Episode 7 – Questions to regain power and perspective

Ask a painful question, get a painful answer. Every. Single. Time. Because your brain is a computer set to spit out answers based on the input you’ve provided. Good thing you can up the quality of your input any time you want to. Whew.

Listen in this week to make sure you’re giving your brain purposeful problems that will generate answers you can actually use to make the changes you’d like to see in your marriage.

Mentioned in this Episode

Episode 6 – A closer look at Granny’s bridal shower advice

Bonus Resources

  • 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
  • Join the Bees for four days of totally free book club discussion and coaching sessions – December 5-8, 2022
    • This is your chance to get a no-strings-attached taste of what coaching work is all about
  • 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.
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Episode Transcript

​​‘s Up, Bees?!

Today we’re talking about how to ask the kind of questions that’ll help you retain your power and keep your perspective as you navigate the quirks and surprises that come with being married.

Most women come to me asking things like:

How did this happen?
Where did things go wrong?
Why doesn’t he like me anymore?
What’s wrong with me? with him? with us?

Questions like those typically generate emotions that tend to stunt your creativity and slow you down.

Check it out:

How did this happen? Where did things go wrong? BOTH questions fuel confusion and keep you in a passive state. They imply that something happened to you – out of nowhere, for unclear reasons… which is never the case.

Why doesn’t he like me anymore? What’s wrong with me? BOTH questions fuel hurt and insecurity. They also put the focus on him and his emotional state (which you have no control over and might be making up anyway. Focusing on him prevents you from getting clearer on what YOU like and what matters to YOU – and you’re going to need to know that if you’re going to get where you want to go.

How did this happen? and What’s wrong with me? type questions make it really easy to believe there’s nothing you can do because forces outside you – bad luck or his whims – are in charge.

I mean, what can you do? The cards are stacked against you and he’s impossible to read.

That’s certainly one way to tell the story.

But us Bees… we choose to tell stories of possibility ON PURPOSE.

So… maybe things aren’t going the way you prefer in your marriage. Maybe he’s more distant than you’d like. Maybe you’re less sure about him than you want to be.

Now what?

When things are going wrong and your connection with him feels iffy – it’s SUPER important to ask yourself the right questions.

Questions that show you where your power lies and questions that keep things in perspective.

Instead of “How did this happen?” – a question that’ll almost certainly leave you feeling confused and despaired – ask “How DID this happen?” – a question that reinforces the influence you have in your world and the power you have to create the reality you want. It also highlights that there is a reason and you can figure out what it is which gives you more tools as you work to redirect your relationship.

Take this case study:

My husband and I approach our taxes VERY differently. Historically, he’s drug his feet most of the year and then scrambled to get things together just before the deadline.

I prefer to knock it out as early as possible.

Neither strategy is inherently better.

Both are fueled by fear – at least partially.

He tends to be intimidated by the mountain of paper shuffling that goes into filing self-employed taxes.

I tend to be terrified of the IRS.

Again, neither perspective is “correct” or “better”.

We just do it differently.

Which can be a point of contention for us.

For most of our marriage, we’ve filed our taxes right at the deadline. And I’ve bitten my nails all the up until the moment we hit submit.

I could ask myself “How does this keep happening?” as though it’s a great mystery. A mystery beyond my ability to solve. I could also answer myself with unflattering comments about my husband or his process.

I’ve done all of that and let me tell you – it doesn’t get me very far.

Instead, thinking of it that way just riles me up more and put distance between me and my guy.

A more useful question would be, “How DOES this keep happening?”

Reminds me that there IS a reason and implies that I can find it.

When I put my (theoretical) lab coat on to do some reflection and research – instead of my (theoretical) judge’s robes to lay down a sentence – I’m much more likely to uncover useful data that will help me wiggle the problem. Maybe even solve it. Because I’m a partner in the improvement process, instead of being someone who is scolding me about how everything’s gone wrong.

From a research and reflection perspective, the most honest answer to “How DOES this keep happening?” is:

We keep filing the taxes last minute because I get scared when I think about how he might respond to my questions and nudges.

I then believe myself about my fears and don’t consider the idea that maybe the conversation will be different this time. I don’t trust myself to figure out a way that we can speak about taxes effectively, so I just sit on the problem.

And then we file the taxes late.

The reason is pretty clear actually.

Telling myself the truth about how clear the reason is does me the favor of showing me all of my options and puts me back in power.

Doesn’t mean I have to do anything differently.

Just means I know what’s going on.

Maybe I do the work to support myself in having potentially difficult conversations earlier on in the year – before tax time comes calling.

Or maybe I choose to keep my fear and tell myself the truth – without a trace of judgement – about why the taxes turn out the way they do.

Telling myself the truth takes the mystery out of things and places power back in my hands.

I can act on the truth or I don’t have to.

The point is that knowing that I’m using my fear as a reason to avoid the taxes. Simple.

From there I decide if I want to keep using fear as a reason to avoid the taxes or not – knowing that I’m perfectly worthy and whole no matter which route I choose.

It’s not morally superior to approach the taxes any particular way AND it’s much more calming to tell myself the truth.

You with me?

As often as you can, I invite you to give yourself the gift of actively looking for ways to be the leader in your life and in your marriage.

And remember, you don’t always have to follow the leadership paths you see – the goal is just to keep yourself fully aware that leadership paths are there.


Now let’s look closer at questions like:

Why doesn’t he like me anymore?
What’s wrong with me?

Remember, your brain is a question answering machine.

As such, it’s more concerned with getting an answer than with how that answer might feel.

If you ask, “Why doesn’t he like me anymore?” – your not-so-tactful brain will offer up lots of possibilities.

Maybe he thinks you’re boring because you don’t have time for hobbies and interests anymore.

Or maybe he hates your wrinkles/stretch marks/thinning hair.

Could be that he’s terribly picky and impossible to please.

The unhelpful list could go on forever.

Point is – ask a painful question and you’ll get a painful answer. Every time.

Sometimes my husband gives me really direct data on things he doesn’t like about me.

For example, I tend to tell him stories by leading off with the most dramatic detail.

Like if one of our kids gets hurt at school, I’ll fill him in by saying: “Claire crashed into another kid on the playground and split her lip wide open.”

By the time I’m telling him the story, Claire’s been cared for and all is well.

But he doesn’t know that.

Because I don’t tell him that part right off, so his heart does a little filp flop as he worries unnecessarily about his baby girl.

I don’t mean to do it – it’s just how the story rolls out of my mouth most times.

He doesn’t love that about me.

He would much prefer that I start with: “Everyone’s fine…” and THEN go into all the bloody details.

You could say that this pattern is something my husband thinks is “wrong with me”.

When he shares that feedback, I could ask myself questions like: “How dare he?” or “Who does he think he is?” or “Why isn’t he more understanding and patient?”

I could ask myself those questions – and if I did, they’d probably take me down a path of disconnecting with him in the name of self-preservation.

Which might not be needed.

And lonely self-preservation isn’t really what I want out of my marriage.

I could also choose to ask myself the question: “What if he’s right about me on this one?” – from complete curiosity with zero judgement.

Even if him being “right” paints me in a sorta unflattering light

Could be that his point is valid.

It probably would be a nicer listening experience for him to know his baby isn’t STILL bleeding and is all settled.

Might make sense that he doesn’t love the adrenaline spike my story telling habits offer him.

And I’m still a good person even if I tell things in a dramatic way.

Both things can be true.
From there, the question becomes “Can I love myself and support myself even when I do things he doesn’t love?”

The more often you can answer “Yes!” to that question, the safer your marriage will be.

For you.

And him.

Because when there’s room to see the unflattering parts of yourself, of him and of the relationship without getting freaked out or depressed – there’s also room for the creativity required to make any adjustment whenever you decide you want to.

So now I try to tell him the end of the story when I start it. Helps him breathe easier. I’m willing to do that without making it mean I’m bad or wrong if I don’t.

I’m a human. Just trying to learn how to accommodate his wishes when I feel good about doing so.

I won’t always do it.

Often I will.

I earned myself that flexibility by looking at my behavior objectively.

I’m awesome.

Sometimes my behavior isn’t.

Same goes for him.

And it’s all fine.

Especially when I purposefully ask myself questions that help me keep my perspective.

What is he’s right about me? Can I allow that unflattering thing to be true at times? Can I do that without hating him or abandoning myself?

Of course I can.

You can too.

Especially when you consciously ask yourself questions that open your creativity and highlight your power.

Especially when you purposefully ask yourself questions that keep it all in perspective.

The last episode called on you to write out a list of 25 things you really, really want.

Now I’m gonna give you one challenge more when you look at that list you made of 25 things you really, really want – don’t stop yourself by calling any of it impossible.

Instead, challenge your brain with the question – But if it was possible… how could I start? What might I do next?

Your brain will come up with something good. I’m certain of it.

Then you can look at that suggestion and decide on purpose to pursue it or not.

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?