Episode 45 – Loosen your Grip

Ever been disappointed that something didn’t turn out the way you thought it would in your marriage? Or maybe you’ve been hurt because your guy doesn’t see you quite the way you want him to?  

Listen in this week to get some practical tips on how to handle it when your marriage starts serving up scenes that aren’t in the scope of what you had in mind for your “forever”.  

Mentioned in this Episode

Register for the FREE MasterClass: How judging your husband will heal your marriage

Bonus Resources

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Episode Transcript

‘s Up, Bees?!

This podcast episode is sponsored by the Defying Gravity Revolution, my marriage coaching community where we help you figure out what you want, what you don’t want and how EXACTLY to advocate for making ALL of it happen.

You’re married to a pretty good guy.
He’s got some terrific qualities.
You’ve had some pretty good times together.


In the months and years since your wedding day… you’ve learned from harsh experience that “for better or worse” is NO. JOKE.

You might have even discovered that it’s sometimes a bit shocking to find out what “for better or worse” really means.

If you could just get him to listen more or follow through on his promises, your life together would be more like what you imagined when you said, “I do.”


Maybe you’re thinking that if you could just be more patient or find a tad more understanding, your connection wouldn’t be dwindling quite so much.

But – you’re also tired of planning date nights that don’t pan out.

You’re over sporting spicy lingerie just to find yourself back in the same painful patterns the morning after.

And you seriously doubt that a fridge stocked full of carefully selected, homecooked meals will actually do much to change what’s really going on between you.

Here are two things that most people don’t understand about marriage:

one, the words you two say out loud to each other matter WAY less than the words you each say to yourselves inside your own heads and two, if you’re not judging each other you’re just making your marriage harder than it needs to be.

I know that second one seems nuts, but stay with me.

All you need to create a comfortable, connected marriage is: the ability to shamelessly identify your desires + the willingness to fearlessly hear his.

Inside the Defying Gravity Revolution, we’ll look at your current habits, the roles you’ve both adopted and your vision for the future of your life together.

We’ll then massage your current approach so it churns out more of the memories and experiences you really want to have in your marriage.

You’ll design the most straightforward path from what you have – to what you want and then all of us Bees will support you as you get busy with walking that line.

Enrollment for the Defying Gravity Revolution is currently closed, but… we do have a limited time registration option coming up on Thursday, September 28. At noon MT that day, I’m hosting a free masterclass: How judging your husband will heal your marriage. Go to https://candicetoone.com/how-to-judge-your-husband/ to register.

I’ll share all the masterclass material on the 28th and then open Defying Gravity Revolution enrollment for just three days before we close down again.

So… if you’re ready to create a more honest, more durable and longer lasting connection in your marriage, you want to start by joining us on the 28th. Go to https://candicetoone.com/how-to-judge-your-husband/ to get all signed up. Again that’s https://candicetoone.com/how-to-judge-your-husband/ – Candice with an I, Toone with an E dot com, then backslash how to judge your husband with little dashes between each word. The link is also in the show notes for this episode, so open those up and click there if that feels easier to do.

One of the BEST things about the Defying Gravity Revolution is the open-hearted warmth and acceptance that the women in the hive naturally offer each other – without condition.

If you want a taste of what it’s like to fly with us – the Defying Gravity Revolution Bees – make sure you clear your calendar to join us in the FREE masterclass on Sept 28th and find out the surprising truth about how judging your husband actually will heal your marriage.

I’ll be watching for YOUR registration to come through, but in the meantime… let’s get on with today’s episode: Loosen your grip.

You’ve probably heard some version of the analogy before: the tighter you cling to something – the more painful it becomes?

If you haven’t heard the analogy before, here’s a quick recap: imagine you’re playing tug of war. You’re holding tight to the rope and straining all the way from your fingertips through to your shoulder blades as you pull.

All of a sudden, the other team gets a burst of energy.

The rope slides their way with impressive speed.

If you’re hanging on tight, that means rope burns and pulled muscles for you.

But if you’ve loosened your grip, even just a little – the friction that comes when the rope slips through your fingers is less likely to burn because you’ve left a little space.

You with me?

The same is true in all varieties of tug of war – both literal and metaphorical. We’re here today to discuss the two most common tug of war varieties when it comes to marriage.

The first shows up whenever you find yourself thinking some version of: “It’s supposed to look like… (insert a super specific set of expectations).”

The second sounds more like: “I’m supposed to be seen as (insert a super specific set of criteria).”

Let’s start with some examples of the first kind of marital tug of war: “It’s supposed to look like…”

Take a minute to reflect on how this shows up for you. Might sound something like:

He’s supposed to coach our kid’s sports team.
Ten year anniversaries should be celebrated with elaborate vacations.
I thought we’d be spending more time together. I pictured family dinners and nightly couples check-ins. He’s supposed to know what’s going on with me, with us and with our kids.

Now… let me be clear. All of those things – plus every example you came up with that’s specific to you – ALL of them are FINE to want. I’m not here to take any of it away from you.

It could even be true that you and husband agree on the things you’ve listed and in that case… carry on.

Because it’s not the expectation that causes the pain.

The pain comes when there’s a mismatch and you start telling yourself there shouldn’t be.

Sounds like a background beat of – we’re doing this wrong… our life is off track… that’s not how this was supposed to go…

How do you feel listening to all of that?

If you’re anything like me, there’s a bit of panic rising in your chest right now. Because if something’s broken or not working… then of course, you need to fix it. Like, yesterday.

You’re a sensible human and you want to set things “right”.

Now – some coaches might offer you the option to believe that what is happening in your marriage, right now, exactly as it is, in this moment – is exactly “right”.

Those coaches might offer you the option to believe that all of it, without any edits or adjustments, IS “exactly as it should be”.

I’m not here to take that option away from you. If believing that feels accessible and awesome to you, I’m in.

ALSO – I usually HATE that option for me.

Just because it’s most often a bridge too far and it doesn’t feel true.

When I try on the belief that the thing I think ISN’T RIGHT AT ALL is actually exactly how it SHOULD BE, I tend to feel a lot of resistance + a little bit of shame.

Because if what I don’t like is what’s supposed to be, then there must be something wrong with me for not liking it as it is.

No thanks.

That’s how you know if a story is a useful one for you to adopt or not.

If it feels accessible and awesome – full speed ahead.

If it feels moronic and maddening – full stop.

You never have to go to “what’s happening now is exactly right” if you don’t want to.

Instead, you simply try on the idea that what is happening IS happening.

You can just start by telling the truth.

Might even sound like: what is happening IS happening AND I don’t like it much.

Notice how that story feels just slightly different than “this shouldn’t be happening”.

Probably less panic. Probably a bit more space and wiggle room.

That’s what it is to loosen your grip.

You don’t ever have to let go completely. You just want to give yourself some space.

Let’s revisit our examples from before:

He’s supposed to coach our kid’s sports team.


I would like him to coach our kid’s sports team and he isn’t. He might never coach the team and I wish he would. I’d like our child to enjoy that experience with their dad and they might not get to. I’m not in love with that possibility.


Ten year anniversaries should be celebrated with elaborate vacations.


Our ten year anniversary is in two weeks and we haven’t planned anything. I don’t think he’d be open to the idea of a trip and I’m disappointed about that. I feel hurt because I believe that means he doesn’t value me or our relationship. I’m also jealous because my sister’s husband plans trips for every anniversary and I can’t even get a trip for the milestone anniversary. I realize I could plan one, but I don’t think he’ll be on board and I’m thinking it’s not as special if I have to do the work to plan it.


I thought we’d be spending more time together. I pictured family dinners and nightly couples check-ins. He’s supposed to know what’s going on with me, with us and with our kids.


I notice we aren’t spending the amount of time together that I thought we’d be spending together. I’m thinking the reason is that I’m not a priority and that might be it, but it also might not be. I also notice that I’m wanting him to be on board with my plans for spending time together and I’m afraid he won’t be, so I don’t put it forward as much as I could. That makes sense. I can also change it if I want to.

Did you know that narrating situations like I just did with these examples is SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN to regulate your nervous system and keep your brain functioning at its highest, most creative and most resourceful state?

True. Story.

Why does it work?

Because when you narrate, you loosen your grip.

Just a little – which allows space for resourcefulness and creativity to filter in.

Also, as you narrate, you make sense of what’s happening around you. You organize it in predictable way which offers certainty to your brain.

Brains LOVE certainty because certainty feels safe. It’s nice for your brain to believe it knows what to expect, because then it’s easier to feel prepared.

You can create that certainty by narrating your life as you go. Easy peesy.

Now keep going by exploring some examples of the second kind of marital tug of war: ““I’m supposed to be seen as…”

Take a minute to reflect on how that one shows up for you. Might sound something like:

He’s supposed to see me as generous and kind
My emotions should be viewed as reasonable and valid and important
What matters to me is supposed to make sense to and be important to him

Again – to be CRYSTAL CLEAR – it makes sense to me if you want ALL of those things.

I want them for myself.


I might not get them all of the time. You might not either.

The question becomes: then what?

When husband thinks you’re rude or overly sensitive or short-sighted…

When he really just doesn’t get where you’re coming from and he doesn’t want to discuss it anymore…

Can you create a “loosened grip” way of supporting yourself in those moments?

Can you make room for outcomes other than the ideal to exist in your relationship WITHOUT also believing that your relationship is doomed?

In those instances, loosening your grip in the following ways IS an option. Might sound something like this:

He’s supposed to see me as generous and kind

COULD become

He’s allowed to have his opinion of me and right now, his opinion of me isn’t very flattering. I don’t have to like that and I don’t like it. Not one bit. I also know that I always strive to be generous and kind so I can see myself that way for the both of us for right now. If I want to, I can explore why he’s thinking otherwise and I can do that without agreeing with him or changing anything about my approach. I can also change my approach if I want to and I can change as much or as little as I want to. Always.


My emotions should be viewed as reasonable and valid and important


My emotions are always valid – even if that’s hard for him to see. My emotions bring information that might be uncomfortable for me or for him to hear. It makes sense if he wants to shut my emotions down when that’s the case AND I don’t have to shut any emotion down if I don’t want to. I can also listen to my emotions with erupting all over him or withdrawing from him completely. I have so many options for what to do with my valid, important emotions. Choosing my option on purpose is what makes me reasonable. AND he might be right that I’ve overreacted or behaved unreasonably at times. Cuz I’m a human. All humans are reasonable and unreasonable at times – and all humans are worthy of love regardless.


What matters to me is supposed to make sense to and be important to him


What matters to me really only needs to make sense and be important to ME. Of course it’d be nicer if what matters to me also made sense to him and was important to him. I never have to stop wanting that. But – if he’s not there at this time for some reason, I can remember that’s 100% about him. He’s got a fear or a need or something that is at odds with what I want and it’s possible there’s room for all of that + what’s important to me.


Again, dear Bee, you NEVER have to let go of anything you don’t want to let go of or aren’t ready to release. Loosening your grip is intended to feel like a gift to you.

It’s meant to give you room to breathe and to decide your reaction on purpose.

It’s NEVER supposed to feel like something is being snatched from your grasp before you’re ready to let it go.

I’m not here to force feed you phrases like: “Everything happens for a reason…” or “It’s all happening exactly as it should, how do we know? Because it IS happening that way.”

Keep those phrases if you love them and put them in storage for another time if you don’t. You could even take them all the way to the dump and leave them there if that feels right.

Remember, loosening your grip simply means that you acknowledge what is AND acknowledge how you feel. It sounds like:

This IS and I feel THIS way about it. I’m hurting because I think THAT should be or I think I should feel THIS way. It’s possible that I’m right about all of it, but it’s also possible that there’s room for a solution or option that I haven’t yet seen.

There’s power in simply expanding your vision of what’s acceptable. Of course you’d prefer a plated family dinner at home every night (I mean… haven’t you read all those studies?!?!) but maybe it’s possible to get a similar bonding experience over a value meal on the bleachers at a baseball field. Maybe.

Loosening your grip means being willing to look for adjustments that would still achieve the spirit of your standard.

Because that space for movement means you no longer have to break yourself against rigid standards that can’t be universally met.

Could be a relief.

Loosening your grip will – of course – feel difficult, maybe even impossible, if you view it as a loss or as a version of giving up. But maybe that’s not what loosening your grip actually is.

Like a phrase that’s sometimes used to describe adoption – maybe you’re not giving your desires up, maybe you’re just giving them more.

More room to breathe.

More time to happen.

More options for how the outcome might actually look.

It’s possible that loosening your grip could lead to solutions you might never have seen while you were holding so tight to that ONE. RIGHT. WAY.

Loosening your grip will probably allow for new and unexpected resources to enter your life as the best kind of surprise.

As the Dalai Lama reminds us, “sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.”

And you can’t get something other than what you thought you wanted if you’ve closed your hands tightly around the things you think you MUST have.

I’m gonna close this episode with a poem that I’ve been fascinated by ever since I saw it painted on the wall of a hotel lobby meeting room in Lehi, UT in the early 2000s.

Like little children bring their broken toys to us to mend,
I brought to God my broken dreams because He was my friend.
Then soon I grabbed my dreams all back, “How could you be so slow?”
He said, “My child, what could I do? You never did let go.”

Lots of things in life and marriage happen without our permission.

In those moments, gripping tighter to the way you think things SHOULD go will probably make the path you’re walking a lot less pleasant.

So consider seeing your grip for what it is, seek to understand why you’re hanging on so tightly and then – if you want to – try out loosening your grip, even just a little bit.

And if you want to make sure you’re getting all the tips and support along the way as you do, 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.

AND – if you’d like a chance for a FREE coaching session where we can sort some of this out together, email me at candice@candicetoone.com.

I’m getting set to record another batch of Bees in the Wild and I’d love to talk to YOU on one of those sessions. Candice with and I, Toone with an E @candicetoone.com.

Email me to claim a free session. I’m looking forward to our chat!

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?