Are You Experiencing Perpetual Dissatisfaction Disorder (PDD) in Your Relationship?

Are your thoughts preoccupied with issues, problems or things to fix? Instead of appreciating or enjoying the good stuff in your relationship, do you notice a subtle compulsion to focus on what is not working? Do you use all these “consciousness” tools and techniques to feed your need to consistently improve and fix your relationships?

Welcome to PDD! Perpetual Dissatisfaction Disorder (which we think Justin coined early on in our relationship). If you have PDD you are not alone, it is fairly common in many relationships. It is a way in which we are consistently oriented towards what is wrong and what needs fixing and improvement. This unconscious orientation keeps us from fully appreciating what “is” and hinders us from truly experiencing the good stuff that is going on right now. Yes, we said it… there is likely good stuff happening RIGHT NOW, are you enjoying it?

Shortly after Justin and I moved in together he blurted out, “Juna, you have PDD! You are perpetually dissatisfied and consistently focused on what is wrong!!” I quickly retorted that if I had PDD, then he had ICD (Inappropriate Comments Disorder). We had a little chuckle over that. :)

PDD still arises in our relationship and at this point I am retraining my mind to focus on what is working. The other night I came home with a reveal for Justin. I felt upset about something that had occurred earlier in the day. He received my feedback and appreciated my reveal. Yet he couldn’t quite shake the feeling that I was stuck in an old PDD pattern. We decided to try an experiment. We agreed for one whole week to commit to focus on what is working and practice the art of appreciation and enjoyment. Please join us and share what you learn and experience.

This morning I asked Justin how he is participating to co-create this experience of PDD with me. Justin realized that he has had many relationships with partners and family where there was a consistent focus on issues, problems and fixing. He realized that his Peacekeeper persona requires problems in order to help others in need.

Our Invitation: Are you or your partner experiencing some PDD? Join us for one week of experiencing appreciation, enjoyment and focusing on what is working. If your partner has PDD ask yourself how you might be co-creating this experience with them? We are on the journey with you, so feel free to share your thoughts or comments on www.DailyRelationship.com, www.facebook.com/DailyRelationship and www.youtube.com/DailyRelationship. Thank you.

- Juna & Justin

A Simple & Effective Way to Reduce Drama in Relationship

 

When your partner is stuck and begins to get dramatic, do you enter the drama vortex with them? Or are you able to support them without getting entangled in their stuff?

The other day I was having big feelings and got hooked into a wee bit of drama. As I was allowing myself to fall into the rabbit hole, I noticed (and Justin pointed out) that I was trying to bring Justin down with me. What is it about drama that we just want to bring everyone with us into crazy town?

This time, Justin was not going for it. Instead he was sitting casually on the couch, breathing, grinning lovingly in my direction and offering support…. buddha on the mountain-top.  After a short few minutes, and with his support, I was able to shift out of my drama state and back into presence. The following day Justin and I celebrated how quickly I was able to shift, in large part because of his ability to not go down the rabbit hole with me. 

Early on in our relationship Justin’s highly developed “peacekeeper” (that need to fix and help everyone at the expense of himself) would get him caught up in my drama, issues or emotional states. Now when stuff comes up for me he recognizes it’s ok that I am having feelings. Feelings are simply energy in motion, even if they are uncomfortable there is nothing to be “fixed” when feelings arise.

So how do you support your partner and take care of yourself when they are caught up in drama?

1. Remember that this is their stuff, not yours. Remind yourself that they are simply having feelings and though they may be uncomfortable, it is ok for your partner to have feelings.

2. BREATHE. The other day when I was committed to drama, Justin brought his awareness inside, took some deep breaths, then took some more. Just this simple act supported him in staying present with himself, and not losing himself to my emotional state. Often when we go into drama (our own or someone else’s) we stop breathing.

Our Invitation: In relationship, inevitably there are times when someone has stuff come up. When that happens you have a choice to support your partner from a state of compassion and presence (if and only if they are willing), or you can dive into the drama with them. Take a moment to bring your awareness inside and take some easy breaths, and remind yourself that this is simply their stuff and they will be ok. Notice how you taking this time to be present with yourself supports your partner in shifting that much more quickly. We are on the journey with you so feel free to share your thoughts and comments on http://www.DailyRelationship.com, http://www.facebook.com/DailyRelationship, http://www.youtube.com/DailyRelationship. Thank you!

- Juna & Justin

The Big Question: Are We Going to Have Kids?

Not 100% sure if you want kids? Do you want kids but your partner doesn’t? Or vice versa? How do we make one of the biggest decisions of our life with another person? How do we make this huge decision knowing that the clock is ticking?

Ever since Justin and I got engaged, people have been asking us, “When are you going to have kids?” For us, having kids is not a given. At this point, there is a part of us that wants kids and part of us that doesn’t. How do we reconcile that given that we have a limited time frame to work with?

I am going to be 35 years young this May and we are facing the reality that I am approaching the age where there can be higher chances of complications, so it is important to gain some clarity about the baby thing.

We are not the kind of couple that is going to do it because everyone else does it, or because our mom’s would really really love it. Instead we recognize that this is a HUGE decision and we want to both have a 100% yes if we were going to do it. We feel that this is especially important given that we are going to be living on a planet with a population of 9 billion by 2040.

For Justin, he has always envisioned that he would have a kid one day. To create a being and watch it grow up has been something he has always desired. Yet at the same time, one of the things he values most is his freedom – the ability to travel and explore the world on a whim. He is asking himself if he would lose some of his freedom if we had a baby.

For me, I am watching many of my dearest friends making babies and falling deeply in love with this precious being that they co-created with their partner. It is truly a miracle. A miracle that I am afraid to miss out on. But when I think about the logistics of raising a child for 18 years, bringing a third person into our relationship and shifting my focus (at least temporarily) from growing my business to baby making… well, I feel scared and uncertain. Unlike some of my friends, I have never had that deep knowing that I am meant to be a mom.

At this point, Justin and I have decided to keep the conversation open and flowing. We don’t know if we are going to have kids, but we love the idea of having the option if we do become clear. Do we freeze my eggs? Do we adopt some day? We are not sure and we are wondering out loud and on camera in the hopes that our exploration will be of service to other couples that are in the same boat.

Our Invitation: Initiate the conversation with your partner. We have seen some people not enter relationship knowing that they are not aligned about having kids. If you are already in relationship, talk about all the reasons you do and do not want a child. Talk about your fears. Get current with each other and make a commitment to stay current with each other. Our desires may change over time and it is important to share them when they become clear – especially when it comes to such a big life decision. We are on the journey with you, so feel free to share your thoughts or comments with us at www.DailyRelationship.com, www.facebook.com/DailyRelationship, and www.youtube.com/DailyRelationship. Thank you dear friends.

- Juna & Justin

Are You Angry or Really Just Afraid?

In your relationship, are you able to discern the difference between genuine anger and fear? When your partner is acting a little mean or seems angry, do you ever wonder if they are simply afraid?

On Saturday morning Justin started talking to me in a critical tone. He seemed angry at me and was acting a little mean. This surprised me, Justin is rarely mean (thank my lucky stars). I called it to his attention, “he sweetie, you seem angry at me right now and you are being mean. What do you think is actually going on?” ~ By the way, this is something I so appreciate about my man, when I offer feedback or a perspective, he pauses and lets the feedback in to see what is true. What was true is that I had been sick for over a week and Justin was actually afraid of getting my cold. He presenced this and said, “Oh, I am feeling afraid right now of getting sick.” This simple awareness shifted him out of the fight response and back into presence.

In relationship this is a key. Often times when you are perceiving that your partner is angry with you, they are actually just afraid. This is the secret of the fight response, it is not genuine anger, it is fear. We have found that one of the primary ways to shift out of “fight” is to pause, claim out loud that you are simply feeling afraid and allow yourself to feel your fear. When we are not aware of what we are feeling or we are trying to escape our feelings, we are in reaction and thus more likely to do one of the “fear responses.”

We all react to fear in different ways. When we experience fear, some of us Freeze up (can’t move or make a choice), others Flee (leave the room physically, emotionally or both), sometimes we Faint (get spacey, dumb, or suddenly tired), or we Fight (suddenly get angry, ready to attack verbally or physically). So which of these fear responses is most familiar to you? Freeze, Flee, Faint or Fight?

Our Invitation: Next time you are feeling angry, pause and ask yourself if you are actually angry or if you are simply feeling afraid. Notice how just taking a moment to breathe and ask yourself this question brings you into greater presence with yourself and your feelings. Notice how any fear may began to subside when you come into presence.  We are on the journey with you, so feel free to share your thoughts or questions on www.DailyRelationship.com, www.facebook.com/DailyRelationship or at www.youtube.com/DailyRelationship. Thank you and big love to you all!

- Juna & Justin

When Things Are So Good, It’s Scary

When things in your life or relationship are flowing and going really well, do you ever have a sudden sense that something bad is going to happen? Do you notice how those little doomsday thoughts actually keep you from feeling all the positive energy you were just experiencing?

Over the last several days both Justin and I have been feeling panicked. We have had trouble sleeping at night and overall we have been experiencing a sense of dread. A weird sense that something very bad is about to happen (a tsunami, losing our house, earthquake, job loss, a killer rabbit underneath our bed, etc.). Why have we been feeling all of this? Because… things are going exceptionally well. :)

As we were preparing to move out of our home, out of nowhere Justin was offered a great new job opportunity. We were stunned. We decided not move to Bali for 5 months and instead to continue living here in Marin. For the first time in our relationship both Justin and I are thriving individually. Woohoo! Over the past 2+ years of our relationship, either Justin was thriving and I was struggling, or I was thriving and he was facing challenges. This current situation felt very foreign and immediately we both noticed this compulsion to focus on what might go wrong.

Welcome back to the upper limit problem! For those of you who have not seen our previous videos on the topic, the Upper Limit Problem was developed by Gay & Kathlyn Hendricks. It is the idea that we all have a threshold for how much joy and positive energy we can experience before we “upper limit,” or in other words, we get scared and unconsciously create a reason to bring ourselves back down to a more comfortable or familiar reality.

Through facing our most recent desire to upper limit, we both have been recognizing deeper and deeper layers of how we are attached to struggling or living in a state of fear/challenge. We are seeing how a part of us feels somehow safer when something is “wrong.”

Both Justin and I are playing with asking ourselves this, “What if everything is ok?”  With lots of breath, we are inviting ourselves to simply receive the gifts that are happening all around us right now. As we practice the art of enjoying this moment, we are also aware that all of it can change, as change is the only constant in life. The trick is to not allow this awareness to keep us from fully being and luxuriating in this amazing moment.

Our Invitation: When things are going really well, notice how fear or anxiety arises and you begin to brace for something to go wrong. You are simply upper limiting! Some part of you has gotten afraid of all this positive energy and you are bringing yourself back down into a more manageable zone of existence. What if you could enjoy this state a little more? What if you knew, on a deeper level, that you were ok no matter what? Take some time this week to breathe into the awareness that you are perfectly ok, no matter what life is serving up. We are on the journey with you, so feel free to share your thoughts, questions or ideas at www.DailyRelationship.com, www.facebook.com/DailyRelationship, or www.youtube.com/DailyRelationship. Thank you and big love!!

- Juna & Justin

Navigating Big Choice Points Together

In partnership, how do you navigate big choice points together, especially when both of you might have very different desires? For example: If one person wants to have a child and the other does not? Or if one person gets a job offer in another city or state, which means relocating far away from friends and family? How do couples make these big decisions in a way that truly serves both of you?

Recently Justin and I faced into our first large choice point in relationship. Over the last few months Justin chose to let go of one of the primary companies he had been working on. He knew that he could just jump back into the work force, but he started getting curious about what he most desires to experience at this point in his life. After taking some time, he got clear that he wants to work only part time for 6 months and take a break for some spiritual renewal. He shared that his desire was for us to move to Bali so that we could still live quite well while he took this break.

When Justin shared this with me I felt scared, but I also felt how true this was for him. I could feel in my bones how good it was for him to take this break and to create some time to discover who he is and what he wants. However, without his full time income we soon realized that we would not be able to afford our rental in beautiful Marin County. We love our home, I absolutely love where we live, and over the last 6 months my business has been thriving. My heart felt torn. I felt like we were stuck in an “either/or.” Either we go to Bali and give Justin this time, but I compromise my desire. Or we stay in Marin, Justin jumps back into full-time work and he does not get this much needed break.

When Justin shared his desire to take this break… some part of me just decided, “ok, I guess we are going to Bali for 5 months, because this is what Justin wants and needs.” This is what we call a “hero move” on the drama triangle, which is a set up for drama. I bypassed the part of me that truly desired to tune in so that I could sense what I really wanted in all of this. As a result, over the next few weeks, I started to notice myself getting angry and starting to blame Justin. Finally it dawned on me that I had not fully landed on my choice. So I retracted all the decisions I had made and took some time to wonder into what I most wanted in all of this.

How do we truly come from choice when making a big decision? What I was noticing was my tendency to come from fear as I was making this choice. Yet, when we are in fear, we are not truly in choice – we are not landed in the truth of ourselves. As the fear began to fade and I took time to come back into myself, I could see all the exciting and unlimited options available to both of us. In the end, I landed on my clear choice to move to Bali for 5 months with my man! Had I not taken this time to come from choice, we may still have moved to Bali, but I believe it would have been a set up for drama because I was not fully landed in the decision. I now feel super duper excited about this choice that we are making together.  I feel like we are on an exciting and magical adventure with each other!

Our Invitation:  Next time a big choice point arises in your relationship,  notice your tendency to want to make your decisions from a place of fear, as opposed to full, clear-seeing choice. Instead of hastily making choices that might be a convenience for your partner or your relationship, take some time to tune into yourself, get curious about what you most truly desire. Notice how taking this time supports you in seeing all the many options that are available to both of you. We are on the journey with you. Feel free to share your thoughts or questions on www.DailyRelationship.comwww.facebook.com/DailyRelationship, and www.youtube.com/DailyRelationship. Happy New Year!!

- Juna & Justin

When Commitment Means Freedom

When you think about the idea of a committed relationship do you imagine feeling free and soaring in all areas of your life? Or do you imagine feeling tied down, boxed in and suffocated by your partner’s needs and desires?

Over the last many months, both Justin and I have felt that something has been in the way of us deepening into connection as we move towards getting married (only 6 months away). As we inquired into this, we found the source- Justin’s fear of losing freedom. Justin owned that he was terrified of commitment and even more terrified of getting married, because in his mind he equated commitment with loss of freedom.

We imagine this is a fear many people have as they first enter relationship, as they go deeper into their commitment with each other, and certainly as they step forward into marriage.

First off, I felt my whole body relax the moment Justin first owned his fears and recognized this belief about commitment. It never ceases to amaze me how deeply my body responds to truth, regardless of what “truth” is spoken. When we are fully committed to truth in our personal lives and relationships, it is truth that generates the deepest form of connection, always.

Through bringing his fears to the surface, Justin spent some time uncovering their source, and getting clear about what he most wants in our partnership. During a relationship coaching session this week, Justin shared with me, “Juna, I want to feel fully free in our relationship. I want you to thrive and I want to thrive in our relationship. I don’t want you to ever need me, or to ever think you can’t live your life without me. I want to choose each other, but not need each other. I want us to be two Whole beings who have come together to share our lives.” I felt overjoyed. I felt a huge yes for creating this together. I felt scared too. What does this all mean? How do I do this? In that moment, and the many moments since, I have reminded myself, “I don’t know how to do all of this, and I am wholeheartedly willing.”

Right now we exploring feeling fully free while in a committed relationship. How can marriage symbolize freedom? Expansion? Do not mistake “freedom” for a lack of container, or a lack of agreements. Justin and I have tons of incredible relationship agreements, and we see that these agreements support us in fully thriving, expanding and soaring.

Since we have made this agreement to always support each other’s freedom, we both have been feeling deeply connected and more in love than ever before. We feel a new foundation is growing below our relationship, deeply holding us in all that we most want to experience and create. For the first time in many months, we are looking ahead at marriage with excitement and joy.

Our Invitation: If you are facing into deepening your commitment with your partner, notice that voice within you that tells you that commitment equals a lack of freedom. Face any fears you have about commitment, explore their source and be willing to share them with your partner. Play with exploring how powerful relationship agreements are, that they can actually support you in feeling more free. Play with taking on the idea that partnership or marriage can truly mean Freedom. We are on the journey with you. Feel free to share your thoughts or questions on www.DailyRelationship.com, www.facebook.com/DailyRelationship, and www.youtube.com/DailyRelationship. Thank you!!

- Juna & Justin

Riding the Waves Together

 

When your partner is going through a rough patch, do you wonder if they are ever going to make it through? Do you find yourself getting irritated with their process? Or do you find it easy to compassionately hold space for them to have their experience?

Over the last few months Justin had been going through some challenging waves. Even though it was sometimes difficult for me to witness him in this process and I had many of my own feelings arise, I found it remarkably easy (compared to the past) to hold a larger container for his experience. In part because I could so clearly see that he was facing into some personal challenges that were truly gifts for his soul. Ego deaths are not fun, ever, and in our experience they are essential as we step deeper and deeper into who we truly are- living aligned with our Essence, as opposed to being who we think we are “supposed” to be.

What also supported me in compassionately holding him during this time was the awareness that Justin is fully committed to growing, learning and expanding his consciousness. This commitment has been one of the primary commitments in our relationship, and we feel that this kind of commitment is essential for anyone wanting to create a truly thriving relationship. Over the last few years, we have noticed that stuff comes up, challenges arise, and because of this commitment, we eventually move through them- extracting the precious gems and gifts from these experiences.

Our Invitation: Ask yourself if you and your partner have a commitment to growing, learning and expanding your consciousness (it might have totally different wording too). How does this core commitment shape how you show up for each other during rough patches? How can you more fully support your partner when stuff comes up? How would you most like to be supported by your partner when personal challenges arise? Thank you for being on the journey with us. Feel free to see and share more at www.DailyRelationship.com, www.facebook.com/DailyRelationship, and www.youtube.com/DailyRelationship. Sending our love!

- Juna & Justin

 

The Game-Changing Relationship Tool: The Drama Triangle

In your relationship, do you often tend to wilt into victim? Try to pick fights with your partner? Or do you get all enlightened and above it all? Welcome to the drama triangle…

Learning about the Drama Triangle has been game-changing for both Justin and I. This system was first developed by Stephen Karpman in 1968. He saw the drama triangle as a psychological and social model for human interaction. Our mentors, Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks then modified the drama triangle into the current relationship model we have been exploring over the last 4 to 5 years.

What is the Drama Triangle? Imagine the 3 angles of a triangle. Each of the angles represents a different role: The Victim, Villain and Hero.

The Victim is consistently overwhelmed and at the affect of life. Victims say things like, “Poor me, I’ve had a hard day, won’t someone just take care of me, I am so stupid.” The Hero takes care of everyone and everything (even at the expense of themselves). The Hero says, “Don’t worry, I will take care of it, I got it, I will take care of you.” The Villain consistently blames others for any and every outcome. It says things like, “you did it wrong, you are so stupid, you are incompetent, you are so unaware.”

Justin and I have been studying this system for years, yet to be honest, we find ourselves in these roles more often than we would like to admit. Why? Because drama is addictive, and it is a brilliantly captivating distraction from feeling our feelings, opening our hearts, and being in presence. The payoff for hanging out in Victim, Villain or Hero is adrenaline, and adrenaline is one of the most addictive substances on this planet.

You know you have been on the triangle because you eventually crash. When you hang out on the drama triangle you use a lot of energy. You also know you are on the triangle when others (like your partner) show up in one of the other roles. When you are committed to one of the roles on the triangle (victim, for example), you unconsciously “require” others to show up on the triangle with you (in villain or hero).

So what is the point of learning all of this? It is an awareness practice. When you know you are on the drama triangle, you have located yourself. Once you are located you know you have the choice to stay there or shift.

How to Shift…

When Justin and I recognize we are interacting on the drama triangle, we start by naming it, “Honey-bun, I think I am being a Villain right now. What do you think?” From there, we either playfully exaggerate our role (a great shift move), or we breathe, get present and open up to what is really going on by saying things like, “Hmmm…. I wonder what emotions are wanting my attention right now?” Or, “I wonder what what is really true for me right now?” Getting off of the triangle means coming back into presence. When we are in presence we have the opportunity to deeply connect with ourselves and our partner.  Connection can feel scary sometimes, thus making the alternative an alluring choice.

Our Invitation: In your relationship, which role do you typically occupy on the drama triangle (victim, villain or hero)? Which role are you “requiring” your partner to show up in? Spend some time this week getting to know adrenaline. What does adrenaline feel like in your body? Be friendly and gentle with yourself as you open up to this practice. Play with noticing when you are on the triangle, and play with shifting off the triangle into greater presence and deeper connection. We are on the journey with you… so feel free to share your thoughts and comments on www.DailyRelationship.com, www.facebook.com/DailyRelationship, and www.youtube.com/DailyRelationship. This is such a good one… Thank you sweet friends!

- Juna & Justin

How Do You Share Money in Relationship?

 

In your relationship, has money ever been a source of tension, turmoil, or disagreements? You are not alone. Money is right up there with sex as one of the greatest catalysts for relationship drama.

Justin and I are talking about money. After being together for over 2 years, we are preparing to step into marriage in 8 months. We are asking each other, how do we want to share resources? How do we want to “do” money? There are infinite possibilities, and we feel it is important to ultimately find what works best for our relationship.

Over the past 2 years we have tended to split most things, casually taking turns paying for meals, groceries, etc. Justin makes a little more money than I do, so he pays more of the rent, and little more for our recreational activities. We have never shared a bank account or credit card. Our system has worked well until now…. but now we are wondering how to consciously and effectively “merge” our resources in a way that supports us individually as well as a couple.

To be honest, I feel terrified to merge our money. I feel a sense of safety, autonomy and control having my own checking and savings accounts. I also grew up with parents who shared resources 100%, yet my father often complained anytime my mother purchased something for herself or for us kids. As a result, my mother would sometimes conceal her purchases, telling us to, “bring the shopping bags around the side of the house so your dad won’t see them.” (Sorry to out you mom, but I think dad has figured it out by now). :) At a young age I learned that to truly be happy and free I had to have my own money. I decided that I didn’t want anyone to control my purchases or tell me what to do with my money, ever.

As I face into marriage I see the value of merging finances, but I ask myself- do we merge everything? Only some of it? If so, how much? How the heck do other couples do this??? Does this mean I am now paying off his student loans??

The Money-Merging Version We Are Trying On:

Justin and I are using the power of budgeting to support us… sounds sexy doesn’t it? With our budget we will factor in all of our necessary expenses (rent, utilities, car payments, savings, etc.) and then allocate any additional money to be spent individually. We have created a clear agreement that we each get to spend that money in whatever way we like.

This is the version we are trying on right now. We would love to hear about other money-merging versions that are working for you. How do you share your resources? Thank you for being on the relationship ride with us! Feel free to post your comments on www.DailyRelationship.com,www.facebook.com/DailyRelationship, and www.youtube.com/DailyRelationship.

- Juna & Justin

 

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