Why Fairness Hurts Your Depth of Intimacy 


By Ariel Minter

My whole life, fairness has been something that I have been slightly obsessed with. 

My mom tells a story where we were playing “SORRY!”. I must have been four or five years old. Well, my mom won. I immediately threw myself on the floor crying “You always win mommy! You always win! It’s not fair!” (insert squeals and cries of a 5-year-old). I then proceeded to throw the pieces off the board and march to my room. 

Cute, I know. 

Having a sister just 16-months older than me meant a LOT of sharing. From clothes, to school supplies, hair stuff….you name it, we probably shared it on some level. I was a total prison guard when it came to sharing. If she wouldn’t let me borrow her new hair-tie, I wouldn’t let her borrow any of mine (regardless of new-ness). It was only fair, right? 

Needless to say, I was not the most generous with my sister. What’s funny is, I would have given my brand new Lisa Frank notebook to a friend if she even just said she “liked it”. I suppose, or like to think, this is a sister thing. At least my sister is extremely gracious and loved me despite my obsession with what was fair. 

I will never forget something my 4th grade teacher said, and would repeat to say, throughout the 1999-2000 (ahhh, has it really been 14 years since then?!) school year. Every time one of us would complain about something being unfair she would announce:

“Life isn’t fair. Anyone who tells you anything else is trying to sell you something.” 

This will certainly sound familiar to all those who love the classic movie “The Princess Bride”. 

Long after the 4th grade, this phrase stuck with me. A lot of my thinking is very much geared towards fairness. To this day, if something “unfair” happens to me, I take it very personally. 

This kind of thinking nearly cost me my coupleship. You see, I would be treated “unfairly”, or at the least I perceived it that way, and I would retaliate one way or another to make it “fair”. 

You know that saying, “All’s fair in love and war?”, well, that’s not exactly true. 

Everyone deserves to be treated in a just a fair manner; with respect. But, we are all human, and sometimes we let our pain shine through and we hurt the people we love with that pain. 

So, instead of constantly trying to “be fair”, I started wondering “What is the fair thing to do for our relationship?” And every. single. time. I asked that question, the answer was 180 degrees opposite of the answer of what would be fair for me. 

For a long time, I had the mentality of “I deserve so much more than this” whenever things would get bumpy in any relationship. 

That’s what women tell their girlfriends after a bad fight, parent’s tell their children regularly, and what men tell each other when they lament about how “crazy” their lady friends are. 

If all your consumed with is what is fair, you will never allow yourself to experience true love. So, it’s up to you. 

You can have as much fairness in your life as possible, but life isn’t fair. And if anyone tells you otherwise, they’re probably trying to sell you something. 

Why “Yes All Women, Not All Men.”


By Ariel Minter

I am going to write today about an issue that is very personal to me. It’s very personal to me because, like a little more than half of the population in the United States, I happened to be born female.

I am a little nervous even posting a blog on this topic because it might come across as too “feminist”. But then, isn’t that the issue? That I literally feel fear that readers will disregard this because it seems too “feminist”? 

For several years, I’ve been aware of how women are discriminated against in our culture. The obvious result, and one that sociologist most commonly refer to, is wage. The info-graphic below shows you how much less woman are paid (on the average) than men, per dollar, per state. 

The wage discrepancy is just a tangible result of an issue that is far deeper and much more threatening.

I didn’t realize how passionate I was on the topic until I realized just how bad it was. First, you have Alyssa Funke. A brief synopsis is that she was a struggling college student who was having a hard time paying her tuition. She chose to participate in a pornographic film under a pseudonym. Shortly after, classmates discovered her identity. She was heavily bullied and, as a result, took her own life. 

Many are aware of the horrendous event that took place just last Friday in Isla Vista, California. A 22-year old male murdered 6 people. Days and hours prior to this, he posted videos to YouTube where he blamed women not wanting to be intimate with him for his deep seeded anger and disturbed mind. Here is just one quote from his “retribution” video:

“Girls, all I’ve ever wanted was to love you and to be loved by you. I’ve wanted sex. I’ve wanted love, affection, adoration. You think I’m unworthy of it. That’s a crime that can never be forgiven. If I can’t have you girls, I will destroy you.”

I used to look at Eastern cultures and feel extremely proud of the fact that the US is “so progressive” when it comes to Women’s Rights. 

What I failed to understand was that even though we aren’t stoned for not covering our bodies, we are stoned in other ways. (tweet this)

We are stoned with words like “prude” and “slut”, by the pornography industry, by men, and by other women. The overall thinking is that women are either the temptress or the prude. Both are shamed. Both are deemed unworthy. No matter the role, there is one assigned.

It’s blaming the woman who was raped because she was drunk or because she wore revealing clothing, rather than blaming the man whose thinking told him his actions were excusable and justifiable some way or another.

It’s parent’s telling their teens and 20-something children to guard their drinks, instead of society teaching that it’s wrong to put something in the drink in the first place. 

Suddenly I realized, this isn’t about “Women’s Rights”, it’s about the overall wellbeing of humanity. (tweet this)

The murderer of Isla Vista, Elliot Rodgers, and Alyssa Funke were both victims of this ideology and what it does to our society, culture, and community. It isn’t one person’s tragedy or another’s mental breakdown; this is a direct reflection on the overall emotional, mental, physical, and sexual health of our society. 

How does one fight this? How do we band together, respect one another, and put an end to this blatant discrimination? 

It starts in the home. It starts with men being father’s who love and respect their wives and children. It’s women working together instead of competing with one another. It’s young men calling out other’s when degrading comments or actions are made. It’s young women having strong boundaries and confidence to be who they are. It’s destroying those derogatory terms like “prude” and “whore”. 

We fight this by getting healthy. 

It’s not a simple answer, and that only scratches the surface. What do you think we can do to put an end to this? 

What Will Being “Real” Cost You?


We did a study with our past clients. It was really cool to discover how well the Passion Provokers Process had helped relationships long-term. The most revealing aspect of the survey was that men tend to rate their relationship two to three points higher on on a 0-10 scale than their wife’s.

This, it turns out, is consistent in other studies as well. The lesson: If you sense any trouble in your relationship, as a man, it is serious and needs attention.

These days, women may or may not ask for a change before deciding to be done. I’ve found that this is because most women ask for change over the course of several months or years, and men very rarely commit to making those changes permanent, so it very much becomes the straw that breaks the camels back.

Most of the time we can help these relationships, but when one partner is “Done”, it is often times too late. We believe that this is because of a cultural belief of “If you can’t make it happen, I can find someone else who will.” 

One reason we fight for couples to save their relationships is because 70% of divorcee’s regret their decision within 5 years.

We want to work with couples because divorce is (typically) final. There is so much money, time, heartache, and pain that can be avoided if couples work on healing instead of separating. (tweet this)

You choose someone within 5 points of your IQ and with matching emotional issues. That’s why many people maintain an attraction to the same version of the ex. If you and your partner don’t work on growing in the emotional issues that are present, it will breed resentment, hostility, and anger. 

So, how do you grow? Getting real is the answer.

The Skin Horse told the Velveteen Rabbit the cost, in perhaps the most direct and straightforward explanation, of becoming real. 

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

You’re never ugly when you’re real, except perhaps, to people who don’t know you. And as sad as it may be to let them go, it is a lesson any one who wants to be at peace has to learn. Owning my story is the best thing I have ever done. It is my story and telling it with all the hurt and shame is the only way I want to tell it, because it’s the only real way to tell it. 

The difficulty I have had with becoming real has been the people who don’t understand. Well, to be more specific, my difficulty was that I cared too much what the people who did not understand had to say about me. 

Those that did not understand had very specific ideas about what my life should be, and it took me a long time to realize that their idea’s for me were very convenient for them

Even after I had begun to realize that these people wanted me to take care of them before I took care of myself, I still drifted towards their agenda.

My need for approval was so strong, it nearly destroyed me. (tweet this)

This was totally my fault and cost me most of the pain and difficulty. Getting out of my own way is my best gift to myself, and I have to remember this most everyday. Most of the behaviors that lead me away from becoming real were directed at getting the approval of the wrong people. Actually, all of the things I did that lead me away from honesty and accountability were for the wrong people.

The seeds of this misdirected energy are from being very young and inexperienced. The bottom line is that because my self esteem was low, and the people and chemicals I turned to did not have the tools that I needed to fix this core issue. 

It is a difficult issue, self esteem. There is better language about self esteem taught in public schools today, but self esteem and learning to treat yourself with respect will never be learned in a massive one size fits all school system. For children, the only place this can be learned is in the home. 

I am not blaming parents because this is not something that any parent would withhold from a child if they knew what it was and how to teach it.

This can only be done through honesty and accountability. This has to be done voluntarily. One major factor that is leading this lack of honesty and accountability is that many fathers aren’t showing up to be fathers. Women are raising more children without the help of fathers now than any other time in our history. This is sad for everyone, and most of all for the dads that don’t show up. 

I am so grateful that my dad did and gave me what self-esteem he could. His dad didn’t, so there was only so much that could be passed down. This advantage was instrumental in my recovery from low self-esteem. 

The other tools, after accountability and honesty, that were a must for me to be ready to earn a little self respect was forgiveness and a daily discipline to learn. These tools help those of us who break easily and have sharp edges. 

We heal and grow beyond anything we could have imagined, and help us be graceful as the hair is getting rubbed off, our eyes dropping out, and our joints getting loose so that we can become real. 

So pay attention, relationships need maintenance. If there are things that have been asked for that are not being done consistently then Wake up and Get Real.

The cost of being real is losing people who don’t understand you. Most people consider that a welcoming cost-benefit ratio.

If you are ready to get real, you can setup your free consultation or e-mail me directly at jami(at)passionprovokers(dot)com  

Are You Unknowingly Addicted to Chaos? 


By Anonymous

Chaos is something I have had a hard time admitting existed in my life. When I was first told that I had a chaos addiction, it was difficult for me to accept; I never saw myself as someone who participated in any kind of disorder or craziness. 

In the last few years of my life, I have been fully aware I have been living in a dysfunctional marriage that thrived on chaos. However, I didn’t see myself as a participant in the crazy making. At least not to the degree I now know I was really involved in.

To me, I felt great shame when I realized that I wasn’t just a bystander to the chaos addiction. Our marriage had become so dysfunctional that the only way I knew how to live with my partner was in complete disorder and mayhem.

It became a sick addiction for me. I found that sometimes these were some of the few moments where I actually felt connected to my lover.  Our relationship and marriage was most alive during these crazy and horrible moments. (tweet this)

I also found that these were the moments that I could get out all my built up anger. Our issues kept building up because we never resolved them in a healthy way.  

I carried so much hurt, anger, and pain over the course of our couplship that I was constantly trying to get it out. It felt good to get mad at my partner. Our fights could be over the smallest things but it was always a relief to release my pain. The anger was misdirected many times. I so desperately wanted him to hear me. I so desperately wanted him to change.

Looking back I can also see that I was frightened. I saw what my life was becoming and I felt trapped. So angry that someone would treat me like the way he did. Scared that I would spend the rest of my life with a man who didn’t value me.  I was afraid because I knew I could only do so much and take so much. In my heart, I knew that I couldn’t live my life like that forever, and the only answer to our problems would be divorce. Through the years, he made it very clear through his actions he didn’t want to change and would make no effort on his behalf.

This reality was frightening. I basically just couldn’t handle it anymore. I lost hold of myself and turned into someone that could easily slip into chaos. I felt like I had no voice. The only way I thought he could hear me was in these moments of chaos. I think a part of me thought maybe he’d get it if he saw me acting like that. Another part of me was just so mad and hurt I couldn’t control myself anymore. I lost myself completely.

Looking back on my life it’s been hard for me to pinpoint exactly when my chaos addiction started. When I was a younger girl my life was chaos free. There were issues, of course, but I was surrounded by people who knew how to communicate with each other. I always felt heard when I had a problem.

Even in my later years I still felt that way. I wasn’t addicted to chaos. My life was chaos free (for the most part). As discussed before, my life wasn’t problem free or heartache free by any means. I had some major issues in my life but I never turned to chaos to solve them. I surrounded myself with people who treated me with respect and love. All in all, I’d say I was a very good communicator and very blessed to have some wonderful role models in this department.

My chaos addiction started when I met my partner. He lived a very different life than me and had learned to communicate with people on a very different level than what I was used to. 

I can still remember the first feelings I had when I experienced the side of him that thrived in chaos. I remember being so confused and so hurt. I had never been treated like that in my entire life. It was a very very scary feeling. I couldn’t understand how a person could act like that. These interactions started slowly but gradually, over time, became more frequent in our relationship. 

I tried very hard to talk to him in a healthy way when we had problems. I gave it my all, but it didn’t seem to matter. Thinking about it now still brings up awful feelings. It was a nightmare.

Gradually I allowed the real “me” to be chipped away. I would get to the point of just being so frustrated that chaos became my best friend. 

I wasn’t strong enough or healthy enough to say no to chaos. It became my new norm. Instead of fighting the chaos in my life I joined in and became a willing participant. (tweet this)

There were NO benefits from my chaos addiction. None. It only brought more pain, more anger, and more suffering. It felt good to express my anger towards my spouse, but those moments were fleeting. At the end of my outbursts I was only left with feelings of despair. I don’t ever want to live like that again. I don’t want to ever lose myself again. I can’t say that anything good EVER came out of my chaos addiction.

I’m now constantly reminding myself that I have this addiction. It’s so deeply rooted that I have to make an effort to catch myself when I’m going down that road. I have to teach myself to live without this chaos and break free.

The anonymous author’s realization on Chaos Addiction began when she started the Passion Provokers Process. If her story feels familiar, Passion Provokers can help guide you as well. Click here for your free consultation. 

How To Communicate Better


By Ariel Minter

I’ve noticed a pattern in a handful of songs that have been exceedingly popular the past couple years. 

It seemed to start with the highly shared music video by Gotye ft. Kimbra “Somebody I Used to Know”. 

Shortly after, Adele performed “Someone Like You” at the 2012 Grammy’s. A few months went by and Nate Ruess teamed up with P!NK for the unforgettable “Just Give Me A Reason”. 

Fast forward to just a couple months ago, and Christina Aguilera heard A Great Big World’s “Say Something” and couldn’t resist teaming up with him to create a duet (if you’d like to refresh your memory on these songs, scroll down to the bottom of this blog).

Each of these songs have the same undertone; a separation of lover’s that seems unfixable. 

I have to tell you, the first time I heard every single one of them I cried. Don’t worry, I wasn’t ugly crying on the freeway. It was more like taking my breathe away for a minute and letting myself have a tear or two. This was for two reasons:

1. These are undeniably beautiful pieces. 

2. They hit incredibly close to home. 

These songs touch my heart because the feeling of loneliness is coupled with a feeling of longing. A longing of past times, a longing to have the connection back that used to be so strong, a longing for closure, and a longing to be wanted. 

Regardless of your current romantic situation, I believe that every human wants to be wanted. Or, in other words, we all want to be accepted. This particular type of music hits that nerve. In every relationship, there are times where it’s easy to feel as though you are on an island and the counterpart is on the other side of the world having all the fun.

The reality is, the other person probably feels just as isolated. It all boils down to communication, and I don’t care if you think you are the best communicator in the world, because chances are there are a bunch of people that feel as though you are speaking a completely different language. 

I’ve recently been incredibly humbled by this concept. I used to believe I was a great communicator. But guess what? I wasn’t. 

It’s not that I don’t do a decent job communicating my point. The problem lies in the fact that I explain it the way I would explain it to myself. And there is only one person in the world that could possibly understand that 100%, and that is myself

The hardest part about communication is learning the language of your loved ones instead of forcing your language on everyone around you. (tweet this)

Even the most simple of words or thoughts can be said with one intention and interpreted entirely differently by someone else. 

So, how do you learn to communicate in another “language”? This is very much easier said than done. I don’t have this down to a science, and it is something I’ve been struggling with. Especially in the relationships that I value the most. 

Because we know our loved ones the best, it means we know how to love them the hardest, and fight them the hardest. (tweet this)

Even though I often believe my point in an argument is valid and important, I’ve realized that it puts my most intimate relationships in danger. I have to ask myself some very basic questions when this moment arises:

1. Is what I am arguing worth the outcome? 

2. Is the core of what I am trying to say being said as simply as possible, and am I really saying what I am trying to say?

3. Am I getting caught up in who is “right” and who is “wrong”, or am I really trying to communicate something that is beneficial to the relationship? 

4. Am I repeating the same story over and over again, or am I speaking in the “check-in” format (i.e. using feeling words instead of repeating the same old story)? 

“A simple start to communicating effectively from your heart is to say, “When this even happened, I felt ______, ______, and _______” (using 3 feelings from the Feeling Wheel). When you express yourself in this way, in humility, you can only grow and connect.” -Marla Keller, How To “Check In” 

When I take the time to ask myself those questions before I say something out of anger to “prove my point”, I find that our conversation stops escalating in anger, and goes back to coming from love. 

Often times, I get caught up in the drama. When I choose the drama, or the the “chaos-addiction”, I choose being “right” over being in “relationship”

Having a valuable and authentic relationship seems to be harder than ever in our era of instant gratification. These songs speak to the fear of or actual loss of that authentic and vulnerable love.

If you can push through your tendencies to choose the drama and choose looking past the story, you can learn the language of those around you. Choosing to push through it is probably the most pivotal choice, and what sets couplships that make it apart from those that don’t. 

The responsibility of learning this new language is not just on your shoulders. It’s the other person’s job to commit to this change as well. The best way to let this happen naturally is to practice saying something along these lines when miscommunication begins:

“What I hear you saying is X. Is that what you are trying to say?” 

If they respond with a no, then you can follow with “Okay, please help me understand what you mean.”

Fluency is not guaranteed, but you are likely to argue less, and when you do argue it will be about what is worth fighting for. 

Need help learning what language to speak? CLICK HERE to set up your free consultation. 

Gotye – Somebody I Used To Know

Adele – Someone Like You

P!NK – Just Give Me A Reason

A Great Big World – Say Something

Why it’s Time to get your Relationship Serviced


By Ariel Minter

Remaining in a committed Coupleship has never been more difficult. The thinking is simple: If my partner stops bringing me happiness, I can find it elsewhere.  

Being in a loving relationship that provides strength and loyalty is one of the highest achievements of this world and yet, it is often treated as if it has no value. 

We know that relationships take work and require communication, respect and love. Without those three things, there is no relationship. (Tweet This)

If you neglect to add oil to your car, you will no longer have a functional engine.  The thinking behind this is extremely simple: the cost-benefit ratio. The cost of an oil change equals the benefit of having a reliable and working engine.

So, why don’t more people think this way about their relationship?

The obvious answer may be that it takes very little emotional energy to add oil to a car, whereas it can seem emotionally exhausting to work on a relationship that seems or feels broken.

About 70% of people regret divorce or separation roughly 5 years after the fact. I believe that a divorce or separation can be the best thing for a coupleship, which is proven by the other 30% involved in that statistic.

What I have found is that the 70% who do regret divorce often feel a deep sense of remorse and loneliness. This is because these individuals have a lot of history with the person they’ve moved away from. This history can be months, years, children, extended family, and (most intimately) memories. 

When you have history with someone, and at one point were very much in love with them, there is a bond that is irreplaceable. (Tweet This)

If only the 70% had treated the coupleship with more care, with a higher cost-benefit ratio, they may not have those same regrets, and their partnership might still be intact.

One of the hardest things in the world is to get help for a relationship that needs it. The reason? We know how much it will cost to replace the engine in a car (more than it is worth, more often than not) and it is easy, way too easy, to undervalue even the most important relationship.

The cost of a break up, or what is being called “conscious uncoupling”, starts at $2500. Depending on the methods used to separate, this cost can go all the way up to around $25,000 (the US average cost is $15,000).

Even for couples who are not in an official union end up spending a minimum of $500 over the course of a separation (i.e. the cost of moving out, single living expenses, paying the bills independently, etc.)

Why does it seem so easy to value a car over a relationship? Well, it’s mostly because we tend to undervalue ourselves.

It’s easy to assume that you rely on your car, and that it would be financially difficult to afford a new car or a new engine, so when it’s time for repairs (even if they are unexpected), it’s essentially mandatory to get it fixed right away. 

In our culture, where many budgets are still recovering from economic failings of 2008, it’s a lot harder to justify spending more than a couple hundred dollars to maintenance an in-need relationship.

We will blame our partners and ourselves and validate that “This is just the way things are.” This statement is often a lie we tell ourselves, because it’s easier to deny any accountability than it seems it might be to work towards a healthier relationship.

That same logic when it comes to an oil change? The “check oil” light turns on, and you think, “Oh well, I guess this is just the way it is. Why bother to put oil in it, if it will just need oil again?”

Most people would agree that that type of thinking is ridiculous and expensive. Of course you wouldn’t skip out on your oil change, because a new engine or car is costly.

The oil for relationships is valuing yourself and your partner enough to learn new skills. (Tweet This)

Help can look expensive, but the cost of keeping bad communication and self-valuing habits can cost much more and is ultimately heartbreaking. Not only is it damaging to your overall health and longevity, it also scars you emotionally.

Imagine never getting an oil change, and instead, getting a new car every time the oil light came on.  Again, that’s ridiculous. Most would be broke and carless after just a few months.

If you bail every time a warning sign comes on in your relationship, you will never have a relationship worth keeping. (Tweet This)

The main goal at Passion Provokers is to assist the 70% of people who would otherwise have feelings of regret and loss if they chose separation or divorce.

Regardless of if the “servicing” you do for your coupleship is learning new skills independently, trying tactics you’ve read in self-help books (check out our recommended list), responding differently to conflict, seeking advice from a professional counselor or coach, or scheduling your free consultation with one of our Passion Provokers Coaches, it’s required maintenance. 

It doesn’t have to be a big service (maybe you just need to “check the engine“). If you are committed to growing and nurturing your relationship, it really can last a lifetime. 

We work with negotiable payment plans because our first priority is to assist you.