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?

Click on the flyer to see it in full size.
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.