What’s Eating Your Relationship?

November 2006

Hi and Welcome to Issue #015 of Success Express!

Many of the problems that we encounter in our relationships involve power struggles – does it REALLY matter if he didn’t fix the gate when he said he would? Well....yes and no. Let’s explore some of the common relationship problems:

SEX – are you getting enough?

Don’t you just love that question? I mean…how much IS enough??? If popular culture had us believing the sex myth, we’d all be so consumed with passion that there wouldn’t be much time for anything else. Many of the couples who come to see me are deeply distressed at the lack of sexual activity in their lives. ‘We don’t have enough sex’ they say....ok, so let's quantify this:

‘How much is enough for you?’

We tend to compare ourselves with others, but it really doesn’t matter how many times Joe across the road is doing it. What matters is what YOU want.....and your partner of course. Yes, sex is important. It allows us to connect on an intimate level with each other and more than anything else, it is a really lovely thing to do. But do we have to swing from the chandeliers every night? Probably not. That is, not unless BOTH of you want to, and if that's the case all I can say is go for it!

At the end of the day, it’s about meeting in the middle. If your partner would like to have sex three times a day, and you would prefer once a week then settle for a compromise, but it's really important to make sure you TALK about it first – the quality of your relationship is the quality of your communication, and sweeping these issues under the carpet will only create a wall between you.

What if you’re too busy? Well, like everything else, it’s a matter of priority. If you’ve been meaning to get around to it but something always comes up, then do what I do: Make a Date. Put it in your diary. Agree on a day and time. Light scented candles. Play music. Enjoy yourselves! Just because you have a busy life, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on this wonderful experience that should be part of every healthy relationship.

Money Money Money

“What are you doing wasting OUR hard-earned money on that stuff for???”

Sound familiar? When you have shared finances, it can be hard to agree on which items are a ‘waste of money’ and which items are valuable. And once again, it is a matter of opinion. Let’s say your partner is passionate about cars; as far as he's concerned, spending a couple of hundred dollars on detailing and polishing equipment for his car would be money well spent. On the other hand, would he see red if you were to spend the same amount on a new outfit? Hmmmmm.....

Are we really talking about the money here? Well perhaps not. We all see the world through a different set of eyes, and what is valuable to one person may not be valuable to another. So how can we stop bickering about money? First and foremost it’s about agreeing to disagree. There is no way in the world I will ever be able to convince my partner that a new outfit is worth 200 dollars, because he’s not even remotely interested in clothes! What I CAN do is explain to him that I love to look and feel good, and the feeling I get from buying and wearing my new outfit is very similar to the feeling he gets when he takes his sparkling, highly buffed car for a spin!

If you’re really struggling, the first thing you need to do is sit down together and write up a budget. Agree on which items are a priority for you, and which are not. Having said this, trying to force your partner to agree with your beliefs will only get you into more hot water. Listen to each other…show respect. Acknowledge the things that are important to your partner, even if you do not understand why. Doing this will help you to improve your understanding of each other and bring you closer together. After all, you’re both on the same team....right??

Do you want to make your relationship better? contact me. I can help you to work together and iron out the rough spots.

Whose Kids are These?

What if you were brought up in a household where children were to be seen and not heard, while your partner was raised in a liberal and lenient environment? Which parenting style is the best, and whose fault is it when kids misbehave?

Well the truth is it’s no-one’s fault. Ideally, you will talk to your partner about how to bring up your kids before you have them, but even if you haven't done that, the principle is always the same...maintain a united front.

The ‘good cop bad cop’ routine will only get you so far, and kids are pretty cluey; they’ll work it out sooner or later. If the job of disciplining the kids is left up to one partner, then this can put a great strain on your relationship…and it’s no fun for the person who has always be the one to dish out the punishments either. Kids need boundaries, so the most sensible option is to share the responsibilities between you.

So Work together....teamwork goes a long way, and will bring you closer together. Your kids will be happier and so will you.

Your Stuff My Stuff

Is your partner constantly promising to do certain chores but failing to deliver? Maybe there’s a well worn list of things around the house he’s never gotten around to fixing? Why are our partners so infuriating? Well the answer is, because he is him, and you are YOU (or the other way around if you're a bloke reading this); anyway, you're both DIFFERENT, and it's quite possibly your differences that brought you together in the first place! In every relationship, each partner has things they are great at, and things they are not so great at.

I’ll give you an example; my partner is a great cook and a magnificent gardener....but he’s really not that into cleaning up after himself. Now, I’m by no means saying he’s a messy slob, but for a neat freak like me….well lets just say his technique leaves a lot to be desired. He, of course, thinks I ought to ‘just relax’. Can you imagine the discussions we get into? Trust me, you don’t want to!!

The point I’m trying to make here is that we’re all different. It can be really easy to get caught up in your partner’s faults, but that gets you nowhere in the end because what you pay attention to, you get more of. Have you ever considered the many ways in which your partner demonstrates his or her love for you that you haven’t recognised? Does she go out of her way to buy you your favourite chocolate? Or does he put fresh flowers in your favourite room?

The next time you get a chance, pay attention to these little things; love your partner unconditionally, warts and all, and acknowledge all of the kind and considerate things he or she does....I promise you that if you do this, you will get even more good things!

Need some couples counseling? A skilled therapist will plant the right seeds to allow you to fully heal and move forward with your life.

Make a decision today to identify and remove the beliefs that are no longer serving you well.

Feeling stuck? Consider enlisting the services of a qualified therapist to help you identify your blocks and create new, empowering beliefs.

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So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed this issue of Success Express...have a great day!

- Sonia

Manifest Your Success

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