We All Have a Love Story.
(Yours can be an inspiring one, too! Read on...)
.AS WOMEN WE VALUE OUR RELATIONSHIPS IN A BIG WAY. OUR BRAINS ARE WIRED FOR CONNECTION.
FOR US, RELATING MEANINGFULLY TO OTHERS IS AS ESSENTIAL AS OXYGEN.
So it's normal that when our relationships are under strain, we suffer. And when we suffer from stress or strain in our lives, our relationships often suffer. This is often magnified (as most things are!) for sensitive women (yes, you, with your tender loving heart) – like myself – who tend to feel and experience things strongly.
You are a sensitive, caring, smart woman who has always had a dream of having a healthy loving relationship. But life got in the way and now the distance, tension and unhappiness you are experiencing in your relationship is a far cry from what you imagined it would be like. You are tired of the conflict and emotional roller-coaster of it all.
You look at the happy couples laughing and holding hands and you feel a pang of sadness, or jealousy, or even chuckle at their "fleeting happiness".
You love your partner but sometimes question if you can ever feel like you are "in this together", and if your relationship can last. You want to feel cherished, understood, and like your relationship is a peaceful place of stability, ease, and love.
You wish you had a clear solid path forward to have the intimate, connected relationship with your significant other that you always imagined for yourself.
If that sounds like you, welcome!
And, I’ve helped lots of women get there! I’d love to help you, too. I'm a Relationship Coach for women who, by nature, are caring, deep-feeling, and sensitive, but often easily overwhelmed, upset, hurt, or even anxious . I help them create that fulfilling, supportive, loving relationship with their partner that they really want, even if it feels out of their grasp at this moment.
I've been really sensitive all my life, but it wasn't until my later thirties that I began to understand the implications this had for my relationships. To oversimplify, it magnified everything – the difficult and the wonderful.
It also made taking care of myself hard. Because I was so conscientious and caring I always wanted to make sure everyone else I loved was okay, often at my own expense. I took on too much, which naturally lead to getting irritable, and reactive, or shut down (because that is how we humans are wired: when we are stretched too thin, we don't act our best --or even decent). Of course, my husband did not respond well to that.
This is common for the sensitive (or easily stressed) among us. Especially if we have kids (I have three - all boys. Boy, do I know about boys!) or a full-time career – or both. When we don’t know the skills to take care of ourselves, or have great relationships, our moods can darken. We can feel exhausted and depleted. Anxious, touchy. Which makes things even worse in our relationships. (Our partner might eventually pull away, get aloof, or seem to lose interest. Or they keep trying to please you to no avail. Or argue over every little thing.)
If you've experienced this, you are not alone! I've been there. And so have many of my clients. But there is a way out.
I know because I’ve made that winding journey myself. And I’ve come out of it with a deep appreciation and sense of my value as a loving and lovable woman. And an amazingly supportive, deeply loving relationship with an incredible man. Truly the relationship of my dreams, but grounded in reality (even better!).
HOW'D I GET HERE? HERE'S MY LOVE STORY
Love didn't always look so rosy to me. Most of my early life I saw negativity wreak havoc on the love in my family.
I remember as a child covering my head with my pillow in distress at night in bed while my own parents argued downstairs in the evenings, due to too much strain in their lives, and no education on how to handle it well. My father went through 5 wives before finally seeming to learn how to handle relationships.
I grew up hating divorce and vowing not to be like him, always dissatisfied and looking for something better.
The Tear-Me-Apart Hard Part
During my own first marriage, I dreamed for years of feeling closer to my husband. Even though he was a really sweet man, I didn't feel valued or cared for the way I wanted to be.
Day in and day out, we felt stressed and burdened by the normal responsibilities of balancing work needs, homeownership, and raising 2 children. We didn't have much energy left over to take care of ourselves or cultivate our relationship. My sense of who I really was got buried. He lost passion for life.
If only we had both understood how our trait of getting easily stressed out and being sensitive affected everything! I now see this sensitive nature was partly what drew us together. But not knowing how to work with it was what eventually tore us apart.
It bothered me that he was emotionally not very present. I would get mad that he couldn't hear me, or “see” me, or treat me how I wanted to be treated. I would think: “Why can' t he tell when I need more quality time together? I thought he should to “just know how” to show up for me. And be more “with it”. To do things differently. To love me how I wanted him to.
In short, I wanted him to be as aware and intuitive and “caring” as I was. But his sensitive nervous system was so overburdened by his responsibilities that the tender loving part of him shut down more and more as I demanded his love. He numbed out. (Maybe you can relate. It's a common coping strategy for the more sensitive among us.)
The hardest part was feeling like I was alone and had missed my chance in life for a deeply satisfying relationship. I feared I was stuck with this relationship dynamic forever. I was constantly feeling resentful, frustrated, lonely, and even hopeless. I struggled for years with the decision of whether to stay or go.
I felt so desperately alone. I was afraid my kids and I would end up in some dark hovel of an apartment, while I worked the late shift at McDonalds because I had not built a career for myself so that my husband could. It was a rock bottom moment.
After a particularly desperate night, I finally realized that I couldn't make him treat me how I wanted him to. No pleading would do it. I realized I make my life what it is, not him. I could either keep this misery up, or accept him for who he was and love him as he is.
My Turning Point
I finally started to really understand that we cannot have amazingly fulfilling relationships with others until we have a good relationship with ourself. I had to find a way to really love myself and my life.
I stopped blaming my husband for my feelings, for my own overtaxed nervous system, and I took responsibility for my experience of life, including the health of my love life.
I became really clear about what was right for me, and began to feel strong and empowered to create the life I wanted. I eventually started teaching about stress and the body, emotions, compassion and love.
Over the next couple years, I stopped putting pressure on him to fulfill me and started to give my husband permission to have his struggles. I saw I really loved him for who was. Things got kinder and sweet between us. But he had his own work to do, and he wasn't ready to do it. And that was okay.
I knew that it was time to move on, and I was ready, happy and confident. I knew the deep connection to a man that I longed for was possible and that I deserved it. We all do.
In this case my first husband and I chose to divorce, but we are now very dear friends who continue to support each other (lately I’ve been helping him deal with his women problems so he can have the love he deserves in his life) as we co-parent.
I couldn't have asked for a better outcome. Once I really got this in my bones that I had to be responsible for my own happiness, the life I had been longing for many years quickly fell into my lap. Like magic. I met and fell in love with an amazing man.
My Dream Come True
Years later we are incredibly happy.
He is a wonderful step-father
and father of my third child. He
is everything I ever wanted in a husband.
I feel so supported. Even when we have
our hard moments, we bounce back
quickly, and feel even closer having
come through them.
Of course, he is not perfect. What
changed was me. I learned some pretty
magic keys to having an incredible relationship.
One of the most amazing insights I have had is that I am a Highly Sensitive Person. This is a genetic trait that affects 20% of all species. We have a more sensitive nervous system and actually process sensory data more deeply than the rest of our species. (Learn more about High Sensitivity here at Does This Sound Like You?) This trait, if nurtured, can lead to the most beautiful deeply connected life-enriching relationships. Or, if not understood or managed well, it can destroy them.
On my journey, I've found a whole new level of acceptance, and even treasuring, of myself. By extension, I’ve learned to appreciate my partner's flaws and imperfections more. I see his shortcomings as evidence that he is human and it endears me to him.
The magic of all this is that when I let him be himself and focus on being my best self (which does takes some time, skill, and commitment), more often than not he shows up just as I have always wanted a man to show up for me: with compassion, passion, wisdom, acceptance, and loving adoration. What a miracle!
Not only did I transformed my love life into the joy filled thing I always hoped it could be, I learned to feel deeply proud of who I am along the way. And so can you.
SO NOW THIS IS THE WORK I DO WITH MY CLIENTS.
Through my programs, I help women who are emotionally sensitive and easily unsettled (yet conscientious, genuine, loyal and gorgeously tender-hearted), to manage their emotions gracefully, be fiercely compassionate advocates for themselves and to love and respect their uniqueness-- so they can have the exceptionally rich, connected and peace-filled love life they have always dreamed of.
Because you deserve it. And the world needs more healthy relationships!
I love supporting women like you to reap the benefits of your sensitive nature and create the relationship you know in your heart of hearts is possible (it is!). That is what we do in my programs.
Creating a super fulfilling relationship is not about being lucky. It's also not about being beautiful or perfect or really smart, or anyone or anything other than who you are.
It’s about developing the very tangible relationship skills that I learned and now help others develop. Then love just seems to fall into our laps without all the effort, strain and tension. It just comes with ease.
I'd love to hear from you. Learn about how I can help you have a more intimate, supportive, loving relationship with your partner by checking out my Work With Me Page.
A WEE BIT MORE: MY MISSION AND MOTIVATION
Hi. I'm Hannah Brooks and I know about relationship strains and challenges from the inside, outside and in between (see my love story below). . .I also know that having an incredibly fulfilling and loving relationship—the one you dream about—is really possible—because, even after years of unhappiness in my love life, I now have the love I dreamed of.
My big reason for doing this work is that I truly believe that peace in the world begins with peace in our hearts, in our home and families (and being a sensitive-hearted gal, the health and well-being of the world really matters to me!). It's not selfish to want a healthy happy supportive partnership. In fact, it's an asset to the world. Especially for those sensitive souls out there, with their loving, authentic, compassionate strength. Gifts so desperately needed right now. ( Yes, I'm talking about you.)
Think of how much else you could do when all that extra energy is no longer wasted on conflict, isolation, tension, and discord, and your relationship was a refuge that nourished you... you could bring your fierce loving heart to everything you do and make the world a safer more loving place to be.
The world sure could use that. Now. I would be honored to help you do it (and experience that love you have always dreamed about).
If you are ready to take the first steps in that direction click the button below and learn about your options for getting support with creating that more connected and loving relationship you really want.
For more info about my education and experiential background click here.