“My partner doesn’t want to attend couples counselling – what do I do?”

What do you do when one person is desperate to get professional help and the other person will not go? I know for many this situation is so frustrating because they feel so stuck. 

Far too many people wait until they are on the edge of divorce before they are willing to seek help and this causes them significant stress that could have been avoided.

Fortunately there is a solution to help you be heard…

Before i jump into this post I wanted to give you two pieces of news.

  1. The better relationship program offer ends in 6 days – please hurry I only offer this program twice per year. Click here to attend
  2. I have now opened my home in Oxfordshire for couples to spend time with me in addition to my Harley Street office.

In todays post I thought it might be useful to expand on this topic of a partner blocking attending counselling, because I hear this so many times.

There are many reasons that can sit behind this specific problem. [Read more...]

Please Save Our Marriage! – Testimonial

Please Save Our Marriage! This was the first email I recieved from Darren and Sue, they were at breaking point.

When they first entered my clinic you could cut the atmosphere with a knife. This was a couple with young children on the edge, breaking up seemed like the only option open to them…

Sue recounts what happened next…

When Darren and I first came to see Stephen, Darren and I were very disconnected in our relationship. We were in the midst of a power struggle and were successfully bringing out the worst in each other in our relationship. I had pretty much lost hope [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...]

Real People Real Stories: I lived with a narcissist for 14 years!

…so I went to Stephen for break up counselling.

“My divorce lawyers were worried about me, once I had met Stephen they were so impressed. It helped me to be stronger through the divorce process and more clearer in thought.  More able to fight for myself.”

Her Story starts here…

She tells the story of her personal horror, how she was controlled and mentally abused. How she took back control of her future and is rebuilding her identity her strength and her life. [Read more...]

We all Need to Be Loved…

Not understanding this post can destroy perfectly good relationships and break up families, so it is important to understand. Also if you are dating, or looking for love this is critical, because this process, unchecked can help you attract people who like the fearful version of you and that’s a recipe for disaster.

  • So please read this a few times and share it with those you care for, you could just save their lives from pain too…

No matter how tough a person is, on some level being loved is important to all of us. Creating meaningful connections with others is a part of our make-up as humans. It’s a part of our Critical Needs list.

When working with couples, finding out their views and perspectives on Love in a relationship is an important part of helping them understand why and how any relationship can stop working when the Love stops.

Love is something people want, they want it so much they fear not getting it. So the process of giving it and not getting it back is a painful one for many. Those that really fear not getting it, even block the possibility of it, so stop looking for relationships.

Pain is something we don’t want, so most decide to not give love unless they feel safe to do so.

This means the person is on a rollercoaster of giving and withholding love in constant reaction to what their partner does, ironically their partner will be doing the same.

So at this point we know the individuals need love, but usually they won’t give it unless they get love first. People usual withhold because they don’t feel certain they will be loved back, or they don’t feel important to their partner on some level.

For them these are logical perspectives, some will withhold love to punish. In fact anyone’s not giving love because of what they are NOT getting is punishing their partner on some level.

What’s interesting is when questioned, no one has felt more love when their partner punishes them! Yet they carry on regardless.

My next question is how important is love to the couple. Individually they both usually agree that love is really important to them.

I then ask “ …is love important some of the time, or all of the time?” Most answer, all the time (the ones that answer some of the time are usually in significant fear and will be helped because values can’t work “some of the time” because they cause the person pain.)

So if love is important, and it’s important all the time and we know that the person will turn off their love if they don’t feel safe to give it. We now know what the person says and what the person does will be different, this creates an internal conflict that ignites fears.

This inability to trust ourselves further magnifies our fears, because if trust doesn’t feel present in the relationship combined with a lack of love the relationship dies, no matter where that lack of trust, or love is coming from.

You see if you withhold your love to keep you safe the relationship dies. So you are not safe if you stop givng love!

The laws of fears come in to action if you focus on a fear, the fear becomes ignited. So if you fear not being loved then the process of withholding your love changes your behaviours.

If you change how you behave, you present a different version of you to the relationship in other words you change into a fearful you. This fearful version of you is likely to cause problems and destroy the very thing you want to keep.

Of course when I say destroy the relationship this takes many forms, some break-up, some stay together, but in a passionless existence.

If the couple are doing the same i.e. withholding love, when they are not getting it, the relationship dies, bit-by-bit over time.

So you see you are far safer giving love than not…

What’s also interesting to learn here is that the way we feel Love is through the process of giving. When our partner creates words and behaviours and we translate those behaviours in to acts of love, we in return give them love.

It is at the point we give them love is when our love is felt. So the love is actually created by us, our partners don’t have magical powers to give us feelings, we create all our own feelings. So if the love is created by us and we want to feel love, GIVE LOVE today and every day. GIVE LOVE to those you love and watch how you feel as you do.

At this point many comment, how can I give love when my partner is being so horrible.

Firstly never change you and go to fear in reaction to others this harms you. If love is important to you, stay true to you and give love no matter what. It is far better that you remain loving even if you partner is not.

Then make sure you understand why they have reacting this way. It could be due to their fears that the relationship is dying, they could be trying to save the relationship too.

Take off the assumption that they are trying to hurt you, their pain could be a cry for help where if love was present they would feel safe again.

In summary withholding love doesn’t create love, it creates fear. Fear destroys relationships, futures and families.

If you would like to know more please get in touch, or maybe you have a comment to make if so please do below.

Remember please share this post with all those you care about.

One more point that is important, I have talked about internal conflict this is critical to avoid because long term exposure can cause, stress, depression, anxiety and many other physical problems.

Surviving a relationship break up

If you are going through a relationship break up, or you are struggling to get over a relationship, even though many months have past, it’s very likely that you will be running the same questions, thoughts or movies in your mind over and over in your head.

You might wake in the morning and just for a split second you forget what’s happened and then the horror reveals itself.

You go through the day determined it will get better, but everything seems to remind you of your ex, pulling you back to the how’s and why’s, the confusions and fears.

Some of my clients that have or are going through such traumatic times will all react differently, some get angry, some get depressed, some escape inside themselves, some leave the country. Some look for love from friends and family, some redecorate, some buy new clothes, some re-style their hair.

But whatever they do nothing seems to work! The pain doesn’t go!

You see these people are running patterns that they think will keep them safe through their pain, but it’s doesn’t work.

Many say time is a healer, but unless the individual learns from what’s happened, all time will achieve is a harder, bitter version of them ready for the next bout of pain.

Time will only heal if you know what to do with that time.

You see, break ups are usually full of negative emotional states, creating lack of confidence, self doubt, stress, depression, anger, revenge, hatred etc…

All those feelings are based on one thing… FEAR.

  • Fear of not being enough
  • Fear of not being loved

If all that comes out of a break up is a tougher you, or a depressed, or angry you then this is FEAR at play here too.

The goal in life is to remove your FEARS only then will you be truly free.

FEARS are powerful, they will create states within you that stop you living the life you were born to live. FEARS change the way you behave and so they will redesign your future if you don’t learn how to take control of them.

Fears also shut down the internal mechanisms designed to keep you safe long term. FEARS are designed to get you out of danger fast. But when you are in bed at night you are not in danger the only thing to fear is your own mind, out of control torturing you all over again.

So is fear your enemy? No the fears are designed to help you to change what you are doing and what you are thinking.

The problem is most people don’t know what to change and how to change and that’s why they stay stuck.

If you need help please get in touch because there is a way to a new freedom, confidence for you if you want it. This is not about changing you, it’s about reclaiming the real you, the wonderful you that sits inside trapped!

Is it time to… free that person within you now?!

Should I break up with my partner?

Many people unhappy in their relationship get to the point where they start to seriously wonder, “…should I break up with my partner?” Husband, Wife, Girlfriend, Boyfriend whoever you are there comes a point in your relationship where this question comes up.

There is a whole variety of reactions to this question.

  • Some just feel so bad so they bolt from the relationship.
  • Some wait a while, on the look out for more proof they are incompatible.
  • Some put their head in the sand and focus on friends, family, or work in the hope it will sort itself out.
  • Some separate hoping the space will help them miss each other, or give them time to reflect on what feels right now they are out of the pressure cooker.

Does any of this work?

The chances of this really working is slim, because the reason the couple were having problems has not been addressed. The reason is because the couple will be totally unaware of what is driving them at a subconscious level. This means behaviours and feelings are being created without conscious thought. [Read more...]

Relationship Break Up Ruined My life

When two people make a promise to love each other forever, and in many cases for better or for worse, the shock of a break up is like being hit by a train and plunged into darkness.

Even those that know the relationship has not been working are totally devastated when reality strikes and their partner just gives up and leaves.

You still love them, but you hate them too, you want them back, but you don’t.

The future you had hoped for is ripped from you, and you are plunged into massive uncertainty that is so scary that you can feel a shift in you, you didn’t think was humanly possible.

Of course everyone reacts differently, but these are just some of the powerful emotions that a break up causes, add children into the mix and the fall out can be massively magnified, although children can help to keep the sanity as their survival becomes more critical than your own. [Read more...]

“I had become a walking corpse…”

Anna had a very simple goal she just wanted to be loved. A traumatic history combined with an unexpected break-up 2.5 years ago had paralysed Anna and almost frozen her in time. After an initial telephone consultation I knew I had to act fast. She came to see me 3 weeks ago. She had one session with me and we have been in contact over email one / twice a week.

Anna writes: My update since I first saw Stephen 3 weeks ago:

I decided to contact Stephen after yet another lonely weekend, a weekend working rather then going out. Working had become my safety blanket, running away from my sadness and disappointment that had left me disabled and destroyed 2.5 years ago.

The man I had loved with all my heart and I thought would be my husband had left me 2.5 years before after 5 (what I though happy) years for a married woman and he dumped me via a phone call, citing not wanting to have children with me as the major reason. Yet the woman he left me for had two children, not to mention that she was still married.

This sudden and traumatic breakup had caused my world to come crashing down around and me and everything I had believed in. I had been a walking corpse for the past 2.5 years, existing, drowning myself in work 24/7 to escape the tears, blind rage, all consuming anger and disabling anxiety that were always on stand by and ready to flow/come out if I had a spare minute. [Read more...]

Why do so many couples break up?

Couples all over the world are breaking up, tearing families apart, hurting those they promised to love and care for. The question is why and what can we do about it?

What is it that really makes the difference? What is it that couples are doing, or not doing to enable this massive tidal wave of destruction especially to those that have children.

What I have seen first hand that makes the difference is the following:

  • Understand why you are together and what is your purpose. Many couples have no idea and love is not a strong enough reason on it’s own.
  • Who are you really and what impact has your life had on you so far. The past will come back to bite you if you don’t deal with it.
  • How should your future life and relationship be for you? Don’t assume your partners’ is the same.
  • Understand your own critical needs and what is really important to you and why.
  • Making a plan so you share a vision for a future you can both work towards.
  • Never judge your partner, because your not qualified
  • Never making them wrong, because it could be your assumption that they are.
  • Understand how you will both deal with conflicts when they strike, because they will.

The thing is if you don’t know who you really are, then how can you communicate that to your partner. If you don’t communicate how you see your future then how will your partner know if it fits with their vision. If you don’t know what you really need to be happy then how can your partner know?

Many people tell me they have no idea what they want their future to be like. If this is the case how can they commit their undefined lives to someone else. It is a blind commitment with costly consequences if it goes wrong which a crossed figher strategy is likely to create.

One of the biggest problems I come across is the lack of team work in relationships, they agree to do all the perceived big things such as get married, buy a house have kids. But they do this with no real planning in fact for many that is the plan.

So is it little wonder why so many people become depressed after these big events, the working together comes to a grinding halt! The relationship now has no direction and it’s not long before the couple feel it. Boredom, stale, passionless, groundhog day relationships are created as the relationship stops meeting their needs, and more and more external forces starts to take the place of the relationship.

Many think that relationships are natural things out of their control and so they go with the flow of how they feel, not understanding that they have to actually do something.

The bottom line is for you to live the life you want you have to be YOU. From dating to long-term relationships.

There are more problems: Many people don’t know that their life conditions and experiences can create very different version of their true selves, selves that they designed to cope with past highly charged emotional events.

If this version of themselves worked for them at the time, they could use this as a coping strategy for other times in their lives that present similar pressures. This becomes them and can destroy their lives as they live in fear, but to them that is normal.

So those looking for a relationship who fear something in relationships will present that fearful version to those they are trying to attract and consequently will attract those who like the fearful version of them. So the relationship has started on a distortion, or individuals can become fearful when in a relationship and create the very thing they fear through distorted behaviours.

All of the above is applicable from those in search of someone to share their lives with to couples in long-term relationships.

Understand how you and relationships work is critical to lasting love, don’t leave your relationship to chance the cost is too high.

The Steps To Getting Over A Break Up

I see people from all walks of life broken hearted due to the break up of their relationship. Hard as they try they cannot seem to get their painful feelings to go away.

Everything is a reminder of what they have lost, and instead of the painful feelings fading as everyone promised their feelings just seem to carry on relentlessly.

For people who experience this it’s like they are stuck in time, the world is moving around them, but they are frozen never really sure what to do to help themselves.

I see a lot of people seeking help with their break up. Below are the steps I take to help these people go from helplessness to living fun and happy lives again.

  • Step 1 – Understand their perception of where they think they are and what’s happened.

  • Step 2 – Get the client to see their relationship reality from a perspective of their true needs and values

  • Step 3 – Build a compelling future that builds self-esteem and confidence

  • Step 4 – Set action based building blocks to make the change the client desires.

The steps in more detail

  • Step 1 – Understand their perception of where they think they are and what’s happened.

Due to the shock of the actual break up and the possible months and sometimes years of problems leading to the break up, individuals can live very distorted lives. They can also create illusions of how wonderful their relationship is or was and keep remembering that perfect image. Whatever distortion they are experiencing my first job is to understand what they are doing to create the feelings they don’t want.

  • Step 2 – Get the client to see their relationship reality from a perspective of their true needs and values.

Step-by-step through critical questions the clients watches a reality they never knew existed unfold before their eyes. What this uncovers is the real truth behind why they were so unhappy in the relationship. This takes off the distortion the client used to experience as the truth. I will also help the client to collapse the meanings behind the distorted images they created that leads them to despair.

  • Step 3 – Build a compelling future that build self-esteem and confidence.

The next step is to build the clients inner strength through further understanding of how they work and why they do what they do. This can take the form of a deeper knowledge of their past and how the different versions of them were created and what they were created for. This process uncovers more truth and understanding that moves the client away from their past fears and towards a place of freedom, peace and happiness.

  • Step 4 – Set action based building blocks to make the change the client desires.

Get the client to commit to taking massive action towards creating a different story. We all create stories of our lives and so when one story ends a new one emerges. The goal is to create a story that is so compelling and powerful it dwarfs the old one thus completing the change.

The client learns how to create a win-win situation for his or her life. Relationship break up is a time for growth if approached in a constructive way.

At the end of these session the client discovers that they are armed to be able to control their emotional states and know how to choose partners that are more compatible with them. They then go into relationships with their eyes wide open know what to look for and what will make them happy.

How To Reinvent You After A Break Up

The Mail Online reported yesterday that, Ultimate Big Brother’s Chantelle admits: ‘I should have had therapy after my divorce, not plastic surgery’

Women in particular feel a big need to change their appearance to help them feel good after a relationship break up. The problem is because the change they usually choose is external the initial feelings are artificial and so they don’t last very long.

A woman’s natural beauty and confidence comes from within her and so unless she puts her focus into this area of her life and herself she will always ultimately feel the same no matter what she does to her hair, clothes, make-up and now the extreme make-over, plastic surgery.

If a woman really wants to reinvent herself what she needs to do is understand that she has many versions of her already and the shift to get from the painful and fearful version of her into the version that will make her feel happy, attractive and sexy again will never happen though any external intervention long-term.

The many versions of you

Imagine if you knew all the different parts of you, and you knew how to bring them out on demand.

  • The fun you
  • The sexy you
  • The you that always knows what to do to make you happy and keep you safe.

In that process of getting to know these different versions of you and in women there are 20+, you’ll also get to retire the versions of you which feel exhausted at the life you have been living, these parts of you that might always be worried or fearful, maybe depressed or anxious.

When life conditions change people change automatically

When relationships are in trouble both parties go into fear states where they are protecting themselves from what might happen in the future.

If their relationship problems have been going on for a while they can get stuck in these fears states and so they live in a distorted version of themselves always on the look out for problems.

So if the fear was massive as in Chantelle’s case she would go for a big change, which if you have watched the UK’s Channel 4 programme “Ultimate Big Brother” you can see that after her surgery she didn’t get the change she really wanted… She is not alone!

If you would like more information on how to get to know the different versions of you or you would like help with your break up and how to reinvent you so it lasts please click here

How To Cope With A Break-up

If you are suffering from the effects of a relationship split and want to know how to cope with a break-up then this may help you.  At the end of this piece I have a quick tip on how to control your feelings.

Most break-ups happen due to confusion of what the individuals are feeling and what it really means. They feel bad, attach those feelings to the relationships and so the relationship dies.

Many people who have asked for a divorce have regretted it later, because the feeling they attach to the relationships goes away when they are apart, and they are left with no good reason to be apart, unfortunately most of the time it’s too late.

Understanding your break-up

Those that come to me through coaching on how to cope with break-ups, get to understand in detail, why their break-up happened and this helps them to understand if the break-up happened for the right or wrong reasons.

This empowers them to know what actions to take. Could be to fix the relationship they were in, or walk away sound in the knowledge that what happened, happened for good reason.

Having said all this logical stuff, that still leaves you with feelings that are probably making you feel bad.

Understanding why you feel bad

These feeling are as a direct result of where your mind is focused.

What no one ever teaches us is that we can direct our mind to something else. The reason we don’t believe this is because not only is our reaction automatic, but if you have ever tried to get rid of a bad feeling it always comes back.

This happens because you are conditioned to focus on everything that is bad, society has taught you how to do this. What society has not taught you is there is another choice, and you can choose what to feel.

Removing the break up pain tip

The fact is this, not being with your ex-partner is not what you are upset about, even though you think it is, it’s the focus you have put on that break up and the meaning you have given to it is what‘s causing you pain.

So are you focused on all the past memories, or the future you designed, or maybe both?

With practice you can learn how to focus your mind to more pleasurable things by making the break-up a good thing.

  • Please note: Before you do this please be 100% sure you want this person out of your life.

Make a list of everything that was not right with your ex-relationship and with each thing you find really focus on how bad each thing was and how over time it would have become 100 times worse as they became used to you. Notice if this happened how miserable you would have been and keep their face in your mind as you imagine this life of growing hell year after year after year.

When you have completed your list then write about all the great opportunities you now have that being with your ex stopped you doing.

Now start to design the life you really want, and this time keep your focus on who you have to be, to be able to attract the person you really want.

Important: This is your chance…

And now show yourself gratitude for giving yourself a real chance of being really happy with someone who will stop at nothing to make sure you are 100% secure in the relationship, someone who will give your relationship passion, adventure and fun, whilst making you the most important thing in their world.

They will show you a love you have never felt before and they will serve your relationship tirelessly to help it and you grow into the person you have always wanted to be, constantly giving to you and never asking for anything in return.

They will do this because they know this is the only route to unconditional love the one thing you have always dreams of and thought you were only safe to have with your children.

Quick Relationship Tips – Assumptions Equals Break Up!

One of the biggest reason couples split up is because they assume they know the meanings behind what their partner does or says.

I hear many couples telling each other what they meant and then they argue about it.

These assumptions can build up stacking more and more untruths on top of each other.

These untruths build up a negative set of beliefs and before long the victim of this bad press gets blamed for all the wrongs they have done.

Confused they defend themselves and this only make the situation worse.

Never assume your partner has a negative intention in anything they say or do because most of the time you will be wrong.

If you are unsure or confused then ask them what they meant.

How To Mend A Broken Heart

The steps for how to mend a broken heartGetting involved in relationships no matter what age you are can be the most amazing experience and the most traumatic.

When someone experiences a break up the whole world comes to a grinding halt.

The pain can be excruciating, you try everything to get away from the pain but nothing works, it follows you everywhere even into your dreams.

You feel there is nothing you can do… but there is…

Anyone with a broken heart will run situations, conversations or images of their partner and what happened over and over in their head.

It is this constant focus on all this information related to what has happened is what’s causing the pain.

What also happens is the person goes through a grieving process where the future they imagined now cannot exist so they feel a sense of loss.

How to stop the pain…

Turn your focus to you an image of you both together in five years time, both unhappy and arguing, you comfort eating and gaining weight he’s out drinking and chatting up easy girls – in other words create a future you don’t want and run that one over and over.

Whatever your focus on make sure it’s an image of the life you don’t want.

This way your focus will change and the pain will go faster…

If you need help call me.

Punish Your Partner At Your Peril

I was recently reading that one of the top reasons relationships break up is due to wives moaning at their husbands.

Now! I know that when a woman complains, the words she uses bears no relationship to the real reason she is complaining, but the man doesn

How to deal with a break-up

Dealing with a break up is one of the hardest times anyone can experience.

When a relationship ends you can be left feeling empty like someone ripped out your heart, you feel emotionally drained, your world is upside down, everything looks and feels different. All you want is the pain to go away.

  • Did you break up, you know it