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Coming up on the John Deloney show.


I think an affair will be easier for me because if it was an affair, he would be emotionally involved with someone, but because it's prostitutes. And he kept saying, he kept saying that was just a service. So I don't know what to do. I'm stuck. I cannot change my mindset.


You can at that's not true. What's going on? This is John with the Dr. John Deloney show, perhaps the greatest marriage and parenting and mental and emotional health show ever. Perhaps, perhaps. Or perhaps not even close. But hey, I'm so glad that you're with us on the show. We talk about real people going through real stuff, real hard things, real good things all across the map. If you want to be on the show talking about your marriage, your relationships, who you're dating, your mental and emotional health, whatever's going on in your life, give me a buz at 1844-693-3291 or go to John askask. And we have a couple of housekeeping things. Number one, don't forget money and marriage. Go to marriage. It's here in Nashville. It's an entire weekend. It will change your life. If your marriage is hanging on by a thread, if your marriage is pretty incredible and y'all want to, while things are healthy and good, you want to invest in this thing and see just how amazing you can make it, or if you just feel like things have been in neutral for a while, this weekend is for you.


Sex, money, communication. We're talking about everything and all of it. Lots of Q and a, lots of access. You won't leave without getting your questions answered. marriage 100% it will sell out. No question about it. If you have not, this comes out the day after Thanksgiving. When does it come out? Two days after Thanksgiving.




I'm sorry, not Thanksgiving. You know what I'm talking. Valentine's Day. Same thing.


Every time you mention a holiday, you say Thanksgiving.


Well, I like eating once a year.


You're just so thankful, is my assumption.


I'm just a grateful guy. I'm running a scam called a podcast. In a few years, they're going to be like, how do we let people get away with this? If you haven't bought a Valentine's Day gift yet, it's not too late. It may be sold out, but give it a shot. And I said in a recent episode that came out, I guess this will be a couple of weeks from now that I was going to put a PDF in the show notes that had some of the conversation starters that me and my wife use when we do our annual retreat. Didn't put it out. There it is in the YouTube show notes now. So for all 11 million of you that wrote in and was like, you're an idiot, you lie. I was born in the wrong century. I don't even know how pdfs work. But it's there now, right, Kelly? Good.


Yes, it's in there. So if you'll go back to the episode, I believe the YouTube title of it was, my boyfriend won't let me meet his kids. If you'll go back.


No, that's what you were telling me before we got on the air. That's not the title of the show.


That's the title of the entire show.


No, you were telling me that about your life.


Well, yes. My boyfriend won't let me meet his kids, which is really awkward for my husband, by the way. No. But if you'll go back to that episode and look in the show notes on YouTube, and it's already been posted in the show notes on podcast, but you'll be able to find a link to that PDF.


Very cool. And, hey, this is maybe my favorite email I've gotten a long, long time. Except for the one that Kelly, when she wrote in and said, I'm not going to be at work today. Listen to this. We got this on January 22. As I'm recording this, you haven't heard this episode, but it's coming out, and so I'm really excited about this. It says, hey, Dr. John and crew. It's Kayla. After our call, you asked me to check in and let you know if I was going to an inpatient treatment program somewhere. I just wanted to let you know I did call and found a place, and I'll be checking into it tomorrow. I wanted to thank you for your call with me and the time you spent. I'm excited to talk to the crew in 30 days with my first ship. Love, Kayla. Kayla. So proud of you. So proud of you. Feels like you can't breathe because your kids are at home, your husband's at home. This is where it all turns around for you and your family. And I'm so proud of you. I can't wait to hear the follow up, and I can't wait to see a picture of that chip, and we'll post it for so proud of you.


It's amazing. So proud of you. All right, let's roll out to go out to Sylvia in Long Island. New York. What up, Sylvia?


Hello, Dr. John. How are you?


I'm so good. How about you?


Well, I'm calling in, so I'm not so good.


What's going on?


Well, as of today, one year ago, I found out that my husband was cheating on me. And when I asked him along, he said a few months. And then I went back and check, and I found out that it's been a few years.


How old are you, Sylvia?


I'm 56.


56. And how long have you been married, hon?


37 years.


37 years?




Wow. I'm sorry.


Thank you.


And it's been a year.


It's been years of today.


Okay, so he was cheating on you for years. Tell me about what you found out.


I found out because he texted me saying where I was, because sometimes I leave work earlier than other days. And he texted me and he said that, are you home? And I said, I'm on my way home. And he said, okay, I'll be right there. But I was actually arriving home, but his answer didn't sound right. So I tracked him. And I saw the car parked near a hotel. I didn't believe it at first. I had never tracked him before.


In your gut, you knew exactly what was going on. And it kind of all made sense, right?


I felt weird that something was off. His answer was weird because usually he tells me, oh, I'm going here, I'm going there. I'm not saying he was telling me the truth back then, but now I know he's not telling me the truth back then.


And did you kind of know he was something that was off, but even back then.


I'm sorry, can you say that again.


Now that you have lived in this, and I know you've probably replayed every conversation over and over and over again.


Oh, yes. Every single scenario.


Yeah. Well, we don't need to go back. How can I help you now? It's a year to the day. How can I help you now?


I'm stuck. It changed a lot. It changed to the wonderful husband I knew all along it could be.


Who was he having an affair with?


Oh, no.


Affair prostitutes. I think an affair will be easier for me because if it was an affair, he would be emotionally involved with someone, but because it's prostitutes. And he kept saying that was just a service, but whatever.


He put you in an incredibly unsafe position.


I know. And when I found out, and I waited two days to confront him because I didn't really know how to go about this, that's the first thing I told him. That's the first thing I told him. You want to have blood work done immediately?


Yeah. Have you? Have you?




Okay, good. And you're safe?


Yes. Thank God.


Good. So I can tell you right now, as you're running through scenario after scenario after scenario all the time, you're looking for things that. Well, at least it's not that. I'm just telling you, having talked to a whole bunch of people over the years, being emotionally connected to somebody would not have made this easier. It might have been less disgusting or. It's devastating. It's devastating across the board. There's not a way to make this easy or not easy.


It is devastating, but in my mind, my mind will be easier to make a decision, I guess.


I see what you're saying. So if he had fallen in love with somebody, it would be easy for you to walk away. Okay. So it's a year later, he's singing and dance in the right way. He said he's changed. And you even acknowledge he's different now.




But you can't. Completely, 100%, you haven't come back.


I haven't. Because I'm stuck. I cannot stop thinking that's the first thing I do in the morning. That's the first thing I do before I go to sleep.


Okay. I'm going to ask you some hard questions, okay. And it's because I love you, not because I'm coming at you. Is that cool?


Four. Of course I'm here.


What is that getting you? It's solving something for you. What is it?


Maybe justifying the fact that he was such a lousy person for me throughout years.


No. What's it getting? You wake up every day and start thinking about it again. And every time he's gone, you're thinking about it again. What is that getting you? What's that protecting you from?


I don't know. Actually, I don't know. I would like to.


Okay. Brene Brown calls it dress rehearsing tragedy. You're replaying it because there's a part of you that knows this could happen again. And I'm going to keep replaying it and keep replaying it and keep replaying it. That way, when it happens again, I'm ready for it.


Well, actually, it's like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop.


That's right.


Yeah. I mean, I don't have any reason to believe he's done this since I found out.


Yeah, but you don't have any reason to believe he didn't. That's the problem. That's the hard thing about loving somebody and being in a trusting relationship. Sometimes you can't prove either way.


True. I don't know what to do. I'm stuck. I cannot change my mindset.


You can. That's not true. You can tell me. You have to be willing to get absolutely hurt again.


I have to be willing to be absolutely hurt again?


Correct. You can't put on a full suit of armor and go back into an intimate, vulnerable relationship because he'll never be able to get to your heart. And if you say he's never getting to my heart again after four decades of him doing this, never again, well, then your marriage is over. If you choose.


And he knows that. He knows if he does it again, our marriage is over.


But I think your marriage is over right now. What you haven't chosen to do is rebuild a new one.


He has not yet.


He has.


Yes, he has. And he's very frustrated because he doesn't see me improving my situation. It's very frustrated that he doesn't see me going back to be who I was.


You're never going to be who you were.


I know.


You had all your guts ripped out and you could choose to be somebody new.


I'm trying, doctor. I'm trying, but I need your help. I don't know what to do to move past this.


Every time that you open your eyes and the thought of him going up that hotel room with a strange, beautiful woman, you yell out in your home, no, I'm not having this thought. I'm not doing it. I refuse. And then you consciously bring up a memory of him doing something amazing for you because your brain wants to protect you. That's its job, is to keep you safe. And you got really hurt very badly.




And so it's going to keep looping and keep looping to protect you. It's going to make sure this doesn't happen again. It's going to make sure that when you find out, oh, by the way, this happened for 25 years instead of just a few years, which, by the way, it probably did. This probably just didn't pop up after three and a half decades. You know that. I know that. But you're choosing to stay great. You have to choose to go all in again. And that means he might hurt you again, but it also means he might not. And all relationship is a risk, all of it.


And that's the thing. I mean, he says there's no more lies now, but he lied so easily before. How can I trust him?


Yeah, you have to slowly rebuild it now, here's where people fall. It turns into a big mess. A, you stayed, and you've told him things have to be different, and they have to be different. A-B-C and D. And it sounds like.


He'S done that, actually, yes, he has done everything that I requested.


Okay, but it hasn't been enough for you.




Here's why. Because you thought he could do something to fix you on the inside. He can't. What he can do is create an environment for you to heal from the inside out.


He has done that.


Okay. You are choosing at this point, then, if you're choosing to stay and you're choosing to build a new marriage with this man, then you also have to choose to do your damnedest to not stew on these old thoughts and these old images and these old what ifs and these old. Yeah, I probably. And the old. It could happen. It could. That what those constant ruminating moments are doing to you is poisoning your home.


Yeah. And destroying me in the process.


Right. And, Sylvia, if you told me right now I want to leave him, I gave him a shot, and I can't come back, I would totally support you. I don't want you to feel like you've lost ownership of your life. What most people don't understand about infidelity, especially this long, in a marriage, is that, yes, you lose trust in him. Yes, it makes you hate everybody. But more than that, you lost trust in.


You did.


And if you don't trust you, you can't have a trustworthy relationship. You can't give something you don't have. And so you have to be honest with yourself and say, hey, did I bury my head in the sand on some of this stuff? Yeah, maybe. I knew he was coming home late, and his answers were weird. And I didn't press him on it. I just didn't think of it. And now I look back. You have to forgive yourself. Who thinks their husband of 35 years is with prostitutes? Right. That's way out there. Forgive yourself. Give yourself some.


Um. Oh, God. It's me. And I'm trying.


I know you are. Have you written Sylvia a letter and said, dear Sylvia, I love you, and we got hurt really bad, and I'm so sorry. We were deceived by the man who promised our family and me and God that he would be with us forever through sickness and health. And he went and hired prostitutes and brought them into our bed. Yeah, we were taken advantage of. We were hurt, we were lied to, and we missed it.




You got to sit in that.


I told him that it will be the right thing to do, to come out and say, and tell me if there's other things I should know. Because if something comes out later, that's going to be another huge trauma for me. But he says, no, it was just the time. I told you no. But he didn't tell me. I had to find out. I had to do research.


I know.


So it's even worse than having him come up and say, okay, we have this problem.


It's not Sylvia. I mean, it's all bad. It's all bad, it's all hard, it's all devastating. But if you're going to leave, for your sake and for his go, and if you're going to stay, and you've been very clear about what you need. I need to see your phone. I'm going to go through your emails, we're going to go through our finance receipts. Every month, every week. If you're ever five minutes late, I'm going to stay away. Whatever you need. And he's done all that. That means the next step is you have to make the choice. I'm going to start building something new, too. Every time that thought comes into your mind, a picture of him with another woman, him calling you and deceiving you, every time you start to go back and replay a phone call, say out loud, no, stop. And then you have to replace that pause with something positive. And what you're going to do over time is you're going to teach your body, not just your thoughts, your body, that he wasn't safe then, but he's safe now. I'm going to trust him again.


Yeah, that might take a little longer.


Of course it will. It'll take a long time. And there's going to be a part of you that keeps asking, what if he does this again? That's a reasonable question. What if he does this again? It's scary and it's terrifying, and the only path forward otherwise, he's an employee who clocks in and out. You can't build a marriage on that kind of relationship. If you choose to stay, you choose to stay. That doesn't mean you're not going to have flashbacks. That doesn't mean you're not going to have moments where your guts are all twisted up. That does mean I'm not going to throw it in your face. I'm not going to beat you up about it every time. If we're following the trust rebuild protocol, it's going to come up. I'm not going to jab you I'm not going to be passive aggressive. I'm back in. And if there's times that you need to say, hey, I need a break tonight, y'all had put sex on the calendar. Y'all had put a romantic night on the calendar and you just are running low and you get bombarded with images. I'm going to take tonight off.


Cool. That's fine. But also, you're going to have to decide. I'm going to begin to alter my thinking. I'm going to catch myself as that train begins to leave the station. I'm going to say out loud, no, I'm going to go walk around the block one time. I'm going to think about a time my husband did something amazing and how good I felt. The joy, the smiles. I'm going to write him a note every day that says, I see how hard you're working and I love you. I'm going to take my husband and the two of us are going to go and we're going to look out five years and say, okay, what do we want the next five years to look like? What do we want our 40th anniversary to look like three years from now? Let's reverse engineer it into right now. And what do we have to do to get there? Let's begin looking ahead. Looking that way, looking forward. But if every minute of every day you just surrender. I'm not saying this is easy. And people are going to say, I just can't do that. You can. And it sucks and it's hard and it's scary.


And some days you do it better than others, and that's okay. We're looking for overall line over a period of weeks and months. I'm not going to go through those thoughts anymore. I'm not. I'm done. I think you can, Sylvia. If you're going to be in, you got to be all in. If you're going to be out, you got to be all out. Can't ride the fence on this one. I'm so sorry that your husband blew up your marriage. So, so sorry. Hang on the line. I'm missing you. A copy of own your past, change your future. Taylor will get you hooked up. She'll get your address and mail it to you and it'll be my gift to you. I think it's a good book for both you all to read together to talk about. Okay. Everything blew up. What are some steps we can take right now? We'll be right back. This episode is sponsored by Betterhelp. Hey, it's Deloney. 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.


And 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. So 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 therapists at any time for no extra cost. Find the path forward to make all of your relationships incredible. Visit deloney today to get 10% off your first month. That's betterhelp he deloney. All right, let's go right above oklahoma and talk to Brianna in Toronto, Canada. What's up, Brianna?


Hi, Dr. John. I'm one of the original 17 listeners.


Yeah. I'm glad that you're still with us. We're down to like four now, so we're losing listeners like crazy stuff.


It's an honor to be on your show. Thanks for having me.


I appreciate it. It's like we're having a nice cup of tea on the titanic as this whole thing goes down. What's up? What's up?


Yeah, so I kind of need your help. I've been a nurse for 18 years, but I have this debilitating fear that I'm going to accidentally cause a patient harm or do something that might result in their death.


Oh, fantastic. And I say not fantastic. That isn't fantastic. Fantastic in the manifestation of this. Right. And so do you loop on this and loop and loop and loop.


It is so bad. Like when I'm looping, I can't eat, I can't sleep, and it's just really bad.


Wow. And can I make a guess? I bet you are the one of the most conscientious, graceful, amazing nurses in your whole practice, aren't you?


Well, conscientious, yes. I'd like to say the same for the other things, but yeah, I try.


I bet you're incredible.


Thank you.


No, but you have to say it out loud. If you're just like, no, really, honestly, I'm just like, a pretty good. Let's be honest, I'm not good at this job. Andrew Huberman's really good. I know where I rank on these things. Like, for you, are you one of the best nurses in your.


I. Well, to be like, this is a. I've, like, jumped into a new role thinking that I had the anxiety under control.




So I'm in a brand new role and I mean, it's like my dream job. And I plan to be the best nurse in this role as soon as I'm comfortable. But I think that's kind of where I've kind of hit a wall, because two weeks post orientation and I'm, like, spiraling again.


It comes again. That's right. Have you ever killed a patient?


No, not that. I just.


Hold on. I just realized I talk to medical people all the time. That's been most of my career. So I'm real direct. I realize to the average person listening, they're like, what? So, yeah, I just asked you that away. I would ask you that privately. You've never heard a patient?


No, not to my knowledge.


That means no, because they would have let you know, I assure you. Have you ever gotten really close?


I've made mistakes.


Have you ever almost killed somebody?




Okay, so if I was to ask you, where does this. What's your body trying to protect you from here. Because it's not your clinical work, because you've been exemplary. It's not the fear that you're not good in your peers eyes because they just promoted you.




So what's your body trying to protect you from?






I actually don't know.


How's your marriage been trying to figure this out?


Marriage is great.


How's your kids?


They're preteen kids.


How's the balance of being an amazing nurse who just got promoted into your dream job while also trying to manage. Can I have a snack? Can I have a snack? Can I have a snack? And also manage. Hey, are we having sexist tonight? Come on, it's been like two.


That's. Yeah. The juggle is. The struggle is real.


How's your finances?






Thanks to the Dave Ramsey show.


Okay, so here's what I'm getting at. Often, not always, but often, that paralyzing anxiety lands on a particular thing, and we try really hard to solve that thing. And the thing was never the issue. The issue is our body is screaming at us that we're not safe in some aspect of our life. The things aren't working and it just lands there and you have probably solved for it before and it will move to a new thing. Like maybe it was just a simple putting in a line and you finally breathed through it like you did your own miniature exposure therapy. I am putting this line in gently and calmly, and it's perfect. Good. And then it would move to something else. Did I put the heart monitor on right? Did I put it on right? I'm going to miss the heart monitor. I'm going to have to go back in. It's just going to keep moving on you. But it's because that's not ever the issue.


Well, I have noticed a trend. To be honest, when I look back at kind of periods of my life where this has kind of resurfaced, it's always when I've kind of met my stress threshold, just like in life. So you're absolutely right. So this most recent time was like I was just orientating full time for x amount of weeks, learning all this new knowledge, and then, bam, Christmas, holidays on top of that. And that's when I just kind of spiraled.


What about the holidays makes you spiral?


Well, to be honest, it was just the sheer volume of things to do. The to do list. The to do list?




I may be wrong, but I don't know if I fully believe you.




Because a really busy to do list without a lot of consequences is just a long list. But if you have parents or mom and or dad, that will really get on to you if you're not doing it right, if you have a husband who's wonderful, except when you don't make the reservation that I told, and all of a sudden you're a nine year old little girl again, getting yelled at by your dad. Do you see what I'm saying?




Sometimes holidays bring out a lot of. It's not just the list of things I got to go do, it's the consequences or the perceived consequences of what happens if I don't do all these things. I have a huge list of landscapey things that I want to do at my house, but none of it matters right now. My house isn't going to fall down. I just want to put some stuff up right. But I also. Before this evening is over, I've got to finish this show. I got to do x, I got to do y, I got to do z, I got to go pick up some flowers, and I got to meet tonight for my daughter's holiday play that got moved because of snow and ice. The consequences of me missing that are making my heartbeat run a little hotter than usual. So what am I missing?


Well, thankfully, yeah. I don't know. There's nothing that's going to come falling down. No family dynamics that are necessarily anything I'm afraid of but just not doing it right. Could it be that I just put that on myself? I don't know.


Yes. Where'd that story come from that you do it all wrong? Or maybe even a different story? There's only a right way to do this, Brianna, and you're not doing it the right way. You're like, yeah, but I'm doing it my way. My way is great and I get good grades and I'm doing it good and I'm making people happy and feel good. There's a right way. You've probably been sitting on that story for a long time, haven't you?


I have, yeah.


That story is going to kill you. I mean, it is?




You're going to stress yourself into any number of numbing behaviors that's going to allow you to not have to deal with that.


And I fear, like, I don't want to pass that on to my kids.


Yeah, totally. How old are your kids?


1411 and eight.


Okay. Do you have a daughter in the mix?


I do.


How old?


She's eleven.


Tell me about your life when you were 910 and eleven.


Wow. It was not easy. My dad, right around that time, went on disability due to kind of a work injury and my mom had to work like three jobs just to keep us afloat.


Did she have to prop up your dad's broken heart and his ego, too?




Or was that your job?


I suppose I did have. Well, I can't say anybody put that on me.


But you were a kid. Of course.


I know, but I just mean, I think. Yeah, I did internalize it that way. That it was my responsibility to take care and make sure everyone was okay.


Right. And here's the tough part. Those experiences made you an amazing nurse. And if you are really honest on both sides of the ledger, I was really hard season. And your body has a gps pin and being a 910 eleven year old little girl and you're watching a miniature version of you walk through your house every day and your body just starts sounding the alarms again and you throw two knuckleheaded boys that you have to remind every day. Will you please brush your teeth? Golly. Really? Yes. You have to do that all the time. Every day, forever? Yes. You throw all that in there?




On top of it. On top of it. So here's what we're looking for. We're looking for a magic word. And I'm not talking about. I'm talking about it's margin. But I want you to look at margin. I want you to reverse engineer margin. What does that mean? That means you and your husband sit down and look at your family calendar together and you think, I want to solve anxiety around my nursing career. We'll do that. But we're going to start by looking at your husband and saying, we've never been married with three kids that are 1411 and nine before. We've never been married when I have this fancy new job. So now we got to rebuild our marriage into something cool and awesome because it's new. It's all new. What do I need in this world, in this new marriage? Because it's different than the marriage that we both had when we got married. And I want you to look at your family calendar and my guess is you all do a lot. You all got to be a lot of places all at the same time.


You got it.


And so we're going to reverse engineer and we're going to say you and me go on the calendar first. You're smart, your husband's smart. You're compassionate and loving. Your husband's compassionate and loving. Your kids are going to be fine. So they're going to get one thing during this season after school. One, maybe two. You see what I'm saying? And we're just going to reverse engineer this thing.




And we're going to create some financial margin. If finances is good right now, cool. They may be really good. And you just need to remind your eleven year old self. Money used to be really scary and now things are different now. So when I feel that tension coming up, I had that, too. Grew up with not a lot. My life has changed. I'll put a fist in my chest and I'll say, wasn't good then, but it's okay now. We're okay now. I had a plumbing issue today that my wife called somebody and my first impulse was, dude, I was going to do that on Sunday when I get back. We're okay. We can afford that, right?


Yeah. No, that's exactly what my body does when anything comes my way.


So what we're going to do is we're going to both acknowledge that feeling and then we're going to attack it with data, with truth, with honesty. Is this keep? I have it on my desk right now. If you're watching this on YouTube, I keep a journal with me. All the time. And I write down those things. Is this true? I have time to fix the water system PVC pipe that cracked during the ice. Is this true? No, it's not. It's not. I don't have the money to pay somebody to come do this. Is that true? No, that's not true. I do. Right. And here's my promise. Mine was the monetary system was economics. And then it moved to something else. And then it moved to something else. And then I kept getting promoted, which meant I had to deal with more budgets and more people and more economic pressure and more revenue accounts and more expense accounts. And I'd get more anxious and more anxious. And then I'd get promoted again and I'd get more budget. Right? See what I'm saying? And the more I tried to solve it, the more it got spun louder and louder because my body was saying, you're missing what we're trying to tell you.


You keep trying to find the smoke, the smoke detector. We're trying to tell you that the house is on fire. Does that make sense?


It does.


Okay, hear me say this with all my heart. You're not broken. I want you to consider, what if my body's actually working really good?


That's hard in the middle of the night.


Oh, yeah, it is. But if you don't give your body a chance to stop, if you don't give your brain a chance to breathe, if you don't give yourself a chance to write down some of these stories until your head hits the pillow, it has to cycle them all out, right? And it's going to take till 02:00 a.m. To get those done, right? Think about this. Think about this. If your finances aren't good, if there's a conversation in your marriage you have to have, if we just have to come back together on our parenting stuff, if you need to write a letter to eleven year old you and let that little girl go play, she's been dealing with your dad for 40 years. Let her go play. Then your body would be failing you if it let you sleep all night.




Right? And so it's actually doing its job by waking you up every night. Now when I wake up at 02:00 a.m.. I smile and go, what are you getting me up for? Because it's not doing it to be mean. Your body also knows how desperate you need sleep, but right now it thinks it's going to die. Well, let's go figure out why you think you're going to die. Buddy. Finances now we're good time with friends. When's the last time a friend called you to come have dinner and you went and just hung out?


Yeah, not too long ago. You know what? I've been prioritizing many of those things and honestly, thanks to the advice you.


Give on your show, awesome.


To help put things in perspective.


So do this for me. Hang on the line. I'm going to send you a copy of building a non anxious life. I want you to get online. I want you to go to John and take the anxiety test. Okay. I want you to take it and it will at least it's not a diagnostic tool in any sort, but it will give you a direction. It will point you like an arrow towards. Look here, see if this particular part of my life is out of whack or if my body's trying to get my attention here. The results we've had people come in, it's blown me away. It's turned out to be a better tool than I thought it was going to be coming out of the gate. Go check that out. I think it's John test or anxiety test, something like that. But google that and you can find it. Check that out. But I want you and your husband to sit down together and ask yourself, okay, what if my body's telling me the truth or if I'm not safe somewhere or it's at least identified some places where I'm not safe? What could those be?


And it may be as simple as you writing a letter to your eleven year old self. It may be reading it to your eleven year old daughter because she's not you. You had it really hard. You've worked really hard so that she doesn't have that same experience. Maybe it's time to let her go. Play all that told. You're a pretty amazing woman. You're pretty amazing. Head directly in to the alarms, to that anxiety, directly into it. Even when it's scary, even when it's terrifying, even when you think you can't. Those healings on the other side, whatever that alarm is trying to get you to run from. We'll be right back. All right, let's go out to Dayton, Ohio and talk to Greg.




What's up, Greg?


Hello, John. I'm a time fan and I knew you would spell my name after that many episodes.


Very cool. What's up, man?




I know what you're going to say to me because I've listened a long time, but I just need to hear it. I'm about six months into a divorce. It's pretty much amicable, but then we're living under the same roof, which is why. Finances, mostly.


No. Why?


Okay, that's a lie.


I know it is. Why are you still there?


Okay. We have an 18 year old daughter, and she's leaving for college. And so I'm getting closer to moving out, but I haven't wanted to because I haven't wanted to lose daily contact with her.


I totally get her and things like that. But if you and your wife have come this far and decided to get divorced, your house is filled with poison gas.




And your daughter's breathing that gas. Why are you still there? Is this not amicable?


It is. We just avoid the heck out of each other. We communicate through email and spreadsheets.


You live in the same house. Why?




Well, what happened?


Okay, the big crux of the issue has been paying for college. My daughter.


Hold on, hold on. That's why you all got divorced?




Why'd you get divorced?


She just said she doesn't need me. She doesn't want me anymore. She doesn't want to be married anymore, that we went to marital therapy, and she said she did not want anything to do with me anymore.


So this is not amicable? The love of your life has said I don't want you?




Why won't you say that?


I can't say.


I know. I'm so sorry, man. I'm so sorry. And so right now, you feel like if you walk out that door, you lose everybody, right? God, man. I'm so sorry, dude. The sucky part of it is, and by staying, you're assuring that you're going to lose it all. Well.


I value my relationship with my daughter.


I know. And I know. Are you a good dad?


For a while, I thought I could win my wife back. I could prove myself back, and that hasn't worked. So I felt like the win win was sleeping in the basement. We've done this for about five months now. I get brief interactions with my daughter when she comes home, and I save money.


And those brief interactions are just little bitty gulps of oxygen because you're sitting at the bottom of the ocean and your tank is out.




Will your daughter go have dinner with you once a week? Will she be with you? Or she doesn't want anything to do with you either? No, she just caught in the middle of two adults, acting like crazy.


She's very nice to me. The issue was this college that she wants to go to, an out of state school, whereas we had kind of budgeted for an in state school. And I'm saying no. And my wife is saying, this is now her dream, to provide this for her. It's going to be four or five times the cost of what we could pay, what we can afford.




And so I feel like my wife, she's liquidating our marriage to pay for college. We're essentially buying a Ferrari when we have a Toyota in the garage. So that's what kind of broke everything. Now, were there issues before this? Yes, but maybe I wasn't willing to see those.


And you think it's irreparable? You think it's over?


It's definitely irreparable.


Is the divorce final yet?


It's not. We're wrangling through lawyers.


I thought you said it was amicable. Why are you dealing with lawyers?


Well, okay, true. I mean, we're arguing over money. It's amicable in that we're not shouting at each other, dude, but we are.


Assassins don't say anything, brother.


I'm sorry.


Assassins don't say anything. They just kill you. Yeah. I hear a man who is quietly, with less and less fight in him, dying right before my very eyes.




Is paying five x for a school over. Is going to a fancy private school out of state that you got to sell everything for to send your kid there when you have the money for an in state college. Does that make good sense? No. Is that worth dying over? No. You're in that weird gray area, but you're getting really close to when you can't tell your adult kids what to do anymore. You have to shift how you interact with them, and it becomes a relationship of influence, not a relationship of. You will do what I say. Now, some parents hover over, and they put, like, if you do this, or I'm taking away the college money. Okay, you can do that for a few more years. I've worked with your kids for two decades. They'll be happy to leave after they're done, but that will shift. And so there may come a moment when you tell your daughter, I don't think this is a good idea, and I love you.


It compounds the matter to know that her long term boyfriend also goes to school.


I went to a school chasing a girl, and we broke up two days into school, and I was at a university, and I didn't know anybody. It happens, man.


Then also to consider she's seeing that we are throwing our marriage away and liquidating the house to pay for this. What kind of guilt is that going to put on her? What kind of pressure is that going to put on her? What if this.


Dude, she's been living in this home for years. Your marriage has not been good for a long time. My guess is, from just talking to you, your wife finally got something that she could hold on to, and she's going to ride that sucker all the way to the bottom of the ocean.




And maybe she didn't have the income in the house and you were the income producer, or she didn't have a voice in the house, but this sounds like one of those moments where either she's just been brutal your whole marriage. Brutal. She's that wife that's like, no, I'm driving a suburban. Even though you don't have the money.




And maybe that's been her. She's been a spoiled brat your whole marriage, and you've tried and tried and tried and tried, and she has just crashed your family into the ground with her immaturity. Maybe. Or maybe this was her last desperate attempt to like, no, I'm digging my heels into this one. I found a thing. I'm going to dig them. Who knows? But your marriage has been a mess for a long time and your daughter's absorbed all of it.


Yes. We've both been quite codependent on her.


Yeah, she's been carrying you guys for a long time. It doesn't surprise me at all that she found a guy that she can run away to.




Because the burden of carrying the emotional weight of your life and your wife's life, no kid can carry that. It's too heavy.


Right. I see that now.


So, yes. Is there going to be some guilt? Of course. Especially if your wife is the kind of person that's going to come circle back around and expect your daughter, when she gets out of school, to prop up her lifestyle that way. Because your wife's going to find out that being divorced isn't always cracked up to be, financially speaking.




She's going to have a strong fiscal reality when she's the one dealing with money in her life.


She's getting the lion's share of everything.




I'm going to be the one.


Why? Are you abusive? No. Do you cheat on her?




Okay. Why are you doing that?


Years I have worked so hard, my greatest failing is I'm a workaholic. Did that workaholism come from my family?




Maybe. But I have been in counseling for years and I've been trying to fix this. I know I've been a good husband. I don't deserve this.


Okay. I believe you. And here it is. And there's that awful, no, you don't deserve this at all. Nobody deserves to experience what you're going through. Nobody. Nobody deserves to be kicked out into the basement of their own house to have the person that they've dedicated 20 years to look them in the eye and say, I just don't want you in my life. Nobody deserves to have all their hard work. I know it is. But what are you going to do now? Don't let her have your dignity and don't let her have your respect and don't let her have your self confidence. She is leaving you because something is going on inside of her.




And you love her and you want to help. And she's saying, I don't want your help and can't think of something scarier than being that powerless. Fair?




It's important to me that couples that are separating or getting divorced or that have kids don't talk bad about the other spouse. Right. You've heard me say that probably on this show.


I have.


It's not out of bounds for you to take your 18 year old daughter out to dinner and say, I have been in a five or six month black hole. I loved your mom and I dedicated my life to her. And she has asked me not to be a part of her life anymore. I wanted to keep our marriage and your mom does not. And so I am going to stand back up on my 2ft. I'm a grown man. I'm your dad. I will be your dad until the day I die. I'll love you. And that love will be broken by no bounds through the end of time. I would love to have breakfast with you or lunch with you or dinner with you once a week. The thought of you going to college is like a knife in my heart. And I know it's the right thing to do, but I got to move out of this house and regain my dignity. I'm a good man when you tell your daughter that.




Because right now your daughter sees a pitiful, curled up man in his basement, and all she gets is a one sided narrative from your wife who has drained your blood for two decades.




Is that fair?


That's fair.


Okay. I'm not saying this is easy. I'm not saying you don't grieve this. This is going to change you. Okay. That's okay. But let's go do the next right thing. Because it doesn't, contrary to what our culture tells us. This is black hole kind of grief, dude. And it doesn't give us license to go drink too much or to just stop working or to stop doing the next right thing. And I know you're not, but I'm just putting those things. It doesn't give approval for us to blow our lives up.






Yeah. I am in counseling. I am going to support groups. I am doing everything I can to keep going. But every day I drive home and I go back to the graveyard of my 20 year marriage.


That's right. Move out this weekend time. Yeah, because like you say, you're doing the right things. And my guess is there's moments now when you see the suns come out and you have a meal, and you might even laugh a little bit. You'll feel weird about it or bad about it, but you'll even laugh a little bit. And your daughter might text you something funny. And then the moment you start driving back, your body gears up because it knows where it's going. It is going back to hell.




Stop taking it there and have an honest conversation with your daughter.




You're going to have to start talking to her like an adult now. She's 18. Do you like this dude that she's going to chase down, or do you think he's a scumbag?


He's okay. He's not terrible.


That's what every dad wants to say about his daughter's future husband. He doesn't suck. He's not terrible. Does he live near you or does he live several states over at this other place?


So he's from our same hometown, but now he's already at this college. If she was going to another school, equally as expensive without a boyfriend, I'd be probably a little more on board. But I just wonder, why go into so much debt for college and for to be with boyfriend? I mean, if I had a good marriage, we would both stand up and say, no, this is crazy.


And you know what? She could walk out the door and get student loans on her own and go wherever she wanted. And you could say that, I'm not paying your car insurance, and you're not taking a car with my name on the title. And she'll say, cool, I'm taking the bus. And it's a powerless, terrifying feeling when parents begin to realize that their kids turn 18 and the world opens up to them.


I would rather her assert that independence than split our marriage and split our.


Don't you put that crap on her, dude. She didn't split your marriage.


No, you're right.


Don't say those words, man.


No, I'm not. Okay, but a collective no.


You're right. But the collective no would have started back when she was twelve. Right? The collective no would have been, we as a family are telling you that social media is stupid. We're not going to let you do that. We as a family believe in treating each other with respect. These things would have been part of the ethos of your home for a long time.


The plan for college has always been something in state. This is just.


You got to let it go, Greg. You got to let it go. It hasn't come out of nowhere. Your wife is desperate for your daughter's approval.




And she's going to sell everything she owns to get it. Stop fighting.


Even me?


Yes, even you. What that tells me is your wife's not okay. She's not. Well, yeah, but you're sitting there trying to make sense of a math problem, and somebody is irrationally saying no. Nine times nine is six. And you keep sitting in your room writing it over and over. Nine times nine is 81. Nine times nine is 81. It's 81. We've been saying it's 81. Doesn't matter anymore.


That's exactly right.


Let it go.


That's exactly what I'm doing.


Stop. Give yourself a picture of a man who respects himself. Give yourself a picture. And that means I'm not just going to give everything to my wife. So it's easy. No. You are free to leave me, but you can't take my life with you. All of it. You've taken my heart. You've taken our home, our nest egg. You can't have it all. No. Not doing that. Daughter, you're 18. I love you more than life itself. And here's the reality of the situation. I don't think it's wise. And I know for an 18 year old, this isn't a math problem. This is a young girl who's so exhausted, carrying the weight of the adults in her life, that she's going to run into the arms of somebody who's saying, I won't make you carry me. He will, by the way. But at least that's what she thinks, even tonight. A simple exercise, brother, is just get out a yellow pad, a piece of paper or a word document and just type up the things in this situation you can control. Can you control whether your wife wants your marriage? No. Can you forcibly control your adult daughter, where she goes to college?


Kind of. But no. Maybe you can, and you could go to the ends of the earth and you sacrifice the next ten years of your relationship. What can you control here? I'm going to get my own place. I'm going to stop putting my body into hell every day. I'm going to at least start exercising a little bit. I'm going to keep going to my meeting. I'm going to have a weekly meeting with my daughter. Maybe I'm even going to go visit this guy at the university and take him to lunch and talk to him about how important she is to me and how much you love her. But I'm going to begin standing back up. I'm going to give my daughter a picture of what dignity and respect looks like. I'm going to give myself a picture of dignity and respect. Open your hands up, man. So sorry this happened to you. It's every man's worst nightmare. It's everybody's worst nightmare. The question is, what are we going to do now? Call anytime, my brother. I'll walk with you. Anytime. This one's going to take a season. It's going to be hard. Proud of you.


We'll be right back. If you're a regular listener to the 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 and marriage retreat. We invited couples from all over the planet to come into Nashville, Tennessee and spend the weekend with us. And we had a 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. And 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. So I'm excited to announce today that the money and 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 madhouse lives that we've all created for ourselves.


Right? Tickets start at $799, $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 spots sold out last year, and we were like, that's ridiculous. We got to let other people in on it. So those include meet and greets and small private coaching sessions, all kind of things. So I'd love to see you all face to face. There are a few VIp spots that they've reopened. Go to getaway to get your tickets today. All right, we're back. Let's go to am I the problem? What's up, Kelly?


All right, so this is from martha in madison, Wisconsin. Martha, I left my husband on the side of the road. Am I the.


Nope. Nope.


We were driving home from one of my husband's appointments and conversation started escalating into arguing. He called me a stupid fiat, and I pulled the car over and told.


Him to get out the way. You just said that the way you moved your head was amazing. Okay.


And I told him to get out. He walked home or is currently walking home as I am typing this. So she typed it before he ever got home.




I know. It was 5 miles from our house. It's 35 degrees outside, and he's only wearing a sweater. I also had an online class. He also had an online class that he's likely to be running late for. Him, yelling and cussing at me is a reoccurring issue, and he knows that I'm hanging onto this marriage by a thread. I'm not sure if I went too far with my response or if it was appropriate.


Am I the problem man? Like high school, college, John wants to answer this one way, and, like, grown up John maybe wants to answer it different. What do you think? As the wife driving home?


I mean, if he called me that, I'd be pretty angry. Especially if he's yelling and cussing. That can be frightening.


Terrifying, yeah.


Unsafe. I would be curious to know was there. I need you to stop doing that right now, or I'm going to tell you to get out of the car. And he continued. And then she's like, all right, then you're out.


Because there's a strange wrinkle here, too, as I'm thinking this out loud. He had to get out of the car.


Right? He actually got out. I don't know that she felt like.


She could force him out.




And so he got out.


If she felt like she was in danger, if it was that terrifying and you're trying to drive, then, yeah, I think maybe she was in the right. If it was just. I'm just done with this. Get out of my car. Maybe when it's 35 degrees outside. Not the best.


Or if he dies, I would feel, like exposure.




So, yeah, if you call any woman that ever. Yes. My gut instinct is you get out on the side of the road. I don't care if you're 100 miles to your house. You don't talk to women that way. Period, period, period. And also, you can't kill your husband. Right? I mean, you can't put somebody on the road in 35 degrees and they get it run over. And also, you can't. This one's tough, Taylor, I'm bringing you in on this one. What do you think?


I just don't mess with it, but.


I would kick someone out.




I mean, she said the marriage was hanging on by a thread, so clearly things aren't good.




I think if they're at this point, they need to sit down and have it come to Jesus.


Yeah. I love the fact that it was still going on, and she sat down and wrote into the show. That makes my heart feel good.


She got home as soon as she dropped him off, she was like, I got to tell Jaloni about this one.


Let me say it this way, I'll say it this way. And this is not going to be popular. A unwise, immature response to an unwise, immature person is never the right thing. Right. If you have to hit somebody to keep yourself safe, if you have to forcefully remove somebody from a presence because you're not safe, that's one thing. But when I choose to be like, oh, yeah, then really I'm being them. I'm just reenacting what they just did and just in a different way. And so absent if there's abuse, physical abuse, psychological abuse, you're not safe, then yes, getting somebody away from you ASAP, you are not the problem. You're doing right. Just getting mad that. How dare you talk to me like that. I don't think it's wise to put somebody on side of the road. It's kind of a boring end to an awesome question. The youtubes are not going to like that answer. Not like that answer. Ben, what do you think? I think there's going to be fallout when he gets home. If he gets home. You know what I mean? Yeah. Unless he's dead. Yeah, true. Which case, I guess her problem is solved.


But yeah, it feels like a very extreme reaction. Unless she is physically unsafe, in which case, yeah, I'll kick you out. Yeah, exactly. Okay. All right. Well, there you go, America. Hey, right in. Put in the comments below here. Whether you think she's the problem or he's the problem. This is going to be incredible. They're both the problem. He is more of the problem. I don't know, man. I don't like these cliffhanger ones.


Not everything is black and white and easy.


Sorry. That is true. Michael Jackson once saying, doesn't matter if it's black or white. You can't quote Michael Jackson more, can you? Is that kind of over? Sarah? Gotta get that editing pen out. Hey, everybody. Love you guys. Stay in school. Don't do drugs and don't say mean things. Don't kick people out on the side of the road. Love you guys.