In fact, if you’re not honest about how this makes you feel, you could be headed for a really crappy ending. When you’ve got big goals and you’re either feeling judgment or complacency from your partner, it can be really infuriating. We want to control. We want them to step up their game. So, often, we end up hiding our feelings, the guilt, the shame, and the insignificance that our partner may be feeling never gets addressed.
I get it! A few years ago that was me. My husband and I have since learned to support each other and our needs. We learned to communicate. I’m really excited to dig into this topic with you today and share how you, too, can learn to grow with your partner rather than apart. We’re all human, working through emotion and judgment. We are not “bad” because we have these thoughts and emotions… we have to acknowledge everything to work through it!
Welcome to Love Your Living, a podcast for ambitious women who choose to have it all. Learn how to achieve the massive success you’ve been dreaming of in your business and your personal life. Here’s your host, multiple six-figure business owner and a life stylist, Brooke Keeling.
Hey everyone, welcome to episode five of the Love Your Living Podcast. So today I’m talking a bit about growth and growth within partners, significant others, spouses, specifically. So last week I was having a conversation with a friend and a fellow female entrepreneur business owner, boss in her business, of course. And I don’t realize just how much comes from these conversations at the times but I appreciate them so much as I think on them and process them a little bit more.
We were touching on relationships, big goals, and judgment that often comes up with this topic. Judgment for this particular situation had to do with her husband. This isn’t the first time that I’ve had this conversation. She has big aspirations for her business and life but feels like her husband is in a place of – kind of figuring himself out, finding himself. He is a bit more content than she is, alright with supporting her big goals, which is great, but almost finding complacency in that.
With that comes a battle of money. In her shoes, she has the mindset of, “I work my ass off, I have big goals, I want nice things, I deserve nice things, I should be able to buy this for myself, I can take care of myself, I make my own damn money because I’m a grown woman and I do whatever I want,” as Beyoncé says. I don’t know that there’ll be a podcast without a Beyoncé quote, but if you don’t know B, you’ll get to know her a little bit here.
So anyways, his thoughts are, “You shouldn’t be spending money on that. Are you seriously spending that much on whatever, you name it.” It goes on and on. “Who do you think you are? What are you doing?” Backlash from the woman in this scenario is, “What the fuck? Go make some damn money and figure your shit out. It’s not that hard. Get it together. Just because I’m finding success and making a great income doesn’t mean you get to lay off the gas pedal. Step up.”
What comes from the masculine side of this is trying to control. Controlling from a place of just hanging on. They see their role in the relationship quickly diminishing. They’re hanging on for dear life as the woman goes out and does her thing. Supporting her every step of the way, but doing everything they can to control something, trying to find their new place in their relationship, and that’s not easy.
Which honestly takes me into a personal story of my own, so here we go. Getting real and airing all the embarrassing stories of our own journey on this path. So I used to have a control problem, and maybe some people might say that I still do, but I still do have control over a lot of the things in my life but it comes from what I need rather controlling out of fear, and that’s a big difference. I control my schedule like a boss, you fuck with my time blocking and shit is going down.
My husband knows this very well, my team knows this very well. I’m very specific on who and how I spend my time with. My time is sacred to me. I don’t have a whole lot of free time, and my family’s really important. So being able to have one on one time with Nathan and Reese is really important to me. I’m also someone that takes on a lot of emotion, and empath, you would call them.
I take on a lot of emotion so being around big groups of people or a lot of noise and chaos all the time drains me, and so when I’m in that and in that space every day all day with my businesses, I need my down time. It’s crucial for my survival and my own peace of mind. I know what I need and I don’t feel bad about it anymore.
In addition, I’m pretty strong willed and don’t ever tell me what to do, ever. However, controlling people, a.k.a my husband, I have graduated from. When I get something in my mind, I’m pretty relentless. So for example, when I set big goals at the beginning of the year, my world is consumed by them.
I’m getting much better at also finding joy and love and play into the day-to-day. But in the past, it was all grind. I didn’t take time off, I would go to Mexico on a vacation and I would buy internet service to manage clients like I was never gone. On ski vacations we would hit the mountains hours past when we wanted to so I could manage email and my husband would patiently be awaiting me to get off the phone.
That’s kind of how my life was. And since this is held myself accountable, it’s also what I expected from my husband. If I’m going to work my ass off for our future, so are you. End of conversation. About five years ago when he started down a new career path, very similar to mine in that it’s 100% commission, you’re running your own business, dependent on your efforts and your production.
So when he was only a few months in and presented an opportunity to go on a ski vacation without me, it was a very strong no from me. I mean, what the fuck? I hadn’t been on a vacation in well over a year, you have to do the work, man. Like, you have to make a sacrifice, you have to do the work. I had been at this for a few years and I hadn’t had that freedom.
By the way, I want to point out that that was my choice, not healthy, and something that I respect very much about my husband. We very much are the opposite in this sense and I truly do feel like we balance each other out very well. I push a little too hard, he can be a little lax in some areas too. So we balance each other.
But I had to do years of coaching on this and I still am. There’s so much importance on play and rest, it’s so crucial, especially when you’re going after and pushing yourself and expect so much out of your mind and your body. However, at that time, I wasn’t all that interested in this concept or the trip, for that matter.
He did go on that vacation and I was pissed. But I got over it. My way of dealing with this at this time was to work 100% harder while he was away to prove my point of you have to do the work. I don’t really think that I proved anything to him but whatever. A few months later and yet another opportunity comes up for a boy’s weekend.
Fuck no, nope, not happening, end of conversation. Not happening. So I thought. Until one nice Sunday afternoon when we were sitting outside, I remember this day so vividly, we were sitting outside and he was really quiet all day, he was just nervous to bring up this topic of conversation because it always brought up animosity between the two of us. And he mumbled under his breath that he was going on this trip and he already booked his flight.
I was livid. I didn’t speak to him for days, I literally think he left that next week and specifically didn’t tell me until then because he knew that this would be the outcome of it. So what did I do, you ask? Again, I’ve grown a lot from this point, but I went out and bought myself an Audi while he was gone. Yes, like, an $80,000 vehicle while he was gone without him having any say in it whatsoever.
Motherfucker, if you’re going to take all this time off of work and go have fun while I’m grinding away, I’m going to spend my money how I want. I don’t need you. What makes this story even better is that every single sales person within that dealership was a man, of course. And they treated me like I didn’t know what I was doing, like what did little old me know about cars.
And I actually know a lot about cars, and one guy literally asked me, “Where’s your husband? When is your husband going to be coming to meet you?” I got really pissed at that moment, I made him work really hard for the sale. It wasn’t easy. And not once did they speak to my husband, not once did they meet with my husband. Nor did my husband sign anything in regards to my car.
So I tell this story because I get it. I get it. Like, does this resonate with you at all? I know that this is a bit extreme and I do want to point out that this was years ago for my husband and I. We have come a long way. We travel, we take time off, I see the importance of that, we understand each other’s needs, which are very different. We’ve learned to communicate better, we support each other and each other’s needs, we have grown a ton.
But here’s the thing. I hear this conversation and different versions literally every week. I have a team of strong females that have found more success than they have ever dreamed of. I have watched each and every one of them morph into this beautiful butterfly of confidence and courage and strength. I have also watched them slowly out-earn their spouses. And when this happens, there’s also growth that needs to happen within relationships.
It is such an incredible world today to see all the opportunity for women. However, I do feel like it’s still new in some areas. There’s a lot of guilt and shame with the thoughts that come up and a sense of insignificance for our partners as well. I want to shed some light on this because all too often, women hold in their feelings, their bad thoughts. And I don’t think there are enough people being able to talk about and say, “Yeah, I totally get it. I’ve been there.”
It’s important to remember that this is a journey for our spouses. They’re finding a way in your wake and sometimes your ego as well. They’re holding on and trying to please or control from a place of fear. Where do I fit in? Am I enough? Do I make you happy? The world that we live in today is so rewarding and the female leaders that we have out there leading the way, it’s incredible.
But to be fair, it is still new. And it takes an incredibly strong man to stand next to his wife and support her massive success. Regardless of the roles, you have to be able to grow together. Or eventually, you will outgrow your relationship. I see it all the time, and it’s not just me. The divorce rate is at an all-time high. It’s easier to just say I’m not happy, or you’re holding me back, or vice versa, rather than digging in.
I don’t know about you but the people that I admire and I hope to always embody and I respect so much are those couples that have been through it all together. Gosh, there’s so much power in growing together. Working to make each other the best versions of themselves. Believing in each other and being there when times are hard, creating an incredible life together and still madly in love at 100 or 110, who knows, whatever it is.
But how? What is the secret to that? It’s really easy to get frustrated or resentful when going after big things, especially when one person is seeing it and feeling more success than the other. Some of the tools that have helped me along the way, and a big one recently, step one, is honoring our thoughts.
We must be brave enough to allow these thoughts and feelings to present themselves as they are. Yes, as they are. Stop feeling bad about the way you feel. As my friend recently said, “I’m angry. I have resentment towards him. I feel bad about it.” So what does she do? She pushes them down, even deeper within herself. What does that do? Continues to strengthen them. We have to allow ourselves to feel what we need to feel, honor our thoughts, release them. Over and over and over again.
Allow yourself grace. We are all human, working through emotion and judgment. We need to stop judging our thoughts and just let them be. We are not bad human beings or wives or moms or whatever because we have these thoughts and emotions. We have to be able to work through them. When we shed light on them, we allow them to be seen. We allow them to be released and free ourselves of the pain they are consistently causing us.
Step two, give love. Also realizing that our spouses just want to be loved, I guess I can’t speak for every spouse, but speaking from my own personal experience, and the experiences of incredible women around me, their spouses are their biggest supporters. I couldn’t do what I’m doing without the love and belief and encouragement of my husband.
And in return, he just wants to know that he matters, that I need him. And he is a part of the big picture. And that he’s loved. Being able to openly communicate with partners and where they fit into this big picture as you grow is key.
Also, there is so much love and goal setting together. Do a vision board together. Share what you see for your future. Share what your vision is for your life together. Remember that sometimes this can take time, it can take time for them to be able to see it and feel it and know that it’s possible.
When we set out to charter new waters, and set out to live bigger lives, your spouse may not have that same vision, not in the beginning. Have some fun supporting each other’s big dreams. Sharing and creating a vision together. I am pretty lucky, I’m very, very grateful that I have the husband that I have, that he supports so much of what I’m doing, and committed to self-development and creating an incredible life together.
I know that not everyone is that lucky, but I do feel like if you can really share that perspective, if you can share where you’re coming from and give context and give them some time to create their own feelings about things, that’s going to make a massive difference.
And lastly, masculine and feminine energy. I will leave you with this to ponder. This was life-changing. A life-changing takeaway for me that I received while I was attending Date with Destiny, a Tony Robbins event. And it’s all on masculine and feminine energy. He does an entire day on relationships and this was so eye-opening for me.
Especially for women that are in roles within their business, which I’m fairly confident in saying that most high achieving women live in masculine energy when it comes to their business. This is one of the biggest causes of failed relationships. When you lose that spark, that passion, that energy that you had when you first met, this is why.
Every relationship needs masculine and feminine energy. It doesn’t matter who’s bringing it, it doesn’t matter who has more masculine or who has more feminine energy, and it can change from time to time. It can literally change day to day, hour to hour. But you have to have a balance of this energy within your intimate relationships.
So for example, when you have a strong man that lives in masculine energy in his personal life and a strong woman that is living and bringing in energy from her career and her work days, masculine energy, into their personal relationships, that’s when you’re going to start having issues. You have to have the opposites. You have to have masculine and feminine energy.
So for example, Tony shared a really great story about him and his wife, Sage, and I love Sage Robbins. She is such an incredible person, I’m just as obsessed with her as I am Tony. Those two have an incredible relationship and she’s very much a part of everything that Tony does.
And so he’s telling this story about their own relationship and a time when they were struggling a little bit. And he’s like, “My god, like, we have such an incredible thing, like, you know, trying everything and not being able to like, get that spark going again.” And after a while working through things he realized – what he realized is that Sage was really living in masculine energy.
So you have two very dominant energies, masculine energies within one household and they weren’t connecting the way that they used to connect. And in a previous relationship of Sage’s, she lived in masculine energy. And in her relationship now, she goes from one to the other but she was bringing that into the relationship and they didn’t have those opposites.
He said she’s an incredible strong woman, but when she brings masculine energy, he doesn’t switch so much into feminine – he has a lot of masculine energy. And so when her feminine energy isn’t present within their personal relationship, that’s when they started having issues.
And it’s funny because they say – you know, Sage is very much involved in the business side of everything that they do, and he said within my businesses, if it is up to either people can choose me or Sage to come in and have to work through something, they are like, scared of Sage. They would much rather have to deal with Tony than Sage.
So it’s just interesting this concept in the roles and the energies that we take on through our day to days, and especially as women, as we’re kind of navigating between these two. And I do the same thing for me. Like, realizing that I don’t have to be a hardass all the time, being able to let go and step into the beauty of the feminine energy that I had. That’s amazing.
And for me, it’s really important to do the things that make me feel pretty, to make me feel beautiful and sexy and realizing when I need to do what and how. You know, either getting dressed up, not wearing work clothes all the time, or you know, putting on lipstick that makes you feel really good. Whatever it is that allows me to soften my world a little bit.
This is also one of the reasons why I believe that women hold the power to be incredible leaders. They have this beautiful, strong, emotional power in feminine energy while also being able to step in and out of that masculine energy when needed. That’s like a superpower. That’s incredible.
So this week, I will leave you with honor your thoughts. Honor your thoughts and see what comes up. Stop judging your thoughts that come up. Shed light on the darkness and release it. Be able to move on. We don’t need to carry these things with us anymore. Know that all of this is growth, and to be able to grow together with someone you love is more powerful than any amount of success.
And lastly, step into your feminine power. Give love. See where that takes you and your relationships and your goals. I hope you all have an incredible week this week. Make it great. I can’t wait to see you again next week. Thank you so much for joining, this has been such an incredible ride so far.
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