long term partnership

Why can't you get your partner to really hear and understand you?

Each couple I coach has their own bespoke set of challenges, however there are a handful of issues, that seem to be consistent in each partnership, tearing away at the fabric of their love, trust and intimacy.

  • Loss of passion, not limited to, however also including a dying sex life.

  • Poor conflict resolution leading to circular, go no where fast, conversations and arguments.

  • Affairs, emotional and/or physical where one or both have gone outside the relationship seeking their needs to be met.

  • Problems with in-laws and extended family, where boundaries and respect are not being cherished.

  • Loss of love, where one or both partners no longer feels cared for in a way they need to thrive.

 

This is why my coaching programs always offer instruction, tools and skill learning opportunities for each individual, within the partnership, to become better at leaping these common relationship hurdles.

We always start at the very root; COMMUNICATION!  

Wowza, communication is such a big topic and everyone is failing at this, we just can’t figure out how to make ourselves heard and our partners understand.

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This week, I want to offer up a significant first step on the road of communication, where so many of you may be falling at the very first hurdle. 

One of the worst things we can do, and the very first most of us do.. is projection of self onto our relationship. Your partner is not a version of you. This means that what and they think, their needs and how they translate the world around them. is not the way that you will.

We can get trapped in the resentment fueled circular thought process of how WE would never do such a thing, say such a thing or react in such a way!  We interpret their actions and words, through our own lens… i.e. ‘If I didn’t take out the rubbish when asked, it would be because I don’t have any respect for them, and don’t care how busy they are!’ 

Just because, that would be our motivation and inferred message in this action DOES NOT mean, that is how everyone else thinks, let alone your partner. 

In fact, my experience as a relationship coach AND within my own marriage, has shown that it’s almost NEVER that simple.

Men and women have very different communication styles because their foundational needs that are driving the communication are totally different.  Beyond that hetero normative angle (um, NO men are not from Mars and Women are not from Venus) how we are raised, the role modeled behavior we saw growing up and our own personality traits directly impact how we communicate and resolve conflict. Newsflash, my same sex couples do NOT speak the same language simple because they are the same sex. If only, it was that easy!

Our communication boils down to our CORE NEEDS and If you are in the dark about these core needs, then here is your first problem and why you are struggling.

Your partner keeps saying,  “You never say, I love you!".

What do they really mean?

 
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If you know that, you DO indeed say ‘I love you’, even occasionally, you will reject the whole statement at the “never” part sentence.  However, this unreasonable word, ‘NEVER’, is the first indicator that it’s not about the ‘I love you’ but something deeper and perhaps even completely different then the what the words above suggest. 

For men, and for many partners regardless of gender, this makes no sense.  AND, we have no idea how to solve it, so communication quickly becomes shut down.

Sadly, growing up we are not informed that being married for life needs life & relationship skills and new understandings.

Most couples are totally unaware of what they don’t know but need to if they are going to happily ever after this whole love thing.

How do we go from surviving, to thriving in our marriage and partnerships?!?

Please note: It’s not just you!  We ALL missed the Relationships 101 class at school, because it simply doesn’t exist, and many of us #notallofus, didn’t have very great teachers at home either.

I’m often the second to last call people make, right before the divorce lawyer or moving truck.  Crisis brings them to my door, and helping them breakthrough (their immediate problem) is a small part of what they really need. The biggest part is helping learn the skills to live a purposeful exciting life, as a team. It’s why I work with couples, and individuals in relationships, up to 6 months, personally guiding them through work around communication, love language, core values, mindset transformation, self love, intimacy, forgiveness and so much more.

You could say, I have created that elusive Relationships 101 class, we all missed.

And starting today...

CLASS IS NOW IN SESSION!

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I have cleared some slots over the next couple of weeks for YOU to book a FREE Breakthrough To Love call, where we can spend 45 minutes together to sort a way forward in your relationship. 

(Yup, an appointment with me, FOR FREE!)

On this call, I will help you get clarity on where you have been, where you are at, and where you want to go with love and your partnership.

IF, and only if, we both think it’s a good fit, AT THE END OF THE CALL, I may invite you to become one of my new clients and tell you about the coaching programs I can offer, that will provide you with the solutions YOU NEED, in order to save your relationship AND become more healthy and happy within your partnership. 

SCHEDULE YOUR FREE BREAKTHROUGH TO LOVE CALL APPOINTMENT HERE

Looking forward to speaking to you soon, my darling!

 
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Can LOVE conquer ALL?

Does Love Conquer All? What is real love? It’s time we revolt against what pop culture has told us love is all about…

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I found THE BIGGEST KEY SECRET to relationship happiness!!

And I, the relationship expert, didn’t even truly know THEN, just what an epic piece of the relationship puzzle this truly was, till THIS PAST YEAR!

 

Not me, not my partner…Neither of us had any real idea what an integral starring role this plays our very successful partnership.  And now that we do know, we can’t stop seeing WHY this is such a big deal.

 

Just last week, as my husband and I were wandering around the streets of Paris, on a quick city break…we found ourselves having this convo again about this integral element of our relationship bliss, that we had absolutely no idea during the dating and early relationship phase, was such going to prove to be such a BIGGIE secret weapon in our marital happiness!

 

This particular deep BIG OL’ core value issue comes up for many of my coaching clients, and it is, hands down, the hardest one to align and move towards reconciliation around…

 

 

What is possibly the most super crazy???   

NOBODY, NOT THE EXPERTS, NOT OTHER HAPPY COUPLES, NOT ALL THE RELATIONSHIP ADVICE MALARKEY ONLINE… NOBODY IS TALKING ENOUGH ABOUT THIS ELEMENT!!

 

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Check it out. I know that my husband isn’t a unicorn.  He’s not some mythological beast and I just happened to stumble across.  I know our marriage is not just magically easy.  It takes active work on self-awareness, compassion and communication to make ANY partnership thrive.  And our relationship, is no different.  HOWEVER, we did get off on the best possible start, in one area, by luck really!    

 

Okay, let me back track for a minute here…

Before I met Mark, I had invested in love coaching, because my dating and love life was a #hotmessexpress.  In fact, love was my ultimate Achilles heel, for years.  No matter how much improvement I saw in every other area of my life, my romantic relationships lagged behind my usual badassery,. My love life truly resembled a rescue puppy dog headed back to the shelter.

 

One of the MANY results of that coaching work, was that I was way more intentional about WHO I was choosing and WHY. 

I had a relatively firm grasp on my CORE VALUES and had TAKEN OUT just enough of the ‘love will conquer all’ aesthetic, that was so not serving me, so I could make healthy relationship choices that were both practical and loving, towards myself and others.

I had learned that CONNECTION was the fuel for LOVE.   I also learned, that living with someone day in and day out, was the real nitty gritty of what can make or break a partnership. That lasting CONNECTION was about ALIGNMENT.

 

GUESS WHAT?  Even with ALL that knowledge, there was one thing that truly was luck.  Or at the very least, I had no idea would prove to one of the most important reasons my marriage works so well.

 

A day to day, core value issue, we both had no idea was so important, and that I give thanks for every day, that we got right, without even knowing how right we needed to get it, before we said, I DO.

 

Of all the things we identified during our chats, like our high level of mutual respect, the goodwill we have for one another, and the mega trust we had built… the ONE THING that really had one of the greatest impacts on why we are able to co-habitate and build a life with one another, was the least hippy dippy, wooo wooo of all???

 

HELLLLLO, MONEY MINDSET!!

 

image via Pixabay

image via Pixabay

 

ICK, Money?  Where is the rom-com, period drama like love in that??  

 

Here’s the deal. My husband and I have very similar outlook on money. It’s value, how to spend it, when to save it, where is the best place to put it, and what having it and not having it, means to us.  Our money mindset is not identical.  Emotionally I see money as independence and power, power to live a particular lifestyle and power to help others.  The hubba hubba, he emotionally ties money to security and stability. The means to those different emotional ends, is where we are so very aligned.

 

We rarely disagree on the monetary value of things.  We both had almost the exact number in mind when it came to putting on that quite expensive party of a wedding and no one is off sneaking around buying things and smuggling them into the house.  When I see a parade of Amazon purchases showing up on our doorstep, I don’t go running to check the bank balance.  I KNOW it's not in his nature to spend crazy money on nonsense we don't need and I too do not spend crazy money on nonsense we don't need! (For the record, I did NEED all those French moisturizers I bought in Paris!)

Our intellectual and emotional response to what money should be spent and what should be saved, are in alignment. 

 

Before we got married, we moved in together; Without too much discussion, we opened a joint checking account.  We both still had our separate checking, savings investment accounts.  When we got married, we consolidated ALL our money, aside from some retirement investments, without much deliberation or concern whatsoever.  We could only do that so easily, confidently (and freely) because we shared the same money mindset, and on that foundation, trust around money was easier to cultivate.

 

All of our individual purchases came from the very same account. Full stop.  At the time, I made well over twice as much money as he did, and never for a second was I worried he would go off  ‘spending all MY money’.  We split most things down the middle however from time to time, I gladly spent more, since I had more, without feeling any sense of injustice.  My husband, gratefully, does not tie his masculinity (or provider status) to bank balances, so he never felt threatened by our income disparity.

 

When I left my old career to pursue a coaching certification and start my business, it was all swings and round-a-bouts those first coupe of years, with who was earning and providing more money.  As a couple, there was little distress on our union, even though our overall income dropped considerably.   

I am not saying, joint accounts are THE KEY answer!  I am saying...

Looking back, we both realized that MONEY MINDSET was so crucial to our happiness levels in our life, and our marriage.

 
image via pixabay

image via pixabay

 

Arguments over money and lifestyle associated to money is high up on the marriage killer offender list.  LIKE, WAY WAY UP THERE. 

As a Relationship Coach, who works with couples week in and week out, I can tell you that some of the most bitter resentments and seemingly insurmountable trials in many of these partnerships, is around money mindset.

 

The one thing every single one of us does EVERY DAY, even if we don’t leave the house, is breathe.. and spend money.  That light on my desk and the internet whirring silently, as I type this, are costing me money.

 

 

So what does an aligned money mindset look like?   

 

Well, firstly aligned doesn’t equate to mirrored.  Some differences in views around money can go a long way.  I can think of a few people I know, who the very last thing they need, is someone who spends money the way they do!  Either because, they would be in Las Vegas every night OR because they would save every last penny earned and never EVER go on holiday!  

HOWEVER, alignment is about two (or more) things moving in the same direction at the same time.  It’s an overall shared trajectory and understanding of what effect money has on our physical, mental and emotional well being.

 

There is no avoiding the hard truth, that in our world, money represents security.  Yet, perhaps the greatest contradiction, is that having more money doesn’t always makes different people feel the same way. 

Biggie Smalls said it best “Mo’ money Mo problems”.

 

This is why, even a couple who has ‘all the monies’ can be the couple who fights most viciously about that same money.  There is where the crux of alignment shows it’s face most clearly. 

 

THE KEY? 

It's NOT about how much or how little money there is, but our relationship and engagement with money, that matters. 

It's whether we are operating from a place of scarcity or abundance around money, and if we are behaving from possessive dependency or transparent interdependence.

 
image via pixabay

image via pixabay

 

For those of you have yet to find your partner to be, I encourage you to dig deep about how you really FEEL about and actively associate with money.

It’s all very taboo in our society to talk about money and love together, however, please push past the messaging that this isn’t something that’s spiritual or loving or ‘done’ and start digging. 

The more clearly we choose a life partner based on our Core Values, the better chance we have at sustaining connection and love, for the long haul.   

 

 

For those of you reading this, who are in partnerships, and you are now thinking right now, ‘uh oh, we got big, BIG problems in this area’, please know that alignment is achievable, even for those who are frighteningly out of whack.

Willingness and understanding, of ourselves and our partners money mindset, is the base to which we can align ourselves to be moving in the same direction!  

 

We have to want to, and we have to be open to the idea, that our way is not the only, right way. Alignment is NOT bending others to our will!   As impossible as it may feel to you, I can guarantee that IF you proactively open yourself up to new ideas, and processes every day… in your relationship, at work, with friends, even on your holiday bookings, ALIGNMENT becomes possible!  

 

Sending you ALL the love!  xx

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It's decision time! Should you stay or should you go?

We’re standing at a crossroads. Red light. Green Light.

We can stay, or we can go.

credit pixabay

credit pixabay

No matter how many times we have turned this decision over in our mind, we remain stuck, fearful and confused.

One moment, every fiber in our body says ‘GET OUT’!!

The next moment, we never want to leave.

This one foot in, one foot out mindset and state of confusion, can cause the relationship to break down entirely. And the harm, the traffic buildup, can damage the entire city we live in.

And when we find ourselves stuck at that crossroads, staring desperately up at the traffic light, too paralyzed to move, it’s the obsessive questioning that is plaguing our will to love and love.

  • How long can I live like this? 
  • Does he/she love me anymore?
  • What will happen if I leave? 
  • Will I ever meet someone again?
  • How did we get here?
  • Can we get back to a better place? 
  • Am I wasting the best years of my life? 
  • What will my family say? 
  • What will people think of me? 
  • How will this affect the children?
  • Why won’t he/she listen to me?
  • Did I choose the wrong person?
  • What’s wrong with me?
  • How much crime TV does one have to watch to ensure no one finds the body? (just kidding, or am I?)

 

The above questions are valid, HOWEVER they’re the wrong questions.

They’re not making things any clearer because they’re driven by fear, helplessness, anger and resentment.

As long as we are paralyzed, unsure of which direction to go, we CAN NOT and WILL NOT invest, in either course.

credit; Unsplash/ Flo Karr

credit; Unsplash/ Flo Karr

Often, at the very start of coaching people in relationships, I ask them to commit to something incredibly scary.  To suspend all their doubts and disbelief and decide wholeheartedly, TO STAY.

It’s a TEMPORARY ask.   

We set a specific timeline, usually 90 days, for them to absolutely commit to staying in their partnership. 

Why do I do this?

Well…

1. The merry go round of indecision is exhausting.  It can zap us of all our energy. We’re going to need A LOT of energy to focus on the work to repair and rejuvenate their relationship.

2. As long as you are standing at the traffic light, vacillating between green and red, stay and go, you will undermine ALL of the work that needs doing.  I want my couples to experience results. Often that result, is, a marriage or partnership SAVED!  Sometimes that result, is finally knowing beyond any doubt, it cannot be saved.  Staying in limbo is torture. Not just for the individuals in the relationship, but everyone within a 10 mile radius.  That traffic, gets WAY backed up! (and yes, that traffic… that city… it’s YOU, your partner, your family, friends and loved ones, my dear)

3. If our heads are swirling with the tornado of questions you have been asking yourself for months, even years… you won’t be able to hear the powerful life changing questions I have to offer. AND you need to hear them, dearest one.

WE HAVE TO GO ALL IN. 

TOP DOWN, PEDAL TO THE METAL. 

credit; Pixabay

credit; Pixabay

Today, I want to offer up FOUR of these epic questions to you! 

My lovely, I cordially invite you to get into the drivers seat, take a deep breath and take your eyes off the traffic lights and put them on the road ahead of you, where they belong.

Ready?  Let’s go!

  • So why, is being in this relationship AND making it work, important to YOU?
  • If we were having this conversation 1 year from today, and you were looking back over that year, what has to have happened in your life for you to feel really happy with your progress. 
  • What are THREE actions, YOU can do THIS WEEK, that would bring you one baby step closer to results you want to see in one year’s time?  
  • What’s stopping you from doing them?  Resentment? Expectation? What conditions or doubts, spring to mind that are blocking YOU, from taking action?

Take these away with you, grab a pen and paper and dig deep.

Then, comment below or privately email me your answers! My door is wide open and I always love to hear back from my gorgeous tribe. 

 

Sending you all the love,  xx Jessica Elizabeth

 

 

#relationshipcoaching #marriagesaver #partnership #relationshipgoals #askyourself #keeplove

 

 

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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

 

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Hello? Can you hear me? Is Technology A Relationship Crusher?

Hello?? Can you hear me? I’ve been wondering… why the heck you won’t put down your phone and LISTEN TO ME?!?!?

 

Ever been in that conversation?  You’re talking about something important, or nothing interesting at all, and your partner is glued to their phone/ipad/laptop/netlfix/iphone/fitbit???

Pssst, come here. Can I make a top secret relationship coach admission to you?  I’m the one in my partnership busy facebooking as if it’s life itself, while my partner is talking! 

I have even heard myself say, in my best teenage angst voice, ‘WHHHHHHHAATTT? I’m busy here!!!’

Hi there, my name is Jessica Elizabeth, and apparently, I’m a newsfeed update addict!  YIKES!

 

Yup. I do it too.  We all do.  Everywhere we turn the soft glow of our screens, sing it’s siren song.

 

In my defense, (or at least the one I offer up to my partner) I’m perfectly capable of doing two things at once!  Yeah!  Except, the evidence seems to prove, I miss at least 50% of what he is saying to me.  Womp. Womp.

And. My partner hates it. He really, really, hates it.

Whenever we opt out of real conversation AND eye contact with your partner, our connection suffers. We are no longer being present and available to engagement , and love.  I have heard some pretty disturbing quotes from partners on the other end of this tech obsession; and the overarching, repetitive message “WHAT’S HAPPENING ON [social media, email, television, the internet] IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ME!”.  

Sounds dramatic. But OUR actions are indeed sending that very clear message. 

 

Do you need a tech detox in your relationship?  Take the test and find out!

Here is a fun way to score yourself on just how well you might be doing AND/OR just how much technology you might need to put down in order to connect with your partner.

 

CATEGORIES;

Bedroom Tech           Dinner Tech             Tech 2 Tune out                     

 

Hi Pat, I’ll take ‘Bedroom Tech’ for 300 please!

 

Bedroom Tech, for 300;

Television in the bedroom?  Oh come on, this culprit has been around for years. Television in the bedroom is responsible for more missed conversations AND sex opportunities since 1988.

Do you have a TV in the bedroom? (add 50 points) 

Are you watching it till you are ready to sleep? (+100 points) 

Are you and your partner at least cuddling watching it TOGETHER as an act of some ‘end of day respite’ solidarity? ( deduct 100 points from total score)

 

Quick Fix = If you are still rocking that 80’s look, it’s time to dump it.  Or at the very least put in a no TV for the last 30 minutes before lights out.  Create some space for a bit of couple time.  Catch up, cuddle, or hey, maybe even light a candle or two….     

 

 

Social media before bed? Oh yes indeed,  I went there.  Are you on your phone or tablet liking, loving, emojing and commenting till the very last moment, before turning over and calling it a night? 

Not only have scientific studies shown over and over that the light of our screens is extremely detrimental to our sleep patterns, it sure isn’t good on the relationship either.  Oh, I know, your bedroom at the end of the night, once the kids are all tucked away, is your ONLY chance to be alone and catch up on these things. You are not alone, doll.  Your partner needs some attention and so do you.  + I saw you posted, like, 10 times today!  Busted. 

Are you tweeting, FBing, instagramming till the lights go out? (+100 points) 

Are you doing it even after the lights go out? (+ 50 points)

 

Quick Fix = set up all your chargers out of the bedroom or across the room, this way it’s not there next to your bedside, singing its sweet siren song of pings and beeping news feed alerts.  

 

 

DINNER TECH, for 300;

I’ll have a steak, medium rare w/ social media sauce + some work emails on the side please.

I see pics posted every day on instagram, facebook, etc... where groups of friends are out to dinner, and everyone is glued to their phone instead of talking.  And we have all seen couples out at dinner, not talking to each other, but instead on their phones swiping, messaging….

Dinner out with your partner, is a wonderful time to have the fun chats. What I mean by that, public places are never the best venue for deep conversations laced with all that needs to change in your relationship.  HOWEVER they are amazing opportunities to talk about what films you want to go see and why, what happened during your day, share a political rant and generally unplug from it all, just the two of you. 

If it’s more than the two of you, i.e. family dinners, with every moment you shoot off that next email, or escape into the virtual reality that is Instagram… you lose. We can’t rewind time; be present, engage and enjoy those dinners, one day those cute kids might well be sullen teenagers complete with one word grunted answers.  Make it last.

Are you ‘that couple’ who spends more than 30% of dinner using your phone? (Add 300 points)

 

Quick fix = A baby step, set a time limit of 10 minutes to catch up on what you need to on all things interwebs, when you first sit down.  Epic step, silence your phone, and keep  it off the table and stored away on in your pocket or bag. If you can’t see it or hear it, you won’t be tempted to pick it up.  

 

 

Tech 2 Tune Out, for 300;

This category is for those of us who actively utilize our phones as an escape mechanism. 

If we feel a bit socially awkward at an event, if the conversation with our partner shifts to a topic we are not comfortable with, if we are so stressed out in general… our phones have become our doorway to somewhere else, fast. Not sure if you are that guy/gal?  Practice some mindfulness over the next week and take note of how often, when and why you pull out your phone when with other people.

If you are doing this when the tough topics come up between you and your partner as an act of avoidance or disengagement… I probably don’t have to tell you, that by doing that, your partner is only getting more frustrated and angry, which means the tension level you seek to avoid... is just building as a result.  It’s also high time you got real with why these conversations are triggering you to find an escape route.

Do you us technology to TUNE OUT?   (Add 300 points)

 

Quick fix – Resist, resist, resist.  This detox is going to hit you in all the feels but it’s so necessary. If you find yourself picking it up, put it back down, fast.  One client of mine, silently repeats to herself “Tune in, be present” as a mantra to get her through it. Find a phrase/mantra you can use to curb the cravings, and ditch this particular social crutch.  

 

 

So, in this game, the highest score… makes you the biggest connection loser. DOH!  

How did you score? 

Where can you tweak your tech use to create more space, time and connection with your partner and improve your relationships, starting today?

 

The first week of any detox is the hardest, stay strong… YOU CAN DO IT! 

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