relationship killer

When Going It Alone In Your Relationship Can Be A Love Saver!

Some days you just have to go it alone, in your relationship

This is me, out and about in Amsterdam, all by myself, on a recent trip my husband and I took to see his family in the Netherlands.

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See, I don’t know about you, but I have a peopling limit. Like, I’m talking getting to a place where I am peopled theAF out. (I also like to make up words, like peopling and peopled. Just go with it).

People often assume I am quite extroverted, as I can be the life of the party, and have had careers where networking, working closely with people and developing meaningful relationships is something I do excel at… but here is the real deal. I am actually quite introverted and require a hefty amount of alone time to feel at my best.


Whilst on our dutch adventure earlier this month, after 3 days of family visits, and wandering around with my partner day and night, I was D O N E. It was high time… for some solo time, and I am not afraid to ask for what I need.


I sent the Hubba Hubba off for a day with his mom, and I played tourist all day, roaming the city, having a fab sushi lunch and letting my playlist guide me. It was magnificent! And so very necessary.

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See, even with the man I have chosen to spend the rest of my life with, I cannot do more than 3 days of 24/7 together time. It doesn’t mean I love him less, or he isn’t the right match. It just means I require some inter-dependency in a relationship. Some alone time, with my head phones on, and only myself to cater to or depend on from time to time.

Being in love, marriage, partnership doesn’t require we are attached at the hip at all times. In fact, most folks in long term relationships that report in being happiest, always call out separate hobbies and interests, as well as shared ones. These people prioritize SELF care and SELF love. They value the time they spend with themselves, as much as the time they spend together.



If you can’t enjoy your own company, and take yourself out on a great date from time to time, then you will always be looking to other to make you feel… loved, happy, content, and desired. Whilst people can add to our vault of love, happiness and care… they should never be the sole provider.

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What have you done, just for you, today?

Are you nurturing your own hobbies and interests?

Do you value your alone time?

Trust me, my dear, your relationship will thank you for it!

Looking forward to your comments on this weeks LOVE LETTER! xx

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Are you TWO bickering your way through the holidays, again?

The holidays can be rife with bickering, arguments and disappointment with our partners. The stress levels of trying to have ‘the best Christmas ever’ or winning the approval from the in laws come Hanukah, mixed in with running kids to even more activities than normal, buying the absolutely perfect gifts for every one on your list, end of year meetings and reports by the sleigh load at the office, all while putting on your best sparkling party dress for dinners and drinks(!!) truly exasperates the cracks and wounds in our partnerships.

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Happy F’ ing Holidays to one and all, right?

Ahem. Notice I used the words exasperates? Not creates?

Stress puts humans into survival mode. And in survival mode, our masks drop. Because, ain’t nobody got time for that. Old hurts, festering resentments bubble to the surface, unfettered by our normal level of control.

We lose out temper more easily. Our frustration levels skyrocket. And Bickering can become arguments to door busting fights in the blink of an eye.

The good news? Aside from some serious Zen Buddhist holiday makers (of whom I have yet to meet),

IT HAPPENS TO US ALL AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR!


Then we do something incredible regretful. We open the door to shame, and invite it to our holiday party. We berate ourselves and our partners with phrases like… It’s Christmas For heavens sake! Or “Can’t we just have ONE holiday season without doing this??! , Really? You want to ruin the holiday season, again??

So how can we get better at this? How can we lean into the acceptance that stress is exasperating our emotional state without said exasperation taking over, and yelling like a banshee OR spending days doing silent treatment?


I want to offer up two concepts to help you navigate this holiday season with more compassion and place happiness under your tree.

First up…

CONFIRMATION BIAS:

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Confirmation Bias is where we have already decided something is true, and then seek out, both consciously and unconsciously the evidence that supports our theory.

 

We say, “He’s ALWAYS late to get the kids!”  And so, what do we focus in on?  The two times he picked them up on time? Or the four he was late?  When we are in confirmation bias mode, we won’t even be able to see the two times he got it right.  All we seek, and therefore see, are the four times, he did not.

 

When we believe “Every Christmas, she gets so crazy, I can’t stand it!”  We wait, quietly, patiently like that creepy Elf On The Shelf, popping out with a mighty AHA!! GOTCHA!!! When she comes in with yet another box of expensive Christmas baubles or snaps at the kids whilst decorating the tree. 

 

In Confirmation Bias Mode, we are blind to the moments and events, where our partner behaved in total contradiction to this belief we are holding.

Confirmation Bias antagonizes our old resentments and annoyances about our partner.

 

Next up…

MINDFULNESS:

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We want to become way more mindful about our language. The language we use in our own heads, first.

Words like ALWAYS, NEVER, EVERY TIME, NOBODY, EVERY BODY are red light indicators we are formulating a limiting belief. These all encompassing, finite words make our emotions, what we FEEL LIKE sound all too factual.

ALWAYS late to grab the kids?

EVERY Christmas she gets crazy?

The reality is… it’s not ALWAYS, OR EVERY TIME, OR NEVER, OR EVERY BODY… but it can sure feel that way. And when we confirm those feelings with language, we are primed for a good fight.

Let us, at this wonderful time of the year, try to foster more goodwill in our partnerships. To spread more cheer to one another.

I’m rooting for you both to win, my darlings. Now, let’s get you rooting that way too!

p.s. Can you imagine if you applied the above, to a fraction of the family that drives you mad EVERY December?!?! ;) WOWZA!

Happy Holidays from me and the hubba hubba! xx

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Have you put your own oxygen mask on first, in your relationship?!?

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?

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Jedi Training For Your New Relationship!

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!??!?!

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Giphy.com

 

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.

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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

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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:

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gipfy.com

 

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!

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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

 

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giphy.com

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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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Are you about that score card life? FOUR things you need to stop doing in your relationship right away!

Are you about that Score card life? FOUR things you need to stop doing in your relationship right away!

Have you found yourself starting your sentences with…

“ When you do X then I will do Y”?

Responded to your partner recently with…

“On Saturday February 10th at 10:01 am you said…”

Thinking to yourself…

“He would be perfect, if he would just change X, Y, and Z.”

 

Or found your self wandering your life and relationship, ticking boxes, tallying up the good, bad and simply not good enough?

Then chances are, you are indeed, all about that score card life.

Here are 4 reasons, this way that life, kills not only our relationships but our self worth.

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