Today is about “life by design”. It’s the process of designing and creating your relationship and life the way it should be.
It’s the starting point of what you must know and why, it’s part of the foundation I’m using to help couples out of crisis and help couples who have separated reconnect.
Done correctly is a powerful way of helping someone feel amazing about themselves when they are with you.
So if you are in a situation you want to understand or change this is for you.
The design we are looking at today is specifically for creating lasting marriages.
This is about understanding the skills that enable couples to stay emotionally connected and passionate as they plan and experience the life they want to live.
It’s a process of living life on their terms.
As opposed to no design, no plan and we land where we land.
Learning how to build passionate fun loving lives isn’t for everyone!
I do believe the quality of a person’s relationship is connected to what they put in and not everyone is naturally equipped, wants to learn, or can be bothered.
Some people do believe they should just be loved, this is called adults wanting baby love.
So these people must accept they will land where they land and they may not like it.
In a court of Law ignorance is not a defence, the laws of nature are the same, so when we ignore the design nature has for us, it will dish out a sentence until the pain is so great we have no choice but to start learning.
I also know those that are passionate to learn may not find this easy, but what you are about to read is central to a couple’s connection or lack of it.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it because that won’t help you, I’ll lay out the framework.
Life isn’t supposed to be like this!
Unfortunately, couples are becoming upset because their life isn’t how they wanted it to be.
My answer to them is of course it isn’t, without designing it couples will always land in uncomfortable places.
Many blame their partner for how they feel and it’s the perfect thinking to remain out of control.
It’s like two people agreeing to go on holiday with no plan one arriving at the airport with skiing gear and the other with a bikini.
Not planning and communicating about a holiday destination would be chaos so why do so many think a whole life requires less thought?
When couples don’t plan their destination the journey is always fought with problems.
BUT, before they start to plan the destination there is something far more important to understand or the journey to the destination will be a very rocky road.
As you read this post the problem(s) will become clear, but before I get to this 30 days ago I started this process of helping you see the problems that were leading to todays post.
30 “Stop & Never” posts, will have hit many of your emails, if you missed it click the link.
Imagine thirty common problems couples are practising every day, it’s little wonder why couples struggle.
I wrote these posts because I wanted you to see the problems I see with couples every day and many of you will see in your own marriages.
There is however a challenge if a person stops the problematic behaviour how would they make the change last?
Many people commit to change, but they don’t last.
You see when you ask someone to stop a behaviour they will need to become invested in why. The change will also need to meet the same specific need the problem was meeting.
This way the need is satiated, but this time with new behaviours designed to meet the criteria you are about to read below.
So by helping you see how many problems there are and now what needs to happen for a change to last, the solution is potentially more complicated than many see.
So before I help people to stop taking action, I have to start with the right foundations.
This is the most critical first step.
Problem one – Couples are starting with the wrong thinking
One of the biggest challenges I keep seeing is people have the wrong philosophy for building successful relationships so metaphorically speaking even before they lay the first brick the house is being built on quicksand.
If you think about couples getting married when they marry they make a promise. They promise to love and cherish their partner that is their commitment.
Each person on that day takes personal responsibility.
Fast forward five years and now they have stopped that commitment and are now committing their partner to show up and love them and then they blame them when they don’t.
How does responsibility turn into blame, judgment and demand?
Imagine getting married with that model. “I promise that you will love me…” underpinned with blame, judgment and demand.
They have moved from a loving contribution-based model into a negative emotional system and many have not even noticed.
They use a judging, blame and demand-based model which is guaranteed to collapse any relationship.
Many are not even aware of the transition they are making because they are so reactive and this provides insight into foundational issues too many people are unaware of.
Reactive people are not in control of their emotions and this will cause them problems.
Their problem will escalate because they don’t know how to stay in a contribution-based model and due to their own needs not being met they will enter a needs deficit.
The needs deficit changes how they show up and now a person who says they are loving and caring stops being loving and caring to their partner.
Many have ended up being far kinder to strangers than they are to their spouses and this is a sign their relationship with themselves is a fundamental problem.
You see it’s all very well to want someone to commit to us, but if we can’t commit to ourselves and what we believe in, our partners stand zero chance of us committing to them.
This is the snowball effect that grows out of control wreaking havoc.
Two people disconnected from themselves and each other over time usually leads to one person who concludes the relationship isn’t working anymore.
They wrongly conclude WHY the relationship isn’t working totally unaware it’s been fed the wrong fuel.
If I put diesel in a petrol engine that won’t work anymore, but is the car the problem or is it me?
What do we have so far?
So far we have two people that don’t build a vision that makes enough sense for the couple to be a consistent team and stay passionately connected.
This is underpinned by not understanding the philosophies that lead them to lasting connections so they enter a needs deficit and stop using the model that (worked when they met) and brought them together.
I see this problem in every sector of life, I don’t know who said this, but their statement illustrates the impact of people’s thinking…
“…if all the money in the world was evenly distributed to every person, in time it would very likely end up back where it is today”.
The spenders would spend it all till they had nothing again, the savers would save, and the investors would invest.
Everyone has 24 hours in a day the only difference in outcome is their thinking.
The wrong thinking equals the wrong outcome!
Philosophy reset – boot camp for the mind
So let’s imagine we’ve corrected the individual’s philosophies in terms of their role in the relationship and how they should show up, what’s next?
Now we can work on using those philosophies as a foundation to build a stable relationship with ourselves so we are armed with the right emotional system to deal with problems.
Most people lose control of themselves with relationship problems, or they control in such a way that an emotional disconnect on both sides is guaranteed.
Every couple has problems, assuming there should be no problems is ridiculous.
I remember one gentleman who turned up in a session complaining about his wife’s emotional outbursts.
I asked him how often this was happening… wait for it – He said, “Once a year!”
You read that right, he said “Once a year!”
The quest isn’t to get rid of the problems the quest is to make any problem easy to deal with, so fear doesn’t strike a person when one happens.
You can bet she was holding back for 364 days.
Another example; a CEO is met with problems on a daily basis and he calmly deals with each one as he expertly moves the company back on track towards the desired goal.
This man knows what he is doing.
Yet at home, that same CEO when under pressure from his wife will blow up, emotionally losing control of himself!
This same very intelligent man this time has NO IDEA what he is doing because the philosophies that create progress and change at work seem to backfire at home!
So he judges her as the one that’s wrong totally unaware that how he is showing up doesn’t help her.
He concludes “Clearly she is the problem!”
When what he knows doesn’t work, his expectation of it working has moved him out of a contribution model and into a judgement, and blame model.
This is the shift he must understand if he is ever to become successful.
People are not understanding what happens to them emotionally so they must learn how to understand their emotional system so they can get the best out of themselves regardless of what chaos is surrounding them.
It’s very common for relationships to bring out powerful emotions, but these need to be directed into the right place for the person to live as a person with personal integrity.
The problem is this, please don’t expect your partner to be at their best if you are never at yours.
We are now back to the model of people expecting more of their partners than they do of themselves and that’s a real problem too.
Once a person has understood their own emotional system now we can move them on to understand their partners.
They will be shocked to learn how different their partner’s emotional system is from theirs and why.
These emotional systems are different for a reason and generally, people are totally unaware.
What is my partners’ emotional system wanting to achieve that’s different to mine?
Unless you know this how can you help them? If you assume as many do they are wanting the same as you, you will jar them emotionally leading them to complain or withdraw.
So the question is this…
What is the emotional state my partner is in and how do I get the best out of them whilst getting the best out of me?
You see far too many people are too quick to judge their partner without understanding why a person’s behaviour is a certain way.
Is the behaviour a distorted pattern or are the behaviours normal for them but very different from your own?
I see many couples blame their partner simply for being what they are designed to be and as a result they judge them and make them wrong.
So when a lady tells me her husband has no empathy, my answer is how can he if he has no understanding?
The people who think they are qualified to judge are the real problem.
You see what if their emotional pattern was a distorted one you could still choose to bring the best out in them.
Wouldn’t that be preferable to making them wrong whilst losing connection with who you are in the process?
You see judging isn’t loving so the moment this happens your commitment to your own identity has stopped.
People that struggle to stay committed to themselves do struggle to be happy, many experience, stress, depression and anxiety.
“But what about what they did!” They shout – there is never a good reason to become less of who we are and hurt ourselves emotionally in the quest of teaching someone a lesson.
It’s like drinking the poison and expecting them to die.
Understanding combined with effective action takes away fear and helps people build trust in themselves.
This is why understanding why your partner is so different, is critical to learn because what they are trying to get to emotionally helps a person build a win-win model.
So when the person has acquired the right philosophies and right skills then they can start helping situations instead of making them worse.
So people have a choice they can do nothing and continue to lose control of themselves because they don’t have enough knowledge.
Or they can start to learn.
So unless you build your relationship on solid ground it’s only a matter of time until it crumbles.
Unless you understand how you can bring out the best in you no matter what is happing around you, that person will always bring out the worst of themselves to solve their problems.
And unless you understand the needs of your partner’s emotional system and what it is trying to achieve how will you help them to get there?
What does your partner want to connect to within themselves that enables them to have the feelings they like and attach that feeling to you?
Relationships need couples to master basic skills
I remember one gentleman who disagree with all this in a session, he said we have worked fine for years what can possibly be the problem?
He was sat on the edge of divorce blind to it all.
This is the illusion so many sit in, they are unable to see how their connection is being chipped at until one day the simplest change, or comment and the whole house falls down.
Being able to predict what will happen is a key skill to learn.
Left to their own devices many couples that stay together end up killing their attraction and sexual energy and will live in parallel both unfulfilled meeting their needs outside of the marriage.
Connection is the key to it all, but as you can see it’s complex and needs simplifying so couples can learn the steps to success easily.
The problem is we are not naturally designed to understand how to keep that connection alive in our partners.
So people do their best.
Many people know their partner loves them, but they don’t feel it.
People butt heads with no resolution not understanding quite how corrosive this is to their future together.
There is a choice to do what you’ve always done getting what you always got, or you can learn new powerful skills that recreate passion.
A big part of staying together is overcoming adversity together.
Fairweather couples always struggle because a change is always coming.
The key to all this is design.
Design the outcomes, design your own feelings, and design what you want to help your partner experience that they will love.
The alternative is to keep trigging your partner so they disconnect from who they are when they are with you and so they are compelled to find new ways to connect to themselves outside of the marriage.
Every month I accept three new couples into my programs.
If today’s post has struck a chord and you want to apply to become a client to learn fast how to get the best out of yourself your partner and your life.