Is there a lack of Honesty in Your Relationship?

Couples in trouble usually end up with more words that are unspoken in the relationship than spoken. This lack of honesty about each others true feelings causes problems. Of course the reason they don’t speak is because they have stopped seeing the point, or don’t see it as the solution.

So now they can only be honest to friends, family, children and this hurts the relationship and so resentment starts to grow.

Honesty is a powerful word sometimes linked to trust. Most of us would agree that we want honesty in our relationships. It is a key factor in building successful relationships.

When honesty and trust are mentioned many people go to thoughts of affairs, or not being able to trust your partner with members of the opposite sex.

Whilst this is true the words trust and honesty are much broader in meaning and power.

For example: I discover in sessions that many women are not communicating the truth of how they feel to their partner through fear of their partner leaving them. This is one of many combinations couples experience.

This lack of honesty will create a conflict within them and so they change how they behave without knowing. They become unhappy due to this conflict and as a result they pull away to protect themselves and their partner feels it. [Read more...]

Can YOU be YOU in Your Relationship?

Are you being you in your relationship, or do you have to make the effort to act differently? Maybe you are treading on eggshells, or maybe you feel controlled by your partners’ usual reaction which for you is destructive.

Many people change their behaviours to protect themselves and their relationship from harm. Whilst the intent is good the reality is the honesty has gone and this puts the couple in conflict with themselves and this creates internal fears which can lead to low emotional states, stress and depression.

For example: A wife may hold inside what she is really feeling, because she knows if she connects with what’s wrong for her and becomes too emotional, he will run-away, or get so angry that she sees no point, so she holds it in. Of course this results in building resentment in her which can ruin the relationship.

or [Read more...]

Relationship Master Skill FIVE of SEVEN

Yesterday we looked at how anyone can reignite the passion in their relationship and can give themselves permission to drop the accepted assumption that Relationships + Time automatically equals a loss of passion.

  • What we are getting to now is honesty in your relationship.
  • I have a question for you, is “honesty” important to you? I expect the answer is yes.
  • When is honesty important? Is it some of the time or all of the time? I expect you’ll want honesty all of the time.

Many couples I work with, and I see a lot every year all have one thing in common, they are not honest with each other and more importantly they are not honest with themselves. [Read more...]

Relationship Master Skill THREE of SEVEN

I hope the last two posts have started to get you thinking about your relationship differently. You’ll notice with the right approach you can start to understand how to become successful through being true to who you really are. This internal honesty will help you and your relationship grow.

No relationship stays the same, and as time passes every relationship will hit times that challenge either the individuals or the relationship as a whole.

These are the times when two things will happen, either the relationship gets stronger and the relationship grows, or it gets weaker and the relationship slowly dies. [Read more...]

Honesty is the best policy!? – Really?

Did your mother always tell you “honesty is the best policy” she is right BUT, here is the bit she missed out. There are many truths in any situation and your relationship and your life is no different. My question to you is which truth are you feeding yourself, in fact which truth are you so focused on that even you now believe your own hype?

Many people become stuck because they are so focused on all that is wrong, they have done this for so long it becomes a part of them, almost home.

As you know there are many ways to experience a situation, and your experiences are based on meanings that you create. 100 people in your situation would feel totally differently to you. Practice feeling bad  enough and the meanings you give to your experiences will become automatic and then feel normal, you dislike how you feel but this is now you.

These bad feelings actually become part of you, some will even defend their feelings and even feel like giving up blaming the whole world for an awful life.

You will then believe that how you feel is real, and it is, but only on the back of what you have focused on constantly that has enabled how you feel today to be possible.

So you can choose to be honest with yourself about how you now feel about your life, or your relationship and how it’s not how it should be and that’s why you feel so dreadful every day…

…or you can choose to be really honest and look for other truths that will help you see how amazing life can be if only you stopped searching for what’s wrong and focused on getting control of you, and your life.

As soon as you do this what you will notice is you kick your mind into searching for how to get you to a far better place.

Relationships, money, careers etc… You can plan what you want far easier from a place of hope than from a place of despair. So if you have just realised that it’s you that’s has created your own despair what do you now want to do.

There are as you can see, many truths make sure you don’t get caught up in the one that hurts you and makes your life as it is today, and makes it permanent.

A Moment In Time Causes Destruction

I have many clients come to me with what seems like very confusing problems. They seem to have it all, yet they also seem hell bent on destroying their lives and marriages, but they tell me they no longer want to life to be this way, but still carry on.

To them what they are doing seems normal, but to the outside world everyone can see the pain they are causing themselves and those they say they love.

Maybe you or your partner are experiencing this very thing.

There is of course many reasons why this can happen, but the over riding reason is because the individual does not feel safe and is running a pattern that they have learnt that will give them security again.

This is why victims of abuse struggle so much in later years. Every time they feel unsafe they run the patterns that were designed to cope with a moment in time.

The problem is that very often the pattern they run is out dated.

What’s critical to know is what you or your partner is attempting to get to. It could be love or security.

But they could be trying to get to it through anger, depression, running away, or a contradiction of other core values such as respect or honesty.

All these are responses to a fear that feels very real to them.

A decision about what patterns we use to live our lives usually happen naturally, but when situations are perceived as threatening in some way, it’s this high level of emotion that creates a need to feel safe again fast.

A pattern will be created at this point to cope and be brought into play whenever life creates a situation that feels similar.

In reality what this means is an adult can behave like a child when they don’t feel safe as they run an old pattern to get back to safety or love.
The problem is this old outdated pattern will not work no matter how many times they run the pattern. But because they were not consciously aware they created this pattern, they feel that what they are doing is normal so they relentlessly run the pattern over and over again, slowly destroying everything including themselves.

They can become depressed, angry, guilty, blame others, run away, overly control and behave in many more destructive ways..

Is this happening to you, do others keep telling you to stop what you are doing, but to you it feels normal?

You Can’t fail If You Know This

What is the one thing that makes the difference in every relationship without fail. What is the one thing that if not done will always cause problems. What is the one thing that will always create happiness?

There is one thing, and in all the coaching sessions I have ever done where someone is not happy with their relationship or their life, this one thing has always been the cause.

  • The inability to live by what they say is important to them. If anyone sets themselves a standard and they don’t live by that standard they will always be unhappy, without fail, every time!

The reason people don’t live to their highest standards is because they are fearful that something bad will happen to them if they do. The trouble is they are not consciously aware of all this going on so they carry on hurting themselves.

In some cases they have the ability to make sure they stay stuck in this poor standard of living by saying this is just how I am.

Are you living life to your highest standards?

An example: We all believe that honesty is important, but is it important some of the time, or all of the time? In the context of a relationship is honesty important?

I’m not talking about the small silly stuff, I’m talking about why someone might walk on eggshells in their own home, why someone would bully someone, or be bullied and stay. Why someone would constantly accept bad behaviour just to keep the peace. Why someone would run away every time life isn’t the way they want it to be.

None of these behaviours are honest on either side, but more than that, they are not respectful either. In fact this way of living creates a prison for both people neither of them free, neither of them at peace with themselves or each other.

Fears create the fear

If two people in a relationship could understand this their fears actually create their biggest fear. The solution is simple, drop the fears and live by what you truly believe in.

You won’t die, what will happen is you will discover an honest strength and courage to be the person you have always wanted to be, in the life you have always wanted to live.

  • Don’t look back in fear, you have done that long enough, know what’s true and start living that truth today!

Which Truth Will Bite You Hardest?

I’m sure that when the word truth is spoken we can all agree that truth and honesty is something we all value and respect highly.

BUT are we really being truthful to ourselves about ourselves?

Many people come to coaching with a set of beliefs that they think are true, only to discover that their truth is actually a mask, and their real truth is very different and hiding behind their deepest fears.

In fact they believe their made-up truth so much they will live in a mask for many years. Deep down they know something is wrong, but to focus on the reality is far too painful and so they put it off… until something snaps and just living each day becomes painful.

So they avoid the focus on their real feelings and to be happy they distort and delete parts of their lives in a quest to rebalance some level of normality.

Fears can only limit you

The problem is, from this state of fear people are only able to limit their true self. So the quest to rebalance their lives is an illusion they give themselves, that ends up being a fact in their own minds.

The illusion is not their truth and so individuals become unhappy and depressed and don’t know why. Their values are screaming a message, unhappiness and depression is the message that you have to change or this will get worse.

Listen to the messages because they are there for a reason. If your body gets hurt and you feel pain you stop what you are doing and you go to fix it.

Being unhappy emotionally is no different, but because there is no physical damage we assume we cannot fix these emotional problems and this puts us into a state of learnt helplessness.

  • I have worked with so many people who experience this very problem.

In fact you can feel so unsettled by a conflict of values that it will wake you at 3am to tell you something is wrong. Many of my clients experience this exact message from their own minds, and it’s a well known problem for those who are depressed on some level.

Are you hiding from your truth?

There will be a good reason why you would hide, but at some point you will have to deal with this. So create courage and face your  truth today to free yourself to live the life you were designed to live.

Sexual Advances Blocked By Her Values

Dear Stephen

A guy that I have known for awhile has made an advance to want to kiss me. I don’t know where I stand with him. We have a platonic friendship – no committed relationship. His past relationships have been shaky – non committal – he has never been married – 50 years old which makes me feel emotionally unsafe with him.

I am interested in a long term relationship and eventually want to marry. I consider kissing very erotic which could lead to becoming sexual which I do not want to do before I am married. I don’t want to compromise my faith in God. I also consider kissing to be a part of a committed, monogamous relationship.

How do I explain all of this to him without being demanding – and thinking that I’m needy for him to want a relationship with me? I want to tell him all of the above and also that he needs to look at himself as to why he has been in and out of relationships all of his life. He needs to do this for himself not for a relationship. I need help in explaining this to him in love and not seeming judgemental. Also, I want to tell him that the relationship that I want is that both partners have the same beliefs and values.

Thank you.

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Thank you for your request for help.

I would firstly like to honour and respect your strong sense of yourself displayed through your beliefs, needs and your values.

You have set these up so well, that they will not allow you to compromises your long-term wishes for yourself and a happy future. This strength within you will allow you to be at one with yourself and all your life choices so this is a brilliant start.

You are also aware that through your feelings of wanting the best for you, you don’t want to be judgemental of him because you are probably aware that you may not understand fully, why he has behaved the way he has through his past relationships.

None of us are qualified to be anyone’s judge, so what we are left with is some questions, that for you, clearly need to be answered before you could ever be happy with this man.

The first question is what has generated a life without commitment for him? Is there a weakness in his values, or has is he also been living by his values, but they are just different to yours? Maybe he has never met someone right for him and he has been true to himself, or maybe he also lives in fear of being hurt, just like you.

Many, many possibilities and this is why a judgement of him is not possible or fair. However you are right to be concerned, because you see he has lived a life which is not like the one you want, and you know that to be happy you would have to share the same vision and values.

You also mention that you don’t want to be demanding. You’re never demanding if all you do is set a boundary of what you will accept. A boundary is a solid and inactive place that protects you, the word demanding is only relevant when someone who is aware of your boundary selfishly takes action and steps over it, again and again. Was he aware of your boundary?

You are in a position of strength here through your beliefs and values so you will never be hurt if you live by them as you are.

An honest conversation with this man outlining your critical needs, will help him understand what he has to do if he wishes to have a relationship with you, this is simply you being “honest” and I know you value that.

As you know he is not qualified to judge you so no matter what his opinion of you after your conversation this could never be respected or trusted.

I have one question for you? He has shown sexual attraction, but does that mean he wants more? Be sure you understand his intention behind his advance, because you maybe rejected through confusion of meaning, is this where your fear sits with him?

Your other option is to wait to see if he makes another advance towards you, if he does then that’s your chance to let him know what is important to you and if he is serious about you what you would like to happen so you can be safe.

If he is an honest, respectful man and he really wants you he will do anything to help you to feel secure with him by giving you what you really need.

Please let us know how you get on.

Stephen Hedger