Love is a Habit

IMG_5364Left to it’s own devices, the mind will gravitate toward its most well-worn thought-groove, which, for many people, is fear and anxiety. The heart, following suit, will gravitate toward its basic defensive posture of fear: it hardens off to protect against the possibility of hurt and loss. While it’s important to understand the root causes of anxiety, fear, and why we defend (because we’ve all been hurt so we all know how vulnerable love renders us), what’s equally if not more important is to create new habits that allow the mind and heart to create new thought-and-action patterns that will result in opening and softening.

In this sense, feeling love and attraction for our partners is a habit that we can consciously cultivate and create. Left to the familiar habit, we will surrender to the fear-walls that want to jut up and create a comfortable chasm between us and our partners. The most confusing element of fear-walls is that they don’t always manifest as a clear and direct experience of fear, but more often as thoughts like, I don’t love him; She irritates me constantly; I’m not attracted; We don’t have enough spark, and feelings like repulsion, resistance, tightening in the body, numbness, ambivalence, doubt, anxiety and indifference.

We fall into these familiar thought-and-feeling patterns because they’re familiar. Even if relationship anxiety or ambivalence didn’t manifest until later in life, we learned a long time ago how to protect ourselves from fear. When people find me and they’re struggling with anxiety, one of the first questions I ask is, “Have you felt anxious before in your life?” and “When have you been hurt?” For we’ve all been hurt, and my clients and course members, because they fall on the anxious-sensitive spectrum, tend to experience the hurt in a more tender and raw way. We hurt, we shut down, and we’re formed a new habit or thought-pattern that can close us off from giving and receiving love.

Let’s take a small but poignant example of how this shut-down can happen early in life from a seemingly benign experience:

A young boy stops saying “I love you” to his parents. At first they don’t think much of it, but as the months roll on they begin to wonder about this curious behavior, especially since their other children have no trouble saying “I love you” freely. One night the mother asks the boy why he doesn’t say I love you anymore. The boys doesn’t answer. She gently asks again, and then the boy says, “One time Daddy laughed at me when I said I love you.” The mother is surprised at this, as her husband is a kind, sensitive man. She asks her husband about it later and he says, “I don’t remember that, but I was probably laughing from joy and tenderness because he’s so sweet.” He felt terrible and talked to his son about it immediately.

Oh, the sensitive heart! How many hundreds or thousands of times are children laughed at for expressing their true feelings? How often does a small interaction cause us to shut down even before we know what’s happening? The young heart simply cannot tolerate being poked or prodded in any way. The smallest criticism is received as a blow. A good-natured laugh is registered as being made fun of. One petal of the heart-flower closes with each perceived slight. Fear takes over to protect. Fear says, “It’s not safe to feel deeply. It’s not safe to be vulnerable. The only safety lies behind the wall of protection.”

The good news is that the heart is pliable, resilient and healable. With the proper tools and right attention, the heart can shed its encrusted layers and learn to give and receive fluidly again. It’s not easy work and it’s not fast work. And it’s work that definitely will not happen without practice. But just as we can shut down, so we can open again. And when we open our heart, the natural feelings of love and attraction that hibernate beneath the frozen layers are thawed into warm flow.

The first and essential step to de-fusing from protective fear-habits – both thoughts and feelings – is to name them for that they are. When we fall into the trap of believing fear as truth, we’ve taken the first step toward tumbling down the rabbit hole of anxiety. On the other hand, when we name fear for what it is, we gain a choice-point for how to respond. It’s this choice-point – this critical moment when our witness or adult self steps into the picture – that changes everything. When we can slow down our response, we then give ourselves the opportunity to create a new, healthy habit, a habit that will help you feel true intimacy with your partner that will then result in feeling more love and attraction.

Learning to name your fear-walls is one of the essential tools you will learn in the Open Your Heart program. We spend an entire week learning to identify all of the subtle and sometimes sneaky ways that fear manifests in mind and body. From there, we dive into the daily actions that will, over time, help you thaw the frozen places and allow real love and attraction to flow more frequently and freely.

As I witness people aging and chart my own trajectory, I notice that we have the opportunity at every stage of life – indeed, every day – to soften our defenses or allow them to calcify. Left to their own devices and the inertia of habit (there seems to be a fundamental laziness inherent to being human that we must actively counteract through practice and action), these walls and protective defense systems will harden and entrench over the years. If we want to develop the compassionate heart that allows us to love and be loved, the heart that lets others enter the innermost realms of self, we must learn to be vulnerable. But to say, “Be vulnerable”, isn’t enough. We need guidance. We need support. We need to know the actions to take that we will help us soften the encrusted heart. We need to learn the Laws and Actions.

Are you ready to learn these Love Laws and Loving Actions? Are you ready to take the steps that will help you to break down your fear-walls, change your entrenched habits and feel true love and attraction for your partner? It takes about sixty days to change a habit (sometimes less, sometimes more), and habits are more easily changed when you have the support of others who are traveling the same road. One of the benefits of my 30-day courses is that not only will you receive the support of a compassionate group of learners, but you will also be able to receive my guidance through the forum and the weekly group coaching calls. This is the last week to sign up, and I look forward to meeting you there.

Open Your Heart: A 30-day program to feel more love and attraction for your partner, begins on October 24th, 2015. I will not be offering this course again until early spring.

51 comments to Love is a Habit

  • Honza

    Hello Sheryl,
    I m 26 and I ve been with my gf for more than a year. But two months into the relationship the infatuation stage has worn off (maybe also due to stopping taking antidepressives after a year because I felt okay already – but which projected badly) and I started to have really bad anxieties about the relationship even though she s the best person I ve ever met and totally the kind of girlfriend I ve always dreamt about. Its my first serious relationship, before I ve had just one or two friends with benefits, so obviously the main fear is that I dont know if I m not missing on something if I stay in my first relationship even if it s perfect otherwise. Everybody talks about getting some relationship “experiences” before you really commit, but I dont even know what experiences they are talking about. I m really afraid that maybe in 10 years I ll see that they were right and I´ll have to break it off. So my queation is do you think it s possible to get rid of these feelings that you re missing on something and this fear of commitment maybe?

    Thank you for your reply
    Honza

    • It’s normal to have these fears, especially when it’s your first real relationship, but history shows us that “experience” isn’t a necessary factor in sustaining a long-term relationship. You’re struggling with normal anxiety, and I encourage you to read through the rest of my site to help you break through it.

  • EnglishRose

    I love your posts Sheryl and find them so helpful to reach out to for reassurance in moments when my partner is having a period of anxiety and doubt. I try to trust and have patience but sometimes wonder if this would be easier with someone else, if someone else wouldn’t have these doubts about a relationship with me. We both know we want to have children but his doubts are holding us back from taking that step. What if it pushes our relationship to breaking point? Especially with numerous friends around us breaking up just after having children. I just wish things were easier so we can keep moving on and growing together without worrying about whether it’s right or not, and just trusting in the love, closeness and support we feel for each other the majority of the time.

    • Do you have the course for partners of those struggling with relationship anxiety? It would help you enormously. And I hope your partner is receiving support of some kind: counseling and/or one of my e-courses. It’s very difficult to break through relationship anxiety alone.

      • EnglishRose

        Thanks for your response, Sheryl. Yes, I do have the course for partners which you mention. But I feel that where the work is really needed is with my partner. I think he would be open to one of the e-courses, but he is a Spanish speaker. Although he speaks English I think he would find a topic such as this hard not being in his own language. Are any of your courses available in Spanish yet? Many thanks.

  • Charlotte

    After suffering from relationship anxiety for over a year, I managed to develop acceptance and be ok with my thoughts. I was in such a great place, being okay with the uncertainty that I may not love my partner. Only now, I have discovered that my partner has a porn addiction, that he obsessively uses sex chat rooms in private. My first instinct was to run for the hills. How could he do this? Why would he do this when I was in such pain? But I’ve realised that he needs help, he needs to address why he felt the need to turn to porn, why he couldn’t function each day without watching porn. I want to support him, I want to be able to trust him. He is going to see a therapist and wants to make it up to me but I am afraid. i am afraid of this happening again, he was by my side when I was in so much pain he was always the one to assure me we would get through. I’ve thought long and hard and I have had come to the decision to stay because I believe he deserves forgiveness and support. But I’m just unsure of how to move on. I know many people will disagree on my decision to stay but I feel that walking away would only be the easy way out, and would cause more damage to me.

    • I’m so sorry for this painful situation, and yet, if you’re both willing to work with it there’s tremendous potential for growth. It doesn’t really matter what anyone else thinks: if you’re committed to staying AND your partner is truly willing to seek support (I would recommend therapy AND 12-step meetings to address the addictive aspect), your relationship could grow tremendously from this painful turn of events. Couples therapy would also be beneficial as trust has been broken and needs to be repaired.

      • Charlotte

        He is seeking therapy and luckily in my case I have family members who are experts in treating people with alcohol/drug addictions and all addictions are said to work in more or less the same sort of way. The only issue with the 12 step groups is that there are absolutely none in our area so we will give therapy a go first. Thank you for getting back to me.

  • Emma

    Hi Sheryl,

    Been a follower of your work for a long time. I’m not sure which course is best suited for me, Break Free course or Open Your Heart — I feel I could use healing in both areas.

    One thing on which I would love your opinion is the notion of guilt — and I really hope you can write about this in a future post. I used to be involved with another guy when my boyfriend and I were on a break. I was smitten by him. When my boyfriend and I decided to get back together, my relationship anxiety went through the roof — WHO DO I CHOOSE? This guy, although he is an honest, kind man, was not fully available and I know in my deepest of hearts that my boyfriend is, and will always be, the right person for me.

    Today, my boyfriend and I are in a happy relationship, despite my slow-burn relationship anxiety. But sometimes I do have these ‘longing’ feelings for the other guy. Wondering how he’s doing, how we would’ve been together, etc., when we talk via text (not often) it feels so nice to catch up and just hear from him but I wind up feeling so guilty after. He sent me a text this weekend saying he thought my new Instagram picture was “really cute” and Sheryl, I think on some level I wanted him to notice it. And that right there <<< leaves me in a grip of anxiety and guilt that won't let go.

    Why did I want that? Did I post the picture just so he would notice? I honestly don't know anymore. If I did, that's not ok…and makes me want to cry for having done so. I don't want to have those motives and/or feelings for anyone else but my boyfriend. It all makes me feel this "need to confess" to my boyfriend. You know that OCD-need-to-confess feeling I'm talking about? Had it a lot when I was about 9 y.o. Just wish I could just carry on normally as friends without being plagued by this anxiety, guilt and doubt.

    What do you think?

    I really hope this message gets to you.

    Warmest Regards,
    Emma xx

    • Sometimes guilt is a way to control or avoid feeling a more painful feeling, and sometimes it’s an indicator from our conscience that we’re behaving in ways that are not aligned with our values. It sounds like, for you, it’s a bit of both. The focus on this guy is preventing you from fully committing to your relationship and, thus, is a way to avoid the vulnerability inherent to intimate relationships AND by choosing to continue to leak energy out of your relationship you’re acting in a way that doesn’t feel good or right to your heart and mind.

      I would strongly recommend that you consider the Break Free course over Open Your Heart. It will address everything you’re struggling with, and so much more.

      • Emma

        Thank you infinitely for your response. What you have said makes sense to me, but for some reason I feel more anxious after reading it.

        I’m struggling with what I should do with this anxiety and guilt, I rarely talk to this person (keeping it that way), this weekend was a one-off occasion we caught up (kept it neutral) and left me questioning and doubting my motives for posting the instagram photo as well as feeling anxious about old feelings having been brought to back. For some reason my mind tells me to confess to my boyfriend (as I used to to when I was 9 to my mom) — even tho he has told me in the past it’s fine to stay in touch. Still feel like I’ve done something wrong by doubting my motives for posting the picture (not sure what they were at this point). Perhaps my suffering is caused by the uncertainty of my motives — not knowing for sure if I posted for him or for me? Not sure how to address the guilt and anxiety when my mind thinks the only way to appease it is confessing , but I know this is a compulsion. Or is it? Will continue to keep away and manage the guilt and anxiety w mindfulness as best I can?

        Warmest regards, Emma xx

        • just me

          I have suffered from same kind of thing lately. But I am already married and I have had intrusive thoughts and dreams about my ex-boyfriend, and I have started to wonder “what if” i am supposed to be with him. Those thoughts have made me so shamed and guilty and I have not been recently able yo open my hearth and be present with my husband. I would like to get finally over this issue, but I am afraid that I can’t ..

          • Emma

            Hi JustMe,

            I can relate to this guilty feeling. I’ve been feeling anxious since i posted my last comment. Not sure how to address these feelings. I feel like a bad person for having spoken to my ex via text (even tho it was very platonic and neutral) and I can’t shake the idea that maybe I wanted him to notice my new photo on instagram. Seems so silly, my mom has told me to just let it go, but my mind is running me through this anxious loop. xx

        • H

          Hi Emma,

          Pretty much the same thing happened to me! I was interested in a guy for ages who wouldn’t commit and wasn’t fully available. I then met my lovely boyfriend,who I could see myself marrying from the first date! But still I had this other guy on my mind, it was more annoyed that he didn’t do what my boyfriend was doing. I like you did the same thing but on snap chat, would send ones for his attention so I could turn around and be like ‘HA! Too late now’ he still tried messing me around and having conversations with me like he used to but I felt immensely guilty for replying and even posting a photo to get his attention. But I think possibly that’s something you need to grieve. The possibility of someone else whilst in a relationship. I understand the guilt. I felt awful. And when o told him I had a boyfriend he told me he basically wanted to be with me and give it a shot and I was like ‘omg who do I choose!’ But quickly realised actually why now? Why didn’t you do this before, he just wanted what he couldn’t have and after doing some digging around on his Instagram and Twitter (another thing I feel guilty for) I found out he had a girlfriend the whole time! But anyway, I’m not saying this is exactly like your story, but it sounds like you are just curious but you are taking that curiosity and making it seem bad. It’s okay to be curious just don’t act on it again. Forgive yourself. But don’t do it again. Yes you will probably think about him again but just keep reminding yourself why you chose your boyfriend in the first place. I got over the guilt by like I said forgiving myself, admitting I had done wrong and never did it again. If you do one of sheryls e-courses I strongly believe you will feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. Good luck x

          • Emma

            H, thanks so much for your comfort. I wrote to you in Sheryl’s previous blog post bc our situations are quite similar- maybe you saw that? I relate to your story, even the snapchat thing! You’re right about needing to forgive myself. I have done silly little things like this in the past in relation to this guy, I promised myself I would no longer seek his attention. I’m not sure why I did it again this weekend though, had gone so without after I promised I wouldn’t. Maybe it really is just curiosity like you said.. The rational part of me doesn’t think what I’ve done is super criminal… just touched base with him, to see how he was doing. What really sparked the guilt was the picture thing (to get his attention). Next time I think about him, I won’t reach out to him. I usually don’t but for some reason I did this weekend and it didn’t feel good. At work today I’ve been sick with guilt and anxiety, and this tearful feeling, worse than it’s been in a LONG time. How are you doing now? I hope this passes. I think the Break Free course will help a lot. I used to be in therapy for just general anxiety but have cut through a lot of it, now it’s just this anxiety devouring me since the weekend. I hope it passes.

            Really glad you reached out, hope we can stay in touch some how xx.

          • H

            Hi, I didn’t see you replied to my post until you said! But how strange our situations are very similar. I’m doing okay. I moved in with my boyfriend a week ago and since then o have been riddled with anxiety and I feel like I’ve gone back to how I was before. I was kinda getting used to not feeling loving all the time etc which was my main worry. I was getting my used to having a normal relationship but then we moved in and now I’m so anxious. But I know a lot of it is because the worries o have are made up in my head, I imagine a scenario and assume that it is happening to me. But I’m trying to calm myself down a lot, because I know o have wanted this for so long and now ive got it I’m a bloody mess haha. But I know I will be fine I just need to keep carrying on doing what I did before all this anxiety hit again. Yeah I have been in therapy for general anxiety too but I don’t get as anxious about other things aumore because the main thing is my relationship. It’s getting to the point where all this anxiety is boring me now. I just feel like go away I’m not giving any energy to you anymore haha. But hopefully that is a good thing! I am doing the conscious weddings e-course and I’m on the forum a lot so if you join hopefully we could stay in touch that way. Good luck x

  • Hi Sheryl
    I was wondering if you can help me….
    Lately my WS is been looking for little things to keep spiking me and it almost feels like its looking for faults to keep me feeling anxious, I was doing ok by not giving power to my thoughts but I do admit that I go through this cycles of doing ok then I get very influenced and vulnerable finding little faults that I cant stop focusing on, kind of like OCD.
    My question is. How do I know if me and my husband have the same spiritual values? I mean we both believe in reincarnation, in god, and in pretty much the same I think, but we dont practice anything. I have read him some of your articles and he agrees with you and says he is happy that this helps me, but he seems like a more balanced person that I am.
    he is very wise but he doesnt explain things in a loving way and I am the kind of person that I want to be taught in a loving way because thats how I understand things more and thats how I feel my heart opens up and is less scared to open up, so I have been telling him that I want to connect with him more deeply spiritually and learning both about love because I feel like I want and need that from us, and he is willing to learn and be open about it but at the same time because he is such a balanced person I dont know how to do it, I also get the feeling that he is not really into it totally but he says that when you are in a relationship its not always about you wanting but about being opened and willing to learn.
    I cant say I am very spiritual, I think that the way I am becoming more “spiritual ” is by learning about love here in your website and with what you teach.
    Do you think that the fact that he doesnt talk about that too much is because we have different spiritual values?
    I just feel disconnected with him lately on that subject because I feel like maybe he is so balanced himself that I dont feel I connect with him in a way that he feels the same anxiety and dept in life there is. What would you advice me? I dont know if I am explaining myself very well because I dont know how, its just this feeling of me not being connected with him in this subject in a way I wish I could be, I feel like he is more simple and I am more deeper or maybe I havent found a way to help me express his deptness. Would this mean we dont have the same spiritual values?
    Hopefully it makes sense and thank you for all your posts.

  • Stef

    Hi sheryl and everyone reading,

    I have commented a few times on a few different blogs. I like to get other people’s opinions and wise words which I suppose a very OCD trait of mine to get reassurance but anyway..

    Lately I’ve been having anxiety around a particular intrusive thought..
    The thoughts are that when I started a relationship with my partner even though I knew I wanted to be with her, the thoughts tell me that I didn’t think about ‘forever’ as a long term thing with her. As if I only thought about it as a short term thing. Like a forever for right now if that makes any sense..
    I remember very very vaguely having a thought at the start of our relationship, which was the best as we were loved up and in a honeymoon phase still. I don’t even remember what I was thinking about or what lead me to this but a thought flashed over my mind about ‘when her and I break up I will… And so on’ … I don’t actually even remember the full thought of what situation I was in to have that pop up but it did and now I can’t stop thinking about it and playing it over and over..
    I think at the time I stopped myself and was like what?! Your going to be with her forever your not breaking up.. And I didn’t attach to the thought at all at the time but it worries me now that I thought about that early on..

    I also had another thought which was a few years into our relationship that was a quick flash of that ‘I would never be with a man again’
    As you might of gathered my partner and I are both women.. And I define myself as bi sexual but would probably be more likely to be with a man if I weren’t with my partner. When this thought flashed over I again didn’t attach to it but nowadays I do because the anxiety is way worse..
    I have read the blog post by sheryl that was about the lives we won’t live and feel I am suffering a bit of that feeling. I sometimes think and feel like I might be missing out on something else or I could be living a different life and that definelty brings up the thoughts and feelings of not ever being with a man.
    I don’t want to have these desires I would love to just feel content with my partner and the fact that she’s also a women..
    Makes me so anxious that I’m not being my true self even though I would so love to just be okay and not feel tempted to steer away from my partner and our relationship..

    I wonder if anyone has thoughts from their past that they didn’t attach to but remember now that anxiety has come about?

  • aaargh

    Hi Sheryl,
    I have been reading your posts ever since I made up my mind to get married (with a little guidance from my parents- the kind you give out on this wonderful website of yours). I was dealing with this relationship anxiety before I said yes and even now after we are engaged and soon to be married. My boyfriend and I are not very similar people and even when we started dating I had my doubts, since we were different people with different tastes, sense of humour, etc. We had dated way back in school and I think I always had a soft spot for him which is why I said yes. So it started off like that – we had our up and down days, things progressing great some days and just okay on others. Sometimes I felt really in love with him other days I was unsure.. I do think it is kind of because of the person I am but also because of who he is and like how I said we did not connect in many ways.. He is a good person, a good human being, loving and caring, supportive, encouraging, trusting, intelligent, confident, decisive and seldom confused (unlike me) very much a family person, stuff husbands are meant to be made of, but I don’t think he always gets me.. Our personalities are quite different.. Infact i feel it so many times- yes it may be because we are in a long distance relationship I didn’t mention that.. We started off like that too. Have been with each other for two years and now we are to get married.. I discussed with him how I felt about the whole situation and he said that as long as we care for each other enough to make this work it will. I do care for him but sometimes it frustrates me that I am not being true to myself that this isn’t meant to be maybe.. I go through this phase quite a lot and discuss with him too and he listens patiently, sometimes not so much because it can be irritating when a person keeps bringing up the same thing. What am I doing? is it the right thing to do ? I don’t know if this is the fear u speak of or is it because it’s not a correct relationship ? I am so confused and I do keep that anxiety at bay when I’m busy with stuff but when we talk that connection is again missing sometimes .. Sometimes it’s there I don’t know it’s all very confusing . I am convincing myself that this will work out and then again I have these negative thoughts. Maybe I’m asking on this page because u are mostly always positive about all relationships, and maybe I want that too. I’m not thinking of being with another person or anything like that. I just want myself to believe that this is right for me, if it is and I don’t want to stress again ever. And if not right for me then I don’t know how to deal with it

  • Kenj

    Hi Sheryl and everyone,

    I have discovered that all of my relationship patterns are the same before it longs for like 1-2 months only and when my partner says I love you I usually run away. That was few years ago and don’t know what love is and usually got bored with it. Now is my first serious relationship even though she’s not my girlfriend yet. We’re currently dating for 7-8 months already and the early months I start to feel and have doubts because I felt that I’m getting overwhelmed and at the same time I don’t want to see her and talk to her. That’s the time I keep googling and ended up here. It shifted my mindset to somewhat uncontrollable to bit mindful, I was able to proceed for a while I keep talking to myself for what it says. But still it lingers from time to time although with a weaker one. It’s really damaging since I struggle with expressing my emotions and dealing with this thoughts and negative feelings keep hurting the present thus unable to feel anything causing me to close everytime and question it. What triggers my anxiety is that I think why I am not proud of her, why I am not planning in the future, why I am not feeling anything, passive aggressive. She started to feel extremely jealous and possessive thus making mo choose between my friends and her, what do I watch or something our past fights she keeps bringing up old mistakes. I know that she has trust issues due to her exes. Recently I got jealous of her talking to other guys. I keep wondering if this is love or just something to pass time with.And why do I keep doing things for her to make her happy even though I feel I dont want to talk to her and see her anf It feels like I’m forcing love to come. I keep reading in this site and books but it also contrary to what she does believes in. Thank you I just want to know why I feel like this.

    • Kenj

      I have problems with expressing my expression and communication with her. I tend to overthink alot of things. I am very unsure of her which damages our relationship. We do spend time together everyday and text each other feeling like no time for myself. I also dont know why i keep distancing myself more. I hope that someone understands me

  • Miriam

    Wooww! you are truly an amazing women, and a true inspiration! I have learned so much from you. I feel like you have saved me from my crazy anxious self and it has saved my new marriage! (still a work in progress though, but major improvement). I feel like you are talking directly to me every time, and your timing is impeccable. I look forward to receiving your emails everytime.

    If I could, I would have sent you flowers as a thank you

  • Mich

    Hi Sheryl

    Is there any way I can do therapy with you via email? I’m all the way in South Africa. Please let me know via my email address. Warm wishes xxx

  • Soph

    Hi Sheryl I really appreciate all your articles and reading everyone’s comments. I’ve been with my boyfriend for 4 years. There has never been anything wrong with our relationship and I was always very happy with him. I thought he was great and there was no one like him! It started when He told me his brother was staying at his house as his wife told him that she didn’t love him anymore. Immediately I thought how could she say that?! How could you feel that way about him. Then I started questioning myself what if I don’t love my boyfriend. And it has went into that I DONT love him and that I don’t like spending time with. I just feel so upset and angry and my head will not let me say this a big fat lie!! It’s so frustrating! No one around me understands!! How can I be with someone when I have a voice saying “you don’t love him” and “you don’t like spending time with him” I feel like I have no feelings and that I’m going to be stuck like this forever. Please help me as there’s nothing wrong with him 🙁 I’m doubting everything about him and can’t accept that I do love him 🙁 it seems to be getting worse.

    • You’ve found your way to the right place. It’s time to learn how to work with your thoughts and learn the truth about love. Let the learning begin ;).

  • You will be ok Soph, I know its hard right now but just dont give up… 🙂

  • Soph

    Thanks Newly Married and thank you Sheryl for your reply 🙂 do you think I would benefit from the relationship anxiety course?

  • just me

    Is here anybody else, who has suffered rocd from the beginning of the relationship and survived from it?

    • Of the thousands of people who have taken my courses, about 1/3 of them have suffered from doubt from the beginning. Many of them talk about it in the Break Free From Relationship Anxiety E-Course interviews.

  • just me

    I have voice in my head saying “how long are you going to lie to your husband that you do not really love him, because you have suffered from doubts so long? ” I do not anymore is it real me or not?

  • H

    Hi Sheryl,

    I am thinking about doing the open your heart course. I know today is the last day so I am probably too late. But when you say you do Skype sessions what does that entail? I’m worried I’m going to pay for it and not be able to do the Skype sessions because I live in the UK and I would like to get what I pay for. What sort of times do you do the Skype calls?

    • You’re not too late. Registration will remain open until Saturday morning (US). You will be fine for the Skype calls. It’s actually a bridge line that allows everyone to sign in at the same time (not video). Calls are generally held on Mondays at 5pm eastern. If you’re not able to make the calls (only about 1/4 of course participants are generally able to make the live calls), you will be able to ask your questions beforehand and listen to the live recording afterwards.

      • H

        I have taken the big leap and applied for it and paid on my credit card. I was scared to do it (I have no idea why) but I’m glad I did! I’m excited to get started!

        • Emma

          Hi H,

          Question: What’s making you choose the Open your Heart as opposed to the Break Free course? I feel we are in similar places but Sheryl proposed the Break Free course for me. Just curious as to why you selected that one as I was debating between the two!

          Also, does each course have its own separate forum or will I be able to chat/communicate with those in the Open Your Heart forums too?

          Thanks! xx

  • R

    Sheryl,
    Thank you so much for the work you do. What you say is true-love is a habit and a choice. I still, at times, struggle with relationship anxiety. I believe I will enroll in the break free course as soon as I’m able. I am one of those that never had an infatuation stage. To be honest, sometimes I feel I missed out. I will say that the only sane decision is to become a fear warrior, as you call it. I’m so grateful that you’ve shown me that this is more to do with me than “being with the wrong person.” It’s not an easy journey and there are days when I wish for it all to be easy and smooth-like the myths of love. But the truth is, as you’ve said before, if I don’t face it now I will be asked to face it later. So thank you. Thank you for what you do, it’s so badly needed in our world.

  • KJ

    Hello to Sheryl and Everyone,

    My girl and I are currently dating for around 8 months already we are not yet exclusive since I am still confused about her. This is my first serious relationship if ever. I understand that I experienced butterflies before since I’m the one pursuing her but when she faced me to love me I don’t know why I keep feeling smothered by her dont want to talk to her and see her even though we see each other everyday, I dont feel anything and keep intrusive thoughts. I want to run and thinking that I don’t want the relationship and I’m with the wrong partner. I keep sabotaging our relationship causing emotional abuse to her like shutting down and silent treatments. I’m easily influenced by anything that I read and from other people. I’m 21 but still immature. She cares and understands me. I dont know if im not being honest with my self or I’m narcisstic but i dont know why there is something that doesnt want me to leave her. Hope someone helps

  • just me

    I am scared and happy at the same time. I finally made my decision and participated in break free from relationship anxiety. Part of me believes that this is waste of money because I have been suffering so serious doupts lately, but I want to give a chance that I would finally get over that exhausting ex-issue and other stuff which are preventing me to be present and open to my husband.

  • TL

    Dear Sheryl,

    I am a little late but please could I join your course? I came across your site only this evening and reading your articles alone, has shifted something in me. I would be so grateful if I could. I understand that it is not my partner but my anxiety which affects my relationship through my in ability to keep my heart open. I practice yoga and meditation which are tools that definitely help but I am 25 and often feel guidance from a skilled practitioner is something that would cement my open heart. I hope to hear from you soon. x

  • TL

    Hi Sheryl, thank you for your reply. I also feel that I would benefit from ‘trust yourself’ course and therefore wondered…do you find any of the courses you provide will have a ripple effect into other areas of a persons life? As I believe when I am loving to myself, that is when I am most loving towards my boyfriend and all people really! Thanks x