Cupid's Pencil

Couples' technique helps work out diabetes issues or other issues


Happy Valentine's Day! What's more romantic than having your needs met by the one you love? If they are not being met or if there are diabetes issues that concern you, try to communicate them using the Magic Pencil exercise. The Magic Pencil, which is explained in detail in my book, Sex and Diabetes – For Him and For Her, works especially well for the discussion of sexual topics, but can be used to talk about just about any issues, including diabetes issues. Here is how it works:

1.Sit down with your partner and set a pencil on the table between you. You will take turns holding it - whoever holds it has permission to speak. Remember, neither of you is allowed to judge or blame the other for any comment that is said. To start, pick up the pencil and share how you feel about a particular issue using sentences that begin with the word "I" - I feel…I need…I experience…etc. As long as you have the magic pencil in your hand, you cannot be interrupted. Here is how it works: Sue and Tom are partners. Sue holds the pencil and says:
"I feel that we don't spend enough time together anymore."

2.Now it is time for Tom to show that he understands Sue's comment. He does that by rephrasing what Sue said using different words:
Tom says: "You feel like we don't do as many things together as we used to."

3.They will continue to share thoughts about the topic Sue has chosen. When she is done, Sue will pass the pencil to Tom. Now, it's his turn to present the topic he wishes to discuss. Like Sue did at the start, Tom's comments will all begin with the word "I" - "I feel…I need…I experience…etc."

4.Repeat this activity (passing the pencil) as many times as needed. When you are both ready, move onto the Action Round.

5.Action Round: Now it is time to act on all that you've discussed. This time, take the pencil (which gives you permission to speak) and suggest a positive behavior that you both can do to improve the situation. Always begin with the following phrase: "It would be really helpful if……" For example, if you believe that the two of you don't spend enough time together, you might say: "It would be really helpful if… you joined me for breakfast before you left for golf on Sunday mornings." If this suggestion works for you, agree to do it right away.

Use this ice-breaker this month, the romantic month of February, and the Magic Pencil to help bring you and your loved even closer than before as you resolve your sexual issues, diabetes issues, any issues that have been keeping you apart.

NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.


Last Modified Date: June 20, 2013

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

dLife Weekly Poll

If you are a parent with diabetes, do you find that diabetes gets in the way of your parenting?

Sign up for FREE dLife Newsletters

dLife Membership is FREE! Get exclusive access, free recipes, newsletters, savings, and much more! FPO

You are subscribed!
You are subscribed!
You are subscribed!
24 Views 0 comments
by Brenda Bell
I can't believe it's over two weeks since I've written anything here. Right now, I'm struggling through some serious fatigue, after having spent the last three days in a Passover cleaning frenzy, the previous couple of weeks in a budgeting mess, and most of the past quarter with serious questions about our current lives and our distance from The Other Half's elderly parents. And in between all that, my first two training rides for this year's Tour de Cure. I need to...

dLife's Sex & Intimacy Content is contributed & moderated by

Jamis Roszler
Janis Roszler

Janis Roszler, MSFT, RD, CDE, LD/N is the American Association of Diabetes Educators' 2008-2009 Diabetes Educator of the Year.  She is a certified diabetes educator, marriage and family therapist, and registered dietitian. Her books include Sex and Diabetes (ADA) Diabetes on your OWN Terms (Marlowe & Co) and The Secrets of Living and Loving with Diabetes (Surrey books).

Donna Rice
Donna Rice

Donna Rice MBA,RN,CDE,FAADE is the 2007 Past President of the American Association of Diabetes Educators. She is a registered nurse, diabetes educator and has developed numerous educational programs on sexual health and wellness.  She is the co-author of  Sex and Diabetes (ADA) and Diabetes and Erectile Dysfunction - A Quick ‘n' Easy Handbook For the Diabetes Educator (Bella Vita).  Her newest publication is a children's book, The Magic is Me (Searchlight Press).