how our polyamorous clients build thriving relationships

Gratitude In Your Relationships

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You hear a LOT about gratitude this time of year.

How important it is. How it makes you happier and more fulfilled. How to practice it.

So in that spirit, we have a question for you:

Are you grateful for your relationships? 

If you’re like most people, you automatically answered “yes!”

But is that genuine?

Do you truly appreciate your partner(s)? Are you grateful for the ways in which they make your life better? Or have you fallen into the habit of taking your relationships for granted?

Let’s talk about why gratitude is so important in your relationships, and how to give your partners the recognition and priority they deserve.


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Josh 0:00
All right, everybody. So with it being the holidays, we wanted to take today's episode and talk about gratitude. Like, what is gratitude? What does being grateful for your relationships really look like? And why is that so important, not just to your happiness, but also to the health of your relationships. So that's what we're going to cover today. And stay tuned.

Cassie 0:40
Here at Touch of Flavor. We teach non monogamous folks how to overcome their obstacles and build thriving relationships.

Josh 0:46
This podcast is about answering one question, how do you create loving, passionate, secure relationships outside the box? Even if nothing has ever worked before? If you want to know the answer, you're in the right place.

Cassie 0:59
All of this information is 100% free. So please subscribe to and review our podcast.

Josh 1:09
All right, that beat on the new intro still makes me happy. So yeah, so um, just before we hop in, folks, you may notice we're sitting back side by side, we had a lot of fun experimenting over the last little bit with different ways to shoot things. And I think eventually what we're going to do is what you saw last episode, which is with us facing each other. But after experimenting with that, it's going to require some different equipment than we currently have to do it right. So look for that may be coming into the new year where we'll transition, probably the show format to be where we're facing each other and you're looking at both of us kind of straight on like you did last episode. So we're excited about that. But we want to make sure that it's we're doing it right. And that's going to involve some different equipment.

Cassie 1:52
I had a little bit of a laggy lag.

Josh 1:54
Yeah, you had a little bit of laggy lag. And that's kind of what happens every time we try that. But today, we wanted to talk about gratitude and your relationships because it's the holidays, right? And depending on what holidays you celebrate, Thanksgiving just passed, right. Lots of other holidays are coming up. And Cassie and I were doing a lot of thinking on this idea of gratitude. And I wore this shirt by accident. It was funny, Cassie and I were just joking about this as we started to record. My grateful shirt. But just really talking about this idea of gratitude. You know, it's something that is so important. And it's something that is so vital to our happiness, to our fulfillment to the health of our relationships to our partners happiness. And yet, it's something that we so often don't think about. And this time of the year, we're talking about gratitude, an awful lot. But we're so often doing that with no real concept of what that actually means or what that actually looks like in our relationships. So we figured that, with it being the holidays, this was a perfect time to talk about this.

Cassie 3:04
Yeah. And it's not that most folks don't want to be in gratitude, right? Like, we think about this time of year. And we're like, oh, we're supposed to be thankful we send thankful cards, we might even gather around the family table and spit out a few things that we've been thankful for this year. Right? And it's funny, because it's almost like this time of year tells us to practice gratitude, but we're not actually necessarily in it. And there's a big difference between those two things between being in gratitude, and doing like a practice of gratitude.

Josh 3:40
Yeah, and you know, it's so interesting, because like Cassie said, I mean, especially if Thanksgiving is a holiday that you celebrate in whatever way you celebrate it, right. But you know, so many people, they have traditions of like going around and saying what they're grateful for or, I mean, it's really kind of being thankful, being grateful, it's really kind of the whole vibe. And yet, you know, I want you to think for a minute, like when you're you're in those things, and when you're talking and I'm pretty sure probably everybody's had some kind of conversation around this time of year of what they're grateful for, with somebody, whether it was in a formal setting or not. And when you're thinking about that, right, and you're thinking about when you're sitting down, and you're having those conversations, like when you were talking about being grateful for your relationships, for the people in your life. You know, I'm curious for you, was that something where you really, truly, deeply felt that gratitude? Or was it kind of paying lip service? Because it's the socially acceptable thing to do. Right.

Josh 4:45
And I think too often, it's the latter. It's something that we do and we pay lip service to and we say the things we're supposed to say, because this is the time of year where we're supposed to say them. So we talk about being for our relationship, we talk about being grateful for our partners. Right. But we don't really recognize what gratitude is, right.

Josh 5:13
And there's kind of two two really important pieces to gratitude, when you're talking about it, and there's actually been a lot of research, a lot of studies on gratitude. It's so interesting. I didn't realize that until we were putting together a lesson for our clients recently on gratitude, where we did a really deep dive.

Josh 5:32
But there's kind of two components that when researchers look of gratitude that they look at, right, and the first is the understanding that there are whether you want to call them blessings, or gifts, or whatever, there are good things in our lives, there are things and people and events, and things that add joy, and fulfillment, and happiness to our lives and make our lives better. Alright, so the first piece is recognize that there are those things like the way I usually phrase it, there are these gifts that we have received, right, that add to our lives. And then the second piece is recognizing that those gifts, at least a good chunk of those gifts, right, are things that we've been given, like they come from outside of us, outside of our actions, outside of our control. Now, this doesn't require being religious, I mean, it can, that can be one way to look at this, right. But it can also just be to recognize that the people in our lives, give us things that are kind of outside of what we have taken any action for or life sometimes gives us things and circumstances, right, that we don't really have control over. But that add enormous happiness and fulfillment to our lives.

Cassie 7:02
Yeah, I was gonna say, you know, for those who aren't religious, like, I'm not particularly a religious person. I'm somewhat spiritual, but definitely not religious. I definitely see people in my life giving me gifts, right? Like, my partners giving me the gift of their time, or the ways that they interact, the activities, things like that, like, those are things that I would not get on my own. Like, the sexy time that we have, I would not have that on my own.

Josh 7:02
I mean, you have some sexy time on your own.

Cassie 7:36
I have some sexy time on my own. But not-

Josh 7:42
It's not the same thing.

Cassie 7:42
it's not the same kind of sexy time, right? So like, these are things that without that other human being, the people that we love, we would not have in our lives. And I think that's like a really important factor of what you're just saying. Is that without those relationships, those people, those connections, we wouldn't have those things.

Josh 8:06
And gratitude is really important. I'm just gonna spend one second talk about why it's important in our lives. And then I want to more talk about our relationships, because that's really what we want to focus on, right. But gratitude is super important, because in life in general, because the fact of the matter is, is that anything that we have, we get used to, we take for granted, we're going to talk about this in a second with our relationships, right? And that state of being grateful, is really where the happiness comes from. It doesn't come from so much having some of the things that once you get things to a certain level, like your life to a certain place your relationship to a certain place, right?

Josh 8:45
The Happiness doesn't come from having the things, right, it comes from being grateful for what it is that you have. And the flip side of that is that when you don't take the time to be grateful for what you have, it doesn't matter what you have, right, you'll never be happy with it. I had the experience myself a while back where you know, so like us moving in this direction, right and doing this and helping people full time. For me, that was like a 10 year goal, a 10 year dream, right.

Josh 9:17
Cassie did this full time for a long time. But to get to a point where we're helping enough people and having enough of an impact that I could come do this full time with her that was like a 10 year thing. Right? And, you know, we did that and I made the switch. And we were a few weeks in. And I had this morning where I was all stressed out and I was all upset and I had this recognition that like holy hell like I have achieved this thing that I've been trying to achieve for so long. And here I am not appreciating it at all. Like if I'm not going to appreciate it, why do it? Like what's the point, like, I'm happy. Like you are where you're at? Right? So gratitude is super important to having a good life in general. Right? But we want to spend the rest of this episode. I know Cassie is probably like, oh god, Josh went on tangent, again, we want to spend the rest of the episode though talking about why it's so important in the context of your relationships.

Cassie 10:10
Yeah, because you just kind of like started from the place thats most important is we don't want to get to a place where we are ungrateful for what we have, or we're not showing that appreciation. Right?

Josh 10:23
And I would add, and I think this is where we see this happen in our lives most of the time, right in our relationships. Because when we talk about ungrateful, you know, I think so many of us do that, right. We go, Well, we're grateful, or we're ungrateful. But I think ungrateful, it's kind of like a hard thing to put a pin in. What I think it really looks like for people is that the opposite of being grateful for something is taking it for granted. And this is where I think most of us spend 90% of our time in our relationships. We have the people around, and you know, you have those first few months of NRE, where things are awesome, and hot, and sexy, and fun, and amazing.

Josh 10:48
New. And lot's of new.

Josh 11:03
And new. But then, as time goes on, what starts happening is we start taking our partners and taking our relationships for granted. And that, right there is what the opposite of gratitude looks like in our relationships.

Cassie 11:27
Yeah. And if you're sitting there feeling like a little called out, right, what I want to say- we're talking to you - no. Is that it is something that if we are not very careful, we all naturally do. Right? This is the natural direction that we go. Is we go to a place of this thing is no longer new, or,

Josh 11:53
It's not special.

Cassie 11:54
It's not special. And then we start to not recognize it for the greatness that it is. For the amazing thing that it is because we have it, we've been having it, it's been around. So if you're feeling a little called out, I just want to put it in the space that like this is something that happens for all of us if we're not really, really careful.

Josh 12:19
Yeah, we've all been here, right? Like all of us, I've been here, you've been here. I mean, a big part of our story, for those of you that know it, right, was that like most people, we got to a point where we're taking our relationship for granted for a very long time, and stuff really fell apart, before we started doing the work to, to repair things. Right. And so, you know, I'd ask you to ask yourself, and you know, Cassie saying calling out, but I'll, I'll do it just a little more. Right?

Josh 12:46
You know, I'd ask you, if you're watching this or listening to this, to ask yourself right now. And especially for partners that you've been in a relationship with longer, right, or you're more entwined with, or they have become more a part of your everyday life. You know, I'd ask you to ask yourself, like, is that relationship something that you are really, truly grateful for? Or is it something that you're taking for granted? Like, does it just feel normal to you, instead of special? Do you just expect it to be there? Do you prioritize other things over, or other relationships, maybe even, over the people in relationships that have been there a long time. Because that's no longer something that's special. It's just there, and it's a part of life and you've got all these other things that you want to focus on. And at the end of the day, and here's the thing, right? We're talking about gratitude, and we're talking about taking our relationships for granted. And, you know, gratitude is really a feeling. But taking our relationships for granted. It's something that you can see not just in how you feel about your relationships, but also in the actions that you take day to day. What are some other signs Cassie that people like, can look and be like, Man, I'm really kind of taking my relationships for granted.

Cassie 14:48
Rescheduling or putting off or not following through with time that you have with your partner. So like, yeah, sure you don't have to go on date night tonight. Or oh, You know, we had some sexy time on the calendar, and eh- we're just gonna go watch a movie, or I'm just going to go stay at work for an hour longer. That's a big one, if you start noticing that those things that like, in earlier times of your relationship, you would have been like, I'm getting off work, so I can go have sexy time, right? There's a difference. Another thing is, is when you start to let your partner sort of slide, too. Meaning, like when your partner brings up things, and is like, I'm busy or this, that, and the other, you make it like not a big deal to miss out on things. So it's, it's either you forgetting it, or really not like even holding your partner. And I think granted, like life does get busy, we have things but if it matters that much you like bringing up, hey, you know, I want that time. Or, Hey, we really do need to reschedule things. Or, Hey, like, is this something that really has to happen right now? Anything else you want to add in there?

Josh 16:03
Yeah, you know, I was just thinking. Another big thing is when we see challenges, or obstacles, or problems in the relationship, we put off dealing with them, because other things are more important, right? It's the settling. So, you know, like you are in a spot where you recognize that the intimacy isn't what it needs to be, or you're arguing, or you know, your relationships becomes stressful. Or that connection that you two used to have just isn't there and you're moving more and more towards feeling like roommates and losing the love and the passion of the things that make this relationship special.

Josh 16:46
Or even, I mean, sometimes you know, I'm talking about it ignoring more of the smaller things, but sometimes it's the bigger things, sometimes it's the relationships unstable, sometimes you don't know if the relationships gonna last. Like it's on the rocks, people are talking about leaving, you're thinking about leaving, you're starting to think about what life would look like, without your partner, you're seeing all these red flags, and whatever, however big or small, those problems are, right, you don't work on them. Not because you think it's hopeless or whatever, but because really, you've got so much other stuff going on.

Josh 17:20
And you know, you'll get to this when you get to it, or I mean, it's not great, but that's, you know, that's fine. Or, you know, your partner will just stick around, no matter how bad it gets, or whatever. That's another way of taking things for granted. And here's the problem, folks, there's a couple problems when it comes to taking our relationships for granted. And I'm kind of sketching these out in my head. The first, okay, so let me just sketch them out. And then you can help me with us going through them. One is that there's an assumption that relationship will always be there. Two it does... You know, like you, you lose a lot of what makes a relationship special. And then third, is that it just doesn't feel good for you or feeling good for your partners. Okay. But the first piece is, like I said, like, you know, taking our relationship for granted, is based off an assumption that our relationships are always going to be there. And that's not the case. And that's not the case in a couple of ways. Go ahead.

Cassie 18:37
Alright, so I'm going to be dark for a second, if that's all right with you. Your relationships will not always be here, like period. Like, that is just a fact of life. There will come a point when one of you is not here. So I'm going to take it to a dark spot for a second. But do you really want to spend that time that you have with your partner, in a way where you're full of gratitude and you're happy and you're satisfied? Or not? And there will there will always be a point where that relationship will not be on this plain at least.

Josh 19:14
Yeah, so let's just start with the assumption that no matter how, how much you neglect your relationships, they will always be there, like no one will ever leave, which is we'll talk about that in a second. But let's just start and say that assumption is true. Right? Let's say you really, truly believe that no matter how much you neglect your relationship, it'll always be here. Okay, fine. But here's the problem, though. We're all on a clock. Right? You know, one interesting pattern that we'll see a lot of times in people who, you know, especially if maybe you're a little younger, and people who decide to stop taking their relationships for granted is you'll see people who've had some kind of a life event that has reminded them that their relationships won't be there. We're all on a clock. All of our relationships are on a clock. But the other piece of that is that clock- we never know how long that clock has. Right? Again, those of you who know our story, kind of the turning point for us deciding to put things first was Cassie was in a really serious car accident. And that was kinda like the first turning point. And then years later, there was another really serious health problem, both of which very easily could have been the end of this relationship.

Josh 20:32
So, number one, recognize that your relationship, you never have an unlimited amount of time with the people that you love. Right? You know, and reflecting on that, sometimes can be really helpful. Like taking just a brief moment, right to reflect on what would life be like, if tomorrow, something did happen, and your partner wasn't in your life. And I know that that feels very depressing in the moment, trust me, it's very depressing for everybody. But those little moments of discomfort are really some of the things that make you grateful for what you have now.

Josh 21:30
One practice that I do sometimes when I'm having a hard time remembering what's important in life is I will go to graveyards and like walk or meditate. Because that brings it to you real quick on what's really important and what's not. So it's really important to remember, and I know, this can be really easy to lose sight of sometimes. But, we take our relationships for granted, because we just have this feeling that they're always going to be there. But we know that's not true. And I'd also ask you to remember that not only is that not true, but we never know how much of that time we actually have with the people that we love.

Josh 22:12
And here's the other piece of that, which is you can't neglect a relationship forever. And expect it to continue. You know, for people who are married, the divorce rate in America is 50% for first marriages, and then it goes up higher, I think it's what like 60% per second 75% or third, something like that. And that's marriages, those are people who are super entwined. And that's without throwing non monogamy on top of it. Right? People cannot stand being neglected in their relationships forever. They can't stand having the problems in the relationship ignored, forever. And so often, that breaking point sneaks up on people. Right?

Josh 23:01
We see this all the time, where people it's not that the problems develop overnight, the problems are there. But people keep ignoring them, ignoring them, ignoring them, and the "I can't do this anymore" comes overnight from somebody. Right? So part of the problem with taking relationships for granted that they will not last forever, and they will never last forever. But they expecially will not last forever, if you aren't giving them the time, and attention and the care to the problems that they deserve. And like I said, I would really encourage all of you. This is a very stoic practice, right? But just to just to take a moment every so often, I mean, do it while you're sitting here. And just to reflect on for whatever reason, your partner isn't there, something does happen to them. They do leave. Like, what does life really look like with them gone? And just take, and it isn't something you do for a long period of time, just take five seconds, 10 seconds there. Right, this is a it's a super powerful tool to override that getting used to things. It's called hedonistic adaptation is a technical term for that getting used to the good things in our lives that we have.

Josh 24:17
It's reflecting what life would be like without them. And you can do that for anything in your life. And you can do it with your relationships, and that is super powerful. Okay, so what did I say the second thing was? Do you have anything else you would add to that?

Cassie 24:31
Oh, no, I think you've covered everything that I was going to say. An the only other thing that I would add in is, you know, for that person, who isn't the one who's like "I finally had enough". A lot of times that comes as a shock. Because it was like, Oh, I thought I had more time. We would get to this at some point. I didn't realize my partner was at that place. And we talk to folks all the time, and that's what happens. So recognize If you're sitting there and you're like, I've been putting things on the backburner, or I've been putting things off, your partner might be further along that train of not being okay and giving up than you think they are. So that was the only other thing I wanted to add in there.

Josh 25:15
Okay. Do you remember what the other two things I said were?

Cassie 25:18

Josh 25:18
Okay. So I think the second thing had to do with just how important appreciating our relationships are to our overall enjoyment of life.

Cassie 25:36

Josh 25:37
I know people in the comments are going to be like, that's not the second thing you said. Get over it. Okay.

Cassie 25:44
We didn't write it down.

Josh 25:45
Yeah. So here's the thing. And this is really important. And this is one of the things and this is where, you know, people, all of us taking relationships for granted becomes such an interesting thing. Right, is our relationships are the most important things in our lives, which makes it so wild, that so often we put them as the last priority, and we take them for granted. Right? And I'm not like, this isn't some Touch of Flavor, like, worldview. I mean, it is, that is, obviously as an organization, one of our core beliefs is that our relationships are the most important things in our lives. It's why we do what we do. But I'm not just talking about what we believe here, what Cassie and I believe, right?

Josh 26:36
I'm talking about science, the most in depth studies that have been done on human happiness and human well being. Right? Our relationships, the quality of the relationships that we have. When you look at people, and you look at their happiness, look at their well being. So Harvard did a 75 year study of human happiness, right? It is the single longest running study on human wellbeing in history. And they followed people from basically birth, or early school age, I don't remember one of the two, up to death. Right? And what they found is that for people, what determines how good your life is, what determines how happy and healthy and fulfilled you are. It isn't wealth, it isn't even health. Right? It isn't accomplishments, it is the quality of your relationships.

Cassie 27:43
Yeah, and this is like, across all boards, like your class, like, you know, your social status, things like that. It is your relationships.

Josh 27:58
Yeah, this was a study across the board, right. And I'm ad libbing the quote, right. But the doctor who was running the study, when it concluded, obviously, there was, you know, more than one person running it along the way, because it was so long. You know, he says, what makes a good life, like when you're looking at it, right, and you're looking at people at the end of their life and how satisfied they are and how happy they are with their lives. The biggest indicator of people's happiness, it wasn't their wealth, it wasn't their health, it wasn't their cholesterol. It wasn't anything except the relationships that they had. That is the single biggest driver in your happiness, and your fulfillment, and what makes a good life. Right. And obviously, our romantic relationships and our family relationships, which are so closely entwined, because the quality of the relationship that Cassie and I has is obviously going to bleed into the quality of our relationship with our kids. Any parent knows this, right? Those are our closest relationships. Those are hugely indicative, right? And so important to what leads us to be happy and fulfilled in life. And this is something that all of you instinctively know if you look at it, do you want to tell the comparison we draw for ourselves a lot of times when we first got together versus later on?

Cassie 29:34
I'm not sure which comparison.

Josh 29:35
Well, I'll do it. So when Cassie and I first got together, right, this is this is kind of how we looked at this for ourselves. We were-

Cassie 29:44
Oh that comparison.

Josh 29:45
Yeah, go ahead.

Cassie 29:46
Gotcha. Gotcha. So you're talking about like when we first got together being like, dirt broke.

Josh 29:52

Cassie 29:52
And like okay, so I was like, which comparison there's a couple comparisons we do. So like when we first got together, like we were dirt broke, like, seriously. We were sharing an apartment with one of our mutual friends, we had a bedroom in the basement that was cut off with sheets to keep us away from the washer and dryers so that people could come down and do their laundry. And just life was like such a struggle, you know, money wise, like, living with our roommate wise, like.

Cassie 30:25
And like, our big one now who's like an adult, he was like, super tiny and trying to like... raise a toddler during that time. But our connection and how we fell in our happiness was like, through the roof, right? Like we had all this chaos going on, and all these struggles, and we felt so happy together. And then fast forward a couple of years, you know, we were talking about the point where we like, were taking our relationship for granted. We had a home, right? We had our own home, our kid was older. Finances were better.

Josh 31:09
I had a pretty secure job.

Cassie 31:10
You had a secure job.

Josh 31:11
We had great health insurance.

Cassie 31:12
We did. We had awesome health insurance.

Josh 31:14
As opposed to before, where it was like, I can't afford to go to the doctor's today. I've got to work.

Cassie 31:19
Yeah, there was a point where like, you know, we were so poor that like you were you were working to try to pay for your antibiotics. Like, that's the comparison, right? Good, secure job. And we were miserable. Like, we were unhappy, we were miserable. We I mean, I'll speak for myself, I was at a place where I was hurt and angry around you all the time. And I didn't even like myself. Like I had lost all the gratitude and appreciation for the relationship that I have. And it's because I wasn't making it a priority. And it wasn't because I wasn't in a place where- it wasn't that I didn't love you. It was just that wasn't where we were at. And it's just so funny to think about how we can be in a place where there's chaos, and be fully in love. Or be in a place where we are totally, like, set up in a better way, you know, secure jobs, health insurance, etc, etc.

Josh 32:28
All the markers.

Cassie 32:29
The markers, that's what I was trying to say, right, those markers of like what you're supposed to have to be successful and happy and not be.

Josh 32:39
And don't get me wrong, it wasn't that the other things weren't a struggle, they absolutely were, but you know, and I've talked to so many people who have been in the same boat. Because this is an experience a lot of people have is it's the one of the cycles of life. Right is you know, they have great relationships at a point in their life where the rest of their life is in chaos. And then you know, as they're together over time, the rest of their life tends to get more stable in their relationships and get more neglect, and they find themselves unhappier in a lot of ways. And it isn't to say, obviously, that those other things aren't struggles and difficult like they are and they work, right.

Josh 33:16
But the point that I'm making is that overall, right, the quality of your relationships is going to be the biggest contributor to your happiness, right? When you're in tough situations, the having good relationships are going to give you the support, and the stability, right. And just the happiness in areas you can have happiness, help you overcome the challenges, when things are great, your relationships are going to add to them and create memories and happiness and all of those things. So it's so interesting, because we take our relationship for granted so much. But, you know, it is this really interesting cycle where when we're not grateful for our relationships, we take them for granted. We don't take the actions that we need to keep them happy and healthy and thriving. Right? And they get bad, and then we're unhappy, and we're unfulfilled. And now it's hard to be grateful, right?

Josh 33:22
Whereas when we're appreciative of our relationships, we're not taking them for granted. We understand the wonderful things that they are, we appreciate the people in our lives, the amazing gifts that they give us, them as people, right? Then we put the priority on our relationship they deserve. We build them up, they're happier, they're healthier, we're having more fun or creating more memories. And all of a sudden we have a lot more to be grateful for in whatever set of circumstances we find ourselves in.

Josh 34:49
So the second piece of why I think it's important to make sure we're not taking our relationship for granted because when you do that, you're setting yourself up in a position where no matter what else is going right in your life, that you're going to be unhappy and unfulfilled, and all of you who have been in a spot in your lives, and I think most of us have at some point, where everything in life would seem to be going good, but your relationships were bad, know what I'm talking about. Right?

Josh 35:18
And then the last piece is that, it's kind of tied in, but when you're taking your relationships for granted, and you're not appreciating the people in your life, you're setting them up to be unhappy.

Cassie 35:37
Yeah, because you're not going and doing the things that you otherwise would. Right, you're not showing up as the partner that you otherwise would, when you do appreciate them. And we can, and let's be honest, we can all feel when our partners don't have gratitude for us, we can we can feel when our partners are not there.

Josh 36:01
When they're taking us for granted.

Cassie 36:02
Yeah. And it shows up in the actions and in the ways that we interact and our patience. We talked about those two times of our lives of like, you know, the struggles that are there versus like the struggles that weren't. Well, when we have challenges, and we are showing up in that place of being grateful for our relationships, and we're appreciating things and not taking them for granted. Things kind of like roll off our back a little better. But when we're not, well, little arguments turn into bigger arguments turn into bigger conflict.

Josh 36:46
Everybody can feel when they're being taken for granted in a relationship, I think that's one thing. You know, we talk all the time about how all the amazing things about non monogamy and also the places that non monogamy can cause additional challenges. I think one of the big places a non monogamy causes additional challenges for people is it takes a magnifying glass to the place that we feel being taken for granted. Right?

Josh 37:12
When I feel like I've been being taken for granted for years, right, my needs have been taken for granted, I've been taken for granted, my contributions have been taken for granted. And now all of a sudden, Cassie has another partner who has that newness who has that priority, who you know, is not being taken for granted, that really puts a magnifying glass on what's going on here. That's where you get jealousy, and insecurity. And even more so just a growing unwillingness to tolerate where I'm at. Right and what I'm missing. And that's where you get a lot of relationship problems.

Josh 37:56
So what I'd say is, you know, when you're talking about gratitude, and being grateful, and not taking relationships for granted, and giving them the priority that they deserve. It isn't just about you and your happiness, it's about our partners need to be appreciated and seen and loved and supported for them to be happy and healthy in the relationship, right. And when they're not, again, we get in this feedback loop of Well, I'm not feeling those things, now I'm unhappy. So now the relationship is getting worse. And now you have even less to be grateful for, so you're taking the relationship even more for granted. So you're putting even less energy, you know, and all these things play out in these cycles.

Josh 38:56
But those are really what I'd say at the end of the day, right are kind of those three things. The three biggest problems with not being grateful with taking your relationships for granted is number one, it assumes that you've got all the time in the world when you don't. And a lot of times you have a lot less than you think for whatever reason or another right. Two, it sets you up to be in a place where you just are unhappy and unfulfilled in life, no matter what else is going on. And three, it it sets our partners up to be unhappy and unfulfilled and just to perpetuate that cycle of now the relationship is getting more and more neglected and more and more taken for granted on both sides and everybody's being less happy and less fulfilled and less living at their potential as they go because let's be honest here, right?

Josh 39:54
When your relationships are suffering, even those other places that you're trying to focus on in life, you're not showing up to those things in your potential, and you are not being as successful or as happy, or as fulfilled, even in those other things as you could be.

Josh 40:16
Our relationships are the most important things in our lives. And I would just ask you, going into the end of this year, looking back on this last year, looking back at this time, these holidays, where we're spending a lot of time around family where we're supposed to be focusing on gratitude. Right? Have you really, truly been grateful for and recognizing the value of your relationships? Or have you been giving it kind of lip service and taking them for granted?

Josh 40:46
And it's a spectrum. Right? I think most of us are way more on the taking it for granted side than not. And this is the other thing that I'd encourage you to do. Okay, so this is really important, right? I'm going to get you out of the lip service thing here. I want you to ask yourself a secondary question. When you're asking yourself, like, have I been grateful for my relationships? Or have I been taking them for granted? I want you to ask yourselves, to look at the actions that you take and the things you prioritize and ask yourself, is that really congruent? Like you may be saying, and thinking that you are grateful for your relationships, and that you are not taking them for granted, you're giving them the attention they deserve. But when you look at the decisions that you make on a day to day basis, and the choices that you make on a day to day basis, what you prioritize, what you ignore, what you settle for, where you don't solve problems? Are your actions really congruent wiith being grateful for your relationships?

Josh 41:53
Or are they more congruent with taking your relationship granted, and that might be a hard look in the mirror. Because our relationship being a priority or being grateful for our relationships, it's one of those things that societally people talk about, and expect, and we talk about all the time, and it's just kind of like, our natural reflex is like, Oh, of course I do. But so many of us, the reality, the actions that we take, don't line up. And what's that for you? And you know, and I'd say, if you look at that, right, and you're recognizing that you're not. And you are taking relationships for granted, more than you should be? Well, then, how are you going to change that here going through the holidays? And going into 2022? And what are some ways people can start changing that Cassie?

Cassie 42:54
Well, the first and easiest is in the decisions that you're making, right? Reassigning the places and the choices that you're making. The next is, if there are things that you have been waiting on or putting off, that you start making the time and the space and giving the priority to doing those things.

Josh 43:23
Yeah, I mean, cuz here's the thing, folks, like, there's a lot of practices like, you go right now, and you Google, like gratitude practices. There's a lot I could sit here, I could give you a whole list. Right. You know, we could talk about journaling, we could talk about gratitude letters, we could talk about, you know, I talked to before about that idea of picturing what life would be like without and that may be called, you know, negative visual visualization or subtraction or whatever. There's all these strategies.

Josh 43:49
But really, at the end of the day, right. I want to take you, because that's, that's the easy answer. And it is, in some ways, the least impactful one. I want to take you off that answer. And I want you to ask yourself, Okay, like, do those things fine. Like I said, I really encourage you to spend a couple minutes doing that subtraction, right? Or a couple seconds, every so often. But then I want you to ask yourself. Great, What are the actions that I'm going to take to stop taking my relationships for granted? And to make them a priority? Because you can sit here and do all this mental work in your head all day, and I'm a huge fan of it. But at the end of the day, just doing that isn't going to change your relationship? What are the actions that you're going to take? What are the decisions that you're going to start making differently? Where are you going to start putting your relationships in terms of priority and time and attention and the amount of energy you invest in them, and the decisions that you make when you're caught between choosing between the people in your lives and choosing something else.

Josh 45:08
What are you going to do differently on an action level on a decision level, on the day to day basis, to actually stop taking your relationship for granted and actually build it up and actually make them a priority, and to actually start making a change? And not just saying that you're grateful for them, but showing that you're grateful for your relationship and showing how important they are to you? And really treating them that way? What are the problems that you're no longer going to tolerate? What is the effort that you're going to put in to improving things versus the effort that you put into everything else in your life, improving your job, fixing your house, getting in better shape, you know, all those things?

Josh 46:05
What are you actually going to do differently, because at this kind of level that we're talking about, there is a feeling of gratitude that I do want you to have, right? But the thing that's really going to be enormously impactful going into 2022, on you having better relationships, and you being happier and more fulfilled, and the people in your relationships, your partner's being happier and more fulfilled. Right? It isn't the couple of seconds or a couple of minutes that you spend on feeling more grateful, it's the actions that you're going to take to stop taking your relationships for granted. And to make them a priority, and to demonstrate in your life, and to those people that you are with their importance. Because that's what makes a change.

Josh 47:04
Now, if as part of that, and as part of that journey, and you know, looking at things that you're not going to settle for and putting in effort and fixing things, you need some help doing that, and you need some help making 2022 different, we can absolutely help with that. Right, you know, go to, let's hop on the phone, let's talk about what you've been tolerating, and what you can do differently, to fix things, right? You know, you go to that link, like I said, At

Josh 47:35
You'll see our calendar, grab a time that works for you. Right, you'll go from there, you'll do just like a short little form to help us prep for your call. And then one of us or one of our team members will hop on the phone with you at the time you selected and really have a conversation and get you really clear on what are those things you have been settling for? What are those problems you have been tolerating? What do you want 2022 to look like, right. And if we can help you close that gap and make that happen, we'll talk about that. And if something else will do that better, we'll point you in that direction.

Josh 48:07
But at the end of the day, like we're happy to help you with that. But what I want you to take away from this, more than anything, like I said is is to really, truly look at and appreciate the importance of the people in your life and the relationships that you have and what they add to your life and the gifts that they give you. But not just to stop at really, truly appreciating them and being grateful for them. But actually to take the actions to show them and to line your life up with how important those relationships are and how important those people are to you. And to recognize that you only ever have a limited amount of time in which to do that. Anything you want to add?

Cassie 48:58
No, I think you've summed that up good.

Josh 49:01
All right, folks. Well, it's been great talking to you. Have a fantastic 2021. Which isn't to say we're not going to be here back, we are. But going into these holidays really like be in a spot where you're able to be grateful you're able to appreciate the relationships that you have. Go into 2022 ready to rock and roll make them a priority. Work on those things. And we will catch you on the next episode.

Josh 49:30
Thanks for tuning in to today's show. We release new episodes every week. So make sure to subscribe

Cassie 49:36
if you're ready to transform your relationship and you'd like to see if you're a fit to work with us. Here's what I want you to do next, head over to and book an appointment to speak with our team. We'll get on the phone with you for about an hour and we'll get you crystal clear on three things. What's really not working in your relationships, what your dream relationships would look like and a step by step plan to close the gap and save your family, even if nothing has worked before.

Josh 50:04
We talk with hundreds of non monogamous folks like you every year. And here's the truth, building loving, thriving relationships that doesn't happen on its own. You need expert guidance to make that happen. And unfortunately, when you were building relationships outside the box that's impossible to find, and we get it. But that's exactly what we do. We've helped clients all over the world, save their families, get the passion back and become best friends again.

Cassie 50:28
So if you want to see if we can help you do the same head over to I'm Cassie.

Josh 50:36
And I'm Josh. Let's talk soon.