But I want…I need…You should…

Although my first marriage only lasted 4 ½ years due to the untimely death of my husband, it lasted long enough for me to begin to learn some important life lessons.

JG was a good man.  He worked hard, loved his job, turned his pay over to me and never questioned how I spent it, was home every night by 5:30 (unless he had to pick up equipment for repair from Bakersfield or somewhere far away.)  He thought he was getting a sweet, young woman who would complete his life.  I thought I was getting someone who would fill my insatiable need for reassurance, affection and attention. 

We were both wrong.

He worked all day, six days a week and we spent most of the seventh day at church.  Several times every month I would complain, beg, nag and pout about how little attention I was getting from him.  Why couldn’t he take an occasional day off?  Why didn’t he tell me he loved me more often?  The only relief were our occasional vacations where I got to be with him 24/7.  But for 50 weeks out of 52 I was unhappy and made sure he knew it.

I didn’t like the results.  We were both unhappy most of the time.  Not the marriage either of us had envisioned!

I was finally desperate enough to tell God, “I’ll do anything to make this marriage better.  I’m even willing to change if you’ll just tell me how!” (I’m sure God breathed a sigh of relief!)  There were no lightening bolts or voices out of the heavens, but the first little whisper of an idea came shortly after.  “Instead of complaining about how little time you have together, how about being grateful for any time you DO HAVE?”  Hmmm…

So, every evening when his truck pulled into our driveway, I said a prayer of thanks.  “Thank you that he’s home safely.  Thank you that he comes home faithfully.  Thank you for the next few hours that we have together.”  And then greeted him warmly when he came through the door.

A few weeks later, as he was leaving for work one Saturday morning, he said, “I’m planning on coming home at noon today.  Is there anything you’d like to do?”  Shock.  Wow.  I didn’t even know what to say.  If my memory serves, we had lunch, went for a drive, got an ice cream cone…all without any discord…peacefully, lovingly…time that nurtured my need for his attention.

That lesson…being grateful for what is, rather than unhappy about what isn’t…has continued to be a life-lesson theme for me.  This lesson repeatedly calls me back to what Ekhart Tolle calls “the present moment” in his book, The Power of NowIn this moment I am safe.  In this moment the main bills are paid.  In this moment I have food for myself, my chickens and my dogs.  Living in the moment, and being grateful for what is RIGHT NOW, is a powerful spiritual practice that continues to challenge and enrich my life.

Being grateful for what is good NOW seems to go against our natural inclination to worry about the future, fret about how a bill will be paid, focus on our partner’s failings, create imaginary scenarios in which we fail, or are disappointed.

But the payoff for gratitude is a more peaceful life, more peaceful relationships, a quieter mind, an opening that seems to attract more miracles like JG’s offer to come home at noon, or unexpected income, or help such as the woman who offered to help me transfer groceries from my loaded cart into the trunk of my car this week.  Gratitude seems to grow the good in my life.  Will you take the challenge?

What is true about your life NOW for which you can be grateful?  Are you willing to join me in the discipline of pulling our attention back to RIGHT NOW and being grateful for the good that is ours in this moment?  You have my respect and support if you answer “Yes!” and my compassion and understanding if you refuse…  It’s hard.  It’s not a once and it’s done event.  It is a practice, a journey, a calling that must be answered over and over again, moment by moment.  

All I can add is that the practice of gratitude, although certainly not done perfectly, has brought many more blessings and miracles into my life than I couldn’t have gotten by complaining and nagging!

I’m Into Purging These Days…

I’m really into purging right now… Since the temp outside is 105 I can’t call it Spring Cleaning… But I am making room for some changes in my life.

As I look back on my life, I see that every time there was a major change in the air, I purged.  Cleaned out cupboards, got rid of clothes I no longer used, disposed of books I no longer needed.  Redecorated a major area.

Logically it seems like you would acquire something new and then get rid of what you no longer needed.  But in my experience, the purging comes before something new arrives…especially when I have no idea what the something new will be.  There has to be space available for the something new to have a place.

I am seriously, even desperately ready for some areas of my life to change.  Donating six big bags of clothing I haven’t worn for years, cleaning out and reorganizing a dresser or my messy house-tools drawer, repairing and repainting a huge bird house that was showing signs of weathering…all of these are metaphors for the interior house-cleaning I’m doing.  What old, unexamined beliefs have been unconsciously creating their predictable reality in my life?  What things have I stubbornly been holding onto that compromise my health and wellbeing?  What must I examine that isn’t working for me and with what do I replace it in order to get the results I want? 

Several months ago, Steve and  Jeanine decided they were ready to try to improve the quality of their relationship.  As you read this brief report, notice what they removed and what they added in order to enjoy a much higher level of satisfaction (love and peace) between them…

Steve and I came to Nancy at a critical time in our relationship.  We had been fighting so much and things just continued to get progressively worse and more intense.  We both decided we needed to seek help or our relationship would not last.  

“Nancy was amazing.  She welcomed us and made both of us feel so comfortable that we were able to open up about things we never even thought were issues.  We both knew that our communication skills were lacking but we didn’t know how to fix it! 

“Nancy’s program showed us how to do something as easy as listening to each other. Listening to one another broke the cycle of arguing and allowed us to have our own feelings heard and understood.  We now have true conversations instead of arguments.  

“Overall, we have developed so much more respect for one another.  We both highly recommend Nancy’s coaching and her Millionaire Marriage Club.”

Jim and I went through the same exchange process.  It took a lot of pain for us to, finally, be willing to let go of some relationship habits that were creating unrelenting conflicts…and then make the effort to learn and practice new skills that actually created the loving, peaceful, even joyful marriage that we both wanted.

If you’re ready for some changes for the better in your relationship, let’s set up a complimentary appointment to see how this can happen for you, as well.  https://meetme.so/SpeakwithNancy

Meanwhile shall I tackle the guest bedroom closet next?  Or the pantry? Or maybe the barn?  I am relentlessly committed to this process.  As I make room physically, spiritually and mentally, what will come now that there is room?  I got started with a new client last week…Did she show up because of all this space I am creating?  I think so…

Stay tuned…

 

 

 

 

Is it Groundhog day in your relationship?

Ken and Kim had been having the same fight, over and over again, for thirty years.  Can you relate?  He does (or doesn’t do) something, she says…., he reacts defensively, she brings up previous examples of how he’s failed her, he counters with accusations of her “stuff…”  It goes downhill from there with both parties repeating their memorized roles to perfection.

Last Fall Ken and Kim decided to take a chance.  They enrolled in the Millionaire Marriage Club including coaching with me.  Click on this link to hear how they’re doing today:  Ken and Kim’s Update

The Millionaire Marriage Club is an online course teaching the communication skills that have enriched and even saved thousands of marriages.  It is supplemented by e-chapters from the book that my late husband and I wrote entitled, How to Stay Married & Love It! Solving the Puzzle of a SoulMate Marriage.

Choosing the package that includes coaching with me multiplies the effectiveness of learning, practicing and finally turning these new skills into lifelong habits.  When asked, clients have said that the Club and book information totaled about 30% of the value with my coaching making up the other 70%.

Schedule a call today so we can meet for an initial, complementary appointment to see if this option is right for you.  I coach clients in person and also as far away as Australia or Canada using an online program called Zoom.us   Access Nancy’s Calendar

I look forward to speaking with you!

(OR call me at 714-931-3910)

How Are Your Plans Coming Along?

Is your life looking like the blueprints you had in your mind ten or twenty years ago?  Is your marriage living up to the dreams you had for it?

Or are you suffering with a marriage or relationship that isn’t matching your plans?

“When life doesn’t match your blueprints, you suffer.”  I’m sorry I don’t remember where I picked up this statement, but isn’t it the TRUTH?!

When my body isn’t in the shape I want…When my partner doesn’t act lovingly toward me…When my child doesn’t live up to the potential I see in him or her…When my income isn’t what I’ve dreamed of…When… (fill in the blanks.)

And then perhaps you want to shoot the friend who says, “Everything works out for the best,” Or the spiritual leader who says, “We are providentially given the lessons we need to learn,” or, “Life is a school with lessons custom designed for each of us.”

I’ve had a few lessons that I wouldn’t have wished on my worst enemy, (if I had one!)  There were times when, truthfully, I just wanted my life to be over.  Sometimes THIS life is just too hard…too unbearable.

I’ve been widowed twice.  I’ve had major challenges in relationship to my children and step-children.  I’ve gone through a few seasons of financial strain.  My body has broken down and periodically caused me great pain, both emotionally and physically.  I’m experiencing aging…and facing what might be seen as the final decades of my life.

And yet, every tough season, every lesson learned, has delivered or brought me closer to my childhood dreams of (1) enjoying a loving, peaceful relationship with the love of my life, (2) having five children, (3) participating in loving relationships with each of them, and (4) writing books to help others have loving relationships.  The bonus has been my practice of personally coaching couples and seeing an online course published to help those, and other couples become more loving.

What were your life blueprints?  What areas of your life look like a building plan gone awry?  Who are you blaming for “mistakes” that have brought you a life that is a disaster in some area or another?

If you (or I) are suffering, it is because we long for a perfect construction being built according to our blueprints.  When our life doesn’t match our plans, we suffer.

I have the advantage of looking back and appreciating how perfect the lessons have been that I needed to achieve my childhood dreams.  I still have circumstances I don’t particularly like, but I am not fighting them as desperately as I used to.  So, what am I doing instead?

  1. I express gratitude for every lesson…sometimes through gritted teeth, but GRATITUDE.
  2. I look for and expect to be given teachers, guides, skills that will enable me to move through the suffering to a solution that works for me.
  3. I trust that there is a Guiding Force, the Universe, God who is orchestrating a PLAN that is perfect for me…and supporting me as I do my best to cooperate with my journey.
  4. I celebrate every success: each time that I choose food that is healthy for me, each coaching session where couples are excited about less hurt and more love because of skills I’m teaching them, every loving interaction with a family member or friend, each offer of help or evidence that I am, indeed, being guided.

I can’t help with many things that may be causing you pain, but if your marriage or love relationship isn’t matching your dreams, call me.  I may be able to show you how Jim and I achieved the marriage that matched our blueprints!  We’ll start with a complimentary appointment to see if your needs match my skills…and if they do, we’ll work out a plan to move toward enabling your relationship to come closer to the dream blueprint you had in mind!

https://meetme.so/SpeakWithNancy

No thanks! I can do it!

Our American culture highly values independence…self-sufficiency…resourcefulness.  Lately there’s been a trend toward living more simply—tiny-houses, living off of the grid, etc.

There’s no doubt that gaining appropriate independence is an essential growth marker to reach!  I believe one can never fully feel “adult” without gaining confidence that can only be experienced with self-sufficiency.

Yet, beyond independence is inter-dependence…the awareness that we need help from another…and then to relax into that highest level of human interaction.

The lesson of gracefully appreciating help from others has been a lesson occasionally experienced in my life.  I used to find it hard to give up my prideful independence…my insistence that “I can do it myself.”

Lately, however, I’ve had weeks of severe pain from a pinched sciatic nerve to encourage me to surrender into the exquisite pleasure of accepting help…even asking for help, when needed.

The teen son of a friend volunteered to drop by one morning a week to do any chore I need.  Yes! Thank you!

Two precious women have delivered groceries to me ...and put them away!

My son and his wife volunteered to donate a few hours during their visit with me to do three big yard jobs that had been nagging me for months.  Wow! What a relief to have those eye-sores gone.

I absolutely had to run three errands last Saturday.  I called Mike, my tax preparer and asked, “I’m in a lot of pain.  Would you be offended if I honk my horn for you to retrieve these documents you need?”   He was happy to fetch them from my car.

I went to the bank, hobbled into the lobby and sat in reception.  When the greeter came to see what I needed, I requested a teller at a desk so I could sit down to complete several transactions.  They were happy to oblige.

My last chore was buying chicken food.  From the pet store’s parking lot, I called the manager. I again explained that I’m in a lot of pain so walking and standing to check out is very hard for me. I requested the bag of food be delivered to my car with payment being given through the open car-door window.    This woman was so gracious about helping me.

Asking for help when it’s needed is a gift to myself for sure!  And asking for help is also a gift to the help-giver.

I once asked my highway patrolman son what he enjoyed the most about his job.  It thought he might say, “Chasing the  bad guys,” or “Stopping a drunk driver.”  But what he instantly said was, “Helping people.”  He often does that by air lifting injured hikers to a medical team, or assisting the officers on the ground to safely track a fugitive.

In my coaching of couples, I am surprised at the resistance some have to asking their partner for help.  Sometimes the barrier to asking is the irrational belief, “He/she should know what I need without my asking for it!  So I won’t ask and I will nurture the resentment that results from my stand.”

Sometimes reluctance to ask for help comes from believing that you don’t have the right to ask…you should just do it yourself.  And sometimes the refusal to ask for help comes from the painful experience of asking…perhaps even being promised help…and then being let down when the helper dropped the ball.

And yet asking for help is opening a door of grace for both the giver and the receiver. We experience the best interdependence when we trade our ego’s need to be in control, for the sweetness of being helped.

I am grateful for the opportunities to help others.  I am grateful for each one who has helped me in the past, and now when my ability to do some physical tasks is limited.  May we all be open to blessings as we give…and receive.

If you’re interested in getting Nancy’s help to relieve the suffering in your relationship, book a complimentary appointment with her by clicking this link to her calendar: https://meetme.so/SpeakWithNancy

 

The #1 Way to Kill a Relationship (or Business, or Life!)

Recently a respected friend suggested I read Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck, Ph.D.  I ordered it.  It came.  When I thumbed through it and discovered many pages of small print, I set it aside.  “Not now.  Maybe later.”

Yesterday I opened it to the section on business.  I barely made it through the true examples of well-known business leaders who made an initial big splash in recovering a failing company, but failed to prepare the company for ongoing growth, and so, ultimately failed in their mission.  The cause was what she terms as a “fixed mindset,” meaning “Only I, the Leader, knows what is best for this company.”

These were compared to less lauded business leaders who faced a failing company with the desire to learn, grow, identify issues, listen to team-mates, create a learning, encouraging mindset…and who ultimately led their team to recovery and profit.  An “open mindset” is eager to hear another’s opinion, listen to feedback, and make adjustments

This was sort of inspiring, but I have a hard time relating to an executive of a multi-billion dollar company like Chrysler, GE, Enron, Chase-Manhattan Bank.

This morning I opened the section about relationships.  NOW she began speaking my language!  My late husband and I believed, and taught, that SoulMate Relationships are created…earned…not born.  (See our book,  How to Stay Married & Love It! Solving the Puzzle of a SoulMate Marriage.)

Carol says it this way, “…people with the fixed mindset expect everything good to happen automatically.  …sort of like it happened to Sleeping Beauty, whose coma was cured by her prince’s kiss, or to Cinderella, whose miserable life was suddenly transformed by her prince.”

In relationship, as in business, parenting, and life, Carol says, “In the growth mindset, there may still be that exciting initial combustion, but people in this mindset don’t expect magicThey believe that a good, lasting relationship comes from effort and from working through inevitable differences.  But those with the fixed mindset don’t buy that.”

In my twenty-five years of coaching couples, as well as painfully learned in my own relationships, a fixed mindset believes that “if we love each other, we shouldn’t have to work hard.  We should just be able to talk to work things through. A great, lasting relationship should just come automatically from our love.  If my partner loves me, he/she will give me what I need, understand me, accept my foibles no matter how irritating they are, etc., etc., etc.”

Couples with a fixed mindset blame each other for problems, label each other as “selfish, stubborn, unfeeling, lacking empathy, abusive and incapable of change.”  Each sees the other as stuck in a “wrong” position that makes no sense, isn’t reasonable.  Each sees him or herself as “right, reasonable, and justifiably wronged.”  They eventually see the relationship as “impossible, doomed, deserving of dissolution.”  These fixed ways of viewing a partner or relationship are guaranteed to produce unhappiness, and ultimately failure.

It was my challenge as a wife in a very conflicted relationship to open my mind to new ways of saying things that were less inflammatory and new ways of seeing my husband rather than labeling him as “wrong.”  I needed to look at what I was contributing to the hostile atmosphere that had begun to consume our relationship…and be willing to learn and change.

As a coach, it is my challenge to help couples who are stuck in a “fixed mindset” about each other and their relationship to open up to new possibilities, new communication skills, new ways of viewing each other and the future of their relationship.  I must create a vivid picture of what they can have if they are willing to learn and change.

Back when computers were a new phenomenon, a term was coined describing what computers could…and couldn’t do for us.  It was “garbage in/garbage out.”  I find that true in relationships, as well.

The good news is that when you learn better communication and conflict management skills, and are then willing to contribute those skills to the relationship, you will soon enjoy the results of a more loving, supportive, mutually nurturing relationship that you will gladly be a part of “until death do us part.”

Click on Ask Nancy about Coaching.  Coaching available world-wide.

Love in a Car Wash?

This is a rather long blog that won’t appeal to everyone.  But perhaps there are a few of you who are experiencing difficult circumstances that will be encouraged by vulnerable exposure of my lessons about being loved.

I’ve been so fortunate.  I’ve been married to two very wonderful and very different men.  My first husband was loyal, dependable, generous and faithful, but he very rarely expressed his love for me in words I wanted to hear “I love you” often!  I fretted about this glaring lack in his husband qualities for a few years.  But after trying to change him, I finally became desperate enough to be willing to change myself.  What a concept! One of the first shifts was to ask myself, “How is he communicating his love for me that I’m not hearing or seeing?” 

He had an annoying habit of washing the car on Sunday morning while I was trying to get myself and our two toddlers ready for church.   One Sunday I looked out the kitchen window to see him, again, washing the car.  It suddenly occurred to me that he was proud of his young family and one of the ways he expressed that was by driving to church in a clean, shiny car.  I was flooded with the warm feelings of knowing I was loved.

Recently I’ve been going through a temporary period of financial distress.  It’s surfaced a belief that if God loved me, I would always experience financial abundance…that God should demonstrate his love for me by consistently blessing me with great income.  I’ve been frustrated that my affirmations and efforts have not brought the generous amounts of income as expected.

This week I finally admitted that I’m angry with God.  Why isn’t he doing his job?  Has he forgotten about me and my needs?  Am I doing something wrong?  Maybe he doesn’t love me.

But really, lots has been happening that supports me immeasurably.  I’ve abandoned some of my limiting beliefs…like getting a NSF charge in my bank account makes me a bad person.  It doesn’t.  It means nothing about my character or integrity.  It’s a temporary circumstance that the bank responds to very non-judgmentally with a NSF charge.  Ho Hum…just another customer with not enough funds.

How about the belief that if I’m experiencing difficulty I’m doing something wrong?  What if it doesn’t mean that at all?  What if it only means that I’m on a journey and that this part of the journey is somewhat rocky?

Yesterday while driving I was singing some old hymns…sort of mindlessly letting my thoughts wander.  Suddenly I thought, “What if God is loving me by allowing this season of struggle?  Why should his love for me be judged by the health of my bank account?  What if this time of financial stress is the best expression of being loved by God?”

So, I am no longer judging myself as “bad, wrong, irresponsible” for being occasionally overdrawn in my bank account.  I no longer choose to believe that I’ve done or am doing anything “wrong” that has resulted in “punishment.”

My fears of financial ruin, or being unloved, or bad, or not working hard enough have been replaced by a sense of curiosity:  I wonder what purpose is being worked out during this uncomfortable season?  I wonder what solutions will evolve from this experience? I wonder where the money will come from to finance my next Costco run?  Ten years from now, I wonder how I will evaluate this time…what will I see and appreciate that I can’t see now?

Yet, like recognizing my husband’s washing the car as an act of love, the abundance I desire is being heaped on me in ways other than a wealth of cash:  A gift of a new (working!) printer, clients volunteering to do video testimonials for my website,  a “chance” meeting that is resulting in free, thorough tutoring about Facebook advertising strategies, the gift of a gas gift card, a doctor who’s willing to hold my check in order to treat the pinched nerve in my back immediately, a dear friend/therapist who is not keeping track of her hours of support of me.

Every time I step into my home, or walk through the yard, or notice a bird bathing in my birdbath, I feel wealthy.  Neither I nor my animals have gone hungry.  All the vital bills have been paid.  The bills that can wait, are waiting without burdening myself with shame or self-judgment.

So, my prayers have changed.  In addition to praying for increased income and the wisdom to spot opportunities, I am also praying, “God, thank you for this time.  I don’t particularly like it, but I trust that even this is an expression of your love for me.  I’m not mad anymore.  I trust you and trust the process that is being worked out in my life.  Someday I will understand and appreciate every day of this season and every lesson learned.”

Meanwhile I am experiencing more peace than I would ever have thought possible.  And, in the quietness, find myself finely attuned to receive guidance as it comes to me.  Not perfectly.  Not every minute of every day.  But most of the time.  And for that, I am humbly grateful!

Need to talk?  Let’s get together! 

The Cost of a Committed Relationship

There are several categories of a committed relationship.  The first one I think of is 1) a marriage.  But there are others, like 2) a business partnership, and 3) the relationship of a parent and child.

There are several categories of costs:  1) Staying in the relationship during the rough times, 2) Being willing to be self-reflective…examine what you are contributing to the health of the relationship, 3) Sacrificing, at times, your own preference for the desire of your partner…and then there is 4) the financial cost if you need help to make the relationship to work well for both parties.

In the mid-nineteen eighties my late husband Jim and I spent what, for us, was a lot of money getting the help we needed to save our marriage.  We paid our coach $50/hour, an average of twice a week.

She taught us a few simple skills that, as we practiced them, enabled us to communicate with mutual respect, handle our respective anger without attacking each other with it, and eventually resolve our BIG ISSUE in a way we could both support long-term.

That was 30 years ago.  An app called Dollar Times says that $50 in 1988 is the same as $106.81 today.  Twice a week for about six months added up to almost $3000 in today’s money.  It wasn’t easy.  Part of that time he was out of a job.  We were scraping by.  I remember a conversation about not paying the water bill one month because things were so “tight.”

But, we really, really wanted to find our way back to the love that brought us together.  We were committed to doing whatever it took to resolve our issue and stay together-happily-until death parted us.

At first we just noticed moments that were better…and then we broke through into this wide, lovely, peaceful place with each other.  We kept our agreements.  We continued to immaculately used the skills we’d learned.  Neither of us would ever do anything to jeopardize the amazing relationship we’d worked so hard to achieve.

We lived in bliss with each other for seventeen more years before Jim died.

If it had cost us a dozen times what we paid it would have been worth it. Everyone of our children have thanked us for “making it.”…for giving them the model of a couple who was willing to do the work and pay the price to save their marriage.

Today I am a Relationship Repair Coach.  I have taught dozens of classes. Written six books and one curriculum for stepfamilies.  Spoken several times at a national conference of relationship educators.  Taught two classes to therapists, helping them learn how to work with step-couples.

Couples come to me in the same desperate, deeply painful condition that Jim and I once experienced.  I give them a Complimentary Consultation where they experience the power of the skills I can teach them.  I know how to help them get from where they are to where they want to be…at peace and in love again!

I see hope blossom in their faces.  And then I present the cost of my coaching package. My $3000 package provides the same level of intense coaching that Jim and I were blessed to receive.  It includes a LOT extra support that our coach didn’t have.

Some couples that I can’t imagine being able to pay, find a way to come up with the fee because they want the results badly enough.

And others who hear that number immediately start to shut down.  They say they’ll talk about it and get back to me.  Sometimes they do.  But many times they disappear.

I wonder about the costs they will pay without skills and support from me, or from someone like me. How much of their life energy is drained away in stressful conflict and unmet needs?  How do you measure the cost of being unhappy with your life-partner, often the other parent of your children?

What does it cost to separate, supporting two living arrangements?  What does a divorce cost?  Where does that money come from?  Divorce usually means a drastic reduction in style of living for all parties.

What do your children pay for losing a model of a loving, committed marriage?  What does it cost them to be divided between two adults they are dependent on and who’s love they need?

What emotional and financial costs are involved in a business partnership being severed?  What is the emotional cost of a ruptured relationship between a parent and child? (In addition to couples, I’ve also helped repair the broken relationship of two business partners, and a few parent-child relationships.)

My coaching is cheap in comparison.  I am through feeling apologetic about my fee.  From now on I am being up-front and clear about the cost of my fee.  I can help a couple, business partnership or parent-child relationship, if they are committed to the process, transform their relationship in about three months.  When the bill is paid, and the work done, they are equipped with the skills to handle any issue that may challenge them in the future.

Gradually, over three months, they get to experience the magic of hope reborn, love reignited and painful conflicts resolved.  They, like Jim and me, get to relax into the safe, trustworthy comfort of a committed relationship that has been tested and come out like gold.

I doubt it would go over very well to say all of these things to a potential client/couple.  So I’m saying here, where perhaps you can hear me in a more neutral environment.  My coaching package is a bargain!  Call me for a first, free consultation!

Wanting only the best for you,

Book a Complimentary Consultation with me by clicking on the link.

 

The BIG ISSUE

This is the one that triggers instant anger, simmering resentfulness, and eventually feelings of hopelessness about the quality of your relationship.

On the surface each of you wants the issue resolved YOUR way…the BEST way!  Right?

When I tell my couples that conflict is the doorway to greater intimacy, they respond various ways…” No way!”  or, “You’ve got to be kidding!” or, “This lady is a kook. Let’s get out of here!”

Krystel dreams of traveling with her husband.  She’s an adventurer.  She’s already visited a few countries and loves the diversity, the challenge of finding her way around, the fun of meeting new people.

To Earle, her husband, these dreams sounded like nightmares.  He likes safety, seclusion, predictability, the comfort of sleeping in the same bed every night.

Totally incompatible wants…right?

They had a Skilled Discussion about this issue.  (A Skilled Discussion is one in which she has the chance to express her feelings, desires, concerns while the he listens with the intention of truly understanding.  The Listener puts himself in the partner’s point of view, seeing, feeling, and understanding the needs of the partner.  Then they switch roles.  It’s a very structured, safe way of discussing the HOT ISSUE.)

For the first time, Earle understood the depth of her desire to travel…not by herself (which she admitted she was not afraid to do) but with the love of her life…him.

Krystel, for the first time, understood his need for safety, comfort, structure.

After understanding each other’s needs at a much deeper level, they were ready to brainstorm ideas that would meet her need to travel with him, and his need for a home base.  Now they were on the same side.  They felt a soft desire to meet the needs of the other rather than just remaining stuck in their incompatible desires.

They came up with several modes of travel that would meet both of their needs:  1)Rent a cottage in a foreign country for two weeks.  He has a home base from which he’d be happy to explore the area with her.  2) Join a group tour where the schedule is planned and predictable.  3) Use a hotel as a home base where he can stay put as much as he wants and she can go to the local street market and explore…but be together for meals or certain events.

A Skilled Discussion is designed to work like a seat belt and shoulder harness…a bit confining, but designed to keep you both safe as you discuss the HOT ISSUE.   As you each feel safe in the controlled structure of a Skilled Discussion, you both share the needs underneath your respective opinions about the only way to resolve your HOT ISSUE. The vulnerable exposure of your needs softens your partner’s feelings toward you.  You are both soon willing to look for resolutions that meet your partner’s needs as well as your own.

Successful resolutions of the HOT ISSUE only work when it meets both person’s needs.

This process ignites hope where before there was only disbelief that a mutually agreeable solution could be found.

Best wishes for solutions that end every HOT ISSUE for you!


P.S. Do you find it hard to imagine a mutually agreeable solution to your HOT ISSUE?  Let Nancy teach you how to have a Skilled Discussion that will create willingness in each of you to find a solution that meets both of your needs.  https://meetme.so/SpeakWithNancy

Let’s Fight! We’ll have fun!

Who in the world ever suggests that?  Who would want that?  Fights are exhausting.  It takes time to recover your balance.  It feeds emotional separation.  It rarely results in a lasting solution.  Yet how often are you fighting with your beloved?

Or, on the other extreme, how often do you avoid an issue, trying to escape the conflict?  Only to have it blow up anyway…

Every time there is a fight and the issue is unresolved (you may shelve it from exhaustion but it is not resolved) the emotional distance in the relationship increases.  Every time words are said in anger or you lie to prevent a conversation about an issue, a brick is added to the wall between you. 

Jim and I had the same fight for seven years before we found the help we needed.  Some couples indulge in the same fight for many more years than we did, (although we might have gone on much longer if we didn’t get help…or call it quits.)

The first time I say this to clients they nearly gag:  “Conflict is the doorway to greater intimacy.”

Are you saying, “Not hardly!” or “You’ve got to be kidding!” or “Sounds like some kind of psycho-babble to me!”

Yet when Jim and I used better communication and anger management skills we grew emotionally closer and closer…and finally, motivated by that closeness, we agreed on a resolution to our issue.  It was never an issue again.

I have found that the part of couple’s coaching that I enjoy the most is helping them resolve conflicts.  I love witnessing the magic of love reignited, trust rebuilt, and hope re-infusing the relationship with confidence that, with better skills, they really can resolve anything.

If you are discouraged by recycling the same old fights…if you long to feel the love for each other that you had in the beginning…if your deepest desire is to find a solution to that ugly issue that keeps diverting your attention…call me.

Let’s start with one complimentary consultation…it’s on me.  Book a time on my calendar that is convenient for both of you.    I’ll have a couple requests that you can complete ahead of time in 15 minutes.  Then we’ll talk.  Bring your biggest issue to the table.  I’ll do my best to help you navigate through it to either resolve it on the spot, or make significant progress.  Don’t allow even one more fight to rob you of the joy of your love!

I know it’s hard to bare the warts of your relationship to anyone, but what if this is the first step toward ridding yourself of the warts?

PS: Make the appointment today.  You both deserve to be happy.  I will show you the path to help you get there!