Episode 41 – Justification

Justification. We all do it. All the time. Probably because we think it’s kind and that we should be understanding. Which… yes – and no. 

Listen in this week to hear all about how you can be kind and understanding WITHOUT compromising the experience of life and marriage that you really, really want to have.

Bonus Resources

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Episode Transcript

‘s Up, Bees?!

Have you ever heard yourself saying something like:

“It’s just been such a long day…”

“He didn’t really grow up with a good example to guide him, so…”

“It’s not that big of a deal, really.”

“We all get tired sometimes.”

“He didn’t mean it.”

“There’s been a lot going on lately.”

“I’m not perfect either.”

“This phase of life is hard for everyone.”
“It’s not worth the trouble of getting into it.”

You know what all of those phrases are?


Miriam Webster defines justification as: “finding an acceptable reason for doing something” and “something that proves an act or way of behaving as reasonable or allowed”.

We justify things ALL. THE. TIME.


Because justifying difficult things makes them easier to deal with – at least in the short run.

When you justify a situation or behavior, you soften the blow and make room for yourself to get through whatever it is and move on.

Sometimes that’s a gift.

But a lot of times… it isn’t.

How do you know?

Ask your body.

Because your brain WILL try to smooth things over and force a false resolution if it senses there might be some pain coming your way should you speak up or call someone out.

Because your brain exists to keep you alive, it may encourage you to believe a justified, half-truth like “it doesn’t really matter” because your brain thinks the alternative might be a whole lot worse.

If you’re in an actual life or death situation, following your brain’s lead on that is probably the wisest course of action.

But… when you’re having a disagreement with your husband, letting your brain convince you that something doesn’t matter when it really does?

That’s a sure-fire way to poison your marriage with resentment and disdain. You BOTH deserve so much better than that.

So let’s try out a little thought experiment this week.

I invite you to – ON PURPOSE – notice when something feels off in your marriage. Maybe it’s something your husband does or doesn’t do. Maybe it’s something he says or doesn’t say. Maybe it’ll be something that he asks YOU to do or to stop doing.

Anytime something that goes on between you raises the hair on the back of your next – even just a little bit – let yourself take a pause and listen for your automatic response.

Notice what pops into your head and what comes out of your mouth.

Do they match?

If your inner voice says something like: “I didn’t like that.” or “I’m not sure about this.” or “I would prefer if we…” do you let yourself say that out loud?

Or do you try to soften the truth a bit with something along the lines of: “We all get tired sometimes.” or “He didn’t really mean it.” or “There’s been a lot going on lately.”

Step 1 is to notice whether what you actually say matches the truth you’re hearing in your heart and your head.

As you notice whether it matches or not, remind yourself that it’s not necessarily a problem if it doesn’t quite match up. Sometimes it does make sense to give your husband a pass and choose your battles.

The key is to make sure that’s a conscious choice rather than a fear-filled conditioned response.

Step 2 is to pause and notice how your conscious choice feels to you.

Do you feel powerful as you pick your battles on purpose?

Or stifled as you realize you’re not allowing yourself to say what’s true very often at all?

If you notice that you’re stifling what seems true to you, move on to Step 3 – identify what you think would happen if you said what you’re thinking and then decide if avoiding that outcome is worth stifling yourself or not.

Again – there’s no right answer.

Sometimes you’ll decide that stifling is safer. And you might be right.

Other times you’ll see how stifling yourself is creating distance you don’t really want in your relationship. When you see that, you’ll be able to make some more room for your opinions and bring your honest self to the relationship more often.

Most people think that honesty brings with it the risk of offending your husband and causing disconnection or contention.


But what I know is that well-executed honesty – which is a skill we work on in the Defying Gravity Revolution – ALWAYS brings stronger connection between the two of you because there are no surprises lurking in the back closets. Low risk of surprise brings a greater sense of safety and trust… every single time.

Even if the honesty hurts a little at first, that pain is NOTHING compared to finding out you’ve been living in a lie.

One of my clients – my Bees – recently wrote me a message with these exact words… and it kinda broke my heart.

She felt she’d been shut down in a conversation that was really important to her. And then she was annoyed that someone who’d witnessed the conversation felt sorry for her because she’d been shut down.

My Bee had this to say: “I’m non-confrontational about things like this. It’s not ‘unsurvivable’. It might be frustrating and embarrassing, but nothing is perfect and most of the time it’s just something I let roll off.”

Bees, dear Bees – ALL of you deserve more in a marriage than to just continuously letting offense roll right off.

ALL of you deserve WAY BETTER than living through what’s “survivable”.

Survivable is the bare minimium, Bees. Not the norm. NEVER the norm.

My mission in this world is for all women to have more of what they really want. More connection. More love. More feeling cherished. Every. Single Day.

That can’t happen when we tolerate experiences or comments that we shouldn’t be tolerating.

That can’t happen when we’re in the habit of justifying away words and behaviors that we’d rather not have as part of our marriages.

Too much tolerating makes it tough to know whether you’re weathering what’s probably a short-lived and infrequent storm – which is something you’ll WANT to do at times in marriage – OR if you’re justifying things by painting a pretty-ish picture over something that really would be better to address often and right away.

One of my very first coaches told me something about this that’s stuck with me ever since. She said: “Justification doesn’t really make us feel better. It just gives us a ‘good’ reason to feel bad.”

A ‘good’ reason to feel bad? What’s that?

As if there even is such a thing.

At best, justification gives us a ‘good’ reason to feel bad and at worst?

At worst, justification subtly guides you to question your senses and yourself.

No thanks.

Connection to YOURSELF is the bedrock of every good thing you’ll do in your life and in your marriage.

If you’re using justifications to force yourself into pretending things are okay when they aren’t… this is my invitation to STOP. IT.

Like right now, today.

Instead, tell the truth about when you’re feeling bothered, hurt or burdened.

Doesn’t mean you HAVE to demand a change or be beastly about reorganizing your experience.

All you’ve gotta do is be honest about what you’re experiencing in every moment and believe it’s possible to get something better for yourself WHILE being the best version of the wife you want to be.

I promise that you have a GOOD reason for every desire in your life and preference in your heart.

Those desires and preferences deserve to be voiced. To at least have a chance at becoming a reality in your marriage.

So watch for when you’re tempted to talk yourself out of what you really want or what you actually feel because “It’s just been such long day…” or “He didn’t really grow up with a good example to guide him, so…” or “It’s not that big of a deal.”

Don’t let yourself lie to you that way.

You can be a better friend to yourself than all that.

Doesn’t mean you’ll spoil yourself by forcing everyone around you to give you your way all the time. Just means that you stay interested in getting to know yourself and your capabilities better by stating what you want or don’t want and then accessing your creativity and leadership to see what you can make happen – WHILE respecting your loved ones’ wants and needs as well.

You don’t have to convince anyone that your side is valid or your perspective is important.

That’s already true. Just as a given.

You do not need a co-signer for your preferences to matter.

All you need is for YOU to believe that it does.

Let’s take a common, fairly benign example to illustrate.

There you are, waiting at a pre-determined meeting spot before you and your husband head out to a group dinner.

Everyone is there except his sister.

She’s late again – like she always is.

And you’re annoyed.

Not because you’re a jerk, but because your preference in the world is to use your time efficiently and she’s making it harder for you to enjoy you’re the company and the meal while still getting back to the babysitter on the schedule you promised.

You know that’s she’s been working long hours. She’s a single mom and she’s under a deadline.

You get it.

AND just because you understand why something might be happening, that doesn’t HAVE to mean that your sister-in-law gets a pass for being late.

Tigers attack people because they are tigers. Most humans understand that. We’re not mad at the tigers for doing tiger-y things.

But we also don’t allow tigers to roam freely in the suburbs.

Because our preference as humans is that our children NOT be eaten.

Makes sense all around, right?

Same principle applies with your slow-to-show-up sister-in-law. You get why she’s usually tardy. You might even expect that she will be.


You still have a choice here.

You can decide to patiently wait on her and not make it an issue with your husband – who seems not to be bothered that his sister is nearly 30 mins late and counting.

Maybe you decide that keeping the peace matters most here and it’s what you want to do, so you don’t say anything.

You could also decide to remind him about the babysitting timeline and suggest that you all head on to the restaurant and have his sister meet you there.

You could order her drink and save her a place.

Even if she is under a deadline and has been working long hours while raising your nieces all alone.

You DO have the option to manage yourself and your situation in a way that matches the experience you want to have – even if that means you don’t give someone else’s behavior a pass in that moment.

Because if you require yourself to sit and wait without comment – even if you really don’t want to… If you force yourself to understand because of X, Y and Z… that’s justification.

Justification requires you to ignore what you know. It takes your choices away.

Which again… leads to resentment and dissatisfaction – which really have NO place in your marriage.

At least not in the one you want to be living.

So when it comes to justification – please try to think of it as a tool, not a default.

Every time you’re irritated or hurt or afraid or disappointed – every time something doesn’t feel quite right to you…

I invite you to use that feeling as an opportunity to get to know yourself better.

Resist the socialized temptation to brush off your feelings as “inconvenient” – because they aren’t.

They are there for a reason.

And that reason is – to help you get to know what you need for the best experience possible in marriage and in life.

That’s not to say that you’ll always get your way.

Marriage still includes compromise.

As an adult, you don’t choose everything, but you can choose which compromises you’re willing to make.

Sometimes that’ll look like you going ahead when your sister-in-law is late and inviting her to catch up with everyone when she finally gets off work.

Other times that’ll means you’ll wait for her and make the best of the waiting.

The point is you spend time getting to know yourself well enough that you ALWAYS notice when you’re called upon to compromise.

Sometimes you’ll make justifications and offer understanding.
Because you REALLY, TRULY want to.

Other times, you’ll speak up for what you need. You’ll still offer understanding, but you won’t force yourself to use your understanding to help you put up with something you don’t actually want in your life.

Again – the actual choice you make – speak up or smile through it – matters WAY WAY LESS than your solid knowledge that you ARE, in fact, choosing.

If you require yourself to swallow your feelings, that’s not really a choice. It’s a demand.

Same goes if you require yourself to speak up and fight for everything. That’s just a different type of inflexibility and demandingness.

Good news is – you’ve always got more than those two extreme choices. You’re more creative than forcing yourself to choose between speaking up or shutting up.

Cling to your creativity. Stay connected to yourself.

And only pull out justification catch phrases like – “it’s been a rough week” or “he’s getting over a cold” – when they really, truly feel like love for EVERYONE in the story.

Including you.

If you’d like even more support in finding the choice that makes loving room for everyone, take this chance to 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 Hive 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!

Are you ready to have the marriage you imagined when you said “I do”?

Click below to get the FREE course: How to have the marriage you imagined when you said “I do”. You’re worth it and you’re welcome.

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I’m Candice.

I believe that every wife ought to feel cherished and valued. Appreciated and adored. I know we can make that happen. Even if it seems impossible to you. I’m a Master Certified Life Coach and I spend my days coaching women who are afraid in their marriages. You and I can work together to find a way for you to trust in your own decisions instead of constantly reacting to his. Now’s your time, Bee. How much longer are you willing to wonder and wait?