After speaking to many women who have successfully turned their relationships completely around using the Six Intimacy Skills, I have noticed that they all seem to have a few things in common. Despite vastly unique circumstances, cultures, religions, and ages, when these women share their stories, they all talk about how they were completely convinced that they were in the right and their husbands were in the wrong. They suffered, often for many years and couldn’t understand why their husbands just wouldn’t change, even when they knew how much it was hurting their wives. Then, when these women found the skills, they were empowered to step away from their own suffering and into the joy and loving relationships they always wanted. Every single woman armed with the skills has these 3 things in common.
Accountability & Humility
Prior to the skills, all I was capable of seeing was everything I was doing right and everything my husband was doing wrong. I was putting in so much effort for us- working full time, cleaning, cooking, and whenever I was free, I reserved that sacred time especially for my husband. He, on the other hand, was lazy, sloppy, and spent all of his free time playing video games and ignoring me.
When I learned the skills, I started to see that my low opinion of my husband was giving me a superiority complex. I thought I was so much better than him, and that showed in the way I spoke to him and about him. My guess is that he didn’t feel all that respected back then. When I started to focus instead on everything he was doing right, I realized that he actually was contributing a lot to our relationship. It turned out that he worked long hours and retreated to his video games to avoid my criticisms and dodge fights. I had been blind to all of this before.
Acknowledging how I had been contributing to the breakdown by refusing to see the good in my husband and stubbornly sticking to my old story that I was the victim in the relationship, was a massive step towards fixing things. I realized I owed my husband an apology for all of the times I had treated him as less than deserving of me and not appreciated his efforts. I really believe that being willing to see our own mistakes, apologize for them, and actively appreciate our man’s efforts is absolutely crucial to transforming a relationship.
Women in struggling relationships are often in a great deal of pain. There are some things that just can’t be wiped away so easily. Some women have been on the receiving end of cruel words, infidelity, lies, or years of silent treatment. The amazing thing that happens is that with the skills, women have been able to turn all of this completely around and now boast loving, passionate relationships. In order to get there, we need to be able to let go of the past and focus strictly on where we are now and where we want to go.
Hanging on to old evidence only supports how things used to be, and it doesn’t have to determine how the future will be. Forgiving our partner is absolutely vital if we are going to be able to nurture respect and intimacy in the relationship. Sometimes, forgiving ourselves can be the most difficult part. It's not our fault that we didn’t know what we didn’t know. However, once we do know better, we can do better! Forgiving our husbands and ourselves gives us a clean slate to move forward and create the kind of relationship we really want.
A very common question we often hear from women is “how long will it take to transform things?”. Women start to see positive changes in as little as two weeks! That said, each woman and each relationship is unique. 20 years of disrespect and distance won’t be fixed overnight. It takes consistency with the skills and keeping a sharp focus on the vision for the relationship. Although we can’t say what the timeline looks like, I love how Laura Doyle says, “I’ve seen this movie before. I don’t know the run time of your story, but I know the ending and I love it!”.
This journey takes patience, determination, courage, and strength. It is absolutely doable if you take it one day at a time. Better yet, one interaction with your husband at a time! I am standing for you!
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