Strive 2 Succeed’s Favorite Things – The Gift of Protection

When you get married, you become comfortable. For some of us, too comfortable and we let our guard down. So when attacks come, you often wonder how did this happen to me? You didn’t exchange the ‘Gift of Protection’ with your spouse. This is essential if you want to maintain a healthy successful marriage.

What are 5 bows are needed to wrap around our ‘Gift of Protection’

Emotional Integrity

This is a very delicate subject, since in general woman are known to be emotional, and men tend to be emotionless. In reality a women wants a man with emotional depth, but she herself may not be at the level. The main reason, the relationship is based on fear. According to Don Miguel Ruiz. author of The Mastery of Love, he states, “When we are in a fear-based relationship or marriage it’s full of obligations. In the track of fear, whatever we do is because we have to do it, and we expect other people to do something because they have to do it. We have the obligation, and as soon we have to, we resist it. The more resistance we have, the more we suffer. He later goes on to say..”in a relationship there are two halves..your half and your spouse’s half. Of those halves, you are only responsible for your half; you are not responsible for the other half. So in essence, master the half you can control, and not the half you can’t.”

Escalating Conflict

You must agree how you will talk to your spouse when the storm of conflict arrives. Reduce the f-bombs when possible. Determine where and what time of day you will work out your conflicts. Seek a win-win solution by using such techniques as pro vs. con lists or 1-10 importance values. We use them in the boardroom, why not the bedroom?


When we think of protection, infidelity immediately is the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s usually other factors that cause infidelity to occur. Here are some things that you can do to minimize steppin’ out.

  • Make a commitment to grow in your marriage (inside and out).
  • Use positive talk to help aid the choices you make. Utilize a daily poem, a song, or prayer that helps you focus on importance of your marriage.
  • Talk to your spouse about what actions are off-limits and make a pont not to get close to it. If you have ever been on a subway, or train, there is a big yellow line that says, “Please don’t cross.” (I guess Herman Cain never took the subway!)
  • Find someone with integrity that will hold you accountable.


This can be challenging especially for all the obligations you have to give to the kids, the job etc…Neglecting this protection mechanism can easily lead to the one I just mentioned.

Tip: Find at least 3 activities that the both of you enjoy doing and make a point to engage in at least one of them a week.

Friends and Family

Friends and family can implode your marriage from the inside-out if you don’t quickly respond to threats. Friends and family at times are very selfish and can impede upon your boundaries. Don’t let them under any circumstances derail your marriage with negative talk  or disrespectful actions toward your spouse.

If you give the “Gift of Protection’ to your spouse with these wonderfully wrapped bows on them, you will have a wonderful marriage filled with joy and peace.

Coach Keith

What will I say to Will & Kate (Session #5) – How will you enjoy the Journey?

Well Duke and Duchess it was a great day and a great night. I really want to thank you not only for inviting me to this wonderful event, but entrusting me to add some insight to solidifying your marriage.

As you think about the day and the two of you were able to soak in the moment, write down what your favorite part of the day was and share it with each other. As I depart, I will leave you with some final thoughts.

  • Now that you exchanged vows and made that commitment to be monogamous, KEEP IT! – I know this part will be hard to grasp now, but later a desire and attraction for another person will try to rear its ugly head. It’s natural as human beings.  You will have to manage and avoid acting on any impulses. Over time the dedication to monogamy becomes the habit through which you develop and strengthen many of the attributes a strong marriage needs. In the end you will be amazed of the subtle and delightful things you discover in yourselves and each other.
  • Don’t allow outsiders to dissuade you from your ultimate goal!  – After today’s festivities, a new generation that was once jaded about marriage, believe more than  ever there is a “happily ever after”. Darkness and pain is inevitable, but how you deal with it is optional. Don’t succumb to them, but face them honestly and directly.
  • Take the opportunity to teach and learn from each other. What draws you together are the differences you have. Don’t let the differences threaten you, annoy you, or cause you to try to change them. If you know it or not, you have much to teach your partner and much to learn from your partner. Strong marriages are built when you are adept at both roles.
  • You guys are both smart. Don’t let your brains get in the way!– You may be wondering what I mean. You may expect, that you have known each other for years, heck we even lived together so to speak. This marriage will be perfect from DAY ONE. But as Linda and Charlie Bloom say in their book, 101 Things I wish I knew when I got married, “Loving relationships can’t be rushed. It requires time and effort to make a relationship a beautiful creation. And it takes continued work to keep that relationship in good condition. It may take years to develop a style of being together that works well for both people. The best relationships are the ones that are ever-growing, being constantly, newly created.”  You operate under nobody’s timetable, but your own.
  • Today was just the sprint. Be just as excited and invested in the marathon.

As I depart back to the states, don’t hesitate to contact me at  if you have any issues. Most couples wait to long to contact me and when they do, all the love and goodwill they developed early in the marriage erodes beyond all repair. Don’t let that happen. I am hear for you.

Coach  Keith

What I would say to Will and Kate (Session #4) How will you break the mold and keep Romance Alive?

If you haven’t noticed everyone is intoxicated by the upcoming Wedding. Not only because you are royalty, but also because you are both very attractive. In order for you to maintain the sense of attractiveness over time, you will have to break the mold of being conservative, and old-fashioned and appear attracted to one another in how you interact with the media and even more important with yourselves. William, when your Mom and Dad got married, it seemed the age difference might affect it and indeed it did as you rarely saw them together after several years unless it was for a public appearance.

Being the fact that both of you are young, that attraction, that spark, that passion will be clear and evident early in the marriage. It is certain after all the formal engagements, parties etc..their will be a lot of “shagging” going on. As years go by and you now have a few princes or princesses in the picture, it will go a long way for the two of you to continually love each other and that you love being together sexually. It will take a conscious effort to make romance and intimacy a priority so the malaise of marriage doesn’t set in.

What you don’t want to see is the fond memories of this blessed, historic event become an albatross around your neck. This can occur if you allow the word friend overtake the word lover, if everday demands replace dating, and finally if you are more concerned about parenting than passion.

So Will and Kate, as you become more comfortable and stable in your marriage, how will you maintain romantic side?

Here are 4 tips that will help intimacy alive and often. Discuss these topics together:

1. Share power equally – this will help maintain a sense of balance. If one  of you feels inferior to the other in the marriage and even in the bedroom it will lead to unfulfillment and disconnection.

2. Make the conscious effort to serve the other. Take a submissive approach, and committ to pleasing the other despite the daily obligations that can often take over daily life. Romance and intimacy is more than just flowers, candelight dinners and swooshing in the Alps. It’s how you think about the other, touch, conversate.

3. Feel open to talk about sex. Even though you may have great communication in other areas, don’t hesitate to talk about something that we view as pleasurable, sex. If you decide early on in your marriage to talk about what you like and dislike about sex, it will become easier to discuss exploring different aspects of sexuality over the years. Since this is your partner for life, you will have to try different things to keep sex exciting and spontaneous. Discuss these topics:

  • What you enjoy most about having sex with each other?
  • On a scale of 1-10, how does it feel to communicate about sex?
  • What things can you do as a couple to ensure more affection  and sex are built into the marriage?
  • What sexual fantasies, desires do you have, but you haven’t commuicated them with each other?
  • If your sex lives get stale, would you be willing to explore different sexual methods?

Once you have established and become more comfortable keeping the aspect of romance and intimacy in your life, the connection will become effortless and even more enjoyable as your marriage grows. 

I know the festivities are getting close with the rehearsal dinner last night..We  only have one more session left and I will share it with you in the early morning before the wedding. Get a good night’s sleep.

What I will say to Will & Kate (Session #3) – Expect Conflict! How will you handle it?

As much as the media is excited about your upcoming nuptials today, they will be just as excited tomorrow to report a conflict. The funny thing about it is differences are going to come. You are getting married because you are attracted to each other’s differences. 

It’s inevitable these differences will cause disagreements, but the better you deal with them the greater your communication will be. Would you rather create an environment that has greater truthfulness, trust and respect or an environment that is built on resentment and disappointment?

If the answer is yes to the former, here are 4 tips that will help you in the process.

  • Establish that you will create a FOUNDATION that is based on respect and that you embrace your differences instead of trying to eliminate or change them.
  • Establish what BOUNDARIES you will have when it comes to discussing issuew with outside friends and advisors. Your disagreements over brunch in the morning can quickly become tabloid news in the afternoon.  
  • Know and express your true FEELINGS. No matter what reaction you get, the other person is going to be upset. So it’s better to be open and honest with yourself in order to not build up that resentment.
  • Finally REFRAME and acknowledge challenges and offer “we” statements on how to make things better. A team environment is key to uplifting and building your marriage to greatness.

 Your marriage will only get stronger with on-the-job training. Even me as your coach, can’t force a great marriage onto you. It takes ACTION on your part. So simply allow yourself to embrace there will be conflict by going through it rather than always seeking comfort from others.

What would I tell Will & Kate? – Your Marriage will not be like your Parents.

If you haven’t watched any TV or read any newspapers, you might not realize that Prince William and Kate Middleton are getting married this Friday. This wedding has created a lot of hoopla and fanfare as England and the world prepare for this event.

Even though this event has already been highly publicized, this is only the beginning of the type of media coverage they will receive during their marriage journey. Prior to the wedding the couple has also been receiving pre-marital coaching inorder to help them navigate through all of the challenges they may face.

As a relationship coach, if given the opportunity there are 5 important topics I would discuss with them prior to the wedding . Today’s topic would be YOUR MARRIAGE WILL NOT BE LIKE YOUR PARENTS.

Kate & William should realize very early that their relationship will be different from their parents. Kate’s was a product of a wonderful marriage where her parents worked together, so they had an opportunity to share their love of the airlines and later build their own business, while in William’s case, he had to live through the trials and tribulations of a high profile divorce. So both of them enter the marriage with different perspectives.  So I would start out our session with these questions.

What does this marriage mean to you? – It would be very important for the each of them to define why they want to get married and what expectations they have from one another.

If you had to create by-laws for your marriage, what would they be?  – It would include things like:

  • How you will do with conflict?
  •  What topics are off limits to the media?
  • How you will address communication issues?
  • How you handle past friendships?

What  family traditions will you bring from each of your families? What new one’s will you create? – Because William is from royalty, there will be many traditions that they will have to uphold in their marriage. On the other side, because Kate didn’t come from that lifestyle their maybe some traditions that are important to her. It would be imperative to bring in some her traditions in order to have a voice. It will also be important for the both of them to establish their own.

What steps will you take to maintain Spritual, Social, Physical and Emotional Balance individually and together? – Kate has only received a taste of the media attention that she has received. Like THE POLICE so eloquently state in their 80’s hit “Every step you Take” her moves will be scrutinized to the highest degree because she is the Princess.  It will be very easy for both of them to lose their balance with all the social engagements they will expected to attend in the next few months. Establish some boundaries and find a special, secretive space where they can just be.

Now that I have got Kate and Will’s juices flowing. We will go a little deeper tomorrow when we talk about how they maintain their individual identity!

Coach Keith – Strive 2 Succeed Coaching Services