The Surrendered Wife: Would You Try It?

Would you consider being a surrendered wife? Take a look at five of Laura Doyle's exercises, and try them for yourself.

Give up control to have more power

Stop telling your husband what to do, what to wear, what to say and how to do things, even if you think you're helping. As much as possible, mind your own business. Recognize that when your urge to control him comes up, you may be feeling fear that isn't appropriate to the situation.

Write down five situations where you have been controlling with your husband recently. For each situation, ask yourself what it was you were afraid would happen. Was your fear realistic? What was the worst-case scenario? Did needing to control the situation justify losing intimacy with your husband? Practice facing your fear and relinquishing control of your husband to create room for intimacy, and to become the best person you can be.

Express your desires

Don't hesitate to tell your husband what you want, whether it's a vacation, new furniture, piano lessons for the kids, time to yourself or even a baby. But make sure you are describing an end result, not telling him how to do it.

When you tell your husband what you want without telling him when, why and how you want him to get it -- without controlling him -- you are giving him a new opportunity to feel accomplished and proud about how happy he makes you.

Next Page:
Stop reading his mind
Set limits by saying "I can't"
Let him solve some of your problems

Stop reading his mind

Avoid trying to guess what your husband is thinking. Give him space to express himself. Remember that you can't accurately read his mind or draw conclusions before you hear what he has to say.

If you still think you know what your husband will say or do before he does it, write down what you anticipate your husband will say or do. Then tell him what you want to do and compare what he actually says with what you wrote down.

Set limits by saying "I can't"

If your husband (or anyone else) asks you to do something that will make you resentful, overtired, lose your dignity or interfere with your self-care, practice saying "I can't."

Until you recognize your own limits and start to honor them, peace and harmony in your marriage will elude you. Also, you'll never get to see how much your husband wants to help you until you admit that you need help.

Let him solve some of your problems

What are you having trouble with in your life? Ask your husband what he thinks you should do, and be prepared to follow through with his suggestion. Instead of negotiating by arguing with him, tell him what you want and don't want, how you feel and what your limits are.

Admitting that you don't know what to do in every situation will actually make you stronger, not weaker, as you absorb his strength and wisdom for your benefit.

Read more about Laura Doyle.

Not interested in surrendering, but looking for a change in your relationship? Check out guest expert Kathy Dawson's Practical Solutions for Your Marriage, then try it for yourself with her 5 New Ways to Make it Work

Ever wish you could just take a break from your relationship -- to pursue your dreams, travel or just relax? Find out about a Marriage Sabbatical.

Excerpted from The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle © 2001, Fireside Book,a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

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