Fierce women: The power of a soft warrior brings happiness

Dec 12, 2012 at 6:00 a.m. ET

I never wanted to be a wimpy woman. I’ve always been drawn to strong women—aren’t you? A refined strength has an alluring appeal. I love to see a fierce woman in action.

Woman embrassing man

Nothing fazes her. She’s indomitable, determined, and a passionate force. When given a challenging assignment, she boldly goes for it and doesn’t let anything stand in her way. She’s fierce.

Fierce WomenBut hold on. I’m not talking about an ugly fierceness that is really just raw aggression, not the brand of fierceness that recklessly walks over people or is rooted in self-centered goals, but a beautiful fierceness that is more concerned with giving love than getting love.

A destructive cycle

Often marriages are caught in a destructive relationship dynamic that I call the Fierce Woman/Fearful Man cycle, where a wife’s strengths intimidate her husband. The fierce woman can be a living inspiration or morph into her husband’s worst nightmare. He may respond with harsh anger or passively retreat to his own silent world.

My husband and I were there for years—it wasn't a happy place to be. But no more! You, too, can break out of the cycle. Not by becoming a weak woman, but by fiercely loving your husband in the ways I discuss below.

Passionate appreciation

If you’re a woman who is passionate, intense and driven, your ferocity may overwhelm your husband. But if you’re passionate in showing him appreciation, admiration and gratitude, watch your man come out of hiding!

Give him courage

Often our encouragement can come on so strong it seems like nagging. If the men around us have lost the joy of manhood, their confidence to lead and the desire to cherish us, we may have stripped them of their courage. That’s when it’s time to find creative and supportive means to bring out the best in him.

Move over

If you want your husband to be a more confident leader, then move aside and let him! What I’ve found to be the most common factor underlying the high rate of male passivity is the wife’s domineering control or demeaning attitude when her husband makes any attempt to lead in a direction she doesn’t want to go. If you’ve asked him to pick the restaurant, don’t complain if you’re not thrilled with his choice—at least he was brave enough to choose! Your evening will be much more enjoyable when your eating preference gives way to the opportunity to affirm him.

Accept him

When I was first married, I viewed my husband through a romanticized view. My longing for that phantom version led me to push, plead, pressure, manipulate, demean and bully him, hoping to produce my ideal man. The more energy I poured into pressuring him to change, the further apart we grew. Accept your man—don’t pressure an introvert to become an extrovert or vice versa. Provide a safe and comfortable atmosphere for him to “be himself” around you because he knows you’re good with his unique approach to life.

Fierce women, be soft warriors and you'll be amazed at the happiness it brings to you and your family.

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