Transcribe your podcast

Coming up on the Dr. John Deloney Show.


I was listening to your show a couple of months ago on the podcast, and I heard a couple of qualities of the Jure husband, and a few of them ran the court with me and need some help, man.


Bro, that's a big step for you to say, Hey, that's me, and I don't want to be like this anymore. Good for you, man. You got my mad respect on that, man. What's up? This is John with the Dr. John Deloney Show, a show about your marriage, whoever it is you're trying to date, your kids, being a good dad, being a good mom, your mental and emotional health, whatever you got going on in your life. On this show, we take calls from people all over planet Earth who are trying to figure out what's going on in their life, how they can get out of a messy situation, what they can do next to better love their families, to be better husbands, to be better wives, whatever you got going on in your life. This show is about real people going through real stuff. If you want to be on, I'd love to have you on. Give me a buzz at 1-844-693-3291. 1-844-693-3291. Or go to JohnDaloney. Com/ask. It makes all the difference in the world when you hit the subscribe button on the YouTube channel. If you hit the subscribe button wherever it is you consume podcasts.


It's just been astounding to me, the growth this last year in the show. People are coming from all over the place. I'm so grateful to have everybody here. If you will hit that subscribe button, it makes all the difference in the world. It dumps the show into the algorithms, and it puts it in front of other people who are just simply at the end of the rope. They reach for a computer or for their phone, and they just type in, How do I be a better dad? How do I be a better husband? Or what's happening with me and my wife? Then this show gets dropped into their algorithm because you hit subscribe, something that simple. It cost anything, didn't take much time. So thank you so much for doing that. All right, let's reach out to Todd in Salt Lake City. What's up, Todd?


How much are you?


We're partying, dude. What's up?


I'm just working. Okay, my question. I was listening to your show a couple of months ago on the podcast, and I heard a couple of qualities of the jerk husband, and a few of them rang the cord with me and need some help, man.


I almost think you instantly opt out of jerk... Well, I won't say you automatically opt out, but, bro, that's a big step for you to say, Hey, that's me, and I don't want to be like this anymore. Good for you, man. You got my mad respect That's all I'm doing. I love that, man. So what are you working through?


I just wanted the character that stood out, and I told my wife that she takes the victimhood route sometimes, and so that definitely strong accord. Just to feel a lot of distance It's between us more often than not, and it's me. I'm guarded. I have my bears up and just can't quite figure out why. Good.


I mean, dude, you were at the starting line, man. Congratulations. How long have you been married? Eighteen years. Eighteen years. You got kids? Four kids. Tell me about your wife.


She's a good mom, good wife. She's been primarily a stay-at-home wife for a long time, just getting back into the working world. She's taking that on.


How long have you protected yourself from her?


A long time, dude. Probably, I would say 10 years, 12 years.


What kicked that off?


I think it came off when she found out I was watching printography back a long time ago and the way she reacted to that and a lot of the emotional turmoil and things that happened with that. A lot of shame, embarrassment. She felt inadequate, all those things.


Then you ended up with a lot of shame and embarrassment, and you felt inadequate. Mm-hmm. You just built your own house on either side of the river there, huh?


Yeah, 100 %.


Okay. I'm from, I guess you'd call it a camp, if you will, where I'll call them vices, for lack of better terms, just the easiest way to describe them. But things that we do that we know in the long term aren't good for us, they're going to kill us. And in some shape, form, or fashion. But in the short term work, they help. It might sound crazy, but I classify pornography in that boat. It works in the very short term, and then it destroys everything over time. What was pornography getting you at the time? Because here's my guess is. My guess is it got called out with that one particular thing, but my guess is the separation was way before that even.


Yeah, you're right, probably. I would say, what did it get me? It got me decompression, stress release. I was going through school at the time, pretty newly married, a kid on the way. So there was a lot going on. And traditionally, I didn't I think of myself as a smart person. So school has always been a challenge for me. So there's a lot of stress, and it was a high-stakes program. So a lot of stress and anxiety. It's something I've been doing since I was young to deal with the emotional stuff.


Sure. I want to go beneath stress and anxiety, though, because Like, pornography, alcohol, all that stuff, certain drugs, they work because it's Xanax, right? Actually, Xanax works as a Xanax, right? It works. But you said something underneath that that's really important. You were in a very tough academic program, and you've I've never been a smart guy. Insert story here. You're a guy who works really hard and you like to have answers for your friends, and now you got a kid on the way. I love this woman. I love my girlfriend. We're going to have this fun marriage. We're going to have sex all the time. Now you're about to be a dad and you've never been married to a pregnant woman. I don't know how to do this either. There's that less than, less than, less than shame, I should know, and I don't know, and I don't I know, and I don't know, and I'm just going to go to this one. I love how you said it, stress release, because most people think they go to it for X or for Y or for Z. Many, many millions of people go to it as a way to distract themselves from a life they don't like or a life Here's a better...


I don't know how to do. Yeah. Then you foster that and you just pour gasoline on it for 10 years or 20 years, right? Now you're here almost knock on the door for two decades of being married. Is that phrase You sit by each other on the couch, you're six inches apart, but 6,000 miles away from each other.


A lot of times, yeah.


You want to make your way back? Or is this when you call it? Because a lot of people get this far and they're like, Dude, we had a good run. We raised good kids. We held together a good household. For the back half of our life, let's split up and let's ride or die with somebody that's just going to be wheels off.


No, man, it's worth working back to you. Yeah, for sure.


Okay. We don't have a ton of time together. I'd love to talk to you and your wife sometime. What can I help you with today? What are you thinking about that you want to work through, that you want to think about doing differently?


I want to work my way back or just learn how to lower my walls, get those defenses down that are primarily on my side of the river, so to speak.


Okay. I think there's two things at play here. Number one, Yeah. You all can't move into one another's house on either side of the river. You all have to both leave the house you're in and decide together we're going to build a new one.


I'm going to do that. Okay.


You have to think of it this way. The marriage up until now, 18 years, has gotten you here. We're going to decide to build a new marriage. In this new marriage, I am going to be this. This is what I need in this new marriage season. I want you to not think because I can hear it in your voice, bro, you're not broken. There's nothing wrong with you. Yeah. Okay. Your body has a very keen understanding of what happens when you get embarrassed in front of your wife. She nukes you. And your body knows, Okay, cool. We hide. That's where we go. And your body got a bunch of cinder blocks, started building some walls. And that way, nobody's getting inside the inner tot. Actually, it keeps the peace, right? Yeah. It also keeps all the good stuff out, too.




Right. And so the only way through it, I wish there was another way, bro. The only way through it is to bite down on your mouthpiece and head directly through it. That's to sit down with your wife and say, in an effort to protect myself from getting embarrassed or feeling ashamed, I walled off and I forced you to chase me and live off gulps of air for the last 20 years, and I'm not doing that anymore. I want to be fully present with you. I don't want to be vulnerable. I don't want us to be open. I want to build a new marriage. I don't know how to do that. By the way, it's going to feel weird as all crap to her, too. Intellectually, she wants something different. She's been trying to get it for so long. But often when somebody just starts being vulnerable, their partner melts.




Like, just suck it up. I mean, they start saying crazy stuff. I'm like, I've been asking for this for 20 years, and I can't get it, right? Yes. Give me one behavior you want to change.




Let me ask you this before that. What are you using now to relieve stress?


Still, chronography from time to time. But getting a handle on it because I basically rebuilt my life in the last two years on my Just working on myself, doing some leadership stuff, and just bettering myself. I think I'm better to be able to go back in and help repair my marriage.


Can I tell you something really hard? Yeah. This is going to go against all the bro science that we know. If you are married, you cannot work on yourself in isolation.


Sure. Okay, sir.


Good for you, man. You've done a bunch of stuff, but you haven't done the hard stuff. You're going to be like, What are you talking about? I started working out. I started listening to Jocco podcast. I started doing all this. I started taking supplements. When you're married, all of your changes impact her because you all are one.




It's like the quarterback can't just run out and be like, Dude, I'm not running those plays anymore. He's got to tell the team. The team has to work together to run those two plays.




Because the first few plays, he may actually fool everybody on the field and get some good gains, and then after a while, he's going to get himself killed. Because there's nobody blocking with her.


She didn't know how to bring her in.


No, I got that. Yeah, it's a skillset. It's a skillset. I think you sit down and... I recommended this on a couple of shows ago, and it sounds strange, and it sounds so... I'm going to get so much bloody hell for it on the internet, and I just don't care. But there's something about literally taking a knee in front of your wife as though you're proposing to her and holding both of her hands and saying, I've hidden most of my life from you for 20 years. I'm not cheating on you. I don't have a big addiction. I do struggle with pornography still. I have been trying to get better, but I've been trying to do it by myself. You and I breathe the same air. We are creating something together. I can't move unless you move with me.




Are you all in? You have to figure out what that means for you all. Does that sound scary?


Scares the crap out of me, man. I'm freaking out. How come?


Is she going to leave you?


No. I think being vulnerable, just feeling like... I hate that word, but yeah, being vulnerable.


I hate that word. I hate it, man.


I hate it. I don't know what it's called, but yeah.


That's all it is. And part of me getting over my hatred of that word is by saying it.




And all vulnerability means is this. It means that you can hurt me with what I'm about to tell you.




What I'm about to tell you is I love you and I want to be more connected with you, and I don't know how to do that. You're going to go… She's going to say, I need you to have all the answers. No, I don't know any white that says that. They're like, Oh, thank God. But then it feels weird coming back. But it sounds like that's the first place to start. That doesn't mean that you're not tough. That doesn't mean you don't lift That doesn't mean I'm doing something with Jocco in two weeks. It doesn't mean you don't hang. I love that guy. You don't not listen to Jocco. That's not what that means. It means that every morning you wake up and you say, Hey, honey, how can I love you today?


I've heard you say that a lot. It makes me cringe inside.


Okay, tell me that. Because your voice is important because there's a million men who listen and go, Oh, God. Okay, whatever. Why does that make you cringe?


Again, it's a place that makes me vulnerable.


Is it because you're supposed to know? Maybe. Or is it because that's not even my freaking job? I'm not going to love her today. I'm going out to kill something, drag it home, and make the money. What is it? I think it's because I don't know how to do it.


I just don't know how to do it. It's not about, I'm going to go to work today, but I don't know how to do it. So maybe I'm afraid of failing on that front again.


Damn, Todd. Dude, that's what I was scared of. Scared to death. What if my wife says, Here's what I need you to love me. I need you to help with bedtime with the kids, and I have to look my wife from the eye and say, I don't know how to do that. Or my daughter doesn't want me to read her bedtime stories, and she will scream and kick and tell me to get out, and I can't handle that. I don't know how to handle that. That was my house. I didn't know how to do it. The thing that I love about you is, What do you do for a living?


I'm a nurse.


Yeah, dude. How many times you've been put in a situation, you got to figure it out because that cat on that table is about to die?




That's who you are. But in that situation, I'm going to give some insider baseball. You'll get this, Todd, but most people listening who are not in the emergency response world won't get this. They train us early on. You always have to bring a calm presence to that situation when someone's going to die because You bringing chaos, and it just makes everything worse. They always tell us, At the end of the day, it's their emergency, not yours. So bring your peace to the situation, right? What I'm going to say is awful, and I know, but it's instructive. If you give it your all with one of your patients, and they don't make it, you're devastated and there's grief, but they're the ones who passed away. Yeah. In this situation, if you give it your all and something doesn't work, your wife can look at you and say, I reject that. You've hurt me for 20 years. You're using pornography again. I'm out. I'm divorcing you. Just like I told you 10 years ago. That can all happen. That's vulnerability. She could kill you. But also in my house, I lead with, I'm scared to say this out loud.


My wife says, I hear that. I think that's a good way to start.


I think that's how she'll respond.


She will. Hey, I can't tell you how proud of you I am. Oh, thank you. What you're embarking on is really, really hard. It's a challenge. Hang on the line here. I'm going to give you a copy of Building a Non-Anxious Life, and I'll go ahead and drop in the thing. I'll go ahead and drop in, Own your Past, Change your Future. Building a Non-Anxious Life, I think, is going to give you and your wife a roadmap, an architectural blueprint to build this new house together. Here's what I think is going to be important. You're a nurse, you run hard, you save lives, and you're a father, and you're a husband. You got all of this stuff that's pent up, and it builds, and it builds, and it builds, and it builds, and you don't have an off-ramp for And what that means is you've built a very anxious world. Then pornography, alcohol, texting that woman back at work, whatever the thing is that gives you that release, that that's what kills you. And so if you build something from the inside out, from floor up, that is non-anxious in its structure, then you can go in and do crazy hard jobs like being a nurse, like being a fireman, like being a military person, like being a police officer, like being a teacher, like being an attorney, like being any number of professions, business owner.


You can go do really hard things and fight hard, bite down on your mouthpiece and punch and kick hard, but your body never over does it. It doesn't go into anxiousness. Or panic. Proud of you, my brother. You're on your way. You're on your way. You're asking great hard questions. Take a knee, take both your wife's hands and say, I love you. I'm ready to build something new. Are you in? Then hold on tight because she may just blow your mind. 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 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-themed music, stories, prayers, and even special things for your kids. I Personally, I'm 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 hallo, H-A-L-L-O-W. Com/delonie. All All right, let's go out to Vermont and talk to Jen. What's up, Jen?


Well, hello.


What's up?


I don't know what to lead with.


How about this? Start singing your favorite song, and I'll rank you 1-10 on how good you are.


Let's not. Okay.


Awesome. No, it's so good. I'm glad that you're here. What's up?


Okay. I typed up some notes yesterday They're nowhere near with me, so I did look. That's not even useful.


Hey, can you do me a huge favor? Yeah. Your thing's cutting in and out.


Oh, that's terrible. I'm sorry.


Is that better? Keep talking. Okay.


Anyway, I don't know if I should lead with thinking back on it, I'm third generation of not good marriage, and I want to stop that so my daughter's got a good chance. Or should I lead with that my husband's grumpiness is becoming status quo, and when he becomes happy, I don't even know what to do with that. Or should I lead with, We've been married 12 years, and if we've been physically intimate, five times I'd be surprised.


Yeah, let's go with option C. Okay. That will get the most YouTube clips. Actually, the clicks. I'm really interested in your second question. Let's loop back there because I already have a sense, but I'm just guessing. I'll be fishing in the dark, but that's a fascinating question you just asked. You all have been married 12 years. You've had sex five times, you think?


Well, probably. Yes. I mean, I'm not really exaggerating one way or the other with that.


Why? Listen, Counseling 101, never ask why questions. So, thankfully, we're not doing therapy. Why? What's happened over a decade that either of you all have put up with that?


Oh, my goodness. It depends on who you talk to.


I'm only talking to Jen.


I understand. That's true. Okay. For me, it was turned into to lack of trust in the fact that lack of support, I don't feel like this is a partnership in any way, shape, or form. I was definitely feeling like a single mom. I was- Hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on, hold on.


Does he want to sleep with you and you just won't? Or is he had no interest in you for 12 years?


Well, right now, there's really no interest.


Yeah, I mean, he's 12 years.


He's so mad. But there was.


When you all got married, most people… I'm going to say most people.


When we first got married, No. I was like, Are we going to… I believe the technical term is consummate. Six months into the marriage, we went back to a marriage counselor that we had seen when we were engaged. My question was, We haven't had sex yet. I was the one pushing them.


Jen, I am rarely speechless, and you just got me. You got me.


It's a little nutty. Wow.


I would say nutty, but it's very, very, very abnormal. My question to you is, six months is a really long time. For some, six Four or six minutes is a really long time. What were the conversations like?


I really weren't. It's the weirdest. It's shocking to me because we're both smart people. It has nothing to do with intelligence. It has nothing to do with that. We're morons when it comes to any of this. Okay. Let's- And I'll be straight up. Fifteen minutes ago, my husband was He was sitting at my desk, just anyway, trying to get a cell phone anyway. And he was at my desk and he saw my day planner open and he was on hold and he goes, Hey, what's that? And I was on hold for you. And in it, I had written this appointment in my day planner. I had to. He was like, What's that? He goes, You're not doing that, are you? I'm like, Well, yeah, I'm going to. He was like, What? My whole thing was I'm like, Because I'll grasp at straws.


I lost what you just said. What did you say, ma'am?


I said I'll just grasp at anything, not to be little in what you do.


No, no. Trust me, it's definitely… You were scraping the bottom of the barrel here. Here's what it feels like, okay? Yes, sir. It feels like one of a couple of things. There is way, way, way more to this story. When I say that, I mean abuse, some severe trauma responses, some very significant, not emotional distress, but mental health disorders. There's something else going on here. That's number one. Number two, and by the way, you and I just are meeting. I'm very, very direct, okay? Because most of that is because I love you, and most of that is because I've got a very compressed time, right? It's only 10 minutes, right? It sounds like for 10 or 12 years, you've been stepping over $1,000 checks and $100 bills to pick up pennies. We're grasping at straws here that we haven't sat down and asked our husband, I want to have sex with you. Can we try this? I feel distant from you. Can we plug in? I feel like a single mom. Can we connect here? Instead of entering into that conversation, that admittedly may go awful, may end up in us separating. But it may also end up in us fixing everything.


Instead of that, we wait six months, and then we just call a professional. It's like a tiny little fire getting lit in the actual fireplace. But we just don't deal with it. We just don't deal with it. And six months later, the whole house on fire. Now, we got to call the fire department.




I guess circle back. I can't unwind this in a one small segment. How can I help you right now? What are you aiming for? What's your goal here?


My goal would be… I really like when you mentioned to parents where they're like, My relationship with my kid. I I don't know. And whatever age, if they're still at home, they get a notebook. Have the kid write something, you write something. Have the kid write. And I'm like, What a basic… It's basic. That works, that builds.


I guess I'm just I only tell parents to do that with kids because kids don't have the intellectual plus the emotional ability to articulate in a conversation. Adults should have that. If you and your husband are unable to sit across the table and say, Dude, we have been living a farce for 12 Because you calling and saying, I'm frustrated that my husband's grumpy. That's what we call it, right? Yeah, but I mean, that's like your house burning down to the ground and you calling 911 because it's hot outside. That's not the issue here. You saying, Hey, I am committed to being the one who breaks the cycle of bad marriages. Out of the gate six months, and I say intimacy, I'm not talking about intercourse. Intimacy, being able to just talk about it with each other. So instantly, the recipe for a marriage that's dysfunctional or that's not working for either of you that creates a home that's full of tension and chaos repeats itself again. That's not on you. That's on the whole system. You see what I'm saying?


Yeah. Completely. I've been working with a killer therapist for nine months now. Okay. Awesome. For me, if it was just me, one-on-one, from my perspective, I'm radically different.




The people that are really close to me, some coworkers, they can totally tell the difference, they said. From I'm like, Okay, that's cool. My husband, obviously, not really. That's not surprising to me because he is just one change.


Yeah, it was. Esther P calls it. You all are in the dance. You all haven't addressed the dance. Right. You all have a rhythm and a routine. In fact, you don't even know what to do with him when he's not grumpy. The incentive inside his own home is to be grumpy. It's like, you don't even know what to say to him when he starts speaking to you in Italian. You just want him to speak Spanish because that's the language you know, that's the language your kid knows, that's the language the house dynamic knows. Even when he piques his head out and there's joy, it's not met with any reciprocal joy. It's met with, Who is this? He's like, Oh. He goes back to grump. There's this dynamic set up in your home. The only way that gets busted is somebody... You've heard me say this, someone's got to turn the lights on, turn the music off, stop dancing. What does that mean in real life? That's a big metaphor. People ask me, What does it actually mean? That means you getting a babysitter for your child, your kids, and you sitting across the table from your husband and saying, We haven't had sex in 10 years.


You don't like being around me, and I don't even know how to interact with when you're grumpy. I want a different marriage are you in to build something completely new based on grace and forgiveness and trying new things moving forward because what we've been doing does not work. Anything short of that, you're going to go to therapy. You're going to become this amazing new person on the inside. You're going to walk back into your house, right back into the same costume you always wear until one of you either has the courage to call it or one of the other one does something just so dumb, cheats on somebody, steals something from somebody, does something awful that Then everybody can go, Look what they did, or your child starts acting out to try to get somebody's attention to say, Please, can we cut the tension on this home because I can't breathe? Often, the way I phrase this is, you have to your heart. There's not an easy path out of this. Right. It's either going to end in a supernova, or it's going to end in a wimper in an ash, or it's going to be something built completely new.


It's going to be amazing. Why are you so avoidant of that conversation? Is he abusing you?


No, there's a lot of everything is said, you're trying to accuse me of stuff. Here you come. You're blaming me again for everything. It all is… I'm like, I'm not blaming you. Can we just have a normal conversation? Can we actually write things on paper? Can we together do… I brought some of the suggestions that my therapist has said, some of the things that I've heard on your show. It's It turns into basically another argument, another full shutdown. I'll have another five, six days of no communication.


So behavior is a language. What's he telling you?


That he really just- I'll give you his language.


He does not want to be married to you. That's what his behavior is telling you. Tell me I'm wrong. I'd love being wrong.


I'd like to. But that's been the language since we were dating. Okay.


Until you choose to live in that reality, you're going to continue chasing ghosts. It's going to be exhausting. Here's the other thing. You may be wrong. There's been a couple of times in my marriage over 21 years, 20 and a half years, when When he's been in his happy mood or we can actually have a conversation, he looks at me and he's even, for him, shed tears a few times while seeing it.


And he says that He said, I am married to you because for any reason, whether it was a good reason or a bad reason, I believe God brought us together, and I believe that I, on purpose, chose you to be my wife. He has said that probably three times, three or four times in the last year and a half. I'm like, so do I believe that?


It doesn't matter what he says. What if I just walked down the street, Jen, announcing to the world how in shape I am? It doesn't matter. God wants me to be in shape, and I chose this gym. I just announced that God called me to be ripped, and I chose this gym. Do you ever go in that gym and work out? No. I'm not talking to you for six days for even asking that question, you bastard. I don't care what he says.


What's the conversation that I have then?


I'll tell you the one I had in my house. I've had it twice, maybe three times, maybe four times over 21 years. It is two adults sitting across the table. I think I... I don't remember how I preface. I don't like to think of the specifics, but we need to have a very direct, grown up, hard conversation that's going to be very emotional, and I just want us both to prep for it. It goes something like, this marriage, as it currently is, cannot continue. I do not feel in my body that you want to be married to me anymore. If you do, I've got some real challenges because I'm not feeling it, I'm not accepting it, and I'm not being a good partner to you. We got to do something completely new. Are you in? And every time the other person has said, Absolutely all in. But somebody has to sit at a grown-up table, and even if you have to call out, every Every time we have a hard conversation, you don't talk to me for six days, you shut down, you say, Oh, what about me? We're not doing any of that today.


This is two grown-ups having a grown up conversation. Are we going to stay married? Here's what you have to have already prepared. I need moving forward, not, You haven't done this and you haven't done that. That's not. It cannot work that way because if you come at him that way, he has to defend himself. And his defense strategy is to shut down and become a joy vacuum in his own house. All Right? And so the only way forward is for you to say, I need physical and sexual intimacy in my home. I need to be able to have conversations. Good, bad, scary, vulnerable, hilarious, silly. I got to be able to share my life with my partner. And whatever the things you need. I don't know what that is. I don't know what that is for you, but you're going to have to be able to say those things out loud. This is hard, but I think you be very clear. If you get up and walk away from the table, I will understand that you want this marriage to be over. If you don't talk to me for five days after this discussion, I understand you are not interested in changing the way this relationship works.


If you're going to sit at this table and we're going to figure this thing out, then I recognize that you're all in. Going backwards over the last twelve years, my gut tells me if I was talking to him, there would be enough blame to go around. Maybe not. Maybe you're protecting him and whatever. Maybe he's got some major psychological challenges that you have just had to dance around for twelve years, maybe. But going back and blaming is not going to help anybody. There's going to be an important forensic accounting of the last twelve years. Hey, this is how you've dealt with conflict. I can't have that moving forward. You got to be present with me. Give me some tools so whenever I need to bring something up to you, it doesn't shut you down. Because just shutting down doesn't solve our problem. We're not to put sex on a calendar. We're going to have to put weekly meetings on a calendar. We're going to have to have a budget together. We're going to have to have parenting conversations. We're going to have to be married. I'm sorry, Jen. I wish I had more for you.


I wish I could just pass this one and be like, Here it is. This one's tough. This one's tough. This one's Somebody's got to flip the lights on. Someone's got to turn the music off and stop to dance and just say, Hey, this is the state of our marriage. We're choosing reality. It's the state of our marriage. I'm going forward no more. We got to be different starting now. Are you in? Let me know how it goes, Jen. We'll be thinking about 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 better help. 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. Com/delonie today to get 10% off your first month. That's betterhelp, H-E-L-P. Com/delonie. All right, let's go up to Vancouver and talk to Amanda. What's up, Amanda?


Nothing much. How are you?


Good. What are you doing?




Awesome. Is this super weird? You're just having a regular day and then all of a sudden,.


Yeah, pretty much. It's incredibly awkward.


Yeah, I've been told I am awkward my whole life, so it's all good. Good to meet you. What's up?


Basically, I guess my question is, every holiday, my mother literally and my My mother will literally cry for literally hours every time I tell them that I won't be attending the family events, including my father's side. I'm half flattened, so that's really offensive to them. Bucsas.


Did you say you're half- You're half-Latin?




Okay, got you.


Very culture. I heard my father's calling out to the show, and it's very cultural. Yeah, absolutely. But at the same time, it's just too much. Yes. I can't handle going to some of the events most of the time anymore. I just have a hard time every single holiday or birthday or whatever else they think is important, basically.


Why? Yeah, I'll just cut to the chase. Is that okay? Because I totally get this.


I'll try to, too, but it's very hard.


No, I got it. Why do you subject yourself to hours of their tears and whaling and nashing of teeth?


I guess I just think that I wish I could go, I guess, in a way. I feel like I buy into their guilt over it, but at the same time, I guess I wish what happened didn't happen, and I wish I could go.


I want to offer an alternative explanation. I think you subject yourself to punishment because you feel like you should go, and this is what you get for not going.




I want you to know you're off the hook for that. What happened in your family that makes attending a no-go?


What's hard is it's not about all my random relatives. It's really between me and one of my siblings, my only sibling. Yeah, basically, when I was very young, they told me, her and her husband told me that they didn't want me around because I was taking up too much of their spotlight on both sides of the family. What? This is something I still deal with today. It's in 13 years, and I'm still very old to still be dealing with that.


Well, no, that hurts. I mean, that's clearly insane and ludicrous. My question to you is, what about you is so small that you let them continue to run your life?


I don't know.


Why wouldn't you go and let your Amanda light shine all over the family? If they want to opt out, they're welcome to.


Yeah, that's true. I mean, I wish I would have done different things when I was way younger when it happened.


Yeah, but we're here now, so why not now?


Exactly. I think it's just everything that they hear that I do, they go and do, and it just puts more of a...




Dump in it for me. I don't understand.


Give me an example.


Okay, I'll give you an example. One day, I decided to go on a hike on a specific mountain, it's Vancouver area. Then the next month, they went and did the same hike. One time I had a boyfriend and people really liked him. Then Basically, I got cheated on with my sibling, with that person. Your sister went hooked up with him? I ended up buying a farm, and then they bought a bigger farm, and she bought a bigger farm, that thing. It's just very awkward.


You should get a huge fake face tattoo. That would be amazing if you got a huge rose on your cheek and been like, What's up? And just see if they actually get it for real. That'd be amazing. That'd be awesome. Yeah. Or you should just rent You should rent a Ferrari and be like, Look at my new ride. Yeah. To see how far they'll take it. Here's the thing, and I say this with all due respect, who cares what they do?




Now, I'm asking you that. I'm not just saying putting it out into the world. Because when you take them off the table, you're doing amazing things. You bought a farm, you got a boyfriend, your sister It sucks for cheating on him, cheating with him on you or whatever. How do you ever say that? But you're going on doing life. Sorry. Maybe you're doing it so well. You're the ultimate family influencer, and they're like, Yeah, that would be amazing, too. Or maybe you just have a sister with a significant psychiatric challenge, and it's just she's going to keep doing what she does. That's her life.


Okay. Is that fair?


That makes sense.


Yeah. Taking notes. So hopefully that helps.


I don't know. But I mean, here's the thing. If your mom and your mom has a picture where all of her daughters all get together perfectly and everybody does everything perfect and everything looks perfect and everything's perfect, right? Yes. Yes. And so anytime there's a fight in the family, it's always, Oh, my gosh, what about me? And then mom cries, and then you're supposed to all make it better. Your sister's not going to it better because she's freaking amazing. It's your job to make it better, and you just said, Forget all this, right?


Pretty much.


There's a third option, which is, I love my mom, I love my family, I like the big, messy Latin holiday parties. I've been to a few. I grew up in Texas. They're my favorite on the planet. They're amazing, and you know they are. They're incredible. I'm not going to let a grumpy neurotic sister in the corner keep me from here. She can go buy when she wants to buy. She can whisper in my ear, You're taking my spotlight. All right, dude. I'm going to continue to laugh and dance and eat and have fun and love my mom. Is my mom a little bit Yes, she is. Does my mom cry a lot? Yes, she does. She's my mom. But if you look around, I can hear it in your story, so many things about your life brought you joy. One person squashed a little bit of it and cast a shadow over everything you love and care about.




Is that fair? Tell me I'm wrong. I might be completely wrong.


Yeah, that's close There's a lot of stress to it. I always try to do something or try to get over something. It feels like this is an overarching storyline that I'm tired of.


Your sister's not going to change, is she?


No, no. No. Yeah.


Your mom's not going to change, is she?


No, no. Not at all. Okay.


My question for you is, long term, what's going to bring you the most peace and the most joy? Is it staying at home and saying, Mom, it's not my job to make you happy. It's not my job to make you fulfilled. You have this fantasy of all of your daughters getting together. My sister is a train wreck, and I'm not doing it anymore. You've picked her over me. Fine. I'm just going to stay at home and have peace in my home here in Vancouver. Or is it, Kids, hop in the wagon. We're going to the grandma's house for the holidays, and it is going to be unhinged, and we're going to sing, we're going to dance, we're going to play, we're going to have fun, and Tia Loca over here in the corner is just going to do her thing, right?


Yeah. Okay.


But you get to pick. Here's what I'm trying to get you to see. You're in the driver's seat of your own life. Okay. You don't have a path forward that doesn't come with some relational discomfort.




There's not an easy path out. Is that fair?


Right. Yeah, that makes sense. I'm writing that down. Okay.


Just because it hurts doesn't mean it's not right. It might hurt when your older sister or younger sister tries to photocopy your life or is always one upping you. It just- It's a lot.


I just don't know how to even do boundaries, really. But I guess those are two good options. Reality will probably be somewhere in the middle. I'm not sure.


It will. It's going to be uncomfortable. You're going to feel some guilt over the last 13 years. You're going to have to let that go. Okay. Because that's not going to solve you right now.




You're going to have to say, I've made some choices over the last 13 years that have brought me here, kept me safe, kept me sane, helped me raise my family. Here we are. Great. I'm making different choices. Life's too short. I'm going to go be with my family over the holidays, and I've got one sister who's just going to do what her sister is going to do. I'll minimize my contact there. I will minimize my kids' contact there, but we're family, and we're just going to show up. I'm a little bit... I'm the guy that I picked my sister up- You're professional.


That makes sense.


I know. But listen, I picked my sister up at the airport this year for the holidays with a huge sign that said, Thank God, my sister's finally gone area free. My little daughter had a sign that said, Welcome home from jail. It was hilarious. Then my sister called one of my favorite drumbers in all of my life from the band Poison, one of my '80s metal band, and did a cameo. He called me, sent me a message that said, Congratulations on kicking that chlamedia. I mean, that's my brother. That's our sister back and forth. That's us. It's unhinged. It's weird. It's silly. It's funny. It's just how we interact and also love her to death. I know she loves me, too.




But it comes with some ups and some downs and some sideways. That's just the nature of it.




But here's what I'm telling you. I want you to feel fully empowered to reverse engineer your life. I want my holidays to feel full of laughter and warmth and family. What has to be true for those things to happen? Sometimes for those things to be true, we can't go visit extended family. It's too violent. It's too volatile. We have people there that make it uncomfortable because they're ugly or they're rude. Sometimes it's, we're going to go do those things, and I'm going to set some really firm boundaries about when we go to bed, what kids are going to watch or not eat, or if anyone tells these jokes, we're out. Or sometimes it's really clear boundaries with inside my family. Hey, sister so and so, aunt so and so, she says things that aren't true. She whispers mean things. We're just going to smile and we're going to ignore. We're going to move on because the end result is warmth and connectivity and family. Get with your husband and you all sit down and ask this question, what do we want the holidays to feel like? My guess is, based When you're on this call, it's going to include your mom and maybe even your grandma.


That means it's also probably going to include sister. So what do we got to do? Or if once and for all, I'm not doing it. No more with sister. Okay. It's going to come at the cost. Then I'm going to stop listening to my mom cry for 2 hours. I'm going to tell my mom, I'm going to hang up the phone. I'm going to send an email note to everybody. My mom calls sobbing. I will tell her I love her mom. I can't be in the presence of my older sister, and I know that hurts, but I got to take care of me and my I will call you back. If mom's going to sit there and blame and yell and cry, then I'm going to say, Mom, I'm hanging up now. I'm going to let you go, and then we'll reconvene. You get back in the driver's seat of your own life, and don't let one naysayer, one dark soul cast a shadow over your whole life. You've got too much to live. Life's too There's too much adventure out there. I'll let one weirdo take it all from you. Thanks for the call, Amanda.


Appreciate you coming in clutch. We'll be right back. Hey, what's up? Deloney here. Listen, you and me and everybody else on the planet has felt anxious or burned out or chronically stressed at some point. In my new book, Building a Non-Anxious Life, you'll learn the six daily choices that you can make to get rid of your anxious feelings and be able to better respond to whatever life throws at you so you can build a more peaceful, non-anxious life. Get your copy today at johndaloni. Com. All right, as we wrap up today's show, one of my favorite rock and roll metal bands of all time, Slawter. It's Mark Slawter, he's a resident here in town, one of my favorite singers ever, ever, ever, and somebody who Kelly still may or may not have pictures of him on her screen saver and on her desk. Might. Wearing a vest. Might not. And not a lot else. Kelly loves to Mark Slawter. I do. One of the Up all night, sleep all day, flight of the Angels. My gosh. Probably one of the best voices ever, especially in that genre of music we listen to, and by far the best smile.




She's being It's so gross right now. Like, her whole body's lit up like a light bulb. It's giving me the. But... And he's in town. Kelly can feel his presence when she's driving on I-65. I know. I've actually been to a couple of events that he's been at. One of the guys that works here, Greg James, has run into him a couple of times at Lowe's. Yeah. I've been hanging out at Lowe's, but it hadn't happened. Oh, jeez. Ironically, the song's called Desperately, which is an ode to Kelly and her just need to see Mark Slaater. In person. You never say hi. What's on your mind? Oh, she does. Just tell me, honey, lay it on the line. Anytime night or day, just call me up and I'll be on my way. The clock strikes midnight. I don't know where you are. The clock strikes. It's all right. Just tell me, honey, don't push me too far. Desperately. I got to know. My name is Kelly. Mark, call me if you love me so. I added that last line. Kelly, I think you and I go get tattoos, and you're going to fit slaughter in.


It's going to be amazing. Who says I don't already have it? I'll leave you with that thought, America. Love you guys. Bye.