Ready to start feeding your STARVED relationship?

LET THE FEEDING BEGIN!

How STARVED is your relationship?

Every person has very basic needs that drive their health and happiness. Those needs are Safety, Trust, Appreciation, Respect, Validation, Encouragement and Dedication or as we call them, The STARVED Stuff. When these needs are met, your relationships thrive, when the needs aren’t met you feel STARVED. The general rule is that STARVED People, starve people. Are those needs being met in your relationship? Take a second and find out how STARVED you really are by taking our STARVED Quiz.

Start Feeding Your STARVED Stuff

Odds are you’ve already tried to feed your STARVED Relationship countless times with no real or lasting success. The problem isn’t usually a lack of trying, it's more a function of a lack of seeing and addressing the real problem. Like the quote, “Fish discover water last”, most of us humans are quite ignorant to what is behind our own patterns, reactions and distractions. Let us help you see your problems with a fresh set of eyes and a fresh set of tools. We can’t do it for you but we can do it with you. You really only have a couple of choices.

First Choice - Do Nothing

Continue to ride the roller coaster of the STARVED marriage hoping it will change somehow.

Second Choice - Do Something Different

Get help to immediately start to feed your STARVED Relationship.
Download the complete "Feeding the STARVED Relationship" Digital Program
Eleven hours of Dr. Matt's video coaching and content
Two - 100 page digital workbooks
Digital copy of Dr. Matt's book, Feeding the Starved Marriage (400 pages)
Set Up a Confidential Consultation with a TRC Certified Relationship Coach
This consultation will include the following:
A review of you and your partner’s completed 50 Point STARVED Spiral Survey and find out which of the 6 Starving Behaviors you and your partner are manifesting and a plan to start reversing the behaviors today. (The survey will be included when you purchase the consultation.)
A review of the “Smoky Issues” that are suffocating your marriage along with a specific breakdown of the actual STARVED Stuff most impacting your marriage.
You will each identify three specific solutions that you and your partner do to immediately begin feeding your marriage today.
Watch Matt's free webinar "Three Secrets to Feeding a STARVED Relationship"
One hour of free expertise and advice from Dr. Matt Townsend

Start Feeding Your Relationship MUNCHIES

Not all relationship are STARVED but they do all need attention, focus and intentional loving. So instead of letting your munchies slide into a full blown STARVED relationship problem, here are some very basic and intentional activities you can do to immediately begin to reconnect and bring the love back to your relationship.
Download the complete "Feeding the STARVED Relationship" Digital Program
Eleven hours of Dr. Matt's video coaching and content
Two - 100 page digital workbooks
Digital copy of Dr. Matt's book, Feeding the Starved Marriage (400 pages)
Make it a Date 
Begin watching Dr. Matt's targeted Date Night videos and learn how to feed each other in two hour bites
Watch Matt's free webinar "Three Secrets to Feeding a STARVED Relationship"
One hour of free expertise and advice from Dr. Matt Townsend
Read Dr. Matt's book, "Feeding the Starved Marriage"
Complete the activities at the end of each chapter
Go to Dr. Matt's Video Library
Watch free advice on every part of your marriage
Sign up for Dr. Matt's Facebook Page
Follow and receive regular ideas and tools to lift your love

Is Your Relationship in a STARVED Spiral?

Couples that are STARVED fall into a very typical pattern of “behaving badly”. I call the pattern the STARVED Spiral and it is made up of following six highly destructive behaviors: Selfishness, Reactivity, Polarization, Negativity, Hopelessness and Abandonment. What hurts couples most when they’re in spiral isn’t what their partner is doing to them but the fact that they are turning into a person that they don’t like. They don’t believe in being selfish, reactive or negative and yet they’re doing it, with someone they say the love.

How Deep Are You in the STARVED Spiral?

Selfishness - Are You and Your Partner Only Looking out for Yourself?

When people feel STARVED they tend to worry about one person, themselves. This self focused tendency is more a function of self protection than of intentionally trying to hurt their partner. They justify their actions by thinking, “If you’re not going to feed me, than I’ll feed myself. If you won’t meet my need, than someone or something will.” Selfishness in a relationship can manifest in hundreds of ways, from infidelity, to laziness, from over controlling behaviors to out right ignoring each other’s needs and wants. It usually comes in excesses and generates the impetus or cause of future ineffective relating behaviors. In the end, when people are acting selfishly and only protecting themselves, no one is protecting the relationship.

Reactivity - Are You and Your Partner Reacting More and More to Each Other?

Reactivity is when we make decisions in our relationship based more on our moods, circumstances and situations instead of based on our highest values and beliefs. Reactive people create reactive relationships! Reactivity can be seen in relationships when someone is easily angered, if they worry constantly, rolls their eyes when offended, or is quick to jump to conclusions. An excellent example of what happens with reactivity in the real world is effectively demonstrated with a bottle of Coca Cola. If I shake the bottle and hand it to you to open it would you? Would you do everything to avoid it, hand it off or handle it very, very carefully? When we shake a bottle of Coca Cola, we create a reaction and that reaction creates a response that we don’t trust. The same is true in our relationships. If you are married to more reactive person, and life shakes them up a bit, it creates a situation we don’t trust and that lack of trust affects how we have to interact with each other. Reactivity must be dealt with if we really want to reverse the STARVED Spiral.

Polarization - Do Little Issues Quickly Turn into Big Issues?

Do you notice that even the most insignificant issues and topics in your relationship can drive you and your partner into a pattern of arguing and/or withdrawing? The number one complaint of couples who are entering into marriage counseling is the fact that they can't communicate about their problems. Nothing impacts relationships more negatively than the inability to talk through your most difficult issues and concerns. What makes it even harder is the fact that when push comes to shove on issues, humans tend to defer to fight, flight or freeze patterns, instead of effective communication patterns. These patterns create polarization on every topic, leaving couples STARVED and on opposite ends of their issues. Although communication when STARVED is difficult, it can be learned and improved upon. It is important to recognize that having problems in your marriage is not a sign of a poor relationships, in fact, research shows that the healthiest couples have a healthy dose of conflict. The key is to effectively turn off the polarizing patterns and to turn toward each other and communicate through your STARVED Stuff.

Negativity - Do You Feel Everything You Do Is Wrong for Your Partner?

The deeper couples get into the STARVED Spiral the more likely they are to start start Negative Interpreting each other. Negative interpretation is not just that your partner is a pessimist or is negative but instead means that you may have a dangerous habit of twisting anything your partner does and turning it negative. Negative interpreters only collect the negative data about their partners and tend to overlook all of the good points. For example, If you were bitten by a rattlesnake in your garden, what are you looking for every subsequent time you go to your garden? Are you looking for beautifully ripe tomatoes and the budding roses? No, you’re looking for snakes! How does your mind and body react when you see the hose on the ground? Does it react like it’s a snake? That's how powerful our minds can be in our relationships too. Once you’ve been hurt by your partner, you look at them as a threat and negative interpreting ensures you’re always looking for the data that can hurt you. Negative interpretation can become one of the biggest killers of a relationship, however it can also be reversed if you’re willing to learn how. In order to stop the STARVED Spiral you have to stop the Negative Interpreting.

Hopelessness - After Feeling like You’ve Tried Everything Are You Giving up Hope?

After years of being in a STARVED relationship it’s natural for hopelessness to sink in. You feel like you’ve tried everything, from books, to podcasts, from Dr. Phil to your local fixes with church leaders and pastors. You’ve probably even attended some couple’s counseling sessions as well, in fact if we’re going by stats, you’ve may have tried two counselors a couple of times and in the end nothing really changes. One of the reasons that our typical responses tend to fail is because couples don’t ever really uncover their deeper STARVED Stuff. Then hopelessness settles in and you eventually start assuming that you’re either stuck and miserable or looking for hope in something or someone else. The biggest danger of being in the STARVED Spiral is the minute you give up hope that your relationship can’t be improved. It only takes one persona at first, to begin to make enormous change in the relationship and willingness to change for the better only makes that person better. Then with one person in a better place, they will have the power to stop being Selfish, Reactive, Polarizing, Negative, and Hopeless. They have then effectively stalled the STARVED Spiral and can now lead the relationship to a healthier outcome. It doesn’t always save marriages, it does however, save individuals from the negative effects of being STARVED.

Abandonment- Are You Looking for Ways to Get Out?

At the bottom of the starved spiral you begin to look for exit strategies to leave. The term we use to describe this is “shopping alternatives” and once you’re shopping other off ramps, you’re eventually going to find one. You may not start with overt actions but subtle ones like talking to others who support your desire and need to “get out” of the vicious cycle. Perhaps past friends and family members who have already gone through divorces of their own. Don’t assume that abandonment means that you are more likely to leave, because many people feel like they can’t leave their partner because of the impact it might have on kids, the social stigma of divorce or because the vows they took. But whether or not you get out of the relationship doesn’t mean “You’re In!” Couple’s that are nearing abandoning rewrite their history and love story. When talking about how they fell in love they retell the story in a more negative light. They make comments about how young they were, how immature and how little they knew about themselves and life. The question openly if they ever were in love. This tendency, although natural for STARVED couples is a sign that they need to do something quickly to make headway or they’re rewritten stories won’t be strong enough to hold the ground of their relationship. The most important fact for anyone to remember that is in the grips of abandoning thoughts is that you too are contributing to the STARVED Spiral in your marriage and before you decide to give everything up, first make sure you’ve corrected your behaviors in the spiral

Feeding the Starved Relationship FAQ’s

Couples that are STARVED fall into a very typical pattern of “behaving badly”. I call the pattern the STARVED Spiral and it is made up of following six highly destructive behaviors: Selfishness, Reactivity, Polarization, Negativity, Hopelessness and Abandonment. What hurts couples most when they’re in spiral isn’t what their partner is doing to them but the fact that they are turning into a person that they don’t like. They don’t believe in being selfish, reactive or negative and yet they’re doing it, with someone they say the love.

What Is the Feeding the Starved Marriage Program?

The Feeding the STARVED Relationship Program is a set of roughly 42 skills and tools that can be used to take a couple from a state of being STARVED with each other to a level of feeling fed and connected again. The program can be delivered in a variety of approaches to better suit your lifestyle and needs. It includes twelve hours of workshops focused on skills building which can be accessed both live in Utah or over delivered in a digital format so you can watch the videos from the comfort of your own home. Most couples also choose to engage one of our TRC’s Certified Relationship Coaches to help the couple’s practice and implement the skills and create a sense of accountability for the learning. Coaching sessions can be held in either face to face settings in Utah or more commonly over Facetime or Skype. The coaching sessions last 50 minutes and include time to follow up on weekly assignments, to identify what is working in the relationship, communication practice on real issues, rule setting and ritual making and assignments for the next session. Coaches usually hold 3 to 6 sessions with couples.

How Long Does the Feeding the Starved Relationship Program Usually Last?

How long your coaching sessions last is completely dependent upon your needs, issues and abilities as a couple. On average, our programs run from six to twelve weeks long. One reason we are able to have success so quickly is because of our proven process. Our clients usually have many hours learning skills and tools before practicing those skills with one of our TRC Certified Relationship Coaches. This combination of skills and practice creates a momentum of change on the real issues these couples are facing. That momentum creates confidence which allows you to use the skills more quickly in your everyday life without the coaches being involved. You can quickly see measurable change and are placed back on the path to a fulfilling relationship.

What If Our Relationship Is Just Too Far Gone, Too Damaged? Is the Program Even Worth It?

Yes!!! The Feeding the STARVED Relationship program is worth it regardless of how damaged you think your relationship is. In fact, it may be your only hope, because doing nothing will only keep getting you the same result you’ve been getting and ending your relationship still won’t teach you how to feed and grow a relationship when things are hard. Historically one third of the couples that take the Feeding the STARVED Relationship program are on the verge of divorce and 75% of those couples save their marriage. We’ve worked with dozens of couples who are in the middle of their divorces that have managed to learn new skills and adjust their negative patterns, and save their marriages. We suggest that before making the biggest decision to end your relationship, take a few months and see what the principles of Character, Communication, Companionship and Change can do for your relationship or more importantly, for you. In the end, these principles will either save your relationship (which they usually do) or they will help you to transition onto healthier future relationships. If you have kids, remember that just because your marriage ends, it doesn’t mean that your need to relate ends. Learning these skills together will help you two to navigate the enormous decisions that come with ending a marriage and will help you to be a better co parent.

What Types of Relationships Does the Program Help You to Feed?

All types! At Townsend Relationship Center we have coach literally all types of relationships from all backgrounds and abilities. Whether you are dating or married, divorcing or divorced, court ordered to get help, business partners or just trying to improve your own connection, we can help you improve how you interact. We also coach extensively on parenting relationships and business relationships. We have worked with divorced couples teaching them how to co-parent for the benefit of their children, and our coaches have extensive experience coaching in the business arena. Below is a list of other areas we have developed programs.
● Engaged couples
● Second marriages
● Struggling marriages
● Blended families
● Parent/child relationships
● Family dialogues or interventions.
● Struggling business partnerships
● Manager/employees breakdowns
● Service employee/customer team
Overall, we are willing to work with any relationship problem no matter what form it takes.

What If I Want to Do the Program but My Partner Doesn’t?

Actually this is a very common situation and you need not worry too much about it at first. We have experienced a considerable amount of success in our marriage coaching, even if there is just one spouse looking to improve. Obviously “two heads are better than one head” when working on relationship issues, but when that’s not possible, we’ve found that one head is better than none. Relationships are such that if one person makes significant changes then the relationship must change. That inevitable change is due to the fact that all relationships are systems, and if you change one part of the system, then other parts will be affected. This principle is self-evident when you think about how easily one partner in the relationship can mess things up with just one selfish or uncaring act. If one partner can so easily mess up the relationship, isn’t it also possible that one partner can just as easily improve the relationship if they’re focused on the right things? Our coaches help you examine your relationship as a system. Whether you are alone or together, they can specific guidance on how to begin to improve your interactions in an effort to deliver the results and peace you are looking for. They will also help you build your skills and confidence so you can know how to better work with your spouse and help them to help the relationship.

We’ve Already Been to a Couple of Marriage Counselors How Is This Going to Be Different?

One benefit of marriage coaching is the perceived definition. In a comparison of coaching versus therapy, there is a benefit to coaching because men typically feel that therapy is a much more “female” oriented process with lots of “touchy-feely talking.” Our research shows that men tend to respond better to the concept of coaching and they show significantly more willingness to get help from a coach than from a therapist. So before you come in alone, talk to your partner and test their response.

In coaching we also focus much more on skills than psychoanalysis, our primary desire is to help you dramatically improve the conditions of your relationships. With extensive experience in the game of relating, our coaches become a temporary partner in your relationship. We watch your relationships from the sidelines and analyze your interactions, quickly identifying disabling habits and patterns that you and your partner might not be able to see. Once the patterns are understood we work together to customize new ways for you to see your partner and cooperatively develop solutions and skills designed to get the results you desire. Ultimately the effectiveness of any coach is measured by only one thing…RESULTS.

Is the Feeding the Starved Relationship Program More or Less Expensive Than Counseling or Therapy? Is It Covered by Insurance?

Generally speaking, our coaching is the same hourly price as most established therapists or counselors. The difference comes in what you get for your money. In coaching you get so much more than traditional therapy. Coaching sessions are usually longer than therapy and involve significantly more skill building exercises than therapy. Because coaches are really marriage educators, you receive considerably more tools, skills, materials, skill practice and goal setting activities than with a therapist.

As coaching is still a relatively new specialty, we are not yet covered by insurance providers, which means that potentially more of the money has to come out of pocket. This has turned out to be positive because we’ve found that most couples who pay for their coaching out of pocket are considerably more committed to the process and more willing to make it work, than those who have no financial commitment to coaching. Another reality of insurance is generally only individual therapy is covered and not marriage counseling. Insurance limits the number of sessions you can have without paying for it out of pocket to six 50-minute sessions. That’s less time than our coaches spend working to improve your marriage.


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Dr. Matt Townsend