for more love (and less conflict) in your relationship
“I love you… but you’re driving me crazy!”
Lots of folks accept that this is just the way it is — that if you love someone deeply, you have to put up with stuff you really wish you could change.
In other words: You have to learn to live with whatever’s driving you crazy. Or leave.
This is a definitely a common belief, but it’s not the truth. However, if it’s true for you right now, it doesn’t have to stay that way.
Consider this instead:
- Conflicts are inevitable between two people whose lives are intimately intertwined, especially if one or both are strong-willed, passionate, and/or stubborn — which most of us are in either obvious or subtle ways.
- Conflicts don’t have to diminish or damage your connection. Quite the opposite. They can enrich your relationship!
- The stuff that’s currently driving you crazy is literally pointing you toward more intimacy and trust — AND to a relationship in which the love becomes more over time, not less.
How do you get the “I love you” part without the “driving me crazy” part?!
The Love Conversation™ Approach
When you fall in love, when you feel like you’ve found your person, it’s natural to think that you finally have the relationship you’ve always wanted.
Except that there’s huge pitfall in that conclusion.
The wondrous relationship that you now have is not something you have — it’s something you’ve been creating.
More accurately, it’s something the two of you have been creating.
You’ve been creating the intimacy, the deep connection, the sense of closeness, playfulness, trust, and love. And of course you want that to keep growing, and you do your best to make that happen.
And yet, most couples still end up complaining “I love you… but you’re driving me crazy!”
That’s because we don’t treat our relationships as constantly evolving creative acts. We don’t realize that our relationships are being created by a multitude of conversations. Not just the juicy conversations early in the relationship or the ponderous ones that emerge later about difficult issues.
The quality of your relationship — for better or worse — is created by your conversations. Everyday.
(Thus “the love conversation” rather than a bunch of other things we could have called it.)
But we’re not just talking about the conversations with your beloved.
There are two other types of conversations that are often more pivotal to making the changes you’ve be .
3 critical conversations
Assuming you want your relationship to be as good as your heart knows is possible, it’s wise to attend to 3 types of conversations.
- Within yourself — This is the conversation you’re constantly having within yourself. (You know, it’s the self-talk right now that’s commenting on whether or not you like what you’re reading!)
Hint: Most people are clueless about the impact of this one (some to the point that they don’t want to explore it). And yet your most powerful leverage for transforming your relationship occurs in this world.
- With your beloved* — Yes, definitely, one of those critical conversations is all about talking to your loved one, in lots of different contexts about the countless things that constitute a life.
Hint: It’s not just what you say that matters. The wrong kind of listening can be a hidden conversation-killer, and people rarely know in advance that they’ve stumbled into one or more of 6 common listening pitfalls.
- With __________ — This one is difficult to describe because we’re talking about something that’s ultimately ineffable. Call it Spirit, the Sacred, a Higher Power, whatever name you give that larger reality that you experience beyond you and within you that helps you stabilize in goodness and peace. We think of it as our connection with the Divine. That’s because we see human love as the embodied presence of Divine Love, but we’ll leave it to you to fill in the blank with whatever language resonates for you.
Hint: For many people, all that’s needed for a satisfying relationship is attending to the first two critical conversations above. Yet for some of us, integrating the spiritual dimension is what lifts our relationship to untold fulfillment — to experiencing what we call the beloved relationship. More on that another time.
* If you’re single or dating — we humbly (but strongly) suggest you learn this now! It can save you tons of heartache. It can also help you stop repeating patterns you really want to be done with.
All in all, The Love Conversation™ approach is the “how-to” of creating a relationship that’s far more than most of us know to imagine possible. It includes a scaffolding of insights and tools related to each of the three interdependent conversations that will be customized to your situation.
- Solo coaching on your relationship. That sounds like an oxymoron, right? Working alone on your relationship? It goes against popular wisdom, but it really only takes ONE of you to move your relationship in the right direction. Solo clients are shocked (pleasantly!) at the changes they’re able to prompt in the relationship.
- Couples, partners, pairs. It’s utterly fabulous when both of you are ready to make changes at the same time! With the two of you present, you can resolve your most pressing concerns. Perhaps more importantly, you’ll also co-create your unique version of this groundbreaking relationship technique: how to use your conflicts and challenges — current and future — to get closer.
- Groups, workshops, retreats. Sometimes learning in a group is the best approach. Whether hosted by a non-profit, civic organization, adult eduction programs at a church, or a private gathering of friends, each program is a custom fit. To see a few sample workshop titles for personal relationships, click here. To check offerings for businesses groups and professional associations, click here and scroll toward the bottom of that page.
To learn more, contact me and we’ll find time for an initial call, no charge of course.