Way too often people think they have to settle for a comfortable but boring relationship with their mate. Actually, after the initial sparks settle down, it is possible to develop a deeper and even more satisfying passion that can last the rest of your life together.
- What passion is
- Why it’s all about connection
- How to build and maintain a connection that fuels passion
- What destroys passion in a relationship
- Keys to igniting your passion
Every couple dreams of living happily ever after in an intimate and fulfilling relationship. Join us to learn the simple steps to achieving that dream and the traps to avoid that can ruin it.
Visit http://consciousrelationshipseminars.com/ for information on how to join this call.
Ask Our Coaches:
The Engagement: A true test of compatibility
"What's your best advice for helping us navigate the engagement period...?"
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 boyfriend and I were engaged in early September at a big family gathering (both sets of parents were there). We're so excited! We're planning a fairly large wedding next September. We're already feeling the effects of the stress and strain on our relationship as we try to juggle jobs, busy schedules and planning a wedding.
Things were so much easier before the engagement. We've definitely learned some new things about each other during this time which is good for both of us. What's your best advice for helping us navigate the engagement period up until our wedding?
Tessa and Eric
Anita responds ...
While floating in air, you're probably flapping your wings hard to stay there with all that planning! Try these five tips to help:
1. Visualize and write down activities starting the day before your wedding to the end of your reception.
2. Organize: Prioritize tasks based on urgency for bookings, reservations, financial commitments and availability. Then, create goal dates per task on a calendar.
3. Delegate! Brides who do all the planning end up overwhelmed -- and out emerges Bridezilla. RAAWR!
Instead, ask your wedding party and trusted friends to help you. You're still the boss, but you can breathe a little easier, many thanks to them!
4. Leave love notes for one another about fond memories, what you love about each other and why you want to marry. Little loving messages keep the spirit nourished during your planning.
5. If planning for a "perfect wedding," the rule of thumb is to expect and accept that things may go wrong. Mistakes happen. Keep your goal about saying "I do" to each other with an officiant and at least one witness to seal the deal. Everything else is a bonus and isn't worth stress. Plan with joy, knowing you've found love!
Anita Myers | innerscopeconsulting.com
Nina responds ...
Congratulations! It's great that you're using this time to learn more about each other when under stress. It's important to remember that your wedding day is only one day, your marriage is for the rest of your life.
It's critical to remember that you both have different perspectives and that you are both right. Practice this now so you'll be able to do it when it matters most. When you're having disagreements, really work to ask yourself "What's right about this that I'm not getting?" and "What's more important to me -- to be right or to be loving?"
Your fiancé is not your adversary, he/she is on your team and should be treated as a teammate. Turn toward each other during this time and find ways to soothe one another. Listen deeply and don't bring up touchy subjects when either of you is tired or hungry. It really should wait until tomorrow if it's that important.
Family can get very involved at this time so remember to make your fiancé your first go-to person and to take their side as you are now choosing to be the other's teammate and you're in this together. Have fun!
Nina Potter | www.ninapotter.relationshipcoach.org | 1.651.773.0732
Tara responds ...
Congratulations to both of you! Planning a wedding is a lot of work and it can definitely take its toll on you, your family and your friends. Your engagement period is an important time for you. With this event, you've taken the next step towards commitment and are making sure you're both right for each other. It's a time when you're truly testing the strength of your bond and expressing and expanding the love you have for each other. It's important that planning a wedding not overshadow this vitally important time in your relationship.
To keep things in perspective will require some good planning and disciplined execution. You need to compartmentalize this project just like anything else you would do. First, make a wedding plan and then plan specific days of the week that you'll focus on wedding details. Don't make it something you work on every day.
Second, keep your relationship as normal as possible. Don't spend every waking hour talking about the wedding.
Create specific times when you'll both discuss what needs to be done -- otherwise wedding topics should be off limits.
Enjoy your engagement period. It's a beautiful time to enjoy before your wedding!
Tara Kachaturoff | www.relationshipplanning.com
Marian responds ...
This is the beginning of your marriage journey and I love that you are being mindful of how you want the experience to be! The way you treat each other during this time will set the foundation for the rest of your relationship.
There will be challenges as you go through married life and this is the perfect opportunity to set in place some guidelines that will promote success. It's also the time to set your boundaries with well meaning friends and family and declare that the two of you are a team. Make love and respect, and not a wedding detail, your absolute top priority.
Block off a day to discuss your expectations of the upcoming year so that it can be as enjoyable and memorable as possible for both of you. Share your deepest wishes and be willing to truly listen to each other. Then come up with a plan of action. Take notes and schedule meetings to check in with each other regularly. Be fierce about protecting your time. Figure out what activities are essential, and what can be shelved for now. Nurture each other and remember to have fun!
Marian Meade | www.marriagemindedcoaching.com | 1.405.837.5127
Jackie responds ...
I invite you to remember that your wedding is NOT an opportunity to have a big party. It is the celebration of the joining of your two families as you commit yourselves to each other, co-create a life together and create a family with each other. Co-create a vision for your life together and then plan a wedding that affirms and esteems that vision.
Make decisions together that accurately reflect your personal values, your family of origin values and the values and attitudes that will be the centerpiece of your marriage going forward.
Your investment of time, attention and effort learning and becoming proficient with the essential marriage success skills and strategies will reward you many times over throughout your life. Take advantage of this time before you are married, before you develop bad habits, behave in hurtful ways, disappoint each other or damage the good will and positive feelings that exist right now.
Love is NOT enough. Become experts on yourselves and each other (Self-knowledge and Partner-knowledge is not optional). Learn how to ask for what you need; set, maintain and honor boundaries, craft elegant agreements, repair hurt feelings and practice, practice practice deep listening.
Dr. Jackie Black | www.DrJackieBlack.com
Eight Ways to Safeguard Your Marriage
By Mari Lyles
In this 21st century whirlwind age of anything goes dating and mating, relationships stand a better than average chance of being torpedoed due to inadequate care and attention. Below are eight ways to shore up your relationship and safeguard against any cracks and crevices that might surface.
1. There's no such thing as 50/50 in a marriage.
Realistically, it's about giving your partner as much as you can, as often as you can. Ideally, it's 100%/100%. However, sometimes 100% of you is going to look like 10% if that's all you've got to give at that moment and if that's the very best you can do right then and there. Exigent circumstances exist and we all bow to them at times, making our commitment to anyone and anything sometimes less than we would prefer. But when we do our very best that's all that should matter.
2. Appreciate your partner and your life together.
Appreciation is such an underutilized word. We toss the word Love around like a frisbee, but appreciation is just as important. Everyone loves to feel needed and wanted, and saying "thank you" to your spouse will never go out of style. According to research by Rabbi Gary Neuman, 48% of men he quizzed stated they cheated due to an emotional disconnection, and that disconnection was due to the lack of appreciation they received from their partner.
3. Give your partner space.
Too many couples mistakenly believe that being married is akin to being joined at the hip. The same things your spouse loved before marriage are the same things they will continue to love after marriage and wisdom dictates that you make room for their hobbies, instead of trying to dissuade them. Your pleas that he/she cease and desist this or that activity will very soon begin to sound not only like nagging and suffocation, but also control.
If your hubby likes to fish and hunt, don't expect him to put his hobbies away the moment you say "I Do." Better yet, find out if he'd love you to accompany him on some camping trips. Even if you despise hunting little forest creatures or using worms as bait to fish, you will have shown your willingness to join in something he loves doing. If your wife loved scrap-booking and decorating before marriage, expect way more of the same once the knot is tied. (She'll be decorating for two!)
4. Grow together.
People grow and change, and marriages work best when we grow along with our partners. Death and stagnation occur when change and growth are stymied. If you're a stay-at-home spouse and child care provider, use your "down-time" to catch up on current news and world events and interesting books and topics. There are enough channels on cable and enough topics on the internet to suit everyone.
Never allow the limit of your conversation to be focused on which brand of baby-food is organically grown. If it does, then expect to be labeled boring. Raising children is one of the most under-appreciated jobs in the world. However, you didn't marry your kids. You married your spouse. Find as much time as possible to continuously cultivate ways to grow together and enhance your relationship.
5. Cherish the time you share with your partner.
Make the time you share with your spouse a special time. If it's just sitting in front of the TV watching old movies together, pop some popcorn and make it a memorable time. Take walks together or visit spas together. Find hobbies to do together and make them fun.
6. Don't neglect your sex life.
Not only shouldn't you neglect it, but find some things to stir it up! Pick a new spot for romance, perhaps the woods, and get it on in the wild. Getting your sexy on does not always have to take place in your bedroom at 9:00 pm after the kiddies are all tucked in. Or, find a few sexual enhancement toys. Read about honey, wine, strawberries and whipped cream. They are not just for dessert! Or, if you must stay stuck in your bedroom, charm it up with flower petals and candles.
7. Love the one you're with.
Stephen Stills 1970's iconic hit, Love the One You're With, produced a classic line, "If you can't be with the one you love, then love the one you're with." Not all of us marry our soul mate, and there will be plenty of times when the grass definitely looks greener on the other side, when you seriously wonder why you married your spouse.
However, if he treats you like royalty, doesn't gamble your savings away, is not a drug addict, pathological liar, wife abuser, control freak or pervert, learn to love the one you're with, including all their little idiosyncrasies. (You would be surprised how many people would gladly trade places with you.) The media has taught us that it's as easy as 1-2-3 to quit when we consider our marriages growing stale, with the consequences of divorce now hovering between 51-57%. The caveat to remember, however, is you're not perfect either.
8. Honor your spouse.
To honor means to respect, not to belittle. And, it goes hand-in-hand with appreciation. Ask for your partner's advice at times and give them compliments instead of a steady barrage of criticism or ways to do it better. Praise your spouse in front of others and be kind to them in public. Sure, they may not always deserve it, but you'd be surprised how it will pay off in the end.
Copyright © 2012 by Mari Lyles. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.
Coach Mari Lyles is not only a Life Coach, but a Relationship Coach, as well. She is certified by two distinguished schools, Relationship Coaching Institute (RCI) and Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC). 1.301.249.5921
Dealing with Relationships
By Carol Page
Whether you are single, dating, in a pre-committed or committed relationship, married, separated, divorced or bereaved, the one thing we all share in common is a longing for happy and fulfilling relationships.
We can hardly exist without meaningful relationships of one sort or another. The problem occurs when we make those relationships responsible for our personal happiness. If you are expecting another person to make you happy, you are going to be disappointed, because at some time in your life that person is going to let you down.
Happiness is not something that another person, job, house, experience… can give you. So if you are looking for happiness – and let's face it, aren't we all – then you need to stop searching for it "out there somewhere" and start looking for it within yourself.
Happiness is a state of mind. Finding peace and happiness within yourself is the first step towards finding a happy and fulfilling relationship with another person. And once you have found it, you will attract other people who are in a similar state of mind.
So what if you are already in a relationship but are not happy?
I would suggest that the first thing to do is to recognize that no matter how bad you may feel, you have choices, even if that choice is about how you choose to feel. It is so easy to get ourselves into a state of mind in which we actually "choose" to feel unhappy. That may have come about through so many years of limiting self-beliefs and negative head-talk, that we don't see a way out of it. But it is possible to change the way we think, and by doing so, we can change the way we feel.
Changing the way you feel is not an easy thing to do, especially without help. But it begins by recognizing what are the key negative messages that you are saying to yourself, and re-framing those into positive affirmations. Neuroscience researchers have discovered that in order to develop a new habit, the key requirement is repetition.
So if you identify a key negative head talk such as "he is so uncaring" you could try re-framing it into something like "I know he cares deeply for me." But in order for that new message to take root in your mind to the extent that it will help you when you are next feeling uncared for, you need to repeat it many times.
Once you are in a more positive mind-set, things look a whole lot different, and circumstances will often follow suit. You are also much better placed to make the right choices, creating a more positive future for you both.
How do you change the behavior of another?
The answer is that you probably can't, and in most cases should not even try. Whatever you focus on becomes bigger in your life, so start shifting the focus of your thoughts away from what you don't like about the other person, to what you do like, and thank them for those things.
In addition, work on behaving towards the other person as you want them to be towards you. In other words, look more for what you can give than for what you want to take from the relationship. The same is generally true when it comes to friends, family and lovers -- the more we give, the more we receive. Try putting yourself in their shoes and asking yourself what they would like from you.
How do you deal with conflict?
Learn how to really listen to the other person. Most of the time when people argue, they become so entrenched in getting their own point across that they don't listen properly to what the other person is trying to say. Consequently they end up playing verbal ping-pong, both desperately trying to defend their own space. Evidence spearheaded by John Gottman at the University of Washington suggests that if we continue with critical attitudes towards the other person, the relationship has a less than 20% chance of survival.
The truth is that rarely is one person right and the other wrong. There is generally some truth or value in both perspectives of an argument. The difficulty comes because neither is able to see things from the other's perspective.
So next time you find yourself in conflict with another, stop talking long enough to fully understand the other person's point. And then when it is your turn to speak, begin by reflecting back your understanding of their issue. In that way, the other person does not need to keep defending their position, and is better able to listen to your opinion. You will be amazed at how quickly the problem is dissolved when both parties really listen, and let the other know that they understand from their point of view.
Copyright © 2012 by Carol Page. All rights reserved in all media. Used with permission.
Carol Page, MA, is an internationally known Relationship Coach for Singles and Personal Life Coach. Through her Soulmate Discovery Program Carol works with singles to find and deeply connect with their ideal partner. She also works with individuals on a whole spectrum of life issues, helping them become truly fulfilled. www.new-relationship.com +357 9907 8545
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Tara Kachaturoff | Editor, PartnersInLife.org Couples News Tara@relationshipcoachinginstitute.com
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