I was reading an article today on the BBC website discussing that couples are simply too busy to have sex compared to ten years
Money worries, work issues and social media sites are impacting a lot of people's sex lives.
Modern life and technology was meant to bring with it opportunities for more space and time to be with our friends and loved ones.
However the way we engage with modern day living and technology just isn't compatible with our intimate relationships.
In my work as a sex therapist with couples and individual a pattern I see often is that they find it difficult to switch off when they go to bed or about to have sex. They have their army of modern day technology - tablets, laptops and smart phones communicating with others around the world while they disconnect from their partner sitting so close to them in the bed.
When John and I go out for a meal we find it so surprising the amount of couples who are on a night out together to enjoy each other's company but they are too distracted to really engage with each other as they are busy on twitter, Facebook or answering emails. Sadly for many couples this is becoming the norm.
Sex is such an important part of relationships and if that connection is being lost during the day or evening by social media and technology no wonder people are having sex less.
All this technology was meant to make our lives easier and it does to some degree but the problem is that we are not using it in a way to enhance our lives. It's wonderful we can have instant communication with people from all around the world but it's important to have boundaries in place so your relationship and sex life with your partner does not suffer.
Here are ten vital tips to help get your sex life back on track and to allocate "real" face-to-face time to each other.
What do you think, do you find that social media is impacting your relationship and sex life? I would love to hear your thoughts.
One of the most important things in life, and in every venture, is having a positive intention and a positive outcome.
This is why when couples come to see us at The Heart of Relationships for couple counselling in London and Bath, we always start with finding out and helping you form a positive outcome you both really want - as a couple together.
We will find out the things that brought you together, the things you share and enjoy, and what you ultimately want out of life - your life goals - and help you clarify an enjoyable shared vision, passion and meaning for your lives together.
From this beginning, we can than approach any issues you may come with - whether arguing, money issues, sexual issues, intimacy issues - or perhaps something unique to you.
Dealing with previously difficult issues in a light way
Many couples are reluctant or afraid to come to couple counselling - because they have issues which when they have tried to address themselves together - have resulted in arguments, fights, frustration, isolation, sexual and emotional distance, distrust, cruelty, shouting matches, giving each other the silent treatment, hurt, and possibly may result in one of both of you feeling insecurity and possibly doubt over the relationship?
Let's face it, if you come to couple counselling, you want to resolve issues which have given you problems?
And you probably are looking for a new way to approach issues which doesn't end up in arguments, isolation, insecurity, sexually and emotionally withholding yourselves from each other, fear, or other destructive patterns?
At The Heart of Relationships we give you an enlightened positive space to be with each other.
We then teach you processes in a way where we are really present to what is happening for your emotionally, mentally and practically.
This means that as well as having a safe positive place to bring previously difficult issues up with each other to work on, you are also offered step by step streategies and ways of communicating and working with each other through previously difficult issues - which become inspiring, enjoyable, enlightening, and you can experience as very positive for you both.
Whatever issues you come with, you will find as with other couples, you will leave the first session with a sense that not only is positive change possible, but gaining clarity and receiving understanding which already sets these processes in motion.
One of the huge differences between The Heart of Relationships Couple Counselling and Relationship Coaching programs is that our sessions are a guiding force for the positive changes you both want to happen - and we giving you understanding, encouragement and inspiration in taking practical steps from the very beginning of our meeting with you.
If you have issues which have previously been difficult to discuss - let alone resolve, let us help you find a way to approach things together in a way which unearths and brings to the fore the positive forces and drives, bringing you together and help you build up your relationship, trust, sexual connection, playfulness, helping you flourish as individuals and in your lives together.
Let us help you experience immediate skills tools and techniques to build a deeper connection between you where you can work together as a more powerful team, using all your life-skills, passions, wisdom, wants needs and desires to focus on changing issues in a life-giving way.
You will experience change. And we also will give you homework which is a joy to implement positive experiences into your life.
Call 0800 024 8647 and speak to John today.
John Donlon Couple Counsellor and Relationship Coach
Sometimes you or your partner may argue in a way which really hurts the relationship. The idea may seem to be that the worse you can make the other person feel, the better you will feel, the more your ego will be raised, and the more likely your are going to get what you want from the other person.
Sadly, the reverse is true. It's like ham-stringing a horse and whipping them, expecting them to run faster. The person who behaves in this way hurts the one they love, hurts the relationship, and behaves in a bad way.
If you are the type of person who has a lot of self-awareness, remorse and an apology may follow - and this is a very good thing.
If a person has low self-awareness, the tendency is to justify their bad actions with projections onto the other person - statements like, "If you weren't so.....(you can fill in the blank)....I wouldn't behave so badly (or need to shout, or act in this way)."
They justify their bad behavior without an apology. We may all know people who virtually never apologize. Who can stay angry for days. And this can waste hours, days, weeks and even months and years of their lives - and the lives of their partners and people they are "close" to. I say close to - as I am referring not to closeness but their deep relationship patterns.
For people who are just beginning and have low self-awareness, the other person is the problem.
For people with high self-awareness, they are aware of their actions, and can apologise freely.
Being aware also means they can work on themselves, rather than try to change or blame their partner. By working on themselves, they begin with the qualities they most want from the other person - kindness, positivity, communication, and really are a joy to work with - not because they haven't got problems, but because they are aware of their issues and working on them.
For people who are self-aware, who can apologize, who are working on themselves, and act with positivity, the outcome is usually very good indeed.
Sometimes, though, in a relationship, if only one person is engaged in changing their deep relationship patterns, and the other is bent on destruction - it can be like one person waiting in the middle of a bridge for the other to come over and meet in the middle.
And the other person for their part may be on the sidelines of the river, shouting over, intent on blaming or hating or destroying the relationship, the other person, and ultimately, themselves. It doesn't need to be said, that this is not a helpful nor good way to be.
Fortunately virtually everyone who comes to couple counselling wants to change this, and that is a fantastic beginning.
When they repeat their way of relating in sessions, all of this can be brought to awareness - and with awareness and responsibility - and most of all positivity towards themselves, their relationship and their partner, remarkable transformations can take place - of two people working together, and their meeting in this way building a relationship bridge is a work of beauty to experience.
In the couple counselling in London programme we give you the space, skills, tools and understanding to experience this live in our sessions together.
With regular sessions you can quickly embed these changes into your life, and create an amazing relationship.
If this resonates with you and your partner, you may like to come to a place where there is no blame, there are no "haves", and you are your own drivers for your own deepest wishes and desires.
This space we provide at the Heart of Relationships facilitates you coming together, making connections, and working deeply with one another, in a powerful, fun, positive and often touchingly beautiful way.
With the right approach you can begin to turn around you problems today!
Ready to take the first step?
If you are ready to take the first step to change your life and relationship, call 0800 024 8647 or 07960 214 336 to speak with John today.
The huge difference in couples therapy from individual therapy, is that a couple is a system.
Focusing on yourself as an individual is vital for your fulfilment. But Only Focusing on yourself, when you are with someone completely different, is one of the main reasons people fail again and again to have fulfilling relationships.
What this means in terms of therapy, is that if you want to save your relationship, you need to find a therapist who works systemically and individually, working towards your individual fulfilment and creating a bridge between you so that you can both work for your fulfilment as a couple also.
Not every individual client knows how to work as a couple. In fact many people who have very individualistic tendencies run into difficulties for this very reason in the first place. Some people are avoidant-attached. When things get intimate, they get afraid. Sexual anorexia is one symptom. Sexual anorexia comes from a fear of intimacy, not sex. Someone with sexual anorexia is afraid for one reason or another to commit to their partner intimately, even if they are married. They may also have affairs outside of the marriage. So sexual anorexia does not mean a lack of sex, it means a lack of sexual-intimacy in the real physical emotional sense with their partner.
This means if a person is avoidant-attached or has attachment issues, and they go to an individual therapist, the individual therapist's very purpose is not to build a bridge between your and your partner but to follow you as an individual. Almost by default, an individual counsellor/coach/healer can miss the relationship dynamics at play with a person who comes with avoidance-attachment issues. The counsellor/therapist/healer may unwittingly play a part in affirming their neurotic pattern to their detriment and the detriment of their relationship.
In the best couples therapy it is essential two people fulfil their natures' as individuals - and it is also essential they build a bridge between them with their different communication styles, needs, and love strategies, to work together to to fulfil their relationship potential also.
Without exploring a person's attachment issues, knowing about relationship dynamics, and working with both people, individual counselling, therapy, coaching, in fact any form of individual work, can destroy a potentially good relationship, and actually prevent a person from working through their relationship issues, by facilitating individualistic tendencies over love and connection in the relationship.
Not because there is anything intrinsically wrong in individual therapy, but because the therapist/healer/coach is working with only half the picture; and there is likely to be a huge amount of distortion.
Imagine how that can pan out if the therapist is on your side but not on the side of your relationship?
Unless your therapist has also studied relationships and building a bridge between two very different people - then the effects of therapy on your relationship will definitely not be the same as if the two of you were working with a relationship expert.
For this reason I work with each person's individual fulfilment and partners' fulfilment as a couple. This is is a very different approach from individual counselling or traditional couples therapy.
So when people ask me is it ethical to work with people as individuals as well as seeing them as a couple I would say that in any therapy which is about the relationship - and if someone is in an intimate relationship this will be the case - it is essential to do work with both individuals and the couple seeing them together in an person-centred--systemic model of therapy.
From this deeper, wiser, clearer and more relational perspective, we help you become the unique individual you are and support each other in this wonderful process to create an amazing relationship and life together.
When some American car manufacturer's visited a Japanese car plant, they were mystified. You see, in the American plant, they had a man with a rubber hammer at the end of the production line, hammering and making sure the doors matched perfectly. But in the Japanese plant, there was no man at the end of the line with a hammer.
So, the Americans asked, "Where's the guy at the end?"
"The one with the rubber hammer?"
"We don't have one."
"So, how do you make sure the door fits?"
"We design it that way," the Japanese executives replied, sheepishly.
It is the same with your model of love. If it is not designed well, there will be problems, and you could constantly have the man with the hammer at the end trying to deal temporarily with the symptoms.
And you can deal with the symptoms.
But it is much easier and quicker in the long run, to design your model of love so it works really well in the first place.
That is what we help you to do. We go to the core of the issues so you can fully live.
The key to a lasting, stable, fulfilling model of love is this: Putting Love and Connection First in Your Relationship.
That means above everything.
It means above your children, above your friends and family, above your money or security - literally everything.
And if there is anything - say you want a house and your partner is not providing enough money - say you have children and you put them first - say you have a beloved pet whom you love - if there is literally anything you put before Love and Connection in your relationship, that thing becomes a block to love as it comes between you and your partner like a shadow; and your relationship will be in jeopardy, because you have a fundamentally flawed model of love..
Not only will problems happen, but they will happen again and again, unless you put this Invisible, non-materialistic value before anything else in your relationship.
Why should you do this?
Because if you put Love and Connection above everything else in your life with your partner, it creates an inspirational foundation. It means you really work together as a team. And from this position of strength, your relationship can weather anything, and you have the foundation to create the life you want.
Whereas if you base your relationship on your husband providing a house, money, a lifestyle for you - if these things are not forthcoming - you will leave the relationship. Whereas if you put Love and Connection First you can work together for anything because you have already decided to be a strong team.
Do you see the difference?
Not only this, but if anything is in your way which is blocking you from loving your partner, limiting your relationship, and limiting your life, we can discover it in our relationship program and help you Re-align your Relationship so you become a strong team putting Love and Connection as your No. 1 priority and and create an inspirational Foundation to generate the life you want.
Couples who go through our programs change, report that they have become better than ever in therapy with us. And if you feel called to do this work, you can create the same changes too.
You don't have to end a relationship where you are making the mistake of living with a flawed model of love. You can change, and your peace of mind, commitment to each other, and relationship are waiting for you, when you put Love and Connection First and allow love to flow freely.
From this platform, as a team, you can grow together emotionally, sexually, physically, and environmentally, and shape your life together from a place where you are connected.
When you put Love and Connection First for your Relationship above all else, the gates of Love and Connection fly open and you become connected to the Source of Love in your hearts' and relationship.
You can really begin to live your life as a couple together. This is the jewel of great price most couples are seeking. And they have it within themselves all along.
But each couple must discover it for themselves by putting Love and Connection above everything to allow love to flow and literally en-lighten their hearts' in their most intimate relationship.
If you want to come into alignment, create a healthy model of love, open your mind to understanding how to put Love and Connection First, and open your heart to unlimited Source, these are the values we live by and believe in.
Questions are really important. Important, because they determine the answers we are going to get - more than verbally, but in the way we live our lives.
There are two types of questions. High grade and low grade questions. A high grade question will lead you to a resourceful state. These include questions like, "Just how great can I make today?" "What kind of fantastic future can I create with my partner - specifically?" "How wonderful is that?" When I ask myself any of these questions, my imagination begin to soar and I begin to see and actually create new possibilities for the day. I feel inspired, light, and really looking forwards to the day.
A low grade question will lead you to an unresourceful state. These kind of questions can go something like, "How stupid am I?" "How can I do anything at all after this?" "Just how bad can two people be for each other?" "How can I trust you?" Like opening out a dark tunnel, when I think of these questions my imagination begins to dwell on negatives and looks for the worst in situations and people. My heart begins to feel heavy, and I see the future less brightly - in fact I see a pretty bleak future.
We can generally notice what kind of question we are asking ourselves, by the response in our heart and mind and body.
If you want to lead a happy resourceful life, it is very important to ask yourself and other people high grade questions.
Also, questions have an emotional, psychological basis. Generally there are two bases. There is love, And there is fear.
A question based upon love will tend to draw out the good potential in people or situations, be honest, and magnify possibility and actuality of goodness.
A question based upon fear will tend to invite negativity, deny possibility or potential, and paint a future which virtually no one would wants to live.
The obvious combination is to combine love with really high grade questions to realise and live the life you want to.
The more you practice this in your relationship with yourself, and in your personal relationships, the more possibilities you will be able to generate and act upon to create a generous and expansive life based upon the fulfilment of your soul, which is limitless.
Now you are noticing the very basic nature of questions you immediately have it in your power to notice what happens inside of you and where questions lead, and to take the positive direction, you really want to go in.
I hope you have a really wonderful day!
John Donlon with Linda Connors at the Heart of Relationships. Call us for a conversation on how to save your relationship. Or click here for more information : Couple Counselling and Coaching Programme
In the six steps to anger, from frustration to demand, to blame and punishment - it is essential not to use your friends to punish your partner, either by taking your friend aside quietly and giving them all your negativity - and not by your friends being negative against your partner when you are having an argument.
What happens if you do - is that your partner will feel that person is toxic - and feel uncomfortable with them and your relationship with them - and that's probably not a dynamic you want in your life, right?
If the friend is a closer family member, like a sister or a brother - then you might want to think a little before you involve them in this way - as this could introduce a toxicity into your life which could be there for a long time.
Basically, it may be getting out your anger towards your partner, your disappointments, your frustrations and hurts out with a friend. Having done this, you may feel a lot better, a lot more in a position to go back to your partner and work things out. Or not? Unless your friend is a trained counsellor who can deal personally with their own life in a highly skilled way - they may take on your negativity - albeit it your temporary negativity - towards your partner, pretty much permanently. Maybe putting on a face when they meet your partner and trying to act as if nothing has happened - but they may develop and hold a bad attitude about your partner - even if you then want to build the relationship up with your partner and heal it - and even if you do - your friend may not be your friend in a life-giving supportive way which goes beyond whatever you've shared or said. You would've given some of your baggage to carry. And they may carry it, regardless of how you move on.
So in the end, when and if you do move on to a better place with your partner, that friend - unless they can really shift and change too - is going to be carrying a really unhelpful energy towards your fulfillment in this world as it relates to your relationship.
Not helplful. Not helpful at all.
So instead, you may want to actually make a point - if you need to vent your anger, frustrations, disappointments, hurts to someone - find someone who can actually process it in a way which is deeply in love with everyone living their life in the best and most generous way possible. This may be a counsellor or a therapist. Friends who can really do this and practice this, are very special and rare indeed.
You may have experienced all these things for yourself?
Out of my own experience, the people I see do best with their partners and their friends - use their friends to up-build their relationship in an honest-to-god-way. They use their friends in a way which is positive, with integrity, adding to the good sides of their relationship with their own positive outcome - having learned how to argue and be in the right way (see The Heart of Relationships Blog on how to argue) - and they tell their partner positive outcomes concerning their friends and their relationship with their partner instead!
If you do this, or are already doing this - then I'm sure you're finding your friends, instead of being toxic to your partner - and hence to your ultimate relationship with them - are a live-giving welcome force around your partner and you - whether your partner sees them or not!
The positive energy is there, right? doing it's job - and it's real.
This is something many sites may not address nor talk about, and it may seem small, but the more you live it the more important it will become and the healthier and longer-lasting! your relationship and friendships will be.
If you are looking for real Couple Relationship Counselling in Bath or London contact us today.
The key to a fulfilling relationship is leading a fulfilling life. You may have talents, desires, skills, things you love, and it is vitally important you follow the things which give you the joy of fulfilling your nature and growing as a human being to enjoy your gifts to the world.
At the Heart of Relationships London couple counselling programme one of the most important things we do, is to get you to share your goals as an individual for your life. The things which you want to do with your life. This may be very different than your partner, but being really clear about what brings you joy means that it can become a priority in your life, and your partner if they want to cherish and value you for the happiness of your relationship can help you thrive in what you want to do, and work as a team.
This "working as a team" is very important - as it means you tuning into and supporting them in their fulfillment too - and working together is amazing, when you both enjoy each other's fulfillment and generate joy in this way.
Very quickly couples learn that the most generous thing they can do is also the most joyful thing for themselves and those who truly love them. You may find giving inspires your partner to give more too.
Sometimes couples get stuck when their needs are not met - and have the attitude "Well, I am not going to give anything, until he/she goes first!" They may then judge, blame, complain, give the cold shoulder, make the other persons and their own life hell for hours or days, weeks, months or years.
It's almost though they act as if punishing the other person would get them what they want. What it does generate is a life of misery which runs the other person down and creates a negative way of living for themselves in relationship.
Fortunately, this spiral can be changed to a constructive cycle - and the for couples who come to understand the elements of positivity, well-formed outcomes, and relationship building, through enjoyment of the fulfillment of their own gifts and their partners', very quickly come to turn things around, and with even more energy than they were using up being negative - begin to work with a passion to enjoy creating experiences and a life which is rewarding and a joy to live - based upon mutuality.
This can apply to many areas of your life, or to specific areas, such as sex and intimacy.
Sex and intimacy are such vital aspects of living to gloss over them with a life which is passable but not fulfilling is like having a Ferrari and taking it to the corner shop once or twice every two months.
Your partner can respond any way they wish - but ultimately not fulfilling this part of a relationship is not fulfilling themselves. They can of course if they choose stay sexless and non-intimate in a relationship for a long time. At the Heart of Relationships one of the most obvious things to get across is that a pattern where one or both partners are not giving their gifts in all spheres to the other is in the end bound to be self-defeating.
Ultimately the principle applies: the more love you give the more you have.
The more generous you are the more a generous field is created around you to inspire others.
In intimate relationships this is part of your "deep relationship pattern". This is the pattern you have with the most intimate person in your life.
The people who do care to give out of themselves have more of themselves and the creation of which we are apart. That's the nature of generosity and of the universe in which we live in. Generosity inspires generosity.
If you and your partner would like to turn your issues and limiting patterns into a breakthrough in your sexual, emotional, intimate deep relationship patterns to create positive spirals which constantly enrich your life and relationship, call Linda or John on 0800 024 8646.
"The important thing, is that clients, when they’re given the tools, create their own value out of the relationship, and what they do is absolutely amazing, because they create beauty and connection and closeness. But the tools are important, to be able to do that. And that’s what we offer. And really you can’t put a price on that, because what you can do with those tools are limitless."
John Donlon London Couple Counsellor and Coach
Couples who come to couple counselling come because they want to move forwards in their relationship but are a loss as to how.
They may intuitively feel that a neutral presence who can hear them as individuals can create a space where they can at last hear each other, offer a positive re-conciliatory insightful presence, and a fair perspective which can provide a channel for them to connect despite their differences.
And connection is what most couples really want - however different they are - and in fact differences can add strength to the relationship when their is mutual respect and co-operation and compromise as well as magnifying the positive attractive qualities the couple see and desire in each other and hold for themselves.
One of the things I ask in couple counselling is that if a person wants compassion, love, respect, consideration, appreciation, positivity - they go first.
This changes things around radically, and when both people work in this way, the couple's own creativity and desire for a great relationship can open up amazing generosities, which inspire kindness, and are inspirational.
If you think this sounds different from any other couple counselling you may have come across, you are right. Combining professional accredited couple counselling, NLP, mindfulness, and more, in Couple Counselling I provide a space where you can learn:
John Donlon - Couple Counsellor and Relationship Coach
Relationships are about Creation.
If you want intimacy, an amazing sex life, working as a team and a successful relationship you both need to step up to create that. The team can be sabotage if one person is unwilling to do that. This usually happens by blame and punishment such as wanting something from their partner - and then expressing irritation, distrust, running the other person down or isolating themselves.
And this is a lonely place to be. To let down one's walls, to be vulnerable, to risk being silly and having fun, one has to open oneself up and be there - and be sensitive and open as well as positive with the other person. If one partner is too busy attacking the other, then the other person is unlikely to be there with unconditional love and support. What is more likely to happen is that a cycle begins which hurts the relationship even more.
As its a relationship, both partners really do need to step up and work together.
So, if you are waiting for your partner to change - before you have fun, have a fantastic sex life, feel connection, become intimate or working as a team building as life together - you are asking permission to change and it's also like saying, "I want love - but you go first!"
Love isn't about that. Love is giving. It's about going first and not blaming the other person in this moment. It's about going for a walk instead of sitting in a room on your own on the computer. It's about getting in touch with your body and feelings and creating a wonderful sex life with your partner - because you want a wonderful life.
It's not about denying intimacy, kindness, sex, money, or whatever else is intrinsic to a good relationship - making the other person feel like hell, and expecting affection from them. That's like driving someone away and expecting them to be close, or expecting closeness - Crazy!
So your relationship is what you create. Once you realise that - as I'm sure you do - then that's half the battle - because you can change your attitude to take power and control of your life and be the person who creates positive changes in your own life and also your relationship.
If you deny your partner intimacy and sex, closeness, consideration, compassion, well you are denying these aspects of your self. If you deny fun in the relationship, you limit the amount of fun in your own life. It's so simple, but absolutely true and self-apparent.
That's why wanting the best for yourself is also wanting the best for your partner too.
We provide London couple counselling and relationship coaching. Sessions are also available in Bath. Call us on 0800 024 8647 and begin to create magic in your relationship.
John offers relationship advice, solutions and share their thoughts on love, relationships, marriage and intimacy.