Your Relationship - Your Choice.|
Newsletter of M. Makael Newby, Relationship Coach, Author, Speaker, Sexuality Consultant
June 2010 - Vol 1, Issue 6
M. Makael Newby
CTA Certified Coach
June saw not only Father's Day, but the launch of Sesso Ed: a new series of educational workshops from Portland's Club Sesso
. We kicked it off right with 40 attendees for "The Law of Multiples: Creating Healthy Open Relationships."
"Your workshop was amazing and fun!" wrote one attendee. "I actually felt really positive
about my self and sexuality after my partner and I attended your
workshop. The [discussion about] jealousy (fear of loss) really made me
aware of my childhood and how it affected my relationship with my
partner for the last 15 years."
My next workshop on "Communication Skills for Extraordinary Relationships" will debut on July 11th. If you're local, register now to reserve your seat and be automatically entered in the raffle for a copy of My Erotic Adventure
|I've been reading some sharp articles lately - about relationships, marriage and divorce. Enough of them, in fact, that I think it's worth sending them your way. Here are several of the most valuable quotes I've gleaned from recent articles, with links to the full versions. Use them to create the lives that light you up, eh?|
"We... remembered when our goal was simply to be together,
not to be together to accomplish goals."
~ Susan Pohlman, author of Halfway to Each Other, from Meeting Your Spouse in the Middle, Psychology Today
"If marriage education teaches couples only one thing, Sollee says, it's
how to listen. Not just that they should do it but how to listen - "with
a full and open heart, in a way that they cannot doubt that you love
"Heidi was doubtful of the technique but decided in their hotel room that
night, "Okay, let me see if this stuff works. I'm going to be quiet."
And Kirk talked for 20 minutes, uninterrupted. In the history of their
relationship, that had never happened before.
"It felt like a breath," he recalls. "Like when you're drowning and you
get a fresh breath."
~ from The Marriage Myth: Why do so many couples divorce? Maybe they just don't know how to be married. by Ellen McCarthy, The Washington Post
"I understand the impulse to bury things, as endless recriminations are
very corrosive, but equally it eats away at you if you're never allowed
to express your anger.
You are punishing him, even though he does not realise it, by
withdrawing from him emotionally. And you are punishing
yourself by not allowing any form of physical gratification to get
through your armour of resentment. There is no way you can resume normal
lovemaking while this is so."
~ Rowan Pelling's Sex Advice Column
|Polyamory - MTV Style!|
I recently saw some tweets about True Life: Polyamory and had
to check it out for myself. Thank you, MTV, for streaming content!
minutes into the show and I'm already squirming in my seat... and not in
the sexy way. Good lord, the bitchiness. The self-perpetuated
victimization and lack of responsibility! It takes a certain level of
maturity to successfully pull off something as complex as polyamory, and
I have high hopes as the story continues that we'll soon see something
As it turns out,
there are some examples of powerful communication, and there are some clear examples of horrible
skills and poor behavior. In order that you can get the lessons without
all of the associated drama, here are some of the time stamps for what's worth watching. Watch and model these purple segments. Watch and Don't Model these red ones!
2:30 - Good Advice!
Kerry is a 21 year old college student dating
Diana, a polyamory activist. In response to Kerry's question about when
to tell people she's poly, Diana has some good advice. Immediately. Now,
let's clarify the context... if I'm on a job interview, it may not be
necessary to throw that into the conversation. But if someone's flirting
with me and wants to genuinely know more about who I am, I would
absolutely include my relationship status in the mix. It might be
relevant to our future interactions!
3:40 - More Good Advice!
is Kerry's first girlfriend, and they've been dating for four months...
so this is a new relationship for her in MANY ways. Diana's boyfriend
of 2 years is Ed, so it's important to note that Diana is the central figure in this
poly-scenario... the one partner desired by the other two. Ed makes a
WONDERFUL point about carving out time for yourself as well as your
partners. Self-care is key... YOU must be responsible for your needs.
Kerry makes a comment about Jealousy, so as a writer, I know that it's
going to play into the story later on. Oh boy.
6:58 - Bad Behavior
Next we meet Jim, also 21, and his two
boyfriends, Thomas and Chris. This is a
triad - each man is involved with both of the others. Right from
the start, Jim is taking things personally and begins whining that he
feels left out because Thomas and Chris went to the hot tub together
while he was grocery shopping. Let the warning bells sound: "Victim!
Victim!" Sarcastically I think, "I can't wait to see how this plays
8:36 - Jim's Insecurities on Parade
10:30 - Jim Positions Himself as The Victim
A very upset and unhappy
Jim again positions himself as the victim ("I guess y'all go do your
thing, and all will be good (sigh)." Note here that Jim would have to
give up the very juicy role of victim if he actually said, "That's not
okay with me. We need to have a serious sit down about this tomorrow,
and come up with ways to alter this pattern in the short and long-run. I
love you both, and I love myself, and I'm not willing to resent you!"
But then he might get what he wanted, and he wouldn't be able to play
the "poor me" card anymore.
13:14 - Moving Forward with Integrity
Kerry is doing the poly thing with integrity by talking to
Diana before starting to date Alex! Why? Because that is their
agreement. Go Kerry! Diana is straight about her jealous
response, owning it and identifying her concern that Kerry will prefer
to be with a man than a woman. This is a valid concern! She is Kerry's
first girlfriend, and even Kerry doesn't know how she'll feel once she's
again dating a man. Diana is wise to request to meet Alex, and to
create opportunities when they can all four hang out as a family. Smart
14:07 - Exceptional Communication Skills!
Diana also calls Kerry out on her 'jokes' that "if only Diana were a boyfriend this would be perfect." She communicates how she feels about it, and that she needs Kerry to respect that it's a serious thing. She's consistently coming from "I feel" and "I think". Not ONCE does she blame Kerry or come from a victimized position (EX: "You did this to me!"). Diana is modeling exceptional communication skills here! Take note and apply to your own relationships!
15:15 - Like Watching a Train Wreck...
On the other side of the communication spectrum, Jim is talking about what the others did in a "you" this and that fashion. It's a very good example of how to blame others, and if you recognize yourself in this, please call me. It does NOT have to be this difficult!
21:00 - What NOT to do...
Jim has set up a date with Jeremy without Thomas and Chris's knowledge. Dude, that's called CHEATING! AND he's springing the existing triad on Jeremy for the first time, who says that he's open to being a fourth as long as everyone is honest. (snort!) Jim gets all flirty with Jeremy in the hot tub and completely hides it from Thomas, justifying it as a "little white lie for bettering their relationship." What a load of crap. And Jeremy, having declared a desire for everyone to be honest, goes along with hiding their liaison from Thomas. Sigh.
24:56 - Therapy: The Voice of Reason
Jim tells the guys about his date. Thomas handles it horribly, and they decide to see a therapist who specializes in gay polyamory! Good move. The therapist points out that adding another person does not solve a problem, it makes things more complicated! Thomas says no, but Jim insists, and Jim has clearly committed to his current plan of action whether or not it compromises his existing relationships.
36:32 - Tantra & Intimacy Coaching
Kerry meets her group for a tantra session with Kamala Devi! They use Kamala and Baba Dez Nichols' book Sacred Sexual Healing. I recommend it.
39:30 - Shared Reading
After a week, the guys pick up a copy of Dossie Easton's The Ethical Slut. Another exceptional resource.
Ultimately, Kerry is happy and feels empowered by this choice of life. She and Alex date for two months before ending it. At the time of final editing, she and Diana have been together for almost a year.
After a month, the guys end their relationship with Jeremy. Chris got jealous when Jeremy and Thomas got very close, but the group is still open to the idea of adding a fourth. They also bought another bed, and now they all sleep alone at night.
The only way we learn is from failing, and occasionally from observing the failure of others. Let these segments provide clear examples of both supportive and destructive behaviors and communication skills, and choose the ones that empower you to live loving and fulfilled lives!
Relationship Assessment & Consultation!
|Want to find out if you and your partner(s) are on the same page?
Want to discover how you can grow together rather than apart?
Visit me at www.tinyurl.com/maritalarts2 to take my Relationship Assessment Quiz!
I'll send you a PDF with a quick email review, and schedule a Complimentary Couple's Consultation
to discuss the results. (Please indicate your partner's name, so I can overlay your answers!) There's no further obligation,
so take the quiz today to find out what you might be taking for granted and to get support where you've been overwhelmed.
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Please mention this Newsletter so I'll know how you found me!
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Makael's Relationship Tip of the Month|
Asking for Clarity
#1) "Would you be willing to take out the trash?"
#2) "Could you maybe put the eggs back in the refrigerator when you're done cooking?"
As a domesticated human being, and particularly as an American woman, I've been trained that there are right and wrong ways to ask for things... ways that will get me what I want, and ways that will get me punished, or chastised, or isolated - which IS punishment for the common homo sapien. Don't be a burden, or pushy, or make people uncomfortable. Be polite, and considerate instead. And I am... so why do I feel like something's missing?
Let's look at the effectiveness of this method. What have I asked about in question #1? Willingness, which has nothing to do with action. I may be willing to watch the Star Wars six-pack back to back, but it doesn't mean that I'm about to do it. Question #2 is no better. The topic here is Ability. Heck, I could also vinyl side the house, cut the grass, or do my nails. Next question?
You may think that these are minor concerns, petty issues unworthy of the time to speak them, but let's be honest. Aren't these little niggling annoyances exactly what we allow to push us apart on a daily basis? The toilet seat, the misplaced car keys, toothpaste caps and what temperature for washing laundry... these are the droplets that steadily erode the foundation of our intimacy and affinity. One, after the other, until our stability has been seriously undermined.
These questions may also leave a sour tone in the receiver's ear. It's communication by implication. You know what I'm asking even though I haven't directly asked it. On some level, don't we call that manipulation?
There's also a 20' x 20' room for misunderstanding here... in other words, BIG room. But what's a woman to do? Follow the
societal rules - you're manipulative. Flout them, and be direct - you're
aggressive. It's no wonder the female of our species gets such a bad rep!
Men have their own rules... perhaps dealing more with content than manner. There are simply certain things that they're not supposed to talk about, or express. Being a Man's man or a Woman's woman... Heck, can't people just be People? But I digress...
The solution? CLARITY.
"Will you please take out the trash?" Whether I receive a yes or a no, I've just made a request for action. Now, assuming a Yes, try this on for size...
"Will you do it by 6 PM today?"
If the answer is No, "By when will you do it?"
Notice your immediate response to this method of questioning. Personally, it makes my Pushy-Meter start pinging! But notice also the absolute clarity. Using this method there is no space for the "But I thoughts...!" that create such emotional disruption in our lives, driving wedges between us and the ones we love.
I no longer need to ask you to handle this chore every hour on the hour. Come six this evening, you've either taken the trash out, or you haven't, at which point I get to ask you about it again... but you'll know Exactly why I'm asking. There's no need for me to get upset with you, it's not a matter of your inability or unwillingness to understand me. You know what you said, and the facts are simply the facts.
I may have to recalibrate my pushy-meter, but I'll also get rid of being called a nudge, or a nag, and I think that's a worthwhile trade.
"In the future, will you please puts the eggs back in the refrigerator when you're done cooking?"
Yes? Thank you!
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Thank you for reading! You can also view topical videos and listen to podcasts at www.mmakaelnewby.com
Your feedback is valuable! In order to provide the types of content that you
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! I look forward to your partnership.
M. Makael Newby
Your Relationship - Your Choice.