Posted By joelfeldman on June 13, 2014
Your relationship is like a beautiful fruit tree
When it is happy and healthy, delicious fruits ripen to give you pleasure
People look longingly upon this amazing tree
Everyone would love to have one just like it.
Many people, especially those who haven’t tried to grow one
Think it must be pretty easy to do
Stick it in the ground, water every now and again and
Within no time they’ll be relishing the fruits it provides them.
Sometimes, this might be the case
Most times, it is merely the dream of those that
Haven’t put in the endless labor to nurture and grow
Something so precious, fragile and life-giving.
This tree is forever under assault from elements
Which are mostly out of your control
Just managing a life together, a family or business
Can deplete your reserves of patience and understanding.
Making time to feed, water and prune is the easy part
Extreme stressors like insects and disease are always a possibility
Taking care of our own needs sometimes is hard enough
But taking care of our relationship often is the first to go.
What does it take for a relationship tree to bear sweet fruit?
Tending to the heartfelt needs of one another, listening first:
Empathy and compassion for both of us
Simple connections, regular pleasure and shared fun are a must.
Learning how to forgive the missteps and hurts that we cause one another
Working together with kindness and goodwill to change what needs changing
Remembering often all of the goodness and beauty in each other
Opening our heart to receive the love and best intentions of our beloved.
You can live contentedly under the shade of such a magical tree
It can provide you with the loving nourishment you desire
With skill, together, over time and sometimes with the help of a master gardener
You can definitely grow a monumental testimony to your love in action.
Posted By joelfeldman on May 10, 2014
Posted By joelfeldman on January 22, 2014
You can spend so much time finding out
what each and every plant in your garden needs to grow;
how much water, how much sun,
what specific nutrients will help it to thrive
Or your car, cycle or bike
The best lubricants and oils
Proper handling procedures
and optimal maintenance schedules
Imagine if you spent a similar amount of time and attention
thinking about what would make your beloved thrive.
They usually know what they need
and carry all those unmet needs around with them
Some folks even communicate their needs to their partner
But often as a frustration or demand
Sadly, others just expect that,
“If you loved me you’d know what I need”(and give it)
But what about your beloved?
What does she or he want/need/crave?
Read the Love Languages book
And have a great talk afterwards
Reflect together, without blame,
What’s been working and what hasn’t
Talk about desires and wishes
Clarify what is actually most wanted
Then, consider what you can commit to
And give each other that gift, for 21 days
It’s almost Valentine’s day anyway
Add some flowers or chocolates in for good measure
Posted By joelfeldman on December 6, 2013
We were recently interviewed for an internet radio show by the name of Higher Ground. The topic was how couples can find greater intimacy and pleasure through their sexual relating. Portland Helmich was our host and we hope you enjoy it!
Posted By joelfeldman on January 26, 2013
May your intention be clear and your patience ever-present.
May you criticize less and forgive more.
May you be strong & address the tough stuff.
May you make more requests and fewer demands.
May you have compassion for the challenges of your beloved.
May you communicate your needs more and expect less mindreading.
May you look for more of what your beloved is doing right than wrong.
May you choose to listen, even when it’s tough (& you think you’re right).
May your appreciation for each other flow from your lips many times a day.
When your partner tells you something you’re doing bothers or hurts them,
may you look for what makes sense and work at changing yourself.
May you become even more skillful at resolving your disagreements.
May you make more time to generate loving feelings together.
May you shut your computer and open your heart.
May you laugh and play together more.
May you touch more.
May you Do less
and Be more
Posted By joelfeldman on July 26, 2011
During our work this week with a couple trying to improve their sexual relating, I found myself thinking about some of what goes into creating a more fulfilling sexual experience. After a little while, I had the thought that these elements are not just what’s needed for a better sexual experience, but are necessary for a better relationship and even a better life!
• Relax your body
• Slow wayyyyyyy down
• Get more present to your moment-to-moment experience
• Enjoy every pleasant sensation and try not to resist any unpleasant ones
• If something’s not working, stop and talk about it
• Stay in the moment and do your best to let go of future expectations or outcomes
• Become more aware of your own needs and fears
• Communicate your wishes clearly and lovingly
• Maintain a loving connection with your partner; look, laugh, share
• Let the experience unfold-delicious moment by delicious moment
Posted By joelfeldman on April 22, 2010
You may be very good at seeing the faults of your partner. I’m sure you wish that he or she would be different, and don’t understand why they cannot or will not change.
In fact, you have spent so much time contemplating this, that you have made yourself miserable. Not coincidentally, and possibly unknowingly, you have also contributed to your partner feeling miserable about themselves, not to mention you and your relationship.
Of course you wish to change some annoying or painful behavior about your partner that you imagine contributes to your unhappiness. This is normal. And most likely you are unsuccessful in getting them to change. Even if you are justified in your belief that your partner SHOULD change, they would probably find changing difficult. They might possibly, even secretly, wish they could change as well. They might even feel ashamed about it, even if they tell you differently.
You must ask yourself how your negative contemplation of their “faulty behavior” is affecting you. The more you think about it, the more outraged you feel, and the more disconnected from your loved one. Your chronic outrage is like a poison to your mind and emotions. You are left with an attitude that hurts them as well as yourself. As you can see, the chances of them changing that “faulty behavior” decreases with this approach. You also become more and more miserable, and the warmth and connection between you diminishes dramatically. (more…)
Posted By joelfeldman on March 1, 2010
I was wondering if you could give me any advice on dealing with jealousy in a relationship? I love my partner and for a lot of the same reasons that I love him I tend to get insanely jealous over stupid things. I’m working with myself on a lot of things in particular that seem to come completely naturally to him, but I have a hard time not getting bitter about it. I know my bitterness is misplaced, so I try to repress it and then it ends up coming out some other time, causing some completely ridiculous argument. I know that I could sit down and list all my good traits or have him point out what he admires about me, but I wish I could just get my mind to stop comparing us all together.
Thanks for writing so honestly on a topic we can all relate to. Here are some thoughts about your situation. Feel free to ask more if needed.
Most of us partner with someone who has different skills and qualities than we do. What they can naturally and easily do well, we may have to work really hard to accomplish, if we even want to put our energy into those endeavors. Even then we may not ever reach their skill level. Usually, we too, have areas of natural expertise that our partners may find difficult for themselves. Hopefully we don’t downplay those too much!
Sometimes, in a couple, one person is more of a “glass half empty” type (like me) and looks more at what’s missing. The other is often more a “glass half full” person, and seems to pay more attention to their wholeness. When our focus is more on “where we’re not” it’s easier to feel bad in comparison to another. “Glass half fullers” (like Kate) don’t tend to go there, at least not in the light of day. (more…)