Welcome AwakenYou listeners, how are each of you this week? If you were here last week that means that you heard me introduce a fun new goal-setting adventure where we are together going set our monthly relationship goal and use this weekly conversation to check-in and see how we are doing. If you didn’t set a goal last week or are hearing about this for the first time then come along with us, be brave and set a goal by picking one of the podcast episodes and following along with what I share or go watch one of my marriage masterclass replays, speaking of which I want to remind you that this month’s class is on self-esteem and why it’s so important in building a solid marriage that you love because it will be the work you want to do after listening to what I have for you today or even a bit more advanced, go download my Abundant Love Free Mini-Course which will help you start changing the way you look at your marriage. For those of you who are working on a relationship goal whether, with yourself, your spouse, or someone else, I’d like you to answer these three questions this week as you move forward:
- What has been working well in your relationship work?
- How am I neglecting my personal relationship goals?
- What one thing can I do this week to keep my relationship goal top priority?
That’s it! Congratulations on playing along with me and remember that one thing you can always do to help you make progress is to book a free mini-coaching session and let me help you move forward. This week I want to turn your thoughts about your marriage upside down by challenging your thought that something has gone wrong in your marriage, your thought that you picked the wrong mate, or your thought that you’re destined to live a boring relationship future. This week I want to normalize marital distress.
What would you do if you could erase the social conditioning that most of us have hardwired into our subconscious minds that if we married the right person our relationship would be wildly happy, close, and we’d never be dissatisfied in bed? What if from childhood we were conditioned to expect that all relationships will encounter disconnection, intimacy struggles, and a falling away from each other? Yes, what if sitcoms, I don’t know, are these even a thing anymore? I don’t watch the screen and haven’t for close 20+ years so I don’t know, but what if it were normal for us to read/watch about marriages that struggled and shows that modeled what it looks like to work through those struggles in a healthy way?
If the latter were our norm then I believe our divorce numbers would be so much lower and there would be less shame around where we’re stuck in our relationships and more open talking about what you are working on in your marriage and what’s working for you. But instead, we pretend like everything is amazing, that we’re having fantasy-level sexual encounters with our spouse, that we never argue, and when we do it’s a wildly erotic make-up session or we just complain about how awful and irresponsible our spouse is, making them the root of all the problems.
So let’s be straight up, marriage is work if you want it to be good. Except for the fortunate couples that either had a strong upbringing that included open awareness of the happy, to unhappy back to happy repair loop or decided right up front to work with a good marriage coach. We want to expect that the “honeymoon” phase will end and that disconnection, disharmony, anger, resentment, loss of self and intimacy may occur, that it is completely normal and why. I think that this alone will help loosen the grip you might have around what is going on in your marriage and once that grip is loosened it will be much easier for you to step into the woman who is ready to step up to the task of solving your relationship issues and getting back to what you want, which is more fiery intimacy.
Why marital distress is normal
Let’s go back to the point in your relationship when everything was fun, and connected with hot, steamy sex, or whatever your version of a happy relationship was. During this period of your relationship, you were busy courting each other, talking about things that your partner enjoyed talking about, doing things that each other enjoyed doing, or being willing to do things that you maybe didn’t love doing but would to show your partner how much you loved them. Each of you was doing things that validated each other, or in other words, you did things that you discovered your partner liked and you continued doing those things.
This is an immature relationship, where each of you are looking to the other for support and validation for what you do and what you think. What this means is eventually you will run out of things to do that the other person actually wants to do or things to talk about where they will agree with you. In immature relationships, we aren’t differentiated, we shut down when our partner doesn’t agree with us or doesn’t want to do the things we want to do, we’re immeshed and dependent on each other. Back in Ep. 60: Differentiation I talked about differentiation and how important it is to the health of our relationship.
As we grow internally and relationally we learn how to be separate from our partners while maintaining healthy interdependence. In a nutshell, this is all of the work we do inside of AwakenYou, the work of learning how to open up to your spouse about what is important and interesting to you without needing them to agree, learning how to have a healthy conversation without needing them to validate your position because you’ve already self-validated.
So the good news is this: disconnection in your marriage is completely normal and it comes because the honeymoon period ends, we stop validating each other and feel unloved, disconnected, and passionless. The bad news is that relationships are hard work where we need to work on self-supporting behaviors that have us showing up honestly in our marriage.
As David Scnarch in Passionate Marriage states: this silent period of disconnection and sexlessness gridlock forces us to grow up, it’s not falling out of love, it is the pathway to love, it’s not a failure to communicate, it’s learning how to listen to yourself without needing everyone else to listen and agree.”
Now with this new information, I want you to re-imagine your marriage. I want you to look at your marriage through the lens of normalcy instead of abnormality. If you were to expect this period in your marriage what would you do? Even if this period has been going on for 20+ years, what will you do? Will you dive into the work that I share with you here on the podcast, on my social channels, in my marriage masterclasses, in my free course, or one on one in my coaching program?
The main area you will want to focus on when it comes to differentiation and being all in on yourself will be the work of creating a loving relationship with yourself which includes having healthy self-esteem (this month’s Marriage Masterclass) and there are several episodes in the archives where I talk about creating connection and self-esteem as well as one of my masterclasses, so go there and start doing the work as well as sharing this episode with all of your girlfriends who are going through similar relationship struggles.
I hope that this conversation helped you look at what is going on in your marriage a whole different way, a more normal way, as a problem that you expected. Think about another project that you might be working on and a hiccup happens, what do you do? Do you drop it and complain about what an awful thing it is or do you get to the work of figuring it out? I hope that today’s episode shared a new insight that helps you feel more empowered to work on your marriage and if you want resources then I’m here for you! Book that free coaching session now before you forget. 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.