The LoveLife Blog: guidance on mindful, bodyful, soulful loving!


#142: Love Thy Partner

Jacqueline Hellyer - Friday, October 02, 2015



This might sound obvious, of course you should love your partner. But do you really? And if you so, how do you express that love? Are you treating your partner like your lover? Or are you treating them as your spouse/co-parent/boss/subordinate/flat-mate/carer/dependant/provider/nurturer…?

There are only two true feelings in life: love and fear. All the negative emotions are essentially some expression of fear. Anger comes from fear: so if you are narky or nagging or irritated or down right furious with your partner, you are expressing fear. Oppression comes from fear; so if you are controlling your partner, or allowing yourself to be controlled by them, you are expressing fear. And boredom comes from fear; so if you are allowing yourself to become stuck in a rut and not seek enjoyment in life, then you are expressing fear.

That fear comes from within. You are projecting your fear onto your partner in the form of anger, oppression/being oppressed and/or boredom. It comes from you.

To turn that around and allow yourself to truly love your partner, requires you to transform your fear into love. You have to own your fear and your expression of that fear, and then let it go. Allow the love in to yourself and allow... read more



#134: How to Move Forward When Your Partner Has Betrayed You

Jacqueline Hellyer - Tuesday, July 21, 2015



It’s so hard when your partner has been unfaithful.

“How could this person I love, and who I thought loved me, do this to me? How can I possible get over it? Should I even try…?”

These are the thoughts that plague you.

The first thing in moving forward is to realise they probably haven’t done it to you. Affairs are rarely initiated with malicious intent to deliberately hurt the partner, although hurt is inevitably the result. (If it was done purely with intent to hurt you, then you really do have a problem and shouldn’t be with that person.) It’s important that you accept that as hurtful as it is, the affair was not about you and not done with the intention to hurt you.

So, can you get over it? Possibly.

Should you try? Most definitely.

To deal with the affair and at least try to move forward is far braver and harder than just giving up and leaving.

There is always a reason why someone has an affair, and it’s generally because they are not happy and the affair makes them feel better. So to... read more


#105: Consensual Non-Monotony

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, October 27, 2014

 

In the last post I wrote about consensual non-monogamy. It’s an option for some people and it can work. However, it’s not for everyone. Most people prefer to be at least primarily, if not exclusively, monogamous.

But for monogamy to work you need consensual non-monotony.

Yes, it’s a play on words, but it’s also an extremely important point. A couple can only have good on-going sex if they both agree to make it good.

As I’ve stressed so often, good sex doesn’t just ‘happen’, you have to work at it, and you both have to work at it as a joint project. Otherwise you get complacency and dreariness.

You both need to agree to ditch the monotony!

This is the most common client problem that I deal with - couples who want to improve the quality of their sex life. While a small proportion are open to considering non-monogamy, most want to improve things between themselves alone.

The key to success at consensual non-monotony is openness with each other – honest, real communication. That’s what is required to be able to discuss and explore and examine and refine.

This level of openness with each... read more


#98: Should I Stay Or Should I Go?

Jacqueline Hellyer - Tuesday, June 24, 2014



How many people are in relationship limbo, not knowing whether they should stay in the relationship or leave it? I see them all the time, mentally adding up the positives and the negatives, weighing them up against each other, hoping to come to some logical decision about whether to stay or go.

Trying to weigh up the positives and the negatives as a means of deciding whether the relationship is good or not is never very effective. Some days it weighs in favour of one decision, some days another.

It doesn’t come down to whether the positives outweigh the negatives. It actually comes down to some simple, key points.

Mira Kirshenbaum outlines these in her brilliant book Too Good To Leave Too Bad To Stay (Plume, 1996), which I highly recommend if you’re in relationship limbo, or what she calls ‘relationship ambivalence’. By examining these key points, and answering yes or no to some simple questions, you’ll get a feel for whether you want to stay in your relationship and whether you want to do the work necessary to make it better.

Some of the key points include:

Does your partner respect you? And do you respect... read more



#84: If You Want A Mature Relationship You Have To Be Mature

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, October 28, 2013



My clients are all adults, although in some cases it’s hard to believe: they come to me wanting a positive, mature relationship with good sexual relating - yet they act like kids in the playground! They bully, they whine, they play games, they lie, they ignore, they’re rude, they’re insensitive…. And they think that this behaviour will result in mutual sexual desire!?

If you want a mature relationship, you have to be mature!

Name-calling, sarcasm, rudeness, withdrawing, clamming up, insults, aggression, contempt and so forth are not conducive to harmonious relationships. It sounds obvious when you read it here, but are you actually putting it in to practice yourself?

A mature relationship is based on individual confidence and mutual respect. Consider this as love of yourself and love of your partner. The two individuals are confident within themselves, not needy of having their partner agree with them on everything or share identical views, desires and intentions. Coming from this internal strength, they can then relate to their partner with utmost respect.

Respect means two things: to admire someone for their qualities, and more importantly to have due regard for their wishes, feelings and rights.

In a mature, respectful relationship neither party will force their views on the... read more



#82: Slay the Pink Elephants!

Jacqueline Hellyer - Tuesday, September 17, 2013



That’s what a couple said to me recently: “We’re slaying the pink elephants!” These elephants had been sitting in all the corners of their relationship and taking up so much room they were feeling stifled and could hardly breathe, let alone relate.

Because the elephants were there, but they did nothing about them, the elephants grew in size and number and took up a ridiculous amount of room. The couple had got to the point where they couldn’t actually mention anything of any significance or meaning as there was so little space in the relationship. They were tippy-toeing around with shallow breath, hoping they wouldn’t bump into an elephant.

Fortunately they found the way to acknowledge that the elephants were there, and do something about them. They got out the metaphorical elephant guns and went on safari within their relationship, slaying all the pink elephants - those they knew were there, and those they discovered along the way.

It can be quite a process to do this, and rarely easy. It requires bravery and commitment. You’ll hear stuff you don’t want to hear, you’ll acknowledge parts of yourself that you’re not proud of, you’ll get a greater insight into your partner and into yourself, and you’ll learn ways of moving forward together.
... read more


#76: Winter's a Time for Sexual Growth

Jacqueline Hellyer - Tuesday, June 25, 2013



Well Winter has finally hit! Cold miserable rainy days that just make you want to curl up and snuggle in bed. Mmmm. Add a cup of hot chocolate and thou.

In Winter our energies focus inwards, like the seed that waits under the snow before it blooms in spring. So for we humans it’s a wonderful time to focus on our inner selves and allow time for gestating.

As regular readers of my writings will know, so much of my teaching and inspiring is around developing that inner awareness, that sense of presence and selfhood, that allows for deeper sexual connection within yourself and between you and your lover, that enables sex to be truly intimate, real, and because of that truly wonderful.

So this Winter is a time for you to grow sexually. If you choose to. Coincidentally it’s also a time that I’m running a lot of workshops!

  • They started with Blackbelt in the Bedroom for men last week, an inspiring evening with 14 men who left with a bounce in their step and a glow in their being.

  • Then Luscious Lovers last weekend. Again, eight couples who spent a gorgeous day celebrating their love and learning deeper... read more



#71: Fill Up Your Self-Love Tank

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, April 08, 2013



I'm a little embarrassed to say this, but a couple of weeks ago I was in an emergency ward with a suspected heart attack. Yes, me, the supposed expert on chilling out, taking it slow, enjoying life and love....Oops!

So what happened? After all, I do regular yoga, meditation, relaxation...or do I?

Being attached to a machine that goes 'bing' for eight hours gives you a lot of time to reflect. It's kind of a forced meditation, especially as I was having trouble breathing and had to focus on my breath.

Well, the honest truth is that my regular self-care had become more than a little irregular. I hadn't been practising what I preach. I was proving that not doing what I advise to do does in fact result in a lack of peace and harmony.

This kind of work, where I'm constantly giving out nurturing and inspiring energy to people, plus having three children of my own, means that I have to keep filling up my love tank. So: physician heal thyself.

I share this so that you know that even we 'experts' struggle at times. In this era where there are so many things competing... read more



#70: The Cup-of-Tea Approach to Sexual Self-Coaching

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, March 04, 2013

 

The good old-fashioned cuppa. What a wonderful space it creates for sharing and openness. People have been bonding over cups of tea for millennia.

A cup of tea gives you a time-frame, something warm to hold, and a shared activity which creates your own ‘cone of silence’ in which to talk and share.

That’s exactly the kind of space you need regularly in your relationship. A space where the two of you can relax and just ‘be’ together, with no agenda, no external pressures, just you and me, having a chat over a cup of tea.

In that space you can open your hearts to each other. You can express your thoughts and ideas, feelings and emotions, and you can hear what your partner has to say.

It’s a slow space, a gentle space, hopefully a judgement-free space. You can talk about nothing much at all, or you can talk about more deep and meaningful issues.

You can share the small positives and negatives of the day; you can share the small kindnesses and the small neglects from your partner (remembering the 4:1 rule that communication in a healthy relationship has four positives to one negative); you can share the things that make you go ‘mmm’... read more


#69: Trust Means Being OK with Not Knowing

Jacqueline Hellyer - Monday, February 11, 2013

 Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas from Pexels

"How can I ever trust him/her again?”
 

Client after client pleads this after discovering hurtful deceits by their beloveds. 
What they are really asking is: "How can I ever be 100% sure that my partner won't ever do this again?"

The honest answer is: you can't. In fact, you never could.

You can never be absolutely sure that your partner will never ever be deceitful or hurt you in some way.

The very definition of ‘trust’ is ‘not knowing’.

Trust is being OK with the not knowing. If you were 100% sure of something you wouldn’t need to ‘trust’. You don’t need to ‘trust’ that the sun will rise each morning; you just know it will. It’s only when you can't be absolutely sure that trust comes in, that trust has to come in.

We trust our partners to be honest and not deceive us due to the actual fact that we can’t be 100% sure that they won’t. Of course that doesn't make it any easier when our partner is deceitful in some way. It hurts! But does that mean... read more


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