What’s getting in the way of the relationship you really wanted?

I started to explore the world of intimate relationships for myself more than three decades ago. What drove me was the proof that something in my own relationship life was wrong.

As a young man I thought that I understood relationships. My relationships usually started off great, but it wasn’t long before those feelings changed. Either my partners changed, or I changed, or we both changed.

It was obvious to me back then that they were the problem! I never knew back then how wrong I was. My thinking was if I did change this was because they changed first, or that they were unreasonable.

As I look back today on my younger self I can see that I was ill prepared in knowledge and skill to create the dream I had in my mind. As I started to explore the world of relationships I started to realise I was not alone. [Read more...]

At our wits end, divorce was the final option

Barry and Jemima had hit rock bottom. They didn’t know where to turn for help. Initially they booked and postponed their initial consultation with me multiple times. I knew they were both very nervous.

In a recent session I asked them what advice would they give to others who were also unsure what to do. They both decided to share their thoughts with you.

Barry writes:

We were 20 years together and hit a major breakdown in our relationship, at our wits end, divorce was the final option.  We decided to try and find help, but hours of searching on the internet for “counsellors” yielded zero results…then we found Stephen. [Read more...]

Signs your marriage is heading for serious problems

All marriages will have problems, what’s important is how you both deal with those problems. Many couples are not seeing they are heading for a divorce until it’s far too late.

As you scan through the list below the couples I see who are all in crisis  have all communicated a combination of the problems below.

So this is a heads up on some of what’s important to be focused on as a sign that changes are needed to rebuild the relationship so it lasts.

No emotional connection

If you don’t have the emotional connection you think you should have, then you have a gap in your relationship that will create emotional pain. If you don’t know how to close that gap then the pain will start to go deeper. [Read more...]

Emotional disconnection is crippling relationships

I can’t stress enough how important this is as it’s probably the most common message I hear when I’m helping couples rebuild their relationship out of crisis. 

For example: Many females complain that their partners don’t understand them. They feel they can’t connect emotionally with their partner and so if they have ever tried it’s a hopeless quest.

They feel the relationship has little depth, it’s essentially transactional. Some do claim to get on very well, but their attraction sexually is disconnected so they live more as friends.

Many of these females feel their partner either doesn’t care or lacks the ability to be able to connect with her.

I also see many men feeling equally not heard and misunderstood they just show it very different ways. Many men complain that no matter what they do it doesn’t work so in the end they can give up. [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...]

Masterclass series Part 2: How to create a safe connected passionate relationship

It seems for so many this ideal is reserved for the “happy ever after films” and those “lucky couples” and the harsh reality is nature never really designed us to live alone together in a box called a home.

Why do so many couples seem to get it so wrong and why do others seem to have it all?

From my perspective please don’t be swayed by how good you think other couples relationships are. It seems that many couples are very good at publicly putting on a united front, but the reality is very different behind closed doors, I know they tell me.

The starting point is if a couple communicates their relationship is not how it should be, please know that it’s more likely because the couple don’t have the core skills and tools to build the relationship they want rather than the relationship is wrong. [Read more...]

Vulnerability is it a Strength or a Weakness?

Today I’m going to talk about vulnerability. For many this word equals weakness, but if understood could it really free a persons life and become their biggest source of strength?

Many people will do all they can to avoid being vulnerable and the way they achieve this is by creating a self-inflicted numbness within themselves.

So if a person is feeling vulnerable in a relationship they will find a way to numb themselves so they can avoid the emotional pain of feeling vulnerable.

We see vulnerability avoidance in a relationship when two people love each other and they are both fearful of saying it first. We see vulnerability avoidance when a person wants sex, but is fearful of being rejected. We seen vulnerability avoidance in those not wanting a new relationship after a painful break-up. It’s all around us being practised every day. [Read more...]

Is it possible to think yourself out of a perfectly good marriage without knowing?

Impossible you may think, but please think again, sadly it’s totally possible and is a real problem I see on a regular basis. Below is one example of this in action. The simple fact is too many individuals are unaware that the way they think is subconsciously controlling how they feel about their relationship and their partner.

So a person can literally create thoughts that can lead them to feel they have to leave a relationship that is actually the right relationship for them.

What I’m talking about specifically is how a person can condition their feelings through the way they think.

I’m sure you have heard the story of Pavlov’s dog. The story goes like this, Pavlov rang a bell and then immediately fed his dog. He repeated this process a few times. The dog learned to associate the sound of the bell with food and would begin salivating when the bell was rung. [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...]

Masterclass: Security & Desire what’s the cost of getting the balance wrong?

When a couples relationship starts to die one thing will become apparent. One or both people will have lost their desire for their partner. It seems that many couples are struggling to balance security and desire and the cost is catastrophic for their family.

Lets look at what happens when they lose just desire in their relationship.

  • They will struggle to find their partner attractive.
  • They could see the future together as a painful experience.
  • They will lose the desire to meet their partners needs.
  • They may want to spend time either at work, hobbies, friends or family.
  • They are likely to stop seeing their partner as a source of pleasure and attach problems such as feeling trapped, alone, worthless.
  • They even might start seeing other people as more attractive.

So clearly losing desire is something we must all avoid because the relationship loses momentum energy and dies.

So what helps someone lose their desire for their partner? [Read more...]

This couple did what many couples do. They created a loveless marriage!

I asked a couple in a session recently how much time they had both spent on their careers. I then asked them how much time they had spent on their children.

As you can imagine they were hard working caring parents so they both agreed they had spent significant time in both those key areas.

I then asked them how much time they had spend on their relationship. We came to an honest answer of “not very much”, this was due to life being so busy.

I agreed that modern life was busy. [Read more...]

Relationship habits and patterns

In todays post I will be covering an area of relationships that if understood would totally change the direction for any couple heading for trouble and redirect them towards a far happier life together. Couples that want to learn what your about to read can avert a likely divorce and redirect their marriage to be much happier than before.

So as you can see this is an absolute must for those wanting to keep their relationship alive.

The biggest problems any couple will face is where to put their energy so it connects with what’s important to themselves and their partner.

Each person in a relationship will have many patterns of behaviour unique to them and these individual patterns will create habitual patterns in their relationship. [Read more...]

You have to be a team…

Couples that want their relationship to last have to become a team. This is important because if you’re not a team you can’t plan your relationship experience to be the way you both need it to be to stay happy. If you can’t plan your relationship then you’re in danger of not sharing the same journey and goals and this can cause real problems.

If you’re not sharing the same vision of how to experience the journey towards an agreed future please expect a significant challenge, as you read on you’ll discover why…

I have yet to meet a couple who really have a plan. I have met couples that think they have a plan and when pushed they crumble within minutes.

When a couple doesn’t plan their relationship what happens is they end up living with what feels like separate lives. [Read more...]

Are you passionate about your relationship? If so this is for you…

If you want your relationship/marriage to work then learning the answer to this question will be a monumental jump forward for any couple to explore.

Question: What really has to happen for couples to stay connected in a meaningful way for life? 

Many couples are only learning they should have known the answer to this question after they survived their own personal crisis…

These couples have lived a half life with each other, coping and existing, never really connecting at a level which would have worked long-term. [Read more...]

The POWER our fears are having on our relationships

We all have fears, but what happens when by trying to avoid our fears it leads us to what we fear most. This is so basic that it should be taught in schools. Sadly very few are aware of the impact it is having on their lives.

You see having a fear means that on some level that fear is part of our focus. My regular readers and my clients already know, that what we focus on will create what we ultimately get in life.

What’s important to learn is this ‘focus’ does not have to be a conscious one for it to become a goal you haven’t chosen. [Read more...]

When is divorce the right solution?

It may come as surprise to learn that my job is NOT to fix couples relationships. My job is to help them learn the truth. So a couple might come for help and one person can have the belief that leaving the marriage is the only solution.

Their belief can be very wrong and with the right help they can reconnect to their feelings and to the relationship again.

Many tell me how surprised they are at their outcome, how they didn’t believe that reconnecting and falling back in love was actually possible.

I have seen this so many times, simple changes in understanding and behaviours change the persons feelings. [Read more...]

As a young man I had never questioned this idea before…

One of the most fundamental and foundational philosophies that will lead us to our future good or bad, is the power our thoughts can have over the quality of our lives and the direction it ultimately takes.

What I discovered changed my life forever and I wanted to share this with you today. A persons thinking actually has the power to create the life they end up living.

This was the kind of information that kept me awake at night until I had fully understood what it meant and how it really worked. You see I was just as skeptical as the next person, but I never believed I knew everything so I was keen to seek out what I didn’t know.

In fact today I enter every situation with the philosophy of, “…what don’t I know?” [Read more...]

[IMPORTANT] Few couples are aware of this…

So here is an interesting thought, what if the identity you live in day-to-day works for one part of your life, but is disastrous for the other important parts and you don’t know this, or the impact you are having on your family.

Every couple that is in trouble experiences this in different ways, below is a couple of examples. As you scan through this post you can start to see how this pattern could have affected your relationship and what needs to happen to change it.

I remember one lady telling me she felt like one of her husbands employees. Obviously being CEO of his wife was never going to work, but he had a challenge, he was a very successful CEO and was so comfortable within his CEO identity this is how he lived his life even at home.

The challenge he faced was he had become upset at how the people that didn’t work for him (his family) responded to him. He thought his CEO status should just bring him love and respect, he was confused when it didn’t happen and assumed his family specially his wife didn’t love him. [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...]