Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Take time to do what makes your soul happy. Unknown      

Do we have enough lightness and fun in our lives? Are we too serious? Does everything someone says feel wrong and hit a sore spot? Would we all be better off if we said “Ouch” when someone says something that hurts, or comes out wrong?

Maybe that would be a good way to acknowledge their awkwardness, ignorance, bias, or put down without getting into an argument. Maybe “Ouch” is the way to handle criticism instead of getting defensive.

Laura Doyle is the author of several books including The Empowered Wife and Things Will Get As Good As You Can Stand. She has a few ideas I think are worth thinking about.

One of them which at first glance may make our feminist soul wince is to surrender, which means to give up trying to control everything, and speak only for our self. Ask for what we want. Focus on ourselves, and don’t belittle, criticize, or dismiss our partner. Realize the only person we can change is our self. Quit trying to teach our partner, and instead trust he is smart, capable, and motivated.

There is a Christian minister who gives talks on “Treating him like a dog, and her like a car.” His idea is that women often treat their dogs better than their men, have more patience with their dog’s mistakes than their husband’s human foibles. Men polish their car; take care of their car, and lavish attention on their car.

If you’re going to quit anything, quit being lazy, quit making excuses and quit waiting for the right time. Unknown

We need to give more to get more in relationships. We need to be willing to receive what are partner gives with grace and gratitude. Are we still making an effort to be fun, entertaining, good company, and loving?

If it is true that 70% of divorces are initiated by women? That means we women have a lot of power to make our marriages better. It might mean instead of giving up because the fire has gone out, we could choose to rekindle instead of throwing everything away we’ve built.

Laura Doyle tells us men want a happy wife, and they feel like failures when their wife is not happy. What would it take for us women to be happy? If the biggest improvement we can make in our marriage is to become happy, what is the change we could make? Laura Doyle says we should do three things every day that make us happy.

What are three things we could do that would make us happy? Go for a walk. Pet a dog, cat, bunny, or horse? Meet a girlfriend for coffee, or lunch? Meet our husband for coffee, or lunch? Call someone we haven’t spoken to in a while. Spend time with grandchildren if we are lucky enough to have some. Get time away from our children if we are lucky enough to have them. Spend an hour browsing in a store we love. Read a book. Write a poem. Write in a journal. Spend time with inspiring people at a group, event, or meeting. Spend time getting in tune with our body through exercise. Create something. Get our hair done. Do something for someone less fortunate.

If we are not happy, it is unlikely it is only because of our marriage. We may think our life needs a huge overhaul when what it really needs is some maintenance. Are we taking time to smell the flowers, enjoying everything there is to enjoy and grateful for the bounty in our lives? Have we checked our partner’s and our love tanks are they low, are they running on empty? What can we do to fill them up?

It is easy to think the grass is greener over there, someone else’s life is so much better than our own. If only our partner would become, do, change, improve, but of course, if we want a better life we must be the one that does, changes, and improves.

What three things could we do today to make ourselves happy? What can we do today to make life better for our partners? Can we at least smile more, and brighten everyone’s day including our own?

Life is really simple but we insist on making it complicated. Confucius

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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Things Will Get as Good as You Can Stand: (. . . When you learn that it is better to receive than to give) The Superwoman’s Practical Guide to Getting as Much as She Gives Paperback – Apr 6 2004

by Laura Doyle (Author) 4.7 out of 5 stars 4 ratings

 See all 7 formats and editions