If you want to know what you need to do with your life, ask somebody close to you. Chances are they'll immediately have an opinion. But when they do share what they think YOU need to do with YOUR life, why do you immediately think of doing the opposite? Better yet, why can they come up with an answer and direction for YOUR life easier than YOU can...because it's YOUR life!


Tony starts with Fowler's Stages of Faith, applying them to life in general, touches the bases on attachment, values, and then slides into home in a made-up land where you can be your value-based, unique, one-of-a-kind version of you...the land tentatively called "Differentiation-ville!"


Sign up today to be the first to know when the next round of The Magnetic Marriage Course will launch http://tonyoverbay.com/magnetic

-------------------- TRANSCRIPT --------------------

[00:00:15] Come on in. Take a seat couch.

[00:00:21] Hey, everybody, welcome to episode two hundred and eighty one of the virtual couch, and today I feel like I'm just going to riff a little bit because I have had something that has been on my mind. I already feel like I'm sounding very dramatic. I'm very, very dramatic. There's something that's been on my mind the last few weeks, and I'm going to go probably in a couple of different directions. I'll try to stay somewhat on topic, but I have had an opportunity to do a fair amount of training over the last few years of my career. And recently, I've been able to train a fair amount of ecclesiastical leaders, so leaders for religious congregations. And it's been a pretty cool process, because a lot of times in the in the context of someone's religious experience, there is an awful lot of people saying, here's what you need to do, here's how you do it and here's what you need to do. And a lot of this stems from the work that I've done with James Fowler stages of faith. And I even think it might not be a bad idea to just run over those real quick, because I feel like the stages of faith also apply to our stages of life. And I did a podcast a long time ago about that. And if you stay with me here, I really feel like I'm going to make a point, but let me do a little bit of set up first.

[00:01:32] So Fouler Stages of faith is a concept where psychologists stand. And religious pastor James Fowler back in, I believe the 80s, spent over a decade researching all encompassing belief systems. So there were a lot of different views or a lot of different religious groups that he studied. And he, in essence, broke down these stages of faith that went along with, I think it was Piaget and Colberg stages of development or stages of life and in stage one, stage one faith. This is typically preschool children. And this is where fantasy and reality gets mixed together. But but our ideas about God are formed by our parents. So it's also a project of faith. So I always look at this as the kids are playing on the ground and their parent comes in and says, hey, kids, there's a God. And the kid says, OK, great. And they continue to play with their toys. And this stage, too, that they often move on to. And this might be from three to 12 or that sort of timeframe is essentially they call it mythic and literal. And so this is where children become school age and they start to understand the world in more logical ways. But they generally accept the stories told to them by their faith community, but they tend to understand them in very literal ways. And what this can look like is I often say this is where then kids are being told about the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny, Batman and Superman, but also the concept of Jesus or God or and so all of these things seem very mythic and very, very literal.

[00:03:07] And so a lot of people then move on to this stage three. And right now we're talking about it in a religious context. But I would love for you to think of it in terms of even life in general, that when we move up into this stage, three faiths, this is where people start to move on as teenagers and their life is and has grown to include several different social circles. And so they start to want to put these all together. And when that happens, a person will typically adopt some sort of what Balr calls an all encompassing belief system. And this is where I like to say that you can think of this concept of a box, and this isn't a negative thing at all. But all of your beliefs and all of the things that you are told that this is what you believe, this is where this will lead to the things that you should be doing. All of those things fit in this nice, tidy box. And so at this stage, people tend to have a hard time seeing outside of their box because they're starting to really get the vibe or or they're interacting with a lot of people within their box and the stories or leadership or that sort of thing.

[00:04:07] I thought those are groups that represent one's beliefs. And a lot of people remain in this stage three faith stage, three box, or even take a look at that stage in life for the rest of their entire life. And what that can mean is that they've been told, whether it's by their parents or grandparents or community or church group or any of those, that this is not only what you believe spiritually, but this is what you believe socially, and this is what you need to do with the rest of your life. So people can operate out of this stage three box, the stage three of faith or the stage three of life. But while that can work for a lot of people, for so many others, as they start to just experience life, they start to what I like to say, bump into the sides of the box. They start to look outside of the box, peek up over the box. And this can happen in so many different ways. And the religious context that can happen when people think life happens or if they've all of a sudden a spouse cheats on them. If they have a kid that comes out as gay or any LGBTQ. Or if they have someone pass away or if they have serious health issues, or if somebody in their family does something that is so devastating to them and it has a big impact on these things in life can happen.

[00:05:19] And all the. What used to make sense in this box may not make as much sense, and because of the way that we grow up and we grow up with our own abandonment kind of attachment issues, the way that we grow up as egocentric kids, because that's what we all start out, is that everything revolves around us, that then all the sudden we feel like if things are not going right in our lives, it must be me. But I must be doing something wrong and must be unlovable and must be broken. But so as things start to get a little bit more messy or there are a lot more variables that come into play, sometimes we start to feel like what's wrong with me inside of this box, whether that's a religious box or whether it's just a life box, or if somebody if we go back over to this life concept of stage three, that people may start to realize, man, I don't want to pursue the career that my parents have always told me that I needed to pursue. I don't want to stay with the family business or I don't want to live in the area or I want to marry someone that is completely different than somebody that has been suggested that this is this is somebody who I think you would like to marry.

[00:06:26] And so you can start to see that there are a lot of things that start to have people feel like they are not doing something right. Within this stage three box, whether it's stage three, again, religion or stage three of life, but the authority is placed in individuals or groups that represent one's beliefs. That's the the layout of stage three. Or if you put that in a non-religious context, the authority is placed in groups or individuals that in essence, represent one's life. This is what we do. This is where we live. This is who we marry. These are the shows we like. This is a religious affiliation. This is our political affiliation. So when people start to have their own experiences, because guess what? They're human and they are each one of us is the only version of us that's ever walked the face of the earth. So we have our own. And I go to this all the time. But our own nature and nurture and birth order and abandonment. Darney hopes, dreams, fears, rejection. Each one of us is a product of all of those experiences that are unique to you. So it's no wonder that we will run into the sides of this box, this stage three of our faith, or the stage three of our life. But where that leads us typically is Fowler lays out is stage four.

[00:07:41] He says this is a tough stage often begun in young adulthood when people start singing outside of the box and realizing that there are other boxes. And so oftentimes they'll critically examine their beliefs on their own and become disillusioned with their former faith. And again, if we look at this as either a faith concept or a life concept, when people start to have a lot of their own experiences, they get a lot of their own feels and a lot of their own things, then they may look critically at that stage, three box of their faith or that stage three box of their life, simply because they are having their own experience. But it's Fowler talks about there. Is that typically or ironically, stage three people often feel like stage four people have become backsliders when in reality they feel like they are finally starting to move forward. And then where I think it's fascinating as there becomes a little bit of a battle in this stage three versus stage four, whether it's in a faith community or even whether it's in a life community, when somebody finally feels a little bit more empowered in stage four. They often look at stage three and say, hey, I got to go be me. I got to do the things that make me happy. But the people in stage three will often feel like, no, no, no, you can't. You're doing the wrong things or reading the wrong things.

[00:08:53] You don't really want to go pursue that career. You don't really want to marry that person. You don't really want to move to that place or go to that. But there's a couple of things that are fascinating. And this is part of what I just wanted to talk about today is I've done so many various podcasts that talk about all of these concepts, because in this one, I talk often about you can have in adult relationships, you can have, you know, love or you can have control. But I really believe that they both don't go together. So here's where sometimes people in that stage three experience are. And bless their heart, they want to control those people that are starting to pull away from that stage of life or that stage three of faith. And this is where I start talking about my four pillars of a connected conversation, that the pillar one is assume good intentions. So sometimes it's hard. But when you step back and see that stage, three percent say, no, don't don't do that. Don't read that. You're not going to be happy that they're coming from a place of love, but they maybe are using the wrong tools. And so when they're telling people in stage four of life or of faith that they're doing something wrong, we got a couple of things happen, multiple things happening. Number one, we got good old psychological reactions or that instant negative reaction of telling somebody what to do.

[00:10:10] We don't like it until your brain don't think a chocolate cake. It probably just thought a chocolate cake right now. So tell somebody that they shouldn't be reading the things that they are reading or shouldn't be watching the shows they're watching or shouldn't be hanging. Out with the friends they're hanging out with. I shouldn't be dating the person that they're dating. And already we've got that psychological reactance. But we have to look at this on my four pillars of a connected conversation. The assuming of good intentions on both sides. The person that's saying, hey, I wouldn't do that. Sometimes it's hard for the person in that stage for of life or stage for faith to view their stage. Three person is coming with good intentions. And it's really hard for the stage three person to look over at the stage for a person and say that I am assuming good intentions of even what they are doing, what you know, who they are becoming. And so here comes that desire to control. And so I work so many I work with so many people that come to me in this stage four, whether it's stage four of faith. And that's where they almost what they do. Oftentimes, they are just coming into my office saying, man, just tell me to read a certain scripture or a talk or something and watch me walk out of here, because that's what people have done.

[00:11:18] People in that stage three box have said so many times. Hey, you need to double down on your prayers or your scripture reading, which is most likely something that person has done in stage three for who knows how long, which has caused them to start to feel like what's wrong with me. And again, nothing is wrong with them. They're human. But I work with so many people to get there in that stage four. And that's why I love being able to say, tell me more. Tell me about that. That sounds hard. Here comes empathy. And a lot of times they may talk about challenges or struggles they've had with their faith community or things that they've learned about their particular faith that they no longer agree with. And that's where you want to be a safe place for that person to be able to express themselves. When I go back to what I started with today, I did a training recently with a group of religious leaders. And one of them, we were talking about these four pillars of a connected conversation, because I was saying that in order for somebody to start having a conversation around helping someone through their their faith journey, that we first need to be able to listen. Because if we don't know how to listen and have empathy, then there is no way that someone is going to come to you and want help with anything.

[00:12:26] So I started this training by talking about my four pillars of a connected conversation. I said, when someone comes into your office, that's the assumption of good intentions. They're not trying to hurt you. And pillar two is you can't put out the message that you are that the other person is wrong or that you don't agree with them, even if you feel they're wrong or even if you don't agree with them. Because at any point when you violate one of these pillars, the conversation is going to go south. It's going to shut down, it's going to devolve, and we're going to get into this psychological reactance mode. We're going to get into the tit for tat. Somebody is going to just withdraw and the conversation will stop. So somebody comes into their office, the ecclesiastical leader's office, and says, I'm really struggling with my faith, the assumption of good intentions, or they say that I'm really straight. I don't believe this particular thing anymore, that the assumption of good intentions check pillar two, you can't tell miled don't think that or you shouldn't think that or well, you're wrong, because, again, that person is going to now be on the defensive. They're going to feel unheard and certainly unseen. And then that conversation is going to shut down. Pillar three, we can ask questions, ask questions before making comments.

[00:13:33] Tell me more about that. Tell me why you feel that way. Tell me what your struggles and your challenges are. And then that person listening a pillar for is they need to stay present. They can't just say, well, looks like you're going to do whatever the heck you want to do. So good luck on that, because oftentimes that pillar for we go and do what I just referred to as a victim mentality and then the person that's speaking to then come rescue us and say, no, you know what, you're right. I don't even know what I'm talking about. So we have to be able to have the conversation. We have people to have this framework to be able to have and have a difficult conversation. So I get the people in my office, OK, this is where I was going with that story. So there's one ecclesiastical leader after we laid out the four pillars, and I can understand what they were saying and they said, let me get this straight or let me check in that that obviously, if we're going to just listen to somebody for an hour, then we're just going to feel like we're condoning their bad behavior. And here's what started this whole desire to have this this podcast episode today. And I really hope that it's going to make sense. I appreciated what this person was asking me, this religious leader, but I felt like I had to just go back into this particular mindset that I had worked so hard to move away from, to be able to even engage or address that question, because here's why.

[00:14:51] The phrase was something like obviously and obviously is a I call it a reactance hook. When somebody says, well, obviously this is what this means or obviously this is what we all know, then even our own brains are thinking that it's not obvious because I may have a different view or I may have a different opinion. So I don't even think I address that when when the person asked me this question, but they said that listening for an hour is condoning their bad behavior. So as I moved back over into this this mindset. Where and I said, OK, first of all, and I thank them for their question, but I said listening for an hour is is absolutely not condoning anything. Listening for an hour's part of the human experience, listening for an hour is going under the premise that to be heard is to be healed. If someone's coming to you and they're saying, hey, I want to talk, then isn't it only natural that the next part of that would be, well, if they would like to talk, I would like to listen. Because if I immediately just start telling them what they need to do now, we're moving back into that. Do you want love or control in the relationship? Because if it's control, then I can already tell you where that's going to go over the long haul.

[00:16:01] If the person even maybe in that moment says, oh, OK, yeah, you're right, but they don't feel heard or they don't feel seen or understood, then they may be just giving you lip service. But that isn't what's going to drive change. So, again, listening for an hour is absolutely not condoning a behavior. And then I even took a little bit exception with the concept of bad behavior. And this one can be a little bit hard to wrap our heads around, but we have to stop judging. We do need to stop judging behavior as good or bad, black or white, all or nothing. Those are cognitive distortions. So I said it's behavior. And it may seem like to you that's bad behavior, but it's behavior. And if you're watching this on my YouTube channel on hold my hand up is I constantly am doing this with clients of helping them reframe when they say, what's wrong with me, I'm thinking this thing. Why do I think this thing? I want to say, no, no, no. We got to reframe it to say, check out what I'm thinking, because I have lots of thoughts. I can have all kinds of thoughts. And so bad behavior, its behavior. And then let's if we can just look at it like, man, check out this behavior that I'm doing.

[00:17:07] We're designed to deal with emotion in concert with another human being. We desperately want to be able to process things with somebody else when we leave things just running around, kicking around in our own brain because of the way our brain is evolved. Our brains evolved from a don't get killed device to basically try to look out and overthink things so that we'll be able to survive that if we just leave our brain to its own devices, it doesn't typically go to the end. And I lived happily ever after. It goes to that. And then eventually everyone leaves me and I die. So when somebody is saying, Chaille, this behavior and that's what we need to look at it as, it's just a behavior. And there are reasons why we do behaviors. Is that addictive behavior? Maybe, but then that one's probably a coping mechanism. That's probably something that somebody has done for a long time that they turn to and they don't feel connected. And my path back recovery program, I talk about this constantly, is that when I'm talking about somebody that's wanting to turn away from pornography, it's turn away from pornography is a coping mechanism because they feel like they have a lot of these voids in their lives. They might not feel connected to their spouse and marriage. And I feel connected in their parenting. They may not feel connected to their health or their faith or their career.

[00:18:16] So they turn to an unhealthy coping mechanism. So if somebody is bringing that into your office as an ecclesiastical leader or to you as a parent, or do you as a friend or to you as a spouse, think tell them thank you. Tell them tell me more. So if you look back into this, it's not obvious that listening is condoning a bad behavior. So I hope you can see that as we start to lay all of that out. We had to do a complete mindshift to be able to really be there and listen empathetically to somebody that might be moving on from this stage. Three feels like life made sense in this little box into the stage for where all of a sudden they don't know who they are. And then when they turn to those people, their community, their family are people that are potentially in the stage three of life. And it works for them. But then to that stage four person, they're frustrated. They feel unheard and unseen and unloved and broken. And what's wrong with them? But the answer is nothing. They're just doing life. So when I have a client in there, this is where I'm hoping to move them into a stage five. This is a stage five version of life or stage five version of faith. And I've had a couple of people bring up and I can appreciate this, where they may take exception because they feel like this is this linear progression.

[00:19:28] But just because numbers go one, two, three, four or five doesn't mean that you are trying to get to the end of that, trying to get to the end, because if somebody is happy where they are, I don't care if it's they're happy in stage two and they're like Lennie of Mice and Men and life is mythic and literal, then that is good for them. If they are finding peace and joy in stage three, then that's great. It doesn't mean that they need to try to tell everybody else what to do. But if you can move on from the stage for a faith or stage four of life, get out of this reactance mode and slip into this stage five, stage five. Fowler says that he says it's rare for people to reach the stage before midlife. This is the point when people begin to realize the limits of logic and they start to accept the paradoxes in life. They begin to see life as more of a mystery so they can return to sacred stories and symbols for this time without being stuck in a theological box. So the significance of that is that. Stage five starts to be this place where you feel like I am the only version of me and that I have been trained so hard to figure out how to let's jump into this religious context again, how to communicate with God, how to communicate with the divine.

[00:20:34] And I've been literally driving myself crazy because I feel like I'm not enough. I feel like everyone is telling me a different answer. I feel like I can find one scripture that says this or one talk that says that, or one leader tells me that this is what I need to do. And maybe my spouse tells me this is another thing I need to do. And sometimes when I go to pray, I don't feel anything. So what's wrong with me? Nothing. You are a going through the human experience and often you're using the wrong tool. Here's where here's the big crescendo of what I wanted to do this episode today. So I go back to a client I've been working with for a while, and they struggle with a tremendous amount of religious anxiety. And so they're in such a good place now. And we were talking before I did this training with this group of ecclesiastical or church leaders, and I just said, hey, I'm going to go start talking to these people. Tell me what to work for you, because this is a person that had religious leaders seeing them and tell them that they weren't good, that they were they didn't get certain things under control, that then they would not be happy and that could affect their family and their posterity and all of that.

[00:21:35] The religious leaders in his life were saying that they didn't know how else to try to motivate this person. When reality, motivation comes through, love, motivation comes through kindness, motivation comes through saying I'm here for you. So this person told me this is the significance. And he and I've been working together for a long time that he went from this insane amount of anxiety around how do I communicate with the divine? How do I communicate with God? And then setting up so many different arbitrary rules and ways to try to communicate. And so if he felt like he had a day or a moment or even an hour, a second, or he felt OK, I think I feel like I'm doing OK or I think I'm communicating with God or connecting with the divine, then how do I continue to replicate that? And so then oftentimes it would be, OK, I need to read longer or I need to pray more. And then if I all of the sudden thought a bad thought, which is human, then I didn't do it right. I'm going to go back and reassess. Maybe I need to start confessing to my ecclesiastical leader. And then so I'm texting him. I'm confessing to my religious leader. And if my religious leader tells me I'm OK. But I still maybe had a bad thought or I didn't do things perfectly, then maybe that's because I didn't confess everything.

[00:22:47] This is called scrupulously, by the way. I've never done a specific episode on it, but it's religious OCD, OCD of religious thought. And it is an anxiety mess because OCD attacks, what is important to you? And so when I'm working with somebody unscrupulously, you're fighting against, as you are even telling them, anything that maybe feels like it goes against their moral code or it goes against their religious beliefs or their scriptures that they read or that talks that they digest, then you may be representing the adversary, Satan, Beelzebub, the father of lies, the pawns, pitchfork, all of that sort of thing. But so this scrupulously causes this person to just overthinking, overthink religiosity, which is something that had been something so important to them. So as I'm talking with this person, he says he has to go from, do I communicate? How do I communicate with the divine to then for a while? And this is easy to talk about in my office, but sometimes people get really scared if I mention this out in the wild. But he had to go to this place where he had to say, OK, I had to accept that I may not communicate with the divine. I worry that there even is a divine. And that might be frightening. Sometimes I say that all of a sudden we're learning to do the trapeze training without the net underneath us. And that can be really, really scary.

[00:24:01] And if you are watching this on my YouTube channel, I'm going to go big with my hands here, because this makes so much sense to me now. So over here is where he's at. And I've got my hands are on the left. So this picture there on the left hand side, that is the place where you're trying to figure out how what are these rules, what are the ways that I communicate with God or what are the ways if I go back to these two stages of life, what are the ways where I just figure out life? Because I've got everybody telling me something different, my parents saying that you should marry this person or you should have this career or I'm seeing this on Instagram or I'm seeing this influencer say this or this product will make me happy or my friend is doing this and maybe I want to do that, too, or I see this guy that I run into and he makes a lot of money. So maybe I should do what he's doing. Or in that religious context, it's I should be reading my scriptures more. I should be praying more. I should do more service. I should be I should be showing any extra skin. I shouldn't be all these things that were just driving us crazy, making up all these rules in order. We're hoping that that will get us closer to God.

[00:24:58] But in reality, it's pushing us further away. Or, we're hoping in life that that's going to give us the answers. But in reality, it's making us more confused because we're doing this all wrong. We really are. So when I get people to this point where they can even accept this fact that they maybe are this this desire for control or this desire to figure things out is actually the very problem. That they are struggling with the most, that they drop the rope, that tug of war with trying to figure these things out. And at this point now I move over here to the right hand side of me. And so now is where whether we're talking in a religious context or we're just talking in a life context, this is where I say that the therapy model, I love acceptance and commitment therapy is in line with the religious teachings as well. So act and this I say act in the gospel in either of these. You are the only unique version of you that's ever walked the face of the earth. Whether that means that you are the child of God and you have divine purpose and heritage, and you've been given a certain set of beliefs or a certain set of talents and blessings, or in this acceptance and commitment therapy model. You are the only version of you with all of your thoughts and feelings and emotions and experiences.

[00:26:12] You can see that we're going to start building from the ground up over here. And as we do that, as you really start to find your sense of purpose, I did an episode a couple of weeks ago about values. And as you start to realize what really matters to me and it's unique to me and we may that's a journey in itself, we may not really have the same idea or a value around service as someone else or even honesty as someone else. And I use that example so often because it's so powerful, where someone grows up in a home where there was absolute chaos and no honesty. They may have a value of just absolute brutal honesty, even to the point where they may offend someone. But if you grew up in a home where you were just brutally raked through the coals with honesty, that honesty was used as a weapon. Well, I'm just being honest then you may not to value honesty in that same way you they value compassion or you may value connection. I give this example a couple of weeks ago. I have this value of curiosity and knowledge. So when I'm starting to feel down instead of trying to go, I don't feel this way. Why do I feel this way? What's wrong with me for feeling this way? I need to change the way I feel. All those are the wrong tools.

[00:27:19] They really are. It's oh, my gosh, I notice that I'm feeling that way. And now let me pull out my phone and turn to my value of curiosity and knowledge and start looking at things around me and finding out fun facts about them and then sharing with others and connecting. So we are all these these we're made up of our own experiences or were our children of God, whichever version of that you want to go with right now. But over here on this, as you're redefining or rebuilding who you are, the more you discover your own unique sense of self and sense of purpose and lean into that and start to just really work with that, the more authentic you can become, the more value based you can become. You're going to raise your emotional baseline and you're going to start to be more confident. And as you're more confident, you're going to start to find yourself around more like minded people. People are going to be driven to you or you're going to be moving toward people that you really feel a connection with. And here's the cool part that is going to be where people start to feel like they, oh, my gosh, this is the connection that I've always wanted with the divine, with God, with people. And so that's why I did this thing where I'm moving from this left side of me over to the right.

[00:28:27] When I go back to this client who was struggling with this religious OCD or this anxiety and trying to just figure all of these variables out that and then realize they're OK, they're a human being with all their own experiences, then they started to feel like maybe I am OK. And lo and behold, what breaks through from the clouds in the sky, a relationship with the divine or a confidence that they didn't feel before, or a lessening of that anxiety, because all of a sudden now they're starting to feel like, oh, my gosh, I think I think I'm starting to understand who I am now. Does that mean that then rainbows, unicorns, pots of gold and live happily ever after? No, but we're on our way because this is where I talked about a few weeks ago, this concept of differentiation. Doing it with my hands again. But picture your hands and together enmeshed. And so we are this enmeshed, codependent person with our spouse, with our church, with our parents, with our community. And so as we start to move toward a interdependent, differentiated feeling my sense of purpose self, as we break away from these these codependent investments, we're going to feel a tremendous amount of invalidation because the people around us go back to the stage Three view are going to say, no, no, no, don't do it. You shouldn't do that. I know what's best for you, even though you've been trying to to work under that under that set of circumstances for how? Well, this is the part where trusting that you're a child of God or trusting that you are the only version of you that's ever walked the face to the earth.

[00:29:59] And as you start to lean into that, you are going to start to feel more of a sense of purpose and confidence. And as you do that and as you learn this concept of differentiation. Now, when that invalidation comes, when somebody tells you, I think you should do this, it's no longer this battle of I, what do I do? I've tried that. It doesn't work. You don't understand me. And then. Feeling, Oh, but I don't want to let this person down. They might not like me before I know it, I'll be abandoned. But over in this other side, this differentiated world, then that's where when people are offering you the things that they think they think you should do, I look at it as if they are offering you now a platter of suggestions. Well, I think you should do this from a differentiated standpoint. It's OK. What I'm starting to really feel my sense of self and purpose, because I'm not trying to do what everybody else is telling me, because I'm not trying to do what everybody else thinks I should do. So I'm starting to try to lean into more of what I believe is right for me.

[00:30:54] But I will gladly take a look at your platter of suggestions. And if you're a safe person, if we've had some nice for pillared conversations and I trust you, then now all of a sudden I can think, OK, I think you might have a point there. I mean, I love when my wife will share with me in a very healthy, safe for pillared, productive way. Hey, I've noticed you've maybe been doing this lately. Tell me more about that. And that's the time where I might be able to say I did not really notice. Let me give you a concrete example. I sometimes give these generic examples and she always says be a little more specific with so many guys I work with. And maybe it's not just a guy thing, but I would realize that my wife stay at home mom four kids growing up. And there were days where my emotional baseline was flying high and I would come home and kids, let's go out to dinner and let's go buy all the things and let's get a toy in the store and let's plan a vacation. And then a couple of days later, I might have paid some bills or something. Maybe we might not have gotten some of this back in myself for days, but maybe we lost a deal or something didn't go right. And so then I come home and if the kids say, hey, dad, so do we go buy the toy and go out to lunch at the vacation, all a sudden I'm saying, geez, guys, come on.

[00:32:02] That's so we can't just do that all the time. You can't just spend all the money and that sort of thing. And so it was my wife at one time said, hey, sometimes we're not quite sure which version of you we're going to get when you walk in the door. That hurt. But I was so grateful because I was starting to find myself, my sense of purpose, starting to build up my emotional baseline. And she was a safe person. And she did that in a very safe, healthy, productive way. So I was able to take a look at her platter of suggestions and say, OK, man, that one hurts. So often, talk about were so afraid of contention that we avoid tension altogether. Tension is really where that growth hits. So I took a look at what she was sharing with me and I thought, man, I think you're on to something here. And that was years ago. Decade plus ago. And to this day, I still have to bring myself back to some awareness of when all of a sudden I'm coming home saying, let's go do all the things that other times where I come home. And I think I don't want to do any of the things we're doing, too many of the things.

[00:32:58] But I have to realize that's something that I need to come to terms with or I need to cope with or I need to get to presents with before I then just blurred that out to the family, because all of a sudden then they're feeling like what's wrong with them? Because sometimes they say, let's go to dinner and dad goes, woo. Sometimes they say, let's go to dinner dad says, bro come on. You can't believe you're saying that. So that's what that differentiation looks like. So when you're over here, there are side this other path. And I have to tell you, I was running this through a lot of clients the last two or three weeks, and I really wanted to name the place before I did this episode, because I wanted to say, as you get over to differentiation land, and I don't think that sounds very exciting place to go. But then over here, this is where you find your sense of self and purpose and your emotional baseline side and differentiation land. That's where you can say, OK, thank you for your opinion. Other people that have had your own experiences, that have not had my experiences, I'd love to process these things with you. But it's ultimately still my journey. And as you become more comfortable with that, then that becomes a place for you. I believe that you can be a bigger presence to be there, to lift up others around you, whether it's in your religious community where people will naturally gravitate to the person they feel like is living their authentic self and has this maybe deeper connection to God.

[00:34:18] And it's not that connection where they're afraid of what they will say because they're ecclesiastical leader may punish them. Just continuing on being a little bit here. There's an episode I did on Leading Saints a few years ago where I talked about in this religious context, again, that I really do feel at my core that when people are taking this the sacrament, the cracker and grape juice or the bread and water at their congregation to renew their covenant with God from baptism or whatever that process is for them, that in some religious organizations, they say, hey, if you haven't been if you haven't done things right, then don't take the bread and water for a couple of weeks. And I was on going to you is two or three years ago saying so I and my differentiated sense of self feel like that is not helpful. And I feel very confident with that. And helping 15, 16, maybe 17 hundred individuals start to put some distance between turning to porn as an unhealthy coping mechanism. Plug for my path back recovery program. Go, go find it, because it's just, gosh, we creating a cool community now. But I.

[00:35:19] Feel like people should have two pieces of bread. They should have a bigger cup of water. I really do, because I want them to have more hope. I want them to feel like there is more of a sense of purpose and self. And so I feel like that is such a big part of who I am as somebody that is in the helping and healing profession. Now, am I telling people who disagree that they're absolutely wrong? No. They can have their experience because that's their experience, because of the things that they've been through. But I can only be authentic. That's all I can do. And the reason I bring this part up is someone was asking me, actually, a lot of people have asked me from time to time. Well, what if then you saying that precludes you from getting a higher calling or higher office in your church? And that's where I go back over here in differentiation land over here. Well, OK. I'm not saying I don't care and I don't care like it's a bad thing way, but it's well, I don't even really I would have to go back over into this other land to then remember the times where I didn't feel like I could be authentic because I was afraid that someone would maybe not give me a new calling or somebody would not want me to be a part of their spiritual team. Where now I know that I am OK.

[00:36:31] I am enough. I am worthy. I am of worth. I am a child of God. I am the only version of me. And I have never felt more of a connection with the divine or with myself or with the people around me than as I have dropped that rope in a tug of war and trying to be the person that other people are telling me that I should probably maybe be sometimes, but sometimes not. And sometimes the rules change to this person that I am. And the more I lean into that, yes, it's going to come with some differentiation. I stand getting more and more people that will email me now and say, well, I disagree and that's OK, 100 percent. But the number of people that email me and say thank you for sharing this experience that I feel is similar to those are tenfold, because we want to be heard. We want to be understood. And so as you find your way over into this differentiation land, doggone it, I should come up with a cooler thing first. Be prepared to feel some of those pangs of invalidation. But it's OK. We need to get you finding out who you are, your sense of self, your sense of purpose into this stage, five of a life where life is more of a mystery and paradox. And now you can return to your faith community or you can return to your your family community without feeling stuck in a theological box or without feeling stuck in a life box, a familial box that you get to be you.

[00:37:54] Even if that version of you is someone that other people don't agree with, because bless their hearts, they aren't you. I have so much more to say on this, but I'm going to wrap it up right now because we're pushing 40 minutes. But thanks for taking the time to listen. I'm the world's worst promoter. I would have said at the beginning of this that my magnetic message course is coming soon. I probably. Stories or whatever. So go to Tony Overbay.com/magnetic if you want to be ready. I think it's launching in the second or third week of September. And my Pathbackrecovery.com first go there. I just launched a new podcast called Waking Up the Narcissism. Please go find and subscribe that. Subscribe to that. There's a trailer out. And my main man, my my guy, Nate Christianson, who's in the office now, just released the first episode of he and his wife's podcast called Working Change. They're talking about secondary emotions. It's amazing. So thank you so much for taking the time. I would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to shoot them over to me at any point through my website. TonyBay.com and I look forward to maybe doing a part one and a half of this in the not too distant future. All right. Have an amazing day.

Want to help your kids succeed? Let them see you struggle, let them see you fail, let them know you are human! Tony talks about a fascinating study out of MIT that shows how modeling the reality of not immediately succeeding at something can have a positive impact on kids as young as 15 months old. The article Tony references "Want to raise successful kids, MIT scientists say let them watch you do this..." by Bill Murphy Jr. (https://www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/want-to-raise-successful-kids-mit-scientists-say-let-them-watch-you-do-this-but-most-parents-are-afraid-to.html) also breaks down the challenges of kids growing up with a "fixed" mindset vs a "growth" mindset.

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 ---------

[00:00:00] I completed my first marathon, it was the California International Marathon in 1996, and my goal at that time was to finish under four hours and I made it barely finishing in three hours and 57 minutes. And it was amazing. And I have fond memories of that race. I passed a very sad juggling clown and around the 20 mile mark and realizing that it took me 20 miles to catch a juggling clown who was running the event. And I remember finishing and having a difficult time literally walking up onto the curb shortly after the race. And I felt the most incredible, just amazing soreness and pain over the next few days. And I celebrated that pain and that soreness and that led to about, I don't know, maybe 40, 50 more marathons, including the famed Boston Marathon in 2006. And from there, I did a few dozen, 50 KS 32 miles and then some 50 miles and then 100 case of 62 miles and then 100 mile races with the few 24 hour runs mixed in there as well. Where I also realized that marathon pain was cute in hindsight, 100 mile pain, that was amazing. A walk down the stairs had to be done backwards for a few days because you you couldn't engage your quads at all as well as to just try to get in the vicinity of the toilet, maybe a little bit too much information and then just fall down backwards onto it.

[00:01:14] Hope you stick the landing. But I digress. In those 24 hour runs, I covered anywhere from 111 to 125 miles. But the point being that I really don't talk about my first marathon entry. That was back in 1995. And so let me start with the excuse machine. We're talking about pre Internet or at least pretty easily searchable Internet. And I had no real training plan. I think I purchased a very large book that I never read. So I was thinking the training and better yet, absolutely winging the nutritional side of things, because about three days before the big event, this first marathon in 1995, I decided that I wanted to feel lean, I wanted to feel light, I wanted to feel ready. So I stopped eating. I decided not to consume a whole lot of calories so I would be ready for race day. So I feel light on my feet. And then the night before, we checked into a hotel that was near the start and I didn't sleep well and the run itself was absolutely brutal. We had no kids, but we had a golden retriever. His name was Dexter and my wife was set to meet me along the race course with Dexter. I'm sure you had the the bandana tied around his neck is all golden retrievers did, especially back in the late 90s.

[00:02:19] And I think I saw my wife Wendy at maybe the final five mile mark when I was still feeling OK and then maybe at the ten mile mark and then at 13, that was supposed to be the halfway mark. And I'd done several half marathons at that point. So I'm sure as I crested some hill that Wendy saw me, Dexter starts wagging his tail. But I was done. My legs had absolutely seized. I think about the The Wizard of Oz and the Tin Man. And there she was with Dexter and she started to say, hey, I'll see you a bit later. And I said, I'm done. I'm literally finished. And I don't remember much more. But the truth was I was absolutely starving and my legs were now locked at the kneecaps. So I did a Tin Man waddle over to a Taco Bell. I remember that was at that particular point in the race course. And I got in line and I stood there with my race bib on and I ordered a breakfast burrito and I remember inhaling it. And then I immediately walked outside and threw it back up. So there there was my first glorious marathon experience so I could have easily buried that one because I learned a lot from that experience. And but I didn't have to necessarily tell anybody that. And I'm I'm telling you now, and by nineteen ninety six then I had stuck to a training plan because of what had happened in 1995.

[00:03:35] I well I carb loaded the night before I slept better, I had trained more and I had an amazing experience, complete with the aforementioned passing of the juggling clown and finishing under four hours. But what I have so thoroughly enjoyed is I've been able to speak to countless numbers of people about a variety of topics, is being able to talk about failures or setbacks because we absolutely all have them. But why are we so fearful about talking about them, especially when it comes to people in our family, especially our kids? Are we worried that they might secretly find out that we're human or they find out that because I didn't complete this marathon in 1995, that they don't have to believe anything that I say. So today we're going to explore what a recent MIT study concluded, that if we want to raise successful kids, we need to let them see us do something. And something tells me, you know, where I'm heading with this. We will talk about what kids need to see from us to set them up for the greatest chance for success, as well as why it can be so difficult to show this side of us. So we're going to cover this and so much more coming up on today's episode of The Virtual Couch.

[00:04:55] Come on in, take a seat.

[00:05:02] Hey, everybody, welcome to Episode 273, The Virtual Couch. I am your host, Tony Overbay. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified my barbacoa, try to speak Gruzman father for four, ultramarathon runner and creator of the Path Back, which is a pornography recovery program that is changing lives. Go to Pathbackrecovery.com and download a short ebook that talks about mistakes that people make or myths that they fall prey to when trying to put pornography in the rearview mirror. When turning to that as a coping mechanism and weekly group calls, those have been amazing. These zom calls were forming this community of people that are there to be supportive. It's a shame free zone like nobody's business. Anyway, go to Pathbackrecovery.com. And I also realized my voice is a little bit rocky. We just got back from a vacation, which I'm going to talk about in a future episode of the virtual couch. In essence, things I learned from Disneyland. And it's not going to be just some sort of click bait or cliched thing because, boy, I had my therapy brain in full motion and it was just a blast. I jotted down a whole bunch of notes of things that I picked up there and but I screamed, oh, my goodness, I scream a lot when I am on a roller coaster. Any kind of ride, I am that guy. I am living my best life and I can't lie. I honestly thought of the Marianne Williamson poem are our deepest because there's some there's a line there and I'm not good at memorizing poems, that sort of thing.

[00:06:16] But it goes something about you're playing small does not serve the world that there's there's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. And I think toward the end of the poem, she's something that says something about is we let our own light shine. We unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. And that is we're liberated from our own fear that our presence automatically liberates others. I guess I'm giving a sneak preview of some of the things I'm going to talk about on a future episode about going to Disneyland and having the old therapy brain on high alert. But I really do find that when we went all in, when we had an amazing time on a ride, that the people around us did, too, whether it was there's a water ride in Disney's California adventure. And we immediately started chatting up the people that are in the ride with us. I think it holds eight people. There were a couple of teenage girls than a couple and maybe their 20s, and there were four of us. So when we started talking about how excited we are, how we don't want to get wet and we're asking them if they've been on the ride before. And boy, you could just see people open up to the point where then we had eight people in that thing screaming their heads off as we were getting drenched.

[00:07:16] And it was just it was a blast. What a shared experience. But so I really did think about that. But at the consequence of my voice, which is fine, that'll heal. It'll come back, but those memories will last forever. So I was reading about a particular article that someone had sent me a while ago, and I meant to cover this when I first saw it, but I think I just put it off for a later day. But this is a study from MIT and the study says, if you want to raise successful kids at MIT, scientists say to let them watch you do this one thing. But most parents are afraid to do it, the subheading says. Science says that children as young as 15 months old can learn to become more resilient, but only if you're willing to show them this. So drum roll. What is this? And this article is by Bill Murphy Jr. And what you need to show them is that you're human. You need to show them that you fail to show them that you have this tenacity or this grit, and you show them that you can continue and try again and learn from mistakes. And so in this article by Bill Murray, and it's a Bill Murphy, Bill Murray, the actor Bill Murphy, Bill Murphy says, imagine you're a parent and you want the best for your children.

[00:08:23] And you're convinced that based on science, that they need to learn this concept of grit and tenacity. So you work hard and you praise your kids the right way, always for their efforts, never for their innate characteristics and abilities, which I love that big part of the nurtured heart approach. You don't just say good job, champ. You're telling me and I really appreciate how hard you're working on that project that really shows me that you have this tenacity or I love the way that you are playing with your brother because that shows me that you are going to be such a good example to him. And so that if you we try to show them that the hard work will always pay off and maybe it makes yourself feel better in front of them, because we typically try to hide our struggles and we highlight our successes. And we we don't often show those low points that we have. We try to protect that side of ourselves from our kids, even from our spouse, from those around us. But researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say, hang on just a minute. It turns out there is a potentially big advantage in showing your kids just how hard you may have struggled to reach any goal. And according to this new research, children even as young as 15 months old may benefit from it, which is such a cool part of the study.

[00:09:28] So here's what that MIT study looked like and how this all fit into this larger body of research about teaching children to be resilient achievers. So the researchers at MIT, they had a series of experiments with very young children where they try to determine whether demonstrating this adult resilience would have an impact on how hard the children would work at an age appropriate task. So the experiment involved a couple of stages. Children averaging around fifteen months old would start by watching adults as the adults tried to solve simple tasks like opening a container or. Taking keys from a carabiners and so sometimes and what the researchers called the effort condition the adults would demonstrate, struggling to accomplish the task before ultimately prevailing somewhere around the 30 second marks, they were still keeping in mind a child's attention span, which along this episode. I want to just make some comments. Boy, that 30 second mark, we're talking about attention span. I still I don't think I can say this enough. If you have been talking with a teenager or younger even or man, sometimes just the adults around us. And you have been going on in lecture mode for over about 45 seconds. And you watch the person that you're lecturing, you watch their eyes glaze over. You watch them sit back and just settle in because they feel like this is going to be a long lecture.

[00:10:44] Then know that the brain starts to get a little bit into this fight or flight mode, that if somebody is being criticized that their heart rate will start to elevate and their cortisol, the stress hormone will start to elevate in their body, which will shut off the prefrontal cortex, which is the thinking logical part of the brain. And the fight flight or freeze response starts to kick in. We often forget about that freeze. We talk about fight or flight often. And so, so often when somebody is being lectured and they just sit there and tune out, they their brain is going into a protective state. They're in that freeze mode. And so it's not like they're taking in and absorbing all the information you're sharing with them. So I always think that's fascinating to try to make a point. If you feel like you have a point to make and do so in less than a minute is ideal. But back to the study. So the adults that were in this effort condition they would demonstrate struggling to accomplish a task before winning, solving the whatever the equation was at the 30 second mark. Then there were other times and what the researchers called the no effort condition where the adults demonstrated solving the task quickly. And there was also a baseline condition which skipped this first part of the experiment, whether there was the air condition or the no effort condition.

[00:11:53] So again, the effort condition showed the adult struggling for about 30 seconds, then ultimately prevailing. And then the no effort condition was where the adult just simply completed the task so they would open the container or they would take the keys off the carabiner immediately. So then the researchers gave the children a toy. They could play music if the children could find this hidden on off switch. And researchers studied how long the toddlers would look for the switch or else try to turn on this decoy button before either giving the toy to an adult for help or simply just throwing it on the floor. And I think you can probably see where we're going. Of the sixty children in the experiment, the ones who had watched an adult demonstrate resilience were consistently willing to try longer to get the toy to work. So that is fascinating, right, that the kids are watching us and we are modeling this behavior that if we want to show them today, I easily remove the kids from the carabiner, then are we wanting them to go, oh, my gosh, my dad is the world's greatest QI remover from carabiners in the world. I'll never be able to remove keys off of a carabiner like my dad or I mean, what do we win for that? We get a trophy.

[00:12:59] Do you a cookie? Do we get some praise or are we showing resilience and showing that, OK, the struggle is real and that but we keep at it and that our kids will then eventually learn that you need to keep something in order to accomplish the task. So they start talking about this power of mindset. So this is this is one study. And as Bill Murphy talks about, that's interesting, but it's involving toddlers and they're under some unusual circumstances. But it's all a piece of this large body of research read by led by Stanford researcher Carol Dweck. And I know I've talked about her in some previous episodes as well, because Dweck's research says that people can hold two types of beliefs about human achievement and development. Some hold on to what is known as a fixed mindset, would suggest that our skills or our aptitudes are almost entirely innate, that they are already there within us and others embrace this concept of a growth mindset where then, on the other hand, that our ability to achieve is more malleable and that you can continue to grow and change and adapt. And so in Dweck's research, in her research, the findings show that adopting this growth mindset ultimately leads to kids learning more or achieving more, being happier, being more successful than those who were taught to embrace the fixed mindset. And I'm going to go off here for a little bit on just some of my own ramblings.

[00:14:21] But I feel like there's so many things that I've learned over the years of counseling that, yes, I feel like the fixed mindset is something that most of us were taught. I'm 51 years old. I don't know where that cutoff hits, but it really was a you find your job, your lane. You do it for 30 years, 35 years. You retire, you get your pension, you work to live. So you do your job so that you can have free time at nights or the weekends or that sort of thing. And I was in that trap, so to speak, for ten years. I did computer software and I realized it was the old I didn't know what I didn't know, meaning that I was doing the same thing. I would look at the clock and when it hit five, I couldn't. Wait to go, and I tried my best to do as well as I could in my job, but it wasn't something that I was passionate about. And I feel like I really did have this fixed mindset that, OK, I have my degree, I have my job. Now, here's what I do. Instead of this growth mindset of trying to find what I truly love or I'm passionate about. And I think there's a lot of maybe pop psychology myths or cliches that have cropped up almost as a way for us to maybe make ourselves feel better at times if we're in this fix mindset or in a job or something that we just really don't like.

[00:15:35] Now, if you are absolutely stuck in a career, you've got the golden handcuffs or whatever that looks like a giant mortgage, those sort of things. I'm honestly I hear you and I work with people like that on a daily basis. So when I say, hey, I change careers at thirty two, I went back to school and got my master's degree at blah blah blah. I'm not saying that that's all you have to do because I know that everybody's situation or circumstance is different. But the the cliche or pop psychology thing that I often hear is that people say, well, I don't want to do what I love because then it will go from being something I love to a job. And there's a big and I've only been trying to put words to this than the last few months, but part of me feels like is that these story, our brain is fuzing two are telling us so that we stay in the path of least resistance or the comfort of the job or the life that we currently know because of that fear of the unknown and simply meaning that I'm working with clients for years and I'm embracing that same kind of fixed mindset of saying, no, I hear you.

[00:16:34] You're in that job. I mean, yeah, you don't want to you don't want to become an artist or you don't want to become a writer, because then all of a sudden then that would become your job. And I'm sitting here thinking maybe I'm living this thing. I love my job. And so I actually do enjoy working. And even though I get to I deal with a lot of really heavy things and topics and people's things that they bring into a session, I love my job. So, no, it isn't something that I've always fascinated by the way that people work, the way the brain works. I've been drawn to reading biographies even as a kid. And it was fascinating to me or always been to make people watch or always even when I go to these computer trade shows, I wanted to talk to people and find out why they got into the field that they did or what they like about it or that sort of thing. And that would have to remember, oh, my gosh, wait. I'm supposed to be negotiating a software deal in my bed. But so I feel like when you truly do find your passion, your love, that it does become something that you feel passionate about. And then you want to put in that additional effort or work and learning more about whatever it is that you are passionate about. So sometimes I feel like this fixed mindset that I know my generation was definitely handed because our parents I mean, that was what they had to do.

[00:17:42] They had to buckle down. They had to find the job. They worked. They got their pension. They worked until they could retire. And so I feel like the maybe there's so many opportunities now. We're inundated with so many choices. And I know that can be bad in some situations, but I feel like it's pretty good, too. And so I feel like often you combine this fixed mindset that somebody has of, OK, here's the thing you do, even if you don't really like it, this is what you do. So learn to like it or learn to just settle in for the rest of your life and you'll be happy after you retire. Man, that is some experiential avoidance that is just setting the stage for kicking the can down the road. If I really don't like what I do, then on a day to day basis, I'm probably finding a lot of other distractions and telling myself, well, I'll get to the things that I'm supposed to do this afternoon or tomorrow. But when you truly do have this growth mindset or looking for the things that truly drive you or I say this all the time, trying to find your values, things that matter to you, not things that you are supposed to think that you're supposed to like or that your spouse thinks that you're supposed to like or your family or your community or your church.

[00:18:43] But you find out what really matters to you, because those are unique things based on your experiences. But anyway, I digress. That's not the point of this podcast. But back to this research. This MIT experiment is about optimistic hope that could hopefully enable future generations to work from this growth mindset from a very young age. And Laura Schulz, who's a professor of cognitive science at MIT, said there's some pressure on parents to make everything look easy and not get frustrated in front of their children. So go back to what I just went on a tangent here about. If the parent doesn't even like the thing that they're trying to show their kid that you're not supposed to struggle doing, then we've got multiple layers of just this frustration of this set up for it's so funny. I can't even say failure. I wanted to say lack of success. So if I'm trying to make my kid think that I know exactly what I'm doing and it's something I don't even really care to do, then I'm probably going to struggle in doing it. I'm going to want to not take ownership of the fact that I've struggled because I worry that I'm teaching my kid that, oh, my gosh, they're going to think dad's a failure and they're going to lose all respect for dad and they'll never listen to him again, which is absolute nonsense.

[00:19:46] It's actually we're finding out that the data shows it's quite the opposite. So, again, it's pressure on parents to make everything look easy and not get frustrated in front of their children. But she said there's nothing you can learn from a laboratory study that directly applies to parenting. But this does at least suggest. It may not be a bad thing to show your children that you are working hard to achieve your goals, I think meaning the fact that it is OK to show your kids that you struggle or that you fail, or I think it's OK to show your kids that instead of thinking you are at point A in your life and you already have to know Z, that it is so powerful to say I'm A let's see where B takes me and from B, let's see where what C looks like. And I say this often. I'm so grateful for the way that things laid out. When I got out of the computer industry, it was steps I was honest in a software company that when the big .com boom crashed, then I didn't know what else to do. I started a computer hardware company with a friend of mine, mentor Tom Yoshida Yoshida son. And we created this company. We made Forensic Disk Duplicators, and I tried my best to really embrace and love forensic disc duplicators, but I did not enjoy them.

[00:20:54] I didn't love them. And so meanwhile, I'm finding myself even doubling down on, I don't know, for the time it was trying to find my values or turn into coping mechanisms of reading more biographies or really trying to learn more about people and learn more about you in the sales process of getting to understand people so that I could hopefully maybe find reasons why they would want to do this duplicator. But what I continually found was I was finding more reasons why that I felt like a fraud if I was trying to sell them a disc duplicator, because I don't even necessarily believe in the forensic disc duplicator to begin with. So I left that computer industry and I started talking with people. I almost became a financial planner. I almost became a construction consultant. Arbitration something. I almost became a pharmaceutical sales rep. I mean, it was all of these things that I just felt like I just have to start taking action to then see what comes next. And so all along that journey, I'm finding myself being drawn to wanting to study the mind and wanting to study behavior. So I go back and get my master's in counseling. But there was a moment and it's funny, I think I might've mentioned this a few weeks ago, and I'm looking at my desk here because I have the letter here somewhere I found at my garage, but I made it through two or three levels of interviews with Apple.

[00:22:01] And and I really thought I was going to get this job with this educational company that they had acquired. And it was in my area and I thought, OK, I might not even finished grad school in counseling because this is my path. But I'm so grateful that I stumbled upon this growth mindset that I got out of this fixed mindset, because that allowed me to explore, to fail. I remember sharing with my kids at the time as they were getting older, that I hadn't necessarily done as great in my undergraduate career in school. But in finding out more about what I really cared about, grad school was easy because I really loved the subject matter that I was dealing with. But anyway, so what have we learned today that this power of mindset is what she calls it in this article, is that when you have this fixed mindset that you have to find your lane and stick to it forever and ever. Amen that there. And sure, there are some people that have known from the time they were young that they wanted to be a doctor, for example. But there are also people that have thought, OK, well, I have to have this fixed mindset that I will be a doctor and then I will enjoy it.

[00:23:03] But and I've talked to a lot of doctors that they're pretty, pretty far into their career and they realize, hey, maybe this wasn't what I exactly I wanted to do, but I feel like I'm stuck. Or I think when I when I even find myself asking people, teenagers if I ever work with them, hey, so what you want to do when you grow up and oftentimes if they say company, I want to be an attorney or I want to own a small business, then I think, OK, this guy's got it together. But then if I hear somebody say, I don't know and I think back to that might be the right answer, because sometimes I feel like if it's this is what I want to be, are they moving forward with this fixed mindset? This is what I'm supposed to do. I'm supposed to know, when I'm in high school, what I want to do so I can take the AP classes so I can get through college early so I can start my career soon. And I really feel like maybe it's a little bit more about this journey or this growth mindset and it's more about that. I don't know. I mean, I changed majors three times in college. I start I went ten years in a career that then I ended up doing a complete 180. And and I feel like that was maybe now in hindsight, I feel grateful for having stumbled upon this growth mindset.

[00:24:05] And I was talking with a client just a few days ago, and they were there in college and they were saying, I need to figure things out now. And they were talking about how they have a lot of different interests and a lot of different passions. And they were framing it as this man. What's wrong with me? I should know by now. And I say, look, it says who again? Don't should on yourself. Nobody likes nobody likes to be shot on. Instead, we need to reframe that to, hey, check it out. There's a lot of things I like to do. And I shared with this person a bit of my story of where I feel like now that I can do therapy and write and podcast and speak and and all of those things that I feel like, OK, that I found my lane because there is a lot of growth opportunity in these various things that I do. But it took me a long time to not find myself wanting or thinking I'm supposed to go back to that fixed mindset of man. I just have to find the thing and buckle down and get to the end of the ride. So that then I can live, I would rather start living now and that's what I'm really finding and I have to tell you more.

[00:25:08] And now going on a little bit of a tangent here, a bit of a rant, but I feel like the I never I never thought of or had any intentions on being what would be deemed as a workaholic of sorts. But I found that the more passionate I get, the more that I enjoy working, the more I enjoy the study of psychology, the way that people interact and communicate, and the more I find myself in my even in my off time bringing this information into conversations, wanting to know more about people's experience, their relationships, their childhood. And I feel like I could see how this could start to creep into something that may look like someone is a workaholic. But I also feel like it raises my baseline up so much that I feel like I'm more present when I am with others so that it might be more of this, work hard, play hard, kind of a mentality where, you know, again, raising your emotional baseline, I feel like is that's something that I've talked about for so long. And I air quotes invented this emotional baseline theory over a decade ago. But I feel like emotional baseline. It's about self care. Self care is not selfish. We often feel like if we are putting our own needs or wants or desires first, that that is we are full of our own ego or that we again are being selfish.

[00:26:21] But I believe that when you have this growth mindset, you find the values and the things that matter to you. You turn toward those things that you will start to raise your emotional baseline. You'll start to be around people that are perhaps a little bit more like minded, people that share shared experiences, common interest, so that then you may feel a little bit more of a connection. And then as you do that, your baseline raises even more so that you are more present in the things that you do. Because I feel like when people truly are living the life that they would like to be living, that that is what leads to, again, if they're following these socially compliant goals, if they're doing things that they think they're supposed to, even the job that they think they're supposed to, because if not, they will let themselves down or let somebody else down, then those socially compliant goals, when that is what your life is full of, it leads to this concept of experiential avoidance that the more I feel like I'm not connected or care about the things I do, the more I maybe feel like I don't have a sense of purpose or a passion. Then the more that I am going to struggle with those day to day things of the things that I'm supposed to be doing. And then that's when it is so easy to find distraction.

[00:27:27] There are so many distractions, the Internet, our phones, communicating with someone at the cube next to you and to the point where then it's you don't necessarily get the things done that you feel like you need to or you're supposed to. And then you put that off to another day. And that can lead to feeling like what's wrong with me. And so story, I think, is that whether we learn today, about an hour ago. But so what do we learn today? I would love for you to take a look at or embrace this growth mindset. Are you currently do you have a fixed mindset? And more importantly, what this article is talking about today is that if that is what you are projecting to your kids, that you are telling them that they need to have this fixed mindset, they need to know what they are going to do right now, that maybe we can dial that back a little bit. And what the study showed, as well as literally in that example, it's OK to be human, it's OK to fail, it's OK to not know what you're doing. And it's especially OK to say I'm not sure what I'm doing because I feel like that, especially with kids or teenagers or even your spouse, that that is an opportunity for connection and that's an opportunity for growth. If you are that vulnerable and saying, I'm not really sure how to do this, but I would love to do this together, or why don't we jump on YouTube and find out a way to make this happen, that that is going to drive growth and connection, number one, that vulnerability.

[00:28:39] No to a shared experience. So instead of trying to show them, look at this, I did this thing really easily and you didn't even see that. I put a lot of effort into it behind the scenes so that you would think that I was a master at this, because what do you what do you get for that? You had a trophy again, cookie, a pat on the back, or does that person that's watching you do that feel like, oh, jeez, I got to just be good at things immediately or something's wrong with me? The struggle of vulnerability is the way to connection. And so I hope that you have taken something from this podcast today that you can take with with you throughout the day to show that vulnerability, to really take a look and see are you in a fixed mindset or a growth mindset? And then if so, maybe it's time to take a little bit of a step back and look at how you can at least find some things in your life that you can start to embrace more of a growth mindset on. So I could go another round of saying these things, but I will leave you here. We'll we'll go out with the wonderful the talented Aurora Florence with her song.

[00:29:35] It's wonderful to see you next time you have.

Tony discusses the 4 Steps of Differentiation from the article "Psychological Differentiation" from https://www.psychalive.org/psychological-differentiation/ The 4 Steps are based on the work of Dr. Robert Firestone from his book "The Self-Under Siege: A Therapeutic Model for Differentiation," Visit http://tonyoverbay.com to sign up for Tony's newsletter and to find out more about his programs for couples communication, parenting, pornography recovery and more. You can find Russ Harris' values worksheet here https://psychwire.com/harris/resources

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

#differentiation #life #therapy #virtualcouch #tonyoverbay #tonyoverbayquote #quote #podcast #podcasting #acceptancecommitmenttherapy #motivation #coach #addictionrecovery #narcissism #happiness #behappy #mentalhealth #wellness #recovery #selfcare #anxiety #relax #mindfulness #happy #depression #mentalhealthawareness #mentalhealthmatters #psychology #MadeWithDescript #DescriptPro

Jessica Frew truly lives a BOLD life. She is an author (https://theboldlogic.com/free-book), podcast host of the very real, raw, and funny podcast Husband in Law that she hosts with her current husband Matt, as well as her ex-husband Steve. From Jessica, "we were active members of the LDS/Mormon faith, and just a few months into our marriage, my husband (Steve) came to terms with the fact that he is gay." Jessica tells her story that is anything but what one expects when they get married but those experiences have truly made her who she is today, and along her path, she has discovered some very profound ways to help others take control of their own life, find joy, and silence the noise that so often gets in the way of helping us navigate the realities that life doesn't always turn out the way we expect. You can find the Husband in Law podcast here https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/husband-in-law/id1464470280 or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can follow the Husband in Law podcast on Instagram here https://www.instagram.com/husband_in_law/You can watch this interview on YouTube here https://youtu.be/k1pPHfe3wd4 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 ------

[00:00:00] We're coming in with witty banter or something like that. Great.

[00:00:05] Ok, I'm really I'm excited. I'm excited that your response even to sending me sending you that article and I'm excited to talk about this is maybe from with my marriage therapist hat on or who knows.

[00:00:16] That's great. Ok. All right. So you ready?

[00:00:21] I'm ready.

[00:00:22] Ok, so I have to tell you, I've been I've been bingeing a bit on your podcast. That's been a lot of fun. And one of the things I thought was hilarious is I don't know what episode it was, but you you were you're being made fun of your laugh when you listen to it on time and a half or one point seven five.

[00:00:37] Yes. And I hear often that hearing me at one and a half at one point seventy five, a little bit brutal because I get going. So maybe this is a warning to all those who will be listening to this episode on high speed. They can slow it down a little bit and it might catch more

[00:00:53] Between my laugh and you talking fast.

[00:00:57] Yeah, exactly. And maybe a snort or to. But, Jessica, thank you so much for coming on the virtual cash podcast.

[00:01:03] Yeah. I am so excited to be here with you.

[00:01:06] Oh, I have to tell a quick story. So I when you when you would send an email, I said, oh, I totally know who you are because it's a crazy thing I was going to be interviewed on. I think it was Latter Day lives, so I wanted to go get a vibe for the podcast and the episode before mine was yours. And I listened and I just thought, whoa, what a story. I mean, and I won't spoil anything. But it's a fascinating story so that I had already kind of done a deep dive on you. Isn't it funny? That's why it's so random. It is, right. Yeah.

[00:01:37] Yeah.

[00:01:38] But I want you to tell your story. Where do we generally tired of telling your story to, you know.

[00:01:45] No, because I have felt for years that the reason I had these experiences and got to go through these things is so that I could help other people. And the more I share it, the better I get at sharing it and figuring out the things that people need to hear and what resonates with them. And so I love it. Like it's just I feel like this gift that I can give that's free and that's easy for me to do. And so I love being able to share this story and share my experiences in the hopes that I get to help somebody else along the way, that I get to give them some hope or some new insight or something that they can take from my experiences.

[00:02:18] I love it. And there's a part of me that I don't know if you have ever experienced this, but I love going into a movie where I don't know anything about it. It's kind of hard to do these days. And a part of me that when I recorded the intro to this, I almost want to not say anything about anything. And I want people because I have some some amazing, wonderful, loyal listeners and I want them just to just to sit back and listen and hear your story and watch where their own brains go with whether it's judgment or I would have done this or how could she have done that or. Oh, yeah, right. And I want to just welcome everybody on this journey. I'm going to try to not ask as many questions here, because I just want people to to kind of check in with themselves and see what are the stories their own brain saying about, well, I would have or why didn't she or all those things. And before I even do that, this is a plug to go watch this on YouTube, because your background is fascinating.

[00:03:07] Oh, thank you. What is your background? But tell me about that real quick.

[00:03:10] So these are flowers from like a party with a real hosted. They are like giant. Yeah. Three dimensional flowers that cover my office wall and they make me so happy. I'm a firm believer in having things in your life that just bring you joy. And this is definitely one of them. I walk into my office and it just lights me up.

[00:03:29] Ok, I'm a little bit my mind is blown because that was what two dimensional are when I first was. Now you just pulled them. Yeah, that's

[00:03:37] Definitely. It's real.

[00:03:40] Ok, Jessica, take us on your journey. I just want to hear you tell your story and everybody listening. Just I want you to just check in me with jot some notes down about things that you were thinking along the way. Here we go.

[00:03:51] Yeah. So my name is Jessica Frio and I am a mom, step mom, wife, ex-wife and a bold action taker. And people always ask me, well, why did you include the ex-wife in there? Like, that's when people get hung up on. And I'm like, it's because it is a big part of who I am. It has, you know, changed my life in many ways and not a title that we intend to carry. None of us want to have that title. Right. If you get married, you don't want to come out the other end say, I'm an ex wife and there's a lot of shame around it. And I have made it a point to try and take away that shame for myself and hopefully for other people along the way, too, so that we can start thinking of this in a new way. So I married my first husband when I was in college and he was a returned missonary and we dated and like from day one, we were together every day and just really had a great connection. And a few days before we got married, he opened up to me and told me that he struggled with pornography. And in our church, as many of you know, that's kind of a big deal. And so I was like, OK, well, what does this mean for us? How do we just

[00:04:51] And ask you real quick, and I promised I wouldn't jump in, but tell me a time frame. So, I mean, it sounds like you guys just were you were just in love and all every day together. What was that time?

[00:05:00] So we met in February and we ended up getting married in December. OK, so yeah, we met like mid-February and got married at the end of December that same year. So it was

[00:05:10] Like, I don't know,

[00:05:12] 10 months from from courtship or from meeting until married. So it was pretty quick,

[00:05:18] But also, not like a couple of weeks. So we can be in the culture.

[00:05:24] Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:05:26] And yeah. And so he told me literally three days before we got married about the pornography. And he's like, I just want to be honest with you before going into this, which I have always appreciated and I think really set the tone for our marriage and our relationship.

[00:05:38] What do you think about that though? What did you would you think? I mean, was it a man who late or. I don't. It's OK. Or would you think that time?

[00:05:45] So I, I was processing. And I remember thinking in the moment of having this conversation, OK, how how do I want this to look for our relationship continuing forward? Like I need to kind of

[00:05:59] Check myself on how I'm going to respond because I want him to be able to tell me these things right. Like I don't want to straight out of the gate before we're married, make him feel worse about this thing or make him feel like he can't talk to me about it because I do want him to talk to me about it. I do want to have that door open. And so I I'm very grateful that in that moment I had that clarity of being able to listen to him and hear what he had to say and see his shame, like he carried so much shame around that it wasn't just guilt, it was deep shame.

[00:06:27] And it I felt for him and I didn't want him to carry that shame. I wanted him to know that there was more about him than just this one thing, that he was still a good man. He was still all of these things that I fell in love with. Yes. It added something to our relationship that we had to deal with. But that's that's life, right? Like there's always something to deal with. And I remember thinking, all right, I need to dive into this for myself for the next few days before we get married and decide whether I'm continuing forward or not. And I had I'd actually previously called off an engagement a year or so before and actually was at least a year and

[00:07:03] A half before. And so I knew I wasn't scared to end it if I needed to. So I wasn't worried about that. I wasn't scared to say, hey, I'm backing out, which I know is a real fear. Right. It's fear when you realize, oh, my gosh, I can't marry this person. But for me, it wasn't that I did a lot of fasting and prayer that weekend and just really felt confident in my decision. I felt at peace still. I didn't I wasn't freaking out

[00:07:28] And I didn't tell anybody.

[00:07:30] And so I just, you know, I continued forward and we got married. And it was interesting because I did ask him a few key questions during that. Like, I knew I knew if there's any child pornography involved, I was very not OK with that. And that was a big red flag.

[00:07:47] But there wasn't that. And I kind of was like, OK, I think I'm good. I feel confident in this, so I'm going to continue for it. And we did. And we you know, you hear about the first year of marriage is the hardest. And we didn't experience that. We had a wonderful first year marriage. I do have to say in there, like one day, six months into our marriage, I found a whole bunch of this pornography, like just stumbled upon it in on our computer and it was all gay pornography. And I was like,

[00:08:11] Ok, this is a whole nother level. I'm six months into my marriage and realizing my husband is probably gay, like whether you

[00:08:20] Ever wondered that before. And I hadn't it had

[00:08:23] Not crossed my mind. We had a very healthy relationship in all ways I could think of as a new bride and wife. And so I just never it didn't cross my mind. And at this point, I just thought, OK, he's he's probably gay. And I confronted him about it. There was a lot of crying and all these things. And he was just convinced he was in denial that he was not gay. He said, you know, I just I just felt it was better to look at men. So I wasn't disrespecting women. And he had created this whole thing in his mind to so we wouldn't have to deal with it. So we wouldn't have to be real about this part of who he was because he was raised in the LDS church, very conservative. And that's not you're not gay. And about a year and a half later, he came out. A year later, he came to terms with the fact he was gay. He was in counseling for their pornography and realized,

[00:09:09] Oh, my goodness. Well, the counselor told him the pornography is an issue. But the real issue is you're gay like you're gay.

[00:09:16] I tell you what's so fascinating about this, and this is I'm not going to hijack this interview, which is kind of but, you know, I have a pornography recovery program. Yeah. I always say I'm 0 for sixteen hundred and shame being a component of recovery. So I love that you're sharing that. I've never talked about that. It's fascinating to hear that. I hear that often in my office when people are struggling with their sexual identity or same sex attraction, whatever they want to call it, and they're turning to gay porn and saying, you know, that's so that I don't, you know, go back on it. So that's I appreciate you sharing that part is I you know, I hear that one from time to time.

[00:09:52] Yeah, yeah, yeah. So we were going through all this and and.

[00:09:59] I started diving into books like just reading like, what does this mean for me? How can I support him? And he was doing the same like on his end of things like what does this look like for me as a member of church now that I've admitted this and we really just both decided we wanted to stay in the marriage like we were happy, we were content, and for him, this is what he felt like he should do. This is what he'd been told his whole life. You know,

[00:10:21] This is like, He was happy. We were happy. But obviously he's still struggling with the side of himself. That is gay and we continued forward, we had a daughter together about five years into our marriage, we dealt with some fertility issues along the line, all those the choice that come with that. And then we had this little baby girl and it just brought us closer together. And at that point, Stephen really got to the point where he could and Steve is my ex-husband. I used his name sorry, where he could open up to me about it, he could tell me what was going on and and his struggles and the things that he was feeling and thinking. And so it really brought us closer together. And we had such a strong emotional connection that it really brought us together in all of the ways we needed to connect.

[00:11:07] Were there still times throughout that just go where you felt like this is there's there's a chance this isn't going to work

[00:11:14] 100 percent, OK? And having read all of those books, I mean, I spent

[00:11:20] So, When Steve came to terms with the fact he was gay, he had moved. We were in the process of moving. He had moved to Belize. And I was in Boise and I was finishing up like things with our house and our car and getting rid of all the stuff and putting things in storage. So he was gone. And I'd like this. Two weeks I was living I was actually living my parents house while I was doing all of this, and I'm reading all these books just upstairs, like sobbing and just realizing there are all of these options that my life could look like now that I wasn't planning on. Right. I wasn't. And I guess these could have been things that might have happened if I was married to a straight man as well. But it was very

[00:11:56] Much a real possibility, like more real now because of this added dynamic. So I was thinking, OK, well, most likely he's going to have an affair at some point. That affair, we can either ideally work through it or he he

[00:12:11] Might leave me for a man or he just might leave without the affair. But then there's also the idea of we could stay together and we how do we tell kids this? How do we like where do we address this? Do we keep a secret, like all these things that I'm processing and going through? But I knew that by staying I made this choice to stay. We didn't have kids at that point that I was making the decision that,

[00:12:33] You know, it very well could end divorce. I could end up divorced. And if that's a decision I'm making to stay, then I own that decision just as much as he does. Right. Like, whatever happens, this isn't his fault. It's a decision we made together.

[00:12:49] So, yeah, I, I was very aware of the different paths might like it could take at that point. And he shared things with me, things that happened that were like building in him I would say, where he's getting more and more

[00:13:03] Wanting to live this life and it's harder for him to stay in our marriage. That we're just he told me about. And so I knew I'm like, all right, this is this might be coming. But at the same time, we're the happiest we've been and we're communicating so well. But he did ultimately decide to leave. He did have an affair. We tried to work through it. But after the affair, he just wasn't attracted to me anymore, which was honestly something I didn't like,

[00:13:28] Wasn't prepared for and really struck me a lot harder than I thought it would. So we stayed married for a couple more months and it was just a mess. And we were trying to deal with it on our own. So we didn't have to tell our whole family that Steve's gay and all these things that we hadn't told them yet. His mom knew he was gay. My parents knew he struggled with pornography, but that was it. That's the only things our families knew.

[00:13:51] But we got to the point where it was just like, Steve, Steve's like, I just can't keep doing this to anymore. I don't know what I want. I feel so conflicted. And and I said, OK, that's that's fine. Like, we will work through this. We can figure this out and and basically rethink how our relationship works. Right. Like it. Yeah. And there were a lot of there was a lot of tears. It was very hard. And I don't I don't want to make it sound like it was like an easy transition because it wasn't. And it took some time to figure

[00:14:19] Out and I was talking to somebody the other day who's going through something similar. And I want to like wanted to make it clear to her, like we we had space, like we took a lot of space to figure this out. We weren't at each other's houses every day. We weren't going on trips together. Yes. There were times that we were together when he would. I moved back to Boise. He was in Oklahoma at the time. And so, like, we would see each other when he came to visit Penny and all of those things. But I think that was one of the best things I did for myself at that point, was to create space so that I could process my feelings in a way that worked for me and still be able to communicate with him in a healthy manner.

[00:14:55] How did you do that? What were you doing? A lot of self care, that point where you reached out to others, or what was that like for you?

[00:15:00] Yeah, so I definitely I, I love working out and it's so good. It's something I know that works for my mental health. And so there were days I'd call my parents, I'd be like, hey, I need to drop Penny off my daughter off. I need to just go for a run right now. Like, does that work? Is that OK? And they're like, yeah, like bring it up. That's fine. And I would just go around for a couple hours and just to like process things, that's where I think that's where I go through things. And then there was lots of things like, you know, I get to find myself again. I get to nest like I really laid into that. I think it's it's a powerful tool to use that sometimes you overlook, like just nesting into my home of making it my own. It made me it

[00:15:37] Give me kind of safety and protection in that moment. Right. To kind of embrace who I was and myself at this moment, because this wasn't the version of myself I imagined at this point in my life. I wasn't planning to be a single mom and on my own and and needing to get a job to support my daughter and I, like all of these things that weren't in my vision or in my plan. And so I really embrace those things like, OK, what things can I control? What things are going to make me feel good in this moment? Not the things I thought were going to work for me. But how do I reevaluate that now?

[00:16:10] Well, let me ask you, Jessica. So, I mean, I love, first of all, my ADD real quick. I was in the episode you guys were talking about the other day, talking about ultra marathon running. And I've done a bunch of those. I to say, yeah, you know, I can tell you because he was like, I don't know what it really is or how much it is or what this is. And so it was so funny. I was just screaming, not literally but just and then I listen to them. So where you guys are talking about somebody that would email you and say that they want to text you, but they think, oh, they're probably recording right now. I love those kind of comments. Yes, because I wanted to jump in and be a part of your ultramarathons discussion. So what did I do? You're right. So I do so much with the around abandonment and attachment and all the good therapist things. And so there's this concept that I'll spare the whole speech to get there. But it's the when someone isn't responding the way we want them to, where we do this, what's wrong with me and my unlovable and the broken with and instead of realizing they're human, I'm human. Did you go through those kind of periods? Was that what did it feel like? It was what what could I have done different or was it pretty OK?

[00:17:09] There were moments of feeling like, oh, what could I how could I have done differently? Could I have been better in this area? Could I have met his needs better? Should I have given more of myself? And then I just kept thinking, I can't go there like this isn't helping either of us for me to live in this space. And so I did not stay there long. And the moments come like honest, like it always comes. That's part of life, of feeling these things. But you can process it and then move on more quickly like it doesn't serve anybody to say to the what ifs. And I know Steve did that a lot and I tried to help him work through that as well. Like, listen, you did the best you could. I watched you fight for years for our marriage. I know you love me. I, I know you love me. And I'm ultimately going to latch onto that and let go of all the other things that could be painful and that I could take upon myself and say, no, this is my fault. I should have done all these things. I should have been a better wife. I should have whatever it is

[00:18:06] I'm and just really let those go because they don't they didn't serve us. They didn't serve. They didn't

[00:18:11] Serve him. He already felt so much shame. He was he was suicidal for quite a while after we got divorced in dealing with how could I let go of this woman that I loved, how can I leave the church? How can all these things happen? And I knew he needed to know that he was still loved and he was struggling with that, with his family, of course, coming out to all of them. And so I was like, I can give him that. Still, I don't have to give up who I am for him, but I can

[00:18:40] Still let him know he's loved and let him know he's needed like his daughter needs him. I was a coming ways

[00:18:46] And there was a comment and I can't remember what it was. I can remember I was when I heard it. But you said something about not wanting to prove that people would abandon him or do remember what I'm talking about? Was it a yes? OK, what was that?

[00:18:59] Yeah. I mean, I really wanted to make it a point that I mean, he was very much convinced that nobody would love him afterwards after they knew he was gay, that nobody would love him if they saw the side of him. And I very much made it a point that

[00:19:12] This has nothing to do with who you really are. And I'm not

[00:19:15] Going to let you prove That. Right. Like, I am not going to allow that to happen because there's so much good in you that still needs this world, still needs you. And yeah, just really latching on to that idea that I wasn't going to let what somebody else experienced or what somebody thought our relationship should look like after what I even thought it should look like after determine how I wanted it to be. I wanted to figure out how we could make this work for us. And and yeah, I still I mean, he's he's like a brother to me, still like he is that close to me. And I know that's weird because we share a daughter, but it's that type of relationship. It's not. I love him that much that I care so much about him. And honestly, so does my new husband, like he genuinely cares for and loves for my ex-husband.

[00:20:00] But he hasn't listened. It doesn't know. That's why I love. It's like, OK, you know, you heard that correctly and just wait, right?

[00:20:06] Yeah. Yeah. And so we spent our time working through this and Steve and I actually dated again after we were officially divorced. We spent another he was living with a man. He was we were divorced and I was dating somebody else and things were getting serious. I was you know, you start falling for other people. You can fall in love with other people pretty quickly.

[00:20:27] And I told him because he kept mentioning moving back to Boise and I said, hey, I don't know if you're coming back for Penny. I don't know what you're what you're thinking here exactly. But I feel like it might be that you're wanting to come back for me. And I said, if you're coming back for me, you do it now. I don't care about your job. I don't care about all these other things, like do it now. And he called me the next morning. I sent him the Senate late at night. You called me like, say he's like, I'm moving back. I want to fight for this. I want to try to make it work again. And I said, OK. And so we tried dating again for another six months and it was a mess, like a total mess. But we also had that clarity of we tried everything we could like, we tried to do this. We we tried again, it's not going to work. And so we could walk away being friends of knowing we're not going to blame the other person. This is what it is. And that is actually interesting because when he moved back to Boise, he moved into my same church congregation and then my ex are my current husband actually moved in at the same time as us. So all three of us were living in separate places, moved into the same place. And my ex and my husband, my now husband, end up became becoming friends like they would go mountain biking together.

[00:21:35] I mean, that's the part that's so it's

[00:21:37] So funny, so

[00:21:39] That my husband said that he went to church the first time and he's sitting in Elders Quorum and Steve came walking up my ex-husband. So I was like, Hey, man, how's it going? And started talking to him and and let him use his pen. Like they always tell me that, yeah, I let him use my pen and I'm like, OK. But Matt said it was the first guy at church that he really felt connected to, that he was like, yeah, I like this guy. Like, he was very welcoming. He made me feel comfortable in this new ward. And it was just very

[00:22:07] Much like they just connected and enjoyed each other and they weren't like tight. They didn't hang out a lot, but they had a mutual friend that they would go mountain biking with. And so they they'd go mountain biking. So he knew who the other one was and a little bit of the other one situation

[00:22:22] And just kind of had hung out a few times. And that's when I actually met Matt. I didn't notice him at church because I was dating Steve and everything was a mess. But then Steve introduced me to him one day when they were going mountain biking, they were meeting at our apartment complex because it was like a mutual area and

[00:22:40] My apartment complex, not theirs. But they're meeting there. And Steve introduced me to Matt and I told Steve we ended things like a week later. I knew it was done at that point, like, totally knew we were over. And I told him when he ended things, I said, Steve, I'm going to marry Matt Frew. And he just looks at me like you've met him once. And I was like, I know I don't. I used to make fun of people who said this, but I'm going to marry him and he's funny. He told me I couldn't. He's like, he's my friend. You can't do that. I'd like you divorce me. I can do what I want. And he's like, that's fair.

[00:23:11] So, yeah, a while later, I ended up like nine months later, Matt and I ended up getting married. He wouldn't date me for a really long time. I tried to get him to date me and he was dating this other girl. And I just kept telling him, let me know when you break up with her. I think we'd have a really good time together. We have lots of fun. Just let me know when you break up with her. And he did. And we got married very quickly

[00:23:32] And have now so now I have two stepkids. I have my daughter. We have not had an Irish baby. We aren't planning to. And actually, at this point in time, Steve and Matt work together. So Matt owns his own business and he just recently hired Steve to come work for him. We host a podcast together, sharing all of our experiences and stories just to help other people along the way to not feel alone. And Steve said when I approached him about doing the podcast, I just kept thinking, if I had something like this when you and I were going through this, how how powerful that would have been and how helpful that would have been for me to hear somebody sharing their story. And he and so that's why he ultimately was like, yeah, I'll do it.

[00:24:14] Was Matt on board from the start? Yeah, I think that kind of evolves. So Matt and Steve actually talked about doing something

[00:24:22] In social media realm of just sharing their relationship to get people thinking about their relationships in a new way to open their minds up to, you know, you can have a good relationship with with your exes or with your wife's ex. You can you can make things work. And also, the idea that we are LDS and Steve is gay is also another dynamic that people are just like, I don't understand this. How do you make this work? Like, aren't you worried about all of these things? And they're topics we talk about and and do,

[00:24:50] Which I love that are very, very, very conversational and very I don't feel like there's a topic that's off limits. Is that true?

[00:24:57] It that's pretty true. We kind of just we've realized we can have the conversations and still get through it. And we know each other well enough that we know when to stop and when to be like, OK, this isn't helpful anymore. This is going somewhere that it's going to damage our relationship. And so we move away from it. But yeah, I'm thinking there's an episode actually dropping tomorrow,

[00:25:16] Which it'll be dropped whenever this comes out, but it will be there for you about my daughter's baptism, that I wasn't thinking it would be a controversial topic because it happened a few years ago and it was wonderful. It was beautiful day. And when we recorded that, we get into it. So I was like, oh, this is different. But but we have the whole conversation and it's the we are able to do that in a way that's productive and that we can feel seen and heard. And we understand the other person sees our our side and opinion. But it doesn't mean that we don't love each other still and that we don't care about each other.

[00:25:49] Well, and I love that. I mean, one of the ones that I was I can't let you go through. You look at all the topics and there's a part of me that wants to see, OK, how real or how raw do they get and the ones about no. Steve's disciplinary court or things like that. And I really appreciated that. You know, it sounds like that's been in a bishopric and there were just these conversations around what it could look like or should look like and what it did look like. And and I love that. I mean, I really did, because it's it's just they they both had different opinions and and that's okay.

[00:26:20] Yeah. And that's basically I mean, that's where we have to come to if we're going to continue to make our relationship work and we respect the other person and their decisions and realize we don't see eye to eye and that's OK. And we really do like we. We don't edit anything out of the episodes, we've had a couple that we've edited, but otherwise it's I mean, we it's real. We very much share all of the things that we feel are appropriate and that we can and and just try to put it all out there.

[00:26:49] When I sent you an email where the I want to be the special one and I wanted to have something that you haven't talked about another episodes before. And I and so we were talking about your current marriage and and some of those things where I wanted to pull my marriage therapist card. But I'd say you a quick article about interdependence versus codependency. And I did that this morning. And and I'm just it sounds like you guys have a nice, interdependent relationship, which is, you know, balance of self and others within the relationship. Both people are different. Both people are present. And we're not trying to break down the other person's reality or view or. I mean, and you kind of shared that. Yeah. That one resonates.

[00:27:28] Oh, yeah. Well, it was interesting, like getting into my second marriage. I thought, oh, my gosh, this is going to be so great. It's going to be so easy. And at that point, I got along with his ex and his kids were little and we had this great thing going. And I was so excited and just dove in and I had had a good relationship before I had been able to speak and be seen and heard and we had these hard conversations and he had the exact opposite. My husband Matt did. And so getting into this relationship, it was like, oh, this is not what I thought I was getting into because he panicked

[00:28:02] Had no idea. OK, what did that look like? What what you missed. Yeah.

[00:28:06] So he he really shut down and he admits and he didn't admit this to me until we were recording in the podcast and I didn't know how much it would mean for me to hear these words. But he said he's like, when we got married, I went

[00:28:20] Into panic mode and I just knew we were going to fail. He said. I knew as soon as we got married it was going to be it was going to fail. And I felt it literally the moment we got married, I was like, something just changed. When we left the church after getting married, I was like, oh my gosh, what?

[00:28:34] Just literally left the church, not left the church.

[00:28:38] Like, I left the chapel where we were getting married. Yeah. Now we're still active in the church to this day. And so it was just like reality of, oh, my gosh, what's happening? And I found myself getting into a more codependent relationship. Right. Like me trying everything I could

[00:28:57] To try and make the relationship work. And he's just given up already. He's already decided it's going to fail. So he's just pushing it to fail faster. And he he admits this now. And I was like I thought I was going crazy. Like, I thought I needed to do more. I needed to provide more to the family and I needed to do more things for his kids. And I I needed to do for more for him. And at some point I left. I was just like, I am so lost. I am such a mess, I'm out.

[00:29:24] And the marriage was that it was almost exactly a year in. We were getting ready to be sealed in the temple and I had gone into the state president for our interviews.

[00:29:35] And we had we decided to wait to get sealed. Our bishop highly encouraged us to to just wait until after we got married. So we're like, OK, that's fine. So we were going to get sealed on our one year anniversary and I went to see president and he's like and I just start bawling and he's like, you cannot I

[00:29:53] Will not, like, sign these papers for you to get sealed until you can come in here. And I know you're happy. He's like, this isn't like you can't do this. And I was like, thank you. I needed to hear that because I wanted to get sealed. I thought, you know, that's what we're supposed to do. I wanted that to help. And again, that's the idea of like, I just need to do all of these things and then it'll be OK. And so I left and a couple of days after that because he just stopped talking to me, Matt just shut down. He was so mad at me and shut down and just and I think he felt like it was another failure right in his mind. I don't know if he's mad at me or mad at himself, but he was mad and I'm sure it felt like another failure. And so. I was gone just for a couple of days, and then I was like, I got to go back and I remember walking back into our house and Matt didn't want me there. And he his kids are still up and he would hardly talk to me. And he puts his kids to bed and then came back downstairs and went and sat out on our front porch. And it's like, all right, I guess I'm going to have to be the one that keeps doing this. So I went out on the front porch to talk to him and I wanted him to fight for me. You know, I

[00:30:55] Wanted I wanted him to just be like, yeah, I want this. I'm going to I'm going to do better. All these things that we create, it's like I feel like it's like a rom com, right, where it's like, oh, he comes in and swoops in and realizes all his mistakes. That did not happen. But I in that moment, I remember thinking, Jessica, you know how this goes. The only person that's going to fight for you that you can you know, is yourself. And I it was like I needed that to snap me out of this

[00:31:23] Like this codependency. I was kind of getting into back into

[00:31:28] That point where I was OK on my own because that's where we were going to be OK. Right. Me trying to do more, me trying to give up who I was to try to fit all of the needs in check. All the boxes wasn't helping anybody.

[00:31:42] And so I did a whole episode on acceptance. And acceptance doesn't mean apathy. And this whole concept of radical acceptance and the example that I that I use that still sounds harsh to say, is someone accepting the fact that they may never get married or accepting the fact that, you know, and it doesn't mean OK, then know the back of the apathy truck. It just means that I love what you just said. And I'm not going to keep trying to figure out how can I present in a way that will get my needs met or will prove to him that instead of saying, man, this is who I am and be confident because I get your confidence. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

[00:32:15] And I knew I was confident and I knew I was of Worth and I knew all of these things, but I was trying to prove it to him. Yeah. And I was like, I don't need to prove this to him. If he's going to see it, he'll see it. And I know he did at some point. Otherwise we wouldn't have been married in the first place. And I knew he was a good man. I knew he was of Worth and I saw the good in him. So I was like, all right, I have to start putting boundaries up around myself to protect myself. And it felt totally counterintuitive, but I knew

[00:32:43] I knew this better than anybody how to go back and do this and how important it was. And so I really embrace that in that moment. And I remember thinking, this is why so many second marriages fail. Like I get it, it's easier to walk away. It's easier to, you know, all these things. And I'm so glad I did it. I embraced

[00:33:02] Taking care of me at that point. And yes, I still showed up for him. And yes, I still made mistakes along the way. I feel like

[00:33:10] Just

[00:33:10] Struggling to to get back to where I know I needed to be. But I saw progress in myself. And as I saw progress myself, I saw progress in our relationship. And I knew that is what would happen. And I saw progress in my daughter, like she really struggled for the first little bit after we got married. And I think mostly because she could tell I wasn't OK. And the more OK, I was, of course, then the more OK she was. And it just has that trickle down effect.

[00:33:36] And I that's

[00:33:39] That's what I teach women, right. Is how to take that radical ownership and accept where you are in life. And I've done this time and time again, like when Steve told me about the pornography and then again when I found out he was gay. And then when I realized I might not be able to have kids and I got one kid, but I haven't been able to have more after that. And I thought I would have more in accepting those things and now accepting in our relationship that I don't get to have the relationship I wanted with his ex wife. I don't have control over that. And that's OK. It's OK for it to be different than I thought. And the relationship with my stepkids is not what I had hoped for. But it's OK. I get to protect myself and my daughter and show up in ways that I can. And so it's been this huge process of exactly what you're saying, that acceptance of I

[00:34:21] Love it and I love it and take two years. Almost like the foreshadowing of when you were accepting of Steve and saying, alright, I'm not going to be I'm not going to prove them that he is unlovable. I really love that because I feel like that's that same thing where there's a whole energy around. If I show up confident, calm, confident energy that, you know, you my spouse can you can run the thing into the ground on your end, but not on my watch. Right. But it doesn't mean that anything's wrong with me. And I love that you're talking about. You know, I I brought up the article I'd share with you and it codependency of being more reactive or people pleasing or manipulative or controlling behaviors or blaming each other. And so I love that you kind of stepped into that. All right. A healthy boundaries and clear communication. And you can engage and respond. And I know I love everything about this, so. Oh, yeah, that's a year. And then what was that how long did that process take from that acceptance to then he kind of says, all right, I'm figuring this out.

[00:35:20] So, I mean, he didn't, like, tell me to leave or that he wanted out or anything. At that point. He definitely told me he wasn't sure he was in, but he wasn't. He wasn't ready to leave, and I think it also kind of reminded him that he he did want me there a little bit like I did do some things. And I think he needed to see that that I was he could depend on me. And that's where he was struggling. Right. With his past issues from his marriage is he was cheated on and and numerous times and lied to and all these things. And financially things happen like all sorts of things. And so he needed to rebuild that. And so the more I understood where he was coming from, the more patient I could be with letting him get there of being like,

[00:36:02] Ok, well well, tell me about more of what happened with you and your first marriage. Like, explain to me explain to me why you don't want to put me on your checking account, but you also are good with me being a stay at home mom. But then I don't have any money. So like like explain to me what happened in your first marriage and getting to understand that. And I'm like, OK, I understand this more now. Let's have a conversation around it, figure out a way that makes it work so that I don't feel like I'm asking for money

[00:36:30] Just because

[00:36:32] We're something in here that's that, I guess. So my my so I've got this marriage course and I've got these things I think are the secrets of the universe. It's these four pillars of a connected conversation and everything's OK. All right. And you just it's such an amazing job. So if you're saying I don't want to check checking account, I mean, that would be you. And that pillar one, I got some good intentions. It's not doing it to hurt me. Number two, I can't say that's ridiculous. Number three, I ask questions. Number four, I can go into and say, fine, I guess I'm a horrible person. I'll never get money. I mean, it's like I love how you just OK. And then he shares. Tell me more about that. You get to say, what's that like and where you coming from? And then once he feels heard and you speak, you're OK. I hear you. That would be hard. I worry that I'll be asking for money. I feel like I love that. I mean, you're working the pillars, you know.

[00:37:19] Thank you. Well, and there is it's interesting because in doing our podcast, I went back and read a bunch of my journals from when Steve and I were married and then again from when Matt and I were married and all these things. I'm a pretty good about journaling and I'm so grateful I had. But I wrote in there at one point I was asking myself these questions of, OK, so why am I uncomfortable? How do I show up for myself? How can I can like if I am I? Is this a deal breaker for me or can I figure out how to make this work on my end of things even without him opening up to me? Like what does that look like for me until he's ready? Because I knew that with Steve, like sometimes I just had to give him a month or two or even just a couple of days or a few weeks to be ready to tell me these things, for him to feel safe enough that he felt secure in telling me those.

[00:38:07] And so I actually and I have like a journal that you can get now that's called The World, all the journal of how to ask yourself these questions make it a habit so that you understand what is it that's really bothering you. So really the fact that he's not giving me money or is it something else like how what is it I'm feeling? So then I can engage in that conversation in a way that feels more logical and more empathetic to him and and understanding of myself, of what I'm hoping to get out of it. Where am I hoping to go with this conversation? Am I just wanting to scream and yell? Am I wanting to be heard? Am I wanted to create some change in our marriage?

[00:38:43] But yes, that's been something I realized has been a strength and a blessing to me. And going through this is being able to ask those questions and not just react like it said in that article, you know, how are you reacting when they do when things do come up? If you can address things in a healthy manner, then then they're going to want to open up to you. They're going to want to tell you these things, or even I've thought about, too,

[00:39:08] When you do react in a way that you don't feel good about or that you didn't create a good conversation, accept that, like our own, that both say, hey, I'm sorry that I that I reacted in this way, that was not my intention. But in the moment it felt like too much or it felt really heavy and and it hurt me. And I'm sorry. I want to have this conversation again in a in a healthier manner, like, can I can we try again or just own that because I found the more that I own even the little things and take responsibility for my part, yes. It allows them to take responsibility for theirs and to open up. And so that was such a huge thing for us in the beginning of our marriage

[00:39:47] And all of my relationships. But it makes such a difference to just own those little things. Even if you want to go, you did this or your thing is so much bigger, which is our knee jerk. Right. Especially my first marriage where Steve's got pornography and he's gay. I've been like, well, you're bringing all the issues to the table. But every time I acknowledged something I did and maybe how I didn't respond in an appropriate way or how I could have been more sensitive every time I open that door, Steve opened up to me more and was more loving to me. And we both felt safe and heard and seen it.

[00:40:20] And it is and I love that you've got the you know, that the kind of those three takeaways that you had sent over and take control or ownership of your life. That first one and I and I want to say I love. Everything about your saying and doing that, even if your partner doesn't then open up more or don't, because there are situations where you can take ownership and they don't, they maybe they don't weaponize or use that. Yes. The alternative is not to then go back into the victim or codependent mode because we know how that plays out. So I just I love that.

[00:40:49] Yeah. And I really believe, you know, like you you keep doing it. And if you don't get any response, if it does get to the point where you're like, OK, I can't I can't do this, that's when you make a decision, OK, of OK, this isn't, nothing's changing. I'm still feeling very unsafe in my relationship or unseen. Then you take action in a different way. But, you know, I really feel like there's a lot of work that you can do by just consistently showing up for yourself first, obviously, and taking ownership, because when you take ownership, you have control and then being able to see how they react and give them a little bit of time

[00:41:28] And space and grace to do that. Hey, I want to get the other two as well. And there's me being very vulnerable. I usually don't schedule in the middle of the day and I have a client in 70 minutes. So let's both go into one and a half times mode because I want to hear about your and your three takeaways. Talk about the second, finding your joy. I'm dying to get the number three of silence the noise. But number two, OK, OK,

[00:41:52] I'll pound these out for you real quick. So I always say the three the three pillars for me, my three pillars to be bold are first taking ownership like we just talked about, taking ownership of your actions. No till is find things that bring you joy, like stop waiting for things to happen or saying, oh, when he changes or oh when so-and-so changes or when the situation changes, then I'll be happy. No, figure it out now. Find what brings you joy now. Not what brought you Joy yesterday or the day before years ago. Like we change that, we keep thinking, oh well, this is what I need to bring me, Joy, when really we can change that mindset. We can figure out, oh, no, there's other things that'll bring me joy now in this situation and maybe down the road I will be able to go run ultramarathons again or I will be able to take this amount of time for myself. But right now I can't. And so I'm going to find ways that bring me joy now. So I think that's really a big thing for us is to figure out, OK, how do I how do I change this thinking of, oh, if this changes, if that changes, or someday I'll be able to find joy and find joy now because it really makes a huge difference in how you feel about your relationships and how you show up, how you can take ownership and do those things you feel in control.

[00:42:56] And you think of something that what what was something for you? I mean, I love it. I do a turnaround. And then when you're trying to find in your example to find the joy, it needs to be something that is one of your values, not what somebody else says you should do or, yes, I enjoy it. And so what does that mean for you

[00:43:13] Trying to think of like a good example of when I had to rethink it. Well, maybe it is. And like I said, just accepting the situation of where I'm at or I'm

[00:43:23] Going to go back to working out because I do love working out and the mental clarity that it gives me and how that has changed over the years. I mean, a couple of years ago, I was training for a Spartan race and are like the the trifecta. And I was going all the time running because I had the time. I had the emotional space and the physical time to go do those things. But now I don't have the time to do that. It still brings me joy, but I can figure out how to make that work. So I've shortened my workouts and I do them at home and I include my kids in them. And that brings me joy, like it's fun to get those things and to create that joy in a new way. It doesn't look the same as a few years ago, and that's OK. It's just different. And maybe there will be a time I get to go back to doing it longer or more, whatever, but to embrace that, it changes and how that works for you and to make it work, don't just say, oh, I can't do it at this time. Oh, I can't go as long as I want to and give up, but instead say, OK, no, I want to include this, how can I make it work for me now? So it's really just that rethinking of saying, like, I just can't do it and instead figure out a way to make it happen, figure out how to include those things that are your priorities, figure out how to make those things that set you on fire a priority in your day. So you get them done and then you get to show up better for your kids, for your family, for whoever, because you've taken care of those parts of you. You get to focus more on that. That's how I always feel. I'm like, OK, now I feel more focused and attentive to my family because I've done the things I need to get.

[00:44:43] Self care is not selfish. I mean, this is a very you must you must get yourself in a good spot to be a better fill in the blank. So what if what a silence annoys me.

[00:44:54] Ok, so this is really shutting down that I should mindset. Right. Which is so hard for all of us and silencing other people's opinions. And I always tell people, listen, stop thinking about where you should be or how you should be or comparing yourself to other people because it's not getting you anywhere. You have to figure out what it is that you want for the situation. I mean, I stayed married to a gay man for seven years and people will judge me for that. And I don't care because it was such a great relationship for me and I learned so much. And I came out of it with amazing friend and co parent and

[00:45:29] And I just, you know, and I dated him again. I know people were totally just like, what are you doing? But I needed that for me. I needed to have that closure and to have that sense of like, OK, we did everything we could like, no doubt about it. We tried everything. And it was OK for me, like I was able to keep my sense of self through all of that. But you need to understand what it is you want and start listening to yourself the more you can silence the noise. And I tell people silencing the noise looks like unfollowing accounts on social media that don't leave you feeling fulfilled or that you're comparing yourself to and feel instead of feeling inspired by. You shouldn't leave feeling like, Oh man, I can't do that. Or I, you know, you might feel like, oh, I want to do that. That seems like something I could do. Like that's different. Feeling excited or you know about something is different. Feeling inspired. I even tell people I'm like, listen, your mom, your sisters, your brothers, your dad, like people in your family, don't always know what's best for you. They don't know what it is you are feeling and what you want. And sometimes you have to silence their opinions to understand they want what's best for you. You can listen to them to the extent that works for you, but you don't have to listen to everything and understand what it is you want so that you can take action.

[00:46:42] So, I mean, I was like, oh, exactly. If you ask somebody what sometimes they have their own experience, I got to give an opinion. I don't really have an opinion. I'll say this thing. And also we're thinking, oh my gosh, they they just told me this thing that it doesn't feel good. Well, then you can note it and thank you and.

[00:46:58] Yes, right. Yeah, yeah. Listen to what feels good to you. That's what ultimately comes down to you. If this didn't feel right to you, then it's not for you. And really trusting that the more you listen to that, the more you hear, the more you're able to act on it, the more confident you feel and saying, oh, I'm feeling this, this isn't resonating. Now I can go take action now. I can go do the thing that actually does resonate for me instead of giving in to this thing that I'm like, I guess I guess that's what I should do. I guess I guess that's the right thing to do. So start silencing that noise, start start toning down those things that aren't feeding you or inspiring you or making you want to

[00:47:34] Do the things you want to do in a healthy way. Shut them down and don't yeah. Don't search the Internet for all of the answers. Find the things that resonate with you and stick to those and then delete those and then move forward. But I think we

[00:47:48] We over inform ourselves a lot of time and taken all of these opinions and then we don't know what it is we really want and we get caught up there. But when we know what

[00:47:57] We want, we're able to take action that feels right for us and that feels good for for us.

[00:48:04] Hey, tell me about your podcast. How long has it been going? And I've been, like I said, been going backwards and on some things. And what's it been like for you as a fellow? Podcasters have been everything you wanted to be as relentless. Is it exciting? Are you get you get hate mail, you get feedback. What was that like?

[00:48:19] So we have loved it. Steve, I think it's been the most surprised by how much he loves it, he's like this has been so therapeutic for me to realize, to take away some of the shame. I've still been carrying around the situation of feeling like, well, I'm the one that left. I'm the one that ruined our marriage and all of these things which I've been telling him for years, I'm like, listen, you got to you need to let this go. I think really in being able to own that and realize that people weren't just going to say, oh, you're such a jerk. I can't believe you did that. Like all these things that he was expecting, he got none of that. And so it's been very healing for all of us and it's brought us so much closer together. The podcast is called Husband in Law because that's what my husband, ex-husband referred to each other as. And it's really just been such an opportunity for me to be able to find other people that I can help, that I can support that. And we get we get a lot of great feedback. Of course, there are always going to be people who don't agree. And that's fine. Like, I don't care. Those are their opinions. Yes. And they're entitled to their opinions and they don't have to understand

[00:49:23] And nor do they have to relate to everything. But it's given us an opportunity to help people.

[00:49:29] And that's ultimately what we wanted to do. And yeah, just been such a great experience. I mean, I spent I'm not making any money on the podcast, but I spend hours every day diving into stuff and helping, helping make it better and do things for it, because I love it and I've seen how it can help other people's lives.

[00:49:46] So and I do think it's it's worth the wait. It's worth noting. But I'm saying there's a bigger population of people. I feel like they have similar experiences of yours then. Have you found that's why I'm so fascinated by because as somebody who's worked in this field for a long time with, you know, primarily the LDS population, I mean, I've had a lot of men who are married to gay men, who are married to women and even have maybe told them before the marriage or not, or they're in it together and eventually have that struggle. And so have you been surprised by the numbers of people that are in similar experiences?

[00:50:20] You know, what has surprised me is the people that reach out, that aren't in our experience, that aren't experiencing the same things we're in that are like, oh, my gosh, this either gave me more insight on how to

[00:50:32] See lgbt people in our church or how to connect with them and how to help them and to understand their struggles or people who are saying this made me totally rethink my co parenting situation and how I interact

[00:50:45] With my ex and how I engage with them, especially for the sake of my children and for my own well-being. People who have said it's changed their relationship with their parents because they've re evaluated, oh, I can put boundaries around the relationship with my parents. I don't have to, you know, and and understand that I can have a relationship with them

[00:51:05] While still protecting myself and have something healthy. So it's that is what has been the most interesting to me is that more people have connected with us and found things that they that resonate with them, that are in our same situation, that has got them thinking and and you

[00:51:20] Know that then we do have people who reach out and that are in the same situation or a very similar situation. And my heart just goes out to them. I've been so grateful to be able to connect with them and and support them along the way where I can.

[00:51:32] Ok, Jessica, I love it. I wish we could keep going. I love to have you back. Maybe even with the whole team and. Oh yeah, some things that give you a lot of fun. Where do people find them?

[00:51:42] They'd be here. Yeah. So we are on any podcasting platform under husband in law and then also on Instagram, on husband law. We're very active there. And then I do have a Facebook group called The Bold Action Takers where we talk about living a good life and how you actually get to implement these things I've been talking about. So we mostly share stories and stuff on the podcast and whatever. But then I go in-depth on how you actually utilize these things in your own life in my groups and more on Instagram as well.

[00:52:10] So perfect. So I'll put all the links in the show notes and I get this thing out as soon as I can. It's been an absolute pleasure. I was excited to talk to you.

[00:52:17] Likewise. Thank you so

[00:52:19] Much. Yeah. To do this again for sure. Hey, I'm going to stop and hang on one second. Thanks, Jessica.

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