The secret mirror effect that could save your marriage

Woman looking in the mirror

If you’ve never heard of the ‘mirror effect’ – 

 

You’re not alone. 

 

I may have made it up. 

 

But it’s an actual phenomenon I’ve seen play out time and time again in my own marriage as well as my clients’ marriages. 

 

So let me show you how it works through a story – 

 

One of my clients is married to the classic ‘disneyland dad’ – (you know the type – he says yes to everything his kids want) 

 

And, the other day, she came to me with some really exciting news – 

 

She had been making a lot of progress in compromising with her spouse when it comes to parenting. 

 

She was practicing being calm, articulating the facts, and sharing her viewpoint in a non-confrontational way on his parenting style (because hey – that’s where most of their fights were coming from).

 

She was practicing asking for his opinion in the exact way I taught her, which opened up their dialogues, and created the space to compromise. 

 

(And don’t worry…I will teach this to you all too at some point – it’s brilliant!) 

 

And they were actually compromising. 

 

But that’s not even the best part. 

 

One day, out of the blue…

 

Her husband, before automatically saying yes to his kids (as he had done hundreds of times before)… actually asked my client for her opinion FIRST. 

 

And then they agreed on a solution they both felt good about. 

 

Note: Her husband’s behavior – IS the secret mirror effect: he was imitating his wife. 

 

And, SHE completely shifted the dynamic – and not through force. 


She modeled patience, love, compassion, and calmness in her conversations with him – she started genuinely caring about his opinions, before assuming bad intentions, or demanding he change. 

 

And, she implemented a few dynamite convo hacks I taught her. 

 

But it’s amazing to think how powerful we can be in our own marriages – by changing ourselves, we change how we feel at home, and quite possibly, our spouses will follow suit. 

 

Now, the mirror effect doesn’t always work – some of us are married to total jerks with no desire to change.

 

But it’s so hard to really know that for sure, unless we’ve changed ourselves first.  

 
 

And if we can shift our marriage dynamics so drastically and positively, it’s possible you can too. 

P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.

How Helen got her husband to compromise

Woman smiling in her kitchen

Does this story sound familiar at all? 

 

Meet Helen, a stepmom of 2. 

 

Helen loves her husband deeply.  

 

And yet…

 

He’s very permissive with his teenage kids. 

 

Long story short, Helen was driving her stepdaughter to an appointment…And her stepdaughter absolutely refused to go inside. 

 

Helen decided to take away her phone as a consequence. 

 

Her husband didn’t initially agree…he has a hard time enforcing the rules. 

 

And normally they would have fought about it – they used to fight all the time.  

 

But instead, this is what Helen did: 

 

  • She took some slow, deep breaths and calmed herself down – she knew that her anger and frustration would only make things worse. 

 

  • She started a conversation by sharing only the facts with her husband: his daughter refused to go inside for her appointment. Helen took away her phone. 

 

  • She asked him why that was a problem – Why was it so hard for him to take away his daughter’s phone? 

 

  • He initially got upset and started raising his voice – and so she calmly set a boundary: If he continued to raise his voice, she’d leave the room. He listened and calmed down. 

 

  • Then, after listening to him, Helen shared her perspective. Why she thought it was important for the consequence to be enforced; how it might actually help his daughter in the future. 

 

And…they both agreed to keep his daughter’s phone locked up for a certain period of time. 

 

Helen wasn’t born with these communication skills – in fact, none of us are. 

 

But she learned them. Practiced them. Applied them.

 

This is all it takes to have a loving, calm, solutions-oriented dialogue with a spouse or partner. 

 

And if she can learn to compromise with her overly permissive partner, it’s possible you can too. 

P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.