Friday, November 23, 2012

Reading, Reflecting..Not So Much Applying

   Yesterday life was good.  I didn't actually have too much to do because today is finishing touches day.  Why do it twice right?  No seriously, I know me, if I had the joint sparkling and then some 'innocent' left a leaf on the floor in the front entrance I'd ...well best just to leave that til the last minute if you catch my drift.

   Once I justified that in my mind, the day was an open day!  I decided to start reading The Surrendered Wife by Laura Doyle.  Now if you are actively living ttwd or trying to ( in my case) I see very little controversy in this book  In fact, if you are thinking about ttwd as a lifestyle this could very well be a great jumping off reference for you.  Anyway I decided I needed all the help I could get, so for $17.00 what the hay?  The thing I am enjoying most about this book, is how the author explains that Wife reaction A can lead to ( negative ) Husband Reaction A.  Interestingly enough, that is also what I don't like about this book, for it has held a mirror up to my past and I look sort of like this

Without the flawless skin, and most excellent cloak--but you get the picture.

   Often 'here' in Blog Land, you will hear women talk about the walls we have built over the years to protect ourselves from hurt, but did you know that you were an expert mason? Building walls everywhere you went.  I do not only mean your own walls. I mean bricking up your husband.  This is basically what I am experiencing from this book at the moment.  Understand what you take away from it, maybe totally different.

  So far, aside from the insight offered, I could have written this book...Her actions/words before she 'surrendered', the affects it had on her husband, can be seen in Barney. 

  The accepting gifts and compliments chapter really rung true for me.  I was raised to be humble, but being humble does not mean NOT accepting the 'gift' of a compliment.  For in doing so, you could be crushing the spirit of the individual giving you said gift.  It really does make me uncomfortable to hear praise, like I am unworthy of such a thing--but what about the person giving me the praise?  When I make a joke to cover my uncomfortable feelings, I am dismissing their feelings.

  Another section that had me thinking was the section on the importance of girlfriends.  Really and truly, I have not had/kept many girlfriends in my lifetime.  I can imagine there are quite a few of you out there who are the same.  I have always surrounded myself with men, ( um so NOT like that!).  I found it easier.  Guys were 'more fun' to me.  Their humour tended to run in the same direction as mine.  I felt like I was safe, and more feminine because they didn't make me feel that they were threatened by my personality.  In addition, I've said before, I'm a bit of an emotional sponge, and in my younger years, well girls were all about the drama, and I'd get sucked in...YUCK! 

   If I were to be completely honest, and I suppose shew-like, I didn't expect too  much from the men in my life.  After all they were guys.  Guys are guys.  My expectations of my female friends was and still is, unfairly I suppose, higher.  They should KNOW I need their help!  Can't they see that? Whereas I would just ask my guy friends, because, well they are guys, and can't figure it out on their own.  The disappointment of not having the response I wanted from my girlfriends was too great, so I abandoned them.  I would try periodically, but ultimately the friendships have been left to casual outings, not phone calls in the night, when things weren't going well.

   Well you do need someone to phone.  To talk to .  To vent to.  Blogging has been so important to this process.  I am trying to be the person I was years ago to my friends, and not expect anything in return.  I used to be that 'girl' but I hardened up over time as well.  As we know, that starts a chain reaction.  I act like I don't need them, they figure I don't.  I am hurt.  Thankfully I have you lovely ladies to help ease me back into the fold.

 The last section that has me thinking in this book is- giving up control of the finances...YIKES !  Not because Barney is incapable, he is WAY more capable than I, that is for certain.  It is just, um, all the creative accounting I have been doing to 'make it work'---by the way---not always more so than not saying No in bed, more than speaking respectfully, and much more than all the other 'surrendering' I have been trying to do combined, this is going to be the hardest, but perhaps, if the author is correct, the most important--at least in OUR relationship.  I think I'll wait 'til after Christmas though ( wink )

  Sounds great eh?  Like whoo hoo Willie you are on your way!  Well I am understanding how my reactions in the past have help create the roles we had before we started ttwd that is for sure.  But even in my enlightened state yesterday, this is what happened ( just so you know I am indeed human--LOL)

  After dinner last night Barney made an innocent comment.  Not really worthy of the reaction I was about to give.  I have no 'horror moans' excuse - No I didn't sleep well excuse.  In fact, I was supposed to be enlightened right?  Anyway, for whatever reason, I went into a '&itchy sulk mode'.  It was pretty apparent.  Unfortunately, I stayed in it for quite sometime.  The worst part is, aside from sending Barney into a tailspin, and eventually putting him in a fowl mood, DURING my sulk fest, this popped into my head--

" Do you realise how lucky you are that you are not married to ____ or ____ or heck even ____ at the moment?" 

Yup I so knew I was in the wrong, my brain tried to snap me out of it...and yet I stayed in &itchy Sulkville...
  Leaving this in my wake

  Learn from it and move on. So that in the future when I hold the mirror up to myself.  I will find this reflection starring back at me.


  1. I think I may have to look into this book. I so get what you are saying about compliments. I know I am definitely a wall builder. Thank you for your insights and best of luck in your journey.

  2. Good morning TL

    I am really enjoying the book. It is an extremely easy read. It is sort of like reading blog posts. My reasons for liking it, as I stated, is not because of the how to aspect, but why it is important. As I mentioned yesterday ( at least I think I did ) I need to see every side of an issue before I can proceed whole heartedly. This book is giving the means to see that.

    I hope you find success in your journey more often then not too. It is very difficult at times

  3. Yes, I do that with the compliment thing as well. :( Poor Will, he's always telling me how hot, beautiful, sexy [insert adjective here] I am and I'm forever saying, "Not as hot as you" or "Um...okay, but look at my hair!" or whatever. That's hurtful of me, though not intentionally so.

    Something I'll have to change!

    Great post!

    1. Once when my friend Dan gave me a compliment...I mean he does it frequently, but this one time when I did what you said above, he turned to me, rather cross and said

      " What ? You are questioning my intelligence? You think I am not smart enough to know that you are....( insert )."

      I try to hold on to that when Barney says something about me in a positive light. That I trust his judgement, why can't I trust this? That it can be insulting and hurtful too. More importantly to anyone out there who's husbands aren't as stubborn as mine, and have stopped giving you compliments over the years, it doesn't mean that they don't see you like that. It could just mean they are tired of being shot down.

  4. I also relate to the compliment thing. Do you think it's inherent? The fact that you are able to recognize the hated behaviors is the first step to the future. You can do it.

    1. Hmmm. Don't know. Maybe we weren't complimented enough when we were kids to learn how to accept? I still find it odd, and this is just my issue, when someone says anything positive about themselves- like they are bragging- Like I'll figure it out on my own if you are sensitive, or creative, or compassionate. Isn't that awful? People should be able to say their positive attributes and not fear repercussion. Maybe it is because secretly I wish I was comfortable doing the same? I guess it was something my parent's did...LOL...Better call Dr. Phil stat!

  5. I'll have to add that one to my books-to-read list.

    I never thought of the compliment thing. I'm the same way. Compliments make me uncomfortable so I tend to brush them off. I never realized in doing so, I might be hurting the one giving the compliment.

    I think even in our enlightened state, it's hard to let go of long-standing behaviors. It's a process. We may not get it right the first time or even the tenth time, but we eventually get where we need to be.


    1. I have been trying so hard to get over this hurdle Dana. I have been thinking about the why a lot ( I know shocking isn't it) Some of it I believe stems from this- I have won numerous awards in my lifetime ( bare with me this is not a bragging thing ) I've won them in various categories, art achievment, academics,( clearly not English ), awards and elections dealing with essentially popularity ---but every single time there has been a negative comment from someone in the peanut gallery..." I've seen her art..blah, blah blah..." <- didn't matter I was informed I had the highest mark in the school let alone my grade, to me I was not worthy...etc..etc...ya know?

      It is like we are our own worst critics and we need to find fault with ourselves before others do to protect us from the hurt...YET, as we know that doesn't allow in the good either.

      So little by little I am trying to let in the good. Someone asked in the Liebster awards what super power would you want if you could have any---I'm not sure it is classified as a super power, but I would love to see myself as other's do for a week...good and bad. But somehow I can imagine there would be more good than bad...after all I've won so many awards...LMBO!

  6. I read Dr. Gray's Men are from Mars....etc. book a long time ago and although it wasn't about dd I did have the proverbial brick in the back of the head "hey....Ian is different than me". I realized that my female coping mechanisms weren't working for him. When he would get quiet, trying to go into his man cave and reflect, I would follow him in harping, "What is wrong?!" "Tell me what is wrong, right now!" So - I understand how a woman doing ABC makes her husband do XYZ.
    Dd, I think, makes it simpler. Yes, we are different. He is in charge. Let's get on with it. I feel released from the stress of trying to decipher his every emotion and just accept that he is my HoH, he wants to be alone - the respectful thing is to leave him alone.....done.
    I hear what you are saying, Willie.
    Knowing about roles and rules is one thing. Living them is another matter entirely. You can't really fake it till you make it.....but each time something occurs, like your incident last night and it makes you evaluate how you reacted, it is great progress.
    We are always going to have knee jerk reactions, our behaviours are deeply entrenched ways of interacting with each other. The HoH is going to resort to old behaviours and so are TiHs, just accepting them and communicating about the way you wish it would have happened has been the key for us.

    These things are all ways of learning. Growth - isn't it wonderful?
    hugs and love

  7. The interesting thing I find from this book, so far, it not just you did 'A' so he reacted to it..blah..( This is going to sound WAY more negative from me than you will experience in her writing) It is more you don't like this about him, the way he has become, however over the years as you did ABC the feelings he had from that made him react in an XYZ manner. She doesn't make you take the entire blame, just see basically how you could have contributed.

    This is especially important for me-- to see in print how this was possible. Some of the examples cited could literally come from our marriage. On the flip side, because we have started ttwd, I can see how the changes work. I am not sure I would have believed these theories or if it was a good tool to envoke change before we started ttwd. Perhaps I needed the positive results before I could really acknowledge how I contributed to the negative.

    Either way it is giving me a greater understanding of HOW you react in a given situation can affect things further down the line. A valuable bit of information for life in general.

  8. It sounds like that book is really helpful. That's great, I'm so happy for you. I think I'm going to go purchase it myself.
    Are the blanks because you forgot the names of those you were thankful you weren't married too? I can fill those in for you if you need help. LOL
    I wish you and Barney all the best!!!

  9. Well lady, I'm not saying the book is for everyone. Some may hate it. It just gave me a different perspective is all. For me a greater understanding. But to each his own.

    Oh no the blanks were not because I forgot--no need to give those HoHs bigger yes you most certainly fill in one spot. The last one I believe!

    What is with the sign off? Wish us all the best? I am still talking to you via email ...are you ditching me in public now? LOL

    Am I still allowed to hug you, publically?


    1. No sign off, I was just trying to be nice. (LOL I know, I almost had a hard time typing that) Seriously, I do wish you guys the best. I know you've had a rough 2 weeks and I hope this book helps you.
      And yes, you are still allowed to hug me publically! LOL
      Have a good trip my friend!

  10. I absolutely get the compliment thing. Maybe its the 'good girl' syndrome. I do not know. I am definitely not perfect, but my parents were a great example on how to compliment each other in marriage.
    Whatever helps us have better relationships...that's the ticke.t

    1. Hey Minelle. Thanks for stopping by..I did comment to you about our guilty reading :)

      I'm not sure the reason behind the compliment issue, and I suppose it doesn't really matter, as long as we can figure out how to accept them with grace.

  11. Hi Willie,

    I can relate to a lot of this, particularly accepting compliments and finances. Rick compliments me all the time and my natural reaction is to brush it off. I am slowly now getting that when I do this it upsets and deflates him. Nowdays when I do it, he is pretty quick to lecture me and tell me how it make me feel when I do this.

    Sounds like you have been doing a lot of thinking and soul searching which is great. This is a journey of self discovery as much as joint discovery.

    Thank you for sharing this my friend. I think I'm going to have to have a look at the book.

    Have a wonderful weekend, travel safe. Will miss you :)


  12. I read this book a while back & actually reviewed it on our blog ( & I disagreed with a couple of fundamental points, but all in all I think it is a great starting point and a wonderful resource. It's definitely worth the read.

    1. Thanks June, I'm sure some would be interested to read a review from a Dd standpoint

  13. Hey Willie - great post and you make a lot of very valid points. I have always dealt with self-esteem issues and do not accept compliments well.

    Look at how you've grown my dear. A while back, you would have stayed in the funk, sulk situation without recognizing where you went wrong.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful weekend with your family and stay safe on the roads.


    PS. I went and read the comments Amazon regarding this book - some are so funny. I know, I'm weird but I enjoy reading the positive and negative comments. :)

    1. We made it safe and sound, although we encountered snow! I know what the heck did I expect?

      I might go check out the reviews for a laugh...let ya know what I think.

      As for growing, as long as it is up and not out, I'm game!

      Have a great weekend yourself!


  14. This is really interesting and well-done!

    My mom did the finances for my family, so I assumed until I was quite old that family finances was a wife's job. I never knew that other dads did it, and I'm always surprised when I hear about wives spending too much money. I also met a guy who said that he gave his wife full control of the money for the family because if she was in charge then she would spend less.

  15. Hi Ana

    Well my Mom handled all the finances, and my Dad was an accountant! I think it just ends up being easier with the bills coming in during the day, and groceries ect...but I'm willing to give it up..eventually. It does cause a great deal of anxiety. Not sure Barney wants it either! LOL

  16. oh the asians are really good at not accepting compliments (and help too i might add)

    there is a notion of "no, it's not really that great, i'm just average, i'm nothing, i'm nobody special"

    wait. i think i just did that when KITTY thanked me for the recent post. i told her i don't even know why she's thanking me for.

    anyway, spot on! I shall have to look for the book.

    1. Well I hope you enjoy the book. I am finding it an interesting read.

  17. Thanks Wilma for a great blog.
    I'm going to get the book today!
    Jack's Jill

    1. Hello Jill!

      I hope you find the book as insightful as I have so far. Email me later and tell me what you think :)



  18. Hi Wilma. I can also, (like so many others), have4 such difficulty with compliments. It's sad that something meant to be positive and uplifting can create such a negative response in us. I have taken the adage, "Don't let it go to your head", far too seriously. Your post however, showed me something I hadn't considered before. How my refusal to accept such a gift from others has caused confusion and pain. It suddenly becomes clear why my husband felt uncomfortable giving me praise. I grieve for the hurt I have caused, yet I can see the truth and learn/grow from it. Thank you, my friend, for showing me something I can make good again.

    Wishing you Peace and Joy as always,


  19. Hey Pamela welcome back!

    I am always amazed what people choose to take away from each post. The compliment issue seems to be a common 'problem'

    Here's hoping you can manage to 'learn' to take a compliment. It is certainly something I am having a hard time with. I've started by smiling and resisting the urge to say anything but thank you.

    It seems like my life has become a journey of baby steps as of late.

    I am so happy you decided to comment again :)


  20. Hi, Willie. I'm late to this, but thought I'd throw in my two cents and let you know I'm still around. ;-)

    I've seen this book mentioned around the blogs and sites in older posts I've gone back and read, and it seems to keep popping up, usually with fairly favorable to great reviews. I haven't read it yet - one of those "keep meaning to" things, I guess. Or, perhaps it's avoidance of the word "surrendered." In it's true meaning it's a wonderful concept, just as humble/humility, service, submit/submission are wonderful concepts in their most pure definitions and high aspirations. I think these ideals (and, yes, I think they are ideals) have been given a very negative connotation since the advent of Women's Lib. They also seem to have become wrapped up in outdated notions of forced subjugation (and I don't mean the desirable form of sexual kink thinking about this). These words have become "labels" and are referred to in a smarmy, smirky, snide way, implying such women who aspire to "defer" to their men are helpless and have pitiably pathetic character weaknesses, or they are perverted enough to want to be treated as property or abused.

    We could go on and on about this, couldn't we? There are so many layers and levels of strength, stamina, leadership and independence in women. It's sad those qualities are so often perceived to be in danger when a woman elects to couple those qualities with generosity, cooperation, trust, love and respect in order to achieve the betterment of her relationship by choosing to support and submit to her husband/partner. (Long, run-on sentence, but it has to stand as is, I don't have enough coffee in me to fix it.)

    I guess I did go on and on some more. Going to leave off and grab some more joe. Make a great Tuesday!

  21. Hi Irishey.

    I am happy to see you show up in the comments section late or not!

    I still have one chapter left at the moment, ( not really in the frame of mind to read at the moment) but I honestly don't see what the issue is with this book..TRUE I have given my husband permission to spank me so my perception might not be the same as the average woman out there.

    This book's tone is more of a 'let him do it' and 'you'll feel so much better'. She is NO WAY implying that women are not as intelligent as men. Or that you should be a doormat and not express your wishes. I'm almost afraid to say it, but there is empowerment in not doing everything. Sure she discusses building the masculine/feminine dynamic, and widening the gap to make each other more appealing- but isn't that the reason why men and women are different?

    But to each his own.

  22. Hi Wilma,
    I read the book awhile ago. It was very interesting. I was reading everything I could find on being submissive at the time, but I do remember this one being a little different. I might have to go and re-read it again.
    We (women)are, by no means, perfect but sometimes it is easier to not be friends with other women after being hurt one too many times. I feel so fortunate to have my friends in blogland. I don't feel like they are going to backstab me or make advances at my husband. Grrrrrrr (yes it has happened)
    I have learned about the complement thing just from watching and teaching my children. I laugh when they accept a complement by saying "I know" and I have to correct them and tell them to say "thank you" which is all I need to do too (if I can remember).
    Thanks for the great book review.

  23. Hey Blondie

    You know I really didn't set out for this to be a book review, just what I was getting from it. I suppose in a way it is a bit of a review...yikes! I certainly didn't mean for that to happen.

    Isn't it wonderful how children can accept a compliment so easily? I wonder why that changes as life goes on.

    As for us making a pass at your husband---he makes freakin' paddles!!! He's allllllll yours!


  24. I know I'm a little late to this party and this is the first time I've commented on your blog, but I may have to go out and get that book.

    After giving me a compliment that I rejected, John told me the same thing your friend told you. He asked me if I thought he was an idiot, if I thought he had bad taste, or if I valued his opinion. It really hurt to know that I made him feel that way when all he was doing was trying to build my confidence. While he was trying to build my confidence I was chipping away at his. I wish I could say that this has made it easier to accept his compliments, but honestly "talking" about it is giving me a renewed perspective...I may need to tattoo it to my forehead to get it to stick this time :)

    TTWD has made me realize all the things I was doing to our the man I love most. It has been a very sobering experience. I always thought I was keeping everything moving. And I guess I was...unfortunately I was running John over in the process:( About a week into TTWD we had a "cleansing". It was a spanking for all the things of the past and it allowed be to feel "absolved" of those offenses. It didn't make changing the behavior any easier, but it did allow us to move on from them. Now comes the hard part!

    Thanks for allowing me to ramble on (confessing my sins to a complete stranger). Btw I'm P! Nice to "meet" you! (At least we're not complete strangers anymore! LOL!)


  25. Welcome P!

    I have actually been over to your place, but never commented either. Wow two cartoon women...okay, you are a historical character, but still!

    This book will make you realize even MORE how your words might have affected John in the past.

    I did enjoy it. There are very thought provoking quotes in there. I was thinking some day of maybe writing a post about this, but I'll just give it to you here



    The Surrendered Wife.
    By Laura Dolye pg. 162

    Nice to meet you too!