How To Start The Conversation Of Future Planning Ep 49

How To Start The Conversation Of Future Planning | Relationship Coach

Welcome back to another week where we are doing the work of digging in and building a marriage that we love and this week I have a special episode to help you start the conversation of future planning in your marriage.

To be 100% vulnerable, I came up with the topic for this class in the MIDDLE of a conversation I started during a Saturday coffee with my husband. One of the things I had been focusing on in my marriage the last half of 2021 was examining why I wasn’t opening up and doing some of the things I wanted to do in my marriage and challenging myself to do it anyway.  

For me, one of the things that I had been yearning to do for years, was do a better job of mapping out our future and asking questions, being curious and openly dreaming together, which we often did but that is where it ended, they were just “options” of what our future could look like. What I know now is that dreams are just wishes and that just talking about them was not creating anything concrete. Last year I started taking my desires into my own hands and invited Jeff to come along, sometimes he did and sometimes he didn’t but when I look back we created some fun time together. Activities that I had previously held back on because I was letting myself believe a story that they weren’t important.

What I realized is that I was expecting Jeff to take the lead and that sort of got to me because I know that I’m more of the planner, I’m more of the one who holds on the importance of our dreams and that I actually love the planning of things but often I see that I have these thoughts about my plans – that he isn’t interested, that planning is stupid. So instead I started to listen to what I wanted and I started taking steps towards those things and stopped wondering what Jeff was thinking because what I know is that one day in our future he is going to say thank you and of course, even if he doesn’t I will be thanking myself for taking care of my future self.

So prior to our coffee conversation I had been reflecting over my past year and starting to think about what I wanted to create in 2022 in all areas of my life and this had normally been stuff I would keep to myself. I again had thoughts that this wasn’t important, that it was a waste of time, but what I realized is how important it really is BECAUSE I thought it was important! When we actually map out our steps to getting closer to our goals our goals grow because we learn so much along the way AND I wanted to stop thinking about his thoughts! 

So what I want to do today is help you begin this conversation while also learning that these techniques can be applied to any conversation you want to have.

  1. Get you started having conversations that are important to you and help you build shared meaning in your marriage while taking a look at why you aren’t having these conversations
  2. Learn how you are a major influencer in your marriage and that your voice matters
  3. Understand that these conversations don’t need to be long drawn out, heavy discussions
  4. Have you start doing the things that you want to be doing in your marriage

The question I want to ask you is why you are waiting for your spouse to take the directive in any of your conversations? Why are we women always putting our desire for connection and conversation in the hands of our spouses when it is us who want the conversation? We can stick to the story that he’s not starting conversations because he’s not interested or not good at conversation or we can take our desires into our own hands.

Why do we argue with what is happening when we are sitting in silence wishing they would start the conversation already when we could just enjoy the silence or start our own conversation.

The first thing I want to talk about is taking steps – I think that often we have this grand idea of what a process should look like that we get overwhelmed in the details and then we walk away frustrated. What my main goal for you today is to start becoming aware of this conversation that you want to have, to stop waiting for them to read your mind and to create what you want for yourself, even if it feels messy. I don’t want you to get caught up in the details, I want it to be fun for you.

This conversation could look different for all of you – start where you are:

  • IF you are a goal setter and have a process for mapping out your future then the conversation would look a little different than if you don’t do any goal setting but want to.
  • Make it fun and be curious – talk about yourself and what you are discovering about yourself and what you want to create this year in your life and then ask them their thoughts around the things you are thinking about. Ask them questions about what they might want to create for themselves – WITHOUT and agenda around their response – LET THE CONVERSATION BE FUN, just that, a conversation, no right or wrong answers here
  • Remember that if you haven’t had this conversation before or if you have and it hasn’t gone the way you hoped it would that their perspective is different from yours, they may not be in the headspace that you’re in so what if this was a conversation to help them get thinking forward?

If you’re new to goal setting let’s first get you started by thinking about your own life priorities. Take a few minutes to ask yourself some of these questions:

  • Look back at the past year and write down everything that has been going well, all the things you love about your life right now.
  • With these areas of your life you are having success in, what do you think the keys are to this success?
  • Then ask yourself what you think is missing in your life right now and write down things you’d like to improve in your life
  • Now look at what you wrote down and what stands out for you.

Make this simple – you don’t need a whole day brainstorm session, don’t make it difficult, there are no wrong answers here!

You could also take a few minutes to think about a few of your top-life priorities, if you could create one thing in each category at the end of this year what might it be, again, make it simple. Here are a few of the areas of your life you might consider:

  • personal life
  • physical health
  • marital life
  • family life
  • career/business life
  • spiritual life
  • financial life

With each of these consider writing down one goal for the year in one area and then what you will do in the first quarter to reach that goal. If you are new to goal planning start small with steps you can achieve so you build belief in yourself. I love coming up with one main goal with other small ones underneath it so that I have one main thing to focus on all year.

Then I want to encourage you to mark your calendar with two days a month where you will take a few minutes to ask yourself how you are doing with the goals you set for yourself. You can ask your spouse to join you but take the lead here for yourself. You are doing this planning for YOU and are sharing it with your spouse, asking them to join you. Don’t stop doing what you want to do because you perceive them to think it’s ridiculous. After you take time to ask yourself some of the following questions then you have material for another future planning conversation:

  • How are you sticking to your priorities?
  • How are you not sticking to your priorities?
  • How are you feeling about what is working?
  • How will you get better between now and your next check-in date at keeping your priorities at the forefront of your mind?
  • Write down a specific plan/commitment that you are willing to implement over the next two weeks.

First, I want you to realize that if this is new to you that it’s quite likely that you will forget about the things you wrote down as priorities – no big deal. You might even forget to do your check-ins until months later, that’s ok too. You are developing new patterns and it might take a bit of investigating to figure out what works. Again, there is no right or wrong here, just get started and learn what works for you. Then I want you to share all of your discoveries with your partner – YOU are planning the time, the conversation, it doesn’t mean that you have to set a date with your spouse though you may choose to. You don’t have to say “I want to talk about our future planning on Saturday evening,” though depending on where you are on the future planning spectrum, you might so that if they want, they can start thinking about things they want to talk about. Otherwise, it’s just you starting a conversation about how your goal planning is going and asking some conversation-starting questions to get them thinking about what they want to create.

The exercise is an exercise in stepping out of your comfort zone and starting to talk about things that matter to you.

This here is the work we do in AwakenYou in your marriage, my 1:1 coaching program. We start with ourselves, taking a look at the things we want in our marriage and then looking at how we’re waiting for our partners to take the lead in what we think is important in our own lives. What we learn how to do is take our own life into our own hands and start providing what we want for ourselves so that we can live the life and marriage of our dreams.


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.

Is Contempt Killing Your Marriage? Ep 48

Is Contempt Killing Your Marriage?| Relationship Coach

Hello AwakenYou listeners! Before we jump into today’s topic, I want to share a few things that will be happening here in this community of people yearning for something different in their marriage as we dive into 2022. Starting this week and every second Thursday of the month this year, I will be teaching a class to help inspire you with ideas of ways to create more of what you want in your marriage. This month we will talk about how to start talking about your future together and what you both want to create this year, a perfect complement to the work you may be doing around goal planning. Secondly, after running my beta six-week Marital Magic course, I will be offering it five times this year, and the first one kicks off the first week of February. This course is a fun way to get started on the process of working on your marriage with a group of others who have similar goals to see how coaching helps you overcome the obstacles that are in the way of creating what you want in your marriage. And of course, the Cadillac of all of my offerings are to work with me one-on-one in my AwakenYou six month program where we get serious about doing the work to help you align with what it is you want in your life and, most importantly, in your marriage so that you can get back to a space where you can start falling back in love with your partner. Getting on my mailing list is the best way to stay up to date with all of the new things I will be introducing this year and get the first opportunity to join this community of people taking their marriage into their own hands instead of hoping for the best. This week we are continuing where we left off at the end of 2021, which was taking a deep dive into the seven indicators that your marriage is off track and headed in the wrong direction by taking a look to see if contempt is killing your marriage.

As we dig into each of these different indicators, please create awareness for yourself. As I study and share what contempt in marriage looks like, it has become obvious that this can be difficult to detect, especially if it has been a part of your early relational modeling. It might be something you think is “what you do.” This was definitely true for me, and over the holidays, I got a good opportunity to watch the contempt dynamic in my family, seeing where the seed was planted and nourished in my life without me seeing the pain of it because it was the water I was drinking, a defense mechanism that was installed early on. So this is why everything I share is first and foremost for you to start becoming curious about if and how this might be playing out in your life and, more importantly, your marriage while slowly pushing you away from the result you want, which is to develop a loving-kindness that grows and nurtures the relationship. This work starts with you in so many ways, starting with looking at what you are shielding or protecting within yourself. How are you lashing out to avoid looking at what is going on inside of you that you’re afraid of confronting?

Where we’ll start is to marinate on what contempt looks like and steps you can start taking to nourish yourself and put an end to a strategy that isn’t getting you the result you want.

What is contempt

Contempt arises when one has a sense of superiority over their partner, that the other is beneath considering their point of view or perspective, that they are worthless and deserve to be shown that they are not deserving of approval or concern. In short, it is disrespect. It is a constant brewing inside of what is wrong with the other and carried out as a form of attack on the other person’s sense of self, often executed as a way to make oneself feel better and superior.

It is the most lethal of the four horsemen, and the goal when someone is using contempt is not to resolve a possible issue but to tear the other person down. In an example where a woman or man might wish their physical intimacy looked different, one partner would attack the other with words that tear the other person down instead of stating what they are unhappy with and why. It might look like a spouse stating that the other is a prude and not sexy, which tears down the spouse’s character, ultimately creating less of what the contemptor is wanting by pushing them further away, increasing distrust and closeness. What that partner isn’t doing is looking inside to understand what it is within themselves that needs them to tear down another to feel better and why they aren’t able to have an open and loving conversation to find out what is at the root of the problem. A productive conversation would sound more like sharing that they would love to have more physical intimacy, why that is important to them, and asking for some help in discovering how they as a couple might start working towards what they both want. When a partner isn’t tearing down the core of another, it doesn’t cause the other to push them away. Instead, it allows them to have an open, vulnerable, and authentic conversation that leads to more intimacy in and outside the bedroom.

Contempt can take many different forms, words of sarcasm and cynicism, name-calling, eye-rolling, mocking the other, mean humor, and whatever form it takes, it is cyanide to your marriage. When contempt is mixed into disagreements, it is virtually impossible to aspire towards any resolution because your partner is translating your words to mean that you are disgusted with them as a human being. Contempt only leads to more conflict and further distance between you.

How to eradicate contempt

The first way to eradicate contempt is to understand what it is, why it’s being used, and even find some empathy for the partner who might be using it to feel better about themselves. Let me share a simple yet common form of contempt that many of us can relate to whether we’ve done it or been on the receiving end of it.

“Oh, I have never done that!” This is a form of contempt, and it is taking something someone shared and stating that they would never do something THAT bad, insinuating that how the other feels are less than themselves.

Here is another: “I’d never do that to you!” or “How would you like it if I did that to you?” Again, the person states that what the other did was morally worse than anything they would ever do, therefore insinuating their superiority.

How about this: “Don’t you know how to fold clothes the right way, what is wrong with you?” here again, the comment is making the action of folding clothes mean something is wrong with the person and that the person speaking is morally better. A simple change here could be letting go of how the other folds clothes, sharing how you might want the clothes folded without being attached to the expectation that they conform to your wishes, or sharing that you appreciate their willingness to help with the laundry and that you have a way you like your laundry to be folded, and then do it yourself.

A change to end contempt starts by noticing it, whether you are the sharer of the contempt or the receiver. Then it is the process of understanding what is going on, evaluating what is happening for you, sharing how you are feeling, and then bringing an invitation to discuss it. The opposite antidote to contempt is to ignore it and say nothing. This creates disconnection and distrust in your relationship; open, honest communication airs out the disagreement and leads to a better understanding of each other. Avoidance only creates separation.

As you start to pay attention to the dynamic in your marriage, you have the opportunity to dig into the roots of why it is there, how it makes you feel, and decide when and how you want to bring it up in conversation with your partner. The willingness to address these tough marital dynamics shows your willingness to create a smarter, more loving relationship where you can talk to your spouse about anything and know that it is never to tear the other down but to help build each other up into more emotionally intelligent beings.

I’d love to hear back from you after you take some time to process and be aware of how contempt might be playing out for you or your partner in your marriage. Know that if either of you is riding with the second horseman, it doesn’t mean you are the problem in your marriage. It means that you now have the opportunity to create lasting change for yourself and the future of your marital relationship. It means that this new knowledge can bring you to an end of life marriage that you look back on and smile at with a big heart full of pride in what you were willing to work on.

Remember to look at the show notes to get on my mailing list so that you can join me this Thursday evening and plan a fun life planning conversation with your partner. I will show you how simple it can be and how just the thinking of it might have you giving up before starting. See you all next week!


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.

2022: Your End Of Life Marital Possibilities Ep 47

2022: Your End Of Life Marital Possibilities | Relationship Coach

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.