This Relationship’s Going Nowhere I’m Out

“I am just not feeling it. My husband and I, it’s like we’re from two different planets. I just can’t live in a relationship that’s going nowhere. Can’t do it. I’m out.”

From that to,

“I was in a loveless relationship with my husband and ready to cash-out when I realized that he was my soul mate and now we share the deepest and romantic relationship together forever.”

If you find yourself in a difficult relationship (this applies to all relationships, not just those of the romantic persuasion) you could just bail out when it doesn’t seem to suit your needs (no one would blame you, this is your right) or you might consider, as some have, calling on the power of the universe to have your back.

Those who do, often experience dramatic changes within a year. So, be aware this is not normally instantaneous change. Change, evolution, real change takes time. If you’re interested in giving it a go, consider adopting some of the basic principles that can get you miraculously from where you are now to where you’d love to be with very little effort (though effort is required).

As much as it seems like it’s all about how incompatible this person seems to be in the moment, you might be surprised that this process starts with you. Yes, you.

You have been raised and trained to accept what’s been put on your plate and to expect nothing more. You’ve been programmed for mediocrity and “settling” for less than your highest and best, when that is not what you came here for.

You came here to have it all, and this is your birthright. It’s time you decided to take back your divinity as a child of God and reclaim your sacred life, now.

And it starts with you, getting to know and love you, the true authentic you, with all the blessings that have been bestowed upon you in this life. Even if it looks lackluster, and may have been incredibly painful, causing you to accept anything less than your best life, but has brought you to this moment in time. And the you who you’ve become and as transforming into through this magnificent evolutionary process is nothing less than magnificent.

If you’ve quashed and squelched your special purpose, skills, abilities, and unique message, the universe has caused you to experience life which would further prepare you for this moment, the moment of awakening to your unlimited potential.

Now is the time to start to embrace your divinity and find ways to express who you are through the words you speak and the deeds you do. By activating your 7 points of evolving expansion, you can raise your vibration to love and above.

You must get to know who you really are and love everything that you are and can be in this life and beyond, all of it, even the stuff you thought was not good (and no one was saying it wasn’t bad) but it helped to bring you to who and what you are today, and will magnify your future potential.

Don’t wait for anyone to validate or love you. You are the love of your life. Love yourself deeply, now, more than ever, every day more and more. As you find ways to fill your heart with love, this overflowing love can spill over to the others you care deeply about, your family, your community, and the world at large. Any other form of giving love is really servitude and generosity, if your heart is not full and overflowing with love. (And there’s nothing wrong with that. We need all the love we can get.)

So fill your loving cup by learning to love who you are, accepting and embracing the life that has brought you to this point in time, find ways to fill your heart with love, and take full responsibility for looking after yourself and seeing that your needs are tended to.

When your loving cup is full, then you can truly spread the love that overflows to others.

Sometimes you encounter situations and circumstances that rub you the wrong way. Find ways to take another look at the scenario, from an alternate perspective, keeping in mind that your desire is to raise your vibration to love and above, and maintain this higher frequency.

With any circumstance, there is a full spectrum of responses you can initiate in response to the situation or thought. On one end, you can stand and fight because you’re justifiably “pissed off,” and on the other end of the spectrum, you can choose to apply love and see the event from God’s perspective.

Often perception interpretation can lead to misunderstanding, and no one would blame you for going there. After all, you’ve endured many life experiences that have caused you to reach conclusions rapidly as a form of self-defense. Thankfully, this skill has gotten you this far.

If a person’s words or actions have set off your inner alarms, instead of jumping to conclusions, try jumping into the other person’s perspective. Why would he or she say or do such a thing? What life traumas might be underneath it all? Can you find compassion for someone who might act or react in such a way? Put yourself in the other person’s shoes. What does that feel like?

And if that weren’t enough, look at it from God’s perspective. I could be with a completely indiscriminate person that I do not get, at all, but if I were to ask for God’s opinion, God would say, “I love him” (or her). Could I then, by seeing through the eyes of love, see those redeeming qualities that God sees?

Yeah, I might not agree with them, but they do have that God-loves-‘em-so-much quality about them. Who am I to judge? A little tolerance goes a long way. Try asking yourself What are People Like Who are Tolerant?

The quicker you are to change the way you think about a negative thought and turn it into a loving thought, your love quotient remains at the high level you are practicing to regulate. As with anything, the more often you do it, the easier it gets.

As you start to turnaround how you think about things, the whole world starts to turnaround, adjusting to your new perspective, but you must shift your point of view, first.

Raising your vibration makes you start to expect more positive responses and good things to happen to you, and they do.

If your attention is focused upon this person who you might like to be a better match for you but is not in the moment, no problem. You respect the fact that we’re all doing the best we can, and this is a beautiful child of God you’re looking at, regardless of how off-base or weird he or she may appear right now.

You can be proactive by giving him or her a chance to respond in a manner which is more befitting of your new higher vibration. You may go through an entire scenario and have it come up leaving you feeling unconnected and empty inside. By all means, do not just walk away in silence. This is the new you, with your full awakened presence intact. Give him or her another chance.

Speak up. Let him or her know that you thought this could have gone better. Try reframing the situation and all the two of you to give it another go, to see if you can come up with a more favorable outcome. If this is practiced in love, with a pure heart, the outcome will be more to your liking. Maybe not to meet your fullest expectation, but look how closer you are to having the synchronicity you desire. Good job.

As you do this, the person you’re practicing with begins to anticipate this as opportunities arise and he or she rises to meet your positive loving expectation. You expect more, receive more of what you want in connection, and love grows.

Love is all there really is  …

When Someone Kicks You Out of Their Life

You were friends connected at a deeper level than other beings. You intrinsically shared the same vibration and trusted each other with your innermost thoughts, guarded feelings, and hidden desires. When someone kicks you out of their life, it leaves an indelible mark, a bruise on your heart, leaving you feeling as though you’ve been betrayed by your most trusted friend.

At some level, you may feel guilt from trusting too much or making such a big deal out of a relationship because intimate relationships, like this, are not protected by contract law, like a marital relationship. No, we have these intimate relationships with other people with no safety net, no way to execute retribution, to make them pay for their betrayal. No, when someone kicks you out of their life, they simply disappear, and you know they are gone.

If you have a pattern of fear of abandonment recurring in your life, the separation hurts you even more, and you feel even more guilty because you thought you were above that by now. Still the pain hits you in the chest and you fall to the floor (even if only metaphorically) as your heart aches. You are left feeling abandoned and betrayed by your friend.

To complicate things even more, you may be in a professional or social environment where you will be in the presence of the person who kicked you out of their life, the see them living their life with you clearly excluded from meaningful participation in it, as the hurt surges to the deepest part of you.

Losing a close friend can lead to grief which is followed by the 7 phases of grief. The loss of a friend who has kicked you out of their life is not unlike losing a loved one who has taken him or her self out of your life by dying, or even more accurate if they’ve intentionally committed suicide. Even though they are still alive, the loss is just as meaningful, and the grief process is a necessary process if you’re to have hope of getting your life back.

A normal person will use his or her imagination to try to figure out what is going on here, why would someone kick you out of their life? There is little or no value in second-guessing or imagining what could have been the cause of the separation or betrayal. This can be a self-destructive and potentially obsessive negative train of thought, which causes your immune system to steadily deteriorate not only while you engage in the thought process, but for eight hours after you’ve let go of the thoughts.

The sooner you can get to thoughts of genuine goodness and love the more faithful and true you will be to yourself, and when you use the power of your imagination to take you to places where love resides, you transport yourself to the vibrational state of love, no matter where you are, or what’s going on around you. In contrast to the effects of negative thought on your immune system, while you are in the frequency if love, your immune system is boosted, and the increase of your physiological fortitude continues for eight hours.

So, the best thing you can do is to remember the good times, remember them. And if they were really amazingly incredible, use your imagination to relive those moments, to love and cherish them, fully immersing yourself in the full emotion of it, and resist the temptation to devolve into haunting thoughts of betrayal or disapproval.

Feel gratitude for sharing those incredible moments with another person. If they are no longer fully participating in your life in the now, have gratitude for the tender moments you were blessed to share.

Finding new ways to raise your vibration to love and above, cherishing and celebrating your life in new ways, making and finding new friends, and loving life with everything you’ve got serves you best. And when someone kicks you out of their life, let them go. Their life might have been far greater with you in it, but they chose otherwise, and you will love-on regardless.

Love-on, my friend, love on.

Happy Easter

Today, I wished a dear friend, “Happy Easter,” and was met by a highly negative response, verbalized as, “I don’t celebrate Easter,” turning his back to me and walking away.

I get it. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, and I honor that in other people.

Over the course of my life, there are a few holidays that have special meaning for me and my family. In my life, there is a particular hierarchy of these holidays and in order, they have been,

1. Christmas
2. Fourth of July
3. Easter
4. Thanksgiving

The values of the celebration of these holidays decreased due to extreme trauma suffered by me and my family, but basically, the hierarchy remains in place, and as recovery continues, the overall value of these holidays remain as somewhat sacred tradition.

I must admit, when my friend abruptly shut down my friendly gesture of sharing something important to me, I was initially surprised and offended.

I thought of all the times that I supported my friend in the things that were important to him, that I could care less about. Always supportive, never rejecting him, his ideas, or the battles he chose to fight. Celebrating with him his wins and consoling him when struggling without judgment.

I was shocked at his response my simple, friendly salutation.

I was not imposing any belief, trying to convey any importance to the idea of it being Easter or any religious reference which may have been offensive.

Then I realized this was not about me. There was something within my friend which had been triggered by my, “Happy Easter,” and he responded appropriately based on his own inner wounds and fear. His response was not directed at me, even though I had initiated the phrase that triggered an inner child tantrum.

All things considered, he probably did an exceptional job of subduing the inner child’s outburst, had I taken it personally and decided to defend myself, the inner child’s ranting could have expressed itself as a full-on catastrophe.

So, I send love to my friend as he has the rest of the day to struggle with whatever his concerns are about his idea of Easter, and why he is unable to share in someone else’s joy during this (or any other) day that he may respond to negatively.

I understand that he, just like I am, is doing the best with what he has, and I allow him his own sacred space to work out the details, or not, without judgment.

For me, Easter remains to be one of my Top 4 holidays, and it does have spiritual significance for me.

I cannot speak for anyone else and bless you no matter what you think or believe because I believe in you.

I love you.

Who Are Your Real Friends?

You’re a friendly person. You’ve made some friends. Then one day you wake to discover that there are friends and there are “friends.” So, who are your real friends?

Friends may look and feel similar on the surface, you feel good around them and have fun. When things get lean or rough, or maybe you need a little more support than usual, that’s when you find out who are your real friends.

Real friends have your back no matter what, unlike friends who may not be so genuine who make themselves scarce when times get rough. They are supportive of you, even when you suggest that you might like to try a bit of coloring outside the lines. If you want to explore or experience something new, they may or may not agree, or come along, but they will always support your right to do so and be excited to hear your stories about how it went, without judgment.

Over time friends get increased access to all the different sides of you. As they get to know you and all idiosyncrasies, real friends see these as interesting or “cute” sides of yourself, even that whacky unpredictable side of you that very few people know. They see these as individualities which make you a “cool” person, and they feel a sense of honor for getting to know you more intimately.

Unlike your shallower friends, those who are your real friends accept you just the way you are, however and whenever that might be. You don’t have to get dressed-up or fix yourself up to do a live video chat with your real friends. And they know that it goes both ways. You can meet at a coffee shop in your sweats like it’s “no thing.” It doesn’t matter because you share more than a superficial surface connection.

All your friends want you to make time for them, and you do a pretty good job, but what about when you would like them to come along with you, or meet you to share some quality time? Where are they? Your real friends will make time for you, even if it’s outside their normal schedule because real friends actually care about you, just as much as you care about them.

When you really need someone talk to, to share your heart with, your real friends will be there supporting you even in your toughest of times. If you’re sad, they might feel just as sad as you do but will try to be the strength you need when times get hard. They do not impose their views or advice, nor tell you what to do about whatever it is that’s troubling you. They let you express yourself fully, without judgment, empathetically supporting you along the way, reassuring you that things will be okay.

When all the other friends have faded away, your real friends will still be there. Even after long periods of time of not being in each other’s presence, when you get together again, it’s not like one day has passed and you pick up right where you left off.

And when you step on the wayside, lose your balance and falter, if they are not there to catch you when you fall, they will be there to help you pick up the pieces. Even if you’ve done something that has inadvertently caused harm to your friends, your real friends will not hold a grudge and they will forgive you because they are compassionate and know that they make mistakes, too, sometimes.

Above all your real friends value your confidence. They trust you and you trust them. You can tell your most intimate secrets to a real friend, and they will not tell your tales behind your back. Real friends protect you and respect you’re entrusting them with these sensitive details.

Who are your real friends? They’re the ones who’ve got you, no matter what.

A real friend has the potential to become your best friend.

The other friends, who might not be so genuine, will show their true colors soon enough. Hopefully, you don’t have to learn about them through friend betrayal.

Try not to judge them, for they are only doing the best they can with what they have. Maybe they will learn how to be better friends later in life. Who knows?

Relationship Repeat Offender

Your partner has done it again, and here you are finding yourself caught up in yet another round of the same ol’ thing that you got in an argument the last time. You ask yourself, why are we always fighting over the same old thing(s)? What can you do about your relationship repeat offender?

Here you are again, standing your ground and willing to risk all over this issue that keeps on coming up and simply will not go away. It’s as if your partner refuses to listen, or doesn’t care about your feelings at all, which makes you even more upset, angry, or outraged.

If you can think back to when you were a child, you will probably remember your parents arguing over some of the same issues over and over again, too. Generally, this is where you learn how to act in relationships, and even if you’ve vowed never to be in a relationship like your mom and dad, here you are.

You don’t do it on purpose, but subconsciously, you’ve set your relationship the same way, because it “feels like home.” I know, it’s bizarre, but it’s perfectly normal.

Pattern Interrupt

Once you realize this, though, you can choose to approach the relationship repeat offender scenario differently. When you see this issue coming up and feel your anxiety building, you can remember what it was like watching your parents and choose a different tactic.

What if in your recollection of your parents’ recurring argument, if you could go back in time and play the part of either of your parents, how could you have done it better? This may give you an idea of what you might try differently in the present.

Taking this momentary reflective pause gives you a chance to apply a new approach to the scenario as an alternative to just launching into your normal responsive reaction when you’re triggered (and you already know what to expect from that), thereby interrupting the old pattern.

When you try a different approach, you open up a world of possibilities for a different outcome, a better result from your previous style of approaching this issue. Everything is not always black and white, and you’d be surprised how much closer you and your partner could be if you throw in a dash of tolerance or compromise into the mix.

If your first line of defense is to post up and ready for battle (or flee) this is learned behavior which you have embraced as a survival skill, but really, you are far better than that. In every relationship, there needs to be a degree of openness, honesty, and vulnerability.

By taking a different approach and allowing other possibilities, you may have eliminated the relationship repeat offender altogether. You have the power to do this.

If you really want to grow in love and compassion in your relationship, you must be willing to lay down your sword and shield, be present and stay in the game. If your normal response is to withdraw or leave the room, stay and play it out. This is your life we’re talking about.

I know you’ve probably heard it before, something like,

You have to love yourself
before you can truly love anyone else.

As ridiculous as it might sound, it’s true. If you’re constantly looking for acceptance or approval from your mate, you will be periodically (or continually) fighting for validation. If you are full of love for yourself, you don’t need validation as much from your partner, or anyone else for that matter. Sure, it’s nice when you are recognized, complimented, or even applauded, but you don’t need it because you are in such a good, loving space regarding yourself.

This also changes the way you view disrespect from your partner (or anyone else for that matter). If someone disses you, and you have a healthy love for yourself, you can simply shrug it off as no big deal, and have compassion for whoever verbally assaulted you, because you realize they are acting out of their own discontent and you can have compassion for them, for they are only doing the best they can with what they have (as are you).

Love yourself. And the next time you get triggered and feel a battle coming on, put down your weapons, stay in the game, take a breath and ask yourself, “How could I do this better?” Then, try something different.

See what happens when you allow infinitely new possibilities to unfold in the loving space you chose to inhabit and share with your partner.

Relationships Come and Go

Living life is all about advancing, growing and changing. Not settling for mediocrity, nor staying in the same place. Real life is about transitioning from one stage to the next, making the necessary adjustments along the way, and relationships come and go, though some remain.

As you move through this life, you will encounter and bond with people along the way who will vary in significance. You may develop deep relationships which serve you in the deepest, most meaningful ways. You would like to believe that people who play such a key role in your life today will be there tomorrow. Yet in many cases, this is not meant to be.

The best lives are built on a foundation of growth and change, and sometimes, the people who mean the most to you today may not be suitable for the path you are destined to follow. Everyone has their own journey; some relationships can be sustained longer than others.

In order to keep growing, changing, and continuing on your sacred journey, you must be able to find comfort in moving on from relationships that no longer serve you, as you move on.

You’ve shared life and love with them, will cherish the memories, carry them always in your heart, and keep moving.

Everything is in divine order, and these people of varying significance were integral to your success and metamorphosis. They were there for you, supported you, cared for you, loved you, and gave you the strength to keep going on.

Returning to places or revisiting people from your past via celebration or reunion brings a flood of nostalgic emotion, instantly taking you back to the moment in time when these moments from your past were so integral to your survival and transition, and you are blessed.

As much as you might want to return to those times, you know you no longer are connected to those people, places, and things, like you were before. You are an entirely different person now, and so are they, living lives so different, each better in your own ways.

Realizing that relationships come and go helps you to appreciate the people who have significance in your life. You are far more appreciative, cherishing and honoring each moment because you know it may not last forever, though it may feel like it in the moment.

When relationships come to us we are blessed, sometimes sharing the most intimate of moments, when relationships go, it can be hard to say goodbye, even lead to heartbreak, or depression, but life goes on.

New people will be attracted to you to help you on your journey, and others will come into your life who will test you, help you to learn, grow, and expand into the best version of yourself.

There will be those who may be on a similar enough path to yours to accompany you for much, if not all, of your journey. These are those, the most special of whom will be there forever.

For those who you’ve left behind, they can live on forever in your memories, in the deepest most precious recesses of your heart, always honored and remembered for their blessing you along the way. In a sense, still encouraging you and supporting your continued growth and transformation from within.

Continue to love and bless them, and they may continue to love and bless you, even though you may never cross paths again, as you live a better life, your best life, and make the world a better place.

Empathic Understanding

Connection via empathetic understanding is the real connection between two people and is the most endearing act of love and honor which one can present to another. This connection is the most meaningful part of any relationship. You know it. You remember when you’ve felt it. When your friend finishes your sentences, when you’ve had a strong bond with a teacher or mentor, you felt connected, understood.

You know this. Yet, surprisingly, I see a lack of empathetic understanding as the underlying indicator of trouble ahead in the most important relationships, between lovers. Maybe you felt a connected and/or understood in the beginning (though that was likely a more powerful driving force than connection) but after a while, you realize that the connection you felt was simply you projecting your desire to be connected and understood onto your partner.

When you’re in the projection mode, you see everything interpreted through your special lens which is rose-colored and sees synchronicity in all things. Following the passing of time, things that used to be “cute” are becoming annoying, and you’re no longer feeling as though you are connected or understood, as you once thought you were.

When you’re projecting your feelings onto your interpretation of another person, you feel as though they are feeling your feelings, even when no such connection exists.

It is this feeling of another’s feelings that Stephen Covey refers to as his, “Habit number 5: Seek first to understand then to be understood” in his book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. This is the connection which exemplifies the highest integrity and connection between two people, whether used in business relationships, or more importantly, at home. It is a powerful connection which promotes and deepens respect, trust, and intimacy.

This simple method of joining the worlds of two people into a united vision felt by two is the secret of the most successful relationships. Sometimes it just happens organically, and the two people don’t even know they are doing it. For the rest of us, we need to first understand the concept before we can even think about attempting such a thing. And it’s on you to proactively take the first step.

Understanding is not giving advice, being over-protective, or fixing things for another person. Empathetic understanding is simply the process of actively listening, inviting them to dig deeper, and even more deeply, until they have gotten it all out, while you are using your imagination to feel what it might be like to be in that other person’s shoes, empathizing with him or her.

Empathetic Understanding

If you’re unaccustomed to this higher level of listening, it may take some practice. Creating a safe and sacred atmosphere can be an important component when someone is sharing something close to their heart, so eliminating distractors, such as the TV, music playing in the background, or retreating to a place where more privacy can be established are excellent ways to honor your partner’s sharing.

Nodding your head and looking them in the eye indicates you’re listening, while you are resisting your inclination to interrupt or interject when they are sharing. Let them speak their piece and listen carefully. When they pause, simply try to restate what they just said in your own words, starting with, “Let me see if I get what you’re saying…”

Then ask them if there’s anything more they’d like to say about that? And let them continue. Repeat this as many times as necessary, until they’ve announced that’s all they have to say.

Rather than give in to the urge to counsel or help him or her fix something your partner is concerned about, after first imagining what he or she might be feeling, feeling it as though you were feeling them yourself, offer up validation of your partner’s feelings. Something like, “Wow, you must have felt devastated.” And allow them to either agree with you or reclarify what they are feeling about what they were sharing. If they reclarify, imagine what it would feel like from that perspective.

If you have different opinions about something like your partner was terrified by a ride at the amusement park and you found it exhilarating, you can validate your partner’s feelings while agreeing to allow each other the right to their own experience. For instance, you might say, “I can feel how terrified you must have been on that ride,” (empathy, and continue) “but I was having the time of my life.” It’s okay to have different points of view, but very important to deeply understand where your partner is coming from and honor them by allowing them to have their experience any way they want to.

If they’ve intimated their story to you devoid of feelings, it might be helpful to lightly probe and encourage them to share their feelings by simply asking, “How did that make you feel?”

I think you’re ready to take your relationship to the next level.

Couple Connection and Difficult Conversation

If you want to connect, communication is the gateway to a deeper connection which will enhance the longevity and intimacy in any relationship, but before you expect to have a truly intimate connection, you must have these two things as your firm foundation. They are,

Trust

Before you can truly open up and expose those most intimate and private parts of yourself, exposing yourself far more than your naked body, you must be able to trust your partner.

Trusting your partner means that you feel as though you can rely on his or her performance, you know if he or she says something, you can expect it will come to pass based on your experience.

Not having trust, or breaking trust, can be destructive, even more damaging than an affair. Lack of trust destroys more relationships than affairs. Whether you’re unable to trust or be trusted, if there is lack of trust there will be no intimate, open and honest connection.

Besides, trust, you will also need an equal amount of,

Appreciation and Gratitude

Life is moving so fast, we can take our partner for granted, forgetting why we fell in love with this person in the first place, and things can just start to deteriorate. You must make time and find ways to express appreciation and gratitude if your relationship is going to not only survive but thrive.

If you’ve let the appreciation and gratitude slip in your relationship maybe it’s time to take action. You can start by asking yourself how your life might be if your partner was no longer in it. What might you miss?

Remembering all the sweet things about your partner that were so endearing in the beginning of your relationship could help take you back in time, feeling those original love vibrations, and when you come back to now, you can bring those vibrations with you into the present moment.

Having the firm foundation of trust, appreciation, and gratitude can give you the firm foundation to approach any situations or circumstances that may approach and/or threaten your relationship. Keep in mind that many challenges which threaten a relationship can come from within. In those moments you will need this foundation to successfully navigate your most

Difficult Conversations

You know, this is when you’ve let something go for a while, and now it’s come to this. It’s time for you to have a serious talk before things go from bad to worse.

How can you best prepare for a crucial conversation?

Taking time to prepare for a crucial conversation will be highly beneficial. Every minute spent planning will eliminate 3 minutes of extraneous drama and unnecessary conflict.

1. Clearly Define Your Concern

Take a few minutes, or as long as necessary to clearly define what your concern is. Reduce it to its simplest, shortest and most concise form before even thinking about scheduling, “The Talk.”

Once you’ve done so, ask yourself if this is “Critical” or “Negotiable?” Your definition should come with the determination of knowing in advance if this is critical or a deal breaker, or negotiable, something that can be compromised. Most sources of relationship angst are comprised of the 97 percent of issues which left to themselves are really no big deal but because they’ve been swept under the rug the pressure has built to intolerable when a simple compromise could have avoided all that pain and disconnect.

If the concern is centered around the three percent of meaningfully important core issues that can destroy a relationship, then continuing to have a crucial conversation is prudent.

2. Look Within

In my experience with couples, more often than not when one partner is feeling a great deal of angst about the other partner, it is because he or she is reflecting back inadequacies of the complainant, who is refusing to see his or her shortcomings in the relationship.

You can avoid this step, experience all the drama and relationship breakdown, only to discover it later in counseling or relationship coaching, or you can head it off at the pass by asking yourself the question,

“How might I be doing the same thing?”

If you feel like you’re not getting something, you might be surprised to see that you’re not giving it. In the event that you realize this, you can avoid any unnecessary relationship drama by giving that which you desire. When you change and give what you want, your relationship changes and you start to get it in return.

If your inner search comes up empty, then you can continue to plan our talk.

3. Schedule an Appropriate Time and Place

Find out from your partner when would be the best time. Keep in mind that men are better equipped to have a serious conversation late in the afternoon, and not too late at night.

Give your partner the space that he or she needs to select a time that is good for him/her. Keep in mind, you may want to talk now, but tomorrow afternoon or this weekend might be better for your partner to properly engage in an important conversation.

Select a location that is not the “scene of the crime.” That is to say, for instance, if your concern is about sexual intimacy, do not conduct this crucial conversation in the bedroom, etcetera.

Side by side is an appropriate, non-threatening posture for a crucial conversation, rather than across from each other, which is more adversarial. Walking and talking (especially in nature) can be a healthy environment for an otherwise heavy conversation.

4. The Difficult Conversation

Start off by issuing a positive statement (or up to five declarations) about how important your partner is and how much he or she brings to the quality of life that you enjoy with your partner.

Then you can express what you need or want in its best possible light, such as, “It would mean so much to me, and I would be so full of love and gratitude, if you could…” (fill in the blank). Pick a statement that you feel comfortable but let it represent how it would make your heart soar, if only…

Avoid the use of apocalyptic fighting words, like, “You always,” and “You never.” Nothing good ever comes from a sentence which starts with either of those as they accuse and attack your partner, only promoting defensiveness. Plus, you know it’s not true. Rarely, if ever, is anyone “always,” or, “never.”

Avoid inviting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to join your conversation. According to the Gottman Institute, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are (1) Criticism, (2) Contempt, (3) Defensiveness, (4) Stonewalling, and these are the primary predictors of relationship failure.

Remember, this not about me against you, or who’s right and who’s wrong. It’s about wanting love, to love and be loved in a manner which is pleasing and respective of both partners who desire to raise their love relationship to be the best it can be, and even more.

If your partner is male, try to avoid pushing him into a condition which is referred to as, “Emotional Flooding.” This is when they lose cognizance as their emotions take the driver’s seat. It’s a real thing, and they are likely to lose the ability to consciously rationalize and communicate as they are overwhelmed by rampant emotion.

What if it gets out of control?

You can take a “time out” and reel it back in.

It’s a good idea, when there is no conflict or need to have a serious talk, to establish a signal which can be offered up at any time by either partner, which indicates it is time to take a break. It can be as simple as making a timeout “T” symbol with your hands and actually saying, “Time out!” or some other signal or saying that you both can agree on.

Once this signal is initiated by either party, you both have pre-agreed to stop everything and take a ten to twenty-minute break. And if you want to maximize your time out, you can use this time effectively by writing. Write three things, what you’re frustrated about, what you think a good solution might be and a list of the things you absolutely love about your partner.

By now, you should be calmer, more centered, have a plan, and are ready to re-engage for love’s sake.

You are deserving of love, but it often does not come easy because we have so much negative self-talk that goes on behind the scenes that limit your ability to accept love. These love-limiting beliefs include phrases, like,

All men are “dogs”
(or their shirt-tailed cousins,
jerks, babies, cheaters, liars, losers, etc.)
Nobody loves me, nobody cares
I am broken and undeserving of love
I will never have great love
I can’t-do it, love is too hard
If it’s not perfect, I don’t want it
Love means one of you must give up everything

You might feel unworthy of love and/or feel like you must accept the plight of the martyr to have any hope of maintaining a “successful” relationship. You, just like anyone else, are totally deserving of love, and you might have the full potential to have it all in this moment in time, if you just reach out for it.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your underserving or asking for too much. You’re not. And most likely, your partner desires to be there for you in a way that honors your highest and best love, if he or she only knew how.

It’s up to you to find ways to express your needs and desires and allow your partner to find ways to give you what you want in his or her own way.

Reach Out and Connect

When you’re reaching out to connect to people, then by all means do it.

In a society where connecting is more and more limited to less and less; that is to say less face to face communication and more electronic interaction, with less content. Today, we maintain such a high pace and level of activity, that we don’t have time for anyone else but that which we focus on.

What are we focusing on that is so important, and what do we have to show for it?

I don’t know; let me check how many people liked my last post?

It looks, to me, like there is some force at work in the background of our society to keep us so busy doing nothing and keeps us separated with an artificial sense of remaining connected. Whether there is any underlying purpose, or not, the fact of the matter is that our culture is changing, and it you want to connect with someone in a relationship, a business affiliation, or as part of a movement, you’re going to have to have a different approach.

Technology is definitely a part of how we connect, there’s no denying that, but do something more. Yes, connect with each other on social media, but If you want more out of this relationship than a tick on your social media account create a better connection by offering something of value.

I always try to leave someone better than when I met them, if I can. Encourage them, help them see the good in something they thought was not, give them something that could potentially change the way they previously thought about something, or help them imagine what a better life might look like.

None of this is tangible or costs you anything but a few moments of your time, yet can be extremely valuable. Value does not depend on your cash outlay, or a retail price, but more value is placed on things that touch our hearts, or make us feel something.

If you can leave them with something to touch that they can keep with them, even better. Even with business cards fading into the dark ages, I still think of them as a physical item that can be put in someone’s hand. It may have little or no value, but to remind them of you and your conversation (hopefully it was a good one). It doesn’t have to be a business card, it could be anything, a lucky penny or stone, a napkin with your name and email scrawled on it or something that might cause them to remember this meeting sometime after departure.

They may not reach out to you, but BRAVO, you’ve made a connection, one that has a potential of being more meaningful than a new Facebook “friend” or Twitter follower.

If I want to hear from someone again, I like to give them a reason to contact me; so I’m likely to ask them to do something that they can get back to me on. Most of the time, they don’t (not soon, anyway) but it’s given them something to think about, and it gives them an excuse to reach out to me and create an even more meaningful connection.

I hope the future of relationships is not on the brink of vanishing from the planet altogether. The good news is that people still desire connection, and they’re supporting it with their dollars. They are willing to pay to feel like they are a part of something, and “connection” is the only thing that businesses are effectively using to compete with the big corporations.

This is a very good sign that there is hope for connectedness in the future.

If you don’t believe me, just ask your hairdresser.

Reach out, connect face-to-face, give them a talisman, an invitation to follow up, and bless them.

Deception by Withholding

“I didn’t lie to you.”

That’s what the deceiver says when being confronted by the truth coming out about something they knew would rather have kept secret. That’s why they did not disclose it in the first place. But the crafty deceiver holds fast to the idea that because they didn’t actually say anything that was untrue, so their superior intellect and “morals” are supported by the idea that they did not lie.

The question that comes up in counseling is, “Is withholding really lying, since they haven’t actually verbalized a lie?” Good question. While there are hundreds of possibilities, it largely depends on the participants and their belief systems. But regardless of what your belief is (even if you think it’s okay for you to do) when it happens to you, all of a sudden it doesn’t seem so right.

From a trained Catholic point of view there are two types of sins; the sin of commission and the sin of omission. In terms of lying, actually telling a lie would be a sin of commission, while withholding would be a sin of omission, both sharing equal consequence. Regarding the sin of omission, Jesus’ brother says, “Whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” (James 4:17) which incorporates so much more than the unspoken words, actually including the right thing(s) one should have done but didn’t do.

But in a relationship, is it really all that bad to purposefully not disclose certain information that really wouldn’t accomplish anything but hurt someone’s feelings? Someone who thinks this way might say,

“I’m not lying, and I don’t see the need to hurt someone’s feelings when I didn’t really do anything wrong.”

This is due to the gray area representing activities or indiscretions that could have been worse.

An example might go something, like this…

Let’s say your boyfriend says,

“My friend’s mom is sick and he has to go to meet with his attorney and go to night court and he wants me to be there with her, while he’s gone.”

This doesn’t seem unreasonable so your boyfriend heads out to his friends house. He has his cell phone with him, so you can stay in touch.

His last text at 8:40 pm says,

“I forgot my charger, battery’s dying. I will text you when I get home.”

In this day and age, that could happen. You might even remember a time when your phone died, like that.

A couple of weeks later, you run into a girlfriend who saw him at a concert that night, and you assume she must be confused, because you know where he was that night.

As it turns out, the truth was that he did go over to his friend’s house to sit with his mother while he took care of his legal issues, but what he neglected to tell you was that he went to the concert with friends.

Regardless of what else may have happened, you were not made aware of his other friend’s extra concert ticket, and he neglected to tell you that, because he thought you might get mad, if you’d have known. Since nothing bad happened (like copulation), there was really no harm in sparing your feelings needlessly.

He may justify or think, he was only looking out for your best interest in the deception by omission.

Whether his concern was innocent, or not, the fact remains there was purposeful deception. In this scenario, the boyfriend indirectly lied as he omitted critical and important details, to deceive. With the intention of allowing you to believe all is well, and there was no opportunity for transgression.

Another example might be the urge to use a vague response to a question like, “What did you do last night?” A vague answer might be, “Oh, nothing, really.”

The key here is to remember that it’s just not sociopaths who use these slick methods of deception. People just like you and me do it also because we know that it’s wrong to lie, so we don’t want to do that. Because we have a conscious, it somehow feels better to tell some of the truth and to leave out the pertinent details that might otherwise cause needless confusion or conflict.

No one can really say if it’s right or wrong, but the truth is, if you feel sighted, hurt, betrayed, or indirectly lied to, then it’s definitely not a good thing. This is not a healthy state of mind to be in for very long.

We all deceive using different motives, such as making ourselves appear to have it more together than we actually do, to hide sensitive details or information (which may have negative consequences), and to hurt someone (maliciously, or in self-defense).

So what can you do when someone has hurt your feelings by withholding information?

Try to avoid labeling him or her as a liar. Allow him or her the opportunity to disclose the non-disclosed portion of the story on their own. Try to keep your emotions in check and instead try to think about why he or she would feel the need to withhold. Maybe some counseling might be in order, if they have unresolved issues, addictions, or trauma from the past.

Communicate where your boundary is on undisclosed information, make sure he or she understands, and hope this doesn’t happen in the future, while keeping in mind that you cannot change someone or expect them to change on command. The best you can do is to communicate your expectations and hope for the best. And if you find you cannot live with this type of behavior, then you must do what is right for you.

No one expects anyone to be 100% honestly disclosing everything 24/7, that would be unreasonable and abusive.