Relocation? Stay or go? (Read Time: 4 min.)

path 1One of the biggest decisions a woman breadwinner will ever make is whether to relocate her life, her family, and, oftentimes, her career from one geographic location to another.  As she moves up the corporate ladder or grows her business to an extraordinary place or experiences major life transitions like death, divorce, or financial devastation, relocation becomes an option that will have to be evaluated.  So the question is:

Stay or go?

Once that question goes out, what most people do is this: they weigh the pros and cons, write down their options, look at scenarios based on “best case” situations, assume they have all the information they need and make a blanket decision for the option that, from go, was the choice they wanted to “be right” anyway.  It’s clear why having a narrow focus or zeroing in on the option you want won’t work: it eliminates too many possibilities that could offer a more optimal solution than the one you’re looking at.

When deciding a relocation, here are three questions you can ask yourself to break out of a narrow frame and truly evaluate your options:

1) With the amount of money that I’ll be allocating to living expenses every single month, what would be the best usage of that money? This question widens A LOT.  A- You’re not looking at rent/mortgage allocation alone.  You now have a set amount of money that you can spend in ANY way you want and you might now see that if you moved to a cheaper place, you’d spend less on rent and mortgage and could now funnel the extra cash into a hobby, a new business, having more fun, or putting more money away for retirement of savings.  This opens up a very different world of possibilities where you can evaluate the options of how to spend the money, not simply whether or not you move.

2) If I could no longer relocate to the places I’m considering AND I couldn’t stay where I am, what else could I do?  Dan and Chip Heath (in a book called Decisive) identify this as The Vanishing Options Test.  It forces you to come up with new options, to look at different alternatives, and to get out of the mode that says, “There are only two or three ways I can go here.”  The moment you ask “What else…”, it opens up possibility.

3) How can I have BOTH?  Sometimes, people want to live in a location because of the weather or the activities or the hustle and bustle of the city but that might be counter to the need for a great public school system or the peace and quiet of a rural area.  When you start to look at how you can have BOTH, you begin to multi-track, i.e. look for ways to combine alternatives so you fall in love with the decision you wind up making.  Wavering between two alternatives is usually a sign that you don’t love either of the choices.  Keep searching and the best of both worlds eventually appears.

The most important thing you can remember about relocation is this: it’s NOT permanent.  You might think that you’re moving to a particular place and you’re going to have to stay there the REST OF YOUR LIFE.  Do a little research.  You’ll quickly learn that most people relocate across states and across the country MULTIPLE times in their lives.  You are never stuck, never held back, and while your zip code might be indicative of your lifestyle and your sense of self worth, it is not something that you must hold so fiercely to that you give up peace of mind, joy, and openness to change in order to have it.

Remember:

You can have BOTH… 

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What to do when Mother’s Day hurts… (Read Time: 3 min.)

be kindIn my last post, I said I was taking a break… before it dawned on me that this Sunday is Mother’s Day and I have entirely TOO MUCH to say about women breadwinners and Mother’s Day.

So… how is it possible that Mother’s Day could hurt?

It’s a happy, joyous day honoring the women who gave ups life and the mothers we’ve become.  Until I experienced it in my own life, I never knew that Mother’s Day could hurt.  I had my first child right after Mother’s Day and, up until that point, my idea of a hurtful Mother’s Day was my baby not being born in enough time for me to celebrate my first Mother’s Day ever.  Oh what it is to be young and naïve…

Fast forward ten years and you have the first Mother’s Day I spent without my children.  It had been a previous year of drama, child custody battles, and shifts to the point where I spent a solid three years of Mother’s Days alone… without my children, two of whom were toddlers at the time.  Talk about pain… I learned something from those sad, weepy Mother’s Days.  I learned that for all women, Mother’s Day isn’t a happy occasion.  For many, Mother’s Day is a reminder that a mother has been lost, that a woman who meant everything is no longer on this planet to do anything.  It could be a reminder that a mother-daughter relationship cannot be saved or that the relationship that exists will never be what the mother OR daughter hoped it would.  It can also be a reminder that a mother is without her children, children who are no longer on the earth, no longer in her home, or no where to be found.

It’s so important as women breadwinners to remember that Mother’s Day, for many women, hurts.  There will be many who never say a word about their pain.  They’ll work through Sunday, cook through Sunday,  eat through Sunday, cry through Sunday, exercise through Sunday, breathe through Sunday but they’ll never speak about their pain on Sunday.  One of my favorite quotes says, “Be kind for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”  Before you say “Happy Mother’s Day” on Facebook, Twitter, or in person, give a moment of pause for all of the women for whom Mother’s Day is still as bitter as it is sweet.

Taking a break… (Read Time: 1 min.)

back turnedSomething spoke to me this morning… in my spirit… in my heart… and it said, “Where’s the adventure gone?”  So I’m taking a two to four week hiatus from She Runs the Show to figure that out.  I’m certain I will but, in the meantime, feel free to comment on previous posts.  I’ll be checking in and promise to be back in June with fresh material, new thoughts, and even greater techniques for running your show.

See you in a few weeks!

Who do you think you are? (Read Time: 3 min.)

girls fightingEver have someone say that to you?

Not because they don’t know your name… Not because they aren’t clear on what you asked for… And certainly not because they have difficulty hearing… BUT because they think you have some nerve asking for what you’re asking for… Ever have that happen?

Join the club!  Although most people won’t say it using those exact words, there are lots of subtle ways that people will say to the woman breadwinner, “Where do you get off wanting that much, doing that much, being that much, asking for that much, pursuing that much?” and while you can quote “sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me”, one fact remains true:

It stings. 

It stings because you’ve worked hard to get where you are.  It stings because you aren’t asking from a place of entitlement but a place of deserving.  It stings because somewhere deep down inside, maybe just maybe you have an inner critic who plays that not enough/you-don’t-deserve-it card and the last place you need to hear it again is from your boss, your mother, your sibling, or, God forbid, your spouse…

So what do you do when you stand up in the world, ask for what you need, and have the world respond to you with something that says…

Don’t be too big for your britches!

You do three things:

  1. Remind yourself who you are.  I AM are two of the most powerful words in the English language.  When you find people telling you who you are NOT, you need to go in a closet or get in front of a mirror and start reminding yourself, OUT LOUD, who YOU REALLY are.  What I mean is:
  • I AM powerful!
  • I AM prosperous!
  • I AM strong!
  • I AM capable!
  • I AM diligent!
  • I AM loving and lovable!
  • I AM wonderfully made!
  • I AM destined for greatness!
  • I AM wise beyond measure!
  • I AM deserving of my highest good!
  • I AM wealthy!
  • I AM fit and strong!
  • I AM healthy!
  • I AM focused!
  • I AM determined!
  • I AM worthy!
  1. Remember who this is REALLY about.  Hurting people hurt people.  When someone declares your unworthiness, they are really speaking about their own.  As Don Miguel Ruiz says in The Four Agreements, “Don’t taken ANYONE personally…”  What they are saying to you is about them.  People deflect and transfer their emotions and feelings on others as a defense mechanism, a way of not having to cope with their own crap.  Do not take it personally.
  2. Reframe what the meaning of the encounter is.  You may not get to choose what the other person said to you but you certainly get to choose what it means to you.  Ask yourself, “If this situation was meant to build me up (instead of beat me up), what meaning would I give it?  What lesson is here for me?  How can I take what he/she said and leverage it for my success?”  Barbara Corcoran tells a story about how what her ex-husband said to her as he was leaving her and splitting up their business catapulted her to strike out on her own and become a mega success.  She could’ve taken his words as the signal of her demise.  She didn’t do that.  She reframed and ran with it.  You can do the same.  Check out Barbara’s video on how an insult made her an entrepreneur HERE.

I’d love your commentary on this. 

Have you ever been in a situation where someone said (in some way, shape or form) “Who do you think you are?”?

How did you handle it?

If that were to happen again, how would you handle it differently?

Women Breadwinners & Therapy: Why Your Therapist DOESN’T Get it… (Read Time: 4 min.)

therapy picDo you see a therapist?  I do!  There was a time when I wouldn’t have been comfortable sharing that.  However, after completing most of my MA in Marriage & Family Therapy and with my PhD in Clinical Psychology starting in the next 12 months AND as a woman breadwinners coach, I can tell you one thing for sure:

EVERYBODY BENEFITS FROM THERAPY… with a GREAT therapist

(had to throw that in there because, let’s be real, some therapists, like some coaches, suck)

Here’s the problem with therapy for most people:

They expect quick results with little effort and without full disclosure to the therapist who’s tasked with the tremendous job of helping them embrace and thrive through change and transition.

In other words, people want therapists to “fix” them, even though they aren’t willing to come to the table fully, completely and honestly.

Women breadwinners have even greater trouble with the therapy relationship because, for many women breadwinners, going to therapy is like admitting failure.  It’s saying, “I can’t handle this on my own.  I’m failing at this.  I wasn’t able to fix this without outside help.”  There are so many mixed emotions for women breadwinners who enter therapy and for women breadwinner couples who do therapy together (that’s a WHOLE other post).

However, therapy is a priceless gift of self-care, self-love, and transformation IF you are willing to do the work.  It’s also a great co-creator with coaching so that you can heal the past with your therapist and strategize the future with your coach.  If you can have both (and you can), HAVE BOTH.  Just sayin’.

But I digress…

If you’ve been to a therapist in the last three or four years and you bailed after the allotted therapy sessions, insisting that you’ll never go again because, in your words, “That therapist doesn’t get it!”, let me give you four reasons why your last therapist didn’t “get it”:

1) You weren’t selective when choosing a therapist.  Okay, so I have the benefit of a marriage and family therapy education and that education taught me ALOT about how different therapists work using different modalities of therapy.  Rather than simply choosing the first therapist you find that accepts your health insurance, find out KEY things about your potential therapist, including:

  1. Their modality: Ask a potential therapist, “What theory or style of therapy do you use?  Emotionally Focused, Cognitive Behavior, Internal Family Systems, Solutions Focused?”
  2. Their educational background: Is your potential therapist a licensed social worker, marriage and family therapist, licensed counselor, psychiatrist or psychologist?  Each has a VERY different approach to therapy and VERY different views on how and why change happens.  Be sure you’re choosing the therapist with the educational background that fits your world view and matches your needs.
  3. Their availability: I’m all for flex hours and work-around scheduling but if the therapist you’re choosing is making YOU work around him/her and isn’t very flexible or available when you are available, it’s a WRONG fit.  Stop trying to fit into your therapist’s schedule and find another therapist who has openings when you’re available.  There are too many good therapists in the world to stretch and strain your calendar to fit into one therapist’s book of appointments.
  4. Their personality: You’ve got to click with your therapist and you won’t know that until you do a few sessions… period.  You won’t know until you go.  So show up, see if you click after three sessions and, if not, say “Thanks” and find the right one.  Choosing a therapist is like choosing a partner: life’s too short to waste it on the wrong one.

2) You weren’t present and available for the journey.  Some people go to therapy expecting to be “fixed”, i.e. expecting this to a Burger King rendition of “I pay you money, you give me a solution, I stick it in my life and it works without me having to actively work it.”  Therapy AND coaching DO NOT WORK THIS WAY.  If you aren’t willing to bring ALL of yourself to the table, bring NONE of yourself to the table.  That doesn’t mean you don’t go to therapy if your spouse refuses.  You can do therapy on your own and experience great benefits, benefits that will, in turn, affect your entire family system, whether they go to therapy or not.  Just be sure that if you decide to go to therapy, you’re all in and not sitting on the fence.

3) You didn’t put everything on the table.  The walls of a therapy room are sacred.  Like Vegas, what happens in therapy stays in therapy (unless someone’s life is in danger or they are a danger to themselves).  You have to be completely honest and forthright with your therapist.  If you don’t tell the truth or you only tell half of the story, how do you expect your therapist to fully help you?  It’s like trying to solve a puzzle and missing 40% of the pieces.  It won’t work.  Come to the table truthful and honest.  You may feel shame.  You may feel guilt but therapy is exactly the place to bring those feelings.  A great therapist will help you work it out.

  1. You’d rather be right than happy.  Point blank (and women breadwinners are  NOTORIOUS for this): you came to therapy because you wanted your therapist to tell your husband that he is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG and you are RIGHT, RIGHT, RIGHT and he needs fixing but you’re perfect.  Don’t waste your time or money if that’s the case.  Marriages that work focus on collaboration, appreciation, and a commitment to making things work, even if you are the one who has to do the repair attempts ALOT, even when you are the person who has to learn how to love what is instead of demanding what isn’t.  This is not about perfection.  This is about developing a deep friendship that sustains itself through the storms and battles of life.  If what you want is to be right, then don’t waste your time in therapy.  Great therapists are not there to validate your ego; they are there to help you rediscover your sense of fulfillment and all fulfillment requires collaboration and, yes, compromise.

Talk to me.  Have you been to therapy?  If so, what was your experience like?

What did you learn?

What did you not like?

What would you do differently if you went back to therapy?

I’m always interested in reading your comments!

How to use your focus to concentrate your power… (Read Time: 4 min.)

woman 27I’m going in a different direction this week than my blog calendar had originally dictated.  That is one of the gifts of being my own boss:  I get to call the shots.  What I want to dish about today is one of my favorite topics of all time: FOCUS.

Women breadwinners traditionally have this in spades.  We know how to focus.  We know how to dive in, dig in, and get the job done… for MOST things.  But what about the areas of life where we don’t put too much of our focus?

What areas of life are you not focusing on?

What is your lack of focus in that area costing you?

Multi-tasking is a myth.  Human beings do not multi-task.  Even if you feel like you’re working on ten different things at once, you’re not.  You might be giving 10 seconds of focus to one thing and 30 seconds of focus to another and 45 seconds of focus to another but you are not multi-tasking.  You’re simply dividing your WHOLE mind in PRESENT action among a number of different things.

But what if all of that focus in one area is costing you the joy, peace, and success you want in another?

How do you switch gears and use your focus to concentrate your power in another area of life?

Here are 3 simple steps you can take:

  1. Approach every task with your WHOLE mind.  In other words, be completely where you are when you’re doing what you do.  If it’s family time, be 100% in family time.  If you’re at work, be 100% at work.  This is difficult in a day and age where we’ve electronically chained ourselves to our jobs and use that as the excuse for why we’re not able to focus on our families.  Throw the excuses out and give your all to each thing when it’s on your schedule.  Dividing your mind or your time between two places is no fun.  Be here now…
  2. Put all of your energy into whatever it is you’re focused on.  A lot of us come to different tasks with different levels of energy.  We half-ass our way through things.  When I was a professor, I’d teach business students about Adam’s Equity Theory.  Part of Adam’s Equity theory says that we look at our work situation and we consider how much we’re being rewarded… and then we alter our level of input or performance to make it equivalent to the amount of reward we’re receiving.  In other words, if I feel like I’m being paid half as much as I’m worth for a project, I might give half as much of my energy to it because I feel I’m being mistreated.  That kind of skewed perception of equity is a sure fire way to fail.  Why?  Because when you don’t give ALL of yourself to ALL you do, the only person you cheat is you.  Make your investment of your energy into your life YOUR BUSINESS.  It’s not about what anyone else is going to give you.  It’s about you enjoying every second of your life, whether it’s at work or at home.
  3. Focus on resourcefulness, not resources.  If you’re resourceful, the resources will come.  I used to doubt this idea.  But, as I started to see how in jams and during major obstacles, I was able to transform pressure into progress, it dawned on me that this concept (which I originally heard Tony Robbins talk about) is 100% true.  If you can get out of fear, worry and doubt and into a place of saying “Ok, I’m doing this now how can I get it done?”, you’ll get resourceful, you’ll stay the course, and you’ll get the job done.  See your journey of focus as a steady climb and focus on the next 3 steps.  Nothing more.
  4. See it as done.  Visualizing the result, thinking from the end, believing you can choose what you focus on, all of these things are key to concentrating your power.  Without your belief in yourself, you have nothing.  If you want to put more focus in a given area of your life, you have to believe that you have the ability to.  Once you do, you will.

So… how will you put these 4 steps into practice?  What area of your life do you want to now focus on?

Leave your comments below.  I’m listening…

Who’s in Your Inner Circle? (Read Time: 3 min.)

women 1I saw my therapist today and she asked me a question that stumped me:

Who’s your social support system here in Los Angeles?

I didn’t know how to answer that question.  Other than my husband and my close friends (who all live out of state), I couldn’t think of more than one or two people in California (and none who live within driving distance) that I could have a hot chocolate with at Coffee Bean or plan a girls night out to the movies with.  It’s great to have close friends you can trust but when they live over a thousand miles a way, who do you connect with in person?  Oh yeah, you don’t…

And that’s when today’s blog topic was born.

Men know how to do this really well.  Even children get the idea of what I’m about to say but, for whatever reason, women (esp. women breadwinners) haven’t learned the art and science of creating AND maintaining an inner circle.

What’s an inner circle?

That core group of 3-5 women who get you, see you, love you, and truly desire the best for you.  They are the like-minded, equally ambitious, fervently loyal people in your life who will challenge you to step up to the plate, force you to take a breather, or inspire you to move in a new direction because they refuse to allow you to settle for less.  The more women work, the more this inner circle becomes dire.

One problem: we live in a technology driven world that makes a tweet more inviting than a live chat and we’ve become a society where we’d rather go it alone because getting together takes too much time.

Especially as women breadwinners, it’s time that we stopped that (I’m talking to me too here).  We need in person, live, physical connection with like minded people.  We need to have relationships that grow over time, that weather life’s storms, and we especially need those connections to be with women who understand where we are in our lives.  And the bottom line is this: it’s not going to happen over a tweet or an FB message.  It might start there but it certainly won’t develop there.  If what we want is a WHOLE life, we have to begin to cultivate and create those relationships that nourish, encourage, and inspire us.  It’s as critical to the quality of our lives as breathing.

So how do we begin?

Here are 3 things I’m going to start doing:

1) Join social groups where you’ll meet and connect with other like-minded women.  There’s a women’s running group that meets every Saturday that I’ve wanted to join for months and as soon as my Achilles tendon is cleared to go back and run, I’m going to start putting that on my Saturday schedule.

2) TALK to people in social environments like the grocery store, the book store, in a doctor’s office, or at the gym.  I am notorious for going into Equinox  with laser vision on one thing: my workout.  Maybe it’s time I started to actually look at other people and, oh my goodness, smile, engage in conversation.  What a revelation!

3) Join professional specific or age specific groups.  There are all sorts of Meetup groups for moms in their 30s or women lawyers or stay-at-home moms.  Finding a group and attending even one even can go a long way in developing those connections.

So let me ask you a question.

What will you do this week to create or develop your inner circle? 

I’d love to know…

Is it too late to save your marriage? 6 signs that you’re headed for a divorce (and how to stop it) (Read time: 6 min.)

couple 8When someone asks you about your marriage, what’s your response?

Lukewarm?

Neutral?

Nagging?

Resentful?

In a time when the divorce rate for all marriages is over 50%, the pressure to make a woman breadwinner marriage work is higher than ever… and the statistics for marital success tell a sad, unfortunate story:

In one study in the Journal of Family Studies, women breadwinners who earned at least 60% of the family’s income were 38% more likely in any given year to get divorced.

The numbers are bleak but they aren’t a death sentence to happy women breadwinner marriages.  One of the questions I get asked a lot by clients who find themselves in unhappy marriages is this:

Is it too late to save my marriage?

Here’s the answer:

Not if you catch the 6 signs of marital decay in time and nip it in the bud.

In a book called The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work, Dr. John Gottman identified 6 signs he saw in couples who inevitably ended up in divorce.

NOTE: Dr. Gottman has studied couples for decades and his methods are empirically sound and therapeutically effective.  Here are Dr. Gottman’s 6 signs and what you need to do if you find any of them showing up in your marriage:

Sign #1: Harsh Setup

If you start most of your marital conversations with criticism, sarcasm, or contempt, you’re headed for trouble.  The first three minutes of your marital discussion speaks volumes about your likelihood of divorce.

What to do if you use harsh setup:

  1. Think before you speak
  2. Arm yourself with compassion, not judgment (Remember: people rarely learn their lessons from those who judge them)
  3. Start with positive, not the negative

Sign #2: The 4 Horsemen

Dr. Gottman talks in the book about 4 kinds of negativity that invade a relationship and destroy the marriage:

  1. Criticism
  2. Contempt
  3. Defensiveness
  4. Stonewalling

What to do if you have any of the 4 horsemen in your marriage:

  1. Criticism- Make a distinction between a complaint and a criticism.  Talk about specific actions you didn’t like (complaint), not personality flaws or character defects you think will never get “fixed” in your spouse (criticism).
  2. Contempt- Show your partner respect, appreciation and love.  Do it with gestures, body language, eye contact and tone of voice.  Cut out the eye rolling, sneering, mockery, and hostile humor.  Words and glares are powerful and what you send out will come back to you.
  3. Defensiveness- Stop the blame/shame/guilt game.  Stop attacking your partner because you feel backed into an emotional corner.  Speak your truth.  Ask to have your needs met but do not debate the point.  Either way, your partner will respond in the way he/she chooses.  No amount of defensiveness will positively impact that.
  4. Stonewalling- Tuning out your partner alienates him/her.  You send the message that you don’t care.  You’re physically in the marriage but the rest of you has left the building.  Make a conscious decision to be present in the marriage, to listen, to communicate, even if it’s painful to do so.

Sign #3: Flooding

When exposed to a lot of negativity from a spouse, we have the tendency to get overwhelmed to the point that your heart starts racing, you can’t think and the only thing you want to do is get the heck out of the room.  After a while, you start to expect the negativity.  The expectation of it before any interaction occurs begins to cause physical and emotional distress.  Eventually, the flooded partner chooses to withdraw rather than feel emotion.

What to do when you’re flooded:

  • Breathe
  • Self soothe
  • Get physically in your body
  • Take a time out from discussion and center yourself

Sign #4: Body Language

The physical distress caused by being flooded (increased heart rate, sweating, etc.) clouds judgment and prevents constructive problem solving.

What to do when you’re under physical distress:

  • Use self soothing techniques and self talk to bring down heart rate, reduce sweating, and regain a sense of calm
  • Open your body through things like yoga, a peaceful walk, and tai chi
  • Unclench fists, make your body go limp, or use other body release techniques
  • deep breathing

Sign #5: Failed Repair Attempts

Repair attempts occur when one or both partners extend the proverbial olive branch and find a way to meet in the middle.  When all of your olive branches are broken in two by your partner or not even noticed, divorce is on its way.

What to do when repair attempts fail:

Reconnect in the relationship by spending dedicated, focused time rediscovering your spouse, finding out what really matters to him/her and rewriting your marital script.

Sign #6: Bad Memories

If one or both of you look at the past of your relationship with negativity, criticism, or a lack of recall (i.e. you can’t even remember the details of your honeymoon), you’re headed down the wrong road.  You’re viewing the past in a negative way and that spells for problems in your future.

What to do when you see the past with negativity:

Reframe the past of your marriage into the positive and have hopeful expectations for the future

At the end of the day, each of the 6 signs are wake up calls that your relationship NEEDS  a lifeline.  Get the message and seek out a therapist, coach or counselor to help you turn things around before it’s too late.  Also check out my book, CHOOSE YOU, NOT DIVORCE, available on Amazon –>HERE<– or check out my author profile on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/author/kassandrabibas.

Choose You Not Divorce

I have a question for you:

Which of the 6 signs have you seen in your woman breadwinner marriage?  What steps will you begin to take today to work through it?

5 Ways to Reframe Being Bossy in Work and Life… (Read Time: 4 min.)

woman  7Sometimes, someone will call you bossy and it’ll be spot on.  In that moment, you’ll need to take a step back, reflect, and shift.  There are other times, however, when someone calls you bossy and it’s not an issue of control so much as it’s a matter of you standing up for your needs, desires, and level of self-worth.  In those moments, it’s important to stand your ground, not take the other person personally, and reframe the insult so that you hear it but you don’t embrace it.

How do you do that?

Here are 5 ways to carry out self talk that views bossy in a positive light:

  1. I am demanding.  I know what I want and I’m unwilling to settle for less.  It might make other people insecure but that’s a challenge to them to be more, not to feel like less.
  2. I’m a natural leader.  My talents have equipped me with the ability to make clear, carefully thought out decisions in less time than most.  I know how to ask to have my needs met and I know how to find, create or obtain the resources necessary to do that.  People who have this ability respect what I bring to the table.  I don’t flaunt my power.  I embrace it.
  3. I listen to my inner knowing, trust my instincts, and act without looking back.  I have an inner wisdom that I trust at all times.  I don’t doubt my Higher Self.  I trust it and take action.  There’s no need for second guessing in my inner world.
  4. I am determined, persistent, focused and clear.  I consider the options, listen to opinions but I am not swayed by either.  I listen to my intuition and stay on course.  I own my mistakes, learn from my failures and keep it moving.  That is what makes me a champion.
  5. I value myself highly because I know that I bring tremendous value to the world.  I know my value.  My confidence is well deserved.  Honoring myself gives other people permission to honor themselves.  There’s no hiding my light going on here.  I shine brilliantly because I can and that encourages others to do the same.

Each of the above 5 statements could be taken as “bossy”: demanding, rigid, stubborn, and stuck up/conceited.  If someone has the audacity to call you that to your face (and you know there are no grounds in reality for it), thank them for the compliment and continue these five points of self talk.  At the end of the day, no one can tell you who you  REALLY are but you so speak into your life who you know yourself to be.

 

How to Get Marital Peace When You’d Rather Be Anywhere But Home… (Read Time: 4 min.)

coule 6You run your show.  You bring home the bacon.  You’re the one wearing the pants… and the BOTH of you know it.  But, lately, things haven’t been easy.  There’s been tension in the air, things left unsaid, household responsibilities left undone, and outside of talking about bills, birthdays, and chores, there hasn’t been much to say… that won’t bite you in the butt later.

Can you relate to that scenario?

How you deal with marital stress will determine a great deal about how the rest of your marriage goes.  Stress is nothing new nor is it unique to the woman breadwinner but how it shows up in the marriage has a lot to do with who’s wearing the proverbial pants… and who is not.  Even though you signed up for this (and sometimes you didn’t), there may be parts of you wondering, “Why am I the one with all of this financial pressure?” or “Why can’t I take it easy, pursue my dreams, and have the lighter load?”  The moment you start feeling like this, guess what?  You’re in a particular phase of marriage that ALL married couples go through.  It’s called the devaluation stage.  Rather than give in to it and begin looking for the exit door, own up to it, get familiar with it, and find your way to a better place  WITH your spouse by your side.

The question becomes:

“How do I do that when I spend most of my time nagging my spouse to do things he KNOWS he’s supposed to be doing?”

Here are 3 simple steps to cultivating marital peace (esp. when it’s the last thing you feel like doing):

Step 1: Do a Spouse Appraisal.  Yup, appraise him.  Just like you would a house.  In other words, detach from the emotional upheaval that your dissatisfaction, nagging, and anxiety have caused, take a step back, pull out a pen and paper, and spend 3-7 days observing your spouse.  In your notebook, answer the following questions:

1) What did my spouse do today that pleased me?

2) What did my spouse do today that annoyed me?

3) How did my spouse help in our household today?

4) What did my spouse forget or not do today in our household that really needed to be done TODAY?

5) What did I love most about how he behaved today?

6) What bugged me most about how he behaved today?

At the end of each day’s observation, compare your responses and see if there’s more good than bad.  Ask yourself, “How did my mood, my day, and my thoughts impact how I evaluated my spouse?” and write down those answers as well.

Step 2: Comparison shop.  This is a fabulous notion discussed by Sharyn Wolf in her book, ” This Old Spouse.”  In other words, when you get fed up with your spouse, think seriously about the grass you think is greener on the other side.  Look at your friends’ marriages and your divorced friends’ dating lives and ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Would I want to have THEIR marital problems in place of mine?
  2. Is that grass really greener… or is it turf?
  3. What lessons am I learning in this marriage that, if I don’t get here, I’ll simply take with me to the next relationship?
  4. Would I really be happier without my husband or am I making MY happiness his responsibility?  Is that fair?

Step 3: Identify your REAL needs and ask to have them met.

This is a two-part step.

Part 1: Identify your REAL needs.  When you’re nagging your spouse, what is it that you REALLY want?  Do you want to be heard?  Do you want to be seen?  Do you want your spouse to show his care and affection by jumping up in that minute and taking care of the laundry or the garbage or whatever else you’re asking him to do?  What is the emotion or the desire that you have underneath the discussion you seem to keep having?  Once you get clear on your needs, you’ll better communicate them to your spouse.

Part 2: Ask to have your needs met.  Not demand.  Not order.  Not control.  When you’re in a loving mood (keep in mind that loving is your natural state and you can get into that mood at any moment you choose; just watch a cute kitten video on You Tube and tell me if I’m wrong), sit down with your spouse, look him deeply in the eyes, caress his face, and lovingly ask for what you need WITHOUT expecting that he jump up in that second to prove his love by getting it done in that minute.  Ask, trust that it will get done, and move on to the next thing.  You’d be surprised how trust (of the self and your spouse) mixed with affection and love do the trick EVERY time.

Now I have a couple questions for you…

Knowing these 3 tips can save your peace of mind.  Taking action on these 3 steps TODAY  will change your life.

Having read this post, what steps will you take to get marital peace? 

Which of the 3 steps resonated with you most and what do you plan to do about what you’ve learned here?

Reveal what you plan to do in the comments below.  I’m always checking and commenting 🙂