Belah Rose | What if the Intimacy in your Relationship Fueled Your Success?

I entered the barn to witness huge flames almost licking the ceiling. They were rising from on top of my wood stove which heated my room. The wood I set on top to dry apparently got too hot and burst into flames. 

I screamed for Dad. He quickly came from the other part of the barn – his workshop. 

Immediately, he sprang into action. First, he reached for my couch cover – then hesitated for some reason. Then reached for my blanket – but strangely hesitated again. Then, without hesitation, he took the shirt off his own back and snuffed out the fire – destroying it and deadening the flames.

What a hero. Not only did he save my “room” – the converted space in the old tobacco barn – but there wasn’t enough room in the trailer with my parents and younger siblings. But he also, in a split second, sacrificed his own possession rather than mine. 

These were the moments I remember as magical heroism. He was the hardest worker I knew, and with an entrepreneurial heart – always coming up with ideas of striking a deal, a wild business venture, (farming escargot was a serious consideration for a while). 

My parents took risks. Previous to moving to the property with the trailer and barn, my family built a log cabin in the woods. For a while, we had no electricity or running water. Eventually, our family of seven, owned or took care of other people’s animals on our acreage – donkeys, chickens, horses, pigs, chinchillas, turkeys, goats, ducks, and lots of sheep.

After a big rain, my mom would have all of us kids hunt for frog and salamander eggs in the big puddles that would form on our dirt road. Then, we’d carefully transfer them into buckets and transfer them to the permanent swamp, rescuing them from certain death when the puddles dried up. She was always encouraging adventures and benevolent acts towards our animals like this. She also loved Jesus and inspired us to live according to the principles of goodness, kindness, and integrity, which I so appreciate to this day.

I have some memories of my parents happily together – like all of us dancing together listening to the record player in our living room. The warmth that still fills me when I think about those memories, is almost palpable. 

But what I mostly remember about their relationship was very sad. Painful words and experiences shadow most of it. Two such amazing humans didn’t have role models to show them how to love the other well. Sadly, it ended in broken hearts and disaster – leaving us kids to pick up the pieces.

Their broken relationship destroyed finances, dreams for the future, and even incredible memories made together. They started out marriage with the best of intentions, but they didn’t have the right framework to get there. 

Our society is very pro-long-term commitment. We carry the dream that it will last and will be a forever love story. There’s a reason over $60 billion dollars each year is spent on weddings just in the US. And the average couple spends $28,000 on their wedding. So, I’m definitely not alone in craving “happily ever after.” 

But what about when it’s not?

belah rose

Intimate relationships can enhance or disable our life in dramatic ways. Our health, our mindset, our emotions, our ability to focus, and how we feel generally about life are impacted either positively or negatively based on our intimate relationship.

Whether you’re married or want to be or have suffered in one (currently or previously), I think you know this to be true: our intimate relationship impacts us more than any other relationship in our lives.

My work has now reached hundreds of thousands around the world, starting with a story of pain and suffering. Like many of our miracles, they start from a mess, and this is mine: My Relationship Journey.

I was definitely one of those little girls who dreamed of an amazing marriage one day. I wasn’t picking out my wedding dress from magazines. For me, it wasn’t the wedding I was most excited about. It was being with someone who knew me, really. And loved me for who I was at my core. 

I wanted someone who wanted to romance me. Where we would dance in the kitchen, making dinner together and laughing the whole time. 

I had never seen a lived-out marriage like that in real life, but I wanted it.

Oh, and I was also excited about sex. Though I had no idea what to expect – I just hoped my husband would love it because I planned to!

Fast forward to high school, I had yet to kiss a boy. I was super involved in extracurriculars, and I had plenty of crushes. I got red in the face around them, but never a boyfriend.

Then it happened in college, a guy thought I was beautiful and told me so. And he wanted to take things fast, and I was flattered and ill-equipped, but excited. I fell in love fast, and we got married quickly. 

In hindsight, it was all too fast, but you couldn’t tell me that then. Oh no. 

Dreams quickly crumbled

Almost as fast as we started, my dreams and hopes of love and intimacy (emotionally, spiritually, and sexually) were dashed. He wanted things in sex that I thought were dirty or degrading. I wanted things outside of the bedroom that he thought were signs of immaturity or plain silly.

We fought to get the other to understand how they were harming us. 

Those cutting words left scars. I berated him as much as he criticized me. I was trying to control, my mother, teach, correct and force him to do things my way. So, he responded in the same sort of ways.

It was an extremely unsafe environment and as I look back. I felt small. I felt humiliated. I felt hopeless. It crushed my spirit. And I can only imagine how negatively it impacted him.

We were both so unaware of how we were harming each other. All we could see was our own pain. We could only see how the other had been so wrong in their treatment of us. 

Eventually, it became impossible for me to function at my job and other responsibilities. I had physical anxiety that I could feel tangibly in my stomach. I was getting sick. 

I asked to take a break and that gave me the space to decide I needed to end it. We didn’t have kids, so I won’t have to see him again, ever. 

If I knew then what I know now, I don’t think we ever would have gotten divorced. In fact, we could have been happy together. We could have lit the other up and made the other thrive. 

I know things happened as they were meant to because if I hadn’t gone through that hell, I wouldn’t be here helping people around the world through their suffering – because now I know there’s hope. 

In the next couple of years…

I casually dated – well, no commitments. I was hurt. I wasn’t interested in being treated that way ever again.

Casual sex looked like freedom, it looked like I was confident, and untethered. But eventually, even my “no commitment” sleeping around, resulted in hurt, again. Because as much as I wanted to be numb, I became attached. 

And that taught me the depth of connection that comes with sex even when I didn’t want it to. 

I realized I was getting tired of this and needed a man who treated me as more than a piece of meat. Instead, I needed a man who would honor, respect, admire, and see who I was in a deep way – treat me as I always had longed to be treated.

Well, I wrote those three lists that Anthony Robbins told me to: 1) must-haves, 2) cannot-stands, and 3) who I needed to become to attract him. And in just 3 months guess who I met at work?

When we loved well

That’s where Darrow entered the picture. He was enraptured by me. But he was unique. 

He was shy, but also gentle. He didn’t try to wow me with his confidence, he wooed me with his kindness and wanting to hear my heart. 

He didn’t impose or assume sexual advances. He assumed respect for my body even when he could have taken advantage. It was all genuine. And that added fuel to my desire for him, in all ways.

Through his kindheartedness, depth of care for my heart, and listening ear, he healed my past wounding. In those first months and even a couple of years of marriage, we were both loving each other well, in the ways the other receives love. 

But why do things break down?

That marvelous “honeymoon” phase wore off. Have you been there? 

Somehow you wake up as roommates. But worse, you’re hurting because this person used to do all the things that lift you up. And somehow, they just… stopped. Or broke your trust. Or made you feel small. Or were flat-out mean and critical. Or rejected you sexually.  Or made sex a chore. And it hurt.

Now it’s not even fun to be with your spouse and intimacy in every area is lacking: emotional, spiritual, and physical.

Is it possible to get back to the honeymoon?

I’m happy to say that we got through the slump and are having an utterly wonderful time being in love, raising children, and yes, dancing in the kitchen while making dinner. 

We’re now one of “those” couples that can’t keep our hands off of each other – but we’re married, parents, in the midst of all the stressors that the rest of us have. But we enjoy our connection and intimacy in the midst.  

In fact, our closeness allows us to fight the challenges in life better, our intimacy fuels our success – in business, in parenting, in community involvement. We love that because we are filled up in our most intimate relationship, we can give so much more freely to others.

Get back that loving feeling

I’m happy to say that we got through the slump and are having an utterly wonderful time being in love, raising children, and yes, dancing in the kitchen while making dinner. 

We’re now one of “those” couples that can’t keep our hands off of each other – but we’re married, parents, in the midst of all the stressors that the rest of us have. But we enjoy our connection and intimacy in the midst.  

In fact, our closeness allows us to fight the challenges in life better, our intimacy fuels our success – in business, in parenting, in community involvement. We love that because we are filled up in our most intimate relationship, we can give so much more freely to others.

For wives…

I’m happy to say that we got through the slump and are having an utterly wonderful time being in love, raising children, and yes, dancing in the kitchen while making dinner. 

We’re now one of “those” couples that can’t keep our hands off of each other – but we’re married, parents, in the midst of all the stressors that the rest of us have. But we enjoy our connection and intimacy in the midst.  

In fact, our closeness allows us to fight the challenges in life better, our intimacy fuels our success – in business, in parenting, in community involvement. We love that because we are filled up in our most intimate relationship, we can give so much more freely to others.

For husbands…

For husbands to feel filled up they want to be respected, admired, and whole-hearted sexual intimacy.

He wants to be regarded just as he was when you met. He wants to be the fully capable man who can make his own choices without her mothering, controlling, or making him feel like what he does isn’t good enough.

He also wants her admiration. When he’s doing awesome she wants her cheering him on for how he’s killing it in the boardroom, how he fathers, on the construction site, or with his sales numbers. He also wants her to trust that he can be even more than she has seen him do before now. 

Finally, he really cares about physical intimacy. The most important thing to his body is what’s between his legs – and to ignore it is to ignore a core part of his identity. He wants her to love him generously in this area. He wants her to enjoy it and take great pleasure in it as well, frequently and with great fierceness and variety.

As a couple…

If you can start this way, with a spirit of forgiveness, care, and kindness for the other person, you may be quite shocked at the transformation you’ll see if you stick with it. I usually witness shocking turnarounds in just 3 months (often when only one is doing the work). 

I am pulling for you to not give up on your dreams of a lifelong romance, it can happen for you too.

See what Belah Rose is up to!

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