S05|10 - Strengthening Your Partner Relationship with Jaime MorganSep 19, 2022
Jaime Morgan is a certified life coach and a Gottman Method trained relationship coach. Combining her academic & past personal experiences of her own struggles of failed marriage, Jaime has a huge passion for helping unfulfilled and divorced women thrive in their lives & relationships again through action-oriented coaching. Jaime is now married to the love of her life, and she lives in Canada – B.C., with her husband and two sons.
What we talk about:
- Jaime’s personal experience with therapy and her past journey
- The difference between life coaching and therapy, and how to know which is the best fit for you
- Gottman principles that can help strengthen your relationship (and where to start)
- The 3 Cs in healthy relationships and actionable steps to work on each one
Connect with Jaime here:
- Join Jaime's FB Group VIP Abundant Life: https://view.flodesk.com/pages/6199398cb4f6fb9d86fe6fbc
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thejaimemorgan/
- Website: https://jaimemorgan.com/
Coaching has changed my own life, and the lives of my clients. More connection, more healing, more harmony and peace in our most important relationships. It increases confidence in any parenting challenges and helps you be the guide to teach your children the family values that are important to you- in clear ways. If you feel called to integrate this work in a deeper way and become a parenting expert, that’s what I’m here for.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Hi, I'm Crystal The Parenting Coach. Parenting is the thing that some of us just expected to know how to do. It's not like other areas of your life where you go to school to be taught, get on the job training, or have mentors to help you learn. Now, you can get that help here.
I believe that your relationship with your children is one of the most important aspects of your life, and the best way that you can make a positive impact on the world and on the future. I've made parental relationships my life study, and use life coaching tools with connection-based parenting to build amazing relationships between parents and their children.
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Hi, and welcome to today's podcast episode, Strengthening Your Partner Relationship with Jaime Morgan.
Before we dig into it, just a quick reminder of our name-change from The Freedom Moms Podcast to The Parenting Coach Podcast. I would really appreciate it if you told all your friends so people know where to look for and what podcast to download when they are listening to me. Thanks for being here. I appreciate it. All right.
Jaime’s personal experience with therapy and her past journey
Crystal The Parenting Coach: So, for today, Jaime Morgan is a certified life coach and a Gottman trained Relationship Coach. Combining her academic & past personal experiences of her own struggles of failed marriage, Jaime has a huge passion for helping unfulfilled and divorced women thrive in their relationships again through action-oriented coaching. Jaime is now married to the love of her life, and she lives in Canada with her husband and two sons.
Hi, Jaime, welcome to the podcast today.
Jaime Morgan: Hi, I'm so glad to be here. Thanks for having me.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Hey, you're welcome. I'm excited to chat with you and get to know you a little bit better. Why don't you tell us a little bit more about you and what you do?
Jaime Morgan: Well, my name is Jaime Morgan. I am a Gottman trained Relationship & Personal Growth Coach. And yeah, I just-- I really love connecting with my clients to help give them action steps to take the steps to make the changes that they're wanting in their lives, whether it be around their relationships or their personal growth and confidence and, you know, getting unstuck from the things that they've been going through in life.
And, yeah, I've really based a lot of the coaching that I do on my past experiences; it comes from a really authentic place of what I have learned along the way so that you don't have to make the same mistakes, but also, through my training and that as well.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Tell us a little bit about your past experiences. How did you get into coaching in the first place?
Jaime Morgan: You know, it really began a long time ago. I've been in therapy myself. Oh gosh, I think I started going to therapy when I was probably about 14 or 15; I put myself in therapy. So, I just clearly have an attraction to whenever I--
My whole life, whenever I've noticed I have a problem, I'm very driven to want to fix it; and therapy counseling was always really helpful for me. And so, throughout university I did my Bachelor's Science in Psychology with the goal of going, you know, to do my Master's and becoming a psychologist…to do my own therapy.
And over the years, other things came into play as they do, and that led me down the road many years later to find out about the profession of coaching and life coaching, which just seemed like a really awesome fit for myself.
And I was also going through such a dramatic time in my life. It was right after my divorce-- Well, it was sort of in the midst of my divorce is when I started my life coaching training.
And that's where I became very focused on relationship work because I was learning myself so much, you know, through my own divorce and through the relationship work and doing my own personal growth…through all of that hardship, that it really got me focused on the work that I wanted to do with people.
The difference between life coaching and therapy, and how to know which is the best fit for you
Crystal The Parenting Coach: What about-- I'm curious because you have been somebody that's gone to therapy for so long, you probably know a lot about it, and have seen a lot of different therapists.
I think that a lot of times, people will ask me the question like, how to tell whether or not I need a therapist or a life coach; and like, what kind of is the difference between those? So, tell us a little bit about what your opinion on that would be.
Jaime Morgan: Yeah, well, like I say, "I love therapy", so this is not about good or bad. I think it all serves its purpose, right? But for me, the thing that I found missing, at least in a therapy I was receiving, was action.
I always laughed, and it was great. I think that talk therapy and having somebody hear what you have to say and figuring out why you're feeling the way you're feeling, looking back in your past, it serves its purpose and it's wonderful.
But I personally left going, but now what, what do I do? I need to know what to do. And so, the way I approach coaching, I call it action-oriented coaching, but I really want to give my clients steps, tools…to be able to take steps to take action to create the change they want to see, rather than just talk about what's going wrong in their life.
So, for me, that is really important to have my clients leave each session that we work together on with some really, like, clear steps that they can do in the next week or two weeks, you know, and I hold them accountable to that.
But that being said, you know, for me, when I learned in my life coaching training, the difference between therapy and coaching, it really was, I think this is a fairly textbook answer, but that therapy counseling is sort of based on where you are right now – and how did you get here, what brought you to this place?
And you tend to look a little more backwards to get a clear picture on what happened to your past to get you where you are so you have a better understanding of that.
With coaching, I come from a place of, where are you right now and where do you want to be moving ahead and how can we get you there so that you can actually, you know, witness changes in your life that you're looking for, that you're desiring really quickly.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. Thanks for that distinction. Yeah, I usually tell people, you know, if you have current trauma or past trauma that you're really wanting to deal with or you're having troubles with – like daily functioning basic skills – that therapy or counseling is definitely more suited. And it's totally needed; like, we need--
Jaime Morgan: Sure.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: We, for sure, need both, right? And then coaching is when you're like, okay, things are going pretty good, but also I want them to be great…like, I want-- I want to make these changes in whatever area of your life.
So, I focus on people in their parenting, helping them make those changes in parenting, and parenting in a really different way than is traditional for us. And so, I love this idea of Marriage and Couples Counseling. Do you do it both – couples coaching – like you meet both people or just one?
Jaime Morgan: Both. I've worked with a lot of women and we've talked about their relationships and done. And you know, there are some couples out there where maybe one partner isn't as open to diving into the work, at least not in that moment.
So, I'm more than happy to give a single, not a single person, a married or a person in a relationship, but to speak with one partner to give them, you know, the tools or the resources they need to be able to move forward.
But of course, I work with couples as well to do that, and we definitely work together usually on Zoom calls. If they're in town, we do it in person, if that's something they're looking for. But yeah, I've worked with both couples and women individually.
Gottman principles that can help strengthen your relationship (and where to start)
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. So, my question for you is, I have this like-- There's this like anonymous sticker box where you can get people to ask you questions on Instagram, on your Instagram story.
So, I have a bunch of unanswered ones that I haven't gotten to yet, but I reviewed a couple of them this morning, and one of them specifically was about marriage. So, I'm going to ask you that.
And what they asked was what marriage books we'd recommend…and then also what advice, like what works in having a healthy relationship with your partner. So, how would you respond to that?
Jaime Morgan: Well, first of all, the marriage books, I am Gottman trained, so I'm biased, but anything by John and Julie Gottman absolutely is-- There's just--
Again, it comes from a-- It's a scientific background that they've done years and years, like decades of research on couples, longitudinal studies on actual couples. And they have discovered what makes marriages work.
Like from those couples over time, those that have stayed together, what are the commonalities? What are the things that those couples that have lasting joy-filled happy marriages, what are they doing to keep it that way? And they've figured that out, and what not to do.
And so, it really does come down to these action steps, these tools that I've learned through the Gottman training that I've done to be able to give those to clients. So, pick up one of their books. I am actually in the midst of publishing my book, the Easy Love Workbook, which will be coming out in the next month or so.
But again, it's taking these tools that you can implement in the moment in your relationship to start today at seeing changes, but you have to be willing to change. Right?
Another book that I have found useful and really, really like is The Five Love Languages. A lot of people are familiar with Love Languages.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. Yeah.
Jaime Morgan: And that one-- I refer back to that a lot because I think we are so – in relationships, and this comes with anything, right? Whether it's your partner, your children, your coworkers – any relationship you have in life – we come to it from a very self-focused place of, we know what we know and we know how we want to do it.
And if we're-- If we know what it feels good for us, what makes us feel loved, what makes us feel heard and validated, and we only speak "that language", it's no wonder we can't understand why other people don't receive it.
Or, you know, sometimes we're thinking, 'But I'm showing them, I'm telling them that I care or whatever the thing is.' But we're usually, the mistake we make, which this book, The Five Love Languages, points out so beautifully, is that we're speaking in our language.
It's about learning to take a step out of your own position to get really curious and learn about your partner and what matters to them, and to find out what their language is and to find out how they feel loved and how they feel heard. And, it just--
That's something that I come back to a lot within my coaching is not necessarily the love languages, but about stepping out of your own position to get really, really curious about your partner. And I think that that's key. So, that book-- That book's a great one too.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. I love that answer. I'm going to answer also, and then I want you to tell us if you want to start thinking about--
Jaime Morgan: Second answer to that question.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yes. Some specific tools that maybe, like if somebody's listening today can be like, 'Okay, like, what can I apply now?' So, when I--
It's hard to answer questions in, you know, long-form on a short, tiny little Instagram story. So, this is my response to that person who sent that message.
This is what I would say to you is that I think the most important relationship in your life is your relationship with yourself. And I think that if you do not have a good relationship with yourself, then it impacts your parenting, it impacts your partner relationship because we're going to continuously be triggered by the people around us.
And so, I would say as well as getting curious about your partner and reading these books and, you know, taking time to communicate effectively, which is so needed, it's also doing those same things for yourself.
So, what are some books I could read or what's some support that I could get that's going to help me heal that relationship that I have with me also? Because as soon as we start doing that, we're going to notice changes in our partner relationship as well.
Jaime Morgan: I love that you said that. I speak of it all the time, which is why with my coaching, I really like to combine this Personal Growth Coaching that I do with women, but I also do the Relationship Coaching because they are so connected.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah.
Jaime Morgan: Because I believe the first and foremost thing you need to do to fix your relationship is to be able to work on yourself…the most powerful work you'll ever do in your life is looking inward and really starting to understand the truth about who you are, building up a real strong sense of self and confidence…but not from a place of ego, from a place of acceptance and true self-love where we know the good, the bad and the ugly, but we love all of it because we're always learning. Right? And being open to learning.
And then with relationships, where it really does come back to that too, I think is owning our stuff; that's how I always, I use that term a lot with my coaching, but owning our stuff.
So, being able to recognize what we're bringing to the table, how are we showing up? Because so often, and it's human nature because it's easier, it's easier to look outside of ourselves, right? In terms of relationship, it's easier to notice what your partner's doing wrong, what they do that bothers us things--
Crystal The Parenting Coach: What we want them to change.
Jaime Morgan: -what they need to improve the thing, all the things. We can all relate to that, I'm sure. But it's much harder to take that honest look in the mirror at…how am I showing up, and what can I do today myself that could actually have a profound change on our relationship? And that's a much harder, harder step to take. But when we do, the impact it can have on our relationship is transformational.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. That's exactly what I tell people with parenting too. It's like, we think it's like our kids and we want to change their behavior and we want all this to change. Well, like, okay, we can look at that in the future – but for now, let's figure out-- let's figure out how the role that we're playing in that relationship, because that is always where the power's going to lie, is within.
Jaime Morgan: And you speak of power, that's exactly it. To me, the only person we can change is ourselves. And by trying to change our partner, which so many of us have done or are doing, you want them to change so you're pushing and push and push, but you're giving away your power because--
And all it does is, more often than not, cause tension and conflict, right?
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah.
Jaime Morgan: And lead down a more negative path. And it's not to say that we're not allowed to have these honest conversations with each other about what's bothering us or, you know, that's important too. But I think it always needs to be done in conjunction with owning our own stuff at the same time.
The 3 Cs in healthy relationships and actionable steps to work on each one
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Doing our own work. Okay. So, for this person that asked this question, I think you've given some really great tips on books and kind of where to start. But what about any concrete tools that maybe you teach your clients? So, if they're listening, they can take away like, 'Okay, I'm going to go and use this right now.'
Jaime Morgan: Absolutely. Well, I talk a lot about the 3 Cs for relationships, which is Communication, Conflict Resolution, and Connection. To me, those are just the three strongest elements that we need to sort of dissect when we're working with a couple.
Jaime Morgan: And so, communication; I see a lot of couples, and I'd be so curious, I would bet your listeners can relate to this. If you're in a relationship, how often are you talking?
And I'm not talking about talking about the kids and schedules, and 'Okay, I'll see you tonight and then whatever.' Like more often than not, now we sit in the same room scrolling on our phones with the TV on, but we're not really connecting, right?
So, I'm talking about really talking like, do you remember when you first met your partner and those conversations you'd have and you could talk for hours on the phone or you'd like-- You just wanted to know more; you were so curious to know everything about your partner. Obviously, that's not going to last that way forever.
But at the same time, to raise your awareness to wanting to come back to that curiosity and that desire to learn more about your partner, which is going to amp-up our listening skills because that's what we used to do. We used to listen to what they actually said and we wanted to know more.
So, when you say things like, you know, "How's your day today?" Are we distracted? Are we on our phones while we're asking? And are we really listening to what they say? "How are you feeling? How did that make you feel?" Right?
Like, so, are we really communicating? And that's something to be really, you know, mindful of, I think, the longer we've been together, especially; and that we're making time for each other to have some real strong connection in communicating.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. And I think along with communicating, a huge aspect of communicating is that like real listening. And so, if you are-- I love just talking about things like current events or our opinions on politics or – I don't know, something that we kind of differ on maybe, so that I can take time to really understand what their side of it is. Because it always is so eye-opening for me.
And so, if you're like, 'Okay, well, what do I communicate about?'
I know that there is like a list in one of Gottman's books. Is it green? Anyways, there's a book--
Jaime Morgan: Yes.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: -with two rings on the front; and he has like a list of questions you can ask your partner. Some of them were kind of redundant and I was like, 'No, they're too boring.'
But there was lots of good questions in there that could really spark those kinds of conversations. And I think communication, like if you're struggling to come up with conversation, it can be helpful to have just like a little kickstart…like talk about this topic.
Jaime Morgan: I've got-- I actually recreated my own questions. I now call-- I got it from the idea within the Gottman's, from what they do. And I actually, to be honest, don't remember what they called it – but you're right, there's a list of questions.
So, I, throughout the years of coaching have created what I call Couch Date Questions, because I love the idea of having a couch date at home where we don't have to pay money, we don't have to go out, we don't have to get a babysitter…but we schedule time together without the TVs, without distractions, no phones. And we just sit down with a glass of wine or cup of tea or whatever in the evening and ask each other these questions back and forth.
So, I've made a list of those as well. It's actually coming in my, not to bring up my book again, but it's coming in that, because that's, I was just focusing on that this weekend doing the editing for it.
But that's exactly it; to sit down, schedule time and ask each other things like-- And it's interesting, it's so much fun when you've got the list right in front of you to be able to-- You remember; you're like, 'Oh, I've never even found-- I don't even know this about you yet we've been together 10 years or whatever it is.'
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah.
Jaime Morgan: Like who's your favorite family member or whatever, right?
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah.
Jaime Morgan: And hearing what they have to say. They're super fun and it's just-- You forget. I think it's really fun because you'll realize really quickly…you're like, 'I forgot how much we used to laugh or how much we used to just sit and like talk to each other.' You know?
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. I love that. So, that was communication. You also said conflict and connection.
Jaime Morgan: Yeah, Conflict Resolution. So, connected to obviously communication skills…but with conflict resolution, I mean, conflict is normal in relationships. We all have it. I think so often it gets a bad rap because obviously nobody likes to fight, but it's normal.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: I think it's the difference between conflict and contention, right? You can definitely have conflict and like disagree on things without it being so contentious.
Jaime Morgan: It's how you do it. It's creating ways to have healthy conflict that actually bring you closer together, because you'll have a better understanding
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yes.
Jaime Morgan: Rather than it becoming toxic where it's building resentment and, as you say, and contention. It's learning the skills, like becoming really aware of your heart rate. And this is something that is so key because any of us who have been in an argument know that 0 times out of 10, as soon as it starts to get a little heated, our heart rates go up; our hearts start counting.
And the fact is, physiologically in our bodies, when that happens and our heart rates get over a hundred beats per minute, the blood is no longer going to our brain…it's being shunted to our muscle.
This is the reaction we were born with to be able to keep our bodies safe and run away from bears or a threat; it serves far less of a purpose in an argument, but yet our bodies still do it, so still do it--
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah.
Jaime Morgan: Blood is going to our muscles, not to our brain. So, what that does to us is we, that's the point where we don't make sense anymore; we start saying things we don't mean, we start yelling louder…and it just goes sideways. So, something--
A tool that I love to give is just to really learn how to take a time out. But the key is first of all, recognizing when your heart rate's going up, and just being able to start noticing that fine line.
And most of us know, we really do know when it's happening to be able to take a break and go, 'You know what? This conversation really matters to me, I just need to take a break, I'll be back in half an hour and we'll talk about this because I want to come from a place of calmness, not of anger.'
And so, learning things like that to be able to manage a temper and have less arguments that go sideways. You know what I mean? And it's just something like anything that takes practice. But once you have those tools in your tool belt, you can start practicing and getting used to it. And once you do it once, it gets easier every time. Right?
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yes. Yeah. I totally agree. I love the-- Let's circle back to this, right?
Jaime Morgan: Yes.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Brené Brown always uses that lingo, but I'm like, we're having this conversation and I can tell that I'm feeling a lot of strong emotions – and I know that when I'm in my emotional brain, my logical brain is not working as effectively.
And I'm like, 'Okay, let's circle back to this conversation later tonight or tomorrow or whenever,' and then give yourself time to really like regulate so that you can go back into that logical thinking brain. Because we really want to be in a position where we're listening to understand; and we can't if we're in that like really fight or flight mode.
Jaime Morgan: You just said something that I had written down already today that I wanted to talk about. So, that's so awesome, 'listening to understand'; that right there.
If you take one thing from this conversation we have today, and this goes for when you're talking with your kids or your spouse or anybody, right? So, often, we go into conversations because we want to be heard, and we want to be understood, and we want to get our point across and we just--
You know, we go in with our position; and if we can let go of that mindfully and be deliberate before we go into any conversation and kind of choose ahead of time that we are going to get really curious to understand the other person – when we do that, it just changes everything.
And that other person can feel it; they can feel that energy and they…like they can relax. You see them visibly relaxed; and when someone feels like you genuinely want to hear what they have to say, the whole conversation shifts.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Yeah. And I think that-- I think that goes so smoothly into the third C which is Connection.
Jaime Morgan: Yeah.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Right? When they feel connected. So, tell us more about that.
Jaime Morgan: I mean, there's so many aspects of connection, but Gottman, they say that the foundation – like the strongest and most important part of a relationship that lasts – has to be the friendship. And friendship is based on connection. Right?
So, how are we fostering the friendship within our relationship? And that's the thing, like I said a few times, it came very easily when we first started dating. It came so easily when we first met.
But over time, as we get, you know, whether or not you have children or your busy schedules and life gets busy, we start to find it harder and harder to maintain the connection…so it becomes more and more distant.
And then you look at the distractions we have now – like phones and TVs – and it's just nonstop, right? So, it's about becoming mindful and purposeful about…how are we connecting and how are we going to make sure this happens?
So, it's making sure you're having fun together, thinking about the friendship…like, do you love your partner? But also, do you like them? Are you having fun? Are you doing things that are making you guys both feel fulfilled together? Are you talking?
And so, it's really, you know, date night. Things that I think a lot of times we can easily put on the back burner, over time, if we continually dismiss it and not make it a priority, it can have--it can be so detrimental to the longevity of your relationship. Right?
So, we really need to really be purposeful about the connection we have with our partner and doing the things we need to do to keep talking and loving hard on each other in a fun way.
How to connect with Jaime Morgan
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Okay. Well, thank you so much for being here today and for sharing all of your knowledge with us. I would love for you just to quickly tell people how they can connect with you, where they can find you if they're interested in learning more.
Jaime Morgan: Absolutely. I'm so glad. Thank you again for having me. But yes, any of your listeners, the best way to join is to join my Facebook group. My Abundant Life Facebook group, totally drew a blank. My Abundant Life Facebook group, it's free and I show up regularly in there to do meditations of all links for all levels, essentially like two minutes to five minutes is so game-changing for your awareness.
I put those in there permanently on the feed to scroll through, and then just so many action tools and things that you can gain. So, I would love for you to join me in that group there or find me on Instagram @theJaimeMorgan.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Sounds great. Thank you so much, Jaime; and thanks for coming on today.
Jaime Morgan: Thank you for having me.
Crystal The Parenting Coach: Thanks for listening. If you'd like to help spread this work to the world, share this episode on social media and tag me, send it to a friend, or leave a quick rating and review below so more people can find me. If you'd like more guidance on your own parenting journey, reach out.