Surrendered Wives Empowered Women Sample Chapter
Inspiring, True Stories of Real Women Who Revitalized The Intimacy, Passion and Peace in Their RelationshipsNew York Times Best Selling Book BUY NOW
Becoming the Woman You Always Wanted to Be
Some people find the phrase “Surrendered Wife” shocking and offensive. They think it means “obedient wife” or “subservient wife.” When paired with the phrase “Empowered Woman,” it can be even more upsetting because these phrases seem mutually exclusive.
A Surrendered Wife is an empowered woman because she lets go of trying to control the things she can’t, like the weather, heavy traffic, and other people, including her husband. That leaves her with more energy for the things she can control, like herself.
A Surrendered Wife knows she can’t change anyone but herself. She won’t try to change her husband by telling him what to eat, what to wear, or what to do at work. Instead, she focuses on her own happiness and that, in turn, fosters intimacy.
But how does surrendering give you more intimacy in your relationship? How does it make you feel more confident and connected? How does it empower you to create the kind of relationship that you know, deep down, is possible?
That’s what this book is all about. This collection of true stories describes how real women have applied the skills in real marriages and single-handedly saved, healed, and transformed them.
This book chronicles the experiences of passionate women who not only learned The Six Intimacy Skills at the highest level but are also helping other women to create magical relationships. These women have been certified as Laura Doyle Relationship Coaches and work shoulder-to-shoulder with me on my mission to end world divorce.
Surrendering is a gateway to living purposefully because it requires courage. It’s deciding to choose faith instead of fear.
It means becoming aware of the times you’re tempted to bulldoze when all you need to say is what you want. It’s about being vulnerable instead of making demands. It means expressing gratitude even if what you have isn’t perfect and focusing like never before on your own desires and choices.
Surrendering means being a better receiver and a better listener. You become more respectful of men—especially your man.
When you surrender, you become more cherished by your man. You turn the clock back to the beginning of the relationship, to when you felt adored and you were crazy about him.
Surrendering is calming. It’s relaxing.
Surrendering in my marriage is the best self-improvement program I’ve ever undertaken.
What I Know about You
One thing I know about you is that you’re a seeker. You want to understand relationships. You want to feel inspired and empowered. Having a fulfilling relationship is deeply important to you.
Why else would you pick up a collection of stories from eighteen women who have transformed their relationships from unsatisfying or downright depressing to vibrant and amazing?
You want to learn from these women—to stand on their shoulders and use their experience to quickly gain insight into what they have learned. You want an insider’s glimpse of the tips that have brought about the most connection and intimacy. You want access to the brain trust of the wise women who coach and train on The Six Intimacy Skills. You want inspiration and motivation to do what they did.
I think that’s exciting because what you’re seeking is exactly what started the most exhilarating, terrifying, and gratifying journey of my life—learning how to love and be loved in return.
It turns out that it really is all it’s cracked up to be.
But previously my relationship with my husband of twenty-six years was mystifying, frustrating, and painful.
I was completely unequipped to nurture an intimate relationship when I married at the age of twenty-two. There was no Relationships 101 course at my school. My parents are divorced, and I was following their failed recipe for happily-ever-after in my own marriage—and edging ever closer to the same results.
I thought I would just know how to have a playful, passionate relationship, but for a long while, I didn’t, and I couldn’t crack the code. I read popular relationship books but saw no improvement. Years of marriage counseling made things worse. Even though (or maybe because) I followed conventional wisdom, I was stuck in the painful, lonely mud.
Those were dark years. I was doing everything wrong but didn’t realize it. I believed our problems were all because of my husband, John, and that our home was filled with tension and hostility because of his rotten attitude. I was absolutely certain that I was the more spiritually evolved, smarter, and more mature person.
I Was Wrong About Absolutely Everything
I know now that I always had the key. As the wife, I’m the keeper of our relationship—the one with the feminine gifts that contribute to connection and a lifelong bond.
It turns out that I was not more spiritually evolved than my husband. I was angry, scared, and complaining most of the time. There’s nothing spiritual about that.
I was not smarter; I was making a lot of extra work for both of us.
And I was not more mature; I was more like a martyr.
I have to laugh now because it seems so ridiculous looking back. What was I thinking?
I just didn’t know any better. I did the best I could with what I knew.
Then I had an epiphany seventeen years ago. That’s when things got a lot better for my marriage, my other relationships, my career, my confidence, and my dignity.
As I was writing this passage, my husband brought a cup of tea into my office and gave me a quick kiss. So apparently he doesn’t have a rotten attitude anymore either.
One More Thing I Was Wrong About
When I was fantasizing about divorce and wondering what I’d ever seen in my husband, I never dreamed that there were so many other women who were having the same struggles.
I thought I was uniquely, incurably flawed with my urge to control and not appear vulnerable, without even understanding what vulnerability looked like.
I thought I was alone. And because of that, I was ashamed of our struggles. I wanted to appear to my family and friends as if I had a good marriage because I didn’t want to lose status in my tribe. One day, I finally admitted things were bad—really bad. That’s when I discovered I wasn’t alone.
As I opened up to friends in desperation, other women admitted they were struggling too. Now I see that I would never have discovered The Six Intimacy Skills at all if I hadn’t finally started admitting that John and I were struggling as a couple.
The End of Life as I Knew It
When I first discovered The Six Intimacy Skills, I remember thinking that a veil had been lifted and I could finally see how I actually had power over the culture at my house. It could be loving and fun or distant and tense—it was all up to me! I walked around with my mouth open for the rest of the day in wonder at this realization.
But even once I had that knowledge, it wasn’t easy to just stop being a controlling shrew. In order to jump that chasm, what I did—what I had to do—was pass on the discovery to other women.
So I quit controlling my husband and started controlling my girlfriends instead. I would say, “Here’s what you should do. Apologize for being disrespectful when you said he was a slob.”
For some reason, they did what I suggested. Through hearing myself apply my best thinking to their relationships, it started to sink in for me as well. That’s when my marriage got magical. That’s when I started to feel the butterflies in my stomach again when he looked at me a certain way. That’s when I saw his face light up when I came home.
I came up with the idea to have a small support group on the topic of marriage. Five of us attended our first meeting in my living room. One had a cousin who wanted to know what we were doing, but lived on the other side of the country and couldn’t attend our meetings.
I decided to write a book about what I’d learned from the longmarried wives, my own experiments, and those meetings. That book was The Surrendered Wife, which tells the whole embarrassing story of how I went from controlling shrew to cherished, ridiculously happy wife by way of trial and error.
I self-published a meager 2,500 copies. Two years later Simon & Schuster reprinted The Surrendered Wife, which debuted on the New York Times bestseller list. It was published in sixteen languages in twenty-seven countries. It sold hundreds of thousands of copies and started a worldwide movement with a simple system for having intimacy, passion, and peace.
I had no idea what I was in for when I included my email address and phone number in the book.
An avalanche of women contacted me saying they felt I was writing about them. They wanted to know where I’d hidden the recording device to capture their conversations and reprint them in the book. Most of all, they wanted me to help them with their struggling relationships.
Of course, I couldn’t help everyone, but I tried to anyway. I felt overwhelmed and inadequate.
All I could do was point everyone who asked for help to Surrendered Circles, gatherings of friends to support each other with practicing the principles of surrendering. Over the years, thousands of women have started Surrendered Circles in their living rooms.
While I included a format for such Circles in The Surrendered Wife, unfortunately there just wasn’t enough structure to the Circles. The leaders didn’t have training to run them, and the Circles largely fizzled out. So Surrendered Circles weren’t the answer I was hoping they would be.
The Answer to My Unspoken Wish
Thankfully, amazing women emerged to help. They called me, sent letters in the mail and emailed me. They reached out from all corners—from Malaysia and Mexico, the Netherlands and Hong Kong, the UK and all over the United States.
They were passionately committed to learning and practicing The Intimacy Skills. They needed help themselves but also wanted to know how they could show other women the secrets that were rocking their relationships and their world.
Some were right at divorce’s door—separated and seeing attorneys. Others had visited numerous marriage counselors with no improvement. Still others, while not on the brink of divorce, knew that the sizzle was gone.
Each one used the skills to create a relationship that fulfilled her vision: passionate, playful, and gratifying.
Luckily for me, some women insisted that I train them to help others with The Six Intimacy Skills. If they hadn’t been so determined, I would likely have retreated in my own fear. I still get dazed sometimes when I realize I’m the CEO of an international coaching organization.
But here’s what kept me going and continues to motivate me everyday: Certified Laura Doyle Relationship Coaches are remarkable women like none I’ve met anywhere else. They have the biggest, wisest hearts. They support each other, their clients, and me with all their might. They’re vulnerable and brave, and they love what they do. It’s my privilege to get to work with and know them.
Each of them had a breakdown in her love life. Reading and implementing The Surrendered Wife remedied that, and experiencing this transformation was an irresistible clarion call to end world divorce by starting with her own.
That’s one of the things we’re most proud of about our coaching— that each of our coaches has experienced transformation in her own romantic life. She was lonely, struggling, or close to divorcing.
Then she had a breakthrough. She learned how to use her own influence and feminine gifts to make her relationship sweet and exciting again. Or she created a tender, lasting relationship after struggling with dating and not finding the right guy.
And her transformation is what makes her uniquely qualified to show another woman how to do the same thing. She’s been down that difficult road already, and she knows what her clients need to do to get where they want to go. Experience is more critical than any certificate or diploma could ever be when it comes to guiding other women on the same path.
If We Can Do It, You Can Too
If you’re looking for support implementing the Intimacy Skills to have more intimacy, passion, and peace, you’ll find it in these pages. Each woman’s story is full of pure gold that you can take on board your own life. If she can practice the Intimacy Skills to create a fulfilling marriage, so can you.
For even more support on how to adopt new habits that will help you feel desired, cherished, and adored every day for life, you may want to consider getting your own coach.
If you’re craving immediate relief from a crisis or just some guidance on how to handle your unique situation, private relationship coaching may be just what you’re looking for. You can find out more at lauradoyle.org/swewtraining.
Our coaches have gone through rigorous testing and ongoing training. Their superpowers include being experts on The Six Intimacy Skills and the ability to transform lives through weekly or biweekly phone calls. They are the authentic relationship role models we all wish we’d had growing up.
They also have the most important qualification of all: an intimate, passionate, peaceful relationship.
And now, it’s my great honor and privilege to introduce to you eighteen of these remarkable, courageous coaches who, in many ways, are just like you.
Their stories spell it all out: what was broken in their relationships, what they did differently, how it changed, and what their relationships are like now.
And I hope you get that, if I can do it—if the women whose stories follow can do it—then you can too.