As men, we learn about relationships from our fathers, but alas, most of them aren’t very good at it themselves. What I have discovered is that if you are willing to be pragmatic about what works, rather than believing the many myths around relationships, you will have a much more enjoyable time.
#1 Fighting is normal
How often are we told that fighting is normal in a relationship? I was with a wonderful woman named Simone for eight years, and during that time, we raised our voices to each other once. Just once. People said we were crazy for not arguing our points of view.
There was one time in Cancun, Mexico, when we started butting heads about finances due to our very different perspectives. As soon as we noticed the conversation wasn’t going anywhere, we asked: ‘Do we require more information?’
We have friends who are brilliant with finances that could give us the information we required easily. So, instead of making a problem of something that wasn’t a problem, we went and had a glass (or two) of wine.
If you’re willing to be aware of any contraction in your relationship, you won’t start a fight. You won’t look for who is right and who was wrong. You look at what is going to create a sense of expansion again. The pragmatics of relationship is looking at: What is going to work here? What can I do to create more in this relationship?
#2 Open communication
One of the most common myths is that for a relationship to be strong, you need to be open with each other and talk about everything. This usually means you give your point of view, and then the other person has their say. That is a one-way street—it is not communication.
True communication is being aware of what the other person can accept in their world. Before opening your mouth to say anything to your girlfriend, or boyfriend, ask yourself: what can they hear? If you use this tool, you will never say something they cannot receive, which usually leads to a fight.
Ladies, when communicating with your man, ask questions to get their perspective on things. Literally, ask him, ‘What’s your point of view about this? How do you see this working?’ You will get clear on how he functions, what he wants to create in life, and how you could contribute to that.
#3 Doing everything together
Simone and I both look at a relationship as a way to create 20 times more than we would alone. That doesn’t mean doing things with each other all the time. Simone isn’t allowed in the kitchen because the way she cooks frustrates me—just kidding!
Creating in relationship is the willingness to contribute your energy to whatever the other person desires to create. Even if you both desire the same thing, and go down the same track, be aware that men and women process information differently.
There was a time when I used to judge myself for not being as creative as Simone is. When she gets new information, she knows where everything needs to go; it’s really fast for her. I take more time. I will let the new information sit in my awareness while I distract myself with something else. I might play a game, or watch TV, as a way of creating some space for my ideas to fall into place. What we have in common is a similar target: always to create more.
#4 The man’s job is to fix
Growing up, most boys are taught by their mothers to use their strength to help women. That’s what a lot of men do in a relationship. We take on the role of fixing and think that it is our job.
There’s one big point to remember with your lady or man: do not help them unless they ask. As soon as you try to help someone, you have already assumed that you know better than they do. If a woman acts that way towards a man, his barriers will go up, and he will resist.
So don’t rush in to help, wait till you know that you can contribute to the other person. Simone invited me to many different things, and she always did it from the space of invitation, not from expectation.
#5 We’re married, so we’re good
Have you noticed how people will create their relationships dynamically when they first get together? Then, once they’re married, they go, ‘We’re married, we’re good.’ Relationship has to be a fresh choice every day; otherwise, it becomes stagnant. You’ve got to be constantly creating it if you want your relationship to thrive. If this resonates at all, start by asking yourself: what do you desire to create together? What else could you choose?
Brendon Watt is a speaker, entrepreneur, business, and life mentor. He is the Australian CFO of Access Consciousness® and the facilitator of special Access programs, including Access Bars®, Conscious Parenting Conscious Kids, and Joy of Business.
Growing up, Brendon always recognized the ‘difference’ in him, yet he spent all his time trying to fit in and be the same as everyone else. After decades of conformity, Brendon discovered the pragmatic tools of Access Consciousness® and made a choice to change his life for the better. Today he regularly travels—sharing and facilitating the tools that changed his reality and empowering others to know that anything is possible. Brendon’s first book with Simone Milasas, Relationship: Are you sure you want one? Will be released in February. Find more at www.brendonwatt.com
Finances in relationship
Going from struggle street to constant creation
By Brendon Watt
The dynamic of money and relationships can be very revealing because everyone has insane points of view that lock them up and limit them from creating everything they desire to create in life.
Personally, I used to hate money. When I was a boy, I watched the people around me constantly argue and fight over it, and subconsciously decided that I would avoid money at all costs.
That decision had a massive impact later in life, especially when I started working as a tradie (that’s what tradesmen are called in Australia). Every Friday after I got paid, I’d spend as rapidly as possible so that by Monday, I was usually broke. If a bill came in the mail, it went straight into the bin.
I buried my head in the sand and over time, accumulated a rather large tax bill. Now, this was something I kept to myself when Simone and I first began our relationship. In fact, I only mentioned it after we bought a house together.
‘Isn’t that something you would tell someone before you move in with them?’ she asked.
Simone’s comment was a huge revelation to me. It made me realize that I had acted like a total asshole by waiting till after we bought a house together to tell her about my debt. I also saw how I had been avoiding money rather dynamically. If I had created this massive debt by the choices I had made, then what if I chose differently?
No matter what state your finances are in right now, you can start making some different choices; that’s what I did.
What is your relationship with money?
Do you love it? Do you run away from money?
I had been avoiding money ever since I was a child, as I’d decided it led to screaming, fighting, and abuse. What I hadn’t acknowledged was choosing to have no money is simply a different kind of abuse. When I finally realized that the people around me who had money were having way more fun than my broke ass, I began to wonder: would it be fun to have money?
Just a tradie
Getting rid of my old points of view was just the first step; I had to learn how to make it and manage it.
I would love to say that educating myself about money was this fun, wonderful thing. At the start, I had so many doubts about myself and what I was capable of. I didn’t think I was smart enough since I was ‘just a tradie.’
Simone was patient with me. Whenever we met with our accountants, I would want to run away after five minutes. My point of view was, ‘Get me out of here. This is so boring.’
Changing something that I had pushed away for so long didn’t happen overnight. Yet, I was persistent. Whenever I wanted to avoid money, I acknowledged it. For instance, if opening my credit card statement made me seriously angry, frustrated, or uncomfortable, I would sit with those energies and see what could be changed.
Eventually, I became curious about how finances and investments worked. The good news is life can spin around quickly if you are willing to make a different choice and make a demand of yourself. However, be kind to yourself when you go back to your old ways, as I periodically did.
Whatever it takes
To have more money in your life, you have to make different choices than you did in the past. A lot of people say they are choosing to have more money, and then they stay at home watching Game of Thrones all day long. That is not making a different choice!
If you desire to make $1,000, you’ve got to do whatever it takes and whatever is fun for you to create that money. This could be finding a second job, becoming an Uber driver, or doing something that will bring in money.
One more thing, if you set yourself a target and get there, please acknowledge what you have created. Your life will start moving, and once it is moving in that forward way, things will get faster.
Brendon Watt is a speaker, entrepreneur, business and life mentor, and the author of Relationship Are You Sure You Want One?, written with Simone Milasas. He is the Australian CFO of Access Consciousness®, a set of simple-yet-profound tools currently transforming lives in 174 countries, and the facilitator of several special Access programs including Access Bars®, Choice of Possibilities, Conscious Parenting Conscious Kids, as well as the Pioneer for Career Change with Joy of Business. Drawing upon his transformation from a struggling tradesman and single dad to global speaker, Brendon facilitates classes and workshops all over the world, empowering others to know they are not wrong, that anything is possible and that they are only one choice away from change. Find more at www.brendonwatt.com.