Have you grabbed your FREE ecopy of “Wife on Purpose” + the companion workbook? If not, head over to www.candicetoone.com/resources and hook yourself up.
That email will land in your inbox right away, but if you don’t want to want even a second longer, listen in this week to enjoy the third of several installments where I read you a big chunk of Wife on Purpose right here, right now. You’re welcome.
Mentioned in this Episode
- 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.
- Follow Candice on Instagram and Facebook
‘s Up, Bees?!
Remember how – in Episode 11 – I promised that I’d read excerpts of my book WIFE ON PURPOSE aloud on the podcast?
And then I kept my promise in Episode 20?
Well… it’s that time again. Every 10 episodes, you’ll get a mini audio book from my brain and mouth to your ears.
If you want the full version book, you can download a free eCopy (with the workbook) at www.candicetoone.com/resources.
If you’d old fashioned like me and prefer the enticing smell of an ACTUAL book with flippable pages – search “Wife on Purpose” on Amazon and grab your copy there.
Either way – the full copy version is available to you whenever and however you want it.
Today, we’re reading from Hexagon Side Two.
Because that’s the shape that Bees use to build their hives. It’s the most efficient way to fill up space and the way hexagons naturally fit together means that Bees have to use very little stickiness to keep the Hexagons bonded and stable.
Nice. Work. Bees.
The chapters in Wife on Purpose give you six suggestions for how to create your own six-sided hexagon of marital efficiency so that you can enjoy your marriage using a strategically decided amount of effort.
Everyone knows that marriage is work. But does anyone really know what kind?
And I only want you doing the kind of work that’ll make your marriage better.
None of the fluff.
I wrote Wife on Purpose because I’ve coached through hundreds of sessions with all kinds of clients from ALL over the world.
Through conversations with women from all walks of life and all lengths and styles of relationships, I came to identify a handful of themes that – no matter what – make marriage harder.
I want to make sure YOU’RE clear on what those poisonous patterns are so you can watch for and avoid them as often as possible
ALSO I’m here with my book to help you look for easy opportunities to do USEFUL things that’ll make a big shift in the way you relate to your guy.
Of course, NONE of the themes are universal and there will be variation in how the themes show up in your relationship.
Your job is to hear what’s being offered, take the parts that hit home for you and use the ideas to create a marriage you love to live in.
Now on to the reading…
We’re noticing our normal, which is hexagon side to bottom of page 29.
Every married person has unconsciously adopted some rules around the way things work in their marriage. You can find your unique flavor of this by listening for the following phrases to rattle around in your brain or roll off your tongue.
Oh, I know he’d never.
That’s just the way we do things.
It’s like that every year.
I can’t even imagine what it’d be like if he didn’t, whatever it is
That’s something that I’m used to handling. I do it every time.
I know it might seem like your marriage is set up the way that it is because he’s so stubborn, or oblivious or apathetic. I would not be surprised to hear you say that you believe there’s no point in trying to make a change.
You might be right.
Just consider the possibility that maybe you decided to believe that there’s no point in trying to make a change. And that’s why things aren’t changing.
And maybe just maybe, that “no point” thing isn’t actually true.
He said something or didn’t do something. And then you decided for whatever reason that it wasn’t worth it to advocate for something else. So you went along. And now here you are.
That’s the whole truth.
It’s not good. It’s not bad. It just is. And once you see it, you can decide if you want to keep it going the way that it’s been going up to this point or not.
Now, I can almost hear you telling me that you really, really can’t make him change. You would if you could and you’ve certainly tried. And yes, I agree you can’t change him. He’s never going to do anything unless he wants to do it. That’s true for him. And it’s true for you. You don’t ever do anything unless you want to do it either. Even when it doesn’t seem like you have a choice, I promise that you do – unless you’re in some sort of extreme hostage situation, which I’m guessing you aren’t since you’re reading this book.
So let’s pause for just a quick second with pure fascination around how the brain loves to run away with outlier examples like hostages. When that happens, get curious about why a part of you thinks that disproving a concept that could be helpful is the best way to spend your energy. What’s making you fight so hard to keep your pain, especially when the option of reclaiming your freedom to choose is also available?
Telling yourself the whole truth about why your life is set up the way it is gives you the gift of seeing the normal you’ve accepted. Once you see it, you can then decide if you want to keep it or change it. You can start paying attention to that decision and make it on purpose over and over in lots of little aspects in your life. When you do, the normal you’re living will inch closer and closer to matching your preferences for the future. So fun.
We’ve discussed how unmet needs breed resentment. We’ve talked about how many of us believe that our unmet needs are our husbands fault, and how that might not be true. Instead, what could be happening is that you agreed to let your needs go unmet. At lots of tiny points along the way. You did that for good reasons, reasons that just might not be working out anymore. Reasons that made up the normal that you’ve come to accept.
I know you might be thinking something like, but we share in the decision making, or he makes all the money. So what am I supposed to do? Or he has really, really particular ideas that he’s made super clear. So that’s the end of the conversation. It’s not worth fighting over.
Yes. To all of that. And now, what?
Do you know what rules you’ve accepted about what happens if you don’t see eye to eye on something? Are you aware of how the default decision making tends to go in your marriage? Are you good with that strategy or not? What attitudes make up your normal about money? If he’s making most of it? Or even all of it? What then? And what if you are the one bringing home the bulk of the income? What if he does state his preference super clearly, maybe repeatedly? What does that mean for the two of you? What’s your normal when difficult conversations are at play?
It will always be true that you can’t make him change. It’s also likely that all of us have more choices available to us, than make him change, or accept what is.
If your normal didn’t include limiting yourself to those two extreme options, what then?
You can certainly accept whatever it is, as many times as you want to, if accepting your normal is really and truly what you want to do. Sometimes the thing is actually not worth the effort required to challenge it. If that’s the case for you, I hear you. Go ahead and settle into your normal and get on with your night. Just do it because you want to, not because you believe it’s your only option.
And if you find that you really don’t want to accept your current normal anymore, consider what it might be like for you to believe you can influence what normal means in your marriage. We sometimes take – as a given – that women have less power in the relationship, so it makes sense if that’s what you believe to be the case for the two of you. That’s how most of us have seen things arranged for centuries.
Through nobody’s fault, or ill intent, we probably learned that “he’s in charge” dynamic, from our parents who learned it from theirs and so on. The challenge is when you believe you have less power in your relationship, you’re more likely to negotiate with yourself about what you can and can’t bring up for re-evaluation, you’ll hem and haw about what you should and shouldn’t say and where you should and shouldn’t shine a possibly painful light. When you respond to yourself in this way you reinforce a power differential that you don’t really want. One that he may not want either. One that he might not even be aware of, because it doesn’t tend to play in the backdrop of his brain.
Through these types of internal negotiation, women teach themselves to ask for less. We worry that we’ll get in trouble. We stifle our self advocacy efforts because we don’t want to pay for it later. So we give up and make it work even when we’d rather not.
Not surprisingly, the giving up leads to a whole bunch of nothing changing while we silently seethe or ignore ourselves completely. Or maybe it’s more like we get worked up and bitter, which ends in heated, blame filled conversations that go nowhere quick. It’s our option to see those flavors of normal playing out and then to decide on purpose if we’re willing to be wrong about the way we think our marriage has to work.
Maybe it’s worked that way to this point. I mean, you’re still together after all, but what if it doesn’t have to keep working that way? What if staying together is just a very low bar for relationship success? What if you could create something more, something closer to what you imagined you’d have when you said “I do”?
Creating something more requires your willingness to be wrong about what you believe he’ll listen to and wrong about what you believe you can require. I know that admitting you were wrong can seem like a scary and painful venture. But what if it doesn’t have to be? What if being wrong in this sense is like learning you’re wrong about your airplane seat assignment? You thought your spot was in the back of the plane, middle seat right near the lavatory. But turns out, you’re supposed to be up in first class with all that extra legroom and a hot towel waiting. Not bad.
Being wrong about the stuckness in your marriage could feel the exact same way. And advocating for a first class seat gets even easier when you remember that you could be totally fine at the back of the plane. You could make your own fun and create your own comfort even when sandwiched between two strangers, one of whom is snoring. Because remember, your seat mates don’t create your experience. You do. Whenever you want to.
Would it be harder to create the experience you want in the back of the plane?
Maybe, but maybe not.
Right now the back of the plane is your normal, after all. You can absolutely figure out how to enjoy your experience exactly where you are. My guess is that you already do enjoy your experience at least some of the time.
Learning to create love and happiness and comfort for yourself at the back of the plane more often actually makes it that much easier to advocate for moving up to first class. Why? Because when you know you can support and enjoy yourself no matter where you’re sitting, it becomes a whole lot less urgent to figure out how to sit somewhere else. And when moving your seat isn’t all that urgent, you’ll be much more willing to take a shot at it because the stakes are low.
You can support and cheer yourself at the back of the plane In or the front and you can experience peace and connection whether your husband gets through his honey do list or not.
What if all of that is true?
Imagine – just for a second – that you can fully enjoy your life no matter what comes at you next.
Of course, you’ll like some things more than you like others. But what if none of it can shake your connection to yourself? What if an immovable connection with yourself is all you need to create the exact marriage you really, really want? Of course, you’ll love it if you get what you’re asking for. And you’ll be just fine if you don’t. When you really know that your asks get bigger, your marriage gets better, and your normal is a lot more fun.
I can’t promise it’ll be a straight, steadily climbing linear progression from where you are now to where you want to be. But I can promise that starting the climb is the surest way to get to the top.
So what are you waiting for?
I know – your husband, that insensitive creature of habit just won’t change. There’s no way.
You might be right. But what if you aren’t? Are you willing to be wrong? Are you willing to take your marriage to first class, even if that means you’ll stumble as you climb out of your back of the plane seat, bang your elbows as you move up the aisle and endure jealous glares as you make your way forward?
It’s totally okay. If you weren’t willing to go there. You’re used to your current normal, after all.
And let’s stop there.
If you want some more help uncovering your “normal” and deciding if you want to keep it – you HAVE to take the FREE course: “How to have the marriage your imagined when you said “I do”.
I’ll give you three simple steps to change the entire trajectory of your marriage.
It’s easier than you think and I’ll be with you to support you as much as you want me to be.
I guarantee you’ll walk away from the course with at least one actionable tool that you can easily implement right away to make your marriage more of what you want it to be.
Only thing you’ve got to lose is loneliness and disappointment.
And you didn’t want those things anyway.
So snag the FREE course off my website, www.candicetoone.com – use the gold button on the upper right. It says “Get the Free Course” right on the button. You can’t miss it.
I’ll see you in class.
Choose courage, Bee and Keep. On. Flying.