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The controversial sentence that needed to be said about families

On the final session of The Coaching Institute's three day Emotional Intimacy Breakthrough training in the first week of September, I said something I knew would be controversial enough to shake some of the 150 students on the Zoom call.

But before I get to that hell on earth sentence, let’s rewind for a minute and set the scene—I was talking reconnecting to relationship goals— to give context.

I was sharing ways my husband JP and I keep our relationship strong, vibrant and trusting, 27 years after we had a $5000 cheap-ass wedding at the local pub.

That day, we were both on board with wanting no trimmings because we decided our love didn’t need window dressing and there was no way we were going to spend whatever we had to invest in a party.

We are still so strongly into talking finances that we spend a couple of hours every Sunday having a money meeting, and this month I wrote for CEOWORLD magazine about my seven things you need to now to create wealth now.

Another thing JP and I do around every New Year’s Eve is to decide on a theme for the year which is a supercharged version of your standard ‘I must get fit’ or ‘I must save money’ resolution.

One year it was ‘Fierce Conversation’ because we wanted to up the level of honesty and transparency in our relationship. Another was ‘Financial Consolidation’ and we never spent so much in our lives—not our most successful story.

Health is sometimes a theme, adventure too … anyway, you get the picture.

We have a shared theme and an individual theme. JP’s is what it is and mine is quite often around emotional truth or expressiveness. Once we have the theme we also have a purpose statement. Mine? “I Sharon, see, hear, feel and know that the purpose of my life is to be a loving and passionate woman who inspires others playfully.”

From that flows our shared goals and individual goals, then we have values, and all of that leads to the decisions for the year. And the destination we’re aiming to revisit as a result of all of this is our Love Map.

Our Love Map is something we drop in on every day, every week. In many ways we’re attending to it every day and making sure we’re on the same page and we understand where each other is coming from, and what matters to each other.

That is going on constantly. We’re constantly upgrading. We’re always committed to each other.

Which brings me to what I said that I knew would cause challenges for some of the community. I’m saying it again here because I believe it’s true, and I know it’s important.

If you are in a relationship and there are children, your commitment to each other comes ahead of your commitment to your children.

Sharon and John Pearson taking a day hike in Victoria, Australia in May.

As I said in the Emotional Intimacy Breakthrough class, I know for some of you I have just spoken an unthinkable sentence but it’s true.

Your kids will feel more secure if they can see you have a secure attachment with an intimate partner. If they can see it’s torn apart easily by distractions, they won’t feel as secure.

Your first secure attachment is to your intimate partner. If you can nurture your relationship with shared values, goals, themes, purposes and playfulness, you can nurture your relationship and are demonstrating beautiful secure attachment.

And your kids are going to model that.

Other things that keep your relationship plugged into that power socket? Taking care of the basics. Being kind and graceful and speak your truth. And knowing there is a risk in love, but also understanding if you don't have risk you don't have vulnerability.

And if we don't have vulnerability, we don't have intimacy. And it's worth nothing.

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