Divorce

Relationship Breakthrough Challenge-Part 4

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Male and female sign entangled XSmallThis is the final post in the Relationship Breakthrough Challenge.  We are about to uncover the truth and uncover your choice of destiny.  However if you would like to read the previous three posts you can by clicking the link below…

Relationship Breakthrough Challenge – Part 1

Relationship Breakthrough Challenge – Part 2

Relationship Breakthrough Challenge – Part 3

Now let’s dig in.

Before you go to work on your man, try to fix him, or try to fix your relationship you need to find out what TRUTH is.

What do you think truth is?

Most people think truth is something verifiable.  Some people think their beliefs are “the truth”.  Others think feelings are truth.

None of those are “the truth”.  In fact, the truth is made up by what ever you say.

What?  I can see your eyeballs bulging trying to figure out if I’m insane.

Consider that what you think is truth is just a series of beliefs, meanings, and things that were completely made up.

I’ll use an extreme example.  It was the truth many years ago that women stayed home and didn’t work.  That was a belief that was held for a long time.  It was held as TRUTH.

Until it changed.

Everything in our world is built on what we believe to be true and not true.  Until it’s proven otherwise.

So I challenge your beliefs of what you think are true.  But I’ll get into that more in just a minute.

Why do you react the way you do?

Who’s driving your bus?  Who makes decisions for you.  It’s certainly not the you that you think.  It’s actually all the past experiences you’ve used to create your model of the world.  Your decisions and your experiences all shape who you are today.  You react to things because something happened in the past that gave you some “truth” about how to act.

I’ve used examples like this before… if you were dating someone and they cheated you form an opinion about that situation. Your brain starts to “see” patterns that might give you an indication that your man is cheating.  You do it without knowing you do it.  And here’s the kicker, it’s happened so many times you believe what you’re interpreting as the truth.  You see him talking to another woman and you immediately believe he is cheating.

That is your past experience being used to create a belief that you have as true.

As you can see, it’s the past that’s causing you to react the way you do.

In order to get to the TRUTH you first have to be ok that how you react may not be TRUE.  Some people find it hard to give up being right long enough that their model of the world may not be the TRUTH.  It’s like when people said the earth was flat.  It’s hard to give it up until you challenge it.

I’m asking you to challenge it.  Because when you do, you’ll find that you begin to gain power over being at the affect of life and truly gain a level of choice in your life.

What is choice, really?

One of the definitions of “Choice” by Merriam-Webster is the act of choosing and having a variety to choose from.

Consider that you’ve been living your life without choice.  Because you’ve been reacting to things that happen given by your past and what you think is true, you haven’t been choosing anything.

It’s just been an illusion.  In fact it’s your past that has been driving everything you do and you’ve never truly chosen anything.

So how do you choose?  When an event happens you have to stop, before you react, and ask yourself why am I about to react this way.  Think back to the earliest time you can remember that may have caused you to be that way.  That past experience is what is causing you to react at a subconscious level.  If you accept that and acknowledge that it no longer has to be that way, new openings for action arise.

You gain choice.

You see, it’s the choices and decisions you make that guide you down paths in life.  It’s the meaning you give the results that shapes how you see the world.  It’s how you see the world that gives you your actions.

Choice ultimately shapes your life.

How does choice shape your life?

Your actions are always congruent with how you see the world.

For instance, if you think your man is cheating (that’s how you see things) then you will act in accordance with that.  All your actions will be given by your suspicion that he is cheating.  And if that’s the case then you are shaping your life in that way.

If you can separate yourself from the meaning you’ve automatically given things and reassign a meaning you would be better suited to live with it’s possible to shape your life into anything that you want.  And that zooms into your relationship as well.

If you are having relationship troubles then look to YOU first and ask yourself some questions…

Why do I react that way?

What meaning did I give that?

What do I make it mean about me?

What can I change the meaning into that would allow me to have new openings for action?

You’ll notice that everything begins to shift in your life and your relationship.  Try it on.  See how it works and let me know what your results are.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this short series and I’m sure if you’ve applied some of these strategies you will have already had a breakthrough in your relationship.

Love… to infinity and beyond.

Jay

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Relationship Breakthrough Challenge-Part 2

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Relationship ChallengeIf you missed the first part of the Relationship Breakthrough Challenge you can view part 1 here.

Imagine for a moment that you’re at home relaxing.  Your husband comes home a little late from work.  He shows up with a big grin on his face.  He looks at you and says “Look honey, I bought a new car.  Isn’t it great?”

What would be the first reaction you have?

More than likely it would be nearly the same reaction as anytime you’re about to get into a disagreement of this type.  You know, when he does something without telling you and you feel like you should have been informed or better yet, consulted.

Patterns rule our world…

It is through patterns of emotion that we react and deal with things in our lives.  We use the same emotions over and over again because we’ve built a pattern of use that protects us, helps us cope, and gives us some level of comfort in knowing what comes next.  And it is THESE patterns that will keep you confined to a cage of limits to how you can deal with situations.

It is the pattern you default to that limits your ability to see new courses of action to take in your relationship.  Why?  Because you can only react the way you know how.

In fact, you probably don’t even know you do it.  If you don’t know you do it, you can’t have control over it.  And if you don’t have control over it, then your default emotion and reactions run you, you DON’T run them.

Which can be a problem when you’re in a long-term relationship.

Consider that these problems, that you react to in the same way over and over again can cause you massive amounts of stress.  And that could lead to more problems in the relationship, more stress, and even depression.

But…

Where does stress come from?

Stress is created when your view of the world, your view of how your relationship should go, is NOT being met.  You have a standard or expectation of how things in your relationship should go.  And if they don’t go that way, you default to the emotion and reaction for that situation.

Of course that doesn’t do anything to progress your relationship or the situation forward.  In fact it may cause it to get worse.  You’re reacting to everything and never gain an upper hand because you’re falling into a default way of being with your partner.

When those issues don’t go a way and you continue this cycle it impacts you both emotionally and physically.  And that compounds matters.

The true impact of your relationships?

Our relationships magnify our emotions and impact every other aspect of our lives.  If your relationships at home are problematic, they will impact work.  If your relationships at work are problematic they will effect your home life.

Think about times you’ve had a fight with your spouse and leave the house in disgust.  You may have found yourself in a foul mood on the way too work to arrive even worse than when you left the house.  You might even confide in your “girlfriends” at work who will side with your view just because they are your friends.

“How could he do such a thing.”

“He could learn a thing or two.”

All of these comments fuel your anger and you end up taking it out on one of the men in your office.  It all continues to escalate unless it’s handled sooner rather than later.  I would even bet you take your anger out on your kids if you have any.  They’re in your face, constantly wanting something… and you yell at them.  They just want to do what kids do and play.

But where does all this come from and how do you break free?

You lose every ounce of power you have when you react in your default emotion or reaction.  Consider that you give your power away to your past that has you be the way you are.  I’ll explain more about the past in just a minute but for now, I’m sure you’ll agree that you do lose your power in these situations.

You’re not in control.  I bet that when you have a problem or an event takes place that doesn’t go the way you think it should, you blame something or someone.  You might blame the event for causing you to get upset.  You may blame your partner for causing you to “get that way”.  But you rarely if ever take responsibility for how you react.

How could you.  You think it’s some external force causing you to be a certain way.

The problem is that when you blame something and you DO NOT take responsibility for your actions, reactions, and emotions you are at the effect of life.  And when you are at the effect of life you lose all the power in your relationship.  You essentially hand it to whoever will take it, push your button, or cause you to react.

That’s no way to live life.  But it’s how we all have done it for so long.  Until you get responsible.

Hang with me a few more minutes and you’ll get what I’m talking about.

Regain your power!

Consider that the common “thing” in every upset, problem or negative reaction you have is YOU.  And it is YOU who needs to take responsibility for your actions.

You see, no one can push your arm, leg or knuckle and cause you to be mad, sad, or unhappy.  What typically happens is… something happens, you make it mean something, and react to the meaning.

Once you see that it is the meaning that triggers certain emotions, you can take control back.  Once you become aware of this meaning, identify where it comes from, you can now choose whether you’re going to get upset or take a different action.  Your partner isn’t in your head pushing buttons making you be a certain way.  You’re reacting to something he did and the meaning you assigned it.

Once you begin to see that you do have control you can regain your power over every relationship situation.  You get to choose what you get mad at and what you don’t.  But you are no longer at the effect of life.  Now you get to choose when you act and when you don’t.

And that gives you the tool to work things out, talk things out, and deal with the issues instead of get upset and move into your default emotion.  You are now equipped to handle problems quickly and easily.

So how exactly do you deal with a problem?

First, take responsibility for your own emotions and reactions.  “He” didn’t MAKE you do anything.  He did what he did and you made it mean something that caused you to unconsciously react.  Now that you know you do that, you can take responsibility for your reactions and emotions.

Now you can get them under control and confront him without the emotions that hold the conversation back.  You may find your conversation with him now is empowered by who you are being in the situation.  You may find that he respects you more for talking to him in a civil tone rather than reacting how you’ve always done.

By doing this you will gain a level of power with yourself that transcends the relationship and transforms it into something you never thought possible until now.

Change your relationship and change your life…

Here are the steps you can take to improve your relationship, take responsibility for your emotions and reactions, and move your relationship and life to another level on the playing field.

  1. Identify one default behavior you do when you get upset with your partner.
  2. Look at what he did and find out what that action or event means to you.  (Be honest here, you can only make progress if you’re brutally honest with yourself.)
  3. When did you first give that type of event meaning?
  4. It’s just an event, can you give it up and take responsibility for your own emotions and reactions?
  5. Now be fully aware of when you’re about to react to an event.  Go through the process and just be with it.  Don’t react.
  6. Now you’ve got control and can choose the emotion you want to use to discuss the situation with your partner.

Is it really that easy?

Yes.  And it does take practice.

Consider you and I are meaning making machines who give meaning and react with emotion any chance we get.  And it didn’t just start.  We’ve been doing it since we were children.  And we’ve carried that along with us every step of the way.  In the next article I’ll talk about how these meanings are the story of our lives and made us who we are.  I’ll show you how you can truly transform your relationships into something you’ve always wanted.

So stay tuned for the next post.  In the mean time, drop us an email or leave a comment.  Let us know how things are going for you.

Love… to infinity and beyond,

Jay

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Attitude and Gratitude

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Last week I wrote about our ability to choose how we approach life and the problems it throws our way. In the event you haven’t read it, here is the link, Lights, Action, Drama!!!!!!!!!!! . Many readers did not agree with my assessment and challenged the idea of being able to make such choices. I was told that it is not always possible to view a situation and choose how to respond. A family member actually claimed it was not possible based on how the issue was presented and our past experiences. Their point was that we don’t have control with regard to how we approach and respond to crisis and everyday problems. The belief here is that it just is what it is and getting upset is a natural and uncontrollable part of the process.

I have to call “Bullshit!” here folks. If we feel that there is no ability to control and modify our responses based on how we feel and what our past experiences are, well just shoot me now and dump me into a pine box. Life has no chance to improve over where we stand today. Why should we try to improve anything? Are you kidding me! What a crock of crap! This view point simply tells me that these folks have no interest in changing for the better and we should all accept them for the emotional messes they are.

It’s fine with me if people don’t want to look into themselves and gain control and understanding about how they interact with those in their life, but don’t tell me it’s not possible. It can be difficult, it can be overwhelming, and it can be tedious, but it certainly is not impossible. So, if you don’t want to look inside and create a space for others to join in conversation about interesting and profound topics, fine! Just gain the understanding that YOU don’t want to bring your best to the dialogue. Let the rest of us open up and see what we can achieve via the approach and context.

Proof in the Pudding

All around me I see examples of people who choose to make the difference by selecting a path that allows them to remove preconception and barriers. I find it interesting for people with absolute reasons to complain and nothing to complain about. In fact, many times these same people not only are complaint free, they bring with them a joy that appears to be boundless.

For instance, a friend of mind named Wendy has a non-curable spinal condition. When I first met her, I was in love with her vibrant personality, out-going, good nature and her sense of humor. I truly look forward to each time I get to see her. She is never boring and always a great conversationalist. Her stories captivate me. She keeps me laughing from the time we meet until we depart. She smiles and the world smiles back. In my mind, it is impossible not to be attracted to such a beautiful spirit.

But look at it from another perspective. One day I thought to myself, this woman who delights everyone around her, has every reason to be angry and bitter. She could be mean to everyone she meets and we would allow her to do so because of her condition. People could easily agree that having such a physical burden rightfully allows her to have anger and distain. But here she is without a complaint and draws love to her like a moth to a flame. Her life force is bright enough to light a city block. I realized this is the choice she makes for herself and those around her. She can get away with the other behavior, but she chooses not.

Despite her physical limitations, my friend Wendy moves through life with all the grace and dignity anyone could ever ask for and she inspires me to be a better person. Wendy, if you’re reading this, YOU ROCK!

Another example is my partner here at RLA Advisors, Jay Simcic. At the time of this article we have been living through record setting high temperatures of more than 100 degrees. During this time, Jay lost his air conditioning for 8 days. With the Independence Day Holiday there was no means to get parts faster for the repairs and pending relief. Because of work and other responsibilities, Jay and his family were unable to leave the house for more comfortable surroundings. They were forced to endure the heat in a home without AC for each of the eight days. They had friends and family offer their homes, but again life did not allow for the relocation.

As the ordeal came to an end, Jay shared with me how grateful he was. I asked him to explain. He stated that he was grateful to have friends who were willing to offer their homes, He was grateful for neighbors who called to check in every day. He was grateful to have the money to pay for the repairs. His perspective was one I had not considered, but given all things he chose to take a positive view of the bounty he has been blessed with, rather than the misery he had endured. What a great choice! And imagine the impression this choice will have on his young daughter. The impact will be priceless.

And last, after a heated discussion with my girl friend, I was able to share a profound gratitude with her. As we settled into bed that night, I explained that I was grateful that we had such a discussion. She was puzzled, so I went on to say that I was grateful that we were working on our relationship and brave enough to have the talk. I was grateful that we were talking at all and face to face. When I served over seas in the military, I and many others were unable to have face-to-face conversations with their loved ones. I was grateful to have her, there with me in bed. I know people today who have lost their spouses, parents and children, who would give any price to have them back for one more conversation. Any conversation, an argument or otherwise. So in contrast, I am pleased to choose to be grateful.

You Make It Seem So Easy…

My friends often ask if it is as easy as my writing indicate. For this I apologize. To think that behavior modification is easy is understating it at best. However, this too is a choice. You see, I was quick to anger in my younger days and those choices many times lead to disaster. I found wasted effort in making poor relationship choices with those close friends and family who were simply caught in the cross fire of misguided emotions. Hurt feelings were more difficult to repair than to protect. Regaining my integrity after an emotional out burst was not always easy. So now I make different choices and so can you.

I love the feeling of appreciation when a good conversation takes the place of what could have been a bad one. I like getting the heart of the emotion rather than bearing the searing heat of it without real benefit. I love being able to finally HEAR those around me and I do it by choice. It is nothing simple or difficult it just is there for each of us to take advantage of. Choice is one of the greatest possibilities we have in life. So choose wisely my friends.

Is it easy? You choose…

 

As always,
Love with no shame and ask with no fear.
Bobby

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Love And Respect-What Men Want In A Relationship

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Love and Respect Is MissingDo men NEED respect in public from their women?

I’ll answer that in just a minute but first I want to tell you why this topic came up.

I’m sitting here reading a book about what men think and it’s written by a woman.  I’m not saying women can’t write about what men think.  They sure can but unless they’ve talked to countless men and gotten past the surface level answers, I’m not sure you can get the full story.

She states that one of the most important things men want from their partner is to get respect in public.  She indicates there is an alarming amount of public disrespect of men by the women they love.

She indicates that dozens of men told her how painful it is when their wives criticize them in public.  She goes on to say that these guys have women put them down, criticize them, and question their judgment in front of others.  She also goes on to say how delicate and fragile men’s ego is.  She indicates that it’s not our ego that’s hurting when this happens but our secret feelings of inadequacy as a man.

Ok, I have to call Bullsh*t here.  I can’t go along with that.

First, let me say that if you think respect is a one way street you’re sorely mistaken.  A woman should respect her man’s judgments, considerations, and word in public or private.  And her man should do the same for her.

Respect is an equal opportunity value.

I don’t care who you are, man or woman, if someone you love criticizes you, teases you, and questions your judgment in public you’re going to be upset if not straight up pissed.

I don’t know what type of guys this author was interviewing or what their situation looks like but she must have found the absolute worst case scenarios.  I go out in public a fair amount and I have to say, I don’t see much of this disrespect going on.

If it’s happening, it’s not being done in my circles.

But like I said, respect is not a male thing or a female thing.  Respect should be given to each other as part of the relationship.  If there is no respect one way or the other, you should either work it out or walk away.

In my opinion you can’t have a relationship without mutual love and respect.  That’s what men want in their relationships (I’ll let the women speak for the women).

Ok… and a little sex too (just adding some humor).

Are there times when teasing can be hurtful?

Sure, but again it goes both ways.  And it’s up to both of you in the relationship to discuss what’s going on.  Your man can’t expect you to know what he’s thinking and feeling if he doesn’t tell you.  And yelling or arguing about the problem doesn’t help at all.

I suggest that you set a time to talk when both of you are alone.  Then have an open and honest conversation explaining how you feel.

Look, everything in our world exists through the language we speak.  You can’t describe the color blue if you didn’t have the words to describe it.  That’s why it’s so important to choose your words with care and communicate exactly what it is you intend to mean.  And when he’s expressing himself try not to cast judgment.

When things don’t turn out like you expected, if he’s upset or if you’re upset, then it’s time to have a discussion and be open and honest about it.  If you don’t have mutual respect and love with open and honest communication how can you expect to have a relationship.

Tom Cruise And Katie Holmes Divorce

A great example of this is the current divorce that’s been announced by Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise.  Consider that any marriage will end if there is some expectation or ideal that was not fulfilled or put to rest.  Of course I don’t know what went on in their household but when you can’t come to a mutual agreement on “show stopper” type matters then all there is left to do is split.

One thing is certain so far, we do see mutual respect for each other because they are staying quiet. They’re not talking down to each other in the media.

All of this begs the question, why should anyone stay in a relationship where there is constant friction, bickering, and unfulfilled expectations?

I think most of the time conflicts can get resolved through communication.  But if one side is unwilling to budge, there’s not much to do except to give in or if it’s a show stopper to end the relationship.

Let’s look at Tom and Katie again.  There has been speculation that the cause over their break up has to do with Tom’s unwillingness to let their daughter out of the Scientology way of schooling.  On the other side, there is speculation that Katie doesn’t want their daughter to grow up in a Scientology school.

I don’t know much about Scientology but it’s like this… if they can’t agree and this particular disagreement is a show stopper for either one of them, then they are doing the right thing by breaking up instead of continuing to bicker and fight.

If you can’t tell, I don’t think fighting, yelling, and bickering is the answer to anything.  Talking, communicating openly, and expressing yourself fully to your partner is.  And if conflict still can’t be resolved then you can both CHOOSE to end the relationship.  I can’t understand why anyone would stay in a relationship that consists of constant bickering and fighting where neither of you can agree.

Relationships are supposed to be filled with love, joy, and engagement… aren’t they?  That’s up to you and your partner to define.

Now back to the crazy lady whose book I was reading… In my opinion, the author of this book clearly missed the mark.  In a way she describes men like you would a child who gets upset because they can’t have their way.

Ladies, if you want to get into the mind of your man please don’t read a book from another woman, talk to a girlfriend, or ask other women.  Ask a few men that you trust for their honest opinion in the matter.  Ask to hear it straight and exactly how they think.  Then you might get part of the picture.

If you want the full picture with love and respect, talk to the man who you know, love and trust.  That’s who you should be getting your information from anyway.

Love… to infinity and beyond.

Jay

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How To Fix My Relationship In One Simple Step

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Fix Your RelationshipHere’s a story for you…

Jeff was dating Michelle.  Jeff cheated on Michelle with her best friend and she found out.

She was devastated.

This happens two more times with guys she has dated.

Now Michelle is dating Henry.  The problem is that every woman Henry talks to or even glances at, Michelle gets jealous and becomes very angry.  Is Henry doing anything wrong.  Not in this case, but Michelle is carrying with her the past relationships with Jeff and all the others.  Because she’s had so many men cheat on her, she believes all men are cheaters.  Maybe not outright but those thoughts creep in from time to time.  They’re there.

That ultimately impacts Michelle’s relationship with Henry and if nothing changes, their relationship will more than likely end up like all the others… broken.

She has a choice.

She could choose to let go of the past and totally be with Henry for who he is RIGHT NOW.  Not who she thinks he is, who he could be or any other stuff she makes up.  If she chooses to be with him for who he is now she may find their partnership grows in ways that she never dreamed possible.

All because she gave up the past.

Have you ever considered that your past relationships could be haunting YOU?  Those relationships could be the reasons you do and say the things you do and say.

You’re probably looking at this post right now going, no… not me.

But the truth is, we ALL carry around our past relationships and then compare them to our current relationship.  We’re constantly looking to see if they measure up.

Do you ever find yourself dreaming or thinking of anyone in your past?  Maybe you had a dream about him.  Do you think that could be influencing how you are now.

Absolutely it is.

It’s even worse if you’ve had a few difficult relationships.  You’ll carry those around with you and bounce every new partner you have with those old ones.

If you don’t do something, it could be impending doom.

Either way you look at it, whatever is necessary for you to let those past relationships go NOW is what MUST be done.  If you don’t, no relationship you have going forward will stand up on it’s own merit.

It will always be a comparison to something.

Time to move on.

I get it, those past relationships made an impression.  You don’t have to forget them.  You don’t have to forget the things you like and don’t like in a relationship. But it’s imperative that you move on and complete them.

Focus on what you have right now and live it up.  Don’t focus on the past.  Stop comparing.

The person you’re with right now is a blank slate.  You get to start over new and see your partner for exactly who they are for you.  You control what you think and do and it doesn’t have to be an effect of past problems.

Be who you truly want to be with the partner you’re with right now.  Be loving, kind and free.  If you break up, ok.  If they cheat, ok.  That actually has nothing to do with your value, your confidence, or in fact anything to do with you.

They did what they did.  There’s not much you can do about.  But we’ll tend to re-live those moments over and over again.

I don’t know about you but once is enough.

Give it up and move on.  Find someone else.  Here’s a great excerpt from a popular psychology magazine that illustrates this concept…

By becoming psychologically differentiated from damaging experiences and identities from our past, we can develop a stronger sense of who we really are. We can begin to live our lives rather than relive our pasts. People who are differentiated in this manner have succeeded, to a large extent, in emancipating themselves from negative childhood influences. As a result, they have developed their own value system and set their own course in life. When people have a sense of their identity and are possessed of self, they can have a genuine respect for the boundaries, wants, and priorities of another individual, be it their partner, spouse, friend, or child.

Genuine love requires valuing another person’s goals in life separate from one’s own personal needs and interests. In a truly loving couple, each partner recognizes that the motives, desires, and aspirations of the other are as important as his or her own. Because they feel congenial toward each other’s aspirations, partners try not to interfere, intrude, or manipulate in order to dominate or control the relationship.

Source:  PsychologyToday.com

You’ll never be able to tell the future. But the way our brains work we try to tell in advance if someone is the right person for us, if they are a good person and if they will do right by us.

The fact is, you can speculate all day long.  But you’ll never know for sure.

The bottom line is, let those past relationships go.  Live with aliveness and vitality in your current relationship. Be who you truly want to be and allow your partner to be with you as you are, not with the baggage.

Do you have a long list of relationships that didn’t work?  Tell me about them.  Post them below.  I’d love to engage in conversation with you.

Till next time…

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