Happy 2022 everyone! As I write and record this episode my heart is bursting with excitement thinking about what I have created in my own marriage and looking forward to what our future together will look like. The last couple of weeks I have been taking time to reflect on all that I created in 2022 and then project into 2022 of what I want to create to further take care of my future life and marital relationship. In this episode, I want to share a bit of my marital journey so as to help you imagine what might be possible for you in your marriage. I am also going to share some of the beautiful things my brain offered when it comes to the process of doing this work and stepping closer and closer to your goals which include end of life marital possibilities.
It has been approximately five years or so since I found myself looking at what looked like my second marriage crumbling apart. Many of you already know this story so I’m not going to get into those details but what I want to share is a bit of reflection that can help give you some hope and perspective around what turning your marriage around looks like while remembering that the work I did was mostly work I did on my own. Though I sought therapy and used many different coaches, the work I did on my marriage consisted mostly of me being committed to our marriage and what I wanted it to look like for me.
We have used several different marriage therapists who have always left us feeling mostly hopeless. When we slowly faded away from our last marital therapist work, I decided it was time for me to focus on myself. I did lots of searching, I felt vulnerable and ashamed that “there might be something wrong with me,” but I was determined to figure this out. On the outside, my life appeared successful but on the inside I was a mess, never feeling like I was going anywhere real in life. Inside I knew that there was more for me in this life but the how eluded me. Over those five years, one year was spent in individual therapy while searching for solutions in all sorts of different modalities, including working through recovery steps in Celebrate Recovery, reading a lot of books and listening to a lot of podcasts. Those podcasts led me to discover what life coaching really was, how it could help me and I haven’t looked back since because what I was listening to was so counter to anything else I had done that I decided to start studying it and see if I could comprehend what I describe as abstract thinking. After presenting some of the life coaching concepts to my therapist, having her disagree with the information I shared, I knew this was what I was going to spend my next year discovering.
I haven’t looked back since, life coaching concepts changed my life and my marriage.
In my reflection, I looked back over the past three years of my business, thinking about the time and money I have spent to retrain my brain and absorb all I could to learn more about how the brain works and how relationships work. I concluded that if all of this work “only” brought me to the end of my life madly in love with my husband, then every moment and every penny invested would be more than worth it. It even allowed me to think broader and abundantly towards future investment, knowing that there isn’t anything I would rather spend my money on. The trivial things we can spend money on mean nothing when our marriage is crap. We can devote useless dollars and hours doing something that will never get us to a marital relationship where a snuggle and a good laugh means more than anything. When what is around us means nothing because we have each other, that is when life sparkles. An expensive vacation hoping to “get back” all of the intimacy means nothing if we are only band-aiding over all of our relationship hurts and returning home to the same empty relationship, maybe even more empty than before we left on that vacation because we never got to truly get close to each other during our time away.
I realized during this end-of-year review that I have set goals with my marriage every year for the past three years, and this year I have seen the most growth. A Christmas where my best gift to myself and Jeff was the investment in us. An investment that will have us looking back at the end of our lives smiling brightly with joy and sunshine in our hearts of what we have created instead of a stone-cold heart full of regret grieving love that was never shared. Even better, it makes me burst with excitement thinking about all of the growth we are going to create together this year, so much so that when I think about my future self at the end of 2022 all I can do is smile brightly.
What I am sharing with you this week is this same hope. I want you to know that I understand what it feels like to long for a different relationship and be angry with what marriage looks like. I know what it’s like to be frustrated and annoyed with how my husband is showing up in our marriage and building a wall so high and so thick that the nourishment of love could never be consumed. I know what it feels like to think that this work is way too hard and tiring, wanting the future to be here now, but the end is part of the journey. If I was given that happy marriage right now I would never get the opportunity to stretch and grow which I know means that that “happy marriage” would fade away like dry sand in my hands. This is the problem I found with therapy, we were expected to change, and everything was supposed to feel good, but it didn’t, so we quit. There was never a future goal and a plan of steps we’d need to take to get there, only analysis and suggestions as to how to behave, and looking back I know that my most important lesson was what we really needed – an ally plan towards our future and to look inside to see what each of us needed to work on individually to make our union together work instead of what looked like enemy attack.
Imagine those diets where you lose all of the weight in a short time without retraining your mind around food and cravings. The weight comes back and is even more stubborn to those lose quick tactics—the same with changing your relationship. You are doing the work of changing old built-in mental responses, and that work takes time, but there is something I want to share about this process that you might want to consider right now. The longer you take to commit to the work of changing habitual ways of interaction in your marriage, the longer it will take to change those habits and get to a space where you see progress in your marriage. What I know is that the more you engage in those old patterns of interacting with others, patterns established early in your life, the more inflamed it will make your life, the more of a superhighway you build up in your brain and the more difficult it will be to change that patterning.
Think about older adults who never realize their harmful ways. Have you noticed how it gets worse and worse as they age?
My hope for you this new year of 2022 is that you decide this is the year you stop wasting money on superficial purchases that don’t do anything to improve your end-of-life experience and that you decide instead to start investing in yourself. I hope that at the end of this year, you will look back like I did with tears streaming down your face in pride for what you have done to bring love and joy into your life while letting go of the superficial monetary purchases that you think will get you a happy end of life experience. When you look back, you will not remember what you bought to make you feel better. What you will remember is the love you shared, the love you created or the love you didn’t share, and the love you left behind.
That is all for this week, my friends. I hope you had a restful new year, and I look forward to journeying through this year with you as we together build a love relationship that makes our hearts swell with radiant goodness.
I am a life coach who works with individuals to break down relationship barriers by awakening their true selves. My process isn’t about changing your partner; it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage. If you’re ready to take your life and your love relationship to the next level, then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s decide together if this is your next step to creating the life you’ve been dreaming of.