Your Marriage with Dr. Chavonne PerotteJan 18, 2023
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Today on the podcast, I’m continuing the series of conversations with experts in all areas of life. This week, Dr. Chavonne Perotte is here and we’re talking all about your marriage.
Dr. Chavonne is a life and marriage coach who helps couples develop the mindset and skills they need to create happy marriages and partnerships. She also has a doctorate from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she focused her research on communication and intimate partnerships.
In 25 years of marriage, I’ve been through a lot of different stages - no kids, babies, young kids and now the teen years. We’re diving into it all.
If you’ve experienced a moment in your marriage where you thought, “I really don’t know if we’re going to make it,” you are not alone. Dr. Chavonne calls this the secret thought that everyone sometimes has but is afraid to say out loud.
She teaches her clients that there will be seasons and stages to marriage where you might question things. But that doesn’t have to be a problem. It’s what you do with those thoughts that matters.
Why you aren’t getting the help you need from your partner
In a relationship, both people are likely operating from models that they had growing up. Often, in couples with young or school-aged children, this looks like a dynamic of over-functioning and under-functioning.
One person is doing more and (intentionally or not) creating a situation where the other person then does less.
As women, we often feel uncomfortable asking for and getting exactly what we want. When it comes to asking for help from our partner, we might make it mean that we aren’t good enough as a wife or mom. We might feel guilty for accepting help.
Somewhere along the line, we learned that it’s not ok for us to have the things that we need.
To have the dynamic and support you want, you first need to define what you really want and what partnership looks like to you. Then, make requests and advocate for what you want.
What do you need?
As a mom, when you’re feeling overwhelmed with all the things - parenting, home, work - it can be hard to define exactly what it is you want and need from your partner.
A request and a complaint are not the same thing, but sometimes we complain to our partner and want them to just fix it without us ever asking for what we really need.
The first step is figuring out what it is you want. It doesn’t have to be perfect, and it doesn’t have to be the one thing that solves everything.
Start by looking for your trigger moments. These will be good clues to where you need some support.
What are the things that constantly trigger me? Where am I feeling agitated?
What would I need in this moment?
What feels off in this partnership?
What's a reasonable request that is honoring for both of us?
How to make requests of your partner
Dr. Chavonne teaches her clients a simple formula for making a request. Share what you’re feeling, state what you would like instead and make a request.
Sometimes, your partner will say no to your request. And that’s ok. It’s a conversation between the two of you to figure out what works for you both.
Don’t make assumptions about why they said no or didn’t follow through in a certain way. Get curious and continue the conversation.
Try to assume the best about your partner. Assume that they’re in it with you, that they want to support you and for you both to be happy.
Go back to what you want out of it. What is the need that you’re trying to get met?
Maybe your request doesn’t need to be executed in a certain way to get the benefit you’re looking for.
Are there other solutions that will still give you what you need and that your partner is willing to do?
Dr. Chavonne and I could have talked for hours. There are so many amazing tips in this episode, I want you to hear them all!
Listen to the full episode now.
- Where many couples get stuck in their relationships
- Three reasons why one person in the relationship often ends up doing more than the other
- How to make requests of your partner that allow you both to have your needs met
- A foundational belief that changes relationships
- Why everything doesn’t have to be perfect 50/50 split
Connect with Dr. Chavonne:
- Learn more about working with Dr. Chavonne on her website
- Listen to the Love Marriage Again podcast - available on all podcast platforms