Keeping love alive

The Big THREE Relationships Types; Which one do YOU think healthiest?

An interesting topic keeps arising with both my Relationship Coaching clients, the brave couples and empowered individuals who are in relationships AND my Love Coaching clients, the incredible fierce women who are out there in the wilds of the dating jungle.

 

What is a healthy relationship?

 

 

Whilst there are as many ways to flesh out the many facets and unique paths towards a ‘healthy relationship’ there are a few basic fundamental points that are universal and if we want the journey of love and partnership to thrive and be a well paved smooth road, we need to navigate the three primary relationships highways, with great care.

 

Image credit: stephane delval  via unpslash.com

Image credit: stephane delval  via unpslash.com

One of the basic principals of coaching, for me the coach, is to never assume you know, what I know.  Confession time!  I don’t always get that right.   And over the last few weeks, it’s become apparent that this very topic is one of the ways, I’ve fallen down, as a coach.  And today, I RECTIFY THAT!  WOOT!

 

 

There are three major categories that relationships (and most people who engage with ANY kind of relationship) fall into; Independent, Co-dependent and Interdependent.

 

This is not one of those millennial races, where every one get’s a prize… there is one clear winner for the best and healthiest type of engagement in relationships. 

In today’s LOVE LETTER I am going to present the big three, and YOU, dearest one, are going to tell me, what you think is the #1 health winner.  Hop on, LET’S RIDE!

 

CO-DEPENDENT:

tandem-bike-905067_640.jpg

 

Co-dependent relationships are one of the most common ailments I come across in my coaching practice. 

 

Here is the dictionary definition of CO-DEPENDANT.

Codependency is a type of dysfunctional helping relationship where one person supports or enables another person's drug addiction, alcoholism, gambling addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement.

 

Right now, you might be thinking OH SNAP, BEEN THERE BOUGHT THE T SHIRT!

Or you might be saying, Hey drug addiction>? Mental health?  That’s not been my relationship experience!

 

Let me  drill down on the simpler yet deeper explanation of co-dependency.

I am only okay, if you are okay.

My well being is directly influenced by your well being.

I am not sure where I end, and you begin.

 

 

Co-dependent relationships are toxic for ALL who are involved, it enables the person we are trying to fix and it stifles our own happiness and ability to self create happiness from within.

 

INDEPENDENT:

 

Dictionary definition of INDEPENDENT = Free from outside control.  Not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence.

 

Whilst this does affect more of my single Love Coaching clients, it’s also not uncommon with those in relationships.  Independence is not a bad thing. In fact this feminist LOVES her some independence! Hellllo free from outside control! YASSS!

HOWEVER when we are using independence to self sustain 100% because we are convinced others will disappoint us, OR we feel that no one can be relied upon to do the job and/or do it right AND/OR  in general are using independence to shield our own control issues… we lose out on allowing others to provide for us. 

Human beings often connect most meaningfully in the exchange of love and through acts of contribution.   If we are too independent to truly receive from others, we in effect make them redundant.  And most people want to feel they play an active, impactful role on others lives.  That they can contribute sustenance, whether that be emotional, mental, spiritual or even financial. 

People are generally drawn to go where they are needed most. In fact, that’s often how we define a ‘good person’.

 

INTERDEPENDENT:

image credit: Evertone Vila via Unsplash.com

image credit: Evertone Vila via Unsplash.com

Definition = mutually dependent; depending on each other creating a framework of partnership.

My personal definition for independent?  I want AND need you in my life, but not to have a life.  

 

Interdependent relationships mean relying on each other for mutual support.  Adding to someone’s happiness, however not being the sole font for that person’s happiness. We are open to give and receive within healthy boundaries, where asked, where appropriate whilst still allowing and even expecting self-sufficiency, too. Interdependent t partnerships do not necessarily mean everything is split down the middle 50/50, but instead means that each individuals assets and limitations are valued and utilized for an overall sense of equality. 

 

You can be in an interdependent relationship where one spouse is the overall ‘bread winner’ whilst the other spouse is provides the highly valuable ( yet wildly un monetized) service of childcare.  In a healthy interdependent relationships, those roles do not have to correlate with traditional gender roles, and yet they still can, if that is what works best for your relationship. 

 

You can be in an interdependent relationship and still put concerted effort in to brightening your partners day, or booking those concert tickets you know will bring them joy but you don’t feel you HAVE to do those things in order to be liked, loved desired by your partner OR that if you don’t ‘make them happy’ they won’t BE happy.

 

 

 

I do hope the above offers you a very clear and easy to apply standard for relationships. 

 

POP QUIZ!!!

WHICH ONE DO YOU THINK IS THE WINNER FOR HEALTHIEST RELATIONSHIP OF THE YEAR? 

And, where do you see where you have been curating, participating and harming yourself and others in your past relationship?  OR, your current one, my dear? 

 

 

Can’t wait to hear your responses in the comments!

 

 

xx

 

Absolute privacy respect. No spam, EVER.
Marketing by

How do I keep the LOVE alive?

Photo by  Jez Timms  on  Unsplash

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

Love: (noun) - a strong feeling of affection.

Huh, that doesn’t sound as nearly as tricky as I expected.  Considering all the great, art, poetry and songs that lament how complicated, painful and disastrous finding and being in LOVE can be.

The reality is, finding… falling in… feeling… and attracting LOVE isn’t the hard bit. 

Maintaining, nourishing and growing a strong feeling of affection that lasts years?  A LIFE TIME?

Now THAT’S, the nitty gritty hard bit! 

 

So, how do we learn to do that?   Is it a class in school, we skipped?  A course we opted out of at University?  Does it fall to our parents to teach us how to love and be loved, to communicate, resolve conflict, anger and resentment, to rebuild trust?  Who was supposed to teach us all the skills and techniques to extend that strong feeling of affection, no matter what?

Like, you know, when life does what life does? 

The dream job, turns nightmare?  You haven't slept in 2 months because, new baby!? The investments, bottom out?  The market dips and the you’re now underwater on your house?  Your sweet child gets a diagnosis you didn’t plan on?  YOU get a diagnosis you can’t even say out loud yet?  The money is gone? Your mother passes away?  Your father-in-law has to move in with you for 24 hour care? His kid has suddenly morphed into devil spawn tween?  Your kid is football star in the making, with 3 practices a week to show for it? Your boss is making your life hell?  The commute is gobbling up 3 hours of their day?  And Sex? Ahhhhahahaha, What’s that?!?!

When and where was THAT seminar, the one for ‘keeping that strong feelings of affection’, alive and kicking, when the shit’s really going down? 

sweet-ice-cream-photography-255437.jpg

Breathe.  You’re not the only one.  WE ALL MISSED IT!   

Because, ‘relationships’, isn’t something, as a society, we structure into a formal teaching. 

 

Which is kind of odd, no? 

I mean, we wouldn’t throw someone into nuclear physicist work without any training, schooling or expertise and say, here you go, power the country and reduce our carbon footprint please!

We wouldn’t pick some wonderful kind super well intentioned person with no skills, no real track record of long term success and say ‘hey you, stop world hunger! Here is the head seat of this charity, now get this done and no mistakes, okay buddy??

I wish I could write here, we wouldn’t vote someone in to run a country without… but UM, yikes! 

In all seriousness, I picked some VERY important jobs, didn’t I? However, let’s be real here. 

LOVE is a HUGE part of our ability to be happy with our lives.  RELATIONSHIPS, deep meaningful LONG TERM connections with other human beings, has been proven to not only increase our satisfaction in life and mental health, but our actual life expectancy!!

So why aren’t we investing in more personal development, learning and teaching around love and relationships? 

Well hello old frenemies, FEAR & SHAME. 

Somehow, we have come to believe, that asking for help in this area, means we have already failed.

Which, again, is pretty odd. 

If I wanted to get a degree in business, it wouldn’t be required or assumed, it’s because I’ve failed in business.  If I wanted to get a certification in Yoga, the opposite would be assumed, people would natural think, I must be really good at yoga already if I want to become an instructor!! 

Whenever there is not a structure in place to teach and to learn, fear and shame have all the space they need to take root and grow.  Fear & Shame lead to hatred and distrust of what we don’t know.  We definitely DO NOT need any more of that in our world today! 

 

So, is this point of the blog where I say, HIRE ME, I’LL TEACH YOU!!

No. Nope. Not even close.

I just want to let you know, it’s okay… that you don’t know. 

That you don’t know, how to communicate better with your partner.  It’s okay if you’re not sure if you LOVE them anymore.  It’s okay that you may even have a roadside littered with past failed relationships.

LOVE, the strong feeling of affection, takes work to sustain, not magic. 

I write, offering the kindness and compassion in the sacred knowledge that NO ONE IS BORN WITH ‘IT’.  

And with the HOPE that YOU CAN GET BETTER at relationships. 

Just like you did with yoga, or rowing, or your career, or at making smarter investments with your money, or at being a parent, improving your tennis game, or negotiating your salary for a new job, or baking pinterest worthy (and not so pinterest worthy) cakes...

Communication, conflict resolution, overcoming the negative head chatter, rebuilding trust, facilitating goodwill and true partnership, are ALL skills that can be learned and improved upon.  Even the SKILL that is LOVE, the feeling of strong affection, is a muscle that requires an exercise regime.  

Today, simply embrace this kindness, compassion and hope. 

Kindness, compassion and hope, is how you kill fear and shame, with fire!

xx

Absolute privacy respect. No spam, EVER.
Marketing by

9 Things Couples' Therapists Want You To Know About Marriage & Kids

First it was a team of TWO... and then BOOM! A team of three, four, five...

Starting a family, and the incomprehensible joy children can bring to our lives is an epic pivot point in a couples life.  I mean, once you get past the absolute terror of those first days (or months) of each of you doing your very best to keep them alive... AND once you learn first hand just how little sleep a human needs to function, of course!  

The moment comes for us all, the welcomed exhale as they begin to endlessly entertain us with their antics and the awe inspiring 'firsts' as they experience the world.  It's magic!

HOWEVER, many MANY couples struggle to maintain the well being and health of the original'Team of TWO'. Both individually and as a couple.  Time becomes sand, that not just slips but spills furtively from our hands, and all too often, a couple becomes two separate islands with an ocean between them. 

Date night? Sex? Quiet conversation over a candle lit dinner?  AHAHAHAHA What's that?  

One of the greatest gifts we can offer for a child's development and future emotional maturity is a love filled home.  Love that flows freely, not just to them, but between the parents too. 

The very hip folks over @ Romper.com, get it!  Romper 'chronicles that crazy adventure — its highs and its lows — in a way that’s smart, honest, helpful, and above all, fun. Raising another human is no joke, but it’s often hilarious.'   

They did us all a great service by providing this fantastic article to help YOU out with everything I just spoke about!  HURRAH! 

romper.com

romper.com

It was an honour to contribute as an relationship expert on this article, and hope you find my tips, along with some other experts, super helpful as you navigate partnership and parenting!

READ THE ARTICLEHERE https://www.romper.com/p/9-things-couples-therapists-want-you-to-know-about-marriage-kids-45082

 

What's not working for you?  Where is the STRUGGLE so very real as you try to be the best parent and partner?  xx

 

Absolute privacy respect. No spam, EVER.
Marketing by