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June 2008

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In this issue:

F`ree to our subscribers!
Conscious Relationship Resources

Conscious Relationship
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David Steele
Founder and CEO,
Relationship Coaching Institute

Frankie Doiron, President
Relationship Coaching Network

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Tara Kachaturoff
Editor | Partners in Life Couples News

Copyright 2008 by All rights reserved.

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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"
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Our Conscious Mating Audio Programs provide detailed, comprehensive strategies for dating and mating, addressing all the relationship and decision-making challenges that arise when you're in the pre-commitment stage of a relationship.

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Program #1- Is This the Right Relationship for Me? Introduction to the Pre-commitment Stage

Program #2- Am I Ready to Be a Couple?

Program #3- Finding Lasting Love by Experiencing Your Experience

Program #4- Should We Live Together?

Program #5- Dealing With Our Baggage

Program #6- Are We Compatible?

Program #7- Sharing Our Vision

Program #8- Deciding "Is This The One?"

Program #9- When We Must Say Goodbye

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Ask Our Coaches:
 We've reached a stalemate:  What do we do now?

"...Believe me -- I would have never married him if I knew he would ever get involved with this particular hobby..."

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 have been married 10 years. We have 3 young children. I'm a stay-at-home mom and he runs a small, but very successful public relations firm. Everything has been great up until now. 

My husband has taken up a new hobby and I can't deal with it. He's learning to fly small planes. His hobby has caused numerous arguments and it's getting worse. It's an expensive hobby. It's time consuming and takes him away from the family on weekends. 

He likes to fly as much as possible. I think it's dangerous and I worry constantly about his safety and it's wearing me out. He won't give it up and I'm at the end of my patience. Believe me -- I would have never married him if I knew he would ever get involved with this particular hobby. That's how strongly I feel about this. I can't be the only spouse who has ever had to deal with something they didn't like later in marriage. What should I do? 

Melanie from Minneapolis

Randy responds ...

I am both a relationship coach and a pilot. Here's what I have to offer regarding your dilemma. First, a key ingredient in successful long-term relationships is finding a balance between allowing freedom and creating connection. I can assure you that flying is an outlet for his need for freedom, and though it entails some risks, it is a constructive outlet if he is conscientious about his flying skills and if he keeps his hobby in balance with the family budget and the family's need for his attention.

Second, you must consider the degree to which this may be an escape, and if so, from what?  An exciting and constructive (and expensive) hobby is not, in itself, an escape -- but an obsessive one could be.  If he is trying to escape, he may not be fully conscious of his own motivations, and it may be difficult to confront him directly on it. If you fear it's an escape, but he sees it as an outlet for his autonomy, then perhaps an objective third party such as a coach or counselor could help the two of you to find a balance.
Randy Hurlburt | | 858.455.0799

Jack responds …

Your statements are provocative! "I would never have married him if I knew he would ever get involved with this particular hobby. I feel it is dangerous. I worry constantly about his safety, and it's wearing me out." Your worry about his safety and concern about family time are valid, understandable, in and of themselves.  However, the most revealing sentence in your letter is: "Everything has been great up until now." A major "red flag."

The sum total of your statements paint a picture/situation that has evolved over a long period of time. That you are seeking help is fantastic, yet I wonder if you're in the right place. I recommend you locate a Licensed Marriage and Family Professional or a therapist. My intuition for your situation is: you two require more assistance than a coach should attempt. RCI offers a Directory of Relationship Coaches where you can find both coaches and LMFT. Please disregard any social stigma or personal reluctance you may attach to therapy -- your family's collective mental health and your continued family relationship are at stake.  God bless your efforts.

Jack Cook | | 904.312.0693

Debbie responds ...

I appreciate your honesty and openness in saying that you can't deal with your husband's new hobby. The key is in seeing this as a challenge to grow personally. You must not become the enemy. This will only alienate you in your marriage. It is important for you to take a step back and try a fresh approach.

Make a list of 20 reasons why you are truly upset about this -- seeking honesty and clarity. Then make another list about what you feel about your marriage. Look at every truth. Ask yourself if you would still feel this way if he took up sailing, deep sea fishing, etc? Is it the danger or the time away? Could you go with him? Perhaps joining him a few times in a positive way will help you to understand. Maybe you could plan a weekend together -- flying to a Bed & Breakfast for a romantic getaway.  Initiate an open conversation to find out what he feels about flying where you listen without commenting, seeking understanding.  Lastly, see your husband with fresh eyes for who he is instead of the man you want him to be.

Debbie Rivera | 813.760.4351

Ann responds ...

When a couple reaches a stalemate on a particular issue, it can sometimes lead to the refusal of either side to give in or give up for the sake of holding their ground. It is important for each of you to ask yourselves and each other a few questions. Set some ground rules for the talks you need to have. Number one - no interrupting. Number two - you must listen to each other's responses or ideas, not be formulating your next statement. Number three - no "always" and "never" accusations, as in "You ALWAYS want your own way," and "You NEVER listen to me!"

If after attempting rational discussion and following these ground rules you cannot reach a mutually acceptable compromise, I would recommend coaching to help determine the next steps. Couples coaching will help you uncover the reasons behind what's going on and why, and help you understand what to do next. You obviously cannot continue as you are.

Through coaching, you will be able to determine whether the issue of your husband's flying is a deal breaker for you. If it is something he absolutely refuses to give up and it is something you absolutely refuse to live with, then it may be. If so, the answer may have to be, "I love you and I recognize you have the right to fly planes seven days a week if you want to.  But that does not work for me or this family.  If you continue to do so, I am going to leave." I urge you to seek coaching first before you head down this potentially irreversible path.

Ann Robbins | | 954.561.4498

Natalie responds ...

Blessings of love to you. I wonder what the gift is for you in this? I see your husband fulfilling his dreams, yet I don't see you enjoying your life. You could use the situation to become the person YOU want to be, and draw him in on adventures of intimacy together. 

Do you remember what you were like when you first fell in love? Is it who you are now? How could you love yourself more in each moment, and get your attention off what is wrong with him and on to how gorgeous and lovely YOU are?

  1. Create a community of support around you. Do fun and interesting things with your kids on the weekends. A friend who did this found her husband getting involved more often – because he wanted to be part of it!
  2. Get a babysitter to make time for YOU. Do things to make yourself feel good – a pampering bath, read a romance, paint your nails, put on beautifying make-up. It's easy to let ourselves go with small kids.
  3. Become sensual. It brings men out of their caves and back from adventures. Wear flowing clothes that make you feel feminine, do massage, dance every day around the house, plant bright flowers that mirror your beauty, cook food that smells delicious....
  4. Communicate with love. Feel your heart, touch him as you speak to him in tones of respect, trust and kindness rather than judge him (as this sends him away).

Can you become a beacon of radiant unconditional love that inspires and uplifts your children, lights up your house, and guides him home?

Natalie Lamb | +44 (0) 7804683918

Ron responds ...

I may be reading between the lines, but I have a sense that there is something bigger going on here. I sense that your husband may be escaping from something. This is pure speculation on my part. He runs his own business which can be consuming and stressful. After a long day at his business, he comes home to 3 young children. He may feel like he really needs something that is just "his." My guess is the more you object to his new hobby, the more energetically he is going to pursue it.

The first step in dealing with relationship issues is always well thought out communication.  I would suggest that you explore why you feel so strongly about this issue. A good question to ask yourself is, "Why does my husband's new hobby make me feel so threatened?" Then, instead of arguing, calmly share with him how this new hobby and his being away from home so much makes you feel. Allow him the same courtesy. Secondly, if this seems to be too big an issue for the two of you to resolve, engage the services of a good relationship coach. You have 10 years of history and 3 children. In my opinion, you have many reasons to do everything in your power to work this out.

Ron Maddox | | 214.528.5426

Patricia responds ...

I can certainly appreciate your frustration and fear.  It's great that you wrote to ask for help! There's a lot you can do. First, practice calming yourself however you can -- deep breaths, relaxation, meditation, soothing music – whatever works for you. Both you and your husband will need to be able to discuss this situation without becoming overwhelmed by negative emotions.

Next, refocus your attention on the positive, the love that has been there for ten years. Your goal here is to make your marriage great again, not to "win" an argument.

It sounds as if your feelings about his flying go deeper than just "not liking" it and that you have major needs that are not getting met. That's where you start. Your next step is to identify all your own unmet needs. You may need the help of a coach to clarify them all.

With a clear understanding of what you need and your heart focused on the love you two have shared, you can talk more constructively together. I strongly recommend you hire a relationship coach or a therapist to facilitate your conversation and help you both stay on the same problem-solving team! Good luck!

Patricia Drury, CPCC, EGM | | 952.829.9233

Feature Article:
Long-Distance Lovers Lament No More

By Brian Rzepczynski

Long Distance Relationships

Nothing pains the heart more than being separated from your honey. You worked really hard to find Mr. Right and build a fulfilling life with him over the years. You've encountered and conquered so many challenges together and relish in the romance and richness of being a committed couple.

But what if you and your partner don't live together and are physically separated, perhaps living on opposite sides of the globe? Maybe a job or a family crisis has forced you apart. Perhaps it's just a temporary departure from each other; for some, the situation is permanent and must be adapted to.

Whatever the circumstance, maintaining a long-distance relationship can be very difficult and taxing for couples. But while this scenario can be challenging and put a relationship to the test, it can be done and there are scores of people that are in this predicament and make it work successfully.

Missing You!

Anybody who is or ever has been in a situation where you and your partner are physically separated understands the immediate impact of the division. To have invested your heart into someone and then not be able to see him on a daily basis or wake up next to him every morning royally sucks! Not only that, it hurts to the core because it's a loss; similar to a death, but much more difficult because he's within reach yet not accessible. When speaking of their long-distant relationships, most men have a heap of negatives and very little positive feedback to offer on managing this adjustment.

Many men lament about the loss of companionship when separated from their partners, coupled with the nagging absence of physical affection and sex. Most express difficulty coping with loneliness and boredom, and some report developing insecurities and fears about their partner's seeking solace with other men. Others worry of the potential for their relationship to crumble because of the distance itself posing a barrier to solidifying emotional intimacy, usually afforded more easily by face-to-face contact and daily living experience.

It's not uncommon to go through a grieving process, repeatedly, upon reunions with your partner. This happens because you can begin thinking about and anticipating the impending separation when you or he have to leave once again and you can go through the typical grief feelings of shock/denial, anger, bargaining, and depression before reaching acceptance once again. The recurrent emotional roller-coaster ride can really bring you down -- if you let it!

10 Ingredients For Successful Relating

Long-distance relationships require the same interpersonal skills as any romantic affiliation. However, these skills need to be even more fine-tuned and ever-present to keep the relationship on track.

Lacking face-to-face contact, the inability to read nonverbal cues and body language makes communication more challenging. The following are some key components of relationship functioning that long-distance lovers will need to ensure is strong to keep centered and grounded:

  1. Communication and sharing of feelings
  2. Compromise and flexibility
  3. Trust and honesty
  4. Finding ways to keep the chemistry burning
  5. Maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle filled with meaningful activities
  6. Mutual respect and an active participation in developing and living a relationship vision and goals collaborated together as a team
  7. Ability to manage feelings of insecurity, jealousy, and paranoia and to put them into perspective; emotional wellness and grief resolution resilience
  8. Achieving a balance between independence and need gratification through the relationship
  9. Making explicit to one another any emotional and practical needs, as well as expectations for behavioral conduct when together and apart (eg. monogamy vs. open relationship, spending of money, etc.)
  10. Making time for each other and being as available and accessible to one another as much as possible

Tips For Bridging The Gap and Coping With Separation Pangs

Let's face it—nothing compares to having your partner by your side. The following coping tips for making the most of your long-distance situation are by no means end-all/cure-all quick-fix remedies. At best, they are like Band-Aids to ease the pain because no amount of "how-to's" could ever replace the gift of your partner being in close proximity to you.

1. Identify your triggers to loneliness and take advantage of this time to pursue purposeful activities that will help you grow as a person.

2. Keep in regular contact with your partner and keep him informed of all the events in your life to help make him feel a part of it and involved in your daily functioning Communicate!

3. Keep your talks with your partner on the positive and upbeat slant. Don't use your precious time together lamenting about the pain and injustice of being apart. Give each other lots of positive affirmations and share what you appreciate.

4. Even though you may be miles apart, do things during your mutual "down time" that is interactive, such as playing Internet games together, having phone sex, going into an online chat room together, volunteering for similar causes in your prospective residences, writing each other sexy stories or fantasies that can be played out when you next meet, etc. (don't let writing replace verbal communication though!)

5. Create arts and crafts projects that can serve as a commemoration of your relationship; make a collage out of photos of memorable moments you and your partner shared and place it in a high-traffic area of your home where you'll see it often to keep him close.

Long-distance Relationships Can Work

Living apart from your significant other can be quite a downer, but the important thing to remember is to avoid placing too much emphasis on the separation and instead channel that energy toward rejuvenating and feeding your relationship to the best extent you can, limitations and all!

Long-distance relationships can work as well as any relationship; they just require extra doses of attention and tender-loving-care to avoid taking each other for granted and to keep the connection and intimacy strong. So hang in there, take control of your life and make the most of a difficult situation, and before you know it you'll be in your baby's arms again.

Copyright © 2008 by Brian Rzepczynski. All rights reserved in all media.

Shirley Vollett
Brian Rzepczynski
, Certified Personal Life Coach, is The Gay Love Coach. He works with gay men who are ready to create a road map that will lead them to find and build a lasting partnership with Mr. Right.

Bonus Article:
Late Life Partnerships: Living and Loving After 60

By Tereasa Jones

Not too long ago, love between men and women in their seventies was rare and was considered inappropriate by some. But baby boomers are changing all of that. New attitudes about self, the desire to continue to experience healthy, happy, and fulfilling relationships later in life are opening up new opportunities for today's older men and women.

At the turn of the 20th century, the average life expectancy was about 47 years of age and the few people that lived beyond that were not sufficiently healthy or independent to consider marriage. Thanks to advances in medicine and the availability of education on how to take care of oneself, the average life span today is about 72 years for males and 79 years for females. 

As we live longer, the number of widows and widowers are increasing as are the number of divorced men and women. For those who are considering relationships later in life, the question of what to do about living arrangements as we age has changed to what to do about loving arrangements. People today are recognizing that they have half of their lives left after the last child has left the nest. And they want to make the most of it.  

Those who marry young build their lives together. They grow together, deciding the course of their lives and their likes and dislikes. Their money is usually thrown into the same pot and they accumulate savings and investments along the way. For those who marry when they are older, many have already determined their lifestyle, already have family traditions, and have worked a lifetime for the money they do have. In addition they may have grown children and grandchildren.

It is clear that these marriages have an entirely different landscape and set of considerations from those experienced in younger years. In my work with these couples, I have uncovered several important questions for couples to think about if considering a commitment later in life:

  • Where shall we live? Your place, my place, or a new place?
  • What do we do with cherished possessions that we have accumulated from previous marriages?
  • How do we handle our money? Do we split living expenses down the middle? What about our investments and savings?
  • How do we try to blend families of grown children and grandchildren? Where do we spend holidays? Which family traditions around these holidays do we honor?
  • How do we divide the chores that it takes to run the household?
  • How do we plan for the possibility of death or disability on the part of each spouse? How will these plans affect our children?
  • How do we determine how much time and/or money we will spend on each of our children and grandchildren?

As with any couple, those who come together later in life also argue over a lot of the same things they did when they were younger.

  • Sleep habits. Snoring, watching TV in bed, time of retiring for the evening and getting up in the morning.
  • Driving habits. Whose car to drive.
  • Degrees of tidiness.
  • Decorating the home.
  • Maintaining the home.
  • Dealing with change. Some are more flexible in this area than others.
  • Maintaining individual domains. Many of these individuals have lived alone for awhile and have established their own spaces and habits.

While the list of issues these couples face may be long, they really don't have any more issues to settle than those who marry young. The primary difference is that they have lived enough life to know that they have issues that need to be settled.

Those who become couples later in life are anxious to get on with living their lives and do not want to spend a lot of time rehashing old problems. While the ride may start out a little bumpy, these individuals are trail blazers. Their experiences in earlier years can help making planning and enjoying their lives in their boomer years all the better.

And because they have had these early relationship experiences, they can problem solve more effectively and find common ground and compromise much more quickly. Today's baby boomers are definitely paving the way and setting the pace for up and coming generations -- and could we expect anything less from this dynamic generation?

Copyright © 2008 by Tereasa Jones. All rights reserved in all media.

Tereasa Jones
Tereasa Jones
Certified Relationship Coach 918.787.6900


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