Cheating Happened, NOW what?!

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cheatingcouplepic2089831860379119432.jpegCheating Happened. NOW, WHAT?

It is a confusing time in a relationship when someone cheats. We feel angry as hell at first, then we try to decide if it is a deal-breaker. If we are dating someone, cheating is most often a definite deal-breaker. But many times, cheating happens within a marital relationship. When cheating happens in marriage, it is not always assumed that the big-“D” is coming.

The Decision can be Doomsday -staying focused on the feelings of a potential dissolved relationship or view it as a wakeup call to resolve issues. It can keep you bound in the thoughts of the Deception or alert you to deal with what went wrong. It can feel Devastational- but can be a catalyst for meeting unmet needs or facing unfulfilled desires.

It can stay Disastrous- and keep one partner in victim mode- or be the bridge toward having the intimacy that was lost.

It can be a Dreaded journey of bitterness, anger and lost hope or a beginning toward rediscovering each other.

It can be the most Difficult time of your life or the most enlightening as to what your future holds for you.

You can stay in a Depressive state of being over the past incident, or choose to move forward in a positive directionIt can hold you hostage with Discouragement, or help you grow wings to soar.

It can provide for you insightful knowledge that gives you a new Direction toward forgiveness and healing. Or it can lead you toward leaving, but still needing to forgive and heal, which equals the Biggest “D”….DIVORCE. But no matter which path ‘you decide’ on, forgiveness and healing is required to have a positive emotional future.

If you cheated, or if your spouse did; TRUST was the key ingredient that has now been compromised. For a relationship to have a positive flow, trust cannot be broken. Chances are, trust was broken down long before the cheating began; not in every case, but usually -it is the case.

Cheating in the eye of the cheater seems to get justified by the wrongful actions of the non-cheater (the victim) in a relationship.

Cheaters usually do not take the time to identify and/or communicate their unmet needs, or they feel unheard -unappreciated -misunderstood or neglected in some way; so they go out to try to fill these unmet needs by emotionally and/or sexually connecting to someone else.

In some cases, the cheater feels like they did try to tell their partner, but to no avail. So, therefore, instead of explaining that they are unhappy and want to separate, or express their need to go get couples counseling, they avoid this action. To fill their void, they just slowly attract to what fills their unmet needs: a person who takes and shows interest with them. Then they slowly, without realizing it, emotionally connect to someone, which sometimes leads to sometimes sexually connecting- to that person.

Cheating is a false sense of satisfaction and it is not a remedy for fixing relationship problems; it makes them worse. Cheating is never justified, no matter how wrong the behavior is with the non-cheating partner. Cheating is a wrongful choice. Conflict can be resolved, compromised, discussed, and dealt with. Cheating requires a lot more than ceasing the affair, it requires a long span of time to recover, heal, forgive, rebuild trust, and repair the things that were broken before the affair! Even if couples call it quits after infidelity; recovering, healing, forgiving, and rebuilding trust is still needed, especially if couples must co-parent together after splitting up.

Healing after cheating is not something that magically happens with one counseling session, nor does it resolve after the victim receives a remorseful apology, if or when the cheater may ask for forgiveness.

Healing is a long process that takes time, patience, quality communication, understanding, listening, and adhering to boundaries that may feel uncomfortable for the sake of the ‘rebuilding trust process’ that must take place.

The most difficult part of healing after cheating for the ‘cheated on’ person in the relationship is not only having to rebuild trust and all the crazy emotions that go along with that but how to eliminate the thoughts replaying in their head; the “would of…could of…should of…thoughts” of doubt and self-blame that go along with being cheated on.

The victim sometimes is made to feel responsible by the cheater. The cheater will often say things like…” well you never….” or “you always…” or “you just didn’t listen to me…” etc. Somehow, the cheater tries to continually justify their wrongful behavior and choice with blaming their spouse for their own unmet expectations. Let’s get one fact out in the open, here and now:

Behavior that you don’t like, current conflict with a partner, unmet expectations, or unbecoming behaviors or attitudes of a lover -NEVER- justify cheating.

Solving existing conflict doesn’t correct itself by going outside the relationship in secret, and starting a new one! A cheater usually does have thoughts and feelings that are negative toward their partner, but the correct and mature and responsible way to deal with those unmet needs, or unwanted behaviors-is to talk about them, and seek counseling to resolve them.

If unmet needs cannot be filled, or if the solutions are not reached, that is when a person should speak up and express their desire to separate from the relationship.

A person should be confident enough in what they want enough~ to express it. So, cheating happened. We can’t undo that. But what we can do, is to learn how to express our needs to our partner. BOTH partners need to sharpen their communication skills. Our partners should never, ever feel unsafe or uncomfortable sharing their deeper thoughts and feelings with each other. Partners should never feel fearful to share constructive criticism.

In many cases, a cheating partner wants out -but continues to ‘blame the split’ on the non-cheating partner, placing fault on them. The cheater sometimes has a history of building up a record of wrongs for weeks or months or even years as if they are on a mission to try and make their partner seem inadequate for them, which then justifies their reasons for cheating and leaving their partner. Reality is that those weeks or months or years they spent in the blaming mode- focusing on what behaviors they didn’t like, were all building up in their own head, causing them the inability to express their needs and work on unmet expectations.

If you were the cheater in the relationship and you definitely want a divorce; keep in mind, you made your emotional disconnection long before your spouse even began to, and maybe they still haven’t! So as you approach your separation and divorce, be cautious not to treat the situation as though it is mutual. In the non-cheaters mind, no matter their past behaviors, the divorce is about infidelity, not irreconcilable differences.

If you are the person who does not want to reconcile (cheater or non-cheater) then you need to free yourself by expressing your unwillingness to reconcile.

If or When either partner keeps trying to deflect responsibility for marital problems onto the other unjustly- it will cause major conflict.

It’s hard to imagine this, but why be angry if someone doesn’t ‘want’ to love you and work things out? Isn’t it their loss? Do you feel you were at your very best, giving your very best?

The formula for a healthy marriage is:

1 emotionally healthy individual + 1 emotionally healthy individual = A Healthy Marriage! ~Life Coach Annalisa O’Toole

If you were the cheater, wouldn’t the love you show, possible willingness to reconcile, humble apology, disconnection from the relationship you had outside your marriage,  not be enough for them? If you are feeling this way, remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day. Your partner needs time to process, accept, and forgive in order to heal.

If you were cheated on, you may be feeling 3 different things…and what you should do:

  1. I might be able to try to forgive and trust again~ if I feel my partner is genuinely sorry and genuinely loves me and wants to work together to rebuild.

If you feel this, seek couples counseling.

  1. I definitely know I can not move forward with this infidelity that happened, and I admit I am not able to work through the forgiveness and trust right now, it is far too devastating.

If you feel this way, confidently tell your partner.

  1. I need more time.

If you feel this way, confidently tell your partner, consider counseling.

Interestingly enough, most cheaters are in reality, unhappy with their self. Many times they haven’t mastered knowing what they really want in life, so they fall prey to a quick infatuation that can provide a false sense of satisfaction. Sadly, most affairs are temporary seasons of happiness, and do not fulfill the voids they lacked in the first relationship, to begin with! And, without personal growth of ‘both partners’, their relationship (if they stay together) will have pop up problems in the future because they didn’t take an inventory of weaknesses, and learn from them, making changes to support an emotionally healthy connection. But even more devastation comes from getting a divorce having never gone through the personal growth work of recognizing your weaknesses, learning from them, and eliminating the same issues which may rise up in a future relationship!!

Cheating happens for many reasons, but several most common causes are:

  1. A person is not emotionally healthy enough to communicate their deepest needs to their partner; so they seek those needs elsewhere. It sometimes isn’t intentional, it just happens slowly. A cheater slowly feels the joy outside the marriage, that they somehow either don’t have, don’t work for, or don’t recognize ‘inside’ the marriage.
  2. A person does not feel safe or comfortable expressing their needs, for fear of rejection, fear of confrontation, or fear of not being heard and understood.
  3. A person prides themselves on being the support, leader, giver, fixer, provider, etc…so they actually feel “selfish” to express unfulfilled needs, they don’t want to tell their partner their negative feelings, (what is missing) (since most of the time, whatever the partner lacks, they pick up the slack on) so they gradually fall prey…elsewhere.
  4. A person is not feeling heard, appreciated, or supported by their partner, even though they try to communicate their needs, they don’t feel understood. Instead of investing time to fix this, they gravitate toward a person who makes them feel understood …elsewhere.
  5. A person is not receiving what they need most, and so an affair gives them a sense of affirmation that fills their unmet needs, temporarily, which creates a new emotional connection which causes the first emotionally connected relationship -to diminish.

Even if someone cheats, it is possible to consider a reconciliation. If you are currently confused about your marriage, or your relationship, because you were a cheater, or were cheated on…

Here are the 5 key questions to consider while your emotions are on a roller coaster as to ‘stay or not stay’ in the relationship which was compromised…

  1. Does the cheater feel remorse? Do they, or have they expressed a humble, sincere, heartfelt sadness for their behavior? This sense of guilt should not at all be confused with having fear of separation, or potential divorce. This guilt or humbled request for forgiveness should be real, not just ‘words’- and not initiated due to the possibility that the ‘cheating relationship’ didn’t work out, so the cheater just wants to go back to normal…
  2. Does the “cheating” spouse seem to have unstable emotions? …it is expected that the non-cheating spouse has unstable emotions…(shock, grief, depression, anger, resentment, bitterness, etc) but if a cheating person has severe mood swings, where you find it hard to understand what they are thinking and feeling, it probably isn’t a good time to communicate on details about your future relationship. If a person seems to want one thing one day, and on another day -they are focused entirely in another direction, they most likely, need more space. This is a sign that the unstable person (could be the cheater or the non-cheater) needs more time to evaluate his/her needs as an individual, and need more work in the self-development department before re-committing to be a team together.
  3. Does/Did the victim of the cheating spouse take responsibility for the unmet needs of the cheater prior to the affair? If a partner was/is willing to admit mistakes AND a willingness to make corrections for those mistakes, going forward, and can truthfully say they can forgive (either now or sometime in the future) and move forward, then these are positive signs things could work toward reconciliation.
  4. Was the non-cheating spouses’ needs met by their partner prior to the affair? In other words, was there distance- or everything seemed fine? If everything seemed fine, and the non-cheater was blindsided by the affair, it means that there were unmet needs -and possibly still are unhealthy traits in the cheater; examples being: inability to express what they want, but pretending all is well; not able to express deep thoughts and feelings and not feeling understood; but not sharing these details; or taking ‘space’ in a relationship making their partner feel they are working on things; but that time was spent cheating. (Characteristic: dishonesty) If someone has not overcome unhealthy characteristics – it would not be wise to consider reconciliation.
  5. If both partners erased the “affair” from their mind- pretending it didn’t happen and they were faced with only the feelings for one another, their communication with one another, and their personal needs that they need to be filled- would there be a score of 8+ in each category if the scale was 1-weakest and 10-strongest between them in each of those areas?

Examples would be:

Feelings:

10 = feeling close and attracted to my partner

1 = no attraction and don’t feel close at all.

Communication:

10 = we can talk and we understand each other, rarely argue

1= We fight. All. the. Time.

Personal needs met:

10 = My needs are always met by my partner.

1 = I don’t think my partner has any clue what I need most.

This test shows the work involved to reconcile beyond the work involved in rebuilding trust back! It helps couples evaluate whether the numbers reflect ease or difficulty of the reconciliation process. If numbers are low in these areas, working through a trust will be harder. If numbers are high, couples stand a better chance of resolving their issues and working through conflicts.

One of the biggest mistakes couples make after infidelity is playing the ‘blame game’ -blaming their partner for being unhappy with their present relationship, and naming all the wrong things their partner has done or is doing- as if this justifies their choice or reason for stepping out or not wanting to reconcile. This sometimes goes on for years.

It is much more freeing emotionally to know clearly what it is you need most, and decide if that criteria is realistic in your partner’s ability to meet those needs, or seek counsel to determine if they can.

Sometimes, we can love someone but just can not live with them. Sometimes we cannot feel deeply loved by them because they just don’t take the time to meet our deepest needs. Or…we have built up the record of wrongs for so long in our minds, any thought of a positive emotional connection to reignite a flame is impossible because it would make all of our hard work that created a “wrongful partner” seem as though we lied!

Don’t let pride or your record of wrongs stand in the way of reconciling. If you feel your partner is capable of loving you and meeting your needs and overcoming their inability to communicate their deepest thoughts and feelings, initiate a humble reconciliation. But if your partner has a hardened heart, you should either hold out …giving them time to heal and forgive, or make the decision it would continue hardening your heart to do that, and move on. Only you can decide what God may be leading you to do. There is not a best friend, a family member or even a counselor who can make the best decision for you. Only you, and divine connected guidance within you can decide if your future includes your partner, or if your feeling led away from them.

To divorce or not to, to move back in or not to, to reconcile your differences, or not to … lies between you…God …and your deep inner knowing, of what is best. Our deepest yearnings, those are our invisible compasses, guiding us toward joy. Our spirit is always trying hard to lead us toward joy. “Forget reason”…”forget religious laws”…those are things our inner soul speaks to us…” go here, where it feels good”…..that is our divine nature. To feel love. Acceptance. Joyful experiences. Belonging. We need it so badly, we forget that sometimes wrongful places and people illuminate the belief that we can capture the good things we need elsewhere, and avoid the feelings of ‘lack’ we may be feeling, elsewhere. Many of those illuminations are just illusions or false beliefs that seem real. They feel so real. Many of these, are fake. Fake illusions of our deepest needs. It’s trickery. ‘Bloom where you are planted’ is a powerful quote. But then so is this quote…

When the pain of remaining the same grows greater than the pain of making a change, we change. ~author unknown

When our feelings of lack expand in one area,                                                          our feelings of fulfillment expand in another!!~Coach Annalisa O’Toole

If you genuinely try to communicate, take steps toward your personal growth, learn from your mistakes, openly communicate what you need, and your partner is still not hearing you, this determines that your partner is not working on their own personal growth. If your partner is not accepting responsibility for their actions, or openly and positively receiving constructive criticism…it may mean you need more time and space, or you may feel God guiding you another direction.

Some people are meant to be in our lives for a moment,

some for a season, and some for a lifetime.

Pray about your situation and go with your gut feeling. No one should stay in a situation that feels constantly resistant- but no one should give up over a mistake if/when someone deeply loves you and you just don’t want to go through the work- that would be tragic too. Sometimes we just know when it’s time to let go. Sometimes we just know ~we need to hold on. Also, remember this…

When a person really loves someone, they would not need to be asked, prompted, or swayed by a counselor, a clergyman or anyone else to meet their partner’s needs because it should come naturally to them, to not only recognize what their lover needs, but meet those needs lovingly, and consistently.

“Love wins; every vibrational emotion below love,                                              either helps us learn or lose.”~LifeCoach Annalisa O’Toole

Test your emotions by viewing this chart below for where you are feeling emotionally, where your energy vibrational number is, God’s view of that state, and the process you’re in.

We can not control what other’s will say or do, but we can control our reaction and response to them, ultimately controlling our own emotions for our desired state of wellness! ~LifeCoach Annalisa

If you or someone you care about is struggling with a personal or Relationship issue, reach out to me, by calling, texting, or seeking more information at my website!

Life & Relationship Coach,

Annalisa O’Toole

678.431.6528

http://www.askannalisa.com

Is Controversy YOUR new Normal?

Every. Single. Day. There it is, right there in the headlines; a major controversial theme for the day, which can sometimes take over the news and media for weeks. Saints vs. Rams, Native American vs. Catholic teens, Wall funding vs. Congress, Kavenough vs. Ford, the list could go on for days on end. It has become such a normal part of our daily living, daily news, and daily conversations that I am very concerned for our marriages, our newlyweds, our premarital couples, our young adults, and our future leaders!

The constant controversy we are faced with on a regular basis from companies, groups, National sports leagues, and well-renowned organizations has become the new normal, and nothing can be more damaging toward creating peace and unity! If this has become the ‘norm’ in media, in TV reality shows, in the press, and all over social media- how in the world could families refrain from making this the norm in their own homes and in their most precious and valued relationships with loved ones, spouses, and especially with their children?

This new acceptable form of daily conflict seems innocent, and unavoidable at times; but what is happening is, ‘MEDIA’ is taking ‘clips’ of happenings, or small segments of words or phrases spoken, and developing a negative story out of it; creating perspectives that would sometimes, and often, be non-existent if the ENTIRE message, or ENTIRE video, or ALL the facts were presented, to begin with.

Our controversial culture is wreaking havoc in the subconscious minds of everyone! We literally have become immune to acts of controversial behaviors assuming everyone will adapt and it will be fully acceptable!

This couldn’t be farther from the truth!

DON’T LET THIS NORMALIZATION OF CONFLICT BE YOURS TOO!!

Even one of the fruits of the spirit in the Bible states having forbearance, which means, don’t have resistance, don’t challenge and push for things, have self-control. The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is a biblical term that sums up nine attributes of a person or community living in accord with the Holy Spirit, according to chapter 5 of the Epistle to the Galatians: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. …

If every day we brought a ‘new’ problem to the table within our family or in our workplace, or in our community, everyone would be in discord, major dysfunction, and a breakdown of love and trust would diminish!

When an environment is a never-ending pool of different perspectives, different opinions, and arguments, there is conflict continually. Successful families and companies have positive flowing relationships when they can create an atmosphere that promotes positivity, results, praise, respect, and admiration. The following guidelines are helpful to create unity within groups, teams, partnerships, and families:

  • There is kindness; even expressed when providing constructive criticism. We don’t ‘bash’ the child or spouse or employee, we express our discord with ‘choices’ or ‘behaviors’.
  • There are boundaries and rules, and they are conveyed as to what and how they should be followed; if homes have no children; spouses express preferences to each other and each partner works hard to conform to their partner’s desires in an effort to please each other.
  • There are consequences for not complying to boundaries that everyone agreed to in a family; or set forth by the leader, parent, President, or top authority figure. Without adequate consequences, there would be chaos, and no one would have any reason to adhere to the boundaries, much less comply.
  • There is respect. Not everyone will agree, or like all the boundaries, rules, or laws put into place; but under the leadership or parental units, or companies where people have hatred, or a deep dislike, or a strong disagreement; it is the mature responsibility of those individuals to understand this very important principle: If you don’t like the management, you have a few choices: leave the company/family/relationship/group, move out or away from your current authority submitting yourself to new leadership or management, or you rise up to be the leader yourself! But if you remain in the situation, and your way of dealing with it is to badger, criticize, complain, cause dissension, disrupt others peace, you have caused strong negative energies to take over within you, and it wreaks havoc to all those around you. Why engage in actions to yourself and others that cause thoughts and emotions to suffer?

If you are in a family, group or company that argues and has a lot of dysfunction and problems, you have a few choices.

You can stay in the situation (hoping it changes; trying to change it- which often creates constant resistance and lowers everyone’s energy vibrations and emotions! Unless all parties can communicate effectively or seek counseling) Problem rarely gets resolved

Leave the situation (get a new job, move out, or ignore and distance yourself from the problem or person) -problem remains

Argue, or try to ‘WIN’ (a useless, virtually never successful effort) lowers emotional state & problem remains.

In all the above remedies: problem remains. Division, discouragement, bitterness, resentment, blame, negative emotions, hard-spiritedness, dissension, and discord are all results of staying insistent on getting your way.

Compromise is where two parties both ‘step off’ of certain desires, and ‘allow’ for some unwanted things. The keyword here: BOTH parties must give & take.

The only time a person should stand their ground is if a choice is made without their consent- against their will or against their desire- that person afflicted should not be held accountable in any way (financially or otherwise) because someone else made a wrong choice. Example: Son breaks family TV when he threw a ball in the house. Mom thinks the parents should replace it, describing the incident as an accident. Dad, on the other hand, feels the Son should relinquish his allowance, seek new neighbors yards to cut for money, and do whatever else it takes to buy a new TV.

Would the parents replacing the TV be teaching the child how life works? If the parents were not in the child’s life in 5 years, the same scenario happened in college, would the child feel like ‘all’ the roommates should chip in to recover the cost of a TV… since, after all, it WAS an accident? Or, would the child have grown up realizing that we are all responsible for our mistakes- purposeful and accidental mistakes?

Love wins. Patience endures. Kindness calms. Thoughtfulness encourages. Non-resistance compromises.

Sometimes we must come to the realization that we can’t keep trying to have our expectations met, it is so emotionally draining.

Sometimes, things are better left unsaid. Letting go of trying so hard to make a point can be energizing. If someone has a different value system, your point is mute anyway.

Sometimes, it is best to do the following when a difficult person says or does something against our better wishes:

  • Pause.
  • Shake our head. (release that negative feeling!)
  • Realize that sometimes the other person resisting our decision is based solely on their own fears or levels of insecurities.

Each day does not have to include drama. Be a drama-diffuser. Here are the best ways to reduce drama, cease potential arguments- and keep positive flowing energy at work and at home.

A person has a critical argument or comment:

Your Response: That’s interesting.

A person has a negative statement or complaint:

Your Response: What are your ideas to fix that?

A person is going on and on with Blame…blame…blame:

Your Response: What are your plans moving forward since you can’t change the past?

A person has a project or something unreasonable for you to do:

Response: My answer is no, but I’m willing to compromise with the idea to ____________________.

Try hard not to let our present day culture that has developed a ‘normalcy’ to drama and conflict, be your method of everyday operation as well! The Nations leaders may not be in constant unity, but our relationships, families, and workplaces can be!!

Be happy within yourself, and kindness will flow. Be content and grateful, and appreciation will come naturally. Be a person with no expectations, and you’ll rarely be disappointed.

Don’t take things personally. Don’t assume. Always honor your word. And always, do your very best. ~The Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz

Less conflict = more peace!🤗✌

Life & Relationship Coach,

Annalisa O’Toole

askannalisa.com

10 Steps for Struggling couples

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couples siloughette

Relationships, unfortunately, don’t have a 3 month, 3000 miles rule for going in and getting a tune-up or oil, filter, lube! But just as important as keeping our auto maintenance periodically, our relationships need checkups too, especially if couples have pushed unresolved issues under the rug over and over for years, and they tend to surface over and over, and they seem to be facing the same problems over and over.

Something to remember is that when a person goes years layering the problems and keeping a record of wrongs in their mind, these records tend to fester and grow bigger the more they think about them, and the more they share them with others, who most likely share their victim stories, and then that only adds fuel to the flame as well.

Conflict resolution means two things. It means a willingness for both parties to participate in being teachable toward listening to possible solutions and guidelines and choose their best path. And second, both people admitting their own personal weaknesses and mistakes, taking responsibilities for those, admitting faults, and moving forward in a positive direction toward compromise and forgiveness.

Coaching and counseling fails if one person has their mind set on the deadset belief that the coaching or counseling session is going to be focused on ‘setting their partner straight’ about some things. In other words, they feel that the counselor is going to hear their view, and going to ‘change their partner’. It will always be the coach or counselors position to hear both parties, and present ideas and suggestions that both people in the relationship may choose as a compromise, so that both parties feel they are working together as a team, and that they are both benefiting from a solution, and working together. Sometimes, however, suggestions will be outside the comfort zone of someone. That is because to accommodate our partners in relationships, change is often a part of successful flowing relationships. This does not mean, however, that we are supposed to change in ways that are uncomfortable, or feel unnatural to us. If there is a change our partner wants us to make that is outside of our comfort zone, we have a very HUGE decision to make, and we all know what that is. We must ask ourselves,

Can I continue to live with and love this person, creating this change in my life, and in theirs, easily and comfortably, without feeling resistance to this change, for the sake of maintaining a positive relationship?

If the answer is yes, you can stay in this relationship without hardship. If the answer is no, you will have a big decision to make.

The reason I love this question is that this question helps us evaluate ‘ourselves’; rather than continue to blame, or point the finger toward our partner. People tend to say things like this…

“Well, if my spouse would just stop…….and then they finish this sentence with whatever behavior is unbecoming…this idea sets up the belief that the problem lies solely outside of their self.

OR this one…

“Well, if only he/she would start ________more, then I would be more________.

They tend to fill in this sentence with whatever they desire from their partner to justify their reason to step up.

Here’s the major part of how this all has to work though. There has to be quality communication about what changes are necessary if any. What does need changing? What needs are being unmet? Has each partner even discussed their personal needs with each other? Why do we struggle? What are the fights about? What are the issues? Here are the 10 steps to get back on track to being friends, having fun, communicating, laughing together, finding that passion, and rediscovering the marriage you once thrived on!

  1. Make your needs list. Exchange it, and work on filling each other’s needs. DAILY.
  2. Buy the LOVE LANGUAGES book. Read it together. Know yours. Know Theirs.
  3. Buy the movie: FIREPROOF. WATCH IT together, ASAP. No Interruptions.
  4. Hire a Life Coach or Counselor, but be open, be teachable. It takes 2!
  5. Talk, Don’t Argue. If emotions get elevated; take a break.
  6. Work on your Communication skills. The NO’s of communicating: no interrupting, no yelling, no blaming, no bringing up the past, no name calling, no going to bed mad, no threats, no ultimatums, no defensiveness, no changing subjects; stay on topic.
  7. Anger will never fix anything but only brew more anger. Talk in a calm manner.
  8. Forgive. Unforgiveness is like paying rent for a home you don’t live in or visit.
  9. Don’t keep a record of wrongs, in your head, or verbally expose them to others about your partner, this just keeps the negative energy alive and continuing.
  10. Start new today with a new attitude of moving forward with positive new ideas for a positive future! You must believe it to achieve it!

For more life coaching information- visit http://www.askannalisa.com or find Life Coach Annalisa on Facebook or other sites as Coach Annalisa or Ask Annalisa!

Ask Annalisa!

I love my partner, but they’re making me crazy!

Are you in that love – hate relationship that is having constant conflict? Are you in emotional turmoil most of the time over this relationship? Do you miss the romantic spark you once felt? Maybe you are getting along, but you feel it’s only because you don’t speak up about your feelings, for fear it will develop into an argument. Whatever your relationship problem, there is hope for a positive future. There is good news about this, and also bad news.

The good news is, you DESERVE to have your needs met. You are worthy to be heard and feel understood. You are valuable, and your feelings do matter. You can have a blissful, romantic, fun, friendship and companion who meets your needs and rocks your world. So, that’s all the good news. Moving on to the not-so-good part…

In order to experience positive, flowing, fun, non-combative, friendship and romance, you have to understand this very important belief and absorb this belief into your deepest counsciousness. You must accept and agree with this belief. For some, this may be shocking. For other’s it may be just what the Doctor ordered. Many people will have a hard time accepting this belief as a serious truth. Here is the first step in positive relationships:

~Never allow your need for affection or affirmation; nor your fear of being alone to over ride your ability to prevent emotional connection to someone who does not meet your needs.~

Interestingly enough, the first step in qualifying someone for dating exclusively, is learning as much about them as you can. I had a close friend once who would meet someone interesting, and upon my asking how that new friendship was going, he replied, “oh, she wasn’t my model number!”

Habits and Behaviors that occur during dating (good or bad in your view) will usually multiply upon living together or in marriage. Evaluation should be the mission during infatuation! To clearly establish if someone meets the preferences that align with your needs (or not) indicates you are confident with your own personal path. How could being physically attracted to someone just majically work if you haven’t figured out your own course for life? Maybe you haven’t settled on a career path- or you’ve decided on taking 3 months to hike and sight-see Europe, wouldn’t it be great to know that a person would support your goals or aspirations? If your dream is to live and work in a foriegn city for a year- or do an internship in a busy city, but your love interest is passionate on a farm in the mountains living off-grid, you may need to reconsider getting serious. Geographical incompatibilities are just one area, there are of course, many other preferrences of people to learn about! Having clarity for yourself and knowing what your deepest values and needs would be from a partner, speaks volumes for your confidence level. Relationships have a higher success rate if individuals allow theirself time to become friends and establish a deep understanding of each others inner charachter before becoming emotionally connected. It’s important to understand though, that it’s not our job to mold or change someone so our needs are met. The right emotionally balanced and mature person should meet your needs naturally- for the most part- because they love you.

Individuals who can clearly state what they like, what they don’t like, and have courage and confidence to speak up for their needs, are much more likely to be satisfied in a realtionship, versus someone unable to speak up for what they want. Many times people can not speak up for what they need because they don’t even know! You can’t expect someone else to love you if you don’t love yourself enough to have a plan for your life! How would you know if someone WOULD fit along side you and your mission- if you don’t even know what it is yet?

Once you’ve discovered your calling, you can gage so easily, (when you’re attracted to someone and you begin talking)- if there could be a potential connection that develops. You would know because a potential dating partner should respond to your interests with enthusiasm, supportive gestures, helpful ideas and be your biggest fan.

If you are in a relationship where your personal needs are not met, and you have expressed what they are (and they are reasonable, doable, and not crazy, costly, immoral or illegal!) then you may need to reconsider how long you plan to stay in an uncomfortable relationship that is constantly resistant to meeting your needs.
Maybe, your needs are not about you. In other words, you’re desiring change in your partner because that change will somehow be more pleasant to you. In your partners life, however, their behavior is comfortable. The change you seek is considered your ‘preference’ (not a personal need) and is in conflict with your partner’s ‘preference’. Here’s a common Example: You prefer no alcohol. Your partner drinks. This can cause serious lifestyle conflicts. The only way a couple with these differing values could grow in a positive way, is for one or the other to “give up” their preference, and honor their word, consistantly. So either the non-drinker accepts the drinker -and all the lifestyle choices that go along with that (over-indulgence with drinking from time to time, spending extra money on alcohol, socially partaking, etc) or, the drinker quits and goes along with lifestyle choices supporting the sobriety. There is no grey area here- unless both people remain in their preferred lifestyle choice; which would mean breaking up or divorcing; or staying together with constant conflict.

Another example is a couple who is unequally yoked spiritually. One is an avid church goer, one is not. But if one person continues to try and judge or change their partner due to the difference (could be either partner here) it doesn’t feel good- one feels resistance on a consistant basis. However, if both parties agree on the situation, it can be a non-issue. If they can not agree- it means resistance continues; or to avoid resistance on a consistant basis- one partner decides they do not want to live with that resistance over a vast difference in values. The only way to live with a partner having a different value or lifestyle choice is to accept it- and make no resistance over it, or determine that value is unacceptable to you, to the point of it being completely unbearable – and get out of the relationship.

Before getting out, (if thats your decision) it is a good idea to express to your partner what your very serious ‘need or preference’ is and express that the future of staying together depends on it. Someone who loves you and wants to be with you, someone who respects you and your lifestyle, will either comply, or choose their preference over you. But, respectfully accept this, because this means at least they have clarity for what they value and need.

Positive relationships will have situations that feel resistance, but they shouldn’t be continual. If resistance continues, over the same differences for long periods of time; it simply means someone, after agreeing to a solution, has broken their word. It is important to know if you are someone who can continue forgiving and restarting new committments, or if this is unbearable.

Counseling can help individuals- if a person is consistant to seek guidance.

Remember this…

~The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results~

Know yourself, know your needs. Honoring yourself is vital before you can successfully unite with someone in an exclusive relationship. And, never try changing people. Inspire them by sharing your convictions- but know when it’s a fit or time for a flight!

~LifeCoach Annalisa O’Toole

For more info on #relationships visit http://www.annalisaotoole.wordpress.com

Is my partner happy in our #relationship?

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Wondering if the person you’re dating is happy in the relationship? This is a common concern among many people. A person in a relationship will usually have concerns about this at the beginning of the relationship, because they may have feelings they have not expressed; or, the person their dating hasn’t expressed their feelings.  To ease dater’s minds about how to know for sure, if the person your seeing is totally into you, I completed a list of common signs to look for. This list is made up of things that your partner will do, so you know for sure…they are experiencing happiness and contentment in the relationship.

First, they reach out! THEY CALL, TEXT, EMAIL, FACETIME, SKYPE, or send SNAIL MAIL….and they initiate contact consistently. Someone into you will want to reach out often and keep in touch. The amount of someone’s correspondence, or how many times a day they reach out, will vary. The thing to recognize here, though, is that they WILL reach out, and do it with some consistency. Here is an example of a warning sign with this particular action: If you hear from them on Monday, and you are the only reaching out for say, the next 3-5 days, they just might not be that into you.

Next, If the person you’re dating is happy, they will listen to you.  If someone is listening, they will respond with great feedback, great idea’s, and you feel as though they ‘get’ you, and understand, and enjoy conversations. Couples probably won’t run out of things to talk about and share if both people are happy in the relationship. It’s when there is the awkward silence, or arguments happen a lot, or neither partner seems to be able to get on the same page of understanding, that trouble can begin on the horizon. Someone who is not that into you will not be as attentive, may not remember important things you say, and seem distant much of the time. Someone who seems easily distracted by you most of the time, may be a sign, they are losing interest or they are no longer emotionally connected. If they demonstrate these behaviors, it doesn’t always mean they are tired, stressed, or worried (they often will use these as reasons) but truthfully, they could possibly be getting bored, or have lost interest in you.

(key tip here: don’t get angry if someone is showing signs of not being into you. No one ever stays in love or falls ‘back into’ love because their partner gets angry. People have their preferences; if your personality or lifestyle isn’t their model number; you don’t want them anyway! You want someone to ADORE how you are! Be transparently you! 

When someone’s really happy in their relationship, they will always initiate wanting to spend time with their partner. But, here’s the clue: it isn’t time that you request -(sure, if they are into you, they will try to accommodate that too) but the real test is when they are initiating the request to be with you, often, say at least once a week or so. If they are suggesting a plan or asking for you both to spend time together, this is a definite sign they are happy and want to be with you!

Whenever someone is really happy in a relationship, they will ‘edify’ this relationship with others. This means, they are proud to be with you, and they do not hesitate at all to have you around their friends or family (with a new relationship, this may take a little time before occurring, that is normal, reasonable, and should be expected. ) If they are talking positively about you to others, they are possibly posting pics of events you are at together, pics of the two of you, ect…this is a sure bet, they are into you.  Now, don’t judge a person being happy or unhappy by posts, certainly don’t do that; some people are private, and they may just not be the ‘social media-I post-everything-type’. But, there are other ways in which they can ‘share’ their joy of being with you. Taking pictures for their own personal phone or use is a good indicator they are happy. Speaking highly of you in front of others when you are standing there, that’s awesome. Or, if you hear back from someone on how highly they spoke of you when you weren’t around…that’s even more awesome!

If someone is happy with you, really happy with you, they won’t always seek their own agenda. For example, if they call you often, but it’s because you always foot the bill.. (say for example, that maybe they have been without a job for quite some time, and they need something each time they call; that is a serious red flag.) Always be sharp enough to know the difference between them wanting to be ‘with’ you, verses, them ‘needing’ you. Another example of this would be if they only call late at night, and want to come over without pre-planning, often. They most definitely could have a romantic agenda, but don’t you feel you are worth some notice, and your time should be respected? Do they just want some lovin’, touchin’, squeezin’ time, or do they actually want to spend time doing other activities through the week with you? Did someone else cancel the plan, so maybe you are plan B? Are you OK with being the spur of the moment type of partner?  I always preferred a partner who valued my time and requested it ahead of time. I deserve that, do you?

~You will always be treated in a relationship, in the manner in which you feel deserving of.~

I’m not saying never to be spontaneous; that is fun! But, if a guy or gal isn’t requesting your presence ahead of time, (asking you out) you might just be being used for a good time at their discretion, not because they are really into you. Beware of the self-seekers!

Last but not least, a wonderful example of someone who is totally happy with you is the partner who TELLS YOU and SHOWS YOU that they are!! This can be verbalized and demonstrated in many ways. Love notes, meaningful conversations, gifts, (big or small), special acts of kindness are all examples of loving gestures. If they remember your meet date, or birthday, if they get you a little gift for no reason, these are all acts of kindness that really show appreciation for not just you, but for the relationship. Consider yourself lucky if you have a thoughtful partner who doesn’t take you for granted, and does the little things, because really…those are the BIG THINGS that show happiness.

Here is one last tip: Some people SAY they are happy, they offer gifts, offer time, do most of the things on this list, however, one partner may be a nag or have constant unmet expectations. One of the biggest relationship mistakes a partner makes is trying to ‘change’ someone. If a lover is truly happy with their partner, they wouldn’t need to change them. Trying to make someone live up to a set of expectations is only hurting themselves.  If someone continues to try and change their partner;  there’s a highly likely chance, the two are not true soul mates. ~

For more #realtionshipadvice, follow this blog. Remember, you can always email a question to possibly be featured on this blog (no names used, of course!) Email your question to:     lifecoachannalisa@gmail.com.