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January 2011

In this issue:

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Conscious Relationship Podcast

Frankie Doiron
President & CEO
Relationship Coaching Institute

David Steele
David Steele
Relationship Coaching Institute

Tara Kachaturoff - Photo
Tara Kachaturoff
Editor | Conscious Dating News

Copyright 2011 by Relationship Coaching Institute. All rights reserved.

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Ask Our Coaches: 
Letting Go Is Hard to Do

"How do I let go of anger and resentment?"

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 broke up with my fiancé about 2 years ago, yet I still feel a lot of anger and resentment towards him and the mess it made of my life and our future together. I'm dating someone else now, yet I find myself still talking about my issues with my ex.

I've had one prior long-term relationship and never had any issues I'm experiencing now. Why is it so easy for other people to just let go of things like this? I just don't feel anyone can turn emotions and feelings on and off by thinking or wishing it so.

How do I let go of anger and resentment? What can I do to leave these unhappy thoughts and feelings in the past? How do I let go of this and just move on with my life with someone new?

Susan from Seattle

Jenna responds …

One way to let go of anger and resentment about an old relationship is to accept personal responsibility. You do this by acknowledging your contribution to the conflicted relationship, even if the only way you contributed was by staying too long. This is not always easy. No one wants to admit that they are also to blame.

By taking personal responsibility for your life, you're acknowledging that YOU are responsible for your happiness, not someone else. It's all a choice and you, alone, are responsible for the choices you make.

You can either choose to replay the old relationship in your mind, put the blame on your ex, and stay stuck in the past or you can say, "I am to blame as well. I stayed when I should have left. I did (fill in the blank), but now I choose to be happy. I forgive myself. I choose to take control of my life and make it what I want it to be. Now I choose to have a healthy relationship with someone new." The choice is yours.

Jenna Korf | | 408.470.9743

Mari responds …

Letting go of the dream you've built around your life together with someone, the places you'd go, the activities you'd pursue together, can often be difficult. Dreams have lives of their own and the interruption of that dream can easily cause trauma to one's spirit. Having said that, dreams can always be reformed, rebuilt, re-energized . . . with someone else.

Suggestion: Hold off socializing with any guy until you confront why your previous relationship didn't work and why you're still holding on to so much anger and resentment. Our emotions are choices we make -- whether to be happy, sad, or angry. We have it within our power to decide who we will be each day and how we will face each situation we're confronted with.

Every moment gives us the opportunity to see exactly who we are and decide if that's who we wish to remain. Next, please make an attempt to forgive your fiancé. This may take many attempts before the vivid pain and hurt he caused reaches the point of minor annoyance. Start somewhere; until you do, you'll find yourself mired in the past, flowing in negative energy that will worsen the longer you live in it.

Mari Lyles

Bill responds …

I suggest you take a look at where your anger is placed and what you are angry about. Often, we get angry when we feel out of control regarding some presented aspect of life. Thus, the control of our lives is the issue, not the aspect, presented. If that's even a little true for you, I have good news and bad news; you are in control of everything, even and especially, your reactions.

Determining how you want your experience of life to be, regardless of circumstances, is not wishing it so. It is the fundamental requirement for freedom of choice and deep, lasting, personal happiness. Otherwise, you are the ball in the pinball machine called life, with no personal recourse or direction.

You could just wait and see what happens, but that is just more of the same. Or, you could take on self determination, personal awareness and definition of what matters. As you begin to discover what you really want from your life experience and plot a course full of inspired actions, you will see immediate results. Achieving happiness requires uncovering what's holding you in place and choosing if you still want the result those behaviors and reactions offer.

Bill Paglia-Scheff | | 860.209.9254

Doris responds …

You're right. You can't banish negative emotions by wishing them away. You CAN let go of anger and resentment by shifting your focus to what you can learn from every unpleasant experience.

When I wrote my first book about discovering the hidden gifts available in every thorny event life presents, Viktor Frankl was a splendid role model. A prisoner at Auschwitz concentration camp, Frankl could have been consumed with anger, hopelessness, blame, judgment and resentment. Instead, he focused on what he was learning. He discovered the secret value the painful experience provided him and then inspired the world with his joy and wisdom.

Because your past was painful, it's understandable that your mind is playing an old tape over and over about being hurt. We're hardwired to protect ourselves by doing this. The problem is that we then feel like victims instead of the empowered beings we truly are. Hire a qualified relationship coach. We can help you tune into a totally different soundtrack. You'll discover how to enjoy the bliss that's always available to you. From that mind state, you'll create exactly what you want in your life.

Doris Helge, Ph.D. | | 360.748.4365

Pichaya responds …

1. Be grateful. Write down every positive, wonderful, and loving experience that you had with your ex. What were you grateful for? Gratitude keeps your heart open to love.

2. Look at life in perspective. Look for the lessons behind this event. What was your lesson? Perhaps it was for you was to learn to detach, open your heart, accept, trust, and forgive yourself and forgive him.

3. Be in the present. Every day is your new day. Be fully present with the one you are dating. Be in the now. Meditation and deep breathing are great ways to be in the present.

5. Write an angry letter that expresses your hurt, pain, anger, and resentment. Write as much as you want. Read it to yourself. Then burn it and let it go. Please don't mail it to him. This is for you to have a closure with him so that you can move on with your life.

6. Love yourself and think loving thoughts about your ex. Love is the most beautiful and powerful thing in the world. To overcome your anger and resentment, your heart must be filled with love. Love yourself first. Then, have thoughts of love and compassion to your ex.

Pichaya Steinke | | 503.908.0277

The Dating Game

by Jackie Black, Ph.D.

I received an e-mail this week from a fellow who asked about the "game of dating." He had just gone on a "successful" date (he likes her and he believes she likes him) and he wanted to know what I thought about being "unavailable"; not calling his date too soon after the date or waiting for her to call him.

I don't believe in playing games with anyone for any reason. I encourage men and women to have courage and tell the truth about how they feel, what they think, and what they need/want, like/dislike, in a responsible and respectful way.

Folks, dating is a process that requires personal integrity! When you engage anyone in a conversation or interaction it is incumbent upon you to speak and act honestly and respectfully.

Dating is the opportunity to let someone get to know you, and for you to get to know them. Playing games will never get you what you want. Playing games deliberately creates an inaccurate picture of who you are and what you are thinking and feeling.

I replied to the e-mail and invited this gentleman to call his date as soon as possible and speak honestly about his thoughts and feelings about their date. What was it about her that he liked? Was he interested in how she thought about things? Was he attracted to how she looked or the way she handled herself in public? Did he discover that they shared similar interests, had comparable backgrounds, or did she have ideas that were different than anyone he had ever met?

I suggested his conversation with her might sound something like this: "I enjoyed myself very much the other evening. I'm glad I met you. I liked your stories about your work and growing up in the east. I'm such a dog lover and I knew I wanted to get to know you better after you talked about your dog, Spot. I would like to see you again, perhaps for Sunday brunch.

Remember, nearly everyone who is out there dating is emotionally fragile. We want others to like us, to find us attractive, interesting, funny. Let's stop playing games, start showing up, and have the courage to let others see us accurately no matter what the outcome.

They're going to see who we really are someday anyway. Let's not waste any time with people who don't enjoy us and aren't enriched by being in our presence! Remember, only YOU can make it happen!

Copyright ©2011 by Jackie Black. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.

Jackie Black, Ph.D. is an internationally recognized Relationship Expert, Educator, Author and Coach, and an RCI Licensed Relationship Coach for Singles and Couples. She coaches men and women who are single again, pre-married, newly-married, new parents, couples in trouble, couples facing illness, and those grieving the death of a loved one.

Bonus Article:
How Not to Lose Yourself in a Relationship

by Lori S. Rubenstein

Are you one of the people who are scared to death to get involved again in a relationship because you do not know how to NOT lose yourself?

Lauren's Story

Lauren was married for 22 years and has been single for 2 years. She feels like she is ready to start dating. It's taken her the last 2 years to get over the loss of the family, her role as mother and wife. During the marriage, she identified herself as "Don's wife".

Her job was to support his career, move the entire family with each career transfer, and be super-mom (she was in charge of every medical decision, transportation, purchasing and caring for clothing, meals, shopping, homework, school communication, sports and extra-curricular activities).

About 20 years into the marriage, Don began to express resentment over the fact that he was the only bread-winner and wanted to change their agreed-upon marital roles to some extent. Lauren could not begin to imagine changing that agreement, as she had absolutely no idea what going out into the workforce entailed. She was a housewife, she was good at her job, and she was proud of her accomplishments.

When they divorced, Lauren was depressed, terrified and confused. Who was she now? How would she make it on her own?

Well, like all terrified newly divorced people, Lauren got up, breathed and took one step at a time and eventually she created a life of her own. She started taking classes at the community college and discovered, she was a pretty smart cookie! That helped her self-esteem. She even had a college professor flirt with her -- another self-esteem boost.

With spousal support, child support and some money from the sale of their marital home, she is able to meagerly scrap by, but she is doing it on her own. She is finishing her AA degree and getting ready to go out into the workforce.

Your Situation

Your situation may not be as extreme as Lauren's, but the feelings are still the same. She has worked hard to become independent and is scared to start dating because she does not want to fall back into the habit of being dependent on a man or just completely lose all she has gained. I think this is why so many women wait longer than men to get remarried. They are on a mission of self-discovery and do not want to go backwards.

I can tell you that when I separated from my husband, I remember going to the grocery store and standing in the vegetable isle, confused because I truly did not know what it was I wanted to buy. I was so used to buying food for my ex-husband that I forgot what I liked independent from him. And I was a career woman with my own life, and yet I still lost myself in that relationship.

So, what do you do? How do you not lose yourself in relationship? Here are some guidelines:

1. Get rid of the negative demeaning verbiage that was used by your ex-spouse that you took on during the marriage. By this I mean that if you were verbally or emotionally abused during the marriage and you started believing that you were a defective person in some way, get counseling or coaching, realize it's not true, and let it go.

2. Take a trip down memory lane and remember who you were before the marriage. What did you love? What were your dreams and visions?

3. Develop new friendships. These new friends will keep you on track. Tell them, "I don't want to lose myself in this new relationship, if you see me doing that, please tell me."

4. Forgiveness is mandatory. If you are still holding onto hurt or anger, whether in the position of a victim or martyr, you are very likely to repeat the same pattern as before and lose yourself again.

5. Become active and fill your time with activities and hobbies that you love.

6. Love and accept yourself. The happier you are with who you are, the more likely you will desire to continue to be the person you have become!

7. Learn the art of assertiveness. Being assertive allows you to state your needs without hurting others. You have new boundaries and are not afraid to state them. When you set and stick to boundaries, you earn respect for yourself and you stay on track with the "new you".

8. Pray for help. Sometimes it's just in the asking. Sometimes the oneness and wholeness we feel with God can replace the need to feel enveloped with another person and thus lose yourself completely. (This should not be read to mean that feeling whole with your new mate is not positive, just don't lose the balance of who are).

9. Do not become co-dependent in the relationship. A good way to make sure this does not happen is to hold each other to the highest standards, rather than the lowest common denominator.

10. Don't give up friends, work, organizations, activities, hobbies, dreams or goals which you have come to love. They may have entered your life as a single person, yet as a partnered person, you do not need to lose them. Remember, your new mate fell in love with you as a person with all these activities, so don't change who you are at your essence.

To not lose yourself in a new relationship, commit to having fun in that relationship. It's when things become over-burdened and you feel like it's drudgery to relate to your new mate, you've lost yourself.

Therapist Edmund J. Bourne says, "Co-dependency can be defined as the tendency to put others needs before your own. You accommodate to others to such a degree that you tend to discount or ignore your own feelings, desires and basic needs. Your self-esteem depends largely on how well you please, take care of and/or solve problems for someone else (or many others)."

In some cases, this is very sweet and endearing. However, only you know if you go too far and lose yourself completely. If you had this tendency in previous relationships, be aware and stay alert, and monitor yourself closely when moving into a new relationship.

Copyright ©2011 by Lori S. Rubenstein. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.

Lori S. Rubenstein, JD CPC is well known for her ability to help clients tear down their walls to attract love into their lives. A divorce attorney, relationship coach, author, teacher and mediator give her a well-rounded perspective. She is the author of 3 transformational books and a CD/workbook set. 928.634.0252

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 and email to

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