Do you know how your unhappy marriage holds you back?
In episode 28 of The Authentic Wife Show, you’ll learn the four opportunities waiting for you right now through your marriage. I’ll share with you some of what’s different in my life since doing this work that saved my marriage, despite my husband feeling like my tallest child.
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This is the largely unedited auto-transcription of the show:
Beth Rowles: [00:00:00] Welcome back to the show. I’m looking forward to chatting with you today. Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule or while you are working on your busy schedule to have a little bit of, um, authenticity. Talk with me today. So our topic is how your unhappy marriage holds you. This is literally one of the hardest things for me to talk about because I had a problem.
I grew, it’s better, and then I don’t even know what it was like before. Sometimes it’s hard to remember the things that I struggled with or the way my husband impacted me, or the way this relationship dynamic impacted me because it was like just everything. Changed just everything. Who I am today as a [00:01:00] result of this work is completely different than who I was before I began.
Just different in every way. It affects every relationship in my life. It affects everything that I do. Uh, there’s just no way that it hasn’t impacted me. Um, so, but this weekend, and this isn’t, That I’m perfect all the time. . It certainly doesn’t mean that I’m a hundred percent conscious all the time. Um, when I’m tired, which I bet you can relate.
When I’m tired, I go back to. Old patterns sometimes, but not even all the time. Like just last night we were leaving. We’ve been going to a new to us church. If you listen to me for a while, you’d probably like, what? Why are you gonna church? Well, I’m going because I want to have a community for [00:02:00] myself and especially my kids.
Where they are talking about this kind of stuff, the stuff that I love, the stuff that I talk about, the being love, you know, moving into love, being grateful and manifesting and knowing that there’s something out there supporting us, um, and knowing how to like, love other people and serve other people. I grew up Catholic and I always was inspired by everything that I heard.
Um, but I, it also held me down in a lot of ways because there’s so much fear in most religions and we have stumbled across this church. One day I was just kind of adamant that I wanted community, wanted community. And I decide, and I also wanted to serve. I wanted to be able to take these gifts that I have and use them in my community as well.
Cuz it’s love. I love to have clients, but if there’s some way I can serve my local community and just be involved in things, you know, helping different community, [00:03:00] like bringing food or, or whatever it is. I wanted to be involved and so I found this church that. It’s not Unitarian Universalist, which you might think of when you hear this, but it’s like a Christian Church, but they basically say like, your relationship with God is up to you and we’re not gonna tell you how to do it.
And so we’ve gone to three or four of their services so far, and the very first one was awesome. It was like God was like, let me give this girl some signs so she doesn’t leave this place and that man. Said things that I say all the time. Literally something that is on a Post-it note. Stuck to my computer right now.
Like he said, I think he said stuff that I’ve written in my book. Um, it was just really cool. It was, it was my language and I was like, okay, there’s something here. I guess we’ll keep coming. Um, and then since then, the other ones have been other things that I say, you know, talking about Unity and how the [00:04:00] division and this country is, you know, separating us from love and from ourselves.
Being hopeful and, uh, you know, releasing expectations. I mean, it’s really just phenomenal, right? Like it, I felt like we were home from the minute I walked through the door. And they have a fantastic program for kids and I’m so excited and I’m not here to talk about church today, , but. I just wanted to share that because my story is that we went to like a Christmas event at this church and we were on our way home last night and I’m not even fully sure what was too much for me.
What triggered me. My kids were being really loud. Um, my husband had like slept during the day, so he hadn’t been super involved on his one day off with the kids. I was really dis spent. I had failed to take care of myself. I was already past their bedtime and I pretty much [00:05:00] kind of turned into a pumpkin after 7:00 PM I don’t know if that’s like a turning 40 thing or what, but I was just done already and things were loud and had been loud all day and had been on my shoulders, um, for a good part of the day.
And the morning started off kind of stressful because I drank coffee. And I never fricking drink coffee anymore because it messes me up so much. I can’t like open my heart when I drink coffee, but I’d had a cup of coffee and then I had a meltdown because it was my son’s first wrestling match, and I was so worried that something was gonna happen to him.
So I started off on this. Emotional, stressed out, like heart racing kind of note. And it just didn’t really get better from there. I tried to take a nap and I got woken up during the day and then my husband came in like while I was trying to continue my nap and started snoring in my ear so I could go back to sleep.
And then I was frustrated cause I was trying to find a tool that could like schedule what I have to do for me and on and on it went and [00:06:00] I was just tapped out and I had a moment when we got home. I realized how grumpy I was. Even my husband was like, whoa. And he usually doesn’t have to say anything to me.
And I went in my office and I locked the door and I got out the journal and I just vented. You know, if you’re my client, that’s what I tell you to do is get out your journal and vent. Um, and all the stories I was telling myself were things that I haven’t heard myself say in. Things like I’m the only adult in the house.
I’m so tired of all the responsibilities being on me. And um, what else? Just basically like, woe is me and I’m so angry and so frustrated, which are all signs that I haven’t. Held my own boundary, like I haven’t taken care of myself. I messed up with the coffee. I never got my nap. I didn’t demand like the time I needed to [00:07:00] take care of me and do like meditation yesterday, and I really screwed up when I, when I, you know, down that coffee in the morning, I didn’t do my emotional hygiene and I hadn’t done it in maybe a couple days.
So it was just kind of interesting to go back and, you know, look at what I was saying and remember how I used to feel all the time, and I felt like such a victim of my circumstances and that I had just married. The wrong guy. I had like three kids instead of two, and I couldn’t do it all, and I was exhausted and it was all his fault.
that’s the key component, right? It was all his fault. And so when I did this work and I had this gift, now being on the other side, I know how in control I am of that experience. So one of the things that you don’t get to [00:08:00] experience if you don’t understand how your unhappy marriage is here for you is you don’t get to heal.
First of all, You’re just stuck in unhappiness. That’s where I was. I was carrying around, um, you know, emotional pain, emotional baggage from my childhood, from times when I was like three a baby, 6, 8, 14 . There were all these moments where I hadn’t been seen or understood as a. Hadn’t been met with empathy, really was a little bit neglected and had kind of cold parents, uh, for, for much of my life.
Not very affectionate, not very warm, definitely not empathetic, and if I hadn’t used my marriage to turn and face myself. And see why things bothered me. I never would have healed from my childhood or from anything in my [00:09:00] life. I wouldn’t be actively healing now when things happen, like when my dog passed away.
In 2021, I would’ve just shoved that down, shoved all that grief down and like moved on or even been proud of myself that I don’t cry easily, you know? Um, I wouldn’t be facing each moment, moment by moment right now. I would just be a total anxious mess. Absolutely an anxious mess. If you’re stuck in unhappiness in your marriage, then you’re not growing.
But the marriage gives you such a fantastic opportunity to do that because you live with this person 24 7. They’re gonna turn around and point you toward the stuff that you need to heal. They absolutely are going to awaken in you. Everything that you have neglected, ignored, um, tried to pretend it was okay, like from the day you were born, maybe even before you were born [00:10:00] onward.
And I think it’s just amazing how life gives us that mirror, that school to say, here’s the work you need to do. Um, I put it right here in front of your face. You can’t escape it. And it gives us these beautiful kids that we feel so much love for. We can’t imagine, causing them any pain or harm, because of a choice that we’ve made.
Of course, we want to do the best that we can do for them. So they give us this great impetus to keep the marriage together. And I think that was really kind of brilliant. I mean, God was like, okay, first give them babies. So they’re stuck . Cause they’re gonna do whatever they need to do to give these babies the best possible chance in life.
Um, so now that they’re stuck, okay, make their marriage suck, and then they’re, they’re going to use this marriage as a means to heal, evolve, [00:11:00] and expand. So that brings me to the next thing. If you use your marriage and the conflict in it, You can evolve. And by evolve I mean that you can take deficits in your knowledge, skills, or abilities, and you can grow in those areas.
You can develop. So I learned new communication skills. I learned empathy sounds so weird to say learn empathy cuz you feel like you should just be born with it. And my daughter naturally has it now, and my son does too because they’ve experienced it from us, which is the way it should be. But that’s not what I experienced.
So I had to learn empathy. And I also learned how to be a true leader. How to get people to behave differently without, you know, cracking a whip behind them. , how to get people to do things that are aligned to my vision [00:12:00] because they share the same vision. Um, leadership transcends. Just the home and family and being a parent or a wife or a husband, it’s obviously something that I have to do in my work and all the time.
Uh, recently I went to, so my son joined Cub Scouts and I’m so excited because it was gonna be an opportunity for my husband to be involved. We thought that that’s what was gonna happen and I was like, this is great. He can like take on this thing and he’ll have so much fun with him. And I had kind of.
Idea in my mind that boys should be with boys, that they should be with men. And I’m not, I’m not saying I’m sexist or anything, or that it’s bad for them to be around women, but I think there is value in spaces that are just, just really just for men. And technically the Boy Scouts allow girls now, but if you, I [00:13:00] went through their training and I’ll tell you why in a minute.
Actually want the girls and the boys to continue to be separate. But anyway, I really wanted my son to be around really good role model men and be around other boys and have that experience of learning how to, um, What it means to be like a really well rounded man. So I really wanted my husband involved and then he changed his shift at work and he couldn’t be involved anymore because they made the meetings on a night that he can’t go and nobody else in the troop can go on the night that he can’t.
So they asked me over and over and over again, and the last time I finally said, yes, I will help. And I’m. I’m excited about helping. Absolutely. Like now that I’ve admitted that I just have to let it go and be the one who’s gonna be involved. I took all the training and I’m looking forward to helping [00:14:00] with the meetings and being, I’m the assistant done leader, so there’s still a man running the show and I just kind of get to help him out.
Um, and I’m looking forward to it. But six years ago I would’ve been so. Shy and uncomfortable and lacking confidence, um, or taking total charge, not being shy, but like being so much in my ego about it and, you know, demanding that it be done a certain way or like bossing the other guy around or just not.
Knowing how to relate to people and how to inspire the kids and how to lead them. And I’m so grateful that I did this work, and now I know what it means to be a conscious leader and to work with other people and inspire and motivate them, and how to stay organized but not have lots of expectations or not be so afraid to make a mistake that [00:15:00] I, you know, overdo everything or don’t do it at all and freeze and don’t do.
So your unhappy marriage is asking you to heal, and it’s asking you to evolve as a person. But then the other gift it gave me that it can give you is that it asks you to expand. To expand into your fullest potential, really to expand into the reason why you came here to begin with, to take up space, to bring your gifts to the world, and to share them with other people.
Without being afraid to do it, without holding yourself back, without not doing it because you think you’re gonna let somebody else down or whatever it is, you’re asked to expand. Right. Before I did this work, I didn’t feel supported in starting a business or following my dream. I [00:16:00] would have talked myself out of it.
Um, I certainly would have done what I did , which if you haven’t followed my story, A surplus came up at my work. I worked for a really large telecommunications company who was always laying off people and they targeted our department in a surplus. And I volunteered for it because it was a guaranteed severance, um, for quite a while.
And I was like, Ooh, that would be a great way to start my parent coaching business with that money. Now, I don’t know so much that I would recommend that to people. I would say grow your business first and when it exceeds your day job, then move into it. But I don’t regret doing it, but I never would have done that before this work.
I absolutely, I, number one, I would’ve asked permission and I wouldn’t have got it, um, from my husband. And number two, I just would’ve been. Shitless, basically, I wouldn’t have been able to leave [00:17:00] that kind of security behind, or to take that leap. And sometimes in life, you do have to take a leap, especially if that’s where your heart is calling you toward, especially if that’s your dream.
If there’s, if it’s too painful to not follow the dream, then you must follow. Because all we’re asked to do is to stay aligned to our soul and to stay aligned to our purpose. And if we’re too afraid to stay aligned, then we’re just kind of, we’re gonna go through life. It’s gonna be all right. And then maybe some days something happens and maybe closer to our death bed.
We realize all the things that we really wanted to do, probably were meant to do, but we’re too afraid to do ’em. Or we jump in and follow that dream when we’re so old that it’s like really hard to do it by then. , I feel like the [00:18:00] earlier on you can get back into alignment with your path, the better.
Of course, I’m not telling anybody to quit their job, you know, make smart decisions for you. Like I said, if I had it to do over, um, I might have preferred to have a thriving business before I, uh, left that paycheck behind, but, In any event, I think it’s so critical for us to know that we are here to expand and we are not here to play it small and to play it safe.
We’re here to take risks and to do things that not, I don’t wanna say seem scary because I think that fear is here for reason, and I don’t want you to move against fear. I want you to move with love. There’s a big difference between moving against fear, like saying, I’m so afraid, but I’m gonna do it anyway, and moving with love.
When you’re in a space of love and you feel really [00:19:00] confident and you feel really alive, and it just absolutely seems like the right choice, that’s what you want to follow. Always move with love. The last reason why an unhappy marriage holds us back is. It holds our kids back too. And let me share something else with you.
I, I had a client tell me the other day, she’s like, you know, I’ve got a kid who’s approaching adolescence and you know, I’m realizing how all this work needed to be done for this child because, Also is going to not do what I tell him to do. He’s also gonna push me and be himself and be different. And if she hadn’t done the work to come into acceptance of her husband just the way he is, then she would’ve run into all the same work with her teenager or eventual teenager.
So, Number one, it makes your life [00:20:00] harder as a parent if you don’t use your own happy marriage to heal, evolve, and expand now. But number two is that your kids are going to do whatever it is you do. They are going to have the same kinds of relationship dynamics with their future spouses or friends or loved ones or coworkers that you are showing them in your house.
So just like I said, my daughter just naturally does empathy now. Um, that’s a huge lack out for her. I struggled to learn how to be empathetic. My clients struggle. It feels very, very foreign to us. And so now my daughter has this. Powerful gift of just knowing how to sit with somebody and how to not take away their pain, but help, like reflect things for them and help them grow from whatever it is they’re going through.
Like, isn’t that the most beautiful gift you could give your child? I feel like it absolutely is. And [00:21:00] then, you know, another client talks about the way her daughter so boldly and bravely and proudly protects her boundaries and doesn’t let parents or other people push her around. Like that’s, that’s what we want for them.
We want them to be strong adults who know that they are in control of their lives and they’re in control of their choices and their reactions, and that their consequences that they experience are here to help them grow and evolve. It’s such a beautiful gift that you give your kids when you can look at why you’re unhappy in your marriage, and then use it.
Use it heal, because happiness is not coming from the person you’re with. It’s coming from inside you, and if it’s not there, then it means that there’s something in you that’s being ignored. There’s some part of you that [00:22:00] you have repressed or forgotten, or is laying there curled up in a ball, wounded and desperately needs you to give her what she needed.
An unhappy marriage is so powerful. It’s the person here to reflect to you who you are or aren’t being, how authentic you are or aren’t being. It’s really, it’s an incredibly powerful school that we are put through. You know, sometimes life is the teacher. In other circumstances, um, because I, I would say God source will do his work however he needs to.
Um, I think we come here with a mission and we forget it as soon as we’re born. And then life is here to wake us up to it. And if you aren’t using life to wake you up, then you’re gonna be back like. And then why do that? Why do it around two? Right? Your kids are [00:23:00] probably disappointed cuz, cuz they came here to watch you do this thing and now you’re not doing it.
And they’re like, oh, dang it , why? Why couldn’t you just do the thing that you were supposed to do when we came here? Remember we talked about this in heaven, you were gonna come down and do this awesome thing and like save the world. And. You got stuck in this marriage and you didn’t see how it was here to wake you up and then you divorced and then you just were on the struggle bus for the rest of your life.
Like why mom, why? Um, I think it’s really incredibly powerful to look at these areas where we feel like happy there’s something between us and happiness and realize that we are the thing in between us and happiness, and we can get out of our own way once we heal, evolve, and expand. I hope that was helpful today.
I’m really excited for all of my beautiful listeners. I got some statistics from the place where I host my podcast [00:24:00] the other day, and I’m really grateful that you’re all here. If you ever have questions for me, you can email me firstname.lastname@example.org. I will talk to you next week. Have a really beautiful day.
If you’d like to master your emotions and learn exactly what they mean, download my free emotion assessment called The Princess & The Peeve. You can also purchase my masterclass on emotions called Royally Guarded. You’ll learn what your emotions feel like, what their Royal Quest is, and how to use them to take action.