27

How Parenting Detours Affect Your Marriage, with Aimee Gianni

Sometimes the parenting road is pretty smooth and easy, and sometimes it gets really rocky. It can almost feel like there’s no road at all and you have to pave a new path in some uncharted territory. When that happens, there’s bound to be some differing opinions about which direction to head and how to get there, and that can put a lot of strain on a marriage. Tune into this episode with Aimee Gianni, LMFT and Master Coach as we talk about some of the ways parenting detours affect marriage and how you can navigate those. 

To contact Aimee: visit her website at aimeegianni.com  or follow her on IG: @aimeegiannims

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Podcast Transcript

You’re listening to parenting through the detour, Episode 27. How parenting detours affect your marriage with Amy Gianni? How are Wu Hunter said, Your detours and disappointments are the straight and narrow way back to him. And we know that men and women are that they might have joy. But when you get taken on a parenting detour, it feels like joy is something that other people get to feel. But not you. It doesn’t have to be this way. Join me on this podcast. And let’s find some joy through your detours. And I’ll give you some help along the way. I’m your host, Tina Gosney. And I’m a life and relationship coach, and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Tina Gosney

Hi, Friends, welcome back to this podcast, I’m so glad that you’re here. And I know you’re going to absolutely love this episode with Amy Gianni, she is amazing. And like I say in my introduction that I give her, she’s my coach, she’s my mentor. And I just have learned so much from her. And I know that you will, too as you listen to this episode. And I think there’s one thing that’s pretty universal as I talk to parents. And that is that the situation’s they find themselves in with their kids are creating some sort of conflict in their marriage. So they’re finding themselves not on the same page as their spouse. And that also is adding to the stress of the situation that they’re dealing with in their life. So we also work on marriage relationships, as I’m coaching them on their relationships with their child. And if this sounds like you, if this sounds like something that you’re dealing with, or something that rings true for you, I want you to sign up for my relationship, reset workshop, it begins in January on the 13th, it’s going to be Thursdays and it’s four weeks in a row, this workshop is going to be so great. And it doesn’t just apply to parent child relationships, it applies to marriage relationships, or relationships with friends, or with coworkers, I mean, the things that I’m going to teach you will help you all around the board with whoever you’re dealing with. So sign up for that workshop, I’m going to put a link to that in the show notes. And I am really looking forward to seeing you there, I know you’re going to get so much value out of this workshop. And until then, enjoy this conversation that I had with Amy Gianni. And I look forward to seeing you next week. Hey, so I’m here talking today about how parenting detours affect marriage. And I’m here with Amy Gianni. She’s a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a life coach. And she happens to be one of my coaches and one of my mentors. I’ve attended several of Amy’s trainings, and they’re just amazing. And I knew that when I decided to talk about marriage that and how that affects, you know, our children’s choices affect our marriage that Amy was going to be a really good choice to come on, and have a talk and a discussion about that. So she has a lot of valuable information. And she’s really tuned into couples and their challenges, and to forming better and more intimate connections with each other, regardless of the circumstances that we find ourselves in our life. So Amy, welcome to the podcast. I’m so happy that you’re here.

Aimee Gianni

Thank you. Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to be here.

Tina Gosney

Oh good. Would you go ahead and introduce yourself to the listeners?

Aimee Gianni

Yeah. So, like you said, I’m a marriage and family therapist and have been for many, many years. And then a few years back, I added life coaching to my practice, because I thought it just added such a great element and so many helpful tools. And I work with individuals, I work with couples and I love it relationships are my favorite thing to talk about favorite thing to read about like I just can’t get enough. And then I also do trainings like you said, I offer an advanced relationship training for coaches as well as I helped run the coaching collective with my sister, Molly Claire, so we kind of doing a few different things.

Tina Gosney

Yes. And your trainings are amazing. And I have to agree with you about relationships. That’s why I’m a relationship coach because they’re my favorite thing to talk about too. And I think they’re out of all the things that you can coach on. I think relationships like if you don’t have those as a strength in your life and is a strong foundation, that everything else just doesn’t even matter. It just kind of falls apart if you don’t have that strong foundation with, especially with your family relationships.Because it’s such a big part of our life, that when that’s out of sync, it just feels like everything is right. Yeah, yeah. And when it is in sync, and when you feel like that’s a strength and something that you can count on, it feels like everything else is more manageable.

Aimee Gianni

Yes, absolutely. And they have studies that that talk about that. And it’s just so true. When you have that solid foundation of good relationships, not perfect relationships, no relationship is perfect. But when you have those secure relationships, you can face anything so much better, right?

Tina Gosney

Yes, yes, I totally agree. And I usually work with the wife, but not always, sometimes I work with the husband or the Father. And I’ve noticed though, that mothers tend to struggle, when their child is taking a detour when their child is doing, you know, unexpected, taken a hard left, or however you want to define it, that the mothers are usually the ones that struggle more than the fathers. And there’s, you know, that saying, like, when mom’s not happy, nobody’s happy, which is really true. It carries over into the whole family. But why do you think that the mother struggles more than the Father? Generally? Not every time but generally, that’s usually what happens.

Aimee Gianni

Yeah, we know, I think there’s some interesting things at play, I think, I mean, of course, there’s the biological bond that we have with our children, right. as mothers, I was just talking about this, the other day with my girlfriend who’s pregnant, we were talking about how, as soon as you even think you’re pregnant, right? You love that baby so so much, and you have this biological connection to them. So there’s that piece of it that I think so much of it, too, is cultural expectations. Because I think as moms, often we are told like this is your job is to take care of this little human, right, you are their survival, and that it’s our job to raise them up the way we want them to be. Right. And so fathers of course, plays such an important role and equally important role. But I think a lot of cultural pressure goes on to the moms that this is your divine calling this is your, this is your role, this is your most important role, this is the thing that you need to succeed at the most. And then we have this expectation that if we just do it right enough, whatever that means. That, um, that they’re going to take on all of our values, and they’re going to make all the decisions the exact same way we would make the decisions. And so I think there’s this cultural pressure, and then we just internalize that. And we make it mean all sorts of things about us right when our child does or doesn’t do something. And so not only do we make it mean something about us, but we also make it mean that if we don’t do it right enough, or the way we think we were supposed to, that our children are going to suffer because of what we have done. And I think as moms, that’s one of the hardest things to, to think about. I don’t believe that that’s true. But I think that’s a lot of the faulty thinking that we take on. Right.

Tina Gosney

Yeah. And we don’t want our It’s hard enough to see your children suffering, and going through hard things. But then to think and have the idea that it was you that caused that. Yeah, seems pretty unbearable.

Aimee Gianni

Yes, yes. As a mom, there’s nothing worse than that. And of course, none of that’s true.

Tina Gosney

Right. But it feels so true.

Aimee Gianni

It’s so true. Yeah. Yeah. And I remember, I mean, this is kind of personal. But um, a couple years ago, I went through something with one of my boys. And I remember feeling like a total failure. And this is me as a therapist, and as a coach and knowing all of this, right. Yeah. But I remember thinking, and I think I even said out loud. Oh, my gosh, I had one job and I blew it. Right, what like, what a painful thought. And of course, that’s not true. But I felt that way that felt so true to me, that I had failed my child. And so I made it mean all sorts of terrible things about me. But, but even worse than that is because I’m inadequate. Now my child is suffering. Right, which again, not true, but it felt so true.

Tina Gosney

Yeah. And there’s so much to unpack in what you just said. Yes. Right. Because first of all, there’s the idea that our child shouldn’t suffer. Exactly, which is not true. But then there’s the idea that we can cause that suffering or that by some failing on our part that, you know that one thing that we fail to do, or the thing that we maybe missed when they were growing up, and that is going to ruin the rest of their life because of yeah, I don’t think we have that much power. Actually.

Aimee Gianni

No, we don’t. Not at all. But for some reason we think we do. Right. Yeah.

Tina Gosney

How much of that do you think comes from maybe the messages that we get at church? And the, you know, like you said, cultural expectations. I think there’s such a strong culture in the church. And it’s very focused on the things that you started that off with saying is that, you know, this is your job. This is your divine role, this is your most important job. How much of that do you think factors into that line of thinking?

Aimee Gianni

It’s huge. I mean, I think it’s most of it, honestly. And I think that it comes from a good place. It’s meant to be very complimentary and empowering. But I think it actually has the opposite effect. Yeah.

Tina Gosney

Especially when these kids, if you’ve had one, I would say to children, but I think it only takes one, that you realize that they came to you with a lot of things that you don’t have any influence over. Yeah, they just come in a certain way. And to think that we have the power to affect their life and how they turn out, is I think giving ourselves too much power in their lives. And it’s not healthy for us or for our kids.

Aimee Gianni

Yeah, not at all. Not at all. Because when we take on all that responsibility, it takes it away from them. Yes. Right. And that’s where it should be. And we don’t allow them to, to own their own choices to own their account the consequences of their choices. We want to take those away from them, because we feel so guilty because we caused those problems in their lives.And I always say, and this is what I had, when I was going through this a couple years ago, I had to keep reminding myself of my own advice, right. My job is to love my children. And to teach them truth. Like, that’s it. Right. And actually, yeah, it’s those two things is to teach them truth, and to just love them unreasonably just be right by their side. And that doesn’t mean taking on responsibility or fixing things for them. Right. I mean, we can talk about all the things love doesn’t doesn’t mean, right. But that’s really my responsibility is to teach them truth, and to just love them and be by their side as they go through life. And honestly, I think that’s what God does for us, right?

Tina Gosney

I think so too.

Aimee Gianni

He gives us truth, he gives us true principles and teachings. And then he stands by our side and just loves us, no matter what, no matter what decisions we make. He’s right there. And so when I can remember that, as a mom, that’s really what my job is. I’m such a better mom. And I think it’s so much better for my kids.

Tina Gosney

Yeah, and it takes the pressure off of having to do it right, having to be attached to a certain outcome, and a choice that maybe your child makes. Yeah, I remember a few years ago, also, when I was really struggling, and I came to that same conclusion, with one added thing, like if I can, if I can love and teach my kids. But then I also added on, I just want to show them an example of what it looks like to live the gospel and have a joy through that in my life. Beautiful. And I thought if I can do that, then I can be successful. Yeah, all the other things I don’t have a lot of control over. But I can control those things.

Aimee Gianni

Yes, you can control you how you show up and what you’re doing.

Tina Gosney

Absolutely. So sometimes that husband has his struggles too, with a child’s choices, but I think it shows up in different ways. Like lots of times the woman gets really emotional, she tries to you know, do all the things to change the child and manipulate the situation and is right there in the thick of it. But sometimes the husband might just disengage, and find solace in work or outside the home. Sometimes he is just wanting so much for his wife to be happy that he’s just doing anything that he can do, just so that things will go back to the way he could have the wife that he used to have because he doesn’t know how to deal with this emotional creature that he’s now living with. But sometimes he also is right there in trying to change the child. So what advice would you have for us husband that was going through maybe the same situation?

Aimee Gianni

Oh, yeah. Because you’re right, they go through the same situation. But they each think about it differently and feel differently, maybe some of the same feelings, right. But then they behave differently. And so sometimes it creates quite a divide, right? between couples. Yeah. Um, and so I think, you know, specifically for well, for both partners, it’s really making space for each other in the relationship to think and feel and act. However, you’re thinking, feeling and acting about it, right, and not thinking that you need to change the other person, or that the other person needs to do it exactly the way that you are doing it. And so I think when you can take time to really understand your spouse, and how they are experiencing it with setting aside all judgment, I think that that that can be a big help, right there.

Tina Gosney

That’s such good advice. Because as you were saying, like, let them do it their way. And the way that they understand it, it reminded me of like, when you bring home a brand new baby, and the dad goes and changes the diaper for the first time and the moms just like that’s not the way you should be doing it. This is the way you do it. And I think that just that whole mindset carries through so much in parenting. And when you get in times of stress or distress, you go back to like things like no, my way is the right way. And you should be doing it this way. Yes. And not just in what you’re doing. But how you’re experiencing this.

Aimee Gianni

Yes. Like I’m experiencing it this way. And he should be too. Yes. Or assuming that because he’s burying himself in work that he doesn’t care, when really, he cares so much and is hurting so much that that’s how he’s dealing with it. Right? Right. It’s all those assumptions that we make, because we think, Well, I’m experiencing it this way. So everyone should or how else would you experience it? Right? So just being aware of those differences, and loving each other enough to be able to set aside or not set aside, but just kind of pause for a minute and come out of your own pain to truly understand how your spouse is experiencing what’s going on in their brain? Because I find that the things that we the people do make perfect sense once you understand what’s going on in their head, right? Yeah, we do make sense. But we don’t always know what’s happening in people’s heads. And so I think, and when we’re in pain, it’s really easy to be very self focused and self centered, because we’re hurting so much. But when you can set that aside and say, Okay, I really want to find out what’s going on for my spouse, what’s happening in their head? How is he thinking about this? Or she right? What is this like for them? And really putting the effort into finding out what that is? That makes a big difference.

Tina Gosney

So how would someone go about doing that?

Aimee Gianni

Well, I think it’s having those hard conversations, right? And in a very loving way. Because you might have a tendency to say, you know, well, why are you doing that? And why are you doing it, then this is this is how I see it and wanting to share your view. But I think it’s having that conversation of just saying, hey, I really want to understand what’s going on with you. I know we’re both dealing with the same situation. And I want to hear what it’s like for you. And just opening space and being willing to listen and not talk just right. Yeah, yes. From a place of genuine love, like genuinely wanting to understand their side of it, even if it doesn’t make sense to you. Right? Even if you think well, that’s silly. Well, why would you react that way? I would never do that. Right? Keep all that quiet. Just let that chatter quiet down in your brain. And really just listen, I think that’s how you have to do it. It’s just have the conversation.

Tina Gosney

Yeah. And I like how you said, like, from a place of genuine love, like I just want to understand. And that concept of holding space is not something that I really understood until I became a coach. And once we’ll start getting into coach, the training, and it’s really just like leaving your judgments aside and letting the other person express what they need to express, uh, have their emotions have their ideas without you inserting your judgments or opinions upon that.

Aimee Gianni

Yes. Without the agenda of like, well, okay, I’m going to listen to my spouse and then convince them that it should be this way instead. Yeah, you set aside all those judgments, like you said, and the agenda of making anything different.

Tina Gosney

And that is something that’s really tricky to do, especially when it feels like the stakes are so high. Like, this is our child we’re talking about, like, there’s no more important person in our life than our child. And, and I have to have you on the same page as me. So setting aside those judgments or setting aside that, like I need this outcome can be a really tricky place to come to.

Aimee Gianni

Yeah, absolutely. It definitely takes some emotional maturity to be able to do that.

Tina Gosney

Yeah, yeah. But it’s so worth doing. I love how you use that word, the term emotional maturity, because we tend to assume, I guess that by the time you’re an adult, that you’re actually emotionally mature. But that’s not the case. Most of the time, and it takes these life circumstances and dealing with them in a mature way like this, to develop that emotional maturity.

Aimee Gianni

Yes. Yeah. And I think also with emotional maturity, we’ll have some places where, where we are able to be emotionally mature. And then other times where we slip right back into emotional immaturity. Yeah, right. It’s not something that you arrive at. It’s something that you can get better at, and hopefully, your spend more time in maturity than immaturity. But you still kind of go back and forth, I think. Yes,

absolutely. And, yeah, I like that. Because it’s not just a linear line, it is something that that you just continually work on and get better at. And you’ll catch yourself in emotional immaturity and be like, oh, yeah, there, I did that thing again. Okay. But I know how to do it differently. And that now I’m going to go back and I’m going to do it differently. Yeah.

Tina Gosney

Well, and even if you did show up as emotionally immature, and to look back at it and say, Yeah, that’s not really how I wanted to show up. I mean, the maturity part of you can kick in and go back and say, Hey, I’m sorry. Yes. Let’s try that again. I didn’t, I didn’t, I wasn’t my best self. When I was talking to you before. Let’s try to have this conversation again.

Aimee Gianni

That is a beautiful example of emotional maturity, like being willing and able to apologize and take another shot at it.

Tina Gosney

Yeah. Yeah. I think so often, we’re not wanting to apologize, even for this just the smallest part that we might have in, in contributing to a situation.

Aimee Gianni

Yeah. And I love how you say small part, because we might look at something and say, well, it was mostly that person’s fault. So I shouldn’t have to apologize. Right. But the more that we can own our role in things, the more power we have to make a difference, right? Yeah. Because we can’t change anything, if we’re victims to something or not taking responsibility, that the more we take responsibility and own our part. The more room there is for change for us to instigate change in yourself, right?

Tina Gosney

Yeah. Yeah. And always, I think, looking at yourself and saying, Okay, I don’t really like this situation right now. What have I done that’s contributed to where we are? And even if it’s like, 5%, just own that 5%?

Aimee Gianni

Yeah, that’s always the place to start is in the mirror. Where we like to start, it’s hard, it’s placed. So much easier to point the finger at someone else and say yes, for it. But it’s always the first place to go is okay, what am I contributing to this? What’s my role in it? Because sometimes, even if your role is 5%, sometimes changing that 5% has enough effect on the system as a whole, that it changes everything, it changes the dynamics of the interaction right now, not always, it doesn’t always fix everything, but it’s definitely the place to start.

Tina Gosney

Yeah. And I’m a firm believer in when you work on yourself, and you come to uplevel yourself that that automatically will carry over into the people in your life. And you give them the opportunity then to uplevel themselves and whether or not they do you’ve still changed the experience that you’re having in your own life and in your own relationships.

Aimee Gianni

Yes, absolutely. And, you know, sometimes people think of working on yourself as being selfish or self centered. But it’s actually the best gift you can give not only you, but those around you, like you said, because when you’re showing up as a better version of you, it’s better for everyone. It’s better for not only the people that you’re close to, but it’s better for the community. It’s better for the world.

Tina Gosney

Right? Right. Right. It just ripples out all that all that effect of you working on yourself. And I think just this is just a side note, but I think especially as women, we push ourselves aside And we work we spend all of our time and resources and energy and even my our mind power in giving to everybody else, and we don’t allow ourselves to give ourselves time to work on us. And I think we’re doing everyone a disservice when we don’t.

Aimee Gianni

Yeah. And it’s just not efficient. Right? No. mean, the most efficient is like start with you, and then let the ripple effect take place. Mm hmm. Oh, yeah.

Tina Gosney

Sometimes that seems so counterintuitive.

Aimee Gianni

I know. I know, like, we should be helping everyone else. Put ourselves last and just help everyone else. Yeah, when it’s actually the opposite.

Tina Gosney

Yeah. And sometimes in your marriage, like, when even if you’re on the same page or not, you know, you don’t want to go, you have these issues with your child, and you don’t really want to just verbally vomit all over your emotions on top of your child, because that is going to damage that relationship. So you go when you do it to your spouse instead. And you hope they’re going to agree with you. And they don’t often agree with you. And I think that’s just like another way of making room for that spouse to have a different opinion. But how do you use like that time to connect with your spouse rather than to have it create more distance between you when you are just like, Okay, how can we come up to be on the same page? Like how do we create more connection with our spouse rather than disconnection?

Aimee Gianni

Yeah, well, I think part of it too, is what we were just talking about as far as owning things, right? Because you’re saying you don’t want to just vomit all of it all over your child. But you also don’t necessarily want to vomited all over your spouse, either, right? You definitely want to come together and have discussions, but part of it is the emotional maturity of you being like, okay, maybe I’m going to vomit all of this out on paper, first, I’m going to like, write it all down, take a look at it, I’m going to sort through some of that myself. And then once I’m in a little bit clearer, cleaner place, mentally, then I do want to have these conversations with my spouse. And I think the way that you have those conversations to bring you closer and not drive you farther apart, is, is letting go that there’s a right and a wrong way to deal with these things, or to think about it or to feel about them. And it’s just making space for both of you. So that you can have an opportunity to share, here’s what’s going on with me and, and taking responsibility because I think sometimes we have a tendency to say, here’s what’s going on with me, and this is your fault, if you would just see it like I thought I wouldn’t be in so much pain, right? So again, that’s the most emotional maturity of saying, Gosh, here’s what’s going on with me, and I’m thinking this way and feeling this way, but not blaming or expecting the spouse to fix it for you. And then, you know, allowing space for them to share their experience of it as well. But just letting go of the right and wrong or, you know, it has to be this way. I think that some of the most painful those are some of the most painful thoughts that we have. They just create so much agony for us in our lives.

Tina Gosney

Yeah. And, and having that, like, I have to be right about this mean, somebody else has to be wrong. It’s just that tug of war, or you’re like, nobody wins, somebody is going to end up flat on their face. Yeah, if one person which can be you just lets go of that rope, then you let go of that need to that push and pull. Yeah. And it just allows that to not become a competition at that time. Yeah, or to have to have someone have to be wrong. I remember when I was in the thick of this with one of my kids and, and, and I was really very, like emotional all the time, not making the best choices, saying the best things not showing up great in my marriage. But I felt like my husband and I were like we’re on the same page. And then there was one day when I was talking to my child and I went too far. And I said some things I shouldn’t have said. And my husband turned to me and he said, You are Adeline, you need to calm down. And I felt so betrayed. It’s that moment. I felt like then right at that moment, I am completely alone. And I felt so betrayed and it took me like I had to go take a step back. And I think I actually left the house for a few hours because I just couldn’t even be in the house anymore. But I left the house for a few hours and just being able to maybe physically remove yourself from a situation so that you can try to gain a better perspective calm yours, calm your nerves down. Calm your emotions down. so that you can begin seeing things, maybe from somebody else’s point of view. Yeah. And that we weren’t really, at that point. It wasn’t like, he was siding with her. That’s what it felt like. It allowed me to say it come back and say, Okay, let’s all be on the same page here. And let’s look at it together as a team instead of like, us versus them, or me versus you,

Aimee Gianni

Yes. And we’ll talk about sitting on the same side of the table, right? Whenever you have something difficult to discuss, rather than thinking of yourselves as across from each other, but like, hey, let’s sit next to each other on the same side of the table and look out at this problem together, and see what perspective each of us brings. Because we’ll eat we’re each going to bring a different perspective. And when you can make space for all of that. That’s what will bring you together and help you get towards a resolution because then you’re not trying to figure out who’s right or who’s wrong, but it’s more like us against the problem, right? Yeah. And then it’s like, Okay, how are we going to problem solve through this together? Here’s what I bring. What do you bring?

Tina Gosney

Yeah, I love that visual of sitting on the same side of the table. And also, maybe your child is sitting on the same side of the table? Yes, absolutely. Because you don’t want to turn your child into that thing that you’re looking at as the problem.

Aimee Gianni

No, no, no. child isn’t the problem, right? Yeah, absolutely. Child was on the same team as you. So it’s all three of you sitting together. Yeah, working it out, even if it feels like the child doesn’t want to be there sitting with you at that table, you can visually still think that they’re sitting there, and we’re gonna solve this together, we’re gonna work through this together, much more effective way. And I think a loving way to, to look at the issues that we deal with in our families.

Tina Gosney

Yeah, absolutely. And, and speaking of, you know, like, right or wrong, getting caught in that whenever I think things are mutually exclusive, or I noticed my brain going there that it has to be one way or the other. I love to just ask myself the question, how can both of these exist at the same time? Right? Like, how, how are both of us, right? Or what? What parts of this can coexist? Because I think when we can change to looking at it that way, so many more possibilities open up? Yes, right. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. But it’s like, how are we both right about this? Even though we have very different opinions that might look like they’re mutually exclusive? How are we both right?

Aimee Gianni

Yeah. Because our brains want to go to it’s either all this or it’s either all that. Yeah, that very rarely. Is that true?

Tina Gosney

Correct. Yeah. And it’s so much an all or nothing very good things are black and white.

Aimee Gianni

Right? Even though we want to make them black and white. It’s not really effective in our families to deal with things as black and white. Yeah. But to look at, like, how can these both be true? And how can we make both of us are both of our opinions as right, and how can we work together?

Tina Gosney

Yeah. Because that’s what moves you forward, you both bring different pieces. But once you put it together, that’s what gets you moving forward. Yeah. And I think that’s what Heavenly Father wants us to do is to figure out things together so that we can move forward.

Aimee Gianni

Yes, absolutely. Because it’s all about progression. And we need each other to progress.

Tina Gosney

Yeah. Sometimes though, it’s the child that’s pitting the spouse, one spouse against another, or like, putting a spouse in between a relationship with the child and one parent. So I have coached several people who, like they’re the go between their child and the other parent, because there’s such a rift in their relationship with one parent, the one that still has that, you know, cordial or functioning relationship with the child feels like they’re the go between or that they’re the confidant on either side. And it just feels really, it feels like that’s a terrible place to be. Yeah, because they are both asking you it confiding in you sometimes information and saying don’t share this with that kid, or don’t share this with, you know, dad, or whatever. So, in those situations, I mean, what are the ramifications if you find yourself in that situation?

Aimee Gianni

Yeah, I think anytime somebody is in the middle, it’s requiring them to choose one over the other, right? And that is a terrible place to be to ever feel like you have to choose your spouse or your child. You want to be able to choose both of them. And so I think there are a lot of ramifications because if you end up keeping things from your spouse that your spouse really should know, that’s going to erode trust, right? And that may in the moment feel like it’s the right thing to do, for whatever reason, but down the road, it’s never the right thing to do. Because you want to make sure that you and your spouse have that partnership and that friendship in place. So you don’t want to do anything that’s going to erode that. Um, and as far as the child, um, you don’t want to erode the relationship with them either. And so you don’t ever want to go behind their back. Like if your child says, you know, don’t tell Dad. You don’t want to just run and tell your husband without letting the child know. So you’d want to say something like, you know, let’s talk about why do you not want your dad to know, let’s, let’s talk about that, first of all, and how do you think you could tell him, maybe you maybe you support rather than you telling, right, you help support the child and knowing how they can tell eventually, even if it doesn’t happen immediately, is something that you could work toward? Because I see that happen sometimes, too.

So what if the it’s maybe not a, like, don’t tell dad this, but what if it’s, uh, yeah, I don’t want to talk to him and have a relationship with him. So I’m just gonna let you communicate for me to him.

Yeah. Okay, that puts you in a tough spot. Right? Yeah. So I think, as the mom, you have to decide, what role do you want to play here? And I don’t think it’s a great idea to try to always, I mean, you want to help facilitate a relationship, but not take responsibility for it? Right? Because ultimately, it’s your spouse’s job to have a relationship with the child and the child to have a relationship with their father. I hear I’m just speaking from the moms point of view. Right. Right, but I think handing some of that. Back to them, or even like in that specific case, where you said, they’ve said that, you know, I’m not going to tell, I’m going to have you tell, you can just be very explicit about okay, the things that you tell me, I am going to share with your dad, because, you know, he’s your dad, and, and we’re responsible for you. But it is a tricky spot to be.

Tina Gosney

Yeah. So just trying to bring the two sides together, so that there’s not that rift. Okay, I’m going to give you a really specific example. And let’s see how we can apply this concept. Let’s say that there’s a spouse is put, let’s just say the mother is put in the middle of a situation with a child and a husband, or a father, that are not, they don’t have a great relationship, and they don’t want to communicate with each other. So she wants to bring the two together, and she’s feeling very torn in the middle. What would you tell that woman that mother?

Aimee Gianni

Yeah. So I would help her take a look at what’s going on for her. Because she’s thinking this is about them. And it goes back to this, as moms, we feel so responsible for everything, right. And we think we have to fix everything. And so she’s probably feeling like, it’s her job to connect her child and her spouse to each other. So they have a relationship. But she really can’t do that. She can love both of them. And she can show up as the best version of her, but she cannot create a relationship between the two of them. And it’s probably a lot of her own discomfort with them not having a relationship. So one question I would ask is, so what’s the problem if they don’t have a relationship? Right? And she might be horrified and be like, What are you talking about? I mean, that’s their, you know, parent child, they have to have relationship, but but what’s the problem for you, mom? Why is it an issue for you if they don’t have a relationship? And really go into that thinking? And take a look at her issues with that? Because that’s really all she can do. Right?

Tina Gosney

Yeah. And that’s such a counterintuitive way to think as a mom, you right?

Aimee Gianni

Yes. Because as moms, we’re used to over functioning. That’s what we do. Yes.

Tina Gosney

Right. We think it’s our job to take care of everybody, everybody.

Aimee Gianni

Yes. And so the more that we over function, the more it allows others to under function, right? So whether we talk about it as over functioning or being over responsible, when we take on all this responsibility, then there’s none left for anyone else to take. Right? So it’s really a matter of stepping out of that and saying, Okay, what am I responsible for? I’m responsible for me, and I do want to help facilitate to some level, but where is that line? And then what am I going to let go of, and allow them to take it from there? I mean, if my spouse wants a relationship with our child, it’s his job. If our child wants a relationship with their father, that’s our child’s job.

Tina Gosney

Yeah. And just looking at it down the road from that, if she if a mother stayed in that same position of being in the middle, what’s the quality of that relationship with between the father and the child? I mean, there’s not much quality, right? They’re not a genuine relationship. Right? Right. It’s the mom always facilitating it. And yeah, it’s not a genuine relationship, it’s not going to be a solid connection. Because it’s not genuine.

Aimee Gianni

Yeah. So in that situation, it’s up to them to form that relationship, because that’s where the true connection happens. Yeah. And that’s when a real length relationship can be strengthened, is when it’s authentic on both sides. Yes, there isn’t a mediator in between. Exactly. Yep. Yeah. Yeah. Such good. That’s such a good thing to think about. What do you think gets in the way of healing because our hearts get broken as parents, you know, we, we have these stories that we write for our families and for our kids when they’re little. And then. And then stories change. When the kid begins, you know, they start writing their own story for their own life, and it can really feel like your heart is broken sometimes. So how do you go about Healing Broken Hearts? When you’re a family member? Maybe it maybe it’s a spouse? Maybe it’s a child, but when those choices take you to a place where you don’t want to be?

Yeah, well, let’s start with what you said first, right, which is what gets in the way of this. And some of the things that get in the way are these rigid scripts that we have, that life is supposed to be a certain way, or that our children need to do A, B, C, and D in order to be successful or to be happy. Or, you know, our marriage needs to look a certain way, it’s really letting go of all of those expectations. And it doesn’t mean that you can’t have desires, and things that you want for your life, that it’s really letting go of the black and white thinking, because I think black and white thinking absolutely gets in the way of healing. I also think, uncontrolled negative emotion really gets in the way. And I say uncontrolled, because we’re all going to experience negative emotion and negative emotion actually isn’t a problem doesn’t feel good. Maybe it’s not actually a problem. The problem is when we react to negative emotion, which looks like blaming, right, blaming other people, or yelling and screaming, or however it is that you react to negative emotion, or maybe it’s stonewalling or withdrawing, right. Those are the kinds of things that get in the way, holding grudges, refusing to talk about things, or even blaming yourself, that gets in the way, too. Right? Yeah. And that’s what we as moms are super good at, like I said, in the very, very good, right when I was like, I had one job, and I blew it right? That was me, blaming myself, that gets in the way of healing, when we just continue to take on more responsibility than is actually ours. That gets in the way of healing. And I think the best thing to facilitate healing and I know this might sound silly, my husband always kind of makes fun of me because I always say love is the answer loves always the answer. So something will happen. It’ll be like, Let me guess Love is the like, yes, you’re right. It is but I’m asking yourself the question, what’s the most loving thing I can do? Given the situation? The most loving thing to myself? The most loving thing to my child, the most loving thing for my spouse? What does that look like? Because it’s not if something is loving towards someone else, but it’s not loving to me. It’s not loving overall, right? Yes, yeah, has to be able to be loving to everyone involved. And sometimes love means boundaries. Right? Sometimes love means saying no to things. Love is forgiveness. Love is allowing space for others to think and feel and behave differently than you do. Love is being patient and allowing time because time makes a difference with healing. Right. It’s patience. And it’s it’s patience, not only with time, but patience with allowing things to be messy. Right. Those are some of the things I would think of.

Tina Gosney

I love that and I love that messiness. Life is just messy sometimes.

Aimee Gianni

Yeah. All the time.

Tina Gosney

Sometimes messier than others. Yes. Yes. Thank you. At my house right now that we’re in the middle of like putting up Christmas decorations and it’s pretty much a mess. Yeah, yeah, um, but allowing that mess to be okay because I want the decorations up.

Aimee Gianni

Yeah, that nothing has gone wrong, I think that’s when healing can happen is when we can let go of all of these preconceived ideas of what everything is supposed to look like, and give ourselves space that nothing has gone wrong, it may not be exactly how we want it. But I can be with the mess. And the idea because when things are messy, we want to like sweep it under the well, we want to clean it up and fix it. And if we can, we want to sweep it under the rug, so we don’t have to look at it. But life is really about learning how to live in the mess, right? Yeah, and still find joy, and be happy. And I think that we can do that. Yes, right, we can have joy, amid all the challenges. And I think that’s one of the beautiful gifts that God has given us is he knew what we would face when we came here. He knew it would be messy and ugly, and all of the challenges. And I’m actually not a believer that God gives us challenges. And I know maybe this is just like a language or way of saying it. But I don’t think that he gives us challenges. I think he just allows them he knew we were coming to a fallen world. And I think it breaks his heart, honestly, when he sees our hearts breaking, but he was willing to let it happen. And then he stands right by our side. And he’s put everything in place for us to experience joy along the way.

Tina Gosney

Yeah. And as you said, like, I think his heart breaks as he sees us go through these challenges. And what you said earlier was that we experience negative emotion and it’s not a problem. He might be the perfect example of that. In that he allows himself to experience emotions that he would rather not have. Because he knows that it’s for our that we’re here doing our work, moving towards where we need to be in our own progression.

Aimee Gianni

Yeah. And he’s willing to allow that to happen. And hopefully, we can be willing to allow that to happen to our children. Right. And for ourselves to for ourselves. Yeah.

Tina Gosney

I think in the church, we get so caught up on having this perfect family. And that that very idea gets in our way over and over again, is that we think our family, I did all these things I was supposed to do. And now I’m supposed to get this perfect family back. And that’s just actually a vending machine family. Right? That’s a vending machine relationship. And that’s not how this life works, how it works at all.

Well, the title of this podcast comes from a quote by Howard W Hunter. And he said, “Your detours and disappointments are the straight and narrow way back to him.” So what blessings do you see are possible for a family that’s been taken on a detour and it has experienced some disappointment?

Aimee Gianni

Yeah, well, and I think all families experience detours and disappointment, right? And none of us are immune from that. But it is those things. And I know we hear this a lot, but it is those things that bring us closer to God. Because we want help so bad, and we want direction, and we want comfort, and we turn to him. And then we receive so many, so many blessings. And just all these things that we’ve been talking about of learning along the way that life is messy. I think that is a blessing for us, right? Because then we’re able to handle the messes so much better. Because we’re letting go of all of the other expectations. I think they’re a great blessings for family members to really know each other better, right? Because when we set aside, all of the perception of having everything have to be perfect, and we go through something messy. We really have the opportunity to learn about our spouse to learn about our children, what’s going on in their heads, how are they thinking about things? That’s a great blessing that brings connection and intimacy. As we hold space for each other, and just allowing people to be on their own journey, I think that helps us become more like Christ, more like our Savior. Right? It helps us progress. And I think, you know, God has everything mapped out. We can’t surprise him. Right? There’s nothing we can do. He’s like, wow, I didn’t see that coming. Exactly. Yeah. So as we go through these detours, recognizing that the detours really are the way they are the path, and nothing has gone wrong, and I think that helps bring The blessing of peace into our life, honestly, because as we let go of all the expectations and the preconceived ideas, that’s where we’re truly able to find peace.

Tina Gosney

Yes, because we all come with these lenses that we see the world through. And when we just adjust our lenses a little bit, to expect it to not be perfect to expect some detours and disappointments, and not think that anything’s gone wrong, because of them, I think allows our ability to handle those, and to work our way through them better and to allow ourselves to come to God through those same experiences.

Aimee Gianni

Yeah, absolutely.

Tina Gosney

This has been a beautiful discussion. I have loved talking with you today. Amy, is there anything yet that we haven’t covered yet that you think that would be beneficial on this topic?

Aimee Gianni

I think for us as moms, because I know it’s, it’s mostly moms that you work with, right? It’s really, just a matter of believing that you have everything that you need inside of you. To be the best kind of mom that you can be for the children that are sent to you. Because I really do believe that our kids are sent specifically to us, not because we’re perfect, but we are the quote unquote, perfect mom for our child. And we don’t always feel that way. Right. But when we can get to that belief that need me being me, and being a mom, the way that the best way that I know how, even though I’m going to make mistakes along the way, is the exact kind of mom that my child needs. They didn’t get sent to the wrong house, or to the wrong family. Right? That having that belief in yourself, I think changes everything for you.

Tina Gosney

Yes. And I don’t know of a mom that hasn’t said at one time or another, like my kids would just be better off with a different mother. So that’s such great advice to think about that way like no, these children were sent to you because you were the one that heavenly father thought would be the perfect mother. Yeah, gotcha.

Aimee Gianni

Yeah. And everything has been put in place, not only for me as the mom, but for my child. Right, because I’m there. But not only am I there to help my child, but God is there. It’s his child. Right? He He’s the only one that loves them more than we do. And he’s there also, it’s so I think it’s really trusting in the process of life. Which is really hard to do. Right.

Tina Gosney

Beautiful. Love it. Okay, so if somebody wants to get a hold of you, and work with you further, how do they do that?

Aimee Gianni

Yeah, so you can go to my website, which is amygianni.com. You can also follow me on Instagram, it’s Amy Gianni ms and I post things there on Instagram. But on my website, you can go and sign up for my waiting list. I do have a quite a waiting list for one on one. But I am getting ready to start a small group. So if you’re interested in that, you can go sign up on my website and I will give you all the information when that’s ready.

Tina Gosney

Okay, great. And I’ll put a link to that in the show notes as well. Also, they can just go to the link in that in the show notes. So thank you so much for being here today.

Aimee Gianni

Thank you for having me. It was so fun.