Spiritual Surrender Works! — Success Story #10 — StrengtheningMarriage.com
(Sexual Success Stories…from “HIS” Perspective)
Learning to surrender has been quite the process for me. When we first discussed the topic with Laura, it was very hard for me to understand it. It has taken me quite some time to come to understand and appreciate its value. I am now very grateful to understand the principle and be able to apply it in my life with my wife, in our intimate relationship, and with my family and coworkers.
The process of surrender has had a large impact on my relationship with my wife. Surrendering is hard. Surrendering is not natural for me. Surrendering to me means that I realize I shouldn’t try and steer my wife, her feelings, her moods, her desires or her actions. This was very hard to do when something was very important to me. I wanted a certain outcome, and the way I used to look at it was that my wife and her choices were the obstacles in me either being happy or being sexually unfulfilled. I really had it all wrong. But the sexual relationship was so important to me that I couldn’t see what I was doing wrong.
Not Surrendering Puts on Pressure
While working with Laura we learned about the idea of surrender. She taught me that surrender could ultimately allow for my desired outcome to occur, but without surrender, I would likely make my “worst case scenario” be the outcome instead. I was subconsciously and consciously wanting my wife to change a few of her desires and views on sexuality. I was damaging the relationship by putting my will over hers. I was forcing and trying to manipulate. I was unknowingly pushing her down a path that she wasn’t sure she wanted to take. I wanted our sexual relationship to get better. She did too but was feeling pressured. I wasn’t respecting her decisions and opinions. I was really screwing this up. I was messing up one of the most important parts of my life–my relationship with my wife.
What surrender allowed me to do is to discuss intimate issues with my wife without prejudice or pressure. As she began to feel safe and un-pressured in discussing intimate topics it allowed us a safe place to discover and express our true feelings without judgement. Only by having this nonjudgmental environment did it allow us to create and express our true feelings and opinions without pressure from each other. This allowed a place for me and my wife to explore, grow and change because of our own free will.
I was no longer pushing her down a desired path, but rather walking beside her. I am now not leading her anywhere. She can freely change directions on the path at any time walking forward, back, left or right. I focus less on where we go and am just happy to be with her. Within this new environment, we both feel free and un-pressured. She now feels like no matter what choice she makes it is the right choice, and that she cannot disappoint me. She can change her mind. She can disagree. She isn’t obligated to feel or think like me anymore. The result is that my wife and I feel comfortable and more at ease in our sexual relationship. And the crazy truth is that we’ve found that she is probably less inhibited than me!
You Can’t Fake Surrender
But here is the hard part. You can’t fake surrender. I have tried. It doesn’t work. I have to truly believe what I say to my wife and let go of my desired expectations. When I ask my wife if she wants to have sex, but tell her it’s okay either way, I really have to be okay with either decision. I can’t be mad or frustrated or disappointed if she says no. And even if I say nothing she can feel what I’m thinking. Laura calls this the 80/20 rule of communication. Eighty percent of the message conveyed comes from the nonverbal message (my thoughts and feelings) with only 20% coming from what I say.
This can be hard. I am not perfect, but I am getting much better than I used to be. If I am in a state of surrender, we can talk about any intimate topic, and she doesn’t feel pressure from me. She just feels safe to say anything she wants, knowing that I won’t be disappointed, or mad. This created a big challenge for her to always have to be trying to not make me upset. At the same time, I can also tell her my feelings, thoughts, hopes, and desires and she doesn’t feel a sense of responsibility or guilt. We are just talking and letting each other know our thoughts.
Letting Go of the Outcome
The hardest part about surrender for me is truly being okay with any outcome. Or as Laura’s says, making friends with the “worst case scenario.” It was a lot easier for me to surrender things regarding my family, children and other parts of my life than to surrender the sexual relationship with my wife.
For some reason it was easier for me to determine that I could be okay with things such as one of my children leaving the church, or becoming addicted to pornography or having a drug habit than it was for me to surrender that I would be okay if my wife never really embraced her sexuality or opened up to me intimately. I found that the thing that made it easiest for me to get past this issue was to concentrate on all the positive characteristics of my wife. This helped me to not focus on myself and instead see all of my wife’s great traits.
What Surrender Looks Like
During one exceptional month in our marriage a while back, I noted all of the things that were happening in me and our marriage that made it so great. I owe much of this to working on doing surrender better.
- I was seeing more of the positive in our children.
- I was seeing more of the positives in my wife. In fact, I noticed that I really hadn’t had any negative thoughts or critiques about her for some time.
- I worked on understanding how my wife’s mind works differently than mine. I recognized that she feels love and validation from me when I listen and don’t offer advice. I’m getting better at just listening more carefully.
- She taught me something very important when she explained that when I give a typical man response (providing a suggestion rather than just listening), I was making her feel inferior, portraying the notion that was is unable to fix things on her own. This was truly enlightening to me. It made me feel very sad that I for most of our marriage I had inadvertently “put her down” and made her feel less-than by giving her unsolicited solutions. All I was trying to do was help. I have worked hard to not give so much unsolicited advice but instead try to provide more validation and support.
- I have consciously sat and listened to what she has to say. And I have truly been interested. I have become more interested in things she is interested in just because I love her!
- I have been happy.
- I have felt so much more in love.
- I have opened up and trusted my wife with my deeper thoughts and feelings. I have let her deeper into my soul.
- I have spoken to her more from a place of love. My comments are now spoken only because I love her not because I think she needs to change or do something differently.
- I have surrendered that I have any direct control over her, as part of our relationship.
- I have been excited to see where we will go together in our marriage.
- I have increased my spirituality as I’ve realized how important that is to my wife. I am trying more to be her equal in that area instead of just letting her almost lead out in that dimension because she’s just so good at it. I seek out my own spiritual learning now by listening to church talks, etc.
- I’m letting small things go in all areas of my life. It’s especially noticeable with letting my kids be themselves and exercise their own agency.
I think it is important to acknowledge that I think my wife deserves most of the credit for things getting better. I understand that I am only in charge of me, and I cannot control her, so I need to just focus on what I have been working on. However, I want to mention how awesome my wife is and a few of the things she has done that has made our relationship even better!
- She has seemed very content in our marriage. That feeling of her being at peace gives me security and a sense of peace and calm.
- She has let small things/mistakes I have made slide off of her back and not bother her.
- She has been very physical in and out of the bedroom, which has filled my love bucket to overflowing.
- She has been very positive about me to our children.
- She has discussed intimate details with me!
- She has encouraged me to get away to do things away from the family without any guilt or strings attached.
- She has cuddled me at night.
- She has worked hard at developing her sexuality—her background music!
- She has been my best friend.
I want to tell you that surrender really works! After thinking about and working with this concept for many months I realize that surrender is Christlike love. Surrender is loving someone because you love them and you care for them not because they act the way you want them to act. Once someone realizes your love for them is unconditional it opens up a whole new world.
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