Our marriage has been a mix of really good times, some really bad times and even times where things were just neutral and just existing. What has carried us through each of those seasons over the last twenty years is our friendship. In this episode I share what friendship in a marriage can look like and the importance of it. I will expand on a statement that has stuck with me these twenty years of marriage, which may give you a different perspective on your relationship. We are not perfect, but we are perfectly us. No comparisons here, just real honest truth. For full show notes and more head to https://www.healthcoach4life.com/blog/

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Hey ladies, welcome to episode 91 of the health life and more for women podcast. If you’re new here let me just introduce myself. My name is Jennifer D’Amato. I am at your podcast host, but I’m also a certified, intuitive eating counselor and coach. Yes, I help women break free from diet culture, find food, freedom, peace with food, body confidence, and just overall joy in themself in life and in what they are eating.

I’m still sort of in disbelief that we are gearing up for episode 100 of the podcast. When I started this podcast back in September, 2019, I thought about episode 100, like, oh, that will be this, you know, monumental, huge milestone. And it will be, but it just seemed so far away. You know, when you’re recording episode one episode 100 is many, many weeks away.

You know, even though I do record weekly, I mean, just think about that. That’s a long ways away, but I have that as a focus, it was kind of like, this will be a huge moment. Everything you do is leading up to celebrating that triple digit. And I can’t believe we’re almost there. Wow. If you’ve been here since episode one and under my original podcast name, can I just give you the biggest shout out right now?

Thank you so much. I’m in awe. I’m in awe. I know there’s so many of you that started off with me right away. I get notes of encouragement. I get messages. I just, all the support. I love it. If you’ve joined recently or sometime after those beginning episodes I freaking love you. I really do. I’m so honored that you would even take time to listen to my podcast.

Are we connected? I’m just wondering, you know, are you following the podcast on Instagram? Do you follow my business instagram. If you go into the show notes, both of them are linked there. It’s so easy to find the podcast on Instagram. It’s literally the name, health life, and more for work. All one word together, right on Instagram.

If you want to connect with my business, it’s my first name, Jennifer. Then there’s an underscore and it’s healthcoach4life. And remember my four is the number four. And if you’ve listened on the podcast for a long time, you probably know the reasons. That I use the number four it’s kind of that play on words because I’m a mom of four.

I have four amazing daughters and I just wanted to honor them and remind myself why I show up each and every day. One of my big goals is to change generations that my daughters and your daughters and your son don’t feel this pressure to lose weight, to have to ever start dieting. So I put that number four right in my business to remind me that that’s exactly what I’m accomplishing. I love working with moms. I love working with moms who don’t want their kids to step into dieting, ever. They want them to have a healthy relationship with food. They want them to have a healthy relationship with their body. So Jennifer_healthcoach4life right on Instagram. 

Okay, that’s not really why we’re here today is it? I’m here to talk about friendship in marriage. Now I’ve talked about marriage on this podcast many times before. I actually even had my husband come on as a guest for two episodes. I think those are episodes 23 and 24. They are, I’m almost positive they are. And I chose 23 because our anniversary is June 23rd. And that’s coming up as I’m recording this. It will be next week, but as you’re listening, if you’re listening on the release date, which is June 22nd, 2021, I’m one day away from celebrating, being married to that man for 20 years. Again, it’s kind of like working on episode one of the podcast.

Thinking, oh, we’ll hit those double digits, you know, that 10 year anniversary and, you know, thinking even further than that, 20, 30 years, all those, and it’s so far off it’s so far off that first year. Heck it’s so far off the second year, third year, it feels really far off even 10 years in to be 20 years in.

But here we are. Now I’m not going to do any sort of rundown of the last 20 years. We’d be here a while and you’d be like, is this episode over yet? But I’ll just say, I think it’s been exactly what it’s needed to be. We’ve had our mix of really, really good times. We’ve definitely had our share of really, really bad times. And I would say we’ve even had our, our share of neutral. Yeah. Like neutral, not good, not bad. Just kind of in the middle. It’s actually not my favorite place to be in a relationship is neutral, but it does exist. And it’s kind of just that you’re existing in the relationship. So we’ve had all three. I think pretty typical, definitely typical for the two of us and something we’ve had to learn to accept.

Sometimes it’s gonna be good. Sometimes it’s gonna kind of suck and other times it’s just sort of in the middle. Do we strive for it to be, you know, good? Yeah. Do we expect it to be good all the time? No. I would say at the beginning, we absolutely did. And that was maybe foolish, but I think you’re allowed to be a little naive and foolish at the beginning. Reality set in pretty hard for us, even in that first year, because our first year was not so good. I know people get these great stories that honeymoon, you know, season that honeymoon first year. Yeah. That wasn’t us. However, It did something really important for our marriage. It really grew our friendship.

So we had dated for three years before we got married. And I would say we were friends. We absolutely were friends, but it was the hard parts of our marriage that have grown our friendship because here’s the truth. You ready for it? Sometimes you are not going to feel madly in love with your spouse. I know. I just, just feel like there’s like that crashing glass sound, you know, that breaking, that would happen on a sit-com. I’m sorry to be the bearer of such bad, but it’s the truth. Sometimes you won’t feel head over heels in love. That friendship is crucial. Now let me tell you what friendship in marriage really looks like.

It looks like complete honesty with one another. It’s not hiding things and it’s definitely not hiding how you really feel. Now, I, I wish I could tell you that we always choose our words mindfully and thoughtfully, but I don’t lie. So we don’t, but what we can count on is honesty. Authenticity. It might come out ugly sometimes, but this friendship we show up for completely authentic. Good bad. Ugly. It’s always honest. So that means sometimes as friends, we disagree, we fight. We love to joke and call them high volume discussions. We know what it’s code for. We’re freaking arguing about something. I always say, you know, we’re two firstborn personalities, even though I’m technically the second born in my family. I’m the first girl I have all those first born characteristics. My husband’s a firstborn. It makes us both a little hard-headed and I would even say at times, stubborn, however, we’re honest, we show up and I want to listen to my friends. I want to take the time to hear what they’re saying, even if I don’t like it.

I don’t always like what my friends share. I don’t always like what I’m hearing, especially if that friend is putting a mirror up to my face. Dang that’s friendship. It’s not just him saying, Hey babe, you have food stuck in your teeth. He’s saying, Hey, you’re kind of being a jerk right now. My husband is so sweet, but I am a jerk sometimes in sometimes I just need to be aware of my jerkiness. I don’t know if that’s a word, but I’m making it one right now. Yes. I’m telling you right now. Sometimes I mess it all up and I need a mirror. I need a trusted mirror. I don’t want to walk around with green stuff in my teeth. Just like I don’t want to walk around being a jerk. I’m a human being.

I don’t expect to be perfect ever. I don’t put that on myself. I don’t any more, but I also know sometimes I go like totally in the other direction. And how great is it to have a trusted friend by your side to say, excuse me, what are you doing? What are you saying? Now, this is not a frequent occurrence. I feel like he’s going to listen to this and be like, I don’t call you a jerk.

No, he doesn’t, that’s been very rare. However, the principle of it is important. That he calls me out on my crap, that he kind of shows me something that I’m, I’m really not looking at. And when you are friends, when you are best friends, you hear it differently. I didn’t say accept it. I want you to keep that in mind and maybe for you, you can go right to acceptance. I need to hear it first, process it, and then find out if it’s true. If I want to accept it or not. And then oftentimes I’ll go back to him, let them know, no, I don’t accept this. This is why this is what I’m hearing. This is what I’m seeing. And as my friend, he takes the time to listen. And sometimes I go back and say, yeah, you are right.

I know he loves that. Yes, babe. You are right!

Listen, he listens to all of my episodes because he’s my best friend, because he is the biggest cheerleader because he supports me in everything that I do and listens to a podcast that I built for women because he’s my friend. Because he wants to say great job, well done, you’re amazing. And let me tell you, I’m here for that. I’m here for all of the great job. Well done your amazings because there’s that balance for both of us where I will say to him, great job, well done, you’re amazing. And I’ll also say, Hey, you’re kind of being a jerk right now. This is friendship. This is friendship in marriage. 

There’s something I heard a long time ago and it really stuck with me.  I know it was somewhere in that first five years of marriage. And at the time I didn’t get it as much as I get it now, but it was a simple phrase. I love you and I like you. I think it might have even been our mentors. I like you and love you. Both of those pieces. I love that man. And I, I do believe you absolutely need the love in a marriage. Kind of one of those key components for marriage. However, liking the other person is different. The way I look at it liking is the friendship part liking is those times where you’re hanging out just as friends. Talking doing something, enjoying something together, listening to the other person, liking is different than love.

And I believe for our marriage to be what it is we have to have love, but we also have to have like. And there’s many times over the last 20 years, we’ve had to address the love part. And we’ve also addressed the like part. We’ve been unlovable and we’ve been on the likable and working on both aspects has really strengthened our marriage.

It’s not perfect, but it’s perfectly us. We never actually strive for this ideal. I know I struggled with that early on, you know, believing there was some perfect marriage out there, some ideal we were supposed to be living by. And when I released that and I let go of that. It became perfectly us. 

To be successful we have to have a blend of making out and sitting in conversation. There has to be, I wouldn’t even say equal parts, but accepting that there going to be an imbalance in that that’s really been key. Sometimes there’s more making out than there is talking, and sometimes there needs to be more talking than there is making out. I mean, I like making out with him, but I really also liked talking with him. What I think can be really dangerous is when we try to reach someone else’s ideal or the ideal that they’re putting out there. Recently, there was this influential couple who talked a lot about making out, oh, we make out all the time. You guys need to go on dates every week. You need to make out all the time. And with no judgment, honest to goodness, no judgment here. They got divorced. Now I don’t know what the balance looked like. I don’t know if the liking part, the friendship part, the conversations, the hanging out as friends, it happened for them.

You can’t solely focus on the love part. On the making out. It’s it’s not going to build a long, sustainable marriage. It’s not going to build a long, sustainable friendship, and you need that friendship because the love part can get really hard. The love part, I mean, we’re humans. We get so messed up with the love part, but we can do the liking. Sometimes we need to draw from the liking to increase the love. Don’t model your relationship after influencers, people on social media, don’t model it after me. Find your balance, grow your friendship. Make out when the time is for making out .There should be set times for making out. I mean, if you have to schedule it because you have toddlers, I get it we’ve been there. Schedule make-out sessions, but schedule time for talking to. You know, I used to think I’m going to know everything. I’m going to know every single story because we talk so much, it’s not true. Not only do our lives change all the time. I mean, sometimes on a daily, definitely there can be weekly changes, but each year that goes by our lives look very different.

Part of that is, you know, our kids getting older. Part of that is just us getting older. But I think about sometimes when we’ve shared stories that we may have shared before, what you don’t maybe see at the beginning is your perspective on your own stories can change. You have a different viewpoint, a different vantage point.

So sometimes even those repeated stories are from a different view from a different time in your life. And they almost feel fresh and new. So for the two of us, our focus has been on. I love you and I like you. Growing both parts of our marriage. And for us for the last 20 years, it’s been working really well in those really good times and in those really bad times, but like I just said, and I want to make sure I say it again.

You can’t model your marriage after someone else’s, but I do think what’s great here is the opportunity to have a discussion, the opportunity to look at it from a different viewpoint, the opportunity to say, do I love you and like you? I hope it gives you some food for thought. I hope it gives you a different viewpoint and perspective on your relationship.

And I hope the next 20 years are as freaking amazing for us as the first 20 have been. I’m absolutely head over heels in love with that man. And I like him a whole lot. All right, ladies, until next week.

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