This is Part 2 of my conversation with Kit Murray Maloney. Here we talk about:
- Getting support from others with your relationship
- Being a King and Queen in your relationship
As stated in Part I, Kit has recently added the service of working with women individually to help women regain their vitality and sexual energy. I highly recommend her! Check out Kit’s private coaching page here and her website.
Getting support from others with your relationship
Kit: I have talked to a lot of girlfriends about the dichotomy between the celebration of marriage and then that moment amongst girlfriends when it is not the trend to talk about the partnership anymore. So you have had years of sharing information about how the relationship is going; sharing vulnerability with girlfriends; getting support around your sex life, all sorts of stuff. It is really important for women to share and feel supported. Then once there is a marriage, there is this fear of admitting any struggle because it might exaggerate in the future or even be held against them, or it might seem as weakness or failure, and I think that is really unfortunate and leads to a lot of problems.
In fact, at the start of this week, I received a text from a friend who was in shock because she had just learned, completely out of the blue, that her best friend is getting a divorce. My friend had no idea what was going on. It was completely out of the blue, and that happens much more with divorce than break-ups. It is scary to admit to someone that I am struggling when it is in the “La-La land of marriage.”
Jason: That is true. When you break up with someone and it is a bad relationship people will say, “Yeah, great job!” But when you get divorced people say, “Oh, I am sorry.”
So the whole asking for support. People are difficult people, and intimate relationships are hard. What can help getting to an understanding that your partner is trying their best [as stated in part I] is to ask for support. For example, in my profession of marriage counseling, the fundamental purpose of it is getting another perspective from the therapist to help you with your partner. Because if you don’t get help, you can get so entrenched into the, “I’m right, and you are wrong” mentality. As a result, you eventually get away from being lovers and become threatening almost like predators that retrigger each other’s vulnerabilities over and over, because you two don’t have agreements to protect each other.
Kit: I want to make a caveat, I am not talking about women going to each other to shit-talk about their husbands. I have noticed what some of my closest girlfriends, who have the strongest marriages I know, do and don’t do. What they DO is share with me over a glass of wine or dinner for example, that it is really hard to support their husband in this part of their career because there is a financial strain on the family. Or, it’s really hard right now because they moved to another part of the country for her career or his career. We talk about the struggle and what those women are doing is allowing themselves support from a dear friend around, “tension or problems in the marriage” but they are not saying, “Isn’t my husband the worse because he moved me to the middle of nowhere?” That is not what the conversation is, it is subtle but an important difference. We provide each other support without the talk that, “He’s awful!”
Jason: Because that’s (he’s awful) is not good if it’s reinforced by your girlfriend or anyone. Like in the Queen’s code, viewing him through the lens of a “perfect person.” In comparison to what, the perfect woman person?
Kit: Yeah, the perfect person tends to be the perfect women in women’s minds. So holding a man to that standard is going to result in a lot of unhappiness.
Jason: Back to what you were saying [in part I] about remembering that your partner is doing the best they can. In studying attachment, we learn that people’s reflexes towards distancing or clinging in relationships are formed very early in life – way before you met your partner. Knowing this will help you take things less personally and help you realize that your partner did not wake up on a mission to piss you off.
Being a King and Queen in your relationship
Kit: Yes. The Queen’s Code way these women are allowing themselves support from their girlfriends without ever emasculating their man, even when the man isn’t there. That is the balance. And I look at those relationships with such reverence because I know that those women are being Queens in their marriage – getting the support they need and simultaneously never emasculating their men.
Jason: Jessica and I recently went on a Wired for Love retreat at the Shambhala Mountain Center. It was great. One of the exercises was to look at each other – face-to-face, eye-to-eye – and say, “You are my king” or “You are my queen.” Recently, Jessica sent me a text saying: you are my king. Jess isn’t the super-mushy-cheesy type but she did that because she knows I would like it. Nevertheless, it was really affirming to get that text. I think sometimes all men really want to know that and feel that.
Kit: I think it is fascinating. As a feminist and someone going through my own journey with feminism, a couple of years ago I would have dismissed this whole dichotomy of king and queen – and how often that maps on to men and women — as patriarchal bullshit. I would have thought of it as misogynistic. We were talking earlier about where we are now in this post-second wave feminism and how to take it to a place where women and men can be treated as equal people in the world, with also choosing to tap into whatever they feel their unique balance between masculinity and femininity is. I realize I’m a much more feminine person than I ever allowed myself to be and that’s great. I feel better. I feel more lit up if I allow that part of my being to exist. But one of the lines of The Queen’s Code that I realized I have to do work on this is: If you want to be a queen, you have to let go of the notion that you are king.
Jason: Interesting. Can you explain more about that?
Kit: So particularly in relationships these are the two quotes that have been guiding me the last year.
 If you want to be a queen in the relationship, you have to let go of being or desiring being a king.  And Marianne Williamson, who is a multi-millionaire, author, and speaker with a thriving business wrote: In my relationship, not necessarily in my business, I’ve made the conscious decision to major and femininity and minor in masculinity.
So the two things together to me mean: kings have swords, they have weapons, and they have shields, they protect. Kings have a very different energy to them than a queen who receives and sits on her throne, looks after herself and is sovereign. But she is giving and is nurturing and provides in a very different way than a king does. As a heterosexual woman, that polarity to me is important in my relationships. If I go into relationships as a king, then there are two kings and you can’t be a king to another king. I am not talking about same-sex couples here, of course, you can have two males in a relationship. But, if I go into the relationship as a king, I can never receive. I block myself off from receiving all the gifts of the king. And that softness that I see aligned with femininity – going into heated discussions from a grounded, soft, open place – allows men to take their shield down and you actually get answers. Instead of going into a challenging conversation with an energy of, “Here’s why you are so wrong and I am so right.” From a calm, grounded, Queen space, women can say,“This is what hurts me, can you help me with this?” And not having a king’s shield up, that’s the only way to receive the support we crave and cultivate true intimacy.
Jason: I agree. I feel like it’s so simple, but it can be very difficult for people who happen to have a difficult childhood. Because their caregivers often operated on a one-person system that may have been neglectful, insensitive, or unjust too much of the time. Because that is your original operating manual for relationships, it can be hard to transition out of it without help. I feel the best way to correct and heal such insensitivity is to be in a healthy relationship where one learns, “I can trust, I can get my needs met, I can rely on you for protection.”
To what you were talking about the king and queen, I think it basically means that you are authentic. You are authentically you and as a result, you will naturally assume those roles. For example, in my relationship, I don’t refer to myself or think of myself as a king, but when my shield is down and I don’t need to protect myself from another king, I naturally provide. I naturally want to keep my queen safe. I naturally want to go out in the world and make a good living for my queen. This also frees up resources for my wife to be authentically her. When she knows she is protected – or the king is trying his best to protect her – she is able to be a queen and as you said, be nurturing and be sovereign. She naturally demands reverence when she is truly herself. But, I don’t feel coerced to do so, it comes naturally. These dynamics also work for same-sex couples. When both partners feel secure, they can be authentically themselves. Is there a better feeling?