One thing you might not have understood about starting a family was how it would impact your sex life. I wonder sometimes if it’s one of those ‘Fight Club’ things - once you are a parent you never mention it. In my experience it is quite confusing, frustrating and leaves you wondering what happened.
I'm a huge advocate for high quality listening. Most of our family and couple challenges can be solved when we choose to really listen to each other and discover what is going at a deeper level. Empathy, though, should never be an enabler of abuse from anyone. We also need to speak up to set limits.
As parents we both want to keep a loving and mutually respectful relationship with our daughter while guiding her to learn what she needs to be a thriving adult and venture into the world in a few years. Our parenting styles complement each other as we prepare for the next challenge - teenage years.
I’ve been working in the self-development industry for 30 years as a trainer, coach and participant. In personal development programmes, although I haven’t kept any consistent data, I would guess that around 80 to 85% of participants are women. So what happens when men are not developing themselves?
Often I make it hard for others to hear me. 40 words or less is a reminder to keep to the essential points and, where I have a lot to say, to chunk it into easily digestible pieces. It is my responsibility to make it as easy as possible to hear me. After all, if I express myself I want to be heard.
Just because we decided to be together does not mean that we agree to complete submission to each-others’ needs. There are times when I choose to do my own thing. Times when I’m away from home for long or short periods. With kids around there are often times when their needs are much more pressing.
By choosing whether to focus on what you dislike or what you like, you create your own experience and attitude towards your partner. Life looks quite different when you focus on what you like rather than what you don't. Your partner hasn’t changed, only your focus and this is something you choose.
Date night is standard advice for parents looking to reconnect as a couple. Every week you find someone to take care of the kids and then spend a wonderful evening and night together. After a few hours you feel like young lovers again and all the stress and strain of life will be gone. Yeah, right!
Each relationship has to face some tough conversations from time to time. These could be big decisions where you don’t see eye to eye with each other. They could be some unhealthy dynamics in the relationship that needs to be sorted out. Or a bad choice that one of you has made that has to be faced.
I recognise Love is an essential quality of being human – a Need. It is maybe even the most powerful driver and source of life energy available to us all. Some needs (food, air etc.) are necessary for mere survival. When we allow Love into our life we thrive, we grow and we can achieve so much more.