Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Reading a book to improve your marriage?

These are enlightenments that I gained from reading the book "First Kill All the Marriage Counselors" by Laura Doyle. 

I completed it last week, and so far things have been amazing. Laura Doyle did promise a drastic change in the marriage within 2 weeks and so far she's right. 

First I would like to share that this is not about how you can change your husband's settings so he becomes the perfect husband and life companion. THE TRICK IS NOT TO CHANGE YOUR HUSBAND AT ALL but change yourself instead; and because you change yourself, he will change too. 

We have gotten it super wrong all this while, dear wives. 

Guys don't need to be reset, they need to be left alone. We marry independent, strong alpha males but tell them what to do everyday, from how to fold laundry, wash dishes to how the children should be raised and how they should do well at work. How can any man thrive under all that nagging direction from their life partner? 

So the very first thing I took away was realising that guys don't need to be told what to do, when to do it or how to do it. They will do it when they do it and if/when they do something, and it's PERFECTLY fine even if it's not "perfect" according to your standards. Be kind, say thank you give them a hug, kiss and then move on with your life. 

And.. if he says he will do something but doesn't do it, it's not your job to scold him into doing it. He is a grown man who can deal with consequences if he fails to complete his duty e.g. saying he'll run the laundry but never does, leading to no clean underwear for him... 

If your husband asks you for your opinion, decide if you want to decide. Else, just leave it to him. 

For example, where do you want to eat? If you want to eat fish and chips, then tell him you'd love it if you could have fish and chips tonight. A husband will naturally want to make his wife happy. 

Another example is when my husband asked me if the toddler should be reprimanded or cuddled for having a meltdown. Instead of telling him hat to do, I told him to do what he thinks best (with no sarcastic tone, no eye rolling, no cautionary tone of voice which says if he gets it wrong I will judge him). Say it like you mean it - you believe that a grown ass man is perfectly capable of handling his kid because he is.

Guys are great at taking time off, don't guilt them for it - learn from it. 

You just drove 2 hours picking up all the family members and don't feel like making dinner after a long day at work. You're so tired that you can't even be bothered to order pizza. Don't complain and be dramatic, just inform your husband that you're feeling low on energy and can't get to dinner tonight. His first instinct will be to swoop in and takeover dinner duty. This is a much better scenario then quietly soldiering on, managing dinner anyway and then having a mental breakdown at 11pm because the day is over and you didn't get any alone time to yourself. 

Be a girl, not a robot. 

If the only emotions your husband sees from you is tired, angry and very angry then it's time for you to shed all your inhibitions. Don't be shy to cry and be vulnerable in front of your man. Tell him what turns you on, what's sexy. What's interesting, what's scary, what makes you cry. Remember that you are a woman and women are the most fascinating, mysterious, attractive creatures on the planet. You can still be a super woman and have feelings, as clever and capable as you are, he didn't marry you because you're great at laundry and paying the bills on time. He married you because you're an interesting person, so why bury it with mundane life responsibilities? 

When it comes to dates and gifts, let him pay for everything. 

I believe in equal opportunity but there is nothing less sexy than a woman paying for a man's drink and food. Doesn't it look like you are his mother taking care of him? So I told my husband that even though we run the business together and I handle the finances and we all get paid from the same source, when it comes to our non-business matters, I will pay for the kids and his duty is to pay for me. For the past few days, he has absolutely no problem paying for everything I want (which happens to be crab, macaroons, expensive French pastries and cheese)..  which is a joy because literally since we started the business, I got it into my head that since I'm the company financial controller, I should be our family's financial controller too... which is not a sexy look.

Don't say no at him all the time or at all. It makes him think that you are saying no to him all the time. He hands you a piece of candy and you say no thanks. He offers to help with a minor task and you say no thanks. He asks to walk you to your car and you say no thanks it's OK, I have it. Maybe you say it because you don't want to inconvenience him, because you are independent or because it's simply easier for you to do it on your own. If it's not too inconvenient for yourself, just SAY YES when your husband offers you something.

Otherwise, eventually, he will stop offering to do things not because he stopped paying attention to you but because he thinks you will 10000% reject him. Nobody wants to feel rejected, useless or un-needed so I am starting to make it a habit to say YES whenever he offers to help with something even if I don't need it, even if it's going to set me back by 10 minutes. I will say yes for him because I want to make him happy.

Saying YES to as many things in life as you can is a good habit, after all.

When you feel like fighting, or if your husband is gearing up for a fight with you (which is non abusive in nature), then just say, "OW". This will let your spouse know that you are hurting and is so much easier than rambling on for 15 minutes about what is upsetting you and then getting angry when your husband doesn't realise that what you're saying is that the current situation is hurting you. Just say OW and magically the fight will disappear. If he does something you don't like and the moment passes for you to tell him so, don't bring it up again. Just brush it off and move on. 

Finally, be honest about what you want inside and outside the house. Tell him what you need or want as if you're 21 years old and dating again, and your man will show up and be happy to swoop you up in a romantic way. Just tell him once, no need to repeat yourself over and over again. 

I don't know how long this magic will last, but so far so good - we are finally going on a date this weekend (a date which I did not plan or ask for). 

Beautiful pastries he bought for me just because he knew I like sweet things. I know that anything can happen in life, but fingers crossed here's to another many more years of happy married days. 


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