This newsletter is designed especially for YOU if:
- You have met someone and are wondering if s/he is the "Love of Your
- You are about to get married and want to co-create a fulfilling
- You have a good relationship and want to make it great
Note: We completed our Conscious Mating Tele-Seminar
Series last month. Catch the replays using the links below.
When We Must Say Goodbye
With David Steele
When singles become pre-committed couples they ask themselves
"Is this the right relationship for me? Is this 'The One' for a
lifetime commitment?" The answer for one or both might be "No,"
so then what?
Saying good bye is hard. When a couple breaks up, even
if they were not in a committed relationship, they experience grief
and loss. Many move on with their lives without closure because it's
Completing a relationship with integrity helps you move
forward and become ready for your next relationship. Not getting closure
results in carrying more baggage into your next relationship.
In this program you will learn:
- Three primary reasons for experiencing pain in a breakup, what
they mean and what to do about it
- Our step-by-step "Goodbye Process" for getting closure
on a relationship after it ends
- Strategies for saying goodbye for the initiator and receiver
- Our #1 Strategy for handling the pain of a breakup
- And more!
Access the replay of this seminar here
The recordings of all our programs are available f`ree at www.consciousrelationshippodcast.com
Note: THIS WAS A GREAT PROGRAM! Catch the replay using
the link below
Relationship Energy Drainers
With Ilene Dillon,
MSW, MFT, LCSW
Do you know that "the way a relationship starts off, it tends
Too often we spend weeks or months in a relationship, only to find
it is not working for us because we feel drained, guilty, very angry,
or used in the relationship.
You can save yourself time, energy, and pain by learning to recognize
immediately when your energy is being drained and what you can do
about it. Whether you have a penchant for attracting energy
draining individuals or you experience energy draining only occasionally,
you'll appreciate having readily-available tools for dealing with
this all-too-common relationship challenge.
In this program you will learn:
- How and why energy draining occurs
- 6 ways to immediately recognize when your energy is being drained.
- Two prominent patterns of energy draining.
- Three actions you can take to neutralize energy draining from
- How to utilize the 72-Hour Rule to strengthen yourself in relationships.
- The D.E.S.C. Plus-A-Step method for communicating powerfully.
Access the replay here
The recordings of all our programs are available f`ree at www.consciousrelationshippodcast.com
Ask Our Coaches:
A Good Neighbor or Not?
"...I’ve talked to my husband, many times, about
how upsetting this is to me. He says I’m overreacting and that
it’s nothing and harmless.."
This column answers questions submitted by our readers. Submit your
questions to Tara@relationshipcoachinginstitute.com who will forward them to our coaches all over the world. Each
issue, we'll publish a few answers from our RCI coaches.
I’m 40 years old, married, and the mother of two young girls.
My husband and I have been together for 10 years. We moved to a new
neighborhood 5 months ago and next door to a single, rather attractive
looking female neighbor. She’s a little younger than I am.
She frequently stops over to chat and loves to engage in conversations
with my husband. I think she’s flirting. She sometimes dresses
in provocative clothing which I find upsetting. I’m not the jealous
type – but right now I am. I’ve even come home more than
a few times to find her sitting in our living room talking to my husband!
I’ve talked to my husband, many times, about how upsetting this
is to me – how it makes me uncomfortable to have this single woman
hanging around our home and him – and my children. He says I’m
overreacting and that it’s nothing and harmless. I don’t
think it’s harmless – it’s hurting me and affecting
my feelings towards him, not to mention our neighbor. I think it’s
inappropriate. I’m frustrated. I feel like I’m being ignored.
What should I do?
Edie from Edmonton
Sandra responds …
Actually, I am far less concerned about your neighbor’s
behavior than I am about your husband’s behavior. You are his
wife, and your happiness and sense of security should be of primary
importance to him. That he dismisses your feelings is unacceptable.
In my opinion you need to get your husband’s attention and have
a serious talk with him in which you share your fears and concerns and
you must ask him to change his behavior. If he continues to belittle
your concerns, it’s time to call in help in the form of a therapist,
minister, or coach to help him focus on what’s important in a
With the help of this third person, the two of you can work to redefine
and strengthen your marriage. If he won’t go with you for counseling
or coaching, go by yourself and explore your own bottom-line standards
for a marriage. You deserve more than you are currently receiving from
Sandra Rohr, M.A. www.YourPersonalLoveCoach.com email@example.com|
Betsy responds …
Edie, I’m sorry that you are suffering with such unpleasant
feelings! In addition to feeling hurt and frustrated, you must also
be feeling very insecure. Try examining these feelings to get at the
root cause. Have they surfaced under other circumstances? Could your
recent move or your neighbor’s age and attractiveness be triggering
insecurities in you that might not otherwise be present?
Your neighbor may indeed be flirting; but I think the core issue here
is the trust level between you and your husband, and you and your husband’s
sensitivity with respect to each others’ feelings.
Think back on how you two have communicated with each other. Could
your husband be feeling that you are questioning his honesty or integrity?
If so, he will likely be defensive which will hamper his ability to
hear you and to be sensitive to your feelings.
Talk about each other’s feelings rather than the appropriateness
of his and your neighbor’s actions. See if this opens the door
for you and your husband to listen with compassion to each other and
to work together to address your concerns in a collaborative way instead
of being in conflict with each other.
Betsy Dorn | CenterforLifeinBalance@gmail.com
You have rightfully discerned that the issue is not
so much about this woman being around as it is that your husband is
not taking your concerns to heart. That you feel discounted and ignored
is by far the greater issue. My advice to you would be to drop the conversation
about the woman and instead confront the real issue of his not caring
that you feel discounted and ignored.
Confrontation is a relational term. It means to face front –
to confront whatever is getting in the way of love. There are three
1. Assure your husband that you are for him and for the relationship.
Create the feeling of being on the same team instead of in opposition
to each other.
2. Own whatever part of the conflict that you can. In your case perhaps
it is, “I am sorry if I’ve caused you to think that I
don’t trust you.”
3. Let him know what it is that is causing you difficulty and make
a specific request.
The idea is to be on the same team addressing whatever is getting in
the way of love and not making each other the enemy.
Jeannine Lee |
10+ Secrets of Great Relationships
By RCI Coaches
Secret #1: Commitment
by Betsy Dorn
What is Commitment? Is it a behavior; an attitude; an emotional state;
or a promise?
I experienced commitment, recently, in deciding to swim solo across
an expansive lake. Upon nearing the half-way point, I faced the choice
of heading back to familiar territory, or going forward in spite of
being uncertain of the distance, my capabilities, or what lurked beneath
me. I took the risk and swam ahead in spite of my fears and committed
my entire being to ensuring that my journey was successful.
Commitment in a relationship is very similar. In spite of inner fears,
doubts and even discomfort at times, committed individuals choose
to have faith in their ability to have a successful relationship,
give it their best, and go the distance – together.
Truly committed couples always turn towards each other to remain
connected and to resolve issues and concerns, and do not give themselves
the option of exiting the relationship as a way to resolve relationship
Rather than being a trap, commitment provides a sanctuary in which
relationship work can be safely performed and the joy that comes with
such devotion to the relationship can be experienced. True commitment,
along with love, are foundational building blocks in a relationship
that not only survives the test of time, but thrives.
Secret #2: Respecting Each Other
by Betsy Dorn
Being respected is a basic human need. It is a minimum requirement
in any functional relationship between two people. In a highly evolved
romantic relationship, couples do not just respect each other –
they cherish and revere each other – each and every day.
This is demonstrated, not by feelings, but through daily actions,
such as staying tuned-in to remain sensitive to each other’s
feelings, listening attentively, regarding the other person’s
needs and wants as equally important as one’s own, and being
courteous as well as considerate even when stressed or tired.
Partners in relationships that don’t just stand the test of
time, but thrive, combine respect with romance in the form of courtship.
Such couples continue to court each other for the duration of the
relationship as this form of respect is a pleasure to bestow as well
as to receive.
Betsy Dorn | CenterforLifeinBalance@gmail.com
Secret #3: Listening
by Marcy Rich
The sitcom character, Frasier Crane, always began his radio show
with the statement, “I’m listening”. These are two
powerful words for all of us to use so we can build better relationships.
By listening, not just hearing, we show we have the ability to receive,
attend to, interpret and respond to verbal messages in ways that are
appropriate to the purpose of the communication.
While we all may have different listening styles as well as various
motivations for listening, statistically we all gain approximately
85% of our knowledge through the act of listening. The payoff, then,
for partners to listen to each other is a reduction in stress, an
increase in cohesiveness and understanding, as well as an appropriate
level of openness and honesty.
When we listen to our partners actively, critically and responsively,
we allow ourselves to be more intelligent and discerning listeners.
It is always a compliment to your partner when you listen without
judgment until your comprehension is complete, listen between the
lines, ask questions and paraphrase what was said, nod and show interest,
provide feedback and maintain friendly eye contact.
So the next time your partner sits you down to talk, tell them –
and show them - “I'm listening”.
Marcy Rich, M.A. | 480.596.6660 | Selfnrelate@aol.com
Secret #4: Forgiveness
by Patricia Drury, CPCC
Forgiveness is often mistaken for excusing or condoning, but it is
quite a different thing. It is a conscious choice and an essential
relationship skill - the only antidote to toxic resentment. For your
relationship to last and be fulfilling for both of you, you both need
to learn forgiveness. You will both surely need it at some point!
Forgiveness is a choice and is about you, not about the person being
forgiven. When you forgive, you are not saying that whatever happened
was somehow okay after all. You are not giving away anything that
takes away from you. You are simply making the decision to stop chewing
on it, to let it go, to make peace with it, and to move on. You are
consciously placing a higher value on your connection to each other
than on being “right.” Of course, if you are being abused,
you may also make the choice to leave the relationship.
Forgiving your partner gives YOU peace. If ever you feel you cannot
forgive, seek outside help - from a coach, counselor, or member of
the clergy. Once you do forgive, you will have opened the door to
deeper intimacy, greater emotional safety and stronger love.
Patricia Drury, CPCC | www.relationshipreadiness.com firstname.lastname@example.org | 952-829-9233
Secret #5: Expressing Affection
by Pamela Simmons
Expressing affection maintains the five to one ratio of positive interaction
to negative interaction, lets our partner know we care, and gets us
through the tough times. Doing this skillfully prevents disconnect
and despair when life stresses hit.
We need to learn what words or actions mean the most to our partners.
If we give from our own love language, we may discover our partner
missed the message completely. Dr. Gary Chapman narrowed love language
down to five categories: time, touch, words, gifts, and service.
Our preferred language usually comes as a result of our growing up
experience and may be garnered from disappointments. As the oldest
child in charge of chores, coming home to the aroma of dinner on the
stove warms my heart beyond belief.
Together, we can list the words and actions that mean the most to
us: sitting on the porch together, a hug, “I love you,”
a card, or taking out the trash, etc. If we do what has meaning for
our partner, we create a deeper connection. Just as skillful listening
accesses the heart of the speaker, skillful love expression reaches
the heart of the receiver. A message understood by not only the brain,
but also by the body and soul, is experienced richly and reminds us
of our raison d’etre.
Pamela Simmons |email@example.com
Secret #6: Compassion
by Mara Castello
Compassion is a fundamental building block within a relationship
in that it provides a "sympathetic consciousness of the others'
distress together with a desire to alleviate it.” Applying compassion
in relationships is important in order to develop deeper connection.
To better understand the elements of compassion, it is necessary
to keep in mind a model used in coaching called the "Process
of Manifestation" which teaches that thoughts lead to feelings,
feelings lead to actions, and actions lead to results. (Thoughts +
Feelings + Actions = Results).
How does compassion manifest? It requires that we examine our core
thought (T) to align it with that of our partner. This then produces
a feeling (F) showing that we understand how the other person feels
(empathy). We then ultimately act (A) on that understanding demonstrating
compassion (either verbally or physically.) When two persons in an
intimate relationship feel compassion for one another, judgment lessens,
defensiveness lessens and it deepens the level of connection, the
result (R), between the partners.
By understanding this process, in my own experience with my life
partner, whenever I have experienced anger, I have been able to go
back to my core thought (although not necessarily at that moment)
and replace it with a thought that ultimately leads me to compassion.
Mara Castello | firstname.lastname@example.org | 617.823.0523
Secret #7: Shared Values
by Jack Cook
We appraise others through our own set of values. We appreciate.
We enjoy! We overlook issues for the sake of intimacy. We forget out
of a fear of loss. And often our assumption that other people’s
values mimic our own is faulty. Sadly for some the realization that
shared values don’t exist in our relationship comes too late.
In Exercise 4 of the Conscious Dating Relationship Success Training
for Singles manual, you will find these two instructions:
1. Choose your top five most important “Values” from
the list on the next page.
2. Choose the top five values that are most important for you to
share with your Life Partner.
By completing this exercise you not only become aware of your own
values, but also you establish a set of guidelines to follow in creating
your next relationship. AND it’s easy! A. S. K.
Ask about a person’s values. “How do you feel about______________?”
“What are your thoughts on_________________?”
State your own values. Take or make the opportunity to let your values
be known. Be clear – and get a response. Share information.
Know for sure. Don’t guess or suppose based on personal stories
or family history. Be certain your values are his/her values.
Know your values. Know your life partner’s values. Values are
the foundation upon which you build successful relationships.
Jack Cook | email@example.com | 904.725.6044
Secret #8: Honesty
by Bj Moorer
Honesty is being straightforward even when it seems easier to shade
the truth to keep the peace. This quality of being upright and fair
and free from deceit or fraud is the backbone of a good quality relationship.
Being honest goes far beyond a wife asking her husband if she looks
fat in that little black dress after 6 years of marriage That wise
husband may say she looks great even though she has gained a few pounds
after 2 children.
This same couple may face an opportunity to pull a few too many strings
to get little Jenna on the cheerleading squad, but they choose to
instill in their child to stick with it and work harder. "Next
year we'll be rooting for you” is what they tell her.
This couple has learned the value of honesty in their relationship
and it is easy to instill it in others. That loving look in his eye
and on her face tells the story. These two have come to value honesty
and integrity – the building blocks of any successful relationship.
Your honesty to each other serves as relationship glue. It brings
depth to your relationship, enriches your lives, and provides the
proper foundation for lasting commitment.
Secret #9: Fidelity
by Bj Moorer
What is fidelity? Is it a lost notion from days gone by or
is it at the heart of a great relationship today?
Certainly, fidelity is one pillar the enables a strong foundation
for any lasting relationship. My aunt and uncle have been married
for over 50 years. Yes, 50 years! They still hold hands
and smile at each other. She waits patiently for her husband
to rise up with the help of his walker and you can hear him any day
asking her with loving care if she has any pain in her knee.
Uncle Henry and Aunt Jenny have had the pleasure of successfully enduring
many storms and now enjoy sitting back and enjoying the company of
the person they committed to.
If you ask Uncle Henry (as I have done often) what is the key to your
successful marriage, he will tell you that he has never violated his
wedding vows. He has been faithful to his beloved every day
of those 50 plus years. Through every temptation, test or trial,
we can choose to remain faithful. With trust and faithfulness,
couples can work through life, family and career changes and stay
the course. Fidelity to our partner is about deep commitment,
trust and selfless love.
Bj Moorer | www.RelationshipAdviceHeadquarters.com
Secret #10: Freedom to Be
By LeAnn O'Neal
What is "freedom to be"? Understanding each person is experiencing
his or her own unique life and is F’REE to do so.
Did you know a butterfly struggles to get out of its cocoon to gain
the strength in its wings so it can fly? If the cocoon is opened
prematurely the butterfly may not fly at all.
Allowing the natural process of life can be challenging. "Free
to be" fosters the feeling of "letting go" without
attachment to the outcome of what will happen next. It is as simple
as you both living separate lives and coming together to share when
you are struggling with a major life decision or when your loved one
has just picked up their new toy (car, big screen TV, etc.).
Both of you are free to experience without losing love as you know
you will be loved anyway by your self and your loved one.
Without the “freedom to be”, we wither in any relationship
because our passion for life is altered. When couples are devoted
to the sacred union that keeps them together, they can allow
each other to create on their own as separate people as well
LeAnn O'Neal, MA, LMFT www.LoveConscious.net
Secret #11: Freedom to Be
By Vanessa Dyer
Loving communication cures inner suffering. Begin with your self
and then create healthy couple-hood.
Communicate love to your self through mind, body, and spirit. Love
your mind with positive self talk, acceptance of now, wanting what
you have, trusting yourself, knowing your boundaries, and communicating
your specific needs and requests to others. Love your body by eating
nutritiously, rejecting poisons, practicing moderation, and movement.
Explore the universe and intuition for what rocks your spirit. These
steps are proactive in taking responsibility for your fulfillment.
Loving communication in couple-hood is understood through touch,
affectionate play, and endearing verbal tone. The bond strengthens
daily with each supportive gesture. It does not include being right,
one upping, criticizing, character assassination, or excluding or
neglecting your mate. Love is communicated through validating each
others feelings, making requests, reaching understanding and cherishing
Assess if your connection is less than loving. Ask yourself if you
feel better before or after having interaction with your mate? As
Dr. Phil puts it, “Are you contributing to or contaminating
Loving communication creates trust; it is a spring board for exponential
growth to deepen and soothe your soul.
Vanessa Dyer | www.MileHighMindandBody.com|
© 2007 Relationship Coaching Institute– All rights reserved.
Rules of the Road for
by David Steele,
Founder and CEO, Relationship Coaching Institute
Nobody likes conflict, yet the most innocent words or actions can
result in an argument, even with the best of intentions. Don't wait
for your next argument- read this article now to learn nine "Rules
of the Road" for effective communication and conflict resolution
in any relationship. These are key to avoiding hitting "The Wall"
which results in arguments and conflict.
The Rules of the Road
In any communication there is a sender and a receiver. The risk of
conflict is highest when the sender is experiencing an issue of some
kind and needs to communicate about it. Before any effective communication
starts, especially around an issue, it's important to understand these
1. Issues are Unmet Needs
In my thinking, a problem or an issue in a relationship is about
an unmet need. If it weren't a need, it wouldn't be an issue.
2. All Issues are Valid
If we assume this then we won't argue with each other about the validity
of the issue. It is not nice to discount somebody's issues and say,
"Oh come on now that's no big deal. What's your problem? Don't
Don't allow someone to discount your issue. And don't discount their
issue either, because all issues are valid, big and small. Just the
fact that you experience an issue makes it valid; you don't need to
justify it or get agreement about whether it's an issue or not.
3. Who has the Unmet Need, Owns the Issue
I call this "David Steele's Law of Relationship," and it
goes two ways- for the sender it means that if you have an issue,
it's about you, you own it. It's yours. It belongs to you. There is
no universal issue out there that if everybody experiences this one
thing, everybody will have an issue with it. Some people will. Some
people won't. Needs and issues are subjective, not facts. They are
your truth and not necessarily a truth that others share.
So if it's an issue for you, it's because you have the need and the
need is unmet. It's not automatically an indictment that your partner
is in the wrong. For example, if your partner comes home late and
doesn't call, in some relationships that might be a problem, in others
it wouldn't be a big deal.
If you have a need to know what to expect it will be an issue for
you if that need is unmet when your partner is late and didn't call.
The need is yours and the issue is yours. Your partner being late
is simply a fact; it doesn't make them right or wrong. It doesn't
make your issue less valid, it simply means you take an attitude of
Taking ownership of your needs and issues in a relationship is incredibly
important because it empowers you to be responsible for your needs,
and is much less likely to put your partner on the defensive because
you're not making them wrong or blaming them for your unmet need.
For the receiver this means that that it's not about you. It's not
your issue and your job is to let the sender have the issue and don't
try to take it away from them by having an issue with their issue.
If you take their issue personally and make it about you then you'll
hit "The Wall." If you let them have their issue and support
them to get their unmet need met you will be helping yourself as well
because you want a happy relationship and happy partner.
4. One Issue at a Time
This is very important because when people communicate about issues
and they talk about more than one at a time it often goes all over
the place. They bring out everything and the kitchen sink; every resentment
they've saved up, every little grievance. If you want to have productive
communication, if you want to resolve something between you two, you
pretty much have to focus on one thing at a time.
5. Take Turns
Take turns being the sender. One person speaks at the time. This
is basic playground behavior. Share and take turns. However, you notice
that arguments happen because one person is not letting the other
person speak so they feel like they have to talk louder to be heard.
And then it goes back and forth. So take turns being the sender.
I want to acknowledge that this is simple, but it's not necessarily
easy. When you're hitting “The Wall” it feels so urgent
to have your partner listen to you that you have a hard time being
present to them. This can take a heroically conscious effort, but
it can be done.
6. Speak with Moderation
If you're taking turns, then you don't need to yell to be heard.
You can speak with moderation. Productive communication is about being
calm, respectful and choosing your words carefully so that you say
what you mean and mean what you say.
7. Listen with Curiosity
This is an important attitude, to be curious about where your partner
is coming from and not to prejudge them as wrong, or speculate that,
"they really mean—this," or "they're just saying
that because of-- that." Look at them through new eyes. Listen
to them as if you're listening to them for the first time. Listen
with curiosity. When you do, I guarantee you'll learn something new
about your partner and your relationship will not only work better,
it'll be more passionate and fulfilling.
Think back to your patterns in listening to your partner. How often
are you formulating in your mind what you're going to say back to
them while they're talking? Sometimes we don't even give the other
guy a chance to finish before we insert our opinions. This is human
nature, it's a bad habit, we all have this tendency and it takes a
little effort to adopt an attitude of curiosity, but it'll help you
really be able to hear and listen effectively.
This is also part of taking turns. If your partner is the sender,
then you need to be the receiver. You need to listen. If it's your
turn to be the sender then you have a right to expect that your partner
listen and receive you and if they are not playing that role you can
request them to do so.
8. Assume the Win-Win
Most of us understand intellectually that we can negotiate. We can
find a way that works for both of us. But what often happens unconsciously
is that there is an assumption or fear that if you get your way then
I'm going to lose and I'm not going to get my needs met. There is
oftentimes a scarcity mentality that drives people into conflict.
They really don't trust that their needs will be met if their partner's
needs are met at the same time. It's either-or. I like to believe
that it is both-and. So assume the win-win.
9. Nurture the Space Between
Here's a concept that oftentimes we forget about, and many couples
don't even know about, which is that a relationship is more than just
two people. There is a space between you where this relationship lives.
This is where your children live, and everyone else that comes into
contact with the two of you.
There's an emotional atmosphere between you two and it needs to be
clean in order to be fulfilled and happy. If you have unresolved conflict,
if your communication is not clean and effective, if there are resentments
and disappointments and unresolved issues between you two, that is
going to pollute the space between you two -- and everyone, including
you, will feel it. So the space between IS the relationship.
We want to nurture that space; we want to treat it as sacred. It's
not just about your partner and it's not just about you, it's the
combination for which you are both 100% responsible. Not 50/50, each
partner is 100% responsible for what happens in the space between.
These Rules of the Road are key paradigms that will help
your communication to be positive and productive-- and you WILL forget
them! I call this phenomenon "going unconscious." No problem
-- next time you "go unconscious" and find yourself hitting
“The Wall” and in an argument, remember the Rules of the
Road for effective communication and conflict resolution.
© 2007 Relationship Coaching Institute– All rights reserved.
David Steele, MA, LMFT is founder of Relationship
Coaching Institute and author of "The Communication Map: A One-Page
Communication System for All Relationships. For more information about
The Communication Map visit http://www.thecommunicationmap.com
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to helping singles 'find the love of your life AND the life that you
love'; to helping new couples 'make a wise choice in a life partner';
and to helping any couple 'fine tune and keep their relationship healthy
Visit our web site at www.PartnersInLife.org for
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Tara Kachaturoff | Editor, PartnersInLife.org Couples News Tara@relationshipcoachinginstitute.com
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