Well, obviously if I’m putting quotes around “doesn’t work,” it means my advice really does work – and powerfully! But I get it: what if you take the initiative during a moment of high tension to be calm and caring, but they still keep coming at you like a wild man or woman? Don’t worry – just be patient, and watch this video…you’ll get it! If you are reading this from the blog front page, click the title of this article, or else just click this link right here…
When squabbles come up between you and your partner, are you a straight-talking truth-teller? Or is that just how you rationalize being mean? There is a better way, you know: you can actually handle these scenes in a way that brings you closer together, instead of creating a rift! If you are on this blog’s front page click the title of this article to watch the video, or else just click this link.
OK, my title sounds pretty dubious – do you like the picture? – but no matter who you are, if you’re stressed out in your relationship, and you watch the video, you will know I speak only Truth about your problem – and the solution! If you are on the front page of the blog, click on this article’s title for the video, or else just click here to watch it.
Here is the gentle truth about sexual performance anxiety – I send this video with love and care, and hopeful blessings for you! If you are on this blog’s front page click on this article’s title, or else just click this link…
You love each other – so why is it so weird? This could be the key….if you are on the blog front page, click on this article’s title to get to the video page, where you can click this link…
I wish I didn’t see this so often with couples – one partner feels the other is just way too anxious or insecure – and they’re sick of it! But no matter how much of a “good guy” or gal they think they’ve been, it is almost ALWAYS the case that they haven’t worked as deeply as they think…if you’re on this blog’s homepage with all the other articles, first click on the title of this article – then once you’re one the page where this article is all by itself, you will be able to click this link to watch the video
One of the biggest challenges couples face is: how to talk about “eggshell” topics – those topics that you can’t discuss without fighting, or hurting feelings, or getting defensive – topics that one way or another, whenever you approach them, you both ending up feeling like crap about the relationship…
Topics like: in-laws and relatives and friends you disagree on; past hurts, or future plans; personal hygiene, kids – and of course, money…you avoid these topics, yet they simmer unspoken beneath the surface; live-wire obstacles to real trust and intimacy and fulfillment.
That’s why there shouldn’t be ANY “eggshell” topics in your relationship at all – and I promise you it can be done –
But for now, let’s just address how to actually have a breakthrough, and be able to discuss these “eggshell” topics in a new way.
First, you must understand why the topics are “eggshell” in the first place: it’s not just because you disagree with each other; it’s because you actually don’t feel safe with each other. Deep in your subconscious, you are both afraid that, because you feel differently about a topic, your partner will reject you – a painful experiences we avoid at all costs.
In fact, what you are both really avoiding is the need to change. Depending on who is “more” responsible for the particular situation, this change can take many forms – but at its core, it means a change in how you relate to each other. It means discussing “eggshell” topics in a way that both of you end up actually feeling closer and more loving with each other – better, not worse, about the relationship.
Topics are “eggshell” because they trigger negative emotions – and negative emotions make you both feel unsafe. This means that the art of discussing them successfully is, instead, to trigger positive emotions. This is not only easier than it sounds, it is actually one of the highest blessings of a relationship – the feeling that you are safe with each other no matter what comes up between you.
To do this, you must powerfully create a certain feeling between you – otherwise, the negative emotions will take on a life of their own. This requires that you speak to each other in a very special way. And since you are the one who is taking the lead on it, at first, only you will know how to do this – which you demonstrate by example.
So here are five basic steps to discussing “eggshell topics:
Look into your heart and find the place that appreciates your partner, that is grateful for their being in your life. Find everything you love and honor and respect about them – all of their best qualities, all the ways you have known them to be good and kind and smart and terrific, as human beings, as your best friend and lover, perhaps as a parent. Really connect with this knowing within you.
Approach your partner and tell them that you love them. Tell them specific things you love about them. Tell them how grateful you are that they are in your life.
While holding this attitude of love and care – this reality – in your heart and mind, tell your partner that there is something that you want to talk about. Say that – so far – it feels like the two of you can’t talk about it without feeling uncomfortable, but you want to be able to talk about anything and still feel the love between you. Say that no matter what they say, you respect how they feel, and you love them. But you have to be able to talk about this topic, and there are things you want to say as well. Tell them you are willing to change and compromise and care about everything they have to say, to make sure they feel totally safe and loved by you no matter what, every step of the way – but also, this thing needs to be talked about – and you love them (you say again).
Empathize with their point of view: in other words, put into words how their point of view would make sense from their perspective: “I know you work hard for the money and it doesn’t seem like a reasonable purchase” “I know you don’t want to start a fight with your mother by not going” “I know how you must be so tired that you’re not even thinking about putting down the toilet seat” – then say, “But this is hard for me because…” and state your side of it. THEN say “I don’t care about being right, I just want us to figure out a way we can compromise on this and both feel great about our relationship and each other and the whole situation – and I love you!”
Throughout the conversation, keep telling them that you love them. That you support them. That you are so grateful they are in your life. Touch them gently, with love. Insert compliments into the conversation – things you love, admire, respect, and appreciate about them.
THE POINT IS NOT TO MANIPULATE – IT IS TO BE AS SINCERE AS POSSIBLE!
None of this is manipulative – it is caring about the fact that they don’t feel safe with the topic, so you are creating the space of safety for both of you. This is not “fake” because, well, if you don’t feel this way towards them, then why are you in the relationship?
No matter what they say, keep affirming how much you love and appreciate them.
There are many versions of “eggshell” topics, and this is just a basic overview of a general approach. It’s a radical way, and you have to be open-minded…but remember, conversation with your partner is just like sex: there is nobody looking but the two of you, so don’t try to be “cool”, instead care and connect and support each other, and then only magic will happen.
If it is hard to picture or understand what I have described here – or if you think that it is “just not you” – then I assure you, I can help you find the version of this approach that “is” you.
The big secret is: when you both feel completely safe with each other – all the eggshell topics will disappear – there will truly be nothing that you are uncomfortable talking about, and no problems you can’t solve together.
And when you have a relationship where you can talk about anything at all, you are both set free to become the man or woman you have always wanted to be – and to create the relationship with each other that both of your hearts have always longed for.
Please contact me with any questions or comments – this is all Truth, and I am here to help you with it.
If there is tension and fighting between you and your partner, this video will help you understand, in ways you may not have understood before, the effects on teens and kids. If you’re on the front home page of my blog, click on the title of this article. Or if you’re already on the single page for this article, here’s the link right here : How Parents Fighting Affects Teens and Kids
What does a healthy relationship look like?
This is one of the most-asked questions on the internet – which means that millions of people don’t know if they are doing it “right.”
Maybe you think you are “supposed to” hold hands all the time, and gaze into each other’s eyes, and make each other laugh, and have passionate sex every night – but instead:
“We never even see each other, and when we do we just watch tv and read without talking to each other – that can’t be right!”
Maybe your relationship feels right – but it doesn’t “look” right:
“We sleep in separate beds – is that OK?”
Or perhaps your relationship “looks” perfect, but you are unhappy anyway:
“We have great jobs and our kids are high achievers – is it me? I’m just screwed up, right?”
Or maybe…your relationship feels and looks totally wrong:
“We hate each other, hahaha!” –
Or else you are alone, and don’t want to be, but you’ve never even been in a “healthy” relationship, and even though you long to create one, you don’t even know where to begin –
Or – my last example here – are you confused because you have a relationship where the good seems so good, but the bad seems so bad…and your inner (subconscious) and outer (environmental) voices are so…conflicted…that you are blocked from even knowing the truth of your own heart…
(Where the answer shines on as it always has…)
So let’s make this very simple –
Are you ready?
Here it is:
– Your relationship is healthy if you are truly, deeply fulfilled by it.
– Your relationship is healthy if, despite how hard and lousy it feels sometimes, you and your partner are consciously working together to create that reality of being truly, mutually, deeply fulfilled.
The whole reason to be in a relationship is to be truly and deeply fulfilled – any attempt to create a healthy relationship must start with this understanding, this goal, and work backwards.
It’s not that you will feel this all the time – at first – but rather:
That you are both committed to creating a relationship that does indeed fulfill both of you. When pursued with devotion, this intention (and the actions it inspires) will actually create a relationship where you are deeply fulfilled all the time….as your definition of what fulfillment really means evolves along with your own maturity…
The state of being “truly, deeply fulfilled” is an experience that only you can judge – and getting to this state is a journey of self-discovery. That means that as you get to know yourself better, you might discover that some things you thought you needed actually do not really fulfill you…
For example, many men and women have a “checklist” of what they want in a partner – a certain profession, a look, a talent, a certain income level or social status – and rejoice when they find the partner who meets these specifications…. but after a few years, this checklist often leaves them feeling empty…unfulfilled….
Another common example is sexual chemistry – the sex is hot at the beginning, but after a few years of marriage, that heat, and/or the connection it once inspired, seems to vanish, leaving both partners feeling lost, wondering what happened….(don’t get me wrong – you can have amazing sex all your lives with that same partner – as long as the nature of that experience changes and evolves while you both mature together…but that is another topic…)
Notice that when I use the words “truly and deeply fulfilled,” I am describing an internal state of being – an experience that has nothing to do with external circumstances.
It comes when both partners make sacrifices for the relationship – and at a very deep level, those sacrifices fulfill them far more than actually getting “their way” – because they are instead creating something new and special –
Building a house of love…
And nothing makes them happier than to care for their partner’s heart…
When both partners live in generous joyful surrender to each other, both partners end up getting everything they really want anyway…and the things that seemed so upsetting, things they thought they “needed,” simply lose all their urgency and fall blissfully away….
It is possible to feel very “fulfilled” in a relationship for stretches at a time – when you are making love, perhaps, or sharing a particular experience – but then that feeling disappears, and you feel unhappy…in such a case, the “fulfillment” is more of an emotion-
And I am not talking about emotions here, which come and go and have no long-term reality if one is committed to personal growth.
Again, our goal is a state of being that you share with each other:
Truly, deeply fulfilled. This state of being is dependent on the quality of connection you create with each other: a shared experience of care, and safety, and warmth, and support, and trust, and interest, and intimacy, and connectedness…
You know if these words describe your relationship.
And if they do not, you also have a sense that it may be possible to achieve this state, if both of you want to do the work. All it takes is for both you and your partner to be clear that this is what you want – and to be sincere in your commitment to doing what it takes to get there.
This is the work I do with couples all the time – and when that breakthrough comes, it is a beautiful thing!
So wipe away all the pictures of who you “should” be, all the checklists, and all the voices you’ve internalized and adopted and mistaken as your own…all voices of other people (even your current partner) – telling you what’s right for you….
Trust yourself. Remember how to really see.
Ask yourself the question once more: what does a healthy relationship look like?
Open the eye of your heart.
Don’t buy into the lie that you can never really know if you can totally trust your partner – you absolutely can create this state of complete trust between you.
This article will help you build unshakeable, rock-solid trust in your relationship- the kind where you both know that you would never hurt or betray each other, or be selfish, or unkind.
Come on: anything less than total emotional trust feels like crap – and your relationship is not supposed to feel like crap! (even though lots of couples live that way anyway. But that doesn’t mean that you should.)
Trust means emotional safety – and that’s the whole point of a committed intimate relationship. Without total trust, the relationship never becomes truly and deeply fulfilling.
So how do you get there?
I’ll give you a few simple rules.
RULE #1: No “Eggshell” Topics
This means that absolutely no topics are off-limits to comfortable, loving discussion.
Not in-laws or family, not hygiene, not bathroom habits – not any of each other’s habits! – not sex, not kids, not the past, the future, or the present. In fact, the whole relationship basically breaks down at the point where the two of you can’t – comfortably and lovingly – discuss any topic.
Learning how to easily discuss “eggshell” topics is a skill set that can save your relationship. It is a topic all its own that I will address in other posts, but for now you must identify what these topics are –
And commit within yourself to learning how to talk about them – always and only with sincere care and respect for each other!
RULE #2: Never Put Down Your Partner
The truth is that your partner may do or say things that are stupid, selfish, mean, frustrating, time-wasting, unattractive, or that even seem repulsive to you either morally or aesthetically – AND YET – you are still not allowed to put them down for it –
Does that mean you have to accept words and actions that are totally unacceptable? NO!
It means that you learn the skill of drawing boundaries for what you will not accept without de-valuing them as a human being – here’s what that means:
There is a huge difference between communicating to your partner (with your words or your energy) “That thing you just did or said sucks – but I still support you” vs. “That thing you just did or said sucks, and so do you!”
It’s the attitude behind your words and actions that matter!
Look: the basic assumption behind any trusting relationship is that both of you are basically good people who make lots of mistakes, like everybody else – like you yourself, right?
And just like you want to feel safe to make mistakes – and just like you want to hear constructive criticism so you can improve yourself, without feeling judged or put down – you are responsible for extending that same form of safety to your partner.
RULE #3: Stay Connected by Talking, Touching, Texting – and doing nice things.
In a trusting relationship you never have to wonder what your partner is thinking or feeling – because they are always telling you, and showing you – and you are doing the same!
There is nothing sweeter.
The whole reason you are in a relationship is because you want a partner, right? A combination of best friend and lover, where you journey with each other to discover the best life you can live, and the best version of yourself you can be.
This happens by connecting: talking, touching, texting, doing nice things for each other, asking each other questions, sharing thoughts and feelings and experiences together.
I get it: you might be at the point in your relationship where this all sounds great in theory, but you may not be sure how to actually create it in your life.
Don’t worry – this kind of connection can be created, even if it seems out of reach at the moment. You first must decide that you want it, and then resolve to learn how.
Creating this kind of connection is a skill that can be learned, which I will address in detail in other posts. But for now, you simply need to understand that this dynamic is necessary to create trust in a relationship – and then resolve within yourself to learn how.
Keep an eye peeled to this blog for me to get very specific and go into more details about exactly how to create this trust – and of course, if you think you need some more personal help – just get in touch with me – I’ll show you how!
Let me hear from you with questions or comments!