Conscious Relationship Tele-Seminars
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Ask Our Coaches:
I want what she has!
"How can I create a great relationship with my partner -- someone who doesn't necessarily see it as a top priority?"
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 girlfriend has a fabulous marriage. She and her husband seem to be on the same wavelength about everything. They get along, share a lot of the same interests, do a lot of things together, etc. She tells me they have challenges just like any other couple, but they put their relationship as a top priority above all else.
How can I create a great relationship with my partner -- someone who doesn't necessarily see it as a top priority? Where do I start and can I do things on my own that will make it great for both of us? Can you make a relationship great even if one of us is much more invested in it than the other?
Tonya in Terre Haute
Lori responds …
Good marriages are rare, as you know, and take a lot of work. It's great that you have one in your life you can emulate. You know you cannot control your husband's behavior, so you need to concentrate on what IS in your control, and that is YOU. I will tell you I have seen great miracles when only one person in a relationship changes, so have faith that your actions alone CAN make all the difference.
You are familiar with the golden rule, well better yet is the platinum rule, and that is to treat someone the way THEY want to be treated. What most men love is to be respected and appreciated and to know that they can make you happy.
If, every day, you take a couple actions to show him respect and appreciation, and that he can be successful in making you happy, you will have a man who will love to continue to make you happy. Remember those rose-colored glasses you had when you first fell in love? Put them back on until things change. Be willing to fall in love again; it's so much fun!
Lori Rubenstein | www.LoveAdviceCoach.com | 928.634.0252
Doris responds …
Have you had a very direct conversation with your partner about why your relationship may be a higher priority for you than for him? You may be pleasantly surprised! Sometimes our partners express their love to us in ways we don't recognize.
Maybe you're expecting "quality time" every night, beautiful flowers or loving comments. What if he doesn't know that? What if he expresses his love by going out with the guys so you have quiet time or taking out the garbage without being asked?
You'll gain clarity when you both come clean about what you need and want in a relationship. You'll be able to decide whether to resolve troublesome issues or part ways.
Our partners are our greatest teachers, especially when we're upset with them. Often, we blame them for our unmet needs even though we haven't communicated them. Explore your relationship with the curiosity of a two-year old. Avoid the trap of making assumptions about what your partner needs and expects or how he expresses his commitment. Discover the bliss of speaking the same language.
You can hire a relationship coach. We understand the spoken and unspoken languages of love. We can help you gain your perfect partnership.
Doris Helge, Ph.D. | www.CoachingByDoris.com | 360.748.4365
Tara responds …
Attracting what you want in your relationship starts with a vision. Picture in your mind what you really desire; feel the feelings you want to experience. Make sure you imagine yourself interacting and enjoying your relationship with your partner.
Take it a step further and write your ideas on a piece of paper, focusing on all the things you want to see manifested for both of you. Consider creating a treasure map or vision board that includes pictures and other mementos so you can have a visual display to look at daily.
Start living into your vision by doing the things you want to experience in your own relationship. While not every relationship issue can be resolved by only one of you changing, it's a great place to start.
As Mahatma Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." It can start with you and just you. We learn and model our own behaviors and thoughts by the examples to which we're exposed. It's no different in our relationships. As you change, so will your partner.
Tara Kachaturoff | www.relationshipplanning.com
What Every Man Wants Every Woman To Know
by Denise Wade, Ph.D.
Somehow, over time, we women tend to give our intimate relationships less nurturing, as a couple, than we gave ourselves as a single. We indulged our single selves and nursed our dating needs. We sought out our significant other like it was a search and rescue mission. Time passed and we came to invest more into our rescued canine than into our union.
We cannot wait to get home to our comfy slippers, our fuzzy four-legged companion, that Chinese takeout or the nightly cocktail. What about our partner? Do we relish seeing him as much as that sesame chicken and broccoli?
How is it that our girlfriend has that ideal relationship? Perhaps she knows how to meet her partner's needs. I will let you in on a little secret, you can too. There is no limit to what a man will do for you if you understand his needs. It is that simple.
MEN NEED APPRECIATION: Remember why you fell in love with your partner. Make a list of his top ten character traits that caused you to want to be with him in the first place. Make a conscious effort to appreciate and compliment him. Even simple domestic tasks, like picking up takeout and taking out the garbage, can be appreciated.
MEN NEED RESPECT: The two worst enemies of respect are criticism and judgment. This includes making him wrong or scolding him like a child. Above all else, never berate him in public or you will lose him for good. It is imperative that a woman create a safe nonjudgmental space for her significant other or a man will shut down emotionally and sexually.
MEN HATE COMPLAINTS: The words "you" and "why" will send your guy into defense mode. Men are competitive by nature so he may fight with you when he feels challenged. Turn complaints into requests. Try starting with "I love it when you…." or "It makes me so happy when you ...." This alone will cause him to sit up and take notice.
MEN FEEL EMOTIONALLY DISADVANTAGED: Research suggests emotions are overwhelming for men. They tend to operate from the logical side of the brain. When faced with an emotionally charged woman, a man will respond in anger 80% of the time. This coping mechanism is what he uses to attempt to gain control. A man cannot help but to be attracted to a woman who exercises emotional self control.
A MAN'S ATTENTION SPAN IS 2-3 MINUTES: Condense the story. Know yourself and how many words you need to speak, then divide by four. That is about how many words he can physiologically handle; more than that and your message will be camouflaged.
You may also set him up to fail and set yourself up for disappointment when he fails to recall your running commentary. Practice listening more, talking less. If he needs the juicy details, he will ask. Also, monopolizing all his time and energy could associate you with unpleasant feelings.
A MAN'S SCOREBOARD: The male neural circuit is wired with a scoreboard. They are competitive creatures by nature. There is only a win or a loss, nothing else matters. If you criticize him, it is an automatic loss. That is why he needs adventure and business and sports challenges. He needs to win. When he has not made you happy, that is a loss. And a loss is failing. Set him up to win and always reward his efforts.
A MAN'S MOST FEARED WEAPON: A woman's angry tongue can be a man's most destructive enemy; a deadly weapon as any guy will attest to. Make a conscious effort to reclaim that sweet, soft feminine voice you were born with. Nothing shuts down communication like a woman's irritated tone or harsh criticism.
Studies show the majority of men hear voice tone over words. Talk slower and softer and I guarantee he will react better. Instead of correcting your partner, positively impact your relationship with your speech. And lastly, do not underestimate the power of sultry, flirtatious suggestions. He will learn to respond eagerly to your voice.
If you are truly committed to developing a better relationship, ask yourself where there is room to apply these suggestions. Give it 30 days of hard work and I guarantee you will experience empowerment and notice a positive shift in your relationship.
Copyright © 2011 by Denise Wade, Ph.D. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.
Denise Wade, Ph.D. is passionate about helping men and women create intimacy through awareness of each other's needs. Denise provides relationship educational coaching, a comfortable alternative to marriage counseling. http://denisewade.relationshipcoach.org/ 1.610.639.6627
Restoring Trust in Gay Relationships
by Brian L. Rzepczynski
Trust is probably the most important ingredient in fostering a healthy committed relationship and is commonly known to be the glue that cements a couple together. Trust is the endearing faith and confidence that your partner will respect you and not take advantage of or hurt you.
It's a feeling that he is genuine, authentic, dependable, and sincere. This connection allows you to be completely uninhibited and open yourself up to being vulnerable and to sharing your most intimate thoughts and feelings—spots and all!
Time and experience with your man has enabled a climate of safety to evolve in your relationship because you've both consistently demonstrated honor and strength of character in your actions toward each other and those around you.
While trust takes time to develop and is a hallmark of a successful relationship, it can very quickly be damaged if not nurtured and can cause severe consequences for the future of the partnership afflicted by an indiscretion.
Once trust has been compromised, it can be very difficult to repair, and in some cases that damage can be irreversible. This article will offer some tips for those couples invested in bridging the gap and attempting to restore the impaired trust in their relationships.
The Shattered Foundation
All that a relationship has been built upon comes crashing down once trust has been violated, which is why it's typically not a quick-fix and requires a lot of time and energy dedicated to its repair. Maybe he cheated on you. Perhaps you told him a white lie. He might have broken a promise to you. No matter how miniscule or severe the crime committed may seem, the dynamics and the sense of security the relationship once shared will likely be shifted.
Developing trust in someone can be made difficult when there's been a history of emotional/verbal/physical abuse, when one's feelings have been minimized or ignored, or when there's unresolved grief or hurt from the past. Your family background and prior experiences in relationships can also be contributing factors to difficulties with trust, as well as significant stress, low self-esteem, and addictions.
Just the nature of being gay can make us prone to being mistrustful because of the years we spent hiding behind masks or "closet doors" to protect ourselves against homophobia.
And when the man we fall in love with betrays that ultimate brotherhood bond, it can be devastating. It can lead to an almost paranoid state of always assessing his every move and action and becoming hypersensitive to any possible indication of disloyalty to compensate for and protect against getting hurt again. Intimacy suffers and the level of involvement tends to become distant.
Tips For Rebuilding Trust
While it may seem insurmountable at times, it is very possible to heal from broken trust and come out on the other side with a positive outcome. You must first decide, however, if you are truly invested in salvaging your relationship with each other and that you're doing it for the right reasons.
If the violation goes against your core beliefs and values, is this really a good partner choice? Staving off being alone and having to start over again is not a good reason to dismiss an inappropriate behavior that opposes who you are and what you stand for. Make sure your motives are in the right place and that you each share a genuine common vision of rising above and conquering this challenge because your relationship is worth it.
Here are some tips for those couples who are invested in that process. These recommendations can help promote the chances for a progression through the hurdles of repairing trust to a new life of possibility as lifelong partners:
- Get a good handle on any projections that might be triggered from the past; your boyfriend is not your ex or your father who may have hurt you before. Focus on the here-and-now and deal directly with this current reality and not those distractions that you'll still need to grieve and complete.
- Reach out to others. Nothing can help restore the human spirit better than serving those in need or seeing acts of kindness in motion. This helps renew the fact that there is goodness in people and this can be accomplished through volunteering for a charity or tapping into spirituality venues, for example. Access your support system, too.
- You and your partner will need to communicate and listen to each other; make sure you know how to do this well and enlist the help of a trained therapist if needed. Difficult discussions abound and you each will need to be able to express and understand each other's perspectives. You will also need to acknowledge and validate each other's experiences of the problem and reach an understanding of how and why this happened, staying focused on the issue-at-hand.
- You will each need to take responsibility for the roles you played in the indiscretion and be open to apologizing and forgiving each other.
- In your problem-solving, you will need to create a new "relationship contract," agreeing to behavior that's fair vs. unjust and ensuring you each share these same definitions. Identify any unrealistic expectations to avoid any set-ups for sabotage.
- Create a healing climate in your relationship. There is no room for competition, jealousy, blame, or defensiveness any more. Introduce more tenderness and attentiveness to each other's needs. Demonstrate to each other consistently that you are each priorities to one another and remember that you get back what you put into your relationship (The Law of Attraction).
- Monitor your self-talk and counter any negative thoughts that could interfere with your relationship efforts and self-esteem. Begin the process of re-establishing a secure identity where you're open to taking risks and being vulnerable again.
- Learn to "let go" of any bitterness to allow each of you the opportunity to grow and change. Take an inventory of the positive memories, behaviors, interactions, and characteristics of your partner to keep you balanced and hopeful.
The road to recovery from broken trust can lead you to a lot of self-discovery and growth in your relationship with sustained effort and a positive mindset. Recognize how trust issues play out between you and your partner, identify the behaviors needed to overcome obstacles, and confront any blocks that might hold you back from your goals.
And lastly, realize that trust needs constant feeding in relationships and that the hardest thing in the world for you to do right now is an essential component of moving forward—becoming vulnerable again. But by opening yourself up, you'll truly be able to see if you're loved for who you really are and you'll be a more active and happier participant in life.
© 2011 Brian L. Rzepczynski. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.
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. www.TheGayLoveCoach.com
Inspirational Relationship Video Project
We all need inspiration and your story of how you overcame significant challenges can inspire others.
To view our Inspirational Relationship Videos-
Your inspirational relationship story is wanted!
To submit your own Inspirational Relationship Video turn on your video camera (or use your cell phone or webcam) and answer the question-
"What was your most significant obstacle to having a successful relationship and how did you overcome it?"
Then use www.sendthisfile.com and email to firstname.lastname@example.org
For More Information
RCI has made available 35 recordings of presentations by the world's leading relationship experts. To access these recording from our '2009 Conscious Relationship Summit' go to: http://www.ConsciousRelationshipSummit.com
For relationship resources for couples visit our web site at relationshipcoachinginstitute.com/resourcecatalogue.htm
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Links to Us
Tara Kachaturoff | Editor, PartnersInLife.org Couples News Tara@relationshipcoachinginstitute.com
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