How To Support a Partner Struggling with Symptoms of Depression – Relationship Advice

When one spouse is depressed, a marriage is depressed. As depression often erodes emotional and sexual intimacy. It also floods the relationship with negativity that can cause resentment, anger and isolation.

 

Even the happiest, strongest spouse may get pulled into the depressions strong undertow. You may become overwhelmed with the extra responsibilities and tasks you need to take on, you may be resentful because your spouse won’t just “snap out of it” or you may feel like you are to blame and feel like you are failing your spouse or the marriage in some way. You may also feel lonely, and wonder if the relationship will ever get back the spark it once had.

 

All of these feelings are valid and natural. I’m well known for my work helping hundreds of couples to save their marriage and depression comes up frequently. Helping couples navigate the symptoms of depression is something I am personally passionate about. As I would not be doing what I do now if it was not for my mum’s depression. From as young as I can remember my mum has been in and out of depression. She was very aggressive with it, when I was young: always shouting and often hurting us. Over time she has turned more inward where she attacks herself or has paranoia and anxiety with it. Every few years or so she now seems to have a relapse and it’s heart-breaking to witness. Listening to her criticize herself, be negative about everything daily or struggle to get out of bed. It’s sometimes so hard to hear inside I sometimes want to shout at her to get on with life, but then I remind myself that like millions of other suffers of depression she can’t help it. Depression is not a choice it’s a physical illness and  is as life-altering as arthritis and diabetes.

 

If there is depression in your marriage, it’s time to take action. For yourself and your partner. Waiting for things to get better on their own is not a good strategy for your relationship. Sadly depressed couples are nine times more likely to divorce. So as well as getting medical help there are some positive steps you can take to help minimize the negativity and any fall out, to strengthen your relationship as well as look after yourself, so you can move forward.

 

  1. Don’t Take the Symptoms of Depression Personally

 

One of the key symptoms of depression is a skewed sense of reality, seeing only the negative and feeling that everything is worse that it is. In relationships this can often lead to a lack of enthusiasm for joint activities, sex, even conversation. If your partner has lost interest in the essential aspects of the relationship it can hurt and it’s hard not to take it personally. Yet it’s also very likely that the reason they’re not interested in those things has absolutely nothing to do with you.

The problem is that the symptoms of depression are the exact opposite of what is needed for a happy healthy marriage.  In my online programs I help couples to create  space for more affection, intimacy, laughter, fun and engaging conversation. We look at breaking away from routines that don’t support them, you cannot have a great relationship if when you get in from work you absorb yourself in netflicks or social media for hours, then sleep for hours barely talking or interacting. I usually take this as a warning sign that couples need to work on their marriage. Yet if this is happening because your spouse is depressed their lack of interest in interacting is not necessarily about you. If they had  back pain they may not want to go out on as many dates, be active or have as much sex and you can see why. With depression the problem is hidden and it’s hard not to take it personally or wonder if you are doing something to make them depressed.

 

  1. Create a Plan to Tackle the symptoms of depression together

There is no doubt that a husband or wife’s depression can tear a marriage apart but with the right strategy it can also bring a couple closer together. Creating a plan to tackle the symptoms of depression together is going to help you, them and the relationship. Helping them to get treatment if they are willing is a massive first step. Then you also need to take action on the relationship. . Ideally you will work together on this, however if they are unwilling – don’t feel that you cannot do anything. I have helped thousands of individuals single-handedly turn their marriage around now through my online programs and several of them were with partners who were showing the symptoms of depression.

A supportive, loving and connected relationship will really benefit your partner. When working on the relationship, the key is empathetic, open dialogue focused on solutions not the past. When a husband or wife come to me concerned as their partner is showing the symptoms of depression I invite them both to

  1. Think of things they can plan in the future, so they both have several things to look forward to.
  2. Suggest any changes to their routines and habits, they think could support the relationship better and reduce arguments or shutdown
  3. Follow steps I lay out to help reduce negativity and resentment, which increases closeness
  4. See depression as the problem not each other. When you jointly regard “the depression” as causing a problem with your spouse’s health, your marriage and home life, it allows you both to talk about it without blame or shame. You can literally say  “that’s the depression talking” or “they don’t normally think this way.”
  5. Talk openly. If you don’t talk about the depression it becomes the elephant in the room and can often breakdown a couples communication.

It’s important never to force treatment or make ultimatums. If they are reluctant that doesn’t mean you cannot do anything to help yourself or the relationship. One person can greatly influence a marriage, I get to see this all the time.

 

  1. Recognise Bad Days Will Pass

My mother’s symptoms of depression seem to come and go in waves. There may be a few good days, where she seems motivated and positive and then this can be  followed by a bad day.  On these days I just need to remind myself that she didn’t decide to wake up feeling hopeless, de-motivated and down. That her bad days like my bad days when I’m tired or ill will pass. On these days I see it as a test to show how much love I can show her and remind her what she means to me.

My mother has said to me “Nicola, I know you say you love me but I don’t feel any love, I don’t feel anything.”  It hurts to hear this, but I cannot imagine how painful it must be for her to feel this. The problem with depression is that it is difficult to feel any positive emotion. Happy things or exciting things, don’t make you happy or excited  However when I accept her for all of her feelings she seems to get better quicker, as I’m not adding to her already confusing emotions by being angry or upset. This took me years of practice and I still have times when I find it hard especially when she says negative things about me and my life.

 

  1. Take Good Care of Yourself

This includes creating a good support network, nurturing yourself and having an outlet for stress. Your partners emotional well-being is not your responsibility to fix. Depression in a relationship can lead to a lack of interest in sex, conversation and activities. These are definitely issues that need to be addressed, however it is also crucial to understand that having depression and being unhappy with your relationship are two different problems. If your partner tells you that the reason they are unhappy is not to do with you, accept it and focus on working through the issues and finding a way forward. Self love is taking action to keep healthy, happy and grow personally.

 

The good news is, it’s not hopeless. A depressed partner can cause stress in a relationship. So can a death in the family, money troubles, or an affair. Just like any other problem, you can get marriage support and revitalize your relationship together. This can be the best gift you give your partner and yourself.

I just want to say a huge thank you, if you are reading this and helping someone you love manage his or her mental illness.  Often this role can be thankless, where a loved one my curse blame or condemn you. Yet your love, care and support can go a long way, so don’t give up. Most of the time, your loved one can and will get well again. For those who lost the battle and lost a loved one to suicide there aren’t any words I can say to make the pain any less, however please remember: what s/he did was not out of lack of love for you. People die by cancer. They also die by mental illness. The more we can break the silence and shame around it, the better we can understand and master the disease.

If you are suffering right now in your marriage because one of you are showing the symptoms of depression and you want to explore what relationship support may look like, contact me for your free new beginning consultation nicola@purepeacecoaching.com and I will send you a link to book a slot in my calendar.

From my heart to yours, Nicola

P.S If you haven’t already signed up for my marriage secret master-class –  do so here where I give you 90 Minutes Training on how to create the relationship you dreamed of on your wedding day.  Visit https://training.nicolabeer.com/webinar-signup

Sign up even if you cannot make the appointment because I’ll send you the replay. I’m so excited as I have something so special to share with you. Can’t wait for you to join me – seats are limited book now. https://training.nicolabeer.com/webinar-signup

How to Stop Disagreements From Escalating in Your Marriage – Relationship Advice

Listening is not enough. When couples begin my private online 1-to1 or group coaching packages, one of the first things they say to me is they have a problem with their communication. I often hear the following:

“We can’t communicate”

“They don’t listen”

“Everything ends up in a row.”

“We sometimes don’t talk for days/ weeks or months”

“I cannot remember the last time we had a good conversation.”

If this is your situation right now, and your relationship is distant and lonely like mine was, where my partner preferred to watch TV than spending time or making love to me – this article is for you.. It can be painful to have to walk on egg shells in your own home, minding what you say in case it results in an explosive argument or the silent treatment.

Rest assured in this article I am not going to tell you that you need to listen to each other. Although that is crucial because you probably learnt that at school when you were taught to “take it in turns” and not interrupt when working or playing with others.

The point I want to make today is that listening is not enough. Yes, you read correctly if all you are doing when you discuss issues is listen, the chances are it won’t help you resolve the issue.

This was true for Michael and Sue, who went to marriage counselling for 11 months and it failed to have any positive impact. They spent thousands and thousands of dollars, travelled way over an hour to get there and back and felt worse and more hopeless after. They were having clashes over intimacy and alcohol. Michael felt they had a sex problem in their marriage and Sue felt they had an alcohol problem/addiction affecting the relationship. In both instances whether it is a sex problem or alcohol problem, one has more control than the other and rather than working around this, they were guided through marriage counselling for many months to talk this issue through and really listen.

Appointment after appointment went buy where Michael would say we have a sex problem as his wife refused to be intimate and Sue would share how disappointed she was that her husband drank every night and got very drunk on the weekend. In her view drinking alone and being unable to engage in family activities the next day was “wasting life away” in Michael’s view he was purely relaxing after a stressful day at the office. This continued for months, they really listened and got nowhere. Michael said to me, Nicola we do now understand each other’s position better, but we both feel worse after a session – because we have listened an nothing has changed.

Studies show that 75% of people end up separated after marriage counselling! Alarming isn’t it. That is because listening is only a small part of how to resolve marriage problems or save a marriage.

  1. Listening

There are another 2 steps after listening to put marriage problems to rest these are

  1. Validating
  2. Compassion

 

  1. Validating

In addition to listening we need our partner to show us that they understand us. That they don’t think we are crazy and they have listened enough to understand the logic behind it. When a husband or wife share with each other that they have a valid point of view, often this can be enough for the couple to be able to move forward. Either address the issue, compromise and find a solution.

To do this in your relationship, all you need to do is say something like

” You make sense”

“I can see how you think that way”

“I see your logic”

“You have a valid point”

When you do this you are also showing respect. The more respect shown in communication the less destruction. When you say these statements it does not mean you are agreeing but that you can see how they might be able to view it in that way. One of the worst habits many of us have is defending our own point of view as either superior or the only one that counts. When we validate we move from challenging confrontation to open dialogue and couples find they can then relax more as they discuss.

Don’t take my word for it. Try it. You will be amazed what a difference it makes to stop arguments from escalating.

 3. Compassion

Compassion is the next step. Trying to imagine how your partner is feeling. Compassion takes the conversation deeper as you focus on trying to understand the feelings behind their thoughts.

This is where you say

“Given that, I can imagine that you might be feeling. . .”  Imagine is a great word, because we never know how someone else is feeling. Another obvious way is to say something like

“I am sorry you feel that way…”

If you are having trouble communicating in your marriage you need to do more than listen. But in truth, if you are not feeling connected focusing on communication alone won’t do much either. Connection is key and should always come before communication in close relationships. You cannot connect by talking alone, it always takes action.

Michael and Sue after months of talking joined my online save your marriage program and took action to become closer. They started spending their evenings together talking, walking, cooking and dining out, they gave each other attention, affection and appreciation. They found that Michaels desire to drink lessened and Sue’s desire to be intimate increased. This change happened in only a few weeks after years of fighting. They didn’t need to talk about problems.

Helping couples to connect and become closer is something that I focus on in all of my relationship transformation programs. We start by taking action to create more love , whilst simultaneously clearing any negativity, resentment and past hurt. Communication techniques comes after this as you need love, trust and closeness for communication to be effective. If you want to learn more about how to create more love, join my marriage secret master class where I give you a full 90 minutes on how to have a loving, close and happy relationship – even if you are the only one trying. To book your place visit https://training.nicolabeer.com/webinar-signup

 

From my heart to yours Nicola

Relationship and Connection Specialist

Nicola Beer – www.nicolabeer.com

 

P.S I always send a replay of the Marriage Secret Master Class, so if the time doesn’t work for you, but you want to get the marriage secrets – sign up anyway and you will get automatically sent a replay link to watch when you can do so in peace. https://training.nicolabeer.com/webinar-signup

Can’t wait for you to join me and take your happiness to the next level

Intimacy Differences – Low Desire V’s High Desire Partners in Relationships

Differences are an inevitable fact in any relationship. One very common difference is the difference in sexual desire. Low sexual desire or  “low libido”  as it is often called is actually very common for many men and women. They estimate about 40% of women will experience this and 17% of men (and estimate actual figures may be far higher). For men however it is less talked about as there is a societal expectation that men must live up to a reputation, that is that they are “always in the mood.”  But that’s not true. Lots of men have low sex drive, for a lot of reasons, just like women have a low sex drive.

What sets humans apart from other reproductive species (whose drive it is purely biological), is the emotional and thinking aspect we bring to intimacy. Which can make it extremely special, as well as complex. Meaning that if you only look to hormones and prescription medicines for solutions, you will be missing the whole lifestyle, psychological and relationship factors that can influence it.

Physical factors in addition to hormones can be: too little or too much exercise, alcohol and drug use. Psychological issues can include: anxiety and stress from work or home ( money or family), depression, relationship problems or rows. It can also be due to past physical / sexual abuse from childhood or previous relationships that may have now become awakened.

Then there is the intimacy itself, which many medical doctors miss out completely. Intimacy issues – can be fears of failing in bed, being bored, not feeling connected or a lack of depth and sharing in sex, where it seems mechanical and routine. The good thing about this is with the right attitude and openness is it can be easily changed.

But before I share some tips below – consider this very good point made by Dr. David Schnarch, a clinical psychologist and sex therapist who is an expert on low libido and sexuality. He states that there will ALWAYS be a low and high desire partner in every aspect of marriage. This is inevitable and therefore healthy. Schnarch says: ‘The low desire partner and the high desire partner are positions in a relationship and occur on virtually any issue and decision in the relationship.’ There is always one partner who wants to do something and the other who doesn’t, or wants to do it less! So a high and low desire is not a problem and shouldn’t be treated as such, he argues it’s healthy and normal.

 

Whether we are talking about sex, having a clean house, saving money, spending time as a family, or affection – one will want it more than the other. It is important to accept that neither position are about character or personality traits. They are positions which I hope will help you become less defensive or feel less inadequate or defective if a low libido is affecting your relationship.  It’s unfair to presume and act as if the low desire person has something “wrong with them.” It’s only if the low desire person wants to change this and / or it becomes a problem in the relationship that I offer suggestions.

 

With low desire and high desire differences, there is often a power struggle, as by default the person with the lower desire is always in control,  even if they don’t want to be. The person with the higher desire may feel controlled and become frustrated that the lower desire person holds all the power. It is important to remember though that often the lower desire person is not trying to hurt or control, they are often just being true to themselves.

What can you do if you want to change this dynamic about yourself or relationship?

Here are some ways I help individuals and couples. Please note, I am not a medical doctor and don’t deal with physical symptoms, so you may want to seek help there first. The men and women I have helped with low sexual desire either know it’s to do with the relationship or have already been to a doctor or they want to explore the below first.

Things to consider to change a low libido and increase sexual desire in the relationship

  1. Show affection outside of the bedroom, to increase the connection and closeness
  2. Clear any resentment and past hurt in the way
  3. Stop the pattern of one person always initiating and the other feeling pressured – find an alternative way of approaching this. I have several approaches – get in touch if you need more support
  4. Actions to boost self-esteem, feel good about yourself physically and emotionally (both partners)
  5. Add some more variety. Find new ways to make it more interesting and fulfilling
  6. Clear any mental, emotional, relationship or intimacy blocks – you will sense or know if you have any blocks
  7. Look after your health and body. Rest get 6-8 hours sleep, exercise moderately, avoid heavy alcohol, sugar and caffeine consumption.
  8. Make time for each other. Ensure you have enough quality time to laugh, relax and connect. Put your smart phones away.

All of the above works well for shifting a low libido or balancing the low sexual desire versus high sexual desire. In addition I usually combine the intimacy strategies with  a relaxing meditation hypnotherapy track to increase sexual desire at the subconscious level and create lasting change.

Remember there are always differences in relationships, low sexual desire does not mean that your relationship is over or attraction has gone. Having a low libido is very common at certain times in our lives. Be gentle with yourself and each other.

From my heart to yours, Nicola

P.S If you haven’t already signed up for my marriage secret master-class please do so here where I give you 90 Minutes Training on how to create the relationship you dreamed of on your wedding day.  Visit https://training.nicolabeer.com/webinar-signup

Sign up even if you cannot make the appointment because I’ll send you the replay. I’m so excited as I have something so special to share with you. Can’t wait for you to join me – seats are limited book now. https://training.nicolabeer.com/webinar-signup

7 Ways to Stop Money Arguments From Destroying Your Relationship

Money arguments and problems are one the most significant factors that can lead to divorce according to numerous studies. Research by Kansas State University found that this is because money arguments decrease relationship satisfaction and are harder to move on from than other marriage arguments.

If one spouse is more reckless, frivolous and carefree with money (whichever way you look at it)  and the other is more cautious, tight and careful conflict can arise. These differences can ruin a relationship in the best of times, but when you add to the mix financial stress, unemployment and a negative economy it can lead to divorce.

Financial issues also often trigger feelings of shame and fear which can lead to angry outbursts or withdrawal that further destroys the connection. So to help you move forward here are 7 ways to protect your marriage and stop divorce caused by money arguments and financial conflicts.

 

  1. Overcome any deep rooted issues causing money arguments

For many people (and I have to say I was one of them) money has a powerful influence on them. Not in the sense I was materialistic, as I can easily and happily live on little if circumstances dictate. But I used to get really anxious and stressed when I lost money and worry about not having enough in the future, even when I didn’t need to. My financial fears relate back to my childhood. Where I witnessed the pain a lack of finances caused the family. It destroyed my mum’s happiness who was forever stressed, angry and always very strict with money. Only because she had to be rasing 5 children on nothing. A lack of money in our house led to constant bitter rows between my parents, shame and hunger. Money arguments between my parents only got worse after they divorced. So I learnt a lack of money equals pain and you must avoid it at all costs, even if that means overworking yourself or being tight on yourself to save.

If you grew up not having much to live on, struggled in your college/university years or have had periods of unemployment,  a lack of money may literally freak you out. Where it impacts every area of your life, including your ability to sleep and function. The worry may be so great that you can’t relax becoming easily irritable or too controlling as a result. Which for obvious reasons can cause a great deal of tension to family life no wants to be around someone controlling or uptight. The pressure can increase if your spouse spends money very differently to you or you experience periods of financial stress.

The opposite is also true, you could have a financially difficult childhood and become a spendthrift, lavishly buying everything you didn’t have as a child and spoiling your loved ones and any children with gifts. If you grew up where money was plentiful you may also continue to spend like that even if your money is not currently plentiful, which I also see cause a lot of money arguments between couples.

If you grew up where money was plentiful you may also continue to spend like that even if your money is not currently plentiful, which I also see cause a lot of money arguments between couples.

The key is to be aware of your own and your partner’s financial history and work out a way forward. I had to do some healing and coaching work to clear my money fears and blocks, so it didn’t cause issues in my personal and love life.

I now regularly help couples with this, by doing some individual clearing money blocks and changing limiting belief work.

 

  1. Share debt and be honest about poor spending habits

All relationships require Transparency and Trust and in the area of finances, this is crucial. If you can be open about your financial habits and any debt then you have a greater chance of working through them. When Katy and Mark got married Mark didn’t share that he had credit card debts owing $30,000. Mainly because he was ashamed and knew he would handle it somehow. But for Katy his hiding felt like deceit, which hurt her and the relationship. I’ve also helped couples reconcile after years of financial cheating later in the marriage, and it is certainly not an easy path to rebuilding faith, trust and closeness. The safest way is to be open and honest right at the start.

 

  1. Agree when and if savings are touched

If one of you have spent years or decades building savings and the other starts eating away at them, it may destroy respect and even love. Savings are a sign of sacrifice for a greater purpose and seeing them wasted without permission or agreement can be soul destroying for some…

finances working together

 

  1. Adopt a policy of joint agreement

As soon as you start to pool your money together it is important to set some rules about independent spending. Some couples have a limit they can spend without sharing and others have a joint account and keep their own access to separate money. You need to determine what works best for you and at what price point you are going to talk to each other about a purchase.

Making decisions together also helps prevent controlling behaviour. No one wants to be controlled and both deserve an opinion even if one is not earning. It can damage a relationship if one person demands to keep track of all of the money and won’t let the other person make any decisions or have no spending power.

Another financially controlling behaviour is to criticise each other’s decisions, through discussing and agreeing together this can be avoided. As when you discuss you lower your risk of resentment, anger and fights happening.

 

  1. Keep to your financial agreements

If you are responsible for paying certain bills in the marriage, stick to it and discuss if you can’t.  If you say you will do something then it is important to honour that. Otherwise, you may break trust and damage your partners and the family’s credit ratings which can lead to further fallout.

 

  1. Create financial goals and a plan

Most of us have dreams for where we want to live and travel to, what objects and experiences will symbol a well-lived life to us. When couples figure out how much they want to save and what their future goals are together it often brings them closer together. Without discussing dreams and goals finances can often lead to more conflicts meaning your closeness takes a hit.

 

  1. Change what is not working

If the way your finances are being handled is causing strain and distance between you then change it.  Having worked with countless couples now, adopting a new strategy can literally save the marriage. If one is getting stressed with all the tracking and paying of bills, split the responsibility or hand over control. If lack of communication around finances is igniting fear or resentment, create regular financial meetings. If saving is difficult for you, get a savings plan (be sure to educate yourself first though). If a joint account or pooled savings is not working discuss and try a new way of working it.

In summary, the best way to avoid money arguments is to be transparent, open create a budget, understand each other’s money personality, family history and dreams. Try to align your money values. Couples that have similar money values have a lot less drama in this area. Although you don’t have to match identically there is growth in differences as long as you are both willing to adapt and consider each other’s history.

I hope you enjoyed reading this if I can help at all let me know I love supporting in this area.

From my heart to yours, Nicola

 

P.S Check out my free e-book the 7 secrets to saving your marriage here https://training.nicolabeer.com/7-secrets-marriage

 

Or if you are really serious about changing your relationship join me on my live webinar where I talk for an hour on how to have the relationship you really want. https://training.nicolabeer.com/webinar-signup

 

7 steps to help your husband/wife heal after an affair

If you have had a marital affair, your husband/ wife has found out and you want to save the marriage, there are some key steps you will want to follow.

How you react in the first few hours to 3 months matters as this is the “trauma stage” in the healing process. If you want to keep your marriage intact then I suggest you read and follow these healing after an affair steps. You may also want to get some support to move you out of crisis into rebuilding trust, love and respect.    This applies whether it is an emotional affair, physical affair or internet affair. If the betrayed husband or wife defines it as cheating then healing is needed. An affair is an attachment outside of the marital relationship. Many couples ask me does messaging count as an emotional affair or betrayal? I think as a guide for a couple moving forward is to focus on appropriateness. If you would not say or do something if your wife or husband was copied in the message then don’t say or do it.

I have devised the below from helping hundreds of individuals cope with the pain after an affair, as well as couples to come out stronger through this. Some of the below might sound basic, however, to save a relationship and become closer – grand gestures mean little, it is consistent daily action that makes all of the difference whether healing a cyber, physical or emotional affair.

 

Steps to Healing After A Physical or Emotional Affair

 

  1. Stop and cut ties immediately

Sounds obvious but you would be surprised how many men and women find it hard to let go or want to stay friends with the person they cheated with. Get support if you are struggling to cut contact. It goes without saying, if you continue the marriage will be even more severely damaged. Cut all ties where ever possible, obviously if you are working together this can be more of a struggle to do straight away. Something you will definitely need to work out and discuss after the affair with your husband or wife, how you will manage this.

 

  1. Make a heartfelt apology

If you fail to get this right, then pain will often continue for your spouse at a deep level. Understand and acknowledge the pain your husband or wife is going through. It makes it ten times harder for them to move on if you cannot appreciate how much hurt you have caused. In order for us to accept apologies we need to believe that we are really understood. This includes accepting that your wife or husband may see it as an affair, even if you do not. Denial of your spouse’s interpretation prevents healing from happening.

 

  1. Take full responsibility

This is essential to helping your spouse heal after an affair. If you blame your spouse, circumstances or the third person, then your spouse will not be able to trust you won’t cheat again. That’s a disaster for repairing a marriage, as Trust is essential for all healthy, loving and intimate relationships. Own your actions and you will be able to recover far quicker together.

 

  1. Be fully transparent

Transparency and total honesty is key. Don’t make the mistake so many men and women make of holding back information to try and “protect” their spouse after an affair. This ALWAYS back fires. Denial, lying and not sharing details is often what takes a couple closer to divorce, more so than the actual affair. I hear of cases time and time again where husbands or wives have lied to their spouses face after the affair to try to salvage the relationship, but this makes things worse. As their spouse either already knows everything and has all of the information and is waiting for them to reveal it, or they ask information and then spend nights and weeks, analyzing and investigating it to check for the truth.

Forget lying about anything. Or even withholding information. If they are not given details they assume the worse anyway.  Share all information that they need to move forward, no matter how awkward you feel or how aggressive they become.

 

  1. Act to rebuild trust, love and respect

Don’t rely on words alone to save the marriage. Promises that it won’t ever happen again and that you are sorry are a great start but won’t save a marriage. It takes actions to rebuild love, trust and respect. The right actions, which I talk about in my weekly webinar. Start taking actions to become closer not only to recover after an affair but to strengthen the connection and marriage. I have several resources on this, contact me if you want more information on strengthening after an affair.

 

  1. Keep patient

It’s common after an affair for the betrayed spouse to ask the same question again and again. They may want to check they can trust you and your story is accurate, they may want to know that you really do love them.

Recognise that it is not their wish to hurt you by this or make the relationship tense. Have compassion for them that they are most likely asking because they cannot switch off the reoccurring doubts and thoughts about your interest in them and the relationship or about what happened during the affair.

When I help a couple heal from an affair, I spend a lot of time focused on helping men and women, rid their mind of negative thoughts and painful images as well as help them to boost their confidence.

Keep in mind, that to you it might seem like they are living in the past but for them, they cannot move forward unless they can put a lid on the past. Often they are not choosing to hurt you or the relationship by repeating conversations, they are in need of closure. With their mind circling, they just need to check. If you refuse to communicate about the affair, you are stopping the healing process leaving them stuck with their negative thoughts. Often increasing stress, anger and their insecurities.

 

  1. Boost their confidence

Insecurities are almost always present after an affair. Feeling unattractive, unloved and undesired is common.  As well as questioning performance beneath the sheets. Reassure them with loving actions, words and your attention that they are desired, cherished and adored.

In summary aim to be as open, compassionate and caring as possible. Taking full responsibility for the heartache caused. Then look at ways to use this wake up call to strengthen your relationship. I’ve had the privilege of helping hundreds of couples through affairs to become closer and happier than ever before. With the right steps this can be you too.

 

From my heart to yours, Nicola

P.S If you are wondering is my marriage is over or not, take the free quiz here and get some support … https://training.nicolabeer.com/official-marriage-assessment

 

Infidelity – How to Help your Spouse Heal from Your Affair

How to get over a cheating husband/wife and save the marriage

Anne (name changed) emailed me after she discovered her husband had been having an affair. She was deeply hurt and angry at his betrayal. But she didn’t want to leave him and break up the family. They have two beautiful girls who dote on them both, plus the fact that deep down she still loved him. She discovered her husband was having an affair when she checked his phone at a friends BBQ. He had left his phone on the side, she picked it up and looked through his messages curious to what conversations he was having with his mates. To her horror, she found messages to and from a Louise of a sexual nature. She felt disgusted, furious and confused. She rushed to the bathroom with the phone, locked herself in and read the streams of conversations they had. Acting quickly she emailed herself all of their whats app messages. Then she confronted her husband telling him she knew about Louise, that she had evidence and told him not to bother coming home that night. They left immediately and spent the night and next week fighting about it. She wanted to know from me how to get over a cheating husband and save the marriage.

If you have found out you have a cheating husband or wife let me start by saying how sorry I am you are going through this and we are connecting under these circumstances. The pain can be immense and utterly overwhelming with so many fears and doubts flooding your mind. Although I am happy you are here because it means you already know that saving a relationship after an affair takes action. Just you taking the time to read this is a positive step to healing the relationship.

If this doesn’t apply to you directly but has or is happening to someone close to you below are some tips that I hope will help.

Below is a list I have devised from helping hundreds and couples through this in the next article next week I will share 7 tips for the betrayer to follow – so look out for that!

For the Betrayed – Relationship Counseling tips by Nicola Beer

The first thing you need to recognise is that is often impossible to get over it on your own. You are going to need support from your spouse to feel secure, attractive and desired again.  As well as some tools to stop any obsessive thoughts and behaviours, or flashbacks and painful images which could be from a good coach or other types of self-healing.

  1. Feel your feelings

Allow yourself to feel and express your pain and anger. Find a healthy outlet for the stress and frustration. Instead of trying to fix feelings with sugar, alcohol, drugs, shopping or any other habit that doesn’t serve you.

2. Do ask questions

Many find they have a peace when they are able to put the pieces together and understand why, where and when it happened. Those that choose not to know anything end up finding it much harder to move forward.

  1. Be willing to forgive

Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself not your partner. You free yourself when you forgive. Forgiving does not mean you condone the behaviour or are forgetting, it is about choosing to move forward.

  1. Do get help

Don’t suffer in silence. Get support from loved ones friends or a relationship specialist to support you.

  1. Be patient with yourself.

Especially if you are acting out of character, by checking up on your spouse, being extra suspicious or feeling insecure. It’s natural on the odd occasion to overreact after discovering their affair.

  1. Give up control

Recognise that no matter what, you cannot control your partner’s behaviour, so monitoring them and checking up on them will drive you crazy. Over time it will also over push someone further away. No one likes to be watched and analysed.

  1. Accept their love and kindness.

Receive the repair efforts and positive gestures they offer. Appreciate them and you will get more. I have seen many husbands and wives continuously punish their spouse after an affair, refusing to accept their apology and loving act. This refusal blocks healing and in the end, will end the relationship.

Another question I get asked frequently is

What if they Deny the Affair?  

In relationships where the cheating husband or wife is denying the affair or not accepting the descriptions “emotional attachment”  “cyber infidelity” etc the healing process can be a lot more challenging. How can you get over a cheating husband/wife if they don’t acknowledge it? It doesn’t matter what type of betrayal took place healing from affairs ALWAYS requires the cheater to switch to rescuer. When they don’t admit to the pain they have caused they cannot help move the relationship forward. Coming up next are 7 tips the betrayer can implement. Look out for it or email me now for a copy nicola@purepeacecoaching.com

Summary

There is no easy way to get over an affair.  I am frequently asked how do I get over their affair without feeling so angry, hurt and rejected. It’s hard, there is no denying that that is why having the support of people who love you is key, although I fully appreciate you may want to keep it hidden. Trust needs to be rebuilt and trust can only be rebuilt by loving acts of kindness, affection, attention, appreciation.

The key way to know whether to save it comes down to your feelings, whether your spouse is remorseful and whether you are willing to take steps to change the way you are relating and work towards your future. I hope this helps you, get in touch to find more about making your marriage great.

If you are still unsure what to do next – take the “Is My Marriage over? quiz. https://training.nicolabeer.com/official-marriage-assessment Which will help you assess your marriage.

From my heart to yours, Nicola

Nicola Beer

Relationship & Connection Specialist

nicola@purepeacecoaching.com

www.nicolabeer.com

 

P.S Don’t delay or stay stuck in confusion any longer Take the marriage assessment now by clicking here  https://training.nicolabeer.com/official-marriage-assessment

 

WARNING! 7 Ways Smartphones Can Ruin Relationships & Marriages

7 ways smartphones can destroy a couple’s connection and ruin a marriage.

Could your phone obsession be impacting your relationship and closeness?

With smartphones becoming cheaper, more available and the ability to now message and call for free, you may think they are an asset to romantic relationships. Unfortunately not. Our smartphones have become highly addictive and for many reasons the cost to relationships is high. Having helped thousands of couples to reconnect and restore intimacy one of the things that often comes up is the way a husband or wife engages with their phone and social media.

Let me ask you a few questions…

Do you feel a pull to constantly check your phone?

Is your phone and visible to you all the time?

Would you feel lost without it?

If you answered yes to any of the above, you are not alone. The obsession with our phones is rampant!

According to the research, companies study the average person touches their mobile device 2,617 times a day! A high user, a whopping 5,427 a day. Yes, a DAY! They put in a new software to track how many times a representative group of Android phone users touched their phone.  Can you believe it? I thought that is way too high, but just observe yourself and you may see some alarming patterns going on.

It’s no wonder phone usage can be a sore point for couples if we are interacting with our phones as often as that.  I’ve seen it destroy connection and closeness and I don’t want that to happen for you. So I am sharing the common complaints and solutions, to protect your relationship and get the love you truly deserve.

7 ways smart phones can destroy a couples connection –

  1. You text instead of talk

The odd text message is good for sharing something quickly if you cannot connect on the phone and something important needs to be arranged. It can also feel special to receive or express a loving message like “I’m thinking of you”  “I love you”  etc. BUT if it becomes the core way you communicate and it is used as a replacement for conversation, over time it erodes closeness. Imagine if your parents raised you by text message…. How close would you be? How much love would you feel from them? The chances are you would have a distant and damaged relationship. We are not robots, relationships cannot be built that way! All relationships need constant nurturing, engagement and interaction to grow. If we limit our verbal communication, eye contact and sharing emotions through our tone of voice, we will be missing the opportunity to bond.

Text arguing has also become the norm for many couples. Texting your grievances may seem like a good idea as you won’t be interrupted in getting your point across but it FAILS to resolve issues, to convey your true feelings and often leads to more hurt, resentment, and negativity. Even worse than this, if done repeatedly couples start to ignore or become unaffected by their spouse’s remarks and start ignoring each other. Shutdown in a relationship is the first stage of damaging decline.

Keep in mind that 72% of communication is body language, 20%  is the tone of voice and only 7% is words. So by using words only 92% is missing from your message and for obvious reasons this leads to misunderstandings, hurt and hostility.

Solution – couples I have worked with switched to a call once during the day and noticed a massive shift in their closeness. Others had lunch together a few times a week. For those that couldn’t do that, they left voice mails instead of texting. All reported back to me saying they felt instantly closer and happier in just a few weeks of doing this.

 

  1. You date your phone at dinner

What happened to a family meal time, engaging conversation and eye contact?  I think we’ve all seen this by now maybe even been a little guilty of it ourselves. Whether you eat watching TV, sit at the dinner table is your phone staring right at you? Or do you perhaps get all of your emails and messages delivered to your wrist on your watch as you are eating?  All prevent precious bonding time.

Couples will often say to me, “Nicola, we just don’t have enough time as we use to, our busy work schedules/children/commitments get in the way…”  Yet after going into more detail, it is clear they have at least 2 hours where they could be enjoying each other’s company each evening and more on weekends. Instead of interacting they are glued to their phones. Is it any wonder we feel more lonely and less connected in this connected world? I think not.

It’s easy to interpret your husband or wife being so engaged with their phone, as a sign you are far less interesting and important than the virtual friends you have. Clearly making our partners feel less than on a regular basis is going to effective the relationship.

Solution – put them away while you eat

  1. You cuddle up on the sofa with your mobile

As you settle down on the sofa with a cup of tea or glass of wine at the end of the day, is your phone or your partner next to you? Who do you choose to be by your side when you want to relax?  Do you choose your phone over affection with your partner? Are you sat together or opposite sides of the room? Is your phone your source of comfort or your lover?

Solution – cuddle up to each other and leave your phones where you can hear them if someone calls but are not attached to them.

 

  1. You attend to your phone when in bed

It can be very frustrating to wake up hearing and seeing your partner in the middle of the night emailing or and texting.  Same with checking your phone in bed before you have engaged, it’s a passion killer. You are also missing the chance for intimacy.  When spouses take their phones to bed on a regular basis many men and women, feel undesired and unattractive. Again not good for closeness.

Solution – stop it, only check work emails at work and messages after you have left the bed.

 

  1. You share more online than with him or her

Is your spouse the one you share news, feelings, and experiences with? Or is Facebook /  Instagram the place you go to first? Do you get or give more support, appreciation, and recognition to online friends than to your partner?  It can feel good to share updates and photos, as long as it is not replacing our connection in close relationships. The attachment to positive reinforcement through likes and comments can keep us detached from those we live with.

Solution – Before you post, call or share with your loved one first and you may not even feel the need to share it.

 

  1. Your phone accompanies you to the bathroom

Now whilst it’s highly unlikely your partner would want to go to the toilet with you. Studies have found that more and more people are taking their phone to the bathroom and spending over 30 minutes in their because they end up interacting on their phone. I’ve seen it trigger insecurities in close relationships as well as take away from precious couple time when men and women disappear for over 30 minutes to an hour or longer at a time.

Solution – ha ha, I’m not going to say anything on this one.

 

  1. You photo everything and experience little

Lastly, in the  quest to connect virtually many smartphone users have become snap happy. When you constantly take selfie’s or photos of everything you are pausing and therefore disconnecting with reality and the people in it. By snapping away for the ultimate photo and perfect smile, special moments can pass as our attention.  Precious romantic moments can be lost, as we are not truly present for our partner.  When we do this we lose the experience of happiness. As we are happiest when our minds are fully present, fully embraced in the now.  If we constantly are engaging with our phones, and checking for others approval or replies to messages, or use it to fill moments of emptiness, then we turn off real life.

 

Solution – Aim to really experience your surroundings,  ask yourself “do I need to stop and take a photo?” If you do want to take photo’s limit it to a few and then go back to the moment and interact with what is happening.

 

This article is not to point fingers, trigger accusations between a couple or make anyone feel guilty. It’s written to inspire. Phone obsession is a reality and we must pull back if it is impacting our close relationships. Awareness is the first key to change.  So my hope is you benefit like I have from being aware of this common problem and make different choices to have a closer & more intimate relationship.

 

From my heart to yours, Nicola

Relationship & Connection Specialist

P.S For more tips to strengthen your relationship and become closer, be sure to download my free e-book “7 Secrets to Strengthening or Saving Your Marriage “https://training.nicolabeer.com/7-secrets-marriage/”

Why Marriage Counselling Can Fail & What to Avoid

 75% of people say they’re Worse off or Even Divorced after Marriage Counseling! 

Don’t Let That Happen To You!

Today I got an email from a couple who I was working with this month to strengthen their relationship. With their permission, they have let me share their story in order to help and inspire others and give hope that it is not only possible to transform your relationship, but that you change things quickly.

Mary and Kevin have been married for 19 years. They started to fight 7 years ago after the birth of their second child. Kevin felt angry and annoyed that he could never do anything “right” in the home or with their 2 sons according to his wife. She was always complaining and he started to avoid her, staying as late at work as possible to avoid her nagging. Mary felt alone, unsupported and irritated at the lack of attention Kevin gave her. She felt distant from him and whenever he wanted to be physically intimate she refused. This infuriated Kevin further, he was working so hard for what “a sexless marriage and unhappy home life ”  To make things worse his work was also an area of stress, poor management, the threat of redundancy and unresponsive colleagues. He thought about divorce and so after telling his wife how fed up he was, they started marriage counseling.

Marriage Counselling

During the marriage counseling sessions they had in Dubai they were encouraged to take it in turns to go into detail about the main issues they were facing. They were asked to explain all the events that have caused the biggest pain throughout the marriage since they got together 19 years ago. Each week they would turn up, pay the fees and open up. Often they would feel angrier and more agitated after that it was hard to work on being kinder. Mary said that after each session she felt less and less like being close to Kevin, Kevin felt like a failure and retracted. Sadly the reverse of what they wanted was happening.  Each week they went again, desperately hoping that their marriage would start to improve after the emotional, time and financial investment they were putting into it, unfortunately, it was not working for them.

One plus from the experience was that they learnt to really listen and understand each other’s problems. Yet there was no solution or strategy to move them past hearing each others’ pain. They wondered if it was time to throw in the towel as if they made each other so unhappy, was there any pint in trying?

Mary, Kevin & I met, I explained how I help couples rebuild love and connection in a different way. A way that has worked for thousands of couples and may just work for them if they put their issues aside to start with and focus on rebuilding the love & connection.  Below are some tips I shared, so if you are looking to save or strengthen your marriage you may find them useful. Whether you work on your own, with a relationship & connection specialist like me or with another marriage counsellor.

Firstly let’s explore why marriage counseling can fail.

It often starts by focusing on the problems

 Talking about problems  in marriage counseling can often cause:

  1. More negativity

Analyzing what has gone wrong creates more negativity. Negativity kills closeness and passion. No one wants to hug, let alone make love with a grumpy, moody or critical person .

  1. Resentment to build

Resentment can build up even further, through bring all of the pain and hurt to light. Letting go of resentment is an individual process, done in harmony with corrective future actions. You cannot let resentment  go by re-hashing it out again. Often by bringing it individuals become angry and resentful, as they re-live the experience. Re-living the experience can make a couple feel more against each other and create further distance as opposed to closeness the very thing they came to get.

3.It focuses on blaming

One of the easiest ways we can harm our relationships is fixate on blaming them. When we blame we give all of our power away.  If we say to our partner “it’s because you did this…”  or “you didn’t do that for me.”  we are saying I am not in control of my behaviour or actions, it’s your fault and I’m not to blame. When we say this (even if that is true to some degree that they did contribute to it) we are not taking responsibility.  Yet in order to have a successful relationship and life for that matter, we HAVE to take responsibility of our own behaviour.

If we don’t how on earth can a couple move forward?  Think about it. If I am drinking heavily, or getting angry and abusive, or giving the silent treatment to my partner because of something my partner has said or done to me and I blame them solely. I am saying that I have no control over what happens. I put all the possibility of a good relationship on them, that they will have to change and act perfectly in order for me to be the person I want to be in the relationship.

Which is ludicrous!

When couples get stuck in the blame game – they become trapped. It’s impossible to rebuild trust that things will be different unless each steps up and takes responsibility. If no one is accepting responsibility then trust can never be rebuilt, because words such as “I’ll change” will be meaningless.

It’s impossible to trust someone who claims to act differently who in the same breath says it’s all you.

Blaming also causes distance, negativity and a sense of hopelessness  the opposite of what you need to be close and save a relationship.

 

  1. Creates shame

Most men and women, take pride in being a good husband/wife/ mother/father/ friend and person more generally. When we hear a long list of our “failings”  from our loved ones perspective, who knows us so well we already feel terrible. Driving and paying to listen to these out loud in front of a marriage counsellor can be extremely more painful and lower our self-esteem. We may feel crushed, worthless or become defensive and aggressive to protect our view point. Again feeling low or becoming more tense and frustrated is not going to help a couple to become close again. It certainly does not create more love.

 

5 Lacks a structure and future focus

If you are constantly fixated on the past, how can you move forward to create a fun, loving and intimate future together? In my experience helping thousands of couples now, things don’t get better by themselves. It takes a plan, goals and daily ACTIONs to move forward.

 

So if marriage counselling doesn’t work for many people, what does work? This is my alternative approach to marriage counselling which I offer in Dubai and across the globe online 1-to1 and through my online program. You can adopt these strategies by yourselves if you don’t have the money for an online program or 1 to 1 counselling.

 

What does work 

 

  1. Reconnect

First we re-establish closeness, connection and reinstall the romance through acts of love, kindness and respect. We do this  based on each other’s top 5 relationships needs of the 16 most desired . Next we create a plan to put the romance back into it.

  1. Remove Negativity

We eliminate negativity  and there are various ways to do this and inject positivity and fun back

  1. Clear Resentment

We individually work on clearing resentment and frustration, so we are free from it’s burden

4.Create a shared meaning & purpose

We focus on creating a shared meaning and having shared goals, we discuss our inner most dreams and look at aligning them.

5.Adopt the 10 key communication success principles

We address any issues that need to be resolved from a point of compassion, love and respect. We cover the 10 communication success principles that happy marriages adopt, so anything needing covering can be cleared to move forward.

Whether we get to work together or not, follow these steps to save your marriage and see your connection and closeness return.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me, I’d love to hear from you and to support you have a happier life and home in any way I can.

 

From my heart to yours, Nicola

 

Relationship & Connection Specialist

P.S For more tips to strengthen your relationship and become closer, be sure to download my free e-book “7 Secrets to Strengthening or Saving Your Marriage “https://training.nicolabeer.com/7-secrets-marriage/”

Are You Giving or Receiving Too Much in Your Relationship?

A Balancing Act – The Importance of Receiving Love and Giving Love

It’s better to give than to receive is a phrase that is used far too often and often without any explanation. It is definitely good to give but it’s not necessarily better. What’s important is that we have a balance between giving and receiving. To have balance in your life and in particular in your relationships it’s important to strike a balance between how much you give and how much you receive. When we give and receive in equal amounts in life, we are in balance and we are working with the laws of the universe, not against them.  Life, as we know it is about balance and everything depends on this finite quality. When our environment, our body or our relationship is out of balance things can start to go very wrong.  It can often lead to marriage problems.

 

So why is receiving often harder than giving? For some people receiving is seen as a sign of weakness and in some cases a fear of dependency or a fear that there might be strings attached. Alternatively, a difficulty in receiving could also be as simple as a belief that we hold that we don’t deserve what is being given to us. Lastly, it could be as basic as bad habit that we’ve learned from a parent. If a person grew up in a family where one parent gave all the time, always put other people first and themselves last then it’s highly likely that the child of that parent would mimic that giving pattern later on in their own life and also become a giver. To identify if you are more of a giver than a receiver, look at your own experiences as a child. What were your parents like? How did they act? Did you see them both give and receive or was one parent the giver and the other one the receiver? DO you see any connection between how you were raised and how you act today? Once you have identified which side of the fence you are on – are you more of a giver or more of a receiver, it’s time to look at how you and your partner can get to a place of balance to avoid marriage problems. How can you start to receive more today and feel just as good about receiving as you do about giving?

 

  1. Start with something small. For example, if your partner gives you a complement about your outfit and how great you look in it, don’t try and undermine their genuine attempt to be nice and deny them that feeling by saying something like ‘Oh that old thing’. A simple thank you is all you need to say. It might feel awkward or even uncomfortable but the more you practice saying thank you instead of rejecting and pushing away complements, the easier it will be to accept them and believe them.
  2. Identify any beliefs that you may have about receiving. Do you truly believe that it’s ok for you to receive or do you feel guilty about receiving? Beliefs may feel like they are permanent but with a bit of work they can be replaced with new beliefs that will work for you rather than against you. This can solve many marriage problems.
  3. When you believe it’s ok for you to receive then giving will open up doors for you to receive. The more you give, the more you will receive. However, do remember be wary of this as we should never give with the intention to receive. The Universe will reward us for giving but we shouldn’t expect it. The way to look at this to trust that as you give in life, so life will give back to you. It might not be when you expect or in ways you ever imagined and it may not even from the person you are hoping to receive from but if you trust that as you give you will receive – so it will be.
  4. Lastly, remember how good it feels when you do something really selfless for someone else and focus on those feelings. Don’t deny others the chance to feel good by giving to you. When you think about not receiving something, whether it’s your partners affection, complements, love or even gifts, think about how good it feels to give and give that person the opportunity to feel those great feelings by allowing them to give to you. Giving and receiving love, attention and affection can keep marriage problems at bay.

 

Bringing balance back into any relationship is neither hard nor easy but it does require commitment and consistency. The more we open up and allow ourselves to be vulnerable with our partners the quicker and easier it will be to foster change.  So if you are a giver, practice receiving, if you are a receiver practice giving and notice what comes up for you. Keep the flow of abundance in your life by practising both giving and receiving and remember that neither one is better than the other and that they both work in harmony to create balance. The more you receive the more you have to give and the more you give the more you will receive.

 

Wishing you an abundance of love, from my heart to yours Nicola

 

P.S If are having any kind of marriage problems at the moment and you liked this article then I’m almost certain you will like my FREE E-book 7 Secrets to Saving Your Marriage which includes steps to increase relationship happiness and closeness, as well as guidance to overcome marriage problems. You can download your free copy here https://training.nicolabeer.com/7-secrets-marriage

Who Wears the Pants in Your Relationship? Marriage Problems -5 Signs of Controlling Behaviour

We all know the saying ‘Who wears the pants in your relationship’ but have you ever taken a step back and really thought about it? Who wears the pants in your relationship? Do you both wear them, or does one of you predominantly wear the pants and control the relationship?  Either way, a healthy relationship is one that is balanced, where both partners can be themselves and just as importantly, feel good about themselves. Of all the different marriage problems signs, control issues are very common.

 

When it comes to major decisions in your relationship, who wears the pants? Perhaps it’s both of you, but if it’s predominantly one of you who controls most of what you do together and how you live you could be headed for troubled waters.  If one of you feels inferior in any shape or form, regardless of the other person’s good intentions it’s time to address the issue of control. Being in a relationship is about working together and being partners not controlling each other. At no point should one of you feel inferior to the other. It’s a recipe for marital disaster. If your relationship is struggling because of control related issues the first thing to be aware of is that the person who is controlling in the relationship, is more often than not doing it with good intentions; aka they really believe that they can help. Sometimes this is true, but not always.  Overt or covert control in a close relationship destroys intimacy and connection. If one of you is forced into pleasing the other and doing everything “their way”  resistance and resentment often builds. Where there is resistance there is distance! Nobody wants to be controlled, manipulated or made to feel like they are inferior, this is especially true in long-term committed relationships. As we all want to be seen, heard and loved by our partner, not bossed about. When it comes to marriage problems signs control is often being threatened or forced at some level.

 

Naturally, we all want life to go our way!  Therefore most of us can be a “little bit” TOO controlling at times. But if this has become your natural state of being, before long you could destroy the love, happiness and connection between you. No one wants to be married to a “nag” or feel restricted.

 

Below are 5 of the most common MARRIAGE PROBLEM SIGNS of controlling behaviour in a relationship. As we can only ever change ourselves in a relationship the questions are LOVINGLY directed at you as opposed to focusing on your partner.

 

MARRIAGE PROBLEM SIGNS – THE 5 SIGNS OF CONTROLLING BEHAVIOUR –

 

  1. YOU DON’T TRUST YOUR PARTNER TO ‘DO THINGS RIGHT’: It’s time to make the school lunches for your kids and you always do it every night, only tonight you need them to do it. Do you trust your partner will do a good job? Can you let them do it and not interfere? Is there a chance you will check up on it or remake it, so it is one exactly the way you like it? Another example that comes up often in my 1-to-1 sessions is the way someone packs the dishwasher, prepares the meat, or washes the car. Has one or both of you become obsessed with the RIGHT Way and that right way is your way.

 

  1. YOU STOPPED ADMIRING AND ENCOURAGING YOUR PARTNER: We all need to be admired and supported by our partners. If you don’t have each other’s back, who will? Admiration is more important than love I truly believe.There will also be times in the course of your relationship when exciting opportunities knock at your front door and when this happens for them, do you give your partner your full support and encouragement? In a healthy relationship, both partners should encourage each other to be the best they can be, even if it means spending some time apart or having to give up something to make your other half happy? Are you genuinely supportive of your partner, the opportunities they get and the dreams they want to pursue?

 

  1. YOU KEEP TELLING YOUR PARTNER TO CHANGE: Have you become fixated on changing your partner by telling them how they can improve or what they need to do? If you are constantly trying to talk him/ her out of things or get him/ her to act or be a certain way – it’s a clear-cut sign that you are being controlling in the relationship. Even done with the best intention; trying to tell your partner what to do and how to live their life is manipulative and destructive to the relationship. Nobody has the right to tell us what we must do, wear, say, feel or not feel. We can motivate our partners to change through love, encouragement and following the right strategy – telling or yelling rarely works for lasting change.

 

  1. YOU QUIZ YOUR PARTNER INSTEAD OF OPEN & INVITE: Do you always ask your partner where he/she has been, what they’ve been up to throughout their full waking day, including who they’ve seen and what conversations they’ve had? Could it seem to verge on the obsessive side? Obviously taking an interest in their day and asking questions is perfectly normal but if it’s becoming too many and too often, it could be seen as a way you are trying to control your partner. Perceived control can do just as much damage to the relationship, so want to make sure we are avoiding it.

 

  1. YOU ACT OUT YOUR JEALOUSY: Everyone gets a bit jealous from time to time. It’s completely normal. Acting out jealousy in an aggressive or controlling way is not a way to get the reassurance you are underneath seeking. With jealousy, it’s important for the jealous and insecure partner to get support for this and learn the techniques to take control of their thoughts.  We can never fully 100 % trust anyone risk-free and so trying to control them by constantly checking their phone or where they are is pointless. All we can do is trust ourselves that I will be okay if I trust and take this risk.

 

If you are in a relationship where you are either being controlled or you are aware that you are controlling your partner then the first thing to do is be honest. Be honest with yourself and with your partner. If you are the person who is controlling your partner, ask yourself why you think you are doing this? Don’t be too judgmental or hard on yourself but make sure to give it some thought as awareness is the first key to changing your relationship for the better. Too often partners are controlling but they simply don’t mean to be. It’s not always intentional. Perhaps it was how they were brought up, perhaps it was just something they learned in a previous relationship. The beauty with this scenario is that it can simply be un-learned.  Many relationships can be transformed when the person who is controlling simply decides to let ‘it’ go. Start with trust. Trust your partner, believe the best in them and simply allow them to be who they are, after all, they are the person you chose to spend your life with. Only when you really trust them can you let go of control. Lastly, remember that we all make mistakes.  At the end of the day, it’s whether or not we are committed to learning from our mistakes and fixing them that really counts. I firmly believe that close relationships are there for us to learn and grow.

 

From my heart to yours, Nicola

 

P.S If you are struggling in your relationship right now or things are going great but you would like to feel closer – download my free meditation forgive, be free & let go meditation here http://www.savemymarriageprogram.com/forgive/

 

Or check out my podcast show on Itunes by searching “Nicola Beer” or clicking on this link https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/how-to-save-your-marriage-nicola-beer-i-relationship/id1159253732?mt=2

 

 

 

 

Key Words

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