Transcribe your podcast

Coming up on the Dr. John Deloney Show.


Broke up with a long-time boyfriend after 10 years, and immediately found someone, met online. We decided that we were older adults, that we just wanted to get married and just move forward. Family, friends, all freaking out. No, really? Yeah. My friend's having an intervention.


What's going on? Hey, everybody. This is John with the Dr. John Deloney Show. Talking about your mental health, your marriage, your relationships, whatever you got going on in your life, your kids, the good stuff, the tough stuff, whatever you got, I'm here to sit with you and we will figure out what the next right step is. If you want to be on the show, real people going through real challenges, it's 1-844-693-3291. Give me a call, leave a message, and we'll Holla Back Girl at you. I ain't no holla back, girl. We'll Holla Back Girl at you, and then we will get you on the show, and we'll figure out what comes next. Hey, don't forget, please, please, please run over and hit the subscribe and like button and follow us on the Instagrams at John Deloney. All those little thank yous and the likes and the subscribe, all that makes such a huge difference for everybody. Don't forget, money in marriage is coming up in October. It may be sold out by the time this thing gets out, but money marriage, go to ramsey solutions. Com/marriage and go check it out. All right, let's go out to...


Down the street, Nashville. Oh, this is Carly. I've been wanting to talk to Carly. Carly? Yes. What Because I have been wanting to talk to you. We were scheduled to talk right before the snowpocalypse out here, and we need to figure this out, right?


Absolutely, yes. I know. Noticing It snowed this in, didn't it?


Okay, so listen, I get a couple of lines of a call. That's it. I don't ever hear the message, or I don't ever get the full thing people write in. But the couple of lines I got in anticipation of our call was amazing, and then I wasn't able to talk to you. Now you went through with it, and I can't wait to hear where everything is. All right, so bring us all up to speed.


Broke up with a long-time boyfriend after 10 years, and immediately found someone, met online. We had this connection. It was just amazing. For me, being a Christian, I feel like it was- It was an AOL dial-up connection.


That's what it was. But go ahead. It was an amazing AT&T streaming connection. All right, so you connected and then- Then we decided that we were older adults, that we just wanted to get married and just move forward.


Both of us being Christians, we felt that connection through the Holy spirit, and we just knew knew that we were meant to be together. Oh, no.


Amazing. Okay. All right, go ahead. And then?


And then so family, friends, all freaked out.


No, really?


Yeah. My friends had an intervention. Good for them.


Good for them.


Yeah. I know it came from a place of love. My aunt, when we told her at Thanksgiving, was absolutely no. I had to have a strong conversation with her as well because she acts as my mom figure. My mom passed away about 18 years ago, so my aunt is my mom figure. It's just been strained, those relationships since. But far as the gentleman that I met, we did get married. I know we were supposed to talk actually right before the wedding because there's no Apocalypse. We didn't. We did get married, and things are still just a little bit weird with the friends and family, but things are off to a great start.


What's his middle name?




Where was he born?


Same small town as me.


Gross. This is like Dawson's Creek.


Yeah. We grew up probably four miles apart from each other as children and didn't know.


Oh, jeez. Yeah. Don't you ever watch Netflix? Don't you watch these murder mystery things? This is how they all start.


I know, but I did his background check the second day. I mean, I went ahead, I background checked No, you're the one that's going to murder him.


You background checked him on day two? Yeah.


Oh, yes, absolutely. Being a mental health professional, I'm in a similar field. I've already done his psycho social, just even with talking with him, seeing just for him's past relationships, how it's formed, his personality, his geniogram. I've already connected it.


I know, but you also know if you went to grad school, you know about confirmation bias. Yes, I know that. You also know that you're not supposed to do diagnostic testing and psychometric mapping of your loved ones because it makes you that person.


Yeah, I know. But I was trying to make sure that I was off to a good start. No, you weren't.


You were trying to make sure you had reason to justify this new powerful feeling after just... What happened in your tenure relationship?


We were off and on for several years. He would never commit because he wanted an open relationship, and he basically wanted to go out and sleep with people outside of our relationship. And that was never okay.


I'm just kidding. That seems to be the cool thing these days Which, jeez Louise. I don't know. That's a whole other call. Maybe we should take that call one day. All right. Have you had a moment—it's very real and honest and true—on the 10-year relationship? Have you sat in that heartbreak yet?




You probably were sitting in it for a year or two before you actually called it on the relationship. Fair?


Yeah, I was.


Or it was dead a long time ago.


Right. Okay.


Do you understand intellectually why your friends and family rushed to protect you from yourself?


I do.


All right.


Like them doing... I I'm proud that you have those types of relationships because they rushed to stop you from doing something that, statistically speaking, has a very low probability of ending in anything other than heartbreak and hurt, right?


All right.


I think your friends are honorable is what I would say. Now, does that make it any easier? You know this in relationship counseling. You always tell people, Don't say something negative about that other person because They might stay together, and they're never going to be able to forget what you said about their person, right?




All right, so here we are. You're married.




Is it blissful and wonderful?


Oh, yeah. It was awesome. We went to Vegas and did it. It was just him and I, which was awesome. Didn't have to worry about anything. So, yes, it was wonderful.


Have you reconnected with your friends and your family?


Yes. Family is a little bit still… It just feels a little forced, but I'm still just… I'm trying to close my anxiety loop with it. Then with my friends, it's still, like I said, a little bit weird, but We're continuing to get together and everything. I do need to probably just talk with them a little bit by coming up soon just to make sure that our friendship is so good.


I think it would be really special for you to sit down with them and say, Hey, I want I want to thank you all for loving and caring about me so much that you were willing to risk our friendship to protect me. Thank you.




What I did was crazy, and I still think it's right, and this is where we are. Because you're smart enough to look at the data, right? You're smart enough to... If one of your clients came in and was like, Hey, I just got out of this 10-year relationship, and I found the one on the internet. I'm pretty sure Jesus set this up. You would be like, Okay, right? I mean, that would be all of our impulse. And yet here you are. I don't know. I think that would be a good bridge back to your friend, because here's what I don't want you to do. Often couples who are together against the advice of the people in their world, you build this really tight connected bond over they don't understand. It's an awesome way to form an initial identity. You end up on an island, and eventually, you go in the bathroom after he just destroys it. You realize, he's just like, dude, like everybody else. Or then he's like, Oh, I forgot to tell you, I was engaged once, or twice, twice. A third time, she said no, and you start finding these things out, which, by the way, I've been married to the same person for 21 and a half years, and we dated for five years before that.


I still find things out. I'm like, What? She's like, Yeah, the dog. We had another dog that was orange. She's like, What? Keep your hands open. Does that make sense?


Yes, absolutely.


But I want you guys to make an effort to reach back out to those who have walked with you through chaos and chose to love you enough to say, Don't do this, don't do this. You went and did it anyway. The line I always give my friends is, I'll tell you if I think that's stupid, because you've invited me to that. Then when you do it, I'll sit with you in whatever happens next. That's where everybody is.




How can I help? I just started talking. I was so excited to talk to you because the note I got said, long-term relationship, just met somebody new on the internet, getting married today. I was going to tell you, no, but you Got it. I'll tell you now, hooray, way to go. Here we are, right?


Yeah. Well, the main thing is just making sure that I build the right foundation for our marriage going forward. You're talking about ending up on the island because of that, of isolating from my other friends. That is important. I don't want to do a trauma response bond with him.


I'm going to say something scary.




You do not know him.




You don't know him. You've seen him naked. You slept with him. You probably walked in the bathroom after he's been in there. You all went to Vegas together. Yeah. But you don't know that guy, and he doesn't know you.




I think it's opening, keeping your hands that open. Learning a bunch of facts about somebody rarely means that you know them. So keeping hands wide open. I'm going to send you a whole bunch of our Questions for Humans cards just to give you all some conversations to have that you never even thought about having. Okay. I'd recommend you all read, ask him, Here's something I just asked my wife, and I think it'd be perfect for you guys. I asked my wife. I'm going to tell you something that is embarrassing, has not It's not a lot to do with where you are, but we're going to land in a place I think would be really helpful for both of you. I think this would be helpful to everybody out there who's married, whether it's been 30 years, 20 years, or one and a half days. Here it is. I was having this imaginary conversation with myself, which I do probably too often, but I especially do every year. I thought, what are the two things that I say are the most important things in the world to me? I would tell my faith and my wife, my family.


I also then thought, how much money, to the tunes of hundreds of thousands of dollars, have I put towards my PhD work, my graduate school, my master's degree work, my bachelor's degree work? If I were to look at in the books that I read on a regular basis, the hours and hours and hours, I just read all the time. In my nerd research that I read, like the journal articles, My time and my money would tell a very different story about what's most important to me. Okay. I hired a guy who's a former theology associate dean of a theology university. He's transitioned out, and I hired him for a semester, and I said, I want you to write me a course and meet with me every week as though I'm one of your students, and we're going to do faith 101. I want to go back to the beginning and land on a place that I can articulate what this means. Then I went to my wife, and I told her what I just told you. I tell everybody in the world, the most important thing in the world to me is you. And yet I spend all my energy reading mental health books.


I don't know the books that my wife reads. I don't understand those books. I don't know the podcast she listens to. I don't read all of her short stories that she read. I asked her, I want you to make me a graduate syllabus of you. What 10 or 15 books should I read that you and I can then go on a date and we can talk about them? What they meant to me. Maybe the conversation is, this book was so terrible. I wanted to set myself on fire as I read it. Give me 10 movies. Give me 10 albums. Give me 10 podcasts and begin to... I want to get to know you, the things that influence you, the things that bring you inspiration, the things that bring you joy. She lit up, was like, Dude, I love this. Then she said, This is scary because what if you come back and say, I don't like you? I said, I'm never say it. I might say, I don't like your books. I don't like your podcast. She was like, Well, I'm not going to go to Pantera with you still. I was like, I know.


I know. It wasn't just a big ruse. But I wonder if you sat down with your brand new husband and said, Hey, let's take a graduate course in each other.


That would be neat.


Let's just read the books that made you. Let's watch the movies that made each other. Let's read the podcast. Let's listen to the sermons. Let's get to know one another I think it's cool to put on the table. We actually don't know each other. We know about each other, and man, we feel electric with feeling. As we begin to establish safety in one another, you're going to be there, you're not going to be there. You're not going to cheat on me. You tell the truth. The excitement will fade. So how do we invest in that excitement? How do we invest in Eros? How do we invest in feeling and in that That erotic energy in the house? We're going to get to really know each other really well. So set up that up as a foundation. Just call it out. We got married. We don't know each other. But I really want to get to know you. And over time, I'm going to become best friends in the world. Let's get off this island and let's go reconnect with people that we love. Hey, Carly, best of luck to you. You're my neighbor. Come by and see us anytime up here at the shop or at the studios, and call anytime.


I have a personal, for whatever reason, I have a vested interest in this thing working out. So don't blow it, Carly. I'm here to help any way we can. Hang on the line. I'm going to send you a bunch of questions for humans, and I'm going to send you Financial Peace University. The Every Dollar app so that you all can at least start your new marriage and get your finances squared away, too. And that's going to force you all into some conversations that many couples won't have with one another. Appreciate you. We'll be right back. This episode is sponsored by Better Health. Hey, it's Jeloni. Some people think relationships are going to be easy if they're going to be right. That's almost never true. Great relationships get that way because both people put in the work to make them great. Therapy can be a place to work through the challenges you face in all of your relationships, whether with friends, people at work, your romantic partner, or even how you get along with yourself. If you're thinking about starting therapy, I want you to Try Betterhelp. Because therapy isn't just for people who've experienced trauma, it's great for building skills so you can be the best version of yourself, so you can show up in those relationships and do your part to make the relationship great.


Betterhelp is completely online, so it's flexible enough to fit your schedule. Just fill out a short questionnaire to get matched with a licensed therapist, and you can switch therapist at any time for no extra cost. Find the path forward to make all of your relationships incredible. Visit betterhelp. Com/delonie today to get 10% off your first month. That's betterhelp, H-E-L-P. Com/delonie. All right, hey, we're back. Hey, listen, I put out a note, I guess, on Kelly, a few episodes ago, I mentioned, I guess by the time this comes out, it'll be about a month later. I just asked, hey, would people be interested in a nice leather bound marriage journal, strategic planning journal, the The weekly meetings? I have never received so much positive. It's been unbelievable. Yeah.


I gave you the sheet with all the tally marks. I was going to tell you today, easily since then, 40 more.


Oh, yeah. Well, I mean- That's just on email. Instagram, they just think hundreds on YouTube. Amazing. You all have spoken. We're going to get that thing out, and it's going to be incredible. My hope is it's a gift that will help transform your marriages, make them stronger, let them last, and that you'll be able to pass along to your kids so they can see it. Here's what mom and dad wrestled with. Here's who they were. Here's the things they thought were important. It will give your kids a little bit of peace as they enter into their relationships into the future. It's awesome. Thank you all for reaching out, man. It's the response. It's been overwhelming. All right, let's go out to Chicago and talk to CJ. Hey, CJ, what's up, man?


Dr. John, good to hear from you, bro. Oh, my gosh. How are you doing? What's up? How are you doing?


Dude, I'm doing great. How about you?


Hey, I'm doing good. I'm doing good. I'm talking to you, bro. Let's go. Come on now.


What's up? How can I help, man?


All right, so let me walk you through it. Let's talk. This question is going to be a sexual question in nature, just so you know, just so you're aware. In November of- Hold on.


Have you listened to this show ever before?




I think half of them are, so it's all good, man. Okay.


I just wanted to prime you so you're not caught off guard or anything. Bring it. Who can catch you off guard? Okay.


That's a tough thing to get. Yes. Go for it. Go for it.


Absolutely. Okay. So November 2022, my wife and I got married. We were Christians and virgins when we got married, and that was great. But then what happened was we quickly found out once we were married that she's super soma condition known as vaginitismusk. Yeah, of course. Sure. Do you need me to walk through what that is? You want to explain it?


No, I know. I'll say it's common, but it's… I'm trying to think the last day looks like 7% to 10%-ish or so. It's a sexual pain disorder, right? Yeah. Where there's involuntary vaginal muscle spasms that make penetration impossible or very, very difficult. Right. Yeah. Yeah, that's It also has a really high—again, this is the last I've looked, and I'm not an expert in this—but it's a really high treatment success rate off the charts. Sure.




Okay. Yeah. You all waited for this one moment, the music plays, and then, Uh-oh, my wife's in pain.


Yeah, exactly. Actually, we didn't get a chance to do any penetrative sex or anything like that at the beginning. Actually, it took us a few months to figure out what this condition actually is. But the result of that is we have not actually been able to have sexual intercourse the entirety of our marriage, John. Has she been seeking treatment? Yes. She's been doing a great job. Once we figured out that's what it was, or once we have the suspicion, she started going to the doctor She got officially diagnosed with that. Then she works with both a counselor, like a sexual psychologist, and also a physical therapist, and also a gynecologist that she works with. She has a gauntlet of doctors that she's working with, which is great.


But you're working on more than a year plus. Right. Is there something a layer deeper here?


Well, basically, John, my question for you, that leads us to now is that how can I be the best husband that I can be right now in this season while she's working through everything? Because obviously, I have my own wants and desires, which are, I think, perfectly natural and everything. I want to have a full sexual relationship with my wife, but that's just not possible right now. My question is, how can I learn to be a good husband to support and encourage her in this season while also managing my own expectations in this time.


Yeah, I don't... I mean, you're using really elevated, almost distant language as a way. Here's what it sounds like. It feels like, A, you're trying to protect yourself. A, you never, ever, ever, ever, ever want to talk bad about your wife, Which I think is noble and good. You're trying to very carefully in a very careful culture say, I'm dying over here, man. I waited my whole life to have sex with one person, and I can't do it, and I'm going crazy. I want you to know all three of those things are okay. All three of those. There's nothing wrong with you, dude. The only thing I would say is I think you're doing a pretty... Well, I would call a heroic effort, but I don't mean you're being a hero. I'm saying what you're doing is you're doing something very difficult, which is trying to keep all of this disappointment and frustration at arm's length.




In a weird, weird way, your body is going to start taking over because it's going to assume you're not getting the message at how big of a deal this is. You'll start feeling anxious, you'll start unable to sleep, you'll start getting short and snappy, and it will start this weird dance between you and your wife. Am I on to something right there?


Yeah, I think so. I don't think... It was harder in the beginning when we didn't know what it was, right? Sure. When she wasn't seeking treatment- Let's be honest.


Hey, let's be honest. It doesn't happen night one, doesn't happen night two, doesn't happen on your whole honeybed. You go to the bathroom and look in the mirror and go, Oh, no. You're not crazy, and you're not a bad guy for that. That's a scary what just happened. And imagine her. She's terrified, too, right?


Oh, sure.


It's both. Here's the challenge. Are you all sharing the grief here? Here's the hard part about this. If she, any conversation you have, any frustration, any how are things going, turn into you being treated like you're accusing her. Let me put this way. If she is feeling shame, guilt, fine. Because, of course, she wants to be a wife that has a wild, fun sexual relationship her husband. Fair. If it turns into shame, and then she blames you for it. You have to be quiet. You're learning in year one of your marriage, I need to keep my feelings to myself and shove them down as far as they'll go. Then your marriage is going to crash. If she says, Hey, I can't. For whatever reason, my body is terrified of having something from the outside come inside. It shuts the whole thing down. Is she able to go to the OB/GYN?


I can't remember exactly if there was an OB/GYN. I think it was It's more like a gynecologist type thing. The gynecologist? Yeah. That's what that is.


That's what that is. Okay. It shows what I know. It shows what I know. No, it's all good. Is she able to go through a full exam?


No, she hasn't I've been able to yet. Okay.


All right. Has she walked through... Is there any conversation about where this may have stemmed from?


In terms of in her past? No, there's no abuse history in her past or anything like that.


Is there some really heavy religiosity?


That could be the case. We both grew up as Christians and really valuing sex. But I think what the pivot is, I think in a lot of Christian culture is, sex goes from a thing that's pretty much bad to something that's great and awesome as soon as you get married. I think that's just a really hard pivot to make, basically, literally overnight.


Well, and if it becomes your identity, I'm who I am because there's a thing I don't do. Versus I am who I am because... Let me say it this way. I am strong because I do squats. Then one day you blow your knee out.


Yeah, that's every man ever.


Right. One day you blow your knee out, you can't do squats anymore, you begin to ask yourself, Oh, crap, who am I? But if you say, I'm strong because I go to the gym every day and I take care of my... I'm a good steward of my body. Then you blow your knee out and you're like, Oh, that sucks. It's the worst. You go through a dip and you go through a low run, and then you go back to the gym and you do other things. If If your identity is, I don't have sex before marriage, period. Then you do. It destroys who you are versus my identity is, I'm a good steward of my body, and I want to stay safe. Because of the way I want to keep my marriage with a particular level of wholeness and I get to choose that, dude, now we're on to something. Do you know what I'm saying? Yeah, absolutely. There's some identity. Here's the deal. She's working with the right people and is having the conversations with the professionals and working with the professionals. What I would tell you is, brother, the data, and again, it's been so long and I'm not an expert on this, but the data tells me this is a super treatable thing.


I don't want you to be like, Oh, this is forever. My next question for you is, what sex and intimacy besides penetration, what's it like? Is it rambunctuous and fun and exciting, or is the whole thing a terror shutdown?


Well, we do pretty well, John. We try to be creative and do stuff other than that, obviously, because sex is way more than just that act in and of itself. But I think sometimes what I struggle with, maybe I'm wrong, I'd love for you to tell me, but there are times for me where it just feels incomplete. There are times where I'm like, Okay, there's supposed to be something more here. You're not crazy. That's a part that I struggle with, I think, at times. Yes.


I think that struggle is okay, and the struggle is real, and the struggle... Here's where the struggle becomes not okay, when you shut it down and you lock it down, and you all are not able to talk about that struggle together.




The challenge is, Let me say it this way, and you all been married a little over a year, so let me just plant the seed in your marriage now. Secrets will destroy your marriage. It'll kill you. Okay. That means that we have to learn to hear hard things. Here's a good example.


Such as?


My wife has a book coming out. So her life has been chaotic planning the book release part. She's doing independent, not like me. I had a She's a team of one. Things have gotten chaotic, right? And we've got school. My son's going to go to high school next year. He's got the school play coming up. My daughter's got X, Y, and Z. I'm traveling all over the country. Things are chaotic. This morning, we went downstairs, and, of course, her car's got a flat tire. She cranks up the farm truck and is going to take the kids to school in the farm truck. I say, No, I'm going to drive the farm truck. You drive my nice car. She says, Okay, great. Hey, you're going to need to stop at the gas station. It's only got a quarter tank left in it. I go, Cool. That's easy. I go downstairs, and I get in the truck, and the light is on. It doesn't have a quarter tank. It has maybe to get me to the end of the driveway.


Now, she wasn't lying.


She wasn't trying to be mean. She was trying to set me up. In fact, she was trying to choose, trying to take one for the team. She just didn't... She just forgot. Or maybe the truck gets such bad gas mileage that she was running it for a long time because it's cold this morning and maybe just burn it down. Here's all this to say. I took a picture and put a smiley face and said, Quarter tank, huh? Or something like that. I made it L-O-L. A, I shouldn't have done that. B, she could have taken that as, Oh, I'm chastizing her because she felt embarrassed or ashamed. But she didn't because I wasn't chastising her. I was telling her, there's not a corner to take. There's no gasp. She wrote back, and we had a quick interaction about what comes next. Here's what I'm telling you. You're going to have to be able to say the words, not in a shame-inducing way, not in a pile-on way, not in a way to try to embarrass her, but to be able to say, I can't wait for the day that we can have intercourse, that we can have sex.


I can't wait. For her to be able to hear that and say, I'm sorry, I know I can't wait either. I'm working on it. And not immediately dump into, well, I feel bad, and it's your fault that you made me feel bad. Then you stop saying what you need and what you feel. Because right now, it's about vaginismus. Someday it's going to be about kids, someday it's going to be about meals, someday it's going to be about your work schedule, it's going to be about her work schedule, it's going to be about her promotion, whatever the thing is going to be. If you all learn early on, there's just things that I can't say to her because she can't handle it, or there's things I can't say to him because he flies off the handle, then what you do is you end up creating alternative relationships. Does that make sense? Oh, yeah. I see. You've heard me say this, but you end up two inches apart from each other on the couch, which are 2,000 miles away from each other. You all have very different people and had very different marriages. So the goal is, how can I say some of these things out loud?


I'll ask you, how How is she? How's she with the conversation?


I think, again, it's gotten better knowing that there's a way out because it's like, at the beginning, when we didn't know what it was, it was definitely like, Man, is this going to be forever?


Right. Oh, yeah. Terrifying.


Is this going to be what it's going to be like? Then started doing some digging as to what symptoms are and everything, and then there's a way out. Now that she's been going to physical therapy, now that she's been doing all these things. It's like she's gotten a lot more comfortable with having the conversation, as you say, and really opening up to what we want in the future and all these things.


Is there Are there a, and I'm not asking this in a gratuitous way. I'm asking this in an intimacy way. Sure. Are you able to participate in the physical therapy? Are you able to participate in some of those conversations?


I When you say participate, go to physical therapy or counseling with her? Yeah. Her counselor actually said, Just this last time she went, then I'm welcome to come along with her as well. Is that something that I should be doing anything?


One thousand %.


Okay. Yes.


Because what the counselor is going to do is give you all some language that you can use for one another to combat both the anxiety and the phobia and the shame and to be able to, Okay, we're going to go Maybe the first time, you get halfway and you stop. How are you going to respond? I'm going to be disappointed and I'm going to be supportive. Both things are true at the same time. I'm going to make sure that, fill in the blank, X and Y and Z. Here's our plan. Here's our extra strategy. But yeah, I think that'd be amazing. Maybe you go to counseling and you just are quiet. Maybe you go to counseling and she has to turn and say, Hey, I didn't tell you this about my childhood. Okay. Maybe she turns and looks at you and says, Hey, I didn't tell you this. But who knows? Who knows? But yes, I think if it's often a veiled invitation, Hey, the counselor said it'd be great if you wanted to come with me next time. That's her saying, Would you please come?




Yeah, I would definitely go. I would put it out there. Anytime I can come to physical therapy, anytime I can come to any of those appointments, I'll do whatever I can to get out of work and come with you. Okay. The same as if this was rehab for a knee, the same as if this was she suddenly became incontinent for a while. Mm-hmm. This is for better or worse for sickness and health. I'm going to be right here with you. Mm-hmm. This just is extra sensitive because on the back end, when everything works out, then you all got to have sex. It makes the whole thing like, I can't say that out loud. Yes, you can. You can. You can.


Yeah. Okay.


I'll tell you, your spirit's impressive. I appreciate you because it sounds like you really honor and love this woman.


Oh, yeah. With all my heart, John, we all had a picture. We both had a picture of what we thought. We wanted things to be like in terms of sex and all that stuff, especially as Christians and virgins and stuff. It just wasn't that. To be on this journey, I guess, a journey, I suppose you'd call it. It's been- Nobody wants to go on.


Nobody wants this journey. Nobody wants this adventure. No, no, absolutely.


Yes. No, no, no.


People opt in to like, let's climb Mount Everest. People did not opt into this one, right? But here you are. That's right. The only thing I'll challenge you on is to not use distancing language.




You love your wife, and man, she's a trooper. She's a brave woman. All those appointments, those things suck, dude. Having all these conversations is the worst. She, I promise- She hates the doctor.


She hates the doctor, John. Oh, man. She like, just Get another doctor. No, no, no. Just in general. Any doctor, she hates taking medicine when she has a cold. That's how she is.


It sounds like, again, I don't want to be an armchair because two or three people were moved here, but it sounds like that any foreign object entering your wife, whether it's a pill, whether it's you, whether it's anything, an OB/GYN, whether it's a tampon, whatever it happens to be, her body says no.


Yeah, that's right.


Her body says no. Yeah, that's the hard thing, too, because at the beginning, I thought it was me.


That's right. It felt like a rejection of me, right? Yes. But I know now that it's not that. C.


J, most men never get over what you just said, so I'm proud of you. That you didn't make her pain all about you. Good for you. And, dude, you can be really disappointed that you're not having sex. That sucks. It just does, right? Yeah. Both things are true. I'm proud of you. Keep with her. Keep holding her hand. As much as she is comfortable with you participating in any counseling, PT, any of that, accept that invitation and do whatever she can. But I want to challenge you both to create a world where can we say the disappointment's out loud? Can we say our frustration's out loud? Can we say the things that break our heart and make us sad out loud? The same as we're going to say the wins out loud. I know married couples who, when somebody gets a big bonus, they can't even tell their spouse because their spouse gets jealous. How can we create a world where it's okay and I know that when you say, Did you like that meal? You'd be like, It still wasn't my favorite. Have we discussed What's the best way you want to hear news that's going to be hard for you to hear?


She might say, not in the moment. She might say, Never, never tell me that ever, and be like, Well, we can't do that. She may tell you, Just give it to me, but just be kind about it. You don't have to be a jerk. Whatever the thing is, come up with that plan inside your home. Because unfortunately, I wish I could tell you, man, after this, it's just all going to work out. There's going to be challenges that hit you all all the way through. That's just the nature of marriage, the nature of all relationships: work, family, friends, romantic, all of them. For everybody else who's listening to this, if there is any sexual pain, sexual discomfort, comfort. If intimacy hurts, please, please go see somebody. Go talk to somebody. Talk to a licensed professional. You're worth that conversation. As embarrassing it might be, as hard as it might be, as uncomfortable as it might, you're worth that conversation. Go have that conversation. You're worth it. Thanks for the call, CJ. Call me anytime, brother. We'll be right back. Hey, it's Deloney. Lent is one of the cornerstones of the Christian faith, and it's got a bad rap over the years.


People think it's just like a month in a week, like 40 days of giving up a thing, like candy or alcohol or whatever, until we can get to Easter and we can finally get back to poisoning ourselves with junk food or staying up too late or whatever bad habits we tried to cut out. Lent is so, so much more than just abstaining from some vice. Lent is about entering into a season of 40 days of reflection, prayer, and yes, fasting. It's about finding meaning, purpose, discipline, and finding connection with God, and finally letting go of trying to control everything. If you've grown up in a Christian faith and you've heard about Lent and you want to jump in with both feet this year, or if you're not a person of faith and you're always wondering what your coworkers are talking about during the season, my friends at Hallow have created the 40-day Lent prayer challenge. It's going to be an incredible 40 days, meditating on the theme of surrender, and it's going to be led by Mark Wallberg. Yes, that Mark Wallberg, Jonathan Rumi, and more. There's going to be Lent theme music, stories, prayers, and even special things for your kids.


I personally am going to take on the challenge, and I hope you'll join me and millions of others across the globe. Hallow is the number one prayer app in the world. For listeners of this show, you get three free months of Hallow, all 10,000 plus prayers, meditations, music, the lecture series, all of it by going to hallo. Com/delonie. That's three free months of the app at Hallow, H-A-L-L-O-W. Com/delonie. All right, let's go out to San Antonio and talk to Veronica Mars. Hey, Veronica, what's up?




How are you doing?


I'm doing good. Thank you.


How are you? I'm doing well. Thank you for hopping on here. We had somebody cancel last minute, and I appreciate you joining us. What's up?


Well, I hope I don't come as just thinking about myself in this call, but I guess I might need some hard truth. My question is- Hold on, Veronica.


Hold Of course. Veronica, before you ask, who told you that thinking about you is bad? What? Somebody told you that just thinking about Veronica is no good.


I know. I was not expecting Who told you that? But it's just listening to the previous call, it's hard to think, Well, why am I just thinking about my perspective? So I said, I may hear some hard truth in this call, but I said we'll find out.


I think your perspective matters, but go ahead. All right, go ahead.


Go for it. Yes. I mean, it's important to me, and that's the reason why I sent this question. So my question is, should I continue to force my teenage sons to attend church. We've been having this discussion for a long time where I have to be nagging, where I have to be telling them we're going to Mass at a specific time. That's the only thing that I won't let them get out of in addition to going to school. But it's this constant battle. And there's this debate, especially with my 15-year-old son, who I think the more I push it, the more resistant they are. And I really don't want to push them away from religion or from having or finding a connection with God. But I just don't know which better way to get them closer. And I know that, well, I come from a religious family, but I have found throughout the years, especially as I'm older, that just having this church connection gives me some food for my spirit, and that has helped me so much on the hard times. So my hope for them is that whenever they're older and they're going through hard times or even now, that if they lose hope in the world, that they can just be able to say, God loves me, and reach out, have that connection.


But I'm not the message somehow. I just feel like we just keep talking about it and there's no agreement. We're not going anywhere with this.


Hey, you're not crazy. It's a great question. I promise you, millions and millions and millions of moms across the country are asking themselves that same question. So thank you for being brave. Okay. What's dad's opinion on on all this?


Well, he says, actually, yes, he supports my statement. Sometimes I've been having to call and say, Hey, can you please talk to them? Or something, right? So he supports the fact that, yes, they need to continue. Yes, they need to go. But the example shows a different way.


That's all I care about. Because your kids see you. Your boys see you. When things get tough in your life, they see you pray. They see you go to church. They see you talk to your church friends. When things go sideways in their dad's life, they do not see that. They see him turn to other things. It doesn't matter what he's saying. It matters what he's doing. I had one great psychologist I worked with as part of a practicum, and he told me, Dr. Gomez, he told me, Kids don't listen to you. They watch you. If you want a particular behavior out of your kids, if you want them to treat people with honor and dignity, If you want them to work hard, then you work hard. Then you treat people with dignity and respect. If you want your kids to believe that faith is a central part of a well-lived life, then they have to see that reflected their parents. Otherwise, it's just a thing I got to get up and go do on Sunday morning and I'm tired.




I don't like the word force, okay? But you have every right to say, if you're going to live in my house, you're going to live by my rules. In my house, on Sunday morning, we go to church. The conversation is over. We're not having the conversation anymore. It's what we do.




You're going to write me. Yes. I think it's fair to say when you're 18, you can choose to make the choices that you want to make.


When they're 18 and out of my house, because if they're still my dependents.


That's right. If they graduate high school and they decide to not go to college and they're just going to crash at mom's house, cool. Every Sunday morning, you're going to come to church with me.




You have to make peace with their growing men, and they are looking at dad as to what am I supposed to look like on a day-to-day basis. They're going to take a large... That's going to be the picture that they just naturally want to emulate. Maybe the bigger conversation is with your husband. Maybe not. Maybe that's a fruitless conversation. You may have had that a million times. But I have no data to back up what I'm about to say. This is anecdotal. But what I notice a lot is, barring some assault or a big internal trauma, what often matters for kids in their continuation of participating in faith activities, still believing, and not only just, I believe in God, but living that out, including church attendance. Often, it's congruence. Do you know what that word means?


Please expand. Congruence as far as- Basically, is my mom and dad the same person at home as they are pretending to be in this church building place? Yes. Okay, I get it.


In church, if they're sitting there and the pastor is saying, You have to ask for forgiveness, and you go home, and mom and dad never ask for forgiveness. If they go to church and they say, You have to have mercy. You have to keep your eyes open for people on the margins that society has kicked to the side, and you have to invite them into your home. Then they come home and all they hear is you making fun of people who are different than you, who have less than you, who have different ways of seeing the world than you, then it's incongruent. It doesn't match. Yes. They don't want anything to do with the The lack of congruence, the lack of things matching feels unsafe to a kid, so they opt out.




Then they just do what they see. If they see dad with a 12-pack on Saturday nights and stumbling through the morning unshaven, grabbing a cup of coffee, that's the road they're going to take. That's the map they have.


I think part of what they say is the incongruence that they see. I mean, not with the family the activity as much. I can see several areas, but with just the religion in general.


Yeah, and some of that is... I want 15 and 16 and 17, 18 and 25-year-olds. I want people to have that.




Because a lot of times churches have completely failed in that. They are incongruent. They're embarrassing and disgustingly incongruent. Yes. How often have you seen people or heard churches and you think, Are we reading the same book? They're right. They're also, by the way, faith feels really heavy to you. They're also noticing this with their politicians, and they're noticing this with their teachers Oh, definitely. It's different when you're 17 and you start to recognize a hangover, and then you see your social studies teacher come in one Monday morning, you're like, Oh, you're a person.




They're coming of age to be able to see the world, begin to slowly see the world as it really is. Picking on church, the bunch of hypocrites. That's an easy thing. That doesn't bother me when a a 14-year-old or a 16-year-old or a 25-year-old says 15 or 16 or 25-year-old things. It's okay. What I love for them is to be able to articulate it and for you to be honest. Yeah. The Bible does say they're going to know each other by how we love one another, and we are really mean to other Christians. We're awful. We are supposed to take care of widows and orphans, and we don't. Or maybe we do. Maybe we do. But I think it's being honest about those things. When your kid feels heard and they don't feel like you're a politician, trying to cover up the negative stuff and just like, Look at the good, look at the good, look at the good, then they're more willing to sit in that authenticity. Yeah, there is some evil out there. There is some folks who claim one thing and they're living completely different. You're right. There's a lot of that on both sides of the aisle.


It's just all over the place. As for me in my house, this is who we're going to be.


Yeah, I think it's a hard thing for me to set boundaries with them or rules, hard rules. This has been probably the area where I have the most hard rules them continuing to attend.


Why are you scared to love your kids with boundaries?


I don't know. I love my kids with boundaries.


The greatest gift you can give your boys is boundaries. It's the greatest gift.


Okay. I'll see it as a gift and not as- And, Veronica, I grew up four hours from you.


I grew up four hours from I know. It's hard. It's very, very hard. You feel like every time I put up a boundary, I am severing my relationship with them. You're not. You're building deep, deep roots. And 16-year-olds say 16-year-old things like, That's stupid. Oh, my. Are you freaking kidding me? They say stuff like that because they're 16. That's why as a society, we don't let them vote or buy beer because they're 16, right?


I think. It's also because it's so different than than the way I grew up, right? I would never dare to say anything back to my parents or say it's a waste of my time. I guess the change is also hard, the expectation of, How come you're pushing back so much?


Here's why kids push back because they want to see if it's going to hold. Yeah, that's true. They want to see if it's going to hold.


Well, these are persistent teenagers.


Oh, absolutely. But here's the thing. You cave a lot, don't you?


Yes. Yes. Yes, I have.


Why wouldn't they push? That's how you've trained them. And by the way, that's going to make them a lot of money when they become salesmen. I hope so. It's going to make them powerful CEOs. We can't do it. It's impossible. And they're going to be like, Nothing's impossible. That's how you trained I see a nice month. But you also have to show them there are things in relationships that I don't move on. If you're going to live in my house, I don't We go to church on Sunday. It's just how that rolls here. If you live in my house, we're going to fill in the blank, any number of things, fill in the blank there. In my house, you can swear and run your mouth out with your buddies. I can't stop you out there. In this house, we don't curse each other, period. In this house, everybody sits around the table for dinner, period. In this house, we turn the phones off at this time, period. Make those boundaries. That's so dumb. I can't even believe it's a waste of time, hypocrite. Okay, you say whatever you want. I don't care if you like me.


I need you to know that I love you and my job is to keep you safe for as long as I can in whatever way I can. So you're right on. Again, I bristle at the word force. I want to back up. I guess at the end of the day, they keep pushing and pushing. You can't force a 16-year-old into a car. He's a big kid. Physically, I cannot force you into this. I can force my eight-year-old daughter. She's little, and I've got bigger muscles than her. But boundaries are good. If they choose, I'm not getting in that car. I'm not going to church. Cool. You've chosen to to any number of consequences. I'm going to hold you accountable. You made that choice, teenager. Not me. So we're going to go. Then maybe the harder conversation is, dad, are we living on a day-to-day basis the things that we are saying we value to these kids? I know that's a tough conversation. It's really tough. Love your kid with boundaries. Be firm. Let him see, Hey, this is important to mom. Hopefully, dad gets on board, says, I'm going to start living this, too. That's tough, man.


Teenagers are tough. Hang in there, Veronica. They're lucky to have you. Put up some boundaries and hold firm. They're worth it. We'll be right back. If you're a regular listener to this show or if you're brand new, you know that one of the things we talk about all the time is your marriage. Dating relationships, trying to find that spark or trying to get that spark back, or how do you stay married and have kids or deal with money, deal with all the stress that's going on. By the way, being married in this day and age is an act of rebellion. It's hard. You're swimming upstream. And I happen to believe it's worth it. And last year, for the first time, me and my good friend, Rachel Cruz, we put on a money in marriage retreat. We invited couples from all over the planet to come into Nashville, Tennessee, and spend the weekend with us. And we had prom, we had educational sessions, we had tons of Q&A, we had some back and forth, we had couples on stage for live coaching. It was amazing. I've told everybody who will listen to me, it's the single most important event I've ever been a part of.


It was so valuable to the people in the audience that half the audience bought tickets for next year, that weekend. Everybody said, This is going to become a regular part of my life. I'm excited to announce Today that the Money in Marriage Weekend Retreat Getaway is back. This October, join Rachel, Cruz, and me for a weekend in Nashville, Tennessee. Bring all of your questions because there's Q&A. And by the way, it's not recorded. So the things that get said there stay there and things get very real. We had couples showing up last year who were on the brink of divorce, couples who found out on the ride to the marriage retreat that the other one had been stepping out on the marriage, challenges with kids, all of it. Listen, couples call me every day and say, We love each other. We just can't get on the same page about our money. We can't get on the same page about raising kids. We can't get on the same page about what we want life to look like now the kids are gone. Bring it all to Nashville. At Money and Marriage Getaway, you're going to get all of it.


You're going to get tools that you need to stay connected when you get back home to your mad house lives that we've all created for ourselves. Tickets start at 799 bucks. $800. Listen, it's All weekend, there's meals. It's an amazing getaway. And there's going to be a bunch of special guests. I promise you, I promise you, it's worth every penny, if not more. Most of the marriage retreats that go on across the country are double or triple that price. We kept it as low as possible because we want everybody to be able to go because I'm on a mission now to help marriages succeed. We do have a few VIP spots, and that's only because they open up some more. The platinum spots and all the VIP A lot of spots sold out last year, and we were like, That's ridiculous. We got to let other people in on it. Those include meet and greets and small private coaching sessions, all things. So I'd love to see you all face to face. There are a few VIP spots that they've reopened. Go to ramseysolutions. Com/getaway to get your tickets today. All right, we're back. Hey, I asked you guys to send me cool things that are happening, good stories.


So much of this show is about stuff that's and people are struggling. I asked you to send in, and you all sent some amazing stories. So new segment time called Cool Stuff That Happened.


We have it as Cool Crap That Happened.


Cool Crap That Happened. C-c-t-h. All right.


All right, let's do it. All right. Hi, John. This is Jessica from Yakima, Washington.


That was the nicest you've ever said, Hi, John. Because it was someone else's. You were pretending to be somebody else. Yeah, exactly. It's the nicest that phrase, Hi, John, has ever come out of Kelly's mouth.


I'm writing because I want to share some cool crap that happened. My bestie and I are loyal listeners, and we have had your books, and our families play questions for humans on a regular basis. Our cool crap that happened is that your show with Michael Easter really inspired us to get rucking. Our rucks came in about three weeks ago, and we have been rucking ever since. Then we got even more inspired and are now doing the Susan G. Komen Foundation 60-Mile Walk in 3 Days in November to help raise funds to fight breast cancer. Wow. From team Mother Rucker in Yakima, Washington, keep on rock until the break of dawn. Thank you for your show. We laugh, we cry, and man, do we learn a lot.


That's amazing. Look at that cool stuff. Way to go. My good buddy, man, Michael Easter. He's just out there changing the world slowly and surely. But good for you all. That's awesome.


From someone who's had breast cancer, thank you to Jessica and her friend very much.


I appreciate that. Team Mother Rucker. Isn't that awesome? Got to say that one slow. Got to say that slow. Hey, love you all. Stay out of trouble. Go to school. Bye.