Enhancement

Relationship Patterns – Improve Your Relationship Now

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Today I’m doing things a little differently.  You get a video instead of a post.

In this video I begin to explore the idea of patterns in our lives and our relationships.  If you take a close look at your own relationships you may begin to notice the patterns you use over and over again.  Watch the video…

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If you can identify your own patterns and start to use them instead of allowing them to use you subconciously you may see a shift in how you view your relationships and how you view life.

Let me know what you think.  Leave your comments below.

Love… to infinity and beyond.

Jay

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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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Who’s Fault is it?

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Today, I intend to have a conversation about faults. In this context, when I use the word “fault”, it is not to define blame. However, we as people inter-relating to one another tend to find fault in each other. It is common to look at a situation and say, “It’s not my fault”. This assesses blame but it also intimates the existence of a flaw. In other words, a problem has come up and due to an error, we can qualify the issue and possibly correct it, based on some faulty behavior.

This works well if we are studying industrial technologies, but not so well when dealing with our interpersonal relationships. You see, when we assign fault to someone or something, we have made them or it devalued or wrong. Faulty in some regard and therefore, not working properly. They have malfunctioned in some way. It makes things very easy but at the same time, we don’t get a chance to understand or gain power within a relationship. By assigning blame or stating a fault, we end the brain power needed to continue to analyze the situation. More over, we have placed that person, thing or circumstance in a default position of being problematic.

Let me explain; if a child arrives home with a report card that has a failing or sub-par grade in math, he or she shares it with their parents. The child knows that they could have done much better and they are ready for the consequences. Upon review the mother states that she was not good at math either. The student is now off the hook and for no other reason than the mother has stated such. But, the child and the mother have ended the possibility of improvement. The brain is a funny thing in that, if it doesn’t have to work on something, it won’t! And in this case, the parent was the one who shut down.

Now this is a broad generalization, but understand that we have the power to continue to work through an issue or we can assign fault and stop all thought. What are the child’s expectations as he or she reaches adulthood? “I am not good at math and neither will my children be” So, when the check bounces, “It’s not my fault”. When I fail to stick with a budget, “It’s not my fault”. When the kids are not doing well in school, “It’s not my fault”.

Plainly put, if we choose to assign fault, the brain will accept the results without question. That’s just the way it is.

Really?

You Get What You Give

When we choose to look at life through the lenses of fault and blame, we tend to get more of what we find problematic. For instance, the child received a poor grade in math. They were reprogramed to accept the mediocrity. As an adult the same issues kept arising. And, as a parent, were ready to accept the same for their children. The blame and fault permeate our lives if we choose to allow them to do so. And the patterns repeat because the brain has been signaled to give up. We have told our brain to allow the problem to exist and remain, because we have reigned ourselves to “That’s just the way it is”.

As I said before, the brain is a funny thing. It works to protect us at every turn. It keeps us from walking into traffic, from getting burned on a hot stove, or from a bad relationship. The brain will work endlessly on a problem until solved. But tell it to quit working because “That’s just the way it is”, and voilà, end of discussion, no more to do, the problem is solved!

And How is Any of This My Fault?

It’s not your fault at all, but I wanted to give you the distinction. You see, if we think of people in our lives as having faults, our brains are trained through language to see them as defective, flawed or malfunctioning. Have you ever heard someone say, “I love him despite all his faults”? This is an indication that, although in love, assignment of defects had occurred and will continue to manifest itself throughout the relationship.

More than that, just look at the person for who they are. They are who they are and nothing more. Put another way, they are without fault, they just are who and how they are. Nothing more and certainly nothing less.

You see, a person is the way they are and we can either choose them or not. But consider, if we choose to be with a person despite their faults, there will come a time when, by assigning such fault, that is all we will see in them, their faults. And really they are just being themselves.

She would be perfect if she could just cook. He would be great if only he would talk more. And as soon as these “faults” are fixed, we’ll move on to the next one and the one after that. Why? Because the “fault” is what we are concentrating on. We have not accepted the person for them, rather we have expected to “fix” the problem and the problem is always there for us.

Acceptance begins with seeing another person as they are and nothing more. He is not a good husband despite his faults, he is simply a good husband. She is not a great mother despite her faults, she is only a great mother.

So the question is, “How is any of this my fault?” Ponder this, maybe it’s not a fault at all, it’s just a way of being.

As always,

Love with no shame and ask with no fear

Bobby

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The Politics of Sex

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I really don’t know how to begin today’s article because I am shocked every time this subject comes up. And it comes up often in my candid conversations. So, let’s just put it out there; people in close, intimate relationships are afraid to have good, satisfying sex! There, I said it! Now, I may be over generalizing, but I am certain that this is fact, not opinion. Yes, folks are having sex. Yes they are getting the job done. But, there is this other level that my readers, and friends tell me about that drives me insane!

Let me share a story with you in order to set the stage for the conversation. This is a recap of a recent discussion with a female friend:

Rita: I know you spend a lot of time writing and coaching people about their relationships. Can I ask you a few questions?

Me: Sure

Rita: Things are okay in my relationship with my boyfriend, but he won’t talk to me. I try to get him to but he doesn’t really say anything. What should I do?

Me: When you say he doesn’t talk, what does that mean? Is he quite, avoiding? Does he ignore you?

Rita: Oh, we talk but when I ask him a question he says he will think about it and let me know in the next day or so.

Me: What kind of questions make him take so much time to answer?

Rita: You know, all the usual stuff. Do you love me? Am I the only one for you? Do I please you in bed? Nothing out of the norm.

Me: Well, what’s there for you when you ask him?

Rita: What do you mean, what’s there for me?

Me: I mean, you’re asking interesting questions, but why those questions? What’s there for you? Do you love him? Is he the only one for you? Does he please you in the bedroom?

Rita: Oh, I see what you mean now. I am asking because I have those concerns about me. Is that it?

Me: I don’t know but let’s take a look. Can you answer the questions?

Rita: I think I love him, yes. I feel that he is good for me. And we have a reasonable sex life.

Me: I hear you trailing off through the answers. Is there something there about the sex?

Rita: No, we have a good sex life and it happens often enough. Nothing crazy, but good.

Me: What’s missing that’s not there now?

Rita: Well, I like things a little “freakier” if you know what I mean. He is just very “vanilla” about sex. But it’s fine, we are really good together. It’s not a problem.

Me: How does it go when the two of you talk about spicing up the sex life?

Rita: Oh! I couldn’t talk to him about that! I mean not SEX!

And that’s when the “You’ve got to be shitting me” warning bell went off in my head! Further discussion revealed that Rita was very interested in a more exciting sex life. And not only was she unwilling to talk to her boyfriend about it, she could not imagine herself doing those things with him! She said that she was thinking of cheating in order to get this part of her life fulfilled. Here she was blaming him for lack of discussion and she was holding back BIG things. She was asking him if they were committed to each other and she wasn’t. She was asking if the sex life was good, knowing she was unhappy and unfulfilled. And the saddest part of it all was that she would not entertain the possibility of a discussion. No way, it wasn’t going to happen. End of story.

We Fool Ourselves

In Rita’s case, she was looking to her boyfriend to fix what she wanted without telling him. She was blaming him for her lack of sexual fulfillment. She knew that there was a deep desire within her to have a wilder sexual relationship, but couldn’t picture it with him. WHY?

Why, when we have perfect partners in every other regard, are we willing to settle for something less in our sex lives? The real answer here is fear. We are afraid to have open discussions about sex, even when it’s with our sex partners. But we are also fooling ourselves into thinking that our partner would never be willing to have such a conversation.

I asked Rita if she would consider the possibility of the discussion and she flatly said “No”. She was cutting of any chance of getting what she really wanted with her boyfriend and resigned herself to cheating or being unfulfilled. It stuns me every time I hear it. And I hear it a lot.

Quit Fooling Yourself!

Just think of the possibilities within Rita’s relationship if she were to open the dialogue of having better sex with her partner. Does anyone truly feel that her man would not want to discuss it or just listen. HELL NO! He’s a man for the love of all that is holy! We love sex.

When my girlfriend says she wants to try something new in the bedroom, I become singularly focused with such an intensity that I feel like a sexual super hero. I want to know every detail of what she’s thinking and talk it through. We greatly enjoy the conversational fore play of new ideas and thoughts. The difference is that we have adjusted our dialogue to include sex, fantasies, and new ideas. We have consciously made the choice to offer up any ideas that come to mind and explore the possibility of adding them to our sex lives.

So, I suggest that if Rita, and others like her, should give this a try. Get to the place in your relationship where anything goes within the conversation. It’s only words and they don’t hurt. Don’t make the discussion anything other than what it is, an opportunity to talk about sex with your partner.

Make it beautiful, make it sexy, make it dirty, but just do it!

How to Make it Happen

So where do we start? Great question…

Without reinventing the wheel I will offer up some ways to jump into the conversation with relative ease and safety. Here at RLA we have been building a base of materials for our readers to pull from and I went back through the last few months to find help. Jay Simcic wrote a great piece about our inabilities to read minds. I think this is a good starting point for couples. Read the article and begin the discussion. Here is the one I am recommending: Men and Women Read Minds Poorly .

Then Jay hit another home run with What Does it Take to Turn a Guy On? . This has some silliness in it, but the last part really brings home the point.

Then a few of my offerings to assist with furthering the conversation. These include The Language of Love , Listening Like a Lover and Relationship Boundaries . I recommend that people share these with their partners and find out where they are in the relationship. I feel that you may get a big surprise. At the very least some hot conversation.

Let’s all stop fooling ourselves into thinking we are different and that our partners don’t have the same or similar desires. We are human beings and sex is part of what we do for reproduction and pleasure. Why not enjoy it to the fullest? I find that I don’t get everything every time I engage my girlfriend in conversation, but I get way more than if I just wished about it. Stop wishing and start sharing. I dare you…

Let me know how it goes or if we can help. And don’t hesitate to send me a follow up question.

Until next time…

Love with no shame and ask with no fear

Bobby

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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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