~ By an Anonymous Reader
My husband and I met and married while attending a chiropractic college. After graduating, we moved to a small rural town. Since we had the same education and degree, it seemed logical that we work together in our profession. As time went on and our family increased, I continued to work in our office, trying hard to fill my responsibilities there. I was also determined to be a conscientious and loving mother and homemaker.
By all social standards, we had a good marriage. Yet, deep in my heart I knew that my marriage was not what I had dreamed it could be. I loved my husband and believed he loved me. We had wanted children and we loved them. But still, I was becoming increasingly resentful, argumentative, critical, bossy, naggy, sleepless and continually tired. There was pain in my body somewhere constantly. My husband was criticizing me often, many times for things that I was not aware of doing. We did not argue often, but there were icy silences. We had endured several episodes of cutting lash-outs, followed by stony silences—no communication of any kind.
My husband was president of every organization in town. Every evening and most weekends were taken by his meetings. Our children felt they did not know their father. I began to wonder if this was what life and marriage was all about. I had a hoe, new car, nice clothes, jewelry, healthy fine children, but I was bitter and unhappy on the inside.
One evening, my husband was getting into my car and I asked him where he was going. He replied, “I have a meeting tonight. I’ll be back after a while.” I was so angry! Another meeting! I said, “I don’t care if you come home or not. You can take these rings and throw them in the toilet. If you and I can’t talk and be together and love each other, then these things don’t mean a thing to me.” I turned and stormed into the house.
As I walked through the door into our lovely old home that we both loved, I cried bitter tears. I prayed, “Lord, help me. Surely there is to be happiness for me. You gave me intelligence to learn, to read, write, type, study and so many other things, surely You can teach me how to be happy. Help me with my marriage. I am listening.” A peace came into my heart. I became calm and quiet, and I realized that something was beginning to happen in my life.
The next week my husband and I went to Fort Worth to a seminar. We had been to six previous seminars, and I had remained by my husband’s side, taking business courses, concentrating on ways to be better in the office. This particular seminar was to be an experience that would change our lives. As I sat waiting for the class to begin, I read the program of classes being offered. Something new was listed; a class named FASCINATING WOMANHOOD. I said to my husband, “Look, what a funny name: FASCINATING WOMANHOOD. I guess it’s a personal improvement class for girls.” He quickly replied, “Take it.” I thought, “I hope they have one for men.”
For the first time I went into a class without my husband. I was curious, apprehensive, and yet, quite eager and excited. I had never heard nor seen the words FASCINATING WOMANHOOD, nor had I heard of the work of Helen Andelin was doing, so I had no idea what to expect. As my teacher talked, I followed in the boo every word said. In 10 minutes I bowed my head and quietly said “Thank you, Lord. You surely answered my prayer in a hurry. Please let me learn—show me the way.”
At the first recess of class, my husband met me at the door, eager to hear about my first class without him. I said, “It’s a class teaching me how to be a good wife to you. That’s what I really want to be.” He looked at me strangely, but said little as friends were standing with us. For the remainder of that day I sat very still and listened to my teacher. I kept my eyes glued to my book. I underlined, I made notes and I sopped it all up like a dried-up sponge. The teacher gave us homework to do in our hotel room that night. The assignment was to look my husband over as I’d never done before, then honestly and sincerely say a specific sentence to praise him. Oh, my! Could I do this? Would he laugh at me? Would I sound ridiculous, or even worse, stupid? All the way to our room I silently drilled myself, “You’ve got to do it. The teacher said to do it. God says do it. Do it!
I carefully took my bath, put on my gown and lay down on the bed. Then my husband took his bath and came walking into the room with his shorts on. I looked him over, really looked him over and finally got out a squeaky, “Honey, I’ve never told you this before. You’ve got the nicest, broadest shoulders. I’ve always found them so attractive.” He stopped still, looked at me, and in an instant, was on his knees beside my bed, folding me in his arms, telling me with great emotion what it meant to him for me to want to be a good wife to him. He said he didn’t even know I cared about being a wife. I knew then that he did love me and he did care about our life together. I began to understand that I had within me a power to change our lives. Just a few hours of learning and one night of “living the wisdom gained” had brought the first miracle of happiness into our marriage. The door of real communication had begun to open.
During the next 12 years, I studied at home. I read the entire book through first, then concentrated on one chapter at a time, putting each principle into my life. Oh, it was hard to change old habits! I made signs to remind me, “NO YELLING, NO FAULT-FINDING, NO TELLING HIM WHAT TO DO.” I made other signs to remind me to begin and end my day with prayer. Slowly, but surely, old negative habits let go and a quieter, calmer, more peaceful and loving me began to emerge.
I remember the first day I experienced Inner Happiness as Helen Andelin described it in the book. How beautiful a feeling! I thanked the Lord for leading and guiding me, forgiving my foolish human mistakes, but never leaving me. My husband slowly lowered his barriers, began to share with me his ideas and plans, and guess what! He quietly resigned, one by one, all those organizations in which he had previously been so involved. He came home in the evenings because he wanted to. We were a family as I had dreamed we could be. As he became a happier man, his practice increased, the office ran more smoothly, he relaxed and our lives became more enjoyable. We grew together, we had fun, we related to our children, we shared and we loved.
Fascinating Womanhood was the beginning of a new life of love for me and my beloved husband and our children. In a sermon I heard a minister say, “Anyone can count the seeds of an apple. Only God can count the applies in a seed.” Because of prayer, Helen Andelin was helped in her own marriage and led to write FASCINATING WOMANHOOD. My teacher at that seminar was helped in her marriage and asked to include a class in our seminar. I was led to class; my life was changed and I have taught thousands at those same seminars. How many apples are in the seed that Helen planted? Only God can count them.