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
have a good relationship and want to make it great "
A Huge Success!
The Conscious Relationship Summit was a huge success.
Thanks to all who participated!
Many of the world's top relationship and personal development experts
shared valuable strategies for creating conscious relationships.
also raised close to $6000 for the following charities that work
directly with families and children, helping them create a better life:
Infant Crisis Services
Rescue Task Force
Child Family Health International
The Olive Branch for Children
you missed the Summit, we have great news! You can still access all 35
life changing presentations. The audio recordings will be available for
sale on May 1st.
Download all 35
recordings and listen to them at your convenience. Proceeds will go to
the 5 charities we support.
For more information and to register go to:
Ask Our Coaches:
Do Actions Speak Louder than Words?
"If this is a glimpse of our future together, I'm thinking
we might need to plan one without each other."
This column answers questions submitted by our readers. Submit your
who will forward them to our coaches all over the world. Each
issue, we'll publish a few answers from our RCI coaches.
boyfriend and I have been engaged for the past 6 months and we're
getting married in July. Planning a wedding is a lot of work and I want
him to help. We have lists of things to do and we've discussed
everything that needs to be done, but he doesn't take this stuff
seriously. He jokes about it and just says, "it'll get done, stop
worrying about it."
working full-time and the burden of this wedding is falling on me even
though in the beginning he promised he would be there to help out. He's
not. I'm stressed out, angry, and becoming resentful. It's apparent to
me that only one of us is vested in making this happen. We've been
arguing a lot, disagreeing on even minor things, and things are not
getting done - things driven by deadlines and due dates.
talked to him about this countless times and nothing is changing. I
love him dearly and he says he loves me, too. However, don't actions
speak louder than words? Is this a sign of times to come? Is his lack
of participation really a sign he doesn't, in fact, want to get
married? If this is a glimpse of our future together, I'm thinking we
might need to plan one without each other. What should I do when I
can't move him to action?
Rachel from Ottawa
Michelle responds ...
an event as grand as a wedding can be stressful. This day,
traditionally, is about the woman, and most men feel overwhelmed, and
frankly, like the odd man out. Your fiancé's reaction is typical.
Too often, the idea of a
picture-perfect fairy-tale dream wedding causes so much stress, hassle,
and arguments that many couples become sparing partners during the
pre-wedding days. Perhaps the upcoming wedding is overshadowing the
reason for getting married and, as a result, you have begun to question
whether you are meant to be together.
would not go so far as to say that his lack of participation is a sign
that he doesn't want to get married. Remember, the wedding is an event;
marriage is a long-term partnership of two people who love each
The first thing I wonder
about is whether you are willing to hire a wedding planner, or at the
very least, assign your bridesmaids some tasks to lighten your load
(also traditional). My next thought is whether you are willing to scale
down the wedding to a more manageable size.
you are becoming doubtful, I would ask you to step back and talk to a
relationship coach and do some pre-marital planning to get some
perspective on this. If you get along well with each other in general
and meet each other's requirements, don't give up on love just because
he is not as enthusiastic about the wedding as you are.
E. Vásquez, MS, LPC | www.MichelleVasquez.com
Rick and Jo respond ...
dealing with an issue quite common for engaged couples. It's an
important passage in your growth and development. On one hand is the
thrill and opportunity of creating a new marriage and on the other hand
is the loss of control and freedom of being single. Beware of adding
meaning to how your partner is responding. It is important that you
observe how you both operate to resolve this issue.
We recommend you work with a RCI coach to clarify your requirements as
it appears you have significant energy focused around partnership,
while your partner seems to value a "laid back" kind of freedom. An
unmet requirement results in an unsolvable problem in a relationship.
Unsolvable problems are often the cause of divorce or unhappy
We suggest you and your
partner consider deferring or suspending your wedding plans, as your
current relationship dynamic is a real warning signal for what the
future could hold. Working with a coach will enable you both to see if
you are soulmates or if you are headed for misery. For now, shift your
focus from the wedding to having a successful marriage.
area to investigate is the stages of a relationship. After the "falling
in love" stage, when the hormonal rush is no longer impacting your
judgment, comes the "power struggle" or "rebellion" stage. Working
together through this requires a commitment to personal growth and
development. If together you cannot develop a way forward, then your
future is clear isn't it?
and Jo Harrison | www.SecretsToSoulmateSuccess.com
Randy responds ...
"What you see is what you'll get." This is a microcosm of what your
marriage will be like, and now is the time to fix it, not after you are
I do not know how old he
is, but it seems he is immature in some ways. You can help him grow up
by a combination of support and confrontation. This is a push-pull
tug-of-war that can take considerable time, so you might want to
postpone the wedding until you work through this with him.
counseling, or therapy can help a lot, and may be necessary. You will
need to design a series of tests, each with rewards and consequences,
and balance it out with plenty of enjoyment and support. In this
process he must feel that you love him, want him, and want the
relationship, but he must learn that sharing the load is necessary if
he wants to keep you. This is a series of gradual steps, not an
I suggest you get started
on this new program right away. It is more important than wedding
Hurlburt | www.PartnersinLoveandCrime.com
Janice responds ...
the risk of sounding like I'm man-bashing, you should realize that most
men are clueless about planning weddings. This is because women are
typically encouraged from a very young age to fantasize about becoming
brides and having their dream weddings. These fantasies drive women to
plan a major social function with big expectations but with little real
Essentially then, you
and your fiancé are not making this wedding together. He's just
following along in order to marry you. Not that that's a bad thing! But
his investment in the social function is less than it is for you.
Your real challenge is to determine
if your fiancé is genuinely willing to help, or if he is incapable of
following through on what he says he's going to do. If it's the former,
then you'll need to keep prodding him until the wedding happens. If
it's the latter, then you may have a problem for the future. That's
because you're questioning his dependability.
life partner relationship requires dependability and trust to be truly
functional. For example, if he says he's going to make dinner for you
after you return home from a business trip, then you can depend on
getting dinner. But if you worry he may not follow through, then you
are questioning his dependability. What's at risk in your future
relationship may then be more than just a few missed dinners.
So think about it - is your problem the wedding or the fiancé who can't be depended on?
D. Bennett, Ph.D. | www.DoctorLoveCoach.com
Liz responds ...
understand your frustration as planning a wedding can be a highly
stressful event. In reference to actions speaking louder than words,
have you noticed other times in the relationship that your fiancé has
not followed through on requests?
concern is whether or not this is a one-time incident or a pattern in
his behavior. Either way, it's an important issue to address. I would
suggest using The Communication Map as a tool, preferably with the
assistance of a relationship coach, to address your unmet needs and his
resistance to helping you with the wedding. The Communication Map is
available at: www.TheCommunicationMap.com
would also encourage you to take your time if you are sensing this
could be a deal breaker for you. In your relationship, issues will
arise, so you want to make sure you have a solid foundation with both
parties committed to the success of the relationship. I would define a
solid foundation as one with effective communication, requirements and
needs being met, as well as a sound pre-commitment period established.
I wish you the best!
Darshana responds ...
your wedding should a wonderful and enjoyable process. It sounds like
the way you are both communicating is not effective because you are not
producing the results you want.
communication during stressful times can often be challenging. I would
ask you if you truly are talking WITH him about how you are feeling and
asking him for his help or if you are TELLING him. Men do not respond
well to being TOLD. They do respond well to being asked for help when
needed; they like to feel needed.
times of planning a wedding, women go into hyper-drive-control mode and
dictate what and how and when things will happen. Children don't even
respond well to this approach so it is insane to think our beloved men
will. I suggest you take a look at what your skills and strengths are
and have your fiancé do the same. Let him know how much you appreciate
him and his commitment to you and the wedding.
him for what he has done, for his continued support in you not getting
stressed, and ask him for his help. Ask him to review the To Do List
and choose which tasks he will commit to being accountable for, ask
what date he commits to getting those tasks done, and then back off. Do
not nag him. Schedule a weekly half-hour planning session so you both
can review the status of the list. Do not nag. Be patient.
Darshana Hawks | www.RelationshipSuccessSource.com
| 704.846.0932 x11
Communication Skills for Successful Relationships
month, relationship coach Dr. Darshana Hawks discusses the importance
of communication in our relationships.
Editor, Relationship Coaching Institute
Tara: What is communication?
Communication is more about self-awareness than anything else. What do
I mean by self-awareness? To be an effective communicator, you must be
aware of your own agenda in the conversation and ensure you are putting
your partner first before addressing your own agenda.
must be responsible for how you interpret communication as well as
being accountable for clarifying your interpretation with your partner
to ensure your message is delivered as intended. This does not mean
that you both must agree with each other; instead, know that agreement
is not necessary. Having your partner understand you is more important
than having them agree with you completely.
is critical to openly state your agenda when speaking. I call this
"Framing the Conversation©." When you frame the conversation, you are
letting your partner know up front what you want to discuss with them.
This sets the stage for them to fully focus on what you are saying.
Diving into a conversation, without framing it first, makes it
difficult for your partner to pay attention to what you are saying
because their focus in on their prior activity or thoughts, as well as
trying to catch up with what you are saying.
is about being responsive -- not reactive. You have to be aware of your
emotional triggers without attacking your partner because you perceive
they pushed your button. They did not push your button, you did; it is
your issue, not theirs. The important thing is to love yourself enough
to listen without taking what is being said personally. Simply listen
with openness and curiosity about what your partner is attempting to
convey to you.
Tara: How does communication relate to relationship success?
The lack of communication is perhaps the number one cause of issues in
relationships. Being able to communicate fully and authentically, with
clear agendas, self awareness, accountability for both the delivery and
how your message is being interpreted, full disclosure of your feelings
and emotions, while addressing your need for acknowledgment,
contributes to success in all of your relationships.
disagree with the statistics stating divorce is caused by infidelity,
financial issues, or anything else. It is the inability to communicate
authentically, along with the need to be right, that produces these
symptoms which then result in divorce. Communication is absolutely
necessary to have successful and fulfilling relationships. For example,
you cannot plan finances or vacations, address sex/intimacy, discuss
what is missing in your relationship, or talk about raising children
listening (listening by interpreting what your partner said/did not say
from your own perspective, instead of truly hearing the words they
said) your partner ends up feeling disrespected, ignored, invalidated,
unloved and therefore unsuccessful in the relationship. Listening
without judgment or interpretation, asking clarifying questions with
curiosity and seeking to understand results in powerful communication.
I find that compliments, validation, and acknowledgment are completely
missed due to not listening. If you listen for them, you may just hear
Tara: What are
the 3 biggest challenges couples experience when it comes to
Communication challenges are driven by one core root cause -- not
learning communication skills for the most important relationship of
your life. Here are three examples of communication challenges one
understanding your own emotional triggers. This can derail
communication with your loved ones. Example: You hear, "You are
irritating," when what was really said is, "Nagging me about taking out
the trash is irritating."
acknowledging your own need for acknowledgement or agreement. For
instance, notice how much energy you spend convincing your partner to
completely agree with you by arguing your point. There are three
options: your viewpoint, your partner's viewpoint, and the best of both
viewpoints - the latter usually being the best option.
Not giving your partner the space to be who they are or accepting who
they are by seeing their greatness. Giving your partner the room to do
things on their timeline, or obtaining agreement on the timeline
collaboratively, is important so that your partner will continue to
want to do things for you. Example: "You must make the bed now,"
instead of, "Can you please make the bed before noon today so that we
can show the house?"
Why do we need to develop more effective listening skills and how do we
Listening skills are more important than speaking skills; listening is
crucial for successful communication and yet it is the least taught
skill. If you feel the urge to share your thoughts or views when your
partner is talking, I suggest you start by biting your tongue, not
hard, just put your tongue lightly between your teeth and listen --
silencing both your mind and mouth. You will listen much more
effectively, your need to speak will diminish, and your mind will be
quieter while it takes in what is being heard.
Is there a process that can help couples learn how to model effective
I recommend spending more time and energy on listening
openly, being silent more, and responding only to questions or when
others ask for input, rather than inserting your opinion when your
partner is talking. I especially love the "Communication Map" by David
Steele because it is easy to learn and apply.
are two examples of communication models you might use when you feel
stuck or are in an emotional whirlwind:
· When you do or say X, I feel Y. I would prefer you do/say Z.
Example: "When you say you are exhausted, I feel that I made you tired;
I would prefer you say I had a hard day at work and I am tired."
· I love when you do X, and would love it even more if you'd do Y.
Example: "I love that you load the dishwasher, thank you so much. The
dishes will get cleaner by stacking the bowls with more space between
Communication templates take
practice. They are most effective when used with a relationship coach,
since you have a third party trained to listen with no stake in the
relationship, and who who can suggest areas for improvement.
Copyright © 2009 by Darshana Hawks. All rights reserved in all media.
Darshana Hawks, your Relationship Success Expert, is
passionate about empowering individuals in having beneficial and loving
relationships. Dr. Dar educates you on how to have the most important
relationship of your life. Key topics include properly planning,
communicating effectively, and setting realistic expectations for your
relationship and/or marriage. www.RelationshipSuccessSource.com
| 704.846.0932 x11
The Seven Secrets to Keeping Love Alive
by Rick and Jo Harrison
Where did love go? How can we keep the love alive?
about every couple we know has experienced "staleness" in their
relationship after the initial excitement of attraction has faded. They
say things like, "Where has the love gone?" or "Love's just not there
anymore?" or "The love died."
quandary is understandable. Most relationships begin with an automatic
rush of feel-good hormones which last no more than three years. We
expect the feeling good to continue as it began, without effort on our
part. However, this phase of being in a relationship requires each
partner to be responsible for creating romance.
key is to shift from love being the experience that created the
expression, to love becoming the expression that creates the
It's up to each of us
to generate love and romance. Here are the seven secrets to expressing
love that will create the experience of romance and love:
The Seven Secrets to Romance
#1 Be Conscious
the time each day to think about how you could express your love to
your partner. Think about how and when you feel most loved. You'll
notice that you want to be loved and cared for in different ways than
your partner does. You'll discover that you each have different love
Learn your partner's
"love language" and use it to give your love. For example, Rick used to
express his love for Jo with his love language of "doing things for
her." He now knows that her love language is, "words of praise and
affirmation," so he's conscious of speaking whatever it is that he
wants to express when he gets the urge to do something for her. Loving
your partner the way they love to be loved will generate romance in
touch lovingly in ways that you know your partner enjoys. Tune into the
type of touch your partner may want at the time - soothing, healing,
supportive or sensual. Always touching sexually can become
#2 Take Time
partner will appreciate the time you set aside to really be with each
other, way more than spending money. "Be with" time is not a time for
venting frustrations about kids or work or finances. It's simply a few
precious minutes each day to be in each other's presence, maybe holding
each other, maybe just looking at each other, maybe authentically
saying something wonderful about the other person, maybe having a very
slow long kiss.
There is no agenda
other than to simply be with everything you love about your partner. Be
vulnerable, showing your sentimental and sensitive side. Be
compassionate and tender with each other.
display mutual respect for your partner. When talking, listen with
curiosity rather than trying to win an argument. Listen indirectly to
pick up the hidden messages your partner is expressing about unspoken
wishes, dreams and interests. Always honor your partner when speaking
#4 Assume Nothing
of assuming you know your partner 100% or that you understand their
needs and wants. Be curious and ask them. Similarly, it's not a good
idea to assume your partner is tuned into your every need! Be
responsible and request what you want or need from your partner. Share
your dreams, your victories, failures and fears with your partner.
Sharing your heart with another breathes life into their soul, whereas
complaining sucks out life. Being a listener for your partner is a
great gift (note I said listener, not advisor or rebutter!).
Find opportunities to have fun, to be happy children playing together,
to flirt, to surprise. Some of us get so caught up in our work and kids
that we become driven and inflexible. Practice spontaneous acts of fun
and play. If you find it hard to be spontaneous, think of how you could
surprise your partner, then get advice from their family or friends and
schedule the surprise. Plan it into your day. You'll become more
creative as time goes by. A thoughtful surprise that expresses love and
appreciation is a powerful generator of romance.
of events and symbols that are important to both of you. There could be
a time or event when you both experienced deep connection and love for
each other. Find a way to ritualize the memory and use the ritual to
honor and appreciate each other.
simply passages of the day can also be used to create rituals: leaving
for work, coming home, bedtime. For example, leaving for work could
include creating your intentions for the day, agreeing on how and when
each is to give support to the other, or perhaps acknowledging some
quality in each other and displaying affection prior to departure.
Observing rituals like these creates a unique world of partnership for
your relationship which generates love and romance.
time for sex on a regular basis, regardless of whether you are in the
mood or not! The great thing about sex is that if you act as though you
are in the mood you will most probably get in the mood! Remember to
Take time - practice
cuddling and playing rather than rushing into pursuit of the orgasm.
Try taking orgasm off the agenda for both of you one night and see what
happens! Sex is an essential part of your health regime - it's good for
your mind, body and spirit. Bring the above six points into play in the
realm of sex.
Your Action Plan
1. Share with your partner your vision for infusing your relationship
with romance and love and let them know you'll be doing some things
differently over the next week or two. (Important ground rule: They
don't have to join in the game unless they want to! You don't
necessarily need them to play at your level for this to make a huge
positive impact on your relationship.)
Interview your partner about how they like to experience love - is it
words, deeds, physical touch or something else. For more about love
languages, check out Gary Chapman's book, The Five Love
3. From the seven secrets
to romance, write a list of 3 actions that you can take each day for
the next week to inject romance and love into your relationship. That's
21 different things!
4. Complete at
least 2 and no more than 3 actions each day. This will take some
planning and intentionality, but it will be worth it!
unless your partner says they want to play too, this is your game. Be
forgiving and curious if things don't go the way you hoped.
Copyright ©2009 by Rick and Jo Harrison. All rights reserved in all media.
Rick and Jo Harrison
both made classic relationship mistakes before choosing each other as
soulmates. They are both Licensed Coaches with RCI and live in
Australia. They dovetail their own experiences and their training with
Relationship Coaching Institute to empower singles to attract their
For relationship resources for couples visit our web site at
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Please share this with new couples that you care about.
Tara Kachaturoff | Editor, PartnersInLife.org Couples News
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