The central theme of the book is to:
‘Develop the beliefs, acquire the knowledge and learn the skills to love and accept yourself in order to be able to love and accept others’.
Three principles are central to the book:
We all have a drive towards completion, which influences the experiences that we attract towards us, and our choice of partner.
The relationships you will have are a reflection of your own personal development. So if you want a better relationship you need to develop a better relationship with yourself.
Learning to love is like learning a language, being good at a sport or learning to play an instrument. It is a skill that needs to be learnt.
Here are the heart lines…….
The book is a cumulative build so that one chapter builds on the previous one so that at the end there is a coherent story about relationships in the twenty first century. Having said that I have also written all the chapters in such a way that they can be ‘stand alone’ blogs. The list of contents and the date I posted each blog is below to help orientate you around the book. Continue reading
You would have been raised by people who you knew loved you and were prepared to express and demonstrate this, they would have always been there for you, established clear boundaries to help you feel safe, helped you to adopt a clear set of values, taken time to listen to and helped you to interpret your feelings, thoughts and ideas, encouraged you in all your interests, validated your emotions and assisted you in your emotional development. They would have helped you to be the best you could be, celebrated your achievements, accepted your weaknesses, encouraged you to be empathetic with others, given you constructive feedback when they thought it would help you and taught you to give constructive feedback when you were unhappy about someone else’s behaviour. They would have allowed you to depend on them when you were young and celebrated your independence when you were ready. Finally they would have modelled a successful and loving relationship with a partner. Continue reading
Each session was usually instigated by something that was on our mind or something that had happened to us in the intervening period. We found that the sessions had a natural progression and a unique timeliness about them. We also realised how much our own friendship was deepening as we learnt to value each other and develop strategies to enhance our connection and communication. This was a very real and unexpected outcome of our work together. Continue reading
‘The reason why we have so much trouble with relationships today, maybe our neglect of its study. We expect to find intimacy naturally without education or initiation. When we fail in this area, we assume that we must have some inborn lack. But the fact is we do nothing well in life and that includes intimacy unless we have the schooled imagination for it.’ Continue reading
In talking to hundreds of men over the past few years one thing I have been struck by is the need they have for adventure. It would seem that a lot of men who have been married for many years, love their wives and family and don’t want to jeopardise their lifestyle. However they don’t seem to be having the level of sex that they would like and they are bored. They are crying out for adventure. Continue reading
The Power of Groups Groups can replicate the family dynamic and be very uncomfortable places to be. They can also be incredibly healing places too. I used to avoid groups like the plague because I found that my old stories of inclusion and exclusion played out again in the groups I was part of. This … Continue reading
If we are raised in a family where we have to put on a mask (or adopt a persona) in order to fit in, we are likely to attract another person wearing a mask when it comes to having relationships. It takes something like experience the men went through in ‘The Lonely Hearts Club’ where they were able to be present in a non judgemental and accepting environment for our masks to fall away. Continue reading
It is interesting that when Veronica and I first started to work together to explore relationships, it never occurred to us that as the time progressed we would effectively limbically develop each other. However from the outset we set clear boundaries, researched topics of interest and relevance, participated enthusiastically in each other’s planned activities, gave each other positive and constructive feedback and were committed to attending the meetings. As I have mentioned before much to our surprise we did not talk about men very often or relationships for that matter. Continue reading
The authors suggest that most of our emotional development is achieved during our pre verbal years and requires ‘mountains of repetition’ and ‘years of long-standing togetherness’ to write permanent changes into a brain’s open book. In a relationship one mind revises another; one heart changes its partner. Continue reading