Episode 69: Should My Partner Be Really Be #1?

by | Last updated: Apr 20, 2024 | Podcast

Could your marriage be the cornerstone to success in every other part of your life? In this episode, I invite you to consider the potentially transformative concept of placing your relationship above even your children and career…

I explain why many of us naturally prioritize other aspects of life (kids, work, etc.) and the subtle-yet-profound impact this could be having in our marriages. This is a divisive topic, so I invite you to tune in and consider what this means for you!

Listen to the Full Episode:

What You’ll Learn In This Episode:

2:49 – Can your marriage be the foundation… for everything else in your life?
4:18 – Most of us love our kids unconditionally. What about our life partners?
6:22 – What else can thrive… when your marriage thrives?
8:04 – But prioritizing your marriage shouldn’t feel like a chore
11:20 – What’s ONE thing you can do to prioritize your marriage?

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Struggling to decide whether to stay or go in your marriage and you’re serious about finding that answer?

Book a Truth & Clarity Session with a member of my team. We’ll discuss where you are in your marriage and explore if there’s a fit for you and I to work together so you can make - and execute - the RIGHT decision for YOU and your marriage.

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. Hello, loves, this is Sharon Pope and this is the Loving Truth. Today I wanna talk to you about whether or not your partner should be number one in your life.

I have had two different teachers of mine, both men, interestingly enough, who have said that no matter what is going on in your life, your marriage should be the highest priority thing in your life. And while of course I think your marriage should be a priority in your life, I have never been bold enough to say it should be the single highest priority thing in your life.

And so it got me thinking, and that's what I wanted to talk to you about today. And I know some of you, particularly my mama's out there, you're probably already triggered by what I'm talking about. You're probably already like, whoa, whoa, whoa, no, no, no. My kids are my highest priority, not my marriage. And you probably think like your marriage doesn't deserve that.

But let's just look for a second at how our approach, our current approach of prioritizing, let's say our kids over our marriage or our careers over our marriage. Let's just take a look at how that's working for us. Okay? Whatever we pour our love and time and attention and energy into that highest priority thing, we know it's going to thrive. So when our kids are that highest priority,

of course they're thriving. If you pour all of your love and time and attention and energy into your career or your business, that will probably thrive. But we don't invest like that in our marriages very often. Most people don't. And even when they do, we don't do it consistently. And so where we show up for our kids day in and day out and we show up to our,

you know, our careers day in and day out, no matter what's going on, we show up for that. But we don't do that in our marriages. And so then we leave sort of scraps or crumbs remaining, whatever's left at the end of a very long day. That's what our partners get from us. And then we wonder why the marriage is starving to death and why it's struggling and why it feels disconnected.

And so then we don't feel good in our marriages because it's not thriving. But then we don't wanna hurt our kids by going through a divorce. So now we're just stuck. So here's how I think about it. I think about it like a house that two people come together and take the very real risk and it is a risk to love one another.

And in doing so, they are creating the foundation of a family, let's say. And then everything that we build on top of that foundation, right? It could be you take on a mortgage literally, and then you're adding on top of that foundation and you blend your families and you're adding on top of that foundation. And then you add children to the mix and you're building on top of that foundation.

But what if what you're building on is sand? What if it keeps shifting and it's really unstable? Then everything you are building on top of that foundation is at risk because we're not paying attention to the foundation. And so then all the other things start to crumble. And then we use that as our fears so that as an excuse to remain stuck and to not end the marriage and to not walk through divorce because of all these very valid reasons of all these things we've built on top of this very shaky foundation that just got shaky because we didn't invest in it because we didn't prioritize it.

So I can sort of see their point that why shouldn't it be, why shouldn't our marriages be the single biggest priority in our lives? Because let's look at it like this. If people would say like, no, children should always be your number one priority, and marriage should be second, third, or fourth on your priority list. That's because most of us feel about our kids,

that we love them unconditionally. And so we, we want to prioritize their needs above our needs. We want to do that. We don't want to prioritize our partner's needs above our needs. And mostly we do that because it feels safe, because our love for our children feels unconditional and we kind of feel like their love for us also feels unconditional. It's actually not.

Because once they grow up, what we will all see is that adults have conditions in their relationships. So while it's easy to love our kids unconditionally when they grow up, their love for us is not necessarily unconditional, but that's another topic for another day. So we want our kids to feel good. We want to prioritize their needs, we want them to thrive.

Why don't we want our marriages to thrive? And if our marriage is thriving, do you think the kids are more likely to also be thriving or less likely if they see two people loving each other, if they see two people who are able to navigate disagreements and even arguments, but be able to come closer together and not throw in the towel too early or anything like that.

Like if they see people moving through struggle, forgiving each other and loving each other, are they more likely to thrive or less likely? So I think I can get on board with this. I think I can argue that our marriages should be the most important thing. And in doing so, everything else will also then benefit from that marriage. Thriving. Our kids will benefit,

your career will benefit. Now, you might say, oh no, no, Sharon, you just lost me there. 'cause work and home are completely separated. They're completely compartmentalized. Let's say you own a business and your marriage is struggling at home, that your spouse is ready to walk out the door. Or every time you come home you get into a big argument and you're not sleeping well and you're probably drinking more than you normally would.

All of those things, how you show up at work is going to be impacted by that. We think we're super great at compartmentalizing. We're not. So I can tell you for sure, like as an entrepreneur, I bring my whole self to my business. So if I'm jacked up about something personally, I bring that into my business. There is not that separation.

Now, maybe if you go to an office, there's a bit more separation, but you can't tell me that you're not distracted or that you are at your, your best self and you're most focused and you're most creative when shit is crumbling at home, there's no way to do that because we're human beings. So when we prioritize our marriage and our marriages feel good,

it impacts that trickles down and impacts everything else. And it's not necessarily the same thing for when we prioritize. Let's say if we prioritize our career or our business, that doesn't usually trickle down to the rest of the family and them thriving and our kids thriving and our marriage is thriving and you know all of that. But when we invest in our marriages,

it does trickle down and it impacts everything else. Alright, so here's the things that I wanted to share about this. First of all, in the same way that you want to prioritize your kids' needs, you have to want to do this. This shouldn't feel like a root canal, right? This should feel like, you know what? I'm married this person.

I said, I wanted to do this life with you. How did we get to this place where I don't care about your needs, I only care about my needs. I need you to meet my needs, but I have no interest in meeting your needs. Like where did that come from? How did we get here? Can we rethink that? Can we reposition that?

So we have to want to prioritize our partner's needs. The other thing, sometimes we get into this very self-interested approach of where someone will say to their partner, well, I'm not gonna meet your needs until you meet my needs. I mean, the one that is seen day in and day out, although there's many, but the the most common one is,

you know, let's say the woman needs emotional connection before she can feel like connecting with you physically, where a man might need the physical connection in order to feel emotionally close and safe with you. And so then there's this who comes first? And I literally had someone say this to me this week where their partner was like, well, I'm not gonna meet your needs until you meet my needs.

And so now we're at a standoff where no one is getting their needs met and nobody seems to care about anything except their own needs. And is that the kind of marriage that you want? Is that how you want to love? Because here's the thing, like that's that's, I'm going to love you in order to get my needs met. I'm going to love you in order to get in a way,

you're using that other person that's not love, that's bartering, that's keeping score, that's using another human being and calling it love and that's not love. Another thing I will tell you is, and this is just food for thought. I'm just gonna plant the seed. I don't expect you to run out and apply this to your life today, but what if you made your partner's needs you highest priority?

And what if every partner's need is just to feel loved? Like I think at the end of the day, every single human being on the planet, what they really most deeply desire is to know that they're loved and to feel that. Now it comes out looking a lot of different ways, but ultimately that's what we all really want. And so what if my job here in being in this marriage is to prioritize my partner's needs and to make sure that they feel loved by me?

What if that's, if that's all you ever did in your marriage, it would be a lot, right? So that's just something for you to consider. Like why do we resist that so much? So think about this. I'll leave you with this. What is one thing that you can do to prioritize your marriage? Because when you prioritize your marriage,

everything else that you love and deeply care about will benefit. But when we put our marriage on the back burner and prioritize other things, only that other thing, our kids, our career, whatever is what thrives, the marriage will suffer. Now, one little hint, you don't leave the investment in your marriage to the last thing you do in the day,

right? How many of us, we give our best at work and we give our best to our children and we, we give and give and give, and then at the end of the day, we're exhausted and depleted, which makes sense. And then that's when we try to have conversations with our spouse, or that's when we try to physically connect with our spouse.

Don't leave your marriage to the place where, when you're coming at it from a place of exhaustion, right? What if your marriage is the first thing on your to-do list? What if your marriage is the first priority? So you two wake up 15 minutes before the kids get up and you have coffee together, or you just pillow talk or you just hold each other?

What if you two came first and then all the other madness comes into your day as opposed to waiting until the end of the day? I bet you'll have a lot more success if you start from that place. And it doesn't have to be big, and it doesn't have to be rocket science, and it doesn't have to be three hours a time. It can be 10 quality minutes of the two of you connecting and proving to yourself that your marriage is really important and you prioritize that.

All right? I hope I have given you, I think I have given you something to really think about, to challenge your existing line of thinking around where your priorities lie. And please, please keep in mind that what I'm not suggesting is you prioritize your marriage and then you disregard everything else in your life, right? No one has ever said that it's just a matter of what priority order it comes in,

and maybe we've left our marriages off that priority list for a little too long, and it's time to bring it back in a really meaningful way. All right? Until next week, please take really good care if you're listening to this podcast because you're struggling to decide whether to stay or go in your marriage and you're serious about finding that answer, it's time to book a Truth and Clarity session with a member of my team.

On the call, we'll discuss where you are in your marriage and explore if there's a fit for you and I to work together so you can make and execute the right decision for you and your marriage. Go to clarity for my marriage.com to fill out an application now that's clarity for my marriage.com.

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