MY FATHER WAS WEAK! Freedomain Call In - Transcript

"My lack of integrity has left me feeling as though I am an empty vessel. I have a strong aversion to sharing my honest thoughts with both family and friends. Whether these thoughts are benign or whether they are 'harsh truths', I feel anxious in admitting to either.

"I am reluctant to express discontent with the members of my family. In the past I have gone so far as to admit to my mother that I feel no love for her, and yet even today I still express my love to her through what I feel are merely platitudes. Specifically in this case, it feels as though expressing the truth of my feelings toward her has had no bearing on how our relationship has changed over time.

"I have drifted from your show in the past when I felt as though I was finding success in relationships or was developing a more honest sense of self. However, in the wake of the premature ending of a recent relationship, it's becoming more difficult to avoid confronting my patterns of behavior.

"I do struggle with vanity, which has been reinforced by an unearned sense of pride. I procrastinate exploring the opportunities that I want to explore. I believe this to be the case for two reasons: 1. From what I have experienced through trying new things, it is humbling to learn that true value comes from investment and hard work, and 2. Regardless of whatever I am pursuing, I cannot escape myself.

"The humility required to be authentic is very intimidating to me. Even now, I am craving easy answers as to how I can begin resolving my issues.

"I would very much appreciate your help in providing me with the tools necessary to take measured, achievable steps in identifying the roots of my vanity, pride, and the anxieties that scare me away from confronting them.

"I would like to provide some biographical information below:

"I am a man in my late twenties. My only sexual experience has come from a one night stand.

"I do have a small group of friends, but only feel comfortable having significant conversations with one of them.

"I am a child of divorce, and I have several siblings. Some of my siblings come from my birth mother and father, and the others come from my father's second marriage. My father is now in the process of divorcing his second wife.

"My childhood was spent in bouts of both repressed and overt anger. When I did act out, either by throwing a tantrum or destroying my own property or the property of others, steps were never taken afterwards to address the roots of my anger.

"I have seen two different talk therapists off and on over the past few years and have felt as though I have yet to get much use out of the sessions.

"I am writing to you because in the wake of my most recent relationship, I am only now recognizing how dangerously dishonest it is to not listen to my conscience and express myself in accordance with it. Furthermore, I have caught a glimpse of how continuing this behavior while in a relationship with another person is going to undermine any capacity to ever build trust.

"I am now in the process of converting to Catholicism after spending some time searching for a religious community. I grew up Protestant, but Catholic Mass is a form of worship with which I feel as though I have a legitimate connection. My goal with following a religion and participating in a community is to look beyond myself and consider the needs of others. I would like to begin the process of looking beyond myself, where I do feel the roots of my problems lie. As a person with little integrity, I have yet to fully appreciate the irony that I am joining a religion wherein one of its Sacraments is Reconciliation through the act of Confession. I admittedly recognize that the pattern of ignoring my own issues while wrapping myself in the flag of 'helping others' is present here as well.

"I want to stop using people while claiming ignorance of the consequences of my behavior in light of my 'best intentions'. Please help provide me with the tools to stop lying to myself and those in my life."


0:00 - Introduction
12:49 - Childhood Memories and Family Dynamics
22:07 - The Revelation of Infidelity and Its Impact
27:48 - The Influence of Family Dynamics on Marital Relationships
40:09 - Mama's Boys and Setting Boundaries
51:47 - Mother's Boyfriend and Relationship Dynamics
1:05:45 - The Mistakes of Parents and Dating Fears
1:13:29 - Self-Criticism and Childhood Habits
1:24:25 - Parents' Relationship Influence
1:32:25 - Fear of Rejection and Relationship Investment
1:38:40 - Theories on Parents' Failed Marriages
1:45:56 - Anger Issues or Bad Company
1:46:19 - License to Jerks
1:57:50 - Stick with Mom or Find Love
2:12:54 - Confronting Manipulation
2:16:33 - Loyalty to Mom vs. Healthy Relationships
2:21:28 - Tackling Manipulation Patterns

Long Summary

In this engaging episode, we explore a caller's inner struggles with integrity, honesty, and familial relationships. The caller opens up about feeling anxious when expressing discontent, particularly with family members, and admits to grappling with vanity and pride. They seek guidance in unraveling the roots of these issues, mentioning a shift towards Catholicism for a broader perspective. Childhood experiences, including parental divorce and the father's behavior, are delved into, with a focus on family dynamics and the impact of the father's relationship with his own mother on the divorce. Through insightful conversations, revelations surface about the complexities of familial relationships, with Stefan challenging the caller to consider the mother's role and prompting realizations about the father's infidelity.

Stefan takes a deep dive into the caller's family dynamics, exploring the father's history of infidelity and divorces. The importance of boundaries in marriages is highlighted, along with discussions on the mother's behavior and the father's loyalty to his mother influencing his relationships. The significance of setting boundaries to maintain healthy marriages is stressed, with Stefan shedding light on how the mother's approach affected family dynamics. By the call's end, clarity is provided on the necessity of establishing boundaries with overly involved family members to preserve marital relationships.

The conversation further unfolds as Stefan and the caller analyze how the parents' behaviors have shaped the caller's views and experiences, emphasizing emotional neglect, dysfunctional family dynamics, and the caller's quest for deeper connections with the parents. The impact of parental transparency on relationship-building is explored, with reflections on past relationships and the struggle to navigate dating due to unresolved parental issues.

Exploring the caller's fear of rejection due to flaws early in relationships, Stefan delves into past experiences, highlighting childhood influences on honesty and vulnerability. The importance of communication, authenticity, and understanding past experiences' impact on current behavior patterns is discussed, touching on self-sabotage and the role of healthy communication in relationships.

In a reflective conversation, Stefan addresses honesty in relationships, vulnerability, and dealing with manipulative behaviors. The caller's past relationship challenges, communication issues, and traumatic family dynamics are explored, emphasizing the significance of setting boundaries, truthfulness, and assertiveness in relationships.

Lastly, the episode delves into the caller's struggle with honesty towards their mother and its repercussions on relationships. The realization of prioritizing integrity over appeasement is highlighted, underscoring the need for a conscious choice to break free from manipulative dynamics for personal growth and healthy relationships in the future.


[0:00] Introduction

[0:00] My lack of integrity has left me feeling as though I am an empty vessel. I have a strong aversion to sharing my honest thoughts with both family and friends. Whenever these thoughts are benign, or whether these thoughts are benign, or whether they are harsh truths, I feel anxious in admitting to either. I am reluctant to express discontent with the members of my family. In the past, I have gone so far as to admit to my mother that I feel no love for her, and yet even today, I still express my love to her through what I feel are merely platitudes. Specifically in this case, it feels as though expressing the truth of my feelings towards her has had no bearing on how our relationship has changed over time. I have drifted from her show in the past when I felt as though I was finding success in relationships or was developing a more honest sense of self. However, in the wake of the premature ending of a recent relationship, it's becoming more difficult to avoid confronting my patterns of behavior.

[0:59] I do struggle with vanity, which has been reinforced by an unearned sense of pride. I procrastinate exploring the opportunities that I want to explore. I believe this to be the case for two reasons. One, from what I have experienced through trying new things, it is humbling to learn that true value comes from investment and hard work. And two, regardless of whatever I am pursuing, I cannot escape myself. The humility required to be authentic is very intimidating to me. Even now, I am craving easy answers as to how I can begin resolving my issues. I would very much appreciate your help in providing me with the tools necessary to take measured, achievable steps in identifying the roots of my vanity, pride, and the anxieties that scare me away from confronting them. I would like to provide some biographical information below. I'm a man in my late 20s. My only sexual experience has come from a one-night stand. I do have a small group of friends, but only feel comfortable having significant conversations with one of them. I'm a child of divorce, and I have several siblings. Some of my siblings come from my birth mother and father, and the others come from my father's second marriage. My father is now in the process of divorcing his second wife.

[2:12] My childhood was spent in bouts of both repressed and overt anger. When I did act out, either by throwing a tantrum or destroying my own property or the property of others, steps were never taken afterwards to address the roots of my anger.

[2:25] I've seen two different talk therapists off and on over the past few years and have felt as though I have yet to get much use out of the sessions. I'm writing to you because in the wake of my most recent relationship, I'm only now recognizing how dangerously dishonest it is to not listen to my conscience and express myself in accordance with it. Furthermore, I have caught a glimpse of how continuing this behavior while in a relationship with another person is going to undermine any capacity to ever build trust. I'm now in the process of converting to Catholicism after spending some time searching for a religious community. I grew up Protestant, but Catholic Mass is a form of worship with which I feel as though I have a legitimate connection. My goal of following religion and participating in a community is to look beyond myself and consider the needs of others. I would like to begin the process of looking beyond myself where I do feel the roots of my problems lie. As a person with little integrity, I have yet to fully appreciate the irony that I'm joining a religion wherein one of its sacraments is reconciliation through the act of confession. I admittedly recognize that the pattern of ignoring my own issues while wrapping myself in the flag of helping others is present here as well. I want to stop using people while climbing ignorance of the consequences of my behavior in light of my best intentions. Please help provide me with the tools to stop lying to myself and those in my life. Thank you.

[3:43] Well, that's pretty harsh, man. I mean, listen, I'm down with self-criticism. I am, you know, and I get you're not, you know, 20, you're late 20s, but what do you think on that? Reading that back.

[4:04] Well, I guess perhaps me bringing up the religion aspect is a little bit tangential. But what I felt in writing that and reaching that point where I was talking about, again, the idea of helping others almost as a way of avoiding working on myself is, again, something that I want to be mindful of.

[4:30] So your response to me saying this is pretty self-critical is to criticize yourself again.

[4:37] Yeah, yeah, I guess so. Excellent.

[4:39] All right. Well, okay, I'll mark that down as a possible pattern, completely unconfirmed. Okay, got it. Okay.

[4:48] And then I tried to write out a few things just to bring up, perhaps, during the conversation. I did split up my notes into two parts. I had a childhood and then an adult part. um so i guess perhaps just uh in addition to what i had written um with under childhood i'd put uh never taught how to effectively cope with difficult emotions and then under the adult parts i guess perhaps as i've demonstrated here uh utilize self-deprecation as a means of avoiding responsibility over criticism so sorry to unload like that but no that's fine that's.

[5:30] Fine okay so where do you want to start childhood last relationship you mentioned your last relationship so.

[5:38] Yeah whatever.

[5:39] Works for you.

[5:40] Um perhaps the the childhood would be the best place to start um well it usually is so i'm for sure for sure um i guess would you uh prefer i just talk about um i i suppose i just to get into it um so my parents did divorce when i was quite young i believe five or six um and so i don't have much recollection of what my family life was like prior to that. I do remember it being the case where I would get home from school, and I would be waiting for my dad to get home from work and I would be happy to see him. But when he would show up, oftentimes he would spend some time with us, but then he would, honestly just disappear for most of the rest of the night um again i really only have one vivid memory of that situation happening but um that is what what sticks out to me, um but would you like me to to continue well.

[6:53] What do you mean he would disappear like i mean i know.

[6:55] Disappear by definition means i don't know where but do you have any theories.

[6:59] Based upon his later life or like what was he a video game addict a computer addict internet addict porn addict what was what was he doing.

[7:08] Yeah so um in digging a bit deeper later on in life um from what i have been told uh he would um my my family would had this uh shed in our backyard and i believe what what he would do most nights would, um, you know, come, come home, check in and then go out there to, um, smoke weed.

[7:35] Well, smoke mead and what, I mean, people just rarely smoke weed and stare at a wall. Would he like listen to music? Would he play games? Like what would he, any idea?

[7:44] That is a very good question. Admittedly, I'm not sure. Um, I do know, gosh, that's, I mean, that would have been probably before the time where he'd have the ability to listen to music um out there so.

[7:58] Wait there was no maybe he had a stereo out there was the electricity out there.

[8:07] Uh there was not no.

[8:08] Okay yeah it could be open oh maybe i don't know i just i i'm not i've never tried drugs so i don't know but my understanding is that there's very few people who just, bake and do nothing like they just stare at a wall i mean that that's a lot that would be a lot of drugs so that's.

[8:25] Right no no fair enough fair enough um.

[8:27] Anyway it doesn't matter if you don't know i was just kind of curious like if he's gone all night is he just smoking weed and staring at a wall that's kind of weird i mean the whole thing's kind of weird but that's even more weird.

[8:37] Right right um no again that is that situation of waiting for him to come home him showing up and then me not knowing where he went for the rest of the night. That's the one memory I do have from that far back.

[8:55] Of course, you wouldn't know what your mom was doing.

[8:59] She was around, I believe, with it being the evening. She would be preparing dinner. But I think that was the thing, was that she was present, But usually busy with something else. And my father would go off and just try to spend time by himself. But wouldn't she say.

[9:24] I guess this is why they got divorced, but wouldn't she say, hey, guy, I'm with your kids. What are you doing?

[9:34] Yeah, I must admit, I don't recall there ever being a conversation like that between them, at least in front of us. I know something that my parents have talked about, specifically my mother, is that they would do their best to not have conversations like that in front of us, whether it be an argument or something hopefully more constructive. Sorry, arguments can't be constructive.

[10:00] No, arguments can be constructive.

[10:03] Yeah um abuse can't.

[10:05] Be but arguments can't be.

[10:06] Right um but yeah so it felt like there was never i never prior to their divorce i never really saw them working through things or trying to strengthen their relationship in any way i think again because in large parts um my father would kind of, go off on his own. But admittedly, with that being the one memory I do have of that part back, that is not much to go off of. Sorry, would you like me to continue?

[10:50] And what about Weekend? Any more time with him? Weekend-wise, or...

[10:57] I think a bit more so, I know on weekends, he would often busy himself with housework, like he would go out and mow the lawn and he would come in and again, you know, talk with us. But I don't remember us ever sitting down having, you know, conversations or playing for any uh length of time um and so that's i guess it's interesting because um my mother has shared with my older brother and i um recently some like old home videos and so there there were situations where we do things like you know camp in the backyard and like we would be out there spending time as the four of us my mother my father my older brother and i um but i have i think that was probably before the point where i would remember things like that um and so it was it's kind of um i guess it's nice but simultaneously sort of heartbreaking to see that like oh like here we were like a you know um a a functional family to some extent but for me to have no recollection of it like i feel like there's a great disconnect there well.

[12:24] But home movies are mostly propaganda right, I mean, nobody films the bad stuff.

[12:36] Very true, very true.

[12:37] I'm not saying there wasn't any good stuff, but you wouldn't want to look at home movies and say, you know, that's like, hey, North Korea is just like they show in the movies.

[12:48] You know, I'm not saying.

[12:49] Childhood Memories and Family Dynamics

[12:50] Again, I know that's an extreme example, but you wouldn't want to get overly sentimental about home movies because it's all the good stuff that's shown.

[12:59] Very true, very true.

[13:01] Um it's why people get a sense of the garden of eden it's like selective memories but anyway okay so so there was some functionality and do you know or do you have any idea either then or now what led up to your parents divorce so.

[13:14] Um i believe um with with focus on uh my father um I believe it was that he would refuse to stick up for his family and what our wants were of that of my mother and of us. uh in favor of he would often bend the knee to to his own mother um who was overly oftentimes overly critical and overly um involved in the choices that um we were making uh so i i.

[14:02] I guess I would say I can certainly see that being a contributing factor where, because my father was refused, I was going to say incapable, but refused to stick up for what was best for his family in order to just appease his own family. family uh i think that certainly led to friction and from what i've heard from my mother they would have conversations about how you know uh in order to try to alleviate that my mother would suggest like oh let's like move to a different state let's try to get away so we can have you know more space to try to protect our family just i guess in an attempt to you know help my father out make it a little bit easier for him i hate.

[14:45] To be that annoying guy but as an empiricist i'm always was cautious about stories right so.

[14:51] So you.

[14:52] Know well he failed to do this it's like okay but what what what practical things or or empirical or tangible things were happening like in what way like if i was just a documentary filmmaker filming your family back in the day how would i know any of this stuff like what would what was said or done or not.

[15:09] Done okay um thank you thank you um So, yes. So, for example, even with something as simple as the way that both myself and my brother, like the way our hair should be cut, the way we should dress, my grandma, my dad's mom, would give her opinion on something that we should be doing. and my father would um agree with her and enforce her rules um on our family and um he, gosh sorry uh he would uh.

[15:54] He would openly admit this is something that's perhaps moving forward but he would openly admit how he didn't like his mother but he would still listen to her anyway um but i guess in terms of what he did it was often just oh you know my brother and i should go to to this school we We should dress this way. I guess perhaps more superficial things like that. But that has been the theme of my father until his mother had passed away. And in terms of what led to the divorce, I believe that that was a large contributing factor. I'm sorry if that doesn't...

[16:40] No, that makes perfect sense to me. um how's that not i'm sure i'm missing something so you know set me straight um how's that not your mother's fault now.

[16:56] Do you mean in terms of holding my father accountable or in also not sticking up for her own family.

[17:05] Well no i just mean in terms of so let's say that everything that that you've heard right and all it's all true that your dad was like a hopeless mama's boy something like that, yeah just let his mom um rule the roots right is that that way um.

[17:26] I would certainly say so yes.

[17:28] Okay um, so let me let me sort of give you an example right if if i take i take my daughter camping and it's bad weather, so we go into a cave and then uh we get we get driven out of the cave by a bear right okay is it the bear's fault.

[17:59] No, no, certainly not.

[18:00] Is it my daughter's fault?

[18:03] No.

[18:03] Whose fault is it?

[18:05] In that situation, it would be your fault.

[18:08] Right. Because I didn't check to see that the cave was unoccupied, right?

[18:14] Right.

[18:15] See what I'm getting at here, right?

[18:18] I believe so.

[18:19] Your father was a mama's boy. And your mom married him and gave him children. Without dealing with that beforehand, without dealing with that up front. in other words your father was occupied by a bear called mom and she went and got married to him and gave kids to him and like but you know that.

[18:41] Right okay I'm sorry I was stuck in the mindset of trying to like you know salvage the titanic rather than the fact that she chose wrong.

[18:51] No no no see no no I'm not saying I didn't see it's funny what people hear I didn't say she chose wrong.

[18:59] Oh okay oh just that that's but.

[19:02] That's what she chose she chose to date get engaged to get married to have children with a mama's boy, so how dare she leave him for being a mama's boy, i don't i mean i sorry i just maybe i'm missing something but it's like no if i you know my wife is like five foot one and change right, And so she gets to see my nostrils and I get to see her forehead. So I knew that when she was dating, when I was dating her. Can I divorce her for being short?

[19:42] No.

[19:43] We both have a marriage which is based around having cricks in her neck. I can't divorce her for being short, can I?

[19:53] No. Okay.

[19:58] Sorry, were your parents, are your parents, or were they at the time Christians?

[20:05] Um, not particularly. We would go to church most times.

[20:11] Let me put it this way. Did you get married in the church and did they say the standard vows?

[20:16] Yes.

[20:16] Okay. So Christian enough, right?

[20:18] Yeah.

[20:20] And so you say to someone, I accept you as you are. We are one flesh. so I'm trying to, that's why I said, did something happen before they got divorced? That wasn't blindingly obvious to everything, everything that came before. Like he didn't just wake up one day with a head injury and be a mama's boy. Right.

[20:38] Oh, okay. I'm sorry, Stefan. Thank you. Um, yeah, so yeah, so, so there was, um, there was infidelity. My, my father did cheat on my mom.

[20:51] Uh, why, why are we just talking about this now?

[20:55] I, uh, that's why you're the expert i'm sorry that um i'm.

[21:02] Not trying to be big critical here i just want to make sure that we don't go on uh another merry journey down nowhere lane.

[21:07] No no um thank you thank you yeah okay so it wasn't the mama's boy.

[21:11] Thing it was the infidelity thing.

[21:13] Yes okay um yes so as far as i know his mom tell him to have.

[21:20] An affair no i'm just kidding sorry.

[21:21] He orders him yeah no um he yes from what I've been told um he had met someone uh, So his first affair with my mother, I don't know where exactly he had met her. My brother and I were introduced to...

[21:47] Sorry, his first affair with your mother? I'm not sure what you mean by that phrasing.

[21:51] Sorry, I'm jumping the gun here. So he had an affair with my mother, which of course led to the divorce.

[21:59] Sorry, he had an affair with your mother? What are you talking about? Against? Like he had an affair with another woman? Having an affair with his wife is kind of contradictory, right?

[22:07] The Revelation of Infidelity and Its Impact

[22:07] Yes, I am sorry. He had an affair with another woman.

[22:10] Okay, with another woman.

[22:12] I'm sorry. So, yes. And then I guess what I had alluded to was that ultimately where he's now divorcing his second wife, it was also because he had cheated on his second wife with another woman, too. So, yeah. yeah i i think my my father's infidelity was um broke up both of his marriages and.

[22:36] Why do you think he had an affair.

[22:39] Um i think the reason would be because um My mother is a very emotional person. She would, if confronted about something she's done or something she doesn't want to take responsibility for, oftentimes she would cry. eye. So my mother would use emotions as a defense mechanism to avoid, I mean, I think both taking responsibility for...

[23:27] Okay, do you believe anything that you're saying here? Because I don't. I mean, why did your dad have an affair? Because my mom was emotional. What?

[23:37] Okay. Um... She was... I mean, she's also a very... i'm sorry i am okay.

[24:00] Let me let me ask you a question the question another way.

[24:04] Thank you do.

[24:06] You think it's possible for a man deeply in love with his wife who gets his brain screwed out five times a week to go and have an affair, no right why not, um he feels loved treasured respected it's a great sex life affection would he go and have an affair.

[24:30] No because that's everything he would need at home with his with his wife right.

[24:40] Right why why do you go i mean if your wife has prepared a great meal for you at home it's your favorite food it's beautifully prepared your wife is serving it to you do you say i'm gonna go eat out, no right now i'm not saying your father your dad's not responsible but the important thing in life is to look at the less obvious responsibility right yes, okay does your mother withhold affection faction to manipulate or punish.

[25:24] She does. I'm trying to think of a concrete example of it.

[25:30] Well, if she has that habit, right, then the most likely scenario is, she decided not to battle her mother-in-law for control over her husband or her fiancé or her boyfriend. That's your mom and dad meet. And she's like, wow, you know, he's kind of a mama's boy. And then she puts on her armor, right? And she goes to battle, right? and she removes as much as possible of the maternal over-involvement in her marriage, right? Now, that's a bit of a standard thing in marriage, even among, you know, functional families, right? It's that, you know, I mean, I've been a parent, right? My daughter's going to be 16 this year. And, you know, it's kind of tough to pull back, right? And it's kind of tough to, you know, recognize that they're getting older and give them the space in the room and the privacy because you know you're just used to earlier stages of thought in life does that make sense uh yes yes so having an over-involved mother, is not the most rare thing in the universe right right so you have to battle and this can be a funny battle it doesn't have to be harsh or negative but you kind of have to battle against your mother-in-law. This is, I mean, this is famous, right?

[26:56] Yes.

[26:57] So for whatever reason, I'm guessing, your mother chose not to engage in that battle and thus ended up in a marriage with a husband who was overly influenced by his mother, right?

[27:07] Yes.

[27:08] Now, rather than saying, well, I guess I better work to free him of this influence by being, maybe there's some confrontation involved, but a lot of it has to do with, you know, just being attractive and happy and sexy. And, you know, that's how you kind of get the mom away from your husband, right? Or you get your husband away from the mom. You leave this breadcrumbs of lingerie, I don't know, whatever, right? Like, but it's kind of a natural thing, right?

[27:36] Okay, okay, yes.

[27:38] So what she did, I imagine, And, you know, this is just a theory. It could be totally wrong. But I imagine what she did was something like this.

[27:48] The Influence of Family Dynamics on Marital Relationships

[27:49] She dated a mama's boy, got engaged to a mama's boy, and didn't say much of anything other than saying maybe some negative stuff here and there. She gets married to a mama's boy. She doesn't have that battle. She doesn't have that confrontation. She doesn't have that fight. She doesn't have that seduction, right?

[28:07] Right.

[28:08] And then what happens? She starts to hold him in contempt. Oh, you're such a mama's boy. Oh, all you do, she says, jump, you say how high. You're not a real man. You're just led around like a bull on a nose ring by your mother, right? Because mad at him, contemptuous of him, right?

[28:29] Yes, so.

[28:30] And then she withholds affection. She withholds affection to punish him. But because he's never been wooed away from his mother, when he's short of affection, he initially goes to his mother, which drives even more contempt. And how dare you run to your mother whenever you have a problem in the family? And he talks to his mother, and then his mother sows seeds of discord because maybe she wants him back. I don't know, whatever, right? But then eventually, the life of lovelessness and contempt and no sex and all of that, it's like, if there's no food at home, I guess I'll eat going out. I mean, don't we all make that decision a little bit? It's not like, yeah, every now and then you just open up the fridge and like, man, there's nothing here. I don't, I mean, I got a wonderful wife, but, you know, I remember when I was a single guy, I'd be like, yeah, I guess I'll go and eat out because I don't have any food here, right?

[29:17] Right.

[29:18] Again, I don't, I mean, that would be a fairly typical pattern. That doesn't mean that that's what happened.

[29:23] No no i think that makes sense and sorry if i can just try to um summarize just so i understand properly um the the issue um there is that uh my mother was fully aware of who my dad was chose him anyway and then punished him for who he was well.

[29:42] She was passive.

[29:43] Okay right.

[29:45] So look if What age were your parents when they got married?

[29:50] Young. I think early 20s.

[29:55] So early 20s. So she married a guy whose life had been overwhelmingly dominated by his mother, right?

[30:02] Yes.

[30:03] And that's natural. There's nothing wrong with that. I mean, that's the nature of parenthood, right? So when it comes to authority, when it comes to who you cleave to, he was much more used to obeying his mother than his wife right, okay and that would be the case for every single human being whose mother is still alive right you me everyone we're much more used to obeying our mothers in our early 20s than a girlfriend right.

[30:33] Right does that make sense oh yes sir it's not a criticism i mean it's just it's a fact of life right because you're learning a new language right and i'm a new language called i'm going to cleave to my girlfriend or my wife not my mother right as far as the feminine goes right and you'll know when you're learning a new language it's pretty easy to slip into the old language right right does that make sense uh yes yes so she had the challenge of trying to gain more credibility and authority with your father when he was much more used to being dominated by his mother now again a gracious mother will recognize that and if she has a good relationship with her husband you know men exist to help pry mothers off children i mean that's along with building bridges and supplying electricity our major job is to pry the moms off the children right okay does i i mean that that's a standard issue thing that the moms you know she can't ride a bike it's too soon it's like nah she'll be fine oh but what if she falls yeah she'll fall like just.

[31:38] Prying the moms off the kids giving them some breathing room and there's nothing wrong with that it's not because women are dysfunctional it's it's a beautiful thing right women are incredibly attuned to children being hurt upset and and as babies that's how we keep them alive life right like we only exist because women are obsessed with our safety and comfort and health right but then as the kid gets older the dad has to intervene right.

[32:03] And has to say look we couldn't have the baby suffer because when the baby suffer they can die right.

[32:10] Like if they're hungry or whatever right if you don't feed them they can die right so but now our kid's older she's going to have to go through he's going to have to go through disappointment and loss learn how to deal with failure learn how to deal with rejection like we can't, We can't keep shielding these kids from reality, right? And of course, so we're all alive because women are heavily involved in our happinesses. And then the job of the dad and the father is to pry that off a bit. And, of course, it's the job of the mom to remind the dad that the kids are fragile and need help and all of that, right? Yes. So, a mom, like your dad's mom, if she's got a happy marriage to a father, then the father's going to be like, what's the grandfather going to say, right? If your dad's mom has a good relationship with her husband and she's interfering in her son's marriage, what's her husband going to say?

[33:19] The husband would say, step off and let our son bond with his wife.

[33:32] Yeah, it's not your marriage. You already have a marriage. Leave him in peace. let him figure it out right stop him defeating stop telling like this is bad for their marriage right you need to you need to back off and give them some breathing room right yeah does that make sense uh yes yes and of course if your grandmother has a good relationship with her husband she will recognize the wisdom in what he's saying right because he'll basically say how would you have liked it if my mother had interfered to this degree in our marriage and And she would have said, well, that would have been unacceptable. And it's like, hello, right? So you can't do it either, right? Does that make sense?

[34:09] Yes, yes.

[34:10] Okay. So what this tells me is that your grandmother did not have a good relationship with her husband so that he could pry her away from overly interfering in your parents' marriage.

[34:22] Yes, I would say, based on what I've seen, that's accurate.

[34:26] Right. So, if your grandmother didn't have a husband who could draw sensible boundaries against her over-involvement, then whose job is it to set those boundaries?

[34:44] If her husband fails to do so um and if she's incapable of pulling back and recognizing those boundaries well forget about.

[34:53] I don't want to use the word incapable but if it's.

[34:55] Happening right right right um then i think like you had said before then wouldn't it be the job of um my my mom to to step in yeah.

[35:09] It would be the job now you can say oh yes but it's the job of your Your dad is like, well, but he's battling this female octopus monster on his own and has been for a long time because this is happening because his father, like your father's father, didn't set boundaries to his wife to give your father room to grow. So he can't fight that because he's never had an ally. Right. And the ally should have been his own father. Right.

[35:32] Okay.

[35:33] But he's never had that ally. Your father can't fight his mother if he doesn't have his own father as an ally. In fact, it should have been his father's job to pry her off and give him some space. Does that make sense?

[35:47] Yes.

[35:48] So then it's your mother's job to be your father's ally in this Pink Floyd, the wall, marching hammer queen of over-involvement. Does that make sense?

[36:00] Yes. Okay.

[36:02] So your mother took on a job. Now, Mama's Boys are certainly not the end of the world. It's not the worst thing in the world for a man to be deferential to a female, right? That can be helpful in a marriage, right? Because sometimes women are seriously right about stuff, right?

[36:18] Right.

[36:19] So you get benefits of a, quote, mama's boy. He's also sensitive and he really understands female nature, although he may be a little bit alarmed by some of the extremes. So there's some real advantages. But you do have to take on the boundary drawing, if that makes sense. You cannot expect a child of an over-involved mother with no ally from the father, you cannot expect this son to draw boundaries with his mother. That's going to have to be the job of the wife. Now, ideally, that should be done before you even get married, but it absolutely has to be done before you have kids.

[36:57] Okay.

[36:58] Now, if you don't do that, then you end up in a situation where there's a war over the soul of the man. and what happens is so one of the reasons I don't know this about your mother but you know one of the reasons do you know why women don't generally try to fight this way and get the boundaries from the mother-in-law.

[37:23] Um, I do not.

[37:26] Well, it's because they hope that they can transfer that obedience from the mother-in-law to themselves.

[37:33] Oh.

[37:33] Oh, if he can be pushed around by his mother, that's really attractive to me, because then all I have to do is push him around myself. Right?

[37:42] Wow. Yeah.

[37:44] But it doesn't work out that way. because when she tries to push him around she reminds him of his mother and she he's then in the paradigm of being pushed around by women and he's got way more experience being pushed around by his mother than by his wife right so and i guess win that battle yeah.

[38:04] Between the two he would side with his mother if both women are i don't know what would it be fair to say vying for the same the same role.

[38:12] Well if they're both bullying him and pushing him around his mother's going to win, which is why you have to draw the boundaries and not try and pick up the same sword, if that makes sense.

[38:20] Okay.

[38:22] So, and then what happens is the marriage breaks down because the woman, is acting like his mother. If the wife acts like the mother, in other words, oh, she's pushing you around, well, you're bad, and that's that's bad for me and that's disrespectful and you better not let her push you around. In other words, if you start pushing around the man like his mom did, the marriage is done. Because the man does not want to have sex with his mother. Right?

[39:02] Yeah, or at least one would hope.

[39:04] Well, no, you can't... You can't take on anything to do with the parent of your partner. Because it'll kill the romance, kill the sex drive, right? Kill the lust.

[39:21] Okay.

[39:22] So then he's like, okay, I've got these two women pushing me around. I can't please either of them because I can't please both of them. And he resents his wife for pushing him around because he's like, well, at least I know how to handle my mother by appeasing. if i let you and my mom's gonna die so that tyranny is gonna be over but if i let my wife push me around right if i let my wife push me around well i'm never free does that make sense, okay wait i'm not sure it does you're okay it's kind of pausey there.

[40:05] Sorry um but what did.

[40:07] You it's okay it happened yeah.

[40:09] Mama's Boys and Setting Boundaries

[40:10] No no i appreciate that um i uh if i can try to um uh put in my own words um is that he if his wife um again.

[40:25] Okay so listen his mother's a bully and his wife's trying to bully him right, Right now, he knows how to handle his mother. He knows how to deal with that. And she's going to she's further away and she's going to die.

[40:40] Yes.

[40:41] Does that make sense?

[40:43] Yes.

[40:44] Right now. His wife, not only is she in the same house, sleeps in the same bed, but she's going to be with him for the next 60 or 70 years. So does he want to transfer being bullied from his mother, who's distant and going to die, to his wife, who's right in his grill and is going to be around for 60, 70 more years?

[41:07] No, that's like that sentence of the will.

[41:10] So he chooses the least amount of bullying, which is to appease his mother and resist his wife. Does that make sense?

[41:19] Okay. Yes. Yes. Sorry.

[41:21] Okay. So, then what happens is his wife says, well, damn it, I'm going to get him to stand up to his mother. And she begins applying more and more and more pressure. But the more pressure she applies, the less he wants to comply. Oh, because that means she'll maintain that level of pressure for the rest of his life.

[41:51] Okay.

[41:53] At least his mom's at a distance and it's going to die a lot earlier, right?

[41:58] Yes.

[41:59] So tell me if this sort of makes sense.

[42:02] Yeah, sorry. I'm trying to take notes.

[42:07] No, no, it's recorded. Don't worry about taking notes. It's recorded. Trust yourself, right?

[42:11] Okay. Yes.

[42:13] So hang on. Sorry, if you have questions or comments, I'm happy to hear it, but there's one more step.

[42:18] Okay.

[42:20] Sorry, if you do have questions or comments, I'm totally happy to hear it.

[42:24] Oh, well, no. So just so far, it's the idea that, again, he's stuck in this dynamic where, as you have said, he is trying to resist his wife and appease his mother because he sees that as the most manageable.

[42:37] That's the least bullying he can get.

[42:39] Right.

[42:41] Because the moment he starts appeasing his wife, then he's trading a bully who's distant and is going to die early to a bully that's right in his face and is going to live with him forever.

[42:54] Okay. Yes, yes.

[42:57] You have doubts, and I'm totally happy if you have doubts. I mean, if there's something I'm not clear on...

[43:03] No, admittedly, I'm just, again, trying to fully understand that dynamic at play. So, again, the idea is that if that appeasement transfers from him trying to appease his mother to him trying to appease his wife, then again he's he will of course lose interest in his wife because now.

[43:32] She's acting like his mom and she also is not acting as his ally because she's nagging and bullying him, right so his ally should have been his own father who should have stepped in when his mother was over-involved and said, you know, with all due respect, my love, my darling, you need to back down a little here. But if the mother doesn't have a close relationship with her husband, she clings on to the kids way too long. Like the husband can't lure her back from over-involvement with the children.

[44:14] Gotcha.

[44:16] Like, you know, the old thing where it's the first time that the baby's home with the babysitter. and the husband takes the wife out for dinner, and he's got to say, listen, don't check your phone. She's fine. You know, let's just have a nice evening chat about something other than the kids. You know, lure her back to adulthood.

[44:32] Right.

[44:33] Because, you know, moms have to merge with the babies in order to have the baby survive, and then it's the dad's job to woo the mother back to adulthood, which gives some room to the children, right?

[44:45] Okay. Okay. Yes. Yes.

[44:48] Now, the question is, where does the affair come from? So the affair comes from a very powerful female mating strategy called being nice. So if a woman wants a man, and he's involved already, then what she can do is she can check his level of stress. Right? Now, a man who's being bullied by his mother and his wife and is a new father is under a huge amount of stress, right?

[45:32] Right.

[45:33] Right? So then he comes into work, right? i don't know where did your um do you have any idea where your dad met the woman he cheated with your mama um.

[45:47] Where he met her i actually don't know but i do not believe they were actually co-workers.

[45:51] Okay but somewhere could be anywhere right so the women can measure the man's level of stress and if the man is seriously stressed then he's hungry for a soft touch a kind touch a nice touch right right.

[46:07] And so again he's he's looking for the ally who he he does not have in his wife.

[46:14] No because you don't you don't ask your if you're sleeping with some woman outside of your marriage you don't ask her to help you with your mom okay he's just looking for some comfort he's just like he's stressed right every time he goes home like every time he checks his messages his his wife and his mother are both yelling at him.

[46:38] Okay. So just some reprieve from the stress he's undergoing?

[46:44] A woman who's nice, who respects him, who is positive, who is helpful, who sympathizes. Because what he's not getting from either woman is respect and affection. And men, we can't live without that. He's got two mommies, right? So his sex drive is weird. And he's looking for affection, comfort, respect. So a woman can almost smell the cortisol coming off a man, and she knows how to get him to be with her. Just be nice. Now, she might fake being nice. I don't know, whatever, right? Right?

[47:36] Right.

[47:37] But that's how... See, for a woman, a man who's a proven provider is of great value. Which is why a lot of women find married men quite attractive. You know, you've heard this whole cliche that when you put on a wedding ring, the women get really interested in you, right?

[47:58] Right, right.

[47:59] So this guy's already a proven provider. and evolutionarily speaking, if you can pry a proven provider away from his family and have him bond with you, then you don't have to roll the dice and see if he can provide, right? If you'd married some guy who's 17 or whatever, right? Evolutionarily speaking, you wouldn't know if he can provide or whatever, right? Plus, you know, he's fertile and all of that. So, also women, some women are quite turned on by taking a man away from another woman. I mean, that means I'm superior to the other woman, right?

[48:31] Right.

[48:33] So then your father's out and about. He's stressed. He can't sleep. He's not got a sex life. He's lonely. He's isolated, tense, depressed. And then some woman is like a lilac-scented bed of roses. And it's tough, right?

[48:59] Right.

[49:04] Now, I'm, you know, your father has free will, your father has moral responsibility, so I'm not saying your father is blameless, but when people tell me the story of their family and in particular their parents, what I'm listening for is balance. So, if you say, well, my father slept around on my mother, but my mother was nagging and cold and probably they had no sex life. That's balance, right?

[49:37] Right.

[49:38] That doesn't excuse either of them, but I don't like these overly simplistic morality tales. And I'm not saying you are providing it. I'm just saying in general, I'm always suspicious of that kind of stuff. You know, like the hero-villain stuff.

[49:53] Stuff right right now fair enough what.

[49:57] Happened to your mother after the divorce.

[50:02] Um she um dated a few uh different men um and um of course it, with with a few of them one in particular um you know she tried to introduce us to him and um Um, they were, and again, I guess as a kid, sorry, I don't know if this is, um, uh, me going off track, talking about my own experience in regard to what, what happened to her. Would you prefer that?

[50:35] I just talking about your experience in a call about your life.

[50:40] Okay. Oh, yes.

[50:42] That's fine.

[50:44] Okay. Okay. Thank you. Um, so yes, um, she married, uh, i dated around uh there were a few different men um that she dated uh one in particular uh she did i guess quote unquote bring home um she didn't introduce uh my older brother and i to him, and um gosh uh they that new, relationship and us spending time with him lasted for maybe maybe six months maybe a half year um and uh ultimately that they fell apart um i don't know the specifics of why um they ended their own relationship but um i believe it was and actually um i think it was because my, My mother's boyfriend at the time, he, I think it was because...

[51:47] Mother's Boyfriend and Relationship Dynamics

[51:48] Oh my God, man, can you please tell me the story without all these ums and errs and tangents?

[51:53] Sorry, sorry.

[51:55] I'm willing to a certain amount of patience for that, but I am 57 and I am mortal. So you will have to just try to get to the essence of it.

[52:04] Okay. I believe the relationship ended because her boyfriend refused to do things her way.

[52:16] Oh, so she had a husband that she wanted to resist female authority, and he didn't. And then she got a boyfriend who also wanted to resist female authority, and she dumped him for that too.

[52:33] Yes.

[52:33] Okay. so she wanted a man who's obedient to female authority but wasn't a mama's boy right, come on I definitely want a dog that's highly fertile but he also have his balls cut off too, I'm afraid you're going to have to choose one of those, young lady.

[52:56] Right, right.

[52:57] Both is not an option. Sorry, go ahead.

[53:00] No, no, no. Thank you for summarizing it so eloquently. Yeah, it's... Yeah, and so since then, she has never remarried. I think she's had one or two semi-long-term relationships, but neither of those has um resulted in a second marriage so what do you mean she's still um again several months like maybe at most eight or nine months long okay um but yeah nothing long-term long-term okay.

[53:38] And when was her last long-term relationship that.

[53:43] Would have been, four years ago.

[53:48] So she's had long, barren periods, right? Like no dating, really?

[53:53] Yes, yes.

[53:54] Okay. And how's your relationship with your parents individually at the moment?

[54:02] Well, I guess as I had said in my letter, my relationship with my mother, I still... struggle to feel any amount of, um, like, I struggle to feel close to her. Um, something that, the way that I felt around her.

[54:27] Do you mean, you struggle to feel close to her, right?

[54:29] Oh, yes, yes.

[54:31] What would that mean, though? What would it mean to be close to her? How would you know?

[54:39] To to want to share my own thoughts and feelings with her in the hopes that she would be able to provide me with either assurance or advice.

[54:54] Okay, let me ask you this. Over the course of your life, and you're pushing three decades, right?

[54:59] Yeah.

[55:00] Over the course of your life, what advice has your mother given to you that you still find valuable to this day?

[55:16] Nothing comes to mind.

[55:21] I'm sorry?

[55:23] Nothing comes to mind.

[55:24] Nothing comes to mind. Okay. So your mother has not parented you. You are unparented.

[55:33] Yes.

[55:33] Like anybody on the planet could have given you food and shelter, right? But the transfer of wisdom is the job of motherhood, right? Does that make sense?

[55:44] Right. Yes, yes.

[55:46] So your mother has not parented you. Is that unfair?

[55:55] No, I would say that's accurate.

[55:57] Okay. So she's not a mother. She's like a birther and a caregiver. Like a, you know, a prison could be. What about your father?

[56:11] I would say the same. nothing that he's really shared with me. Actually, I would say that perhaps he's given, my mother has given me no advice. My father has given me poor advice.

[56:25] Give me an example if you can remember one.

[56:29] I don't really remember exactly how he, well, I believe at one point in my teens, he talked about how you need to sleep around round to see what kind of like woman you want to be with so just promiscuity he encouraged promiscuity.

[56:46] Was that his path as well um.

[56:49] Well it certainly manifested in his marriage with the infidelity.

[56:59] Um no because his advice is sleep around so that you figure out what kind of woman you want to marry and then he married your mother so either he didn't sleep around or he did and chose the wrong woman.

[57:14] Oh that's actually a really good experience and.

[57:16] What kind of experience.

[57:17] Was he speaking from i know it's a little tough yes but no no thank you for catching that um i i would say based on what i have heard from my stepmom he he wasn't particularly uh particularly uh promiscuous um i believe he had only had maybe a few like a handful of partners prior to meeting my mom And I believe those partners he had, they weren't difficult women to get, if that makes sense.

[58:01] Oh, so he just dated low-rent, trashy women that were easy to sleep with?

[58:06] Based on what I've heard, yes.

[58:08] Okay. All right. So he gave you bad advice. anything else that you remember that he gave you that was like ye?

[58:15] Um no I think that that's about it just the, the promiscuity thing that he himself did not particularly live by.

[58:32] Okay so, what was your relationship with your dad like? as you were growing up i guess after the divorce.

[58:43] Yeah um very also in the same way distance uh kind of uh in the same way that that story i had described about waiting for him to come home and when he came home he you know disappeared to go off and smoke weed and um not spend time with us um he would he is uh financially successful and so he would be able to take us places whether they're like you know the arcade or the zoo or whatever and um he would go off to the the bar to drink most of the time like for example at the arcade we would go to those um those dave and buster places um and he would let us just run free through the arcade um and fund uh the whole thing but he would be in the bar either you know eating a meal or drinking so he was he was paying to keep Keep us away from him.

[59:40] Right. And that's tragic and sad and lonely and you feel rejected, right?

[59:45] Yeah.

[59:45] And I'll be in the bar.

[59:48] Yeah. And, um, I know there will be times where we would go to the zoo and it would be a little harder to, a little harder to do that than at the arcade. But, um, those, those, I loved the idea of walking and talking with him, and I did enjoy it to an extent, but it never felt like we were having the conversations that I felt we should be having. What do you mean?

[1:00:14] What conversations did you want to have?

[1:00:18] Oh, gosh.

[1:00:20] Like something with some useful instruction on how to live on the planet?

[1:00:24] Yeah, yeah, that's pretty simple. um yeah so just advice um honestly especially in the wake of the divorce um hearing a bit more about like his experience going through that like again whether it be um i don't think he would have ever felt comfortable divulging you know the the details of what led them up this way even though sorry why but why.

[1:00:49] Wouldn't he i mean that's the most foundational aspect of your entire existence Why wouldn't he talk about what happened in the breakup? I mean, he chose to break up, not you. Doesn't he owe you the truth about what the hell happened?

[1:01:07] I agree. I think the justification for not doing so was that he did not want to speak ill of my mother. and kind of on the other side my mother would also not talk about the details of their divorce and the same justification was given that like, oh we want to be we don't want to insult the other person so I was getting that gone.

[1:01:36] I'm trying to sort of figure this out I mean, you would absolutely know that they had huge problems with each other because they got divorced, right?

[1:01:47] Right.

[1:01:48] Right. So the idea that we don't want to speak ill of each other when they got divorced because they kind of hated each other is ridiculous.

[1:01:57] Yes. I would say I never bought it. It just felt like a block to avoid talking about.

[1:02:06] No, it's just because they don't want to fight, right? Well, there's two reasons. One is that you can give the reasons for a divorce without trashing the other person, right?

[1:02:17] Sure.

[1:02:18] Right? I mean, so, and you do that by taking your own responsibility. Right. So your mother could have said, well, you know, one of the main reasons we got divorced was I kept nagging him about his mom. Right. And that wasn't, you know, in hindsight, that wasn't helpful. Like that was, that was a bad decision on my part. Right. That would be helpful to hear. Right.

[1:02:37] Yes.

[1:02:38] Right. And, and your, your dad could have said, well, you know, uh, um, I ended up, uh, not, I couldn't deal with the problems in my marriage. So I ended up seeking comfort elsewhere, which was a really bad idea. Uh, that's kind of sealed the fate of the marriage or, you know, where we ended up not going to couples counseling or talk therapy or call and staff on free domain. I guess it's a bit early for that, but you know, like, like, so you can, you can help Help somebody understand why a divorce happened without trash-talking the other person just by taking maximum responsibility for yourself. So, for me, like, I had relationships that didn't work out in my 20s. And whose fault was it? It was mine. I don't think I've ever spoken negatively about an ex. I mean, I've said, you know, there's some problems here and there. But fundamentally, who chose those people? I did.

[1:03:28] Right.

[1:03:29] Right? That's my choice. choice i can't you can't blame someone you chose right that's like uh staying getting and getting and keeping a job and then just bitching about the job it's like well you went for the job you got to interview you stay you could leave any time and right what are you talking about, but you need to tell your kids why you got divorced because the price of them not knowing is huge, right that's why you're not married Right. how the hell are you supposed to get married when it can blow up in your face, and you have no idea what happened?

[1:04:13] Right.

[1:04:13] You know, if some car your dad was driving exploded and melted half his face off, right? And he said, no, man, I did everything right. I don't know, cars just explode. Do you want to drive?

[1:04:28] No. Whereas if he'd said.

[1:04:30] Well, I didn't maintain it, and then I strapped a big vat of gasoline next to it, and I was smoking, and I flicked the air, then there's some causality. Okay, well, if I don't do that shit, I can drive.

[1:04:43] Right.

[1:04:44] Every single divorced parent absolutely owes it to their children to say how things got so screwed up. So their children can say, okay, so if I don't do that, should be okay as opposed to cars that just explode randomly right that cripples children, does that make sense right.

[1:05:04] I guess sir.

[1:05:06] So this whole thing well we don't want to speak ill it's like don't give me this maturity bullshit because if you had the maturity bullshit you wouldn't have got divorced right no you just you don't want to provoke the other person into bitching at you my mom said well well well you you told the kids this and like it's just about not fighting. Like, don't give me this maturity stuff. Oh, now we're just so mature. It's like, well, then shouldn't you have had successful relationships since the and how did they get that mature? So it's just a way of avoiding conflict, with your ex while crippling your children's ability to pair bond. Sorry to be so blunt, but...

[1:05:45] The Mistakes of Parents and Dating Fears

[1:05:46] No, no, thank you. And I guess perhaps to get down to it That is why I did want to call, is because I feel...

[1:05:59] The whole thing has been about you dating for me.

[1:06:02] Right, right.

[1:06:03] I mean, that's the major thing, isn't it?

[1:06:05] Yes. And I do feel that making those same mistakes is... Well, it's not comforting, but it would be too.

[1:06:19] You don't even know what mistakes your parents made. I'm not saying you should. You can't, and until they tell you, maybe we have a theoretical framework that works, but how can you avoid the mistakes if you don't even know what they are? And they haven't told you.

[1:06:37] Right.

[1:06:37] Am I wrong?

[1:06:41] No, no.

[1:06:42] If you sail off into life with the commandment, don't do the unknown X. Don't do the unknown X, or complete disaster will result. what the hell is that supposed to do other than completely paralyze you?

[1:07:07] You know, marriages with kids, they can just blow up, man. Just bad shit. Like, there's no causality, just out of nowhere. You know? This is the female, like, well, he just changed. There was no way to know this. Of course there was. Come on. Because if you say, like, if you rescue your ego, as a woman, you marry the wrong guy, and you rescue your ego by saying, well, he was a great guy. He just mysteriously changed five years into the marriage. You've absolutely killed your children's ability to pair bond. Because, you know, people can just fucking chain. How are you supposed to trust anyone? So to rescue your ego, to rescue your vanity, you cripple your children. That's so selfish, I can't even tell you. Parents who've divorced, I'm saying this to everyone, right? Parents who've divorced, you get together, you sit down, and you work through everything that went wrong with your kids so they have some way to navigate things and learn from your mistakes. Otherwise, they're frightened of everything and everyone. Right? I mean, if you have to cross a field where there are landmines, you don't want to do it, right? But at least if you have something which says, okay, the landmines are here and here. Don't walk there and you're fine. Then you can walk across the fields, right?

[1:08:23] Right.

[1:08:26] But the central disaster of your life was your parents getting divorced for which you have no causality. Two good people with the best of intentions, things blew up, went south, went weird, there was no way to know ahead of time, I mean, that's just Russian roulette, man. Well, I don't want to play that game. That's a terrible game. I mean, get divorced. I think it's shitty. Okay, get divorced. But you better, you better unpack everything that went wrong. You better take 100% self-ownership. That way your kids can escape your fate. If you just fudge and, oh, well, you don't want to talk about it. Right? Then you're just, you're crippling your kids, aren't you? How could you trust people? If your parents loved each other, got married, it all blew up. Things went south. No causality. No way to prevent it No reason why Nothing.

[1:09:31] I mean it's terrifying.

[1:09:32] It's terrifying Absolutely, Absolutely, Now Do you know how I know all of this? It's magic Because you're self-critical, now when a child is overly self-critical it means one thing and one thing overly i'm not calling you a child i'm just saying these habits were developed as a child when a child is self-critical it's for one reason one reason only and that's the parents aren't taking responsibility, and your parents don't as far as i can see, Has your mother ever said Listen The divorce was terrible I don't want you to be Frightened of marriage I've gone to therapy I've really thought about it And I figured out Here's what happened That went wrong And I need you to learn From that So you don't, End up too scared Of marriage, It's not random It's not just random landmines That you can step on anywhere, I've gone through And figured it all out Because I wanted you Right by my kids Because I love my kids.

[1:10:46] Right no that um that's that's never happened i and.

[1:10:51] It won't have your parents sat down with you either individually do they do anything together or it's all separate now.

[1:11:01] There is this kind of perverse situation that's sorry again i'm using vague language but but this kind of perverse new dynamic has come about after my dad, or now that my dad is in the process of divorcing his second wife. My mom is now in the, quote, good graces of my dad's family, and so much so that she actually went and spent, it was a holiday with my dad and his family. um maybe a year ago no no so this was after um his mom had uh had died okay got it yeah yeah so i guess okay so your parents have.

[1:11:54] Been together right.

[1:11:58] Um spend time together yes uh i think that was yes sorry.

[1:12:03] How long ago was that.

[1:12:05] Um about a year ago i'd say okay.

[1:12:08] So your parents have been together and they absolutely know that you're pushing 30 and you don't date, right?

[1:12:14] Right.

[1:12:15] What have they done about that? Have they sat you down and said, hey, son, like, what's going on? I mean, like, unpack it for me, because obviously this has something to do with us, right? I'm not saying at all, right, but it must have something to do with us. We don't want you to be unhappy. We want you to learn from our mistakes. We want you to become a father. We want you to date. so what's going on.

[1:12:43] Yeah that that that has not happened um.

[1:12:46] And it won't happen, why doesn't it happen why hasn't i mean that would be the kind thing to do right that would be the parental thing to do, right why hasn't it happened.

[1:13:06] I i don't know if this is the reason but again it's just about protecting their own egos from their own failed marriage is that a part of it.

[1:13:19] Okay that's i mean that's a standard answer and i'm obviously not gonna disagree with you but i think it's woefully incomplete and i'm sorry for that it sounds really jerky to say, and maybe it is.

[1:13:29] Self-Criticism and Childhood Habits

[1:13:29] No, no, no.

[1:13:30] But no, it's because they don't really care. because they don't like if your son is pushing 30 and has not been on a date that you know of is that is that too far to say i mean you have as far as your family they wouldn't know really about the one night stand i assume so so.

[1:13:55] I have had two um i'll say they've they've maxed out, three years um.

[1:14:10] Sorry um okay so so that's the past three years but basically it's been, in the sort of decade and a half that you should have been dating right so you should start dating so i don't know 16 years old or whatever right so 13 years or whatever right so over 13 years you've had two short relationships and they've clustered over the last three years is that right, uh yes okay uh can you tell me the story of those relationships, i'm sorry just just am i doing okay i obviously want to double check because i'm being fairly blunt here but you seem like a staunch fellow so is the conversational style is it working for you is it is it too difficult too easy no.

[1:14:51] No no i i i appreciate it um i'm i'm sorry about the uh.

[1:14:54] No that's fine i'm just checking in with you okay so if you can tell me the story of these relationships? Let's start with the first one. Where did you meet and how did it go?

[1:15:09] We met at work. We were co-workers. We were working in the same department and I had approached her I was attracted to her and I had you know introduced myself, tried to you know show interest in what it was that she was doing to try to do my best to spend some time talking with her I'd say after a few conversations like that I did ask her out and what she said she found attractive about um, Thank you. In all honesty, it was...

[1:16:00] Yeah, we can do in all honesty. I always find it kind of weird when people say that. It's like, well, I've mostly been bullshitting so far. But if you really cornered me, I will be honest now. I mean, it's been a 45-minute combo. But hey, sorry, go ahead.

[1:16:13] No, no. Yes, so it was her looks. And I don't know if this counts, but the fact that I know... I felt insecure about not... not dating so i i felt i i was attracted to her which is why i had approached her and um asked to to start um to go out on a date with her and because i knew that i i should i should be dating uh because sorry when you.

[1:16:44] Say her looks i mean is it just the looks or was there you know and she's got a great smile or was there a certain sort of aura or air of positivity about her or or enthusiasm, or thoughtfulness, or humor, or was it just looks? Or were there other things that, the sort of joie de vivre or something like that, that some women can have that kind of sparkle?

[1:17:06] Yeah, no, no. Yes, I would say she was a positive person. Again, she would laugh at the jokes I tried to tell. So, I mean, that felt nice. felt nice um so yeah she was a positive um uh a positive person who was again a good listener she, Again, was willing to give me the time of day, I guess. So I was just looking for a positive person who had a pretty face, I'd say.

[1:17:46] And similar age?

[1:17:48] She was, I was in my mid-20s. She was in her early 20s.

[1:17:53] Okay, got it.

[1:17:55] Yeah.

[1:17:55] Okay, so you ask her out and you go out and things go well?

[1:18:01] Yeah, I would say so. So we went out to dinner. We got dinner. We got to talking. I was talking about how I, what I was looking for in a relationship. On the first date? Yes. Okay.

[1:18:28] I'm not complaining. I'm just, it's a bit surprising, but go ahead.

[1:18:33] Right. And so I had just told her, from what I can remember, that I was dating, I was looking for something long-term, and I don't recall if I had talked about my lack of experience in dating. I think I did my best to avoid talking about that, but I did my best to be as forthright about what I... no no you open it up by saying.

[1:19:04] Hey man my daddy told me to sleep with easy hose so i thought i'd ask you out just go ahead.

[1:19:09] Yeah no um never take dating advice for me life advice maybe.

[1:19:14] But not dating sorry go ahead.

[1:19:15] Sure sure no no um but uh yeah that was the bulk of our first date again we went to um which when got dinner um we drove around for a bit afterwards words, just continued to talk and, Our date ended, and then we went out two or three more times after that. There was something strange. Gosh, I'm trying to remember exactly how it happened. But after our first date, she and I had talked after work one time in person. We were walking out of the building together. And, gosh, what she had said... For God's sakes, man. Mortality.

[1:20:07] Mortality. What happened?

[1:20:09] I'm sorry. So she had told me that she wanted to, take things slow in such a way that I thought she didn't want to continue dating. The impression I got from what she had told me was that she wanted to as nicely as she could she was saying i don't want to go out with you anymore and but sorry so on.

[1:20:38] The first date she said she wants to take it slow.

[1:20:42] Well um no on the sorry this was maybe a week after that first date um we had been talking a bit at work but this conversation where she had talked about wanting to take things slow uh happened about a week after that first date well so.

[1:20:57] And do you know why women say they want to take it slow?

[1:21:01] Because they don't want to be used?

[1:21:05] Well, okay. No, it's because they have been used. So there was a, I would have guessed, right, that there was a relationship that the woman was in, which started with sex and blew up in her face. Right, so, you know, once bitten, twice shy, she now says, I want to take it slow, because the last time I jumped into bed with some guy, it got really bad.

[1:21:30] Okay. Yeah.

[1:21:35] Okay, so you continued to date, and then what?

[1:21:40] Yeah, so we went on a few more dates, and then after...

[1:21:44] And no sexual activity, maybe a kiss at the end of the night?

[1:21:47] Yeah, there was some making out, but nothing sexual.

[1:21:50] Okay, so you're taking it relatively so, okay.

[1:21:53] Yeah, yeah. But... um it was after a few more dates there there was one day where i had i i so this this is the thing is that i i got it in my head i decided that because i think it came mostly from fear of of actually legitimately investing in the relationship and being honest, I wanted to, I didn't want to continue the relationship because of that, because we had begun talking, we were talking a bit more about like, again, kind of like we had talked about in the first day, what we wanted out of our relationship. And I didn't feel comfortable continuing the relationship, Because of, I think, a fear of rejection. If I continued to show her who I was.

[1:22:59] You were asking her out, you were making out. She wanted to go on more dates, and then you're afraid of rejection. But she's not rejecting you. I'm sorry if I missed something.

[1:23:08] No, no. Thank you. I think it was that I... Yes, so that was the case. However, I was afraid up to that point, I had told her some of my thoughts and feelings, but I wasn't sharing my issues with her yet.

[1:23:34] Sorry, what were your issues?

[1:23:36] Well, I guess that I was inexperienced in relationships. I did...

[1:23:44] No, but things were going all right, right?

[1:23:47] Right, right.

[1:23:48] So why does it matter? Why would you bring up your past if things are going all right?

[1:23:55] I think because I felt that I owed it to her to talk about my baggage.

[1:24:06] Why? But the baggage wasn't interfering, right? Right.

[1:24:11] Right.

[1:24:13] So, I mean, and sorry, are you talking like the third or fourth date? You've got to tell her about your baggage?

[1:24:21] Yes.

[1:24:22] Why?

[1:24:25] Parents' Relationship Influence

[1:24:25] Well, the reason I felt was because I felt that I wasn't being honest if I was not divulging all the skeletons in my closet.

[1:24:37] Okay, what are these skeletons in your closet? that you hadn't dated much who cares so what are the skeletons in your closet i mean unless you actually have skeletons in your closet in which case that's a different matter right no women's driver's licenses in your drawer or something right trophies right so what is what's the baggage um.

[1:24:58] The baggage i would say primarily is that i do have a pornography addiction um which well.

[1:25:07] You're a guy who's had no sex life really who's in his late 20s i I don't think anyone would be overly shocked if you saw a few nudes online.

[1:25:15] Right.

[1:25:16] And what do you classify as an addiction? What do you mean?

[1:25:23] It used to be once a day. Now it's a few times a week.

[1:25:30] Okay. So why would you want to share that with a woman when you're just starting to date? I mean, isn't the goal that you get a woman and then you stop watching porn?

[1:25:40] No, no, I think it was... I didn't want...

[1:25:46] I mean, she would replace that addiction, wouldn't she?

[1:25:49] Yes, yeah.

[1:25:50] Okay, so why are you talking about it?

[1:25:56] Because I felt that if she were to find out about that, whether it was something that I was still struggling with or had struggled with...

[1:26:05] How the hell is she going to find out about it? What are you talking about? Is she going to check your browser history? Like, what do you mean?

[1:26:14] I think it was just to ease my own conscience.

[1:26:19] I get that, but what's the conscience about?

[1:26:28] I think it was because I didn't want to... I wanted to be flawed and yet still be loved for it.

[1:26:42] But if they're on a fourth date, how the hell is she supposed to love you yet? Like, you're giving her your flaws before there's pair bonding, before your virtue, right?

[1:26:58] Right.

[1:26:58] The hell are you doing?

[1:27:02] I don't know. I don't know either.

[1:27:05] I'm curious. I don't know.

[1:27:08] No, I think it just came from my lack of experience. Like I didn't know how to connect with somebody else, certainly in a romantic relationship. So I just thought...

[1:27:21] You were having a good couple of dates, right?

[1:27:25] Yeah.

[1:27:26] And was she giving you all of her flaws?

[1:27:32] No.

[1:27:34] Ah, isn't that interesting? Interesting. Hey, quick question. Have you ever had a job interview? yes okay um during the job interview do you tell them all the shitty things you ever might have done at work all the times you were late all the times you screwed up all the times you messed up all the times you didn't communicate all the times you didn't return emails i mean do you go through all of that in your job interview no sir why not they're real flaws what are you lying to people because.

[1:28:07] I want the job.

[1:28:10] Ah interesting so you shut the hell up and put your best foot forward, right yes so this is not a mystery, dating is just a job interview with some swapped spit.

[1:28:33] Ah Thank you.

[1:28:40] So, what are you doing? What are you doing? Hey, I know it's our third date, but here's the picture of the deep shit I took in the bowl this morning. Isn't that cool? I mean, I just want to be honest. You know, I don't really clean my toilet. What I do is I pee away the little poo stains with my magic urine. I'm going to show you.

[1:29:05] It's efficient. It might be true.

[1:29:09] Shut up. I mean, does she pull out a tampon and say, look at that, real heavy flow this morning. Holy crap. I mean, it's real. It's honest. But shut up. For God's sakes. I broke my hymen riding a bicycle. I have a picture of it.

[1:29:37] What?

[1:29:38] Shut up. it's okay to have a bit of mystery, you know it's like what's that movie American Pie oh I heard that pussy was like apple pie so I tried banging a pie here's some pictures it's like shut up, what are you doing.

[1:30:08] I i don't know it's i mean yes i i had no.

[1:30:13] Experience i've got skid marks in my underwear let me show you.

[1:30:24] Again i for for what it's worth i think it's because i i had no experience or i yeah no experience very little experience but.

[1:30:31] No that's come on this is a read this just self -sabotage yeah no sorry let's be honest about it right yeah okay so she wasn't telling you about her warts and flaws right and she has them right so do so do you so do i so everyone okay so, you feel this odd compulsion to show the most negative aspects of you very early on in the dating relationship right yes okay, So the question is, why? It's to do with your parents' marriage, right? Well, my parents found out negative things about each other later on, and they got divorced. So I might as well get that band-aid off right away.

[1:31:24] Yeah.

[1:31:26] Right?

[1:31:27] No, no, no. I don't want to wait.

[1:31:31] I don't want to wait until we're married and have kids for you to find out about the most negative aspects of me. Because my parents tried that and it screwed the whole family up. So I'm just going to show you my glistening, sweaty, stained armpits right at the beginning. And if you can handle that, maybe I can trust you. Now, did you slowly back away and pull out a taser, or how did this go?

[1:32:01] Um... Well, so... And sorry, I might be telling this in a confused way, but I... It was because I was afraid of getting to that point where flaws would... Where I would be incapable of hiding my flaws. That's why I... broke up with her.

[1:32:25] Fear of Rejection and Relationship Investment

[1:32:26] So what do you mean by incapable of hiding your flaws you mean you'd watch porn, while sitting at the restaurant with her hang on a sec i don't know what i want for dinner but i'm gonna dial up whatever's on the internet here um.

[1:32:48] I did not feel secure enough to admit to something like that. For example, pornography addiction. Because I was afraid that admitting to a flaw like that would taint and ruin the relationship okay.

[1:33:11] So what what what flaws were you about to spill that you broke up with her instead.

[1:33:20] The the the pornography addiction no you weren't gonna hang on you weren't gonna.

[1:33:25] Talk about that yet so what else.

[1:33:26] Oh um, i i, So when it comes to anger, I would say when tested, I still do have a temper. And so...

[1:33:51] Sorry, why is that bad? What's wrong with having a temper?

[1:33:58] Maybe I'm missing something. Well, just in the past, and this has been with my older brother, for example, but I've gotten angry and said very cruel things before.

[1:34:14] Now, does it happen that you just get angry and start spouting cruel things, or are there other interactions that cause the escalation?

[1:34:25] Other interactions? actions. Yeah, I guess I don't...

[1:34:27] Okay, so you don't just get angry and then start screaming curse words at everyone. You get angry, people resist, they undermine, they gaslight, and you escalate, right? So the whole process of... Like, a storm doesn't just appear, right? The clouds get darker, and then... It's a whole process, right? Right. You don't just go blink from sunny to storm, right? So, I would imagine there's a process by which So anger has to push through to get the answer, right? And if people resist like crazy, most men will escalate with the hopes of getting across or getting through, right? Right. So, for instance, if you and I, like we're best friends and we're working together on a house, right?

[1:35:18] Right.

[1:35:18] And I'm on my way, I've got headphones on, right? I'm on my way to the truck to get some tools. And you see there's a bear, right? Like a big ass bear. Not the kind of bear that feminists want to hang with, but like a dangerous bear, right?

[1:35:34] Sure. Right.

[1:35:37] And you yell at me, Steph, there's a bear, but I don't hear you because I got my headphones on. So what do you do?

[1:35:48] Well, I would do anything I could to get your way from there.

[1:35:51] You would escalate until I was safe, right?

[1:35:52] Yeah.

[1:35:53] So you'd scream at the top of your lungs. If I still didn't hear you, you'd pick up something and you'd throw it near me. If I still didn't hear you, you'd pick up something and throw it at me, right? And then if I still didn't hear you, you'd climb down, you'd grab an axe or something or some weapon, and then you would come and try and get me into the car and like, you know what I mean, like lock the door so I'd be safe, right? Because we're best buds, right?

[1:36:15] Yes, so I think this is actually, thank you for...

[1:36:20] Because what you're saying is, well, I just have this bad habit of I scream at people, I throw shit at people, and then I wrestle them into the cars without mentioning anything about the bear and the not listening stuff.

[1:36:30] Right. I must admit, and I think this is part of the problem too for me, is that... Gosh. I mean, of course, that's an extreme example, but... I don't know if in order to, again, in a situation like that, help save someone by, again, escalating to let them know the danger they're in. I often, if it means, I avoid escalating, even if it means the other person is in danger. So I would be doing the selfish thing there.

[1:37:14] Well, no, no. If the other person keeps insulting you for listening, right? Oh, sorry, keep insulting you for warning them or puts you down, at some point you're like, okay, well, you'll learn. Right? I'm not going to escalate and scream at you. You're just going to have to learn that I'm right, and then I'll have credibility that way, right?

[1:37:36] Right.

[1:37:37] Right, so if your friend, you know, when you were a teenager, right, you got a bike and everybody who has a bike builds a little jump, right?

[1:37:45] Right.

[1:37:45] And if you say to your friend, your jump is not stable, it's not sturdy, right? And your friend says, don't be such a goddamn pussy. Like, don't be such a chicken, don't be this, and he just insults you, right? Like you might say, look, it's wobbly here, and he's like, I got this, I can't believe you're being such a pussy about, like he just, at some point, don't you just let him ride over the thing?

[1:38:09] Yes, yes.

[1:38:10] I mean, you're not going to throw yourself in front of him, get hit by the bike, right? Because he's just going to have to learn, right? I know it's not stable. I've told you it's not stable. You keep insulting me. So, okay, go ahead. I mean, I remember a friend of mine had these really tight jeans on once. Way too tight, right? Like spray-on jeans. And his girlfriend, he's like, they're not too tight. And his girlfriend pulled his wallet out of his back pocket, threw it on the ground and said, okay, pick it up.

[1:38:40] Theories on Parents' Failed Marriages

[1:38:41] okay and you know he did but then he almost passed out you know like you have to learn right right okay so what happened you broke up with her after like three or four dates yes yes okay and that's because you have a theory about your parents marriage and your theory about your parents marriage and if i'm wrong i'm wrong but i believe your theory about your parents marriage are is that they didn't find out about the negative things until later right and i assume that that's because both your parents or one of your parents has said to you, i found out x y or z about someone turned out he wasn't trustworthy turns out she was mean turned out blah blah blah blah like your mom has to have some explanation as to why the guy she, introduced you to why they broke up after six months right right so why does what what does your mom say about why her relationships don't work out? It has to be something like he turned out to be.

[1:39:39] Yes. I would say that. And then I know when I have confronted her in the past on, you know, her, her contributions to the failure of the marriage, she, she will default to the, I did the best I could.

[1:39:58] Right. All right. Right, so she must say it turned out, like obviously she would say about your father, turned out he was a cheater. I mean, she didn't, or she would say, you know, he was just, he just was a real mama's boy. Like she didn't know that ahead of time. So most, like 99% of people, when they break up, they say some version of, well, it turned out that, right? I found out that, or I discovered that or whatever, right? That there was no way of knowing ahead of time, but some flaw showed up and you found this flaw and you broke up. So you're like, well, I can't fucking pair bond because I have flaws and she's going to find out about these flaws and then she's going to break up with me. And then she's going to say, she's not just going to be mad at the flaw. She's going to say, well, why did you hide this stuff from me? Why didn't you? And she's going to blame you for that. Right?

[1:40:55] Yes.

[1:40:55] So you're like, well, the only way I can trust someone is to show my flaws up front. But it doesn't work. I'm like, of course it doesn't work. It's like, imagine that a comedian has an hour-long routine with 15 minutes worth of jokes that are terrible. And he's like, you know what? I'm going to get these terrible jokes out of the way right up front. 15 minutes of terrible jokes. Maybe it's a two-hour routine. There's 15 minutes of jokes that aren't funny, that are bad, right? Now, if you sprinkle the bad jokes in among all the great jokes, people can handle it, right? In fact, it can even be kind of funny, like, oh, I guess it's too soon for that, or I guess the audience didn't like that one, or whatever it is, right? But imagine he takes, if it's a two-hour act, he takes the 50 minutes of bad jokes and puts them all up front, saying, well, I've got to get these out of the way. He's got no audience. You see what I mean?

[1:41:57] Yes, yes. Yes. And I guess maybe just to, I know that it's, it's the same strategy. And I, again, having not heard any explicit dating advice from my father, it's kind of scary to me because he, I found out later that he employed the same tactic, uh, when he, on the first date with my stepmom with his second wife he trauma dumped and she still went with him.

[1:42:30] Right well so that's also guaranteeing the end of the relationship like how long were they together for.

[1:42:38] Oh gosh um, fit 16 years.

[1:42:46] Right okay so he trauma dumped and said all of the bad negative things and she's like Like, I'm in. Well, that's just, you know, that's just finding somebody who's insecure. Right. Okay, so you consider this a relationship, which was three or four dates, and then you stopped dating her? Because you said you had two relationships, right? This is not a relationship. This was a couple of dates.

[1:43:20] That's...

[1:43:20] It's like saying you had a career or a job when you just went to two or three job interviews.

[1:43:26] Right.

[1:43:27] Okay, so what about the second one?

[1:43:33] I mean, it ended quickly, too. So I guess it wasn't much of a relationship. relationship i know that three months.

[1:43:40] Sorry didn't you say three months.

[1:43:41] Yeah yeah but not again and i guess that's not the longest time i mean i think we went out maybe a total of, six or seven times so a little bit longer but um, again i was a little more I was I guess forthright in the same way of like oh you know this is like ultimately what I'm hoping to get out of a relationship but um I was uh I did talk a bit more about um you know my, experience with my family growing up with her um so I did share a bit more of that, difficult information with her and what is the.

[1:44:24] Difficulty because we didn't really talk about your childhood much like but we talked about the divorce and what is the difficult information that you're sharing with her.

[1:44:32] Um well again just that i've never felt uh close at all to my mother or my father um i actually i must admit i did neglect to bring up the um those anger issues that i had talked about um avoiding talking about the first relationship so i still didn't get around to that um but sorry i.

[1:44:58] Don't know if you have anger issues if you're around reasonable people i don't know that if you're around people who don't listen who counter-attack who escalate who who gaslight who insults right right then things are going to get kind of crazy i mean they can right so.

[1:45:19] I don't.

[1:45:19] Know if you have anger issues if you're around healthy people who listen to your cautionary tales, who listen to what you're upset about and work to try and address it.

[1:45:29] Right.

[1:45:30] You might not have anger issues, you might just have asshole issues. And I mean, people, you get angry with people and they don't listen to the counter-attack, the gaslight, they minimize, they insult, well, things are going to probably escalate, right? I don't know if that's anger issues or just having bad people around you.

[1:45:56] Anger Issues or Bad Company

[1:45:57] That's what I mean about the self-criticism stuff, right?

[1:46:00] Right, right. I think that's perhaps true to an extent. I just don't want, if that's true, I don't want that to give me license to be a jerk.

[1:46:19] License to Jerks

[1:46:19] Okay, so if the goal is that there's no license to be a jerk, then you can't be around jerks. because that's the license so you just can't be a jerk okay so then if people are around you who are jerks then you have to stop seeing them right because if that's a rule for you that's a rule for everyone right remember i'm the universal moral guy right shoot.

[1:46:38] You're right so.

[1:46:39] If you're like damn i can't be a jerk okay so not being a jerk is really important so then you can't be around jerks right or is it just a rule for you and everyone else can do whatever the hell they want.

[1:46:54] I would say i definitely tend in that direction but that's certainly self-abusive.

[1:47:00] It is so what happened with the second six or seven dates then what happened.

[1:47:07] Um i uh again broke it off because um i was afraid well the end of the other thing too was that she is serving in the armed forces. And so after she was going to be stationed in a different state, and she was interested in continuing the relationship.

[1:47:33] Sorry, how did you know about this?

[1:47:36] This was, it was maybe, sorry, the relationship itself, or when that came about, the fact that she would have to move.

[1:47:44] Okay, just three months, man. Just give me a ballpark. How long ago was this?

[1:47:49] Oh, this was two months ago.

[1:47:53] Two months ago. How long have you been listening to what I do?

[1:47:59] A while. Several years.

[1:48:01] How many years? Don't fuck me, bro.

[1:48:06] No. Okay, I must admit that it's sticking in my mind. The first video I ever watched of yours was that Truth About Frozen video.

[1:48:15] That movie yeah yeah so I think yeah 2015 okay so nine years nine years yeah and, you know I'm not a statist right, right and are you a statist right.

[1:48:44] No.

[1:48:45] Okay, so you think it's wise to date a state enforcer? Am I missing something?

[1:48:59] I think I'm missing something.

[1:49:02] Well, I don't know. I mean, am I wrong?

[1:49:04] No, no, no. You're right. I'm just saying, like, I'm obviously not catching on sufficiently.

[1:49:11] You know, the initiation of the use of force is immoral, so I'm going to date someone who puts on a costume so she can initiate the use of force when told to.

[1:49:21] Yeah.

[1:49:23] She's not going to share super maximum value compatibility, right?

[1:49:30] Right.

[1:49:33] Okay, so how did that end? She moved away?

[1:49:38] No, she has yet to move away, but we did end the relationship.

[1:49:43] Because she was going to move away.

[1:49:46] I would say I yes, I mean I would say I use that as an out because I didn't feel comfortable moving away with her so yes.

[1:49:58] Oh, you didn't want to move away with her after you've been dating six or seven times?

[1:50:03] Yeah.

[1:50:04] Okay.

[1:50:04] All right.

[1:50:07] And so she's going to move away, and you're like, well, there's not much point, right? And how did you meet her?

[1:50:12] On a dating app.

[1:50:14] Right. Like anarchist match soldiers? Is that the app? Just kidding. No.

[1:50:20] Sorry.

[1:50:20] It sounds a little bitter. It probably is. All right. Okay. Okay. So that just ended for reasons of practical consequences and her moving away, right?

[1:50:30] Right.

[1:50:31] Okay. And since, well, I guess that's only a couple of months ago, right?

[1:50:35] Yeah.

[1:50:36] Right. okay and you didn't engage in any sexual activity with the soldier.

[1:50:42] No no uh and that was the thing is the um the the one night stand came up between that first relationship if it can so be called and this most recent one got it so to two yeah two, sexless relationships and then the one night stand in between them and.

[1:51:00] How did the non-one I said, come up out?

[1:51:03] Um, a, uh, coworker, um, had pulled me aside at work and talked about how she was interested in me and I agreed to go out with her. We went out, uh, to a quick dinner. We went to a bar and then we went back to my place.

[1:51:28] Okay, and then what? I mean, obviously you had sex, but what happened after that? Like the next day, week, whatever?

[1:51:34] Of her yes so she um reached back out and was talking about wanting to continue to see me, and i did not want to um although i will say that i did um meet up with her one more time uh afterwards we did do like a short walk and talk um just because i didn't want to outright right ghost her and why why didn't.

[1:52:01] You want to continue.

[1:52:01] Um because i don't think that a relationship where you sleep with someone on the first date is uh sustainable but.

[1:52:14] I mean was there something about her personality or her personhood that you found off-putting in that way like in the way to not date uh.

[1:52:23] Yes uh actually um so the the thing was that we when we were driving uh from the restaurant to the bar i was driving the two of us and she got a phone call from, i think it was her mother and she answered the phone and the way she it was night and day the way she was talking to me and then the way she was talking to her mother was like, bone chilling just like very, really start she talked to her mother in a very like stern like emotionless way and it was very, unsettling, so but.

[1:53:12] You're not close to your mother.

[1:53:17] That's true.

[1:53:21] I mean if she'd heard you talking to your mother what would she have thought.

[1:53:28] I would think very much the same thing I think what I do is.

[1:53:36] Okay sorry go ahead.

[1:53:40] I was just going to say that, I when I talk with my mother i i still talk with her in a positive way i try to shy away from after the initial conversation i had had with her a few years ago where i had admitted that like i'm i don't feel love for you i've tried to shy away from it because the conversation i had with my mother then was very uncomfortable.

[1:54:10] So you lie now?

[1:54:12] Yes.

[1:54:13] So she should have lied? Like if she lied, you'd have felt better? If she'd have falsified her feelings for her mother like you do, that would have been a major plus.

[1:54:28] Yes.

[1:54:30] Did this seem wise to you? To demand that women be lying.

[1:54:35] False, manipulative witches?

[1:54:36] Which is in order to trust them.

[1:54:39] No, no, sorry. I mean, that's, I would have. Oh, God. I would have preferred to know how she felt about her, her parents without seeing how she treated them. I guess that makes sense.

[1:55:03] Did you ask her about her parents? I mean, it was a drive, right? So you hadn't made the.

[1:55:06] Yeah, so I, I did, uh, her, her parents, her father, especially was pretty domineering. Um, I think he, he was religious but did not participate in any church, so it was very much a you know he tries to run his family one way because the bible says so kind of thing um, well i guess she showed him, yeah um yeah but, that's from what i've heard yes her her family dynamic was she her parents were constantly you know getting involved judging her um all of this and so she uh would do what she could to to get away from them or disobey them and yeah so.

[1:56:02] Sorry i i don't remember if you'd mentioned this before about your conversation with the mother where you told her you didn't love her.

[1:56:07] No no um kind of just drop that one in like yes so that happened yeah again a few years ago the the conversation it's started because, this is something that my mother has done for a while she she will i will very i won't feel comfortable enough or confident enough to obviously be honest with her about how I'm feeling about her and our relationship. So I would usually be honest with her. I would, I feel incredibly uncomfortable being honest with her to the point that I avoid being honest with her.

[1:56:57] Okay. So how do you know that's your discomfort? I mean, wouldn't that be her discomfort? I mean, what you're saying is you're uncomfortable with yourself. You're uncomfortable. Like, you can say, I want to be honest with her, but she's going to be too uncomfortable with it. Then at least you're not saying, well, my own honesty is uncomfortable to me. My own authentic experience is appalling to me.

[1:57:22] Oh, sorry. I understand. Yeah, no, she, I could not be honest with her because if I were honest with her, it would set her off emotionally.

[1:57:33] It would set her off emotionally? What does that mean?

[1:57:38] Uh just a lot of a lot of tears uh that i do not want to um, I don't want to subject her to that.

[1:57:50] Stick with Mom or Find Love

[1:57:50] You are well-trained, my friend. You've been well-trained.

[1:57:57] So you go to your mother and you say.

[1:57:59] There's been deficiencies in this relationship and I haven't really been parented and you've not demonstrated to me an adult healthy relationship with a loving partner and I'm pushing 30 and you don't seem to give a shit that I'm single. So this is bad, right? And then she'd cry? like you're upset about something you're about stuff you're upset about legitimate deficiencies she has a parent she has as a parent and then she's like oh but I and you're like oh no this is terrible oh no mommy's upset, so she's training you to be a liar that if you tell the truth mommy's gonna cry it's just manipulative right, yes don't be honest or mommy will be sad, and, Yes.

[1:58:47] And something that struck me was that when, as you can imagine, it was a long conversation, I'd say maybe like two hours. And towards the end of it, I was confronting her directly about things that she had done. One, oftentimes it would just be that she was emotionally neglectful because I did not feel as though I could trust her, so I felt like I had no bond with her. And... After saying, after telling her that, she did this very, and I.

[1:59:30] Okay, get to the point.

[1:59:32] Sorry.

[1:59:33] What did she do when you told her, when you were honest, what did she do?

[1:59:37] Yes, she pulled back. She, what I said was that I was upset with her. I said I was angry with her for, again, like her lack of parenting. Yeah, I got that. so you.

[1:59:50] Had you honest with her about her deficiencies and what did she do.

[1:59:52] Yes so when i said that especially the anger parts she pulled back she kind of put up she's put on these histrionics and she raised her voice and said that oh i can like see the anger in your eyes and And I'm scared. And this very manipulative, and I felt it then, this very manipulative defense mechanism to try to undermine my criticism of her parenting.

[2:00:29] Yeah, okay, so then what?

[2:00:32] And I did my best to try to, I moved past it, but seeing that.

[2:00:43] What do you mean you moved past it? What do you mean? You got hysterical and you say, okay, well, you're having a tantrum. I'll wait till you calm down and we'll continue the conversation.

[2:00:59] I didn't take that moment to stop the conversation so that it could be continued later instead what I did was I changed the subject to something not outright like we were still talking about the issues I was having but I shifted focus in such a way that I could that I...

[2:01:25] You rewarded her.

[2:01:26] Was less critical.

[2:01:27] Yeah, you rewarded her for her manipulation, right?

[2:01:29] Yes.

[2:01:30] Okay, so it worked.

[2:01:32] Yes.

[2:01:33] Okay. And the funny thing is, what was the complaint that she had about your dad? He's too easily manipulated by his mother.

[2:01:47] Yeah. Right?

[2:01:47] And then what does your mother do? Manipulates the living shit out of you. It's revolting. It's repulsive. How dare she complain that your father is too easily bullied by his mother and then bully you whenever you say something honest that's uncomfortable to her. Oh, it's gross. What are you doing, man? Why would she be... Anyway, go on.

[2:02:21] No and uh that's we talked we talked a bit more after that but that that kind of conversation has not come up again.

[2:02:29] What do you mean no you're so passive this happened this came up like you've you've chosen not to talk about it again yes and she's not brought it up she didn't say oh you know what yesterday i really reacted badly i'm so sorry like please tell me more i i obviously want to i I don't want you to be upset and I can see the effect that this might have on your dating prospects. So let's really sort this out. I'm, you know, I'm ready.

[2:02:56] Yeah. That, that would be a, an ideal scenario that. Okay.

[2:03:01] So you're choosing mommy over dating. I, that's your choice, right? You're choosing to appease mommy over falling in love with a woman, because you have inappropriate levels of honesty with both your mother and your dates. so i'm not sure what you're like.

[2:03:24] What how can i help i mean you chose you're choosing to and i say this because you've been a listener for right eight years or nine years or whatever right right so i say tell the truth, right? And you've chosen to lie and falsify. So you're choosing allegiance to whatever the hell is going on with your mother. You've chosen allegiance to that and falsifying your own existence. So I'm not sure how I can help you. I mean, I've already given you the advice in the show to be honest with people, and you've chosen to not be honest with people, and you've chosen Wasn't it for years?

[2:04:09] So it's like if I was a nutritionist, right? And you had a gluten allergy and I said the obvious thing like, okay, then don't eat gluten. And you continued to eat gluten and you got really sick, right? Why would you phone the nutritionist? Because the nutritionist would say, well, I've been telling you for years not to eat gluten. You're eating gluten. You got to go to emergency or just continue to be sick, right? but I'm not going to tell you anything I haven't already told you for years. Do you see what I mean? I'm not trying to be hostile or mean or anything. I'm just like, well, you chose to falsify, you chose to lie, you chose to appease your mother, and then you can't get close to a woman. Well, of course not.

[2:04:55] I mean, you can't tell the truth to your mother after 29 years, but somehow you've got to tell the truth to a woman over three dates? Come on.

[2:05:05] Right.

[2:05:07] So, again, I'm not sure. I was kind of hoping that you'd have a problem that wasn't blindingly obvious, if you don't mind me saying so. Right? So you've chosen to appease your mother, who sounds like a pretty bad mother, right? You've chosen to appease your mother, to lie, to falsify, to be manipulated. manipulated and then you're like but i just can't get close to women well yeah because your mom and you're lying to your mom it's between you and women and she's fine with that obviously otherwise she would have sorted it out so if you're choosing mommy over a wife, that I mean it's not a choice that I would make but you know I mean and I wouldn't say I respect your choice but that is your choice isn't it, and it's not a choice that I'm saying that's surprising to you is it, no it's, so you get mommy and porn instead of a wife and kids, i mean again i don't think it's a particularly wise choice but that's your choice right.

[2:06:28] Right and i don't mean this in any critical or hostile or negative way i mean that that's your choice you choose to eat gluten well you're going to get sick and if you choose to be manipulated and surrender your honesty and integrity, to a pretty crappy mom, then, yeah, how are you going to get close to anyone? Like, you can't be... You can't have a more honest relationship than your least honest relationship. I mean, primary relationship. I don't mean like, you know, some waiter says, says how's the food and you say it was good when it was just okay i don't mean that i mean like a close relationship right and if your primary relationship is built on lies manipulation bullying and appeasement that's your life that that's your major relationship i'm sure similar things are happening with your dad too, yeah Yeah.

[2:07:39] So, you know, I mean, this is why I was kind of surprised that we didn't start off the conversation with, I'm lying to my parents. Right? Because if we'd started off with that, we could have saved a lot of time. This is my minor irritation. Right? Because if you'd have said, you know, well, I got lied, bullied and manipulated out of being honest with my mom years ago, and I'm just going through the motions, we're like, well, if you start with there, we could have saved a lot of time. I mean, I think it's been useful, excuse me, to talk about this other stuff, but isn't that the basics of it?

[2:08:13] It is.

[2:08:14] So, I mean, that's me. I can't see you, obviously. I don't know how things are in your heart based on what I'm saying, but what's going on for you?

[2:08:35] I think what I'm looking for is a way to cheat the process.

[2:08:47] Right. No, I get it. I just want some gluten for God's sake. Give me a magic bill. Um, if it's any consolation, I look for those loopholes all the time too. So I'm, I'm with you.

[2:09:09] No, I mean, that is it.

[2:09:15] Okay, what value does your mother bring to your life? In the present, in the here and now? She doesn't give you advice. She doesn't care that you're single. She doesn't care that you've barely dated, right? She doesn't care about the bad examples she's had as a wife and as a girlfriend, right? Help me understand. I mean, is she a zillionaire and you're going to get a lot of money when she dies? Like, what is the value that she brings that you're willing to falsify your history and your experience and your life and be bullied, manipulated? I mean, for what? Why? What's the plus?

[2:10:01] I'm afraid of assuming that level of responsibility. It's so much easier to just, do nothing in your own life.

[2:10:15] What do you mean? Like not, not what? Not to make my own choice. Do you know, sorry, do you know, because it's very too abstract, do you know why your mother is between you and a quality girlfriend? Why did you get a quality girlfriend with this relationship with your mother?

[2:10:48] Because my allegiance is to my mother rather than a potential wife.

[2:10:54] Okay. So, you could transfer that allegiance to quality wife. I mean, I hope that my daughter will always have an allegiance with her mother. What's wrong with having an allegiance with your mother or a mother? Nothing, right?

[2:11:11] Right.

[2:11:16] Because you're too much like your dad. That's one of two reasons, right? One is that you're too much like your dad. So can a woman bond with you if your mother can falsify you? If your mother can make you fake and false and a liar, can a woman bond with you? No, because she can't trust you. Because then mom's going to call, and you're going to despawn, right? That's number one. Number two, a woman gets to know you. She finds out about what's going on with your mother, right? And she's going to be like, well, I don't like that your mother hurts you, right? Let's, you know, when things start to get serious, she's going to be like, Like, I have a problem with your mother because she's, you know, she neglected you, she has given you no parenting, and she kind of bullies you, manipulates you, right? So, I have a problem with your mother, right? So, you know, we're going to, like a quality woman, right? It's going to be like, I got to sit down, you got to clear the air with your mother, right?

[2:12:22] Right.

[2:12:22] Because I don't want this part of our marriage, and I certainly don't want this to be part of our child raising or give this woman, who's not a good mother, control over our children as a babysitter or grandparent. So she's going to sit down with your mother, right? And you. And she's going to say, we've got to talk about things, right? How does your mom react?

[2:12:54] Confronting Manipulation

[2:12:54] remember i said you can't fight against maternal manipulations without an ally right, right that's why i wrote the scene in just poor between lady barbara and k, and jonathan and lydia which if you haven't read you should read the book just poor so you can't win you can't fight maternal manipulations without an ally right so your A quality girlfriend would be an ally, right?

[2:13:20] Right.

[2:13:21] So she'd sit down with your mother and hash things out, right? And how would your mom react? What would your mom do?

[2:13:31] She would get really upset, try to undermine things, and try to get me on her side.

[2:13:37] Well, yeah, maybe. But your mother would be stuck because she can bully you, but she can't bully your girlfriend, right?

[2:13:45] Right.

[2:13:45] Now, if she complies with you, your mother then ends up in a no-win situation. Do you know why? Either she escalates, goes nuts, in which case the girlfriend is like, well, we're done with her, right? Like, I'm not having this crazy person around my family. So you got to choose, right? Or she's really reasonable and nice with your girlfriend, in which case that does arguably even more harm to your mom's relationship with you, right? Because then you look at your mom being reasonable and not manipulative and not hysterical and you're like, holy shit, she can totally do the opposite. She just faked it with me. It was just a move. It wasn't real. Do you see what I mean?

[2:14:27] Yeah, that's vicious.

[2:14:29] So your mother sits down with a quality girlfriend to hash things out. No matter what happens, your mother's relationship with you is severed. So does your mother want you to get a quality girlfriend?

[2:14:46] No.

[2:14:47] Of course not. Because she loses all her power over you. So this is why your mother is between you and a quality girlfriend. Because a quality girlfriend tapes the old nipple fangs out of your brain. She won't put up with it. You'll have an ally against the devouring mother. you'll have someone who really cares about you. And if you have someone who really cares about you, your mother is going to freak the fuck out. Because then you have an ally. And she can't win then. Do you see what I mean?

[2:15:58] Yes.

[2:16:01] So that's what I mean. and you can have your allegiance with mommy and you get your porn and that can be your life. Or you can say, I have standards. Those standards are honesty, integrity, virtue, love, caring. Step up or get lost. Like, sorry, that's what it comes down to. These are my standards. Step up or shove off.

[2:16:33] Loyalty to Mom vs. Healthy Relationships

[2:16:34] I don't do bullshit manipulation i don't do tears of self-pity that are designed just to shut me up i think it's vile i don't do that so we have an honest conversation if you pull that shit i'm done, and if she pulls that shit you get up and you walk out, and if she calls you up like nothing happened you say no you really manipulated me it was horrible clean that shit up and oh what do you want me to do i don't do that you misunderstood blah blah blah it's like no until you're ready to take self-ownership i don't want conversation sorry then you hang up right you just like all the stuff that your mom should have done, with your grandmother but she won't and so this is the reason why, your mom couldn't stand up against your father's mother because she's the same, How's she going to criticize your grandmother your father's mother for being manipulative How the fuck is she going to do that I try not to shoot weapons that go off in my face, Personally it's actually a fairly consistent rule of mine, Don't pull the shotgun trigger with the concrete at the end, I try not to pull the pins on grenades and then hang on to them.

[2:18:02] Right.

[2:18:08] And none of this is surprising to you is it i mean i think you needed the ally i think you needed it stated but there's nothing revolutionary in what i'm saying it's the same thing i've been saying right i mean you needed it said i think but there's nothing massively like oh my god how how does this fit in with anything steph's ever said before right, so tell me what what uh what are you thinking what are you feeling, Well.

[2:18:51] It would be tragic to continue doing the same things I've been doing.

[2:18:56] You're not helping your mother anyway, because by giving her a pretend relationship, she doesn't have to date. Like, you're actually isolating her. But sorry, go ahead.

[2:19:12] Yeah, I just... I want to live my own life, and... the fact that such clear lines need to be drawn for me to do so is, sobering.

[2:19:50] How people miss this for 7 years or 8 years is really amazing to me, the first virtue is what?

[2:19:58] Honesty, Because I feel that I have been doing wrong, but I've been trying to find some way to slip the noose and avoid it.

[2:20:27] Sorry, say again? You feel like you've been doing wrong, but what?

[2:20:31] But I've been looking for a way to slip the noose and avoid it. Avoid what? Avoid that honesty with my mother.

[2:20:43] Well, you have been avoiding it.

[2:20:46] Yeah.

[2:20:47] Right? You're paying the price, obviously, right?

[2:20:51] Right. Yeah.

[2:20:58] If I've got some giant tumor on my face, I guess, or some giant tumor, I don't know, my inner thigh someplace not obvious, I can avoid going to the doctor, right? My doctor's not going to come over every day and check my inner thigh. I can just avoid it, right? And then I just pay the price. You know, the reason I put the analogy on your inner thigh is you might get your balls cut off to deal with the tumor, right?

[2:21:27] Cloveritis. Yes, very subtle.

[2:21:28] Tackling Manipulation Patterns

[2:21:29] Nothing if not subtle. Do you think that if you have a conversation that's honest and direct with your mother, that she will change or be honest or not manipulate or can you get an honest... I mean, you've had, you know, 30 years almost of experience, a quarter century of conscious experience. Is your mom going to be honest, direct, not manipulate?

[2:21:59] No I think the conversation that I had with her a few years ago was an attempt to do that but and she manipulated you.

[2:22:09] And then, gaslit and avoided in triumph right.

[2:22:14] Yeah okay so.

[2:22:20] Are you going to be able to get a quality woman in your life if your manipulative, avoidant, bad mother is there?

[2:22:29] No.

[2:22:31] Come on, honey. You can spend the next 40 years dealing with all this. I mean, your mother didn't even want it. And now she's become it.

[2:22:43] That's true.

[2:22:47] Would you want to if you had some girlfriend friend or some girl you were interested in and she was manipulated all the time by her mother, would you find that attractive?

[2:22:59] No.

[2:23:01] Especially if she's pushing 30, right?

[2:23:04] Right.

[2:23:04] Mom says jump, I say how high. I can't be honest with her because she'll get sad. Because she'll never bond with her because she'll always be trying to please he's her mother. So she can't, you have no authority with her and she would have no authority with you, right? You'd only be able to be close to each other with your crazy mother's permission, right?

[2:23:28] Right, right.

[2:23:30] And that would never last.

[2:23:31] Right? Right, right.

[2:23:35] So is that enough insight for you for today? We've had a nice long chat.

[2:23:42] Yes. Thank you. Thank you.

[2:23:44] I still don't get a sense of how you're feeling, link band you are you're distant as a star, i mean it might be a good idea to talk to a therapist um if if you're because normally i look for some sort of emotional connection with people towards the end of the call and uh it still sounds like we're discussing the weather from your side.

[2:24:19] Right. Yeah, it just, it is. It's just, like, I feel like it would be the first first, real choice I've made in my life.

[2:24:51] Well, or have been allowed to make. It wasn't a choice until it was this clear, right?

[2:25:03] Right.

[2:25:05] Because it's one thing to appease your mother, it's another thing to see the price of it, right? And when you see the price of it, like, if you think smoking is good for you and you love to smoke, you really don't have the choice to quit, right? it's only when you realize that smoking is bad for you that the choice to quit opens up. Does that make sense?

[2:25:22] Yes.

[2:25:23] So now you see the price of appeasement, and it's pretty high. It's more than you want to pay, so now the choice is, right? Choice exists.

[2:25:33] Right.

[2:25:35] All right. Well, I hope you'll keep me posted about how things are going, and I really, you know, huge amount of sympathy and huge amount of compassion, for your childhood and the difficulties with your mother. And we didn't talk much about your father, but I assume to some degree with your father as well. And it's a great call, man. You did a great job. It was definitely some tough stuff. And I really, really do appreciate your time today.

[2:25:57] No, no. Thank you so much for your time, Stefan. Thank you.

[2:26:00] All right. Keep me posted, right?

[2:26:02] Will do. Will do. Thanks, brother.

[2:26:03] Bye.

[2:26:04] Bye. Bye-bye.

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