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!

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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.

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?