How to Deal with Fiery, Passionate Relationships. ~ Shelly Bullard

Via Shelly Bullard
on Mar 29, 2013
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No one on the planet lights my soul on fire the way my man does. It’s a fiery relationship—for better and for worse.

I get so activated in his presence. I light up. Quite literally, I buzz.

A fire roars deeply and passionately in my heart, for him.

And sometimes that fire takes over—a burning rage inside of me. Out of nowhere, feelings such as jealousy, anger, frustration, and fear emerge. In a flip of a switch, I’m off and running. Like a volcano! It’s overpowering and completely out of my control.

Yes, my man absolutely drives me wild. It’s hot. And it burns.

If you can relate to what I’m talking about and you want to know how to deal with this kind of fiery relationship—how to enjoy the burning embers without engulfing in flames—then this article is for you.

Everything that arises in relationship with our lovers—all the passion, the love, the anger, the lust, the fear, the desire, the rage—are all part of the fire-package. This is important for you to know. You don’t get the burning passion without the burning rage. You don’t get the depth of heart without the depth of pain.

And personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

You see, if it wasn’t for all these strong emotional experiences—the good and the bad, the beautiful and the difficult—then, flat out, we wouldn’t grow. And growth is what we are here to do (so it’d be a shame if we missed out on that experience).

We are programmed to evolve–physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. And the people we are most attracted to—the ones who push us to our edges—are the catalysts for that growth. Without them, we would remain stagnant. For me, that just isn’t an option.

So if you can get down with this whole growth-thing, then the next logical question is: How do you find these relationships that will push you into self-actualization?

The answer is: You don’t. They find you.

If you can trust the attraction that you naturally feel for certain, specific people (and it is very specific—you don’t feel this drawn to everybody), then you will be clued-into who you will grow with. Because the level of attraction you feel indicates the level of growth you can experience.

More attraction, more growth. It’s a simple equation. Just listen to your heart’s desire.

Let me break this down for you. Would you expand if you were just hanging out on the couch, experiencing everything as fine ‘n dandy all the time? Not a chance.

If you’re not pushed in either direction—if you’re kind-of indifferent—then expansion isn’t occurring. It may feel pleasant. It may feel peaceful. But it’s not growth-inducing.

I’m not saying that it should never be easy. Relationships are dynamic; they include many ways of being together.

(For the record, my man and I have plenty of couch experiences. Pleasant on the couch? Check. Passion on the couch? Check.)

But here’s the point I’m trying to make: growth isn’t easy.

Real growth comes from a place deep within us. It is a transmutation—from rage into peace, from obsessive controlling into acceptance, from fear to security.

These intense feelings must be activated first before they can be changed. And so for us to really change, we must get activated. We can’t avoid it.

Luckily, if we listen to our hearts and follows its desires, we are led to our soulmates. And they will lead us to growth.

So the next question is, once we are in these relationships how do we deal with the emotions that come with them?

One way: We set an intention to transform feelings of fear into feelings of love.

Sounds easy. It’s not.

When rage, fright, anger and disappointment arise, it means we have fallen into a position of fear. Quite simply, we are scared of losing love. The only thing we can do when this happens is to try, with all we can muster, to return to a sense of love within ourselves.

The person you want so badly has the ability to knock you off your center. Not because they are malicious, but because you care! It’s easy to get overly consumed with them, which leads you to lose contact with yourself.

This is the ultimate test. Can you continue to come back to your sense of self, even in a relationship with someone you’re madly in love with? It’s not easy to do. But it’s absolutely growth-inducing.

Don’t run away from someone because they make you crazy inside; show up to the challenge and change.

Do you need to feel a greater sense of inner-security? Then pursue it.

Do you need to learn the process of forgiveness? Then make it happen.

Do you need to know, on every level, in every way, that you are love? Then contact your source within and don’t let go.

You can do it. You can change. You can grow into the truth of who you are.

When you realize that your partner is not the bane of your existence, but is the means in which you can transform, a new sense of gratitude will emerge.

Make sure you let them in on your appreciation. Next time you get a chance, tell your person (the one who pushes you to your limits and beyond), “Thank you, my love, for making me feel alive.”




Like elephant journal Love on Facebook.

Ed: Brianna Bemel


About Shelly Bullard

Shelly Bullard is a student and teacher of Love. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (CA#51081) turned Love Coach. She teaches people How To Feel More Love by helping them: (1) understand why they feel like they aren’t getting enough in relationships, (2) learn how to clear the internal blocks to love (aka fear), and (3) learn how to cultivate and an abundant flow of love in their lives everyday. She is currently finishing her book, creating an online course, and offers a weekly newsletter and free eBook to guide people towards more love. Shelly coaches people on the phone and Skype. Check out her website, find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.


28 Responses to “How to Deal with Fiery, Passionate Relationships. ~ Shelly Bullard”

  1. beowolf says:

    Thank you for this article. It revealed what I always felt deep inside. I was in a relationship full of fire and although it was difficult at times it was also rich and rewarding. In the end she didn't want to do the work and we divorced. I am sad for the loss of that great passion, but ultimately both partners need to be willing to do the work. Looking for my next fire. Thanks Shelly

  2. shellybullard says:

    You're welcome!

  3. Gerry Ellen says:

    great article!!! Exactly what is happening for me this moment. And, I love every minute of it…well, not every minute, but you get the idea 😉 Thank you for expressing what, I feel, is happening all around. This is a transformation year, no doubt about it.

  4. michelle q says:

    mmmmmm, wonderful article. such a beautiful twist on emotions that i often view as a 'problem', when really there is much more happening. i am grateful for the realistic and practical application you offer when you say:

    "We set an intention to transform feelings of fear into feelings of love.

    Sounds easy. It’s not.

    When rage, fright, anger and disappointment arise, it means we have fallen into a position of fear. Quite simply, we are scared of losing love. The only thing we can do when this happens is to try, with all we can muster, to return to a sense of love within ourselves."

    thank you so much for this important reminder. passion and intensity are fun, sure. i am blessed with that at the moment. but i do want to let these feelings, the good ones and the bad ones, show me the way to a deeper place of love and connection, not just with my beautiful husband, but also with myself and the world.

  5. anon says:

    i am thankful for the demise of my relationships…and would like very much to be detached and find my peace that way than go through a fiery passionate relationship… for it would and has almost killed me in the past 🙂 its all about detaching now

  6. shellybullard says:

    Love it! It is a fun ride, isn't it?!

  7. shellybullard says:

    YES! You are on the path, sister! Love it. Thank you for your message.

  8. Lara says:

    Wonderful article and 100% relatable. Been going through process of turning fear into love and while it is not an easy ride, I can already feel many positive changes.

  9. slsimms says:

    Great article!!! I feel a lot of the push and pull you mention in this article in my relationship. The first time I met him I knew that if I didn't take that risk I would regret it the rest of my life; and that heat has lifted my balloon to places I would only dream of.

    I look forward to many more uncomfortable and maddening moments that will enrich me in ways I could never even imagine. 🙂

    Thanks for writing this!

  10. Tara Pike says:

    I loved this…the words firey passion caught my eye and I instantly knew in my soul well this describes Phil and I…as I read I teared up and thought simple enough we got this and we are gonna make it the long haul!! YES!!! He is always so sure we will no matter what happens…I am the more fearful one…learning to let go and let it come naturally…

    Thank you,


  11. Jan says:

    Thanks for your article. I really appreciate its many great points, and I do agree with much of it. In fact, as someone who has come to understand what drives me to pursue things…I know I thrive on challenge and that is essentially what activates me to, as you say, move, change, and grow. I was recently in a very fiery relationship and I was inexplicably drawn to it in spite of how it spiraled into emotionally abuse. I was determined to make it work, I wanted to be fearless (and not let my insecurities engulf me), to be selfless (and give more than I’ve ever given), to be understanding, to be compassionate because I knew he had been through a very rough life. I did all of this even in the face of mounting harsh criticisms because I wanted to be a better version of myself. I was not like a moth to a flame but rather almost like a plane headed into the mouth of an erupting volcano (meaning I did this consciously–to some degree). My ex-boyfriend was very volatile and the littlest things would set him off and he would scream and yell…and yet he was also capable of so much tenderness and we had amazing sex. The flip side of that is that he also told me I was unattractive, a moron, and not worth his time every time I tried to assert my boundaries and try to stand up of for myself. He tried to demolish me, and I probably would have allowed it to happen in the name of love and being compassionate, but I soon learned that my work and what I know was courage was not in diving head-on into a burning conflagration, but in my being ok to be alone and in the letting go. So I guess my point is that passionate romances are great, but some of them are also not sustainable, esp. when it’s too consuming and has enough fire to desolate and burn things out.

  12. Alessandra says:

    There’s a fine line between “fiery passion” and toxic. My beau left a “fiery passionate” relationship with a woman who has unwitnessed borderline personality disorder. A dear friend stayed in a “fiery passionate” relationship and …committed suicide a month ago at the height of that “fiery passion”.

  13. Christina says:

    Thank you for this article, Shelly! As the other half of a fiery relationship, I truly appreciate this perspective—to see it as a catalyst for growth. We are newlyweds and in this first year of our marriage, we are experiencing all the "perks" of the fire-package. What really spoke to me was what you said about being knocked off your center by the other person; so many times this happens to me, creating insecurities and self-doubt. The coming back to your sense of self is the difficult part, and I am truly taking this article to heart.

  14. Danni says:

    Yes yes yes, to all of it. But what do you do when you’re in a non-fiery relationship w/ a man who doesn’t even know what passion is (bc he’s never had it), and you (in this case. Myself) still have that same fire with your ex- ugh. Longing for it… You’re right- you only have it w specific people I guess bc four years later, I’ve yet to make it happen w my now-bf. 🙁 I miss the fire.

  15. this is awesome. bring it on.

  16. scott says:

    same here. me ex was npd/histrionic/psychopath. I had to run or go insane…

  17. Tracy says:

    Loved this article!!! Thanks so much for sharing! I can totally relate as I am currently enjoying the most perfect "fiery passionate" relationship that has brought new meaning and purpose to my life!!! It is beyond beautiful and this summed it up wonderfully!!

  18. Susan says:

    The level of attraction you feel to someone does NOT necessarily indicate the level of growth of you can experience with them, unless that includes the growth you will experience when you have to extract yourself from a physically abusive relationship. A lot of physically abusive partners are very attractive to people who feel those relationships are familiar. But clearly, these relationships are not positive and should not be sought out. People should resist the urge to get into relationships with dangerous people, despite the strong pull they feel to be in them. This is the standard in mental health literature about domestic violence (DV) and this has been borne out in my work, and that of countless other therapists. And this is still the case whether the partner is physically abusive or the person just sees something that indicates that the person is not healthy for them (i.e.: maybe the partner is not physically abusive, and not even, for instance, addicted to something, but just drinks heavily or is driving themselves into debt, or won't get a job or has some other really unhealthy trait.).

  19. Stefani says:

    I love this article. I was in a relationship with a guy who was not really wanting commitment. He was very confused over what he wanted in life and he ultimately chose travelling over our relationships and he ditched whilst he was abroad and I was going through a very difficult time in my life. I have decided to let him go and I choose not to speak to him anymore. I am now ready to go onto the right path for me and meet someone who is my soulmate. I really did have to learn not to make my relationships the main thing in my life. I really needed this lesson to realise certain things about myself and what I really want in life. I do not want superficial relationships with no potential future. My ex was not looking for a long term relationship with me. He may feel that way with someone else. But I have now accepted that we are not meant to be together.

  20. Stephanie says:

    This article spoke to my entire being… I do believe I have found my soul mate…When everyone else tried to steer me away from him (thinking they knew better than me), I just followed my heart's desire. The first year was very rocky, I will admit, but through alot of inner work that both of us have done, we are on such an amazing journey and growth path. We love to inspire and push each other to be our best self and I am very blessed that our path's have crossed. We truly found each other at the right time, in the right place and I see such amazing potential for us. Thank you for posting this blog 🙂

  21. Jenna B. Wiser says:

    I agree with Stephanie. There is only one person in the world who you can truly have a fiery, passionate relationship with. That person is your soul mate. The one who makes you fall off center and rocks you to your core. Once you find it, don’t it go!! No regrets 2014. Nothing else compares!!!

  22. Wells9876 says:

    I love this article. With my girlfriend, I found my fire, and it made me feel something I've never felt before. It made me crazy and complete. When we were together, it was electric. When we were apart, it was agonizing. But then I learned that my girlfriend was being stalked last night by her ex-husband while she was home alone with her ex-boyfriend. And that kinda changed everything for me.

    I need a hug.

  23. Amy E says:

    Meeting someone whom I believe was/is my soul mate, changed my life. I have always been over sensitive to any type of criticism, constructive or otherwise. He had a lot to say and that made me take a long hard look at myself. I believe that my connection with him was so unique and intense, that I won't feel that way again with anyone else. Thank you so much, my dear, for waking me up to what life can really be like. Fiery!

  24. JohnH says:

    Someone New Agey said, "all feelings lead to love." As you point out, "growth isn't easy." The reason it is difficult is that most of us cannot stand the intensity of deep love and transformation for the time it takes to make the changes required. We tend to self sabotage before we get very far and then fall back to our previous comfort zone and start over again. Love can change to anger and hate in an instant and few of us have the skills to stand fast and communicate our way through the maze. If we can find the skills to stay in the process when it gets ugly and have faith it will transform again into love, then your words are inspirational. If only we can have that same "fiery, passionate relationship" with ourselves first before we venture out to find a partner to share with, but often we get it backwards and find another dead end disappointment. Your soulmate is you with You. Anything else is enhancement of that relationship.

  25. Jan says:

    I had this fire you speak of and was burned too many times. Now I just want peace like a river.

  26. astrologiaintegral says:

    Thank you so much for this encouraging article and to all who have shared their experiences… one of those days when it´s good to learn from others… Thanks again.

  27. Young OG says:

    This is too real. I thought it was just me stil