There’s a “Send us a Message” box at the bottom of every post on the website.
There’s a “Send us a Message” box at the bottom of every post on the website.
The exciting news is after the webinar series has been completed, Athol will begin work on transferring the same content into a five part book series. Expect them to be available for sale one at a time, starting around the middle of the year, finishing with part five in the series early 2016.
The Married Guy’s Guide to Wife is designed to be an easy to understand, simple to put into action, step-by-step system of recovering attraction and rebuilding a wife’s interest in her husband. It also correctly stages the order you need to do things, avoiding the common pitfalls that can derailing all your progress.
“This is the pure, original meaning of the Law of Attraction, far away from fad books like “The Secret”. The Mindful Attraction Plan is a very neat packaging of wisdom from a number of different sources, and that’s exactly what makes it stand out. It’s simple, easy-to-use and more importantly, it just plain works. ” -Brian C Rideout “The Wild Man Project”
“Once again my brother has mortified his family by writing this crap.” Athol’s little sister.
“Athol Kay is an eloquent sex God and has most definitely cracked the code on female sexuality.” -Susan Walsh “Hooking Up Smart”
Not everyone reads books and if you learn best from hearing someone talk, or watching a video, we’ve got you covered.
If you’re a long time MMSL blog reader and have read the Married Man Sex Life Primer and/or The Mindful Attraction Plan, you will have already come across many of the concepts covered in this series. There are however a number of important additions and clarifications from early material that are well worth discovering. For lack of a better term, this is about as close to a MMSL Primer 2 as there will ever be.
The most important improvement is the ordering of the material for someone new to Athol’s work and in a stressful situation. It is explicitly designed to give you exactly the knowledge you need, and the actions you need to carry out, exactly when you need them and without throwing any distractions in your path.
If you are new to Athol’s work, please start here.
The Truth About What Really Attracts Women
Core Questions: Why is my marriage floundering? It started off so good and now it’s like we’re roommates. How do I get it back to like it was at the start of the relationship?
Key Thoughts: That marriage is always a sexual relationship. Sexual relationships are driven by three primary biological drives. Understanding these drives gives you the tools you need to start recovering your relationship. Introduction to Alpha and Beta concepts.
Creating Positive Relationship Momentum
Core Question: I’ve learned the basics, now how do I act as quickly as possible get to the point where our relationship is good and having lots of sex again?
Key Thoughts: Relationships have momentum and your best bet is focusing on a long term strategy of increasing her interest level in you, rather than pushing for sex when she doesn’t want it. Further development of the concepts of Alpha and Beta to find the precise flavor of each she best responds to, and which flavors of each she doesn’t really care about.
Being the Strong Man She Wants to Follow
Core Questions: How do I get her to stop being disrespectful to me? How do I stop the fights about nothing? When she fights dirty, how do I handle it?
Key Thoughts: Most wives look to their husbands to take on a confident, relaxed family leadership role. When the husband does this, a great deal of relationship drama disappears. In addition it also starts evoking a more positive sexual interest in him. This introduces important concepts like Leadership Moments and handling the internal power dynamics of a happy marriage.
Bedroom Confidence and Responsive Sexual Desire
Core Question: How do I get her to be really, really sexual with me?
Key Thoughts: Most women have a responsive desire and best respond to an attractive man making confident sexual approaches on them. This series covers fine tuning initiations that actually work. Knowing how to make her want to push her sexual boundaries with you. How to let go and enjoy the sex more yourself. Plus how to make outside the bedroom playfulness turn into inside the bedroom fun for both of you.
Winning the Peace and Keeping it Won
Core Question: This has been a lot of work to get here. Can you make it any easier? This feels like I’ve been doing it all alone and carrying the relationship myself the whole time.
Key Thoughts: Once a relationship is up to speed in terms of it’s momentum, it requires less energy to keep it there. Once you’ve “arrived” at the relationship being in a good place, the things that trip you up and make the relationship start heading downward, tend to be more emotional and whole life energy in nature. There is a genuine transition from trying to “win the war” in your relationship, to trying to “win the peace”. This covers the emotional struggles that you will face along the way of turning your relationship around. It’s unquestionably the most challenging part of the series.
If you’re reading this website, you typically have a big problem you want to get fixed. You already know exactly what that problem is and you’ve probably already struggling to fix it on your own. If you are struggling to beat it on your own, coaching can be the difference between success and failure.
Here’s how coaching can help you.
When you’re in the middle of your own troubled situation, you’re often going to be so caught up with the stress and emotions that you can’t come up with a real plan of action to fix it. Most people get locked into a mindset of continuing to tolerate whatever is wrong because they don’t know what else to do. You being really mad about something and you having a real plan to fix a problem are two different things.
Looking in from the outside, Athol is a master at sorting through tangled messes and coming up with an immediate plan of action to start fixing your situation.
Having a good plan is great, but it’s not the same thing as actually following through on it.
Having another person checking in on you and holding you accountable to follow through on your plan is a huge influence on success. It’s just like going to the gym, if you are going with a friend or have personal training appointments, you’re more likely to stick with it than if you’re just going by yourself.
What Athol can do is help keep you on track, motivating you and pushing you forward faster than if you just tried to go it alone.
Or maybe you feel like you’re going crazy in the middle of your tangled mess.
Or you want to know there’s a realistic hope the situation can be fixed.
That’s where the reality check of a coaching call can be extremely helpful. Athol will help sort out clarify how much of the situation is fixable by you, how much is really their problem to fix, and whether or not it can be fixed.
In most cases, the situation is fixable and knowing that it is, can be a huge boost in hope and purpose in getting your life back under control. You surge ahead rather than quitting because you’re too tired to go further.
And sometimes it’s the opposite. It’s broken beyond belief and the odds are heavily stacked against you. In almost every case like this, the caller already knows that it’s an impossible situation, but hearing an objective person confirm that can be an enormous relief. You won’t feel crazy after talking to Athol.
The One Hour Call is great for triaging your situation and coming up with that initial plan of something to get started on right now. This is a great call to figure out a Plan and get a Reality Check.
If you know you can follow through yourself, this may be all the coaching you need. You’re not going to be locked into something you can’t get out of. About 60% of coaching clients just do a single One Hour Call and another 10% do a second One Hour Call.
The 12-Week Guided MAP starts with an in depth whole-life questionnaire, and comes up with a deeper plan of action than a One Hour Call can. Calls are weekly and are great for accountability as coach and client tweak the plan on the fly in response to how it’s all playing out. The situation can be very fluid when real change gets started.
Each week we come up with “the three monkeys” of three specific things to focus on for this week. Any more than three things to focus on and it all tends to flounder
Calls are weekly for 12 weeks, and if you started with a One Hour Call, the $149 is applied to the 12-week package. We bill $399 x3 months. If you have a critical situation and are facing some sort of time limit to get things under control, this may well be the best money you spend your whole life.
Calls are via phone or Skype. We can also do Google Hangouts.
We invoice via PayPal. You’ll get an email and you can pay with any credit or debit card or your own PayPal money. You don’t need a PayPal account yourself. We never see your credit card information.
We’re in the same time zone as New York, and calls can start anytime Monday-Wednesday, from 9am to 9pm.
Calls can be from anywhere in the world via Skype, or if calling a phone internationally, we typically call via Skype to your phone with no additional charge.
Yes we do. There’s no additional charge for the One Hour Call for a couple.
There is significantly more effort for the coach with a couple on a 12-Week package, so there is an additional charge of $100 per month for couples on the 12-Week package.
Yes we do.
Rebecca Watson is a specialist in Low Testosterone marriages, helping women display high value and set personal boundaries, coaching men in sparking their wife’s hidden sexuality.
Brian C. Rideout is a specialist in learning how to communicate effectively so you are heard, overcoming personal limitations, and personal success.
Contact us for more details on Rebecca and Brian.
We’ve found that the 12 week program is ideal for most situations. It requires a sense of commitment and motivation for the client to begin it, and that’s also a positive factor in how successful it is.
That being said, if you like it and you think there’s more you can accomplish through coaching, it’s easy enough to continue on for as many 12-Week sessions as we both think is effective. There are a handful of small-to-medium business owner clients who have continued on for over a year of coaching, having experienced positive business gains as well.
Leave a message in the message box at the bottom of the page.
Jennifer Kay is the coaching coordinator and she will follow up with you via email and help get you on your way.
Athol Kay is an innovative thinker, coach and author focusing on marriage and personal growth. Pulling from multiple disciplines, he creates simple, actionable steps to create positive change in your relationship and life.
Athol pulls from five separate veins of knowledge and knits them into a powerful single approach.
The first is from a biological understanding of the three primary biological “love systems” that make up our feelings of attraction, relationship comfort and sexual drive. An example of a book from this genre would be Dr Helen Fischer’s “Why We Love”.
The second is from the dating community about how exactly romantic attraction works, and how to create it. This aligns with the first love system of attraction.
The third is from the traditional marriage advice community emphasizing positive communication skills and expressions of love and commitment. This aligns with the second love system of relationship comfort.
The fourth is from the sexuality community about the actual expressions of sex men and women really enjoy the most, not all of which is exactly politically correct. This aligns with the third love system of sexual drive.
The fifth is an all-purpose general knowledge of health, common sense, basic morality and a holistic approach to life that ties everything together.
Athol is fanatically driven to find “the answers” to the underlying reasons why people act as they do in relationships and life. Without understanding why people act as they do, the solutions offered will always be of limited value. That being said, theory must always translate into some kind of effective practical action that works… or it’s all a waste of time. Theory must work in reality.
What Athol teaches is strong enough that it will succeed without some kind of sleazy marketing campaign to bait people into overspending to get his core information. You will never be told a 30-page eBook is “worth $197, but just for today it’s on sale for $79”. Naturally there is marketing as its all part of paying the bills and sticking around long enough to spread the message, but at the end of the day, prices are reasonable, books are on Amazon, you won’t be screwed over.
Athol started writing about marriage and sexuality on forums in 2009, and then started his Married Man Sex Life (MMSL) blog in January 2010. MMSL has since grown to a number of books, a forum and a life coaching practice. Originally aimed at men fixing sexless marriages, it slowly widened its scope to a co-ed, dynamic approach to relationships and your life as a whole.
The move to opening AtholKay.com is to allow the full scope of Athol’s work of “everything related to marriage and personal growth” to be expressed, and allowing MMSL to revert back to a tighter focus on helping men create change in their sexless marriages. Much of 2015 will however be focused on the final polish to MMSL style material.
Athol has been married to Jennifer for 20 years. If Athol is the front man, Jennifer is the behind the scenes woman assisting with editing print and video, social media, marketing, coaching coordination and generally making sure Athol pulls away from his computer once in a while. They still have sex nearly every single day.
The MAP was originally called the Male Action Plan (2010-2012) but reframed as the Mindful Attraction Plan (2013). Essentially Athol refined the concept from his first book (The Married Man Sex Life Primer) and made it the complete focus of the third book (The Mindful Attraction Plan). The MAP takes all the key points of MMSL and channels them into a coherent plan of action to maximize your attractiveness and sense of self-worth. Then from that stronger personal frame, it allows you to more positively influence people to have better relationships with you.
“Running your MAP” means to start your own personal process of positive and productive self-improvement. Many people start the process of their MAP with a fixed objective they want to meet, i.e. saving their marriage, restarting a sex life, finding a new job and so on. However the further you get into running your MAP, the more you will find the true power in self-development is becoming Outcome Independent and seeing where the MAP takes you. You will become stronger and more capable than you could have ever imagined and far more often than not you reach your relationship goals when you stop worrying about them.
Lelo, one of the largest vibrator manufacturers in the world is launching a feature film and guess what – it’s not about sex. Rather, the film depicts a world where men and women have come to live apart, in a futuristic apocalypse of relationships. The film points to the immediacy and urgency of re-learning the dying art of relationship. I am always encouraged when I get these kinds of messages in my inbox- diminishing the loneliness I sometimes feel in my quest to put our capacity for relating first. With Valentine’s Day around the corner and all of its collateral damage, there isn’t a better time to reflect on our ability and willingness to not only work on our relationships, but even more deeply, to figure out how to truly inhabit them.
Valentine’s Day is, ironically, one of the holidays of the year where many relationships suffer and accounts for one of the heights of breakups through out the year. It is the day when our ideals about love collide with our reality, often with long-lasting, painful results. Reconciling with how our relationships fall short of our needs and expectations should be a part of our daily dialogue, as this is the very conversation that often opens the way to the depth of our gratitude for our loved one. Each time I believe I am reaching a breaking point in my marriage and have the courage to express what I feel, my relationship and my husband step up to fill the gaps and we end up a few steps ahead – each of us with a new understanding of how things break down between us and how speaking up sooner is always better.
I don’t know why or how we have come to believe that silence is golden. It might be when you are trying to put a baby to bed, but in the artful dance of staying in love, keeping your issues to yourself and not asking for what you need are among the top two reasons that love fails us. How and what we have the courage to communicate is the currency of your love. And so, on Valentine’s Day, we are often forced to encounter all that remains unsaid, and all the ways that we isolate ourselves from the people we profess to love the most. Here is the bottom line- nothing unsaid goes away or disappears from the equation of your love. Instead, it seeps into the foundation of your connection, shapeshifting into a distorted version of the love you began with. Only the courageous act of speaking our hearts and perhaps, the even more courageous act of listening without reacting- has the power to maintain our ever vulnerable bonds.
I have suffered for many a Valentine’s Day, not to mention birthdays and Christmas, with the stubborn idea that my husband should know what I want. I naively, and stubbornly thought that asking for what I wanted somehow diminished the offering, the spoken word, or gift. The fantasy that our partner should or would know what would make us happy keeps us from happiness. And yet, we remain dedicated to this common form of relationship suicide, rather than taking the responsibility of saying what we want. Even then, there are times that I don’t get exactly the relationship I believe that I want or deserve, but at least it is not for lack of clarity.
And this brings me to the final nail in the coffin that we willingly pound into our beloved relationships- The idea that we get the love that we want, the way we want it, when we want it. Only the smallest of lucky children get this kind of love, although even recently I was doubting my 30-year marriage over the disparity of my idea of my marriage and its reality. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t that my desires were wrong or even inappropriate, it’s that ultimately it doesn’t matter. Whether we walk down the aisle or sign a lease with someone, we are often without our own recognition agreeing to love those people as they are, in the way that they can love us back. Mind you, this is 30 some years later and I still find myself slipping into a place where the love I have is not good enough.
The antidote is not a correction in my relationship- so much as it is a willingness to live in the relationship that I have. It is solely my perspective that makes my relationship worthy, and believe me, there are days and sometimes unfortunate weeks that I cannot find the way there. I have told you of my no-fail mind shifts before, but in the spirit of Valentines Day– here they are one more time…
Love is the hardest work we do in a lifetime and also offers us the most gentle teaching and deepest evolution we can hope for. Here’s to your imperfect, perfect love….
I’ve written several times about the Nice Guy (the female version is a pleaser), the struggles he faces in his life and relationships, as well as the impact “niceness” has upon both men and women in marriage.
Nice Guys are often wimps.
In fact, Nice Guys tend to play the wimpy victim role very well. You can hear it in what they say to themselves and others:
“It’s just not fair.”
“How come she always gets her way?”
“If they would just …”
The Nice Guy paradigm begins in childhood as a survival mechanism. In order to get their love and attention needs met they develop this belief: “If I’m good and do what’s right, I’ll be loved, get my needs met, and have a problem free life.”
The problem with childhood survival mechanisms, we carry them forward into adulthood and expect them to work like they did when we were children.
We all do this to some degree, but they seldom work as intended. The Nice Guy however, carries with him the belief that he can create a problem free and smooth life.
The truth is, this is an impossibility.
Life is chaotic. Life is struggle. Life is filled with things beyond our control. But the Nice Guy believes otherwise. He is convinced that if he does everything right, everything will go right in his life.
The Nice Guy reacts to the fear of an out of control world by seeking to control everything around him, thus eliminating the fear (at least in his mind).
To move beyond fear and seeking to control everything around you, you must reclaim your personal power. This is the state of mind that is confident you can handle whatever life throws your way. It’s the ability to face the fear of a situation in life and do it anyway.
The first step to reclaiming personal power involves surrendering.
Ironically, the most important aspect of reclaiming personal power is surrender – letting go of what you can’t change and changing what you can – and once again, this begins and ends with you.
I’ve worked with many married clients who’ve felt stuck in their marriage and under the power of their spouse. They didn’t want out of the marriage, only to feel unstuck. When they realized that they alone are responsible for their life and then lived according to their own integrity and values, they began reclaiming their personal power and changing their life. And due to the nature of systems, when they changed, their marriage changed – mostly for the better.
Steve (name changed obviously due to confidentiality) is a good example of this process. When he came to therapy, he wanted to “fix” his spouse because she was moody, depressed, and had almost no interest in sex. As the process unfolded, Steve began to acknowledge and own up to his role in the marriage. He also realized that he had almost no outside interests and no male friends. All of his attention was focused on his wife and her “issues.”
Steve wanted the magic key that would help his wife feel better, thus increasing the likelihood that she’d then meet some of his needs. He also lived in tremendous fear that his wife would leave him if he didn’t take care of her.
He was in a major quandary.
The answer to his dilemma was discovered when began to no longer work to change his wife and focused on changing himself. He began to realize that he could not control his wife and her moods or interests, but he could control his.
When Steve began to live more in line with his core values and integrity and less in fear of his wife’s reactions and feelings, a tremendous shift occurred in their marriage. He found that he has less disappointments and frustrations with his wife and began seeing her as a “gift” in his life. At the same time, his wife began to step up and address her frustrations in her own life and sought help for her depressed moods.
This process involved a great deal of fear and anxiety for both Steve and his wife, but they faced the fear and moved forward knowing they could handle whatever may happen.
Perhaps you’re in a similar situation or you’ve noticed that you’re a Nice Guy (or pleaser) and want to change. If so, join Married Life 911 and take some steps towards regaining the personal power in your life.
Power in Relationships is written by Corey from: Simple Marriage
A FEW THINGS WE LOVE:
Source:Power in Relationships
If you’ve been a long time reader, you’ve seen the posting frequency slowly dropping down in the last 12-18 months. I’m still alive, but 2014 in particular for me has been a difficult year to come to terms with. There’s been some highs and lows, but mostly I’ve been struggling with direction. In no small part because I’ve hit some finishing lines and achieved what I’ve wanted to…but there are other things that have seemed so far out of reach I’ve considered giving up. In the end, 2014 has probably been my greatest year of personal growth.
So now it’s time to talk about what I’ve learned, what I’ve done wrong, what I did right and what is coming up next in 2015.
I actually remember standing in the hallway outside our bedroom door talking to Jennifer about choosing it. I figured it was going to be great for SEO purposes, which it is, as about 30% of my daily hits are gay guys searching for “Man Sex”. I kid you not. It’s never fallen out of the top one or two search terms for the blog.
I’m also filtered out by spam filters in many places and you can’t even access the blog from many locations.
That being said, it does identify a target audience quite well. Married guys wanting a better sex life.
This was unexpected. I really had no clue this was going to happen, though now I look back, it should have been expected. If you explain to guys how to attract women, if women aren’t showing up to your blog, you probably aren’t teaching the guys what the women actually want.
This has turned into both a good and bad thing, good in that it’s attracting a new potential audience, bad in that the original audience starts feeling neglected.
This is both a good thing and a complicating thing. Compared to what I knew in 2010 when I started, I’m several degrees higher in experience, knowledge and above all – smoothness in application. There’s not much I disagree with in what I’ve said in 2010, or in The Primer, but there’s so many missing thoughts and nuances from what I know now.
This fine-tuning has all come from reading tens of thousands of emails from 2010 through 2012 and reading thousands of people’s threads on the forum from 2012 through 2014. The biggest influence though has been the coaching from 2013 through 2015. I don’t give advice in a vacuum. Thousands of people follow my advice, then report back. If I see a problem somewhere, I start altering my advice to compensate. In an abstract sense, MMSL is also been a giant research project where I watch a massive data set playing out. More personally, I have lain awake at night worrying about hundreds of painfully real situations, trying to figure out how to best solve them.
This is all good, because I’m not stagnant and the advice is better now than before. It’s bad though because it’s almost impossible to see that change unless you wade through 1300 posts, read all the books and have a conversation with me. If you read something from 2011… you’re getting 2011 era advice and there’s some disconnect with what I think now.
Back at the beginning, MMSL wasn’t a business. It was just some guy with a day job, blogging at night. Back then it didn’t matter what I said, or how I said it, because worst case scenario I could just delete the blog and that would be that.
There are 1300 blog posts. All free. So most people just read the blog and maybe buy a book. You can essentially get five years of my work for $20. That’s fine in the sense of it having built something, but long term it’s not sustainable as a business model. Just as importantly, if you go the free route, the advice is less clear and easier to misapply.
In part posting is down in 2014 because I don’t want to continue to give it all away for free anymore. Plus it’s exhausting to write for nothing.
Essentially *all* the marketing types I’ve ever talked to about this have been utterly horrified at the idea I have that much content freely available.
Likewise the free forum is in some senses competition with the paid coaching. The coaching is superior to the forum on multiple levels, but there’s probably plenty of people who would pay for the coaching, who just opt for the forum. Plus it takes time, money and effort to support and moderate the forum. I don’t have a solution for that at the moment.
I’m a big reader and I love books. So I wrote a blog and wrote books. Because that’s how everyone else in the whole world learns too.
Er… no they don’t. It’s been a huge error to have focused on nothing but writing. Just because I would never listen to a podcast without a gun to my head, doesn’t mean other people wouldn’t love to have my stuff as a podcast. Or a webinar, or whatever.
And apparently Jennifer has been trying to tell me this for the last couple of years, but I’m obviously so much smarter than her that I didn’t listen very well. Which explains why when I told her about this amazing breakthrough in insight I had about this, she put her forehead against my chest and hammered her fists against my shoulders. My bad lol.
Here’s the thing, there a huge barrier to most people to link a blog post from “Married Man Sex Life” on a place like Facebook. Yet that exact same post from “AtholKay.com” might have been linked.
Plus I’ve now had hundreds of people say they want to share the Primer, but can’t because of the language. That’s tons of lost business and people who could have been helped, who aren’t.
I’m not sure I can ever really explain what it’s like to write something on your blog, and have someone start mailing it anonymously to your wife’s employer. We were fortunate enough to be in a place to be able to pull Jennifer from her job, and she has never given me a hard time about it. But the fact that sometimes, people really are out to get you, kills any sense of enjoyment or creativity and both are factors in writing well.
The up side to that though is Jennifer is home now. We get to see each other all through the day. Despite the doomsayers, it’s gone pretty well. She’s fallen into a mix of SAHM and my assistant. She’s enjoyed a year of reduced duties compared to her frenzy of full-time work, and she looks happier and more relaxed than I can remember her being for a while.
But for a long time us getting to hang out and be together was the goal driving the bus on a lot of motivation to work. Goal reached. Now what? Beats me, wanna go to lunch again? Zzzzzzz….
Our two girls are happier too and the travel bug trio have been more places this year than ever before.
2015 is going to be a long branding and rebranding project.
(1) MMSL will continue to exist on what is planned as a permanent basis. I’m not pulling posts et al. It’s too time consuming to change it, and people can just dredge it all up with the wayback machine anyway. I’m not planning to add lots and lots of new posts though. 1300 posts is already a colossal blog.
(2) The nexus of all my future work will start happening on atholkay.com. As of right now it’s currently in a maintenance mode as I finalize the layout and seed it with some content. MMSL will fairly closely match atholkay.com for its template and probably this weekend I’ll switch that over as well.
(3) If I’m identifying with a particular topic, it’s “marriage”. There are a number of sub-topics within that though, so atholkay.com is intended to be the nexus of “marriage everything” and each sub-topic gets its own little website focusing nothing but that sub-topic and linking back to atholkay.com.
(4) That allows MMSL to start defaulting back to nothing more than the question of “how does a married guy get laid more with his wife”, and over the years atholkay.com gets to expand into anything and everything else marriage related. Thus MMSL defaulting back to focusing on men, doesn’t simply dump the women off at the side of the road and wish them the best of luck.
(5) Defined content chunks. I’m moving toward a model where every content chunk needs its own small website and advertising, with some basic good but free information, followed by more advanced but paid information, in every format and delivery system I can reasonably produce, namely webinars, audio and books as a starting point.
(6) Point 5 is of course an information marketing model, but I don’t see myself doing the greedy evil of “it’s a $197 value, but if you buy in the next 24 hours, it’s just $79!!!” thing. There’s enough need out there that I think I’ll do vastly better long term with reasonable prices and having it be sharable. I have more than enough potential content chunks to create for years to come.
(7) The vast bulk of my efforts for 2015 will be in “finishing” MMSL as close as I imagine it can be finished right now. This will be a five part series aimed directly at the guy who *just* got the wakeup call that his wife is horribly unattracted to him and a step by step plan to turn that around. In terms of balance, think about two parts Primer, one part MAP Book, two parts unpublished + more recent posting, and all vastly more focused on simple, clear action steps. Webinars are the easiest to produce so we’re starting there, books et al starting the second half of the year.
(8) 2016 and beyond. The next thing I want to do is a series aimed directly at couples, though the college age guys / dating / spouse selection thing is high on the list too.
The big topic that I am drooling messily to get to do, is an integration of Enneagram personality typing into the MAP, but that’s going to need a serious cash on hand / Kickstarter approach to do what I what it to.
(9) Coaching is pretty close to where I want it now. I’m seeing ways to better target it to the clients I feel I best work with though.
(10) Jennifer and myself. We have 2.5 years before youngest goes off to college. Our goal is to work like crazy and then move to a warmer climate city as we both hate the snow with a passion. Then we get to do more traveling for fun and doing live events. She’s really put in serious effort supporting me this last five years and I think she deserves success too.
And as always, I am very grateful that so many people have read and supported me over the years. It’s been a long road and Jennifer and I would have failed several times over were it not for people reading and supporting us.
Life needs you to love, to come home to your true loving self. It needs you to be open to all that you don’t know, it needs you to listen with the intent to deeply connect, it needs you to want to feel everything, it needs you to recognize at every moment this might be your last chance to get it right. Here are the ever-evolving tips that I work to live by every day in the quest to build a life made of love. Each seems deceptively simple at first glance, but they are each present advanced practices of both what love requires of us and how, if we are blessed, we are re-created in its form. Love is in you, all around you, inescapably holding you if we could just learn its ways.
“I live in the open mindedness of not knowing enough about anything.” -Mary Oliver
When we know, or think we know, we cut ourselves off from the vast swaths of reality that we cannot see. Lately, I am painfully aware every day of not knowing how to do what I am attempting to do. It is embarrassingly easy for this not knowing to harden my exterior and before long, I am not sure who is speaking through my voice, but I don’t like her very much. Instead, when I can embrace the not knowing as a form of wonder, I soften and I can trust in what has yet to be revealed. Not knowing what to do, or what should come next can be a kind of freedom that lets you be where you are. Most of all, it unlocks the judgments that separate us from loving ourselves and others.
“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Steven Covey
We shut the door on the love in our lives every day with our low skill levels in listening. I am the queen of this particular malady, so it is with deep humility that I bring it up again as a primary form of love. I have said before, but it bears repeating, that when we feel truly heard, we cannot distinguish that experience from love. My own lack of listening usually comes from a good-hearted place of wanting to share an insight that I believe would help the person speaking to me. It has taken me five decades to really understand that others (especially my children) don’t want my insight, they want my love which they perceive as I bear witness to them silently, opening and holding the space for them to listen for their own insights. Love has little to do with fixing, recommending, or telling- when people want this from us, they will ask.
“There exists no miracle mightier than this: to feel.”- E.E. Cummings
I maintain that there is no deeper turning away from love than our refusal to feel. Emotional illiteracy hampers our ability to identify and name our feelings and also prevents us from expressing them. The things that live in us without recognition don’t go away, they grow larger, demanding to be seen. This explains the vast and ever-changing technologies and self-medicating techniques that we give so much of our life to. When we won’t feel our own hearts, we have to numb them. And worse still, when we won’t feel our own experience, we have no access to feeling the people we love. Learning to feel can be scary, because we believe they will swallow us up whole. The opposite is actually true, as we allow them space to express, they wash through us, and in the deepest cleansing the heart knows. Our capacity to feel is truly a miracle waiting to happen.
“Treat every moment as your last. It is not a preparation for something else.” -Shunryu Suzuki
As I come to the first anniversary of my father’s death I am more aware every day of the brevity of this life. If this was the last day you had to love the people near you, to forgive yourself, to do this tedious menial task again, what reverence would you bring to it. For me, one of the most powerful mind practices is forcing myself to imagine that this is the last time I might ever get to walk my dog, kiss my husband good bye, speak to my son on the phone, resolve a label issue at work…. And then I am often weeping with the gratitude of having this day, this person. I can make you this one promise, when the time actually comes when you are taking your last breath, the only thought that you will have will be of who you loved, who loved you. Practice this now. It will make the last moments more beautiful. Guaranteed.
Source:How To Love
I recently received this email from a Simple Marriage reader …
Your article on 5 ways to ignite your wife’s passions was good up until point 3 at which you completely lost me.
In it you describe my exact personality: ‘…men who are anxious, passive and eager to please exude anything but confidence.’ Well if that’s the case I’m in deep trouble. I’m struggling to decipher whether this is your own bolshy American swagger or whether it’s the truth.
I come from a long line of genetically enhanced worriers. We’re not timid, but there is a reluctance to exude anything that vaguely resembles American bolshiness (I’m not American or a swarve Italian, haha). That sort of confidence is definitely not present in the men and women in my family: lots of happy, sweet smilers and most definitely we are a family of eager to pleasers!
I’d have to say much of this died in me after I lost my business to a Christian businessman who took full advantage of that particular trait turning me into a bit of a hater and someone who is far less trusting of human beings since. Yet it’s still very much in my blood and I’m reminded of this when I start having anxiety attacks (of the clinical kind) when I find myself in conflict or high stress situations – something that was alien prior and seemingly dormant as an experience up until I had that nightmare experience of almost losing everything.
I now see it in my son too: this genetic lack of confidence playing out before my eyes much to my and my wife’s dismay. He assumes a victim mentality and we’ve seen this in his social interactions with friends who end up rejecting him. A self-perpetuating problem we’re trying to solve.
Luckily I had church to bury myself in growing up and faith became the crutch I used to find confidence – as has my whole family. I say crutch not as a bad thing because I do honestly see this genetic lack of confidence as a good fit for finding church and faith.
So you see the problem here. You’ve branded me as a failure in confidence without hope for those like me and my family who genuinely have a personality trait that has its roots in a genetic lilt.
I get what you’re saying, but believe me, I have done many things to try and figure it out – including spending 4 years at university studying social services, abandoning that, but getting my psychology degree without finding a solution to my problems. Of course I married a woman whose father is even more timid and lacking confidence than me or my dad. Her mom dominates in every way on the one hand as an energetic, delightful person who is the life and soul of every social gathering, BUT on the other hand is a most critical, self-centered lady whose power to destroy with words matches her power to bring life.
So here I sit, madly in love with my gorgeous wife, dying to make to love to her and dealing with her apparent apathy toward touch and sex, lack of ability to want or enjoy intimacy, and dealing with my own lack of confident personality which I will not be able to change at base and according to you this leaves me hopeless haha! Great. Just what I needed to hear. Thanks!
Dear Innate Worrier,
There is nothing in my book that says those with a genetic disposition towards anxiety, worry and/or lack of confidence can’t be, and possibly aren’t, actually confident.
The mere fact you can name and own your traits is in itself confidence.
Confidence has many outward traits: standing tall, speaking with a firm tone, looking others in the eyes. But, confidence also comes from knowing who you are and who you aren’t — and then most importantly, not trying to act like you’re something you’re not.
It’s a knowing who you are then a willingness to let that be seen by those you live life with, without them having to accommodate or cater to your insecurities and worry.
As you have termed it, what you describe is more a man who is a “nice guy” than a man lacking confidence.
The trouble with the nice guy isn’t that he’s a pleaser, it’s that he’s often a manipulator – he tries to get his needs met without asking for them. He is also overly attached to the outcomes rather than simply seeking and being driven by his desires.
I hope you can actually begin to see a clearer picture of where you stand, and that you can stand taller than before because you in fact already have more confidence thanks to your willingness to state your struggle.
Confidence Is Key, And You May Already Own It is written by Corey from: Simple Marriage
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