Episode 55: Why Being an Observer in Friendships and Intimate Relationships is so Important

We take key points from last weeks interview with Geoff Steurer on being an observer, and show how important that is in all our relationships. Being an observer gives us information and truth so we can accept and make better decisions.

Episode Transcription:

(This transcript was created using software. Please be advised that it won't be 100% accurate, and it may contain formatting errors.)

I'm really excited about today because I'm going to continue on with some of the things that were talked about last week in my interview with Jeff Steuer. Did you guys watch that one? Did you listen to it? Did you? Did you see some of the clips that I posted on Instagram with my interview with him? It was so fun. So amazing to hear him to listen, the insights, the pieces of nuggets that were just like, yes, exactly that. I knew you guys would love it.

I've had great feedback from it. And we talked about a lot of amazing things. Before we get started into that. Did you notice how we talked about the retreat, it's coming up, it is just there's a couple weeks left in early registration. So take advantage of that. But Jeff was my speaker at my first one, he's also going to be a speaker at this upcoming one. So we both want you there. And if you are feeling like, I feel like I'm supposed to be there, reach out, ask me some questions, schedule a free consultation, and we can go over it or go ahead and just go to the website and get signed up.

It's one of those things that it is like you You feel maybe stressed about going or doing it because it's something new, it's something unsettling because you don't know the people. But it really only takes that first night, where you start building these really close relationships. I have an activity that I do that first night to help everybody kind of open up and naturally build this friendship. Now remember, just because we talked a lot about betrayal and infidelity. That doesn't mean that that's all that I cover, or that's all that we do. It just so happens that that was my experience.

But as you notice all of the tools, everything we talk about goes along with anybody's life scenario experience, heartache, grief, pain, trials, relationships, it covers all of it because the tools are the same. So today, what I want to talk about is I want to talk more about being the observer. In my podcast with Jeff, he talked about how we need to be an observer in our relationship, if we are healing from betrayal and infidelity and watching and noticing whether or not our partner is doing the work, or we're doing all of it.

Well, what I want to do with that today is show you how that applies to everything. And this goes on with kind of the segment kind of these little series that I'm trying to do right now, with living life on purpose. Being an observer is living life on purpose. It's being aware, it's being noticed, it's being accountable, it's being truly eyes open to what truth is. And you know how much I love truth, you guys, I love it. I love clarity, I love seeing what actually is and not making up the stuff just because it feels better.

I've had to make some really hard decisions in my life based on truth. And a lot of people might think that that's crazy, and that's too much. And maybe they think I act too fast, or I shouldn't do that. Or I should give people the benefit of the doubt. But you know what I'm basing life on truth, on reality on this, this observation on noticing what's actually happening, so that I'm not continually spinning my wheels over and over and over, which is what I was doing. In my first marriage of 21 years.

If you've listened to Jeff's podcast interview, we talked about that about how sometimes the partner of the betrayed partner will go overboard will be hyper vigilant in recovery work and in trying to make sure all of it works. And that's all out of fear. That's all out of stress of the unknown. We want it to be a certain way we don't want to look like the bad guy. There's so many reasons why we do that. And, and you know, we've talked about those things before. But today, the focus is being an observer and what that looks like in all scenarios in all cases.

So I'm going to start out with our friendships. So friendships are interesting because they come into our lives at different times. And they mean something. They we form these bonds with people, and we feel like at times they are our people, and they would have our back and they would do anything for us. But every once in a while we feel off or we feel unseen or unheard, or we feel rejected. And it's based on decisions that each person makes there's agency and all of our lives. Now, we're not going to find friends that are exactly like us.

Everybody has different things they're going through everybody grew up differently, has different beliefs and styles of communicating. Clearly, we have to learn to adjust and allow other people the grace that we would want in our own personal learning. And and so this is not about they not being friends with somebody if they are not like us. That's not what this is. This is what feels good. What is safe? Is the person treating me right? Am I treating the person right? Am I being manipulated, deceived? Do I feel like I can trust this person? Are they going to be there for me?

Kind of like, are they on my team? Now I have some a situation where I had some friends, we were good friends. This was back when I was married to my first husband, these friends knew what I went through, they knew a lot of the things that had happened. But over the years, you know, things fade, and opportunities come up to really see and check where we're at with friendships and who we want to be and who we're going to be with.

So these particular friends, ended up going on a trip with my ex husband and his wife, his new wife, and my kids were there. You know, obviously, that is one of those things, that if you've been divorced, you know, is complicated, because you don't necessarily expect people to pick sides. But at the same time, how much interaction do you have with somebody that is choosing to be with the person who harmed you so bad, right? It's like, it's very complicated.

And I know every situation is different. And I know, it totally depends on what the relationship was like, and what happened after the fact. And, and all of that, and, and I get that. So in this case, this is not about any hard feelings, or any judgment or anything like that. It's about me observing what's going on, and me making choices for me, in this particular situation, they go on this trip. And it was interesting, because my kids when they came home, one of my my kids said to me, are you friends still with so and so? And I said, Well, yes. But it's kind of getting complicated.

And she said, cuz I just thought it was so weird that for one they were there. And for another that she was laughing at all of my my child's dad's jokes and saying things like, Oh my gosh, I totally forgot how funny you were. And she said, it made me feel uncomfortable. Like I felt like, wait a second. So what she was feeling right, there was betrayal. She was noticing and observing that wait a second, this is supposed to be one of my mom's closest friends.

This feels off to me. So what was interesting for me with with how I felt at that moment, there was a lot of feelings that I had when I found out some of these friends were going on this trip and, and needing knowing I needed to make some decisions myself on my interaction now. But before I get into that, when my daughter said to me, I felt weird that she was saying like, that just seemed odd to me. My thought was, oh, my goodness, like that manipulates my child. Because what that does is it says, Hey, wait a minute, is my dad, Is everything, Okay? Is he did he choose recovering?

Now? Is he better? Because why would these people who are my mom's close friends, why would they interact that way and act as though my dad is all okay now, even though my mom is over here, kind of a stressful situation for a minute, right? I have a lot of different feelings. I want my kids to know the truth. But what was so cool is even though I swirled for a second in, oh my gosh, my child like my kids are being manipulated. I was like, no, they're not. She observed. She knew what her body felt. What I said to her was, did that feel uncomfortable to you? She said it just felt weird, but I had fun with them all. I liked it. I liked them.

They're doing that trip again. So that's that but what I had to do in those moments, first, I had to grieve the loss of friendships. I had to grieve what I thought it was and I had to also let go and surrender another person's choices and why they do what they do. This had nothing to do with me. This was not that they didn't like me anymore. This was their life. This is what they wanted, how they're living their life, relationships in their, in their marriages and families. We all make these choices based on our comfort level and what feels okay to us. So that was the decisions they made.

So for me, I had decisions to make. So I pondered and prayed and journaled, and all sorts of things to figure out what that means for me, as I noticed as as comments and things would pop up on social media that they would say, I noticed my heart would race every time. And I would notice that some of that rejection and some of that pain of wow, I thought I trusted these people. And not that I can't, but not fully, they can no longer be in my close safe circle anymore. Only because for me, I've chosen not to combine my world with my ex husbands.

I know some of you have, and that works for you. But for me, that was not something I was going to choose to do. So as this was happening, and I was noticing my reaction, or observing what was happening inside of me, every time there was interaction between these people, to me, I knew I had to make some choices. I knew that this was no longer serving me, it was no longer okay for me, I could have just tried to let it go every time and appeased other people and not let other people feel bad. But you know what? their decisions didn't feel good to me.

So why do I need to sacrifice my well being just to accommodate and make sure they don't feel bad? That is a hard thing to do. And it's something that I've learned over time to not be codependent on my thinking to save somebody else. That they made a choice, I have a choice. So my choice at that point was I think I need to unfriend them. I didn't block them. Because I still love these people. I have done enough recovery, that I don't feel any hard feelings towards them, I don't feel any hate I if I saw them, I would be happy to see them and say hi.

I am just no longer going to surround myself or have those interactive moments on a regular basis or when I'm not expecting it, like on social media. So I did I and I unfriended them. And it's been so nice, because I don't have to take on any of the stuff, I don't have to think about the stuff, I don't have to stew over it, I don't have to get caught off guard because they make a comment on my stuff. And knowing that they are now friends with my ex husband and his wife. That's fine, too. I just don't want any part of it. And so this is what it looks like with friendships.

Sometimes our friendships, we see that you know what, I'm always the one that's there for that person. But I don't get anything in return. You start noticing different things as you start healing in your own trials and experiences your own grief, who are selfishly absorbed, who is more on the narcissistic side, who doesn't see you who's who can't even notice anything. Sometimes it's okay. And you can have those people in your life that you know, for little bits at a time and you know how to balance.

But when we let that take over when we're always there at someone's beck and call when we answer every phone call, when we put everything aside to accommodate somebody else. When that does not help us or we're not capable at that time. We think that we're doing it because we are a selfless person, we're kind of loving and want to help people. But if it's causing us pain and problems, when it causes us to tank and go down where we now have to do our own recovery healing work after the fact after they've left or after the phone has hung up or, or after a situation, then we've done ourselves a disservice.

And that really is not a healthy relationship. So having boundaries in our friendships is okay and is important. Living life on purpose in your friendships is allowed, you are allowed to be okay in your relationships. You don't have to give all and then have to climb in your bed and cry it all out because you feel empty. So as you look at your friendships, and if you're feeling any of those things, start evaluating. And I'm not saying you have to just kick everybody out of your life.

But definitely start noticing and gain the strength Do you need observe how it's making you feel? And then say what would feel good to me in these types of situations? Or do I need to limit myself with some of these people? You are allowed to do that you are worth it and worthy of feeling okay and being okay and having a good day and not being used or deceived or manipulated. Now in relationships, let's just take relationships that have nothing to do with necessarily infidelity. There is betrayal in all sorts. Betrayal is not just infidelity. Betrayal is betrayal of trust in anything, it could be with money, it could be a betrayal of, they're never there for you.

There's common pieces in relationships where one partner feels like they're entitled, they should get to do whatever they want, whenever they want. I've shared with you some of those experiences, I had my ex husband thought that he's like, I just feel like I should be able to do what I want when I want to. Well, yeah, if you're by yourself, but you can't really live like that in a relationship, because there's two people.

And the whole point of being an observer to where you're equal is noticing that, when Jeff talked last week in the podcast about noticing what the partner is doing and not doing instead of, instead of me making up the difference and doing all the work trying to save it, or help it or make the family run or the household and run, we run ourselves ragged. So instead of doing that, observing, and noticing what they're actually doing, and what they're not doing, what are they committed to them what they're not committed to? That's just truth.

And yes, it is so painful sometimes, because we don't want our relationships to end. We don't want our marriages to end that is so scary and unnerving. We don't want that to be that way. But we still have to see the truth, we still have to notice what's actually happening so that we can make decisions based on truth, and what we actually need and what will be good for the relationship. It can't be unequal. And it has to have both people that want to communicate that want to see each other that want to do what it takes and do that work.

Whether it's therapy, whether it's making sure you're going on dates, whether it's talking about all the hard things, when people aren't confrontable, and you can't tell them what they're doing, that's hurting you, there's a real problem. Because it's imbalanced, you can expect, I don't remember exactly the words, words, but Jeff said something about you can expect them to do the work, you can expect that it might not happen. But it's not an invalid expectation. So expect that in your relationships. If you want a loving friendship, talk about things, raise your kids household things, business decisions, if you want to do these things together.

And that's the partnership you want. You can have that. But you can't make it happen. So you'll have decisions to make as well. But it's okay. Being an observer gives you facts, it gives you information, it shows you what's real, because you can beg and plead and all the things to try and get your partner to see you. But if they don't want to, if they are more into themselves, then the relationship, you're going to be left heartbroken every single time.

It also starts playing with your mind thinking that maybe you're asking too much. Maybe you expect too much really, though, challenge yourself when you think about that. Because really, are you expecting too much for someone to respect you and value you and look to you as a valid worthy member of the family that deserves their presence and their undivided attention? I know it's a complicated subject, but really, it goes back. Are you prepared to see the truth? If you're not reached out, let me help you. Let's talk it through. I'm not against divorce, and I'm not for divorce. I'm for the truth.

I'm for reality, I know people can survive and whatever happens if they accept the truth and surrender to the outcome, they'll be so much happier and free, kind of like the feeling I had when I unfriended these people that have been in my life for many years, there was a freedom to it, because I no longer had to play the game. And I no longer had to pretend that it's okay, what they did. For me, it wasn't okay for them. It is okay. All of that's fine. It's just about choices in my relationship with my husband I want a committed relationship where we can talk about hard things.

I want to know that he wants to do the work just as much as I do, that I'm not the one pulling all the weight or trying to make all of it happen or raise the kids. That's not what a marriage is about. That's not what our relationships are about. Our friendships are the same. They're not one sided. It's hard because not a lot of people are choosing healing sometimes because they don't even know about it. Sometimes they don't know. Oh, wow. I didn't realize I didn't think I had major things that had happened to me.

But these belief systems I grew up with these ways of communicating that I only know aren't actually good. I feel crazy. I don't feel good like this. when things don't go my way. I feel like I could just go through the roof. All of those things just need to be shifted a little need new perspective, new insight, new wisdom. These relationships aren't lost all of these things that are hard. It's just a matter of Hey, this is what's not working for me anymore. Are you Open to changing it with me.

Do you want a healthier friendship? Do you want a healthier marriage or a healthier partnership? When we do this, these things, we start teaching our kids the same way. We start noticing the fact that my daughter observed what her body felt on that trip with those people who were my close friends. That is awareness. And that is like, wow, if I would have shrugged that off, and said, No, no, no, no, no, everything's fine. Everything's good. We're still friends all as well.

She wouldn't learn to trust her instincts or her body, she wouldn't learn to notice when things are off, or when something is weird. How come that person's doing that when they really are, normally would be doing this when we're truthful. And we allow our kids to have their experiences and we don't sugarcoat and we don't pretend with our friendships or partnerships, our kids where we're just like yeah, that doesn't feel good. Or that doesn't work or that is not a good way to communicate, we it's so much value to them, because we're showing them and teaching them.

Think about all the adults in your life and how you wish you could talk to them about communication, you, you would hope that they would do things a different way. Because you're seeing the patterns that don't feel good when you have an opportunity with your kids or your grandkids or even in your your adult relationships, to change those patterns, so that it can go down generations. This happens with our parents as well. They're older than us. And sometimes they're set in their ways. And they don't have that openness to new perspective. They're their beliefs are set. So they think not everybody, right. But sometimes that happens in our parents.

And we want them to see sometimes they do if they want to learn new things, and sometimes they don't want to because whatever reasons, whatever is holding them back their limitations, or their fears or their shame, or, or whatever. But it makes those relationships complicated. So if we can heal them sideways, meaning the relationships that we currently have our spouse, or our partner, our good friends, and then start heading down, children, grandchildren, then it'll start spreading, and it will start changing, it'll offer the world let's do things different.

We don't need to be an entitlement society where we just get all the stuff without having to give or be equal to somebody else. There's way more value and accomplishment when we have these relationships that are fulfilling, where both people walk away fulfilled, even in a hard situation. It feels okay. My husband said to me the other day, we had had a harder conversation about some things. And we just kept, we talked it all through, we went on with our day, we spent time together.

And at the end of the day, he said, Wow, that was so amazing to be able to talk about some hard things, but still stay connected, still be able to live our day. And then here we are tonight, and we are totally feeling great. We feel close to each other, we feel like we've been seen and heard. And it didn't cause a huge thing. It didn't cause this separation for days, or nobody's talking to each other. It's because we did it in a healthy way. There was no yelling, there was no pointing the finger. It was just this isn't working right now. Or this is what's bothering me right now.

This is what's going on. This is what I'm stressed about whatever the situation was, but he's right. When two people are working at it, you can talk about things that are hard because it's the truth. And both people allow that space to be there in recovery work. If you have suffered betrayal, trauma, and you have gone through infidelity, and you're trying to repair that with your spouse, just like Jeff said, someone who is really truly choosing recovery from their addictions of pornography, or sex addiction or anything else, they will truly be accountable, they will know that what they've caused her has hurt you.

Whether it's because they've lied, manipulated, cheated, neglected you because of their addiction. This could be any kind of addiction. Any addiction takes you away from being present with the people in your life. But when somebody is choosing recovery and doing the work and seeing a counselor, they become accountable that way, you know, if they're walking through the motions, and they're doing it all but it's not changing, then they're not taking it in, they don't actually want to change.

They want it to look like they're changing to appease you and the family but you have to take it as truth. what is actually happening as you do that in all of your relationships. You are going to feel so much more peace. Yes, you're going to have to grieve. You're going to be sad. Do you think it wasn't hard for me to think wow, I have to change these friendships I've had with these people for so long. That is so hard. But what was worse for me is staying in it knowing I felt a little more unsafe now, a little more like I don't know really what to trust or who to trust in this.

And so for me, walking away was a good decision. It was taken care of me, and I deserve to be taken care of. And it's okay. If I choose me. As you're noticing, and really striving to live your life on purpose, I want you to really look at what you're doing, what you're noticing and how you're taking action. Or if you're not taking action. It's okay, wherever you're at just noticing and becoming aware. I mean, like, wow, okay, this is happening. And I have decided so far that I'm not taking action. But I don't think I want to keep doing that. Just know you're not alone.

You don't have to figure this out by yourself. You can reach out to me, you can call your therapist, but do something. Because things that we're not used to doing, we don't know how to do them on our own. We're not supposed to how do you know how to do anything that you haven't actually done or learned yet. So it's important to get that knowledge and that education from somebody who already gets it. I want you to feel good, I want you to feel free. I want you to live in truth. Because there's nothing better than feeling grounded in who you are, and what's going on around you.

So that even when things are chaotic, and there's stuff all around you, you feel solid in what you're doing, how you're acting and the decisions you're making. That is a really good feeling that brings a lot of peace, even when things are not going well kind of around you. If you didn't have a chance to listen to the episode with Jeff Steuer, go back and listen to that and see how that helps you see how it would make sense in your life, whether you've been through betrayal or not.

We all have in some form. Take those things that you can work on, reach out, register for the retreat, there's still space open, it's a couple of weeks left until early pricing ends. And like always, I'm here for you. If you are loving this, please share this with your friends, please rate it or review it or something so other people can find it as well and get the help that they need. I'm so glad you're here. I love being with you and I'll see you next time.