In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal some of the things that easily destroy love and relationships and, reveal one of the most powerful questions you can ever ask your partner to help revive the love.
First a quick update:
“Precious – Gabby and fat acceptance”
Read the transcript of the interview I gave to the Colombian magazine “Semana” about Gabourey Sidibe and her portrayal of Precious; can Hollywood and the public truly accept a 350-pound obese actress and woman, and, what is the positive message from both the movie and Gabby’s personal life?
“4 things men want versus 4 things women want”
For my Australian subscribers, watch the TV interview I will be giving Thursday April 22nd at 9:40 AM on Seven’s The Morning show during my visit to Australia
Now, let’s talk about the things that kill love and relationships, and, share with you the most powerful question you can ask your partner.
Famous singer and composer, Roberta Flack had a hit in 1972 with her song, “Where is the love?”
Where is the love
You said was mine all mine
Till the end of time
Was it just a lie?
Where is the love?
As a Human Behavior and relationship expert, I have worked with many clients in relationships who seem to share that same and common complaint: we have grown apart and the love is gone.
Some of these clients have been married for a handful of years and others for ten and twenty years. The common complaint I hear is that the couple now lives more as roommates than a loving couple and often the only thing that binds them together is the children. One man, married for almost twenty years, told me he eagerly desires to revive the romance and love but has no idea how and wonders if it is too late. He says his wife has become like a cold fish and they seem to be more business partners than two people lovingly devoted to each other. Another man, Enzo, married for fifteen years, told me that he feels he and his wife live separate lives – she takes care of the children and house and he takes care of the business and finances. He even resents the fact that she knows nothing about his business or how to manage their finances. I asked Enzo: “If your wife was loving and giving and you had a powerful and exciting physical connection, full of romance, then you wouldn’t resent her for the role she plays or her lack of knowledge or interest in the finances; would you?”
‘You are right, Patrick. I would not resent her. And you are right – that is the source of my anger.’
And while there are numerous reasons that couples grow apart, here are some of the common killers of love:
I recall when I was in my early twenties, my then girlfriend lost her temper as she said to me, “I always feel like an idiot around you.” I didn’t fully understand at the time what I was doing but now I see that as result of my criticism of her, she felt inferior. When either person constantly finds fault or judges unfavorably, then the other person will feel that he or she is stupid, weak, inferior or simply not good enough. In each situation, stop first and ask yourself: “Do I need to say anything here and if so, how can I say it without insinuating that the other person is a fool?”
Blame is a brother of criticism. Blame is the weak way of explaining things: “It’s his fault.” Blame is associated with punishment and condemnation but never with finding a solution. Sometimes, we blame our partner for something that went wrong or something they did or failed to do and, in turn, we become quiet, distant or antagonistic – all with the intention of hurting the other person. The solution is to stop and ask yourself: “What is my real intention? Do I want to punish him or find a solution?” If you feel like you want to pay back the other person, then work on healing that anger & blame and instead, seek to forgive and bring understanding and compassion to the situation. And yes, you may need to speak with your partner about your deeper feelings.
Criticism, judgment, condemnation and blame lead to resentment. However, resentment is also the bitterness and indignation that one feels when he or she has been wronged or hurt. Resentment becomes the wall that prevents love and trust from being shared and experienced. The solution is similar to my advice above pertaining to forgiveness while also taking measurable steps to rebuilding trust or earning it once again.
George Bernard Shaw, the playwright and essayist who won the 1925 Nobel Prize for Literature, once wrote that the essence of inhumanity is not hatred but indifference. When a person truly doesn’t care about you, they ignore you. Your comments, thoughts, needs and existence are irrelevant. What does it feel like to be invisible? When you become so busy with work, bills or the children that you barely notice your partner, then you are neglecting him or her. Love is about helping the other person to feel special, and that cannot occur when you don’t tend to them. The solution is to consciously be aware of how much time you are devoting to everything else over your partner. This leads to the next point.
Can you recall the early days of courting? What was your priority? Do you remember turning down invitations by friends so that you could spend more time with your romantic partner? Many parents mistakenly put the children first, ignoring the marriage and relationship and then when it crumbles, the first people to suffer are the children who end up spending most of their lives at mom’s place and weekends with dad. When you put love and marriage first, then the children also win because they experience the example of love, affection and companionship between their parents; it offers them security, stability and a safe place to grow and be nurtured. The solution here is to schedule time for each other and create a weekly date night. (Read the interview I gave about “The Putt Putt Syndrome” or listen to it here)
Emotional intimacy can be explained as “into-me-you-see.” In other words, emotional intimacy refers to the state of vulnerability – removing all barriers and sharing with your partner your dreams, desire, fears, highs and lows. It also refers to sharing the reasons you love and cherish the other person, the wonderment of him or her. Some people are afraid to express how they really feel because they think it will give the other person too much power over them. But deep love cannot be experienced or realized until one becomes vulnerable. It is also emotional intimacy that strengthens the relationship and bond because the person who is being trusted feels special and feels a sense of significance and privilege. It is easy for a couple to get caught up in the day to day running of the household, children and work and thus lose those precious moments that draw people closer. The solution is to trust and open up – the rewards are far greater than being trapped in the cold cave of fear.
Motivations for love
I recall that long before I began to study human behavior, I was only 19 years of age when I came to the realization that many relationships fail because two people enter the relationship for vastly different reasons.
It is also natural that we want something from our partners – love, security, children, safety, protection, dependence, reliability, attention, affection, praise, encouragement, and so forth. And when two people have fallen out of love or have become cold, distant or feel as if they have grown apart, it is almost guaranteed that the following has happened: one or both partners have given up on having a specific need met by the other partner.
So here is the powerful question to ask your partner:
“What have you given up on getting from me?”
While the answer may shock you, it will though, reveal what your partner truly wants from you that he or she isn’t receiving. This question prompts the responder to think about what he or she wants and needs from the other person. Some people have responded by telling their partner:
– I have given up on getting your praise and encouragement
– I have given up on getting your love and acceptance
– I have given up on getting your love and affection
– I have given up on hearing you say you love me
– I have given up on getting your time and attention
When you do this exercise, do it with an open heart and mind. Remember that giving your partner what he or she wants is the best gift you can give!
Gentlemen: remember to appeal to her heart, mind and imagination. And ladies, men need to express their love physically & tangibly, and when you are not interested or never interested – men take that as deep rejection.
Consider my books:
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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”
Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist
Anointed “The Woman Expert” by WGN Chicago, Patrick Wanis PhD is a renowned Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert who developed SRTT therapy (Subconscious Rapid Transformation Technique) and is teaching it to other practitioners. Wanis’ clientele ranges from celebrities and CEOs to housewives and teenagers. CNN, BBC, FOX News, MSNBC & major news outlets worldwide consult Wanis for his expert insights and analysis on sexuality, human behavior and women’s issues. Wanis is the first person ever to do hypnotherapy on national TV – on the Montel Williams show.