Our Children Destroyed Our Marriage!

Sounds like the lead for an afternoon talk show, doesn’t it?  Well, it could be.  Every day, all over America, immature two-year-olds are doing and saying things that break up marriages.

What do I mean?

Every one of us has a two-year-old living inside.  The great qualities of this two-year-old are he loves adventure, she uses her creativity to paint, decorate, solve problems at home and at work, he initiates fun, and finds amazing solutions to persistent problems.

But when this two-year-old isn’t given it’s own way, watch out!  He throws a tantrum.  She gives him the cold shoulder.  He recruits his friends and family to be on his side. She uses sarcastic humor to belittle him. They both either yell or endure days of silence.  These behaviors erode whatever love brought them together.  If unchecked, these inner two-year-olds tear apart the fabric of a marriage.

Like every two-year-old, the one inside needs a loving, wise parent to give him a time out when he’s about to do or say something hurtful.  She needs firm control when she’s about to cut loose with biting criticism.  Both need to sit in a corner to calm down when their behavior is about to become disrespectful rather than constructive.

Time outs for inner two-year-olds prevented a lot of damage for one couple this week.  When she said, “I need a time out,” he just said, “OK” and left her alone rather than pressing to continue their conversation.  When he called a time out on himself, and went into the other room to vent his frustration, she didn’t take it personally, but let him yell into the air, just glad it wasn’t at her.

When the air was cleared, and both “kids” had calmed down, they had several sane, calm discussions over the next few days that moved their marriage firmly back into the “loving, and working together peacefully” arena.

This couple was tired of suffering through the chaos and destruction experienced when their two-year-olds were allowed to “act out” in their marriage.  They are both developing their inner, wise, loving parent who will intercept an about-to-lose-control inner child before he or she does damage.

No one wants to act like, or live with a two-year-0ld out of control!  If you’re tired of cleaning up the mess left in the wake of your two-year-old’s tantrums, you can exchange that behavior for loving alternatives, just like my smart clients did this past week!

They learned these skills in MODULE SIX of the Millionaire Marriage Club along with support in their coaching appointments.  You can also purchase a mini-course entitled, “Maintaining Respect 24/7” from my website page under “The Club.”

Wishing you all the love and respect in your marriage (and other relationships)  that you desire and deserve!

 

 

 

Hopefulness Turned to Disillusionment? Krystel Can Help!

Note from Nancy:  I am so excited to introduce to you Krystel Doudera, my new associate coach!  Krystel and her husband Earle  did a massive amount of work on their own marriage with amazing results.  Now she is dedicated to bring those same transformative results to other young couples who want the marriage of their dreams, but don’t know how to achieve it.  Here is her story:

 Although we were high school sweethearts, we waited to get married until after we finished college. We both secured stable jobs. We went through premarital counseling. We read every book, blog, and article about marriage suggested to us. We even interviewed several couples asking for advice or “secrets” to a long-lasting marriage!

Yet on the day we returned from our honeymoon, we had our first fight. And it was ugly.

Thus, began our cycle. We were so full of love when we were happy with each other, but when we disagreed, our poor communication and disrespectful behaviors tore at our hearts and our dreams resulting in hurt, regret, withdrawal, hopelessness and finally, passive acceptance.

We got plenty of good advice, but had no idea how to implement it.  How could we have the happy soulmate marriage we wanted?

Enter Nancy Landrum, a wise coach who taught us how to communicate RESPECTFULLY even when we disagreed.  Once we fully committed to using these new skills, we never had another fight and soon resolved our differences.

Now these powerful skills enable us to successfully navigate every new life-stress including welcoming a new baby!  We enjoy treating each other with respect 24/7 and have consistent love and peace between us.

I am excited to teach you these same skills that transformed our relationship.  You deserve to have the marriage you thought you were getting when you said, “I do!”  Use the calendar link below to schedule a complimentary appointment with me.

Appointment with Krystel

Or you may prefer to call or email me:

424-382-4787  krystel.doudera@gmail.com

 

 

Fertilizer and Respect: What Do They Have in Common?

If you’ve been following me for very long, you know I love to garden.  I have a few house plants that have thrived for more than 20 years.  My rose bushes are flourishing.  My sunflower plants are about twelve feet tall.  My yard has been called “an oasis,”  or, “a park.”  Why is this?

I adequately water for my dry climate, but I also fertilize regularly.  Water is essential, but even with enough water, plants won’t thrive without fertilizer.

Lately I’ve noticed something about the couples I coach.  Some of them struggle along, doing their best to use some of the tools they learn from me.  But others make astounding progress in transforming their relationship from mediocre or unhappy to loving and secure again.  The difference is how consistently they use the skills that enable them to be respectful to each other 24/7.

Love thrives in a medium of respect.  Without respect, love withers, limps along, or dies.

So how is Respect given?

  1. By using respectful, non-attacking language and behaviors.
  2. By keeping your agreements, including those of your marriage vows.
  3. By choosing to vent anger privately and safely, not at your partner.

Does this sound ideal?  It is!  However, many of us come to marriage with great intentions, but without the skills needed to nurture our love with a foundation of respect.

All of us have an immature two-year-old living inside.  She comes in handy when planning a party.  He is delightful when playing with his children.  But when a two-year-old’s anger gets triggered, he will not react with respect.  She will fight back with biting words.  Two-year-olds ruin a lot of marriages!

You would not allow your two-year-old child to run unrestrained into the street.  Neither should your inner two-year-old be allowed the freedom to do or say hurtful, disrespectful things to retaliate when hurt or angry.

Just as children sometimes need a time-out to calm down, you can call a time-out on yourself to calm your inner two-year-old down so you can come back to deal with the conflict as a mature adult.

Need help learning how to do this?  You may now order the Respect 24/7 module separately from the Millionaire Marriage Club.  This mini-course maps out the steps for managing the two-year-old within so that you can maintain respect with your partner 24/7!  Consider this cost-effective and powerful mini-course online at https://nancylandrum.com/the-club

Wishing you plenty of fun and play with your inner two-year-old as well as effective adult supervision when anger is triggered!

Help! I’m going crazy!

Help! I’m going crazy!

Face it! We’re all going through a crazy-making time.  So how do you move through this time (however long it may turn out to be) without going crazy?  Here’s some tips:

  1. Limit your news gathering time to 15-30 minutes tops. A steady diet of depressing numbers and fearful predictions will only feed fears about tomorrow.  You can’t know how to manage tomorrow until it comes in reality, not in fearful predictions.
  2. Focus on what you have control over today…in this moment. #1 is your attitude.  Keep affirming, “This craziness will eventually come to an end.  Until then I will do the best I can to take care of myself and my loved ones.  For today, that is enough.”
  3. Practice gratitude. Is there a roof over your head?  Is there a bit of money in your bank account?  Is there enough food to feed yourself and your family today?  Are you currently symptom free?  Any or all of these are great reasons to be grateful.  I am so very grateful for two friends who dropped everything to track down a roof leak and fix it yesterday!
  4. Use common sense precautions. You know them already.  Wash your hands whenever you come in from any outing.  Maintain “social distancing.”  Practice air-hugs!
  5. Get outside for at least 30 minutes per day. Go for a walk around the block.  Pull a few weeds.  Trim dead branches off of a tree.  Sit in your patio chair and read a novel.  Breathe deeply.  But get outside!
  6. Take extra Vitamin C with bioflavonoids to support your immune system. Some doctors recommend 2000-3000 mgs extra during this stressful time.
  7. Eat real food. Chips, colas and cookies are not real food.  Prepare a warm meal, even if it’s only soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.  Staples are in short supply in many stores, but fresh produce is abundant.  Last night I roasted some fresh veggies in the oven.  The result satisfied my body and my soul’s need for comfort. (Toss fresh veggies and cut up potatoes in oil and garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Roast at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes. The last few minutes I added two flounder filets. Yum!)
  8. Pray for inspiration about how to spend your house-bound time. One desperate woman with small children had them draw pictures that they then posted to their fence for the neighbors to admire.  Children across the street reciprocated with art projects of their own!  A friend is using this time to sort through all the artifacts saved from her son’s childhood.  She’s creating the memory albums she’s had on her to-do list for years!  I’m piecing together a very complicated quilt pattern in between seeing clients online and working on a presentation coming up.
  9. Frequently send compassion to yourself, your family and our world. We all need extra measures of grace during this unprecedented and unpredictable time.
  10. Vent your frustrations safely, away from your partner or children.  Call a ‘time out’ on yourself while you close yourself in your bedroom and beat a pillow.  Write out your frustrations in a journal.  Bake a hearty loaf of bread and knead it for 15 minutes before letting it rise to bake.  Make a list of activities to keep you and your children engaged.  Learn a new game.  Start a jigsaw puzzle.  Any of these or many more options other than taking your fear and anxiety out on those you love!

You have my compassion as you do your best to deal with the uncertainties we have in abundance right now.

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.

 

Audio-Book Give-Away!

Could you relate to the last blog about my lead-footed driving?  Even driving the speed limit, there are always cars passing me up!  Is one of them yours?

Here’s a great fix for speeding tickets, higher insurance rates, excessive wear and tear on your car, and guiltily watching out for lurking CHP cars:

In exchange for trying Audible.com for one FREE month, you can download a FREE copy of my book, “How to Stay Married & Love It! Solving the Puzzle of a SoulMate Marriage.”

Click here to order my audio-book.  “How to Stay Married & Love It!” audio book  When you get to check out, there will be a zero balance!  If Audible.com is not for you, cancel it before the next month begins and keep the book!

Discover how to have a conversation about a touchy issue that results in resolution and deeper loving.  Listen to the true story of a man who discovered his fields were full of diamonds.  Hear the stories of multiple couples who have found rich treasure in their relationship.  Find out why every point of view is right.  Learn how to have a fight-free marriage.  Be inspired to “close the back door” and experience the magic when you do.

Where else can you find a way to be a law-abiding driver and improve your relationships at the same time?

Order Book Now

And if you have questions about what you hear, schedule a complimentary appointment to explore how a peaceful, loving, lasting marriage can be yours, as well:

https://meetme.so/SpeakwithNancy  

Here’s to safe driving and a happy marriage!

Is Your Inner Two-Year-Old in Charge of Your Marriage?

When my marriage to my late husband Jim was in jeopardy, at some level I knew that my sarcastic put-downs and yelling were not helping resolve our conflict.  But it wasn’t until a great coach began to teach us some basic communication and anger management skills that I saw hope for the future.

Even then, it was like pulling teeth to make myself turn a sarcastic put-down into an “I statement,” (I think, I feel, I’m concerned about…)  When my anger was triggered, it required massive self-control to call a “time out” on myself and go vent in my journal or pull weeds until I calmed down and could speak to Jim respectfully.

Now that I had learned better communication skills, why was it such a struggle to use them?  Especially when I could immediately notice more receptivity in Jim to hear my message when “I messages” were used instead of yelling at him?

Because a two-year-old lives inside me that just wants to do it her way and the consequences be d**med!  My two-year-old thought Jim should just overlook the delivery method (sarcasm, yelling) and understand the superiority of my opinion about how to resolve our issues!

Blaming him for not “getting it” and expecting him to agree with my position is so much more satisfying to a two-year-old!  Two-year-olds just want their own way!  And will do almost anything to mold the world to suit their desires.  I had to strengthen the adult me who understood that I needed to change in order for the marriage to improve.  It was like strengthening a weak muscle by repetition.

(Please understand that I was a responsible grownup in other areas.  This just happened to be a very immature, undeveloped part of me that was wonderfully exposed by conflict in our marriage!)

I’ve noticed that whenever I begin a big change, my two-year-old is activated.  I’ve been carrying some extra weight around for a long time.  It’s affecting my knees and energy level and ultimately limiting my quality and perhaps length of life.  So recently I thought, “OK, I’m ready to take action to lose the weight.”  When a few days go by and I’ve only dropped a pound or two, my two-year-old wants to quit.  She’s disappointed that the excess weight isn’t just magically melting off!  I decided didn’t I?  Why isn’t that enough?

And my two-year-old doesn’t like giving up or limiting anything I love…like sweets.  What do I mean that I must do something else to soothe myself other than eating more cookies!  Why can’t I indulge in all the carrot cake I want?  Bummer.  In this example regaining a healthy weight requires the sacrifice of eating everything I want in any quantity.

Two-year-olds aren’t good at follow through or sacrifice.  I’ve discovered that the “follow through” part of change is most likely to be engaged when I am in enough pain to take control away from the two-year-old!  KNOWING I need to change is not enough.  I must be ready to COMMIT to changed behaviors!

It’s helpful at this point to understand the nature of habit in the brain.   The brain is designed to LOVE habits, nurture habits, and maintain habits.  Habits mean that I don’t have to relearn daily tasks like brushing my teeth, or tying my shoe laces, or safely boiling water.  Habits make efficient use of my energy.  Most tasks can be on auto pilot so I have energy to deal with my job, or learn new skills.

The problem comes when I want to change a habit…such as using “I messages” rather than sarcasm.  Or doing deep breathing to calm myself down rather than eating a handful of chocolate chip cookies.

Each habit creates a particular pattern of firing neurons that, the longer the habit has been operating, attracts a rich supply of blood.  This is like a well-worn path through the forest.  Very clear and obvious.

When I want to replace an old habit with a new one, it’s like hacking my way through the forest with a machete.  It is purposeful.  It requires energy, conscious effort and strong commitment to making a new path through the brain.  It can be tiring.   It’s so easy to slide back into the old habit, the old path through the brain, to do what I’ve done for so long.

So the commitment to change…to the new habit…has to be chosen over and over again.

UNTIL, the new habit has been practiced long enough that the blood supply moves from the old pattern of firing neurons to the new pattern!  THEN the new behavior has truly become a habit.  There’s no guarantee that you’ll never resort to sarcasm or eating too many cookies again, but when you do, it will feel uncomfortable.  You’ll be eager to resume the new habit and reap the rewards of the new consequences!

That happened in our marriage.  For three to four months it took so much effort to make all my communication respectful.  It felt like I was wearing a communication straight-jacket!  Before opening my mouth I had to ask myself:  “How can I respectfully say what I need to say?  What is my tone of voice?  How loud will it sound to Jim? Do I need a time out?”

But then it got easier…and easier.  Finally, it became actually hard to think of sarcastic put-downs!

To Jim’s credit, he was making the same kinds of changes.  The fighting stopped.  On the rare occasions when we had an upset, we engaged our great skills immediately and resolved the problem within a few minutes.

We enjoyed seventeen years of blissful, disrespect-free years of loving marriage before he passed away.  I am deeply grateful for the hard work I did to exchange some very poor communication habits for habits that served my goal of a happy, loving marriage.

I’m looking forward to the time when the changes I’m making in my food choices have become new habits that give me the quality of physicality that I desire!  I know it’s coming.  My two-year-old is no longer in control of food choices…at least, not all of the time!

If you’d like a brief phone conversation with Nancy, click here:  https://meetme.so/SpeakWithNancy

Nancy Landrum has been helping couples achieve the lasting, loving marriage of their dreams for twenty-five years.  Visit her website to see how her Millionaire Marriage Club and Stepping TwoGether: Building a Strong Stepfamily courses or her coaching can support the changes you want to make.  www.NancyLandrum.com