016: When Your Husband Hurts Your Feelings

LISTEN TO THE SHOW:

My husband hurts my feelings sometimes, even now that our marriage has been mostly playful and passionate for many years.

It’s not very often anymore, I admit, but as human beings living in close proximity that’s happens occasionally.

When he does, my knee-jerk reaction is to strike back; To show him why he’s wrong and offer 10 airtight defenses along with a subtle–but sharp–insult.

But now I know a better response. It’s just one word.

  • What if you had a powerful one-word answer that made him think about what he had just said or done and respond with tenderness and even accountability? I’ll share that magical word.
  • My guest Darlene’s relationship with her first love fizzled shortly after they had their daughter. They drifted apart after she realized he didn’t want to be a father–and wasn’t very good at it anyway. So she raised her daughter alone for 20 years and then…life brought them back together again. She was willing to do anything to make it work this time, but it seemed like the harder she tried, the more he retreated. She’s going to tell us not only how she saved the relationship but made it amazing, shiny and wonderful.
  • Then I’ll be giving out the award for The Worst Relationship Advice of the Week which is part of some very popular communication training, but when I used it and when I see other women using it, it all goes kablooey and causes boatloads of hostility. That is not what anyone is trying to do!

INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT:

Laura Doyle: I am so excited to have Darlene is my guest whose relationship with her first love fizzled shortly after they had their daughter.

They just drifted apart and she decided to he just didn’t want to be a father and he wasn’t that good at it. Anyway, so she raised her daughter alone for 20 years and then

Life brought them back together again. They got a second chance. But when he started giving her the silent treatment for a week, even though she wasn’t doing anything wrong.

She was terrified that she would lose her second chance she was willing to do anything to make it work. But it seemed like the harder She tried the more he retreated. She’s going to tell us not only how she saved this relationship but what made it Wonderful. Welcome, Dar

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Darlene: I’m are. Thank you for having me on feel honored

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Laura Doyle: Yes, thank thank you for being here. I’m excited for everyone to hear your story. So take us way back to the beginning of the battle days what was going on in your relationship.

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Darlene: All right, well, I have to go back a lot of years I was only 16 when I actually met when I actually met, Jay.

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Darlene: And yeah for four years. We were on and off. Uh, I guess, I guess I should have known then write the offer was that he wasn’t going to coming so

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Darlene: But anyway, we ended up having a daughter and when I was 20 we had our daughter, and it just seemed like he wasn’t doing anything right. he wasn’t holding her right he wasn’t changing her right hand her back when she would cry and

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Darlene: It just really for me to showed that he was ready to be a father or he didn’t even know how a father, I guess, right.

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Darlene: So when she was three months old, he did asked me to marry them, but I just felt he was doing it out of maybe obligation. And I said, No, of course, because I told him that I didn’t think he was ready to be a father, so

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Darlene: Yeah, I said, Give me three years and then never heard from again for about 20 years

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Laura Doyle: Wow. And so you were then a single mom, so it really was all on you. Oh, that’s 20 years. So, but it sounds like you were like, Well, just as well. He’s he

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Darlene: He wasn’t much. Right. Yeah. Yeah. It just really solidified it for me that I you didn’t want to commit and didn’t want to be a father and didn’t want to be a husband. So, yeah, yeah.

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Laura Doyle: Now, being a single mom, that’s a big. It’s a hard job.

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Darlene: It is

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Laura Doyle: And it’s kind of lonely. Yeah.

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Darlene: A lot of responsibility and yeah sure is.

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Laura Doyle: And he wasn’t participating at all.

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Darlene: No, I literally did not see him for almost 20 years. Wow. Nothing. No contacts no child support.

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Darlene: No, nothing.

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Laura Doyle: You just did it all by yourself so so 20 years later, what happened.

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Darlene: Yes. So, you know, it was really um

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Darlene: And its own way. It’s really a beautiful story. We were brought back together and my daughter had never met her father or her anyone on inside the family. Right. We were strange for 20 years and it was

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Darlene: Just by the hand of God that one day his mother came into the hairdresser’s where my daughter was working, and we had talked about them prior maybe six months prior, I had really sat down with her and

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Darlene: Just told her the story of what happened.

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Darlene: So she knew the name and

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Darlene: When Marian came in she knew who she was already because we had current previously talked about it. So my daughter wasn’t supposed to be working that day.

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Darlene: And she got called into work and someone called to make an appointment for this woman named Marion and my daughter recognize the name and called me and said, I wanted to know who I am. So that was really the beginning of how we got back together.

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Darlene: I went down there and as his mother was walking out I behind her and introduce myself and

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Darlene: Of course she remembered me and we started really hugging and talking and I asked her how Jay was and she said he had never married

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Darlene: No more children. I had never married no more children and I asked her if she knew who was in there because my daughter looked exactly like her father. So, it clicks. So I went in.

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Darlene: Got my daughter and she came out and it was the beginning, beginning of a really beautiful reunion of healing and

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Darlene: I told her she could let Jay Jay know that she saw us. And if he wanted to if you want to contact us. Then he could

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Laura Doyle: See left the ball in his court.

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Darlene: I left it in his court because I figured if he’s not willing to be a father or a husband, I wasn’t going to chase them. So yeah. I left it in his court.

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Laura Doyle: And what did he do

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Darlene: Yeah, so he actually called

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Darlene: A few days later.

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Darlene: The reason actually that Marion was in the hairdresser’s was that his father had just passed away a few days before that. And so the next day was the funeral. So that was really sad to hear but

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Darlene: Yeah. So he called me a few days after the funeral and we talked for an hour and a half, and just felt like a day hadn’t gone by, you know, and you know, I thought that he had just changed and was this so you know grown up right 20 years he had changed insured and that was the start of

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Darlene: deciding for him to meet his daughter. And that was the start of us getting back together. We met with them two weeks late or we met with them. I guess the next week it was right before her 20th birthday.

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Darlene: And when you open the door. He saw just a reflection of himself, you know, they, looks so much alike.

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Laura Doyle: That must have been a great moment to see your daughter meeting her father, you know, really, it wasn’t the first time, but it was pretty close for her. Yeah.

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Laura Doyle: I remember adult. Yeah.

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Darlene: Yeah.

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Laura Doyle: And for your and for him to see her for the first time has been an amazing feeling. Yeah. So, but then and then there was the sparks came back.

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Darlene: Sounds like between yeah we started going over to his mother’s just to like really bring her photo albums and video tapes, you know, just so he could see a glimpse of her growing up. It started becoming obvious that the feelings between him and I

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Darlene: Were still there. So I just said, You know, I think, Man, you need to talk. Just to see what happened. What happened. Well, what happened to 20 years you know and we agreed to disagree, but

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Laura Doyle: So during that talk. He didn’t see it the same way.

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Darlene: No, not at all. No, not at all.

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Laura Doyle: What did he see

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Darlene: When it was not he says in his view that I had kicked him to the curb.

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Darlene: I said that he was not ready to be a father, he’s you know the calls became further and further apart when he came over, it became further and further apart, there was drinking involved and

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Darlene: You know yeah just figured he wasn’t ready yeah that was my version that he was responsible. Yeah.

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Laura Doyle: And so, but now he seems more mature you’re feeling this attraction and he is too. So what happened.

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Darlene: Yeah, so that was in 2000 and unfortunately, you know, sadly, within a few months, his mother, his mother also passed away, but by this time, we just knew that

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Darlene: Our love had really come back and I thought, Wow, just 20 years really changed this man like he was the essence of who he was, but he just was seemed more mature and

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Darlene: I thought okay, I can do this with this guy right and really quickly after we started talking. He said one day. If I asked you to marry me. Would you because we had never gotten married. And I said, I think I would see a soothing.

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Darlene: He was proposing. I was like an informal and formal

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Laura Doyle: There is no ring and

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Darlene: Yeah.

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Laura Doyle: Yeah check on you. Yeah.

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Darlene: I guess it was just checking.

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Laura Doyle: In your temperature. Okay.

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Darlene: Yeah.

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Laura Doyle: Okay, so, so, and you were excited you were thrilled.

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Darlene: Yeah and you know as the months went by everybody else was thrilled too. Like everyone who did not know him before. Jay was a

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Darlene: Really bad introvert, so he didn’t come to family functions. Back then, we’re talking the 70’s. Nobody really saw them are new to them. So when he disappeared.

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Darlene: Nobody really knew who Kelly’s father was he was just some mystery guy out there that nobody knew. So when we got back together. My family just was so happy.

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Darlene: They Kelly’s father was back in our life and that I was back in love again. And he was just this really great guy, and just just so beautiful. You know, the beginning. Yes, I have a fairy dust sprinkled right everything just

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Perfect

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Darlene: Yeah.

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Laura Doyle: I mean, that’s better than a lot of first loves right where maybe the family doesn’t

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Darlene: Always accept the person if

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Laura Doyle: They were really embracing him so it just seems like a story book romance at this point. Yeah.

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Darlene: I really, I really felt it was like, I really had this second chance that I just thought I would never ever have. And it was with this guy who came back as this really great guy romantic and kind and treated me good and very attentive. Yeah.

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Laura Doyle: So then you live happily ever after.

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Darlene: Okay, so I wish.

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Darlene: Yeah, right. So, um, yeah. You know, most of the first year was really super good. I mean, Him and Kelly, we’re bonding and me and him were bonding like just the love was there and then things started showing up.

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Darlene: You know,

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Darlene: I’m really helpful. Right. So I had just raised my daughter. Right. So I was a strong woman. I had my, you know, I had been working my job for a lot of years and was a boss at work and just a strong woman who had taken charge or a lot of years right as a single parent. You had to, you were it, you were in charge

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Darlene: So I figured he didn’t know how to raise a child. Right. And so when Kelly came into his life. I was still in that mode, like I

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Darlene: You know, just did what I do. I’m helpful and I started noticing that no matter what I did. He would seem irritated aggravated

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Darlene: And and then there were times where he would just stop talking to me go into his man cave emotional man cave and it was torturous sometimes not talk to me for a week.

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Laura Doyle: A week

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Darlene: I remember one time it was longer than a week and I just really thought I was going to die. It was, it was really tortures feeling. Yeah, it is torturous yeah

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Laura Doyle: Nothing more lonely. Yeah, it says physically there and present. It’s just like a constant reminder

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Laura Doyle: That he’s not talking to you, you’re rejected. Yep. Okay.

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Darlene: And that’s exactly what felt like what’s coming up again, like, oh, there’s that guy, you know, put on that mask for, you know, so many months but that real guys showing back up again.

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Laura Doyle: So it was almost like an imposter he could just keep it together for long enough to fool you.

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Laura Doyle: Into getting back with him. And then, and then this really kind of cruel behavior started. Yeah.

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Darlene: I do call cruel behavior because it’s very

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Darlene: Difficult to be in a house with somebody who’s not talking to you.

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Darlene: Yes. Yeah, yeah. It felt like emotional abuse almost because that’s what it felt like really it was scary, scary because I thought, Wow.

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Darlene: After this reunion and getting back together and everybody so happy for us. What I don’t know what I’m doing here that he’s not talking to me so I really, at that point, thought I was gonna lose my second chance there. Um, yeah, terrifying because

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Laura Doyle: It is awful to be so in love and so happy. And then just think, where did it go so you just you just thought, well, it’s just him. He’s just, he’s still not ready.

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Darlene: Yeah, absolutely. That’s exactly what I thought because I was super helpful. Like, I thought I brought

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Darlene: Everything that was at the time we were so I was his girlfriend I supposed to bring right I was happy when it came over from work and happy just in general, helpful and did things and show them things and

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I know

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Darlene: Yes, yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

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Laura Doyle: Yeah, you’re trying really hard. Sounds like

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Darlene: I was trying super hard, and seemed like the more I tried the more he would just pull away right and become distant is really, really frustrating and I just was sure that he wasn’t ready. It was good. That’s what it came down to

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Laura Doyle: So were you thinking, Okay, I gotta break up with them again, or what were you…

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Darlene: I was not thinking that, because I was so

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Darlene: I was so happy to have the second chance. But I was terrified, terrified that I was going to lose the second chance.

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Laura Doyle: So it was not that you were going to break up with him but you thought you were he was gonna break up with you.

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Darlene: Absolutely view. Yes. Okay, gotcha.

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Laura Doyle: And so what happened.

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Darlene: So now we’re starting with kind of got through the first year, and I knew that.

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Darlene: What wasn’t me. I thought so I knew the name really jerky and

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Darlene: Yeah, I didn’t know how long it was going to go on before because my belief was he leaves, he’s a man that leaves, he left us for 20 years

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Darlene: Yes, he did. That guy was showing up again.

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Darlene: And that was my belief, like what day is it going to leave just end this and disappear again because at this point he was 45 when we met again. I was 40 and

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Darlene: Yeah, so I knew that I was doing everything I thought I could do to make it work. And it was really the ball in his court was just gonna leave one day that really was my belief which was terrifying for my daughter also

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Here he’d just come back, yeah.

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Laura Doyle: Yeah, absolutely. So she’s seeing this tension between you and

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Darlene: Well, I’m going to tell you that she would she did see some of it but really trying to hide it, because I was embarrassed that

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Darlene: He was showing up again. That way it’s like pretty embarrassing for me so I didn’t really share that. But she did say it if she was home or, you know, at the house. She had already been out on our own. At that point, yeah.

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Laura Doyle: So this is a this is enormously painful, but then something changed.

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Darlene: Yeah. So going into year two.

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Darlene: It was really

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Darlene: Tense scary and you know he do this on and off that talking to me and I just had no idea what I was doing wrong like I didn’t know how to change it. But I wanted to change it just didn’t know how and yeah I’ll never forget, I was

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Darlene: laying in bed one morning it was 2001 and he had left for work and I was listening to the TV not watching it and I hear Katie Couric interviewing this woman and her name, happened to be Laura Doyle and she was

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Darlene: Talking about her book, The surrendered wife and I have to say in that short interview, it just connected with me. I thought

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Darlene: That she is talking about my life. I sat up in bed, and although I was repulsed by the name of surrendered wife, you know, as a strong woman I’m thinking surrendered right but I knew that what she was saying just just connected with me.

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Darlene: I knew it was valuable. So maybe it was what I was looking for. Right. So I wrote down the name of the book and

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Darlene: went out and got it. And I have to say within two weeks, I noticed a shift, like I got immediate results within two weeks and I read through that book. Why read it probably 100 times but I read through the book pretty quick. And what I learned was

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Darlene: That he really needed respect and it looks much different than I thought. Respect to look i thought i was helpful doing everything. And that was very respectful.

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Darlene: But to him. It felt very controlling so and disrespectful. So I saw immediate results when I

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Darlene: Stopped

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Darlene: being so helpful, I guess, right.

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Laura Doyle: Yes, it was that the first thing you started to do differently. You think it’s just

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Laura Doyle: Yeah, tell me your thoughts on being helpful.

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Darlene: Yeah, when I would catch myself wanting to tell him something,

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Laura Doyle: Yeah.

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I would stop.

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Darlene: And I just noticed that there was just some kind of shift. I didn’t know exactly what it was yet, but it was enough of a shift to give me hope to really know. I was onto something here. Yeah.

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Laura Doyle: And so was there a moment when you said yourself on this is this is really working like taking this approach.

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Darlene: Yes, so, um,

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Darlene: I want to tell you a quick story though because it was a journey right process that it took a while to get it and to change how I was, you know, interacting

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Darlene: But there was this one day we were at the bank and we were merging our information in the bank account, you know, and so we sat down with the woman, this just a glimpse of

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Darlene: The pain I was in that I needed to change right my helpfulness. Yeah. So we were sitting with the woman at the bank and

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Darlene: She asked for jays address you know his addresses information and I spoke up to tell her what his address was because that was just what I did. I am so helpful.

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Darlene: And he looked at me and he said, you don’t need to speak for me and I started crying so hard that I couldn’t stop.

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Darlene: And and my head was down and I’m crying and I know that woman was thinking, this guy is the biggest jerk ever making his wife cry and or we weren’t married yet at that time and she handed me a box of tissues.

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Darlene: And this was after I had started trying to practice these

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Darlene: You know what you had in the book, right, the skills and it was obvious, I was not good at it yet. And that’s the kind of behavior that I got back, you know, he would lash out at me.

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Darlene: And I think that was one of the times where he stopped talking to me to, once we got home for a few days. He was so mad.

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Laura Doyle: Yeah definitely sounds lonely painful.

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Laura Doyle: Yeah, and and you really didn’t know before that what you were anything yeah that anything. What’s so bad about that. Right. You’re just

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Darlene: Open out

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Laura Doyle: And yeah.

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Darlene: But I want to say the reason I was crying. And this was after I had really was reading the book.

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Darlene: Was because I knew that I was being helpful and that was behavior. I was trying to change. So I wasn’t crying because he snapped. I cry. I was crying because at this point, I knew what I what I wanted to change.

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Laura Doyle: Yeah, my

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Darlene: Old behavior just came up from me. And one of the be helpful.

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Laura Doyle: So kind of self destructive in that

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Darlene: Moment.

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Laura Doyle: I guess the pain of knowing what you want to be doing differently and not being able to do it.

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Darlene: Yeah, that’s exactly it. Yeah.

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Laura Doyle: You were doing this all by yourself. You said a book.

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Darlene: Yeah. So yeah, back then, are you, you first book, so there was nobody, and I didn’t talk to anybody about it and talk to my family.

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Darlene: My daughter did know that I was reading this book, but I didn’t talk to one another soul. And yeah, you just wrote the book so

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Darlene: There was no community or anybody I could reach out to. I thought I was so alone in this. And that I just married or I was just back with this jerk who was showing back up again.

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Darlene: I wanted to change it because I saw that glimpse of hope after a few weeks and I knew that I was on. I just knew I was on something.

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Darlene: So yeah, I was disappointed that I spoke up

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Laura Doyle: So, but you had some moments of triumph to sounds like did I

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Darlene: had lots of moments of triumph. One thing I really started noticing, and I read the book. A lot of times, and I just really want to absorb it, so I could change my natural behavior because when I saw it started seeing good results and just kept me, you know, wanting to go forward.

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Darlene: But one thing I noticed was the silent treatment started getting less. So, you know, maybe one time it was a week and then it might be as time went on, three days and then two days, you know, and you know from there it just got better and better and better.

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Darlene: I remember one was probably a year after I read the book, you know, and things started getting really good again like it wasn’t the beginning

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Darlene: He went in and told his boss that he needed raise because he has a family now that he has to take care of right he bought he bought his parents house things that I never i i thought he’s just irresponsible and didn’t want to stay but he started doing things that proves me wrong.

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Laura Doyle: he was stepping

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Laura Doyle: Up to be the man that was gonna

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Darlene: Yeah yeah and his daughter. Yeah, me.

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Laura Doyle: And so it sounds like you saw, kind of a connection between what you were doing. Yeah, and him being inspired to take those steps.

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Darlene: Yeah yeah definite connection. I knew that, like what became obvious to me was

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Darlene: That

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Darlene: I didn’t know how he saw it through his eyes.

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Darlene: So while I thought it was always him.

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Darlene: I just started seeing a different because when I would be an also I wasn’t vulnerable. Right. So, because I had spent 20 years with walls and whatever.

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Darlene: So it was really hard for me to be vulnerable with him, especially when he stopped talking to me, you know, like that, that made the wall. Come back again.

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Darlene: So yeah, I definitely saw that when I followed what I was reading in the book, I kind of tested it out. And he responded positively. So I absolutely knew

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Darlene: That this was the way that I was looking for. That’s what I say like I was looking for a way, but I had no idea what that way look like. But the book really showed me the, the way that worked with him because I thought it was the anyone but the jerky boyfriend right so

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Darlene: I thought, well, but then you shouldn’t me that I wasn’t the only one. So I thought it was so it was just us to just

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Laura Doyle: To just you and me had jerky men in our lives. Yeah, it’s a funny how we just always think this is not going on anybody else’s house just my house and it’s so shameful embarrassing. Yeah.

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Darlene: There was no way I would share that part like the bad part with my family because all they knew was what they saw the good part.

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Laura Doyle: Right here.

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Laura Doyle: You have a certain image to keep

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Laura Doyle: Up right you

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Darlene: See, but there was a time when I really did know that these skills are working and that was in 2002 one year after I had the book. And really, really put put things in place.

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Darlene: He asked me to marry him officially with a diamond ring. So I knew that. Yeah. This was what I was looking for. Even though I had long way to go. Right.

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Darlene: You know,

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Laura Doyle: MERE More.. YOU WEREN’T PERFECT, BUT

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Laura Doyle: Yeah. Good enough. Right. There’s

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Laura Doyle: Instead of him. You thought he was going to leave you

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Darlene: Yes. Instead, he he bought your diamond ring. Yeah, it was a shock almost because I knew that I had a lot of changes to make just it was a struggle right just them trying to stay consistent

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Darlene: Yeah. So my thought was, what does he want to leave. And then here, he asked me to marry him, which was so amazing to me.

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Laura Doyle: And we just say this time.

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Darlene: Oh, I said, Yes. I said, Yes, happily, yes, because the his behavior has changed. Also, so I thought he could be a man that I could marry you know the guy before the book who stopped talking to me. I don’t know that I would want to marry him. I probably would have questioned it

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Laura Doyle: Absolutely.

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Darlene: Yeah, this guy. I definitely wanted to marry seemed like he changed.

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Laura Doyle: He changed yes so much right. I love that and just you having the right information, you had a totally different experience. Yeah, sounds like. And so, so you got married and how was your married life.

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Darlene: Yeah, so you know it’s a process. Right, so I we got married. One year later, beautiful wedding and our daughter actually sang in our one, you know, on the alter

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Darlene: And yeah, things were progressing in the right way. Right. And he’s still have would have his moments where he would not talk to me.

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Darlene: But as the years we’re going on, remember I had nobody. It was just man the book and I spent a lot of time in the bathroom crying and trying to figure this out. But

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Darlene: Yeah, absolutely. Notice that we were so connected and the love was there and the romance was there and the intimacy.

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Darlene: Definitely there and not just send them a scene in the bedroom. The intimacy from when we woke up to when we went to bed, you know, touching kissing just being considerate of each other. That kind of intimacy.

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Darlene: Yeah, so things were really going great, and he had his relationship with Kelly was so wonderful. You know, which I didn’t know. Like, how was he going to bond with her. She

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Darlene: hadn’t grown up with them but um yeah he just was a really, really good husband and father. I was seeing that. And at this time I was really learning myself what he needed, you know,

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Darlene: And how it looked so um yeah so in 2007 seven years after we got back together. We ended up having a grand son, which just changed our lives. Again, you know, just this beautiful blessing and

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Darlene: I watched him because I work from home and my daughter works long hours, so he was here at our house a lot. And I’m going to tell you when I

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Darlene: This is the part where I feel so blessed. Right. I was already blessed to have this second chance. But I’ve really got to see my husband interact with our grandson, in a way, I never got to see him interact with our daughter. I got to see him be a grandfather and

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Darlene: A great husband at this point and a wonderful father and he just was so good with Bryce, even though there was some things that I didn’t agree with. Right, so I’ll never forget this one day in particular.

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Darlene: He Bryce was, I don’t know, maybe a couple years old and he was disciplining him about something they were up in the bedroom and they were good here. I’m laughing That Bryce must of did something and he discipline them.

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Darlene: And I went up there and intervened and I guess I had been doing that since Bryce was born because maybe my belief was he didn’t know how to raise a child. I’m not sure.

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Darlene: It’s so easy. How fast control can come back. Right. And so I intervened and at that point I had been doing so good for a lot of years that he recognized so quickly how

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Darlene: My control and disrespect. And he said, you do not need to teach me how to be a grandfather and it’s just like took me back and

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Darlene: Yeah, I went full THAT BOOK BACK UP BECAUSE THE BOOK sat next to my bed, all those years, I would read it. But as I became more secure and settled in and things are going great.

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Darlene: The book kind of got covered by other books right so I really realized at that moment that a big life change can bring up my natural control and natural disrespect. So I brought that book back up again and really that quickly. Things got back on track and

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Darlene: Yeah, he was pretty forgiving because most of the time.

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Darlene: Yeah, I was really respectful and not controlling and all the things I had learned over the years.

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Laura Doyle: He was used to be in respected now.

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He was

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Darlene: Yep, and not controlled, which is really huge. Right. Yeah. And I had learned to be vulnerable. Right, so, um, yeah, just

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Darlene: I, I learned so much and I was able to soften my, you know, bring down my walls.

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Darlene: Because vulnerability was super tough for me. I just like I said was so afraid he was going to leave again and if he had done that, you know, I had to leave my walls up because I

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Darlene: Had to protect my heart. But as the years went on vulnerability for me was became easier because I felt really loved and protected by him.

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Darlene: And no longer worried that he was going to leave. So, of course, now I call myself the queen of vulnerability. Because yeah, just once I started becoming vulnerable. It became easier and easier. Yes.

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Laura Doyle: Yes, you are the queen.

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Darlene: I am

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Laura Doyle: Really no question about it.

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Laura Doyle: So there was a there’s another big twist in your story.

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Darlene: Yes, there is. So,

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Darlene: You know I’ve said along the line that

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Darlene: You know, I’ve always felt so blessed to have this book, which I know that if I never found the surrendered wife, and if I never if I had given up. If I felt it wasn’t working or

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Darlene: You know, if I just read it and then put it aside, I would have never had the marriage. I had, I know that.

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Darlene: Jay, would have never asked me to marry him if I couldn’t figure out how to respect him and relinquish control of him and change myself right become more vulnerable.

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Darlene: And also, I was a terrible receiver, he would, he was a great gift giver and I wouldn’t receive. And so I had to learn at all. But anyway, I just know we would have never been married. Had I not found the book. So yeah, so our grandson was born. And that just changed our life again and

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Darlene: So in 2013 Bryce was five and him and Jay. At this point, we’re just so bonded and so every Saturday we would go out to lunch and Bryce would come with us. It’s like we had our routine. We did, you know, and

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Darlene: So his birthday was in March. So every year I would make him a

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Darlene: Triple layer white cake and homemade spaghetti meatballs. That was like our tradition for his birthday and Bryce would help me icing, the cake, so his birthday was in March 19th

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Darlene: That’s what happened you know I made while he was at work. I met his dinner and then my daughter have be off that day.

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Darlene: And her and Bryce came over and did the icing to the cake and we sat at the dining room table I videoed. we all had great conversation and him and Bryce were laughing and

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Darlene: Bryce did the prayer and it was just a beautiful day. And yeah, so, but I had ordered him lobster tail for his birthday, and it wasn’t in yet.

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Darlene: So it wasn’t coming in, until Thursday. So he said, well, we’ll just have another birthday get together me and you on Saturday. So I say, great, so on that Saturday came and we were with Bryce again. We’re after lunch and

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Darlene: Dinner normal routine and we dropped Bryce off. And yeah, so we got home around 630 at night and I made this beautiful lobster dinner for his birthday, he had written up a menu of what he wanted, you know,

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Darlene: And it was just a great like night like by this time, our marriage was very just playful and intimate, you know, had grown over the years just enjoy each other’s company and

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Darlene: love him so much. Right. And yeah, so we had this beautiful lobster dinner and

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Darlene: I had put on. I had a new Victoria’s Secret like it was just a cotton night gown kind of clingy. I lost some weight, you know,

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Darlene: And I remember I was at the kitchen sink it’s a little racy. So hopefully no kids are listening, but I was just watching washing dishes. Right. And we had just finished dinner.

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Darlene: And like he came up behind me and it just got like pretty intimate right there at the kitchen sink and

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Darlene: So then he’s like, I’m gonna go upstairs. He was watching TV or whatever. And so when I got done. I went upstairs. And I thought, you know, at this point, I learned to be the receiver right for intimacy. So I made myself available but I picked up my Oprah Magazine and

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Darlene: You know, gotten that next film, and I was reading my Oprah Magazine and he

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Darlene: knocked it out of my hand and he knocked it onto the floor and when I looked at him.

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Darlene: He was just I know you’ve heard the story many times, but he was smiling that smile that a woman knows that smile when she sees her husband, looking at her. Right. And I said to him, You make me just as nervous today as you did when I was 16 and he raised his eyebrow. And he said, Oh, yeah.

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Darlene: And yeah, led to another really

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Intimate

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Darlene: Night.

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Darlene: So, um, yeah. So whatever a little while later, we were watching March Madness basketball and

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Darlene: I have my head on his chest. I mean, it’s just like it just a beautiful, beautiful day and

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Darlene: I had my head on his chest and we’re watching the game. And I remember so vividly the guy missed the jump shot or something. And I asked him about it. And he was right in the middle of telling me something, and I felt him.

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Darlene: Go back and hit his head, hit the headboard and I thought he was for around like joking around. And I looked up at him and I said, you know, stop fooling around, I don’t think it’s funny.

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Darlene: Because he used to do that sometimes. He’d be like, oh, you know, I’m having a heart attack or something. Anyway, I jumped, you know, out of bed man on the outside and got on top of them, and could see that.

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Darlene: Yes, something was happening. He was either having a heart attack or stroke. I didn’t know and I called 911 and

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Darlene: The screaming at the operator, you know, like I didn’t know what to do. And he had me do CPR and I’m screaming. Jay, not to leave us, you know, don’t leave, he couldn’t say anything.

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Darlene: He was just follow me with his eyes, and so I did the whole CPR thing and the ambulance came and they they tried CPR. They took him to the hospital.

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Darlene: Yeah, but the doctor came out and said that he had passed away, which I had already known because when I was working on them.

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Darlene: I think that’s when he actually passed away, but they they came out to verify it.

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Darlene: So that was the minute, my life changed again. Yeah.

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It’s

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Laura Doyle: Quite a story and

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It’s so it’s so bittersweet such

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Laura Doyle: Such a beautiful story In that regard, and and

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Laura Doyle: One of the things I really take from your story is

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Laura Doyle: About how you didn’t have any regrets.

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Darlene: That’s right you know that it’s been immortal be seven years. And I have to say that through they say there’s five stages of grief.

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Darlene: And the one stage. I never went through was the anger and I just really attribute that to I feel that, like everything was said and done in the marriage.

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Darlene: And I had nothing to regret nothing like the last loving words here for me was that he made me is nervous today as he did

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Darlene: You know, when I was 16 like they were loving words that I sent him over with, you know, I didn’t know they were going to be the last words, he was going to hear from me, you know, we don’t know. Right, so I am so

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Darlene: I just, I know that if I didn’t have any skills that I could have yelled at him when he dropped that when he knocked that book on my out of my hand.

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Darlene: I could have been the kind of woman that thought he was a jerk. To do that, but instead I had these beautiful skills that really made me appreciate them and and know that he

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Darlene: Was taken care of by him and loved by him. And so I had no regrets in the marriage. There was nothing left nothing, not one word that I can think of left unsaid around done

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Darlene: Skills, they really gave me that gift. That’s why I still. Thank you. Every time I say you, Laura. Like they gave me that gift of

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Darlene: Just having this beautiful marriage that I would have never had. I know I want us so I never went through the grief stage of anger, because I had nothing to be angry about he was taking you know he was gone, but I still had 13 beautiful years back with them. And yeah, I just

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Darlene: Yeah, had nothing to be angry about I love

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Laura Doyle: I love that story, and you’ve used this whole experience so beautifully. Because now you are an incredibly powerful coach on our canvas. You’ve helped hun literally hundreds, maybe thousands of women fix their relationships.

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Laura Doyle: By by relying on your story. I mean, how does. What’s that like, how is it to be a relationship coach. Yeah, I mean this beautiful experience.

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Darlene: Yeah, so it all really kind of happened at the same time.

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Darlene: You know, becoming a relationship coach and Jay dying or happened at the same time. And I have to say, you know, I have my journey agree, for sure. Lots of crying and just

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Darlene: The crime was just because I missed them. Right.

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Darlene: So I you know I have my journey of grief but the way I look at it is, every time I coach a woman. I feel like I’m respecting my husband to the ultimate to the ultimate level because

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Darlene: If I can get another woman to really learn how to change her marriage, and respect her husband.

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Darlene: That’s my way of respecting my husband, like he showed me really, I really say he showed me that when I’m a certain way, he responded to that.

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Darlene: So he showed me what kind of marriage. I could have even though I’m the one that did the work he followed. Right. So for me, it’s just ultimate respect to be coach, because I know I know from my own story that these skills work like what you taught works and now 18-19 years later.

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Darlene: Because after he passed, I had this great

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Darlene: Face to go on. Right. I had become a changed woman. And that’s another thing of skills, did they change me as a woman and I really needed them, especially after he passed because I did not have to be vulnerable people were trying to help me and I had to reach out for help. So

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Darlene: I gave me a whole new perspective of men. I know now, but men, really, really want to make us happy. And I say it was getting in my own way. You know, so coaching for me is really personal and

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Darlene: It’s just the gift that I am paying forward, you know, pay it forward, which feels so respectful to me.

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Darlene: Yeah. Yeah. Amazing. Love that.

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Laura Doyle: So tell us, I know you have so many success stories with your clients, but tell us one that’s top of mind right now. Who’s the success stories inspiring you

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Darlene: So yeah, I’ve had a lot of clients over the years. But there’s one in particular that just stands out to me and

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Darlene: Because it was just so beautiful, so it was this year actually she was one of four different clients that have had really great success this year, but she stood out because

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Darlene: When I had started coaching her. She had really just found your community and the program really within the last few months, you know, few months prior

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Darlene: And her marriage I gotten to such a bad place after 22 years that her husband had another woman he had moved out and she was extremely controlling

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Darlene: But she didn’t know it. She didn’t know why. Her husband moved out to have another woman, but I think she originally had found the book. I’m not sure which led her to finding the community.

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Darlene: But so she was pretty new to the skills, but what stood out for me was even though she. This was so far beyond what she ever thought

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Darlene: You know, was the way to be in a marriage she was willing to do what it took. Just like I was willing to do it talk right

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Darlene: To turn it around so she found your program and obviously I was our coach and she was a great student. I mean, she took the program and really used it.

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Darlene: Step by step how you had it and she gave you know she knew there was another woman he had moved out with the other woman but

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Darlene: She didn’t let that distract her and it’s so impossible, right when you know like how do I not she’s there. But anyway, she really just wanted to give it a true honest chance so it took me see it was probably about three months into her coaching around there. Don’t quote me

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Darlene: We come to our call and she had been seeing like things all of those changes in him. Right. We call them wins.

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Darlene: She had to

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Darlene: See him wins all alone. He was engaging with her more. He was kind of sneaking out on the other woman and taking her out to dinner and just doing things that

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Darlene: She knew that whatever she was doing it was working right, and she was she really let go of the control and start taking care of herself, but she said she didn’t

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Darlene: She didn’t even know that concept of taking care of herself. But anyway, so we get on a call about three months in. And she said, You will never guess what happened and

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Darlene: And, you know, I’m just expecting, I don’t know, just a good win, right, and she said that he had called her and he had said.

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Darlene: I want you to pack a bag and he told her what kind of climate to pack the bag floor, and he said, I made reservation. So I want. I want you to meet me at the airport and he told her exactly where to go with the airport.

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Darlene: And he said, I would love to take your way and make it the start to like a new beginning of our marriage. We also asked, could he move back home.

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Oh,

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Darlene: So she said that it was so you know

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Darlene: It was like such a pivotal moment. Does she trust him, or does she not trust him right but what she had learned was she got great results when she trusted him so she trusts him and she

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Darlene: accepted his invitation and they went away for I forget like four days. And when they came back, he moved back home. And it was just the beautiful that call in particular was the beautiful store of their new beginning. He

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Laura Doyle: Saved her family.

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Darlene: Yeah. Well, here’s the most

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Darlene: Interesting part right and we hear it over and over and over again from men, he said that it was her changes.

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Darlene: That made him want to come back her changes like when she relinquish control of him and let him go through whatever he was going through

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Darlene: He said that he gave her all the credit if she had not

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Darlene: You know, she just made these changes that prove to him that they could have a different kind of marriage. And so he really gave her all the credit and

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Laura Doyle: What a great acknowledgement of her commitment

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Darlene: Yeah. Yeah.

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Laura Doyle: Her courage to to learn the skills.

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Laura Doyle: Yeah, really. Obviously what made all the difference.

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Darlene: Yeah, yeah. And she had known all along over the three months that it was working, working, but she didn’t know would work enough for him to come back. Yeah.

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Laura Doyle: So she has gone on faith, the whole time.

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Darlene: Yep. She went on faith and it worked. Yeah, she stayed consistent and she really just knew that she was dedicated to giving it this honest. Try and she saw so much about herself, you know. She just was like, oh my god. Like, I realized, you know,

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Darlene: Her part. Yeah, it’s beautiful like

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Laura Doyle: Just like you realized your part.

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Darlene: When you know I did.

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Laura Doyle: Yeah, and you pass that for well Dar. This has been very inspiring. It’s so gratifying to hear your beautiful love story.

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Laura Doyle: With your beloved husband Jay and how you continue to pay that forward and show them respect by leading other women to having the kind of marriage that every woman dreams of

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Darlene: Yeah.

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Laura Doyle: Every little girl dreams of so thank you so much for sharing this has been wonderful.

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Darlene: Yeah, thank you. Because, like I say over and over, I would have never had that had I not found you. So I know that God is good. Right. So glad we found each other. Yeah. Yeah. Right. Thank you, Laura.

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Laura Doyle: Great.


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