What are you doing right now to position your husband as the enemy? How can you change this and be more accountable? Can you reframe and overcome these emotions with a simple mantra?
In this podcast episode, I speak about how my insecurities and mindreading almost ruined my 21st-anniversary trip.
In This Podcast
- The mantra that saved me
- 3 steps for you to snap out of it
The mantra that saved me
We were a half-mile in and I am gasping for air…
I found myself spiraling down this rabbit hole of negativity, self-doubt, and self-defeat. All my insecurities surfaced and I was thinking that Willie did this to set me up…
I wanted to quit BUT, I was going to make this mountain my b***h and I didn’t want to ruin this vacation. I had to take control of these feelings and this mantra came to mind…
Veronica, all you have to do is take 1 step, that’s it… Just take one step. And then after, take the next step, regardless of what it looks like. Just take that one step!
3 steps to snap out of it
You cannot position anyone in the place of blame when you are feeling insecurities come up.
- Ask yourself ‘Is this my insecurity or is this a fact’?: Think about all of the times you wanted to place blame on your partner in times when you were feeling insecure. The way to differentiate between the two is to ask yourself, is this 100% a fact? Be real honest.
Write down these insecurities so that you are aware of them. Everyone struggles with insecurities from time to time, so be patient and compassionate with yourself.
- Validate yourself: This looks like acknowledging your strengths, acknowledging your efforts and your progress and it also involves accepting your limitations and your flaws.
Self-validation is also a form of treating yourself with kindness, which goes back to one step, next step [because] you are able to be your biggest cheerleader, you’re able to realize ‘you know what, I’m struggling right now, and this is hard and that is okay’.
- Communicate your fears: Communicate your fears and frustrations, not so that the other person carries them, but that you realize that they exist for you. And by sharing them with your partner, you can both be aware of them and work through them together.
- Marriage Mistake #5: Willie & Veronica Talk About How Couples Use Sex As a Weapon | EU 51
- Marriage Mistake #4: Willie & Veronica Talk About How to Stop Wrestling with Change in Your Marriage | EU 50
- Mistake #3: “I Avoid Conflict”- How This Impacts your Marriage | EU 49
- Marriage Mistake #2: Veronica & Her Girls Talk about Self-Worth and The Consequences of Putting Yourself Last | EU 48
- The 5 Mistakes to Avoid for a Healthy Marriage: Mistake #1 | EU 47
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Meet Veronica Cisneros
I’m a licensed therapist and women walk into my office every day stressed and disconnected. As a mom of three daughters, I want my girls to know who they are and feel confident about their future. I can’t think of a better way to help other women than by demonstrating an empowered and unapologetic life.
So I started Empowered and Unapologetic to be a safe space for women to be vulnerable and change their lives for the better before she ever needs to see a therapist.
Thanks for listening!
[VERONICA CISNEROS]: And the minute I started to say that mantra out loud, one step, Next step. There was a point where it was like, Veronica, just take the one step. And then who knows where the next step will be? You might face-pat the ground. Who knows? But for right now, just take this one step and we’ll figure out that next step later.
Have you ever thought, “How did I manage to lose myself?” Being a mom is so hard, especially when we’re feeling stressed and disconnected. We exhaust ourselves trying to create this perfect life for our family. You deserve to enjoy your marriage and your kids without the stress perfectionism brings. I am going to teach you how to identify who you are outside of all of the roles you play.
Hi, I’m Veronica Cisneros. I’m a wife, mother of three and a licensed marriage and family therapist. I am on a mission to teach women just like you, how to become empowered and unapologetic. Welcome to our girl gang. Hey ladies, welcome to Empowered and Unapologetic. I’m your host, Veronica Cisneros. In today’s episode, I discuss insecurities and mind reading. How this literally almost ruined my 21st anniversary. Ladies, we are all guilty of building up these stories in our head and positioning our husbands as this monster. Our insecurities take over and sometimes create this wedge between us. I was guilty of this. I was totally guilty of this, especially on this trip. I allowed my weight, my thoughts about my weight to take over. Grab a pen and paper, because you’re going to want to take notes. This episode is so good.
I think one of the biggest issues for relationships, especially for women, is how we tend to view our partners as the enemy, no longer as our partner in crime, no longer as our teammate. You know, we’re exhausted. We’re doing all of these things. And for some reason, we tend to play this blame game. Hear me out. My husband and I just recently celebrated our 21st anniversary. 21 years of being married. Yeah, it’s crazy. Well, although it’s amazing and I’m so excited and it’s all of these things, I literally almost killed my husband on our trip. Like no lie for all. Here’s why. Planning our trip already nuts. We’ve had busy work weeks, busy lives, Aubrey started school, Aliyah is doing so well in college. However, there’s things that came up for her and then monkey feet. She has like this crazy book report to do. Not even going to get into that.
However, life was completely chaos and it was complete chaos for both of us. So although we’ve been talking about our anniversary for a very long time, we knew it was coming up. We just didn’t really set any plans on, you know, set a location where we were going to go. And it wasn’t until Wednesday night, two days, three days before our anniversary that we were both on our laptops, trying to figure out where we were going to go. I know it sounds crazy, but that’s just the way we roll. Well, he was looking at flights. I was looking at hotels and then he, and I ended up switching. It became this complete ordeal. We found out we couldn’t fly because for one, we were two days away from leaving. And then the second thing, if we did fly, it was going to be a 15-hour trip.
So there’s no way I’m going to spend most of my anniversary on a plane. So we both agreed to go into Lake Tahoe and we both agreed we were going to drive. Rented the car, we were going to go in this Jeep. It was happening. Willy shows up to the car rental place and we ended up getting a Jeep. However, it wasn’t the Jeep Wrangler. It was like this total mom and pop Jeep. Like you knew we were parents just by, just if we pulled up, you knew that that was like a totally total mom and dad car. Anyways so we head up there. We’re having, you know, we’re so excited, listening to music, having deep conversation. Molly says, “You know why I already have everything set up. We’re going to go ahead and do a mountain bike ride.” So I’m about that. I’ve never done a mountain bike ride. So I was like, “Cool.”
So we show up, get there, again, I’m super excited. We’re away from the kids. My mom has the girls, it’s just me and my husband. We’re finally away. So we get there and you know, we check in and the guy immediately asks us, “Well, are you ready?” But it’s like in the snarky way, are you ready? So I looked back at him and say, “Well, yeah, are you ready? Like, what’s going on here? We’re like measuring it up? Are we going toe to toe? Like, what’s happening?” Like, yeah, I’m ready. Are you saying it because of the way I look like, what are we doing? So he’s like, “Well, just to let you know, it’s a 14-mile hike.” Yeah girl. The same thing. I had the same thought. Like if your heart just dropped, so did mine.
It’s a 14-mile hike and for the first four miles, you’re going up the steep Hill, it’s the Flume Trail. So if any of you have ever done it, or any of you are thinking about doing it, I’m going tell you right now prepare for a marathon before you’ve even tried, because it is bananas. So he says, “It’s four miles. You’re going steep up this hill, up this mountain and then once you get up the four miles or up all the way to the top, well then it sort of kind of balances out. However, after the four miles you’re then met with an eight mile ride, a long side of a cliff, like you’re literally on a cliff.” Mind you, I’m completely afraid of heights, like terrified. And so for eight miles, we’re going to be writing on a cliff, like it’s happening. And he’s like, “But don’t worry. Only like four people have died, but that’s only because they were messing around. You got about a foot or two feet of room.”
Okay, wait a minute. That’s all I have for my bike. I mean, I don’t even know if my body’s one foot, two foot, like, because I mean, I don’t, I’m not going to lie, I gained a few pounds during COVID. So I’m completely freaking out. And then all of these insecurity start to creep up like crazy insecurities. So whatever we take the shuttle, they take us to it. We’re in it. And there are other people that are, you know, also participated to be on this bike ride and we’re not all together. So it’s not like you are with them, but I’m like, “Okay, I’m looking at them as my competition.” Like I’m a pretty competitive person. So it’s like, it’s going to go down. Like, I’m going to totally take you out because that’s just the way it’s going to go. I was sizing myself up against them and yeah, like I’m younger, you know, they have a few pounds, they’re a few pounds heavier than me.
You know, they were older people. They were like my parents’ age. So I’m like, “Yeah, I totally got this in the bag.” And my husband’s a former Marine, not former, he’s always a Marine, but you know what I mean? He’ll kill me if he heard me say that. So I was like, “Yeah, I totally got this. I got this. And then my husband got this, so we’re good to go.” So we start paddling half a mile in girl, half a mile in I’m gasping for air. I can’t breathe. I’m going, I’m like literally dizzy and wanting to throw up. We’re in Lake Tahoe, higher elevation. So it wasn’t the fact that, you know, I’m a complete fat ass. It had nothing to do with that. Well, it did and it didn’t. Here’s why.
I went to complete self-defeat mode. Here’s how. How in the hell am I doing this? Like, how is this happening? Why is this happening? Wait a minute. Well, he asked me the other day, if I wanted to work out with him. And I said, no, because I had work to do. I bet you anything, this is payback. Right now, what he’s doing is he’s proving to me that I need to lose weight. This is proof. This right here is proof that he’s not happy with me. Why would he ask me to do a 14 mile hike knowing well, I haven’t worked out in like two weeks. Why would he do that to me? He set me up. This mofo set me up. Are you kidding me? And the entire time he asked me to ride in front of him because he wanted to protect me. You can’t see me, but I’m totally doing air quotes. He wanted to protect me.
All my insecurities increased even more. Like they were just all up like popcorn. And I went into thinking like, I bet you anything he’s looking at my wondering where the hell, that bike saying what? I bet you anything, because it’s probably buried underneath somewhere underneath all my fat. And I bet you anything he’s looking at me saying, “Yep, this is why. I’m so glad we’re on this hike because now this will show to her, this will prove to her that she needs to work out with me when I asked her to. This will prove to her that maybe she needs to not eat so much.” So all of a sudden my husband pulls up next to me and asks if I’m okay. Girl, he asked me if I’m okay. So guess what I wanted to reply with. I wanted to reply with some curse words. I wanted to reply with maybe a quick swift kick, you know, a Spartan kick to the chest. Like I’m not going to lie. That’s where I was at. If I’m being completely honest, and I know I can be honest with you guys, that’s where I was at.
Oh, hell no. How dare you? How do you have the audacity to ask me this question? All of that I was saying in my head, but instead what I said out loud was, “Honey, I got this. I’m just trying to concentrate right now.” He’s like, “Al right, no problem. You’re doing great job.” Are you kidding me? You’re going to really give me that. I’m doing great job after you set me up for failure? And then he ended up taking my bike because I had to get off. I couldn’t breathe. I was going to pass out. And I just said, “You know what? I’m going to walk this.” All of these insecurities were flooding my brain, all of them, every single one of them. I’m not good enough. I’m fat. I don’t deserve this. I’m a complete failure. I haven’t even finished. I haven’t even completed this one mile. How am I going to do the other 13 miles? All of those insecurities completely, completely took over, took over me all the way. I was gasping for air. And I found myself wanting to quit.
Then I did something crazy. I did something crazy. I decided that that was not going to be the end result. That was not going to be the end result. Like by any means it wasn’t. I was going to make this mountain my bitch. Yeah, you heard it right. I was going to make this mountain my bitch. Yes, I know I’m gasping for air. I can barely breathe. I’m feeling dizzy. I want to throw up. Yeah, I get it. I get it. Yes. Because all of those things are true. So how the hell am I going to do this? I’m a half mile in, how am I going to do this other 13 and a half miles? How was that going to happen? That’s impossible Veronica. Well, here’s. How I realized that it wasn’t the mountain. It wasn’t my husband. It was me. It was me. I created all of these lies in my head. And I created them because there were insecurities I had already.
Those were already preexisting insecurities that just showed up that day. And why did they show up that day, you ask? Because that’s when I was the most vulnerable. That’s when I felt exposed. That’s when I was the most insecure. I was so willing to go out and place all of that blame on my husband. I was so willing to do that. I was going to create an argument. I already had it all planned out. I was going to create an argument. I was going to accuse him of thinking that I was fat. I was going to accuse him of setting me up for failure. It was like ready to go down. And then I realized, this is me. I’m going to ruin our vacation. This is only going to create distance between us. And it’s going to impact our ability to go on more vacations. Why start this argument if this is literally all in my head?
What do I know a hundred percent true about Willie? Well, if you know me and Willie, you know that that man loves and adores me. You could see it on his face. You could see it on his face. And most people tell me that. And in addition to that, I know that the 21 years that I’ve been married to that man, I know that we’ve challenged each other, like no other. And I know that that’s what our relationship is all about, about challenging each other, about supporting each other about taking each one to the next level. And I challenge him in so many ways emotionally. I challenge him emotionally. Hello, I’m a therapist. I challenged them emotionally. I challenge them mentally to go ahead and step outside of his comfort zone.
This is what he was doing with me. And he didn’t see it as a challenge because I had gained weight or because I was out of shape. It was a challenge that we were going to do together. And I knew that. I knew that to be a hundred percent true. I didn’t even need to ask him. So that’s essentially what I asked myself, “Veronica, what do you know a hundred percent to be true about Willie? Well, you know that he’s all about adventure just as you are. And you know that the minute he found out that there was mountain bike riding that he thought it was going to be absolutely amazing for you both to go out and do together.” That’s when I flipped that script. And so instead of allowing those insecurities, allowing those feelings of shame and self sabotage to take over, I want you to take a good look at the situation. And I want you to think about what the consequences, ladies, you’re not alone. You’re not alone at all on so many levels.
You know, we all have insecurities. They exist for all of us. It’s what we do with them. And why are we so quick to blame? Why do you think that is? Well, I’ll tell you why, because if I don’t blame, then I have to accept full responsibility. I have to be accountable. And this feeling, I don’t know what to do with, I don’t know how to make sense of it. And I just want it to go away as quickly as possible to let me give it to Willie.
Well, he took my bike and then he’s going. I told him, “Please just go right in front of me because I’m going to use you as motivation. And he’s like, “Al right, no problem.” And then I put my workout music on and I was blasting it. So I was listening to, [inaudible 00:15:14] I, at one point I was at EDC. I mean, you name it. I was doing all of the things I needed to take me to that next step. And then I looked up, and it’s going to be the cover of this podcast. But I looked up and there was Willy, sweating, his butt off pushing those two bikes up, this really, really steep mountain and I thought, “That’s my husband.” Everything, every single thought that came up for me, those were my insecurities. Every single one.
How dare I blame this man? So I wasn’t going to do that. So what I did do was okay, I recognize that I’m not in the best shape. I recognize that I have not been eating healthy. Yeah, I recognize that and I recognize that all of these insecurities are attempting to take over and give me the excuse, the reason to go out and quit. However, that’s not going to happen. That’s not. So what did I do? I started to think of what will it take? What is it going to take for me right now to get through this hill or to get through this mountain? To complete this task? What is it going to take for me to do the full 40 miles?
And then I developed this mantra that I’m going to share with you right now. Veronica, all you have to do is take one step. That’s it. Just take one step, and then after take the next step, regardless of what it looks like. Just take that one step. I wanted to cry. I wanted to quit. I wanted to stop. I literally wanted to stop and get rest. However, I knew if I stopped that I would stop and all of those insecurities would set in and take over. So I didn’t. I knew I was okay. I knew I was going to be fine. And the minute I started to say those, that mantra out loud, one step, next step, there was a point where it was like Veronica, “Just take the one step and then who knows where the next step will be? You might face-pat the ground. Who knows? But for right now, just take this one step and we’ll figure out that next step later.”
So I did it one step next step, one step next step, one step next step, one step next step. There was something so powerful that took over my body. I’m not saying it was like a total come to Jesus moment. I’m not saying that, but I will say that there was just this feeling that took over my body and it was this, I don’t even know how to describe it. I just knew I was going to be okay. And I knew I was going to be able to do it. So I took the bike from Willie, I got on the bike and I started paddling and then it got hard. It got really hard. I’m not going to lie. It got hard. I got off the bike, one step next step, one step next step. And then I got back on. The key to all of this was, I gave myself permission. I gave myself permission to be floored. I gave myself permission to not do this perfectly. And yes, those old guys totally passed us. Yes they did. If you’re wondering where the hell the old guys went, they were gone. There were long gone girl. Like we didn’t even see them because they were so far.
But I just did that one step next step. And then we ended up getting to the spot. We ended up accomplishing those four miles and I looked at my husband. I gave him my a five and I told him, “Thank you. Thank you.” I let him know what I was experiencing. I told him that the entire time he was behind me, that I was picturing him looking at my and saying how fat I was. And I was picturing him, you know, with this, his snarky face saying, ”That’s right. This is what you deserve.” And the crazy thing happened. He looked at me and he told me, “The entire time, honey, I was looking at your ass. You’re right. I was looking at your ass, but I was thinking about how fine you were.
It’s like, dang, Veronica, dang. So I ended up going, we got to the cliff, scared out of my mind, scared out of my mind, girl. We got to those cliffs, and again, one step next step, one step next step. And it was so beautiful. Oh my God. So beautiful. I mean, indescribably beautiful. If you haven’t been a Tahoe, I’m going to tell you right now go. They are just like breathtaking, mesmerizing, just to look at God’s creation. And I like really mean that like, wow, it’s just beautiful, like beautiful, crazy views. And we just rode that for eight miles. I almost died. I’m going to give it to you real. I know this sounds like, “Oh my God, this is so amazing.” No, girl, I ran over a block that I didn’t see. It was covered with a bunch of dirt and my bike sort of fishtailed and the back of my bike was no longer on land. It was in air and other part, the front of the bike was still on.
So I literally like just started a kind of panic and realized, “You know what, if I panic, it’s not going to work. So put your foot down and let’s and push forward.” And my husband ended up telling me, he and I had a discussion after the hike and he told me he has well, there was a part where his bike fishtailed and he almost fell off too. So yeah. I’m going to tell you right now, it’s dangerous. Beautiful, but dangerous. So all of this to tell you, we finished the hike girl, you know, I finished that hike. Hell yes, I finished that hike. We finished it and it felt so amazing. My husband looked at me at the end of the hike and he told me, “This is why I love us because we both push ourselves. We both encourage each other.”
It wasn’t always this way. So how I’m going to teach you, I’m going to teach you a couple of steps in three steps. We’re going to do this together. Here’s why. You positioning your husband as the enemy is not going to work. You positioning your husband as the person to blame is not going to work. At some point, ladies, we have to look at ourselves. We have to look at the lies we tell ourselves. And so step one, ask yourself, “Is this my insecurity or is it a fact?” Let me give you an example. Did he really set me up for failure or are my insecurities playing with my emotions? I want you to answer that. Did he really set me up for failure? Does your husband really set you up for failure?
Now, if you’re in an abusive relationship, well, that’s something different, but I really want you to think about all of the times that you wanted to go ahead and place blame on your husband. Don’t get me wrong. I know there’s things that he does, but I’m going to tell you right now, there are plenty of things my husband does. And hell yeah, he deserves that blame. But in this situation, when it involves your insecurities, when it involves your weight, when it involves maybe your education, maybe your know-how, the way you live your life, is it your insecurities or is it him? And the way to differentiate between the two is, is it a hundred percent a fact? Because if it’s not, well, girl, you got to do some homework on yourself. You got to take a really good look. Really good look at identifying these insecurities and write them down. Write them down. Put them down. It’s okay. It’s not, they’re not going to bite you. They are insecurities. We all have them. Now what do we do with them?
Step two self validate. What does self validation look like? Well, it’s a form of encouragement, acknowledging your strengths, acknowledging your progress and your efforts. And on the other end, it’s also accepting your limitations, your flaws, it’s accepting those insecurities. Self-validation is also a form of treating yourself with kindness, which goes back to one step next step. You’re able to be your biggest cheerleader. You’re able to realize, “You know what, I’m struggling right now. And this is hard. And that’s okay. That is okay. It is okay. That I’m feeling this way. It’s absolutely okay and I’m not going to let this take over.” So it’s basically confirming what you’re experiencing, whatever emotion, whatever emotional response you’re experiencing. It’s recognizing, “Okay, that’s true for me right now. It’s not going to be true for me forever, but for right now, it’s true for me.” So accepting those limitations, accepting those flaws, treating yourself with kindness.
Step three, communicate your fears. Communicate them. What are your fears? What are your frustrations? Not so the other person carries them. Don’t get it twisted. It’s not so the other person carries them. It’s so you realize that these actually exist for you. This is what’s true for you. And if this is what’s true for you, that’s okay. You get to communicate it to your husband. I did it and it was the most humbling experience. And I’m so glad I did it because otherwise we would have gone maybe a mile only to turn around. And then that whole entire vacation would have been ruined. And that’s not what I wanted. I didn’t want that. I didn’t want that for him and I don’t want that for me. And so I decided something needed to change. I need to go out and communicate this. I need to communicate my fears, my insecurities and frustrations, not so he has power over me, ladies. He still does not have power over me. It’s so I can come to peace with them. So I acknowledged them and I’m accountable for them.
So what I want you ladies to do is I want you to think about the Flume Trail, my life or death experience, right? And I want you to think about how it applies to you. What are you doing right now to position your husband as the enemy? How can we make changes to this? How can we be accountable? I’ll tell you how; one step next step. Taking that first step, applying one of these, one of these tools. Apply it right away and then we’ll see what the next step looks like. But for right now, we’re going to learn through trial and error. And that’s where we’re going to be trial and error. We get to give ourselves grace though, one step next step. I’m going to tell you right now, this is one of the best, best anniversary trips ever. It really, really unified my husband and I, and it made me see him through a different light.
took a picture of him and like I said, I’m going to post in here, but I have that picture on my phone. And I look at it every single time I think that my husband’s against me, every single time that I don’t feel like we’re on the same team. And he does not have to do everything to please me. And he’s not going to do everything t, that’s what he’s pursuing. That’s not for me to do. Just like it’s not for him to go ahead and build me up. He’s going to be a part of it. He’s going to support me, but, that’s not, I can’t put that expectation on him. I can’t. That would interfere with our connection and that in so many ways would ruin our relationship. And I’m going to tell you right now, ah ah, I’m not going to take that chance. He doesn’t deserve it.
So ladies, I’m going to ask you right now. What is your first step? Well, ladies, I want to hear from you. I want to know what your next step is. And if you haven’t already joined my private Facebook group, I want you to join it. It’s a free group. It’s a free community. And I’m welcoming moms, just like you, who are ready to take that next step. And what I’d like you to do is I want you to join my free Facebook group. The notes, the link will be in the show notes, but it’s Facebook/groups/empoweredandunapologetic. But I want you to join that group and I want to see a picture of what you’re doing. It could be a hike. It could be a walk. It could be whatever. It could be, you and your house, and accepting that maybe that all of the laundry is not going to get done, and that’s okay and instead you decided to play with your kids. Whatever that first step is. I want a picture of it. I want a picture of it, because guess what? I’m going to celebrate it with you and you get to tag me. Well, I’m super excited to see your one step Bye for now.
What’s up, ladies. Just want to let you guys know that your ratings and reviews for this podcast are greatly appreciated. If you love this podcast, please go to iTunes right now and rate and review. Thank you guys.
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