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
Step-Dating Tele-Conference Event
January 22, 2009
9-11 pm Eastern
Brought to you by The Step and Blended Family Institute, in partnership with RCI.
This event is for you if you:
• Are a Single Parent thinking about Dating
• Are wondering about dating someone with kids
• Are a Dating Couple with children in the mix
• Are a Dating Couple considering a serious commitment and blending your lives together
To register for this complimentary Tele-Conference go to: www.stepdating.ca
Conscious Mating Audio Programs
When dating someone do you ever wonder-
"Is this the right relationship for me?"
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.
These audio programs are recorded from our live tele-seminars and include
the MP3 audio file for playing on your computer, MP3 player (iPod or
other), or burning onto a CD, AND a complete PDF transcript for following
along and making notes.
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
Check them out at www.ConsciousMatingAudio.com
Ask Our Coaches:
Money: What do you do when your partner is irresponsible with money?
"... her habits are jeopardizing our marriage and
the future for our children..."
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.
My wife of seven years is spending us into the poorhouse. She's never had good money habits and has always been reckless with her spending. We both work hard, we earn a fair amount of money together, yet we have very little saved. We have children to support, a sizable mortgage, and the typical expenses of any average family. If either of us were to lose our job, we would be in serious trouble in a couple of months.
My wife is always shopping and buying things we don't need and don't use. She spends her whole paycheck every month. Often, I find out about her purchases months afterwards. Money issues are destroying our relationship and causing stress for both of us. I've had countless talks with her about this, but nothing seems to work - not even explaining to her that her habits are jeopardizing our marriage and the future for our children. Do you have any suggestions for helping a spouse to be more responsible with money?
Tim from Tallahassee
Hazel responds …
Unfortunately, people who shop the way you are describing usually do so to fill up an empty space inside of themselves. In some way, something is missing for her and shopping makes her feel good so she continually does this. It has become an addiction in much the same way as drugs or alcohol would to someone else. This can be something that comes from her past and may not be related to anything that is going on in your relationship today.
Telling her these habits are jeopardizing your marriage isn't getting through because she doesn't really believe it will impact anything. In her mind, she is just spending money. This isn't a case of learning to be more responsible with money, but rather of finding out why she feels such a great need to spend this way.
Unfortunately, if she doesn't get some professional help she might not be able to overcome what has really become more of an addiction. If this is impacting your relationship and your life, I would highly suggest you sit down and talk to her about her seeing a helping professional who specializes in impulsive behavior with money, and that you would be willing to go with her as a couple.
I would encourage you not to use seeing a counselor as a threat, but instead come from a place of, "I really love you and want to make sure our marriage stays intact, and that we all stay healthy and financially okay."
If she says she doesn't need professional help, I would suggest you find someone anyway, and go on your own, so that you can learn some coping skills or get help so you can decide what it is you really want to do.
Hazel Palache |www.SayYestoYOUCoaching.com
Riana responds …
I am sorry for your frustration and dilemma. As you probably realize, money is the number one issue for couples' arguments, dissatisfaction, and divorce. Spending can also be an addiction, an obsessive-compulsion behavior, a stress-related response to a marriage with problems, or it could have originated from childhood issues.
With today's national financial crisis, along with marital issues that already existed, these two combined can add up to serious problems for your marriage. If your wife is angry over various issues happening within your marriage, her spending in secret could be a passive-aggressive move to "get back at you."
I highly recommended you getting professional support for your relationship. Some therapists and relationship coaches also have training in dealing with impulsive spending behaviors. Tell her you are seriously concerned and unhappy about what is happening in your relationship, and if she refuses to seek professional help, you'll start it anyway -- by yourself. Usually, the reluctant partner will get professional help once the other partner starts going alone.
Honesty is the most important part of a marriage, so you need to get to the root of your wife's concerns, review your joint debt, and establish a "forced" joint savings account that requires two signatures for withdrawals.
Look into the e-savings accounts that offer the best interest rates and are safe from any losses during these times. Also, now is the time to establish a college investment plan for your children and set up other conservative retirement plans (perhaps a Roth IRA) for a more secure future.
Riana Milne, MA, LPC, LCADC, SAC | www.RianaMilne.com | 609.601.7887
Murray responds …
Money issues are one of the top concerns that create tension in relationships and even cause divorce. Your frustration comes across in your letter. While you may be at the end of your rope, it is important to create a positive dialogue with your partner that is not shaped by this attitude if there is any possibility for creating a positive solution.
I was struck by your experience - two sides of one coin - of portraying the situation as being out of control and as a judgmental parent. This experience is important to step away from. One way is to explore your spouse's view of the situation. Does she see this as a problem as well? Does she have a disagreement with your financial and personal goals and aspirations? What is key is to talk together -- to establish your mutual baselines about what is important to you both.
Here are some questions to consider: Do you sit down together during intimate times to talk about your personal and shared long-term interests? Do the conversations tend to occur when there is a problem, a conflict, fighting or critical dialogue? The latter is an atmosphere rarely conducive to learning and listening. If you have trouble in creating a positive spirit for dialogue, perhaps what is needed is getting help from a coach with deep listening skills to help define your mutual concerns and goals.
Murray Dabby | www.AtlantaRelationshipCoach.com | 404.633.3282, Ext 1
Lois responds ...
Money is the most taboo of topics and the one of the reasons for divorce. How someone spends their money sends a direct message about their values.
The first step is to get clarity about where the challenge is in your wife's spending patterns. Perhaps her pattern speaks to depression, anxiety or the need for instant gratification. This can be revealed through heartfelt talks, by keen observation, or by bringing in professional counsel -- which is always the best option.
It is important to get clear about what her unconsciousness around money points to. The important thing is not to criticize your partner. Often, over-spending occurs due to low self-esteem, and criticism may serve to escalate impulse spending. The best position is to focus on how much you love her, how this behavior impacts both of you, and creative problem-solving.
Once you have more clarity, see if your wife is willing to move through obstacles. Consider how you can support (not enable) her, while at the same time set some strategic boundaries. You can make it a game, creating interesting colored charts to create a budget, rewarding baby steps towards money consciousness, etc.
Money is exceedingly linear so, most likely, you should be the one to handle budgets and other logistical matters. This may take the form of closing down or lowering credit limits on joint credit cards. Also, you can talk to her about having her paycheck deposited into a direct deposit account, and set up automatic withdrawals for her portion of expenses. The greater the responsibility she takes, and the less she is bailed out, the healthier the dynamic will be in your marriage.
If your wife is unwilling to take responsibility for financial security, or unwilling to get support, you need to ask yourself if you are still willing to remain in the marriage.
Lois Barth | www.LusciousLivingWithLois.com | 212.682.5225
Invest in Your Relationship - Couples and Singles
by Shirley Vollette
Things seldom improve from neglect.
~ Eve Eschner Hogan
An Inspiring Weekend
My husband and I recently attended a weekend workshop for couples called The Art of Cherishment, led by Hedy and Yumi Schleifer. Hedy is an Imago Therapist, married to her husband Yumi for over 40 years. They have devoted this stage of their life and marriage to facilitating experiences of deep connection for couples all over the world.
It was a profoundly moving weekend for us. It was inspiring to be in a room full of couples who were there with the unified purpose of strengthening and enhancing their relationship – and who were committed to investing their time and resources to that end.
With all of the turbulence in the financial world these days, it strikes me that investing in your relationship is one of the best investments you can make. Through the ups and downs of life, work, raising families, health challenges and so on, our primary relationship can be a source of support, love, joy and shared difference-making.
A solid partnership has economic benefits, too. There is a synergy that is created when two people align their goals and dreams and support each other in achieving them. This synergy can produce wealth --- emotionally and financially.
When we invest in our relationship, love and intimacy continues to deepen and grow…
In her book How To Love Your Marriage, Eve Eschner Hogan asks: "How would our marriages be different if we entered them with the intention of continuously growing the love we share with our spouse – rather than just honoring a love that already exists or once existed?"
We all know that if we expect our bodies to be healthy and vibrant we need to feed them well, get enough sleep and give ourselves nurturing exercise. Many of us devote hours each week to ensure that our bodies are fit and well. And if we don't, we know we ought to. It's not enough to reminisce about how fit we used to be!
Our relationship needs caring for, too. As anyone with a good relationship can tell you, a satisfying partnership doesn't just "happen" -- as it may seem so, in the beginning of a relationship, when the love hormones are flowing freely. However, once the "romantic stage" passes into a more stable and less exhilarating form of love, we need to learn how to feed and renew our love on an ongoing basis.
How you choose to care for and protect your relationship is a personal matter, as is how you choose to care for your body. Workshops such as the one my husband and I attended may not be everyone's cup of tea, however the options are infinite!
It's up to YOU to decide what investments will pay off for you and your partner…
Relationships provide us with the opportunity (and necessity) to stretch and grow in new ways of being – with ourselves and with our partner. When our relationship feels boring or unsatisfying, perhaps we are being called to new growth and discovery. We may need to be creative and willing to experiment.
If you're short on ideas for investing in your relationship, you can always canvas those individuals whose relationships you admire, to find out what has worked for them. What is important is to make the conscious commitment to invest in your relationship – and then follow through with actions – both big and small.
Investing in your relationship isn't just for couples …
For singles who long to be in a relationship, you, too, can make an investment. You can invest by clarifying your values, your vision for your life and your "relationship requirements" – those non-negotiable deal-breakers that you must have for a relationship to work for you. Once you are clear about your vision for your life and your requirements, you'll be better able to make wise choices about how and with whom you will invest your dating energy.
If you are single or divorced, you can also invest in your future relationship by clearing the way for it. This might involve healing past hurts, learning more effective relationship skills or learning how to love and respect yourself in new ways. You can lay the foundation today for the relationship you hope for tomorrow.
Invitation to Action
If you're in a couple, ask yourself, "How could I invest in my relationship today?"
• With a warm hug?
• With a surprise gift?
• With a word of appreciation?
• With my undivided attention and interest?
• With an act of service?
Contemplate how your partner likes to receive love. Then take action!
If you're single or divorced, ask yourself,"How can I invest in my future relationship today?"
• By getting clear on my requirements?
• By improving my communication skills?
• By taking care of my health?
• By getting my finances in order?
If you're unsure what you can do, consider working with an RCI Relationship Coach who can help you get the clarity you need to identify your priorities and take the necessary actions to achieve relationship success.
Whether you're already in a relationship or contemplating a new one, I invite you to invest in the growth of love and fulfillment in your relationship. You'll be rewarded with returns of the very best kind.
Copyright © 2009 by Shirley Vollett. All rights reserved in all media.
Shirley Vollett is a Life and Relationship Coach who delights in working with pro-active individuals who want to make positive changes in their lives, their work/business or their relationships. www.Shirley.Vollett.com
Compatibility in Relationships
By Don Bailey
Just what is compatibility? First, it's something we are typically looking for as we enter into a marriage relationship. Often, compatibility is examined as part of pre-marital counseling or coaching. We're looking for the things that are alike.
Incompatibility might mean that we are too different in family background, religion, financial status, hobbies, etc. I visited one of my favorite websites for marriage resource information and found virtually every article that contained a reference to compatibility spoke of it as "being sufficiently alike to get along."
So, the conclusion from this definition would be that we must fall in love with, date or marry someone who is very much like us if we are to succeed in our relationship. How boring and impractical! That means never having assorted strengths to apply to the relationship. It means never being able to grow and develop due to the strengths of your date or mate.
Is that really what compatibility is about? I went to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary for another definition:
compatible: 1. capable of existing together in harmony; 2. capable of forming a homogeneous mixture that never separates
Notice that neither of these definitions says anything about being alike. In fact, I would conclude that two people could be very much alike and not be able to exist in harmony. They could be very much alike in family, background, religion, education, financial status, hobbies, etc.
In addition, they may be alike in stubbornness, selfishness, desire to control, desire to win, pride or other difficult characteristics. This does not sound like a formula for success in relationships. In fact, this second list includes the things which typically lead to incompatibility.
I find that compatibility is better defined as having the skills and attitudes necessary to successfully deal with our differences. The following are some skills and attitudes I believe are necessary for compatibility:
1. Unconditional love
This means never withdrawing your love because your date or mate fails you in some way.
Go back to definition number 2, above, and note that it says "never separates." In marriage, that means removing the word "divorce" from your vocabulary. In dating, it means figuring out if you can be committed before you marry. This commitment means working together to find a solution, not a separation.
In other words -- not needing to always be right. Fighting to be right is a selfish act for the individual, while compromise is about the success of the relationship.
4. Communication and listening
This means being willing to address issues needing resolution. If you either suppress (consciously avoid an issue) or repress (unconsciously avoid an issue), nothing ever gets resolved. That means you are always in a state of conflict over both old and new issues.
Listening is the most difficult skill to acquire in this process simply because it requires us to focus on the other person's perspective, not on our own. Respect your date or mate by listening to their desires, wants and needs.
5. Accept responsibility
Be willing to own your contributions to the breakdown of your relationship. This promotes trust from your date or mate. Being defensive just breaks down the communication and trust. Here's a good statement regarding defensiveness:
"If you are right, you don't need to be defensive. If you are wrong, you have no right to be defensive."
With the application of these principles, you will find you and your mate, or your date, overcoming differences and, therefore, being more compatible.
Copyright © 2009 by Don Bailey. All rights reserved in all media.
Don Bailey is the founder of LIFECare Coaching/Counseling. He is an ordained minister, a Board Certified Pastoral Counselor and RCI Licensed Relationship Coach. His passion is to see new love relationships "begin right" and existing ones "reach their peak."www.LifeCareCoach.net
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