In part 3 of their 3 part series, Tony and Magnetic Marriage co-creator Preston Pugmire, give the final “ingredients” to creating a truly Magnetic Marriage...Presence and Radiance, Yin and Yang, or how to step into your core, confident self and show up, be there for your partner, and, in turn, for yourself. In part 1 of 3, they talked about the 4 Pillars of a Connected Conversation. The 4 Pillars, along with truly understanding the importance of personal accountability in a relationship set the stage for success. In part 2 of 3, they discussed the “Connected Conversation Script” or CCS which then gives a literal script, or blueprint of how to put the 4 Pillars into action. Today’s episode puts the finishing touches on how to stay present when having conversations, how to stay present, how to embrace positive “tension” when we’re too often afraid of negative “contention.”

We’re only a couple of weeks away from the launch of the next round of the Magnetic Marriage course. You can sign up now to get in the queue for round 2 by heading to http://tonyoverbay.com/magentic. The course is scheduled to open for sign-ups in late April.Please subscribe to The Virtual Couch YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/TheVirtualCouchPodcast/ and follow The Virtual Couch on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/virtualcouch/

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.

Tony's FREE parenting course, “Tips For Parenting Positively Even In the Not So Positive Times” is available NOW. Just go to https://www.tonyoverbay.com/courses-2/ 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.

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

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.

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.

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

----- TRANSCRIPT -----

positive tension.mp3
[00:00:05] Hey, everybody, welcome to

[00:00:06] Episode two hundred and fifty nine on the virtual couch, I'm your host, Tony Overbay, licensed marriage and family therapist, certified my beloved coach, writer, speaker, husband, mother for ultramarathon runner and creator of the Path Back and online pornography recovery program that is helping people reclaim their lives from harmful effects and pornography. The reason I pause is because it really is it's a strength based model and I'm starting a whole separate podcast based on the Path Back program. It is going to deal specifically with the concept of pornography as a coping mechanism, and I can go on and on about that. But stay tuned for that. Coming soon to your podcast player near you. But please go check it out, Pathbackrecovery.com. And there's an e-book there about myths that people succumb to when trying to put pornography behind them. But really, it is more of a it is a coping mechanism. So the key is living your best life dialing in. Are you are you feeling confident or connected in your relationships with your spouse or your kids or your faith or your health or your job? And really, as you work toward getting rid of the shame and turning toward those voids, I like to call them in your life that you really can start to put that behind you and just live your best life. It's pretty darn amazing. Life's pretty, pretty amazing. And there are a lot of good things to live when you figure out what your own values are, what your own goals are, and not the things that people tell you that you're supposed to do.

[00:01:20] And that's a whole separate episode. And here I am trying to just introduce the concept of episode two hundred fifty nine. So go check out the virtual catch on Instagram or find me on Facebook. But let's get to today's content. Today is is episode three or part three of three of a three part series on the reviews of the magnetic marriage course. And if you're tired of hearing about the magnetic marriage course, bless your heart. But it has been an amazing, amazing course. And the feedback we we went and just lovingly grilled and got feedback and testimonials from the people that took the first round of the course. And so we're going through those and really, really putting the pieces together of what the experience was on the other side of the course, because we're launching the next round, round two, which is coming up in just a couple of weeks. And you can go to Tonyoverbay.com/magnetic to sign up and you will be one of the first people. Well, you will be the first people to find out the drop dead date when everything opens up and you can jump in there and you get the it's six modules in six weeks of coaching calls with Preston Pugliesi.

[00:02:22] We talk about all that in the course today. But what's fun about today's episode is we're kind of getting into the things that were pretty, pretty new and exciting for me as I was working with Preston and putting the course together. The last two, part one in part two, we talked about four pillars of a connected conversation, which again, is probably the thing I get the most feedback out of anything that I've done on the Virtual Couch podcast. The second the second round, we did the connected conversation scripts, which are really how to have these conversations about difficult, difficult things, even how to have conversations about not so difficult things, because you take that same framework of where do you want to go to eat? And you apply it into the highly charged topics of intimacy, of of politics, of religion, of parenting, of finances. Those things that people get stuck on so much. It's no wonder we get stuck on those because we really have a difficult time talking about even low charge topics about what do you want to do when you grow up or where do you want to retire or where you want to eat, or how do you like the the the clothes that I'm wearing, or do you like these frames of my glasses or my hairstyle? And when people are just become so on edge or walking on eggshells around their their spouse because they're trying to figure out what can to say the right thing or I don't want them to react or I don't want them to be angry or when things are going well, I certainly don't want to bring anything up.

[00:03:36] So the course really addresses all of those things. So in part three today, we really talk about something that was unique and exciting to me as we were putting the modules together. But it's something that the feedback backs this up, that it's been a really important concept and it's this concept of these energies. And I'm telling you, a couple of years ago, I was familiar with this concept, but I didn't put it into practice in my practice. But president and I are going to talk about the concept of presence, the concept of radiance, how they're there is one type of, in essence, core energy that's going to continue to just push and push and push, because that's who they are. And oftentimes when their spouse is someone who doesn't have the tools or the skills to kind of stand there in a calm, confident kind of energetic presence, then their partner will oftentimes not feel safe or not feel secure. So the concepts we're going to talk about today are are pretty amazing. And I have to tell you, I got an email pretty recently that was talking about my favorite marriage concept and modality, which is F.T.

[00:04:39] emotionally focused therapy. And again, I love the comments and feedback I get from the podcast. And I get a lot about people who have said they are grateful to have found emotionally focused therapy or therapists who practices F.T. because it is a an absolute game changing framework of a way to communicate with your spouse. That's what my entire magnetic marriage course is based off of. But there is a point where you once you have this new framework in place and you can. Communicate and go to your partner with anything, in essence, that doesn't mean that your partner is going to always, even when they're curious, doesn't mean that they're always going to say, holy cow, it's amazing. Tell me more about that. I want to hear all of the things that you're telling me right now, because we still bring our own baggage, our own struggles or challenges, our own perceptions, our own assumptions into the relationship. So if our partner and I gave this example a week or two ago, all of a sudden out of nowhere says, I think I want to buy a motorcycle. We are pretty good at when we hear that from our spouse of somehow making it about me, like, well, what am I not doing? That's enough? Or You've never said that before.

[00:05:39] That must mean that you're something you're struggling, going through a mid-life crisis, or I know you better than you know yourself. So if you've ever found yourself thinking that or feeling that way or even saying those things out loud, then do you really know your spouse? And I don't mean that in a negative way, but in a way of where has your spouse had to feel like they can't really be open or honest because they might get this or you don't want to do that? Or do you know how that that that makes me feel like? So today we're going to talk a little bit more about this concept of presence, this concept of radiance. We're going to talk about pushing boundaries. We're going to talk about how to hold hold a boundary. And at the end of the interview with Preston today, I just started talking a little bit about a concept that I, I do I talk a lot about things like trauma bonds and things that where people feel like they may be in an emotionally abusive or not an emotionally safe relationship. And and I want you to know that I hear you and I do a lot of episodes on the concepts around things like narcissistic personality disorder or even people that have destines or traits of narcissism. And I feel like there are a couple of key differences where and we talk about this toward the end of this podcast, where there are times where someone just literally will not take ownership or accountability of anything.

[00:06:51] That's where maybe some of that gaslighting comes from, where people will feel like they are made to feel crazy when they bring things up. And that is an entirely different beast or component. And a lot of the emails I get are from people that are saying, how do I know? How do I know if my spouse is able to communicate more effectively? And often I feel like they they may not have the tools or they may not even know that there are tools available to help them take ownership or accountability of their actions and still stay safe in a marriage. And today we talk about the concept of tension versus tension. And that's been a whole game changing principle or philosophy that is has grown out of this magnetic marriage core. So if you are listening, you listening to the first two parts of this three part episode, I really feel like today is it really is the final pieces, the missing link, the final puzzle pieces to how now to have these four pillars of a connected conversation, how to actually have the conversation. And I feel like these are those final pieces of how to really show up and stay present and allow your spouse to to exude radiance and to maybe be creative and fun and playful and not have the not.

[00:07:57] Have you feel offended if you are all of a sudden watching your spouse out of nowhere start to feel more of this confident energy or energetic and instead of making it about, oh, that makes me feel insecure if my spouse is suddenly acting different, we're going to talk about that and how to how to stay present and how important that presence is. So enjoy part three of three, go to Tony over Buy.com, slash magnetic and you will be able to be one of the first people to know is the course opens up, which is going to open up again in about a week and a half, two weeks. And and it's it's pretty amazing to think that there are people listening to this right now that are going to go sign up. They're going to take the course and I'll see you on these group coaching calls. And it's just an amazing experience. So let me get to today's episode. It's part three of three with Preston, and we're going to talk more about the feedback from the magnetic marriage course with the key components of presence and radiance in some of these really kind of cool concepts around the way you show up energetically. So I will hopefully see some of you on the magnetic marriage course. Let's get to the interview.

[00:09:19] Come on, take a seat.

[00:09:26] Welcome back to week three. Thanks, man. Three of three. I've never done a mini series before, so I'm really grateful that you're my first ever miniseries guest. How you feel.

[00:09:36] Oh, so good, man. This is fun. Let's get into it, bro.

[00:09:39] And I'm curious. I've had many, many good things said emails received clients in my office, people that have been hearing our last two episodes we're talking about. There is a way there's a connected conversation script. There are these amazing pillars. I don't know you hearing some feedback on your in yet.

[00:09:55] So, yes, the thing is, people. They want to know how to do these things and they feel like they should know them. That's the thing that that I've found as I've talked to people, is that they have this idea that I've been married for 12 years or something like that. Therefore, I should know how to be married. And just like children, marriage doesn't come with a manual. And so I think that people get frustrated by people. I mean me, I, I was like, why can't I just have this be smooth and simple? And I feel like I'm an adult and I got a mortgage and I got kids and I'm like, I'm in this. It would be nice to know how to do it. And yeah, it's this is the thing that I think is really, really fun, is that what you and I have pieced together is just this specific step by step way to allow yourself to have the tools, to have communication, to be able to take that emotional accountability so that you can level up, be more emotionally mature in life, in your relationships. And then what we're going to talk about today is stand in your core energy. We'll talk more about what that means. But to stand in this so that you can show up as the best version of yourself and it's not a one and done thing, it's not all of a sudden I did it once or I learned or I went to a course or I did whatever, and now I just know how to do it. But it gives you the tools to be able to redirect when you get off course.

[00:11:26] And I love it and I we continue. So three weeks, four weeks since we finished round one of the magnetic marriage course. So we're continuing to get the feedback from the participants. And I really feel like there was a mind mindset shift from, OK, I'll take the course and I'm done to the feedback we're getting, which has been mind blowing, has been a lot of OK, now we're able to get back on course faster. We're able to communicate about things that we weren't able to communicate about before. And real quick, before we move too far past this, I had a conversation with someone last week and it reminded me of when I was a brand new shiny therapist and people would approach me at a party and they would end up saying, well, I don't need therapy. Do you think I need therapy? Do you think everybody needs therapy? And I would say that I don't know. What do you think? And by the end, they're thinking, I think I should find a therapist. And I feel like with this marriage course, the more people have heard about the things that we've talked about on the podcast, I'm getting that same vibe where people are saying, well, my marriage is fine. I mean, it's not bad. It's not. It's not. I mean, sure, it could be better, but everybody's could be better. And then by the end of it, they're saying, so tell me more about these four pillars. And I like what you're saying, where it's the I know I shouldn't need a script, but and I say, yeah, I mean, that would be great to not need one, but I still need one guy who creates it with me. Preston, we need one and nothing wrong with that. And I feel like once you accept that this is going to be a continued effort, it's no longer this. Why is it a continued effort? It's all right. What do we do to continue this effort?

[00:12:45] Yeah, I mean, life is going to life marriages. It's going to marriage. It's just if you have kids, it's OK. If you are in a marriage and you deal with children or if you deal with in-laws or if you deal with money or if you deal with intimacy, like if I just described you and you're listening to this, if any one of those four things you deal with in life, then this is for you straight up, because there's going to be two different humans coming at different situations with different backgrounds and different viewpoints. And it's not like everybody. Everything is a knockdown, drag out fight. It's just it turns into, oh, man, people get defensive or people get hurt feelings or people have different ideas about how something should be like approached. And it makes it when both people are on board with the magnetic marriage formula and the four pillars, then it ends up it ends up creating a situation where you. Can have it just be smoother and it can just be easier, like marriage and relationships can be easy, I just can.

[00:13:55] It can. So, all right, let's jump into this, too. So several weeks ago, I did an episode, and it's one of those where it's a few thousand downloads ahead of the rest. And it was on a concept called differentiation and differentiation. And this is what I love about Preston, is Preston was able to say, all right, differentiation sounds like a great psychology word. And let's talk about how to apply that into your relationship. So in a nutshell, I mean, differentiation really is about accepting that you are the adult now and whether or not you're in a marriage, whether you're talking with the boss at work or you're demanding your demanding parents or at the end of the day, when push comes to shove, all of the cliches, you are ultimately captain of the ownership. And you can be that without being a jerk or without being mean. And I feel like that's one of those things. The president in our meetings that we were talking about on a weekly basis, we kind of narrowed into this. We're so afraid of tension that we we pretty much avoid it altogether because we're afraid that it will move into contention. So instead of being able to show up and stay present and this is what I love about you mentioned a minute ago, we're going to talk about what that means to stand in your core energy.

[00:14:57] But there are some really particular or intentional skills that we teach you in the course of how to show up and how to be calm and confident. And just this whole concept of a differentiated self which allows you to be in these more highly charged conversations and stay present and also be able to just have a connection, because I feel like we're so afraid of contention that we just tiptoe around anything that we think might be difficult, and especially when things are going OK. We never want to rock the boat. But then when things do get a little bit bumpy or the water does get a little bit rough, now all of a sudden we don't have the tools to communicate. And so then when when the seas do flatten out again and we don't want to we don't want to say anything to mess up the moment. So we get stuck in this endless cycle of just avoiding tension and fear of contention and then not really talking about anything. So then what do we do about it?

[00:15:51] But what do we do about we've got to fix that. So, I mean, do you want to feel comfortable in your own skin? You want to really know who you are in the relationship and really step into your purpose? Because what often happens is people will get into a relationship in a marriage and they end up even subtly, even if it's not intentional, they end up suddenly having their world revolve around the their spouse. And that sounds great on paper because it's well, why would I be so selfish as to not have I mean, they're my world. They're my everything. OK, that that ends up being a lot of pressure on them subconsciously, for reals. And so. Well, you're talking about differentiation. It's having a deep connection with yourself without losing that connection to others, specifically with your spouse. So you can bring your whole complete confident self to the marriage and then not need the relationship. But you choose the relationship. And that is a space of power and a space of like, true giving. You're giving yourself to that to your spouse, your partner. And when two people are both differentiated, meaning they have a connection with themselves and they're bringing their whole complete confident self to the relationship and both choosing the other person, that is where the brilliant, brilliant, thriving magnetism occurs because there's no games.

[00:17:29] Yeah. And I think I love how you put that and some of the things that you might hear that sound like they aren't a very big deal. But I think a lot of people listening will resonate as if somebody said if your spouse says, oh, I didn't know you really thought that or, you know, really that you like that. And if you've ever been in a situation where you thought, well, I mean, no, I don't really like that or I mean, I don't not really, that is not being differentiated because that is being afraid of tension. What if I do like a particular kind of movie? What if I do like a particular type of car or food or or and it can get more intense if I have a particular belief that might be different that I've been afraid to talk about. Those are those things that if you've ever felt like that in your marriage, where you've been afraid to bring up something because you are worried that your spouse may react a certain way, that is a lack of differentiation. So that is what we have we talk about in the course as a way to approach those moments and those conversations in a way to stay in your in your in your confidence, in your core energy and press that you've taught me a lot about the core energy. Talk about that.

[00:18:29] So what? Yeah, as far as energy goes, like, it's kind of difficult to kind of explain initially, but just stay with me for a second. Yeah. Think about a yin and yang, OK? You have the circle and you have things that are there inverted. And there they fit perfectly, OK, so think of them as two different energies, and I know maybe this doesn't make a lot of sense, especially if you're listening to an audio podcast. But like, we have two different energies and we're going to just talk about them in the context of yin and yang, because we do talk about them in the course as masculine and feminine. But it ends up being people have a hard time with that because of the male female connection that they they associate with us. So imagine two different energies that complement each other very, very well. One is more rigid and one is more Slowey picture. Like you have a beautiful piece of art, beautiful piece of art, and it's very flowing and it's very like a radiance in inside of the art of the canvas is just beautiful. And then. There's a frame, the frame is around the art, and it ends up creating a context and it holds the space for the art to be itself. If you see a piece of art and it ends up just flowing out of the frame, I mean, that could be a piece of art. That's that's fine. But it it feels a little bit unfinished, right. If you have a direct frame around it. That's the these core energies, the yin and the yang one is radiant and flowing and the other one is more rigid and sturdy, the frame versus the art.

[00:20:16] Another way to describe it is that the flowing water of a river versus the Sturdee, the sturdiness of the banks, the river bank, and it's holding the holding the place for the water. So if you think about it in those two context, we have the energy of those two energies complement each other. And in a marriage, one of the partners will most often have the the sturdy, rigid, protective energy and the other one will have the radiant, flowing energy. OK, so we talk about it in the context of radiance and presents and. More often than not, nine times out of 10 in a hetero normative relationship, that the man is the the the frame, the sturdiness, the rigid, the protection, the masculine energy and the the woman is the feminine energy and she is the the complimentary radiant, flowing energy. And so think think about this in your relationship. If you are and again, there's so many other options for this, we're just going to talk about it in this context. So think about it in your relationship. If you're a woman and do you want your do you want your husband to, like, show up and be present and have an opinion and be like the sturdy leader who you can trust? You want that, OK? And also think about if you're the man, do you want your wife to show up as like radiant, floaty and fun and open with her energy and just those kind of things? Do you want to feel trusted? Right.

[00:22:01] Are those the type of energies that you want? Because most often when there is and I'm going to say misalignment, things that are out of alignment, that is where one of the people in the relationship will step out of their core energy, the complementary yin yang energy, the complementary, masculine, feminine energy. And if this is the first time you're hearing about this and you're like, why is he talking about I, I get it. I understand it. So I'll say it like in two sentences. What I want you to notice is that if something feels off, there is a way to get it back into alignment. That's all it is. And it's there are ways that you can think, feel and act that we go through in the course that get people back into alignment. Have you ever driven a car, Tony? Where the the car. The wheel. You need to turn the wheel three degrees to the left to make the car go straight and you feel like you're constantly, like, just fighting the wheel to get back onto the straight highway road. I mean, that's what it feels like when you're out of alignment with your core energy and something just feels off and you can't really have you ever just not me and my wife are just not meshing right now. We're just not on track. I'm sure that everybody listening. This has had periods of time where you felt that in your in your marriage. There is a way to be able to get back on track, and it's easier than you think.

[00:23:36] Well, and let me tell you, Preston, there's a and you're right, the primarily I like where you're going with the yin and the yang. And for the sake, of course, we do talk more about that masculine feminine energy, but it can be the male can step into feminine energy and the female into masculine energy. And I was thinking about this a lot. I was talking with my wife and I am more of a dreamer. I am more of a creative type. And there are times where I have been expressing eight hundred ideas and and I was sharing with my wife that at times where she's kind of like, I don't know, what are you going to do? And I haven't necessarily felt like there was that connection or that that, that trust. Yeah. And so we talked about this and I love it because I feel like that is when when I'm in that I'm almost in my radiant energy and and when she then now steps in with that more present energy where it's like, man, I hear you, I believe in you. And what are you going to do about it? Like, let's take some action. And I feel like that was one of these kind of game changing moments, even for me, because when that's out of alignment, I'm feeling like I'm sharing all this, all these ideas. But it's being met with a, hey, what do you want me to do about it? Like you come up with ideas all the time. And we were processing this when we were first creating the course. And that was one of the first things I clicked to me was the way that I did. I wanted that person to just kind of stay right there and say, man, that sounds great and I believe in you.

[00:24:52] So. So do something. Let's do something about it. And that's where you just feel that maybe it is tension, it's not contention. And that's when I feel alive and I have to share. I was talking with this with someone in corporate America. And I remember I think I texted you right after I said prescient stuff is gold, where the person had talked about when they were with a boss and they knew that the boss really, really was worried about what this person, this this employee thought about them to the point of where the employee could just push and push and push and the boss would finally say, hey, whatever. I don't whatever you do, I don't care. I mean, I can't contain you anyway. And this person had this moment where they said it was at that moment, I realized I didn't really have a lot of respect for my my boss. And so then I kind of felt like, you know, I can kind of do whatever I want. It doesn't really matter. And so we identified boss as he had had in the past of ones who who did stand pretty strong with their boundaries. They were firm. They were so supportive, but they were able to to really put a frame together for this person's rate of energy. So that those are a couple of the examples that I thought of that really helped me understand what that feels like. And it does feel a little bit like tension. But, man, you feel alive, too, and you feel like, OK, I can go and do big things because I've got this person there.

[00:26:07] Yeah. So exactly when you're talking about with is it ends up that you're talking about compliance. OK, I just do it. Yeah. And often compliance is seen as like being, being selfless and you're like being a good person. I'm doing this for the better man of the relationship. Now I am not saying push back and push back on every single thing, but if you comply with everything and you don't express your desires and be willing to tolerate invalidation, if you don't do that, then your spouse will not respect you. Yeah, and that's what happens like so often in a marriage, like, we will want to just please the other person. Yeah. Because that's what we're supposed to do. Now, there's a difference between like I want to please that person versus like I want to just like I want I want their love. I want their validation. I want them to think I'm OK. So we'll do things like choose a restaurant or just pretend we don't have an opinion. Totally. Have you ever pretended you don't have an opinion? When you really do, then you're selling out on yourself. So one of the things I've learned so, so much from you, Tony, and that I've implemented in the magnetic marriage program and with our students is this idea that you've mentioned it briefly of tension like tension. Positive tension is so healthy for a relationship because that's when two people are whole and complete and confident and they bring their themselves to the relationship to choose into it. They're going to have differences and those differences are going to create tension. Now, we have created this negative stigma around the word tension. Yeah, it doesn't have to be negative.

[00:27:54] Contention is negative when there's disagreements and butting heads and fighting. But when you're just talking about two different ideas, like how boring would it be to agree with your spouse on everything? Oh, that would be so boring. Yeah, there's there's no healthy, like liveliness. And this is what I've learned from you, is you don't have to fix or solve more resolve every difference. There can be and should be, yeah, differences that you tolerate in an emotionally mature way. Things like parenting differences, things like religious differences, things like intimacy differences, things like the food and movie differences, like entertainment differences, like what do you what do you want? What are you willing to? Are you willing to stand up for what you desire? Not in a I'm standing up for myself and I've been confrontational. No, you're just like saying now this is what I like and and it's OK. I am not threatened by you not liking the same thing as me. So what would it feel like if you're listening to this? What would it feel like to, like I said, be comfortable in your own skin to really own your desires and to be confident in expressing them in a healthy way? That might lead to some tension, but it's positive tension. Imagine what positive tension might feel like in your relationship. And if you can't imagine that right now, that's OK. But what I'm saying to you is be open to learning the difference between positive tension and contention and then implementing it in a way that allows you to show up as yourself while choosing into the relationship. And everything will change if you open yourself up to that.

[00:29:51] And I feel that I really did. And in the differentiation episode, I believe it was. And I want to almost give the and the rest of the story I talked about, it was while we were talking about a lot of this stuff over the break. It was November, December time frame. And there was a movie on in the background. And it was a movie that was really silly. It really was. And I love it. I love everything about it. And it came on and we had the whole family there. We're playing a game. And I said, Oh, I love this movie. And it was like record scratch, quiet people. A couple. And one of my kids said, wow, they really like you think that's funny. And I felt in that moment was when in the past I would have retreated and said, no. I mean, I know it's kind of dumb. I just said, yeah, I think it's super funny and it makes me laugh a lot. And I paused everybody and and I said, OK, sorry, group therapy. That's what you get for having a dad as therapist here. But what are you feeling right now? And people kind of did say they're like, oh, I feel like you're being a little defensive, dad.

[00:30:40] And I said, OK, I'm not. And I said, this is what is the challenge is that if I express a different opinion right now, then what you you all assume from me then then I feel like I'm doing something wrong. And so and I feel like that is what you've helped me with preston with this the presence, the radiant, the radiance, the polarity is. And I said, OK, so I'm going to stand and be confident. And then that is a really funny movie. And and I said, so let's just kind of keep playing the game. And it was really funny. And over the next two or three days, there were other things where I came home at one point and just express something I was going to do. Actually, one of the times I said, Hey, Wendy, are you OK? If, like, maybe I do this thing, go do this thing. And I felt like that is not no, I want to do the thing. So I was like, hey, I'm going to do this thing, you know, is that and I still felt like I want to say, is that OK? Please. And she gives them permission.

[00:31:32] Yes.

[00:31:32] And again, I love how we're saying and people hearing this this isn't this is why you can see how hard this is is. I was so worried about contention. I was so worried about sounding like a jerk that I wanted to just say, hey, what do you think about if you don't mind? It would be cool if and I wasn't saying, look, I'm doing whatever the heck I want, but I just said, like, hey, I'm going go do this thing. Because knowing that if my wife said, oh, would you mind helping me with this, then I want her to express that, too. And it was just a nice it just fell. And we've been doing that ever since. And it really has just added this just a little bit of a spark in that into the relationship.

[00:32:06] So there was a moment in the previous magnetic marriage course we did where one of the people was talking about he he realized that in his effort to please he had been overly compliant and he had just sought permission for everything. Yeah. And what that did is it put too much pressure on her to be the decision keeper. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. And. And so in an effort to be kind, he had been shown up, showing up as weak. And so there's a huge difference. The picture, a pendulum, if you pull a pendulum up here and it's up here and one against one side and that side is permissive compliance, but always that. OK, and then you if you let go and the pendulum swings all the way to the other side and that's the other side, which is I'm doing this and you have to be OK with it. And those are two extremes that are not necessary. Neither of those are necessary. It's not either or. It's not binary on whatever swing into the middle, which is like, OK, I want to do this. Let's figure out a way for this to work, because I know that we're in this relationship together and we have kids, we have homes, we have schedules.

[00:33:26] We have that in all these different things that we got to do with. I'm going to do this. Let's figure out a way that works. Let's create a win win and you're coming to it with this. I want this. You're expressing your desires as a differentiated person and you're choosing into the relationship by working in concert with them. You're collaborating with them in an emotionally mature way and it can create tension. And if you're scared of that, then it means, OK, I'll say this. If you ever want to say something to your spouse and you pull back or you feel anxiety around it, it means that you're letting fear run your decisions around your relationship. And fear should not be a part of a healthy relationship. It should be collaborative, so tension and fear don't have to be there together, they just don't you can lean into positive tension, you can lean into productive anxiety. You can. And I didn't realize that until recently. But recently I've been married. I've been married for 12 years. So in the last probably two years is where I've really started to lean into this. And it's changed the way that we operate together. Because when it comes down to what you want, say, oh,

[00:34:33] Gosh, no preston. I was just going to say I felt like this was the the best part of the coaching calls that we did, because in putting the course together, it was almost like when you said, OK, what night are we doing the coaching calls? I remember thinking, oh, I'd like to do it every week. And the coaching calls have been where this part of the magic has happened. And that's been just amazing to watch. That's where I really feel like there's a lot of that transformation. Are people bringing these things up in in a safe place and we're able to guide them through exactly what you're talking about.

[00:35:01] So more often than not, the woman wants to feel seen and acknowledged. Understood and really safe. Really just safe and more often than not, the man wants to really feel. Like, appreciated. Like genuine, they want sincere praise, they want to be able to show up as the hero, they want their their spouse to be open and vulnerable and playful with their energy. And they want to feel trusted. They want to have this feeling of that they're allowed to, like, operate with that trust in their life and. So if you're listening to this and you want and you feel unsign or not understood or you feel unsafe, there's a way to shift that. If you're listening to this and you feel criticized, you feel like your spouse is closed off and cold or you feel like a little bit controlled, there is a way out of that. And it has to do with the thing that we're talking about right now with presence and radiance. And you can get to a spot where you feel seen, you feel acknowledged, you feel understood, you feel safe. And on the other side, you really feel like you're getting sincere praise and you feel like you're there open and vulnerable and playful with their energy. And you're allowed to you're not allowed. But they they give their love freely and they they create a situation where you can just operate in your life with trust. That is possible. And I. I know it.

[00:36:44] Absolutely, and I appreciate you sharing that and I want to address one quick thing. I know a lot of my audience that is going to be listening to this. They are sometimes almost feeling like they're locked in this type of a relationship where they they they almost feel this this bond that they can't escape. Well, I mean, I might as well be as authentic and vulnerable as I can. But often the phrase there's a concept called a trauma bond that it will be thrown around a lot. And I want to tell you that one of the things that this has been the biggest aha moment for me is recognizing sometimes in that trauma bond. The and we'll just give the scenario where the the feminine or the wife will feel that security because but they won't feel those other parts. They won't feel seen or understood. And so and so I want you to know that a lot of what is some of the epiphanies that I've had while we've been going throughout the course, I knew when we were put the course together, we were giving people the tools to be able to communicate about these things.

[00:37:39] But those coaching calls and some of the things and the feedback that we've read have been phenomenal, because I think a lot of times people do go to this all or nothing feeling or statement where they feel like, OK, if my husband is. Yes, sure. He provides this this physical or financial security. But but I don't feel seen or heard, these tools I really feel like have been. It's pretty phenomenal to watch. Sometimes that guy just doesn't understand how to do this or. Right. And so I really feel like that was one of those big takeaways from the feedback we've gotten from the first round, a couple of people that felt like, OK, I wonder if I'm in this trauma bond. I wonder if my spouse even can embrace these tools or use them. And so that's been some of the stuff that it's just been amazing to to read is how sometimes the people we don't know, what we don't know and we don't know how to have the conversations. We don't know the importance of that calm, confident energy.

[00:38:38] Yeah, that's one of the things that I, I love. You said one of the things that I have really started to understand over the last couple of years is like I kind of led with this at the beginning of the podcast, like. I shouldn't already know this stuff. Yeah, that's OK. If you don't know how to do that for your spouse, it's OK. It's not too late. You can always choose to show up differently. You can always do that. And it doesn't work to judge yourself for actions you took when you didn't have this information. So just compassion for yourself. Make a choice, invest in your relationship and invest in yourself and join the magnetic match program.

[00:39:25] Yeah. So right now, go to TonyOverbay.com/magnetic. We're less than two weeks out from right from from opening up the window, the cart. And we're getting a lot of good response. This is going to be a pretty amazing group, I think, of individuals or couples that I think is going to be amazing as well.

[00:39:42] Yeah, if you are if this stuff has resonated with you and you want to do this, this, then that is your answer. That is like, should I do this? Like, that is your answer right there. So Tonyoverbay.com/magnetic. Yeah. So put yourself on the wait list. We will you will be first to be notified when we open it. And I'm very excited about it

[00:40:06] To and I can't wait to see you on the group cos I mean I. Let's do this.

[00:40:11] Let's do this man. All right. All right, all right.

[00:40:13] Thanks I. See you later. Bye bye.

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.


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


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!


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.


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.


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


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.


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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