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Your children deserve Two Parents… Try not divorce because of the affair

Let me introduce myself. I’m Savannah Ellis. I was born and raised in Sydney Australia, and was a child from a family torn apart by my Fathers affair. It breaks my heart to talk about this with you right now, even though my fathers affair happened when I was 16 years old. I loved my Father dearly.

To cut along story short, the affair devastated my family. I went into survival mode, and “just got on with life.” My Mother has never recovered from the betrayal, and has not been able to move on, even 26 years later.

My father, married the “Other Women” and she was the most evil person you could ever imagine. The stress she brought to my fathers life, killed him. My Father died at the age of 56 years old. The extended network of family and friends were shocked. They could never imagine my father being anything other than a “family man.” At his funeral, the church was so full of people who had come to pay their respect, that they stood around the side walls of the church, and out the church doors, continuing down the church stairs.

Stress killed him. The guilt of what he had done to his life and the family. A true tragedy.

I started studying Psychology at Monash University a few years prior. Originally, I  wanted to work with Schizophrenic patients. My brother, had been diagnosed with Schizophrenia a few years after the destruction of the family. Schizophrenia can be brought on in several ways, and a traumatic life event is one of these ways. However, I quickly learned that a life time of working with Schizophrenics may just send me to the crazy farm too!

I was also preoccupied with having my own family. I was married young. On reflection, this is another fallout of the affair, my loss of my fathers guidance, day to day in my life at an age where I could easily make poor decisions. My husband and I had 3 wonderful children: Sara, Jacob, and Hannah.

I continued my post education while raising my young family, with degrees including: Masters in Clinical Psychology, Masters In Business Administration, and a Doctorate in Business Administration. I worked for large corporations, before starting a variety of businesses from Medical Clinics to Day Spas, and a medium sized Business Coaching & Accounting Firm.

In my clinic, what was clear from all this education, and practical application of theory, was that typical therapy does not help couples over come their relationship challenges. The training I had received could not help the couples I was treating.  There had to be a better way, and as an entrepreneur and business women, I was determined to find a systematic way to solve this problem.

By this time, I had moved to the USA. I started my first Infidelity Recovery Clinic in Las Vegas in 2011, and my second in Santa Monica in 2012. At the same time, I began teach my method to other coaches, therapists, and psychologists, through my newly founded company, The Infidelity Recovery Institute. Our motto at the Infidelity Recovery Institute is:

Saving the Fabric of Society, One Relationship at a Time

What I am about to teach you, is the system I set up to help couples overcome the exact problem you are facing right now.

It works.

It has been tested.IRI ICON LOGO

And it is much “cheaper” than a divorce or a divorce lawyer.

But more seriously, I want to help save your family.

You don’t have to have the same unnecessary ending.

Where to Start?

Each Step of the program needs to be completed. It is a tough program. Initially it is tough on the infidel, however as we move along, you will discover that both people will need re-education and training for their own self-improvement.

This program does work best when you have the support and encouragement from a Certified Infidelity Recovery Specialist. However, for reasons you feel comfortable with, you have chosen to take this course online. This is why your first Step is Commitment.

I will be guiding you through the program, every step of the way, with videos, audio recordings from clinical sessions with clients, JUST LIKE YOU (all couples have consented to the recordings, just so long as you never find out who they are), and exercises and activities that MUST be completed.

EXCLUSIVE TO THIS PROGRAM: Included in This Program

Infidelity Recovery Guru

I understand that you may get stuck, or may not understand why I am asking you to complete a specific task. Or maybe you  just need to chat to me.

I am here and available for you both. I am not here to judge you. The damage is done, and now we just need to move through this tough period as quickly as possible. This is the only way you can both come out of this black tunnel without significant baggage.

You will be given my personal contact details: Phone, email and Skype, for VIP Coaching.

After each Step, you are both to contact me. Once we all agree the step is complete, you will move onto the next step.

There is no extra charge for this personalized care. I am here for you! I know what you are going through.

 

For more information on the 7 Step Infidelity Recovery Program CLICK HERE

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Marriage: Communication, Preparation, and Counseling

 

It is without the slightest hint of doubt that everyone will agree to the fact that being married is absolutely challenging. The problems that you face in married life are not the kind that you can sleep off and wake up okay. Sometimes, it could be particularly hard to shake ill feelings off when you are sleeping beside who you have identified as the problem, and everywhere you turn has something that reminds you of that.

MarriageMarried life is sadly not for everyone, especially for those who do spur of the moment decisions to walk down the aisle. Well, it could work out for some, but statistics support that a lot of these kinds of marriages just end in divorce. In the first place, divorce is not and should not be the primary recourse for marital problems. It should be the last option when every other option was already exhausted. Think about this: If people who waited and planned for their married life still encounter rough spots along the way, what makes you think that anything short of the right time and the right preparation will yield better results?

If you are thinking about getting married, this post is not intended to discourage you. No. This is meant to inspire you, to inform you about what lies ahead with the hopes that you will then take the necessary steps to ensure that the marriage that you are going to have will not be just another number to add to the surveys of those who tried but failed.

There is actually one aspect similar in all kinds of relationships that has to be particularly nurtured between couples, specifically married ones. This is the aspect of communication. As early as before getting married, assess your and your partner’s way of communicating with one another. Do the both of you talk in a constructive manner? Can you say the things you want to say without having to consider a million times before you actually do? What are communication patterns that seem to do more harm than good?

The way you interact with each other at present will determine the kind of relationship that you will have as husband and wife. Take it from a lot of licensed marriage and family therapists’ experience, a lot of the couples who walked in and out of their offices all had (or have) the same, prominent problem:  dysfunctional communication. Do not bank on the hope that things will get better once you get married because you will face a lot of different—and difficult—problems with your spouse then. Working on having a way to resolve your issues through effective communication channels will spell a great deal in keeping the marriage together.

In case you are unable to make ends meet at present, do not lose hope. This does not mean that you are never going to get along. This is only evidence of how limited your knowledge is on how to resolve certain issues. Luckily, counseling is highly advised of two individuals who decide to get married. There are licensed marriage and family therapists who are available to guide you through the different methods of getting to know yourself and your partner more. Do not think of counselling as something that happens only when problems are already present and are getting out of hand. Think of this as a preparation, a phase of conditioning, and a declaration that you are taking the decision of getting married and what it entails seriously.

Though therapists have a lot to offer, they can only do so little when a couple has each decided to close their minds to reason and understanding. One long-standing barrier to communication is having no communication at all. Make sure that you do not reach the point where talking things over only makes things worse. Start assessing which areas of your life need to be worked on now and proceed from there. If you feel that something is beyond your capacity, seek therapeutic help. More heads are better than one anyway.

I CHEATED:
 Affair Recovery Advice For When You Have Been Unfaithful

I CHEATED:Affair Recovery Advice For When You Have Been Unfaithful

by Savannah Ellis
DBA, MBA, BBSc, MPsych (Clin)

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Has infidelity eroded not only your relationship with another, but your connection to yourself? Do guilt and deceit threaten to engulf you like so much quicksand?

There is hope—and a strategy for profound change.

If you cheated in your relationship, this book could be the best gift you’ve ever given yourself…and your hurting partner. Infidelity doesn’t have to mean the end of your relationship, if you can learn to understand why you cheated in the first place and how to keep it from happening again. Using the affair recovery strategy offered in I Cheated, you and your partner can move from trauma to empathy, recovering the friendship and passion that brought you together in the first place, while also dealing with the annoyances that can erode the best relationships. Savannah Ellis looks at the myths of infidelity and the mistakes couples make post-affair, then provides exercises and templates so that you and your partner can become proactive in understanding and rebooting your relationship.

The help offered to struggling couples in this book is based on the author’s two decades of experience researching infidelity and counseling thousands of couples, feedback from couples coaches she has trained, the latest scientific findings in neurobiology, and research from other leaders in the field of infidelity and affair recovery.

You cheated. Now what are you going to do about it?

You can give yourself and your partner a new, better life.

Feel Your Feelings

I was emotionally shut down for years. Every woman I dated had to deal with my inability to identify a feeling. She would ask, “Hey is something bothering you?” I would reply, “No, I’m fine” with a hint of defensiveness.

The closest I ever came to identifying what was really going on was “I’m in a funk.” Many folks know this as feeling off somehow or my personal favorite, “I’m in a bad mood.”

Underneath such comments is an entire emotional landscape that remains largely unexplored. The metaphor I like to use is that of a lake.

When standing on the shore of a large lake, you can see ripples, colors, and reflections. If it is windy or stormy out, the surface of the lake changes and makes it even harder to see beneath the surface. Not until the storm dies down can you begin to see more clearly. When things are still, the lakes surface mirrors it’s surroundings.

Venture beyond the shoreline and even more possibility opens up. The lake takes on a new perspective. Looking beyond the reflection it becomes three dimensional and you can see below the surface.

We are very similar. When we are upset, it is hard to see things clearly. The only way to see things clearly is to take some space from the upset, calm down and gain a new perspective. Why am I mentioning this metaphor?

Because feeling helps you see clearly. And seeing clearly helps you move more freely toward what you want in your life. And when you get what you want, you are more fulfilled.

But Why Is It So Hard For Dudes to Feel?

Contrary to some big generalizations out there men do in fact feel, but most men were trained as little boys by the “boy code” to not feel. They were trained and taught to suck it up not cry etc. For example, as a boy I was trained by my Dad and my culture to not feel. To feel meant I would be judged as a wimp, a girl or even gay. (As if girls or gay people are somehow bad?) So, men do feel, it’s just challenging for many men to know what they are feeling.

So, it’s understandable why many men don’t allow themselves to feel and can’t even identify a feeling. Many adult men are still very scared to feel their feelings because if they do, their fear is they will be judged as not manly, acting like a girl or being weak or gay.

So, most men never venture out beyond the shoreline and certainly don’t look below the surface. Therefore, many men remain locked up, shut down and not free.

The cost of not being willing to feel

1. relationship blues

Sadly, these old fears keep many men locked up around their feelings and lead to very frustrating relationships for women dating these men. Rather than dive in to the unknown waters of intimacy, men stay on the shore, where it is safe. But as any sailor will tell you, a ship in a harbor is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for (a William Shedd quote).

Moreover, men who shut down or stuff their feelings remain emotionally constipated and have very little facility or freedom when it comes to intimacy. Then, they keep resisting actual help like couples counseling.

2. narrow bandwidth of expression.

If you never let yourself feel grief, anger, sadness and other “negative” emotions, you will have less access to the “positive” emotions such as joy, love, and happiness. The waters you are able to swim and navigate are more shallow. For example, if you avoid “negative” emotions, you might experience some happiness but the depth with which you feel it is limited.

3. you are not free.

Staying on the shore, you never really get to test if your vessel is seaworthy. Freedom is the open water of who you are, not the shore.

4. physical problems.

Most body workers, massage therapists, and good body-centered, somatic therapists know that the body holds and stores trauma and unexpressed emotion. The more you hold, the more the body has to carry the burden. Your boat begins to decay having never touched water. Stoic men who never learn to feel, are simply in pain.

5. You are less available to give and receive love.

If you shut yourself off from your own emotions and never “set sail”, you’ll never know what it is like to swim or sail. The endless terrain that is available to you will remain a distant dream. If you want to feel more love, try feeling all your feelings. Try exploring what lies below the surface farther from the shore.

If you choose to feel, a huge reward awaits you

For the brave who do decide to face the unknown lake of discomfort and painful emotion, what you will experience may shock you. Try it and see what happens. Let me know what you discover. To me it’s something like an elixir.

But Where Do I Start?

1. Get quiet: When you are upset or “in a funk” sit down or lie down and be still. You cannot see below the surface until you are still. Meditation is a tool that can help.

2. Get Curious: Start with the facts before you begin to interpret or try to figure it out. Target 3 main areas:

a. Thoughts–When did it start? Ask yourself when this feeling started? Was it the fight with your partner last week? Was it a call with your parents? An ex-lover? Did something piss you off at work? Where are your thoughts going and what are they like?

b. Emotions—What does it feel like? explore the feeling quality and the sensation that goes a long with it. Is it hot? cold? tight? humming? vibrating? tense? soft, achy? Does it have a color? a tone? Does it radiate? is it dense? thick?

c. Body sensations–Where in your body do you feel it? Is it in your throat? Gut? Chest? Where does it live?

3. Take responsibility for what you are feeling: Name it, begin to articulate it with a friend. For example, “wow, for the last few days I was locked up. Now I know that it started when ____happened. I have felt tense and irritated ever since. I feel shut down and I don’t want to be around anyone.”

4. Notice what your default behavior is when you feel this way. When you find yourself, “in a funk” do you numb out with TV? food? sugar? porn? masturbation? alcohol? drugs? Or do you isolate? Or both?

5. Choose to feel it until it changes. Have the balls to turn toward it. After all, what is the worst thing that could happen?

Want to feel more love and lightness in your life? Then start saying “yes” to feelings you have been saying “no” to. Invite them in and get to know them. As John Wellwood says, befriend your emotions. See what happens and report back.

It is possible that when you venture out beyond the shores and swim farther out in the lake that you might experience more fear, but at the same time more freedom and aliveness.

Find Joe here:
http://www.facebook.com/therelationshipsociety
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Barriers To Love

In the mere contemplation of love, we are humbled. For who among us could ever claim to have “figured it out?” The mysteries of love and how to make it work baffle even the most well-intentioned. In many contexts, from parenting to marriage, friendship to business relationships, we find that our best efforts often fail and disappointment finds its way into our most valued sphere of life.

Why is this? There are many reasons, but they all come down to a basic orientation in ourselves towards ourselves. In other words, ever since the beginning of time, we have been basically looking out for number one, and that is the surest way to destroy a relationship. We have a tendency to think of ourselves first instead of the relationship itself. We are trying to get what we want instead of seeing also the needs of others. And as a result of this self-orientation we destroy all chances of getting what we want and need, which in the final analysis is always love.

So, in an edition dedicated to love we thought it appropriate to look at some of the things that we do that get in the way of love. In some ways, it is also a look at maturity, for it is only the mature person who loves well. We will be taking a look at the ways of functioning that prevent love from growing in almost any context, whether it be, friendship, marriage, parenting, work or really any and all relationships.

And before we get into looking at these traits, one sober word of warning: In looking for the problems in any relationship we are in, we always do well to point the finger back at ourselves. There is no doubt that others cause some of the pain and failure of relationships in our lives. But the reality is that we are probably adding to the problem or if we are not, we probably could be doing some things better that would give us a better chance of working it out, even if you find yourself in a relationship with a “problem person.” Sometimes, the most immature people can grow when in the presence of an integrating relationship. So, in looking at some of the dynamics of what the barriers are to good relationships, keep yourself in mind. The more that you can take ownership of these tendencies in yourself, the more likely you are to make relationships work and to pick people who are able to make them work as well. Mature people tend to pick mature people. Now, join me in a look at the things that poison love.

The Love Killers-Poisons To Avoid

Self-centeredness or Ego-centricity

Many people think of selfish people as being difficult. But “self-centeredness” comes closer to the real description of what a truly selfish person is. What it means is that someone basically experiences life mostly in terms of him or herself. Someone has said, “To interpret any event only in terms of how it affects oneself is to live on the doorstep of Hell.” And that is true.

When one is self-centered, he guarantees the failure of love, for love is an attachment between two people, and the self-centered person denies the reality of the “other.” He only sees others as extensions of himself. They exist to make him happy, serve his needs, regulate his feelings or drives in life. And whey they fail to do that by having an existence of their own, he has some sort of negative reaction, such as anger, withdrawal of love, controlling behavior or rejection. This orientation to another person being more of an object for self-gratification than a person makes a true attachment impossible. Love requires two people, not one person and an “object.”

We could write about this dynamic for a long time, but one quick way to understand it is to look at it in terms of the quote above. “Only me” involves not ever adapting to someone else’s wishes or needs, or sacrificing something that I want for another person or a purpose or group larger than myself. Or to think of the significance of events or people only as I am benefited or denied.

Lack of Observing Oneself

The idea is this and is one of the most frustrating qualities that anyone can have in a relationship: The inability to see one’s own behavior, especially when one is wrong. Have you ever had that experience, to be in a relationship with someone who could not see when they were wrong? There is such little hope to get past any conflict that you might be having.

No relationship or person is perfect. And we can work out any kind of conflict with anyone as long as the two people involved are able and willing to look at their own behavior and own it. The act of ownership of our wrongs makes moving past the conflict and getting to a deeper connection possible, and when someone cannot see their wrong, the relationship gets stuck.

The injured party feels hopeless, and there is little chance for comforting them by the one who hurt them, because no apology is forthcoming. The conflict cannot be solved.

Inability to Validate Another’s Experience

Being understood is one of our deepest needs. We don’t really need to know that we are “right,” as much as we need to know that someone understands how we feel and what our “reality” is. Making this connection with each other is called “empathy.” When we feel a certain way, we need to know that others validate our experience, meaning that they understand how it is for us.

We need to be listened to and understood, not quickly negated for how we feel and what we think. Research has shown that some of the most serious emotional disorders come from having ones emotions misunderstood. For instance, how do you feel when someone says, “Oh, come on, that didn’t hurt!” or “Oh, that wasn’t so bad.” We immediately go further away inside our hearts, and feel a breach with the person. On the other hand, when someone says something that shows their understanding, we are more open to input about our reality.

“Sounds like that was very difficult for you,” is an example of an empathic statement that draws people closer together.

Understanding how someone feels or thinks, or how an experience was for them is something that builds bonds and connections between people. The inability to do that destroys connection and alienates the parties.

Play Fair

This one sounds weird, for it seems that playing fair would be a good thing. It means that we treat others as they treat us. If they are kind, then we are kind. If they hurt us, then we hurt them back. If they are immature, then we are immature as well.

It is easy for us to be good to those who earn it. The problem is that no one earns it all the time, and every relationship has problem behavior. This is why simple “fairness” cannot work, for then the worst behavior in the relationship becomes the common denominator.

To transcend a pattern in a relationship, we cannot play fair and return evil for evil. The only way for any relationship to overcome our imperfections is for the receiving party to be “bigger than that,” and return grace and truth instead of the injury. Simple fairness will kill any relationship.

Emotional Detachment

“The lights are on but nobody is home.” To be emotionally detached is to be out of touch with one’s feelings and unable to be emotionally present in a relationship. It can be a killer to intimacy, because it feels to the other party that they are alone, even though someone is there.

When we are out of touch with our feelings and cannot express them to one another, then intimacy is blocked, and our experience is one of the person’s heart being “far away.”

To feel close, we need to be present emotionally. Our needs, vulnerabilities, fears, pain, tender feelings, and the like must be communicated and expressed. When someone is detached from feelings, and the ability to express them, the other person cannot feel the kind of connection that we think of as “intimacy,” or “being known.” Intimacy involves the heart, as well as the mind. If someone is out of touch with their deep feelings and innermost parts, then shallow relationships are what follows.

Control and Denial of Separateness

The idea freedom is so important. But the reality is that many people do not honor freedom in their relationships. They do not see the other person as a free person from them, able to make their own decisions and have their own desires. Instead, they see the other as an extension of themselves, and have strong attempts to control the freedom of the one they “love.”

Love can only exist where there is freedom. Our attempts to control what another person thinks, feels, wants, does, values, believes, etc. are destined to drive them away, and ultimately destroy love. Love only exists as we see another person in their own right as a separate individual. When someone says “no,” we are to respect it. When they have choices and wishes that are different from ours, we are to respect them as well.

Wish For Eden

There was a time when everything was perfect. It was called paradise, and the Bible refers to it as the Garden of Eden. In that place, everything was “good.” But, as the rest of the Bible tells us, and history confirms, Eden has been lost, and we live in an imperfect world. What that translates to in the world of relationships is that we will always be in relationships with people who have imperfections.

To the extent that someone has come to grip with this reality, they have satisfactory relationships. They can accept others for who they are and solve problems. But if they still have a wish to be in the Garden where things are perfect, they are always frustrated with the people they find themselves connected to. They always want more, they judge and protest the reality of who the person is and there is very little safety for love to grow.

Narcissism and perfectionism are killers to real relationship. Real love can only grow where someone’s “real self” can be known and accepted by the other person. If there are demands for perfection and the “ideal person,” then love is blocked.

“I Know Better” and other “Parental Dynamics”

Adults who are in significant relationships are meant to be equals and share the reality of who they are in a spirit of mutuality. Some people, however, want not to be equals, but one-up on the other person. They want to be in more of a parent-child type of connection where they are in charge. They have expectations for the other to be in subjection to them in some strange way, and are dominating in their style.

This type of “I know better” stance blocks love in a horrible way, as the person who is “under” feels belittled, controlled, dominated and disrespected. In the best scenario’s, the so-called “benevolent dictator,” the one on the bottom rung fails to grow up and develop into who they were meant to be.

Typical of this type of stance are a lot of “you should’s,” that dominate the person’s thinking, as they freely tell the other person how to think, live, be and what to do. The biggest problems to love in this type of connection come from the resentment in the one-down person, and their drive to become independent from the dominating one. We are to all be equals and put no one on a parental pedestal.

Lack of Boundaries

The last block to love that we will consider is the lack of boundaries. What this means is someone’s inability to take a stance of self-control and to have a proper relation to the word “no.” Boundary problems are usually seen in someone’s inability to either say “no,” or hear “no” from others. When we have these kinds of disturbances, we either allow people to walk all over us in a way that destroys respect, or we walk all over them and “trespass” against them, destroying love in the process. True love respects each other’s boundaries, saying “no” when we need to, and respecting it when we hear it.

Another aspect of boundaries has to do with requiring responsible behavior from each other in a relationship and taking a stance against bad when it occurs. True love cannot grow when dysfunction and chaos is allowed to triumph. When we have the boundaries to take a stance against it, we preserve the good in a relationship and help it to grow by solving problems.

Summary

Love is not an easy thing to accomplish in this life. In fact, it is so difficult because of our particular inclinations to do the very things we just talked about. There is a part of all of us that tends to try to please ourselves instead of accomplish love, and in the process we lose the love that we wanted in the first place. Remember, love does not “just happen.” It takes work. And part of the work that you will have to do is to avoid the kinds of barriers to love mentioned above.

Find Joe Whitcomb at http://www.facebook.com/therelationshipsociety
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