Offering Tools for Lasting and Positive Change in Personal, Professional and Romantic Relationships…

Tools for Clarity and Effective Communication in Your Whole Heart Marriage

If you are having problems in your relationship, I propose that you try to do whatever you can do IN your relationship before you think about leaving it. The first step is to acknowledge your part. Take responsibility for your part in the problems. You’re the one who has needs that aren’t being met. You’re the one I’m talking to; the only one you can change! You actually owe it to yourself and to your partner to speak up in your marriage. You are doing the best thing you can do to save your marriage by taking responsibility for getting your needs met. I believe that we’re really only having one relationship our whole life, with different people in different bodies along the way. So you might as well get it with person you’re with. Maybe you already have children with this person. You definitely have invested time and emotion so why not at least try? Learn what you attracted this person into your life to learn and who knows? You might even work it out and move forward together. At least, if you do learn what you came together to learn, if you don’t go forward together, you won’t recreate the same relationship issues with another person. How do you get your needs met? I found in my own life that being heard was really a challenge for me. I would like to offer you some really powerful tools for improving your communication in all areas, especially the area of your needs.

The beginning point is to make time to talk every day. If you don’t schedule it, it will most likely not happen. When my husband and I were first married, we were both very involved in our careers. We had a baby very early in the marriage and my husband already had children. So we had a lot going on! I wanted at least one of us to be with our son as much as possible so he wouldn’t have to be in daycare. Consequently, we worked sort of opposite hours. My husband worked a lot of nights and weekends and I worked 7am to 3pm. I used to joke that our son must have thought he really just had one parent that looked different on different days. In fact, one time, I went to pick him up from daycare (he did go a few times a week when we just couldn’t make it work, and it was really actually fun for him!) and the woman who took care of him was surprised to see me because usually my husband picked him up. She was so surprised that she said she didn’t know he had a mom! Ouch!

Yes, we were that busy. Of course, what eventually happened was that we just became like roommates, ships passing in the night. By the time we got home at night, we were so exhausted; we just did what we needed to do and went to bed. We did this for so long that it became a really bad habit.

Finally we had to get honest about what we had become. The romance and passion were gone. That’s when we had to take stock of our relationship, our marriage and take some specific actions in the right direction, which was the direction of our togetherness, renewing and even deepening our connection. One of those actions was to begin talking EVERY DAY! We talk about everything but timing is crucial. It’s not advisable to talk about your “hot topics” before bed. Those are better discussed in the morning or some time during the day. That’s the first step; take time EVERY DAY to talk!

For more tools on how to Rekindle Your Romance return to this blog often or subscribe today!

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10 Tips to Rekindle Your Romance

Tool # 5 In Marriage the Two Become Three

 

I get more questions about this tip than any other.  Here’s what I mean.  When two people marry, no matter how much they love one another, soul mates or not, they do not become each other’s other half.  The whole is always greater than the sum of the parts.  The synergy of the two coming together creates something much bigger than even the two of them could create.  So a marriage there is “You”, “me” and “Us”.    If you become each other’s other half, so to speak, one or both of you will feel smothered.   

 

 

Separate and Together Goals

 

In the “two become three” relationship you each have separate physical, mental, emotional, financial and spiritual goals and you have goals together.  It is really important to have clear goals as a couple and clear goals as individuals.  Through the years, I recommend that you discuss and review your goals, being to open to changing and creating new ones. 

 

Friends First

 

Another valuable aspect of “two become three” relationship is that you are friends first, above and beyond anything else.  As you support one another in your goals, you support each other as friends.  Have you ever had a friend tell you about an idea they had, an adventure they were about to embark upon?  When they told you, you were very excited for them and you cheered them on.   It is much easier to be supportive and give feedback to a friend because you don’t have a vested interest in the outcome.  However, when you are dealing with your spouse their personal goals will affect you.  Their new adventure or project could affect your mental, emotional, physical and financial life, making it a lot more challenging to support them objectively. 

 

 

 

 

Be Single Sometimes in the Relationship

 

One of the things I have noticed in people who are just newly broken up from a relationship is that they will lose weight, change their hair or looks in some way or do the thing they had wanted to do for ever.    They will often say, “Now that I’m single I can finally….”  There is something to that “newly single” energy.  Often people feel energized and have a new lease on life.  I recommend that you do that thing without having to break up.  Let yourselves be single sometimes within the relationship.  I’m not talking about being single to get interested in someone else, just to do those things you love to do.  That’s what I mean by “two become three”.   Don’t lose your individuality in your relationship.  Do the things that you love to do with or without your partner.  Ideally you do some things with your partner and some without your partner and some things you join one another in doing.  But either way, you do those things you love to do.

 

Be Together, But Not Too Together

 

 

Sometimes in marriage we take each other for granted.   You assume the other person will always be the same as they were the day you met.  The truth is that we all grow and change.  We need to allow space in the relationship for the other to grow and change.  Sometimes we grow at a different pace than our partner.   That can be scary for the one who sees the other growing and changing.

          At the wedding ceremony there is a passage from the prophet by Kahlil Gibran that is often read.  The passage talks about drinking, but not from the same cup.  It goes on to talk about being together but not too together, and let the spaces dance between the two of you.  In other words, be together and allow and even encourage each other to grow.  As you grow, it is important to take time to stop and explore the new growth.

Marriage is the best seminar you will ever attend.  It offers opportunities for growth that no other relationship can offer, that is, if you are both in it, playing “full out”.  If you are not both in it, it can be the loneliest, saddest place you will ever be.

 

For most of my younger life, I thought I had made a conscious decision that I was never going to get married or have children.  I just never imagined I would find a man that I would want to spend the rest of my life with.  And I definitely didn’t want a “husband” based on the role models I saw growing up like the “husband” in “Father Knows Best” or “Leave it to Beaver”.  22 years ago, I found myself meeting a man without whom I could not imagine not spending the rest of my life.  Imagine that!  So here we were, getting ready to get married, me, having never been or even really wanting to be married before this point, not knowing that I didn’t know the first thing about marriage; him, having been married twice before, knowing more about what he didn’t want a marriage to be than what he did want it to be.

 

The past 20 years have been such a rich journey of learning about marriage, from actually being married, to creating personalized ceremonies and officiating at marriage ceremonies, to doing pre-marital coaching and workshops for couples, to doing marriage enrichment workshops and marriage counseling.   I have learned some very important things about marriage.  I have learned, “Why get married?”  I have learned what makes a healthy, happy “Whole Heart” marriage.  I have learned that there is a difference between “Till death do us part” and “Till the end of our forever”.  I understand the statement “Till death do us part, as long as it’s working for both of us”. And I have learned that we must re-choose our partner and our marriage many times throughout our lives because if we are really changing and growing our relationship is constantly evolving.  I have learned these things through my own experiences as well as the experiences of hundreds of couples with whom I have worked and the research from experts I have studied.

 

One of the most important things I have come to believe is that as we process through relationships on our path toward finding the one we choose to marry, we pick up one relationship right where we left the last one.  It’s like we’re really having one relationship our whole lives with different people in different bodies.  And the truth is that the one relationship, the biggy is with ourselves.  Each person that we interact with mirrors aspects of ourselves.  We are multi-faceted individuals, with many different parts and sides, just like a prism.  As each person touches us, they ignite something in us, cause us to glow in a certain way, glow, sparkle and shine.  And sometimes they block our light or the block the light from us.   That’s when you know something is wrong; when your light is no longer shining.

First you want to discover why your light isn’t shining.  Are you blocking yourself or is it the other person blocking your light?  I believe you might as well figure out your part with the person you’re with before you move on, learn what you came together with this person to learn.   Because if you leave before you learn what your part is, you will just re-create the same relationship issues with the next person and the next and the next until you get it!

 

Have you ever heard the phrase, “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts?”  In other words 1+1 is greater than 2 in the world of physics.  The synergy that two people create by bringing their energies together can be amazing.  It can be greater than anything either one of them could have accomplished on their own or with any other person.  It can be great for both people and it can bring both people to a higher place than they could have come to on their own.  This is a powerful union.  If both people are willing, they can cause each other to grow tremendously.

 

The problems occur when one person is not willing to grow or is not as committed as the other.  They can work at it for a while, but at some point the one who is not as committed to their personal growth will feel pushed and pressured and the other one will feel frustrated and both may feel resentful.  Hopefully there is ebb and flow to the relationship, just as there is an ebb and flow to the ocean, in fact, to everything in life.  The two people may not always be growing at the same pace or in the same direction but hopefully, there is some sort of rhythm to it, and eventually they catch up for periods of time.   And at those times, the connection, the joy is great.

 

This is how we cause each other to grow.  One person experiences new awareness, insights  and discoveries, shares with the other and inspires, challenges or causes them to change and expand, first unconsciously, then in consciousness and then in actions.

 

The thing is that we cannot expect the other person to change and grow.   In order for there to be a safe environment for both people in the relationship, a level of acceptance must exist.  Each person must accept the other exactly as they are if the couple has any hope of growing together.  

 

One person in the relationship may be so overpowering or controlling, actually full of fear that they cause the other person’s light to shine dimly or not at all.  This is when it is time to seek help.  I suggest seeking help rather than leaving because it is important for each person to know what their part is in the problem.  How are you allowing your light to be diminished by the other person?  How is the other person causing your light to diminish?  How are you participating in diminishing their light?

Part 2:  After the Break-Up

After the break up
How to prepare yourself for a good relationship

The first step is to begin cultivating a good relationship with the self.  This includes the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of you.  If you don’t have a good relationship with yourself, how do you expect anyone else to?  Who are you in the world?  How do you want your life to be?  It is crucial that you decide how you want your world to be before you find your partner or you will tend to be more inclined to just fit yourself into your partner’s world.

So how do you do this?  Start by beginning to observe who you are in the world and how you are in the world?  After you begin to know yourself in the world, you can begin to know if that is really how you want to be.  Are you doing what you want to be doing?  Does your lifestyle support your mental, emotional, physical and spiritual needs?  Is there room in your life for a partner?  Your partner doesn’t have to be exactly like you.  Variety is good!

Here is another great exercise to do before you go find another relationship.  Go back in your life and look at every relationship you have ever been in….starting with the relationship with the parent of the opposite sex.  Look honestly at the nature of the relationship and write about it.  Why did you choose that person?   You didn’t consciously choose your parent but you could ponder the question, “Why would I have chosen her/him?”  What did we come together to learn from one another?  With each relationship, as you write about this person, ask yourself why you chose that person?  What did you learn in that relationship, from that person?  And most importantly, what was your part in the break up?  Even if that person broke up with you, cheated on you, whatever happened, you had a part.

I would like to take a moment to help you understand the difference between your fault and your part.  Your part and your fault are not the same.  Here is an example showing the difference.  I was in a very serious car accident in 1999.  Here’s what happened.  I was going through an intersection where there was only a stop sign in one direction.  So the other person had a stop and I didn’t.  I continued on through the intersection, and she ran her stop sign, ramming into the side of my car and pushing my car into another car.  My car was nearly totaled.  I was out of commission for about 8 months. I was so angry for that 8 months and for about another year or so.  I had so many physical problems from that accident and I just kept blaming her over and over again.

The other thing that happened was that every time I was about to enter into an intersection, even with a 4-way stop, I would break out in a sweat and I could feel my heart begin to pound.  It was as if I would relive that accident every time.  It was getting worse and worse and blaming that woman wasn’t giving me one second of comfort.  I would just keep running the accident through my mind.  I could get anyone to agree with me that it was her fault.  I even had a witness.  Two women had been following her and even stopped and told me she had been driving erratically for many blocks.  So there, I had built my case.  It wasn’t my fault.  But I needed to get over the anger.   So I had to take my power back and take responsibility for my life, which meant that I had to accept that I had a part in the situation.  I finally realized that my part was that I had assumed the right of way.  I didn’t look before I entered into the intersection because I had the right of way.  From that point forward, I have never assumed the right of way again!  And I was freed of that fear of entering an intersection.  So that was a great learning opportunity.  That is what you can do with each of your past relationships, take responsibility for your part, acknowledge what you learned, be thankful and move on.

Greetings!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

I want to offer you a great tool, especially during this time of year when things can be stressful.

Remember the love that brought you together…

Rekindling your romance is about you and your partner and what is romantic to you. It’s just too easy to compare yourself to other couples …friends, TV…, movies…and think there is something missing from your relationship.

Remembering the love that brought you together is about appreciating your partner and what is romantic for you and your partner.

Take some time to do this practice:

Close your eyes for a few minutes and let your mind travel back to that time when you first saw your partner, when you first became aware of that moment when you just had to meet this person, and then to get to know this person better. You felt something for your partner that you probably had never felt before. You felt the mystical connection with them that was stronger than anything human.

Now, take a few moments to just feel that feeling, getting in touch with love for your partner in your body, mind and heart.

And now, open your eyes and notice how you feel. The next time you are with your partner, really remembering the love that brought you together, authentically, with your whole heart, give them a hug or take their hands and look into their eyes and from that place of loving them, tell them how much you love them and how and why you appreciate them. Imagine if you began every day this way…

Enjoy!

Diana Morgan, M.A., H.H.E., Minister
PO Box 553, Santa Rosa, CA 95402
707-548-7003 or 925-980-9052
dianaconcoffmorgan@gmail.com

For information about performing ceremonies: Blessings To You
For information about relationship workshops, coaching and marriage prep: Whole Heart Path

The #1 reason marriages break up is because they lose site of the love that brought them together. I help couples break through their personal barriers, opening their whole heart to experience their authentic connection. The Whole Heart Path awaits you…

Tool #5

Know When to Hold ’em, Fold ’em, Walk away, and When to Run

I always ask people, “If you had to choose one motto by which to live your life, what would it be?” I have never heard anyone say my favorite
motto, well, except “The Gambler”. My favorite motto is, “You gotta know when to hold ’em, when to fold ’em, when to walk away and when to run.” This is particularly true in relationships.

How many times have you been in a situation where you knew that your best move was going to be to just put yourself and the other person on hold, not say anything, and wait for a better moment? That’s called “hold em”.

There are those time when you know you don’t have the winning hand, so you “fold ’em”. You yield until the next hand and then you try again.

And I’m sure we’ve all had times when the best thing to do was to “walk away”, or even “run”.

Unlike the gambler, playing a game of cards, we are playing the game of life, which sometimes hit us fast and hard. We don’t always get the opportunity to make a conscious choice about how we are going to respond to another person or situation. We can’t always be that present in the moment. Sometimes we react in a way that isn’t necessarily going to help the situation because we are coming from some past experience or story. For example, sometimes we hold when it would have been much more effective to fold, walk away or run!

The Wisdom of the “Gambler”
I have used the “wisdom” of the Gambler for a very long time in my own life. In some ways the Five Rings system of stress response can be compared to the Gambler. The five rings are ways of being in the world, corresponding to the elements, wind, water, fire and ground. The 5th ring is space, the pause in between each moment.

To “hold” is ground, holding your ground. To “fold” is water, yielding. To “walk away” is wind, and to” run” is fire. Of course it’s not really that simple, but it’s a beginning, one example of how to use this information as a tool in your life. Each of these rings has a powerful side and a not so powerful aspect. Most of us, when pushed to react, will tend to react in one of the rings most frequently. Sometimes that response will be effective and sometimes, more often, it will not, because it is a stress response, not an empowered response, not a conscious choice.

If you are not living in the present moment in your life, you will tend to bring your history, your truth about the situation to the present moment. When you do this you will tend toward the same reaction in most situations, chances are it will serve you positively some of the time, but,since you are dealing with so many different types of people and situations in your life, and not really responding to the present moment, much of the time you will experience your reactions as ineffective.

The goal is to become present in each moment of your life. As you do this, you will begin to recognize, know and understand your own stress response, and then to know and understand all five rings. When you understand all the rings, you will be able to recognize the ring from which the other person is coming, and then you will be able to choose the best ring with which to handle each situation or person that comes your way in the present moment. You will know when to hold ’em, fold ’em, walk away and run from a conscious, present and empowered place.

Diana Morgan, M.A., H.H.E., Minister
PO Box 553, Santa Rosa, CA 95402
707-548-7003 or 925-980-9052

For information about performing ceremonies: Blessings To You
For information about relationship workshops, coaching and marriage prep: Whole Heart Path

The #1 reason marriages break up is because they lose site of the love that brought them together. I help couples break through their personal barriers, opening their whole heart to experience their authentic connection. The Whole Heart Path awaits you…