I’ll never forget this day – I was about 20 years of age. No matter how far I walked, I could not escape this gutwrenching pain. This was something I had never experienced before, my girlfriend had just ended our 12-month relationship.
I never saw it coming, and it changed something in me that led me to an very unexpected future.
That pain and suffering I went through was so shocking it’s probably one of the foundations to why I had dedicated my life to helping people out of their emotional crises.
Today I have seen couple after couple come back from the edge of divorce after they understood what was really happening.
Affairs, loss of love, and no passion for years, so many couples are discovering an empowered way of rebuilding their relationship, reigniting passion and not losing themselves in the process.
The foundation of how this is possible will become clear as you read this post.
BUT to be clear, I wasn’t always able to do this as the start of this post suggests.
In fact, in my 20 – 30s, I was hopeless at understanding how and why relationships worked for myself, and that was extremely frustrating and painful.
When I look at my critical needs today, it’s so easy to see why back then, I suffered so much.
My challenge was relationships were really important to me, so the drive to have one and the inability to understand how to be successful created a very real frustration.
I remember a girlfriend deciding she didn’t want me anymore, and being in my early 20s and 1000% invested in her, the pain and suffering hit me like a train.
It came out of the blue.
As my dating life continued problems started to show up and I used to wonder if it was me or was it her? Who was the problem?
As I dated, more and more, new problems would arise combined with lots of very familiar ones.
But none of what I was seeing made any sense to me.
In the moment, I felt she was mean and unreasonable.
But in my more reflective moments, I couldn’t escape the simple fact that I’m the common denominator in these situations, so maybe I’m the problem.
The horror of maybe it’s me, maybe I’m the broken one, kept popping up in my mind.
That thinking filled me with horror, but it also empowered me to search for answers.
The answer to the “…is it me or them…? was very simple; the answer was YES!
I was lost, but so were they so we were both to blame, but it was no one’s fault because no one is teaching us how to be successful.
So I actively search for knowledge.
As I gained more knowledge, I started to see how I was making the situations worse without meaning to, but they had the same problem.
Both of us wanted happiness, but neither could see how the route to that happiness was different for each person – and that’s a problem so many suffer with.
So if, on my route to my own happiness, I was creating a stress response in her without knowing, this would naturally create frustration on both sides.
This was a miserable two-way street of frustration with no visible answer, except maybe we were not right for each other.
So for many couples, if their happiness were a random event, then this hit-and-miss approach would only build fear and resentment, resulting in someone emotionally detaching.
When I look at couples today, I now see so much unnecessary stress they are both creating.
They have created stress in their lives together, just like I did.
The frustration everyone is experiencing is perfectly normal; there is nothing wrong with them they are not broken just missing critical information.
The challenge for most is they can only see the world from their own perspective.
The pain and suffering people go through is, without a doubt, heartwrenching I know myself how devastated I felt all those years ago.
What I now know today and how I help my clients is to empower them with simple ways to see the same situation in ways which create a win-win situation.
But before I could get to that position, I discovered that if I was going to have a relationship with another person, then my relationship with myself had to make sense to me.
I have to self-validate myself and be happy with who I had become. I wasn’t here to run around pleasing everyone I was here to be proud of who I had become.
You see, the moment your self-worth comes from the outside world, you lose all your power.
My first coach’s very first question to me was, “Who has your power?” It turned out it was everyone else, so no wonder I felt so lost.
Remember, you cannot please all the people all the time, so please stop trying; you’ll get exhausted, and in the end, please no one.
I had to remove my own distortions and patterns that were not helpful to me.
To be clear, no matter how good you are at relationship building, and I’m including myself in this, we all make mistakes; the key is to see those mistakes reclaim yourself quickly and put the marriage back on track.
Once I was able to create a connection with myself that made sense, the next question was who do I have to become to be worthy of the relationship I desire.
This meant I had to understand how my significant other is different from me.
So how can I see these differences in a way that doesn’t trigger me to lose connection with who I am?
You see, that’s the problem I keep seeing in my clients today; their misunderstanding of their partner triggers them to become disconnected from themselves.
Disconnecting from ourselves is horribly painful and can create stress, anxiety and depression.
So people end up having distorted relationships with themselves because of how they incorrectly interpret their partner’s behaviours.
Judging isn’t loving, eye-rolling isn’t kind, and criticism isn’t about empathy.
That process is about people losing connection with themselves, and that process on its own creates ongoing suffering.
I should know I did the same thing. I suffered ongoing stress due to bending myself inside out to make someone like me.
Once I understood how to understand these needs that are so different to my own and I started applying this new knowledge.
I started to be no longer afraid of the problems.
I was no longer afraid of an upset.
I knew what it meant, and I knew what to do.
This is a critical milestone for anyone wanting to build a lasting passionate connection – start moving towards what you want and stop moving away from what you don’t want.
I remember being at home and asking the kids if they knew where Mum was.
They said she was at the bottom of the garden, but they warned me to stay clear because she’s in a foul mood.
The moment I heard this I went to open the back door – as I went to the door, they shouted, “where are you going?”
“I’m going to her” – “Are you nuts!” they responded.
I smiled inside because what they thought is what many people think if there is trouble, stay away, but because I’m not afraid, I know what is going on and how I can help.
So today, my marriage to Cloe is very simple.
A beautiful soul (Cloe) has chosen me out of billions of people to spend her life with me.
I have taken that opportunity as an honour; she gave me her heart, and I made a promise to look after it.
I have made it my mission to add massive value to her in the process of being who I really am – I’ll never change me again.
What I noticed is the value that I added through learning and understanding her has a massive effect on her natural desire to support and look after me.
She has a natural belief in me that has really brought out the best in me.
So I don’t have a wife who is critical of me and wants me to do and be better – what I have is a wife that is looking for ways that she can be more of who she is.
You see, I could see an amazing person in her, and I wanted to bring the best of her out, not by coaching her or telling her what to do, but just by changing how I approached her.
I could criticise, blame and judge, but she would feel bad and attach that to me – why would I want any of that for her or me?
To this day, I have never coached her, yet she is a loving and powerful energy; she experiences a full range of masculine and feminine energy, knowing that she can be all of who she is and she will be loved.
I intentionally created a safe space for her to be able to become who she wanted to become.
So what you will notice is the key to building a successful relationship is understanding how each person can take responsibility for themselves to be better.
If you notice, I didn’t ask her to be better; I worked out how I could be better because it’s the only thing I can control.
Far too many people are so full of their own distortions and need their partner to change so they feel better.
This is a disempowering process driven by fear, and this kills any chance of joy!
Today I do have couples coming for my help, but there is a shift towards people coming on their own and looking to have a better connection with themselves combined with the desire to become a more effective partner.
They want to learn how to get the best from themselves and their intimate connections.
They want to grow and thrive and show their children how it’s done…