Is your marriage a healthy mix of individuality and togetherness? Or do you wonder what the heck you ever saw in your husband? Take this quiz from The Surrendered Wife: A Practical Guide to Finding Intimacy, Passion, and Peace With a Man by Laura Doyle, and discover how intimate your marriage is.
DO YOU RARELY, SOMETIMES, OR FREQUENTLY:
- Feel superior to your husband?
- Nag your husband?
- Commiserate with other wives about your husband?
- Hear yourself say, “I told my husband . . .”
- Think that everything would be fine if your husband would do what you tell him to do?
- Eavesdrop on your husband’s conversations?
- Feel like the only adult in the family?
- Feel overburdened in parenting your children?
- Do things for your husband that he is capable of doing for himself?
- Have recurring anxiety and depression?
- Feel exhausted?
- Find either of you are disinterested in sex?
- Feel resentful or jealous about your husband’s victories in life?
- Reject or criticize his gifts?
- Fantasize about divorce or life with a man who would better match you?
- Discount the reasons you chose your husband in the first place?
- Feel hopeless about your marriage because your needs have gone unmet for so long?
- Have a hard time trusting your husband in even small matters?
- Find yourself trying to control your husband?
- Get angry with your husband when he makes a poor decision?
TO TOTAL YOUR SCORE, GIVE YOURSELF:
- 5 points for each “rarely”
- 3 points for each “sometimes”
- 1 point for each “frequently”
- Add all the points together for a final score (somewhere between 20 and 100)
IF YOUR SCORE IS 35 OR LESS:
You’re probably wondering what the heck you ever saw in this guy! But not to worry — the tenderness you seek may just be dormant. If you can remember the reasons you agreed to marry him in the first place and start respecting him for those reasons, you can still have the marriage you always dreamed was possible. Find the courage to stop controlling your husband today. You won’t be sorry. You can transform your marriage, starting now.
IF YOUR SCORE IS 36 TO 60:
Overworked and Underappreciated
It’s hard to tell because you make it look easy, but you’re doing too much and you need a break. Start to take better care of yourself and ask for help more often. Your vulnerability will be rewarded if your husband feels respected. Thank your husband for his contributions and you will be well on your way to igniting passion and achieving intimacy.
IF YOUR SCORE IS 61 OR ABOVE:
Your marriage is very intimate and passionate. You found a man you respect, and the two of you have a positive impact on each other. This union is a healthy mix of individuality and togetherness. You practice good self-care, you’re quick to apologize, and he adores you for it.
THE RETURN OF THE MAN WHO WOOED ME
“Our thoughts, our words, and deeds are the threads of the net which we throw around ourselves.” —Swami Vivekananda
There was no single moment when the surrendered light bulb went off in my head. Instead, I changed little by little. I experimented, first by keeping my mouth shut — and sometimes even my eyes — when John drove. When we arrived in one piece, I decided that I would always trust him behind the wheel, no matter how strong my urge to control.
Next, I stopped buying his clothes (yes, even his underwear), even though I worried that he wouldn’t buy any for himself. (I was wrong.) I learned what not to do from making painful mistakes, like criticizing the way he maintained the cars, which made me feel like my mother when she was cranky and caused John to watch TV for four straight hours, avoiding me. I prayed for wisdom, and took more baby steps towards approaching the relationship without control.
Slowly but surely, things started to change.
As I stopped bossing him around, giving him advice, burying him in lists of chores to do, criticizing his ideas and taking over every situation as if he couldn’t handle it, something magical happened.
The union I dreamed of appeared.
The man who wooed me was back.
We were intimate again. Instead of keeping a running list of complaints about how childish and irresponsible he was, I felt genuine gratitude and affection for John. We were sharing our responsibilities without blame or resentment. Instead of bickering all the time, we were laughing together, holding hands, dancing in the kitchen, and enjoying an electrifying closeness that we hadn’t had for years.
For our ninth wedding anniversary, I changed my last name to match my husband’s. “Now that I know him a little better, I figure I’ll give it a shot,” I joked to my friends. What I really meant was that I wanted to be intimate with John in a way that I never was before. I wanted to do something that symbolized my tremendous respect for him, and to acknowledge outwardly an inward shift. This was the natural development of a path I had started some time ago without realizing it.
At first, I felt uneasy when I held my tongue instead of expressing my opinion about everything. Restraining myself from correcting my husband felt like trying to write with my left hand. Life had become awkward!
But there were positive results. Over time, I formed new habits. When I slipped back into my old ways, I stopped to ask myself, “Which do I want more: to have control of every situation or to have an intimate marriage?”
Naturally, emotional connection, lack of tension, dignity, having kindness, and being able to relax always trumped getting the chores done or having things my way all the time. To remind myself of my new priorities, I adopted the word “surrender” as my mantra, because it was shorter and more to the point than saying, “stop trying to control everything.” I repeated “surrender” to myself silently over and over again.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura Doyle is the author of the controversial bestsellers The Surrendered Wife (Copyright © 1999, 2001 by Laura Doyle), The Surrendered Single, and Things Will Get as Good as You Can Stand. A popular speaker on relationship issues, she teaches workshops based on her books. She lives in Costa Mesa, California, with her husband.
MORE ARTICLES BY THE AUTHOR
- 3 Steps to Gaining Intimacy in Your Marriage by Surrendering Control of Your Finances
- 7 Sexual Myths
- Read the Introduction to The Surrendered Wife: A Practical Guide To Finding Intimacy, Passion and Peace
- See the book’s Table of Contents
- Browse more books by Laura Doyle