Archive for the ‘Relationship Coaching’ Category

New Quiz Reveals What Type of Person You are to Live With

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

What’s it Like to Live With Me?

In my roll as a San Jose Wedding Officiant and Premarital Coach I work with a lot of couples that are learning how to live together. This great quiz will help you understand what it’s like for you partner to live with you.

While you are getting ready for work you realize that your dearly beloved has once again used all of the hot watter and you are facing another cold shower. You:

  1. Convince yourself that cold showers are a spiritual experience
  2. Start taking your showers the night before
  3. Ask your loved one to take his/her shower earlier
  4. Get up really early the next day, take an excessively long hot shower and do two loads of laundry making sure that all hot water is gone long before your loved one steps into the shower

An old friend wants to come by and visit. You:

  1. Ask your loved one if they mind having visitors
  2. Say, “excellent, I can’t wait for you to meet my better half. Perhaps we all play a game.”
  3. Say “yes” without asking
  4. Ask your spouse to go out so that you can reminisce about the good old days

Socks, shoes, books and half eaten food are strewn about the house.  Several attempts to get your spouse to clean up after himself/herself have not worked. This makes you feel:

  1. Nothing. It does not bother you
  2. disrespected so you talk to your spouse
  3. like a maid
  4. Concerned about where  to hide the body after committing the crime

After a long day you want to kick back and watch  some good TV. Your spouse is ready to party and wants to go out. You:

  1. Force yourself to get excited and go out with a smile on your face
  2. Go out anyway and try to enjoy yourself
  3. Tell your spouse what you would like and work towards a compromise
  4. Convince your spouse to sit down and watch reruns of Friends with you

You need a little time alone. You:

  1. Pretend like you want to spend time with your spouse
  2. Tell your spouse what you need in a loving way
  3. Disappear for a while without telling anyone where you are
  4. Have a friend call and say that you have been in a minor car accident and will be home by nine.

If you answered 1 to all or most of the above scenarios the following is likely true about you:

  • You consider yourself an easy going individual
  • You put your partners needs in front of yours
  • Or perhaps… you chose your answers while your spouse was looking over your shoulder and you intend to change them later

If you answered 2 to all or most of the above scenarios the following is likely true about you:

  • You know how to be diplomatic
  • Your open and rational style will help resolve conflict

If you answered 3 to all or most of the above scenarios the following is likely true about you:

  • You like things your way; but, are willing to compromise and change when necessary

If  you answered 4 to all or most of the above scenarios the following is likely true about you:

  • You are a strong willed person and may need to post bail in the very near future

Money Matters for Engaged Couples

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Money, regardless of how much or little a couple has, creates stress in a relationship.  After years of coaching engaged couples, I have found that following the simple process outline below really helps couples deal with their money matters:

1) Set individual short and long term goals. Sit down without your partner and write down what you want your money to do for you. It is important for both you and your faïence to know what you want as unique individuals. Marriage is going to require you to compromise and sacrifice on the financial front and you will be far less resentful if your are clear about what you are sacrificing and why. Trust me, this helps.

  • Your short term goals should focus on the next six months to one year.
  • Your long term goals should focus on the next one to five years.

2) Create couple short and long term goals. Now its time to sit down with you partner and plan for the future. Read each others goals (the ones you set in step 1) and tell you partner what’s important to you and why. Listen to what you partner has to say. Once you have heard each other it’s time to put pen to paper and write short and long term goals together. These goals will help guide your married financial life.

3) Create a Budget. This is not fun; but it is essential. There are some great websites out there that will help you with this process like Mint.com. You can also download my free budget worksheet. If you are not currently combining your income this is a good chance to see what you combined income will look like. It’s also a good time to talk about bank accounts (will you get a joint account or keep separate accounts) and who is going to pay the bills.

4) Pick one of your long term goals and one of your short term goals and devise a plan to achieve them based on your budget.

5) After one month sit down you partner look at your budget again and evaluate your progress. Can you start working toward another one of your goals or do you need to reevaluate what you did last month.

One final note: I am not a financial planner and you should consult a professional financial planner before making any big financial decisions.

If anyone has any has any great budgeting ideas for couples, please comment. I’d love to hear them.

Writting your own Vows

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Should we write our own vows?

Three reasons to write your own wedding vows:

  1. Committing your life to the person you love in your own words adds a personal touch to the ceremony
  2. Writing about the love and commitment you have for one another is bound to lead to new discoveries about your relationship
  3. Writing will help clarify your vision of marriage

Three reasons not to write your own wedding vows:

  1. Finding the right words can be nerve-racking
  2. If your fiance is not as excited about the project as you are, problems are bound to arise
  3. There are lots of beautifully written wedding vows available that have withstood the test of time. Vows don’t have to be original in order to be personal.

One of our officiants would be glad to help you create the perfect wedding ceremony. Contact us to schedule a free appointment.

Preparing for Marriage with a San Jose Officiant

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Planning a wedding is a lot of work. It’s not surprising that in the midst of finding a photographer, meeting with the DJ and choosing a caterer, many couples don’t take the time to intentionally prepare for their married life together.

Premarital coaching is a great way to prepare for marriage. Couples that go through our coaching program begin by taking an online assessment called Prepare/Enrich.  We use Prepare/Enrich with our clients because it is astonishingly accurate and well respected. You can view research articles on prepare enrich by clicking here.

Next, one our highly trained coaches uses the Prepare/Enrich survey results to help a couple improve their relationship skills. Typically this involves the following:

  • Exploring strength and growth areas
  • Strengthening communication skills
  • Resolving conflict
  • Developing a more balanced relationship
  • Exploring family of origin issues
  • Discussing financial planning and budgeting
  • Establishing personal, couple and family goals
  • Understanding and appreciating personality differences

Our basic premarital coaching program includes the Prepare/Enrich survey and three sessions with one of our coaches. The cost is $365. Mention that you read this article and we will give you a 15% discount.

Contact us for a free consultation today.

10 Secrets to an Intimate Relationship

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

A lot of couples that I work with express a desire to increase the intimacy in their relationship.  Today I want to share 10 secrets in increasing relationship intimacy through communication.

  1. Look for the good in your partner and compliment him/her.
  2. Shower your partner with praise
  3. Listen to your partner (this means giving him/her time)
  4. Listen to understand — not to judge
  5. Use active listening (summarize what your partner says before you make comments)
  6. Share your feelings. Your partner can not read your mind.
  7. Use I statements (for example. I feel _____).
  8. Seek solutions to problems rather than blaming each other
  9. If a problem persist don’t hesitate to ask for help. A relationship coach or therapist can teach you effective conflict resolution skills. Click here to learn more about the premarital coaching I offer.
  10. Give your relationship the same time and effort you gave it when you first fell in love.

Premarital coaching is great way to get your relationship off to a good start. Click here to schedule a free premarital coaching consultation.

Top 10 Reasons Couples Get Hitched

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

This is a fun list to look at. Please post the reasons why you and your fiance fell in love. I’d love to hear them.

  1. Friendship — fell safe and comfortable with each other
  2. Physical attraction — the look, or feel or touch
  3. Common interests — like to do things together
  4. Religion/spirituality — common values and worship
  5. Sex — better and more satisfying
  6. Security — personal and living securely
  7. Care and comfort — know ways to care for each other
  8. Health — feel healthier and live a better life style
  9. Children — two people can better care for them
  10. Commitment — we made a deal and plan to keep it.

If you are interested in having one of our San Jose Officiants perform your wedding ceremony or  if you would like to learn about premarital coaching, please contact us.

4 Stages of Love Revealed by San Jose Wedding Officiant

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

As couples enter stage two they begin to notice their differences and disagreement, but seldom talk about them. Instead they censor what they say out of fear of hurting the other person.

Stage 3: Relationship Assessment

In this stage couples begin needing time apart from each other. They want space and time to spend doing their own thing. The trick to success at this stage of the relationship is finding independent activities that do not put to much stress on the relationship. At this point couples either decide to separate or recommit.

Stage 4: Recommitment.

When a couple reaches this stage they have figured how to be unique individuals in a committed relationship. They have found balance and begin to embody the kind of love described by Antoine De Saint-Exupery.

Our Bay Area relationship coaches can guide you and your fiance towards a happy and healthy marriage as you prepare for your wedding day. Contact usfor a free consultation.

Do your parents like your fiancé? This survey will reveal the truth.

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

In my premarital coaching practice I have found that the survey below really helps couples understand their thoughts and feelings about their parents and the parents of the person they love.  I suggest that you and your fiancé take this survey independently and then discuss your answers. If taking this survey brings up a lot of difficult issues don’t hesitate to ask for help. Contact me and I would be glad to set up a premarital coaching session with you.

I did not create the survey and I don’t know who wrote it; but, I pass it along and hope that you find it helpful.

Please respond to the statements below on a scale of 1-5.

1: definitely false   2: often false:  3 not false or true:  4: usually true  5: definitely true

  1. My parents are supportive of my choice of partner
  2. My parents respect my right to make my own decisions
  3. The time I spend with my family of origin is usually spent because I want to, not out of a sense of guilty obligation
  4. I am very happy with the way my parents treat us as a couple
  5. I am very happy with the way my parents treat my partner
  6. I am very happy with the way my parents treat me
  7. My parents expect me to care for them in ways and amounts that I consider appropriate
  8. If faced with having to choose on some issue or circumstance I am more my spouses partner than my parents child
  9. I can comfortably invite my parents to our home
  10. I talk freely with my mother about things she does that make me angry
  11. I talk freely with my father about things that he does that make me angry
  12. I express to my mother my love for her
  13. I express to my father my love for him
  14. I like the way partner treats my parents
  15. My mother keeps a good balance between being available to me and expecting me to run my own life
  16. I can count on my mother to say no to me if I ask to much of her
  17. My father keeps a good balance between being available to me and expecting me to run my own life
  18. I can count on my father to say no if I ask to much of him
  19. My father makes no attempt to undermine my life with my spouse
  20. My mother makes no attempt to undermine my life with my spouse
  21. I spend satisfying one-on-one time with my father
  22. I spend satisfying one-on-one time with my mother
  23. My partner enjoys my family
  24. My partner feels welcome and respected by my family
  25. I am waiting for my parents to change so that my life with them will be better

A Blueprint For Resolving Conflict by San Jose Wedding Officiant

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

A good friend of mine says, “in a relationship where there is no disagreement someone is not being heard — their opinion is not being counted.” Conflict is not a bad thing. It is a natural part of every relationship; however, unresolved conflict can grow, fester and become extremely destructive. Below I have outline a blueprint for resolving conflict. Follow these 10 steps and you are well on your way to happy and healthy relationship.

  1. Choose a specific time and place to discuss the issue you have conflict about. Don’t try to solve issues in the heat of the moment or just before bed when everyones is tired. This requires restraint; but, it is worth it.
  2. Define one problem to discuss. Don’t try and solve every issue in your relationship at once.
  3. Understand how you contribute to the problem and take responsibility for it.  Do this without blaming your partner.
  4. Make a list of past attempts to solve this conflict that were not successful. There is no sense in continuing to do things that don’t work.
  5. make a list of possible new solutions. Let the creativity flow. Include crazy ideas.
  6. Discuss and evaluate possible solutions with your partner.
  7. Agree on one solution.
  8. Agree on how each of you will work toward the solution.
  9. Set up another meeting (be specific about time and location) to discuss your progress.
  10. Recognize your partner when he/she contributes to success.
A Blueprint For Resolving Conflict by San Jose Wedding Officiant

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