{Couple holding hands}

I know that when my connection with John is feeling stretched as a result of work, travel, or parenting commitments, it’s a signal that I need to slow way down and get hyper-focused on investing energy into the foundation of our relationship. I recognize this in my clients’ experiences as well.

My clients usually start to share frustrations like:

  • He/she doesn’t appreciate what I do
  • He/she doesn’t listen to me
  • He/she doesn’t help out enough
  • I don’t feel like being intimate as much as he/she does
  • He/she feels distant
  • He/she thinks I’m too sensitive

And then, they share what they really want is:

  • I want him/her tell me how much he/she appreciates how much I do
  • I just want him/her hold me
  • I want him/her to admit when they’re wrong
  • I want him/her to really listen to me
  • I want him/her to be a partner and not just my spouse
  • I want him/her to adore me
  • I just want to feel special

Enter Boundaries

I’ve noticed that once my clients start mentioning a desire to feel different in their relationships,  it’s an issue of their values being out of sync and not setting clear boundaries. When it comes to boundaries, that could mean they’re either having their boundaries encroached upon and aren’t setting clear boundaries with their partner, or they are too controlling and encroaching into the boundaries of their partner.

It’s worth taking a hard look at your boundaries and getting clarity on what’s most important to you. Sidebar: Do you know your top six values? If you don’t, I share how to get to them in this post about upgrading your mindset.

Let me give you an example.

I have a client Greta, a mother of three little girls, who took two months off from work to transition into a new role at a new company. Not just any role, but a job that lights her up so much, she doesn’t want to leave. She feels alive, purposeful, and challenged.

Simultaneously, she’s missing dinner time with her husband, which used to be the time that they would connect. He’s also very frustrated and is withdrawing. Anytime she starts talking about her latest, cool work project, he tunes it out. Naturally, she’s feeling very disconnected, unappreciated, and lonely.

She had two choices;

Option A: Keep blaming him for withdrawing
Option B: Look at how she was showing up

We took option B because that’s the only path she had control over. She got crystal clear that her top value was integrity, and she didn’t like the way she was showing up for herself. She wasn’t keeping her word to her husband about commitments, nor was sticking to boundaries at work that honored how she wanted to experience herself, and it was leaving her feeling resentful and in a victim state.

Together, she took steps to get herself back into integrity and got clear on what a healthy boundary looked like that still allowed her to feel purposeful, alive, and challenged at work.

Look ladies (and a few gents — I know you’re out  there!), if you’re feeling like you’ve have two out of three, and you’re aiming for all three, it may feel impossible, but it’s not. Keep breathing and take the two-step approach.

What value is out of integrity and what boundary do you need to create for yourself, so that you can honor what’s most important to you?

I want to hear from you. When the wheels start to come off your relationship, how do you re-engage it, without sacrificing who you really are?

Much Love,

{Sarah}