DAILY LOVE TIPSunday July 3, 2011

Greetings dear Friends

Shelton and I presented the “KEEPING THE LOVE YOU FIND” Imago Workshop for Individuals/Singles/Couples based on the work and book of Dr Harville Hendrix this weekend in Melbourne, Australia and again had the privilege of sharing with some very courageous and committed people who participated.

It was so heartening to hear one ‘30 something’ young couple share with much enthusiasm (especially the husband) about how they will do anything it takes to keep their marriage (of three years) loving and thriving. This is especially valuable in that this young guy shared that his regular circle of mates would not regard his attending the workshop as an appropriate thing to do and in fact would consider it as evidence that there is something wrong with their marriage and that it is in dire trouble and at risk. The accepted behaviour amongst his friends is to keep the “happily ever after…..” facade

To share with his friends that he has attended this workshop feels very risky to him even though he guesses most of them are having difficulties as well….. And this couple are both highly educated and have professional careers…..so I’m hunching their friends are in this same category as well.

This attitude is sooooooo distressing to me! My heart aches and I truly want to sob when I hear this. Yes sob!….How are we going to educate society and normalize that everyone needs relationship and marriage education when this is such a regular comment we hear and a prevailing way of thinking♥ And from educated people as well!

I can feel a soapbox appearing in front of me……

or as I said to Shelton – I can feel a blog post coming on! LOL!……. I didn’t intend to write about this so I guess it needs me to write about it right now. I am going to take the liberty of expanding this topic as it is probably the most central and passionate one for me and the reason I do the work I do. In fact it is interesting to note that a part of me was going to apologize for taking up your time to share about this by beginning with –  Excuse me but I am going to take the liberty of expanding this topic……..How indoctrinated we all are!!

I specialize as a therapist working with relationships and a high percentage of my therapy practice is helping people to reconnect and have HOPE that their LOVE  can be resurrected and teaching them the TOOLS to do this.

The appalling statistic is that couples generally seek help of a therapist or marriage counselor 6 YEARS after the initial appearance of the issue/problem in their relationship. That is 6 years TOO MUCH of detachment and disengagement and criticism and resentment and often outright disliking of each other.

We consider RELATIONSHIPS and Learning the SKILLS and TOOLS as The 4th “R” of EDUCATION.  EVERYONE needs to know and be able to use the best communication TOOLS and skills. EVERYONE needs to learn them – we are not born knowing them! And we need to regularly update our learning.

We have around a 50% divorce rate in both Australia and America which means about every second person you meet will have experienced the heartbreak and pain of separation and divorce. And whatever they experience their children will as well – and usually more intensely than the adults as they still love both parents. That’s an awful lot of heartache and misery. And the children don’t get to choose how their parents talk to each other and treat each other. They have to put up with witnessing and being around the hurt and pain even if it is withdrawal and detachment…… coldness and being resentful and blaming hurts too even if no words are used. Children are energy ‘sensates’.

Another guy in this same workshop who had been recently divorced after being married for about 20 years shared so poignantly about his pain at his marriage ending (and also the pain of his children) and did a process of saying goodbye to his marriage and the dreams that will never be. All the participants had a very real experience of the gut-wrenching ache and grief that is part of most separations and divorces.

Unfortunately Divorce like Death is another of the ‘D’ WORDS that people tend to sanitize and only talk and feel about behind closed doors. Are you ‘squirming’ and thinking how come
she is talking about this and not the usual ‘LOVE and light stuff’♥……..Are you  thinking of separating and ending your relationship♥ Are you having an affair and turning your energy to someone else with the fantasy that will ‘fix ‘everything♥ Do you continue to put up with the same destructive behaviours between you and your partner and turn a blind eye to it♥ Do any of these describe your friends or family♥

For me ignoring and putting up with relationship problems and not seeking expert help is similar to having a throbbing toothache of the severity that needs a root canal or the like and doing nothing about it other than taking analgesics for it for years…….well I guess we do have an epidemic of people taking antidepressants and other addictive and numbing substances in our society!!!

The dream that I am most passionate about is decreasing the divorce rate in Australia by half by the year 2015. I’ve put this out before in the last few years and in fact have it posted on our website but very, very few people make comments or pick it up.

Recently we’ve had a lot of press in Australia and on Facebook about live exporting of cows to Indonesia and the abusive way they are being slaughtered and it seems everyone was up in arms about this and commenting vociferously and campaigns being mounted right left and centre and people sending emails and signing petitions and posting and re-posting info!! And yes I am a vegetarian – almost a vegan – and I do care about their suffering. Or, it could have been saving old growth forests or whales or dolphins or wolves or aboriginal rights or climate control or many other topics and people vocally and loudly protest and ‘carry the flag’!!!!

Yet what has and is still happening in our society is this topic gets ignored…..and we still have people predominantly believing what the young guy above shared. My hunch is after posting this article only trickles of people will make any comment!! Ughhhhhh!!!!……….in fact I would be willing to bet on it!

Why is this♥….I just don’t understand it. There is ‘a  war’ going on in many people’s homes and using weapons that hurt and harm – their words, their criticisms, all the ways they defend and attack and emotionally and physically abuse their loved ones; the ways they are harsh and unkind and unloving and withholding. The chilling line at the beginning of the movie  “The Prince of Tides” that we show in our workshops is a good description –

“I don’t know when my parents began their war with each other, but I do know the only prisoners they took were their children…”

Are you willing to join me and make a stand for happy and loving relationships/marriages and Homes being a safe haven for families and the need to be educated to do this♥ Does this
topic interest you♥ Are you willing to speak out about this topic♥…..to send this article on to your networks♥…..to share about your experience♥ Will you share your answers to the following questions in the comments below……..…

Would you be willing to comment on what you think and how this affects you so I know that I am not alone in this♥…..even knowing that others have read this and it matters to them would be great……and encouraging….  

Questions for you:

a)    Do you share with your friends that you would attend/have attended a relationship education workshop and/or marriage/relationship counseling♥

b)   If you have what has been the response♥

c)   If you don’t feel comfortable doing so what stops you doing it♥

My most important message is DIVORCE IS PREVENTABLE if you have the TOOLS. People CAN and NEED to be taught how to have happy and successful marriages/relationships……. And “Happily ever after” does happen…..

Footnote: This article is intended for people everywhere whether you live in Australia or America or wherever. Our focus for this project on halving the divorce rate is on Australia at the moment…..and EVERY relationship that is loving and happy contributes to this coming about…..

LOVE from a ‘revved up’ Susieand with respect and gratitude that you have read this far…

PS: I am not willing to remain low-key about this topic anymore. I am determined to get the word out about this and would appreciate your help. …..And yes I own up – I am not a “well-behaved woman” :O)


“Well-behaved women rarely make history………..” Laurel Thatcher Ulrich.

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

“Unless someone like you cares a whole lot, Nothing is going to get better, it’s not.”
~ Dr Seuss, The Lorax

This is a revolutionary view of relationships:
rather than leaving it to find yourself, you find yourself through it being
the right partner is more important than picking the right partner
  ~Dr. Harville Hendrix

When there is light in the soul, there is beauty in the person.
When there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house.
When there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. 
When there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world. ~ Chinese proverb

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” ~ Nelson Mandela.