Episode 75 – Strengthening Your Marriage in Times of Stress, with Aimee Gianni
Your overall life satisfaction and happiness will directly relate to the connection in your most intimate relationship. Stress can pull you apart from your spouse or you can use it to grow together. It all depends on how you handle it and how you view your spouse during stressful times. Master life coach and Marriage and Family Therapist, Aimee Gianni talks about what to watch out for, what to avoid, and how to grow together with your spouse during difficult times.
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Sometimes the way people want to manage it is they want to go to this extreme toxic independent independence. Right? Because when we infer when we’re influencing others and being influenced, we end up being connected with them, but sometimes not the way we want to be connected.
Tina Gosney 00:21
Thank you for being here with me, I really appreciate it. I hope your December is going well, I hope it’s not too stressful, and that you’re enjoying this holiday season. Now you have a new pdf training on my website that I invite you to go and sign up for and download. It’s called “10 Important Tips to Improve Your Relationship with Your Young Adult” is just a short pdf training. But it’s got 10 really great tips of things that you really are going to want to know especially if you’re struggling with your young adult.
Now there’s those young adults, you know, they want to be on their own, they want to separate from their parents. And that’s such a vital time of life for them. But how do we feel when they’re pulling away from us, that can be a hard thing to deal with as a parent, and a hard thing to let them go. And to let them make their own decisions, even if they’re ones that we don’t want them to make. So go download that PDF, get that training, the link is in the show notes, you can find that at tinagosney.com.
I love to have guests back that I know are really popular. And this is one today that I invited back again, she’s my one of my mentors. She’s a person I have great respect for. Amy Gianni is a marriage and family therapist. And she’s also a coach. And I’ve done a lot of training with her. I consider her one of my main mentors. Your overall life satisfaction, the happiness that you will find in your life is in direct relationship to the connection and the quality of your most intimate relationship. Stress can drive you apart from your partner. It can also help you grow closer. This is what we’re going to talk about today. This is the conversation that Amy and I had. What do you need to know in order to grow closer to your spouse? What gets in the way of you growing closer to your spouse in times of stress? What do you need to be aware of? Listen to this episode, we’re going to talk about all of those things. And once again, just go to my website, download that PDF training. And I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Aimee Gianni, it was a great one.
I love to have back favorite guests on the podcast. And one of them is Aimee Gianni. She’s had so many downloads on the first episode that we did with having just some parenting issues with how it affects your marriage. And now she’s going to come back and talk again, about a different marriage issue that we’re we’re going to talk about today. So Aimee, would you just like briefly introduce yourself again and let the podcast listeners know in case they didn’t hear that last episode?
Yeah, absolutely. Thank you so much for having me. I always love talking to you, Tina. So it’s fun to be back. I’m Amy Gianni. I am a master relationship coach. And I’ve also been a marriage and family therapist for a really long time over 20 years. And I work with individuals and couples that want to create more intimacy in their marriages. So and I also train coaches how to do this work with their clients.
And you were just telling me about a group that you’ve just started. Starting today. Actually, do you want to just throw a little thing about that in there? I think it’s amazing what you’re doing.
Yeah, yeah, I would love to thank you. So it’s called The Art of Intimate Connection. And this particular group is a small group of women that want to learn how to create honest, intimate and collaborative marriages. So this round, I’m doing it with just women. I think I will probably do it again with just men and I’m toying with the idea of doing it with couples So anyway, this is just kind of starting out here. But yeah, I’m really, really excited about it.
Good. I think that’s amazing. And as we were talking before, creating that kind of marriage is not easy. Is a very actually very difficult.
Yeah, it’s messy, right, I was just saying, um, you know, I think of this continuum on on one side is pretend polite and parallel. And the other side is honest, intimate and collaborative. And a lot of times, we think, oh, I want the honest, intimate and collaborative marriage. But those merit that kind of a marriage is really messy, right, you have to be honest about things that you maybe don’t want to be honest about, and your spouse is honest about things that maybe you didn’t really want to hear, necessarily. Um, and so you know, a lot of times people come to me, when they’re kind of sick, or at least one of them is sick of the pretend polite and parallel, they want a little bit more depth and connection and intimacy in the relationship. And so I helped them move that direction and navigate it, because it’s not easy. It brings up a lot of stuff. And it’s, it’s harder, in my opinion, it’s totally worth it. I for sure. Want an honest, intimate and collaborative marriage. But it’s, it’s tricky.
Tina Gosney 06:10
Yeah, I think you have to be having a strong sense of who you are. Yeah, your own sense of your self confidence, or just like, I just know who I am to be even willing to go to that place of collaborative, honest, intimate,
Yeah, 100%. And as you know, that’s where I always start, right is relationship with self. Because that has to be really solid, you really have to know who you are, and love yourself in that place. And accept yourself there. If you’re going to be able to even be a part of an honest, intimate and collaborative marriage, because without that, you can’t do it. And a lot of us get married so young, myself included, I was 21, when I got married.
Tina Gosney 07:01
I was also I was 21, when I got married, had no clue as to who I was. And for many years after that I would say too.
Exactly, and we weren’t supposed to know who we are like you show me a 21 year old that knows who they are, you know. So it’s not that anything is wrong with that. But it’s especially when you do get married young it is this process of growing up together and giving each other the space to figure out who you are, allow your partner to figure that out and then grow together. Right, rather than growing apart.
Tina Gosney 07:33
Yeah. And in fact, my husband and I were just talking about this the other night, in that you get married, even if you don’t get married young, and you’re together for a period of years, people evolve over time. Yeah, and it’s really an exercise in trust, just to even get married in the first place. And to trust that that person wants to evolve with you, in the same ways that you want to invoke it to evolve, and that you’re going to be able to go to the same place together. As Yeah, because so many people that we see have evolved to different places, so many marriages that we have seen. We’ve been married for 32 years now. Totally different places, or they’re completely different person than they were back in their 20s when they got married.
Yeah, yeah. And it’s normal for us to grow and evolve, like you’re saying, right, and to become very, very different. Like when I think of who I am now versus who I was at 21. So different. I mean, there’s some similarities like personality, you know, traits and such, but so many differences. And so that’s good. It’s a good thing. But yeah, it is tricky to grow together or make sure that, you know, because it’s a combination of allowing your spouse and yourself, the space to become who you want to be, you don’t want to be limited, like, oh, in order to be close to this person, I have to limit my growth, that doesn’t feel good. So you want to be able to feel expansive. But I think as you do it together and walk side by side with each other, that’s what helps it. That’s what helps you keep the connection as you both grow into who you want to be.
Tina Gosney 09:11
Right. And so that’s kind of what we’re going to talk about today is how to come together through your marriage, but in relation to times of stress, some stress on the relationship, stress in life, just those times where it feels like almost like your house is on fire. And you’re putting out trying to put out fires as fast as you can, but they feel like they’re getting away from you. It’s that type of time which we all have in our life, and that we’re actually supposed to go through those times. It never feels like it in the moment when you’re in the middle of it. But as you look at, you know, over time, we’re supposed to go under immense amounts of stress in order to grow and to develop and to progress. But when we go through those times how do we come together and work together and strengthen our marriage rather than let those times pull us apart, create resentment, and go in your separate directions. So that’s our subject for today. What are your thoughts about any of that? Yeah, so far,
There’s so much to unpack there, right? So many, so many different pieces of that. But I just want to echo what you said, stress as part of the game, right? would be not, we think the ultimate is to just like, get married, and you have the jobs and the House and the kids and all the things. And then when things go wrong, we think that something’s getting in our way of of how things are supposed to be. But it’s actually the opposite those things in those stresses. And those things that come along, are the way like that’s, that’s actually how it’s supposed to be, even though like you said, it doesn’t feel like it at the moment, right? It feels like something’s gone horribly wrong. But I think the well, yeah, there’s so many things I could say, right, but one of the biggest things is committing to each other, that you are both in this to grow. Because I think one place where couples really get stuck is when one is like, yes, I want to work with you. I’m willing to change. Like, let’s figure this out together and the other partners like, No, I’m not willing to change, like, we need to keep things how they are. I think that that gets in the way of being able to manage and handle stress, as opposed to if you can both come together and say, Yeah, this is stressful. We don’t like this. This is making us both really uncomfortable. But we’re both in it, like, Bring it on, like unwilling to be uncomfortable. Let’s do this together.
Tina Gosney 11:50
What would you say to somebody who is in that position that they are the ones that want to be all in and grow? And let’s let’s do this? And the other ones like no, I think I just want to keep things the way they are? How do you how do you handle that? As the person who wants to do the growing?
Yeah. So it comes back to relationship with self. And I always help that person get really crystal clear on who they are and what they want. And because sometimes they still want to choose their spouse that doesn’t want to change or that doesn’t want to move. And there’s really no right or wrong answer. But a lot of times they come in, it’s like, I want to choose my spouse, but I want them to be different. Right and and time is going to bring on changes, things are going to be different. But we don’t get to change our spouse, which is one of the most frustrating things about being married is one of the most beautiful things and the most frustrating things. But I think it’s just helping them get back to relationship with self figuring out who they are what they want. And sometimes they don’t like the answer to those questions, I guess.
Tina Gosney 13:03
What would an example of not liking the answer to that question?
I think there’s no easy answer for that is because when you have one person that really does want to grow and one that doesn’t, you have to like have, they kind of have to come to an agreement on what they’re both willing to do. Right. And sometimes the and the person that wants to grow, and the one that doesn’t, they do want to leave the relationship. And sometimes I think that’s honestly in the best interest of everybody involved. Right. But I don’t know that I want to say that.
Tina Gosney 13:35
Yeah, that’s a hard thing for people to hear.
Yeah. Because relationships are to people. And while yes, we can manage our own. Thinking about it, all of that we can do all of that for sure. But relationships take to people relationships are not just your thoughts about the other person, your thoughts about the other person play a huge role. But it is more than that relationships take too. Now, I also think that sometimes we’re not always on the exact same page. So sometimes I might be having a hard time and my husband kind of has to like, be the one to be like, Okay, I’ve got this, and I’m not functioning all that well. Right. And sometimes it’s the other way. So I think there’s ebb and flow like that. But as long as there is ebb and flow that can work together, but when you have one that continually is wanting to progress and grow, and the other one that continually doesn’t, that’s when there’s problems.
Tina Gosney 14:31
So it’s the continuation, like a pattern rather than a situation specific. Yes, exactly. Okay. When we get into I’ve noticed that when you get into really high stress situations, that you tend to revert back to very basic levels of functioning. Yes, I think that it’s usually because of the way that you saw your parents function or the way that you’ve just a pattern that you’ve established in your life over time from a very young age. And I have noticed in my own life and in my own marriage, one of us tends to over function and the other one tends to under function as we get into really high stressful times. And that alone causes has caused some problems for us, and causing resentment as to how the other one is handling the stress at the time. So can you just talk to a little bit about why we do those things, and then maybe how to recognize them and what we can do to maybe be more mindful of the other spouse, and coming together more. I mean, that’s a lot for you to dump on you all at one time. So maybe we just take that one thing at a time. Yeah. Why do we do that?
So um, well, I want to talk about it in a couple different levels, kind of on a surface level, like when we feel like we’re really stressed or depleted or like if we’re really tired, right, because when we have stress over a long time, or something that’s, that’s really tugging at us, we get tired physically, we get tired emotionally. And when we get depleted like that, we usually go into survival mode with things, right. And when we’re in survival mode, it’s easy for us to see everybody outside of us as a threat, especially those that like are in the trenches with us, right, we should see them as our teammate. But when we’re depleted like that, and we’re in survival mode, it’s easy to see others as a threat. And when we see others as a threat, we’re gonna get more edgy, and more irritated and more reactive to those around us. And so we start showing up that way. And when we start showing up that way, and say our spouse is the same way, they’re depleted, so they’re seeing everybody as a threat. So then you start seeing each other as a threat. So I think sometimes just having the awareness of that pattern, that oh, yeah, this is just me, like being at the end of my rope, and my spouse being at the end of his rope. All this is because, you know, when we can step outside of things and see it for what it is, it can neutralize it for us seem as catastrophic. And then you can kind of sit together and look across at the problem, rather than seeing your spouse as the problem, right. So, um, so that’s what I would say to that kind of at a, at a general level. Um, and the other thing that I would say is that we do tend to go to what we’ve what we’ve seen, I always say that our nervous systems memorize our experience, right, not what our brain tells us to do. So that’s why like, kids are going to do what they see us do, not what we tell them to do. Right. And so we go back to what we know, from our childhood, and what we saw what we saw modeled for us, how we reacted to certain situations, how we kept ourselves safe. And we bring all of that into our current relationship. And so if we’re not aware of that, that’s just going to play out over and over again and wreak havoc on our relationship. Which is why doing your inner work, finding out what your triggers are, what your trauma responses, because we all have trauma, right? We all grew up with things, even in an ideal home. There were things that were not ideal, right and perfect. And so it’s really important to take a look at what was modeled for me, how did my parents do it? And I always love to assume that our parents were doing the absolute best they could with what they had at the time, right by especially now that I am a parent. Oh, I have so much more compassion for my own parents, right. But when you can look at it that way and go back to see okay, what was modeled for me? Yeah, okay, no wonder I tend to show up this way. That’s what I saw over and over again. But also knowing just because it was modeled for me, doesn’t mean I can’t be different, and I can change.
Tina Gosney 18:56
Right? I love that. And that speaks to another podcast that I just did with Brent Bartel. And we were talking about that very thing where, just because this is the way it’s been, and this is what I saw. And this is how I was raised or conditioned. That doesn’t mean I have to bring that with me into the future. I just mean, I need to be aware of it. And it might be a response that feels really natural and just gut reaction to me. But I still can just take a pause. And notice that that’s there. And then respond from a more informed thought pattern and mindset.
Then you can respond from like the adult version of you rather than responding from the child version of you. Right?
Tina Gosney 19:40
Oh, yeah, I like that visual.
Yeah. And I love that what you just said, because that’s absolutely true. But we will we for sure will repeat it if we don’t have the awareness. Because otherwise we’re just on autopilot, right and we get triggered or we get stressed and something happens and we revert back to the child version of us and how we dealt with things then. But it’s the awareness that brings us the option of doing something different.
Tina Gosney 20:08
Yes, I love the awareness part. What? I think there’s probably some people who don’t know what under functioning versus over functioning looks like. It’s kind of it sounds self explanatory, but in a real practical, every day, like, what does this actually look like in my life? Not very commonly aware of what the how that’s showing up? Yeah, would you describe someone who’s under functioning.
So someone who’s under functioning, and I always think of it in in two ways, because a lot of times when we think of functioning, we think of physical things, right. So think of, like the under-functioner kind of takes a step back, and they’re doing less, so maybe you have one, the over-functioner, you know, they’re gonna dive in, they’re gonna like get things taken care of get the work done, whereas the other one tends to kind of withdraw a little bit and do less functioning. Less, you know, maybe day to day chores, or whatever the daily functioning is. But the almost the more important part to over and under functioning, I think, is the emotional aspect of over another functioning. Right, so the under function or again is going to withdraw is going to maybe be a little bit more passive is going to not bring things up not want to address things. That’s the under-functioner. And then the over-functioner is the other where sometimes they’re almost more you can almost think of it like a pursuer/distancer pattern. I think that’s another way of kind of looking at over and under-functioning, where one is always like, you know, pursuing or doing the things where I think we need to talk about this, here’s a problem, how can we do this differently? And the other one is just under-functioning and not wanting to deal with it at all.
Tina Gosney 21:57
Yeah, and I is that common in marriages that you have one person that goes one way and another person that goes another way when stressful times come?
Yes. So common. So common, and I’ve read the other day, somewhere that even if you aren’t, you know, even if when you get married, say you’re both over functioning over time, one of you is going to probably naturally fall to be an under function, or you’re going to like, Isn’t that fascinating? Yeah,
Tina Gosney 22:26
that is interesting. Yeah. So um,
Yeah. So I mean, I don’t know that that’s always true. But I thought, oh, that’s an interesting thing to watch for and pay attention to. Because only under functionaries seem to attract like magnets, right? Just like the pursuer distance or right, or the avoidant attachment and the anxious attachment. And so just watching for all of those patterns and how they play out,
Tina Gosney 22:49
Yeah. And it brings us back to the awareness aspect, like, what do I do? Yes, then how is that maybe contributing to this problem? And how can I just kind of pause and respond for my more mature emotional adult instead of my base level child and my emotional child? Yeah. What does that look like? And how does it when we do that? How does that help us actually come together in times of stress so that we can strengthen a marriage and a relationship, rather than create that resentment? Drying apart?
Yeah, because what you’re talking about there is self confrontation. Right? When we, when we look at, oh, well, what is my natural tendency? Oh, yeah, my tendency is to do this. And that’s how I’m contributing to the problem. That right, there is self confrontation. And when you’re willing and able to do that, that brings connection that helps lead you to that honest, intimate and collaborative relationship, right? Like, think about it, like when my spouse comes to me and is like, Hey, I recognize that I do this. And I see that I’m causing this problem. I’m like, Really, you too? Oh, my gosh, I love you so much. Right. It’s like such a beautiful thing. And so that helps create intimacy that helps create connection. And it might feel like it’s going to drive you apart. But it actually has the opposite effect when you’re willing to willing to do that self confrontation. It adds so much to your relationship and brings you together because then you can sit next to each other on the same side of the table and look across at the problem, right? You’re not making yourself or the other person the problem. You’re making. The actual problem, the problem?
Tina Gosney 24:43
Yeah, self confrontation is really important, but it’s also so hard. Because it’s, we often so often see ourselves it differently than everybody else sees. Yes, in fact, I think other people will often see is in a more true light than we see ourselves. And so being willing to look at how am I contributing to this? Yeah, what are my own shortcomings or just ways of contributing to this problem. And in a very real light, and shine a flashlight on it, that’s really hard.
It is hard, right? Because we know that our good intentions, and so that’s kind of usually we base ourselves off of our good intentions. And we base others on what they actually do, right? And so it is hard to, to take a look in the mirror at what we’re doing, like the things that aren’t so great in our relationship. But that’s the only way that you’re ever going to be able to create the relationship you want. Like, I love the question. You know, what’s it like to be married to me? Yeah. Really think about that? What is it like day to day in our day to day routine? emotionally physically, like, what all the different areas What is it like to be married to me? How? How would that be received? If I could kind of step out and look at it? And be like, I think that’s really a good question to ask to help facilitate that self confrontation?
Tina Gosney 26:12
Yeah, thank you for offering that because it’s, it’s just great to have a tool to use to begin that process. And what does that look like for me? Yeah, and how to use that. I love that.
And if it’s a specific, like, stressful situation, you can get specific with that. Okay, how am I showing up in the stress that we are facing together? As a couple? Who am I being in this? Sorry, to help you really take a look at that that honestly, like, how am I showing up here, because usually we look at our spouse, and how we want them to show up differently. But you’ve always got to start with yourself. Now it’s okay to ask your spouse to show up differently. I’m not saying that you have no expectation of them, or you just let go of all of that. You always want to start with yourself and make sure that you are happy with how you’re showing up. Right, you got to start on your own side of the street. So how am I showing up? How do I want to show up? That’s where I would start, I make those changes. And then it’s always okay to ask your ask your spouse for things that you want from them. There’s nothing wrong with that. But then you’re it’s coming from a very different place.
Tina Gosney 27:23
Yeah. Yeah. And we were talking about the difference between criticism and complaint. Yes, so let’s go into that, because I think that’s super important. And we really need to know, like, which one is a healthy way of dealing with it, and which one is really a destructive way, even though they sound so similar? They’re not,
Right. They sound very similar, but they’re very different. And it and the way that you approach issues, you know, if you approach it through criticism versus complaint, you’re gonna get very different outcomes. So a complaint, like we all have complaints about our spouse, I’m guessing, right? Things that we wish they would do differently. But it’s a complaint is, you know, I really don’t like it when you do this behavior. Right? Whereas a criticism is, you’re such a bad person, or why do you always do that, and you’re criticizing them, or it becomes like you’re attacking their character, right? That’s what I think of when I think of a criticism versus a complaint is, hey, this is something that I would like to be different in our relationship or the way that you show up. And then you’re because when you’re having a complaint, you’re separating out the person from the behavior or the problem. Whereas when it’s a criticism, you’re you’re just blending it all together.
Tina Gosney 28:49
It sounds like the complaint will keep you on the same side of the table, or you’re at in partnership, and the problem is sitting in front of you. And you’re working together. Okay, there’s this problem here. What do how are we going to handle this? Yes. Versus criticism, all of a sudden puts your spouse on the other side of the table. Yeah, right. And the they are the problem. That problem and the person is all wrapped up into one. And if you would just change then everything would be great and hunky dory, and I could be fine. If you would change.
Yes. There’s something wrong with you. There’s something wrong with you that you need to fix so that I can feel better. Yeah, yes, absolutely. Right. That criticism puts you on opposite sides of the table. So you’re against each other. Whereas a complaint, it’s much easier to sit on the same side of the table and look at the behavior the issue at hand.
Tina Gosney 29:42
Yeah. So we each have our own journey to walk in life, right? Even though it feels like we’re so wrapped up in the people around us. We each really do walk our own journey, but we don’t walk it alone. We have these people in our family walk connects to us, that affect our journey so often. And when you look at what you have control over, and what you don’t have control over, it basically boils down to I have control over me. Yep. I don’t have control over other people, which can be really frustrating sometimes. Yeah. Because we create problems for each other. Sometimes spouse will create problems for the other man or a child for a parent or a parent for a child. And so how do we stay in our own lane? How do we form these collaborative marriages and, and partnerships, staying in our own lane, with sometimes being affected by the decisions and the way the other person is showing up?
Yeah, the place that we want to be is this healthy interdependence. Because we do want to be influenced by those around us. And we want to influence right, because I feel like otherwise, you end up living like robots, you really end up in that pretend polite and parallel, right, and some people go to that toxic independence, because when they realize, well, I can only take care of me, so I’m just going to take care of me. And my spouse has to take care of him. And we’re just going to be separate, right. And sometimes that feels so much better than the enmeshment, maybe of where you used to be, where you feel like you need your spouse to behave differently in order for you to feel good. So sometimes people will swing from that enmeshment, all the way over to this toxic independence. When where you really want to be as this middle ground of healthy interdependence, where you’re each managing yourself, you’re each taking responsibility for yourself, but you’re still staying connected to each other. Even if you don’t necessarily like what the other person is doing. You don’t get to manage that you don’t get to change it. But you can manage yourself while still staying connected to them. And that’s what I think of when I think of, you know, walking alongside each other on these journeys, because there’s going to be plenty of things that our spouses or children do that we don’t like that, are we able to manage ourselves without completely disconnecting from them. Because sometimes that’s just the easier way, right? Like this, I’m just going to run away from it, rather than I don’t like this. So I’m going to stay present with it. And I’m going to manage myself and I’m going to stay connected.
Tina Gosney 32:24
Yeah. And I think that’s often where we find people coming to coaching is when they’re in that enmeshed space, usually, yes. And they feel like they’re on this emotional roller coaster that they have no power to get off. Like, there’s no buddy. I can’t control this rollercoaster. And the other people in my life are taking me on this crazy ride, and I just can’t take it anymore. I find people coming a lot in that space. And then when we start teaching them these tools, and helping them and seeing where their power lies in their own life, which is within themselves. I’ve seen it and I did this also myself swing all the way over, like you said to that other side of Oh, well. I only have control over me. Okay, fine. I’ll just live here. You do what you and I’ll do me? Yeah. And then I’m going to be totally happy because I don’t I’m not on that roller coaster anymore. And it feels really good at first. Yes, it feels really good until it doesn’t feel really good. Yeah. Because we need human connection. And we’re have cut ourselves off from it in order to feel good, and save our state almost to save ourselves. Yes, maybe sometimes we need to swing over there. Just to get our bearings again, before we find that healthy middle ground, where we can be that interdependence like you were talking about.
Yeah. And I do think that it’s a step in the right direction. Like whenever you think of a, you know, continuing is sometimes you have if you’re at one end, sometimes you have to swing all the way over to the other side before you kind of find that middle. So I think it’s a it’s a good thing initially when people because if you’re in that enmeshed place, and people start learning, oh, I’m responsible for my own thoughts, feelings and actions. And they’ve really start owning that that’s such a positive step. That they don’t want to stop there. Right? You want to keep going to figure out okay, how do I do that and stay connected? Yeah,
Tina Gosney 34:24
yeah. And then finding that middle ground is where, what we were talking about before, that’s the intimate, collaborative, honest, yes, that can be super hard. Where you have to be just open. It’s very vulnerable. Because now you’re, you’ve gone from the place where you’re shutting everybody out to I’m opening myself up again. Yeah, sometimes it might feel really dangerous. Yeah. But in order to walk together and connected, that’s the place that that’s where that lips
Yeah, that’s what that lives. And that’s really the work of marriage. People say, Oh, marriage is so much work. But we’re like, wait, what does that mean? What is what is that work? Right? That’s the work. It’s, can I be open and vulnerable with this person, that’s the most important because a lot of times, it’s easier to be open and vulnerable with somebody that you don’t know as much, right? Because usually don’t care as much what those other people think you care about what your spouse thinks about you. So to truly open up and be honest and vulnerable with them can be really, really scary. And that is the work of marriage, if you want an honest, intimate and collaborative relationship,
Tina Gosney 35:36
which isn’t created overnight and not when you’re 21, either,
Right? Yeah, exactly.
Tina Gosney 35:44
Yeah, yeah, it’s a work of a lifetime, over decades, sometimes of just figuring out what that looks like for us. Yeah. So I just have worked a lot lately, with people going back to times in their life that are painful, and working on reframing their stories. Let’s look at that story again. And we tend to sit sometimes we go back to these painful memories, and just bring up more pain, right, and just, you just want to relive it, and you just sit in it. And it seems like such a failure of a time in your life. But I don’t think that any stressful time in our life is a failure, unless we fail to learn the lessons that it had to teach us. So that’s what I’ve been doing working on with a lot of my clients is how are we going to go back to this situation in your life? How do we look at it? What do we learn from it? And what do you want? What do we want to now carry forward? And we don’t have to look at it as a super painful time. Maybe it was just a time of pressure and stress that you were supposed to learn something? Mm hmm. Yeah. What are your thoughts about that?
So I love it. I just would say, I agree with all of that. Because, yep. Nothing I love specifically when you said nothing is a waste or a failure, unless we fail to learn from it. Right? We can take anything, all of our experiences and use it to create beauty and progression going forward.
Tina Gosney 37:25
Right? And so many of us have things in our past that just feel like, Oh, I was such a failure, in that time in my life, or in that relationship or in that situation. And for sure, there’s times when all of us don’t do things perfectly. And all the time, actually, we don’t do things perfectly. Or we’re just we’re not the person that we wanted to be in the situation, or we maybe we didn’t handle it the way we would now. But we tend to go back and judge ourselves because of that.
Right? And, you know, I always say judgment keeps us from accessing the very thing that we need to move forward. Right? Oh, yes. So when we go back to those past experiences, and have all this judgment, that’s going to block the learning, it’s going to block the wisdom that we can get from that. Right, hmm.
Tina Gosney 38:17
Yeah, I don’t think judgment for yourself ever produced anything?
No, no, it doesn’t. And, you know, sometimes we think, Oh, well, I have to judge myself and be hard on myself. Otherwise, I’m just going to repeat it again. But that’s actually not true at all. Because judgment just blocks us. And it’s what be that compassionate observer and go back and look at that difficult time. Through the eyes of a compassionate observer that we’re really going to be able to see the goodness we can take from it, the lessons that we can take to help us progress.
Tina Gosney 38:54
And often in those times that were looking back, there were people, other people involved in the situations, right. So when you’re going back and looking at the thing that caused so much pain, or the thing that you have so much judgment for, it’s always okay to then go and talk to the people that were involved. And to acknowledge your part in not showing up well, to apologize for the things that you did that, like I didn’t show up. Well, and I am so sorry that that caused a problem for you. Yes, yeah. I didn’t give you credit for this. And I apologize. I’m sorry. I just I recognize now how hard that must have been for you.
Yes. Apologies are magical. I think they have such a great effect on relationships, although we do have to be careful if we go back with an expectation, right, because like we’ve been going through that we’ve been looking at it we’ve been doing the work and we go back and apologize and sometimes we think oh, if I go apologize, This person was gonna like be so appreciative and welcomed us with open arms. And sometimes they don’t or they’re not ready for it. Right? You have to be really clear if we are going to go back and apologize, why we’re doing it, what our intentions are and where it’s coming from in us, and be okay with whatever the other person’s responses to us. Right? Yes,
Tina Gosney 40:17
That’s such a good point to make. Thank you. If would what else would you say? Like the overarching anything that we’ve missed? Or one thing that you would tell a couple? If you’re in times of stress, this is something that I want you to remember.
Yeah. And yeah, I’m just going to highlight something that we’ve already said that I think this is so easy to forget. And that is reminding yourself that nothing has gone wrong. Even though it really feels like something has reminding yourself nothing has gone wrong, right? This is this is not getting in the way of my life. This is part of my life, for whatever reason. And that you will get through it. We always do. Right? It’s easy to look from the outside and think, Oh, if that ever happened to me, I would never make it. But the thing is, when it does happen to you always make it through. Right, right.
Tina Gosney 41:12
Right. You figure it out. And then you grow because you went through it.
Yeah. I was just talking to somebody the other day about how before my mom passed away, she had the surgery. And I remember having this discussion with my brother, I was like, Oh my gosh, if I if anything happened to mom, like I would never survive. Like I couldn’t imagine. Losing mom, right? And I was I was 30 years old at the time. And then she, she survived the surgery. But anyway, then about six months later, she did pass away and I did survive, right? I made it I came out the other end. I miss her every day. But so much growth came from it. And I did survive it even though I thought I never would. So
Tina Gosney 41:51
good to know that the thing that we think we can’t survive, we actually are we can find the strength for it.
Yeah, do that.
Tina Gosney 42:00
What other anything else you want to leave with us today?
Um, well, that just made me think about how, you know, I really do believe that before we came to Earth, we were packed with everything that we needed, right? God knew ahead of time, all the things that we were going to experience and gave us every single thing that we needed to get through it. And so when I remember that, that helps me to know. Yeah, I already have what I need to get through this. I just need to access it.
Tina Gosney 42:31
Yeah, like, I love that. Thank you. You have a podcast that’s coming out soon. Do you want to tell us about that? I’m excited.
I’m, I’m a guest on so many podcasts that I thought I want to have my own podcast feed where I put all of the different podcasts where I’m a guest. So yours will be up on my podcast, it’s going to be called No love grow. Relationship conversations with Amy Gianni. So anyway, that should be coming out in the next month or so. And I’m really excited for it.
Tina Gosney 43:02
I’m sure it’s gonna be awesome. And I’m looking forward to listening to it. So I’d have to look that one up. You’ll have to let us know when it comes out. Yes, I will for sure. Okay, Amy, this has been such a wonderful conversation. You know, if somebody wants to find you, after they listen to this podcast, how would they go about doing it?
Yeah, thank you so much for having me. I have loved it. They can go to my website. It’s aimeegianni.com. And they can sign up for my love notes. Every Tuesday, I send out love notes, with tips and things to help you improve your marriage. They can also sign up if they’re interested in learning about any of my programs. And when they open, they can do all of that on my website. They can also follow me on Instagram, which is Amy Gianni M S. and I post several times a week with different things for your marriage.
Tina Gosney 43:58
Awesome, thank you and I get your love notes and love them. They’re so fun. They have lots of good information that I’ve used in my own relationships. So yeah, go and sign up for Aimee’s. She’s all over the place. So go and sign up because she’s got lots of good stuff to say.
Awesome. Thank you so much, Tina, thanks for having
Tina Gosney 44:20
A huge thank you to Aimee Gianni for having this conversation with me and, and giving us so much valuable information in this podcast.
Now for the challenge today, I invite you to ask yourself this question. What would it be like to be in a relationship with me? Do you like the answer that you would get that you would give to yourself? If not, maybe time for some self confrontation? Which is not easy, but it’s so vital for us to have healthy, interdependent relationships.
I invite you to once again to go to my website to download the free PDF “10 Important Tips to Improve Your Relationship with your Young Adult.”
Have a great week and I will see you next time