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  • Writer's pictureJenn

When They Aren't Who You Think They Should Be

How to create peace with what is

I had never heard of this rule. But obviously one had been broken.

There were dried flowers in the garbage can and her mom was fuming.

I happened to be staying at my friend's house on her parents' anniversary and apparently bringing dried flowers instead of freshly cut flowers was a no-no.

We all have rules in our relationships about how to feel loved, important, appreciated, etc.

Just like we have manuals for our vehicles:

Where we look when something doesn't seem to be working right and how to fix it.

When we don't feel loved or appreciated in a marriage or relationship we tend to do the same thing.

We look through the rules we have made to see what needs to be fixed.

He is supposed to bring a thoughtful gift.

He should have planned something.

I shouldn't have to tell him it's our anniversary.

But here are the main problems with the manual:

  1. Other people are not very good at being who we think they should be.

  2. Other people are not very good at reading our minds.

  3. The manual punishes YOU. It's like you're punching yourself in the face and trying to get him to stop it.

Let's use the anniversary as an example.

Celebrating an anniversary is intended to deepen and celebrate connection.

But when you become angry or upset

Make it mean something about him and how he should be doing things differently

Make it mean something about the marriage and how disappointing it has been or how unlikely it is you will ever be partners

....Blame him for not acting how you imagined in your mind....

Become cool and distant

Try to control him and direct his change

Or pretend to be calm, loving, and unaffected when you actually are

These all serve to decrease connection.

In fact, you end up loving a different version, the one you thought he should be, instead of the version of him that you have now.

Not what you were going for.

If you do this, like I have before, and so many of my clients do too...

You are normal.


You can use all of that amazing ability to see the need for change and make change happen IN YOU.

When someone acts in a way you wish they didn't

You can pull your focus from how they are not showing up as the best self you believe they should

Over to the best self you know you can by asking these questions:

What do I want to be like when he....

How can I use this experience to become a better version of myself?

Instead of, "How can I stop this experience right now and control my husband?"

The solution is to throw the manual away.

Maybe you don't know the best way for him to be him.

Maybe you don't need to change him to feel connected on that day of the year.

Have expectations for you and how you will take care of yourself and how you will show up.

When you can do this you don't spend all of that time in disappointment and depression over what is.

You just get to love him AND choose one of the many options available to you:

  • Ignore it and be okay?

  • Buy yourself a gift and thank him for contributing the money?

  • Spend the day remembering your favorite marriage moments?

  • Write him a card?

  • Leave the marriage?

  • Plan the whole day yourself?

  • Ask for exactly what you are hoping for and has a backup, resentment-free plan if the answer is no.

SOOO many options when you take your focus off of the thing you really can't control.


Can you imagine what it would be like to just be happy he is home instead of disappointed?

To take yourself out to a movie without feeling rejected, bitter, resentful, angry about it?

Not rely on someone who still has trouble remembering to pick up his socks, to make you happy?


And it doesn't mean you don't have expectations.

It means you stop breaking your own heart if he doesn't comply to them.

  • He gets to be him.

  • You get to be you.

  • You get to love him no matter what.

  • You get to be taken care of.

Win Win Win Win Win Win!

My best to you,



If you want help reaching this level in your relationships just click the button

to schedule a strategy call. We can talk about what your relationships looks like now, what you want it to look like instead, and exactly what you can do to start making that happen immediately.

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