Available now – online and offline

Available now – online and offline

Out today!

Why Money is more important than Sex

How to create and maintain a loving, intimate and respectful relationship

This book is for every person who wants to work on their relationship and learn more about how to maintain a loving, intimate and respectful relationship.

This book is also for people experiencing a rough patch and want to see a way out and get back on track, without needing to ‘air dirty laundry’.

And finally, this book is for single people who would like to know what caused their last relationship to fail. Or for singles who want to equip themselves with the tips and tricks that keep a relationship going.

We want relationships. We want closeness, trust, security and the certainty not to grow old alone.

We want to wake up loving our best-friend, partner and confidant more than we did the day before.

But in reality, more relationships than ever before are now ending prematurely because many have forgotten the fine art of making the other person feel special every single day.

This book gives you the insights into why people are separating and the huge influence that money has on your relationship.

You will find tips, techniques and tools that are needed for creating and maintaining lasting love.

Not sure whether this is the right gift for Valentine’s for your life partner and
yourself. You could try… 🙂

Please have a look at the table of contents here:

If you do not consciously take care of the things you cherish they decline in value.

You maintain your house, your car, your computer, your health, and your teeth because if you don’t, they lose their value.

If you do not look after your relationship it declines in value.

As you read this book, make some notes about the relationship you want. Then pass it on to your partner to read, ask him or her to make notes and, if you are able, make time to discuss your notes.

I know this tip might be challenging for you in case you find yourself in an unhealthy or toxic relationship. Still it could be a conversation started if this is the case. At some stage you would need to confront your partner anyway. Obviously, it is easier when you are in a good relationship where you can openly share ideas and goals.

You can order a signed copy from me now for the special price of $24.99 instead of $34.99 in stores. https://www.inspiring-relationships.com.au/book-preorder/

Respect is more important than love

Respect is more important than love

I was fortunate enough to grow up in a house with two households. My parents, my brother and I lived on the first floor, and my paternal grandmother and aunt lived on the ground floor.

As a kid you intuitively figure out who to turn to when you want to achieve certain things, and who to avoid when you want to stay out of trouble. In my house, my brother and I had four adults to obey. When my grandmother uttered a wish, we soon learnt that “some time” meant “now”.

“Please take the garbage out at some time?” meant that we had to jump to it, immediately!

It was a form of respect, and one that we carried forward in our lives.

We show respect to strangers, thanking the bus driver, or bending to pick up an article dropped by an older person. We are polite and courteous to our neighbours and colleagues at work.

Why then do we treat our partner differently?


When I speak about Respect in my seminars or workshops, I ask the audience for a good visual representation of the word respect. Every time they struggle to come up with one. Think for a moment and try it yourself. It is difficult, isn’t it?

We have emoticons and emojis on our phone to express excitement, joy, sadness, love and a host of other emotions, but nothing that represents respect.

Yet we all have an idea of what respect is. In our day-to-day lives, we show respect. We greet someone with a firm handshake, we give our seat to someone in need on the bus, and we hold the door open for the next person. We are aware of personal space and keep an appropriate distance from people to respect their privacy. We applaud someone for their achievements. We stand when the judge enters the courtroom.

So why is it that we lose the respect for our partner? We start to nudge them. We start to criticise and bicker. At home we start to behave like we want to, without giving our partner the respect they deserve.

I’ve seen this time and time again. Loving partners turn into jerks and treat each other like #$%@.

You claim to love each other. You share your life and live together, but you do not show respect for each other. How can that work?

Respect does not mean that you concur with everything the other person says or does. It does not mean you need to like everything your partner does. But is does mean that you acknowledge your partner as an individual in his or her own right.

Respect is more important than love in your relationship. When you lose respect, you also lose feelings of love.

Turn your focus to the respect you have for your partner and you will find that your relationship gains another dimension.

You can only give what you have yourself. You can only give a physical object to someone else, when you hold that object in your hand. The same is true for respect and love.

You need to respect yourself first to respect your spouse. You need to love yourself in order to love your spouse.

When you have true respect for yourself and show respect to your partner, you will never cheat on them, because first of all you cheat on yourself. You disrespect yourself when you have an affair, and it is hard to look yourself in the mirror if you do not respect yourself.

That’s why I say, respect is more important than love.

(This article is an excerpt of my new book “Why Money is more important than Sex”) You can purchase it here.

 

How do I get him to…

How do I get him to…

We have now collected over 613(!) different answers to our Relationship Performance Quiz (check it out here https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/INSP07X if you haven’t done already).

This is a huge success and the insights are fascinating. Today, my plan isn’t to bore you with mathematics or statistics though. Did I just hear a sigh of relief? 🙂

See below a graph showing that most participants are living in a surviving or just functioning relationship…

Besides the score each participant receives, it is interesting and quite alarming at the same time to read all the questions that people ask me about relationships. And there is a large group of women asking the same thing…

“Why is he such hard work?” or “How could I get him to…” be more of this or less of that.

What I read here is the major frustration amongst women aimed at their partner. Sometimes it sounds like a question about a foreign species of (maybe wild) animals.

And what these questions really show is the deep disconnect between two people who are for better or worse in a long term relationship. There is a deep disconnect between the expectations of how the male partner should behave and the actual reality.

To make one thing very clear from the start: no one is at fault here.

All these women do not have false expectations and all these men don’t behave wrongly. There is a disconnect of expectations and reality and there is an even bigger disconnect between the two partners, because quite obviously they can’t talk to each other about this anymore – maybe they never did.

You know there are three pillars which are crucial for any relationship and these are Quality Time, Talking and Sex/Intimacy. In the beginning of your relationship you had all three. You spent wonderful times together at restaurants, at the beach or just holding hands in the cinema. And you talked. You talked a lot. You talked about everything. Sure enough, you had great sex too. Sometimes it felt as though you couldn’t keep your hands off each other.

Now fast forward this by five months or five years. The sex is probably less exciting. You talk less, because you feel everything has been said already. And you wonder why you should bother going out when you see each other every night and every morning.

Slowly the routine sets in and eventually turns into boredom.

This is where your two paths drift away from each other, and you eventually you find yourself growing apart. Suddenly your partner feels like a stranger and you think “Why is he such hard work?” or “How could I get him to…”

Let me make it very clear – You can’t change the behaviour of the other person. You can only change yourself.

Relationships are hard work. And with more than 25 years of happy marriage under my belt I can tell you it is daily work. But it is the relationship that demands the work, not the other person.

What you can do!

I highly recommend you create an Active Appointment for you and your spouse. An Active Appointment means that you consciously put a date and time into both your calendars for a night out. Leave your phone behind – if you can – and enjoy two, three or four hours away from home just in the company of your partner.

You don’t need to have an agenda – just let it unfold. In the beginning it might feel awkward because it has been so long since you’ve been out together – just the two of you. And it will be natural for the first twenty or thirty minutes for you to  just talk about kids, money, work and the household.

Eventually you will come to things that are closer to your heart. What is stressing you right now? What is stressing your partner? Let the natural conversation return. Ask questions. Listen. Let the conversation flow, you used to be able to so easily, you know how to, you’ve just fallen in to the trap of not practicing this skill.

The trick here is to get out of your normal surroundings and also to leave distractions behind (eg. Phone, smart-watches, kids etc).

If you want to read even more about Active Appointments, please download my quick guide here.

https://www.inspiring-relationships.com.au/active-appointment/

Final thought

Please remember that it takes two to make a relationship work. And both of you are equally responsible.

It is easy – and very human – to say: “if only the other person would be, do or have…” and thereby put your happiness and destiny into the hands of someone else.

Once you accept that it is your choice to be happy, that it is your choice to shape your relationship and that is your choice to change your own behaviour… Once you accept your responsibility you will see that your relationship can and will change.

I’m more than happy to help. Please contact me at welcome@inspiring-relationships.com.au to discuss.

Forgiveness

Forgiveness

I was talking to a colleague about her relationship a while back and she told me she no longer spent quality time with her husband and that they had lost their connection. She told me that she had cheated on him twelve years ago. They had spoken about it at the time and had decided to stay together as he said he had forgiven her.

Had he really? Whenever my colleague and her husband argued, he would say “We wouldn’t be arguing about this if you hadn’t had an affair!”

He had not forgiven her and used this incident from twelve years ago as leverage to gain power now.


Having an affair can be extremely damaging to your relationship. I do not advocate telling your partner if you have had an affair as the potential for damage is so great. If you do tell the person you are supposed to love the most that you have cheated on him or her, then you usually expect forgiveness.

Let’s analyse this further.

You’ve cheated.

For whatever reasons, you were unfaithful. And now you are experiencing remorse, your conscience is getting at you. You feel guilty, you can’t look in the mirror, you feel like a prick. You are feeling bad all of the time, you have trouble sleeping and your appetite is low. You fear your partner is sensing something. You can’t kiss your partner as freely as before and having sex feels wrong.

Now, you want to confess and tell another soul so that you can free your mind from this burden. You want absolution. And you turn to the one person who is deeply hurt by your behaviour and your violation of trust and safety. There is no absolution to gain. You want to clear your conscience, but you only destroy your partner’s trust.

When you ask for forgiveness you need to first and foremost forgive yourself.

Let’s now flip the page and ask if you could forgive your partner after he or she has cheated on you? Forgiveness means that you are completely and utterly forgive the other person for their action and the consequences. Are you 100% prepared to never mention it again? Do you want to try to start your relationship again and patch up the wound and keep loving, trusting and respecting your partner?

The simple answer is: Don’t cheat on your partner in the first place!

If you have cheated, don’t tell your partner. By telling you make it worse for all people involved.

If you have cheated, try to forgive yourself and tell no one.

If your partner has cheated on you and told you, try to forgive. Forgiveness is always an option. Try to completely and utterly forgive your partner and try to rebuild your relationship to one of love, intimacy, respect and trust.

If your partner has cheated on you and you have forgiven, never again mention the affair and do not use it as leverage in the future.

(This is an excerpt of my new book “Why Money is more important than Sex”) You can purchase it here.

The first argument – the first fight of the new year.

The first argument – the first fight of the new year.

The new year is only a couple of days old and you already had your first heated argument or fight with your partner. You started this year with all your good intentions and maybe you even had some New Year’s resolution in place. (Read my blog on NY Resolutions)

And now you are frustrated, angry and very sad about the fact that it happened again. You can’t even remember what it was or what triggered the argument. Now everyone just sits in their own corner fuming and you are wondering what to do next.

There are actually two trains of thought running through your head right now. Firstly, you don’t want to fight, you don’t want to argue and you don’t want this deafening silence in the aftermath. Yet at the same time, you are angry with your partner and yourself because you both have now spoilt the new year.

It’s like a big black ink mark on the first page of a new note book. We all think the new year is sacred and clean and fresh and any fight will stain it forever. You are not alone.

Remember, sooner or later this whole year will have some dents, some stains and some marks. That is part of life and it is good that it is that way. Just think back for a moment of the 365 days of 2018. How much has happened? How many obstacles did you overcome? How many new experiences have you had? And not all of those memories are happy ones. It’s like playing a game, there is always a bit of loss and there are always some tears along the way. That is life.

In other words, don’t beat yourself up about the fact that your first argument or fight came within the first ten days and not after three months – as you were hoping.

You need to move on. You need to get out of the cycle and break the silence.

The better question is, how could you break out of an impending fight or argument? How could you stop it from escalating?

Let’s stop for a moment and try to analyse what it was you were fighting about.

Was it a topic you are fighting over all the time?

Be observant, what was it that brought it to the boiling stage?

  • Was it a word?
  • A gesture?
  • A phrase?
  • A facial expression?

With most couples I talking with, there is a pattern in these arguments/fights.
When you think about your relationship, what is the pattern you follow when you are get into an argument?

This is not an easy question to answer. And often times my clients respond by pointing the finger at their partner. “I am not doing anything, it is the other person who’s losing it.”

Is that really the case? Remember when you are pointing your index finger at someone, there are always three fingers left pointing at yourself. So please be honest and observe yourself. What is your contribution to the fighting?

What you can do?

It all depends on your answer to the question above – What is your contribution to the fighting?

Once you have realised what it is that you do to make the argument worse, you can avoid it.

Although be warned, this is the hardest part.

Firstly, it is not easy to observe your behaviour and critically assess the situation. But it is much harder to break the cycle. As I said before, you most likely have a pattern of behaviour in your relationship. And it is really hard to break that pattern.

Here are some tips:

  • You could say as calm as possible “I have a different opinion to this, but let’s talk about this please at another time, when we are both more relaxed.”
  • You could say “You have said this before, let’s not get into the same argument again please.”
  • You could smile at your partner and say “I love you.”
  • You could acknowledge what you partner is saying by looking into their eyes and nodding whilst they are letting off steam and just not responding. This is not stone-walling. You are not folding your arms in defence. You are listening, just not responding. All you might say is “I don’t want to talk about this right now.”

Hopefully these tips can help you to stay calm and not fall into your old habit of fighting.

Remember you are neither showing weakness nor are you conceding to their arguments. On the contrary, you are holding your ground, unaggressive and calm.

Then the next step is to bring the topic back up at a later moment, when you are both calm and relaxed. And you could start by saying “Let’s now talk about this argument we had the other day. I still want to discuss this with you, now that we both are calmer.”

And at this stage, you need to listen empathically to your partner to hear and understand their train of thought. Listening is one of the major skills that you need in a loving, intimate and respectful relationship.

How I could help

Breaking through a pattern in your relationship is one of the hardest things to do. At the same time, it can be one of the most rewarding things to do.

I have a great coaching package to offer to you where you learn at your own pace in the privacy of your own place. If you want to find out whether this coaching is right for you, please book a free 15-minute call with me. Looking forward to hearing from you.