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.

 

 

“Problem Partners” Uncovering the mask

Many couples struggle when one person starts to develop a personal problem of some kind. They struggle because the relationship cannot grow because of their problem and in many cases, it’s been dying for years because of this problem.

In today’s post, I’m going to talk about some of those problems I see and what could be going on for them and their marriage.

Last year I saw a lady who was depressed. After spending time with her I discovered her depression was designed to mask a deeper challenge for her.

She was afraid to open up in a relationship and so remained closed as a means to protect herself using depression (something she could create) as the problem everyone could see and focus on.

By helping her understand how the depression was created and how to be safe in a relationship she now has her life back.

A gentleman came reluctantly came to see me with his wife. [Read more...]

“We both want our marriage to work – BUT it’s getting worse please help us”

“I never thought he would leave me.” “I can’t believe she just left” “I never knew things were this bad” These are the real messages I hear from people who ignored their partners cries for help and regretted it.

What couples who are struggling are not connecting with is they are in step-by-step process and if they take action now they can stop a marital disaster.

Today I’m going to help you understand it’s important to learn where you are so you can get real about your relationship and do something about it.

Below are the stages couples are going through without knowing. It’s important to understand where each of you is in this process.

Stage 1: Attraction – Love being together

Stage 2: Resistance – Problems starting to surface

Stage 3: Resentment – Problems not resolved

Stage 4: Detachment – Emotion protection

Stage 5: Decision – Position designed to take back control

Stage 6: Separation – Physical separation/Divorce [Read more...]

Stuck in a marriage with negative behavioural patterns

Three couples finished their marriage breakthrough program with me this week. Their individual challenges were a dramatic loss of trust, loss of love and an affair. Each one was on the edge of divorce with both people suffering not sure which way to turn. Each couple reported to me their relationship is now significantly better than it’s ever been.

Thankfully these couples and their children now have a future that makes sense. For them it’s a huge relief they are out of their own personal hell and now living confident relationships.

To help these couples out of hell one of their challenges was due to very negative spirals they didn’t know how to deal with. Each couple had different patterns and for very different reasons.

Their patterns had to be interrupted and reconfigured so they could successfully reconnect. [Read more...]

Marriage in crisis due to an affair? Learn the steps to rebuilding the trust whilst creating a brand new dynamic that future proofs the relationship.

When an affair is discovered it has the ability to create the most volcanic reactions. Infidelity has the power to shock the relationship into never being the same again ever. So if you want to save your relationship then understanding your partners’ experience is going to be critical to helping them feel safe to trust again.

The person who discovers their partner has had an affair is shocked into their own personal battle.

It’s like they become two versions of themselves. One part of them still loves their partner, and the other part is aggressively protecting themselves from their partner.

So they become confused and disoriented. No matter what they do it doesn’t feel right, they want the pain to go, but everything is a trigger that leads to their partners’ affair. [Read more...]

They had lost love, connection and themselves and an affair was on the cards

On paper this couple had it all, but they had lost what so many lose and that’s their relationship. They ended up two people that just happen to live in the same house doing their own thing.

They had slipped into a unhealthy pattern that neither knew how to break.

They had lost how to connect with who they really were and what was important to them. They had lost how to show up the relationship and be valuable to each other. They had lost how to attract each other and how to be attractive in the marriage.

Essentially they became a mum and a dad together they had lost how to be best friends and lovers.

With energy very low in both people and not holding out much hope they knew had to take action and get help.

[Read more...]

How Rebuild Trust After An Affair?

One of my specialisms is in helping couples rebuild their relationship after discovering an affair. The secret to repairing a broken relationship after an affair is to help them understand why it happened and then help them build a brand new relationship. 

Couples who reconnect after an affair and learnt how to create a successful marriage, ultimately see the affair as a wake up call that actually saved their relationship from years of suffering.

Without doubt an affair is a shockingly horrible experience, however an affair is just one of the many destructive symptoms a couple can experience if they don’t learn how to create a relationship that lasts. [Read more...]

“Why are we in crisis?”

No matter what you feel is the reason for your crisis, getting to the root cause is critical to help you move forward.

So many couples come in to my programs feeling they know what their real problem is only to discover a far deeper and much more powerful force is at play either within the individual(s), or within the dynamic, or sometimes both.

I have written historically about the idea that couples with marital problems always bring to me ‘symptoms’.

These are things like: Loss of love, Parenting Misalignment, Stress, Depression, Affairs, Money problems, Circular conflict, Controlling behaviours, Power struggles, Loss of passion/sexual attraction.

These are just a few of the many challenges couples are focused on and are trying to fix. [Read more...]

“They were at the end..!”

I see so many couples who through no fault of their own have totally misunderstood their relationship, their partner and for some totally misunderstood themselves.

Below are a few recent cases. 

# CASE 1: I thought I knew my wife and relationships. I thought everything was fine, I now know I had no idea what was really going on in my marriage and for her.

This gentleman thought he was going to lose his wife. She really didn’t want to spend time with him and was looking for ways to stay in the marriage, but not spend time with him.

She was unaware she was living in an identity that was not the true her within the relationship. She had become the sole protector of the family and the relationship. [Read more...]

“Please Just Tell Me The Truth…”

The real answer couples are looking for in their relationship is the truth. Why did you have the affair? Are we really compatible? Why do you keep lying to me? Am I emotionally safe with you? What made you fall out of love with me? If we try to fix our marriage, how can I trust it will last?

The truth is what sets us free in life and in relationships.

Many think that I fix relationships and that’s my job.

My real mission is to help couples/individuals discover the truth in their relationship. I do this by asking the questions that are most likely to lead both me and the couple to a deeper understanding of their relationship and why they are sat in front of me. [Read more...]

Crisis Point: Is there a way forward?

If you are in crisis and need help, my practice has a very successful history of helping couples and individuals with what they would consider to be impossible to solve problems. I’m the person that gets the call to help many high profile couples or individuals keep their stories private whilst providing swift solutions.

For many couples and individuals I do become their last hope. Many will have tried different change therapies and still do not have a solution which is frustrating.

Below are a number of cases that came for my help. Each case has a very different problem that had put them into crisis with no logical way out. My message through these stories below is, just because there doesn’t seem to be a way out of the crisis it doesn’t mean there isn’t one. [Read more...]

Trust issues: Taking back control

I was with a client last week and was talking to her about the concept of living a life where she could choose the feelings she wanted to experience so she could take control of her life and it’s direction.

To her this concept was an alien one. She believed her feelings were automatic and therefore out of her control.

She told me this idea was impossible.

I then started to talk to her about how she had been living. Her fears around ‘trust’ had meant she had been living in her head. Going round and round in circles with no real solution. She used alcohol and friends to get off this vicious cycle, but that fix was always temporary.

I explained to her that by living in her head she was trapped with her fears and this was not who she really was. [Read more...]

Stephen Hedger saved our marriage

I can not recommend Stephen highly enough – he not only saved our marriage, but has improved my marriage and myself as a person.

I suspected my wife was having an affair for several months which was awful, but when she finally admitted to it, I was overcome with many different emotions.

I had no idea what to do as it’s very difficult to talk to anyone for obvious reasons. I realised we needed help and after much internet research, I called Stephen.

I immediately knew I had made a good choice as he really listened and gave me some useful advice ahead of our first meeting. My wife was INITIALLY reluctant to attend, but Agreed. Stephen called what she was experiencing as love heroin which Seemed apt.

We had several very tough months, especially when my wife got back in contact with the other man. I can safely say without Stephen my marraige would have collapsed at this point.

HOWEVER, Stephen scheduled in some crisis sessions for us and we both Agreed a way forward. My wife and I have emerged from a very bad place to now love eachother more than ever as Stephen has helped us address the problems that inevitably occur after 17 years of marriage. We now really understand eachothers needs and emotions so much better than before.

Towards the end of our sessions, Stephen devoted several sessions to help us with our 16 year old daughter’s difficult behavior. My daughter really liked Stephen and it has really helped our understanding of her, and also strengthened our marriage as we now work much more as a team and are no longer in conflict with our daughter.

Stephen’s advice in the whole process has been amazing – he really understood the different dynamics involved with both myself and my wife in every step of our journey in the last four months or so.

He has saved our marriage and made it so much better than it was before.

I can recommend without hesitation Stephen – he is one of the most inspirational people I have ever met.

Written by a Banker and his wife

“My husband left me…” She had just given birth and was desperate

To set the scene: This lady was so attached to the life she though she was going to live, she had been putting up with terribly unkind and destructive behaviours from her husband. 

Desperate to get the life she wanted back on track she came to me for help. She wanted me to fix her marriage and help her husband regain his sanity – They had a new born and her husband had just decided to move out of the family home, she had no idea why.

What she didn’t know was her husband was actually having an affair. He had kept it a secret from her and from me through the sessions which essentially gave his wife no hope as he was secretly emotionally invested elsewhere. [Read more...]

Avoiding unhappiness is not the road to happiness

When I really understood what this meant my life totally changed forever and is foundational in my clients transformation(s). You see the act of moving away from what you don’t want (unhappiness) does not necessarily move you towards what you do want.

In fact the act of moving away from what we don’t want “our fears” is highly likely to make those fears come true.

One lady came to me last year, she had discovered that her husband had been having an affair. When I asked her about the relationship from her perspective she told me this was her biggest fear.

She said she knew this would happen. She knew he would have an affair. [Read more...]

Should we save our marriage?

Saving a marriage can seem an impossible feat especially if you’re in a marriage where no matter what you do it doesn’t seem to have any positive effect. It’s especially challenging when the trust is broken and for some, impossible when years of disconnection helps the individuals feel their love has died permanently.

Feelings in these situation are powerful, but many couples are learning that what they feel today can change. So trusting feelings that can break up a family must be met with some caution.

Most of the couples I work with come for my help through personal recommendations, or from professional recommendations such as Lawyers, GP’s, Psychologists etc.

Personally am very proud of the results couples are receiving. A recent couple said “…without my help their marriage would now be over”. This couple is Case No.1** illustrated below. [Read more...]

Affairs – Infidelity – Cheating is it a sign of things to come or simply a wake-up call?

I’m sure it comes as no surprise that dealing with Infidelity makes up a significant percentage of my work with couples. In these situations my job isn’t just to save their marriage, it’s to learn how they got into this position and to help the couple discover if it’s possible to rebuild a dynamic that works for them both.

Sadly many people who embark on affairs are not understanding what’s happening within them. For some they are putting a relationship they want to keep on the line.

For others they could be keeping a relationship artificially alive that is actually dead whilst their needs are meet through the new secret relationship. [Read more...]

How to move a relationship out of crisis?

If you are in crisis and you want to make a change in your relationship then it’s critical that the process of making that change is understood if you are to be successful.

The most common scenario I see is when one person feels the relationship has died. They have lost their feelings for their partner and do not know how to get their feelings back. Some of course don’t even want to try.

One person is likely to be in a position where they are desperate to save the relationship and they can get very busy trying to stop them leaving.

Individuals panicking to save their relationship will usually notice they are making their fragile situation much worse through taking the wrong actions. The result is they are likely to see their partner become more detached the more they try to keep them in the relationship. Both people can now feel stuck. [Read more...]

Infidelity, depression, suicidality

What do you do when a man enters your session telling you he’s afraid he will end up killing himself. He was breaking down and didn’t know how to stop it. 

So confused he came to me with a quest to save his relationship which was really dead for him and his partner. 

This gentleman is a well known professional in his field and has been kind enough to share his words after a few weeks of us working together. He has asked for his words below to remain anonymous.

A 20 year relationship ended by my infidelity, and a breakdown which came seemingly out of nowhere when I ended the affair were the just the start of my problems.

I approached Stephen because I felt I had never given my long term relationship with the mother of my children a fair chance.  I believed that my addictive reaction to my affair partner had doomed my attempts at rebuilding the relationship when it first fell apart. [Read more...]