Does your relationship ever feel so tangled up with your spouse that you don’t know what thoughts and feelings are his and which are yours? In this episode, I interview guest therapist and Master coach Aimeé Gianni about what untangling is, how to spot it, and how to untangle.
Most of us were raised to believe that we are responsible for the feelings of others. “Did you hurt their feelings?” is a question we were probably all asked. The problem this creates is that we can end up spending much more time trying to manage others’ feelings and forget all about our own.
When healing from infidelity, it is crucial to do the work of untangling. It is an exercise in self-trust that allows for letting go of things that are not yours to take responsibility for, while learning to listen to your own thoughts and feelings at a deeper level.
Aimée Gianni, MS, is a Marriage & Family Therapist, and a Master Coach Instructor specializing in Relationships & Health and the connection between the two. She helps her clients create strong, loving, joyful relationships and meaningful lives that they love; full of authenticity, connection, passion, fulfillment, and physical well-being. It’s her favorite thing to do! You can learn more about her work at AimeeGianni.com and follow her on Instagram @aimeegiannims.
I’m Andrea Giles. You’re listening to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast,
episode number 71, Untangling with Aimeé Gianni.
Hello, and welcome to the Heal from Infidelity Podcast where courageous
women learn not only to heal from their spouses betrayal, but to become the
boldest, truest, most decisive and confident versions of themselves ever.
If you know there’s more freedom than the life you’re currently living but
don’t quite know how to get there, you are in the right place. Stick around
to learn how to create a life that will knock your own socks off. Is it
possible? It is, and I’m here to show you how. I’m your host, Andrea Giles.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in.
Hey everybody. Welcome to episode number 71. This episode was so fun to
record. I’m going to be playing it for you here in a little bit. It had
lots of good stuff in it. I love Aimeé’s way of teaching things, explaining
things. I think every single one of you can relate to the content in this
episode. I’ll be turning it over to the interview in just a minute. But I
wanted to hop on here and tell you that my little girl made her debut this
past week. She was born on November 30th and was born at 10:28 PM, and
weighed in at seven pounds, 14 ounces, 21 inches long. She’s perfect,
perfect. Her name is Finley Jane, Finley Jane Giles. She’s beautiful and
wonderful and we’re all completely in love with her.
I will be talking more about some of the things that have been on my mind
in regards to her birth, in regards to all of you, in regards to some of
the thoughts that I want to share with you about all of this growth in my
own life and how, just some thoughts I want to share. I’m going to do that
next week. You’re going to hear more about my experience and how it applies
to you next week. So for now, I want to go ahead and turn the podcast over
to the interview with me and Aimeé. I hope you enjoy it. I will be back
next week with more. All right. Take care everybody.
Hello everybody. I am here with fellow coach and good friend and therapist,
Aimeé Gianni. Today she’s going to be talking to you about something called
untangling. She is the person who introduced me to untangling, to this
concept, and so I thought it would be perfect to have her on to talk more
in depth about what it is, what it looks like in your relationships and
what you can do about it and how to untangle. I’m going to ask Aimeé here
to give an introduction. Aimeé, will you tell us who you are? Welcome to
Yeah. Thank you. Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here and talk
about this. It’s one of my favorite topics as you know.
I am a marriage and family therapist and have been for over 25 years. That
always makes me feel really old when I say that.
25 years. That’s awesome. Awesome.
I’m also a master certified coach and so I work in the therapy world. I
work in the coaching world. I’ve just worked with individuals and couples
for a really, really long time on all sorts of different issues. And so,
yeah, I’m excited to be here.
Awesome. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Aimeé is one of my mentors that
I’ve learned so much from, so much from. I’m actually wrapping up an
advanced certification where I’ve learned from Aimeé and her sister, Molly,
and have learned so much from her. I wanted to have her on so she can share
her genius and expertise with you about this topic, because it’s a really
important one. One that I see in many, many of my clients and one that I
recognize in myself at times in my life. We’re going to be talking about
untangling. Let’s just dive in. Aimeé, will you tell us what untangling is?
What is it?
Yes. Let me tell you how I came to this. I would work with couples and they
would come in and they’d say they wanted to be more connected. They wanted
to be closer. They were arguing a lot. As I’d start working with them, you
know, they think that they weren’t connected, but actually they were very
connected but just in an unhealthy way. Right? With a lot of arguing and
problems and blaming each other. It just seemed like they were really
tangled up and they really didn’t know what they were responsible for, what
their partner was responsible for, all the blaming. I found that what we
had to do before we could work on helping them have a positive connection,
we almost had to like pause and help untangle the dysfunction and the
negative connection that they had with each other.
That’s what I think of when I think of untangling. It’s really sorting
through and looking at the problems. Right. I’ll say like, if you have a
drawer where you’ve put two, like there’s string in there or something, or
two balls of yarn. Right. They’ve just gotten all tangled up with each
other and it’s hard to know what belongs to which one and you have to go
through and just carefully untangle it. That’s what I would do with
couples. It’s really teaching them, which I know you talk about, taking
responsibility for your thoughts, your feelings and your actions. Right?
It’s helping them see that, because so often we blame other people for our
emotions, right? Or we take responsibility for other’s emotions when we
don’t need to do that. That’s really the process of untangling is helping
people see, okay, what are your thoughts? What are your feelings? What are
your actions? That’s what you’re responsible for and you’re not responsible
for your spouses.
Perfect. Thank you. I love that. I have to say, a couple weeks ago I was
coaching one of my clients and I talk about this concept to talk about
becoming untangled. The next week she came to the call and she goes, you
know what I realized, it’s not yarn, it’s barbed wire fence. It’s barbed
wire. Like sometimes it can feel that way.
Yes. That’s [crosstalk 00:06:33] they do.
Yeah. Like carefully, carefully pulling things apart without cutting your
It made me laugh though. It made me laugh. Anyway, so tell me this, how do
we get tangled? Where does that come from?
Yes. Such a good question. I think it comes from, you know, we grow up with
the idea of romance and that we’re going to get married. And if we just
find the right person, they’re going to complete us. Somehow we’re not
whole as we are, but we’re like two halves of a whole. And so you come
together. Then when you get married, that your partner is going to make you
happy, or that it’s your job to make your partner happy. I think that’s a
lot of where it comes from. Right? Because you see that in movies, we hear
that and we take that in, so then we get married and we put like, that’s a
huge job to put on your spouse, right?
Now that we’re married, it’s your job to make me happy all the time. And if
I’m upset, you know to fix that. I think that’s part of where it comes
from. The other thing I think when we’re little and our parents were like,
oh, don’t be mean, you don’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings. Right?
We start thinking we’re responsible for other’s feelings. That’s a good
thing to teach your kids. Right? You want to teach them to be nice, but I
think the higher version of that with children is to teach them, who do you
want to be? Do you want to be the kid that says something that’s not very
nice to people? Or do you want to be the kid that is kind and polite to
others? Right. So you’re still teaching them the same concept but it’s more
for them looking at who they are and who they want to be in the world, as
opposed to trying to figure out how they’re going to behave according to
other people. Right.
Yeah. I love that. You talking about that just took me back, way back to
the very beginning of my first marriage. 1997, I want to say. Yeah, ’97. I
remember that my first husband would like, he would be walking out the door
trying to go to school and he couldn’t find his hat. He’d get all worked up
and all anxious and agitated. Where is it? I remember taking that on,
taking that on. Because I had this thought that it was my responsibility to
keep my spouse happy and to know where-
Right? To know where things were and to keep an orderly home so that he
could always find his hat. And so then I felt it as like this failing on my
part that he couldn’t find his hat. Right?
Yes. Yes. That’s such a good example. That is being tangled, right?
Yes, and I didn’t know. I thought that was my job. I thought that was my
wifely thing was to take it on and be upset with him and take on that
Yes. We have so much programming and so much of it that we’re really not
even aware of, that we just take on. We absorb it from our environment.
Even though nobody in your life I’m sure told you, hey, if your husband
can’t find his hat, it’s your job to find it. Right? No one said that to
you, but there’s just so much programming around us that we take it in and
then that’s what we make it mean.
Yep. Yep. We take it on. Yep. Exactly. Thank you. Yeah, I think you’re
right. I think it starts well before marriage, right?
For a lot of people it can start really young actually, and then we just
are living what has been modeled or living what we have thought is the
right way to do things. Then it just becomes a bigger and bigger tangled
Basically. Okay. Can you give us, you’ve worked with lots and lots of
people over the years. I want to give my listeners some examples of what it
looks like in marriage. What does it look like? How can my clients and
listeners recognize if they are entangled?
Yeah. Yes. Okay. Let’s talk about some specifics. I also think when we’re
talking about untangling, I think anytime you’re overfunctioning or
underfunctioning, that’s entanglement, right? What that looks like, I mean,
even just going back to feeling. You just gave a perfect example. It’s
thinking that you have to solve something for your spouse that’s really his
to solve. Right?
That’s overfunctioning. Right? You never said that he blamed you, but let’s
just add to the story that he was blaming you like, where’s my hat? Why
don’t you know where my hat is? Right? That would be him underfunctioning
and expecting you to take care of him. Those are some examples of not only
entanglement but overfunctioning and underfunctioning.
It’s really just any time that you’re not owning your own feelings, that
you’re blaming your feelings on someone else or thinking, if my spouse
would just do this, I could feel differently.
Okay. All right. Can you give some more examples? I’d love some more
examples of people that you have worked with, things that you have seen,
patterns you have seen, issues that you have seen come up over and over
again. You’ve probably seen some patterns with people where entanglement
comes up. I’d love to hear some of those from you.
Yeah, absolutely. Let’s talk about moodiness. Sometimes people are moody,
It’s really easy to blame your spouse for your mood, or if you’re in a bad
mood, or think that your spouse should be able to read your mind and know
exactly what they’re supposed to do when you are in a bad mood. Now the
thing is we all have ups and downs, right? We’re all going to have times
when we’re not in the greatest mood. But I think the thing that determine
or the way that you can differentiate between unhealthy and entangled
versus a healthy way of dealing with it is, do you communicate about it?
Right? If I’m in a bad mood and I come home and I can say to my husband,
you know what, I’m really stressed out right now. I’m not in a very good
mood. I’m so sorry. This isn’t about you. I love you. I just need some
time. I’m going to go be by myself and deal with this. Right. That would be
me taking responsibility and not blaming him for it, but yet communicating
to him. It’s also not me soaking and just locking myself in my room and so
that he’s wondering what the heck is going on with her, right.
Yeah. Yep. I love that.
I think that’s one way that I see it show up is with moodiness. Then I
think it can show up in almost any area, whether it’s children, finances.
Because I mean, the fact of the matter is when you’re married, you’re going
to have a division of labor. You’re going to have people, one person that
takes responsibility in certain areas and the other takes responsibility in
other areas because you don’t just do everything together. Although I
remember when I first got married thinking that we were just going to do
everything together. We do the money together. We go grocery shopping
All together all the time.
All the time. Then you get married and you’re like, babe, this is not
efficient. This is not going to work. Right?
You divide and conquer so you can get the work done. Then when you actually
get to be together, you can have fun together. And so you’re going to have
a division of labor. That’s not the problem. The problem is when the power
dynamic gets thrown off. Right? And so if one person is handling the money,
but the other person feels like they have no say in the money, or one
person is earning the money. Right? And so the other person feels like they
can’t ask for anything, they can’t spend anything, so the power dynamic
gets thrown off and then it’s not collaborative. Right?
Love it. Yep.
We want to have collaborative relationships. Those are equal relationships.
Again, it doesn’t mean equal in that you’re doing the exact same things,
but it’s equal and that you’re collaborative and you both get to have a say
in things and you both can talk about things. You both can access the
money. You both take responsibility for the children. Now you may have one
that’s primarily responsible for if you have a stay at home parent that’s
home with the kids, they’re going to be more involved in the day to day
stuff, which is fine. But again, it’s that power dynamic.
Yep. Perfect. I want to go back to the mood thing because I think that so
many of us have this belief or had this belief that you grow up, you get
married, you live happily ever after, you’d be happy together. That if you
check these boxes, it’s going to look this way and you’ll just be happy.
Then we find that sometimes we’re not happy. Right?
Find out that none of that is true.
Yes. Or that our spouse is not happy. Then we often make it mean something
about ourselves. Well, I must be failing. I must not be doing a good enough
job as a wife because he would be happy if I was.
I think men feel this too. I think it goes both ways for men and women.
Like my wife is not happy, I need to go fix it immediately.
Yes. That’s that overfunctioning, right. That’s taking responsibility for
stuff that’s not your responsibility.
Yep. Yeah. Even if the thing is like, even if let’s say that somebody is
upset about something the spouse did, that they are involved in it, it’s
still ours to own. Right? Talk about that a little bit.
Yeah. If I’m upset about something that my husband has done and that’s why
I’m in a mood, being entangled, I would blame him and say, well, he did
this. He caused me to feel this way. As opposed to me taking responsibility
for, okay, yeah, he did that. Okay. What am I thinking about that? How am I
feeling? How do I want to think and feel about this? Just kind of owning my
own experience and what I’m making it mean. Because you’re right, a lot of
times we make it mean something about us when it really has nothing to do
Yep. I do think that there are times where it’s good judgment. It can be
good judgment to see where I’m actually not okay with this thing. Right?
But those conversations are not going to go down real well from a place of
It’s still owning I’m not okay with this and owning it. Then going and
It comes off a lot different.
Yeah. From a place of taking responsibility, right? There’s that shift
rather than blaming, owning it and then being able to say, yeah, this isn’t
okay with me, this thing that you did. Right. Specifically speaking about
infidelity because I know that that’s what your podcast is about. Right?
It’s not to say that you’re just supposed to change your thinking and how
you feel and just be okay with anything, not at all. Right? But if you’re
blaming, you’re not able to sort out your own thoughts and feelings about
it. That’s what’s important because then that’s when you can feel empowered
when you’re like, okay, this is what I think about this. Here’s how I feel
about it. Because then it’s clean. Right? It’s not muddled and dirty. When
you’re entangled, the water is just muddied.
Or we’re seeing something from the point of view of the other person. Like
trying to evaluate and going, well, I think this is how I feel. Oh, but he
says this and this and this about this thing, so maybe I should just be
more this or that and like trying to own their feelings. Right. Trying to
own their experience, their feelings. Well, he was really hurt as a child,
and he this and this and this and making excuses for their behavior. If I’m
understanding correctly, it sounds like setting that down, letting that
person own what is theirs, and then deciding yourself what you want to
think and feel about it.
Yes, 100%. Because if you are engaging in all those things you said like,
oh, he was hurt as a child and this and that and you’re taking that on,
then the spouse doesn’t even have the opportunity necessarily to take that
and face it. Because you’re doing it for him or her.
Yeah. Like robbing them of it essentially. Right? I’m going to ask you now,
how do we begin the process of untangling? You talked about separating out
your own thoughts and feelings from somebody else’s. What else? What else
would you say about that? What else can people do day to day practice to
sort out their side of things?
Yes. I mean, anytime anything happens, just pulling back to yourself of,
okay, what do I think? What do I feel? And acting from that place. I know
that sounds kind of simple, but it’s not.
Yeah. Easier said than done too sometimes.
Exactly. But going through that again and again, I’ll talk about the
sorting process. It’s like you’ve got this pile of stuff, all these
thoughts and feelings and emotions and responsibility and you want to go
through everything one by one and be okay, what’s mine to own and what’s my
spouses to own? You’re probably going to notice a pattern because usually
there’s an overfunctioner and an underfunctioner and the roles can flip
flop in different areas in the marriage, but really going through that and
sorting it out. What is mine? And then responsibly dealing with what is
yours. Whether it’s expressing that to your spouse, having a meaningful
conversation about it, or you dealing with it yourself. Because sometimes
let’s face it, there are things that are just ours to own and deal with on
our own. Right?
Right. Yep. That way it would be much easier if we could hand it off to
somebody else. Right?
You fix this.
We want to blame because we think that it feels so much better to be able
to blame someone else. But the truth is when we stop blaming and take
responsibility ourselves, that’s where all of our freedom is, right?
Because if we’re not responsible for something or in charge of something,
we have no way to change it or no power over it. But if we can take
responsibility, then we have all of our power back.
Yep. It’s good news, right?
Yes. It is good news. Even though it doesn’t seem like it at first.
Yeah. Right. But it’s like, okay, I’m in this mess. Instead of feeling
like, I just have to sit here in this mess. I can see how I can help myself
out of it without waiting for somebody else to do it for me. Because that’s
like beating your head against a brick wall. Right? The same thing over and
over again, waiting for somebody else to change, waiting for somebody else
to come fix it and then dying in the process, right?
Yes. Waiting and waiting and waiting. You just feel powerless and hopeless
and it’s really easy to get into victim thinking.
Yep, and depression and all kinds of things. Yeah. Feeling depressed.
Yes, all of this. So really owning it helps. Along these lines, always just
taking a good look in the mirror and nobody really likes to do that. Right?
But thinking about, sometimes I’ll ask my clients to think about what is it
like to be married to you?
That’s such a good question.
Try and think from your spouse’s perspective. I’ll say, don’t go ask your
spouse. You should have a pretty good idea. What do you think it would be
like to be married to you? What are the things that you contribute that are
amazing? Where are the areas where you’re not so amazing? Right. Because
that’s what we don’t want to see but that’s the first step really in this
untangling is being willing to look at some of the ugly in the mirror and
own that, take responsibility for it and make those changes.
Yep. I love it. I love it.
Which then is that step that leads you to showing up the way that you want
to. Because once you see those pieces and you work on them, then you can
really focus on showing up the way you want to in the marriage. It doesn’t
mean you have to stay, you may still choose to leave. But at least you’re
happy with how you are showing up before you make that decision.
One shift while you’re talking that I can see is like, I feel like when
you’re entangled, you’re so consumed with what the other person is thinking
and feeling and how you can dodge certain emotions and dodge, I can’t have
that conversation because he’ll feel this way and then I’ll have to feel
this way. Right?
And so we just do a lot of avoiding and tiptoeing. I think part of
entanglement is where our brain shifts from so much focus being on them and
trying to manage their experience with you or with the world and shifting
it to the focus on you and not in a selfish way. Right? The question that
you asked is like, who do I want to be? Who do I want to be instead of how
do I keep the peace and all those questions where we’re trying to basically
control somebody else. Right? Micromanage so we don’t have to feel certain
things. Instead, who do I want to be and showing up in that way and then
letting the chips fall where they may, right?
Yes, exactly. What you’re talking about is manipulate, right? When we’re
like walking on eggshells and we don’t think of it as being manipulative
because we think we’re trying to do something right by keeping the peace.
But when we’re always like, okay, how can I tiptoe around this? Or what’s
the right timing for this? When do I ask about this? Right? It just
facilitates that unhealthy dynamic where you’re not showing up as yourself.
But then there is a risk that when you do show up and maybe ask for
something that you want or bring up a topic, you want to have a discussion,
you’ve got to be okay with your spouse having negative emotion. Right?
Yep, and not owning it.
Yes. And not taking responsibility for it. Because as long as you are clean
about it, meaning you bring it up in a kind way, you may be bringing up a
difficult subject, but if you’ve thought through it and you’ve taken
responsibility for your thoughts and feelings about it and you bring it up
in a loving way, that’s all you can do. Then they might have negative
feelings. They might be upset but that’s okay. It makes me think about
differentiation, right. When you’re well-differentiated, you are able to do
that and not make their emotion mean something about you.
Yeah. I think too, something that’s just so amazing and such an amazing
result from doing this work is that this is where real intimacy lies.
Right? Really knowing each other, really knowing each other and not this
version that we’ve crafted to look a certain way. Right? And it is in those
conversations the tension sometimes, saying the things, right? That’s where
real intimacy is born. Right?
Yes, exactly. Because that’s honest.
The only way to have true intimacy is with honesty.
Honesty, I always say it’s the most intimate thing you can do, but it’s not
Yeah. Sometimes honesty is painful but it’s the road to true intimacy and
collaboration. When you’re on eggshells and tiptoeing around and keeping
the peace, it’s easy to think, well, I don’t want to say something because
then it’s going to rock the boat. But sometimes you have to rock the boat
to get to the next place. The longer that you’re hiding and tiptoeing on
eggshells, you’re not being honest.
Yep. Yep. Exactly.
It’s actually inhibiting. You think you’re doing something good by keeping
the peace but it’s actually inhibiting true connection and intimacy.
It’s not moving things forward. Right?
Yes. Thank you. Okay. I think we’re going to wind down here, but I have one
more question for you. Maybe two, maybe two questions. One question is for
my listeners who are doing this work, who are doing the work of untangling,
what can they expect to feel while they’re doing this? We touched on it a
little bit, but I want to hear more specifically how do they know they’re
doing it right.
Going to feel terrible.
Terrible. Such good news.
Yeah. Such great news. It’s going to be hard. Right? Because we talked
about that looking in the mirror, at yourself, and being willing to see,
wow, this is some ugly stuff that I bring. That’s never going to feel good.
But once you face it, that gives you, like we were talking about, right?
You take your power back and it gives you this opportunity for growth. Even
though growth is not pleasant, once you get there, as you go through, not
that we ever complete the growth process. Right? But as you move forward,
things do improve and they feel so much better. You’ll just start to feel
more like yourself, more empowered.
Then you’ll be able to know, you’ll be able to make decisions, wise
decisions, because things will start to become clear for you. The other
thing I think when you ask that question like what can they expect to feel,
I think of when couples come in and they’re really connected but in this
kind of tangled dysfunctional way. As we start to untangle them, sometimes
they feel less connected initially because they’re arguing and their
dysfunctional patterns were at least connecting them.
Yes. Oh, that’s good.
When they start letting go of some of that, sometimes they’re like, well,
now I feel more distant because now I am owning all of this and taking
responsibility for myself and I’m not taking responsibility for him, but
now we’re not connected. But then that’s the perfect place. You know
they’re ready to start doing the work of intimacy and bringing them back
I love that.
Sometimes I warn them about that. You might feel a little more distant
before you actually start feeling connected in a healthy way.
Yep. I love it. That’s so important, so important. It doesn’t mean
something has gone wrong, right?
Because I think that something that often can come along for this is fear.
Maybe some anxiousness about like when you start showing up and really
giving more attention to how you think and feel and communicating what is
true for you, it’s risky, right?
It’s risky. You’re showing up in a different way and they might not like
it. It might give some pushback and go, wait, wait, wait, what happened?
Let’s go back. Let’s go back. Right?
Yeah. Where did you go?
Where’d you go? Yes. I think that’s a great point, that it can feel more
unconnected, disconnected, but it’s clearing out all the space. All the
space to come back together.
Yeah. For that honest, intimate relationship.
Yes. I like thinking about with the analogy of yarn, right? You’ve got
these two balls of yarn that are just this mess that we’ve all seen. These
big messes of yarn and you pull them apart and that’s where you can feel
disconnected. But then you’re intentionally making this beautiful tapestry
together. You’re like, intentionally, this is what I choose to put in. This
is what I choose to put in to build and create something that’s beautiful.
Yeah, exactly. If you have a willing spouse, now, not everybody will.
Sometimes you just do this work on your own. If you have a willing spouse,
I love Brené Brown’s idea of sitting on the same side of the table and
looking at it. Because you can sit on the same side of the table with your
spouse and be like, wow, look at this tangled mess of what we’ve created
Yes. Look at that.
Let’s start to untangle this. Gosh, I really see that I’ve contributed
this. What do you think you’ve contributed? Have that discussion. You have
to be a fairly healthy couple in order to have discussion like that. Right?
Facilitated by a therapist or a coach. But ideally that’s what you want to
do because then you can, you can come together and create something
beautiful with intention.
Yep. I love it. Okay. My last question for you. My podcast is about
infidelity, as you know, right?
For many of my listeners and many of my clients, they are taking steps
towards this. Sometimes their spouse is just unwilling. They don’t want to.
They don’t want to do the work. They don’t want to self-confront. My
listeners or clients go, what now? What do I do? What’s your answer to
Yeah. It’s tough because again, that’s that waiting, right? It’s like, if I
just do enough work myself, then they’re going to start self-confronting.
They’re going to do this. And so it’s that waiting and it’s that hoping. At
some point, you just have to own your life and own your choice for whatever
that is, and that’s a hard place to be. Because we think if we just do
enough, if I could just do more, if I just do the right things, if I just,
whatever the thing is, then my spouse will change or they’ll get on board
or they’ll want to self-confront. But they don’t always do that. Sometimes
one person making the change does, because it will change the dynamic and
sometimes that’s enough to change it so that your spouse will get on board,
but not always.
Yeah. There are times when they just don’t want to, where they just opt out
and don’t want to, right?
Yes. At which point you just have a choice to make.
Yeah. That was my situation in my first marriage. He just didn’t want to.
He wanted to do his thing and I had a choice to make. Right? Sometimes
either we don’t want to, or there’s, I don’t know. Lots of different
reasons why people choose not to. Right?
Yeah. I mean, there’s so much fear.
Yes. There’s so much fear, so much fear, all those things. But the thing
that I think is really important to note is that even if we can understand
logically why it might be really scary for somebody to do this work, we
don’t have to take responsibility for that because it’s still their choice.
They can still choose. We can understand it. We can have compassion for
them and go, yeah, I’m sure they’re terrified. We can understand it, but we
don’t have to own it.
No, you don’t have to own it. It’s okay if they don’t want to do the work,
Yeah. It’s okay.
Yeah, because they don’t have to.
They don’t have to. Yeah, they don’t have to and we still get to choose.
Always. Yes. I think the more distant you can get from the emotion of it,
because I think that’s what keeps people stuck and entangled is when there
is so much emotion around it. Which of course there’s going to be emotion
in a marriage, right? There’s a lot of feeling and emotion there, but when
you can get a little bit of distance from it and really see it as a choice
and let go of right and wrong. Because I think when we get stuck looking
for what’s the right thing to do, I don’t want to do the wrong thing, that
just keeps people stuck even more.
Yep. Exactly. Like so much fear around that. Right. Yes.
People just get frozen to where they just won’t move because they’re so
afraid that they’re going to choose “wrong.” Then they just stay stuck.
Yep. Okay. So to wrap this up, I want to ask you Aimeé, if you have
anything else to add. Anything else you’d like to say to my listeners?
I would just tell them that this work is worth doing. It’s not fun. It’s
difficult, but it’s worth it because it’s just going to move you forward.
Hopefully it will have a positive impact on your relationship. But whether
you stay, whether you go, you get to take your growth with you no matter
It’s freestanding. You get to be this new, better version of yourself in
the marriage if you choose to stay. And if you choose to leave, you will be
this new, better version of yourself out of the marriage. It’s worth it. I
think that our life is all about progression and growth and it’s always
Yep. I love it. I will add something to that. Many people who I work with,
the decision was made for them. Or the spouse left the marriage to be with
somebody else. They’re left. They’re going, what happened? They’re in this
tangled mess trying to sort out what happened to their marriage, and that
person is not there to sort it out with. I would say what I’ve seen so many
times is doing this work for yourself, it’s so powerful because you’re
still keeping yourself stuck if you don’t. If you’re still taking on
responsibility for things that are not yours to carry, if you’re still
blaming, if you’re still feeling disempowered like a victim, things like
that, you’re still keeping yourself really tangled up. And so for any
listeners who are not currently in a relationship, this is for you as well,
because you get to go back and you can still do the sorting and really
decide what was mine, what was his and we can return to sender.
Yes. I love it.
A big ball of yarn just for them.
The other reason it’s so worth it to do this work is because when we don’t
do this work, we’re just going to repeat what we’ve [crosstalk 00:37:09].
If you’re not in a relationship, you want to do this work so that when you
have a new relationship you don’t end up just repeating the same cycle.
Yep. Exactly. It’s worth it no matter what situation you’re in. It’s worth
doing. Often, as we said before, we’re not talking about just marriage
stuff. We’re talking often about lifetime stuff like where we’ve been
tangled. It’s important work no matter where you are. Thank you so much,
Aimeé. I would love for you to tell my listeners how they can learn more
from you, how they could work with you, the different things you offer.
You can go to my website, it’s aimeegianni.com. Aimée is A-I-M-E-E. I work
with couples, individuals. I’m getting ready to start a small intimate
group. You can go to my website. You can follow me on Instagram, it’s
aimeegiannims. Or if you are a coach and want to learn more about how to
coach on relationships, I do offer an advanced relationship training
through The Coaching Collective. You can go to thecoachingcollective.com
and learn about that.
Yes. I’ve done that training and it’s amazing. It’s so, so good.
Well, thank you so much, my friend. Thank you for being here and letting us
learn from you. We’ll have you on another time.
Yeah. I would love to come back. Thanks for having me.
Thanks so much. Thank you. Thank you for listening to the Heal from
Infidelity Podcast. If you would like to be kept in the know about upcoming
free classes, new podcast episodes, and other ways of working with me, go
subscribe to my weekly email. You can subscribe at
andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. Again, it’s
andreagiles.com/lies-about-infidelity/. I will see you next time.