Heart Soul Wisdom Podcast

The Ridiculously Happy Wife

January 16, 2023 Moira Sutton Season 4 Episode 69
Heart Soul Wisdom Podcast
The Ridiculously Happy Wife
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Show Notes Transcript

Love & Relationships
Health & Well Being
Freedom & Fulfillment
Passion & Purpose

The Ridiculously Happy Wife

Laura was the perfect wife… until she actually got married. When she told her husband how to be tidier, more romantic, and more ambitious, he avoided her. So, she dragged him to marriage counselling and nearly divorced him.In desperation, she began to ask happily married women for their secrets, and that’s when she got her miracle: the man who had wooed her returned.She is a New York Times Bestselling Author, the star of the Empowered Wives on Amazon Prime and hosts The Empowered Wives Podcast. Laura teaches women how to focus on your own desires and transform your life – without bending over backward - to change your husband with her Six Intimacy Skills.

Laura's Website and Road Map Gift: https://lauradoyle.org/

Moira's Website: https://moirasutton.com/

Create the Life you Love FB Community: https://www.facebook.com/CreatetheLifeyouLove1/

Long Distance Healing: https://moirasutton.com/long-distance-reiki-healing-session/

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[00:03] Intro: Welcome to the Heart, Soul Wisdom Podcast, a journey of selfdiscovery and transformation. Moira Sutton and her amazing guests share real life stories, tools, and strategies to inspire and empower you to to create and live your best life. Come along on the journey and finally, blast through any fears, obstacles, and challenges that have held you back in the past so you can live your life with the joy, passion and happiness that you desire. Now, here's your host. Create the life you love. Empowerment life coach moira Sutton.

[00:58] Moira: Welcome to season four, Episode 69, the Ridiculously Happy Wife, with our special guest, relationship expert, author, and podcaster Laura Doyle. Laura was the perfect wife until she actually got married. When she told her husband how to be tidier, more romantic, more ambitious, he avoided her. So she dragged him to marriage counseling and nearly divorced him. In desperation, she began to ask happily married woman for their secrets. And that's when she got her miracle. The man who had wooed her returned. She is a New York Times bestselling author, the Star of The Empowered Wives on Amazon Prime, and hosts The Empowered Wife's Podcast. Laura teaches women how to focus on their own desires and transform their own life without bending over backwards to change their husband. With her six intimacy skills, laura's mission is to end world divorce. She has helped over 15,000 women fix their relationships, even the hopeless ones, without their husband's effort. So, without further ado, it is my pleasure to give a warm welcome to Laura Doyle. Welcome, Laura.

[02:11] Laura: Thank you, Laura. It's great to be here.

[02:13] Moira: This is going to be fun. So I have a lot of people in my audience who people are married, there's people in relationships. So this applies to all of them, how to have a really happy relationship.

[02:28] Laura: Oh, yeah. And I think it's something we all want, right. Who doesn't want a great relationship? It's like the difference between a good life and a great life is knowing how to have a connection that feels nurturing, that brings out the best in both of you. So it's been such a wonderful thing to learn the skills that lead to that.

[02:51] Moira: Did you ever think that you'd be doing this? No. Yeah, that's quite the thing.

[02:58] Laura: It is, yeah, because I remember actually being so devastated, really. I mean, we started out happily, of course, as I think all newlyweds do, and then just a few years later, we were just fighting constantly. It was either wall to wall hostility or else we had these cold wars, which was no talking for days at a time, and it was just very tense, and I knew that that wasn't right. So I thought, well, I will drag him to marriage counseling, which I did, and then the counselor will tell him how wrong he is, and then I can finally have this happy marriage that I really wanted so badly. And I remember being on the marriage counselor's gray couch when I realized it was hopeless. Like, we'd been going for over a year.

[03:48] Moira: Wow.

[03:49] Laura: Yeah. And we were just too far apart, and I knew he was never going to change. And I just had this epiphany, like, I'm either going to spend the rest of my life in a loveless marriage, or I have to get divorced. So I just decided that I would get divorced because that seemed like the rational thing, and my parents are divorced, and lots of people are divorced, but there was one problem, and that was that I was too embarrassed. Too embarrassed. People had been to the wedding not that many years before, and I just didn't really want to admit that we were having all this problems. I've been kind of putting on this taste. Like, I remember we'd have a big fight in the car, and then we'd arrive at the party like, oh, hi, you know, everything's fine, pretending that we're doing okay. So I thought, as a last ditch effort, I'm going to ask women who have happy marriages and have been married for what seemed like an eternity at the time, which was 15 years, I'm going to ask them how they did it and for their secrets. And so I did that. And then they said some things that sounded crazy to me. I thought they were going to say, we have to marry the right person, but they didn't say that, so they said all these other things. And I thought, well, I'm just going to experiment with this stuff, and what do I got to lose at this point? And I did that. And not that long after I came home and as I walked through the door and my husband saw me, his face lit up. He was happy to see me again. And I thought, this is working, that I'm onto something. And it was very exciting because I had so much hope that I could now have the kind of marriage that I had envisioned I would have when I stood the altar and said, I do. And that was great. So I felt really empowered, and I thought, we're not going to have those big fights anymore because I now know what to do. So a few days later, we're in the car, and we have one of those big fights again. And it was so frustrating. It was so discouraging because I thought that wasn't going to happen anymore because I knew what to do, but I couldn't always get myself to do it. And the new way wasn't so hard. It was just new. And I had this idea then that if I could get a few girlfriends that were awesome learning about their marriages, I thought maybe we could all do this together. And then I would have the inspiration and the motivation to stay the course and take on these new habits. And that worked. There was, like, five of us we had a little support group in my living room. And I remember we were just all having miracles. One woman came and she said, well, my husband won the sales contest at work and he took me on the most romantic getaway of our lives. And another woman said, this isn't going to sound like much to you guys, but I have a miracle. And that is we've been arguing for months about him painting the family room. She said, he got up and decided he was going to paint it and he did it with a smile. So we knew we were onto something. And someone said, hey, can you write down what we're doing for my cousin in Florida and we're in California? And I said, sure, I'll write that down. And that became my first book, which when Dateline did an investigative report on it, it shot to number one on all of Amazon and became a New York Times bestseller. It was published in 19 languages in 30 countries and has started a worldwide movement of women who practiced the six intimacy skills. So I thought I was hopefully going to try to save my own marriage, and fortunately I did that. I have the marriage of my dreams now where my husband just can't do enough to make me happy. And he grabs me as I'm walking down the hall and he pulls me in for a kiss. But now I'm on a mission to end world divorce because I figured I just didn't know, I didn't have the right instructions. And my parents are divorced. I was following a failed recipe. And I think that's true. I mean, I'm kind of surprised this stuff isn't taught in schools. I learned differential equations, but never the intimacy skills that contribute to having a wonderful relationship. And I just value that so much.

[08:22] Moira: And I think when you think about when you sit with your parents, really it's the role models that are around us. So whatever we're seeing and then we attract that because that's what we think is correct. I know that when I was doing counseling with some people who were in abusive relationship and they were scared to have children or that because they thought they would have that again because that's all they knew, like whatever they saw is what they knew. And when I see people who they date someone and then they ditch them or they end it and then they say, oh, I have a new package and it looks different, but they get the same results because they haven't done the work and you have to do the work.

[09:00] Laura: Yeah. Wherever I went, there I was.

[09:03] Moira: Yes.

[09:04] Laura: Because I remember fancies I'm like, oh my gosh, if I could just get divorced and then I could pick a better guy that's more suited to me. And I am so clear now, like I would have just taken the next smart, handsome guy and had all the same problems because of what I was bringing to the party, which was a lot of fear and control and yeah, just in lack of gratitude. So all the things that I needed the skills to correct would have shown up again in my new relationship. I'm confident, for sure.

[09:42] Moira: What do you see the difference between marriage counseling and relationship coaching? Because I know that you don't feel that marriage counseling does very more harm than good as your experience was.

[09:52] Laura: It didn't work for us. Yeah. And it's something I see with a lot of my students as well. And when I look at my own experience and I'm really accountable about it, I have to admit I was not there to selfexamine. I was there to be the dutiful wife who stood by while the counselor fixed him. And I had him diagnosed with a mental deficit disorder, and I thought, this will do it. Now we can. And it was kind of seductive because I thought, oh, that's been the problem all along. Right. But it was really just another way to deflect my energy and attention from focusing on how I was showing up in the marriage, which honestly didn't feel that good. The way I would hear myself shrieking at my husband, I was a rager. I would rage at him, and it was ugly. Not just at him too, by the way. I would rage it. Hapless. Sales clerks and bank tellers and customer service people.

[10:56] Moira: Oh, no, laura, watch out, here comes Laura.

[11:01] Laura: Yeah, it's embarrassing. It's embarrassing. But I'm happy to say that as a result of practicing the intimacy skills, that all cleared up. I haven't had a rage incident in decades. What a relief, because that was an awful feeling, just kind of losing my chisel in a very undignified way. In fact, before we were even married, actually, I remember my husband took us on a romantic getaway to Hawaii, and I was super excited, and we were going to go to the beach. I imagined on the first day, which I couldn't wait to do. And so we got out that morning and he said, hey, what do you want to do today or do? I said that, I asked him. I go, what do you think we should do? Instead of saying, I want to go to the beach, I said, what do you want to do? And he said, let's go see a volcano. I was like, a volcano.

[12:04] Moira: So I just saying your name.

[12:05] Laura: Laura. Laura.

[12:06] Moira: Laura.

[12:06] Laura: Oh, I couldn't hear it. I couldn't hear you. I was talking the whole time, just hoping I would come back.

[12:12] Moira: So you were talking about Hawaii, and you were saying that you more or less asked him what would he like to do versus you really sharing what you would like to do, right?

[12:21] Laura: Yeah. So instead of saying that I wanted to go to the beach, I said to him, what do you want to do today? And he said, let's go see a volcano. I was like, oh, volcano, okay. Like I didn't want to see a volcano, but I didn't want to have a conflict. And I thought if I said what I really wanted that we would have a conflict. So I thought, I'm just going to suck it up. I'll go see the volcano. So we're driving in the rental car and you don't see a volcano for a while. There's just little molten rocks on the side of the road. And that's when I started to think, this sucks. We could have been at the beach. And he kind of picked up on my vibe. He's like, is something wrong? And that's when I let him out. So he saw a volcano, alright, not the kind he had imagined. Even after he behaved so badly, he took me to the beach. We never saw the volcano because it turns out he just wants me to be happy. He did then, he does now. He always did. And I lost sight of that for a while. But it's been interesting. In my own research, I've now asked thousands of men, how important is it to you that your wife is happy? And do you know they all say the same thing. They say it's the most important thing or it's everything. Or in the United Kingdom, they say it's imperative.

[13:55] Moira: So did you feel like that was like compromising them because you really wanted to be at the beach? And how do you feel like healthy alignment between the TV instead of compromise, which can put you out of balance and also maybe move to resentment.

[14:11] Laura: Yeah, I know, I'm not big on compromise anymore. So it's been really interesting because I think that's such a common thing that we're taught. You got a compromise. And I thought that's what it meant. Compromising means sucking it up sometimes and just not doing what you want. What I prefer. Now we have this really interesting I love it gratifying way of, I guess I call it negotiating, which is where I stick to expressing my desires. Like for instance, I could have said, you know, I would love to go to the beach, right? It's so sad when I think about my former self because she had no idea how to express her desires. And if you can't express your desires, you're never going to get your desires. So I'll express my desires and then he will say what he thinks. And so I'll give you an example of this one time. Oh, it was after the financial crash of whatever that was, 2007, 2008, and we had just moved to a new home that I loved. And then both of our businesses went down and all of our investments went down. And my husband was like, you know what, I really think we should sell the house and downsize, I don't think we can do this. And he handles our finances so I was like, oh, gosh, well, if that's what you think, I respect that, and I would love and not but and I would love to stay in this house. And so since he's so fixated on my happiness, right, he knew what I wanted. He wanted to give me that. So he said, all right, let me go away and think about that for a while. And he did. And I remember we had that conversation many times, and in this instance, what I wanted really colored his thinking. And he found a way for us to stay in the house. In fact, we still live here now, and we just went through a huge remodel of this house. So he did figure it out, but there's other times where what he thinks influences what I want. Like, I remember saying, hey, I want to get a new car. And he was like, yeah, I don't think it's a good time. I'd like to save up the money to pay for it first. And I said, all right, well, I'd really love a new car. And he was like, what is it that you're wanting? What's making you want a new car? I was like, well, the seats in my car, the weather is kind of cracking and it's uncomfortable spinning my legs. And he was like, Would you like seat covers? And I was like, oh, yeah, okay, seat covers. Great idea. So I got my seat covers, and I didn't even want a new car. So then his thinking influenced what I desired. So neither of us compromised. We were just sort of going along together. And I think of my desires as the North Star for our relationship that he navigates by. So it's really incumbent on me to know what it is that I desire.

[17:22] Moira: What would you say, Laura, to women who either they're busy in their life or they have responsibilities to elderly parents or children or grandchildren or just busy, busy, busy, and they don't even they're so unattached, not even attached, they don't know their desires? What would be the first step or strategy you would say to them to start to find those desires again and to embrace selflove and selflessness, to look after themself first before they can be there for anybody else.

[17:52] Laura: Yeah, well, this is a familiar story for me too. I was also busy, busy my early marriage, job, mortgage and housework and whatever. And I felt like it was part of my identity I took some pride in. Like I was doing all these things. I was accomplishing all these things, and I wasn't super vulnerable. And what I mean by that, I'll give you an example. When we first were falling in love, I remember one time I found out that a check I was expecting wasn't going to arrive when I thought it was it was going to be delayed. And I was really scared I was going to run out of money to live on. And so I was crying in front of John, my husband. And oh my gosh, he could not, he just left over to me to hug me and comfort me and tell me everything is going to be alright. And I just felt like the most important person in the world to him at that time. Like he would have just moved heaven and earth to make me feel better, make me feel safe and protected and that was wonderful. And then fast forward a few years later, we were married. I thought the same thing, like, oh my gosh, we're going to run out of money. Which was kind of my, that was my jam. That was my little mantra that I used to have in the bad old days. And this time I thought, you know what, I'm just going to solve it. So I just like got the calculator and I looked at the bills and I figured out which ones to pay now, which ones we could delay. And I just told him, hey, don't take any money out of the ATM until payday. And not only did he not leap to comfort me and put his arms around me, but he just didn't seem that like he was barely listening, right? And I told him, don't take money out of the ATM. And he seemed kind of distant and I couldn't understand why he wasn't responding the way he did when we were falling in love. And I didn't realize that I had changed how I was showing up and that I was showing up so differently. And that lack of vulnerability really cost us a lot of connection. And the more I thought, well, this is more mature to show up, solving the problems instead of just falling into a puddle. But I was really kind of not being authentic because in some ways I was overwhelmed. It would have been wonderful to have my husband's best thinking on that situation instead of just kind of again, sucking it all up like, I know what to do, right? So for me, a big key to really changing that dynamic was to figure out what would make me happy. Just as you're pointing to and the way that I did that was actually for me. Everything has to be really practical. I decided I'm going to make a list of 20 things that bring me joy that just are even frivolous fun. Not, you know, maybe they're reducing my chances of heart disease or reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It didn't have to have any other purpose besides just making me feel good or making me smile. So I made that list and it had like playing volleyball is on that list and singing in harmony and going to sushi and having a cup of tea and playing word games on my phone. And then I decided I was going to do at least three things on that list every single day. And when I started doing that, it seemed kind of silly at first, but it was so interesting that when I was showing up happy, it kind of felt like my time expanded. Like when I was feeling good, I just had more to give to everybody else. I had more to give at work and more to give in my marriage. I was more tolerant. My husband was less likely to get on my very last nerve. And so this became for me like the indispensable first step to having the kind of marriage that I always wanted to have. And not just my marriage, but really all the relationships in my life improved when I became proficient at my own self care in terms of and self care not meaning five fruits and vegetables a day or 30 minutes of cardio, but really just like taking a bubble bath or maybe going for a walk, listening to my favorite podcast.

[22:20] Moira: Thank you. I think that ties into really becoming you talk about this just being the biggest adventure sort of for you marriage, in a sense, which it is for everyone that works in their marriage that to become that person, the best version of Laura, you know, the best version of Moira. And when you show up from that authentic best person, other people, you talk about this in your book, too, about how people we teach people how to interact with us or how they can be with us. I think that comes to also healthy boundaries, or in this case, setting up that list and doing things that make you happy and then you're happy, and that's how Laura shows up. And it's like a snowball effect.

[23:03] Laura: Yes, it totally is a snowball effect. And it's true that I feel like it's been the best self improvement program I ever could have gone on. It's trying to fix my marriage. And it takes some courage, I think, to really do things differently than maybe were my patterns or the models I had growing up. And I remember one student, in fact, Kathy Murray. I just love the story because she was in her second marriage, and it was a blended family. So they had two kids each, and there was just a lot of conflict, and they'd been sleeping in separate beds for six months, and it really looked very grim. It looks like she's going to have another divorce in a minute here. And she got my first book. She kind of ran into it at the bookstore, and she was reading it. She thought, you know, I have nothing to lose by trying some of these techniques. But they were scary. And so one of them was, Well, I'll tell you the story. So what happened was she read the book, and then her husband said to her, hey, you guys, tell me what you want me to do with the cell phone plan. We need a new cell phone plan. And I need to know what you want me to do. And this is how she had trained him, because she was the CFO of a private school, she had a big job, and she was really capable and successful at work, but she was kind of applying these things that she was doing at work to her marriage. She was trying to help her husband manage the finances better, and that was where her marriage got in trouble. So instead of telling him what to do with the cell phone plan, she used this little cheat phrase that we use on the campus, which is, whatever you think. She said, oh, Doug, whatever you think and he just looked at her funny, like, what do you mean? Like, you always want to tell me how to do this kind of thing, and I don't want to be in trouble later for doing it wrong. And he knew that she didn't really trust him to handle it. She thought he was going to screw it up. And so he was kind of like, no, come on, tell me what you want me to do. And instead of answering, telling him, she said, Whatever you think. And then she added, I trust you. So she repeated it and said, I trust you. So Doug went away, figured out the cell phone plan, and she was a little worried, but he did fine. He did it fine. And that night, he came to her and he said, you were so nice today. He put his hand on her shoulder, and tears started rolling down her cheeks, and they slept in the same bed that very night. And that was the beginning of them reconciling in a way that she still gets tears in her eyes when she talks about it today. This was almost 20 years ago, and now he's the man of her dreams. She's been going to therapy once a week to complain about her husband for an hour a week, which never worked for anybody, by the way, complaining about for an hour a week. That never made anybody happier. And so and she quit that, and she started studying with me. She's now a relationship coach, one of the powerhouse relationship coach on our campus, and has this wonderful family life that she almost threw out because she didn't have the right training.

[26:26] Moira: I think that ties into what you had mentioned, that husbands don't really want your opinion. I think it ties into that you're asking, but they don't really want your opinion. I like this idea of whatever you think and the trusting part.

[26:40] Laura: Yes. I think they want to know that we see them as capable and competent, that we're expecting the best outcome when they say, hey, I'm going to make an investment or I'm going to change jobs, or I'm going to take the kids to this thing that we trust, that they're going to keep those kids safe or make an investment. That's what they really want. So now, does that mean we have to dumb down or make ourselves mute? No, absolutely not. I still have a voice, I get to say what I want. And one of the things I try to focus on is saying, expressing those desires. And the reason is because I used to be a world class complainer, and I think my husband couldn't even really hear me when I was complaining. I would say, John, this kitchen is a disaster. And he, I think, could hear John, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, like maybe the Peanuts parents, maybe no one can hear us when we're complaining. But I now see those complaints as just a lazy desire, and that when I'm clear on what it is I want. And I express that without I call it cleanly, express it without manipulation or control or criticism, then that triggers his hero gene. He's like, I have a chance to make her happy. And that is one of the things that's so important to him, and as far as I know, all husbands. And so when he sees that opportunity, he loves to seize it. So finally I learned to say, so this kitchen is a disaster. I finally learned to say, I would love a clean kitchen. And he said, OK, I'll clean it. And he did, and that was 20 years ago, and he's been cleaning it ever since, because he knows it makes his wife happy. So I rarely, if ever, do the dishes around here anymore, because my husband is busy being my hero and doing them for me.

[28:45] Moira: I think I'll use that one, because in our house, we all have our different chores. You have a house, right? You have a house to look after. And I have my chores, cliff has his chores, and we also help my mom out and stuff. So I'm always like, okay, on a weekend, they'll have a coffee, and I'm like, well, of course, there's the chores, right? Your chores, my chores. And that doesn't go anywhere, because mine gets done, but his doesn't. And it's like, well, even today we're midweek now, and it's like, okay, his isn't done yet. He did other things, but so I'm doing all this rationale versus I like that. I like a clean kitchen. It's interesting when you talk. I love that, though, whatever you think, and I trust you. Especially I trust you. Cliff and I spoke on cruise lines for many years, Laura, and one of the things we brought up was we had fun doing it. One of the things we brought up, it was from Two and a Half Men, where Charlie speaks to Alan's ex wife on the phone. She wants to talk to him, and Allen hears him saying on the phone, he can't hear the conversation, but he hears Charlie saying, I understand, I understand. And then his brother Alan goes, what do you understand? He goes, I don't know. He goes, She likes it, though. Everybody loves it. But when he used it on me, I said, no, no, I know what you're doing. I get it. But it's like that language can be very powerful that way.

[30:14] Laura: Oh, it can be. It's really true. And I know it was really kind of revolutionary to me to learn something similar to your Two and a Half Men's story, really, which was so I grew up knowing that respect was incredibly important to men, like, that had been trained into me. I think we've kind of all heard that respect your husband. And I'm like, yeah, and I do, except for the way he dresses, the way he drives, and the way he eats junk food or whatever. Right. So it's like no concept, really, of what respect looks like there. And I also kind of thought, well, respect is like what you give to someone in authority. You have to respect your boss or maybe your parents or teachers or something, but, you know, marriage were equals and he should respect me, too, kind of thing. And then I learned this phrase that I absolutely love for, and it really kind of creates those deep conversations I think we all crave with our spouses, which is a way to listen respectfully to my husband without agreeing or disagreeing. And I understand it's kind of a variation of that, but the cheap phrase that we use on the campus that I have just grown to love and I now use with everyone in my life is I hear you. And I just love how fantastically neutral it is. It's not I hear you, and what I think is, or I hear you and I disagree or I hear you, or have you thought of this? But it's just I am bearing witness. What you say is important to me, and that's it. I don't need to be your devil's advocate or warn you of something I see in your blind spot or whatever. I can just listen. And it creates such emotional safety, and it has really led to a lot of these deep conversations that I so enjoy around here. Anyway, I just love your I understand story. It's similar to my I hear you.

[32:20] Moira: Yes. And that's, like you said, it's not just with your husband. If you say it to your children, people who you know, you kind of know, when people aren't listening, they're somewhere else, especially if you got a phone in front of them or something. But just say, I hear you. You acknowledge them also. Yeah, you're there. And I think he also said, I'm listening to you. I'm here. All those things. Yeah.

[32:44] Laura: It makes you the best conversationalist in the world, really, because great listeners are great conversationalists. That's how you become a great conversationalist. And then people want to open up.

[32:56] Moira: Yes. And you talk about the hopeful, hopeless cycle, and how do you permanently disrupt this cycle? I think you have one word here also, which is interesting. That's the one word. I haven't tried it, but I've read it.

[33:11] Laura: Yes. So I did not realize that I am by nature just a very controlling person. Like, fish are always the last one in the ocean, right? But I just had so many ways that I was going to help my husband improve. I was going to show him how to be more ambitious at work and definitely more tidy around the house, and I was going to help him be more romantic. And so I had all these helpful suggestions. And what I didn't know early on in my marriage is that helpful in wife language is critical in husband language. So every time I would say, like, let me help you with your resume, I'm going to help you get a better job, or I'm going to help you ask for a raise or something like that. I was actually really shooting holes in the bucket of our intimacy and letting him know that I didn't think he was very capable or competent. And I had the best of intentions, but really, I was coming from a place of fear. I was afraid that if he didn't make more money that I would not be able to have things that I wanted to buy. And so if I'm really honest about it, I was coming out of my fears instead of my faith. And my husband being a wonderful capable guy, smart guy. And so because of this, I was being helpful. And that was really hurtful to my husband. And then he would kind of clam up or go in his cave or just be very distant or sleep tire marks in the driveway trying to get away from me, really. And that made me feel like, well, this is so hopeless. He's never going to improve. He's not even trying. He's not even willing to let me in to help. And then I would try it again, not seeing the error, the part that I was contributing, which was being overbearing and maybe kind of a bulldozer in my marriage, instead of always showing up like his mother, like his mother instead of the wife and lover that I set out to be. The whole cycle would repeat again and repeat again time and time again until I began to feel very hopeless about my marriage. And that was a sad situation to be, because once you feel hopeless, you think, well, I've tried everything. There's nothing else I can do. And having helped thousands of students fix their marriages, now I run into this a lot. And just seeing their hope restored, when they see that there's something in their power that they can do differently by not helping, not being too helpful. And we show them the cheap phrases and things that they can use to lean on to begin to change that habit, you really see that hope come up and we hear some fantastic results. To paraphrase Thomas Wolfe, miracles not only happen around here, they happen all the time.

[36:26] Moira: Isn't that nice? So what's this word that you've used? And has it worked for everybody? The ouch word?

[36:34] Laura: Yes. Well, I love this word. I had a conversation with a friend once, and he was saying he said I was I think it was greedy or vindictive or something. And the conversation. And I said, Ouch. And he said, you're saying I'm a jerk? And I said, no. I said I just said ouch. Yes, you are, because there's no one else around here. So you're saying I'm a jerk? And I was like, no, I didn't. I just said ouch. And I loved how fantastically I caught being on my paper. And I think of it like, you know when you're in school and your teacher says, keep your eyes on your paper, just your paper. Not what your neighbors writing on their paper is. Your paper. And that's where I think of all my decisions for myself live, right? Like what time I go to bed and whether I watch the news or my attitude, what I'm thinking about, how I show up, all that's on my paper. And my husband has his own paper, and when I get onto his paper, nothing good ever comes of it. Seems like when I stay in my own paper, yeah, I do a lot better. So what I love about this word ouch, instead of saying that hurt or you hurt me, or when you said I was greedy, I felt hurt, or any of that, it's really just very attentive to me. I almost feel like, let's say you're a mom with a small child and there's a skin knee, right? And you show up and go, oh gosh, that must have hurt, right? That's kind of how I'm showing up for myself. I'm showing up that way for myself, like a nurturing mom. And so whatever else is happening on somebody else's paper, they can make up what that means. But it was really interesting in this conversation with my friend, just like a minute later, he apologized for what he had said. Even though I never said, you shouldn't have said that, or that hurt me, all I said was ouch. And I think all he could hear was the voice of his own conscience. Like maybe that wasn't the nicest thing to say. And I have this experience again and again. So I love the word out for that. And I think if your definition of work is that the other person becomes more accountable and apologizes, and I certainly have that experience, but I think whether they respond well to it or not, for me it kind of always works. And I will say that especially when you first introduce it, because it's a different it's a new dance, isn't it? We all have these dances we do with our spouses that we've done lots and lots of times before. And when you change up the steps, there is going to be some resistance. Like, no, I do this stuff and I say this and you say that, and then we go down this old dirt road having a fight. Right. And when you show up with a different approach, there's bound to be. So I've had people say, women will say, I said Ouch, and he said Ouch. Ouch. What is ouch? Well, even a toddler knows what ouch is. Right. He knows what ouch means, he just doesn't like it. And maybe he's hearing his own conscious, too. So I'm fine with that. Right. I mean, that's not on my paper. How he's responding when I'm feeling hurt on my paper? Not pointing any fingers, not blaming, not criticizing, but just really owning my emotional state, letting it have its day in the sun, acknowledging it in a way that feels very self honoring.

[40:24] Moira: I think that's what you said about blaming and everything, because if you went out and that became a habit and the other person thinks, are you blaming me? I did this to you, versus taking your own accountability, but letting somebody know if that hurts you. My sister in laws said to cliff and I, we met 33 years ago, we're 31 years married and she was divorced. And she said, you too will always last together because you communicate. Even when it's a hard thing to do, you talk and it's something we do, but we've learned through the ups and downs and values and everything through all the years, you know, how to really interact. And a lot of these things are great, what you're sharing, and also to really listen to the other person and never do it. When you're in a state that's not resourceful, you plan a time to sit down and then say, this is how I'm feeling, sort of like the Ouch, but not say, you did this to me, because that's also giving your power away by allowing somebody else to do that, versus, how am I feeling? What do I need to take care of myself? Because it really does come down to self love first before you can be there for other people.

[41:37] Laura: That's right. Yeah. Those are such great questions to ask yourself. Yeah, how am I feeling and what do I need? What do I want right now to feel like my best self and show up in a way that's dignified and calm and confident instead of maybe screechy and sounding like my mother on her worst day? Right. High value for me in my marriage.

[42:01] Moira: Let's dive into the six intimacy skills. This is the biggie how we started with you, and it's really your branding, it's your expertise, it's your wisdom.

[42:11] Laura: Yes. Well, these are the skills that I learned from these wise women that I interviewed about their marriages, and that when I used them in my marriage, they actually worked and they were like nothing I'd ever heard at marriage counseling or reading even books or certainly when I seem modeled for me. So it was really hard on my brain at the time. I remember, like, what you know, I remember one woman saying, I try never to criticize my husband, no matter how much it seems like he deserves it. And I was like, got anything else? Because I don't think I can do that. I don't think that I should do that even. But gosh, yeah, over 20 years later, what a wise thing that was that she had that practice. It was a matter of for me putting everything down into, like, I'd call them checkboxes, right where I know if I did or didn't do that particular skill that day. So, like, we talked about so skill number one, and we have touched on a number of kind of on the surface of a number of these skills. Number one, the most imperative indespensable step to having a happy marriage is to make yourself happy. So we talked about that list of 20 things that bring me joy. Well, that's something we ask every student to do when she arrives on the campus and to pick three a day to do for herself. And we do have a lot of students show up and say, well, I don't know anymore. I'm a wife, I'm a mother, I work. I'm busy thinking about everybody else. And I've gotten out of touch with I call her the inner girl, just, you know, just want to have fun girl. The girl in front of my that she probably was when she first fell in love. So we're all starting with that. And it's, you know, it's kind of cute. I see a lot of women say, like, oh, okay, well, that's great, but I got to skip that step, and I got to skip ahead to the part because my marriage is in crisis. I need the part where my husband is going to show up better, which, I have to admit, maura, is exactly how I started out, too. I just wanted my husband I was going to try to change him. That's all I was trying to do with these intimacy skills. And of course, the joke was on me. I had all the power. I had all this influence. I'd been squandering. And when I showed up with these intimacy skills, what happened was I became my best self, and then he responded to me better. I became a happy person, which is the only way you can have a happy marriage. Only happy people have happy marriages. It sounds so obvious when you say it like that. But when I was unhappy, I thought that was going to help him improve, because he would see how unhappy I was and he would try to do better. But it didn't really work. Wasn't until I got happy that he's always trying to pile on now that he felt like he could succeed in pleasing me. I became pleasable and that has made all the difference. So that's the first intimacy skill is that self care. And of course there's five more and I won't have time to do all of them justice. But it is so important to me that every woman has all of these skills. So I have something I want to give away to everybody so that they can get those.

[45:53] Moira: Yes, let's talk about that.

[45:54] Laura: Sure. So we have something fun right now, which is The Adored Wife Roadmap, which gives an overview of those six skills and also talks about the three mistakes that so many women are making, including me, trying to get his time, attention and affection. And you can download that for free at Laura Doyle.org. It's The Adored Wife Roadmap and I highly recommend that you get your hands on that. Whether it's that your marriage is in crisis or maybe you're struggling with something really painful like he's got an addiction or maybe a mental illness, or if you're just feeling like, hey, I just want to get the sizzle back, this is the information you got to have in order to do those things. And it really is possible. I used to be afraid I would see problems in marriages and I would think, oh God, I don't know if it's going to work for this. But having witnessed so many students over the last 20 years really take the skills and apply them in those very challenging situations with affairs, with divorce, pending separations addictions, it's just been incredible to see how courageous and committed they've been in fixing their families, making their marriages last and thrive. Which I think is so important because marriages really matter. In order to have a strong community, you got to have strong families, and strong families depend on strong marriages. So we're kind of all counting on women to use their influence wisely, use their power wisely, to study, to learn. That just the way you might learn to make an omelet or learn to play the piano. There are skills that can help you have the kind of relationship that you.

[47:53] Moira: Want to have and the practice of doing that, and as you said earlier, creating new habits and ways of being and that we have free choice every day. You can look at this as this is important to have a great relationship or whatever you want back in that relationship, and then use these skills that you have. As you said, you've been doing this 20 years with people and the kind of results that you've been seeing are excellent. Laura, would you like to read a short excerpt from your book to how women can express their desires and leave our listeners with inspiration and hope?

[48:29] Laura: Yes. And actually, instead of reading it, I want to just leave these instructions. I feel like every woman needs to know this. My Hawaii story is what's that expression. You can't be a good example, you'll just have to be a horrible warning. So I want to leave everyone with the formula for expressing your desires in a way that inspires your husband. You can use this for chores or for vacations or new houses or another baby or a cup of tea, any desire that you have. So that formula is and if you can write this down, I think that's great. I would love is the beginning of the formula and then the end is just the end result. So I remember one student said, well, I want him to make more money and money is not it means to an end, right? It's not the final result yet. So I said, okay, well, what would you have that you don't have now if you made more money? And she said, I can buy myself things. And then things is still kind of vague, right. So that's not really a pure desire. So I said, well, what kinds of things would you buy? And she said, Well, I need new boots. So we got down to that. I would love new boots. That was her expression of desire. It doesn't matter how that happens. You want to stay out of the control of how it happens. He might say, hey, we got the tax return. Use that to go buy yourself new boots. Or he might get you new boots. Or you just don't know, right, how the new boots are going to or I've seen where a woman would say, I would love a clean kitchen. And he says to the kids, hey kids, okay, it's time to clean this kitchen, everybody. And the kitchen gets cleaned. He didn't do it, but it got done. One little thing to watch out for is including the word you or we or us or family all have kind of hidden use in it because then it'll turn into control. And also as you start to implement the six intimacy skills, your natural magnetism comes through and your husband will find you irresistible and seek out your company in my experience. So you don't need to express a desire for his affection or his attention because that just never felt good anyway. I would say I would love a hug or something like that. If he begrudgingly gave me one, I was like, well, did you just do that? Because I told him to. Because what I really wanted was for him to want to give me affection and attention, which he does now just fine. So this is not for attention or affection or is time. You want to watch out for the word you in there and use the magical powerful formula. And I want to just invite you to even try this over the next 24 hours, just look for an opportunity to express a desire I would love. And then the final outcome, you could say, I remember one woman said I would love a glass of wine. She was learning the skills and she said, I would love a glass of wine. And her husband was walking by and he said, oh, I don't think we have any. And she said, oh, I know, I just was wanting a glass of wine. Next thing she knows, he was putting on his shoes and the kid was saying, hey, can I go with you to the store, dad? And he said, OK. And she's where you going? And he said, to get you some wine. It just really triggered his hero gene. So that's the formula I would love. And then the final outcome.

[52:04] Moira: It's beautiful. It's very similar, Laura, to me, to the law of Attraction, leaving the how out of the picture and becoming a magnet to what you want to create in your life. So very cool. I would love yeah, it's fun. It sounds like fun. And you could do that playful and bring that playfulness into your relationship by both of you exploring that what that is.

[52:27] Laura: Totally.

[52:28] Moira: So, Laura, this is being fun today. I want to thank you for sharing from your heart and soul your wisdom on the ridiculously happy wife. Namaste, Laura.

[52:41] Laura: Thank you so much, Moira. This has been a delight.

[52:50] Outro: Thank you for listening to the Heart Soul Wisdom podcast with Moira Sutton. I hope you enjoyed today's episode. Please join our community at Moira Sutton.com and continue the discussion on our Facebook page. Create the life you love. You will be part of a global, global movement connecting with other heart-centered people who are consciously creating the life they love on their own terms. Together, we can raise our consciousness for the greater good of humanity and for our planet.