Love dies a thousand deaths. Revive it 1,001 times.

Love dies a thousand deaths.

Sensuality dies a thousand deaths.

In a long life together, it will die and grow cold and be buried… Unless you REFUSE to let it.  

If, over and over, you breathe life into it again, without wasting energy (any more than you absolutely must) measuring whether it’s worth it, you will resuscitate it and its strength will grow, like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

I’ve been a leadership and business coach to thousands of entrepreneurs and hundreds of executives in my coaching career, spanning back to 1997.

My favorite sessions have always been those where my client would say (often almost in a whisper) “I know we’re supposed to focus on leadership, but I really need to talk about my marriage…”).

These days, having given myself the gift of switching my focus to love, I DO still work with self-employed leaders, but my executive clients also taught me something about business deals that maps over brilliantly to long term love.

“Deals die a thousand deaths.”  A client in venture capital first told me those words, and I used his own wisdom to help him cultivate the essential resilience he needed to “keep the faith” through all those many deaths.

He needed to be resilient, to hold the vision, like it was his job.  ‘Cause it WAS.

Put the deal together.  Watch it fall apart.

Keep that relationship going, knowing it might result in this same deal at a different time or in a different array…

Or a different deal.

Put together another way to acquire this company.

Watch that deal fall apart.  Then work out.

Get a win.

Start over.

In a way, lover of love, you have to think like a venture capitalist (or an entrepreneur seeking funding!) if you have a vision for your relationship.

You call up your resilience.

Knock on a door (a very familiar one… but in a positive, visionary, approving way… not in the same, perhaps disappointed, perhaps nagging way you may have in the past).

Paint a picture of what could be possible.

Ask for what you desire. 

The next chapter?

It might look like unqualified success.

Or it might look like your partner's compliance… But not their heart-felt embrace of the spirit of what you're asking.

 And then there might be a back-slide.

Or you might receive defensiveness and counter-accusation (making you wonder, “Did I make an accusation?  I wasn’t trying to!”  But it felt like one to your love.  Back to square one.)

Whatever happens, you’ll have to make like a venture capitalist:


Be grateful for any movement on any level (however infinitesimal it may seem, when you stack it up next to your vision).

 Dig deeper to see where you can elevate your own presence, communication, generosity.

 Bring that newfound, deeper, sweeter YOU back to the table.

 Reconnect to the vision, practice feeling the feelings of which the vision is built.

 Identify the behaviors, the words, the qualities of presence you desire.  And ask again.

You ask “what can I bring to our now that will help bring about the kind of love and sex I can imagine for us?”

And you say, “I want this for you and for me and for us.  I know it’s asking a lot; it’s asking us both for change.  It might sound like I’m rejecting what we have had… It’s not that.  I love US and it’s YOU with whom I want even more.  Let’s keep moving this direction."

You help them operationalize what you’re asking.  Reminders in the calendar.  Notes on the mirror.  Reminders to self.  Just like they would with any other project.

If they haven’t been remembering to do what they agreed to do for your relationship?  It’s just because it hasn’t hit the operational level yet.  That’s one of the thousand deaths.

Think of the other deaths... of love, of sensuality, of passion... {perhaps, of hope?}... That have already happened in your relationship.

What kills your sexual connection?

What dents and bruises your affection?

What puts dust and scratches on your sense of safety and closeness?

At our house love has been killed a thousand times…

By my mindless computing after sundown.

By too much time with family and friends and not enough “just us."

By work stress.  His meeting a deadline.  My launching a new program.

By postpartum sleep deprivation.  A sick kid.  Our own illnesses or insomnia.

Our sexual connection has gotten crowded out over and over this summer….

By camping. By travel and later bedtimes and a house made messy by too many comings-from-adventure and goings-to-other-adventures back-to-back-to-back.  By our glorious life.

But we resuscitate it.  We find it again.

We make sure to remember what it is we’re building, even when we haven’t laid down the next brick in days… Or weeks…

We look back at the blueprint.  We pick up where we left off.  We skip the blame, the contraction, the collapsing around this less-sexy version of us.

We know it’s just another of the endless number of deaths.  We don’t marry the wane… we’ve sworn allegiance to the waxing.

We are faithful to the dream.

THAT is the difference between winning and losing.

In love.  Or venture capital.  Business building and sales.

Absolutely refuse to stop.  Hold the vision.  Keep the faith.  Look within, revise, repeat.

This is what I call

divine stubbornness

:  the refusal to let go of the vision of a sweeter, deeper, more sensual kind of love… the love you can imagine, and the soul-nourishing sex you yearn for…

Simultaneously, it’s the refusal to leave.

The refusal to give up on THIS love to get THAT intensity that you can imagine.

What makes this stubbornness divine?

The way you’re willing to be pilloried


, to die to who you’ve been, so that as eroticism, chemistry, turn-on are reborn in your relationship, you yourself are reborn.

You die again and again.  Each time, you wake up a little more to your own true self.

Each time, your own smallness, attachment, identification fall away a little.  The love you’re building isn’t a monument to your ego, to your neuroses, to some emptiness inside your heart that you’re asking your partner to fill.

You’re gradually letting go of all of those… But never succumbing to any numbed out, resigned self-sufficiency for the sake of staying together.

You’re inviting the perpetual hollowing out of your personality, so the light can shine through you, ever more clearly, as you build the relationship you’ve been shown inside your dreams.

Love dies a thousand deaths.

You must keep the faith to bring it back to life.

As you resuscitate it, may you be renewed, revived, resurrected yourself, in ever-brighter forms.