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hosted by Dr. Corey Allan

Takeaways From 30 Years Of Marriage #625

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On the Regular Version …

This week Pam and I are looking back at what we’ve learned after 30 years of marriage.

Come look back with us.

On the Xtended Version …

A surprisingly high number of people will admit to snooping on their spouse’s phone or devices.

So what’s the motivation and results of this path?

Enjoy the show!

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Corey Allan: Well, welcome to the show.

Pam Allan: Hey, thanks.

Corey Allan: I'm Dr. Corey Allen. Alongside my wife, Pam, where there's been some feistiness in our house this morning.

Pam Allan: Wait, I think you're enjoying it. My guess is you're enjoying it. I'm enjoying it.

Corey Allan: Oh, no. Some of the way it's going, it's like it's a little too close to home on. Wait, I don't know if I see myself that way. I don't know if I like that edge or that kind of component of me, but it's there obviously because it's being pointed out, but-

Pam Allan: It's just more intimate. We're being more intimate.

Corey Allan: That is exactly it. Well, this is Passionately Married where we want to have conversations with you, just like we're having conversations now. So we want to know what's going on with you, what questions you may have, topics where we can go with the show, (214) 702-9565 or feedback at That's the way you can let us know what's going on and how we can speak to what's going on in your world, and what's going on in ours right now. This is the final week as the airing of this show right now here in the graduation week in our home, we've got a senior graduating. Towards the end of May 2023 is the sex seminar going on with the dating divas that are putting that on.
So this is the last opportunity. So if you go to, you get a chance to get 31 sessions on the topic of sex and all that that encompasses for 20 bucks. And I've got one of them in there on how sex is a language and we're always communicating. So if you want to take advantage of that And also on our side of the equation here, Pam, for this summer, so the rest of May, June, July, and August if you want to join the academy and that is either the full level or the masterclass level on the monthly-

Pam Allan: Monthly basis.

Corey Allan: Level basis for it. If you use the code Summer23 when you're signing up, your first month is free.

Pam Allan: So it's time to try it out.

Corey Allan: So it's chance to check it out, see what's going on. It's a wonderful group of people. We had a coaching call last night at the time of recording this, where there's always great dialogue and then there's a hangout afterwards where it's just like these are friends. These are people that we've done a lot of life alongside and are great collaborators, and they push back on things and I mean, it's good friendships that are evolving here. And so come join it. So if you go to, and if you join on the monthly level on either of the academy levels, which is masterclass or full level, first month is free. Use Summer23.

Pam Allan: Very cool.

Corey Allan: So today, here's what we're doing for the show. On the regular version today, Pam and I are celebrating 30 years on May 29th which, awesome.

Pam Allan: Happy anniversary, honey.

Corey Allan: And to you baby. And so we're going to talk about what are our takeaways from 30 years together and they're fun-

Pam Allan: Yeah, they are.

Corey Allan: To talk through it and a couple kind of deep, I mean-

Pam Allan: We'll go there.

Corey Allan: We'll go there. And then on the extended versions today, which is deeper, longer, and there are no ad, you can and use Summer23 and you get the first month free if you do the monthly level. We're going to look into the world of snooping and how spouses and why spouses do that.

Pam Allan: Interesting. Snooping on the spouse.

Corey Allan: Snooping on each other's electronic devices.

Pam Allan: Perfect.

Corey Allan: And keeping up and checking up on. There's actually a study I was presented with that has some data about where it stands with couples and partners and people.

Pam Allan: Seems like a recipe for disaster.

Corey Allan: Oh, that's coming up on today's show. So 30 years ago we said I do to each other.

Pam Allan: We did.

Corey Allan: And as of May 29th, 2023, we're still saying I do to each other and what a ride it's been.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: So far.

Pam Allan: Yeah. Better now than it was then.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. I mean, from our conversation this morning, one of the things I did as a repair attempt statement to try to cover some of the things I let slip that didn't land the way I was intending was I will take where we are now or over any stage we've ever been.

Pam Allan: Oh yeah.

Corey Allan: Because the path of what we've got going on and the work we've done and just who you are, who I am, I'll take that.

Pam Allan: Oh, I will too, any day.

Corey Allan: And see it as keep going and keep growing because it's quite the collaboration in a lot of ways. And most of the time, granted, we have times where we're not collaborating. Well, we'll own that.

Pam Allan: But we react better now.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. We do. And so from 30 years, this is some of the things that we've gleaned from this journey together.

Pam Allan: Some takeaways. Okay.

Corey Allan: This is some of the stuff that have stood out that I think will help speak to other people. And we'll just expound on some of these different points because there's value in recognizing what's earned.

Pam Allan: All right. Well, you want to kick off with first one?

Corey Allan: I will. And so the first one that I look back on my journey with you together is I am my biggest problem.

Pam Allan: Me too. Me too.

Corey Allan: That the things that keep coming up that will trip me up in relationally speaking. I want to so badly blame you, but when I recognize there's a common denominator in this equation, me.

Pam Allan: And it's me.

Corey Allan: Then I can recognize, "Wait, if I shift, if I adjust, if I get better at recognizing your phrase of what's being exposed here in me and get better, then I start coming back," these are some things that coming back to me, Pam, is I have unspoken assumptions all the time that hurt me because I read you and I'm just reading it wrong because it's off of an old map. And that's the other one too, is my maps of you need to be updated regularly. So I'm dealing with the woman in front of me, not the woman from 10, 15, 20, 30 years ago.

Pam Allan: Yeah. That goes for me too. I fall victim to that as well with you. Yeah.

Corey Allan: And so I think it's recognizing that when I can really start to see the main problem when there are rough points in our marriage and rough points in life, first and foremost, one of my main problems is me. And when I can look at it that way, I stop stepping on my own feet and tripping myself up, and I get a better picture of, what am I really fighting? What's really going on here? What's the real issue that I'm facing that where I just need to do the work of growing myself up?

Pam Allan: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, that's where I go back to the question that I ask myself of, would I want to be married to me? I mean, this is that same comment. And if I'm at a point where I wouldn't want to be married to me, well, I've got to start asking those questions you're talking about. What is it I'm learning from this? What is it that I need to be better at? And if I'm not asking those questions, if I think that I don't share in whatever's going on, then I'm probably not someone that anyone else would want to be married to because I'm thinking I'm holier than anybody else.

Corey Allan: But it's so easy to take high ground in these things, isn't it? Where you look at what's going on and you're like, "Well, that's nothing about me. Why can't you get your act together?" And not that that's not true. There's some truth in that because-

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: The recipe seems to happen in marriage repeatedly is when one person reacts, the other person reacts too. That's where I use the phrase, most issues in marriages are overreactions to another person's overreaction.

Pam Allan: Right.

Corey Allan: And we spiral that way.

Pam Allan: But if I'm getting mad about something I can't control, then I got to focus on what I can control, and that's me.

Corey Allan: And that's so good because when I can grow myself up and I do the heavy lifting and I create something, I deem that's a whole lot more worth being married to that I would say yes to more often than no to. At least I'm presenting me and I give real choices then to my spouse.

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So the next one, next lesson or takeaway we've had from 30 years is to keep the big stuff, the big stuff, and don't sweat the small stuff.

Corey Allan: Right.

Pam Allan: It's interesting to look back on 30 years and look at some of the times when the small stuff took precedent and it was arguing about the things that weren't the real problem. What is the real problem? And when we don't address that, there's just still this underlying illness. And maybe we're trying to treat some symptoms here and there, but we're not going after the core of what we need to go after. And what's the point in that?

Corey Allan: Right. That's where it's so easy to fall victim to. We don't let the problem stay the problem. We become part of the problem because it turns personal. And what jumps out to me with this, Pam, is the big stuff. Because some people could be hearing this, "Well, what are the big stuff? What is that?" And to me, what incorporates the big stuff is, what are some of the main principles and values you want to live accordingly to? What are some of the goals and philosophies you have for parenting and how you want to live and being a steward of what you have and who you are and your interactions with the community and those around you?
Money is a big one. Time, how do we spend it? Where does it go? Do we have common interests? Do we not? There's okay in both on that. And then spirituality. I think those are the big value things. Those are the ones that repeatedly keep coming up as gridlock issues. So that's why I would think, "Okay, that's a different depth than, wait. This goes on the top shelf in the fridge rather than..." no, it can go in the drawer. It's okay.

Pam Allan: Sure. I bet I think you can even go deeper into what's the big stuff when you... money, for example. Well, when you talk about the small stuff, you can talk yourself into thinking that something small is really big, right?

Corey Allan: Yes.

Pam Allan: But what the big thing is really, what is your meaning behind money? What's the big picture on how you think it should be spent or saved or managed? It's not, "Really? You spent $5 on this?"

Corey Allan: It's the meanings attached to these things.

Pam Allan: Yeah. Those little things are what are the triggers for whatever your big thing is. So try and wade through the muck of all the little ones and get to what the core is, and spend your time on that rather than nitpicking every penny. I mean, that's what I did early on every-

Corey Allan: I remember.

Pam Allan: $1.50 for a taco at Taco Bell, "We don't have any money. You spent money on a taco." I mean, I don't know if that's over the top or not, but maybe not too far from what I did early on, quite honestly.

Corey Allan: Right. But this is that a adage of we don't fight about things. We fight about the meanings attached to things and the meanings show us our values.

Pam Allan: Yeah. And way back then, though, I didn't understand the meanings. Well, I didn't understand any of that.

Corey Allan: I gotcha.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: And then this, one of the last little thing on this subpoint here is we go through this journey relationally. This has been our journey. We go through this individually and together, because this goes back to that first point of, I am my biggest problem. And sometimes it's because I've not clarified what are my real values here.

Pam Allan: Yeah. I don't know what they are.

Corey Allan: What are my non-negotiables here? I just know I'm reacting to a discomfort rather than I've done the work to get to. This is what this really means. Because then I can start to vary that and widen the lane a little bit to where it's like, "Okay, if I go this route and do $1.50 taco, I'm not being irresponsible with my money." That's just kind of a, "Okay, yeah, that's fun because it's all change I found in the couch or in the car," or whatever. So fantastic. Go have some fun because maybe one of the values I have also is I want to have fun in life.
I want to enjoy some things, or maybe I need to enhance that because then I'd be more enjoyable to be around and I'd want to go be around. So it's just all these build off each other. And so when you can recognize what's my meaning, what's the real thing? One of my professors actually said, "If money's one of your big hot button issues, those of you out in the nation, grab money. Whatever it is you have, fan it out like it's cards in your hand and have a conversation with it like literally out loud." What do these things right here in front of you mean?

Pam Allan: You and your money, not your spouse.

Corey Allan: No. You and your money.

Pam Allan: It's you and your money.

Corey Allan: Have a conversation with your money, because what does it mean? There's also a fantastic book, The Psychology of Money. Oh, I can't remember the author, but just Google The Psychology of Money because it's looking at the whole concept of the deeper parts of it and what we attach to it. And that's a fabulous resource for helping us along our journey. So we'll pass that along. So another takeaway to me is know your role, know your strengths, know the part you play in your marriage and in your family. Because some people could hear this as know your role means, well, men need to be men and women need to be women. And yeah, I think there's some truth to that. Play the part we play, but also play the part you are in the system because we use the framework of higher desire, lower desire. So if for us, I'm the higher desire when it comes to sex most of the time, so be a good higher desire. Play my role well.

Pam Allan: And I'm the higher desire on money and saving and-

Corey Allan: And adventure.

Pam Allan: Managing that, an adventure. So it's my role to step in. And if I want that, I've got to step up to the plate and take care of it.

Corey Allan: And then there's also the component of how we have raised our children. I have been the one that's been more flexible, so been more predominant with the kids as far as home, getting them to and from school. The involvement level's a little different as far as time goes, because your career has created what it's created for us and who you are. But it's playing to our strengths.

Pam Allan: It is. But that one for me, maybe has been the hardest one because my vision of myself has always been, I'm going to be the mom that's there at all the school events. And-

Corey Allan: You've been in a lot of them.

Pam Allan: I usually make most all of them. But the mental gain there of trying to make all that happen, trying to be super mama and be at those things, and oops, I hit the camera and also want to do everything else, it can take a mental toll. And so at what cost? So maybe I was too hard on myself on that even still today, because I still want to be in everything.

Corey Allan: Playing into your strength doesn't mean it's always comfortable also.

Pam Allan: Good point. Yeah.

Corey Allan: Because there's this element of, "Okay, wait, I can see that this is probably the better choice for where we are, who we want to be and back to our values, but it also means I've got to confront." Because even in this journey early on, I mean, I've had several different clients or people that have emailed into the show when they've heard about our journey, and maybe they do from this one too, that, "Hey, so Corey, you're saying you took a backseat of the provider role as most typical men, and were a stay at home dad to a degree." I'm like, yeah, well, that was a journey for me for a while of, and it still can be where I have to have my accountant wife say, "Okay, what did I actually provide to the family financially here," so I know because my wife does the Shell game of accounting world, and I made $11.

Pam Allan: There's no Shells here. It's all perfectly legal and legitimate. We're just saying.

Corey Allan: Exactly.

Pam Allan: I'm just good at it.

Corey Allan: We don't have Enron here. You are absolutely right. You are good at it. But it's that idea of seeing it, of know the strengths you each play in the system as it evolves and play to those. That's the better collaboration here. And then the other thing I would add, and this is to the husbands, I really think one of the roles husbands need to really refine and do better or constantly make sure that we're doing and thriving in this role is set the tone well for your marriage and your family, which basically can be summed up in your solidness creates stability and consistency for the system.

Pam Allan: Agree 100%.

Corey Allan: When you're there with your family, when you're there with your wife, be there and then move to the next thing you need to do. The example I use for this the most, that makes the most sense to the hosted mastermind groups I run, when we talk about this subject, the two things that stand out to me on how this actually plays out. One is our son, when he was younger, he was a Lego player, he would lay out all those Legos in his room and just build, and then they would stay for a long time, and then he'd build more. And so one of the things I tried to do was when I walk past, if he was in there playing Legos, I would try to deviate for a moment, get on the floor with him for five minutes and build Legos, be with him for a moment, and then move on to whatever the next thing was I was going past his room to do anyway.
And then the other thing is, today, as of today, since I work from home most of the time, all the time, when you come home, I try to meet you at the door at your car because I think that sets a tone of, "I'm so glad to see you. Welcome home. Get in here. Let's go here." This is the transition to the next stage of the day. And I think those are tangible ways husbands can set tones of solidness. At least that's what works for me. There's a lot of ways to do this, but that's what I'm talking about on setting the tone. Do you agree?

Pam Allan: I absolutely agree. I absolutely agree.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Pam Allan: And one of the things I found from my perspective is being pointed at asking how your day is going and listening and not just vomiting all the things from my day, because it took a really, really long time before I realized how off putting that was for me to, I guess I was being super selfish and not, I was never asking you how your day was. I'd come in inaudible about mine and whatever happened, and then there wasn't even the question of, "Hey, babe, how was your day? Fill me in." And-

Corey Allan: That would come up, but it wasn't elicited.

Pam Allan: It was-

Corey Allan: It would come up in the conversations, but-

Pam Allan: All right. But our husbands want to know that we care. They want to feel wanted in that aspect that I care about what happened with you today.

Corey Allan: That's good.

Pam Allan: And I think that's showing respect for your spouse as well.

Corey Allan: That's good.

Pam Allan: So the next one, as we roll along, laugh at yourself and each other and laugh with each other. I think a big turning point for us was, I mean, a specific day when it was one of those, I was just going off about something and Corey just, he put it out there and he said, "So you feel better."

Corey Allan: I thought I thought was going to get pushed out of the car after I said that and I saw your face.

Pam Allan: It was in the car driving down highway 75 and he said that, and it was just this light bulb went off in my head and I just started laughing. I'm like, "Oh, well, I don't know if I feel better or not, but it was pretty funny that that was his response," because what I had been doing wasn't necessarily rational.

Corey Allan: Oh, yeah. It was a little bit of a complaint fest.

Pam Allan: It was over the top. Oh my gosh. And who wants to listen to that?

Corey Allan: Rumble attack kind of pseudo everything. Yeah.

Pam Allan: It was a perfect response. So you feel better. And it was funny because that really is what started... that point is what started our journey to laughing at ourselves more and laughing with one another more about maybe something that was over the top, that we reacted poorly or something.

Corey Allan: And then we have to be tactful with how we laugh at each other.

Pam Allan: Truly.

Corey Allan: There's some element of reading the situation and making sure it's not an attack.

Pam Allan: Don't be oblivious to your spouse's feelings.

Corey Allan: But I think laughter is a incredible repair for a lot of couples and people. And so when you can incorporate that in marriage it's so life giving and it just changes the tone of the house and the moments, and you can do that. If you can't do it in the moment, do it after.

Pam Allan: Do it after and realize that so many things that we do, if we were watching a video of someone else on Insta or TikTok or Facebook or whatever in these little reels that are out and we saw what we were doing and someone else did it, would you be going, "Oh my gosh, this is hilarious. Look at this." Yeah, okay. We got to laugh at ourselves.

Corey Allan: And yeah, laughing at yourself is where that starts I think, of being able to see it as, "Here we go. I'm usually smarter than that," and I can just laugh at myself.

Pam Allan: Yes.

Corey Allan: And see that, "Yep. That's actually a funny moment. That's a good thing." All right, so the last two, there will be highs in lows in life and in marriage. We're not always in sync. It's natural that we're not going to connect. And it's natural there'll be times where we are in sync and it's like, "How do I keep this going? How do we capture this?" I don't think we worry about that, or we need to worry about that because it's just going to change, but realize it's okay.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: You can recover from it.

Pam Allan: Yeah. If you're not in sync, it doesn't mean the end is.

Corey Allan: It's not going wrong when you're not in sync because that's just a natural ebb and flow of life and people. And then the last one.

Pam Allan: The last one, do life with others.

Corey Allan: Yes.

Pam Allan: We've got to... If we're living in a vacuum with just us, we're not getting the richness of other people's experiences, we're not getting the richness of just living life together and their input and the community that provides. So we've got to be in community with other people.

Corey Allan: Mm-hmm. And an opportunity to do that, Summer23, join the academy and you get to really do life with people, because the people that are on the academy coaching calls and the people that are regularly in the platform on the academy level, you get to know them because they are helpful and engaged and involved and vulnerable. And that's the way we get to know people on a deeper level. And so take the risk, be involved with people, invite some people in and do alongside them.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: Go lifeing alongside them.

Pam Allan: Go lifeing.

Corey Allan: There's a bumper sticker for you.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: Well baby 30 years, that's a huge milestone, and it has been an incredible journey.

Pam Allan: It's great to do this with you.

Corey Allan: Well, here's to 30 more.

Pam Allan: Yeah.

Corey Allan: Well, this was an interesting dichotomy if you look at the two different segments.

Pam Allan: Yeah, the two opposite ends of the scale.

Corey Allan: Hey, I'll be honest that there's elements of life where we've had 30 years together as we were talking about in the first segment, but even the second segment with the extended content on the world of snooping and invading each other's privacy, there's still components of that where there's curiosity of, I'll reach over, I'll see a ding on your phone. And it's like, "What's that about?"

Pam Allan: Who's that from?

Corey Allan: Right. Because you can get this comment of, and I'll even do it when you're texting right beside, "Who you're texting?"

Pam Allan: But you ask.

Corey Allan: Right. But some of that motivation is still like, "What's going on here?"

Pam Allan: I'm assuming you're not snooping on my phone, are you?

Corey Allan: I'll plead the fifth. I will say it has happened at times because we know each other's passwords. So sure there's times where you pick on, and I don't ever scroll through texts or anything like that, but there'll be times I'll see, "Oh, that was your sister. Okay." And then it's fine. But there's still don't we have these elements of life where it's just like, "God, why can't I not just relax and know I'm with somebody that's good most of the time because I'm good."

Pam Allan: Okay. An enlightening ending to the show right here, folks.

Corey Allan: That's the way our day has gone.

Pam Allan: Yes.

Corey Allan: There's been quite a bit going on off the air too, so this has been Passionately Married. If we left something undone, let us know (214) 702-9565 or feedback at Wherever you are, however you've taken some time out to spend with us, thanks so much and we'll see you next time.