Should We Split?

Making Decisions 
No matter what decision we make – it’s scary! When we don’t know what the future holds, it’s hard to find peace. Funny thing is… we never know what the future holds! But when we know our future will be altered greatly by one decision – it is unnerving!

Here are 10 questions to work through when making ANY decision. Below the questions, I’ve posted how they might play out for someone considering divorce.

10 Questions For Making Decisions A Little Easier 

1. How will making this decision make my life better?

2. What if I just don’t decide or postpone making the decision?

3. What specifically, is making this decision difficult?

4. What false beliefs am I hanging onto?

5. What is the ultimate outcome that I want and what will it take to get it?

6. How could it benefit me to include others in this decision making process?

7. If I believed that whatever I chose would be good and fit whole-heartedly with my values, what would I choose?

8. What will it take to feel good about making the decision?

9. What is the best timing for deciding and how can I make that happen?

10. What is my next step?

If you feel miserable and all the life your marriage once had, has been sucked dry and you want out, see how these questions play out. Your answers may be different, but seeing how they can how the work might help.
“Should I get divorced?”  

1. How will making this decision make my life better?

“I can’t stop thinking about it! Deciding would mean I either move forward with filing or take other steps forward to make my life better. I want to make the decision so that it stops gnawing at me and my buddies quit asking me when I’m going to file – I hate that! It’s like they know what is best for me. Making the decision will give me a sense of peace and help me get on with life. I need to be in a better mood!”

2. What if I just don’t decide or postpone making the decision?

“I will keep asking the question which means I will keep fretting about it – or at best, wondering what the right decision is. The question seems like it’s the worst part.”

3. What specifically, is making this decision difficult?

“I know the divorce rate is higher for second marriages. So I’m weighing the relief my friends have felt, at least initially, with the statistics. Would I be just as unhappy in a second marriage???”

4. What false beliefs am I hanging onto?

“For some reason, I think I would not be a statistic – a fresh start is what I need. On the other hand, no one can honestly be sure that they would not be a statistic. I really don’t want to be that guy who has 3 ex-wives at his funeral. I’d rather not have one ex! The best scenario would be to leave an adoring wife behind – ha – I better not die tomorrow!”

5. What is the ultimate outcome that I want and what will it take to get it?
What I want

  • “I want to be happy & I want her to be happy,  and… happily married.
  • I want the best for my kids.
  • This seems like it would take a miracle, but I’d like to us to be friends and lovers again. Even broken families seem to do best when the hostility goes away.”

What It Would Take

  • “To be happy? I’d have to believe that real joy and peace do not hinge on relationships or circumstances. I guess I can only try to improve ME and maybe that will make her happy? Doubtful. Her happiness is really up to her. If I really work on me, she might actually, for once, work on herself.
  • To give my kids the best?  I know statistics prove happy homes are the best for kids development, academically, emotionally and relationally.
  • To have a good relationship with my wife?  I know that you can’t have a happy home with unhappy people -I guess the best thing I can do is work on me -personal transformation – because I can’t blame all my crappy thinking on her – that would be unfair – she just makes it worse!
  • HOPE, and prayers for a miracle.”

6. How could it benefit me to include others in this decision making process?

“If I want affirmation for getting a divorce, I can keep talking to all my divorced buddies……  If I want affirmation for working it out, I can talk to people who are happily married and have been together a long time – surely they’ve all survived problems of some sort. …If I listen to both I will stay confused.”

7. If I believed that whatever I chose would be good, what would I choose?

“In times of frustration or anger, I’d say, ‘get divorced’ because it would relieve the immediate pain.  When I’m more rational, of course I’d say, ‘stay together’ – it’s better in the long run…. if we can actually turn things around and make a happy home. We’d undoubtedly be modeling perseverance to our kids and friends – and perseverance is a virtue – right?”

8. What will it take to feel good about making the decision?

“I’ve been trying to make “US” better, but as I write this I’m thinking….maybe if I just focus on changes I, personally, can make. When I’m diligently working on me, I will feel more confident making the decision. If I’m giving my best to the relationship, I’ll know I haven’t just bailed or given up. I’d want to be totally sure of my decision because it is a life altering choice – not just for me, but for my kids, my wife and our families and friends. Divorce will affect all of our loved ones, but so does our nasty relationship!”

9. What is the best timing for deciding and how can I make that happen?

“I’ve been consumed thinking about it, which is making me more miserable. I want to decide now. So….I’m deciding to work on me – now. Since I’d rather make this marriage good, I’m choosing to invest in it by changing me.

I’m not going to file – ever I hope, but at least not in the foreseeable future. Wow, this really changes how I feel. I feel like I can breathe and let stuff go and just do my best to be a good husband and father. It makes me feel less defensive and more in control. I don’t know why….”

10. What is my next step?

“For now, I’m going to stop considering it… stop thinking that divorce is an option so that my efforts might have a chance of working. I will Read Boundaries in Marriage, talk to my Aunt and Uncle who have been through hard times, but seem to be really happy now, and reach out for help or go to a seminar. Did you say you have online seminars?”

Yes, we do!  The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work


Regaining Enthusiasm

How I Regained My Enthusiasm & How You Can Too3ddec2a4-3d0d-4742-98db-b639d2618a83

When I stopped writing my newsletter a year and a half ago, I needed a break! I had new things on my plate and rather than trying to do it all, I decided to back off on a few things. Besides that, I’d lost my enthusiasm for writing.

When our enthusiasm is gone, we feel stuck. I sure did! I spent some time down in the rut, but then, I took my first step. Being a coach, I knew that to move out of stuck, I needed to reassess where I was (overwhelmed) and then get clear about where I wanted to be. Since I was feeling overwhelmed, I backed off on things that were draining my energy. 

Taking a break is essential to being able to think clearly. Humans were designed to need rest and relaxation. Our brains need time think outside the confines of our daily grind. We also need to time to think about nothing!

Sometimes we only need a short break. Just a day away to REthink, REfocus and REmember why we are doing what we are doing.


I needed a longer break. Taking a break gave me time to refocus and get clarity. During my break I began working with Stronger Families as a Master Level Trainer. I was traveling all over the US doing presentations at military installations. Learning the ropes of traveling for work from making all the arrangements to being away from home, sometimes 10 days in a month – I was on over-load. Even though it was a great experience. It was too much to try to keep up with all I had been doing. I needed, and wanted to give up something. 

It sounds easy, ‘just take a break,’ but that first step can be really hard. Just knowing what to take a break from can be difficult! We get so bogged down with life and what we ‘have’ to do, that we have no brain space for what we ‘could’ do – or what we could ‘not’ do. We may have no idea why we’ve lost our enthusiasm, but it is gone – and we feel depleted. 

What I learned during my break from writing was that I needed to develop a team of  coaches to work with if I wanted to re-engage with writing and consider taking on more clients. I have done that and I have been inspired to write again! My colleagues are great! I will have (or will) introduce you to Kim Kompel and Ted Hackney in blog posts.

Though we may feel like we have no choice, isn’t being stuck just the result of making the same choice over and over again? I thought I “had” to write my newsletter. If I didn’t, I’d be throwing away everything I’d worked for. When we get stuck in a rut we begin to believe it’s the only way. We’re no longer going where we want to go but can’t see any other way.

Simply reframing our choices and realizing we are NOT stuck. We have chosen this path today. We must consciously recognize our freedom to make different decisions, whenever we are ready. Facing the reality of this freedom helps us feel much better! It can REnew our enthusiasm and bring life back our endeavors. 

10 Questions To Improve Your Legacy

Leaving-a-Legacy-of-Faith.001-001The Big Question:

If you knew you were going to die in 6 months but could not change your relationship status, job/position or financial status (no loans or credit cards allowed) what would you do to ensure you would be remembered as you wish?

2) Who would you spend more/less time with?

3) What words of life and encouragement would you speak into your children, your spouse, parents etc.?

4) What unhelpful thoughts would you stop thinking?

5) What bucket list items would you be sure to accomplish?

6) What would be the most important thing you would want to share with your loved ones? acquaintances?

7) How would you spend your money that would show you honoring your values?

8) Who would you hope to influence the most? In what way?

9) What would you want people to say at your memorial service?

10) How will you begin to implement these things so that if you do die in 6 months, 6 weeks or 6 days you will leave the legacy you desire?

Make The Most of Opportunities – Priorities & Planning

24-Portfolio-Stop-and-Smell-the-Roses“Make the most of every opportunity” is something that rings in my ears frequently and the volume has been way up lately!

Our eldest son just graduated from college and, as all parents do, I thought “where has the time gone”? A question I ask often.

I don’t want to get to the end of my life and feel like it just slipped away.

Old people always say things like ‘take time to smell the roses,’ but we’re encouraged to set goals, be focussed and work hard to attain them. The questions is, how do we do both?

When I fly by the seat of my pants I usually get a lot done (I am very task oriented) but flying by the seat of my pants makes it more difficult for me to be completely ‘present’ because my brain wonders what I ‘should’ be doing. As you may know I hate that word ‘should,’ so it really irritates me when I realize I am shoulding on myself.

My AhHa was realizing why a little planning helps me be fully present. . . It allows me to make the most of the present opportunity rather than thinking about what I could or should be doing.

**Daily planning when spawned from goals can be good, but all too often when I focus only on this, I accomplish a lot toward those goals but still feel empty. Living a more fully integrated life has helped me meet goals and feel a sense of fulfillment. By including my core values and deepest desires in my planning I am able to attain both. Centering only on the doings of life like career planning causes a feeling of emptiness and as though I’ve missed the roses along the way. I have zero desire to reach my career goals yet when I reach retirement, or worse, my death bed, to look back and feel like life slipped away. So I’m into prevention!

Intentionally planning to have meaningful relationships and trying to remember to cherish each moment helps me plan more wisely and makes me more conscientious about time management. I plan to take time each day for those I love, although I must say, I struggle to make time for long distance relationships. I’m not so good at making room for the stuff of life either, like the daily tasks of laundry, cooking and such, but even those become less mundane when I look at the bigger picture. The stuff of life moves from being an obstacle or hindrance to an opportunity, but believe me, I still have tons of room to grow!

What I know is that by taking time each evening to be purposeful in my planning I am more likely to make the most of every opportunity. A few of my most recent opportunities have included joining my husband in yard work, listening to one my youngest sons new ideas (I have no idea what he was talking about but I am interested in him so I listened and tried to learn about being a DJ), helping clean a house so some young men could get their deposit back, making graduation announcements, working on my next speaking engagement etc…. They are all opportunities and I want to make the most of them. I’ve found that if I cheerfully help clean up the yard, chatting and connecting with my husband in the process, even though I forgot to actually smell the roses, it doesn’t matter. These opportunities are the roses of life. When I dread them, they’re more like a thorn bush. When I choose to embrace them as opportunities, I enjoy them, like the scent of a rose.

Tips For Finding Joy in Life and Relationships

Screen Shot 2013-11-13 at 2.56.58 PMI had so much fun with my cohort Laurie Hardie hanging out, talking and prepping to host ‘Live From Seattle’ that it got me thinking about how much good it does a soul to have fun.

When I say fun, I just mean doing something enjoyable. Something you look forward to with a smile on your face…. something you want to do and you will be glad you did.

I intended for this post to concentrate on relationships and how fun times together can move us into more rewarding relationships but I have to start with addressing individuals because it takes a healthy person to have a healthy relationship. That’s not to say Relationship Coaching doesn’t work with unhealthy individuals, it can – it just takes a slightly different approach.

Depression is very very common. If you struggle with it, here is one simple step that can help. Plan to have fun. I’d suggest planning something little every day, something a little bigger weekly and something really fun at least once a month. If you immediately think ‘I don’t have money so this won’t work for me’, you’re wrong! Learning to enjoy, relish and appreciate the little things helps bring life back to a dark soul. The daily kinds of things might be having a cup of tea with your daughter or taking an indulgently long hot shower after a good workout or dusting off and playing your guitar again.

Just taking the time to think about and put them on your calendar helps us really be present in the experience and cherish the moments. Whether or not you have money, if you think you can only have wonderful experiences when your spending money, I want to challenge you to get creative and return to the things that really matter and plan things that take little to no money. Often this very act will help reframe your thinking and get you back into a place of joy.

Struggling relationships are often revitalized by fun. Playful activities that both parties enjoy can take the edge off being together. If you are in a really bad place, you might want to be sure that there is not a long car ride involved the first time you try this. The more often you are able to make these enjoyable moments/hours occur the better. Just make sure the activities stay untainted from ugly behavior. What often happens is that the more fun times that are incorportated into the relationship the less tension there is regarding other issues and healthier communication begins to flow.

Give it a whirl and remember having fun, on a regular basis, does a world of good for a darkened soul!