Relationship Advice

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This topic contains 7 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Joy W. Pan 8 years, 9 months ago.

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    Ed Schicatano


     In one of my classes that I teach, I go over some advice for maintaining good relationships.  Below is the list (it's not all of my advice).  It is long (I apologize), and it certainly doesn't cover everything.    I am not a Relationshp Guru, but thought that some of you might enjoy some of the advice on here.




    1. Memory Management


    Remember when your relationship was great??
       This is the stuff you knew then, that somehow you forgot.

      Instead of re-living all of the bad experiences, spend some time reminiscing about what was good about the relationship. 


    2. The misconception that others must act a certain way for you to be happy.


       In your life how many people do you know that essentially say to people “Make sure you do everything exactly the way I’d do it or I’m gonna get upset about it, then make you feel bad as well just so we can be happy.” ?


      Others don't make you happy.  The happiness is already within you.   If you get married thinking that “This will make me happy finally”, then you may be in trouble.   You may want to be happy BEFORE you get married.


    3.  100% – 0%.

    In the 1980’s society was led to believe that the ‘perfect’ [or perfectly balanced] relationship was 50-50.


    Each person putting-in and expecting back 50%. A true ‘partnership’. The problem is that this theory is completely ill-defined, not practical and usually the high-road to divorce.



    . If 2 people who live together only give 50% of themselves AND expect 50% of the other person in return – it is headed for doom.

    You hear this all the time where people are saying “I’ll only do X if he does Y!” or “Why should I have to do X al the time, she never does Y” or “I’m not doing X until they do Y!” etc (what are you being ‘right’ about?)  


    ” if you want a relationship to stay together BOTH people need to stay as close as possible to  the 100% – 0% zone – giving 100% of yourself and expecting NOTHING AT ALL in return. Just like when you first met, when you first fell in love. In that period most people are so ‘in love’ the other person could say almost anything negative and you’d be so love-swept

        It’s all about giving of yourself and not expecting anything in return – it is LOVE, NOT a business transaction! This is the 100% – 0% zone.


    Each person wholly giving of themself, expecting nothing in return and keeping  their own identity and personality.. this leads to the next point:

    4. Identity confusion..

    PROBLEM:   people have deep subconscious beliefs that when you move-in with someone or marry someone that you ‘start a new life together’ –


    the problem is that people change their identity from “I am me and this is my partner” to “WE are a couple, WE do this, WE have OUR friends, WE do X or WE don’t do that, WE don’t have time, etc”  they lose their individuality and start identifying as 2 people that have now become one person.


    This creates many problems of the psyche.

    Each individual has deep “Subconscious Beliefs” that my conflict.  But on a conscious level, they seem to be congruent with each other. 


    The problem is that couples are identifying as ‘WE’ rather than as identifying as 2 in-love individuals living together with different lives and personalities “I am doing this with my life, and my partner/husband/wife who lives with me is doing something else – and it’s so great, I can’t wait for them to get home tonight, i’ve missed them all day.. I wonder what they've been doing with their world today?!”.


    Virginia Satir:

    –       Nearly all super successful relationships have the common thread that each partner is still totally their own individual person and whatever their spouse does is up to them.

    –       You commonly hear joking & comical spouse comments like “I do think it’s silly, but he likes that, it makes him happy – I’m not his mother if that’s what he wants to do, if it makes him happy – I’m happy for him to do that. Men often have stupid interests. ”       


    5. Give up being RIGHT about everything.


    Humans have the strongest desire to be Right. People will go to war to be right but they will DIE to NOT be made ‘wrong’.

     Every argument, every judgement, every war, every conflict is over both sides wanting to be right and refusing to be ‘wrong’ no matter what – They would rather die rather than be wrong.

     In fact humans will choose to be ‘right’ over everything including love and happiness.


    Some will even go to the point of finding others who believe the same as them [accumulating social proof] in order just to prove how right they are over someone else, or start taking a mental inventory of past events that they can reference just so that they have clear back-up proof that they are right if they get challenged about it.


    Remember, a lot of arguments are based on beliefs.  Beliefs are not always based on facts, but based on perceptions.


    Think about this: By ‘being right’ about everything – WHAT FEELING ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? Satisfaction? Control? Respect? Rightous indignity? Do you honestly think being right will make you feel better about yourself?–


      Would you rather be right or happy?


    –       The ability to tell other people they are right and give up your own need to be right about everything is the key rapport skill of all the world’s best communicators and negotiators.

    [The situational exception] The exception to this rule is when someone else tries to influence you into a situation you are uncomforatble with. You must always do what is right for you to do.

    –       Understanding that ‘you do NOT know what is right for anybody else to do’ is the most important part to living a happy life, but the other part to this is that you must always ask yourself “is THIS right for me”

    6. Humans are meaning making machines.


     It’s your story about the situation causing you issues. For example if you see 2 strangers arguing intensely on the street, why doesn’t it affect you? – Because it means nothing to you. You don’t know them, you don’t know the issue and you probably don’t care to be involved.

             –  Emotions don’t come into play here.


    –       So, if someone else has said or done something that has caused you upset -you are making it mean something about you.

    –        It is YOU making you upset, NOT them.


    –       Getting upset/ emotional/ righteous because of the actions/words of others is an incredibly self-indulgent & self-centered thing to do.


    –        It means you put yourself so high on a podium of importance that they are wrong and they have offended you. It’s all about you.


    –       Be careful about the meaning that you ascribe different situations.

    7. The mind cannot process negatives (Negations)

    only the conscious mind comprehends negation

    ‘Don’t think of a blue tree’ what happens? – You MUST think of a blue tree just to process the sentence before you changed your thought to something else.


    -Example: “I don’t wanna get upset tonight” “I don’t wanna argue tonight” “I don’t want to get a divorce”

     “I don’t want him to annoy me today” etc– the unconscious only processes these sentences as “I wanna get upset tonight” “I wanna argue tonight” “I want to get a divorce”.

     It is literally the same as an affirmation creating the results You don’t want.


    8. You must take 100% responsibility for the way you feel at all times


    –       There are a large number of people who never take responsibility for their own actions, and alot of us do it temporarily in our own lives on occasion.


    Everything bad in their world is always somebody else’s fault, the government’s fault, due to their childhood, not being smart enough, being hard-done-by, their ex-spouses’ fault, the way their parents treated them, due to a ‘subconscious habit’ they have no control of etc etc.


    –       These people who absolutely refuse to accept that they are in control of their own lives do so for a specific reason – needing to justify and gain evidence that gives them an excuse to not need to accept they are responsible for themselves.


    –       They don’t want to accept that they created their life and they are responsible for it because acknowledging that will mean they will have to feel bad about being lazy and wasting their life and they will have to feel ‘wrong’

    –       if you don’t have the relationship you want, then YOU are to blame. YOU didn't look after your own happiness, YOU were too scared to tell the other person what you were feeling – it’s all YOUR fault.


    –       No-one’s life ever became what they wanted by blaming everybody else for their problems.

    9. Sameness creates love but differences create passion

    –       In relationships this is the basis of balance. It is the differences between people that creates the passion and the sameness which creates the love. When these get out of balance so does the relationship.


    –       Another paradox of this principal is this: It is almost always some of your spouse’s differences that created some of the passion within the relationship to begin with.

    –       But later on, if the relationship is in a bad place, some people decide their spouse’s “quirks” really annoy them –  It’s not that they are acting or being any different – It is just now that YOU are choosing to let those differences annoy you instead of attract you like you once may have.


    10. Anchoring: The human mind is always creating anchors.


    –       So then you no longer liked it. This ‘anchoring’ is one of the main reasons relationships break down.

    –       A common way this happens would be if a husband has a bad day at work then comes home expecting his wife to make him feel better; as soon as he sees’ her face the mind begins to link the negative feelings from work to the sight of seeing HER (visual external links to negative internal – Visual anchor), after a few days in a row of this the ‘anchor’ is well set.


    –       So he may have a great day at work, come home, see his wife (visual external triggers negative internal)– then all of a sudden he’ll be put back down into a very-ordinary state and have no idea why.


    –        The unconscious mind is ALWAYS anchoring.. Almost everything we like and don’t like is an anchor to some degree. Anchoring is one of the unconscious minds’ primary ways of establishing what is important to it and what isn’t.


    –       SUGGESTION   If someone annoys or frustrates you – take a walk, go for a run. Do a complete change of state BEFORE you look at your partner. 

    –       Exercise together  -Release endorphins associate with your partner.

    11. You can NOT love someone any more than you love yourself.  

    –        You cannot give what you do not have. I cannot give you education I don’t have myself, and you cannot give someone love that you do not have for yourself.

    –       When someone tries to love someone else more than they love themself it becomes a very dangerous situation. If the other person decides to leave the relationship, the person can lose all sense of identity and can go into a very deep depression.

    12.  Law of Attraction


    –        In your life you’ll find that you always get exactly what you expect. If you are expecting to fight, argue to break-up, its likely to occur.


    –       If you focus on things you are not happy about, you’ll bring in more of those same things – if you look for the positives and feel good about those things you’ll bring in more of them.


    –       Essentially this universal law works on the principal of whatever you think about with emotion you will bring more of into your life


    –       People who constantly talk of having no money, blame the government or their lack of education for their situation etc etc always have no money but those who always think of money in abundance and expect to have it.. always do.


    –        In your relationship what are you expecting? What are you putting alot of negative emotional thought into? How are you alone responsible for creating its current state?


    gone gone

    Thanks for posting this wonderful list.



    Katalin Dávid



    Thanks for the list. Very long, indeed. But interesting, informative and easy to understand.Laugh


    Have a nice day,


    Carla Groot

    Hi Ed,


    Thanks for your list.!!!

    It strikes me that you talk to “you ” in the whole list until number 8.

    The tone is different (for me) “there are people” and “they” and “their world”, “these people” (—-although you say “some of us do it temporarily in our own lives”)

    It seems to me as if there is a judgement to this way of living, which we probably all do or have done in the past, untill we found out it is not the way to our or anyones happiness.

    And that's the moment we start to grow, to change, to watch ourselves more closely.

    Don't take me wrong, I agree with your point of view here.

    But I sense something around it, it makes me feel less or bad, when I am not taking the full responsibility yet, and I am “these people”….

    Or is it my own perception, and being afraid of any judgement?

    It is interesting stuff though





    Ed Schicatano

    Good points Carla.   As I did not write the entire #8 myself.  Maybe this will help   – –  My main point for #8 is similar to some things that Robert has said (and other NLPers).   i.e.,  take responsibility for your own life.  Take accountability,  and,   the things that others do that bother us (internally) are really US.   I admit, these are tough pills to swallow sometimes.

      I definitely buy into this concept.  Although, there are relationships where one person can totally sabotage everything.  So I am hesitant for one to take the blame in these cases.  

      I agree, knowing that I personally have to take FULL responsibility is unnerving sometimes.   I agree, that that thought itself can make me feel a little bad about myself (especially when things go wrong).    

      Perhaps a lesson from Buddha himself is called for here.   1. There is always suffering.  2. The cause of suffering is attachment.      Thus, we need to look at our mistakes and accept our imperfections.  Let them go.  Let them go.  It's safe to let them go.

      Lastly, I always tell my students  “Perceive instead of Judging”.    It's so easy to judge others (and misjudge).  Instead, lets observe what others do “without” judgement.   Well, the same goes for how we percieve ourselves.   We should notice our own mistakes, make adjustments for them, but don't judge.  

     Sorry for the long list guys. Cool




    Carla Groot

    Hi Ed,

    I know you mean it in the right way, and I fully agree we have to take resposibility for our own lives, although it is hard sometimes.

    You don't have to apologize for the long list, there is a lot to say about relationships, and it is really a basic subject for us, because we begin our lives with relating to the world, our parents, and everything around us.

    Life is all about relationships.





    Hiya Ed,

    Wow! Brilliant, just what i needed at this minute.

    Thankyou so much Smile


    Joanie x


    Joy W. Pan

    Brilliant indeed! This also reminded me in RS's “The Healing Process”*, one of the major step is ” Make PEACE with every character inside of every memory.”

    The structure of the change began with 'Take Ownership', (which is also 8. You must take 100% responsibility for the way you feel at all times.). This would free up many rooms for transformation. ART of release (Aim-Release-Transformed). I have also found that forgiveness somehow finds its own place in the rooms I freed up within myself. 

    Laugh Laugh Laugh Spinning Laugh Laugh Laugh 



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