After seeing so many of my close friends and acquaintances get divorced and start new relationships, I’ve noticed that there seems to be a common theme for what I affectionately like to call ‘second-time-arounders’. They all have to deal with the biggest challenge that their new relationship inevitably holds for them.
It is not having memories of their ex or memorabilia of their new partners’ ex screaming at them from every corner of their home like you might think.
Relationships … we all want them, but very few successful couples have actually figured out how to not only sustain them but wake up loving our best-friend, partner and confidant every day more than the day before.
Sounds like a dream …. right?
After over 26 years of marriage and working with couples from around the world to help them foster better relationships I’d love to help you do the same.
Here we go again…another season of MAFS started this week and Australians are likely to be glued once again to the television and the stories unfolding.
Each year it is raising lots of questions over how to create a loving relationship that lasts.
Whilst celebrity and Royal relationships forever making front page news and everyday Aussies divorcing at a rate of over 40% a year.
Have you ever had dinner with a couple or met a couple at a party who were constantly stepping over the invisible line of normal?
She stops him mid-sentence, he contradicts her, she criticises him again. And on it goes. You start to roll your eyes and on the way home, you talk to your partner and you both agree that their behaviour towards each other is unacceptable – you wouldn’t accept it. Although at the same time, this couple seemed to be happy and despite all the harsh words to each other, they seemed to have a way of dealing with it.
What are these couples doing to each other? Where has the respect gone?
Words are very powerful.
Some people say words are more powerful than any other weapon.
And the most powerful words we speak are the words we talk ourselves.
The constant chatter we have in our brains determines our destiny.
So my question to you is: how do you talk about your relationship?
How do you talk about it in your own mind?
How do you speak about it to your friends, family, colleagues and acquaintances?
I have a suggestion for you.
This Christmas you make a conscious effort to stay calm and compassionate – whatever curve-ball life might throw at you. You keep your cool. You bite you tongue if necessary and swallow the bitter remark without saying it.
This Christmas you are not rehashing old arguments and you are not falling for the trigger points your partner, your kids or your family present. You stay calm, compassionate and centred in yourself and let these things bounce of you. You are titanium.
It is no secret that we have become a nation addicted to technology. We carry a screen with us everywhere we go, loving the convenience of information, finances, weather reports, news and entertainment, all available at the touch of a button. Having access to such fast technology has certainly changed the way we work and play; however, we are noticing more and more that our interactions with others are beginning to suffer. When was the last time you had a heart to heart with your loved one or children without one of you, diverting your eyes back to a screen? Your answer may come as a surprise to you if you are really honest with yourself.
Have you ever been to a party and met a nice couple and started to chat with them?
Maybe while you were chatting with them you saw how close they were with each other. So much so, that for the whole evening they never left each other’s side?
Even hours after you moved on, you still could see that couple standing there, holding hands and chatting with other guests, still never venturing away on their own.
And then, on the other side of the room perhaps, there is another couple who look completely different. Perahps he is standing alone with his mates and she is somewhere else in the room and chatting with her friends. The whole evening you never see them next to each other.
Conversation on Purpose::
Justin: “Let’s start with the question: You are in a loving relationship. 100% you and your partner. And along comes this little bundle of joy. Does your love expand, so that there is more love to go around? Or is the “pie” still the same size and you need to take a portion of the love you have for your partner and allocate it to the new member of the family?”
Jürgen: “Our ability to love is limitless! The love we can give and can experience is infinite. I think, the love is always expanding.
But, and it’s a big BUT: Time doesn’t expand! We share with our spouse a lot of time… until the first baby comes along. And suddenly this new person in our lives demands time of us…”
You can see the writing on the wall already.
Your relationship is going nowhere.
Time is running out
The passion is gone, the talking has been missing for a long time.
The sex and the children is keeping it together – somehow.
It has been running its course for far too long now.
On the other hand – is it really over? Is it beyond repair?
You have been a good team. You are good parents. There is no violence, no hatred.
There is just plain emptiness.
How can you restore this?
Warning: This blog article covers a very contentious topic and might challenge your thinking. Please bear with me and please keep an open mind when reading.
The other day a client – let’s call her Louise – said to me “Why did he cheat on me? Why did he lie to me?”
Even though I wasn’t sure if this was a rhetorical question, I tried to answer her.
What became apparent was that she felt she had no influence in the matter and felt utterly betrayed by her husband.
And I don’t blame her.
The broken trust, the humiliation, the anger, and the hurt she’s carrying with her is often times too much to endure.
An affair is one of the major reasons for ending a relationship.
In the beginning of your relationship, there are a couple of phases that are super critical for the chance of having a long-lasting relationship.
The first phase is when you move in with each other. In this phase, you learn more about yourself and about your partner than in all the months or years of dating before.
No longer can you now ignore the un-tidiness of your partner nor the way they like to organise things. During your time of dating, that might have been a small annoyance – now it is visible in plain sight.
And even more crucial than tidiness or organisational talents is the way your partner handles money.
Because moving in with each other is – even in the 21st century – also an economic decision. A major part of your living costs (rent, groceries, and insurances) are now shared.read more