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


How To Have Great Relationships-but don’t expect to like it!

10994946_10153140305943846_8240182326330972053_nIf you’ve read books about leadership lately, you’ve seen the phrases below adapted and rephrased then touted as good leadership skills. No doubt, they are! But rarely do we consider the fact that these things can, and do, serve all of our relationships well. They are the nourishment needed to make them blossom and grow. Consider them like Miracle Grow for relationships!

  • Build each other up
  • Serve one another
  • Carry each other’s burdens
  • Forgive one another
  • Be at peace with each other
  • Comfort one another
  • Care for each other
  • Show kindness towards each other

Breakdowns in relationships often begin when we start expecting others to give to us the very things we once gave freely. i.e. the things listed above.

Books about living a fulfilling life are full of examples of how a person’s life changes and becomes gratifying when 1.) they begin to live for a bigger purpose than themselves and 2.) they focus on giving rather than receiving.

Implementing the things above gives new purpose and meaning to relationships. And many find a sense of fulfillment by choosing, on a daily basis, this selfless way of living. (Don’t worry, people who focus on the good of a relationship, choosing to be a giver, cannot be doormats – but that’s for another article.)

What if this year you decided to bring your best self to your relationships, treating others as you wish to be treated? What if your thoughts, words and actions were not dependant of their choice of words and actions? Sounds depleting to think about but once it becomes a way of life, the contrary is true.

You may even find yourself feeling like a great leader and will likely begin living a fullfilling life, thriving together with those you love.

If that seems like a far cry from where you are, but want to move in that direction, you might be interested in relationship coaching for individuals. My slots are very limited, but I have great referrals and we’re planning on doing a Relationship Group in April at the Coaching For Wholly Living Spring Summit. Be watching for details.

 Speaking of groups, and the Coaching For Wholly Living WINTER Summit, I’ll be posting some AMAZING testimonials soon.

I Can’t Get a Word In Edgewise!

got an email today from a gal and thought our exchange might be helpful for you too. She said, “Hey friend, appreciate some advice. What do you do when you meet with someone who talks a lot? Like so much that you can’t ever get a word in?”
My Reply: That’s a tough one because every situation is different. My advice, as usual, is ‘ask questions’, however, very often we need to start by asking ourselves a few questions. You may have other, more helpful questions for yourself, but here are some ideas….
What do I want out of the relationship?  (Many people are afraid to start here because they think it’s a selfish question. I don’t believe the question is selfish. However, the answer certainly could be…..  By asking the question, our motive is revealed. Sometimes we find our motives pure other times not, therefore I find it a very helpful place to start.)
What makes this relationship important?
What am I willing to risk to see if I can help create an environment for healthier communication?
How could I communicate my desires for our relationship and engage her/him in helping solve the issue? (Some people are super sensitive to their own flaws yet have no desire to change, therefore it is a good idea to ask the previous question first.)
Hope this helps. Keep me posted.
blessings on your day,

Suzette Parker, BCC, CRC

Saving Relationships – Step #10 – Do Something Different



People who have great marriages will tell you that great marriages do not happen with out great effort. It takes creativity, intentionality, persistence and dedication to the process.  It may come naturally to a few, but most of us are acutely, maybe even painfully, aware of the effort it takes.


I hate to admit that I am one of those who is acutely and yes, sometimes painfully aware, of the effort I have to make. I’m sure it’s my selfishness and pride that get in the way of a natural, wonderful flow of life with my man but I’m just like everybody else – I get busy and focussed on other things and my marriage becomes a side note, even a bother at times.  I first realized this about myself when I felt relieved when he went out of town. Becoming aware that it was MY lack of effort causing me to feel distant was revolutionary! I finally owned my responsibility in that distance. I couldn’t believe how differently I felt about him when I started putting “us” in a higher priority…. I’d always thought I felt distant because HE wasn’t prioritizing “us.”

I’ve learned that when I take responsibility, my perspective changes greatly. So what to do? How do you change your perspective? Changing what your doing helps.

One of my mottos for life that has served me very well: When something isn’t working – (or isn’t working as well as I’d like) – try something different.

You may have noticed that the Steps in this series do not necessarily build on each other. They are all separate thoughts and ideas and in no particular priority. To make the most of your marriage you may implement each one, but you may not. Relationships are even more unique than individuals because they combine the qualities of 2 people! You know your relationship better than anyone – so note what you’ve been doing, and try something different.

I try to remember what I say….“Be creative, be intentional, be consistent and be persistent. Your dedication to the process, regardless of the initial response, is key to your success.”

One of the reasons Relationship Coaching is so effective is because coaching is tailored specifically to each unique relationship. Coaches have no set agenda or program except to work with you to strengthen your relationship. We enjoy being creative with you in developing an intentional plan of action. What ever path you choose for strengthening your relationship, I hope you will be dedicated, stick with it, and receive the same kind of wonderful blessings the couple I will tell you about in my next series of postings. A true story of transformation.

All the best to you as you put your best efforts into making your marriage great.

Step #10   
Do something different.                                                                                             Be creative, be intentional, be consistent and be persistent.

Saving Relationships – Step #8 – Confrontation vs. Conversation



The messages from well meaning leadership gurus on how to develop ourselves as people has been somewhat confusing.


We’ve all heard things like:
-Assert yourself or you’ll never get anywhere.
-Don’t avoid conflict 

-When there is a problem confront things head on

– Do what is necessary to get the problem solved

For today, let’s just talk about confrontations.                  In business it is necessary. If you manage people or are interested in growing a business problems must be addressed and corrected. Good leaders know that approaching an issue rather the person’s character produces the best results – the problem gets fixed and no damage is done to the relationship.  Why is it that in families we fail at this?!  I recently had a client whose wife told him that if he treated her like he did his employees they wouldn’t have any problems! How sad, but he agreed it was true.
Leaders, like my client, almost always do a little mental prep before they act. . . thinking about what they want the outcome to be and the best approach for the fasted resolve.  They know that getting people’s feelings involved will only draw out the process and make the situation messier.  Therefore they allow time to hear about the situation from the other’s perspective. They listen attentively and help them both stay focussed on the goal. If we could apply this technique with our loved ones we’d all be a lot happier.

Think this approach in marriage (or families) is cold and manipulative? I’d ask you to give it a try.  Attacking someone’s character might feel good in the moment, but it leaves lasting scars and does nothing to help resolve issues.  If you’d like the outcome to be that of harmony -treating each other with respect, listening attentively and staying focussed on the issue at hand is a great approach. So next time you are feeling the need for a confrontation, try confronting the issue but conversing with the person.

What if we reserved the word “confrontation” for how we deal with issues or problematic situations? Maybe by changing our mindset we could more easily have a nice, polite yet beneficial conversation?

Step #8 -Confront Issues – Politely Converse with People