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HOW TO MASTER LOVE, EVEN BEFOR YOU ARE IN A RELATIONSHIP.

Who you are before you fall in Love says a lot about the eventual success of your relationship and how it will work out in the end. Most of the work of creating true love is done on yourself, even before you meet “the one”.

Before you can find true loveThe saying goes: “A successful relationship isn’t finding the right person, its being the right person.” So, in order to have the right partner, you have to be the right partner. Your relationship with yourself is crucial to finding lasting love. Love yourself first. A positive self-image paves the road to happiness, opportunity and lasting love.

A few questions you can ask yourself to test if you are ready for lasting love is: “How do I treat myself”, “How do I speak to myself”, “How do I hold myself back/sabotage a relationship or shoot myself in the foot”, “How do I defend myself when I sense something is not to my liking” and “How do I react when I feel vulnerable”.

A lot of honest soul searching can go into such questions and getting to the answers is a process that takes time. Be gentle and kind with yourself and give yourself the time that it takes. Answering these questions can create anxiety, but don’t avoid finding the answers as this might lead to lost opportunities in finding real, meaningful love.

You need to trust yourself that you can be the right partner. How do I trust myself to do this, and how do I let myself be loved? How can I know that I am enough, that I am worthy of being loved? Receiving love makes us vulnerable, and includes showing your true self openly to another person without the fear of being shamed or being rejected.   The fear of not being good enough is a frequent underlying (often unconscious) limiting belief. By thinking negatively you are essentially manifesting what you don’t want. If you don’t believe you are love-worthy, why should anyone else think so? Train yourself to think positively about yourself, expecting the good and the great (and the love).

Don’t let past experiences determine you future, but let it be part of who you can besome.  Take the first step today and trust that life and divine timing will send you the love of your life!

 

Your Marriage - keep it exiting  by using these 8 tips.

 

  • Be positive towards your partner and express appreciation

 In marriage, or any other partnership, being positive and expressing appreciation can be at the bottom of your priority list when daily life seems like one long “to-do-list”.  When the list grows and grows and your partner does not seem to be helping lighten the load, resentment can set in.  If you don’t feel appreciated and you start taking each other for granted, maybe even criticize, or blame each other; you or your partner may become vulnerable to the attention of people outside of your marriage or your relationship, that makes you feel special and valued.  To avoid this trap, start talking in a positive manner about the things that makes you feel connected, wanted and loved.

  • Plan to spend quality time with your husband, wife, or partner

Purposefully schedule “US” time within your marriage or romantic partnership.  Even spontaneity, sometimes, needs planning.  If you don’t plan it, it might not happen.  Don’t let “life” get in the way of your romantic endeavours.  When it’s Monday, start thinking up a fun plan for the weekend.  Get things on your calendar weekly, not just on birthdays and anniversaries.  Purposefully schedule future events – a festival, sporting event (whatever is your thing) – so you have things to look forward to together.

  • Communicate with your partner

Set aside at least 15 minutes check-in time every day, to communicate on a one-on-one basis with your partner.  During this time, try to really hear your partner’s heart.  Communication is the umbrella under which all other connecting processes are woven.  If you can hear each other’s hearts, your relationship can withstand many things.  Talk about your relationship, your future and the things that really matter to you. 

  • Marriage does not mean you can let go and neglect yourself, keep taking care of yourself

It’s much easier to keep the spark in your marriage alive, if the spark is still alive in you.  Remember you can’t pour from an empty cup!  Do self-care things like spoiling yourself with a massage, pedicure etc. and take the time for pursuing your own goals and interests. 

  • Show your partner you don't take them for granted, take care about how you show up

It is wonderful to love each other unconditionally and to be able to just be yourself, comfortably lazing around in your tracksuit or going without make-up.  But, when you go on a date with your spouse (e.g. date night) put some thought into how you show up.  Think back to all the effort you put into your grooming when you were still dating, and let that lead your imagination.  Remember, when you look good, you feel good.  When you feel good, you do good!

  • Keep the spark in your marriage, have regular date-nights

To keep the spark in your marriage set aside one night per week or every fortnight, if that will suit you better, for just the two of you.  This is time within the marriage that is separate from family, friends and children.  Use this time and keep the conversation lite and polite, escape from the everyday worries and frustrations.  Explore different venues for this appointment.  Be inspired the way you were when you first met your husband or wife.  Try a new romantic restaurant, go for an early sunrise hike, try a brunch date or something that you don’t normally do.  Do the unexpected and keep romance and excitement alive. 

  • Marriage should be a no-secret zone: Make your marriage a no-secret zone

Honesty and transparency are very important aspects of your relationship.  To know that you can share anything without being judged brings a feeling of safety and freedom.  It is not always easy to share certain things and ideas, for fear of judgement by your partner, but sharing creates vulnerability which leads to intimacy.  You can’t experience intimacy if you keep secrets from each other.  Preserve your relationship by communicating often, in a transparent way and by placing yourself in your partner’s shoes. 

  • Bridge the sexual communication gap in a romantic partnership

Sexual passion starts with communication.  Couples are more likely to stay together when they improve their sexual communication skills.  Remember, your spouse is not a mind-reader and will not know what your erotic needs are if you don’t communicate them to your partner.  Improving your sexual communication can bring passion back into your lives, increase your loving feelings and recharge your relationship.  Talking openly about sex lets you experience a greater level of intimacy and safety in your relationship.  A vital and healthy interest in sex along with a passionate curiosity for life, are some of the ways to keep your relationship alive for a very long time.

MY PARTNER HAD AN AFFAIR – WHAT DO I DO NOW?

Divorce: 50 % of marriages end in divorce

Our ability to remain monogamous is becoming more difficult in an age where cheating is easier than ever before.  Statistics show that almost fifty per cent of marriages end in divorce, and second marriages end in divorce at a rate of seventy per cent.  About one third of marriages end because of infidelity.

Although studies vary, research shows that almost sixty per cent of men and forty-five per cent of women will cheat at some point in their relationships.  Statistics further shows that affairs last an average of three years, and few last more than four years.  Looking at these numbers, it seems that cheating doesn’t make people happy either.

Infidelity is painful

Discovering infidelity can be painfully devastating and when the affair information becomes available many questions and emotions race through your mind.  You ask questions such as "what did I do wrong?" “what is wrong with me?” and “am I not enough?”  It may seem that the only option open to you is when to leave, not if you should leave.  You may feel as if you have no other choice, but in the back of your mind you might not really want to break up. 

Everything is not lost when an affair is discovered.  It is possible that, despite the incredible pain of the infidelity, the affair was a wake-up call for your relationship.  Couples who can “stand still” and take the time to recognize and come to terms with the pain the affair caused, can have the opportunity to create a better, stronger, more vibrant relationship with their partner, if both are committed to working through the issues that the affair has brought up.                                                      

Be open to the truth

One of the first things you will need to do to heal from the affair is to explore the question of why it happened. You will have to be open to hearing the real honest truth.  Most people want to blame the cheating partner, and the cheating partner does have to take responsibility for pursuing the outside relationship.  But, no affair happens in a vacuum.  So, part of asking ’why’ will most likely include the betrayed partner hearing things about his/her own behaviours that he/she may not want to hear, such as ways he/she exited the relationship prior to the affair, perhaps without even realizing it.

As hard as it may be to contemplate your own contribution to the pain of your “broken” relationship, the affair may actually point directly to parts of yourself that you will need to work on to grow as an individual, as well as the parts of the relationship that weren’t working before the affair began.

 

MARITAL CONFLICT AS AN OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH

What really happconflictens when a couple is experiencing conflict and fighting in a relationship?  Conflict is actually your friend and fighting is a paradoxical “invitation” to get your needs met.  Through conflict growth is actually trying to happen.  The message of conflict often is: “I have needs that are not met!”  For example, I need to be seen/heard, I need to be myself within the marriage and still be loved and not judged.

 

When these needs are not met, we tend to get reactive and protect ourselves by being defensive and critical towards our partner.   One partner’s criticism usually triggers the other’s defensive adaptations, and in the end emotions escalate and nothing gets resolved.  This leaves both partners within the marriage feeling disconnected, alone, angry and sad. 

Meet your marriage partner's needs

Conflict further prevents you from hearing your partner’s “heart”, his or her longing for connection, wholeness and aliveness.  Conflict is an eschewed and unconscious effort at trying to tell your partner about your unmet needs and the pain it causes.

Marriage counselling provides a way out of this impasse by creating the right conditions and safety for growth to occur, enabling your heart’s longing to be heard.  An attuned therapist is tuned in to the needs of the couple and sees conflict not as a sign that there is something wrong with the relationship or that you are incompatible, but rather that you are the perfect combination inviting each other to grow into wholeness. 

Shifting your view about conflict as a gift towards growth, can bring a deeper experience of commitment, love and joy to the couple.   Committed relationship is not about finding the right partner; it is about becoming the right partner.

 

 

 

 

 

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