I have realized that neither Doug nor I were completely at fault for our marital mess. I really blame it all on stupidity. We really didn’t know what each other needed. I know that I didn’t take my marriage lightly as that is not my personality. I always put 100% into everything I do whether it is my career, my appearance, home, family and most of all being a great wife.
If I could have one thing in the world it would have been for Doug to love and admire me – especially while recovering from an affair. I felt that I did everything to make that happen, but unfortunately at times I followed the wrong path, made mistakes and went about it the wrong way.
I picked up a book recently called “Why Men Love Bitches” by Sherry Argov. I was intrigued by the title because I always thought that was the opposite of the way I tried to be (Doug may disagree). I always tried to be the nice girl, accommodating and easy-going. Basically someone my husband would want to be around.
The book really opened my eyes. The book didn’t recommend that you act like a bitch, but it talked more about not being a doormat. Rather, you should display confidence, power and integrity.
Reading this book made me realize that I had become too nice, too predictable and too boring. I was trying to do all the right things by making life easier for Doug. Instead, I should have given Doug something to fight for instead. It’s like I literally took away his manhood.
I am going to highlight two of the principles that hit home for me:
“Act like a prize and he will turn into a believer.” I am one of those women who have a hard time taking compliments. I also seem to highlight my flaws instead of my attributes. Men love confident women who know what they want. They don’t want someone who goes along with their every whim.
“Let him think he’s in control.” He’ll automatically start doing things you want done because he will always look like a “king” in your eyes. “When a woman acts as though she’s capable of everything, she gets stuck doing everything”. This hits home because another mistake I made was trying to do it all.
I felt Doug would appreciate that I made his life easier. The more I did the less Doug seemed to notice and the more upset and resentful I became. Little by little I took responsibility for almost everything around the house because I wanted Doug to come home and feel relaxed and proud that he had a wife that was so efficient. I learned that he didn’t want a wife that could do it all. He wanted someone who would relax and spend time with him.
There are many principles in the book that provide a reminder about remaining a confident woman who puts herself first. The book pertains more to the dating woman, but someone who is recovering from an affair can use the information so they do not become (or remain) a doormat in the future.
I found myself doing many of the behaviors that I now know jeopardized my integrity and respect. My behaviors displayed a person who was needy, powerless and not confident. I wonder if I would have acted differently when I found out about Doug’s affair if I knew then what I know now!