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February 2006

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In this issue:


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Conscious Relationship Resources

Conscious Relationship
Tele-Seminar Series

Conscious Relationship

Conscious Relationship
Article Bank


David Steele
Founder and CEO,
Relationship Coaching Institute

Cindy Briolotta, President
Relationship Coaching Network

Linda Marshall - Photo
Linda Marshall
Director | Couples Programs

Tara Kachaturoff - Photo
Tara Alexandra Kachaturoff
Editor | Partners in Life Couples News

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Conscious Dating: Finding the Love of Your Life in Today's World

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This newsletter is designed especially for YOU if:

  • You have met someone and are wondering if s/he is the "Love of Your Life"
  • You are about to get married and want to co-create a fulfilling life partnership
  • You have a good relationship and want to make it great!

Ask Our Coaches:
How Important is Chemistry?

This column answers questions submitted by our readers. Submit your questions to who will forward them to our coaches all over the world. Each issue, we'll publish a few answers from our RCI coaches.

Dear Coaches,

My husband and I were attracted to each other in the beginning because of our love of nature and a common desire to be of service to people less fortunate than we were. We also shared a similar spiritual perspective. Eventually, we married and now have two small children. We've been through a lot of transitions in the past eight years, including becoming parents, career changes, and a move away from a major support system. It has taken a toll on our marriage and we have had some hurtful interactions. It has affected our sex life.

My question is … how we can deal with this? What I see now is that we didn't have sexual chemistry willing to work on the relationship and build on what strengths we do have, but I am wondering if I can feel passion for him when the chemistry wasn't there to begin with. We want to feel sexually satisfied and fulfilled, and I'm not sure how to get over this hurdle. Can you help?

Gail from Galveston

Sandy responds …

You have many strengths in your marriage -- shared values, shared spirituality and children whom you love.

Obviously, many changes have taken place in your life. It seems to me that your problem is not with sex, but that your sexual issues have arisen as a symptom of a deeper problem -- emotional disconnect.

Only after you have re-established your emotional ties can you begin to work on the sexual connection. In my opinion, the renewed emotional connection will automatically lead to a renewed sexual connection. If you need additional guidance, a trained relationship coach could be helpful in assisting both of you with this issue.

Sandra Rohr, M.A. |
sandy@wellspringscoaching | 714.774.8540

Julie responds ...

One of the biggest challenges for couples, especially when there are small children involved, is spending adequate time together to foster individual desires and sexual chemistry. I find it hard to imagine that chemistry is really the problem.

By engaging in open communication, spending time together away from the children, and renewing your connection with one another, I believe you will likely spark memories of more sacred times. I believe this could open both of you to a deeper level of intimacy that you can share with each other.

Julie Holley |

Michael responds …

Sexual chemistry is something that comes most often with vulnerability and openness. You mention that you’ve experienced some hurtful interactions. If you've been fighting a lot, it is possible that you have damaged the base of trust that a solid sexual relationship is based upon.

You and your husband need to find a way to navigate the changes you are experiencing without losing trust in each other. Sometimes, all that you need is to remember you are both committed to raising your family and making each other happier and more fulfilled. You may need to work on the way your interactions occur.

Michael Murray, C.Ht | Founder, Profound Connections | 647.477.2325

Caroline responds …

I’m sorry you have been trying hard to live a married life full of awareness, giving and spirituality, and now you are experiencing problems.

My suggestion is that you revisit the feelings that brought you together as well as the values you share and the goals you’ve achieved. Write these things down so that you can see what you have accomplished together.

In my opinion, what’s taking a toll on your marriage is pure tiredness from career, raising children and other changes you have been experiencing. Although the time of estrangement is painful for you, I believe the coming together again, in truth and commitment, will make things better in the future.

I believe engaging in a couple of coaching sessions with a trained relationship coach would be of value. He or she would help you to change your perspective and provide you with tools to move forward in a positive direction.

Caroline Minto


Feature Article

Exercises to Renew Emotional Connection

By Sandra Rohr and Julie Holley

Sandra Rohr: Partner Exercise 1

How long has it been since you and your loved one connected on a deep level? When was the last time you just sat together and experienced each other? In the book, Spirit-Centered Relationships: Experiencing Greater Love and Harmony Through the Power of Presencing , authors Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks write about a technique that can be helpful for connecting on an emotional level.

Set aside a time when the children are in bed, or find a baby sitter so that you can experience uninterrupted time together. Begin by clearing your mind of resentments and anger. A few minutes of silent meditation and deep breathing will help. Next, begin to focus on each other, going into a soft, accepting place. Leaving your own concerns behind, spend time simply being present and considering the pain that your partner’s inner child is experiencing.

It might be helpful if you look at a picture of your partner as a small child and remember that this child still exists. Find a place inside where you can feel as protective of your partner’s inner child as you do of your own children.

When you are feeling tenderness for your partner, each of you should take turns speaking of your hopes and dreams. Be willing to be vulnerable and open. Speak to each other about your loneliness and pain, but avoid making it personal or attacking. Focus on sharing simple, gentle, “I” messages. When each of you has felt truly heard and appreciated, you might spend time focusing on your mutual goals as a family.

What values do you wish to focus on? Reconnect with the things that brought you together in the first place. When you start approaching each other from this gentle place, you are more likely to reawaken the love that exists between the two of you.

Julie Holley: Partner Exercise 2

Sit facing your partner, knee to knee on the floor, or with each of you sitting in a chair. Make sure nothing can interrupt your sacred space while maintaining complete quiet for at least fifteen minutes. Look deeply into one another’s eyes without speaking. Do not allow anything to break your silence or focus, but do allow any emotions that come up to flow freely.

After the exercise is complete, you have a couple of options. You can talk about how you’re feeling with each other. Alternatively, you could agree to journal individually until you are both ready to talk. I encourage my clients to make a date for this exercise, and then to repeat it two or three times per week until they get the breakthroughs they are looking for.

RCI Contributing Coaches

Sandra Rohr, M.A. |
sandy@wellspringscoaching | 714.774.8540

Julie Holley |


Bonus Article

Seven Keys to Effective Communication
by Mike and Vicke Christensen

Communication is the key to a great relationship. When you ask most people, they think they are good communicators and great listeners. However, if that were true, we wouldn't have as much workplace conflict or relationship issues centered around communication.

I wish I had a dollar for every client who has said to me, "My boss just doesn't listen" or "My wife/husband doesn't know how to communicate." Lack of communication between couples is the number one issue we deal with in our practice.

Good communication starts with your ability to listen. Effective listening is one of the most widely taught skills, however, it is the one most often ignored. So what can we do to improve our communication?

#1 Timing. This is where you ask whether or not this a good time for a discussion. If you or your partner is tired, upset or in the middle of doing something else, it’s going to be difficult to have a meaningful conversation. Ask yourself these questions: Is this the right time? Is this the right place? Will we be free from distractions?

#2 Avoid using “always” and “never” when communicating. If you use words such as “always” and “never,” most people will discount everything that follows the saying of those words. So if you say, “You never take out the trash” or “You never want sex,” your spouse will more than likely discount the whole statement – because it’s not true. A better approach would be, “Honey, could you take out the trash?” or “Honey, what can I do to interest you in having sex with me tonight?”

#3 Use “I” instead of “you” statements. Focus on your own feelings, thoughts and needs. Using the word “you” puts your partner in a defensive mode rather than a listening mode. Own your feelings by saying “I want” or “I feel.” Make sure you are expressing feelings. If you say “I feel like” or “I feel that,” you are expressing thoughts, not feelings. Feelings are expressed in a single word. You may be having more than one feeling, but each will be one word only. Some examples of primary feelings are angry, sad, scared, hurt, pain, happy, calm, and cheerful. You’ll be safe if you draw upon words like these.

#4 Paraphrase what you hear. Repeat back to your partner what he or she has just said prior to making your own response. This has two purposes. First, it shows your partner that you are listening carefully to what he or she is saying, and second, it gives your partner the opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings.

#5 Don’t make assumptions.
Ask for clarification and be curious. If something doesn’t make sense, don’t just jump to the conclusion that you know what they mean. If something hits you the wrong way, ask for clarification.

#6 Refrain from making judgments. When practicing open communication with your partner, avoid judgmental statements such as, “I’ve wondered when you’d see that” or “I’ve tried to tell you that for years.” These statements or any body language that implies judgment quickly destroys open communication.

#7 Watch your body language. When talking with another person, body language will typically take precedence over your spoken words. Eye contact, gestures, and facial expressions are all a part of body language. If you say one thing but your body language indicates another, the body language will be what they “hear.”

If you pay attention to these seven keys to effective communication, you will make your interactions much more pleasant and meaningful.

Mike and Vicke Christensen
Christensen Consulting & Coaching |


Words of Wisdom

Couples who pursue a hedonistic form of happiness, seeking to fulfill their desires regardless of their needs, endure twice as much conflict as couples who pursue more altruistic forms of happiness (that is, based on creating feelings of unity and mutual satisfaction).

-- The 100 Simple Secrets of Great Relationships: What Scientists have Learned and How You Can Use It by David Niven, Ph.D.

When a man and a woman practice their mutual wiles on one another they are imitating the way God works on us; and to the extent that these wiles draw them both out of their mundane narrowness, they are literally cooperating with God’s gentle seductions. The more the lover excites the partner into a frenzy of passion, the more godlike he is.

--Andrew Greeley


Free The Miracle of Connection Audio Programs

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RCI recently completed a seminar series called "The Miracle of Connection" with Hedy Schleifer that is now available by recording, FREE to our subscribers:

Program #1: Growing our Passion
Program #2: Embracing our Differences
Program #3: Achieving Fulfillment


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Free Conscious Relationship Resources

Conscious Relationship Resources

Conscious Relationship
Tele-Seminar Series

February 9: The Couples Circle with David Steele, Darrell Holdaway and Nevin Valentine

March 9:
Marry Yourself First with Ken Donaldson

April 13:
Secrets of Married Men with Scott Haltzman

Conscious Relationship Podcast

Conscious Relationship Article Bank


For More Information, is a resource for couples offered by Relationship Coaching Institute, a worldwide relationship coaching organization dedicated 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 and fulfilling.'

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