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hosted by Dr. Corey Allan

Fooling Yourself #644

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Unlock the Power of Intimacy – 

On the Regular Version …

In this week’s episode Pam and I answer a listener’s email about his trouble coming to terms with his spouse’s past, as well as some of their present.

On the Xtended Version …

Is it possible that our spouse knows us better than we know ourselves?

Yes – and we will go through all the ways we fool ourselves.

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Corey Allan: Welcome to the show, right when we had recorded, we started going through some little memes we've come across recently or just so funny because life has a lot of things that are just funny

Pam Allan: To make fun of. Right? Laugh at ourselves. That's

Corey Allan: True. Well, the hope would be we can learn the ability to laugh at ourselves because when we can do that, life is just better and we don't take ourselves so seriously. We don't take life so seriously in some ways. One of my professors was known for saying, I don't understand why we take life so seriously. None of us are getting out of it alive anyway.

Pam Allan: Exactly.

Corey Allan: So this is one of those conversations I think that are just worth helping frame how we look at things because that helps decide what do I do with this? Because that's where we're going today with the Passionately Married podcast today. So welcome to the show where we're having honest conversations to try to help. I just said Frame what could be going on because we believe when you can have a better picture of what's going on, you can do better. At least face it better. Maybe it doesn't change it, but you face it better and man, that sometimes that's all the difference

Pam Allan: That we need. Yeah, that's a game changer perspective.

Corey Allan: And so what we want is we want to know from you what's going on with you and what's going on in your world. 2 1 4 7 0 2 9 5 6 5 is our voicemail line. You can leave us a message, ask your questions, leave your comments, feedback good and bad. We want it all. This is a relationship. We get better when we have interactions with the nation or feedback at passionately. is the inbox that has been there for almost 12 years now. We are like one week away from 12 years of this show.

Pam Allan: Happy anniversary.

Corey Allan: It's pretty amazing to think about. That's a long time. It is. Our kids were really little and one's out of the house now. So

Pam Allan: It's a shift. It's a shift. It's exciting to see what the last 12 years have brought.

Corey Allan: Absolutely

Pam Allan: Looking forward to the next call

Corey Allan: And it's because of the nation and the nation's interaction with us and so let us know if you listen to the show, you're a part of the nation and if you want to get deeper into the nation, head to passionately that shows you all the different levels. There's a free, and then there's also an academy level, which gets you even deeper into two different levels of that. One just gets the extended content only of the episodes and then another level gets you monthly coaching calls, more interaction on the platform, a supportive group of other members of the nation that are truly there for each other. Where when you're struggling with places where things that you're not quite sure, where can I ask these questions? That's where, and you can cancel at any time and join, be there for a bit. Move on. I mean, that's kind of the way we do life in a lot of, and there's also something that's coming up that's worth noting. I've been part of a collaboration of 30 plus other speakers, coaches, therapists in the marriage field that are doing a summit Unlock Intimacy summit that actually starts October 9th and it runs all that week. It's free for the initial levels and then you can get a marriage bundle after, which is just additional teaching from all of the presenters. So at this point you've got nothing to lose. So join

Pam Allan: And you listen at your own time. Yes, you get access. It's

Corey Allan: Live for next

Pam Allan: Week. Okay, live then. So you'll want

Corey Allan: To spend the time when they start rolling out the different lessons. I'm doing one and it's about how to have curl your toes sex. Come on. We want to have curl toes when it comes to some of our social,

Pam Allan: Everybody chime in on that.

Corey Allan: But if you go to passionately, that'll take you directly there so you can register for free. I'm also sending emails out all this week and all next. So if you're on the list, you'll be seeing those or if you're on the nation, you'll see 'em on the platform or if you follow us on social media, you'll see 'em there too. So there should be easy ways to find it, but it's worth unpacking it. And then if you want to buy the bundle that gives you access to everything at your leisure. So that starts next week passionately And then there's also something that's been kicking around Pam. We're not going to talk about it this week, but in the future I will that I had somebody that just bought Naked marriage and he emailed me and said, Hey, by the way, he bought it. I have a partnership with Amazon, obviously they print the books for us and send them and his book was missing the first six pages, so he's like, not sure you were aware, but also hoping there's not some secret code in there. I'm going to miss the whole thing. Right, right.

Pam Allan: It was like,

Corey Allan: Well, yeah, that's not supposed to happen obviously. So I've tried to correct that and send him the book, but he then just replied that so far this is the best marriage book he's ever read. He's kicking himself on some of the things that I've described in ways that he's done, but he's also glad to know now what he can do about it because that's the whole message that we believe in.

Pam Allan: Yeah, what's my culpability? What can I do about it? And that's just it. What can I do about it? And having the mindset of wanting to do something about

Corey Allan: It and then when I see it, I can change it because most of the time I don't even see it.

Pam Allan: Well, good point,

Corey Allan: Right? I need somebody, an outside perspective to show it to me, which is where we're going to be heading in the extended content. Quick tease, but what this has kind of lit a fire with me is I got to get another book there and so that will be in the works and as a tease,

Pam Allan: Well, you've already gotten in the works, right?

Corey Allan: Well that's true, but it is going to be like it's moving up the priority list of things that I have in my world to really start knuckling down and get this thing done. But one of the things I'm going to kind of tease out there, so this is where I want information from the listeners in the nation and for sure from those of you in the academy, I'm thinking I'm going to write it out in the open for the academy so they'll get first access to drafts as they come out

Pam Allan: Interesting

Corey Allan: And get a chance to massage it with me. We have, there's focus groups that come along as part of the process of writing a book anyway that you need. Hey, is this landing right? This is what I'm trying to get across. Does it come? How do you read this? And there's a collaboration that's just what makes every work better. It's what makes marriage better, by the way is a collaboration. So I'm thinking I'm going to do that. And so if you want to be a part of that, you're going to want to join the academy
And that's passionately married Nets slash Academy. So coming up today on the regular version of Passionately Married podcast is an email that came in from a guy that has married later in life. It's his wife. It's this subsequent marriages, right? They've been married before or for sure she has. That's at least from the email that came in and he's really wrestling with the past particularly of her. And so we're going to talk about what do I do with when values don't align with somebody's past and present and how do I hold them accountable? How do I get past wanting to know what went down? There's a lot of questions he's got. So we're going to spend the whole show in the regular version walking through that.

Pam Allan: That'll be meaty.

Corey Allan: It will, because I think this is stuff we all can face in different life because our brain tends to fill in the holes with worst case scenarios. There usually isn't too much of a leap also of what was and what may still be, I don't know. And then on the extended content today, which is deeper longer, and there are no ads, you can slash academy. We're going to dive into this world of do I really know myself? I mean,

Pam Allan: Fair question.

Corey Allan: The psychobabble term would be the fallibility of introspection, but the question really would be, how well do I really know myself versus how well does my spouse know me or see me and what if they actually see me better than I see myself more accurately than I see myself?

Pam Allan: What if they do? What if they think they do and they really don't? There's all kinds of perspectives here that can be hashed through. So

Corey Allan: All that's coming up today right after this,

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Corey Allan: So here's the email that came in. This is from a husband that says, I came across your podcast by accident while searching for answers of how I'm currently feeling towards my wife. So at a recent weekend getaway with my wife of five years, we went with her group of friends who I quite often feel like an outcast with because they've been friends for over 25 years and they've had, well, some colorful experiences I guess you could say, which they often seem to reference. These experiences range from drug use at parties to hanging out at a nudist resort. So they've had a colorful past. Obviously I did not have a good time and it bothers me tremendously, especially when they go on to talking about sexual things like discussing whether there're a red light not turned on, yellow light slightly turned on or a green light turned on, and it sounds like this is a conversation that can take place at the table as the evening's unfolding. My wife replied, she's always a green light when she's drinking to which one of her friends had to interject that it was only for me, her husband now who was there or whoever was on their free pass list. Are you familiar with the free pass list, babe that

Pam Allan: So is this where I've got my celebrity F or something like that? So right,

Corey Allan: If all of a sudden the scenario presented itself that hey, you have the opportunity to be with them, that you get a free pass is kind of the way it's in society discussed.

Pam Allan: Okay,

Corey Allan: It's a hypothetical list. I know, but it me wrong because my wife was flirting and going on about how a guy that walked up to our group looked like one of the celebrities. It went on so far as one of our party members suggesting that he should come back to the cabin, which my wife stated we didn't have any alcohol. And then he saying he would go get it for her, so there's an exchange going on right in front of him is what's being described here. They then exchanged the address. The guy took my wife's hand and it kind of went from there a little bit and something that apparently he only saw because apparently the emailer was the only sober person in the group. My wife's friend then mentioned that we needed to hurry up and said, your husband's right there. And next thing I know, my wife was running to me saying, oh, we need to hurry home.
I'm so turned on right now. This caused me to stay trapped in my own head for the rest of the night and into the next evening. I tried to bring it up in a casual conversation during the car ride home, but it came out as if I was accusing her. She got very defensive and we sat in silence all the way home. Once we got home, she exploded on me and we went to bed angry and hurt. So the next day I wrote everything down with all the events of the weekend that I saw heard and how I felt. I sent that along with an apology email and bought her flowers to say I was sorry. She did wind up telling me some about her past and some about her many one-night stands and friends with benefits after her divorce from her first husband. But she said there's a lot that she left out because she doesn't want to be judged for it.
She made the comment several times about how I take monogamy to a whole new level and how when she asked me if we were official, when we began dating a few months, I stated, I thought we already were. Now I'm obsessed with knowing if she was talking to and being sexual with other people at that same time that we were talking slash dating. I want to know how many men she's actually been with the details of it all. I know it'll hurt to find out. I know my jealousy and insecurities are at the root of this all, but I need to know, to me now, I seem to have opened a Pandora's box and I'm scared that she is keeping something from me because she knows if she tells me it'll be a deal breaker and I'll leave. So how do I get over this feeling? How do I communicate with her to learn and become the best husband lover she's ever had and how do I get over my own fear that I will eventually find out things that she doesn't want me to know, and how do I keep from judging her and sabotaging our marriage when I do find out? Thanks.

Pam Allan: So many things there. So many things there. Well, I've got my thoughts. I'm curious where you would start with this.

Corey Allan: Well, I'm going to go with your thoughts because when we were talking about this off the air before we started, you brought up a really good point about a person's past.

Pam Allan: Yeah, well, I can't hold on to the past and expect I've got to be able to forgive and forget the past.

Corey Allan: Well,

Pam Allan: Forgive, well, I can't forget it because the root of this whole issue, that was the wrong word to use,

Corey Allan: But this has a good thing to kind of interject here. The root of the issue he's facing is he can't forget about her past because he doesn't have data. And so our brain tends to fill in the blanks with worst case scenarios because it's a protective mechanism. In some ways, I want to buffer myself so I can go catastrophizing because then whatever I actually find will be less than hopefully, and it's softens the blow, theoretically speaking in our brain

Pam Allan: Theoretically. But I mean, he's got some pretty decent data based off of just what he saw that night at the bar,

Corey Allan: And that's the big issue is it seems like there is a layer of what is unknown in unspoken of still playing out some ways now.

Pam Allan: Right. Him having to apologize. Maybe he approached it wrong, but my,

Corey Allan: Well, okay, so there's an element of he's coming after this is where I would start little bit. I'll kind of come back to you and fill in the gaps as I'm going. Yeah. He started on this idea of he's attacking her past and trying to have values he has now and wanting to have had her live accordingly. That may not be overt, but it seems like he's got this element of, wait, what is this about the way I want to live? Because her statement of you take monogamy to a whole new level, that's what he lives according to which is his value. And so it sounds like he's got this element of why don't you, but the other tricky thing is he can have this element of why didn't you, which he didn't know her then way before they actually met when they started dating. There's still an element of exclusivity if we're not overt about those things as it's unfolding. That's that hold. I'm holding somebody responsible for an unspoken expectation in standard.

Pam Allan: Well, and I'm holding their paths to a standard and we do change. We do stuff that may have gone on when I was 20 years old. Maybe I've learned from that and I've changed and that's not who I am now. Maybe so and so we've had plenty of emailers in the past that they're concerned about what went on 10, 15, 20 years ago with their spouse when that's not who their spouse is today. I would throw out there, don't dive into the past and let yourself borrow trouble about what happened to her decades ago. Let's look at today and where she is and what are you building together today?

Corey Allan: And this is where it'll get kind of tricky because there's this element of what her past can still be playing out in her present when she's around these groups of friends and alcohols involved is what this scene, the map I'm seeing, the picture I'm seeing, that's what it's showing is there are influences that make it to where she can get trapped between two worlds.

Pam Allan: Well, and the question is, is it trapped between two worlds? I mean, obviously when she's with the friends, based on this situation that he's explaining, things pop up there and they feed off of one another. Is it only with them that she does it

Corey Allan: Right? That's dad. We don't know. It

Pam Allan: May not be two worlds. It may be still just one world.

Corey Allan: And so that then leads to the questions because asking, I mean, let's go real quickly through the specifics of his questions. So how do I get over this feeling of the insecurities, the jealousies that are the root of it all right? And it's basically, how do I get over? I want to know it all because there's this thought process that if I do, I can finally then address it when if I referenced Esther p's work and she's using it in the affair context, but I think this kind of works too with our past

Pam Allan: Well and with what just happened with the flirting,

Corey Allan: Right? There can be emotional like, oh, that's kind of crossing some lines. There's energy here that doesn't fit with the way it bothers me. The way that went down, and we'll come back to that in a second because addressing what's present, which we need to land on as a concept, but there's an element of she references and believes in, and I do too in the work I do with people that are dealing with any kind of betrayal or past is going at it like a detective is rarely beneficial of trying to find the nuances of the facts.

Pam Allan: And why is that?

Corey Allan: Because that's the stuff you can't ever unhear or visualize

Pam Allan: And you can't do anything about it, right? Exactly.

Corey Allan: Yeah, and it can help you kind of make sense of things maybe, but it doesn't solve the riddle. You still have to live with what you hear. So she references instead of going after the details, go after the meanings. What did that kind of a lifestyle mean to you? If she's talking about she had the several friends with benefits or one night stands stuff, okay, what did that mean? Because in some context, somebody coming out of a marriage that could have been oppressive, and I'm speculating here,

Pam Allan: Totally speculating, yes,

Corey Allan: It could have been oppressive, sexless, rigid, cold, and all of a sudden they have this freedom. There's a lot of people that just kind of let loose and on an objective level, I'm not putting a moral stance on, on an objective level it makes sense. It's like, oh, okay, on just a human level.
But then when you add your values to this, which is what he's judging her on, he has to make sure his values aren't taking a moral high ground stance on her past because that doesn't really land well and rarely do we actually have high ground. Because the interesting thing about me taking a moral stance with you, if I will, like I'm better than you in this, how could you do blah, blah, blah, blah, my taking the stance immediately makes me not better than you because I'm judging and I'm attacking you for some stance that rather than this is just my belief, how do I hold onto what I value? Because my values work for me.

Pam Allan: Don't you though, when you come into a marriage relationship, hopefully there was some sort of conversation that I believe in a monogamous marriage. Yes. Right? You would

Corey Allan: Assume yes,

Pam Allan: That that's not me as a spouse discussing, Hey, I don't want you flirting with someone else in a bar is not judging

Corey Allan: Well, that's now moving it forward. I was going with what he's wrestling with. How

Pam Allan: Do I get over? You're talking about past the

Corey Allan: Past. How do I get over the past now? Thank you. Because that's probably worth pivoting to here. Now, how do I address what's present today, which what he saw on this weekend getaway with the friends and the flirting and the drinking and the red light, yellow light green light framework and all the different things that have worked for them, and it's part of who they are addressing what's present there is your move.

Pam Allan: It's interesting. I don't like the phrasing have worked for them because who knows how life has actually worked out for them.

Corey Allan: Well, it's how they've lived.

Pam Allan: It's how they've lived, it's what

Corey Allan: They've done. It's who they're in a lot of ways, how they show themselves, how they let loose the standards they want to live according to, because this is the whole still whole thing we believe in. This is what we've taught. Our kids don't believe what people say, watch what they do that shows you who they are.

Pam Allan: Yeah. There is a lifestyle that we tell the kids, show me your friends. I'll show you your future. And there's a lot of brokenness that I go out and have fun for two hours at a bar and then so much brokenness comes after it, and so you get where this is coming. Anyway, I'm on a tangent for

Corey Allan: Other things. So the real questions then become Pam, who is she now? Who are you now? And then who was she then who were you then in and coming to grips with? How has there been an evolution? How has there been upfront conversations, standards that are like, this is the way I want to live. This is what matters to me, and you see how they adjust accordingly or not, and then you get a chance to address what actually is present because that whole scene as it went down, he can take the stance of I'm incredibly uncomfortable with how that played out. The trouble he's going to have is not extrapolating that into the past because in getting caught in this trap of if I only knew I could face this better rather than no face, what is face, what's present now,

Pam Allan: And it would be super hard to not dive into the past when you're with this group of people that's been together for 25 years and they bring up the old stories and they laugh about the old stories, and so it does make your mind

Corey Allan: Go with it, but it also is the way you find out how is she evolving, how are you evolving? How do you hold onto yourself and live according to your values, even if you're judged as such?

Pam Allan: Yeah,

Corey Allan: Right. So there's this element of the better thing we can do in marriage is make moves according to the present data in front of me
Because I have more legs under me and more solidness with those kinds of stances. I have a client from the past that was wrestling with trust, like they said they would be here for a certain thing and they didn't show up, and which then extrapolates, this has kind of been our journey too. You lied to me about this one issue. Lemme rephrase it. I lied to you about this one issue which then makes you extrapolate out, well, what else are you lying about? What else is going on? What else is happening? Which is a human thing, and again, it's a protective mechanism. The best thing you can do is deal with what's right in front of you. You said you would be here, you weren't. That's what I'm facing.

Pam Allan: Yeah. What gives,

Corey Allan: You said you're with me, but you're flirting with a waiter or some other guy that comes up over the, I got a real problem with that. I'm really uncomfortable with that. That's an irrefutable stance because it's yours.

Pam Allan: She

Corey Allan: Doesn't have to live according to your standard, but you want to know what kind of standards she wants to live according to

Pam Allan: Know what the playing field is,

Corey Allan: Right? Because then you have a chance to really navigate where are each of you now and then where do you want to be? That's how we move it forward. And again, this does not make our past and the insecurities and the root of all of this go away, but what it does do is it helps us digest some of those unknowns to realize what I'm facing now is what I'm facing. That's the reality. I can handle that how I got here. Maybe I can understand some of my route in it. Maybe some of it comes out with hers, but it doesn't change how I'm facing now.

Pam Allan: Yeah. Well, one of the things that questions he asked or statements he made is he wants to be the best lover she's ever been at. Good point. And I hear that, and I think two things come from that. One, how can you ever know that that's a level that you're trying to hold yourself to, that you may not ever be the best actual physical lover.

Corey Allan: If somebody's got a past with a lot of people you never know,

Pam Allan: You can be the best man she's ever been with the best partner in life that she's ever been with, and that translates to the marriage bed. That translates to how the connection that you have in that arena, it translates to desire, and so be that solid man

Corey Allan: And you can be the best you she's ever been with.

Pam Allan: Exactly right,

Corey Allan: Because that's the uniqueness of nobody else can offer you,

Pam Allan: And you don't want to dive into all the details of prior lovers. Back to your point, Corey, of all these details that really aren't going to get you anywhere other than putting extra garbage in your head, that's not going to be helpful.

Corey Allan: Then you've got the standard of what do I have to unwind? What do I have to surpass? What do I have? Because those are those things rather than how do I focus on what's going on right in front of me and learn to engage with that, address that face that, because the flip side of that also, that's what makes the best encounters is when I'm actually with the person I'm with, not who they were. So quick behind the scenes. As we wrap up the show, it's interesting because I was doing a weekend meetup with some of the mastermind guys over the last couple of weeks, and one of the comments and conversations came around to the fact that sometimes Pico shows up on our shows,

Pam Allan: Pico, our dog.

Corey Allan: She'll come in and shake and you'll hear her collar. So we've learned, take the collar off, but we are also learning as today, this morning was attest to, she's good for about 40 minutes
And then that she's up and involved and so everybody say hi to Pico because she's been involved. Well, this has been passionately married. What we want to try to do as we've always done, is just we want to help frame conversations and describe what could be going on so that we all can recognize a more accurate picture, hopefully of what I need to face, what's present, and then I figure out what my next move is because there's not a universal, here's what you should do. Instead, it's how do I see what is, and then I can face that and move forward accordingly. Well, transcripts are available on each of the episodes, as well as you can find advertisers, deals and discount codes. So please consider supporting those who support the show if we left something undone. You got more questions? We've got answers. Hopefully let's least how to frame it. So let us know. 2 1 4 7 0 2 9 5 6 5 or, so please consider supporting those who support the show, however you've taken a little bit of time out to spend it with us. Thank you and we'll see you next time.