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May 2011

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In this issue:

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Conscious Relationship Resources

Conscious Relationship
Seminars and Podcast

Frankie Doiron
President & CEO
Relationship Coaching Institute

David Steele
David Steele
Relationship Coaching Institute

Tara Kachaturoff - Photo
Tara Kachaturoff
Editor | Partners in Life Couples News

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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"
  • 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  



New! Together Forever Club for committed couples. If you want to give yourself and your beloved a huge gift our Together Forever Club is free and a great way to show your love and commitment to your partner. Membership is free! Upon registration you will receive a membership certificate that includes our Five Promises to My Beloved.

  Ask Our Coaches:
Wait! I Want a re-do on the "Will you ..."

"What's your advice on how I might ...
'take back' my proposal of marriage?"

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 proposed to my girlfriend of 5 years about two weeks ago and, as expected, she said "yes." Now, I'm regretting that move. We're both in our forties and our respective children are out of the house. We've lived together all this time as if we were married -- or at least for 4 of the 5 years we've been together. So why change a good thing? Now, I wonder why I even asked her. I've noticed that as soon as I proposed I started to feel anxious, suffocated and like I wanted to run away from all of this. I do not want to get married! What should I do?

What's your advice on how I might re-negotiate this thing and "take back" my proposal of marriage? I have no intention of leaving her, but I really don't want to change the way things are since things are fine. I'm just not sure how to bring this up to her. What do you suggest?


Jianny responds ...

Post engagement jitters can occur at times. Be patient with your anxiety as they are there, perhaps, to draw your attention to unfinished business from a past relationship or marriage that needs completion prior to moving on to the next marriage. Other reasons for the anxieties can arise from anticipation of role and/or responsibility changes. Talk to your fiancé about these concerns or speak with a relationship coach or counselor who can help you address these concerns.

I imagine that your fiancé is very important to you. Re-negotiating the engagement may back fire and cause a rift in the "good thing" you have established with her. It may be seen as a lack of commitment on your part. Love takes courage so I encourage you to talk with someone in reference to your anxiety before making a final decision on your proposed marriage. I wish you the best and may you find a way to attain what you truly want for your life in spite of your fears.

Jianny Adamo, MA | | 1.954.495.4566

Denise responds ...

Don't ignore or judge that fear Brian, just let it come. That built-in alarm keeps us from making huge life-altering mistakes. Ask yourself if this is the right long-term partner for you. Would you consider her your soul mate? If not, perhaps the comfort and convenience of the situation, fear of being alone, or waiting for someone better to come along is what keeps you there and not chemistry with your partner. There has been ample time to "test drive" the relationship. If she's not the right one for you, it's only fair to exercise honesty with her.

If, however, you do feel chemistry for her, then you may want to examine some misdirected limiting beliefs around commitment or marriage. Take a walk through your relational history, including the patterns and interaction of your past partners that could possibly alter your positive feelings about commitment. Perhaps you experienced a painful divorce or break up. Maybe you have a history of controlling partners and this triggers that anxiety for you. Be conscious of any behaviors of your past partners that may have triggered your own commitment fear.

Denise Wade Ph.D. | | 1.215.913.7997

Marian responds ...

It's wonderful that you are aware of your misgivings. Now you need to get clear about what you are objecting to – to commitment to this partner or to marriage itself. You haven't mentioned that you love her; you simply stated that things are "fine." If she is not "the one," then you are doing yourselves a disservice by keeping the relationship going. Another word for love is commitment and "fine" isn't going to cut it when challenges come your way. Fine is lukewarm at best.

If you love her, work on making the relationship great. Clarify exactly what it is about marriage that is causing you distress. Be sure to set up a time to talk so that you have each other's undivided attention. Emphasize that you love her and that your issue is with the institution of marriage.

Just as you want the freedom to express yourself, allow her to respond in her own way. Be empathic and validate her feelings. Resist the urge to become defensive. If you stay grounded, and give her the opportunity to be heard, she may discover that she has similar concerns. And you may discover that your fears are easily resolvable.

Marian Meade

Dr. Dar responds ...

Wow, I know how it feels to say something and then want to take it back. What you are dealing with has to be difficult, but standing in your truth far outweighs denying it. First you should take a deeper look as to what about being married feels suffocating. What are the specific reasons you don't want to get married? Is it that you don't want to marry her and, if so, why?

You should get clear about your reasons for becoming anxious after proposing as well as what led you to proposing in the first place. Having a clear understanding about why you feel the way you do and what made you propose when you did will make the conversation go smoother because you will be able to explain your emotions more effectively. Not having an answer other than "Why change a good thing?" could result in her not taking this well at all. If you are still certain you don't want to get married after you answer these questions, then you have to tell her the truth openly and honestly.

Dr. Dar Hawks | | 1.704.651.8568

Doris responds ...

Brian, please re-read your letter. You'll notice that you don't want to run away from your girlfriend, you want to run from a formal commitment. That's not "good" or "bad." It's just information you can use to discover more about your needs and behavior patterns.

Grab a piece of paper and a pen and fill in the blank in the sentence below. Write as rapidly as you can. Write everything that comes up in your mind. Keep writing until you gain a rich Aha!

"If I fully commit to this relationship, I'm afraid I'll lose __________. "

It's normal to second-guess a new commitment. Instead of judging yourself harshly for having human fears, use this opportunity to discover your fears and express them in a healthy way. You'll learn a lot about yourself. You'll also notice when you fear commitment in other areas of your life.

Engage in a direct, honest conversation with your girlfriend about your relationship requirements, needs and preferences. Your girlfriend deserves honesty regarding your feelings and intentions.

A relationship coach can help you sort through illusions and recycle unnecessary fears. Then you'll feel safe enjoying the benefits of strong relationship based on honesty and trust.

Doris Helge, Ph.D. | | 1.360.748.4365

Feature Article:
The Art of Discussing Sexual Needs

by Denise Wade, Ph.D.

If there was a discussion manual for sexual fulfillment between committed couples it would read: Sex. Just Do It. Repeat. The End.

What is it about sex that makes it so difficult to discuss with our partner? Even among couples who've been married for years, many times sex talk falls under the "no fly zone." The nakedness of sex is far more than physical. Interestingly enough, the authors of the Old Testament enthusiastically mention sex 200 times, likening its mysteries to that of a ship on the high seas and that of an eagle transcending the law of physics.

To feel comfortable talking to our partner about such an intimate subject, let's first explore what sex does for a marriage. We all know of the obvious benefits, but regular fulfilling connection with our beloved has been found to extend our life by as much as 5 years. If you start each morning with this delightful ritual you could cut your gym time by a third. If that's not enough to fire up your sexual furnace, consider this: sex is also a natural pain reliever and immune booster.

Still doesn't convince you to discuss the dirty deed? Consider this: A man cannot emotionally express himself the way a woman truly desires if she doesn't connect with him physically first. That's right; a man's desire for sexual touch goes far beyond external gratification, unbeknownst to him. Sex is actually just the portal to get what he really needs and has difficulty accessing – connection.

Life has a way of overwhelming a marriage with stress. A woman's software is programmed to release tension through excessive talk, thus calming her and refilling her serotonin reserves. A man lacks this self-soothing. His tension tank builds, without his own awareness. He becomes angry, distant, and may eventually explode. Without knowing what he needs or how to ask for it, it's like being hungry in a foreign country and not speaking the language.

Intimacy and great sex, notice how I said great sex, not just participating in the act with completion as the goal, but passionate steamy lovemaking, will help him feel emotions that have long remained dormant, making him calmer, happier, and connected to his partner. For many men this area is difficult to access without an assist from a woman and not without releasing testosterone that's used during orgasm.

In order to feel comfortable or make our significant other feel at ease discussing our sexual needs, desires, even discomforts and insecurities, we need to trust our partner. Trust is built outside the bedroom. If a woman creates a compassionate, safe space, free from judgment and criticism, then her guy will feel it's okay not to perform to perfection in the bedroom, this being his greatest insecurity. That's why porn is a multibillion dollar industry: she doesn't criticize, she's always eager to please, and she doesn't care if he can't perform.

Men need to feel desired outside the bedroom, but permitted, even encouraged to take the lead inside the bedroom without any inhibitions from his partner. To stoke a woman's sexual furnace and ease her apprehensions about discussing sexual needs and desires, she requires emotional foreplay with compliments, acts of service, and non-sexual touch. After all, sex is never limited to lovemaking.

Sex goes on all day long in airports, over email, phone calls, texts, in the kitchen, across the dinner table, running the kids around, and during domestic tasks with flirting, seductive playfulness, love notes, body language, eye expressions, smiles, non-sexual touches of affection and acts of love. All of these build desire and intimacy.

Trust, safety, and vulnerability are the emotional cement of intimacy and the needs behind sex and improving your love life. But they must be discussed and mirrored. Try passing a juicy journal or email of erotic talk back and forth weekly. Men respond and recall much greater if it's in writing.

Experimentation and creative expression between the satin sheets free from judgment, criticism, inhibitions, and past limiting sexual beliefs based on poor body image, religious taboos, and socially acceptable rules will allow you both to explore and pleasure each other in new ways. The greatest benefit is safety, trust, and intimacy. Now that's safe sex, guaranteed to lead to open sexual discussion!

I encourage you to not be afraid to teach your beloved if you need something he or she hasn't tried yet. This may in turn open them up to freely express their own desires. It also demonstrates trust, and for a man he feels most loved when he feels trusted and he feels most fulfilled when he knows he's pleasing his partner.

Copyright © 2011 by Denise Wade, Ph.D. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.

Denise Wade, Ph.D. is devoted to helping committed couples re-ignite passion and intimacy through awareness of each other's different sexual and emotional needs. Denise provides couples education coaching, a comfortable alternative to marriage counseling. 1.610.639.6627.


Bonus Article: 10 Principles of a Successful Marriage

By Frankie Doiron

Successful, happy marriages don't just happen. They require attention, commitment, work and skill. The following 10 Principles will help couples create the type of marriage we all want.

1. You are accountable for the success of all your relationships.

Whether you accept it or not, you are accountable for the success or failure of your relationships. What you bring to your relationships (your beliefs, attitudes, choices, behaviors, and actions) will impact your relationships -- positively or negatively.

Choose to be conscious of what you are thinking and how you are acting, so that you can make choices that will support rather than sabotage your relationships.

 2. You have to GIVE more than you expect to RECEIVE.

Treat your partner the way you would love to be treated in all areas of your relationship. Don't hold back because you may not be receiving what you are giving them. Be an example and guide for your partner, showing him/her how to love and give without any expectation of reciprocity. By doing so you will be creating a new way of relating that your partner will want to emulate.

 3. You need to know who you are and what you want.

Being clear about who you are and what you want in life and your marriage will bring a powerful sense of fulfillment and purpose to your life. Without having these guidelines for living, you will always feel unsettled and think you are missing something important--when in reality, what you want is probably right in front of you.

 4. Be the marriage partner you want to be with.

You need to be the partner you want to be with. In other words, if you want to be with a partner who is kind, affectionate and considerate, you need to BE that person first. You can't expect your partner to treat you differently from the way you treat him/her.

 5. Gain relationship knowledge and skills.

Marriage is the most important relationship you have and yet, it is the one area of life where most people lack the basic knowledge and skills needed to ensure success. Do something about it. Acquire the help you need to improve your knowledge and relationship competencies.  

 6. Be a strong advocate for your marriage.

Recognize and honor your marriage for what it is -- the most important relationship you have; more important than any other, including the one you have with your children. Defend it, cherish it, enjoy it. Don't denigrate it or your partner. It is a sacred bond.

 7. Be committed to your relationship and your partner.

Commitment is a promise. When you said your wedding vows you promised to commit to your relationship and your partner, for life. Be a person of your word and do whatever it takes to honor the commitment you made. Commitment is the glue that will hold you together during challenging times, and will carry you through the impossible. Couples who stay together through difficult times report that their marriage is happier and stronger.

 8. Your relationship and partner mirror you and are the instruments of your growth.

Often our greatest personal growth comes from challenges and adversity. Marriage is not always an easy path, but if you can get out of the way of your own drama, you can develop in ways that is not otherwise possible. Marriage is a vehicle for great personal transformation.

 9. The most important legacy you can leave your children is the example of your own successful relationship.

Because most people lack relationship skills and knowledge they struggle to create successful relationships. Most people have never had the opportunity to see a role model of a happy marriage. By creating and living in a successful marriage you will be providing your children and grandchildren with guidelines for their own success.

 10. You can do anything you want when you set your mind to it.

You have more power and control over your thoughts and attitudes than you know. If you decide you want to have a happy marriage, you can achieve it. But you must want it first.

You can transform your marriage into something that is magnificent and fulfilling, no matter how you feel about each other now, or what issues have caused you pain. It is your choice to make. Choose love. Choose your marriage. If you need help, get it.

Copyright © 2011 by Frankie Doiron. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.

Frankie Doiron is the CEO and President of the Relationship Coaching Institute. After 30 years in various leadership roles in the corporate environment, she leads RCI which is the largest relationship coach training firm in the world. Known for her innovative approach, she's dedicated to helping singles and couples create and maintain loving relationships.


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Tara Kachaturoff | Editor, Couples News

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