Top iTunes Marriage Podcast

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hosted by Dr. Corey Allan

Creating A Passionate Marriage #643

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On the Regular Version …

We revisit our main framework of everything we talk about on Passionately Married.

What are our basic frameworks when addressing life and marriage?

How do we approach the idea of growing up in marriage?

In the regular version we cover Dr David Schnarch’s Four Points of Balance.

On the Xtended version …

We explore the principles of passion and desire and how they play out in marriage and life. These are natural dynamics found in every marriage.

Enjoy the show!

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Corey Allan: Welcome to the show and every week I start the show. Welcome to the show, Pam.

Pam Allan: Thank you. You do start the show every week.

Corey Allan: Well, that is true. So maybe one of these weeks we need to get you to welcome people

Pam Allan: Maybe so to show maybe so change

Corey Allan: It up just to make everybody like am I listener to the right show because this didn't follow the same script that it always seems to follow. Well, this is Passionately Married podcast where we're having conversations to try to help enhance connection and vibrancy in life and in marriage because we want and believe in passionate people passionately living passionate lives. Can I say passionate a few more times?

Pam Allan: Yeah, maybe. I guess you could throw that in there, here and there.

Corey Allan: Well, if you think we can come up with other ways to say it, please let us know. 2 1 4 7 0 2 9 5 6 5. Leave your open in our voicemail and maybe we'll use that to open a show. That'd fine. You could be the one that opens the show. So call a voicemail line or email us at where all the inbox that we get is interacted with used for the show. We answer some of them that are pointed that needed to be taken care of off the air. So we love the interaction and the relationship with the nation. And speaking of the nation, we also have my passionately We haven't talked about the platform in a while that goes on. So those of you that are new, which there are a lot of people that have found us lately, and so there's a whole nother platform going on that's like its own little social media network, if you will.

Pam Allan: Yeah, a community of people.

Corey Allan: Yeah, affectionately known as the nation and there's a lot of great support and help and interaction there. So my passionately is how you can join. It's for free. There's also Deeper Levels, which is the academy. You can join slash academy and that gets just a wealth of information and interaction with both Pam and I. And what we want to try to do is just walk alongside people. We love the nation walking alongside us. True. So coming up today on the free version of Passionately Married, because we've had a lot of new people that have found us recently, I feel like it's a good idea to let's revisit what is the principles that we believe in here at Passionately Married. It's a refresher even for those of you that have listened to every single episode and have followed from the very beginning, I watch reruns of shows because it's good to have a reminder of things and sometimes I miss, I'm like, I don't remember that.

Pam Allan: Or you just want to laugh again.

Corey Allan: Well, there's that too, but that's what this is today is we're talking about just there's four basic frameworks that I believe in that help set the stage and this is all from Dr. Ash and the way he thinks about life and people. And then on the extended content today, which is deeper, longer, and there are no ads, and as one of our members has said, it's twice the fun. Again, like I mentioned earlier, you can slash academy. We go a little bit deeper into the idea of what are the principles of passion and desire and how they play out in marriage because it's so interesting to me when you think about relationships and particularly marriage, there are dynamics that are naturally at play in every single one of them. We can't do anything about those. We can't make them not happen. So then we're faced with how do I utilize them to produce something better?

Pam Allan: So sometimes we dive in and we want to change things and we don't understand that what's underlying there, the desire, the passion that's underlying. Maybe it's just waiting to be exposed and be this source of good things for you to come.

Corey Allan: And I think that's the main idea behind all that we've done all these years coming up on 12 years of being on the air and it's about utilizing the energies naturally found in relationships to produce better relationships, not changing those energies because I love this quote of I can yell at the wind or I can adjust my sails. That's a lot of what we can do in relationship. I can yell at these dynamics or I can utilize them better

Pam Allan: And then just enjoy the cruising with that wind. Right, or the turbulence that comes with it too.

Corey Allan: There will be,

Pam Allan: Yes. Wow. What a story you have to tell on the other side.

Corey Allan: So all that's coming up right after this. Well, it's already busy fall season in full swing It for sure is in the Allen household. It is because we are right on the verge of what is affectionately known as Band Tober.

Pam Allan: Band Tober. We're hopping around to all the band events

Corey Allan: And love it, but that also makes it to where mealtime becomes a troublesome time in our house because it's

Pam Allan: So easy, it's hurried.

Corey Allan: It's so easy to just swing through a drive-through, which isn't a good choice. No, but our sponsor Today Factor is America's number one ready to eat meal kit. It can help you fuel up fast with chef prepared, dietician approved, ready to eat meals delivered straight to your door. You'll save time, eat well, and you can stay on track with your healthy lifestyle because that's what we've tried to do over the last couple of years is just be a lot more specific in what we choose with our food and our choices.

Pam Allan: Definitely diligent in that and this stuff is fresh, never frozen. I mean it's delicious. The cuts of meat are delicious and tender

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Pam Allan: I wish you could have seen him do that.

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Pam Allan: Hello, I'm relatively nude and love what I'm hearing thus far. Is there a way I can get caught up with the main principles or beliefs or you and your practice as a therapist and coach with so many episodes? I don't even know where to begin, but I'm intrigued with the framework you present so far. It seems so different than the things I've heard at church or even other marriage podcasts and resources. Thanks so much.

Corey Allan: Yeah, we're going to use this as a way to frame a dialogue. I think more than anything, this came in a while back and we hear this quite a bit because there's a ton and so there is this element of the people that are Oh yeah, I'll binge it all. Yeah, that's some people, but not every people.

Pam Allan: Yeah, it's a huge time commitment that not everybody has.

Corey Allan: It absolutely is. And so what we're going to try to do is just walk through what are some of the main premises, the main principles, and from the outset, Pam, because of the schooling I've got and how several of my professors and just the whole doctoral program is adamant about, you must cite where resources and ideas come from. And so if you're new to SS m R, Dr. David SCH is the one I have trained under the most in school and love his framework, love his view and his take and the way he approaches therapy and life. And so that's where a majority of this is coming from. It's my take on sch, but I'm going to make sure it's from the outset he gets credit. Sure, he's now passed unfortunately, but the work he's done is fantastic and so there's more resources out there from him.
He's not a Christian to say that upfront. His work is not based in the Christian truths in the sense, but it is still a fantastic resource to look at. Yeah. There's two different things I want to do with this. One is Schnarre has a framework that he calls the four points of balance, and so we're going to spend a little bit of time talking about that. What does that mean? This is how, if you put this all into the lens of marriage is designed to help us grow up, the psychobabble term he uses is differentiate that We're trying to go through the process of differentiation, which is where I can stay close to somebody without losing myself and I can be myself without losing the somebody. There's a tension that goes on in marriage, that's the drive will of our growth. If you're looking at it through that lens, there's this framework then that he has these four points of balance that if I'm struggling in some aspect of my marriage, one of the things I need to do is look at how's my balance.
Okay. And then from there we're going to move into the concept of principles of passion and desire. There are just some basic principles that if you look at throughout all of the history of what we've done on our show, these are just the basic concepts we keep referring back to. And so what Pam's role today is she's going to be the role of the emailer and the audience to help frame it out as she hears it. Also poke holes, ask questions, what did I miss? I don't want to keep it in theory even though it's real easy to do so because basically a theory.

Pam Allan: So we want it to be applicable, right? Correct. We want it to be understandable and not educator. PhD geek out,

Corey Allan: No geeking out today. I want to

Pam Allan: Understand it. I don't understand it at that level.

Corey Allan: Yeah. Okay. So if you're looking at the four points of balance, that's how we'll start. And so first,

Pam Allan: And then back up again, the four points of balance. If I'm off in one of these things, then my relationship is off my,

Corey Allan: This will create the struggles that happen in marriage. So if you feel like you are in a chronic pattern in your marriage that it's like we keep fighting about the same thing, the same thing keeps happening. Why won't they ever figure this out? What is it about? Am I unhappy with this thing? Why was this a total frustration with this thing? This is where you're going to refer back to check your four points of balance and see, because likely this has been the case in our marriage, one of them's off,

Pam Allan: So it's like having a stool that I'm sitting on with four legs and maybe one of them shorter than the other.

Corey Allan: Great analogy. And so the four of them are, we're trying to create a solid, flexible self. We want a quiet mind and a calm heart. We want to figure out how to be grounded in our responding and then meaningful endurance. That's the four principles of the makeup and comprise the four points of balance. And sch believed in these so heavily. He actually trademarked all four of these things.

Pam Allan: Interesting.

Corey Allan: So I'm giving notice that these are not mine. I'm honoring his. The solid flexible self is this idea. We've landed on the idea with S M R that we're trying to create a more solid self, which is this idea of I know who I am and I know who I'm not. I have the ability to live by my core values. I love his addition of flexible self because it's not that I'm rigid,

Pam Allan: Solid

Corey Allan: Does not mean rigid in human life. The only things we want rigid in life are bridges and roads and buildings. I want rigid structures, but life as humans, if I'm a rigid human, that's not a fun person to be around nor be,

Pam Allan: No. It took me a while to really get these solid and flexible at the same time, but it really makes sense after time, I can live by that value

Corey Allan: And I can also adjust to the situation without losing myself. I still know who I am and I can persevere through hard times. That's the solidness plus the flexibility. We can figure out what do we need to do when we go wrong? What comes to my mind when I think of this is the years that we would do the month long travels with the kids, and the very first year we did this, you sat down right before we climbed in the truck and you looked back at the kids, said, okay, we have a word for our month.

Pam Allan: Flexible. Flexible,

Corey Allan: Because we don't know what's going to go wrong because something will, well, that's life. So how do you get flexible with things and adjust without crumbling and caving and it's a catastrophe. You just figure it out. There's another element of solid, flexible self is the idea of we don't have to be right. If you think about a lot of what happens in marriage, and a lot of the emails we get, if you boil it down and are honest as the emailer or caller, you're likely holding onto the fact that I got to be right rather than, no, I don't. I don't have to be right to confirm myself. I can hold on and I say, thank

Pam Allan: You. I didn't do that on purpose.

Corey Allan: Well, I'm feeling more solid because you said write to my statement. But it's that idea of I can have a stance and there's room for another stance.
So it's that element of I can look at this through a process of how am I developing a more solid, flexible self? And then I love if I add a biblical concept to this. I think the biblical idea is this is the idea that God wants us to develop more character and wisdom, not happiness in good time. He's more concerned about our character and our wisdom. The second one in here is this idea of quiet mind and calm heart, which this is really tied to our emotions and how we live life and how we can get so flooded and reactive. And so his principle is you need to learn how to have a quiet mind and a calm heart, and this is the idea of controlling your anxiety or your emotions so they don't run away with you. It doesn't mean don't have them,

Pam Allan: Right? I mean, we're given emotions for a reason. Absolutely. They can be perfectly valid and protect you in some regards, but is it more just about, is this more how I react or is it not

Corey Allan: Even on that? I think this is how I go through life, that obviously there's going to be different things that happen to us that can elicit responses that are emotional or anxiety producing or based out of that, but there's also an element of how am I driven and led by some of my emotions and what I'm interested in and even my anxieties, because there's some research out there that shows what I tell myself when I'm nervous or anxious makes a huge difference in the outcome of what that anxiety produces. If I tell myself I'm nervous before I go out for a public speech, I don't perform as well as if I tell myself the feelings I'm feeling are actually excitement in there too. It's not usually clean one thing or another. It's a lot of things, but the idea of a quiet mind and a calm heart is handling your feelings and your emotions, and I love that word handling. Doesn't mean controlling doesn't mean managing. It means handling.

Pam Allan: That's a good clarification

Corey Allan: There because I think personally speaking and professionally speaking, anger management is a misnomer. I don't think we manage anger. We need to learn how to handle it, steer it, use it, digest it, that kind of thing. Managing has this idea of I can actually control it. I don't know if I agree with that. Interesting, but I do believe we can handle things. Sometimes handling means I need help. I can't do this on my own. I must get away. I need to take a break that's handling, it's soothing my emotional bruises, which is a big one because how often does something happen in marriage and I blame my partner for the hurt that I'm feeling? It's because you did this. That's why I feel that. Well, if you wouldn't have done that, I wouldn't have the round and round circular argument that can happen, and the way I can kind of keep mindful of this more is I just monitor my body because our emotions manifest themselves in our body. We feel them, we experience them in different ways, and so the more I can get in tune, the more I can get an idea of what I'm really feeling and experiencing our dog's experiencing some emotions right now because hearing a siren as it goes by sirens.

Pam Allan: Thank you so much.

Corey Allan: So the biblical idea of this is I think the concept of being still, how do I settle myself? How do I be involved and engaged in things and be present? Yeah. Okay. Grounded responding is the third four point of balance, and this is the idea of not overreacting, which I think is a common thing. We all can understand how we can overreact to things in our world and in our life, but it's also not underreacting,

Pam Allan: Which gives the impression potentially of I don't care. I mean, is that what is

Corey Allan: Is this idea of I'm not even engaging in it, I'm acting like I'm totally removed, like I'm impervious, I'm shut off, I'm cut off.

Pam Allan: Or is this the person that's just, oh, they're just laid back. They're fine, they don't care, and they may not be

Corey Allan: That way. There could be an element of apathy associated with it. Absolutely. Because in the long run, what does that show? What does that to know? Because what comes to my mind when I think about overreacting or underreacting is because these points are based off of, in large part Murray Bowen's work, who's a family systems theorist that came up with a theory of family systems therapy and Shar built off of his work. And so Murray Bowen's work was more on the family aspect that you can be enmeshed in your family, which is where a kid's too involved in a parent's life, they're not in their own. The whole family has these secrets that no, no, we don't talk about what we do. It's outside, and it's just this element of it's too enmeshed. They're not independent people. You got a confuse. Look, I'm going off of ground responding as a way to talk about no underreacting and overreacting.

Pam Allan: Okay. Yeah, I'm trying to, so

Corey Allan: Family systems would be enmeshment too fused or cut off. I'm totally cut off from the family. I've called myself a part of the family, but I'm not involved in it is I call myself engaged in a situation, but I'm not reactive to it at all. I'm impervious to it all. Did I land that plane a little better? A

Pam Allan: Little bit still? Yeah.

Corey Allan: The other idea of grounded responding is making modulated responses to the people situations, events.

Pam Allan: I don't know what that even means. What does making modulated responses mean?

Corey Allan: It means it's appropriate in the reaction I have. Something happens in my life and I have what's deemed proportional to what went down

Pam Allan: Well there, it's not over or under. It's

Corey Allan: Correct with, I do make a response to it. I do engage in it. It's like this idea of if I get a B minus on a paper I worked really hard for and the whole world is falling apart, that's not a modulated response as much because it's like, wait, I still did well, B minus,

Pam Allan: Oh, and I act like the world's falling apart because I got a B minus. Okay,

Corey Allan: Yeah, maybe that didn't land either, but we're trying our best. We got some things going on around here with some sirens and other stuff. It's like we need to make modulated responses while we're recording. The biblical idea of this to me is this concept of, I think is to help learning to love. It's hard to love if I'm overreactive. It's also hard to love if I'm disengaged. So it's finding that balance, that medium point or the, I love growing up in an acapella church, the idea of harmony,
Because I think that fits. Some people are more emotionally leaning, some people are more logically leaning or rationally leaning, but we need to have both. That's how we get grounded responding. And then the last one is meaningful endurance. That's the last of the four points of balance, and this is that idea of sticking with things when you accomplish your goals, doing what needs to be done, even when you don't want to do it, and then absorbing hardships, bouncing back after defeats. This is that idea of sticking with it. Perseverance is the biblical idea that comes to mind. Any woman out there that has a child understands meaningful endurance.

Pam Allan: Anyone who started a business, anyone who has just been through a struggle in a relationship. I mean, we're talking about this. If there's infidelity and you're both in there willing to work on this, but it's going to be struggle, well, there's meaningful endurance on that, that it can be better on the other side. And that's struggle, right?

Corey Allan: And so meaningful endurance is just the sticking with it to see things through because it can create something. Some of the things I love adding to meaningful endurances, Viktor Frankl's work, man's search for meaning, which is if I can reframe suffering to actually it will produce something that helps you recognize. That's where I think the premise to me for s m smr, that's where this idea of marriage is designed to help us grow up because marriage comes with it. What comes with marriage is an inherent amount of suffering. I don't always get what I want in my life, and there's a little struggle that can come with that. Well,

Pam Allan: Sometimes it's my own fault, right?

Corey Allan: Absolutely. Well, I don't necessarily think of suffering is a negative thing here. I think there's just a struggle that is involved in it.

Pam Allan: True, true. So I go back on this and look at these four things, these four legs of a stool, and are there in any situation when you're counseling people, is there typically one of these that's off all the time, or I am assuming it's a person by person basis, right? It is. Maybe this is a person that does not respond well, or this is a person that isn't grounded. They don't know how to handle their emotions. They don't know how to handle what's going on within themselves.

Corey Allan: And here's the beauty of the way Shahar has these framed grinder responding. If I have trouble grinder responding, I likely also have trouble with a solid, flexible self. I overreact to things because I'm not really sure who I am and what I really believe,
And so those can feed off of each other. It's not always the case. Sometimes it's situational. Sometimes I can have a really good idea of who I am and I'm just not responding well to things. So I need to look at, okay, wait, so yes, these are just markers. When I'm working with somebody or in my life, in our life, I kind of will look back at these occasionally and go, wow, I'm not meaningfully or enduring right now. I'm kind of wanting to throw in the towel on that project. What's that about? Sometimes that could be wisdom. Sometimes it could just be I'm tired, but the work still is there. Still need to keep going with whatever it is we're trying to create or become or evolving. If you're working out, I'm on a workout regimen right now. There's days where it's like, I don't want to do this, but after you do it, you feel better. That's meaningful endurance. So the premise of all of this, Pam to me, is for those people that are listening and for the emailer, it's become an observer of your life and ask yourself, where are you in these four things? That could give you a clue maybe of, okay, I'm troubled with a quiet mind and calm heart.
I'm not real settled on things right now. I'm just kind of anxious about stuff. And then you just ask if you can get that awareness. Then you can sit down and ask them better questions of, okay, what could they be? Because sometimes the simplest thing, what works for me, when I realized I've got this little bit of undercurrent of angst, I'll have a time, I'll just get a cup of coffee one morning, I'll sit down with a pad of paper and I'll just start writing down what's going on. And typically after three or four or five things, it's like, oh, well, no wonder there's a little bit of angst because when you add all these things up, those are big deals altogether. If it was just one or two wouldn't even be above the threshold of noticing. So these are just great things to look back as lenses to figure out where am I in the different aspects of my life? And when I can do that, now I can lean back into shoring up, whatever that might be, which then helps us pivot into, alright, now let's talk about some desire and passion in my life. What are the principles that make up who I am and in my marriage that keep this whole process going?

Pam Allan: So you're equating desire and passion to making up who I am.

Corey Allan: No, I'm equating desire and passion as part of what comes with the relationship and our lives. If I can start to look at it as a whole and I figure out who I am and I'm operating within that whole, now all of a sudden I can lean into the dynamics that are naturally at play in marriages and in relationships,

Pam Allan: And by looking at who I am, you're not talking just this whole first point of balance, this solid, flexible self I'm talking about, you're talking about everything all altogether, whole

Corey Allan: Operating process of how well am I functioning again? It's so easy, Z. Okay, the thing that comes to my mind, maybe this doesn't land. I've had trouble landing planes with our concepts today.

Pam Allan: Well, and granted, my brain doesn't work like yours does,

Corey Allan: Thankfully. So

Pam Allan: Yes, I'm always asking the questions going way back that up because I'm not following.

Corey Allan: But what comes to my mind, I

Pam Allan: Work on a fourth grade level, is

Corey Allan: When you made the shift to the tax world from the corporate world as a C P A, we had no idea what tax season was going to be like the first one you made it for the second you started in August, which meant you had deadline, the first deadline, which is a little bit smaller of a season,

Pam Allan: A little bit.

Corey Allan: And when we hit the very first one, we didn't know we had an idea, but we didn't know. And midway through, looking back after eight, nine years now I know during tax seasons give me about the sum total of about a week of just being in a bad mood during those times for

Pam Allan: You, not me, for you.

Corey Allan: And I'll just have times where it's just like, God, I'm just off today and yesterday and the day before, and that's largely seasonal. It's situational because of the circumstance of what tax season does for us. The first time I was experiencing that, you picked up on it when we were on the phone and you're like, okay. It's like, no, I'm not okay. I'm sick of tax season. You reacted with, well, do you want me to quit? Do you want me to go back? You overreacted, I'll just throw you onto the bus.

Pam Allan: It's true. It was

Corey Allan: Quick. It was a knee jerk, quick, not grounded, responding. That's your own being about a situation rather than now we can, I'm just sick of tax seasons. And you'd be like, me too, because it's a more modulated response, a more solid, we made this choice, we're going to stick it through and we're going to figure ourselves out as we go through it. That's ourselves going through a process of life together by choice. That's how I think these four play out. What we want to talk about in the extended content here in just a minute is what are some of the dynamics that are natural in every committed relationship that push at and demand our four points of balance to continue to see us through? That's what's coming up next.

Pam Allan: Okay,

Corey Allan: I'm looking forward to that. And extended content good. No matter how many times I get a chance to hear some of the principles or we keep using the same ideas, the same terminology, the same framework. I'm reminded of a guy that's in one of my mastermind groups, he's also in the field, and he would promote our show to his clients at times when it was appropriate and he'd say, Hey, go listen to this podcast and be sure you listen to about seven to 10 episodes because this is back when we were under Sexy Marriage Radio as the title. And he said, because yeah, sure, it seems like it's about sex, but it's really not. It's about life and it's about relationships or something deeper going on and everything that's going on, but sometimes you have to kind of get through to recognize the consistency of that theme because we utilize a lot of the different things that happen in the nation and in people to talk about concepts that are applied to everybody.
And that's why it's so great to revisit this every so often. And just as a reminder, even for us, here's what keeps us on track in our main mission as we go. Transcripts are available on each of the episodes, and you can also find all the advertisers deals and discounts codes there at each of the episodes pages. So please consider supporting those who support the show. However, you took a little bit of time out of your week each and every week. Those of you that do to spend it with us, we say thank you so much and we'll see you next time.