What’s the barometer or the compass for knowing when a change is necessary?


Hi Brooke!
I’m getting a bit muddled in my thinking. My original coach training was in the Martha Beck world of listening to your body compass, finding that gut-level integrity and then working with your thoughts. Of course, I have been in your world for almost as long as Martha’s (7 or 8 years??). My question is how do you know if it’s just your mind’s negativity replay vs time to acknowledge that a relationship is no longer (or maybe never was) supportive or emotionally fulfilling. In my early days, my marriage was in a major place of struggle and there were plenty of circumstances to blame. Those circumstances are gone, my husband has been sober for a long time. I go through times of working on feeling connected with him. I choose my thoughts and my actions and it’s very deliberate. Other times, I just think am I using thought work to make a situation that isn’t great, better? With the model and your other tools, what is the ultimate barometer. As I said, in the Martha Beck world, it’s your body compass. It’s finding your internal integrity. But with the self-coaching model, I get muddled and tell myself, it’s all just in my head, it’s just my negativity. How do you discern between this relationship isn’t working vs I need to choose better thoughts about my relationship. I know you’ve ended relationships over the years, so I’m curious what your own internal barometer is. At what point does a different action need to take place?

My model:
Circumstance: asked for support last night, did not receive it
Thought: this has been a long-time pattern.
Feeling: sad and shut down
Action: let him know that being teased and antagonized wasn’t what I was looking for. Let him know what I was asking for (hug, concern etc.)
Result: he leaves house and we both go back to the “business” of our marriage, rather than connection

Circumstance: asked for support last night, did not receive it
Thought: I’m ok, I can self-soothe
Feeling: lonely
Action: I put on a fake smile and say I’m fine
Result: I hear an audio message from an old friend and burst into tears unexpectedly (I guess I’m not fine going without emotional support)

Circumstance: asked for support last night
Thought: He’s working towards supporting me better
Feeling: impatient
Action: ask my question on SCS
Result: ?

Circumstance: asked for support last night
Thought: I’m working on supporting me better
Feeling: empowered
Action: honestly, this thought makes me contemplate leaving my marriage as my means of supporting myself better. (not sure I’m ready for that)
Result: confusion