginning in our relationship.
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Laura Doyle: Wow. I love this story. And I think there’s like two pieces to what you’re sharing with us. One is like you saying no one ever taught you. So you just didn’t know what respect look like it you probably heard about respect that it was important to be respectful.
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Angela Butcher: That right yeah and I always thought I was being respectful. I actually thought it was being helpful and
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Angela Butcher: Giving my husband advice and being a little critical. I thought that was been helpful and respectful. So that was quite a shock to me to realize that that type of
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Angela Butcher: Behavior was actually hurting our relationship and not being respectful. So it was like, yes, like people had said you should be respectful in your marriage, but it was like a blind spot to me how to actually be respectful, so
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Angela Butcher: It was like it was like an epiphany and it just, it was so revolutionary, you know, it just gave me a lot of power to know that I can turn my relationship around by starting to practice that skill of respect.
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Laura Doyle: So I love that and you and you mentioned how hard it was for you. And I remember it was very hard for me as well.
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Laura Doyle: In the beginning, so that’s the second pieces one piece is knowing the second piece is being able to get yourself to do it. And so you were able to do it for an entire week. You mentioned it was difficult. Like, how did you get yourself to change so quickly. And, you know, how did that work.
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Angela Butcher: Well, my relationship was in such a bad state and also such pain.
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Angela Butcher: Like I had to do something and
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Angela Butcher: So I just I just became very conscious of. Yeah, I just, I kind of like I had to do what because I had to do something. And so
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Angela Butcher: Yeah, just every morning I thought. Right. And I sort of gave myself a little chick, you know,
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Angela Butcher: Put some duct tape on
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Angela Butcher: If your husband and noisy and any kind of way. Just don’t say anything, just put that duct tape on and that’s what I keep saying to myself, all day and
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Angela Butcher: All three of those days and and like I said it was really difficult to do. And I have to be conscious and there were so many times when I wanted to say something and it was in those moments that I’ve just was like, you know, duct tape and
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Angela Butcher: It was quite amazing what showed up when I wasn’t saying things all the time.
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Laura Doyle: So was there a moment, we thought, well, this is, this is really working.
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Angela Butcher: Yeah, well, I’m you know after me sort of notice and and I’d met my husband was looking a lot more relaxed and happy.
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Angela Butcher: With me during this skill when he didn’t know that I was doing the skills. He didn’t not read this book. And at the end of the week. We went to my husband’s sorry my son’s cricket photos. My family and I just went along, and
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Angela Butcher: And then my husband. I have heard
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Angela Butcher: One of the other fathers saying to my husband.
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Angela Butcher: Mike, what happened to you. It looks like you’ve been to Fiji for a week.
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Angela Butcher: And implying that he’d gone on been on holiday for a week and I thought, Wow, this is really working. And I’ve got to do something about these skills. I’ve got to start practicing been continuously
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Laura Doyle: Yeah. So how did you, how did you do that, what did you do this to start practicing them continuously
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Angela Butcher: Well, one of the things I did do was
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Angela Butcher: I guess, get a coach and
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Angela Butcher: Start to surround myself with some woman who were committed to having a fantastic marriage, having a great marriage and working through these Lord valuable skills and that really helped me having that support from other woman.
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Angela Butcher: reading through the material and
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Angela Butcher: Just every morning.
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Angela Butcher: Having a little goal of what skill I would work on today and
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Angela Butcher: In a five. I got stuck on getting some coaching about it so
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Angela Butcher: And that really helped me having the support of other woman and having a coach, so
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Laura Doyle: I love that. Because it, it sounds pretty hard even. It’s just, you know, a week when you were initially experimenting, but sounds pretty hard to just
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Laura Doyle: Not say other things that you’re thinking about every day like as a mere mortal woman like I don’t know how how long we could keep that that up. Did you ever feel like you were just sort of sucking it up or kind of like sacrificing yourself.
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Angela Butcher: I did. I did. But
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Angela Butcher: What actually happened was, even though I sacrifice myself.
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Angela Butcher: Um, what actually showed up was this other sort of magical things like
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Angela Butcher: Any really lovely conversation with my son, my husband and his sons or
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Angela Butcher: A really lovely compliment from my husband.
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Angela Butcher: That he might he seemed out of the blue, because I was
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Angela Butcher: You know, using duct tape.
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Angela Butcher: And so even though I sucked it up and I really wanted to say and
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Angela Butcher: In because I should be able to have the right to say whatever I want.
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Angela Butcher: Actually abstaining from that sort of critical sort of talking and
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Angela Butcher: That kind of fantasy just allowing some silence on my part actually allowed these little miracles or big miracles to me to sort of show up.
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Angela Butcher: All over the place, so it was actually really worth it was actually with me swallowing my pride swallowing my and, you know, wanting to be right about something.
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Angela Butcher: Because these other little miracles. These other little beautiful conversations started to open up. So, yeah.
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Laura Doyle: It was no longer worth the price of admission. It sounds like it was to, you could see the value of bringing their respect and it became more important to you. It sounds like
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Angela Butcher: Yeah, exactly, or a year that just there was a lot more intimacy and and a lot more peace and our family because of it with my husband and he was my family. So I was just so grateful for. I’m so grateful for that haven’t learned that skill.
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Laura Doyle: And so what’s your relationship like now, Angela.
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Angela Butcher: I relationship. Now it’s just very more romantic and we do a lot more things to give my husband shares with me a lot more about his and his feelings and that never really happened in the past.
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Angela Butcher: And I apologize, a lot more if I slip up and I hear him apologize, into which was something that never happened in the past, and we just in January, have a lot more love and peace and intimacy and our marriage and I feel so, so happy and
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Angela Butcher: Now that now that I’m the person that can create a beautiful relationship and I don’t have to expect or blame my husband anymore. I know that I’m the one who can create this beautiful relationship and that gives me a lot of happiness in long power. Yeah.
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Laura Doyle: I love that. So, um, what, what would you say to yourself, if you could go back in time and and talk to the Angela that didn’t realize she just didn’t know that she was causing strife in her marriage.
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Angela Butcher: And so if I could tell myself then what I know now is you know that trying to be helpful to my husband.
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Angela Butcher: By instructing him criticizing him commenting on most things that my husband was actually being really nagging in disrespectful. One is really hurting your marriage. And I would just try the best that I could do not do them.
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Laura Doyle: And is your husband still controlling an angry.
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Angela Butcher: I’m from time to time, but that just because I
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Angela Butcher: Just type it. So very quickly, it’s just it’s momentary. It’s not something that lasts all day.
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Angela Butcher: And yeah, it’s just because I know he’s, he’s a modal human being, just like myself and you saw those those moments are very quick, very fleeting. They don’t hang around all day or or week it’s just all at momentary so it’s fantastic. Yeah.
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Laura Doyle: And so this was so life changing for you. You actually decided to take your studies further
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Angela Butcher: Yes, it was so life changing. I mean,
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Angela Butcher: For me, my marriage was so important and for so many years. I thought I was a failure with my marriage, it just
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Angela Butcher: I felt isolated.
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Angela Butcher: I felt lonely.
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Angela Butcher: And it was it was such a revelation to
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Angela Butcher: You know, I just couldn’t didn’t think I can do anything about it and
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Angela Butcher: To have the skills have just changed my life. I can walk out my door and say, I’ve got a happy marriage. Now I don’t have a perfect marriage, but I have a happy marriage and I’m contained. I’m happy.
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Angela Butcher: With what happens in my house.
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Angela Butcher: With my husband and you know our peaceful
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Angela Butcher: Relationship and
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Angela Butcher: That that just as revolutionary for me.
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Angela Butcher: I’m so glad that I found the skills.
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Angela Butcher: Your skills, no right and
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Angela Butcher: It’s just changed my life. So much for the beta i don’t feel depressed anymore. I’m a really happy person. And if I’m not happy. I know just how to get back
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Angela Butcher: To being the happy person that I can be. And it’s all through your skills, Laura. So it’s just amazing, amazing and so
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Laura Doyle: And now you’re a coach and you help other women.
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Angela Butcher: I do, I do. And I just, yeah, I love supporting woman in there.
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Angela Butcher: You know, wanting to have the relationship that of the dreams and
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Angela Butcher: And I really love doing it. So yeah.
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Laura Doyle: So give us a tip. So if there’s a woman as a woman listening, who’s also feeling depressed, and maybe that there’s nothing she can do to fix her marriage and that it’s going to be a long life, what’s your, what’s your tip for her.
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Angela Butcher: Well, I’d say, I’m happy to look at Laura’s book and
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Angela Butcher: Give us a call.
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Angela Butcher: Have a talk and save what we can
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Angela Butcher: We can do for you.
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Angela Butcher: And yeah.
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Angela Butcher: I just, I really recommend having a look at these skills.
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Angela Butcher: Because as I say they transform my marriage they transform me and
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Angela Butcher: That’s what I really recommend. So it’s putting
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Laura Doyle: It almost sounds like a moral imperative for you to be able to share this because of the difference. It’s made for you and I just love that. I mean, these are these are difficult things to talk about and share about and yet you’re very
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Laura Doyle: Forthcoming and authentic with us and what why is it important to you, Angela. Why would you do that.
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Angela Butcher: Um, well, if I could help you know help one woman or one marriage.
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Angela Butcher: You know, help one woman who may be hurting out the or stuck or just feeling like they’re a failure in the marriage. If I can have one woman experience Pepin us
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Angela Butcher: A sense of empowerment and the area, then
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Angela Butcher: I just would love to do that. I would love to have woman if they wish transfer transform the marriage, like I’ve been able to do
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Angela Butcher: So that’s why be
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Laura Doyle: So inspiring Angela very moving. Thank you so much for your, your honesty with us. Your vulnerability your courage and sharing your story. It’s just beautiful.
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Angela Butcher: Welcome, Laura. Thank you.