Is your marriage in the best shape it could be? Do you feel like you’re married but living as roommates? How can you improve your marriage?
In This Podcast
In this podcast episode, Veronica shares the story of her marriage and how she managed to make her marriage survive and thrive.
Starting our marriage and understanding my past
The first year of marriage went something like this: you stay in your lane and I’ll stay in mine. It was a complete game. We were constantly trying to win this battle and win the role of being the alpha. Our arguments sounded like: if you don’t like it, leave. I wish it was from him, but it wasn’t.
I grew up in a dysfunctional family where my parents used to fight all the time and when they did, my dad would leave. My dad would do anything possible to avoid connection and vulnerability. I remember watching my mom feeling defeated. This was all they knew and what she modeled for us unintentionally. As a result, in my own marriage, there was no way I was going to get hurt or rejected. I decided that’s what my relationship would look like and I threatened him to leave so many times. Until I started thinking.
Veronica, what are you doing? This man loves you. Why won’t you let him in? I wanted to say sorry so badly but I didn’t know how to.
Something had to change
In so many ways I was attempting to control the situation, our marriage, and I didn’t know how to be vulnerable. To me, vulnerability meant someone could take advantage of you and it meant you no longer have control. That was a lie.
I was waiting for something to change. Because something had to change or else divorce was on the cards.
Then I thought, what if I change and I no longer want to be with him?
Those words are the words I hear from most women that come into my office. I say to each one of them: what if you change and your relationship changes with you? What if you and your husband have the ability to grow together? Why do you allow fear to imprison you?
Fear is an emotion, not a direction.
In my own marriage, I began to believe the lie that ‘we’re just in a bad phase, we’ll get out of it’ and other lies I told myself.
Ask yourself the following:
- What lies are you telling yourself?
- How is this impacting your relationship?
- Are you married to your roommate?
- Do you feel connected?
We can not rely on anyone else to meet our needs as we have to meet our own needs first. Know what they are and work on them.
Steps to go from roommate to a connected married couple
Step 1: Accept him for who he is and who he isn’t
Did you fall in love with the fantasy? Did you purposely ignore all of those red flags? Are you trying to change him into who you believe he can be? If you see him for who he is, will you want to stay with him? Let down your guard and accept him.
Step 2: Identify your part in the dysfunction
Are you dependent on him to change you and meet all of your needs? What are you scared of? Why are you dependent on him to identify you? How often are you connecting?
Step 3: How is your past affecting your ability to move forward?
In my own marriage, I had to stop seeing him as the enemy and instead see him as my husband. That was my form of protection to keep myself from being rejected. Instead of paying attention to all of the ways he could potentially hurt me, I started to pay attention to all of the ways he loved me. I leaned in and started connecting, and I started to feel so loved.
Step 4: Start to say no and set boundaries
You need to be clear with your partner about who you are, what you want, your beliefs and values, and your limits. With boundaries, you tell people how to behave around you.
Step 5: If you are at level 10 walk away from an argument
I’m going to tell you right now there is absolutely nothing you can say at this level of rage that is going to change anything! John Gottman has stated that marriages generally survive if the ratio of good to bad interactions is 5 to 1.
What is your intent for today?
Lean in toward connection. Call your partner if he’s not next to you and tell him how much you love him. Walk up and embrace him. Our relationships are worth so much, treat them at the level of value that they are instead of treating them like they’re disposable.
Until next time, keep pushing forward.
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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!
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Empowered and Unapologetic is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Beta Male Revolution, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.