About The Author: Stephen Hedger

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International relationship expert Stephen Hedger's philosophy on relationship problems is this: Couples fail to understand their relationships because they are too focused on their problems and so they totally miss what created them. Stephen's approach is a refreshing and enlightening journey that helps couple uncover their truth. His strategies uncover the knowledge that all couples need for a success and lasting passionate connection.

About Stephen Hedger

International relationship expert Stephen Hedger's philosophy on relationship problems is this: Couples fail to understand their relationships because they are too focused on their problems and so they totally miss what created them. Stephen's approach is a refreshing and enlightening journey that helps couples uncover their truth. His strategies uncover the knowledge that all couples need to create a successful and lasting passionate connection. If you are in crisis and you need help, book an initial consultation today to get your life back on track.

“My biggest life lesson”

Last year one gentleman asked me a great question. He said “…you deal with couples and individuals with all manner of problems and personal fears, what do you fear the most?

This was a great question, and the answer was simple.

“I would fear not being able to be my true self in the life that I have chosen.” Many people are in pain because they are loving kind caring people, but for some reason, they can’t be this in their marriage, and so they suffer.

This is one of the core problems so many couples have in their life, but it expands far further than just their relationships.

So many people are afraid to embrace their true potential, and this can affect everything. [Read more...]

Natures cruellest trick is creating consistent marital stress

Virtually every person that comes into my programs is looking for me to change their partners’ behaviours. I have rarely heard the message “my marriage is in crisis, can you help me become a better husband or wife?”

This is a shame because becoming an effective partner really is the only thing we are 100% in control of. Trying to control someone or manipulate them so they behave the way we want never works out well but sadly couples keep trying this process even though the result is bad for them both.

So the trend of message I receive is “…we’ll have a better relationship if you can fix my partner”.

He’s a bully or she’s too controlling, he’s emotionally absent or she’s got anger problems.

The ping-pong of criticism doesn’t help the couple become effective team members of their relationship. [Read more...]

The MAPS you’ll need to prevent a divorce

Today’s post is going to be a little different, I’m going to be sharing one of the key focuses I use to help couples reconnect even after years of disconnection.

One of the things we need to change in these couples is the way they think about their relationship, themselves and their partner. This needs to happen because they won’t be aware that their historical thinking is part of why they are in trouble.

So I’ll start with this thought…

If you were in New York and lost and someone handed you a map of Paris could you rely on that map of Paris to help you to make good decisions and take you to were you want to go in New York?

It’s obvious this simply wouldn’t work yet not understanding this concept is leading couples to rely on the wrong maps and this is leading so many to divorce for the wrong reason.

I’ll explain… [Read more...]

The worst personality trait that must be solved for the marriage to survive

Last year I was working with a gentleman who was a stunt pilot. He was a really great guy but he suffered from a severe problem and he was not aware of it. In fact, he was convinced his wife was the problem.

His marriage would never work if he kept this problem. As you scan this post you discover what happened to change this gentleman’s thinking – he was visibly shocked.

His problem is a problem I see a lot in varying degrees in my meeting with couples and can affect both men and women.

The root problem is rigidity in the persons thinking. In essence, the person thinks they are right and they will fight to protect those thoughts. [Read more...]

Relationship Test: 12 Common ways couples are disconnecting

With no educational system in place for what it takes to keep a marriage alive for life, we are left with couples really doing their best.

Sadly this is usually not enough to keep their connection and passion alive. So couples can unwittingly break their connection without meaning to leading to a build-up of negative energy that couples attach to each other.

So below I’m going to share some of the common mistakes couples are making without knowing.

THE RELATIONSHIP TEST below is designed to help couples understand how many of these points below are in your marriage so you can start to open up communication at home? [Read more...]

Changing destructive patterns of behaviour

When helping a couple out of a crisis one focus that’s critical is learning if either person has a destructive pattern that’s likely to stop them from becoming a valuable partner.

It’s very common for most people to have some kind of unhelpful pattern(s) that won’t support the success of their marriage.

Sometimes the pattern is due to a lack of relationship building knowledge or poor role models. Sometimes it’s due to some kind of emotionally distressing historic event that created a pattern designed to protect the person but never does and so they suffer.

The combination of both challenges can lead couples to very challenging symptoms that disconnect the couple and put trust in question. [Read more...]

Mastering marital conflicts & communication problems

If you want your marriage to work then it’s critical to get on the same page with this. If we understand the individual words our partner speak why do couples struggle so much when they’re put in a sentence.

Virtually every couple on some level know they have a communication problem but it can manifest itself in so many areas of their life that the real problem can become so confused.

Are we disagreeing about the problem or is it the way we are disagreeing that’s now the problem?

Many couples are experiencing the moment when they say something to their husband or wife and their partner seems to take their words and change it to mean something totally different.

This process can spark conflict as they battle with what was really said and meant. “…if you really think that about me then you don’t know me at all…” [Read more...]

“Understanding this changed his whole life” He lived this every day and never knew.

His life was falling apart. His relationship was over his business was on its knees nothing was working and he was not just depressed he suffering severe anxiety.

How do you come back from that?

When he came to me on the back of months of what he described as lost in darkness after he had to leave the marital home.

I knew what he really wanted but he had no map to achieve his goal.

He wanted his marriage back but I could see he had no internal map of how to build love he only understood how to take it – this was a very childlike model.

He was convinced his marriage was over so it didn’t form part of his brief to me to help him rebuild his life. [Read more...]

“Resentment stacking and the true cost”

Resentment stacking has hidden problems that people only see when it’s too late. So in today’s post I’m going to share what I see and where the danger sits.

When couples start a relationship at some point there is going to be some resistance and friction. Of course, some conflict is normal we are not going to agree all the time.

But when there becomes a gap between how life should be and how it really is, one or both people can start to resent the other.

The challenge with resentment is it creates a negative mindset and this can trigger the person to look for more problems.

A person looking for problems is always going to find something negative and when they find it they can resent that too.

Over time those resentments attached to big and small things will stack and can become overwhelming leading the person to want to stop the pain of this emotional experience.

They will also naturally be in a place to protect themselves from their partner.

This can be a lethal combination of emotions for any marriage. If I have to protect me from you how can I keep my love alive and if I have stacked resentments towards you there is a real danger I’m going to turn off any feelings I have towards you.

This is the danger people are not seeing…

…resentments can lead a person to a detached or numb emotional state. Essentially what this means is they are so emotionally overwhelmed they can turn off their feelings.

What they are unaware of is when they turn off the bad feelings to protect themselves they also turn off the good ones too. [Read more...]

“10 reasons why couples don’t make it”

There are now well over 800 pages in this website helping any reader to become curious about their relationship why they work and why they fail. People from all over the world are now attending meetings with me to gain solutions to seemingly impossible marital problems.

In today’s post, I’m going to be sharing some key thinking that helps couples to keep their relationship alive with some thoughts on the cost of not applying these to a marriage.

1. Never assume your partner is trying to hurt you

2. Never make your partner wrong

3. Never threaten the end of the relationship (unless you really mean it!)

4. Never pull your love away

5. Never make your relationship all about YOU!

6. Always make your partner feel No1 in your life

7. Always make your partners needs your needs too

8. Always look for ways to help your partner feel great about themselves

9. Always make unconditional love your priority (it will cost you if you don’t)

10. Always make time for your relationship every day [Read more...]

What does a successful relationship really look like?

Over the years of working with couples in crisis, my mission has been to help couples in crisis learn if they have the ability to breakthrough their problems and really make their relationship work.

  • Couples who have split up and physically separated have discovered how to reconnect physically and emotionally.
  • Couples who have fallen foul of an affair learn how it happened and how to rebuild their relationship and trust in each other.
  • Couples who have lost passion for each other have discovered how their unique attraction is created, what kills it and how to keep it alive for life.

All these couples have learnt how to communicate, how to grow closer through conflict and how to build a compelling future together.

You see the objective is to take couples with little hope for a future together and help them build a compelling future one they can both look forward to. [Read more...]

“I cannot believe divorce is NOW a option for us”

In today’s post, I’m going to explain why so many couples struggle to keep their marriage alive and why divorce can become such a shocking option.

At the end of this post, you’ll learn the most important focus all couple should have in their marriage if they want to avoid divorce.

Every day I am presented by a couple in crisis needing help to understand if their crisis is a sign of genuine incompatibility or if their problems can be permanently solved.

There are some couples that really shouldn’t be together and any professional process they are in should help them discover that truth to avoid the pain and suffering of years of flogging a dead horse. [Read more...]

What did she really teach her husband?

I sat with a lady and her husband who were struggling with their marriage. Her husband really didn’t feel they had a problem but she was very unhappy with him and their marriage.

As I dug into their marriage problems I could see why she was unhappy but Is wasn’t clear why the husband couldn’t see there was a problem.

I don’t expect men that attend will understand her emotional world and how she sees it but I do expect him to understand there is a problem for her.

So I asked him why are you here with me if you don’t think there is a problem. He said the only reason he is here is that she threatened divorce and he knew she meant it.

Past that he said he was confused everything seemed to be ok from his point of view. [Read more...]

Rebuilding trust after a two year affair “Last Chance Saloon” Part 2

Most people know what they think about affairs and what they would do if it happened to them.

A consistent message I receive is the people whose partner has had an affair are shocked at how they actually reacted to this news.

They were convinced they would end the marriage and of course, some do, but so many are stuck because even though a part of them wants to run away from their marriage to protect themselves another part of them still loves their partner.

These people end up very confused paralysed in what feels like a no-win situation. Add their kids into the mix and the complication multiplies.

I would like to take this chance to give a message to everyone! Affairs are NEVER the answer to whatever problem you have.

So if your marriage is struggling, find out why you have problems before you unleash a living hell on your relationship and family.

Every week affairs enter my sessions and I can promise you if the person about to have the affair knew the havoc, pain and suffer the affair would do to their life, themselves and their family they would totally agree the affair would never EVER be worth it.

Every person who has had the affair had no idea the problem they were about to unleash on their relationship.

I remember one couple in their mid-50s came to a session and when she brought up the affair his eyes rolled and in frustration, he said: “OMG that again!?”

He had the affair when he was 26 two years after they got married (in his head it happened quarter a century ago – contrasting her head felt like it happened yesterday). Instead of dealing with the affair properly they buried it totally unaware she would never forget it and it would affect how she showed up in their marriage every single day.

After an affair, it’s critical to find out why the affair happened or the victim of the affair will live in the relationship on guard and never be fully in it.

Dealing with affairs is one of my specialisms. There is a defined process the couple must go through to gain a lasting result.

One couple came to me with a significant problem.

He had an 2 year affair after 20 years of marriage. She had just found out and was naturally devastated and unsure what to do.

Her emotions were very powerful one minute she seemed ok and the next she was in a volcanic rage threatening divorce through tears and anger.

She was also in the normal process of wanting to know every detail and asking the same questions over and over again at every opportunity.

He, on one hand, understood her questions and his guilt and remorse were now pushing him to be totally honest but he was getting frustrated by her inability to let go of her anger and pain week after week after a month of this exhausted they came to me for help.

They told me everywhere they looked affairs popped up as they tried to live a normal life TV, theatre and simple night out with friends became a nightmare as affairs were part of every conversation.

The world was getting smaller and her constant focus was on…

WHY? Why did you do it?

When I asked her what her big fear was she told me that apart from him not seeming to know why the affair happened she was fearful that she wasn’t enough for him and he might do this again and she couldn’t risk it.

She also was afraid of what their three sons would do if they found out as they really looked up to him and this would crush them too.

Seeing the pain and what he could lose woke him up and so knew he would never do anything like this again ever, but for him convincing her was seemingly impossible and he was concerned she would never let this go and never trust him again or worse not give him a chance.

Her reality at that point was nothing he said settled her for long.

She admitted she wanted to punish him but she did say she was also frightening herself as she could feel out of control of what her mind was doing as her rage took over her.

She wanted him to feel the pain she was in and in the moment she wanted him gone but a deeper feeling in her was her love for him.

This was her battle. How could she love him and be herself whilst every part of her was telling her to protect herself from him and run.

To contrast this and to confuse her even more, her sex drive had returned and she took control of their sexual connection getting totally absorbed in him only to then be overcome with why did he do it?

Helping the couples to deal with affairs has to start with an understanding of why was this situation part of their story.

As we looked back into the marriage we could see they had a good marriage they got on, nice professional people but…

…what they were not aware of was how their dynamic had shifted and the impact this was going to have on how they both showed up in the marriage.

I knew the focus would be the affair but I was looking for the dynamic that caused him to be in a position to make such a destructive decision.

I discovered they had lost how to be lovers and intimacy becoming such a low priority because being mum and dad and professional people had taken over. I could see that it wouldn’t have been long before something broke.

We also discovered he had felt insignificant at home for years but had put his energy into his work so this rebalance worked but over the years apart of him was no longer alive and his sex drive died too.

If they did try to have sex he struggled this became another problem they switched off and just got on with life.

They didn’t argue historically but for me, this meant no one was sharing critical emotions and so in this mutually closed dynamic they were just practically getting on with life being good people not aware their relationship was starving of what it needed to survive.

They had no idea how dangerous this was and how vulnerable they both were.

So the moment a new woman made a play for this gentleman what was dead in him reignited and it was too powerful for him to ignore. He felt awakened alive and nothing else mattered in those moments.

He admitted to me that he was flattered and essentially this affair was never a long-term option but it helped him become happy again and he never thought he would be caught but today he hugely regretted such a massive error of judgement.

I could see in our first meeting this couple were totally unaware of the dynamic that would have kept their relationship alive through this and so they were making it worse without knowing.

The key to this situation was to help the couple take control of the process they were in so they could help themselves and each other.

As I helped him understand what this news had really done to her and what he could do to support her he became someone she could start to rely on.

I also helped her understand what her emotional system was trying to achieve and how to take control of such powerful emotions so she could get to the truth in her own marriage.

Essentially I was helping the couple become far less reactive and in a position to start to choose their reactions and emotions so they could find out what was possible in their marriage.

As each week progressed we could see a shift as both people started to take back control of their emotional systems whilst taking responsibility for their part in their past dynamic.

I made it clear that he alone was responsible for his action to embark on the affair.

This responsibility on both sides for the past helped them both show up in the relationship this time with a clear knowledge of really how to keep all of their marriage alive.

This couple had many disconnects I had to work on with them.

  • They didn’t know how to keep their passion alive
  • They didn’t understand how different they were and what each other needed.
  • They didn’t know how to have conflict and grow their marriage so they avoided it.
  • They didn’t understand their roles and this killed the passion.
  • They didn’t act as a team in planning their life together.
  • They didn’t know how to really hear each other so communication stopped.
  • And they didn’t know how to bring unconditional love into their marriage.

I have a mission for all couples that arrive after an affair. That mission is to help them discover if it’s possible to make their relationship significantly better than it’s ever been so they use this energy and knowledge to keep the marriage safe in the coming years.

Naturally, every couple is different and so whilst there is a process to help a couple reinvest how that process is applied will be different for every couple this is why these situations really need tailored expert help.

In next weeks “Last Chance Saloon Part 3″ you’ll learn how I helped a couple reignite their sexual connection after it’s been dead for years.

 

 

“Last Chance Saloon” Part 1 – Please help me get my wife back

Helping couples make the right decision about the rest of their lives is a huge responsibility I take very seriously. The future of their relationship and family hangs in the balance of me getting their strategy right to give them clarity.

Some couples have done what they can themselves but are stuck. Some have sought help but are either stuck or still no further forward.

A sentence I hear often is I’m their “Last Chance Saloon”.

Some people call in because they have a partner who has no interest in seeking help and these people feel very lost and alone – so today’s post is to help those people learn where there is hope. [Read more...]

How can we tell if we are heading for divorce?

I see a significant amount of people who are shocked their partner actually wants to divorce them. They never believed it would actually happen, some just assumed their problems would get better on its own.

So today I’m going to share what I see coming into my offices every week and why they are there.

I’m not going to talk about the obvious stuff like affairs, today I’m going to share the things some couples are NOT aware of that can really hurt them.

If you are experiencing any of the following it’s critical to take action as they can lead to what feels like a permanent shut down.

When the couples I see have not made their relationship a priority at least one person is going to be stacking resentments against their partner. [Read more...]

The easiest way to save your marriage and reignite passion

When couples come to me for help I must take them through some very specific and enlightening stages. These stages are designed to make it easy for both people to see the reality of why they are in trouble and help them reinvest in their marriage so it’s a win-win for both people.

I start their process by engaging in some short-term marriage crisis management where I split their behaviours into two camps.

  1. The things they must stop doing because they are making the marriage worse.
  2. The things they must start doing that will be the first bricks in their foundation to support their ability to learn what they must do to get to the right decisions.

The fundamental challenge all couples have is rooted in some kind of trust challenge.

That could be affairs of course but trust in our partners’ ability to keep us safe have our backs, want the best for us, allow us to grow, be who we want to be and trust our partner to really hear us – these are a few typical examples of trust breaks. [Read more...]

“What do you actually hear when I speak?” – Couples communication problems

One of the most fundamental challenges all couples face is understanding what the other is really saying to them.

If you can’t understand each other then gaining a connection that makes sense is going to become a monumental challenge.

The trend of what I see is the men admit to me they really don’t understand their wives and the women tell me they are being crystal clear to their husbands.

I’m generalising here of course.

In these situations, I have to help women understand what men hear when they speak and help men understand what she wants.

So many women I see cannot believe that their men don’t understand what they are saying, to them their messages are simple to understand so in her mind he, either doesn’t love her or there something wrong with him. [Read more...]

Foundations of successful marriages

There is no question that a significant percentage of the population is struggling to understand how to keep their marriage alive because they are missing the foundation you are about to read about.

By alive I mean passionate and emotionally connected whilst both excited about their future and purpose for being together.

So why is this so difficult for so many?

The real reason is simple…

It takes very little skill to fall in love but it takes real understanding to keep a loving passionate connection alive for life.

Building a successful marriage takes an understanding of critical foundations that if constantly practised gives couples a significantly better chance of keeping a marriage alive for life. [Read more...]

“I lost myself in my marriage”

If you want to build a successful marriage you’ll need the courage to be who you really are with your husband or wife. NOT being your true self is a fundamental issue and one of the root problems that lead many couples to wrongly divorce. 

The reason not being connected to your true self is such an issue is because your happiness is conditional on you becoming what you say is important. So if a naturally loving and fun person stops being loving and fun this will make them unhappy and eventually feel exhausted.

What you’re about to read will be tough for some people to hear, they won’t want to hear this message and sadly they’ll end up learning the hard way. [Read more...]