I am going to check this book out. It's so hard to swallow your pride sometimes and admit you were wrong, and say "sorry". I can become so bitchy, and fiery. I'm so quick to react, and I don't want to be that "naggy" wife. Sometimes its warranted, but a lot of times I just need to chill out.
Okay Eli...I checked out the book, we'll see how it goes. I'm a self help fanatic!! Another "life changer" (if you haven't already read it) is "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz. Excellent book!!
Another great relationship book is "Passionate Marriage : Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships" by David Schnarch. A friend of mine told me about it and said it single-handedly saved his marriage.
Okay, I haven't been to the boards since my last entry thanking Eli for the suggestion. Interesting that there has been such a response to it. Anyway, for all of you who are interested in what it has been like to be a Surrendered Wife for a month and a half ... I have to say that its been a very fine one and a half months! Our household is far more harmonious now that I have let go of my need to be in control, and as jazzybride says, for everything to be "Perfect".
When I thought about it objectively, I make mistakes too. My decisions have lost us money or opportunities. Yet I am a heck of a lot more forgiving of myself (though I do mentally beat myself up, I don't scream and rant and rave at myself) than I would have been on him if he had made the mistake. Is this fair? Is my standard of perfection for another fallible human fair? And the thing I realised was - my husband NEVER ever criticized me for the mistakes I made. He was always supporting and forgiving. Why hadn't I noticed that before? How much worse would I have felt if I made a mistake and he told me how incompetent I was? And how had I been treating him? In this matter, I think he was obviously more caring, more loving, and a better husband than I was a wife.
I think it is a question of reprioritizing - what is more important to me: a happy marriage or a "perfect" life (that is perhaps not so perfect because of all those arguments)? Do all my plans and schemes matter if we have a bad relationship? No. When I thought that out to myself, it is never far from my mind when I am about to start a fight that the price could ultimately be my marriage. Not today perhaps, not tomorrow necessarily, but very possibly one day (look at the stats). Years worth of unhappiness topped with an ugly divorce.
Definately, I still get stressed about things, but this whole process of being aware and watching the nagging has made me look at my upset feelings with more distance. I realise that sometimes, its not even him that I am irritated about (though I notice his mistakes rather quickly when I am tetchy) - it is often something else. Rather than taking it out on him (the closest target) I now think, okay, I had a bad day, so and so was really mean, damn I forgot to call my granma on her birthday aren't I a rotter, okay I'm stressed because the painter hasn't called me yet you just can't rely on these tradesmen, and I feel tense because I haven't done the filing for the month. Even if it doesn't make me feel better, I know that there are other things that are affecting me - and that it really isn't necessarily about him although it sure feels like it!
For those of you that are concerned about the housework - well, our solution was to come up with a household roster of all things that needed to be done on a daily, weekly, fortnightly and monthly basis - and whoever does it puts down their name. Guess what? I think my husband actually does more than I do! It is remarkable to see PROOF of all the things he does do. And just months before I was complaining that he never did anything. Any you know what - I noticed today that he didn't do the dishes when I got home - but I didn't notice yesterday when he vacuumed the whole house. I think if you have problems trusting your partner is doing stuff, try keeping track for a month or two. And of course, he'll see what you are doing too. And you will mutually appreciate what you are BOTH contributing to your life together.
The best things about not being a nag: things still get done without me blowing a bloodvessel, my husband organised and threw the very best party we ever had without me bossing him around, he sorted out a lot of the awful admin things that were stressing me, he's got a new amazing job, and he is acting SO loving towards me. He also told me, out of the blue, "I really want to please you, and I know I sometimes fail because you get so upset." It made me feel really sad that he
Hooray! I am so glad there is another surrendered wife in the world. I love your idea about the housework roster. Did it talk about that in the book or did you think of it? Either way, brilliant. And I love how you noticed that it really is all about priorities. "Do I want a happy marriage or do I want the perfect life?" Exactly! It makes me sad to hear women say they refuse to even read the book because they're capable, confident women who don't need that old fashioned BS...when really, all it is pure common sense!
"Do I want a happy marriage or do I want the perfect life?"
I want a happy marriage! Nothing in life is perfect, or ever has been. Why ruin a marriage over striving for something that doesn't exist?
I am a happily surrendered wife who still has her faults. I have relapses every now & then, but I just put my mind to it and get right back on track. (I don't know about you ladies, but when I am PMSing - I have to work 10x harder then normal because I get annoyed about everything!)
I just read this post, and haven't had a chance to read the book, but I have a question that was brought up....why does it say that men should be in charge of the finances??
The reason I'm curious is because I'm a CPA, and more than half of the people I attended business school with were women, so I'm curious as to why this book thinks men should handle this aspect?? I would think it would be handled by whoever was better at it! Am I missing something? If so, please clue me in!
Eli~ Yes, it definately does feel good I really want to thank you for recommending it! The roster thing was our own idea - we had bought a new house, and hadn't settled into a routine and it was creating a lot of tension. The actual design of getting it on a page was my husband's and it it on our fridge. It really helped us get most stuff done (except we both never do the ironing!)
Jazzy~ I get that PMS thing too!! Actually, what I did to establish my pattern was to keep a journal about my emotions (I just set up a gmail account as my "diary" and send a diary entry whereever I may be) My emotions do get very high then - if I read a moving scene in a book, I cry buckets, etc. I think it is still important to acknowledge the horrible feelings of life. It is natural to feel up and down. We shouldn't repress it or we will feel resentment. I think it helps to tell the husband (in a calm moment NOT in the middle of a fight) that you feel awful when you are PMSing, that it isn't him then it is your hormones, and what you would like him to do. Tell him when you think it is about that time. So now if I have crying jags, my husband soothes me, and I try not to lash out at him. But the point is that I get to express my unhappiness. Its just my expression of it is less destructive. If I feel moody or unhappy (out of cycle), I actually make the bald statement "I feel bad" and he immediately takes his cues from that (he immediately is very concerned, gives me hugs, and is prepared for any outbursts). He is also learning that there needn't be a reason or a fixable problem everytime I am upset.
Robbie D's girl~ The point is more whether you trust him to do the finances, I think. The author recommends you hand it over to him, but I think its fine whoever does it - it is the attitude that is the issue. Feeling superior, like you can do it better, or that only you can do it "right" is the unsurrendered way. Acknowledging that he could do the job, but because of time, inclination, whatever, you do it in the end - personally, I think although it isn't what the author recommends, it is a surrendered attitude. I think the author wants attitude + actions which makes sense, but hey, I'm one for picking and choosing what works for my own life. Like Eli said, there are different women in different circumstances and the book will apply differently. Like I'm sure Eli, Jazzy and myself may be surrendered, but we surrender in our own way (sounds rather risque! ) That is why it is worth reading - if you get one thing that helps you in your relationship, I think it was worth reading.
why does it say that men should be in charge of the finances??
I think it has to do with men feeling more "masculine" when they handle the money. They are "in charge" of what goes on with the finances which makes them feel better about themselves. And that is what the author is trying to convey about increasing intimacy. If your man feels strong & in charge then he will be more sexually driven.
Again, not every aspect of this book pertains to every aspect of your relationship. It is more about giving you ideas that will allow you to add intimacy to your relationship.
There are things that I cannot relate to - I have never been good with math & finances, so I have never really been in charge of the money and it works for us. I didn't need to change anything in that regards.
There are things that I can really relate to - like being a "back seat" driver, or not trusting him to make certain decisions without my input.
In the end, I feel as though this book has given me a great tool in helping to increase the intimacy in my marriage.
This is an excellent question and with my Surrendered Wife copy in hand, I am pleased to answer it for you.
Laura Doyle suggests surrendering control of the finances because money is the supreme symbol of power to us, and the book is about giving up power. Surrendering finances does NOT mean that men are better at money than women or that it's a "man's job"!
We live in a society where everything we do revolves around money, as being a CPA I'm sure you understand. Whether or not we'd like to admit it, our survival and our happiness depend greatly on finances. Therefore we control them. We cannot imagine giving up control of the green paper that decides whether we eat or starve, whether our heat is kept on or we freeze, whether we get the important operation we need to be healthy, whether we get the spa treatments, lunch dates, new shoes or whatever that make us happy. When you put the finances in your husband's hands, you're not just giving up the finances- you're also putting all these things in his hands as well.
It's the ultimate way for you to decide that your husband is capable of managing the most important tangible concept of your entire life.
Just because you're better at something doesn't mean you should do it. I have been in many situations in my life in which I was more capable than someone else at a certain task, but I couldn't accept the task because I was too busy, stressed out, wanted to let someone else gain the experience, or I just didn't want to. The job still gets done just as efficiently either way, and if the person doing the job needs your help, they'll definitely ask you.
If you're a CPA, I imagine the last thing you want to do in the evening is come home and do more accounting! Why not let your husband handle it so you can relax and not worry about it, and enjoy the peace and intense passion that come with knowing that he is taking care of such a huge part of your life?
I recommend reading pages 89 to 107 of The Surrendered Wife. Laura Doyle goes into MUCH greater detail than I did about surrendering finances.
I only mentioned one reason to give up the accounting- power. Doyle goes into various and multiple reasons, including the 3 "miracles" that will happen soon after you make this step:
1. Perpetual dating. When your husband always pays, the excitement of dating returns to your every day life. It really works, I promise!
2. Increased generosity. YOU will almost always be practical and conservative with the things you buy for yourself. Your husband gets more joy out of spoiling and surprising you.
3. Increased prosperity. I swear to God, my fiance got a promotion at work a few months after I surrendered the finances. I'm living proof! Doyle says that when a man has a closer relationship with the money he earns, he is more motivated to earn more.