Have you ever noticed…

…that laughter is a barometer for your relationship! Sometimes life gets way too serious.  Yesterday we were laughing and joking a lot!  It was so life giving and refreshing.  Stress disappeared and we had fun!  How is your laughter barometer?

We have been told that we can’t do anything about the past, Worry about the future is silly because it’s not here yet. What we can do something about is this moment, here and now. We have decided that we will start blogging and sharing our lives again today. And even though it is April 1st- we are not fooling. Love, E&B

The realization that you can’t change others is huge and something I think I still don’t want to believe based on my actions. I always hope that sharing my expectations and dreams and caring for another will make them want to change for me. Ah ha! They have to change for themselves and my expectations will just disappoint me. Oh! I get it! So, all of that sharing is important so we can reveal what we envision but we have to let go ultimately and let the other be themselves.  The best thing I can do is figure out how I can change and be their model. This understanding was very powerful in the face of “You can’t make me do that!”  What is your first reaction when you hear that from one of your children? 

Find out more about this and other powerful parenting tips in Chapter 8 of Passionate Parent Passionate Couple

BETTY-

My sweetheart Eddie, Your Most Endearing Quality is helping us to carry through on our need to do this. Of course, I’m just racing with the excitement of the day and how easily I can get so distracted. Brother.

You need to know that I am a jumble – obvious, I know, but what is it deep down. I WANT to be capable about anything and everything, but right now what is deep down bothering me is my judging that I AM NOT capable. That was a backwards sentence which is typical of what is going on inside. Love that we have gathered others around us who are good in the places where I judge I am lacking. Now, to let go and let God and them. So hard for me – always has been and always will be. So that needs to be my personal first prayer. Let Go and Let God and Others. And yet I want us to be making choices together for those things. I don’t really want it to be you doing things independently of me. I want us to stay interdependent.

Getting this out of me and on paper feels so reassuring. I know my nature – bet God puts all these things of desire to do everything in me and then He makes it too much so I will get it that I have to choose AND do a good job of that so I can let go. Now to take the time to delegate. That is what our mind-dump must focus on. Saying this makes me feel still jumbled. It’s a tightness in my chest. A hotness in my pits. A shudder. Sweaty palms. It’s all of it-wanting to do it all and knowing that is impossible so move ON. What can I find to distract me from all of this decision-making!!! IDK! Hold me!!  Love, Ben 

 

ED-

Lover Benjie, YMEQ is your willingness to trust me to listen to you yesterday and your openness and vulnerability in sharing yourself with me.  You softened my heart and allowed me to feel open also. 

As I think about this question I realize how you keep sharing that you are in overwhelm and I logically say – Just do it, just get something done on our list.  But yesterday after your sharing I later, looked at our to do list for the day and realized that I had a sinking feeling of anxiety in the pit of my stomach.  So much to do. I started working on one thing and then in the middle of that I got switched to another and I don’t think I finished anything.  Then Dan came in and said he needed to go to get a signature on a paper and I volunteered to do that so he could keep working on what he was doing.  I RAN away.  It’s like I want to do anything but what I am supposed to do and I can justify it as important. 

Lover, it’s almost like a feeling of indigestion with clammy palms and pits.  It is like shallow breathing and having a fog in your forehead. Almost like somebody is sitting on my chest.  I find myself almost hoping for distractions to come my way.  Where is the cruise ship when you need it? 

Sweetheart ILYWMWHASAMAB,

Your  Eddie

 

 

BETTY-

After hearing Ed’s letter, I was blown away by how close our feelings were.  I was carrying the burden of thinking that there was something wrong with me, but just knowing that Ed felt that way too gave me such a relief.  It was like a new lease on life, even though all of the stuff is still out there. 

 

ED-

After hearing Betty’s letter, I felt totally empathetic.  It was an instance of intimacy and desire. I just wanted to get closer to her.  I felt a flood of relief come over me as I realized we were both being totally honest with ourselves and each other.  She loves the real me!  I don’t have to pretend to be strong and have it all together.  We can move forward as a fine well-oiled machine and tackle anything.

What happens to me when I am feeling overwhelmed and HDIFSTWY?

 

Ed:

Lover Benjie,

YMEQ is you’re your willingness to share your overwhelm with me. It allowed me to see my overwhelm too.

Lover when I am overwhelmed I find it easy to fly from one project to another without finishing any.  For me it seems that keeping busy and having no time for anything is the way I excuse myself for being in overwhelm.  Looking at it now I see how I also feel stressed and on edge.  I snap at little stuff and I’m not myself.  Lover, it is so ironic that when I’m like this, the last thing I want to do is our job list. I don’t want to just start handling things and clearing them, which is exactly what I know I need to do.

I almost feel ridiculous sharing this with you.  It’s like a “duh” kick myself in the pants feeling.  Why do I let myself suffer in overwhelm when most of the stuff takes way less time to finish than I think?  It’s like a stifled feeling in my chest and stomach.  Shallow breathing.  It is a greyish overcast day feeling.  ILYWMWHASAMAB Eddie

When Betty shared her ways of escaping I was awed and felt a deep sense of gratitude for her honesty to trust me so deeply.  I know that the last thing I want is for someone to know my weaknesses and be vulnerable or accountable.  Betty was so vulnerable that I felt like I had been given a hidden treasure that I must guard with my life.  I just had to kiss her on the lips in a gentle loving way.

Betty:

 My sweetheart, your MEQ is challenging me and us as usual with a question that I would rather not delve into. I’d rather escape into no man’s land with FB – just visiting, not doing something constructive, TV, attending to our little garden, checking on things around the house without real purpose, etc. Instead of mind-dumping and creating a priority list, basically, wasting time. THEN I get that God-awful feeling of emptiness plus frustration that comes with not filling my energy-cell of happiness = getting things accomplished. Sharing this with you makes me feel nervous with my honesty. I sense your frustration watching me not get be on purpose and leaving so many things to you to take the lead on. You had us dialogue on this to save yourself, I’m sure!, – Bless you!!

My nervousness causes me sweatiness and a stiffness in my back. My head is achy – just a slight dull sensation. It makes me want to run away and definitely avoid you. For you it might me like when I ask you to – goodness – what does make you nervous? Do you just suck it up and be brave? This is a light gray or yellow feeling to me right now. Okay—–Let’s minddump and get my act together.

Love, Ben

After hearing Ed’s letter, I was sympathetic to his thought that he was being ridiculous, ‘cause it truly is ironic for both of us to say that we both stop doing or doing well or to completion which causes us more negative feelings. His honesty about how it makes him be irritable gave so much clarity to how we both are a little rough around the edges right now. This dialogue gives us a clear picture of what we need to do right now.

 

Has your child ever lied to you?  Remember trust CANNOT be earned.  Trust is a gift and a decision.  We all make mistakes in judgement and we will do it again because we are human.  Make the decision to trust and see what happens! Love Ed and Betty

“I’m sorry” makes you feel better.  “Please forgive me” lets the one you’ve hurt have a chance to feel better before forgiving you! Self centered vs other centered.

Many couples ask us, “What is the best way to keep passion and intimacy thriving?”  Most of them are surprised by our answer because it does not involve sex!  The answer we always give is dialogue.

Dialogue is a technique which we use often and strive to use daily that involves writing and then sharing with each other our feelings in response to questions that we have chosen together.

We have learned that there are two basic levels of communication.  The typical level in everyday life is communicating, talking and sharing for information.  “How was your day” or “I have something important I want to tell you”, etc.  You are usually communicating facts, thoughts, opinions, or judgments, all of which are important, and do build a certain amount of intimacy.

But, the second level is a very special way to communicate for deeper intimacy because it involves just the two of us, sharing real present feelings.  (By the way, if you say ‘I feel that…” you are NOT communicating a feeling, you are usually communicating a deeply held conviction or judgment and which is still at the information level.)  So what and how do we communicate feelings?  We use a very tender and powerful way to do that – dialogue.  We start by deciding on a question.  It can be direct like “How do I feel when we go on a date?”  Or it can get much more complex like “ What do I like least about our relationship right now, and then we add “How does my answer make me feel” or “How do I feel sharing this with you?”  Notice that even when part of the question involves an opinion or judgment, we bring the focus back by including a feelings question.  For instance, thinking of what I don’t like about our relationship might make me feel discouraged, or frustrated or possibly even angry.  But then thinking of sharing what I don’t like about our relationship and imagining how my lover might take it, might make me feel insecure, or hesitant or even regretful.  The bottom line to dialogue is to start off the writing in the form of a loveletter with only one or two sentences on the issue and then spending 75% of the time on the feeling!

Why is sharing on a feeling level so important to us for intimacy?

  1. Judgments and opinions can be accepted or rejected or argued with because everyone can have a differing opinion or perspective. On the other hand, feelings are neither right nor wrong, good nor bad because they simply well up inside of us in response to a situation or person or thought. They have no morality because they are not chosen. So, when I say I feel insecure like when I think I forgot something for our trip, or like when we forget to pay a bill – that is my feeling, the real me at that very moment and it CANNOT be argued with!  I give the gift of me to my lover by describing insecurity to the point where he or she can almost physically experience who I really am at that moment.
  2. It also gives us time to “smell the roses” together.   Through the process we not only get away from all the distractions and to do’s of the day, but more importantly get in touch with our inner selves to the point where we can really let go of our own egos and become other-centered.
  3. Finally, you can’t love what you don’t know.  It is freeing and exhilarating to be loved for who you really are and not for who you think your partner wants you to be!  Much more on that in later posts.

Dialogue has been such a huge part of us being passionate lovers that we have decided we will dedicate most of our blogs to sharing our dialogues with you.  A few weeks ago a lady came up to us after church and asked if we were newlyweds!  We told her we have been married almost 44 years and she was shocked.  Right then and there we realized that while our book has fantastic information; right now for our website readers, we need to share how to make true love and passion real in everyday life!  Our blogs will share our dialogues in hopes that it will encourage you to do yours! This is our current gift to you.