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Mothering › Health Articles › Talkin’ sweet about love: what the shrinks need to hear

Talkin’ sweet about love: what the shrinks need to hear

Last January’s issue of O Magazine explores intimacy blocks through the lens of Feeling Good Together: The Secret to Making Troubled Relationships Work, by David Burns, MD. His theory is that you can’t fix your partner {too bad, because I’m okay, but he needs fixin’,} and that once you start changing, your partner will change too. Damn. I have more than an inkling that he’s right.




But here’s where so much shrink-dispensed advice goes to pot: the packaging, the delivery, the realism. The robotic, saint-like scripting so many relationship experts suggest is as genuine as a spray tan. Love needs sunshine, real heat, a bit of smolder.





Take Dr. Burns’ “Relationship Tune-Ups.” The beef is that your partner criticizes you, in which case, you should practice “positive reframing” … or, the smile while you turn crap into compost trick. As Burns’ paints the picture, your partner says you’re a control freak, you should respond with:


You’re right, I may have a tendency to be overly controlling, we seem to be having a conflict right now.” {no kidding.} “But as awful as it feels I’m thinking this could be an opportunity for us to explore a deeper relationship.


Wow. Fun. And then what? You can reasonably agree to copulate at mutually convenient time?





If I spoke like that to my man he’d roll his eyes and pop in a DVD. With real life couples that I know of, the positive re-framing might go more like this:


You think I’m a control freak? Damn straight I am {what self-aware, creative woman can escape that label?} And baby, you love me for it {nuzzle up, offer a smoochie.} You love how I make our life groove, how I make sure the house smells good and how I always remember cream for your coffee, even tho’ I don’t even drink the stuff, {continue with the nuzzling, he should be cracking a smile by now…} So who’s your favourite control freak now, baby?


Then offer to compromise on the issue causing friction and get on with it.




Radical personal accountability does wonders for your consciousness. It makes you think like a god. It turns fault lines into musculature. But coy self-deprecation and taking on criticism doesn’t do anyone any favours. Being genuinely strong and genuinely flexible is truly positive re-framing, as opposed to the fake re-frame.




Open your heart (it’s always bigger than you think.)

Stand tall (you’re just trying to get by like the rest of us.)

And pour some real sugar on it (none of that nasty NutraSweet stuff.)

. . . . . . .


Danielle LaPorte

About Danielle LaPorte

Danielle LaPorte is the author of the book The Fire Starter Sessions: A Soulful + Practical Guide for Creating Success on Your Own Terms (from Random House/Crown). An inspirational speaker, former think tank exec and business strategist, she is the creator of the online program The Spark Kit: A Digital Experience for Entrepreneurs and co-author of Your Big Beautiful Book Plan. Over a million visitors have gone for her straight-up advice on DanielleLaPorte.com, a site that has been deemed "the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality."

You can find her on Facebook and on Twitter @daniellelaporte


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Mothering › Health Articles › Talkin’ sweet about love: what the shrinks need to hear