Sometimes people say that coaching is a bit like spiritual bypassing, toxic positivity or even gaslighting. Yikes. I see why they might say that AND I don’t agree at all.
Listen in this week to hear how coaching done right is the very best tool to get you exactly where you want to go in your marriage – while staying connected to EVERYTHING that’s really true for you.
Mentioned in this Episode
- Click here to claim a free 4 lesson mini-course: How to enJOY the marriage you imagined when you said “I do”
- Check out the Defying Gravity Revolution – a Candice-led community of Bees committed to stop wondering if they married the wrong guy so they can enjoy the marriage they imagined when they said “I do.”
- Grab your free e-copy of “Wife on Purpose” and the companion workbook HERE
- If you’re a coach who wants to up the trauma-informed factor in your sessions and your business, join the Trauma-Informed coaching interest list HERE.
- Follow Candice on Instagram and Facebook
‘s Up, Bees?!
Earlier this week, I woke up to the sound of my husband muttering an expletive in the hallway.
Immediately, I knew that our aging, not-all-there dog had peed on our brand new flooring.
Both my husband and our contractor have assured me that her pee won’t damage the flooring cuz it’s tough and “everything resistant” and all of that.
Built to last – they say.
So far – I haven’t noticed any signs of warping or discoloration… but still.
Damage resistant or not, I JUST DON’T WANT dog pee on my new floor.
To me, this seems like a reasonable expectation.
To my dog, it doesn’t.
To my husband – well… he’s on the fence.
He can see all angles of this predicament and he’s kinda caught in the middle between his dog who’s losing her bladder and his wife who’s losing her mind.
It’s hard to be him.
It’s hard to be me.
As long as the dog continues to pee in all the wrong places, husband and I are both faced with less than ideal choices.
When he finds a puddle, he can either hide it from me and compromise our trust OR he can tell me straight up and endure my (likely) disgruntled response.
When I hear him find it, I can either stretch myself to have a compassionate, understanding response about my slowly getting ruined floors OR I can fight with him about diapers and kennels.
It’s a tough spot for us both.
BECAUSE we made vows and pledged our lives to each other almost 13 years ago, a big part of both of us WANTS to choose generosity and love as we navigate this challenge together.
But – when there’s ruined flooring and wasted money at stake in my mind, choosing love and generosity can be hard for me to do.
And – when there’s a beloved pet’s quality of life at stake in HIS mind, choosing love and generosity can be hard for HIM to do.
Let’s take a minute now to slow all of that down and identify why.
And since MY brain is here and his is not – let’s do it from MY perspective and ask…
What’s the worst thing that could happen if I consciously choose to tell a loving story about a puddle of pee and my husband swearing in the hallway in the early morning hours?
Now… if you’re tempted to answer, “Well…. Nothing really. Love always wins. Love conquers all. All you need is love.” …or something along those lines…
Please let me emphasize that this is a REAL, GENUINE question that calls for a thoughtful answer.
So really – What IS the worst thing that could happen if I consciously choose to tell a loving story about him here?
If NOTHING was at stake – like TRULY NOTHING – then telling a loving story would be easy.
A no brainer.
But there’s a reason why love doesn’t naturally pop up when there’s pee on my new floor and I owe it to myself to figure out exactly and specifically what that is.
Cut to YOU for a second.
Whatever YOU’VE got going on as the equivalent of pee puddles in YOUR marriage – whatever’s going on when love doesn’t naturally bubble up in your day to day – YOU owe it to yourself to really figure out what’s at stake for you.
So REALLY ask yourself – what’s the worst thing that could happen if you consciously choose to tell a loving story about him in that moment…
Will you get hurt?
Will your desires be compromised or will your dream be dashed completely?
Will someone judge you for being a pushover? Too permissive? Not strong enough?
Will what’s important to you go unacknowledged?
Will loving on his pain mean that YOUR pain doesn’t matter anymore?
When faced with an opportunity to choose love on purpose, it’s SO important to discover what you think is at stake and then to decide if what you think is at stake REALLY IS at stake.
Because all of the reasons we just listed for pulling back on love make a LOT of sense.
If you’re setting yourself up for hurt…
If what matters to you will get ignored…
If you’ll lose some self-respect or think you might lose the respect of others…
All of that is important to consider.
All of those reasons put the decision making power in someone else’s hands – which you never have to do if you don’t want to.
It’s possible to tell a love story about him just because it feels good.
It may even be a solid strategy to make yourself feel good by telling a love story about him and about the two of you together because those feelings make you more likely to take action that gets you closer to the goal of having a consistently connected, solidly supportive marriage.
It’s possible to tell a love story for all of those reasons AND stay true to what you need at the same time.
Telling a love story about him is only risky if you also require yourself to abandon what matters to you in the process.
That part – the self-abandonment – is ALWAYS optional.
Let’s go back to the predicament of the early morning pee puddle to illustrate.
When I heard my husband swearing in the hallway, I had a choice.
I could choose to tell myself a painful story about how he never honors my preferences.
Because he didn’t diaper her. AGAIN.
I could work myself up believing that if he REALLY loved me, he’d listen to my concerns and kennel her or take her out more often or do whatever it takes to protect my new flooring.
I could kill our trust with a story about how he’s gonna wipe away the evidence and not tell me anything and just hope I don’t notice.
All of those stories fall under the umbrella of option 1: NOT a love story.
I’m totally allowed to choose any of those perspectives if I want to.
Nothing wrong with me if I do.
I might choose to tell them on purpose if I believe that telling a love story will mean that the money I invested in our remodel will be flushed down the toilet.
I might opt of a telling a love story if I believe that doing so will mean I won’t ever be heard or that my voice won’t have a place in our marriage anymore.
But when I look at what my brain thinks might be at stake – I realize that I don’t REALLY believe those things will happen.
Because I don’t have to let them.
So I can – with relative ease – move to option 2, which involves telling a love story.
About him. On. Purpose.
It’s our option – yours and mine – to tell a love story about ANYTHING.
Whenever we want to.
Us Bees are powerful like that.
Even when the main characters are an incontinent dog and a hush hush husband.
Might sound tough to believe, but there’s a love story in there if we are willing to look.
It sounds something like this: My big hearted, dog loving husband got spooked. That’s it.
He knows I hate the dog peeing on the floor and yet… she did. It’s already done. He knows I’m not going to love it and he feel spooked.
Of course he does.
Spooked people often do less than ideal things – not because they are jerks, but just because they are spooked.
I get that.
I’ve done that.
Because I’ve been spooked about other things in my life and I have personally experienced how feeling spooked can make people do dumb stuff.
Poor guy’s feeling stuck between his wife and his dog. He’s feeling hopeless about bridging the divide between his dog and his lady.
I can 100% see how it’s hard for him to love two things that don’t love each other.
I can choose to understand that it’s really hard for him to stop an old, sickly dog from peeing – especially when he’s asleep.
It’s not impossible, but it IS hard.
I can choose to warm to the idea that husbands – and all humans really – don’t like being forced to do hard things.
Especially when there’s a critical somebody – ahem, me – hovering over their shoulder.
It’s true that he could put a diaper on her.
But he doesn’t.
Not because he’s ignoring what matters to me, but because the diapers are really tricky and kinda gross.
It’s also true that he could kennel her.
But he doesn’t.
Not because he’s insensitive to my concerns, but because kenneling her will just create a different problem when she cries all night and interrupts our sleep.
Another flavor of not fun.
It’s also true that neither of us can stand the idea of kenneling her way out of the way where no one can hear her… so we’re together in feeling stuck on that one.
No fun again.
Aren’t we all feeling a little softer toward my husband when I tell the story that way?
I thought so.
And that’s the goal, Bees.
Feeling softer toward your forever guy.
Not so you can abandon what matters to you.
It’s only so you can use that softer sense to open your creativity and believe he’ll be in to support you on the brainstorming.
He loves you. You love him.
And you’ve got a challenge to face.
Good thing you’re in it together, right?
Softer gets us to “in it together” a whole lot more effectively than writing him off as an insensitive husband who doesn’t give a lick about me or my beautiful new floors.
How soft do you feel hearing that version of the story?
And when you’re braced against your husband’s behavior, it’s pretty hard to embrace him.
It’s almost impossible to embrace solutions together.
Since you’re listening to this podcast, I’m guessing that embracing solutions together is where you really want to be.
Which is – again – why I suggest choosing to tell a love story ON PURPOSE. Might be in your best interest. And his. And in the best interest of the relationship you really want to have.
Heavy emphasis on BEST for YOU and YOUR interests.
Though it might feel weird to do so, in the Defying Gravity Revolution Hive, we always start there – with YOU.
Which brings me to a sneak peek of next week’s episode: A love story for YOU – where we’ll discuss the one scenario where telling a love story about him is actually the VERY LAST thing you want to do.
For today’s episode, it’s enough to notice when it seems doable and believable to tell a love story about him on purpose.
Because when you do, you buy yourself some softness between the two of you and softness ALWAYS leads to the best solutions.
Like this end to the pee puddle story.
As I predicted, husband cleaned up the mess and didn’t mention it to me when we said “good morning” to each other.
I could have called him deceptive and disrespectful and thrown up a wall to defend myself against his disregard for what matters to me.
But… I didn’t really believe my brain’s first explanation that his consciously chosen goal was to deceive and disrespect me.
Felt a lot more likely that he was just trying to smooth over an already sore spot in our marriage and not ruin either of our mornings on a busy school and work day.
All through the morning bustle, I waited – in a state of amused curiosity – wondering if he was gonna say anything.
So, on my way out to drive the kids to school, I playfully asked him if he had anything he needed to tell me.
He looked puzzled and ran through the to do list and carpool schedule for the day.
I pointed a flirty finger in his face to cut him off and then shifted my finger to point down the hall to the scene of the crime.
I held his gaze and lowered my voice to say, “I know all about that.”
He busted up laughing and then apologized about the floor.
Said he knew it was important to me to keep it clean and that he did his best to clear it out so I wouldn’t have to deal with any mess.
Told me the first thing he said when he saw it was, “She’s gonna be SO mad.”
I shook my head and looked at him over my sunglasses before replying, “That is NOT the first thing you said.”
He blushed and said, “You heard that?!?”
I nodded. We laughed.
And just like that we set the tone for open, light-hearted communication about a problem that still needs to be solved.
We agreed to discuss it after work.
No need to fight over it.
No need to let it go either.
That’s what softness can do for your marriage.
The softness that comes from telling a love story – on purpose – whenever you can.
Choose courage, Bees and keep on flying!