Category Archives: New Relationships

Is Love On Your List?

When Christian and I went to Denmark recently, we spoke to woman who’s a mother of four and whose husband travels for work a great deal. I asked her if his travel was good for their relationship, if it kept their romance and appreciation for each other alive. My thought was along the lines of “distance makes the heart grow fonder”.

But she said, “Quite the contrary! We are feeling very distant from one another. When he comes home from his trips, he prioritizes work and I prioritize the children. We fall into bed exhausted at the end of the day. We don’t make much time for each other.”

During the same trip, we listened to an audio book about a woman in a coma. In the story, her father came to visit his unresponsive daughter in the hospital and said to her passive face, “If I had known this was going to happen to you, I never would have said those last words I said to you. I am so sorry.”

A friend of ours was surprised by his wife’s confessions of an affair and a desire for divorce. He told us, “I knew our marriage wasn’t perfect. I knew we needed help. But I thought we had time – I figured we would work on our problems someday. But now it’s too late. I had no idea she was THAT unhappy!”

These three stories are all examples of how easy it is to put kids, work, and house projects at the top of our priority list, while relegating relationship, communication, and sex to the bottom of our list. Actually, all too often, relationship, play, and intimacy don’t even make the list at all!

Unfortunately, like our friend above who got divorced, or the father of a comatose daughter, what it takes to wake up to the importance of love and relationships is often news of illness, death, separation, or divorce.

You’ve probably heard it said a million times, that on your death bed you’re not going to be lamenting that you couldn’t work another hour, or make another buck. What you’ll really miss is another moment with your loved ones.

I believe we all know that to be true, but we don’t always live like relationship is the most important.

There are studies upon studies that confirm the number one factor having a truly happy and satisfying life is good relationships, not money, fame, health, or accomplishments. (See for example this great TED Talk by the director of the 70-year long Harvard Study, Robert Waldinger, who says directly that based on their enormous amounts of data, they conclude that the key to a good life is “Relationships, relationships, relationships”).

And yet, despite all our personal experience to the contrary, despite all the scientific support, it still seems that we drift into making work, kids, chores, money, and everything else more important than our intimate relationships.

What if we didn’t need to be presented with a threat of death or divorce before we took action in the love and relationship department? What if we could use the inevitability of loss and impermanence to inspire us to put relationship first on our list (or at least in the top three)?

The truth is, of course, that all relationships end – one way or another. We’re all going to die eventually. And some of us get old and sick and lose important mental and physical faculties, which take us away from relationship long before we die. Then there’s the infamous divorce statistics that tell us some 50% of first-time marriages end in divorce, and it’s even worse for second and third timers (some estimates say up to 73%!).

What if we used this knowledge to remind us to make love and connection in relationship more important than anything else?

Christian and I do just that, and for those very reasons. Perhaps it’s because our relationship started as a very-long-distance relationship, which was highly unlikely to succeed. After our very first meeting, we were sure we’d never see each other again. So when we did, it made us really appreciate the time we got to spend together.

Subsequently, while living in two different countries in very different time zones, we valued intensely any opportunity we had to talk by phone or visit in person. We have extended that same gratitude and mindful appreciation of each other to our marriage, even now that we live and work together and have for 14 years.

We are long past the “honeymoon phase”, but we still say goodbye with presence and love even if we’re just running a quick errand to the store. We greet each other with enthusiasm after being apart for a day or two. We say yes to lovemaking almost any time one of us initiates. We stop and talk and hug and playfully chase each other around the house. We appreciate each other every night before bed, expressing our gratitude for each other and our life.

I am reminded of the Meghan Trainor song that goes. “I’m going to love you, like I’m going to lose you. I’m going to hold you, like I’m saying goodbye.” That is great relationship advice to live by.

If you knew you only had a short time, how would you express your love to those around you?

If you put relationship to the top of your list today, what would you say to your partner, child, or friend?

Move relationship to the top of your list. Express your love and appreciation for the people you care about. Spend more money on experiences and less money on things. Create positive memories with family and friends. Live a life of no regret when it comes to love and relationship. Your happiness depends on it.

Blessings on your new year!
Sonika & Christian

PS. One way to put your love and relationship higher on your list is attend one our Give Yourself To Love weekend workshops. More here …

 

 

 

 

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Do You Wonder If You Could Do Better In The Relationship Department?

Do you ever wonder if you could do better in the relationship department? If you could find a better partner than the person you are currently dating or are married to? Somebody who is less critical, more open to sex, more successful, playful, and intimate?

In this day and age where we can pre-order products to our specifications and have them arrive overnight on our doorstep, where images of gorgeous young lovers madly in love are plastered on billboards and movies with increasing regularity, and where expectations for marriage bliss are at a all time record high, it is easy for us regular people to feel disappointed with substandard partners who are less than perfect at satisfying our fairy tale picture of our every dream come true.

Sleepless in Seattle was a classic depiction of a woman in an ordinary relationship with a man she knows intimately well. He farts, burps, snores, unceremoniously gives her his grandmother’s ring when he asks her to marry him, and makes unremarkable love to her. But it is clear he is a sweet nice guy who loves her deeply and would do anything for her. All the while, she secretly longs to be swept off her feet in romantic bliss by a handsome mysterious hunk from another city, and when presented with that possibility, dumps her fiancé in the middle of a Valentine’s Day dinner for an upgraded male model.

This schism between our actual experience and our fantasy of relationships is not so far off from what many men and women experience in dating and marriage. There is a rampant secret longing for that illusive something “better”, no one seems to be above it, and it is contributing to immense dissatisfaction in relationship, plus a 45-50% divorce rate.

It is not anyone’s fault really. We are impacted by high cultural expectations for marriage. We want everything that we expected in traditional marriage in terms of companionship and economic support and family life and social status. And we also want what romantic marriage brought us – a sense of belonging, connection, intimacy, a best friend, a play buddy, a trusted confidant and a passionate lover. And we also now have a desire for self-fulfillment in our relationships, for personal development and the realization of our full potential. And let’s not forget, that we want to find our soul mate too, a word that for most of history was reserved to God, someone with whom we can experience mystical transcendental oneness and bliss.

That is a lot to put on one person … on one single relationship.

Are these high expectations, in this age of customization, keeping us from being happy in our relationships? Would we benefit from lowering our expectations and standards? Would we benefit from choosing to make the best of our relationships as they are? Might we gain more by putting energy and time into improving our existing relationship rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater and starting over?

One of the first suggestions we offer to unhappy couples is to complain less and appreciate more. It shifts a couple’s attention off of what is missing on to what is wonderful and working, and this simple shift in focus often quickly replaces dissatisfaction with an experience of satisfaction, gratitude and love. This is an important first step – to make ourselves “satisfiable”.

Research suggests that the more choices and options we have, the less happy and fulfilled we are, the less satisfiable. Certainly, the more expectations and specifications any of us have for what we want in relationship, the less likely we are to find someone who is a match to them, and the less likely we are to experience satisfaction once we are in relationship.

Because, honestly, no one is perfect – no one can be everything we need and want all the time.

Yet sometimes, ending a relationship and starting over is exactly what is needed for us to be happier and more fulfilled. Certainly, some of us (like myself) who have divorced and remarried, know intimately the benefits of a more aligned and better matched partnership!

Where is that line between unreasonable expectation, reasonable preference, non-negotiable deal breakers, being grateful for what we have and dancing gracefully with what shows up?

While there are no easy answers to the complexity of our current day relationships, we can strive to be aware of our tendency to compare what we have to unachievable standards and to be tentative about throwing away perfectly good relationships.

 
 
 
 
 
  
  
 

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Valentines Day In Many Ways

Yippppeee, Valentine’s Day is almost upon us! A chance to express our love!

Granted, some of you might approach Valentines Day with considerable dread, either because you don’t know what to do, because you don’t have anyone to spend it with, or because you feel obligated to do or buy something even though you don’t really want to – you know, get the hearts out, send flowers, buy chocolates, purchase a Hallmark card, reserve dinner at a fancy restaurant, and generally be blinded by all the pink!

Conventionally, Valentine’s Day is a day to express love for a romantic partner.

But we need not limit ourselves. Remember when we used to make Valentine’s cards for our friends in school? That’s right. Love is not relegated to only lovers.

We love our friends, our children and grandchildren, our extended family, previous lovers, co-workers, clients, teachers – as well as our primary partner if we have one.

There is also our relationship with ourselves. How many times a year do we take the chance to celebrate and love ourselves? Give ourselves a luxurious bubble bath or take ourselves out to a nice dinner or indulge in a lovely massage? How often do we take time to say out loud what we appreciate about who we are?

And then there is our relationship with God or Spirit or the Great Mystery or the Universe or whatever words you choose to use for this miracle life of ours. How often do we give thanks for just being alive? For living a blessed life? For the sun and moon and rain and air and land and animals?

There’s a multitude of places to express our love and gratitude. By all means do it with your lover, spouse or primary partner, but that doesn’t have to be the extent of it.

Not only that, but love is free. We can express our love in a myriad of different ways that do not require buying anything at all.

When we express our love, and become a vehicle for love’s voice, not only do we help others to feel special, but we feel the positive effects of stepping into love too. When we reach out and do something that communicates the depth of our love and appreciation, we ourselves are uplifted!

Valentine’s Day provides a great excuse for us to express our love. It is a chance to do something we may never have done before to show our appreciation.

Aside from the conventional Valentine’s Day practices, we thought we would help you brainstorm a list of things you can do to make this Valentine’s Day special. Feel free to steal one or more of the ideas listed below or invent something else!

• Write a love song or a poem and deliver it in person.
• Make a Valentine from scratch out of paper, glue and craft supplies
• Call a loved one and leave a mystery love message
• Make a list of what you love about that person that corresponds with how many years you have known that person
• Have a picnic on the floor of your living room by candlelight
• Set up a table with table cloth and flowers outside and eat take-out in a park, or on your porch.
• Serve cake and ice cream or some other delectable desert before dinner
• Put on your favorite dance music and dance
• Take a walk in the moonlight and share your happiest memories
• Feed each other your entire meal without utensils
• Text someone something you will always treasure and never forget about them
• Write a letter to someone about how they have touched your heart or changed your life
• Offer your partner a foot or back rub to soft music while delivering appreciations
• Take a bath by candlelight
• Write a love letter to yourself about what you appreciate
• Forgive someone for something you have been hanging onto and tell them
• Make a bonfire outside and sing love songs under the stars
• Run up to someone as if you haven’t seen them for a long time, pick them up, twirl them and tell them how lucky you are to know them
• Make a list of 10 intimacy and love questions to ask and answer
• Invite your non-Valentine’s friends over and have a non-Valentine’s hangout.
• With family or friends, take turns saying what you love about each person
• Leave love notes in secret hiding places all around the house
• Make a video or book of what you love

Notice that all of these ideas are simple. They are more about creating a special memorable experience than about spending money on something fancy or doing something you always do by rote or that you think you should do.

We encourage you to take time this Valentine’s to come up with a creative, fun, and unique way to express your love – not only to your loved ones, but to people in your life that you care about and wish to appreciate, including yourself!

Don’t forget. Love is free, and the more we give, the more we get.

Make this Valentine’s Day one to remember! And once Valentine’s has come and gone, remember there are 364 other days in the year to express your love.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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The Power of Creation and The Law of Attraction in Relationships

Every day we are creating. Every minute we are presented with an opportunity to intentionally choose where to put our attention and focus. Why does that matter? Because what we focus on we get more of…

In the beginning of relationship, we focus on what we love about our partners. We focus on and bring out the best in each other. We delight in the pleasures and joys. We appreciate the little things and take time to acknowledge them. We expect, observe and speak the positive aspects of our partner with such overflowing abundance that we scarcely notice the flaws and breakdowns.

Over time, our attention narrows to what we don’t like and don’t want in our relationship and partners. In severe cases, we don’t see the beauty and loveliness of our partners at all anymore. We don’t feel good, and in an effort to get back to that blissful in-love state, we complain and yell and beg and withdraw as we try to articulate what is missing and desired. Our lack of relationship training keeps us ineptly reinforcing painful patterns, rather than producing our positive desired results.

How can we use the law of attraction and the art of creation and to make changes in our relationship?
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What they have proven in quantum physics, is that we are continually interfacing with and changing reality with our expectations and observations. There is no way anything just “is”. This “observer effect” is always at play in our lives and relationships. We are determining what shows up in our world by what we expect to see and experience minute by minute.

How that relates to us in relationship, is that there is no way we just “are”. There is no way your partner just “is” and there is no way you just “are” either. We are potentiality in motion. Who we are in relationship is who we co-create ourselves to be with our intention and focus.

What that means practically is that we can consciously create ourselves to be who ever we want. We can consciously create a great relationship where we are passionate and happy and intimate and sexual and fun, or we can by default, unconsciously create shut down, unhappiness, arguments, disappointment, separation, loneliness and pain. We get to choose. Every new minute is an opportunity to newly choose – do I reinforce creating what I don’t like and don’t want with my attention, or do I create more of what I DO want? A successful relationship is merely a series of positive choices by both parties strung together over time.

But how do you shift your attention to something good when things are bad between the two of you? How do you begin creating what you want instead of what you don’t want with your partner?

There are many steps to this process, too many to include here. But I will say, that the first step is to clarify for yourself what you want. Your desires are the seeds of creation and very important to declare so you know what to nourish and grow on your relationship path. Take time to write out your best vision of what you want. Take your complaints and problems and upsets – your “don’t wants” – and turn them into “do wants”. Feel the delightful excitement of imagining your desired outcome.

Very important. Write your vision in the present tense. “We listen to each other. We enjoy being together. We appreciate each other every day….”

Knowing what you want is the first step to taking charge in the transformation of your relationship.

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Not Getting Enough Love In Your Relationship?

Love gives!

This is never more obvious than at the beginning of relationship.

When in love, we are generous with our giving. We bestow upon our beloved an abundance of touch and attention. We offer gifts and love notes and phone calls. We make love for hours. We listen to each other with great rapture and divulge all of our secrets. We make delicious meals for each other and delight over the sharing of food together. We fix things that are broken when we know it will bring relief or joy. We are willing to go out of our way for each other. We can’t wait to show and express our love.

When newly in love, we mistakenly believe it is the OTHER who makes us feel so blissfully charged with love and generosity. We do not see that it is the act of loving itself that produces such joy!

We LOVE to give! It is where we are at our best. It is where we are the most connected. It is where we are the most expansive. In truth, it is who we ARE to give to another.

As relationship proceeds, we give less and less. We don’t see it, but we begin to focus more on getting than giving.

It begins when our partner doesn’t do what we expect or want. We feel hurt, disappointed, angry, afraid or sad. Old wounds resurface. We don’t want to feel the pain so we close ourselves off from our feelings. Unfortunately, when we close ourselves off from our feelings, we close off our love too.

In our confusion, we think the path to feeling love again is to change our partner. We have to get him or her to quit doing that thing that hurts. So we focus on trying to GET our partner to change, to meet our expectations. In a word, we try to GET them to give to us. We try to GET them to keep their agreements, to commit, to help around the house more, to make love, to listen to us, to show their love to us like they used to.

Our partner is doing the same to us. Trying to GET us to give to them.

Unfortunately, at this point, no one is giving. Both of us are trying to GET.

In trying to GET, the flow of love is cut off. Generosity ceases.

And we feel terrible when we are not abundantly giving to those we love. We have inadvertently disconnected ourselves from our hearts, from who we really are. It is this disconnection from love that kills us. It is this disconnection from love that kills the relationship.

We mistakenly believe we have fallen out of love because of our partner’s unwillingness to give. If only he or she would_______ (fill in the blank), then I would still be in love.

But it is actually our own unwillingness to give, our own focus on trying to GET that has taken us out of love.

Many of us leave our partners in search of another, and repeat the process over and over again.

We don’t see that GIVING and RECEIVING is at the heart of feeling this blissful state of love.

So take note. One of the fastest ways back to love is to give again. Give Fast. Give Freely. Give Frequently. Give what YOU want to receive.

Khalil Gibran said: “Generosity is not giving me that which I need more than you do, but it is giving me that which you need more than I do.”

When you give what YOU want to receive, you will begin to BE your best self again, and love will flow like it did.

And here is another crucial piece of relationship advice. Notice how your partner gives to you. Take your attention off of all the places love is missing, and put your appreciation on where love IS. Express your gratitude and appreciation to your partner for their expressions of love. When you do, something surprising will happen. Your partner will be inspired to give MORE.

If you want to fall in love again, get the flow of generous giving going again. It is not only the way back to love, it is love itself!

Here are a few quotes to enjoy.

“There’s a great joy in my giving. It’s thrilling. It’s exhilarating. It’s important to be a part of sharing. It is my love. It is my joy.”
W. Clement Stone

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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Scared to Commit?

Committing to something or someone is a scary move.

You might fail!

It might not turn out. Your partner might leave you. Your business partner might take your money and run. That class might bomb. You might go broke. You could lose everything.

True. Anytime you commit, there is always the chance that whatever it is you are committing to may not meet your expectations. You may indeed fail!

But when you don’t commit, you are doomed to certain failure!

Think about it. You can’t succeed at what you don’t try at. As Mark Zuckerberg once said, “The biggest risk is not taking any risk.” We think we are preventing failure by not committing, but in fact we are only ensuring our failure!

Often our strategy for minimizing the risk of committing is to make sure everything will turn out BEFORE we commit. Get all of our ducks lined up in a row. Answer all of our questions. Reach a certain point financially. Study and get more prepared – FIRST. We hope that we will reach some imaginary place where all fear and doubt is replaced by certainty.

But for many of us, we never reach that place of confident certainty. Unfortunately, too many of us reach our deathbed with our dreams still in us because we never risked stepping out of our comfort zone to commit.

I have come to discover that committing first is the secret to living a passionate and rich life. As Marta Mrotek said, “Once you commit and decide that there is no turning back, you’ll find the strength.” I have experienced the depth and power of her words. First I commit, and then, BECAUSE of my commitment, I figure out what to do.

I will never forget the power of this way of living. Back in 1990, I courageously quit my job of some 10 years. I was terrified. This job not only paid well, but it filled my private coaching practice on the side. My co-workers were my best friends and the people I had come to know and love over the past decade were my community and like family. I had designed a good bunch of the content that I would now be leaving behind and I was cherished as one of the most beloved leaders of the organization.

But I had felt out of integrity in this business for quite some time. So, to be true to myself, I knew I had to leave. With my head yelling at me about what an idiot I was being, I dared quit during a staff meeting that morning. It felt so right and powerful.

That afternoon, to make matters even more terrifying, I bought a 4-bedroom house in the Bay Area with a huge mortgage. I had no idea how I was going to pay for it now that I had quit my job! I was terrified, but exhilarated too! My mind was having a field day about my stupidity, and all the horrible things that could happen were playing out quite vividly in my mind.

But after a few days, something else began to happen…

I was challenged to rise. I had to figure out a way to pay that mortgage. I had to figure out another way to bring in money. I had to design a way to make it all work.

Something miraculous happened in that space of excitement and terror. I found the strength. Openings appeared. Possibilities emerged.

It was in that space of commitment that the first rendition of LoveWorks was born 24 years ago.

I can’t even imagine where I would be today had I not taken that risk.

I still move this way. So does Christian. We commit to writing an article before we know what we are going to say. We publicize an event to over 4,000 people before we design the content for it. We commit to teaching a business seminar before we know what we are going to do at it. We buy something without knowing how we are going to pay for it.

We lock ourselves in by committing.

From there, in every single instance, we are called to rise. We find aspects of ourselves we didn’t know before, walk through openings we would not have otherwise noticed, profoundly alter lives that would not have otherwise been transformed.

BEST of ALL, we experience an aliveness, creativity and passion in our day-to-day life that, honestly, beats out boredom, comfort and complacency any day.

And sure, while we have a few flops here and there, 95% of the time, we have a best-seller!!

As William Murray once said “Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness…but the moment one commits, then Providence moves…” … And magic happens!

Our motto for 2014? JUMP!

So we will leave you with a question: What great thing would you attempt if you knew you would not fail?

Once you have your answer, JUMP!!

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A Quick Masterful Tool To Feel Better

I just read a great book written by Harvard psychologist Shawn Achor. It’s called The Happiness Advantage. In essence, the book systematically lists the measurable advantages of “priming” your mind to be positive, or in other words, happy. This book is written mostly for use in your career and for businesses, but it of course translates directly to your personal, intimate relationships.

The author lists countless studies where test subjects are first “primed” with either negative, neutral, or positive emotions, and then asked to perform tasks of varying difficulty. Over and over again, the positively primed subjects outperform the others. Doctors make better and faster diagnosis, random people find money prizes faster, Harvard students score higher grades, on an on it goes.

The whole message is: Happiness is not just a fancy luxury, it’s the most efficient state of mind to get anything done, achieve your highest performance, and live a happy, healthy life. Now proven by science (so it’s gotta be true!)

We of course wholeheartedly agree, because many of our waking hours are dedicated to figuring out and inventing better and faster ways for you to feel better in your relationship, no matter your circumstances.

One of the best and fastest, and certainly easiest, ways to do that we learned from Abraham-Hicks. it’s called the Wouldn’t-It-Be-Great-If Game. It’s brilliant in its innocent simplicity, and it flat out works! Watch the video to see it demo’ed …

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Where Are You The Same?

This gallery contains 3 photos.

When you argue or have repeated, heated “discussions”, you are most often very present to all the places where you and your partner are different! After all, if you weren’t different, if you didn’t have differing stances, you wouldn’t be having any problems, right?

So if only you weren’t so different, your relationship would be easier. Or so it sure seems! How often have you or a friend of yours ended a relationship with the reasoning, “We’re just too different!”?

Well, you’re right! You are different. And that is not likely to change any time soon. Perhaps when you’re dead, but we’re not even sure about that one (eye witness reports are scarce:)

Your differences are not necessarily a problem at all, but it does take a bit of conscious practice to not get consumed with them. Especially when there’s conflict and the emotional temperature is rising.

But the fact is, the more you talk about, point out, notice, and declare your differences, the more distant and separate you feel from one another.

So, a simple way to change things around is this: Look for where you are the same! You’ll find lots and lots of examples.

Watch the video for more examples and background!

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Stop Talking About Your Problems

We’ve all been there … you have the same pointless conversations and dumb arguments over and over again. Every time, you (silently) ask yourself, “Why are we even having this conversation again?”

You hope that by talking about it it’ll finally be resolved and go away. But it hasn’t – obviously – or you wouldn’t be having this conversation again!

Once you’ve reached the point where you’re just repeating the same-ol’-same-ol’, you might as well stop talking about your problems! If you haven’t solved the issue by talking about it for years and years, you’re not going to solve it until you find and learn a better way to do it.

So for now, stop talking about it! Watch the video for more …

NOTE: We’re in no way suggesting you don’t deal with your legitimate problems and frustrations!

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Conflicts Ruin Your Relationship!

Wouldn’t it be great if you could just once and for all settle your disagreements, resolve your conflicts, and then be done with it, forever! Aaaah, what peace!

This is the state most of us aim for in our relationships. We talk and talk and talk; fight, argue, yell, withdraw, and nag in the vain hope (or “secret fantasy” as we call it) that one day we’ll get it settled and we can rest.Couple Having Arguement At Home

[Speaking of conflicts, check out our free evening, Connecting Through Conflict]

If you’ve been in any significant relationship lasting more than a few months, or at least past the Honeymoon Phase, you know very well that that conflict-free day never arrives.

We had a couple in our office the other day. Beautiful couple, well-spoken, pleasant demeanor, intelligent and well-intentioned. And they’d been arguing ever since the honeymoon ended years ago, about pretty much the same stuff over and over again.

We want to tell you what we told them, for starters. It may sound overly simple, but until you really let this sink in, you’re set up to have the same conflicts continue in a never-ending, life-sucking loop.

  1. The ONLY reason you keep having the same arguments and frustrating conversations over and over again is that you don’t have a reliable and effective way to deal with your conflicts. If you did, you wouldn’t need to have the same argument twice, ever!
  2. If you’ve been having the same fights and arguments over and over again, you can know with certainty that the way you’re going about it is inefficient at best, pointless and counterproductive at worst.
  3. Until you find and learn a reliable, effective way to deal with your conflicts, you may as well stop talking about them, because chances are every time you do, you just end up more frustrated!
  4. Stop wishing for conflicts to go away. They won’t! As a matter of fact, you don’t even want them to go away, not really. Contrary to what most of us automatically believe, having conflicts is not a sign that something is wrong with you, your partner, or your relationship. Your conflicts are actually born of your commitments and desires, and can and should be used for the purpose of deepening intimacy and strengthening your trust.

 
Granted, it does take some skill to navigate conflicts with grace and efficiency. But I’ll tell you, if we could give only one gift to any couple (or anyone in relationship, period), amongst all the crucial and must-have skills and traits that exist, we’d give them the skill and ability to deal with their conflicts in a good way.

Even if you have everything else going for you, if you don’t have the conflict-piece down, your chances of lasting love and easy happiness are extremely slim. The road to happy-ever-after is strewn with the carcasses of potentially wonderful relationships that expired because the little conflicts mounted and took the hopeful lovers out! And it’s just unnecessary to be taken down by the everyday conflicts, which are inevitable and which will be part of your relationship for as long as you’re together.

Lastly, we want to give you a new way to begin to think about your conflicts. This shift alone has made a massive difference for so many people (us included).

Your conflicts don’t happen TO you. They happen FOR you.

Conflicts show up for you, and for your relationship. What they’re designed to do is let you know that something new wants to happen in your life and in your relationship.

So moving forward, when your next conflict shows up, instead or arguing about it, or doing whatever you’ve been doing up till this point, ask yourself and each other, “If this conflict really were showing up FOR me/us, what would it want to tell me/us?” What is the “new” that wants to happen here?

Don’t resist your conflicts. Use them for a good purpose!

A few next steps to consider ….

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