Recently I was the guest speaker on “The Deviant Minds Salon”… (download here) the title referred to such terms as Enneagram and NeuroLinguistic Programming and Kink… however, the bigger story, the bigger picture is about using available tools to build your relationships.

Lot’s of folks believe and act as if relationships ‘happen’… I hear phrases like: “It’s chemistry,” or “We fell in love on the second date,”… as well as “Our relationship fell apart,” and “We just don’t play together anymore.”

Yes, things happen.  But we are not rocks or billiard balls, we are humans. We have consciousness, we are writers, directors and actors of our worlds.   It is WE, US, each one of us who decides…

But if you never know you have a choice, do you really have one?

I believe that all of us make the best choices we possibly can give the information we have.  Whether it be money, dieting, or relationships, we are always deciding- consciously or not.

Historically dating and mating have left us with a rising 67% divorce rate. When we begin with what we want for ourselves, we can be conscious and find prospective dates and mates just as we would our ideal home or job. When we leave our relationship beginnings up to ‘chemistry’; when we allow our relationships to grow on automatic pilot, we eliminate our consciousness from our most important of relationships.

Is your relationship all you want it to be? If not, what if it was?

Are you seeking an honest, fulfilling relationship? Then start seeking with eyes wide open! Ask the hard questions right away, the one’s that matter to you. 

Don’t know where to start?  Start here: Building Lasting Relationships

Click Here For more on “NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP)”

Click Here for more on “The Enneagram”

Blessings Great People!

Sir Jim

Trust In Relationships

We learn to trust early in infancy; trusting we will be fed, diapers changed; that we will be kept comfortable and comforted. We learn to trust from our parents, our families and our teachers. We grow up and form relationships, in part all based on the level of trust we have learned from these fine folks. Eventually most of us marry.  We join with a partner, a husband or wife and build a partnership on trust. Or do we? 

Are we “building trust” or building walls with those most important to us?

Statistics will tell us walls are being built, and wars have been waged. Our society has a 67%+ divorce rate.  It is more common or “normal” to divorce than to stay married!  As a society we are not building trust in our most important of relationships…And Why not? because most folks just haven’t learned how.

In his newest book: “The Science of Trust-Emotional Attunement for Couples[i]” John Gottman Ph.D. reveals the “how” of trusting as well as the many subtle forms of betrayal that go on in relationship…  

From his book: “A committed romantic relationship is a contract of mutual trust, mutual respect, mutual protection, and mutual nurturance.” (The Science of Trust: p 350)

Dr. Gottman has spent the last 30 years researching ‘couples’. He has developed a theory of marital discord and happiness and with great accuracy can predict divorce or a happy marriage!  Quite simply this remarkable research has led to the development of simple tools that work. There is a science of trust and there are specific components that are inherent in trust, trusting and being trustworthy.

In the article that follows I will share the components of trust and how to build trust. I will also share from Gottman’s “The Science of Trust” the 12 specific ways (other than sexual infidelity) that betrayal shows up in relationships.

You have the opportunity to build love and intimacy instead of walls and wars. You, how you are and what you do matters!  And, as you may already know, loving always works better.  

Trust is the deliberate and delicate balance between hope, belief and reliance.[ii] We are always trusting ourselves and others: sometimes poorly, sometimes adequately and sometimes magnificently! It is the hinge to love,

 

caring and intimacy. Trust cannot be nurtured in a relationship beset with betrayal.

Trust like love, is a verb. When we trust we ‘rely’ on something or someone we are trusting. When we can be relied upon we are being trustworthy. The action of relying upon is inherent in ‘trusting’; we are or we are not ‘trusting’ at some level.

Here are the 4 Components of Trust[iii].

  1. 1.    There must be a beneficial and a harmful result possible.  When we ‘risk’ trusting we are hoping for a potentially beneficial outcome over the possibility of a harmful result. If you tell a friend a secret, the hope is that you can trust your friend to keep the secret rather than to reveal it. If you form a business partnership or marry there is the possibility of beneficial or harmful results.
  2. 2.    The result of risking and trusting depends upon the future.   Whether it is a friend keeping a secret, a partner keeping an agreement or fidelity in marriage, the outcomes are in the future.
  3. 3.    The harm must be potentially more harmful than the benefit is beneficial. Why does this matter?  It has to do with the emotional payoff involved!  When we bet on a horse or play the lottery the belief that we will win is much lower. If we bet $5.00, we are only out $5.00, there is very little risk.

When we are involved in a business venture or are in a marriage there are multiple levels and contexts where trust or walls are built. In business and marriage our livelihood and well-being are “at stake” and “on the line”. We have large emotional, physical, financial and other investments in the outcome. When we share a secret with a friend we are risking more if the secret is revealed than if it is not, and the ‘trust’ is more limited to this specific context.

  1. 4.    We honestly expect the benefit to occur. At a horserace or lottery we would like to win, we might hope to win, yet for most of us that is where it stops. We don’t actually “believe” we will win! When we trust, we have hope with the belief that we can rely on the person or thing to produce the result we want. If it is a business venture then the amount of ‘trust’ we have may have to do with our business abilities accepting a certain amount of risk involved.

 

Specifically for Married Folks

In a marriage the issue of trust is multi-faceted. Some agreements are made consciously while many agreements are made covertly and left unspoken until broken. We learn in our marriages to rely partners in some areas, and not in others: housecleaning, finances, children, future planning, emotional support, sexual satisfaction, and more. Clear agreements are made openly, verbally stated and discussed; they can be agreed upon. Most often each spouse has unspoken beliefs and expectations of how things ‘should be’. They “think” these things are agreed upon as “common sense”. These agreements are only revealed when these unspoken agreements are broken, and one partner feels betrayed.

Gottman’ s research shows how these ‘agreements’ that go on in marriage will indicate trust levels by measuring interactional patterns.  The research also shows great accuracy in predicting potential success in coaching or therapy as well as whether a couple will stay together or divorce. It’s NOT just the ‘big’ betrayals that matter: infidelity, lying, emotional or physical abuse. The results of study after study show that the biggest indicator of a lasting marriage is: The perception of trust in the relationship.

There are many ways that we can actively build trust and love in relationship. Gottman recommends a 5:1 ratio (nice to neutral and “non-nice” interaction to insure of a healthy relationship. I have written elsewhere with ways to do so. (See article: Love is a Verb)

I’ll end the article today with Gottman’s list of 12 ways that partners betray each other in relationship. It is my hope that if you recognize these types of betrayal in your relationship, you can do something to change it… and live happily ever after.

Yes, sleeping around is a big way to ruin a committed relationship but there are others that are as devastating. Gottman has identified 12 more, here they are.

Twelve Ways (Other than Sexual Infidelity) to Betray Your Partner[iv]:

  1. Violations of commitment. Your commitment is conditional, and some part of you is still waiting for someone better to come along. You may check out other people, flirt, or in other ways suggest you are still available. Illness, arguments, money issues, distance (travel, work)…when the going gets tough you consider going.
  2. Betrayals of emotional exclusivity. Flirtations or secret emotional attachments.
  3. Secrets, lies, deceptions. These include lies of omission, deceptions, and violations of confidence, broken promises, and inconsistencies.
  4. Coalitions against your partner. You form coalitions that hurt or exclude your partner, talk negatively behind their back, etc.
  5. Disinterest. You are disinterested in or rejecting of your partner’s thoughts, feelings or inner life.
  6. Unfairness or lack of care. Resources, time and responsibilities are not shared equally, and partners do not offer emotional support or understanding. They are not “there” for one another.
  7. Betrayal of affection. Coldness, unresponsiveness.
  8. Lack of sexual interest. Ignoring your partner’s need for sexual intimacy, physical closeness and touch.
  9. Abuse. Social isolation, sexual degradation, humiliation, belittling, threats, property damage, physical abuse.
  10. Disrespect. Partners do not cherish each other, express pride, and complement each other. Instead, thy ridicule, denigrate, mock, use sarcasm, contempt.
  11. Not meeting each other’s needs. (Copied verbatim from p 352): A relationship is about legitimating dependency upon each other. Partners violate the principle that they should try to meet each other’s essential needs cooperatively and honestly. This involves agreeing to emotional presence, openness, emotional availability, and responsiveness to the partner. They do not agree, or act as if they do not agree, that the relationship will entail sacrifice at times, putting one’s partner’s needs or the family’s needs ahead of one’s own.
  12. Breaking sacred promises and vows.

 

Brutal? Yes sometimes.

Is it happening in your relationship? In the relationship of close friend?

 If you recognize some of these various ways spouses/partners betray each other, then ouch and good! Recognition is the first step toward change.

 Acknowledge that something is wrong, talk with your beloved then change! Unless of course you’re building those walls before the final battle; intimacy feels so much better!

It’s not easy, not at all. If you are like so many other couples and just need a bit of guidance please contact me. I offer free sample sessions. Here is a testimonial from a fine woman who DID contact me for a free session last year (2010)

“I want to tell you that you were invaluable to me during a very tough time last year. We only spoke on the phone as an intro, but I will be forever grateful for your words to me that day Jim. You helped set me on a very good path. Thank you! Cindy”

Call 847-748-8006 or write Jim@BDSMcoach.com today, I can help you get started; your marriage is worth your time and energy.

 “A committed romantic relationship is a contract of mutual trust, mutual respect, mutual protection, and mutual nurturance.” (The Science of Trust: p 350)

Enjoy building Trust. Here are other sources for you to help you identify less than healthy patterns in your life. I have written elsewhere about the subtle signs of emotional abuse, lethal patterns that can ruin relationship and how we learn them (Normal? Socialization, Domestication and Consensus Hypnosis & Co-Dependency-Our Social Disease)  Blessings.


[i] The Science of Trust, John Gottman, Ph.D

[ii] Quoted Directly from Lazaris audio download: “Synergy of Trust” www.lazaris.com

[iii] ibid

[iv] The Science of Trust, John Gottman, Ph.D

Authentic Relationships: Kinky Folks Lead the Way!

Authenticity in relationship is something that you might hear any and every couple talk about as important.  Well, there is that thing about talking… and then there’s the doing.

     Average American couples are beset with co-dependent patterns that are anathema to authenticity. .   Refer to writings on co-dependency by Pia Mellody, Charles WhItfield Ph.D., and Karen Horney to start!

 Being authentic about our sexuality and kinky preferences first with ourselves then with other/s  is a hallmark of what we do. Authentic, real, honest, visceral, primal… ok, I get excited…

 But we are real!  And what a relief.

 Yet, even within our wonderful sexually open world, there are many that hide. I invite you to come on  out… you matter.

 I started to write today about “Accepted Forms of Sadism vis-à-vis Television” and got Jack Rinella’s most recent article “Liberation”. I’ll post later about the sadism…Jack’s work is great, I have read his work for years and he truly is a “Kink Relationship Expert”…  His opinions are reflection of what many relationship experts speak of when they speak of relationship health.

 And he ends his blog post with this comment:

 “If this essay shines light on the need to improve your relationship, do so carefully and gently. Perhaps you might even be better off seeking professional help, rather than do it yourself.”

***I am a professional, I can help, please  write me for a free consultation:  Jim@BDSMCoach.com

Today I offer resources for you:

  • A link to Jacks blog and recent writing:  “Liberation: by Jack Rinella”;
  • Excerpts from his article along with agreement and commentary about many of his points about “healthy relationship”.
  • Articles are linked and books referenced  for you throughout my blog, free. If you should you be seeking some answers, you may find them here.
  • I also offer two other article links at the end of the blog along with the resource links throughout.

 Enjoy!!

 Included here is a section of Jack’s article with my commentary.  My comments are starred *** and boldly italicized.

 Honesty

      Honesty involves truth-telling. Ah hah! Even with that I am in a trap. For the truth is that some partners don’t want to know all the details of the other’s life. Still, I think that deception cuts off a part of oneself from the other and over time this separation leads the partners along individual paths culminating in the disintegration of the relationship.

                 It is honest to agree not to discuss a topic. It is not honest to hide a topic because one doesn’t like the expected reaction the honesty will bring.

 ***It is honest to agree to not discuss a topic. As well, it defines the level  of intimacy by limiting the level of “knowing” of the other, a major component of intimacy.

 Openness

 Akin to honesty, openness means that we are willing to share ourselves, our whole selves, with the other. It also means that we are willing to listen to the other with an open mind. It means that we can talk freely without fear of reprisal or ridicule and grant our partner the same kind of respect.

 ***So often I have read posts asking: “Does your Sir allow for times for you to share…blah, blah….”.  One cannot have an intimate relationship without the space for open communication! Now, careful here:  there has been many a verbal attack made in the guise of “openness” and “just sharing my feelings”… That’s not openness, it’s dishonest. Here are two links related to abusive communication:

  1. 1.       What is Emotional Abuse?
  2. 2.       The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Lethal Communication Patterns and their Antidotes

 Empowerment

 I firmly believe that the reason the author of Genesis wrote “It is not good for man to be alone” is that two people can accomplish so much more than one working alone. Some tasks in fact cannot be done alone and most are more enjoyable when done with a partner.

 Empowerment means we aid the other in becoming all that he or she can be.

 ***Empowerment… personal, spiritual, emotional, physical. Yes, we all need solitude and the only true work on one’s self is thru relationship.  The book: “Embracing the Beloved” speaks to this, I believe it.

 Authenticity

 Empowerment primarily means that we aid the other in becoming authentic, that is to discover, realize, and live their true self-hood. We help each other arrive at our innate, fundamental, and essential integrity. Authenticity, in light of the often oppressive nature of society, is often difficult but it is the only true path to happiness.

 ***An amazing truth and much more “normal” in our kinky word than then the less than healthy  “normal relationship/s”  in our society.   Refer to writings on co-dependency by Pia Mellody, Charles WhItfield Ph.D. and Karen Horney to start!

Liberation

It is sad that the author who wrote the post above had to leave her relationship in order to become liberated. Relationships, by empowering authenticity, ought to liberate the real self. That is the most important liberation. A relationship that lacks liberation is one that needs work.

***Are you in a relationship that helps you to celebrate who you are? So many folks I talk with have quite unconsciously and sometimes with intention, given up parts of their self in order to ‘fit’ into the relationship. See above reference to co-dependency literature. Here is a link for some notions of “liberating one’s real self” that I refer to as Shadow Work.

Enjoyment

As my friend Race Bannon writes, fun is important. Here we use the word enjoyment in its widest sense. Not only do we need to enjoy doing things together but there ought to be enjoyment in just being together. If we don’t find enjoyment in our relationship, then something probably needs to change.

***A big clue:   are you having fun? In my first marriage it took some coaching for me to realize what had been missing for some time was fun!  Having fun together doing things and simply enjoying each other’s company is a big deal.

Peace

     Simply put, the relationship should engender feelings of peace and security. That doesn’t mean there aren’t ups and downs and “for better and for worse.” It means that there a sense of contentment with one another, the ability to relax and be oneself, and generally agreement on the everyday ways we live.

 ***This is beautiful.  A growing peace for me speaks to a growing trust and confidence that goes along with a reduced fear of hurt and loss. A result of intimate actions!

Affection

     Face it, you have to like each other and feel an attraction to one another. Though there are many different ways to express affection, I think that each of us needs to remember to do so.

 ***Books are written specifically pointing to “how” to show affection.  The Book: The 5 Love Languages gives you a great start, here’s a link to a summary in article form: LINK

Understanding

     Relationships work because partners understand one another and can feel what the other feels.

 ***This speaks to responding, respecting, knowing and caring. I hear Jack refer to an empathy associated with this, a knowing of the other person well enough so that the persons experience has emotional impact. Everyone matters in ways that work for them.

Stability

     And lastly, like peace, the ups and downs of life are experienced because of external forces, not because the partners are ambivalent about each other. Stability assures us that the relationship can be depended upon and that one’s partner is dependable as well.

 ***Back to trusting, knowing, understanding…things that are built over time. Continuity of love, connection, understanding and caring among the ups and downs builds stability.

So what?

This is not an essay to challenge partners to evaluate their relationship as much as it is a challenge for people who expect to partner, or who are beginning to do so, to evaluate their own expectations for the relationship and to make their needs known one to another.

***Ah… I do challenge you!  I am a personal relationship expert and I want you to LOVE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS AND LOVE YOUR LIFE!

If this essay shines light on the need to improve your relationship, do so carefully and gently. Perhaps you might even be better off seeking professional help, rather than do it yourself.

 ***Yes…I agree Jack! Write me  Jim@BDSMCoach.com

 thus end my article commentary

 Resources:

I have written elsewhere about “Authentic Relationships” and include that link here.

I have also included a link to another article: “Finding and keeping a life partner” by Neil Mnemonic on Sunday, October 3, 2010 which posits these qualities:

WHAT KEEPS A RELATIONSHIP STRONG IS:

1. TRUST

2. COMMUNICATION

3. INTIMACY

4. A SENSE OF HUMOR

5. SHARING TASKS

6. SOME GETAWAY TIME WITHOUT BUSINESS OR CHILDREN

7. DAILY EXCHANGES (meal, shared activity, hugs, calls, touching, notes, etc.)

8. SHARING COMMON GOALS AND INTERESTS

9. GIVING EACH OTHER SPACE TO GROW WITHOUT FEELING INSECURE

10. GIVING EACH OTHER A SENSE OF BELONGING

View my 10 minute video: Building Positivity in Relationship Here

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