Welcome AwakenYou listeners, welcome to another week of bringing more of what you want into your intimate relationship! To begin let’s take a minute to set a relationship goal for this new month, what is it you want to work on this month? Maybe you want to work through what I share in this episode or something from a different episode, my Abundant Love Mini-Course or one of the 9 Marriage Masterclasses I have taught this year. Just pick something, don’t make it a big deal, and start doing the work, then schedule a free mini-coaching session and let’s talk about what you are struggling with when it comes to getting started or taking action.
The Abundant Love Mini-Course will help you if you are struggling with the negative thoughts about your marriage. This course helps you become aware of these thoughts, and how they are serving you while helping you start changing how you think about your marriage in a way that feels believable.
With it being a new month that means we have a new Marriage Masterclass coming up next week and this month’s class I am going to help you start bringing some love back into your loveless marriage. Go to the show notes and get yourself registered, in these classes, I share lots of wisdom along with actionable steps you can start implementing immediately so you can begin the journey to feeling better about your love relationship.
This week I have been contemplating grace – the concept of sharing loving kindness with our spouses when we don’t think they deserve it. Let’s be honest, it’s easy to love our partner when they lift us up, share hugs without prompting, tell us how much they love us when we aren’t expecting it, bring home something heartfelt and ask us if they can massage our feet after a long day. But what about when they aren’t doing these things and haven’t for so long you can’t even remember when the last time was?
For so many couples loving kindness actions slowly dissipated after the honeymoon ended. Initially, most couples don’t argue about this loss of loving-kindness, it seems to be a bit of an unconscious relief with all of the other things going on in their lives, but eventually, that lack of love starts to build a separation between the two, like I talked about in last week’s episode about Falling Back In Love With Your Spouse. This can be an awkward time in people’s marriage and it’s the core of the problem for the majority of my clients. Today I want to talk about the possibility of extending some grace to your spouse and being the one who goes first. Let’s start off with talking about what earned love is versus grace-based love, then we’ll talk about what that looks like – what grace is, and what it isn’t, then I’ll talk about why extending grace can be so difficult and I’ll share some first steps to moving forward.
The difference between earned love and grace-based love
I like to think of earned love being similar to sports, opposing teams keeping score while wanting your spouse to keep up with your score in order to be “equal.” Earned love has you looking and judging what your spouse has done lately to earn your love and if you think they’ve been insufficient, well then, you’re not going to share your love with them until they anti-up.
Consider this, just like we talked about last week when you’re not communicating in your marriage and talking about what it is you want and need in a constructive way each of you is telling stories about what the other is doing. So because you aren’t sharing loving kindness your spouse is feeling unappreciated and doing the same thing you are. Someone has to go first and that is what I help my clients do, I empower them to go first and reap the rewards of being courageous and going after what they want in their intimate relationship.
Grace-based love is loving them even when you think they don’t deserve to be loved. Grace has you on the same team as your spouse instead of being the enemy and loving them not for what they do but for who they are. When you are on the same team each of you complements and enriches each other, and in turn the relationship.
What going first in your marriage looks like and what it isn’t
Grace-based love doesn’t have you focusing on what is wrong with your spouse, and my Abundant Love Mini-Course will help you re-direct that focus. Instead, it has you looking the good in your partner. It has you showing up more understanding and willing to talk when their actions are less than perfect. Grace has you leaving the past where it belongs and starting new each day, resolving conflict right when it happens instead of letting it fester. Grace will have you extending empathy and compassion when you feel like they are speaking harshly or turning away from you.
What I also want you to know is that I am not saying that you will allow your spouse to treat you poorly or that if they have caused pain in your life that you won’t address these things. What I am saying is that when you go first you open up to bringing love back into the relationship and confronting those things that don’t align with your values and what you want out of an intimate relationship.
This is the work I do with my clients, helping them navigate showing up the way they want to show up while also standing up for what it is they want with loving compassion and honesty.
Why giving grace can be difficult and how to take the first steps
Giving grace can feel like you are sacrificing yourself and your needs while your spouse is doing nothing and this is where all of the work we do in AwakenYou to build a solid relationship with yourself comes in. We work through what is holding you back, where your safety mechanisms and old coping mechanisms are blocking you from expressing yourself the way you want. We take a look at how your actions are actually moving you further and further from where you want to go and we do the work of taking steps that feel safe, build confidence and allow you to take even bigger steps.
Because there are often many obstacles and barriers between where you currently are in your marriage and what you dream of having it’s critical that we build a solid, firm foundation of self-love and self-trust. It is often work that needs to be navigated with a guide who can help you see your blind spots, encourage you, and help you see where to go next.
The one example I want to share, and you can use this to apply to any circumstance you want to create in your marriage, let’s look at sharing a hug when you or they come home. What I want you to do is visualize how you want to feel before, during, and after this hug. Embody that feeling and practice thoughts that make you feel empowered to follow through and then when it comes to following through and inviting them into a hug you will notice, notice and notice. You will pay attention to what happens in your body, and in your mind, how you react to their actions and then afterwards you will take time to download, evaluate and then rinse and repeat in preparation for the next hug.
Have an amazing week and keep this month’s goal top of mind and 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.