When I was in college, I was lucky enough to meet one of the best people I know–Marta Brummell. The two of us were unlucky enough to have to take Calculus I twice (as if once wasn’t enough)–but that twist of fate cemented us as friends for life.
Today, Marta is a life coach and a host of the podcast–Truth Be Told–where she leverages her training and life experience as a wife to Craig and the mother to four amazing kiddos to offer some perspective and helpful tips for navigating life. She releases a new episode every week.
A couple of weeks ago, Marta invited her husband on her podcast to talk about marriage. As an outsider looking in, Marta and Craig have always been the cutest couple–with that fun-loving, totally in-sync, romantic marriage you’d want to have if given the chance.
Yet as Marta and Craig started to talk, they mentioned the pitfalls many of us face in marriage when you have multiple children, job changes, and moves. There were often periods where the two of them were in survival mode, both on automatic pilot, just getting what they needed to done.
Finally, refusing to accept that this was good enough for her, Marta tapped into her toolbox, as well some real conversations she’d witnessed between her own parents, to make things better.
“I realized I had some work to do on myself,” she says. “I saw that I was making Craig be responsible for my happiness and that wasn’t fair.” So instead of focusing on what Craig could be doing, Marta turned the spotlight back on to herself.
“It goes against a lot of what we’ve been taught about always putting others first, but you have to focus on yourself first and your spouse second. You have to be a whole person on your own before you can have a healthy relationship with anyone else.”
This really struck me because I know there have been times when I’ve been unhappy and I deflected the blame somewhere else. We expect others to be able to read our minds, right? But, Marta had two pieces of advice for turning this around:
- Stay in your own lane.
- Be responsible for what’s in your control. That’s on YOU.
The more we do these two things, the more Marta says we’ll be able to approach our partner from a place of love and not need.
“By shifting how you think, you change how you’re showing up in your life,” Marta says. “You move from being a helpless victim to someone who is taking charge of the direction your life will take. While both of these require emotional energy, one has a clear upswing while the other will exhaust you.”
The other thing Marta said that I thought was super thoughtful was around the idea of “feeling stuck.” (How many of us feel that way sometimes?) But Marta reminds us that even when we feel stuck, we have a choice. We always have a choice.
“Feeling stuck is just a thought–it’s just in your brain–it’s not a fact,” she says.
There are so many great nuggets in what Marta explores in her podcasts–so many bits of wisdom that can help you as a person, as a partner, as a parent, and as a friend. Some of her recents episodes have covered anxiety, self confidence, setting boundaries, and comparison (I’m starting to wonder if Marta is somehow in my head!) Definitely add Truth Be Told to your podcast library–ASAP.