Porn Addiction, What To Do If It Is Affecting You and Your Relationship

This is a topic no-one talks or writes about yet it is really common and the number is rising. Why? Well for one is has become accessible to almost everyone. If you think about it nearly everyone has a mobile phone and most people have a lap top or tablet on top. Statistics show our addiction to check our phone and fill any time gaps by searching online is increasing. For these reasons sadly addiction to pornography is rising.

So in this article, I want to address

  1. What is porn addiction?
  2. What are the signs of porn addiction?
  3. How can porn addiction affect a relationship
  4. How can you stop porn addiction?
  5. How can you heal a relationship hurt by porn addiction and move beyond it.

Porn addiction affects more than just the user, the relationship and family life can also suffer. The use of pornography comes up frequently in my practice, which is why I feel called to share about it today. The most important thing to know about handling this in a relationship is that it’s never helpful to control or dictate how much a partner can and cannot use pornography. Any change has to come from the user. Try to police your partner to change any habit will drive you insane and harm the relationship. Below I will walk you through a process I take individuals and couples through in case it helps.

What is porn addiction?

It is a form of sexual addiction that is focused on pornography / sexualised images that causes a problem in the user’s life. How it can affect one’s life varies. It can damage romantic relationships, or interfere with work and finances, yet despite this, the person finds themselves unable to stop.

 What are the signs of porn addiction?

Like most addictions, it doesn’t happen over night where all of a sudden you are a porn addict. Similar to smoking, alcohol and drug addiction a person starts to abuse it, using it when they feel low, isolated, bored, stressed, unable to cope with life or a way to unwind and relax. When a behaviour is used time and time again as a way to feel good or escape reality, the brain starts to associate it with the way to get through life. The more a person abuses pornography to fill a gap or release tension etc the more dependent the person becomes on using it and the less they are able to cope without it.

Porn becomes an addiction when it interferes with a person’s quality of life. When despite the damaging effect is having on someone’s life they continue to do with as they find themselves unable to stop. There is no set amount of time or frequency.

Signs of porn addiction could be

  1. Time invested in watching porn at the expense of sleep, family time or work time
  2. Secretiveness, isolation and defensiveness on the topic or technology time
  3. Inability to stop despite making promises to themselves and or others
  4. Cravings to watch pornography
  5. Continuing despite feeling negative emotions associated with it like shame, guilt
  6. Increasing need to require higher amounts and more explicit materials to gain the same satisfaction or thrill. Where a tolerance has developed.
  7. Powerless to resist the urge
  8. Damaging effect on sexual relations in the relationship. For example impotence, erectile dysfunction etc
  9. Turning down social or work activities because of the wish to watch pornography instead
  10. Relationship problems causing tension or fall out

There may be many more signs and the key thing to note is that like all addictions they can be changed. All it takes is a willingness to break away from the old and adopt new ways of embracing life.

What does it do to a relationship?

One of the ways it most damages the relationship is in the bedroom. It’s not natural to see explicit sexual material repeatedly, it can lower interest in sex and affect arousal and the sexual/sensual dynamic between a couple. Also, it can cause impotence.

Another way I have seen it harm relationships is when promises to reduce the amount or quit have failed. The partner feels angry, betrayed, hurt, unattractive, cheated. Dishonesty for obvious reasons destroys love. Trust will need to be rebuilt if this is the case.

How can you heal a relationship and move beyond porn addiction?

For the person with the addictive behaviour

The first key is a willingness to acknowledge that you want to change it. You don’t need to or have to call yourself an addict, you just need to say yes to change. Yes to having a healthier happier relationship. Yes to freedom.

The second step is exploring on your own or ideally with a relationship or behavioural specialist what is driving the behaviour. Why are you using? Normally we are triggered by a feeling before we act, it could be loneliness, boredom, anger, stress or something entirely different.

Then look at what is it giving you. What benefit are you getting from it? How do you feel during and after? The reason some behaviours are hard to quit is that of what they give us.

The fourth step is finding a healthy replacement. Something to enjoy instead of the porn. This will be different for different people. This usually takes some brainstorming. Some of the people I have worked with have taken up physical exercise, become more affectionate with their partner, have treated themselves to long baths, couple massages or cooking worked for someone, they really got into making recipes from scratch. Another man I helped who travelled a lot took up painting to music. He was never without his paint brush and canvass on trips, it helped him to unwind without porn or alcohol.

The next is reward Charles Duhigg ‘the power of habit” states that the most effective and successful way to change a habit, is to give a reward. The reward doesn’t have to be anything expensive or time-consuming. It can literally be a chart where you tick off successfully free days.

How can you reward yourself?

Ideally have a coach or someone you are close to, to share your progress with and hold you accountable. Sometimes we need a little help to keep motivation, that’s why personal training and weight loss communities have become billion dollar industries.

After this, a real committed decision is needed. A plan to really commit to change with specific goals. Aligning yourself to the benefits when you stop will make it easier to quit. So

  1. Set yourself a goal
  2. Write down all that the habit is costing you right now
  3. The reasons why it’s important to you to change
  4. List down what will happen if you don’t change
  5. Write down the benefit of changing
  6. List how you will reward yourself with the saved time

This will keep you on track – store this on your phone and review it when you have a craving.

Lastly, I use hypnotherapy to help change any unwanted behaviour in relationships for the couples I work with. Whether that’s to reduce alcohol consumption, angry outbursts, insecurities, low libido, quit smoking it works. Considering our behaviour is driven most by our subconscious mind (95% according to behavioural expert Bruce Lipton) then it’s worth adding to the action plan in my opinion.

Hypnosis helped me to quit smoking, beat insomnia and get over my fear of public speaking, I find it always works if repeated for the men and women I support too. You can get some tailored hypnosis made to you and your habit which is generally more powerful than buying a ready made one. However, you can go to audible or Itunes and buy one too.

For the partner

Don’t take it personally. That’s the key message for you. Lots of self-love and self-care work’s wonders. You have no control over your partner’s behaviour, but you can control how much you decide to worry or think about it. Self-love is actions we take to make ourselves happy, healthy and grow mentally and spiritually.

For the relationship

Rebuild love, connection and trust by focusing on your future together and actions you can take for yourself and together to create more love. Love and compassion heals everything if it is not transactional. When love is a transaction = you do this for me and I will do that for you, it never works as you are limiting it and love cannot be limited. I speak about creating more closeness and love in my relationship secrets master class it’s free 90-minute discussion on relationships and for the next one you can sign up here:

From my heart to yours, Nicola

P.S If you would like more tips to improve your relationship then get my free e-book here

How to Fix A Struggling Marriage – Step #1

Natalie had lost herself in her marriage. She was constantly running errands for her children, husband and checking in on both sets of parents, that she had neglected her own needs. By her own admission, she was far too busy and stressed to enjoy life.  David her husband was also stressed, travelling and working long hours to pay for all the growing household expenses.  Both felt unappreciated, drained of energy and frustrated at the lack of attention, love and care they were receiving.  They were angry at each other, resentment and distance was building. The only thing they thought would get them out of this difficult time and tension was if each other would change and make them happy! They had spent many months and years wishing time away and hoping for change by the time they had met me. This is a natural consequence of losing touch with our innermost desires, neglecting ourselves and expecting our partner to be our everything.

So welcome to How to Fix A Struggling Marriage – Step #1

In this article, I will outline the first step to having a close relationship and explain how to fix a struggling marriage


STEP #1 Part 1 How to Fix a Struggling Marriage


Accepting and Loving Yourself


Ironically the first step to having an intimate relationship starts with ourselves. For true intimacy, we need to be fully present in all our glory. To be fully present we need to be connected to all parts of ourselves, accept all parts of ourselves, even those we dislike or that make us feel uncomfortable, ashamed or vulnerable. When we deny parts of ourselves, we tend to attract them and notice them more in our partners. When we accept our imperfections it allows us to just be, be who we are and therefore we are able to connect more deeply.


We have all heard the statement


“you need to love yourself before you can truly love others


I used to think this line was a load of rubbish, to be honest. I didn’t believe it. I thought I don’t love myself much but I can easily love other people. Being hard on myself was how I got so far in life, I pushed myself with criticism and not accepting anything less than perfection and never gave myself a rest. From others, I took criticism and talked down or refused the praise I was getting.



It wasn’t until I finally did learn to love myself fully, I found I could love more people and open my heart wider and wider to all people. People that may have annoyed, angered or repulsed me before, I had love for. I see loving yourself more as a journey, it takes practice and you get better at it over time.  I began my journey of self-acceptance and love 6 years ago and I’m always improving.


First I started by not criticising myself. That was a big step for me, I used to wake up and moan at myself from the moment I woke up. I had done this for 15 years, so it had become a habit. I would call myself ugly, stupid, fat, some days. Other days I would criticise what I said, what I ate, what I drank, how much work I got done, how much money I saved,  it was exhausting! I was my biggest critic and own worst enemy. Consumed with so much self-hate, I was attracting in people who also had a lot of hate in them, either towards others or themselves. For sure this was blocking love in and by blocking love in, love was not pouring out. Love HAS to flow for intimacy to flow.


The great thing about accepting yourself is that you can also accept others attitudes, behaviours and actions more easily. Without getting bothered by them. There is a great saying in NLP “everybody is doing the best they can with the resources they have.”  Once I adopted that as a core belief forgiveness came easily, I forgave my mum for the heartache and abuse, I forgave my dad for leaving, I forgave my ex for not wanting to commit to me,  and most importantly I forgave myself for all the misery I had put myself through.


What do you need to love more about yourself, what do you need to accept about yourself and what in your life needs your care and attention?



STEP #1 – Part 2 How to Fix a Struggling Marriage


Putting it into ACTION through Self-Care


The next step is demonstrating your self-acceptance and love, by taking care of your feelings, needs, mind, body and spirit.


I used to think I don’t have time for a spiritual practice or exercise. It was always put on my list of when I have this setup, then I will take more time out for me or when I earn this much, I will be able to do that.


However, I learnt never to short-change yourself in business and relationships. You deserve to put money aside for you and pay yourself first, no matter how well your business is doing, and relaxation and fun time for yourself in life and close relationships is also crucial.


The key here is to be in touch with your own feelings and needs and then get into action and take care of those needs. Either by sharing your desires with your partner or by finding out ways to get your needs met. Your partner can never meet all of your needs.


If you are ignoring your own needs and feelings in the relationship and life more generally it will impact your happiness and this will impact the relationship and your closeness. If you have lost yourself and no longer know what makes you happy and fulfilled, then you won’t be able to bring your fullness into the relationship. When you neglect yourself, it is hard to find or experience any real joy in life.


The more you can focus on yourself, your happiness, your needs, dreams and wants, the better version of yourself you will become. Relationships flourish when both are being the best versions of themselves and are accepted fully for who they are. This is especially true when trying to fix a struggling marriage, in order to repair the connection and closeness, you need to feel positive. Positive with life, your partner overall and about the future.


STEP #1 – Part 3 How to Fix a Struggling Marriage  –


Inject more Positivity into Your Lives


If you are in a bad spot; you need HOPE! Hope can pull you through a and this hope will inspire you to take action.


A lack of positivity is often what destroys marriages most. Sadly I see this all the time. Negativity is the enemy. As negativity becomes a feeding ground for criticism and seeing only wrongs with your partner and in the relationship. The more you focus on what is bad, the more negative things you will attract and the more resentment will build. So this is why self-care is important for an intimate, close and happy relationship.  If you are taking care of your energy, happiness and health, you will be in a far better position to stir the relationship back into a positive one. Low self-esteem, depression, addictions and exhaustion, will keep a relationship operating on a low or aggressive way.



So what I really wanted to get across is that self-care, self-love, or whatever you want to call it, is not selfish, it is not something that should be ignored. Nearly all the husbands and wives I’ve worked with would rather see their spouse a bit less or accept fewer things being done around the house, or have a smaller home or garden for a more relaxed, kinder and happier environment.


Don’t delay, Start today 🙂


From my heart to yours, Nicola


P.S If you are struggling right now in your marriage and want to turn it around, I recommend you check out this video I created – 10 Essential Keys to Transform Your Marriage and Avoid Divorce –

It’s 40 minutes long where I walk you through exactly what is needed step by step to have a great marriage

Sign up for it and watch it in your own time and place


Financial Abuse: Is Your Husband / Wife Financially Controlling?

Financial Abuse – Relationship Advice for a Financially Controlling Husband / Wife:

Financial conflict causes a great deal of unhappiness and tension in relationships.  I received this email last week and they have given me permission to share it, here is the advice I gave Emily (name changed) I hope if you are facing financial control or other conflicts this helps you.

Hi Nicola

My husband is financially controlling. I literally have nothing but the bare minimum given to me as an allowance for our needs and the rest I never see. I thought at first it was great he wanted to take care of all the bills but now I see his behaviour as controlling. I am not one to spend much on myself anyway but I have to account for anything and everything and he doesn’t. Everything I have to disclose and when I want to do things,  I can see him internally calculating how much it will cost and so it has made me hardly want to bother to do anything anymore.

 He says I cannot manage the budget, yet he fails to realise there is no money to budget, it is always under what the children and I need.  He says he is doing this for us, our future and investments but I know nothing and I’ve read this is financial abuse!

I’ve listened to all your podcasts and thought about reaching out to you for your free marriage consultation but wanted to see if I could fix things on my own first. So I  decided 5 months ago that the best thing to do would be to get a job, so I get my own money hoping this would make things better. But it’s actually made things worse, he gets both of our paychecks and I see none of my hard earned money. I feel trapped, angry and I am starting to hate him. I no longer want him to touch me. When I ask him for more money, he gets angry or defensive saying I need to manage better. He’s impossible. What shall I  do?


My reply

Hi Emily

Sorry to hear of the stress you are going through, financial conflicts of some kind come up in my online sessions frequently. Clearly what is going on in your marriage is serious, as you no longer feel close or want to be intimate. I’m not a big believer that labels help but what you are describing was labelled by the BBC Personal Finance Reporter Brian Milligan as “Financial Abuse”

Milligan said that financial abuse “involves your partner spending your jointly-earned money, taking out loans in your name, making you pay the utility bills, or scrutinising every penny you spend….Worse, it can be the forerunner of even more serious emotional, or physical, abuse”

According to the charity Women’s Aid – Marilyn Howard and Amy Skipp who produced a report Trapped and Controlled say the most frequent signs to look out for are a partner who:

  • takes large independent financial decisions without you
  • controls your access to money, through credit cards or a bank account
  • takes your salary and controls what happens with it
  • refuses to contribute to household bills or children’s expenses
  • puts bills in your name, but does not contribute to them
  • takes out loans in your name – but does not help with repayments
  • takes money from you without asking


Another form of financial behaviour that affects a marriage I see all too often is a lack of transparency. Where a spouse is kept in the dark when it comes to earning, spending, investing or giving. This can impact closeness and intimacy in a marriage if things are hidden, so it is good for long-term happiness to share information.


So what can you do about it?

Whatever you do, do not follow marriage counsellors or well-meaning friends advice and accuse your husband of being financially abusive or a financial bully. That is one sure way to make them become defensive, get aggressive or shut down the conversation. Having helped saved hundreds of marriages now, many men who fit this “financial abuse” pattern, would be horrified to learn they are guilty of this and hurting their partner and relationship in such a way. To many men all they are doing is taking care of the family, so it needs to be handled carefully, to get a positive outcome.

First it is good to understand the two basic drives and thought cycles that men and women have. The masculine and feminine energy focus.  Men and the masculine energy (which some women can have more of) are constantly stuck in a loop asking themselves “am I successful enough?” “am I succeeding?” “am I failing?” “am I doing enough?”  These loops occupy their thoughts, mission and focus in life.

So more often than not, the financial control has little to do with their wife and everything to do with their drive to be successful and avoid the failure and shame that comes with it. They want to monitor everything for fear of not failing as their role as a provider.  So in response to their fear, they control.

The feminine energy thought cycle and drive is focused on being loved it women constantly ask themselves “am I loved?’ “am I loved enough?” “am I loved? am I loved enough?” They see spending and being given money as a sign of being loved and cared for. They see control as a sign of unlove and control which often ignites fear and makes women want to spend money and keep more of their own money. It creates the opposite effect that the man is seeking rather than being careful, they think the money may be withdrawn again, better spend it all in case it is limited again.

I see this becoming a vicious cycle in couples. Could this be true in your marriage?  These two drives highlighted by David Deida clash in marriages time and time again over finances and time spent at work or in social activities.

The way to address finances differs from marriage to marriage but here are some suggestions you may like to implement, that has worked for the women I’ve helped. Only you can decide what is safe for you to communicate to your partner regarding these moves towards more financial independence.

  1. Get to know more about your husband’s financial mission

Express an interest in knowing more and in supporting you husband to succeed in achieving his and the family goals. Ask him what his dreams, plans and savings are for. Explain your dreams and why having more financial freedom is important to you now. With or without a relationship specialist, set a date to discuss finances and create a compelling future vision incorporating both of your dreams, when it comes to spending.

  1. Be financially responsible

Make a plan to take back control of your money. It is fortunate that you work and have your own source of income. Open a separate bank account in your own name, and have your paychecks deposited there. Having a joint account for joint expenses can work really well for some couples. Do your own research into savings and share your ideas.

  1. Be aware of patterns to keep you “utterly dependent”

Other warning signs of financial abuse and financial bullying are when a husband or wife is using the money to socially isolate a spouse. Where the financial control stops you from going out and socialising, and by doing so making you financially dependent. It can also involve stopping a spouse from working, from having any access to funds making it possible for them to have any freedom at all. This is abuse in some respects because it can make the other person feel like they have nothing outside of the relationship and cannot see anyone else.

There is an important difference between being in a relationship where someone takes care of the active financial management and someone who keeps you financially dependent. It’s fine to not be hands on in the day-to-day operation and bill paying, but if you wanted to see and know anything about your finances at any point you could. If you are not allowed to know more or be more involved, this is not good for a relationship. Having restricted access makes you vulnerable, as you have a right to know and determine everything that concerns your money in your committed relationship.

  1. Get support if you need to

You deserve a partner who supports you, not one who controls you.

If your partner reacts to any of the above steps aggressively, refuses outright to discuss or if you are too scared to do so consider outside support from a trusted friend/family member or relationship specialist to assess what to do next.

You did the right thing to listen to your instincts and reach out for guidance. Look after yourself and don’t neglect your needs. It is rare that couples see eye to eye on finances, it often takes couples a few years to get comfortable sharing and managing finances together. So don’t be alarmed if it’s not working right now and needs adjusting. Outside circumstances like the economy, threat or loss of job can often trigger fear which in turn, turns into control. But with awareness and open communication can be resolved.

From my heart to yours Nicola


If you are reading this and are concerned about yourself or someone close to you suffering a more severe financial abuse or other abuse seek support immediately.

To  book your free save my marriage consultation with me here how to discuss your relationship in confidence visit

Or to get more email support download my free e-book 7 Secrets to Saving Your Marriage here

4 Ways to Get and Stay Close to Your Partner

Do you feel like you are drifting along in your marriage?

Do you lack excitement or fulfilment in your relationship?

Do you sometimes wonder why you are still married?


As mentioned last week there are four elements that help build and support a shared meaning, all of which should be established and then built on over time. Read through each element and answer the questions after each section, making note of any thoughts that pop up you want to share with your lover.



Four Elements That Build a Shared Meaning and Purpose


Couple Counselling Tip 1. Rituals of Connection

Couple Counseling Tip 2. Shared Views

Couple Counseling Tip 3. Shared Goals and Dreams

Couple Counseling Tip 4. Shared Values


For tip 1 and 2 see previous article


Couple Counseling Tip 3. Shared Goals and Dreams


Part of what creates a meaningful life are the goals that we strive to achieve. Many of us wouldn’t be where we are today without setting goals and going for it. Without a direction we become aimless, lifeless even. Imagine a ship in the ocean that has no route to follow, directionless, it will float aimlessly and get nowhere. Marriages are the same. The goal of a relationship is not to get married and that’s it. As with any area of life whether that be work, fitness or hobbies, having the next goal in mind ensures your progression, sense of purpose and prevents you from stagnating. Your marriage should be no different – you need positive goals for your shared time together.


Too often we don’t talk about our deepest desires and sometimes we haven’t even asked ourselves about what we want for our relationship, as we’re too busy with life to notice. When we start to explore and define our shared goals we increase intimacy, meaning and purpose. When united by a goal, we can let arguments and differences go more easily.


What are some of your short-term and long-term goals for your marriage? List them and create some more joint ones.


Couple Counseling Tip 4. Shared Values


Like with shared views, having shared values also help marriages flourish.


Ask yourself these questions:

  • What do you value most about being a part of the family you belong to?
  • What family stories do you consider with pride?
  • What does home mean to you?
  • What activities or objects symbolize a meaningful and well-lived life to you?
  • What symbols or objects demonstrate who you are in the world?


Analyse what you and your spouse value most by answering these questions and list anything that comes up that matters to you most in life.



Now Create Your Shared Meaning


In my time supporting couples to develop a fresher mindset towards their respective marriage, I have heard many different rituals, views, goals and values because every couple has their own story. Here are some shared meanings from previous couples I’ve worked with:


“to heal and have a peaceful existence” (after a difficult previous relationship and childhood)

“to create a family filled with laughter & love”

“to enjoy life to the max: travel, explore, adventure and excitement”

“to step into parents footsteps and care for the whole family and business”

“to give our children the best education and watch them flourish together”

“to have our dream home on the beach and retire (early) in luxury”

“to live God’s mission together, wherever that may lead us”

“to set up our own business and leave a legacy”


Above all, it’s important throughout your journey to remember one thing: this is your journey. I have offered examples of other couples shared meaning to show that every couple is different.


Share your dreams with your partner and list your one-, five- and ten-year goals and come up with some ideas for a shared meaning that is personal to you and your partner.




Happy couples create a family culture that includes both of their dreams. In being open to each other’s perspectives and opinions you become more receptive to each other which naturally brings you together as a happier couple with an aligned future to get you through tough times.


These four elements: rituals of connection, shared views, shared goals and shared values are what constitute a shared meaning. Your shared meaning may evolve over the coming years and it’s important to stay connected and support each other when life changes occur. Always remember that discussion is key here and you should agree on any significant life changes you make before moving forwards.


From my heart to yours, Nicola


Marriage Transformation Specialist and Founder of the Save My Marriage Program

Contact or find out more about me at


P.S If you are wondering what the save my marriage program is let me explain…


The Save My Marriage Program is a relationship strengthening program designed as an alternative to marriage counselling. Recent case studies show that it’s twice as likely to successfully save and restore a marriage than traditional counselling. The program works well for those who set out to transform their marriage on their own, as well as for couples. It covers how to increase love, respect and trust, improve communication and connection, as well as help you individually to let go of past hurt, resentment or negativity.


It is available as a 10 week online course with full support from me, 1 to 1 online or in person consulting and in 5 star marriage retreats.


To see if the program could be a fit for you – Book your FREE – SAVE MY MARRIAGE CONSULTATION now




10 Essential Keys to Avoid Divorce & Transform your Marriage Here

4 Keys to Staying Connected in Your Relationship – Part 1

































“Marriage isn’t just about raising kids, splitting chores and making love. It can also have a spiritual dimension that has to do with creating an inner life together — a culture rich with rituals, and an appreciation for your roles and goals that link you…” Gottman, 7 Principals of Making a Marriage Work


There are different elements that help build and support a shared meaning, all of which should be established and then built on over time. Read through each element and answer the questions after each section, making note of any thoughts that pop up you want to share with your lover.


Four Elements that Build a Shared Meaning and Purpose


Marriage Counseling Tip 1. Rituals of Connection

Marriage Counseling Tip 2. Shared Views

Marriage Counseling Tip 3. Shared Goals and Dreams

Marriage Counseling Tip 4. Shared Values



Marriage Counseling Tip 1. Rituals of Connection


A ritual of connection refers to the small things you do as a couple or a family which build and strengthen the emotional and spiritual connections between you all.


Ask yourself these questions:

  • How do you and your partner connect with each other?
  • Have you developed your own family rituals?

This could be a special meal on the weekend such as a takeaway on a Saturday or Sunday roast or movie night every Friday.

  • In what unique ways do you celebrate religious holidays?
  • Do you have a ritual for love making?
  • Do you dedicate a day or night per week for family or romance?


Many couples find love and connection flourishes when they have an intimate ritual to look forward to. The key here is to find something that you do together regularly that you can look forward to.


Answer the above questions and think about the rituals of connection you have: do they work for you? Could you improve them to increase your connection or create some new ones?


Marriage Counseling Tip 2. Shared Views


Support for Each Other’s Roles

When couples come to me a lot of the problems stem from the fall out of what they think their partner “should” be doing versus what they are actually doing. I often hear: “As a husband…” he “should” be doing this, fixing that, paying for this or giving me that. Similarly I hear it the other way round too: “A wife “should”  look after the home, stay in with the family and contribute to the finances.” The problem stems from the fact that these assumed roles are often never discussed so each person develops their own views on situations without taking the time to understand the perspective of their partner. This where resentment builds.  The happiest couples agree on the roles they define for themselves and support each other with them. This is crucial as it helps to build a shared meaning.



Family and Parenting

Having similar views on parenting also adds to a strong sense of shared meaning, so does your views on the level of interaction you expect to have with your parents, siblings and cousins. For example, do you both consider extended family part of your daily family life or do you prefer distance and more of a nuclear family?


Work and Career

Even the views on what it means to work and the significance of work in your life is important to discuss. How much work is part of your life can be disputed, potentially causing friction, so having a shared outlook is crucial. Where you can talk about its importance in your life and share your experiences. Some individuals I work with get jealous and annoyed at their spouses involvement with work and staying late or socializing with colleagues on the weekends and this can cause tension for some couples. Compared to couples who agree that work comes first and encourage each other to be the best they can possibly be. Which couple are you?


The extent to which you feel similar about these issues, the stronger your marriage and connection becomes. This doesn’t mean you need to agree on everything but often it’s the couples that are more closely aligned in their views and approaches that are happier and more fulfilled.


What views do you share when it comes to living out your life? Are there any expectations that are a cause of frustration for you that you have not communicated? Could you benefit from some more support when it comes to your roles, family or career?


I will discuss shared goals and values in part 2 so stay tuned for that.


From my heart to yours, Nicola

Marriage Transformation Specialist and Founder of the Save My Marriage Program

Contact or find out more about me at


P.S Have you watched the FREE Marriage Transforming Video Yet?

10 ESSENTIAL KEYS TO AVOID DIVORCE & TRANSFORM YOUR MARRIAGE HERE – It’s TOTALLY FREE and couples have shared it has made a huge impact in their marriage. 


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PP.S Struggling to know if your marriage can be saved? Get the Quiz Can My Marriage Be Saved here

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It’s the most anticipated holiday of the year Christmas and New Year for many, the kids are excited, time off work and lots of parties, family get-togethers and gifts to buy. However, sadly it can be a time when couples fight the most and small things can lead to out-of-control arguments. So, what can you today to begin to prepare yourself mentally for the upcoming festive season? We each have different concerns that seem to pop up every holiday and what causes marriage problems for one couple won’t necessarily bother another couple, so here are 3 of the most common marriage problems at this time of year and some solutions. If you have another problem, not listed here, do get in touch.

Marriage problem 1 DEALING WITH IN-LAWS:

If this is an area of concern for you and / or your partner, think about what it is that always causes the arguments. Is it what they say? Is it how they act? Is it how they treat you or how your partner acts different around them? What are the issues that seem to happen every holiday? With that awareness in mind write down all the things you could do to prevent it from happening. Remember the important thing is generally to be happy, not necessarily right. Ask yourself, would you be willing to say nothing and not react when prompted by an in-law for the sake of the conversation not turning into a full blown argument. Sometimes, silence is the only way to keep the peace. You might want to hurl back abuse at an in-law for something they say, but try where possible to refrain from biting back. Walk away. Change the subject and take some deep breaths. Remember, you can always choose to later have a discussion with them about their actions and to express your opinion, when you have cooled down and are away from the kids and when the time is ‘right’

TOP TIP: Don’t react when prompted. Remember it’s sometimes better to say nothing. Deal with issues away from the kids. Agree with your partner in advance that if it gets too much, you will go for a walk, a coffee, to the mall or see a friend.

Marriage problem 2 MONEY AND BUYING GIFTS:

Some of the biggest arguments over the holidays are sadly about money. It often starts when both partners have different ideas about money. For example, one partner may have had very little for Christmas as a child and sees Christmas as a time to really spoil the kids with gifts that he or she never received and to over-spend. On the other hand, giving expensive gifts to the family may not be such a big deal as spending quality time with them playing games and watching movies together. If your partner grew up with a parent who was ‘not there’ during the holidays, always working or ‘drunk’ then ‘being there for the family’ could be their number one priority. When both partners come together to celebrate the holiday with different ideas about what makes ‘the perfect day’ it can be breeding ground for disaster. It doesn’t have to be though. If you can do this exercise with your partner, it’s better, but it not sit down alone and write down all the things that would make up ‘the perfect holiday’ for you. Then when you’ve identified 5 or more, look at your list and ask yourself, what’s the most important. Keep doing that until you’ve put your list in order, one being the most important and five being the least. If you are doing this with your partner, compare your lists and talk about why your number one is so important and what it means to you. If you knew that your partner grew up with few presents would this change how you feel about them when they spend money? Awareness if everything.

TOP TIP: Write down a list of what would make your holiday ‘perfect’ in your eyes. Is it expensive gifts, dinner at home or dinner at your favourite restaurant, whatever it is that excites you, write it all down and share your list with your partner. Discuss what and why is important to you and talk about how you can both meet each other’s needs this holiday.

Marriage problem 3 DRINKING ALCOHOL:

It’s a well know fact that alcohol consumption increases over the holidays. Yet ‘drinking’ can mean two very different things to a couple. One partner may see the holidays as a chance to binge or feel they ‘need it’ to relax and unwind, the other may just enjoy the odd glass or two. Again, think back to last year, did drink cause you any problems as a couple, did it lead to fighting or more  love and connection? Did it cause arguments or happiness?

TOP TIP: Let’s be honest, you can’t stop your partner from doing anything they don’t want to do. But you can inspire them to change, this is what I help individuals who seek my counsel to do. Support your spouse to do different things, by replacing drinking with exciting alternatives, days or evenings out, evening activities where there will be no drink.

Hope these help you…

From my heart to yours, Nicola

Contact or find out more about me at


P.S If your marriage is in serious trouble or you are currently going through or coming out of a separation or divorce and are dreading the holidays – get in touch with me. Throughout December and the first week in January  I will be making time in my schedule for 3 Free Consultations each week.

PP.S If you know the holidays are a trigger time for you or are concerned things may not go as planned I want you to know I will be open during Christmas and New Year for calls or visits. This time of year can be great or challenging and I will be here to support you. If this resonates with you – you are welcome to book via whats app +971509454233 or email  With love and best wishes x


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Remember Michael Jackson’s Hit Man in the Mirror?


If there were any lyrics that best describes today’s message it would be from Michael Jackson’s 1987 hit song ‘Man in the Mirror’ “I’m starting with the man in the mirror. I’m asking him to change his ways and no message could have been any clearer – if you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make a change.” You might ask yourself what does this classic pop song have to do with my relationship but if you take the time to really listen to the words the underlying message is loud and clear; to make our world a better place we need to start by looking at ourselves first and making an internal change. Whilst many of us are familiar with ‘the law of attraction’ – which states that we attract certain things into our life based on what we think (whether conscious or unconscious), there is another universal law which explains this concept perfectly; the law of reflection.


Carl Jung once said “If there is anything we could change in a child, we should first examine and see whether it is not something that could be better changed in ourselves” If you replace the word child for partner it basically says that we can change our partner but only by changing ourselves first. Read that again. We can only change others by first changing ourselves. What I love about that quote is that when we take the time to really think about what’s going on with us first and we have the courage to do the inner work to change ourselves for the better, our relationships will change in an effortless way. Think about it for a minute, wouldn’t it be nice for your relationship to change without you pushing, striving and trying to change your partner. How many less arguments would you have? Would your life be more peaceful? Wouldn’t it be great if your partner just changed for the better with no real effort? Well, that’s the law of reflection. When you change, they change too.

This is how one person can save their marriage on their own and why so many men and women join the online 10 week Save My Marriage Program by themselves.  The Save My Marriage Program is a relationship-transforming program, that starts in January and a wait list is starting now.  If you are interested in either, don’t hesitate to contact me. All you need is an internet access and the desire to improve your situation. Oh, and you can do it with or without your spouse.

Have a great week, from my heart to yours Nicola

Nicola Beer

Marriage Transformation Specialist and Founder of Save My Marriage Program

I specialize in a proven 10 step program to help couples increase the love, passion and happiness in their marriage in 30 days or less…Guaranteed!

Contact or find out more about me at


P.S Struggling in Your Marriage? Get the FREE Report – 7 Secrets to Saving Your Marriage!  And learn

  • The 6 Essential Keys to Keeping a Marriage Happy
  • How to Increase Love, Happiness and Passion in your marriage in less than 2 weeks!
  • How to Motivate and Inspire Your Spouse To Change
  • How to Overcome Past Hurt, Resentment, so You can Rebuild Respect & Trust

Get the 7 Secrets Now –

Marriage Counseling Dubai and Online, Marriage Counselor, Relationship Counseling, Coaching, Dubai, Addictions, Anger, PTSD. Stress, Alcoholism,

Nicola Beer is based in Dubai, UAE, Middle East, Expat Community

Do You Think an Ultimatum is Your Only Option? Marriage Problems

Are you sick and tired of your spouses behaviour you have no more to give?

Are you at the end of your tether?

Do you think an ultimatum is your only way out?


We hear people giving ultimatums every day.  “If you don’t stop doing X then Y will be the consequence.” However, more often than not these ultimatums are being issued by a parent to a child. This is a relationship where power and responsibility lie with the parent. It is the parent’s job to ensure that a child grows up knowing what is right and wrong, setting boundaries to ensure safety.


The reasons for adults giving ultimatums within a marriage can be a reaction to many types of behaviours. Marriage problem examples such as your partner being aggressive, having an affair or an addiction to spending, pornography, alcohol or drugs. It could also be about any other obsession or things they like to control in their life. These behaviours will have left you feeling hurt and resentful. It is understandable why you would feel that giving an ultimatum would be your only option.


Reasons for not using ultimatums for marriage problems


Giving an ultimatum to your spouse, where the relationship should really be equitable  and even will immediately create a sense of negativity within the relationship. Whilst you may feel that you need to gain the power in your relationship by using an ultimatum the result you desire will not follow.


Think about how you would feel if your spouse gave you an ultimatum.  Words such as resentment, belittlement and control spring to mind. An ultimatum may come across as a demand or a threat and will immediately make your spouse defensive. These are not feelings that would inspire you to change!


Yes, your spouse may manage to change their damaging behaviours for a short space of time if they fear they will lose you. However, more often that not people aren’t ready to follow through on the ultimatum as you as an individual need to establish your bottom-line.  All you are managing to achieve is a dictatorship within your marriage by being too demanding.  This is not to say that certain abusive situations should be tolerated and at this stage alternative strategies may need to be employed.


What should you consider as an alternative approach to marriage problems?


What is more important is to look at why your partner may be displaying such destructive behaviour and how to support them to make the desired changes.  It’s widely accepted that events in our childhood can have a long lasting affect on our behaviours into adulthood. Your spouse’s relationship with either of their parents can have a profound affect on them. Think about how your own childhood experience was. Did you come from a home environment where you felt emotionally connected? Were you able to talk about not only what you did in a day but also about how you felt? Did you feel loved and appreciated? Was there affection in your household? All these aspects are what lead to people feeling connected to one another. A lack of emotional connectedness can be what leads people to destructive behaviours such as infidelity, or any of the other negative behaviours I have described so far.  To reiterate, an ultimatum will work against trying to achieve emotional connectedness.


What is emotional connectedness?


There are many definitions of emotional connectedness but in essence it is about the feeling of being accepted, respected and being able to be our true selves in the presence of another.  People who feel the most worthwhile and happy will be able to display high levels of emotional connectedness with their family and friends. Often, a person who has not experienced this as a child or even into adulthood will be a person who displays addictive behaviours or go on to have affairs.  Participating in these behaviours is a way of your spouse achieving a reprieve from this feeling of disconnectedness.  It gives them a space where they are accepted and relaxed, without immediate consequences and, often with more ease than they can have in their marriage.  Your spouse will more than likely know that their behaviour is wrong. Rationally they will see that it is destructive to your marriage and to himself, or herself as a person. Whilst they may accept that their behaviour is wrong it may be incredibly difficult for them to change. They may even be too frightened of failure to try, this is the most common reason for men and women not changing I find in marriage counseling. By giving your spouse empowering ways and alternatives, a change in their behaviour can be influenced. This is how I work with those I support, giving them as many options as possible.


What I want to say is…


You do have the ability to influence their inner motivation to change. It is possible by helping your spouse to feel more emotionally connected to fundamentally influence and change their negative behaviours.  Ultimatums essentially instil rules within a relationship. Whilst it may be important to have boundaries, imposing rules will create resentment, as already mentioned. This is where establishing connection and thereby achieving the ability to influence your spouse’s internal motivation is key.  This method is much more productive and also creates a more positive relationship.


By creating an emotional connection with your spouse you can realise two profound effects:


You eliminate your spouse’s craving for their damaging behavior. There’s no void to fill anymore, because you have fulfilled the need for connection

You offer your spouse a permanent filling for the void that has been insatiable, probably since their childhood.


The tricky part of this is many of us don’t even know how to create emotional connectedness. This is part of what I teach people through the Ultimate Marriage Connecter Package and the online private program. I have worked with all of the types of behaviour I have mentioned and truly believe that any habit can be changed with the right mindset and resolve.


As a starting point, affection, attention and appreciation of your spouse are imperative. This may be difficult to do in the beginning especially when your spouse’s behavior is so challenging.  It may also be necessary to get extra help with particular addictions or obsessive behaviour to create lasting change.


In summary:


  1. Do not give your spouse an ultimatum.
  2. Establish how you could aim to achieve emotional connectedness with your spouse
  3. It only takes one person to transform a marriage – I help women and men to single-handedly do this on a daily basis. It all starts with becoming closer and inspiring them to change.


Now I am not saying everything relates back to childhood. The stresses of modern day life, financial difficulties, a nightmare boss or heavy work load, family pressure or conflict can also lead to a break down in emotional connectedness and destructive behavior also. Whatever the reason getting support to help you turn things around is crucial. We all know time does not heal.


Rest assured I certainly don’t analyze the past or couples childhoods to transform their marriage. That doesn’t work! However I do focus on achieving emotional connectedness through daily, weekly and monthly habits. Where I list 20 habits and a series of steps individuals can take to inspire change in their partner. If you want more information on the online program book a free Save


My Marriage Consultation with me or visit


Hope this helps you, from my heart to yours, Nicola

Contact or find out more about me at


P.S   Get the FREE Report – 7 Secrets to Saving Your Marriage!  And learn

  • The 6 Essential Keys to Keeping a Marriage Happy
  • How to Increase Love, Happiness and Passion in your marriage in less than 2 weeks!
  • How to Motivate and Inspire Your Spouse To Change
  • How to Overcome Past Hurt, Resentment, So You Can Rebuild Respect & Trust

Get the 7 Secrets Now –

OR If your marriage is in SERIOUS trouble and you need help now – Book Your FREE  Save My Marriage Consultation  TODAY

Relationship Advice, How to Keep Marital Satisfaction High After Children

The effects of having a child are immeasurable. Whilst most parents say the greatest moment and thing in their life was the birth of their son or daughter.  The effect that having a child can have on your marriage is immense. Marital dissatisfaction can ensue after having a child and it can persist for years if you choose either not to address it, or, to assume that your relationship will flourish or return to how it was without giving it the attention it deserves.

So many couples that I meet report that their marriages suffered as a result of having children and yet did not take any action to change things. Research supports this showing that there is a significant drop in marital satisfaction and an increase in marital conflict. The point I wanted to make in the relationship advice I am sharing today is that it doesn’t have to be this way. With thought, consideration and open discussion with your husband or wife it is possible to prevent this happening and possible to restore the loving and fulfilling relationship you had before – if things have changed for the worse for you.


You already know having a child is life changing. From the moment you first set eyes on your baby you begin a journey full of emotional highs and increased anxiety.  It is an incredible occasion but also a frightening and challenging time for many couples.  Some fear that they will not have enough money to give their child the best start in life. Others question their ability to be a good parent and worry at every stage of their child’s development as to whether they are meeting their needs.  It’s natural for your child to become your priority and your focus. Although if they are your only focus, this can be to the detriment of your marriage and where we all might benefit from some relationship advice.


Relationship Advice Tip #1 Know Expectations and Needs Change


The number one reason for divorce is mismatched expectations. With the children the expectations you have of your spouse and what is important to you in the relationship may shift…


Mothers often tend to desire more family commitment that they may not have given priority to before having a child. She will want to see that her partner is actively involved and engaged in parenting and this is something that will help her to feel connected, appreciated and loved. By having the support and involvement (in the way she wants it) she will feel closer to her partner.


Men, on the other hand tend to increase their emotions of responsibility, which could be reflected through finances and work. They may start to focus on the amount of money that is being spent, or on advancing their career or put pressure on their wife to return to work quicker.  Whether they change or not, the most common things men will say to me is that they don’t feel appreciated or feel like an ATM machine. Many share that it feels as though they cannot do anything right in the house or with the children, so may as well give up


Relationship Advice Tip #1 Connect and Communicate


It is highly likely that yours and your partners emotional needs and expectations have changed since you got together. The important thing here is to address this change and be open about it. None of us can read the mind of our partner, no matter how close we are. You must have this discussion with your partner and tell one another what it is that you desire, without making demands or criticizing. The problem is most of us under pressure or when tired snap, nag, blame or criticize. Whilst it is natural for us to have “off days” when exhausted or feeling run down, many couples say to me that they have “off months or years” clearly here something needs to be addressed. As it doesn’t feel good to be nagging or criticizing others, or harbouring resentment.


Ultimately, if you do not identify the changes and the adjustments in what you would like from each other, then you will become discontented in your marriage. Resentment if left un-dealt often leads to explosive rows or distance. Therefore it is imperative to share what is on your mind in a positive way. If you take the approach let’s listen to each other and make changes focusing on the future not the past, you will experience positive results. If on the other hand your discussions are centred on what your spouse is doing wrong, this will not help you move forward. You must align your future wishes, goals and support one another in the roles you have assumed. Couples who do this thrive after children are born.


Sleep deprivation, and consequent lack of energy is also a culprit in marital dissatisfaction. You may feel like you are exhausted much of the time.  Lack of sleep can affect all aspects of your emotional and physical being. It will affect your mood, your effort towards your relationship and the love that you feel for one another. Help each other out. Do your best to ensure that you are both taking time to rest and to sleep. Take it turns to have lie-ins where possible and to allow each other rest time.


Relationship Advice Tip #3  The key to success is listening and supporting one another. Communication without change is pointless, so after any discussion look at what you will both commit to doing differently.


From my heart to yours, Nicola 

Contact or find out more about me at


P.S Get the FREE Report – 7 Secrets to Saving Your Marriage! And learn…

  • The 6 Essential Keys to Keeping a Marriage Happy
  • How to Overcome Past Hurt, Resentment, so You can Rebuild Respect & Trust

Get the 7 Secrets Now –

Couples Therapy - How to Deal with Your Spouses Annoying Habits

Couples Therapy – How to Deal with Your Spouses Annoying Habits

What are your spouse’s most annoying habits? Is it the way they talk, eat, sit, clean up or snore when they sleep? Do they perhaps hum an annoying tune or crack their knuckles? And when was the last time they did something that irritated you? Last week? Yesterday? An hour ago?

One of the most annoying things about annoying habits is that they can be so small, but still drive you mad. Overtime you may find the list of annoying habits grow. It may not be that your spouse has added more irritating habits as years have gone by, but instead, a sign your “honeymoon period” is over.

Do you find that habits that used to be easy to put up with, now wind you up? Perhaps it is just me, but I find annoying habits frustrating on two level:

1. The habit itself

2. The inability to let it go and stop it from bothering you.

So what can be done about this common marriage problem? Is it important to address in marriage counseling sessions?

Before I answer these questions it is important to distinguish between annoying habits and annoying activities. Annoying habits I count in my marriage counseling as personal mannerisms which are done repeatedly and habitually without thought. These are different to annoying activities, as these are things your spouse deliberately thinks about and does. For example getting drunk, sports activities, smoking, personal exercise programs, gambling, shopping and over spending, late nights out or over sleeping. This is more independent behavior or a chosen behavioral pattern, it therefore requires a different kind of approach.

So is addressing annoying habits crucial to marital happiness?

Yes both behavioral patterns and annoying habits in couples therapy I cover. Because if something is negatively triggering one spouse that is not good for the marriage.

As we can sometimes feel that when our partner does something we have asked them not to, they are being deliberately inconsiderate, especially when we have already brought it up for the hundredth time and they still continue.  If you are anything like me you will argue in your head – that it is not only the habit itself but the fact that they aren’t thinking or caring about what I have said. Or that they never listen to me…

But when it is the other way round…

It’s harder to accept… When our lover wants us to change we think – why can’t they just get over it? Why can’t they accept me as I am? Why can’t they adjust?  Why can’t they leave me alone?

We need to address this in couples therapy if it’s a source of tension. Through my work as a marriage transformation specialist, I have seen marriages breakdown and love destroyed because of annoying habits. As they can lead to the couple not wanting to be around each other anymore.

Sherya couldn’t stand the way Nikhil made a sound when eating. Every meal time she would get really wound up and feel negative towards him. Sometimes it got to her so much, that she would strain her throat muscles, as she would tense up. She no longer wanted to sit with at meal times and made excuses to eat alone. She was angry at herself and him, every time she tried to not let it bother her – it got worse.

You have 2 options here

  1. Change your annoyance, my hypnotherapy sessions here work wonders and are very popular for snoring.
  2. Motivate the person with the habit to change.

All habits can be changed. At first new behaviors will seem uncomfortable, and strange. Nikhil agreed to eat differently but had no clue how to really do that, so I suggested he copied the way Sherya ate her food. They found this hilarious to teach and practice and couldn’t stop laughing at dinner time. They even had me in fits of laughter when they reported their success during our next marriage counseling session.

Joking aside it was really about slowing down the way he ate. Sherya also avoided crunchy foods until he had adapted. Nikhil began to notice how his family ate like he used to and could empathize with his wife’s wishes. Now they put on music when his family visit.

If your partner has an annoying habit, that is affecting you and how you feel about them, the following steps may help.

Relationship Counseling  Step 1 Tell the truth

In a calm voice and relaxed manner be honest and tell your spouse what they are doing is annoying you. Don’t bottle it up or lie about how you feel. Explain it is not them you want to change, just the habit.

Relationship Counseling Step 2 Commitment to change

In order for change to take place you must both be aware of the importance of resolving annoying habits. Recognizing that they can drive a wedge between you. Whilst they may seem small or insignificant to one person, overtime it can lead to you not wanting to be close.

Relationship Counseling Step 3 Work together

None of us likes to be criticized. Make sure you address the habit not attack each other’s personality. Devise a solution together.

Relationship Counseling Step 4 Keep your sense of humor

Stop and ask yourself what is the funny side of this. How can we use this to connect and laugh together.

Relationship Counseling Step 5 Empathize

Empathy is SO important when it comes to improving a marriage. No matter what the problem is, try to put yourself in your spouse’s shoes

Relationship Counseling Step 6 Be Patient

Old habits can be hard to stop, so be patient and don’t expect miracles straight away. If you are changing a habit keep at it, experts say it takes 21 days to form a new habit.

If your habit is more than a personal mannerism and more similar to or an addictive behavior get support. All habits can be changed with the right approach.

Hope this helps have a great week ahead.

Nicola Beer – Marriage Transformation Specialist and Founder of Save My Marriage Program

Contact or find out more about me at

I specialize in a proven 10 step program to help couples increase the love, passion and happiness in their marriage in 30 days or less…Guaranteed!

P.S Unsure if  Your Marriage Can Be Saved? Get the FREE Quiz – Can My Marriage Be Saved? To find out, it addresses 30 marriage problems and looks at whether it’s possible to save your marriage and what actions to take if you can.   Take the QUIZ now 

PP.S   OR If your marriage is in serious trouble and you need help now – Book Your FREE  Save My Marriage Consultation  TODAY   

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