In this episode, YSPM host Kristin Maxwell invites relationship coach Marilyn Sutherland to explore the mindset that allows individuals to initiate deeper, more satisfying relationships. As an expert in the behavioral patterns that threaten intimacy, Marilyn reviews the nine common mistakes that push love away. If you’re looking to find more closeness in your own relationships — whether at work or home — don’t miss this interview!
Hi everyone. Welcome to Your SuperPowered Mind. I’m your host Kristin Maxwell, and in this show, we explore the process of transformation and give you tools and strategies that you can use to transform your own life. Our guest today is Marilyn Sutherland and we are going to be talking to her about what mindset is the key to healthy relationships.
Marilyn Sutherland is a life coach who has helped thousands of individuals adopt the essential skills they need to create powerful, sustaining relationships at home and work. She’s the creator of two transformative programs, Effective Communication, Deeper Connection and Your Journey to Lasting Love. Through private couple and group coaching, Marilyn nudges participants out of behavioral patterns that sabotage their chances at deeper, more satisfying love and work relationships. She’s also the author of the upcoming book, Why Did You Load the Dishwasher Like That? I can’t wait to hear about that, because that’s a conversation we have in our house.
Marilyn, welcome to Your SuperPowered Mind.
Thank you. I’m so happy to be here.
Yes. Well, that’s what your book title does to me, because oh my God, that’s definitely a conversation we have. So, my first question is always, what super power did you uncover as the result of mastering your mind?
Well, I’m going to tell you a short version of the moment when I had the revelation. I was in a one year course on personal development, and it was about supporting each other in our community. I was in front of the room making an announcement and someone yelled out, “Ask us if we love you.” Which was so inappropriate. I immediately reacted, “No, I’m not going to do that. I know not everyone in the room loves me.” There were people that are visiting from other cities.
To make a long story short, I finally asked, there was this moment of silence and everyone in the room stood up at once.
Yes. Do you know what I did? I picked out two people who were visitors and challenged them for standing. “Mary, you don’t know me. You’ve only been here once before for the last weekend. Why did you stand?” She’s like, “Marilyn, you remembered us yesterday before the course started. Of course, I would love you more, but I really love you.” Okay, you could stand. “Bill, I just met you yesterday. We haven’t even talked. Why are you standing?” And he came over and took my hand, looked in my eyes and said, “You know, I’m getting married next month. I’ve learned so much from you already and it’s going to make a difference in my marriage.” And I started getting teary.
The leader said, “Okay, we’re taking a break.” Everyone in the course who was standing stood in line like a reception to hold my hand and tell me why they stood, because they knew I didn’t get it. And that was one of the purposes of the course to support each other in the breakthroughs that each of us needed. And I was always friendly and outgoing and talked a lot. You can probably tell. And what I had to confront was that I was actually pushing love away, challenging people who declared by standing that they loved me. And I had some standard for how they should do it, and that wasn’t it.
So I took on letting love in and letting love out. And it changed me. And I started telling people if I felt connected to them, I would say, I really feel connected to you. Or if I felt loved, I would say. With friends, I would say, “I love you. I’m so grateful you’re my friend.” I didn’t care if they set it back. So when I… One of the things that came from that was I really learned how to connect with people and to be a safe space. And as a coach, that is so important. And the other pieces, the work that I did out of that breakthrough in letting love in and giving love freely had me with no expectation when my husband showed up. And I had already known him for 10 years, but just casually. When he showed up and we connected, I was able to let his love in and I married him a year later. And I married when I was 49 for the first time.
I never wanted to get married. It looked like a trap.
For you, really the journey of learning to see that people love you and really know that and then to feel it and to then share that love was your own journey. And so now, ironically or not so ironically, because this is what we all do. This is what you help other people do.
Exactly. Yeah. Because it’s so painful for me. I was single until I was 49. And for some of that time I really, I didn’t want to get married, but I really wanted a committed long term relationship. And it never happened. My longest relationship’s for two years. And honestly, I picked guys that I wouldn’t fall in love with because I didn’t want to get married and then be hurt. But then I realized I was not really opening my heart and really connecting. And that’s what you need to do. You have to be vulnerable to really love and be loved.
Wow. Okay. So I want to make sure to be asking you about, how is that for people. I know there are so many people out there who are closed off, whether they realize it or not. How do you make it safe enough or feel safe enough? And what do you believe and all of that to make it possible for you to learn how to open your heart and truly connect.
Yes. Go ahead.
Here’s one thing that you can do: When you’re with someone, be with them. You talk about mindfulness and presence and oh my God, those are so important. But what you can do is just look at them. Put your phone down, listen, be there. You don’t have to perform. You don’t have to say the right thing. You don’t have to ask a great question. You just be in the moment with them. And you can be shy and whatever, but you can open your heart to them in that way just by being there with them and just practice that.
Yes. And the thing that’s so funny that has been one of my own journeys, is to be very present for people. And not so much at work because that’s what I do. But with me, I have three teenage daughters and at some point, I realized I want to be more present for them, really not be working when they’re around. But they’re teenagers so they don’t necessarily want to interact with me.
They don’t want to be with their mom.
So what I’ve learned to do is I very consciously, I do my work until they come home and then I go and I stand in the kitchen and I chop vegetables for dinner. And I’m putzing around in there, so then I’m there and I’m very present while they’re doing their homework because then they might just decide that they want to talk to me and then I’m there.
That is so beautiful.
It’s been quite nice because then I know I’m there. I really know that. So they can choose or not whether to interact with me, really.
Okay. I really want to go way deeper into all of this, but I need to take a brief break before we go. Can you let people know where they can learn about your work?
Yes. So I sent you a link, which is link tree, https..
It looks like it’s Linktr.ee/Coach.
That’s it. Yeah.
Good. Yes. I will put all of that. I can put that in the show notes so people will be able to pull it up there, which is great. When we come back, we’re going to talk to Marilyn more about what the mindset is key to creating healthy relationships. So stay tuned.