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5 Ways to Reclaim Your Time, Your Identity, and Your Focus NOW

28 Nov 17
Chavonne Perotte
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It never fails.

As soon as you sit down to have a quiet moment for yourself, someone needs you.

Your time immediately becomes consumed by meeting their needs, addressing their wants, and catering to their desires.

There was a time where you joyfully did those things, but now they seem like impositions. Inconveniences. Inconsideration.

And your frustration shows. You hurry to get it done. You’re not fully present and engaged. You’re annoyed and agitated that THIS is how you have to spend your time at the moment.

Is it too much to ask for a minute or two for you and you alone?

The demands of being a mother, wife, sister, friend, professional, and the long list of every other role you seem to fulfill, can be overwhelming at times.

And we all reach a point where continuing on the path we are headed, is just not cutting it anymore.

“There HAS to be a better way” rings through our minds over and over again.

You’ve seen firsthand the effects of being overwhelmed, stressed and burnt out.

You take things too personally and have become overly sensitive.

You have a hard time handling even small challenges.

Your patience is long gone and that kind and loving attitude is more the exception than the norm.

You spend more time worried about what’s next to do than appreciating the beauty of the present moment.

You make decisions based on what’s urgent and necessary rather than what’s important and aligned with your values.

You’re depleted and are trying to operate from an empty cup, offering that last drop in service to others in some way.

And here’s what you already know:

The time of putting yourself last, of constantly sacrificing yourself for others,

and running on empty as GOT to stop.

 

But knowing where to begin to turn the tide can sometimes be as difficult as recognizing the true problem in the first place.

You barely even know who you are anymore. It’s hard to identify what can bring true joy to your life right now. Sure, you’re busy, doing this thing and that, but behind the smiling faces, the check-ins at fun places, and the inspiring quotes that fill your Facebook timeline, is an emptiness that has lingered on for much too long.

You need your time back.

You need to rediscover who you really are and who you want to be.

You need to refocus on the things that truly matter to you and enhance your life in tangible ways.

I can say all this because I’m right where you are. As a 40 year-old mother of a 1 and 3 year old, my life, for the past 3 years has been a whirlwind of uncontrollable emotions, a search for significance and purpose, and scattered activities chasing things I thought would bring me happiness and a sense of fulfillment.

And as 2017 comes to a close, I refuse to enter 2018 the way I did this year. I realized that something had to change, and that SOMEthing, was me.

Several months ago, I embarked upon an intense and intentional journey of self-care. There have been habits and practices I’ve engaged in that have literally changed my life. I’ve been able to reclaim my time in a way that truly honors how I want to live my life. I’ve learned more about who I am as a person and the path to becoming more of the person I need to become. I’ve become aware of new ways to focus and stay on track pursuing the things that matter most and are aligned with my soul’s purpose. And now I want to share what I’ve been doing with you. What follows are the 5 most important things I began doing for myself that have helped me maintain my peace, my grounding, and my sanity when my time, my sense of self and my focus seemed to be slipping away.

 

#1. Create a morning routine.

This is absolutely essential as it sets you up for the entire day. A routine is a regular way you do things, in a particular order. So, right now, when you wake up, there are probably certain things you do automatically without giving it much thought. Creating a routine, on the other hand, is just being more intentional about it. Decide what will happen the second you wake up. How will you direct your thinking from the moment you enter into conscious awareness? What activities will you engage in that help you start your day with the right attitude, spirit and perspective? Be diligent in this routine and let nothing keep you from completing the items you’ve decided to do.

 

#2. Base your to-do list on your values and what’s important to you.

I’m sure if I asked, you would say your family is the most important thing to you. But do your actions and activities truly reflect that? Many times, we take care of the things that are urgent, but not that important, when really our time should be spent more on what’s important, which is rarely urgent. The phone calls to a loved one, taking time to just play and enjoy the children in our lives, reading that book that will help make our life better. Those are important but rarely get the full time they deserve. It’s time to base your time on the things you value most. If you have a moment, take a look at the Eisenhower Decision Matrix and assess how your time is allocated. This will be super helpful in determining what things you need to start saying no to, so that you can say yes to the things that are more important.

 

#3. Connect with like-minded women.

We learn about ourselves and thrive in relation to others. Your identity is in part a function of the types of social environments you put yourself in. We are relational beings created for connection. When we are in community with others who are striving for the same goals, embarking on the same journey of self-improvement, and can encourage and motivate us when we need it, we win. There comes a time in your life where the circle you are part of no longer helps you to grow -where you fall into old patterns of behavior, rather than soaring to a new level of yourself. That’s a clear indication that a new identity, a new version of yourself is wanting to be birthed, it just needs the right sphere of influence to come into existence.

 

#4. Align yourself with God and His purpose for your life.

So much of our pursuits in life, are a result of wanting to connect with our purpose. When we are not operating in that space, something feels incomplete. We know there is more to life for us, but are not sure how to get there or what it entails exactly. And so, we spend time aimlessly trying to find fulfillment in things that are not matched to our soul’s desires. We lose a sense of self playing the “role” that everyone expects of us rather than being led by the expectations of the one who creates us in the first place. We need to cultivate the habit of sitting still and listening to that small, quiet voice within that’s always trying to guide us to our destiny.

 

#5. Develop a gratitude practice.

If there is any practice that can bring things into focus and help us maintain the right perspective on what’s happening in our lives, it’s the practice of gratitude. Being able to focus your attention on all that’s working, all that’s going well, all that it unfolding exactly as it should, is an instant mood booster. And developing this skill will enable you to stay focused on any goal you’ve set out to achieve, to conquer any fear that presents itself to you, and to shift your mindset in ways that automatically set you up for success in any area of your life.

 

Now I know you may be reading this right now, nodding your head, shouting “amen” and knowing that all of this makes sense and represents the very things you need to do more of on a consistent basis. And it’s likely that you understand them, in theory. These are probably things you’ve even thought about before, but you’ve not had the time, space, or structure to actually integrate these habits and practices in your life in any meaningful or consistent way.

You don’t really know of a morning routine that can actually work for you right now.

You don’t even know where you would FIND the time to focus on yourself.

You don’t know the first step to uncovering who you really are and what things you like to do.

You may find it hard to make genuine connections with other women, and feel like, in some instances, you’ve outgrown many of your friends.

And the thought of doing some of that inner soul work to “explore your values”, and to “embrace the challenges of life” just seems like it’s no fun at all. Plus, you don’t even know how to do that in a way that leaves you feeling empowered instead of defeated and beating yourself up even more.

Or maybe you’ve been praying to God for so long now, but you don’t truly know how to quiet your mind long enough to actually hear His response.

What you really need is like a full-on break, with the time, space, and guidance to figure out how to make these things work for YOU. You need a minute to yourself with no distractions to process the things that have been left unprocessed, to tie up those lose ends in your life, and to create a realistic plan for your life as you enter into the next year.

You. Need. To. Get. Away.

And I know you’re thinking, “I can’t possibly get away. Who will do x, y, and z?”

But you have to stop and ask yourself if you can really afford not to. Can you continue on doing all of the things and going in a million different directions? Can you begin to see taking a moment to yourself as an actual GIFT to those you love? Can you see how refueling yourself first, just makes you stronger and better in all other areas of life that need you operating at full capacity?

If you’ve read this far, something I’ve said has struck a chord with you.

And maybe NOW is the time for you to actually get away.

To press pause on the busyness of life, tune into yourself and reconnect and align yourself with God.

If any of that rings true for you at this place in your life right now, I encourage you to consider joining me and some other amazing women for a getaway experience that will leave you feeling refreshed, refueled, and renewed for the remaining weeks of 2017 so you can enter 2018 as a more confident, focused, and grounded version of yourself.

On December 8-9, in New Jersey, I’m hosting the GLAM Getaway. Think pampering. Relaxing. Having fun. While also learning how to incorporate each of the above five practices in your life in a way that really works. And while GLAM does represent all of the luxurious details a woman like you will appreciate, it also stands for God’s Love Abides in Me and is all about tapping into that powerful spirit of love that lives within us all. You’ll strengthen the aspects of yourself that are just as you would like, as well as be inspired to make progress on those areas you KNOW need a little more attention and effort.

This is an unforgettable experience that will make such a HUGE difference in your life, and I’m truly honored to be your host. This 1 night away will have ripple effects in your life for the weeks, months, and years to come. Don’t miss your chance to finally reclaim your time, your identity and your focus as a new year approaches.

For all the details, agenda, as well as your discounted ticket, CLICK HERE!

 

Here’s you to reclaiming everything you want in your life,

 

 

Why Not Wednesday #94

18 Oct 17
Chavonne Perotte
No Comments

Why Not Wednesday

It’s Wednesday, let’s go!

WNW #94: Just ask. 

Often, when my daughter Madison is trying to do something, and it’s not working out, she starts to cry.

Her efforts to put the legos together, or get the doll to sit upright, or to get the stickers to actually stick is a source of frustration and disappointment when it’s not going the way she intended.

And she starts to wail.

Whenever she has these outbursts, I calmly say to her, “You don’t have to cry. Ask mommy for help. I will help you. Bring it to me.”

And when she does bring it to me, I easily fix whatever is going wrong.
It actually brings be pleasure to be able to solve her problems. To give her what she wants, and to see a smile come across her face when I do so. That precious voices saying “thank you mommy” melts my heart each and every time.

Yesterday, as I was crying in the bathroom (yes, this is what I do sometimes), praying for God to fix something for me, He reminded me of the very words I say to my own daughter. “You don’t have to cry Chavonne. Bring it to me. I’ll take care of it.”

And I stopped crying.
Immediately.

What I’m asking Him for is so easy for Him to deliver.

My problem is that my patience wanes and I being to try to make it happen on my own. But I realized that God moves faster when we get out of the way. And the way He works it out is SOOOO much better than anything we could have thought of.

So I’m getting out of the way, and I’m getting more into his presence.
There’s so much more ease and peace there.

What about you?

What do you need to bring to God today?
What have you been crying about that He’s now telling you to dry your eyes?

Take it to him. Leave it in His hands. And do nothing but watch him fix it.
Get out of the way, and get more into His presence.

Why not clear your mind of the hows, and get ready for God’s wows.*

Be still and get connected to the source of EVERYTHING you could ever need in your life.

Do you know HOW to do that?
Do you want to have an experience that allows you to do MORE of that?

I’ve got some ideas. Just hit reply and say “tell me more Chavonne” and you’ll hear all about a special opportunity I’ve created for you.

Until next time,

Chavonne

P.S. If  you have not done so, pick up a copy of my book! Voices in Your Earwill guide you day-by-day to becoming more of the person that deep down you really want to be, not only in your marriage, but in every area of your life! GET YOURS HERE

*That sentiment is actually from an awesome book I’m reading, so I can’t take full credit for it! LOL! 

5 Marriage Mistakes You Should Have Left Behind By Now

08 Mar 17
Chavonne Perotte
No Comments

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If you’re like most people, you started 2017 with hope and excitment for what this new year would bring. You want to start fresh, eyes big with total excitement and anticipation for the things ahead of you.

Because, let’s be honest, there are some things you experienced last year that you could not wait to leave behind.

Some disappointments in your marriage that still make you shake your head.

Some frustrations with your husband that can easily set you off again.

Maybe you find yourself still trying to swallow the bitter pill that 2016 slipped into your marriage. You’re trying to make sense of the things that went wrong and how you can quickly get them right again.

You’re tired of watching things unravel right before your eyes. Something once so perfect and intact, is now literally falling apart in your hands as you pull and pull hoping that not too much damage is done.

It’s a tough place to be.

But the great thing about a new year (or any new day, honestly) is that it represents a clean slate. The chance to create a new path, the opportunity to develop new habits and ways of being that make you proud of yourself and happier in your marriage.

And so here we are, already 3 months in, and what’s different for you?

Anything? Anything?

I think I hear crickets.

That’s because the key to really being able to experience all that 2017 wants to bring you is to let go of the things from the past that did not serve you or your marriage well.

The things that kept you having the same stupid arguments over and over again.

The ways you respond to certain situations that continue to leave you feeling resentful and bitter.

The habit of pointing the finger and blaming your husband for your problems instead of being willing to take a good look in the mirror at yourself.

As a relationship expert and marriage coach, I see so many women making a series of mistakes in their marriages that continue to leave them feeling upset and stuck in a state of constant unhappiness.

I wanted to share with you exactly what those top mistakes are. And if you find you are guilty, the great news is that you can put them down right now. You can leave them behind so that you have room to create new experiences that will leave you feeling happier in your marriage and experiencing the closeness and connection you really want with your husband.

But before you read on, I want you to make a commitment. I want you to make up in your mind right now that you will have a better marriage. In fact, I want you to take a minute right now to imagine what a day will look like for you when you and your husband are on better terms. When you feel really good about the place you are in, where you really enjoy each other’s company without fear of the next argument brewing. Where you no longer feel like roommates, but instead feel like soulmates. Put the picture in your mind of how you’ll interact with each other when you first wake up. How you’ll connect with each other throughout the day while you are both busy at work. Play out in your mind how you’ll be when you come together in the evening and how you’ll spend your time together once the kids are off to bed.

Hold that image in your mind.

Stay right there.

Keep holding it.

Let it imprint in your mind, almost as if you were taking a screenshot.

Got it?

OK, so the reason that day is so important, is because that’s your motivation. That’s what you’re going to have to remember when you want to pick the next fight, when you want to criticize him for something, when you feel like he’s not measuring up in the ways you imagined. That’s the image you will draw on when you are tempted to repeat the mistakes of this year that have lead you down the road to a marriage that’s not at all what you’d hoped it would be.

Now, below are the top 5 marriage mistakes you HAVE to stop making. The things you SHOULD have left behind a long time ago, but that you still struggle with.

The things that can no longer be acceptable to you.

The things you will no longer rationalize doing.

The things that just don’t fit with the person you are determined to be.

The things you just ain’t got no more time for!

Here we go…

 

#1. Putting the blame all on your husband.

Now, this is not to say he doesn’t have his faults. Everyone does. But how much time are you spending looking at HIS faults compared to working on your own? How often do you ask how you contribute to the situation you are in? Have you ever asked him what you can do to be a better spouse to him or are you mostly focused on the way he’s not meeting your needs?

What you have to realize is that BOTH of you created the mess you now find yourselves in. And while there are probably many things he could do to make things better, you have absolutely no control over that. To focus your attention there is not going to get you anything. You may be thinking that if he would just make one change, if he’d just start doing that one thing, that you’d ease up and be able to finally be happy. The truth is, it doesn’t work that way. And the proof is, it hasn’t worked that way. Blaming your husband for everything is the quickest way for you to remain unhappy. It leaves you completely powerless to achieve the happiness you want.

You are responsible for your own happiness and you achieve that when you choose to respond and react in ways that make you feel proud of who you are. When you look at the things you can do to make a situation work for you. When you blame him, he’s the only person who can fix it, and if he doesn’t, you’ll just stay stuck where you are. It’s not cute, and it’s not helpful to you. So stop it. Right. Now.

 

#2. Making excuses for why you are not doing what you need to do.

“If he’s not putting forth the effort, I’m not putting forth the effort.”

“I don’t have the energy to keep trying to make this work.”

“I’m so tired of telling him the things he should already know.”

“If he would just show me more love and attention, I’d stop getting so upset.”

“My emotions just get the best of me sometimes.”

Need I go on? Sound familiar enough to you?

Now whether this is your first time reading my posts, or if you’ve been reading them for a while, you already know what you need to do. You need to be more patient and understanding. You need to stop complaining so much. You need to give him the benefit of the doubt. You need to communicate in a kinder and more gentle tone. You need to act more like his wife than his mother. These things are not new to you. But somehow you find “reason after reason” for why the way you are being and the ways you respond are okay. I hate to tell you this, but every single one is an excuse. And excuses get you nowhere fast. Whenever they come up for you, write them down. Seriously, jot a quick note in your phone with the title: No More Excuses. After each one, I want you to write the word BUT and then complete the rest of the sentence. Here are some examples:

“I don’t have the energy to keep trying to make this work, BUT, I really want my marriage to be happy so I’ll find something I can do that seems manageable right now. 

My emotions just get the best of me sometimes, BUT I know when I over-react to situations, I feel really bad afterwards, so I’ll find some way to keep my cool.

Seriously, give this a try. It will change everything for you.

 

#3. Expecting your husband to read your mind.

Now, I know you are saying, “I don’t expect him to read my mind.”

But you do.

There are certain things you expect him to just know. Like when you need him to help out more. Or that he should be more romantic and show his love for you. Or when he should just agree with you instead of trying to offer his unsolicited advice. So many times, as women, we want our husbands to have the same level of forward thinking and sensitivity that we do. We want them to just know what we need. And then we get frustrated when they don’t get it, we don’t want to have to spell it out to them, or give them a script, or repeat ourselves for the 1,000th time. I know, you really feel like a broken record. But honestly, things get lost in translation, and if you think you are being clear, 9 times out of 10, it’s still not clear enough for him. And the quicker you can be okay with sounding like a broken record, the quicker you’ll actually get what you want from him.

I’d like for you to take a moment to think about how you feel when you are held accountable for things you were not even aware of. Maybe someone had an expectation of you that was never properly communicated. Then when you didn’t follow-through in the way they wanted, you got reprimanded. Or instead of letting you fix it, they just did all themselves. It makes you feel a little inadequate, like you’ll never be able to get it right for them. That’s not a good feeling. And in response, you want to protect yourself by either pointing the finger and blaming them, or you make the decision to not even try. No one likes to feel like they are not measuring up in some way. Especially when they didn’t even know what mark they were supposed to reach. Be clear. Be clearer. And clearer still. Clarity is one of those things you can never have too much of.

 

#4. Believing that once you “fix” your communication, your marriage problems will be solved.

Don’t get me wrong, the way you speak to each other, the words you use and the tone in which they are communicated has a big impact on the quality of your relationship. However, communication problems are really an sign of much bigger perception and connection problems. It’s more about how you see your husband – the thoughts you think about him, the baggage of past disappointments you still hold on to, the belief that he’s just not meeting your expectations – those are the things causing your communication to break down.

If you constantly think negatively about someone, you cannot exercise patience, understanding and kindness when you want to talk to them about something that’s bothering you. You are not open to finding compromises, you are not interested in really understanding their perspective, you’re not really motivated to listen because you feel like you have to fight your way to get your point across. The thoughts you think about your husband influence everything about the way you interact with him. You interpret his behavior in a certain way, you receive his comments in a certain way, and you expect your conversations to go a certain way. It’s not until you understand, dismantle and create new ways of thinking about him that you’ll actually see the improvements in your communication.

And a lack of connection creates a distance where getting on the same page is nearly impossible. When couples are disconnected and start to withdraw from each other, they quickly develop a greater focus on themselves and their own needs. The sense of a “we” is greatly diminished and so when you come to talk to each other, you have a one track mind on the things YOU need, the ways YOU want it to go and the information YOU need to get across. It’s natural to become selfish when you are not in sync with your husband, you feel like you are the only person who cares about your own interests and you have no choice but to protect your interests. But the truth of the matter is, one small step to connecting, one effort to reach out and connect with your husband will do more to solve your communication problems than “working on” listening to each other more.

 

#5.  Focusing on what’s going wrong.

When things are going downhill in your marriage, it’s so easy to accumulate more and more evidence that you’re headed in a bad direction. It’s like a big snowball that gains momentum and speed. With each passing day you notice more and more things that annoy you, more and more things that are not going the way you want, and you are quicker to get upset, quicker to complain or just shut down. The problems that once seems like little annoyances, are now a great big insurmountable block of ice standing in the way of your happiness.

The thing is, whatever you focus on grows. That if you pay attention to the things that are going wrong, you’ll only find more and more things going wrong. Your mind is very efficient and will set it’s sights on wherever you are directing it. If you harp on the things that disappoint you, the ways your husband is failing you, the times you are hurt and upset by something he did or said, then your mind searches your world, bringing more of those things into your consciousness.

On the other hand, when you consciously direct your thoughts to the things you can be grateful for, the small progress, or you let things go that really don’t matter, you send a signal to your brain to open your eye to see more of that. I’m sure you’ve had the experience where you may be thinking about purchasing something. Maybe a car. And all of a sudden, everywhere you turn, you see that thing all over the place. And if I were to ask you to show me all of the letter Ps in this blog, you would quickly scan and notice tons and tons of Ps all over the place, where before I introduced the task you didn’t pay attention to them at all. Go ahead, try it.

See, I told you!!

Now, I’d love for you to try it when you think about your husband. Think about something you would normally criticize him about. I’m sure that’s easy! Now, though, what I want you to do is to try to find 5 examples of times where the opposite is true. So for example, if you feel like he never really listens to you, think of 5 examples where he actually did listen and you know that he heard you. That’s just my example, you can come up with your own. And if you have a hard time doing so, then FOR SURE you need to practice and let go of the negative, like yesterday.

 

In conclusion…

So there you have it! My 5 top marriage mistakes that you have got to eliminate from your life. If you feel like you fall into any (or all) of these mistakes on a regular basis, I’m really glad this blog post found it’s way to you. The good news is you don’t have to keep making these mistakes. Another choice is always available to you. I know you’ve had some life experiences that have caused you to respond in certain ways. And you’ve probably been through a lot with your husband that’s turned you into a person that is not at all what you imagined when you first got married.

I believe that those experiences have come to show you something about yourself that you need to know. They offer the opportunity for you to grow and evolve into an even more amazing woman and wife. As a new year approaches, you can easily get caught up in the hype of new years resolutions and goal setting your way to a better life and marriage. Or you can really set your mind to make changes that actually stick. To take a deep dive into what’s truly getting in your way, and to find real solutions that can permanently remove those barriers so that you can enjoy your husband and have a marriage that truly lights you up inside.

If anything I’ve said struck a chord with you, let’s continue this conversation and get you on the path to a better marriage.

I want to share with you how to actually move yourself from making these mistakes to mastering your marriage. You can completely change the way you and your husband interact with each other. You can improve your marriage quickly and for the long-term.

It all boils down to your mindset.

There are certain ways of seeing and thinking about things that are keeping you stuck and unhappy. And once you make some critical shifts, you’ll experience a more connected, peaceful and fulfilling relationship with your husband.

Recently, I conducted a training on the 5 mindset shifts that will make the greatest impact on your marriage. I’d like to share the recording with you, so that you can have the tools to remove the biggest barriers to feeling close, connected and completely in love with your husband.

Just sign up using the button below and you’ll automatically receive this powerful workshop, “5 Mindset Shifts to a Happier Marriage: Removing the Barrier to Your Happily Ever After ” and see a noticeable difference in your marriage right away.

In addition I’ll share 2 other marriage strengthening resources only available to my email community. You’ll also learn how you can receive a complimentary coaching call with me. Together, we can speak over the phone and pinpoint exactly what’s happening in your marriage and the steps to be taken to get things back on track. This call is valued at $200, so don’t miss your chance to access the help and support you know you need.

To sign up and receive a ton of powerful resources to help your marriage, just click the button below:
Yes, I want more! Sign me up!

 

To an amazing marriage ahead,

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Dr. Chavonne Perotte

Founder of RelateAble

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12 Signs Your Marriage Is Losing It’s Spark

07 Feb 17
Chavonne Perotte
No Comments

Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

Think back to those early days in your relationship. I’m sure there are a few moments in time that are forever marked in your memory. Times where you and your love were soooo into each other, living life like an Alicia Keys song (cue Teenage Love Affair) or representing the perfect example of Jill Scott’s “A Long Walk.”

For me, one of those moments is a date my then boyfriend and I took to the Bronx Zoo. It was my first time there and we were double-dating with another couple. We walked through the exhibits, hand in hand, cuddling and smiling at each other, hardly even noticing the animals we paid to see. We were so googly-eyed we even got sucked into purchasing that ridiculously over-priced photo in the keepsake photo frame.

There is something so fresh and exciting about that time in a relationship. Where your heart is bursting with excitement for the next time you’ll talk or see each other. Where you’re thoughts are consumed by how you can spend as much time with each other as possible.

It’s an amazing time.

So much so that you make the decision to spend every single day with each other, forever, and ever, until death do you part.

Those first few months or years as a married couple are wonderful.

You’re the blushing bride, glad to cook, clean, and do anything else to put a smile on his face.

Your weekends are spent doing exciting things, going fun places and uncovering even more things you love about each other.

And then, somewhere, real life sets in. And those butterflies you once felt have gone back into their cocoons and now feel completely dormant.

You’re wondering if you have really lost the spark or if it’s just buried under the mail, that room full of toys, endless work meetings, or that mounting pile of laundry.

As a relationship expert and marriage coach, I see the signs all the time. And I’ll even admit to you, there are many that show up in my own marriage from time to time.

And let’s be even more honest and admit that the reason you’re reading this is because you already know to some degree, that spark is just not there like it used to be. You’re here now looking to see just how long gone it is, you’re peeking your head in so you can tally up how many of these signs are fully present in your own marriage today.

Well, let’s get to it.

Below are 12 clear signs your marriage has lost it’s spark.

#1. You don’t have sex often. Now of course, often, is to your own interpretation. But when you compare your sex life in earlier days to what’s happening now, you know it’s not even up to your own standards. Every once and a while you feel the urge, but it’s just too much effort, and honestly, you’d rather just go to sleep. And if your husband does try to initiate with you, you are not the most welcoming and excited participant in the beginning.

#2. You haven’t gone on a date night in a while. Thinking back to those early days, all you did was date. But now, like sex, it’s too much of a hassle. You can’t find a babysitter, you don’t know what to do, your schedule is just too packed, so you do nothing but talk about how you need to have a date night. Or of you do manage to get the one night out together, you have nothing fun and exciting to talk about, and it feels like you’ve had every conversation there is to have.

#3. You don’t connect throughout the day. Remember when you would text or call each other a million times? Just to check in and “see how he was doing?” Well now you find that you just don’t have the time to reach out, or when the thought crosses your mind, you quickly shut it down with “he’s too busy” or “he won’t care” or “I’ll do it later.” Well later has come and gone. Many times. And you still spent most of your day apart and not in much communication with each other.

#4. There’s no excitement when you reunite. When either of you walks through the door, there may be a quick hello, but it’s immediately followed by a list of all the things that need to happen. No smile, little eye-contact and there’s not a lot of time to talk about your day because the responsibilities of the household are totally taking over. It’s not until later you realize, you didn’t offer a warm greeting or show any sign you were actually happy to see each other.

#5. Most of your time is spent co-parenting, not connecting as lovers. You have very little couple time together. There is always a child in need of your attention, and after that’s taken care of, you just need a minute to yourself. Any alone time with your husband is a luxury that you’ve just not been able to afford lately. And he doesn’t seem to be missing it because he’s not really doing anything to spend more time with you either.

#6. Doing nice things for your husband feels like a chore. Those tiny expressions of your love and affection just don’t seem as automatic these days. You know you should show your appreciation so he doesn’t feel taken for granted, but you’re not even sure he will notice your effort or reciprocate. And that makes it feel like more work when you are already overwhelmed with other things to do.

#7. You don’t touch each other much outside of sex. (If you’re even having sex.) There are not many hugs, no little passing touches, and your hands have not held each other in who knows how long. If you’re sitting on the couch, he’s at one end and you are at the other. And in the bed, you are most comfortable on your side and don’t want as much as a toe of his touching you.

#8. You don’t make plans or think of more ways to spend time together. Earlier in your relationship, you might see an event or hear about something and immediately think, “oh we should go do that!” But now, when you hear of an event or another fun outing, instead of thinking and making plans for it to happen, you shrug your shoulders and sit on the sidelines. You are not sure you would really have fun and it doesn’t seem worth looking into right now.

#9. You hold back. When it comes to communicating, you no longer run to your husband with everything on your mind. He’s not the first person you think of to share the latest gossip, or happenings of your day. You are hesitant to go to him with the things that concern you for fear he just won’t understand. It seems like he just doesn’t get you anymore, so you keep things in more to yourself.

#10. You live parallel lives. Sure you are in the same room and the TV is on, but you’re not really watching TV “together”. He’s on his phone, you are on yours and there are few words exchanged between the two of you. You go about your time in the house deep in your own mind, planning and thinking about what you need to do, and not really present to his presence or engaged in any meaningful interaction. You go to bed on your own time-table that’s rarely influenced by what he’s doing.

#11. You don’t express heartfelt appreciation or gratitude. When your relationship was new, you were likely tripping over yourself to make sure he knew how much you appreciated him. Every dinner out, every trip to the movies, every kind gesture was met with your enthusiastic “thank you” and heartfelt appreciation. Now when you say thank you, it’s more out of habit, and honestly, sometimes the things you “thank him” for are things he should just be doing anyway.

#12. You have let yourself go a little. Let me ask, what is your bed-time attire like these days? Do you throw on any combination of shirts and leggings and call it a day? Are you scrambling around putting on the nearest pair of socks, mismatched and all? Is your headwrap in need of a complete overhaul or replacement? You give yourself a pass because “it doesn’t really matter anymore”, but this lack of effort on your part could mean you just are not interested in impressing your husband anymore.

I could definitely go on, but I think you get the point. Now, I want you to know I didn’t write this just for you to find you and your husband as culprits of these mistakes. I wrote this to offer you some solutions as well.

As a mother juggling the needs of a 2 1/2-year-old and a 9-month-old, I’m constantly finding ways to re-ignite that flame so that my own marriage is full of passion and excitement.

So don’t hang your head down in defeat! Let’s take a look at the things you can actually start doing right away to light that spark back in your marriage and understand why these things have been happening in the first place.

I’ve created a quick little guide called Love Spark: 12 Quick Ways to Reignite Your Marriage

It’s filled with ideas you’ve probably not heard of and ideas that you can actually make happen this week! Because if you’re like me, you know you need to be making those tiny deposits every day, but you quickly forget or lose your steam. Or the ideas you come across are boring or just don’t fit into your busy life. Well, I can guarantee you there’s something in the list you will be running to try.

And this resource is just seconds from being in your inbox! Sign up to download Love Spark using the button below and stay connected to me to receive other tips and strategies that work in creating a happier, more exciting and loving marriage.

Yes, give me that guide!

 

To your marriage full of excitement,

Dr. Chavonne Perotte

Marriage Coach & Founder of RelateAble

5 Habits Every Wife Needs to Develop in 2017

31 Dec 16
Chavonne Perotte
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In the long list of New Years Resolutions, where does your marriage fall?

Do you have a vision, hope, prayer or goal for what your life will be like with your husband in 2017?

Is your thinking focused more on the things he needs to be doing differently, or have you actually taken a good look in the mirror and considered how you could be a better wife? The things about yourself that you KNOW you need to work on, but somehow keep getting put off or further and further down your to-do list?

Well if you are interested at all in bettering yourself as a way to make your marriage better, the following 5 Habits will take you to new and better places in your marriage. I believe the quickest way to your own personal happiness is by working on the things within your control to change. The things only you and make better. The things that lie within yourself.

As a new year is upon us, here are my top 5 Habits Every Wife Needs to Develop in 2017:

 

Habit #1: Taking Better Care of Yourself

Now, I’m not just talking about losing weight, exercising more or eating more healthy. Those are definitely important. But I’m talking more about taking better care of your mind, your emotions and your mental well-being. In this day and age we are too stressed, with too much to do, too many pressures we place on ourselves, and too much emphasis on how we are not doing enough. In order for you to have the best marriage, YOU have to be your best. And that includes taking time to decompress, do things that you actually enjoy and making a habit of treating YOURSELF the way you’d like to be treated by others.

I suggest that you write down a list of 10 things that bring you joy. It can be small things like listening to music, talking to a friend, reading a book, watching TV, going for a walk, praying, getting your nails done, etc. The goal should be to make sure you add at least 3 of those things to your daily to-do list. Eventually, you should work your way up to getting and keeping 7 of those things as part of your routine each day. This will mean some other things have to go. And you already know what some of those things should be. The problem is that fear of disappointing others and letting people down has got you completely tapped out so much so that you are not even aware of the ways you let yourself down by being the sacrificial lamb. If you really want your marriage and overall life to thrive, you’ve got to get yourself to a happier more balanced place.

 

Habit #2: Being More Intentional About How You Show Up

As women, we are definitely driven by our emotions. And sometimes we over-react and blow things all out of proportion. I believe that’s due to the fact that we just let our thoughts run rampant, taking us here and there without much direction by us. So the truth of the matter is you have TOTAL control over how you think, react, and respond to ANY situation you are faced with. You can chose to interpret the actions and words of your husband any way you want. But, so often, you’ve been taught and believe you have to think about things a certain way. Don’t continue to fall into that trap! There is ALWAYS another way to see things.

The solution to changing your mindset and being intentional about how you act is to DECIDE how you want to be. Come up with 3 words that describe the type of wife you want to be. Maybe that’s being more patient. More understanding. More kind. Whatever it is for you, write them down and remind yourself of them on a regular basis. With these 3 words in the back of your mind, they can serve as the filter for how you think, respond and interact with your husband.

 

Habit #3: Praying for Your Husband

What are your prayers for your husband? Do you have them? If you do, are they more along the lines of how you’d like for God to change his heart? For God to move him to behave a different way? That God would open his mind and heart so that he’s more loving and kind? Those are a great start, but I want to encourage you to re-think the way you pray for your husband.

More important than the changes you want to see in him, is your ability to see him the way God sees him. In God’s eyes he is blameless and adored. Do you see your husband that way? If not, ask God to open your own eyes so that you can open your own heart to your husband. Ask God to help you to see the real enemy in your marriage. That instead of fighting each other, you fight the real force causing the discord you are experiencing. And while God is working behind the scenes, you stay focused on covering your husband in prayers that uplift him, that encourage him and that are an example of your unconditional love.

 

Habit #4: Practing Gratitude and Focusing on the Positive

I want you to think of your biggest complaint about your husband. Got it?

Now, think about 5 examples where the opposite is true. So if you complain that your husband does not listen to you, come up with 5 examples of times where you really felt heard by him. If you cannot do this easily, then it’s a sign that you’ve gotten into a very negative pattern of thinking. Your thoughts create your reality. If you think your husband is not romantic, doesn’t put forth an effort, or doesn’t communicate the way you would like, then guess what? Your mind becomes trained to look for those very things. It becomes an efficient machine in looking for all the ways your husband lets you down or doesn’t measure up to the expectations you have of him.

If you want your marriage to be the best it can be, you MUST practice gratitude and focus on the things that are doing right. Make it a regular habit every day to think of 3 things that you appreciate or are grateful for related to your husband.

 

Habit #5: Making Your Husband a Priority

When was the last time you put something else aside to spend some quality time with your husband? When was the last time you spent time together as a couple instead of just operating in your roles as mommy and daddy? Quality time is SO critical to the health of your marriage. Children, crazy work schedules and other demands for your time make it so easy to let this area slide.

What I suggest you do is to treat spending quality alone time with your husband as important as taking care of your kids. You would never let them go without a meal or a bath or the clothes they need. You see it as your duty. Your responsibility. Your priority. You’ve got to also put your husband back at the top of your priority list. He’s dying for your love and attention just as much as you are dying for his. But he’s not doing to ask for it directly. His unmet needs are going to present themselves as increased distance, shutting down in conversations and being increasingly distracted by work, social media, or tv. Slowly he’s finding a way to replace the time he WANTS to be spending with you with other activities. And you’ve already seen this happen. Slowly, you are becoming more like roommates than soulmates. The solution is for YOU to make a priority of spending time with him and showing him that he’s still important.

And if you are saying, “Well he needs to make the time for me. He needs to show me that I’M a priority too!” That’s a very common way of thinking and is one of the key reasons your marriage is not in the greatest place right now. (Sorry, I had to say it!)

So now that you have this information you have a choice. You can exit out of this post and keep operating as you usually do. You can think more about these habits and try to incorporate them into your own life. Or you can save this post, write these habits down and make a PLAN for how you will address each and every one.

I really hope you do the latter. That this doesn’t become just words on a page that are never brought to life in your own marriage.

And if you’d like to receive support, encouragement and resources to help you make these habits part of your new year, let’s talk. Feel free to schedule some time to talk with me directly about what you are trying to achieve in your marriage. I’d love to explore the ways I may be able to help! CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT MY PERSONAL COACHING.

And if by chance, we are NOT connected via email, click the button below to officially become part of my community. I’ve got 3 free welcome gifts (valued at over $300) waiting for you that will get you on the path of repairing your marriage right away!

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3 Reasons NOW is the Time to Fix Your Marriage

30 Dec 16
Chavonne Perotte
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Have you ever had the best intentions to get to something only to have it remain on your to-do list month after month?

You know it needs your attention, but you just can’t get yourself together to make it happen.

That thing, whatever it is, sort of looms there in the back of your mind, nagging you over and over again. It’s a persistent reminder that somehow has not yet made it’s way to becoming your top priority.

I wonder if one of those nagging things might be your marriage.

If you feel like things are just not as happy as you would like them to be, if you’re wanting a better relationship with your husband, then NOW is the time to get a handle on what’s going on.

Here are 3 reasons why:

 

#1. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to fix.

You already know this. Take any example from your own life of something that got worse over time. The 5 pounds that turned into 10 pounds, that turned in 20 pounds you want to lose. The mounting credit card bill to your favorite store which is now completely out of control. Your health. Your car repairs. All those things only get worse, more expensive, and require more of your time and effort as the days, weeks and months go by.

Your marriage is no different. Things are not going to get better until you take some action. Praying about it is great, and yes prayer works. But you also know that faith without works is dead. What are you doing while waiting on God to turn your situation around? In order to take the action that’s required, you’ve got to believe it’s worth doing something about it NOW. I want you to ask yourself, “What would life be like today if we had really resolved our marriage issues months ago? Or years ago?” Now consider where you actually are today – what has doing nothing or doing the things that don’t work cost you?

It’s time to let go of all the excuses and get to work. There are things within your control. There is something you can do, whether or not your husband is open to counseling or not. I work with many women whose husbands don’t want to speak to a counselor and we are still able to achieve significant results. Why can’t you be part of that group as well?

 

#2. There will never be the right time.

 

We often tell ourselves, “I’ll get to that later.” But later comes and later goes, and we’ve done nothing. There will never be the right time. You will never have enough time. There will always be something else that comes up to distract you from the things you really need to do. You’ll always find an excuse (disguised as a “reason”) for why you can’t do something. You’re money’s not “right.” Work is too crazy. School is too hectic. The kids need too much of your attention. The pressures and demands of live are constant. There are never enough hours in the day. You have to MAKE the time to do the things that are important to you.

Just think back to something you’ve been waiting to do until the “right” time. And ask yourself, did the right time ever really come? Or is the right time something you actually create in your mind. You’re the only judge of when it’s time for you to do something. My goal in sharing this point is to help you see the only right time is the time you have right. now.

 

3. Your husband may already have one foot out the door.

 

I cannot tell you how many women who say the same thing, “he just left.” And it’s a total shock to them. While we are careful to express our needs, our disappointments and complain about the things going wrong in a marriage, men are not so quick to do so. More often than not, he will keep his thoughts to himself, keep his feelings bottled up until he reaches a breaking point. And by that time his mind is made up and there’s little you can do to change it. More times than you would believe wives just like you are stunned to come home and find that he’s gone. OUT OF THE BLUE. They are left in shock and totally confused.

Now as you are reading this you may be thinking, “Oh I would be able to tell earlier,” or “that couldn’t really happen to me.” And I’ll tell you, they thought the SAME thing. There is a real chance that while you think things are bad in your marriage, your husband thinks things are even worse, and he’ll never tell you with his words. He’ll show you with his actions. And because as a woman you are in-tune with what he says you’ll miss all the signs from his behavior that he is checking out. Here are some tell-tale signs:

he finds fault with everything you do
he’s hesitant to make long-term plans
he’s cheated, and blames you for his indiscretion
he’s completely indifferent to your emotions
he refuses to discuss the problems happening in your marriage
you’re essentially living separate lives
he has no interest in having sex with you
he’s threatened to leave you

Now, of course, I cannot look into a crystal ball and say he’s going to leave you next week, but these are serious signs you need to spring into action NOW.

And hopefully you should know by now, my intention is never to scare you, but I do want to motivate you. Your marriage is too precious to just let fall apart. Too many people are depending on YOU to work it out.

And you can.

If you’ve never reached out for help. Reach out. NOW.
If you’ve gone to counseling before and it hasn’t worked out, find another counselor, therapist or coach. NOW.
If he’s not willing to get the help you need, get help for yourself. NOW.

And if you’ve ever wondered if I can help you, let’s find out. NOW. I offer one-on-one sessions (via phone or video) for married women and couples and would be more than happy to talk with you and see if my approach is what you need to finally turn your marriage around for good. JUST CLICK HERE TO READ ABOUT MY SERVICES AND TO SCHEDULE A TIME TO TALK.

2017 will be here in just a couple of days. This time next year, what will you be able to say about the state of your marriage? I hope it’s something good.

To a better marriage ahead,

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Dr. Chavonne Perotte

Relationship Expert, Marriage Coach & Founder of RelateAble

5 Lessons that Will Improve Your Marriage

27 Dec 16
Chavonne Perotte
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“Nothing ever goes away until it teaches you what you need to know.”

-Pema Chodron


A new year is approaching.
It will bring new opportunities.
New experiences.
New memories.
New goals and accomplishments.

Exciting, isn’t it?

There’s a sense of optimism and positivity that naturally comes along with a fresh start.

I’m sure you’re thinking of the things you want to be different, the changes you want to see take place in your life, how you’ll be better as a wife and mother.

And at the same time, if 2016 has been any indication, you also know a new year will bring some new lessons that can only be learned through mistakes, disappointments and challenges.

You know that as this year comes to a close there are some things that feel unfinished, some doors that have not been closed and some issues that have not been resolved.

If you’re not closing out the year in an ideal place in your marriage I encourage you to look for the lessons you needed to learn but somehow have not yet mastered.

Now is the time to reflect and pay attention to the patterns of thoughts, the ways of being, habits of responding and the cycles of interaction that have gotten you to the place you are right now. And if it’s not where you want to be, you’ve got to be intentional, deliberate and committed to doing things differently.

And here are 5 lessons you must learn and apply on a consistent level to finally turn things around for good.


Lesson #1. Your husband is not responsible for how you feel.

That’s your job. He’s only responsible for the actions he takes and the interpretations he makes. You may have been thinking that he makes you feel a certain way, but you choose how you respond to him. You decide how you feel based on how you think.

You can choose to interpret a situation anyway you like. If you want to feel and experience more joy and love, then make up your mind to do so. Search for the opportunities to bring more of that into your life. Tap into the power of God that’s already within you to create the emotions that lift you up instead of bringing you down. How you feel is YOUR responsibility. All day, every day.


Lesson #2. Your husband cannot read your mind.

As much as you want him to anticipate your needs, he’s just not able to do that to the degree that you expect. It helps no one for you to continue to be frustrated over having to ask him to do something. If you really want it to happen, get in the habit of asking. Be specific and to the point. You have to get over the belief that you shouldn’t have to ask him to do certain things. He’s shown you time and time again that you DO.

What you need to see is that you’re letting your frustration get in the way to the point where your attitude is not the best and your tone has an edge to it that makes him want to tune you out and disregard what you’re asking him to do. You must stay focused on the results you want and 9 times out of 10 that means getting your expectations and requests out of your own head and in to his.


Lesson #3. The way you’ve been going about things is not working.

By nature we are creatures of habit. We are also a little bit insane, meaning we respond the same way to certain things all the time but expect different results. You criticize and complain hoping he’ll change, but it just shuts him down. You focus on everything that’s going wrong, yet somehow you expect them to get better.

You must be intentional about doing different things to get different results. Say it a different way, respond a different way, choose a different way to think about it. THESE are the actions that will bring you something different in your marriage. Commit yourself to breaking your bad habits and to learning new ones that serve you and your marriage instead of serving your ego and need to be right.

 

Lesson #4. The biggest problem in your marriage is NOT communication.

Are there different ways you can speak to each other? Yes. Are there skills you both can learn to get your point across better? Of course. Can you both improve your ability to actively listen to each other? Without a doubt.  But as a relationship expert, I know that communication problems are a symptom and signal that there are perception and connection issues more damaging to the relationship. What you say and how you say it is a function of how you are thinking, the beliefs you hold, the assumptions you make and the way you feel about the person you’re communicating with.

It’s highly likely that you and your husband have had the same communication tendencies since the day you met. It’s not until you feel your deeper needs are not being met, you feel disconnected or you see him as a total disappointment that the intent behind your comments change. You communicate in ways that MAKE him listen, that MAKE him understand your perspective that MAKE him change. And at the end of the day all you’ve done is MAKE him shut down and MAKE yourself more annoyed and frustrated.


Lesson #5. There is always a different way to see things.

A variety of ways to interpret the same situation. Lots of times our mind has been conditioned to look for the worst. To look for the ways our husbands will leave us disappointed.  To keep score of all he’s doing wrong. To play out scenes over and over again that just make us feel bad. We think of past disappointments and constantly bring them to the present moment.
But at any moment there is always another choice to be made. An opportunity to think positively. To choose gratitude over a complaint. To expect the best and offer understanding if he falls short.

What we experience is a function of our perception. Once you learn this lesson and see that things are not as black and white as you’ve chosen to view them, a whole new world is available to you.

Now for sure I could go on and on with other lessons that your marriage is trying to teach you. But these 5 are some of the most critical.

If you found yourself reading this and KNOW that you really have not fully applied these realities to your own marriage, I encourage you to join my email list to receive additional tips and strategies for how to do so.

As a new subscriber you will automatically receive one of my most popular resources, “10 Keys to a Relationship You Love” which provides step-by-step guidance for turning things around in your marriage. Plus you’ll learn how you can receive a complimentary coaching call with me! Together, we can speak over the phone to pinpoint exactly what’s happening in your marriage and the steps to be taken to get things back on track. This call is valued at $150, so don’t miss your chance to access the help and support you know you need.

To sign up and receive a ton of powerful resources to help your marriage. just click the button below:

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3 Most Powerful Truths to Finally Admit…and to Get the Marriage Breakthrough You Need

21 Dec 16
Chavonne Perotte
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Around this time of year, when you’re not busy trying to find that “must have” Christmas item, you may find yourself being reflective about all that 2016 has brought you. And while there have definitely been some great moments and things that have brought you joy, you find yourself thinking more and more about the things that have just not worked out the way you imagined and how you want 2017 to be different.

You may have reached the point where you are truly tired of feeling down and really want to be happier and more fulfilled.

Because, right now, you’re not yourself.

You’re turning into a person who’s lost some of the joy that once came so easily.

On the outside, you’re still holding it together. You’re still supermom getting a million and one things done each day.

But on the inside, it feels like a war is still going on. A war of wills.

You want to be happier, more positive, more loving toward your husband, but your mind is filled with everything that’s going wrong, how the stress keeps mounting and mounting, and how you really feel like you’re at the end of your rope.

Your marriage is veering further and further off course and the things you’ve tried so far just have not helped you turn things in a more positive direction on a consistent basis.

I understand your struggle more than you even know.

And what I want to suggest is that you take a step back and look at things from a different angle. When I’m working with women who are in this place, so often it’s clear to me what’s really happening. But for her, the woman who is so very similar to you, there is a blind spot that just won’t allow either of you to see fully what’s been happening. There’s a smudge on that mirror, such that when you take a look at yourself, you can’t see things clearly. You can’t see how in so many ways you’re standing in your own way.

I want to offer some clarity. I want to offer you some powerful truths that once you can admit them to yourself, you’ll create the opening you need toward the path to a fulfilled life. The path to a happier and more loving marriage. The path to a better version of you.

Ready for an honest dose of reality?

Then keep reading.

3 Powerful Truths to Finally Admit to Yourself…and to Getting the Marriage Breakthrough You Need

 

Truth #1: You Want to be Right More than You Want to be Happy

Wanting to be right is an incredible motivator. In your mind, it’s so important that your husband understand your needs, your perspective, your opinion. You want to feel understood, you want to feel supported, and underneath that, more than anything, you just really want to feel “right”. You want validation that the way you see things, the emotions you feel and the reactions you have are what anyone would see, feel and do in similar situations. If it makes sense to you, then on some level, it must at least make sense to him, even if he doesn’t totally agree.

For example, when your husband does something wrong, of course you’re going to feel upset, frustrated or annoyed. And he should acknowledge his mistake, apologize, and/or do something to make it up to you. Of course, when he doesn’t listen to you or show you the attention you desire, you’re going to feel unimportant to him, and as a result, he needs to know that so he can make the proper adjustments to show that you do matter to him.

All of these are tell-tale signs of wanting to be right more than you want to be happy.

Stay with me here. I’ll explain.

As women, we think that the happiness we’re looking for will come through our husband’s acknowledgement that in some way we are right. Point blank, he should do all the things we’ve told ourselves he should be doing in order to make us happy. This means that we will be happy when and only when, he really understands us, he responds to our needs, he sees our point of view, and he shows us the love we want in just the way we want it.

But the truth of the matter is this:

Happiness is available to you at any time you decide to choose it over being right.

You’ll find happiness the moment you decide that you’ll be ok if your husband never lives up to the expectations you’ve created in your own mind for how he should think, act, and feel towards you.

You’ll experience happiness the moment you decide that meeting your needs is your responsibility and that you must work on fixing your broken parts before looking to him to fill those voids.

You’ll create happiness the moment you decide to give up the story you’ve created in your mind for how things should be and choose instead to be present and appreciate all that’s right about what is.

Let go of being right and trade it for being happy. You’ll actually end up winning every. single. time.

 

Truth #2: You Don’t Want to Change and Do Things Differently

Change is hard. We get so comfortable doing things a certain way. We get addicted to familiarity. We get caught up in our habits, responding the same way day in and day out. We box ourselves in saying, “I’ve always been that way” or “I’m not going to change” or “I’m the type of person who _________” fill in the blank with any number of things you continue to tell yourself.

It’s insanity really. Thinking that you’ll see changes in your marriage without having to change much about yourself.

Yet, we do it all day, every day.

Don’t get me wrong, you’ll try to be more patient, you’ll try to listen more and complain less, you’ll try to give him the benefit of the doubt from time to time.

But that’s about it.

You’re not really willing to change your entire mindset and approach to your marriage. You’re not really willing to do the hard work of challenging every negative belief that consumes your mind about your husband. You’re not really willing to love and accept him unconditionally as he is right now. You’re not really willing to face the reality of how your thoughts and actions have actually created many of the very things you don’t want.

When it really comes down to it, you don’t want to change.

You’re fine soaking up every marriage tip and piece of advice you can get your hands on, but not fully applying them to your life.

You’re content agreeing with all the strategies and techniques I promote, but never take the opportunity to get the help and motivation you need to be the real change agent in your home.

You’re ok with responding and reacting the way you always do, even when you know exactly how it contributes to the deterioration of your marriage.

You’re satisfied with all of that because somewhere along the lines you gave yourself permission to stay stuck. You mounted up every imaginable excuse that would prevent you from doing the hard work of rebuilding yourself and restoring your marriage. You gave yourself a passing grade, while continuing to fail your husband.

You don’t want to change.

And the moment you stop pretending that you do, is the moment you’re on your way to a breakthrough. It’s the very second that the windows of heaven open up to give you the strength and courage to finally do what you’ve needed to do for so long.

Get help.

It takes the power of God and the will of your mind to transform yourself and your marriage to what you know deep inside it should be.

 

Truth #3: It’s Not a Real Priority to You

The other day my marriage coach asked me to list out my priorities in order of importance. (Yes, I do actually have my own marriage coach). Now there are lots of ways to answer this question. One could list the things that theoretically, are important. You know, those things that are really on your heart to make a priority. The things that really should be a priority, and the things you have every intention of dedicating the appropriate time to.

But for me, I looked at this question very objectively. No matter how much I want things to be a priority, and no matter how important I want to tell myself they are, there is one clear and definitive marker for what’s truly a priority to me.

How I actually spend my time.

I had to just ask myself, in a given day, what gets the most of my energy and effort? Where do I spend the most minutes and hours of the day?

And like always, I approached her question with full transparency. Here was my list in order: my children, my business, myself, my husband and my extended family.

As I listened to myself be totally honest in responding to her question, I saw immediately how my priorities were creating the results I was seeing in my life. They were completely out of order. And I was feeling it.

I’m an action taker, so literally within hours, I mapped out a plan to shift how I spend my time and where my energy is focused. I put God back on top and I moved my husband way up the list. And the shift I’ve been looking for is definitely occurring.

What about you?

How would you respond to the same question if you were being completely honest?

From the minute you wake up until the moment you go to sleep, what gets the most of your time, attention and focus?

And if it’s out of order, are you truly willing to shift those priorities? (Within reason of course! I’m not suggesting you quit your job to cater to your husband!)

I’ll be the first to tell you that putting your marriage and husband as a top priority is no easy feat.

It means saying no to a lot of things that you’d probably rather do.

Like watch TV.

Scroll through your Facebook newsfeed.

Sit on the phone with your friend trading the latest gossip.

 

It means saying later to a lot of things you feel like you must do.

Like respond to that email or text message right away.

Or putting in that extra hour at work.

Or any of the million and one things you’ve told yourself you must do for your children.

 

And it also means saying yes to things that have been hard for you to do.

Like finding a reliable baby-sitter or family member to watch the kids so you can go out alone.

Offering your full attention when you feel like you’re already behind on your to-do list.

Saying no to any non-essential obligation that would take your time away from him.

 

Those are the shifts I’m talking about in order to put your husband and marriage back on top.

You see, this is the thing about priorities – the more you have, the less you have. Because you can’t really dedicate the necessary time of any one of them. And no matter how much you would like to say that your marriage is a priority, if your time doesn’t reflect that, it’s not.

Setting your priorities gives you clear rules for how to make decisions. The priority gets your time, attention and effort. Period. If it’s not serving your marriage, it’s taking away from your marriage. Simple as that.

Here are three questions to help you uncover how much of a priority your marriage actually is:

How often am I thinking about, learning about or doing things that positively contribute to the relationship with my husband?

How often am I willing to completely disrupt my own schedule and put aside my own priorities to focus in on nurturing my marriage?

How often am I making decisions about how I spend my time that reflect the things that are really important and matter to me?

If you are courageous enough to admit that your marriage has not really been at the top of the list, then you will instantly see what has been getting in the way of the relationship you’d like to have with your husband.

Now, there is no condemnation here. I want you to feel empowered to DO something about it. Cut something out, today, right now. And exchange it with some activity that will enable you to better take care of and commit fully to your marriage.

 

So there you have it, my 3 Most Powerful Truths.

I know it’s no fun to be confronted with these realities. And maybe your natural tendency is to look at yourself and now feel really bad about what’s been happening.

But listen, my intention is not for you to walk away from reading this feeling like you’re a horrible wife. On the contrary, I want you walking away feeling empowered and motivated to do things differently.

To consciously choose happiness by directing your thoughts on the right things so you can look at your marriage with hope and an excited expectation for how it’s going to be better.

To be courageous enough to actually address the areas deep within yourself that need your care and attention so you can feel whole and proud of the way you handle any situation.

To make the time in your busy schedule to connect with your husband so you can finally feel the closeness and intimacy you’ve been missing.

You have to be intentional about all of these things, otherwise they just will not happen.

And sometimes being intentional means you get some help, support and accountability along the way.

If you’ve connected with what I’ve said here, if you read any part and thought, “man, she is so right” I’d love to continue the conversation we’ve started today. I want to invite you to join my email community of over 2,000 women who are committed to make their marriage the best it can be.

As a new email subscriber, you’ll automatically receive one of my most popular resources, “10 Keys to a Relationship You Love” AND 2 other welcome gifts. PLUS, you’ll learn how you can receive a complimentary coaching call with me. Together, we can speak over the phone and pinpoint exactly what’s happening in your marriage and the steps to be taken to get things back on track. This call is valued at $150, so don’t miss your chance to access the help and support you know you need.

To sign up and receive a ton of powerful resources to help your marriage, just click the button below:

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5 Marriage Mistakes to Leave Behind in 2016

12 Dec 16
Chavonne Perotte
2 comments

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If you’re like most people, you are in a mode of looking ahead for what you hope 2017 will bring. You want to start fresh, eyes big with total excitement and anticipation for the things ahead of you.

Because, let’s be honest, there are some things you experienced this year that you can’t wait to leave behind.

Some disappointments in your marriage that still make you shake your head.

Some frustrations with your husband that can easily set you off again.

Maybe you find yourself still trying to swallow the bitter pill that 2016 slipped into your marriage. You’re trying to make sense of the things that went wrong and how you can quickly get them right again.

You’re tired of watching things unravel right before your eyes. Something once so perfect and intact, is now literally falling apart in your hands as you pull and pull hoping that not too much damage is done.

It’s a tough place to be.

But the great thing about a new year (or any new day, honestly) is that it represents a clean slate. The chance to create a new path, the opportunity to develop new habits and ways of being that make you proud of yourself and happier in your marriage.

The key, however, in really being able to experience all that 2017 wants to bring you is to let go of the things from this year that did not serve you or your marriage well.

The things that kept you having the same stupid arguments over and over again.

The ways you respond to certain situations that continue to leave you feeling resentful and bitter.

The habit of pointing the finger and blaming your husband for your problems instead of being willing to take a good look in the mirror at yourself.

As a relationship expert and marriage coach, I see so many women making a series of mistakes in their marriages that continue to leave them feeling upset and stuck in a state of constant unhappiness.

I wanted to share with you exactly what those top mistakes are. And if you find you are guilty, the great news is that you can put them down right now. You can leave them behind so that you have room to create new experiences that will leave you feeling happier in your marriage and experiencing the closeness and connection you really want with your husband.

But before you read on, I want you to make a commitment. I want you to make up in your mind right now that you will have a better marriage in 2017. In fact, I want you to take a minute right now to imagine what a day will look like for you when you and your husband are on better terms. When you feel really good about the place you are in, where you really enjoy each other’s company without fear of the next argument brewing. Where you no longer feel like roommates, but instead feel like soulmates. Put the picture in your mind of how you’ll interact with each other when you first wake up. How you’ll connect with each other throughout the day while you are both busy at work. Play out in your mind how you’ll be when you come together in the evening and how you’ll spend your time together once the kids are off to bed.

Hold that image in your mind.

Stay right there.

Keep holding it.

Let it imprint in your mind, almost as if you were taking a screenshot.

Got it?

OK, so the reason that day is so important, is because that’s your motivation. That’s what you’re going to have to remember when you want to pick the next fight, when you want to criticize him for something, when you feel like he’s not measuring up in the ways you imagined. That’s the image you will draw on when you are tempted to repeat the mistakes of this year that have lead you down the road to a marriage that’s not at all what you’d hoped it would be.

Now, below are the top 5 marriage mistakes you HAVE to stop making.

The things that can no longer be acceptable to you.

The things you will no longer rationalize doing.

The things that just don’t fit with the person you are determined to be.

The things you just ain’t got no more time for!

Here we go…

 

#1. Putting the blame all on your husband.

Now, this is not to say he doesn’t have his faults. Everyone does. But how much time are you spending looking at HIS faults compared to working on your own? How often do you ask how you contribute to the situation you are in? Have you ever asked him what you can do to be a better spouse to him or are you mostly focused on the way he’s not meeting your needs?

What you have to realize is that BOTH of you created the mess you now find yourselves in. And while there are probably many things he could do to make things better, you have absolutely no control over that. To focus your attention there is not going to get you anything. You may be thinking that if he would just make one change, if he’d just start doing that one thing, that you’d ease up and be able to finally be happy. The truth is, it doesn’t work that way. And the proof is, it hasn’t worked that way. Blaming your husband for everything is the quickest way for you to remain unhappy. It leaves you completely powerless to achieve the happiness you want.

You are responsible for your own happiness and you achieve that when you choose to respond and react in ways that make you feel proud of who you are. When you look at the things you can do to make a situation work for you. When you blame him, he’s the only person who can fix it, and if he doesn’t, you’ll just stay stuck where you are. It’s not cute, and it’s not helpful to you. So stop it. Right. Now.

 

#2. Making excuses for why you are not doing what you need to do.

“If he’s not putting forth the effort, I’m not putting forth the effort.”

“I don’t have the energy to keep trying to make this work.”

“I’m so tired of telling him the things he should already know.”

“If he would just show me more love and attention, I’d stop getting so upset.”

“My emotions just get the best of me sometimes.”

Need I go on? Sound familiar enough to you?

Now whether this is your first time reading my posts, or if you’ve been reading them for a while, you already know what you need to do. You need to be more patient and understanding. You need to stop complaining so much. You need to give him the benefit of the doubt. You need to communicate in a kinder and more gentle tone. You need to act more like his wife than his mother. These things are not new to you. But somehow you find “reason after reason” for why the way you are being and the ways you respond are okay. I hate to tell you this, but every single one is an excuse. And excuses get you nowhere fast. Whenever they come up for you, write them down. Seriously, jot a quick note in your phone with the title: No More Excuses. After each one, I want you to write the word BUT and then complete the rest of the sentence. Here are some examples:

“I don’t have the energy to keep trying to make this work, BUT, I really want my marriage to be happy so I’ll find something I can do that seems manageable right now. 

My emotions just get the best of me sometimes, BUT I know when I over-react to situations, I feel really bad afterwards, so I’ll find some way to keep my cool.

Seriously, give this a try. It will change everything for you.

 

#3. Expecting your husband to read your mind.

Now, I know you are saying, “I don’t expect him to read my mind.”

But you do.

There are certain things you expect him to just know. Like when you need him to help out more. Or that he should be more romantic and show his love for you. Or when he should just agree with you instead of trying to offer his unsolicited advice. So many times, as women, we want our husbands to have the same level of forward thinking and sensitivity that we do. We want them to just know what we need. And then we get frustrated when they don’t get it, we don’t want to have to spell it out to them, or give them a script, or repeat ourselves for the 1,000th time. I know, you really feel like a broken record. But honestly, things get lost in translation, and if you think you are being clear, 9 times out of 10, it’s still not clear enough for him. And the quicker you can be okay with sounding like a broken record, the quicker you’ll actually get what you want from him.

I’d like for you to take a moment to think about how you feel when you are held accountable for things you were not even aware of. Maybe someone had an expectation of you that was never properly communicated. Then when you didn’t follow-through in the way they wanted, you got reprimanded. Or instead of letting you fix it, they just did all themselves. It makes you feel a little inadequate, like you’ll never be able to get it right for them. That’s not a good feeling. And in response, you want to protect yourself by either pointing the finger and blaming them, or you make the decision to not even try. No one likes to feel like they are not measuring up in some way. Especially when they didn’t even know what mark they were supposed to reach. Be clear. Be clearer. And clearer still. Clarity is one of those things you can never have too much of.

 

#4. Believing that once you “fix” your communication, your marriage problems will be solved.

Don’t get me wrong, the way you speak to each other, the words you use and the tone in which they are communicated has a big impact on the quality of your relationship. However, communication problems are really an sign of much bigger perception and connection problems. It’s more about how you see your husband – the thoughts you think about him, the baggage of past disappointments you still hold on to, the belief that he’s just not meeting your expectations – those are the things causing your communication to break down.

If you constantly think negatively about someone, you cannot exercise patience, understanding and kindness when you want to talk to them about something that’s bothering you. You are not open to finding compromises, you are not interested in really understanding their perspective, you’re not really motivated to listen because you feel like you have to fight your way to get your point across. The thoughts you think about your husband influence everything about the way you interact with him. You interpret his behavior in a certain way, you receive his comments in a certain way, and you expect your conversations to go a certain way. It’s not until you understand, dismantle and create new ways of thinking about him that you’ll actually see the improvements in your communication.

And a lack of connection creates a distance where getting on the same page is nearly impossible. When couples are disconnected and start to withdraw from each other, they quickly develop a greater focus on themselves and their own needs. The sense of a “we” is greatly diminished and so when you come to talk to each other, you have a one track mind on the things YOU need, the ways YOU want it to go and the information YOU need to get across. It’s natural to become selfish when you are not in sync with your husband, you feel like you are the only person who cares about your own interests and you have no choice but to protect your interests. But the truth of the matter is, one small step to connecting, one effort to reach out and connect with your husband will do more to solve your communication problems than “working on” listening to each other more.

 

#5.  Focusing on what’s going wrong.

When things are going downhill in your marriage, it’s so easy to accumulate more and more evidence that you’re headed in a bad direction. It’s like a big snowball that gains momentum and speed. With each passing day you notice more and more things that annoy you, more and more things that are not going the way you want, and you are quicker to get upset, quicker to complain or just shut down. The problems that once seems like little annoyances, are now a great big insurmountable block of ice standing in the way of your happiness.

The thing is, whatever you focus on grows. That if you pay attention to the things that are going wrong, you’ll only find more and more things going wrong. Your mind is very efficient and will set it’s sights on wherever you are directing it. If you harp on the things that disappoint you, the ways your husband is failing you, the times you are hurt and upset by something he did or said, then your mind searches your world, bringing more of those things into your consciousness.

On the other hand, when you consciously direct your thoughts to the things you can be grateful for, the small progress, or you let things go that really don’t matter, you send a signal to your brain to open your eye to see more of that. I’m sure you’ve had the experience where you may be thinking about purchasing something. Maybe a car. And all of a sudden, everywhere you turn, you see that thing all over the place. And if I were to ask you to show me all of the letter Ps in this blog, you would quickly scan and notice tons and tons of Ps all over the place, where before I introduced the task you didn’t pay attention to them at all. Go ahead, try it.

See, I told you!!

Now, I’d love for you to try it when you think about your husband. Think about something you would normally criticize him about. I’m sure that’s easy! Now, though, what I want you to do is to try to find 5 examples of times where the opposite is true. So for example, if you feel like he never really listens to you, think of 5 examples where he actually did listen and you know that he heard you. That’s just my example, you can come up with your own. And if you have a hard time doing so, then FOR SURE you need to practice and let go of the negative, like yesterday.

 

In conclusion…

So there you have it! My 5 top marriage mistakes that have no place in 2017. If you feel like you fall into any (or all) of these mistakes on a regular basis, I’m really glad this blog post found it’s way to you. The good news is you don’t have to keep making these mistakes. Another choice is always available to you. I know you’ve had some life experiences that have caused you to respond in certain ways. And you’ve probably been through a lot with your husband that’s turned you into a person that is not at all what you imagined when you first got married.

I believe that those experiences have come to show you something about yourself that you need to know. They offer the opportunity for you to grow and evolve into an even more amazing woman and wife. As a new year approaches, you can easily get caught up in the hype of new years resolutions and goal setting your way to a better life and marriage. Or you can really set your mind to make changes that actually stick. To take a deep dive into what’s truly getting in your way, and to find real solutions that can permanently remove those barriers so that you can enjoy your husband and have a marriage that truly lights you up inside.

If anything I’ve said struck a chord with you, let’s continue this conversation and get you on the path to a better marriage.

I want to invite you to join my email community of over 2,000 women who are committed to make their marriage the best it can be.

As a new email subscriber, you’ll automatically receive one of my most popular resources, “10 Keys to a Relationship You Love” AND 2 other welcome gifts. PLUS, you’ll learn how you can receive a complimentary coaching call with me. Together, we can speak over the phone and pinpoint exactly what’s happening in your marriage and the steps to be taken to get things back on track. This call is valued at $150, so don’t miss your chance to access the help and support you know you need.

To sign up and receive a ton of powerful resources to help your marriage, just click the button below:
Yes, I want more! Sign me up!

 

To an amazing year ahead,

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Dr. Chavonne Perotte

Founder of RelateAble

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UN-Happily Married: Is this really who you want to be?

10 Nov 16
Chavonne Perotte
2 comments

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The question, is this really who you want to be, is incredibly powerful.

It implies that we have a choice in who we are.

Now of course, this makes sense on the surface.

We choose what job or career we’ll have.

We choose to become a wife.

We choose to become a mother.

We choose our friends, where we go and how we spend our time.

But in this context, the question is much deeper.

Angry. Resentful. Frustrated. Impatient. Judgmental. Unkind. Revengeful.

Is this really who you want to be?

So many times, we believe that our circumstances and what other people do cause us to be this way.

That’s just how we are. What other way is there to react to certain situations? We’ve always been that way. It’s too late to change.

Our husband is unloving, doesn’t show enough affection and doesn’t appreciate all that we do.

He doesn’t consider our feelings, doesn’t help out enough, doesn’t put forth an effort, and is just not fun to be around.

The romance is gone, we argue all the time, and it feels like we’re roommates living in the same house.

This is not what we signed up for.

So in response, we criticize, complain, point the finger, withdraw, and sometimes, consider our exit strategy.

We become this woman who’s on edge, waiting for him to make us upset, focusing on all his faults, consumed by all that’s going wrong.

But is this really who you want to be?

I’m going to guess the answer is no.

That really, you want to be someone who is happy, giving, loving, patient, kind, compassionate, and forgiving.

You want to feel loved, appreciated, understood, respected, and cherished. You want to feel important, and know that you matter.

You want to enjoy your life and your marriage. You want to feel like a wife who is adored by her husband. You want to be grateful for all that you have and excited about what’s in your future.

I have good news for you.

You can choose to be whoever you want at any point any time.

No matter what someone else is doing or not doing.

No matter how much you want to respond differently or have responded differently in the past.

You are 100% in control of how you respond to anything happening in your life.

Your emotions and feelings are not determined by other people. They are determined by you and you only.

Here are 3 really quick ways to choose who you really want to be.

#1. Pick 1-3 words or phrases that describe who you want to be. Write them down. Affirm that you are that person daily.

#2. In all situations and circumstances, remember you can choose to be those things. At any moment you choose.

#3. When you feel yourself getting upset or having some other negative emotion, ask yourself, who do I want to be in this moment? Is this really how I want to feel?

If it’s not, change it.

The choice is always yours.

Being who you really want to be always starts in your mind. Being a wife who is adored and cherished by her husband is up to you. If you’re not experiencing that in your marriage there’s 1 main reason why. There’s a piece to all this that you’ve been missing. As a respected marriage coach, I’ve helped hundreds of women understand what that is and take the necessary steps to change it. And I’d love to share that same information with you.

I recently created a video that reveals the #1 Reason You are Not Getting the Love and Affection You Crave from Your Husband. You can get it absolutely FREE.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE VIDEO

Specifically, in this video you will:

*Discover the #1 thing that’s been preventing you from having the happy marriage that makes you feel loved, cherished and adored by your husband

*Understand the top mistake you’ve been unknowingly making and why all your previous efforts to get him to change have failed, leaving you even more frustrated

*Learn the most important rule every married woman must follow in order to unlock an outpouring of love and affection from their husband

*Uncover the single most important mindset shift that will instantly make you happier and more like a magnet drawing him closer and more in love with you than before

Don’t miss out!

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE VIDEO

 

And if being a Happily Married Woman is one of the things you want, I’ve got the perfect thing for you. I have a private Facebook group that’s all about providing encouragement, motivation and support to create happier, more loving marriages. Whether you are happily married right now, or hope to one day reclaim your happy status, you will love being a part of this group. It’s literally THE BEST marriage group on Facebook. All positive, practical and good advice that you can use right away. Check us out! I along with over 1,200 other women are waiting to welcome you! Find us here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/happilymarriedwoman/