On today's show, we talk about some heavy, heavy themes, this is not a show for kids. We're going to talk to a young woman who feels responsible for her broken relationship with her mom.
And we talk through what she can do about it. We talk to a young man who is moving away for the first time and he's not so young. And we talk to a wife who's trying to recover after her husband's suicide attempt. Stay tuned.
Hey, good folks, I'm John, and this is the Dr. John Boloney show a show for you by you about you. You're walking through life trying to figure out what to do next with your parents, with your kids, with your loved ones, with that special somebody that looks at you and gives you butterflies in your stomach or just gives you like a roaring headache.
Man, we are here to walk with you on the show. We talk about falling in love. We talk about falling out of love. We talk about loss. We talk about, I don't know, hope, sadness. We talk about people who are freaking out, man, and thinking that we're pretty soon going to be trading dog food and guns and coffee for water. It's probably not. Probably not. I want to talk for a second about where we're just coming from, and that is Black Friday, some of you are sitting at home right now, curled up under a blanket, wondering why you have a headache, because you cut covid, you cut covid, storming the Wal-Mart for eight dollars off a blender or getting in line with, I don't know, like clubs and chains trying to beat your way through to get the two for one special on hot dogs or whatever.
It was your Black Friday shopping. And now some of your keyboard warriors are listening to the podcast, hoping to get some inspiration right before Cyber Monday.
Its all time, it sounds like Terminator five, right? I don't know. How many terminators are there? Four of them.
It's like Terminator five Cyber Monday. I'm going to click my way to happiness and joy and eleven dollars off a big TV. So good job everybody. I am. I'm not golf clopping you. I've actually been practicing my collapse and I'm going to I'm going to regular clap you. Good job, Cyber Monday, folks. Here's what I want you to do.
I want you to Cyber Monday over and buy me and all my friends books here at Dave Ramsey Dotcom, buy all of our books because we do a pretty dope Cyber Monday sale and then close your computer. Close it. Listen, by all of our books, nothing says I love you. Nothing says Merry Christmas like a book about mental health issues. That's why I'm your guy. I got you, man. Ten bucks. You can look like you're caring and you're being a little snarky and you are thinking about their future and hope and you're making a statement for ten bucks.
That's incredible. So go over to Dave Ramsey Dotcom Cyber Monday sale, buy all the books and then close it and then go out and be with your friends. Dude, I wasn't even planning on pitching that man. That sounded awesome.
I should be a salesman for a living. I'm the worst salesman, James. Terrible. But whatever's going on in your heart, home or head, close your computer, go outside and see it, or give me a call at one eight four four six nine three thirty to ninety one. That's one eight four four six nine three three two nine one. Or you can go to John Boloney Dotcom show. We've got a new way of emailing in to the show.
John Delaney Dotcom Show. We've got a form there that makes it easy for you to fill out, makes it easy for us to get your information and call you back. John Delaney, dot com, let's show. Looking forward to it. All right. Let's go straight to the phones. Let's go to Chris in San Antonio, Texas. Chris, what's going on?
Hi, John. How are you? I am doing outstanding. How are you?
I'm good, thank you. Thanks for taking my call. Thank you for calling. What's up? Sure.
So my question today is, how can I deal with or better handle a difficult relationship with my mom? For several years we have been disconnected and most of that time not even speaking. My parents divorced in twenty fifteen. It was real nasty and real bitter time for all of us. Since then, the relationship between me and my mom has dissolved. I feel guilty for not having her in my life, but I'm scared or unmotivated to try again to build a relationship with her.
After so many years of confusion and anger, I'm still searching for the chapter in the book that tells me what to do next. I don't know how to set down the toxic relationship and also set down the guilt from letting her go from my life.
Hmm. Well, thank you for your trust in there. That's a lot. So take me back to this divorce.
Why did she end up on the the bum end of the divorce is her fault? Sure.
No, I wouldn't say either of them's fault, but the tension between us certainly started appearing in the years leading up to that divorce. She was she was seeing other men and she would openly talk to me about that. And while she was still married to your dad.
Yes. Oh, wow. That puts you in a wacky situation, man. That sucks. I'm sorry. How old were you?
Oh, I was 20 when all of that started. That's terrible. Man, I'm so sorry. So she's just openly cheating on your dad. Is he a good guy here?
Fault in this thing to know his just a good guy. No, no, no, no. He is everything to I say that this connection with them, unfortunately, they chose a difficult lifestyle. He was over the road truck driver. My whole childhood. My whole life. OK, so there there disconnect started with just after years and years of him being home one weekend a month. You know, I could you just of course, that leads to bad things in a marriage and they drifted apart.
And so this divorce was in 2015, you said? Yes. So five years go by. Are you not are you talking to mom, you're not talking to mom, you're avoiding her, she reaches out and you just ignore her texts. Tell me what that relationship is like.
We had chapters, so it was in twenty fifteen when divorce was happening. It was finalized Christmas of twenty fifteen. So that year we didn't speak much, but she was dating somebody and she was dating that person all of twenty sixteen. So we didn't talk much because I didn't, I didn't care for the person, I didn't care to be around the person. She lives five hours from me so for me to visit with her it was go to see her and I didn't want to see her.
And that person, why didn't she come visit you?
She I really don't know, in twenty sixteen, I'm not sure, I think she was busy with the news, the new guy, so I took a couple opportunities to go see her. But like I say, not often because I don't want to be around him. Right. And then in twenty seventeen it really broke down because my dad still lived in that city and he was in a very, very dark place, like a life or death situation.
And I saw all the flags and I jumped on it and I brought him here to San Antonio to live with me, to live with me and my fiancee at the time. Wow. To help him get on his feet, he needed to be surrounded by positivity and support. So when I did that, she called me out, said I was choosing him, I was supporting him. She would not come here to the to San Antonio while he lived in San Antonio.
And that she she would very clearly say, I'm angry at you for coming to get him and babying him and doing this for him. He should have figured it out on his own.
So your mom is really immature, huh? Yes, I like borderline brat, yes, a grown up brat. Yes, yeah, immaturity is a good adjective, yes. OK, so anybody who cares for anyone and is told you're choosing them over me, that that person doesn't get a vote in your life anymore. That's nonsense. Is just immaturity, right? That's just what what a brat.
OK, so don't talk bad about your mom too much.
So bring me to now, why do you have this this hole in your heart that you think your mom is going to fill, right?
Well, so the final so we I still I guess I felt like it was in Chapter seven, that chapter kind of came to an end. And she came back around and we started talking again in like twenty eighteen and twenty nineteen. I got married to my fiancee and that was the end of another chapter because she did not support the wedding because we weren't going to have people there. We just went to a GP and did our own thing.
And Austin and again, she's immature and even your wedding is all about her, right? So, yes, a little money.
So we didn't speak again. A few months went by. And so the final thing was the end of last year, she reached out again after months, not speaking and said, I want to see you. I want to come to San Antonio and see you. And I'm like, wow, seven years I've been here. You know, I didn't say that, but I'm thinking like seven years. I'm so excited. So I was everything nice, positive, you know?
Absolutely. I will spend time with you whenever you want to come. So she chose the weekend and she drove the five hours here. And I met her at a gas station on thirty five just so she could follow me to my house. And she had never been to San Antonio, so she got to the gas station part, walked across the lot screaming at me as she was walking across the parking lot that she couldn't do this. She couldn't be around me, she deserved better.
I was just going to treat her like my dad treated her and she was a human and she didn't deserve to be treated so poorly and got in her car and left and I presume drove the five hours back home. And we have not spoken since. And that was 14 months ago.
And so I don't know what's in your soul right now that you thought I still have an obligation to this relationship. I and I think because just the common line went well, how does your mom and I say, well, we don't speak anymore. And the response to that is always, it's your mom. You should work it out. If you only have one mother, you should you should get over it and call her and make this right.
So I want to I want to free you from that. Chris, you can't make this right. Your mom's I would even go past immature now that I've got this other piece of information, I think your mom is very immature, but it sounds like your mom's not well.
And she probably hasn't been well for a long time, and you are a prop for your mom.
You are something that she you are someone and I'm going to say some harsh stuff, OK? You are somebody in her life that she leans up against when she needs to blame, why she is where she's at, you or somebody in her life that she probably talks good about when she needs a self-esteem boost in an area with people that she associates with five hours away, wherever that is. And you are somebody that she has created a fantasy about with some thumbs up and some thumbs down.
And you can't be responsible for how she responds to you. And the hardest thing you're going to have to come to terms with is the that and you've heard me say this, the fantasy of you and your mom is over.
It's not going to be what your friends have and it's not going to be what you desperately wish it would be.
And the sooner you can wrap your head around who she truly is and who she actually is. And she is somebody who. We'll berate their daughter for saving her dad's life. She is somebody who will drive across the country. To yell in person about how awful somebody is and then turn right back. Right, she is still your mom, your friends are right. She is. And then any any stretch of the imagination reaching out and making that right is is the right thing to do.
Unfortunately for you, you're not in that situation because that connection takes two people and you are dealing with somebody who cannot receive connection. And so you could reach out, you could try to reconnect and it will always be on her terms and you will always be the beneficiary, beneficiary of whatever.
Bricks she's choosing to throw that day. And here's what really sucks. Do you have any kids yet? I do not. OK, is that in the cards for you?
No, that was why she didn't support my marriage, because I told her I was getting married. We both knew we wouldn't have kids. And she said that I needed to give her grandkids and leave.
There you go. See, you're just a prop for her. And I absolutely hate to be the one to tell you that you probably already know that. But her relationship with you is all about her. And that's not how moms are supposed to treat their daughters. That's not how dads treat their sons and all the intermixing of that as well. And that sucks for you. So the sooner you can let that go, the better if she ever does reach out to you again.
I think the hospitable and kind thing to do is to speak to her, to be nice. If you want to send her Christmas cards every year, you want to write her a letter every few months.
I think that's that's that's noble. Right? And there's distance there. And you may want to keep her up. That will give you peace of mind, because here's what I know about you in just talking to you for ten minutes. You're a good person, Chris. Here's somebody who will pick up their dad and make room in their home for him. Here's somebody who looks for signs on how to care for people. You're somebody who is always looking for reconciliation.
And that's that's I mean, if everybody lived like that, that'd be incredible. The sucky part about people who look for reconciliation all the time. Find out eventually. They not everybody searching for that. And for folks like who search for reconciliation, it's a painful life. It's the right life. And it's good. But it's painful because it's not always reciprocated. Your mom cashed out whether she meant to. She does it on purpose, whether it's been years and years of negative thinking, but all the way back to when she would bring you in on her affairs.
To put that on a kid is it's just wrong. It's absolutely wrong to put that on the child, hey, look what I'm doing to your dad. Look what I'm doing to your dad, you can't marry the guy that you love because I'm not going to get what I want out of your relationship. It's ridiculous. And, Chris, I'm sorry that your mom treated you that way. You deserved better. You did. My hope is that one day she has an awakening and calls you and rekindles that relationship.
But Chris, that's not going to be years to rekindle, might be yours to receive someday, but not rekindle.
Oh, Chris, we'll be thinking about you if you do get a note from her. If you all do reconnect, please give me a call. I love hearing stories of reconciliation and connection, and I love it when moms find their daughters. And all the moms listening to this. Your daughter's life is not about fulfillment of your fantasies. Dads, your son's life is not about the world you didn't have. Your son's Little League game is not about you reclaiming your old performance.
Mom, your son's. Are not marrying you. Dads, your daughters are not your property. They're on loan and you need to love them and teach them and instruct them and hold them accountable and empower them and teach them wonder and excitement and joy. But their lives are not for you. They're not for you. Sorry, Chris. All right, let's go to Jason in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Jason, what's up? Dr. Delaney, how are you doing?
I'm all right, my man, how are we doing? Great. Thank you for taking my call. Thank you for calling, brother. What's going on for sure?
Yeah. So I'm about to move to a new city that's roughly three hours to three hours away. And while I'm excited about starting a new job and going to a new place and moving out of my parents house for the first time away from my hometown, I'm also nervous about it. And basically, I was just looking for advice on how to kind of reestablish community friendships and stuff like that. Basically, I'm moving away to start a new job.
How old are you, man? I'm twenty seven what? Yes, Jason actually had to move out of your mom's house. Come on, man. Yeah, come on, man. Why are you still living at your mom's house at 27?
Well, so basically, I had a full time job, but I didn't really feel comfortable moving in with roommates or things like that. Why not? Why not? Why not?
Well, I said I think it was just because of the security of it in a way that I enjoyed.
And so we got to drill down in this man. I'm sorry to interrupt you. So you had a full time job. You're doing grown up things, but you liked the security of your mom's house to the point that you didn't want to have roommates, you didn't want to split the rent, you didn't want to have your own apartment. So when you say you liked the security of your mom's house, does that warm meals, does she tuck you in?
Does she sing to you at night? Like, what do you mean you like the security? No, I think it was just a thing of like I feel like I have trust issues with other folks.
And where does that come from? In all honesty, I I feel like I don't necessarily know say. Yeah. As your mom, does, your mom love having you at home? She does, yeah. Is your dad there to. He yes. What does he does he love having you live at home as an almost 30 year old man, or is he just mudar around the house just shuffling his feet in his slippers, just going.
That boy. That boy?
Or does he just kind of a ladder? Kind of a ladder? Yeah, OK.
And it was your mom, somebody who was overly involved in your life. Is this a new. Yeah, I mean, I would say my mom and I were definitely closer than me and my dad for sure. So, I mean, if you're almost 30 just now, moving out for the first time. Yeah, I mean, I guess I can see that this is going to be weird for you. Yeah, I mean, I'm excited about it.
It's just I'm nervous about it to a whole new level.
You know, what what led you to finally cut the umbilical cord and take a job three hours away?
Yeah, well, you know, it's one of those things where I felt like when I woke up on my birthday this past year, I just realized I'm 27 years old. Yeah. Yeah. Like, I don't want to be living at my parents' house forever, you know, especially when I have, like, friends of mine that have moved on with their lives. And I, I don't want to be that guy, you know.
OK, so people call my show for a hard truth, brother. So I'm just telling you, you super are that guy. You already are. OK, now you can work to become on that guy. But right now I am just telling you, you are that guy. Yeah, so until you've lived in another city or in another house and another one bedroom apartment for a year, you're that guy. OK, yeah. And so you woke up one day on your twenty seventh birthday and you just had this, like, what am I doing?
And you start applying for jobs. You got a job three hours away. What field do you work in. So I work in process management. I don't even know what that means, but it sounds like you manage process. So that's good. Now you're going three hours away. Have you already got an apartment? Already got a house. Yeah, actually, what's funny is I actually just moved the other day. Yeah. Oh, are you here all by yourself and your big boy house?
Yeah. Yeah, I was I was hit the ground here, so.
OK, so Jason, how have you been sleeping? And I'm not making I'm not making fun of me and serious. Have you been sleeping. Yeah, so I feel like I've been sleeping well. I think it's one of those things where it's like the excitement of it has kind of hit, but also it's just one of those things where I'm nervous about rebuilding a community with friends that I know fear and stuff like that. So.
Yeah, so. I'm going to do two different things here. OK, number one, OK, I've had my fun at your expense, right. And it sounds like you're good natured and you get it right that you're twenty seven. We're still living with your mom. You even woke up one day and you're like, dude, what am I doing? OK, so yeah. Now everyone listening to this, whether they are mowing the lawn, walking through Target somewhere, they are doing whatever it is they're doing and they are smiling and or laughing that there's a guy who's twenty seven who just moved out of his mom's house for the first time.
So there's that. OK, and then there's also part two here, which is the very real fear and nervousness.
And so I want to tell you, I'm high five and you I'm proud of you for making this jump, OK? And I don't want to minimize the fact that it is weird. It is hard. OK, so here's a couple of things that I had to do recently, now, I didn't move out of my mom's house. I haven't lived with my parents for a long time, for a couple of decades. But I did leave this a city I'd been in for years and years and years.
And I left friends that I met with every week for years.
And I left places where I knew the police officers by name and city leaders by name. I knew where to Plummers by name, right. I knew all. I had a community there and here's what I had to do.
I had to be hyper, hyper intentional about applying the true research to my life. OK, so here's what the research says, Jason. All right. Loneliness will kill you, literally. OK, eating unhealthy will kill you, not moving and not moving your body, not exercising, not sleeping, those things will kill you. OK, all of that starts with intentionality.
You have to put yourself in a situation where you are hyper intentional about finding friends and connection and community that could be through a local church, that could be through groups with work, that could be through going up to the YMCA and playing pickup basketball games. There's a few people on Earth or worse at basketball than me. But just put yourself in a situation where you're going to be around other people. And here's the thing I need you to remember. I want you to write this down relationship.
Start with risk, not with certainty.
So there is a 100 percent chance you're going to ask someone to go hang out and they're going to blow you off.
And that doesn't mean that you're an idiot, that doesn't mean you're a failure, that means you're just learning. That means that they don't hang out with you. Cool. And move on to the next and onto the next and onto the next relationship. Start with risk. It's always worth it, even if you're on the other end of the the negative side of risk.
Right. So you've got to be hyper intentional about making community. And that's going to be using weird things like, hey, man, we'd be my friend and laughing about it. Hey, man, let's go hang out once. Come hang out at my house, I'll pick up the tab and it's going to be especially hard during covid. Right, because some some folks have different abilities to hang out, not hang out. Can we do it outside.
Inside heading into winter is going to be tough. You can just be hyper intentional and then you're going to be hyper intentional about taking care of your your mental health, which means you're gonna have to move. You're gonna have to eat. Right. You're going to have to exercise. You're going to do have to do all those things that let you have a good night's sleep, that let you know that you're OK.
And then here's the last thing I would challenge you on.
I would be very intentional about not calling and or texting my mom every day. Yeah, I want you to set a weaning off schedule, OK, where you say I'm going to reach out, I'm going to call once a week, and that's going to push you to develop relationships and other places. And here's here's something else. It's going to push your mom to have to develop some different support networks, too, because she's probably leaned on you a long time for her own good.
She's probably given you meals way past when she should have, and she's probably encouraged you just to stay on a home way longer than she should have because it felt it it satisfy the need in her.
And you're going to have to let her go develop relationships, too, and expect her to call you a crying, I miss you. I wish you would just come home. That's not on you. That's for her to deal with, OK? Your responsibility is not making sure that she has friends and not making sure that her relational needs are met. That's her job. OK, your job is to nobly respect your mom, honor her, care for her, but not to make sure that.
She doesn't cry that she doesn't that her relational needs are met.
I've said that over and over, but so have you reached out to somebody you hung out with anybody since you landed in your Newtown? No, I haven't. OK, that's your goal for this week. OK, got it. Yes, absolutely. That's your goal for this week, is to find some way to have lunch with to hang out with, talk to them, say hi. I don't know, I don't I don't even know what you're allowed to do in whatever town you're in, the things are different all over the country, but some places got movie theaters that are open and people are going to concerts and comedy shows and other places.
It's like Siberia, right? You just can't move.
You just stay in your house all day and just walk circles around your couch.
And so I don't know what community you're in, but your job this week is to make connection with somebody.
Some group of people would probably be even better and to start making connection there. Have a backup system. That's not your mom. Have a backup system that's not your old bedroom in your old house. It's time for you to go.
I'm proud of you for making this call, even though I'm going to poke at you because you're twenty seven. I'm proud of you for waking up and realizing, oh, my gosh, I don't want to be a guy who's at 30 live in his mom's house. It's a big move, man. And get some community. Take care of yourself. All right.
Let's go to Whitney in Atlanta, Georgia. Whitney, good morning. How are we doing?
Good. How are you? Thanks for having me.
I'm good. Thank you so much for calling. So what's up?
So I am a stay at home mom of four amazing little boys. My oldest is seven and my youngest is 19 months.
Can we just stop for my hug? Can we stop? Whoa, that's a lot.
Yes, that is a lot of fun, especially during covid. Good for you. Oh, you're a hero. All right. So how can I help?
So my husband attempted suicide in September.
Hmm. Oh, my gosh. Sorry. Yeah. Thank you. It was extremely violent.
When the kids and I were home and, you know, I'm confused and angry.
And so my main question is how can I remain supportive through my confusion and my anger? And to even take it further, how could I ever trust him again or trust myself with him again? Hmm.
Wow, that's a lot. Yeah. Was it out of the blue? Has he been showing signs of depression for a long time? Walk me through what led up to this. OK, so I mean, for me, initially, before I went and did some digging, as you may understand, I was trying to look for my Y. Yeah, but for me, it looked like a really hard, quick downward spiral. OK, but I'm starting to understand that this must have been a longer path for him, right?
A longer path of depression, anxiety and probably sleep deprivation, really. But he he never seemed to be satisfied with where he was in his career and he never got the success that we had both hoped for. So about a little over three years ago, he started his own business. And in January of last year, actually, this year. So this past January, he got what I would call his big break. We were finally financially comfortable, able to do the things that we wanted.
And something happened at work starting at the end of June. I don't really know the details of it all, but I'm trying to figure that out. Hopefully it comes out more as he goes through his recovery. But I started seeing him change and he towards the end in September, he he was like a walking zombie or a shell of himself. He wasn't sleeping. He was super paranoid. And I saw this and I tried to get him help.
I actually he ended up going to an inpatient hospital and they released him in three days. So you really just kind of threw medication at him and released him and that was it. OK, and that was when he was released. He was released on Monday of Labor Day. That was Labor Day. That whole week, he I could tell nothing had changed. And he he was still in a really bad place. So I had set up an outpatient program for him to start Monday, September 14.
And on the 13th is when it happened. OK.
And when you say he survived, is he got all his faculties as he is. He recovered physically. He was in the hospital for a month and he still is whispering only a whisper. We don't know if he'll ever speak normally again, but I mean, physically, he's he's recovering. Yeah, he's he's now I actually moved mountains to get him to a facility in Florida because the Georgia mental health is a little tough. I really wanted a whole program that could he could be at for a while and really figure out what was going on.
OK, so he's he's getting the help he needs. But and I want to be supportive and I want him to get healthy. He's a good dad. He's a good person. There's not one person that will ever say anything bad about him. So this is very. Shocking. Yeah. So before we get into your heart on this deal, what did your boys see? Today, we're into this trauma to firsthand or they just in the room, obviously, when you were experiencing this and the flashing lights and all that.
Yeah, so they I mean, I'm so thankful they were outside. We were all we were supposed to go to the pool, so I was getting them ready to go to the pool outside. And I was actually having his parents come and sit with him because I saw something kind of switch in him and suddenly didn't want to go to the pool. And actually, I should probably tell you that he he started cutting himself. So two weeks prior to this happening.
And what which in him was when he changed into his bathing suit, I saw more cuts on his leg. And I kind of was like, oh, my God. Yeah. What what are you what did you do that? And I saw something switchin him. I called his parents and I was like, well, now I have to take the kids to the pool. They're so excited. They've been waiting to go, can you sit with him?
And he only went inside for a minute to put a toy on the counter. And the kids were still in the garage outside. And the second that door shut, I was like, oh, my gosh, he's he's alone. I asked my son to go scream for Daddy. Hey, come outside, come outside. And when he said he wasn't answering. Yeah, I just told my oldest, stay with stay with them. Don't move. Stay in the driveway.
And I ran inside and broke down a locked bathroom door to find him.
So I want to. Start walking again. They didn't they didn't see anything. They only saw that the emergency cars, they saw the police cars, the fire engines. Yeah. So that's all they saw.
So that's a lot. And if you haven't already, they need to have somebody that they can talk to, a registered play therapist who knows what they're doing, who can slowly integrate trauma into their life.
And they will this will play back in different ways. It differently with each one of those boys.
But I would strongly recommend you've got somebody in that community, a good play therapist, that can walk through that with them. And they pick up way, way, way more than you think they do. And the damaging thing for kids is they pick up that tension, they pick up those flashing lights, they pick up mommy's crying, they pick up Mommy's pacing back and forth, all of the adults, all the casseroles showing up and they register that they had something to do with that.
And that manifests itself in all sorts of Ping-Pong ways all throughout their life. And so we call it trauma integration. It is a part of their life. And they 100 percent can heal from it. And in fact, they can heal from it in ways that make them super resilient and a gift to anyone who runs into them for the rest of their life.
But it's got to be appropriately integrated, otherwise it will come out and all sorts of wild ways.
And so you didn't call me for for advice on them, but my head always, always goes to the children first.
They picked way more of this up than you probably think they did. And you've been doing the Lord's work trying to shield them from this and protect them from this.
But they are able to, at whatever cellular level, put together. Mommy screaming and blood and flashing lights, and Daddy's not home, and that will they will do an algorithm in their head that just doesn't add up. Right, and that they are the at the other end of that equal sign.
And so find a play therapist for them and then for you.
I don't know if anyone's told you this, and I hope they have, but if they haven't.
You saw something that nobody is supposed to see, and I'm sorry. Thank you. I'm working with someone. OK, good. You are not supposed to see that and I'm sorry that you did and I've seen too much of that and I wasn't supposed to see it.
And I'm proud of you for doing the hard work of going to see somebody, so here's a couple of things just to wrap your head around. And again, hopefully people have told you this. And so I'm telling you this and the listener here. Suicide is not something that is done by cowardly folks, right, and it's not something that somebody does to on a whim. Generally, the fact that you saw those cuts. Suggest two things, right?
Thomas Joiner's is Dr. Joiner's, one of the most extraordinary suicidology, as they call them, in the country, and he has a couple of prongs for how people can finally get to this place where they believe the world is better off without them and that they are hurting so bad. This is the only solution. Right. And that is No. One, this idea that they are lonely and not only are they lonely, but their presence is a burden to other people.
And this idea that they can actually do it. And so often cutting isn't a big deal. And it usually shocks people when I say that. But there is evidence to where sometimes cutting is people practicing the ability to hurt themselves. They are leaning into this because that's a really difficult thing for for the human body to do to itself.
Right. And I want you to know that it wasn't your fault, and in fact, he's alive because of you, right? So how do you trust him again? It's going to be a long road. And I wish there was an easy answer to that, but there's not going to be it's going to be hard for you to trust him. It's going to be hard for you to leave his and your kids with him.
It's going to be hard to fully lean up against that guy who's been fighting and clawing for his family for all these years and the good dad of your boys. It's going to be hard and it's going to be something. I want you to keep this word in your head. It's going to be something that you're going to practice. You're going to have to practice trusting. It's not something it's just going to come back magically when he gets out of his program and is medically healed and he is at least safe enough where he can go back and be at home, the next step is going to be all going to a great marriage therapist with some trauma background.
And you all are going to have to rebuild your relationship from scratch. Yeah. And you may have heard me say this on the show often this is an analogy we use with couples who've experienced infidelity when somebody cheats on somebody, but it applies here, too, and that is your old relationship is now gone.
It's going to be on different footing. And so if you think about they could never go back and get all of the glass and dust and steel and roofing tiles. That was the World Trade Center and get all that dust back and rebuild those with those original parts, what they had to do is excavate the entire thing. And then they put out a bid for a new architectural drawings and they built something that is stronger. It's able to withhold more. And for some, it's a beacon of hope that will resound in them forever.
And so what you're going to have to do is be committed to building something new, not trying to duct tape and piece together what you had, because what you had is is now been disrupted.
Right. Right. And so this is the journey you're on and it's going to be real normal for you to be angry, to be lonely. It's going to be normal for you to be super frustrated just because you're going to do bed time by yourself with those four boys. It's going to get all that stuff normal, and you've got to be real, real graceful with yourself besides having somebody that you're working with, the therapist you work with, do you have friends in your community that you can be honest, honest and vulnerable with?
Who who are walking with you?
I do, yeah, I'm lucky, really lucky. Well, you may be lucky, but you may have cultivated it, too, right, for just a time such as this. Right, right, right.
So are you in it for the long haul? Are you in it to. I mean, do you have it in you to to rebuild this thing? I don't know yet. OK, I feel like I'm in an in-between stage and I am supportive and my goal, my first goal for him is for him to get healthy. Yes, my second goal was for him to financially provide for his kids again, because we have to put food on the table and his job is gone.
So I'm having not only to deal with the kids, but sports and homework, you know. Yeah, but finances are all on my own. And then it would be, you know, he's got to be a dad again to these boys. And then it would be the marriage for me. I mean, I almost imagine that we need to co parent for a while first because I just don't like right now and I don't know how I'm going to feel six months from now, but right now I can't imagine him walking into this house and just living here again.
Why not? Because I don't like I will start looking at the kitchen knives and be like, oh my God, they're out like, oh my. Like, I just don't. I don't trust them, but but also when I'm talking to them and there is a family therapist that speaks with both of us every Monday from this facility, I speak to him and he hasn't really made any progress yet. And I know that that it's a really long road.
And for me, I'm just looking for it to be faster. But, I mean, I. So right now, I just can't imagine that he is just going to be like one day he's going to be healthy. Right now. I can't see it.
Sure. So. I don't know, every time I look at a kitchen knife to cut vegetables, I think of him now. That's right. And that's that goes back to you shouldn't have seen what you saw. Right. And that's where your healing is going to have to be a high priority for you. And what I want to tell you is if you choose to remain married to him. The way you just described the playback will have to be inverted.
Meaning he can only do the work that helps him be well. He has to be committed to being well, he has to be committed to taking care of himself. He's got to be committed to dealing with the darkness and the depression and the burdensome feelings. He's got to deal with all that. But once he comes back. He can only and you can only move forward with the co parenting, with the honoring your kids and in and through connection.
Right, and the other part of it is that when I did look for why he did this or what happened, I found out that he had been lying to me for some time. Sure. So it was it's almost like he was living a double life. So if he can't let me in and he can't be vulnerable with me and he can't, and how am I going to help them? Like how it's so we're going to work.
I want you to do a real important thing, OK? And if you get nothing out of this phone call, I want you to do a real important thing. How old? Your oldest little boy. Seven, seven. So your little boy comes in at 2:00 a.m. and says, Mommy, I don't feel good. And you're in a haze and you wake up and you're like, what, honey? And he says, Mommy, I don't feel good.
And then he just barfed all over your bed. That's growth, it's super frustrating and annoying. But you can't get mad at him because he did the only thing he could do in that moment. That he came to his mom, the one safe place that he knows. And then his body was sick. And so right now, you're you're going to wear yourself out moralizing what happened to your husband, you've got to transition that thought to my husband's sick.
And if it helps you to to imagine he was in a car wreck, if it happened, if it helps you to imagine he's got some sort of cardiovascular disease or something, so be it. But your husband's sick. He didn't do this to get at you. He didn't do this to ruin your life. No more than your seven year old son wouldn't do that just so you'd have to do extra laundry. OK, your husband sick, he's not well.
And when you get frustrated and when you get angry, it's easy to go get inside of his head and try to figure out why he did this and why he didn't do this. But the reality is he made some bad decisions on top of some messy brain chemistry, on top of probably a bunch of childhood trauma. Plus, he didn't have the tools to walk through it and reach across the aisle to you and say help. He was sick. Right, and so you are simply going to weigh yourself down, carrying around your anger at him.
It's normal, but I'm just telling you, you're going to bury yourself. He is off in a facility somewhere. It's not going to help him. He's not going to, quote, unquote, get any message from your anger and your frustration. OK, and so what I want to ask you to do today is make a commitment whether you write him an angry letter. Whether you write down my husband was sick on a piece of paper or put it on a brick.
And carry it around for a little bit and then just set that down. You carrying around, just pissed off at him for ruining everything is understandable, but it's just crushing you and that's not true, is not crushing just you. It's crushing your kids to. And that's a nonferrous, an unfair statement that I'm giving you, but I just want to give you the reality you're hurting your kids to. Put it down. Set it down. What you saw is unimaginable, what you are experiencing is unimaginable, what you are having to pivot and do.
Life was going one way in January, and all of a sudden it's going a totally different direction. Not by your hand, but in your lap. Put down your hatred and your anger and your frustration at him and your disbelief at him. He's sick. Continue to walk with people who love you, continue to walk forward with your trauma therapist. Continue to show up to those Monday family sessions and lean in as best as you can. And put the anger in the hatred down.
I would love it, Whitney, if you would call, continue to call every couple of weeks, let us know how you're doing. Let us know that therapy's going and we will continue to think about you and be in prayer for you as you walk this journey. It's going to be a long journey. And the the least amount of baggage you've got carrying with you, the better. So I'm so sorry, sucks, it sucks, it sucks.
So as we wrap up today, going to go to this song, we're going to go to the one of my favorite songs ever. And I know I say that a lot. And this time I'm actually being serious. It's off the eye and love and New Record. It's a song by The Avett Brothers.
It's called A Head Full of Doubt and a Road Full of Promise.
And it goes like this. There's a darkness upon me that's flooded in light and in the fine print, they tell me what's wrong and what's right, and it comes in black and it comes in white.
And I'm frightened by those that don't see it when nothing is owed or deserved or expected. And your life doesn't change by the man that's elected and you're loved by someone you're never rejected, decide what to be and go be it.
There was a dream and one day I could see it like a bird in a cage. I broke in and demanded that somebody free it and there was a kid with a head full of doubt. So I'll scream till I die. And the last of those bad thoughts are finally out. There was a dream and one day I could see it like a bird in a cage. I broke in and demanded that somebody free it and there was a kid with a head full of doubt.
So I'll scream till I die.
And the last of those bad thoughts are finally out. This is Dr. John wasHow.