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HOW A MISCARRIAGE AFFECTS A RELATIONSHIP

 

Harriet and Steve sat in my consultation room one sunny morning in July. I listened to Harriet, as her tears fell, recalling the previous four months since the loss of their baby.

 

Steve sat silently, holding her hand. This lovely couple was struggling, each in their own way, at dealing with a miscarriage. Even the strongest relationship can experience huge challenges following such a loss.

 

GRIEF EXPRESSED DIFFERENTLY

 

When Steve spoke, he mentioned that he just wanted his wife back. He was feeling angry and isolated, as she no longer wanted to discuss her feelings with him and was very withdrawn when it came to sexual intimacy.

Harriet said that while this loss was the only thing constantly on her mind, she just felt that Steve wasn’t able to hear about her pain. He kept telling her to focus on the future. She had spent every day thinking and dreaming of the little life growing inside her. The excitement mounted when she had her first scan and heard their baby’s heartbeat. That future was the reality that occupied her daily thoughts. The dreams were shattered the day that she was informed their baby had died in utero.

 

It was clear that this couple had different ways of grieving. While Harriet was feeling that life was far from normal, Steve was wondering why it was taking her so long to move on.

 

She was caught up in the obsessive cycle of thoughts about the baby she was longing for. The anxiety and tension had become a barrier between them, but it was also the catalyst for change.

 

Research has shown that when couples are not able to talk, they shutdown and get trapped in a downward spiral. This couple wisely sought help so they could grow closer and not get stuck.

 

GRIEF CAN TEAR YOU APART OR BRING YOU CLOSER

 

Your partner is the one person you may feel safest with to discuss your feelings. If one of the partners feels judged or is not allowed to express their feelings, it can lead to shutdown.

 

A miscarriage is similar to other forms of bereavement and in some ways it’s also different. If your partner loses a parent or friend, you are able to be the supportive partner. When you lose a baby, you are both in a place of loss. You may have different needs and you may express your grief in your own way – it’s not right, it’s not wrong, but it’s often a cause for concern for your significant other and can become contentious.

 

HOW CAN YOU SUPPORT ONE ANOTHER AFTER A MISCARRIAGE?

 

  • Couple feel closer when they are able to talk, listen and really hear one another. While this is vital to the strength of your relationship, it is important to get support from family, friends, colleagues and/or a bereavement specialist.   Do not use your partner as the only form of support.  

 

  • Identify what you most need and want from your partner and gently ask them for this. It may be that you need a hug, a distraction or break from the normal daily routine. Perhaps it is the understanding that your grief may take more time than that of your partner.

 

Create time to speak about how you feel, using “I” language. Talk about what you are feeling and going through. While speaking about how you feel is important to keep the communication flowing – speaking about it all the time will lead to disconnection.


Keep these four destructors out of your relationship:

  • Criticism
  • Blame
  • Defensiveness
  • Shut-down or passive aggressive behaviour

 

  • Accept that you will be triggered by life in general and specific situations involving babies, pregnancy and the occasions or celebrations around them. A close friend of mine was unable to accept any invitations to baby showers after her miscarriage. Feelings of jealousy and sadness consumed her until she eventually conceived again. Feelings of loss and sadness may be amplified as birth date approaches.

 

  • It might also help to speak to other parents who’ve experienced the pain of miscarriage. There are many groups, sites and forums where you can connect to them.
  • Grow in love and work on your relationship. This is a good time to discover more about one another in relationship to loss. Ask your partner how loss was dealt with in his family?   Tell him how your family handled loss.
     
  • If you feel like a barrier has come between the two of you, consult a relationship specialist who can facilitate the process of building the bond of safety, trust and love.

 
A miscarriage will define and refine your relationship, but most importantly, you have the power and the choice to let it influence your life in a positive and supportive way.

 

Wishing you meaningful connection

Love 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAFE ONLINE DATING

 

I had a session a new client this morning dealing with her feeling of rejection because the man she met online, and has been dating for six weeks disappeared. Disappeared without a trace.  Not contactable. Gone.

Sometimes in the online dating world people are not honourable or honest about what they feel –  they just disappear. You can look at it this way – They’ve done you a favour. No one wants to be in a relationship with someone who isn’t open, honest or able to communicate how he or she feels.

The one thing I am certain of is this:
If you are needy and desperate to have a relationship you could be setting yourself up for disaster.

In my client’s case she jumped into this new relationship very quickly – without qualifying one very important detail. Did she know enough about him before getting involved?

The next time she meets someone, she will determine whether he is the kind of man who she wants in her future because she will check in with her values and verify he has the same values. She will make sure she feels safe with him and that she can trust him, and that it’s exclusive. SHE WILL TAKE HER TIME – and if he disappears because she isn’t sexually available from early on – GOOD!

Chemistry and Charm are no guarantee that you have a good relationship.  Make sure you know what you are looking for in a prospective partner. Have clearly defined boundaries about how you wish to be treated and how you would like to feel. Confirm that he or she matches the description.

Your ideal partner could be only one click away but its vital to know and be aware there are underhanded, crafty, dishonest and sometimes evil people in the dating world. They prey on the naive and vulnerable.

They are charming, persuasive, and attentive because their main objective is selfish gain. They will pursue you and convince you of their devotion.

I can recall countless stories and experiences of people   being stalked, experiencing financial loss, being emotionally threatened, sexually abused and even murdered. The key is to be discerning to stay safe.  Here are my top three tips for safe online dating:

Tip #1:  When responding to someone online, never give your personal information.  Not your work address, your home address or your surname.  Use a dating name for your profile until you have gotten to know the person well.  Under no circumstances should you disclose your financial information and NEVER give anyone you meet online money or invest in anything they may suggest.  If it sounds too good to be true it usually is.

Tip #2:  Go Slowly.  Never meet anyone you have not spoken to first.  Within a week of text messaging, set up a time to chat on the phone.  This will give you a clearer sense of whether it’s a reasonable match for a meet-up.  If someone is avoiding a voice-to-voice call, it’s a Red Flag.

While chatting, listen carefully for any inconsistencies in actions or behaviour.  When you do arrange a date, make sure a close friend or family member knows where, what time and the name of the person you are meeting.  Never let any new date fetch you or drop home.

Tip #3:  Listen to your gut.  When I question a new client who has experienced a relationship disaster as to whether they had any instinct early on that something was wrong, I nearly always hear the word YES.  Remember that dating is not a relationship.  Creating a relationship takes time.  It’s a good way to get to find someone with whom you are compatible.

Determine whether this person is consistent in their behaviours and that their answers make sense.  Pay attention to the red flags early on that someone may not be legitimate or honest.

Perhaps they want to know all about you but are vague or cagey about sharing details of their own life.  Do they become too attentive, start declaring their love for you, use terms of endearment like “Babe”, “Darling” or “Sweetheart” or within hours or a few days? Do they take a long time to respond to messages or are they only available at very specific hours or days?

Take your time. Stay SAFE, Physically Safe, Emotionally Safe, and Financially Safe.

Protecting yourself is a matter of common sense and the best way to ensure that your dating experience is fun and successful.

Wishing you love and magical kisses
Shelley x

 

How To Get Over Your Ex

As a relationship coach I help singles who are at different stages of their journey.  Many of my clients come to me at the end of a relationship, when they are stuck in the desperate “why has this happened to me?” cycle.  They need to get over an Ex.

Getting over someone is never easy.  You were in the relationship because you valued something or many things about it.  If it ended unexpectedly, this is even harder. The objective is to get over your ex and to heal your heart as soon as possible in order to find someone who is a far better match.

Unfortunately I am not able to wave my wand to take the pain away instantly.  Healing takes time and is a unique process for each individual.  This confusing state of sadness and pain is tough, and only you can decide how long you are going to stay in this state, and when you have had enough.  This will happen when you need to get into a place where your happiness and sense of comfort are greater than your pain and grief.

It is not always possible to get closure on a relationship when it ends, especially if an ex cuts the contact.  You will need to find this closure yourself, and I would like to give you three tips that will help.

1.  STOP LIVING IN THE PAST

It is vital to stop believing that the past was better than the present.  When a relationship ends we tend to let the fantasy about the past lead us believe that everything was happier, better, more fun, and without it we are nothing.

Looking back it is clear to see that your relationships that ended probably had a great beginning.  There was the “stuff” that happened in the middle, and then there was “the end”.  If you look at it objectively and honestly, you will notice that it wasn’t always a bed of roses.  Stop talking about the past as if it was.

2.  SOME RELATIONSHIPS AREN’T MEANT TO LAST FOREVER

Unfortunately some relationships do not have what it takes to go the distance.

Not always forever

The fundamental thing to understand is that you learn so much about yourself from every relationship.  There are always good and bad memories.  Everything you experienced was valuable.  It could be that you have learnt what work you still need to do on yourself.  Perhaps you are more aware of your insecurities or aspects of communication that need more work.  You may have discovered what you really do not want, and what you really do want in a future relationship.

Knowing that there is a purpose to every relationship is the first step to this awareness.  As we become more introspective and dig deeper, this is clear to see.  When it becomes clearer, you will feel more grateful for the time you had together and everything you learned about yourself.  As you do this it’s easier to get out of the pain cycle.

If the relationship really was the right one, it wouldn’t have ended.  One important fact I have learnt over the years of working with hundreds of clients is that there is ALWAYS another opportunity to find love again, and you will end up with someone who much better suited to you.  I have seen this happen time and time again, and I have proven it in my own life when my relationships have ended.

Believe and trust that where you are right now is exactly where you are supposed to be.

3.  SPEND TIME HEALING AND NURTURING YOURSELF

The grieving process is not for the faint-hearted and requires you to be gentle with yourself as you heal your heart again.  This is the time to nurture your body, mind and soul.  Make sure you are feeding your body and giving it the nutrients it needs at this stressful time.

Take time out

Take care of yourself and to put your energy into what makes you feel happy and fulfilled.  Get involved in activities and focus on being present to stop the ever-circling thoughts in your head.  Accept invitations to go out with friends who raise the bar in your life and who make you feel supported and loved.

Do not be tempted to rush out into the dating world again.  It is possible that if you do this before you are ready that you will end up comparing your ex to everyone you date.  You will know you are ready for a new relationship when you wake up loving your life and the space you are in.

Take the time now to do some soul-searching and find the part of yourself who is comfortable with being on your own.

I wish you success in getting through this difficult time.

Your partner in love

Shelley

NOTHING EVER GOES AWAY UNTIL IT TEACHES US WHAT WE NEED TO KNOW

The title to this blog is from Pema Chodron, the American Tibetan Buddhist and teacher.  I have experienced this to be so true – that nothing goes away until we get the lesson.  It just keeps showing up time and time again in our lives.

I work with clients who keep bumping into the same obstacles in relationships – from falling for emotionally unavailable partners, to continually getting involved in emotional rescue operations.

It leaves them feeling disempowered, empty and longing for love.

You cannot “Love” anyone better until you approach love from a state of fullness – and in such a state you will not be attracted to someone who is not physically or emotionally available. I know this because I’ve been there in past relationships.

It is then that you will have learnt the lesson the life always seems to place before you – the lesson of loving yourself enough to only seek and find a healthy love from an emotionally healthy individual because you are in that emotionally healthy place and the healthy boundaries are in place.

Wishing you magical kisses and great love

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LEAP YEAR PROPOSAL – SHOULD YOU DO IT?

February the 29th – the date that legend has it when a woman has the privilege of proposing to a man. This tradition and practice dates back about four centuries.   It continues in our day and once again – Leap Year is upon us.

Information available about the origins of Leap Year proposals points to St Bridget in the 5th century. She lodged a complaint to St Patrick because women had to wait far too long for men to propose to them. He then passed a decree allowing a woman to ask her loved one to marry her on only one day of the year, the 29th of February.

There are other stories about Queen Margaret of Scotland announcing that men would have to pay a fine, if they refused a marriage proposal. Other legends from Northern Europe state that the fine was 12 pairs of gloves and, in some countries, a silk gown.

While the thought of 12 pairs of cashmere-lined, bespoke, leather gloves sounds like a suitable fine in my world, fortunately none of the hundreds of men I have coached has had to reach deep into his pockets to do this.

I have huge admiration for these men having witnessed first-hand the amount of detail some of them have spent ensuring that their own proposals are beautifully co-ordinated – sometimes like a Swiss train schedule so it flows smoothly.

As yet I have not had any of the women I coach ask my advice on marriage proposals. However, because this is Leap Year, the big question ladies is – should you propose to your beloved? If so, what, when and how should you do it?

IS THE RELATIONSHIP WELL ESTABLISHED

Firstly to eliminate the risks of being rejected, – we want to establish that this is a relationship with a solid foundation and that it has the legs to go the distance.

You’ve been dating long enough to have experienced one another’s worst traits, met the families, socialised with friends, discussed the future and what you both want from it as individuals and TOGETHER.

As long as he (or she) loves you and is committed to a future with you and has no issues with marriage, he/she should say yes.

Before answering the question as to whether a woman should propose and when and how should she go about doing this, I decided to conduct a survey. I am thankful to the cross section of men from all professions and trades – including some clients, a couple of good male friends, and an ex-boyfriend – men who readily shared their opinions and answers to help out.

THE RESULTS ARE IN

Stephen was quite emphatic in his reply that he would never want the woman he loved to propose to him. He’s very much the Alpha male and said that it would make him feel like she was taking over. “Heck, I would feel completely emasculated!” he yelped.
This is not about right and wrong. It is important to consider this if your partner fits into the Alpha Male category, perhaps leave the proposal to him.

Neil loved the idea of the woman proposing. “To me, the setting is so important,” he told me. “I love the idea of either a dawn or dusk setting as long as it’s a surprise.” He said he wanted a rich-textured experience followed by a fun event that she knows he would love – a concert, favourite musician or dinner in a beautiful location to consolidate the moment.

Rory thought a jazz club after an intimate kiss would be the ideal time and place. “I love jazz and the romance of the setting. This, together with the heightened emotions from the music would be just perfect,” he told me.

Barry was quite taken back when I asked his opinion, as it had never crossed his mind before. After some thought he replied that the best time for the question to be asked was just as he turned the light off to go to sleep, to followed by a passionate encounter.

Michael was quite in favour of being proposed to by the woman of his dreams.

He said an everyday real-life situation like a supermarket queue would certainly surprise him.

Personally I would opt for a setting that would be emotionally memorable.

Mark is into adventure experiences. “I suggest she pop the question just after a bungee jump when the adrenaline is high,” he laughed.
The detail is in the planning. If you know your man well, you will also know what he likes to do, whether he is a morning or late evening person and what time of day would be best.

When a man is planning to propose to a woman he thinks about it for a long time and women need to appreciate this.

If you have been waiting for Leap Year to do this – you still have time to plan the event.

Think about what would please your beloved. Unexpected is the keyword – don’t tell all your girlfriends beforehand.

I love the moment when Emma from Radio 4’s The Archers proposed to her partner Ed.

Imagine the scene: The lights are turned on and Emma compliments Ed for being an amazing man and a wonderful Father. She says that he succeeds and that’s why she knows he will be an amazing husband too. Ed is completely surprised and says, “What?” Emma replies and says that he knows she loves him and then asks the question: “Will you make me the happiest woman in the world? Will you marry me?”

This scene captures all of the surprise and emotion. Ed ecstatically says YES, again and again and again. Click on the link below to listen to the special moment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWvmrtXDocw

DOING IT

You might consider heading to a beautiful place with a good view, or an adventurous setting like skydiving, snorkelling, while watching the sun rise over a wilderness, or on safari. A romantic city break you both love such as Prague, Florence or Rome?
If you are very active, a hike up a mountain or hill with a bottle of something amazing to celebrate at the end.
Having been on the receiving side of two marriage proposals in non-memorable settings, I really do suggest that thought and planning go into the detail. Sadly both times I felt somewhat cheated of the magic and excitement of what could have been a truly memorable event

Mark this occasion by arranging something memorable afterwards: dinner with a group of friends, or dinner for two in a favourite place to consolidate the love you feel and last but not least a ring to symbolically tie the knot.

IF HE SAYS NO

Remain calm. It’s not the end of the world. Take a few moments to feel grounded and breathe before you ask him what the reasons are. It could be too early for him in the relationship. He may have some underlying issues you don’t yet know about – perhaps relating to finance, work, or deeper feelings about commitment.

Whatever is discussed, it could be a great moment of illumination and you may be given clarity about whether he is the right partner for you. Perhaps you will ask yourself if it’s worth investing more energy in the relationship, and if it’s time to move on.

To quote Bono: “Marriage is like an act of Grand Madness – you jump off the top of Killarney Hill and discover that you actually can fly”.

Wishing you a lifetime of love and magical kisses

Love

Shelley

 

 

 

 

 

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WHEN TO END A RELATIONSHIP

A few days ago, Caroline contacted me on Facebook with a huge dilemma. She has been dating her boyfriend Max for six months and although they have an enjoyable time together, her gut feeling was that he isn’t “the one”. When she has suggested that they take a break, he always convinced her otherwise.

She enjoys the things they do together and there is great chemistry in their relationship, however there are a number of red flags for her; he reacts very jealously whenever she speaks to anther man., he consumes more alcohol than she is comfortable with and she doesn’t feel prioritised in his life.

Caroline was looking for more clarity about her feelings as she feared making a mistake, either by staying in a relationship that wasn’t beneficial for her or leaving a relationship that was possibly worth keeping.

CONSIDER THIS
The one thing I am certain of after being in relationships myself, dating and coaching the many who have passed through my practice, is that it is vital to always listen to your gut feeling. It’s generally when we don’t listen to our gut or intuition that we make the emotionally and financially costly decisions in a relationship.

Many women, for whatever the reasons, stay in a relationship that is not right. It could be fear of being alone, fear of the financial uncertainty or hanging onto a relationship because there is great chemistry and very little else.

A deeper and long lasting relationship needs much more than chemistry to sustain it. You need to share the same values. Compatible values determine sustainability in a relationship.
You need a deeper connection to be part of the firm foundation to take you into a future together. Connection means that you feel safe in your relationship, knowing you can trust your partner, a sense of belonging and finally you know your partner has your back and you have his back.

How you communicate, and work through issues is another one of the keys to relationship success.

As I stated earlier, listening to your intuition – that gut feeling, is probably your best compass in navigating the path of going into a future with someone, or not.

Here are my top reasons to terminate a relationship:

THREE REASONS TO END YOUR RELATIONSHIP:

1.

The challenges and obstacles you encounter far outweigh the fun. We want to experience fun in our relationships and if it’s hard work all the time we begin to dread being together. Dating a man in a new relationship shouldn’t be difficult. If it is, it’s time to end it.

2.

You have different values and want different things from life. If you are into wheatgrass and he’s into cocaine, you clearly have different values. If you are want different things in life, it’s time to end it.

3.

There is nothing to look forward to. The relationship is not growing and you are merely existing in a space but not sharing. Your partner is not open to getting help to work with you to grow the relationship or blames you for this – it’s time to end it.

BE BRAVE:

It takes courage to step out of a relationship that isn’t right into the uncertainty of being single. After clearing your space you will be ready to attract in the wonderful partner who will make your life sparkle
I encourage you to be brave and strong enough to walk away if you are experiencing the above three reasons and find the delight with another partner who is better suited to you.

When you love yourself more, you do not settle for less than you deserve.

If you enjoyed this blog, please feel free to share it.

Your partner in love
Shelley x

 

I THOUGHT IT WAS FOREVER AND NOW HE’S GONE

“He said he loved me and now he’s gone – after four magical weeks – it felt like I had finally met my partner for life. What happened? I just can’t understand it”

The question above from a heartbroken new client who met the most amazing man and they got together. He completely disappeared after four weeks – no call, no text, no message.

Why does this happen?

The quick answer is because the relationship was based entirely on chemistry. It didn’t have the legs to go the distance and when the chemistry wore off for him – he had to flee. He didn’t feel the same anymore and didn’t have the courage to face this lovely woman and let her know.

If you want a relationship to go the distance you need to take your time to get to know whether this man is really wanting the same thing.

DO NOT get intimately involved too soon. If he really wants a committed relationship – he will be happy for you to take your time to get to know him. It is vital to have the 4 C’s – and Chemistry is just the beginning. Compatibility, Connection and Communication are vital to the success of your relationship.

More about the 4 C’s in the next Blog.

Thoughts?

Wising you love and magical kisses

 

Shelley

WHEN IT ALL GOES WRONG ON THE FIRST DATE

It is really frustrating when two lovely people get together and it all goes wrong. I can’t be with you while it all unfolds, coaching you on what to say and what not to say or do. When a first date goes wrong, it is generally due to a simple mistake or oversight. Remember you are there to make a new friend; to get to know a man. Whether or not he is the perfect future life partner for you, I really believe that if he is an honourable person, it is up to you to leave him feeling great for having spent some time in your company.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

First impressions are vital and although I always encourage a woman to give a man a second chance, the opposite is not true for men. If he cannot connect with you he emotionally thinks that you are not for him and he will seldom give you a second chance. He will not be calling you for the second date unless he really enjoyed the first.

You have one chance to be your most authentic, relaxed, interesting lovely-self and if you match his energy, you can be sure he will call again for a second date. It’s about making the first date a real success. Very often the reason a man did not want a second date will surprise you. It’s about getting needs met and it has nothing to do with how beautiful, funny, engaging or successful you are. If you are on a date with a man who has a particular need that you are not able to fulfil because he may not be relationship-ready or he has insecurities, he is not going to ask you out on a second date. This is all about his issues and has nothing to do with you.

After working with many women who have been confused as to why they aren’t getting second dates, and conducting thousands of surveys on what men find most unacceptable on a date, I would love to share with you some of the deadly mistakes women make.

BECOMING THE ONE

The dating process is not so much about finding the one as it is about BECOMING THE ONE. It’s about taking responsibility for what you are doing, experiencing and attracting into your lives and if it is not what you want, you need to find another way of doing it. It is not about settling for any man and giving up on your values and needs. I have seen many times over how women will compromise their values to meet their needs.

Some women have become so desperate that they have settled for a man, instead of the man. The right man is not going to come along if you do not feel good about yourself.  Know what is important to you. Have a clear idea about what you most value and how you consistently want to feel and be treated in your ideal relationship.

Please download my free report on the homepage:  THE SIX BIGGEST DATING MISTAKES so you can avoid the common pitfalls.

Wishing you Success in Love

Shelley