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.

 

Take A Pause To Decide Your Next Steps Ep 72

Take A Pause To Decide Your Next Steps | Marriage Coach
 

 

Welcome back AwakenYou listeners, how are you this week? I’d love to hear how everyone is doing as we just welcomed in summer last week and are so very close to the close of the first half of 2022. I have been embracing a bit of peaceful reflection while contemplating my plans for the second half of this year. I believe our life is full of cycles and that it is helpful for us to consider where we might be in a cycle and to honor what actions that cycle might be calling us into. Right now I am in this cycle of looking back and feeling pride for all of the things I have done to get myself to where I am today. At the same time, I am sitting in the present being grateful for all that is in my life while also looking forward to reconsider where I want to go. As I’ve eased into accepting this space, because I did a bit of kicking and arguing with it as this cycle entered my life, it’s been interesting to watch what unfolds. Kicking and screaming because these cycles don’t announce themselves, often you wake up inside of one and are left wondering why you’re feeling like you took a nose-dive into laziness. With this, I want to suggest that all of you consider what it is you are needing right now in your life and whether you will honor that need or fight against it. Is your soul asking you to take a pause in order to decide your next steps in your life, in your marriage? 

Maybe one of your next steps needs to be taking a look at how you are thinking about your marriage, without trying to figure out why you are thinking these thoughts but simply observing. If you go back to an oldie but goodie blog post, which I have also provided an audio version for those who prefer to listen, about the Self Coaching Model in that episode I teach you about a tool I use that helps you see how your thinking is affecting YOU. As we start to see our thoughts about our spouse and our marriage we notice how these thoughts are making us feel, we start to see how we then show up in our marriages and the result that these thoughts are creating for us in our marriage. My Abundant Love Free Mini-Course is the perfect place to start the process of examining your thoughts, how they’re serving you and then I share a practical and fun way to start creating your own Love List of thoughts that help you create more of what you want in your marriage. Go download the course now, the link is in the show notes, and start the process of creating more abundant love in your marriage!

This week I decided to divert away from what I originally planned to talk about this week because as I go through this time of pause I see so much evidence of resistance to the value in this process. Not only can I look back in my own life and see evidence of the fear of stopping to reconsider or re-evaluate, but I also see it active in the lives of my clients so I want to talk about it today and share how you can start taking the steps to do the same in your own life.

I felt called to talk about this topic because it has always been a struggle for me to take real breaks without an old familiar thought popping up for me that links taking time to be as being lazy. Knowing I’m not alone in this process I wanted to share a few tips to help you along your journey to understanding the importance of being able to pause so you can decide your next steps or maybe in the pause alone, you find your next steps. What I mean by that is often we are so busy focusing on what’s next that we don’t allow our brains to shut down and reset, while in this reset process this is where the next steps start to formulate themselves. Today I want to take some time to think on a few things around taking time to pause and if you are thinking this episode is a waste of your time then I want to suggest that you are the one most needing to continue on listening.

Why do you need to accomplish?

I know the need to accomplish seems so obvious and valid but have any of you noticed how fleeting the gratification is that comes as you cross off completed tasks from your to-do list? It’s about as long as it takes to cross or check that to-do off, or less, before we’re on to the next to-do, while maybe even adding another one on to the pile!

Many of us are conditioned to believe our value comes from doing things but let me ask you this, is getting things done one of your values? Let me share this as someone who has worked to quiet her over-achiever voice, crossing things off the to-do list will NEVER increase your value or worth, it’s inherent and it needs to come from within, not from what you do or what others tell you. You may even be thinking that getting things done IS one of your values and if you are I want you to consider taking time to discover your top values – one of the things we do in the very beginning of my AwakenYou program, what this does is it helps us to check-in with what we think is important.

Take some time to look at your need to accomplish and how it might actually be getting in the way of what you most want to accomplish when you look back on your life. I promise you that when you look back you won’t be highlighting all of your hours spent at work, pulling all the weeds, getting all your closets organized or whatever is on your current to-do.

When it comes to your marriage, is it possible that you are using your accomplishments as a way to prove yourself worthy? Are you comparing to-do lists? Are you doing as a way to prove your spouse’s lack of accomplishment?

Are you lazy?

I want to suggest that you take some time to write about what you consider lazy to be, it might be a bit eye-opening. Do you want to think of yourself as lazy or do you want to think of yourself as powerful, accomplished, and worthy? 

If taking time to be was actually an integral part of getting MORE done, how would you look at taking time “off”?

In your marriage: are you doing more to prove the opposite to your spouse?

Do you trust yourself?

So many voices demanding your time and energy. Which way should you turn? Which action should you take? Who needs to be prioritized? Most of us don’t trust ourselves enough to say no to the demands while saying yes to ourselves. We continue to tell ourselves we’re going to do something, like take some time for ourselves, and then don’t take the steps to implement, evaluate and create our success, which ultimately leads us to not trust ourselves. 

It’s like we make the goal so insurmountable that our failure is inevitable. Could we instead take a smaller step like pausing and telling someone you have to think about it when you have someone ask for your time. Pause before you say yes, or no, pray about it, meditate on it, do you want to change your current plans to take the time to yourself, saying no to yourself, and say yes to them? Baby steps my friends. Constraint and one step at a time.

In your marriage: what is it you want to do in your marriage, how can you come up with those small steps that will get you moving forward?

Trauma and busy-ness

Something I’d like you to consider is if your busy-ness is connected to some past trauma or voice of someone else, because if it is, and it’s likely it is, how can you take your power back in your present life? How can you recognize this old coping mechanism of running from the pain and give yourself a giant hug of loving kindness while recognizing that it’s an old pattern. You can grant yourself time to pause while also teaching yourself that you are not lazy and how to trust what it is you need. 

As you begin to open up to the possibility that taking a break is exactly what you need in the moment and trusting that when that need is fulfilled you will jump back into your next step with exuberant commitment. 

The work of working on our marriage relationship includes the work of compassionately recognizing old trauma reactions so that you can slowly release them and start to embrace the love relationship that feels light and airy. 

When it comes to our lives we need to look at where we are, where we’ve come from, and where we are going while also taking time to learn how to listen to our inner wisdom. When we are able to see how our thoughts fail to serve us, how we strive to make others accept us as worthy without taking the time to do so for ourselves, that’s when growth occurs. Other people will think we’re lazy and not accomplishing enough when we honor the cycle of settling down and resting, it’s when you can be ok with what they think that shows you the progress you’ve made. It’s when you trust yourself to take the time when your body and brain needs it and to come back even stronger, this is what proves you are growing and making progress. What if this time you are going through right now is exactly what you need to make the most of that time that is coming up? 


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.

 

Are Our Marital Problems My Fault? Ep 71

Are Our Marital Problems My Fault? | Marriage Coach

Hello AwakenYou listeners, I am coming off of a week-long celebration of my birthday, but who am I kidding, I have been celebrating all month! I actually really celebrate this life every day, I have so much to be grateful for, and today I want to celebrate you. Thank you all so much for showing up every week, taking what I share, and applying it to your life. If I’ve learned anything it is to celebrate our wins, no matter the size because it’s in those small wins that the big goals are created and if we don’t go back to see what we’ve accomplished, we’ll keep reaching in the future for our joy which is a never-ending joy thief. Before I dig helping you move beyond thinking your marriage problems are all your fault I want to remind all of you of my free Abundant Love Mini-Course. In this course, I teach you about how our thinking affects your marital relationship and as you examine those thoughts you will create a love list resource that helps you re-direct your thinking when you see that it isn’t serving you, like thinking that your marriage problems are your fault. You can download the course today by going directly to this show’s notes and begin building positive thoughts about your marriage. Today I want to take a look at something that comes up when individuals start doing the work of changing their marriage without changing their spouse. Often when people start this work they are excited to finally do something that is all about them and their own personal growth while at the same time, they are unhappy in their marriage. When they begin feeling better about themselves and they are taking bold steps to take their power back in their marriage they start to see things change and they begin to ask themselves “Are our marital problems all my fault? I mean, here it is me doing the work, them doing nothing and our relationship is feeling better, what’s the deal if it isn’t my fault?”

This episode is above all inspiration for all of you out there doing the challenging and rewarding work of changing your marriage without changing your spouse. I know this work can have lulls of loneliness where we wish our partner would step it up and take some of the ownership in the relationship. But here’s the thing, that is why you are here, you’re not interested in settling, you want to create your best life, you’re tired of dreaming and not creating. You are a leader and an influencer and yes, sometimes it does get lonely, you want the team to cooperate, or at least in the way you think they should cooperate. Let’s look at what if it is all your fault, what if your spouse was a relationship master and they married you, then we’ll go back to your reasons for doing this work, and lastly, I will share some hope for down the road.

What if your relationship problems WERE all your fault?

Let’s go there. If all of the things that aren’t working in your marriage are your fault then this would be easy because it would mean that your spouse is a relationship master and that they know all things relationships AND they chose you! That’s fun!

In all seriousness, that would be fun because that would mean that they would be all in on this work that you are doing and everything you bring up in conversation about what’s not working for you would be met with cool level-headed curiosity. If they were a relationship master they would be all in on working with you to create what each of you want in your marriage, so why do you think they aren’t doing this work with you?

There could be several reasons your spouse isn’t doing the work with you. It could be you chose to do this work yourself, for you, and when you’re thinking you’re the problem, well that’s one of the things we’re digging into! We’re looking at why you’re thinking this, where else this shows up in your life, and how it’s making you feel (guilty, full of shame?). When we look at it simplistically, it’s no wonder you feel like you’re chasing your tail when you think that these problems must be all your fault!

More often some of the reasons they may not be doing the work with you are that they don’t want to invest the time and energy to look inside, they don’t think they’re the problem or they don’t think there is a problem and possibly, they are doing the work. It’s quite possible they are watching you from a distance, observing the changes you are making, listening to how you speak or don’t speak, and contemplating how they are going to participate in this process. It’s possible they are sitting back to see if this is going to last, should they let their defenses down or should they keep the walls up for a bit longer to see where all of this goes. What if that was what was going on behind the scenes?

Come back to your reasons for doing this work

Truth be told, as you do this work for yourself, it doesn’t matter what their reason is, what matters is that you want to change, grow and get better while letting them be who they are. Because this work changes you from the inside out, that change can’t not change your marriage and how your spouse shows up in it. When we show up differently, everyone around us reacts to us differently. When we come back to our reasons we can stay focused on how we are feeling and as we grow self-confident and courageous we get better at sharing how we are feeling with our spouses and being less afraid of how they react when we open up and share. Again, we are opening up and sharing to support the team, if you think they’re not interested or that they think what you’re doing is worthless we let it be, we are developing a firm belief in ourselves and the work we are doing while letting them have their own personal opinion.

Hope for your future

Sometimes the reason our spouses aren’t doing this work is fear of revealing their own weaknesses, possibly one of the reasons it took you as long as it did to start this journey. Fear of discovering that they are the problem, maybe even validating our own inner fear – that there is something wrong with us. The good news is that often when you start opening up to what you want, when you start becoming vulnerable and real, it gives them permission to eventually do the same, allow it to marinate, and take its time to happen. 

Many times what I see happen is either the partner sees so much growth in their spouse that they want the same results and decide to work with a coach themselves then eventually many of my clients end up coming together to continue this journey as a couple. The other steps in tenderly, cautiously, and a bit defensively until they start to see that this work isn’t about beating them up for what they are doing wrong, but instead they learn that it’s helping them to open up to what they actually want.

What I want you to know is that no matter what they do, the goal of this work isn’t to “fix” them in your marriage, but to step into the partner you want to be, the partner who shows up as fully lovable and who is showing up making sure they are giving as much as they hope to get. All the while, as you do this work of being the best loving spouse you can be, the spouse who shows up in the way she would show up for herself, you get to continually evaluate and re-decide whether you choose your spouse or not. You become more committed to what you want in the relationship and share that with an open heart. You get to invite them along on the journey to a happier, more loving, fun life together. No one person is ever at fault in a relationship breakdown, it is a relationship where both people want to examine themselves and be honest about how they are showing up for themselves and their spouse while doing the courageous work of being open and honest about each person’s needs and desires.

Next time you think that your relationship problems might be all your fault I want you to pause and wrap your arms around yourself in a warm, compassionate hug. You, my friend, are awesome, you are beautiful and you are growing into your potential, I high-five salute you. March on!


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.

 

Going From Conflict To Deeper Connection Ep 70

Going From Conflict To Deeper Connection | Marriage Coach
 

 

Conflict exists between all of us.

It doesn’t need to be a problem.

But for most of us, it is.

We keep it bottled up, pretending it doesn’t matter.

We argue for our perspective.

Or we just walk away.

There is a better way, and when we understand that conflict is normal and why it’s there, we can start looking at it.

When we can take an honest look at it and find the courage to share what is going on for us, we can discover reconnection, leading to an incredibly richer connection than we had before the conflict.

This week learn how to understand your conflict better while stepping towards a deeper connection with your spouse.

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

Books referred to in episode:
Getting To Zero: Jayson Gaddis

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/70


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.

 

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.