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Relationship Alive!

Neil Sattin interviews John Gottman, Sue Johnson, Harville Hendrix, Peter Levine, Stan Tatkin, Dick Schwartz, Katherine Woodward Thomas, Diana Richardson, Terry Real, Wendy Maltz - and many others - in his quest to dig deep into all the factors that keep a Relationship Alive and Thriving! Each week Neil brings you an in-depth interview with a relationship expert. Neil is an author and relationship coach who is enthusiastic and passionate about relationships and the nuts and bolts of what makes them last. You can find out more about Neil Sattin and the Relationship Alive podcast at http://www.neilsattin.com
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Now displaying: October, 2018
Oct 31, 2018

When is it time to start over with someone new? Isn't your next relationship going to be better, simply because you've learned what to look for in a new partner? If you're considering ending your current relationship, how do you know you're making the right decision? Do you think you've tried it all to make things work? How do you know if you've truly "tried everything"? In today's episode, we'll explore how to make these important decisions, so that whatever you choose you can do it confidently. And like you might expect, the answer to those questions isn't quite as obvious as you might think.

As always, I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this episode and what revelations and questions it creates for you. Please join us in the Relationship Alive Community on Facebook to chat about it!

Sponsors:

Along with our amazing listener supporters (you know who you are - thank you!), this week's episode is being sponsored by Babbel.com.

The world's best-selling language learning app makes it easy for you to learn French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Danish - and many more languages. Is there's a language you've always wanted to learn? Try Babbel for FREE at Babbel.com and discover how easy it can be.

Resources

I want to know you better! Take the quick, anonymous, Relationship Alive survey

FREE Guide to Neil's Top 3 Relationship Communication Secrets

Guide to Understanding Your Needs (and Your Partner's Needs) in Relationship (ALSO FREE)

Support the podcast (or text "SUPPORT" to 33444)

Amazing intro and outtro music provided courtesy of The Railsplitters 

Transcript:

Hello and welcome to another episode of Relationship Alive. This is your host, Neil Sattin. And thank you for joining me here, today, on episode 165. I hope that you took some time to listen to last week’s episode, with Guy Finley, on how you can dissolve conflict in your relationship, and learn the lessons that you’re meant to learn. Of course it’s all important or it wouldn’t be here on the show - but you’ll see why, in a moment, last week’s episode is particularly relevant.

So - I got a great question recently. It went something like this:

Dear Neil - I’m confused. Every time I hear of someone in a happier, better, more fulfilling relationship - it’s always their SECOND marriage. Are first marriages that aren’t working out just doomed to failure? Is the only way to get an exceptional relationship, where you’re thriving, to ditch the first person and find someone new? What’s missing in first relationships that people are getting in second relationships?

Like I said, a great question. I mean, here I am - right? Divorced. Happy in my second marriage. And I think that’s the danger, right? Of thinking that second marriages are amazing - they allow us to undo all of the mistakes that we made in marriage #1. Or if you’re not married, but in a relationship, when you’re having a tough time, or thinking that you’re going to just have to suffer in an unfulfilling situation, the allure of finding another person that will be better is right there, staring you in the face.

It’s an interesting twist on the age-old question of “Should I stay or should I go?” If people are so much happier during the next go-around, then what’s the point of sticking it out with this person?

So, I want to shine a little perspective on this - and give you some ways to think about your situation, and what the right thing to do is.

My first instinct here was to just bring up the statistic that while 50% or so of first marriages end in divorce - the number of second marriages that end in divorce is actually 60% - and 70% for third marriages! So while it’s tempting to see someone a year or two or three into a new relationship and think about how lucky they are - bear in mind that the chances are even worse for them that they’ll stay together. It’s possible that you’re seeing them early enough in their relationship that everything SEEMS to be better. All the nuisances of their old relationship aren’t here, because they managed to pick someone who didn’t have any of the dissatisfying traits that caused them to break up. But often it just takes a little time, and then the cracks in the perfection start to appear.

And when that happens you get to find out if this “second marriage” - or newer, better relationship, is truly going to stand the test of time.  Actually, it’s often not right when that happens, but much later - because often we’ll wait months and months - years, even - before we decide that things have gotten bad enough that it’s time to leave. John Gottman’s statistic comes to mind, that it takes the average couple 6 years PAST when they should have gotten help to actually get help. Now I’m not sure if the Gottmans know exactly why that is - but at least part of that could be not wanting to believe that yet again another relationship is on its way towards destruction. Not being willing to see it until it’s too late. Or nearly so.

One place where you can potentially benefit from a new partner has to do with the selection process. There is that element, right?, of being on the lookout for specific traits in a new partner - top of the list that comes to mind for me is that a new partner with a growth mindset, and the ability to commit, might help improve your odds in relationship #2. This is of course if you also have a growth mindset and the ability to commit! In a moment, we’ll explore how you can dive a little deeper around this in your current relationship, before you decide that the grass is truly greener.

I will say that this whole journey has been REALLY interesting for me. There have actually been many times when I’ve wondered if I knew then what I know now, if my first marriage would have ended the way that it did. It’s tough to say - and because I respect the privacy of my ex, I’m not going to spend much time speculating about that right now. And, if we’re going to be completely honest here, my journey with Chloe has been part of what’s helped me learn all that I’ve learned. And, of course, it helps to be doing all the research for Relationship Alive, and having the conversations that I’m having, and working with clients from all over the world. It all fits together for me in a way that has helped me have a very different outlook on what’s possible.

Now am I saying that you need to start a podcast in order to get this all figured out? No. Am I saying that you need to get into a new relationship in order to figure out how to make it work with your current partner? No. I’m just trying to give you some perspective on where I’m coming from - but remember that my whole goal here is for you to be able to leverage my learning - so that you can leapfrog ahead in terms of what’s possible for you in your life, and in relationship. There’s enough heavy lifting for you to do in simply learning how to truly show up, and be courageous, and be vulnerable - all of that.

OK - let’s dive back in. We were talking about whether or not you should quit your current relationship to start up again with someone new. And I was trying to inspire, within you, a sense of what else might be possible. What I’d like to do, in this moment, is to give you hope. I realize that might not be the best thing. If you’re convinced that your current relationship is horrible, and that your current partner is NOT the right one for you, then hope might be the last thing you want or need.

You may not know this, but one of my first big hits, back when I was doing more blogging, was an article that I wrote about how to know when to leave a relationship. That article still gets a lot of traffic - at the time, I ended up doing a lot of coaching sessions with people who were commenting on it, or writing to me after reading it. And many times it would seem like the person really just was having trouble making the choice to leave - but they really wanted to leave - and so when I would hear about their situation, and, in the end, give them some ideas - what I thought were “empowering” ideas - to make things better, they would just come back around to the leaving. The escape from pain is a powerful thing.

This is perhaps the moment for the obligatory warning - if you are in a truly abusive relationship, then get out and get help. If you’re not sure if your relationship is abusive, then seek counseling, call a hotline, do something to try and get an objective opinion. And if you’ve determined that it is - get some space and safety for yourself and any children that might be involved. And from that place of having some space - and hopefully some sanity along with it - you can figure out if there’s any safe path to re-entry, after you’ve given some thought to whether or not there’s any reason to re-enter.

That all being said - when you’re in a relationship that has been going downhill for awhile, whether it’s been a long, slow decline - or a rapid descent - things can be pretty bad. You can be at each other all the time. Everything can feel like you’re on the verge of a fight. You can say mean things to each other. Without the skills to change the dynamics in a relationship that’s reached this point, there’s not a lot of hope. However, with some skills, and changing some communication patterns, it’s possible that you can actually make a big shift in the dynamic.

What it comes down to, here, are a few important questions:

  1. How important is it to you to try to see things through to a place of renewed connection, and growth? In order to shift things, it’s going to take some effort. And you might have to do things that make you uncomfortable. You might have to learn to quiet the parts within you that are just saying “run” - or saying “fight back”. This kind of effort requires your determination - so if you only kinda maybe sorta want it, that might make it challenging. Especially when you have to face your own shit.
  2. I know, I know - you feel like you’ve tried everything. Everyone always feels like they’ve tried everything. And everything may or may not be true. The question is, how much have you tried that’s actually different? A stretch from what you normally do? We get where we are because of what we normally do - generally our lives are simply the result of our habits of being. So truly trying “everything” would mean being able to look back and see exactly which habits of yours you’ve taken responsibility for - in other words, the way that you’ve contributed to the dynamic in your relationship - and you would also see the ways that you’ve directly changed those habits into something else. And you’ve measured the results.
  3. Are you willing to see the world through your partner’s eyes? What is their experience of you truly like? Can you see how the way that they act actually makes sense when you see and experience the world the way that they do? What does that change about how you approach them and interact with them?

Typically, it is helpful to choose a period of time during which you take the question of leaving off the table for yourself. This will definitely provoke the parts of you who want to leave (or who have already checked themselves out of the relationship) and you’ll probably have your hands at least partly full with trying to help those parts of you chill out about your renewed commitment to the relationship. But the only way that you’re going to truly find out what’s possible is to stop your threats of leaving and escape from jeopardizing either the safety of the relationship for your partner, or your willingness to make different, sometimes difficult, choices to act differently. Act differently, get different results.

At some point you might need to ask yourself the question to assess whether or not your partner is willing to change. If things have really come to a head, then this might also be the time to demand - ok, politely insist - that your partner get some help with you - either coaching, or a counselor, or a retreat, or a course - you get the picture. It’s best if you can involve them, somehow, in the process of actually seeing the dynamic of your relationship for what it is - ie. something that’s not quite working right - and to see the benefit of owning their own part in it - just like YOU’RE doing, right?

If you can get your partner to come to the table, then that will help you shift course more quickly. Because you can find ways to collaborate - after all, in most situations it’s in BOTH of your best interests to be working together on the project of improving your relationship. More joy and connection for everyone that way! But if they don’t come to the table right away, don’t despair - as you’ve heard many times on this show, there are all kinds of ways that you can create change and shifts within yourself and in the way that you show up in your relationship. And this, will in turn, create change in your relationship.

When you’ve been with someone, then you’re actually in some ways at an advantage. Do you know them well enough to know what motivates them? What would motivate your partner to want to come to the table? What would be their biggest complaint about you? What is their biggest desire? How can you show your partner that they matter to you in a way that will make a difference to them? Are there ways that you have been ignoring problems that they’ve been trying to bring up with you? Are there ways that you could show them the connection between what they want in your relationship and what you want?

What are some other questions that would help you access what you’ve learned in all of your time with this person? Do you like how I did that? I asked you a question to help you generate more questions!

Finally, let’s revisit the question of a timeline. As you might recall, I was mentioned taking “leaving” off the table. By the way, this is true whether or not you’re the one who’s thinking about leaving. If your partner is thinking about leaving, you can still make the decision one way or another that YOU will be committed to the relationship, to seeing what changes you can effect on your own or in collaboration. It can sometimes be surprising to see just how many ways that we are not fully embodying our commitment to the relationship - even when we think that we’re a solid “yes” we could still have exits and escape routes all over the place. Especially when there’s pain going on your relationship - those are the times that’s most challenging to stay present. And, again, it’s the ability to stay present during those times that will help you face whatever is truly happening, and be in a position to do something about it.

When you get to the end of the time limit that you’ve set for yourself, it’s time to reassess. How are things going? Have they gotten better? Are there cracks of light showing in the darkness? And what steps have you taken during that time? Did you make definite changes in your behavior? In your outlook? Did you get help? What worked, and what didn’t? It’s just as important to keep track of the attempts that went nowhere as it is to keep track of your successes and build on them.

In an ideal world, if you truly decide that it’s time to part ways, then my sincere hope is that you and your partner can come to that decision together, and figure out ways to part that allow you to stay kind to each other. It’s not always possible, but it certainly makes parting a whole lot easier - not only on the two of you, but also to the others impacted by your decisions. The rest of your family, your extended family, friends, and community. But as you’ll see, there’s actually plenty of time for you to experiment before you get to that point. And along the way you’ll learn a lot, grow a lot, and - if you decide to try again with someone else - you’ll truly have new ground to cover, vs. having to learn the lessons that you SHOULD have learned in this relationship. See - it’s a win-win.

Oct 26, 2018

They say that love can conquer all - but how do you really tap into “the power of love” to resolve conflicts in your relationship? On top of that, how do you learn what you need to learn so that you don’t keep repeating the same fights over and over again in your relationship? This week, our guest is Guy Finley, author of the new book Relationship Magic: Waking Up Together and the international bestseller The Secret of Letting Go. Along with getting juicy tidbits of Guy’s wisdom in a deep dive, we’re also going to walk through the process of transformation, so you can experience for yourself how to make the shift from conflict to love as you listen.  

As always, I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this episode and what revelations and questions it creates for you. Please join us in the Relationship Alive Community on Facebook to chat about it!

Sponsors:

Along with our amazing listener supporters (you know who you are - thank you!), this week's episode is being sponsored by two amazing companies, with special offers for you.

MyLola.com offers feminine hygiene products that are made with 100% natural and organic ingredients - so you don’t have to wonder what’s going into them (or...you)! They are offering you 40% off any subscription if you visit mylola.com and use the code “ALIVE” at checkout.

Babbel.com is the world's best-selling language learning app - making it easy for you to learn French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Danish - and many more languages. Is there a language you've always wanted to learn? Try Babbel for FREE at Babbel.com and discover how easy it can be.

Resources:

Visit the website for Guy Finley’s new book Relationship Magic for special bonus content

Visit Guy Finley’s main website

FREE Relationship Communication Secrets Guide - perfect help for handling conflict…

Guide to Understanding Your Needs (and Your Partner's Needs) in Relationship (ALSO FREE)

www.neilsattin.com/magic Visit to download the transcript, or text “PASSION” to 33444 and follow the instructions to download the transcript to this episode with Guy Finley.

Amazing intro/outro music graciously provided courtesy of: The Railsplitters - Check them Out

Transcript:

Neil Sattin: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Relationship Alive. This is your host, Neil Sattin. On this show, we've talked a lot about what happens when you get triggered and what to do and what not to do, and we've talked about it from this perspective of like, a neurobiological perspective, and we've touched a little bit on the perspective of trying to find love in those moments. What would love do when you're in the middle of, let's say, a conflict with your partner? But what if the power of love allowed you to dissolve conflict with your partner? And what if it not only allowed you to dissolve conflict, but it allowed you to truly learn the lessons that are there for you to learn so that you can get past the kind of pattern of arguing, and tension, and resentment that's so easy to foster in a relationship? And that's the strangest thing, right? Because it's love that brings us together and yet somehow we find ourselves there with this person who's the apple of our eye, when they are just annoying us to no end. Sometimes it's the very things that drew us to that person that then drive us crazy.

Neil Sattin: So, there's some purpose behind all of that. And today's guest is going to help not only reveal the purpose behind all of that, but help us work a little magic in order to transform it. His name is Guy Finley, and you may be familiar with him, he's the author of The Secret of Letting Go and his new book, Relationship Magic: Waking Up Together is all about what I've just been talking about, how to wake up and dissolve the conflict, the resentments, the things that seem to keep you connected and yet painfully separate from your partner. The book is new and if you want to find out about Relationship Magic, the book itself, you should visit relationshipmagicbook.com. We're going to dive in and we're going to talk about all of that. And of course, there will always be links available to you in the detailed transcript of today's episode, which you can download if you visit neilsattin.com/magic as in Relationship Magic. Or you can always text the word Passion to the number 33444 and follow the instructions. I think that's enough from me right now. So, Guy Finley, thank you so much for joining us today on Relationship Alive.

Guy Finley: Thanks Neil, I'm glad to be with you.

Neil Sattin: Well, it's such a treat. And one of the funny things that I was thinking as I was reading Relationship Magic was how much I wished that I had had like say two more weeks to just sit there after reading the book, and really let it all digest and percolate. So a lot of the questions that you're probably going to get from me are really raw from my experience of having been in the book and I'm still waiting for some of that magic to occur, but I feel like I'm on the cusp of its potential, and so I'm really excited to have you here to chat about your book and this idea that love and pain are these forces that can't coexist really, and yet so often we find ourselves stuck in pain with our partner. Why do you think that's so?

Guy Finley: First, your reaction to the book is perfect in a way in that if you ever go to a concert or if you are a seeker of some kind and read something about love or principles, and the moment you hear that music or feel that idea you're like, My favorite image. We had a Rottweiler, and every once in a while I would say something to her to try to communicate something and she would start tilting her head left and right, knowing that she was hearing something that she didn't understand, but that she wanted to which indicates that there's a corresponding part, in this instance, in all of us when we read or hear something that resonates in such a way that indicates, "Boy, there's something much deeper here that I'm getting immediately and I want to know what it is." And then that waiting period or the re-reading period, a time of contemplation is the way in which we communicate, actually commune with that higher part of us that already understands what we are now wanting to know.

Guy Finley: And so, I just wanted to corroborate that, Neil, so that everyone can understand those moments, not just in hopefully reading this book with the principles that it presents, so that we have a little way to realize that something in us is listening and if we learn to listen even a little more carefully, we can start to understand what that part of us that's pulled to that moment wants to understand. Now to tie that in with the last part of the question, it isn't that pain and love can't coexist, it's that they have a relationship that we don't understand and until we can begin to realize within ourselves why it is that someone we love can be so incredibly exasperating will blame them for the pain instead of understanding why that moment has appeared the way it has in our relationship. And that's principally what my book is about.

Neil Sattin: Yeah. You're speaking right to me and I'm remembering the part in the book where you talk about how the principle is there, let's call it the love principle, it's already there illuminating your experience, that that points to its existence as if you were... You need the sun in order to see your shadow and it's like, "Well, the sun is shining right there behind you." So you know it's there.

Guy Finley: I love that you have pulled out of the, at least, in part out of the book. One of my favorite sections that I thought might be difficult to grasp, but I had to put it in there. Listen, yes, as hard as it is to understand, and we can continue with a metaphor, we sit here, I'm sitting here in southern Oregon, you're in Portland and it's a beautiful sunny day, it's about 70 degrees outside and we look out and see the trees or the wildlife that I'm looking at and we see the objects, but we don't see the light that actually reveals them. We don't see the light that actually reveals them, we don't actually see light other than those moments where we might look at a sunset but even then, we don't see light, and we don't see the fact that light isn't the static affair, that light is a steady stream of waves and particles from that glorious orb that we are sustained by, and it never stops raining down on us; in one sense, making everything that's visible, visible and at the same time giving life to everything that's revealed by it. See, I think love is like that.

Guy Finley: I think we stand in it, we're related to everything through it, we're connected because of it, and yet we don't know anything about it other than to say, "I love you," when somebody does what we like, or pleases us, or we have that moment of sentimentality, which isn't too different from sometimes saying, "I love milk shakes," or "I love pizza." I know, and it is, it's humorous in a way. Actually, if one has a proper detachment to our present level of consciousness, it's all pretty funny. But it's sad in a way because with the same ease that we can say, "God, I love you. My love, you are my heart, thank you for being you." And then two minutes later because he or she looks at us askew, there's no remembrance at all, that the moment before we were joined by something that now seems to have disappeared, obliterated by a flash of a negative reaction, and we don't understand the negative reaction and because we don't and take the feeling of it as being viable and real, meaning that it confirms that something's wrong with our partner, we lose touch with the fact that love never separates, love never alienates, and certainly love never has an enemy.

Guy Finley: So these are the things that we want to examine but not just intellectually, moment to moment, heartbeat by heartbeat, in the throes of those moments as you said at the start, where the reaction is ruling us and ruining everything and all we can do later is say, "I'm sorry, this book is for people who want to get past saying I'm sorry."

Neil Sattin: Right, right. And I'm thinking of this thing that happened the other night, that was such a clear example of the difference between how love acts, let's say through me and when I'm in a negative place, and when that negative energy comes through me. So my wife Chloe and I, we'd had a great day, a fantastic day, and we were wrapping up and in fact, we had put a little bit of energy into resetting our kitchen which is something we've wanted to do nightly for years now. And finally, we're on it, so every night, even if we're exhausted, we're in there just making sure the dishes are clean, counters clean, like it's all good. So we went through that whole thing this one night, a few nights ago, and then maybe I took the dog out. I'm not sure I'm remembering the exact sequence of events, but it's not important. What is important is that I came in and Chloe picked up this little corner of a wrapper that had been left on the table and she asked me where does this go? And I looked at her and what I could have done is just said, "Oops, I guess I missed something." 'Cause we're on the same team in trying to reset the kitchen, and honestly, just those little corners of wrappers, if they're not thrown in the trash, they do add up, you start finding 'em all over the place, especially when you had a couple kids to the mix. They seemed to have a knack for leaving corners of wrappers everywhere.

Neil Sattin: So anyway, I took it from her and I had to laugh at myself after reading your book because the very next thing I did wasn't just throw that away and give her a big hug and laugh about it. What I do was, I saw that there was a wrapper from a stick of butter that had been left on the counter.

Guy Finley: Oh, god.

Neil Sattin: And that wasn't my doing, of course. That was Chloe's doing and so what did I do but I grabbed the wrapper on my way to the trash and I said, "I guess I'll throw this in the trash too."

Guy Finley: Yeah.

Neil Sattin: And for us, we live this stuff so we're typically very tuned into when we're triggered, and calling a stop to things, and getting back into balance, and at the same time there we were. And it's something that we've actually been talking a lot lately is feeling like there's something new for us to discover here around the ways that those little resentments have found their way into the nooks and crannies of our coexistence to drive us crazy.

Guy Finley: Yeah.

Neil Sattin: And so I read in your book about this tendency of a negative when one of you is in a negative space to meet it with negative energy and just how ridiculous it is to think that that's going to actually lead to anything positive. And I just laughed at myself thinking about that incident and that didn't end up being a big blowup between me and Chloe. I think we're long past the big blowup stage of anything like that, but at the same time I was like, "Oh, yeah, there's something else here for me to learn."

Guy Finley: This is such a perfect story 'cause you'd have to be physically dead not to relate and understand the example, the way in which couples partners or the way in which the standing in line at the supermarket, and somebody makes a comment, or the cashier's going at the speed of molasses. And something slips out of the mouth that seems to be justified because the individual has said or is doing something that has produced pain in us. So let's go through this. I don't know if you got to the section of the book, Neil.

Neil Sattin: Oh, yeah, I read the whole thing.

Guy Finley: There's actually a story in the book that is the long hand explanation of what happened and we'll look at it together. So first, when... And everybody look, everybody, we have to understand, we are in no way or means judging ourselves or others, there's far too much of that. You can't judge and learn, it's impossible. In this life, whether we realize it or not, is a school for our higher education particularly that love provides, if we're willing to take the curriculum, which this book is about and what Neil and I are speaking about. So Neil, if and when out of your mouth comes the, we'll call it the initial contact. Your wife made the first contact that evening bringing up a wrapper that was out of place. Pretty small thing. But if and when we do that, and point something out to our partner about where they miss the mark in some way, is it because we're happy and content in that moment? Or is there some kind of pain in us that prompts us to point a finger so that there's something to blame for our pain?

Neil Sattin: Right. Where we are pointing the finger so that we can blame for the pain.

Guy Finley: That's right because something has suddenly stirred in us a certain kind of resistance or pain that we did not know was in us the moment before. For instance, I'm just going to walk through it when Chloe points out the wrapper, she wasn't initially negative about the wrapper, but when the wrapper appeared, meaning she saw it, something in her in pain wanted to find a way to reconcile itself because in essence, the wrapper became the reason for the pain. Following me?

Neil Sattin: Yeah.

Guy Finley: But the wrapper isn't the reason for the pain in Chloe, the pain is brought in to the present moment in Chloe and in all of us in an unconscious nature, a body of experience whose residue never reconciled or healed sits there like strange objects in a closet until something bumps one of them and then out comes this comment or this action. Now, she didn't know. And then that pain looks at you and finds an object to blame, she points the finger at you and throws the grenade, passive-aggressive comment meant to point to you, look what you've done, you've missed the mark. And then what happens when Chloe's pain pushes on Neil? Was Neil in pain the moment before that? No, I had a good night, we were doing pretty good. But all of a sudden, I'm nuclear, but I don't want to go nuclear. I know that's not right. So, my mind, now in pain, blaming the pain on Chloe looks around and finds the butter and then it throws the bomb back. The point being that the moment of pain is not Chloe's pain and not your pain, it is our pain, it is a pain that goes into the moment before us that we don't know is there and that becomes this continuation of a string of conflict and resentments that feed each other in a pattern that never goes away, because the unseen instigator, the real cause of that conflict lies unseen in our consciousness.

Guy Finley: Now if we can understand that much and let me stop and ask you, are we on the same page? Can we see this together?

Neil Sattin: We're definitely on the same page and where my mind is going with this is to that concept of the debt that we owe each other and how we carry that with us as part of the burden of that pain.

Guy Finley: Yes, yes, it's intimately connected to that without our knowing it, which is the point of our existence in one respect 'cause when we started we said, "Well, how can pain and love be in an actual relationship?" Without our knowing it, living concealed in all of us, not just as a result of growing up with the parents we had, our experiences in high school and college, not the relationships that gave us a broken heart, not those individual instances, but sort of a composite conditioned consciousness. We live, Neil, with a kind of unseen expectation. It's built into our present level where, again, as example, I'll speak about my wife, I know you would say the same of Chloe. I've been with my wife for nearly 40 years. I remember when we first met, it was all roses. We couldn't talk enough about stuff, we had those conversations that go for hours on the phone.

Neil Sattin: Yeah.

Guy Finley: The sex was divine and intimate, the time together was precious, everything that was quirky about her was my greatest delight, everything that I did somehow had no problems in it at all. My idiosyncrasies were fascinating. This is the beginning of love because we're drawn to each other as the result of, she revealing in me things I don't know about myself that are delightful. I love the way I feel when I'm busy loving what my wife reveals to me about myself. She loves what I reveal in her to her about herself and there is a magnetic power. Everybody understands that, but part of that relationship and part of that magnetics includes the fact that gradually, the things that we were so enamored with, for what she could show me about myself starts to change. The thrill is gone, BB King used to say. And now the little things that were never a problem start to have a little edge to them. And here is the point: Why do I love the things my wife shows me about my nature that I feel are positive and good and accept as being a part of myself and on the other hand when she shows me things about myself, I don't see it as being about myself, I see as being about her?

Guy Finley: When we can answer that question with honesty and responsibility, we begin to recognize that, yes, when it comes to love our partner is a mirror that shows us the most positive, empowering, and beautiful things that the human heart can hold. Love makes that possible, but it is also a fact that love makes it possible for that same human being and their same idiosyncrasies to show us what is concealed in us that is limiting our love, so that until we are present to what has been concealed in us by the actions of our partner and accept the revelation of that moment as an invitation to let go of and die to those parts of ourselves we will continue to have the fights, blaming, later resenting without ever realizing we are caught in a loop that is actually a kind of system that this present nature with all of this residue that's been carried over insists on repeating it, literally reincarnates itself at the cost of a new and higher kind of love.

Neil Sattin: Okay, so there's so much there in everything that you just said. What's that?

Guy Finley: I say let's take it apart.

Neil Sattin: Let's do it. And maybe a vehicle for that would be the wrapper.

Guy Finley: Sure.

Neil Sattin: So for one thing, what I'm hearing from you is that the love and the mirror of relationship makes it possible for me to see all these things reflected back at me that I think are glorious.

Guy Finley: Right.

Neil Sattin: And however it also allows me to have reflected back at me the ways that I fall short.

Guy Finley: Not reflected back at me, reflected as being an unknown part of me. I don't know that I have pain when I'm holding my wife's hand and we're having a glass of wine, but if she said, "You've had two glasses, that's enough." What happens?

Neil Sattin: Right. The collapse.

Guy Finley: Boom!

Neil Sattin: Yeah.

Guy Finley: She didn't produce the conflict, she revealed within me is this sensitivity about too many wines. Don't eat that piece of bread. You're really going to have more butter? Why are you driving that way? Do you know where you are. I mean, all of these little questions that you call triggers are actually revelations that we have within us parts of us that we don't know. And to the point here, does love... Let's see, how shall I start this? When I want to lash back and we don't have to Pollyanna it, in fact, she said something that hurt me, I'm throwing the grenade back. Would love throw a grenade?

Neil Sattin: No.

Guy Finley: This is so important, listeners, please. And we're not idealizing love, I'm not making it some religious or iconic image. I'm just saying that you and I, if we're a human being know that there is a love that cannot hurt anything, that would not harm anything, that love is the love that we and each and every one of us live in and through and buy at all times without knowing it. These moments in passing time with our partner allow us to see and then begin to use consciously the very thing that ordinarily we mechanically do I.e. Neil throws back the butter comment. Now, if love would not harm anyone, and I know that love would not do that, is it really I, is it my truest nature that launches the attack back? Or is pain responding to pain? And this is important, is the pain of something in me, maybe when I was a kid I was teased, maybe my parents called me on the rug for things that they were in pain over and didn't know what to do with and abused me psychologically so that the smallest question of my character by anyone else produces instantaneous conflict? You're not going to disrespect me.

Guy Finley: Now, we all know these parts live in us, and if they are there and they are acting in our stead, we have to recognize that something has been stirred and has stepped up and out of our mouth that feels like us because it's part of our past but that cannot be who we are in reality or at least who we know we ought to be, and therefore, we have to do something that this book is all about. We have to recognize that love would not make anyone suffer. Another way of putting it. Why is my suffering in that moment more important than your suffering? Why is what I am suffering over if I love you, why would I want to add 1 ounce of more suffering to your life?

Neil Sattin: Right. Yeah, this is something that I found really profound in, if you can recognize that... And this was what you wrote about, that if you can recognize that the pain in your partner is what probably produced that comment in the first place, like if you saw a defenseless creature in pain you would show up to try and help that defenseless creature, you wouldn't kick it in the head, right?

Guy Finley: And you wouldn't even know if it tries to bite you, that it couldn't do anything else.

Neil Sattin: Right.

Guy Finley: You would know it. And knowing that, which is, see, look, my new book is the culmination of 40 years of writing and speaking. It brings about a very simple point that if we're willing to receive it, it makes change possible in the moment, not as an intellectual exercise by which we hope going into appointed moment we won't punish somebody. And certainly not afterwards as a retrospective event where I blame myself or think I could have done better, what I call a reflective event. I understand that in me is a pain I didn't know was in me. It was concealed until you said what you did. Now I'm going to pick up the tab, I'm going to do the one thing I've never done in my whole life with someone who has said the cruel comment or done something that upsets me, I'm going to live with my own pain. I'm not going to blame you for it, I'm not going to point it out to you, I'm going to in effect go quiet inwardly in that moment so that rather than listening to voices that then become my mouth speaking what causes others to suffer, I'm going to listen to my own voices, how they want to leap out, how they want to have an enemy, someone to make feel bad for the bad way they made me feel. And in that patience, which is a keyword. You know the original, the ancient meaning of the word patience, Neil?

Neil Sattin: No.

Guy Finley: To suffer myself.

Neil Sattin: Yes.

Guy Finley: I think that's the most beautiful thing in the world, because you see, if I can in the moment, my wife throws the... Did that wrapper, did that just manifest itself on the counter? And we can all hear the tone, we know what sarcasm is. Right?

Neil Sattin: Right.

Guy Finley: It's instantaneous and bang! Like that, comes up, this pain I didn't know was there.

Neil Sattin: And to be fair to Chloe, she actually was very light and almost joking about it, like it wasn't even sarcastic, it was light and yet it did hit me that strongly.

Guy Finley: Yeah, but see, if there wasn't pain behind it, would she call it out or just pick it up?

Neil Sattin: Right. She would have just picked it up.

Guy Finley: I mean obviously, and I'm not, again, there's no condemnation in this. All of humanity, all of us live in this level of consciousness that doesn't know what to do with its pain. So to the point, here I am, and in that split second if I can bear myself, meaning bear what has been revealed in me by the comment, the sarcastic, intended or not, comment in that split second something had happened that is the true magic. And here it is, I don't return unkindness for unkindness. And when I don't return unkindness for unkindness, my wife, Chloe, whoever it may be, is left holding the bomb they threw. In fact, they're shocked because the part of them that pronounced that cruel or otherwise sarcastic comment suddenly has nothing to validate its pain because now, Neil, Guy is not returning pain for pain, and the pattern has a chance to collapse on the spot so that the whole thing is revealed in that heartbeat when one of us as a partner agrees to bear the responsibility of the pain that's been driving the pattern.

Guy Finley: Boy, we're talking about hard work and lots of missteps but man, can I tell you after 40 years the beauty of this because now my wife, my husband, my partner has space to see themselves as they are, instead of mechanically blaming me for their pain because of what they say I am. They get to meet their own limitation, which is this unconscious negative reaction instead of it being validated by my unconscious reaction to their commentary. It's a game changer in the truest sense of what love has always intended for us to do and be with each other, which is to work as polishing stones so that what comes out of the moment is shinier, truer, better, a more pure reflection of what love intends for us and by the way why it brought us together to that end.

Neil Sattin: Okay, so there are two things jumping out at me right now.

Guy Finley: Yes.

Neil Sattin: One of them is, I would love to distinguish what we're talking about from maybe the flip side pattern that can happen in a relationship where there's never conflict, and yet it's not a system that's fostering love. In fact, it fosters resentment because things aren't being surfaced. So that's the first part. And then...

Guy Finley: They're being surfaced, Neil.

Neil Sattin: Go ahead.

Neil Sattin: They're just being ignored.

Neil Sattin: Yeah, yeah, great.

Guy Finley: Yeah, that's a very important distinction because what you just said is the slow motion death, not of love, the slow motion death of the possibility of two people awakening through and with each other, to a higher order of their own being that love makes possible. So, example...

Neil Sattin: Now, I wish I had read the book before the wrapper moment happened because I'm hoping that we can also paint a picture and maybe that's what you're about to do with this example of how that unfolding might take place. You used strong language earlier, which was like, we want those parts to die, the parts of us. And I'm curious to know what that actually... What that looks like, what that experience is like, and what that might have been like in the kitchen that night with me and Chloe.

Guy Finley: Alright, so here I am, I'll play Neil, okay.

Neil Sattin: Okay.

Guy Finley: And everybody can play Neil, at least as far as we're able to follow this. My wife drops the bomb. Doesn't look like a bomb, and in fact, she's trying to make it not look like a bomb, but it's a bomb, and suddenly I have a reaction. Now for the longest time I can't begin to encourage the listeners to understand this. We don't know that we're combustible. Were you thinking Neil, prior to that? You're in this contented state, you're working together, getting the kitchen set, having a nice dialogue, working together as men and women should, as partner should. Does Neil know there's something combustible in him?

Neil Sattin: No, and in fact this is why I love the shift that I feel like your book is creating in me. Because not only did I not know it was there but because I combusted and immediately my thought was, I want to blame her. If she knew how to act in a situation like this, then that... Exactly. So that's the pattern that I personally want to see end in myself.

Guy Finley: Yes, exactly. So you said you have children.

Neil Sattin: I do. Yeah.

Guy Finley: How old are they?

Neil Sattin: They are nine and eleven.

Guy Finley: That's perfect. Okay, so let's say just for grins I don't know what it would be, maybe you're out with one of them and maybe it's... You hand them a fishing rod, and say, "This is how you cast the lure, you throw them a football and they can't catch it 'cause their hands aren't big enough. Would you get angry at your child for not being able to catch a football that you throw at them?

Neil Sattin: No, of course not.

Guy Finley: No that would be ludicrous, why? Because the child has limitations. I'm not going to blame my child, for the fact that it can't hold on to a football yet or thumb the reel when it cast the lure.

Neil Sattin: Right.

Guy Finley: It doesn't have the capacity to do it yet. But when we blame our partner for producing this discontentment in us, for being the seed of this conflict, are we not in essence saying, You know what, you have this limitation, Chloe. You could have been like this, and if you've been like that then you would fulfill my expectation, and it would be no more pain. Yes?

Neil Sattin: Right, yeah, exactly.

Guy Finley: So we see the person who is producing in a sense, this moment of disturbance. We see the problem as being their limitation. They're not meeting our expectation, we don't know that we walk around expecting that our husband or wife, or partner be at all times, everything that we have written a list for them to be. What would happen if, this won't happen directly, but one day you'll see it, everyone will who will work with these ideas. My partner says something to me, the little offhanded comment, and then instead of, as I usually do, responding with resistance mechanically, a tit for tat. I was able to, have literally appear in my hand this list that says, "The 444 things that no one is ever supposed to say to me." Well, we laugh at it 'cause it sounds silly, yet with God as my witness, that's what we have living in our nature.

Neil Sattin: Right, right, yeah.

Guy Finley: So then I start to realize, hold on a second, the limitation isn't my wife's it's mine. 'Cause I only know how to respond by letting this list tell me how people are supposed to be and this isn't even my list, it got made over time. It was produced by a host of painful circumstances that I never was able to figure out. So all I could do was think about them, in other words, now formulate them, get them into something I could live with and then I think that gets buried and goes away, but those moments don't go away. They live as objects of thought, literally formations in our psychology that when the proper circumstances appear, much as a seed sprouts when the nourishment it needs happens, up comes this list and the item on it and then by God, I know I'm right and you're wrong.

Guy Finley: We're saying, "Can we understand now that within us lives this lower unconscious unloving nature, and that when stimulated by circumstance, it's going to do the only thing it knows to do 'cause if we can know that this is what Christ called Metanoia, this new knowledge, a new understanding that allows us, literally the translation of the word repent, to turn around in the moment and see what we're actually looking at instead of what something in us wants to point to for our pain. "Cause if we can do that, Neil, then we can begin to understand our tendency, and then we take our awareness of that tendency into that moment with us and then we begin to wake up. We begin to let the moments that beat us up, become the moments that make us better, because we're agreeing to see our own limitations, what Love is showing us is keeping us from being truly loving.

Neil Sattin: So when I notice that I am in a moment and experiencing pain and in fairness to Chloe, it could have just as easily been me saying... Having something to complain about...

Guy Finley: Of course, of course.

Neil Sattin: To start it all off. So when I notice, okay, I'm experiencing pain and I want to fix something right now, what... what do I do... I'm right there in that moment.

Guy Finley: I know, I can hear you, man. Look, you said the... Exactly the... "And I want to fix something." I'm going to fix Chloe. Chloe is going to fix me. And nothing gets fixed other than a growing body of resentment from conditions never resolved consciously through love. So here's how it gets fixed. I stop trying to fix my partner and I stop trying to fix myself. Instead, and this is an exercise 'cause we're getting to that point where we need something where we can get our hands on a practical set of actions. You might want to write it down, listeners. I call it stop, drop and endure. Neil's ahead of me. Stop, drop and endure. All right, I know my proclivity, all my wife has to do is say, "You know that shirt's a little tight on you. Really, you're having another helping? Why don't we drive out to the winery in Jacksonville instead of go to the place locally?

Guy Finley: Any one of a thousand things can be innocent as the day is long and maybe not even intended as you indicated to be a cutting remark because she may be just asleep psychologically, just saying what comes to her mind. But it's already interwoven. So here's the reaction, bang. So what's the first thing, Neil? Bang, come to a stop. What does it mean come to a stop? It means I know because I have been interested enough to think about it, to contemplate it, then my tendency when my wife or partner says whatever they do, is that I have a thousand tender spots. Let's use this another way, I have a dozen places in me that have never healed. They never healed. The way that my former girlfriend, husband, wife let me know that she's leaving me, it never healed. All I could do was hate my partner, regret my situation, despise myself for not being good enough to keep or to hold in place whatever it was.

Guy Finley: These places have never healed. And all of this unhealed, psychologically divided mind and heart goes forward in time with me. Then I have a new partner. She says, whatever it is, and the sore spot is stimulated. Come to a stop. I know it's there, and I'm going to absolutely stop. Now, what does it mean, stop? That's the next word, drop. When I come to a stop, the intention is to see everything in me that wants to keep moving. I want to see and hear these thoughts and feelings without being mechanically identified with them and what they are trying to do as they want to fix the moment. I'm not going to fix the moment. Physician heal thyself. Instead, I'm going to drop every last one of those thoughts that come in and that want to point to my wife, my partner that moment as being the source of my pain. And if I can come to a stop and sit there and drop all of these thoughts and feelings, I'll begin to notice something extraordinary.

Guy Finley: They won't let me drop them. My intention is to be the observer, the conscious witness of what love is inviting me to see, that's been concealed in me. And something doesn't want me to see anything other than who's to blame for the pain. Hold on a moment, what is that about? I say I want to heal. I say I want to be a loving partner, but now I realize there is a flood loosed in me that wants to free itself, by putting someone else into a cage. Stop, drop. Now you tell me what endure means, Neil. It means I'm going to suffer myself.

Neil Sattin: Yeah, yeah. I'm feeling the waiting, basically.

Guy Finley: Yes, yes. For as long... Listen to this, 'cause it answers an earlier question of yours. I'm going to suffer myself, meaning I'm going to sit and observe these thoughts and feelings instead of identify with them. I'm going to suffer myself patiently for as long as it takes for me to finally see what love has brought this moment about for, and what is it brought it about for? For me to see that there's no love in that nature. That is not who I am, and that is not who I am going to manifest. I will not incarnate what has passed and its pain and its false plans to fix things, instead I'm going to incarnate what love is asking me to incarnate in that moment, which is the revelation that the me that came into this moment, that has been revealed by it, is no longer necessary. And that Neil, is what it really means to die to ourselves because love makes it possible.

Neil Sattin: Don't hate me.

Guy Finley: Oh no.

Neil Sattin: What happens next? 'Cause I'm imagining this, and in fact, the sense that I feel is actually a whole lot of grief. That's the first thing that comes up for me, is like seeing all of that, all of that pain and all of the ways that I would want to lash out and recognizing that that's not love, and...

Guy Finley: Yeah, isn't that extraordinary? And by the way, that's... At a certain level of development, which I'm glad to speak with you as you're experiencing this. Isn't it phenomenal that when I hear about what it means to love my neighbor as myself, that no greater love does a husband have than laying down his life for his wife, or vice versa, whoever the partner may be. And that my response to that part of me that can hear that, but doesn't... Is grief. What would grieve for the loss of something that only wants to produce the continuation of pattern? Yeah, isn't that beautiful, Neil? Man, this is what... Whether it not... Anybody here with us listening, it doesn't matter to me. I'm... Obviously, I want everybody to hear this, but what a marvelous point of connection for you and I, to unfold something so that I can actually suspect for the first time, maybe good God, there is something in me that's grieving over not having a good reason to be mad.

Neil Sattin: Yeah, and as I'm really tuning in, I think some of it also is a sense of shame that...

Guy Finley: I get it. Yes.

Neil Sattin: Yeah. Shame that that's what I've done or where I would want to go, or... Yeah.

Guy Finley: Yes, yes. I'm greatly enjoying the conversation. Look, everybody write this down, please. There is no such thing as a bad fact about yourself, there is no such thing as a bad fact about yourself. Facts are friends, but we have a nature conditioned over time, that's more interested in appearance than it is in being. Being is the moment-to-moment expression. Love is the moment-to-moment relationship between facts. So as we grow to understand these things and begin to have some of these wonderful exchanges and experiences, whether it's just first with our minds, and then with our hearts, it doesn't matter 'cause we can start to understand. We are the last section for the book, we are in training. You don't punish someone who's in training unless you don't know you're in training. So when we get this and start realizing, God I can see... You know what, I can feel it in the deepest part of myself.

Guy Finley: Not only have I missed the mark, I didn't even know what it was. Then everything's explained in that moment, because... And now to answer your question again, what happens next? This is my favorite part. Can a pattern go on if any part of the pattern is changed in the truest sense of it?

Neil Sattin: It seems that it would be different from that point forward.

Guy Finley: It cannot go on. It's even... Physics states it this way, "Change the observer and the observed changes." That's some theory or another that the observer changes what is observed by him, or her. So here I am, and let's just say for the sake of argument that I catch what we've been talking about in the middle of that moment. Maybe I'm on the freeway and here comes somebody barreling up behind me or someone cuts me off or someone passes me in the fast lane, and then drives slow to punish me. In that moment, can I see that the condition has not created the pain, but it's revealing a part of me that is sure that it has expectation and a list that this isn't supposed to be this way and therefore wants to respond with unkindness. If I can just see that much and even think... Wait a minute... This is the moment I've been waiting for. In that split second I am no longer the man or the woman I was, leading up to that moment. Because something... A bit of light, bit of love has come in to interrupt the pattern.

Guy Finley: Maybe I go on and lose my temper. Maybe I say the passive aggressive remark. Maybe I stew, but the fact is, now I'm more aware of what has happened after the event than I was before. Because I realize the repercussion is actually the continuation of this unconscious nature that I was unable to not express in that moment. And here is the final word, at least as far as this question. If I change, my partner has to change. If I'm not the same, they have to see where they're being the same and have a chance to step out of that space. As I change, I give my partner the space they need to change. So in those relationships where nothing is said and all is this sort of horrible compromise building into a ball of resentment that ultimately boils over. One little change produces the possibility of a greater change. It's the most wonderful thing in the world that love makes possible. But it always begins with us, not with our partner, not with what we act out toward them, but what we see in ourselves and then accept as our responsibility to be present enough to to witness that a change can take place in us first.

Neil Sattin: Yeah, I'm glad you mentioned that because I think that would probably be the natural question that many of you listening would have, which is like, "Well, something like how much of being treated this way am I supposed to tolerate? How much stopping, dropping, and enduring am I supposed to do in this situation?

Guy Finley: Exactly. And there's, again, there's a whole section in the book about that too. You're not on this planet to let anybody abuse you. In fact, any abusive relationship that we stay in is because we're enabling it, we have a part of ourself that would actually rather live with someone to resent than to be on our own and not know who we are through that resentment. The only thing that troubles us about other people, Neil, in the end is what we want from them. And when we start to understand that most of what we want from others is a way in which we can keep these debts running, then we want to pay the tab. And if someone continues to abuse us, and I mean if anybody abuses you physically and you say, "That's that. Don't do that again or I'm gone," and then you're not gone, it's your fault. "I know, well, I have kids and I've gotta know what'll happen to me." Do not stay with people who abuse you, period. They will never change until you change. It's the only hope that abusive person has 'cause they don't know, good God, do you think a parent would deliberately abuse a child if the parent knew for a split second the child wasn't responsible for the pain they're in, that's producing that horrid outcome?

Guy Finley: We are complicit in relationships where pain keeps itself alive because we use it to prove the other person's responsible. So, no abuse of relationship continually. No. But neither do we sit and live with a mind that says, "You know, she keeps bringing up that I shouldn't have that second glass of wine, she's abusing me." No, she may have a point. Then it's up to you to discover that, use those moments and become a different kind of person, which might include by the way, not wanting the intoxicating cup.

Neil Sattin: Right. While I'm stopping, dropping, and enduring what might I communicate to my partner? Is there anything that you think is helpful?

Guy Finley: I'm glad you asked that. Yes, you do not say, "Listen, I'm enduring you


Guy Finley: This is not meant religiously, but it's all part of this beautiful golden thread that winds through our life and relationships. Christ said, when you go in the closet, when you pray go in the closet, do not let anybody know you're praying. Same thing, Buddha, all the great saints, prophets, all spoke of the same thing. If I'm going to change, I can't announce it because the change hasn't taken place yet, I'm agreeing to go through it and if I point out to my wife or partner, "Look, I'm going through this change because of you," I've just thrown the passive-aggressive comment out, haven't I? So I have to learn what it means to be silent and I might just say, "You know what, let me if you want, if we have to have a way to deal with it, look, I'm just not going to take part in an argument, I'm just not going to do it. And you may not think that what you said was hurtful, but it hurt me but I don't want to hurt you back. So for now, I'm just going to put this down. You do with it what you want to do, but I'm done with the fight." And if you really mean it, not because you have an image of yourself as someone who wants to be like that, but who agrees to put down the fighting nature, you will see in yourself and you'll be shocked at what happens to your partner if you actually say to them, "Do you want to go on with this, that's your business. I'm done with it."

Guy Finley: And listen to this, Neil, 'cause you even said it, when you said suddenly I feel grief while hearing these ideas, your partner when you say to them, "I'm not going to continue this negativity," they're going to say, "What's wrong? You don't love me?" And you're actually doing what you're doing for the sake of love, and you know it, but they can't see it yet. Can you sense some of that, Neil?

Neil Sattin: Yeah. Well, one thing that I think is the gift here is, in some respects it takes that pain and it depersonalizes it so that I could see in a moment like that, and hopefully before those moments happen, being able to talk to your partner and say, "Wow, you know, I just read this book by Guy Finley," or, "I just heard this podcast episode and I'm seeing how like pain exists in me, in us waiting for an opportunity to like spring."

Guy Finley: I love it, Neil. I love it.

Neil Sattin: So in a moment like that, being able to say, "Whoa! The pain in me just reared its head," and almost like, "This isn't about you. I just need to step back from this for a moment." And there's something in me, Guy, that wants more around the enduring like, I'm going to stay here, I'm going to endure, I don't know what happens at that point.

Guy Finley: Yeah. You know what? You can't know. You can only be.

Neil Sattin: Yeah.

Guy Finley: See, I want to know 'cause I want to be safe, I want to feel secure, spiritual, intelligent, loving on top of it. That's where all the pain has come from, that nature that wants to know going in how things should be, or that already knows how things should be going in. That's where the conflict is. See, here this will help maybe, Neil.

Neil Sattin: Great.

Guy Finley: 'Cause this book actually, I swear to God, this book came out of an experience that I had when I first fell in love, which I'm almost 70. So what was that? Fifty-three years ago, I fell in love and I already, I'd been on the path. My spiritual life started around the age of 6, that's another story. But I didn't understand much of it, but I was with my partner and I said to her, "You know what?" I said, "Let's agree, you and I, that love is more important than any of the personal issues that want to pull us apart." I'm not even sure what I'm saying. I said these words, and yet I know that we'll have disagreements. "Let's agree that when we have a disagreement, love is going to be more important than what wants to pull us apart. Can we do that?" And of course she said yes and I said yes, but we weren't mature enough to even understand. I didn't understand what I was talking about, 53 years later I understand.

Guy Finley: That you can say to Chloe, listen, I'm having some revelations, I'm seeing new stuff and I never want to hurt you as long as I live, I never want to hurt you, and I know you love me and I know you never want to hurt me. So let's agree right now that we're never going to hurt each other. And then because I also know, as I'm sure you do, that while our aim is lofty, we live from a nature that isn't going to be able to live up yet to what love is prescribing as our partnership and the way it grows. So instead of them blaming each other when we can't live out our agreement, we will step back both of us and see the parts of ourselves unable to keep the contract we have with love, then we're not going to blame each other and we're not even going to blame ourselves. We're going to be different people because we see on one hand, where we're compromised and because of the revelation of the compromise itself will know what we can and can't do next time. Yes?

Neil Sattin: Yeah, I'm soaking all that in. You can't see my head nodding but I'm just reveling in those words, yeah.

Guy Finley: This is so important, God help us. Look, anything that's right, bright and true in this world, no human being is the sponsor of. We are the instruments of what is right, bright and true including love. When we understand that an instrument can be played by something that serves its own interests and that its interests don't serve love, then we stand in a place where we can start to recognize this is an ill wind that's starting to blow through me and by God, I'm not going to share it with my partner, I'm going to let it buffet me so I can die to it. And then we have something real to work with.

Neil Sattin: Yeah, I think we might have to... So for those of you at home who are listening to this, my wish for you is that you're able to experiment with what we're talking about. And of course, there are more nuances that Guy writes about in the book, Relationship Magic. And please send us your feedback, neilius@neilsattin.com. Or, there's a Relationship Alive community on Facebook, tell us about your experiences. I could envision a follow up at some point, Guy, where we talk about what happened after. What happened after we endured?

Guy Finley: Yeah, you know what, ordinarily I do so many interviews, but I would... If you want to follow up, it's done.

Neil Sattin: Great. Great, well, we will keep in touch about that.

Guy Finley: Alright.

Neil Sattin: In the meantime, it is such a pleasure to have you here and an honor to be able to talk with you about this book that's the hot off the presses, and yet the culmination of 40 years or more, 53 years of experience, Relationship Magic: Waking Up Together. You can visit relationshipmagicbook.com, and if you order the book, you can go there and you can instantly get an audio version of the book. Are you reading that, Guy?

Guy Finley: I'm sorry, say that again.

Neil Sattin: Are you the person who's reading the audio book that people will get?

Guy Finley: Yes, yes. Yes, I've... It is I.

Neil Sattin: Great. So you can get the audio book and I saw that there are a bunch of other bonuses that you can get. So a lot of special gifts for purchasing the Relationship Magic book, and you can also visit guyfinley.org where you can read more about Guy and his work. What's the name of your center again, Guy?

Guy Finley: I live in southern Oregon, and I teach at Life of Learning Foundation three times, four times a week, open to everyone. People come from all around the world, and there's a body of 50 or a hundred students who actually live in the area now, and a $3 donation at the door, no one's turned away, nothing to join. Just a group of men and women just like Neil and myself who want to understand a little bit more about how love works.

Neil Sattin: Well, I appreciate you illuminating a little bit more of the journey for me and for us here on Relationship Alive today, so thank you so much, Guy. And just as a reminder, if you want to download the transcript, you can visit neilsattin.com/magic. We'll also have all the links that I mentioned or you can text the word Passion to the number 33444, and follow the instructions. Such a pleasure to have you with us here today, Guy.

Guy Finley: Thanks, Neil. It was just a really good conversation.

Oct 18, 2018

One of the hallmarks of a healthy relationship is the level of generosity that’s taking place in it. Today we’re going to uncover one of the biggest obstacles to fostering generosity in your relationships - and...it’s probably not what you think! After today's episode, you'll have new ways to amplify the love and generosity - not only in your primary relationship, but in ALL your relationships. Are there places where you're holding back? Not after today's episode!

As always, I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this episode and what revelations and questions it creates for you. Please join us in the Relationship Alive Community on Facebook to chat about it!

Sponsors:

Along with our amazing listener supporters (you know who you are - thank you!), this week's episode is being sponsored by Babbel.com.

The world's best-selling language learning app makes it easy for you to learn French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Danish - and many more languages. Is there's a language you've always wanted to learn? Try Babbel for FREE at Babbel.com and discover how easy it can be.

Resources 

Check out Episode 101 - Creating a User Manual for You

I want to know you better! Take the quick, anonymous, Relationship Alive survey

FREE Guide to Neil's Top 3 Relationship Communication Secrets

Guide to Understanding Your Needs (and Your Partner's Needs) in Relationship (ALSO FREE)

Support the podcast (or text "SUPPORT" to 33444)

Amazing intro and outtro music provided courtesy of The Railsplitters 

Oct 12, 2018

Would you like to open up your ability to experience pleasure? And to not only increase your capacity for pleasure, but to also ensure that everything you do is consensual? In today’s episode, Betty Martin, the creator of the Wheel of Consent, explains the four different dimensions of touching (and being touched) - and how to expand erotic energy in a consent-based context. You’ll learn how to experience these flavors of touch in new ways, and how to ask for consent in ways that still keep things deeply connected, and passionate. While getting consent is important in all of your relationships - you’ll discover how to foster consent with your partner in ways that help you uncover exactly what each of you wants in any given moment - and unlock the keys to pleasure no matter what kind of touch you’re experiencing.

As always, I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this episode and what revelations and questions it creates for you. Please join us in the Relationship Alive Community on Facebook to chat about it!

Sponsors:

Along with our amazing listener supporters (you know who you are - thank you!), this week's episode is being sponsored by SimpleContacts.com.

SimpleContacts.com is a super-convenient way to keep yourself stocked with contact lenses. They offer all major brands, and an easy way to renew your contact lens prescription. And they’re offering you $20 off your first order to give them a try! Just visit SimpleContacts.com/alive20 and use the coupon code “ALIVE20” at checkout for $20 off, and enjoy the easy way to replenish your supply of contact lenses.

Resources:

Check out Betty Martin's website

FREE Relationship Communication Secrets Guide - perfect help for handling conflict…

Guide to Understanding Your Needs (and Your Partner's Needs) in Relationship (ALSO FREE)

www.neilsattin.com/consent Visit to download the transcript, or text “PASSION” to 33444 and follow the instructions to download the transcript to this episode with Betty Martin. We’ll let you know when her book about the Wheel of Consent is released as well!

Amazing intro/outro music graciously provided courtesy of: The Railsplitters - Check them Out

Transcript:

Neil Sattin: Hello, and welcome to another episode of Relationship Alive. This is your host, Neil Sattin. In today's culture, we're talking a lot about how to truly get consent, and it's an interesting conversation because generally, I don't know about you, but I want to ensure that when I'm getting involved with someone and particularly with my partner, that when we are doing anything but particularly when we're intimate with each other, that we're doing things that we both want to be doing, that consent is there, and yet the way that we've learned culturally, how to engage in being intimate with other people, isn't really about consent. It's kind of about trying to go as far as you can and then letting someone's boundary or lack thereof stop you and it doesn't work so well as we've seen, especially recently with all of the "Me Too" revelations about just how many people are abusing their power and discovering that they've abused their powers.

Neil Sattin: Some people know this consciously and other people, it's a revelation. So, I want to create a context for you where you don't have to wonder, where you know that when you're there with someone, they're right there with you. And at the same time, we want to build consent in a way that actually enhances erotic energy and polarity and passion where it's not something that kills the spark in the energy between you and your partner. So, that's what we're going to talk about today and I'm really excited for today's guest. Her name is Betty Martin and I found out about her when a friend of mine sent her videos on "the Wheel of Consent" my way and I watched them and they were a revelation.

Neil Sattin: So, I'm bringing the revelation here to you today with Betty Martin, who's a former chiropractor and now she's a sex and intimacy coach who has worked with clients, and is also primarily training other practitioners, both people who work hands on like chiropractors, massage therapists, and also people who are just therapists and counselors and coaches; how to bring "the Wheel of Consent" into their practice and use it with their clients, and also become more aware of how they are interacting with their clients in ways that are generative and beneficial for everyone. As always, we will have a detailed transcript of today's episode. If you want to get it, all you have to do is visit neilsattin.com/consent or you can text the word "Passion" to the number 33444 and follow the instructions and we'll send you a link where you can download that transcript. I think that's it. Betty Martin, thank you so much for joining us here today on Relationship Alive.

Betty Martin: You are welcome, thanks for inviting me.

Neil Sattin: It's my pleasure to have you here, and I know a lot more about pleasure now that I've...

[chuckle]

Neil Sattin: Ran through your videos, and I do want to say you're in the process of writing a book. Is it still tentatively titled "Learning to Touch?"

Betty Martin: No, that's a great question. Book titles tend to change as they get written.

Neil Sattin: Right.

Betty Martin: But it's tentatively titled "The Direction of the Gift, Understanding the Wheel of Consent."

Neil Sattin: Oh, I like that... Well, I was...

Betty Martin: Or it may be "The Wheel of Consent, Understanding The Direction of the Gift," either way. [chuckle]

Neil Sattin: "The Direction of the Gift"... And you'll know what we're talking about in just a moment. I was hungry, hungry for the book, but at the same time Betty you have so generously put all these videos on your website, that walk people through the process of exploring the Wheel of Consent. It was so helpful for me. So I encourage you listening once you've heard this conversation, you can go back and fill in the gaps somewhat with the videos and then Betty when your book comes out, we will devour it here. I'm sure.

Betty Martin: Thank you.

Neil Sattin: So let's start with maybe a broad question, which is... What is consent and when you look at the Wheel of Consent and of course, we're going to describe the wheel in a moment. What's its contribution to this conversation about what consent even is?

Betty Martin: That's a great question. Consent in the dictionary, is agreeing to something and it implies that it's something that somebody else wants. So, I can consent to you touching me in some way, or I can consent to touching you in some way, or doing something for you. So it implies that there's something that somebody else wants that we are agreeing to and that's why you say, get consent or give consent. When I give consent, it means I'm agreeing to something that you want. However, I would like to expand that definition and the public conversation on consent these days is so rich that I imagine that definition is already expanding, but I would like to expand that definition to be more of an agreement.

Betty Martin: What is it that we are agreeing to? And an agreement isn't something you give someone, it's something that you arrive at together. So will you scratch my back, honey? Sure. Scratch, scratch, scratch. Now, we have an agreement, so that's consent or may I feel up your back? Sure, okay, now we have consent. We have an agreement. So, that's how I'd like to expand the idea of consent. And there's also people talking and particularly around sexual interaction, there's people talking about informed consent, enthusiastic consent, changeable consent. They're talking about the importance of not just having permission but are both people equally delighted and engaged, and I think that's the direction that we want to go.

Betty Martin: It's not... Well, as you were describing, it's not... Well, what can I get away with this. It's, is the other person equally delighted and engaged. So, the Wheel of Consent in particular has a pretty specific contribution and that is that there's a difference between who is doing, who's got their hands on who and who it's for. So, I could be touching you for your benefit the way you want, I could also be touching you for my benefit, the way I want. And the difference between those is significant and the Wheel of Consent recognizes that difference which I'll explain after a while. But it recognizes that difference and says that part of consent is whose hands are going where. But another very important part of consent is, who is it actually for?

Betty Martin: So that's the particular contribution that the Wheel of Consent brings to the conversation about consent. It's not that consent is a good thing, you already know that, and that's very clear and it's not that you ought not to touch people without an agreement, everybody knows that. So, the contribution of the wheel is that, who it's for... Ideally is part of the agreement, because it makes a difference.

Neil Sattin: Right. That was one thing that probably won't surprise you, that really... My eyes were opened to you, just in terms of how you teased apart those two separate dynamics suddenly opened me up. And especially as we get into talking about the difference between the giving-receiving dynamic and the taking-allowing dynamic and where people tend to find themselves. I can't wait to dive into more deeply because there was just so much there.

Betty Martin: That was the ahas... Yeah.

Neil Sattin: Yeah. Oh yeah. Yeah, and I appreciate, I think I heard you during the intro, kind of chuckling about that way that it's so bizarre, but it's almost like we're taught, whether it's intentionally or not, that the way to get consent is to basically keep violating people's boundaries and...

[laughter]

Betty Martin: Until they smack you one.

Neil Sattin: Right. Yeah or they freeze up...

Betty Martin: So they give up.

Neil Sattin: And they... Exactly, yeah.

Neil Sattin: I'm curious, just because I mentioned it in the intro, what are your thoughts on people's fears that obtaining that agreement that we're talking about that, that's somehow going to actually kill the erotic energy between two people that if there isn't that kind of edgy risk happening [chuckle] that somehow the passion is going to just vanish. [chuckle]

Betty Martin: Oh yeah, well basically, I'd say grew up because... So, erotic tension and charge can be created by polarity, of course. And, one may get really turned on by the polarity of the idea of... Oh, I'm going to take this thing from this person, whether they want to give it to me or not. And that's understandable, but it doesn't substitute for actually communicating that, that's what you want to do and getting this person's agreement. But I think mostly the reason people think, it kills the mood... Is because they don't know how... And because, yeah, I just say grow up, you're grown up and you don't actually want to do something to someone who doesn't want it done to them, and so you need to learn how to ask.

Neil Sattin: Right.

Betty Martin: And there are a lot of people teaching fun ways to ask, but I think it also can be that you assume that in order to have an agreement, we have to make a detailed plan. Like, Okay, I'm going to put my hand here, and then you're going to put your hand here, and then you're going to put your mouth here, and then we're going to roll over and then we're going to do this. That's not... That is not required, that's not what agreement means although it could, if that's what was helpful for you.

Neil Sattin: Yeah, well, I think we'll be able to even pull that apart more as we go into a conversation about the Wheel of Consent and those moments for... Where and how agreements happen that might become more obvious for us.

Betty Martin: Yeah.

Neil Sattin: Okay. So, Wheel of Consent, Wheel of Consent. We keep mentioning it and as I was thinking about our conversation, I was... Part of me was like, "How are we going to do this without a whiteboard?

[laughter]

Neil Sattin: So people really get it. So I think that if you watch Betty's videos, you'll see it. And I may do a little drawing as we're talking and then kind of post the drawing on, in the show notes of the conversation too, but I'm...

Betty Martin: There's also a... There's a free download on my website that has a diagram of it.

Neil Sattin: Great, great, so we'll have links to all of that.

Betty Martin: Yeah.

Neil Sattin: And in the meantime, let's... Where is a good place to start. You already mentioned this question of, maybe the two axises of...

Betty Martin: Yeah.

Neil Sattin: And, I'm imagining maybe for people at home or in your car, you have a circle and you have one axis that goes up and down and one that goes back and forth across your typical XY axis.

Betty Martin: Yeah.

Neil Sattin: Let's start there and you already named each of those but...

Betty Martin: Yeah. Well, actually, I want to back up and start with where it came from, because I think having some context makes the model, make more sense.

Neil Sattin: Great.

Betty Martin: And that is that years ago, a couple of decades ago, I was at a workshop by The Body Electric School and it was called Power Surrender and Intimacy and it was about using the play tools of power and surrender and exploring that. So, BDSM kinds of things, and just other ways to play with the experience of power in erotic settings. And one of the games that we played there was called the Three-Minute game, and it consisted of two questions. And you take turns, you're playing with another person, you take turns asking each other. These two questions and the two questions were, "What do you want me to do to you for three minutes? And the other question is, what do you want to do to me for three minutes? And it was a lot of fun. I took it home and I put it to work with my clients, but I wasn't teaching power, I was teaching touch. So I narrowed the question somewhat.

Betty Martin: So now the question is, how do you want me to touch you, for three minutes and how do you want to touch me for three minutes? And of course, you can have longer terms in that. So, basically the question is how do you want me to touch you, and how do you want to touch me? And what surprised me was how difficult it was for people because for one thing, you're asking someone what they want, and there are always times we don't know what we want and many of us have never been asked how we want to be touched, so we have no clue where to start and almost no one has been asked, how do you want to touch me? For some people, it just didn't even make sense at all, it was like, "What do you mean how I want to touch you, I want to touch you however you want." But that's nice, but that's not the question, the question is, how do you want to touch me? That's for you, that's for your enjoyment. So those two questions asked by two different people, create four rounds of touching.

Betty Martin: In one round, I'm touching you the way you want, in another round, I'm touching you, the way I want, and so I can get to see what that difference is. And in one round, you're touching me the way I want, and then the final round, you're touching me, the way you want. And, again, I get to feel the difference between those two. So the Wheel of Consent simply draws out on those axes that you're describing, draws out, in two of those examples, I'm doing. And in two of them, I'm being done to. And in two of them, it's for me and in two of them it's for you, and those two cross and so you have four quadrants.

Betty Martin: I'm doing what I want, I'm doing what you want, you're doing what I want, you're doing what you want. So the Wheel of Consent is really simply a diagram of what happens when two people ask each other, those two questions. That's all it is, it's really simple, and it distinguishes who is doing from who it's for. And if you... There's a free download on my website that you can download it and draw it out and all that, and each of those quadrants has a name. But the important thing to know is that, who is doing is not always the same as who it's for.

Neil Sattin: Yeah, and yeah, that's a great distinction and I love how you integrated that into what we know about how we experience pleasure, and you mentioned that like, "Well I just want to do whatever you want and how so many people have this indirect experience of their own pleasure that their only access to their own pleasure is through someone else's pleasure.

Neil Sattin: And... Yeah, so maybe we could just take a moment too and talk about the first lesson that you offer on your site, and why that's so important and I think you even talk about how introducing that transformed people's experience of the three minute game.

Betty Martin: Yeah, yeah, yeah. When I begin doing this with clients and I would ask them, "How do you want to touch me for example?" And it may be, "I want to feel your arm" or something and I would try to coach them in touching for their own pleasure, feel the shape, feel the warmth, feel the texture of the skin, feel the shape of it. Like focus on what you are noticing with your hands, and what you're enjoying directly from the touch itself, not from what effect it has on me, but from how it feels in your own hands. And I found that that was surprisingly difficult for people. And one day I had a client for whom that was extremely difficult, he just could not pull himself away from trying to produce some effect on me and I reached over there was, it happened to be a river stone sitting on the counter and I thought, to myself, "Okay, buddy let's see what happens if there's nobody to give to."

Betty Martin: And I handed him this river stone, I didn't say that out loud but I was thinking that, handed him this stone, and I said, "So see what you can feel this for your own enjoyment." And he couldn't do that either, he just could not connect with his hands, and that was a big aha for me of that, it's not that he was having trouble feeling a person, he was having trouble feeling anything with his hands. And so after that I began to do that experiment with people of... Okay, feel it, this object. And then it'll sort of wake up, the ability of your hands to experience sensation as pleasure. And then you transfer that over into feeling a person, a body. And these sessions were clothed. So we're using only mainly hands and arms, and so, I gradually learned that, "Oh, that just doesn't apply to everybody who has trouble. It applies to everybody." And so I began offering this little exercise to everybody. And like you said, it's on the website, and it still amazes me how transformative it often is for people to... You just lean back in your chair, or your seat, and you take something into your lap, some inanimate object, a pen, or a shell, or a hairbrush and you just feel it.

Betty Martin: What does it feel like? Where are the bumps? Where is it smooth, where is it sharp? And if you feel it slowly enough, and that's the, that's the key right there, is moving your hands really slowly, you'll start to notice that, "oh, oh this is quite interesting. It's bumpy over here, oh, it's smooth over here, and oh, this is kind of pleasant." And then pretty soon you notice that, "oh, it's, it's pleasurable." And then you start to, instead of feeling the object for its characteristics, pretty soon you're using the object as a way to experience pleasure in your hands so it kind of shifts from your focus on the object, shifts so your focus is on your hands, and what feels pleasant to your hands. And then pretty soon you're just using the shell as an object to pleasure yourself, and that is, it takes a little, it takes a few minutes to click for most people, many people it takes 10 or 20 minutes or 30 minutes. For some people it's extremely difficult. And I've had people that I've sent home, and said five minutes a day for six weeks, and then come back because what we're doing is we're getting this brain cell to talk to this other brain cell, and if they haven't talked in quite a while it can be difficult.

Betty Martin: And the surprising thing is that very often there's an emotional response to those brain cells starting to talk to each other because what you're really playing with here is what's your relationship to your skin? It's really, really a fundamental piece. Are you able to notice sensation in your skin and are you able to experience that as pleasure? And when you do very often feelings will come up. Embarrassment, shame, guilt. It's interesting what will come up. Grief is very common, as well as delight, and surprise, and oh my gosh, I didn't know I could feel this much, and this is wonderful. There is quite a range of feelings that come up and they're showing you your relationship to pleasure, and your relationship to your skin because there's no other person involved. You're not giving somebody pleasure, no one's giving you pleasure, no one's doing anything to you. No, there's no one you can blame if it doesn't feel good, like it's just you and your skin. And so that turned out to be a really fundamental piece that I had no idea was there until I stumbled on it.

Neil Sattin: And you mentioned, which is so important just that awareness that your hands have such a high concentration of nerve endings.

Betty Martin: Yes.

Neil Sattin: It's like second only to what your mouth and your genitals basically.

Betty Martin: Yeah. Yeah.

Neil Sattin: So there's a huge capacity for receiving pleasure when you get past what we usually do with our hands, which is more as a way of manipulating things or...

Betty Martin: Yeah. Work. Work. Work.

Neil Sattin: Right. Or you get that the sensation like, oh, that's sharp, that's wet, that's cold, those sorts of things, but you're not actually allowing that sensation to expand into actual pleasure.

Betty Martin: Yeah, yeah, so what this does is, then when your hands are awake, and your hands are able to take in pleasure of sensation, then when you touch a person, then you're able to touch a person for your own pleasure because your hands know how to experience pleasure. So you can run your hand down their back or their leg or something, and you feel the shapes, you feel the textures, you feel the warmth, you feel the contour, and it's very enjoyable just right there in your hands. And then it becomes possible to touch someone for your own enjoyment. Which is one of the quadrants, it's how do you want to touch me? Well, may I feel your legs? Oh yeah, sure. How do you want to touch me? Can I play with your hair? Yeah, sure, but don't pull it. How do you want to touch me? Can I feel up your back? Yeah, but I'm going to keep my shirt on, okay. So it's then you can use your hands to feel a person actually you're feeling somebody up is what you're doing and you're getting consent for it first. So the consent is not just having my hands on your back, it's having your hands on my back for my pleasure, which is very different from having my hands on your back, to give you a back massage.

Neil Sattin: Right.

Betty Martin: So that's where the distinction comes in, and it turns out to be very rich.

Neil Sattin: Yeah, and okay, so first, let's step back for just a minute, 'cause there is one comment that you made very quickly, but when I heard it, originally, it felt so important to me which when you were describing how to use an inanimate object, how to just feel it with your hands and to feel the pleasure in your hands, you mentioned leaning back. And so I'm wondering if you can talk for a moment about the importance of leaning back and not efforting when it comes to experiencing pleasure?

Betty Martin: Yeah, boy, that's a good one. I'm not sure why, but I just noticed it in doing this with hundreds of people that when you lean back and take this object into your lap that it makes available to you an experience of being attentive to the pleasure. That doesn't happen, it just doesn't click if you're leaning forward, or turned to the side or holding the object up in the air, I'm assuming that it's because you have the muscles like your trunk engaged and that wakes up a different part of your brain. I'm not real sure, but I just know that I've seen it with hundreds of people. And if you were an ambulance driver, and you came up on an accident and you had to reach through the twisted up glass in order to take somebody's pulse, you could take in that data with your hands, no problem. But if you are sort of contorting yourself or holding yourself forward or turned around, you're not going to be able to relax into the sensation of it very easily. And what we're looking for is for the sensation to become pleasurable.

Neil Sattin: Right. And as the sensation becomes pleasurable, it can build and build. I think you say it recruits more and more...

Betty Martin: Yup.

Neil Sattin: Brain activity.

Betty Martin: Yes.

Neil Sattin: To support the pleasure.

Betty Martin: Yes, and that does happen. You put your attention on something, you actually recruit more and more brain cells in attending to that thing and we're talking about sensation. So you attend to your sensation more and more brain cells are going to be recruited to attend to it. So it has this feeling... The feeling of it is that it sort of fills up, fills you up, fills up the space, the world drops away is the feeling of it.

Neil Sattin: Yeah.

Betty Martin: And the sensation becomes very large.

Neil Sattin: Yeah, and so that seems so important to me because so many couples who are having issues around their intimacy, they... One or the other of them or maybe both gets trapped in the sense of like, "Oh well, I should... This should feel good to me and so I'm going to somehow make it feel good" or...

Betty Martin: Yeah.

Neil Sattin: "I should want this for my partner" or... And so that level of efforting is so different than relaxing into sensation. And you used the term "Following the pleasure" and trusting where that pleasure is going to take you.

Betty Martin: Yeah, and one thing that happens... So I call what we're describing here the ability to attend to the sensation and experience it as pleasure, I'm calling that the direct root of pleasure. It just comes in, the nerve endings in your hands are stimulated, it goes right up your spine cord into your brain, ping! Lights up your pleasure center, it's a direct route. There's also the indirect route which is, I do something to you, and you smile and then your smile lights me up. So, it's like throwing out a boomerang. I've gotta catch something in order to experience pleasure. And that's what I call the indirect route. So the indirect route depends on you responding in some way that I like or I don't have anything. If the direct route is closed and I have to get you excited in order for me to enjoy it, now, I'm depending on you and I'm depending on you responding in the way that I want you to respond or I have nothing. And this is where... This is a problem because now I'm not really giving to you, I'm using you to get the response that I want to see, so that I can feel good about myself, and so that I can have some pleasure. This is a problem.

Neil Sattin: Yeah.

Betty Martin: Yeah. And we've probably all been there, I've been there, I've been on both ends of it and I don't recommend it. But it's where many people are stuck because they don't really know what else to do.

Neil Sattin: Right. And this is why each of the quadrants in the Wheel of Consent is so important. You talk about how important it is to experience each one on its own. That if you're in the gray zone between like, "Oh, I'm giving to you for my pleasure, but I'm actually waiting for you to receive something in order to actually get pleasure." Well, now you're not really experiencing either of those things.

Betty Martin: Yes, that's right, yeah. Yeah, one thing the quadrants showed me after a while was that in order to experience each of them, you have to take them apart. So when I'm touching you, for me it needs to be 100% for me. I'm still within consent and I'm abiding by whatever limits you've said, and I'm respecting your limits. I'm not just doing any darn thing I want to do. I've asked you, "May I do this?" And you've said, "Yes" and we've negotiated limits. But, it's 100% for me, I'm not trying to get a response out of you. And I'm not trying to please you. So there's that quadrant, and then the other quadrant, I'm doing it and it's 100% for you. Again, I'm abiding by my limits, I'm respecting my limits while I'm available to do this but I'm not available to do that. And you are also respecting my limits, but it's 100% for you.

Betty Martin: It's not about me. It's not about what I want to do, it's about what you want me to do. And so the distinction between those two when you can take them apart and you can be completely in one or completely in the other, that's when they get really, really rich. And that's where you had your big ahas. That's where you had your challenges. That's where you see... Oh, this is what I was doing that I wasn't very clean about, or... Oh my gosh, this is what has been locked away and now it's free, and opened up, or lots of lots of insights come when you can take the quadrants apart and experience them one at a time. And that's what the wheel is. It's really, it's a practice in taking, receiving and giving apart. So you're doing one of them at a time. It's not the way I would want to live my entire love life. Certainly it's a practice in... Can I completely receive? It's all about me. Or can I completely give. And it's all about them. And can I tell the difference? And when I can tell the difference, then they both become very rich. Yeah.

Neil Sattin: Yeah, I'm glad you mentioned that because that was a question for me around like in the end when you tease them apart through the practice, then you're able to dance between them. I imagine.

Betty Martin: Yes, yeah, yeah.

Neil Sattin: So, yeah. One thing that jumped out at me, did you have something to say there?

Betty Martin: Well, I was just going to say, everyone thinks they're jump... They are dancing in between them and doing them all at once, but really they're not doing any of them. Until you can take them apart, you can't do any of them.

Neil Sattin: Yeah, great.

Betty Martin: Yeah.

Neil Sattin: Great. So let's go a little bit deeper, I want to start if it's okay with... So we talked about a moment ago, giving which is... I'm touching you and I'm touching you the way you want to be touched like I'm touching you for you. I'm the giver, and...

Betty Martin: Oh thank you.

Neil Sattin: You're welcome.

[chuckle]

Neil Sattin: And on the opposite quadrant from that is the receiver, the person who's being done to, and they are receiving the pleasure. And I think you do mention too that pleasure is like... It's not the sole province of one or two quadrants. Like no matter where you are here...

Betty Martin: That's right.

Neil Sattin: You can be feeling pleasure, you can be feeling pleasure, as a giver. But the idea is that if you're giving... So, I'm touching you to, the way you want to be touched, and then you are just receiving that touch, receiving touch the ways you want to be touched, and you mentioned that a lot of couples get stuck there in that part of the wheel. It's like their only access point to touching each other is giving and receiving in that way.

Betty Martin: Yeah, well, I think we need to back up and define receive and give.

Neil Sattin: Great.

Betty Martin: Because if you're looking up the diagram, you'll see this, but receive and give have a couple of different meanings. Receive, for example, one meaning is that something comes towards me and arrives at me, so, I can receive a package in the mail, I can receive a pass at the 20 yard line, I can receive a massage, but I can also receive a punch in the jaw, and a branch falling on my head. So that meaning of receive means something is done to me. It doesn't mean that I want it. You can receive unwanted touch, right? So that definition of receive means something's done to me, doesn't mean I want it or not, just is not applicable there.

Neil Sattin: Right.

Betty Martin: The other meaning of receive means it's a gift for me and it's something that I do want. But the trouble now is that... Well, maybe what I want is to be touched, which is what you were describing, touch me the way I want. Or maybe what I want is to be allowed to touch you in the way that I want. So this definition of receive doesn't indicate who is doing, it indicates who it's for. So when you are allowing me to touch you the way I want and feel you up the way I want, now you are giving me the gift. I'm receiving the gift, but I'm the one who's doing. So have I got your brains all tangled up? Yeah. [chuckle]

Neil Sattin: Hopefully not, but you just filled in the fourth quadrant of the diagram for me.

Betty Martin: Yeah, yeah, so receive and give. I'm using in a very particular way here, and I realize it's not the way that everybody uses it, I'm using it, to mean, not who's doing, I'm using it to me who it's for. And this does fill in the other two quadrants, this is the quadrant of I'm doing what I want to do to you, and you're allowing me to do that, so the action's going from me to you. But the gift is going from you to me, you are giving me this gift of access to your body for me to enjoy the way I want to enjoy it.

Neil Sattin: Right.

Betty Martin: That's why the two axes on the diagram, one is who's doing and who's being done to, the other is, who's giving and who's receiving, or who is it for? Yeah.

Neil Sattin: Yeah, yeah, and...

Betty Martin: People just trip over it and that's fine. And I realize it's not the way everybody uses the word and in the workshops that I teach and when I work with clients, people would trip over it for a while, and that's okay. It'll come around.

Neil Sattin: And when you make the distinction and this is great that each of these quadrants also has a shadow side, and so you draw the circle and it's like everything that happens within that circle, those are the things that you're in agreement about that you're consenting to. I want to touch you this way and I'm explicit about that, and you agree, you allow me, and that could be that you want me to, or it could be that you're willing to let me touch you that way. And that outside of the circle, those are the things where these things happen, but where you don't have consent.

Betty Martin: That's right.

Neil Sattin: And that each of these quadrants has sort of a shadow expression. So in, I think, in the taking allowing that we were just describing. So, taking being, I'm touching you the way I want to touch you, and allowing being I'll let you do that. Well, it's the obvious where that leads when you don't have consent.

Betty Martin: Yes, well, it may be obvious and it may not... Because if you expand the view of this dynamic beyond my hands on you, then you realize that... Well, the shadow of, for example, the take allow dynamic, the shadow is groping or using or assault, rape, murder, and war. And the shadow of it also is dropping bombs on civilian populations, well any populations in order to get their oil from the land in there, from under their sand, or to go into a country and prop up a petty dictator so that we can get cheap bananas. That is part of the shadow of the taking quadrant. I'm taking action that I want to take, but I haven't asked you, if it's okay with you. I'm reaching out to get something that I want, but you haven't given me consent.

Neil Sattin: Yeah.

Betty Martin: So the shadow of the taking quadrant in particular is really ugly. And our whole culture's built on it.

Neil Sattin: Right.

Betty Martin: We stole the land. I'm in America, I don't know where you are, but we stole the land and we killed all the people, a bunch of the people. And that's a shadow of the taking quadrant, if ever there was one. So that's where I actually get passion about this stuff is that it will improve your sex life. Great, but I don't actually care. I'm sorry.

[laughter]

Neil Sattin: Betty, this is what we're here to talk about.

Betty Martin: What I'm really interested in is how does it make you more aware of where you are in consent and where you are out of consent? That's what really excites me because that translates into our lives in the world, and as it happens, it seems to happen anyway, that when we experience something somatically in our bodies right here in our homes, with our partners, and we learned that we have a choice about what happens to us, we learned that there are things that we want to do that we need permission for, we learn these things in a very tangible, physical way, and then they become real to us, and then we see where they... How they apply in the rest of our lives.

Neil Sattin: Yeah.

Betty Martin: We start to see, "Oh this is where I've been a doormat. I didn't notice that until now. Now I see it, or this is where I have been taken advantage of people. Oh, I didn't see it before now. Now I see it, this is where I've been giving, giving, giving way more than I really felt good about. Oh, I didn't see it before. Well, now I see it. So these are all... This is what excites me about the wheel actually.

Neil Sattin: Right. So you were just basically naming some of that shadow dysfunction in the other quadrants as well.

Betty Martin: Yeah, yeah. The shadow of the allow quadrant is the doormat, the going along with everything, the putting up with everything, the victim, the actual victim not like victim mentality, but you get held up at gunpoint on the street, that's your victim. You know...

Neil Sattin: Right. And in particular, one of the places where this lit up for me and I'm so curious to hear your thoughts on this, is that on the show we've talked a bunch about overcoming trauma and how many people have experienced the trauma around the sexual circuit. So that's the shadow of this taking allowing is. That's where people experience that trauma. And yet they're there, on the wheel. It's not like, okay, well, taking and allowing are bad, they're just bad when they are happening without consent.

Betty Martin: Right.

Neil Sattin: And so I'm curious from your perspective, what I see, happening, and maybe you see this differently is that when people disown the taking and allowing dynamic then that's one time, one place where they get stuck, in giving and receiving. And I'm wondering particularly with people who have experienced the more distorted parts of taking and allowing, how do you encourage them to experience taking and allowing in a way that's based around consent and that's safe? And I'm speculating here from hearing your work, that it's actually really important for them to re-own that in a healthy functional way. So maybe you could talk about, if you agree like, why that's important to do and then maybe how someone who's stuck in one place could find a comfortable way back to taking and allowing that actually serves them and doesn't retraumatize them.

Betty Martin: Yeah. That's a great question. Yes, I think every person needs access to all four quadrants, because each of them is an inherent part of being a human to take action for our own benefit, that's part of being human, that's the taking quadrant. And to do so within consent, that's integrity and maturity, and we need to be able to do that. A life in which you cannot take action for your own benefit, is going to be pretty problematic. Yeah? Taking action for someone else's benefit, this is the serving quadrant, this is doing what someone else wants you to do. We all need to be able to access that ability to serve others, of course we do, and we need to learn to do it in a way that respects our own limits and boundaries.

Betty Martin: So those are basic human abilities that we all need. We all need to learn how to allow others to do things for themselves, even if they affect us and learn how to set limits that affect us. I'm willing to allow you to do this, but I'm not willing to allow you to do that. That's a basic human skill that we all need. And the fourth quadrant, accepting where you're doing what I want, to receive the benefit of other people's actions, that's something that we all do, and we need to do it in a way that has integrity and clarity and respects other people's boundaries.

Betty Martin: So they're all inherent to being a human being, and we need access to all of them, and when we don't have access to them, we figure out some kind of workaround, but it's often problematic. The trauma piece I think is really important too, because we have all been touched against our will, every one of us, and it happened before we could talk. Even in the very best, if you had perfect parents, you still got your nappy's changed and your teeth brushed, and you got picked up out of oncoming traffic, like you were touched in ways that you did not want. And because it's pre-verbal, we come out of it with this, our body's kind of believing that, well touch is just something that happens that I can't stop, and I just have to make the best of it somehow, that the touch itself is not changeable, I have to change myself to be okay with it somehow.

Betty Martin: And for some of us, this happened in a reasonable way and it was gentle and it's okay. And for some of us, it was horrible and traumatic. And most of us are in between there somewhere, but we've all been touched against our will. And so what I've come to appreciate through playing this game, and working with clients over a dozen years is that, what we need to recover and reclaim is our ability to have a choice about how we are touched. Our ability to have a choice about how we are touched and that is... There's a huge range in that. So there's a huge range in our comfort with being touched, and you... As we're talking about the take-allow dynamic in wanting to recover that, and for someone who's been touched a lot against their will, or traumatically against their will, when you ask them, "Well, how is... May I feel your this or that?" It's terrifying, because they don't quite know that they have a choice about it.

Betty Martin: And I've seen this working with clients a lot where they just like, "Oh I get to have a choice about that. Gosh, that never occurred to me." So what I actually suggest is that you start with, "How do you want me to touch you?" And so you are directing exactly where my hands go, moment by moment by moment, until you learn that you really do, that you really are in charge of how you're touched. So for someone who's had traumatic experiences, this is the place to start, that you get to decide if and when and how I touch you, and you get to decide moment by moment by moment, so that there's no opportunity for you to go into the going along with, putting up with freezing and so forth. And that turns out to be very, very empowering and is life-changing for many people.

Neil Sattin: Right and that could still happen in the context of, if your partner is in the taking role, then they could say, "May I touch your hand?" that's one that we use. So they're expressing that, "I want to touch your hand for my own pleasure." And you could still set the limits...

Betty Martin: You could still choose, yes.

Neil Sattin: And direct exactly how they're able to touch your hand?

Betty Martin: Yeah. Right.

Neil Sattin: Yeah.

Betty Martin: Right, yeah.

Neil Sattin: One little note on that too, you were... You talk about the principles that each quadrant embodies, with the... If I get these wrong, feel free to correct me, but I believe that with the giving quadrant, this is where I'm giving you what you want for you, that that's generosity.

Betty Martin: That's the serving quadrant.

Neil Sattin: The serving quadrant, great.

Betty Martin: Mm-hmm. Yeah.

Neil Sattin: And then...

Betty Martin: Yeah, a lot of people call that giving, but allowing is also a form of giving.

Neil Sattin: Great.

Betty Martin: So that's why I call it serving.

Neil Sattin: I like that.

Betty Martin: Yeah.

Neil Sattin: Thank you. The taking quadrant is integrity, you mentioned that it's about knowing what you want and being okay with asking, with acting.

Betty Martin: Yup.

Neil Sattin: In your own interest. The receiving, now there's... What's...

Betty Martin: Accepting.

Neil Sattin: Accepting thank you. So the accepting quadrant, which is... Right, because you're receiving the gift that's being given or served upon you, [chuckle] I guess.

Betty Martin: Yeah. You're being touched the way you want.

Neil Sattin: Yes. [chuckle] So that would be gratitude.

Betty Martin: Yeah.

Neil Sattin: Accepting those gifts. And just a reminder that when we were talking about the taking quadrant, that you are receiving there too, you're receiving...

Betty Martin: That's right.

Neil Sattin: The gift of someone allowing you to touch them.

Betty Martin: Yes.

Neil Sattin: And now when we get into the allowing quadrant, if I'm remembering right, the principle there is surrender?

Betty Martin: Yes.

Neil Sattin: Yeah, what's so important about surrender and learning to access that?

Betty Martin: Well, it's very fun, for one thing. And the other thing is when you... As you learn to take responsibility for your own limits, and this is something that we're all learning, there's no one who's totally got it, like everybody is on a learning journey here, that to the degree that I learn to say, "Yes, you can do this to me, but you cannot do this to me." Then I become trustworthy to myself. Oh, then I can trust myself, and then I can relax and allow you to play with me however you want. But that is based on me gaining the skills to set a limit, or to say no, or to say stop, or to say I've changed my mind, or to say ouch I need to move over here, or I need to turn over, or... To the degree that I am able to speak up for myself, to that degree I can enjoy surrendering to you because that means I'm no longer micromanaging what happens. I can relax into you taking your pleasure with me, but it depends on me being able to speak up for myself.

Betty Martin: The idea, there's this idea that, "Oh well, you should be able to surrender more," and that's a terrible idea, because what that means is, and what that implies is, you should be able to ignore yourself and go along with any old thing that I want to do, and that is not true, that's the opposite. That as I learn to speak up for myself, then I will naturally and easily surrender, and it'll be joy, because I can trust that if I need to I will speak up. And again, that's a lifelong journey that we're all on.

Neil Sattin: Right, and that's about creating a context, in this situation that we're talking about, creating a context with your partner, where you're in your creating agreement, it's where we started. And so part of that agreement is you being able to establish the limits within which you're comfortable...

Betty Martin: Yes.

Neil Sattin: Surrendering.

Betty Martin: Yes. Yeah, the question is not... Well, why can't I surrender to this thing? The question to ask yourself is, within what particular limits would it be fun to surrender? And there are some limits and you wait until you notice what they are. Oh, I'm happy to surrender if I'm assured that I'm going to keep my clothes on, for example, or I'm happy to surrender my hand and my arm, you do whatever you want, or I'm happy to surrender my little finger for three minutes. There is some limit within which surrender is easy, and that's what you want to find, and because then that's where you learn to trust yourself, and then as you trust yourself, your limits will gradually expand naturally, because you trust yourself to speak up as you need to. Yeah.

Neil Sattin: Now we've spent a lot of time on taking and allowing. I think because that's, they both represent distinctions that aren't familiar to a lot of people, myself included. So I'm glad that we spent a lot of time there, and before we go, I'm wondering if we can just turn our attention briefly to the giving, or the serving and accepting dynamic.

Betty Martin: Sure.

Neil Sattin: 'Cause I don't want to neglect their importance.

Betty Martin: They're also really good. [chuckle] Yeah, the accepting, which means I'm being touched the way I want. Because of what I mentioned a few minutes ago that we've all been touched against our will, and our tendency will be to try to go along with whatever is being done to us and think that we should like it better. This is probably the biggest challenge in the accepting quadrant is, "Well they're touching me this way, so therefore I should like it and I should be okay with it, and if I don't like it, there's something wrong with me." That's backwards. Instead of changing ourselves to suit what's happening, you change what's happening to suit ourselves. So part of the... Often times, the hardest part of the accepting quadrant is asking for what you want, asking for how you want to be touched. Because it's vulnerable, of course it is, and we don't always know. So then we have to just wait a while until we do know, and that can be awkward, and I do have compassion for that.

Betty Martin: But there is no substitute to waiting till you notice what you want and then asking for it, because then you have the opportunity to receive it, and then you notice that it actually is for you. And instead of sort of putting up with whatever is going on, or whatever it is that's happening. That's probably the hardest part of the accepting quadrant. And then the enjoyment of it, if you have asked for what you want, the enjoyment of it is pretty automatic. If you're not enjoying it, then don't try to change your enjoyment of it, change what it is that is happening. So the question to ask is not, "Why aren't I enjoying this more?" The question to ask is, "Well, what is it that I actually do want?" So that's the question of the accepting quadrant.

Betty Martin: In the serving quadrant, the hardest part... You might think that the thing to do in serving is to get all sorts of good strokes and techniques down, but what's actually the most important part of the serving quadrant is finding out what the accepting partner actually wants, and that's a whole art form of waiting and being, creating space for them and not pushing them, and not making suggestions, and just asking them what they want and then just shut up and wait until they tell ya. But it's so easy in serving to think, "Well I have this cool thing I know how to do, so I'm going to do it." And they show it on the video, it looked pretty cool, but that's not really it, it's finding out what they actually want. Yeah.

Neil Sattin: Right, yeah. Wow, if only we could just eliminate so many of those videos that seem to suggest what people want. [chuckle] It can be so inaccurate.

Betty Martin: Oh, yeah. Yeah. Well they were accurate for some person at some moment, but you're a different person, and it's a different moment.

Neil Sattin: Right.

Betty Martin: Yeah.

Neil Sattin: Yeah. One thing that stood out really big for me was that you mentioned that a lot of... Most people assume that they're on the giving side of the wheel.

Betty Martin: Yeah. Yeah.

Neil Sattin: Which translates into someone either maybe always feeling like they're serving and someone always feeling like they're allowing.

Betty Martin: Yeah. Yeah, when we are on the giving half of the wheel, this is serving and allowing as you said, we are... The nature of giving is that we set aside what we would prefer in order to go with what our partner prefers, at the same time we're responsible for our boundaries and limits. So as soon as you set aside what you prefer, you're going to feel like you're giving. And so if you are constantly setting aside what you want, you're going to think you're giving all the time and you kind of are, except that no one has actually asked for that thing, or you haven't asked them if they wanted it. So what typically happens in a heterosexual couple is that the man feels like he's in the serving quadrant because he's doing all the work and he's doing all the stuff that he saw on the video, and by golly, it's supposed to be for her, and I hope she likes it. Yeah, so he feels like he's serving. And the woman feels like she's allowing because, "Well, he's doing all the stuff, I guess he wants to do it, didn't ask me what I wanted, and I guess he likes doing it so I'm going to let him do it." So he's in serving, she's in allowing. Who's receiving there? Nobody. When I do this in a room full of people, almost everybody nods their heads, they recognize it because...

Neil Sattin: Yeah.

Betty Martin: And I've been there, I've been on both sides of that equation, I think we all have. I think we have to be able to kind of laugh at ourselves of,"How do we get here?" But that's one of the things that happens when you don't get up the courage to talk about what it is that you actually enjoy, and most people recommend that you have this conversation before you get to the bedroom, that you, in the heat of the moment, it's much harder to communicate. Of course it is. It's much more helpful to have these conversations before you ever get to the bedroom.

Neil Sattin: Right. With the caveat that once you're in the bedroom you can still set a limit that you... [chuckle]

Betty Martin: Yes, absolutely, absolutely, yeah.

Neil Sattin: Yeah, yeah, wow.

Betty Martin: Yeah. Then I would just reiterate again that the two questions, the three-minute game, the Wheel of Consent are a practice, it's something that you come back to again and again, and you see how clear can I be about who this is for? It's not necessarily how you want to live your whole life, but it will illuminate other aspects of how you live your life. It's a practice in, "Can I just receive or can I just give, and can I tell the difference, and can I be clear about it, and what happens when I do that?" So it's a practice.

Neil Sattin: And what I love about this as a practice is, I think it creates a really easy-to-follow path to relearning what you do want.

Betty Martin: Yes.

Neil Sattin: And and to relearning your partner and what they want, that's so much of what we're struggling against in relationship, is just like the patterning that...

Betty Martin: Yes.

Neil Sattin: How we've done it time and again with other people, et cetera.

Betty Martin: Right, right.

Neil Sattin: And yeah, so the way that this opens us up to more presence, more of, "What can happen in this moment, what is actually true in this moment?"

Betty Martin: Yeah.

Neil Sattin: And then that's where the art of intimacy happens, is you learn these new structures, these new ways of interacting, and then it becomes how you... It's just part of your language at that point. And you can get creative and write poetry.

Betty Martin: Yeah, exactly.

[chuckle]

Neil Sattin: Well, Betty, one thing...

Betty Martin: Yeah, I think that the great thing too is that when you take turns asking each other those questions, you start to notice that, "Oh, what I want now is different than what I wanted yesterday, what I want now is different than what I wanted five minutes ago." And that's pretty important thing to notice.

Neil Sattin: Yeah.

Betty Martin: Yeah.

Neil Sattin: Yeah, I love that and I'm just... So many people feel pressed for time. I think, obviously, if you could do the true three-minute game, where you got three minutes, then three minutes, then three minutes, and three minutes, so it's actually more like a 12-minute game I guess.

Betty Martin: Yeah.

Neil Sattin: I mean, who doesn't have 15 minutes in their day? Come on.

Betty Martin: Yeah.

Neil Sattin: You could do that...

Betty Martin: Exactly. Yeah.

Neil Sattin: You each have a round and then there's a bonus round.

Betty Martin: Yeah.

Neil Sattin: But even if you only had one minute each and you just sat at the table, that's possible.

Betty Martin: Yeah, exactly, exactly.

Neil Sattin: One thing that I thought as I was going through your work was, "Oh my God, I wish I could do a whole series with you," [chuckle] but the beauty is your series is there on your website, so if this is piqued your interest, I definitely encourage you to check out Betty's website, bettymartin.org. She has everything spelled out, different lessons you can follow right along, there's plenty of material there for you. And Betty, looking forward to your book coming out, when it does, I will make sure to let everyone know, so that they can pick it up.

Betty Martin: Thank you.

Neil Sattin: And I'm just so appreciative of the work that you're doing in the world and how you're helping us have this conversation in a way that that leads us somewhere different, and the impact that that's going to have not only on our relationships, but on those larger world dynamics, feels really powerful to me.

Betty Martin: Thank you. Thanks for having me. It's a pleasure to talk to you.

Neil Sattin: Thank you.

Oct 5, 2018

How do you build trust in your relationship? There’s a crucial element to creating trust, and it has nothing to do with your partner. It has everything to do with you! Most importantly, there are some ways that you might actually be undermining the trust in your relationship - without even knowing it. In today’s episode, you’ll learn two important questions to ask yourself that can reveal hidden obstacles to trust, and you’ll have a sense of how to make the shift so that you can get out of your own way when it comes to building the trust in your relationship. This episode is short and sweet - but it will give you a sense of exactly where you might need to do a little growing to uplevel your connection.

As always, I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this episode and what revelations and questions it creates for you. Please join us in the Relationship Alive Community on Facebook to chat about it!

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