~ Anonymous Reader Submission
“I’m not very good at expressing myself but I must tell you how Fascinating Womanhood has changed my life. My husband and I married very young. I wanted so badly to be a good wife, the kind you read about in the love stories. I wanted to be fascinating and loving and soft. Only I came from a family where my mother hated housework, cooking, kids—everything womanly. I had no one to copy or to show me how to be who I longed to be. I didn’t fit in my mother’s world or in the feminist world. I looked at marriage with both wishfulness and fear.
I wanted marriage but I wanted a special kind of marriage, one where outsiders could just feel the love surrounding my family. I didn’t want the kind of marriage I found with all my neighbors and friends with the wife yelling at the man what to do, always yelling, screaming and demanding her way. I wanted more than just a man and woman living under the same roof. Only I felt that maybe the only people who live like this are the ones in children’s bedtime stories.
Then I met my husband. He was young, but he had good basic qualities and soon he had my heart. I thought with this boy I could have the kind of marriage I dreamed of. Anxious to be a wife, homemaker, and mother we started a family right away. I got pregnant within a few months, just in time to see my dreams all falling apart.
My husband spent most of his time with the boys. When he was home he was always drinking, yelling and slapping me around. He never asked me to do anything. He ordered. I feared him and almost hated him but I came from a family who believed: ‘You made your bed, you lie in it’. I had nowhere to go and a baby due any day. I felt helpless, trapped, and a complete failure as a woman. Where had things gone wrong?
When my baby was born my husband started to change, and I could see part of that person I once loved return. He was a fabulous father, but things didn’t change between us. He still slapped me around, wouldn’t come home every night till ten or later from being out with the guys, and would pick fights when he was home. This went on for four and one-half years. I hated being married. I hated being a mother, and I hated men. I wanted a divorce. My dream of marriage was just that, a dream. I tried so hard to be a good wife. How had I failed?
One day I was reading the paper and saw an article about Fascinating Womanhood. They described a marriage just like my dream! Maybe, just maybe, I could fit in with them. Maybe they could help me find who I am. I had hit bottom. How I hoped this was my answer to my prayers. I was so hopeful I rushed down to a bookstore to buy a copy of F.W. weeks before classes began. Once I started to read, I knew this was the answer to my prayers! And I decided to start then to live this way.
All this time I had blamed my husband for our bad marriage. How wrong I was! Bit by bit I started to change, not him—myself! I bought some new, feminine dresses in soft colors with full skirts, let my nails grow, put a perm in my hair. So much for the outside. Now I had to change the inside. I started looking at just my husband’s good points. He was a good father, generous with money, a hard worker, and a good leader. I could go on and on, and I did—to him.
When I got up in the morning I tried to look at the good things that would happen that day, such as the pretty wild flowers growing , or the beautiful sunset. I thought o f the little things I could do to make my husband happy such as cooking what he liked or writing love notes to him, telling him about the things he’s done or said that made me happy. When he wanted to talk , I made a point of forgetting all else to listen to him, even if it meant turning off the dinner, or stopping folding the clothes. I did these and much more, trying to show him in all ways, at all times, that I accept him as he is as a man and a leader.
I have been living Fascinating Womanhood for a year and a half now, and you would never believe we are the same couple. He takes me out to lunch, fishing, and almost everywhere he goes. Lots of times we just go for drives or window-shopping. And where before he never bought me presents, even on my birthday or Christmas, now I get presents just because he loves me. Now he enjoys buying me clothes and things for the house. Would you believe we are even thinking about having another baby, an absolute no-no just eighteen months ago! Thanks to Fascinating Womanhood, I don’t dream of a beautiful warm, friendly, and loving marriage. I’m living it.”