Relationship Excellence

Having a great relationship means taking responsibility for YOUR feelings, being vulnerable and open and willing to share what you are thinking / feeling.

Men, if you have a problem or a difficult feeling – Tell her! Perhaps you had a bad day at work or something went wrong.

Use “I feel…” words. She’s not going to solve your problem but she’d love to hear how you really feel and whether you really want her – when you go to your cave (to solve your problem) without explanation she has to second guess which is when women might feel a sense of rejection.

Of course many women know about the “man cave” but we would love to know that our relationship is “OK” so please take time to “check in”, which in turn builds our connection.

Many women also have a “woman cave”, yes, really.  When this happens it may be our time to allow healing from any overwhelm.  If this happens and you’re unsure, take time to appreciate our need for self-care, no need to solve our problems for us.

If you’re stressed at work and have no way of dissolving your feelings, take time to recognise this feeling; don’t take it home with you but if you do, it’s not about who’s done more or less at home – this is displacement and can be provocative energy. Ask her for the space you might need and take a break between responding and reacting. Explain you need some time out to help yourself. “Give me 5 minutes and I’ll be all yours.”

Women, if you have a problem with your man, ask for what you need/want! Examples like: “When you (behaviour) I feel (feeling). What I want is for you (different behaviour). Be clearer about what you want from him; we all make mistakes but if you’re not clear it just tends to drive resentment and can create a divide.

Many women know what they want from their man and sometimes feel they cannot ask; many men feel they have to second guess women’s  needs and desires, just like women feel they have to second guess their man when he goes cave-like to resolve things HIS way.

So you can see how problems can arise!

Women might say “I’m feeling sad today but it’s ok, you don’t need to fix me nor even understand me. I just want you to listen and know that you have heard me”.

Own Your Feelings! Sometimes we need to make those horrible, messy mistakes in order to build a deeper, longer lasting and loving relationship.

In addition – let’s talk about SEX!

Men need sex to feel connected; Women need to feel connected to have sex.

Which becomes more important?

Men may need to take time to build connections with your woman for a strong, connective relationship; woman, it’s OK to say no – if he is genuine and wants to build your relationship he WILL wait.  But be wary if you are avoiding intimacy as that can be detrimental.

As a postscript, this is a generalisation of gender differences in relationships; you may be a man and want to really understand your relationship or where it might be going if a crisis elsewhere in your life has occurred; a woman may “move into her cave” and you may need to step back as she resolves her feelings with those who she can turn to and be heard and she won’t want to hurt you.

Women may want to solve a relationship problem because you have no idea where you stand but you may not be able to do it with your man if he has retreated into a cave, silently OR he is taking part in other displacement activities in order to resolve his own problems with how he feels about you (which may or may not be the case!)  It’s important for a woman to get out and do what makes her happy. You can still Take Charge and tell him what you want.  Is this really how you want to be treated? If he won’t take responsibility, then you can.

We don’t need to UNDERSTAND each other (Ego); we simply need to respect and appreciate each others strengths and differences (Love) and let go of resentment and fear.

We also need transparency about needs and wants; if the relationship is not working now, what guarantees are there for the future?  The future is working itself out in the here and now.

What were your expectations when you started out in your relationship?

Self Care

We all need to take care of ourselves – obviously.  But when we’ve experienced a relationship breakdown, a bereavement or a huge change in our personal circumstances, we need to keep ourselves moving and occupied doing things we enjoy.

Anyone who’s experienced therapy with me will probably have heard me asking them “what did you used to do that you’ve stopped doing?”  Frequently when we find ourselves facing fears, loneliness and inabilities to make simple decisions it’s hard to even think about enjoying ourselves, so swamped we may be in what’s happening right now.

So with this in mind I found myself asking the same question. Having given up part time employment and re-starting self employment each and every day would see me at my computer, looking up research articles, finding ways to revamp my website, writing and writing (like this) and my eyes were glazing over.  Headaches, loneliness… was settling in and making themselves feel at home…. NOT!

Out I went, joining a Zumba class.  Last time I did Zumba was around fifteen years ago, so I was a lot younger and probably better looking in terms of my body fitness. I do remember my stomach taking on a dance all of its own however, and struggled in a class where personal space was at a premium.  I lasted about three weeks.

Now I run a couple of times a week.  I walk 4-5 km with my dog every day.  Let’s see how this Zumba thing goes.

I got my best lycra on, did my face and charged up the road for my “first” Zumba gold session (that means I must be old – a) it’s during the day, and b) I’m over 50!)

I must have looked blank and awkward as someone came up to me and asked if I was ok.  Ah yes – this is the right place!

The beats began, we started throwing ourselves around the room (or was that just me), my lower limbs doing one thing and my arms, confused as they might have been, did something different.

I followed our teacher as best I could (given I was at the back of the room, right next to the door – ease of exit access) but still the beat went on and my body was simply bobbing up and down, keeping moving.  Towards the end of the dance we did something of an Irish gig as we circled the room, joining arms.

I still felt stupid but actually a lot happier after the class!

Afterwards a few members traipsed off to the pub for a coffee (no really) and made me feel exceptionally welcome.  So much so I returned for another session!

So what have you stopped doing that you used to do?

Do it!  Click here for more information about Zumba in Malmesbury (on Facebook)!