One of the biggest challenges people face when it comes to navigating their way through an unhappy marriage, is managing expectations.
This goes for people who are trying to to fix their marriage - and those that want to leave and end it for good.
Both can fall into the trap of expecting things to quickly improve for the better - and for life to be easier and void of any more difficult times.
And I'm sorry to burst the bubble, but life just isn't like that.
And the sooner we accept this, the better we'll be able to manage not just our expectations, but also the journey we choose to pursue with all the bumps in the road that come with it.
Think about it - since when was something easy worth pursuing?
It's always the things that we have to work hard for in life that pay off the most - just look at what we have to go through to get a good education/career or raise a family.
So in the same breath we shouldn't expect married life to be in a walk in the park - especially when we're trying to improve an unhealthy one - or make a fresh, clean break.
For those that want to stay in their marriage and make positive changes to improve the relationship, they may not realise that it's the small but consistent steps that are taken over time that create lasting change in a marriage.
Expecting these changes to occur overnight can lead to disappointment and frustration, as it can appear as though nothing is actually changing - even though they are - they're just changing slowly.
After all, this a relationship between two human beings, and it needs feeding, nurturing and the patience to watch it grow over time.
Likewise for those women who really just want to move on and start fresh, and finally end their unhealthy marriage - managing expectations is crucial. And acceptance of the fact that it's not going to be a walk in the park is a huge part of this. Leaving a marriage is never going to be easy - but accepting this and taking small, but consistent actions towards the end goal, makes the process easier to manage and way less overwhelming.
As the saying goes...softlee softlee catchy monkey i.e. don't rush, and be patient with the process.
You will get there insha'Allah, and removing these expectations gives us the breathing space to see things through at a much more natural pace.
And that's exactly what we do in my ‘Effortless Relationships’ coaching programme, which includes live monthly coaching and support, plus access to my Effortless Relationships 5-part online digital training programme.
And you can get started by watching the first module for free, simply by going here:
I recently watched the series ‘Dead To Me’ on Netflix, which follows the life of two women (Jen & Judy) who are mourning the loss of their partners - Jen to a car accident and Judy to a relationship that just got way too unhealthy.
But far from being sad and depressing, the series was funny and light hearted, and very enjoyable to watch.
However, there was one serious thing that kept occurring throughout the series that was so subtle, that perhaps only those who’ve been in an unhealthy relationship would have spotted.
Judy keeps getting tempted back into her relationship with her ex. He’s very attractive, wealthy, and comes across as a lovely guy.
But ever so subtly, he might grab her a bit too aggressively, or try to manipulate her with his words. And after being with him for so long, Judy is able to recognise this is happening and call him out on it there and then.
To which he’ll immediately (and I mean immediately) respond with ‘I’m sorry’.
And she’ll always reply ‘that’s ok’.
And then they move on.
But it continues happening...almost as though him saying sorry is not really saying sorry at all - it’s just become something that’s said in order for the relationship to move on.
He’s not really sorry at all...
And Judy, by saying ‘it’s ok’, is clearly struggling with seeing that he doesn’t actually mean it.
Judy does eventually see him for what he is - and without ruining the story for those that haven’t yet watched it - he definitely suffers for it lol.
But this whole ‘sorry, not sorry’ thing definitely keeps people in relationships for longer than they need to be. The guy knows that this is all that’s needed to gain forgiveness and for the woman to have fresh hope that their mistreatment will end this time.
Until sometimes years later they realise that in actual fact, nothing has changed at all.
Words mean absolutely nothing, if they’re not backed up with the accompanying action.
So if time has passed and you feel that things just aren’t improving in your own marriage, then maybe it’s time to step back and take stock of things, with a clearer mind and with the ability to weigh up everything that’s going on in your marriage.
And that’s exactly what we’ll do in a private
1-1 Relationship Breakthrough session.
These 1 hour sessions are held over the phone and are the perfect opportunity for you to look at your marriage from a new perspective.
And for the next two weeks, you can grab one for free (there are only 5 available) by going here:
As someone who has dipped her toes into the world of online ‘halal’ dating recently, I have a little bit to say on the topic..
In fact, I often find myself swiping through profiles on Muzmatch or the like, shaking my head in disappointment at what I’m looking at.
And let’s just say many a profile have been screenshotted for entertainment purposes - sorry not sorry.
But instead of just venting, I’m going to try and help those guys out there, who clearly don’t have any female friends or family that can help them out when it comes to this stuff.
So here’s my Public Service Announcement for the day...
I'm going to let you in on what women really think about your online dating profile, and how you may have been innocently sabotaging your chances of finding your soul mate - and instead ending up as fodder for WhatsApp group chats...
Here are 5 of the biggest mistakes that men make when it comes to their online dating profile...
1. Blurred photographs - nothing screams 'I'm already married/in a relationship' louder than a blurred photo. Women will automatically be suspicious and pass on you before you can even say 'salam’. Not married, but just don't want your cousins spotting you on the app? Then this too is a huge turn off I'm afraid. Women look for confidence and transparency..and hiding behind a blurred photo for whatever reason, just isn't going to cut it for them.
2. Rubbish photos - notice the pattern here? Photos are a big deal when it comes to online dating and not for the reasons you may think. It's not about how attractive you are, but the effort you’ve taken to upload clear, decent photos of yourself. Women see this as reflective of the effort you're putting into the marriage process as a whole, and will be instantly turned off if your photos show zero effort. And I'll throw in an extra tip here for free - there really is no need to upload a photo of you posing next to a BMW/Mercedes/Range Rover - unless you want to get passed on that is.
3. Profile text - yes, that great big text box is there for a reason. And it's not for you to fill with random letters and squiggles until you hit the minimum word count. Likewise a sentence or two that tells the woman pretty much nothing about yourself, is going to leave her wondering whether it's even worth the energy to match with you. Take the time to let women know a little about yourself, what you like and enjoy, what you're looking for in a partner etc. This will make them far more likely to want to engage with you further. Men are visual creatures, but women crave connection - and that doesn't come from a photo and one random sentence about yourself. Oh and P.S. Please learn how to use spellcheck.
4. Not reading the woman's profile - the quickest way to get someone to dismiss you, is if it becomes blindingly obvious that you've tried to match with her without reading her profile. It can end up wasting your time and hers, and leave her no longer wanting to engage with you. If you can't take a few mins out of your day to read her profile, then what does this really say to her about your intentions when it comes to marriage..?
5. Liar, liar, pants on fire - by far the biggest bugbear that women have, is the tendency for some men to lets say, 'stretch the truth'. Guess what guys, most women see straight through this, but are too polite to point it out and find it easier to just dismiss you and move on. But a very important point I want to highlight here, is that women also love honesty and confidence. If you're insecure about the fact that you dont have a degree or a great job, or if you're overweight or have any of the other common insecurities out there, women will pick up on it. But instead of stretching the truth, or outright lying to disguise your insecurities, there's something far deeper and more attractive that you can do to overcome them. Embrace everything about yourself - and just be honest bro.
So there you have the 5 biggest mistakes that men make when it comes to their online dating profiles.
Now for those of you reading this that may already be married, be thankful that you no longer have to navigate the wonderful world of online dating.
But, you may have an entirely different set of problems that need dealing with...
And whilst I’m no dating coach, as a relationship coach I do happen to know a thing or two about helping people who are stuck in unhappy marriages, either improve their situation and build towards a happier and healthier marriage; or help you take some very important decisions and finally move forward in your life.
Here’s where to go to start getting unstuck:
There was a time, believe it or not, when people used to believe that the earth was flat (OK, I know there are still some 'interesting' characters out there that still believe this, but I'm talking about a time when everyone believed this).
And because of this belief, people were scared to sail west, for fear of falling off the edge of the earth...
This paralysing fear meant that sailors were never guaranteed to return to their loved ones, and would hope and pray that on this journey, they didn't fall off the edge of the earth and die.
Now that we know this to be untrue, its one less (fairly huge) thing that we no longer have to worry about.
We're good, when it comes to knowing we're never going to fall off the edge of the earth. We're automatically unburdened with all the worried and anxious thinking that people of the past had to deal with, before they knew the truth about the shape of the earth.
And a very similar thing happens, when the truth of how your mind really works is revealed to you.
You no longer have 'flat-earth thinking' - where you innocently, but incorrectly believe that something works a particular way. You finally see how things actually work when it comes to your thinking and feeling.
You're able to see how you really work.
And that changes everything. Because now you too are no longer burdened with so much of what used to worry and plague you on a daily basis. You no longer need to stress about it - just like the sailors.
Because this realisation has such huge life-changing implications (as huge as knowing that you're not going to fall off the edge of the earth and die); we went into this understanding in depth in our recent Effortless Relationships live group coaching session - along with a lot of other amazing stuff.
You may have missed that session - but you certainly don’t need to miss the secret to finally making sense of all the thoughts and feelings which can at times feel really overwhelming.
Except it’s not a secret - it’s just science - plain and simple.
And like with any science, all you need to do is learn a little about it, in order for everything to start making sense to you...
Here’s where to go to get started: www.ptissem.com/free
I’ll often get asked this question by clients..
“How can I forgive someone who has hurt me?”
Because although learning about the connection between our thinking and feeling has the natural effect of making us more compassionate, something people can struggle with is forgiving those who have wronged us.
I’ll often be asked:
What I will always highlight to my clients, is that there is a difference in forgiving someone and forgiving the action.
When we look at forgiving someone, we can recognise that whatever action that person took that resulted in them wronging us, was based on an illusion they were suffering with.
They believed that carrying out that certain action would give them a certain feeling - that their well-being depended on them doing it. They innocently but incorrectly believed that their feelings would come from carrying out that action and were not able to see the truth of how their mind really works - that their feelings are only ever going to come from their thinking.
And it's this misunderstanding that leads people to commit all types of wrongs against each other.
So what we're really forgiving is the fact that they were caught in this illusion and unable to see the truth in that moment of wrongdoing.
However, when it comes to the action that they committed, we will still always recognise that what they did was not OK. We can put certain measures in place to ensure that they aren't able to treat us that way again.
As the saying goes, 'Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me'.
So we can be more understanding and forgiving, whilst at the same time recognising wrongdoing and protecting ourselves from it.
It doesn't have to be one or the other.
To learn more about how to forgive and move past hurt, then you’ll want to go through my ‘Effortless Relationships’ online training programme. You can watch the first module for free, by going here: www.ptissem.com/free
Yes OK I watch Love Island..
Sometimes there’s nothing better than some good old reality trashy TV. And I know I’m not the only one who agrees...
But entertainment aside, there are also some wise old lessons we can take away from the cast of the show...
Especially when it comes to Amber.
When she first appeared on TV and started interacting with people, I thought what many others probably did - ‘what a bitch’.
And her rating herself a 10/10 didn’t do much to change that opinion...
She spoke so directly to men in a way that most Brits would shy away from or be embarrassed to imitate, and so naturally it came across as her being a bit bitchy.
But fast forward a couple more days, and it’s become clear to see that 21 year old Amber has the confidence that many women, even those twice her age, would love to have.
Amber knows her self worth, so because of this she doesn’t fall for any of the desperate and ungenuine male attention that comes her way.
Amber isn’t waiting for someone else to validate her, so she’ll wisely question the men’s motives when speaking to her, ask for more clarification on things that don’t make sense to her; and she basically makes it really hard for the standard chat up lines that most men use to have any effect whatsoever, unless there’s some depth behind it.
Most importantly though, is Amber’s ability to look out for herself first and foremost.
Whilst her personality at first came across as short and curt, she’s not actually a rude person. She’s just saying what most people think when faced with the same situations, but are too scared to voice their concerns.
Amber isn’t scared. She voices her concerns - and directly to the people in question.
She doesn’t sit there quietly and say nothing, but then discuss it later on with her friends and ask for advice on what to do. She openly deals with things there and then. So everybody knows what’s on her mind and exactly where they stand with her.
All without coming across as unfair, rude or unfriendly. In fact everyone seems to love her now.
Because they probably all wish they could be like her.
Amber may not be your cup of tea, but think about how much easier it would be to solve our own relationship problems if we just spoke about what was on our mind, directly to that person. Without being rude, or confrontational, but just direct and matter of fact and genuinely wanting to get to the bottom of things.
And without all the fear, anxiety and worry in our minds about how that conversation is going to go, making it even more nerve wracking and scary to carry out.
To have no fear.
To be honest with yourself and others.
Having the pure confidence and level headedness to speak about things and deal with situations, without making enemies or hurting people in the process.
I think it’s safe to say it would be pretty damn nice.
And the perfect place to start with dropping all of that fear, worry and even confrontational behaviour, and replacing it with more self-confidence, levelheadedness and honesty; is my Effortless Relationships online programme.
It’s a 5-module online programme that tackles all of the above, and because you’re reading this right now you can get the first module completely free, by going here:
P.S. Did Danny want to jump any higher in the kitchen last night?! #byeyewande
One of my all time favourite childhood movies is the Karate Kid (the 80s version - obviously).
If you haven’t seen this movie a million times, practiced the finale ‘crane kick’ on your siblings, and memorised most of Mr Miyagi’s wise old sayings - then know that me and you will probably never be best friends...
Amongst these wise old sayings are of course, Mr Miyagi telling Daniel to ‘paint fence’, ‘sand floor’ and ‘wax on, wax off’.
So basically getting Daniel to do all of his household chores for him.
But as we all know, getting Daniel to do what looked like child labour, was Mr Miyagi’s way of ensuring Daniel not only had the patience to train in Karate; but also giving him valuable life lessons and the foundations that he would build upon, to become a Karate champion by the end of the movie.
In many ways, it’s a lot like relationship coaching.
Just like Daniel wanted Mr Miyagi to teach him Karate pretty much straightaway, and got frustrated and annoyed at having to paint the fence and wax his car instead; the same can happen with people who want instant answers and solutions to their marital problems.
My inbox and social media messengers can be full of women wanting to go from zero, to having the answers they seek, in a matter of a few short messages.
Just like Daniel, having to lay a stable foundation first, can seem boring and like too much effort. They want new relationship skills and ‘aha’ moments - and they want them now. So when I explain that certain steps need to be taken to deepen their understanding of things first, I’m met with the same kind of resistance that Daniel San had.
But as we all know, having Daniel lay the foundations first, is what led to that iconic scene which not only crowned him a Karate champion, but inspired children all over the world to also follow their dreams.
As Mr Miyagi said:
“First learn stand, then learn fly”
When it comes to the school of relationship coaching, there is one deep and spiritual understanding, that if you grasp, gives you the perfect foundation to see your marriage in a new light - and from this place of understanding, move forward with a new found sense of purpose, direction, love and wisdom.
It doesn’t happen overnight, but neither did Daniel San’s transformation into a Karate champion.
But one thing I know for sure, is that everyone absolutely loved watching him go on that journey that took him from being defenseless and unskilled, to delivering that final winning crane kick.
And I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll love your journey too.
The difference with me as your coach though, is that I’m not going to ask you to wax my car or paint my fence in order to get started on your own journey of self development.
All I’m going to do is tell you to register for a free 1-1 Relationship Breakthrough coaching session with me.
Because I’m nice like that.
Here’s where to go to get started:
P.S. If you find no availability left on my calendar, then that means these free slots have all been taken. So if there was ever an incentive to take action quickly in the future - this is one of them.
There's a common saying in Morocco when people are looking for something, like their sunglasses, not realising that they're on top of their head:
"They're sitting on a donkey and wondering where it is"
It's a cheeky but gentle way of winding someone up. But it has a much deeper meaning when we start to look at other things that we search for in life, that we unwittingly already have.
Things like happiness.
We can end up searching for happiness in places such as:
Notice a pattern here?
I could go on all day...but I won't, because what we need to realise is that we already have the capacity right now, in this moment, to feel happy, regardless of whatever difficult circumstances we're facing.
None of the above can give, or take away your happiness.
Happiness really is just one thought away. It's already within you, you just can't see it...
Like the Moroccans say, you're sat on a donkey and wondering where it is. And because of that, you end up looking for it in all the wrong places.
And if you can't see this for yourself yet, then dude, where's your membership to Effortless Relationships? Because this programme alone will open your eyes from within, so that you never end up looking for anything that's already right there inside of you again.
Take the first step towards finding your own happiness.
Because doing it this way around, has the really nice side effect of naturally improving your relationship, without all of the hard work and frustration.
You can get the first module of ‘Effortless Relationships’ for free by going here:
Road rage is so easy to slip into...
I was driving home the other day when a woman started crossing the road without looking in both directions, completely oblivious to the fact that I was just metres away from her.
She was only focused on the cars coming from the other direction.
Needless to say, I put my brakes on and held my hands up at her in awe - that she could be so, I don’t know, stupid I guess, to cross the road without looking.
And she sensed the patronising attitude that was seeping out of me, and tried to explain that she wasn’t actually going to carry on crossing the road. But my judgmental face must have said it all and as I drove off I could hear her swearing and shouting at me, supposedly for being so unreasonable.
I shook off the incident very quickly and couldn’t understand why she’d started swearing at me like that.
And then I remembered something I’d heard about road rage...
That momentary feeling of annoyance that arises because we all of a sudden forget about all the times that we’ve made similar mistakes and instead focus on the other person's flaws. We forget that when it was us in the wrong, we hoped that we’d be quickly forgiven by the other motorists. It was just a mistake after all. Please be nice to me, we think to ourselves.
The same rings true in our relationships.
Our partner could slip up and make a mistake, and our initial reaction can be accusatory, patronising and we can even berate them for being so ‘stupid’.
This can automatically put them on the defensive, because they’re now feeling attacked and this then leads to relationship-rage on both sides, when perhaps all they really wanted and needed in that moment, was some compassion and recognition that we too have made similar mistakes and because of that, we’re not going to come down so hard on them.
I wonder how different the outcome would have been that day, had I shown a little more patience to the woman who crossed the road, and showed her some compassion for being nothing more than a little distracted.
We’ve all been there.
I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t have become angry or started swearing at me.
How different would the outcome be in our relationships, if we showed more understanding and compassion towards our partner, based on the fact that we too make mistakes and will probably continue to make mistakes for the rest of our lives. And what we really want when that happens is forgiveness and understanding. So that we can breathe a sigh of relief and try to be better next time.
We'll also end up having a lot more love and appreciation for our partner if they too have shown us this forgiveness and compassion, instead of the opposite.
If you're a certified 'road-rager' when it comes to your relationship, but you'd love to drop the rage and replace it with a little more understanding and forgiveness, then you need to check out my brand new ‘Effortless Relationships’ programme that I'm launching this week.
It includes a 5-module online training programme, and if you subscribe to my email list you’ll get to watch the first module completely free :)
Here's where to go to check it out: www.ptissem.com/free
Do you ever feel like with all the family and friends around you, that you still don't have a solid support system?
Someone that will hear you out without judging, look at things from a wider perspective and try to help you come to your own decisions?
All too often what we actually end up with is a lot of people dictating what you should or shouldn't do, judging decisions you may or may not make and only talking things through with you if it fits what they believe should happen. Or worse, not talking about things at all, as if the very fact that you need to talk a decision through means you're weak and again, need dictating to.
Anyone who's been through this knows that what this ultimately leads to is a constant stream of worried, indecisive thinking that takes place in our own minds.
With no safe place to vent for fear of being talked down to or talked about behind your back, we keep everything inside creating a bottleneck of thoughts and feelings that have no escape route. And guess what, no decisions can possibly be made when there's no space left in your mind to digest everything that's going on.
Having someone there that will listen without judging, listen without being emotionally attached and listen without running off and sharing your innermost secrets with others, is really hard to find.
It's what led to me to turn to someone else.
Someone outside of my situation who would give me the confidence to not only make my own decisions but to ultimately trust that my decisions were right for me.
That person was my coach.
He guided me towards a place where I could discover my own clarity on my situation and without telling me what to do; helped me finally sort through the jumble of thoughts in my head and see which thoughts actually mattered - and which ones I could safely discard and no longer be afraid of.
Ultimately, he put my trust back into Allah's plan for me, something I had been unable to do for months.
Once that trust is restored and your mind is quiet and clear, it becomes very easy to choose which path you should take in your marriage.
And in the same way that my coach was able to guide me to this place of clarity, that's what I'd love to do for you too. And it's why I've launched a brand new programme called ‘Effortless Relationships’, designed to take the hard work out of relationships by giving you an abundance of coaching and training - at a very affordable price.
You can access the first module for free by going straight here: www.ptissem.com/free