Partners in Life Logo

January 2006

Couple holding hands

In this issue:

Free to our subscribers!

Conscious Relationship Resources

Conscious Relationship
Tele-Seminar Series

Conscious Relationship Podcast

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

Copyright 2006 by
All rights reserved.

Now Available!

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

Order a copy today for your single friends and family members at


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:
Should I Move On?

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,

I have been in a 3-year relationship. My boyfriend proposed six months after we started dating. Everything has come to a halt. We go out every weekend, but there are no plans for a wedding date, no more talk or plans for marriage.

Am I wasting my time? I bring up the subject and he says we cannot afford to get married yet. I own a home, he owns a home, and I say we need to make plans but he won't. Should I move on?

Karen from Chicago

Nan responds ...

You say there’s no more talk or plans for marriage. However, you’ve raised the subject, he’s taken a firm position, and you have accomodated his position. Have your made yourself clear how serious this is to you?

If he understands how important this is to you and refuses to negotiate knowing that he’s jeopardizing the relationship, then what’s the benefit to you in waiting around? If he’s ignoring your point of view, your needs, and your input at this point in the relationship, what will it be like if, and when, he ever gets around to marrying you? On the other hand, if he understands the importance of this issue to you and your future together, and agrees to negotiate plans, then the two of you have a possible future together.

Nan Einarson | Life and Relationship Coach
Make It So Life Coaching | 905.728.5882

Michael responds …

I have found that timeline conflicts are often at the root of this type of situation, and once the timelines are on the table, it's easier to work with them. One of the best ways to move forward is to use the tool of visioning to work backwards to the solution.

Set aside some time and sit together to figure out where you want to be in the future. For example, start with ten years from today. How will your life look? Where will you live? What will you be doing? Some people start farther out, and some closer, but, in my experience, 10 years is a nice round figure that's easy to visualize. Once you have envisioned 10 years, back it up to 5 years, then 2 years, and so on. Eventually you back into the ultimate question: What can we do today to get to the 10-year vision?

As you work though this process, you'll begin to see when each of you feel that you should be married. This simple, yet powerful exercise will give you an opportunity to start to discuss things and to come to some sort of resolution.

Michael Murray, C.Ht | Profound Connections | 647.477.2325

Sandy responds …

Sounds like you are aware that his holding back might not really be about money. The bottom line is: What do you want? How long are you willing to wait?

If you haven’t yet worked through your own requirements, needs, and wants, it’s time to do so to determine what you must have in order to live a fulfilled life. If you’re satisfied having a dating relationship, face the situation and recognize that he doesn’t have the same priorities you do—and just accept that. If, on the other hand, you know you need the intimacy of marriage and family, it’s time to have a serious talk with your fiancé. It’s interesting to me that you referred to your fiancé as “boyfriend.” I wonder if that is telling in itself.

In a non-confrontational manner, let him know your top priority is marriage, and if he’s not interested in marriage, then you must move on in order to satisfy your own needs. However, you must be willing to move on; otherwise, you are bluffing, and he will know that, and he will not take you seriously. Give him a short deadline, and when that deadline comes, if the two of you are not seriously making plans for a wedding, you know what you must do.

His response to your conversation should tell you much about what type of husband he would make. If he takes your concerns seriously and shows that your happiness is paramount, then together you stand a good chance of making the difficult adjustments of marriage. If, on the other hand, he blows you off and shows little concern for your well-being, you must ask yourself if he’s really someone with whom you would like to spend the rest of your life.

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

Ken responds …

What do you want? If marriage and a meaningful lifetime relationship are your goal, then you should be clear about that with your boyfriend. Two of the most important factors in relationship success are 1) the ability to ask for what you want and 2) having a common vision.

In light of this, make it clear to your boyfriend that you want to be married. Ask for what you want! Then talk honestly with him as to whether marriage is really part of his life vision. If the two of you have different goals, then it is time for you to move on. Any relationship that is in contrast to your values and your vision is highly unlikely to last.

Your boyfriend proposed 2 1/2 years ago, but then has delayed getting married. He says you cannot afford to get married, but it sounds like you interpret that as an excuse. Whatever his motivation, it is important for you to clarify and understand it. Ask him to explain further, then listen carefully to his response.

Ken Sprang | | 301.907.3377, ext. 3

Peter responds …

Since you didn’t disclose the underlying details as to why the issue of marriage came to a halt, I can only ask why both of you have permitted the "halt" to continue. Do you feel you are the "chooser" or the "chosen" -- that is, are you being proactive or passive in making a "go-no go" decision in this relationship?

What's keeping you invested after three years and going out on weekends together? What do you want and how long will you keep on maintaining a relationship that is not giving you what you want? I'm also curious about the proposal. Did you accept? If so, do your family, friends and community know you're engaged and, if so, what are their feelings about the current state of your relationship? Do they sense something isn’t right?

Are you committed in attitude but not in fact? Is he? Are you engaged in fact, but not in attitude? Consider the difference. And, if you ask your partner what it would take to be able "to afford to get married" what would he say? Is it about money, or career, or is it about deeper issues such as the fear of commitment? This is where you both need to do some serious checking in with your truths about the relationship and sharing them with each other. A neutral third party such as a relationship coach might be useful here.

In some way, it seems you are giving away your power to your partner whom you're allowing to call the shots. I hear a "me" and a "he," and my question is- where's the “we?” Not being able to afford to get married sounds more like an excuse than a reason.

My suggestion is to sit down and make your requirements and needs clear. Then it's up to you and your partner to consciously choose to go forward or break off the relationship. It's obvious that inertia is not serving you. I wish you good fortune as you take your next steps.

Peter G. Vajda, Ph.D. | SpiritHeart: Integrated Coaching | 770.804.9125


Feature Article:
Getting Out of a Relationship Rut

By Jeff Herring, MS, LMFT

New Relationships

New relationships are exciting. The thrill of falling in love and discovering new things about each other is simply a lot of fun. After the “honeymoon stage” has passed, we move into the "making it work" stage. Usually this stage is not as much fun as the honeymoon stage. This is where the “work” part of “making it work” comes into play.

One of the dangers of this next stage is to fall into what I call a "relationship rut." A relationship rut is when you feel stuck as a couple. You're going through the motions and not getting anywhere. This is the point where some relationships die. The only difference between a rut and a grave are the dimensions.

Let's take a look at some of the signs of a relationship rut, what not to do when you find yourself in one, and then what you can do to get out and keep the spark alive.

Signs of Relationship Ruts

One sure sign of a relationship rut is if the following conversation sounds familiar to you:

"What do want to do tonight?"
" I don't know, whatever you want to do."
" I don't know what I want to do, whatever you want to do is fine."
" Where do you want to eat?"
" I don't know. Where do you want to eat?"

ETC - ETC - ETC - yuck!

Other signs of relationship ruts include:

  • Doing the same thing over and over again and it is not enjoyable

  • Having the same conversation repeatedly

  • Feeling that strange sense of "relationship deja vu" - we've been here before

  • Arguing and bickering with each other, just for something to do

What Not To Do

We all try to solve the problem of relationship ruts in our own way. Here are some solutions I've seen couples try that are worth avoiding:

  • Doing the same things over and over and expecting different results

  • Blaming your partner or accusing them of being boring

  • Convincing yourself that life would be much more fun with someone else

  • Making major changes just for the sake of change. For example, relocating or having a child

What To Do

Here are some suggestions to help break you out of a relationship rut:

  • Begin by remembering what is was that first attracted you to this person. You may have forgotten some things and may be surprised by what you remember

  • Do something "safely out of character." In the song "Dirt Gets Under The Fingernails" by Harry Chapin, the prim, proper and neat wife goes out and buys art supplies and makes a mess, while the always dirty mechanic husband gets a shave, haircut, manicure and new clothes. Surprise each other

  • Enjoy some of the things you may have liked as a child -- buy a coloring book, some play dough, put on some roller skates, etc.

  • Use your creativity! One way to do this would be to brainstorm all the crazy, absurd, and ridiculous ideas you can think of, that you would never do. Then go back over your list and see if there are the seeds for some useful creative solutions

  • Make a list of all the things you like to do for fun. Then pick one you may not have done in a very long time

Keeping love alive can be one of the more difficult tasks in any relationship. Avoiding and/or getting out of relationships ruts can go a long way in keeping the spark alive.

Jeff Herring, MS, LMFT | | 850.580.5333


PARTNERS IN LIFE: A Program for Pre-Committed & Pre-Marital Couples

Partners in Life is a six-session program with eighteen exercises. Some of the benefits you will receive from Partners in Life Coaching include:

  • Increased awareness of who you and who your partner really are and what you both want in a partner and in a relationship
  • Communication and relationship skills necessary for long-term success
  • Being empowered to balance your heart with your head as you become the chooser and move forward together, or separately, based on your life vision, values, and what you require to have a successful long-term relationship
  • Identifying in advance the particular challenges you will face in this relationship, knowing that every relationship has challenges
  • Developing a Relationship Plan with a structure to address these challenges
  • Developing a mutual vision to live into together, or
  • Reconstituting your relationship and remaining friends, supporting each other as you search for a partner who gives you the experience you need to live your best life.

Partners in Life was developed by David Steele, founder and CEO of the Relationship Coaching Institute. He is the author of the newly released book, Conscious Dating: Finding the Love of Your Life in Today’s World.


Words of Wisdom

Choose your life’s mate carefully; from this one decision will come 90 percent of your happiness or misery.
--H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Fulfillment in a relationship comes from working with your partner to get your needs met, not expecting it will just happen. The key is that your partner is capable of meeting your needs.
--David Steele


Free Conscious Relationship Resources

Conscious Relationship Resources

Conscious Relationship
Tele-Seminar Series

January 12: Everything You Need to Know about Conscious Relationships with Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks

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.'

Visit our web site at for Free:

  • How to Be Partners for Life e-Program for Couples
  • Communication Map™ Online Communication Training
  • Relationship Knowledge Bank
  • And much more!

  • Want to make sure you are making a wise choice in a life partner?
  • Want to make sure your relationship stays healthy?

What to give your relationship a fine-tuning?
Get a Relationship Coach!
Check out our coaches at:

NEW RELATIONSHIP? Congratulations in moving forward in your life partner quest! WHAT NOW?

for cutting-edge information and resources for couples.

You will be glad you did!
***Please share this with new couples that you care about.

Links to Us


Linda Marshall, M.Div. | Director of Couples Programs

Tara Kachaturoff | Editor, Couples News

Visit our website for couples at and become a member for free!

Relationship Coaching Institute
free introductory training!

Members of Relationship Coaching Network
free resources for singles and couples

To subscribe to this newsletter

Please refer couples you care about to
free monthly tele-seminars!

Copyright 2006 by All rights reserved. Feel free to share this with others as long as our contact information and authorship is included.