Rescuing Your Most Important Relationships

Archive for the ‘Communication’ Category

December Message

Happy  HolidaysAt AFC, we spend a great deal of time focusing on how to help couples, relationships and marriages improve and flourish. And, the holidays are a time that we are bombarded with messages about being with our loved ones. But what is that’s not possible? Maybe you’re single, divorced, separated from your family or grieving a loved one.

In this month’s blog…we try and give you tips and ideas on how to spend the holidays a bit differently- if you are alone, separated from loved ones or grieving lost relationships, filling up the time between Thanksgiving and New Years can be really difficult. Pass this along to anyone that you think might benefit from a fresh perspective of the holiday season, be compassionate with yourself and others and know that the holidays are a difficult time for many people.

Thriving Relationships – continued

 5 Practices for Harmony, Happiness and Successful Relationships

  1. Check your expectations:

Expectations – we all have them. The reason they get such a bad reputation is because for most people their ehappy couples enjoyingxpectations go un-communicated, which then gives the ego a reason to attack or “kill off” the perceived enemy (the person who hasn’t fulfilled the expectation you had of them that you never told them about).

Occasionally expectations are communicated, however, the request often comes from a place of lack or limitation, in the form of a demand or ultimatum. This is how fear runs it’s show. Love does things very differently. First thing love will have you do is to get radically honest about what it is you truly expect from your partner. Tell the truth on yourself.

2.Give what you are trying to get:

Now that you are clear what you expect from your partner, go out into the world and give it. What you expect your partner to give to you, go give it to them and while you are at it give it away to other people in your life.For example, if you want your partner to acknowledge you for the work you do around the house – make a point of positively acknowledging them for specific things they do to help out around the house.


What we give to others we have already given to ourselves. This is a Radical Self Love practice of becoming self sustaining. When we take the pressure off of our partners to complete us or solely fill our needs we reclaim our power, allow our partners to be in their power and get to enjoy the beauty of having our needs met 100% of the time. This energy of self empowerment also allows the relationship to breathe and when we have the space to breathe we thrive. Same goes for our relationships. When you are responsible for yourself in this way, the less you will try to “get” something from your partner the more space you will have to celebrate your partner and the beauty of your union.

3. Say what you mean and mean what you say:

temper tantrums have no place in a successful relationship. People who are enjoying happy relationships understand the power of their words. They speak intentionally. They remember the childhood teaching “If you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all”. Bite your tongue when it wants to go off. Only speak what is true for you in your heart.

To do this we must be calm, present and connected. If your temper is flared, which does happen in relationships, take time to breath. Stop the ego eruption and take a sometime to calm down. Instead of reacting from your ego respond from love. This will take practice but is one of the most important tools we must master when it comes to having powerful, love filled relationships.

When you mean what you say and say what you mean it now becomes a safe place to make requests of your partner from a place of love and wholeness. If there is something you would really like your partner to do, ask for it. Be direct, be clear and be love.

When we are being love we also understand that just because we make a request does not obligate the other person to fulfill on it. We all have free will and we all have different needs, wants and desires. Ask for what you want and need and do so from a place of being ok if the answer is yes or no. If your partner says no don’t take it personally. See them through the lens of respect and honor them for being truthful. and honest.

  1. Drop the drama and mind games:No one is a mind reader and when we assume our partners know what we mean we set ourselves up

for pain down the line. The ego doesn’t want to be clear, honest and straight up. It will come up with a mind full of dramatic stories to keep you from speaking your truth with kindness. In your life and in your relationship develop a no gossip policy. If you are going to talk about other people make it a habit of speaking positively about them.

  1. Praise your relationship, praise your partner, praise yourself:

What we praise grows, it is the law of love. When we focus on what is working in our relationships, what our partner is doing well and what we are doing well we begin to create the environment for healing, success, abundance and connection. It is in the energy of praise we thrive in love.

Relationships require awareness, commitment and a desire to always be evolving into greater versions of who we know ourselves to be. To love on this level means to play at a higher level than most of us ever have. If you want something you have never had you have to do something you have never done.

If you are capable of desiring a healthy, high vibin’ and positive relationship you are capable of creating it. The only thing that stands in your way is you. Your willingness to succeed and thrive will ensure that you will. See yourself as capable of greatness and greatness is yours.

Radical Self Love to the max!!


Thriving In Love: Practices for a Vibrant Healthy Relationship

Power-Tools-RelationshipThere are two basic energies within the human condition.

Fear and Love.

Fear is the egos playground: The defense mechanisms we use to stay safe, protected and in control of ourselves and others.

Love is the hearts playground: The awareness of our fear illusions, the awareness of our unity and the connection to our divinity.

In relationships, we have to elevate our awareness of the energies of fear and love that reside within us. For most, myself included, the majority of our romantic relationships are riddled with confrontation, misunderstanding and challenge after the initial honeymoon phase ends. This honeymoon phase opens our hearts, it reconnects us to our truth and as soon as the ego catches wind of this opening, it shuts the show down as fast as it can.

The ego begins to find fault, it begins to make others wrong, it begins placing blame, casting judgement basically using all its sneaky tricks to keep us from opening our hearts.


Because when the heart is open, fear can’t be present. Which means the ego is no longer in charge. Only one energy can be present at a time and the ego is a stage hog. It wants the spotlight and it wants it all the time. It dwells in dark and negative energy. It wants to dominate.

Love is kind, patient and allowing. It will not fight the ego for the stage. For love to take the stage we must willingly choose it. We must elevate our awareness to become present to these two energies within and consciously feed the energy of love. The only way fear will ever get off stage is when it no longer has the energy to perform.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~ Rumi

Read my next weeks post to find out more suggestions on having a thriving marriage. . .


October Message

Welcome to Fall!

  • Here in Albuquerque that means:
  • The aroma of roasted chilies filling the air
  • International Balloon Fiesta
  • McCall’s Haunted Farm
  • Rio Grande Corn Maze

Really, there are so many events to do in October that you can be busy every weekend!
But, one very special weekend event that I want you to reserve is November 8- so that you can Fall in Love All Over Again. This is a fantastic day long seminar for all couples- based on John Gottman’s book “The 7 Principles of Marriage”
Note- you do not have to be married to attend!
Make your relationship rock solid before the stressful holiday season sets in, and don’t wait to register- seating is very limited. Some early bird seats are still open, with extra savings!
Registration information here.


Depression and Marriage – continued

despairThere is no need to suffer alone or in silence. A few basic strategies can help spouses stay sane and connected when working through the difficulties of and depression:

1. Communicate! Let your loved one know that you see how he or she is struggling. Whether you feel helpless or frustrated, gently and openly talk about the issues that arise. It can be tempting to avoid these issues and sweep them under the carpet, but doing this will only reduce communication and increase the underlying stress. Make a special, private time to talk-away from kids and work issues-to address possible causes of the depression. Communicating does not mean that you need to try to “fix” the issues; it’s most important that you simply open up, listen, and allow space for honest discussion.

2. Reach Out! It’s easy to feel ashamed or embarrassed by feelings of depression or stress, yet these issues are extremely common.  It’s often a great idea to reach out to a local support group, private psychotherapist, or minister for gentle guidance and support. There are many underlying causes of depression that include such issues as a “need for perfection” or a “desire to be in control of life.” A mental health specialist can help sort through these root causes that are often hidden and deeply unconscious. As well, a trusted professional can often help you and your spouse become aware of patterns that trigger depression. By becoming aware of such patterns, you can learn how to become proactive in creating positive, healthy behaviors. In general, asking for help from others can take immense pressure off the marriage. It is important to relieve the emotional pressure within the marriage and allow for supportive, objective input from skilled professionals. Some people feel ashamed or fear that they are weak if they ask for support, yet it actually takes great courage to reach out to others!

3. Socialize! Depression can often leave a person wanting to stay in bed or at home on the couch. The most simple life tasks can feel daunting and exhausting when a person feels overwhelmed. When this occurs, it is common for individuals to feel that they are alone in their struggles. It becomes easy to believe that everyone else in the world is happy and smiling. This can create a cycle of isolation and immobilization that serves to worsen the struggle. Brief, uplifting outings-such as a trip to the store, an afternoon picnic in the park, or a walk through a local farmer’s market-can increase a sense of wellness and connection to others. Volunteering has been shown to have a positive effect on overall mental and physical health! Engaging in caring involvement with others has many tremendously positive benefits!

4. Exercise! When depression begin to rise, many people feel too tired to exercise. Stress-relieving neurochemicals surge throughout the body when we exercise, so it is important to encourage a regular fitness regimen. Whether you take a walk with your spouse after work or encourage a run in the local park, exercise naturally helps relieve anxiety and depression.  Although your sweetie may want to become a couch potato, exercise in general-and especially in the great outdoors-is incredibly curative.

5. Increase Self Care! Don’t forget that your partner’s mental health issues also affect you on a deep level. It is important to care for your spouse, yet it’s also vital that you engage in self-care activities of your own, such as outing with friends, exercise, and simple treats like quiet bubble baths. If you allow yourself to become worn-out and exhausted you will not have the necessary reserves to properly take care of anyone else. It is not selfish to put your own needs at the top of the list; in fact, it is essential that fundamental, positive self-care be a solid priority in your life. It does not do any good to be a rundown martyr. Strive to lead by example and become a model of healthy, vibrant self-care!

6. Take Calming Time-Outs! Invite your spouse to engage in regular, peaceful time-outs with you. Practice yoga, listen to calming music, meditate, or enjoy a massage. Learning relaxation techniques is easy to do with readily available CDs and books that offer step-by-step instructions. A practice of learning to become still and quiet can become a life-long ally in the struggle against anxiety and depression. Inner calmness encourages a more tranquil acceptance of life’s ongoing challenges. Learning to step back from worries and fears can be empowering and freeing!

7. Eat Healthfully! We often overlook the importance of a healthy diet, yet research consistently shows that diet affects psychological well-being. When struggling with anxiety and depression, it is all the more important to eat regular, well-balanced meals. Avoid the temptation to allow yourself or your sweetie to skip meals. Maintain a ready supply of healthy, energy-boosting snacks such as raw nuts, fresh fruits, and raw vegetables. Limit alcohol and caffeine, both of which are known to aggravate anxiety issues.

8. Laugh! As simple as it might sound, laughter is truly one of the best medicines known to mankind. Studies have shown that humor goes a long way to contributing to psychological and physical wellness. With this in mind, seek as many opportunities as you can to fill your life with laughter! Whether you watch a romantic comedy with your spouse or have friends over for a night of charades, the healing power of laughter is incredible. We often take ourselves-and life-far too seriously. Let a sense of humor and laughter bring balance and lightness into your life!

9. Sleep! The power of a good night’s sleep is too often ignored or marginalized. Depression often affects sleep patterns, and the lack of solid, uninterrupted sleep can make matters worse. A lack of sleep can increase irritability and lead to poor emotional control, bad judgment, and a host of other difficulties. Too much sleep can also lead to problems that include weight gain and diabetes. To improve sleep, it’s important to have a regular bedtime, avoid late evening meals or snacks, reduce alcohol and caffeine, eliminate electronic (television and computer) stimulation late in the evening, and maintain a softly lit bedroom that is free of distractions. It is easier to have a positive attitude when you are rested and refreshed!

10. Breathe! Never underestimate the power of slow, deep breaths! Especially when dealing with anxiety issues, it’s important to learn to breathe deeply, slowly, and mindfully. When anxiety or stress begin to build, learn to inhale and exhale slowly. Breathe in to a count of 10, and breathe out to a count of 10. When focusing on counting the breath, the mind stops racing and anxiety can be reduced. Breathing exercises have been proven to reduce stress and increase wellness. The body’s production of harmful stress hormones is reduced when relaxing breathing techniques are utilized. If yoga appeals to you, it’s good to know that certain yoga practices also focus on mindful breathing. It’s good news to know that something as simple as changing the way you breathe can support a sense of overall peace and wellness in life.

Depression is a big issue that need not be faced alone. Life is complicated and often far too stressful. Remember to reach out for support. You, your marriage, and your family will be healthier and happier when you take small, significant steps to creating a more balanced lifestyle. With increased awareness and support, you and your husband or wife can thrive!
(Source: Dr. Carla Marie Greco)

Depression and Marriage

depressionIf your spouse or loved one is suffering from and depression, apply these 11 vital tips to help your relationship survive and thrive.

The symptoms of depression can be easy to miss until you’re in the thick of things. With busy schedules and ongoing demands, important issues such as depression can go unrecognized until the day your sweetheart can’t get out of bed. If a battle with depression is affecting your marriage, take heart. You are surely not alone!

With this information in mind, it’s important to be able to recognize some of the more common signs of depression. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, signs of depression include difficulty concentrating, fatigue, insomnia, excessive sleeping, irritability, restlessness, overeating, appetite loss, body aches and pains, loss of interest in pleasurable activities (including sex), persistent sadness or anxiousness, and suicidal thoughts.

It is no secret that psychological issues such as depression affect the way an individual thinks, feels, behaves, and functions on a day-to-day basis. Individuals struggling with depression often feel incredibly exhausted, overwhelmed, and lacking in control over daily life issues. Those suffering from these disorders often find that every area of life is impacted. A person’s home life, work environment, romantic relationships, and social engagements, are all affected by psychological health. As well, general physical health is assuredly connected to psychological well-being. By becoming aware of the telltale signs of depression, you’ve take the first step toward greater wellness for you and your family. Although it can be frightening at first to reach out to others for support, an abundance of resources (hospitals, support groups, psychotherapists, and community members) are but a phone call away!

When your husband or wife is struggling with depression, it can feel as though a dark, heavy weight has been placed on your shoulders. It is easy to feel helpless and confused when your spouse is suffering from a psychological issue that is resistant to treatment or seems untreatable. (Source: Dr. Carla Marie Greco)

Watch for next weeks post for tips on how to help with depression in your marriage.

Healthy Sex Life


Want glowing skin, a thinner physique and a healthy heart? All of this (and more) can be yours when you practice a healthy sex life- read more here!






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