~ From an Anonymous Contributor,
Even before I was married, I was well on the way to breaking the most important Fascinating Womanhood rule—accepting a man as he is without trying to change him. I remember remarking to a friend, “He really is quite a gem. I just have to polish him up a bit.” As soon as we were married, I began the polishing process, unaware that what I was really doing was rubbing him the wrong way. Instead of producing a beautiful gem, I was creating a massive bulk of cold, hard rock. My constant barrage of criticism forced him to build a wall around himself, from which, from which he would emerge only after he was drunk, to give me some of my own treatment. Life for me and the children was becoming an unending round of sleepless nights filled with terror, shouting, cursing, nervous tension, heartache and tears.
All I could think of was how to get out of this mess, so I got one job after another until I worked myself up to a position where I could support the children and myself. Then I filed for divorce.
When the papers were drawn up and ready to be served to my husband, I realized deep down within my heart, that this was not the solution I wanted. Somewhere there must be a better way. I knew that if I went through with the divorce, I would feel for the rest of my life that I had failed as a wife and as a woman. I felt that my three daughters would have a terrible example to follow and that the step I was contemplating would result in not just one divorce, but likely four, “Help me find another way,” I prayed.
And God began to speak to my heart about the principle of acceptance. Made up my mind and decreed in my heart that from this time on I would accept my husband as he is, alcoholism and all. No longer would I be offended when he came home drunk. I determined to put my arms around him and to try to let him know that I loved him.
When I did, naturally, because I had loved the opposite for so many years, he did not believe me and kept pushing me away. I persisted in my attempts to show him that I cared for him and continued to pray. Later, through Fascinating Womanhood, I was to learn that my husband would not accept this change on my part as being genuine until I was willing to humble myself and admit I had been wrong for so many years and ask for his forgiveness.
In answer to my prayers, God next impressed upon my heart that I must trust my husband. This was an extremely difficult step for me to take, especially in view of the fact that my husband by now was no longer employed. He was continually either too drunk or too sick to work and I had become quite independent financially, emotionally, and socially. It was the “all things I must submit to” that I balked at, and a great spiritual struggle ensued within me.
Finally, I surrendered this stronghold to God and told Him that from that day on, I was trusting my husband in all things. That same evening, I met the woman who later introduced me to Fascinating Womanhood.
Within a week of my decision to start trusting him, my husband stopped drinking and sought help through counseling. He has been sober ever since. I was very thankful to have a sober husband, but I began to feel a terrible emptiness in our marriage relationship. We were like strangers living under the same roof, not actually knowing one another. My inability to bridge this terrible gap was becoming a source of frustration to me. It was at this point that my new-found friend loaned me Fascinating Womanhood. I knew as soon as I read it that it was another answer to prayer.
One by one, I gradually began applying the principles. “Honey, I want you to know that I realize I’ve been wrong all these years in trying to change you. I am sorry and I am asking you to forgive me. In fact, I am glad that you are strong enough to have resisted my efforts to change you.” Also, “Forgive me for not having understood how great a responsibility you have on your shoulders to provide for me and the children. I wasn’t you to know how I appreciate your taking care of us.”
And, “You know I’ve always admired your broad shoulders, and those muscles. They are as hard as a rock. And the way you carry yourself. I think you are wonderful.”
The first two times I tried saying these things to him, he said nothing. The third time he didn’t say anything either, but he kind of squared his shoulders in a way which to me was very eloquently said, “Well, she’s finally discovered me!”
Since then, he has responded in many heart-warming ways, whether it be a bouquet of flowers, a new chair for the living room, inviting me to go to an auction sale with him or inviting the neighbors in for an evening, I am grateful for his every response great or small which indicates to me that I have indeed found the key to a happy marriage.
I feel like a new bride again through Fascinating Womanhood. I am just now learning what a good marriage is all about. The only married couples I had known who had a good relationship were either in the generation before mine, and therefore, I reasoned, their circumstances were not relevant to our times—or the husband did not drink heavily. Little did I know that the divine order or marriage, as given to Adam and Eve, has not changed, and that a man’s needs have not changed. My marriage could only be successful if I followed the principles God laid down. His laws are eternal and do not change with the times or circumstances.
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