Transformation of Jealousy into Deep Trust & Love

“I love to use jealousy as a way to create intimacy and turn on in the moment it’s happening.”

John Wineland on jealousy

“A common problem I run into with men is that they don’t know what to do with their jealousy.  Its such a primal, volatile and vulnerable emotion.  Most of us react one of two ways, we either get angry and accusatory, or we hide it and pretend we are cool…..Neither works!!  I love to use jealousy as a way to create intimacy and turn on in the moment it’s happening.”   ~ John Wineland

Transforming Anger into Trust, Love and Turn-on

I work with a number of men who struggle with their woman’s anger. I am certainly not immune :-). My girl can be downright nasty when she feels I am “misbehaving” and I have found over the years, the need to develop a special set of skills and a whole new attitude to her anger. The primary problem is that men tend to want to avoid anger and resentment like the plague. So when our partners are in a mood, the general response is either attack or avoid. Neither create much love or trust. Sound familiar?

There is another way…well….two ways I have found that work beautifully and can actually create intimacy and relaxation where there was rancor only moments ago. The most artful approach is to use humor, physicality, play and sexual energy to overcome her mood. That might look like kissing her madly until she giggles, to saying “God damn you are hot when you are furious at me” to throwing her over your shoulder and saying, I love it when you are so bratty. The concept is to lean in to her anger with love, like you are encountering a tropical rainstorm. Breath it in. Enjoy it! Allow it to nourish you.

The second method involves a beautiful dialogue techniques that requires more skills and patience. The most important element in this work is the commitment that you will not make her wrong for whatever she is feeling. Her feelings, all of them, are welcome and even appreciated. This is a massive difference to what most women experience in the world and it opens a whole new realm of deep relating possibilities, including better sex, when it is embraced. Let’s face it. Your lover is suffering when she is angry most of the time and creating a container where anything she feels is safe is incredibly liberating and healing for her.


Again, most men have the knee jerk reaction of resisting anger and will go to great lengths to do so. But if you go with the flow you can actually, instantly turn your interaction into a playful, passionate moment where you maintain your masculinity while she can own her emotions and really trust she can’t do anything you can’t handle. I dive into this practice Transforming Anger into Deep Trust and Love explaining this entire concept. Here are the three basic steps:

1. Get aware (this requires a certain level of courage, generosity, meditative concentration…. And frankly, just the ability to feel into your partner) when something is brewing under the surface, and instead of avoiding it, let it happen.

2. Then allow your partner free rein to say what they need to say. Periodically you are going to stop them and repeat back, word for word, what you are hearing as much as possible. And then when she is done and you say, “Is there any more?” she’ll say, “No.” And the very first thing you want to say is, “That makes sense. I understand why that would bother you. I understand why you would be mad. It makes sense that you are mad.” The words: That makes sense, are key to whole process… those three words validate her entire experience and make her feel seen, accepted and loved!

3. And finally, the third piece (which is the hardest piece for a lot of men, a lot of people in general in fact) is to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and empathize with what she is feeling. I know, this is especially hard if they are mad at you! It’s important to know you do not have to agree with her, all you have to do is be able to see how it makes sense from her perspective given her history and shared experience. As you learn to really try your best to put yourself in your partner’s shoes you will actually start to feel like their experience is more important than yours. It’s a really deep and beautiful spiritual practice when you can say, “All right, how you are feeling about this is more important to me now than whether I agree with it or not.”

The Worst Relationship Betrayal… Not What You Think

3 patterns that form a slow, steady drip of betrayal that might signal the end more surely than another lover.

Pretty much everyone who is in a committed relationship agrees that if they found out their partner had sex, even once, with someone else it would be a challenge to move past it and stay together. That’s the big one-event shake up that most people assume is the beginning of the end if not the mile marker for the end itself.

Everyone needs to withdraw and unplug but don’t retreat in order to get even. Hurting someone emotionally always leaves a mark.

While both of us would be nonplussed if the other had an affair or one-night-stand, there are three patterns that we’ve even fallen prey to that we know could be (almost) silent killers for us and probably any other couple.

Withholding Attention

You’ve heard about “ghosting” right? Pretty extreme and most people wouldn’t dream of doing it to the love of their life, and most of us would notice pretty quickly if we were being ghosted.

But there are so many ways of withholding attention that aren’t even intentional. Preoccupation – you know, like with your phone, or the television (we don’t have one of those, but the internet is a close runner up.) Or maybe just preoccupation with your own thoughts – we’re both prone to getting lost in our heads, in the clouds, or in time. Or shutting down – crawling into the shell of self to process, to stew, to ponder, or just to hang out and relax.

Even if it’s not intended to hurt, when you withhold your attention from your partner, your lover, that person who is in your life because they get off on being with you, you’re committing a “micro-aggression” toward that thing that keeps you together.

And if you are withholding attention as a way to prove a point, or strike back, stop that right now. Everyone needs to withdraw and unplug but don’t retreat in order to get even. Hurting someone emotionally always leaves a mark.

Withholding Trust

Everyone brings past relationships into the current dynamic. Whether those relationships were with spouses, lovers, friends, siblings, parents, authority figures, or the Grinch next door, they create patterns of trust, and lack of it.

Deciding to withhold trust is one of the deepest betrayals you can inflict on a partner.

None of those patterns are about your partner, but they certainly affect your partner. We’ve navigated land mines and dungeons of trigger wires and green-eyed monsters until we can guess when something is a “this is about me not you” kind of thing, but when either of us senses a lack of trust it can still range all the way from a minor road bump to a steep hill.

But if you’re withholding your trust for a reason, justified or not, a shifting of boundaries or treating a partner with suspicion is always going to result in tension. Deciding to withhold trust is one of the deepest betrayals you can inflict on a partner. It puts up a wall, and reflects their worst traits back at them. No relationship, however loving, can survive that for very long.

Withholding Intimacy

Intimacy isn’t going through the motions. And it isn’t (always) a romantic performance or expectation. Intimacy is meeting on the same, shared plane of experience. On purpose.

Physical intimacy is important to a romantic partnership. Actually, for us anyway, it’s vital. It’s not just about sex, that’s only one of many ways we physically demonstrate our love for each other. But there is nothing wrong with saying that sexual intimacy is a cornerstone of our physical intimacy.  But emotional intimacy is even more important. Without that the physical or sexual intimacy is just “off.” We’re not really in it together if there is an emotional barrier between us.

… if either of us ever withheld intimacy … or if we ever displaced that intimacy usually reserved for each other onto another person, it’s likely that we would cause wounds that would take a long time to heal …

It’s perfectly natural that there are times one or both of us will just need to be left alone. For one thing, we’re both introverts (highly social, but definitely introverts.) For another thing, we’re human. So it’s going to happen.

But if either of us ever withheld intimacy — of any kind — not from our own need for personal time and space, but as a tactic or punishment, or if we ever displaced that intimacy usually reserved for each other onto another person, it’s likely that we would cause wounds that would take a long time to heal – if they ever did. We both have intimate friends, but those friends never come first for either us. First is always reserved just for each other.


None of these patterns are the instant end game that a sexual fling might be, but they are all slow, steady drips of betrayal that eventually erode even the strongest relationship.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Defining Cheating. What Is It to You?

I found myself getting anxious about a certain app that my partner uses, and spent weeks torturing myself.

Before cell phones, cheating was a series of deliberate actions: secretly flirting (in person), arranging times and places to meet (also in person), and then physically ‘doing the deed’ – definitely in person. But now, in the age of smartphones, is there such a thing as “modern monogamy?”

Back in the day, catching your spouse cheating was a dramatic and devastating event, because it all happened IRL. There were physical and emotional risks involved with cheating, which is why it was – and is – a serious heartbreaker.

Cheating used to have a relatively standard definition, for the majority of traditionally monogamous couples. It’s not so simple, nowadays. Now that Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and various texting apps have become so ingrained in our social lives…what is cheating, really? And what do we do if our partner defines it differently than we do?

At its most basic, cheating involves stepping outside the boundaries of your relationship. For many of us, sexual contact with another person is a definite no-no. But what about sending/receiving sexy photos on Snapchat? Or a romantically emotional affair with a close friend, via text messages? If your boyfriend is following a bunch of flirty, bikini-clad girls on Instagram, could that be considered cheating?

It depends. What is okay for one couple may not be okay for another. Relationships are a ‘choose your own adventure’ story – just don’t wait until the line is crossed to tell your partner where it is.

Because you are reading this article, perhaps you’ve been questioning whether you’ve cheated or been cheated on. The past cannot be changed, but taking a few simple steps can save you a lot of worry in the future. There are a million articles about cheating – how to catch it, how to do it, how to avoid it. Before you go into the ‘how-to,’ it’s probably best to establish the ‘what is.’

Problem: You’re uncomfortable and unsure about the boundaries of your relationship.

Solution: Ask your partner what cheating means for them. It’s that simple.

It can be hard to establish boundaries, especially at the beginning of a relationship. Most of us don’t want to come off as too serious, until we have to. But why wait until something goes wrong? It might not be sexy to talk about boundaries, but it can protect you from a lot of seriously un-sexy situations down the road.

If we find ourselves worried about our partner’s fidelity, it’s tempting to stifle our feelings because we don’t want to appear ‘needy’ or ‘paranoid.’ Unfortunately, suppressing our feelings can result in them manifesting down the line – jealousy, resentment, and insecurity will inevitably hurt you more than your partner. Trust goes both ways, but so does fear. You probably know when your partner is upset about something, even when they’re holding it in. Wouldn’t you rather know what’s the matter, before it gets out of hand?

In order to avoid breaking your partner’s trust (or vice versa), it’s important to establish boundaries early on. And it’s not just about your partner – ask yourself, what does cheating mean, for you? Define it for yourself, and then sit down with your loved one and ask them what they think. Remember – it’s a discussion, not an interrogation. Their definition may be different than yours, and the more you talk about it, the easier it will be to meet in the middle.

This conversation is not meant to “trap” them or force them to adopt your point of view. Talking about your worries (and allowing your loved one to voice theirs) is about loving. The goal is to reinforce mutual trust. Using “I” statements and reminding your partner how much you trust them can make all the difference.

Without trust, there is no love. And that can be difficult when there is no communication. Maybe your partner is just as worried as you are. Talking about boundaries can actually be a very freeing experience for both of you.

I recently had this conversation with my partner, and I am so glad I did. I found myself getting anxious about a certain app that my partner uses, and spent weeks torturing myself with negative self-talk and paranoid imaginings. I didn’t want to come off as jealous, so I did nothing. As a result, I caused my partner a lot of undue worry because I was acting so strangely. When I finally sat down with him to talk about the app, I was overwhelmed by how validating it was.

For me, cheating means purposely breaking a partner’s trust. Now that my spouse and I have consciously established what this means for us, I am even more confident that I don’t have to worry about it.

Being honest about your feelings is infinitely safer than acting on assumptions. Your partner most likely has their own set of rules based on their background. It may be completely different than yours, and that doesn’t have to be a deal breaker.

So what is “cheating,” for you? How have cell phones and social media changed the way you view monogamy? Share your thoughts in the comments, below. The more we learn about ourselves, the more we learn about each other.

Why it’s Not OK to Snoop Through Your Partner’s Phone

Girls, girls, girls. Trust me – snooping through your BF’s text messages is not okay!

A while ago, I wrote a post about why you shouldn’t look through your boyfriend’s phone based on my own snooping experiences (something I’m still embarrassed about). It’s been over a year since that post went up, but it still gets tons of comments from girls who say that looking through your boyfriend’s phone is totally okay – in fact, they encourage it.

Girls, girls, girls. Trust me – snooping through your BF’s text messages is not okay! Honestly, I don’t care what kind of explanations you give me, there is really no excuse for going through a phone that isn’t yours. Please, please, cut this behavior out and read the reasons why it’s a terrible idea. I think, eventually, you’ll realize that you need to stop doing it for good… and your relationships will only improve after that.

It Totally Betrays His Trust

Probably the biggest reason to not snoop through your BF’s phone is that it totally and completely betrays his trust. If your boyfriend leaves his phone around you when he’s not in the room, he obviously trusts you to be near his phone without getting sneaky. Trust is one of the most important qualities to have in a relationship. Going through his phone is rude and disrespectful. Which brings me to my next point…

You Wouldn’t Like It If He Did It To You

How would you feel if you found out your boyfriend was secretly looking through your phone, reading all of your private text messages and checking up on your phone history? You’d probably feel pretty violated, annoyed and hurt. I once had an ex look through my texts when we first started dating. When he told me he did, I was so hurt by his accusations that I was doing something I shouldn’t that I almost ended things. Treat others how you want to be treated, you know?

It’s Way Too Easy To Misinterpret Things

Text messages can be really hard to interpret because you’re just looking at words – you’re not seeing the person’s expression or hearing their voice. What you read could mean something totally different than it sounds. Also, you don’t know the context of every conversation because it’s not YOUR conversation. You don’t know if something is an inside joke or about something completely different than what you think. It’s way too easy to misinterpret things and freak out for no reason at all.

Women Share How Their Intuition About Cheating Turned Out

In a technology-filled world, the temptation to read your man’s Facebook messages or snoop through his texts his overwhelming. But are you in the right to do so?

When Emily Gold* logged onto her husband’s email with dread pooling in stomach, she was hoping for the best. Instead, she was met with a rude awakening: clear cut evidence of her husband’s affair scattered throughout his emails. Love notes, song lyrics, photos of the two of them together, but that wasn’t all. The worst was a pro/con list, written by her husband, on whether or not he should leave her. “It was the worst thing I have ever seen with my eyes,” Gold said.

She’s not alone: according to a 2011 study, 41-percent of women have snooped through their man’s phone or emails. Modern technology offers a whole new variety of ways to spy on your partner. Looking through drawers and checking for lipstick on the collar is a thing of the past. According to a January 2013 poll by the Daily Mail, going through your partner’s cell phone is now the top reason why cheating and affairs are exposed.

But why do we snoop? When Hannah Rolf’s* boyfriend left his cell phone at her house, the temptation was too much to resist. “Of course what girl would not wanna look at everything that was on there?” she told MC. Of course, giving into temptation can have some drastic consequences. When Rolf was reading through his phone one night while they were in bed, she saw that he had been texting quite a few other girls, which led her to end the relationship. All this sneaking around raises a big question: Is it wrong to read your man’s texts or emails if you end up learning he’s been hiding things from you, or does snooping bring you down to his level?

Snooping may be a breach of trust, but it can also expose some untrustworthy behavior. The most common of this is evidence of cheating. Steamy emails, declarations of love, notifications from dating sites, and worse. Jessica Lee* found naked photos of other women when reading through her boyfriend’s text messages.

Sometimes, you just have a sixth sense, a feeling that something is up. When your senses are tingling and a phone is ready for snatching, controlling the urge to snoop isn’t easy. Such was the case for Allison Brady*, who became wary of her boyfriend’s relationship with his ex. After hearing him refuse to say her name and bitterly reminisce about their time together, she knew he wasn’t quite over her yet. When he started mentioning her more-and-more, warning signs went off. Brady’s snooping started innocently enough: looking through his Facebook to see if he had added her again. As her lurking continued, she discovered that they had been talking again and were planning on meeting up for coffee. She broke up with him soon after.

While her snooping was instrumental in the demise of her relationship, Brady feels that snooping is sometimes necessary to find out the information you deserve. “I would snoop again only if I felt something was off,” she said. “Otherwise, I understand boundaries. I’m not that interested in what my boyfriend talks about with his friends.”

It’s not always infidelity that women catch when they snoop around. Sometimes, you learn that they’ve been doing the same thing to you. When Lindsay Young’s* boyfriend gave her his email password, she started reading his emails. The snooping didn’t end there: When he borrowed her laptop and forgot to logout, she was able to search through his Facebook, as well. She discovered that he had subscribed to her check-ins in order to receive notifications about her whereabouts. Young stressed the fact that if you’re going to snoop, you need to prepare yourself for what you may find. “I guess when you’re looking for something, you’ll find it,” Young said.

When women find incriminating information through snooping, as you might expect, they oftentimes won’t stand for it, and they act out. Such was the case for Donna Crane*. Crane had a bad feeling about the man she had been seeing. One night after he had fallen asleep, she grabbed his phone and quickly scrolled through his text messages. Turns out her intuition had been right—there were texts from three different women in his inbox.

Instead of confronting him, she quickly wrote back to the other women in his phone, telling them that he was ending it with them, and he was getting serious with another girl. She then proceeded to delete all of his contacts—her own number included. Maybe it’s true what they say—hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

But perhaps the best way to satisfy your curiosity is simply to ask. Men with nothing to hide may be more willing to share the contents of their phone or email with you. “The easiest way to find out if your boyfriend is hiding something is to simply ask him if you can look through his phone and if he says no, well then there’s your answer,” Rolf said.

Curated by Erbe
Original Article

Play Together, Stay Together

gettyWhen kids get bored, they can easily get into trouble. That’s why “go outside and play” is one of the more common phrases parents use. For kids, play is an opportunity to get centered, learn new things, and have fun in a constructive way. But for adults, the word “play” has come to mean something entirely different.

“I don’t play games,” says the woman trying to appear drama-free. 

“I’m not a player,” says the man who wants to earn her trust. 

“Play” for grown-ups sounds like the opposite of fun. But what if I told you that play can actually save your relationship? What if “acting like a child” made your grown-up problems easier to cope with?

Playing together might be the most mature decision you’ve make all day!

Too often, long-term couples smother themselves (and each other) by falling into boring routines. We work, we go home, eat dinner and watch the news, go to sleep, repeat. There’s simply no time for anything else. So we worry we aren’t having sex enough, or talking about our feelings enough. We talk ourselves out of intimacy, and it’s exhausting.


My favorite antidote for worry is play. Once play becomes a priority, sex and conversation might actually come easier. We all want less frustration and more intimacy. We’d all be happier with fewer wasted moments and more time together. You don’t have to wait for vacation. You can play where you are, right now.

Play is easy, it’s quick, and it’s free. There are a million ways to do it.

When you wake up in the morning, take 5 minutes for a cuddle party. Laugh at your puffy faces and messy hair. Race each other to the bathroom, and have a toothbrush karaoke party. Just be ridiculous. You might feel stupid at first, but that’s what play is: being goofy together, on purpose.

A serious relationship doesn’t actually have to be “serious” 24/7. Happiness doesn’t always appear on its own, so we play to manifest joy.

Challenge each other to do celebrity impressions in the shower. Try making something weird for breakfast. Do ten minutes of Kundalini yoga together – if you don’t know what that is, find a video on Youtube. Those breathing exercises can be pretty hilarious.

Embrace your childlike sense of humor. We may all be adults here, but none of us have to be old.

In the evening, make dinner together and pretend you’re on a cooking show. While you’re eating, ask each other to share embarrassing stories. And if you must watch something, make a game of that, too. My husband and I sometimes take turns picking Youtube videos, and it’s actually super fun! Any cool music you’ve heard, lately? How about the latest viral cat videos? Share the things that make you feel young, goofy, and alive together.

A silly game we like to play is something I call Mystery Records. You know those bins of $1 old records in thrift shops? I like to pick a few artists I’ve never heard of (cheesy matching sweaters on the album cover are definitely a plus), and then play them at home. This makes for some really random dance parties in our living room.

Feel free to create your own silly games. Maybe you could try inventing bizarre recipes using only what you have in your kitchen. Or you could assemble some ugly, dorky outfits and recreate some ‘awkward family photos’ in your dining room. Being weird together is infinitely more fun than being bored or stressed together.

Play doesn’t always require energy. Don’t feel pressure to be ‘fun’ all the time. Sometimes, we’re tired – and that’s okay.

At night, try putting your phones down and talk about things that make you happy. If you’re feeling passionate about a new project, say so! If your partner is doing a great job at work, congratulate them. Share the dumbest jokes you’ve heard all week. Talk yourselves to sleep about the things that make you smile.

Today, if you find yourselves talking in circles about whatever’s bothering you, take a pause for play. This doesn’t mean ignoring your problems; it’s just making them easier to approach later. There are a multitude of possibilities for play in the time you spend together. Trying just one of these things can lead you to even more ideas for creating joy.

When kids get bored or frustrated, we tell them to go play. Deep down, you’re just two kids in love, aren’t you? So go outside, get out of your heads, and play.

Four Times My Emotional Intelligence Helped Me Make Smart Dating Decisions

Because sometimes your IQ isn’t enough.

Dating in 2018 can be tricky territory. Between getting ghosted, fielding unsavory Tinder hookups, and a whole gamut of other things, it’s hard to remember how to date healthily. By dating healthily, I mean being open to building new relationships and meeting new people. I also mean knowing when to end a situation that won’t give you what you want.

Emotional intelligence is a buzzword these days. While I won’t call myself an emotional genius, I can think of ways that my emotional intelligence guided my decision-making in the dating realm.

1) Be a good judge of character

On Tinder I met this man, once. He had a beautifully bushy beard and was extremely attractive. On our first date we met at a bar in December, sitting near an open fire. We talked, but really, HE talked. A lot: about his daughter, about his Ph. D program, about his undergraduate experience, about his studies in Afrocentric thought. All that talking he did should’ve been a red flag. We met subsequently after and he literally charmed the pants off me. The physical intimacy was a stellar encounter that I replayed in my head for weeks. But something clicked the fourth time we met – this guy was a self-involved asshole. All he cared about was talking about his life and trying to prove me wrong at every turn. Trying to undermine my intelligence because I was, in his words, “a baby” (we had an eight-year age difference).

It’s easy to get caught up in good sex (“dickmatized” is one of my favorite words). But I do consider myself a solid judge of character, even if it takes a few dates. I read the tone of his voice when he was about to say something condescending. I read his barely-concealed sighs when I would retort with my own rebuttals. It was the body language of someone who didn’t take me seriously.

 2) Have Self-Awareness

To be a good judge of character, one must know thyself. Which means knowing strengths, weaknesses, what you want and what you definitely don’t want. B was someone I went out with two years ago. He was a sweet and chivalrous type, always opening doors and insisting on paying when we went out. He treated me and my body with respect. The problem was that we had different ideas of how often we should see each other. Once every three-four weeks was enough for him. I could have gone out with him longer, had I been looking for a noncommittal situationship. With age, I’ve learned that I’m not a casual type of girl. And I hate gray area. That sealed my decision to end things at the three-month mark.

Being alone is better than settling for what you don’t want. Having a clear idea of who you are and the things you find important should always be at the forefront of your quest for romance.


3) Know when to apologize

The learning curve was big when I was in my first relationship. He was a friend first, one that I had intensely crushed on for months before mustering the courage to tell him my feelings. I thought that would be the hardest part. Nope. The hardest part was managing expectations. Even together, I felt like I was still pining for his attention. All I could think about was the attention he wouldn’t give me. I didn’t stop to think how he might feel until we talked things out (right before he dumped me, but it was useful nonetheless). He felt like I pressured him at times. “You just think about what you want, and not what I might want.”

A light bulb came on. He was right. I apologized for my lack of consideration. Our dating was new for him too; he had never gone out with a woman before. I think about that first relationship a lot, as brief as it was. Not being able to relinquish the ego holds you back from a lot of lessons.

4) Don’t Hold Grudges

Feeling like someone wronged you hurts. I get that. My summer 2017 wasn’t the best, partially because of an almost-romance gone sour. I say “almost-romance” because we weren’t dating per se, just two friends exploring what it was to be more than friends, living in the gray “friends with benefits” territory. The things that happened between us made me see him in a different light. I found him flaky, unreliable, and sending mixed messages left and right. The tipping point was when he abandoned me at a time I needed a friend the most.

It would be easy to resend him forever, to fall into a victim narrative of how he treated me badly. Of how much he sucks and how I’ll never trust him again. But a) that’s exhausting and b) serves no one. He was dealing with some personal turmoil, and nobody’s at their best when they’re trying to keep their head above water.  I understand that. Most importantly, I understand how much lighter my soul is when I forgive him and move forward with my life.

trust him