4 Saboteurs of Marriage

Last updated on: Published by: Recognizing Potential Coaching 0

You’ve seen the reels on Tik-tok, Instagram, Facebook and all the other apps that tell you what we are and are not going to do in 2023. 

This week, I’m here to tell you what we are going to leave behind in order to forge healthy, happy, fulfilling marriages. 

The first is self-pity. 

 What’s this look like?Defensiveness in arguments, playing the victim, and not taking responsibility for what has been said or done. How do we avoid it? Do the opposite, of course! Take responsibility. In an argument, instead of defending all the reasons something was said or done, simply say “yes, I did this and I’m sorry I hurt you.” Later, when sitting down to repair, you can explain your thought process and say “my intention was…”. It’s important to understand here that your intentions can be as good as gold, but the impact can still land wrong and be hurtful, disrespectful, offensive, etc. Your partner may accept your intentions and still not be ok with the way your actions triggered them. That’s something you will have to accept, that you had glorious intentions but they’re mad, upset, frustrated and hurt and will need comfort, an apology and a different approach next time. To stop self-pitying, start realizing that you cannot control everything, but you can control some things- thoughts, words, actions, responses, motivation level and resilience. You are not a victim to your circumstances. It’s not your responsibility how anyone else treats you or treated you growing up, but it is your responsibility to set boundaries, accept the change(s) that need to be made and start making them. 

The second marriage saboteur is pride! 

Oh yeah, pride is absolutely a last year thing and we are leaving that one way in the past. 

I see pride wrecking marriages every single day and it breaks my heart. My husband will admit that he used to have a big issue with pride and ego. I brought it up to him once in an argument. (10/10 do not recommend this strategy, btw.) Of course, he got pissed, denied it, blamed me, blah blah blah. But later he came back to me and basically told me he’d reflected on that statement and realized that he did have a big issue with ego and pride and that’s why he was triggered so heavily when I said it. There was a lot of shame centered around that for him. 

Pride is putting what you want above what your partner needs. 

You want to go golfing but your partner needs to get work done and doesn’t have a sitter for the kids, but you go golfing anyway. 
You walk away because your partner’s emotions are deep and hard for you to comfort. 
Your partner worked an 8 hour shift but you worked a 12 hour shift so when you come home, you say that they have 4 more hours of work left to do before you’ll jump in and help out because you’re all about “equality in marriage”. 

All of these are examples of pride getting the best of one spouse and all of these are real life examples I’ve seen just this week. You can fill in your own examples but if your marriage is rocky, I will bet dollars to donuts that pride is factor. It must be faced head on, dealt with and changed if you want to move forward in 2023 better than you were in 2022 or before.

The third marriage wrecking ball is blame.

Oof, this is a big one too. You send a text to your husband that says “Hey, can you grab dish soap on your way home please?” He writes back, “Yep, no problem.” But when he gets home, he hands you laundry soap. Still needed and also not helpful in that moment when you’re trying to run dishes in the dishwasher with no soap. So instead of owning up to the mistake, he blames you for not clarifying what soap you needed. Ope! But there it is in blue and white. He’s blaming. 
Or maybe you asked him to take the trash out but didn’t specify a time so when he got around to it the next morning, he finds that you’ve already done it. Oh, that’s why you were all huffy before you left for work! When he calls, you blame him for being inconsiderate, forgetful and selfish. When in fact, he didn’t know you needed it done the evening before and truly saw nothing wrong with taking it out on his way out the door the next morning. 

See how blame escalates? It hurts our partners so deeply and can lead to a great deal of resentment. 

The counter to blame is taking responsibility. Every single argument has both partners playing a part in that conflict. It’s not an all or nothing conversation. So, what was your part in the conflict? How can you own it and change it? What do you need to do to move forward? How can you reword what you want to say so that you aren’t blaming your partner?

The last marriage killer we’ll talk about today is resentment.

That massive elephant in the room, brought up every time you have a conversation, an argument or are dismissed or rejected again. Resentment is a cancer to your marriage. It grows bigger and bigger and eats away at your connection, communication, kills all thoughts of positivity of your spouse and eventually kills your marriage. 

It’s safe to say that every couple that comes to me has resentment as an issue. How do you get over it when it feels completely consuming? Talk about it in an assertive way and if you aren’t sure how to do that, there is a workshop called Overcoming Resentment in my monthly membership, Connected. Choose to forgive, choose to respond, greet, speak to your spouse in a loving and kind way even when you don’t feel like it. Choose to capture your negative thoughts about your spouse and change them to positive ones. Choose to be brave and vulnerable, even when it seems hard. Recognize when your partner is being vulnerable with you and validate them. Remember that validation is not agreement. Show up for your marriage and choose to stay committed. I’m reminded of a quote by the great Albus Dumbledore that is perfect for resentment “happiness can be found even in the darkest times if one only remembers to turn on the light”. 

In 2023, the name of the game is prioritization. Desire finds a way. Indifference finds an excuse. We are prioritizing what we desire changed, what we value, what we want to see growth around. That means kicking these marriage saboteurs to the curb and not letting them back in. 

Your coach,

Boundaries in Marriage

Last updated on: Published by: Recognizing Potential Coaching 0

Happy New Year! 

This year, one of my goals is to get even more vulnerable, real and raw with you about my own marriage so you can see exactly how to apply the tools I’m giving you each week. 

When Moe and I were struggling so badly last year, I started analyzing our arguments and conflict cycles. What were the commonalities? What could I change, even if he didn’t? The answer was in myself. I had no boundaries. Someone once asked me if it meant that your marriage was unhealthy if you had to have boundaries. On the contrary! The healthiest marriages have strong boundaries and strong consequences! That’s what keeps them healthy! 

There are so many factors that create the need for boundaries and often, boundaries are thought to be rules for what someone else can or can’t do. This is also false. Boundaries are there for your guidance, your safety and your mental, physical and emotional health. They are there to build and keep trust. Additionally, they do not have the word “YOU” in them; that’s an ultimatum. 

Here are some ideas of boundaries and what they sound like as well as a few consequences that may need to be put in place if those boundaries are crossed. This may help your marriage become even stronger this year. *fingers crossed*

1. All communication with co-workers of the opposite sex are sent through work e-mail.  

2. Phones are unlocked or passcodes are shared at all times and phones are open for your spouse to check at any time.

3. Any communication sent to someone else must have the same level of integrity as if the spouse were standing next to me, reading it as I sent it.

Hopefully you don’t feel the need to check your spouse’s phone but sadly, more and more spouses are feeling the need to do so. It’s easy to fall into the trap of reaching out to someone else through social media or text messaging for validation, comfort and emotional connection when they’re hurt or rejected by their spouse. However, that lacks integrity and isn’t the job for someone else. It’s your job to open up and have the self-awareness, courage and vulnerability to ask for what you need. It’s the job of your spouse to let go of their pride and provide what you need in that moment. 

4. Boundaries around technology time. Such as: No phones at the dinner table. Consequences could look like whoever brings their phone to the table has to do the dishes or cook the next meal. Phones are set on Do Not Disturb or Sleep mode at a specific time. Mine is 9 PM. This is when our oldest goes to bed and all the time after that before Moe and I go to bed is dedicated solely to us as a couple. No phones in the bedroom. Did you know that 10% of people check their phones during sex and 35% report checking it right after? Talk about a massive mood killer! 

5. One meal a day will be eaten together. 

6. We will spend 20 minutes a day alone together without distraction to reconnect our marriage and refuel our souls.

7. We will get help with our persistent issues. 

8. We will go on a trip, just the two of us, at least once a year. 

9. We will change our fight styles to be assertive, healthy and calm

10. Passive aggressive behavior does not communicate that there is a problem. Conflict will only be responded to when communicated assertively.

11. We will not be spending time with people who drain us of energy.

12. We will leave if conversations aren’t healthy for us or our children. 

13. We will use effective time management so that all work is done between a set number of hours. 

14. Our priorities are God, Spouse, Children, Job, everything else, in that order, every time.

15. I will not be in a marriage where I am lied to, manipulated, yelled at, hit, gaslit or disrespected.

16. Both of our names will be on all bank accounts.

A lot of these don’t have consequences listed because the consequence is a natural one. If you don’t have at least one meal together a day or your time together is less than 20 minutes, the consequence is disconnection. If your fight styles don’t change, you keep repeating patterns of toxic behavior. If you don’t calendar the trip together, it won’t happen, and you will keep trying to run on an empty cup. If your partner won’t get help, get help for yourself. If neither of you get the help you need, the tools aren’t learned, emotions aren’t released and nothing changes. See the pattern here? 

It’s important to remember that when boundaries are set, there may be pushback. Expect it and also stand firm in the boundary that you set. When people throw a tantrum over a boundary you set, they are demonstrating why the boundary needed to be set in the first place. Also, don’t assume that your partner knows what your boundaries are if you don’t communicate them. “You should just know” is the biggest line of garbage I’ve ever heard in a marriage. Your partner isn’t a mind reader. Differences in familial culture, geographic locations and culture, information they have that you don’t, or you have that they don’t, these factors and more make up many reasons why you have to communicate. Assumptions are a main reason why marriages start to break down.

I had to explain a lot of the boundaries I had around texting, time out with friends, money, and priorities because of cultural differences Moe and I had when we got married. I made a boat load of assumptions that seemed like common sense to me but because of those cultural differences, they didn’t make sense at all to him. The boundaries I set told Moe what I would and wouldn’t put up with, be a part of or have in my marriage. Another boundary I have is that I will not turn your pants right side out or check pockets. I am not wasting half my life doing these things. So, natural consequences…Moe’s had his air pods washed twice and is currently missing one because he left them in his pockets. #notsorry  

Many of these boundaries also work with your kids and keep you from running on empty and getting resentful because of it. But that’s another blog post for another day. 

Until then, have a great weekend and check out my Instagram if you want to follow us through Egypt for the next 2 weeks! @divorce.proof.marriage
Your coach,

What’s new in 2023? 

I am not doing group coaching anymore. All of my group coaching programs have gone into the vault. I’m focusing solely on 1:1 coaching for couples, husbands, wives, and individuals wanting life and purpose coaching.

I have 4 open spaces for couples coaching starting January 20. Want to know what others are saying? Look below for a review from one wife who just graduated my program. She and her husband started last January. He was a closet alcoholic; they’d fought about the same hot topics for 13 years with no resolution. They were sick and tired of each other, their marriage and where they were in life. One year later, he’s been sober for 10 months. They laugh together, are prioritizing date nights, and genuinely enjoy each other’s company again. She tells her story below. If you’re on the fence, now is definitely the time to jump! Payment plans are always available. 

If you’re struggling as an individual and just can’t get to where you want to be, I have two open spaces for life coaching. Reply to this email and let me know what you’re struggling with, where you want to go, and we can chat about what it will look like to get you there. Payment plans are always available for this too. 

Women’s bible study starts Feb 4! This will be once a week, free and probably in the evening. Designed to be used in conjunction with her new book, Becoming MomStrong, this 6-week Bible Study from Heidi St. John will help busy mothers learn to trust God with their deepest parenting questions. Each week you’ll find personal stories, Scripture reflections, Bible verses, and prayer prompts to help train you and your child’s hearts to discern truth and develop godly character. Reply to this email if you’d like to sign up for more information on that.

If you are in aviation- mark your calendars for April 19-21! That’s going to be the 2nd annual aviation summit! If you are in aviation and have a topic you’d like to speak on or a product you’d like to donate for our giveaways, reply to this email and let me know what you’ve got!