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Most couples believe they need trust to build a healthy, long marriage. But trust doesn’t create unity like paying attention does. 

Here’s what I mean: 

When you pay better attention to your spouse, you can accept them for what they are. Too often, we try to impose change on our spouse — which only leads to suffering for both people. 

By paying attention, you can build a marriage bonded by true unity and fully accept the other person for who they are. 

In this episode, Jasmine and I reveal simple strategies that saved our marriage after we destroyed our trust. And how you can build a stronger marriage despite any trust issues you may have. 

Listen now and save your marriage. 

Show highlights include:

  • Why you don’t need to “trust” your spouse to build a healthy marriage (1:08) 
  • How to make your partner open up emotionally to you with physical touch (1:53) 
  • Why using your significant other as an accountability partner poisons your relationship (3:31) 
  • The “vertical relationships” trap which makes creating a strong, lasting marriage almost impossible (6:38) 
  • How to have tough conversations with your spouse (without sounding like a jerk or saying things you regret) (8:52)
  • The weird way sending emails can save your marriage (and why texts don’t work) (9:57) 
  • How curiosity prevents minor arguments from blossoming into full-blown fights (23:17) 
  • The “Playlist Technique” for generating 100 fresh date ideas by the end of the day (28:58) 

If you want to radically change how much control you have over your emotions in as little as 20 days, you can go to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and sign up for the Choose Your Own Emotion course. 

If you or somebody you know is looking to drop the ‘F’ Bomb of freedom in your life and break free from addiction, depression, anxiety or anything that’s making you feel flat-out stuck, head over to https://thefreedomspecialist.com/ and book a call where we can look at your unique situation and give you the roadmap you’ve been missing.

If you’d like to buy a copy of my book, Is That Even Possible?: The Nuts and Bolts of Energy Healing for the Curious, Wary, and Totally Bewildered, you can find it on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/That-Even-Possible-Healing-Bewildered/dp/1512336041

Read Full Transcript

It's time to rip the cover off what really works to ditch addiction, depression, anger, anxiety, and all other kinds of human suffering. No, not sobriety. We're talking the F-word here: Freedom. We'll share, straight from the trenches, what we have learned from leaving our own addictions behind, and coaching hundreds of others to do the same—and since it's such a heavy topic, we might as well have a good time while we're at it. [00:27.6]

Bob: And welcome back to the Alive and Free Podcast once again, with your host Bob Gardner and his illustrious.

Jasmine: Am is supposed to be Jasmine?

Bob: Yeah.

Jasmine: So, say my name.

Bob: Whatever. Okay. So, we're back and today the big issue is trust. Okay. This is a common question. I have a very different view on trust than most people. I have a very different view on a lot of things than most people.

Jasmine: Yeah.

Bob: And it's been exceptionally helpful, but as a con, like, so in my book, trusting something is an extra step that is unneeded. Even from a, a scriptural perspective, you know, trust in the Lord with all your heart lean, not to your own understanding, but he doesn't say trust in people. He says don't trust in the arm of the flesh. And so, the idea of building trust between people is one that is an extra step. If your spouse comes home and they have a psychotic breakdown, I don't wanna trust that they're not gonna injure me. I wanna pay attention. So, in my book, learning to pay attention between two people and when they're safe, deal with them that way, and when they're not safe, deal with them that way, is a far more important skill than the idea of building this sense that like, no, no, they would never do anything bad to me. And then you stop paying attention and that's when you get blindsided. So, with that as an underlying basis, we're not talking about that kind of trust here right now. [01:54.2]

Jasmine: Right.

Bob: We're talking about building, I guess, in a sense, a rapport between people where you're willing to open yourself up, where you're willing to share some of the deepest parts of you with them. And that involves communication, it involves physical gestures and communication. It involves time and it involves a lot of willingness to try and fail. So, we wanna talk about that in terms of our own journey and in your journey when you're trying to rebuild, not like not trust in the sense of, oh, can I trust person. That's important, but trust in the sense of the ability to be deeply involved with each other's lives and to be totally open and vulnerable and not feel like you have anything to hide from the person you've chosen to be with. That, to me is a far more powerful thing. Cause when you're finally in a place where you feel like you have nothing to hide, that that all who you are is okay, even if it's different than the other person. And even if they wouldn't choose to do that themselves. That's a powerful place to be, case all of those core issues have fallen away. And what the two of you can build is something exceptional. So, there were some early on times where the, in your process of coming out, there was a point where you told me, like, you didn't want to know every thought that went through my head or you didn't want to know all the things that I had done or like if I slipped once or if I go back to porn once or something like that, whatever, just handle it. You only wanted to know if I, you like got back into the, like that compulsive cycle. [03:21.3]

Jasmine: Right, if it became like an, an issue, an actual issue again, that would take, you know, us dealing with it or managing it or whatever. I am not a fan of full disclosure or accountable, having your spouse or your partner be your accountability because that just puts all of the other person's bread on top of you, whether you ask for it or not. You've agreed to be this accountability person, support person and so, it's like whenever they want, they can just vomit on you and you have no say.

Bob: Usually at the most in opportune moment, I wasn't exactly great with timing.

Jasmine: He was never great with timing. He was always the worst timing ever.

Bob: Should we just rub that in some,

Jasmine: So, it seemed. It seemed you know, young mom, kids all the time. I don't know if any time is a good time for, Hey, we got.

Bob: Fair point, fair point, yeah.

Jasmine: You know, but that being said, you didn't really have very much tact or gentleness or anything like that. You just really did vomit it all over me, all the time. [04:28.5]

Bob: And, and, and if you're experiencing this, it's not because the guy.

Jasmine: It's not intentional.

Bob: It's not intentional. Like literally if he doesn't get it all out now it's probably not coming out.

Jasmine: Yeah. Yeah. So, it's, it's that push.

Bob: So, it really is like vomit.

Jasmine: There we go, we we're gonna call this episode - The Vomit.

Bob: The Vomit.

Jasmine: Umm…So you know, there's that but it, it did get to a point where I was just like, I can't take this anymore. I don't wanna know every little thing. It doesn't matter to me anymore because it's, we've been through so much, you know, like if it's gonna really be something that we have to work through with our relationship; yes, tell me about it. But I don't want you to come home and be like, Hey, I had this thought. Nobody wants to know what you're thinking all the time, you know. [05:15.5]

Bob: Guys, you don't wanna know what your wife is thinking all the time, admit it. You don't wanna know every thought that goes through her head all day long yet. That's what this sort of full disclosure movement tends to do, is to make the guy feel negative for like he saw a pretty girl and he found a certain level of a child. Oh no, am I being bad by not telling all this other stuff? And then the wife is like, oh no, is this bigger than I thought it was? And all that other jazz, right.

Jasmine: So anyway.

Bob: So, what did that do for you to, to be able to like have the space where you weren't getting dumped on all the time?

Jasmine: It gave me space where I didn't feel like I was getting dumped on all the time. I could breathe a little bit. I didn't feel like I was responsible for you all of the time. I wasn't responsible. Oh, he's having this thought, what can I do to, you know, that's not my job. I am your wife, I'm not your babysitter, I'm not your brain holder. I dunno your manager. So, to not have to do that was just a, a little bit more free. And I think allowed me to be more of a, of a better wife actually than just having this. Oh, nope, I gotta make sure Bob's towing the line on everything all the time. [06:28.5]

Bob: Yeah, it's not fun to be married to the warden.

Jasmine: And it's not fun to be made the warden either.

Bob: See we did. Oh gosh, that was a long time ago. We were in Seattle at the time, but we went through a one, a one program. And one point that was made has stuck with me for a long time, which is that we're we grow up learning to be in relationships where there's one on top and one underneath. So, employer, employee, mom, child, teacher, student, and we flip flop between roles. I'm either winning or I'm losing or I'm on top or I'm on bottom.

Jasmine: You're big, I'm no. I'm big, you're a little. I'm smart, you're.

Bob: You're, I'm smart. You're dumb. Right. Welcome to Matilda. Someone did request that we make more children's movies references than this thing. Thank you.

Jasmine: That's all they got. Children's movie references. [07:14.6]

Bob: And so that, but it's not taught to be in a real relationship of peers of equals. Even among friends, people are jockeying for position in a social hierarchy. So, to be among peers where the two of you, like, I don't get to say whatever I want to her. I get to ask her permission if she wants to hear if it's feedback or something. I mean, I can share what's going on during the day. But if I have some criticism, if we're equals, I don't have the right to just trounce my criticism upon her. As, as much as everybody wants freedom of speech and freedom of religion in this country, imposing your religion on somebody else is also encroaching on their freedom. Right? And, and so a lot of people think freedom of speech means I get to believe what I want, or I get, say what I want and everybody else has to listen. But then they don't like it, when somebody else says something that they don't want to hear. And then there's all this emotion that rages. So, to be among equals is I have something to share. It may not be pertinent and they may not want to hear it and I might just have to eat it.

Jasmine: Eat it. You can do it, Bruce. Since we're still in Matilda. [08:17.5]

Bob: So, so this was a, a place where warden and inmate relationship inside of a marriage has ruined so many marriages.

Jasmine: Hmm…yeah.

Bob: I've seen a lot of people in this full disclosure relationship. The woman ends up wearing the pants, the guy running around the house, you know, he's, he's a he's top dog at work, but at home he's like the puppy. And he runs around trying to fix everything and he's afraid of his wife or he's resentful of his wife. And it's not intentional, but it starts to happen when you, when you make the relationship into an accountability thing. So, we split that up early on.

Jasmine: Hmm…hmm.

Bob: So, then we had to figure out how to talk about things that we were struggling with. Do you wanna mention what that was like?

Jasmine: Why me?

Bob: So, I I'm good with words and.

Jasmine: Obviously by my silence, Bob's really good with words I am not, especially when I'm emotional, there's a disconnect between the billion of thoughts running through my head and it coming out through my mouth. So, I have so many things I wanna say. And a lot of them in times, like these are very spiteful.

Bob: Yes. [09:28.6]

Jasmine: So maybe that's a good thing that they don't come out. But a lot of them are just very truthful and like, I need to tell him this, but they don't come out. And so, we had to find a way for me to be able to say what I want, cause what would happen is I just sit there in silence and he would just keep talking because I wasn't saying anything.

Bob: Yeah. It's kinda like this podcast, you know?

Jasmine: Yes. You notice I have all the silences and he doesn't.

Bob: So, there's actually a guy at our LA our latest retreat that we did, who in some of the breathwork processes that we were doing and something else, something really clicked with him where he realized his whole life he had been seeking acceptance from other people, from his parents, from his friends at work, all this other stuff. And he realized that the reason he had a hard time talking like communicating, clearly, was because he was constantly censoring his words afraid of saying the wrong thing. And so, in his relationship with his wife that was happening as well. And so, we encouraged him to do what we did, which is write it out. So, email probably saved our marriage. [10:31.2]

Jasmine: Yeah.

Bob: There were some emails that Jasmine wrote to me that if she had said them out loud, I don't know how it would've reacted, but I had to act in my own little corner in my own little chair. I could be whatever I wanted to be. Yikes! Folks!! Man!!!

Jasmine: But see that's that was what I wanted to say. But couldn't say so when I put it on paper or in an email, I get it exactly who I want. I say it, and then he can read it when it doesn't come outta my mouth.
Bob: Was there fear of physical retaliation at all?

Jasmine: No. I think it was just not necessarily fear, but it was like, well, if I say this, then he's gonna get mad and he's going to get all the defensive at me and then it's gonna be my fault, everything's my fault. And then he's gonna go back into addiction because of something I, you know, it was like, oh, I can't say this. Otherwise, he'll get depressed and he'll start this whole thing all over and it'll just be worse, but I wanna say it so bad. You know? So it is, it, it was just forcing it outta my mouth just couldn't happen. But if I could put it on paper, I could say exactly how I want. And actually, by the time I did that and sent it, I didn't care what his reaction was. Like, he could go and do all that stuff, it was just me having to say it face to face that I couldn't do it. [11:55.2]

Bob: Hmm. Yeah. So, we would go back and forth. These were things like I was worried about being enough in a sexual relationship. These were things like, oh, how does she feel about the way I think about, I don't know, X, Y, and Z. Some of it was judgements of her. Some of it was her feeling like she wasn't appreciated at home and she needed to say something. So sometimes she'd initiate the emails. Sometimes I would, and we would go back and forth. And basically, what that did was separate the emotion from the conversation. And I would be the one, like I sent you an email and then I'd be like bouncing around like for two days, like are you gonna read it? Are you gonna?

Jasmine: Not, it never took me two days.

Bob: Okay. It felt like two days it was probably 20 minutes, but I'm just like, oh man, is she gonna read it yet? Is she done? Of course, she had kids and other things going on, but I like to pounce on things when they're hot and she likes to make sure that it's.

Jasmine: I, I like to think about it and come up with the response that I want.

Bob: Yeah. And so, in those letters, in those experiences back and forth, a lot of the emotion got diffused in the two or three or sometimes four exchanges we had before than we were finally like ready to actually talk about it, face to face. And at that point it was both of us together. The situation was the issue and we got to collaborate on a solution. [13:08.7]

Jasmine: Right. I remember one email. I don't, I don't remember what it was about, but I know that I called him a bunch of names and I was really angry and he didn't respond at all. But honestly that was the best thing he probably could have done with the email, that particular email. It was just a bad email, but I wanted to say all those things and so I said them in the email. And thinking about it later, I just like, he didn't respond. He just took it, but didn't do anything with it. And to me, I was just like, whoa, that's really cool. Like for some reason I felt so loved by that.

Bob: Dang it all these years, I've been trying all these other thing.s Valentine's is out the window. Honey, tell me what you really think? [13:51.3]

Jasmine: Anyways. So, like there's not a, a perfect way to respond to the emails. You know, some of the emails they just got dropped. You know, one text exchange we had over Christmas or right before Christmas, it was just like, this isn't going anywhere, let's just drop it. And, and we dropped it, you know it, and it, that doesn't mean we were like immediately like, Hey, how's it going? No, it took longer than that to kind of get the emotions out. But the issue at hand was pointless, it was absolutely pointless.

Bob: And I recommend email over text message just because email is more of a long form kind of letter and text message usually is more reactive. And so many couples we've dealt with when they're like we say, write an email and then they start text messaging and then back and forth. And pretty soon it escalates into something I'm like, if you had sat down and typed an email, you would be in a very different head space. Because when you're writing a letter, which is more, what email is, you're gonna like explain yourself and you're gonna like put things out and you're gonna take your time. [14:55.2]

Jasmine: You're gonna the time.

Bob: Yes. But when you're texting, it's literally reaction. You can do it in with BTW and LOL. I mean, you can like shorten it so much that you can get your reaction out before you even think, and then it's sent and there's not much you can do about it. So, email handwritten letters I've done that with Jasmine and sent her those. And they were long.

Jasmine: Hmm…hmm.

Bob: When I was dealing with the drug stuff. Like the letter I sent her was 17 pages. The letter she wrote back was like half a page.

Jasmine: No comment.

Bob: It was basically, I hate you.

Jasmine: Yeah, basically.

Bob: And so, which was fair enough.

Jasmine: I mean, throw in some swears in there and I do not swear. So that was my half page summed up right there. [15:45.2]

Bob: I deserved it folks. It took me a lot to try and repair that, but there you have it. But the point is like that form of communication where you take the time deliberately to look at both sides and recognize that the other person has a valid point of view. You may totally disagree with it, but it's valid. There's no contradiction. If two people are walking around the world, having different thoughts, that's two people walking around the world having different thoughts. So that's you and your spouse. You both happen to have, be having different thoughts and different emotions. There's nothing wrong with that. There's nothing contradictory about that. They don't have to be the same. But if you want to communicate, if you wanna bridge that gap, you're gonna need to do it in ways that aren't reactive and don't create more and don't fan the flame of, of frustration and resentment and all that other stuff. And we found that letters, particularly emails were exceptionally, exceptionally helpful. [16:40.4]

If you or someone you know is looking to drop the F-bomb of “Freedom” in their life, whether that's from past trauma, depression, anxiety, addiction, or any other host of emotional and personal struggles, but they just don't know how or wants some help doing it. Head on over to thefreedomspecialist.com/feelbetternow and check out some of the things we've got in store for you or book a call so we can look at your unique situation and get you the help that you're looking for. [17:09.7]

Bob: So, talk to me about trust. You have a view around trust. Obviously, I'm talking about being like not hiding anything and being totally open, totally vulnerable being there in that regard.

Jasmine: Sure, which will just label trust for this.

Bob: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Jasmine: Podcast...Hmmm…Yeah, so to me I, I think I gave this analogy on my video.

Bob: Yes.

Jasmine: So, it's, it's like building a castle, you know, you spend all this time piece by piece, building a castle out of blocks, little kids blocks, cause I had little kids at the time. And then somebody comes and just knocks it down completely. You know, all your hard work all your time spent building this beautiful block castle is gone. Now they, maybe they did it on purpose, maybe they tripped and you know, fell into it, either way they caused it. And so, they wanna help you build it back. Well, you both can build it back piece by piece, but one it's gonna take time and two that castle won't look exactly the same. You can try to build it exactly the same, but you know, things are gonna be shifted a little bit. It won't be exactly the same. And that's how I view trust. You can build it back, but it'll be a little bit different. Maybe it'll be stronger, but it'll be a little different. So, with Bob, it was just a lot of just having experiences together I guess, and learning from them and learning what works and what doesn't. Cause you know, it's through this whole marriage, it was like, I would trust Bob with my life every time. I would not trust him at certain points with my happiness or my heart, you know, because my heart had been broken so many times. [19:00.9]

Bob: Or sexuality too. Like there were still, it took a long time for her to be willing in that way to be totally open or exploratory because of just things I'd done and.

Jasmine: And, and we're not talking about like abuse or forcing or anything like that here. It was more like emotional safety. Like I, like I could feel safe being myself in a sexual relationship.

Bob: Right.

Jasmine: And not expected to be somebody else or act like somebody else, things like that.

Bob: Hmm..hmm…And so how did you, one, one question that's been asked is how did you know, how did you know that I was okay?

Jasmine: I have no idea.

Bob: Taaa…daaaa…women. You will never know if they'll be okay and there's no guarantee, but she's thinking.

Jasmine: But you can feel right. Like we talked about, I think it was the last one you can feel when there's a difference, good or bad, positive or negative. And so, there was a point where I stopped feeling this impending doom of its gonna come back, its gonna come back. There was a point and it was probably us just keep trying to build our relation and tracking on and become better people. And finally, it was just like, yeah, this is gonna be okay like this is good. [20:19.3]

Bob: So, it's a Star Wars quote, “trust your feelings, Luke.” “Stretch out with your feelings.” This is the same with freedom. I want be clear, there are never gonna be any guarantees that nothing will go off with your own freedoms or behavior. I don't have any guarantees that I want one day, turn into such a dork again or go downs. I don't have any guarantees cause I don't know the future. But the only guarantee I do have is that I've learned to pay attention to how I feel. And I've learned to, to like really get clear on what's going on in my body and what to do in order to alleviate that for myself so that I don't go down those roads, but there's still not a guarantee. And in a relationship, the same thing, there's no guarantee that it'll work out in the end. But in a way the guarantee is if both of you are willing to be honest about your feelings, without assuming that your interpretation of those feelings is always correct, then you can chat. You can talk about things and you can navigate it well. [21:17.2]

Jasmine: There's also, I've learned from everything that Bob and I have been through that there is no point in taking a fake scenario in the future and worrying about it, like saying, well, because he did this, then what if this happens down the road in a year, 5 years, 20 years kind of thing. There are a million different possibilities of the way your life could play out between now and then. And there's no point focusing on one of those million and thinking, well, what would I do? How would I feel? What should I do now? Because it's not real. It's just something you made up and you're much better off just saying, well, what's here right now? How should I deal with that? How do I want to, I act and react and live my life now instead of something that may or may not happen years down the road?

Bob: So, our communication now is like radically different. [22:20.4]

Jasmine: Because we kind of didn't have communication at all at the beginning of our marriage, to be fair. We were so bad at communicating because I have no words. Bob has all the words. His family is very dramatic when they talk, mine is really chill and just quieter. And, and so when you jam those together, there were a lot of misunderstandings, a lot of him steam rolling over me with words and me just claming up.

Bob: Yeah, her family, I mean, they've changed over the years, but in the beginning, like they don't, they didn't talk about issues really much. My family would talk about 'em but talk over each other. So, in both cases, nothing ever got resolved.

Jasmine: Yeah.

Bob: And so, for us to come to that place. So yeah, we didn't have much communication in the beginning. It was perfunctory, it was attempts. We both tried.

Jasmine: We tried and pretty much always ended in disaster.

Bob: But now it's different, right? And, and I think the watch word for me is curiosity. If I can stay open and recognize that none of what she is thinking or feeling it really has to do with me. This is her interpreting her environment in the way that she is decided either consciously or unconsciously in that moment. And it, it's actually not a reflection on me the thoughts that come into her head. It's not actually a reflection on her either. There are just experiences that she's having. And so, if I stay curious and I go, well, tell me about this or this sounds like really important to you or you sound really upset. Is there something going on? And often she'll say, no, I'm fine. Which I can tell she's not fine, but she's just not saying.

Jasmine: I'm fine.

Bob: She's not saying she she's saying with I'm fine. Is I don't wanna talk about it. I still don't always accept that answer. Let's be honest. [24:00.9]

Jasmine: But sometimes it's true. I am fine.

Bob: It's true.

Jasmine: There's nothing going on.

Bob: Hmm…hmm. And so.

Jasmine: Figure it out. Dang it.

Bob: So, she'll come. And when there's something going on or she's coming to complain about something or she has a concern, I just wanna say, tell me more, like, tell me, what is that like for you? What's going on? I wanna understand what the inside of that's like, and I am joyful. I'm open. I'm like, yeah, sure. Tell me more, tell me more. And in the same vein that allows her then to be like, okay, cool. I'll tell you. And sometimes she's like, I don't have anymore.

Jasmine: The end. [24:34.3]

Bob: But I'm just genuinely curious. And that curiosity has diffused all of the like, oh, it's on my fault. Oh, she's always making it my fault. Every now and again, I have that and I get to go blow off some steam going on a walk or something. But most of the time now it's just like, oh wow, this is a human being near me having a moment. And I get to look at how beautiful she is in the middle of her moment and try not to smile as she's upset. And because she's really gorgeous and listen to what's going on and not take it person and listen to all of her, not just her words, but her entire body language and stuff. So how do you, how does that feel? One and then how do you think of communication?

Jasmine: Yeah. I, I am not as good as at that as you are, like, sometimes I want you to take it personally. So, you know, I don't want you to smile and laugh at me when I'm angry.

Bob: I don't laugh at her when she’s angry. [25:26.6]

Jasmine: No, he doesn’t

Bob: I laugh after.

Jasmine: He doesn't do it to my face. Umm…but you know, like I'm sometimes I'm just like, no, I'm mad at you. So, you be mad, you know, childish, whatever I'm mad, everybody should be mad. So that still happens. I do appreciate though, when you are genuine, like curious, and it's not a, I'm curious, so I can fix you.

Bob: Right.

Jasmine: Attitude, which has happened in the past, but that, that kind of attitude has been gone for quite a while. So, you know, you can tell when someone's like, well, tell me more. And then you're talking to them and their brain, you can see their brain going and the wheel spinning so that they have a reply of something that you should do or something that you didn't know or something like that, you know. They just want to one up you.

Bob: Yeah.

Jasmine: In your own anger or something. I don't know. But just being genuinely curious has been really helpful of just like, well, this is how it is. And there's, there's not do you, the strong emotion coming from both ends. [26:37.6]

Bob: Yeah.

Jasmine: Right.

Bob: Do you feel like there's still anything that you've like when that's the case, when there's that genuine curiosity, do you feel like you can share all that's in there and like you can, in that sense of the word trust, really be open and, and share that.

Jasmine: Yeah, a lot more than if you're, if I feel like you're trying to extract something from me to do something with it, then, then I'm like, why would I tell you that you're just gonna use it against me.

Bob: Ooh, good point guys. Cause I've felt the same way like there over the years. And even though Jasmine isn't necessarily vindictive that way only on a couple of occasions has she, maybe more. Umm.

Jasmine: No, I don't think I'm like that at all.

Bob: Huhh…huh…She's an angel guys remember. But only on a couple of occasions. Can I remember her like deliberately using, okay, more than a couple of occasions now that I'm thinking about it. But deliberately using words, I've said as some way of like getting back at me, but on both sides, when you see the other person thinking either, oh, this is about me or trying to process it in that way, then they're no longer engaged in the listening process. And both Jasmine and I, I don't know if you watch that Ted talk with, with me or something. There was a lady who was like talking about listening and she's like, there are articles ever. Did you watch it with me or? [27:50.4]

Jasmine: I think you told me that.

Bob: There are articles everywhere telling you like these 10 tips to show people that you're listening. And the problem with that is if you're busy trying to show them, you're listening, you're not actually listening. You're just trying to show them it. And if you're going down, its checklist in your head, you're not listening. And so, the biggest key to being able to like really listen to somebody and accept them for all they are, is literally to do just that. Allow them, the grace to be all that they are without needing to change. Jasmine does not need to be anything other than what she is right now for the rest of time. She will change, casue that's the nature of life. I don't get to say how that change happens. My job is just to be happy around her. And if both of you manage that, then your relationship will be fine. [28:35.3]

Jasmine: Hmm…hmm.

Bob: No matter what else you're going through, if you're both happy around each other, then Taaa…Daaa, you're happy. And I think that's a really important thing. All the rest of this stuff that like a good relationship needs at X, Y, and Z, that's all stuff that can clutter it up. The only thing that needs to happen is that the two of you be happy and that's gonna start with some level of communication and being honest with what you really care about. And so, my recommendation to start is this. We have our clients make a playlist, which is, you know, a list of at least 50 things that just lights them up on the, in inside. They can be simple things like, you know, certain foods they like to eat or walking barefoot in the grass or running through sprinklers or watching the sunset or in my case, sticking my head in the freezer, which I don't do that often. But I loved it as a kid, the smell of stale ice and.

Jasmine: I do not like it often. [29:24.4]

Bob: The sound of the hum of the motor in the, oh yeah in the grocery stores, I loved it. But like that all the way to hikes outside to big family vacations to, so 50 things at least. And keep adding your list will change over time. So, this is a starting point. If both of you do that, then one, you found at least 50 things that light you up in, in the world. And just keeping that list on you in your phone or something is beautiful. Two, well, when you're getting down and out, just look at your list, find something that you can do that will be a pick me up. Try to do something from the list every day. Three, those are now date ideas. Those are now opportunities for you to start to see the other person in the arena that they love the most.

Jasmine: Our next date, we're gonna go to the grocery store and stick our heads in the freezer.

Bob: It's on like.

Jasmine: No, we're not. No.

Bob: Oh, come on. Oh, well, okay. You take pictures and I'll stick my head in the freezer. The point, the point is it's time to cultivate a relationship where both of you are allowed to be just what you are. Imagine in a garden, if there was a little carrot running around from a carrot seed, trying to be a potato, would it ever succeed at growing into all that it could be? No, it wouldn't cause they need different kind of to grow sometimes different type of treatment, whatever else. You just, you are already what you are. If you let it grow, Jasmine's laughing at me. [30:50.9]

Jasmine: I sorry, I I'm just seeing this little carrot with tiny little legs running around the garden.

Bob: See it is funny. You heard it here folks. It's funny. The point is you already are what you’ve been created to be. Trying to be different you will never succeed at it, but you will make yourself suffer in the attempt. And both of you have been doing that long enough. It's time to slowly, gently, carefully, and as long a period as it takes, finally allow yourself to be seen for all that you are. And embrace that without needing to change one bit. When that happens, guess what growth happens? And the seed turns into a carrot slowly, slowly, slowly, roots grow leaves grow. All this stuff changes, it doesn't look anything like what it started as, and yet it finally is given the nourishment to grow. And that's what inside of your communication, your ability to trust each other needs to be there. That both of you have this genuine care that the other person is allowed to be all that they are. And that there's no requirement that they be different. Whether that's angry, happy, excited about something interested in something you don't care about, resentful, upset, they have boundaries and, and things that they, whatever it is they're allowed to, to be that just like you are allowed to be you. And if that respect is there gently, slowly, you can start to find union without boundaries because now there's no keep out signs because the other person is allowed all the way in. [32:17.5]

Jasmine: I concur.

Bob: You're heard it here, folks. She concurs. [32:22.3]

And that's it for todays “Alive and Free Podcast.” If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom bombs landing in your ear buds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcasts from. And, while you're at it, give us a rating and a review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you. Plus, it's just nice to be nice. [32:39.7]

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