Addicted to Dating Crazy Women! Freedomain Call In - Transcript

Caller's Email

Dear Stefan,

I am 40 years old from the UK. I am contacting you today because I would really like your help with regards to my relationships with the women in my life.

For years I have attempted to have long term and intimate relationships as more than anything, I really want to get married and have a family (and they will without a doubt be peaceful parented and loved!). But alas, I have never made it the fully pair bonded stage despite having several medium to long term relationships over the last 10 years. I have just turned 40 years old and despite having done years of Therapy and self development and thousands of hours of studying I am still having major issues with pair bonding and being a magnet for broken women, or women who seem to be in some form of crisis.

The second major issue which leads on from this is that my whole life I have been a constant rescuer and fixer and I find it incredibly difficult to split from a relationship even when it’s really not going to work, as I feel I will be hurting them at a vulnerable point in their life and I seem to sacrifice myself for them. This ultimately leads to me feeling stuck and trapped and experiencing side effects of anxiety and fatigue (which contributed to a major burnout in 2017)

I have listened to so many of your shows and I know this is wrong in many ways, especially as I don’t want to take their fertility window unnecessarily or haemorrhage anymore of my own time and resources.

Yet despite this level of self awareness which I have also developed through therapy (and I think its linked to my mother in some way), it is still a massive problem for me.

I still think there is something I am missing or not understanding properly and would love to get more clarity on this issue. I so often hear people on your shows say that you highlight things in a few hours that they didn’t realise in years of therapy and I am hoping you might be able to go a layer deeper with me to help me resolve this problem that is causing me so many problems.

Outside of this life is better, I am a dedicated Libertarian, Anarcho capitalist and Bitcoin advocate who has had several million views across all platforms on educational material I have created to help spread knowledge on Bitcoin.

I have spent years doing the hard work to turn my life around in every single way from a depressed, unmotivated, anxious, unconfident guy in my 20’s to a successful, much happier and confident person in my 30’s with much more or a purpose and mission.

But ultimately this is why I really need your help, I know I can be a great father and educator in this world and I don’t want to fall on such an important hurdle and throw away all my hard work by ending up with the wrong women and potentially breaking up a family. I know it would be something I would regret for ever if I do this and I feel like this is the way I am heading right now.

I am a long time listener of your show, donate often and I have huge admiration for everything you do and I would love to be able to discuss this with you.

Transcript

Caller:
[0:00] Dear Steph, um, I am 40 K I'm con because I would really with the women in my life for years.

Deep Love for Women in My Life

[0:12] I have a 10 ships as anything.
I really loved, but a lot to the fully pair.

Struggling with sacrifices and feeling stuck and trapped

[0:36] Development and failed studying, I'm still in it for broken crisis.
The second been a constant from a even when I know it's really not going to work as I feel I will be hurting them at a vulnerable point in their life and I seem to sacrifice excuse me sacrifice myself for them this ultimately leads me to feeling stuck and trapped and experiencing side effects of anxiety and fatigue which contributed to a major burnout in 2017 um I've listened to so many of your shows I know this is wrong in many ways especially as I don't want to take their fertility window unnecessarily or hemorrhage any more of my my own time and resources.
Yeah, despite this level of self-awareness, which I have also developed through therapy, and I think it's linked to my mother in some way, it is still a massive problem for me.
I still think there is something I'm missing or not understanding properly.
I would love to get more clarity on the issue.
I so often hear people on your show say that you highlight things in a few hours that they didn't realize in years of therapy, and I'm hoping you might be able to go a layer deeper with me to help me resolve this problem that is causing me so many issues.

[1:58] Outside of this life is better i am a dedicated libertarian a narco capitalist and bitcoin advocate who has several million views across all platforms on educational material that i help created to help spread knowledge of bitcoin um i spent many years doing hard work to turn my life around in many ways from a depressed unmotivated anxious like unconfident guy in my 20s to a successful much happier and confident person in my 30s which much with much more of a a purpose and mission, but ultimately, this is why I really need your help.
I know I can be a great father and educator in this world, and I don't want to fall on such an important hurdle and throw away all my hard work by ending up with the wrong woman, potentially breaking up a family.
I know it would be something I'd regret forever if I do this, and I feel like this is the way I'm heading right now.
I'm a long-term listener of your show, and I often have huge admiration for everything you do, and I'd love to be able to discuss this with you. Kind regards.
Name yeah yeah okay got it got it well i appreciate that i'm sure we can do some some useful stuff and when did you start listening um so i've been following you from the early days back on youtube um but to be honest at the time i was kind of coming in and out of the conversation i wasn't committed for time but as of this year i've gone all in on philosophy i've become absolutely hooked and i'm probably consuming about 80 of what you do and i try to do 100 but I've got to eat and sleep as well.

Stefan:
[3:26] It's my life. Other people have lives. So yeah, I got it.

Caller:
[3:30] But I'm generally, yeah, I've literally just absolutely love philosophy now.
And I'm having the same effect as when I got into Bitcoin. Like Bitcoin took over my life and philosophy is starting to do the same thing. Yeah.

Stefan:
[3:44] Good, good. All right. I mean, obviously I have my thoughts and I'm happy to take the conversation in your direction if you have something you want to talk about first?

Caller:
[3:56] But no, yeah, it's basically just understanding.
Yeah, I think one of the biggest issues is I get caught up in, not being able to believe my intuition or trust it or allowing myself to believe my intuition.
I think one of the other things I do is that I get caught between blaming my past.
Um i guess yeah my past maybe trauma from my childhood is the reason why i can't pair bond so i get stuck between whether it's them that are causing problems that um you know make me not want to pair bond or whether it's things i'm doing or a combination of both and then wait hang on i just so you you think you can't pair bond or you just can't pair bond with the crazy women you choose this is what yeah so this is where i get confused because i don't know whether it's the women i choose that are crazy or whether it's because of from my past or whether it's my crazy um or it's perhaps my inability to give everything to the relationship is causing them to deregulate or something along those lines you are quite the thinker yeah yeah yeah that's you are quite the overthinker never that's never happened in england before you are the very first british person to overthink anything all right okay so overthinker right and so yeah because Because if you say, well, I just can't pair bond, then it's almost like expecting philosophy to get you out of a wheelchair.

Exploring the ability to pair bond and past relationship experiences

Stefan:
[5:22] So I don't believe that's true. I don't believe that.
I mean, if you're choosing women for whatever past reasons or lack of sort of knowing the patterns, if you're choosing women.

Caller:
[5:34] That you can't pair bond with well that's like saying i can't make anyone understand me if i just only speak to japanese people that don't speak japanese so okay okay so so we'll say that you will put us a contingent thesis that you do have the ability to pair bond you just haven't pair bonded with women yet yeah and yeah and it's weird the reason i said that as well is because sometimes in previous relationships i'll have these days where you get absolute i feel these these moments where I feel so close and with my previous girlfriend I remember a few specific days that burnt into my mind where we actually got on really well amongst all the sort of madness and it was those days where I just think ah this is this is what it must feel like to be pair bonded where you have no sort of reservations you're committed you don't have any doubt and it was and you I still remember those days clearly where we'd go out and it felt like we were properly connected and then a day or two later it's all gone again and it's just like it's almost it's like you get a taster and then you just can't find it again it's uh well you know that's the definition of a bad relationship and the worst kinds of relationships are the ones with the oasis you know if it's all just a shit storm from beginning to end you just get out right but it's where you get these tastes and these teases that's that's the worst kind, yeah exactly yeah all right so um you're you're a long-term listener so we can hit the gas is Is that all right with you? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Okay.

Stefan:
[7:00] So when you were a kid, did you ever go through this phase where, my daughter went through this phase, where it's like, oh, there's a bird that can't fly. Let's take it home and take care of it.

Caller:
[7:14] Yeah, I do remember a few times where we found injured animals, tried to take them home, yeah.

Stefan:
[7:19] Right. So you thought you'd just keep going with that, with women, right?

Caller:
[7:25] Oh my God.

Stefan:
[7:27] And what that means is that, so, you know, the relationship template that we have, we all model ourselves after our fathers.
Because our fathers, there's nothing Freudian about it, it's just Darwinian, really. It's because our fathers are the sexually successful men that we know, right?
And of course, throughout most of human history, there wasn't a huge amount of variation in the old tribe, right? So what worked for your father would work for you, right?
So my guess then would be is that your father chose your mother and propped her up or tried to keep her functioning or tried to keep her running, and she kept stumbling or falling or something like that. Does that fit the template of your childhood at all?

Caller:
[8:11] Yeah, when looking at my parents, I think they both have issues, definitely, to say the least.
But my mum, yeah, my mum is an incredibly anxious woman.
Never came into her own, I don't think would be fair to say.
She's always served the family, but I wouldn't classify her as a mentally strong woman.
She had a lot of issues from her childhood. she always served the family what does that mean, I'm not sceptical I just don't know what it means I'm not sure what it means to you yeah sorry yeah so I would say you know they always yeah like as in running the household, in terms of cooking cleaning ironing everything that needs to be done obviously the emotional side wasn't there at all I don't think there was no she served the family like a maid would serve the family, yeah like a surf okay okay so what was missing emotionally yeah.

Discovering Philosophy and the Missing Pieces of Childhood

[9:16] I'm just any deep understanding of education about well put it this way when i discovered philosophy i was like oh my god how much haven't i've been taught in my childhood it's just i'm just that's why i'm just lapping it up now because i'm just like holy shoot if i'd just known this like i would have been absolutely flying from a young age so you need to you need i know see here's the funny thing right and i you know everything you're doing is great it's just a minor minor tip so because you've listened to me a lot um you think i know your thoughts because because you know my thoughts, right?

Stefan:
[9:47] So I'm just going to get on my knees and beg you to explain it to me like I'm five years old and I don't know what you're talking about.
Because when you go on these like, verbal journeys, I'm like, I'm being dragged along like some guy in the back of a pickup truck along a stony road in Arkansas.
So what was missing for you in your childhood? And then you go on about how much you love philosophy and it's like, well, that's great. But what was missing for you in your childhood?
Did she not play with you? did she not chat with you did she not cuddle you i mean what was you say because i still don't know what was missing for you with your mom and your childhood i think love was conditional and my childhood um from both parents um okay so now that's that's a judgment and i i appreciate your judgment but if your judgment was correct we wouldn't be having the call right so if you so So I'd say, what was missing for you in your childhood? And you say, well, I think my mom's love was conditional.
I don't know what you mean by love. I don't know what you mean by conditional.
And I still don't know what was actually absent for you as a child. Does that make sense?

Caller:
[10:56] Okay. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sorry.

Stefan:
[10:59] No, no, nothing to apologize for at all. It's totally great.
Just my tip, or at least my request.

Caller:
[11:05] I would probably say intimacy.
Like, emotional intimacy. Like, intimacy. No strong feelings of, um, ah, it's a really hard one. I do not, I wrote, I've actually wrote loads of notes down, but it's really interesting.
We worded it as what was actually missing.

Stefan:
[11:28] Well, hey man, I can, I can ask you some questions if you think that would help.

Caller:
[11:31] Yeah. Yeah. Cause I've talked, I've talked about like a lot of the problems, but I haven't really talked about what was missing. Like, um, yeah.

Stefan:
[11:38] Okay, so did your mother show great pleasure when you came home from school or came down from upstairs in the morning?
Did she jump up and give you a hug and did she take pleasure in your presence?

Caller:
[11:56] I think sometimes, but it was, yeah, I would say it was more muted.
It wasn't overt enjoyment.
Like you wouldn't, she would never run up and give a big hug, I don't think, but we know we're hugs, like, but I can't, I think sometimes, yeah, but other times not.
I know that's pretty vague as well.

Stefan:
[12:16] No, that's fine. That's fine. Did she enjoy doing things with you, playing games, going for walks, exploring nature, or even playing games, like video games.
If you were into something, did she try to figure it out or did she enjoy doing activities with you?

Caller:
[12:33] Yeah, yeah. We did a lot as a family, like day trips, played games, all those sorts of things, yeah.

Stefan:
[12:43] Okay, and did she enjoy trying to understand your thinking or your view of the world or how you approach life as a whole?
No i'd say that was completely absent.

[12:57] Okay so she was not particularly curious about your thoughts or your mental activities or your emotional life no no so for instance if you had a either great or disturbing dream would you ever say to your mom wow i had the strangest dream or whatever no i don't think i would approach her with that no when you were a child as every child does and you had various problems whether it was at school or with the homework or or wherever um who would you go to with your problems to get advice i feel it's quite up to my dad because he's he's definitely more academic higher iq to my mom, i'm sorry did you say higher iq yeah yeah okay that's fine i just want to make sure i understood okay and did you do you think that you tried going to your mom at times but it didn't really work out or did you not try going to your mom at all do you think for reasons just you didn't think it would work at all yeah i do not i've been thinking about this the last two days because i was digging down into like what things were like and i can't remember having really really deep deep emotional conversations, like art, like maybe never.

[14:18] Okay, so what do you mean by really deep? Because if you had medium deep, that's one thing, but I'm not sure what you mean by really deep.
I mean, or just no deep, no depth at all. I mean, what do you mean?

Caller:
[14:29] I would definitely talk about problems that occurred, but I think the level of the conversation was not, like a huge inquiring to like the underlying emotions that go with it so it's more a surface look at the problem but not why is it happening what's going on what emotions are coming up things like that so it's more more of a pragmatic approach to just there's a problem, but not like an inquiry into the underlying emotions either that have been caused by them or, something else and what happened with your childhood in terms of discipline in um yeah so in our family that was definitely uh the drama triangle where you have the persecutor victim defender sort of playing out so me and my me and esther would be the persecutor even though oh sorry me and my sister would be the persecutor even though we weren't um and i think this is because i was listening to one of your shows the other day and you know when parents apply morals too early to kids then they start to view the kids as adults and then they become, um they apply the same laws and then they get angry at the kids or something along those lines i'm sorry i'm not sure what you mean.

[15:52] Um so in terms so let's go back so in terms of like yeah so we were physically hit it.
Um, yeah, it was definitely physical abuse.
I'm going to modify on that. Um, there was definitely like always an error of the threat of violence.
Like, yeah, the violence wasn't severe, but there was always the threat of it.
Um, and sometimes there was, you know, like you, they would go to hit and not hit. So there was always that as well.
Um, I'm trying to think of what else there was i think a lot of criticism and judgment and um my dad had a very bad temper he'd go from naught to a hundred um so there was that as well and was his temper predictable, Um, not really.
I think one of the worst dynamics that played out was when mom, well, when we were upset on mom, she would then say to us, I'll wait till dad gets home.
And then we'd spend all day wondering whether she's actually told him.
So we'd always look at my dad's expression as he came through the door to know if he's been told about what happened and then whether we were going to get hit or not. So.

Stefan:
[17:11] And how would the hitting manifest?

Caller:
[17:15] Um it's normally hits around the head um on a few occasions i remember me and my sister having our heads banged together which wasn't very nice at all to say the least um, uh but i think it was mostly the head or just getting hit on the arm or something like that but there were a few times where the ones that really there are a few that really stuck in my mind.
It wasn't all the time either. I know that doesn't take away from how bad it is and it should never happen, but it wasn't prolific as in it happened daily.
It was more, I would say, it's really hard to remember after this long, but I remember it maybe it's like every couple of weeks, something like that.

Stefan:
[17:58] And how would the discipline be meted out when there was not physical hitting?

Uncertainty and Threats of Violence at Home

Caller:
[18:05] Um no it's definitely shouting being sent to the room uh yeah being sent to my room, if i'd done something really bad um but also yeah the threat so for example if we were at dinner and me and my sister were doing something that they didn't like my dad would get up out of his chair quickly to um when he did that you didn't know whether he was going to come and hit you or not sometimes he would get up and hit you and then other times you'd look to get up and then sit back down so it's always that second guessing and with regards to the hitting in the head like.

[18:37] If we were in a room and we had to leave the room he would stand by the door and we know that as we went by and walked past him we didn't know whether or not we would get hit on the way out so you'd sort of run through like ducking sorry i shouldn't laugh that's horrible but um yeah you kind of run through ducking not knowing if you're going to get hit so it was kind of that are you going to get hit are you not so there's always that kind of uncertainty but um there are times when yeah, yeah we did and I think this happened for me for quite an early age so I know there's a couple of times where my dad went too far and apparently one of them was when I was really young because I don't remember it but he's brought it up and apologized on a few occasions where I think he held me down in a in a bathroom when I was playing up as a kid I must have been like I know maybe two two, three, or something like that.
And I know he regrets it to this day because he's apologised for it a few times.
But I think he held me down and did something.
But he's a bit vague with what happened, but I know it couldn't have been good because it's been on his conscience, I think, a lot.

Stefan:
[19:40] Right. Okay. Okay. So there was hitting every couple of weeks.
There was threats of hitting.
Were there any other ways that you were punished, grounded or things taken away or?

Caller:
[19:53] Hmm. I don't, I honestly don't remember being grounded that much. I really don't.
I can't remember things getting taken away either. I think sometimes I played too many any video games and it would kick off but um did you get lectured or or how did i mean you know you must have displeased your parents i assume more than a couple of times more than once every couple of weeks yeah so um with the video games i would play too long my dad would run in and just smash the like switches off at the wall and yeah that wasn't nice um i did play a lot of games like i think that was my escape from a lot of stuff i think going to my sister i think one of the worst instances she had was she was pushed into the stairs and a turf went through her lip at one point which i don't even remember what went through her lip a turf went through her lip yeah so excuse me she had to go to um let's take it to any i think that was one of the worst things but I didn't remember that until she told me recently or a year ago or something like that.

Traumatic Orphanage Threat and Childhood Experiences

[21:06] And the other one of the worst things I can remember is.

[21:11] One time I poked a kid at school with a pencil and got in trouble.
My dad came in and I don't know what was going on this day, but he absolutely lost it.
And for the rest of the day, I must have been like eight hours just getting shouted at home.
And in the end, he told me to pack my bag and I packed some board games and I was told to pack some games and my sleeping bag and he pretended to take me to an orphanage and said I was never going to see him again, which was... What?
Yeah, that's what I was... That was for you?
I was year three, seven, seven years old.

Stefan:
[21:46] My God, that's sad.

Caller:
[21:48] And I only found out a couple of years ago that that exact same thing happened to him as a child.
And I didn't know this until literally a couple of years ago because it came up and he said to me that, yeah, one of his family friends taken to an orphanage and he did.
And so I don't know how he thought it'd be a good idea to do the same thing to me.
But it's one that sticks in my mind big time that yeah he literally took me somewhere near i was in the southwest england somewhere into like a national park and said that there's an orfish down here and i was crying my eyes out for hours and then eventually he took me home again but it was yeah i that's one that's not that's not hot rage right that's a slow burn system, that's highly controlled that's that's a whole that's not just lashing out, yeah yeah that one stuck in my mind a lot yeah well and it's a threat of the bond right that you are disposable, Yeah. Yeah.

Stefan:
[22:46] And the thing is, you stuck another kid with a pencil.

Caller:
[22:49] Yeah. And that's the weird, that's the, honestly, the thing that I cannot quantify to this day is that I, you know, I was seven years old in a classroom with 20 other kids.
Like, I think it was play time and I don't know, it was me and I may, I probably shouldn't have poked a kid with a pencil, but I can imagine that it just seems so disproportionate, the response, like beyond disproportionate.

Stefan:
[23:09] How did it go? I mean, was your father called in?

Caller:
[23:12] In yeah so they had to go and talk to the teacher oh okay so that's that's the british shaming thing right like you've socially shamed me and you've had to i've had to be pulled away from work or was it something like that yeah yeah he had to go in and talk to the teacher so the whole social status thing and and shame and and all of that so then you just have to be completely broken so that that doesn't happen again i assume yeah and i think yeah yeah and i remember him saying few of the words i remember him saying during his rants um i remember sitting at a dinner table once he was like pacing back and forth and he said i didn't raise you like this and uh yeah it was more a case of like i'd shamed maybe the family name or him or his parental, what he believes yeah his status went down yeah okay.

[24:02] Okay and when did the physical violence begin to diminish with the grand puberty as it is for a lot lot of kids yeah exactly yeah okay so you get big enough and uh suddenly he finds all kinds of capacities for peace and reason yeah and ironically as i got into like late teens, he would get angry at me for working out in the garden like and i i could never understand this so for most kids like they get parents get angry with them for doing like drugs and alcohol whatever and for me i was exercising in the garden he'd come out he'd be like what are you doing you don't need to do this and what is and i'm like he's like you're not all right are you and i'm like no i'm not all right and uh but it's just what was it what was his cover story for being upset with you about exercising oh as if saying that the way i am is not anything yeah so he was trying to portray that i don't need to change myself like i don't need to try and improve myself it's like i'm i was trying to be i should be fine you know like be happy the way you are kind of thing you You know, like the worst advice you can ever have.

Stefan:
[25:02] Oh, so after he was like screaming at you, threatening to throw you into the woods and beating you around the head, knocking you and your sister's head together, suddenly now you're fine just the way you are and don't need to change?

Caller:
[25:14] I mean, I guess that's what it was about. Yeah. It was kind of like, you don't need to do this. But yeah, I wanted to, you know.

Stefan:
[25:22] Well, I mean, if I'd beaten up someone for quite some time, I wouldn't like them working out either.

Struggling with Depression and Parental Expectations

Caller:
[25:28] Yeah.
Yeah, that's a good point.
And the other thing that happened was there was a couple of really other weird instances where I was really struggling at the time. I was really depressed.
I think this was like my early twenties where I think that's where everything hit me hard.
Like where life really caught up with me. And I realized how far behind it was when I went to university and I just fell out of my debt for every possible way.
Um, but I came home during one of the holidays and my dad came up and played a video of James Blunt and said, you know, you should try and talk more like James Blunt. And I'm just like, what the hell's going on?
Like, and I know that's like his, it sounded like a weird thing, but it really stuck with me.
Like as if, you know, I'm just not all right, you know, who I am.
Like, and you know, my speech, I don't think it's too bad. Like I know I talk a bit fast, but.

Stefan:
[26:15] Sorry, but who's, I don't remember who James Blunt is.

Caller:
[26:19] Oh, he's like this proper, prim and proper sort of British music artist who has really eloquent dialogue. Yeah.

Stefan:
[26:26] Oh, you should talk more like this Toph, right? Okay, got it.

Caller:
[26:30] Yeah, because he believed it would improve my confidence. And I doubt as if that was a thing that was kind of missing at the time, you know?
If I could talk to them, I'd be confident.

Stefan:
[26:38] Right, okay.

Caller:
[26:39] That's the impression I got.

Stefan:
[26:41] Do you think your parents had any real clue about how to parent or what parenting was at all?

Caller:
[26:45] I don't know, zero. I don't believe.

Stefan:
[26:48] Have they ever read any books or took any courses?

Caller:
[26:51] No, because when I talk to them about it now, they say, oh yeah, we didn't have any stuff.
When we were you know it's that usual argument that you've brought up many times oh they said that there was no way for anyone to ever learn anything about parenting yeah like we didn't notice at the time and yeah yeah there were no libraries no parenting books no seminars no no training no okay so they're lying right they're lying about that yeah, i mean i could say stuff which would be excuses and you call me up on it like Like they came from poor backgrounds and abusive, but yeah, I don't, at the same time, I think, you know, like if I had kids, well, you know, I'm consuming all your parental stuff and I don't even have kids because I know I do want to have kids and I don't want to make mistakes.
So I can't for the life of me understand why they wouldn't have had, you know, I would, yeah, I just can't comprehend why you wouldn't study hard how to raise kids.

Stefan:
[27:47] And what's the status of your relationship with them at the moment?

Caller:
[27:52] Ah, so we had a massive, so I say this is a massive event that happened with me and my sister and my parents.
We had a massive crescendo event where I just started therapy.
So this is about 10 years ago in 2020.
Yeah yeah probably 2013 something like that but i just started therapy i was about six months in and i was starting to learn about all the dynamics that were going on within the family so like the drama triangles and all the different sort of behaviors that were playing out and i've, naively thought oh do you know what now i know this i can i can tell everyone and everything you know once people understand it'll be fine it was like chucking a grenade into a whore in its nest it was um yeah it's a fundamental mistake that people with a clear conscience or a clean conscience think that everybody else will welcome a notification of dysfunction just as much as they do because it gives relief to you but it gives agony to those with a bad conscience oh it was incredible i just it was i just could not believe like it's like you say that moment of morality just disintegrates everything and i brought up everything that was going on um the way that that my parents were sort of persecuting my sister at the time.

Revealing Dysfunction and Blaming Both Parents

[29:03] The way they were so judgmental and critical and all the struggles we'd been through and the way that, you know, like we'd upset them and then mum would cry, dad would be there and the defender that comes in and attacks us and all these different dynamics that were playing out.

Stefan:
[29:19] Well, and of course your mother knew that your father was violent and would wind him up and point him at the kids anyway, right?

Caller:
[29:25] Yeah, exactly. And it took me ages to actually put the blame on her as well, but I did that many years ago where I think it was actually listening to you where it's not one of them you know it's never one it's no no it's yeah it's it's it's their team yeah yeah and it took me years to do that because I always sort of blamed my dad more because he was the one that issued the the violence but the fact is yeah it's a it's a co-op team and no there's the uh there's a secret police and then there's the informant right yeah yeah so um I put yeah so I decided that I was going to go for it and just say this has got to stop.
All this behavior has got to stop. The ...
The judging the criticizing the manipulative behavior um all the different things that were affecting me and my sister so much like i really felt for my sister this day because they just kept, going for her with everything um i can't remember the specific things but i was just like just stop harassing her and then i brought it all up and literally my mom yeah when i when i said about all the issues that me and esther have been through like both of us been on antidepressants and, And we'd been through all sorts of stuff. I just said the truth of the impact of what their behavior had had on us over the years.
And my mom literally clutched her chest and I thought she was like screamed.
And I thought she was honestly having a heart attack.
It was that much of a big crescendo moment for them for me to actually point out.

Stefan:
[30:49] How do you know any of that is genuine?

Caller:
[30:52] Oh, she was, oh no, it was 100%.

Stefan:
[30:56] She literally was just went hysterical like crying no i get that i mean but how do you know any of that i mean you know her better than i do of course right but how do you know any of that's genuine could be in manipulation i mean she might be really committed to the manipulation but it could be it was so raw it was unbelievably raw like i'd never seen her react in that way my my entire life and this was what when i was yeah yeah 10 years ago maybe 20 you said 2013 so yeah yeah somewhere around 10 years ago so so did you feel closer to did you feel connected to her did you feel closer to her as a result of her outburst oh so after that, i just want to know during that during that i was i was initially worried that she was going to die like I was no I get that so what she was doing was aversive, it was training you to not bring this up otherwise she's gonna die, yeah I never looked at it that way no because when people have genuine emotions you feel closer to them, even if the emotions are very much upset right you feel closer to them but if it's like I'm horrified and I have to stop what I'm doing immediately out of fear for my mother's sanity or health or whatever then it's just aversive it's just punishing you.

[32:19] Yeah, I never looked at it that way.

Past trauma and abandonment by parents

Caller:
[32:26] I'm trying to, I'm trying to remember what happened after that.
I don't think I went over and I think she, she got herself together.
And I can't remember if I carried on. I think, I don't know whether that was the end of like, cause I was talking for, I think I talked for two hours straight in front of the mall, just putting everything out that had been going on.
And I remember then I, do you know what it ended with my mom and dad storming out the house and getting in the car and driving off and it was just yeah it's horrendous okay so instead of taking you to the woods they just drove off in their car they still abandonment is the thing right yeah because i remember it was so it was crazy they left so fast they forgot got their keys and then dad had to come back in and it was it was fraught absolutely fraught there was no sort of like oh my god so sorry interrupt so that was 10 years ago and what's happened since so after a year so the excuse me the year after that me and my dad were in a power struggle with every time.

[33:41] Yeah, every time. So I basically put really strong, strong boundaries in that the toxic behavior can carry on, like the criticism, the endless criticism and judgment, the manipulation, the aggressive behavior, all of these things had to, um, I, I, I just, I just put in like a zero tolerance with it.
So, so anytime I went to visit them, if it happened i would leave um and it's probably not the best way to do it but this is i'm just telling you how i did it at the time um and yeah so every time it happened i would leave and, it would yeah and it it was just fraught for ages like me and my dad could hardly be in the same room together um and this this was going on for years um probably like a year and a half Sorry, I mean, they were, I mean, not just abusive, of course, right?

Stefan:
[34:32] But they were kind of abusive when you were younger. And then when you brought up your issues, your mom pretended to die and they both ran out of the house.
I mean, did they ever apologize and ask you to continue the conversation?

Caller:
[34:49] No.

Stefan:
[34:50] So what are you doing?

Caller:
[34:51] Doing they're really good at brushing trying to brush stuff or whitewashing they can only do that with your participation right yeah yeah so what's uh what's the plan with the relationship is it is it the hope that it's going to change or so i think for me i've been teaching them for years about well, all the stuff that comes up in a philosophy show i just constantly talk to them about now why why.

Stefan:
[35:23] I mean, don't you want to parent your own children, not your parents?
Don't you want to parent people who've got a clean conscience rather than people who are sick with guilt over how they treated their children?

Caller:
[35:35] I know, it's so hard.

Stefan:
[35:36] Why are you parenting your parents at the expense of your own children?

Caller:
[35:43] Yeah, I think in terms of my relationship with them now, it's weird.
They really don't do any more of the criticism and judging.

Stefan:
[35:57] Okay, you know you just dodged my question, right? That was a good dodge, but a very obvious one.

Caller:
[36:04] Jeez, did I?

Stefan:
[36:06] Yeah, so I said, why are you parenting your parents? And you said, well, they're not as toxic now. That doesn't answer the question.

Caller:
[36:11] I just believed in them. I just think that...

Stefan:
[36:14] That's not an answer. I don't know what that even means. Belief has to have some sort of evidence behind it, right?

Caller:
[36:21] So I completely red-peeled them in terms of how the world works, and they've really run with that.
And I think that's great that they've got that awareness, and I just think they can learn this stuff as well.
And to be honest, they're better than- You're 40 years old!
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Stefan:
[36:41] I mean, come on. You're reaching the end of your fertility window in terms of having a woman roughly your age, right?

Caller:
[36:49] Right i know this is what yeah so i mean this is what i'm just trying to understand why are you focusing so much on fixing your parents rather than having a happy family yourself, i mean it's not like that's been my sole job like i honestly false dichotomy false dichotomy i didn't say it was your sole job sorry i didn't yeah yeah but um yeah in terms of like you know i have my honestly my main my main goal over the last four years has been trying to establish a good relationship with another woman so it's not been it's not something that i religiously pursue with them it's like when i see them like once every couple of weeks or something i will, yeah just point them in the right direction with stuff that comes up on your shows or talk about so you're not particularly philosophical as far as that goes right like you don't have standards of relationships that you apply consistently right, I, yeah, and I'm reading your real-time relationships, and yeah, it's...

Stefan:
[37:49] Yeah, I mean, listen, I'm, I'm, we all have that temptation, and family is family, right? So I get all of that, I understand all of that, and I sympathize with all of that enormously.
But, you know, let's call it for what it is, right? That you have standards in a relationship where people can treat you terribly, they can punish you for bringing up any kinds of truth, they can storm out, they can pretend to have a heart attack, and, and you're just like, well, we'll keep going.
They never have to apologize, they never have to treat you well, they never have to to take ownership of their actions in any consistent or deep way.
So, I mean, you have a massive glaring exception to any reasonable standard of behavior, which is called your parents, right?

Caller:
[38:27] Yeah, that's true. Yeah.

Stefan:
[38:28] And again, I understand. This is not a bad thing insofar as we all program that way, and biologically and also socially as well.
So I'm not trying to throw you under the bus or anything like that, or the lorry.

Caller:
[38:40] But uh yeah it's it's that that's sort of pretty significant exception to yeah you know yeah it is and i knew that would be the most painful thing about talking about this it's uh well why is it why is it painful and again i'm not saying it shouldn't be i just want to understand from your perspective because i'm consuming like for hours and hours of your stuff every week and i did just It's like a big, man, it's just like a big torchlight highlighting order.
I'm not insecurities. Sorry, the word has lost me, but I'm not applying this universally in my relationship.

Stefan:
[39:20] Okay, so what happens? What's your thought? What happens if you do apply this universally?
What happens if you do apply the requirement for honesty and integrity and self-ownership and responsibility and so on? What if you do apply this to your relationship with your parents? What happens?

Caller:
[39:35] Probably similar um no don't laugh it's it's yeah there's there's been times where they have, apologized but not what you would call like an apology and obviously like it's very hard to have restitution after this long i can but there's times where they have apologized it's not been an absolute deep sincere but definitely for like i know this isn't great But the instances where he went really far, the ones I told you about, he has really apologized for those.

Stefan:
[40:12] No, but that's not the issue, I think. And I'm sorry, I know that's kind of annoying and arrogant to say, well, I know what the issue is.
But I don't think that's the issue. The issue is that your parents have been in your adult life for almost a quarter century, and you haven't gotten what you most want and need, which is your family of your own, right?

Seeking advice from loved ones for relationships

Caller:
[40:31] A family of my own.

Stefan:
[40:33] Yeah I mean they've seen you date right they've seen you choose girls they've seen you be in long term relationships right yeah yeah and are they giving you good advice are they helping you to get what you most want and need, you know everybody who's in your life who claims to love you or care about you should be trying to help you get what you most want and need right yeah, you know if I love my wife and you know she's not feeling too well and she wants a cup of tea then then I get her a cup of tea, right?
I mean, if you love someone, you care about someone, you should try to help them get what they want and need, right?

Caller:
[41:10] Yeah, so I can... So when I have problems, I can sit down with them, but they lack...
And I've been really wondering about this lately because I also listened to your show the other day where you talked about how if there's dysfunction at home, then your parents don't want you to meet a quality person.
So I'm aware of that. And I've been thinking about it.
And I was wondering if that was the case for my parents, because I don't know if that is the case.
I think more that they're just so emotionally shut down. I don't think they can really understand how to give advice on how to give a good relationship because I don't feel like their relationship is good.
So I don't know. I don't think they hit, you know, they haven't done any self-development therapy.
They haven't read any books about relationships or anything like that in regards to, I just don't know how they could give the advice I need.
But if I'm having a terrible time, I can share with them and vent, but it's kind of like.

[42:12] As opposed to like the kind of stuff you put out it's just yeah i'm not going to get any of that from them but that's the result of their choice right i mean you chose to go to therapy they didn't you chose to read books they didn't you chose to listen to podcasts they didn't, so it's not like they have some incapacity like they're just born crippled right it's true and i tried to get them to go to therapy and they only did two sessions which obviously is nowhere when you're what you need okay so when was that um it was around about the same time i think it was that whole kind of era between 2013 maybe 2015 about a decade ago you tried to get them to go to therapy and they basically didn't go yeah maybe like eight years so what was your what was your anticipation about how things would go if you kept pursuing self-knowledge and they resolutely avoided it?
Um, well, the gap grows.

Stefan:
[43:10] Gap grows, right?

Caller:
[43:11] Mm-hmm.
Sorry, what did you say there?

Stefan:
[43:16] Well, the gap grows, right?

Caller:
[43:17] Yeah, it gets massive, yeah.

Stefan:
[43:20] And you end up going in opposite directions.

Caller:
[43:23] Yeah.

Stefan:
[43:24] Now, tell me a little bit about the women you've been dating.

Caller:
[43:29] So, actually, for disclosure here, I talked to you briefly on an AMA show.
I think it was nine months ago, where I was the guy who actually had a relationship with his therapist.
I don't know if you remember that. Yeah, which, I mean, to be honest, just for clarity for anyone that didn't hear that, like it, we hadn't, she hadn't been my therapist for over six years and she wasn't even a therapist at the time.
So it wasn't like it was anything to do with, um, yeah, it wasn't like we were in practice together because obviously that is just absolutely unethical and yeah, you can't do that.
Um, but how far back do you want to go with regards to, cause I've written a list of my My relationship is going back to 20, 2009, but I don't know how far you want to go back or do you want to do recent?

Stefan:
[44:22] Wait, 2009. So you would have been 26, 25?

Caller:
[44:26] Um, yeah, I'm 40, 20, 2009. God. Yeah. Time flies. Yeah. Probably about that.

Stefan:
[44:33] Was there anything before mid twenties?

Dating history: from teenage years to long-term relationships

Caller:
[44:37] Um, like I can remember my very first relationship at 16, but in the twenties, I just, I didn't kind of have any longterm.
It was it was towards the end of my 20s where i started really trying to have the long-term relationships because you know i just i was thinking more about family and children and things like that okay and how many long-term relationships have you had so let me decide one, about eight or nine eight or nine about eight okay um what do you mean by long-term relationships um i would say, a year to four years so i think the shortest was about a year and longest was four years okay and in the four-year one how old were you when you started that one, Yeah, so that was 2013 to 2017. I was 30 to 34.

Stefan:
[45:35] Okay. And why didn't you marry that woman?

Caller:
[45:42] Yeah, so that relationship, it was just so stressful again.
I feel like she had a lot of issues from her childhood, which is a reoccurring thing, believe me.
She was majorly stressed. Um, and what does that mean?

Stefan:
[46:05] What does that mean? Well, how did that manifest?

Caller:
[46:12] So her, yeah. So I'm trying to remember now. I've got it written here.
Um, I do remember the relationship well.
So we started off, I'd visit her in London and we actually knew each other growing up in Southwest England.
And we actually worked together when we were like 16. And, um, I don't know how it was.
We, I think we started talking online on Facebook or something like that and ended up going to visit her in, in London.
And same kind of thing. Like, you know, you always have the honeymoon period where you're going well at first.
And then she was just a very highly strong stressed out and i think that's because yeah how did it manifest my god i keep having every question i'm sorry i'm sorry i'm sorry um how did it manifest yeah empirically how did you know she was stressed.

[46:59] Just when we spent time together she she also had a job at a college where she was dealing with all the kids on whores and some of them you know the days where they would like some would commit suicide which is absolutely horrendous and so on top of i think all the stress she had with her family um it's weird thinking back i just it just seems so stressful um it's would she not sleep would she snap would she uh did she to comfort eat like what did she do in terms of like i know that she's stressed i think what was going on is what you refer to in your book real-time relationships is the zing zing you know where you're just constantly triggering each other and i think the problem i'm gonna ask you one more time that's the fourth time i think now what the fuck did she do that you knew she was stressed i just want some empirical data sorry sorry sorry um it just like literally just around the house like we would snap each other we'd argue you oh so you were both stressed yeah yeah okay and what were you stressed about, i think well this is yeah it was the same sort of time i was going through the family breakdown.

Stress and arguments in a four-year relationship

[48:15] Um i was changing starting to change careers um and you were living together with the one yeah so we no actually we didn't but we would spend almost all our time with each other.

[48:31] Okay did she ever want to get married um yeah i think she did yeah you think she did no she did she did did she like openly say i want to get married, Yeah. Yeah. I think, no, I think, yeah, it wasn't something we talked about a lot. I mean.

Stefan:
[48:51] No, no, I'm just asking. It's a yes, no, it doesn't. It's not.
I'm not asking for a degree. I'm just asking you for it. She did say, I want to get married.

Caller:
[48:56] Yeah. I know for a fact that she wanted to get married.

Stefan:
[48:59] Okay. And why didn't you want to get married? Because she was too stressed?

Caller:
[49:03] Yeah. I just wasn't enjoying the relationship. Okay.

Stefan:
[49:07] So for how long did your family know that you weren't enjoying the relationship?

Caller:
[49:11] Relationship well this is where my biggest problem comes in and that is, i was probably with her another two years after and i hate to say i hate this and i i regret it i regret every second of not getting out of the relationship scene but i had this is like one of my biggest problems that i want to bring up is that bro bro sorry did i ask um oh how long do my parents know yeah okay so probably two years about i would say 18 months to be fair yeah okay Okay, so how long were you unhappy in the relationship?

Stefan:
[49:43] You said two years you regret, but I assume it didn't go from great to terrible in one day, right?
So for how long were you having doubts about the relationship or were unhappy in the relationship to the point where you're like, maybe this isn't going to work out?

Caller:
[49:56] 18 months.

Stefan:
[49:58] So the first two and a half years were great?

Caller:
[50:01] I would say the first year. It's a long honeymoon. Yeah, I would say that's a good point.

Stefan:
[50:09] So she didn't show any signs of dysfunction, really, for the first two and a half years?

Caller:
[50:16] No, I'm pretty sure she did.

Stefan:
[50:22] I'm pretty sure she did, too.

Caller:
[50:24] Yeah. I think at the time, I was in such a case of survival.
It was almost like the dysfunction was just normal. It was, um, but we weren't like, yeah, we weren't intimate.
We weren't, well, we, we would have sex, but yeah.

[50:45] I think it was just, both of us were just in a state of like prefrontal cortex, like, we just weren't, it just, you know, that whole relationship just seemed, I mean, we had some good times, like it wasn't all bad and we're still friends now and we actually get on really well and she's got a partner and that's good.
But at the time, I don't know, it's weird.
It's really hard to remember. did she end up having kids she didn't she didn't oh do you know why no we split up when we were about i think she was 34 35 when we split up but she'd never wanted she never ended up having kids, she never wanted them or just never ended up having them it's what i actually asked her this many times because i said to her like you know make sure you put your focus on having kids because Cause like she was really, she's always been like a really highly driven career woman.
I said, look, after we split up, I said, look, if you really want to have kids, like just put your focus on it.
And she always said to me, she wasn't sure if she wanted them.
So yeah, I genuinely am quite, I don't know.
She was kind of on the fence about it. She was always on the fence about it.

Stefan:
[52:05] Right. Okay. All right. So for how long did you have doubts about the relationship?

Doubts about the Relationship and Seeking Advice

Caller:
[52:12] So i think i really wanted out 18 months excuse me 18 months before it ended right that's not and it was oh sorry sorry doubts probably probably after a year and a half a year, okay so for the first year or so things were good and then you had some concerns right yeah and who did you go to with those concerns if anyone one i would have definitely talked to my parents about it sorry you would have or you did, I'm pretty sure I did.

Stefan:
[52:47] So you said, I have doubts about this relationship in one form or another, right?

Caller:
[52:51] Yeah.

Stefan:
[52:52] And what happened then?

Caller:
[52:54] I think they would always talk to me about it, but I just kept going.

Stefan:
[52:59] Well, what advice did they give you?

Caller:
[53:06] I can't remember getting any... Well, I think they would have said, like, get out if you're not happy. Like, they definitely would have said that.

Stefan:
[53:14] They would have said, leave if you're not happy?

Caller:
[53:16] Yeah, I'm pretty sure they would have.

Stefan:
[53:19] That's interesting. Are you happy in your relationship with your parents?

Caller:
[53:25] They could be a lot better.

Stefan:
[53:27] So you're not happy in your relationship with your parents?

Caller:
[53:33] I mean...
I mean, it's like a thousand times better than it used to be.
There are times where we get on really well. I wish, I wish they were more emotionally available.
Like they've always been emotionally shut down.
I mean, but yeah, I sometimes like, obviously when I hear you talking about your relationship with your daughter, it's like, man, that's, yeah, that that's something that I haven't experienced.

Stefan:
[54:09] Right. So they would have said, get out if you're not happy.
Oh, do you remember them saying that? Or is that what they might've said?
I'm we're in fog land here. I'm not sure. I know.

Caller:
[54:23] I'm sorry. It's so hard to remember the details about it.
And i and i believe me i went it's not a detail you ask someone for advice and it's your parents it's not a detail to remember what they get what advice they gave you so what normally happened if i have a problem with girlfriend i'll explain everything to them and they'll say oh yeah that's not great but it's almost like the ball isn't just my call what i'm gonna do like they ain't really, you know they obviously say if you're not happy don't be in it like they they do say that to me but I just find it so hard to leave the relationship, well did they follow up?

Stefan:
[55:01] Did they say you know well you said you weren't happy are things any better?
If not you really should make a plan to get out and it's unfair to burn away her fertility years and all that right?
Not really nah alright what about your sister?

The Support of a Sister

Caller:
[55:19] Yes me and my sister get on well Um, there are times where we've been distant, but we were actually much from really close, not, not for any bad reason.
We just quite different people and we were leading separate lives, but, um, we're close now, but she, yeah, I can have conversations with her and she'll tell me exactly what to do and what I should do.
She's much more open. She's done quite a bit of therapy and she's much more.

Stefan:
[55:43] If she gives you good advice, why have you not got the outcome you're looking for?

Caller:
[55:50] Because I don't then action the advice.

Stefan:
[55:53] So you don't, what, you don't act on the advice?

Caller:
[55:56] No. There's something about, there's definitely times in the past where I just haven't acted on the advice. And I just find it excruciating breaking up with someone.
Especially when that person is like struggling. Because I feel like I'm just going to compound their pain.
And so it just, I still remember to this day with the girl we were talking about.
But I was in therapy at the time with the woman I ended up dating.
I know this sounds crazy, but so I was in therapy and I, every session in therapy with her, I would be talking about like just excruciating decision of trying to split up with this girl.
And it just, yeah, it was just so painful.
And I think I just, honestly, every session I go in and be like, I just can't do it.

Stefan:
[56:45] You were honest with your mother and you thought she was going to die.
You think that's related I know but I just blame myself for not no no hang on back up you're honest with your mother about your childhood, and you think she's going to die she has that extreme a reaction right yeah and you do you wonder why you're not assertive with girlfriends, yeah yeah it's yeah it's not helped has it well she I mean, she imitates death, if you're honest.

Caller:
[57:24] Yeah.

Stefan:
[57:25] And your father totally colludes with her and storms out of the house, comes back for his keys, right?

[57:31] How are you supposed to have any will or assertiveness in a relationship where your parents, your father hits you, threatens to leave you at an orphanage in the forest, your mother pretends to die when you're honest with her?
I mean, I don't know how you're supposed to be assertive when you have this extreme level of emotional manipulation punishing you for any expressions of genuine honesty.
Thirsty yeah and this is honestly the one of the biggest problems i've had through every you know it's not a problem it's not a problem it's a choice it's not a problem no no you're right no no listen man you can choose to please your parents it's just going to cost you assertiveness in your relationship with the woman right we we operate on principles it's not like your right arm is immune to gravity right we operate on principles if your principal with your parents are, serve their needs, be their slave, try to wake them up, try to get what you want without provoking massive blowback, tentatively push here and there, see, retreat, manage them, try to raise them, be there for them, try to repair them at all times, never be assertive for fear of abandonment and death, right?

The Principle of Assertiveness Based on Least Assertive Relationship

[58:45] So if you have that as a principle in your relationship, that's your principle in relationships.
You can't be more assertive than your least assertive relationship, because that's the principle you have.

Caller:
[58:57] So can you just say that last line again? I can't be more...

Stefan:
[58:59] You can't be more assertive than your least assertive relationship.

Caller:
[59:04] Fine.

Stefan:
[59:05] Because that's a principle you have.
Like, for instance, if you're willing to take 10 quid an hour to do a job, right?
And the person knows you just did the job for 10 quid an hour, what's he going to offer you?

Caller:
[59:20] Yeah.

Stefan:
[59:21] He's going to offer you 10 quid an hour.

Caller:
[59:23] Yeah.

Stefan:
[59:23] Because he knows you're going to do the job for 10 quid an hour.
So if you are not assertive with your parents at all, in fact, you suppress yourself around your parents, everybody knows that. And you know that too.
So it's not a problem it's just a choice that if you choose to get pushed around and silenced by your parents and to not be assertive out of terror of abandonment and death which I understand and sympathize with, that's your principle it's not a mystery, if you're willing to do the job for 10 quid an hour, you get paid 10 quid an hour, it's not a problem it's just a choice and I'll be doing this in every relationship, not just with women, right?
Of course. Well, you may have, if it's psychologically far enough away, you may have more assertiveness in other areas, but when push comes to shove, you'll fall back to that position.
I don't have relationships where I can't be assertive.
I mean, I'm just telling you my own, you know, because I'm not a therapist, I can tell you all about my life, right?
So I don't have relationships where I can't be assertive.
Because i don't want that to harm my relationships it's like you say if you can't be yourself in a relationship it's not it's not a relationship and i don't want that as a principle yeah i don't want it's a principle.

[1:00:53] So you're 40 years old, and you're still trying to parent your parents and fix your childhood and run around after them and and you know you say they're emotionally unavailable that they don't really give you any feedback that right okay so so that's a choice like you could spend until they're dead right i assume that they're what in their 60s or 70s right so you know you might have you know but maybe by the time you're 50 or 55 and they're dead then you can start to try and figure out what your principles are in relationships rather than the shit you just inherited, that they defined like you can set your own standards for relationships or you can just have the craziest, most dysfunctional, immature people around you set all your standards, you can live by that. It's not a problem, it's just a choice.

Caller:
[1:01:42] Yeah, that's...

Stefan:
[1:01:49] I mean, if your parents cared about you in a way that I would consider to be, real, vital, and practical, then what they would do is if you were having trouble in the relationship, what would they do?
What would they do if they were really practically trying to help you?

Caller:
[1:02:09] I was at the very least doing a lot of doing the best to understand everything that was going on.
I guess reading books, trying to provide advice on the best course of action.
Talking, um, I'm trying to put myself in my position.

Stefan:
[1:02:33] If I had kids, I w I would literally be doing what I'm doing now, which is like like listening to you and that and spreading that what i would do if my daughter was dating she was in her 30s and she'd be dating some guy for a couple of years what would i do, well you'd be asking her if it's right when you're getting married and if it's wrong when you know i wouldn't be doing that that would be much earlier yes um after two, we can't.

[1:03:07] What would you do i tell you what i would do i would invite my daughter and her boyfriend over and i would say all right what's happening what's going on you guys getting married what's the plan, are you guys playing house are you wasting time what are your issues with her what are her issues with you is it going to move forward because right now you're stalling you're just circling the drain god does i'm sticking away like what's going on here see i would never even thought of that i know you wouldn't because you're not used to having people in your life who actually help you and really genuinely care about you your sister should have done that too i mean it's not quite as much her responsibility because your sister not your parents but you can't conceive of that right no like that's honestly that's a concept i never thought on right and that's because these are your standards that are inflicted on you by history rather than chosen by you through virtue, and i should be doing this with all my like i do tell my friends when there's an issue like And I started to do that way more since listening to your shows and trying to be there to point out.

Caller:
[1:04:11] I am learning this now. I'm really starting to try and implement it. But yeah.

Stefan:
[1:04:15] Okay, so you're 40 years old. Is your career going okay?

Caller:
[1:04:20] Yeah, brilliant.

Stefan:
[1:04:21] Okay, good, good. So your career is going fine.

Caller:
[1:04:25] Yeah, I love it.

Stefan:
[1:04:26] Love girls, love women and family, children, fatherhood and all of that.

Caller:
[1:04:30] That is uh you're you're slipping out of the the front right i'll be off like outside of the relationship i would say my life is really good like there isn't you know i'm really, yeah i love my career i'm doing well okay i've got plenty when was the last time you were in a long-term relationship i'm in a relationship right now again and how long has that been going going on since may middle middle may yeah and how old is she 35 okay and what's the plan, so again like, So I'm back in this position where she's having all sorts of problems.

Stefan:
[1:05:14] And what are her problems?

Caller:
[1:05:19] So she, her, her job is incredibly stressful. Like she works as a teacher.

Stefan:
[1:05:26] Yeah, but that's fine. Just knock her up and have her raise kids.
Then she's job stress is done. Right.

Caller:
[1:05:31] Yeah. But I just, I, that's the thing. Like this is, see the problem I've had. I'm sorry.

Stefan:
[1:05:37] Does she want children?

Caller:
[1:05:39] Yeah, Yeah, she does. Yeah, definitely.

Stefan:
[1:05:40] Okay, so what's, I mean, she's 35, right? She's already in geriatric pregnancy territory.
So she wants kids and wants kids. And what's her timeframe? Like what's happening?

Discussing desire to have kids and peaceful parenting views

Caller:
[1:05:50] Yeah, so we've talked, I honestly, I talked about this on the first date with her about, first, honestly, first date we went on, we went for a walk and I said like, do you want to have kids?
So we're both on the same page. We both wanted to have kids.
And I even talked to her about your shows and peaceful parenting on the first day because I wanted to make sure that She was on the same page with that, you know, like I never want to marry someone who's not going to be a peaceful parent.
So, so I started asking these things and then, so time has gone on and she's, she's just not very stable.
Like in terms of like, she's had a lot, she's had a very adverse childhood and she hasn't done any therapy. And okay.

Stefan:
[1:06:29] So what are you doing?

Caller:
[1:06:32] And hang on, hang on, hang on.

Stefan:
[1:06:34] What are you doing?

Caller:
[1:06:35] Yeah. But I didn't, the thing is where I, I literally second date.
So after coming out of my last relationship with the therapist, I'm like, okay, first thing I'm going to do is ask her what her relationship with her parents was like, because I don't want to go through another round of, um, all this stuff. Right.
Like, so literally I literally was like, oh my God, I've got to find out.
I don't want another like fixed job.
And, but she said it was good. You know, like she said, relationships good and shit.
Her parents were great and she loved them. and but it turns out like i found out in the last few weeks that when she tried to implement a boundary with her parents like so when she was young so i only found this out literally all right i uh oh gosh i'm so sorry am i jumping around so no it's fine so you she said my relationship with my family is great right yeah okay so when did you first meet her parents, Two months in. No, hang on. Was it two months? No, I met them briefly after two months. Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:07:37] Okay. So two months into the relationship, you meet her parents.
Now her relationship with her parents is great, which means that they're honest.
They have self-knowledge.
They're open. They're good moral people, right?

Caller:
[1:07:48] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:07:49] So you should be able to figure that out, right?
Ask them any kinds of challenging questions. Ask them about their parenting philosophy.
Ask them the good and bad that happened when they were raising your girlfriend you know all that kind of stuff right you vet them because you're not a kid right you're not some 17 year old just looking to get laid right you're a 40 year old man or i guess a 39 year old man back then who's looking to settle down which means you got to vet the fucking family right yeah so did you do any of that so i met them briefly on the first time i met them and they seemed okay i but yeah you're right i didn't do enough vetting 100 okay what vetting did you do you did some right i mean sorry you said i didn't do enough so um i'm trying to remember what i did, well did you ask her about her childhood and the good and bad that happened.

[1:08:49] Um ask about her childhood your girlfriend yes sorry sorry that's fine i'll

Realization of partner's troubled relationship with parents

[1:08:55] cut that uh so yeah did you ask your girlfriend about the good and bad that happened in her childhood, yeah and she, the first time i got wind of it was when she said that she was always forced to apologize, even when even when her father had done something wrong she was the one that was always forced to apologize and that was the first time i started to realize that sorry how long is the relationship was that if he knows three or four months oh come on what are you talking about you didn't, you waited three or four freaking months to ask her about her childhood i don't, i'm you know i mean come on let's be frank here you waited three or four months to ask her about her childhood.

Caller:
[1:09:47] Oh, man, this is so painful.

Stefan:
[1:09:49] I'm sorry. I mean, I'm just being direct here because you're a longtime listener.

Caller:
[1:09:52] I know. I know. And I know it's going to be painful.

Stefan:
[1:09:55] No, there's no point me having sympathy for self-inflicted wounds, right?

Caller:
[1:09:59] No, no, no. And I don't expect it to be any different. I'm just like, oh, my God.

Stefan:
[1:10:02] So you waited three or four. I'm sorry. I don't mean to laugh because it's not funny, but you waited three or four months after listening to this show for 10 years or whatever, right?
You waited three or four months to ask her about her childhood.

Caller:
[1:10:15] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:10:16] Did she ask you about your childhood?

Caller:
[1:10:21] I'll be honest. Yeah, I told her that I'd done it wasn't the best, but I'd done all the work to try and I'd done like 10 years of work on myself to reverse everything.

Stefan:
[1:10:35] Not enough work to ask someone else about their childhood.

Caller:
[1:10:39] Yeah. I actually do not the like really going deep on the philosophy coincided with the beginning of the relationship I think the last nine months I've really caned like everything you've been putting out and yeah so there were times before I listened to you but I just wasn't ready for wait I wouldn't say I wasn't ready for it but I was just I was really caught up in bitcoin at the the time and it's only now i've come back to philosophy so you're you're stripping yourself of free will you just weren't ready for it and there was bitcoin and so you're giving yourself all these dominoes so you don't own your own fucking self right okay so yeah you made choices you chose to avoid asking her about her childhood because she didn't want to talk about it and i've got to admit right i think i started to pick up on it and i just thought to myself i think i did I went to denial about it.

[1:11:40] But yeah, but the worst thing I found out, which was about two months ago, we went to the house and it's the first time we actually stayed at the house.
It was the first time I was able to spend a lot of time with them and some weird things happen.
So for example, there was one time where she was like mid sentence and she stopped talking and I was like, what, why did you stop talking?
And she's like oh dad wants to do something i'm like with what i was like why i was like why if you i just couldn't believe it she literally stopped mid-sentence so she didn't upset her dad or um and there was another time where i was cooking i cooked some eggs in the morning and i went to the toilet whilst the border was on and you know there's no fire risk or anything but then he got really funny about that and kept calling me and i was like what's the matter and apparently your dad got funny about it and it's only when we left the house after a couple of days we were driving home she said uh started to tell me the real truth about what had gone on and basically when she was young when she tried to implement a boundary with her father the only time she ever tried to do it and not have to be the one to apologize he would threaten to kill himself.

[1:12:55] Oh my god you're not killing you're not serious so she would he would get really drunk he would run off in the middle of the night and like and they lived really rawly and he would get He'd go and stay in a hotel and not tell them where he'd gone, so they thought he could have been dead.
Honestly, I just was like, holy shit.

Stefan:
[1:13:12] Well, that's no more extreme than your mother faking a heart attack because you're criticizing her parenting.

Caller:
[1:13:17] I know, I know. It's just so bad. It's so bad. This is what I've called, man. I'm just like...

Stefan:
[1:13:23] Well, I mean, you don't need to call me.
I mean, if you're avoiding essential knowledge about the women you're dating, I mean, that's the question is why?
Why are you avoiding, like, why aren't you asking them about their childhoods?

Caller:
[1:13:42] I feel like I was getting closer. I feel like because, like, the last nine months of that.

Peaceful parenting and life stories intertwine

Stefan:
[1:13:46] No, no, no, first date, you're talking about peaceful parenting and all that kind of stuff, right? So why aren't you, or tell me, tell me a little bit about your life.
Tell me about, you know, the good and bad, the up and the down, right? You got some, you both got some mileage, right? So there's going to be some treads worn down.
Tell me, why are you avoiding the whole childhood thing?

The pressure of aging and finding a partner

Caller:
[1:14:11] I don't know.

Stefan:
[1:14:13] You still have all your hair, don't you?

Caller:
[1:14:16] Mm-hmm.

Stefan:
[1:14:17] You do, right?

Caller:
[1:14:18] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:14:19] Yeah. You have a baby face?

Caller:
[1:14:22] I look a lot younger than I.

Stefan:
[1:14:25] Yeah, I knew that. How did I know that?

Caller:
[1:14:27] How did you know that?

Stefan:
[1:14:28] How did I know that? Because you're living like you're immortal.
You're wasting time like you're immortal.
Spoiler! You don't live longer if you keep your hair.

Caller:
[1:14:40] Oh, geez, man.

Stefan:
[1:14:42] You don't live longer.

Caller:
[1:14:45] Yeah, but I sense I'm 40. I can't keep messing up. I can't.
I know I'm getting, like, I know I'm late, late in the game.

Stefan:
[1:14:55] Well, I mean, how many good women are left?

Caller:
[1:15:01] Oh, man. Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:15:02] No, I mean, like every day that goes by, you know, the last couple of good women are all being snatched up.

Caller:
[1:15:09] Sure.

Stefan:
[1:15:11] Unless you want to go super young, in which case you've got a 20-year age gap or a 15-year age gap or, you know, then there's going to be a whole intergenerational thing. And, you know, maybe it can work, but it seems like a pretty rough gap to bridge.

Caller:
[1:15:28] Oh, man.

Stefan:
[1:15:30] And also, I mean, it's not nice to this woman, right?

Caller:
[1:15:36] No, and I really feel for her.

Stefan:
[1:15:38] No, you don't. No, don't even try. Don't even try that with me, brother. You do not feel for her.

Caller:
[1:15:45] I don't care for her.

Stefan:
[1:15:45] If you felt no if you felt for her you wouldn't be wasting her very very fast closing fertility window that's not caring no that that cuts me up i've really got a no no just don't don't give me this nonsense oh i really care for her that's why i'm burning up another year of her fertility window when she's only got three left so i so what i did was i i paid for it to go to, to therapy because I figured she can sort it out.

Caller:
[1:16:14] We might be able to have a relationship, but I don't know. I don't know. I guess it's a long...
And I've gone back into fixing, so I'm like, okay, how can I change the situation so that perhaps we can pep on?

Stefan:
[1:16:26] Are you kidding me? I mean, all you do is try to fix your parents.
Of course you're trying to fix these women.
You exist to serve the dysfunctions of others. That's your job.
You exist to fix people, which means they'll never let you fix them because that's the whole point of the relationship.

Caller:
[1:16:43] What do you mean by that? That's interesting. Why wouldn't they...

Stefan:
[1:16:46] But if you exist to fix people, then you won't stay with them if they actually get fixed. You'll just go find somebody else to fix.

Caller:
[1:16:53] How would they know that? Like, what... Hang on, wait, hang on, wait. One sec.
They... That's a subconscious thing, right? They're not consciously thinking that.

Stefan:
[1:17:05] Who knows? Who cares? How would you ever verify? But do you know this?
Mechanics work on broken cars, right? and when the car's fixed, your relationship with the mechanic ends, right?
At least for the time being, right?
So, if you exist to fix people, then you're going to choose broken people, and the only way the relationship can continue is if they never get fixed.
Because your job is to fix people.

Caller:
[1:17:40] But the thing is, I've learned enough to know I don't want to do that anymore.
Especially over the last nine months when I've been...

Stefan:
[1:17:48] Well, I don't care what you claim. I only care about the empirical evidence of your actions.
And you chose a woman right now, eight months ago, you chose a woman who's broken and you refuse to find out that she's broken, although I guarantee you that you knew.
And now you're trying to fix her by paying for her therapy.

Caller:
[1:18:11] Yeah. I try and get her to listen to some shows as well.
She's quite reluctant. I can, yeah.

Stefan:
[1:18:21] Right. And do you know why she's quite reluctant? What happens if she's assertive with her family?

Caller:
[1:18:29] So if she's assertive with her family, he'll... Yeah, he'll attempt to kill himself, right?

Stefan:
[1:18:36] Or drive off in the night, right?
And her mother will attack her and blame her, and what are you doing?
And, you know, he's old, and he can't take it. She'll just be crushed, right?

Caller:
[1:18:47] Yeah.
Oh, God.

Stefan:
[1:18:51] Are you going to be there for her, 100%, no matter what? Doubtful.
So you chose this woman who's broken, and now you're trying to fix her.
In the same way, because you've got this, you're there for the potential, you're there not for the people who are, you're there for the people they could be, and that's from your parents, right?
I mean, if you met your parents at a dinner party and you didn't have any history with them, would you be in a long-term relationship with them?
Would they be your friends? Would they be your mentors? Would they be your guides through life? Would they be people you'd want to hang out with?

Caller:
[1:19:23] Honestly, no.

Stefan:
[1:19:24] No, of course not. Okay, so So you're not in the relationship with your parents

Relationships based on potential rather than reality

[1:19:30] for who they are, but for who they could be.
I mean, the one job is to fix them and repair them and make them better and bring them to the light and all that. Right.
When the amount of pressure that they're facing against that is something that's kind of hard for you to imagine. Sorry, go ahead.

Caller:
[1:19:45] I mean, the only thing I would say about my parents is they, I've repealed them so much that they actually are fighting for freedoms.
Like did a lot around the vaccine stuff. stuff so they were issuing stuff to schools to say about how they shouldn't be vaccinating kids and stuff so like they have the one thing that's the one thing i really do like about them they've actually learned all the stuff through bitcoin they're running with it which is which is good like so that's that's the only thing i would say like i actually do that's nothing to do with your relationship with them as their child and that they were your parents that could be anyone oh yeah yeah yeah.

Stefan:
[1:20:25] And you know for a fact that they've been significantly, massively influential in your life for 40 years, and you don't have a family, and you don't have any way of vetting women, right? So, of course, right?
As if I were your father, I guess if I'd had you when I was 17, anyway, so if I was your father, right, and you'd had a whole series of relationships, eight long-term relationships that hadn't worked out, right?

Caller:
[1:20:52] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:20:53] And you said, hey, I met a new girl. what would i say shit here we go again no um no what would you say how many people get this out so i've just met a girl you'd probably be questioning me on every single aspect of a character yeah i'd be like okay so we know that you have a bit of a habit of disappearing, into conformityville right and and and not challenging or not you know being there or trying to repair or trying to fix so you know we gotta you know really figure i'd like to meet her sooner rather than later, and let me grill her because it's tougher for you.
I prepared a list of 15 questions you could ask her. I'd love to know the answers.
Let's make sure this doesn't happen again, because I love you.

Caller:
[1:21:35] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:21:36] Right? Are they doing any of that?

Caller:
[1:21:40] No.

Stefan:
[1:21:41] No, but they care about the vaccine for other children.

Caller:
[1:21:46] Yeah, I do feel like a lot of that can be a distraction from what they really need to do.

Stefan:
[1:21:51] Well, listen, dude, they're never going to do it.

Caller:
[1:21:54] Yeah, I know.

Stefan:
[1:21:55] You're 40 years old. If you were 14, I'd say they're never going to do it, probably.
But at 40, you can't ever be parented. You know that, right?

Caller:
[1:22:05] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:22:06] You're 22 years past needing parenting. That's almost a quarter century.
Your parents will never parent you.

Caller:
[1:22:15] Yeah.
That's why I listen to your show so much, because I'm like.

Family's Lack of Support and Vetting in Relationships

Stefan:
[1:22:27] Well, I mean, I'm not sure what that means, because you're still obviously hoping you can fix them, right?

Caller:
[1:22:33] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:22:34] If they are who they are and they never will change, do they have value in your life?

Caller:
[1:22:43] Do they have value in my life?

Stefan:
[1:22:44] Do they have value in your life? By the age of 40, I assume that they know you want to have a family, right? They also know that you waste your time in lengthy relationships that go nowhere, right?

Caller:
[1:22:58] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:22:59] So, are they helping you with that? Are they helping you try to solve or fix that? Are they watching your back? Do they have your six?

Caller:
[1:23:09] So, I think recently is the first time I've told them about all the massive issues I'm having in this relationship.

Stefan:
[1:23:16] In this current relationship?
And when did you how long into the relationship did you tell them, seven months okay so they spent seven months watching you date without ever asking any foundational questions yeah yeah okay so listen i mean it sounds like you want to be a mommy and daddy's boy until they're dead and you know i mean i know that sounds kind of condemnatory i I don't mean it that way.
I mean, you've got parents who either, do you think they don't know that you've dated a bunch of women? They know that, right?

Caller:
[1:23:57] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:23:58] They also know that you want a family, right?

Caller:
[1:24:00] Yeah, 100%. Okay.

Stefan:
[1:24:02] So they don't care. They don't care about you enough to watch your back when you get into a relationship or you're interested in a relationship. Okay.
And look, if that's okay with you, I mean, I don't think it's wise, but I'm not going to tell you how to live.
I don't ever tell anyone how to live, but I'm just telling you that they don't care about you enough to help you avoid these kinds of messes. And you're 40.

Caller:
[1:24:40] Why? How do they not care, though? Like, how? I mean, yeah, I can see it. I can see it. I just...

Stefan:
[1:24:46] Well, how I could care less about. I'm just talking about the empirical evidence.

Caller:
[1:24:50] Yeah, yeah.

Stefan:
[1:24:51] That after eight failed relationships, they're not asking you or giving you any vetting on your ninth one.

Caller:
[1:25:01] Yeah, they're not.

Stefan:
[1:25:02] Okay, so they're not. Well, what about your sister? Is she watching your back at all?
Is she covering your blind spots or keeping an eye out for where you may go astray?
Same sort of thing i've only just sort of really brought up the issues no it's not about you bringing it up oh yeah yeah sorry that she no they should be pro oh did you meet someone tell me, she hasn't done any deep inquiry no okay has she done shallow inquiry we can play this game as long as you want um it's your time i honestly can't remember okay so she hasn't vetted any women either, So when you have people around you who just claim to love you so much and they keep watching you walk into disaster after disaster after disaster and don't lift a fucking finger to intervene, you are not surrounded by people who love you.
You're not. You're surrounded by people who are sabotaging you through bottomless indifference. I'll just be frank with you.

Caller:
[1:26:06] And that's because they don't want a quality woman.

Stefan:
[1:26:08] I don't know why. I don't care why.

Caller:
[1:26:10] Okay, okay.

Surrounding Indifference and Sabotage

Stefan:
[1:26:11] I don't care why. Trying to plumb their motives is irrelevant.
And you'll never know, because they won't admit to it, and they won't tell you the truth even if they did.

Caller:
[1:26:19] So that's my point, yeah.

Stefan:
[1:26:21] There's no point. All we do is look at the evidence. You know, if someone roofies your drink and you go to the ER, does it matter if the doctor knows the motive of the guy who roofied you?
No. It's like, oh, I can't treat the poison until I know the cause. What's the motive?
Guys disappeared into the night you'll probably never find them again then you just die, right?
I don't care about motive I care about evidence and lord knows we've got almost a quarter century of evidence of you as an adult wandering into relationship after failed relationship after failed relationship, and people still aren't vetting anyone or anything or asking you any tough questions that's why you're calling me, right?
Yeah because you're desperate to find out even a hint or a scrap of what it means for someone would actually care about you 100 yeah all right so you were raised by people who are sabotaging you, even if they don't know it they are yeah i'm sorry what they know what they don't know that doesn't matter just they are like it's the motives are irrelevant it's empirical yeah you know if if every time a friend of mine drives in the rain, he crashes, right?

Caller:
[1:27:39] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:27:40] And he says, I'm going to go drive in the rain. And I'm like, okay, go ahead. What am I doing?

Caller:
[1:27:50] Yeah, you'd want them to crash.
You'd want them to crash.

Stefan:
[1:27:58] So every time your family doesn't vet your girlfriends, you waste more time and end up more heartbroken.
And so they're still not vetting your girlfriend, so they know exactly what's going to happen, and so they're behind it. They support it. They want it.
They're keen on it. And again, I don't care why.
Maybe because their marriage is fucked up, and they don't want to see you happy.
Maybe because if you meet a quality woman, the quality woman would look at your parents and say, holy shit, these people were vetting your girlfriends for 15, for 25 years?
These people were vetting your girlfriends, and you ended up with this anemic series of endless relationships that failed?
Holy crap, I don't want these people around my kids.
These people did you the most harm of anyone. They've never really deeply apologized or taken ownership, and they've never made restitution to the point where they're actually helping you.
I don't want them around my kids.

Caller:
[1:28:55] Oh, man.

Stefan:
[1:28:57] Why, why, if I love you, why would I want to spend time with people who've done the greatest harm to you of anyone?
I can't both love you and like your parents at all.
Can someone love you you and also love the people, the unrepentant people who've done you the greatest harm?

Caller:
[1:29:24] No.

Stefan:
[1:29:25] Of course not.
So to chase your parents' approval, you have to chase incompatible women.
Women who are not assertive, women who won't call your parents out on stuff, women who won't stand up for you, women who won't love you.

Caller:
[1:29:45] Because you have an imaginary bond with your parents, you can't have a real bond with a quality woman, I would say the one person that did that was the therapist, she she did call out a lot of stuff, yeah I don't know what calling out means, I'm just trying to collect my thoughts here.
So obviously, as a therapist, she could see dysfunction really easily.
But at the same time, she had it with her family.
So I think, yeah, she could see it in my family. She had it with hers as well.
But she didn't point this out.

Stefan:
[1:30:50] Sorry, she had messed up relations with her family?

Caller:
[1:30:55] Oh my God, the therapist was severe. Severe.

Stefan:
[1:30:59] Okay, so you understand then that she can't date an assertive guy who really cares about her.
Because an assertive guy who really cares about her would say what?
If she has really messed up parents.

Caller:
[1:31:09] It's the same thing again.

Stefan:
[1:31:11] Yeah, I don't want my kids around this.

Caller:
[1:31:13] Oh my God.

Concerns about harmful people in your life

Stefan:
[1:31:14] Because I care about you, I don't want to see you harmed by other people.
And these people are still harming you. They harmed you in the past.
They're unrepentant. They're not making restitution.
And I care about you so I don't want to see you around these people.
No, I can't, you know, I can't obviously command you. Oh, you can't do this, you can't do that.
But I'm telling you, I won't be around them.
I don't want to see you after you've been around them because it takes you a while to even recover.
And I'll tell you this, that if we're having kids, I mean, if we get together and have kids, there's no way I'm having these freaks in my life. Like, there's no way.

Caller:
[1:31:56] I mean it's bad for you bad for our marriage bad for our kids no see that was that's my biggest concern as well with the woman dating because like i can't imagine my kids being around him, like his energy is oh the threatened suicide dad yeah like he i could not i couldn't yeah i was just i was literally when she told me that i was like oh my god this you couldn't have your kids around him. You couldn't.

Stefan:
[1:32:23] Okay, but sorry, why is that a concern?

Caller:
[1:32:28] Well, if I was going to have kids with her, then...

Stefan:
[1:32:30] No. Will you have kids with a woman who still has this quote, bond with her parents?
Would you invite these people in to be the grandparents of your children?

Caller:
[1:32:44] No, I know.

Stefan:
[1:32:46] Okay, so then why are you dating her?
If you're not going to marry her and you're not going to have children with her and you're not going to confront her on this because she's never done therapy and she's 35, right?

Caller:
[1:33:02] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:33:03] So what that means, of course, is that she's got a lot of years ahead of her.
It also means that she has been postponing dealing with this stuff for probably 20 years, right?
And I can understand that because she's been held hostage by an emotional terrorist for 35 years.

Caller:
[1:33:23] I know it's it's so bad she's a hostage she's not a child right oh my god it's, it's heinous it's heinous well i mean it is heinous and i'm obviously have great sympathy for her but she chose not to deal with it yeah this is this is another thing that i'm trying to get into my head it's like i have massive empathy for her on a situation and then i'm like right i'm going to try and fix everything but at the same time no massive empathy for her as a child, massive empathy for her as a child because then you have choice as an adult yeah as an adult i mean she's a teacher right yeah right as a teacher self-knowledge is essential, to make sure you're not projecting or recreating your trauma in the children.

Stefan:
[1:34:23] You said her job was very stressful, right?

Caller:
[1:34:27] Oh, like, it's beyond. She's got migraines every day.

Stefan:
[1:34:30] So her job is probably quite stressful because she's not able to be assertive, and she's not able to be assertive because she's let herself be held hostage for 15 years.
I mean, she knew she had a messed up family. She chose not to read any books or go to any therapy.
And you're like, I'm sorry, I just, I don't have any patience. Dr.
Phil's on TV. Everybody knows, psychologists, therapists, everybody knows about all of this stuff.
And so I have about as much sympathy as I do for a 35-year-old smoker who develops a terrible cough.
It's like, yeah, it's a bad thing you've got that cough, but you did choose to smoke. Okay.

Caller:
[1:35:09] So why do I have such a big problem with giving responsibility back to them?

Stefan:
[1:35:15] Oh, because your parents won't accept responsibility.
Because if your parents accepted responsibility, they'd say, well, both our kids were on antidepressants. Is your sister married?

Caller:
[1:35:31] Yeah, and she's got a kid. Okay.

Stefan:
[1:35:33] So there's something. But our son, who's wanted a family for a long time, time keeps having these serial fails relationships we have to sit down with him and really sort through this stuff no matter what no matter how painful it is because we care about him and caring about people is it's not you know we had great fun at this theme park caring about people is when it's really really hard that's when you do it right and so your parents uh you know they just get away with all of this avoidance and oh you know we have sympathy but they won't do the hard hard work to dig in and figure out what's going wrong with your relationships and how it pertains to them so they won't take responsibility and i guarantee you that the price of you being in a quote relationship with them is never assigning them responsibility, so i can just say that last sentence again the price of being in a quote relationship with your parents is never assigning them responsibility yeah so if you were to say hey, listen, guys, guys, I'm 40 years old.
For the past quarter century, I've been getting involved in relationships with women where I'm not assertive. Now, this has something to do with my childhood.
I get all of that. But, you know, I'm an adult now.
Why don't you help me? Why don't you ask me questions? Why, you know, if you claim to care about me, why don't you help me sort this out?
Why am I just flying blind here? Why is nobody watching my back?
Say, oh, well, you know, we didn't want to interfere.
You're an adult now. You know what's best for you, right?

Caller:
[1:37:02] Yeah, I'm pretty sure that's what they would say.

Stefan:
[1:37:04] Yeah, I get it. I get it.
Oh, you know, every time my friend drives in the rain, he gets into a car crash, and he says he wants to go drive in the rain. I'm like, well, I don't want to interfere. I know you know what's best for you.
I don't want to interfere if we don't have a relationship. All relationships are about interfering. Or at least giving your opinion.

Caller:
[1:37:29] Yeah, and conflict. I remember you saying that the other day.
You can't avoid conflict in your... I'm not talking about toxic conflict, but you're going to have some degree of conflict.

Stefan:
[1:37:41] See, your parents should have, many, many, many years ago, sat everyone in the family down and said, okay, look, things are not working.
You guys are on antidepressants. We've really got to dig in and figure out what's going on.

Caller:
[1:37:55] I know actually i've got a story about that i don't want to change the subject but when my sister went on to antidepressants for the first time she came back from university and she was like really down and they said i hope it's not going to be like this for the next three weeks when she was sad so it's kind of like holy shit she told she told me that recently and i was just i couldn't believe what she told me yeah i mean that's that's shockingly cold i mean even by By British standards, that's shockingly good. I couldn't. I literally couldn't believe it.

Stefan:
[1:38:22] And this is the other thing, too. I mean, your unhappiness is inconvenient to me.
The impatience, the sighing, the eye-rolling, and, oh, fine, okay, you know.
But other people's misery that I created is really inconvenient to me.
Ugh. I mean, you know, it's like some guy gets punched in the face while he's sleeping, and then the guy who punched him is really angry because he got blood on the sheets.

Caller:
[1:38:54] Yeah, yeah.

Stefan:
[1:38:56] So that's the level of sympathy, right? You were depressed in your 20s, your early 20s, you said.
Your sister was depressed coming out of uni, and you guys are both on antidepressants.
This is not at all enough for your parents to say, let's sit down and try and sort out what's going on.

Caller:
[1:39:14] Right, yeah, some believe one.

The importance of having support and care in relationships

Stefan:
[1:39:18] Okay, so I mean, again, if that's where you want to live, that's how you're going to live.
If you want to live in a place where nobody really intervenes to care for you, or to watch your back, or to see the things that you can't easily see, which we all need, we all need that, right?
We all, we don't have eyes in the back of our head, right? So we all need people to help us do the 360.

Caller:
[1:39:43] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:39:45] So, that's going to absolutely condition the women you choose.
And you will forever choose women who won't threaten your parents.
Because in your mind, you're always in that car, going to the woods with your dad when you're seven, after you stuck a pencil in some kid.
You're always hanging by a thread.
And that level of emotional terrorism can be quite crippling.
And if you want to live life trying to fix your childhood, all you do is ruin your adulthood.
Your childhood can't be fixed, because it's gone.
You know, you're like the kid who is a little short because he didn't eat too much. He says, well, I'll just eat more now. We just get fat.
Can't go back in time and get enough food when you were a kid.
If you had a friend who rolled their eyes and was impatient at your sister's depression, would that person be your friend?

Caller:
[1:40:52] No, God no.

Stefan:
[1:40:53] Okay, so what are you doing? do you think that philosophy stops at the family, I mean I guess traditionally it kind of has but that's not what I talk about, universal principles are universal and then you say like every relationship every relationship is voluntary in the family well I mean if if your if a friend of yours was impatient at your sister's depression oh I hope she's not she'll be like this for the next couple of weeks, you'd be like whoa bro she's really really unhappy, like have some compassion, right?
But what if it was the person who'd actually caused her unhappiness, who was impatient with her unhappiness?
What if somebody smashed her leg and then complained that she was hobbling about?
What would you think of someone like that? Would they be your friend?

Caller:
[1:41:43] No.

Stefan:
[1:41:45] Well, what are you doing then?

Caller:
[1:41:48] Oh, good Lord. but they even cause problems over at Christmas. You know, I'm just...
Yeah, it's just unbelievable.

Stefan:
[1:42:04] You know what's great about Bitcoin? It's an objective universal standard that's not subject to human whims and greed and manipulation, right? And corruption.

Caller:
[1:42:16] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:42:16] Okay, so just Bitcoin up your moral standards it's in your relationships.
Make them independent of human corruption and manipulation.

Caller:
[1:42:28] So I make my relationships independent of corruption and manipulation.

Stefan:
[1:42:32] No, you make the standards in your relationships independent of corruption and manipulation and history.
I mean, we don't say Bitcoin has no value because it's only 16 years old, right? Or 15 years old.
It's a new objective universal standard that vastly supplants the manipulated currency of fiat, right?

Caller:
[1:42:52] Yeah, yeah.

Stefan:
[1:42:53] Okay, so Bitcoin has value because it's new, it's universal, and can't be corrupted.
Well, that's having moral standards in relationships. That's the Bitcoin of relationships.
And you're literally like somebody who's saying, well, we've always had fiat, so we always have to have fiat.
Well, my parents have always done this, they've always been my parents, so I have to... Right? Okay. But then...
If you have that, and again, I don't know what you should do.
I'm just trying to give you the costs and benefits.

Caller:
[1:43:28] Yeah, yeah.

Stefan:
[1:43:29] That if you have people who are brutal and indifferent to you and your sister in your life, that is going to condition everyone you date.
And it has done that consistently and universally for the past 25 years.

Caller:
[1:43:48] Oh, man. This is bad.

Stefan:
[1:43:53] It's bad to have an answer. Weren't you calling for an answer?

Caller:
[1:43:57] I know. I know. This is brilliant. I just, what has gone on before is bad.

Stefan:
[1:44:03] Wouldn't it be bad to have no clue what was going wrong?

Caller:
[1:44:06] Oh, yeah. Don't get me wrong. This is amazing, but I'm just like, just the sheer brunt of it.

Stefan:
[1:44:12] And I can also tell you exactly what your next impulse is going to be if you want.

Caller:
[1:44:16] Please.

Stefan:
[1:44:17] Oh, I got to go fix things with my parents now. Now, I've got to go have another conversation with my parents. I can't.

Caller:
[1:44:25] Oh, my God. I am.

Realizing that parents may not change and finding alternatives

Stefan:
[1:44:34] You're in your fifth decade with your parents.
Nothing's going to change. Now, maybe if you threaten them, and I'm never going to see you if you don't go to therapy, maybe you can get them to do something that they wouldn't normally do in the same way you can pay for your girlfriend to go to therapy.
Right? So maybe you could... But it's never going to come organically from them.
They're never going to want to do it. They're just going to conform under threat.

Caller:
[1:45:00] They can actually resent that, can't they? Because then you make things conditional or...

Stefan:
[1:45:04] Well, they'll just be blowback and they'll get you some other way back and all that, right?

Caller:
[1:45:08] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:45:11] They are who they are. They're not going to change.

Caller:
[1:45:14] See, I've never had someone tell me to shit like this. Like, this is...

Stefan:
[1:45:18] I know, but that's why I'm trying to give you a sense of what it is for someone to actually care about you.

Caller:
[1:45:23] Yeah, but it's just brutal. It's brutal in the best kind of way.
I wouldn't expect it to be any different.

Stefan:
[1:45:28] No, it's only brutal for the dysfunctional people in your life.

Caller:
[1:45:34] Yeah yeah yeah and i'm not i honestly love this i just man i'm just i've got to sort shit out i really have got to sort stuff out okay what does that mean what do you what does sorting stuff out mean to you i've got to, well uh i know what i gotta do with like so you're saying like having Having, not having that relationship with my parents is the key to sorting out my relationships with women because obviously like, yeah, they're setting the standard for all my relationships.

Stefan:
[1:46:13] You need people in your life who are going to watch out for your blind spots.
I mean, we all need that, right?

Caller:
[1:46:18] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:46:19] I mean, you say you give advice to your friends, so you're watching their blind spots, right?

Caller:
[1:46:23] Yeah. Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:46:29] And you need to vet very seriously, especially at your age.

Caller:
[1:46:37] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:46:38] Because you're going to get women in their 30s, right?

Caller:
[1:46:41] Yeah. And I'm going to be honest, ever since I've been listening to these shows over the last nine months, I've literally, knowing what I know now, I just don't think I would recreate this.

Stefan:
[1:46:52] You don't think what?

Caller:
[1:46:54] I don't think I would recreate this situation. I would have to vet so heavily.

Stefan:
[1:46:58] Right right you have to vet heavily in particular because you're 40 and in particular because you're good looking and in particular because you're doing well in your career right yeah and the other thing that i've learned like the thing that makes one of the most profound things i heard you say recently is like you don't fall in love with the person it's their values and like, that that blew me away because like, yeah i think that's something that i've completely overlooked in the past like it's not so much the person it's what you you you you fall in lust with their need with women, so you know she's stressed she gets migraines she had problems with her family and you're like i'm gonna fix her i'm gonna like she needs right, I mean, finding a woman who doesn't need fixing, finding a woman who's doing great, who's doing well, who's competent, right?

Caller:
[1:47:59] And I dream about it. I just, I need that. I need that. And the biggest problem- No, but you need to be competent.

The importance of vetting and becoming competent

Stefan:
[1:48:05] If you want somebody competent, you need to be competent.
Like if you want to play a really good tennis player, you have to become a really good tennis player.
And to become competent means that you have to vet.
I mean, I don't know if you've hired people in your life i'm sure you have but you don't just hire everyone who walks in right you vet you call the references you right check the education you all that stuff right and most women who are still single in their mid-30s are still single for a very good reason and that reason is very important to understand now i met my wife in my 30s so it's not impossible obviously right but, it's very skeptical i was going to ask you about this because i was reading this in your book But the thing I was wondering, right, like at what point do you know, like even if these things come up in a relationship with a woman, like at what point do you know when to cut and when to run?

Caller:
[1:49:02] Like when do you know it's someone that you can work with and actually help them and lead them in the right direction?

Stefan:
[1:49:08] What if they generate their own thoughts and preferences and if they circle back?
Yeah, so we're all going to do things that are annoying or minorly hurtful or whatever to other people. That's going to happen.
Does it sit with them? Do they come back later that day and say, you know, I was really thinking about this and right.
Or, or this kind of passive and drag through life like a fish on a hook, right? Do they have their own conscience?
Do they have their own mode of power? Do they have their own thoughts?
Do they have their own independent consciousness or are they just basically trying to get away with whatever they get away with?
Now your parents, they do what they can get away with.

Caller:
[1:49:47] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:49:48] And, uh, your girlfriend sounds like she's kind of passive because she was bullied into atoms by this psycho dad who threatens to kill himself if she tries to set up any reasonable boundaries, right?
And yeah, sympathy for that as a kid, right?

Caller:
[1:50:08] Yeah, and I'm constantly trying to shake her out of that.

Stefan:
[1:50:11] Right, just as you're constantly trying to shake your parents out of that.
But you can't be the mode of power for someone else. You know, it's like the old Flintstones cartoon, you know, they had this car that you had to run on the ground, right?
You're getting there, it's like, oh, you don't have an engine? I'll push.

Caller:
[1:50:33] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:50:33] But pushing for two is invalidating the other person. And pushing for two is saying to the other person, you can't ever have your own motive power.

[1:50:44] Yeah do they have their own thoughts do they have their own conscience do they have do they process for themselves their thoughts and experience and do they circle back and check in and right i mean all that kind of stuff otherwise you have to do the whole relationship for two right, i know like the one thing she says is like she doesn't really work on like a project when we, so when the trigger comes up like the first thing instinctively i was like right there's been an emotional conflict we need to resolve this we need to find out like why you're triggered what it relates to you in your past like so i just want to go into inquiry into like all of it and she just goes defensive and says like she feels like she's being worked on like a project and like i won't love her until she's fixed and stuff like this and um well but you uh you uh you've been in therapy 10 years ago right so you're you're smart enough and wise enough and knowledgeable enough to know that if you push her to become assertive she's going to be threatened, by her father with death right her father's going to threaten to kill himself or whatever right it's funny i never made that connection but i totally get what you mean yeah yeah it's going to happen and whether it happens explicitly or implicitly or something like that right and she's obviously terrified of that right of course yeah yeah yeah i get it well and she's terrified because she's let it terrify her, and I understand that. I have great sympathy for that.

The struggle of wanting to help but recognizing personal limits

[1:52:11] But she's also let it continue, and she hasn't gone to therapy and hasn't had someone in her corner to help her deal with this for like, you know, 15 years or whatever, right? It's in 20 to 35.
She's avoided dealing with this, and she's just appeased and bowed down and conformed and let the emotional terrorist run and ruin her life, right?

Caller:
[1:52:33] And she's not angry at her mother for not not intervening and she's not right i don't know if she's got any siblings but yeah i mean she's basically been left alone with this emotional terrorist and she's chosen to bow down and conform and you know i can sort of understand the reasoning but she's still responsible for that, yeah it's savage i just um, this is where i get stuck i just feel for them so much i do genuinely feel and then i'm just like i need to help them but it's like yeah i've got to get out of that it's like because she's an adult She's made decisions that have put herself here as well.
It's like, after a childhood of such reasons.

Stefan:
[1:53:08] You need to help them. Okay, but, you know, fuck that, frankly. Who's helping you?
Okay, if helping others, let's say, let's UPB this mofo, right?
So, if helping others is such a great thing, who's helping you?

Caller:
[1:53:24] I hire people.

Stefan:
[1:53:27] No, no, I mean, in your personal life, right? Helping others, helping your parents, helping your girlfriends, helping others.
Okay so it's a universal value gotta really help people helping people is is great right okay so who's helping you.

Caller:
[1:53:43] I'm not that many people now.

Stefan:
[1:53:45] Okay. Who in your personal life is helping you?

Caller:
[1:53:50] So my friends, when I was dating the therapist, they pointed out a lot of the issues I was having.
And I took it on board, but I continued the relationship.
So they did point out to me that I should be a lot happier. That wasn't good.
Like they saw that I was really depressed and said, you know, it shouldn't be like this. So like they did point out. Okay.

Stefan:
[1:54:12] Okay, that's not particularly... I need you to up your standards on what it means to be cared for.
So if you were dating some messed up therapist and it was consuming your heart, mind, and soul, I would say to you, you have to stop this.
And I can't have a friendship with you. And if you say, well, I'm going to keep going, I'll be like, but you have to go without me then.
I can't watch you do this to yourself. It's too painful.
If you're going to be that unwise or that consumed with lust or obligation, I can't support that.

Caller:
[1:54:45] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:54:45] It would be like if you asked me to come and rob a bank with you, I'd be like, no, don't rob a bank. Right?
And if you decided to go, I'd be like, well, you've got to go without me.

Caller:
[1:54:57] Yeah, because it's almost like endorsing their behavior by remaining their friend, right?

Stefan:
[1:55:01] Right, of course, yeah. You're saying, well, you know, I think you're doing this self-destructive thing and you're going to get really hurt by this.
And you don't respect me as a friend enough to change your behavior when I make a good case and then since you don't really care about me enough and you only care about lust for this therapist woman or obligation or whatever and if my reasonable case for values and morals is ignored by you, then we don't have much of a friendship, yeah yeah.

The True Cost of Not Committing to Women

[1:55:38] That's next context so that's really standing for someone isn't it yeah really is, yeah that is yeah properly and you say because you're still defining it as caring about people but it's not how many women have you hurt by not committing to them yeah it's honestly this is the How many years of women's life have you wasted?
You think this is caring?
And it doesn't really fundamentally have to do with the women at all.
It only has to do with your parents and their needs.
You're serving your parents by not bonding with quality women.
So you may say, well, I'm just so empathetic and I care so much. It's like, nope.
No, you don't. I can't let you reframe that as a virtue.

Caller:
[1:56:44] Yeah, I don't want to hurt any more women.

Stefan:
[1:56:46] I think that would be a good start.
Choosing these women that are really broken and then being superior to them does not elevate them.
Right, you saying to your current girlfriend, well, you're really broken.
I did therapy like 10 years ago. Maybe you can start right now.
Do you think that elevates her?

Caller:
[1:57:09] She always says she feels inferior to me. Right.

Stefan:
[1:57:13] Because you are avoiding your own inferiority to your parents by pretending to be superior to your girlfriends.

Caller:
[1:57:20] Wait, wait, that's interesting. I'm avoiding my inferiority to my parents.

Stefan:
[1:57:26] Yeah, you're avoiding feeling inferior to your parents because you're with them because of reasons of power and history, not virtue and happiness.
So you're avoiding feelings of inferiority to your parents that they boss and rule you based on history and aggression, and so you then compensate for that feeling of helplessness and powerlessness by lording it over dysfunctional girlfriends and feeling stronger and superior to them, because a strong and capable woman would say i don't like your parents, and i don't want to spend time with them i don't think it's healthy for you to spend time with them because they're not going to change and they were abusive and you know they roll their eyes at your sister and they won't take any responsibility really for the harm that they've done and they They won't make restitution, and they won't go to therapy.
So, yeah, I don't want to spend time around them. Now, she would then push you into a state of crisis, right?

Caller:
[1:58:41] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:58:42] And then would you feel strong and empowered and confident? Yeah.

The impact of a confident girlfriend on family dynamics

Caller:
[1:58:53] Is this the current girlfriend?

Stefan:
[1:58:54] I'm sorry?

Caller:
[1:58:56] Sorry, who would push me into crisis?

Stefan:
[1:58:58] So, if you had a confident girlfriend, a strong, moral, and confident girlfriend who really cared about you, she would say, I don't like your parents, I don't want to spend any time with them, I don't think it's very healthy for you to spend time with them, and they're never going to be around my kids.
Right? That would push you into some kind of confrontation with your parents, right?

Caller:
[1:59:18] Yeah.

Stefan:
[1:59:19] Or some sort of decision around your parents, right? right?

Caller:
[1:59:22] Yeah, yeah, absolutely.

Stefan:
[1:59:23] Now, would you feel stronger or weaker being pushed into that position?

Caller:
[1:59:29] Obviously weaker.

Stefan:
[1:59:30] Weaker, right? Now you want to avoid that feeling of weakness or rather your parents.
The feeling of weakness and helplessness in a relationship is absolutely essential to experience because it's incredibly liberating.
Like once I realized I was completely helpless in my relationship with my mother, incredibly liberating.
So you actually do want to experience that helplessness, but your parents don't want you to experience that helplessness, because when you experience that helplessness, you give up.
And you recognize that the only, quote, relationship is entirely on their terms at your expense.
You can't tell the truth, you can't be honest, you can't be direct, you can't be assertive, you can't get your needs met. It's all on their terms.
It's all on what they want, and nothing on what you want, right?

Caller:
[2:00:17] Yeah. Now, you avoid strong women so strong women don't push you in confrontation with your parents.

[2:00:28] That's what I mean when I say you avoid your helplessness with your parents by pretending to be superior, to your girlfriends so you choose these under functioning people so that you can feel superior and wiser and stronger and better but then you can't commit to them and then you claim it's about caring come on, i said i can i just bring up one thing here so the therapist she would constantly say that i wasn't involved enough for her so it's almost like, she felt superior to me in that relationship, well she kept you on the back foot so you didn't confront her about her parents, and i actually spoke to her recently and she's actually just, not seeing her parents anymore and did she apologize to you for anything that she said yeah she did okay that's good she she um yeah she she said that she projected so much of anger towards her dad onto me and she's really sorry and she um but yeah she genuinely, yeah so but she's she has actually just made that decision she's finally not seeing her parents anymore.
Well, her mum's dead, but her step-mum and dad.

Stefan:
[2:01:51] So neither of you were able to care about the other to avoid, to help the other person avoid getting hurt?

Caller:
[2:02:03] It was, yeah, that relationship really hurt. It was, I mean, yeah, she had a forced CPD-SC breakdown during it. It was just so.

Stefan:
[2:02:17] She had a what?

Caller:
[2:02:19] A c uh like a ptsd breakdown during the relationship she um it's weird like something really weird happened like we um so i thought it would help the relationship and this is completely voluntary so i started to pay i gave her some money so that she could take time off work so we could focus on trying to resolve problems in a relationship because it was like it was getting quite stressful and i was like look if i buy some time and space and this is my decision she didn't push me into it she was actually a bit reluctant because she had a grandfather that financially manipulated her mother so she was kind of skeptical but i was like come on let's do it i'm happy to do it um and at the time as soon as i did that she her whole like her whole body just went into like, ptsd like she could barely walk like she couldn't sleep for like three or four nights in a row oh this is like your mother when you were honest just some physical thing right oh no this went on for ages like it was it was unbelievable it was um it's like her whole body went into shock, and it just went on for months and months and months what do you mean i don't know what you mean by her whole body went into shock that's not very medical to me yeah i i honestly it was the strangest thing i've ever seen she had to she couldn't sleep for like three or four nights in a row her nervous system was just she couldn't regulate her nervous system her whole body went stiff to the point where she could buy she could barely walk up a flight of stairs because her Hang on, hang on.

Stefan:
[2:03:47] So how long ago was this?

Caller:
[2:03:51] Um this was 2021 and how old is she she's 36 so she's 36 you want a family, and you're dating someone like this but this but this yeah but it wasn't like that at the beginning it just um i was shocked i was like when she's done loads and this is the thing she's done loads of work on herself like she'd done two decades of work on herself and like every single modality healing modality you could ever imagine so i was just like thinking that she'd be on top of everything and obviously as well she was my emotional confidant when we were doing therapy so i thought you know like she's someone that understands all this stuff and she's on top of it but as soon as we're dating she just like fell apart like it was just holy shit wait sorry i thought you didn't you said you didn't know this at the beginning but now you're saying that it was as soon as you were dating?
No, it was about four months in. No, it was during COVID.

Stefan:
[2:04:49] Sorry, about four months in, you tell her, I'll pay for you to take time off?

Caller:
[2:04:54] I think it was about four to six months in, yeah.

Stefan:
[2:04:57] Okay, a couple of months in, you're saying, I'll pay for you to take time off?

Caller:
[2:05:04] Yeah.

Stefan:
[2:05:06] Are there no competent women left in England? I don't know. Your ability to find these people is really quite something.

Caller:
[2:05:13] Think but she was like on the flip side right she was really clued up on, a lot of stuff like we had really deep interesting conversations she was no like no no no no come on come on man she has a ptsd reaction that lasts for months, and you're gonna try and tell me that she was real deep into self-knowledge and all that, I've tried to get her to listen to you I keep sending her links What, you're still sending her links now?

Stefan:
[2:05:46] Um Oh, you're still trying to fix her How long did you guys go out for?
18 months 18 months, okay, I mean, we've known each other for 10 years It's not like Well, you didn't know her that well If both you and her were surprised by this meltdown.

[2:06:09] Yeah i i didn't realize yeah it was to do a sexual abuse and i didn't know that like oh you didn't know she'd been sexually abused no she was sexually abused at three and i never knew that until i was in the relationship, and but she knew that, yeah yeah 100 and she didn't tell you as you were getting into the relationship, i think it was about a month maybe three or four weeks in because she would um, yeah she asked me if i wanted to continue knowing that and i said yeah i mean she should tell you at the beginning it was i mean in fairness it was close to the beginning it was it was you already had sex yeah okay so after you've already had sex she then tells you about her history of sexual abuse yeah we have and did she know that she had this amount of unprocessed trauma that she was going into a meltdown mode for months um did she did she know about like did she i think is i feel like she felt like she dealt with it like that's the impression i got because she'd done so much healing and that's what i think is wrong right yeah yeah.

Warning of the Risks Involved

[2:07:37] Yeah i don't know man it's very risky stuff that you're doing by the way just wanted to mention this as we get to the closing end of this part of the conversation or this conversation it's very risky stuff man sooner or later you're going to kick over a real bunny boiler it's just a matter of time really you're going to get a stalker uh you're going to get someone who's going to give you false accusations and you like sooner or later man if you you keep playing this night rescue guy, you're gonna you're gonna run into a woman who's gonna swallow you whole, yeah i don't even yeah yeah, well i gotta sort it out i've got to sort it out i gotta show that well just i mean have universal standards standards.

Caller:
[2:08:30] Yeah.

Stefan:
[2:08:32] If you wouldn't hang out with a friend who was contemptuous of your sister's struggles with depression, that tells you all you need to know about your parents.
And if you would hang out with a friend like that, then, you know, you can continue to see your parents, but that's the standard you're going to have.
I mean, this is philosophy, right? Philosophy is you have standards or you don't.
But at least be honest about it. If you say, like, if you're going to say, yeah, people who are contemptuous about the pain they've inflicted on others, particularly children, that's fine with me. I can hang with them.
Okay, that's, I mean, I respect that as far as honesty goes.
I really do. Philosophy just tells you to be honest.
That if it's like, well, my parents aren't that valuable, but I'm too scared to confront them and I don't want to set up any moral boundaries and maybe year 41 of knowing them will be way better than the last 40 years.
No, just be honest. I'll have crappy standards for these people knowing that that's going to have a ripple effect on all my relationships.
It's like being in business and saying, well, of my 10 customers, I'll only cheat three of them.

Caller:
[2:09:47] Oh, man. That's the crooks bit, isn't it?

Stefan:
[2:09:50] Yeah, I mean, you either have a standard of cheating or not, right?
And so if you say, well, I'll have crappy standards for my parents, then it's just going to have a ripple effect on all your relationships. And that's your choice.
I mean, I'm not going to tell you what to do, but I am going to tell you the effects of your choices, I think.

Caller:
[2:10:11] That's the irony as well, is I have such high standards in every other part of my life. And it's like...

Stefan:
[2:10:16] Well, you have high standards in the parts of your life that are working well, right?
And you have low standards in the parts of your life that are working badly, which is exactly what philosophy would predict, right?

Caller:
[2:10:28] Yeah.
Yeah.

Emotional Manipulation and Male-Female Relationships

Stefan:
[2:10:39] I assume that you're in a fairly male-oriented business world?

Caller:
[2:10:44] Yeah, I'm four-time Bitcoin.

Stefan:
[2:10:48] Yeah, so you're in a male space, right?

Caller:
[2:10:50] Yeah, yeah.

Stefan:
[2:10:51] Right, so I would imagine that most of the emotional manipulation that you had as a kid came from your mother, which is why your male space works well and your female space works so badly.

Caller:
[2:11:03] Yeah i think one of the big things as well was when she got upset i'd have to go and comfort my mom so like i i'd put in a boundary she'd go and cry in the room and then i'd have to go and comfort her or she wouldn't stop crying would your father encourage you to do that, no so what had the pattern was i would upset i'd put in a boundary mama get upset dad would get angry that was the constant pattern that played out right okay yeah so for you assertiveness, is rejection assertiveness is a break of the bond assertiveness is pain so your parents were strongly conditioning you to be terrified and hostile to, any reasonable standards or virtues or values. Yeah.

Stefan:
[2:12:00] And, you know, if that's going to be okay with you, then you're just going to keep having these kinds of relationships with women.
I mean, they'll probably get worse and worse over time because your conscience, I mean, again, and also your conscience will get to you because you're not doing these women any favors at all.
You're kind of parasiting off their helplessness so that you can feel better and stronger.
And that's going to have a sort of cumulative effect on your own conscience.
And it may not be too much further down the road that that's going to be a place you can't return from. I'm sorry?
And this is i remember you saying this the other day about when your conscious catches up with you and i just yeah i don't want to get to that point it's like when you said like when you when you finally go too far the devil shows itself right right yeah i mean when it's too late, to turn turn back yeah then then all of your bad mistakes will be made clear to you for sure yeah for sure like like you know the smokers who quit smoking after the lung cancer diagnosis and and then they look at all of their former ashtrays with hatred and revulsion, right?

Caller:
[2:13:01] I just don't feel like I did any of this on purpose. Like, I didn't go out to hurt, like, I didn't, you know, I haven't gone out.

Stefan:
[2:13:08] You really haven't hung up on this purpose thing, right?

Caller:
[2:13:14] Um, yeah. It's empirically, that's what I've done, yeah, you're right.

Stefan:
[2:13:18] Well, hang on, hang on. So, you've got a fair mind blast of new information and perspectives in this call, right?

Caller:
[2:13:25] Yeah, to say the least.

Stefan:
[2:13:26] Okay, so how on earth do you know what your motives are when you're in the two hours of being tossed around like a leaf in a storm, right?
I mean, you've got a couple of weeks, if not months, of thinking about this kind of stuff and being brutally honest with yourself.
So can you wave a magic wand called, I'm innocent of bad motives, right in the middle of this maelstrom of new information?

Caller:
[2:13:48] No, you're right. You're right. How could you know?

The Trap of Ill Intent

Stefan:
[2:13:57] You have this thing, it's like, well, I can wave this magic wand called, there's no ill intent, right? That's your big magic wand, but that's also what traps you.

Caller:
[2:14:07] But I don't feel like...

Stefan:
[2:14:08] Because once you wave that magic wand, and you say, well, I had no ill intent, or my parents had no ill intent, or they didn't mean to, or it's not conscious, or whatever, then that just traps you.

Caller:
[2:14:17] I get that, I get that.

Stefan:
[2:14:21] Because then you're kind of being mean. if you have standards when somebody is just no if somebody makes a mistake and you punish them for it that's kind of mean right, yeah you know it would be yeah right so so what you do is you reframe this magical intent thing so that other people can be perceived as just making mistakes or being blind or unaware or you know lacking knowledge or whatever it is and then and then for you to have any boundaries Boundaries would be like shaming a child learning how to walk for falling down.
I mean, they're not trying to fall down. It just happens.
So I'd be really wary of this big magic wand you've got called no ill intent. How the hell do you know?

Caller:
[2:15:15] I mean, okay. okay, yeah, I totally get what you're saying. And it doesn't matter.

Stefan:
[2:15:21] I mean, first of all, you can't say that about anyone, right?

Caller:
[2:15:24] But that can happen on a subconscious level then, right?
Because I've never thought to myself, I'm going to get into this relationship and try and mess this woman up.
I've never, you know, I've always thought I want to have a relationship and help them if they need it.
But I haven't, unless, but I don't know if you can differentiate Conscious from the conscious?
No, I don't know. I know it's probably wrong, but.

Stefan:
[2:15:53] Well, do you choose women that you feel more functional than?

Caller:
[2:16:01] Do I choose women that I feel more functional with?

Stefan:
[2:16:04] You feel more functional than they are. I mean, certainly I assume the woman who's having migraines because she's a teacher, or the woman who's collapsing into bed for months because she's got some time off, I assume you feel more functional than they are.

Caller:
[2:16:18] I mean, yeah, but at the beginning I just, I mean, I've chosen to continue the relationship, but now that's where I've made that choice.

Stefan:
[2:16:23] Okay, so you feel superior to these women, right? At least more functional, right?
Right yeah i with the therapist it was a bit different i feel like she was really, yeah but then yeah i yeah maybe yeah yeah yeah and then there was the the so the modern the new girlfriend has migraines from being a teacher and can't stand up to her parents, the therapist collapsed into bed didn't sleep for a couple of days then collapsed into bed for months because of earlier trauma that was unprocessed and then the four-year relationship she was was seriously stressed at work and and all of that so you felt more functional than these women right, yeah at times i think i i guess the more i've worked on myself as well and yeah definitely okay and you feel more functional than your parents right, no 100 okay so what do you think it would be like to be in a relationship with someone who was much more functional than you are.

Insecurities and Contempt in Relationships

[2:17:37] I'd feel massively insecure. Right.
You'd feel like you weren't good enough, and you would also have some anger and contempt towards that woman, because it would be like, okay, so if she's that functional and superior, why is she with me? Does she pity me?
Does she need to feel superior in that kind of way? Is she so insecure that she just needs to be around people who are worse off than she is so that she feels better?
Like, why is she here? Why is she with me?
Why doesn't she just get someone who's functional?
Is this a rescue mission? Is this pity money? What?
Or, if she's so functional, then why does she want to be dating someone who's not functional?
Maybe her level of functionality is just a lie. And maybe her pretend superiority is just pretend.

Questioning the Need for Fixing in a Relationship

[2:18:45] If I need to be fixed, why does he need someone who's broken? broken.
What's broken in him that he needs me to be broken in order to date me?

Reawakening Feelings of Inferiority

[2:19:14] And I assume that these people were raised with families who looked down on them, right?

Caller:
[2:19:23] Yeah.

Stefan:
[2:19:26] And now you are in a situation of reawakening all of their feelings of inferiority that they had as children, right?

Caller:
[2:19:35] Yeah, that's brutal.

Stefan:
[2:19:38] You become the stern, rejecting, superior father who doesn't want to elevate them, but just wants to look down on them.

Caller:
[2:19:45] But I've tried, but I, I've been, I know, I've been trying, I feel like I've been trying to elevate her though.
Like I've been trying to, I'm like helping her get therapy and trying to teach her about libertarianism and stuff like that and, and like trying to get her to like, when we're driving up some philosophy on like, so I've been trying my best to like, I feel like elevate and try and get her out of that situation.

Stefan:
[2:20:17] Is that how she's experiencing it?

Caller:
[2:20:21] Yeah.

Stefan:
[2:20:23] No, you already told me.

Caller:
[2:20:25] Yeah, like that's... And I confused... And yeah, it's weird because I got so confused with that because I just projected my own wants and thought she would feel the same, but it's not like that, is it? It's not. No.

Stefan:
[2:20:41] Well, hang on, if after 10 years of therapy, you still need to obsessively fix people, then she can assume that if she does as well in therapy, then by the time she's 45, she'll still obsessively need to fix people and fail.

Caller:
[2:21:01] Yeah, that's not a good advert.

Stefan:
[2:21:02] Not a good sales job for therapy, right?

Caller:
[2:21:07] No, that's the worst advert possible, isn't it?

Stefan:
[2:21:09] That well and you're also saying you can't possibly do it by yourself you need me my energy my focus my attention my time my money my interest my knowledge my expertise step aside honey let me be you and fix you oh man didn't you say this was like possession in one talk where you it's almost it's like you possess the other person. Yeah, I mean...

Caller:
[2:21:42] With your own will, or whatever.

Stefan:
[2:21:43] And because you tried to fix your parents and have failed to fix your parents, it won't work with the girlfriends either, and it never has, right?

Caller:
[2:21:51] No.

Stefan:
[2:21:56] Have you left any girlfriend of the eight major ones, have you left any girlfriend, substantially better off than you found her?

Caller:
[2:22:08] I'm just going to go through the list, but I don't think I have.

Stefan:
[2:22:11] Right. So it's not about helping people, and it's not about fixing people.

Caller:
[2:22:18] Jeez, yeah, you're right.

Stefan:
[2:22:19] It's about ignoring the fact that you can't fix people by continually trying to.
And it's also a form of self-blame, right? So when you fail to fix, you get to blame yourself, in the same way that your parents blame you for the low quality of your relationship with them.
It's a whole bunch of complex stuff, but yeah, it's certainly not about actually helping people.
And you can say, well, my motive was this, and I don't care about motive. Motive is a ghost.
Motive is an invisible friend whispering good things into your ear that has nothing to do with empiricism.
I mean, you must have met competent women over the course of your life at some point, right?

Caller:
[2:23:08] Yeah, I'm sure I have.

Stefan:
[2:23:09] Okay, but you avoided them.
Or you didn't date them, or you didn't keep dating them.

Caller:
[2:23:18] Yeah.

Stefan:
[2:23:21] So, yeah, you're probably not in a situation where you've ever really experienced what it is to be wanted rather than needed. Right.

Love as a Verb: Choosing to Want Someone

Caller:
[2:23:34] Yeah, probably not. Which is where, yeah, and like you say that in your book, Real-Time Relationships, that love is a verb of I want, isn't it?

Stefan:
[2:23:42] Yeah, if you need someone, that's a little different, right?
Then it's not, there's not choice really involved in need.
But if you want someone, that's a choice.

Caller:
[2:23:54] Yeah, yeah.
And that's where you get the pair bonding, isn't it? Because once, that genuine one is there, that's the pair bond.

Stefan:
[2:24:09] Well, the pair bond is trusting in the virtues of another person.
We pair bond with virtue, with integrity. There's nothing else to pair bond.
We can't pair bond with flesh. Flesh decays.
We can't pair bond with great hair because it turns bald or silver.
We can't pair bond with full lips because they wither with age.
All we can pair bond with is integrity, which strengthens and grows with age.
The pair bond Bond is with virtue. There's nothing else we can bond with.

Caller:
[2:24:40] What if there's no restitution for the women I've hurt? Like, what?

Stefan:
[2:24:45] If there's no restitution for the women that you've hurt, then you have to just not ever do it again.
You just have to deal with this stuff, have one standard for all your relationships, and make sure you never do it again.
Sometimes that's the best restitution that you can do.
I mean, obviously I was not always the best boyfriend when I was in my teens or early 20s.
So, but you know, I haven't done any of that stuff again. And I don't have any particular bad conscience about it now.
But I wouldn't fall into self-attack. Because self-attack is going to drive you to want to do it again. because self-attack will push you down and then you want to elevate yourself by finding some dysfunctional woman to mentor.

Caller:
[2:25:37] Okay.
I couldn't truly comprehend what I've been doing.

Stefan:
[2:25:57] Well, I know you've been doing it alone, right? And because you're a highly intelligent, highly verbally skilled guy, that's why I said at the very beginning, just give me some empirical answers, just give me some facts as opposed to all of this analysis and ideas.
This is a little bit therapy brain where you can just make up a whole bunch of stuff and it sounds plausible.
But I just, looking at the empirical facts is usually the best place to start.

Caller:
[2:26:20] Yeah.

Stefan:
[2:26:21] And motive is not empirical.

Caller:
[2:26:22] Motive is lame.
Yeah.

Stefan:
[2:26:26] Motive is like, you know, every criminal says they're innocent, but we still have a trial, right?
And the trial is based on evidence. Facts.

Caller:
[2:26:37] And this is the witch trials, you know.

Stefan:
[2:26:39] Yeah, well, that's a...

Caller:
[2:26:41] I know you put that in your book.

Stefan:
[2:26:42] A new trial, yeah.
All right, is that a reasonably good place to start? aren't i'm sorry i i have a bit of a cold today so my energy is not massive but i wanted to make sure i had enough for the call but i can sort of feel myself flagging now so i'm going to probably have to uh to to close it down but i just wanted to make sure i got at least the major points across that are of value oh god yeah like 100 like you've given me so much already and um i appreciate that so much i knew it was going to be hard like i i know i've got to go and listen to this a few times, and sort everything out.

Caller:
[2:27:16] But yeah, I can't thank you enough for your time. I really appreciate it.

Stefan:
[2:27:19] Good work, man. Keep me posted on how it's going. And I really do appreciate your time today. It was a really good call.

Caller:
[2:27:26] Yeah, and I'm not going to fail. I'm going to resolve this. Yeah, I'm going to resolve it all.

Stefan:
[2:27:31] I have no doubt that you are. All right, man. Thanks, Bill. I'll hear from you down the road, and I wish you the very best. I'm sure you'll do great.

Caller:
[2:27:39] Yeah, absolutely. And thank you so much for your time. Honestly, I appreciate it. Take care. Thanks. Bye.

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