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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: 2021
Oct 28, 2021

How do you keep your relationship strong despite the pressures that child-rearing can create? And how can you leverage your attachment styles in how you show up for each other to improve your relationship along the way?  Our guests are Kara Hoppe and Stan Tatkin, co-authors of the new book "Baby Bomb: A Relationship Survival Guide for New Parents" - one of the few books that tackles the impact that raising a child can have on your connection. Whether you're expecting a new baby, or already have children in the mix, today's episode will give you the tools you need so that you can weather the storms of parenting while celebrating its joys.

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! Also, see below for links to our other episodes with Stan Tatkin.

Sponsors:

Want something new to entertain you? Acorn TV is a commercial-free streaming service that’s rooted in British television. It’s home to sophisticated and artful storytelling with top-rated mysteries, dramas that pull you in, heart-felt comedies and so much more. So - Escape to Britain and beyond without leaving your seat. Try Acorn TV free for 30 days, by going to acorn.tv and using the promo code “alive” (lowercase) at checkout.

Find a quality therapist, online, to support you and work on the places where you’re stuck. For 10% off your first month, visit Betterhelp.com/ALIVE to fill out the quick questionnaire and get paired with a therapist who’s right for you.

Resources:

Check out "Baby Bomb" on Amazon

Get more information about Kara Hoppe and her offerings

To learn about his trainings and retreats, visit Stan Tatkin's website

Here are links to our other episodes with Stan Tatkin (prior to this one):

Episode 19: Recipe for a Secure, Healthy Relationship

Episode 50: Wired for Dating and Love - Psychobiology

Episode 150: Attachment Styles and Relationship Repair

FREE Relationship Communication Secrets Guide - perfect help for handling conflict and shifting the codependent patterns in your relationship

Or...check out the Secrets of Relationship Communication complete course!

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

Visit www.neilsattin.com/baby to download the transcript to this episode with Kara Hoppe and Stan Tatkin.

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

Transcript of this episode:

Neil Sattin:  I think we've either seen it happen or maybe even experienced it ourselves, that the addition of a new life, a new being to a family can create big changes, and some of those changes are amazing and wonderful and life-enhancing, and some of those changes can feel almost cataclysmic. And so we are here today to talk about how to navigate a new edition to a family, whether it be a baby or adopting an older child, or even if you've had children in your life for a while and experienced the impact of children on your relationship. We're going to talk about how to steer your couple-ship in a way so that you can strengthen your relationship and strengthen with each other and with your children, and hopefully have a little bit more joy and a little less cataclysm. To have today's conversation, we have two very special guests: one is Kara Hoppe, who is a marriage and family therapist. And the other is Stan Tatkin who you may be familiar with from being on the show before, the author of, Wired in love and Wired for Dating among other books.

Neil Sattin: And together they have written the book, Baby Bomb: A Relationship Survival Guide for New Parents. Because as we were chatting about before this interview started, there aren't many resources to help people not just navigate what's going on with a new baby, but actually navigate how that impacts their relationship and how to have a strong relationship, despite all the ways that the new addition or additions to your family might make the waters a little rocky. I don't know why I'm going with the boat metaphor today, but it's happened. [laughter] Kara Hoppe and Stan Tatkin, it's a pleasure to have you here today on Relationship Alive.

Stan Tatkin: Thank you, Neil.

Kara Hoppe: Happy to be here.

Neil Sattin: Great, well, we're off to a good start. [laughter] So I sometimes like to do this, which is to start at the end, and in your book, Baby bomb, which is great by the way. You offer 10 guiding principles for how to help couples stay strong in their relationship, despite however having a child in their life may be impacting the relationship. And at the very last guiding principle that you have, I'm going to just read it verbatim here, I think I dog eared the page. Guiding principle 10: You and your partner parent and partner with sensitivity, respect and trust. And I wanted to start there because, for one thing, I'm not even sure people necessarily nail that down before a child comes along.

Kara Hoppe: Right.

Neil Sattin: And so much of getting things strengthened and resilient has to do with those very things, so I'm wondering if you can talk a little bit about why those things are so important, sensitivity, respect and trust. And why their absence might lead to some of the common things that people experience when a new edition actually throws things into chaos.

Kara Hoppe: Yeah, Neil, I love it that you started at the end, the last guiding principal. And I immediately when you were saying it, was thinking about the beginning of parenthood, when two people become parents, neither one of them really know what they're doing. They've never done it before. No aunt or uncle or godparent experience speaks to that. And so they're both learning in tandem how to do this, so it's a really vulnerable experience. So having that respect and sensitivity and trust in themselves and in their partner as they learn how to do this is so critical, right? I'm thinking about when we brought Jude home from the hospital, neither one of us knew how to burp him. And it's such a simple thing, but I didn't know how to burp a baby, nobody had taught me before. And I remember watching Charlie do it and feeling in my body like, Oh God, like fear and wanting to jump in. But then pausing 'cause I wanted to give him, the respect, like he was giving me the respect to learn how to do it. And all of that increased our participation in showing up for our son Jude, but it also made our relationship feel like a safer place for both of us to kind of fumble around learning how to be parents together and be witnessed as parents together.

Neil Sattin: Yeah. Yeah, so much of what you talk about in the book has to do with battling in some ways the cultural expectations that we have, and I think some of that includes this assumption that you're somehow going to know what to do.

Kara Hoppe: What they need. Right.

Neil Sattin: And so I appreciate your highlighting that it's a very vulnerable act to suddenly have a child in your arms. Or If you're a step-parent, to find yourself with an older child potentially in front of you and to not necessarily know what to do. There are all these ways that we're fighting internal messages that we've gotten from culture, from family, etcetera.

Kara Hoppe: Right. That idea of the maternal instinct kicking in. Like, yes and maternal instinct doesn't cover burping, it doesn't cover putting on diapers, it doesn't necessarily cover even breastfeeding. All of that has to be taught in real time, learning how to do it. And so there can be a lot of internal pressure because of that external pressure that if I don't know what I'm doing, I'm somehow failing, and that can be asseverated of course, we know like partners doing that to each other. And like, "Come here, I'll take the baby, I know how to do this." And just cutting each other down. And what Stan and I really wanted to do with Baby Bomb was to help people recognize the importance of supporting each other during this vulnerable experience and how they could do that with really practical ways, and we just wrote the book to walk people through that journey of how to show up for their relationship that way.

Neil Sattin: Yeah. So lest we make any assumptions here about what sensitivity, respect and trust mean, can we do just kind of a quick breakdown of what you mean by sensitivity, what you mean by respect, what you mean by trust?

Interested in reading the transcript for the rest of this episode with Kara Hoppe and Stan Tatkin? 

Visit neilsattin.com/baby to download the full transcript of this episode!

Sep 30, 2021

When you can't be yourself in your relationship and avoid the tough conversations that you might need to have, it erodes your relationship AND your sense of self. Today we're going to focus on how to lean into conflict in ways most likely to lead to deeper connection with others as well as inner alignment within yourself. Our guest is Jayson Gaddis, and his new book "Getting to Zero: How to Work Through Conflict in Your High Stakes Relationships" is a masterpiece to level up your conflict-resolution skills.

If you’re curious to hear our first episode together, check out Episode 129 - Unlocking the Secrets of the Smart Couple.

And 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:

Want something new to entertain you? Acorn TV is a commercial-free streaming service that’s rooted in British television. It’s home to sophisticated and artful storytelling with top-rated mysteries, dramas that pull you in, heart-felt comedies and so much more. So - Escape to Britain and beyond without leaving your seat. Try Acorn TV free for 30 days, by going to acorn.tv and using the promo code “alive” (lowercase) at checkout.

Find a quality therapist, online, to support you and work on the places where you’re stuck. For 10% off your first month, visit Betterhelp.com/ALIVE to fill out the quick questionnaire and get paired with a therapist who’s right for you.

Resources:

Find out more about Jayson Gaddis's new book, Getting to Zero.

Visit The Relationship School website for more information about Jayson, his podcast, and the courses and trainings that he offers.

FREE Relationship Communication Secrets Guide - perfect help for handling conflict and shifting the codependent patterns in your relationship

Or...check out the Secrets of Relationship Communication complete course!

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

Visit www.neilsattin.com/zero to download the transcript, or text “PASSION” to 33444 and follow the instructions to download the transcript to this episode with Jayson Gaddis.

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. When it comes to the relationships in our lives that matter the most, I want you to sit there and think for a moment about whether or not you're willing to really get into it with those people. Are you willing to have conflict when you don't see eye to eye, when you have a disagreement, when you have a values conflict, when you're not sure who should be doing the dishes and who should be balancing a checkbook, whatever it is, are you actually willing to go toe to toe as equals with the other people in your life? And if so, how well does it go? And if not, why do you avoid it? These are important questions to be asking because the quality of our relationships is often not only determined by the quality of our connection with those people, but it's also determined by our ability to come back from challenging moments, the resilience of a relationship.

Neil Sattin: And so for today's episode, I wanted to focus on that very thing. How do you work through conflict and create resilience, not only in yourself, not only fostering it in the other important people in your life, but how do you create a resilient relationship where you are able to be true to who you are, and where the person or people that you're in relationship with are also free to be true to who they are. And where somehow you manage to get through all of that, better for it, instead of in tatters because of your fights and inability to resolve them. So in order to have today's conversation, I wanted to feature Jayson Gaddis, who is the founder of The Relationship School, a colleague and friend of mine. He also does The Relationship School Podcast, and he is the author of this gem of a book called; Getting to Zero: How to Work Through Conflict in Your High-Stakes Relationships. If you're a long-time listener, you know that I read a lot of books for this show, and this book is a game changer. It is like you will be doing yourself a huge favor by getting this book, reading through it, working through the exercises, and...

Neil Sattin: I don't often truly feel that way, like sometimes, when we're talking about a book here on the show, I'll go through it and I feel like actually, I can kind of mine what's important for you, this is one that I want you to get and go through, it's that important. And when you do, let me know what you think. Let's dive in to chatting with Jayson Gaddis about his new book, Getting to Zero and How to Work Through Conflict in Your High-Stakes Relationships. Jayson, it's such a treat to have you back here on Relationship Alive.

Jayson Gaddis: Thanks Neil. So good to be chatting with you again and psyched to dive in.

Neil Sattin: Great. Great. So let's get started by talking about why we tend to avoid conflict, and I just want to say when I was reading Getting to Zero, this book was very triggering for me like as I was reading it through, I was like every page I was dealing with my own demons percolating up, because the very first thing that you ask us as readers to do is to think about a conflict that we've had with someone who's important in our lives. And so it's helpful to do that, of course, to put all the exercises and everything that you write into contacts, that will be really helpful, but it was really challenging and I got in touch with how hard it is to actually face in to the fire. So could we start by talking a little bit about kind of why people avoid conflict and why you might want to make a different choice.

Jayson Gaddis: Yeah, for sure. So I'll talk about two main reasons, and I'm sure you have many, and I'd love to hear those, but one is just in our biology, and it's the fact that we're social mammals and social mammals like to belong and we like to feel close to other people, and when we don't, it feels threatening and scary and shameful, and painful. And so conflict puts us up against that pain where it's like, "Ooh, if this doesn't go well, I might get kicked out of the group, I might not be included anymore or invited, this person might break up with me, I might break up with them." And that's uncomfortable, and social mammals don't like to be alone, and we don't do well on our own for long, long, long periods of time. So that's kind of in our DNA. And then there's the more psychological story about why we avoid conflict, and that's partly due to, it hasn't gone that well in our history, and that circles back to our family of origin, the neighborhood we grew up in, the friends we had or didn't have, the church we grew up in, sports teams we were on, or dance recitals we played, and all the negative experiences socially and relationally often don't get dealt with very well.

Jayson Gaddis: And then they compound over time, and then we enter into an adult relationship, and we've got a lot of negative memory around conflict and negative associations, and so we tend to do what we've always done, and that's usually moving away from conflict, which is avoiding or we might move toward it thinking that fighting harder and louder and getting bigger is the solution for some reason. So I think those are the two probably biggest reasons we avoid conflict.

Neil Sattin: Yeah, and conflict is uncomfortable. So you have to be in a space where you're willing to not only embrace that discomfort, but also, I think face your own discomfort with being uncomfortable, you have to look at why you would rather just check out and watch Netflix or pretend that something didn't happen or settle for whatever the situation is versus, Oh, it's actually really challenging to me to feel these feelings and to not know if there's going to be a positive outcome on the other side.

Jayson Gaddis: Yeah, yeah, exactly. And I like what you said there about just discomfort. It kind of boils down to that really, is a lot of us don't like feeling uncomfortable feelings, both emotionally and on a sensory level in our body, when we face off with another person or we have a trigger with a person, whether they're silent with us or aggressive with us. It's just so uncomfortable and people are like, Oh, you must really like conflict. I'm like, No, I do not like conflict. Let's be clear. Just like the next person, I just happen to have some tools and some ways through it that I've learned over the years...

Interested in reading the transcript for the rest of this episode with Jayson Gaddis? 

Click here to download the full transcript of this episode!

Sep 1, 2021

Are there ways to build trust in your relationship - even if you're in the middle of a crisis? How do you identify your relationship strengths - and use them in these most challenging moments? Today we have a return visit from Dr. Peter Pearson, co-founder of the Couple's Institute (along with his wife, Dr. Ellyn Bader), and one of today's leading trainers of couples therapists. Whether you're in a relationship, or a couples therapist, or both - today's episode is full of practical wisdom to help navigate the hardest moments that a couple can face.

Visit neilsattin.com/institute to join Pete Pearson’s and Ellyn Bader’s free webinars on how to use Confrontation in therapy!

And 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:

Want something new to entertain you? Acorn TV is a commercial-free streaming service that’s rooted in British television. It’s home to sophisticated and artful storytelling with top-rated mysteries, dramas that pull you in, heart-felt comedies and so much more. So - Escape to Britain and beyond without leaving your seat. Try Acorn TV free for 30 days, by going to acorn.tv and using the promo code “alive” (lowercase) at checkout.

Find a quality therapist, online, to support you and work on the places where you’re stuck. For 10% off your first month, visit Betterhelp.com/ALIVE to fill out the quick questionnaire and get paired with a therapist who’s right for you.

Resources:

To join Ellyn and Pete’s free webinar series on "What do you say when..." - to handle tough situations in couples therapy, follow this link here.

Visit The Couples Institute website to learn more about Ellyn and Pete’s work with couples, and with helping therapists help couples.

FREE Relationship Communication Secrets Guide - perfect help for handling conflict and shifting the codependent patterns in your relationship

Or...check out the Secrets of Relationship Communication complete course!

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

Visit www.neilsattin.com/251 to download the transcript, or text “PASSION” to 33444 and follow the instructions to download the transcript to this episode with Peter Pearson.

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

If you’re curious to hear our first episode together, about shaping a culture of honesty in your relationship, you can also check out Episode 24 of Relationship Alive - Why We Lie and How to Get Back to the Truth

And you can listen to our second episode together, which was about Relationship Development and getting unstuck in your relationship, if you click here.

And here’s our third episode together - Communication that Grows Your Relationship.

And here's our fourth episode together on how to work with Unmotivated Partners.

Transcript:

Neil Sattin: Hello and welcome to another episode of Relationship Alive. This is your host, Neil Sattin. Today I want to cover how to handle crisis and conflict in your relationship, and for that conversation, we have a very special guest, a return visit from Dr. Pete Pearson. Along with his wife, Dr. Ellyn Bader, Pete is co-founder of The Couples Institute, one of the leading trainers of couples therapists. They are the co-authors of "Tell Me No Lies," a book about the dynamics of honesty and lying in relationships, and also the book, "In Quest of the Mythical Mate," which is a book that outlines their developmental approach to working with couples in therapy.

Neil Sattin: It feels a bit like coming home, having Pete here on the show, because he and Ellyn have been on Relationship Alive a bunch of times...

Peter Pearson: Hey, Neil, all I can say is it's good to be home again.

[chuckle]

Neil Sattin: Nice, nice. Well, we're going to try and keep things lighthearted as we tackle some pretty serious subject matter, because the reason that... There are maybe two reasons that people come to this show. One is they are in a relationship and it's going well, and they think, "Well, how could this be even better?" Or, "Maybe we feel a little stuck, and how do we get unstuck and turn surviving into thriving," at the risk of sounding a bit cliche. And then the other thing is people who are having a really hard time. It's not to say that there aren't other reasons that people come and find the show. I know a lot of people view Relationship Alive as a way to prepare for... They're not in a relationship, but they're preparing for the next one that comes along. But a lot of people come because they're in the middle of a crisis, something big has happened and they're looking for help. And often, in those crisis moments, we don't know how to turn to our partners, and so we turn elsewhere, and hopefully the elsewhere that we turn to is offering us something of value that we can take back to the relationship. So what I'm hoping that we can do today is to talk a bit about how we... If you're a couple in crisis, where the trust that you have in your partner is, at least in that moment, shattered, how do you rebuild from that moment? How do you get started?

Peter Pearson: Neil, first of all, I want to say, I hope today we can cover all those reasons why people tune in to your podcast. I think we could cover the spectrum today.

Neil Sattin: Awesome. Great, let's tackle it all.

Peter Pearson: Now, the question of trust absolutely is so foundational, because without trust, there is no future. You cannot plan a future if there is no trust. It's that fundamental, you have to have trust in relationship. If your relationship is going to improve, to grow, to evolve, and become what you hope it will be, it's all based on trust. So you nailed it right out of the gate, without trust, not much happens.

Neil Sattin: Right. And so that's the conundrum in a situation like this, where you... Ideally, you'd have this big safety net to catch you when some big crisis moment happens. And it could be something really serious, like someone discovers an affair, or your partner spent all your money. There are those big, monumental things, but then we've all... Or many of us have probably also experienced the little things that you think, it starts out as just a little tiny argument, it's not going to be a big deal, and then all of a sudden, boom, things have... Everything's blown up and it feels like your relationship is in jeopardy. And so those are the moments where you want to have a big safety net of trust, and yet those are the moments where you feel it the least in relation to your partner.

Peter Pearson: You're absolutely correct. And when you talk about big things, they can either be internal to the couple, finances or whatever, or they can be external. Like in California, wildfires are all over the place, so people are being devastated through fire, floods, earthquakes in California, so external... Medical emergencies. So a lot of things can be enormously disruptive to our relationship. And what I think is that, if couples are going to make a change or improve their relationship, there are three basic avenues that are catalysts for a change in relationship. And one is desperation, and that's the crisis that shows up, that's unpredictable, can't be foreseen, but it has an earthquake-like effect on the relationship.

Peter Pearson: When that happens, interestingly enough, a lot of couples start pulling together like a team. Here comes a fire, and you don't know if the fire is going to be at your house in 20 minutes or an hour, but all of a sudden you start communicating like champions with each other. Who's going to do what by when? And you count on the other person following through with their part of how we're going to get out of here with as much as we can. So couples often, in a crisis, will start communicating like champions. They don't have to look up, get communication strategies, they just do it because it's demanded and they respond. The problem is though, after the crisis has passed...

Interested in reading the transcript for the rest of this episode with Pete Pearson? 

Click here to download the full transcript of this episode!

Jul 28, 2021

How do you find the place within you that's "ok" no matter what? And how do you use that place as a resource to help you handle the things that aren't ok? In today's episode I'm going to give you a quick-and-easy way to start your day on the right foot - while at the same time getting a clear look at what just might need to change in your life...without being paralyzed by it. No bypasses here! Just a clear path forward that acknowledges your strengths - while you're empowered to work on the things that are challenging. 

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:

Find a quality therapist, online, to support you and work on the places where you’re stuck. For 10% off your first month, visit Betterhelp.com/ALIVE to fill out the quick questionnaire and get paired with a therapist who’s right for you.

Want something new to entertain you? Acorn TV is a commercial-free streaming service that’s rooted in British television. It’s home to sophisticated and artful storytelling with top-rated mysteries, dramas that pull you in, heart-felt comedies and so much more. So - Escape to Britain and beyond without leaving your seat. Try Acorn TV free for 30 days, by going to acorn.tv and using the promo code “alive” (all lowercase) at checkout.

Resources:

Check out my Secrets of Relationship Communication COURSE for a masterclass in how to improve the communication and connection in your relationship.

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 outro music provided courtesy of The Railsplitters

Transcript:

Neil Sattin: Okay. Let's get started. I'm going to give you a little gift for being here on episode 250. And the way the gift works is something like this, I've been thinking a lot lately about how much easier life is when people are kind and friendly to each other. Perhaps you've noticed how much easier your life is when you're moving through it and someone does something that's super nice for you, an unsolicited kindness, or a random act of kindness, or when someone's just super friendly to you or they ask you how your day is or they ask you if they can help you out in a way that you can tell is sincere. Well, unfortunately, I can't wave a magic wand and transform everyone into your life, into a friendly person. But what I can tell you is this, that if you, yourself, work on being kind and friendly, in general, in your life, then that will have a ripple effect. And there are definitely other people around you who are also listening to Relationship Alive and who are also hopefully going to be putting extra effort into being kind and friendly and nice and gracious. And if all of us who are here together are doing that, it will certainly percolate out into the world around us.

Neil Sattin: Now, I'm not saying that you have to be nice to the assholes in your life, or that you have to put up with bullshit that's going on. In fact, we are going to have an upcoming episode that's exclusively about how to deal with the assholes in your life. So stay tuned for that. And it's important when you're being nice to have boundaries. You don't necessarily want to be completely kind and open-hearted with everyone who crosses your path, unless they show you that they're capable of receiving that in a way that is, if nothing else, appreciative or reciprocal, or maybe it's even more than reciprocal, maybe they are super nice to you and generous and kind in return. I suppose that is what reciprocal means. But I mean, like, to the extreme where it gets amplified back at you. Now, that's great.

Neil Sattin: If it doesn't happen, and another person treats you unkindly, or they're mean, or they're a jerk or whatever, then that's not on you. And in fact, that's one of the advantages of just working on being nice in your life is that you can generally be pretty sure that the stuff that's coming at you that's less than kind, that that's not about you at all. And I think it's helpful in our lives to be able to discern whether we are contributing in some way to a less than desirable situation or if it's just there's something going on with this other person, whether it's that they're stressed or they had some trauma earlier in their life, or they don't know how to receive kindness or whatever it is, all those things aren't about you at all. So it's helpful as you move through the world being friendly and kind in terms of your ability to know, "Oh, when someone else treats me unfairly or they clearly have a chip on their shoulder, that's not about me at all."

Neil Sattin: At the same time, when you experience that, definitely have a boundary up for yourself. Set a limit so that...

Interested in reading the transcript for the rest of this episode? 

Click here to download the full transcript of this episode!

Jun 30, 2021

What do you do when you feel like you're the only one doing the work in your relationship? When things would just fall apart if you weren't on top of it? Or what can you do if things aren't going so well, and you're the only one who seems to care enough to try and make things different? And how do you know when it's time to stop trying...and walk away? It turns out there are a lot of options available to you - and some of them will probably surprise you!

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:

Find a quality therapist, online, to support you and work on the places where you’re stuck. For 10% off your first month, visit Betterhelp.com/ALIVE to fill out the quick questionnaire and get paired with a therapist who’s right for you.

Want something new to entertain you? Acorn TV is a commercial-free streaming service that’s rooted in British television. It’s home to sophisticated and artful storytelling with top-rated mysteries, dramas that pull you in, heart-felt comedies and so much more. So - Escape to Britain and beyond without leaving your seat. Try Acorn TV free for 30 days, by going to acorn.tv and using the promo code “alive” (all lowercase) at checkout.

Resources:

Check out my Secrets of Relationship Communication COURSE for a masterclass in how to improve the communication and connection in your relationship.

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 outro music provided courtesy of The Railsplitters

Transcript:

Neil Sattin: So the very first thing that you want to get clear on is what is the work that we're talking about? Are we literally talking about the work of, say, running your household. Domestic duties, grocery shopping, cooking meals, cleaning, taking care of balancing the checkbook... If you still balance your checkbook. Whatever it is, is that the kind of work that we're talking about? Or are we talking about things like stepping back and thinking about the quality of your relationship and whether or not it's what you want it to be.

Neil Sattin: And if it isn't what you want it to be, putting in energy to try and make it different. Whether that's going to counseling or a coach, or reading a lot of books, or listening to podcasts. And then trying to bring everything that you're learning and all the perspectives that you're getting on how to do a relationship better to your relationship. Maybe that's the kind of work that you're talking about.

Neil Sattin: It's important to get really clear on what you mean when you say... If you are the one who's saying, "I feel like I'm the only one who's doing anything for this relationship." And if you're listening to this show because your partner has said to you that they feel like they're the only one doing all the work in the relationship, then you should also get really clear on what it is they're talking about. Because as it turns out, we all have different ideas about what constitutes the work of relationship.

Neil Sattin: And one of the most funny... It can be funny, ha-ha, but it's maybe a little bit more funny, weird. Things that can happen in a relationship is you can think like... You can think that you're the one who's doing all the work, and at the very same time, your partner may also think that they are the ones who are doing all the work in the relationship.

Neil Sattin: And that's classic because...

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May 25, 2021

If your relationship is going to thrive and stand the test of time, then what are the essential ingredients for that to happen? What do you have the "right" to do - and experience - in your relationship? And - like any time that we have rights - what are the responsibilities that go along with those rights? After this week's episode, you'll be able to diagnose what's going well in your relationship - and where important things are missing.

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:

Find a quality therapist, online, to support you and work on the places where you’re stuck. For 10% off your first month, visit Betterhelp.com/ALIVE to fill out the quick questionnaire and get paired with a therapist who’s right for you.

Want something new to entertain you? Acorn TV is a commercial-free streaming service that’s rooted in British television. It’s home to sophisticated and artful storytelling with top-rated mysteries, dramas that pull you in, heart-felt comedies and so much more. So - Escape to Britain and beyond without leaving your seat. Try Acorn TV free for 30 days, by going to acorn.tv and using the promo code “alive” (all lowercase) at checkout.

Resources:

Check out my Secrets of Relationship Communication COURSE for a masterclass in how to improve the communication and connection in your relationship.

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 outro music provided courtesy of The Railsplitters

Transcript:

Neil Sattin: Hello and welcome to another episode of Relationship Alive. This is your host, Neil Sattin. And it's really good to be back with you. You may have noticed that I haven't been recording as much lately, and that's on purpose, because after so many years here at Relationship Alive, I decided that it was an important moment in my own evolution and in the evolution of the show to step back and look at all the things that we've talked about over the past number of years, over the past 247 episodes, and see if there was some way to distill that information, so that it can be even more clear, can make even more sense. And if that can bring you a little bit more joy or spare you a little bit more pain, then I feel like I'm doing my job.

Neil Sattin: So to that end, I've been working on a list of what I think are... I've been tentatively calling it the Relationship Bill of Rights. But that's not totally true, because for one thing, along with rights, there are responsibilities, and it's hard to have a conversation about the rights that we should enjoy in relationship without also talking about the corresponding responsibilities.

Neil Sattin: So, without further ado, let's talk about the Relationship Bill of Rights. And as we go through, I will touch on the responsibilities. As you'll hear with most of these, we could have an entire podcast episode on each of these individually. So, there's going to be a lot to cover here, and I'm not going to possibly be able to talk about all the nuances of every one of these, but we're going to cover a lot of ground, and I think at the end of it, you are going to realize... If you're in a relationship, or if you're referring to a past relationship, you're going to realize what is working or was working for you, and you're going to also get a sense of where things aren't working. And so, a list like this can be a great diagnostic tool for you to identify what's working well and what maybe not so much.

Neil Sattin: Just... I also want to note that as I was going through this, I recognized that I have an implicit bias toward a particular kind of relationship. And that bias is reflected in the rights of relationship that you are about to hear. If you want to have a relationship that is functional, meaning, that's just based on mutual... Like, we're both paying the bills, we're both doing the house work, we're both raising the kids, and otherwise we don't really care too much about each other, or it can be like pure business, then this list may not resonate with you. And that will be interesting for me to hear, like, what are the things here where you're thinking "Well, that sounds good, but it's totally impractical, or that sounds good for other people, but not for me."?

Neil Sattin: What you might find is that when you hear something, you're like, "That sounds good, and I don't know if that's possible for me in my current relationship," that's another possibility. Those are questions to be answered on other episodes of the podcast. And in fact, we've spent a lot of time addressing the challenges, the problems of relationship for that very reason, so that you can get more toward a fulfilled state of relational harmony that's reflected by this Bill of Rights. Alright, I'm going to dive in. And these are happening in no particular order, though, as the list gets more and more refined, maybe we'll make it into a more logical progression, but these first few that all go together, I think they really do represent a foundation for where we start in relationship.

Neil Sattin: So, your first right or rights in relationship are to be seen, accepted and respected for who you are, not who someone wishes you would be, whether that's just their projection onto you, because they imagine you to be a perfect being, or whether it's because they find all these faults in you that they want to fix. No matter what, even if you're on a path of growth in your relationship, and we'll talk about that in a minute, you are who you are in the moment, with all the things that are awesome about you and all the things that suck about you. And if you dwell too much on what's awesome then... Well, that's generally a reflection of narcissism. If you reflect too much on what sucks, then you're going to be depressed and despondent. However, having a healthy perspective on both of those things along with the things that are just... That just are, maybe that are neutral, that's really important for you, both in terms of showing up as you are with integrity in your relationship, and also because it's just what is, and there's a lot of suffering...

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Mar 25, 2021

If you have an insecure attachment style (or your partner does - or both of you do) - can you have a healthy relationship? And how do you know if an issue that comes up is something that you'll actually be able to fix? Avoidant, anxious, island, wave - or secure - sure, it's helpful to be able to identify your attachment style - but what can you actually do about the unhealthy patterns that arise? Today we're going to talk about what it really looks like to move from insecure to secure attachment - and how to get out of an unhealthy dynamic into something more positive.

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:

Want something new to entertain you? Acorn TV is a commercial-free streaming service that’s rooted in British television. It’s home to sophisticated and artful storytelling with top-rated mysteries, dramas that pull you in, heart-felt comedies and so much more. So - Escape to Britain and beyond without leaving your seat. Try Acorn TV free for 30 days, by going to acorn.tv and using the promo code “ALIVE” at checkout.

Resources:

Check out my Secrets of Relationship Communication COURSE for a masterclass in how to improve the communication and connection in your relationship.

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 outro music provided courtesy of The Railsplitters

Transcript:

Neil Sattin: Hello and welcome to another episode of Relationship Alive. This is your host, Neil Sattin. Perhaps you've heard about attachment styles and how your attachment style can have a huge impact on your relationship, but I definitely don't want you to feel like you're a victim to your attachment style, or if you're in a relationship, to the attachment style of your partner. In the off chance that you or someone you love has one of the main insecure attachment styles, which can cause a lot of problems in a relationship, today, I would like to talk about what a healthy relationship can look like no matter what kind of attachment style you have. And along with that, I want you to be able to tell if your relationship realistically has the potential to improve or not. And we'll also get into why your attachment style can have such a big impact and what to do about it. So that's all in today's show.

Neil Sattin: So I've had a few episodes about attachment styles and how they can impact your relationship, you can look through my episodes with Stan Tatkin or with Sue Johnson. So I'm going to be somewhat brief here in my overview, and just say that if you have an anxious attachment style, then as things get out of balance in your relationship, you are more likely to lean in, you're more likely to want to seek out connection with your partner of any kind in order to bring yourself some stability, particularly in stressful or triggering times. If you have an avoidant attachment style, then somewhat problematically, you have the exact opposite response to things getting stressful or feeling triggering, which is that you want to get out of there, you want space to yourself, you want time to think. And in fact, if you are paired with someone, as so often happens, who has an anxious attachment style, then you will perhaps feel overwhelmed by the amount that they're coming at you with all of their questions and emotions and requirements, and you'll just be like, "Get me out of here."

Neil Sattin: On the flip side, if you are anxious and you're trying to seek connection from a partner who wants some distance and space, then you'll perceive that as really threatening. So the more that you lean in, the more that they'll lean away, and then that in and of itself, will create problems, and you'll wonder, "Why won't they work with me? Why won't they listen to me? Why don't they want to understand what's going on with me?" And you can see how if two opposite attachment styles pair up with each other, how it's a recipe for a lot of dysfunction to take place. And you've probably heard of the pursuer-distancer dynamic in a relationship, which is another manifestation of that sort of thing at play. And here's what's interesting, you can actually switch, so you could be anxious in one relationship and in your next relationship, you could be avoidant.

Neil Sattin: And here's another interesting thing, if you have a secure attachment style at your base...

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Feb 26, 2021

Have you ever gone through a major life change, and then, in retrospect, wondered how you could have possibly been living the way that you were living? Everything seemed so great at the time, right? Or, at least, great enough. But when the spell is broken, and the veil is lifted - suddenly everything looks different. Hindsight is 20/20 - and one of life's biggest challenges is to see things accurately in the moment. In today's episode you'll get strategies to get past how you *wish* things were - in order to see things as they actually are.

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:

Want something new to entertain you? Acorn TV is a commercial-free streaming service that’s rooted in British television. It’s home to sophisticated and artful storytelling with top-rated mysteries, dramas that pull you in, heart-felt comedies and so much more. So - Escape to Britain and beyond without leaving your seat. Try Acorn TV free for 30 days, by going to acorn.tv and using the promo code “ALIVE” at checkout.

Resources:

Check out my Secrets of Relationship Communication COURSE for a masterclass in how to improve the communication and connection in your relationship.

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 outro music provided courtesy of The Railsplitters

Transcript:

Neil Sattin: Hello and welcome to another episode of Relationship Alive - this is your host Neil Sattin. Have you ever had a David Byrne moment in your life? I’m not talking about David BURNS - author of Feeling Good and Feeling Great, and frequent guest here on the show. I’m talking about David Byrne, of the Talking Heads - and thinking of that song “Once in a Lifetime” - where in the video he slaps himself on the forehead asking “Well, how did I get here?” - one of those moments where you look around you, almost as if a spell is broken, and see things as they really are - versus how you were imagining them, or wanting them to be? 

Neil Sattin: Now you may say to yourself - of course, I know how I got here. Where I’m at right now makes perfect sense, it’s the sum of all the decisions that I’ve made up until now. Great - that’s a perfect way to come to understand what led to your current circumstances, and perhaps to see the patterns and habits that led you there. 

Neil Sattin: But...how ARE you doing in this moment? And what can you do to snap yourself out of the spell, so that you have the best chance of seeing things as they really are in the moment? And making a choice, taking the next right step? In the context of love, and relationships, it really can be like a spell. You’re pulled in by a dynamic that intoxicates you on some level, and when you’re intoxicated the odds favor that you won’t necessarily make the best decisions. Oh sure, you’ll make the best choice that an intoxicated person can make. Some might argue that this intoxication is important for the survival of our species - in other words, that we have to be rendered lovestruck in order to serve our biological imperatives. Even if you end up NOT procreating, it’s most likely that energy of gene preservation that got you there, in partnership with your beloved, in the first place. That and your common love of REO speedwagon, or whatever.

Neil Sattin: Today we’re going to go over some simple strategies to help you assess your current circumstances - whether you’re in a relationship or not. And these strategies will help you figure out if you’re where you want to be, or if some sort of course correction might be in order...

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Jan 28, 2021

Modern dating can be so challenging. Simply finding good people is challenging. Knowing how to take a relationship to the next level, when to commit, or when to get out of a relationship so that you can find something better - that’s challenging! Today we’re going to focus on all the ways that you can get out of your own way, and use the power of behavioral science to make better choices and break old patterns as you navigate the world of modern love. Our guest is Logan Ury, author of the new book “How to Not Die Alone: The Surprising Science that Will Help You Find Love”. You’ll find that there are all sorts of ways for you to adjust what you do to make the kinds of decisions that lead to deeper, more fulfilling connections.

And, as always, I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this episode and what revelations and questions it creates for you. 

Join us in the Relationship Alive Community on Facebook to chat about it! 

Sponsors:

Want something new to entertain you? Acorn TV is a commercial-free streaming service that’s rooted in British television. It’s home to sophisticated and artful storytelling with top-rated mysteries, dramas that pull you in, heart-felt comedies and so much more. So - Escape to Britain and beyond without leaving your seat. Try Acorn TV free for 30 days, by going to acorn.tv and using the promo code “ALIVE” at checkout.

Resources: 

Logan’s book “How to Not Die Alone: The Surprising Science That Will Help You Find Love” is finally available!

Check out Logan Ury’s website where you can take her quiz to assess your “dating tendency”.

FREE Relationship Communication Secrets Guide

Or join my full Secrets of Relationship Communication course!

www.neilsattin.com/logan2 Visit to download the transcript, or text “PASSION” to 33444 and follow the instructions to download the transcript to this episode with Logan Ury.

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

Transcript:

Neil Sattin: Hello and welcome back, to another episode of relationship alive. This is your host, Neil Sattin. We are fortunate to be having a return visit from my friend and colleague Logan Ury, a Harvard-trained behavioral scientist turned Dating Coach, whose new book “How to Not Die Alone: The surprising Science that will help you find love” is FINALLY available. Yes, go order it now. Or, well, listen to what she has to say - then go order the book. Logan is also the Director of Relationship Science for the dating app Hinge. And, as you’ll hear today - she knows her shit. See, we are making choices all the time, and those choices impact the kinds of relationships we do (or don’t) have. Logan’s work does such a good job of pointing out the ways that our decision-making can actually get in the way of having a fulfilling love life. You may recall that she was here back in episode 231 - if you want to listen to that episode you can visit neilsattin.com/logan. And, for today’s episode, if you want to download a transcript just visit neilsattin.com/logan2 (that’s logan and the number 2) - or, as always, you can text the word “PASSION” to the number 33444 and follow the instructions. Let’s dive in. Logan Ury - so glad to have you back with us here on Relationship Alive.

Logan Ury: Thank you, Neil. It's always fun to talk to you, whether it's for the podcast or just through our friendship, and I'm so grateful that you invited me back on the show.

Neil Sattin: Let's start with this question of how you get prepared to go out into the dating world? Because as I was mentioning in the intro, so much of what we do in the choices that we make are just sort of based on what the world throws our way in terms of who we meet, or who we swipe right on and who swipes right back. And I'm curious to know if you have a basic idea of how we can prepare ourselves without getting caught in trying to be over-prepared, like one of... We talked about the three tendencies in our last conversation, and you talked about hesitaters, and their tendency might be to be over-prepared. So, what kind of preparation is actually necessary for being successful in modern dating?

Logan Ury: Yeah, I'm glad that we're starting the conversation here because this is where I would start the conversation with the new dating coaching client...

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