Empowering Me within Our We•
Posted on November 29 2018
Check emails/social media.
Maybe kiss partner on cheek.
Get out of bed.
Prep children (if applicable).
Depart the house.
Pick up kids.
Put kids to bed.
Maybe peck partner on cheek.
B-O-R-I-N-G! Is this what you envisioned all those nights you prayed for a romantic relationship? Is this what was on ALL of the vision boards you created? Is this what you heart desired when you longed for a partner during your single life? (check our perspective of singlehood here) Is this what you tag as #goals under pictures on social media?
So what happened? I'll tell you what happened... you, he or both stopped cultivating a healthy, fun empowering relationship with self. Take a few moments and think back to when you two first met. What attracted you to each other? What made you and him stand out from the crowd and the other individuals who were trying to put their "name in the hat"?
Think back a bit further, what did YOUR life look like before he was even on your radar? You are here, a member of our Good Girl Mafia tribe, so we KNOW you were and are a bad ass! More than likely you were a mover and shaker. Your social and civic calendars were full. Perhaps you attended yoga, spin, running, played tennis or were a member of a cross training box. You had weekly happy hour with both your girl and guy friends. You attended various social events and galas. You attended homecoming annually with your sorority sisters at your alma mater. There were girl trips to tropical locales and fun mixers on the slopes during winter. You kept your nails done and lady/body parts waxed. You walked into rooms exuding confidence and happiness and I am sure this is what caught his attention.
If you are anything like the women in our tribe, it was probably a bit challenging for him to get on your calendar for the initial meet and greet because it was so packed with you living your best life and you were NOT looking for a prince charming nor were you pressed for male attention (I mean come on, you were a certified Bad Ass!). However, when you two were finally able to be in the same place at the same time, the conversation was intoxicating to him because you had all of these layers and depth as a result of the relationship you cultivated and nurtured with self. You shared your adventures of hiking a mountain barefoot in Vietnam (Yes, I did this - hey I am a fellow bad ass too), or what you discovered about yourself while on a solo trip to Bali (what up Diana!). It was evident you were a woman with many layers and depth and he knew he wanted to be a part of your journey. You were a 'whole' woman, not a piece of a woman who subscribed to the erroneous belief that somehow she was made incomplete and required a man to save, heal or fix her.
Where is she now?
Sure, you are in a committed relationship now, but does that mean the woman who began this relationship is dead? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Yes, I know responsibilities change when you become married and a mom but do you know what I also know? Your level of emotional wellness and happiness has a direct correlation to the health and wellness of ALL of your relationships including with your children and significant other. When you are healthy and happy, you serve as a beautiful example to your children of what it looks like and that they too can create it for themselves. It is also extremely attractive to your partner and also reminds him that he too can create the same. Instead of the 'pre-relationship' version of you disappearing, she evolves.
One of the best ways to remain empowered in your relationship is by continuing to cultivate an emotionally healthy relationship with self by making 'Me Time' a priority. Your calendar is filled with the expectations and needs of others (children, spouse, work, etc), place yourself on your calendar as well. Make yourself a priority, because let me tell you if you "fall out" neither the world, nor your job or family will stop; instead they will all merely reshuffle and reassign. Whoa!
Place a spa day on your calendar monthly.
Keep your grooming up.
Reconnect with your girlfriends, REGARDLESS of their marital status.
Make time to read and learn something of interests.
Take a solo trip, even if it is a road trip.
Return to homecoming, take your family, and show your children/husband aspects of your life before they existed (because that version of you contributed to the woman you are today).
Add a babysitter to the budget.
Each of these activities continues to add depth to who you are and creates a space to discover more about self. It also adds new things to share with your significant other, allowing both parties to see each other outside of 'parent mode.' Schedule weekly date nights, get dressed up and connect as a romantic couple or engage in a team strengthening type of dates (i.e. indoor rock climbing, bowling, etc). Reignite the flame.
Sure your interests may have evolved from your pre-relationship space, but so have you. You do not stop generating new layers and depth when you enter into a relationship. You do not stop growing. A relationship is merely another layer to the Bad Ass that is you. You are not a hamster, so get off of that wheel. By making your health and wellness on all levels a priority, continuing to cultivate your friendships, taking time for self and discovering new aspects by stepping outside of comfort zone are all beautiful, sustainable ways to remain empowered regardless of your marital and child status. But here's a little secret, when you cultivate an empowered space with self you realize you are in a lifelong committed relationship with self and she is a member of our tribe, The Good Girl Mafia who Grows Love...and she's a Bad Ass!
Misha N. Granado, MPH, MS is a Certified Relationship Therapist and owner of Love Grows: The Relationship Consultants, a boutique firm specializing in healthy relationships.
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