Excerpt from “Conversations with Phil and Maude”

PhilAndMaude2As we work on our new book, I have been looking at some of our conversations. We have been writing back and forth to each other about relationships and our relationship for years. I’m going to share some of our “Conversations”.

Conversations between Phil and Maude

Phil: Right from the beginning I always treated you as having your own autonomy, and I still do. I never feel comfortable persuading you to do something you are not eager to do, because there is very little pleasure in doing something together when you have been talked into it. And likewise, and even more important from my point of view, is that you do not put pressure on me to act in a certain way. You may make suggestions, but they remain only that.
The result of not being pressured is that it gives me the freedom to act as I wish, to follow my dreams and desires, to be myself. Now this takes a certain effort on my part, even to this day, as I think we are nearly all prone to act to please another and get approval. But the results are two-fold: it gives me the opportunity to be and experience myself, and it gives you the opportunity to see the real me, and this is the stuff of personal intimacy.

Maude: We don’t seem to be busy with or involved in wanting our partner to be anything other than who and what they are. If you can actually be with another person, without wanting them to change, or being busy in any way to alter them, then amazing things become possible.
For this magic to work, you have to actually be suited to the other. There has to be a match, a balance of energy between you. At the same time, there is a joy of being with someone who is innately different than you — someone who is not you, but another.
I love experiencing who you are and how you interact with the world. I so enjoy the way you take pleasure in who I am, and I do have the feeling you truly see me for who I am.