My Husband, My Baseline. Here’s Why..

Chris, my spouse is my standard for love and kind treatment. He is my lauchpad for care and respect.

In my rooms I see couples, lone partners and singles all striving for love.

Many times there’s a struggle to find self worth, value and a belief in ourselves as deserving of a loving happy relationship.

Things go off into the ditch.

This is when our negative patterns show up in partnerships.

We use the idea of a maximiser – the one who demands and speaks up. They are like the hailstorm and pour down harder to be heard.

Hailstorm Thunder of words can be overwhelming. This is a maximiser trait.
Hailstorm Thunder of words can be overwhelming. This is a maximiser trait.

On the flip side is the minimiser. Their pattern is withdrawal. We call these guys the Turtle. They pull back into their shells protectively.

The turtle or tortoise withdraws to protect and minimise, usually invoking more thunder and hail!
The turtle or tortoise withdraws to protect and minimise, usually invoking more thunder and hail from the maximiser!

Whey I say this to couples they nod knowingly. They usually know whether they are a turtle or a hailstorm in their partnership.

I saw John Aiken pointing out this very dynamic on Married At First Sight. Boy what a hothouse for explosivity. Makes for TV ratings. I love that we are talking about relationships.

Time outs can protect us from the danger zone of escalation.

This dynamic becomes problematic when it goes off road in the ditch.

When harsh words are said against ones character, foul language and escalation happen.

We can quickly go to the danger zone.

While time outs are a useful tool and necessary tool. It’s vital we learn newer, safer, supportive ways of connecting and communicating.

Danger zone, the frontal lobe is off line we are coming form our reptilian brain. Attack and defend come naturally as our biology kicks in.
Danger zone, the frontal lobe is off line. We come from our reptilian brain. Attack and defend naturally occurs as our biology kicks in.

That’s why I coach couples dialogue in my sessions. So your can find a part to help you get your needs met.

You get real world skills to apply in your relationship when the sparks fly.

If a partner comes alone, I always will extend an invitation to attend. Some come, some don’t. Sometimes it’s a new beginning or the next stage in their partnership.

One gentleman I saw for 10-12 sessions solo, by the end of our work they were happily engaged. Gorgeous pictures of roses, rings and romance. Ah love my work!

Ah happy days wedding bliss loving couple

Occasionally my radar goes up where I hear contempt and threats. I gently query how the person feels on the end of this – this is the marker and what if any repair happens.

When there are excuses, blame and no accountability, I get concerned.

While I totally believe people can change. The proviso is they must want the change for themselves.

Danger zone relationship abuse

It’s usually then I point to a picture of us on our wedding day and say this is Chris. He would never say $%$^ to me. I have haven’t ever heard him use foul language apart from the rare stubbed toe expletive.

Chris wouldn’t ever say or treat me in that way. I trust him to support me and have my back. While we may not agree on everything, it’s all up for negotiation.

No he’s not an angel but he is good, kind and acts with restraint. Guess who’s the turtle here!

Respect is a cornerstone in a healthy relationship and it’s important we restore it quickly when it’s lost. No one’s perfect!

You are welcome to use Chris as a baseline too!

Ask yourself if there is a person or partnership you admire. Would they act that way, or say that ?

Perhaps we can require more of ourselves and our partners as we learn and grow together. Go gently and live fully. Yours in gratitude Philipa xox

I Dare you… Take a Risk Right Now Send this Text –

I was watching Mel Robbins (Thank you Mel, you are awesome in your practical real world advice) and she asked, no she DARED the audience to send a text to someone they care about, family, their partner, friend, a significant person who’s important to you.

Here’s what she said to text – ” What can I do to to be a better partner or friend to you?”

I dare you to send that text right now.

Send this text to reconnect your love
Send this text to reconnect your love

See what comes back – love to hear what you get back please drop a comment in the box below.

Send this text to reconnect your love

Mel and myself ask to to show you that the person you choose to send it to is the safest person on the planet to get feedback on. How special is that!

Safety helps you reset your mind
Safety helps you reset your mind

Notice what comes up for you in doing this exercise. Is a part of you critical? Perhaps you hear a voice saying that’s silly. This is likely our fearful part coming on line.

It’s taking a risk and we resist risk taking.

So our relationships stay shallow. We feel disconnected.

Break out and take a risk. Safety is key in connections and we get there by being vulnerable, kind and respectful.

So please send the text and let us know your responses and how it feels both sending and receiving. Drop a line in the comments section below. Share with others. Thanks Philipa

Hello February Marriage Works Monthly Fun Challenge

Hi beautiful Marriage Workers and by that I mean all of us in committed partnerships. Welcome to the second month of the year.

As we are starting to get back into the day to day runnings, I wondered if we might just keep a hold of the holiday spirit and keep the fun running. It’s good to keep the fun running!

Now this is the ultimate couple fun sky diving !
Now this is the ultimate couple fun sky diving !

We crave novelty as a species and no more so than in relationships, that’s where affairs can happen. So what can you do to prevent doldrums?

Beautiful fish at Sealife

Mix it up, break out of patterns by exploring your surrounds, learning something new or giving free reign to that desire you’ve held inside. Maybe you sky dive, perhaps you guys take a surf lesson. I did see an archery course on Groupon at Bondi, I think look like a fun time.

Sydney Aquarium date for February
Boy fish are hard to photograph. Always moving!

February Fun Challenge get out of your relationship rut by mixing up your routine. Captivate your mate by making a suggestion to do something out of your usual rounds. It can be as easy as a drive, a walk in a new park or beach. Or be a tourist in your city or town. We loved the Sydney aquarium. Love to hear your adventures please drop us a comment and share :))

Here’s my video

https://youtu.be/sJKjxJBAotw

Marriage Workers having fun

Bye for now, yours in gratitude

My Best Articles of 2019 for You & Your Relationships.

As the new year begins, I thought it might be nice to highlight some of the best, most well received articles from the past year.

I have gone through the archives and found articles that gained positive feedback or were particularity powerful and interesting. Hopefully you’ll find a few old favourites here and come across something new to inspire you!

Let’s dive in :

This one is for those of us needing the Last Resort Program. Here you will find some more useful tips in applying this marriage saving technique https://marriageworks.com.au/2019/03/how-to-deal-with-the-i-love-yous-whilst-applying-the-last-resort-technique/

And here’s one for those of us who are Once were Worriers, when the worry has you trapped in a vicious cycle of procrastination, or frozen and let’s face it the festive season can amp this right up !https://marriageworks.com.au/2019/04/why-worry-and-what-you-can-do-about-it/

How do we get past infidelity?
How do we get past infidelity?

Perhaps these Millenials can teach us about Marriage Fidelity and Trust building ? https://marriageworks.com.au/2019/05/my-thoughts-on-why-millenials-are-cheating-less/

Are you getting the Love you Want? Check out the cheats guide to skipping therapy with a couples retreat to fast track your relationship repair here https://marriageworks.com.au/2019/07/getting-the-love-you-want-couples-workshop/

Infidelity is heartbreaking. Watch my Youtube here for help https://marriageworks.com.au/2019/08/infidelity-dilemmas/

Hold on to your marriage. See a marriage friendly therapist

A timely reminder to of the power of gratitude https://marriageworks.com.au/2019/11/thanks-giving-happy-november-monthlychallenge/

Happy New Year! Let 2020 be your best yet xox

Hi there, I hope you had a nice easing in for this decade. For us it was a quiet get together welcoming the Sydney New Year, with beautiful friends. Although a distance from the city we get glimpses of the fireworks on the harbour. Plus the ABC coverage on TV was impressive.

Impressive Sydney New Years Eve Harbour Bridge Fireworks
Impressive Sydney New Years Eve Harbour Bridge Fireworks

I am not really a fan of resolutions – it seems to set my rebellious part off and against me – – perhaps you can identify?

Or I start off well, going along for a bit in virtuosity only to collapse and rebound back into the unwanted pattern! Crap.

I like the idea of setting your intention/s – looking for want you want to have happen in the coming year. Remember the mind loves a guide, so make it positive. Be free spirited here, let loose your fun parts!

Set your intentions for 2020. Write down your wishlist.
Make some time for you to inspire yourself.

In line with this intention I write a wish list. In my 2020 diary I use one of those pages and head it up with 2020 Wishlist. I write all my hopes and dreams and make it big. Abandon all logic and let your mind free your creativity. I do this annually and it’s amazing what evolves. Love to hear your adventures.

A friend of mine likes to have a word for the year to contemplate. I usually need more than one. We had fortune cookies for NYE mine said ” You have all the wisdom of the ages at your command.” Super cool. So my words are inspired by this – Wisdom, Command and Faith.

Faith gives me hope and connects me to my brand of spirituality. I am part of a bigger universe. It’s not a religious aspect, more an awe of the divine in all of us. In my heart I believe all will be well. I have faith all will turn out for the best and people are ultimately kind. Rather like a Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Can you relate?

Ebenezar Scrooge is visited by Marley his business partner weighted down with the chains forged in his lifetime.
Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by Marley his ghostly business partner, weighted down with the chains forged in his life. Charles Dicken’s story still tells the tale.

Wisdom is a wonderful word, it’s about that lived experience we all have had being on this planet. The learnings, the leavings, the lovings, and the leanings we edge toward. You will have your own special knowledge and well won wisenesses.

Command was a little challenging for me to put out there, the judgy part of me said it’s controlling. Reframe needed here. Command can encourage me into being a personal leader. Being the boss of me and what I choose and how I behave and respond. Engaging in my a personal power for good.

Marriage Works wishes you a happy new year, heralding in the 2020 decade.
Marriage Works wishes you a happy new year, heralding in the 2020 decade.

So what are your your intentions? Your word or words for 2020 the beginning of this next decade? Please share and write them out in the comments box below.

With love and gratitude, Philipa and Chris from Marriage Works down under!

Happy December! Monthly Challenge -You Year Review.

Welcome to the month of December. I am a bit late guys sorry. I’ve been under the weather, doing renovations and the Christmas counselling rush which started in November is on.

Christmas time is family time.

December is the month which ushers us into the new year. Loving the ring of 2020, a new decade. This month is an ending of our 12. A good time to do a review.

Looking back in the mirror, how did you do?

  • What goals did you make?
  • What did you start?
  • What did you finish?
  • How is your health?
  • How is your relationship tracking?
  • What are your most proud of?
  • What are you least proud of?
  • How can you use the above to inspire yourself and take action/
Useful to reflect on things

This years goals for me were pretty huge. Chris and I bought an apartment. I started renovations and my goodness I hope they finish soon.

What keeps you on your perch?
What keeps you on your perch?

Health wise walking and dancing are a great thing. I am working on using mother natures guide bypassing intellect and using instinct to eat what my body tells me. Living food like carrots as opposed to chips.

My marriage has had trials with the property search that started in May. This and financial togetherness, organising a project brings out the best parts and occasionally cranky parts.

The loss of Taneisha has brought us closer. Watch this space as Yoda arrives for xmas.

Least proud of yelling at Chris, when I was tired and overwrought.

Useful to reflect on things Not me, but a cranky part is in the house

Proud of managing so many things. Buying and selling properties all in the last six weeks. It’s been a blitz.

Running Resource Therapy workshops and building them for next year in Bali in July. Overseas training is a huge undertaking.

Love to hear your lists and thoughts. So make this monthly challenge a review from the above. Remember it is more powerful putting pen to paper.

Please drop a line in the comments box and let us know xx Thanks for reading.

Yours in gratitude Philipa

What's decorating your life as you review the year?
What’s decorating your life as you review the year?

Thanks Giving ! Happy November MonthlyChallenge.

We want treats not tricks! Halloween is fun bring back playfulness in your relationships

Apologies a day late! The other night was Halloween, Chris and I saw lots of cherubs dressed up as monsters with bags for trick or treating. I think it’s fun. We are influenced by other cultures and it’s nice to adopt some of the playfulness of other countries. So this month I turn to America for the tradition of Thanks Giving.
This day is November 25th. Years ago I spent Thanks Giving at an American friends place with their family. We had a lovely meal and each went around the table saying what we were thankful for. It felt so good, deep heartwarming joy! Sorry to my my US readers, not a fan of pumpkin pie.

A smile sends thanks so well.


As we know what we focus on we get more of – the psychological law of attraction, the theory of ironic process from the research of Daniel Wegner for those who like the academic information – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8121959.

For me, I truly want more of the positive in my life and for my loved ones. Sharing thankfulness and acknowledgement multiplies joy. As super guru Oprah Winfrey and other successful people attest gratitude is powerful.

He brings a smile with his joy at being in the world
He brings a smile with his joy at being in the world

So this month I invite you to share your appreciation, acknowledge your gratitude and express thanks to your spouse, your friends, even a stranger in word and deed. Take action and make November your month of Thanks. Love to hear how you went and what you experienced sharing your gratitude around.

Thank you for watching Marriage Works YouTube and reading my blog. with love and appreciation Philipa Thornton
Marriage Works on YouTube

Thanks for watching, please share on social media, email to others who may benefit from this information.
Yours in Gratitude Phillipa
With all the information you need know

Couples Retreat November – Save your marriage with a weekend in Sydney!

Hurry the early bird for the Imago Couples retreat ends on the 16th October. This Wednesday. The workshop in Crows Nest runs 16/17 November.

Get your love bug back Sydney couples retreat
Get your love bug back Sydney couples retreat

I will be there helping out, so love to meet you!

Do your partnership a favour and attend getting the love you want workshop
Do your partnership a favour and attend getting the love you want workshop Sydney Early bird Ends soon.

October – Healing Hurt & the Last Resort

Last updated on October 2nd, 2019 at 08:09 pm

Welcome to October ! I have just popped up my latest video for the month you can watch it here:

Thanks for watching and here are the links mentioned.

Affair help https://marriageworks.com.au/relationship-advice-for-couple-counselling/affairs-and-trust-rebuilding-in-your-relationship/

The Last Resort when your spouse is about to walk out on you :https://marriageworks.com.au/relationship-advice-for-couple-counselling/the-last-resort-technique-marriage-saving/