Marriage – What is the best age?


More and more couples are waiting longer to enter marriage these days rather than opt to walk down the aisle in late adolescence or early twenties as was the norm in earlier generations.

Recent research by Nicholas Wolfinger (University of Utah) indicates that the ideal age range to ensure a successful marriage is between 28 and 32 years.

ringsAccording to Wolfinger “The odds of divorce decline as you age from your teenage years through your late twenties and early thirties.” He also believes that “thereafter, the chances of divorce go up again as you move into your late thirties and early forties.”

To me it makes some sense that an older couple embarking on the journey of marriage are more likely to succeed long term. However, there are always two sides to every story and I’ll give 10 points here for and against. I’d love to hear your comments  at the end of this post!


  1. There has been time to “grow up” and forge a solid identity.
  2. In knowing who you are, it is easier to identify a potential partner who will support and encourage your life goals and vice versa.
  3. There has been time to complete studies or career training without other commitments and responsibilities.
  4. Careers take energy and commitment to establish – easier to do without competition from spouse and/or children.
  5. There has been time to “play the field”, experimenting with different relationships.
  6. Experiencing relationships with a variety of partners makes it less likely to feel trapped or wondering if the right choice has been made.
  7. If travel is important, then marrying later allows time to explore wider horizons, foot loose and fancy free.
  8. Greater financial resources are available.
  9. There is more likelihood of entering marriage with eyes wide open.
  10. After experiencing life living independently, you are more likely to enter marriage with a preference for sharing your life with a loving partner, rather than through fear of being alone.


  1.  Less chance of being let down by multiple partners resulting in wounds carried into future relationships.
  2. Less jealousy and insecurities about your partner’s romantic history.
  3. An opportunity to grow up together.
  4. There is a larger market of eligible potential partners around the younger you are.
  5. Time to enjoy traveling together, sharing resources before children arrive.
  6. Having a loving partner to support while study is completed and careers are established.
  7. For a woman falling pregnant becomes more difficult with age. So early marriage provides the opportunity to take advantage of the most fertile years.
  8. There is time to enjoy married life together before feeling the pressure of starting a family.
  9. Young couples are more likely to be more adaptable to each other rather than being set in their ways.
  10. Entering marriage at an earlier age is perfect for enjoying safe and regular sexual intimacy when your libido is at it’s peak.

So, what do you think? Is the research valid? I would love to hear your comments and experience related to this topic. And please share!

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Loving and Being Loved


Guest article by Leslee Hughes Core Energetics Therapist


Some of us can love and some can receive love but are we open to both?

Our minds may want this but our hearts are a totally different vulnerable segment of our body and may be screaming, “no way!”

Do you know that if you were hurt in the first 7 years of life (and there is a likelihood that we all have been) that there is a high probability that you may be defended. Your body even shows the hurts!

How you may ask?  By armoring around the chest front and back, shoulders rolling in to protect the heart, splits, dents, leaks and hollows, it is like you can actually really see a hurt or a wound.

We protect ourselves from feeling any more pain, by diverting energy away from our heart centre so as not to feel and generally wear a mask portraying that we are OK.

Our hearts can think and feel, so without our heart being open and flowing with energy we struggle in the love and relationship department.

Our mask covers what is called called a lower self defense against any attempts to love and trust.


  1. THE DAYDREAMER:  The foetus in the womb. Do you feel Mum’s pain or unhappiness? Do you wonder am I wanted? You may come into the world not trusting, fearful and not sure if you belong.THE TASK is to learn to trust again and to claim your space in the world by getting in your body and unfreezing your energy system. Here I am!
  2. THE NEEDY: From birth to about 18 months of age. There is a great need for love but there is a lack of feeling loved. This may be due to a lack of attention or food or connection. There is never enough love, or it is disappointing and may even turn hateful.THE TASK here is to learn to love yourself! You set the standard!
  3. THE COMPLIANT:  From 18 months to 3 years. The child has to be good, may be smothered, learns to say a lot of yes’s but feels unable to say no as there will be repercussions. Caught with pleasing others and not self, can become very resentful and withholding.THE TASK here is to find your YES to life and happiness, quite often self hate and pleasure-anxiety have been in the way. Your needs are important!
  4. The Prince & Princess: 3 1/2 to 5 years old. The child is built up to be more than the parent of the same sex, some seduction and betrayal, I am special, no I am not.THE TASK here is to become real with our equality to the same sex and to get grounded or there is always a “pie in the sky” big idea but no inner ground.
  5. The Perfectionist: 5 – 7 years old.  I am perfect. You will not find anything wrong with me. Feelings of rejection from the parent of the opposite sex are hidden by the perfect picture but the love of the heart is rigidified and unsafe. Disconnection between the heart and the pelvis. Sex without love and love without sex.THE TASK here is to become vulnerable and realise that you are equal to others or life can become a lonely place.


Core Energetics as a therapy is based on the capacity to love and be loved. Why should you be the exception?

As we explore the defenses to the heart and heal old wounds and new, tenderness and vulnerability emerges, the child is redeemed and you are more whole. There is wonder in the eyes and it is like an awakening to a new world. Your heart is humming and MAGIC is in the air!

To change your energy and your life, contact Leslee for a one on one session to take the journey to your Core (Heart) and bring YOUR heart to your home!

Leslee-HughesLeslee Hughes is one of the most senior members of Core Energetics in Australia.  She is an experienced Body Mind Psychotherapist (Somatic Psychotherapist) who works in Sydney and the Central Coast of New South Wales. Leslee is a Member of the Psychotherapy & Counselling Federation of Australia and a Clinical member of the Counsellor’s and Psychotherapists Association.

Leslee works one on one with individuals, couples, families and is able to do phone or Skype sessions. You can call Leslee on 0407934499 or email
Check out Leslee’s website for more details:

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Changing Beliefs With Brainwave Entrainment

What is Brainwave Entrainment?

Brainwave entrainment uses technology to assist the brain to access specific frequencies depending on what we would like to achieve.

In the normal waking state our brains usually operate at Beta frequency. When we are relaxed and during meditation, the brain enters Alpha frequency allowing us to feel calm and relaxed as acetylcholine is released.

If the brain operates for long periods in high Beta frequencies, agitation and anxiety may result from an excessive production of dopamine. Brainwave entrainment is a particularly useful way of rapidly altering the brainwave frequencies to assist in reducing anxiety or depression.

meditation-musicBrainwave States and Frequency Following Response

Using brainwave entrainment, access to particular brainwave states is possible where learning, belief changes and change of mood can take place in an extraordinary way.

There is a natural tendency of the brain to have a Frequency Following Response. The brain tends to tune in to the rhythms of what is around in the environment. For example, when the brain tunes in to catchy dance music, the body is usually inclined to move in sync with the music and mood is likely to improve accordingly.

So with brainwave entrainment, beats and frequencies are used to enable the brain to reach the preferred brainwave state for optimal learning or personal change. The neurons in the brain then start firing at specific frequencies. When this happens, neurochemicals and endorphins are released.

Brainwave Entrainment, Belief Changes and Emotional State Regulation

When brainwave entrainment is combined with affirmations, the affirmations are far more effective in reaching the subconscious mind where real change occurs. While operating in Theta frequency, the brain releases a hormone called LTP (Long Term Potentiation). Without this hormone, your affirmations may be heard, but they are not retained.

During childhood between the ages of 2 and 6 years, the brain operates mainly in Theta. This is why children are so susceptible to taking on beliefs as well as having an amazing capacity to learn.

Overcoming Anxiety and Depression

Brainwave entrainment has been shown to increase neural pathways. More are actually created. This is useful for creating new happiness pathways to overcome anxiety and depression as well as new learning and personal change. Brainwave entrainment is even more effective than hypnosis. Negative belief patterns and beliefs can be changed in a similar way to hypnotic induction, only at a much deeper level. This makes any type of personal change that much easier. By simply listening to brainwave technology with recorded affirmations on a digital music device (with headphones), significant change becomes readily achievable.

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Mental Health Month October

Mental Health Day is officially October 10 and so the focus for this month is on mental wellbeing.

“The theme for Mental Health Month this year is ‘beYOUnique!’ This theme promotes acceptance and an understanding of the impact that being proud of who we are can have on our wellbeing.”
Source and more information is available at Mental Health Association NSW.

SO what makes you unique? What is special about you  that is appreciated by your friends, work colleagues, family or loved ones?

affirmations-downloadsSome people may have a problem answering those questions – particularly if there was little or no healthy development of self worth in the formative years.

Healthy, well functioning parenting usually results in healthy, well functioning children who leave the nest as healthy, well functioning, independent adults, ready to make their way in the wider world.

If you are suffering from anxiety, depression or poor (even mediocre)  self image, chances are your upbringing may have been less than optimal. Statistically this means the majority of humans walking this Earth today have some level of wounding that can be triggered by a look, a word, a deed when least expected.

Negative thought patterns are often initiated in this way. You may have felt criticised or just heard a comment that set off your internal wounding with corresponding negative thoughts and feelings. This can vary from mild discomfort through feelings of shame or humiliation through to a full blown panic attack.

The person most likely to have this impact is your nearest and dearest. They are the one who matters the most. There is usually a significant emotional investment in the relationship with your significant other. That makes it important to keep the boat from rocking too hard – or worse sinking. This is where defence mechanisms come into play and usually only succeed in making matters worse – creating a bigger disconnect.

The Imago Dialogue is great as an alternative to defence games and will usually result in deeper understanding and rapport with your partner. Better than days of the cold shoulder! It is a way of  communication which makes it safe to discuss sensitive, emotionally charged issues with your partner.

Actions you can take right now

  1. Visit the Mental Health Association NSW and download your Mental Health Month NSW Starter Kit.
  2. Light a candle in a quiet place with pen and paper or your smart device and write down at least three qualities you have that are unique to you and express gratitude for having these gifts.
  3. Go a step further! Each night before you go to bed, quietly contemplate and add an additional quality to your list for the whole month of October!!
  4. Paste the list somewhere you will see it every day or make it your home screen on your fave digital whizz bang.
  5. Enjoy!!

About the author:
Christine Bennett is a private practitioner committed to a non-judgmental approach of helping couples, individuals and families enjoy more fulfilling, loving relationships with themselves and others. Christine also helps separated couples reach agreements for parenting plans, financial settlements and bullying disputes.

Websites managed by Christine Bennett:
Caring4Couples | Christine Bennett Consulting | Psyche-Care |
North Shore Family Mediation | Stop the Bullying
© Christine Bennett

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Reprogram your subconscious mind

It is difficult to ignore the increasing information being presented through scientific research about the brain and the mind. How our brain works and which part is responsible for different functions, is being reported on a daily basis. “Neuroplasticity” seems to be the new buzz word around scientific and therapeutic circles and Bruce Lipton PhD, stem cell biologist (best selling author of Biology of Belief), is busy spreading the word on the extraordinary power of our subconscious mind comparative to the measly 5% influence of our conscious mind.

Cells carry memories of our beliefs and can be reprogrammed.

Cells carry memories of our beliefs and can be reprogrammed.

Bruce Lipton’s research and information about how cells work and how the mind works, in addition to using techniques such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic-Programing with my clients, has led me to experiment with affirmations recorded with theta brain wave frequencies and a non-intrusive sound track.

So, if you were my client and wanted to change some aspect of your life, we would explore what beliefs you may be harboring in your subconscious that were sabotaging your conscious desires to change. And according to Bruce Lipton the subconscious is one million times more powerful than conscious will power – so there needs to be some heavy duty mechanism available to change long-held, firmly entrenched self limiting beliefs.

So in addition to techniques outlined above, I record a set of positive affirmations based on your own desires for change and give you your own unique set of affirmations to listen to on a daily basis through headphones while in a relaxed state. There is tons of research that shows that affirmations on their own do NOT work! This is because of the power differential of the subconscious saboteurs and conscious desires. I’ve already mentioned which side will win!

So the only way to win is to  access the subconscious mind and make changes where the limiting beliefs originated before the tender age of seven years. The language of the affirmations needs to be simple – keeping in mind that the original beliefs were formed when language skills were that of an infant.

The recorded affirmations need to be heard in a brain state that bypasses conscious objections and ridicule. This is why the theta brainwave is important. This is the brainwave state in which a pre-seven-year-old mostly experiences life and what survival mechanisms will ensure survival in their family. This is  mighty important stuff for the survival in the family of origin. However it rarely, if ever works in adult intimate relationships.

I found a podcast today where Bruce Lipton offers seven ways to reprogram the subconscious mind. I hope you find it interesting!

About the author:
Christine Bennett is a private practitioner committed to a non-judgmental approach of helping couples, individuals and families enjoy more fulfilling, loving relationships with themselves and others. Christine also helps separated couples reach agreements for parenting plans, financial settlements and bullying disputes.

Websites managed by Christine Bennett:
Caring4Couples | Christine Bennett Consulting | Psyche-Care |
North Shore Family Mediation | Stop the Bullying
© Christine Bennett

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Change and reflections in Winter

Well, it seems my winter has taken a lot longer than the calendar would indicate for the changes and reflection that have taken place for me since my last blog entry.

Many changes have transpired in my life, in the lives of those close to me as well as the lives of clients. Some of those changes have been life affirming and some have involved significant loss through unexpected death.

All of those changes leave me with a strong conviction that we never know when our number might be up and it matters to make every day count. Some people have the idea that making every day count means being busy and crossing off every entry on an ongoing to-do list. For me, making every day count means tuning in to myself and assessing what the count might mean for that particular day.

Some days might be filled with appointments which means I need to be on the ball and well organized to meet both the client’s needs and my own for adequate rest and nourishment. Other days may be days at home where I could busy myself with chores or admin stuff, pull out weeds in the garden, or head for the beach with the grand-babies.

Gazing at the bright blue yonder.

Gazing into the bright blue yonder.

Sometimes, just doing nothing is what the body and mind needs for making the best of the day. Life can become a bit hectic and overwhelming and when it does, making the most of the day might be just sitting on the couch or out in the sun and dozing. Vitamin D from natural sunlight is one of THE best pick-me-ups that costs nothing and is only dependent on the weather and your capacity to take time out to enjoy!

About the author:
Christine Bennett is a private practitioner committed to a non-judgemental approach of helping couples, individuals and families enjoy more fulfilling, loving relationships with themselves and others. Christine also helps separated couples reach agreements for parenting plans, financial settlements and bullying disputes.

Websites managed by Christine Bennett:
Caring4Couples | Christine Bennett Consulting | Psyche-Care |
North Shore Family Mediation | Stop the Bullying

© Christine Bennett

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Marriage Counselling – Recover from a Cheating Partner

Finding out that your partner has been cheating on you is something nobody wants to discover.

It leads to heartache and grief that takes a long time, if ever to find relief.  It can take years to recover trust. Doing the work of re-establishing trust can seem onerous for the partner who has done the cheating. However it is absolutely necessary if healing is to occur and the couple is to regain emotional and sexual intimacy.

It takes a strong and ongoing commitment by the primary couple to do the work of reconnection. There needs to be a daily commitment of demonstrating caring behaviours and planning fun, light-hearted activities together.

Basically there needs to be a new relationship established with new ground rules that may never have even been explored in the initial stages of relationship. This is necessary now. If one partner has certain expectations of how things are going to be played out while their partner has no idea, then things can go awry.

Most people aren’t psychic enough to figure out what their partner’s needs and wants are without being told. It is common however to hear, “He/she has known me long enough, he/she should know what I want without me having to say anything! Can’t they see the mess!”

Although it only takes one person to stray, cheating is a choice. It is a choice that is usually made when feeling disconnected from a partner without the knowledge or experience to handle things differently.

Feeling safe to communicate how you are feeling to your partner is important. The longer things are left to fester, the more distance is created and the gap gets wider over time.

There may be a reluctance to hurt a partner’s feelings by revealing the truth about frustrations or there may have been just too much conflict for self revelation to be a safe option.

This is where marriage counselling can help. During the counselling process the counsellor facilitates communication between the couple and coaches them how to stay safe even when feeling vulnerable with raw emotions.

Caring4Couples specializes in teaching the Imago Couples Dialogue which is a very subtle, yet powerful communication process for healing the hurt.
Couples Counselling: Christine Bennett

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How do you know when you love someone?

How DO you know when you love someone?  “Is it love?” is a common question asked when cupid’s arrow strikes. So what IS the real deal?

Nature is very clever in design. Our Maker new what he/she was up to when chemistry was included as part of the human package. When eyes meet across that legendary crowded room and the heart beats faster and there is the strangest feeling in the pit of the stomach……Is that love??

No, that is a hormone rush!! A bucket load of endorphins is released and it feels sooooo good!!! It is also a big con! It is nature’s con to ensure the procreation of the human species.That chemical rush – commonly known by the term “falling in love” cannot possibly be sustained. It can last up to two years max, otherwise our whole endocrine system would fall down flat.

The trouble is it feels so wonderful, that those stricken with this form of psychosis want it to last forever. It can’t. Just like a drug addict cannot maintain high levels of drugs of addiction without serious consequences.

I found an interesting article to follow on from this called titled “How do you know when you love someone?” Following is an excerpt and by following the links, you can read the whole article……..

“I used to believe that love was a light switch. Something flicks on. You get an overwhelming sensation. It hits you like a bag of bricks. Or a strong arrow. When you know, you know. Right? Not so much. After 38 years and an expired marriage, I don’t see love that way anymore.  I’ve placed Cupid right next to Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny.

Love is a series of choices.  The first choice is based on many many factors, including chemistry, principle, logic, humor, intelligence, body type, where we are in our lives, what we want / need… the list goes on and on, and the weight of each factor varies depending on the individual.  Based on these factors, we either choose to begin the process to love or not. If we decide to enter this process, the action of loving can bring “light switch” moments. The way he looks at you. How hard she make you laugh. The notes he hides in your purse. The way she makes you feel when you don’t feel anything. But like an airplane flight, there is turbulence. The fights. The disagreements. The little things that bother you. His socks. Her shopping. You start wondering if you’ve made the right choice. Once you are in doubt, you have to make another choice. To continue to fly with this person or jump out of the plane. This choice is based on a thousand other factors, again depending on the individual and where they are in their journey.

If you decide to jump, the scary free fall will either make you stronger (grow) or miserable (depressed). But sooner or later, you’ll find yourself back at the airport waiting to board another plane. Then you hit turbulence. Or maybe there is no turbulence. Maybe you’ve changed your mind about the destination.  Either way, another choice. Fly or jump?”

Read full article: How do you know when you love someone?

Relationship Counselling by Christine Bennett


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How to deal with grief after relationship break-up

When someone we love dies, we have social rituals to help with the pain of loss. What do we have though, when a relationship breaks down? Where are the social rituals such as a funeral followed by a wake?

This may sound a bit morbid when thinking of a love relationship. However, morbid is exactly how a lot of people feel when they lose a lover or partner through relationship break-down.

Often a big dark hole is the feeling in the pit of the stomach where joy once resided. So how to cope?

Following is an article about some ways people deal with relationship break-up, found on the Grief Recovery website by Allison James. John W. James and Russell Friedman are the founders of The Grief Recovery Institute® and authors of The Grief Recovery Handbook. Their book is available for FREE DOWNLOAD on the website.

Common Responses to Break-Ups and How They Hurt you

“With every romantic relationship there are:

  • Hopes
  • Dreams
  • Expectations

– A new couple might hope to become more serious or look forward to waking up each morning to a text message from each other.

– A couple who have been together longer might expect to have children, dream of vacations together, or begin to plan for retirement.

– Many women start to plan their dream wedding no matter how long they’ve been dating –whether or not their boyfriends know about it is inconsequential!

Couples also create habits and rituals.  Habits as simple as doing the dishes together at night, speaking on the phone each night at 5:00 pm or golfing on Sundays.

A common dream for an evolving relationship is that it will last forever.

Then one day, for whatever reason, the relationship changes or ends.

Their hopes, dreams, and expectations are crushed.

No one likes to feel bad so they do what most people are taught… pretend they are okay!  In an attempt to protect themselves from future heartbreak many people say things like,

  • “I’m never dating again.” 
  • “I don’t give a darn.”

The problem is, that saying, “I don’t give a darn,” and actually not giving a darn, are two different things!

Have you said similar things?

Another thing people do after a break-up is anything and everything to avoid feeling heartbreak. Have you tried some of these things?

  • Dating someone else.
  • Drinking.
  • Having a girls or boys night out.
  • Eating, especially ice cream.
  • Not eating at all.
  • Watching sad movies or listening to sad songs.
  • Working long hours.
  • Shopping.
  • Working out, excessively.
  • Having a make-over.
  • Sleeping.

Although these activities might make you feel better short term, they don’t allow you to get complete with the relationship that changed or ended.”

Click here to continue reading….

Relationship counselling by Christine Bennett


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Love and the Law of Attraction for Healthy Relationships

Love just like anything else in the Universe is subject to the Law of Attraction.

This law states that like attracts like. It is a simple matter of physics and when it comes to love – our own emotions are what matters.

How we feel about ourselves is vitally important to who we attract into our life as friends, colleagues, and most importantly intimate partners.

So if we feel down on ourselves, we don’t feel good enough, confident enough, attractive enough – the list could go on and on…….then that is who we will attract as a partner. We will attract our mirror image. Whatever emotional wounding we have suffered during our childhood will be mirrored in our partner. Guarranteed!! This is the basis of the work of Harville Hendrix who is the author of “Getting the Love You Want” amongst others.

Harville Hendrix is an American psychologist who founded what he calls Imago Relationship Therapy. The foundation of the therapeutic process involves what is called the Imago Dialogue where the therapist facilitates a dialogue around a particular frustration that is getting in the way of the couple’s connection to one another. It is usually because a wound has been triggered and one or both partners have gone into their defense strategy, shutting each other out.

The concept of attracting a like person is illustrated very nicely by Denise Scarbro (Huffington Post, 27 July 2012) in her article “The Trick to Attracting Healthy Relationships“.

Scarbro says, “Have you ever felt like you always attract a certain type of person? I know I have! The same kinds of people seem to present themselves to me all the time. They may have different faces and different names, but in the end the same themes are always there. Not too long ago, I kept finding myself with an emotionally unavailable boyfriend; misunderstood people gravitated to me; needy people always wanted to be my friend; and if there was ever an underdog, we inevitably somehow teamed up. I found myself thinking, “What am I putting out there to attract these people to me?”

For a while, I arrogantly thought I drew these people to me because I had so much strength. Maybe I was supposed to help fix them? Like a moths to a flame, they were drawn to me because my light was shining for everyone who needed my help. Well, my believed strength did not make the boyfriends emotionally available; I was not able to build the self-esteem of the needy people; the misunderstood never gained any new insights; and the underdogs were still underdogs no matter what wisdom and examples I thought I shared. I was usually left disappointed, hurt, or annoyed. So why was I attracting these people?”

Click here to continue reading “The Trick to Attracting Healthy Relationships“.

Please leave your comments. I’d love to hear from you!

Relationship Counselling by Christine Bennett Caring4Couples
Certified Imago Relationship Therapist


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