Authenticity is the mother of closeness and the best fuel for connection. It requires that you and your husband are both able to say YES and NO based on what’s true for each of you.
Listen in this week to explore four instances where it might seem weird or unwise to say yes, but where saying a purposeful, planned-out yes is actually very sensible and pretty sharp.
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.
‘s Up, Bees?!
Last episode we learned to say no. Today… it’s all about the YES!!!!
I don’t mean like a “yes day” – my kids are constantly begging for one of those and it’s still a no for me.
I’m definitely not suggesting you say YES to EVERYTHING. All the time.
Unless you REALLY WANT to and your want isn’t coming from a gimmick or guilt driven place.
We’re all about being purposeful and decisive around The Defying Gravity Revolution Hive and passing out our yeses is no different.
Because if you think you CAN’T say no to something or someone, then you’re not REALLY able to say a full-bodied, actual yes to that something or someone either.
You with me?
It’s only when the genuinely fluid option to say “yes” or “no” exists – only when either answer is equally acceptable – that true authenticity exists.
You deserve true authenticity in your marriage, Bee. All. Day.
Because authenticity is the mother of closeness and the best fuel for connection.
So let’s get you some – right now.
If you’ve been thinking you’re not allowed to say yes to something or someone, then you’re not REALLY allowed to say a full-bodied, actual no to that something or someone either.
The fluidity has to go both ways, you see it?
As I said, last episode we focused on no – today we’re doing yes.
Because BOTH words are needed for an authentic, connected marriage to thrive.
Starting right now, we’re gonna run through four instances where you might be used to thinking that you “can’t” or “shouldn’t” say yes.
Four instances where it might automatically seem weird or unwise to say yes – AND – saying a purposeful, planned-out yes is actually sensible and sharp.
Yes number 1 – Just say yes to celebrating all of your successes
I’m not talking “participation trophy” kind of celebration. That practice has earned a questionable rep for good reason. It’s flimsy and inauthentic and usually doesn’t matter much or stick for long.
The kind of celebration I’m talking about here is the kind that feels true and real. It’s not lip service – it’s actual acknowledgement of things you really believe you did do well.
I know you might be tempted to tell me that there aren’t very many things to celebrate in your world. That you’re not good at much. Not really.
Makes sense if you’re thinking that because most of us are MUCH better at pointing out all the things we did wrong or ways we fell short than we are at recognizing and owning our awesome.
It’s not our fault.
Our brains are wired to attune more naturally to things that aren’t working – because those things potentially bring more threat than things that are going well.
Of course you’d pay more attention to your flat tire than you would to the three other tires that are still holding up well, doing their job.
Registering that three tires ARE doing just fine really will add a bit of a better feeling to the mix of your day.
You deserve that.
Plus, when you recognize and honor yourself for the great things you are doing, you set yourself up to keep achieving.
Check it out: let’s say you’ve got a goal to read a certain number of books this year.
You could wait until the end of the year, count up the number of books you read and then celebrate if you hit your number. Lots of people do it that way.
That’s the harder route because you delay feeling good about yourself for 52 weeks, for 365 days AND even then – you only get to feel good about yourself if you actually hit the exact number of books you set out to reach 12 months ago.
Plus – if you’re not on pace during those 12 months… you’re adding a bit of dread and disappointment to the task all along the way, which only makes the whole thing harder.
Contrast that with the practice of celebrating when you make a list of titles and again when you find them all at the library or on Amazon.
What if you celebrated EVERY time you honored your daily goal to read – no matter the number of pages you get through?
Consider how that sort of ongoing cheerleading would impact your motivation.
Say yes to celebrating your effort and then watch your productivity multiply while you have more fun along the way.
This goes for receiving celebration from others as well.
Make it a point to listen to yourself next time someone pays you a compliment.
Do you say a sincere “thank you” and let the love sink in?
Or are you more likely to deflect with something like: “Well… Sally did most of it.” or “Yeah, but that part of the poster is a bit off center.”
Let yourself be celebrated, Bee.
Because it feels amazing and establishes you as a powerhouse in your world. Which… you are.
Let yourself be celebrated AND whenever possible, go first with recognizing your awesomeness.
I know that might seem new or strange – which could be okay because it’ll give you opportunity to practice yes number 2.
Just say yes to feeling good.
I know you might not be used to feeling good on purpose, even though it might seem like a no brainer that you’re willing to feel good. Especially when the alternative is feeling bad.
Except – interestingly enough, people tend to be uncomfortable at BOTH ends of the emotional spectrum.
We expect to NOT love experiencing “negative” emotions like anger, sadness and disappointment.
But it’s also true that most of us are uncomfortable feeling “positive” emotions as well. We get sorta squirmy feeling pride, joy and even peace.
It might seem strange, but just imagine yourself lounging in a recliner – getting a mani/pedi while listening to people list off your best qualities and biggest accomplishments.
You’d think that’d be fun. A welcome change of pace.
But I’m guessing most of us wouldn’t be able to tolerate all that attention and praise for longer than 15 mins. Because we’re socialized to seek after being “humble” and “selfless”.
We’re taught to believe that receiving praise and pampering is indulgent and something to be tempered.
But what if none of that’s true?
What if there’s room to receive and give praise and pampering in a self-supporting, never-ending cycle of good feels?
Could be a fun world to live in. Bet we’d solve all the world’s problems that way.
I’m willing to experiment – are you?
That question brings me to yes number 3 – just say yes to making a decision.
Making decisions MATTERS.
Really and truly, your ability and willingness to make decisions will make or break your marriage. 100%. No lie.
Which is why the foundational advice I give to all my Bees is:
Decide what you want.
Decide what you don’t want.
Advocate for all of it.
So why DON’T we decide more often?
We don’t want to be wrong.
We don’t want to have regret.
We don’t want to be blamed.
I hear that.
And – what if none of those reasons are worth missing out on the life and marriage you COULD have if you decided, and tried things, then decided again and again until you got what you wanted?
It’s true that you might end up with something you don’t like when you make a decision.
It’s ALSO true that when you decide, you gain more power through more information.
Your next decision will be even better because you made the last one.
Practice makes perfect. Information is everything.
So decide all day and get yourself heaps of both things: practice and information.
That’s how anyone becomes good at anything.
Make a decision about whatever it is.
Decide to view it all as an experiment and know that you can always make a new decision if you want to. Whenever you want to.
Especially when you remember one of the three nos from last episode – just say no to running away from your feelings – not deciding IS running from your feelings, so here’s my deeply loving invitation to STOP. IT.
You can feel all the feels. Good or Bad.
Feelings bring experience and wisdom – both of which you deserve.
On to yes number 4 – just say yes to letting things get better.
I got this one from my husband.
He used to tell me that I never let things get better and he wasn’t wrong.
He’d extend a – sometimes wimpy – olive branch after an spat we’d had and I would have a really hard time taking it.
Instead I’d doubt his intentions or find something else offensive to focus on.
I kept him at a distance because I was hurting.
Makes sense why I did that. Makes sense if you’re doing it too.
Short term sense, I mean.
Long term – distance isn’t what I wanted. I’m guessing it’s not what you want either.
So let’s introduce the art of gradation. Of being in the middle.
I used to have a hard time accepting olive branches because I believed I only had two choices: ALL IN or ALL OUT.
Now I know that there are lots of steps in between.
I can recognize his effort to repair and still exercise caution as I allow us to inch closer together again.
Notice I said “inch” – that’s a pretty small step. And small steps are what we want to be taking when we’re on the tail end of hurt.
You can ease your way back together after an argument.
You can trust yourself to set and honor your limits without punishing your guy.
It’s an art – something we practice together in the Defying Gravity Revolution – and something you can all do whenever you want.
When you accept husband’s olive branch – even it’s more like a sickly little twig than a flowering branch – you drip little bits of love and connection back into your marriage. Which keeps you going on the path that you really want to be on. Little by little – NOT all at once.
I learned I can let things get a little better without leaving myself totally vulnerable – I know you can do all of that too.
And why not?
If you aren’t ready to call it quits – your only other options are coming back together or staying in a chilly stalemate.
Tell yourself the truth about that and decide on purpose where you want to be.
Maybe a chilly stalemate makes sense – I’m not saying there’s never a place for it.
Just do yourself the favor of telling the truth and loving the decision you make about how you’ll relate – on purpose – to your guy.
Remember, yes 3? Decide and know you can decide again later if you want to.
You’re in charge of whether things get better or not – decide on purpose and support yourself in your choice.
I know it might sound complicated, but it doesn’t have to be when you know what to look for.
Let’s take this real life experience I had with my husband yesterday.
Scene: We were both getting ready for the day and he brought up a segment he’d seen on the news. I always bristle a bit when he does that because we aren’t a perfect match politically and I sometimes find his views a bit on the arrogant and overly simplistic side – which WAS the case in this example I’m about to share.
Now – if you keep listening, know that I love my husband and I honor his freedom to see politics his way. I honor that in you too and invite you to keep an open mind about me and about husband as the story unfolds.
This particular news segment was about how a self-identified liberal woman found herself interested in dating guys who hold what she called more conservative values (opening the door, paying for the date, expressing interest in providing for a wife and children, being the protector of the family, etc).
This woman said that she liked those qualities in a date, but didn’t want to compromise her values as a liberal. She seemed to believe that she had to choose between being taken care of and honoring her liberal beliefs.
Husband told me all of that and then went on to say that he didn’t understand why she couldn’t see the obvious disconnect between what she said she wants and what she said she believes.
I listened as I straightened my hair and then said, “I disagree with most of what you said and I’m really not sure what you’d like me to say now. Would you like me to just acknowledge that she’s in an interesting conundrum? Or something else?”
I knew that this topic was likely to get us into a heated debate, so I decided (yes number 3) to purposefully tread lightly without saying anything I didn’t actually mean. Good job me! (yes number 1)
I celebrated figuring out how to be sensitive to my husband’s perspective – even when I didn’t love what he was saying.
It would have been easy to skip that celebration because I didn’t feel great as I was listening to him verbally roll his eyes at a girl who’s viewpoint I kinda share – but I chose to celebrate my honesty and my kindness, even while a disagreement seemed to be brewing on the horizon.
Husband told me that, of course he doesn’t just want me to tell him it’s interesting… he wants to know what I think.
Hear that? It’s yes number 4 – he extended a decent olive branch to soothe my bristle.
I decided (yes number 3 again) to tell him what I think – he asked after all – and I made a point to be as tactful as possible while still being honest. Yay me. (yes number 1 again).
I explained how I see lots of merit in the more traditional set up – a marriage where there’s mutual respect and a basic division of tasks where he takes on the bulk of protecting and providing while she takes on the bulk of the nurturing and household admin – AND I understand why women might not love that set up as they get into it because many women end up getting screwed when promises of protection and providing are made but not kept.
Husband took a deep breath and said he knew I was talking about him. He then asked me what promises I see that he’s made but not kept.
I shook my head and laughed a little and told him he might as well have asked me if those jeans make his butt look big.
I then asked him if he really wanted me to answer his question. (Hooray for yes number 2 – let’s let this be amusing which feels good and let’s purposefully feel connected on this possibly thin ice because connected feels good when things are scary.)
We laughed, he said he DID want my answer even if it hurt and we went on to discuss some specifics from the past 22 years of our life together and some generalities from my two-ish decades as a mental health professional who works with women in all kinds of relationships.
By the end, he actually said he appreciated my specific feedback and also made the general statement that: given what I shared, conservative men have some work to do to more fully live their values and teach their sons to do the same.
We also agreed that as conservative men work to implement their values more fully and consistently, the rest of us can continue to say yes to letting things get better (yes number 4) while celebrating all improvements along the way (yes number 1)
Marriage has a lot of moving parts.
Everyone who’s been married for longer than a minute knows that’s true.
There are always lots of values and perspectives and feelings at play.
That’s why we’re talking all the yeses right here right now.
I want to help you make things run smoothly with your guy more often, so I invite you to consider adding some yes to your relationship whenever it feels right.
1 – yes to celebrating your successes – big AND small
2 – yes to feeling good, like really good – on purpose
3 – yes to making a decision and gathering data as you go
4 – yes to letting things get better because you consciously assume generous assumptions
behind every olive branch he extends (no matter the size)
Saying yes is fun. It brings freedom.
Especially when you remember that you’re always in charge and that yes can turn into a no the very minute you want it to, whenever you want it to.
The choice is always yours and that, my Bee = safety.
Find that safety right along with us when you subscribe to and share this podcast.
Choose to be a woman who supports other women by spreading these messages of empowerment and freedom. Every. Single. Sunday.
All of us here in the Defying Gravity Revolution thank you for helping to create a world where more women stop caring what humans think is impossible.
Choose courage, Bee and keep on flying!
And one more thing – mark your calendar to join me on Wednesday, July 19 @ 9:30a MT for a free masterclass on What to do with your husband’s bad mood.
Registration link is in the show notes for this episode.
Go to www.candicetoone.com/podcast and scroll to episode 38. The notes and link are waiting for you – right there.
You MUST register to get the connection information for the class.
You’re gonna want the connection information because YOU deserve the skill of managing your afternoon no matter what your husband’s mood is that day. You deserve to feel freedom and peace even if he’s flipping out.
It’s a skill to care about his feelings without dragging yourself down.
Every woman deserves that skill – especially you. So get on over to www.candicetoone.com/podcast and register. I’ll see you on the 19th.