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Sheryl Paul
Sheryl Paul, M.A., is a bridal counselor, helping brides-to-be cope with the many issues and transitions from the engagement, ceremony, and honeymoon through the first year of marriage She has counseled thousands of people worldwide through her private practice, her books: The Conscious Bride and The Conscious Bride's Wedding Planner, her website,, and her two Home Study Programs: The Conscious Weddings E-Course: From Anxiety to Serenity and Birthing a New Mother: A Roadmap to Calm Your Anxiety, Fortify Your Marriage, and Prevent Postpartum Depression. She has been featured on Oprah, Good Morning America, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Washington Post, Bride's Magazine, and other top television, radio, and newspapers around the globe. She lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband and two sons.

Entries by Sheryl Paul

Love Is Not the Absence of Fear

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 5:53 PM

Love is not the absence of fear. Like joy and sadness, love and fear are dualities that live in the same chamber of the heart. When we love another deeply, fear will rear its head. Designed to protect the vulnerable heart, fear is the sentry who guards the sacred entrances....

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Are You Too Close for Sex?

(0) Comments | Posted January 29, 2014 | 5:40 PM

"This may sound strange, but at times I wish my partner were less available. More of a jerk, even. Not so willing to and ready to connect all the time. I guess I wish he would let me come to him sometimes," a client shares.

"I feel like we've seen...

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Why a Healthy Marriage Can Give You Wings to Fly

(2) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 6:21 PM

One of the most common and debilitating fears among my female engaged clients and e-course members is that marriage means the death of their freedom and independence. While marriage certainly requires a death of the single identity and lifestyle in order for the transition from non-married to married to occur...

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How to Relieve Engagement Anxiety

(0) Comments | Posted October 25, 2013 | 3:37 PM

Like any process of self-growth and healing, working with the habitual patterns that keep us mired in negative stuck places is a practice. When my engaged and newlywed clients ask me what to do about the negative lens through which they're viewing their partner, I tell them that they need...

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Grieve and Be Grateful: The Aftermath of the Colorado Floods

(3) Comments | Posted September 27, 2013 | 4:47 PM

We must drop unguarded into the holy bath of grief, inside of which all truly happy men and women must bathe to transform the great losses of life, in war, sicknesses, the loss of homelands and the loss of one's confidence in human decency into a wailing that ends in...
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If It's Conditional, It's Not Love

(8) Comments | Posted September 9, 2013 | 12:09 PM

We have a redundant phrase in our lexicon: unconditional love. To say "unconditional" love indicates that real love can be anything other than unconditional. It's like what I learned in high school English that it's redundant to say "close proximity" because the very definition of proximity is to be close....

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When Love Is Longing

(0) Comments | Posted August 10, 2013 | 11:34 AM

Hollywood has done a number on all of us. From the time we're old enough to ingest information, we're inundated with images and messages about love, romance, and marriage that are shrouded in a shimmery cloud of fantasy. There's nothing wrong with fantasy; the problems arise when fantasy and reality...

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Anxiety and Emptiness

(3) Comments | Posted July 19, 2013 | 1:23 PM

There seems to be a natural and predictable pattern that occurs when someone starts to heal from intense anxiety. As soon as the ceaseless mind chatter quiets down, a space opens up inside which feels like emptiness.

Anxiety, like all emotions, is energy. Energy takes up space in our...

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Are You Stuck In Adolescent Love?

(6) Comments | Posted July 17, 2013 | 2:30 PM

It seems that our culture is perpetually stuck in the stage of life called adolescence, and the corresponding mindset seems to be accelerating at an alarming rate. Like toddlerhood, adolescence is a developmental stage characterized by an all-consuming focus on me, which is certainly appropriate when you're trying to figure...

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What Does it Mean to Be in Love?

(4) Comments | Posted July 2, 2013 | 6:06 PM

A significant portion of my work is dedicated to dismantling and deconstructing the pervasive and dysfunctional messages our culture propagates about love, myths most people have absorbed by osmosis since the first time they were exposed to the wonderful world of Disney and Hollywood. The basic messages about love are:

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A Watertight Marriage

(1) Comments | Posted June 6, 2013 | 6:07 PM

As I wrote in my post "What if I Have an Affair?" an astonishingly high number of people who come my way express a fear that they're going to cheat on their partner after marriage. The topic came up in a recent session with a client:

"It seems...

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Love Is a Garden

(13) Comments | Posted May 16, 2013 | 5:41 PM

As I'm gardening, analogies to marriage often pop into my head, and today the similarity was clear: it takes time to grow the garden of love. We have a deeply-entrenched belief in our culture that love should be easy; that when you marry, you should know how to...

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Engagement Anxiety: When Friendships Fall Apart

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 12:00 PM

About four to six weeks before the big day, I inevitably have a session with my engaged clients that begins like this:

"I need to talk about my friendships. One friend isn't showing up for the wedding, another one didn't help at all with my shower, and another one has...

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Falling Out of Love

(4) Comments | Posted April 2, 2013 | 12:24 PM

It's a natural and inevitable stage of every relationship, whether with a friend, a partner, or a pet: the zest and sparkle that characterize the early stages fade away; the ease and lightness narrow into more distance or tension; the openheartedness that elevates the two of you to a state...

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The Top 5 Marriage Fears

(12) Comments | Posted March 27, 2013 | 7:19 PM

"I love my fiancé but ever since we got engaged I've been so anxious," Emily shares with me. "We have a loving, healthy relationship but the anxiety is making me wonder if I'm making a mistake."

"Do you remember when the anxiety started?"

"Yes. We were sitting in our pastor's...

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Premarital Wisdom: The Truth About Sex

(424) Comments | Posted March 4, 2013 | 11:50 PM

Can you imagine how different your marriage would have been had someone laid it on the line and honestly told you what is normal to expect in the bedroom? What a disservice we do to engaged couples when we don't honestly tell them about this central aspect of their marriage....

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Premarital Wisdom: The Truth About Marriage

(163) Comments | Posted February 23, 2013 | 11:17 AM

How would your marriage be different if you had been handed an honest, comprehensive guide on what to expect after the wedding? We attempt to tell women what to expect when they're pregnant, but it seems that the Marriage 101 manual has neglected to become part of the premarital canon....

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Love is a Bowl of Oatmeal

(12) Comments | Posted January 27, 2013 | 11:11 PM

One of my favorite authors, Jungian analyst Robert Johnson, says that good love is like a bowl of oatmeal. A bowl of oatmeal? How unromantic, you may say. How prosaic, you think. Love should be an ice cream sundae with cherries and sprinkles on top. Love should be...

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Marriage is a Work-in-Progress

(163) Comments | Posted January 17, 2013 | 12:59 AM

My clients come to me with a host of erroneous beliefs that inform their anxiety and confusion regarding their upcoming marriages. I've discussed several of these beliefs in recent articles, such as thinking they're supposed to feel more in love during their engagement than ever and...

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Marriage Fear: The Most Common Engagement Anxiety May Be ...

(83) Comments | Posted December 11, 2012 | 9:35 AM

If you're a thoughtful, sensitive, analytical person, there are host of questions that will likely run across the screen of your mind during your engagement. The most common that I see in my practice are:

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