Ever felt like giving up because the marriage you imagined seems to get further and further away no matter how hard you try?
Listen in to this week’s episode to learn a simple, doable strategy for helping yourself stay motivated to put in the marital work even when it doesn’t seem to be paying off quite like you’d hoped just yet.
Mentioned in this Episode
Free 4 lesson mini-course: How to enJOY the marriage you imagined when you said “I do”
- 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.”
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‘s Up, Bees?!
Okay – so I have to say this.
If you’re listening to this podcast and you’ve not yet snagged my free course: How to have the marriage you imagined when you said I do… you’ve gotta pause the podcast right now (unless you’re driving or something – but even then… just pull over for a sec) and go to www.candictoone.com – Candice with an I, Toone with an E and get the course.
It’s four SHORT modules that are FOUNDATIONAL to everything I teach in my paid program – the Defying Gravity Revolution.
If you take the three simple steps in that course and do NOTHING else but rinse and repeat them for the rest of your life… your marriage will become unrecognizable in the BEST possible way.
Steps are: Decide what you want, Decide what you don’t want, Advocate for All of it.
I kid you not – that is ALL you need to do to have the marriage you want.
To find out more about the HOW of those simple steps… pause the podcast and go grab the course. It’s free. It’ll take you 2 hours – tops – to work through and it’ll change everything for you and your guy.
Pause. Go grab it. I’ll wait.
That foundational course REALLY is everything – but that’s not the only reason I wanted you to go grab it.
I know… the heart stills that there could be MORE.
And there is.
Not only will you get the 3 basic steps that EVERYTHING else builds on when you register for that course… you’ll also get…
Wait for it…
This is something I’ve never done before and I am SUPER stoked to be doing it…
Not only will you get the 3 basic steps that will makeover your marriage but you’ll also get FIRST LOOK access at the SUPER AMAZING surprise that I’ll be sharing with my email subscribers starting TOMORROW – that’s Monday, 11/6.
I know that SUPER AMAZING is a superlative – meaning it’s a hyped up phrase that can lose meaning if it’s used too often…
It’s totally appropriate here because what I am planning to make available this month REALLY IS EPIC – I would want it for myself if I wasn’t the one creating it.
And the ONLY way you’ll be first in line to hear about all the big bonus surprises is if you are on my email list AND the easiest way to get on my email list is to go grab my free course.
You get the three foundational steps that my entire marriage healing philosophy is built upon
You’ll be the first to know about my fantabulous goodie kit that I’m rolling out this month.
Again – I know that fantabulous isn’t a real word.
If you know me, you know that I’m not really an exaggerater – so… I promise you that if I am saying SUPER AMAZING and fantabulous… well… then… it really must be.
I would not lie about this.
So go and get the course – then wait to be amazed… I’m rolling out the hints and teasers to my email list subscribers starting tomorrow.
BIG DOINGS are coming and that’s all I’m gonna say today.
Everything else I wanted to say about today’s episode: 1% less crappy.
I know that might sound like an underwhelming goal.
And just less crappy?
So still crappy in the end?
Yup. I hear you. I know that at first glance, that seems like a bit of a wah wah.
Totally understand if you’re like – but where’s the episode on how to jump to bliss?
Makes sense if part of you wants to hold out for the advice on feeling 100%, 100% of the time.
I’m not going to take that dream away from you.
I’m just here to offer a perspective that might make your road to bliss a little more manageable.
A little less crappy.
I honor that 1% less crappy might not be what you wanted… but, as the Rolling Stones might tell us, 1% crappy could be just what you need.
The easiest way to illustrate the 1% less crappy principle is to take a look at some common scenarios.
Feel free to latch on to one of them if it fits for you OR alter the specific details as needed until you can easily see yourself and your man in one of the following stories.
We’re gonna examine the following three common points of contention in great detail:
1 – fight recovery
2 – household workload distribution
3 – romantic gestures
We’ll take the crappy situation and contrast the goal.
Next, we’ll look at various gradations of “meh” between the crappy situation and the goal.
Please know that I really do understand if you feel underwhelmed by this exercise.
I get it if you feel tempted to throw your hands into the air and question the point of purposefully plotting what some might call a snail’s pace when you’d really rather be at the finish line already.
I respect your decision if you want to sit this process out.
I will also point out that sitting doesn’t get you any closer to the finish line either.
And then I’ll prepare for you to possibly throw tomatoes my way.
Any reaction from you is fine.
And part of the process.
My invitation to you right here, right now is to listen through the end of this episode and THEN decide if you want to sit this exercise out or if you’re willing to snail it up for a while.
I promise to think you’re awesome and that your decision makes sense either way.
We all have our reasons for everything we do and I’d never push you to do something if you’re certain you’d rather not do it.
And – again – let’s not make that decision until we reach the end of the episode.
Let’s start by looking at your fight recovery time.
Knowing that your full honesty will get you the most leverage here…
Knowing that honesty will be WAY easier when you promise not to pile any shame onto yourself for telling the truth…
Answer this question: When you and your husband really get into a squabble, how long does it typically take you to work things out?
Remember, full honesty – no shame.
There was a time in my marriage when, after a hairy fight, my husband and I would go days without speaking – sometimes even weeks.
And even when we did speak again… we often didn’t speak about THAT.
You feel me?
That’s the crappy situation: stone silence between me and him for days and days OR living with an unspoken agreement that certain topics are just off-limits.
No one loves living like that.
Especially not when the goal is to talk through tough things in a connected, mutually supportive way – or at least to reconcile right away if harsh words are said.
There are the ends of our continuum: stony silence on one side with unbroken connection and support on the other.
When unbroken connection and support are known to be an available option, it can be pretty tough to feel satisfied with anything less.
Kinda like the off brand jeans grandma bought you for Christmas just didn’t cut it back in middle school. They weren’t the “it” jeans and everyone knew it – most especially you.
While it might be tough to feel satisfied with less than what you thought you wanted – that doesn’t mean feeling satisfied is impossible.
Especially when you remind yourself that “satisfied” doesn’t have to mean “stay.”
Especially when you teach yourself that “satisfied” just makes it easier to keep walking toward the other end of the spectrum.
Because when you practice feeling satisfied, the other end of the spectrum – the goal – starts to seem like it isn’t so devastatingly far away. You’ll find that you’re less desperate to get there when here stops seeming so hopeless.
Check it out.
After a big fight, me and the hubs used to avoid eye contact – or contact of any kind really – for DAYS.
1% less crappy looked like curt acknowledgement – through side eye glances or minimal grunted greetings – as we passed in the hall.
1% less crappy than that was cooperating on logistical stuff we needed to do to keep the house running – pass the bread, pick up the kids…
1% less crappy than that might be openly expressing that I didn’t love his behavior without attacking him for it OR blaming myself for not getting over it yet.
1% less crappy than that might be for me to accept his offer to come around to my way of thinking even though he was still making it clear that he wasn’t super happy about that shift.
1% less crappy than that could look like me telling myself the truth that I don’t love his grumpiness about giving in but also not making his grumpiness into a reason for another fight.
Notice… we’re definitely not to the “unbroken connection and support” side of the continuum, but… we are moving that way.
And movement is what matters.
Counting every movement as a win – regardless of size – keeps us living with a sense of satisfaction. Keeps us in the experience of winning.
As I’m sure you know, winning is more fun than losing and humans tend to keep doing fun things (over things that aren’t as a fun) and THAT human tendency is why the 1% less crappy exercise works.
Let’s try another one.
Maybe you want him to stop leaving stuff out. Could be the dishes he uses to make a snack. Might be the mail he never sorts through. Or maybe it’s the clothes on the bathroom floor.
Crappy situation is he leaves crap out.
Goal is that he doesn’t.
Because if he didn’t, then you’d have less to do AND you’d get to believe that he listens to you. That he respects your preferences.
But right now… the pickle jar (and the pickle juice) are still on the counter.
1% less crappy might be that you let yourself feel annoyed without telling yourself that you’re being petty or you lack understanding if you feel annoyed on purpose.
Maybe 1% less crappy is allowing yourself the REAL choice to clean it up or not – no consequences or scolding either way.
1% less crappy could look like cleaning because you consciously choose to do it as a favor to yourself – not because you’ve been dumped on by him.
1% less crappy could look like NOT cleaning it up because you let yourself prioritize your rest over what the kitchen looks like.
I’m not sure what your 1% less crappy will look like – but I’m pretty sure these options will help you see where your 1% opportunities lie.
Almost always, the 1% less crappy will come from finding out what your unspoken rules are and deciding on purpose if you want to keep living by them – or not.
You can check out episode 8 for more on unspoken rules – but as a crash course right now, you’ll find your rules by answering questions like: What are your beliefs about how the kitchen is supposed to look? What does it mean about you or your family if it doesn’t look that way?
Your answers to those questions will reveal the stakes you’ve unconsciously placed on the way he leaves things out around the house.
Which leads up nicely into the last example of the day – you ready?
We all want our husbands to know our favorite foods, our preferred gifts, the best songs, the activities we love… all of it.
Sometimes they do.
Often they don’t.
Crappy situation is husband presents you with something he meant to be romantic that… isn’t. Or maybe it’s that he doesn’t present you with anything at all.
And when it does… 1% less crappy might be to let yourself tell that truth without calling yourself ungrateful or hard to please.
Another version of 1% less crappy is to embrace the “wrong” gift as the gesture it was meant to be. Like when Homer Simpson gives Marge a bowling ball that she didn’t want and she then tries her hand at a new sport instead of just shoving the gift in a closet somewhere or surrendering it back to him.
*Special Note – there are a lot of other themes in that particular Simpsons episode that stray from the 1% less crappy theme we are discussing here. So if you watch that episode, just know that the point I’m making here is that it’s possible to try to enjoy a gift that you may not have requested or initially thought you wanted.
1% less crappy might be to allow yourself to return or exchange the thing WHILE reminding him about what you’d prefer AND allowing yourself to grieve the way he didn’t know what you really wanted.
1% less crappy than that might be to allow yourself to return or exchange the thing WHILE reminding him about what you’d prefer AND appreciating his effort – misguided though it might have been.
And if he hasn’t given you anything at all in a while – 1% less crappy might be starting up a curious conversation around why that is AND making room for all of the feelings you both might have along the way.
When the bar is 1% less crappy… you’ll find that you have so many options to get yourself moving toward where you really want to go whereas if the finish line is the only way to be successful… well, your options are limited and… your motivation and hope will understandably dwindle.
Now – there is one REALLY important pre-requisite to the 1% less crappy game.
If you’re dead set that your marriage is doomed and there is ABSOLUTELY NO ROOM for improvement – this process will be pretty tough to implement.
If you’re convinced that everything is his fault and you’re just up against a brick wall with everything you try… then 1% less crappy might not work.
Only you can know if that brick wall story you’re telling is the truth or if it’s more that blaming him just feels better than digging in to do the tough work of 1% less crappy.
Either option could be the case.
Only you can really tell.
While you’re mulling that over, consider this:
What if “There is NO way this can get better” turned to the 1% less crappy “I seriously doubt that this can get better.”
And from there to “I guess that maybe there could be a way…”
And on to “There is this way, but it probably won’t work…”
To “Maybe that way could work…”
To “I’m open to trying it…”
To “That part worked but this part didn’t…”
To “I know what to try next…”
And so on until, “I made that happen and I know more is possible now.”
See what we did there?
We 1% less crappied ourselves into an approach that gives life and movement and choice.
Good job us.
To close today, I invite you to watch for when dead end thinking creeps into your brain and poisons your relationship.
Be on the look out for when you say or think things like:
This isn’t for me…
That doesn’t work…
I just want (insert something that isn’t possible) – to go back in time, for him to read my
mind, to combine this part of that guy with that part of this guy…
All that thinking does is box you in with dead end energy and squelches your possibility for growth.
Also – if you find yourself thinking any of that – it’s okay.
Just remind yourself that your brain put you there because it thought those thoughts would help your situation.
Thank your brain for that effort and then answer honesty – IS it helping?
If it isn’t… then trust that the 1% less crappy ladder is always available.
And if you want help scaling the rungs of that ladder, subscribe to and share this podcast.
While you’re at it, give us a quick rating or jot down a short review. When you do, you make this information easier for other women to find and you further the mission of helping women stop wondering if they married the wrong guy.
Thank you for choosing 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 deeply appreciate you helping to create a world where more women stop caring what humans think is impossible.
Choose courage, and Keep. On Flying!