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I have learned a lot from Laura Doyle. A LOT.

Lesson number one - look after yourself. By this she means do three things a day (yes a DAY) that make you feel good and fill your emotional tank. I'm sure some of you are right now racking up all the reasons in your head why that is impossible. How that's a nice idea but there is no way you could do that. And I get that because I'm exactly the same.

But when my marriage had gotten to the point where my husband and I could set our clocks by the fact that we were going to have some kind of blow up every. single. weekend. I knew something needed to change. And this was key number one. Every week I was pouring out all my energy into the kids, my husband and my work. Friends and family would follow. Then me. If there was anything left. And obviously by the end of the week there wasn't. Which was why I would roll my eyes or complain about any little thing my husband did, usually first thing on Saturday morning, that meant one extra drop of energy that I (thought I) had to exude. For example, him leaving breakfast dishes on the bench. So annoying right? Like how hard is it to take your bowl with you when you leave the table and just put it in the dishwasher? It's literally right beside the table.

Now ladies before you shake your head at him and say Amen Sister to my side of this story, think about this...

Who's house is it?
Who's dishes are they?
Who bought the cereal?

The answers to all of those questions? They are his. Just as much as they are mine. And the same goes for our children. So when he lets them dress in kindy clothes when we are going to visit stylish people, or they are still in their pyjamas at 2pm, stop and think about what dynamic is really going on there. And hey I'm preaching to myself, I'm sure you would never judge or criticise your hubbys and the choices they make right?!
So when I started to take Doyle's ideas seriously and put them into action oh my goodness it was liberating. Saturday morning rolled around and I was ready to change. 6am and the kids start screaming out for us. With every yell I felt my blood boil like why aren't you getting up?! Why does it always have to be me?! But I caught myself and gave myself a one on one. I realised that this unpleasant morning wake up call needed a counterstrike, and I thought what would I really like for myself today? I'm an introvert and time to myself is GOLDEN. So I got up, looked after the kids, and daydreamed about having an hour to myself. When my husband got up I said the magic words. "I want an hour to myself". He said, "Ok, I'll just have a shower."

Ummmmmm what?!

So all I had to do was say that? Like you weren't actually expecting me to run around after you and everyone all day long and run myself ragged? Huh?!

I took that hour or was it two? I read, I lazed, I listened to children screaming that I didn't have to attend to. I relished every single second and when I emerged from my little nirvana I had so much love and liberation flowing through me. You should have seen how firstly surprised and shocked and slightly nervous my husband looked, and secondly when he realised I was actually happy, he seemed kinda proud of himself. He's a cute one.

As I write this I am home from a night away ALL BY MYSELF that was his idea. He dealt with the kids and yes, Eliza was wearing a kindy sweatshirt and tutu when I got home, hair unbrushed, and Arlo was still half in pajamas. But I was happy. I had energy for my family. I had joy in my heart. The weekend got a boost for all of us and we all deserve that.

I have given copies to of her books to many of my friends who have the same complaints I had about their husbands. I'm not sure any of them finished it. And so, when I hear the complaints it is really hard to bite my tongue. Meanwhile I have read it three times and now have a cleaner, an au pair, work I love doing (that includes an amazing purpose built office and new laptop) and many hours to myself to do things that I enjoy. Oh and a whole new wardrobe. And I'm not writing this to brag - neither my husband or I have everything figured out at all. But we've learned a whole lot about respecting each other's strengths and needs in our relationship and it is serving us all incredibly well. So please read the book.

((This post is taken from Laura Doyle's website))

How to Behave With Your Husband

9 Myths Uncovered

Maybe your husband seems distant or cold.
Maybe he's just so touchy all the time—like if you breathe wrong, it sets him off.
Or you see him so rarely it's just awkward when you're together, and you start to wonder, "How should I act around this guy?"
You want him to be more loving and less grouchy.
So you're doing the things you think should get him to snap out of his crummy mood and realize he has a pretty great wife.
But it's not working.
It could be that you've fallen prey to one of these common misconceptions about husbands that's making things harder than they need to be.

That's because I struggled a lot thinking they were true.
These common myths might be making your marriage hard. Read on to discover what to do to make it easy and fun again.

Myth #1: Doing His Laundry Shows You Care

Same goes with making his doctor appointments, packing his lunch and buying his underwear.
Those things seem like something he'd appreciate and feel happy you did, but they actually make him feel smothered and mothered.
Even if you're a stay-at-home-mom, consider letting him do more for himself while you take a bath or watch cat videos with your time and energy surplus.
Your job (and his too) is to take care of the shorter ones. Let the tall one with the beard figure it out for himself.

Myth #2: "Show Him That You Care Just for Him. Do the Things He Likes To Do"

With apologies to Burt Bacharach and Hal David, that's just not going to work for restoring playfulness and passion.
Neither is wearing your hair just for him, while we're talking about that old song.
If he likes to golf, and you like to rollerblade, you can go skating while he's putting and then you'll both have something fun to report when you see each other again.
If he likes to fish and you like to swim and read by the water, then it might make sense to go together–but only if you're looking forward to it, too.
No couple ever got happier because she gave up her interests to do something she didn't like so they could be together.

Myth #3: Be Supportive By Helping Him

This myth might be the biggest homewrecker on the list.
That's because every wife wants to be helpful to her husband, but most of us don't realize that making helpful suggestions in wife language translates into criticism and disrespect in husband language.
Instead of helping him solve his problem, consider reflecting back to him that he's smart and capable.
Your faith in him means more than your tips on what to do ever could.

Myth #4: Find Out What He Wants

Of course you want your husband to be happy too, but here's the twist I never realized until after I had already driven my relationship into a ditch: the way to make your husband happy is to let him make you happy.
Better yet, make yourself happy and appreciate him. Let him know how happy he makes you.
Asking him what he wants so you can do it for him will never, ever be as magical as letting him be your hero.

Myth #5: Ask How He Feels

My husband hates this one. He doesn't want to talk about how he feels.
I've asked him before and he says, "Hungry."
Sometimes he says, "With my hands."
That's because I'm asking him about my area of expertise—not his. So it would be like asking my husband about something girly—like eyeliner or strapless bras.
Women are emotionally brilliant, so that's our department.
Instead of asking him how he feels, ask him what he thinks and ask yourself how you feel.
That way, you're both sticking to your strengths.

Myth #6: Be Willing to Compromise

I haven't compromised in my marriage for nearly two decades. Neither has my husband.
How is that possible?
Because we stick to our strengths. I'm focused on my feelings and desires—the seat of feminine power—and he's focused on what he thinks is best.
Therefore, it's impossible to have a conflict where one of us is wrong and one is right because we're not even in the same realm.
Today I wanted to throw out the old phone that was crackling. He thought we should keep it because that phone is the partner of the other phone that works fine, and they're on the same system.
After he told me his thinking, I wanted to keep the phone too.
In other words, his thinking influenced me, and then my desire changed.
We didn't come to a compromise because we didn't need one. We negotiated in our areas of strength and came to agreement.
Sure, I was the one who was influenced this time, but sometimes my desires influence his thinking and we reach agreement that way.

Myth #7: Be Available When He Is

There's nothing wrong with being available when he is—unless it means you're missing the fun class you wanted to take, or the girl's trip or the run you had planned.
Doing the things that bring you joy are more important than rearranging your schedule to be home when he gets home.
You'll be way more attractive if you're filled up and happy when he sees you than if you're always there, waiting for him to make you happy.

Myth #8: Help Him by Reminding Him

Want to make sure he remembers to get his oil changed? To pick up the kids? To drop off the mail or the dry cleaning?
You don't have time to track his responsibilities because you're way too busy doing fun things, ideally.
That's okay, because he's got it anyway. He can remind himself.
He may exercise his right to be wrong at times, which can be a bummer, but hey–I can't even prevent myself from exercising my own right to be wrong at times.
Reminding him to do things—especially more than once—will hurt the intimacy and take up the energy you need for important things–like laughing at pictures of recipe fails on Pinterest.

Myth #9: It's Your Job to Make Him Happy

Okay, so this one could be true, but ONLY if you make him happy by letting him make you happy.
In that case, you have this one just right.
As soon as he feels successful making you happy again, he will be happier and more confident, too.
For greater connection, playfulness and passion, the way to behave with your husband is like a woman who knows what she wants and gives that to herself.

Read more here


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