Tag Archive | exercise

Can You Totally Trust Your Partner?

Morning After Christmas Party

I often receive emails on the topic of trust so I think this might be a good time to talk about it. This is especially so as the Christmas season is upon us and for so many organisations this is also the time of the office Christmas party with potentially lots of alcohol and sometimes a little too much “merry”.

Trust, as defined in the dictionary, is the reliance of one person on another for honesty and sincerity in their relationship. Everything is open for discussion and, as a committed couple there is an expectation that as no subject is taboo then also there is an expectation that both of the couple will say what the truth is for them even when this might be hard to say.

So when we feel we cannot trust our partner, is that saying more about us or is it saying more about them?

My hunch is that maybe it says something about both of you.

Our distrust of another may well be about our own insecurities. While we might say we expect truthfulness from another we actually might find it difficult to be truthful ourselves and consequently not really believe that it is possible to get that from the other.

Alternatively it might be that if I have grown up with dishonesty, either between my parents or from my parents to me, then it is also more likely that I will be unsure about the ability of someone else to be totally truthful in their conversations with me.

The alternative of course is that your partner has already done something which was less than honest leaving you suspicious of their every word and action. If your relationship has come to this then you are in serious danger of losing your relationship unless you do something about it and quickly.

Where these two possibilities might intersect is at the place where, if you already have a distrust of your mate, then they actually might act upon it as they feel that they’re dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t.

What can you do about it?

If you feel that the issue is more about you then go and speak with a professional about it. You might benefit from doing some personal psychotherapy. In this case the therapist may explore some of your early life history to discover the past experience of your distrust.

The process would be similar if you are the one struggling to stay honest. The reason for this might also be discovered in exploring your past.

Once you know where it came from you can then do something about it.

If on the other hand you are married to someone who has behaved in such a way that no longer deserves your trust then you need to talk about it as quickly as possible either with your spouse or with a Couple’s Counsellor.

The Couple’s Counsellor will help both of you in articulating what your concerns are about hearing or telling the truth assisting you to communicate this to each other. This is because it is only in the truth that you will find true happiness and a promise that your relationship really can make it to become a long-term committed relationship.

If you don’t have access to a Counsellor try this exercise:

Make a time with each other to sit and talk. Choose one of you to have the entire stage first. You are “The Speaker”. That means that for whatever time you have chosen you get to speak without interruption other than for the other person clarifying what you are saying or to ask questions to help both of you get as clear a picture as possible about what it is “The Speaker” has chosen to speak about.

The other of you is “The Listener”. Your job is simply to listen. This must be without judgement or response in defence of yourself. That means that the other person can say whatever they want while you remind yourself that this is only their opinion even if you don’t agree with it.

And whatever you do, and whatever it is they say, just keep listening. And when I say listen I mean really listen: with your head, hour heart and your spirit as you just might be surprised at what there is to learn.

Try it one way and then next time you come together it will be the listeners turn to become “The Speaker” and the speakers turn to become “The Listener”.

This is what a real conversation is. As we speak and listen we will come to hear the truth and maybe even rediscover the trust that might have been lost making it once again the glue for a truly healthy, loving relationship.

Remember you were designed with two ears and one mouth for a reason!

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Is This Really The End?

Is This Really The End?

Reflecting back to a previous article I posed three questions for you to answer to help you decide whether it really is time to say goodbye. Here they are again for a reminder.

  1. Do you feel that you still love your partner and do you feel that your partner still loves you?
  2. If you had your time again would you still go into this relationship?
  3. If you could leave your partner right now without there being any cost, trouble or ramifications of any kind would you?

If in answering these questions you come to the conclusion that this really is the end then you now have some challenging times ahead of you. This topic will be covered in greater detail in another of my upcoming books but for now let me just say this; while there will be lots of things to take care of legally to separate yourselves from each other financially there will also be lots of things to take care of to separate yourselves socially and emotionally as well.

Of course the biggest hurdle of all will be managing how you are going to continue to be parents to your children. This is sometimes overlooked in the emotion of the day.

While you contemplate finally removing the person that was your partner from your life, you can forget that while there are children to be taken care of the likelihood that you will need to continue to find a way to communicate with each other is more likely than not and may only happen in the event that one of you decides to divorce yourself from your children as well.

It might sound like a contradiction in terms, but separation doesn’t have to be the end of the world if you do it with grace and dignity and respect, even if it feels that there is no love left.

Many couples I work with know that their relationship is over but have still come into counselling to find some understanding and/or some peace and forgiveness of themselves as well as of each other so that they can move on from this.

A Healing Separation

A Program I work with with couples contemplating separation is called “A Healing Separation”. The essence of it is for each of the couple to take some time to figure out what they need to learn from the situation to ensure that they don’t end up in the same place again.

This generally includes counselling each of the couple separately as well as together. And it doesn’t matter if they have kids or not. As the name of the program implies it is about healing and finding forgiveness as it is only through forgiveness that you can truly move on. Maybe this can even be to enter into another relationship that is much more fulfilling than the one you left.

So if you are struggling with a separation maybe you could benefit from some counselling. Alternatively you will find an exercise to help you with this on my website under quizzes and questionnaires titled: “The Unfinished Business Letter”. Try it out it’s free.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Is This About You Or Is It More About Me?

Is This About You Or Is It More About Me?When your relationship begins to falter, and there will be times it will, you may want to find something or someone to blame. You may even be left wondering if this was something that you did or said or something that they did or said.

The answer to these questions is that it is equally about both of you. As I am towards you will impact on how you are towards me and the way you are towards me will impact on how I am towards you.

“Can couples counselling work when my partner won’t come to counselling with me?”

Based on the above assumption, the answer is “absolutely yes!” The reason is that if you change, then your partner will have to change too. Of course, this may not always be easy, but if you can sustain the change, no matter what, then something will happen.

And, as with most things, the best treatment is prevention. So long before you get to that point of no return talk often and honestly your partner to work through those small things before they get to be overwhelming and relationship destroying.

An exercise I often give to my couple’s clients is to make a list of the goals and objectives for you, as individuals, as well as for yourselves as a couple.

Better still, make a picture, a collage or a painting, of what your relationship would look like in terms of individual qualities, characteristics and interactions, your communication patterns, and as you would want each other to be for you in this relationship.

Be what you want the other to be.

Live it full-out for yourself and for each other. This won’t be an easy task. There may be some trade offs and some tough choices.

The first trade-off will be about time and how you use it. The truth of it is: it takes time to create a relationship that endures; time to be together and time to play, time to plan, and time to just BE.

The second trade-off is comfort. You may experience and have to work through unfamiliar thoughts and feelings as you change some of your behaviors and work to better understand yourself and what you can contribute to your relationship.

On the other hand; if you are willing to live full-out for you and your partner and keep in mind the goals you have set for yourselves and the picture you have created of yourselves as a couple you will find it: That I am confident to guarantee indisputably.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Ending a Relationship (Part One)

Ending a Relationship - Five Tough Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Relationship

Five Tough Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Relationship

In all relationships there comes a time when you will come to ask questions about whether it’s time to end it or not. The hardest question of all to answer is how can you know for sure when your relationship is just not working and it may be time to get out?

To help those of you, who think you might be at that point right now, let me see if I can make it a little easier for you.

There are five really tough questions that you can ask yourself to see how close you are to that point of no return. And, while you answer these questions you also need to remind yourself of what the real truth of the situation is.

Also as you answer these questions keep in mind the definitions I spoke about in an earlier article/blog of the five keys to an enduring relationship relating to our basic needs. If you remember, they were recognition of our emotional, physical, spiritual, social and security needs.

The answers must be based on your partner’s recognition of your needs in those areas, as well as your recognition of his or her needs in those areas, and the rights of both of you to have your needs met.

  1. Would you say you behave in a way that reflects that you are in love with your partner and if so, why? And, using those same keys is your partner in love with you and why do you say that?
  1. Knowing what you now know about your relationship, would you still get involved with the same person if you had to do it all over again and why?
  1. When comparing yourself to other people in relationships do you feel that you have been cheated or have settled for second best, and why?
  1. If you could break off your relationship or get a divorce from your partner right now without any inconvenience, legal costs or embarrassment and without any undue hardship on yourself or your children, would you do it? And then why have you answered that way?
  1. How bleak are your feelings about your relationship and just how negatively do you think about yourself and your partner?

You need however, to be very careful here because when you are in a negative place, in your personal lives, you can also get caught up in the negative aspects of your relationship and forget about all the good things. You can even begin to think that it is your relationship that is at fault when the truth is it is more about you as an individual rather than you as a couple.

Look out for part two in these series of article/blog entries to learn what to do with the results of this questionnaire. If you can’t wait till my next entry you can subscribe to my mailing list. Then you will receive the free e-book that this questionnaire comes from. It’s titled “Relationships – A Couple’s Journey”.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Do Opposites Make the Best Relationships?

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If you would like to attend this free presentation please ring 02 99978518 or email admin@northernbeachescounselling.com.au with the words: “Yes I would like to attend the presentation”.

Do Opposites Make the Best Relationships?

Some excerpts from my workshops.

Ask the Relationship Guru

Click on the flyer to see it in full size.
If you would like to attend the seminar please ring 02 99978518 or email admin@northernbeachescounselling.com.au with the words: “Yes I would like to attend the seminar”.


Ask the Relationship Guru


Some excerpts from my workshops.

How to Find Unconditional Love in Your Relationships?

Unconditional LoveI’ve already addressed in another article what is unconditional love but let’s review. Put simply, and as the words would imply, unconditional love is love that is given without the expectation of anything in return.

Conditional love, on the other hand, is the love that is given in response to love received and generally has attached to it something like… “I will love you as long as ….”. The conclusion to this phrase might be about something I get from you or something you do for me, so might end with “… you take care of me.” or “ … you give me what I want.”

In that article the question I was addressing was whether unconditional love actually exists. My conclusion was – ‘absolutely’ and not just in the form of a mother’s love for a child but of one person towards another whether that person is a partner, a relative, a friend, an acquaintance or just someone you pass on the street that you don’t know or might never pass by again.

So in this article I want to take this notion one step further to discuss how to find unconditional love in your relationships as they can be in all the above circumstances.

And here it is – the answer pure and simple lies in your capacity to forgive. That might be a small word but upon its shoulders lays the salvation of the world.

And here’s the most critical factor in this notion – it’s not the world that we need to focus on here but on what we do in our most private moments with those most close to us.

When I was little I was taught to admit to and then say ‘sorry’ when I committed an offence. I was told that this was the way to my salvation. I have never, and still don’t, doubt the truth of this. And while this was and still can be a hard task to complete, I have come to realize that forgiving myself and/or another may even be a harder ask. And, as I have already stated, may actually be even more important for our world’s survival.

So here is my strategy to offering forgiveness and finding unconditional love in our relationships, even if the other hasn’t asked for it, or I don’t believe that they, or I, deserve it.

The 7 Steps to Forgiveness

  1. Identify your emotions and at least express them to yourself
  2. Take responsibility for your part in the conflict
  3. Accept the other person, and yourself, as they and you are and let go of any need or want for revenge
  4. Forgive yourself as you take your learning from the situation to ensure you don’t repeat it
  5. Have the desire to express forgiveness either out loud if appropriate or at least in your mind
  6. Meet with the person involved if possible or imagine them being with you
  7. Make a connection with a past event that might have been similar and ensure that there is nothing residual there that needs forgiveness as well.

Try the exercise and if you need help with it there are more details of the exercise at my website under the heading of ‘quizzes and questionnaires’. And if you are really stuck speak with someone professionally.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Love is Being Able to Say – “I’m Sorry!”

Sorry honey!

“Sorry” – this simple five letter word can work magic. And while it is sometimes the hardest word to say, it can change so many things; the way people think about us, and even how much they care for us as well as how close to us they feel.

Even after knowing the magic this word can do, there are certain times when we do not want to say – “I’m Sorry”. Sometime our ego stops us from saying sorry. We can feel like if we would say sorry, we would lose our value.

This is not to say that you should just say sorry every time something comes up for you and your partner. The really important thing to remember here is that it takes two to make a relationship and two to break it. Therefore, no matter what the situation is, there is going to be fault on both parts.

The task here then is to figure out what part of the issue is yours and what your responsibility is to that and to be willing to say sorry for that regardless of whether the other person is willing to take responsibility for their part and/or is willing to say sorry for that or not.

If you feel that you should be saying sorry but are not able to then there is some other issue that may be stopping you which may need to be explored first.

I strongly agree with the statement often said that, “in a relationship you should not hesitate to say sorry even if it is their mistake”.

The important thing to remember here is really about what are you saying sorry for and to express that to yourself and your partner. Your partner then will be compelled to look at their part in the issue and will then make up their own minds. They may then, or may not, say that they are equally sorry for their part.

Keep in mind though that whether they say sorry or not should not be what makes you decide to say it. Your sorry should be offered openly and honestly, without condition or expectation of something coming back.

Finding A Way from Being Mad To Saying Sorry Test:

There is a simple “saying sorry test” you can take to discover if you are ready to say sorry or not.

Answer each of the following questions as honestly as possible. It may even be helpful to write down your answers:

1 What is the truth about the issue? It can still only be your perspective, and your partner will have their own perspective, but somewhere in that you should be able to find a way to trace the events that led to the issue and ascertain your part in that.
2 What does the other person in the event mean to you? If they are very important to you and you think that losing them would be a great loss for you, then do not hesitate to initiate the apology. Even if you think the mistake is theirs remember that you are a part of it and can take responsibility for that.
3 What do you mean to them? Do they really love you? Are you willing to let a potentially unresolved issue get in the way of your long-term relationship? The truth here is that any issue left unresolved will not go away on its own; it will become an irritant until one day it finds a way out through via some other issue.

If in answering these questions you are able to get clear about what there is to be sorry about, don’t hesitate to express it. Even if you conclude from this that it really isn’t for you to say sorry you should be able to at least say sorry for the difficult situation you both find yourselves in.

From sorry then comes forgiveness and I’ll address this concept further in another article.

So until next time – Relate with Love

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Is Your Relationship in Trouble?

Don’t make any rash decisions until you have booked yourself in to this seminar.

“Lidy has helped thousands of relationships. Maybe she can help yours as well.”

In just 90 mins you will learn the 3 simple steps you need to take to get your partner to understand how serious things have become. The seminar will give you strategies that you can immediately put into practice to:

  1. Understand the problems couples are dealing with
  2. Determine the extent of your Circle of Control and Influence
  3. Communicate a message that you can be sure will get heard
Recharge Your Relationship

Walk out of this seminar with a plan to recharge your relationship.

  • VENUE: Club Redfern, 159 Redfern Street, Redfern
  • DATE: Tuesday 1 September 2015
  • TIME: 7.00 pm – 9.00 pm
  • COST: $10.00 for you and your partner or friend
  • CONDITIONS: Bookings essential

If you would like to attend please ring 02 99978518 or email lidyseysener@optusnet.com.au with the words:  “Yes I would like to attend the seminar”

Numbers are limited.

One lucky person will also win a FREE copy of my soon to be bestseller and for anyone who purchases a copy you will receive a beautiful gift as well:

Book Cover “Love, Lies & the Games Couples Play” valued at $27.95