We just can’t seem to communicate

One of the biggest obstacles to a successful marriage I see over and over again is the inability to communicate effectively. Communication problems are significant blocks for lasting passion and intimacy, so this one is a must to learn.

Without a doubt men and women confuse each other constantly and this causes so much suffering. As you scan through this post I wonder what you will start to experience as you think about your relationship?

There is a very famous story in my world I want to share with you first, but I can’t remember where I heard it.

“A man is driving on a motorway with his wife in the passenger seat. She sees a sign that says motorway services 1 mile. She turns to her husband and says….

“… are you hungry darling?”

He responds with a direct “NO!” and then without a word he drives past the services. [Read more...]

Unhappy marriage: Communication problems? Going round in circles? Then this is for you…

Todays communication is really important to understand because the message you’ll receive is a significant bridge that helps couples maintain attraction which is critical.

Have you ever spoken to your partner and felt they understood what you said only to watch them behave in ways that prove they didn’t?

Do you feel like you are banging your head against a brick wall as you struggle to be heard or understood?

Are you starting to feel that communication is impossible with your partner and there is no point in speaking.

Circular conflicts are very common in relationships because couples are not aware of what their partner is hearing or feeling, when they are speaking.

Many people helping couples in these types of situations teach something called “active listening” which means the person is 100% present with what the other person is saying. They are not distracted by what they want to say next, or by something else.

Active listening is very valuable, but…

…what if what’s being said is not the real problem?

This is a very common problem. [Read more...]

Marriage in trouble? Need a rescue action plan?

Unless a couple understands how to create a meaningful connection for both people it’s not long before all couples will start to experience problems. 

As you go through this post you will read about a couple who was at the end and they needed a swift rescue plan as they were starting to talk about divorce.

No matter how good their relationship, all couples will break it. All couples have a problem and this is NOT knowing how to repair it successfully.

How many times do couples find themselves arguing today about problems from years ago? This is an indicator of old problems not being solved and today they are just another stacked resentment. [Read more...]

#701: Marriages are failing because of a lack of action

Couples are not seeing the danger they are in until the danger is upon them. Lack of action causes the many problems that ultimately lead a couple to divorce.

Couples who are looking to stop their problems must now take the action(s) that are going to heal the specific situation they are in. They must then take the action(s) that ensures the relationship will last.

What the couples were not aware of is they should have been taking specific actions from the first day they met.

The problem: People feel good when they first meet and they don’t question why, or how their feeling(s) were created. [Read more...]

5 Core Foundations Needed For A Successful Marriage?

If you want a successful marriage then getting the right foundations in place is going to be critical to ensuring it’s survival. If your marriage is in trouble and these foundations have not been in place then you’ll start to understand why things are going wrong.

Intimate relationships are riddled with hidden problems that no one is either aware of or talks about.

So to avoid these problems these core foundations are needed if you are both going to make a real difference to each other.

I have spilt these into 5 foundational topics to help you. [Read more...]

Masterclass series Part 4: How to create great communication skills that will connect you with your partner for life

Communication is one of the most critical keys if you want a successful relationship for life. It opens the pathway for  couples to feel they are a team working together towards a future that makes sense to both of them.

So what are the pitfalls that so many couples fall into?

The challenge I see with all couples in crisis is they struggle to really hear what the other person is really saying.

The result is they hear what they think their partner is saying rather than the real intention behind the persons words.

Both men and women suffer with this problem and it has the power to shut relationships down. [Read more...]

Masterclass series Part 3: How to keep your sexual energy alive

A couple who are not sexually connected are basically friends or roommates and for many they are not even that. I hear so many couples share how they have been sexually disconnected for 10+ years. It’s shocking to hear and so important to get right.

This Masterclass Series is all about helping couples avoid getting into these situations, however if you are in crisis this information is going to be valuable to you too. As you read through this post you’ll start to see what builds to make sexual connection so much easier.

So imagine this, a couple who tell me they are in crisis enter my session. They tell me they have spent six weeks with a sex therapist and the result is the relationship is now much worse than when they started. They are now discussing splitting-up.

I asked them why did they feel that a sex therapist was the right route for them?

They explained that the relationship had been dead sexually for 2 years and [Read more...]

“Why are you not helping your sister?”

I had to share this personal Hedger family story with you, the story in this post today is responsible for significant breakdown in marriages across the world, and it could be easily avoided.

In the moment this situation made me smile, however the bigger picture has far more serious consequences if the lesson is not learnt.

I can’t stress enough how important this is…

So picture this, Cloe and I are sitting down for dinner with the children, it’s a typical evening at the Hedger house. On this occasion I tell the children that Cloe and I have something important to discuss privately and their help with clearing up after dinner would be much appreciated.

Over the years Cloe and I have encouraged the children to [Read more...]

You just don’t care about me!

She was desperate, she had tried and tried to get through to him. In the early days he did his best to comfort her, she liked the attention, but she knew deep down he didn’t really understand her.

As time passed she tried to get through to him, but his patience worn thin, no matter what he did she was miserable, rude and aggressive. He felt controlled, disrespected and untrusted. He tried to fix her problems, but she lacked respect for him and his efforts. He felt life with her was hopeless, he knew communication was fruitless so he stopped.

This worried her and so she became more upset, she said things she didn’t mean through frustration, she hoped he would wake up to her emotions. He didn’t, the more upset she became the more he retreated. Sometimes through frustration he would attack her verbally other times he would shut down and escape, sometimes physically, sometimes emotionally. [Read more...]

A small shift of focus created a different world for her.

Knowing how to repair a relationship when it goes wrong is critical for any couples survival and is the responsibility of both people in the relationship. To do this you have to understand your partner, how they think, how they translate information and what’s important to them.

This lady needed all this information and more to be able to get through to her partner. She needed to be able to connect with him, but didn’t know how.

At the point of writing to me she had only spoken to me once over the phone she was pregnant and very fearful.

These are her words

I contacted Stephen after we had been seeing a counsellor for almost a year and she left the company which meant our weekly sessions stopped. Within two weeks of her leaving my partner and I had separated (I.E. He moved out). [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...]

I was on the verge of breaking a 4 year relationship

Loss of communication, lack of understanding, lack of respect and vision for the future now gone. Anyone could see this relationship was dead.

In fact it was dead, but the death was not permanent. This couple invested their time into my premium 3 month Divorce Prevention Program.

Just like many others they learnt how to rebuild their relationship from the ground up. [Read more...]

Learn how to listen to those you love?

Statistically a great many of people come for help because their lines of effective communication have broken down. They become almost stuck in the same old patterns of communication going round in circles…

It’s critical to understand your partners’ message when they speak, because if you don’t understand them, what can happen is you could misunderstand their message to you.

This can change your behaviours and that could change your future.

So the first step is to never assume you know what they mean, if they complain to you because the way you have taken their message is wrong, the chances are they are right, after all they knew their intent and motivation to communicate to you. [Read more...]

Communication Rules For Relationships

Following in on from communication skills post from yesterday, without some boundaries in place for communication then all sorts of problems can occur.

To help couples create more harmony I help them to understand some simple rules they can both live by.

Never Judge your partner:

The only way we can be qualified to judge our partners is if we were actually them, this is because the meanings we all give to our own words are based on many hidden factors and our past is one of them. If someone judged us then it would assume they understood how we arrived at our meanings.

That would mean they understood your past and many other factors too, of course they don’t…

When their words don’t make sence

So instead of focusing on your partner words that don’t seem to make sense to you, words that could be open to your judgement, focus on their emotional state.

After all, do you really need to understand everything before you will see the person you love is in pain and all he or she needs is love?

So never assume you understand your partners words and don’t judge them – you are not qualified.

Effective Communication Skills in Relationships

What are the meanings behind your partner words? Many of us react to our partner words without stopping to think, what did they really mean?

Listening is one of the most critical parts of communication, but in personal relationships the emotions are usually high and we can react before we think and before you know it we have a war on our hands.

One of the biggest complaints I hear in relationships is he or she doesn’t understand me.

So when your partner is speaking with you next, take your time to listen to their words.  Our natural response is to put our own meanings to their words, but of course by doing this you’ll miss their point totally. This can cause conflict.

Because men and women communicate so differently and emotions can run high it is critical to understand each others true meanings behind their words.

So ask them what they meant and see if your initial reaction was going to be the right one.

I run this in sessions and couples are generally shocked at how wrong they are when the meaning behind each others words are explored.

Why Do Men Leave Relationships?

So many women on the brink of a relationship breakdown want to know why their husband / boyfriend seems to have given up. Those whose husbands/boyfriends have left them are confused and are left with the question… WHY?

Why did he leave? Or why has he given up, or stopped trying? Why did he never speak about his feelings?

The reason any man wants to leave a relationship is because he feels he has done all he can to get his partner to be happy. He may also feel that he is not enough for her, but either way it is a feeling of failure on some level and a feeling that if he stays with her his life will never be how he wants it to be.

One of the hardest concepts to get across to women, especially ones who are having a bad time with their partner is that the man is hard-wired to please his partner. He will do this with great enthusiasm is the early day of the relationship. Then as it always does something goes wrong and he sees that it is possible not to please her all the time. [Read more...]

Pre Marriage Coaching Why It’s Critical?

Many couples who decide to marry don’t consider looking for guidance with their relationship. After all “…what could possibiley go wrong?…” My job is to help all couples of all ages that have yet to experience what’s to come with their new  relationship, avoid the pitfalls. I help couples discover how relationships really last long-term and I don’t mean just last, I mean last with passion.

Loss of your sex life will be the first casulity

So here is the a typical myth that exists and is widely accepted. Sex, passion and intimacy dies as times passes… This is totally untrue, and should not be accepted.

Of course if the relationship suffers in any way the first thing to go is the sex. Men discover that as soon as their partner becomes upset any sexual activity grinds to a surprising halt.

Just imagine if you don’t know what to do to keep your relationship growing and alive, your sex life will disappear and you’re now legally tied to the same person possibly with children. [Read more...]

Why Assumptions Can Harm Relationships

Many couples argue about what the other person meant when they said something.

This process starts when one person listens to their partners words, and converts those words into their own meanings, and then repeats back their translation, making their partner responsible for that translation and the new meaning behind it.

Of course the person doing the translating is making a massive assumption, that they understand the intention behind their partners words.

  • There is no way any of us can truly understand what is in someone’s mind when they speak to us, so making any assumption to the real meaning is unfair on both you, and your partner.

We need assumptions in day-to-day life

The problem is we live every day making assumptions about everything, we do it because it is a short cut to getting through our day. Imagine having to know the exact meaning behind everything anyone says to us, we would never get anything done.

Assumptions in relationships tend to create conflict

However where your partner is concerned making an assumption is a dangerous game, because we are socially conditioned to think the worst first.

So what happens is, if we are confused by what our partners say, we translate it into something that makes sense to us and then we tell our partners what they meant. This creates fury in those being blamed for saying something they didn’t and an argument erupts.

If you are the victim of this situation, what is most upsetting is the automatic assumption that our partner has assumed we would do something to hurt them on purpose.

This is because it shakes the core foundations of our relationships, “trust, respect, integrity, honesty etc…” Plus we feel judged and made to feel wrong. This now creates a two way street of resentment in the relationship in that moment.

  • Resentment is a pathway to a break-up and so we can feel insecure and uncomfortable about the relationship.

Men and women communicate in very different ways

The big reason why getting clear on your partner meanings is so critical is because men and women also communicate very differently. Men tend to be very direct in their communication and women can be indirect.

So if a man is listening to a woman his chances of understanding her true meaning if he takes her words literally are very slim, especially if she is upset and she is testing him, because she feels unsafe on some level.

Of course the woman will do the same, for example if the man is quiet she will assume something is wrong. That because when women go quiet generally there is something wrong. But for men they are happy when they are quiet.

These are of course generalisation and potentially assumptions as not all men are from mars and not all women are from venus, so the message here is clear...

…Know you can never possibility know what you partner means, so you can never make them wrong in the moment. Discover their meanings behind their words or actions by asking. When they tell you what they meant, accept what they say because they understand their meanings far more than you do.

If you are going to make an assumption, always assume your partner loves you, even when it seems like they don’t.

  • If you would like more information on the sexes and the differences in communication or you are having communication issues in your relationship contact me today.

Why Relationships Stop Growing & Start Dying

What has to happen for anything to grow? It needs some kind of action towards a goal. If it does not get what it needs to grow the result is, it has to die! Everything on earth works this way including relationships. So make sure that what you are doing does not stop growth, because you may live to regret it.

Every relationship is very different so each person requires different specific actions to enable growth. More importantly the relationships growth has to please both people, and help them to feel they are also growing as individuals within the relationship.

So the direction the relationship is heading in is critical.

If the relationship has no goal, it then becomes directionless and this means the relationship is lost and starts to lose it’s reason for being. When this happens the couple start to notice something is wrong and they go in search of problems.

The amount of couples that decide to commit whole lives to each other with no plan for themselves, or their relationship, other than love in the moment is staggering and is a key factor in divorce.

So what happens is each person in the couple has a very loose vision of how their lives should be. They don’t communicate that vision in real terms until they start to feel bad and feel that something is not quite right.

Both people in the relationship will have a totally different vision of how life should be. The bigger the gap the more uncomfortable they will be with their current direction and therefore each other.

Lack of vision causes relationship break-ups

As you can see a lack of communication and a lack of vision, never expressed in real terms causes massive problems. If the couple do not create a series of exciting goals the relationship will feel dead and this will create distance and a feeling that they are in the wrong life with the wrong person.

Getting married buying a house having kids are all great goals, but what comes next. Unless you plan to have an exciting rich life you will never have one, both individually and together.

If you don’t plan a clear direction the world or others will take over, and one day you will wake up look around you and think how did I get here and say…

“THIS IS NOT HOW MY LIFE SHOULD BE!”

At that moment you have one person to blame! YOU! …Take charge of your own future, life and relationship today!

We Just Can’t Seem To Talk Anymore

When a couple experiences a communication breakdown in marriage. What happens is they start off fighting to get their point across to each other. The couple don’t see that their anger and energy is an expression of their love, passion and frustration all at once, which at that moment in time is directed into a cry for help.

  • If their partner does not see this as a cry for help, they will start off a destructive loop of punishing each other in their quest to get back to love.

If the couple experience this situation for too long what can happen is they start to see that no matter what they do, they can’t seem to get through to their partner so they can start to give-up, and although the arguments do stop, they are stopping for all the wrong reasons.

  • The couple no longer see the point of communicating at all.

Communication breakdown – Get aware of what you are doing fast!

If the couple give-up arguing in this destructive state of hopelessness, the relationship is in real danger. One person in the relationship has to get sane very quickly to save the relationship.

Each person in the relationship has to take 100% responsibility for the relationship. This puts the individuals back in control of the relationship and no longer in a place of helplessness where they think they are only capable of being responsible for their half of the relationship.

Communication breakdown steps to disaster

Many couples are to focused on being right or winning arguments and so what happens when they don’t get what they want they pull their, attention and love away to punish their partner.

  • They are under the illusion that doing this teaches their partner a lesson so they won’t do this again.

There is never ever any place in a relationship where punishment works ever! If you punish your partner prepare yourself for more pain.

Because if your partner shares your model, that punishment ultimately generates love through understanding, they will probably do the same to you when they receive your punishment.

  • If you want your relationship back on track show love, only love in every of minute of every day no matter what.

If you punish your partner what you do is drive them away and put them in a place of fear where they can no longer trust you.

If you show them unconditional love no matter what they do, they will come to you and from this position of trust, an honest heartfelt understand can be created, from a place of safety.

Whatever your partner has said or done, you can never make them wrong, because that means that you are in a position to judge them and YOU ARE NOT QUALIFIED to do so. In fact no man or woman on this earth is qualified to be the judge of another.

  • Judge your partner, make them wrong, assume you know their intensions, pull your love away and you’ll create a storm big enough to rip a whole family apart.

Is this happening to you, are you committed to making a change? …If so get in touch today!