“My biggest life lesson”

Last year one gentleman asked me a great question. He said “…you deal with couples and individuals with all manner of problems and personal fears, what do you fear the most?

This was a great question, and the answer was simple.

“I would fear not being able to be my true self in the life that I have chosen.” Many people are in pain because they are loving kind caring people, but for some reason, they can’t be this in their marriage, and so they suffer.

This is one of the core problems so many couples have in their life, but it expands far further than just their relationships.

So many people are afraid to embrace their true potential, and this can affect everything. [Read more...]

Natures cruellest trick is creating consistent marital stress

Virtually every person that comes into my programs is looking for me to change their partners’ behaviours. I have rarely heard the message “my marriage is in crisis, can you help me become a better husband or wife?”

This is a shame because becoming an effective partner really is the only thing we are 100% in control of. Trying to control someone or manipulate them so they behave the way we want never works out well but sadly couples keep trying this process even though the result is bad for them both.

So the trend of message I receive is “…we’ll have a better relationship if you can fix my partner”.

He’s a bully or she’s too controlling, he’s emotionally absent or she’s got anger problems.

The ping-pong of criticism doesn’t help the couple become effective team members of their relationship. [Read more...]

Mastering marital conflicts & communication problems

If you want your marriage to work then it’s critical to get on the same page with this. If we understand the individual words our partner speak why do couples struggle so much when they’re put in a sentence.

Virtually every couple on some level know they have a communication problem but it can manifest itself in so many areas of their life that the real problem can become so confused.

Are we disagreeing about the problem or is it the way we are disagreeing that’s now the problem?

Many couples are experiencing the moment when they say something to their husband or wife and their partner seems to take their words and change it to mean something totally different.

This process can spark conflict as they battle with what was really said and meant. “…if you really think that about me then you don’t know me at all…” [Read more...]

“Resentment stacking and the true cost”

Resentment stacking has hidden problems that people only see when it’s too late. So in today’s post I’m going to share what I see and where the danger sits.

When couples start a relationship at some point there is going to be some resistance and friction. Of course, some conflict is normal we are not going to agree all the time.

But when there becomes a gap between how life should be and how it really is, one or both people can start to resent the other.

The challenge with resentment is it creates a negative mindset and this can trigger the person to look for more problems.

A person looking for problems is always going to find something negative and when they find it they can resent that too.

Over time those resentments attached to big and small things will stack and can become overwhelming leading the person to want to stop the pain of this emotional experience.

They will also naturally be in a place to protect themselves from their partner.

This can be a lethal combination of emotions for any marriage. If I have to protect me from you how can I keep my love alive and if I have stacked resentments towards you there is a real danger I’m going to turn off any feelings I have towards you.

This is the danger people are not seeing…

…resentments can lead a person to a detached or numb emotional state. Essentially what this means is they are so emotionally overwhelmed they can turn off their feelings.

What they are unaware of is when they turn off the bad feelings to protect themselves they also turn off the good ones too. [Read more...]

“10 reasons why couples don’t make it”

There are now well over 800 pages in this website helping any reader to become curious about their relationship why they work and why they fail. People from all over the world are now attending meetings with me to gain solutions to seemingly impossible marital problems.

In today’s post, I’m going to be sharing some key thinking that helps couples to keep their relationship alive with some thoughts on the cost of not applying these to a marriage.

1. Never assume your partner is trying to hurt you

2. Never make your partner wrong

3. Never threaten the end of the relationship (unless you really mean it!)

4. Never pull your love away

5. Never make your relationship all about YOU!

6. Always make your partner feel No1 in your life

7. Always make your partners needs your needs too

8. Always look for ways to help your partner feel great about themselves

9. Always make unconditional love your priority (it will cost you if you don’t)

10. Always make time for your relationship every day [Read more...]

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...]

“Last Chance Saloon” Part 1 – Please help me get my wife back

Helping couples make the right decision about the rest of their lives is a huge responsibility I take very seriously. The future of their relationship and family hangs in the balance of me getting their strategy right to give them clarity.

Some couples have done what they can themselves but are stuck. Some have sought help but are either stuck or still no further forward.

A sentence I hear often is I’m their “Last Chance Saloon”.

Some people call in because they have a partner who has no interest in seeking help and these people feel very lost and alone – so today’s post is to help those people learn where there is hope. [Read more...]

“What do you actually hear when I speak?” – Couples communication problems

One of the most fundamental challenges all couples face is understanding what the other is really saying to them.

If you can’t understand each other then gaining a connection that makes sense is going to become a monumental challenge.

The trend of what I see is the men admit to me they really don’t understand their wives and the women tell me they are being crystal clear to their husbands.

I’m generalising here of course.

In these situations, I have to help women understand what men hear when they speak and help men understand what she wants.

So many women I see cannot believe that their men don’t understand what they are saying, to them their messages are simple to understand so in her mind he, either doesn’t love her or there something wrong with him. [Read more...]

“I lost myself in my marriage”

If you want to build a successful marriage you’ll need the courage to be who you really are with your husband or wife. NOT being your true self is a fundamental issue and one of the root problems that lead many couples to wrongly divorce. 

The reason not being connected to your true self is such an issue is because your happiness is conditional on you becoming what you say is important. So if a naturally loving and fun person stops being loving and fun this will make them unhappy and eventually feel exhausted.

What you’re about to read will be tough for some people to hear, they won’t want to hear this message and sadly they’ll end up learning the hard way. [Read more...]

WHY are we struggling to fix our marriage problems?

In today’s post, I’m going to present some typical scenarios I might see in couples crisis meetings.

Once you have scanned through them I’m going to offer you some thoughts that are important to consider that could affect your future.

Here goes….

  • Why does a man keep his relationship alive with his wife for 20 years only to tell her out of the blue he wants a divorce?
  • Why does a woman become negative and controlling in her marriage?
  • Why does she never let go of anything?
  • Why does he diminish her feelings and never listen to her?
  • Why does a woman have a three-year affair and then spend every waking hour trying to save her relationship from divorce when he finds out? [Read more...]

She 100% wanted a divorce UNTIL she learnt this…

So when a person has spent years suffering in a marriage it stands to reason that leaving that marriage is the correct decision.

Well… the answer to this is not always.

There are certain situations where someone can make a decision to leave their marriage and discover later they have made a terrible mistake and will have to live with that regret forever.

For those that have children, they can then suffer from terrible guilt.

My regular readers know I’m not a fan of blindly fixing all relationships because some people really shouldn’t be together…

…BUT I am a huge fan of helping people discover their truth.

So the story you are about to read can relate to many of my past clients, to help you to see what I saw I’m going to share one particular story.

A lady married with small children had decided her marriage was over and told me so in the first session whilst her husband sat helplessly looking at the floor. [Read more...]

Worst relationship mistakes

When I look at all the couples in severe crisis who have decided to seek my help they all have similar traits.

A few typical problems they come with could be problems such as circular conflicts, affairs, problems with in-laws, loss of love or a dead sex life.

Whatever their problem all these couples have made similar relationship mistakes that have lead them to their crisis.

So what is taking so many couples into crisis and what do they have to know to make a good life decision moving forward?

1. They don’t know how to keep their passion alive. [Read more...]

“You can’t leave your wife until you know this”

Unless you have learnt how to understand and fill up your partner with what they really need you simply can’t leave that relationship safe in the knowledge you have done all you can.

So it’s critical for people who are struggling in an unhappy relationship to really understand the complexity of why they are in trouble before they put themselves and their family through painful changes.

One lady came to me after running the same destructive pattern in 3 long-term relationships without knowing.

She was now 57 and about to give up on love until she learnt her behavioural patterns were never going to meet her own needs and would stop her meeting any man’s needs.

She was shocked and stunned at such a waste of her life and really sad she probably should have stayed with her first husband who she had 2 children with. [Read more...]

What is really causing your relationship problems?

When couples try to solve their relationship problems most will notice they will either be making them worse or some will try to bury them as a means to move on and stay together.

What I see is people doing their best to get to a good place but without really understanding the structure of their problem and what is really blocking their success.

The key to helping a couple reconnect regardless of their situation is to help them see the structure of their problems so they are armed to work together as a team to battle their problems rather than each other.

The first mission is stopping the couple making their problem worse.

By understanding the core structure of the problem and learning the tools to navigate their way out of their issues the couple can avoid solving the wrong problems. [Read more...]

Why do so many couples struggle to communicate?

Have you ever wondered why so many intimate couples across the globe are struggling to get through to each other?

Effective communication for so many couples can seem almost impossible but it’s, of course, critical for the health and longevity of the relationship.

Couples that can’t communicate can find they lose trust and respect for each other as they try to get their partner to see things their way or defend themselves from their partners attack on their character.

Some go round in circles, some have the same argument over and over, some bicker about everything and anything and some just give up.

If you were to speak to both parties they will be 100% convinced they are being clear and yet their partner can take their words and make them mean something totally different.

Some people are so flabbergasted by their partners’ behaviours they embark on a quest to help them become more like them because life would be easier that way. Be more like me is their solution and is usually a recipe for disaster.  [Read more...]

7 Mistakes couples are making that can lead them to divorce

When I started researching relationships I was staggered at how much information I had to learn. For example, every couple is totally unique and they have created very unique ways to experience their problem(s). 

This meant every couple requires totally unique solutions based on a well-defined plan to help them solve their specific problem(s). This results in couples needing multiple approaches to interrupt and permanently correct corrosive patterns.

In today’s post, I’m going to share some of those patterns that help couple lose their connection without them knowing. This post is designed to help any couple reading this stop making their situations worse by either stopping the corrosive behaviour or to seeking help to stop out of control patterns.

1. Lose connection with yourself

It’s so easy to lose a connection with yourself in a relationship. [Read more...]

Should she leave him?

How many people feel real physical and emotional pain through their relationship and use that message to leave their marriage?

Naturally, it makes total sense for anyone to leave a relationship that’s full of pain.

So if it keeps being painful then obviously the relationship is the problem so leaving it will stop the pain – right?

Well, I helped this lady learn that she would be safer if she took a deeper look.

[Read more...]

What does your partner really need to be happy?

If you want a successful relationship for life then meeting your partners’ core needs is going to be one of the critical elements to achieving this lifelong goal.

In essence meeting each other’s needs should be simple, but when you look closer you will discover many hidden challenges.

Most people don’t start looking at their relationship needs until it starts to become a problem. This decision is the big mistake everyone makes.

You see if you wait until the relationship is in trouble at this point the desire to meet needs is rarely high if you can’t trust your partner to meet your needs.

I was discussing this concept with a client this week. He was convinced he had done all he could and it was his wife who needed my help.  [Read more...]

Can a Leopard change its spots?

Many people come into my session with years of experiencing their partner being a certain way. They need their partner to change, but they are not convinced it’s possible so they sit in the relationship protecting themselves from their partner.

So they ask me “can a Leopard change its spots?”

One gentleman came in with a severe marriage issue and he was trying to save it – she wanted a divorce, but he had terrible anger problems.

He told me he was going to anger management. I said “Why do you want to manage it? Don’t you want to get rid of it?”

I went on to explain to him that his anger was designed to meet his core needs and because it kept meeting those needs through his anger he would always behave this way. [Read more...]

Should we continue with our marriage?

My husband and I have been married 17 years and in recent years had been hitting the same wall of not understanding each other resulting in defensive behaviour, anger, frustration and indifference. 

The future certainly didn’t look bright and with the prospect of our two sons leaving home, neither of us were sure if we wanted to continue with our marriage.

We had sought other marriage counselling earlier in our marriage and although it had helped to some extent, it hadn’t got to the nub of the problem.  We decided to seek Stephen’s help and went with an open mind and a sense of relief that we were, at least, doing something about the problems we faced.

Over the course of six months, Stephen saw us both together and separately.  We grew to trust him and his methods.  In the beginning, we could park our problems with him and give ourselves a rest from the nagging feeling that our marriage was doomed with the resulting sense of fear for the future.

Stephen’s methods are subtle, yet illuminating.

He’s kind and funny and a great listener.  He explains why we behave the way we do.  He points out the marked differences between men and women. He gives you tools to cope with the challenges of marriage and how to nurture it.

There are ‘light bulb’ moments but mostly his approach is subtle and so long as you are prepared to listen and act – you will fix your marriage.

I know, because, my husband and I are now looking forward to a bright future.  We want to be together and build on the life we’ve created.

Thank you so much, Stephen.

J.D.

Glos