3 Important R's In
Relationships That Can Help You Survive and Thrive,
No Matter What
If there's one complaint that we hear over and over
about the challenges of relationships, it's
"How do you find the time and energy to create
and keep great relationships?"
This is such a great question especially since
we all seem to be continually busy and stressed
much of the time.
This is especially true this time of year when
there are so many holiday activities to attend,
gifts to buy and preparations to make.
We just seem to be on the go from morning until
night--and if we don't interrupt the pattern, it
can take its toll on our bodies, our spirits, our
emotions and our relationships.
So what's the answer?
The answer comes from a surprising source.
Not just athletes-- but world class athletes who
seem to always win over and over.
They have discovered that renewal drives
Whether they realize it or not the best of the
best athletes figure out ways to take mini-rest and
renewal breaks--even during matches or games--that
will help them to be at their best when it really
Perhaps you've seen the tennis pro switching
his/her racquet from hand to hand after a point in
an important tennis match on TV. Until it was
pointed out to us that this switching allowed the
arms of his or her dominant hand and arm to relax,
we didn't realize what was going on.
We thought it was just "nervous tension" and we
didn't realize that this wasn't just nervous
tension but actually a recovery and renewal break
that would allow the pro to play at his/her optimum
level throughout the match.
At this point, you're probably wondering what
this has to do with your relationships.
It's simple. If you don't allow yourself to take
renewal breaks throughout your day or week, no
matter how busy you are, you cannot be who you
truly are with those you love--let alone those you
That's why the 3 R's (rest, relaxation and
renewal) are so important to you, especially as you
try to build and maintain great relationships.
It's true that we all need some amount of stress
to expand and grow but continual stress with no
rest, renewal and relaxation time is harmful.
When we are under continual stress, we say and
do things unconsciously from habit and past
experiences and do not consciously choose how we
are going to be in our relationships and lives.
When you consciously make choices about your
words and actions and are not muddled by stress,
you are able to speak and act from a place inside
you that is true.
This truth creates intimacy, connection and love
with the important people in your life.
Here are a few tips to encourage you to take
rest, recovery and renewal time, no matter what's
going on in your life...
1. Breathe deeply When we get stressed, we
forget to breathe. A mini-renewal break can simply
be taking a deep breath in and exhaling all of it,
emptying your lungs.Write a note to yourself and
put it in your car to remind you to take a deep
breath as you sit in traffic or deal with the kids
who are arguing in the back seat.
2. Take a 15 minute walk outside We walk around
our neighborhood and we've found that even 15
minutes can make a difference in how we feel.
3. Let it go. When something happens that is
upsetting to you, don't hold onto it and mull it
over. Reliving the painful memory will only keep
you from living your life to its fullest and will
separate you from the people around you.
Let it go as soon as you have said what you
needed to say. If agreements need to be created
around the issue, then suggest that the two of you
talk about how to "do it differently" the next
"Worry" also falls in this category. Don't waste
your energy and time "worrying" about someone or
something. It only creates more stress and
agitation inside you.
Spend your "thought" time on what makes you
happy and your heart sing.
If you focus on loving yourself and others,
instead of worrying about them or holding onto
grudges, we think you'll see a big difference in
Renewal, rest and recovery may seem to be the
last thing that you think you have time for but
we'd urge you to re-think that belief.
These 3 r's are not only absolutely necessary
for the health and happiness of your physical body
and mental outlook but are also essential to the
health and continual growth of your
What You Can Learn About
Love and Relationships From Glitter, Glitz and a
Night With The Stars
We have a confession to make.
We also have a few observations we'd like to
share with you about something related to our
confession that can help you create more
passionate, loving, caring, and connected
So, what's our confession?
We've been addicted to the ABC hit reality
television show "Dancing With The Stars."
We know. We know. We're revealing who we really
are by telling you this and it's true.
Otto watched several of the shows and Susie
watched almost every episode of this year's
"Dancing With the Stars" --including of course last
It turns out that we were not alone. The show's
ratings tell us that somewhere between 24 and 27
million people tuned in each night.
So what was it that made this show so
interesting that so many people dropped what they
were doing to tune in?
Also, since we're students of relationships (and
what makes them work when they work), we were
curious about what we could learn from the show to
help others, as well as to make our relationships
Here are several tips about how to create great
relationships and connect deeper with the people in
your life that came to us as we were thinking about
this very popular reality series...
1. Get out of your own dramas. On "Dancing With
The Stars," there was spectacular dancing,
beautiful costumes and beautiful people to watch
but there was also a lot more too.
There was drama.
We mean how much more dramatic can you get than
Marie Osmond passing out on live national
What's interesting is what this says about
For the most part, no matter where we're from,
we're addicted to "drama," even in our personal
Most of us love "drama" so much that we can't
seem to get enough of it. When everything seems to
be going along fairly calmly, we do something that
creates or adds some drama to our lives.
We've actually been with couples who will say
things they may not even mean or say things that
may not be so kind to each other just to get each
other "going a little bit" or create some drama or
"spark" between them.
This is can make for an interesting
relationship, but it usually doesn't serve us in
creating one that is closer and more connected.
So when "drama" comes up between the two of you,
stop and observe what's really going on between the
two of you.
2.Make connection your relationship goal. The
stars on the show did a great job of connecting
with us, the audience, during their dances, as well
as other times they were on camera.
We felt like we knew them, we cared for them and
in some ways we hated to see the final show
It was the tangible feeling of connection with
these stars that would no longer be.
That's one of the reasons that the show was such
As a society, we're ALL hungry for connection,
even when we get it from a television show.
We long for intimacy.
Not just the kind of intimacy we enjoy in the
bedroom, but, true, genuine intimacy with the
people in our lives.
We suggest that you begin looking at the people
in your life and how you can form deeper, more
meaningful connections with them.
3. Have fun and make sure that humor is always
available to you. Both couples who made last
night's "Dancing With the Stars" finals said that
they actually had fun, laughed a lot together--and
that laughter got them through the difficult
This chemistry that was created in part by
having fun and laughing together showed in their
dancing--which just made all of us feel good
So the question for you might be...
How can you lighten up and have more fun with
the people in your life? If you do, it will make a
difference in your relationships and will brighten
the day of every one you meet.
4. Open yourself to stretching beyond what you
think is possible. In one of the interviews in last
night's final show, one of the stars said that by
participating in the competition and pushing
herself to do her best, she had learned that she
could do things she never thought possible.
She said that she was a better person for going
through it all.
How many of us think we can't have what we want
in our relationships and our lives?
If we open to the idea that we can stretch
beyond what we think is possible, anything can
Life can be even greater than it already is!
5. Adopt the attitude of kindness, openness and
caring, It was really clear to us that both
finalists in this competition had an openness about
them and were genuinely kind, caring people.
This also came out during the interviews with
people who talked about the two star finalists, as
well as during their dancing and off-stage film
As observers of human nature, the two of us
can't help but notice when two people who are in a
committed relationship treat each other in unkindly
ways and what that does to their relationship.
This often comes from familiarity and a belief
that "he/she is my partner and I can treat him/her
that way" or "that's just the way we are."
We're saying that kindness does matter, no
matter who you are with or how long you have been
We invite you to look at one relationship where
you might be a little kinder and more
loving--especially as the holidays approach.
As always, we encourage you to see what happens
when you open yourself to giving more love.
We think you'll be amazed at what happens.
We hope these tips have been valuable to you and
(of course) we'll see you on the dance
Is It Thanksgiving
Everyday in Your Relationships?
This Thursday in the United States, we'll be
celebrating Thanksgiving, one day out of the year
set aside to give thanks. We get together with our
friends or families, have lots of food, and
celebrate all the things we are grateful for.
As we were thinking about Thanksgiving, we
couldn't help but wonder what kind of impact it
would have if everyone gave their appreciation and
thanks every day to the people in their lives.
We practice appreciating each other every day
and that's one of the ingredients that helps us to
create the loving, connected relationship that we
We take time every morning before we get out of
bed --even 15 minutes--to let each other know some
things we appreciate that day. It just takes a few
minutes and it certainly deepens our
We believe that in every relationship that we
have, it is our moment by moment actions that are
either helping to create relationships that are
close and connected and getting stronger or
creating relationships that are distant and getting
Sharing appreciation and giving thanks are
things you can do on an ongoing basis to ensure
that you continue to build your relationships and
make them stronger instead of allowing them to
This morning we told each other what we
appreciated about each other and we invite you to
do the same with your friends and loved ones.
Even if you are appreciating someone and the
other person does not reciprocate, genuine
appreciation will feed your soul.
If there's no one around to appreciate you, take
time to appreciate yourself. Very often we put
ourselves down and don't appreciate ourselves. We
often find it easier to pick at our supposed
"faults" than to acknowledge and appreciate our
So whether you are appreciating another or
appreciating yourself, we suggest that you be as
specific as possible when you are sharing
appreciation and giving thanks.
You may want to use the following phrases--"I
appreciated you when you ______________" and "I
appreciate you for _______________".
Try doing a "round-robin" of appreciation around
your Thanksgiving table this year. Take a few
moments and really connect with those you
Are You a 'Helmet
You are probably wondering "What's a helmet
As you continue reading this article, you're
going to learn about "helmet heads" and why your
level of relationship success and happiness depends
on you NOT being one.
So, if NOT being a "helmet head" is so
important, not just in our relationships but in our
lives, then you'll want to know our definition and
how you can recognize when you are being one.
Since discovering the "helmet head" term, we've
determined that we all become one at various times
in our lives and over various issues.
The trick is to become aware when you are being
one and then learn how to take the "helmet" off to
create the best possible relationships and life for
So, what's a "helmet head" anyway?
Can you remember a time when you tried to
explain something to someone and no matter how hard
you tried, they just didn't seem to be able to "get
it" or open to another idea.
Have you ever encountered someone who was so set
in their ways that they almost appeared to lack the
capacity to even understand that there was a new or
different way of doing something or being?
What about the person who knows what they should
do to make their relationships and life work at a
much higher level and they still don't do it.
A great example of this is a woman who we know
who is lactose intolerant and in a great deal of
pain after she drinks milk. No matter how many
times we suggest that she drink rice or soy milk,
she doesn't seem to "hear" our suggestion and
continues to act in a way that hurts her.
What we're calling a "helmet head" is being in
that frozen place where we can't see another
possibility and are closed to a new idea or
Many years ago, Eddie Murphy played in a movie
called "48 Hours" and in one of the scenes early in
the movie, Eddie covered both of his ears and
shouted repeatedly as loudly as he could...
"I'm not Listening, I'm not listening, I'm not
These are just a few examples of what it's like
to be a "helmet head" and we could go on and
on--but we think you get the idea and probably can
identify with a time that you have acted in this
The point is that when it comes to your
relationships and your life and what it takes to
create more love, passion and connection, there
really is no difference between the person who
cannot see and the person who chooses not to
It's quite a visual to imagine someone sitting
in a chair with a helmet on that's even more dense
than a motorcycle or football helmet. As long as
the person is wearing the helmet, they are closed
to new or different thoughts and ideas.
In other words, they are shut off to the
possibility that something more, deeper or better
really is possible if they would only open their
mind and their heart.
Most of the time, the person who is being a
"helmet head" is stuck, frozen or simply unaware
and doesn't even recognize what's going on within
their own heart, mind soul and in their life as a
whole that could be different if they were only
open to it.
Here are some suggestions for recognizing when
you are a "helmet head" and what to do about it
when you are (or someone you love is being
1. Begin to pay attention to what's happening in
your body and the stories you tell yourself when
you are talking to someone and you are triggered by
what they say.
When this happens to Susie she feels herself
pulling back and feels turmoil in her stomach. She
might even think thoughts that are the equivalent
to Eddie Murphy's "I'm not listening."
2. When these thoughts and feelings happen
within you, mentally bring yourself into the
present moment and encourage yourself to open to
the possibility that there might be another way of
looking at the situation. For example, there might
be another way to clean up after dinner than the
way your mother did it.
3. Replace "I'm not listening" thoughts with the
wonderful concept that Pema Chodron gave
us--"stay." Stay present and open to the other's
view- point and ideas. It doesn't mean we have to
accept them but there just might be something new
there for us if we really pay attention.
4. Admit when you are being a "helmet head,"
maybe laugh about it, ("Oh I'm doing it again!")
and do it differently the next time. None of us is
"perfect" and know that part of the growth process
in relationships is learning to be lighter with
ourselves and others, while trying out new ways to
5. If someone in your life is being a "helmet
head," it won't do any good to call them that
unless you have that agreement and can laugh about
it. In our own relationship, we've discovered that
when we "catch" each other doing it, it's usually
time to look at ourselves.
You can also ask the other person to listen
while you speak, in a loving way, and then speak
from your heart without accusations or putting the
Being a "helmet head" isn't a whole lot of fun
but we all continue to wear "helmets" at one time
We invite you to take those "helmets" off and
open to the possibility of more love and joy than
you ever thought possible in your life.
How Good Can You Stand
Why do we sabotage what we really want in our
relationships and lives?
That's a great question and one we've been
living with for the past week in our own lives and
we're sure that you've run across it too in your
There are many possible reasons why people
unconsciously sabotage something that's going well.
One of the main ways is having the belief that "I
don't deserve the happiness, the praise, the
passion, the good feelings, the money etc."
There seems to be an imaginary ceiling that
allows just so much happiness, success, passion,
money or anything else that we say we want in our
Many people are afraid that their relationships
won't last or they feel that he or she will leave
them anyway so somehow, either consciously or
unconsciously, they do something to push the other
We've seen this scenario a lot when there's
We allow fears--such as fear of abandonment
(either physically or emotionally), beliefs such as
"I'm not enough," "I don't deserve happiness" and
so on --to keep us from having the great
relationships and lives that are available to all
These fears are for the most part unconscious
and we might not even be aware of them.
While we are continually working on this within
our own relationship and lives, we'll offer you a
few suggestions that have helped us untangle
ourselves when we experience this.
1. The obvious thing would be to first identify
your beliefs and fears that are holding you back
from having the relationships and life that you
What is it that you believe, even on a deep
2. Once you've identified these beliefs and
fears, then we would invite you to explore whether
you are willing or not to allow them to keep you
from having the relationships and life that you
Are you willing to change those beliefs?
3. Make a commitment to allow yourself to feel
good and to have what you want.
A belief is like a habit and if you don't like
one that holds you back, you can change it--one
thought at a time.
4. Understand that chaos and disruption in your
life is normal and you should expect it when you
challenge old ways of being and take on a new
belief system--especially one that is
People may be used to you acting in a certain
way and they might be uneasy when you begin to
5. When or if your life feels overwhelming, take
a moment, breathe and center yourself. If you do,
you will find a calmness in your chaos and you'll
be able to move forward from joy and not fear.
As Les Brown, the famous motivational speaker,
said, "You can always better your best." We take
that to mean that you don't have to settle for what
you don't want in your life. You can have what you
In every relationship that you have (even the
one you have with yourself), we urge you to start
being as conscious as possible in all ways.
Consider whether your words and actions will build
the relationship and take it higher or weaken and
possibly destroy it.
Take some time to figure out if and how you
sabotage yourself from having the relationships and
life that you want. If you do, we think your life
will just get better!
Should You Share
One of our relationship coaching clients once asked
us something that really got us thinking about a
relationship question (several questions actually)
that a lot of people seem to wonder about these
The questions seem to follow a pattern that go
something like this...
If you're in a relationship with
How close is too close?
How open is too open?
Is there such a thing as "too much sharing or
revealing too much about yourself and your
What's amazing to us is that these questions are
NOT just coming from people who are just starting
out dating. They are coming from people (and
couples) who have been together for a while and
With this in mind, here's a great question for
you to think about...
Do you have to share everything in a committed
relationship or marriage--and if you don't, do you
lose intimacy, closeness and connection?
Sometimes in relationships the small things that
happen are not so trivial.
A great example of this is email.
Suppose one person thinks that email is private,
even from his/her partner, and would never "snoop"
in anyone's email. The other person believes that
there's something being hidden and constantly tries
to catch the partner's email box open to find out
what's going on.
Who's right and who's wrong? Is there a right or
Just because you are in a committed relationship
or marriage should your email (or everything else)
be an open book for your partner?
Here's our take on it...
Part of being a whole, healthy person is feeling
empowered to explore and express his/her own
uniqueness--and to have private space, if needed,
to do that.
Even in the closest relationships, there needs
to be the opportunity for private space. In our
opinion, it all boils down to agreements and how
you want your relationships and your life to
We think it's fine for people in committed
relationships to be private about their email
activity, their mail or anything else--if that's
the open agreement between the two of them.
What we've discovered is that it usually isn't
OK to be this private (for at least one person)and
When there's this type of problem, there's
usually one person who wants more than the other
person is willing to open to or share. One person
is hungry to get closer and find out more and the
other is more comfortable keeping a partner at
Does that mean that you have to share everything
to have deep intimacy?
However, If this is an issue in your
relationship or any relationship, it just means
that it's time to take a look at it.
In our relationship, we have no issues around
email privacy. Our lives are open books to each
other. But what Susie has seen is that she is
sometimes unable to share, in the moment, strong
emotions that are inside her.
She sometimes "jumps" over emotions like anger,
sadness or grief in favor of showing more
"positive" emotions and it comes off like
Since we have the agreement that we will be
transparent to each other, Susie knows that sooner
or later, she needs to discover and show what's
truly going on inside her.
If she doesn't, it interferes with the level of
connection and intimacy that we both want for our
Again, it's all about agreements and it's also a
process of opening to ourselves and to each
Here are some ideas to help if sharing
"everything" is a concern in your life...
1. Trust is something that is earned. Start
small if there have been trust issues in your life,
either current of past, and be honest with your
partner about it.
2. Be willing to say what you want. If you don't
want your partner in your email box, then say it
lovingly and your reasons for wanting privacy. If
you want more than what your partner is willing to
share, then say it and your reasons.
3. Explore how you both want your relationship
to be. Listen with open hearts as you each speak.
If you can't come to an agreement about something
like the email issue, find other ways to feel
connected and open to each other.
One of the big reason we are in relationship, in
our opinion, is to learn how to love more and to be
a better person. You have to start where you
currently are and continually ask yourself, "What
do I want now?" and "What will bring me joy
When you do and are honest about it, then your
life and relationships will show it!
The Missing Link To Creating More Intimacy
and Connection In Relationships
We're getting ready to release our dvd on
increasing intimacy in relationships and we made an
interesting discovery along the way.
It seems that when it comes to increasing
intimacy and connection in their relationships,
many people unknowingly leave out one of the
We'll explain what we mean...
The other day, we were searching Amazon.com for
other videos on the subject of intimacy and the
only ones we could find were the "how to in the
While we think the "how to" is important, we
absolutely know that the juiciness, intimacy, life
and connection in a relationship happens long
before you get to the bedroom.
To explain what we're talking about., we'll give
you an example of one of our recent intimate
We love to play music as we start our work day.
A couple of days ago, Otto chose to play a Ray
Charles album and when one particular song came on,
Susie got the beautiful picture in her mind of her
parents, who have both passed, dancing as they had
many years ago.
As Susie imagined this scene, she had tears of
appreciation and love for them. Otto knew that she
was feeling deep emotion about her parents and just
made eye contact with her, appreciating,
understanding and loving her.
No words were needed between the two of us. We
just enjoyed that intimate moment of revealing who
we are to each other.
You might say that this is all well and good
that we feel this intimacy but how about you and
We say that anyone can open to intimacy with
If that's the case, how do you start?
Here are some of our ideas...
1. Create agreements that will help you to feel
safe opening to intimacy. One of our agreements is
that we won't "make fun" of each other--that we
will listen with an open heart. We also agree that
we will not "control" or "fix" each other.
In our example, Susie felt free to allow the
tears to flow in front of Otto instead of holding
them back. Otto felt free to just "be" with Susie
instead of trying to "fix" the reason for her
2. Become aware of the habits that keep you from
intimacy. For instance, one of the worst enemies of
intimacy is the habit of fixing or controlling,
even if it's done out of "love."
if you're in the habit of controlling or fixing
(and a lot of us are), you have to find ways to
unravel your particular way of doing it.
You may want to agree to let each other know
when "fixing" or controlling rears its ugly head.
You may practice bringing yourself into this
3. Create ways to build trust between the two of
you. You know your situation. Ask yourself, "What
would have to happen to build more trust between
the two of us?"
"What would I have to do and what would the
other person have to do to feel closer?"
Would you need to "soften" and open, letting go
of fears that you've brought from other
Would you have to let go of being right?
Would you need to ask with an open loving heart
about a partner's reaction--and then be open to
hearing what's truly there.
Intimacy is so much more than bedroom
techniques. It's the very fabric of the way we live
our lives in every moment.
How are you choosing to live yours?
Choosing The Best Gifts
For The One You Love
Who would have thought that gift-giving might be a
stumbling block for couples who want to create more
passion, intimacy and connection in their
relationship--but it certainly can be!
Because of this and the fact that the holiday
season is almost upon us here in the US when we
typically give gifts to the people closest to us,
we wanted to share some insights about gift-giving
and how to give gifts that increase connection in
When the two of us were first together,
gift-giving was a topic that we got straight
between us right off the bat.
We decided that we would not buy each other
presents but would rather create "celebrations"
that were delicious for both of us.
Does this work for every couple?
Of course not--but the point is to be very clear
about each of your expectations and even fears that
come up around the gift-giving topic.
The other day we received a great question from
a woman who asked for some gift ideas for her
husband for their second wedding anniversary. She
told us that she's been "racking" her brain for
ideas and would like to follow the "theme" of the
traditional second wedding anniversary gift which
She also said that they have a baby and she has
limited time and not much money.
We're sure that others live with this type of
gift-giving question so here's what we
1. Even though you may want to stay with
"tradition," focus on connecting with your partner
and your love as you think about your celebration.
We couldn't find where or when this traditional
anniversary list originated but we're sure that a
heartfelt gift to show your love trumps what
someone else might suggest every time.
2. Sit down together and talk about how you both
want your gift-giving to each other to be. Years
ago, a woman Otto worked with was so disappointed
that her husband sent flowers to their home instead
of to her office to celebrate their
Don't assume that he or she "should" know what
you want or what your partner wants. Have an
honest, loving, fun conversation about how you want
your celebrations to go.
3. If your wishes are vastly different, you may
want to take turns in planning events, with each of
you being open to enjoying what the other
4. You can make it a special no-cost celebration
if that's what both of you agree to having. Even
after many years of marriage, the two of us still
do not exchange gifts.
We would rather create private "love"
celebrations that we share together in our home,
sometimes with music, chocolate and the
deliciousness of being together in a beautiful
However the two of you decide to celebrate
together, let it come from the essence of your love
and your union.
Let love and connection lead the way to creating
more happiness in your life.
Ask yourself and your partner, "What is my
intention for giving this gift?"
When you do, more often than not, the gift you
give will lead to a heart opening experience for
both of you instead of something you feel you
"should" do because it's expected.
What To Do When A Strong
Issue Becomes Divisive?
This week's article is about a controversial
topic--so brace yourself.
It is a deeper answer to an email we received
recently from a woman who was struggling to make
the "right" decision about something her husband
wanted her to do that she didn't want to do.
Please know that we are not approving of what
her husband wanted her to do or making him right in
our answer. We are simply using this polarizing
issue to illustrate something very important in
creating closer and more loving relationships.
A few days ago we received a question from a
woman that reminded us of a big chance at "fame"
that we passed up a year or so ago when we were
asked to be on a TV show called "Wife Swap."
If you're not familiar with the show, "Wife
Swap" is an unscripted reality TV show that airs
weekly on the ABC Television Network where each
week from across the country, two families with
very different values are chosen to take part in a
two-week long challenge. The wives from these two
families exchange husbands, children and lives (but
not bedrooms) to discover just what it's like to
live another woman's life.
As you can imagine, it didn't take us long to
decline their offer because it simply isn't in
alignment with what we are all about or want for
our lives and our relationship.
Which brings us back to this woman's
She wrote that her husband says that he still
loves her but wants to do "wife swapping." She
doesn't want to and is feeling a great deal of
pressure from him to do it. He told her that she
has "issues" about the topic that he doesn't.
She said that she feels that she's not
Her question to us--which is one that we receive
every day from people about all sorts of topics--is
"Am I right to feel the way I do?"
Whether the relationship challenge is about wife
swapping, jealousy over someone at work, helping
with child care, housework, or any other conflict,
the nagging question that many people have is the
one this woman had. It just manifests itself in
different forms for different people and with
So with that in mind, we'll answer her question
"Am I right to feel the way I do?" in this
In our opinion, one of the biggest relationship
questions we should all be asking ourselves (and
our partner) all the time is-- "Will this (whatever
the "this" is AND it could be anything) move us
closer together or move us further apart?
We've found that what everyone really wants in
relationship is connection. You can call it many
names and it can manifest in different ways but we
all crave connection.
That being said, in our relationship the two of
us are always looking at how we are together and
what requests we make of each other through the
filter of this question...
"Will this make our relationship stronger or
will it move us further apart."
Since our love and connection is the most
important thing in the world to us, then we only
want to do things that bring us closer
In this woman's situation, it's not really about
her "issues" about wife swapping that keep her from
wanting to participate. In our opinion, it's really
about what's good for the growth of their
relationship. It's about whether he's feeling into
her and seeing whether what he's suggesting will
serve her and their relationship or not.
Just for the purpose of this moment... set aside
any personal, religious or social judgments you
might have about whether this situation is right or
wrong and consider this...
If the husband wants to do wife swapping and she
doesn't, it's pretty clear that it won't serve
If he still insists on doing it after talking
with her and finding out "she's not interested," it
is more for his own gratification, pleasure and
desire for the next big adventure than it is about
what will bring the two of them closer
In situations like these where there's a big
emotional charge and one person is made to feel
"less than" because he or she won't go along with
the other one's desires or ideas, here are a few of
1. Both people need to pay attention to and not
dismiss their feelings, attitudes, values and
desires. Does that mean that you can't expand or
change? Certainly not, but it does mean that if
something feels "right" or "wrong" to you, you need
to pay attention.
2. Listen to each other with an open heart. Find
out why you each feel the way you do. In this
woman's case, find out what it is about doing the
swapping that appeals to her husband. What is it
about this that appeals and excites him? Approach
this from a place of genuine curiosity and then see
what he shares with you.
Is this easy? Of course not. But if you want to
keep a relationship together or at least give it a
chance when challenges like this happen, this is a
3. If the answer is something like he's only
trying to add some new excitement because he's
bored (or some similar reason), you have an
opportunity to openly and honestly talk about how
you can bring more excitement into the relationship
without doing something that will weaken or destroy
the relationship, your connection and go against
4. If the he/she insists on doing whatever is
the challenge and it feels detrimental to the
health of the relationship, the other partner needs
to practice setting and keeping boundaries.
As for feeling that you are not enough...
If this is your challenge, make the decision to
act like you are enough.
Not feeling like you are enough is just one or
more of those old (or current) programs that you
continue replaying in your head. Make a different
program that says you are enough.
One thing you can count on is this-- when you
believe and act like you are enough, that's the way
other people will treat you.
These kinds of challenges can wake up a marriage
or relationship--or can separate the people in
How you move through them and how open you are
to yourself and to each other determines the future
health and vitality of the relationship.
Making Peak Relationship
Moments the Norm
Here's a quick question for you...
Have you ever done or created any thing any time
or any where in your life that you would consider a
If we think about it for a moment almost all of
us can come up with something that has happened in
our lives that we consider a "Peak experience" but
here's what's interesting in thinking about peak
Most of us have the belief that peak experiences
happen rarely, if at all, in our lives and our
relationships. We often resort to living
vicariously by reading romance novels, watching
sports events or "Grey's Anatomy" on television to
get a similar "charge" from a peak moment.
While we certainly don't think doing any of
those things is bad, we think that everyone can
(and does) create peak experiences in their own
lives more of the time. In our opinion, the goal is
to take these "peak experiences" and make them the
"norm" and repeatable.
It isn't and here's why...
The two of us attended a wonderful couples
workshop this past weekend given by Sabine
Grandke-Taft and we would be safe to say that every
couple there, including us, experienced what we
would all call peak relationship experiences.
For many couples after experiencing those peak
moments, the question becomes this...
"How do we bring more of that into our
Whether you are currently single or in an
intimate relationship, we're sure that you've
experienced what you might consider a peak
relationship moment or moments sometime in your
life and you've wondered the same thing.
Maybe it was a honeymoon or anniversary
get-away, a walk in the rain with your beloved, a
delicious dinner out, or a particular steamy
bedroom experience. It might even have been a
moment when the two of you looked at each other in
a certain way.
Whatever it was, it was very pleasing, exciting
and you felt close and connected with your partner
or even with someone else.
So how do you recapture the magic of the peak
experience and keep it going?
Here are a few suggestions and what we do on a
regular basis to keep our peak moments going...
1. Ask yourself and your partner--"What does a
peak relationship experience mean to me?" It might
be different for each of you but if you look
underneath, you both may want the same things. For
us, our peak moments are when we feel close and
connected, whether it's in or out of our bedroom.
It's moments when we are truly open and loving with
2. When you find out what you both want more of,
look at how you created it once. While it's
probably not practical to go off to a cabin in the
woods without the kids every weekend, it is
possible to take 30 minutes and do something
together to show how special you each are to one
another. Take 30 minutes, find ways to relax with
one another (without the television) and show your
love for each other with words or touch.
3. Begin looking for ways to please one another
and to create good feelings between the two of you.
Begin changing your belief that maybe it is
possible to have more of what you want--more
openness, more love, more kindness-- more of
We've carried our peak experiences of the
weekend home with us. Yesterday, we both had
unusual physical aches and pains for some reason or
another and it would have been very easy for us to
do and say things that would separate us.
But we didn't.
We stayed open to each other and stayed
Will we always be loving toward each other?
Of course not.
But what we are committed to doing is making our
peak experiences more the norm for our
When we are having a peak experience, we are
always looking for ways to integrate it into our
lives and claim this as a higher standard for our
relationship. This is one of the big reasons why we
have the incredible relationship that we
do--because we are always trying how to repeat the
peak experiences in our life.
Our loving advice to you is to start where you
are and take one step toward what you want.
Then when you experience anything that is
better, more fun, more exciting or more joyful, we
encourage you to look at how you can do what we do
and make it "normal and natural" and also a part of
your daily or moment-to- moment experience.
You'll be glad you did.
If you've been reading our articles lately, we've
been talking a lot about "stories"--the ones we
tell ourselves that hold us back from connecting
with others and creating great relationships.
This idea that the "stories" we consciously or
unconsciously create and live by is one of the
major keys to the success, (or unsuccess) happiness
and fulfillment in both our relationships and our
We talk about examining the stories we tell
ourselves so much because this idea has helped us
create better relationships in our lives, as well
as the lives of so many others.
Recently, a friend of ours told us about a
"story" that she had been telling herself about her
dog that we thought was a very wise relationship
and life lesson. We got her permission to tell her
story and we wanted to pass it on to you.
So, here goes...
Our friend Angela has a 10 year-old mixed breed
dog (Lab, Great Dane, shepherd) and they love each
other very much. For the past few months, Sophie
(the dog) hasn't been eating, has been very weak,
lethargic and her kidneys seemed to be failing so
Angela was wondering if Sophie was going to die
In fact, Angela found herself thinking and
talking about Sophie's death a lot of the
time--even though Sophie was still alive. She was
also beginning to feel that Sophie was withdrawing
Angela's "story" about Sophie was that she would
die soon and Angela's loss would be and was already
almost too much to bear.
A couple of weekends ago, Angela "dog-sat" for
Sophie's friend Mulligan who is quite a bit younger
than Sophie. During the weekend, Angela was
surprised to see that Sophie ran and played with
Mulligan and seemed to have a lot of pep and
That weekend Angela realized what she had been
doing. She had been telling the "story" that Sophie
was going to die soon and leave her alone--and
Sophie complied by acting old, sick and ready to
Angela realized that if she changed her "story"
about Sophie to enjoying every minute she had with
her and enjoying her "life" instead of focusing on
her death, both of them would feel better.
Does that mean Sophie will live forever?
Of course not but it does mean that whatever
time they have together will be richer and happier
with Angela's new story.
What a great lesson for all of us!
If we all focused on what we wanted and liked
about other people in our lives, how much better
all of us would feel and how much happier we would
So a few questions to ask ourselves are
In what areas of my life and in what
relationships do I need to begin focusing on what I
want rather than on what I don't want?
What "stories" am I telling myself that actually
keep me from having what I want and may be damaging
Am I putting up roadblocks to the relationship I
really want by saying or thinking that "when they
do this (fill-in-the-blank) then I'll open myself
to them more of the time?"
In other words, are you taking an "if, then
attitude" that says "if then or If only something
outside of me happens, then I'll be happier, more
open or more something."
We all constantly make up "stories" about
ourselves, other people, and our relationships.
Some "stories" end up keeping us separate from
those we love and actually harm our relationships.
We even make up stories about how much healing
we've done or not done or what issues in our lives
still need some examining.
We invite you this week to answer our questions
and begin focusing on your life the way you want it
to be rather than what you don't want.
Keeping Your Wheels on the
Road To Love
Listen as we share how this story relates to you
and how it can help you make your relationships
Imagine for a moment this scenario from last
Some of our family members were here to visit
and to see our new house that we just moved into
and as is typical when family and friends get
together, the stories started flying.
In fact, one person told a story that happened
when he was 9 years old that was amazing.
He told us that his mom drove by herself with
four small children (he and his siblings) from the
east coast of the USA to one of the western states
that was well over 2000 miles away .
During this trip, because his mom was the only
one old enough to drive, she kept falling asleep at
the wheel, actually ending up in the weeds a few
Thankfully, they arrived safely at their home
and it certainly made for a great story but here's
what this has to do with you and your
After everyone left, the two of us began to
think about what a challenge it is to consistently
keep your (and our) "relationship wheels" on the
road and not run our relationship into the weeds,
where we don't want to be.
To carry this car analogy a little further--
If the goal or intention in life is fun, joy,
connection, growth and happiness, then it might be
helpful to think of our relationships as important
vehicles that can carry us along that road.
If the road is the path to happiness and our
relationships are like our cars and trucks--and are
vehicles for taking us on that road to happiness,
joy and connection--then it might be important
every once in a while to take a look at the
following question concerning our relationships and
What keeps us on the "road" to what we want or
where we want to go in our relationships and lives
and what takes us off?
Here are some things that take us off...
1. We go to sleep (as our guest's mom did). We
get caught up in our lives and we forget what's
really important to us--or maybe we just get
2. We are afraid. A friend of ours is afraid to
drive on the freeways in our city because at one
time in her life, she caused a 7-car pile-up. She
uses the back roads to get wherever she's going,
even though it takes her a lot longer. She allows
fear of the past and the memory of past experiences
to hold her back--just as we all do when it comes
to our relationships. We don't go for what we want
because we're afraid.
3. We put off looking at and fixing what's not
working. Have you ever known that you needed to
take your car to a mechanic because something was
wrong with it and you just kept putting off the
Susie did that with a previous car when she had
issues with her brakes. The damage that happened
because she neglected addressing the problem ended
up costing her quite a bit more in repairs.
We talk with people every day who have "put off"
addressing problems in their relationships and
sometimes, it's too late for that relationship.
Okay, so what keeps us ON the relationship road
that can give us peace, love, joy, happiness and
1. Focusing your energy on how your partner or
loved one does show up for you. You've heard it
before but if you're like us, we need to hear it
again--focus on what you want more of.
2. Spend time together talking and laughing.
This morning, we spent extra time together hugging
and talking before we started our day. We're each
taking separate trips and won't see each other for
several days so even though we are usually together
24/7, we wanted to spend some extra, quality
moments together before we left.
This time of laughing, talking and loving is
part of the "cement" that makes our life and
relationship so good--and we highly recommend
3. Honor each other's gifts and who he/she truly
is. We all want to be loved for who we truly are
and there is no better gift to give someone than to
acknowledge what that gift means in your life. Take
the time to ask yourself how this other person
enriches your life.
This morning, we told each other how our lives
are happier, better and richer because we are
This isn't unusual for us but surprisingly it is
for many people.
We invite you to do the same with the important
people in your life. Be sure you tell them how
important they are to you and how much of a
difference they make in your life.
It's not enough to love and appreciate the
people in your life, you have to tell them and show
What To Do When Desire
Leaves or Fades Away
What do you do if you no longer desire your partner
or your desire seems to have faded?
That question is similar to one that a woman
asked us recently and not only were we intrigued by
her question but her situation seemed similar to
the challenges that many people face in their
Because of this, we decided to share our answer
to this question with all of you.
First of all, when it comes to the question like
"what do you do if you no longer desire your
partner or your desire seems to have faded?" one
thing is for sure... this is the kind of question
that no one likes to admit, let alone deal
This is especially true if you have been with
your partner for many years, truly love him or her
and have no intention of leaving your
What we have discovered is that when physical
intimacy is lacking or non-existent in a marriage
or long-lasting relationship, there can be a lot of
unspoken thoughts, feelings and beliefs that build
walls instead of create connection.
The relationship usually limps along and one or
both people find that they have a desire for
something more somewhere inside themselves.
So what's going on when there's love between two
people but the desire just isn't there any longer?
How does this happen?
Even if you are in a great, close, connected
relationship, there are times when desire seems to
fade a little so it's a good question for any
couple to ask.
Of course there's not one simple answer to this
question but here are a few ideas...
--The two people were once "in sync" with one
another but they now have different interests,
desires, goals for their lives and/or for their
--They have allowed the busyness of
life--raising kids, career challenges, other
responsibilities--to pull them apart and they
haven't made their relationship a priority or time
--The two people take each other and their love
--Although the two people say they love each
other, one person may have lost respect for the
--There may be trust issues between them and
they may be holding on to old hurts that have not
--There may be physical or mental illness.
The list could go on and on but you get the
Here are a few things we recommend if you are
experiencing a disconnection of this kind and you
don't want to end your relationship but want to
rekindle the love and desire that used to be
1. First, look within yourself for the reasons
that you have been unwilling until now to look at
or talk about that are keeping you from connecting
in all ways with your partner. If you're stuck,
re-read our above list.
2. If you have felt desire in the past for your
partner, ask yourself what was going on when you
did have this type of connection. How were you
treating each other then that is different from how
you are interacting with one another now?
What thoughts, feelings and beliefs did you have
about your partner and about your relationship when
you did desire each other? Decide if these
thoughts, feelings and beliefs are ones that you
can and want to emphasize more or if you need to
adopt different ones that fit who you both are
Remember what Henry David Thoreau said about
change... "Things do not change; we change." If
this is true, then we are in control of what is
changing and we can make a difference in what
happens in our relationships.
3. What kind of "stories" are you telling
yourself about what's going on and why you haven't
truly addressed this problem before now. Remember,
your thoughts and "stories" are completely your
perception and may have nothing to do with your
partner's perception of what is real for him or
4. Are you withholding something that needs to
be said for fear of "hurting the other's
In our experience, withholding thoughts and
feelings that are persistently present builds walls
and desire has no chance to grow. Even if what you
might reveal hurts the other person, you can say it
with love and with the intention of wanting your
relationship to be better, closer and more
5. Be willing to risk jumping out our your
habitual ways of doing things and trying something
new. It might be reading material together that
will give you some new ideas about how to rev up
your desire. It might be looking at your beloved
with "new" eyes. It might be being honest. It might
mean working with a coach or therapist to help you
work through your challenges.
Whatever risk is called for, if you don't have
the passion and intimacy that you want, you are
faced with the choice of either risking doing
something differently or living your life with less
love and passion than you want.
Each of us has a choice in every moment how we
are going to live our lives.
That choice that comes from fear is what keeps
you from truly experiencing life and love as deeply
Our hope is that you choose love more of the
Relationship and Life
Transitions: Skills For Moving With Them With Grace
It's been said that there are only two things in
life that are certain and those are death and
To that short list, we would definitely add
"change" and along with changes there are always
"transitions" that we must navigate through as
It's how we handle these "changes" and
"transitions" in our relationships and lives that
are partially responsible for our degree of
happiness we feel in life.
So, why is this so important and how do we do
this with as much skill and grace as possible?
If you've been reading our newsletter the past
few weeks, you know that we've been going through a
huge transition of our own--moving from the small
Ohio town where we lived for many years to a house
in a much larger city, Columbus, Ohio.
We know we are not alone and we're willing to
bet that small or large, you are probably going
through some transition of your own right now.
We get calls and emails all the time from people
who want to work with us and have us be their
"coach" to help them work through relationship and
In fact, some of you reading this are going
through big relationship challenges that are
causing you to consider the question of whether to
"stay or go" in your relationship.
Others reading this may be going through
separations from the people they love through death
or other means, dealing with new jobs, new
marriages, new homes, the challenges of dealing
with parents who can no longer care for themselves,
young children going off to school or older
children leaving home for the first time for
college. The list goes on and on of changes and
transitions you may be dealing with right now.
All transitions usually come with a variety of
emotions. Even new marriages are filled with ups
and downs--from the joy and happiness of being with
your loved one to the anxiety of living with a new
person and getting used to new ways of doing
Whatever the transition--and we all go through
them--the question becomes this...
How do you go through transitions with as much
peace, love and even joy as possible?
Here are some ways we've discovered to move
through transitions with grace and love for
yourself and for others...
1. Recognize what you are feeling and know that
it will pass.
We've heard it said that your emotions are like
clouds passing by and they will eventually change
and move on.
When you are in the middle of a transition, you
might think that you'll be stuck forever in
sadness, grief, anxiety, ungroundedness or even
This doesn't have to happen if you allow
yourself to acknowledge what you are feeling and
tell yourself that this is what you are feeling now
but that it can change.
Know that underneath the grief, anger or
whatever else you are feeling is a place of love.
Find that place of love inside yourself--love for
beauty of nature, love for an animal, love for
another human being. Find a thought that feels
better, even if it isn't "love." Just find some
relief in another thought.
That relief is there if you just look for
2. Be patient with yourself and take the next
If you're in the middle of a transition, you may
not be ready to hear that this change will actually
help you to become a better, happier person--if you
choose to look at it that way.
The trick is to move through your emotions,
being patient with yourself, with the knowing that
this transition is for your higher good.
No one can tell you when it's right to "move on"
with your life after a transition. For Susie, the
process of letting go of her old house and of
living in the town where she had been living for
almost 40 years took more than 9 months.
For Otto, his letting go process was much
The idea is to feel what you are feeling, while
allowing what may be your next step to show itself.
If a step seems too big or overwhelming, back up
and take a smaller step. Don't be critical of your
process or another's.
Sometimes, all Susie could do was to sort
through one small area in their previous home. That
was her next step.
You be the judge of what your next step is.
3. Keep your "eyes on the prize" (where you want
to go, do or be).
We played Bruce Springsteen's version of "Eyes
on the Prize" from his "Live in Dublin" album over
and over as we were making our way through our
recent moving process.
Each time, as we listened, we felt encouraged,
uplifted and able to take another step forward
toward our goal.
We suggest that you find some music, art, book,
a meditation process, or type of exercise to keep
you going when you start to feel discouraged and
want to give up. Make it positive--something that
uplifts you-- instead of bringing you down or
keeping you stuck in the past.
Last year, as Susie's mother was in the process
of passing, we played music that reminded us of how
joyful her life had been. Sure we cried, but we
also rejoiced in the beauty of who she was and it
helped us to take that next step toward healing the
hurt of her passing.
4. Finally, when you are faced with changes and
are going though a "transition," we suggest that
you make yourself as conscious as possible about
your "story" about what you are faced with or going
At every step of the way in our lives, we all
tell ourselves "stories" as a way of making sense
of what's going on in our life.
When you are going through any transition, make
sure the "story" you are telling yourself is a
powerful one that will lead you toward more of what
you want instead of it being a disempowering one
that takes you away from what you want.
If your current "story" for your situation and
life isn't working for you, you can always change
it and create a new story that does work for
Finally, there are many other things that you
can do when going through life and relationship
transitions like gather a support system around
you--but we think you probably get the idea.
Transitions aren't always fun to go through
(although they can be) and we are inviting you to
go through whatever is happening in your life right
now with a lot of love in your heart.
The Lies We Tell Ourselves
In Every Moment
Could it be possible that we all unconsciously tell
ourselves lies in almost every moment that keep us
from having the love, relationships and the life
that we really want?
Consider just for a moment that this could be
true and then consider this next question...
What limiting lies do you tell yourself and what
problems do they create in your life and
If you're like most people, your quick "flinch
reaction" to the question we just asked you is "I
don't tell myself any lies, I'm honest with myself
and everyone else."
Or your answer might have been, "I know other
people that lie to themselves all the time but not
We've been wondering about this question quite a
bit over the past few days since we've been
listening to Steve Chandler's audio program "17
Lies That Are Holding You Back and The Truth That
Will Set You Free."
What we have discovered is that yes...we, you
and everyone else do indeed tell ourselves more
lies than we can even imagine and these "lies" that
limit us and keep us from having the courage to
create what we really want.
If we're all consistently telling all these lies
to ourselves, what are some of the common ones?
Here are a few...
- I'm too old
- I can't have what I want
- I can't afford to do/have that
- He/she will never change
- Great passion is just for newlyweds
- There's no way that can happen
- My life/relationship will never be
- If I'm committed to my children, I can't
have a passionate, close, connected
- I'm not rich enough, smart enough, thin
The list can go on and on but you get the
Since we love to tell stories from our own lives
to explain our ideas, here's a good one about some
limiting lies we've been telling ourselves
As you probably know, we've just recently moved
to another town and our habitual ways of doing
things have certainly been turned upside down.
In all of this chaos, we've noticed that we
haven't always been as kind with each other as we
normally are. In fact, at times, we've made up a
lot of lies that we've told ourselves about what's
going on between the two of us.
Here's a really simple thing that happened the
other day that disconnected us from one
Susie and a friend had unpacked about 30 or more
boxes of books (we have a huge library) and placed
them in four general categories on the new shelves
that we had purchased.
It took several hours for the two of them to do
this and Susie was proud that the boxes were up off
the floor, unpacked and the cardboard had been
When Otto got home, he was distracted by a lot
of things and Susie felt that she didn't receive
"enough" appreciation from him. She told herself
the lie that he didn't appreciate her efforts.
A couple of days later, Otto looked at the books
on the shelves and sighed to himself that they
needed to be arranged in better order.
You can guess that Susie didn't take too kindly
to Otto's innocent remark about the work that had
to be done. She told him that she wanted more
appreciation for the work that had been done from
Otto then was triggered and he came back with
the comment that he didn't feel appreciated either
for all of the things that he had done for our move
While all of this sounds pretty petty, keep in
mind that we've been very tired and not at our
But that's exactly when we are challenged to
clean up the limiting lies that we tell
So the lies that we were each telling ourselves
had to do with not feeling appreciated by the other
and that translated into not feeling loved.
When we were finally in a place where we could
open to each other, we decided that this idea was
certainly a lie that we would not believe.
We then decided that we would deal with any
future misunderstanding or disagreement between us
by only addressing what's happening in this
moment--what each of us is feeling about the
situation that's coming up and our motivations
behind our words and actions.
We would not allow the limiting lies to
Sounds pretty basic, doesn't it?
We've discovered that when we are under a lot of
stress, like anyone else, we're not at our best and
it's a great opportunity to go back to basics and
uncover the lies that we are telling ourselves.
So, we go back to our first question...
What lies are you telling yourself and what are
you willing to do to stop telling yourself those
In our little drama that we told you about that
came up this week, we were willing to talk things
out, get to the bottom of what was really going on
and open to each other. We were not willing to stay
stuck in the lies.
How about you?
What about the times you say things like... "you
always" and "you never."
The times you tell yourself "what's the use,
nothing is going to change."
The times you tell yourself that "you just can't
have what you want."
Or Worse yet...
The times you tell yourself any lie about your
limitations in your relationships or any area of
There's a famous quote by the writer, Richard
Bach that we just love and it simply says...
"Argue for your limitations and sure enough
We urge you to "stop arguing for your
limitations." When you do, you'll open up to a
whole new set of possibilities (the ones that have
been there all along.)
When challenges come up for you in your
Even if the other person chooses to stay stuck,
you can always change what you are telling
yourself. This will help you to open more quickly
and resolve whatever is going on much more quickly
than if you don't change or shift from what you are
We invite you to try this out in your life this
Just try to be more conscious of the things you
say to yourself both consciously and
We bet you'll be amazed how often you tell
yourself you can't do or have something that you
really can in your relationships and life.
Could This Be The Worst
Relationship Advice Ever?
What's the worst relationship advice we've ever
In between moving trips last weekend... we read
some relationship articles on-line last week that
may have qualified for the worst ever title.
What's interesting is that we read similar
advice from two different articles and two
different sources. We were amazed!
What these articles were suggesting that got us
so upset was that jealousy is actually GOOD for a
In one of these articles, the author actually
suggested that women and men should do things on a
regular basis to provoke jealousy in their
We're not sure of this author's motivation for
suggesting this but if their intention was to help
one or both of the partners to spice up their love
life or relationship, this certainly isn't a
healthy way to go about doing it.
Passion, connection, great communication,
honesty, integrity, appreciation and love are all
ways to help you create a great relationship and to
re-vitalize one that's gone a little stale.
You do not see jealousy on our list and here's
Jealousy is based on real or imagined fears of
one kind or another. In our opinion, you never want
to do something to intentionally make your partner
jealous simply as a motivational trick to create
more intimacy. It will just backfire if you do,
creating separation, distrust and distance.
There are a couple of ways that people in these
articles said they use jealousy to spice up their
1. Using jealousy to show that they love and
care for their partner. One women told us that
expressing her jealousy to her boyfriend was good
(in small doses) because he felt cared for and
loved when she did.
The trouble with her approach is that love is
tied with the negative feelings of jealousy--and
when you use this approach you have to constantly
feed it more and more of the same.
Imagine how much clearer her expression of love
would be if she simply showed her love for him
without using jealousy as a crutch to "puff" him up
and make him feel desirable.
2. In the attempt to ignite some passion and
build desire in a relationship, playfully flirting
with a partner's friend while the partner looks
Flirting to get a partner's attention can only
create mistrust and separation in the long- or
In a relationship, you want to continuously
build trust instead of tearing it down by inducing
In our opinion, there are many ways to create
passion, excitement and spark in a relationship,
regardless of how long you've been together,
without making the person jealous.
Here are ways to build passion, love and
connection that don't involve using jealousy as a
1. Decide to build passion, love and connection
in your relationship. If you've been using any of
the destructive ways that we described in this
article to create more passion in your relationship
and they haven't really brought you closer, decide
to make some changes.
Decide to make some changes in your behavior or
in what you are no longer willing to accept in your
relationship. Decide to find out what you want in
your relationship and then ask for it.
2. Express sincere appreciation. Begin showing
your appreciation for your partner by noticing what
your partner is doing "right. Begin noticing how
your partner is showing you love in small ways and
express your appreciation for that love.
3. Ask your partner how he or she wants to be
loved and listen without getting defensive or with
an agenda. If you listen with an open heart, you
might learn some things about your partner that you
4. Show your affection in ways that you both
want. For us, it's teasing and touching throughout
the day but for the two of you, it might be leaving
love notes or text messaging your love. Explore
what expressing affection means to both of you.
Jealousy is not something that should be taken
If left unchecked, it can (and very often does)
do irrevocable damage to otherwise potentially good
©2007 by Susie
& Otto Collins
and Otto Collins are spiritual and life partners
who are committed to helping others create
outstanding relationships of all kinds. They
regularly write, speak and conduct workshops and
seminars on love, relationships and personal and
spiritual growth to audiences all across the USA.
They are the creators of the "Relationship Toolkit"
which has helped people in over a dozen countries
improve their relationships. It includes a video
Partnerships plus two
and Relationship Success
Relationship Quotes Worth a Million
Dollars! You can also
read more articles like these and subscribe to
their weekly newsletter on love and relationships
by visiting their web site at www.collinspartners.com
new E-book Should You Stay or Should You Go?
has just been released and is now available
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