Three Positive Outcomes Of Working Together Ep 63

Three Positive Outcomes Of Working Together | Marriage Coach

Hello, AwakenYou listeners, and happy Tuesday! It has been a reflective week over here in my world. I am coming off of an intense beginning of April, which is also the beginning of the second quarter for any of you business-minded listeners, while I dive into my goals for this month. I am creating a course to bring live to audiences who want to learn how to change relational dynamics while also preparing to launch a deep dive into a year-long advanced relationship mentorship with my mentor and coach, Aimée Gianni which starts this coming weekend with live intimate training with a small group of outstanding coaches in Las Vegas.

So many of you have asked about how coaching can help you change your life and how your life would be better, so that’s what I am talking about this week: the value and positive outcomes of working with a marriage/love/life coach, whatever you want to call me. Let’s say it like this: a life coach specializing in bringing love, joy, playfulness, connection, and peace to your most important human relationship, the one with your spouse. Today I will share three different positive outcomes of hiring a marriage coach. Still, just like I mentioned last week in Ep 62: How To Change Your Marriage Without Changing Your Spouse, the actual positive outcomes far outweigh what I can include in this short episode.

Fully embracing YOU

This was not originally on my list of three outcomes, but as I started writing, I could not not include this one because, to me, this is the positive prize outcome above any other. Suppose you have ever felt uncomfortable in your own skin, felt like you need to agree with the crowd to fit in, and chose to run and hide from the idea of getting together with others because you fear you won’t fit in. In that case, this is the one thing that will propel you forward towards your life dreams the fastest. The freedom that will come when you feel free to shed the different costumes you don throughout your day and learn how to process the uncomfortable emotions you feel when asking questions because you don’t know what someone is talking about instead of acting as you do. Freedom to not agree with someone or not even have an opinion either way and instead connect on a deeper level by hearing more about their why. Freedom to say no to a gathering because you’re just not into it instead of saying yes and then debating over attending or not and ultimately ghosting.

The value you will get out of coaching from this one takeaway is the gold that keeps me coming back to my coaches. To dig into seeing the ways you might be abandoning yourself for the sake of what others might think, including your spouse, or to “keep the peace” will always open you up to living a life you love living.

Learning how to make ALL relationships work for you, even those you choose to “end”

Think about the top five people in your life that you have what you might call a “difficult” relationship with; maybe it’s your mom or dad, a sibling, your spouse, a child, a friend, a co-worker, or a boss. Imagine what it would feel like if someone waved a magic wand and dissolved any relational conflicts you have with these five people. How might your life feel “easier”? How might you have more time and energy to do those things you love doing by learning how to make these relationships work for you? Less overeating, or over drinking, overspending, or whatever your numbing action of choice is? Or how about the mental energy spent on thinking about how they need to change or time spent ruminating over their actions, or time spent in conversation with people you love about how awful these people are? Let go of those things, and you have magically opened up time to rest, workout, hug your spouse and children, be playful, and plan out your best life.

Being able to look at everyone with an empathetic view is a value that will come from working on only ONE of those relationships, and better yet: when you work on that relationship with yourself, whammo, you start seeing everyone else through a whole new lens.

The value of learning about emotions

Off the top, most of you might not see the value in learning about emotions and the impact they have on your life and your relationships when you start to understand their tremendous power and see how you are utilizing their power against yourself. Emotions are the fuel behind everything we do, the things we do that we love and appreciate, and the things we do that we aren’t so proud of. Better yet, once we see how these actions directly impact the results we are getting in our current life, it helps motivate us to find a better and different way.

Learning about emotions helps us become aware of common triggers to our familiar and not-so-proud responses. As we become more conscious and aware of the emotions we are feeling we start to become aware of what we need to do to start creating a new dynamic that makes us proud of how we show up, it has us planning our new responses instead of relying on deeply engrained ineffective responses. When we learn how to utilize the power of “positive” emotions and diffuse the destructive power “negative” emotions, we take our power back in all of our relationships. Then we have the power to influence others to show up differently.

There you have it, three powerfully positive outcomes you will get when you take the bold step of harnessing the power that is locked up inside of you and let it out. You will start showing up more comfortably as yourself, create new relational dynamics with all of the people in your life and learn how to use the power of emotions to move you forward instead of keeping you stuck. That value you cannot put a price on because it will pay you back in ways you never imagined, as in a love life brought back to life, a trusting relationship with yourself, and a better connection in every relationship, which might even lead you to that promotion you’ve thought you’ll never get!

If you have any questions about how to start working together, please reach out via email (christine@christinebongiovanni.com) or message me on my social channels. I would love to find time to get to know you better and discuss how you can start creating these results in your own life.


I am a marriage coach who helps women and couples go from feeling powerless to change how they feel about their marriage to feeling powerful and taking ownership of how they feel. My process isn’t about changing your partner; it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage, and through this process, you will begin to find that your partner will change as well! If you’re ready to take yourself to a place where you can finally fall in love with your life and your spouse, then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s talk about the next steps to making your dream life your reality.

How To Change Your Marriage Without Changing Your Spouse Ep 62

How To Change Your Marriage Without Changing Your Spouse | Marriage Coach

Happy Tuesday, fellow AwakenYou listeners; it’s great to be here with you today. I hope that today’s message inspires you to feel a little, if not a lot, different about what is possible for you in your marriage and in your life. I know that many of you are in different places when it comes to how you feel about your marriage, some of you feel pretty happy about your relationship with your spouse but want to tweak a few things, and then others are miserable. Some of you who feel unhappy wonder if you married the wrong person and if you should leave. In contrast, others of you are committed to staying in the relationship while really hoping that you can change this listless relationship dynamic into something more fun, exciting, and passionate. No matter where you are in the marital feels spectrum, I want you to know that it is completely possible to change your marriage without changing your spouse and today, I will share a few of the hows.

There are so many ways that I help you change how you feel about your marriage that has nothing to do with leaving your spouse or changing them. Actually, every single episode here in AwakenYou addresses ways that you can create that change. Still, there is often more to it than listening to episodes and taking stabs at creating the change on our own. Don’t get me wrong, it is entirely possible to listen to episodes like this, read some books, and create a new marital dynamic all on your own, just like it’s possible to change a lifelong disordered eating pattern all on your own, but enlisting the help of a professional will speed up the process and help you see things that only an outsider can see. So what holds most people back from seeking one on one help? Typically what I see is all sorts of fear. Fear that it won’t work, fear that there might be something wrong with them, fear of admitting they have a problem, fear of opening up the “pandora’s box” of their life only to find out that there is no hope for them, fear of stepping into something more amazing than where they are right now, fear it won’t last. Oh, and then there is all of the shame that they are feeling under that fear, the shame that is telling them that they are getting what they deserve in the love and passion department and that they should be happy with what they’ve got.

Okay, so back to where I started, today I want to share three different ways I help people change their marriage without changing their spouse, and I will most likely continue this episode in the future, but let’s see where we get with it today’s chat.

To begin, I want to share a bit of my own story when it comes to the work of changing how I felt about my marriage because I vividly remember when I refused to “succumb” to the idea that I needed to do things to change my relationship. These things include, but certainly were not limited to, wrapping my naked body up in saran wrap and greeting him at the door when he came home from work (no lie, thank you, Joy 😉), dressing up to make special meals served in candlelight, and folding all of his clothes “neatly” whatever that is and putting them away. I had a whole list of actions that I “should” take to make my spouse and me happy, but the problem was, at the time, taking these actions from a place of joy, passion, excitement was not at all accessible to me, and I wasn’t interested in faking it, it felt awful and cheap. Now, I am not saying any of these actions are good or bad; I’m saying that from the place of where I was ten years ago, these actions didn’t align with how I felt about my marriage at the time and my journey was about looking at how I felt about my marriage and why. My journey was about looking at what was going on inside myself instead of the helpless, powerless position of waiting for Jeff to show up differently so I could feel better. This is where we start.

Taking your power back

We are completely powerless when we require others to be different than they are for us to be happy. This is true in our relationship with ourselves, our spouses, children, family, friends, and co-workers. In AwakenYou we take a look at all of our different power leaks and one by one we seal each leak. We start by looking for some of the smaller leaks and with each power leak we seal, we gain a little more power or strength to search for the next leak and start sealing it.

This starts by checking in with ourselves, how are we feeling when our spouses are on the phone during dinner? Zap…power leak. We check in with ourselves again and notice how we are feeling when we go to bed and our partners don’t join us…zap, zap, zap…power leak. Then we check in again and notice how we feel when our spouses don’t initiate conversation but when their phone rings they seem to be in their element chatting away with the person on the other end of the phone…ZAP, ZAP, ZAP!!!

When we check in with how we feel we discover something about ourselves, we discover how we are thinking about what is going on in front of us and how it makes us feel. Once we have this information we start to understand why we’re acting the way we are and why we are getting the results we’re currently getting in our marriage. From here we get to work on learning how to accept where we’re at and deciding what we want to do about it. Do we want to change our actions and lead with a different emotion? Do we want to speak out loud to our spouses and share how we are feeling about the version of the story we see?

We begin to see where we are feeling powerless and then we have an opportunity to decide how we want to change the dynamic which seals the leak and supplies us with the power to do what makes us feel better.

Learning how to set boundaries

This goes hand in hand with taking your power back. You take the time to look at what you are doing in your marriage and why. Are you packing their lunch because you think it’s your job or because you love to make sure they have something healthy to take with them for the day? Are you having sex with them because you don’t want them to go looking for it outside of the marriage or because you want to learn how to explore your own emotions so you can open up to enjoy the experience fully? Are you going to another one of their boring work events because you feel obligated, or can you say, “Not this time, dear; I think I’m going to relax and take a long hot bath, but thank you so much for inviting me!”

Becoming familiar with setting personal boundaries will help you be more honest in your marriage and accept your decision so that you can have fun. Maybe you chose to say yes to that boring dinner, then accept your decision, stop looking at all of the ways this is going to be the worst evening ever, and start searching for all of the ways it is going to be amazing; you’ll be surprised at what a great time you can have!

Learning the tools to resolve conflict in a healthy way

Conflict is all around us, and it will always be a part of a healthy marital relationship. You did not marry your clone; yikes, that might be an interesting dynamic huh?!? The fun thing is that when you start to learn how to address conflict, it becomes an interesting way to start getting to know more about your spouse! When we close down or fight against conflict, we never get to see our partner’s perspective, which makes us very narrow-minded. Many of us crave more intimacy in our marriages, and having the tools to work through conflict helps us get to know our partners better and ourselves. It makes us think more about our perspective and why we see things the way we do because we will actually be presenting it in a way that helps our spouses better understand us, and the opposite is true for them. They get to voice their opinion because we are actually asking them about it because we are genuinely interested. From there, we get to decide what we want to believe, and it’s ok if we each believe something different. Go back a couple of episodes to Ep 60: Differentiation: Could Your Differences Be Your Marriage’s Assets? and discover how you can actually grow closer by learning more about your differences.

When we learn how to work through conflict, we start to become more in touch with our emotions; we better know what is starting to come up for us, which allows us to make better choices. When we feel some resistance coming up, we can note it, and then come back to explore that resistance during our quiet time. Then, as with all things that you are learning, with practice, it will take less and less time to understand what is happening to you. You will start to notice patterns, and with those patterns, you will learn how to deal with them more effectively with time.

These are three ways in AwakenYou that we work on changing your marriage without changing your spouse. We start with you learning how to go from powerless and hopeless to powerful and full of hope by looking at your relationship dynamics, how you are showing up in your marriage, and becoming clear on what that is creating for you in your life. We then get to the work of deciding what you want to do moving forward; we create a plan and start moving towards that vision. It is the most exciting journey you will ever go on, so buckle up and let’s go for a ride!


I am a marriage coach who helps women and couples go from feeling powerless to change how they feel about their marriage to feeling powerful and taking ownership of how they feel. My process isn’t about changing your partner; it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage, and through this process, you will begin to find that your partner will change as well! If you’re ready to take yourself to a place where you can finally fall in love with your life and your spouse, then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s talk about the next steps to making your dream life your reality.

Eight Stages Of Awareness and Behavioral Change Ep 61

Eight Stages Of Awareness and Behavioral Change | Marriage & Relationship Coach

Welcome my AwakenYou listeners! I have just returned from the Life Coach School Mastermind in Austin, Texas, and I am on fire to get this quarter going! This month I have several fun ways for you to learn more about yourself and the ways you can grow and develop a more connected relationship with yourself and your marriage. First, I want you to get yourself registered for this month’s AwakenYou Masterclass which is all about creating the connection you desire in your marriage. In this class, we will explore different aspects of connection and look at how you like to connect while also taking some time to recognize how your spouse likes to connect to understand better how they show up when you are in your element. Join us by clicking on the link provided and learn how to find more connection in your marriage.

I also want to remind everyone that this is the last week to throw your hat in the ring to win a $100 Amazon gift card! Yes, you heard that correctly; over the past three weeks, I have been giving away a $50 Amazon gift card, but this last week in celebration of AwakenYou in your marriage’s first anniversary I decided to double the gratitude, so, right now, please, scroll to the bottom of my podcast page and write a short review sharing what you love about AwakenYou so that other people can find the help they need to start feeling better about themselves and their life so that they can get back to a place where they love being with their spouse. All you have to do to get entered is take a screenshot of your review and attach it to an email to christine@christinebongiovanni.com, you can also send it to me as a DM on any of my social platforms or from my website. This is the last week to enter!

This week I want to talk to you about the different stages of awareness and behavioral change, which ultimately are the different stages or levels of awareness that you walk through when you are changing behavioral patterns. Specifically, today I am going to speak about emotional behavioral patterns because it is our emotions that dictate the changes we make. I’m going to talk about eight different stages of awareness that I see when most people are doing the work of changing behavioral patterns that they developed in the early stages of their life. Understanding these stages will help you better recognize where you are in the continuum of change in your own life and help you better understand and evaluate where you are to keep moving forward.

I think too often, we have an idea of what we would like our life to look like if things were going in a way that we think would make us happy. Let’s look at weight loss. With weight loss, what I saw over my thirty years of working with athletes is that we have an idea of where we want to be and when we’re not there, or we can’t seem to make it there in the amount of time we think is acceptable we give up and decide we have failed. In the recovery world, I like to share that relapse is a part of the recovery journey; it doesn’t indicate failure but when we make it mean failure, guess what happens? It takes us a whole lot longer to get out of our relapse.

It’s the same when it comes to changing the way we interact with ourselves and others that we are in relationship with, which we will be focusing on today. Let’s dig into these steps of awareness throughout our change process and see how we can use it to propel us forward instead of holding us back.

The first stage: no awareness or understanding of the problem or habitual dynamic

I wanted to include this stage because it’s where many of us start with the different ways we interact with ourselves and others. Our awareness is what we do; it seems normal like it is who we are and how we deal with life’s circumstances; it’s “in our blood.” Throughout these different levels of awareness, I will use an analogy that I first encountered in the first meditation app I used way back when I started meditating, Headspace, where they used a hole in the road analogy. In this first stage, imagine you are walking down the road, a road that you commonly use, and there is a big hole in the road that you fall in. You are angry at the hole, the people who dug the hole; you are in the hole for a very long time before getting yourself out.

The world has happened to you.

Stage two: awareness of the problem or habitual dynamic

You become aware of a different option, but you don’t completely understand it or that there would feel better than where you are. You walk down the same street with the same hole; you don’t see it; you fall in it and are utterly annoyed that this has happened to you again.

Stage three: awareness of the problem after an occurance but don’t do anything to create a different result

This is where you keep falling in the hole, blame the world, it takes you a long time to get over it, and you keep doing the same thing, getting the same result.

Stage four: awareness after occurance with an evaluation and steps to create a different dynamic

You know the hole is there; you think about it and how you will avoid it, but you still fall into it. When the hole is in front of you, you don’t actually see it, and you fall in, but now you see that it is your own doing, and it doesn’t take you as long to get out of the hole.

Stage five: awareness while the old behavior is happening and you continue with the old behavior

This is where you step into the hole, realizing you stepped in and just let yourself fall. It feels awful, but you get up, dust yourself off, see your part in the problem, evaluate and move on.

Step six: awareness during the old behavior while able to interrupt and choose a better option

This would look like falling into the hole, grabbing on to the ladder, that has always been available to you, and climbing out. At this stage, you are still evaluating how you can no longer fall in the hole.

Stage seven: awareness of the old dynamic as it is approaching but still fall into old behavior

This will look like seeing the hole coming but falling in anyway. You don’t make it a big deal; you catch the ladder and climb out, moving on with your day and evaluating how you will catch yourself earlier next time.

Stage eight: awareness of the possibility of old dynamic before falling into old behavior patterns and choose something different

This is where you see the hole coming, know it’s there, and walk around it. Eventually, you continue to walk around that hold and don’t even notice it being there.

The truth is that there are many mini-stages in between all of these stages. There will be times when you are at stage eight, and because of the circumstances, maybe lack of sleep, an illness, stress at work, the hole arrives, and you fall in it. As frustrating as it may be, you recognize that this was your own doing, you stepped in the hole, and you climb out and move on.

This is the process of change, and it is the process you will go through with any behavior you are trying to change. In our relationships with ourselves, we are constantly looking at how we treat ourselves, and those habits change as we let go of the more obvious ones. Then we go to work on the sneakier ones, the ones that seem helpful but are actually just as destructive. As we do this work with our own self-relationship we also do this with our outside relationships.

Everything we do here in AwakenYou is about growing your relationship with yourself so that you can learn how to have a better relationship with your spouse. What we do here is ultimately about honoring our true selves, and the better we get at that, the better we can show up in our marriages. I absolutely love this process, and every day I get to see for myself how this work makes me feel so powerful in changing my own relationship with myself and with Jeff. You deserve a better relationship with yourself and your spouse as well, and I hope that as you listen, you will discover that spark to create the change you have been dying to make. I’d love to help you find that spark; schedule your free coaching call or book a call to talk about our work in AwakenYou and how it will help you start to love your life and your spouse!


I am a life coach who works with women and couples struggling with how their lives and marriage feel through 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 life and marriage, which will have you see your partner changing as well. If you’re ready to take yourself to a place where you can fall back in love with your life and your spouse, then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s talk about your next steps to a life you are crazy in love with!

Differentiation: Could Your Differences Be Your Marriage’s Assets? Ep 60

Differentiation: Could Your Differences Be Your Marriage's Asset? | Marriage & Relationship Coach

Welcome to April AwakenYou family! I am so excited for this quarter and the fun things I will be creating to help all of you on your journey to loving this life we are living. Yesterday I did the work of planning out my projects for this quarter while also working on some fun business and pleasure trips, including ending the quarter celebrating my birthday! I have three excellent AwakenYou Masterclass I am preparing for you where we will dig into your relationship with yourself, your spouse and practicing how to commit to what is true for you and your life values, beliefs and ideals. This month we will be working on Creating More Connection and creating connection that feels good to you, instead of what society has taught you about marital connection, you can find the link to register for this one hour class in the show notes and I would also suggest you go back to Ep. 59 Creating Connection That Feels Good To YOU to better prepare for the class. If you’re able to listen to that episode you can start the practices that I share and then in the Masterclass you can share how it’s going and get help with implementation.

Before we get started, I also want to remind you that I am celebrating AwakenYou’s first anniversary, and I have a special request and gift for those of you who have been listening; the request I have is that if you have been learning and enjoying the episodes, you write a short positive review on whatever platform you listen to these episodes. After you submit your review, take a screenshot of it and send that screenshot to me in an email (christine@christinebongiovanni.com) or send it to me in a DM on my Instagram or Facebook page. I will add everyone who submits a review over the next four weeks into a lottery where I will draw one name a week to win a $50 Amazon gift card; anyone who does not get drawn as a winner will stay in the lottery, so please write a short review and share it with me so I can add you! You have just two more weeks to get yourself entered so go ahead and do that while you are listening to today’s episode.

This week I am digging into a concept that I was introduced to last summer at my Advanced Relationship Training. As with most of the concepts I share here, I like to take some time to absorb what I have learned, conceptualize the theories, take them into my own life and observe what happens while I practice them. I imagine, if you are anything like me anyway, that sometimes when you are listening to therapists or coaches or any relationship expert, you may hear words or concepts that completely fly over the top of your head. Like, “oh, I hear that, it may make sense, but I’m not sure I get it.” that is my brain anyway when I listen to some of my favorite relationship experts. Differentiation was one of those words. It was quite abstract when I first heard it, and what I have learned to do with concepts that my brain isn’t quite able to understand is to give it space to grow. Sort of back to the garden analogy, with plants that I’m familiar with, I get them, and I let them do their thing, but with new plants, plants I’m not so familiar with, well, if I treat them the same typically there isn’t a good result. Instead, I have to do some reading up on their needs and pay extra attention to them, giving them space to thrive, and through that time, I start to understand them better.

Differentiation has been this way with me. I’ve allowed it to sit and marinate in my brain; my ears perk up when I hear it brought up in conversation or a teaching or coaching session, I get curious about it. It becomes one thing that gets past my RAS (Reticular Activating System – the brain filter that has you seeing that red convertible you’ve had your eye on everywhere you go – thank you, Mel Robbins for teaching the world about this phenomenon). Today I’m going to share what I’ve learned with you so that you can start seeing how important it is in your life and marriage. Today I’m going to share what differentiation is, including the opposite ends of the differentiation spectrum, why we might fear opening up to be differentiated from our spouses and other close relationships while digging into the evolution of our sense of self, including how many of us get stuck unable to develop a solid sense of ourselves and lastly why we want to increase our differentiation and four steps to doing so. Ready? Set. Go!

What exactly is differentiation in your marriage and relationships?

Differentiation is the active process of a person being able to define their thoughts, feelings, wishes, and desires to others while also tolerating and accepting their partner doing the same. When we can do this, we can hear what our partners have to say, take their thoughts and opinions into consideration without needing to agree or take them on as our own fully. It allows you to consider someone else’s opinion without making their opinion wrong and without making your opinion wrong, no judgment on either side.

Differentiation is sandwiched between autonomy or individuality, attachment, or togetherness. Many of you have heard me talk about the evolution of many relationships where we often start with attachment and togetherness and then move into more of an autonomous/individual sort of relationship, which feels very lonely, hence the roommate type of marriage existence and then when a couple is devoted to creating a more intimate, joyous, adventurous relationship they will move into a differentiated or interdependent type of marriage.

The attachment or togetherness relationship is where one or each person in the relationship desires to be loved and needs to belong in higher priority than their personal preference. They exist more in a reflected state of self where their worth is defined by how the other person treats them. This side of the spectrum has us giving up our desires and becoming absorbed into the other person.

Whereas in the autonomous or individuality relationship dynamic, there is the desire to be who we want to be without any compromise or leeway for the other person’s desires or beliefs, it has us shut off from the other person’s needs and desires if they are different from ours.

Differentiation is the ability to stay connected to and know your thoughts, feelings, and values while at the same time also being able to be close to another who might have different thoughts, feelings, and values. It has us being able to accept each other’s differences without reacting to them.

Fear of opening up to our differences

Our level of differentiation is modeled by our parents, our primary caregivers, and our family of origin. Typically, we will re-create what we see modeled to us. This modeled behavior often has us afraid of showing our truth, our authentic selves, our values, and beliefs for fear that others won’t agree or like their position possibly leading to an argument or the other person picking up and leaving. This fear leads the person to show a water-down or false version of themselves to their partner and the world.

From here, I would like to take a look at the evolution of our sense of ourselves to help us better understand the dynamic where we create a state of dependence or attachment to our spouses.

Evolution of our sense of self

Reflected sense of self

A reflected sense of self is where we start. As a relational being, initially, we rely on the feedback we get from others for our perception of ourselves because we are unable to do so ourselves, our pre-frontal cortex is not developed at this stage, and this is where we will start to develop our own self of sense as that portion of our brain develops. Initially, we are dependent on our caretaker’s feedback to get to know ourselves. As we grow into adolescents, we continue to develop this reflected sense of self through interaction with our peers. This is where peer pressure steps into our perspective: are we accepted as we are or not? What do we need to do to feel accepted?

In this state, which is often the state we are in when we enter our love relationships, we are constantly looking for external positive reinforcement and our sense of being loved; we are avoiding or dismissing anyone who may be critical or not creating that validation for us. From this state, we often conform to the crowd we are with without revealing much of our truth to avoid feeling rejected or unliked.

A solid sense of self

A solid sense of self comes from the process of building our self-confidence and being less dependent on other people’s beliefs, values and opinions to validate ourselves. Our self-validation comes from within. It’s knowing who we are, knowing our worth and value regardless of the circumstance and what other people think. We can stand in our truth AND allow others to be wrong about us AND allow others to stand in their own truth without any need to change them to feel better.

The development of a solid sense of self is a lifelong journey that contains several different facets, including our intimacy and sexual experiences.

Why would a person want to increase their differentiation?

In a nutshell: to keep your life and relationships from getting boring and lonely. Without differentiation, relationships get stale, interactions become safe and repetitive which prevents growth and change. Undifferentiated relationships don’t challenge each other to try new things, explore, and take any risk.

Let’s look at some benefits of creating more differentiation in your marriage:

  • To become myour most authentic self, creating personal freedom and a life that is big and beautiful
  • It helps the relationship become more open and accepting which then develops intimate enrichment
  • You provide a healthier psychological and emotional model for your children
  • Open up and improve ALL relationships, allowing you to let go of your ideas of how others should show up in the world so that we can enjoy them and giving ourselves permission to do the same without trying to control what other people think of us.
  • It attracts others who are more differentiated which brings more interest and dynamic to your life

How to become more differentiated

First, we start with ourselves by building a solid sense of who we are, which is the work that we do in AwakenYou, by spending time getting to know ourselves intimately. We learn about our emotional triggers and our strengths and weaknesses while learning how to strengthen our weaknesses.

We learn how to self-regulate (listen to Ep 35: Emotional Regulation In Your Marriage) when we notice ourselves or our spouse being triggered to remain calm or take a time-out so that we can keep our minds open instead of closed off. Learning how to recognize triggers and dysregulation allows us to pause and re-schedule the session after taking time to evaluate. It’s then knowing how to self-soothe from this space and get your mind and body back into a safe space, listening to Ep 38: Self Soothe To A Happier Marriage will help with this.

Lastly, agreeing and committing to continue the work together, or on your own, towards growth, knowing that marriages are self-growth mechanisms. Know and understand that relationships are like a crucible, using relationship expert David Schnarch’s metaphor for any intimate, committed relationship. He says that a relationship is a hot and visceral place where you constantly rise, flourish, fail, “die”, and become reborn. Both of the individuals in the relationship continue to stretch and re-invent themselves knowing the only way to grow is to step into the fire!

So there is differentiation for you; I would love to hear your take-aways, your questions, and what you’d like further clarification on while you start becoming aware of this dynamic in your own relationship. Are you differentiated or is this the first time you’ve heard of the concept?


I am a marriage coach who helps women and couples go from feeling powerless to change how they feel about their marriage to feeling powerful and taking ownership of how they feel. My process isn’t about changing your partner; it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your marriage, and through this process, you will begin to find that your partner will change as well! If you’re ready to take yourself to a place where you can finally fall in love with your life and your spouse, then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s talk about the next steps to making your dream life your reality.