Hidden Gems in Conflict Resolution

People can disagree and argue about almost anything, but there are only two real elements in conflicts:

1.  Who is more right?

2.  Who is more important?

As you think about this for yourself and your partner, can you think of any other reason that your conflicts exist?

It’s always going to be some version of those two things.​​​​​​​

​​​​​​​Sometimes people choose that being right is more important than having a happy marriage?

Years ago I remember being in a specific argument with my wife where I figured this out.

I had just proved that what I knew or thought, was more right than whatever point she was trying to make. And after a series of escalated words back and forth, the conversation ended.

Was she happy?  Definitely not.

Was I happy?  Not at all.

I realized in that moment that being right about whatever that thing was, wasn’t so important after all. In fact my attempts to prove I was more right had actually diminished the feeling of connection between us. 

That’s not at all what I wanted. It became a defining moment in our marriage that allowed me to completely shift my focus in conversations with her.

Let’s imagine that you want to talk to your partner about something important.

What’s your outcome? What do you want to happen as a result of the conversation?

Besides having a clear outcome, here’s a more important element I discovered.

  • How do you want to feel during the conversation?
  • And will that feeling help you to be more effective?
Under extra stress and pressure we all default to habitual emotional patterns that aren’t going to be supportive or resourceful.
-Some people get noticeably angry and irritated

-Some people get anxious and overwhelmed.

-Some people feel defensive and argumentative

-Some people shut down or feel sad.

So I realized I needed to choose the feeling I preferred to have before the conversation.

If you aren’t consciously choosing a more empowering emotion for yourself before

engaging in the conversation, you will repeat your own emotional patterns that may

not serve you, or having a happy marriage. 

When conflicts increase in marriage, people can waste alot of time blaming communication

when the source cause is the disconnected feelings between you both.

Reach out to talk with me if you’d like to learn more about repairing your marriage.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.  -Dr. Seuss
I

Will Valentine’s Day Ruin Your Relationship

What you may not know is that Valentine’s Day is the beginning of the end for many couples.

 

Here’s why:

Many people evaluate the happiness and success of their marriages and romantic love-lives, based on whether or not their expectations for Valentine’s Day are met.

 

Valentine’s Day’s unmet expectations often turn into the final straw of a year’s worth of unfulfilling romantic love. Unfortunately, the increasing result of this disappointment often leads to affairs and ultimately divorce.

 

According to a study of divorce filings by AttorneyFee.com, and Avvo.com, both legal referral sites,

they found that February is the busiest month of the year for divorce filings. People seeking referrals

for divorce increase about 40% in February, with the biggest spike on the day after Valentine’s Day.

 

A number of cheating websites for married individuals seeking affairs, report that the day after Valentine’s Day is their #1 day for new sign ups.

 

What expectations do you have around Valentine’s Day?

 

If you are in a struggling relationship, Valentine’s Day might remind you of your romantic dream

about love that was lost. Of course thinking about the love you don’t have will only make you

bitter, sad and resentful.

 

You cannot save a year of disappointment and unhappiness by doing any of these most

socially popular things; giving a greeting card, candy, obligatory dinner, or a dozen roses.

 

Let’s get real:

  • Can candy save a love-less marriage?
  • Can a dozen roses overcome an affair?
  • Can a greeting card restore intimacy and passion?
  • Can a forced attempt at a romantic dinner improve couple communication?

Instead, change your thinking about the Day with these 3 things:

  1. Have Perspective– The value of your relationship is not contingent upon one day’s expectations, and unrealistic romantic desires. Do not let this one day decide the fate of your relationship. You are where you are in your relationship for many reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with Valentine’s Day.

 

  1. Focus on Giving to Your Partner- You could make the day about valuing them. Show your appreciation for your partner in whatever way is most genuine for you. If you are willing to let go of your romanticized expectations, you will not be held emotionally hostage by the day. Even if you are hurt and bitter, you can still find something to appreciate about your partner.

 

  1. Start Working towards Something Better– Make a commitment to improve the standard for loving your partner. Even if you think they are completely to blame for any relationship challenges, perhaps you have not been so perfect. A relationship is a shared responsibility and any interactions require two participants. Take responsibility for your part.

 

Today’s the day you can begin to shift and improve your relationship.

 

Winning the game of love happens through what you give, not from demands or attempts to control the other person.

 

The success of your relationship will always be reflected by what you do and fail to do.

 

Want my support? Reach out to talk with me here. 

Want to do it yourself?  Read The 90-Minute Marriage Miracle

 

 

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,

Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.  -Dr. Seuss

3 Reasons Your Marriage Isn’t Already Great

Not everyone is ready to hear the truth but here it is…

If your marriage isn’t already great you’re making any of these 3 big mistakes:

  1. You don’t care enough.  

When I work with couples I look for proof of deep caring.

I look for actual evidence that people are willing to do whatever it takes to fix their marriage. I look for people who are willing to make it a priority in their lives. Is that you?

  1. You think you care. 

Because you’re stressed or unhappy doesn’t mean you care deeply.

It’s inconvenient to feel disconnected with your partner, or to be unable to communicate, or to always be arguing, or to be walking on eggshells around each other, or to have poor affection and intimacy.

It can even be painful, but what steps are you taking to change it? Thinking you care is not evidence of doing whatever is needed to get rid of the problems between you.

  1. You”ll waste more time. 

Unless a decision is made immediately to fix your marriage or find great help and hire them, you”ll go through the motions of searching for answers but nothing will change.

This is simply more proof that you don’t care enough to fix the problem once and for all. You can blame your partner but that doesn’t really do anything at all.

Here’s Evidence of Deep Caring

  1. You take responsibility for your role in the disconnect.
  2. You tell yourself the truth about how important this is or isn’t to you. 
  3. You make the adjustments that prove you care deeply. 
  4. You find the answers and implement them right away, or you get the best help you can, and follow their guidance to the best of your ability. 

Do anything else and it’s all superficial caring. A game of pretending to be working on fixing the problems that goes on and on, yet nothing changes.

If you’re doing that you need to care more about your happiness.

What’s your truth?

The evidence and proof of caring are found only in what you are doing. 

Have you read my book and used the ideas?

Have you spoken with me and followed my advice?

Why not?

 

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot

Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.  -Dr. Seuss

 

Where’s Your Proof of Love?

How do I know my wife loves me?

Just because she says so…?

Is that enough?

What evidence in my life points to her loving me?

And what keeps me in this relationship with her if she isn’t offering me substantial proof of her love for me?

These are real questions.

I want you to think about them for your relationship.

What proof…, What evidence do you give your partner every single day that you truly love them?

If you’re not offering something tangible and solid they won’t feel it.

  • The words I love you become superficial.
  • A ritualistic hug and kiss here or there is not the same as affection.
  • Obligatory sex is not passion.
  • Talking about the kids doesn’t create feelings of intimate connection.
  • Watching TV or being on your phones together does not help communication.

Where’s the deep caring?

How do you specifically demonstrate that you value your partner?

Is that enough for them?  Are they doing enough for you?

Do they fully and completely trust you? Do you trust them fully?

When trust leaves the relationship it’s impossible to be happy.

Now…

Do you love yourself enough to tell yourself the truth about your marriage?

This is where it gets interesting.  

  • What are you putting up with?
  • What standard have you settled for love?
  • What stories, and soft lies, and rationalizations are you living?
  • Where are you pretending it’s ok, when it’s not?

Do you love them enough to want to improve your marriage?

Do they love you enough to be willing to participate?

Read my book together.

Talk with me for direct answers to your situation.

Your commitment is what transforms a promise into reality.

 

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,

Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.  -Dr. Seuss

 

5 Ways to End the Disappointment

Too many marriages are in crisis today.

The number of client inquiries that I get about affairs and sexting continues to surprise me.

Here are some easy things to do:

 Get Access to Your Partner’s Phone

I’ve talked about this before. If your partner is hesitant about giving you access I would take that as a danger sign. There is no reasonable reason why you shouldn’t be able to access your partner’s phone messages and email anytime you want.  Show them this article if they resist.

If a marriage is about trust, openness, and transparency, and your partner wants to hide and cover-up, get help right away.

  1. Value Your Partner.

Be certain that they feel deeply cared for and appreciated by you. It’s far too easy to take them for granted when things are Ok. And that neglect has a hefty price.

You must understand what THEY need, not what you need.

  1. Offset Your Own Stress

What are you doing to take care of your own stress? Stress builds up from work, kids, family obligations, health issues, financial pressures, etc…When you neglect yourself your emotional stability shifts and inevitably interferes with beneficial couple interactions. The more stress you are under the less you are able to demonstrate valuing your partner.

  1. Take an Interest in Their Work Environment

Since many affairs happen from the workplace, Make sure that you are participating in and sharing your partner’s work life. Go there if possible. Communicate during the day. Express your interest and curiosity about their work and the people they work with.

  1. Pay Attention

Subtle changes occur when a partner is having an affair. Their mood changes. Guilt can produce anger directed at you or withdrawal. These behaviors can become obvious well into the affair, but frequently exist right away. With our fast-paced digitally driven lives we often overlook what’s right in front of us.

End the Disappointment of an Unhappy Marriage

Get help. Don’t waste precious time trying to figure it out on your own.

Read my book.  You’ll learn what works and what doesn’t.

Talk with me.  You’ll get direct answers for any relationship challenge.

 

 

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,

Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.  -Dr. Seuss

5 Real Reasons that Cause Couples to Separate

It’s easy to feel attracted to someone. But that doesn’t mean the relationship will last.

When the feelings of connection start to diminish, the foundation of the relationship begins to crumble. Without an understanding of why that’s happening, or the right help, things are likely to get worse.

Here are 5 Real Reasons Couples Separate:

  1. Whether your love is deep enough for each other.

The feelings of chemistry and deep connection that create higher levels of devotion also mute conflicts. That must be shared. One person may be head-over-heels in love and willing to do anything for their partner, only to find they get very little back. That wears thin quickly.

  1. Whether you are on the same page about what’s most important to you both.

When you are out of alignment on the things that matter, they will become a never ending source of conflict. These always revolve around which partner is more right, and which partner is more important. There is no remedy when you are caught up in proving you are right and your partner is wrong. No one wins.

  1. Whether you are mature enough to share your life with another person.

Not everyone is ready to be in a committed long term relationship. They think they are, but still might want to feel independent based on how they define it, often at direct odds with their partner’s rules for love. Lasting intimate relationships are not; love when I feel like it, and tantrums. A high level of commitment is required for the relationship to last. A willingness to get love or sex is not the same as giving and initiating what’s needed.

  1. Whether you are with each other for meaningful reasons or superficial ones.

The reasons that couples get together often come from a fantasized ideal about relationships. The right person matters far more than any reason; They will make me happy, I want a family, They are successful, They are extremely attractive, The sex is great, The have lots of potential, I don’t want to be alone, It’s easier than dating and I said I would get married by age 31.  These are not lasting reasons to be together.

      5. Whether you are willing to accept each other imperfections.

None of us is perfect, but it’s easier to see your partner’s imperfections. When you focus on what’s missing or everything they do wrong, you miss all their great qualities.  The longer you focus on those things that bug you, the less you will be able to see what you loved.

  • Will you be more in love or less, by the end of 2018?
  • Will you feel more deeply connected or more separate?

What you do and fail to do for your partner will always be reflected in the outcome of your relationship. In today’s digitally distracted world, couples tend to neglect each other far more than they realize. It easily leads to disconnect, unhappiness, emotional and physical affairs, and divorce.

For straight answers about making love last read The 90-Minute Marriage Miracle.

Reach out for relationship support here.

 

 

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,

Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.  -Dr. Seuss

Why the “Good Enough” Marriage Isn’t

Another year of marriage is quickly coming to a close.

As you think about the past 11 months in your relationship…

  • Did you feel loved and deeply cared for… the way you wanted to? 
  • Did you have the intimacy and passion… that made you feel alive?
  • Were you able to talk to and share easily with your partner?

Aren’t these the things that matter?

One year from now… thinking about your marriage and looking back at 2018:

  • Will you feel more deeply connected with your partner, or more separate?
  • Will you feel more in love with them, or less?
  • Will you feel more peaceful together, or more stressed?

What’s the feeling you get thinking about your marriage?

These are the things I personally think about.

Why?
Because if I’m not, then I’m going to wake up someday to something that’s alot less than what I want, and I’m not willing to do that to myself.

Some people settle into a “good enough” marriage.

Is your marriage “good enough” for you?
If so, you’ll never do anything to change it.

That same “good enough” standard is creating nightmares for families who wake up
to affairs, inappropriate sexting, and overwhelming stress and dysfunction.

You realize that nothing in life is ever staying the same.

  • Your marriage is either growing in love or losing love.
  • You are either become more deeply connected or more separate.

These are all simply choices when you know what to do.

Having a great marriage is a learned skill.

Anyone can learn what to do and what not to do; to have the love, intimacy,
communication and peace of mind that they deserve.

I’ve taught over a thousand people how to do that and I’d like to teach you as well.

If your marriage isn’t where you want it to be and you’d like my guidance reach out here, and we’ll talk about what will get you the happiness you deserve.

Once you know what will work you’ll always have that skill available.

 

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot.
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not. -Dr. Seuss

Thanksgiving Wisdom for Your Marriage

It’s been an interesting 12 years of helping couples fix their marriages.

I’ve seen pretty much anything you could ever imagine times 3.

I’ve worked with swingers and swappers, open marriages, gay and lesbian relationships, and every type of physical and emotional affair possible.

The common themes are all the same:

  • People don’t know what to do in order to have the love and intimacy they crave.
  • They make simple mistakes frequently that sever the feelings of connection. That’s where the downhill spiral begins. And that’s what must change for things to get better.
  • They have undisclosed expectations that of course remain unmet. This creates unhappiness and bitterness that builds up.
  • They blame and finger point without realizing that they are active participants in the disconnect as well. Are you willing to shine the spotlight of truth on yourself?
  • People often unknowingly bring their personal stress into each interaction adding a disconnecting wedge.
  • There’s more….
Here’s what you need to remember:
Disagreements and arguments are only about two things:
  1.   Who is more right
  2.   And who is more important.
 
People will do what gets their needs met… either inside,… or outside of your marriage.

This Thanksgiving and through the Holidays do not try to solve any relationship problems on your own.

Do not get into heated discussions about what your partner isn’t doing for you. Stress levels are high enough. There’s no reason to add to it.

Here’s what to do instead:

  • Make a decision to get help as soon as possible. With or without your partner.
  • Do what you can to personally offset your own inner stress. Take care of you!
  • Be kind to your partner. Be considerate of their stress levels.
  • Choose to be as peaceful as possible. Creating additional pressure for them to change or ultimatums will backfire.
Wishing you and your family a loving, and peaceful Thanksgiving!
 
Remember… Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, 
nothing is going to get better. It’s not.  -Dr. Seuss

The #1 Cause of Divorce, Affairs and Unhappiness

First a reminder of the numbers:

  • Each year over 2 million couples divorce in the United States.
    And 1 person in every 3 couples is right now having an affair.

And thanks to technology there’s a huge increase in emotional affairs,
with secretive texting and sexting outside the marriage.

But here’s what may surprise you:

People who cheat, frequently love their partners very much.
And are often faithful and devoted, even for decades.

Here’s what might shock you:

Most couples who decide to divorce still really love each other,
but get divorced anyway.

Want to know why?

Because people have lost the feelings of being “in love” with their partners.

And it drives them to do things they wouldn’t normally do while they search for the excitement and aliveness, of feeling “in love” again.

What will you do if your partner falls out of love with you?

That answer will give you the truth about how well you understand relationships.

People fall out of love all the time. Even though they still love their partners, they lose the feelings of being in love.

And it’s their lack of knowledge and understanding about what to do,
that destroys more marriages than anything else.

You cannot talk your way back in love,
You cannot give his and her version of events and fall back in love.

That only happens with specific behavioral changes.

And here’s what happens because partners no longer feel “in love.”

  • It’s the #1 cause of divorce.
  • It’s the #1 cause of affairs.
  • It’s the #1 cause of unhappiness.

What people don’t know is that they can fall back “in love” again.
Even if it’s been 20 years without feeling “in love” with each other.

What’s missing matters so much more than you realize.

I want you to have the skills and knowledge that will keep your love,
intimacy, communication, and deep connection, alive for a lifetime.

That won’t happen without the feelings of being ”in love” with your partner.

Here’s all you need to do:

Do what’s in this book The 90-Minute Marriage Miracle

Reach out and talk with me here.

 

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot.
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not. -Dr. Seuss

The Mirror Test and What Men Don’t Know

You already know that men and women often see things very differently.

If you’ve read my book The 90-Minute Marriage Miracle, then you know there are some real differences between the roles that men and women have in sustaining couple communication, trust and intimacy.

This isn’t something that most men will ever figure out. They need to be taught.

  • If you’re waiting and hoping for your man to understand you better, you’re wasting your time.

That isn’t going to happen unless he talks with someone like me and learns what to do. His idea of what you need and want, is based on his parental relationship models. The same of course is true for you. That’s why relationships often fail.

Our unmet expectations create bitterness and resentment that can be destructive to our feelings of being “in love”.  As you already know, “being in love” is not the same as loving your partner.

The feelings of being ‘in love’ with each other add a magical element to our lives. Without that, it’s just a friendship that brings disappointment.

Will your marriage ever get any better if you don’t do something about it?

  • Some people settle for less because they don’t know what to do.
  • Some people have gotten used to being unhappy.
  • Some people are afraid of trying anymore.
  • And some people have just given up.

These are all just choices.

Take the mirror test. Look yourself in the eyes and ask:

  • Does my marriage fill me with joy?
  • Does my marriage make me feel better about myself?
  • If things stay this way, will I feel proud, or disappointed?
  • And will I accept living my life this way?

Please never give up on your happiness. Some people have conditioned themselves to be ok with disappointment. That’s not a decision that will ever allow you to feel good about yourself.

  • If I don’t feel good about me, how will I ever be happy?
  • And if I don’t feel good about me, how will I ever find peace?

There’s far more at stake in being together as a couple than people realize. This is the thing people don’t know, and it’s crushing their overall happiness.

When you give your relationship the attention it deserves, everything about your life can get better.

If you’re ready to learn what to do, reach out and talk with me here.

 

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot.

Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.  –Dr. Seuss