In my most recent in-person training, we had two students who were having trouble with their husbands. They were frustrated and felt like their marriages could be better.
After I got done coaching one of these students, she asked me what the point of having a husband was, and she was stunned by my answer – just so you have someone to love.
So many of us often get confused about the reasons why we get married. We have a lot of desires and needs and expect our partners to fulfil those things; and when they don’t, we tend to use it as a cause for frustration.
On this episode of The Life Coach School, we’re taking a deep dive into relationships. We cover how you can use life coaching tools like The Model, Emotional Adulthood, and The Manual to improve your relationships and enjoy them to best of your ability.
This is an important one, so make sure you don’t miss it… click “play” below!
Grab your copy of our new Wisdom From The Life Coach School Podcast book. It covers a decade worth of research, on life-changing topics from the podcast, distilled into only 200 pages. It’s the truest shortcut to self-development we have ever created!
What you will discover
- Why so many of us are unhappy in our marriages.
- The ONLY way we ever experience love.
- Why I feel like couples therapy is like bondage.
- Relationship dynamics and why it’s important to understand how they work.
- How you can use the tools I’ve taught you on previous episodes to improve your relationship.
- Easy way to tell what EXACTLY you need to work on.
Featured on the show
Welcome to The Life Coach School podcast, where it's all about real clients, real problems and real coaching. Now, your host, Master Coach Instructor, Brooke Castillo.
Well, hello my friends. Here's how this has gone down. I asked you guys a couple of episodes ago to commit reviews. You did so. Many of you did so. This is the Monday following that episode that I'm recording this, and so far, we have, I think it's 900 reviews or pretty close to 900 reviews. My hope is that by the time you listen to this, we have 1,000. Yes, I want it to be 1,000 by the end of the year so I'm really hoping that that happens and I really appreciate all of you guys who took the time to do that.
Here's the thing, I just got back from working with my coach and that's always an amazing experience. He's a very amazing, very kind person that pushes me very hard when it comes to my own self-development and my own business. I am like on a whole new planet as I come back and record this for you all. Today, I'm going to talk to you guys…first of all, let me just tell you something, I've been talking about this new course that I'm coming up with and I'm going to be launching it very soon. I just worked with my coach on it so please make sure you keep an ear out. I am going to be announcing it probably in the podcast after next. I'm going to do a whole episode on the course that I'm going to be teaching and the invites that I will have going out to you all. Keep your ears, eyes and I guess not your mouths, but keep your ears out for that.
Today, what we're talking about is someone to love. The reason I decided to do a podcast on this was because of one of my students in my recent in-person training. Actually, there were two of my students who were having current struggles with their husbands and were frustrated and feeling like their marriages could be better and we did a lot of coaching around it. One of the questions that one of the students asked me was, "So what's the point of having a husband then?", after I coached her. My answer to her was, "Just so you have someone to love." It was stunning for her to hear that because I think a lot of times we get confused over why we're married and we come with all of our expectations. We come with all of our needs and all of our desires and we expect the person in our life to fulfill those things and when they don't, we then use that for a cause of frustration.
I'm going to go through in this podcast and talk about relationships but one of the things that will be interesting for me to cover as we go through relationships is all of the other tools that I've already taught you and how they apply to relationships. For example, the manual and having a manual for someone and the model and taking responsibility of your own thoughts and emotional adulthood and how important that is, and truly understanding unconditional love. Those are some major tools that I've already taught you that really apply when it comes to our relationships.
Let me start by reminding you what love is. If you haven't listened to the episode on unconditional love, I want to recommend that you do. For those of you who are new, I just want to let you know that we just added a new search option on our website so if you're going to thelifecoachschool.com, make sure you put thelifecoachschool.com, and you go to the Podcasts page, there's a little search window there now where you can search for any of the podcast topics and they will come up for you.
You want to search for “unconditional love” if you haven't listened to that one yet because if you're in a relationship that isn't going as well as you would like it to, you definitely want to understand that concept. I'm going to review it briefly here. It's very counter intuitive for us because it's the way that we are raised when it comes to love, to understand that love is an emotion that we feel, and when we feel the emotion of love, we take action from the emotion of love.
I sometimes like to say, "Love is acted out of love." When we are feeling love, we act out of love and when we're feeling love, the only way that we can ever feel love is the same exact way we can only feel any emotion.
Let's review the model. Our thoughts create our feelings, which create our actions, which create our results. The only way it is possible for us to feel emotions is with our thinking. If we are unconscious, we do not feel emotion. It does not matter what anyone says to us, what anyone does to us, what's happening in the world, nothing happens unless our brain is consciously thinking.
Do not underestimate the power of this truth. So many of us think that we experience emotion based on what's happening in the world, based on energy fields, based on what people say or do or don't say or don't do, but that cannot be true because if we're unconscious, we feel nothing. Consciousness means we are thinking.
The only time you will ever experience love is if you have a thought that causes it. I want to break this down for you. If somebody that you love, say your husband says to you, "I love you.", you may falsely believe that the reason you're experiencing love is because he said that. I promise you that is not the case. The only reason you'll ever feel love is because of a thought you have, so the circumstance maybe that your husband tells you that he loves you. You will have a thought when he says that and that thought will either cause you to feel love or not.
A lot of times, someone can tell you that they love you and you don't feel love because of a thought you have. A lot of times, people can tell you that they don't love you and you feel love because of a thought you have. You're always in control of whether you're feeling loved or not.
The question then becomes how often do you feel love, and when you think about your relationship with your husband or with your wife or with your significant other…if you are not feeling love "towards" them, if you are not feeling love "from" them, it is only because you're not thinking in a way that causes you to feel love. People will say, "Oh I'm not loving him right now.", and I'll say, "Why are you choosing not to love them? It's always a choice." "I don't feel love from them right now." Well that's impossible. You cannot feel love from another person. You can only feel an emotion that you think about in your brain.
Stay with me on this, you guys. This is so important. You get to decide how you want to feel towards your husband or your wife or your significant other at any moment. If you aren't feeling loving, it's because of what you're thinking. If you are feeling loving, it's because of what you're thinking, not because of what they're doing.
For example, my clients will come to me and they will say, "I'm having an issue with my husband." I'm using the word husband here a lot because the two women that I coach this on were women and they were married to men and so talking about husbands but please just insert whoever your significant other is into that terminology.
They were giving me reasons as to why they weren't loving their husbands and those reasons were all because of the actions that their husbands were not doing. They were saying, "He should appreciate me. He should love me. He should care for me. He should adore me. He should be more thoughtful." What I ask was, "Why?" This goes to the idea of the manual. If they were to act in this very certain way, then I would for sure feel a certain way. We start to believe that other people's actions dictate our emotions. This is very bad news because then all of a sudden, I have to control this other person in order for me to feel a certain way, and then I start turning into a cray-cray person trying to control and manage someone else's behavior, which nobody enjoys, and by the way is impossible. They never comply completely with what you want them to do in order to make you feel a certain way.
When you think of a thought like, "I wish my husband was more appreciative. I wish he would remember my birthday. I wish he would be more snuggly. I wish he would be more complimentary," whatever it is that you're telling yourself. It may sound very innocent. It may sound very sweet even, "Oh I just wish that he would recognize that I am always doing all the laundry," or whatever it is, but as soon as you put yourself in that position where someone else's behavior's determining how you feel, you will feel hopeless and completely out of control.
I was explaining this to a few of my students and one of the students said, "Then what's the point of having a husband? If they're not there to love you, why in the world would you have a husband?" I said, "Even if your husband feels love towards you, you don't feel that love. Those are his emotions. You don't feel the emotions he feels. You feel the emotion you feel. Have you ever been in a situation where someone was feeling loving towards you and you weren't feeling loving towards them? Yes, that's possible, right? Because we both are responsible and we both have full control of our own emotional lives. It's not your husband's job to love you for your sake. Your husband's job may be to love you for his sake, and your job my friend is to love him for your sake, if that's what you want to feel."
This is what causes issues, right? I want to love my husband but I have all these rules in place for what he has to do in order for me to feel love towards them. What I tell people to do is to drop all the rules, to drop the manual and just let your husband's job be to be there so you can love him.
I'll give you an example of my puppies. You guys know how obsessed I am and how much I love my puppies. Most people buy animals so they can love them, so they can experience love and the dogs usually love us unconditionally and it can get very easy for us to love them unconditionally. Sometimes they're naughty and it's not so easy but most of the time, it's easy to love a pet and we always love having pets in our lives because they're such a joy and our expectations are low of them and so we just truly get to enjoy the fact that this animal is on the planet and existing. We don't get mad if it reacts a different way. We don't think that we have to get rid of the dog if it doesn't love us in the proper way. It's just always like the dog, it's the dog and we have to love the dog.
I think that's why we have so much joy with our pets increasingly, and when it comes to our husbands, it seems like we make it very hard for us to love them. When I say love them, I mean have loving thoughts about them so we experience the emotion of love. Now when you experience the emotion of love, you will act in a loving way. That's fun, fun for your husband. It's fun for you. You get to appreciate your own behavior. You get to appreciate your own feeling of love, but you do it for your sake. It's actually very selfish. I'm always saying, "Love yourself and him for very selfish reasons." I've talked a lot about how when I go to therapy and when I would take classes in college and they would talk about the idea that when you're doing couples therapy, that each of the couples should come and talk about what their needs are and then tell the other person how they can meet their needs and how I always thought that was such bondage.
I cannot imagine me giving Chris, my husband, a list of all of my needs and expecting him to meet them, or him giving me a list of all his needs, God help us, and expecting me to meet them. That will be bondage. It would feel like a job that I didn't even want.
That doesn't mean that we don't say, "Hey, it will be totally great if you would do this thing. I would love that. This is my preference," and then if it's fun and easy for me to do it, I'm happy to do it. That's a great time. Chris and I like to come together and say, "Hey, I'll meet my needs. You meet your needs and the rest of it is just a great time. Anything else is just gravy. I don't have to go around having conversations with you all the time about how you should behave and what you should you do differently in order for me to be happy and blame my unhappiness on you. That's a lot of unhappiness. If I'm feeling unhappy, it's because of the thoughts I'm thinking, not because of something you're doing or you're not doing."
I really want you to think about it. If you don't love your husband, that's on you. If you don't feel loving towards him, that's on you. Now I'm not saying that in some situations, you're going to have to work a little bit harder than others, but when you own that, you get all your power back. People always say to me, "Okay, well if I love my husband, why would I ever leave him?" I say, "Because you want to. You don't have to wait him to leave. You don't have to not love him to leave. You know what you get to do? Whatever you want. That is the truth. You want to stay with your husband? Stay with him. You want to leave your husband? Leave him, and whatever you're doing is what you want to do."
People say, "I cannot leave my husband." I say, "Of course, you can." "Financially, I cannot do it with the kids, I cannot ...", I said, "Oh it's not that you cannot, you just don't want to. You don't want to leave because of the kids. You don't want to leave because of finances. Tell yourself the truth about that. Own that. Own the emotions that that creates when you think about it in that way. Love yourself and him for selfish reasons because you want to feel love. You want a relationship where you feel love all the time, you can have that immediately if you manage your mind and you can still leave if you want."
Isn't that crazy? We think that we have to talk ourselves into hating someone or we have to cheat on them or we have to make it horrible so we have a reason to leave. Things have been bad for years or whatever, we say, but you could say, "I love this person. I choose to love this person and I don't want to live with them anymore. I don't want to be married to them anymore." Whatever it is, you get to decide but don't put yourself in a place of misery and then leave, thinking that leaving will somehow make you more joyous because you will end up right where you are with that same brain in another situation. I promise you that, the hundreds and hundreds of clients I've watched it happen.
What's the point of having a husband? Just so you have an object to love, an object of your affection. Affection is an emotion you create. Love is an emotion you create. Compassion is an emotion you create.
Let me break this down for you. I can look at my husband, Chris, and I can think about all the ways that I love him. There are so many ways. I will tell you, I've practiced loving him. When I first met him, it's actually quite interesting. I was just talking to one of my friends about this and she was saying that there are alpha women and there are alpha men and there are beta women and there are beta men, and she had worked with a coach who had explained this to her and explained that she was an alpha woman and that alpha women are typically very attracted to alpha men, but alpha men are not typically attracted to alpha women. Usually, those relationships have challenge in them. She said, so what happens is sometimes alpha women, which I'm an alpha woman obviously, I'm very in control, powerful, I want to be in charge. I want to be the one leading. I want to be the one making decisions. What women like us alpha women do is we sometimes fall in love with what they call a beta man who's just more chill and easygoing and we try and make that guy into an alpha.
So funny when she said that, I'm like, "Oh my God, I totally did that to Chris when we first met." He's just like, "Hey, I don't really care what we do, it's you. I don't really need to own my own business but if you want to, let's work it out." He's just so chill, easygoing, supportive, not like wanting to go out there and make all the decisions at all. It's just not his personality. Then I'll get all mad at him. I'd be like, "You should make more decisions. You should lead this. You should decide where we're going on vacation." I talked about this a little bit on the podcast I think it was last year. I talked about how I got to this point in my career where I was like I just want him to lead our career and I want to stay home and he can go and go back. He worked at Hewlett-Packard for 19 years. He can go back to Hewlett-Packard.
Everyone was like laughing. They told me, "What are you going to do? Sit at home?" Yes, that's what I'm going to do. It's so interesting how I wanted him to be different so I could feel differently and of course he was never going to change. He never would change. He's like, "I have to be a crazy person.", and he would just be like, "I don't know what you're doing but I just love you and I love our life and I just want to support you and I want to live my life this way and this is what I want for my life and it's not what you want me to do but that's okay."
That was a huge turning point for us when I really figured out that my happiness and my expectations of myself are what matter and my expectations of Chris are really irrelevant when it comes to my own happiness. I think that is really a hard thing for us to wrap our minds around because we have these expectations of other people in our lives and we're very disappointed when they don't meet them. As soon as I let that go in my relationship with him, we have had such a peaceful, wonderful marriage since then and I could have really messed that up, I mean really had I kept my manual for him and tried to change him. He for sure would have been like, "I'm out of here", and I would have sure been increasingly frustrated with him not being more like me is what I was frustrated about.
One of my girlfriends told me, especially in relationship to my business and she was laughing. She's like, "Why does he need to be more like you? You have you." It's just stunning. "Why does he need to be the strategist? Why does he need to be out there doing all these things? You're the one that loves doing that." I was like, "Oh, so good for me to know." As soon as I stopped trying to change him into something I thought would be better and easier for me to love, then I really got to appreciate who he is as he is, without trying to change him, and that's when the love was just flowing all the time.
The thing that's amazing about Chris is he is genuinely one of the best people I've ever met and I know that that's true because Chris doesn't say negative things about people. He's always giving people the benefit of the doubt. He always has their back. He always wants to give. The way that he treats customers in our business is unrealistic. He will call you at any time of the day. He will respond to your email. He'll make sure that you're happy. He'll go above and beyond to make sure you're taken care of. Just yesterday night, we were sitting and we were watching the Cubs game and it was a really close game and we were both totally into it and someone called him on his phone wanting to cancel their membership. I have a Stop Overdrinking program and somebody wanted to cancel and this was a Sunday that we were watching the game. I said, "Take care of that on Monday. It's not a rush." He said, "No, I just want to make sure she's taken care of" and like jumps up and goes to the computer and makes sure. I'm like “this is someone that's canceling. This isn't someone that wants to buy something.” He just wants to make sure that that person is taken care of and taken care of in a timely manner and everything.
I just love that about him and I love how he always has my back on everything. I'm like, "Oh I cannot believe I did that." He's like, "Oh this is probably why that happened and this is probably why you did that and you probably had a really good reason and you're the best." He's always looking for the good in everyone and he's such an amazing dad and the way that he supports our kids and he's always home for them. He's always willing to drive them wherever they want to go and put up with their teenage attitudes, all of it.
I could just sit here and go on and on and on. Know this, when I think about my husband and everything that's amazing about him, I'm filled with love. He's not even here. He won't listen to the podcast. He won't know that I've said any of this. He won't feel the love from this but I feel the love from this because I focus on the things about him. It does not hurt that he's very, very good-looking and I don't know how it's possible that men get better looking as they get older. He gets a cruel joke but he really does. I think he just gets hotter every time I see him, and there's no other man that I ever look at that I feel that way towards. It's not like I have to steer my eyes away and focus on him. I just want to.
Those are the decisions that I made. Chris and I have always talked, we were just talking the other day and I said, "Oh my God, what if I went somewhere and there was this guy and I thought he was better than you somehow, like amazing and I fell in love with him?" Chris is like, "This is a really fun conversation." Then I think about Chris, he's usually like that all the time. He's like, "Yeah, but you would have to decide to let your mind to go there." By the way, my husband doesn't do any of this coaching stuff. He thinks the model is so obvious. He doesn't understand why we all have to learn it.
He said, "Would you let your mind go somewhere with another man? You have to allow your mind to do that in order to be thinking about that guy in that way." I was like, "It's so true because I thought there are other men out there that I would be attracted to if I let my mind to go there but I just don't. It's irrelevant. It's like I don't even see it.
Some of you will come back to me and say, "Okay, so what you're saying is…" I actually had one of my students say this to me. She's like, "What you're saying is I should just have la di da, happy thoughts about my husband all the time even though he's not satisfying me, even though he's rude to me, even though he is cheating on me, even though he doesn't respect me,” even though they'll say to me, "I've fallen out of love with him" like that's something that is involuntary that happens to us. What I say back to them is, "You are responsible for how you feel. You are responsible for how you think. You are not responsible for your husband's behavior but you are responsible for how you interpret his behavior and what you focus on and you are responsible for how you show up based on how you're feeling. So many times I hear clients say to me, "My husband was rude to me.", and I'll say, "How did you feel when you thought he was rude to me?", and they'll say, "Disrespected." Then I'll say, "How did you act towards him?" They'll say, "Rude and disrespectful."
The alternative is when you interpret the way someone else behaves in a way that serves you when you take responsibility for it, then you can take responsibility for how you show up in the world. It's not okay if you believe someone else is being disrespectful to answer with disrespect. It doesn't justify it and it makes you feel twice as bad as the first thought that he was being disrespectful.
You're responsible for how you feel in your relationship. I cannot say that enough times. As soon as you blame him for how you are feeling, you lose all of your own emotional adulthood, all of your own power. Then you start acting in a way that you're not proud of and then your relationship deteriorates. If you decide that no matter what, you will love the person in your life, you will have more power than you can ever imagine in your own personal growth and it doesn't mean that you stay but you don't leave in order to get out of the pain because there's no way to go. Pain is inside of you. It's in your brain. You cannot run away from it. You don't leave pain in an old house. You bring it with you. You don't leave pain in an older relationship. You bring it with you because you bring your brain with you.
What if your husband's only job was to live his life exactly the way he's living it and to be the object of your desire? To provide you with a reason to feel loving, you're like, "What is she talking about? He needs to take that garbage out. He needs to pick those kids up. He needs to help me around the house. My husband's nothing like Chris" is what you might be saying, but the truth is your husband is the person that you married, is the person that or your boyfriend, whatever, is the person that you're with and you get to decide how you want to feel in that relationship. How is it knowing that you get to decide 100%?
Now I also want to give you a little tip. If you are constantly trying to control someone and have them be different than they are, if you are constantly criticizing someone for the way that they behave so you can feel more appreciated, I want you to think of how they may interpret that and feel. Whatever it is you're wanting from that person is exactly what you need to provide for yourself and then you get to show up for that other person in a way that's authentic to you, not in a way that tries to manipulate how they feel or tries to manipulate their behavior so you can feel a certain way. It's a huge difference.
The other person's job, this is my answer to the question, the why even get married, if their job isn't to appreciate you and love you and adore you, then why even get married, so they will be there for you to love. Your only job is to just live your life in the exact way that you want to live it and let me love you on purpose.
Isn't that what we all want to be told? Isn't that what we all want to be part of? I'm telling you it's really the only option if you want to be in love with someone all the time because if Chris had to act a certain way in order for me to be in love with him, I would be screwed because he would never comply, but if all he has to do is show up and live his life exactly the way he wants to live it, then I get to love him no matter what. That's a beautiful environment to live in. It doesn't mean we don't make requests and it certainly doesn't mean we don't falter but if we remember that the end game is to try and feel loved as much as we possibly can and the best way to feel love is to think about our loved one in a loving way, then we get to experience that love. That's as easy as it gets and as hard as it gets but that is the secret to all lasting and wonderful relationships is that you allow that person to be who they are, as if you have a choice, and then you spend your time appreciating and loving them for exactly that.
If you don't believe me, try it out. I promise you, you will not come back to me and complain about it because there's nothing better than feeling unconditional love all the time. Feeling love all the time is the best, so do that for yourself and for the person in your life. I'll talk to you guys next week.
Thank you for listening to The Life Coach School podcast. It is my honor to show up here every week and connect with people that are like-minded, wanting to take their life to a deeper level with more awareness and more consciousness. If you are interested in taking this work to the next level, I highly encourage you to go to thelifecoachschool.com/howtofeelbetteronline. It is there that I have a class that will take all of this to a deeper application where you'll be able to really feel and experience how all of these concepts can start showing up in your life. It's one thing to learn it intellectually. It's another thing to truly apply it to your life. I will see you there. Thanks again for listening.