Category Archives: Relationships

Why does love hurt?

Painful relationshipsPicture this. It’s a special occasion, and you want your husband to remember it, to treat you in a special way, buy you a small gift or take you out, or maybe to speak those special words to you in that special tone of voice. Or maybe you’d just love to held or hugged in that perfect way.

But what happens? He forgets. He comes home in a grump. There’s no outing, no gift, no special words and no hug. And maybe even worse. All the efforts you made to mark the occasion have gone to waste.

How would that make you feel? If you’re most people – probably pretty bad.

You might feel justifiably angry. He should have remembered after all! Or perhaps you’ll just feel sad, that you didn’t get to feel loved in the ways you wanted.

Maybe you feel afraid that your relationship is danger. Is he going to leave you?
Possibly you feel hurt, that all your efforts went unnoticed, ignored or rejected?
Or do you feel guilty? Perhaps you didn’t love him enough for him to reciprocate.

All these emotions are actually the resistance to LOVE, and it’s triggered by the inner desire for some outer experience.

A painful emotion is the tension we feel when there’s a difference between what we want, and what we have.

So the bottom line is that all emotional pain comes from expectations. When you expect someone else to be or do or give you something and you don’t get that you feel pain.

Now many people would say the way to feel more love is to create more experiences that fit your expectations.

But what if you turned it on its head?

What if you decided that you had all the love you could possibly want already flowing in you? Maybe it comes from your direct connection to source energy.

And what if you have no need for anyone else to do anything in order for you to feel that love? Indeed the very desire or expectation that someone else will cause YOU to have love moving in your neurology makes no sense. The energy of love is already within you, and it can move any time you choose it to.

Try this experiment…

Let go of any expectations of anyone, any group of people or anything, or to be or do or give you anything in any way. Run this experiment for a whole day.

Notice how much more love you feel within your own being.

Relationship Myths

7 Myths That Ruin Most Relationships

relationship myths1.  It’s meant to be easy
Relationships aren’t “meant” to be anything. There aren’t any rules about how a relationship should or should not be. When you go into a relationship with rules and expecting it to follow any you’re setting yourself and you’re partner up for failure.

Instead treat every, and all, relationships as an opportunity to learn something. Use them to explore and discover new ways of being with people. Curiosity and experimentation with an open heart are key.

2.  I just need to find the “right” person
The idea that there is a “right” person is a big myth. It just doesn’t make any sense that of all the billions of people on the planet that there is ONE and only one who you are supposed to spend your entire life with. Rather than trying to find the “right” person. Aim to become the right person and notice who shows up for you.

3.  We’ll live happily ever after
Once you meet someone who excites you, makes you curious and who you feel drawn to and you’ve decided to have a relationship with view it as the beginning of a great, if not THE greatest adventure. Happily ever after suggests the ending, but really it’s just the beginning.

To assume that one single person will be the perfect partner forever puts a lot of pressure on the relationship. Instead decide to be present in the moment, enjoy what is coming up for you both and what’s working for you both now. Let the future take care of itself. If you both change and grow apart and feel you want to separate, that doesn’t mean you have failed. Instead it might be that the relationship has run its course. Don’t try to hang on to the past, instead celebrate the journey you had together and recognise it’s time to travel separately now. Couples who do this often find their relationship moves into a completely different phase, one where they are no longer a couple, but still relating well together.

4.    If it’s hard it’s not the right person
Even if there was the “right” person there might still be times when you don’t get on perfectly. Because all relationships are opportunities to learn about yourself and each other and to learn new ways of behaving and interacting there are bound to be times when you drive each other nuts. It’s a big mistake to read too much into this. Often the most long lasting relationships are highly turbulent at times and they endure not in spite of this but because of it.

5.  It’s important to get to know the other person
Actually it’s much more important to get to know yourself. Relationships offer us a great opportunity do this. The way they behave and react will surprise you at times, and what might be surprising is not what they do, but the response that triggers in you.

Use relationships to explore your own reactions and responses. How do you react and behave? How are they different? How are they similar? What do you like about them? What do you dislike? These discoveries tell you much more about yourself and if you view a relationship like this it will not only likely be a much healthier relationship but it will be a journey to discovering yourself, and that’s much more interesting.

6.  All you need is love
No! You can have truly awful relationships with people who you love. You can love someone and they may still be deeply toxic for you. Usually this kind of love is based on need and co-dependency.  Much more importantly than love, is self awareness and personal responsibility for your own emotional responses.

7.  The right partner will “complete” me
Nothing sets a relationship up for disaster better than this myth. It’s based on the idea that a) you are somehow not OK or incomplete just as you are, and b) that you NEED someone else to be OK. Any relationship based on the idea that you need someone else to complete you will become dysfunctional and co-dependent. Instead start out with the idea that you are great on your own and a relationship is a bonus.

To learn more about how you can beat these myths and create happy, healthy relationships, I’d like to invite you to take my “Emotional Resilience” ecourse. It’s completely FREE! Just click the link to register and get started straight away.

Why emotions make relationships so painful

bullyingA painful emotion is the tension we feel when there’s a difference between what we want, and what we have.

What’s the point of emotional pain? Why do we feel anger, hurt, sadness what’s the point?

We feel physical pain to tell us that something needs attention. The burning tells us to move away from the fire. The ache of joint tells us to stay still whilst it heals.

Emotional pain has the same purpose as physical pain. It is to tell us that something isn’t right.  It comes about as a result of the difference between what we desire inside and what we actually experience outside.

For example if you have a need to be acknowledged or listened to, and in your relationship you don’t feel you are getting that, you will feel this difference as a painful emotion. This difference between what we want (or need) and what we receive creates a gap or a tension. And it’s this tension that we feel as a painful emotion.

We might have different labels for that emotion – we might feel anger, or hurt or even sadness. Whatever the label the cause is the same. It’s the difference between what we want, and what we get.

According to many philosophies there is really only one emotion – the emotion of LOVE. Anything else you feel is resistance to love or the absence or even withholding of love.

Think of love as an energy that flows through you and if that flow is blocked, either from coming IN to you or from LEAVING you, you will feel it as emotion. The word emotion breaks down into E (energy) motion (movement) so it is literally the movement of energy.

When you feel a negative emotion what you actually feel as pain is the resistance to love.  Those feelings in side are the result of your inner resistance to love.   The label we give to a painful emotion refers to the way in which love is being removed from us or resisted.

For example, when we feel sad, that feeling comes from the loss of something or someone we love.

  • Anger is the feeling that we were denied love.
  • Fear is the feeling that we will lose love.
  • Hurt is the feeling that another withheld love, or rejected our love.
  • Guilt is the feeling that we didn’t love enough, didn’t give or show enough love.

When love flows freely the feeling is GOOD. When we give love and it is accepted and when we feel that we are loved and are able to accept it. When we don’t’ feel love being given and we want it, we feel it as pain.

How do you stop the pain?

Most people try to stop the pain by changing the OUTSIDE. They try to get others to change. Sometimes they even change the actual person. The problem with this is that if you still have an underlying need for love then you will likely repeat the same pattern with different people.

However if you change the INSIDE, i.e. you change your need to shown or given love in a particular way then the tension is gone.

Of course, you can still choose to accept love, and enjoy being loved, without it being a need. Without the tension of that unmet need, and the accompanying painful emotions it makes it much easier for people to love you, show you love and you get even more love.

Think how much easier it is to feel love towards happy, cheerful people, and how much harder it is to show love to people who are resentful, needy or demanding, or who are gloomy.

Thus, once it’s no longer a need, paradoxically, you’re more likely to get it. You show more love more willingly and you receive more love.

The 5 Most Powerful Words In The English Language

Let’s face it. Relationships are HARD. Despite all our best intentions, regardless of how much we love the other person they can still be HARD.

No matter how great your relationship is there are still times when you argue when all you want is peace. Sometimes, when you really need to feel supported, it’s just not there. Sometimes when you’re feeling insecure and need a little reassurance you just don’t get it.

On top of that there are the times when someone behaves in a way that upsets you or annoys you. It’s hard enough to speak up when it’s someone you love and downright impossible when it’s your boss or your mother-in-law. How do you get them to stop what they’re doing without getting upset yourself, or without upsetting or angering them?

Standing up for yourself without upsetting others

I'm not OK with that

“I’m not OK with that”

Well. Here’s the answer. This is the most powerful phrase in the English language. This diffuses all the emotion out of the situation. And it’s a phrase that is impossible to argue with.

So the next time someone behaves in a way that you don’t like say this:

“I’m not OK with that”

The reason it works so well is that it has NO judgment. You are not telling them they are wrong. You aren’t even telling them there is anything wrong with their behaviour. What you are doing is simply stating that what they are doing is not OK with you.

Here’s how you apply it

Let’s say your husband (or wife) comes home and tells you he’s planning on spending Saturday with his friends when he’d previously promised to spend the day with you.

Now instead of sulking, ranting, or just feeling hurt and rejected silently. Here’s what you say

“I’m not OK with that”

Or your husband (or wife) assumes that they can borrow your car. You say.

“I’m not OK with that”

If you want you can soften it with an “I’m sorry…” if you want.

Try it next time someone does or says something you’re not OK with. Just tell them.

How to say no with grace

Have you ever found yourself doing things that you really don’t want to and wondering how that happened? You probably said yes when you wanted to say no but didn’t want to upset of offend someone. It happens in families and in business. As a business owner myself I regularly get approached by people who want me to promote them, give them free stuff, give them discounts as just a few examples.

The hard part about saying no is that we often feel we have to give a good reason why (or why not)

But that simply isn’t the case. It’s possible to say no with grace. Here’s how – with some more words of power.

“That won’t work for me”

Again you can soften it with an “I’m sorry” if you want.

Give it a try. Post a comment below to let me know how you get on.

We teach others how to treat us

We teach others how to treat us

We teach others how to treat us

When you’re in a relationship that’s not working it’s easy to blame the other person for not treating you right. Especially in relationships that turn abusive it’s even easier to blame the abuser for their behaviour.

But abusive relationships never start out like that. They start out as loving and caring relationships and somehow slowly but surely over time they become abusive. So how does this happen?

All behaviour is adapted to get a desired response. When dealing with toddlers and children parents are taught to reward good behaviour with attention, and to ignore bad behaviour.

This principle holds true for adults too. We all crave something, love, attention, or some other positive reward, and when a certain type of behaviour generates a certain kind of reward from another person, we quickly learn to repeat it over and over again. Once we’ve learnt it, even when it’s not working so well, we will do it more and more with greater and greater intensity.

So how does this work in an abusive relationship?

Say your partner comes home and they are in a really bad and grumpy mood. They snap at you and are generally a bit on edge.

You want to cheer them up, or you may even want to ensure their mood doesn’t deteriorate further. So you behave in a placatory way. You might do more things for them, be especially nice, and avoid doing or saying anything that might cause them to get into a further bad mood.

Although, in the short term, your intentions are good, to move them from a bad mood to a good one, your actions could actually be “training” them to act this way in future should they want you to be nice to them.

Over time if you continue to reward a “bad mood” with positive or kind attention, they will unconsciously and unintentionally start to generate a bad mood or atmosphere in order to elicit the response of care and love from you.

Over a longer period and in certain relationships, or if the placater has self esteem issues, they may blame themselves for their partner’s bad mood and work even harder to get them out of the bad mood and into a good one.

Eventually this can lead to a full blown abusive relationship.

How do you reverse this trend?

Once the pattern has been set changing it can take time, conscious effort, and most of all courage.

The Placater must learn to never reward a bad mood and unwanted behaviour with positive rewards, and begin to reward the behaviour they want. So when they are treating you with respect and kindness or in whatever way you want, then reward it with positive attention. Telling them how much you like it when they do or say that.

When they behave in a way you don’t like you have to tell them.

To find out how to do this, see my next blog: “The 5 most powerful words in the English language”