February 1, 2023

Podcast Episode 35: The Importance of Identity in Marriage with LaQuita Monley

Portrait of couple during military wife's homecoming


​Having a personal identity is important for your relationship but can also help you stay more grounded in the face of life stressors. In this podcast episode, Elizabeth Polinsky interviews LaQuita Monely on how to have a personal identity in a marriage.


  • What is identity and why is it important?
  • Challenges of identity as a military spouse.
  • How having your own identity is related to marriage success.
  • Tips for military couples and spouses to develop a sense of identity 
Caucasian military couple reunited again

Introduction to LaQuita Monley

LaQuita Monley is a proud retired army wife, mother of five children, and grandmother of six. She is also a minister and a certified speaker/coach/facilitator with the John Maxwell Team. 

In terms of identity, understanding the roles I play and how they are connected to who I am is very important”

LaQuita Monley

​What is identity and why is it important?

LaQuita defines identity as being who or what a person is.  Many people assume their identity is based on the roles they play (mom, coworker, etc.). However, she believes that identity comes from the core of who you are and what your core values are. Often figuring out your core values and using the DISC assessment can help you determine your core identity. Even though your roles may change, who you are at your core remains the same. Figuring out your identity is figuring out who you are at the core. Even as you grow, get older, and mature, there will still be a core identity of who you are. LaQuita leads her clients through this journey using the Maxwell Method and DISC assessments. 

The Maxwell Method is a leadership model that uses the DISC Personality Assessment. D stands for “dominant” because they can respond in a crisis and de-escalate the situation. I stands for “inspiring” and are very influential, enthusiastic, and persuasive. S stands for “steady” and this trait tends to be stable, team players, and to love systems. The C personality trait stands for “compliant” and is a nice combo of S and D traits–they want everything correct. People score with different strengths of each personality trait, according to LaQuita the results can help explain communication styles, who you might naturally click with, and gives you ways to communicate with different types of personalities. 

Identity is who I am across time that remains consistent, even though I change roles”

Elizabeth Polinsky
Woman in Military Uniform with Her Husband on Sofa at Home

Challenges of identity as a military spouse.

Military life is so transitional. If someone doesn’t have a strong sense of who they are at their core, they can become consumed with over identifying as their role of parent or spouse, etc., and even in the role of military spouse. The role of military spouse is challenging because it is a role and fake identity of having no control. Resiliency is so important. Unfortunately it can’t be taught. It has to be experienced and there is no way to really prepare for it. As you go, military spouses tend to learn how to respond and how to bounce back.  When you are solid in your identity though, it is easier to be resilient. It helps you know how to process and to respond to the situation at hand. Because of regardless of what happens with military life, you remain the same at the core and you do not change. If you know who you are at the core, you can be in a more grounded place so you won’t be thrown around as much by the chaos of military life. Your identity is your grounder. 

How having your own identity is related to marriage success.

Knowing your identity is important for the marriage and family unit. If you can stay grounded based on who you are, you can be more present for your spouse and kids. It can even help you rely on others in a more effective way. In LaQuita’s experiences of military spouse groups, those with strong identities had strong boundaries and were more stable and steady–the people you could rely on. 

Tips for military couples and spouses to develop a sense of identity ​

  1. Start the journey working with a coach or clinician/therapist. 
  2. Consider taking an assessment such as the DISC or SCOPE assessments. You will need to work with someone who can interpret the test results with you. 

​Working with LaQuita Monley:

Laquita Monley

Liz’s Useful Links: 

Podcast Sponsor: The Relate Assessment is the most comprehensive relationship assessment in the world and is based on 10 predictors of marital stability. It’s supported by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and is the one my husband and I used during our premarital couples counseling. To get 20% off the assessment, go to https://relateinstitute.com/ and enter “POLINSKY20”.

Thanks for listening!


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    About Author

    Elizabeth Polinsky is a Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist (EFT) providing EFT marriage counseling in the states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Nevada. She also provides EFT training and supervision to therapists looking to become certified in EFT Couple Therapy. As a military spouse, she has a special passion for working with military and veteran couples, and is also the host of The Communicate & Connect Podcast for Military Relationships.


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