Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Relationship Tip - Responsibility (=Power)

As a relationship coach, you might be tempted to think that my intimate partnerships are handled, worked out, or problem-free. NOT SO, my friend!

I recently went through a major breakdown with my fiance that shook us to the very foundation of our coupledom. I'm holding back on the detailed content - the 'he said - she said' of the matter, because, in truth, that's not the point. In brief, he violated one of our core agreements with each other... he lied. Not once, but multiple times over several days about the same topic. He convincingly lied to my face even when I asked, "Is everything handled? Are you sure you've got it covered?"

All of this ugly finally hit the fan as he was driving me to the airport last Wednesday in preparation for a presentation and conference in San Francisco, and sure enough, as with most reports on infidelity, it wasn't the subject about which he lied that ultimately bothered me - it was the lying itself. But I had to leave town before the issue could be resolved! What was I to do? I had to teach a class that night, and a disappointed, exhausted, and frustrated instructor does not create a safe space for the sharing of her attendees!

The solution looked like this...

Step One - I wrote a letter to him on the plane, and said what I needed to say, much of which got cut from the final version once I'd calmed down. The hurt, the upset, the frustration... it all needed a voice. To have held it inside of me would have made it cancerous, emotionally if not physically. The blame, the anger, the victimization (EX: How could you do that to me?!)... I let it all out onto the page where it couldn't hurt anyone. I coughed up that emotional hairball until I'd said it all and my pulse had slowed again.

Step Two - I acknowledged that I was viewing it as Wrong that he had lied to me. Setting aside my judgment of the matter, the fact remains that he did what he did, said what he said, and didn't do what he didn't do. None of that is inherently right or wrong but that I SAY its so, so if that is one of the aspects of my annoyance, it behooves me to let it go. The past is the past, and there's no changing it. Unless I wanted to take all of that anger and frustration back, I'd best look for a way to regain my power.

Step Three: The hardest part - I took a deep, long look for how I was responsible for the way it went down, and here's what I saw...

I KNEW. Deep down inside of me, I knew that something was not right, that something was off in his/our world. Sure, I asked him if everything was okay, but his response did not feel right to me, and I stepped over it. I chose the less confrontational approach of "Okay, then. Just checking, thanks!" instead of trusting my own instincts and calling him out.

Now, here's the point... It would have been very easy for me to blame the whole situation on him. He's the one who lied, who didn't keep his word to me, or to himself for that matter. I did my part, right? I asked the question! It's not my fault if he lied to me... but to maintain that view leaves me the victim of the situation. 'Poor me, he lied to me and broke his promise to tell the truth.' It's not very empowering, and it provides no access for me to choose a different path in the future.

By identifying that I had not been responsible for honoring my own instincts, I reclaimed my power and created a lesson from which I could benefit. In this case: Trust My Instincts, and Be Willing To Have The Uncomfortable Conversation.

We are back in a very good place now. He is on track, and our wedding plans are coming together. I am neither holding a grudge nor anticipating the next time that it might happen. The likelihood that it will happen again is, let's face it, moderate. But I will listen to and trust my instincts, have the difficult and uncomfortable conversation, and be prepared to discover another lesson in the process!

So the next time you're tempted to blame someone else, ask yourself, "How am I responsible?"

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

PS - I have my fiance's total permission to share about him and our life together in my blog and newsletters. He hears all of my entries before they are posted. :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A New Alternative to a Bitter Divorce or an Unfulfilling Partnership

Pursuant to my blog on collaborative divorce, I thought it important to let you know that I've recently announced the launch of my signature 7-Step Coaching System that teaches couples who are facing challenges to make loving, empowered decisions to either revitalize their bond or to end it respectfully. Working together, committed partners will learn how to get honest, step forward, take risks, and make empowered, authentic decisions to create the powerful and passionate union of their dreams – whether together or apart.

While I still offer ongoing coaching sessions for both couples and individuals' specific desires, the Marital Arts 7-Step System is the culmination of years of study and experience in the realms of interpersonal communication, relationship navigation, and sexual expression, and grows directly out of my mission that all people live the intimate relationships that inspire them.

Beginning with a 2-hour Comprehensive Assessment that supports the couple in clearly identifying their challenges, taking ground in addressing them, and creating a vision of their desired outcome, I will then custom-craft a process designed to deliver the modules that best meet the couple's needs.

The Seven Marital Arts Modules include:
1) Communication Skills: Listening, Speaking & Interpretation

2) The Dark Sides: Shame, Jealousy, Guilt, Anger & Fear

3) Core Values, Expectations & the Morality Conundrum

4) Partnership, Roles & Love Languages

5) Sex, Love, Intimacy & Sexuality

6) Relationship Purpose & Mission Statement

7) Negotiation & Agreements

Outcomes from the Marital Arts program include:

· Designing and achieving a life that aligns with your most heart-felt priorities.
· Enhanced compassion and forgiveness for yourselves and your partners – both past and present.

· Effective, loving, and genuine communication tools for decision-making, negotiating and conflict resolution.

· Reinvigorated lives with greater joy, passion, love and connection.

· A new enthusiasm and anticipation about the future.

For a limited time, you are invited to engage in a COMPLIMENTARY CONSULTATION to explore where you’re at in terms of relationship and intimacy, what may or may not be working, and what you truly desire to create for yourself. Know what’s possible, and see the simple steps that will take you there! (And there are no strings attached!) You and your partner(s) can also take my FREE Relationship Assessment Quiz at Whether partnered or single, just click on the offer!

Lastly, it’s your referrals that allow me to get to do what I love. Please share this offer with those you know whom my services may benefit. I truly need your help to create a world of empowered, inspiring relationships! Thank you!

I can be reached at, 540.623.9542 and toll-free at 1.866.928-7856. My workshops, videos and newsletter are all visible at

“Makael is very attentive to stated goals and skilled at maintaining focus in the discussion. She offers practical advice that when followed brings the desired results. I have benefited from her experience and grown as a person because of her dedication to her clients.”
- Frank Albert, Evergreen

“I really appreciate the coaching you gave me a few months ago... I've been openly poly for about six months and am experiencing more love and intimacy (not just sex) than ever.... thank you!”

- Chad, Denver

“He knew I’d been on the phone, and I offered that you were doing coaching with me around my sexuality. He asked if there was anything I'd like to share, so we talked! Yay! It was so much easier than I thought it would be. Thank you!”
- Sherry, Peoria

“I really found value in your Relationship Tip of the Month: Responsibility (= Power). We’ve also been going through a tough time and your article really hit home for me. I found it honest and empowering. Thanks for sharing your life's experiences!”

- Chris, Cleveland

“Your Tip of the Month: Purpose made my first marriage make sense and took away my fear for another relationship that could be as intense. It was so healing for me! Thank you for your newsletter!”

- Chetna, Washington DC


M. Makael Newby
Relationship Coach, Author, Presenter, Sexuality Consultant

Ph. 540.623.9542 or Toll Free 1.866.928.7856

Helping open-minded and inquiring people create fulfilling, lasting and juicy relationships in all areas of their lives, particularly their sex lives.

Offering a 7-Step Coaching System that helps couples facing challenges who want to make loving, empowered decisions to revitalize their bond or to end it respectfully.

The Website -

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The Book -

Portland Meet-up -

Twitter @msmakael

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Monday, June 28, 2010

Collaborative Divorce

Collaborative Divorce is an interdisciplinary, non-lawsuit style of ending a marriage that relates to divorce as a personal relationship issue that happens to have legal attachments.

Started by lawyer Stuart Webb in Minneapolis in 1990, the parties are encouraged to communicate what is important about an issue rather than arguing for a specific position or solution. It requires, therefore, that the married couple be committed to working with and not against each other in order to achieve results.

Both parties and their attorneys sign a Participation Agreement stipulating that the attorneys will remove themselves from the divorce proceedings should they fail to reach a negotiated settlement. The couple agrees not to begin litigation during this process, to act in their children's best interests, and that all communications will be constructive and fair, among other agreements.

It is not the same as divorce mediation, in which the mediator is a neutral party. In collaborative divorce, although working together to achieve a negotiated settlement, the attorneys are not neutral. Each lawyer provides his or her client with independent legal advice.

This is clearly a gift for families with children, as it limits the likelihood of an extensive, bitter battle the likes of which can leave lasting scars. Medicine Hat, Alberta was one of the earliest cities to take advantage of this new approach such that family cases in their courts were reduced by 85%.

For the couple willing to manage their emotions and think about their future relationship to their former spouse, collaborative divorce offers a less-expensive, friendlier approach to dissolving your marriage.


M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Good? Bad? Who's to say?

Who's to say what's good or bad, right or wrong?

"Husband cheats on famously talented and gorgeous wife with her best friend."

"Bad!" You might originally think. "That's just Wrong!" But don't jump to conclusions.

Two years after just such a scandal, Shania Twain's divorce is official, and she appears to be blissfully in love... with the other woman's ex-husband.,,20392236,00.html

Let me now make the quick point that this man may not have been available had his wife not cheated on him, and he'd certainly not be with Shania were she still married! And here they both are, smiling, laughing, and apparently enjoying each other.

It's a brain-twister, I know, but the next time you feel the urge to judge something (perhaps an infidelity), consider that this might just be exactly what's best for everyone's ultimate happiness.

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Polyamory. It's Personal.

Well, I had an very interesting phone call tonight.

There's a man in New York who I met at a sexuality conference in 2009, when we were both single. We fooled around a little, consoled and comforted and cared for each other a bit (non-exclusively), and have remained friends in periodic contact.

I say that I love him - and I do. The world is a better place with him in it, and there is a soft place in my heart for him. He brings out my desire to "take care of" and to "be good to." He gives so much of himself so generously... my natural response is to nurture him in return. It doesn't matter that we've only spent six days in each other's sporadic presence in the last two years, or that we only talk every three months or so on average. An organic love arises in me for him, and to deny that would be a lie.

He's been going through a tough time recently... his fiancee decided that she wasn't ready to be in a relationship with anyone, and while I admire her for identifying that before they tied the knot, it has understandably been hard on him. He was feeling spurned tonight when we finally spoke, and I shared with him how much I wish we were nearer geographically, and how I'd snuggle and comfort him, were I there to do so. In response, he, being the gorgeously sexual being that he is, asked me what I fantasize about!

The truth is that I don't! I may think about certain types of interactions, and perhaps even certain people, but I have stopped actively fantasizing... an activity I may need to put back into practice! Nonetheless, I shared my desire for a "throw each other up against the wall, tear our clothes off" kind of passion... one that came naturally when we were together in 2009. Its something that my fiance (Q) and I do not share, and that he honestly doesn't want with me. Ours is a different kind of energy, and it works for us, but leaves certain things lacking... and we've discussed a mutual need to get those other aspects fulfilled with other partners. In theory.

And then my dear friend invited me to fly to New York for a weekend. And now I totally get it. Because now it's personal.

In all of my attempts and flirtations and philosophical musings around polyamory, I've never been able to truly understand how it would be to have multiple loving partnerships. What would that look like? Feel like? How would that happen? How does that really work? Certainly, I understand it from an intellectual perspective, and I can even coach effectively within that paradigm, but the emotional intelligence was missing.

I LOVE my friend, AND we are not right for being 100% of the time life-partners. He is sexy, and handsome, smart and charming, funny and passionate, and we have an undeniable physical chemistry that's very attractive. I'd truly enjoy spending a weekend dining and dancing and making out and exploring each other, simply allowing ourselves to experience and express our love for one another in every naturally occurring way.

AND I would be completely thrilled to hop back on a plane and fly back to Q, who is my home base, my pillar of support, father to our animals and my 100% playmate and life-partner.

My love for my friend does not threaten my love for Q. My love for Q does not diminish my love for my friend. And both of them are entirely authentic expressions that arise from a deeply grounded place, one that never understood why "love" should be limited.

Admittedly, it would be much more challenging were we to all live within the same city, faced with schedules and other details of modern life. And I wonder, would it impact the way that Q and I are with each other afterward? There's no way to know until it happens. But for the first time, I GET it... and that makes a whole new world available.

The lesson is this: Wonder away, but you'll never know what it's like until you're IN the experience itself. Trying to anticipate the way it would work, how you'd react, how it would feel, etc. is a waste of time. This is true not only about such crazy questions like, "If I had to lose and arm or a leg, which would I choose?" but also, most certainly, for all matters of the heart.

You disapprove? Fine. But someday, should you ever find yourself in such a situation, don't be surprised if the rules you thought you honored no longer make sense.

Until it's personal, you'll never know.

M. Makael Newby, 2010 - All Rights Reserved -