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Episode 24 - There's Something Wrong With His Model

Episode 24 Overview

How can we get our husbands to cheer up when they're so down? How do we get them to see that their thoughts and the way they see the problem is really the issue? How do we get them to show up the way we need them?

I'm so excited to share an advanced episode with you this week!

On episode 24, I'm answering a really common question... "what if the problem is HIS model?"

I'll be giving you three tools to deal with this. You'll learn how to examine your own thoughts, separate from the rules in your mind that are actually making you crazy, and get yourself into his corner. 

It's totally counter-intuitive, but it's so transformational.

Additional resources:


00:00 Episode 24: There's Something Wrong With His Model. Welcome to the First Year Married podcast, where we get real about building the marriage of your dreams. I'm marriage coach Kayla Levin and I take newly married and engaged women from anxious and insecure to confident and connected, with practical tips, real life inspiration, and more than a little self-awareness along the way.

00:38 Hi ladies, welcome back. This is going to be a bit of a follow-up episode on episode 22, which is There's Something Wrong With Him. We're going to be getting a little bit advanced. So if you haven't listened yet to episode 12, I think that's the best to start, if you want to just jump right into the thought work. That's called Mind Management, and that will give you a real foundation. The other thing I want to encourage everyone to do if you haven't yet, is if you go to, you can actually watch the first video of the First Year Married course, in which I teach the entire self-coaching model, and you even get a worksheet. You can get that for free just by signing up for that video. That is totally free, it's available on my site at all times. That is a great place to start to really take this work a little bit further.

01:21 There's a question that's been coming in, in a couple of different forms. It sounds like this, "Now that I've learned the model, I'm noticing that my husband's model is wrong. How do I teach him how to do the model, or how do I correct his model?" Another version of this is, "My husband is so upset, my husband is so cranky. He's not functioning. What do I do about that? How do I show him thought work to change that around?," right? Or, "What do I need to say to him to cheer him up? How do I need to fix that?"

01:51 I want to give you three tools. This might be a little bit of a short episode, but I think it's going to be very to the point. Three tools that you can use when you see that your husband's model, meaning whatever's going on in his brain, seems to be not working. Okay? The very first thing ... and this is not what you want to hear, but that's my job, is to tell you what you need to hear and not necessarily what you want to hear ... the very first thing is to step back and you need to really articulate what is your thought about his behavior. And you're going to also articulate your feelings.

02:28 For instance, let's say your husband is extremely cranky and negative. That's not a circumstance, that's actually already a thought. Now, your circumstance might be that your husband slammed the door loudly, and then locked it, and he's supposed to be at dinner with you. That you could say, right, that's just a literal thing. But when you say that he's cranky, he's acting inappropriately, all of that stuff, we're already adding some chatter onto the literal thing that happened.

02:56 Now, the reason this is really important isn't so that you go, "Oh, he slammed the door. Oh, he screamed in my face. This is all lovely, I love it. It's wonderful when he does that." No, that's not realistic and that's not what we're going for. But what we do want to pay attention to is that what I make it mean is optional. Which means I have choice here. I can make it mean different things. I can detach myself from the meaning that I'm adding. What literally is happening, I can't change, that's outside of my control. So you just want to ... it helps to not go into victim mentality, right? If you think to yourself, "My husband is so mean." So you're victim, now you're married to a mean person. Where instead if you were to just say, "My husband yells," so then you have a lot of choices about having a husband that yells.

03:42 You could decide that you don't care that he yells. You could decide that you are going to tell him that when he yells, you're going to leave the room. You could decide that you're not willing to be married to a person who yells. Anything, right? You can choose your response but you can't ... if it's just, "He's mean," I'm not dealing with the facts on the ground, I'm already dealing with my chatter about what means. My interpretation, sort of the glasses that I'm looking at the behavior through. It's not clean, right? It's not clean thought work. So we want to always do that dividing out. So the first thing that you're going to do is just articulate for yourself what is literally happening, "What do I think about that?" Usually the thought is what you reach out to me with, right? So if you say to me, "My husband's model is wrong, how do I fix it," so the thought is, "My husband's model is wrong and I need to fix it, or I can fix it."

04:29 Then, try and tune in to what the feeling is that that thought is creating for you. So if I think that my husband's model is wrong, so that might make me feel kind of antsy, like I need to get going on this. If I'm thinking, "My husband is mean," then I might be resentful or feel like a victim, or scared. If I am feeling like my husband is kind of broken ... this is one that comes up a lot too ... which is like, "He kind of seems like he was running fine, and now, like lately, we're having ... like we need like the factory reset button." Right? Like he's broken. He lost his job, whatever. "The thing that was working isn't working anymore, we need to fix it." Okay? That's a thought.

05:10 What does that make you feel? Okay? "My husband is broken" often creates a lot of insecurity, anxiety, sometimes frustration, sometimes resentment. There's kind of this feeling of, "This isn't what I signed up for." So really articulate for yourself, what is literally happening, what you're thinking about it, what you're making that mean, and how all that's making you feel. That's the first step, because we can't move forward if we're not being clean about where we're coming from. So even though I know you want me to change his model, we have to start with looking at yours, always, always. The best red flag for you about when it's time to look at your model, it's any time that you feel that urgency. Okay? If you feel like something needs to be changed now or fixed now, or you need to quit your job now.

05:57 So unless you are in physical danger, obviously, that is a sign you are working from a thought and not from the circumstance. And you're not questioning that thought, you're not saying, "What if that thought isn't true? What if I chose a different thought? What if there's another thought out there for me?" That's what these empowering speakers do, right? They offer you a different thought. They give you something, then they make you believe it. To go even more meta, it's just to say all those thoughts are totally optional.

06:24 Again, any of you that have done any meditation, they do a great job of ... it's a great way of getting there, it's just sort of noticing your thoughts, not attaching to them. That visualization of your thoughts are just clouds and they're floating through the sky and you watch them go. It allows you to divide between what's really going on and then all the things you're making it mean, and just practice seeing those as something outside of yourself and not something that you have to accept. Or that just because I had a thought, that must be something that's very true, that's my authentic observation.

06:57 It's really just something that popped up in my brain, and what I do, my job, is to decide about which thoughts I'm going to take. Step two is to notice where you are should-ing, where you are using "should", and to let go of that. We have a lot of preconceived notions about what the job is of a husband. That might come from movies, it might come from religion, it might come from your parents, the model that you had from them. It might come from other married couples that you know, from your friends that are married. It might come from Instagram couples, right? We have all these notions of their jobs and how they should be showing up. Sometimes it's also we just reflect back what we expect of ourselves on somebody else.

07:45 Now, we can have expectations, but it's helpful to keep in mind that our expectations aren't some universal truth. Okay? For anyone that ... whatever ... any expectation you can throw at me about ... let's say, I believe that my husband should be an emotional support for me. But when I started doing thought work, I realized he shouldn't be an emotional support for me whenever I need it. He should be like when I've asked for his availability and he actually is available, and he's rested and he can. He actually has the fuel in the tank to give me that emotional support, right?

08:26 That's kind of the adjustment that you might be making, or you might just question that. But the point is, again, to just have that realization, there's no ... it's not written up in the sky what a husband is supposed to be doing. So when I say like, "He shouldn't be doing. Like I need him to not be cranky," what if he just should be cranky sometimes? What if that's fine? What if him being negative or him being depressed, or all of those things, what if there is no "should" about that? Whatever is happening is exactly how it should be. Yeah?

08:56 And then I just refocus myself, "What's my lane?" Right? "What's my job? How do I want to show up?" Because I'm not going to concern myself with how he should be acting. I caught myself on this recently. I was on Facebook. I was feeling very high and mighty because somebody posted something and there were a ton of very cynical remarks. I was like, "Oh, these people. They're all so cynical and they think that other people should be responsible for this problem. And they don't see that they're just creating all this negativity for themselves because they're so cynical." And then I was like, "Oh my gosh, Kayla. Stop it." Because what was I doing? I was looking at the cynical people and saying they shouldn't be cynical, right? No, they should be. That's their job. Their job, those people, they're the cynical ones. That's their job and they're doing a great job of it. If they want to change their mind one day and not be so cynical, then go for it. Have a party.

09:51 But here I was feeling so enlightened because I wasn't one of the cynical people. Meanwhile I was being ... all that negativity that was repelling me, that I was thinking they shouldn't be so negative, that was just me creating negativity because I was blaming them for being too negative. Right? So here I am creating all this negativity in my life, where I could have just been like, "Oh, dude, that's the cynical guy. He's doing great, right?" So the second step again is let go of the "should". Whatever he's doing is fine. We don't want to get so caught up in how he should be behaving, what we expected. What he's doing is fine because I really just want to focus on my lane. What's my job? How am I showing up?

10:32 The last thing that I want to give you on this one is to think, "What's the gift I can give him right now?" If you are more of an extroverted type, and he is more of an introverted type, you might choose to give him the gift of solitude. If you're more of the introverted type and he's the more extroverted type, you might choose to give him the gift of your energy, right? If he likes to go out and be with friends, you might choose to give him that gift, right?

10:58 So whatever you're seeing in terms of the behavior, right? It's like he comes home and he's stomping around the house because his boss was such a jerk. And here you're thinking, "You're being a jerk because you're thinking about your boss being a jerk." Like this is a model problem. But what if instead you were just like, "Okay, whatever he's doing right now is what he should be doing. I am feeling really annoyed because I think he shouldn't be acting that way." That was step one, right? "I'm feeling annoyed because I don't think he should be acting that way." That's mine to own.

11:30 Number two, "I think he shouldn't be stomping around the house, but nobody wrote that in the sky, on stone tablets. Nobody ever agreed before coming into this world that as a husband, you'd never stomp around the house. So okay, I'm just going to let go of that 'should'. What he should be doing is stomping around the house right now."

11:47 Then often that can lead really nicely into number three. What's the gift I want to give him? I am going to hear this rant out. I am going to be the best rant listener ever, okay? I'm going to let that guy stomp. I'm donating this house to be a stomping ground for him to get it off his chest. This is my job. This is me giving him the gift of, "You get to be cranky, you get to be frustrated, and I'm just going to hear it out. I'm not going to interrupt you. I'm going to listen. When you think you're done, I'm going to keep listening. I want to hear what else you have to say about your boss. Let's get it all out. And I might ask some questions if I have questions, but they're not going to be questions like, 'Oh well, do you think that maybe if you showed up on time, your boss wouldn't be so annoying?' No. They're going to be questions like, "Ugh, like what do you think the perfect boss would be like?' Or, 'If you were the boss, how would you do it differently?'" Okay?

12:35 This is the process of going from being you're in the ring as opponents, like, "I'm try to fix you, I'm trying to change you, I'm trying to get you to see this," to like what I want you to picture yourself, is like he's in the ring and you're in the corner. So here he is dealing with his life, and ideally you're both doing this for each other, right? You're taking turns, but he is dealing with his frustration, whatever it is. Imagine yourself, visualize yourself, "I am in his corner, and when he needs to come back, I'm going to have the water bottle and the rag ready to go. And I'm going to send him back out to the ring." Okay? What does that mean? That means that when he comes to you, you're not like, "Ooh, you think that maybe that left hook, like you could have worked on that?" No. He coming back and you're like, "You've got this. What do you need? I'm here." Yeah?

13:24 That really is, to me, the transformation from going from just a relationship to being a relationship and a friendship. Right? Because when you're friends, friends have an amazing ability to be less attached to the result. Right? Why is it so hard in our marriages and not as hard in other places? Because we're attached to the result. You think your husband isn't performing well at work? That affects you directly, because maybe he's not performing well. Maybe he'll lose his job. Maybe then you're going to lose your income, right? It's very easy. It's very easy to see how attached you are to what happens. But if you could take off the wife hat, because sometimes that's not so helpful, and you could put on the friend hat. And just hear that person out from a place that's sort of detachment. "Whatever is going to happen, whatever the result is, I'm just in for the ride. I'm here to support him, I'm here to see the good in him. I'm here to cheer him on."

14:18 Very similar to what I said in episode 22, There's Something Wrong With Him, is that this process gives him room to grow into. He doesn't need one more person who's picking out everything that he's getting wrong. It seems like that's coming from a place of perfecting. Right? The most critical people are the ones who they want to perfect, they want to improve. It's coming from a good place. It doesn't work on people. Right? What works on people is, "I've got an image. I know who you are, and I'm going to hold that even when you feel like you're a failure. Even when you think you don't have it together. I know who you are and I'm just going to give you this." Because you know what? Because the most successful people in the world get to have tantrums sometimes. They get to have bad days. You're going to have a bad day, I'm going to be in the corner. I'll get your water bottle ready to go.

15:04 All right. Those are my three tips for you for how to deal when your husband's model is off, or when he is just really in a bad place. Here for you. Please reach out on Instagram @firstyearmarried. I love hearing from you. I love hearing your questions. If there's something else you want me to cover in a future episode, I would so love to hear your ideas, your questions. I will see you back here next week. All right, take care. Bye bye.

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