Building a relationship of trust in 5 easy steps.

Don’t over complicate things. You don’t have to learn the in’s an outs of NLP. No need to be a master of body If you want to build a relationship of trust, especially with your spouse or your kids, just follow these 5 simple steps.

1. Let them know you care about what they have to say. – They can tell if you are actually listening or if you are just waiting for your turn to speak. If they feel that you actually want to hear their opinion, then they will be more open.

2. Don’t get distracted. Cell phones, televisions and other people can be huge distractions. The moment you glance down at the phone because you heard a ding, you’ve lost them. However, if the phone dings and you don’t even flinch, they will know that your conversation with them is more important than a text from someone else.

3. Ask questions: The more the better. Just like the layers of the earth, it usually takes about 7 to get to the core of the conversation. At about question 4 their subconscious takes a mental note by thinking, “wow, this person actually cares.” It will go a long way in their connection with you.

4. Balance the give and take: No one wants to fee dominated in a conversation, nor do they want to feel like they are dominating. When you have a good balance of opinion you both walk away with a feeling of trust.

5. Be willing to disagree with a desire to understand: Don’t be fake but don’t be a dishrag either. If you don’t agree with them, it’s probably because you don’t fully understand their point of view (see #3). However, it is impossible to believe you will agree with everything they say, all the time. So make sure you are clear that you not agreeing doesn’t mean you don’t like them. Tell them that you appreciate their opinion and that they are willing to share it with you.

In a marriage, as a parent, in sales or just in meeting someone new, building relationships is vital. Learning to build one based on trust and mutual respect is achievable rather quickly if you are willing to follow these steps.

In every conversation over this next week try to include all of these steps and see how fast your relationships improve.

Emotional Currency

In honor of Valentines Day I thought I would share a video training I did for a private group on the gift of Emotional Currency. You might be spending time and money getting chocolates and flowers and all she wants is for you to sit and talk with her. Or you might be thinking all I have to do is have sex with him, when what he really wants is of you to tell him how awesome he is.

Emotional Currency goes one step beyond the Love Languages and shows you how your “currency” changes and what to do about it.

Man to man guide to customizing your Valentines day gifts…and scoring big time!

feb 12


You heart is pounding harder everyday it gets closer. You wake up in the morning with the stunning realization that it’s getting closer and you have yet to get your special lady anything. You are not 100% sure if when she said, “Hey, don’t worry about it this year” she actually meant it.

Knowing your co-workers are  going to be asking you what you are planning on doing for her, your impulse is to lie, because you haven’t done anything yet, or to exaggerate so you come off looking like Romeo amongst your peers.

The cards, the candy, the restaurant, the flowers, the sitter, the sex (and the aftermath if it doesn’t go right) can amount to a lot of pressure. Sometimes you think your chances of survival might be better if you were on a soldier on D-day rather than standing at a her doorstep, or walking in your home, with a card and flowers you hurriedly picked out at the local supermarket on V-Day.

Will your relationship survive yet another let down? Is there an easier or alternative to the “normal” way people celebrate Valentines?

Don’t stress! You can survive Valentines day. In fact, you can knock her socks off just by tweaking a few of the things you are conditioned by society to do. The main request I hear from women is that they want you to communicate more- show her how you feel about her.

Demonstrate to her that you care about her enough to do more than just buying something off the shelf. The key is to customize your efforts! Here are a few quick and easy alternative Valentines day ideas on how you can make this and any day you choose, one that shows them appreciation and love.

1- Instead of buying a card, write them a letter. Even if it’s just a simple note that tells them how much they mean to you. You can include things like your memories of the first time you met, your first kiss or the first time you knew they were the one for you.

2- Instead of buying candy, make or bring home their favorite desert. If you are not a good baker, get something made by a local baker that means more than just a heart shaped box that anyone can by.

3- Instead of flowers, make a mixed tape. It’s fun and with itunes its really easy. Of course you can pick songs like, ” Every Rose Has it’s Thorns”, “Kiss from a Rose” and “The Rose”, but you might want to stay away from “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore”.

4- Instead of going out to a crowed restaurant, bring home dinner-  Have a candle light dinner together, just the two of you. If you want to make it a family affair, enlist your kids to be your waiter  and dining staff. They will not only love it, they will learn a great lesson from you. If you want it to become a romantic night, send the kids to grandparents, a babysitter’s home, or splurge to send them to a movie with friends.

5- Instead of buying a gift like a ring or a necklace, give the gift of touch- draw her a bath or set up a massage table  and give her the gift of relaxing. (Ladies, you can also draw a bath for him and set up a massage table, I’m not discriminating here). Set up candles and soft music. Let them be 100% focused on themselves for a while. I know it’s Valentines, but make this all about them, with no agenda of your own other than letting them enjoy it.

Valentines day is a day of remembering and celebrating. Even if you are not into it, or think it’s too commercialized, or feel like its too much pressure, simple gestures from your heart can show her how much you care without the hoopla.

Hopefully you can take some of these substitute suggestions and use them throughout the year, not just on this one day in February.

What other customizations can you make to Valentines traditions so that you create a unique, romantic and special night for your lady?

Share them with us below.

Teen Brides more likely to develop mental illness

can marrying too young be harmful to your health?

Teen brides more likely to develop mental illness

Have you heard about this? I thought it was interesting food for thought, and more evidence that couples should wait until their mid-twenties to make life long commitments like marriage.

Teen brides have more to worry about then just growing up too fast.

Women who marry before their 18th birthday are more likely to struggle with mental illness, according to statistics from the U.S. National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions.

Young newlywed women are more likely than older brides to suffer from panic disorder, bipolar disorder and depression, according to research published in Pediatrics.

“We found that the level of lifetime mental disorders among women married as children is much higher than for women married as adults,” psychiatrist Dr. Yann Le Strat, principal investigator on the study told PsychCentral. “Being married as a child is associated with a 41 percent increase in the prevalence of psychiatric disorder.”

All around the world, being a child bride puts women at risk for all kinds of physical and psychological ailments, including HIV, unwanted pregnancy and death from childbirth.

However, this is the first time that the mental health effects of young brides have been studied.

“Our research may help governments deliver mental health services, and could help inform debate around marriage legislation,” Dr. Bernard Le Foll, co-author and a clinician scientist with Centre for Addiction and Mental Health said.

There’s no cure for marrying too young but there is treatment for women who suffer from these conditions, including cognitive therapy, medication and early intervention.

Read more:HERE

and     HERE

I don’t have much experience with this, but I’d be curious if you or anyone you know has. Leave your comments below.





Business of Marriage seminar testimonials- Part 3

ok, humor me one last time!

It’s been fun hearing your comments on facebook, and emails sent to me, so I thought I’d share one last round of testimonials from attendees at our latest Business of Marriage live event.

“These 3 days were some of the most fun and connecting times we’ve shared together! We have the awesome opportunity to be mentored by Dino & Shannon in a group mentoring program where we are gleaning powerful tools each week, and we still learned a TON here! The talk on making love, as well as the talk on money was so insightful. Wow, I will never forget some of the breakthroughs I experienced. I love being married and share the Watt’s vision of wanting to reverse the direction of divorce across the globe. This weekend set me on fire to share that vision~ bring it on!”  - CR married 8.5 yrs.

” After the first day I didn’t want to be here because I had exposed myself to where I was in our marriage, and it wasn’t good. But I came back and learned valuable tools and how to argue & communicate, and how to have fun in my marriage. I also learned how to meet mine & my spouse’s needs (sexually and other areas of our life). This class has helped me see things differently, and helped me to set goals & improve our marriage. I wish, oh how I wish I had the tools and your help 34 yrs. ago. Now for the rest of our lives we can have a happier, more fulfilling and FUN marriage. Thank you, thank you!”    -BP, married 34 yrs.

“I am so glad that I didn’t cop out and I actually showed up at the Business of Marriage. I have anxiety and panic attacks, and almost didn’t get on the plane to fly here, but I did. You will learn so many tools that will not only improve your relationship with your spouse, but also with your children. This weekend really opened my eyes to see how broken my communication was with my family. I am excited to go home and implement what I learned to strengthen my family.”   – HM, married 14 yrs.

” I thought our marriage was doing good, but we know that there’s always improvements to be made, so we were excited to grow together. I didn’t expect to find that I had been sabotaging our financial success & holding myself back from moving forward in my life like I wanted to. I found that I had some blindspots, but I learned some tools to STOP the SaBOTAGE once and for all! It will take work and dedication but I know that as I implement the things I’ve learned at the Business of Marriage my relationships will improve. Thank you Dino & Shannon for living your life purpose so taht I can move closer to mine!”    - CV, married 7.5 yrs.

“Several months ago I wrote a letter to my dad, who seemed to have checked out on his marriage to my mother of 30 years. In my letter I asked him that if two people who’ve been married for 30 years can’t stay together, what assurance to my wife and I have that we can avoid the same fate? Miraculously my parents seemed to put aside the daggers and all of a sudden they were doing well. We were so confused. This past Christmas my question was answered when my dad said The Business of Marriage class was instrumental in turning things around. He said they attended the class and got personal mentoring to ensure a better chance of a happy future together, and it’s made all the difference. While our marriage is good, the tools and ideas presented here are necessary for any couple wishing to advance in their relationship. Thanks for showing me & my parents the way.”                          -JP, married 2.5 yrs.

Watching couples rise up and claim a strong marriage and create a family legacy….Life doesn’t get much better than that!

Wishing you health & happiness,


Financial mistakes that can ruin marriage

Here is a great article from Yahoo Finance via Forbes Magazine. The author confirms the main points we show couples in the Business of Marriage.

When I was a child, my father used to joke with me saying, “Nancy, remember, it is just as easy to fall in love with a rich guy as a poor one.” There is always some truth in a joke and looking back on this saying as an adult, it is obvious that he was steering me toward what he hoped was a happy life rather than a life of what he perceived would be a struggle. He is old fashioned and didn’t think that a girl could create her own financial security (that is fodder for another blog) but his intentions were good. In my career as a financial adviser turned financial educator, I have worked with hundreds of couples and have seen firsthand how money problems, worries and other financial issues can lead to unhappy marriages. If left unchecked, financial problems can ultimately destroy a marriage.

Money and marriage is an age old problem. I’ve seen many societal and economic changes over my 25 year career: incredibly high interest rates in the 80′s, a raging bull market in the 90′s, the stock bubble bursting in 2000, the rise of 401(k) plans replacing defined benefit pension plans, as well as the most recent financial crisis. However, during good or bad economic times some things never change — couples are still fighting about money. In many cases, they are the very same things couples were fighting about 25 years ago. According to research as well as my own experience working with couples and money, here are the top five money conflicts that lead to marital strife and ultimately divorce.

Materialism — valuing “things” or money over the relationship. Research on marriage has shown that couples who are materialistic rate at the bottom of the happiness scale. A recent study by BYU and William Jefferson University found that spouses who were BOTH materialistic were worse off on nearly every relationship measure they looked at. It wasn’t the lack of money that was the culprit; the authors found that it was materialism itself that created much of the difficulty even when couples had plenty of money.

I saw this firsthand with a former client of mine named Yolanda who unknowingly fell into the materialism trap and nearly destroyed her marriage because of it. She is a first generation American with immigrant parents from Guatemala. She had a misguided notion in her head that if she had a beautiful home nicely decorated with a formal dining room and a landscaped yard for her family to live in then she would be happy. It was almost as if she had a picture of the American Dream and she had to step into that picture and become that person to be happy.

She insisted her husband buy a home they could barely afford along with Ethan Allen furniture and a landscaped backyard — going into debt to do it. This may not seem like materialism because we are not talking diamonds and furs here. We are talking about a dining room table but none-the-less, her focus was on accumulating things instead of on her marriage and family. Fortunately for her, this story doesn’t end tragically. When her mother passed away, something triggered in her that completely changed her outlook on her values. She got a much needed wake-up call about what was really important in life before it was too late.

Click here for the rest of the article

How are celebrities effecting your marriage?

Every day, men and women from around the world meet, date and plan their wedding. When vowing their unfailing love, couples envision living happily ever after with each other. They do not plan to sever their relationship. Yet today’s divorce rate remains close to 50%. I believe statistics, celebrity behavior and our personal histories influence this trend.

Statistically, we hear about the 50% marital failure rate in middle school health class. As we grow into adulthood, we continue to hear this statistic from professors, media sources and firsthand experience as our family or friends experience marital demise. With this indoctrination, we more readily perpetuate the divorce rate. After our wedding, this feeling of hopelessness toward marriage erodes our commitment. Every disagreement with our spouse and every friend who faces marital demise cause us to question if we will become the next victim of the inevitable statistic.

Celebrity behavior influences popular opinion in our culture. With 24-hour television and internet access, we observe and even obsess over a celebrity’s every move. After constant exposure, we subconsciously accept their opinions, lifestyles and views. From Hollywood to sports stars, celebrity behavior perpetuates the normalcy of divorce, cohabitation and a marriage-less society. Daily, we hear of another celebrity wedding ending within a few months or even days. Tabloids display couples cohabitating and raising children out of wedlock. Multiple marriages have become normal rather than taboo. Celebrity personalities even stage wedding ceremonies as a marketing tool to advertise their brand, receive free services and publicity or avoid working for their fame. This cavalier attitude influences society against traditional marriage.

[Read more...]