Specialist Counsellor CCSA

• Business • Relationships • Sport • Youth ...on all facets of life


Now, I enjoy braaing or, as the foreigners would say, having a barbeque, but I must confess that I am not skilled at making good fires. It is either too hot or it starts to die on me.

On a cold winters evening there is nothing as warm, cozy and romantic as a great big wood fire burning away, warming the whole place and making everybody feel, safe and comfortable.

A braai is always a nice social event, with a fire going, everybody standing around enjoying it and chatting away, laughing and nobody worrying about their tax or problems. “Why,” you and I ask?

Because the fire is creating the atmosphere of laughter, smiles and jokes flying around. There is a buzz, and if you want to keep the atmosphere, make sure the fire is burning even after the meat and food is done. Even a weekend away camping, after supper a nice big bon fire is beautiful. You can cuddle up with your loved one and not say a word yet love is in the air.

Some years ago Patsy and I went to a braai. It was a lovely home in a beautiful setting. With the fires going and everyone standing around talking and braaing, not all had cooked their meat yet when the fire started going out. The host and his friends tried everything to get it going but to no avail. Eventually, there were about three coals left. One of the guests came forward and said, “Let me try”. The first thing he did was move everybody away from the fire so that he had room to work with no interference. He then took a small spade and gently started moving ashes and dead coals away until the area around the coals was clean. No, he didn’t kill the coals and start a new fire; he took a piece of wood and an axe and started cutting small pieces of wood which he placed gently on the three remaining coals. He stepped back, bent forward and started blowing gently on the coals until the  wood started burning and in no time the fire was at full strength. Wow, what a story! But doesn’t this remind you of relationships and marriages in general?  The minute the fire starts dying and there are only two or three coals left we kill the love coals and move on to another relationship where you think the fire is burning.

 One of the reasons I believe the love fires die is because they were never set alight on the right foundation and by that I mean sex.  Sex is not a foundation that can keep love fires going it is based on feelings and thrills. Part of the real foundation is love, trust, commitment, caring and sharing till death us do part.

 Here are some tips on getting that dying fire in your relationship back on track:

(The first thing the man did when he was going to revive the coals was move the people away so they couldn’t interfere with his restorations plan)                                                        

1 This is exactly what couples must do.  Don’t get everybody involved with your relationship they are not professional so whatever advice they give is out of sympathy or sentiment which is nice but not constructive.

(The second thing he did was he took a little spade and cleared all the dead coals and burnt wood and exposed the three burning coals.)

2 Once again this is what the couples must do. Take time with yourself and then with your partner and scratch away all your hurts and disappointments. Write notes to each other, not with e-mail or sms, I said, write a note, explain what is bothering you, and say sorry where necessary so that you can work with the “coals.” If you can’t sort it out on your own see a counselor.

(The third thing the man did was take a piece of wood and cut it into tiny pieces and placed them gently on the three coals and then blew on the coals.)

3 The tiny pieces of wood represent laughter.  One of my favourite songs says “I want to get drunk on your laughter.”  Wow! What a statement!  When last did this happen to you and your partner? Another piece of wood is respect and another is caring.  Love unconditionally.  I always say “Love is not just a feeling; it is also an act of our will.”

In closing I want to tell you something about a friend of mine who loves watches, he will buy a watch for R2000 and when he is finished bragging about it you would think it is worth R5000.  While listening to him I realized we have bragging right on our partners, how many times have you heard someone bragging about their partner?                            

 For Personal comments E-mail me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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