Monthly Archives: February 2013

The sexless marriage is very hard work.

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Click on image to launch video report from MW Hainichen

Couples in distress seem to find their way to our door, seeking help.  Sometimes one party is determined on leaving the marriage, other times they just need a bit of coaching and reassurance.  Mostly they are fairly well suited to each other, and have just sort of fallen out of being in love.  Simply forgotten how to be nice to each other. Seriously, quite often they are clearly fond of each other, but have just got into bad habits.

A couple I saw yesterday are typical.  Five years into the marriage and he is set on divorcing, or at least he was last week. Now he wants to stay in the marriage and she wants to divorce. It’s insane how each ones appetite for retaining the moral high ground constantly usurps the other ones repair attempts (I could give them a slap sometimes – really).  The Richard & Maria Kane school of counselling / coaching is at times fairly abrupt.  Yesterday was no exception, as I spelt out the blindingly obvious;

1. You both want the same thing; love, sex and fun (so why not with each other).

2.  You haven’t had sex for so long it’s no wonder you are irritated with each other (the sexless marriage is very hard work).

3. It doesn’t help at all living in different houses (blindingly obvious, unless your blind to the obvious).

In an ideal World what would I do for this couple;

  1. Send them on a being nice to each other programme.
  2. Send them on a selective memory deleting programme.
  3. Force them to become intimate, sort of a pump priming exercise.
  4. Ban TV and laptops from the bedroom (research suggests couples with bedroom tv’s have 50% less sex, than those without).

I know this is a bit flippant, but hopefully you get my point which is.  Its supposed to work dummy, you might have just got a bit sloppy, and for goodness sake especially with children in the family, get your act together please!

Where is the real power, with the speaker or the editor?

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I Have just clipped and cribbed 55 minutes of excellent digitally recorded dialogue into just over three minutes, which begs the question; where does the power actually reside, with the editor or the speaker?

Now clearly the editor has to have some material to work with, but believe me, I have left some superb comments on the digital equivalent of the cutting room floor, but why?  Well, modern people will only watch a web film clip for 2-3 minutes max, so there you have it. People have the attention span of small mice.

So, the video is an edited montage of clips from the London, Marriage Week UK Parliamentary launch, held on Feb 7th.  It shows a snippet from; David Burrows MP, Harry Benson, Baroness Ruth Deech and myself, all in just a tad over three minutes.

It’s snowing outside.  Already about 50 cm and rising.  I am sitting in the home of our good friends Angela & Andreas Frez, in the old East Germany, about 2 hours south of Berlin in the city of Heinichin.   I am here because I’m part of a group looking at inter-cultural marriages, and the particular pressures they experience, and since I can work remotely I might as well be here for 3 days as anywhere else. We are producing a course designed to help couples with those particular cross cultural tensions, which with increased numbers of cross cultural couples clicking in together, has to be a good thing.

2 Eavesdropping strangers in disguise

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Click on image to launch video.

It’s been a brilliant day!  Up early this morning for a radio interview which took place in a cafe over breakfast, on completion two eavesdropping strangers wandered over and commended us on the content of the interview!  How weird is that.  Then off to Parliament for the Media Launch.  I spoke a bit about infatuation, followed by interviews for everybody except me!

We then enjoyed a very nice lunch set up for networking between the Vice Mayor, MP’s, religious leaders and the Marriage Week team.  I spoke about my favourite topic.  Amazingly, an old buddy from Romania saw through FB a photo of me, in Bratislava, where in fact he now lives.  Quick as a flash he calls and we are having dinner together!  How cool is that.

Off early tomorrow for a final TV interview (so they must have liked the last one) and then fly out from Vienna for Berlin, where I pick up my hire car to drive to Heinichin near Dresden.

Six TV interviews, 2 talks, a thousand miles – 1 day.


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Click on image to go to video. 

Six TV and 3 radio interviews, 2 talks, a thousand miles, two capital cities, two launch events – yesterday was a pretty busy day.

My taxi picked me up at 6.45 UK time, off to the press launch for Marriage Week Hungary, downtown Budapest.  45 journalists, 6 tv crews and 8 photographers puts yesterdays event in the big league of press events I have been involved in.

Last year whilst I was here, during a TV interview, apparently I said something like, “the best way to fix your economy is to encourage people to marry and have lots of children”.  It does sound like me, and it is true that  we have armageddon like demographics in the Western World (a nation needs a reproduction rate of 2.3 children per couple to just stand still, most European nations are about 1.6, with people living longer and longer, their won’t be enough people to pay for everything).

Apparently it sparked a massive debate bringing in the scoffers who had to try to explain how this wasn’t the case (which would have been impossible).  So this year, I decided to do the same again.  I spoke about the economic benefits of marriage to society, with an interpreter, since I can’t speak Hungarian, which incidentally is the second hardest language in the World (the hardest being Chinese or Arabic).  So, whilst the other speakers sounded great, I have no idea what they were saying.

I did all the interviews (see video above) and then took a taxi to the airport to catch the 12.55 back to Heathrow, took time to edit the film on the plane.

Into Westminster for 5, I was the first to arrive in the Palace of Westminster to set up for the UK launch.   David Burrowes MP introduced the event and made closing remarks to the packed room.  I spoke about “is marriage just a piece of paper?” and then introduced Baroness Ruth Deech and Harry Benson.  Harry cited some new research which suggests that once a couple reach their 10 anniversary, divorce levels have not increased since the 1970’s, and that it is between the 3rd and sixth year that most couples are vulnerable.

I then talked about Renewal of Vows, citing a story from a little church in Hampshire which held a vows service, inviting all the couples who had married their to return.  I stood at the back, scoffing quietly until the Vicar led the flock in a confession and vow ceremony.  I watched these people bunch in tighter, clasping hands and hankies.  It was shockingly moving and powerful. I felt as if an awkward intruder in a very private, and bizarrely public ceremony.  I then introduced Dave Percival who introduced our genuine World Record attempt; The Big Promise for 2014.

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Train back to Heathrow and then drove home.

Photo shows;

David Burrowes MP, Ruth Deech, Dave Percival, Harry Benson & Richard Kane

Marriage. The hot topic of the day!

images-1Launch Events

On the 6th I fly out to Budapest to speak at the launch of Marriage Week Hungary.  The team are especially excited this year as they have the Hungarian equivalent of Richard & Judy to be the patron’s of their Marriage Week, alongside the First lady.   Returning on the 7th I go straight to the Palace of Westminster for the UK launch of Marriage Week.  I will be speaking about the importance of vows in relationships.  Other speakers are; Harry Benson from The Marriage Foundation, Baroness Ruth Deech DBE, and Dave Percival from www.2-in-2-1.co.uk .  Especially interesting will be the unpacking of our big idea for 2014, which is a genuine World record attempt!

Screen Shot 2013-02-05 at 20.12.21On the 10th I leave for Bratislava to speak at their launch event.  They sent me the schedule yesterday which is; “Regarding Your program schedule in Bratislava, we have invitation for radio discussion (Slovak State Radio Regina) at 8 AM to 9 AM, press conference 10 AM to 12 AM at mayor office, lunch with First Lady Silvia Gasparovicova, deputy mayor and some parliament members, church leaders and Marriage Week team at 12.30, open end. Is it OK?”.

Then on the 12th, onwards to Germany where I will be speaking at the media launch for Marriage Week in Saxony. Home on the 14th.  Both Germany and Slovakia have done so well with Marriage Week, attracting amazing levels of support.  I have really wanted to support them for some time, so this is a great opportunity to do so.  In Germany alone last year they had 3,000 volunteers lead 1000 events in 500 cities attracting 30,000 participants.  I return to Germany the week after and then later in the month I am in Bulgaria.  New nation’s doing Marriage Week this year are the Bahamas and a pilot project in Israel.

Burning legs and raspy breath, it’s Verbier!

IMGA0049Is Verbier all it’s cracked up to be?  Well it depends how addicted you are to zooming down motorway pistes, as opposed to cracking into those hairy long black, unpisted, mogully runs.

Click here for little powder crash film

I like both, although I have to confess that after a few hours of zooming about M5 style, I do get a tad wanton for a bit of hairy scary of piste, popping into the forest kind of adventure skiing, where you don’t really know where you will have to turn next, finally, dropping back on to the piste with burning legs and raspy breath.  Verbier offers both, so for me it’s a brilliant place.  I know everyone moans because the old car park is now a building site, but I don’t care about that.

We took a flight with EasyJet from Bournemouth to Geneva, hired a car from Holiday Autos stopping at the supermarket on the way.  With luggage, three pairs of skiis and food for a week, the guys literally couldn’t move in the car, nor could they see each other at all.  I was the only driver, because they wanted an extra 10 Francs per day for a second driver, and I have annual excess insurance anyway. Our holiday auto’s car was fitted with winter tyres, and an ominous looking pack of snow chains in the boot (I hate snow chains).

The first day was 100% white out, so I thought cosy fire day.  However, the other guys were so hungry for snow, they forced me to go with them.  First big crash occurred when I missed the piste completely and skied straight of a rocky outcrop into thin air, down into a massive powder bowl.  Irritatingly, physics still apply even when you cannot see anything.  Did a sort of head over heels, and then dug myself out of volumous amounts of soft light powder, we laughed but it took ages to get back somewhere close to a skiable area.

The weather improved nicely and we did almost the entire system, including the deliciously long Mont Fort into Nandez run.

Having spent a few days in December with Snow Vole’s Bloggers trip to the French alps, one would expect that I would be curious to compare the luxury and friendliness of snow chateaux with the coziness of our self catering flat.  I like both actually, and truth is I don’t really care what it is, so long as the snow is sweet and the sky is blue.

Finally, we did have an epic gangnam style video shoot at night and yes I do have the raw footage, but at present it’s staying (especially the lift bit) un edited, as they say “what happened in Verbier, stays in Verbier”.