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Earlier this week my hubby said to me “I think you became a life coach so you could stay married to me.”

I didn’t argue.

I was really struggling in my 2nd marriage when I found life coaching. I was afraid we weren’t going to make it. Now the opposite is true. I have the best husband in the world.

If you’re struggling in your marriage, here are 3 steps you can take to change your experience.

Step 1: Learn to love yourself.

This is hard for a lot of people. At the core of all of us is some version of “I’m not enough.” It’s part of the human condition. But this is something you can learn, practice, and overcome.

You are 100% worthy and lovable exactly as you are.

Your spouse cannot actually make you feel loved. It isn’t possible. What really happens is your spouse says or does something, then you have a thought like “He loves me,” and then you feel loved.

It is your job to make yourself feel loved, not your spouse’s.

Think of your self worth like an operating system for a computer. When you are running “I’m not enough” your brain is on the lookout for evidence to prove this true. So when your spouse says or does something, you will think something like “He doesn’t love me,” “I’m not good enough,” or “There must be something wrong with me.”

Alternatively, when you’re running “I am enough,” your brain is on the lookout for evidence to prove this true. So when your spouse says or does something, you will think something like “That’s not about me, it’s about him,” or “He must be having a bad day.”

Loving yourself changes your operating system. It makes it so much easier to think thoughts that help you feel loved.

Your spouse is not the problem.

Step 2: Take care of your own needs.

It isn’t your spouse’s job to make you happy. That’s your job.

Spend some time figuring out what fills your vessel, what gives you energy, what you need to show up as the best version of yourself.

And then start taking care of those things. Add them into your life intentionally. Don’t wait around for someone to do it for you.

Step 3: Throw away your manual.

When you buy a new appliance, it comes with an instruction manual. Right now, you probably have an instruction manual for your spouse.

He should help more around the house. She should want to have sex more often. He shouldn’t spend so many hours at work. She should pay me more attention.

These are just examples, yours may be entirely different. Or they might sound like “A good husband…”/”A good wife…”

Your manual is there, under the surface, even if you haven’t verbalized it.

I’m sure you can give me very good reasons for having these expectations. And yes, I’m sure all your friends would agree with you. But so what? They are poison to your marriage. Just get rid of them. Throw your manual away.

Your spouse is there for you to love. Period.

When you can love them for exactly who they are, with no expectations, you will have a completely different experience in your marriage.

These 3 steps don’t require your spouse to change at all. You can have the marriage you want. You can be blissfully happy if you want to.

If you’re unhappy in your marriage right now, and thinking about leaving, I’m going to challenge you to stay until you’re happy in it. You will take yourself into your next relationship. If you’re still expecting your partner to make you feel loved, to make you happy, to live up to your expectations… you’re going to have the same problems in your next relationship.

Follow these steps. Take your power back and experience your marriage the way you want to. Once you’re happy, then you can decide if you want to leave or not. You may still want to, simply because it’s not what you want. But you won’t be leaving so you can feel better. You can feel better right now.

If you’re having trouble applying these steps, don’t hesitate to contact me. I’ve been where you are. I know how to get where you want to go. I can help you find your way.

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