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Every relationship is hard, whether with your spouse, kids, or friends. But we have a tendency to make our relationships harder than they actually are too.

When emotions infiltrate your relationships, especially in heated conversations and arguments, it leads to compromises, hardships, and even resentment.

The solution?

Slowing things down to an Eeyore trot. For example, when you have an argument with your wife, you can use email to communicate about it (without sacrificing living life in the moment).

Jasmine and I recently did this after I wanted to experiment with THC gummies in Colorado and she felt a certain way about it. But through email, we came to a solution that worked for both of us and stifled resentment which would’ve bubbled if we didn't.

In this episode, I reveal how to slow things down, how to realize most problems aren’t an emergency, and why doing this will make your relationship more loving and prosperous.

Listen now.

Show Highlights Include

  • How to use psychoactive substances to produce profound experiences that can add beauty to your life (5:36)
  • Why stripping the emotion out of conversations with your loved ones allows love to blossom (and how email does this with ease) (14:49)
  • How your fear of rejection creeps up in your marriage and tries to sabotage it (even after 19 years of proof that your spouse won’t reject you) (18:46)
  • The sneaky way acting out of a present motivation in your marriage can cause irreversible regret later (24:18)
  • Why seeking to be heard from other people is a recipe for disaster, distress, and divorce (24:47)
  • The “never the person” trick for swimming through arguments and disagreements without resentment bubbling up (31:13)
  • How creativity, not compromises or cooperation, can turn every negative thing in a relationship into a deeper reason to love (33:24)
  • The “Eeyore Secret” for slowing down in your relationship and preventing emergencies before they happen (36:55)

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 is 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've 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.

(00:34): Welcome back folks today. Okay. One of my favorite characters in the Winnie the Poo series is ior. He just like, not because I think he has a lot of good things to say , but because nobody cares, he's slow and methodical and he just changes the pace of everything, and he is always this comically grumpy and whatnot. Sadly, most of us have turned into sort of a caffeine craze version of your, everybody's running, nobody cares, nobody cares. Nobody cares. If we could just slow it down to nobody cares. You might be surprised how much things unwind. So we're going to talk today about a way that I figured out to slow things down. Now, I've talked a little bit about this in various episodes about how to have a conversation, an argument where both people win. That was back in like 2019, and I think I've talked about it in a couple of other ways in terms of communication.

(01:36): But this is a very realtime experience that happened in the company of our friend Lee. Hello, who gets to see it from the outside? And we're going to talk about an experience that happened recently between Jasmine and I, and we're going to lay this out for you guys. Now, I do this with the intention of being transparent and not virtue signaling, not anything like that, but the intention of si being transparent so that it is a blatantly obvious that one, nobody probably wants to be me at all, but that there's a lot you could learn from the way that I've messed everything up or not messed things up, or the way that I've succeeded in some things and not other things, but two, so that this becomes a foil as it were, of a way that maybe you guys could engage with some things. So let us lay the scene, shall we be clear?

(02:29): All right. So the scene is us once upon a dark and stormy afternoon, something happened that isn't in this story. And what did happen is Lee was selling his house and he had been doing it all by himself, and nobody had been there helping him. And so he was getting rid of furniture and stuff, and he had a few people come in and help here and there. But the bulk of the work he was doing kind of on his own, contracting out the work and trying to get it ready to sell his house, it still isn't sold yet. So if you're for a house in Colorado Springs, by all means contact Lee , although it might be sold by the time you guys hear this episode, , scratch that. The point is, he was doing it on own. And at certain point I was like, you know what?

(03:12): I'm just going to head down and I'm going to see if I can be of some help. So I got a plane ticket. I flew down on an afternoon, and we entered the state of Colorado. Now, key point in Colorado, marijuana, T hc, gummies, edibles, and other forms of plant medicines as they're called, and psychoactive substances are legal in various different subs. They have legalized a lot of it. So I went down there. Now, in my own history, I have had, I think the two biggest experiences, or three, well, two to three biggest experiences I had with psychedelics and psychoactive substances were ones where I wasn't really kind of expecting anything and I wasn't going in with some big intention, and I didn't know what to plan for or anything else. And I wasn't taking it super serious. I was just kind of taking it as it came.

(04:02): And one of them was, I had had one of those THC edible gummies, and it was an experience that allowed me for the first time in my adult recollection, to have two very clear instances of one laughing without any inhibition, without any weird thought about like, oh, is this really funny? And how does the other person think about me laughing about it and all that other stuff, but doing that for hours and not just like, oh, it happened once for a second, and you can ask Lee. I mean, I laugh about a lot of things and I don't really have a ton of inhibition about it. And yet this was some somewhat deeper. And then the other one was I didn't really, I was stupid. So we were driving and I didn't really plan on driving. It was my wife had planned something and I didn't realize it.

(04:50): So I was driving and I was driving down the road and I was like, man, thi I could go out of the lanes anytime, and that'd be really dangerous, so maybe I won't, but okay, that's good. But I was not being motivated to abide by the rules, by fear or worry or trying to do something. I was literally calm. I was enjoying things and I was simply doing, I was staying in the lane lines just fine, but not being motivated by stress or fear and any of those things. I was like, man, I didn't get a chance to really explore that very well. So I would be interested in, and I had mentioned this to Jasmine, interested in possibly exploring that. Again, if the opportunity arises to explorer, does a THC gummy again produce that experience? And if it does, is there something I can learn from that?

(05:36): See, every psychoactive substance, every psychedelic that you take, everything else, even all the food that you eat, all of them can be profound producers of an experience. And if you engage with it consciously, each of those can allow you to get a look, take a look at your life, because they'll just amplify what's inside of you. And so I was like, man, I would really love to explore that. Again, I've talked length about not being motivated by stress or worry or fear, and yet I have still some niggling parts of it that show up probably not infrequently to where it's like, oh, I got to do this, but oh, I got to do this. There's already some level of stress on the system instead of like, oh, okay, look, it's time to do this. And that was something that I wanted to explore. So I head down to Colorado, Lee and I spend the weekend meeting with people and having a good time and then doing what we can if there's anything that needs to be done for his house, fixing up a hole in the ceiling, with a cupboard that doesn't quite fit and all the good stuff.

(06:34): And then somebody says that we were chatting with some of 'em and they were like, Hey, look, I have some of those gummies around if you guys want one. And I was like, I might might. But then a cloud descended over the conversation, and this is where Lee got to chip in because he had heard me conversing with this fellow about what was going on. And he looks, and he's like, you going to tell Jasmine? And then I was like, yeah, I am. But I hate the fact that I feel like I have to go tell mom I did something wrong because that was the feeling of it. So I get in the car and I steal myself a little bit for it. I breathe a little bit and I'm like, man, I don't want to live this way where it feels like my wife is the warden and I'm somehow an inmate that just found a firecracker, on the grounds or something when this is just a life experience that I want to explore.

(07:24): I don't have any sense that it is right or wrong. I don't feel like there's any moral issues with it. Other people might, and Jasmine and I have gone back and forth on what is or is not a drug, who decides what a drug is, because if it's a moral thing, well then the FDA shouldn't be the one telling you what's a drug, because the FDA is a bunch of people that have all kinds of moral compunctions. And then one thing that is more potent is allowed. And another thing that is less potent isn't based on hype and circumstance and who did what as an indicator which weapons are illegal will enforce states now three noon chak were illegal, we're were illegalized because of Bruce Lee fans getting all excited about it and using them in gang hazings. But other states, nope, they're perfectly legal. So how do we decide is or is not a drug?

(08:11): I actually go into this at length, this question to open up a lot of different areas on it so that people can ask themselves, wow, how am I going to decide is or is not a drug? So I finally make the phone call and I'm telling Jasmine, this is what I'm thinking about. This is what's going on and what are your thoughts? Because she is an important part of my life experience. And rather than me going, well, I'm going to do this and I'm going to do it just because I want to take into consideration her feelings. I have a sense of what her feelings are, but I want to take into consideration how that's going to affect things and everything else. So she raised a few questions along the way, how long does it stay in your system? And she was looking up at that stuff because that's the way that she solves problems.

(08:54): Let me look and see what the ramifications are going to be and whatnot. And she brought up a few questions, but the overall tone of the conversation was like, I was trying to say, look, I haven't done anything. I just had a conversation with a friend and this is something that I'd really like to explore and I think it's something that could be valuable for me. And she was taking it, well, there you are. Every time you go out of town, something bad's going to happen because that's literally how it had been some years passed. So she's not unjustified in having that memory, but that isn't what's happening at the moment. And so we have this conversation back and forth. So do you want to chime in about how that Yeah, I was, the thing that on the outside was so interesting is that there wasn't any kind of serious intent. There wasn't this big movement towards the THC or the gummy. It was just kind of almost kind of like a bird flying by. It was just that kind of importance. Oh, there's a bird. Oh, there's a thought. There's this thought about this. But there wasn't anything more than that. The trip wasn't planned around it there, it's just something that happened in that moment and it became this really seemingly big thing,

(10:06): And it became a big thing because of our past history. And I think that that's an important part to pause and take note of. If I hadn't spent a year to a year and a half engaging in psychedelics without telling Jasmine, even knowing that she grew up a dare officer father, and in a religion that really frowns on anything that has any sort of government sanctions and anything that even remo, even caffeine was frowned on in many ways. And Jasmine isn't persnickety in any way, shape or form about that necessarily. She's not going to impose her view on others, but she's also very careful and her decisions are also made about what things affect her body. So she's had some caffeine before and didn't like the effects. So her decision about caffeine is from personal experience, not about necessarily because somebody said it's wrong. So she's not just somebody that's running around imposing her views on everybody all the time, but it did happen where the initial response is not just, oh my gosh, drugs are bad and this counts as a drug in her mind because it does in her mind.

(11:06): But also, oh my gosh, Bob's going off the rails again and oh my gosh, this and oh my gosh. So that produced an emotional issue. So what was my decision? Well, I'm not going to engage with any sort of THC, gummy or anything else like that at this stage in the game because there are other things that take care of first that are important, right? She's having a struggle with something that's not fully processed from the past. And so I think that that is valuable to look at, and my life isn't hanging in the balance. I don't need this thing. It was just a passing bird. It was just an opportunity that I had been thinking about for some time, and she was really kind of struggling with a few of those things. And so that in what ensued from that was like I didn't want to make that decision because I could totally make that decision and be like, well, fine.

(11:54): I'm going to do it anyway just to stick it to you because I'm like, I don't want to live my life to stick it to somebody else. I would like to actually live my life consciously and make decisions from a place of clarity. And I wouldn't be in a place of clarity if I was sitting there trying to argue with Jasmine in my head about, but did the right thing in trying to justify it. I don't want it to be a justification process. So I decided not to do anything with that. And maybe in the future I'll explore it, maybe I won't. It's not a big deal. But then ensued an email conversation. Well, and I just was, your ability to pull back from what was going on was important. And I think that's also important as you go into this email conversation, you were able to say, right now, if I make this decision, it's not going to be actually the decision I'm trying to make. There's a whole lot more going on and I can make this decision based on those things than what I actually want to do. And again, I think this is important as you go into talking about the email conversation, because I think there was an ability to do that as well in those moments. Yeah. Tell me more about what that was from the outside, because I can talk at length about what's going on in my head on the inside, but on the outside, you're watching this happen in real time with the guy who's teaching all these people about freedom and about living to where you're not controlled by your emotional states and stuff. Did it feel like there was a freak out? Tell me what it was on the outside.

(13:18): Well, I think there's momentary just these little moments of where I would see pride come up or I'm a man, or just these very brief moments. But then you're also very quickly, okay, that's not what this is about in this moment but I think on the outset, the commitment that I felt like both you and your wife had just to work this out, there's a commitment and an investment in that there was something larger happening than just pride or masculinity or history or anything like that. But there was a larger commitment as you and you guys have done this before in email conversations, but there's a larger commitment to say, okay, I'm going to show up. I'm going to invest in this process. And ultimately I think a commitment to it working out that was mutually beneficial. You're there because you have some concerns for Jasmine and you want her to be taken care of. And I think the same for you as well that she has for you as well. She was also wanting you to be autonomous and to make a decision. But I was guess maybe to say impressed by that from both of you, that as you head into this process, that I don't know if the goals were spoken or not, but I was very aware that this was at play as you guys made the investment to communicate in the best way you knew how in that moment to get the ultimate result which you guys came to.

(14:55): Yeah. So over the years, I have invited a lot of couples to separate the emotion from the conversation precisely because if you're invested in a relationship with another person, there are a lot of guys that don't realize how much intimidation that they have over women. When talking on the phone. I can intimidate Jasmine to no end, and it's maybe not intimidating, but it's frustrating on her end because I can talk over her, I can talk faster than her, I can weave stories around it. I have words in my corner, and she has studied physical gestures with as much per spec, cassity, shall we say, with as much clarity. And she can communicate quite well. It's just not in words. And by the way, guys, cussing at your wife in body language is not allowed. ,

(15:45): If I were to, I could repeat her words back to her and that would be okay, but if I repeated her gestures back to her, I might be speaking to you from a bungalow on the other side of the forest. So both of us are committed to finding the relationship. I mean, it's been 18 years, we're coming up on 19 years, and we've both invested in having the relationship work and why the motivation for it has changed over the years, but we were both invested in it. So we did have another conversation that evening. She sent an email describing what her reaction was and what was going on. I sent an email back at one point, I got the email and I was like, oh, okay. I got the email. I can't respond right now because I want to make sure that I'm in a good space to do it and I want to have time to do it.

(16:27): We were going to have another meeting with somebody. And I also wanted to clear my head so that because I was still a little bit reactive to some of the things that she had said in the email, but in the meantime, we were still texting back and forth about things with the kids and sharing some of the stuff that was going on and life was happening. And I had this moment of flashback, man, what would've happened if this was back in the little house on the prairie days? And we lived some towns apart, and so we're having some kind of spat about what's happening, and we have to wait for a letter carrier to travel two, three days travel, get the letter to the other person, them to write one, send another letter back. And in the meantime, we still have to live our lives slowing down the thing and turning it into not an emergency as much as it felt like one, even email is fast, but email is slower than text message than too many people.

(17:16): They go, oh, we should email. And then they start text messaging each other, and pretty soon they've had a knockdown drag out fight with all kinds of strange emojis on text and odd combinations that nobody's come up with before just to try and get at the other person when if they would sit down in an email, it's like writing a letter and you, you're laying everything out. This is how I felt. This is what came up for me. I wasn't trying to do this, man, it seems like you think that I'm stupid or It seems like you are always looking for this. And that's what it feels, feels like on both sides. Jasmine would say some things and then I would share how I felt or what was going on there. Not that she was making me feel that way, but that was coming up for me.

(17:53): And the emails got shorter and shorter and shorter until it became abundantly clear that for one, both of us, there was an email that she sent toward the end that was, look, the only thing that I'm saying is I have to decide what I want to be with in my life and what I don't, and that isn't have anything to do with you. Even if we got separated or divorced or something like that. And she had come up with, let's say that you want to do polyamory and you wanted to just experiment with an open marriage and dating other people, she's like, that's just something that I wouldn't want to be a part of. And sleeping around with other people and as an example. And she was like, that doesn't mean that I wouldn't love you or wouldn't care for you or wouldn't want to raise our children well and have a good time, and that we still couldn't be friends.

(18:35): It just means that I don't want that in my life and I wouldn't want to have to engage with that. And that was huge for me. And then on my end where I was sending it back, and both of us, it got to the point where it was very, very clear that for some reason from the very beginning of our own marriage, both of us were worried, so worried that the other person would reject us, that we ended up only seeing each other's interactions in that way. Not only, but a lot of the times, especially when they were intense interactions that as soon as the other person responded one way, we would look at it like, oh, look, they're rejecting me again. And when both of us were actually trying to find a way to stay together, every time we were in conversation, we had stuck through all of the stuff that we've been through and continuing to, and our relationship is better than it's ever been.

(19:21): And I've said that many times. And every time I keep getting surprised by how much better it could be because of the commitment there. And yet neither of us could actually see that, hey, this is another person who wants you to be with you. And some part of that got resolved in the conversation. And was that worth the conversation? The conversation started around whether or not I wanted to explore a THC gummy to explore something that I'm still curious about exploring. And what ended out that conversation was a kind of openness and honesty between us that allowed us to see, oh my gosh, both of us have been still slightly mistaken about the other person's intentions thinking that we're on the chopping block and just waiting for them to kick us out at the next turn and waiting to be reprimanded by them and feeling like the other person is just our judge, jury and executioner still in some degree, not lower, it used to be, but still in some degree. And that got to be resolved because we had an email conversation about a substance that could be inside of a bit of gummy. And that's not how that conversation would've gone if I had just stuck to my guns and not explored what showed up in the moment. So a lot of times when I'm talking to people like, you don't need to go hunting for problems, life will present your situations, and if something comes up, you deal with it there. You don't need to go hunting for 'em, show up, show up. No worries.

(20:45): If you or someone 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 want some help doing it, head on over to the freedom specialist.com/feel better now 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.

(21:16): I think on the outset and maybe more towards the ultimate goals of what was happening with you guys, it felt like you guys were willing to make the investment almost like you're, you're making the investment to buy the ticket, to gain access to a healthy, open relationship. You guys are willing to pay the price to do that. And that's huge. That's huge, that commitment. And I think I see it all the time, and I've told you guys this several times now, but even at the retreats when we're with the guys and there's a night where she, Jasmine comes in and you guys have a very open forum conversation about anything that the guys want to talk about. And it relates to your story around pornography and all that happened there. But it's amazing that conversation's amazing, and I'm just sitting there watching it. I'm, I don't know if these guys can truly understand the gift that they're being given to see a couple be this open and vulnerable and honest about what's happening. But I also know that that didn't start at the retreat. You guys have made an investment outside of the retreat that makes that conversation possible.

(22:31): I mean, very much. And I don't think it was always a conscious investment. I would love to wave the flag and be like, look at how amazing I am and how loyal I am. And I think a lot of the reasons that I wanted to stay with Jasmine over the years was because I was afraid of being alone. I think the reasons I married Jasmine were not the greatest reasons. I was a young kid that wanted to have sex and in my religion, you couldn't do that without being married. And in order to get into heaven, you needed to be married as well. And so those were the primary drivers. And then it was like, okay, cool. I need to be married and order to have these things. Who can I marry? And then the decisions around who and what and personality and stuff kind of came to bear.

(23:13): And so I chose Jasmine, I literally did. And there was so much about her that I loved, but as a young whipper snapper, a lot of it was driven by the seat of my pants, by the front of my pants, zipper, the zipper of my pants. A lot of it was driven by fear of hell, fire and damnation and missing the boat and not getting it right. And so over the years, the investment in do we stay has been out of fear, has been out of love, has been out of just wanting to be desired. Someone has been out of honestly going like, no, this is a choice that I want. And it evolved over those years to being a kind of conscious investment that we've both made over the last several years. We're like, let's really look at this and see if we're going to stay and if we are going to stay.

(24:02): Both of us are at a point where we're too impatient. Look, if you're just not happy and you don't want to be around, let's not beat around the bush and let's just figure it out and we'll move on and have a good time and still be friends, but let's move on. But that's been an evolution, and I think that that's worth stating as well. You'll have a lot of motivations for all the things that you do in your relationship. And if you're acting out of the motivation in the moment, you can blow up something that later on you might regret and throw the baby out with a bathwater, but also there's no guaranteeing how you're going to know when or what that is. So I mean, we've stayed together, but I don't know that that's the answer for everybody. We've invested in time and energy and emotional vulnerability conversations that have been extremely difficult because both of us wanted to be heard.

(24:52): Every human wants to be heard, we want to be understood for what we are. We want to be accepted as we are. We don't get that. We're the only ones that can do that for ourselves. And so we seek it in everybody. And often in the closest people we say, I'm incomplete without you. That's not true. If you were incomplete without another person, you would be dead. But we have this, I'm depending on them in some way, shape or form to feel complete. And so some people stay, some people don't stay. We're trying to find acceptance. Everybody wants that kind of acceptance. And we invested in trying to not blow things up and try to find that acceptance there instead of going and seeking it in other places. But that doesn't mean somebody seeking it elsewhere is right or wrong. It just means that we did it this way.

(25:38): I obviously didn't hear every part of the conversation or what was going on parts that when you were on the phone that I was like, I'm just going to walk away because Bob doesn't need to have me in the background thinking, what is Lee saying? Your thinking or whatever. So I wanted to provide that space for you. And certainly I didn't read what she wrote to you in the emails, but there's times because of your reaction. I was like, dang, girlfriend went there. Like she said it. I don't know what she said, but she said was she was actually feeling, and there was this element of the courage that it takes to say it raw because there's something, and I'm just sitting here envisioning, you can keep the lie or the question or whatever. And I hate to even say darkness because it feels so religious, but vague.

(26:30): Yeah, well, it's just like there's this environment where unhealthy things can grow very well, and that takes, if we're talking a seed, you put that seed in the ground where it's dark and moist and it has all this that it needs to grow on its own and it could take its own life, but there's an element of getting it out of the secrecy, out of the vagueness where it doesn't have those things that will make it worse than it actually is. And so the courage to bring it forward to even sound like you're insane, or I know I could be wrong, but I'm going to say it anyway, because in some ways you're asking for help to say, I need to get this out. I need to have another perspective as well. But I, it felt very much a part of the conversation from my observation and sitting next to you in the truck, there was some courage to be vulnerable, to be raw, to be wrong, and also this element of I'm fighting for both of us in that

(27:42): I mean, I would say that it's a learned thing. Yeah, she went there, She went everywhere that she needed to go. And in most of our email conversations, I have tried to be the bigot person and lay things out in a very clear way that lets the other person, I can imagine you feel this, that or the other. And in some ways that's prevented me from being as raw as she was in the past. And that's changed some too, because I don't blame her for how I feel, and yet I do say, this is, wow, this what's coming up for me at the moment. But she just lays it out there, and that does take courage. It does take heart and it does take willing to look at, we don't know where this is going to go, neither nor I have any guarantee that our relationship will last, which is a funny thing to say. And a lot of people are like, well, if you're independent of other people's emotions and you don't like, if you're totally happy by yourself, then it seems like you'll eventually just kind of get rid of this wife and kids and go off on your own.

(28:44): They've seen so many other people do, but often those people are chasing acceptance in other quarters because they didn't get it from themselves, but they really didn't get it from their spouse or their partner or whoever else. And so they're looking for it in another way. And so they look at what I'm teaching or what I'm sharing with them. No, you need to understand that you're emotions come from you and no one else. They're not to blame for how you feel, nor do they get the permission to make you feel a certain way. So you become emotionally independent and they somehow think that that means that you're not invested in a relationship. But they fail to look at the life that I'm living, which is a deep investment in a lot of relationships, with a lot of people where whether it's for 10 minutes or hours or almost two decades, I'm there a hundred percent invested in what's happening in that moment.

(29:29): And if it doesn't go further, it doesn't go further. But there's no guarantee on the other end of that as well. And most people hide, and I would clothe things in different language and try gussy it up a little bit and dress it up or make it a little big or a little, hide it a little bit, darken it a little bit so that we can manipulate the relationship. And it's a manipulative play. And I would love to say that it's a virtue in me, but it's really just laziness. It has cost me my life to manipulate people. It has cost me so much of my life to want to constantly control how somebody thinks, how somebody feels, and I don't like the feeling that that takes anymore. I feel the cost. And so now in some ways it's lazy, even though it, it's courageous. It still does make the heart thump, but in some ways it's lazy. I would much prefer just looking at what's real and dealing with how it's going to play out in a very honest, open way without blame than try to manipulate the other person.

(30:31): What's interesting, I mean from my perspective, it wasn't like you guys were in a boxing ring and the bell went off, ding ding on this corner and on this corner it felt more like you both were samurais until the hunt and his people were coming at you, and together you were defending whatever it is that you have against whatever was coming against you together. You were fighting for each other against all the hoards of misconceptions and history and baggage and all those things that you were trying to work that out as a team, not in a boxing ring, but on the forefront defending one another in the process.

(31:13): Yeah, I think Chris Voss talks about that in his book. Never Split the Difference. I didn't read the book. I did his masterclass online and discussing about negotiations and high stakes negotiations stuff, and he would always say, it's the situation that's the problem, not the person. And that's ultimately what we're trying to resolve in any case is there's nothing wrong with you. There's nothing wrong with me. There's nothing wrong with Jasmine. There's nothing wrong with the kids. The minute I believe that is me suffering and I can impose a bunch of circumstances on them that can create some possibilities of suffering in them. But there's nothing wrong. We're not trying to solve the other person. Jasmine gets to stay exactly the way she is, to think exactly the way she thinks, to feel exactly the way she feels from now until the end of time if she wants.

(31:54): And all we're dealing with is you're allowed to feel that way, and I'm allowed to feel my way, but what do we do in this situation? How do we both bring our goodness to this situation and make something that both allows both of us to get what we want? So in the end, what I would tell couples about stuff, this is your job is to figure out where the two of you are headed. If you're headed in opposite directions legitimately, then maybe that means that you're going to end it. But if you're trying to head in the same direction, then the question becomes, what can we create together that allows both of us to get what we want do? Did I actually want to take a THC gummy? No. The gummy is just a gateway to an experience. What I'm looking to explore is life with gut busting, laughter and involvement and sort of a reckless abandoned into life on a deeper level than any of the calculating stuff that makes me hold back and a life where I can motivate myself to do what's needed in any moment without having to be motivated by worry or stress or anything else, but just by perception.

(32:56): It falls in line with everything I care about. Are there other ways to get there probably. And t h e was just one way. So what can we build where I get to do that? And maybe I'll look at that at some point in time in the future, but where do we build where she gets to also have some say in how her relationship goes and what interactions she has with somebody who's been like, do we have intercourse after I've had that in my system? Will that affect her system? These are large questions that she gets to have a say in, and I think they're good questions. And so what can we build together as a couple that allows both of us to get everything we want? Can we get that creative? It's a call to creativity. It's not a call to giving up or to cooperation in the sense of one person compromises or both compromise and one person wins and the other one gets resentful. Or we both get to the end of our life and we're like, yeah, I gave up everything for her and she gave up everything for me. And as a result, neither of us got what we wanted, but I promise we love each other.

(33:51): Well, I think that's important too. There wasn't any nobility in the, I'm just going to sacrifice and give this up. No, the altruistic, I don't know. We talk about this in a form podcast, but no, I don't know if it's lying or whatever. There's no falsity. You both stood in your strength and there wasn't any sacrifice in the sense of, I'm just going to lay down my life stood in that. And I appreciate that as well as a whole, it just feels like really it feels like a privilege to observe. I have my own experiences and whatnot. And to see it work, even with its rough patches or clumsiness or whatever, it's really a privilege to see it as a possibility and know that it, I'm still kind of stuck maybe that as a 54 year old virgin, I'm going to hell, but maybe, yeah, a different podcast, probably . But as an older single man who had the experiences that he had and observed marriages in a certain way, it's really refreshing. And to see two adults work this out, like I said, it's not always pretty. It's not always smooth. It's not ballet. But to see it work out and see the possibilities involved with that, it's really a gift.

(35:18): And I would think in terms of closing out, I think there's one thing that Jasmine and I are both keen on, and neither of us are interested in settling for a relationship where either party, the feeling where it's just a slight deflation where you're just slightly like, oh, that's not what I thought it was. Get all your hopes built up for a movie. And then you go to the movie and you come out, you're like, yeah, it's not as good as I thought it was going to be. And neither of us are interested in a life that is a good life, but somewhat deflating. Yeah, we're neither party can where both parties can't be a hundred percent engaged and on. And so there is that kind of commitment to both of us are really interested in we only have this life and it's not worth it to either of us to waste any moment of it running around making ourselves miserable so that another person can pretend that that's what makes them happy, when that's not really where having this comes from.

(36:13): And so in the end of it all, the reason I wanted to share this, and maybe we didn't get into huge amounts of detail about what went on, but I think there was enough there, we probably went back and forth, maybe 13 emails. It was a large email exchange, so it wasn't like we settled it in one email exchange. It was a back and forth. And each time each person would sometimes pause, sometimes have to stop and find, make a different reaction or deal with our emotional responses and then sit back and go, where do we want to go from here? And in the meantime, we were still communicating about stuff going on with the kids and sharing pictures of things that were happening, and life was still going on. And I think that that's also a really key point. Every relationship experiences, there are very few, there are some, but there are very few that are actual emergencies.

(37:02): And when we turn them into emergencies, then we end up fighting. It's for our life that's at stake instead of our circumstance. That's at stake. And that's a big difference. And when you can step back and slow everything down and e your trot your way to a solution, even when you're like, nobody cares. Even if you can say that in an email, it slows things down. So maybe for you guys, email isn't the answer. Maybe who you become pen pals and you actually write notes that would be freaking sweet or post-it notes or text messaging. But the faster the conversation goes, the more you're dealing with emotional reactions and not actual talking through the situation. This is where the mind where in the last episode we talk about the mind leading. This is where the mind gets to step back and really challenge honesty. And you need to give the mind time to do that without having going straight to an emotional reaction.

(37:56): And so you're going to have an initial heart response to the person. And then once you've finally gotten to the point where your mind has calmed down, then you can have a real conversation about it. And Jasmine, I had great conversations afterwards and some things changed in our relationship that are absolutely beautiful, and there's still a level of honesty, and it still takes some level of courage to be like, wow, I feel like something's off again. Or Let's go talk about something. And sometimes it's right and sometimes it's wrong and honing that. So it's not like that's gone away. There's two people that are still navigating a relationship, and if one person falls asleep at the or the boat starts spinning. So it does take both people continuing to be awake all the way through. So as you finish and as this week, the last couple weeks have been slightly longer podcasts, but as we finish and as you're looking at your life, I want you to take this and consider it in terms of everything that you think is an emergency right now.

(38:49): Not just relationship stuff, but with your kids. We've written emails and letters back and forth to the kids. We have slowed things down. Instead of having to resolve something, we've just taken 'em out and had a good, let's just go get a smoothie and talk about nothing, and let's not look at each other in the eye and let's like play ball. And then just chat through how we're feeling and not treat it like an emergency. Can you slow everything down that you've treated as an emergency? And recognize generally speaking, your life is not in danger. Your paycheck is generally not in danger. You are going to have food on the table of one sort, whether it's ramen noodles, , or a scrumptious meal. Your life is not actually at stake most of the time. And if you step back and you start to see that clearly and you slow everything down and get rid of the emotional response so that you can be like, what am I actually after here? What do I really care about? You could start to move forward playfully working out the kinks while also living the rest of your life. And that comes from seeing that this, it's the situation that needs to be figured out. It's not that the other person has a problem or that you are the problem or that they're the enemy, or that you are the enemy. It's just a situation.

And that's all that you have to work out. And that's it for today's Alive and Free podcast. If you enjoyed this show and want some more freedom Bombs landing in your earbuds, subscribe right now at wherever you get your podcasts from. And while you're at it, give us a rating and review. It'll help us keep delivering great stuff to you. Plus it's just nice to be nice.

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