In this personal story, relationship coach Rori Raye reveals the unlikely way she managed to quickly turn her marriage around…and create more connection and romance with her husband than ever before.
When I was single, I spent years attracting the wrong kind of guy or getting so close to a commitment only to watch things collapse right from under me. In previous articles, I’ve talked about how I finally turned things around and met my husband, whom I’ve been married to for over 20 years.
This time I want to talk about what happened after we said our “I do’s” and what I did when our marriage hit a bump in the road, as most relationships do.
AFTER THE WEDDING, THE REAL WORK BEGINS
While I was dating my husband, I created tools to increase the connection, intimacy, and passion between us – the same tools I teach today. Using them meant I finally experienced the kind of love I’d always wanted, and we were both very happy newlyweds. Then we experienced a series of events that really put our relationship to the test, and before I knew it there seemed to be a great gulf between the two of us. There was less affection, communication, and connection.
I started reading scores of relationship books and tried to talk with him about it, all to no avail. I focused all my efforts in trying to do things to please him, but we were just drifting further and further apart. I was in a panic, and I was exhausted. How could this be happening to me, to us? I thought I had this relationship thing figured out!
THEN ONE NIGHT, EVERYTHING CHANGED
It had gotten so bad that when my husband would come home from work, I sensed he’d rather play with our daughter then sit and talk with me. One night I was sitting on the floor with her when he came through the door. Normally I would have sprung to my feet to take care of him, but this time I suddenly decided to do something different. I stayed put. I kept the focus on me.
And that’s when everything shifted. He came right over and put his arm around me. He was loving and attentive. What had happened?
Here’s what: By not jumping up and all of a sudden making him the focus of my life, I was focusing on MYSELF and what felt good to ME at the moment, which was sitting and watching my daughter. And, by extension, suddenly HE was putting me first, too!
BEING RECEPTIVE: THE KEY TO GETTING MORE OF WHAT YOU WANT
Now, I could have rebuffed him and been resentful toward him. But the key to this whole thing is that as soon as my husband did come over and sit with me, I smiled. I was warm, and I welcomed him.
It wasn’t an easy thing to do: Initially I was so uncomfortable just sitting there, and so prepared for coldness from him. But I decided to stay open to him in that moment. And that made all the difference. If I had been angry or resentful, he likely would have felt it and not come over and sat down at all, or he would have gotten up quickly, or turned his full attention to our daughter instead of to me.
If I’d been unwelcoming, I might have gotten totally involved in playing with our daughter and hardly even looked at him. I might have deliberately or unconsciously shut him out. I would have been cold.
PUSHING THROUGH THE UNCOMFORTABLE FEELINGS…AND CREATING CONNECTION
You may have done these kinds of things before – pulling away, not doing what you may have done for him before out of anger and resentment. But staying put and focusing on yourself is expressing love for yourself, instead of anger toward HIM. And that’s when he can express love for YOU!
What I did that night was completely counter-intuitive: I stopped trying to change his behavior, and I was receptive when he DID show me the affection I wanted. It was scary going against my natural impulses. But when I felt the connection between the two of us, I felt less afraid to do the same things again. I was braver. I was able to stop moving toward him, and instead, be open and welcoming when HE moved toward ME. And that’s how I healed my relationship. Practically overnight.
To learn how you can dramatically impact your relationship with a man simply by making some subtle shifts in yourself, subscribe to Rori’s free e-newsletter. You’ll discover how to finally have the secure, lasting, passionate relationship with the man who is right for you…and how to make him fall more in love with you every day.