Communication Breakdown

There are many reasons why marriages fail but they all have a common thread – communication breakdown.  It doesn’t matter how in love your once were, the failure to communicate to each other is the root of relationship breakdown. As a couple we age, we change, and there is nothing you can do about that.  And it’s through this changing process that our relationship adjusts with our partners.  If we grow at the same speed in the the same areas, chances are we will have a very “smooth” relationship.  But the changes of this occurring are very slim, if at all likely to happen.  Our changing perceptions of the world reflect what and in which areas we have  grown.  When your perceptions and your partners perceptions become less aligned arguments and disagreements occur leading to communication breakdown. There are numerous tools and techniques out there that we can use to assist in avoiding communication breakdown with not only our partner/ex-partner but in all relationships. Today I am going to discuss The Values Determination process created by Dr. John Demartini.  This is a set of 13 questions, which evaluates what our lives are currently showing is most important to us.  These values aren’t based on morals or virtues or like a shopping list of words where you pick the words that resonate with you.  These questions are designed to extract your values without interference of your logical brain. Now it may be tempting to answer the questions from the perspective of what you would like the answer to be but I urge not to do this.  Imagine walking into the...

Jus Primae Noctis

The jus primae noctis was a popular belief  in medieval Europe.  The belief was that the Lord of the Manor had the privilege of sharing the wedding bed with his peasants’ brides. Put in place by the lords as a sign of superiority over the dependent peasants in the 15th century.  Today this seems weird and a foreign concept.  Something no one would consider advocating today.  Yet, then it may have been the norm.  There are various sources that refute this practice. Beliefs about marriage, divorce and sex are varied between different ages and cultures.   I thought it would be interesting and beneficial do a little research into what these differences are and how they could affect our current thinking.   I (and most of you), live in a Western like society, where generally divorce is frowned upon.  It wasn’t until early Christian leaders became hostile toward sex, that it marriage became a institution for life.  In fact there are many cultures where divorce is accepted as part of life.    Most of these cultures are found in African cultures where economic autonomy exists.  Some examples are: The Lozi people primarily from Zambia have polygamous but not polyandry marriages. Divorce is allowable and a common occurrence. The !Kung bushmen in Nambia the divorce rate is about 41% and often have multiple marriages Hadza from Tanzania partner with several partners over the course of their lives, without formal marriages you can argue that there is no divorce.  They are accepting of the fact that one person will have several sexual partners Yoruba people from West Africa have a divorce rate of 46% I have...

How to get over it

Get over it!  Is probably something that you have heard, so time in your life.  Sometimes this is easy, but for the most part it is very challenging.  Logic says that you need to move but the voices in your head continue – over and over again.   So how do you get over it?  Are there steps that you can take to move on from the hurt, the anger, resentment and overwhelm?  I believe there are.  The Eagles 1.  Why we struggle to get over it Lets first look at why it is a struggle to get over things,  I think there are a few reasons but one that stands out for me is that we believe that the situation should be another way.  We get so stuck on feeling terrible about our current situation so we create a illusion or fantasy that if it were to be the opposite things would be so much better.  As time goes by, we seek out evidence to make ourselves right.  Amplifying the negatives of our current situation and the positive of the opposite.   The more intensely we concentrate on this the greater our fantasies and nightmares become. 2.  What you can do What I’m going to ask you may seem counter intuitive.  This is probably because in today’s society we have become very polarised.  We have set rules of what is “right” and what is “wrong”.  So looking at the downside of “good” or the upside of “bad” seems to fly in the face of sanity.  Please bear with me and just give it a go.  If you do nothing...

The problem with divorce advice

I read a blog post about things that make a Breaking up less painful.  The problem with divorce advice given in this blog is that: the focus is on assigning blame doesn’t take into consider individual situations predetermination of the future The focus is on assigning blame One part of the advice was to assess what you did wrong in the relationship.  In Australia “no fault” has been around since 1975 – that’s nearly 40 years ago.  Yet, today some still believe that blame needs to be assigned to each partner.  The objective of a relationship is for us to grow through the connection, some times we outgrow the relationship.  It may be hard to believe but on a fundamental level we are here to serve ourselves and we do everything to keep ourselves safe.  We stick around people when we get something from the relationship and then we leave.  This might be a little hard to comprehend as it an entirely different way of looking at what relationship really mean. Instead of looking at placing blame I urge to look at the lessons, the benefits and blessings that you got from the relationship.  This will move you forward far faster than assigning blame The divorce advice doesn’t take into consider individual situations Some advice is given by good intentions.  What makes this divorce advice dangerous  but is based on the advisers previous experience.   Each situation is different and how each person interprets a situation differently.   An hence the generic divorce advice may relate to an entirely different set of variables.   Divorce advice predetermines the future This...

Divorce is BAD vs Divorce is GOOD

About a week ago I read a article on how divorce is bad, and especially damaging to children.  The article was written by a Psychologist who had based her research on speaking to dozens of children and her experience as a child psychologist for 40 years. At the time of writing this week’s blog there are about 500 comments some for the article and some against.   I’m a little surprised that we are still having this conversation.  Technologically we are so advanced and have overcome so many challenging events in the last decade  or so.    911, later the bombings in Bali, Tsunami’s in 2004 and 2011 to name just a few.   And yet divorce seems to be the thing that is the most “devastating”  thing for a child? Divorce certainly has an affect on the children, grand children and other relatives.  Putting a blanket statement like divorce is bad, itself can be very damaging. We live in an age where the general population has a greater understanding of the term “It’s not what happens to you, it’s what you do with what happens to you”.    Yet this seems to have been forgotten in this study.  There are so many things can affect children. Illness, disease, war, economic struggles.  When we take these life events and make them the reason why we haven’t achieve what we wanted to, we totally disempower ourselves.  I grew up in the eighties, most of my classmates came from divorced families.  I look around at my classmates today, some of them are very successful  and others aren’t, but their success isn’t reliant on...

Creating Affirmations

Common Mistakes when creating affirmations I thought we would begin with stating some of the errors that are made when creating affirmations: State the affirmation as a desire or something you are striving for e.g. I want to …… State what you don’t want e.g I don’t want… State affirmations that others want you to be, do or have State unrealistic intentions e.g I am a champion skier when you have never seen snow State affirmations as goals Now that you know what you affirmations aren’t lets look at the Seven Steps to creating affirmations Three Simple Steps to Creating Affirmations We can set affirmations in the Seven Areas of life which are:  Spiritual, Mental, Vocational, Financial, Family, Social and Physical.  Ideally you want to create 1 or 2 for each area. Step 1:  Get Started – published is better than perfection The most challenging thing about creating affirmations is often getting started.  I find the easiest way to start is to begin with a list of “I am” statements.  Write down all the empowering thoughts that come to mind,  without any filtering.  Have fun “I am doing what I love”, “I have wealth all around me”, Step 2:  Filtering your thoughts Take a look at your list and now start filtering out what doesn’t work.  Look at each statement and ask yourself: Is this believable? Is this empowering? does it make me feel something? Step 3: Post them all over for you to fully become your affirmations What you do in this step will be personal to you.  These are some ideas where you can post your affirmations...

Are you really being a supportive friend?

What does being a supportive friend mean? There are life events where we are make us uncomfortable and unsure how to treat our friends, and one of those is divorce.  Are you unsure  how be a supportive friend?  You are not alone, most people find it uncomfortable with the subject with their friends.  It is often as uncomfortable for the divorcing party, they aren’t sure how to act around you either What should or shouldn’t you say?  What is the acceptable behaviour?  Are you supposed to act like nothing’s happened when your friend.  Do you throw your arms around them  and tell them how sorry you are?  Do you leave self-help books on their doorstep? Instinctively, we want to “fix” the pain of those around us.  As hard as it may seem, “fixing” our friends problem is not being a supportive friend.  Being a supportive friend is more about holding the space for your friend.  There is so much that is said in moments of silence, when we don’t try to fix or change the moment,  just being with the emotions that are being felt and being okay with that. What you must NOT say when being a supportive friend “Why?” This may seem to be the logical question.  Asking “Why”, will make your friend feel that they have to justify their position.  When this happens their defences go up and you may become the enemy. “Who filed?” You might be dying to ask the question – don’t.  It doesn’t matter, and certainly won’t help your friend any better it you knew. “You’re better of with that loser!” This might be also...

Is Gratitude Really Attainable

 What exactly is Gratitude? There is some much talk about finding things in your life that you can be grateful for.  And on some level you know you “should” show gratitude for everything in your live. This can be exceptionally hard when you are in the midst of maybe the most challenging time of your life.   There seems so little to show gratitude for.  The deeper the emotional time, the deeper you sometimes need to dig to find the gratitude.  The crazy thing is that when we are in emotional highs, we have little need or scope to grow.  Yet when we are in the throws of emotional lows, that’s when we have the potential to grow and stretch ourselves beyond belief emotionally and mentally. Getting to full gratitude is about being  thankful and appreciative when it seems impossible to be thankful and appreciative.  The ” bad” times.  This includes those events which society believe or judges as bad, sad or devastating.    You will experience true gratitude when you are able to appreciate the things that cause you perceived pain.   Life is 50:50, if  you noted  everything that happened you would see that there is an equal number of “pleasure” events as there are “pain” events.   The universe is always maintaining balance.  Some experiences that may seem to only able to cause pain, will later in reflection be a source of great pleasure.   There are so many stories on the web of people who have had adversity and yet over time have been able to find the blessing afterwards.   Amy Purdy is one of these people.  At a...

The Four Divorces

 When you go through a divorce or separation there are actually divorce in four areas of your life.  And the trauma may extend far beyond the legal papers being signed.   Divorce is three-fold and divorce trauma can continue for a significant period long after the papers are signed. The Legal Divorce This is the legal process of your divorce, where you  involve lawyers and judges. From a monetary perspective this is the most expensive.  During this process where there are many arguments as each party states their case, draught parenting plans, settle property and debts.  And for some this is the easiest part of the divorce process. The Financial Divorce This is where your worldly possessions are split between the two of you.  This often means that you will have reduction in your standard of living, because the income is at best halved but the expenses remain largely the same if not increase.  You may need to let go of some possessions that you enjoyed having around but did not belong to you, the family home might also need to sold, which can cause anguish for many. The Social Divorce This is the splitting or alienation of your friends and your family, ex-family, and can include your children.   Coming to terms with the divorce can be as difficult for you as it is for your friends, family, ex-family and your children.  They may have a hard time accepting that you are no longer a couple.  Some might even harbour the secret hope that you will become a couple again.  However, the awkwardness, their secret hopes is all their...

Your life will never be the same

Knowing what to expect is important when navigating the  divorce  recovery process Divorce is life changing – your life will never be the same.   Once you learn how to navigate the emotional waves and the life changes of divorce, you will be able to appreciate this experience and master your life.   You won’t be able to have the same lifestyle, your friends will change, and you will also change.  With your determination, support and courage, you will be stronger and more resilient after this experience.  Everything that you do now is as a single person again.  You have the opportunity to grow and gain wisdom like no other time in your life. Mindset and openness to learn, is key to how quickly you are able to get over your breakup and on with your life. If you set the intention that you are able and willing to learn and grow from your breakup you will be setting yourself up for success. The following are key aspects of the divorce recovery process, which you need to be aware of   Be your own best friend The process of divorce is mentally draining; beating yourself up, judging yourself and having unrealistic expectations of yourself during this time will only add to your pain. You may feel that you didn’t have a choice in you splitting up, but you do have a choice in how you react to your circumstances. If you are feeling that you are unlovable at the moment, or you are stuck in a cycle of beating yourself up,  get help from a coach or counsellor –...