Hello, my AwakenYou listeners! Is anyone else besides me wondering how this can be the last week of February? Two-thirds of the way through the first quarter of 2022, wow! I have been doing some amazing things over here in AwakenYou, including re-vamping my Abundant Love free course, which you can grab from my website by following the link in the show notes, and then there is my monthly Marriage Masterclass, where in March we will be exploring How To Get To Know Them. This class will be beneficial for those of you who feel so distanced in your relationship that the idea of coming back together and re-creating something beautiful truly seems like a fairytale. This class will teach you how to start taking steps towards rebuilding your marriage and feeling so much better than you do now because when we invest time and effort into what we want, it feels so good! This week I want to pause everything you have been learning about how we show up in our high-stake relationships that actually push us further away from what we want. I will dig into what your body language is saying to your spouse.
As you listen to this series about divorce-proofing your marriage I want to help you create awareness of where your brain may be going. I have heard back from several listeners who are telling me that their partner is a classic example of some of these traits; criticizing, contempt, defensiveness, stonewalling, etc. while it is good for us to see what is happening for our partner, I want to help you navigate this in a way that is most useful for you. I first want to make sure that you are looking inward before pointing fingers; I want you to look at how you are showing up and how this dynamic has been playing out in your relationship. From here, I want you to focus on how you are working on showing up more helpfully without pointing fingers but from a place of wanting the relationship to grow and flourish. Pay attention to what comes up for you when you want to start conversations and practice having empathy for whatever your partner may be experiencing. So often, we tell ourselves a story about the other person that has us sitting in the victim position; the victim position has a very narrow focus; all we can see is how we are losing in this situation. What we know is true is that being open and honest and confronting that which is creating conflict within us may bring up habitual coping mechanisms in our partners that have nothing to do with us as a person but how they perceive our words. Our job here is to notice our part, become aware of common reaction mechanisms in your partner, and start figuring out how to create a new pattern. Your job isn’t to fix your partner but to be the partner willing to open up and create a new dynamic.
Body language is an indicator of how you are feeling
You will often hear me say that how we show up reflects how we are feeling and that when we say words or take action from a negative emotion’s energy, they will always be received negatively. For example, you can say the words “I love you.” from many different emotions, and depending upon what emotion you are feeling at the time, the words will be received differently. Imagine saying those words after an unresolved argument where you feel angry, hurt, or resentful. Now, imagine saying those words from a place of disconnection or discouragement, or disappointment. Lastly, imagine how you say those words when you feel happy, content, joyful, passionate.
Using these three examples, not only will the energy in the delivery be different, but your body language will be different, and the other person feels and sees this come through. In the first case of anger and feeling hurt, you might look to the side when you say the words, your actions might be stiff and forced, you might be internally forcing yourself to spit the words out in a smooth way and contemptuously rolling your eyes. This won’t feel like the sort of love we crave, but it will feel more like forced love.
Next, let’s look at saying “I love you.” from a place of disconnection, discouraged or disappointed. The words might be soft; your body might feel soft and withdrawn, you probably won’t make eye contact. Inside, your heart might be crushed, and you might be wondering if things will ever get better; this sort of “I love you” feels uncommitted and fake and obligatory.
Now, think about times when you have been so full of joy and passion, the delivery of “I love you!” looks and feels like true, genuine love. It’s light and airy, energetic and free; it screams, “I want to be with you forever!” “My heart is overflowing.” There is no eye-rolling and tensing up going on, you are relaxed and without boundaries, you are open to receiving all that the other has and giving all that you have to offer. It feels like heaven.
So this week, as you work through some of the possible divorce predictors found in your marriage, I want you to pay attention to what your body is saying. Start again with awareness within yourself and start working on feeling the emotions you are experiencing while working on connecting to the origin of that emotion without blaming someone else; look within. When you begin to notice your body language, you can start working on how you want to show up – as you do this work, that alone will soften up how your spouse shows up – mirror neurons.
When it comes to your spouse and their body language, start paying closer attention, later writing it down, seeing where they may have been coming from and what might have triggered their reaction. Process through it, and then during your intentional time together, ask if you can talk about it and share what you have noticed from YOUR perspective and how it makes YOU feel, as well as what you think might be a helpful way to work on changing together. When one of you notices disconnecting, turning away or against, behaviors like turning away, picking up the phone, changing the subject, being defensive, tensing up, turning red in the face, eye-rolling, and the other partner points it out, please don’t deny – this is gaslighting – if they see it you are somehow conveying negative energy. Instead, pause, count to 5, check-in with your body and if you are feeling light and happy, then acknowledge that and share with your spouse that you didn’t mean to convey what they are accusing you of. The opposite is true; if you are feeling tense, pause and let yourself come back down, acknowledge that you need some space, and process what just happened for you.
Remember, we are creating discomfort when we don’t talk about what is happening for us; when we don’t talk about our inner conflict and don’t align with our true selves AND confrontation and working through our conflict IS uncomfortable, but the difference is this: the discomfort of working towards a relationship that you want that has both of you working towards resolving conflict and creating connection gives you a result that feels amazing. The hiding and not addressing what you are struggling with might feel like the comfortable solution, but that inner conflict will never go away; it will grow, it will feel awful until many, many years later you have to start the work of facing them. As my coach Aimee Gianni says, “The amount to which we are willing to open up honestly to our spouses will dictate the level of our relationship intimacy.” So my question to you today is this: how close do you want to get with your spouse?
I am a life coach who works with women and couples struggling with how their lives and marriage feel through awakening their true selves. My process isn’t about changing your partner; it’s about discovering who you are so that you can AwakenYou in your life and marriage, which by the way, will have you see your partner changing as well. If you’re ready to take yourself to a place where you can fall back in love with your life and your spouse, then schedule your program inquiry call today and let’s talk about your next steps to a life you are crazy in love with!