Dear Dana & Marc…Happily Ever After Can be YOURS!

[pullquote align=”right”]”I don’t know where we would be without coming to you…we’re no longer getting divorced.” Testimonial from Coach Steph’s last marriage mediation session.[/pullquote] Pre-marital coaching is an area that few venture into.  most husbands and wives to-be simply talk to the pastor for six weeks and then walk down the aisle…BIG MISTAKE!

Now that you are married, I’d recommend some post-nuptial coaching and allow us to find you a successfully (and happily) married couple to be your marriage “mentors.”  The truth is that most people don’t talk about the challenges of being married, and they expect newlyweds to become a functioning marital unit overnight.  It doesn’t happen like that.

Communication is the key.  You have to learn each other’s languages and that takes time.  If you’ve already had your first argument as a married couple, that’s okay.  Conflict in itself isn’t bad–but how you handle it can be.

I am not married (yet), however, I respect the institution and know that every marriage is different.  I coach married couples based on the spiritual principles of being man and wife, and on the practicality of having a successful relationship with another human being, which includes understanding both the differences and similarities between the two of you.  Finding and appreciating your differences and similarities will mean the difference between “happily ever after,” and “happily NEVER after.”

Before you do…(or if you already did), click here.

Dear Brian…There’s Nothing Wrong with the “Right Way”

You’ve heard me say repeatedly that, “dating aint mating,” because it isn’t.  My savvy little definition of dating?  So glad that you asked.  “Dating is a process of exchanging NON-SEXUAL time and space with someone who seems worthy of your time, energy and emotions to find out if they are, in fact, worthy of your time, energy and emotions.”

Now, beyond the fact that I do not celebrate or advocate physical intimacy of the pre-marital kind, is the reality that sex ALWAYS changes the dynamic of any relationship.

And then there’s you.  A guy who wants to wait for Mrs. Right.  I think it’s great!  But, I know first-hand that it is hard to do.  Forget the pressures of those around you, you are walking a path that requires discipline.  If you choose to remain single, it might be easier, but that is not a guarantee.  If you decide to have dating, or exclusive relationships during this season in your life, that will require not only transparent communication, but also having the ability to choose a person who will not try to entice you to comprehend your beliefs.

I have no idea why you have chosen this path, but I absolutely salute you, and I think that coaching can help you put things in the right perspective.

Whatever you need, we can help. Click here.

New From @godsbutterflykw: Relationship VIP

Twitter is all a buzz. Entertainment news shows are reporting. Magazine after magazine is covered with the same headline. Who cheated on whom? Who’s dating whom? Breakup shocker! Are Rihanna and Chris Brown really back together? Jaws dropped at the news of Danny DeVito and Rhea Pearlman’s split up. And every week we rush to the nearest information source for the latest on Rob Pattison and Kristen Stewart. Why are we so obsessed with the love lives of these people we don’t know? We learn about their lives in sound bites and the scroll of the ticker tape. Surely there is something or another relationship perhaps, we can be concerned with.

It’s been suggested that we get so caught up in the entertainment love news as an escape from our own ‘stuff’. I wonder how much we’d really care if we were busy taking care of ourselves. Oh, I don’t know turning the tube off and spending that time learning more about ourselves; rather than dissecting who and why of which celeb should be with whom. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy star gazing as much as the next person. What if we took the time to love ourselves as much as we spend the time worrying about their love lives maybe we wouldn’t have time to do so? Make sense?

That got me to thinking. What do we, can we do to work on the most important relationship we have – our relationship with our selves. I am the VIP of my life after all! Aren’t you? ABSOLUTELY! No? Let’s look at some ways to o ascend in our personal VIP (PVIP) status.

  1. Window Cleaner. The first step to reaching optimal PVIP status is to get clear about who you ARE and who you are not. One of my favorite lines from the movie, The Color Purple, is “…Harpo who dis woman?”  While the question was being asked of a male, the point is to get in your own face and really look at the person staring back at you. There was a time when I didn’t/couldn’t see myself. I couldn’t see all the wonderful things others were saying about me. The time came to sit with who I thought I was and who I thought I was not. Where did those ideals come from? Were the inherited or self-imposed. Once I got clear about the woman in the mirror (feel free to jam your Michael Jackson in the background), I could move on to the next step.
  2. Permission Granted. Give yourself permission to choose you. Put yourself back at the top of your (never-ending) to-do list. That’s not selfish. It’s necessary. This will be new for some and a reminder to others. You’ve heard the parallel of the in air safety review, that instructs you to put your oxygen mask on first. It truly is just that basic. You can’t be your best in any relationship capacity (personal, romantic or professional), if your mental, physical, emotional, spiritual oxygen level is low. It’s like running a computer that needs more bandwidth – it just doesn’t function at its best. So, how do you add more energetic bandwidth to your life?                 Think things that will simultaneously a) benefit you directly, b) give you peace within and c) cultivate your body, mind, and spirit. Do things that say I LOVE YOU – to you!  Think of it as courting yourself.
  3. Un-Cuffed. All too often we are bound by I should, I have to, and Yeah but. Saying no to what we feel obligated to or pressured by is not a bad thing. No is actually a beautiful word. It only has two letters and rolls smoothly over the tongue. The thing is sometimes we get so used to saying no, we look up years later and realize somewhere along the way we started saying no to ourselves; in addition to saying those things that feel heavy and don’t feed our spirit. You probably won’t come out of the gate shaking your Yay Me! pom poms. It’s a journey. And you may have to remind yourself. That is perfectly okay. Feel free to repeat as needed.
  4. Add Three Cups of Joy and Stir. What makes you happy? What brings you child-like giggle joy? When is the last time you did something that added joy to your life?  If it helps, think back to what you enjoyed as a child. I remember coloring, gold fish and playing in the water. I still love being in water to this day. Every chance I get, I play in the water. Recently I went to the local pet store to learn about fish. I’ll be adding a small fish tank to my office (a tad different from the single gold fish I had as a kid). Every now and then I still color. Yes, in a coloring book! Don’t judge me –lol. Seriously, what things make you smile from the inside out? It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Keep it simple. Don’t overthink it.

Becoming your PVIP is a learned way of life, not taught to everyone. Some of us need a refresher course. Wherever you are on your PVIP journey, you are not alone. There are others on the same journey and luckily for you, you have me (smile) to help you on the way!

Have questions or just want to share part of your journey? I’m an email away at chiefheartwranglerr@whatthelove.org.

Remember, if you don’t define you, someone else will. And that’s too important a job to leave to just anyone.

X’s and O’s

So, You Are Going to Breakup With Your Significant Other (GUEST BLOGGER)

So you have decided to break up with your significant other. There is a right way and a lot of wrong ways. Find out the things that you should do to minimize the hurt that is bound to happen for both of you. How to move on with a new partner. Breaking up is hard on egos. Learn how to correctly do this most difficult of relationship acts.