Saturday, January 26, 2008

When Your Partner Shuts Down – How to Deal With it

A relationship is about sharing and caring, and communicating our feelings out loud. We need to feel comfortable together so that we can achieve the best communication and intimacy possible. This is what all couples should be striving for. 

A healthier and better relationship as time goes by. Sometimes one of the partner with the relationship can become selfish, disinterested, distant and self-centered. Is this happening in your relationship? Are you struggling to reach your mate on an intimate level? The partner who is distant can leave the other with feelings of insecurity and uneasiness. This will cause him or her to second guess their actions and words constantly.

Why do you feel that your partner is shutting down? Are they pushing you further from the relationship than you are comfortable with? This will feel like a slap in the face, especially if you were close before. If they are not talking to you about the relationship, they are not calling and you feel shut out and what’s even more frustrating is this behaviour can go on for many months. Most of us have been down this road and my reaction when it happened in my relationship a few years ago was to shut down. We were long distance, so that made it even worse. I stopped calling, I stopped chasing; quite frankly I was fed up! Eventually I heard from him, after about two weeks, he sent me an email and requested that we talk. We talked, but nothing was resolved, he was to insecure with his own emotions to admit that the relationship was not working for him, and he strung me along for another six months. This behaviour happened on and off throughout most of our relationship. It’s a wonder I put up with it for so long.

Most people need their space, this even more important for men, but to shut your partner out is suicide to the relationship. Many people have told me that a man will shut down when women try to control them and are needy and nag too much. Problem is though, women are portraying their needy side because the man is pushing them aside. It’s a double edged sword. We’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t. We know our men like us to be close, especially in the bedroom if you catch my drift. But when we ask for closeness we are labelled as needy. I think some men want to have their cake and eat it too. Women can be guilty of this too. I know I have been in the past.

We tend to pull away when we feel threatened. Perhaps one partner is fed us with the distance and threatens the other that he/she will leave. This is hardly going to build closeness. Men in particular do not want to feel needy towards their woman, and may pull away from the relationship. A woman may do the same, she may stop all sexual contact because she feels insecure within the relationship. This kind of behaviour serves no purpose except to drive a wedge between the couple. Some people may even be afraid of commitment and they are not aware of this fear. Being aware of our fears and expectations within a relationship and expressing these concerns is the first step to good communication and closeness.

The cure for this problem is easy, communication and participating in activities that you both enjoy will encourage closeness and you will both enjoy life and your relationship even more. Joining your partner at a social get-together at work, or a football match is a start. You may not like football however, it is important to be willing to do things that your partner enjoys. They will appreciate the efforts you are making and will most likely respond in kind. You partner will also feel good about him or her self and this will build the security within the relationship to a higher level. Trust, closeness and communication will increase and you and your relationship will be the winners in this scenario.

There could be things that you do that set off the distance within your partner. Analyse your actions and try to piece together what was happening before your partner went AWOL. Think about the things that you say and do, and how this may lead to them becoming distant. Is there pressure in the relationship? Are you both under a great deal of stress for any reason? Are there money worries? Are there health concerns? Many of these problems have a solution. Do you tell them that you love and need them all the time? Maybe it is time to back off on saying these things. This could be putting undue pressure on the relationship. There is such a thing as telling someone you love them too much, besides actions speak louder than words. Try to think of ways you can show your love, rather than speak of love.

Keeping the relationship alive is easy once you get that creative mind of yours working. Fighting and arguing is a lot harder, than creating a pleasant environment for your partner. If you are a woman reading this, then nurturing your relationship is second nature to you. We as women give our relationships top priority. Unfortunately for us though, men do not. Men are more concerned with success and stability. It should be a two way street but if you get the ball rolling, he will respond and make the effort too. When he comes home from work late at night, make him a nice snack and a nightcap and let him relax in his favourite chair. Make him coffee in the morning, or make his lunch before he leaves every day, this will show your love more effectively than saying the words. Make a point of doing the things your partner likes. Dress nicely, and make sure you smell nice. Prepare a nice meal for the two of you, and open a nice bottle of wine. These are all simple things that both of you can do the keep your relationship alive and happy. We all like to feel that our partner is making the extra effort to show their love for us.

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Copyright © 2013 Janelle Coulton

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Is Your Relationship Falling Apart?

That space of time we call “Falling in Love”. We wish this passionate phase in our lives could last forever. The heady feelings of lust and romance, that sweet feeling you get when your lover takes you by the hand. This passion does not last. It is unrealistic to expect it would.

When you think about it, the act of falling in love is somewhat exhausting and for some it may be a relief when the rush of love settles down. And in it’s place comes a stronger love. Some relationships may end when the passion wears off, as one partner may misunderstand the other, and not feel loved anymore. In many situations this is not the case. Remember back to when you and your love first fell in love. Do you remember the excitement and the sleepless nights? It is true what they say; that man cannot live on love alone. For your relationship to go the distance, that euphoria of excitement and passion needs to be replaced with the act of growing in love together, learning about each other and building a solid foundation based on love, trust and commitment that will last forever.

In every relationship, even in their infancy there are tell tale signs that will show you whether the relationship and your significant other is growing and moving along in the right direction or heading up the garden path. In writing this article, I make the assumption that it’s early days in the relationship, and this is a guide for those who may feel as though something is amiss and may be able to fix the problem or leave and find a more suitable partner.

Does your lover call regularly and are you spending plenty of quality time together? When you first fell in love it was impossible to imagine being apart from each other, however it is quite normal for those feelings to subside and for both partners to wish to have some space outside the relationship. If it seems like your mate is otherwise engaged in various activities and not calling regularly or taking you out very much, then this could be a sign that things are not well in your relationship.

Do you both agree on most issues, such as your basic needs and values? This is an important sign as to whether you are both right for each other. In the euphoric state of love you probably agreed on most things. But if you feel that you are both bickering about the important issues and perhaps the minor ones, like what to have for dinner, this could mean trouble. A time will come when you will not discuss issues and hold your feelings inside and that can cause the most emotionally mature person to explode in frustration and anger.

Do you have many interests that you both share, like a love of animals or music? Imagine your love serenading you with a love song, whilst playing the guitar. How romantic did you feel after that? Of course you would not expect him or her to serenade you every day, but if you are not sharing those special things you enjoy together, then this could be a sign. It also could be a wake up call to focus on your interests together.

Has your sex live taken a dive? This could be a very good sign that things are amiss. Having said that, there could be a really good reason for your mate to refuse sex. If it seems like your lover is just making excuses and not telling you the real reason then you need to communicate and discuss these issues with care and compassion. Don’t assume that they are not attracted to you anymore, get the facts. And this point leads on to my next observation about relationships.

Is your communication good? Do you still find it easy to talk to your lover? Or do you shudder at the though of bringing up a sensitive topic? If you cannot communicate with each other, then the bottom line is; you are in trouble. No relationship can survive without communication and good communication at that. If you do not have good communication and a comfortable way of relating between you then it is going to be doubly hard to solve any kind of problem that arises. Especially the problem outlined above. You need to know how to listen with your eyes and your ears, and talk from the heart with compassion and care. You should be able to resolve conflict where both partners win.

Do you feel as if you are not good enough? Does your partner put you down or criticise you? We are all good enough, and criticising others is a waste of time. This type of behaviour only shatters that person’s self esteem. How much of a wonderful partner will they be to the other if this is happening? If your partner is criticising you; ask them to stop it. If you are criticising your partner, then stop, now. Find another way to deal with the issues within your lover that you do not like. There are ways of talking with your lover about negative issues without attacking your lover.

Is your partner flirting with others? Or being secretive? Do you think they are cheating on you? This is very hard to spot or pin point and really it’s probably best to ask them straight out. “Are you seeing somebody else?” If they lie to you, you will know, the guilt will be written all over their face, unless the person is an excellent liar. Don’t sneak around and snoop through their things, their mobile phone or car. Confront your lover, head on. You are supposed to trust this person and snooping around or following them is not showing trust. Even if you live with your lover or are married to them, showing them you trust them is really important. As I said above, I feel that you should be completely straight forward about how you feel.

When you first met it was all so easy to keep the spark alive. Perhaps you are feeling like the spark is no longer glowing. This is where you make or break the relationship. It begins with you. You need to look deep into your heart and soul and decide if you really want a relationship with this person. Start by doing as many things as you can to build your self esteem and be a loving person to your self in every way possible. Your partner will begin to respond in kind. Talk out your issues one by one, sticking to that subject until it is resolved, then move on the next topic. Be upfront and direct about what bothers you, and always be compassionate towards your lover. When they are talking about their feelings, try and stand in their shoes as you listen to them and then ask the same of them.

Get involved with your interests and hobbies and encourage them to join you. Have fun together, laugh together. These things are so important in building closeness. This is the beginning of that solid foundation that you will be building for the future. A mature love, that grows and grows and the two of you become one.

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Copyright © 2007 Janelle Coulton

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Taking Love For Granted Will Destroy Your Relationship

We all need to feel valued, appreciated and loved. These feelings are necessary in any healthy relationship to keep the couple bonded together. It is the positive reinforcement that you receive from your partner that make it easy to love them back in return. It is also this positive reinforcement that promotes the essence of romance and intimacy within your relationship.

When couples do not exchange positive remarks and endearments on a regular basis, the relationship will begin a downward spiral and eventually collapse. The foundation on which the relationship is built on will no longer be rock solid and the structure of your relationship will come tumbling down around you. How does this happen?

You need to understand how our relationship got to where it is now. In the early days couples tend to spend more time on making an effort for their significant other, for example; paying more attention to fitness, health, appearance, romance and sensitivity to each other’s feelings. We do this to win each another’s approval and commitment. In the beginning of our relationships it is human nature for you to want to put your best foot forward to win over your mate.

Unfortunately after the “honeymoon period” is over, couples will tend to take a back seat and may take each other for granted. You may start to feel as though because you have made a lifelong commitment, what you are giving to the relationship is enough. Over a period of time, the romance and extra affection and attention start to dwindle away and this affects the quality of the relationship. The closeness, the intimacy and romantic moments that couples once shared is not a strong as before.

Many people just accept this as the norm, something that happens in every relationship or marriage. They think that it’s quite okay, and what is important is the fact that they are committed to their relationship or marriage and that is what will keep them together. They feel that the bond of commitment and or marriage vows will keep the relationship together. But you know better than that, there has to be more.

The commitment that you share within your relationship is not enough to hold the relationship together. You and your partner need to work on your relationships and invest time, energy, romance, affection and attention in order for your relationship to survive. A relationship needs as much care as you would give to a young child or tiny infant.

Does the following apply to your relationship? Can you relate to any of the following behaviors in the list below? Read through the five relationship myths below to see if any of them apply to your relationship:

Myth 1. Your partner is not complaining, so you think everything is ok.This is where communication comes in, you both must take the time to talk with your partner and listen to their concerns. You need to talk in depth about feelings, concerns or worries. Don’t assume that it is ok that you are not talking about things or be lulled into a false sense of security if your partner is not making any complaints. Eventually he or she will complain, possibly when it is too late to do anything about it.

Myth 2. “ It’s okay to let my appearance go, my partner loves me for who I am”No, this is never okay. You have a responsibility to keep yourselves attractive for your partner. If you do not do this, your partner will feel as though making the effort to look good, smell good and stay fit and attractive for their significant other is not worthy of their time. Taking your partner for granted in this way will not keep your sex life active and the romance will fizzle out of the relationship.

Myth 3. You’ve stopped doing all the romantic things to show how much you care, it’s okay we’re committed now. When you stop showing affection and speaking terms of endearment, life: “I love you” or bringing your lover little gifts or flowers, your partner will feel taken for granted and eventually feel unloved and unappreciated.

Myth 4. “We are married. We don’t have express appreciation or say thank you as often.” If you don’t remember to appreciate your mate and say thank you when he or she does sometime we like, your mate can feel unappreciated and unloved. Your partner may begin to feel as though they are not valued within the relationship.

Myth 5. You’re too busy for relationship issues, work, and other commitments, but it’s ok they will understand. You should not put your loved ones on the back burner. They deserve to come first in your life, most of the time. You cannot ignore the need to devote time to your relationship or you run the risk of your partner feeling taken for granted. The relationship is in danger of losing the intimacy and connection you once shared. When you do decide to give your relationship some effort, your partner may well not be interested. Your partner may be full of resentment and hurt, and it may well be that you’ve left things a little late.

The commitment you share is not enough to keep your relationship or marriage together. You must consistently nurture your relationship on a regular basis. What you put in to it, you will get back and your relationship will reap the benefits. You must be prepared to give more if you want a happy, healthy and stable life together.

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For more information on making your marriage a more successful and close relationship please visit SavetheMarriage and met Amy Waterman, she will guide you through the process of getting your marriage back on track.


Copyright ©2007, Janelle Coulton

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Love Does Not Die


Are there problems in your relationship right now? Does you partner want to leave? Are you feeling angry with each other? No-one who really loves you ever stops loving you. You may disappoint them in some way, they may feel angry with you, but despite those feelings, that persons love will not die if they truly love you. Love is eternal and everlasting.

The tricky part here is knowing if this persons love is real. I wrote a little about this recently on my home page at
and it is a topic that I would like to share more about with my readers. One writer, whose book I endorse on my site recently wrote to me and agreed with what I had to say.

If someone really loves you then being away from you and not in contact with you will drive them to insanity. On the surface they may say they don’t want to be with you or talk to you, but deep down, they are missing your company more than I can put into words. Many couples fight and get angry with each other, but the love never dies. They disappoint each other at time, but when they are apart, they are not happy. Things go wrong in relationships all the time, there are those times when you and partner are just not getting along and perhaps you may argue with each other, and both parties within that relationship may think that the love is gone. However this is just not true. If two people really love each other, then their love will not fade away.

It is what happens during the good times that will give you a clue about whether the love is real or not. The answers will just come to you. Having said that; more importantly it is what happens during the bad times that really show when love is real or not. Pay special attention to how your partner treats you during the bad times, for example; if you are sick or your children are sick or there is a crisis in the family. That is where the revelation will come. The strongest sign of real love with show up in your lives and you will have no doubts in that person’s love for you.

It is the love that is present in our relationships that make it so very hard to let go when couples break up. Many couples do not break up because they no longer love each other. It is in fact the opposite. They cannot solve their problems, so rather than to keep making each other more miserable they decide to go their separate way and find happiness with someone else. This is not the case for all relationships and marriages but it happens and I have to say that it is totally selfish. If two people share a life, a home, love between them and children or whatever it is they share, then it is my opinion that they should fight like hell (excuse the term) to get their marriage or relationship back on track. I do not believe in divorce or breaking life long commitments. Many couples these days, choose not to marry and just live together.

Lastly I will say that there only really three things worth breaking up or getting a divorce over and they are: Substance abuse, or any kind of addiction that a partner cannot overcome, abuse, and in some cases, infidelity. In my eyes there is no other problem that couples cannot work out. If the love is still there and I believe that love does not die, then you can work at getting your relationship back on track.

Copyright ©2007, Janelle Coulton

I hope that you enjoyed my short essay. I have many more thoughts about the mysteries and definitions of love. Many people have their own definitions of love, and what they perceive love to be. It is an interesting concept.

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I have recently started a new group on Yahoo! Everyone is welcome to come and share their thought, ideas and obtain advice from other members. So far we are up to eight members and counting, please come and join us. It will be a lot of fun and we will all make friends from all over the globe. Click here to join the new Stop Break-ups group or go to my websites below to get a copy of my Free report.

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Blame Game

Are you Caught up in the Blame Game?

When couples argue, there are usually accusations of a certain nature being discussed and we tend to get caught up in; what I call “The Blame Game.” Quite frankly, no matter what you are arguing about, whether it be money, time spent together as a couple/with the children, chores or sex, it makes absolutely no sense to blame each other. Blaming and accusations get us nowhere.

When we get into an argument with our partner, we would be much better off to express our feelings from our own point of view, without blames the other. You may ask, “how do I do this?” Simply by stating your feelings from the first person, such as “I feel hurt, when we argued about our money issues last night, and then perhaps you could move on to saying “I’m not blaming you, but I feel that we need to fix this.” Instead of wasting precious time arguing and accusing,
which leads to the Blame Game trap.

Both people are blaming and trying to win the argument, because it has become about being right. Not about solving the issue at hand. Focusing on a solution, rather than arguing about who did what is far more positive and helpful. In time the Blame Game will erode at your self esteem, it will cause distrust, insecurity and build a lot of resentment. Not very healthy.

Keep working on finding a solution, where both parties win. To put it simply, compromise is usually the best option.

Copyright ©2007, Janelle Coulton

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Save a Marriage with Unconditional Love - Amy Waterman

In the middle of a session the other day I had a powerful realization. I was asked to think of a relationship I had with something in the last week that in my mind was the ideal relationship, and to think of what it was about that relationship that made it ideal.

A number of men in the group thought of their cars, tool sheds, families, workmates, old friends, even relationships with objects such as their television remote, recliner chair, or favorite pair of shoes. To each of these men, these things felt comfortable, and simple. The relationships they had with these people or objects was rewarding and easy to maintain.

When my turn came to identify my ideal relationship, I thought of my dog. My dog has very simple needs, and it is the ultimate ego-boost for me when I get home at night and I am greeted in such an enthusiastic fashion. I don’t know of any others that greet me so enthusiastically night after night. No matter how long I have been away from the house or no matter how my day has been. I call this unconditional love.

So what is unconditional love?

Unconditional love is the type of love that comes without conditions. It is the type of love that you have for your partner when the romantic, hollywood-style love is gone. Once the romantic love is gone you make the transition to "real" love. Real love is love you have for your partner despite the knowledge that they are not perfect. You know your partner has faults. You know your partner is not perfect. You know your partner makes mistakes sometimes, but that’s okay. You still love them. This is unconditional love.

The same thing applies to you however in looking at your partner’s faults. You acknowledge that you are the same. You have faults. You are not perfect. You know you make mistakes sometimes, but that’s okay. That’s called self-acceptance, and you expect unconditional love to overcome the faults and imperfections that people have.

So what do you get from this then? Should we all go out and get dogs to teach us something about unconditional love? Maybe there is a lesson to be learnt here. We all clutter our lives with trials and tribulations, and there is the temptation to let

But if you are serious about saving your marriage you need to put the clutter to one side and let your unconditional love come through. It is okay to have faults and make mistakes. And love will conquer them all.

Have a think about unconditional love and how you can apply this realization to your relationship.

Written by SaveYourMarriage Guru Amy Waterman

Save My Marriage Today

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