Relationship advice on how to combat the most common problems that cause divorce and separation. How do we rebuild connection when we feel we are no longer IN LOVE with your spouse?
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.
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 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.
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’.
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.
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!
Happy New Year!
What’s been on my mind? Well, how can I factor Star Wars into a blog about relationships? Of course!
Don’t worry, I won’t clog the content with metaphor. I will allow the art form that is the GIF, do most of the heavy Star Wars lifting. Also, there will be no Last Jedi SPOILERS in this edition of the Love Letters, though, come on now, you really haven’t seen it yet?? Hellllllo!??!?!
So yeah, another year and another epic Star Wars movie have just left us… AND THIS TIME, you had someone to cuddle up with at the movie theater to watch it with, WOOT!
That’s right, watch out world… against all odds of the Empire, you swiped your way to love. OR at least, what appears to be an almost unicorn like person, in what has been a Tatooine desert of ghosts, duds, jerks and just soooo not right for you, people.
So there you are, watching the rebellion give rise to great hope… and whilst you are genuinely trying to enjoy every moment of it, you’re kinda’ freaking out! A pervading voice from the dark side, keeps urgently whispering in your ear…”Don’t F@ck this up!!!!’
I get this particular brand of SOS call at least a few times a month from both men and women. People who are just starting out in relationships and overwhelmed with the fear that they’re going to f@ck it up. That, just one small misstep will bring the dominoes of their new burgeoning love, toppling into a million broken pieces on the floor.
The good news? Most of that is just scarcity. The fear that you are not enough to deserve this wonderful new love. And some of it is completely learn-able techniques, you simply, were never taught.
The Bad news? That scarcity is crawling all over you. It’s got you like WHOA, and if you are feeding those scarcity gremlins after midnight… you will indeed participate in the demise of this new relationship.
Can you break a new thing in two? YES. You absolutely can. Will it be one tiny misstep that unravels the whole thing? NO!
Human engagement and connection (AKA Relationships) are way more multi-faceted than one little aspect, toppling it.
Here are my top three tips on what challenges can make or break a new relationship in its first toddling year.
1. UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
For some reason, we all think we should be relationship experts, that there is no margin for error for ourselves and our new partners. When in reality, there is no formal structure for learning about relationship skills. There is No Relationships 101 course in University, and for many of us #notallofus, we didn't have very good teachers at home, either.
We experience shame when we make communication errors and or have the expectation that we are supposed to 'get it right' every time. A relationship mind-set recipe for disappointment and disaster.
If you hear yourself saying to yourself, your partner and any friend who will listen “They should just KNOW how” or “How can I be 30something (or 40something) and NOT know how to do relationships?!?”, I invite you now, to take a deep breath and welcome the compassion I am offering.
WE ALL MISSED THAT CLASS IN SCHOOL BECAUSE IT DOESN’T EXIST!
2. HEALTHY AND INSTRUCTIVE BOUNDARIES:
How we start is how we will go on.
Many people, especially women, try to make themselves so accommodating and easy to be with at the start of a relationship because of fear based scarcity. If we do not show people from the very start how we need to be cared for and loved, we are not providing our partner and our relationship the authentic rich soil to thrive.
Good people inherently treat us, as we instruct them to. And being clear about that early on, creates a framework for you both to succeed + stops the nostalgic "she/he was so different when we first got together' battle cry, that can really kill a relationship down the road.
3. COMMUNICATION. COMMUNICATION. COMMUNICATION!
It's so important, I had to type it three times!
Learning techniques to communicate our needs clearly and in a positive manner that the other party can understand is an integral part to any relationships success. My clients are blown away at how, when they change the way they communicate their desires and needs, how differently AND abundantly their partners respond!
All of us come with an instruction manual inside of us. Finding it for ourselves and showing others with compassionate love, how to use that manual is a great act of love, towards ourselves and towards our partners.
Are you freaking out, worried that your lack of experience and knowledge on how to be in a happy, healthy relationship might just blow up your chances at love?
My ‘NEW LOVE’ programs are uniquely designed to offer YOU the tools and techniques for you to start CONFIDENTLY down the road to forever love. As an individual and/or as a couple! Let’s start out 2018 as you mean to carry on.
Book in your FREE 45 minute Breakthrough To Love Call, so you can get the clarity neeeded to create a tangible strategy to learn the skills to keep YOU and your new relationship THRIVING!
Looking forward to sending you more LOVE LETTERS in 2018 and helping YOU find and keep the LOVE YOU DESERVE! xx