Speaker 1 (00:00:00) - Yo yo what's up everybody it's Sathiya Sam here. Welcome to Unleash the Man Within. Thank you guys so much for listening. Look, today we are about to sit down with Jeff Stuart. And you may recognize that name if you've been listening to this show for a while. Jeff was, for a while our most downloaded episode of all time. We had a great interview about a year and a half ago, talking about the disclosure process, how to communicate to your wife about your issue, and I think there's a reason it blew up. It's very important content. Jeff is a brilliant communicator and you guys obviously got some value from it. And so I brought back Jeff to basically do a follow up to our previous interview and talk about how to build trust again in a relationship when you have hurt your wife, you know, and she she feels like she can't trust you. She feels like you're a different man. You're not the person that she, you know, married or whatever. Maybe you're not married and maybe you guys are just dating or whatever.
Speaker 1 (00:00:55) - Either way, what we discussed today is going to be supremely valuable and I highly recommend that you listen to it. We talked about a couple other things, but that was really the central point was how do we rebuild trust? How do we get your marriages come in again after maybe going through a betrayal and porn addiction and everything else. So this was a very robust interview. You're going to learn a lot. I want to encourage you, whether you're in a relationship or you want to be in one, there is practical wisdom here that could really change your life. And so I want to encourage you to take notes. Jeff's a very good communicator, and I think if you take this stuff seriously and you even take one thing, just just aim to take one thing from this interview that you can apply to your relationship. You will notice a different a difference probably immediately. I think that's everything. So without further ado, here's my interview with Jeff Stewart. Enjoy. So here's the million dollar question. How are men like us who work hard, have good motives and a God given purpose supposed to fulfill the calling on our lives and the dreams in our hearts? All while establishing sexual integrity, thriving relationships, and a meaningful connection with God? That is the question and this podcast will give you the answers.
Speaker 1 (00:02:10) - My name is Sathiya Sam. Welcome to Unleash the Man Within. Okay. Well guys, I'm super excited to be back with Jeff Stewart, who was on the podcast probably about a year and a half ago, had one of our most listened to interviews of all time, actually. You guys seem to really enjoy it. And so I thought, hey, let's not mess with the good thing. Let's get the guy back in here and see if we could extract some more wisdom. So thanks for being here, Jeff.
Speaker 2 (00:02:39) - Thanks for having me, sir. Appreciate it.
Speaker 1 (00:02:41) - Yeah. And you did a great talk with my clients as well. We've had you in kind of as the disclosure expert, and it's brought a lot of insight and value to the audience at large here of Unleash the Man Within. But also, you know, my clients, you know, we were able to do a real deep dive and have a nice expert call with you. I wanted to kind of do a continuation today, and this is actually your your suggestion.
Speaker 1 (00:03:02) - And I know this is really your wheelhouse, which disclosure is part of it, but it's really the larger conversation of rebuilding trust in marriages. And I think some people are surprised to hear that getting free of porn isn't always enough to restore a marriage. In fact, we know it's never enough, actually. Like, you can't just abstain from the bad behavior and expect everything to suddenly go back to the way it was before. So for guys who maybe are hearing this for the first time, that might be a shock to them. Can you help help us understand why it is that recovering from porn addiction, if pornography is what causes all the issues, the breakdown of trust and the sense of betrayal and all of the hurt and the bitterness and the resentment. If this was all caused by porn addiction, then why is it that getting free of porn addiction doesn't suddenly remedy all those other things?
Speaker 2 (00:03:55) - And this is going to sound somewhat controversial, but because when it comes to intimate relationships, porn actually isn't the biggest problem.
Speaker 2 (00:04:04) - Hmm. There's such a fixation on the behavior, but but the but the actual damage that's being done to the relationship is is so much bigger than pornography. And and because you could, you could almost insert any sort of behavior in the space of pornography. And pornography certainly has its own consequences, and it certainly damages the relationship in unique ways, just like gambling or drugs and alcohol or, you know, other behaviors that are addictive or compulsive or, you know, destructive would have their own sort of unique thumbprint. But yeah, but but there's something about. The in terms of the way it impacts the intimate bond. That's the stuff that you end up spending long term efforts on, which is around the hiding, which is around the the deception, the abuse of patterns, the cruelty, the, um, you know, just just the whole basically treating your partner like. Like less than human in a way. Yeah. In terms of objectifying other people. Like, there's there's just there's a lot of questions that come up about about your character, about your your intentions, your ability to be to have integrity.
Speaker 2 (00:05:28) - I mean, there's so many other issues that that if you only focus on stopping the pornography or on just the pornography, it will really be incomplete, because that's not the biggest issue long term.
Speaker 1 (00:05:42) - Yeah, yeah, I definitely agree. But I'm going to play devil's advocate and keep pushing back on this a little bit. So let's say that somebody did go through one of our processes where we're not just teaching people how to white knuckle their way through something, like they're actually undergoing a transformation process so they could come out on the other side and say, okay, I'm not just clean up pornography, but I'm more transparent. I'm not lying anymore. I'm I'm being more upfront. I'm a changed person. I'm not that guy I used to be. Why is there still a discrepancy? Why is it that the wives hear that and go, yeah, that's great, but we'll see. Like, why is that not the clincher where it's like, okay, yes, I'm clean, but I'm also a changed person.
Speaker 1 (00:06:24) - Why is that even not really enough for for the wife to say, okay, that's great. And let's go back to the way things used to be.
Speaker 2 (00:06:31) - Right? No, that's a great question. And truthfully, and a lot of in a lot of cases, um, in a lot of cases, what you just described would, you know, would take the couple pretty close to a place where there would be a lot of trust and safety restored. What you just described is, you know, is is definitely a ton of work and would would make some pretty significant gains in the relationship. But but this other piece of like, well, what if what if it's still not enough? What what is there still to do? Because a lot of that guys get to that point. Um, I guess a couple of thoughts on that. One is that there's there's not been any kind of actual resolution with her trauma around this, okay. Where maybe he doesn't understand the deep impact he's had on her, you know? So so in terms of him understanding her trauma, but also her understanding her trauma.
Speaker 2 (00:07:27) - So if we're going to work on if we're going to take this into a couple's realm, there's only so much the individual, the guy in this case could do by himself.
Speaker 3 (00:07:36) - Hmm.
Speaker 2 (00:07:37) - There has there has to be a united effort at some point for her to start taking risks. And that's a lot to ask. And I have tremendous compassion and patience for how difficult and how scary this is for betrayed partner. And it can feel really unfair to them to be in a place where somebody's asking them to do something when they feel like, you know, I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't do any of this. And that's true. They didn't. Yeah. At this, at the same time, staying in an intimate bond with somebody always involves risk, even in a really great relationship. You know, when you're engaged in dating and everything's in the honeymoon phase. And even then there's risk. You're putting your life in someone else's hands. And so there's there's there's an inherent risk built in attachment.
Speaker 2 (00:08:23) - And you try and rule out all the, you know, all the scary things or all the risk factors and so on, and, and you can do that. You know, like, for example, a guy can remove all the risk factors. I'm clean and sober. I'm I'm telling the truth. I've told my full story. I'm living in a way that's, you know, really a way above the line, tons of integrity. He's removed so many of the risk factors, but she still has to take that risk. And that involves her, her making moves toward him in a way that perhaps she swore she would never do after the betrayal. Yeah. And and so so there's there's her part and then, then there's this other kind of couples pizza. Which piece? Which is them learning how to basically be intimate sometimes for the first time. Sometimes this is brand new to them. They maybe have never seen it in their families. They maybe have never really had it with each other. Their version of what they thought was intimacy oftentimes needs to be created or recreated in a in a healthier way.
Speaker 2 (00:09:25) - So there's there's a lot more about bonding and closeness and intimacy that's now becomes a team effort after he's brought it all the way. He can bring it.
Speaker 1 (00:09:35) - Yeah, yeah. I'm glad you mentioned that. What what could a guy do if he's done, you know, as much as he possibly can, like you're stating. But for whatever reason and again, as we said, like, betrayed partners have their reasons and we we approach it with a compassion. They're not the enemy when they're not willing to get help. But what can a guy do if he is in that situation? How do you how do you make the most of it? Because obviously you can't change another person. But are there things he can do to maybe influence his partner in that direction, or does he just need to kind of keep focusing on himself and hope that eventually she'll she'll change her mind?
Speaker 2 (00:10:13) - Yeah. That's such a that's such a painful question, isn't it? Because so many guys are are so determined and willing, and they've really been broken and humbled and desire deeply to make it right.
Speaker 2 (00:10:26) - And I've, I work with so many of these guys over the years that are, that are really changed. People like, they really deep in their bones, feel so terrible and they're waking up to so many things. And and to me they're like, you know, they're they're a, you know, they're a guy I would trust. And, you know, I just think that they're, they're they're definitely a new creature. But. But when you've got a partner, a wife in this case who is unable. And I'll start with that, unable to take that risk and maybe down the road unwilling. Right. I mean, I think that when you've got that in place. Yes. I mean, patience is critical. You know, I think it was Doug Weiss who talked about the hurry up guy. And there's a tendency to I think most guys that I work with are shocked at how long this is taking. I think most guys, because if your brain has been primed with addiction or with compulsive behaviors, you're primed for quick results or for resolution or certainty.
Speaker 2 (00:11:26) - You know, I do this, I feel this, you know, when you've trained yourself to expect a certain outcome, then, you know, at some level, even if you're like, well, I'll give it some time, you know, your brain is still thinking. Way less time than it's actually going to take. You're still thinking, if I do A, B and C, I can transact this into rebuilt trust security stuff. So a lot of guys, yeah, they've got to throw out the time frames initially. They've got to just surrender that completely and recognize that this will take way longer than they recognize. But but let's get into that question of if, if now you've thrown away the timelines, you've been patient, you've broken down, you recognize this and you're making all the space in the world. I think it's totally fair, and I don't have a time frame on this. I think it's important to to look at it and say, okay, you know, you've got a guy that's betrayed his wife for one year of their marriage versus guy that's done it for 30 years of their marriage.
Speaker 2 (00:12:22) - You're going to have a lot deeper and bigger questions for the 30 year person that's basically been put on a performance all these years, and there's more memories to sort through. There's more, you know, there's just more manipulation and the years and years of deception. You have to recognize that. The bandage has to fit the wound. And so if there is a bigger, bigger hole here, because there's been so many years and so many incidents or the or the type of deception was so profound, you have to take a really honest, deep dive, look at what have you actually done? Do you really, truly understand the depth that this has had? And and I'll just say, sorry, I'm going to if it's okay, if I can just stay on this thought, please. Yeah, please. Um, if if you've got a guy that. Mitzi has ever only been married six months and she discovers it. But but he is the, you know, fifth guy in a long string of deep betrayals, including her dad or grandfather or brothers or other romantic partners.
Speaker 2 (00:13:24) - Right. He may have. He may be. He may have only created. And I say only he may have created a, to a lesser degree, some betrayals that maybe feel a lot smaller than a guy that's been married 30 years. But he may step into her story at a time where she, you know, he's the last straw. Yeah. Where he, he's, you know, so every story is unique. And you and as as the recovering person who's really trying to heal this, you really have to be deeply in touch with her wounds and understand from a compassionate place who you're with and who you're trying to rebuild trust with. And if you just try and apply this formula of, well, the research says it should take X amount of time. And why aren't you there?
Speaker 1 (00:14:06) - Yeah.
Speaker 2 (00:14:07) - I've never obviously never seen that work. Um, now are there occasions where it's critical for, you know, for him to maybe bring this up and invite her into doing more work, you know, therapy or get it into her own process or program, and she just is digging in her heels.
Speaker 2 (00:14:25) - Yes, I meet with guys enough times. I've met with enough guys over the years where their wife absolutely refuses to take any risks. She just can't do it. Yeah, she won't look at it. Those are those are really tricky situations. And in those cases, you know, guys have to make a decision about what they'll do. And tragically, some of them do feel like they need to move on because it's been years and years and years. Zero risks, zero movement. And it's and it's just one of those casualties of, you know, and it's sad and there's a lot of grief and loss with that. And I've had some guys move on. But but I you know, it's not something I'm telling them to do. They just get to a point where they, they feel like they don't have the capacity to keep trying to be in this one down position and never really be able to grow or thrive with this other person. Yeah, that's more that's more rare. It's more rare.
Speaker 2 (00:15:17) - And I would never want a guy to hear this and say like, well, you know, she's not moving. And it's been six months. I'm like, yeah, I, I think, I think you have to really stretch and create more tolerance and compassion and capacity to sit with somebody's pain. These examples that I'm giving oftentimes are going on years, even decades.
Speaker 1 (00:15:36) - Yeah, yeah, it makes a lot of sense. You said something really profound that I just want the audience to hear. The bandage has to fit the wound that is so profound. And, and I think a very good adage to just bear in mind with all of this, because it's, again, especially when we're talking about a marriage, it's no longer just the wounds of the addict or the one with the problem behavior. It's the wounds of the betrayed partner as well. And being mindful of that is that's that was really, really helpful. Yeah. What would you say? I wonder if you can just comment on people who and you talked about the hurry up guy.
Speaker 1 (00:16:11) - I love that, and I wanted to ask you this question anyway. And it's a perfect segue. What do you say to people who are trying, maybe just a little bit too hard to bring things back to the way they used to be? Because I find that that's often a big fear of why guys wouldn't disclose in the first place. And we talked about that in our first interview with you. And I think most of the things that they're afraid of is, you know, basically lost pride of losing something, whether it's the relationship, respect or the kids, the marriage, you know, whatever. And then and then I think, guys, you know, they they go through this process. But the, the ultimate thing is like, I need to get free of porn so that things can go back to the way they used to be, at least initially. We find a lot of guys come into our even our program with that kind of mentality. And I wonder if you can just comment on why that's a fallacy in the first place.
Speaker 2 (00:17:03) - Yeah. I mean, the way things used to be is almost to me like a false reality only because if the way things used to be involved, you having information the other person doesn't have, or you living in a place where you basically get to control their reaction to you by secrets or by avoidance, or you're supplementing things on the side. I mean, a lot of the times, the way things used to be involved, a lot of dysfunctional patterns that that, you know, you may have been participating and or contributing or creating. So I would have a lot of questions of like, you know what? What exactly are you talking about? Like what? What do you mean? Things the way they used to be. I would have so many questions about trying to understand what time frame they're talking about. Now, if they're talking about, you know, the good old days, the honeymoon phase when maybe there was no betrayal, no secrets and everything. Everything was really easy and and so on.
Speaker 2 (00:18:04) - I would just I would basically say to that, well, you're probably describing a time where you were both being driven by hormones, you're both being driven by infatuation, and you really didn't have to do any heavy lifting. You didn't have to do any work. And to me, that's not that's not long term love. Yeah. Long term, long term love involves sacrifice. And it involves, you know, all these fruits of the spirit, right? Compassion, patience, long suffering. I mean, to me, some of the most rich and sweet parts of my own marriage of 27 years are are a culmination of years and years of sacrifice, tears, struggle, hurts and growth that, you know, I never I would never want to go back to my 22 year old newly married self. Yeah, more my wife. I was clueless and I was a baby and so immature. So going back to the way things were to me is is sometimes can be a fantasy of of a life of ease or a life of not having to work hard or letting my hormones kind of push things forward, or have having external circumstances sort of like prop me up, I think that.
Speaker 2 (00:19:15) - You know, a guy that's looking for that is in some ways wanting to kind of go live on an island in the Caribbean versus really learning how to steer a ship in the North Atlantic, as John Eldridge might say, you know, learning how to handle conditions and really work with this, it's so much more satisfying to really work with someone instead of just have things just sort of work all the time on their own. Yeah, yeah, that's so I would just have more questions about what exactly they're talking about, because that that face to me is oftentimes rooted in fantasy and a complete misunderstanding of what long term love and commitment looks like.
Speaker 3 (00:19:50) - Yeah.
Speaker 1 (00:19:51) - And usually people also don't realize how good things can be because they've never experienced it before. Oh, I like that.
Speaker 2 (00:19:56) - Yeah, I love that.
Speaker 3 (00:19:58) - Yeah, that's totally true.
Speaker 1 (00:20:01) - Yeah. Because I think I think if you don't know how good things can be, then you wouldn't, how would you know even what to like? You wouldn't know that you could actually create a new normal.
Speaker 1 (00:20:08) - That's so much better.
Speaker 2 (00:20:10) - Exactly.
Speaker 3 (00:20:11) - Yeah.
Speaker 2 (00:20:11) - Yeah, exactly. It's like you're it's like you're like, oh, I don't want to trade in my big fat kindergarten crayons for this beautiful oil paint. You know, it's like I.
Speaker 3 (00:20:19) - Yeah.
Speaker 2 (00:20:20) - What you can create with these new tools and these new abilities, it's just so much more satisfying and beautiful and has so much more depth than the scribbling that you do. And you're just an immature, you know? I mean, I look back and I think, oh my gosh, like, I thought, I thought I understood what love was when I married my wife. And, um, I think it was the Indigo Girls that they have a line in one of their songs where they talk about being intimate strangers. And I thought, man, if that isn't the best line for early marriage, it's like you're doing all these intimate things with each other, but, you know, you're virtually strangers. And once you've really probed the depths of, you know, of of years and years of being together and disappointments and hurts and betrayals and every couple goes through these really agonizing things and it's like you're not strangers anymore.
Speaker 2 (00:21:06) - You really do get to know yourself and the other person pretty well. And there's so much beauty. I mean, we talk so much about the struggle and how hard this is and all that stuff, and I don't want people to get discouraged. There is so much on the other side of that that couples couples, it's transcendent. And they and they almost will, will say things like, you know, I would never want anybody to go through this, but I also would never want to take it away. And yes, you have to be so careful about saying that because you don't want to be insensitive to people in the middle of it because it's real. Yeah. But at the same time, I think we need to speak truth about what's possible and why we're doing this work.
Speaker 3 (00:21:40) - Yeah, yeah.
Speaker 1 (00:21:41) - I couldn't agree more. And I think that is that is the reality. There's so much beauty on the other side. So you are doing a lot of work about trust and rebuilding trust. And obviously everything we're talking about so far has it's kind of batting that subject around.
Speaker 1 (00:21:56) - But I wonder if we can maybe get a little bit more granular and start with a question that I don't think I've ever asked anyone. I almost can't believe it's taken me this long to ask somebody on the podcast to answer this, but what is trust like? How would you define that that concept as a starting point?
Speaker 2 (00:22:12) - Well, I think trust is, is about, you know, I think it's when you can relax with somebody. I think it's when you don't have to look over your shoulder. I think it's when you have a deep kind of known, like a knowledge that the other person is who they say they, they are. And, and there's a, there's a security, there's a it's like you don't have to verify or, you know, it's it's it's very efficient actually, when you trust someone because you automatically have all these assumptions in place that are based on actual evidence. So to me, it's about being relaxed with somebody, feeling safe with somebody knowing and believing that that someone is predictable and reliable and so trust, you know, it's one of those things where it's like, well, how do you define trust? And you ask anybody.
Speaker 2 (00:23:00) - It's like, you know, it's almost like you you know it when you have it and you know, when you don't. But so it can feel hard to define. But it really is to me, it really is about I mean, in simplistic terms, when people feel trust, they can settle in and they can relax and they they have a deep knowledge and understanding that this person is who they say they are.
Speaker 3 (00:23:24) - Yeah, yeah.
Speaker 1 (00:23:25) - I think that's a really, really good. So if somebody I mean, I shouldn't say if somebody I know that a majority of the married men who undergo recovery, usually when you start to kind of dig a bit deeper, hey, why are you in this position in the first place? Like, as in, why are you in recovery and what's on the other side of it for you? Somewhere near the top of that list, if not at the very top, is going to be my marriage or my future spouse. You know, this is like very centric to just a guy and his life and his well-being, right? So for the guy who is early in recovery and he is aware that he needs to rebuild trust in the relationship, what are some good places to start or are there some, maybe some things that you shouldn't do that this is things guys do that end up making things worse? Can you comment a little bit on that? In those early stages of recovery for rebuilding trust in the marriage?
Speaker 2 (00:24:15) - Oh yeah, for sure.
Speaker 2 (00:24:17) - And I'll speak to guys that are in a committed relationship. I recognize that there's some guys that are trying to become a trustworthy person for a future partner. And that's not this discussion. Yeah. Um, but even though some of the things might apply. So take what you can from it. But but for a guy in a committed relationship, you know, there's going to and I'll just start with a discovery. Um well actually I'll back up from that. If you're in a committed relationship and you have a secret and your partner doesn't know it, you actually have an opportunity to build a future foundation of trust through the crucible of of opening up. And if you have an opportunity to come forward with something.
Speaker 3 (00:24:58) - Yes.
Speaker 2 (00:24:58) - What you're going to do is you're going to plant an anchor, a precedent that basically says, I'm committed to this, I want this. I will bring you the truth. I'm not going to manipulate you or hide you any longer. Maybe I have for some, you know, some amount of time, but I won't do it any longer.
Speaker 2 (00:25:20) - It's interesting because when when somebody is caught or discovered, that is a major hurdle that takes a long time to overcome, which is that belief that the only way I'm going to know the truth as the betrayed partner is if I ask the right questions, if I happen to catch him at the right moment, if, you know, if I do something to create safety, it's a burden is on me to now somehow prove that that, you know, this is reality. Yeah, but if you're the one that has the secret, if you're the one that's been in, you know, in crossing the line and has this information, you you have the ability to remove that doubt from their mind right away. And that's by coming forward and just being honest. Now, if you're scared to death and you're like, oh, I don't know how I could just tell them I don't, you know. Then it's okay for you to open up to somebody else about it. A counselor or coach, someone in your program and talk about your fears around that.
Speaker 2 (00:26:18) - In a sense, dress, rehearse it, talk through it, help yourself, get regulated with it, and then bring it to your partner. Um, but yeah, there's no good time for it. And it will create, you know, shock and disappointment and hurt. But again, you you coming forward with that lays a block in that foundation. That is a really hard block to lay if you don't if you get caught or discovered. So I'll start with that. Coming forward with the truth is one of the biggest mistakes or not coming forward with the truth is one of the biggest mistakes guys make early in the process. Yeah. And and so once it's out, once the partner knows whether you've been discovered or whether you've brought it forward and all reference back to the hurry up guy, this is there's a lot of shock, a lot of pain, a lot of, you know, depending on, you know, your partner dynamic. There's so many things that will sometimes impact the intensity of this.
Speaker 2 (00:27:11) - But one common theme I see a lot of the times is in all that chaos, a lot of guys will. They'll become dysregulated. And by that I mean they're nervous systems. Will will go into its own kind of fight or flight. And so they they will lose their emotional balance. They'll either shut down and get totally quiet and say nothing and just basically hide which to a betrayed partner looks and feels like abandonment. Or they'll go into the fight mode, which is a lot of the times, being defensive, trying to prove that they're not a horrible person over explaining things, trying to hurry them up, not listening. So they'll get really reactive and try and contain the damage through aggression or through anxiety, you know, trying to control the conditions. And you know, there's other you know, we talk about fight or flight and there's freeze and fawn and there's these other ones you read about. And sometimes those happen too. But but in most cases, I see some guys either totally pull away or totally just become reactive and defensive.
Speaker 2 (00:28:17) - Yeah. And so one of the best things you can do early on in this process when all this comes out and there was those early moments of intensity, is for you to learn how to self-regulate, how to get some support, how to start, you know, learning and understanding how to become a person that's grounded and stable. She's going to be looking to you. Um, I should say, as someone that, you know, she can lean against that stable, that's not going to make her life harder, and that's not going to become a piece of debris in the tornado here.
Speaker 1 (00:28:50) - I love that you touched on that. And I can't stress this one enough. The whole just regulating your nervous system becomes so important. Yeah. Because those those are really delicate times in the early stages of recovery. Right. And it's interesting how without this kind of regulation piece, you can almost make a bad thing so much worse unnecessarily if and I mean, I'm preaching to the choir, you know, even though I haven't gone through that process of disclosure in my marriage, you know, I got clean before that.
Speaker 1 (00:29:22) - But there are so many times like, even admittedly, like even last night, I was just a bit dysregulated. I should have just taken 15 minutes to, like, calm down a little bit, and then I could have had a great conversation with my wife. But I went in dysregulated and I just made it so much more worse then. Yeah, yeah, I'm sure we all have. Yeah. So I wonder if you can talk a little bit about, is there anything in particular that you're guiding men, men through to help them regulate in those in those times where, yeah, they are feeling the dysregulation and they don't know what it's like to really calm themselves down effectively. How do you get somebody started on that part of the journey?
Speaker 2 (00:30:00) - Yeah. And I it's interesting because as humans, we're actually we're actually not built to self-regulate as our default. We're actually built to co regulate.
Speaker 3 (00:30:11) - Wow.
Speaker 2 (00:30:12) - And you know as babies we don't come out of the womb you know independent and regulating our bodies.
Speaker 2 (00:30:18) - We need to be held by our parent by our mother, our father. We need someone to help us warm our body up. We need someone to talk to us and look at us and touch us and and swaddle us and pull us close like that's our nervous systems are primed for co regulation. Um, and we don't outgrow that. It's not like some day we, we just basically, you know, become self regulators and and so can we learn to self-regulate. Oh yeah. We need to like babies eventually learn learn how to soothe themselves. But it's in the context of the safety of the foundation of the Co regulation that you learn how to self-regulate. So um, so so it's always co regulation first, self-regulate second. So how do you co regulate if your partner who you know ideally you're going to co regulate with is you know basically has fallen through the floor with other betrayal. Right. How do you if they've disappeared on you and they're not available. How do you co regulate with them.
Speaker 3 (00:31:14) - Right.
Speaker 2 (00:31:14) - Well you don't co regulate with them in the same way you might if things were safe. The way you co regulate is you turn to God. You you seek out a relationship a spiritual connection with a higher power or higher being. You you open up to people in a in a group, a therapist, a minister, a group member, a family member. You start to have a chance to talk about and let someone witness. And share with you, reflect back to you. You know your own worth and value. Your partner. Your wife does not have the capacity to reflect back anything other than pain and trauma right now.
Speaker 3 (00:31:57) - Yeah, but.
Speaker 2 (00:31:58) - You as a human being need, need to know that you're not hopeless and that you have you know, that you have the capacity for change and that you are a good person at the core, that you've been disconnected from your values. I mean, there's things that you might need to face, but at the core, that coagulation is is more of a soothing kind of action of like, you're going to be okay, this isn't the end of the world.
Speaker 2 (00:32:24) - You still are good at the core. Like those kinds of messages are usually only going to come from people other than your spouse in the in those early days and weeks.
Speaker 3 (00:32:33) - Yeah.
Speaker 2 (00:32:34) - And a lot of guys will try and extract that out of their wife through things like, well, it's not like I did it all the time or it's not like, you know, they'll try and sort of build a case to show that they're a good person and get her to somehow co regulate them. And it's like, no, she's not going to be able to do that. And it's not fair to ask her to do it early on. So seek out that Co regulation to help you get your balance now in the Co regulation. You know, I'll just. I'll just use God, for example. You know, you're praying, you're meditating, you're studying scriptures. You're you're you're really trying to get a bigger perspective and feel that close relationship that you're not alone and that, you know, there are so many there's so many psalms and and wonderful verses around, you know, this relationship we can have in the safety we can have with God.
Speaker 2 (00:33:24) - And it's all attachment based. It's all, you know, everything from a from a hand gathering her chicks to I mean, there's just so many things about being covered and, and connected and safe with, with God. And that stuff can can regulate our nervous system. We can let that really let us feel calm, that we're not alone and that, you know, we're not in this big scary world by ourselves.
Speaker 3 (00:33:46) - Yeah.
Speaker 2 (00:33:47) - Then then that calmness allows us to start breathing a little bit, and maybe then we can start breathing. We can start, you know, moving our bodies. We can start doing proactive, healthy, prosocial things to start getting our emotional balance back. And then we can bring that strength to our partner from a place of, hey, I've I've made some serious mistakes. I've hurt you deeply, but I'm I'm okay. I'm going to be okay. Like, you don't have to manage me. Yeah. You know, so that's that's an incredible gift you can give your partner early on is, is really getting your bearings through that correlation and then bringing that strength to her.
Speaker 3 (00:34:25) - Yeah. Yeah. And you know.
Speaker 1 (00:34:27) - I've seen the other side of it too. Like we're obviously kind of talking about, you know, it's a really delicate time and you don't know what the wife's going to be going through. And we're kind of presuming that the wife has a negative response. But I have seen it the other way as well, where I think the wife kind of suspected it all along. She wasn't really that surprised by it, and she was so proud of her husband, are grateful her husband actually reached out. And these these couple of weeks, first couple of weeks of recovery can actually be quite bonding. And I don't I don't want to cast like something too idealistic here. Like there's still some questions and conversations that need to happen. But sometimes you do have actually a great response from the wife. And this kind of co regulation is is actually happening quite quite naturally. So I like the distinction that you drew there. Tell me a little bit about beyond that. So let's imagine people are maybe months into recovery, maybe even a year or two and really seeing progress.
Speaker 1 (00:35:25) - What are some of the do's and don'ts for rebuilding that that trust in the relationship?
Speaker 2 (00:35:32) - Yeah. And I'll just say real quick, I agree that I glad that you put that other side of the continuum, because there are cases where, where it's, you know, where it's a very bonding thing. And, and if you have that kind of a situation then then, you know, count yourself very fortunate because that's really it's really sweet. And, you know, you can get into that co regulation with your spouse a lot sooner. Um, so long term the stuff that happens is, you know, when you talk about integrity or about trust, it's really about making sure that you're you're doing your own work. There's a t shirt that I bought from a group out of New Zealand that's on it. It says she is not your rehab. Right. Which I think is so great. So a lot of times guys will sort of just kind of gauge their, their wife's response to see if everything's okay and then they drop out not really doing their work.
Speaker 2 (00:36:21) - And so they'll be like, well, she seems to be in a good mood all the time, or she seems to be happy all the time.
Speaker 3 (00:36:25) - So yeah, I.
Speaker 2 (00:36:26) - Guess things are better. And so a lot of the times that puts the pressure on her to basically kind of fix your marriage. And so if a guy is, you know, committing to a process or a program like yours or, you know, they're they're working steps and they're, they're really learning about themselves, doing that work really takes a tremendous burden off of her to in terms of it lowers the risk of her having to choose back in. It makes it makes you a safer person, makes you more predictable. And then, of course, just living in transparency, you know, like like you said, your example the other night last night where you're like, man, I should have just opened up about how disregulated I feel. Well, exactly. Those are the kinds of disclosures that I want guys doing. Um, you know, early on it's going to be about behaviors that are crossing lines, but later on it's going to be about emotions and about, you know, struggles and stuff like that.
Speaker 2 (00:37:16) - And that's something you have to learn. That's something that is practiced to where you can say, hey, you know, I'm this is what I need tonight, or this is where I'm struggling or pretty feeling pretty low and overwhelmed and, you know, hey, can we can we do x, y or Z and and that that kind of stuff creates a lot of safety because it shows her that you're paying attention. It shows her that you're holding the line, you're protecting yourself and the relationship and and where she doesn't have to keep asking or checking or, well, how are you doing or whatever, you know, she's not fishing for her own safety anymore.
Speaker 1 (00:37:52) - Yeah, yeah. Okay. That makes a lot of sense. What can guys do to contribute to that safety other than what you've talked about. So like we're talking about transparency, taking initiative, having that regular disclosure of like big things little things. I think it all goes a really long way is there. You know I don't know. Is there any other practical things that guys should be looking out for to help their partner feel more safe and just really solidify? Like, hey, I'm a trustworthy person.
Speaker 1 (00:38:22) - You can trust.
Speaker 3 (00:38:22) - Me.
Speaker 2 (00:38:23) - Yeah, I think a big piece of it is being able to handle her emotions. Like you really like deepening your capacity and the container, if you will, for holding a lot of the big feelings and emotions she's having, because she's going through a process of really understanding herself better and even understanding you and the relationship. And so, you know, if you've got a situation where there's been deception, where there's been, you know, years of of, you know, double life. ET cetera. You know, she's having to put together a lot of she's really going to go through a lot of grief and sadness around what she thought things were. And there's just going to be a lot of and this is, again, this is less about the pornography per se and more about just being lied to or some of the those deeper betrayal dynamics, your capacity to listen, your capacity to not become defensive and to be curious and to stay regulated yourself and to just stay and just deep remorse and compassion and really grieve with her, mourn with her.
Speaker 2 (00:39:26) - Let enter that process of sadness and loss with her and not leave her alone in that will do so much to rebuild trust, because she'll just know that she's not alone in this. It's like we can face anything if we're with somebody else, and she's wanting it to be with you. She's wanting it to be with you. She can go talk to somebody else and she'll feel a little bit better, but she'll feel a lot better if the person who hurt her cares deeply about and stays with her in that process. And that oftentimes feels like the last thing that you think would be helpful because you're like, well, I'm the biggest source of pain on the planet. Why would she want to be close to me? And it's like, but you're also the biggest source of comfort on the planet, and you're the one she's wired to want to care about. And when you can show up in that way as both a source of pain and a source of comfort, that's really the the full experience that I think will heal trust at a deeper level.
Speaker 3 (00:40:22) - Yeah.
Speaker 1 (00:40:23) - And it is one of the beautiful byproducts of recovery is your your emotional container great metaphor that just naturally starts to. Band, because I think when you are wrapped up in porn addiction, you become a very selfish person. Like your container shrinks, right? Because you really only have your own interests in mind, or at least prioritized. And I think naturally, as you start to become a more selfless person and you start to heal through trauma and build your emotional skill set and whatever else, that container starts to expand and enlarge in. Do you have do you have any go tos, though, for a guy who's maybe like, I mean, honestly, this is like the area I probably had to work on the most over the years. I started with a very small container for a bunch of different reasons. Is there anything in particular that you would help a guy or guide a guy through to enlarge that container?
Speaker 2 (00:41:13) - Yeah, it's interesting because a lot of guys will and I don't know how your program is set up, but you know, when guys hear other other people's stories, let's say they're sitting in a 12 step meeting or in a group therapy or some kind of program, they're listening to other people tell their stories, and they're looking at their watch and they're feeling impatient, and they're just kind of annoyed having to listen to other people's stuff.
Speaker 2 (00:41:32) - Surprisingly, that's to me, that's one of the best places to start practicing opening up compassion for someone else. And you're expanding your container because what happens is you're learning to see another person as a person separate from you. You're starting to make a space for someone else's lived experience. And so I think it's powerful to put yourself in a position where you can really listen. And so even if that's listening to a podcast about somebody else's story or reading about that, or starting to see somebody as another human, that's a really safe and I think, easier way to start expanding that container, because if you're trying to do that right out the gate with your wife. Your own defenses, in your own shame, are going to come up and shrink the container back, because.
Speaker 3 (00:42:20) - You're.
Speaker 2 (00:42:21) - Going to be afraid that you're going to lose, or you're going to feel like you're going to prove something. But when it's somebody else, you don't have a dog in the fight and you have the ability to just listen.
Speaker 2 (00:42:29) - And so when you notice that you're feeling bored or you're feeling checked out, um, you know, it's interesting. I went to a men's retreat a while back, and 50 other guys and some of these guys were sharing their stories. And even though I'm a therapist and I listen to people's stuff all day long, you know, I was there working on myself. And I remember noticing that I was sometimes kind of checking out or getting bored or sort of like zoning off a little bit. And I remember the facilitators reminding us that that's a place to practice the compassion we want to bring back to our other relationships. That's a place we want to practice, and expanding ourselves as humans, to be able to make space for other people. Yeah, and it's true. It's true. When I remember coming back home and it's like I had way more room for my wife and my family home. Okay, so that's a that's an easy place to start.
Speaker 3 (00:43:18) - Yeah.
Speaker 1 (00:43:19) - Do you have any, any guidelines for like, tech engagement? This is something I've been picking in people's brains about a lot lately because, well, it's my wife and I talk about it all the time, but I think now we're about to become parents, and we've been talking about our kids engaging in tech.
Speaker 1 (00:43:35) - So we'll save that conversation for another day. But but as far as like because I hear what you're saying, right? Like there's, there's these moments where we have a tendency to we check out or we tune out, we distance a little bit. These are the moments where we actually really need to consciously re-engage, and that's how you actually start to build that muscle of like giving people your undivided attention and enlarging your, your emotional capacity. How how do you think tech ah attack engagement plays into this? And do you have any rules personally for how you engage or disengage with tech to help with that?
Speaker 2 (00:44:07) - Oh yeah. Like and this is way bigger than just porn. In fact, I just uninstalled Instagram and Facebook from my phone a couple days ago.
Speaker 1 (00:44:15) - Yeah, that's a big one.
Speaker 2 (00:44:18) - And not because I'm against Instagram or Facebook. I do a lot of my business stuff on there, and my assistant runs a lot of it for me, but I just decided I'm going to use it on my computer and you can use Instagram on a desktop.
Speaker 2 (00:44:27) - And so I, I just it's more clunky and there's more friction. But for me it was like I noticed that I was turning to it too much just to deal with boredom. And I didn't like that. And I was like, you know what? I'm less present. I don't want to be, you know, just sort of like, beholden to this, like impulse. And so to me, it's not an all or nothing thing of like no tech or all tech. It's really about understanding your relationship to it. And so I think there's a lot of great tools and resources. You know, some people find accountability software really helpful. Some people feel like it's, you know. To clunky or too difficult or gets in the way. Or they want to, they want to use other things. So I don't really have a hard and fast rule about use this software program and this will make you safe. I think it's really about taking an honest inventory about understanding your relationship to it. So for some people, they're at a place where they're like, you know what? I honestly have no capacity to even say no to anything.
Speaker 2 (00:45:23) - And so I'm just going to completely switch to a different phone, a flip phone or a, you know, a gap phone, or I'm going to use some kind of I'm going to just change up the device completely. Like for me, I'm just like, you know what? I'm not going to set a timer on on the app for Instagram or Facebook. I'm just going to completely remove it for now. I don't know if I'll put it back on. I don't care right now.
Speaker 3 (00:45:43) - Yeah.
Speaker 2 (00:45:44) - So it's kind of like if you're going to be honest, right? If the I offend the pluck it out kind of thing, it's like if there's something that's not working, go ahead and just put a boundary around it. And you could always change your relationship to it, and it might make things a little more difficult for, you know, your workflow or whatever. But I've seen people do really creative things as workarounds and getting regulated in your own body, keeping your integrity intact for yourself and for your relationships.
Speaker 2 (00:46:11) - I mean, those are the driving principles here. And your your tech has to support that, not undermine it.
Speaker 3 (00:46:18) - Um, man, that's really good.
Speaker 1 (00:46:20) - Yeah, that's really good. And you use a really good phrase there. Like you're changing your relationship with these things, right? Because we don't want to be like too all or nothing about it. No, it's it's really a lot more about. Yeah, it is about just altering that relationship so that it's healthier and that it's actually serving you and not hurting you.
Speaker 2 (00:46:37) - Absolutely. And and we're in a relationship with these devices. You know, long term, none of us can live in the 21st century and act like we can just break up with all of them and just not have to deal with them anymore. That's just not a thing anymore.
Speaker 3 (00:46:50) - Yeah.
Speaker 2 (00:46:51) - And, you know, even with kids and phones and schools and stuff like that, I mean, as much as I would love to live in this utopia where, you know, kids can just write on chalkboards and never have to touch a computer at school and focus on their learning.
Speaker 2 (00:47:03) - I'm also seeing where the devices really open up a lot of cool opportunities for these kids in schools, and they can learn how to use them. So to me, it's about learning how they're affecting you and how to drive them. It's like driver's ed. It's like we have to.
Speaker 3 (00:47:17) - Just, yeah.
Speaker 2 (00:47:18) - Really understand how to pilot these things and work with them because they're here to stay and they can do a lot of good. And I think the rhetoric around, you know, tech is bad or et cetera. That kind of stuff is just totally unhelpful.
Speaker 3 (00:47:32) - Mhm. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (00:47:33) - Well yeah. And you're just you're going to miss out you know. And I think, I think you know for me like I also have not, I don't really have social media on my phone. We post on several platforms multiple times a day. And I'm very grateful to have a team that helps me do that. I build most of my content in a Google doc, you know, and then I'll just go online and check and see how people engage with with posts as I need to.
Speaker 1 (00:47:54) - But yeah, it's going to be different for everyone, but I think it really is about just having a healthy relationship and that that will look different from one person to the next. Jeff, this has been so helpful, man. And obviously the main concept here today has been about rebuilding trust. And I know that you have built a lot of resources for guys who are going through this process. Can you just tell us a little bit about some of those things, and any other ways that you would like the audience to maybe go check your stuff out?
Speaker 2 (00:48:21) - Yeah, I've got a few resources. I appreciate the chance to talk about these. Like I have a podcast that I do actually with my wife. She's jumped on and been a fun co-host, and it's called From Crisis to Connection. And so that's available anywhere you get podcasts. Um, but I also I also built a 12 week trust building boot camp course that gives guys some foundational and long term support for rebuilding trust and becoming a trustworthy person.
Speaker 2 (00:48:49) - And I have a I have a sort of an introductory miniature version of that course that you can download for free, and I'll send you the link for it so you can put it in the show notes. Sure. Um, that that gives you information on what to do when you're betrayed, when you're the one that's betrayed, the trust and some couples resources. And that's a great introduction. And a lot of people say that that that course that smaller course has, has been a game changer for him. And so I know there's some good stuff in there and great. And if you want to take it further, I've got the bigger trust building course that you can do. But those are the resources I built in that, that so much of my work focuses on is is helping couples and individuals navigate through this, the tricky waters of rebuilding trust.
Speaker 1 (00:49:32) - Yeah. It's amazing. And like I was telling you, this has been a real particular area of interest for me in this season as we kind of look to see how else we can be supporting our guys.
Speaker 1 (00:49:41) - And so I'm so grateful for you, man. I'm grateful for these resources. We'll link everything in the show notes. And in the meantime, just keep up the great work. Jeff, thanks so much for your time today.
Speaker 2 (00:49:50) - Hey, thanks for having me.
Speaker 1 (00:49:52) - All right. Well, there you have it. That is Jeff Stuart. And that's another banger in the books with that man. Really, really grateful for him. Look, go check out his stuff. He left a bunch of free content. He's got the boot camp. He's got the training. These are easy ways for you guys to capitalize on some really legendary content that I know is going to be life changing. And look, if you were listening to this episode and you're saying, Sathiya, I know I'll get there, but I really have this porn problem and I need to take care of this first. You're in the right place and you're you're listening to the right people. We can help you with that. So I've actually designed a program called Deep Clean, and we help people quit porn in 120 days or less.
Speaker 1 (00:50:31) - This is the most comprehensive solution we know of on the market. It's all inclusive. You get one on one coaching group, coaching a community, and you get my deep clean system. This is the stuff that we talk about here on the podcast all the time, but you get it in way greater levels of depth and impact. And if you know that porn is putting your marriage, maybe your family, maybe your professional career, your relationship with God at stake, please stop playing with fire. Get the help that you need and go check out Deep Clean. This is we're very, very low pressure, but we'd love for you to book a call with our team. We'd like to see what your situation is and if we can help you. And if it makes sense, then obviously we'll we'll offer for you to join the program. And if it doesn't, then we'll find another solution for you. The reality is, of all the people that book, the calls, I would say probably about 30% of them actually end up in our program because, you know, there's just there's various reasons.
Speaker 1 (00:51:24) - But for the most part, we just don't feel like we can properly serve the other 70%. So we're picky that way. But we just try to make sure it's a win win. The link is in the show notes. You just have to book a call with someone on my team and then everything else follows through from there. There's some videos that you'll get sent as well to explain what we do and what you can expect on the call and from the program if you end up doing it. So that's everything for today, guys. Link is in the show notes to book a call. Thank you so much for listening. And make sure you share this with somebody that you think could benefit from it as well. Hey love you guys. We'll talk soon. Bye bye. Hey, everybody, it's Sathiya again. Thanks for listening to Unleash the Man Within. I wanted to take a quick moment to let you know about a free e-book that I wrote for you, called The Ultimate Guide to Porn Recovery.
Speaker 1 (00:52:11) - It provides a basic framework for the recovery process and a few of my top tips completely free of charge. You can get it now at WW Recovery guide.com. That's w w w Alternate Recovery guide. Com. Now, if you've been impacted by the podcast and you want to show some support in less than 60s, there are three ways you can do that. First, you can leave a rating or review on your podcast platform. This lets people like you know that the content here is valuable. Secondly, you can share this episode with someone in your life that might benefit from the content. If you're passionate about helping other people experience freedom and success in their lives, this is one of the easiest ways to do that. And lastly, you can subscribe. I personally only listen to the podcast that I subscribe to. If you're seeking daily encouragement, guidance, and insight in your recovery journey, I highly recommend subscribing to Unleash the Man Within. Thanks for listening. I look forward to connecting with you very, very soon.
Speaker 4 (00:53:12) - The information, opinions and recommendations presented in this podcast by Sathya Sam and his guests are for general information only and should not be considered medical, clinical or any other form of professional advice. Any reliance on the information provided is done at your own risk.