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
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.
Do you love or hate the holiday season?
That might depend on what’s happening with your spouse or lover, right?
If you’re married or with a partner but you still feel empty and unfulfilled, then the holidays are just a swamp of piled-on activities, plodding tasks, pressures, expectations, and overlapping dramas – and it all feels so….mandatory, and inconvenient, and intrusive.
Is that you?
If your holidays are a stressful slog, but you can’t put your finger on the problem – well, I just might know:
It could be that you’re hooked on the stuff, and you don’t even know it – and this hidden addiction is all that stands in your way, between you and the holiday spirit.
Here are the facts you need:
Dopamine is a brain chemical that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers; it also helps regulate emotional responses.
So when you’re longing for something, or even just wanting – a toy, a sushi roll, a social interaction, a loving touch – that whole process consists of flooding your brain with dopamine:
First the neediness, then the anticipation, and then finally: the attaining…getting a present, expecting a phone call…planning for sex…
These endless perpetual overlapping cycles self-generate all day and all night, through even the most mundane life activities.
Social media is a perfect example: whenever you keep checking your phone compulsively for new messages, or “likes,” or just scroll endlessly looking for something interesting – that’s you fiending for that dopamine “hit.”
In other words, dopamine is associated with addiction: the whole compulsive activity-reward-activity-reward-over-and-over mindless wanting…and you probably know that once the addictive cycle starts, it takes more and more to satisfy that endless black hole…
But even more importantly, this whole dopamine cycle isn’t just about the moment of reward – it includes the “build-up” as well: the act of driving to the “reward’s” location, or preparing the food before you eat it; of taking the works out of the secret drawer; of getting your chips and claiming your seat at the slot machine…or of looking down at your phone before you pick it up to check it….
In other words, not living in the “now” but in the future…and then – once the reward is delivered – experiencing sensation as a form of absence – an escape from being fully present and alive, letting this autonomous dopamine process take on a soul-destroying life of its own – again, not really being “now.”
But what does this have to do with you, and the holidays, and your love relationship?
Our society, our culture, has trained us to base our sense of fulfillment, of “rightness” on external phenomenon: on acquiring experiences and objects, on checking items both big and small off the list…
The stuff of life, right?
No – the stuff of living.
One of my great teachers, Barry Long, often spoke of the difference between living and life.
Living is activity. But life is love:
Love as fully present consciousness. Love as your nature, your essential state of being.
Love as the energy and the stillness that you and your partner share with each other, through expressions of touch and vocal tones, and radiating energy of attention, and awareness, and admiration, and appreciation.
All the holiday gatherings, all those to-do lists, and activities – if your life is full of them, but you do not feel the love inside of you, glowing peaceably like a pilot light – then you are stuck on a cycle of positive or negative reward that will endlessly occupy you but never truly fulfill you –
Even if your partner is right by your side the whole time.
And so right now, you need to call or text or grab your partner and say “Thank you for being in my life! I love you!” And from there keep opening more deeply, more sincerely, then ever before…
If this is something that is hard or unusual for you, then try this:
Think of a way that you love, or admire, or respect, or are grateful for your partner…find the place within you that feels that way…and speak from that place, put it into words:
“I am so thankful that you…”
“That is so cool that you…”
“That is so awesome that you…”
And feel the real feelings – the vulnerability, perhaps the awkwardness, perhaps the melting away of your hard defenses…
Touch them from that place, be with them in that space…
But if this is something you simply cannot comfortably do, please know that you will find the solution to feeling unfulfilled when you are ready to take the inner journey to create this connection with your partner, which is a process that people like me can help you with…
And which starts when you find the real love that is hidden like a treasure within your being – the deepest truth of who you are…
Which is also something I can help you with…
And when you find this, then all the infinite spinning hamster wheels, of dopamine-seeking, and never-quite-rewarding rewards, will break down and burn in the fire of your freedom, and wash far away in the ocean of love…
Meanwhile all the pressures and strains of the holiday season will dissolve in the light of your radiant essence…as sex becomes, not an activity in the future that you need, but an expression, in the now, of the living love that you always feel within…and that you and your partner share each moment, always together, even when physically separate…
If you think you are dealing with sexual issues in your relationship, guess what: your issues are really much deeper than sex.
However, they are showing up in your relationship in the form of sex.
For the purposes of this blog, let’s define “sexual issues” as: one or both of you are uncomfortable or unhappy with the sex in your relationship – too much, too little, or the energy and emotions just don’t feel right.
Solving these issues requires a new mindset: before reaching sexual solutions, you must first face the more basic issues that are expressing themselves – sexually – between the two of you. You must, with gentle courage, discover what they are, and walk through them in every aspect of your life together, because they are not going to go away otherwise.
Once you break through them, you will easily make love, in a natural and fulfilling way.
The issues that come up in sex therapy cut to the core of who you and your partner are as human beings, often in unexpected ways. They are often so painful or embarrassing to face that people are either in denial about them, or are simply unwilling to deal with them.
“Normal” men and women (as well as self-professed “freaks”) can deny how deep these wounds really go: their self-protecting ego is also self-sabotaging; it has grown too fearful and inflexible to let in the light, and so therefore:
The first, most basic and ESSENTIAL step to take when solving sexual problems is that you both resolve -within yourselves – to be unconditionally kind, caring and patient with each other, while you work through these issues.
If this is hard for you – if you are impatient or fed up or too uncomfortable to deal – then this is your issue, that you are responsible for healing – if you want to redeem your relationship.
You don’t have to. You can do whatever you want. But if you want to create a healthy sexual relationship between you and your partner, you must sincerely work towards getting over yourself.
So does your partner – absolutely. But so do you – no matter what comes up.
Even if you feel like a victim – your partner feels like one too, I promise!
Don’t get me wrong: abuse is never, ever OK. If you need to get away from abuse, make that choice!
But if we’re really talking about bad habits – of thought as well as action – or a dynamic where the two of you are still calibrating your compatibility with each other (even if it’s been many years) –
Well of course that’s all got to change –
But such change only happens when both partners feel safe to share the truth of who they are.
It is very possible that deep down, your partner has issues with self-acceptance. They may even hate themselves – something they may not even admit to themselves. They may be projecting this self-loathing onto you, by treating you as if you are some kind of problem.
While conversely – maybe your sex life is forcing you to face ways that you don’t like yourself.
These are just a few examples of the kind of hidden dynamics that play out in a couple’s intimate relationship. The good news is that this space of intimacy and sexuality is the very place these issues can be healed and transformed.
However, the only way to heal these kinds of devastating wounds is through unconditional love and acceptance.
Not just kind in the bedroom, but in every aspect of your life together.
If a partner does not feel emotionally safe and connected outside of the bedroom, there is no way they can feel comfortable getting totally naked and vulnerable during sex. Even couples who have “successful” sex can be deeply unfulfilled if the underlying relationship issues remain unresolved.
So there is no room for judging or criticizing – only pure acceptance and support…for yourself, and for your partner, wherever you may be stuck now.
If you resist that idea, you must ask yourself why – are you just so sexually frustrated that you are out of patience? Do you feel like you have already tried over and over and are starting to lose faith that you can actually see results?
There is literally no chance of resolving sexual issues unless both partners feel emotionally safe with each other – no chance, in fact, of having a truly, deeply fulfilling relationship at all.
Give yourself the love and care you want from your partner. You deserve it! Lose the urgency, lose the despair – you have nothing but space and time to work through this. Have faith that however this situation resolves, it will ultimately leave you more comfortable in your own skin, more aligned with your true desires and needs, than even seems possible right now.
And then turn your thoughts to your partner…
Look into the depths of their being…(if you can’t do that, then we’re hitting the edge of the problem right there)…yes, look and ask yourself: if there is a special human soul, a hidden brighter light, shining behind wherever they are stuck, a light that can meet your needs….whether they are shut down or closed off or neurotic or anxious or mean or weird or fat or flabby or sad:
Do you see something deeper in them, a spirit on a journey, just like yourself, that wants to shine, and love, but hasn’t yet figured out how?
If so, then they are trapped by their own limitations just as you are trapped by their limitations – and of course, just as you are trapped by your own…
For at this moment in time, they are your reality – they are the life you have chosen and created for yourself. The life that you are responsible for.
And just as you are longing to shine your light, so are they –
Even if, for the moment, all you perceive is the shadow they cast…
But otherwise…ask yourself: If you could have a loving caring rock-solid physical connection with them – would you want that?
Not “do you believe you can right now,” but really, in a perfect world, if you knew you could – would you?
If the answer is yes, then this mindset I have described is the actual first, necessary step on the road to healing…a road which may be much shorter than it now seems…and a road which I will detail at great lengths in future posts!