Restoring Trust, Gaslighting, What if I DO Know Better? You Say Impulsion and I Say Compulsion? Your Questions, Tony's Answers!

Posted by tonyoverbay

How can a couple rebuild trust in a marriage? Is gaslighting really as big of a problem as people make it out to be...come on, really? (See what I did there...I was gaslighting!!). And what if I honestly, truly, at my very core believe that I know my spouse better than they do...can I tell them what to do about it? And what is the difference between an impulse, and a compulsion and why is that extremely important when talking about any type of addictive behavior? These questions, and more, are addressed in this question and answer episode. If you have questions for a future episode of The Virtual Couch, please visit http://tonyoverbay.com and submit your question through the contact link.

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Tony mentioned a product that he used to take out all of the "uh's" and "um's" that, in his words, "must be created by wizards and magic!" because it's that good! To learn more about Descript click here https://descript.com?lmref=v95myQ

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Please subscribe to The Virtual Couch YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/TheVirtualCouchPodcast/ and sign up at http://tonyoverbay.comto learn more about Tony’s upcoming “Magnetic Marriage” program!

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Tony's FREE parenting course, “Tips For Parenting Positively Even In the Not So Positive Times” is available NOW. Just go to http://tonyoverbay.com/courses/ and sign up today. This course will help you understand why it can be so difficult to communicate with and understand your children. You’ll learn how to keep your buttons hidden, how to genuinely give praise that will truly build inner wealth in your child, teen, or even in your adult children, and you’ll learn how to move from being “the punisher” to being someone your children will want to go to when they need help.

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This episode of The Virtual Couch is sponsored by http://betterhelp.com/virtualcouch With the continuing “sheltering” rules that are spreading across the country PLEASE do not think that you can’t continue or begin therapy now. http://betterhelp.com/virtualcouch can put you quickly in touch with licensed mental health professionals who can meet through text, email, or videoconference often as soon as 24-48 hours. And if you use the link http://betterhelp.com/virtualcouch you will receive 10% off your first month of services. Please make your own mental health a priority, http://betterhelp.com/virtualcouch offers affordable counseling, and they even have sliding scale options if your budget is tight.

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Tony's new best selling book "He's a Porn Addict...Now What? An Expert and a Former Addict Answer Your Questions" is now available on Kindle. https://amzn.to/38mauBo

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Tony Overbay, is the co-author of "He's a Porn Addict...Now What? An Expert and a Former Addict Answer Your Questions" now available on Amazon https://amzn.to/33fk0U4. The book debuted in the number 1 spot in the Sexual Health Recovery category and remains there as the time of this record. The book has received numerous positive reviews from professionals in the mental health and recovery fields.

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You can learn more about Tony's pornography recovery program The Path Back by visiting http://pathbackrecovery.com And visit http://tonyoverbay.com and sign up to receive updates on upcoming programs, and podcasts.

Ep227 All The Questions POST Descript
Restoring Trust, Gaslighting, What if I DO Know Better? You Say Impulsion and I Say Compulsion? Your Questions, Tony's Answers!

[00:00:00] Coming up on today's episode of The Virtual Couch, I'm going to answer all of your questions. We're going to cover topics like trust in marriage, gaslighting. What do I do if I truly believe that I know my spouse better than they do? What's the difference between an impulse and a compulsion? That and so much more coming up on today's episode of The Virtual Couch.

[00:00:28] Hey, everybody, welcome to Episode 227 of The Virtual Couch. I am your host, Tony Overbay. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified mindful habit coach, writer, speaker, husband, father of four, ultramarathon runner and creator of the Path Back and online pornography recovery program that is helping people reclaim their lives from the harmful effects of pornography. If you are anybody that you know is struggling to put pornography behind you once and for all, and trust me, it can be done in a strength based hold the shame, become the person you always wanted to be way, then head over the pathbackrecovery.com. And there you will find a short ebook that describes five common mistakes that people make when trying to put pornography behind them once and for all. Again, that's pathbackrecovery.com and I will try to make things very, very simple. Just go to TonyOverbay.com, sign up to find out all kinds of exciting things about marriage. My marriage course coming up, my magnetic marriage course and some things about faith, crisis and things about becoming a better parent and all of those things at TonyOverbay.com. And if you feel so inclined, head over to Instagram at Virtual Couch, have a couple of folks working behind the scenes that are doing incredible work and putting up more quotes and things from individual episodes. And so there's just a lot more there to take a look at.

[00:01:39] So that is all of the business. So let's get to today's topic. I've been promising a question and answer for many, many moons, and I continue to be grateful and overwhelmed by the amount of email and questions that I get. And I said in the past, I would like to do this more often, maybe once a month, once a quarter. And then I just have so many other topics that I want to get to that I continually push off the question and answer. But there are really good some good questions today. So I want to get right to it. And I guess I did say that I was done with the business, but I have to tell you that I have this new software program that's pretty incredible. And I am going to link to it in the show notes. It's a product called Descript and it truly is mind blowing. When I am done with this audio file of this episode today, I will upload this audio file into Descript. Within a few minutes, I will get a written transcription that is a machine generated transcription and I will select an option that says find filler words and my mind will be blown as it will show me about probably in a half an hour or 40 minute episode a hundred times when I say, as a matter of fact, that will I'll have to not edit out that. Oh, so you go in and you can just delete the word in the text, in the audio transcript, and then when you save the transcript at the end of your editing, then it spits out a new audio file that is now without the Uh's and the ahh's.

[00:03:06] And I also have noticed and I didn't realize I did this, I stutter a fair amount. I say a word and then I immediately say the word again. And the descript software takes that out as well. It will recognize where I say the same thing twice and I can simply hit delete. So I don't know how they do it. It's witchcraft, wizardry, magic, but it's incredible. And so if you have your own podcast or if you are recording something for a class, I don't know. There's got to be a lot of different things where you can use something like this. But go follow the link and just go explore and try this new software, because it's kind of incredible, mind blowing and makes me sound a lot smarter on a podcast episode. So I just wanted to get that out there. OK, let's go to the first question and maybe this will help if you want to send a question in and you're worried that I'm going to say your name or that sort of thing, I'm going to go full therapist confidentiality with the questions. So I'm not even going to say initials or so and so from wherever they are wrote. So first question, what do you do if you honestly do know more about your husband or wife than they know about themselves? How can you stop from saying, but you're wrong, you don't honestly think that.

[00:04:18] And so I really I'm so grateful for this question because this is I have so many thoughts about this as this is something that I see in therapy. Often I won't say on a daily basis, but pretty close where I have a couple in my office and they're learning the ability to open up and be vulnerable. And the spouse will turn to the other and honestly say they don't really think that. I know you don't think that, but do you? And I'm speaking to the spouse that says, I know my let's say, OK, I'm going to just try to make this less confusing. Let's say that the wife is the one in the scenario that says, no, I know my husband better than he knows himself. So now I will say again. But do you? Because remember, we all have our very own thoughts and feelings and emotions and behaviors, and they are all a product of our own personal private experiences. So the way we present ourselves to others often has more to say about our own insecurities than it does about the actual content of what we're saying. So I love the concept of authenticity. And yes, it is a buzz word and it's a word that if I never had become a therapist and someone said you need to Be more authentic. I would not understand what they were really talking about, but so the goal of authenticity, if I'm asking if I'm being asked what I think about politics or religion or morality, right now where you're at in your life, is that something that you feel like you can truly be open and have a discussion with the people that are close to you? Or do you worry that you'll be challenged or mocked or made to feel less than.

[00:05:53] And let me give an example. So just a week or so ago and I will change some of the details here, but I had a scenario play out in my office that I feel does play out often where in my office to learn again to be open and vulnerable. And this was in a couples therapy setting and a husband shares that he has a different opinion on something that has changed or has evolved for him over the last decade or so, which is the way that opinions and belief systems can work for some people where they evolve. And so often I have a couple come in and they say, hey, this isn't what I signed up for when we were married 10 or 15 years ago, we were on the same page. Now he's not on the same page or she's not on the same page. And I don't like that. I want them to get back on the same page. But what I want to do is create a place where we can explore why that person's opinions or belief system has evolved or changed, because the fact that we can't talk about it along the way is often then what leaves this feeling of being blindsided when a spouse opens up and says, I'm struggling with my faith, or here are some things that I would really like to do that I've never discussed with you.

[00:07:00] So let me go back to this example. So let's say that a husband is struggling with an addiction and he's been fighting a battle on the inside for a very long time. And he turns to this vice because he wants to numb out on occasion, numb out from his life because he hates his job. So he makes good money, but he literally gets anxiety. And a pit in his stomach daily is he goes to work. He talks about on a Sunday night. He just can't even about midday Sunday, he just starts to feel sick and he can't even enjoy his time with his family because all he thinks about is I do not want to go to work. So he opens up to his wife in the session and she says, bless her heart. She says that's ridiculous. You've always loved your job. You went to school for your job. You're one of your parents does the same job. You're good at your job. I feel like you're just making excuses for wanting to, OK, so I've already changed things up a bit. So let's change the vice as well so that you can really have this in context. So let's just say she says you're just looking for an excuse to drink. I know you better than that. I know you don't like drinking and I know you love your job.

[00:08:05] So look at that. And one less than a minute time frame where a person is really this husband really opened up and was vulnerable and turned to his spouse and held out his heart and said, hey, are you here for me? Can I count on you? Do you have my back? Do you want to know me? She says, I know you better than that. I don't believe you is what she was expressing. So that was a lot. But it turned out that he's never liked his job. And so when we dug deeper and I had suggested he take us on his train of thought that he had always been told by his parents that you will follow in the family business or footsteps. And this is the career and it provides this kind of living and this person was not not one who wanted to follow in this career footpath or footprint. And so here he was now in a marriage with kids and a mortgage and expectations, doing a job that he absolutely did not like and had never opened up about that. So his wife said, I know you better than that. I don't believe you. I think you just heard her saying all these things so you can drink. Let me go big. I don't believe that your spouse better than they do. I believe that the relationship has quite possibly evolved in a way where in this scenario, the man doesn't quite feel like he can truly express himself because he'll be shut down.

[00:09:27] And I could sit here and tell you a lot of examples of where, OK, it's the wife who feels that she doesn't feel loved or doesn't feel valued or doesn't feel cared about. And when she opens up about that, the husband's the one that says, I don't believe you, I don't buy it. You've got everything you've always wanted. You're you stay with the cat. You stay home with the kids. You've got a nice car. You've got a nice house. We've got a pool. And perhaps the wife has been realizing over the time where she has been at home with the kids, that was something that she had always been told that she would love and appreciate and enjoy. But what if at her core she's really struggling with that? So, again, when somebody says, I know you better than you know yourself, I would really step back and say, do you? And then let's just say for the sake of argument that you do. And I don't know how you could even qualify that, but let's say that you do the way to have a productive conversation with your spouse is not to say you're wrong. I know you better than you know yourself. It still is to say. Tell me more about that. In my magnetic marriage course with my buddy Preston Buckmeier, we've got these four pillars of a connected conversation that you are going to hear so much about, and I will talk about them so much in the coming weeks and months and in forever.

[00:10:42] But these four pillars of a connected conversation in a nutshell. The first one is don't assume bad intentions. When somebody wakes up in the morning, they don't plot and think, how can I hurt my partner?

[00:10:55] So if somebody puts out this, you know, if they put this out there to their spouse and say, I'm not enjoying my job or I don't feel as connected in our marriage or I feel like I'm a crummy parent or I'm struggling with my faith, that is an invitation for the spouse that is on the receiving end to say, tell me more, because again, they didn't wake up and think I can hurt my spouse if I say these things. I just would say, if you feel like you know your spouse better than they do, I would just question that. I would try to reframe that and say, do you or are they in a position where they don't truly feel like they can express themselves authentically, with or without the fear of being judged or fixed or just told that they're wrong? OK, next question. The question is, I feel like the term gaslighting is overused. And I know you used it on several of your podcast episodes. So do you think it is overused? And I think I understand where this person is going. And I hear you and I feel like it is being talked about more. But I believe that's because the more it's being talked about, the more that people recognize when they are falling victim to gaslighting. And if you're not familiar and it's funny, is someone who does this on a daily basis or as a therapist, I still am sometimes surprised when people don't haven't heard of the term or know this concept.

[00:12:18] But gaslighting is a form of control. And it comes from the 1938 play Gaslight, which was later made into a film starring Ingrid Bergman. And the victims of gaslighting often bring things up to a partner that they believe to be true, only to end a conversation with their partner, doubting their own memories, their perceptions and often their sanity. So victims of gaslighting often feel isolated. They feel controlled by their partners over time because their entire sense of self comes into question. So I have a couple of episodes on this, one of the different types of gaslighting and another one, I believe. Episode one twenty on gaslighting examples. And does someone who is gaslighting even know that they do it? And that is, I feel like the more important question, the million dollar question, does a gas later know they're doing it because there is manipulative gas lighting that comes oftentimes from someone who is struggling with, let's say, a narcissistic personality disorder where their entire sense of self is about manipulation so they won't own up to any of their own behaviors. So if you say, hey, I noticed that you forgot to pick up the kids at school this afternoon and that they ended up walking home, they're not going to say, I know my bad right. I totally spaced that off. It's going to be that you said that you were going to get them.

[00:13:36] And you know, the person that is questioning this, the spouse who said who is the one saying, hey, you you've had to pick up the kids. And this is a real example that happened. It was a couple of years ago. But and the other day the wife said, I pick up the kids every day. This is what I do. I am the I am the taxi. And on this particular day, my husband said he will pick the kids up because he had to work early work meeting that was going to allow him to get off early. So she said I he doesn't understand that this is everything that I do on a daily basis is make sure that my kids get from one place to the other. And so he forgot. He just simply forgot. And had he just said, man, oh my gosh, I forgot. I so not used to it or got caught up in other things, then she said that would have been OK. I'm bummed, but I appreciate you sharing that with me. Next time maybe I'll be able to, I'll remind you again or that sort of thing. But instead he immediately said I was supposed to pick the kids up. That's your job. And so then she said, OK, here's this conversation. We had this conversation where this is the one day where you're off a little bit early.

[00:14:39] And then he first says, I don't remember the conversation. And then without even without even batting an eye, then he then he shifted to me. And I I feel like you're basically saying that I don't care about the kids. And that really hurts because you know how hard I work in trying to provide for the kids. And now to be accused of not caring about the kids, that really hurts my feelings. And I even wonder if you even appreciate what I do on a day to day basis, because now that I think about it, you don't thank me very often. I think that you take all these things for granted. And by the end of the conversation, this wife was saying, man, I maybe I don't think I'm enough or maybe I do take him for granted. So then she's apologizing to him. So she was so far off the beaten path of he forgot to pick the kids up, which was a fact. But so that's the concept of gaslighting. So is gaslighting being talked about more? Probably. I think it is because the more that it's being talked about, the more that people are realizing that it might be happening in their relationship. And I will tell you, and I am not exaggerating dozens and dozens, if not hundreds or hundreds of emails that I received that that say I should have dug one up here so that I would have it in front of me. But that say thank you for your episode on gaslighting. I never knew that was a thing. I felt like I was going crazy.

[00:15:52] I've questioned my own sanity and that is not healthy in a relationship. It's not healthy in a marriage. It's not normal. I can promise you that there are better ways to communicate than to gaslight. And I think one of the hardest things for someone to do who is a compulsive or perennial guest later is to take ownership or accountability of their actions. And I need to do an entire episode on that concept alone where how much more powerful it is for somebody to say, oh, my gosh, I forgot. Those are I forgot or two of the words that I feel like I use probably on a daily basis, but not as an excuse, but as a way to feel empowered to say, yeah, I forgot I'm human and turn to my wife and at times say, hey, I know this isn't your job, but is there any chance that you wouldn't mind shoot me a reminder of this thing? And even sometimes just that premise alone then causes me to feel like, OK, no, I can do this. And then I write myself a note or I'm much more aware. And instead of if I felt like, oh, my gosh, if I tell her I forgot and she's going to just go crazy, she's going to get really angry with me, then that might lead to somebody that is never going to say, I forgot. They're going to say, you never told me that or I thought you were going to get it. Or I guess it was just a big misunderstanding instead of I forgot.

[00:17:12] That's that's as powerful as that. OK, next question. Is it ever possible to rebuild trust after a betrayal? This is a wonderful question. This is a deep question. And this is a question that I could do a completely separate episode on. And again, being completely authentic and vulnerable. I chose some of the questions I did today based on some of the things that I've been seeing pop up in therapy lately or maybe some of the things that I've heard or read lately. And there are a couple of things. So let me share a couple of experiences that I've had that are related to this question and then I'll wrap things up to answer this question. So I was listening to a podcast. There's one that I enjoy. It's called invisibility. And if you're not familiar with invisibility, it really is a fantastic podcast. And on Season six, Episode seven, it's called Trust Fall. It's from June of this year. So 20/20. And I think it was the last episode that they put out this season. They were talking about trust. OK, so I highly recommend that you go listen to that episode because there is so much more than what I'm about to share. But let me try to paint a little bit of a picture, give some context. So the interviewer and is interviewing an author and the interviewer has just asked the author about some research that he has done.

[00:18:29] And I believe it's in some rural mountain country. The author has just described this person that I believe runs a shop in this village, and the person seems to be very standoffish and a bit apprehensive. And I feel like he has just made the point that this shop owner has most likely been taken advantage of or people tried to steal or bargain or haggle. So he has put up this vibe that he's not as trustworthy when someone just comes in and they are nice or happy. And I don't know if you've ever had that experience where you feel like when someone comes in and they are overly joyous or overly nice or happy, your immediate thought is, all right, what's their angle? What are they up to? So I he had just laid this out as if the shop owner had this kind of bad attitude. And so the interviewer had said so some people might say, oh, he's in a bad mood that day. But what they don't do is speculate about why is he like this, what's going on inside of his head. And then the author said, and there's a complete absence of speculation about another person's interiority. And I love that concept of an interiority. What is that person thinking? What's going on inside of their mind? So the interviewer then says they have a fundamental assumption that you don't really know a person. And what that means is that if somebody betrays you, that it's not like such a shock.

[00:19:48] She says that's what she's saying the word. And I think that's why I had to call that out. She says like it doesn't surprise them that a person just does a thing that they didn't think the person was going to do. So it's this fundamental assumption that you really don't know a person. So then the author says when somebody here betrays our trust, what happens is we have an idea of who they are and they behave in a way that runs against that idea. So we say to them, I thought you were different. I thought you weren't like that. How could you do that to me when I had this idea of you and I love he says it's a tyrannical way to behave. He says, I have this idea of you. You have to conform to it or. Friendship is over, so the author or the interviewer then says so basically he's saying that we're stuck in this binary, we either totally trust someone or they betray us and then we're done with them. So this other way of thinking and he calls it mistrust with a capital M, and that's the name of his book that he wrote about. It's called Mistrust. It gives you this third option. And she says this is so hard to get your head around because it's basically like saying trust people less.

[00:20:56] And that's a more liberating world. But what the author then says is have more respect for the fact that you can't know them and that their behavior might sometimes betray or let you down. And so I feel like that's a starting point for how do we rebuild trust? One of the main parts that I deal with when somebody has been through a betrayal is having the couple come in and learn how to be open and honest, because it is oftentimes that fear of being honest that leads people to manipulative or addictive behaviors. And then they feel like they can never be completely open or honest with their spouse. And so we're rigging the game a bit because you are then going to, as this author says, inevitably you are going to break that your spouse's trust because they had an idea about you, they had an idea about how you should behave. And there are a couple of things at play here. Number one, you most likely didn't have a clear picture of how you were supposed to behave and no to the spouse who had this idea of how you should behave, hasn't made their expectations or shared their private experiences of why that is what they believe or why they feel that is how a spouse behaves or that sort of thing. So I hope that's making some sense. So here's another part. That is why I picked that question.

[00:22:21] Love him or hate him? There's a psychologist named Jordan Peterson that has some very interesting info out there on the Web about marriage and trust. And so here's what he said. He said, There is no marriage that successful without trust. He said you have to tell each other the truth. And I know that could sound easy. But then he says no. And he explains, telling the truth to somebody is no simple thing, because there's a bunch of things about all of us that we feel are terrible and weak and reprehensible and shameful. And all of those things have to be brought out into the open and dealt with. And that's why this concept of this true honesty can be so difficult, because we all have all of this baggage, all of our private experiences that we bring to the table in a relationship and we want to hide it. And so, as Peterson says, there is this natural tendency to avoid being open with somebody who can run away screaming when you reveal who you are. And Peterson said it's for this reasons that humans make marriage this inseparable bond. And stay with me on this quote that he says it's I really is. I think it's it's a positive quote. He said, it's as if we're saying I'm going to handcuff myself to you and you're going to handcuff yourself to me, and then we're going to tell each other the truth.

[00:23:28] And neither of us gets to run away. And once we know the truth, then we're either going to live together in mutual torment or we're going to try and deal with that truth and straighten ourselves out and straighten ourselves out jointly. And that's going to make us more powerful and more resilient and deeper and wiser as we progress together through life. So I love that, he says, straighten ourselves out jointly and as we progress together in life. And I feel like that's one of the most honest or insightful descriptions of marriage that I've heard in a long time. He's getting at the truth that every married person I feel like knows that their core, that marriage can be humbling, that when you get married, you are in essence, handing this person the power to destroy you, that it is this act is, as one person out on the interweb said, it's this act of mutual submission. So that leads me to my favorite modality, emotionally focused therapy. My entire magnetic marriage course is based on F.T. emotionally focused therapy. And the founder of VDT, Sue Johnson, says in her book Love Sense. Again, one of my favorite quotes, the message touted by popular media and therapists has been that we are supposed to be in total control of our emotions before we turn to others, love yourself first and then another will love you.

[00:24:40] But our new knowledge stands that message on its head for humans, which I believe all of us listening to this are, says psychologist Ed Tronic of the University of Massachusetts. The maintenance of emotional balance is a dyadic collaborative process. In other words, we are designed to deal with emotion in concert with another person, not by ourselves. It is a give and take. It is in concert with Jordan, Peterson said. It's to be done jointly and again in emotion with another in concert. Let me scratch that. We are designed to deal with emotion in concert with another person, not by ourselves. We are actually these attachment based creatures. We are born little pink, squishy babies that rely upon someone for our sustenance, for our life to change our diapers. We are not the. Lions out in the wild who after a few hours can go and kill her own food or we can't. So that continues moving forward. So we are designed to deal with emotion in concert with another person, not by ourselves.

[00:25:41] As I've been doing a little more writing about the magnetic marriage course that is soon to be released, I was doing a little more digging into emotionally focused therapy and love this one quote that I ran upon that it talks about emotionally focused therapy, uses scientifically validated theory of adult bonding to help couples understand not only their own emotion, but also how back and forth patterns of emotional reactions operate in and affect relationships. So again, we are meant to do this together. So coming back to the question, can trust be restored? Absolutely trust can be restored. But I think it's fair to say, let's talk about the definition of trust and let's make sure that we figure out a way to be completely open and honest and vulnerable in a relationship and in essence, when trust has been broken. And I'm not saying that people have to go and break trust in order to do this, go to a marriage therapist that you can go without even having a significant traumatic event. But when those things happen, that is an opportunity to redefine trust, to redefine the relationship, to be completely open and honest and just have this relationship that you didn't know existed or was a possibility.

[00:26:54] Ok, last question and then let's wrap this thing up the way I should have had it right in front of me. Here we go. I heard your episode on pornography addiction, or rather that technically there isn't such a thing as pornography addiction. And I really appreciated that. I am personally trying to stop, as you say, turning to pornography as a coping mechanism, because that is absolutely what it is. But you've mentioned that there is such a thing as impulse control disorder and compulsive sexual behavior. Can you define the difference between an impulse and a compulsive behavior? And I love this.

[00:27:26] I get asked this quite often. So here goes. So being impulsive is acting on one's instinct. So impulsive behaviors are thought to not be premeditated. And I have a very simple analogy that we could break down for an hour. So here we go. I am trying to eat better. It's the story of my life. So I am making better choices, all of that good stuff. But I did too impulsive things recently. One, I went inside of a gas station to buy some Gatorade for my son at a basketball tournament, and I absolutely impulsively purchased some Reese's pumpkins that were there in the counter because they were there and because the ratio of peanut butter to chocolate is darn near perfect. And I'm sure that is a fact that is supported by science somewhere. But in that moment, I acted on an impulse. It was not premeditated. I did not go in there and say, I am going to buy a Reese's pumpkin now. I could have turned to my breath. I could have felt the coldness of the Gatorade on my hand. I could have looked at the way that the attendants long beard went below his mask and all of those things. But I didn't. I impulsively purchased the Reese's and I own that.

[00:28:34] So then I brought it to my office and it sat here for about a week. And yesterday I was going to say hypothetically, but this is a true story. Yesterday I go to my mini fridge that is in my office because I like to keep water in there and I get out of water. And there it was. Oh, the temptress, the Reese's Peanut Butter Pumpkin. And I absolutely impulsively grabbed it. I had, quite frankly, forgotten that it was there and I devoured it. Within a minute of opening that refrigerator door, it was gone. So that was an impulse, now a compulsion. On the other hand, for example, let's say an individual who suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder, OCD, may wash their hands again and again. So that individual is constantly bothered that this is that they are preoccupied with wanting to wash their hands repeatedly. And the more that they think about wanting to wash their hands, then the more their anxiety spikes, which that's what becomes the obsession. And then the compulsion is the washing of one's hands. So it relieves that anxiety. But then even after washing, the need to wash does not completely subside. That relief is momentary. So then again, the individual feels the need to wash their hands again.

[00:29:45] And so the main characteristic of compulsive behavior, compulsive disorders, is that they are premeditated. So if you're talking about a compulsive sexual behavior, it's somebody that is constantly just thinking about acting out sexually, whether it is with their spouse, whether it is with pornography, whether it is with another individual. And they become it almost drives this anxiety and that becomes almost this obsession. And then the compulsion is there to relieve that anxiety. So when one does not deal with that compulsive behavior, then in essence, every time they turn to the compulsion, then they're feeding that behavior. They're further locking in that deep neural pathway. So the individual thinks about the action for a long period. Time and then they decided basically when to engage in the act and they don't necessarily make a big effort to rationalize that behavior so that and this and I think you can maybe recognize where the difference or why that's important, because I will often have people that have removed, let's say, the compulsive nature of acting out sexually with something like pornography. But then from time to time, they you know, and I hate the word fail or relapse or whatever the person wants to call it, they act out, but they do this almost impulsively.

[00:30:57] And that was not a premeditated behavior where in the past it most likely was. And so when you're working with an addiction therapist, that is progress because we've taken away the compulsive nature or we've been able to use mindfulness to reduce the compulsive nature or the premeditated behaviors.

[00:31:16] And then there still may be an occasional impulse. And that's where you can still use those techniques. But I feel like first we have to address the compulsion to then be able to get to that impulse and then work with that impulsive behavior. So there we go. Covered a lot of ground today. So I appreciate you staying with me. If you have additional questions. I really do enjoy doing the Q&A answer versions of the podcast. So send them to contact at Tony Overbay Dotcom. Or if you go on the Tony or dot com website, there's a place for contacting me. And you can send a question. You can send a show idea if you're interested in being a guest on the show, if you'd like to have me on your show, if you're interested in having me come speak to your group or that sort of thing, all that stuff you can do through the contact page at Tony Overbay Dotcom.

[00:32:00] So thank you so much for taking the time. I know that there are a lot of podcasts out there, over a million to be exact. And the more my downloads continue to go up, the more humbled I am. So if there were things you liked about this episode, please feel free to forward it, share it. And if you have a second and you're still with me and listening, if you if you've never reviewed or or rated the podcast where ever you get your podcast, then I would be I'd be forever grateful. And now taking us out, the wonderful the talented Aurora Florence with the song that I love. It's wonderful.

[00:32:36] Compressed emotions flying. Starting out the other and the pressures of the daily grind it wonderful. And last question, Robert Ghost last and they push aside things that matter most.

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