Posts Tagged “Relationships”

The Awesome Things You’ll See When You Look at Your Relationships Differently

The Awesome Things You’ll See When You Look at Your Relationships Differently

A quick scan of books on the ins-and-outs of “relationships” reveals four primary problem areas: money, time, communication and sex. While your romantic relationships may not suffer at all of these points, they most certainly will be challenged by one of them.

Often times these challenges are not an indicator of something unresolvable. Rather, they are an opportunity to deepen our understanding of ourselves, the other person, and find new perspectives and solutions.

This article covers 4 common relationship challenges and offer ways to re-frame them. Often when we take the time to shift our perspective on what has seemed so difficult in our relationships, we can grow with our significant other and create a stronger partnership.

Challenge #1: Disagreements That Linger

Some of the things we fight about in our relationships don’t ever get resolved. Sometimes this is due to a lack of compatibility, which ultimately leads to the end of the relationship. Sometimes this is the result of poor communication. Yet, other times it’s the outcome of our perspective on the disagreement. Imagine if you always agreed with your partner. This might not be the most interesting. While some people are harmoniously syncopated at all times, for the rest of us, a little conflict goes a long way in keeping the spark in our relationships.

Disagreements can help us grow. They also help us understand our partner more completely. Often, it’s only when we disagree that we ask questions about our partner’s perspective and pay close attention to what they say. What if you saw your disagreements with your partner as an opportunity to get closer to them? Or at the very least, saw them as an occasion for you to get closer to your own truth?

What if it was more important that you learn something about yourself through your disagreements and less important that you and your partner come to resolution?

Challenge #2: Different Sex Drives

People in relationship shy away from admitting that their sex drives or sexual preferences differ from their partners. They just don’t enjoy the same things or share the same level of desire. This undisclosed discrepancy leads people to have sex when they’re not really into it or to meet their needs through an affair. It can also lead to resentment that acerbates the problem.

All too often couples look to their partner to fulfill their sexual needs. But, what if each person considered how they could express themselves as sexually whole person. In truth, a discrepancy in sexual interest is an opportunity to explore sexuality rather than a block to it.

Ask yourself this: How does my partner express his or her sexuality? Who am I as a sexual person outside of my partnership? And, do I feel like I’m able to feel my sexuality as essential to my life? Questions like these help use the circumstance of different sex drives to grow rather than as a block to our fulfillment.

Challenge #3: Getting the Chores Done

In a couple, one person is often cleaner than the other. Or, one person thinks that organized cupboards make a tidy home, while the other feels it’s clean counters. One person feels they “always” have to do a particular chore. This same person may think that no one appreciates their effort to tend to their shared space.

Chances are if you’ve cohabited with your partner, that you’ve probably been rubbed the wrong way by some aspect of how your sweetheart lives in your shared space. Constructive feedback in these situations can be hard to give. No adult wants to hear that the way they’ve been doing something for years is somehow wrong.

Too often we focus our attention on the negative. We see what the other person is not doing. Or we notice how they “did it again.” But, what if we looked at our partner’s frustrating habit as reminder of all the other things they do right? What if we chose to remember all that our partner does to contribute to your standard of living?

You could also re-frame it this way: would you rather have your partner in your life or be free from the problem of how they do – or do not do – a specific chore? The truth is that the dirty laundry on the floor, the dishes scattered around the house, or the foot prints on the floor are a sign that you have a special someone in your life.

Challenge #4: Lack of Time Together

Busy lives and work schedules take us away from the people we love. And while a little time away is supportive of a healthy relationship, a lot of time away can create problems.

In these instances, it’s important to check in with yourself and ask yourself if this lack of time together is an outright avoidance of intimacy or indication of some other problem. If this is not the case, and instead life has conspired to give you a bit of distance from your mate, then take the opportunity to make the distance work for your relationship. Plan special things to do together when your busy schedules allow you two to connect.

Whether you’re separated due to work or other reasons, it’s wonderful to have some time to focus on your own needs and not your partner’s needs. The time apart from your mate could be time that you dedicate to friends, family or studying something that interests you. Regardless of how you use it, take the time and give it to yourself!

Every challenge we face in a relationship is a portal of opportunity. Sometimes it just takes looking at it from another perspective to see how we can make it work for us rather than against us.

Making Healthy Relationships Healthier

Making Healthy Relationships Healthier

Relationships are the one of the most rewarding and challenging parts of our life. There are types of personal development that we are unable to do unless we are in relationship and there are ways that relationships push us to do work that we would not be otherwise motivated to do.

One of the greatest challenges in relationship can be our boundaries – maintaining a connection to our self, being open with another, and caring for the relationship that exists between us. We can run into challenges like losing our self in the relationship, over care taking, shutting down, passive aggressiveness, or saying things that are hurtful and can’t be taken back.

Any of these sound familiar?

In the 1980’s Melody Beattie wrote about co-dependence. This is the pattern of behavior that a person develops when relating to a loved-one who has an addiction. However, Beattie’s writing hit a chord with most people whether they were in a partnership with an addict or not. Chiefly, she focuses on understanding what is ours to deal with and what is another person’s. This level of clarity is essential for other relational skills to develop.

It is impossible to create healthy connectedness if we lack the ability to hold onto our self. Holding onto our self is the ability to stay connected to what we think, feel and want while being in a relationship with another person. This is particularly important when that person is under stress or in a crisis. In intense situations, it is easier to get consumed by another person’s experience. Even sexual intimacy, as positive as it might be, requires not only that we can deeply connect and even merge with another but that we can come back to ourselves as well.

The truth of the matter is, when we do not know or understand something, our ability to be in relationship to it is limited. This means we need to be able to see our self because the less we are aware of ourselves, the harder it is for us to know when something is us and when it is not. So, this is one of the many ways that personal development work serves you. The more that you know the easier it is to navigate relationships.

It is necessary to know our self to be open to a relationship in a healthy way. Being open in a relationship is both about the ability to connect and to disconnect. However, primarily it is about being able to choose when we want to connect and disconnect. This allows us to be consciously open or to consciously choose not put up a boundary when something is not healthy.

What I often hear people struggle with is determining what is healthy or not healthy for them so that they know where to put a boundary in place. Caring for yourself means doing that which is affirming of the entirety of who you are. Determining what is healthy or not healthy is guided by the same concept. Does it affirm or support who you are? If it does then it is healthy for you even if it is difficult. If it is does not, then it is not healthy for you. Your boundaries in relationship should honor what is healthy for you and, as I will get to later, also honor the needs of the relationship.

One of the greatest gifts that we can give in a relationship is our willingness to be as respectful with that other person as we have learned to be with our self. This desire to support another person in honoring and caring for themselves and learning and growing in their capacity to know themselves is a beautiful gift of a relationship that can blossom from our learning to respect our own boundaries.

The relationship, itself, is the third part of the equation. Relationships take care and time to be able to flourish. It is not enough for people to just invest in their own awareness and growth they also need to invest in the relationship. The relationship is another member of the total relationship triad –self, other, relationship- and also requires our attention. What can you give to the relationship? How do you give to the relationship?.

Developmentally, we are not able to give to the relationship until we have learned how to take care of ourselves. We are simply too immature to really be able to give what is required. That is why we need to start by doing our own work and understand what it is that supports us as we go through life. When we have done this work, the act of giving selflessly to a relationship is an additional joy rather than something that creates imbalance.

If you find yourself in a relationship and you are questioning your knowledge of your own needs or understanding of the different aspects of who you are, this is part of the teaching of relationship. We are all in a continual process of growth. As you move forward in your relationship you will be called to focus on different aspects of the relationship: you, the other person, and the relationship itself. There will be a natural tension at time that will challenge you to relate in ways that feel healthy and right to you. This process, if you choose to engage in it will be both challenging and deeply rewarding, ultimately offering you one of the most beautiful experiences that life has to offer.

How to Change Your Life When You Have a Family that HATES Change

How to Change Your Life When You Have a Family that HATES Change

Learning how to change your life is challenging under any circumstances. Learning how to change your life when you have a family (or other significant relationship) can feel straight-up impossible. You know you have uttered it at least once in your life – “I would, BUT [insert person of choice] does not like the idea.” When those we care about are not on board with our quest for change it can bring a number of challenges into our life. However, it does not need to be a reason for us to stop our process of growth. Challenge brings the opportunity to learn to be more and more graceful and effective in our process. Here are some tips on how.

Start with the easy stuff: When we’re in a place of change and feeling resistance you might find yourself digging trenches and preparing yourself for battle before every push. Hold the trenches! Figuring out how to change your life when you have a family that hates change will be a challenge, but not every one of those changes needs to be. There are plenty of changes you can make – for yourself and your loved one(s) – that will likely go totally unnoticed by your family. Broaden your perspective of the field and start with these smaller hurdles. Your success will empower you and might even help your loved one see (in retrospect) that change isn’t always hard or bad.

Stay the course: Here’s an truth for you – It is impossible to be untrue to yourself and be fully in relationship. (Yep. Read it again if you need to.) As soon as you discredit your own needs you actually withdraw parts of yourself from the relationship. So, when you find yourself meeting that resistance to change from a loved one, remind yourself that fighting for what is right and true for you is the best way for you to be a part of your relationship with them. They might not realize that their resistant behavior is damaging (to you and them) because it limits how much of yourself you can contribute to the relationship. But you do. So stay the course. Keep moving in the direction of your personal transformation. Trust that no matter the outcome this is the path to sharing even more love.

Educate: Sometimes people are against things simply because they do not have enough information to be with them. If you want your loved one to be on board for your process of transformation, you need to help educate them about the process and why it is important to you. It is also helpful if you educate them about how they can be most supportive. And it doesn’t hurt to explain – if they somehow don’t realize this – the way that your happiness and wellbeing influence them through your relationship. Maya Angelou said, “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.” Give your person (or people) the chance to do their best, just as you are trying to do.

Maybe they are not the problem: It is worth reiterating that – quite often – what we think is resistance by someone in our life is actually our own resistance. If you find yourself saying “I can’t ___” because of someone important in your life, take a minute to check in. Where is the resistance coming from? Maybe it isn’t about how to change your life when you have a family. Maybe it’s about how to change your life, in general. Rephrase the situation in positive terms and possessive language. Try saying “I am choosing to __ because __.” Instead of saying that your loved one is the reason you can’t. How does this feel? With your loved one out of the equation for a moment, can you better see your own role? Ask yourself what needs to change inside of you for you to feel good about taking your next steps.

It can be challenging to engage in our own process of change and stay in healthy relationship with those we love. In order to have both the joy of our own self and the joy of relationship, it is necessary to figure out how to make both work. In your own life, try implementing these tips on how to change your life when you have a family that hates change. Do you have other suggestions of things you’ve tried in your own life that have worked? Share them in the comments below!






Are you ready to dramatically shift your life in the direction you want and need it to go?




The Group Healing Intensive allows you, in a weekend, to do the amount of personal transformational work that would take years of traditional therapy to accomplish. But that is just the beginning of the benefits.




If you feel it’s time to stop waiting for “some day” and that you’re ready to step fully into a new and vibrant way of being, Group Healing Intensive is for you! To learn more, CLICK HERE.

8 Tips for Reinventing yourself After a Breakup

8 Tips for Reinventing yourself After a Breakup

You are sad, broken hearted, and your life has been radically altered. The person you have been spending the most time with is no longer a part of your life. All the rituals you had and the everyday exchanges that gave you joy are gone, as is the dream of what you hoped to create together. Every relationship we start has the potential of breaking up and we all hope that we will never see the day. Even if the breakup is desired, the effects can still be challenging to deal with and may leave you wondering who you are. Reinventing yourself after a breakup is a natural next-step after this confusion.

No matter how independent we are, relationships shape us. We emerge different than we were when we began. Some of who we have become we may love, some of who we have become may seem like a sacrifice that was not worth it, and some of who we have become may feel like it died with the end of the relationship. Sometimes who we have become is so far from who we want to be that we feel like we need to start from scratch. The question is, how do we reinvent ourselves after a breakup?

8 Tips For Reinventing Yourself After A Breakup

  1. Let go of loose ends: It can be tempting to hold onto memories, both large and small. Items that represented your love are often found in your environment. Plans you held together can still be floating through your mind. The more that you can clear things out and open the door to new things the faster you will be able to discover the new you and create the new life that you are craving.

  2. Be frivolous and have fun: Nothing looks better on you than laughter and happiness. The sadness of your breakup can weigh you down. The easiest way to counteract this heaviness is to make it a point to have fun. Try doing something that you have always wanted to do, but didn’t because you convinced yourself it was not practical or it was too frivolous. Create silly moments of novelty. Building moments of happiness and fun into your life will help you feel better about yourself and more creative as you consider redefining your life in general.

  3. Pay attention to how you look: You might be a meticulous dresser or you might throw on the first thing you lay hands on in your dark closet. We all have a certain part of our identity that is tied to our appearance, whatever that appearance might be. When we’re uncertain about other parts of our identity, like after a breakup, it’s easy to be shaken out of our usual appearance identity. Exercising choice by pushing yourself to put effort into how you look will help you reconnect with yourself and seize a basic and fun step in reinventing yourself. Looking good for you (not anyone else) is healthy and helpful at any point in time.

  4. Pay attention to how you feel: I am not talking about the sadness that you feel as a result of your break up. I am talking about the things, little and big, that put a smile on your face or make you feel good inside. If you want to create a new version of you that you like even more than the current model, you want to start to pay attention to what you like and what you don’t. The easiest way to do this is to pay attention to how you feel when you are doing things. If you are not feeling good, you might want to consider letting go of that activity and beginning to do things differently.

  5. Spend time with people who love the real you: Nothing helps you move on and feel strong enough to try new things like being seen by people who really get you and love you as you are. Take some time to recharge your batteries by surrounding yourself with people who truly appreciate you for all of who you are. Even better if these people are so supportive that they will also embrace the changes that you are planning to make!

  6. Spend time with yourself: Alone time is essential to making sure that you are connected with yourself and in touch with your emotions. Moving on after a breakup is not so much about keeping on the go as it is about a healthy balance of activity and introspection. Give yourself the time you need to just be, feel your feelings, and imagine into your wide-open future.

  7. Rekindle dreams: When we are in a relationship, it begins to shape who we are. Sometimes dreams we had as a single person get put to the side because they do not fit well into a relationship. Now is a great time to bring these dreams to the forefront yet again, and to create some new dreams!

  8. Don’t look back: After the grieving process is over and you have mourned what has been lost, there is little use going down memory lane. If you find yourself replaying relationship events, torturing yourself with “the good times,” or mulling over what you might have done differently, try instead to do one of the things on this list. The new you is waiting for you in the future, not in the past. The more you can embrace the potential of the future, the easier it will be to reinvent yourself.

Whether you’re reinventing yourself after a breakup or just because you feel it’s time for a change, try these resources for reinventing yourself.

Self-care in your relationships

Self-care in your relationships

We often strive to create healthy and satisfying relationships. But sometimes, despite how much we may try, we’re unable to create relationships that are mutually supportive and fulfilling. When this happens, there are several things we can do to bring our best selves to our relationships, and in turn, bring about the positive change we seek.


Get to Know Yourself:

To be your best self in your personal relationships you need to develop your awareness of yourself. What do you value? What do you dream of? What are your strengths? Where are the skills you want to hone? When we ask ourselves these kinds of questions we grow our awareness of ourselves and we can use that awareness to create relationships that are beneficial for everyone involved. Sometimes our personal relationships hit a rough patch. When this happens, your awareness will clue you into how you might be contributing to the difficulty at hand and whether or not that relationship should be maintained.


Love Yourself:


Learning to love yourself is such an important step towards creating healthy relationships. It’s cliché but true – to truly love someone else, you have to love yourself first. This is because we’re unable treat someone better than we treat ourselves. Our limits in loving others comes from our inability to love ourselves. Over the course of our relationships, these limits inevitably come to light. We may compensate for our inabilities by giving more to others than we have – or have allowed ourselves – to receive. Yet, this can set us up for difficulty. If we’re not loving ourselves then we’re likely looking for someone else to give us that sense of being loved. This can be the starting point for lots of problems like dependency, fear of abandonment, and fear of intimacy. To really love ourselves, we need to see the unique value and intrinsic beauty of who we are without any externally imposed definitions. To begin to do this, take the time to tell yourself all the things that you like about yourself. And do it often.


Clear Your History:

Part of showing up as our best selves is to be in the present moment as much as possible. This means that our previous experiences need to be left where they belong – in the past. To do this, people typically undergo a process wherein they remember the past, understand how it affected them and then disentangle themselves from it. There are a number of different tools that people can use to clear themselves of aspects of their past that no longer serve them. For example, there is EFT, Access Consciousness, energy work, Core Energetics, and the list goes on. If you want to create a different baseline for yourself, it’s helpful to find a method that you can use to continually reinforce your new way of being.


To clear your history, try on a few methods that you sense would be a good fit. Then keep an open mind while you see if they’re effective for you. It takes a little while to clear your past from your present, so give this process some time. As you do this your awareness will increase and old feelings might come to the surface. When in a relationship, sometimes it’s helpful to let the other person know when something from your past has been activated and communicate what you need when this happens.


Own your stuff:


Nothing makes a relationship stronger than integrity. The biggest gift you can give yourself is know and own your contributions to your relationships – both in the positive and in the negative. When things get difficult in a relationship, look for the ways that you’ve contributed to the problem. Simply ask yourself: “Is there anything that I would have done better or differently if I had remained in full integrity?” If the answer is yes, then do your best to make right on what you know you could have done better.


When we’re unclear about how our own issues influence our relationships we’re likely to do unintentional damage. When we’re unconscious of our unresolved feelings about our past, we’re more likely to blame, shame and guilt others when those unresolved feelings are triggered. It’s only when we’re aware of our contributions to the state of our relationships and able to stay in our integrity that we can create environments in which our relationships can thrive.


How To Bring Major Romance Back Into Your Relationship

How To Bring Major Romance Back Into Your Relationship

All too often, a good relationship downgrades into a ho-hum affair because we fail to keep up the spontaneity and interest that comes with a new love. Worse yet, even the most well-intentioned people get stumped at how to show they care for their loved one after the honeymoon ends.  Little acts that once felt so rich with romance –  sweet gestures like whispering “I love you,” sharing a nice dinner, or bringing home flowers – begin to lose their potency.

While these are nice gestures that signal our love for our partners, their impact wanes if they’re the only ways we show our lover how much we care for and desire them.

In a love relationship, the things that seem counter-intuitive to everyday intimacy are the very same things that fuel real romance. Desire requires distance, surprise, vulnerability, adventure, and play. Desire for your partner gets red-hot when you’re attentive to all the wonderful things that make your loved one different and unique. 

On the other hand, things like continuity and familiarity are essential to intimacy and are so important in creating a sense of safety in relationships.

So to create and sustain a great relationship – one that’s full of passionate, erotic and compassionate connection – you need to flex your creativity and make your partner someone you’re really curious about. The best part is that when you get curious about your loved one, it’ll be easy and fun to come up with creative ways to lavish them with love.

Don’t know where to start? Try these on for size!

1. Get Your Poetic Flow On

    Inspiration is within reach most of the time. So, cozy up to your inner-bard and write a poem about your partner. See if you can capture what you love about them in this expressive form.  If you brainstorm adjectives, qualities or feeling you associate with this person, you’ll quickly create phrases that inspire you and tap into the initial wonder you felt when you first fell in love with your partner. If a poem seems too high-stakes, then why not write your partner a love letter that expresses some of the things about them that you find wonderful and desirable.
    Then, take a risk! Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? Share your poem or letter with your paramour and notice how it makes each of you feel. The reality is that vulnerability opens the door to greater emotional intimacy.

2. Shout Out the Tiny, Beautiful Things That Make Your Partner Shine

    Okay. Really want to turn your partner on? It’s time to call attention to the million little things about your partner that no one else knows but you.  When we fall in love, we notice all these little details about the other person. We’re enamored by the way they drink their coffee or the way their hair looks first thing in the morning.
    Yet soon into a new relationship, those delicious little details become familiar and so we cease to see them as remarkable.
    The thing is that these little wonderful things about your partner did not suddenly become less wonderful – it’s that you’ve ceased to be wow’d by all the things that make your partner them! It’s so important to look at our beloved with fresh eyes and to delight in all the little idiosyncrasies that increase our feelings of love.
    Want bonus points? Lovingly share all the things about your partner that you find captivating and attractive. Let them know how he or she is truly special to you. Trust me, this will make BOTH of you feel great.

3. For One Night, Get Indulgent

    If your version of a nice time with your lover is the classic wine and dine scenario, TAKE IT UP A NOTCH!
    For one night, design a fantastic, and yes decadent experience for your love. Or, get adventurous and create a totally new experience for the two of you to share based on something your partner loves.
    For example, take a bubble bath with candlelight, wine, chocolate, the smell of jasmine and opera music. Or, walk in the woods bundled in soft fabrics and take turns telling each other about the beautiful things you see.
    The thing is that little adventures have this way of turning you on and making you feel really alive. And this, my friends, is what passion is all about.

4. Get Busy Giving

    Tap into your inspiration and find something – or make something – that will let another person know how special they are to you.
    When you think about bringing pleasure to someone else’s life, you naturally think creatively and playfully about what’s in the world and how to use it. And even better, when you give a gift your heart opens up and you feel satisfied on a deeper level.
    It’s too easy to let days slip by where we’re distracted from what matters most. So challenge yourself to spend an hour each week doing one of these activities. It won’t take long before you’ll feel more connected to your beloved and more passionate about your relationship.

Are you ready to dramatically shift your life in the direction you want and need it to go?


The Group Healing Intensive allows you, in a weekend, to do the amount of personal transformational work that would take years of traditional therapy to accomplish. But that is just the beginning of the benefits.


If you feel it’s time to stop waiting for “some day” and that you’re ready to step fully into a new and vibrant way of being, Group Healing Intensive is for you! To learn more, CLICK HERE.

The Awesome Things You’ll See When You Look At Your Relationships Differently

The Awesome Things You’ll See When You Look At Your Relationships Differently

A quick scan of books on the ins-and-outs of “relationships” reveals four primary problem areas: money, time, communication and sex. While your romantic relationships may not suffer at all of these points, they most certainly will be challenged by one of them.

Even great relationships have their share of challenges. Often times these challenges are not an indicator of something unresolvable. Rather, they’re a sign that we need to do something to change our perspective on the challenge.

I’m going to cover 4 common relationship challenges and offer ways to reframe them. When we take the time to shift our perspective on what has seemed so difficult in our relationships, we can grow with our significant other and create a stronger partnership.

Challenge #1: Disagreements That Linger

    Some of the things we fight about in our relationships don’t ever get resolved. Sometimes this is due to a lack of compatibility, which ultimately leads to the end of the relationship. Sometimes this is the result of poor communication. Yet, other times it’s the outcome of our perspective on the disagreement.
    Imagine if you always agreed with your partner. This would yield the most boring relationship ever. While some people are harmoniously syncopated at all times, for the rest of us, a little conflict goes a long way in keeping the spark in our relationships.
    Without friction there’s no progress. Disagreements help us grow. They also help us understand our partner more completely. Often, it’s only when we disagree that we ask questions about our partner’s perspective and pay close attention to what they say.
    What if you saw your disagreements with your partner as an opportunity to get closer to them? Or at the very least, saw them as an occasion for you to get closer to your own truth? What if it was more important that you learn something about yourself through your disagreements and less important that you and your partner come to resolution?

Challenge #2: Different Sex Drives

    People in relationship shy away from admitting that their sex drives or sexual preferences differ from their partners. They just don’t enjoy the same things or share the same level of desire. This undisclosed discrepancy leads people to have sex when they’re not really into it or to meet their needs through an affair. It can also lead to resentment that acerbates the problem.
    All too often couples look to their partner to fulfill their sexual needs. But, what if each person considered how they could express themselves as sexually whole person. In truth, a discrepancy in sexual interest is an opportunity to explore sexuality rather than a block to it.
    So, ask yourself: How does my partner express his or her sexuality? Who am I as a sexual person outside of my partnership? And, do I feel like I’m able to feel my sexuality as essential to my life? Questions like these help us reframe the circumstance of different sex drives.

Challenge #3: Getting the Chores Done

    In a couple, one person is cleaner than the other. One person thinks that organized cupboards make a tidy home, while the other feels it’s clean counters. One person feels they “always” have to do a particular chore. This same person tends to think that no one appreciates their effort to tend to their shared space.
    Chances are if you’ve cohabited with your partner, that you’ve probably been rubbed the wrong way by some aspect of how your sweetheart lives in your shared space. Constructive feedback in these situations can be hard to give. No adult wants to hear that the way they’ve been doing something for years is somehow wrong.
    Too often we focus our attention on the negative. We see what the other person is not doing. Or we notice how they “did it again.” But, what if we looked at our partner’s frustrating habit as reminder of all the other things they do right? What if we chose to remember all that our partner does to contribute to your standard of living?
    You could also re-frame it this way: would you rather have your partner in your life or be free from the problem of how they do – or do not do – a specific chore? The truth is that the dirty laundry on the floor, the dishes scattered around the house, or the foot prints on the floor are a sign that you have a special someone in your life.

Challenge #4: Lack of Time Together

    Busy lives and work schedules take us away from the people we love. And while a little time away is supportive of a healthy relationship, a lot of time away can create problems.
    In these instances, it’s important to check in with yourself and ask yourself if this lack of time together is an outright avoidance of intimacy or indication of some other problem. If this is not the case, and instead life has conspired to give you a bit of distance from your mate, then take the opportunity to make the distance work for your relationship. Plan special things to do together when your busy schedules allow you two to connect.

Whether you’re separated due to work or other reasons, it’s wonderful to have some time to focus on your own needs and not your partner’s needs. The time apart from your mate could be time that you dedicate to friends, family or studying something that interests you. Regardless of how you use it, take the time and give it to yourself!

Every challenge we face in a relationship is a portal of opportunity. Sometimes it just takes looking at it from another perspective to see how we can make it work for us rather than against us.

How to Fight: 10 Rules of Relationship Conflict Resolution

Great relationships develop not from the absence of conflict, but from determining an agreeable pattern for how to resolve conflict. Defining the rules of engagement for how you “fight” with someone you care about is ultimately much more important than trying to never have a disagreement.

If you care about someone, then consider adopting these 10 rules as part of the way you communicate with them when you are trying to resolve a conflict:

Rule #1: Don’t yell. 
Adding emotion clouds the clarity of what actually happened. If the other person is yelling, it becomes especially important that you don’t raise your voice so as to prevent a natural escalation of competing interests.

Rule #2: Always start and end the conversation by affirming that you care about the other person. 
In the midst of a disagreement, you can never underestimate the power and importance of reminding the other person that you care about them and believe in them.

Rule #3: Be open to the idea that you made a mistake even if you are sure you did not.
People rarely get upset for no reason, so there is a good chance that there is at least a kernel of truth to what they are saying.

Rule #4: Don’t speak in generalities of another person’s behavior; speak only to direct examples and instances of action. 
It’s hard for anyone to own up to a generalization and so you’ll likely just see his or her defensiveness activate. By isolating an instance of fact, everyone can quickly see where he or she was right and wrong.

Rule #5: Always work to be the first to apologize when any dispute arises.
Although the idea of waiting for the other person to apologize first seems vindicating, it’s actually a guaranteed sign of how you care more about being right than in coming to a reconciliation.

Rule #6: Focus on trying to discover what’s right, not who is right. 
When thinking about what happened, try to remove yourself from the situation and evaluate right and wrong based solely on the actions that took place regardless of which side you’re on. Treat it as if you are refereeing someone else’s game.

Rule #7: Do not cuss. 
Exaggerated language is often proof of an exaggerated understanding of what actually happened. If you swear, the other party is likely to only hear the expletives and will stop listening for any validity in what you’re saying.

Rule 8: No name-calling. 
Belittling a person always shifts the focus off of resolving the actual problem. Verbal abuse is never welcome to a conflict resolution party.

Rule #9: Remind yourself the other person also cares about reconciling the relationship. 
One of the fundamental causes of many disagreements is feeling hurt that the other person is no longer considering your perspective, but if they didn’t care about a resolution with you they wouldn’t be fighting for one.

Rule #10: Remind yourself to never expect the other person to fill a hole in your life that only they can fill. 
Sometimes we fall into the trap of placing improper expectations on other people because we are hoping for them to satisfy a need in our life that they are not really capable of satisfying.

If we are fighting with someone, it means we both care about finding the best course of action and we both care about preserving the relationship. If we didn’t care about one another, then we would just ignore each other and leave.

The reason these 10 rules are important is because as long as they are in place, then no disagreement or conflict will ever shake the critical bedrock of knowing that the other person cares about you. As long as we know the other person cares about us, it will give us a common ground to work from as we try to unite two seemingly conflicted views.

Reposted from www.huffingtonpost.com (more…)

Creating Emotional Intimacy

Emotional intimacy is something that most everybody longs to experience. The feeling of a significant connection to another living being is an essential ingredient of your emotional and spiritual well-being. However, despite the importance of emotional intimacy to one’s emotional and spiritual well-being, creating and maintaining emotional intimacy with your partner can be oftentimes confusing, even a confounding proposition to undertake.

Just what is emotional intimacy? Emotional intimacy is a type of connection that exists between two people. People create emotional intimacy through open and honest communication—specifically, by expressing to your partner thoughts and feelings about who you are, how each of you experiences the present moment with one another, and fulfilling the emotional needs of each other.



Does such freedom exist in your relationship(s)—the freedom to openly express yourself without fear of judgment or retaliation? If so, what have you and your partner done to create such an environment? If open and honest communication does not exist in your relationship, what do you and your partner do to censure open and honest communication?

Did you notice that in my explanation of emotional intimacy I emphasized that emotional intimacy is the result of sharing how each person experiences the present moment. This is a specific critical skill that can greatly enhance the quality of your relationship(s). Being able to effectively reveal yourself by expressing how you’re experiencing the present moment is what enables your partner to know you, understand you, and most importantly be there for you. That, my friend, is what brings two people closer and closer together—knowing who your partner is, knowing what is important to your partner, and the willingness to let your partner express those things to you!

Your ability to express your thoughts and feelings about how the present moment impacts you enables your relationship to continually renew itself and deepen the sense of involvement you feel with your partner. Emotional intimacy deepens only when you are willing to share who you are and be open to your partner expressing to you who they are? So when you experience your relationship as being stale, when you experience yourself drifting away from your partner, when you find yourself longing for the type of connection with your partner that is nurturing, take the risk of creating a dialogue with your partner that enables each of you to reveal yourself to the other.





Bridge Builder’s Tips
1) Reveal yourself to your partner by expressing how you’re experiencing the present moment.

2) Keep it safe for your partner to express their experience of the present moment to you.
3) Honor rather than judge what your partner reveals to you about themselves and the present moment. 

4) Acknowledge how you’re affected by what your partner reveals about themselves to you.

5) Express your appreciation to your partner for their willingness to risk exposing who they are to you.

6) Reciprocate with your partner by revealing who you are to them.

Want to learn more about how to create (and keep!) intimacy in your relationships? Listen to Dr. Kate’s next Real Answers Radio Show at 12pm EST on Thursday January 15th.

This article reposted from Alive and Well News

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How To Create (And Keep!) Intimacy

On the topic of intimacy many people might say, “What do we really mean by intimacy anyway?” Intimacy is both a familiarity with and a deep knowledge of another person. And in fact, the first person that we really need to be intimate with is ourselves. Our capacity to see and relate to another person is supported or diminished by our capacity to know ourselves. Therefore, I recommend that the following statements for increasing intimacy also be applied personally.

Ask questions: One of the surest ways to block intimacy is to forget to see the other person as a vast landscape that will never be completely discovered and instead through the limitations of your own curiosity turn them into a small and familiar backyard. George Bernard Shaw writes, “First love is only a little foolishness and a lot of curiosity.” When we first meet someone it is easy to be enamored with them and intrigued by the person who has provoked such powerful emotions. However, most people forget to continue this level of curiosity and instead turn to telling the other who they are. This is a serious block to intimacy. At the point when one person thinks they “know” another person completely they have stopped the flow of intimacy.

Learn how to listen: Of course asking the questions is just one half of the equation. You also need to be able to take in the information and learn how to give it back so that the other person feels heard. Listening techniques abound. Carl Rogers, a Humanistic psychologist, was considered a powerful contributor to the art of listening with his concept of active listening. In active listening, all of the listener’s attention is on hearing what the other person is saying and giving it back to them in a way where they feel heard. Unfortunately this is not what we do the majority of the time we are listening. More often we are formulating a response or determining how we feel about what they are saying.

Suspend judgments: When you are listening to someone you want to be closer to, it is important to learn how to suspend judgments. Once we start to feel more comfortable in relationship we often begin to dissect what we like and what we do not like about the other person. It might be as superficial as what they wear or as deep as their spiritual or philosophical beliefs. As soon as we move into judging another person, we have put a divider between them and ourselves.

Differences are good: Frequently, we do this because we think that if someone we are close to holds a different belief than we do then one of us has to be wrong. This is a very common misconception that blocks people from being close to each other. While there are situations where people choose not to be close to each other due to differences, it is often more than possible to love and accept differences as simply this other person’s experience of their world. Why would we ever think that it would be the same as ours?

If you want to hear more on this topic or get your questions answered. Join me on my Radio Show Real Answers where I will talk on these topics more in depth as well as discuss additional skills for creating more intimacy.

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