Who Is Cheating Who? Ep 68

Who Is Cheating Who? | Marriage Coach

Hello AwakenYou listeners, at the time of this episode release I will just be getting home from a wonderful four-day getaway in Colorado with eleven incredible women, next week I will share all of the things about that trip. To those of you in the US who were able to enjoy a three-day weekend, please share what wonderful happiness you created for yourself and what you did to create that happiness. Maybe you followed through on my prompting last week to download my Abundant Love Mini-Course and you started working on doing the work of excavating those thoughts about your marriage and started your new love list. Maybe you were able to implement the coursework this past weekend to re-direct old thoughts, noticing the extra bit of freedom you felt from doing this work. If you haven’t downloaded the course click on the link in the show notes and get yourself on the journey! This week I want to talk about what happens when we have thoughts that lead us to believe that our spouse might have an interest in the liking of someone other than you. It might be a vibe you get when they talk about that person or when you’re around that person with your spouse. Maybe it’s as “simple” as this or maybe it extends into other out-of-the-norm behaviors like “working late” or spending less time at home than usual. My goal in this episode is to notice what is happening to you and help you decide if what you are experiencing is your intuition speaking to you or something else, like maybe fear, and then take a look at who is cheating who in this situation that you’re trying to navigate through.

Today let’s start with looking at an example scenario to help you settle into what I am leaning towards and to help you find a similar situation in your own life to use as a parallel so that you can use this episode to work through where you find yourself stuck. I’m going to help you take a look at the thoughts and feelings that might be swimming around inside of your body and brain while then helping you decide if this is your intuition or a mixture of fear-based emotions, or a combination of them all. After we sift through what you might be going through I will help you decide how you want to move forward from cheating yourself and creating disconnection in your marriage to creating more of what you want, which is connection.

Let’s set up a possible scenario. Imagine there is a certain person, let’s go with this person being a co-worker, that your spouse has mentioned in conversation, to you it seems like they’ve been brought up often and at awkward times. You’ve noticed that when you are around the two of them they have what you would call “a connectedness” that feels a bit uncomfortable to you. Let’s pretend that you have done work on letting go of distrust of others and have gotten to a comfortable place when it comes to “worrying” about your spouse cheating on you, but this time feels different, even if you haven’t gotten to this place of self-trust, you don’t like what you are imagining about your spouse and this person. Maybe the old you would have been rude to the co-worker and accusatory towards your spouse, maybe you would have stalked them, stalked their social profiles, their messages, and email. Maybe you’ve grown beyond the magnetic mental pull of this suspicion and you’re not allowing yourself to go down those rabbit holes, but your brain keeps setting off the warning sirens. For those of you who’ve done self-trust work, maybe you’ve noticed that there have been other times when you witnessed your spouse “flirting” but you looked at it as “cute” and it didn’t feel threatening. This time feels different and you don’t know what to do with the mental load these circumstances are bringing to you.

So what exactly is going on here? Why can’t we let it go as we have with others? Is this our intuition telling us that something is wrong and to pay attention? What do you do with all of the things that are coming up for you with this new challenge? Is it just your old fear – self-preservation coping mechanisms kicking into gear and you just need to squash them?

When we do the work of recognizing and letting go of our old coping techniques a whole new set of circumstances come up for us to deal with: ourselves and all of the things that come up when we are being alerted that something might be wrong, something might be out of the normal. Our brain goes on high alert. Now we are in the position to do the work of looking at what is happening to us, listening to the emotions that we are feeling and seeing what information they have for us, then deciding how we want to move forward with this obstacle we are bumping up against; while always remembering that self-growth work doesn’t mean that we will never deal with an uncomfortable situation or that we’ll automatically be able to brush them off as no big deal. I don’t believe that we want to brush them off as no big deal, what self-growth does is it helps us to see the warning sign as information that we need to process and make decisions about. Let’s look at how to do that.

What happens inside of us

Before you start reacting to the emotional whirlwind going on inside of you, it’s so important to take a look at those emotions and evaluate why they are there. I think the very first place to start when we are feeling overwhelmed with emotions and ruminating thoughts is to book a session with a coach to help sort through what might be happening to us. Of course, you know that you can do that by going to the show notes and scheduling that for yourself. Until that time we don’t want to ignore the warning signals because they won’t disappear, they will just get louder until we look at what is going on.

The first place to start is becoming aware of what is happening inside of you instead of relying on old responses like withdrawal/ignoring, smothering them, or fighting with them. Then I suggest you start writing. Get out a notebook and write down anything and everything that is coming up for you. This is the cleaning out the junk drawer exercise that I have talked about so often, it will help you to see those thoughts swirling around in your mind so that you can evaluate them, and decide if you want to believe them or if they are just causing you undue pain. My Abundant Love Mini-Course does a great job explaining what a thought download is, how to do it, and the next steps.

From here you are going to look at how those thoughts are making you feel. What emotions are coming up for you and why are they there? You don’t even need to look at each thought in your downloads to determine the emotions, you can do a brainstorm of emotions to start seeing what is going on inside of you. As you relax into this exercise you might see lots of different emotions showing up for you, which will help you see why you are experiencing an emotional storm. Take some time by yourself to close your eyes and think about how some of these emotions articulate themselves in your body. What are some of the emotions you might be feeling? Anger, distrust, jealousy, envy, sadness, betrayal, fear, or unworthiness?

I highly suggest you do the practice I share in Ep 23: How To Process Emotions to discover what emotions you might be experiencing. Once you have an idea of what emotions are swirling around inside of you then you can start asking yourself questions about why you are feeling the way you are. You can start asking yourself how you want to show up in this situation so that you can serve your highest self instead of tearing yourself and your partner down. Take some time to process what is happening for you and trust that answers will come to you in the process.

Through this process you might start questioning your intuition, “Is this my intuition or is it old fear-based feelings that are coming up to protect me?” If you have been on the journey of building self-trust then I would encourage you to consider that your observation could be valid and that yes, your intuition is on to something, but that doesn’t mean you need to go into fear-based actions of fight, flight, freeze or fawn. You have the steps to start processing this on your own so you can create awareness in order to move forward from a place of love and compassion instead of self-preservation. Inspiration, wisdom, and insight come when we are feeling love and compassion for ourselves, not when we are instinctually protecting ourselves. Pause and do the work of asking yourself questions, watching how you tend to want to fall into old coping mechanisms, and constantly reminding yourself that you are safe, you are loved, that you are listening while asking yourself what it is you need right now. Breathe and let your intuition bring you answers.

In last month’s Marriage Masterclass one of the three action steps I shared was to start paying attention to the emotions you experience on a daily basis. This exercise created awareness of what our go-to emotions tend to be; in next month’s Marriage Masterclass where we will discuss conflict I will share what I want you to start doing with those emotions, so make sure you get yourself registered for that class, it is June 9th, 5 pm CT where I will show you How To Change Your Marriage Without Changing Your Spouse: Working Through Conflict.

Who is cheating who?

Back to why we are here. What I have discovered as I help clients through these sort of situations and looking at my own lived experience is that what we are actually doing while fighting all of these thoughts and emotions that crop up is cheating ourselves. We let our minds run wild with scenarios of what might be happening, we withdraw, lash out, or smother our spouse while telling ourselves awful stories about who we are. We cheat ourselves of being able to learn something about ourselves during the experience because we’re so focused on whether they are cheating on us. We’re so concerned about what they are doing and what it means about our own lovability that we forget to look inside and learn how to love ourselves harder. Instead, we suck ourselves dry spinning in our thoughts and emotions, and never learn how to move forward from this situation. We create more disconnection in our marriage than the connection we are working so hard at achieving.

This emotional experience that is in front of you is an opportunity to notice the tendency to want to spend all of your energy focusing on them, thus avoiding what is happening inside of yourself, which I am calling cheating yourself. Instead, turn your focus towards yourself, honor what it is that you are struggling with inside and when you do that you will discover how you want to handle the situation you find yourself arguing with.

Moving Forward

So how do you move forward from this emotional spiral that comes when we’re worried about our spouse having desires for someone else? Aside from the steps I shared above, the first place I want you to start is by discovering a loving self-compassion for yourself and what you are experiencing. When you can tell yourself that you’re here for yourself, that you love yourself, and that you are listening, you will find that your mind and heart open up to a better understanding of what you are experiencing, and from this place, you create power for what you want to do moving forward. From this place you will generate more loving self-compassion and understanding.

Next, you can start taking a look at how you might want to show up and why you aren’t able to show up in the way you want. Last week’s episode Ep 67: Three Reasons Why You Might Not Be Doing What You Want To Be Doing In Your Marriage will be helpful for recognizing why you’re stuck and helping you take those baby steps forward towards showing up the way you want to show up. Showing up in a way that honors you instead of self-betraying.

From here you also might decide that you want to share an open-vulnerable conversation about how you are feeling. If you’re ready to take this step it will be important that you have gotten yourself to a place where you’re not blaming them for how you are feeling but instead are able to share honestly how you are feeling because of what is going on inside of you. Being able to share about what you are experiencing, why you are feeling this way, and feeling confident ask hard questions. Always remember that you are sharing what is going on inside of YOU, not how their actions are creating this feeling for you. You are always creating your own feelings, whether they are old, learned emotions, or ones you are conjuring up on your own. Share your fears and insecurities from a loving place and always remember that how they react has nothing to do with you, but that you can ask for your space and time and for them to hear your reality experience. Being able to share that you want time to share and that when you feel ready there will be time for them to share as well.

Sometimes we feel a bit insecure in our marriages, especially when things don’t seem to be going as well as we want. When we start doing this work of changing our marriage without changing our spouse these insecurities bring in a whole new dynamic because we are putting a lot of energy into building up the marriage. The hope and promise I want to leave you with today is this: the work you are doing will NEVER serve you poorly, it will ALWAYS make you stronger and more powerful which will ALWAYS serve you in your life. You are building a stronger, more trusting relationship with yourself which gives you distance from the things other people are doing in their own lives and builds confidence in your decisions to move forward.

Remember that as you do this work that I suggested here today, you will start to separate out the facts from the stories you are telling yourself about what is going on. As you sort those things out you will see what is under all of those stories and from that open space you will be able to clearly hear what your intuition is sharing with you and trust in the steps you choose to move forward for you.

I hope that this helped at least one of you out there who might be struggling with trusting your partner right now and if you have any questions or want to get help with what you are working through then please schedule a free mini-session where I will help you plan your next steps towards inner peace.

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! Schedule your free mini-coaching session today to discover how coaching can help you take your next steps forward toward what you want in your marriage.

Three Reasons You Might Not Be Doing What You Want To Be Doing In Your Marriage Ep 67

Three Reasons You Might Not Be Doing What You Want To Be Doing In Your Marriage | Marriage Coach

Hello AwakenYou listeners, so happy to have you here as we head into a long holiday weekend here in the United States. Speaking of a long holiday weekend, what a perfect weekend to download my Abundant Love Mini-Course! In this course, you will take a look at what you are thinking about your marriage, and how it is affecting you, and then you work on deciding how you want to think about your marriage. This course will have you walking away with some tools to start recognizing when your thinking is on auto-pilot and learning how to self-direct it back on course so you can start feeling better about your marriage This week I am doing some exploring of something most of my clients struggle with and something I still sometimes struggle with and that is showing up in real life the way we imagine ourselves showing up. Basically, why it’s so hard to do what we want to do in our marriage. I actually posted a survey on my Instagram stories and 100% of the people said they didn’t understand why they couldn’t do what they wanted to do in their marriage and today I am going to tackle that problem.

Today, what I’m going to share are a few examples of what might be happening for you and why, along with a few tips to begin the process of getting a better understanding of yourself so that you can start taking steps forward toward the bold and courageous actions you dream of taking in your marriage. But, before we dig into this topic remember that each one of us has different life beginnings that most definitely influence how we show up in our adult relationships. I talked a bit about this back in Ep 65: How Past Trauma May Be Affecting Your Marriage and then last week I also talked about taking bold steps in our lives and the different phases we go through to become the bold person we want to be in our lives, which of course includes our marriages. Check out Ep 66: Becoming Bold: Breaking Down Barriers in that episode help empower you to move into the action that you are wanting to take but have been afraid to, for whatever reason, while quite possibly you don’t know the reason.

Some of the things we do instead of doing what we want to do

I want to share a few examples of why people don’t show up the way they want to show up, or how they envision themselves showing up, of course, this list is not extensive and I would love to hear your version of what happens. What is it you are wanting to show up differently for, how do you envision yourself showing up, and what happens at the moment? For today’s purposes I am going to stick to the example of greeting each other, either in the morning or in the evening when they/you get home, where you want to be open, friendly, loving, and maybe give a hug/kiss or a warm “Good morning!” like you would a good friend:

  • Wait/expect them to show up in a way that makes you feel loved and until then you withdraw/hide/complain
  • Fearful of their reaction if you did what you’re imagining so instead you do what you have been doing
  • You believe that if you show up with loving action it will be less motivating for them to do the same so you skip it
  • You don’t want them to think that you’re the problem so you wait for them to show up so you can respond to their action
  • You shut down and push them away
  • It feels awkward so instead, you do what you have been doing, maybe be complain/blame
  • You pretend to be busy and ask them why they don’t come to say hi to you
  • You greet them but are expecting them to reciprocate differently than they are
  • Concede because, after all, maybe you are the root of the problem
  • What else?

Whatever your flavor is, what I have seen is that in our minds we have this vision or fantasy of how we would like them to show up, but more importantly, for today’s discussion, you have a vision of how you want to show up, regardless of how they show up. Then what I see is that you are feeling shame around the fact that you can’t show up this way or if you’re bold enough to do it, it feels forced, inauthentic, you don’t get the reaction you hoped for and now you’re back in shame and angry that they aren’t showing up with love. You have this thought that something is wrong with you, that you’re broken, you ask yourself why you could do this when you were dating but you can’t now.

Things are different now, it’s quite possible that the actions you were taking when you were dating were coming from a validation cycle. You were taking actions that had your now spouse showing up in a way that validated your action. Once we settle into marriage we often drop that dependent type of relationship dynamic but we still want our spouse to act the same way even though we stopped validating them. The validation got interrupted and now you sitting there feeling empty.

Our need for their validation leaves us powerless, meaning our power to feel good relies on them showing up how we “need” them to. The power lies inside of ourselves when we are able to self-validate, when we know how lovable and worthy of love we are, regardless of how they show up, and what happens is we become influential in a very powerful way.

Right now we are also being influential but not in the way we want, we’re not influencing them to show up the way we want. Which way do you want to influence? By the way, this is NOT about manipulation, which may have been unconsciously a part of the reason we showed up the way we did when we were dating.

Three reasons why you might not be doing what you want to do

I am leading with talking a bit about fear because it is what I see most people expressing when it comes to looking at why they aren’t doing what they want to do in their marriage. They say that they are afraid of something but they’re not sure what and this is where we start taking a closer look. I LOVE what Brené Brown has to say about fear and vulnerability in her newest book Brene Brown Atlas of the Heart. She talks about fear being a “negative, short-lasting, high-alert emotion in response to a perceived threat.” Joan Rosenburg 90 Seconds To A Life You Love goes on to say that because we aren’t experiencing a physical threat we are most likely using anxiety or worry to avoid the emotions happening underneath, most of us are doing this subconsciously, not intentionally. Brené goes on to talk about vulnerability and how it is an emotion we experience during times of uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. Let’s move forward and talk about it.

Needing validation from your spouse

Let’s look at validation first since we have already been talking about it. Outside validation, or needing others to validate/show us love in order for us to feel loved is a powerless cycle because it leaves us at the expense of other people’s moods/feelings, and it leaves us feeling empty. Think back to when you were dating, it’s possible you consumed a lot of energy taking actions, maybe even actions that went against your core values, to get your partner to feel loved. This is not sustainable action for most people so when you get comfortable in your marriage you start letting go of these behaviors to open up time to live life. Because we’ve used our spouses to show us that we are loved we feel unloved when they aren’t doing the things they did, funny thing is that usually we aren’t either. Outside validation leaves us powerless because we need them to show up in a certain way for us to feel loved.

Fear of our spouse rejecting us

The second reason I find people not showing up the way they want to show up is that they are afraid of how their spouse will show up. They are afraid of being rejected by their spouse. What we learn in AwakenYou, my one-on-one coaching program is that when we perceive other people as rejecting us there is often something going on inside of ourselves that has us believing in their rejection. When we have a loving relationship with ourselves we can separate out another person’s reaction from our value and lovability. We don’t have to make our spouses turning the other way, giving us a short peck or asking for space mean anything about our inherent ability to be loved. When we begin to have a solid relationship with ourselves we shed other people’s states as their own and don’t absorb them into ourselves. This is when we can show up from a place of love for the person we want to be, how we want to act, and know that other people have things going on that come into play and influence how they show up.

When we learn how to stop taking our perceived rejection personally it also allows us to open up with love and compassion to the other so we can share how their action made us feel or be able to ask them what is going on for them.

Past emotional coping mechanisms

Often we have developed protective emotional coping mechanisms that keep us from doing things that we know we want, like greeting our spouse when they come home with a hug and a kiss. Maybe we have a tendency to lean towards self-preservation and in this case, we betray ourselves by not stepping into that which we want. We reject them so that they can’t reject us first. Sounds a bit crazy but it’s not, it’s actually something I struggled with for a long time and have slowly pried my grip, a lot, though I still work hard on it because it was a coping mechanism I used for forty plus years. These mechanisms are subconscious and take time and consistent work to change. You can listen to understand my process a bit more and it’s possible you will resonate: Ep 65: How Past Trauma May Be Affecting Your Marriage.

All three of these bring us back to good olé vulnerability. What we want to remember is that taking the chance on reaching out for the love we want, taking the chance of showing up as our authentic selves, and being a bit uncertain of the outcome does not make us weak. Brené talks about this being “one of the biggest myths of vulnerability.” In order to be brave enough to go after what we want in our marriages, we must step into courage, and she says that “there is no courage without vulnerability. Courage requires the willingness to lean into uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.”

The one solution that helps you to show up as the person you dream of being in your marriage

Learning about yourself, figuring out how to love yourself – from here you become more and more confident in who you are and are able to take bold steps towards your authentic self. This is the core of my AwakenYou in your marriage program, yes, we work on your marriage, but it’s about you taking bold steps in your marriage and understanding why you aren’t taking them from a place of love, not judgment and shame.

From here you get to discover who it is you want to be – if you haven’t been showing up in your marriage in a way you love and the two of you haven’t modeled what you consider a loving marriage to be, you might not even be sure of what that relationship would look like to you. You might have visions but until you start taking bold steps forward you won’t know what you want and what you don’t want. You get to develop what it is you want by taking bold steps and it is SO much easier taking bold steps alongside someone who cares about you as much as I do.

I am an accountability nut, I am so much more proactive when I have a partner who is waiting to hear back about how things went. In AwakenYou, I am your accountability partner. I am the one that is over in the corner cheering you on to step into your boldness and I am the one who you come back and discuss what happened and help you decide what your next bold step is.


Until then use this information to help you start creating awareness around what is happening in your exact situation. Start paying attention to what is happening internally when you can’t seem to step into action. Ask yourself why you feel uncertain or afraid and what would it take to feel certain, courageous, or inspired? Don’t worry about taking action right now, just start observing and trust that coming back here to every week’s episode will begin to open up your mind to a better understanding and soften your heart to do what it is you want to do, for you.

Take baby steps towards how you think you want to show up and pay attention to how you feel when you take these actions. Let’s use the greeting example. Maybe to start you simply continue what you are doing but pause to question what might be happening for you. The next step you could take might be pausing what you are doing when they enter the room and say hi, then do the same, what happens inside of you, what are you feeling. Baby steps my loves, baby steps.

There is no rush when it comes to rebuilding your marriage, rushing might push you in the wrong direction, take it one step at a time. You are unraveling your past and the past of your marriage, let it happen the way it happens for you.

Now it’s time to learn how to validate yourself, love, yourself, and let go. Trust the process. Let yourself fall in love with yourself because it’s only then that you can have the marriage relationship you aren’t believing is possible.

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! Schedule your free mini-coaching session today to discover how coaching can help you take your next steps forward toward what you want in your marriage.

Becoming BOLD – Breaking Down Barriers Ep 66

Becoming Bold - Breaking Down Barriers | Marriage Coach

Happy Tuesday, everyone, I am so excited to be with you; this is one of my favorite times of the week; I know, you’re not really here with me…or are you? It sure feels like it! Before we dip into this week’s conversation, I want to share some of my celebrations, not to brag but to honestly celebrate. I have shared here on the podcast that last year, I solidified my commitment to helping women find happiness in their marriage by enrolling in an Advanced Relationship Training with my coach Aimée Gianni and at the end of April, I received my proof of certification which feels so good to me because relationships had always been a struggle for me. Early on in that journey, I asked Aimée if she would ever consider some sort of mentorship, and guess what? She created a Master Coach Mentoring program focusing on relationships that seven other women, and I, said yes to. Last week we kicked off a year of intense training that I am still swimming in a bit of disbelief over. Me, all in on opening up and growing into my best version of myself, which includes opening up to some new and vulnerable steps in my marriage as well as becoming more masterful in being able to apply all of this knowledge in my coaching practice. Mostly I wake up every morning in awe of what I have created for myself and how this work is changing lives, not just the lives of the people I work with but the trickle-down effect that happens when we do the work of addressing our old coping mechanisms and become more open and honest with everyone in our lives. It is a beautiful thing, and while I shake myself into reality today, I want to talk about you and I becoming bold.

Becoming bold in calling bull crap on our limiting behaviors, recognizing the chains holding us back from flourishing into what is possible, and saying yes to ourselves, maybe for the first time. Today I am doing what I call a ‘free fall,’ meaning I am winging it and having fun with it. This free fall is not scary because I’m no longer afraid of falling to the ground and wishing I hadn’t done it, I am flying, twirling, and swooning in the air, and when it’s over, I will put my stamp of fun approval on it. How’s that for fun? Let’s see what comes out of this!

Today, I will share what I call the phases of becoming bold and how stepping into phase one with full commitment will naturally draw you into phases two and three and into an infinity of your own becoming bold journey. Are you ready?

Phase one of becoming bold

Phase one is the true turning point in our lives. It is the point where we are completely over living life as is, no longer wishing things would be different and taking the scary, bold steps of finding professional help to facilitate change. Before phase one, you have likely done SO many things to improve your life. Things like ending compulsive behaviors, ending addictive behavior patterns, and balancing your life out so that it appears to fit in a bit more with what society deems a good life, yet still, after doing these beautiful processes, you still feel out of line with yourself. Often something dramatic will need to happen for phase one to be put into action because seeking help for oneself isn’t something you feel comfortable with. For me, it was the possibility of a second failed marriage, not that I felt like I needed to save that marriage, on the contrary, it forced me to look within, and that is where phase one starts—looking within ourselves to begin changing our lives—deciding to end self-preserving behaviors that lead to self-betrayal.

This is where you step out of your discomfort of asking for help, decide that reading and listening to self-help can only take you so far, and decide to be all in on yourself and the life you dream possible. In this phase, you may be taking stabs at what might work and connect with you, but even when processes you try don’t seem to be helping, you believe in your journey and don’t give up on the search for what will be your best fit.

Phase two of becoming bold

In this phase, you feel secure in your path. You find a process that feels instinctively right for you, it moves you forward, and you see yourself taking steps forward into better knowing, understanding, and loving yourself. This phase is full of growing pains because you tear down everything you have built up over your life. With each wall you tear down, you feel freer and closer to who you are, to your truth. Your light shines a bit brighter, allowing you to see better the next obstacle in your path to where you are going.

This phase feels awkward because it is mostly about you and discovering yourself, it may feel like you are alienating your spouse, and maybe you are. I know I did, but Jeff was such a willing participant; he gave me the space to figure it out.

The beautiful thing about this phase for my AwakenYou clients is that they are doing this work alongside me, their guide. I am helping them along the journey, and part of that guidance includes mending, repairing, and building their relationship with themselves and their spouse.

Phase three of becoming bold

Here is where you become willing to open up to learning how to create the life you desire. At the beginning of the journey, most people feel disillusioned before phase one. They feel like they have done so much work to get closer to their core values, yet they still feel awful; nothing seems different except that they have let go of some of their destructive behaviors.

I like to call this phase the “tearing the veil” stage. It is the stage where we are ready to tear down the wall between us and our most intimate relationship with our spouse. We have done the work of tearing down many of the walls in the way of us having a loving relationship with ourselves, and now we come face to face with what seems like an indestructible barrier between where we are and how we want to show up in our marriage. There is so much here that I’m not going to get into today, but what I want to share is this barrier looks more impenetrable than it is.

Once we do this work on ourselves in phases one and two, we feel safe because it is work between ourselves and who we are today, who we were in the past, and who we are becoming. It is inner work but eventually, we come to the point where we feel mostly confident in ourselves, knowing we will continue to do that work, and we want to show up in a new way in our marriage, but we’re afraid of it. This is where I suggest we tear the veil and become bolder in taking ourselves into the intimate relationship in a whole new way. Open, unbridled, free, and amazingly elegant.

As you pass through each stage, you set down more of your insecurities and hesitations; you become bolder in your decisions to take steps towards what you want. You create more room to pick up bigger dreams, more significant challenges, new openings, and becoming open to stretching out because the willingness to become vulnerable actually creates safety. The more safety you create, the more willing you are to open up to what you want, and you begin to realize that your life and what you want to make of it is limitless.

So today, what I hope to have shared with you is permission for you to step into phase one without having to wait until it appears as though you have no other option. It is never too early to start working on your relationship with yourself, and it is never too late. This work is timeless, and it brings you closer to your youthful, happy, authentic self. I hope you will be bold this week and take one step towards your journey; there is no better thing to invest in than in your future self.

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 Past (Trauma) May Be Affecting Your Marriage Ep 65

How Past (Trauma) May Be Affecting Your Marriage | Marriage Coach

Happy Tuesday to all of you who stop by every week to gather more information on how to break through to new levels of understanding in your marriage. I know I don’t say this often, but I appreciate all of you who listen and take what I share and put it into action in your own life; you are the reason I show up every week, so thank you. This week I am sharing a personal growth experience/realization that I think will help many of you listening; if not personally, it might help you see something in someone else, maybe your spouse, friend, or co-worker. What I’m sharing today may help you better understand common behaviors of loved ones that you previously found yourself taking personally. It might help you generate more empathy for what the “other side of the table” is struggling with. Mostly I want you to consider yourself when listening to what I have to say today because wishing to focus on someone else’s behaviors could also be a sign that you are avoiding cleaning up your side of the relationship by looking to “control” the other. Today let’s talk about how past trauma may be affecting your marriage.

Before we dig into the heart of this discussion, I do want to recognize that I do not specialize in trauma coaching, and I am not a trauma therapist; what I am sharing is what I have learned in my journey of growth. I know that there are many things we can learn intellectually about development. Still, through persistent committed steps to continue the journey of growth and the desire to never settle into the comfort of being “ok” with ok, we will begin to experience the intellectual on a more visceral level. When this happens, I have a deeper understanding of myself, giving me a wider range of awareness of what might be going on for my clients.

To be clear, many of my clients work with various other mental health professionals based on what it is they are working on in their growth journey. There is space for all, and each professional compliments the others. There are times when working with my clients; I will discuss the possibility of wanting to find a more specialized professional to work through ways their past might be affecting how they are showing up in their current relationships.

The other space I will not dig into today is the difference between traumas. A definition that has helped me better understand the wide variety of types of trauma is an event that happens in one’s life that they are not emotionally or psychologically prepared for, causing an emotional response we call trauma. There is also Large-T, ex: car accident, war/combat, sexual assault, and Small-T trauma, ex: divorce, infidelity, loss of job but today’s discussion is primarily looking at how any trauma from our past might be interfering with the work you may be doing to improve your marital relationship dynamics.

How your past trauma (recognized or not) might be interfering with a marital relationship breakthrough

I’m going to begin with a bit about my story and how I came to understand this phenomenon more personally. As you all know, I have been a self-growth enthusiast my whole life, only to 100% discover seven years ago that the motivation behind my desire to grow was so that other people would like me. Seven years ago, we had a crisis in our marriage that had me letting go of what was going on in my marriage to focus on myself. I discovered life coaching in that journey, became a certified life coach, dissolved my 30-year fitness business, and started dipping my toes into relationship coaching. These are all decisions I have never regretted, especially deciding to go all-in on relationship coaching because that has been the work that has challenged my self-growth the most. Had I chosen weight-loss coaching, business coaching, or time management coaching, I might not have ever gone as deep as I have with my relationship with myself.

A few weeks back, I was taking time to write about all of the ways I help my clients feel powerful, and I was thinking about my journey and places where I got stuck. One of those places was getting past the intellectual knowledge of what I needed to do while struggling with some areas of implementation. I knew intellectually that I was protecting myself, not fully opening up to vulnerability. Still, there was a wall in the way of moving forward that I couldn’t identify on my own.

That wall was a developmental coping mechanism I implemented early in my life to protect myself from what was happening outside and inside of me. Once I started seeing the connection between how I would respond to threats as a child, once I worked through my desire to feel love from my parents, and how I project those responses onto others, I was able to open up to new responses to my adult life. Once I realized that protecting myself from the potential hurt someone else might impose upon me as an adult was coming from learned behaviors as a child: opening up to getting the love I needed and interpreting the response as me being unlovable, unworthy, insignificant, unwanted it started to make sense and I was able to start letting go of the old response. This recognition of my actions being related to old trauma allowed me to open up to something different because I knew that I create my own love as an adult. I now know that I am entirely lovable, wanted, worthy, significant, adequate, and whole. I now know that anyone else’s reaction to me and my desire to be loved has nothing to do with me and everything to do with them; if only the little ones could know this truth.

When I made this connection, what I knew on an intellectual level sunk in more clearly on an emotional level and opened me up to a new way of dealing with conflict in my marriage. I share this to possibly open you or someone you know up to the value of working through some of your past trauma; it’s significant, whether you believe so or not. It’s also some of the best work you can do, though initially it might feel awful but cleaning all of that stuff up will be the best work you can do. It is your life; you get to decide whether you open that door and walk through it; I’m just here to tell you that it will open up a whole new life you never imagined possible.

Some common signs that you might be responding in your marriage from past emotional trauma

Marital relationship work often brings up people’s past trauma; let me share a few signs that might indicate you have trauma to work through:

  • Continuing to be stuck and not getting how to move forward
  • Emotional upset, which is ongoing and intense
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Addiction
  • Having a difficult time regulating your emotions
  • Avoiding, disconnecting, withdrawing, extreme independence

Then there are the four common trauma response patterns that you might notice yourself resorting to; I’ve done them all:

  • Fight: arguing, fighting, being easily irritated and aggressive, moving towards the person you are in conflict with
  • Flight: withdrawing, avoiding, anxiousness, panic, fear, perfectionism, chronic worry
  • Freeze: disassociating: leaving the body, spacing out, not being able to move, shame, feeling stuck, depression
  • Fawn: needing others to like you (people-pleasing), conflict avoidance, saying yes when you want to say no, difficulty setting boundaries, prioritizing others over yourself

If some of these responses are familiar to you and you are struggling in your marital relationship, I want you to know that you are not broken and that change and a better life are available. I also know that if any of this resonates with you, you might have difficulty reaching out and asking for help, but what if that help was your ticket to feeling better and having a healthy, happy marriage? That is a ticket you will never regret purchasing, my friend. I’m here for you, and I would love to talk to you about what has you stuck in your marriage. I look forward to meeting you, and until then, ciao!

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.

Could It Be Marital Grief You Are Feeling? Ep 64

Could It Be Grief You Are Feeling? | Marriage Coach

Welcome to another beautiful week over here in AwakenYou world; I hope wherever you are listening to this episode that this may be the sunshine you were looking for in your day. Today’s topic is one that you might not think could brighten your day but keep listening; what you discover might loosen up something inside of you that feels like a warm ray of sunshine. It just so happens that I am experiencing grief around something in my own life, and when I uncovered grief, everything fell into place, and it made me think about all of you. I know for sure that there have been many times in my marriage when I was experiencing grief. As a matter of fact, I still do, but years ago, I didn’t know it, and if I had someone help me to see it, I would have been able to work through it differently. Today let’s see if it could be grief that you are feeling about your marriage under other possible emotions like anger, fear, guilt, shame, annoyance, frustration, sadness, and loneliness; what else are you feeling?

First, I want to share how I discovered grief in my own life because it might help you better understand your underlying emotion. A few weeks back, I had a general feeling of melancholy which Google defines as a feeling of pensive sadness, typically with no apparent cause, and this is spot on. I even impressed myself with naming the emotion weeks ago, and now looking it up for you and seeing that it was actually spot on, I had this somewhat overwhelming sadness, but I wasn’t sure where it was coming from. I had ideas like the weather, but it didn’t seem quite enough; I was just “blah.” So what I did was I sat down with myself, some paper and a pencil by my side, and I processed emotions, going into the process wanting to discover what it was I was actually feeling. Go to Ep 23: How To Process Those Emotions and you can try it for yourself. Often I will use this process to look at an emotion I am feeling, get familiar with it, and get a better understanding of why it is there, but this day I went into the process not knowing what emotion I was feeling.

Similar to the process I described in episode 23, I turned into my body, described what I was experiencing, started asking questions, and, wham, grief came to me. I started crying, and what I was grieving was revealed. When this information was revealed I understood why I was feeling the way I was feeling and was better able to allow for it. When you practice processing your emotions, you get in touch with what is happening in your body and the actual messages that it is sending you. I highly recommend you process the practice from that episode regularly and watch what you start to learn about yourself and what you are experiencing.

Could you be experiencing grief in your marriage?

I highly recommend you use the process in episode 23 to discover whether you are feeling grief, and I also highly recommend you book yourself a free mini-session to have me walk you through the process.

Many of us associate grief with death, but grief comes in many forms: when you get a negative medical test result, loss of a job, divorce, and we also will often feel grief when our expectations aren’t fulfilled. That could be when you thought you would get a job promotion but didn’t or in the case of our marriages, when you thought you found the perfect mate to live a happily ever after and that isn’t what you are experiencing. Often we realize we are feeling some of the emotions I listed above, like disappointment, frustration, sadness, anger, and discouragement. Often, under these emotions is the grief of an unmet expectation.

All of the above emotions are valid and have a lot of information to share with you, but when you can process the emotion of grief you will find a whole new understanding of what you are experiencing. With this new understanding, I often see that people can give themselves the gift of space and hope to start creating something different. Space helps them settle into what they are experiencing, and hope allows them to see an opening of possibility.

Grief often helps you make sense of where you are at and gain insight into what is happening for you to start moving towards solutions. It brings in some compassion for yourself and for the expectations you may be placing on your spouse.

If you think you are feeling grief about where you are in your marriage I would love to share a mini-session with you to help you pull apart what is happening and how you might want to start moving towards what you want instead of pushing it away. Let’s normalize this emotion that you might be feeling in your marriage and then use it to get to where you want to be to celebrate a brand new beginning in your 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.