My husband Jeff and I have been married for 37 years, and our relationship has evolved and been reinvented multiple times over the years. There are an infinite number of ways to be in a marriage, and there is no one “right” way to ensure a thriving relationship. So this week, I want to let you in on my marriage and some of the keys that have led us to where we are today.
Adjustments, shifts, and even resets are part and parcel of any relationship. So even if you’re not married, what I’m leaving you with on this episode is going to be applicable to anyone you have a connection with, and will open you up to new ideas about what’s possible in any relationship you want to cultivate.
Join me on the podcast as I offer my top 5 secrets on how to nurture a loving, thriving marriage. I’m sharing some common bad habits we’ve all indulged in that are harmful to your relationship, and how to instead begin practicing new habits that will create so much more fun, excitement, and fulfillment.
TO CELEBRATE THE LAUNCH OF THE SHOW, I’M GIVING AWAY A FEW OF MY VERY FAVORITE THINGS TO 5 LUCKY LISTENERS WHO FOLLOW, RATE, AND REVIEW THE PODCAST!
CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE CONTEST AND HOW TO ENTER. I’LL BE ANNOUNCING THE WINNERS ON AN UPCOMING EPISODE, SO STAY TUNED!
WHAT YOU’LL DISCOVER IN THIS EPISODE:
The only reason my marriage is still thriving.
How my own marriage has evolved over the last 37 years.
My top 5 secrets for how to thrive in your marriage.
The truth about all of our relationships, even if you’re not married.
Why my husband and I have dropped the traditional marriage roles.
I’m Kym Showers, and this is Reinvented After 40, episode number eight, How to Thrive in Marriage.
Hey, friends. Welcome to Reinvented After 40, a podcast for all you women in the second half of life who are ready to take responsibility for your own well-being and create a life you love living.
I’m your host, Kym Showers, and after spending the first 40 years of my life people-pleasing and following all the rules, I was exhausted and ready for a change. I reinvented myself. I stopped outsourcing my happiness. And I’ve been brave enough to live a different kind of life.
I’ll be here each week to help you do the same thing. It’s gonna be fun. Let’s go.
Hey, everyone. What’s happening? Hope your week is incredible and you’re having so much fun. Today on the show I’m giving you my top five secrets on how you can thrive in your marriage.
But before we do that, before we dive in, I wanted to tell you a little about my amazing trip up north to my business mastermind meeting. I felt like a small fish swimming with all the big fish. Everyone in the group is younger than me and most have bigger businesses than I do. And I just love that. I love my positioning in this group. I think I’m probably going to get the most out of it. I felt so lucky to be there. And at the same time, I felt like I completely belonged there. 25 entrepreneurs, 25 of us ranging from $100,000 a year goal to $5 million a year goals.
Everyone ready to do what it takes to grow and scale their businesses. So what basically happened is we sat in a big circle, tables and chairs for three back-to-back eight-hour days and worked on each other’s businesses one business at a time. It was really a three-day brainstorming fest. When it was my turn, it’s very vulnerable when it’s your turn, trust me.
When it was my turn, I told them all the details about my business and my goals, what’s working, what isn’t working. And then they put their genius business minds together and gave me every brilliant idea they could think of. They didn’t hold back or protect their ideas. It was an incredibly generous experience; I think one that I’ve never really experienced before. I don’t think I’ll ever feel alone in my business again. They’re helping me to think bigger and work smarter. And it is such a blast, you guys.
So I invested a lot of money to be in this group for one full year and I’m 100% committed to doing everything that they say and that our leader says. So how amazing is that? I’ll pass it all along to you as we go, so get ready.
So today I want to talk to you about marriage. I love marriage. And I love thriving marriages and I am in one. And I have some secrets I want to share with you today. I’m going to tell you a little bit about my own marriage and my experience in it. And this is for everyone, even if you’re not married you can use these ideas for just about any relationship you have because our relationships are created in our mind. It’s really the thoughts we think about ourselves and each other that creates all of our relationships.
So your marriage is created by the thoughts you think about you and the thoughts you think about your husband. It’s all created in your head. So if we want to thrive, we can kind of think bigger. We can change our thinking. We find thoughts that are in our way, and we drop them, and then we open up to new ideas about marriage and what’s possible. There are an infinite number of ways to be married. So we find the one that works best for us. You find the one that works best for you.
Find the way that feels good to you and that’s what I’ve done, has always been me who wanted the change. It’s never been Jeff, so I’ve always had to go first. And I’m not saying it’s easy, but it’s always been worth it. So Jeff and I have been together for 41 years. We dated our first four years and then we got married and so we have been married for 37 years. We’ve reinvented ourselves many times and that’s truly the only reason we’re still together and thriving.
When the way we were doing things stopped working we adjusted and found a better way. I look at our life together a little like a book with chapters. And when one chapter was finished, obviously finished, we started writing the next one. We kept figuring it out and we still do. It’s an ongoing kind of epic story with an endless number of chapters. We never reach the end. We’re always reinventing ourselves, always growing, always figuring things out. And we’ve never really had a lot of drama but definitely lots of necessary shifts, and changes, and resets.
We’re not afraid to do things differently than what’s traditional. I never have been one to settle for something that isn’t as good as it could be. And Jeff and I are opposites, truly. We don’t think alike. We don’t act alike. The way that I explained it in the past and I do kind of think about us still this way is he’s the hand and I am the bird. He’s kept us safe and grounded and I have kept us wild and free. We are Christians and we have lived our entire married life with Christian values. However, we have definitely evolved out of most of the traditional marriage roles that no longer were working for us.
No more of husband is head of the household and spiritual leader and wife submits. I think that’s all nonsense. I mean if it works for you and you’re thriving, you’re both thriving and happy then I’m all for it. But it did not work for us. I ended up feeling like he was my boss, or my parent and I was the child. It just didn’t work. It wasn’t good so we dropped it. We’re committed, and we’re in love, and we’re faithful equal partners. We have so much respect for one another, and we value each other’s opinion. We honor each other and we both are free to do exactly what we want.
We stopped worrying about what other people would think about us and we started doing things so much better. We are an example of what’s possible. We are an example of a marriage that is different than most and thriving in the second half of life. So you guys, here are my five top secrets to thriving in your marriage.
Secret number one, be creative and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. So listen you guys, Jeff and I have separate bedrooms which has been my favorite secret of all. It’s genius. We started sleeping separately about 10 years ago when he started snoring. And I was grumpy because I wasn’t getting any sleep. It was frustrating us both and we tried all kinds of ideas, but nothing worked like this does. I was ready for my own space. I wanted my own bedroom, and my own bathroom, and my own closet, no more sharing.
We have great sex and romance and then we go to our sleeping quarters separately and get an awesome night’s rest. It’s the best thing we’ve ever done. It’s so much fun. It does feel like we’re dating, and I love it and I think he loves it too because we’re kind of on different schedules. We don’t sleep at the same time. I definitely get up much earlier than he does. So we just don’t worry about waking each other up and bothering each other. And it’s really just perfect. It’s the perfect situation, the perfect scenario for us, it’s totally a blast.
Another thing we do differently is we don’t eat at the same times or eat the same foods. So I don’t cook for him like I used to. I eat mostly vegetables and healthy stuff. And he wants normal food like meat, and casseroles, and pasta, and burgers and sandwiches. I do the grocery shopping, but he mostly preps his own food, makes his own food or has food delivered. I will make him a casserole once a week, do something like that, but mostly he takes care of himself. It’s really simple and easy for us both. He is responsible for him. I am responsible for me.
I never felt obligated to meet his needs. I love the kind of wife I am. I am honest, and happy, and generous, and fun, and never resentful. He hardly ever makes requests but if he does I most of the time love honoring it. It’s really fun to live like this together. It’s super easy. So that’s my secret number one.
So my secret number two is stay committed to yourself. Don’t lose who you are. Be committed to you first and committed to your relationship with your husband second. I know this sounds contrary to what you’ve been told and taught but I promise you it makes for the best marriage. He was attracted to you. You were the one he wanted, independent, resourceful, fun, confident you. Don’t become someone different when you get married. Don’t look to him to meet your needs. Don’t count on him to make you happy. Take full responsibility for your own wellbeing every single day.
If you have something you need from him, make your request and make it clear and simple. He might do it and he might not. Don’t hang your emotions on how he responds. Men do not think like we do. If you’ve been married for a long time and you feel stuck in a cycle that isn’t fun for you anymore, get out of it. It only takes one person in a relationship to change for the entire relationship to change.
You two are doing a dance and if you stop doing the dance, if you alone stop doing the dance, he can’t keep doing it without you. So disrupt it, don’t go along with things to keep the peace. You’ll end up resentful. Get good at taking care of yourself and putting yourself first and holding yourself in the highest regard. When you do this from a place of love and confidence your marriage will feel so much better and a lot more fun, trust me. Stay connected to you, that’s most important.
Secret number three, don’t compare. There is an infinite number of right ways to be married. Just because it looks like your friends are happier than you, doesn’t mean they are, or that you’re doing it wrong. It doesn’t mean that anyone’s relationship is better than yours. The grass is never greener over there. The grass is always green where you water it. If you want to thrive in your marriage, nurture it, love it, speak kindly about it and trust it.
Create a close relationship with your thoughts, and your words, and your actions within your marriage. Don’t be critical of it, and complain about it, and judge it. No one has it better than you. No one has a better husband. No one is a better wife. How can you nurture, and love, and make your relationship with your marriage the best it can be so you can enjoy it? It’s completely in your power. Stop judging it, and comparing it, and let it be magic. That’s secret number three.
Top secret number four, never complain about your husband or your relationship. That’s a bad habit to get into. And if you’ve been into this habit you need to break it, you need to stop it. I know it seems innocent when you’re with your girl friends, someone says something seemingly funny and sarcastic about her spouse and then everyone else can relate and adds her own story to the mix. We’ve all been there but I promise you it’s harmful.
It’s slandering and gossiping about your partner. You’re not honoring you and you’re not honoring him. You’re not holding you both in the highest regard. Be in the habit of saying good things about him and your relationship. Find the funny stories that feel better to speak about. When you practice this instead of falling into the complaining trap you will actually show up as your best self in your marriage. You will actually start seeing things in a more positive light. You create your experience by the thoughts you think and the stories you tell. It changes everything. So no more complaining.
My last top secret for this day, I’ll have a billion others as we move along but my last top secret for today is secret number five which is drop the expectations and have some fun. Your husband’s only job is to be here in your life for you to love and to enjoy. He’s not here to meet your needs. He is not here to have deep meaningful connected conversations with. He’s not here to listen to you. He’s not here to be your best friend, and to cuddle with you, and be romantic.
He’s not here to impress you or impress your friends. He’s just him being him, just a guy and you get to figure out how to love and to enjoy him just the way he is. When we have expectations of how he should be then we keep creating disappointment for ourselves and that’s no fun for anyone. When we let him be him and we stop trying to change him things get so much better, easier, lighter.
If you want a different relationship than the one you have you be the one who changes, you go first and see what happens, you be the one who brings the fun, you bring the laughter, and the lightness, and the change to your relationship that you’re wanting. You are the most important person here. Your thoughts are creating your feelings, it’s never him. Your expectations are causing your feelings, it’s not him. He’s just being him. Let go of what you hope happens and how you hope he shows up and what you hope he does or doesn’t do and pay all the attention to you, not him.
How are you showing up? How can you be exactly the kind of woman you want to be in this sacred, precious, amazing relationship? You can lighten up and have so much more fun when you drop your expectations.
So these are my top five secrets to thriving in your marriage. Be creative, don’t worry about what anyone else thinks. Number two, stay committed to you first. Number three, don’t compare. Number four, never complain. Number five, drop the expectations and have some fun.
Marriage can be so much more exciting and fulfilling when you change your mind about it, when you take full responsibility for your own experience in it and drop the pressure you’re putting on it. It’s supposed to change, and evolve, and grow, and look, and feel different in the second half of life. You alone can create a marriage that you absolutely are your best self in and one where you thrive. Start observing, start shifting, start practicing. Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better and that’s okay.
Just know that you have all the power to be as happy as you want to be. It’s never about him, it’s always and only about you.
So I usually end with a quote from someone else, but I actually couldn’t find one that I loved and felt true to me. So I’m just going to leave you with my own, this is Kym Showers’ marriage quote. Marriage can be magic for you if you let it be. That’s pretty simple, marriage can be magic for you if you let it be. Let it be magic, it’s completely possible, especially in the second half of life.
So that’s all I have for you today. I adore you for showing up all these weeks and sharing these episodes with your friends, it means the world to me. Have the happiest week ahead and I’ll see you next time.
To celebrate the launch of the show, I’m going to be giving away a few of my very favorite things to five lucky listeners who follow, rate, and review the podcast. And it doesn’t really have to be a five-star review, though, of course, I would be ever grateful. And I do hope you love the show. But I do want your honest feedback so I can create something awesome that provides a lot of value for you.
So, please visit KymShowersLifeCoach.com/PodcastLaunch to learn more about the contest and how to enter. I’ll be announcing the winners on the podcast in an upcoming episode.
Thanks for listening to Reinvented After 40. If you want more information or resources from the podcast, please visit KymShowersLifeCoach.com.
I’m 62 years old and I’ve created a life for myself that blows my mind every single day. I’ve learned how to build a wildly successful business and create a beautiful, strong, healthy body and grow happy, easy relationships with the people I love the most. I’ve become my own inspiration. The 2nd half of life is by far the most exciting & powerful of all. You can have it too.