Episode 34: “Keys to having a Man Stay in Relationship with YOU” with Seminar Leader, Relationship Expert and Coach, Shana James
In this interview with Relationship Expert, Seminar Leader and Coach, Shana James, we explore what it takes to have a man stay committed to YOU. As the co-creator of The Authentic Woman Experience, Shana brings us her deep wisdom into the power we have as women to cultivate empowering co-created relationships that last.
Some of the key concepts we cover are:
- Why men leave a relationship
- How to love a man the way he wants to be loved
- What is imperative for us to consider in relationship
- The idea of “bringing to” versus “taking from” relationships
Please tune in to this insightful interview with one of today’s most real and open Relationship Experts who has dedicated her life to helping women understand themselves, men and how to have relationships that thrive.
Alissa Kriteman: Welcome to Just For Women: Dating, Relationships and Sex. I am your host Alissa Kriteman. This show is designed to bring you fresh insights and perspective so you can live your most empowered life. Today in the show I’m so excited to have Shana James who is a relationship expert talk to us about why men cheat and how to have your man stay with his two feet in your relationship.
Shana James: When many people but especially as my husband says, “Oh honey I was thinking about something.” I immediately flush, I get hot, I feel really nervous, I think he’s going to tell me that the relationship is over and so because I think you’re right I think it’s really important to listen to our partners in relationships. If we’re not listening then we’re not actually really being together.
What I see with men is the reason why a man would cheat or would stray when he’s not being met in a relationship. I don’t say this to put pressure on us, on women because ultimately the way men are met in a relationship and what I mean by met is the way that they are received in a relationship and the way they are given to in a relationship. When that’s working for them, it’s also working for us.
If you are giving so much that you’ve lost sight of your own self care. A relationship is not going to last. What happens when we are so focused on others is that we are gone, we disappear and then that’s one of the main things that would have a man leave or cheat. If we disappear there’s no one over here to be in relationship with.
Alissa Kriteman: Welcome to the show Shana.
Shana James: Thank you it’s good to be here.
Alissa Kriteman: For those of you who don’t yet know Shana, she has her Masters in Psychology. She’s an expert relationship coach and she is the co founder and creator of the Authentic Woman Experience. We have done an interview in the past about some of the fundamentals of the Authentic Woman Experience and what it is to be a radiant woman and I loved what Shana had to say so much, I wanted her to come back and talk about how to keep a man happy and ourselves too, lit up in a powerful relationship. So Shana welcome, thanks for being here again.
Shana James: Thank you.
Alissa Kriteman: All right well let’s get right into it. What from your perspective are some of the keys to having a man be happy and fulfilled with us?
Shana James: It’s great and I think hearing you say that the first thing I think is are we happy and fulfilled? It’s so important to start looking at, are we really in the relationship we want to be in? A man can feel the difference. Are we in a relationship because we don’t want to be bored or lonely or because being in a relationship is the right thing to do or are we in a relationship because we really care about this other person, because we want to grow and evolve together, because we have fun together, because we feel really connected and intimate with this person.
So my first thought on how to have a man stay in relationship is to really get clear that you want him there. That may sound strange or really simple but really to be clear that you want to be in that relationship and that it matters to you.
Alissa Kriteman: I could see on any given day, us going through the storms of our emotions thinking, “I don’t want to be here” “OK I do want to be here” “I don’t want to be here”. Is there a bottom line question that you would have women look at and ask themselves to really know beyond maybe some PMS.
Shana James: Yeah, I think that’s a great question and a great thing to look at to really sit down and be honest with ourselves beyond our moods of the moment and am I fulfilled in this relationship? Am I getting to be all of myself here? Not even just getting to be but there’s another piece about taking responsibility, am I bringing all of myself to this relationship?
I think for some women if the answer is “No, I’m not being all of myself” then it would be OK I have to leave to be all of myself. There is a way where we can start bringing more. If feels like I’m already in the middle of something, there’s so much even to begin with. What is being all of myself ? And how do I even know who all of myself is? So there’s a lot of inquiry that is the foundation of a powerful relationship. To really know who you are, to know what you want. I don’t know that many people look at what do I want to create with this relationship or what am I committed to in this relationship? What am I bringing here?
So I recently got married and spent a long time writing my vows. What am I committed to in this relationship and a lot of it was what am I inspired to bring and create in a relationship. I can see how even beyond marriage, for women to get clear about that, again as I said a couple of times, it’s just such a powerful way to enter into a relationship. So that it’s not like, “Oh I just want this man to stay.” That you are actually focused on your inspiration, your fulfillment, what is it that you’re committed to in bringing to your life and to the world and thus you’re feeling good. It’s really important for a woman to be alive and passionate in her life and then a man is more likely to stay. But you are not doing it for him, ultimately you have to do it for yourself.
Alissa Kriteman: Yeah, I like what you are saying. I know from interviews in the past, we’ve really delved into the importance of a woman going beyond the comfort of being in a relationship for safety, security, financial reasons and that now with the movement of modern woman who can take care of herself financially, who can take care of herself in many different ways that maybe didn’t exist 5-10 years ago. We’re looking at what is actually the role of the man now that we can take care of so much for ourselves. So as we’re looking into, do I even want this man to be in relationship? What do you have to say to women who maybe already are married? I can see how that would really work for women who are dating. Like, “Wow, is this guy really going to over the long haul, grow with me in a deep way?” because it sounds like growth is definitely one of the important key factors. But if you’re already in a relationship, married like you said, you just got married, how are things changing? How do you stay tapped into, “is this marriage working?”
Shana James: Yes and like you said it changes and in some ways for me, it changes in every moment and fundamentally, I know that we’re committed to the same things. One of the pieces that I’m really coming to see in my marriage is how important my willingness to be receptive to my husband’s love is to him. I started seeing recently why men would cheat, or why a man would leave because there were a couple of months recently where I was feeling stressed and overworking myself and pretty miserable by the time the end of the day came around. I didn’t have anything left to give to my relationship. Not only that, when my husband would try to give to me, I was feeling so exhausted and overwhelmed that I didn’t even want him to come close to me.
He said something to me, he said, “You are the woman I want. You’re the woman I’m committed to and I don’t want to be in relationship with a woman who is not going to open to my love and who is not going to be receptive to me.” That was a really hard thing to hear. The two of us are really committed to being honest and bringing truth in this relationship and that means sometimes hearing things that I would otherwise not really want to hear and at the same time when I look at it. That was a gift for me to hear because ultimately in my life, I don’t want to be working so hard that I’m suffering and miserable.
What has me feel good in the relationship is also what has me feel good about myself and in my life.
Alissa Kriteman: I think you bring up a really good point. Listening to a man’s truth and not freaking out. Because I think many times and I’ve read this and heard this that guys need to feel safe. We need to feel safe but men need to feel safe too. So you’re saying that few of the keys of having a man stay in a relationship is definitely knowing whether we’re really choosing to be with this man because he’ll feel it and if not being responsible for what we’re creating i.e. our man coming to us and saying, “You know what? I don’t feel like you’re opening to me.” I think that’s very intense and it’s amazing that you open to it and you looked…
Shana James: I’ve developed a practice that I call Riding the Dragon which is often there is something particular for me that when many people especially as my husband says, “Oh honey I was thinking about something.” I immediately flush, I get hot, I feel really nervous, I think he’s going to tell me that the relationship is over and so because I think you’re right I think it’s really important to listen to our partners in relationships. If we’re not listening then we’re not actually really being together.
I decided to be more committed to listening that I am to that immediate emotional freak out or reaction that I have and so what I do now is imagine that I am riding this dragon up through my heart. Up through all those emotions that have me want to lash out and say, “Fuck you, you don’t even know me. You don’t know how hard it is.” “I’ve been working all day, you can’t imagine what it’s like to be a woman in this world. You want me to be open after I have to conform myself into this masculine society.” All those things come up in that moment and then I choose to listen.
Alissa Kriteman: It’s interesting because what you’re saying is knowing what your activators are. You got activated in that moment. You weren’t in the present moment, you got launched back into somewhere else but you caught it and you were able to just stay calm and relaxed and open and that’s exactly the heart of what I think we’re talking about, knowing where our little triggers and activation points are.
Shana James: Yes, so much of what happens in relationships over time is that we start triggering each other. So I’ll say something it will remind him of what his mom used to do. He’ll say something it will remind me of what my dad used to do and if we’re not conscious of our immediate reactions, then we will fuck up our relationship. We will lose our relationship because I see relationship as a spiritual path so it is actually designed to bring up the places that are hardest for us. It is where when we open our hearts to love we’re also opening our hearts to pain and to anger and to sorrow and to grief.
If we don’t take the time to be conscious about what’s actually happening for us, then our relationship suffers so I see that as one of the main things that has a relationship succeed or that would have a man stay and have a woman stay. If a man and a woman are both willing to see, this is where I get triggered. This is where I stop relating to you as you in the moment and I start relating to some past story or past boyfriend or my father and it feels awful.
Alissa Kriteman: Yeah, it’s willing to admit the vulnerability of projection. It’s like really clear, “Wow, you’re the man I love, you’re not my dad but in this moment I’m really having a reaction.” I’ve had to do a ton of work on that. Awesome!
Well we’re going to take a break to support our sponsors and we’ll be right back. I’m your host Alissa Kriteman. You are listening to Just For Women: Dating, Relationships and Sex. We’re speaking with Shana James, her new name Shana James. I like that, it’s hot!
Alissa Kriteman: Welcome back. You’re listening to Just For Women: Dating, Relationships and Sex. I’m your host Alissa Kriteman. We’re speaking with Shana James, relationship expert and coach about why men cheat and how to have a man stay with two feet in your relationship.
So Shana before the break we were talking about some of the things that are necessary for a powerful relationship. Things like really choosing the man and knowing that you’re in a relationship to do work and be responsible together. You also mentioned listening to him and opening to his truth in a calm way without going into old triggers and wounds from the past. Now I want to go a little bit deeper in why men cheat and how to avoid having that happen to us in our relationships.
Shana James: I feel my skin crawl even in hearing the word cheat. It’s like the last thing any of us would ever want to happen. What I see with men is the reason why a man would cheat or would stray when he’s not being met in a relationship. I don’t say this to put pressure on us, on women because ultimately the way men are met in a relationship and what I mean by met is the way that they are received in a relationship and the way they are given to in a relationship. When that’s working for them, it’s also working for us.
All of these ultimately points back to you again how do I have the life that I love? That I feel great about? One of the ways I see that I bring myself most passionately and with excitement to my relationship is after a night out with my friends, with my girlfriends. Because I get to get recharged and I feel I can play, I can have fun and I can talk to them about what’s going whether it’s in my relationship or in work. As women we really understand each other in a way that men sometimes don’t.
Another thing I would say about a successful relationship is when you’re not bringing every struggle that you have back to your partner. That I think would have a man or a woman feel bogged down and just feel like, “Wow.” People wonder why is this relationship not fun anymore? Why isn’t it so exciting and passionate like it was in the beginning? Because in the beginning we were on such a high with each other and we were loving each other so much that we didn’t bring all of that to each other.
Alissa Kriteman: So you’re saying definitely having support outside of the relationship is going to help give you clarity and remember really how great this person is.
Shana James: Yeah and I would say another thing that would have a man leave or cheat or stray would be when men start to feel nagged and accused and blamed. There’s a way that we can know this as women, we start to complain or bitch about something. Something feels wrong, something feels bad. Actually what you can see is beneath that thing that we’re hooked on, there’s a desire there. There’s something that we’re really wanting right?
If he’s touching you in a way that you don’t like then there’s a desire for a way you want to be touched and the more you can bring that with openness. The more you can let go for the moment of blame and accusation and get into your desire which is very vulnerable to bring because we could be rejected. We could ask for something and he could say no. But the more you can say, “Will you touch me this way” or “I would love it if you do this” as opposed to “That doesn’t feel good” “You’re not doing it right.” The more we’re actually in partnership and the more he feels seen and appreciated and loved.
Alissa Kriteman: I definitely know there’s been times in my life where I’ve said, “That doesn’t feel good.” What are some of the ways that we as women can ask for what we want in a way that will inspire our lovers to give it to us?
Shana James: The first piece of that is what I just said is just being open. Bringing our hearts, bringing our desire as opposed to what’s wrong. I mean that even be just all of it, the main piece. The willingness to be vulnerable is so important, that’s where intimacy happens. So as hard or difficult as it is, to say, “This is what I’m wanting”—if you’ve never said to your husband, “I want you to touch me like this” or “I want you to hold….”
Alissa Kriteman: Let’s do a role play, how about that? So Shana, let’s do a role play. So I’m the husband and you be the wife. OK. Say I’m holding you and we’re hugging and kissing and you want something, how would you say it to me?
Shana James: That’s great, well let me first say what I have done in the past and what I think all women have done. So if you’re hugging me and it feels kind of loose and I don’t really feel held by you, I might get a little bit whiny and say, “I don’t like that you’re holding me like that. It doesn’t feel good.”
Alissa Kriteman: What’s that going to do to him?
Shana James: That will have him feel like he’s done something wrong, that he’s bad, that it’s not OK, that he’s not manly, that he’s not strong and powerful. We really want them to feel strong and powerful because that’s who they are at their core so the more we can support that the better.
So the way I suggest would be—again getting clear about what it is that you want—“Will you wrap your arm around my waist and pull me to you in a way where our bodies are so close and you’re holding me so tight that all the muscles in my back can relax.” That might be a little more than you would do right? You might just say, “Can you hold me so tight that I can relax? Or that I can let go.” That’s one of the most amazing parts of when we support them in their strength, in their power, we then get to soften.
Alissa Kriteman: I really like that. That’s a great example because we are inspiring them to be the man that we know they are and it kind of goes back to that point where men just need a little bit of education. I hate that term when people say men are dumb. They’re not dumb. Men are brilliant, they just don’t know sometimes what we want and every woman is different. So you’re saying as women we need to locate our desires but really catch ourselves when we want to go into a negative place like “That doesn’t feel good.” I’ve definitely done that before and I’ve had to learn how to communicate in a way that inspires a man to give me what I want. “Hey babe, I would love it if you pulled me close to you so I can feel your warmth.”
Shana James: Well said, well said. Yes.
Alissa Kriteman: Who wouldn’t want that? What are some of the things you want to share with us about keeping our men with two feet in our relationship.
Shana James: One thing I think is really important is to consider what it is a man wants. How he wants to be loved and again I’m not saying to lose ourselves and to over give or give in a way where we have nothing left for ourselves. There’s a generosity that we can bring into a relationship that both men and women can bring. We tend in relationship as the relationship goes on and on to think, “I want this, I want him to make breakfast for me. I want him to do the dishes. I want, I want, I want.” So we are talking about desires, we were just talking about desires and desires are powerful and it’s not that we shouldn’t have them but also starting to consider what can I to him? How can I give to him? What would have him feel good and loved and appreciated? I say this without a hitch, when you start being generous, when you start appreciating and loving him, it will come back to you a thousand fold.
Alissa Kriteman: Almost what you’re saying is come from the place of what can I bring to this relationship versus what can I take from the relationship.
Shana James: Yes. I’ve heard it said before, a relationship is a horrible place to try and get something and a really amazing place to co create something. It’s not that we’re not getting and receiving from this relationship and how can we be generous with our love. What I find for myself is that when I am most generous with my love is actually when I’m happiest, when I feel best. When I’m holding back or stingy with my love that actually means that my heart is closed and for me it doesn’t feel good.
Alissa Kriteman: I’ve heard you talk in the past about living a me-centered life. What do you mean by that?
Shana James: What I mean by a me-centered life is that it’s really important to not lose yourself in what you think someone else is wanting, in giving so much that you are tired and dried out. A me-centered life, it’s not that other people aren’t important in your life but it is that you have to be living in a way and taking care of yourself in a way that is sustainable. If you are giving so much that you’ve lost sight of your own self care. A relationship is not going to last. What happens when we are so focused on others is that we are gone, we disappear and then that’s one of the main things that would have a man leave or cheat. If we disappear there’s no one over here to be in relationship with.
How fun is that? Not very, right? If we are so focused outside of ourselves that we don’t even know what we want anymore or how to take care of ourselves or what feels good then we’re actually not present in the relationship.
Alissa Kriteman: What advise would you give women who are really terrified of being vulnerable in their relationships?
Shana James: I would say that once you get over the initial fear—because I’d say for me, it’s always there. It’s not like it goes away so one thing I would say is the fear doesn’t necessarily go away but once you get over the initial fear, you start to realize that you really can’t have it any other way. Actually we don’t know that a man will stay. So we might start to be honest about something and talk about what it is that we really want and how we want to be in relationship and you might all of sudden find if you haven’t done this before, that he doesn’t want the same things as you do. That’s terrifying and in this day and age like you’ve said, we don’t need men in the same ways that we use to for financial stability and security. Relationship is a gift that we get to have in our lives now a days. Relationship is not just a pleasure but it’s not a necessity in a way I think like it used to be.
Alissa Kriteman: I definitely agree about what you’re saying about relationship is not a necessity. This is exactly why I have this show because it’s for today’s modern, empowered woman. That’s what we all want to be, that’s what we’re striving for but it doesn’t necessary mean we won’t be in a relationship but it’s how to be in an effective relationship that actually works where love is present. Communication is present. Desires being met is present versus cheating, divorce, blah, blah.
Shana James: And as terrifying as it is as I said you don’t know that a man would stay if you start speaking your truth so that’s often what women are afraid of. As terrifying as it can be if you actually really want to be in a relationship where you are needs are met, and your desires are met as are his. If this isn’t the relationship for you, I trust that you will attract the relationship that actually is right for you.
Alissa Kriteman: We just have to trust that and I agree, I agree regardless of how long it takes or what we have to go through, it’s usually going through those things, our deepest darkest fears, getting to the other side of it, feeling empowered is what really attracts the person for us.
So as we’re wrapping up here, what I would love to hear from you as a newly married woman. What are some of the things that you had to give up or go through in order to really, truly and fully commit to your husband?
Alissa Kriteman: What are somethings I had to give up or go through? Like I said I see relationship as a spiritual path and so there are times when I want to come home and I don’t want to talk to anyone and I just want to be by myself and I want to close and go away but ultimately what relationship for me is this ever present, almost knocking at my door.
How much can I stay open? How much can I love in this lifetime? Even if I’m tired and I want to go away from my husband, how lovingly can I let him know that that’s what I want and that’s what I need right now? So how much can I actually be in partnership consider another person’s needs and feelings as well as take care of myself.
Alissa Kriteman: That’s true partnership. Shana thank you so much for being with us today on Just for Women. How can we find you?
Shana James: You can find me in a couple of different places. The first place is on the Authentic SF website so www.authenticsf.com . We have a tab that’s marked courses and if you click on courses, you will see the Authentic Woman Experience. I also have a personal website that is www.inspiredlifenow.com.
Alissa Kriteman: Great and so…
Shana James: You can also email me if you have any questions my email is [email protected]
Alissa Kriteman: Great and thank you and I just want to give a little plug for the Authentic Woman Experience. What a powerful life changing transformational course that is that Shana has co created and leads. It’s really helping women delve into all the places where we get afraid and stuck and where we don’t claim ourselves as powerful women and so that’s out there ladies, check it out.
Shana James: Every woman deserves to do that course. I just see radical, radical and beautiful shifts in women coming out of that course really more in touch with themselves and who they are and what they’re wanting and excited to be out in the world, attracting the man they want.
Alissa Kriteman: Awesome, not to miss, not to miss. This is your host Alissa Kriteman. You’ve been listening to Just For Women: Dating, Relationships and Sex. I hope you’ve learned a few things about how to be empowered in your relationship and stay tune for more fantastic interviews with today’s top expert to help you live the life you are longing to live.