Couples are creating destructive dynamics under the illusion they are safer that way

If you want a relationship for life then what you are about to read is going to be critical to understand. If you are in marital crisis it’s so important to understand how you got there. In fact what you are about to read is for anyone who values relationships and wants to keep them, or save them.

The challenge all couples face is one or both people can develop a need to feel safe and secure in the relationship. They want to feel certain their partner will always love them, be there for them. All sounds reasonable so far…

To be clear, the challenge isn’t in the needing to feel safe and secure, the challenge is the way nearly everyone does it.

Remember the divorce rate is really high for a reason, [Read more...]

An unexpected journey

 

Written By Ben Caesar 

I first met Stephen in the summer of 2015 at a time when my life had become turbulent and my second marriage was failing. Originally, I had intended to attempt to use Stephen’s expertise to help my wife and I to reconcile and work out the problems that had developed during our short marriage. 

We had faced a 6 month period from hell with failed IVF, job loss and the death of a father on a background of ongoing professional exams and my transfer into the regular Army; more than enough life events to test the mettle of any couple’s relationship.

However, for reasons best known to my wife, she couldn’t find it in herself to allow Stephen to help her with our relationship, and so I continued to see Stephen, and something remarkable happened to me as a result. [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...]

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...]

A professional couple new baby at the point of divorce.

He worked in the financial sector she was a psychologist. In their initial consultation it was clear to see their relationship was dying fast. With a new baby that wasn’t sleeping I could see this couple was exhausted and emotionally empty.

Combination of punishing work schedules and a 18 month old child who was too ill to sleep had triggered this couple into an automatic destructive process that had to be interrupted.

Both were focused on protecting themselves from the other, they were displaying all the usual coping strategies of blame, recrimination and power struggles leading to unbearable conflicts and days of deafening silences.  [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...]

How To Save My Marriage – Step-By-Step Advice by Stephen Hedger

When trying to save any marriage knowing where to put your energy is very important. So many couples who have lost their intimacy focus on that part of their relationship and try to fix that with disastrous consequences for their relationship.

In many cases the intimacy is not the core issue it’s a symptom of the couples real problem.

The couple may have lost trust in each other, or in their future together. If trust goes then the desire to meet each others needs also goes away.

So if the couple lose those two key element then intimacy will suffer. [Read more...]

Simple Steps To Save Your Relationship Or Marriage Step-By-Step Guidance

If your relationship is in trouble and you have tried everything to fix it yourself and nothing is working then these are the simple steps that will have a massive impact on your relationship and are the steps I use when working with couples in crisis.

Step 1 – Get leverage

I help people understand the true cost of not fixing their relationship problems. When people decide to split-up they don’t think about the true cost both emotionally and financially. The cost is always much bigger than they thought, it’s far more expensive, the emotional fall out goes on for years and massively effects their future relationships, plus their children are affected for life sometimes hating their parents. [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...]

Is it right to expect what you can’t give?

For example: I remember a man complaining that his partner was not respectful in the way she treated him and spoke to him. For him to feel respected he had to feel loved. This means love was more important to him than respect.

We now know love is an important value to him, so unless he felt important he wouldn’t give his love to her as a punishment. He didn’t want to reward her behaviour.

Of course this scared her and so she became more anxious resulting in her communicating her fear which is translated by him as not being respectful and unloving. [Read more...]

Living the Life You Were Born to Live

Have you ever wondered who you really are? Have you wondered what your life purpose is? Do you feel lost unsure of your direction in life? Maybe you feel your relationship never feels right? Do you notice you are focused on what’s wrong a lot of the time? Or maybe you are avoiding doing things because you are fearful you will get hurt? May be you feel you have to control your outside world so you can feel ok?

If this is you then this is important to know and could change your life…

If you wanted to discover the cure to many of your life problems starting at understanding the immense power of your own values would be a wonderful beginning to a successful life in control of your direction and what happens to you.

Values are the foundation of your emotional life, in other words how you focus and experience the world. If you are not aware of what they are and how they are set-up and working within you, you may find your emotions run you.

Most people are in this place, they live in reaction to their world always moving away from painful feelings, constantly focused internally, going round-and-round in their minds looking for solutions never finding answers. They end up living in smaller and smaller worlds in their quest to control their fears.

The transformation I see clients go through when they understand their values is remarkable, the more extreme their problem the bigger the change they feel. [Read more...]

Kissing Too Many Frogs?

Finding the right person to spend your life with is so critical. Getting it wrong can cause so much heartache both for men and women.

So what happens when you keep getting proof that your relationships are not working. What do you do? How do you solve this, who do you blame?

One of my clients in her early forties had this very experience in her words “…for decades”.

Fears play a huge part in the process of getting relationships wrong so this was my instant focus for her. I knew that the fears in her were going to attract men who liked that fearful version of her.

This was a recipe for disaster so I had to help her understand how to create the right version of her so she could attract men who liked her, just the way she was, the real her – minus the fears! [Read more...]

How to Create Goals You Will Stick to in 2012

Now the New Year is upon us we usually start to think about what we are going to achieve.

Weight loss is usually the big one especially after Christmas, but what is going to make a difference to you? And if you do decide to go for a goal, how long do you think you will stick at it for?

The only goals that really stick are the ones that we get emotionally involved with so when will do fall off the path to our goal there is enough motivation to put us back on track until our new actions just become a part of our lives.

Here is a quick list I use:

  1. What do you want to achieve and why?
  2. How will you know when you have it?
  3. Is the goal possible?
  4. What resources are needed to achieve the goal?
  5. When and where will you have this resource?
  6. What are the advantages of making this change?
  7. What are the disadvantages of making this change?
  8. What will achieving this lose you?
  9. Which of your values be fulfilled by achieving this outcome? – Critical
  10. What’s important to you about getting this?
  11. What will this outcome help you avoid experiencing?
  12. What is the benefit of this outcome?

So whether your goal is to lose weight, meet someone new, improve you relationship, make more money, whatever it is make sure you have powerful motivation behind the passion today to improve your life in 2012.

So what are your exciting goals for 2012?

7 Ways To Create A Better Relationship

We all want a better relationship so what has to happen for that to be a possibility. Let’s make the assumption that better equals lasting and passionate.

1. Get addicted to meeting your partners needs.

One of the biggest relationship killers is a persons needs not being met by the relationship. The couple will start to notice that the relationship no longer meets their needs and assume the relationship is the wrong one.

2. Live true to your own values.

Anyone who has the inability to live true to their own values will be in conflict with themselves. This changes that persons behaviours and stops them being the person they are designed to be. If you feel that you or your partner have changed in some way this can the reason.

3. Make sure you have the right polarity (+-) in your relationship.

Women can get very strong if they don’t get what they need from a relationship, this means the man will usually becomes weak, or he may bully especially when she gets upset. Neither is attractive and results in the woman disconnecting with her true self. This means that intimacy can become a problem in the relationship. The man will also start to feel he can never please his partner so he will either stay and get weaker (boy like) or he will leave the relationship to re-connect with his masculine self again.

4. Never make your partner wrong or judge them.

Nobody is qualified to judge anyone else, you would have to be that person to understand why they do what they do. YOU are the only person you are qualified to judge. So if you want to communicate anything, communicate how you feel when they act in ways you don’t like.

5. Never punish your partner.

One of the key goals in any relationship is to help your partner feel great about themselves and attach all those wonderful feelings to you. If you punish your partner what happens is they attach bad feeling to you and this over time takes it’s toll.

6. Create a future that exciting

Many couples seem to have no real plan for their future together, they may have plans for their careers, but the reason they are together gets lost. What is the purpose of your relationship? What is your own life purpose and passion?

7. We all want to be with amazing people and I know many of you are disappointed with your partner and your relationship.

If you want an amazing partner in your life then the best route to it, is to become an amazing partner yourself first. That amazing you will help you to no longer fear the world, and from that place you will be in a place to GIVE. GIVING is the life blood of any relationship. People that are fearful usually take from a relationship and so the relationship becomes one that trades to meet the needs of the individual.

This is not romantic, or loving in any way so it’s little wonder that trading relationships are not passionate. People who trade in relationships are disconnected to their own values because they fear something.

  • Please feel free to add your own thoughts to this list…

Testament to Life Coaching

OK I know initially I went  as I hoped to save my marriage.  Well it takes two to do that and my ex-husband wasn’t committed to doing so – the lure of the new woman was just too great!

Left with having to pick up the pieces of ‘me’ I’ve continued to see Stephen over the last 11 months, determined to get myself into a better state of mind.  I will readily admit there have been times when I’ve ‘fought’ Stephen with a passion, feeling and believing that I was right and he wrong!  I’ve had sessions cancelled by him as he wasn’t prepared to waste my money (for which I am grateful!).  I’ve argued with him and I’ve had moments of disliking the experience.  None of which sounds very positive!  But in hindsight 99% of these arguments have actually been with myself as I’ve battled to change how I view things, to take responsibility for me and to learn and understand how I can make things different for me. To learn and to realise that I needed to become my own best friend. [Read more...]

Why & How Do We Get Stuck in Destructive Life Patterns?

The answer is because we are not aware we have created them, and those that are affected end up with an illusion of truth that only creates misery or poor quality lives, lives that have no purpose or fulfillment… This is important to know because it could be happening to you, or someone you love…

Have you ever felt stuck in your life? No matter what you do, did you end up feeling bad, or you feel that something is wrong, but you don’t know how to change it, is this happening to you?

Have you ever thought that the reason you are stuck is because you get some thing good from being in this stuck place. Maybe you have a partner friend or family member who is also stuck.

  • Please note that everyone that is stuck gets something good from being stuck, that’s why they are still there. [Read more...]

Relationship Tip For Sunday

When couples get into relationship struggles one of the things they do is go in search of more problems and it’s doesn’t take long for them to find them.

They then put meanings to their problems, because as humans we have to make sense of what we think. Because we trust ourselves we then believe the meanings we create, those meanings become unchallenged facts.

Those facts then allow us to become the judge of our partners.

This is one of the most dangerous practices individuals make in their relationships. NO ONE, and I mean no one is qualified to judge the behaviours of their partners.

By all means give feedback on what effect their behaviours are having on you, but never judge them.

Your judgement will be based on your assumption of the intention behind their actions, and viewing their behaviours based on your life experiences and core values. Their behaviours will be based on their life experiences and core values which will be different to yours.

To complicate things further, men and women are designed to experience the world differently due to their inbuilt survival instincts.

So becarefull that some of your judgement is not based on them being in their true gender. This can cause problems as the couple can start to distort themselves to fit into the relationships thus causing even more resentment as a polarity shift can happen and the individuals can then become unhappy or depressed as life is not how it should be.

The woman becomes masculine and the man becomes feminine. Neither happy in these roles, but ironically stuck not wanting to change through fear.

Judgements of others shows you and those you judge little to no respect, values such as respect are important to us, not some of the time, ALL THE TIME!

When you don’t live by what you say you value, trouble, unhappiness, depression, relationship break-ups are never far away.

So…turn your judgments into a cry for help from your partner, that for them something is wrong, and they are telling you because they believe you can help them.

If you knew what they really needed was your help, what would you want to give them now…?

Relationship Boundaries and Values

Are you teaching your partner how to hurt you without knowing?

What do you want your partner to learn about you and what’s important to you? Understanding what you teach your partner is critical. Your behaviours to their actions creates the boundaries that are supposed to be keeping you safe secure and happy. So in your relationship you would expect to have basic values such as trust, respect, honesty.

The problem arises when individuals fail to give these basic values to themselves. Many people claim that certain things like “respect” are important then disrespect themselves in their own relationships. The result is potentially catastrophic for them and their relationship.

Many people who attend my sessions are initially confused about setting clear boundaries in their relationships.

If boundaries are not set then what happens you will teach your partners that they can do anything to you and it’s OK. You may complain, cry, scream, throw things, but at the end of the day if they do what they like and you accept it on some level, it’s likely they will do it again.

This can be from little things such as being taken for granted to full blown affairs.

I have seen the most angelic people men and women taking advantage of their partners lack of boundaries, to degrees you would not believe.

This happens because even the most outwardly honest, kind and gentle folk have the capability to go to a place of fear when life does not feel right for them. From this place all that is important to them becomes unimportant in the moment and they can do the most destructive things, they openly admit they are ashamed of.

This is why understanding your core values for life is critical, because when you know your values they will tell you why you feel so bad.

If you feel bad your values will tell you specifically what has happened and why. You are then armed to communicate that to your partner. This level of communication will create a secure, respectful and honest behaviours in both of you.

If more couples would communicate honestly to their partners as things do not feel good, then this would make creating boundaries easier and avoid accumulation of resentment and fears.

I cannot stress enough how important this is to your relationships and your life.

Without knowing you could be teaching your partner how to destroy your relationship because you fear them leaving you, so you’re afraid to be honest with them.

When you do not respect, trust and love YOU how can you expect your partner to.

Far too many people run their relationships from a place of fear. I have seen enough evidence that fear in relationships creates the very thing the individual fears. Plus even if they do manage to stay together, they will always feel that something is not right.

When this happens the passion suffers.

Tell your partner what is critical for you to have in your relationship. Critical means that if you don’t have it the relationship will suffer. For example “I need to be able to trust you” or “I need to feel respected and important to you” Tell your partner what you need, and how they can be successful at giving it to you. When you don’t feel you are getting what you need tell them why.

Most of all, be consistent. If one day you accept behaviours you don’t like, and other days you don’t, you are creating confusion.

Remember your boundaries are there to protect you and to help you grow harmony in your relationships from a place of respect and honesty both for them and you.

With the right boundaries you will feel safer, not only in your relationship, but safer that you can trust you, to respect you and give you what you need to be happy.

Values: The Key To A Passionate Love Life

When a couple has a values conflict the first thing to go is their sex life.

Many people see VALUES as just a list of words and as a simple list, yes you could say they are important, but miss the immense power they hold to change your life for ever.

If used incorrectly values can cause depression, anxiety, relationship break ups, abuse, violence, anger and many many more problems.

When values are understood and lived by life takes on a success they could never have imagined. People close to suicide discover a new lease of life. Victims of abuse discover how to give themselves security.

All the greats this world has seen understood the massive power of understanding and applying their values to their life consciously.

It’s really simple: If you don’t understand your values and your partners values then expect a traumatic rollercoaster.

It’s bad enough for one person who has no concept of their values for life, but two people attempting to live together will soon run into big trouble.

Values are the most important words you will ever learn, because they mean so much to us that they become a compass for our lives.

Many couples come to me with a conflict of values, they claim that certain values are important yet they fail to live by what they say is important to them.

It’s like a smoker that claims health is important, but carries on smoking. Something nags at them and so they talk about giving up for years but never actually do it. It’s the values nagging!

Couples claim that love is important yet they punish and hurt each other. They claim that trust is important and then they act in an untrusting manner that scares their partner to trust them even less.

It is this total lack of living by the values and standards that help couples fail.

If you are unhappy then the chances of you suffering from a conflict of values is really high. If you are having relationship problems the first place to start is with yourself. Become the best partner you can be by living by what you say is important and then help your partner through their problems.

Client Testimonial – The True Him Wins!

When I came to Stephen I was in an awful state because I had separated from my partner and child. I knew we had made mistakes in this regard, but I could not get her back. I was calling her many times a day but all that did was make her want to avoid me.

When I approached Stephen I was trying to heal a broken relationship and I didn’t have the skills or experience to do it. I was trying to understand why things went wrong for me, and for us as a family. What Stephen did initially was he worked on improving my state, showing me change techniques. He pointed out that I had made crucial decisions in my life in a fear state, when I was in no fit state to make them. [Read more...]