Would I Be Happier With Someone Else? Ep 76

Would I Be Happier With Someone Else? | Marriage Coach

Welcome to AwakenYou where we are doing the work of changing how we feel about our marriage, speaking of which, I want to remind all of you of my free Abundant Love mini-course. This course is the beginning of learning how to change how you feel about your marriage by re-training your mind to search for proof of what you want in your marriage when it insists on searching for proof that things are all wrong and unfixable. Right now many of you are at the point where it’s hard for you to see anything good in your marriage, so much so that you’re wondering if you’d be happier with someone else and that’s what we are going to look at today.

Before we dig in let’s think about this for a moment. Think about times that you’re stressed out, maybe about your marriage, and you turn to something to a “vice” that makes you feel temporarily better, maybe for you, it’s ice cream or chips, maybe it’s social media or shopping. These types of distractions are temporary “fixes” that usually make us feel worse in the long run. Now, let’s take a look at this question that poses the possibility that someone else might make us feel happier. I want you to pause for a moment to contemplate how this is no different from other buffering vices, other things we turn to in an effort to put pleasurable padding between ourselves and that which feels a bit awful. I’m not seeing it as any different, we are seeking the thrill of a different relationship that is full of excitement while never getting to the root of why we felt awful in our last relationship. It actually takes a tremendous amount of time away from the work we could be doing to get down and dirty with the task of creating what we want with the one we’re with.

I teach a whole different type of “vice” when we are stressed out and are looking for a way to feel better, it’s called journaling, thought downloading, digging deep, looking inside, sitting down with ourselves, and discovering something about why we are feeling the way we are feeling. This type of vice that I teach is sort of the reverse of those destructive vices we typically turn to because the typical ones provide us with a burst of pleasure right off the bat, that’s why they are so easy to repeat, we forget the fallout that comes after. My suggested vice feels a bit like a drag at first because it takes a bit of work and the “happy hit” takes a while to happen, but the more we practice commitment to the practice, the better each hit feels and that glowy goodness sticks with us a bit longer. That glowy goodness makes us want to go back to the practice and discover more about ourselves, even to the degree where we start to notice our other destructive devices slowly disintegrating because our new happy hit is so much better. 

Now that you’re set up let’s dig into why we turn to ask ourselves this question, which I just went into because my brain went there first, then I want to paint a picture of what that might actually look like for you (leaving your current partner and finding something new), then I want to look at how this choice might be better/easier or worse/harder, what will be the same and finally, we’ll look at how this question leads us to nowhere while then looking at some better questions we can ask ourselves. Questions that will take us to actually produce that happiness we are craving.

Would I be happier with someone else?

Let’s start with answering that question, write the question down and answer it, don’t just think about it. Writing keeps our brain on one track and following through to the end.  That is a journal prompt I want all of you to do, even if it isn’t a question that comes up for you. The question itself just keeps you from doing the real work of digging into discovering how to feel good in the relationship you are in. It keeps you looking for all of the reasons you aren’t happy right now, which of course is the work that my Abundant Love mini-course helps you steer away from doing. But let’s go there.

Under what conditions would you be happier? What are all of the things that you would want that would make you happier? How might your current partner have filled those needs when you were madly in love with them? How have things changed? How will things change in this new relationship? How will things be the same? 

Paint yourself a picture of what this other relationship would look like.

Go there 100% and get real instead of painting a fantasy life. Relational conflict will come up, how will you handle it? What will you do when their relational struggles butt up against your relational struggles? You are still you, every person has a past that they bring into their present, including you.

How will this be better? Easier? How will it be worse? Harder? What will be the same?

What would I need to do to find out? Write out all of the steps you would need to take to answer this question.

This question, like I said earlier, is getting you nowhere unless you work through these questions and then either decide to find another or stay with the one you’re with and work on creating the relationship you want. This question of whether someone else would make you happy only has you escaping into a fantasy that you could easily transfer to your own relationship, the only reason you can’t imagine this fantasy with your current partner is because of the lens through which you’re looking at them.

Now, it’s ok if you want to change your circumstance and find someone different but I think it’s important to seriously think this option all of the way through so that you can really decide what it is you choose. Too many of you decide to stay for the reasons you choose but then still choose to be unhappy, which is fine, but recognize your choice. Yes, you are choosing what side of the fence you want to camp out on and I will tell you that if you are choosing to stay there is no better work than the work of figuring out how to be happy.

Your decision to stay, or go, is never permanent (well, the go could be if your partner doesn’t want you back). If you choose to stay and do the work of healing the relational struggles/habits/go-to reactions you have and through doing this work discover that you want someone else, then you have made that choice with good intention. You have made that choice knowing that you have done all that you can to create something that feels better for you by working on your own insecurities and old coping mechanisms. This decision would be made from a more healthy place than where you are right now.

Better questions to ask yourself

The reason I asked you to answer all of the questions, and I sure hope that you do that work if you have been asking yourself if you’d be happier with someone else, is because when you ask that question all your brain is going to do is look for reasons why you would be happier! It isn’t looking for reasons why you are actually quite happy right now. So start with that question, again go grab Abundant Love mini-course and begin the work that will have you answering this question over and over, sending your brain on the hunt for all the ways that what you have now is amazing.

How have I created exactly what I want in my marriage

What are all of the ways I want to change? Why?

How can I get better at asking for what I want?

Why am I so unhappy?

What is working in your marriage right now? What might your spouse say isn’t working?

This is just a start to get you warmed up and thinking about how this question only keeps you spinning without actually digging in and doing the work of changing the relationship you committed to. Dig into the questions I shared today and I’d love to hear what you come up with! 


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.

 

How To Create Healthy Boundaries In Your Marriage Ep 75

How To Create Healthy Boundaries In Your Marriage | Marriage Coach

 

More marriages fail because of this one thing.

Marriage is a funny thing.

When you get married, you are so in love with your spouse that you will do almost anything to prove your love without any expectations or need for reciprocity.

You suddenly realize that you’re doing these “anythings” with a bit of anger and resentment.

Maybe you even stop doing the “thing” in quiet revenge, hoping they’ll figure out it’s time to start recognizing you for all you are and do.

What you haven’t learned is how to set boundaries in a way that has you taking care of your own needs while being true to yourself about why you are doing what you choose to do.

In this week’s episode, I am sharing the highlights from this month’s Marriage Masterclass on boundaries, you will learn how to:

💥 Understand what boundaries are and why you need to know
💥 Start seeing where you need to set boundaries for yourself
💥 Gain the confidence you need to start implementing boundaries and start feeling better

Learn where your responsibility ends and where your spouses begins.

Episodes referenced in this episode:
Ep 23: How To Process Emotions

Books referred to in episode:
Boundaries: Cloud & Townsend

Download my free Abundant Love Mini-Course to help you to start thinking, and feeling, differently about your marriage.

Register for my free monthly Marriage Masterclass, where every month I talk about different ways you can change your marriage without changing your partner. Next month we will be talking about The Secret To Changing Your Marriage Without Changing Your Spouse: Creating Better Boundaries, register now! 

More resources and how you can start the process of Awakening Your True You and being the partner who creates your best vision of what marriage looks like for you: https://christinebongiovanni.com/

Join my AwakenYou newsletter for weekly marriage tips and early announcements of upcoming offerings.

Book your free mini-coaching session here.

Show webpage: www.christinebongiovanni.com/75


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.

 

The Part You Play In How Your Marriage Feels Ep 74

How To Feel Satisfied In Your Marriage | Marriage Coach

Hello, my AwakenYou listeners, as we head into the second half of this year I wanted to talk about some of the fundamental work you can do to change how you feel about your marriage without changing your partner. What I’m going to talk about today is truly one of the first places I start with my clients, which is the part you play in how your marriage feels.

We’ve all heard the saying that a relationship takes two people, two people contributing to its demise, and two people committing to its rise, and while this is 100% true, you as an individual are an influencer to either result. Naturally, when we perceive there to be problems in our marriage we will tend to look outside of ourselves for the problem. When we’re talking about relationships, of course, it seems obvious what that problem is, your spouse. 

From Scott Barry Kaufman's book Transcend, he talks about the “human brain is a prediction machine. We are constantly processing incoming information and assessing how it matches our expectations.” When we are constantly noticing and thinking that our marriage is awful (or something along this line) we find ourselves a bit stressed, sad, disappointed, hopeless, and acting in ways that have us contributing to our marriage feeling awful. We are seeing everything through the lenses of our marriage falling apart and seeing all of the evidence of that thought.

While it could be true that your spouse is not showing up as their best self, attempting to control and manipulate them, because you see them as the problem to be fixed, 1. isn’t fair, 2. won’t get you what you want unless it’s a robotic relationship and 3. it isn’t sustainable.

Here is where I talk about taking back your power through looking inside of yourself and discovering how you can create the change you desire, without any need to put blame on yourself for being the problem, check out Ep 71: Are Our Marital Problems All My Fault, and instead has you being the solution to how you are feeling about your marriage.

Today I want to peek at the situation most of my clients come to me with, and for sure where I was before I found life coaching which literally saved my marriage: that scenario is being completely unhappy in your marriage, looking at where that has you psychologically and how that state is creating more evidence of your belief and then sending you down the spiral of moving further and further away from what you want in your marriage. Lastly of course, I will share some tips to get you to change the direction of your spiral to moving toward the marriage relationship that feels so much better.

Before we dig into the good stuff I don’t want to forget to remind you to register for this month’s Marriage Masterclass where we are talking about boundaries. In this masterclass, I will help you better understand what a personal boundary is, how to start implementing them and why they are so important for your personal well-being. You can go to the show notes or my website to get registered, do so soon because the class is only a couple of days away!

The role you are playing in the “decline” of your marriage

I’m in a habit of listening to people talk about their marriage even outside of my coaching sessions and too often it is so clear where the person’s relationship is headed. So often we take a negative perspective of what our spouse is doing, it seems socially acceptable, it’s what people do, we look for the fault in others so that we can justify how we are feeling without doing the work of managing our own mind.

When you come home from work and all you want to do is have some peace and quiet but your spouse won’t shut up, we look at them as being the problem. We don’t have empathy for them by getting curious about what their needs are while not having empathy for ourselves as to our needs and being open to sharing them from a place of what we need instead of how our spouse isn’t providing it for us.

This is you looking at your marriage through the lens of them being the problem. We keep those lenses on the rest of the night and all we are seeing is the way our spouse is bringing disorder and chaos into our life. It’s what we are focused on and if we don’t catch it early on in our relationship we get deep into the belief that our spouse is the problem.

From this place, people will do anything they know how to get what it is they think they need. Maybe they will avoid, withdraw, maybe argue, defend themselves, criticize their spouse for how they’re offending them while pushing your spouse away and contributing to how your marriage feels, spiraling away from the result you actually want. It’s our brain’s way of taking care of what it thinks is our basic need to protect ourselves but it doesn’t help our relationship at all.

How you can change your marriage’s trajectory

The first way you create this turnaround effect is what I have just done for you; I’ve created awareness for you about how you are contributing to what you are getting in your marriage relationship. Awareness is our first step towards change if we care to listen and care to do the work of changing and of course, you wouldn’t be here if you didn’t want something different. If changing your spouse was the solution, I would most certainly share that bit of advice as widely as I could but it isn’t so notice when that’s what you want to do and turn it around towards what you can do.

Secondly, it is going to require that you commit to small daily, even hourly actions of awareness. In the beginning, you will mostly become aware of how you are showing up AFTER you’ve already shown up in a way that pushes you apart but the gold here is your awareness. Even after an old pattern plays out you can review what happened on your own and in this review, you will come up with a plan for how you will change your pattern. After reviewing you may start to feel comfortable sharing with your spouse the work you are doing and being able to apologize for your contribution to the situation. Now you are working on sharing the duty of being all-in on changing the dynamic of your marriage while also becoming comfortable with maybe even inviting your spouse to do the same. Here is where you get to learn how to share when they do something that triggers you into an old reaction and what you see as maybe a better way of approaching the situation, while always remembering, you only have control over what you do and how you react.

Lastly, I want to direct you to my Abundant Love free course. In this course I have you noticing, or becoming aware, of your negative thoughts about your marriage, and through this awareness, you will send your brain on a search for new thoughts, thoughts that make you feel better and inspire you to keep working on changing the trajectory of your marriage. This course will help you change your brain’s natural tendency to see what the problem is while reminding it that your spouse is a safe place for you and that you want to change old unnecessary patterns. As you create these new thoughts the course has you collecting these new thoughts and using them as your new Love List, or marriage affirmations.

Will this solve your marital problems? Maybe. It depends upon how long you’ve been in the spiral, but in the least, it will have you change the direction of your spiral and that is the beginning of starting to feel better about your marriage and influencing your spouse to do the same.


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.

 

How To Feel Satisfied In Your Marriage Ep 73

How To Feel Satisfied In Your Marriage | Marriage Coach

Welcome back to another week of creating your best life and speaking of that, for those of you in the states, how was your long holiday weekend with your spouse? What things are coming up for you after three days with the one you want that loving relationship with? Let me suggest, if you haven’t already, that you download my free Abundant Love Mini-Course which will help you take a look at those thoughts and help you decide if you want to keep them, maybe you do, but it will also help you remember and to focus on the thoughts that you love thinking about your marriage. It is 100% possible that right now you have zero positive thoughts about your marriage and the good news is that this is ok and yes, there is still hope. If I could do it in my marriage then there for sure is hope for you and your marriage. Today I’m going to help you figure out how to feel more satisfied in your marriage but before we do that I want to pause for a moment to talk about your marriage goals.

As we launch into the second half of this year it’s the perfect time to take a look at where you’ve come with your marriage goals over the past six months and decide if you want to make any adjustments to your plan moving forward. It’s a great time to look at how you are keeping your marriage goals a priority and in what ways you may not be. Take some time to write down what feels good about what is working and how you will get better at keeping your marriage goals in the forefront of your mind, then get specific, write down your plan! Quick, brief, and important work to do if you want to end the year feeling good about what you did to make your life feel better. Maybe part of that plan is to work through the Abundant Love Mini-Course or listen through the AwakenYou episodes or better yet, schedule a mini-coaching session to get clarity on your next steps.

With that settled, let’s talk about how to feel satisfied in your marriage and why you don’t feel satisfied. If you’ve been listening for a while you already know that most of us go about trying to feel loved by our spouse in all of the wrong ways, that’s why most of us are unhappy in our marriages. We want them to show us love in ways that make us feel loved and if they don’t then we’re going to feel empty and angry, disappointed, resentful, and what else? Maybe even take some time to write about all of the reasons you don’t feel satisfied, this will give you so much insight, especially if the majority are things that you can’t control.

From the Five Love Languages we can learn what our love languages are and either together or by ourselves we can figure out what our spouse’s love languages are. This gives us a better understanding of ourselves and our spouse, but then here’s how things might go wrong: we expect them to fulfill these love needs for us. Maybe we want them to share words of affirmation with us or to touch us, maybe take care of some tasks around the house or errands, or get us all sorts of special gifts and spend good, quality time with us. Or maybe this is what’s happening: we are fulfilling their love language in a way that feels obligational and wondering why they aren’t responding! These languages are for awareness, not to be carried out without a sense of love without something needed in return. 

Today I want to look at the difference between feeling lacking or deprived in our marriage versus feeling satisfied. I am going to explain the two different ends of the spectrum, then help you see which one feels more empowering to you, and lastly, I’ll give you some action steps to start stepping out of deprivation and into satisfaction with how loved you feel.

Ways we feel loved

When we feel insecure and dissatisfied with how our spouse is providing us with a sense of love we often have a good idea of what we would like more of and we want our spouses to do more of those things. I’d suggest you write these things down and ask yourself why you need them to do these things, it might be a stretch for you right now, but could you imagine feeling loved without them doing these things for you? Maybe you want to read The Five Love Languages to help get a better idea of what both of your love languages are, it’s a great awareness tool when used appropriately and that’s what I want to dig into, the best way to get the love you want so you can feel satisfied. 

Deficiency Needs

When we feel like our partner is lacking in the “giving love” department our desire for them to change is coming from a lack of satisfaction. Abraham Maslow talks about how when we are in this deficient state everything else gets shadowed, we are hyperfocused on what we aren’t getting while not seeing what we are getting. The longer we focus on our lacking the more we become defensive of our needs. Our system gets quite good at focusing on what is wrong so it can correct itself, unfortunately, in our marriages this will usually get us further away from what it is we want. The way we end up acting when we feel deficient makes us look needy and demanding, often making our spouses feel insufficient like you’re telling them they’re not good enough. You know how you show up when someone is making you feel like you aren’t fulfilling their needs very well. When we are acting from a place of fear, anxiety, and suspicion, constantly making demands on reality, our partners don’t react so well, it pushes them to do the opposite of what we want. 

Now, I’d like you to take a moment to think about this state of defensiveness you may be in and ask yourself how it feels. Check in with your body, what is it telling you? Are you closed off or open? This is where many of my clients state that they feel powerless to change their situation and it’s because we are trying to control our outcome through the actions of others which is never a powerful place to get what you want.

Here is where our work within begins, when we don’t know how to provide ourselves with what we are wanting our spouses to give us, we will always be needing from a place of lack. We will always be empty vessels until we learn how to fill ourselves up from within.

Deficiency needs have us starved while using our partner to provide us with something we aren’t providing for ourselves.

Growth needs

Maslow talks about looking within while understanding that everything we need is available inside of us and that when we move from defensive wisdom to growth wisdom, we start to see things a bit more clearly. We start to feel a bit more open and accepting of the way things are while figuring out how to love ourselves in the middle of this pain. When we look at where we are from a place of growth we start asking ourselves better questions like “What can I do right now to make myself feel better?” instead of “What can I do to prove they are doing it wrong?”

Do you feel the difference between those two questions? One comes from a place of abundance while the other is controlling and manipulative.

From this perspective shift, we can see our lack of power to get our love requirements filled through demands or shaming while getting to the work of learning how to fill ourselves up with love and self-compassion. As we fill ourselves up we grow more loving towards ourselves and others, and we become more emotionally available, more empathetic, and patient which has us better expressing how we are feeling and what we would love to have happen in our marriage. We get better at giving love without needing anything in return and while we do that we get in return more of what we want.

As we get to this space of learning how to supply ourselves with continual love and compassion we learn how to become more open and honest about our wants and desires while making requests in a non-threatening way which opens us up to more of what we want in our marriage.

How to start taking steps away from lacking towards satisfaction

Start with noticing when you feel unloved. Take some time to notice and better understand where you are operating from: fear, blame, expectation? It’s 100% normal, most of us have safety and security concerns, but just take time to notice and then take some time to write about what you were expecting and how this expectation feels. Notice:

  1. What they were doing or not doing?
  2. What you were thinking about what they were doing?
  3. See if you can figure out how this made you feel, even better, see if you can go into your body and describe what your body felt like
  4. How do you want to act in this situation?
  5. What would be the most loving thing you could do for yourself in this moment?
  6. Do that!

Notice what part you play in this pattern you and your spouse have developed. Once you are able to work through this pattern many times you’ll start seeing how you want to change your pattern. When you start changing your pattern you may realize you still have a desire for them to show you love in a certain way but the difference is that you no longer “need” it, you want it. This is where you can get open and vulnerable about your desires which has you powerfully influencing your marriage by helping your partner to be more vulnerable as well. It can help soften them up to the idea of shared love.

Most of us won’t step into the realm of growth and satisfaction because we are trained and evolved to be motivated by deficiency, but when we can see how awful this is making us feel, that is when we can step into our power and start changing our evolved selves and evolve into our new, fancier, more loving selves. 


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.