Susie & Otto
Archive
2007

 

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 this...

"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.

Athletes.

Not just athletes-- but world class athletes who seem to always win over and over.

They have discovered that renewal drives performance.

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 counts.

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 don't.

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 time.

"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 your relationships.

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 relationships.

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 relationships.

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 night's finale.

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.

WOW.

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 better.

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 television?

What's interesting is what this says about us.

For the most part, no matter where we're from, we're addicted to "drama," even in our personal lives.

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 end.

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 a success.

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 spots.

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 too.

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 happen.

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 clips.

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 together.

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 floor!

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 have.

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 connection.

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 weaker.

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 atrophy.

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 greatness.

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 love.

Are You a 'Helmet Head'?


You are probably wondering "What's a helmet head"?

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 yourself!

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 solution.

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 listening."

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 way.

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 see.

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 one)...

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 love more.

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 other down.

Being a "helmet head" isn't a whole lot of fun but we all continue to wear "helmets" at one time or another.

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 It?


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 own life.

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 lives.

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 person away.

We've seen this scenario a lot when there's jealousy.

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 of us.

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 want.

What is it that you believe, even on a deep subconscious level?

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 want.

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 empowering.

People may be used to you acting in a certain way and they might be uneasy when you begin to change.

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 want.

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 EVERYTHING?


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 days.

The questions seem to follow a pattern that go something like this...

If you're in a relationship with someone... 

How close is too close?

How open is too open?

and 

Is there such a thing as "too much sharing or revealing too much about yourself and your life?" 

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 even married.

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 wrong?

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 be.

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 here's why...

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 arm's length. 

Does that mean that you have to share everything to have deep intimacy?

Probably not. 

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 control.

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 relationship. 

Again, it's all about agreements and it's also a process of opening to ourselves and to each other. 

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 now?" 

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 biggest elements.

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 bedroom" variety.

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 moments...

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 your situation.

We say that anyone can open to intimacy with another.

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 tears.

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 present moment.

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 relationships?

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 your relationships.

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 is cotton.

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 suggest...

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 anniversary.

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 enjoys.

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 setting.

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 question...

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 enough.

Her question to us--which is one that we receive every day from people about all sorts of topics--is this...

"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 different issues.

So with that in mind, we'll answer her question "Am I right to feel the way I do?" in this way...

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 together.

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 their relationship.

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 together.

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 our suggestions...

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 crucial step.

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 your values.

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 them.

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 "peak experience"?

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 experiences ....

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.

Sound impossible?

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 lives?"

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 each other.

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 anything.

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 connected.

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 relationship.

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.

Sophie's Story


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 life.

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 soon.

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 from her.

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 energy.

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 die.

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 be.

So a few questions to ask ourselves are these...

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 my relationships?

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 better.

Imagine for a moment this scenario from last night...

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 times.

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 relationships...

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 life...

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 tired.

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 inevitable?

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 connection?

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 it.

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 together.

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 them.

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 relationships.

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 with.

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 relationship.

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 relationship.

--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 for it.

--The two people take each other and their love for granted.

--Although the two people say they love each other, one person may have lost respect for the other.

--There may be trust issues between them and they may be holding on to old hurts that have not been forgiven.

--There may be physical or mental illness.

The list could go on and on but you get the idea...

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 there...

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 today.

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 her.

4. Are you withholding something that needs to be said for fear of "hurting the other's feelings"?

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 alive.

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 as possible.

Our hope is that you choose love more of the time.

Relationship and Life Transitions: Skills For Moving With Them With Grace AND Power


It's been said that there are only two things in life that are certain and those are death and taxes.

To that short list, we would definitely add "change" and along with changes there are always "transitions" that we must navigate through as well.

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 other challenges.

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 things.

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 anger.

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 it.

2. Be patient with yourself and take the next step.

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 quicker.

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 through.

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 you.

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 relationships?

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 me."

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 better
  • If I'm committed to my children, I can't have a passionate, close, connected relationship
  • I'm not rich enough, smart enough, thin enough, etc.

The list can go on and on but you get the idea.

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 lately...

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 another...

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 recycled.

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 him.

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 and relocation.

While all of this sounds pretty petty, keep in mind that we've been very tired and not at our best.

But that's exactly when we are challenged to clean up the limiting lies that we tell ourselves.

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 disconnect us.

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 things?

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."

Or

The times you tell yourself "what's the use, nothing is going to change."

Or

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 your life.

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 they're yours."

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 relationships...

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 telling yourself.

We invite you to try this out in your life this week .

Just try to be more conscious of the things you say to yourself both consciously and unconsciously.

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 heard?

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 relationship.

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 partner.

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 why...

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 relationship...

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 on.

Flirting to get a partner's attention can only create mistrust and separation in the long- or short-run.

In a relationship, you want to continuously build trust instead of tearing it down by inducing fear.

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 tool...

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 didn't know.

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 lightly.

If left unchecked, it can (and very often does) do irrevocable damage to otherwise potentially good relationships.

©2007 by Susie & Otto Collins

 

 

Susie 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 called Spiritual Partnerships plus two booklets Love and Relationship Success Secrets and 101 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 Their new E-book Should You Stay or Should You Go? has just been released and is now available www.stayorgo.com See Archives 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002 and 2001. Other Relationship Issues, Books



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