Episode 56: What Will Life Be Like One Year From Now (If You Do Nothing Different)?

by | Last updated: Jan 5, 2024 | Podcast

Feeling frustrated by the same interactions and experiences with your partner? Perhaps you and your spouse are having the same arguments over and over again, or you’re still not affectionate with each other.

How will your life look and feel a year from now, though, if you do nothing different? You might think you know the answer, but you’ll only be partly right.

In this episode of The Loving Truth podcast, you’ll learn about two reasons why your life won’t be the same next year if you don’t do things differently. I’ll also give you suggestions on how to change your approach to the problems in your marriage so that it has a chance to evolve into something better.

Listen to the Full Episode:

What You’ll Learn In This Episode:

1:10 – The first (and most important) reason why your life a year from now won’t still be the same by doing nothing different

3:49 – The one inevitability that means things won’t be different for you next year

5:22 – A suggestion for doing something different that puts you in the fast lane to change

6:53 – The assumption you need to drop to get things moving in a different direction

8:03 – One of the more powerful things you can do that most people resist (at least at first)

10:01 – How to get out of the inertia and implement the suggestion of your choice

11:45 – The result if you remain passive and ignore the rumble strip in your marriage

Featured On What Will Life Be Like One Year From Now (If You Do Nothing Different)?

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Welcome to The Loving Truth Podcast where it's all about finding clarity, confidence, and peace in the face of marriage challenges. And now your host, relationship expert, and certified master life coach, Sharon Pope.

Sharon Pope: Hello, loves. This is Sharon Pope and this is The Loving Truth. I want to ask you a question. What do you think your life is going to look like and feel like a year from now if you do nothing different than what you're doing today? Take a minute and really think about that.

I ask this question a lot to people who find their way to my work. I can predict what they're going to say because it's almost always the same answer. The way that most people think is that they say, “It'll look the same way as it does today.”

I understand why they say that because they keep having the same arguments over and over again. She keeps getting frustrated by the same experiences. They're still not being affectionate with one another. The interactions between her and her partner still seem the exact same way.

But here's what I'm going to tell you is that one year from now, if you do nothing different, it might look the same from the outside looking in, like the actions, the ways in which you engage, the arguments that you have, the frustrations that you feel, it might look the same, but it will not feel the same. There are several reasons for this.

The first one, and probably the most important one is it's not going to feel the same a year from now because frustrations compound on top of one another. We can call it the frustration stack if you will. I don't know about you, but when I have one thing on my plate to do, no problem. I focus on it. I get it done. I go and I cross it off because I get a lot of satisfaction from crossing things off on my list. Maybe you do too.

But then you get two things on your plate and you're like, “No problem. Three things, no problem.” Twenty-eight things on your plate to do and now you're overwhelmed and all of them seem really difficult and really hard, don't they?

This is the same thing with our frustrations. You can get frustrated with your partner about one thing, and it's usually not that big of a deal. You might express it, you might not. You might just be able to move past it and just be like, “Yeah, that was irritating,” but you're not going to bring it up.

Other times you bring it up and it gets solved or it doesn't get solved. But when you have the same frustration being presented to you over and over and over again inside your relationship, well that makes you feel more hopeless that change is ever going to happen, especially if you've brought it up and yet it still keeps happening over and over and over again. Those frustrations start to stack and compound and they feel much heavier.

Also, when you're still interacting in the same way with one another, that distance between you keeps growing wider and wider. It's so subtle. You won't even really notice it. But because you're not being affectionate and because you're not communicating, you're not making time and space for one another, you're not really understanding and hearing one another, all of those things just make the relationship feel like more and more hopeless that it's never going to evolve, it's never going to change, and you try to convince yourself that the only path to any kind of peace is just to accept it as it is and get comfortable with something that doesn't feel so good.

Now the other reason I can tell you for sure that your life is not going to feel the same a year from now if you do nothing different is because I know that there is nothing on this planet that is not constantly changing, and your relationship is no different.

I don't care if we're talking about blades of grass outside. They're growing. Or the condition of your house. Yep. Every day, every year, it's getting a little bit worse, a little bit worse, a little bit worse. That's why we have to upkeep our homes. We have to pay to keep things up to date.

Our bodies, the cells in our bodies, there's not a single thing on this planet that is not constantly changing. It's the same inside of your relationship. Lastly, I would argue that because we are always in motion, you are always either growing closer together or further apart. We never just stay exactly the same.

Just like the tide comes in and the tide goes out, sometimes you feel good about your relationship, sometimes you don't. It is a moving target. But the more frustrations we feel and the more those upsets start to stack on top of each other, then the more frustrated we are, the angrier we are, the more hopeless we are, and maybe even more in despair we feel.

If you do nothing differently, please do not expect your life to feel the same a year from now as it does today. What's the definition of insanity? You keep doing the same thing over and over and over again expecting to get a different result. It just doesn't work that way. My suggestion, of course, is to do something different. It doesn't have to look any one way.

Now for me, of course, my first recommendation is you hire an expert, someone who can equip you. It's like the speed pass or the fast lane on the freeway. It's like the quickest way to get from where you are to where it is that you want to be is to learn from someone who's been there and who has mastered it, who really understands it and can teach you in short order how to be in a relationship.

Plus, I'm a coach, so that is obviously one path that you can take but it doesn't even have to look like that big of a deal. What if you both agreed to spend 15 to 20 minutes together every single night after the kids had gone to bed, just the two of you connecting where you turn towards each other in the bed, you don't just automatically turn on the TV, and you talk about how your day was, how you're feeling, and what's ahead?

Just that 15 minutes can be an investment inside the relationship that helps the two of you start to feel closer to one another, start to feel more supportive of one another.

Now another thing that you can do is start expressing what it is that you want and need. Stop assuming that your partner can read your mind or that they should know what you want or need. Instead, start expressing it, be very direct, and don't do it with animosity, sarcasm, or criticism, which is usually how we say things because it's protective of our ego.

When instead you could go to your partner and say, “You know what? Darling, I could really use your help. If you could help me with XYZ, it would really make me feel PDQ,” fill in the blank. If you would help me create this podcast, it would really make me feel supported in what I'm trying to build here with the business. That's all.

Whatever you want to do, just insert your specific examples, but express what it is that you need from your partner and stop assuming that they should know. That can start to shift things inside your relationship.

Then I would say one of the more powerful things that you can do that most people resist and you might be resistant to it at first, I refer to this as stepping into the gap. There is some gap between what you feel and what you want to feel inside your marriage. Is there not? Like, “I want to feel more loved. I want to feel more desired. I want to feel more appreciated.”

Okay. Someone's got to step into that gap. The problem is most of us wait for our partner to be the one to do the things to make us feel more loved, appreciated, desired, respected, whatever.

Instead, you'd be the one to step into the gap. You're the one that's aware that there is a gap. You're the one that knows specifically what it is that you want to feel. If you want to feel more love, then start being more loving, because you could feel that way today just by becoming more loving towards anything and anyone.

You can get in the energy of love today instead of waiting for your partner to do whatever it is that's going to make you feel loved because I promise you, the way that you feel loved by your partner is different than the way I feel loved by my partner, then it’s different than the way that your next door neighbor feels loved by their partner.

Be the one to step into the gap. If you want to feel more appreciated, start appreciating more. If you want to feel more respected, start being more respectful. Give what it is that you want to receive. Because by the way, if you're not willing to give what it is that you want to receive, I think you've got to question whether or not you deserve to have what it is that you want to receive. Because we've got to be willing to give that which we want to get.

Yes, you can hire a coach. Of course, you can. Like I said, that's a speed pass. But there are a million other ways. Sometimes I'm like, “Just do something differently.” It's getting out of the inertia of I'm just going to keep doing the same thing inside this relationship and hope for change, hope that something is going to magically shift, and then we're disappointed when it doesn't. Every year the relationship starts to feel a little bit heavier and a little bit more heavy.

I want you to be able to feel like you're making some progress, even if it's small by doing one of these small things. Now, these things like if you did this for a year, anything, choose one thing and do it consistently for a year, I mean, shoot, three months, do it consistently for three months, sometimes a year can feel like, “Oh, that's a lot,” but do it consistently for three months, now, it is not a guarantee that this is going to change your marriage, that it is going to solve all the problems in your marriage but it might help you to start feeling a little bit closer.

Remember how I said we're always moving closer together or further apart? It might help you to start feeling like you're moving a little bit closer to one another or it doesn't. But either way, you have now gained some new information that helps you come to clarity about whether or not the relationship can evolve to a place that feels good for you or not.

But the only way to know if the relationship can evolve is to try. That is the surefire way to figure out whether or not the relationship can evolve to a new place that feels really good for you.

Look, if you're struggling in your marriage, this is not the time to be passive. I often use the analogy of the rumble strip because when you're riding on the road, and you hit that rumble strip, those grooves on the side of the road because you were distracted for a second, those grooves wake you up and you immediately get back in your lane. It helps you correct right away.

But unfortunately, inside of our marriages, when things get hard, we don't often pay attention to the rumble strip. We sort of shut down to it and we begin to hope for change, but we don't get actively engaged in creating the change to get back in the lane that feels really good, so then what happens when you ignore the rumble strip? If you fall asleep at the wheel while you're driving, and you ignore the rumble strip because you're asleep, what happens? You end up in the ditch and this is the same thing.

Please do not assume that if you do nothing different, it's going to feel the same this time next year. It's not. It's going to feel heavier, it's going to feel harder. It'll probably feel more hopeless because it's not going to magically change. This isn't the time to be passive. This isn't the time to just go on a wing and a prayer. This is the time to actively do something, anything that is different than what you're doing today to see “Can the relationship evolved to a new place or not?” Alright, I hope that was helpful for you. I'll see you next time. Take good care.

Love, if you're questioning whether you can recover the feelings you've lost for your spouse and you're serious about putting an end to feeling stuck, lost, and alone, I've written a book just for you. It's called “Stay or Go? How to Find Confidence and Clarity So You Can Fix Your Marriage or Move Forward Without Regret.”

The approach I share in this best-selling book has already worked for thousands of women struggling in lonely disconnected marriages and I'm confident that it will work for you too. If you don't want to spend another day stuck in indecision, go to sharonpopebook.com to get your copy of “Stay or Go?” now.


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