From The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle
Your Husband Wants to Make You Happy
I’ve posed the question, “How important is it to you that you’re wife is happy?” to thousands of men, and no matter the man, time, or place, the answer is always the same: “It’s everything.”
It may not seem like it right now, but your husband wants to make you happy, too. In fact, few things are more important to him than knowing that he has pleased you.
Every time I see a man holding his wife’s purse in the store, moving across the country to be near her family or driving the old car so she can drive the new one, I’m reminded of just what lengths men will go to ensure their wife’s happiness.
If you’re thinking your husband is different, think again. If he hasn’t made any effort on your behalf in a long time, perhaps he has lost faith in his ability to delight you.
To restore his hope, thank him for the things he has already done that make you happy. Once he sees that he can succeed, his natural instinct to please you will return in full force.
Trade the Illusion of Control for a Romantic Reality
When I focus on what my husband could be doing better, I enter a fantasy world in which I can change my life by changing him.
In my fantasy, I can have more romance if I tell him to be more romantic, I can be rich if I tell him to ask for a raise, and I can have an easier time keeping the house tidy if I tell him to clean up after himself.
Unfortunately, the reality of my control was dreary.
Instead of having more romance, I had a distant husband. Instead of more money, I had a resentful husband. Instead of a cleaner house, I had wall-to-wall hostility.
When I was honest with myself, I had to admit that controlling, or attempting to control, accomplished nothing. The only product of harboring my illusion was loneliness. It wasn’t until I gave it up that romance returned.
It’s Okay to Have the Last Word, as Long as It’s “Ouch!”
When your husband says something that hurts your feelings, you may be tempted to lash back with an insult.
Don’t do it!
Instead, remember to express your pain by saying, “Ouch!”
It’s tempting to express your anger, which may seem like the more prominent emotion at that moment. But admitting that you hurt rather than lashing back curtails the fighting because it reminds your husband that his job is to love you, not to hurt you.
This is a good habit to get into because you will transform a moment of pain into one of intimacy and emotional honesty.
Your husband may even apologize for what he said, but even if he doesn’t, you can be glad that you avoided saying something you’d probably regret later.
Bringing Home the Romance
The best way to make space for romance in your relationship is to let your husband see that he is safe.
By that I mean he should have confidence that you are not going to complain, nag, criticize or dismiss him.
Once he realizes that you’re treating him respectfully, he’s more likely to share what he’s thinking about and let his guard down — and you won’t have to do any prodding.
What’s more, his desire to make you happy will resurface. That’s when he’ll be most inclined to bring you flowers, give you a backrub or tell you how beautiful you are.
Romance will blossom when you create an atmosphere of safety.
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