This afternoon Bry and I went through Brooke Castillo’s podcast about MARRIAGE MATTERS, together. Brooke teaches a concept that I absolutely believe, but one that I am not perfect at living. And that is okay. I am working on it – Bry is just about there. Ha ha! He is almost perfect. Seriously.

The concept is this: What if your (spouse’s) only job was to live his or her life exactly the way he or she is living it, and to be the object of your affection – to provide you with a reason to feel loving? What if your spouse’s only job was to be, for you, someone to love?

Is it possible to love our spouse so wholly? So “unconditionally”? Is it possible for us to feel loving toward our spouse, 100% of the time?

Even if he doesn’t help around the house? Even if he doesn’t get out of bed with the kids at night? Even if he has an addiction problem?

To wrap our mind around this concept, let’s go back to the model. Understand this. Our feelings can only be created by our own thoughts. So, if love is the feeling, then,

“The only time you will ever experience love is if you have a thought that causes it.”

And that means (1) you feeling loving toward someone, or (2) you feeling loved by someone, right? Both come from our thoughts. Let’s look at these.


I feel loving toward someone when I think loving thoughts about that person. Remember. If I love somebody, I get to feel that love. They don’t feel the love – they feel their own emotions. Loving someone is a gift to us. Not to them.


I feel loved by a person when I think loving thoughts about that person. Really? Really? Yes. If Bryant buys me flowers on his way home from work, I can choose to feel loved by him or not. I can choose to think thoughts that will lead me to feeling loved, like, “He must have been thinking about me at work. He must really love me.” On the flip side, I could choose to think thoughts that will lead me to feelings of frustration or hurt, like, “What did he do? He only brings me flowers when he messes up.” And then I don’t feel loved at all.

Just like you can’t pour your knowledge from your brain into someone else’s brain, right? You can offer them what you know. You can explain it to them. You can require them to memorize it. But they have to use their agency to do the work, to listen and to think the thoughts and to do the work. Same with love. You cannot pour your love into someone else. You can offer it. You can even sing about it, you can write them letters about your love. You can try to explain it. But they have to think the thoughts to feel the feelings.

“I promise you. The only reason you’ll ever feel love is because of a thought you have.”

God’s first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord thy God. Does HE need us to love Him to make HIS life better? No. Of course not. WE need us to love Him, to make OUR lives better. We get to feel the feeling.

And we will show up differently in that relationship – whether it is with God or with our spouse – when we have chosen the thoughts that have lead us to the emotion of love.

“You are responsible for how you feel. You are responsible for how you think. You are not responsible for your husband’s behavior but you are responsible for how you interpret his behavior and what you focus on, and you are responsible for how you show up. (thoughts –> feelings –> actions)”

What then would be the opposite of just choosing to love someone for who they are – because they are at all times 100% lovable? I can think of a couple things.

ONE. Believing other’s people actions determine how we feel:

“When we start to believe that other people’s actions dictate our emotions, this is very bad news…”

Any time we give someone that power over us – we cannot be happy unless he does this or she does this – we simply cannot be happy, right? We cannot show up as our authentic selves. Nor do we honestly look for the other person to show up as their authentic selves. No. We expect them to be who it is we think we need them to be. Which leads us into number two.

TWO. Believing that we should have control over our spouse:

“I start turning into a crazy person trying to control and manage someone else’s behavior, which nobody enjoys, and, by the way, is impossible…

If you are constantly trying to control someone and have them be different than they are, if you are constantly criticizing someone for the way that they behave, I want you to think (about what it is you really want). Whatever it is you’re wanting from that person is exactly what you need to provide for yourself.”


  • Well, to start off, he will be much happier. Isn’t that what we all want to be told – I love you for you, no matter what? Isn’t that what we all want to be part of?
  • There would be a lot more horse-back riding. That’s where he would really prefer being, most of his weekends. But I would spend none of that time that he’s gone riding his horses feeling bad for myself or resenting the horses, and stressing over what he should be doing instead, right? That frees up a lot of emotional energy and, frankly, time. I could use that time to do what I really preferred doing on my weekends. Maybe I could even learn something new about myself.
  • When I came to Bry with requests – could you help with the children this morning or could you pick up dinner on your way home – I will be coming from a place of love and acceptance, not from a place of judgement and blame. Oh, that feels so much better, right?
  • “If you decide that no matter what, you will love the person in your life, you will have more power (in your life) than you can ever imagine.”
  • And every time I thought of Bryant and all he does for our family and his smile and his sense of humor and just all the things that I absolutely love about the man, whether or not I am verbally stating that love to him, I get to feel that love. I get to live in that love. And I cannot state this enough:

“Ultimately love is where we’re trying to get to – (for our own sake). Love is always going to serve you best. It is going to create your best results for yourself because … it’s going to drive your best action. You are your best, most creative, most confident, most genius self when you’re operating in love.”

What’s the point of having a husband? Just so you can have someone to love. So YOU can feel those feelings, and live in those feelings.


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