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EP 25 – Building Better Relationships w/ Jennifer Finlayson-Fife

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Episode Transcript

Welcome friends.

Dr. Jerry: We’ve been in the trenches for 20 or 25 years working with people sitting knee to knee with them trying to help rebuild their health and help them find deeper you know, meaning to their life and deeper purpose. And along that journey, right to help people see the root cause of problems. We created the Simple Seven kind of concept where we talk about the seven really critical key habits that need to be in place every day of our life. And we talked about four that are primarily physical, you know, eating well and breathing well, moving well, and sleeping well. But we also were very conscious from the start. That mental health needed to be you know, given ample time and energy and so you know, for the last three pillars are really kind of more in that mental health space. 

Tammie: Right, those are the think well, pillar, loving well, and playing well. And we just really think that those encompass our mental health as well as our spiritual health. And we’ll both admit that in our professional training, we have a heavier emphasis on the physical aspects of those pillars. And I feel like we’re trying to play catch up or learn as we go and those last three habits. But it’s always been our personal fascination to learn more from the people who really specialize in those three habits. So one of our favorite people is Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife. She is such a clear thinker to the point where I have to listen to her over and over again until it really sinks deep into my mind. But she is so clear on these topics, and we just knew that we wanted to have her on our podcast and interview her and help us help you understand more about these things.

Dr. Jerry: So with that kind of long-winded intro, Jennifer, welcome to the Simple Seven Lifestyle Podcast. We’re so glad you’re here with us today.

Dr. Jennifer: Thanks for having me. Glad to be here.

Dr. Jerry: Some of our audience that I’ve already talked to in personal conversations might know of you but I’m guessing that a lot of my audience doesn’t know much about you. So why don’t you give us just a little background like, where you live and what you’ve been doing for the last couple of decades?

Dr. Jennifer: So yeah, so I am a licensed therapist in Illinois and also an educator and coach and the main focus of my work is working with Latter Day Saints on developing more intimate passionate marriages. And so I do a lot of work around self-development, and differentiation because these are really core to our capacity for intimacy. So you know, I do a lot of online teaching through courses and podcasting, and I do a little bit of one-on-one coaching. But that’s primarily what I do.

Dr. Jerry: And I mean over the I think we’ve been following you for many years, and it’s been fascinating to kind of see your own how your expertise is kind of branching out and I remember the early parts of your, you know, some of your podcasts were really kind of about how to improve sexuality. And what I love about you is you kind of think like me in that I always want to know what’s going on below that. What’s the deeper level? The superficial stuff is all over the place, but what’s going on a little bit deeper? Yeah. And so as I’ve listened to you, we’ve listened to you, and just kind of keeps going deeper and deeper. There are more layers and you just keep sharing kind of what’s going on in this mind of ours. 

And can I just tell you, before we get started, I had a cool experience this week, working with a client in another state and we’re working with her and her husband and we’ve been kind of peeling back the layers of their health challenges. And early on in our conversation, I knew that there were some issues with their marriage, their, you know, their sexual relationship was troubled with just a lot of baggage. And, you know, I knew that I probably had enough information to get me and them into trouble. So I tried to, you know, not be too prescriptive, but one thing I did say is, “Would you guys be open to listening to some podcasts?” I have somebody I want you to listen to. So I pass along your information and honestly, the wife was like, “I think that feels like way too much right now. I don’t want to open that can of worms. I know as soon as I open that, you know, it’s gonna be months of struggle,” and it just felt daunting. I’m sure you’ve not heard that before. But I said that’s fine. You don’t have to worry about trying to fix everything. Just listen to a couple of podcasts and see if there’s anything that resonates. I talked with her a month later and she said “I’ve listened to hundreds of hours already. And I just realized I could work on my side of the street. I could clean up my stuff. And it didn’t or what my husband was doing, I was just going to pursue becoming a better version of myself. And it’s already making tons of difference.” She said the bedroom is changing. But more than that the whole relationship is changing.” And so I mean, you get testimonials like that every single day. I just wanted to add a cool one. This is why I wanted you on this podcast so badly. So I gotta quit talking. Let you share some wisdom with us. 

But maybe as a setup, Jennifer, you’ve probably heard of this study. This is the largest longest running study on human happiness. The Harvard Study of adult development. It’s been running for 85 years now and you know, the one thing that’s really risen above all the other variables that determine a person’s overall quality of life and happiness was the quality of their relationships. Yeah, it all comes down to that, and as you said, before, you know, the quality of a marriage dynamic, or a family dynamic is really dependent on the level of development of each person in that relationship. So I wonder if you could maybe just use that as a launching point and talk about this idea of why we need to continue to develop and, you know, what it means to kind of create a sense of self. 

Dr. Jennifer: Sure, 

Dr. Jerry: It’s kind of a term that you use a lot that I don’t think I really understood for a while, so that might be a good place to start.

Dr. Jennifer: Yeah, so I have referenced that research, cool research because it’s clear like the quality of one’s relationships not only impacts mental health and overall life satisfaction but even one’s physical health. So, the amount of cortisol and levels of stress and all that. It’s a really strong predictor of longevity and overall health. And you know, I think the thing that has been clear to me in the work I do is how much people want their relationships to work well, because it shapes our lives so profoundly, right just to be able to be in a peaceful relationship with someone changes the way you feel about your entire day, versus a relationship that is laden with conflict and turmoil. The thing that I think a lot of times, though, that we don’t really understand is how much the quality of our relationships is dependent upon our own sense of self. And so, you know, Murray Bowen, who has done a lot of writing on differentiation, talks about the fact that human beings want two things, which is they want to belong to others, right? We want to know that we’re loved and that we belong to a partner, family, or community, but we also want to belong to our own sense of self. And that is you want to belong to your own beliefs, your own values, your own desires, and ambitions. And so because we want both of these things they can feel, when we’re immature like they work against each other. Like you get one or the other, either, you know, if we’re going to be happy in this relationship, I have to suppress some part of myself so that you’re not mad at me. Or I’m going to basically keep my distance in my relationship so I can do the things that matter to me and not have everybody taking from me all the time. And that’s not unusual for people to feel like I get one or the other. But that’s more a function of immaturity. The happiest people and the people in this study, surely have that sense that they are able to belong to a beloved other or to a family, and still be true to themselves, that they’ve found a way to belong and not betray something fundamental, and that’s a function of development. And it’s whether or not – Murray Bowen also talks about this  – are we dependent upon a reflected sense of self which is our more immature state. Or have we developed into a more solid, flexible self? A self that can regulate herself or himself can know their own values can know their own mind and aren’t as dependent as the younger version on approval, and acknowledgment from others. So obviously, I need to explain this more because someone listening might be like, I don’t know what she’s talking about. But there’s a developmental thing. That makes you more capable of doing both things as you grow.

Dr. Jerry: So I love exploring systems that appear to be in tension. And we have this idea that that’s a problem. Like, just kind of, as you were saying, we got this pole and this pole. And sometimes people think the way to integrate that is to somehow find the middle. I don’t think that’s what you’re actually saying. There’s actually an elevated position above the two poles that says, I see all of it. I can, I can move back and forth in a flexible way as appropriate to incorporate all of this I don’t have to pick one or the other or I don’t even have to, like split myself. And find some sort of compromise. Higher development means I know I can see all of this. Maybe that’s the Yin Yang kind of concept, of these poles being part of one system and that’s really kind of what we’re striving to find. Right? 

Dr. Jennifer: Yeah. So when we’re immature and we want to say we want to belong to ourselves, and we also want to belong to others. What we do is that we either will fold into the reality that others want or will pressure them to do what makes us comfortable. So these are very human immature behaviors like okay, I’ll be whatever you want, just love me, but you’ve betrayed yourself. You get to belong but you betray yourself, or do it my way you loser you know, that is, you know, yield to me. Or we just distance ourselves from relationships entirely. Of course, that’s another option. But that creates conflict because you either feel like you’re disappearing or others feel like they have to disappear in order to be with you. But as you grow in your ability to hold on to your sense of self, you’re not as dependent upon approval, and you’re more able to actually be clear about what you think. But you can also be flexible. So I think Jerry, what you’re speaking to is that it’s not about compromise. Okay, today I get to prevail, tomorrow you get to prevail. We’ll take turns who has to submit, you know. Where I think the more mature position is collaboration. If you think about people that are collaborating on a project, they may be bringing different perspectives, different strengths, and different abilities, and what defines the success is the ability to not make your ego the most important. You know, we’re doing it my way. You know, that’s not a good collaborator. It’s like let’s bring the best of our ideas to the table. Let’s think through it. Think about the problem we’re trying to address. And I can be flexible. I don’t need this project to revolve around me for me to feel okay. So I can contribute and participate out of the best in me while receiving the best in you. And we can work together to create something. Now there is the experience of cohesiveness or unity but it’s not about submission or more dominance. It’s about collaboration and operating together for the greater good.

Tammie: Yeah, I think that I’ve noticed that like at the beginning of a marriage relationship, you have to kind of find your place. Yeah, and then we help each other. Be strong in our strengths and are patient in our weaknesses. I just remember before marriage, I thought, as soon as I married then I have to become one with somebody. And what is that really mean? Does that mean I gotta like get rid of all of myself? And now I gotta be himself and ourselves, and what does that really look like? And that was just always a like thing that bothered me. 

Dr. Jennifer: Well, because a lot of women learn this idea that if you’re a good woman, you kind of fold into the man you know, you’re the rib you know, from a sort of religious frame. The good woman is quiet and kind of follows behind and is the support staff for the man. So the idea of oneness is terrifying because it’s like, well, you know, I maybe want to be married but I don’t want to lose myself. And, you know, again, this is often some of the difficulty in early marriage is how do I belong to myself and also be in this marriage? Where, you know, there’s a lot of things you can’t agree to disagree on. You either have sex or you don’t have sex. You paint the living room where you don’t you know, there’s like, so who’s going to prevail in this? So these are tensions that are very inherent to marriage that pressure us to grow.

Dr. Jerry: Yeah, one of my very favorite things that you’ve ever said is that marriage is a man not going to butcher the paraphrase but marriage is basically a people growing machine. I mean, there’s no relationship quite as perfect for pushing and pressuring, in a good way, our own self-development. 

Dr. Jennifer: Yeah, exactly. 

Dr. Jerry: This person sees all of this stuff, even if we’re self-deceived, which maybe we can talk about, you know, we might be blind to our own perceptions of ourselves. 

Dr. Jennifer: Plan on it. Yes, 

Dr. Jerry: I see this. I see a lot of people kind of maybe thinking that their motives are better than they really are. And then I also see a lot of people who have a self-concept that’s actually on the self-deprecating, impaired side, where they don’t really feel like they have any value or worth. And so both of those frames of deception are going to completely lock down this marriage from any more growth until that piece kind of gets resolved.

Dr. Jennifer: Yeah, no question. So yeah, you’re absolutely right. So the people growing machine is a David Schnarch line and yeah, marriage does pressure it because you’ve now taken in this person that matters so much to you and is so primary to your sense of self. Right you know, a friend lying to you hurts but a partner lying to you really hurts. That’s the Who am I that you could lie to me? Do you do I not matter to you? Right? I thought that I was your number one person in your life and how could you deceive me? Right, so the pressures of a marriage can really push on our sense of self, where someone at the office or you know, someone in a store that we run into, they just have minimal impact on our sense of who we are. And so those pressures really push us to, you know, I remember in early marriage, my husband would say something I didn’t like I didn’t like the idea that he had about me and I thought that my idea was more right than his. And so we’d be kind of in this struggle of like, who is right here and how are we going to resolve this? But you know, the only way forward was to deal with what’s true and what your partner’s saying about you even if you don’t want it to be true. 

Dr. Jerry: Don’t you also see a lot of people just not willing to have the conflict because conflict is bad. Don’t you know? Okay, we can’t have conflict. We’ve got to be always happy. So I’m just going to not bring it up. And a lot of people just fester for a few decades. 

Dr. Jennifer: Absolutely. And lots of people have the idea that if we’re happily married if we’re a good couple, we don’t fight. And so the marriage becomes dishonest and fragile, in the name of goodness. Now contempt and hostility and cruelty are destructive in a marriage, no question, but conflict is you know, your reality and my reality are abrading one another. There is a friction and if we’re going to create room for two of us here – if we’re going to make, you know, a home and a life and a reality in which we can both belong to ourselves and be with each other, we’ve got to collaborate around these differences. We’ve got to deal with these differences and you can as you say, Jerry, like say you’re the problem and you must change and sometimes your spouse is the problem. I mean, it is dealing with “How am I a part of this problem? What is my spouse saying that I know I need to deal with even though I can use their limitations to get away from mine? And that’s the thing that drives development in people and drives deeper, trustworthiness, deeper space for one another is when your spouse cleans up their limitations, you’re in a better marriage. You get to live in a space that feels better to be in and vice versa.

Dr. Jerry: But it’s so hard to be honest. 

Dr. Jennifer: Oh yeah. 100%

Dr. Jerry: I think sometimes out of trying to be kind, I will just not speak my truth. And I know Tammie is the same way. And so how much honesty Jennifer? Tell me.

Dr. Jennifer: Yeah, so being honest, is difficult. For a couple of reasons. One is when you need validation, which we all like and we really like the more undeveloped we are. It’s hard to be honest, hard to admit, you’re right about me. I do that. That was unfair of me. Because for the weak among us, that feels like a complete puncture of our sense of self. Because we need so much for people to see us as good for us to feel okay about ourselves so will deny and avoid and accuse and defend and get away from the very truth that we need to grow ourselves up. So it hurts to say, Okay, you’re right, that wasn’t decent of me. But that’s where all the freedom is because then you can start to deal with who you are and not be a house divided and in a self-deception. You can actually integrate more of who you are and have a deeper honest peace with yourself plus be a more trustworthy partner. Have your spouse trust you more. So we don’t like the puncture to our sense of self. It’s also hard to deal with conflict right? I mean, to be in the honesty of your spouse’s different view is just uncomfortable. A lot of us would rather just pretend we don’t have a difference and then go secretly do what we want on the side or, you know, avoid the conflict and then just resent and feel covertly superior or whatever, like we don’t necessarily want the work of dealing with the issue. And then the third reason, I think that these just come to mind immediately, but there are probably other reasons is sometimes we don’t like disappointing the other person we don’t like knowing that we aren’t who they want us to be. And so even though it’s honest, we want to avoid the disappointment in them, the exposure of how we’re different, and so we just do fake peace and fake unity. But really there are deeper divisions. They’re just below the surface.

Dr. Jerry: Everything that you try to repress, and suppress eventually just keep coming back. Right. You can’t push these ideas down forever. 

Dr. Jennifer: Yeah, the truth always gets ya. 

Dr. Jerry:  I always think of the visual of trying to hold down a beach ball under the water at the pool. You think you got it for a second but it has a little slip and it wants to come back up. 

Dr. Jennifer: So, I think that the truth is to the more we avoid things often the bigger that beach ball gets so the more we are just stepping away and stepping away, the issues we’re trying to deny, actually then start having more power over us. There’s some book I can’t remember what it’s called but the story of like this little baby dinosaur, but nobody will acknowledge it and so the dinosaur just keeps growing and growing and then taking over the house and then you know, breaking the house and you know as soon as they start to acknowledge it, you know, it gets back down to size. And psychologically we do that we think okay, just pretend it’s not there and it’ll go away, but actually, we’re giving it this covert power and it increases and it diffuses our ability to actually deal with it and undermines our ability to deal with it.

Dr. Jerry: So you just mentioned the word validation. And I think that you know, one of the dangers if you’re not developed and you’re enmeshed with other people and have this reflected sense of self to kind of use those terms is that we end up making decisions to extract validation from the people around us, right? Yes. Originally, I was thinking, “well gosh. Why would I want to be in a marriage where I didn’t get any validation? Like, I mean, “Why would I want to be in any relationship that didn’t make me feel relatively good about myself?” So what it’s not so much that validation is the problem? Yeah, exactly. The bending of my own integrity or my own honest truth in order to get it. 

Dr. Jennifer: That’s right. Yeah, a lot of people think I hate validation. Validation hater! So there’s no there’s nothing wrong with validation and then in any good marriage and romantic relationship. There’s a lot of validation, though, just to be clear, flowing back in Yeah, like, I appreciate you and I value and I’m grateful you’re in my life and in any really good marriage. There’s a lot of that, right? There really is. The issue is whether or not you make getting validation primary. Like I will not say what I really think because I don’t want the invalidation of him saying she disagrees with me or that he thinks my ideas are stupid, okay? Even if it is okay, that I don’t want to I don’t want that so I will hide aspects of myself so I can feel a kind of false approval, or I’m going to feel resentful about the validation I can’t get. So Dr. Schnarch, David Schnarch who did a lot of work using Murray Bowen’s theory, he said something like “the more we demand validation, the less likely we are to get it. And the less dependent we are on validation, the more likely we are to receive it.” So that is, as we run our lives by more integrity as we’re more able to be honest as we’re more able to collaborate as we’re more able to make our ego less important than what is the higher principle or the higher goal. You will get a lot of validation from people close to you, they know you, they’re grateful for you, and they trust you. They’ll say thank you so much for your willingness to just help out around this thing and not make it Yeah, just you trust those people because they don’t make their ego primary. And so they get a lot of validation and but they’re not demanding it. They don’t live to get it although it does come toward them.

Dr. Jerry: Everything that is created through force takes force to maintain. Everything brought about by right conditions the conditions continue to flow unto itself. Yeah, I don’t know who cool said that. I think I just made it up. But anyway, I liked that quote that I just made up. But I always think we’re talking in the realm of physical health as well, we have such an outside-in philosophy in the West, that we can somehow you know, give you a pill or something and you’ll be healthy. But, you know, our work is trying to help people actually create the context in their life where the natural expression, the wisdom, the innate intelligence of the body is going to express health because of the situation that you’re, you know, the lifestyle that you’re living. And so it’s almost the same concept that the answer is already inside of you. Once you’re clear on yourself. We show up as our best we’re working and developing all the time. And so we show up in a relationship and the environment now breeds growth for both of us.

Dr. Jennifer: That’s right, right. Yeah, it’s kind of like living by true principles. And I do love that about health. I think that you’re in the habit of a being that creates an ideal environment for health to be the reality. Of course, it doesn’t mean that something can’t go wrong and it doesn’t give you perfect control, but the more you align yourself with true principles, the more trustworthy you’ll be, and the more likely you are to love and be loved, you know, so the more likely that you will live in a joyful way. And it doesn’t preclude you from the suffering that’s inherent to living and the limitation that are inherent to living, but it gives you the best chance of being able to create joy within that reality.

Dr. Jerry: And really back to the study we talked about at the beginning of these. It was just the number one predictor.

Tammie: Yeah, it’s not like a bubble of joy and happiness. 

Dr. Jerry: They all suffer the same challenges every human being does but life was better. When they were addressing kind of these core things. 

Tammie: Because I feel like the more I know about myself and how I’ll react in a situation, the easier it is when something hard comes along. I have to deal with the trauma or the whatever happens, and I know that I can do it because I’ve done it before. And I know how I’ll react. 

Dr. Jennifer: Right, you kind of have a self-trust. It’s like you can’t control all the variables of other people or the things that just aren’t in your control but the deeper the self-trust the more you can tolerate what you can’t control because you are working with what you can.

Dr. Jerry: Yeah, and the healthier you show up to any one of those situations, the more you know you have in your reserve your take, so to speak. That’s gonna help you to heal. 

Dr. Jerry: So you know, tolerating things at and stress and pressure. Some people just really kind of want to run away from everything that’s difficult, but we have to have a fair amount of resilience and ability to face the challenge so that we can so we can grow. 

Before we’re before we wrap up here – thank you. This is so much fun to chat with you about this – We also talk about play energy and honestly when we kind of go through our seven habits of health sometimes we get to the last one, and it says Play Well, and people are like what? What is that even doing in there? But I find that we have to have… we might call it you know, creative energy or recreation or you know, whatever. But we have to have an element of this in our lives in order to be balanced and happy. And I hear you talk about this, even inside the marriage dynamic. You use a term called Eros energy which is kind of the same idea. It’s the drive the motivation of life that makes you kind of come alive. And it’s tied a lot to freedom and you know, openness. 

Dr. Jennifer: And belonging to one’s self. 

Dr. Jerry: Can you tie all those sorts of things together in some beautiful way for us Jennifer?

Dr. Jennifer: That’s a big project. So I do think play and sexual joy is very connected to this ability to have eros energy. This aliveness energy is the energy you feel when you dance. Or when you do some physical feat that is challenging but you feel so good at the end, when you are laughing together, when you’re doing something recreational that kind of fills you with life. You know, there’s like surviving, and then there’s thriving. And so it’s very much connected to thriving. And when we’re thriving or when we’re that eros energy, there’s a sense of transcendence that’s in it you kind of transcend the self. You kind of have, a kind of intimate, joyful connection with others. And when we’re just about work and we don’t have enough of those liminal experiences or kind of expansive experiences. Right, then we have a sense of you know, kind of losing something in ourselves. We don’t have that feeling of aliveness that a marriage needs that we ourselves need. When someone’s depressed, they don’t have that eros energy that’s a part of their day-to-day living, and it’s a very painful way to be. And a lot of people create marriages that have no eros energy in them, and I’m not even speaking about sex per se. They don’t have that sense of playfulness and aliveness and sort of in the joyful embracing of life as imperfect as it might be, to really feel gratitude and joy in the every day. And so when they don’t have it in the marriage and it’s full of resentment and anger for the validation you can’t get, people are vulnerable to going and trying to find it cheaply elsewhere, right? And looking for that sense of spark or aliveness outside of the marriage. So the more that we’re able, when I talked about in the beginning that we want to belong to others and we want to blind to ourselves, the more that there can be room for that spark that aliveness that playfulness, it’s very connected to being able to achieve both. Then I can belong to me. I can grow and be in this marriage. I can expand myself and find joy in it, find playfulness and freedom, and be with you. I mean, so you know, I think that idea of freedom is like I can be with you and be true to myself. That’s the spark. That’s the playfulness. I don’t have to pretend anything or contort myself to keep you happy with me. I can really play with you which is the kind of freedom and connection. And when couples are happiest in their marriages, they have that in their marriage and they have it in their intimate relationship. And that has less to do with frequency or position of the body or anything. It’s the kind of energy that’s in the marriage and in the sexual connection. And it’s very, very much connected to joy and thriving.

Dr. Jerry: I mean, you nailed it. I think some people are looking for cheap sources of variety and novelty but once again it’s when it’s just a byproduct of what’s happening, as the two people are kind of coming together and having enough space. I always think about kind of a dance, where we kind of come together you connect, then you go your separate ways. You go take on the problems in the world, and then you come back together and there’s this kind of this in and out but this is like what sex is all about. It’s like coming together and going, okay. And that happens on the micro and happens kind of in the macro. 

Dr. Jennifer: And that’s what happens even with the infant and the mother. There’s this research that John Bowlby did on attachment and so on. They also did research on the fact that the babies would, if the mother was looking adoringly, after a while the baby would start to pull away and the in-tune mother would also give the baby their space, they would turn away and give, so that’s that same thing. We want connection with each other, but we want to belong to ourselves. And so how do we create that dance and manage that tension? Well, some people are like, their spouse belonging to themselves feels like an abandonment and they panic. Right? And so they can be obsessive and controlling. How do couples learn how to self-regulate enough to be in that dance in a way that allows two to thrive?

Dr. Jerry: The famous philosopher, Khalil Gibran, I don’t know if you’ve read any of his essays.

I was given the book called The Prophet by a friend of mine really early on in our marriage. And there’s an amazing essay called “On Marriage”. He talks specifically about this space. There are two great metaphors that he uses. One is the columns of a building. Yeah, you know, hold up the structure of the building. If you put the columns too close to one another, it actually weakens the structure, there needs to be space in between. So this idea of unity is the unity of purpose, of what we’re trying to create together. It doesn’t mean enfolding in and I guess the other metaphor is, you know, like the strings on an instrument. If there’s no space in between you can’t resonate. Yeah. So this spacing of the vibration of each one of those strings kind of plays off and creates that harmony. Once again, these ideas on the surface might seem like they’re in opposition to each other, but there really is a way to harmonize these things if you kind of think about them in a more developed way. Yeah. 

Well, anyway, Jennifer, thank you so much. 

Tammie: Yeah, it’s been fun to listen to you two. 

Dr. Jerry: This is our marriage, by the way. 

Tammie: I am the listener and I like to soak it in and then think about it really long and then we have really different conversations together. 

Dr. Jennifer: That’s great. My husband is a listener too. That’s why he is not on any podcasts.

Dr. Jerry: Yes, I talk and Tammie feels everything. She’s very empathic. Everything has a feeling and she’s just dialed into everything that’s going on. 

Tammie: So this has felt really good.

Dr. Jerry: So let’s tell all of our audience how they can learn more about your work, and get some more of this information. What is the best way to connect with you? 

Dr. Jennifer: Sure, the best way probably is my website which is my last name, so And on there are the online courses that I teach, and I also have a podcast called Room for Two where I’m working with real couples. I mean, their voices are distorted and they are anonymous, but I’m working with them on real relationship challenges that are around this tension. How do I belong to myself and belong to you? How is that impacting our marriage? How is it impacting our sexual relationship? So it’s, very educational of being able to listen to other people’s experiences and to see yourself and or your marriage and so that podcast is there. And then just my Conversations with Dr. Jennifer, which has conversations like this, that’s a free podcast is there also. 

Tammie: And I can just give reviews. We’ve done your courses, the individual ones and the couple’s ones, and we listened to the Room for Two podcasts. It’s very enlightening and it gives us some good things to talk about and think about. To the point where sometimes we’re like, I don’t know who I am anymore. Very good and insightful. 

Dr. Jerry: Sometimes, sometimes it’s a lot right to listen to other people’s challenges and try to figure out how to help them and we do that on our level. But you’re a master at the work you do. So it’s amazing to listen to you work with people. So I think that it’s money well spent. If everybody listing goes to your website, you’ve got hundreds of hours of amazing interviews, but the real magic happens when you get the courses and you start really working through and doing the hard work to create that environment in your relationships, your relationship with the parts of yourself, your relationship with your spouse if you’re married, but the family members I mean, it’s all about, you know, your connection to everybody else, but that comes out of out of yourself.

Well, I’ll tell you this has been a highlight of, our podcasting career. We’re super grateful for you and your time. So thanks again, Jennifer. I look forward to the next time we get to run into each other somewhere soon. 

Dr. Jennifer: Great. Good. Thanks so much. It’s been really nice to be with both of you. 

Dr. Jerry: All right, everybody. Until next time, go out there and do something good in the world today. 


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