Erik from Together Guide tells us about what keeps couples together and what brings them apart – from the perspective of a former divorce lawyer. We discuss marriage, reasons for divorce, the phases of relationships, and why conflict isn't always a bad thing.
S5E13 1000 divorces
00:00:03 - 00:05:04
The Dateable podcast is an insider's look into modern dating that the Huffington post calls one of the top ten podcast about love and sex. On each episode, we'll talk to real daters about. From sex parties to sex droughts, date fails a diaper fetishes and first moves to first loves. I'm your host Yue Xu, former dating coach turned dating sociologists. You also hear from my co host and producer Julie Krafchick as we explored this crazy dateable world.
This episode of dateable is brought to you by five hundred brunches. Five hundred branches connect like minded people with similar interests to meet in real life over brunch. You answer a questionnaire questionnaire about your interest and how you spend your time and then they'll match you in groups of six to eight at a brench spot in san francisco get a free entry into a brench now by signing up at five hundred brunches dot com and using the code date able everyone. Welcome to another episode of dateable. A show all about modern dating our guest today. His name is eric newton. He's a former divorce lawyer and he has helped. Thousands of couples decoupled so romantic through it. All he still believes in love believe it or not. He's a self proclaimed true romantic. He left his law career to help. Couples build healthy relationships and as a result he started together an online resource and guide for couples navigating through the good the bad and the ugly of relationships he also co host. The together podcasts interviewing various couples on how they make their relationships work He currently lives in san francisco with his fiance. Sometimes volunteers as marriage. Commissioner as cisco city hall has had the honor of mary more than one hundred eighty couples. So you went from decoupling people to now people for life. That's about right so you're forty two years old you're originally from boulder right okay That's deep from for calling. So we have that we have that in common colorado in common and in your form about you know where you want to talk about today you said you want explore. The intersection of conflict intimacy and truth wallow. Any topic bottles. I wanna i start with. I'm curious have you been married before. No never i was. I was working on a book. And i was thinking of calling it a thousand divorces but never married or something like that. Because i've seen all these couples break up. But i myself was never able to keep relating together for more than i know three years or so since like always always a divorce lawyer never the actual groom relationship for coming on six years. We're going steady will be married soon enough. But what are you getting married. We don't have a date just skinny time. You're basically married. You ever bring. Well i wear. I wear engagement ring a ring on my right hand. Because i just i couldn't get i was giving her engagement ring but i was like just didn't seem even somehow bought this job for twenty bucks and something to signify. So what are your general thoughts on marriage. Well big question. Think marriage is extraordinarily useful. I think it is rooted deep deep in our collective psyche I think it's really really important to the way humans understand ourselves and society and culture and relatedness. It goes back to some archetypal ideas of the union of opposites. I think it's deep deep benefits and at the same time. I don't think it's necessary. And i think it's perfectly fine and totally plausible to have an extraordinarily deep loving romantic relationship. Where you learn all kinds of things by yourself but never bothered with his institution. So i'm really agnostic as to whether people get married stay married break up. Whatever it is that people wanna do. I'm interested in is. What can people learn about themselves through the process. So why do you think marriage is necessary for you will for me. There's there's an added degree of commitment that in our culture at least it given my cultural roots you know and things are changing all the time in every single culture but in the era that i was brought up. Which wasn't that long ago. There's just something about being married. That takes commitment to another dimension and and i interview of course hundreds and hundreds of couples about this what they kind of uniformly all say is no matter how long they'd been together before marriage. There's something that shifts imperceptibly but deeply in their way of seeing themselves in their relationship when they actually do get married is it. Oh shit for life. That's one factor and it's like the first year of marriage is like the hardest theory which i don't fully understand.
00:05:04 - 00:10:06
Maybe it's because i'm not married but that's a known thing. Yeah there's that adjustment period that's just really painful. The first year is often characterized by feelings of buyer's remorse for instance the ocean. What the hell did i do. Phenomenon that you're causing harmed post-partum right exactly and people have to deal with that sort of thing at the beginning. But it's and. I think all of that is rooted in this idea. This concept of that. We've been spoon fed by media ovary years and by our parents and just by the way culture is around this union of opposites concept. How the heck are we supposed to behave in. Who are we supposed to be win. Were married and it's it's an unconscious thing so you start acting differently even though you don't know it so even if you don't have brought buyer's remorse you just could feel expectations that you need to meet or expect of your partner and that's where it becomes more tricky. Yeah absolutely welsh is done. That wraps it up. Well i have some friends who are newlyweds. And they tell me that their first year being newlyweds. It's that feeling of what's mine is his now and that's hard to get over. I could see that. I like what i would. I work towards is now have his in a way. And it's not just material things but my identity. When i've worked towards as this you know successful intelligent powerful person is now half his identity. So i find that really interesting. How did you become a divorce lawyer. Then well you know. I guess there's two answers to that one is i fell into it. I the quick answer that questions. I moved here without a job. I'd passed the bar. I didn't have any money. I didn't know what i was going to do for work. I arrived at san francisco with just enough money to rent for a month and and hung out a shingle. And the first word that came into i was divorced work but it wasn't the work that i wanted to do. I was going to be a startup lawyer. I was going to become a billionaire tech investor. And i was going to rule the world and here i was divorcing. People just talk about identity is just a match up with what i thought about myself but it kept coming in the door and then i found a mentor. Who is a celebrity divorce lawyer. And he took me under his wing. And pretty soon at this thriving practice doing acid divorces. And and i kind of wasn't what i wanted but then but then i stopped and reflect for a moment over drinks with my mentor. And he said you know nobody gets into this. There are no coincidences. You're here for a reason and truth to that. You know had some demons to earth from my parents divorce newark through to understand why conflict why anger and wild hatred you know why all the damage after two people have loved each other deeply. I think i had to swim in that for a while. So the stereotype is divorces. Are all nasty. Did you find that with your cases. Definitely not no and you know. The other thing too is a lot of people divorce themselves. I don't know what the stats aren't but it's big. It's a big percentage of people that just go through themselves. Who needs a lawyer to adults really can do it. There are some complexities. You need some help with the paperwork. Maybe you gotta figure out a defied some assets but you can do it because it legal for divorce like legalzoom. The online legalzoom help you with. Yeah if you've got fifty nine dollars hundred fifty show all the couples who saw decoupling the number one reason for divorce okay. So there's the surface reasons there's the things that people tell you. We disagreed about money or we. Sex wasn't working at the only two reasons you ever hear about his finances and sex life. Yeah it's money and sex. The two big ones you hear that there's also third parties. There's like mothers in law or best friends getting in the way also use of time like he or she is always had never makes time for me as always out doing their own thing. That kind of thing. It's the complaints. But what i was always more interested in and remain more interested in. What's below those complaints. I don't think that those complaints really the issue. I think what's really going on is that people are scapegoating. One another for their own internal suffering their own identity based pain. I think that's mostly what we do in conflict with one another and almost always what's going on people get divorced not because of their partner but because of some deep seated issues in themselves so for sure well a more neither divorcing.
00:10:06 - 00:15:02
They're they're trying to run away from their demons running away from themselves. I mean if you really think about it existential The pain that we experience is us pains. Conceptual at lives internally. It lives on this on the strata of the concept of experience. And that's really kind of all of us has. Our pain is living inside of us created by us for purpose. I think evolutionary speaking. It's there for for movement but we wallow at it in a in a way that's really unhealthy as humans and but on the flip side that that's access to personal growth. You know when one of these swamp monster starts to come out. That's your opportunity to stop and say. Whoa whoa whoa. There's obviously a grave right there. Let's dig it up. I mean. I'm getting really more a bit in my analogy. People turn to relationships to like fix. What's wrong in their live totally. So i guess it makes sense that they could get married and still have the deep seated issues that come out leader. See the okay. So this is my own personal theory about marriages. Divorces in general. When you get married you pick one person. That person may not be the best person for you. But it's called a commitment so you're committing to them for life and then throughout your life together you learn to work on those little issues in you learn to love one each other one another even more so to me. It's like it's not so much about the marriage part. It's about that journey throughout marriage of making a committing to each other. So i think if you already committed to someone for life and when you say your vows during marriage why do people still get divorce. Are they just lazy. They just give up well towards for a lot of reasons one is. They don't agree with your theory of commitment so And another one is the pain gets too deep to to to manage. And i sort of think of it as a matrix You can see. There's an x axis on the x axis is an individual person's level of commitment. Some people when they commit to marriage you hear them say things like you know committed until we're not spiritually alive which book to be perfectly honest. I'm not decrying. I think that if two people go in eyes wide open to back kind of marriage so be it. That's what they want. But you've got to be clear about where you fall on that access than the other access is kind of how much personal development worker you willing to do because no matter how committed you are your relationship. Will i don't care if you're gandhi war. I don't care if you're somebody who was massively abused as a child and hasn't recovered wherever you are on the personal development spectrum. You're gonna face pain in a relationship you will without question. Definitely challenges are coming. Don't pretend they're not so the question is can you use those as you're saying to go deeper into yourself and into your partner. Can you use that conflict which is inevitable to understand who this person. The ear in a relationship with is bat that is into the. That's what we mean when we say intimacy it's understanding who are partners really are and you're going to get there through the conflict and how do you. You can only get there through the conflict but then how you navigate through the conflict without hurting each other you one answer is you can't I think that's a cynical but probably accurate answer. You can't hurt yourself your partner. But the other one is you can have groundrules. You definitely can go into a relationship with your eyes wide open that you know this is coming and that you're here for the work you're hearing work with your partner and And and go in with support mechanisms in place. This is why personal development work In terms of therapy or relationship courses in or couples counseling or even having a clergy member who you can talk to some kind of neutral third party mechanism that you can use to get outside of your own miasma to see what's really going on. That's how you do the work. I think that's interesting too. Because i feel like people do lie on that spectrum of like how much work they're willing to out there or even aware of that needed for can do. Yeah so it's like finding that partner like you were saying with the commitment part like making sure whoever you are with also feels that way. Well that's a nice segue to my next question. Which has some would argue that. Divorces can be prevented if people chose better to begin with.
00:15:03 - 00:20:14
I know you have some interesting. I want to hear your theories. I i don't think you can have a perfect match. By definition there's no such thing as perfect. Sorry mash dot com ca like that but There are better matches than others for sure and toward in terms of ease of dealing with conflict. And you can definitely win the lottery. You meet those couples who just seem like everything's going great but let's not fool ourselves that those people are in the majority. They are in the vast vast minority. Most couples no matter what they share in public no matter what they put on instagram or facebook. They're having they're having those moments where they're wondering how the heck did i end up person those so so. I think it's important to go in knowing that you're not gonna find a perfect match but some are easier than others now. There's a spectrum of good enough and in some sense you you also can't know in advance your level of tolerance until you're in it until you've gotten past that honeymoon period right so in some sense you're rolling the dice but there are some basic things that you can do an advance. I think to make sure or to get a better understanding if you're in the right spectrum which we can go over but the point i was getting at was that once. You're in that spectrum where you've decided yet. This is good enough. Or maybe i think ryan the spectrum. I think this is gonna work. Then you make the commitment that you're talking about or you make a commitment that works for the two of you and you just dive in and you can't do the work when it comes up because it will but the problem with modern dating is the paradox of choice. There's so many out there. Some would say eric if the spectrum of good enough that's called settling i'm not willing to settle. What would you say to them that. They're being unrealistic. I mean i. I don't think you need to be in a relationship but if you want to be in a relationship you gotta be ready for those uncomfortable feelings. Sometimes sometimes it's going to present itself mediocrity sometimes. It's going to be boring sometimes. It's going to be just dry sex but you feel like best friends sometimes. It's going to be passionate angry fighting. Sometimes it can be easy street but it's going to be all of it and you gotta be ready for it to be all of it and And if you think anything else is possible you're just being naive and and you're robbing yourself of the great opportunity here because again it's not about. Life is not about resolving conflict. That's death really. The only point at which conflict is over as when there's no more you we are. We are finite beings who know ourselves by our limits. We know who we are what we're not. We experienced the sense of touch because one limitation bumps into another limitation and in its most innocuous sense. That's just a feeling it's just a sensation but push that up a degree or two becomes pain. And then cain with interpretation become suffering and then you're off to the races that that's the character of our life our life is defined by those limits and to pretend them away. You know to to numb yourself out to this pretended perfection is robbing you of what is life and egos in the way try gets in the way all the time. Well he wasn't good enough for me not good enough for me but how is is that. Just an excuse. Or how do you know when someone's not good enough for you versus someone that you really should be working harder with this one of the hardest questions to answer and And so forgive me if this is too reductionist but i think it comes down to this if the relationship is good enough to be good. It's good enough to be great now. No criticism if anybody at any moment decides not to make it. Take it to that next level because it's a lot of work but it's possible you can't get it. They're good enough to be good. It's good enough to be great. There are some relationships that are just a disaster. And that's fine. Let him go. What about the people that say like. Oh like you know you've found the right one when it's effortless. Yeah you're always check with your fiancee. I did a little. But i and i've definitely experienced that plenty of times. But an and but it's dopamine dopamine and serotonin so if you look at any of these research studies about what the brain is going through during the first phase of love. It looks something like for the first month or so verse roughly thirty days after you meet somebody that you've got chemistry for your washing. Dopamine dopamine is making me wanna to smell them up thinking about them all the time like this magical right and then phase matures.
00:20:14 - 00:25:03
Into something that is characterized by serotonin and serotonin is a little bit. More like it's honey mooney but it's less demanding lee passionate right. It's still like oh. I love this person so much. But it's mellow touch and allegedly that lasts for two three ish years depending on the character of the relationship. Two to three years can last two to three years and then it's going to be dominated primarily by oxytocin right And oxytocin is this long term attachment feeling that can be very familial very committed and very loving. But that's so passionate comfortable comfortable. I've heard some researchers say that oxytocin is mutually exclusive with Which is what which is another one of the chemicals that drives sexual passions exclusive it. I don't know if that's the case but we do know that sex tends to drop off right for a period and it usually is right around years two and three ish right and some evolutionary biologists. That's because that's just enough time for you. To procreate raise a child past infancy in kick it out into a village environment and then you go off and procreate with somebody else so that you can the gene pool so sex drive in some really twisted way is related to your level of comfort with someone. Yes and it's related to your ability in need to procreate and to keep the species moving forward you know i think our sex drive's and our feelings of love in large part owned by evolution and by us individually and we can certainly enjoy them. I mean we've hacked to these feelings and we use them for our own individual pleasure now. But let's connor cells that we are greater than we think. It's really the species that holmes much of our momentum. I want to bring this back to our listeners. Who a lot of them aren't married or even engaged but there are thinking about getting into relationships and what happens. A lotta times is that media portrays relationships as we were talking about is just like the passion and you wanna be with them all the time and it's always his honeymoon phase and set a really high unrealistic bar for relationships so when people day in today's age get to it even a glimmer of a relationship and it's not what they expected they piece out. What are immu interview so many real couple and you've met so many of them through you know who are trying to get who were trying to get divorced. What is a real relationship like. Well i mean they take all a real relationship takes every one of these characters that you're talking about but there is something that's available if you've push through that the oxytocin phase. I think you know. I think the demand to have a relationship that characterized by that initial passion. That's that's perfectly understandable. Temporary phase called youth early twenties. He's like it's fine. Enjoy the heck out of it but it also will pass. You don't have to have your relationship be dominated by those feelings are so temporary you can push into something else but what have you. Don't have that in the beginning. The what the passion in the beginning is that a doomed relationship no definitely not people get into relationships for lots of reasons and passionate isn't always the one it's nice you know. I think you probably are going well. Sex isn't the most important thing in a relationship but if it's obscene you're probably doomed if it's completely absent so you've got up you've got to work but having that there but you don't have to have that fiery. Oh my god. I can't stop touching you feeling to make work because actually what's on the other side is win win the serotonin dopamine washes away. And you have to work to find that that gives you sexual passion you have. You're getting into something much much deeper beginning. Something with lot more longevity and richer intimacy joseph cambell used to talk about something called the second marriage which he thought of as a renaissance of one's only marriage in said it happened around your twenty when couples. Now i don't think it has to take twenty years but the always said that around here. Twenty the struggle is finally gone and couples. Have this opportunity to dig into that deeper. Wellspring of intimacy. That's available underneath the easy passion underneath the drugs.
00:25:03 - 00:30:02
You know these. These neurotransmitters are just drugs. In some sense were high on the drugs of love for the beginning of our relationship. And once those who've gone and you can find out who you really with and there's and sex that comes out of that is always better. I bet but you gotta get sick. We go back to what you're about earlier about the qualities that make it easier. I know you said like we would table. Oh you i so. I just interviewed dr helen fisher. She is and she has a breakdown which she's you should probably read her book. Because i have a hard time. Always paraphrasing it. But it's just another one of these nice ways of looking at our personalities and she says it was essentially dopamine dominated people boy. I'm going to slaughter this You know looking not. Try to repeat exact theory. Let me just point you to her book your episodes with her she breaks it down to to my good but because the bigger picture for me is that it doesn't really matter what structure you used understand your personality type. It's just good to know it right. And it's good to know which types of match with yours and go for those. I kind of think even strategy will work in the sense that it's just a way for you to reflect on who you are and what you need and you can say that it's because you're a taurus. I don't care but it's way too. Yeah and. Helen fishers where she breaks down into just four categories gotta and Articulates which of them needs to be which with which the others. So it's good to just do a little bit about introspection in advance so there any personalities that are like no to work really well together. That are like rapid fire. Stay away well. One thing that dr fisher. I think is really really. Right is the dopamine. Personalities are need to be with one another sort of adventure seekers the outgoing types the ones who always onto the next big thing v with each other because if you get doping person with somebody who's a rule follower you're gonna constant conflict but i feel like the dopamine people need someone to ground them go. That's that's the truth to and say that in my relationship which works really really well but is also characterized by conflict. I'm a dopamine person and she's a serotonin person and she likes to have structure and rules and she likes to know exactly what's coming up for the next week and i kinda know what's happening until i wake up that morning until i look at my calendar and i'm always getting excited about somebody who project and we work really well because as you said she grounds me but it definitely sets up for conflict absolutely but i think it goes back to what we always talk about is that you have to know yourself first before you start seeking a real relationship. Otherwise i don't even nova dope rain percent. I think you need to know all these other characteristics about yourself and then when you get in a relationship. It's so much fun because you can go through that journey with your partner. In new reason they are. I agree but i just got to say you know the thing that i always was a little critical about this. Entire concept is that. I don't know really how much you can know yourself. I mean you know you're gonna to you got to do the best you can do. Yes introspection is examined. Life is always more worth living than the unexamined life. Absolutely no yourself do the work but also to some degree. You just have to do your relationship to try to put one foot in front of the other people change too so i think some of it's you it's like if you whoever you're along the ride with like can you guys grow together growing at different speeds because i feel like that would make a huge conflict. How do you predict that ahead of time. You can't you can't which is why everything that all the work i've done always leads me back to the same point again. Forgive me for having too much. The conflict that rises up the relationship is your opportunity. If is good enough to be good. Get into the darn thing stopped worrying about it. Just get started. Have the relationship and then use that conflict to know yourself and do the work but is there ever a line. Are there red flags in a relationship where these conflicts are too much. Get the fuck out. Everybody's sets their own You know the one that i'm supposed to say to you is physical abuse. I mean that's if that's happening. Major flying a good idea to get that said people can recover from that And they do. You can recover from infidelity. That's an easy one way. I've had so many couples on my show. Come out with the bomb that they just come through a major infidelity experienced just fine.
00:30:02 - 00:35:06
I feel like that's like when you think of couples breaking up so it's really interesting to hear that something will have had been don't have necessarily be the end if you're willing to use it. It is an extraordinary opportunity because you get to see what each person contributed to that happening. That's true because you can break it down like what caused this to happen without existed. Maybe that's why it happened. It's not just the person that cheated. Yeah so the only major red flags in a relationship would be anything that's illegal. Let's i think it like at least what i'm interpreting. It's like how you deal with this stuff. It's kind of if you're safe right danger then obvious if you're in danger get out. Yeah but if you're not endanger and you're willing to push through go for it you know when i start talking in this way i really i believe this but when i start talking in this way i i worry that. I'm suggesting that people should continue to suffer. And that's not what i'm saying here. I'm not saying if you're suffering. It's your fault and you're not doing enough work and therefore you should just stay until you can figure. I'm not saying that. I'm saying if you're suffering. It's a really really great clue to what's unresolved about your internal self. It's a really really great clue to your awakening if you will and if you want to use it for that purpose you can. It's hard work. And you gotta dig through it and you got to be active and proactive. But it's an opportunity. Well people say that about breakups to like. It's not at the same level as divorce but like people that can really get a lot out of a break-up if they use it better themselves for sure so i guess like back to your to earlier of money and sex being two things i guess we kind of covered in fidelity but how what would you say the deeper rooted issues with two of those so i i love how money and sex or so powerful so i think of sort of the two driving forces of the human experience i think of them in biological terms as procreation survival really as far as our animal selves are concerned. That's what we're here for. And then there's lots of consciousness layered on top of that and lots sort of spiritual layered on top of that art and beauty and all those wonderful pursuits. That i'm not dismissing. But at the root of who we are as physical beings we've got these two driving agendas and in our modern experience. Those two are represented by sex and money. Procreation survival and so those two issues tickle our deepest drives and therefore deepest fears really. What a fear is. Is it some sort of coded response to that. We're not doing what we're supposed to be doing survivor. Procreate and then. The fears get abstracted and becoming zaidi's may become fights and they become suffering and all the life challenges that we feel a daily basis. And so the quickest access to those two things often is how we relate to sex or money. Sex has another layer on top of that. Even which is that for some reason the way our psychology seems to be built. Humans tend to an. I'm citing research by a sex therapist. Like stand segal and others that s humans tend to take childhood wounds and traumas and in order to understand and normalize them. We sexualize them through adolescence. Which is why you get these fetishes. That people have related to some kind of related to trauma. Interesting though i i want to say. I'm not the sex researcher here. But this is one of the predominant theories about where sexual proclivities come from. Its if you think about what a sexual desire is. It's an idea it's a story. Yeah it's an abstract concept living in your head here. Does it come from and the answer not always but often is. It comes from some experience and childhood. That was painful. Got sexual is through. Adolescence and maybe became a full-blown fetish. Or maybe just came a desire but inquiring into why what we want and why we want. It is the first one of the first steps towards understanding where those traumas were childhood. And where you're paying still lives and that is the first step towards understanding who you are as an individual then right.
00:35:06 - 00:40:00
The whole can come unraveled there. So when couples get divorced or break-up face on reasons for about sex or finances those actually relate to other issues and those are just kind of surface level issue or sure. i mean. it's always a deeper stuff right And yet at the same time if your partner is going to vegas and spending all the money That you guys have in your savings account. You've got to stop that bleeding. you've just got to. You got to protect your finances. You got to protect yourself or if your partner just like refuses to have sex with you in sleeping with someone else wrote you. Don't find infidelity forgiving. Like there's some reasons that are more black and white also and there's work to do there. There's work obviously for your partner to do if they're blowing money in vegas. There's something going on if they're going to prostitutes but having sex with you. There's something going on for them. And the really deep and hard to look at work is the person who's the quote unquote victim in that situation at. A you know this is not okay to say politically correct society. But the truth is they have an opportunity to look at their own responsibility to right. And that's that's where the good work is for them. Totally it's interesting. 'cause i feel like my parents like growing up. I didn't think they had like a good relationship. But like leader in life. Now that paul. My brother. And i have left. These seemed to be doing a lot better. I do think it goes in waves over time. I feel like we. You know in this society because we're always were constantly delaying their now. Because it's all about improving yourself and finding the best person to suit you. So people are willing to spend more time to find the one and my mom always says to me. She's you know she's spent with my dad for thirty seven years. They've been married for thirty seven years. She goes just find someone and just make it work later. V afraid of divorce. You can't be afraid of marrying the wrong person. Because chances are you're going to have those thoughts anyway find someone stick to them and figure it out later. So let's talk about some takeaways. My takeaways are. I think it's really So fascinating what you're saying about. Because i thought we were just gonna talk about finances and seconds all up so how couples can reconcile those issues. But you're saying those are tied to deeper issues so it makes me think about the counseling. I mean i think a lot of couples go through counselling when it's almost a little later in in their in their relationship although binging that trend has changed finally finally people are waking up to the idea that if you want your relationship to work you got to lay the groundwork advance. I going up there early. I feel like therapies like vitamins. You should take preventative care. So people should go when their relationship is still on a high note to brian later or dot com through get on the same page with different asked my only issue with talking things through. It's it's easy to say. Yeah out the tools of talking things through these are not skills that we were taught in school. I don't know how to communicate the conflict because sometimes my emotions get in the way right until it happens. It's hypothetical them when it actually is happening. I feel like when we hear about other people's issues is so much easier to resolve for them. 'cause you're a third party but when you're actually involved in that relationship it's a lot harder to think things through logically. Yeah and you probably won't be eight. You're gonna fall on your face when it happened. So i think the thing you gotta do is forgive yourself when it does and then go practice about how to do it and start with the easy stuff. Start with getting control of your big delays. They say your lizard brain. There's some really basic tools calming yourself down. You're freaking out your you. That feeling where your vision narrows and your breath breath shortens and you want to either fight or run or your brain shuts off and you freeze like there are some really basic things you can do to slow that down so you can be rational again. Things like opening up your peripheral vision on purpose breathing. Deeply closing your eyes and imagining something. You're grateful for those. Three simple tools will get you out of your least for a moment so that you can stop and be rational. Ask wait a minute. If i love this person what should i say. yes my. my boyfriend always says this. Because i'm kind of firecracker with him and he's always like you need to approach our conflicts with love and not win the you against me. Which is what. I sometimes do. And then i'm sorry a thirty six year old woman who has always been like this independent woman and all of a sudden. I'm on a team with someone who wants me to think about him before thinking about myself. It's hard to do. It's a hard transition for me.
00:40:00 - 00:45:03
But he always says approach it with love and you'll see differently or at least think about the two of you thinking about him. Make it too hard for you to shift but thinking about the joint -ness of yeah guys as third entity. Yes is a halfway point. I think my other takeaways like go in knowing that it's gonna be work like even the best relationships gonna be work. I think we talked about earlier. Like it should feel easy like the really basic things at the beginning if they're too much work than that's not a good sign of a relationship like if someone doesn't respect you that stuff but knowing that it's not going to always be a walk in the park in that if you do love someone and you want to have all the good that comes with the relationship you need to put in that work and just on that related to that as we need to stop putting relationships on a pedestal. Yeah it's not like once you're in a relationship everything is wonderful your life us a then. You're a complete personnel. You complete me. And i complete you. It doesn't work like that. I think relationships are a stage in life. It's not an accomplishment by right and so we should stop putting it on a pedestal and point is a verb right. yeah and there is a carrot though. If you do work through this conflict moments there is a kind of peace and intimacy that's available. The good gets better yet but it never stops yet. And i think like we said to. It's like if it really gets to that point that you were unhappy like then you should leave like that is kind of like you should work as much as you can. But if he can't then that's the benefit of this society is that you're not trapped in something for life if it's really not serving you you can't you can leave But only the happiness thing is. Let's be clear about that. That's only if that's what you think is important because because happiness is collaborate to in every relationship at for a while. I mean you'll go you can. I have couples in my show that say they've been through five years of unhappiness and then they came out with kind of love and passionate. They never thought possible true. And like i was saying with my parents. Like i mean not that they were totally unhappy. But it's much better now. So i guess it's like thinking about the bigger picture to all right. We're going to do our question a day. This question comes from genevieve. Who says. I'm currently engaged the love my life and we decided to get a pre-nup some of my friends think it's strange. We're discussing divorce before we were even married. What are your thoughts. How common are prenups. These days i'd love this question. I adore so First and foremost there's a paradigm shift. That everybody i think needs to go through around the idea of pera prenups. It's not whether or not you want a pre-nup in it's not whether or not you're planning for divorce in advance. The question is do you understand the pre-nup that you already have. Because everybody already has a premium the rules of the state that you live in the country that you live in about marriage and divorce are a pre-nup pre-nup is just a bundle of rights and responsibilities. Having to do with divorce. And that's what you've already got by default the states so the question is do you want the one you have and do you understand the one that you have and so i think that when you're getting into a relationship with somebody gonna get married you owe it to your partner to understand what the rules are that you already have by default and if you like those great they they're they're actually fit for ninety five percent of people and then the other five percent one a little tweak that little tweak is a pre-nup so in state of california it's basically like fifty fifty right isn't that like how Yes and no so basically of community property which is the to earn during marriage or acquired during the marriage with some exceptions and then they're separate property which is typically acquired before marriage in california. The community property is divided fifty fifty. There's a divorce and a pre-nup tweet that and there's all sorts of exceptions having to do with real estate inheritance gifts intellectual properties issue. There are lots of little details that you should understand. If you're actually going to get married so do your research right. Surgically getting into what you're promising. It's not so much. I don't think of it in terms of what you're getting into. I think it is what you're promising. What are you actually committing to with this person that you love think also like some people say well. I don't really have any assets like it doesn't matter you just don't know what's going to happen in the future we you could be a startup founder in your kitchen right now but in like five years you could make it. Then it could be a totally different ballgame. It's certainly easier if you don't have assets but you still need to know what the rules are made again.
00:45:03 - 00:49:40
Ninety five percent of people want the d far default rules. They're pretty good. Default rules are pretty good but they're not perfect for everybody spousal support alimony which some people just think is crazy and other people think makes perfect sense. So you just got to know what you're getting into but if you've thought about it and you've talked about it and by the way the conversation around pre-nup is the perfect. I very challenging station to have money because it raises this question. Mostly you've had conversations surprise me. I had i had my mind blown. By how few people even ask the question of whether their partner wanted kids before getting much less talking about debt and income and long term plans for career like these are great questions there so fruitful. But you gotta start somewhere. Why not start with pre up. Yeah well. I think people think there's a con connotation pre-nup protecting your assets but what you're saying it's really just like ray rewriting the rules yet laws goalie. It's about understanding what is marriage for. You is marriage about the answer to what you wanna do with. Your assets says something about what you think marriages. That's what it is you know. It's money is not the only part of marriage but it's so big part. Let's not pretend it's not. The details. And the daily management the administrative elements of marriage are a huge component of marriage. Yes let's not pretend they're not there than what you what you say about what you wanna do with your assets before during and after marriage said a lot about what you think marriage is. And it's good to know your. Don't be scared of this you scared. Don't be scared. I mean you're you're you're committing to someone for life already. So why is this so scary for some people. I think we just live in a society. Where like taboo topics to talk about with someone you're in love with and these things should be taboo because you're spending and building a life with and you totally all right. We're going to wrap this up. Thank you so much erik or reminds me to come to the studio anytime you'll be wanted direct our listeners. To your podcast. That can be found at dot guide. That's right see and also you listen cisco so if people want to reach out to you they can find your contact information on your website. the website there's a contact form and email and all that stuff and i look from said talk to anybody and for anybody who wants to be a guest on our show. We love to have you as a guest. We can even anonymous. You wanna protect your identity. give us a shout out. We love to hear from you and on that note stay. Your action item for this week is to think about what a relationship really means to you. A lot of can always say all. I'm looking for relationship. I'm looking for something serious. But what does that mean to you. What are you willing to put in. What's that effort and time that you're willing to put in to make a relationship work because as we know there are no perfect relationships out there so you have to ask yourself willing to make the effort and time to make a relationship work. Also follow us on instagram. As we're about to announce details for upcoming holiday contests are handle is at dateable. Podcast already in our off season. We launched a premium series called the wife series where we dissect analyze an offer solutions to some of the most common dating conundrums. We've had some great feedback on. How actionable these episodes are so. Check it out on our website under the tab why series or you can now buy directly from items music. The most efficient way to meet new people is a combination of online. And offline five hundred. Wrenches has your offline covered connect over brunch with new friends. Come alone or bring a buddy. There's always a table. Full of friendly faces mimosas. Says an eggs benedict sign up at five hundred branches dot com and use the code date able for free entry to connect with us visit dateable. Podcasts dot com. You can also find us on facebook twitter and graham all under dateable podcasts.