Episode 75: Ryan & Lindsay - Communication - 15 Minutes To Freedom Podcast | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Episode 75: Ryan & Lindsay - Communication - 15 Minutes To Freedom Podcast".

1970-01-01T01:00:26.000Z

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Introduction

Intro (00:00)

This is 15 Minutes of Freedom. I'm your host, Ryan Idell, and today's episode is communication. So in our weekly update, I have my beautiful wife, Lindsay, in the studio. Hi. And we're going to discuss relationship communication, which is something that I feel that most relationships fall short on. Every past relationship I've had has certainly had a shortcoming at some point about communication. Yeah, ditto, which is why we're sitting here as a married couple and not with somebody else. That is a very fair statement. Very fair statement. So I want to cover some things today for you that have tips and tricks and some things that we've done throughout our relationship that has separated the way that we communicate versus our past relationships. Yeah, absolutely. Without bashing anyone or there's, we have both had multiple people that we have been in relationships with over the past and each person has taught us a lesson through that and now we can apply things that work for us in our own relationship wait wait i'm not your first relationship i'm not the first guy sadly no sweetheart i'm so sorry man that's a that's a tough thing to swallow right now after getting married no i'm kidding so in relationships obviously communications what i call one of the pillars, you know, there's the intimacy level of things that, you know, whether you look at it as sexual or non-sexual, there's the physical touch that's part of a relationship. There's communication. There's the business aspect of it, maybe spirituality. There's things that make up a healthy relationship. Absolutely. And the one that I feel has the most weight and importance is communication, the way that you verbally and non-verbally communicate with your partner. Yes, I would agree with you. That's certainly been the biggest part of our relationship, especially given how we started, a little bit of a rocky road, a little bit of learning some different lessons along the way. He's smiling and laughing at me right now. So those lessons, if you go back now two weeks prior to episode, gosh, 61 or so, I believe, you'd be able to hear the story about her and how Lindsay and I first started dating.


Detailed Analysis Of Communication And Relationship Expectations

Communication (02:09)

And the fact that in the first six months I had a completely separate relationship that carried over into our relationship. So I don't want to beat that over the head. You can go back and listen to episode 61. But what Lindsay is referring to is the fact that literally I just was not honest with who I was and what I was up to. My communication wasn't solid. Yeah. At this point, it's just a part of our story, but it references back into how we have built a foundation into now our marriage over the past four and a half years. And a lot of that has been from communication. Like that's been the one thing that if the other pillars are falling apart or crumbling a little, our communication pillar has always been the strongest one. Absolutely. And Lindsay did a great job in setting the groundwork from the start. So she was just coming out of a 10-plus year relationship, marriage to her ex-husband. I was previously married. And so she had known at that moment the things that she liked and didn't like, and she was able to express those to me very quickly. The story of our relationship was met at the gym, friends first, she liked and didn't like. And she was able to express those to me very quickly. Like the story of our relationship was met at the gym, friends first. Eventually I asked her out, took a long time to get her phone number, bounced back and forth. And eventually she agreed to go out with me. And from that, in some of our first dates together, Lindsay had expressed to me that she needed to be touched. Like that was her love language. That was something that she didn't get in her past relationship. You know, we all learn lessons. And that was one of the lessons that she learned is that, you know, I need touch. It's part of what makes me feel good. Yeah. And we've discussed touch, I think, before, but it touches in the sense of, you know, holding my hand or putting it on the small of my back or just, you know, your hand on my thigh in the car, something that is a physical connection between you and me. It's not an intimate touch. It's a, you know, a physical love touch. Absolutely. And so what Lindsay was able to do from the start of our relationship was set this groundwork, you know, the rules of engagement, I call it, that made it very easy for me to understand if I was going to get on the right path with her. Ultimately, at that point, she's sharing with me, look, I need touch. It's my love language. So at that point, I have to determine if it's something that I'm willing to do or not willing to do and then communicate that back to her. Now, fortunately for me, I enjoyed that because I didn't have to guess. I feel right now in most relationships, especially the ones that I know from my friends and other guys that I'm associated with, there's a lot of BS games that get played. Like this jockeying for position, this not going too far, not being too vulnerable, and really trying to figure out how to get your partner to fall in the line almost. Yeah, I think that people are not communicating on what they want up front. And so by the time you get in a few months, you're wondering, oh, should I say this? Should I say, you know, hey, I need touch more or I need, you know, you to open my door or I need you to plan a date night with us. Something, but there's not enough communication within the relationship or there's something that they don't feel fully comfortable with saying. And then they don't say it and they expect their partner to guess. Women are super guilty of that. You know, why don't you know what I'm thinking? Why aren't you guessing what I'm doing? Why don't you know what I want? Instead of just looking at you and saying, hey, I would like you to hold my hand when we walk around in the mall. That is important to me. Can you handle that? Well, absolutely. And for me, that was a very foreign thing. So I had built this story in my head. And really, I built the story because most of my adult life, I had multiple girlfriends at the same time.


Communication (29:36)

We liked to know what the other partner was doing. The trials and tribulations and the successes of the day were fully, again, if we go back to your ex-husband or some of my ex-girlfriends, that wasn't their communication style. They would not have wanted that. It just doesn't matter to some people. No. Funny enough, my ex-husband used to go on trips for conferences. And sometimes we were able to go together and sometimes we needed to go to different ones. So if he would go somewhere somewhere I would basically hear from him when he landed say you know I landed I'm good and then sometimes wouldn't speak to him for a couple days until he came home which was crazy for me and I would call and he'd be like I'm in a I'm in you know text I'm in a conference I can't pick up the phone but maybe I would hear from him once a day when he was gone. And, of course, that didn't work for me. And now, you know, when you travel, I used to hear from you all the time. Still do. Yeah, still do. Well, you don't travel as much now, but we still communicate through all the day all the time. Right. Absolutely. And so that just kept, like, these, I call them almost bricks of our relationship. Like the bricks that we kept stacked on top of each other were solid. We started on a rough foundation of all the things that we've shared, but it kept turning into the more we would communicate and the more time that had passed, the stronger our communication was getting. It wasn't the opposite. Right. Because the more that you talk to somebody, the more that you speak your truth and say what you want and how you feel and what you need, then depending on how it is received is whether or not you're going to continue to do that. And then that should really make you look on whether or not you should continue with that relationship. But if they're received with love and listening and caring and then responded to, then that only helps you to continue to communicate in the same way, to continue saying what you want and you feel and you need. And as long as you do it with respect and you gain respect from it, from your partner, then it just blossoms and grows into more of, you know, just a trust and open communication where you can have a good solid foundation for your relationship.


The beginning of Ryan and Lindseys Relationship (05:23)

So I had this thing that I built that I couldn't hold someone's hand because if I was holding somebody's hand or was seen too close to them, and then another person would see me with a partner that happened to know another girl I was dating. Then you're caught. Then I'm caught. Then it's out in the open. And so I had built this whole thing that I didn't like to hold hands. And admittedly, from that story and from the way I'd lived my life for so long, to start with, when I first started holding your hand, my hand would sweat. I would get nervous. It really would. You were a little bit nervous. And of course, I didn't know. I'm thinking, oh, he likes it. It's cute. And here it is. He's panicking that somebody's going to see us.


Lindsay set relationship expectations early (06:00)

Because if you're holding my hand, you cannot deny that you're just, oh, just shopping with a friend, or it's a buddy's girlfriend of mine or, you know, somebody I knew from way back when. And we just happen to catch up on walking through them all together. No, if you're holding my hand, buddy, you are you are there with me. I'm all the way in. Yeah. And so our relationship started out from the groundwork of communication very easily. You know, I'd never had a girlfriend before that just laid things out black and white, like, look, intimacy wise. So we'll cover on the highest level, the sexual amount of intimacy with Lindsay. She was very upfront at the fact of like, that's just off limits to start with, because she had been in this committed relationship for a very long time. And the fact of she wasn't looking to become intimate at that level with a new partner. And I respected that completely, but it made it very easy. It wasn't a challenge. It wasn't like she was putting this out there that we had to jump through all these hoops. It was literally the fact of, look, I had been with one person for a very long time. And until I know that our relationship is solid, until we built that trust and that foundation, that groundwork, just don't even consider that stuff. No, it was foundation, that groundwork. Just don't even consider that stuff. No, it was off the table for me and I'm an adult. So I'm going to look at you like an adult because sex is part of a relationship. And I'm going to say, hey, like this is not a point where I'm comfortable with that yet. I've been with one person for years and years, and I would like to have some kind of a mental and not a physical, but like a more connection with you before we do anything that's a physical intimate relationship. I want an intimate relationship on a mental level. Absolutely. And that was one of those things that was refreshing to me because it might sound crazy with the fact that I dated multiple different women at every point in my adult life, but I have never been the guy to just want to jump in bed with a woman. Like I've always needed a mental connection that was deeper in order to cross that barrier. Like it's that, that level of intimacy is important to me at the fact that you only get so many times to do that. Like I truly believe that you give up part of your soul every time that you have a new partner. Yeah. Oh, I agree with you, but you're right. You have never been the guy and I've heard this from your friends and you've told me this and just your past and knowing you now, you've never been the guy to be like, I'm going to go to this bar tonight. I'm going to find this chick. I'm going to take her home. It is just not you at all. No. So it was really refreshing to me to hear that from Lindsay that looked like this is off the table. So it took a lot of that guesswork out. So I look at the first six months of her and I's relationship. Obviously, it was rocky from how six months of her and I's relationship. Obviously, it was rocky from how I was conducting business outside of our relationship. But the way that we set the groundwork going forward, look, you know, she's coming to me with, I need touched. Okay, so that's pretty easy. Can I touch her? Can I not touch her? Well, yeah, of course. I mean, she's beautiful. It's easy. We have a good time together. So I'll hold her hand when we're in public. I'll open the door for her when I remember. Again, I'm not perfect at it now by any means, but do it more times than not. Yes, more times than not. Then we progress from that. Okay, so she wants touch. So in my mind, I'm thinking, how much can I touch her? Where does this stop? And so it was very quickly, look, the intimacy sexually is off the table. Let's not talk about that right now, which was refreshing for me because now there's another level of groundwork about communication that, okay, we can talk about what we need and we can talk about what we don't accept, which made it very simple. Yeah. I mean, but that part of a relationship is important. It's one of the four pillars, right? Your intimacy is a huge deal, but I feel like it should be the last deal because anybody can be intimate with somebody physically. Absolutely. It doesn't have to mean anything, but you can have intimacy. But you have to have some kind of groundwork for an actual connection with someone. And so the other pillars are more important, and communication to me is probably the biggest one. Yes. Could not agree more. And so we progressed through that. And the next level of our communication that I can remember being very valuable was once I got caught being unfaithful. I mean, again, we go back to episode 61. I won't beat this over the head, but there was a moment in time where Lindsay and my ex-girlfriend now were forced to meet face to face. And then Lindsay spent the next four, five, six, I feel like an eternity of hours asking me questions, not berating me, not talking down to me, not just wanting to know why, like how, what went on, what are these things?


Lindsays response (10:02)

And so that was like the next step that I remember was, okay, she set the groundwork for touch. And then she set the groundwork for, you know, how we correspond on like the truly intimate level. And then it was caring enough to ask questions about why I had done what I had done. Like what was essentially what was wrong with me? I mean, call it what it is. Well, yeah, because knowing you, how I had for the first six months, nothing about who you are would have, or your actions or your words or anything in between us would have led me to believe that you had a separate relationship. So I was more like, because I was so blindsided, where the hell did this come from? Where is it in you that's broken because everything else is put together and this doesn't make any sense to me? Yeah. And that comes from this weird deficiency I had, not only with some sort of mom complex, but also the fact that I just did not like to hurt people. I built this crazy story in my head that I couldn't break up with somebody because I would hurt them. And I would do everything I could to push them out and have them be the ones to break up with me instead of just sitting down and saying, look, our relationship has its season and I've learned what I can learn. But I know that there's not going to be a long-term play here. I didn't have that inside me. I can't say that I couldn't do it. I just wouldn't do it. You know, I think that we could do anything we want to, but so I was forced to get caught. And of course, as I've shared, the first lesson wasn't painful enough to learn where I had continued on for another two months or so of having communication and some sort of relationship with my ex, because I still felt badly. Like I'd communicated with Lindsay all the way through and I'd shared why and how and all these things. But I still carried this guilt of, man, how can I exit this other relationship and not have this woman in this family be broken while then migrating into our relationship? Yep. Like fully, 100% our relationship. Yeah. And I mean, your communication on that side of the table was poor because really when you communicate with somebody, you can give them your honest, heartfelt opinion or your thoughts. And then what they do with it is no longer your choice, right? That's no longer on your shoulders. You have given them what it is that you are feeling and thinking in truthfulness and honesty, and how they react is on them. Absolutely. And that was a lesson now that I would do everything I could to impress upon you, being a listener, that if you're owning your own truth, and I call it authentic vulnerability, if you're truly being the best version of yourself and telling the truth above all else, then how people receive your message is not your business any longer. Like you're just getting it out. You're getting it off your shoulders, out of your heart and into the universe. You can't help. Some people are going to love your message and some aren't.


Taking responsibility for your own mistakes. (12:54)

You know, whether it's a relationship, whether it's a friendship, whether it's, you know, just an acquaintance, your message isn't going to be for everybody. Well, it's the same thing with you. And I've been asked this a thousand times, especially since that episode came out. How did you stay? How did you trust him? What did you do? And it was simple. I told you what I wanted, what I needed and what my boundaries were from that time on. What you do with that is no longer my decision. I can't follow you around. I can't check your phone. I can't put a GPS on your car like that stuff makes me a crazy person, but it's never going GPS on your car. Like that stuff makes me a crazy person, but it's never going to change your actions. Right. And that was one of the things that was so different about, this sounds so horrible, but just is what it is. It was so different about being caught by Lindsay versus being caught by ex-girlfriends. That sounds atrocious. I know, but it's the truth. Like, let's just get it out there. It's all right, babe. It's good. That in the past, if I had gotten caught being unfaithful, every other girlfriend was like, I need to see your phone.


Negative mindsets. (13:47)

I want to go through all your text messages, all your emails, all your pictures, all, all, all, all, all. And rightfully so. I don't begrudge those women. And I get that part. But there has to be some, like, I don't, we never went through your phone. We never did the thing. You used to have a habit of trying to show me those things. Like, look, I'm doing, but that was because it was conditioned in you from how your communication and previous relationship was. Me, I was just more like, you know, I don't care what you do with your phone or where you go when you say you're going to the mall. Like, I'm going to believe you until you give me a reason not to. And I'm certainly not going to follow you around because your actions are your choice. I'm not going to control what you do. Right. And so there was such a difference in the way that Lindsay and I communicated, even when times were tough versus the predisposed history of my life where every other girlfriend had always like, I need your phone. I need your email. And then we would sit down and go through all of it. And then it was this consistent lack of trust. And I earned that. I'm not, again, I want to make sure that I'm not painting this bad picture of my exes. Like I was the guy that wasn't good. Like I was a liar, but I forced them into this corner. Now they're mothering you. And now they're mothering me, which creates this whole other complex in my head that, and again, I can say all this now because I can look back at my life and put together the pieces and there'll be a whole nother episode on how that works as Lindsay and I progress forward and in our episodes together. But there's this next level of communication where we keep diving deeper and deeper. And so we eventually, of course, move in together and have a house together and are doing things together as a family. And the next big piece of communication is when I'm essentially broke. Like the first time in my life, I've had to sit down with someone and say, I just don't have any money. Like from the time I started working in the professional world until literally this moment when I'm 30 or 31, don't remember how old I was. I have always had money in the bank. Like I've never been really a frivolous spender based off the amount of money I was making at the time. And all of a sudden between a failed business and trying to get started in a new industry, I'm broke. And I have to sit down with Lindsay and like, hey look, my house is about to get foreclosed on and my truck is literally being repossessed. Yeah, and for a man, that's a huge thing to say because a lot of men put their value and their self-worth on how much money they make, what they can provide, because they've been taught that. But to have that truth be out there, to be your authentic and vulnerable self with me and say, like, you know, we're in a spot here, then you and I are able to have an open communication and a dialogue about how we fix it, what we do, what our options are you know what's going to be the pros and cons of this action versus that action and then we actually can come up with a solution together as a unit which is a huge separation from what I had previously been used to in any of my relationships was they made their own decisions on their own and it wasn't something that I was included in which is fine married, married or not. But if you do it together as a unit and you have that open communication about what you want and what your plan is, then you feel more of like, you know, a team. Right. I'm going to challenge you back. Like you said, it was fine to not communicate, to have that separation. I would say with the way you and I live our lives, that's not fine. You know, that's an old story that we've, you know, society tells us we're supposed to say things are fine when they're not. The only reason Lindsay and I are sitting here in the studio together married is because that part of life wasn't fine for us anymore. Like we wanted more than what we'd previously experienced. I didn't want to have a whole separate life anymore that I couldn't include my partner. And admittedly, I lost all my stuff probably a year, year and a half into our relationship. So we had seen some ups and downs from then and we'd set that groundwork. I truly feel those first, again, it's funny to say the first six months, but the way we communicate and the relationship that we built and the fact it wasn't based off sexual intimacy, that it was based off mental intimacy, set the groundwork for how we were able to communicate going forward. Like if I look at every past relationship prior to you on my side of the table, there was always this veil that I put up. There was always this, you know, I would communicate to get to where I wanted to get to in a relationship, but I was never just out there. I was never exposed for what I really was because I didn't want to be exposed. And there was just something different about you and I and the way that I viewed you and how comfortable you made me that I was able to start being more vulnerable and sharing these things with you that led up to the fact of being able to share that I'm broke. Yeah. I don't know. I can't put a finger on what it was. I mean, you and I have had just a different connection from the start, from when we first met. And that was probably why we've been through infidelity and no money and crazy stuff that people who are together for 20, 40 years, maybe experience, maybe don't, but sometimes get through, sometimes don't. And we put in all that groundwork already. And I don't know what it was, but it was just, I think from the very start, I told you, I always, and especially after the infidelity, I always want you to be truthful. No matter what is coming out of your mouth, I'm going to listen to you and hear you.


The Need for Honesty (18:45)

And I'm not going to walk away here. The groundwork rules about what I will walk away from, but I'm not going to ever just abandon you and say, Oh, well, you're broke. You can't, you know, you can't pay for my stuff. Bye. That doesn't work. Right. And so I was fortunate to have Lindsay be understanding and intelligent enough to realize that I had deep rooted abandonment issues, whether they were justified or unjustified, they existed inside of me. And I'd shared, again, part of this communication is really getting real with a person you're dating. I'm going to speak to you as though you're just starting to date somebody. To be authentic with what's going on in your life up to that point. Because if you're with someone, it's almost unfair to them to hide pieces and parts of your upbringing. Because especially now, I mean, I truly look at from 4 to 12, those developmental years that go on, they create a mess of issues. Whether your life was perfect beforehand or whether your life was rocky at those ages, like those things that stack up on each other eventually matter in your adult life. And whether your adult life is 22 or 32, that stuff matters. So I'd shared with Lindsay, you know, my upbringing of parents getting divorced and father working a lot and not being around and then, you know, moving out when I was 17 or 18 and just all the pieces and parts of people that I had at least felt in my heart that they had walked away from me. I shared that with her. So that's, that allows her to, I'm going to assume then process the fact that, and I can't, if I, if I tell him I'm going to just walk away or he feels that, then I'm going to claim up because I'm afraid of that. I don't want that. And people use that as a threatening mechanism. And sometimes they're going to be willing to follow through with that action and sometimes they're not. But I was never going to threaten you with something that one, I wasn't going to. I mean, I just don't do that in general. So I can't even make that example. But I was never going to say like, you know, you do this and I, you know, I'm gone. You do that and I'm gone. Or, you know, dangle the carrot in front of your face, so to speak, and say, you know, you want this, you got to come over here and do that, but you can't have this. It's just, that kind of stuff doesn't work. Right. Well, absolutely. And so as our relationship kept maturing and growing, we had more time together and I'll call it almost healthy time under tension. Like the more time you spend with somebody, the more your finances are commingled, the more things you go through in life, I truly feel it either makes you or breaks you depending on how you want to look at the situation. Unfortunately, all the things that we stacked on top of each other were fortifying our relationship versus tearing us apart. Like every bit of vulnerability that I shared with you allowed us to grow closer in our bond. Oh, yeah, absolutely. And vice versa. You know, Lindsay had been through a relationship like her ex-husband. And I'll let you tell the story. But there were different levels of your guys' communication that you had learned that you needed something different. And you were vulnerable enough to share with me, look, here's high level what went on in our relationship.


Communication Needs (21:44)

And I know long term that's going to create a deficiency that could potentially tear us apart. Yeah. And so how does that look for you? Walk the listener through what that feels like. So I was 22 when I met my ex-husband. And he was 10 years older than me. So he was 32. We got married when I was 25 and he was 10 years older than me. So he was 32 and we got married when I was 25 and he was 35 and he is an introvert by nature and I'm not an introvert by nature. And so communication while on a surface level was great as we got married and progressed through life, he doesn't speak like one of the, go ahead. I see you. Yeah, I have to interrupt just for a moment. So What lindsey's saying right now is she realized while they were dating That at some level her ex-husband was more introverted than extroverted And so she made a conscious decision to try to look past that to either assume that that would change Or assume that she could help pull him out of his shell. Yeah. Now, ultimately, I'm sitting in front of her because I'm married to her. So you can guess that that probably didn't work long term. How'd that go for me? Right. So if you're in a relationship right now yourself and you're thinking you can change somebody, I don't think that really works too well. It doesn't work. It just doesn't work. And, you know, I had open conversations with him about communication and we're talking, I would ask a question or speak to him or say something and would get looked at, but no answer would come out of his mouth, just nothing. And you can't have a relationship with somebody that does that.


Lack of effect of past mistakes in relationships. (23:05)

And it wasn't an intentional mean thing. It just, I don't know whether he's spaced out. He's just not a communication expert. Well, right. That's his communication style. So her ex-husband is an incredibly intelligent, very accomplished individual, has a great profession, a great career, and is very, very highly sought after in this industry. Absolutely. Some of that, it's a learned skill, I believe. I have to be an active listener. By the nature of me being an extrovert, a lot of times I'll find myself listening to somebody just waiting to respond instead of shutting off what I want to respond and just listening, just receiving. Yeah, and hearing the person. And so unfortunately, in that relationship from where I sit, it seems as though he never got to the point of being an active listener that was waiting to give feedback. He was just processing. Like his brain just process things. Yeah, it took it. And, you know, I see some of that in Gianna sometimes we ask her a question and, you know, she gives this look and she kind of processes it for a second. And then I'm like, oh, my God, she's her dad right now. Like, please let her speak with an answer, like actually speak. And he still does that sometimes. And it's not a knock on him. It's just his style of communication, his style of life. Well, that didn't work with me. And he still does that sometimes. And it's not a knock on him. It's just his style of communication and his style of life. Well, that didn't work with me. And so being a young 20 something kid, I was like, oh, sure, it's going to be fine. These are things we can work through. And, you know, he definitely was more outspoken and jovial and communicative in his job, which we worked side by side together. So I was able to see that throughout the years. And so I was like, oh, it's in there. It's in there. It's going to be fine. And it just wasn't. And so the more that I pressed him to be open and talk to me, the more he shut down because that's not his style. And then his style wasn't my style. And so it's at some point, neither one of us were being honest about what it is our style of communication was going to bring in our relationship and eventually realizing it wasn't going to mesh like long term. That never was going to work. I can't be a talker and tell you my thoughts and feelings and what I need and want and have you not respond in any way. And he doesn't like somebody that's in his face saying, hey, I need this and I want that. And, you know, I'd really like you to hold my hand more. And, you know, why don't you, you know, touch me a little bit more? Can we have more date nights or spend quality time? And those were the things that he wasn't willing to do or capable of doing. And it just created a roadblock. Right. I mean, Lindsay is a purebred, full-blooded Italian, speaks with her hands. Crazy meter goes all the way up. Yeah, I mean, she's just very expressive and communicative. I mean, that's just, that is, it's baked into her genealogy. So I knew that right away from not only being around her for, you know, the start of our relationship. Yeah, you can't really hide that I'm an extroverted, like, you know, talk with my hands in your face kind of person. Right. It's not a secret. Part of me and part of the thing that I think a lot of relationships I've been a part of in the past that was one of my downfalls, one of my shortcomings, was I never sat there and poked hard enough to figure out why past relationships didn't work. Now, a lot of times that feels uncomfortable to discuss, but when you think about it, up until the point that you meet somebody new, we've all had relationships, and there's a reason why we're not in those relationships, whether it's, you know, of course, infidelity or lack of communication or lack of intimacy. One of the four pillars or multiple of the four pillars break down. Yep. And so with Lindsay, it was a little different because she was very open that she was coming out of a relationship, you know, going through the process, the first process of a divorce. And so it was easy for me to just say, well, why? Like, why are you getting divorced? Like, explain this to me. Like, what happened? And I openly said to her, I want to know so I don't repeat the same things that went on in your life. Like, it's not going to do me any good if you tell me that your relationship broke down because your now ex-husband used to go to the gym all the time. Like, I'm in trouble. Yeah, that's not going to work for you. No. That's not who you are. Yeah, you got to just be upfront with that. Yeah, and I had to be honest with what that looked like. I mean, he had asked me, you had asked me, like, you know, do you fight? Did he cheat on you? And the funny thing is, we didn't communicate to the point where we didn't even fight about anything. It was just, we were like roommates. So there was no fighting. There was no, you know, he blew up at me or I blew up at him. Like, it didn't work that way. We just didn't communicate at all to be able to fight. Right. And so those pieces allowed us, as Lindsay and I progressed our relationship and been through the infidelity and the being broke and living together and then starting businesses together, that our communication just kept growing. You know, I feel in my past relationships, I might say good morning or might speak to my partner, you know, back then, first thing in the morning, and then I could go all day and really not, I don't say not have them cross my mind, but even if they crossed my mind, the groundwork was never set to reach out and have that communication, like to share things throughout the day, both positive and negatives or jokes or, you know, even I'll say some sort of foreplay for what could go on in the evenings, not even again on a sexual intimacy level, just maintaining that connection during the day.


The importance of communication skills in a relationship. (27:46)

Yeah. To spark that interest in the fact of, look, I'm excited to see you where admittedly based off of being caught being unfaithful and wanting to make sure I earned Lindsay's trust and kept Lindsay's trust, it was easy for me then to continue to make sure that I communicated with her throughout the day. Because in my head, it was this personal accountability where, look, if I'm always texting her or communicating with her and letting her know what's going on or what I'm doing, it's going to put her mind at ease, even though she never asked for that. But through that, it's actually able to help us grow as a couple. though she never asked for that. But through that, it's actually able to help us grow as a couple. And so I would get up and I would leave the house and, you know, kiss her, hug her, tell her goodbye, you know, kiss her, all the things that we do as a couple. But I felt like every couple hours we're texting or as I'm in between appointments, as I was selling custom clothing, I pick up the phone and call you in the car. Like if I wasn't making a sales call, I was calling you to check in. Now it's a little tough because at that point you were still working. Yeah. I was still working in the, in the veterinary world. So I couldn't always pick up your call or text you back or, or whatnot, but there was always some open line of communication so that we knew what was going on in each other's day. And it wasn't a check-in thing. It was because we genuinely were interested in what the other person was doing and cared to hear what was going on. Absolutely. But we both knew from our communication once again that that level of communication ended up being important. That again is not everybody's style. It just happened to be that we had spoke to each other enough that we knew that we liked those consistent check-ins throughout the day.


Communication (02:09)

And the fact that in the first six months I had a completely separate relationship that carried over into our relationship. So I don't want to beat that over the head. You can go back and listen to episode 61. But what Lindsay is referring to is the fact that literally I just was not honest with who I was and what I was up to. My communication wasn't solid. Yeah. At this point, it's just a part of our story, but it references back into how we have built a foundation into now our marriage over the past four and a half years. And a lot of that has been from communication. Like that's been the one thing that if the other pillars are falling apart or crumbling a little, our communication pillar has always been the strongest one. Absolutely. And Lindsay did a great job in setting the groundwork from the start. So she was just coming out of a 10-plus year relationship, marriage to her ex-husband. I was previously married. And so she had known at that moment the things that she liked and didn't like, and she was able to express those to me very quickly. The story of our relationship was met at the gym, friends first, she liked and didn't like. And she was able to express those to me very quickly. Like the story of our relationship was met at the gym, friends first. Eventually I asked her out, took a long time to get her phone number, bounced back and forth. And eventually she agreed to go out with me. And from that, in some of our first dates together, Lindsay had expressed to me that she needed to be touched. Like that was her love language. That was something that she didn't get in her past relationship. You know, we all learn lessons. And that was one of the lessons that she learned is that, you know, I need touch. It's part of what makes me feel good. Yeah. And we've discussed touch, I think, before, but it touches in the sense of, you know, holding my hand or putting it on the small of my back or just, you know, your hand on my thigh in the car, something that is a physical connection between you and me. It's not an intimate touch. It's a, you know, a physical love touch. Absolutely. And so what Lindsay was able to do from the start of our relationship was set this groundwork, you know, the rules of engagement, I call it, that made it very easy for me to understand if I was going to get on the right path with her. Ultimately, at that point, she's sharing with me, look, I need touch. It's my love language. So at that point, I have to determine if it's something that I'm willing to do or not willing to do and then communicate that back to her. Now, fortunately for me, I enjoyed that because I didn't have to guess. I feel right now in most relationships, especially the ones that I know from my friends and other guys that I'm associated with, there's a lot of BS games that get played. Like this jockeying for position, this not going too far, not being too vulnerable, and really trying to figure out how to get your partner to fall in the line almost. Yeah, I think that people are not communicating on what they want up front. And so by the time you get in a few months, you're wondering, oh, should I say this? Should I say, you know, hey, I need touch more or I need, you know, you to open my door or I need you to plan a date night with us. Something, but there's not enough communication within the relationship or there's something that they don't feel fully comfortable with saying. And then they don't say it and they expect their partner to guess. Women are super guilty of that. You know, why don't you know what I'm thinking? Why aren't you guessing what I'm doing? Why don't you know what I want? Instead of just looking at you and saying, hey, I would like you to hold my hand when we walk around in the mall. That is important to me. Can you handle that? Well, absolutely. And for me, that was a very foreign thing. So I had built this story in my head. And really, I built the story because most of my adult life, I had multiple girlfriends at the same time.


Communication (29:36)

We liked to know what the other partner was doing. The trials and tribulations and the successes of the day were fully, again, if we go back to your ex-husband or some of my ex-girlfriends, that wasn't their communication style. They would not have wanted that. It just doesn't matter to some people. No. Funny enough, my ex-husband used to go on trips for conferences. And sometimes we were able to go together and sometimes we needed to go to different ones. So if he would go somewhere somewhere I would basically hear from him when he landed say you know I landed I'm good and then sometimes wouldn't speak to him for a couple days until he came home which was crazy for me and I would call and he'd be like I'm in a I'm in you know text I'm in a conference I can't pick up the phone but maybe I would hear from him once a day when he was gone. And, of course, that didn't work for me. And now, you know, when you travel, I used to hear from you all the time. Still do. Yeah, still do. Well, you don't travel as much now, but we still communicate through all the day all the time. Right. Absolutely. And so that just kept, like, these, I call them almost bricks of our relationship. Like the bricks that we kept stacked on top of each other were solid. We started on a rough foundation of all the things that we've shared, but it kept turning into the more we would communicate and the more time that had passed, the stronger our communication was getting. It wasn't the opposite. Right. Because the more that you talk to somebody, the more that you speak your truth and say what you want and how you feel and what you need, then depending on how it is received is whether or not you're going to continue to do that. And then that should really make you look on whether or not you should continue with that relationship. But if they're received with love and listening and caring and then responded to, then that only helps you to continue to communicate in the same way, to continue saying what you want and you feel and you need. And as long as you do it with respect and you gain respect from it, from your partner, then it just blossoms and grows into more of, you know, just a trust and open communication where you can have a good solid foundation for your relationship.


Fear of Loss (31:29)

Absolutely. And that's one of the difficulties as a man, in my opinion, of operating in a relationship, like having those, not having a fear of loss. I've always found Lindsay to be just a stunningly gorgeous woman that I'm very fortunate to have in my life. Thank you, baby. You're welcome. But I felt like that sincerely from the start. And so I've always had this fear of loss. It's been something that's baked into my soul in its own right. But something was different about the fact of me being able to communicate with you and knowing that if I just got to the point in my life where I was so fed up with having things not go the right way and settling that I wanted a 10 out of 10, like eight out of 10 wasn't going to be good enough for this part of my life. And so as I would know that I needed new things, as there was new experiences or new pieces of me that I was discovering, it was very easy to say, look, I need this. And this is how it has to be for me. And if not, I'm then willing to in that moment not walk away instantaneously, but knowing that some of the things I want or need could be the downfall and demise of our relationship. But I would rather know that up front. Right. For you to say like, hey, you know, I really need this. I can either then choose to say, OK, yeah, I can do that. Or, ah, that's going to take some work. Or, nope, that's going to be a hard no for me. But then it doesn't, like if you don't speak that or if I don't speak that into existence, one, you're not going to get it. No one's going to guess that for you. But two, then it slowly eats away at your relationship because you're not speaking out on what you want. Right. It turns into almost an internal resentment of your partner, even though your partner has no opportunity to even know that they needed to do something different. Right. And that was the story again of most of my past relationships where I knew I wanted different things than I was being provided. I was just too much of a chicken shit to really ever sit down and say it to my partner because I was afraid of losing them. Like I didn't want to be alone. Well, and men aren't programmed really to share their thoughts and feelings all the time, right? Keep it bottled up, be stoic, be the guy, you know, don't cry, be manly. That stuff doesn't work because when you're with your wife, your partner, your spouse, that should be your most trustworthy, safe spot that you can say anything and do anything. And you might be judging and go, what in the hell are you doing? Are you serious? But they're going to love you. They're going to receive you. They're going to hear you. And they're going to love you. Right. And if they don't. Out. Get out. Yeah. Know that upfront, like don't go through and only because she was married and I happened to not be married, but take Lindsay as, as the example here. Yeah. Don't do what I did. I settled for seven or eight out of 10 and the, the, the two things on the list, no matter how small they might seem, the longer that you have to put up with those two things not being present in your life, the bigger they get. So what might seem really small, it weighs a shit ton by the end of the day. Oh, absolutely. And we got to a point in Lindsay and I's relationship after we got engaged, we're a few months away from our wedding. And there was just this unique period in time where Lindsay started for whatever the reason, not for a long, you know, not months, but days or maybe a week where I felt like she started getting more glass half empty than glass half full. Yeah. I definitely went through a rough period where I just was really having a hard time not being a pessimist. Yeah. And I have always operated that the glass is way above half full. And if it's not half full, like I'll go find water somewhere. Like I'll make my glass half full. Like my glass is never half empty. It just hasn't been literally my entire life. And so I started having this internal angst, almost not quite resentment for Lindsay, but I'm getting frustrated and I'm like, holy mackerel. Like I'm engaged to this woman. We co-own businesses together. You know, we joined bank accounts, all the things. I might have to step away from this relationship. Like this might, this, I can't, even though we built all this together, I'm not willing to keep this facade up that I'm okay with this.


Miscellanea: Personal Relationship And Productivity

An Ultimatum (35:31)

So it was a pretty difficult thing. But I remember sitting down with Lindsay and literally looking at you and saying, like, we have to talk. Like, there's some things going on right now that they continue. Yeah. What's going on with you? What is the deal? Like, this is not you. What's happening? Yeah. And we're all afraid of these ultimatums. Like, we've been told that ultimatums are bad. And sure, in some situations they can be. But when it comes to a relationship and planning a life together, like, I was at the point of an ultimatum. It was, it's okay if you want to operate this way. It's okay if your mind works this way. I love you for it because that's you. And I don't want to change you. But I haven't seen this thing out of you for our entire relationship. Maybe you've been hiding it, but I don't think it's really you. But if it is, I'm prepared to walk away. I would rather shut this down now than go through the marriage, continue on in life, and know that we're going to get divorced in another five years. Right. And, and we also like there, there was a whole slew of conversation in the same conversation of, you know, what's going on, how can I help? What are the things before you said, you know, I don't know if, if we can't fix this, if this isn't something you're willing to like look at, then I don't think i can be here but it wasn't it wasn't a threat it i mean yes i guess it's an ultimatum but it was more like hey this isn't you what can we do what are the things how can i help and if you're not willing to hear what i'm saying and and do something about it then i'm not willing to accept this for my life and that is the i mean that's what a partner should do to say like, because for a lot of the things that you broke, you brought up, I didn't know I was doing. Yeah. I didn't, you know, I knew I was kind of stuck in a funk for some reason, didn't really know what those things were.


Couples Honeymoon Glow (37:06)

We talked about it for a very long time and were able to kind of come to some resolution of how we get on a better track and back to my normal self. And everybody has that period in life at some point. Yeah. Some kind of funk, some kind of upheaval, something that rocks the cart a little bit. And we sat down and talked about it and got a few tools in my arsenal. And then we continued on with life as normal. Well, absolutely. It created this shift. It was an instant change where Lindsay agreed the fact that she hadn't felt like herself and hadn't been operating in her best light. And I fully know going into this conversation, me, that I am not an easy person to date, be engaged to, or married to. Not by the fact of I'm a pain in the rear end, but more the fact of I live my life at such an extreme level of everything, like the way that I'm committed to personal development and the way that I'm committed to the family and the way that I'm always trying to grow and expand, that I realize that at any given point, Lindsay could say like, this is just a lot. Like I'm not, I'm not ready to go down that level of expansion all the time. Yep. Now, fortunately, our conversation that obviously wasn't the outcome. I mean, you, you right away said, look, I get it. I'm not. Yeah. I think these things could help me or I think we could change something about this. And I don't remember what the specifics were at this point. It's been a long time, but it was something that we were able to just communicate and talk about and find a plan for. But had you not said that, we wouldn't be married right now. No, probably not. I mean, I would have actually left. I mean, I wouldn't have, I'm past the point of ever needing to cheat on you or step outside the relationship, but I'm just not willing to do this stuff anymore like that. But those are the things like, if you don't say something, if you don't speak it out and communicate with your partner, it's going to eat away at your relationship. You're going to harbor resentment for your partner and then you're going to walk away. Absolutely. And so throughout our now four and a half years, we have just built this extreme level of communication that starts every day. Like I, I've shared with, with you before being the listener that every morning I start my day off by communicating with Lindsay. I get up at four 30 and by five, five 15, I send Lindsay a text message and that text message has love, honor, or appreciation in it.


Productivity Is Key (39:17)

And that's something that Wake Up Warriors taught me. That's not something that I created by myself. And that's, you know, Garrett J. White's entrepreneurial program for men. And now it's for women as well. But what that does is, in my mind, it puts me in a sense of gratitude every day, which is super important for the way that I live my life. But also allows me to focus on positives about Lindsay, no matter how rough the past day has been. And our days are really admittedly never that rough. Yeah, they're really kind of chill. Yes, but I'm able to communicate with her every morning. Like, I love something you did yesterday. I appreciate something you did yesterday. Or I'm honored by something you did yesterday. Yep. And I in turn doing the same to you because that is just part of how we work. Yes. And so when I'm putting that in writing and I'm able to sit in my office every morning and really think that through, that starts to set the tone for the entire rest of my day and the way that we communicate. It's really tough to start off in a happy, positive place with you, with my partner, and then eventually take a hard right turn halfway through the day and just decide I'm mad at you. Yeah. That level of communication, it's really tough to build to that because you start on a positive note. You eventually wake up. I mean, I wake up two or three hours before you wake up most of the time. I'm a 6'6", 30 and you are way, way ahead of me. Absolutely. But by the time I leave the house, you know, I box pretty early. So I get up and, you know, we kiss each other goodbye and do all that stuff. But it's just consistent then. Like our communication. Like Lindsay will meet me at the gym and then we work out together and we say goodbye to each other again. And you come to the studio and record this podcast every week. But there's just massive amounts of communication that I never had before. I didn't realize how important this level of communication really is to build a solid foundation. I mean I'm convinced that when you look at 55, 53, whatever the percentages of marriage that end up in divorce, it all comes down to the fact that you are afraid to communicate something inside.


Discovering Communication Techniques

Discover Communication Strategies (41:02)

Like there's some past story you've told yourself that makes it so you don't think it's okay to share, I'm afraid of being broke. I'm thinking about being unfaithful. These are real conversations that can happen that when you set that groundwork, you shouldn't be afraid of them. No, you have to speak. And as a divorced person, you are 100% correct. If you do not speak them out, if they are not received and they're not something that is actioned on, then it's done. Right. You're done. Absolutely. And so I'm going to encourage you, the listener, to really analyze your own life and where could you communicate better. It gets a constant progression of growth in every aspect of life for me, not only in our relationship with Lindsay and I, where every day I focus on communication, but it also transfers over into the corporate world, you know, transfers over to the office. You know, transfer over to the office where if I don't communicate with the team, if I don't communicate with the external people I work with, if I don't communicate with traffic partners and things like that on a daily basis, things eventually break down. Like communication's key to everything. And it's not only the way that you speak, it's also the way you're able to hear. Like communication's a two-way street. Same thing even in the gym. You know, communication might not be outward there. It could be you're communicating with yourself about how your body feels. Every once in a while, you're just beat up, you're sore. Like understand that in the moment that it's okay to take a day off, like communicate what you need and what, how you feel inside and don't push yourself just to push yourself. There's a time to hit the gas and time to hit the brakes. And what I found is if you start communicating at the highest level and you focus on it every day in every aspect of your life, you're literally able to get shit done. Hey, guys, Ryan here. Thanks for joining me today. If you've enjoyed this podcast, please head over to iTunes, Spotify, or wherever you consume audio and subscribe to 15 Minutes to Freedom. If this brought you value, please do me a favor and drop me a five-star rating. Then share this podcast with someone who needs to hear it for additional content. Head over to Ryan Nidel.com. That's R Y A N N I D D E L.com.


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