You might have noticed that I publish articles on partnership on my women’s blog from time to time. My readers often give me feedback along the lines of: “Why should it always be the woman who works on a partnership? It’s time for men to do something!”

Yes, I understand the frustration! And NO, I do not like thoughts like: “If you don’t do anything for our relationship, I won’t do anything either!”

In my opinion, it should not matter who takes the first step to examine, clarify or start a constructive change in a troubled relationship. In many cases, it is us women! Of course, we cannot sort out a partnership without our husbands and partners. We should, at least, know what makes a relationship happy and fulfilling again.

Therapists, who work with couples in their practice, could fill libraries with their experiences. Some actually write books with their tips. For example the German psychotherapist Hans Jellouschek.


According to Jellouschek, a positive basic attitude is one of the key pillars of a happy relationship. This attitude should exist in every partnership anyway, but in the course of time, with many couples, it diminishes. Whereas, a positive atmosphere, is mainly a matter of course, at the beginning of a relationship, when partners are convinced they are the perfect match, many couples have to make a conscious effort to improve their relationship after some time.

The enthusiasm about a partner decreases over time, as more and more characteristics appear which do not seem thrilling. Later this may become breeding ground for unhappiness, stress and arguments in relationships.


Therefore, it needs conscious perception and counteraction to make room for genuinely positive energy in a partnership, where negative moods are slowly taking over. The first step is honest communication and positive feedback, such as, “I like your reliability”, or “I like your laugh!” or “I am so happy you are part of my life.” This sort of communication often happens on a nonverbal level, through a smile, a touch, looks and gestures.


And now I would like to approach a topic which I have already mentioned in another article, the gender-specific differences between men and women in communication. Evidence shows that verbally expressed positive feelings have a much bigger impact on women than men. On the other hand, a lack of verbally expressed demonstrations of love by men is interpreted as a lack of love by women. In reality, this is not a real indicator of their love, but a lack of male ability to communicate.

As long as we try to make each other’s lives as pleasant, beautiful and enjoyable as possible, there will be a positive basic atmosphere in our relationships. This includes positive feedbacks which encourage, strengthen or please the partner.

I will write about another pillar of a happy relationship at a later time. In the meantime we can – together with our partner – care for positive energies in our relationship.



In these times of ‘anything-is-possible-if you-really-want-it’ there are numerous offers, aiming to lead women to their own femininity. But, unfortunately, some of them lead nowhere. Why? Because women who look for their femininity by concentrating on external matters, trying to express their femininity with frills will never find their path. They remain on the surface instead of entering a deep inner process.


More than ever, a huge sector of industry benefits from mistaken femininity these days. Fashion and cosmetic companies, beauty surgeons, and fitness gurus, direct the lives of many women every day, trying to tell them what they should look like, and what they should do (meaning what they should buy) to appear more attractive, and feminine, to other women (rivals), and men (prospective partner or playmate).

But genuine femininity has nothing to do with pretty dresses; even with women’s self-discovery courses, with women’s business, cosmetics, jewellery, sexy lingerie or so-called arts of seduction.

Because femininity is:

  • Not an attitude to life
  • not belonging to the female sex,
  • not a conscious decision to be a woman,
  • not emancipation
  • not a special orientation.

Real femininity is a primal force, an elemental essence, a certain inner awareness which women are naturally equipped with. However, it has been hidden and covered up by the mistaken image of femininity our society tries to promote.


Our generation is living in times of great illusion and self-deception. The virtual world around us strengthens the belief that we women have to present ourselves as even better and more beautiful than we naturally are. Just think of digital techniques. We can alter photos, get rid of wrinkles, and fat, before we post them on Facebook and other social media networks. Or, before we attach them to our letters of application, or upload them on online dating-services.

The Swiss author Maitreyi D. Piontek has got to the heart of this mistaken femininity. She says that women spray themselves with artificial pheromones, enlarge their breasts with silicon, inject Botox under their skins, or spice themselves up with drugs. [1] Of course, this is not applicable to all women, but globally there is a strong tendency in this direction.


Spirituality has not necessarily to do with religion; nor with belief, esoteric, meditation, yoga, tantra, alleged dual souls, Bach flowers, or healing stones. Because, also spirituality is something like an elemental essence which we women naturally bear inside. No matter whether we are aware of it, or not, our mind rejects it, or not. Femininity and spirituality are like two sisters who are close.

In trying to escape from the spiritual-commercial labyrinth, in which many women have trapped themselves in a search for their femininity, it needs courageous women, women …

  • who walk their individual path,
  • who want to get in contact with their feminine soul again,
  • who want to abandon the commercial woman,
  • who want to rediscover their spirituality, and live their femininity.

Let’s return to the widespread belief that you have to work hard, and train long, to gain more femininity. The fallacy is that neither spirituality, nor femininity, can be assimilated, or trained, with special exercises. Women carry femininity and spirituality deep inside. It is more about freeing ourselves from old, rigid layers of mistaken femininity.


There are various ways to rediscover and live your own femininity. It needs a genuine desire and an honest self-responsibility because …

  • old clichés have to be abandoned,
  • male and female polarities have to be recognized,
  • the female roots have to be discovered,
  • emotional injuries have to be healed,
  • and female healing has to be allowed.

You can imagine how important it is that, particularly now, many women care about their ‘female return home’. But it is even more important that YOU start finding, and living, your individual path.

[1] Piontek, Maitreyi. D.: Weibliches Manifest, München 2009, S. 25.



No, I do not want to use the usual clichés! Yes, I would like to make us women aware that most of the men are different to us women. It is important to recognize these differences, understand and accept them. Just like Yin and Yang – the female and the male – are contrary but are part of a whole, we people are the same. And although we women sometimes wonder, or are angry, about the strange behaviour of our men, we should be aware that there are not only physical, but also mental and emotional differences, between men and women.


Many men have been brought up to suppress their feelings; the exceptions are anger and fury. They have been told to remain controlled or relaxed in difficult, or dangerous, situations. Their fathers, and other men, show them verbally, and non-verbally, that to show feelings is a sign of weakness.

Therefore, as soon as they are adult, they find it hard, when their wives demand to know how they are, and what they are feeling. However, the majority of women want to talk about feelings openly. This is why it is hard for them when communication about feelings with their partner proves to be tough and tiresome. And is probably quickly concluded.

Women react to tense and challenging situations emotionally, whereas men might only shrug their shoulders, not feeling like talking about the topic at hand. This is why some men occasionally think women have more emotional problems than they actually have. Simply because women approach these subjects, and they don’t.


Anne Moir and David Jessel, the authors of ‘Brain Sex’ claim that women have a more efficiently organized language centre than men. It is situated at the front of the left brain hemisphere, whereas the same functions in the male brain are located in the front and back of the brain. They think this is the reason why men don’t like to talk about feelings as much as women do.

Anyway, studies show that women not only express their own feelings better, but also perceive other people’s emotions better than men. In tests where they had to recognize feelings from photos, they scored much better than their male counterparts. They also perceive the emotional content of a brief conversation better than men.

Maybe we should remember these innate (and possibly strengthened through education) differences, before we next ask our loved ones the unpopular question, “What do you feel at the moment?”.

A series of blogs for women which can help us to see men with new eyes, and understand them (even better). If you want to know more on this topic, I recommend the book ‘You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation’ by Deborah Tannen



The RESTLOS GLÜCKLICH looks like a typical Berlin in-restaurant: damaged walls and tables in retro-look. Menus handsomely written on black slate boards, by Anette Keuchel, reveal what chef Daniel is just preparing in the kitchen: beetroot soup, homemade gnocchi in parsnip and carrot sauce, avocado chocolate brownies, with banana and soya mayo. (1)

The 39 year-old Berliner avoids wasting food both in her private and professional life. Some weeks ago, with others she opened Berlin’s first leftover restaurant. She only uses food that has been rejected by supermarkets, or farmers: crooked carrots, speckled bananas, or apples with blemishes.

The expression ‘food from rubbish’ makes her feel uneasy as she is aware that companies which she cooperates with do not voluntarily dispose of the food, and look for constructive solutions. For her it is very important not only to save food in her project, but also to make people rethink. Because, only in Germany, about 18 million tons of food end up in the rubbish every year, 7.2 tons from private households.

In RESTLOS GLÜCKLICH guests can experience how accidentally purchased and happily mixed together ingredients make delicious meals. Anette hopes to influence her customers positively. Maybe people are encouraged to be more aware when they choose their next purchase, or develop more creativity when looking in the fridge the next time.

Incidentally, Anette’s idea is the result of a holiday in Denmark. She discovered the restaurant RUB & STUB in Copenhagen which used food that otherwise would only have decayed. With friends and activists from the food-sharing scene she developed a business plan, and started a crowdfunding-campaign.

This inspirational woman herself still works part-time as a foreign language correspondent. Only the chef Daniel, the manageress, and the event manager, are employed full time. Everybody else works there in a voluntary capacity. If you want to change the world you need enthusiasm and passion. And that type of person is on the increase. Even if pessimists suggest otherwise.

Anette Keuchel, 39, opened the first German leftover restaurant in Berlin-Neukölln, the ‘Restlos glücklich’ (Kienitzer Str. 22).  The mother of two daughters (aged three and seven) works there in a voluntary capacity alongside her part-time job as a foreign language correspondent. What she most enjoys is serving at tables and chatting with the guests.

(1) I discovered Anette Keuchel – along with other amazing women who change the world – in the magazine BRIGITTE (19/2016). Photo: abendblatt-berlin.de