Transcribe your podcast

You coming up on the Dr. John Deloney show.


I lost my mom to cancer in 2019. About a month after that, I found out my girlfriend was cheating on me. The issue that I see now, though, is that I suppress my feeling, and it's really starting to affect my current relationship with my girlfriend, my family, and pretty much anyone I meet. Those relationships I'm forming. Just arm in, one arm out.


What's up? This is John with the Dr. John Deloney show. It's Valentine's Day, people. If that's a shock to you, you should probably take that as an indicator of the status of your relationships that you are in. If it's not a shock to you, best of luck buying a $14 card where somebody else has sat in a cubicle somewhere listening to headphones to house music or some bad hair metal, and they write things for you to tell the person that you love in their own words, and then you pay $14. How much does a Hallmark card cost these days?


I think probably a good, like five or five or $6 at least. And that's assuming it doesn't have any stuff on it. You can get something like nine and $10 that sing and do all sorts.


Of things this year for thanksgiving. I mean, thanksgiving for. I just love food. Valentine's. For Valentine's Day. Listen, for all of you guys listening to the show, go out on a limb and make your own card. Even if you have to find a song that your significant other loves and you write the lyrics to that song inside the card, because you can. You can come up with something, then have to rhyme, but do that. I think that'd be amazing.


You just gave a million men who are out there because this is Valentine's Day and they haven't bought anything yet.


They're like, yes, just write, dude, make your own card. Make your own card. Is that right? Fair.


Oh, very fair.


I like how all the dudes are like, yeah, that's great. And all the women are like, no, we want money.


No, I would love that. I've rubber signed that a couple of times and I'm perfectly happy with.


I'd love that.


Seriously. Good. I'm in on that. I think I'm going to do that, too.


Also. Especially once it's out of your bank account, too. You're sharing bank accounts and you're like.


How much was this?


Yeah. Just to pay some other dude or AI to tell you for a card.


That, then you're like, okay, if I throw this away, I'm kind of a horrible person. But now I'm going to keep them. What am I supposed to do with this?


Make something amazing. Write it like on, I don't know, like some scrap wood out of the garage or something. Do something cool for Valentine's Day. But hey, while we're should, for those of you who are new, welcome to the Dr. John Dewali show. I'm John. It's good to see you. I'm clearly amazing at this job, but we talk about relationships, marriages, mental health, your kids, whatever you got going on in your life. Last year, we did our first ever marriage retreat here in Nashville, Tennessee. It was money and marriage event. Me and my good friend Rachel Cruz, we tag teamed back again. We put together a big event. People came from all over the country and it was easily the best event I've ever been a part of in my life ever. And it was. So to give you an indicator of how good it was, half the tickets for this upcoming year were sold that day. People were like, we're doing this again. And it was amazing. There's a lot of science about sex, about money, about communication, about how to fight. All the stuff. We listen to. You guys. I still stay pretty in tune to the scholarship out there and the literature out there.


I talked to couples all over the country. We are glued into the pulse. And by the way, Rachel and I are both married. We both got kids. We're both trying to figure it out, too. If you want to be a part of this event, go. Where do they go?


Kelly slash events.


Okay. Slash events. slash events. Get your ticket. It will be incredible. It's going to be in October, is that right? Correct. Okay. This upcoming October. So get them now, guys. If you don't know what to do, get online right now. Or anybody. Men and women, get online right now. Get your tickets for the money marriage conference. I think it's 799 is expensive, but it's all weekend. There's meals. It's just, trust me, it's amazing. Get your tickets. You can print them out and you can hand put them in an envelope along with a card that you made. And it'll be a great Valentine's Day gift. Be awesome. All right. Let's go out to Denver, Colorado and talk to Daniel. Hey, Daniel, what up?


Hey, Dr. Deloney, nice to meet you.


And also with you over the my.


I don't know if I really have a narrowed down question for this, but I guess I just need advice in the following situation. I have a pretty close friend group.




And about a year ago, one of the girls in this friend group told me that she had feelings for me. And we're all about 24, 25, so it's kind of serious things.




And then I kind of had said I kind of felt similar, but I didn't feel ready to really go forward with anything legitimate just because I was afraid. And kind of a bunch of things happened flash forward throughout that year, year and a half. I know she had told some of the other girls in our friend group that she kind of was done dating, and she knows that I'm the one that is it. Done deal. She was kind of just waiting for me. She was done looking. I kind of just didn't do anything about it. And it's my understanding that it had been like that up until recently, more or less. And then on New Year's Eve, all of our friends, we had a party, whatever, and then I came back with my roommates back to our house. And one of my roommates, who is one of my best friends, kind of also, we all have the same friends. And he said, me and this girl have been dating for the last month. And obviously my heart kind of sank.


Hold on. Why weren't you happy for your buddy that he's dating an amazing girl that you didn't want to even date? Yeah.


I just was flat out afraid. And then in the last. Maybe in all of December, I was like, you know what? I'm being dumb. This person has everything that matters. Like, everything. It was the person. And so I totally made up my mind. I was going to just not be dumb. And then he dropped that bomb. And don't get me wrong, I was so happy for them because he is one of the best people I know. She's one of the best people I know. And so I guess one of my questions is something you talk about a lot, is kind of morning dreams and morning relationships with people that might be alive. And I guess, how can I do that with someone that I have to see all the time now, man, you've.


Put a ton like a metric ton, like a dump truck full of granite backing up and just dumping granite dust. Ton of pressure on yourself and on this relationship. You're talking about her as though she's dead or you're talking about her as though they're married. Yeah. And I think it's beneath that. There is no one person. You got to get that out of your head. That's not a thing. It's not real. There's no one. Like, I finally just decided she's the one. That's not a thing. You decided, I really want to date her. And then she was like, oh, I've moved on. It just sucks. Yes, but I mean, when you say, like, I don't know how to, what do you mean you don't know how? I don't understand. Is it a bummer? Yeah, of course. But, I mean, is she coming around and kind of looking at you and winking? Does she still have feelings for you and you don't know what to do about it, and you think she's just, like, kind of biding her time with a guy that's your buddy?


That's something that I'm kind of afraid of, because the way he. I hadn't told anybody about that last year or whatever, and then when he told me, he had said he initiated it, and I think she took time to, whatever, think about it, and then they decided to date. But he had said that they were most anxious about my reaction. We kind of went past that in the moment, but I can't stop thinking about that because I think a part of me is worried that. What if it is exactly what you said? I don't know.


For whatever reason, you're putting so much pressure on a thing that I don't think can bear the weight you're stacking on it. I don't know what the secrecy is getting you. I don't know what your initial stumble to her asking you out or telling you like, hey, I got feelings for you. I don't know what your hesitation is right now. Like your best buddy on the planet who happens to be a roommate when he comes home, and he's like, dude, I finally have been dating this girl for a month, and you're like, oh, my gosh, I had the biggest crush on her, too, man. I don't understand why those conversations are so hard for you, but it sounds like beneath this thing, I keep coming up with this question. What are you afraid of? Because you are afraid to date her. Let me say this. You were afraid of her looking at you and saying, I've chosen you. And your body went, no, I'm out. Even though you liked her, then your roommate is like, hey, man, I have this other. And instead of being like, ah, me too. She's amazing, and I hate you, but good for you, man.


Your body went, right. What are you afraid of?


What are you afraid of? To know that you would have seen right through me.


Well, I mean, what are you afraid of? Dating her. What are you afraid of? Not dating her. What are you afraid of? Even when you decided. All right, she's the one. I took you another 30 days. Yeah. Haven't you ever listened to any Eminem song? You only get one shot.




What are you afraid of, man?


Oh, man. I was afraid of a lot of things, to be honest. But honestly, if we had had this phone call a year or two ago, I would have been a totally different person. Not to totally just kiss your feet, but seriously, I feel that your show, listening to it for the last however long, really has helped me a lot and changed who I am a lot.


Hasn'T worked enough. Because I would have told you just to tell her. I really like you, and I'm scared to death about where this is going to go, or I would have told my budy. Like, dude, I was about to ask her out. So good on you. And the moment you all break up, I'm all in. Right. All right. Can I tell you the other side of this? I'm kind of holding back on you.


Okay, go for it. I can take it.


You can't. Well, I'm going to tell you, but first, because I'm just going to make everything more complicated. First thing, you got to tell me what you're scared of. Stop being evasive. Just go. What are you scared of, man? What is it that you date her and ultimately I'll break up? That your budy, your best friend, is like, get out of my house, I hate you. I'm marrying her. If that's who that dude is, you're going to end up blowing up anyway. You might as well do it now. What are you scared of?


Yeah, and he's not like that at all.


Of course he's not. He wouldn't be your best friend if he was. You are the one with the problem. What is it?


I know. Yeah. To be honest, when she had first said that a year ago, I couldn't help but almost look down on her in a weird way. Yeah. I kind of was thinking, why would you like me? You're crazy. I don't know if that makes sense.


It makes perfect sense. But, dude, you will not answer my question. I don't care about the last year and how you're different because you listen to my show. I don't care what you felt when she first said that. What are you scared of?


Not being good enough, I think.


Yeah, there you go, not being good enough. And you have somebody that you care about that you really like, that you trust. That's a part of your gang that looks at you and says, I see it. And your impulse is to call her a liar with your actions. Nah. Stupid. And then your buddy, who has chosen you to do his twenty s with chosen you, you're like, nah, that's not real either.




And until you put your head up high and say, I'm worth loving, I'm worth being friends with, I'm worth telling the truth, you're going to continue to be caught in this loop because people are going to try to reach out and get close to you because you're probably a really good guy, but you're a really good guy at arm's length. Until you decide, I'm going to let somebody past arm's length. And that means they can truly hug me, but that also means they can stab me. Until you decide to tread there, you're going to be in this loop, brother. Yeah.


So do you think that a conversation with either one of them is warranted?


All right, so here's part two. I had this conversation and I've been married to her for 21 years.


Oh, nice.


Yeah. And here's the other deal. The buddy on the other end of this wasn't my roommate. We weren't super close, but he was a guy that I had high respect for, even back in college. How we met is a hilarious story. We met in a punk club. We saw a guy in the middle of the club just do like, basically assault a woman. He pulled her down and smashed her to the floor. She was crowd surfing. And from one side, I was on one side of the punk club floor and he was on the other. And both of us saw it happen from the opposite ends. And both of us crashed into this dude. Both of us took the guy out at the same time. And as we all piled into the floor, I was like, hey, do you go to my college? And he's like, yeah. Hey, man. That's how we met. And then a few years later, or a year and a half later, I went back and the woman who's my wife now had said, hey, I'm all in if you are. And I said, I'm not. And she moved on. She's like, cool, I'm moving on.


And she was dating a great guy. That is awesome. Good guy character, man. And eventually I came back and said I was wrong and he was a good enough person. He's like, I know that's fair. And he could have thrown a temper tantrum and like, I'm going to meet you in the parking lot, bro. No, dude. He's a confident kind honest guy. Could it have gone sideways? Yeah, of course. But I'm looking at a quarter century with the same woman. And thank God I took that risk.


Yeah, and I've thought that too, but I think I'm just. Yeah, I mean, I'm afraid of it going south. And now I'm living with this person who we had a falling out with or something. And I know it's not the best to look at the worst case scenario, but.


Listen, the couples who figure this out, the friends who figure this out, the quickest win life. What I'm about to tell you, every relationship is a risk. Everyone, every friendship is a risk. Every dating relationship is a risk. It's a risk. When she says, I do, and you say I do, it's a risk. 15 years in when you have two kids and your bodies both don't look the same, and you look over and say, do you still love me? And she says, I do. And then 45 years later when your kids are have, you have grandkids and both of you look like a hollowed out version of yourselves that you married. When you're in your wake up and one of you is sick and one of you has a knee replacement, and you look at each other and go, do you still love me? It will always be a risk. What I got really comfortable with early on was risking that relationship, and have I gotten hurt, dude, real bad. But has it been every blessing in my life? Yes. Everyone was taking that relational risk. Now, you can be an idiot about this, or you can say, hey, dude, roommate, we need to go out.


And had I been roommates with this other guy, I would have had that conversation that way first. But since we didn't run in the same circles, we didn't hang out. He's just a guy at my university, just a good guy. I didn't go to him first. I went to her, the woman who's now my wife. But in your case, that's your roommate, dude. So you go to him first and you say, hey, I need to be honest with you. This was gearing up and I was bright about to ask her out after a year of toying around with it. And don't say, she told me, I'm the one forever. Don't do any of that crap because that's just going to tank what he's got now. But say, hey, I'm really happy for you, but, man, I got such a crush on her, dude. I just want to be weird between us. Yeah, and then tell him whenever you're out of town. I'm probably going to cheat on her with you. Just kidding. Don't say that. Don't say that. Here's why I would even forget the romantic relationship part. Here's why I would. That's your best friend.


You all have roommates and there's secret between you. Now, don't live like that. It's going to mess up breakfast, it's going to mess up lunch, it's going to mess up dinner. And it's one of those things. You don't want to have that conversation because it might go bad. It might go bad in a big way. And so what you're going to do is instead of it being a single grenade explosion, it's just going to be death by paper cut, death by bb gun, over and over and over and over until it wipes out. Don't do that, man. And by the way, you're 24, 25. You're going to have hard conversations like this relationally for the rest of your life. And it becomes a skill that you learn how to do well or that you shy away from. And your kids don't want to hang out with you, your spouse doesn't want to hang out with you. You have trouble at work. So get good at these hard conversations. Get good at them. You start by being honest and, hey, I'm putting it out there. And maybe your budy will go, thank God, dude, I've been dating her for a month.


She's the worst. Or he may say, I'm going to marry her. And you go, cool, I'll be your best man. I'll be right there. She's the one that got away. It's good on you, because what are you going to do? But you, my brother, have to put your head up high and stop walking around wondering why the world likes a guy that you don't even like. You can't give what you don't have, and if you don't love yourself, can't give that out. You're worth it, man. We'll be right back. Hey, it's Deloney. Lint 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. Lint is so, so much more than just abstaining from some vice lint 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 Wahlberg. Yes, that mark Wahlberg, Jonathan Rumi and more. There's going to be lent theme music, stories, prayers, and even special things for your kids. I personally am going to take on the challenge, and I hope you'll join me and millions of others across the globe. Hallow is the number one prayer app in the world. And 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 deloney. That's three free months of the app at hallow. slash Deloney. All right, let's go out to the Czech Republic and talk to Sophia.


Hey, Sophia. What's up?


Hey, Dr. John. How are you?


I'm so good. And how are you?


I'm fine. I wanted to ask you about my relationship with my husband, which is quite trained right now.


Yeah, you bet. Thanks for calling.


Okay, so the question is, how do I accept my husband's decision about the house that we live in, or should I demand a change? So it's like a relationship housing problem?


It's probably deeper than that. But tell me, walk me through what happened. What are you wrestling with? Yeah.


So we are like a blended family. We are married for five years, and we were both single parents before, so our house is full, like his kids, my kids, and now we've got little ones together, so our lives are really full. And my husband was saving up to buy a house, like his entire career. So finally when we get together, for him, it was the time to buy something, and he chose a house that is quite distance from the city that we work in.


Let me stop right there. Let me stop right. And I want to make sure I don't miss anything in cultural, with culture. Right? Yeah. In the US, when I get married, I would never take what would, quote, unquote be my money and go buy the house that I want. When I got married, it would be our money and we would decide where we were going to live.


Yeah, but it's kind of complicated, okay? Because I made two assumptions when we were buying the house. First was, if that's his dream house, he will stop working that much because he already fulfilled his dream. And the second one, because I'm easy on the property market. I had huge experience with that. So I just thought, he will realize that this house doesn't serve our family and we will just sell it and move somewhere else. And the thing about the money is that before we were married, I had the idea that he was taking advantage in his previous relationships, like financially. So we kept our accounts separate, and the house was bought from his savings because it was his decision that I keep my apartment and use it as a rental. Now, do you follow me?


I got it. Yeah. So he had a place and then you had an apartment, like a condo of some sort? Like a rental.


Yeah, we both had our condos. No, his is also a rent because he really saved up for his whole career to buy his dream house.


And so a couple of things happened. Number one, you didn't sit down. You've heard me talk about pictures and words on this show. Have you ever heard me talk about that?


No. Because these assumptions I made in my head, I didn't talk.


That's what I mean. We think in pictures, but we speak in words. So when you got married, you thought, oh, he's going to realize this is dumb. You had a picture where he buys his house and he quickly realizes this isn't right for us, and he sells it. And he comes to you and he's like, Sophia, we're going to get a house that's better for us.


And you're like, yeah, that's what I saw. Yeah, exactly. That is what I thought it would happen, but it didn't.


There's an old. The word assume. A-S-S-U-M-E. Yeah. There's an old marketing saying in the States that when you assume, you make an ass out of you. And here we are. Right? Here we are. Yeah.


And I'm kind of stuck because from time to time, I'm checking the property market, which is dumb, I can tell you. What does this situation does to me? I'm, like, frustrated.


Have you told your husband?




Have you told your husband?


Yes, I did. I'm, like, yelling at my house. I still think it doesn't serve us because it takes too much time and energy to serve the house, not the family. And the atmosphere in the house is full of discontent, full of tension, and I just lack joy. That's how I feel about the situation.


Yes. And he's not on the phone because I would have a whole different conversation with him. But you're the only one that's on the phone, right?




And so I would ask you, what is choosing discontent right now accomplishing for you?


I got this impression, I feel that he chose his work over the family and he chose this property over our family. Okay, hold on, hold on.


That's a story you've chosen to make up about your husband because you haven't asked him?




Okay. And so here's what's happened. You've made up a story about what he's thinking and about why he's doing what he's doing.


And then you told him so.




No, I told him so. And he said that this is all is for the family and this place is beautiful and I should enjoy it and just express gratitude. And all this gratitude stuff that makes your life better.


Here's what I can't. Can I just tell you what happened in my life? Is that okay?




My wife and I bought a home that we'd wanted out in the country on six acres. It's beautiful. It's stunning. It's a small house. It's not a huge house, but it's a small house. It's perfect for our family. And my wife came to me about a year ago, six months ago, and said, hey, I'm driving in the car three and a half hours a day getting kids.


That's exactly the same.


Listen, three and a half hours to school and back. Whenever I'm at home on the weekends, I'm mowing. And it takes me hours to mow and keep up all of the grounds of the place. And it is beautiful, and it is ours. And it's also not serving our family in this moment. But here's what my wife did for me. She articulated, she didn't just say, I hate it here, and she didn't do it like that. She said, this is beautiful. It's amazing, and it's such a gift. And I need you to know, here's my experience every day while you're gone. And me and my wife looked for houses yesterday, okay?


Oh, did you?


Yes. Because of how this is on me. I was oblivious to, I didn't know she was in the car three and a half hours a day. That's madness. And she's going to be for the next decade, because I have a young child, right?


Believe me, I have more.


I know you got a bunch, but also, I want to hang out with my friends. And it takes me 45 minutes to get to a budy's house, which means I often say no to.


I feel isolated. I miss my family. Nobody really visits me. Yes, because it's just too far. And if you compare it to the States, it's not far. My commute is not far, but it's far because I don't have access to public transportation. I don't have food delivery, I don't have playgrounds around, and I don't have swimming pools around.


I don't have any of those things either. So I totally understand. Here's the deal.




If you come at your husband as though he did this to you on purpose, or he's some kind of moron and idiot, here's what he's thinking. I bet that he had a dream that he is going to give his wife the most amazing place in the country, a place where all the kids could run and play, and he was going to work himself to death in honor of his family. And then the person he in his head is doing this for says, you're doing this. He's just defending himself because he feels attacked. That's different than, hey, I know you want to love me. Here's the best way that I would feel loved in this season right now. You see how one's a different conversation.


He needs a different conversation because it's really difficult to communicate my feelings without high emotions. And when he hears these emotions, he just shuts.


Exactly right. That's right. That's universal. When somebody attacks you. Okay, so tell me if I'm wrong. You don't say anything. You don't say anything. You don't say anything. You have these imaginary conversations in your head about the house and about the kids and about the drive, and I want to see my family. And then it all bubbles up and it explodes. And either he shuts down or he comes out swinging, which is what you do, right? When somebody tries to fight you, you either punch him back or you curl up until they get done punching you.


He will ever shut down.




But the thing that I'm suppressing it, but I also try to do it in the best intention not to be angry every day, but I still deeply inside, I'm suppressing everything, and then I just explode.


In counseling, we call that suppression. We call it leakage, which is a terrible, disgusting word, but it will leak all over your house until it finally explodes. And I'm going to tell you what happens.


It's not because every argument ends up that's right. About the house.


That's right. And so you are worth more than that. And he is, too.


Now, in the relationship. Yeah.


And listen, there were years when all I knew was I wasn't doing being a parent the right way. All I knew was I didn't know how to be a husband the right way. I'd never done this before, but I knew how to do my work. So I started spending more and more and more time at work because I wanted to honor my family and serve my family. And they rewarded me there at home. I was just doing it all wrong. And so it took me and my wife sitting down and her saying, no, dude, I see you. You're amazing. Can I teach you the, like, let's do it like this. And this. And this. This is the way you can love me. This is the way you can love your son in this way instead of this way. What an amazing difference that has made. Yeah.


I like to appreciate him.


No, it's both. It's saying it's gratitude, but it's also instructive because you can't just. You feel the way you feel, man. It's too far away. The house doesn't work for you and your family. You're too far away. What I always tell people, if the conversation gets too emotional, you find that anger or rage or whatever bubling up inside of you. Write it down and then read it to him in person. Write it down. Wait for when there's a moment, when there's not a fight. Like you're not in the middle of something. We're going to plan this maybe on the year anniversary or the two year anniversary of living in this home or some other moment. And you read the letter, honey, you gave us this big thing for us and you worked yourself to the bone for it. I'm so grateful that you loved us like this. And it's not working for us. It's both. And I don't mean that to minimize your sacrifice and your gifts. I mean that to say, hey, I want to do our money together. I want to do our life together. And I want to be honest with you.


And this isn't working. Now, I'm taking a lot of liberty here. I don't know where you live in the eastern bloc. I don't know what the culture is. I don't know if you, as a woman, you don't get to say anything. I don't know that. I don't know if it just sounds insane to not share your money. So I'm giving you a very western perspective of this. But what I can tell you is universal is if you squash how you feel, if you shove that down, it will explode and it will destroy you and it will destroy him. And your kids are absorbing this tension in your home. And if every day you go home and you say, I hate this house, I hate this house, I hate this house, I hate this house, you're just spraying poison all over the house. And there's nothing about that is. That's going to change. You're not going to change the situation. And so sometimes if he goes, all right, fine, we got to move. That's cool. It's going to take a while. Okay. I'm going to choose to come home and I'm going to look at for five things at this hot house, how great it is not.


Yeah, but I don't get. No, I'm going to do five things every day that I'm so grateful for. This home, the quiet, the stillness. I'm going to focus on that part, because why not? Choosing the other is just choosing misery. There's too much of that in the world, man, to choose more. I think the time has come for a hard conversation. A respectful, kind, direct conversation, but a hard one. And I recommend you write it down. And then if he says, I'm not moving, I'm never moving. This is good. Get over it. Well, then you've got a hard, hard decision to make. Do you want to make peace and open my hands up and make this my home? Or am I going to leave them, take our kids, and I'm going to go somewhere else? Hopefully, you all can have a conversation about what it would look like to build a home and a life together. That's my hope. Thanks for the call, Sophia. Holler back and let me know how that conversation goes. I'll be rooting for you. We'll be right back. This episode is sponsored by Betterhelp. Hey, it's Jaloni. 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. Help Deloney. All right, let's go out to Cleveland, Ohio, and talk to Garagiri. What's up, Gary? What's up?


How are we doing today?


We're doing good, man.


All right. Before I start, I just want to say thank you for taking my call, longtime listener, and the knowledge you share is just truly invaluable. So just want to say thank you for that first, but thanks, man.


Yeah, absolutely.


My question for you today is I am struggling with my empathetic side. So how do I open up again and fix my current relationship?


Tell me about it. Yeah.


So feel free to cut me off whenever because it's a pretty long backstory here, but I lost my mom to cancer in 2019, and about a month after. Thank you. Yeah, about a month after that, to make things even better, I found out my girlfriend was cheating on me. So, as you know, obviously that's pretty difficult to deal with. And instead of seeking professional help, I kind of took it upon myself to get better. And what that looked like for me was really just the music.


Did you all break up?


Yes, we broke up.


And so 2019 mom passes away. 2019 girlfriend, how old are you?


I just turned 25, so I was 20 at the time.


Okay, so 20, a girlfriend that was starting to mean something to you, find out that she's totally ripped your heart out.




Then at 21, when the world is supposed to be your oyster, the world shuts down for the next two and a half years, you've had a run, man. Sorry.


Yeah. Thank you.


It's not a fun way to get launched into adulthood. Dude, that sucks. I'm sorry.




All right. But then you tried to David Goggins it, and so you just tried to crush it, and then what'd you do?


Yeah, so I focused on my job, my career. I was currently in college at the time and really just wanted to make myself the best person I can be. And I can say I did that. I look a lot better. I'm financially successful now, and I've reached a lot of those goals. The issue that I see now, though, is that I suppress my feelings in doing that, and it's really starting to affect my current relationship with my girlfriend, my family, and pretty much anyone I meet. Those relationships I'm forming just are. One in arm. One in arm. I'm sorry, one arm in, one arm out.


Why do you do that to yourself? Are you afraid that someone's going to leave you again?


I think that's part of it. I don't know where to start. I struggle with giving and reassurance because of what happened. And I struggle with.


No, go back to that. What? You struggle to reassure somebody that you care about because of what happened. What do you mean?


I feel like that time I spent that three years just focusing on myself. I'd wake up, I'd put my head down, I'd go and work. And now I feel like I'm stuck in that rhythm. So I find it difficult to be that person I used to be that had that perfect balance, because that's all I've kind of told myself when trying to fix my life, I guess balance.


Is a myth, dude. Don't seek that. It's not real. Okay. Somewhere along the way, you quit doing the hard thing. Because for you, at the beginning, the hard thing was, I'm going to take personal responsibility of my health, of my money. I'm going to quit chasing girls. When the world shuts down, I'm going to hit the gas even harder. You went and did some really hard things in the face of a ton of forward pressure. And then that stuff got comfortable. That's who you are. It's what you do. And you've lost the ability to go do the hard thing, which is to sit down with somebody and say, I'm scared. And when you lose that ability, you start to get pretty judgmental about people. And it's hard for you to like, well, if you just exercise, you wouldn't feel like this. Or why don't you just tell that guy at work, right? He's turning to that guy.




And that guy's a coward.


I don't disagree. I hate that that is what this has turned into, because when I tried to fix it myself, that's obviously not what I had in mind.


But I want to honor you for what you did, man. I know, but you circled the wagons. You took care of yourself. Now we got to do something different.


Correct? I don't know where that starts, I don't know if it's coming from a place of trauma or depression or grief, but I just can't figure it out.


I think the challenge is that your response to relational pain happened to be one that the world will cheer you on and give you pats on the back for. But it's the same thing as though you went drinking. See what I'm saying? Yeah, you went and grabbed dumbbells, which, thank God, you're healthier for it physically. The problem is, you are running and running and running. I don't want to face what happened to my mom and the fragility of life. Mom wasn't supposed to leave me when I was only 19 or 20. That's bull crap. Mom's supposed to be there forever and be my grandma, my kids, all that. And she died. And then the woman you turned to, your girlfriend, was like, by the way, I'm cheating on you. And so you went to a drug, and the drug wasn't heroin. Thank God. The drug wasn't opiates. Good for you, man. The drug wasn't alcohol. The drug was crush it, kill it, domination. And I'll applaud you, man. You at least channeled that pain into something that wasn't going to kill you in the moment. But at some point, you got to sit down and reckon with the fact that your mom left.


She passed away. And at some moment, you got to realize that the woman you're dating now is not the woman who cheated on you when you were 20. And holding this woman responsible for what that woman did isn't fair. True or false?


It's true. And like I said, it's like pulling teeth, trying to come to that realization and actually put those words into action for me.


That's fair. Can you start thinking of yourself as an addict?


Absolutely. Because that is my escape. Now, if I become stressed, I'll go to the gym or I'll just go work, because that's what I'm used to doing, put my head down. And to me, that's making myself better. But I've come to know that that's short term and long term. I do want a family, and I do want meaningful relationships back in my life, and I just really don't know how to get that started.


Yeah. Dude, you got to trust me on this. You're so far ahead of the game, man. The fact that you've recognized this, it's amazing. Okay. I'm really proud of you. I'm proud of you for just dealing with your pain in a quasi productive way. I'm also proud of you, realizing most guys figure this out, what you're figuring out after they've made their ten or 20 or $30 million sale and they get a big fancy car and they get another nice house, and they got no one. Right. So good for you for finding this out now, for at least feeling this now. That's amazing. Tells me the light is still on. It's good. The challenge you're going to have is if you were drinking alcohol, I would tell you, you can never go to a bar again, ever. That has to be done with your life. If you are struggling with a food addiction, it's a different trajectory. Because you have to make peace with food. Because you can't just not eat food for the rest of your life. Right? That's going to be you. You got to make peace with work. You got to make peace with exercise.


That has to be a part of your life. And I'll tell you, if you, right now, before you're married, before you got kids, before you have moved on in your career, if you already use exercise as a way to combat stress, don't ever lose that. It's awesome. If you use the gym as a place to hide instead of having a direct, hard conversation with your girlfriend or your wife, we need to deal with. Right?




And so I think for you, it's refinding, reimagining, readopting. The posture of Gary does hard things. That's who Gary is. And whatever the hardest thing in your life happens to be, head into that. And right now it sounds like the hardest thing to do is to sit down and not say anything. When somebody comes into your sphere and they're 30 pounds overweight and they're like, I just don't want to do anything. And you're thinking in your head, just go work out. Right?




The hardest thing is to exhale and just don't say anything. The hardest thing is when you have, like, I'm going to work four more hours tonight, and then I'm going to go to the gym until 10:00 p.m. And this pretty cute, pretty smart, pretty amazing person that you're dating says, hey, could we just have dinner together tonight? The harder thing sometimes is skipping the workout and choosing connection and feeling it in your body. My body's like, you're lazy. No, I'm not choosing love right now. I'll make up the workout tomorrow morning. Do you see what I'm saying?


Yeah. That's exactly how I feel for guys.


Like you and me skipping the gym, it's hard. I have a lot of demons, and the gym makes me feel better. Yeah. Often the hardest thing for me to do is rest. And sometimes I need to go do 45 minutes in the gym and then have a hard conversation. But I'm going to go have the hard conversation. See what I'm saying?


Yeah, absolutely.


Who is somebody in your life that you want to heal a relationship with?


Like I said, mostly, ever since this stuff had happened, just my current girlfriend and my family, I've since moved away from home. And that obviously doesn't make things better. But it was for a job. But I just don't reach out as much as I should.


And like you said, who's telling you all these shoulds? Where is that coming from?


My brain. Because I know the person that I used to be before and the relationships I used to have before all this happened. And I want to get back to that level of caring.


Okay. How hard would it be to call your sister or your dad or your brother or a cousin and say, hey, when you got 15 minutes, I want to talk. And they call you right back and you say, dude, I went Mia for the last three years, and I didn't have the toolkit to deal with mom passing, and I didn't have the toolkit to deal with whatever cheating on me. I just went into hiding. And I'm sorry. I miss you. Can you just follow that script and make the calls to who you need to call? Yeah. My promise is one or two people won't want to have you. Like, well, that's what you. Well, they'll respond like that. And I would almost guarantee that other people will be like, their hearts will heal. And that doesn't mean you become soft, and it doesn't mean you become weak. And it doesn't mean you become a lesser version of crushing it and grinding it. It means you become whole, finally. Fair.


Fair. I think it's a good place to start.


And I also think, sit down with your girlfriend and say, my mom left. She died. I never dealt with it. I ran, and then somebody cheated on me. And I'm so sorry, but I've been holding you accountable for that, and that's not fair. And that means that when I text you and you don't text me back, within an hour, my heart rate picks up, I start getting uneasy, and then I bomb you with a bunch of text. I'm going to stop doing that. But I want you to know it's hard. I'm practicing. I'm trying because I got to deal with this, not you. And that's you calling out. All you're doing there is the same as you do in a gym. Hey, bro, can I get a spot? I'm about to put up some weight that's heavy, and I'm not 100% sure I can make it. You got me. And a stranger in a gym goes, yeah, I got you. All you're doing in this situation is telling your girlfriend, I love you. And I'm about to start trying to do something different because I'm still reactive, and I'm not going to be reactive with you.


I like you too much. But going from reaction to trust, that's a process. It's a heart. I got to practice that. So I'm asking for you to spot me. I'm asking you to be gracious with me. Is there something she's asking of you that you struggle to provide?


It's mostly, like you said, just the reassurance thing and just reminding her that she's important to me and I love her and that I need her in my life. And like I said, just some days that I struggle with that more than others. And she recognizes that. And she doesn't know the old person I used to be, but it bothers me because I know deep down I can give her more. And I'm not okay.


What would you tell me if I came to you in the gym and I said, dude, I see you here all the time, and you always can go one more? Like Nick Barr. Like, you can always go one more?




How do I do that? What would you tell me?


I just tell you to dig deeper. And you got to want it.


Yeah, you. There you go, dude. Right there. So put a thing on your phone that reminds you. That sends an alarm to you once every 4 hours that just says, make a funny face and text it to my girlfriend and remind her, I'm so grateful that you're in my life. It's that small. Once a week, your calendar will send you a ding. That reminds you. Pick up some flowers on the way home. It's that small. I don't want to. I feel like. I don't care how you feel. Same as you would tell me in the gym. I don't care how you feel. Go do another set. Same thing. We agreed on this workout. We're going to be a person of integrity. You agreed to date her. That means you agreed to respect her, treat her right. And here's the deal. It's not a character issue. We're just practicing our way back to something. We're practicing our way forward to something new, a new set of skills. You got to let Gary off the hook, man. Gary did what Gary had to do to survive. I'm proud of you. Can I tell you something else that's hard?




Your mom didn't leave you on purpose, man. Are you still mad?


A little bit, yeah.


Are you mad at her? It's okay to be. Yeah.


Just how it all went down.


Yeah. Was it quick?


Yeah. You got just put on a ventilator and kind of had to make a game time decision, which my dad really wasn't sure about, so he kind of looked down to me and my brother and my sister.


God, Gary. Hey. That was never your call to make, you understand?




That was not your job. It's not your job. Hear me? Real careful, bro. You did not take your mom's life. Got it?


Got it.


Your mom, I promise you, if she could do anything in the world, it would have been to spend another ten minutes with you. I promise you. You did right. You got to set that brick down, my brother. Gary's a good guy. And while we're here, that girl didn't cheat on you because of you. Fair?




Okay. Here's your homework assignment tonight. You ready?


Yes. Got my pound ready.


I want you to write Gary a letter. 20 year old Gary, I want you to start with dear Gary. Can you believe dad put me in this position? Put us in this position. But we know mom. Mom didn't want to hurt. We knew mom was in tons and tons and tons and tons of pain, and her body was shutting down. We weren't even old enough to drink yet. We got put in a position to make a call that we weren't ready to make, but we did the best we could, and I'm proud of you. I want you to write that letter to Gary.




You got to let that guy go. He's 20 years old, man. He's a kid. He deserves to go be goofy. Fair. Let me say it this way. You can't outrun that guy. He'll haunt you until you let him go. Okay? And forgive your dad. He did you wrong, but he probably did the best he could with what? He's losing everything, right?




Hanging on to that is not going to help anything moving forward. Set it down. And when we lose our parents, when we lose someone we care about, we lose someone we love. We say stupid things. So your sisters and brothers probably said dumb things. Let them. Let that. Set it down, man. Is that fair?


Yeah, absolutely.


I'm really proud of you, man.


Thank you.


Write that letter to Gary. Then get on the phone, start calling people that you care about and you love, and just say, I went Mia. When I'm back, guess who's back? Back again. Gary's back. That's an old Eminem line. If you don't know that, man, I do. Boy, I was waiting for you to finish my workout. Great workout music. All right. Hey, I'm proud of you. You call me anytime, Gary. Anytime. I can walk with you. I'm going to send you two of my books, building a non anxious life. I want it to be a guide for you. Part of that's gonna be dealing with your health. You've done a great job. Part of that's gonna be dealing with relationships. And I got a map for you to help you get there. The second thing is, I'm going to send you a copy of own your past, change your future, which is dealing with that scary question, what do I do now? And it's got a roadmap for you, too. I love you, brother. I'm proud of you. Proud of you. Hung in there. Let's go do the next hard thing. Let's repair and rebuild and reconnect those relationships.


Let's be whole. 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 and 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 in marriage weekend retreat getaway is back. This October, join Rachel Cruz and me for a weekend in Nashville, Tennessee. Bring all of your questions because there's Q A and by the way, it's not recorded. So the things that get said there stay there and things get very real. We had couples showing up last year who were on the brink of divorce, couples who found out on the ride to the marriage retreat that the other one had been stepping out on the marriage challenges with kids. All of it. Listen, couples call me every day and say, we love each other. We just can't get on the same page about our money. We can't get on the same page about raising kids. We can't get on the same page about what we want life to look like now the kids are gone. Bring it all to Nashville. At money and marriage Getaway, you're going to get all of it. You're going to get tools that you need to stay connected when you get back home to your mad house lives that we've all created for ourselves.


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. And in honor of Valentine's Day, I'm going to read the single most romantic song ever written ever. My favorite love song of all time, of course, y'all know, is I remember you by skid row.


But the most romantic song ever written from the great Billy Joel. The song's called she's got a way. And it goes like this. She's got a way about her. I don't know what it is, but I know that I can't live without her she's got a way of pleasing and I don't know what it is there doesn't have to be a reason anyway she's got a smile that heals me and I don't know why it is but I have to laugh when she reveals me and she's got a way of talking I don't know why it is but it lifts me up and we were walking anyway anywhere she comes to me when I'm feeling down inspires me without a sound she touches me and I get turned around dude that line. She comes to me when I'm feeling down and inspires me without a sound she touches me and I get turned around I don't know what it is but I know I can't live without her anyway guys, if you don't know what to do, write that song lyric down in a car to give that to her. Jeez. Love you guys. Bye.