Start Falling Back In Love With Your Spouse Ep 85

Start Falling Back In Love With Your Spouse | Marriage Coach

Welcome AwakenYou listeners, welcome to another week of bringing more of what you want into your intimate relationship! To begin let’s take a look at that relationship goal you set for yourself at the beginning of this month and let’s ask ourselves a few questions about how it’s going. For those of you new to the podcast I won’t get too deep into the details but I have been using the episode as a way for us to be intentional with the things we want to work on in our relationships. This week I want you to write down the things you have done to move you forward with the goal you set at the beginning of this month, think of 3 things then after you write those things down take some time to go into your body and get familiar with how it feels to have accomplished these three things this past week. Next, I want you to write down one way you have hidden from an action you wanted to take towards your goal, and then take some time to write about why you hid from that action, what was going on inside. Lastly, what you can do this week to step closer to that goal? I’d also suggest that if you find yourself struggling with following through on the goal you set, or even setting a goal in the first place, schedule yourself a free mini-session where we can break through your own self-sabotage when it comes to creating what you want.

Secondly, I want to remind you of my free Abundant Love Mini-Course where I walk you through the work of shifting how you look at your marriage, helping you to uncover what you love about your marriage and then use that to create more of what you love.

This week I want to talk about this dynamic that can happen between partners when they get to this place of hardly knowing or understanding each other. A relationship can get to this point when the couple neglects the relationship by not dealing with issues that come up, eventually, they come to this point where they are so disengaged that they don’t really know much about the one they are married to. They don’t really know what is going on in each other’s world and they aren’t having substantial conversations where they are opening up to each other and sharing their thoughts, fears, and feelings. They feel disconnected, discouraged, and somewhat hopeless to change the relationship dynamic because there seems to be a huge chasm between where we are and where we want to be. They think they have grown so far apart that bridging that gap seems impossible, but today I’m going to show you one tool that you can use to help you better understand each other and start bridging the gap.

What are Love Maps and why they are so important?

Relationship expert Dr. John Gottman talks about a process of getting to know your spouse called building Love Maps and he describes it as the solid foundation of your “Sound Relationship House” which are the 7 principles he shares in his book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. That solid foundation is how well you know your spouse and I talked about this concept extensively in Ep 37: Love Maps, Getting To Know Your Spouse so go back to that episode if you want to learn more. 

The problem that can occur with building love maps at this stage of the relationship

What I have discovered is the “foundational” (no pun intended) problem here is that we don’t know and love ourselves well enough to share detailed intimate parts of ourselves and when we can’t share the intimate parts of ourselves we can’t go deep with anyone else.

Secondly, because we’re so “out of practice” with sharing, diving into a “getting to know you” practice feels awkward, they’re unpracticed at the practice.

Third, I see a lot of shame come up when people realize how little they truly know about their spouse. So let’s take a look at how we’ve gotten here.

Going back to the beginning of the relationship, at this point we are oftentimes solely focused on impressing our date. If we haven’t done the work of coming to terms with much of our past we find ourselves only sharing those parts of us that felt safe to share, parts that we felt our spouse would accept. We had a weak personal foundation of knowing and loving ourselves and when we combine our weak personal foundation with our spouse’s most likely weak foundation, we start out our marriage without a solid foundation.

Then, several years into the marriage, this getting to know each other phase often fades as we move our focus to things like building careers, a cozy home, and family. This focus outside of the marriage feels almost like a relief, it takes the focus off of ourselves and what we’re uncomfortable with in our own lives. We move on to things we think will bring happiness and fulfillment while continuing to ignore what’s going on inside of us and our marriage. We stop “filling in the details” of each other’s love maps while the little bits we did learn about our spouse slowly fade away. Often what can happen after years of focusing outside of ourselves for that fulfillment is we find ourselves empty and embarrassed to say we don’t really know the one we’re married to. 

It has each of you in a place where you don’t even know each other very well and it’s 100% understandable that you’re in this place – the problem is how do you get to where you want to go which is knowing and understanding each other.

The good news of how to re-build your marital foundation.

It makes sense that we feel a bit insecure and hopeless about our relationship because we have lost the intimate connection that comes from deeply exploring our spouse’s soul. My very unscientific discovery comes from my lived experience, as well as what I have learned from my clients, which is that we often will resist “getting to know” them because we haven’t taken the time to do that work for ourselves. We haven’t done the work of knowing ourselves intimately.

Now turn that around and consider the possibility the same might be going on for them – they may be resistant to your inquiries into getting to know them because they don’t even know who they are!

At this point, couples will often seek guidance to figure out how to fall back in love with the one they’re with OR where one is so unhappy they will seek help with their own self-discovery. This self-discovery helps them find themselves, build their strong foundation and in the process, they begin to rebuild the foundation of their marriage – of course exactly what we do in AwakenYou – my 1:1 coaching program.

For myself and so many of the people I work with, we discover so much shame over so much of our past that creeps into our present, and before we can share ourselves with our spouse we have to crack ourselves open and find out what is inside – who we were. But, if both of you are dedicated to your relationship and willing to take steps towards re-building then it is 100% possible.

The process of getting to know your spouse better is a dedication to the marriage and the process of doing your own work of getting to know yourself better. In Gottman’s book, he shares a list of 60 great questions, use this list as a starting point, better yet, start developing your own list of great questions.

So right now I’m going to ask you one question. I want you to answer that question for yourself and then text your partner right now asking them the same question – ask your partner to guess your answer to the question and then share with them what you think their answer to the question will be.

The question: What date was your favorite?

What are 3 other things you want to know about your spouse? Come up with some of your own questions, but let me get you started with three:

  • What was your favorite childhood toy/game?
  • If you had to go live on a deserted island for a week what one would you take with you? 
  • What is/was your favorite TV show?

Now, do the same thing over the three days and then message me, christine@christinebongiovanni.com and tell me what you learned.

Before I wrap up I want to share one more thing: THIS WORK WILL FEEL AWKWARD! You might also be resistant to this work, which completely makes sense if you’re not used to sharing and you’re not feeling all in love with your spouse! The first place you need to get is on board 100% with your new relationship, and you will start working on getting to this place during the process of getting to know yourself better. If you keep thinking about how much your relationship is damaged and if you should do this rebuilding process somewhere else then of course this work won’t feel authentic. 

Get to the place where you’re all in on working on the marriage and then just start this practice, trust me, the awkwardness will go away once you start having fun with the project!

So what I shared with you today is

  • Gottman’s model of the Sound Relationship House and how the foundation of that house is the knowing of our partner – what Gottman calls our Love Maps
  • How we can get started in our relationships with a shaky foundation and that it makes sense that with this weak beginning, over the years of neglect the foundation will grow weaker
  • That rebuilding a solid foundation doesn’t mean you have to move – you can stay in the same Relationship House and start building that solid foundation by getting to know yourself better and in the process playing a game with getting to know your spouse better too

Have an amazing week and keep this month’s goal top of mind! Happy hugging, ciao!


I am a marriage coach helping women and couples turn their loveless & emotionless marriage into something better than they ever imagined possible. My process starts by looking within to understand how you got here, and from this place, we work together to figure out where you want to go. Then we do the work of making that your reality!

If you feel sad and completely powerless about your marriage’s state of affairs, then I’d love to chat with you about what is going on and what’s possible for you and your future. It’s never too late to re-create your best life. Schedule a free mini-session today, and let’s talk about how to get started. 

 

How To Stop Reacting and Start Loving Ep 84

How To Stop Reacting and Start Loving | Marriage Coach
 

 

There’s an excellent reason why you react the way you do in your marriage – even if that reaction makes you feel down on yourself.

The thing that drives your reaction could be as “little” as them coming through the front door after a day at work.

You dream of being kind and loving, yet something has you withdrawing and sending “leave me alone” vibes.

Let me tell you this, your reaction makes more sense than you can imagine, and I hope this alone will help you find some compassion for yourself.

In this week’s episode, I share some baby steps you can take this month to start reacting from a place of love instead of the old software your brain is currently running on. 

We all have old software that has us running old patterns that no longer serve us. Let me help you re-program your response so you can become that person you dream of being.

That person you dream of being is you are waiting to be released, and there is no better time than now to bring it to life.

In this Marriage Masterclass, I am going to help you:

  • Start to recognize your go-to patterns when your spouse does something that makes you react as well as your spouse’s go-to patterns
  • Understand why you respond the way you do and why it’s so hard to react differently
  • Retrain your subconscious mind to understand that you can handle these situations in a whole new, safe way that will feel self-supporting and diffuse the cycle
  • See how your change will bring about change in your spouse

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

Watch on YouTube

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/84


I am a marriage coach helping women and couples turn their loveless & emotionless marriage into something better than they ever imagined possible. My process starts by looking within to understand how you got here, and from this place, we work together to figure out where you want to go. Then we do the work of making that your reality!

If you feel sad and completely powerless about your marriage’s state of affairs, then I’d love to chat with you about what is going on and what’s possible for you and your future. It’s never too late to re-create your best life. Schedule a free mini-session today, and let’s talk about how to get started. 

 

Marriage Success Stories with Susan Scollen Ep 83

Susan Scollen is a National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach, and Life Coach. After giving birth to her beautiful son Teddy in November 2013, she quickly found herself in a big black hole of post-natal depression. Susan did the work to get well without a diagnosis or medication. In 2020, as she was moving interstate, she realized she’d gone from a life she hated to one she absolutely loved. Susan is living her Soul Life and she partners with people to create their Soul Life, exactly as they define it, to live happier, healthier, and aligned lives.

Website

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My Soul Life Podcast Instagram

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In these Marriage Success Story episodes, I hope to share other people’s marriage journeys in an effort to inspire you into believing that the marriage you dream of, the marriage that seems impossible and so far away, is actually possible. Everyone’s journey is different but through talking about our stories we release what holds us back while passing that energy on to others so they can heal their own relationship. Love is possible and let Susan’s story help bring you hope for something different!


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 Your Lying Is Affecting Your Marriage Ep 82

How Your Lying Is Affecting Your Marriage | Marriage Coach

Welcome AwakenYou listeners, welcome to another week of upgrading your intimate relationship! It is a new month and that means two things: a new relationship goal to work on and a new Marriage Masterclass! Let’s start with this month’s relationship goal, you can pick any relationship, even the one with yourself, what is it you want to work on and what are you going to do to take steps forward? As always, you can use any of the episodes here in AwakenYou in your marriage because I always share something you can take and implement or you can download my free Abundant Love Mini-Course which is all about re-wiring your brain’s current default way of thinking of your marriage and then you can also turn to my past Marriage Masterclasses. I have done one every month this year and in each one, I share three action steps. Set your goal this week, write it down so you don’t forget what it is, and then write down 1-3 things you will do on a daily basis to start moving forward. Remember that you can also book a 30-minute free coaching session to help you plan your goal or work through obstacles that come up as you do the work of improving how you feel about your marriage.

This week’s topic has been top of my mind because of real work I have been doing this past week in my marriage. Remember, in marriage, just like any area of our life that we want to keep growing and getting better, we have daily work to do so I am right alongside all of you, in the trenches doing the work of expanding and growing this beautiful dynamic that we call marriage and intimate relationship. If you follow me on Instagram or my Facebook Business Page you might have seen the video series I posted where I share a real-life marriage circumstance that I was working through. Of course, I share some of these examples not to broadcast behind the scenes of my marriage in a vain way but to give you real-life examples of the work I teach here.

Types of lies

Today I’m going to talk about a different type of lying that you might not recognize as lying. There are what many of us might call blatant lies to cover something up that they are ashamed of or don’t want to face the consequences that they might have to face if they told the truth. This could be as big as an affair, sharing an intimate lunch with someone besides your partner, an emotional affair or even where you went between work and home that made you late – even if it was to go shopping for something you’ve been longing for.

Then there are the not-so-obvious lies we tell, lies that happen more subconsciously than we’re aware of. The example I shared in my post series was around my husband asking if I minded if he worked the one weekend evening he had off. Just reading that message stirred up all sorts of emotions stemming from a pandora’s box of thoughts, “how rude,” “he has no respect for our time together,” “he prefers working over time with me,” “he’s asking so he can blame me if something goes awry,” “he can’t express his desires for fear of what I’ll think,” the list goes on and on.

I want you to pay attention to the example I am sharing and note if and when something similar might happen to you. It may not be about spending time together, what is your flavor? Trust me, it’s happened once or twice for you, start noticing.

My reactive response would have been a “sure,” loaded with insinuation, I would have been annoyed for a while, maybe stewed over it for a bit, maybe taken it out on him but over time, with much practice, I would see the pain this sort of reaction was having on me and would have turned it around. Turned it around to something enjoyable like, “he’s such a good provider,” “he thinks this is taking care of us.”

Instead, I decided to be truthful. I shared that I was truly looking forward to having an evening on the weekend with him, that I didn’t have any specific plans but that I would initially be disappointed if he chose to work. I also reminded him that this was me being honest, not trying to control him and that he was free to do what he thought best for us.

This felt amazing.

What happens when we lie

Most obviously, we don’t want people to see who we are at our core, we aren’t letting them in to see us. In this example, it took courage to open up and be vulnerable about the truth that I was looking forward to some time with him, it opened me up to be rejected and for him to see me. This is where growth comes in because as we grow we learn that other people can’t reject us, yes, I might be sad for a bit but as I grow more and more in love with myself I learn how to let other people’s reactions to me go.

The lie would have been about putting myself “one up” on him, trying to show that I’m the better person by letting him do what he wants and that his time away meant nothing to me because I’m a strong, independent woman.

I would have stored up those emotions and thoughts as more evidence when something came along that “broke the camel’s back” – toxic emotional waste stored up inside of ME. 

What happens when we tell the truth

Yes, there may be some tension with telling the truth, keep following my IG and FB to see the follow-up that will happen after Jeff and I discuss this interaction this weekend. I’m imagining that there is some tension on Jeff’s side but I can’t tell you what that might be. He could be annoyed that I “made him feel guilty for wanting to work”, but remember, no one can make you feel guilty, we do that ourselves with our own thinking. He might feel resentful by thinking I am trying to control him and his actions. 

But on my side, there is pure cleansing. I let go of any anger, resentment, blame, and dismissiveness and spoke about what I was really thinking at that moment. I know in my heart and soul that I was speaking my truth without being manipulative because honestly, another night to get out on my own and do something I enjoy with friends would also be lovely!

It’s all about how we feel in our hearts and that is why so much of the work I do is surrounded by emotion work because our emotions tell us which direction to go. My subconscious auto-response felt awful, tight, and reactionary and my well-thought-out response felt light, freeing, and abundant.

Action steps

What I want all of you to do is start paying attention to when you hide your truth. Start asking yourself why you do that and how you could start being more open and honest. 

In order to help you with this I want you to go register for this month’s Marriage Masterclass because it is going to help you discover where you are lying and how to start telling the truth. In this month’s class I am going to teach you how to step out of reactivity into love. You will learn how to:

  • Start to recognize your go-to patterns when your spouse does something that makes you react as well as your spouse’s go-to patterns
  • Understand why you respond the way you do and why it’s so hard to react differently
  • Retrain your subconscious mind to understand that you can handle these situations in a whole new, safe way that will feel self-supporting and diffuse the cycle
  • See how your change will bring about change in your spouse

In summary, telling the truth helps you become more connected with yourself and it helps you live more aligned with your values while it also builds more connection with your partner because you are opening up and sharing who you are and learning how to deal with the other person’s reactions in a more mature way. This work allows you and your spouse to become more differentiated which is the work of growing more intimately close and secure.

The link to register is in the show notes, you will not regret committing one hour to improve your marriage!

Have an amazing week and keep this month’s goal top of mind! Happy hugging, 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! 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.

 

Life With Christine, Relationship Coach, Guest Interview

Life With Christine, Relationship Coach, Guest Interview on Life With Francy | Marriage Coach

My first guest appearance on someone else’s podcast was such a fun experience!  

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.