Should couples expect relationship problems?

I have put this post together because a few people have asked me why couples that started their lives together in love can find themselves in serious trouble without there being an obvious problem like an affair? 

I want you to see the chain reaction that leads relationships to go wrong. Of course every situation is different, but there are some core challenges which underpins the process to go from a loving relationship to divorce.

The process I have illustrated is simplified so this post didn’t turn into a book, however please note each part has many complexities and consequences. [Read more...]

She nearly lost a perfectly good marriage

The reason for sharing this post today is because many individuals leave their marriage and regret it later when it’s far too late to get it back. The impact on themselves and their family is destructive.

They think what they feel at the point they decide to leave the marriage is what they will still feel later and this is their illusion.

When a person really takes the time to understand why their thinking is leading them to want to leave the relationship, they are very likely to discover far more than they were consciously aware of.

This couple were married for over 15 years and everyone thought they were a great couple. He knew the relationship wasn’t great, but was not aware of how bad it had become for her. She loved him as a friend, but she longed for that youthful spark again, the fun, the passion, the hope of new adventures and surprises. She was a good mum, but she wanted to feel like a woman again.

She didn’t want an affair, but she knew she wanted more from her life of love. [Read more...]

Feeling stuck? Fed-up of going round in circles?

Need a solution to a problem that has trapped you? It’s important to know that the thinking that helped to create a problem is not the thinking that will create a solution to the problem. Many people feeling stuck are not aware of this important fact and that’s why they go round in circles. This statement is especially true in relationships as the love, the trust , the respect dies and the relationship no longer meets the couples needs.

In this place the future for the couple dies and getting out of pain seems like the only pleasure.

There are many different types of problems, but what happens when a problem leads the person or the couple into a dead-end where one or both people are so stuck ending the relationship becomes a very real consideration?

To change the situation you have to change the way the individual or couple think about their problem that leads them to the truth. You see to become stuck they will have run out of ways to approach their problem. [Read more...]

“How can I trust you if you don’t even try to understand me?”

If a person wants to communicate with someone the only way to do that effectively is to understand them. To be an effective communicator you have to be a good listener you have to understand their world from their perspective. If you don’t do this you are putting your frame of reference on their words, this process changes the meaning of their words and this disconnects trust between them and you.

Many couples fight about what was said or not said, in the moment they are translating each others words through a filter of fear (BTW anger is a fear response) and so this changes what they thought the other person said, or the meaning behind their partners words.

The more couples go round in circles not understanding each other the faster they shut down into a transactional relationship as an emotional connection is not safe for either person. [Read more...]

What do you mean?

Meanings are critical part of life, they can lead us to passionate loving connections or to an expensive and messy divorce. So one key part of what I coach couples to understand is the meanings they give to their partners words and actions.

Not understanding this is a major problem for many couples so if your looking for answers this will be key. You see we all create meanings to situations, but most people don’t question the meanings other people are putting to the same situation.

So I remember asking a man in a session to communicate to his partner about their relationship and how he was feeling. I wrote down what he said. I then asked her to tell me what he had just said, so she did… [Read more...]

FEELINGS: What is your mind really trying to tell you?

Feelings are very powerful and life changing decisions can be created from them, especially if we keep having the same feelings about the same things.

For example: My husband doesn’t understand me, or my wife is so negative. If people keep having this experience what feelings will they experience and what meanings will be created?

The wife that thinks her husband doesn’t understand her is going to have feelings that means he doesn’t care. The husband that thinks his wife is always negative is going to feel she is impossible to please.

Practiced enough these two feelings can lead a couple to [Read more...]

Is the way you think going to lead you to love or divorce?

What are you and your partner feeding your brains about your relationship and what impact is it having on you both?

The reason I ask is because many people are not aware of the power that comes from consistently conditioning their brain. It’s powerful because it creates feelings and we attach feelings to things, thoughts and people.

So if a woman feels bad every time she talks to her husband, she will create an association to him that’s bad. She is conditioning her brain about how she feels about him.

You see from feelings people make decisions and many people are feeling wrong in their marriage and are deciding a divorce is the best solution to that problem. [Read more...]

Why Doesn’t My Partner Understand Me?

For most couples even the ones with amazing relationships there are times when they misunderstand each other.

For couples in trouble, a lack of understanding can feel like a permanent state as the couple start to feel that life together is hopeless and so they can spend months, even years suffering as they start to believe either my partner doesn’t care, or maybe we are incompatible?

It’s important to understand that not understanding each other is very normal. This is because the  way men and women process their relationship is very different. [Read more...]

Men please listen to her with your eyes and connect with what you see

Todays post is to help men become successful with their partners. The fastest way to build the deepest trust is at the point of conflict. Men if you can do this she will see you as her man, her hero, this is what she wants.

If you as a couple can build trust and love out of your conflict you will unleash in her a passionate lover for life for you.

When she is upset she will communicate many things, some hurtful, some true, some not true from your perspective.

I know men you are listening to her words and becoming hurt by all the nasty things she is saying to you. [Read more...]

My marriage feels dead and the love has gone. Please help?

If you have lost your feelings for your partner then this means you’ve probably spent sometime feeling that your partner doesn’t understand you.

You may feel that you’ve told them you are unhappy, but they have done nothing about it and so now you think they don’t care.

Or maybe you think they do care, but whatever they do does nothing for you now.

Maybe all you feel is resentment and you have lost respect for them. [Read more...]

If stacking resentments causes marriage breakdown what causes resentments?

The answer I normally receive is “because my partner has behaved in ways which helped me to feel bad” for most people they don’t set out to help their partner to feel bad so exploring what’s behind the couples meanings and actions is critical.

This is why I help couples in my session learn how to understand each other, so they don’t inadvertently cause pain to each other without knowing.

When someone does something that helps us to feel bad and especially if that action caused us significant pain, we can struggle to let go of the bad feeling and we attach it to our partner, this is a resentment being born. [Read more...]

Why Do Couples Find Communication So Hard?

The reason couples are struggling with communication is because they are mind-reading the intent behind each others words, this practice is potentially destructive because it erodes trust a foundation that’s needed to keep couples together.

The first step is to ask your partner a simple question. When you are speaking with them find out what meanings they are putting to your words, you might be surprised at what you discover.

In sessions I can ask a couple to communicate to each other and then ask them to write down the meanings to each others words. [Read more...]

Relationship Foundations That Cannot Be Ignored

If you want your marriage to be full of love, passion, adventure and fun it’s not possible if the foundations are not in place.

Two of those foundations are

1. Physical & Practical

2. Emotions & feelings

Many couples are very good at doing practical stuff together, but they fail to understand each others emotional side and so it gets ignored.

As this understanding is one of the foundations for a successful relationship, learning how to connect to your partner emotionally is one of the most important skills you could ever learn in creating a secure and passionate marriage. [Read more...]

PLEASE DON’T DO THIS…

Six months ago a couple turns up to my session, they are having a few arguments and they seem to be getting worse, but they made it very clear they love each other. I could see their love was true.

However their arguments were clearly effecting them, but they did not understand the gravity of their situation.

They laughed and joked about their problems, but I could see they were covering up a real pain that sat under their humor. [Read more...]

If you punish your partner what do you think will happen within them?

Society teaches us that if someone has done us a wrong we have a right to punish them. We are taught from a very young age that wrongs get punished, parents punish, schools punish, laws are there to punish.

So punishing our partner when they upset us is OK right!? You might want to rethink this one…

The challenge this punishment model provides is this: In our personal relationships it actually creates a destructive effect rather than a positive corrective one. This usually creates the reverse of what the person punishing actually wants.

You see if you punish your partner, their instinctive response will be to run away from you. Even if they don’t physically, there is a good chance they will emotionally. [Read more...]

Marriages out of control

I once had a mentor who said “whatever you want in this world find someone who has what you want and find out what they did to get it”. Another mentor said “…you could also learn from those that have failed. Learn what they have done and avoid doing that”.

So here is what I see couples doing that I strongly suggest you avoid doing.

Couples who are in trouble struggle to communicate, and they are focused on trying to be right losing sight of what they are really trying to achieve. [Read more...]

Just because it’s not important to you – it does not mean it’s not important to your partner

You don't understand me at all...

One of the keys to a successful relationship / marriage is understanding or at least a desire to understand your partners’ emotions.

If you or your partner feels something, that feeling is real and needs to be respected.

It doesn’t matter if you agree with their reasons behind why they are upset, what’s important is the person you say you care/love about is in trouble emotionally and your job is to care and to help them. [Read more...]

Relationship Frustration is caused by…

Do you ever feel that you can’t get through to your partner? Do you feel that what you are saying is landing on deaf ears? Do you feel that your partner is trying to be difficult on purpose?

If someone felt all those things what do you think they might feel and what meaning would they then put to those thoughts? [Read more...]