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Over 50% of marriages end in divorce. Some research indicates that 5 years after divorce, people are no happier than they were in their “unhappy marriage.” While sometimes divorce is the only option, it isn’t *always the only option. Today we will be discussing how separation can, when done with the right approach, save your relationship. We share some insights we have gained from men we have worked with on this, some applicable research on this topic, and some of our own very personal experiences with separation as a means to save a marriage.
Whether your relationship is in trouble or not, you will learn a great about how to Alpha Up with your partner. We discuss:
-The need for TRIBE
-Stress, shame, trauma and grief
-The lies you are telling yourself
-Benefits of a separation
-Challenging your distorted thoughts
Questions to be answered today:
- What are the not-so-obvious issues that make people believe that divorce is the answer?
- Why is separation something that men should consider as an alternative to divorce?
- What actions should a man be taking during a separation?
- What does a successful separation and eventual reunion look like?
This segment is about separation as Option C. Stephen Covey talked about continuing to look for alternatives in general until you find something that works. Option A might be to continue to stay miserable in a dead relationship. Option B may be divorce (which can feel like an emotional murder-suicide). Option C is often separation. while you work on yourself.
We aren’t encouraging anyone to separate. Rather, we are encouraging people to consider separation before proceeding with a divorce first.
You can always get a divorce; you can file tomorrow. But once you do, you can’t undo it. Is there any decision more impactful on your ENTIRE FUTURE and the ENTIRE FUTURE OF GENERATIONS AFTER YOU than whether to not to stay married? Sometimes it is an inevitability; sometimes divorce is the only sensible choice. But let’s talk about how NOT to blow one of the biggest decisions you will ever make.
No Excuses. Alpha Up.
Brad Singletary (00:00:05):
Over 50% of marriages end in divorce. Some research indicates that five years after divorce, people are no happier than they were in their unhappy marriage. While sometimes divorce is the only option, it isn’t always the only option. Today we’ll be discussing how separation can in many cases and when done with the right approach, save your relationship. We share some insights that we’ve gained from men. We’ve worked with some research on this topic and some of our very own personal experiences with separation as a means to saving a marriage.
Brad Singletary (00:01:14):
Welcome back brothers. Brad Singletary here with my friend taco Mike and Jimmy Durbin, who we introduced in the last episode. Welcome back, Jimmy. Thank you for having me back. So this this segment is about separation as option C and where I get that from. A Stephen Covey talked about continuing to look for alternatives until you find something that works. So option a might be that you continue to stay miserable and a dead relationship. A option B may be divorced, which I know this is graphic language, but I say emotionally that’s a murder suicide option C maybe is separation. So we’re not encouraging anyone here to separate. What we’re encouraging you to do instead is to consider separation before considering divorce. You’re at some point and separation is going to happen. What we’re saying maybe is to delay the idea of divorce. You can always get a divorce, you can file tomorrow, but once you do, you can’t undo that.
Brad Singletary (00:02:14):
And is there any decision more impactful on your entire future and the entire future of generations after you, your children and grandchildren, and whether or not you stay married? Sometimes it’s just an inevitability. Sometimes it’s the only choice really. But let’s talk about how to not blow the biggest decision that you’ll ever make. So we talked about our personal stories in the previous episode. If you haven’t listened to that, check it out. It’s very meaningful. And I think you’ll enjoy what we talked about, that we’ve learned in our own stories. I’ve been both divorced and separated and only about 13% from the research that I could find about 13% of people who separate stay together. And I think that the statistic is that five years later they’re still married. And many of those people describe a happy relationship. I know that that’s the case in all of our stories.
Brad Singletary (00:03:13):
We’ve, each of us have been separated. Again, we talked about that in the previous episode myself for a year taco Mike for two and a half years and then Jimmy Durbin for 18 months. So let’s start with what are some of the not so obvious things that make people feel like they should get divorced? I mean, obvious things would be, there’s been some infidelity or there’s a sexual in compatibility, you know, arguments over money and those kinds of things. But what are the, the, the real problems, the not so obvious issues that make people head toward divorce? You guys, what are the things that you see men, you know, dealing with it. They may not be so aware of to begin with.
Jimmy Durbin (00:03:56):
So this is Jimmy. Again, thanks for having me back. I really appreciate it. I believe that we all come in contact with four energies every day. And so this would kind of answer your question, kind of be classified under the not so obvious reasons. We all deal with stress, shame, trauma and grief. And so let’s take stress for example. Most people are pretty aware of what stress looks like in their life, where they feel it, how it manifests in their body, what it does to them spiritually, emotionally, physically, and those are transferable skills. And so there is an awareness and a mindfulness of how stress shows up for each of us in our lives. That’s not so necessarily true with shame, trauma, and grief. So just let me unpack those if you’ll go ahead. So shame is toxic. A lot of this just comes from Bernay Brown and her research.
Jimmy Durbin (00:05:12):
If I take a Petri dish full of shame and I sprinkle it was secrecy and silence and judgment, it’ll exponentially enter every facet of my life. Who are my friends are the jobs I have decisions, how I raise my kids. Shame is toxic and shame is baked into every relationship, marriage, children, religious, any community work. It’s toxic. So if I take that same amount of shame and I put it in a Petri dish and I sprinkle it with love and connection, it provides a hostile environment so it can not exist. So oftentimes when my marriage is rough and there’s a lot of toxicity for whatever reasons, there is also going to be the shame that’s there as well. Trauma. So I think we’re all familiar with, you know, we’re all going through this communal trauma right now with the pandemic and death, divorce, job changes, all big T trauma.
Jimmy Durbin (00:06:21):
But I had an experience when I was a young father and I took my boys out to red rock to go hiking in July, which wasn’t a good idea cause I got overheated. So I’m coming back to the truck and I put the tailgate down and my little one just wants to sit on my lap and climb on my shoulders. And I grabbed him and I said, listen, I don’t want you sitting on me. Right? Well, what he heard in that moment was, my dad doesn’t want me, my dad doesn’t love me and I don’t care if you’re six or 16 or 60. That’s traumatic too, to be made to feel that way. So trauma happens. Certainly those big things, but I think it also happens in the small moments in our lives. And again, bringing this back to marriage and separation or wherever you are in that process, there is going to be the trauma in those small moments that you may not be aware of.
Jimmy Durbin (00:07:25):
And then grief anytime there’s change, there’s loss and I don’t care if you label it good or bad, positive or negative, right or wrong, any changes, any change, there’s loss. So we’re always in the grief cycle, always in the grief cycle. And it takes some time to realize what is my pattern, what is my behavior when I’m experiencing grief? You know, do I go to anger first and then denial and then go over to wanting to tell the story and some level of acceptance or then depressed? Like what is that for you as an individual? How do you process your grief? And so again, with the marriage, there’s going to be loss. There’s going to be dreams, aspirations that you may have had with your companion that’s gone because of the state of mind and where the relationship is right now. So you’re experiencing grief as well. So shame, stress, trauma, and grief are probably some of the not so obvious reasons and realizing where is it within the relationship. Whereas where am I with all of those energies and what am I doing to metabolize? You know, those energies. So you were talking about things that aren’t so obvious. How would they become aware of
Brad Singletary (00:08:55):
That? How do those things manifest? So how do I know if I’m dealing with trauma, how do I know if I’m dealing with grief? What, what? What can the average guy, how does he tune into like, Oh, I don’t realize the impact of shame right now, or grief or loss in my life?
Jimmy Durbin (00:09:11):
So that’s a great question. And I think certainly having an alpha quorum is helpful, right? So the things that you guys talk about on your episodes of having men in my life, do I, do I have a space in my life where I can process that I can feel safe, that I can share something that’s vulnerable to me, to the effects of someone else? Where am I going for advice, you know do I have a place where I can tattle on myself where I can just go, here’s, here’s what happened today, here’s the episode, or here’s the scene and here’s how she responded and here’s how I responded and, and get some honest feedback from guys that love me unconditionally. That there is no judgment, there is no shame. They love me. For me in all my messiness and all my character defects in my ego and my pride and where I can actually, and this is a visualization visualization that I bring myself to like with, with any man’s specifically of being able to kneel at your feet proud or with at Mo with Mike and realize that your perspective is different than mine and your lived experience is different, but you have something to offer.
Jimmy Durbin (00:10:45):
And with that visualization, what it does for me is it allows me to level out my ego and my pride and, and listen and attune and be open because of my willingness to learn. But when I’m, when I was going through my separation, I wasn’t there. I, I wanted to be right. So she had to be wrong. I was entitled, so I owned her, the house, everything. And I wasn’t in that space. So had I had something like the alpha quorum, had I had something where I could have a group of men that could just call bullshit and go, do you, you may want to take a different look at that or a different approach. Or say something different or realize this one may be a better response to that and be able to realize where the, how that’s causing stress in my life, how that’s causing me to shame myself. How I shame my wife, my kids where the trauma’s created, you know, and, and how am I dealing with the grief?
Brad Singletary (00:12:05):
Dude, you are blowing my mind right now coming straight out of the gate here with, you’re just knocking it out of the park. So we’re just, you know, the guys are talking about, I think we should separate or maybe we need to get a divorce because they’re fighting, you know, she’s bitchy or I, you know, I’ve got an anger issue and there’s these really obvious things, but they have no idea the depth of these other things you’re talking about. Stress, shame, trauma and grief as these may be hidden, things they may not even be aware of. If I ask most men what, what shame is about, the average guy doesn’t even really can’t, can’t really define that for sure. Maybe not trauma and grief either. Everybody knows what stress is, but you’re talking about those energies. We come into contact with those every day. You may not be be able to identify those, but if you’re sharing, if you’re sharing the important parts of your life with other men, they will probably see that. They’ll recognize it in you. I’m curious about you, taco Mike. Some of the not so obvious things that may make people feel like divorce is the answer. They want it, they want to run and hide. They want to get away beyond just, Oh, we fight too much or there’s, you know, there’s too much drama at home or you know, sexual thing isn’t fulfilling enough or you know, there’s those, those superficial maybe labeled
Mike Spurgin (00:13:26):
What’s underneath all that. That’s a good question and you guys are going to bring the a game when it comes to this particular one. What I was thinking about when Jamie was talking, when you asked him that question first, I was thinking about the fact that everything breaks down. Entropy. Every car I have eventually breaks down and I walk away. Every house is slowly falling apart and wearing out and eventually you move. Everything in life is sort of set up and has a mindset for the most part I have a job. It becomes difficult. The, the, the, it’s, it’s not, it’s not sustainable. And so I get fired or I quit. So many things in life are sort of disposable and we leave them behind and I’m not so sure that maybe a little bit of that can happen for a lot of us. Where when things in our marriage and our, this interaction, you know, living with somebody that ain’t easy and when it gets too uneasy, then there’s always the thought or the mindset of I got this plan, I got a plan D well, what’d you say earlier? Plan a was,
Brad Singletary (00:14:42):
Hey, it’s just to stay miserable. B as divorce. Maybe C would be separation.
Mike Spurgin (00:14:47):
Yeah. Well we’ve tried plan a and I think most guys just go to plan C, that’s probably the generally accepted mindset. So maybe this underlying thought is that there are options beyond where where I am right now and they involve getting outside of the world that I’m in. They involve getting other people involved and that’s probably maybe to me what’s hidden is that I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to go and how to set up. I don’t know how to change any of this. It’s so dysfunctional in my head and I’m so frustrated and angry and stuck. I don’t know where to go and what to do next. And so maybe, maybe the answer to your question is it’s all hidden because I’m not willing to, I’m a guy, I’m not willing to freaking pull over the car and ask for directions, let alone talk to a shrink or talk to a buddy or do any of that to just crack open and admit the things are shit at home and I’m sick of it and I don’t know where to go from there. The whole thing is it’s all hidden
Brad Singletary (00:16:01):
Really. Maybe that speaks to like immaturity, you know, self absorption. That’s, that’s something I’m hearing. It’s something that you’re saying that we’re, we’re not willing, we’re not willing to be exposed. Right. That’s kind of what you’re saying, Mike. We’re not willing to admit that we don’t know how to get from point a to point B, but especially when it comes to our woman, our family, our home life. That’s rough. That’s, that’s hard to do. That’s hard for a man. I just, I’m blown away by the courage it takes for a man to walk into my office, spill his guts in here on the first day, in the first 20 minutes he’s crying and I’m just like, yes, this is something real right now. It’s so exciting to see someone be vulnerable. So what keeps us from, what is that? What is the thing that makes us not want to be exposed?
Mike Spurgin (00:16:48):
Fear. Fear. Fear of looking weak. Fear of looking like a failure. Fear of looking like you. You don’t, you don’t have a game plan. You know, one of the things that I encounter a lot with the guys that I talk to and work with is these are these, a lot of these are high level guys and they’re in control. They’re in charge, they people come to them for answers at work. They’re the big shot. Yep. And now they’ve got the situation where they’re not, they can’t answer their own question and then they don’t, they don’t want to ask anybody else. They don’t want to admit defeat because there’s the thought is I talked to this one guy, he’s like, look, if I admit that I don’t know how to handle my son or my marriage or whatever, then that’s going to cause the self doubt in himself. How can I go in front of this big client? I can face them and then what are they going to, I’m going to collapse. Like it’s going to set up this whole chain reaction of like things are going to start collapsing and falling apart and I just can’t have that. So I’m not going to admit to anything being wrong. It’s just this game that some of us play in our heads to keep everything high level perfectionism. We’ve
Jimmy Durbin (00:17:50):
Talked about that plenty of times, posturing all of that and this is, this is this fear fee. It’s big and scary. Big, dark and scary. It’s a shame too. Like certainly the world teaches that. If I admit then
Jimmy Durbin (00:18:13):
Or if I am share that a part of me that’s vulnerable or I’m having trouble with my kid, like Mike was saying, or a part of my business that the world will teach that, that if, if you’re vulnerable, you will get crushed. You will be hurt. That’s what the world teaches. Right. And I would submit to you too in the audience that the converse is true, that the more vulnerable I become, the more intimate I learn how to be with myself, with people in my life. I’m free. I am free. I can stand naked because I have no secrets because I’m connected to, right. That the fear and the shame keep me isolated. And then you know, the other not so obvious is realizing, you know, what is my narrative? What am I telling myself? If my narrative, the lies that I’m telling myself as if I share that I’m having problems with my kids or if I share that I’m having problems with my marriage, then I’ll be judged.
Jimmy Durbin (00:19:26):
And that narrative is a made up story. What I’ve found through my experience is the more that I shared, it was a me too moment. You know, and I, and I think society has seen that with the me too movement, that as these women shared what happened to them and broke through their fear and broke through their shame, they, they found community and a strength. Now it took being vulnerable. So, and it took being courageous. And what underpins courage is vulnerability. Any time as we’ve shared our story, it takes courage. And I get to identify with my story and sh and your story, Brad, and think how courageous is that for you to share that on a podcast? But what’s underneath that is this level of vulnerability that you, you both are willing to go to, to be useful and to help other men and to be supportive. And that’s because we’re wired for connection. That’s what binds us. One of the things that made me respect Mike here the most, I don’t remember
Brad Singletary (00:20:48):
The words he used, but he would kind of say, Hey, I’m just, I’m just a dirt bag. I’m just an ordinary like idiot. And here’s the person that I’m seeing as not an idiot. This guy’s a genius and whatever. But he, he really kind of shared, just, he taught, I loved how you, you still do it. You talk about yourself. I’m just, I’m just I’m just, I’m just a mess. You know, whatever, whatever kind of language you use. I love that kind of stuff. And, and that, that’s where the respect comes from. It’s interesting, the paradox you’re talking about. So what’s the opposite of vulnerability then? If we’re talking about not so obvious issues? Vulnerability might be the answer, but what is the, what do you call it when you can’t be vulnerable? Is that pride?
Mike Spurgin (00:21:28):
Yeah. Arrogance. Haughtiness yeah. You know, one of the reasons why I like to use language sort of in regards to myself, that I’m just still, I’m just a low level. Nobody I, it may sound like I’m self-defeating. I may sound like I don’t have any, you know, respect for, for, for myself or the journey or whatever I like. So if, if you, if you know who Paul was, the apostle, this guy and the old T not and not the old, the new Testament, this guy Paul saw, he was, he informs a lot of how I think about myself. That guy talks about himself as the chief of sinners. And I really resonate with the fact that here’s a guy who was living a life that if you’re a Christian, most Mo, a very high percentage of what you believe was shaped by this guy named Paul.
Mike Spurgin (00:22:23):
And here’s this homie who is really on a pedestal in terms of this, this, this philosophy of Christianity. And he talked about himself as kind of a worm. The worm. Yup. Yup. I’m kind of a low life. He, he talked about himself as, you know, the chief of all the sinners, like of all the, of all the, I, I’m, I’m using words that aren’t there, but let’s, let’s just play along with me for a minute. Give me the benefit of the doubt. He’s basically saying of all the worthless lowlifes out there. I’m the King of that. And yet the opposite was kind of true about this guy, but I think he needed in his own head to protect his ego from inflation and not believe the press about himself. He needed to make sure that he kept himself in check because once upon a time he really was a low life.
Mike Spurgin (00:23:12):
And so to maintain that level, to stay grounded like that was helpful for him. And it is for me too. So anyway, that’s just a little piece of backstory on that. But this whole topic of guys who are stuck in these broken down marriages, they, it just comes to the fact it was for me anyway, you just have to realize you freaking need to own this stuff and just realize, just be a realist. This is where you’re at. You’re, you’re, your shit stinks. You’re a mess. This thing is a disaster. The whole is a disaster. Pull the, pull the cord, pull the stop lever on the bus, raise a white flag and just realize that you’re going to need to get some more eyeballs in here. And, and, and that can come in lots of forms. You know, you guys are great. Your shrinks, there’s professionals out there.
Mike Spurgin (00:24:04):
There’s also homeys that you hang with who you’re probably, you probably have good, a good deal of respect for. These are guys that have, you know, seen some battle. They’ve got some wounds, you know, it, you know, they know how to handle themselves and, and you respect and admire what they’re doing in their personal lives. Go have a beer with one of those dudes and just crack open. Just let them know instead of, instead of being the old, superficial self that you normally are, let your guard down this one time and talk about some real stuff and some real struggles that you’re having. And, and it can, it can, you can, you can change the direction of things by just some kind of small act of no longer pretending you’re invincible cause you’re very you’re very prone to being broken down more so than you, than you think you are. At least. I know I was. Anyway. anyway, that’s, that’s what I’m saying.
Jimmy Durbin (00:24:59):
Go ahead. Well, yeah, because I think what Mike said is key. The how of it is anyone who’s on your team in your corner without judgment, without that just unconditional love. Like, so whoever pops up in your head, that’s who you want to bust open, share it with, share it with because, and I challenged you like it’s a strong suggestion. What I have found that when I do that, it’s reciprocated. It’s, it’s in kind and all of a sudden this moment love happens. And that’s the healing power to start testing that water and to realize, wow, that wasn’t what I thought it would be. And we’re human beings. Like where we’re connected, you know, we’re more similar than we are different, but sometimes the construct is no, don’t understand. They’re going to judge me. I can’t share that and judge or the comparison. And that’s all BS.
Jimmy Durbin (00:26:17):
And people think they’re protecting the other person too. Like, Oh, I want them to, I’m a private person. I, I tend to not share things. I heard that the other day from a chronic liar, this guy and well I’m just a private person, you know, I like to keep things my, you’re private, but you’re sick as hell. Yeah. How’s that working out for you don’t even live in the same state as your wife. You know, like, this is the other thing, like with separation of why, you know, why, why choose separation and, and there I, I tried to work through all of the damage and the toxicity in the home that, you know, that was plan a, you know, let me see if I can right the ship. Let’s fix the engine while it’s running. Yes. Right. But here’s what I didn’t realize.
Jimmy Durbin (00:27:06):
My wife and the kids were mirrors for me. So really what I was seeing is my own reflection and all the things that I may, I didn’t like about myself. And it was coming at me so fast and so often that I just couldn’t get on top of it. I couldn’t, I couldn’t think fast enough, I couldn’t react to stress and the cortisol and it was just Whoa. And so the only thing that I knew was go into primal, protect, defend, get the ego in there, push back. You know, if I were to stand up right now and put my hand in the air and have you put your hand in the air and I’m going to tell you, I’m going to push against your hand, your natural reaction is to push back. Sure. That’s the natural man where Eastern philosophy teaches to absorb that energy and then roll with it. But when things are moving in a thousand miles an hour, I, I, I’m just pushing back. I’m trying to save my ass. And so when I separated I could slow things down and amen to anyone who’s been able to repair a marriage and get on the other side of it because I couldn’t do it. Like I needed the separation to slow those thing downs and to learn these things about myself. And to and to be able to kind of go into it and be able to react and act accordingly.
Mike Spurgin (00:28:51):
Oh, that’s great. Go ahead Mike. Dude, still Brad youth. You had this throw away comment that I’ve just been sitting here thinking on it. You talked about repairing a running engine. I’m just imagining some homie with the hood up, the cars cruising down the road, he’s got his ranches, he’s going 55 and he’s up in there trying to fix something on the car. That is the stupidest thing that you could ever do. Like the visualization of that is on its face. Like what an ass hat. Like who would do that? You don’t do that. You freaking pull over. But the hazards on get your tools out, get a workspace, get the situation you know, conducive to what you’re about to do. You get out a manual, you call your buddy, you’re right, you prep it out. You use due care and due diligence to prep that repair out. So if you’re broken down, if your marriage has broke down of your broke down, freaking shut that shit down
Jimmy Durbin (00:29:38):
Or you do what I do. I like that. I just blew an engine so I overheated red line, red line. And so I’m like, all right, well I’ll have time to bring it to the mechanics on the way there. Shot the whole engine. You know I had to buy a new engine, so push a little further. I may not even be aware of like I’m red lining, you know, I’m just acting and I’m just going and I’m just going. I’m not even looking at the gauges. I don’t even know what the gauges mean. Like Mike is a mechanic, he works on, I’ve, I know where the key goes and I know the foot right pedals for gas. That’s it. We’ve got to take away that alpha designation with the last step.
Mike Spurgin (00:30:18):
It’s a great resolution made and it makes a lot of sense to me and I think it’ll make a lot of sense to guys who are wondering, do I really need to get anything fixed? And then how do I do it? Well, you know, you don’t fix it while you’re in it. You need distance, you need distance, man. You need to, you need to cool it off, shut it off. Nobody works on a hot engine, you cool it down and then you get in there with the proper tools, resources, parts, and you make a, you make a good repair. All of us have made repairs unsuitable early on suitably. We’ve worked on hot engines. It’s dangerous. We’ve used crappy parts. We’ve used shoddy tools, we’ve used shoddy methods and you’re broke down again. So if you like that, I guess if that’s your style and you like that more power to you, keep going. Let me know how that works out for you. But I’ve tried to do that. I know how it works out for me. It does not. And so separation was just being a realist and saying, I got a call time out on this thing and I need to get, I need to get some legitimate people up in this biz who can help me do the thing. And that’s in a nutshell what separation looked like for me.
Brad Singletary (00:31:31):
Yeah, I can just kind of cool off some of the unproductive fighting and minimizes all that negative interaction. I love how you described that Jimmy. I really related to how you said that so much coming at you one time for me, one reason that separation was helpful was it, it took away the tendency for me to take her for granted. And you know, my wife is, she’s an excellent like housekeeper, excellent cook, just an old school kind of traditional woman. I love it so much, but I didn’t realize how much she did. I did not realize or appreciate how much he did and I’ve very much took her for granted on the small things and separation helped me with that. You know, that’s one of the benefits I think is it helps you cool that stuff down. Stop taking each other for granted.
Brad Singletary (00:32:17):
You start to appreciate and recognize all the things that they did. I needed to gain a healthier sense of independence. So this is just a dumb example, a dumb, small example. But I would I would work 12 hours and I would come home on Thursday night and no one’s taking the trash out to the street. You know, Friday morning is our trash time. No one takes the trash out to the street and I would be so pissed off that no one could have done this. At the end of my day, I got to take a stinky, you know, what is that an 80 gallon bucket of shit, you know, to, to my, to my toilet. It really was, but it was full of, it was full of the dirty dog cause I got tattooed anyway. So at the end of my long day, I just zone in on, appreciates me, I deserve better.
Brad Singletary (00:33:07):
I’ve got to roll this, you know, 500 pound canister, just literal garbage to the street cause no one else can do it. Well, when I’m separated, guess what? That’s only that, that that was only my job anyway. And so I learned to stop resenting that. And that’s just a small example. There are many, much bigger, you know, kind of situations where I learned that. But I had to learn some independence and some self control. I figured out a way to do it. Mike talks about systems and strategies and things. I would write notes on the refrigerator cause I go there often put a note on the frigerator to Thursday night, take the trash out, clean out the refrigerator, take the trash out so things aren’t stinky. So I had to, I had to gain a greater sense of independence and self control. Other possible benefits. We’ve talked about our own stories, but what other things do you see when other men have done this that are beneficial in a separation? Cause what we’re talking about is how to appreciate that step at some point of separation is going to happen. It’s just whether or not you filing for divorce right away or calling this done and over forever. Or do you give this a little bit of time? What other kind of benefits are there to that?
Jimmy Durbin (00:34:31):
Well, I think one of them, someone’s calling for the separation. You know, there’s a driver, somebody’s, you know, making it happen in my case. Yeah.
Jimmy Durbin (00:34:43):
Because of my addiction and alcoholism, you know, Shannon’s mama bear came out and said, you need to go. And so it was incumbent upon me to decide where do I want to take this next. So, and that becomes a power play too. Right.
Brad Singletary (00:35:10):
Jimmy Durbin (00:35:12):
Decides to tap out first. So I’ve got it. I had to deal with that and realize, you know, I got kicked out. It was understandable. And then realizing what’s next. Cause the divorce papers are filed or written, not filed yet. And so the separation is not as permanent as a divorce. And it’s, it was a timeout for both of us to just kinda as Mike said it, for using the car analogy to cool. Let things cool off. You know, I’ve got an 88 Jeep Wrangler. Things been leaking out of the radiator for the last two weeks. And so my best thinking is I’m going to go to auto parts store, get some kind of leak, stop it, seal it for the radiator. So I poured in there and it worked for, I don’t know, a week. And finally it was just leaking and leaking and then now I’m carrying a gallon, a cord of radiator fluid.
Jimmy Durbin (00:36:26):
So I’m filling it up and you know, piecemeal on this thing together. And so finally I’m like, all right, screw it. I’ll just take it to the mechanic. And so he calls me up, he’s like, Hey man, did you, what did you pour? Cause it’s like all over the engine. It’s going to get, it’s gotten into everything. Now we’ve got to pull the radio out and flush the engine and get all the gunk. Cause I thought, I’ve found this miracle cure because that was going to solve it all. And I had that same mentality going through the marriage and trying to piecemeal it. Like I didn’t want to do the work. I was trying to cut corners. Like okay if I’ll do this, but that’s not, that wasn’t sustainable. It wasn’t sustainable. The answer had to come because I was changing my own transformation. And so I often think have this mantra of if I’m not the problem, there is no solution.
Jimmy Durbin (00:37:18):
Like instead of making her the problems or the kids have problems or work the problem, I’m the problem because if I’m the problem now I can find a solution. I’m not looking to blame or be a victim to her or what she does or how she does or how often we get sex or not, what like let me be it cause I can work on me. You know, I can go through my own process and and ask for help and sit with other guys and say, okay, but before then she was a problem. The marriage was a problem. The house who lives in pro, my job was like everything else about me. Like I didn’t want to take accountability much like with this radio, like, Oh well I’ll just put this in here because it says it works and it made it worse. Great. Now $850 later.
Brad Singletary (00:38:09):
Wow. I love that. If I’m not the problem, there is no solution. Yeah, that’s great. I’ve actually heard one of your sponsees to use that. Use that language. I know that you teach that a lot, so yeah, I mean I think separation also gives you a chance to see what it might be like to divorce. Maybe you’ve, you’ve lived together for years and now you’re going to see what that may be like without them around. Maybe it you acknowledge some of the significant problems that you weren’t able to see before. A little space, a little time, a little bit of, you know, some reflection and gratitude. You mean what’s that? Get into gratitude. Yeah. What’s that?
Mike Spurgin (00:38:51):
What do you think about in-house separations. I know guys who then try to like sleep on the floor here or how about this? I know I’ve got guys who will be like, you stay on your side of the bed. I’ll stay on mine. That’s sort of one level. Another level is I’ll sleep on the futon here in the room. You sleep on the bed. Another one would be, I’ll sleep in this room. You sleep in that room. I’ll sleep upstairs. You sit downstairs. We think about in house under one roof separation.
Brad Singletary (00:39:17):
I don’t think it’s very effective. I mean, when you’re sleeping there’s not much going on really anyway. You’re not really, I guess you’re, you know, maybe that’s symbolic in a way. I’ve told my wife and have pretty much stuck to this. I’m not, I’m not sleeping any. If I’m in my house, I’m asleep in my bed. I mean, there’s just no point in that happening. And, and please don’t you go sleeping on the couch either because it’s just ridiculous that you can’t sleep in your own comfortable bed. I, I don’t know if it does much, if you’re talking about, you know, some of the sexual tension is eased or something when you’re sleeping in a different room or a different area. Maybe. I don’t think that’s much of a, of a real, that’s just my thought. I don’t know if that’s very effective or not. I mean, I,
Jimmy Durbin (00:39:59):
I think about a family that has diabetes, right? There’s levels to being a diabetic. You may have one brother that just needs to eat right and exercise and he’s fine. Never gets, never becomes diabetic. Second brother needs to eat right exercise, but also carries a candy bar depending on what his insulin does and the sugars. And the third brother needs to eat right exercise and carries an epi pen cause it he goes off the charts and then you have the sickest of the sick. I’m raising my hand. I need to surgically implanted pump right to regulate my insulin levels. So I think the in house separation is part of that. Maybe that works at a lower level of, you know, if you’re the first second brother it could work depending on where the marriage is out and the level of communication and the different behaviors and what kind of trauma or toxicity has been created or what boundaries have been crossed.
Jimmy Durbin (00:40:54):
But again, I go back to what I said earlier, things are moving so quickly and the moment you guys wake up, you’re potentially at each other’s throat and then you’ve got the kids. And so all of these things are being reflected back at me cause we tried that and I couldn’t perform. I couldn’t answer right. I couldn’t think clearly. I was defending, I was in my ego, I was making it her fault and it, I was the sickest of the sick. So I, I needed the separation in order to have the pump surgically implanted so then I could go back into that situation and I was, everything was regulated, I was fine. But I think it’s a process. Maybe that’s the first step, you know, before you start, before you get a U haul truck over there, you know that you start with some, some of that more symbolic kind of separation that’s less impact.
Jimmy Durbin (00:41:50):
Yeah. And then what do you level, what are you each doing, you know? Okay, so we separated and we’re in different rooms, but what else is changing? You know, who else are you going to for help? What, what other tools or devices are being used? If you’re just doing that, I mean, good luck. It didn’t work for me. Like I’m sure there’s guys, it’s happened before, but that’s just not my style. Like you’ve seen him do it, you’ve seen him, you’re talking about, you’ve heard them, you know, ask about that or whatever. What are your thoughts on it?
Mike Spurgin (00:42:20):
I think it’s a moderately successful, so the guys with the cow separation, it’s, it’s mixed. I think, I think everybody has to really work through what’s going to work for them. I think that, I think maybe this, anything that sort of like is a shock to the system sometimes. Sometimes you need like chemo, right? You go backwards before you go forwards. And so anything that creates like a shock to wake up, new thinking, new beliefs, new ideas, new concepts, that’s good. Like I have no problem with sort of a slap upside the head in terms of like, this is like really, this is where we’re at. I’m sleeping downstairs in the basement. Like what the hell? Like I’m okay with a guy going through that because that sort of is a shock to the system. Right. if that then translates into him doing the work.
Mike Spurgin (00:43:17):
So this is what’s good about it is it’s a shock and it caused him to like have eyes wide open so we can see that things are jacked and then he can start that journey. That’s when it’s good. When it’s bad is when the home, he just becomes more and more resentful that he’s freaking just sleeping in the basement, was wife’s upstairs, he’s not getting any, and then he’s, you know, he’s sleeping on the futon down by the washer, banging away in the other room. Like that guy is doing it wrong. So that’s when it becomes a failure and everybody’s got to search your own heart and decide if, how are you playing this? Like, okay, you’re, you’re on couch separation. What are you, how are you playing that? What are you doing with your time? What are you doing with your thoughts while this is going on?
Jimmy Durbin (00:44:01):
I like that. I mean, I, it’s a bottom right and it takes what it takes. I mean, I’ve known the guy that was in his addiction, his wife, they ultimately divorced. That didn’t get into recovery.
Speaker 7 (00:44:24):
Jimmy Durbin (00:44:24):
What got him there was actually getting a text from his ex wife saying, Hey, I’m going to start dating that that was caused him enough pain to change his behavior and now he’s in recovery. Wow. You see, you never know what it takes. So like to Mike’s point, like you’ve got to assess your own situation and realize we all have, we all have work to do. I don’t care where you are in this journey. And I, and I’ve always said like, I don’t care if you’re a high functioning spiritual guru or the drunk that’s living in the tunnels. As long as someone is looking to increase their spiritual frequency, I’m all in, I’m all in anytime a day. Like I’m cause I want to hang out with that person cause they have something to teach me. But these people that are Flatliners or heading in a downward spiral or I, you know, no thanks.
Jimmy Durbin (00:45:31):
No thanks. Not a downward spiral or their behavior, but just their attitude. Yeah. You know, and, and, and believe me, I was one of those guys, you know, ego, narcissistic traits fake, phony, shallow. I’m a fraud telling people what I think they want to hear. I’m not looking to grow, not looking to increase my spiritual frequency. And that’s subsequently, you know, I’m in addiction, I’m having challenges at home and it, it takes what it takes some time. So, yeah, if it’s an in house separation and that awakes something inside a person to want to move forward I’m all in again. I wasn’t able to do that. There was, I had caused too much havoc. I had caused too much destruction. I’d caused too much betrayal. I was toxic. And so to try to stay in the house and do all of that, but just led me right back into my addiction, like couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do it.
Brad Singletary (00:46:32):
So assume a guy’s already in the separations already happen for whatever reason he chose it, she chose it. Whatever. You are separated you’re not currently pursuing divorce, but what should an alphabet,
Brad Singletary (00:46:48):
If he’s trying to be alpha, how does he, what does he do? What are the steps he takes while separated? We talked about some of our own experiences in the previous episode, but for me, I would just say first, really truly get back to yourself. And I don’t mean selfishness because that’s, I don’t want to send a mixed messages. I’m talking about how satisfied are you with your own positioning in life. You may have every reason in the book. She may have cheated, she may have done something dirty financially. She may be a total bitch there. Maybe there could be something that you have all every right to be angry and be separated. Let’s just say, how are you about yourself, brother? How do you like how you look? How do you like what you’re doing with your time and your money and your kids and your job? Are you happy? Are you at peace with yourself? To me, that’s what a gosh. One of the first things that guys should be doing is stop looking to blame and get yourself on track with whatever that means. Whatever’s important to you, whatever you value, you got to get back to your truest self and that includes really a reconnection with your true identity, which maybe is a spiritual process, but what are your thoughts you guys? What should an alpha be doing? Separations happened. What? Now?
Mike Spurgin (00:48:05):
You know, the first thing that comes to mind is when we talked about this, when we did that coronavirus thing where we were talking about what do you do with the time that you’re given now on this, your world’s put on hold a little bit here. You’ve got all this free time. You’re handed. What are you going to do with it? I think that that, did you need step?
Mike Spurgin (00:48:21):
Have a moment to be sad. It seems pretty reasonable. Have a cry, have a beer, have a cry, listened to a country song. My dog ran away, my wife left with the garbage man, like it sucks. It’s super sucks to come to these realizations. It’s valid. Have a cry, legit. You’re in. It’s okay, no problem. Then take that
Mike Spurgin (00:49:00):
And and put it to use. Nobody is served by perpetual moping, perpetual anger, like anything that becomes chronic is self destructive and pointless and will ultimately kill you and kill the marriage. Not physically, not literally, but you know what I mean. So your wife looks at you and then you’ve decided that you’re going to spend a ton of time getting stoned or a ton of time moping or hanging with the bros or playing video games or going to the bars or whatever. Like like you look at this as a free time, like Woohoo, I don’t have to like deal with her no more. I don’t have to put up with all that nonsense. She’s got the kids, whatever. I’m going to go and be a child. This is a heat. This I just got handed a keys to a car and somebody spray painted on the side, child drive, child aboard.
Mike Spurgin (00:49:58):
What does that little sign on child on baby on board. That’s me baby on board and I just got handed the keys to that car and I’m going to go drive it. That guy now, guy needs to pull his head out of his ass cause that’s not what this is about. So, and I know those guys, I know one of those guys and that guy, his wife should leave his ass like she should. She should call a lawyer right now. One 800 get divorced. Dump that dude because I don’t, I don’t know what’s going to cause this will hit and the block wall is going to cause this guy to pull his head out. Like that’s what will happen is he’ll just drive that car with baby on board, sign on the back, right into a wall. Then he’ll be ready to deal. But right now he’s an he’s, you know, plan, plan, the idiot card. So I think the alpha when he’s in this situation passes through the moments that he needs to pass through and easy to have a cry and he didn’t have a tear. It’s totally good. It’s totally good spine. Have it with your boys too. You know, go, go sit at a bar with your boys, the trusted advisors and let them know what’s going down and see what they have to say. Get some good wisdom, hang out with older dudes. Hang out with guys who’ve got some scars on them and then get to work.
Brad Singletary (00:51:23):
One in one of our shows you quoted, I forget who you quoted, but it was something about humility and you said, if, if you’re not humble, just keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll get there. It sounds like your buddy is on the way there. What else? What else should a guy be doing? He’s separated. I’m saying to get back to himself. Mike is saying, how would you summarize that? What, what was your, your wisdom there? Have a good cry. How you feel, what you feel. Have a cry, feel it all. Take your time and then come out of that. Get to work, get to work. I like, I like what Mike said. I,
Jimmy Durbin (00:52:00):
I get implied permission to do those things, you know? So thank you for that gift Mike. You know, the way you frame that Brad is different than my experience. You know, I, I was the cause I was causal. But to flip the script on, if Shannon would have been doing those things, I, I would need a good cry. You know, I would need to go through that and there’d probably be some period of time that I played video games and done those things. Okay. Now what, you know what was explained to me and said to me, if you want to act married, stay married. Or the other way, actually if I wanted to stay married, I needed to act married and, and I think that goes along with this, that if I want to leave my options open, if I don’t want to close any doors, separation will help me with that. It’s not final, it doesn’t necessarily be permanent, but there is going to be part of me as a man that I’m going to maybe want to sow my oats or play the field or go to the bar again and again and again and again. And that’s not necessarily behavior of a man that wants to stay married. So I need to act and hold
Brad Singletary (00:53:25):
Myself in accordance, even if who’s ever to blame that my end run is to stay married, to keep my family together. So if I want to do that, then I need to act that way and I need to let that be a rudder in a situation that seems rudderless, rudderless, and in an environment that’s chaotic at best. But I use that suggestion as a North star as a guiding point of something to look at my behavior and compare it to is this, if I was in a healthy, vibrant, juicy succulent marriage, is this the way I’d be behaving? And that helped because it helped me avoid a lot of pitfalls that I was either heading towards getting ready to plumb it into or avoid all that. So much of this is just, you know, taking a look at yourself, fixing yourself. I think one thing when I was separated that was very important was to continue to look at the financial commitment. So if you’re separated now you have two households
Brad Singletary (00:54:42):
That’s a lot more difficult when you’ve got, you got, you know, you’ve got two electric bills and two cable bills and to rent or mortgage or whatever you have. That makes it very difficult. And I just think what an alpha does is he does everything possible to not let that be an argument. There’s plenty of other problems. Get a second job if you have to work extra hours, if you have to stop spending or whatever you have to do to make sure that that doesn’t become an added part of the, of the, of the problem. You know, the financial commitments are going to continue. You got to find a way to figure that out and don’t let that be another obstacle, you know, if that’s not a primary issue going on, you know, continue to honor that stuff. That’s also part of the fear. I think of doing this in home separation.
Brad Singletary (00:55:29):
But I can’t afford an apartment. I can’t afford the extra expense. So I’m just going to sleep in the basement with the Washington dryer machine going off. And I think an alpha male says, you know what? This isn’t working. And so I need to break through my own fear and just realize I can make it work. You know, there’s rooms out to rent, there’s a lot of solutions that can come, but that’s a man who’s working in the solution and is not part of the problem. Great. That’s great stuff. Any other thoughts on what a man should be doing? We’ve talked about talking with other men and serious dialogue. Get back to yourself, kind of look in the mirror, honor your financial commitments. Consider your own part of the problems. Any thoughts coming to you, Mike over there during the separation? What is the alpha do to step up and be a man? I think that one of the things that, that dude is to play the style
Mike Spurgin (00:56:24):
Away can show that to his wife is if he does move out, don’t get a place that’s, so for two and a half years when my wife and I were separated, I slept on a futon on the floor in my sister’s spare bedroom and it was a room that the dogs had been in and you know, dogs will pee on the carpet and there was dog hair on there. And I was grateful to have that as an option. And it was an old futon that had come out of the attic and it smelled and the carpet smelled. And I was happy to have it and I was happy to have that place in a call. It, you know, my little home for for two and a half years, I slept on a futon on the floor for two and a half years and it was dramatically humbling and it was rewarding too because whatever I had in my head that made me feel like I was, I don’t know, special or all that gone, slept on a crappy futon on the floor for two and a half years.
Mike Spurgin (00:57:31):
So what I would say to a dude, if you, if you are serious about your life and changing your life and leveling up, then you sleep in a camper or you, you ask your buddy, you know, can I sleep on the couch in the game room? You make it happen and you don’t. You don’t say to yourself, well, I’m not going to freaking go and drop down a level. I’m going to, I’m going to level up like I don’t deserve an a part, a little crappy one bedroom apartment. I’m going to get a house as big or bigger and I’m going to get like to game up into one up what you came from and then to level up that, that’s sin, that’s continuing the S the same stupid broken, cyclical thinking. That’s very likely a big component of the whole problem in the first place.
Mike Spurgin (00:58:24):
So what I, what I think a guy does is he is, he does what he needs to do and he keeps it on the down low and he makes it happen and he doesn’t create more. Here’s what he doesn’t do. He doesn’t go get a big, big, nice place that puts another burden on himself that he uses to weaponize against his wife because she’s such a whatever that she drove him out and now he’s got to make that two payments on two nice places cause he’s unwilling to sleep on a, you know, a futon or wa or whatever it is. So I think the dude I think the dude does what he needs to do and he just sucks it up and he takes it and he, and he finds a way to make it work and to be satisfied that this journey is going to be messy and some, this stuff goes unresolved for a while and he’s able to chill, chill him, chill out with stuff being like vague and not knowing and not having a timeline and not being in control, like calm yourself, calm yourself down and deal with it and let it flow, man.
Mike Spurgin (00:59:42):
Just, just let it happen.
Brad Singletary (00:59:45):
I shared it with a guy one time who was separated for a little while. I asked, know what if this took six months or a year? And he just was like, Oh no, no, no, no, no. And I told him about you. I said, one of my best friends was separated for two and a half years. Great marriage, happy life right now. Happy wife, happy life. And it’s all good. Could you, could you do that? And if you can’t, you’re only thinking of yourself. That’s the point. If you’re pushing for a timeline and a deadline and an answer, that’s a control issue. And you’re right. That’s probably part of why you got in this situation in the first place.
Mike Spurgin (01:00:19):
You’ve gotta be willing to go to any links, any links, and open minded to all suggestions. And the third leg of that is just being rigorously honest. You know, with the situation with yourself, where you’re at, what you need to work on. And if you have all three of those at the same time, it’ll work. It’ll work.
Brad Singletary (01:00:44):
I think an important thing too, when you’re separated is to try to minimize the impact on your kids. You know, if you have children between you and your, they notice, you know, dad’s not around as much anymore or whatever you may, that may be a situation where you need some help. You need some other perspectives for a professional or a pastor or someone to help you with about how you might handle that with them. But to continue to show love to them and spend time with them. And maybe it’s an opportunity to reconnect with them in a better way. You’re not, you’re not fighting as much with your spouse or your partner. You can really reinvest some of that time into your kids. That’s an, that’s an important one is to consider that they’re confused and wondering as well, if you’ve disconnected from your wife, the chances are probably pretty high that you’ve also, you know, they feel this disconnection and maybe you’ve completely lost the plot with them. And so I think that’s an important consideration instead of trying to chase her down and see if you can get lucky on, you know, after one of your Friday night dates or whatever are convinced her that this is the weekend we can move back in together. Maybe take that time to focus on something special with your kids if that’s relevant to you.
Mike Spurgin (01:01:58):
That’s a good one.
Brad Singletary (01:02:01):
What about boundaries? You know, I guess that needs to be a conversation. Are we going to date? Are we going to see other people? Are we going to have inappropriate conversations? My guess is that if you want to stay married, you should act married, right, Jimmy? Absolutely. That’s just definitely not gonna. That’s not going to take you to where we, we touched on some of that in the previous episode where we shared our story. I guess you’ve got to figure out what kind of contact you’re going to have. Generally if you’re pushing for more contact, you’re probably, you know, if you’re, if you’re pursuing and she’s withdrawing, you’re just ruining your cause and you need to kind of back off a little bit if you’re, when can we, when can we have lunch, when can we, you know, when can we get together again when we’re gonna spend time again? Can we have sex? Is there anything this weekend, can we be together? If you’re doing that and she’s playing a little bit, kind of hard to get, you should take notice of that because it means something and you’re probably not helping things out. Any thoughts on that? The pursuing behavior guys are really trying to get an answer, get some time, get some touch, and they’re pushing too hard for that. You mentioned that a little bit in your story, Jimmy, where you just kept trying to make it faster.
Jimmy Durbin (01:03:14):
Yeah, I mean, I wanted to be home and, and I wasn’t safe. And so I understood that cognitively. But it was time and I needed to show up as safe, which means my behavior or my old behavior patterns needed to change. And I was still trying to be manipulative and you know, early on in the separation I decided to get a dog and the place I was staying at didn’t allow him. So that meant it needed to be housed at the home. So my thought was, well, that all give me an excuse to get into the house and, and all it was for Shannon was great. Now I’ve got gotta take care of this dog and I’m paying the bills. And and more and more. And so the dog though, mojo was an the ability for me to have a boundary and to keep and show integrity with my word because I made a promise to her that I’ll come over every day. You don’t have to see me, I’ll walk the dog and I’ll clean up after the dog. And so that became a marker for us of, okay, let’s see if this jerk offs actually gonna keep
Brad Singletary (01:04:41):
Cause we’re [inaudible].
Jimmy Durbin (01:04:44):
And I did, you know and I was at that place, like I had the two bore two by four slapped up against my head. I wanted to change, I wanted the family back. I was willing to go to any lengths and open-minded, all suggestions. And so although I, it was very manipulative of me to get the dog it worked out. It would have been a complete disaster had I not kept my word because I would have crossed a boundary. I would have not had any integrity. And once again, my word wouldn’t have been reliable. And so there are things that you can do to keep your word, but, and then that’s one of them, right, is in the, in the erosion of trust, we lose credibility with our word, at least one partner will. And so what can we bring into our situation where there can be a boundary, we can respect the boundary.
Jimmy Durbin (01:05:54):
Like in the beginning, Shannon, she was not interested in seeing me. You know, I could see her through the sliding glass mirror when she was home. And that’s all the contact that she wanted from me because of where our relationship was at. And so could I keep that boundary and not be entitled, well, this is my house so I can go into the house and get water and do whatever I want. Because that’s again, my old behavior of actually Jimmy does Jim the jerk. Yes, absolutely. And so that was a boundary. I got to show integrity and, and be reliable with my word and you know, 10 years later I still pick up after mojo and, and still take him off.
Brad Singletary (01:06:38):
He’s a good dog by the way. He’s been, he’s been in my office, very well behaved. I love that. Find ways to prove your reliability, your discipline, you know, and maybe not something so impulsive or whatever you’re saying. Maybe that was in some ways a mistake or manipulative, but you carried it out and you, you, you, you handled it very well after the fact. That’s great.
Jimmy Durbin (01:06:57):
And I think if it can be with the kids, you know, I think if that’s the commitment you’re going to make to yourself and to the relationship that you’re going to not just be a weekend dad, but you’re actually going to go over with her permission of like helping with homework, then show up, suit up and show up. That’s what an alpha male does.
Brad Singletary (01:07:18):
Suit up and show up. He, you know, he’ll keep those boundaries. I love it. I’m working with a guy right now and he’s in an apartment, they’re separated and he’s just a slob. Just a messy, like I’m talking stinky dishes everywhere and just totally terrible. And that’s something that we’re working on is that he could really show a change of heart, a change of discipline, a change of priority by simplifying, you know, maybe you don’t need to reload 10,000 rounds of ammunition this weekend. How about you wash your damn dishes so that when she wants to come over she’s, she’s, there’s something that she finds impressive there. I know I had to do that. My wife’s a great housekeeper and just kind of a neat freak, you know, very clean. And I had to, I wasn’t, you know, to that level maybe of messy, but I had to I had to learn how to keep things up, how to keep it, you know, be reliable.
Brad Singletary (01:08:09):
And so when she would come over to pick up my kids or whatever, I wanted it to look like I had some, some, some self-respect. And so anything that you can do to show that, not just to show it, but to be it, have some, some dignity and self respect and don’t be a slob and keep your stuff. Keep your stuff nice, keep your commitments. If you make an appointment to pick up your kids, you better be there. Don’t you dare early as those things be there early. Just come through, be reliable and dependable.
Mike Spurgin (01:08:41):
That’s how you become attractive. You want to get back with your woman, then she will be attracted to an alpha guy. She doesn’t want to lose her. You know, the old you, that was that loser. She, that’s why she’s, that’s, that’s why you’re out of the house is cause you, you, you devolved into loser status to some, to some degree winner back by leveling up and becoming attractive, attract her back and she, and she’ll fall back in love with you. I’ve seen that. I mean that may be part of our journey. My wife and I, but I’ve seen that happen so many times where a dude, because he makes himself so unattractive and that desperation. Remember earlier talking about like, Hey, when can I see you again? When, when are we going to go out again, you are not helping your, cause you’re going backwards. Like you’re, you’re in reverse gear pedal down. She is, she does not want any part of that. That desperation is incredibly unattractive.
Brad Singletary (01:09:36):
Yeah. To be needy and to be, to be needy and to, you know, well I need some attention or I need some time or I need, you know, how aren’t you over this yet? And those kinds of things that will never, ever, ever get you closer to a reconciliation. It just doesn’t work. That’s not attractive whatsoever. The guy who can just have some restraint and some discipline and some, you know, he’s, he, he finds his peace through his own healthy living and he’s just got a whole bunch of, a whole bunch of that piece who’s an off of him when she’s around. That’s what, that’s what’s going to make a difference for you. Other thoughts you guys on kind of how to handle separation. We’ve touched on a number of things here tonight. Just wondering what we may be have not mentioned. What about this? When is it time? How do you know when it’s time to really look at a coming back together? When do you know we’re ready to move back in?
Jimmy Durbin (01:10:39):
Well, I was one of those guys that was needy, kept asking to come back and I was opening myself up to rejection, which was hurtful and that could fuel my anger and resentments. And it just dawned on me to stop asking that, you know, Mike mentioned that just the attraction. So could I keep my feet moving and be attractive to her rather than promoting what I was doing and how it was living and how things are better and, and just let her be witness to it. And ultimately,
Speaker 7 (01:11:34):
Jimmy Durbin (01:11:36):
The healing started to come back into the relationship and Shannon asked me to come back. So I, I think to answer your question, it’s an organic process. And realizing that you’ve changed that I had changed aloud the continuity and the natural progression of the separation. Cause it, I mean, you get separated, it’s going to go one of two ways. We’re going to get divorced amount or it’s going to organically evolve for both people of this is the next step in it. It’s no different than dating, courting. You know, I’ve got a 25 year old son right now and he’s dating this gal and just kind of watching as it unfolds and what they’re going through and they’re having communication and then there’ll be some kind of disagreement and seeing how they handle that. And I think as a couple, when you start to realize we’re able to break our own cycle, where we’re changing, we’re interacting differently, those are going to be signs of, you know, maybe, or when are we ready to kind of move this from the separation into let’s come back into the house.
Mike Spurgin (01:13:06):
Thoughts on that mic. How do you know when it’s ready? When you’re ready. When the little Turkey based or thing pops up, you put the Turkey in the oven, it’s got the little popper and nothing pops out. It’s time. The Turkey is hot, it’s gotten cooked, it’s ready. I stood. It’s time. I like, I like, what’d you mean? Just said I think that you both realize that you are back in love with each other. I think you both realize that you can now count on the other. You see that they’re taking, they’re, they’re paying a price, they’re listening to what you say, and then they’re incorporating that into their behavior and act their behavior actions, same thing. They’re incorporating that into their behavior and then they’re projecting it back in terms of respect. So if you love me, you respect me. If, if you want to have a tidy sink and that’s something that’s important to you, then I respect that and I show you love.
Mike Spurgin (01:14:06):
I demonstrate love back to you by listening to what you say to me in regards to that fricking sink. And it’s not about the sink, it’s about did I hear you? And then will I act on what you, what is important to you? And, and the, the complicated thing that happens with, in a relationship with w with with your wife from a guy’s perspective, and I hear this all the time, is this sliding scale of, well, what does she need? What does she expect? What does she want? And you gotta be, you gotta be patient. Because the reality is today, it’s this, tomorrow it’s something else. And then the next day it’s gonna be a third thing. And that’s okay because she dealing what she’s dealing with and she’s not going to be maybe thinking with the, with the right mind yet. And that’s okay.
Mike Spurgin (01:14:58):
So you can give her time, you can let it, let her work that stuff out. So both of you will know it’s time because each of you is projecting to the other that you’re listening and that you respect them by follow through and then the, the, the return of commitment. Like you’re showing loyalty and you’re showing commitment to the long term and you’ve done that repeatedly over and over and over and over and they’ve gotten comfortable with that. Knowing that that’s real. You, you’ve, you’re reliable. You’re now a reliable person, a reliable partner or a reliable component to their life. So much so that they see value, they see more value in having you than not having you. And they see, I need me a piece of that, cut me off a piece of that and serve it for dinner. Diying the Turkey thing is done and when that all happens and all of that comes into alignment, then you’re back in and not before.
Brad Singletary (01:16:04):
Oh, I love that so much, man. That’s just a great, those are great visuals and great examples of how you can know when it’s time to come back together. The thought that I had was about peace, but I think you could have peace, which may be just the absence of anxiety. But Mike, you’re talking about proving that with, what was the word to use? You know, like respectful consideration of their, of their needs. Your, what did you say there? Gosh,
Mike Spurgin (01:16:33):
You’re listening to them and then you’re following through and they see you and your actions and your words and then they don’t fear you. Cause what? What your spouse fears is your irresponsibility, your irrational responses, your mad that they want to have the sink be clean. Like you take that as a personal thing,
Brad Singletary (01:16:55):
Tom, I’ve got to do this every time. You know, every time we’ve, you don’t like there to be spoons in the sink when I’ve had a bowl of cereal. That’s terrible. That’s bullshit. You’re not ready. You’re not ready. So when that’s all black, when all that crazy energy is bled away, then you’re ready. I like what you said to Jimmy about it’s organic. The knowing you both kind of know it together. You both feel that it can’t be forced. It can’t be manipulated. I mean you can, you could do that. You could try, but the outcome is probably not going to be very good. Other thoughts you guys on separation, how to do it, what’s important to do, why it should be considered before divorce?
Jimmy Durbin (01:17:36):
Yeah, I mean I, one of the things I realized and I talked about mojo and just I needed to control the interactions that we were having as a couple and wanted them to be positive so that when we, when I would show up, it would be a positive exchange for her. She’d be left with like, okay, maybe there’s some hope, you know, and not push it beyond its boundaries of staying longer than I was welcomed where we’d end up in a fight and it’s just like with the UFC, if it goes to the judge’s card, right, it’s the guy who gets the last take down or gets the last punch. Like it’s impressive to the judges of what you left them with before they have to go to the scorecard. And it was the same way. And I learned that actually it was an interaction I had with my dad.
Jimmy Durbin (01:18:32):
I was trying to repair that marriage or that relationship and I thought, okay, I’ll just go down to San Diego and spend the weekend with him. And like in the first 12 hours it went bad, you know? And I couldn’t leave. I mean, I could have but I didn’t. And I transfer that over into the interactions I was having with Shannon of okay, I need to come in for specific reason and have our interaction and let it be positive so that she’s started to be attracted to my new way of living and my new way of being and leave before my ego comes back or I’m starting to defend or we get into an argument and we’re rehashing all the old stuff. Start talking some shit. Exactly. And that helped immensely because now I was building one positive interaction after the other and we’re in the beginning, it may have been five minutes and now it was half an hour and an hour and I was able to work with Shannon of like this, Hey, this is what I’m trying to do.
Jimmy Durbin (01:19:38):
Like I, I want to be that guy for you. And I don’t like it when we argue and we bring up all these things, we need to deal with them. Yes, but not now. And so the metaphor we used to use, like you know when you’re blowing up a balloon and you blow it up and you blow it up and it’s like stretching and you know it’s going to pop in your like lips are pierced and you’re like, ah, right. Well when we get into argument, all that meant us is that the balloon popped and it wasn’t right or it wasn’t wrong, it wasn’t good or it wasn’t bad. It was just the marker like that was the limit to which we could spend time together before it goes bad. And neither one of us wanted that. We, we both wanted to have these positive interactions cause we don’t like to deal with that stuff. And so, but at I, it had to begin with me. It had to start with me because if I’m not the problem, there is no solution. And so that became both literally and figuratively, a metaphor for us of how long could we be together before it did go South. And then when the balloon popped, it just did. And that was like, okay, you know what, we’re, we’ve reached the time. And so let’s just go from that point.
Brad Singletary (01:20:57):
You know, I love what you said. It’s, it starts with you. If you think about what an alpha is in any respect, an alpha is a leader. So whether you’re the dipshit who messed it up or she’s done something to anger you, an alpha is a leader. An alpha takes responsibility and alpha leads by example. And does what needs to happen in order for, you know, whatever, whatever the objective is. If it’s trying to get your marriage back together, get under the same roof, getting it back in the same bed, that’s what an alpha does. He looks in the mirror, he pulls his boots up and handles business. So other thoughts you guys on how to handle a separation, how to look at it, what you need to be doing.
Jimmy Durbin (01:21:42):
Can I be an alpha? I want to be enough.
Brad Singletary (01:21:44):
Dude, you’re out here. Who’s an alpha. You got it all over you.
Mike Spurgin (01:21:49):
That was well said Brad. I think that, I don’t know how I could say anything different than that. If, if being married is important and being the father in the home of your kids is important, then you forgive whatever’s happened. W you, you accept whatever you’ve done, you forgive whatever’s happened to you and, and you have a cry and you figure out what your next steps are and then you, you, Oh, you own it and you step up and then you just make one step in front of the other, one foot in front of the other and you, you start the journey, you get the journey started and you head towards reconciliation eventually when it happens and whatever it looks like. And I think you’ve guys have said a really good piece and I’ll just say it again and, and all three of us here would be willing to help out in any way that we possibly can.
Mike Spurgin (01:22:45):
And so if you’re that dude and your completely stuck and don’t know, don’t have a clue where to go or what the next step would be, just shoot an email, shoot a message, shoot a text an Instagram, whatever, and just throw up the white flag. Cause you got guys who will jump in to the fire with you and will you and guide you out of the out of that. And I know that all of us, not only we have been there, but we will empathize, empathize with you. It doesn’t matter what kind of stupid stuff you’ve done or she’s done, it’s irrelevant. Every marriage is, is saveable. Every person is saveable. Every marriage may not be saveable, but every person in every marriage can, can be saved and can be redeemed and start there. Let the marriage fix itself.
Brad Singletary (01:23:34):
Some marriages can’t be fixed. Some guys are listening to this who were, you know, one hearing away from a divorce, maybe they’re already have been divorced. I think every principal that we’ve taught tonight applies for the guy who’s divorced. You didn’t try a separation. Don’t feel bad about that man. Listen to what we’re, we’re teaching principles that will help you lead yourself and take care of business in your own life and whatever that means for your future. Another relationship. Hell, I’ve known people that have gotten remarried to the person they’ve already divorced. I went to a therapist, a female therapist here in town, and I never realized this until years later, but she said, I’ve been in two marriages. One good one, one bad one, and they were both at the same man and I didn’t realize that she, I think she probably actually got divorced and then got remarried.
Brad Singletary (01:24:24):
Anyway, wherever you are in this, in this troubled situation that you’ve had or that you’re going through right now, you can level up. You can take care of yourself, you can do the things that are going to help you find peace in your life and happiness. You can save yourself. Like Mike talked about, marriage might not be saved, but you can be saved as a person and reach out to us if you need help with that. Appreciate you guys. Jimmy, thank you for being here, man. We’re going to have you back sometime and we encourage you to engage with the tribe, man. That’s how you strengthen your life is by engaging with other men to take a look at your actions, attitudes, and attributes. So long for tonight brothers.