~ By an Anonymous Contributor
My husband and I married very young. I wanted so badly to be a good wife, the kind you read about in love stories. I wanted to be fascinating, 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 women’s liberation 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 telling the man what to do, always yelling and screaming, demanding her way. I wanted more than just a man and a woman living under the same roof. Only I felt that maybe the only people who live like this are the ones who live 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 a 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 until 10:00 or later from being out with the guys, and would pick fights when he was home. This went on for four and a 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 good wife. How had I failed?
One day, I was reading the paper and saw an article about Fascinating Womanhood. It described marriage just like my dream! Maybe, just maybe, I could fit with them. Maybe they could help me find who I am. I had hit bottom. How I hoped this was the answer to my prayers.
I was so hopeful I rushed down to a bookstore and bought a copy of Fascinating Womanhood weeks before the class was to start. Once I started to read, I knew this was the answer to my prayers! And I decided to start right away 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. I let my nails grow and put a permanent in my hair. So much for the outside. Now I had to change the inside. I started just looking at my husband’s good points. He was a good father, he was generous with money, he was 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 of 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 things he’s done or said that made me happy. I made a point of forgetting ALL else to listen to him when he wanted to talk, even if it meant turning off 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—a man and a leader of his family and that I love and admire him.
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. He now enjoys buying my clothes and things for the house. Would you believe we are even thinking about having another baby, an absolute impossibility 18 months ago!
Thanks to Fascinating Womanhood, I don’t dream of a beautiful, warm, friendly, and loving marriage. I am living it.
NOTE: Our testimonials only come from real contributors, most of whom prefer to remain anonymous. The images we use in association with anonymous stories are just stock supply. We encourage you to share your story so the entire community can grow and benefit. We promise to keep your details as anonymous as you desire. Thank you to all you fascinating women out there who continue to contribute. You are changing the world!