how our polyamorous clients build thriving relationships

Polyamory Whack-a-Mole

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Are you playing whack-a-mole in your polyamorous relationships?

A problem pops up. You knock it down. And it’s immediately replaced by a different problem:

Jealousy—wack!

Arguing—wack!

Feeling disconnected—wack!

No matter how many problems you knock down, there’s always a new one to tackle. And you never actually get to that peaceful, passionate, secure relationship you’re working towards.

That sucks. Because whack-a-mole is fun at a carnival. But it’s exhausting in your relationships.

So how can you stop playing the game and build the relationship of your dreams?

Watch this episode now!

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Josh 0:00
All right, everybody. So today we're gonna talk about what to do when whenever you solve one problem in your relationships. It's just replaced by another and you knock that down, and it's replaced by another. So today we're going to talk about polyamory Whack-a-mole.

Cassie 0:34
Here a Touch of Flavor, we teach non monogamous folks how to overcome their obstacles and build thriving relationships.

Josh 0:40
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 0:53
All of this information is 100% free. So please subscribe to and review our podcast.

Josh 1:01
So before we get into our topic for the day, Cassie, what's been going on? Well, a lot of things. The little one is getting huge. So the little lion is now saying all kinds of

Josh 1:18
Now the big lion.

Josh 1:19
Yeah.

Josh 1:19
Is up to like 50 words. 40- 40- 40-

Cassie 1:22
Something? 40 something. Yeah. And growing. Like today she was uh, and also things that are not words. Like evidently, like she loves music. So like, Will Smith's Na na na na na na na getting jiggy with it. She now says not Na na na na na, you know, to get the music playing-

Josh 1:39
And goes, unh unh unh,

Cassie 1:40
Unh, unh. Yeah, so a lot of expressions and stuff. Um. She was listening to Fort Minor, by the way, and she was going like this with it. Like Mm- mm- , uh and she's going mm. So lots of personality there. We, uh, we're doing a little lock in.

Cassie 1:41
Yeah. So we were scheduled to go to an event this weekend, and teach and stuff and things. But, you know.

Cassie 2:13
Circumstances happened.

Josh 2:14
Well, I mean, little one in the house, circumstances changed, risk levels changed as far as what we were looking to do. And we had to reevaluate with having an unvaccinated little human in the house. So we weren't able to go do that. But you know, the event that we were going to: teaching, fun, but honestly, one of the big reasons we like to go to it- because we don't have to teach anywhere, right? Like, we deal with all of you online and help you all out. But one of the big reasons we like going to this event is because it is -

Cassie 2:46
Sex.

Josh 2:47
Awesome, fun, sexy, kinky time.

Cassie 2:51
Yeah, it's sexy.

Josh 2:51
So we teach, and we do things. And it's awesome. And we were like, Okay, so we're not going we already have babysitters lined up, we already have all the stuff lined up. We are not just going to work. Because we love helping people. And we have a tendency to do that sometimes and just be like, oh, plans changed. Let's work. What's the next episode people need? What do we want to make for our clients? Like, who do we want to talk to? And we were like-

Cassie 2:53
No.

Josh 2:57
No.

Cassie 3:00
We should, we should take advantage of this time. And this is actually because we're, we like talking about relationships. This is a good lesson for all of you. If plans change, right, and you have that availability, it's a good thing to take advantage of the time that you have with your partner, just throwing out a little bit of a relationship advice.

Josh 3:47
Truth.

Cassie 3:47
Right? If you have that opportunity with your partner, just because something changes doesn't mean that you can't make it an amazing, wonderful time. And that is the goal that I still have for this weekend.

Cassie 4:01
And we were like, Look, kids are gonna be gone. Which-

Cassie 4:06
Check.

Josh 4:06
Check. Well, which by the way, like, and I have to say, you know, as much as we make sure we take steps, you know, sometimes, I mean, let's just be honest. Having an 18 month old in the house does make things more difficult.

Cassie 4:24
Mhm.

Josh 4:25
Okay. It's just a fact. I love her to death. We do all the things that we preach as far as setting the time. And also having an 18 month old definitely makes more difficult than we just had a 16 year old in the house. So we were like-

Cassie 4:33
16? Our son's older than that at this point.

Josh 4:43
But he wasn't.

Cassie 4:45
He wasn't.

Josh 4:45
So we were like, cool. We're gonna do a lock in because Cassie has been wanting to do like a kink locking thing.

Cassie 4:52
Yeah.

Josh 4:53
For a while.

Cassie 4:55
Mhm.

Josh 4:55
And plans have fell through and still can't do what you were planning before COVID involving other people and all that kind of stuff, but nothing saying can't do both. And so we're like, cool. So like, set up. Cassie got the, like, frozen- frozen meals stocked.

Cassie 5:16
Yup. I got-

Josh 5:16
Place is cleaned up. Stuff is together.

Cassie 5:18
Yup.

Josh 5:19
Cassie's got plans that I don't know about.

Cassie 5:21
Yeah, I'm like, it's funny, cuz I was like, let's talk about this in the chat. And I'm like, how am I supposed to talk about-

Cassie 5:25
Yeah! Please! So what- what's gonna happen this weekend?

Cassie 5:27
Um, so you're not going to be really able to leave our dungeon space, and a lot of sensory deprivation. And a lot of being taken advantage of and used and toyed with and not a lot of details, but I'm locking him in and he ain't going nowhere. So it should be a lot of fun.

Josh 5:54
Yeah. So I think that's mainly it, I'm sure next episode, we will have some-

Cassie 6:01
Things that you might want to share that you need to get off your chest and voice and-

Josh 6:05
I don't know if I'm gonna be talking to you next episode.

Cassie 6:07
Haha!

Josh 6:07
Might be like on zoom from two separate places. Guess we'll find out.

Cassie 6:12
In my job right, maybe.

Josh 6:13
If y'all see us, like zoomed in from two different places next time, you know what happened.

Cassie 6:18
Yeah, yeah.

Josh 6:19
So-

Cassie 6:19
It went really awesome.

Josh 6:20
Yeah, apparently that's what happened.

Cassie 6:22
Haha!

Josh 6:23
All right. I think that's it. Life stuff, host chat. So without further ado, I guess let's hop into today's topic.

Josh 6:36
All right. So Cassie, tell us what we're talking about today. Because this is your topic.

Cassie 6:41
Yeah. So I'm sure many of you have been to the carnival. And you're you know, there and you're playing a game, right? And it's this game, were the little moles pop up, one after the other, and you bop it down, it seems like a new one pops up, and then you pop down another one, and another one pops up. And it's a really fun game. When you're playing for cotton candy or points or something like that. It's not such a fun game. What is your relationship, right? When you're finding that no matter what you do, there's always what you think is a new problem popping up.Did you want to add something?

Josh 7:17
Now, you know, and this is- this is something that we see all the time, right? Where it's like, in our Facebook group, or in questions that we get or whatever. It's like, Oh, you know, like, this week, it is, what is it - like this week is jealousy. And then Okay, no, now, this week, it's communication, our relationship is falling apart. And then this week, it's, it's, you know, we can'y mention time with a new partner, and this week and this week and this week, right? And I know that's something you see, like regularly.

Cassie 7:43
Yeah, and, you know, what we see is folks saying, like, you know, my relationship is falling apart. It's, it's, you know, at a point where it's, it's, you know, disaster is about to hit. Oh, nevermind, we figured this one out. We figured this out. We're gonna be okay. And then like, three days later, we see a new post. Oh, God, our relationship, it's gonna fall apart again. This thing's here, right? And it's kind of just this reoccurring process, right? And it almost seems like, the more they pop down these problems, the more things pop up like whack-a-mole, right? Like, the more we do, it seems like just as many moles that we're knocking down, we're getting back up.

Josh 8:25
And I'm sure everybody here knows whack-a-mole is right. It's a carnival game, you got to hammer they pop their little heads up, you knock 'em down, right? Something comes up, and you're trying to do it as fast as you can. And you know, it's a fun Carnival game. But when you're talking about your relationships, right, this is not as much fun when you're not talking about trying to win stuffed animals. Because you know, and this is the problem, like... How frustrating is that, right? Like if you're in this position, because all of us, right, everybody here, like you are on this journey, where you are trying to build those dream relationships, like, you want relationships that are passionate, and connected, and loving, and peaceful, and secure. Right?

Josh 9:06
And when you're in this position, that like, whenever something pops up, you know, you feel like you're dealing with it and you're putting in the work and you're doing the things. And now it's on to the next problem. Then, welp, next thing pops up. And all of a sudden, like you're doing this, you're putting the work in, you're dealing with the thing. And it gets to this place where it's like you're always putting in the work, you're always doing the things, but it seems like you're never actually any closer to that loving, secure, passionate relationship. And that is frustrating. And that leads a lot of people to feeling really hopeless,

Cassie 9:44
And exhausted, right?

Josh 9:46
And definitely exhausted.

Cassie 9:47
You just get to a place where you feel tired in your relationship and you feel incompatible, right? You start to feel like Well, me and my partner just- maybe we're just not meant to be together like we- you know, no matter what, we can't connect. These things just keep happening, they just keep happening, new things just keep happening over and over again. And, you know, what we found is that, you know, these aren't necessarily new problems. And it's hard to see that right? When you're, when you're in it, when you're in the thick of it, it seems like it's always something new. But a lot of times, it's not.

Cassie 10:24
And that's really the thing that we really want to bring, you know, attention to, right, is that it's not necessarily new things. It's that there probably is a group of problems that you're having in your relationship, and a group of problems that you keep having in your relationship. So going back to Facebook, I'll give an example of this right, is, you know, someone will post something, they'll say, you know, this week, my partner went through my phone, and we had a huge argument and a huge fight, because, you know, they were looking through my phone, it was my privacy, so on and so forth. And then, you know, we had this big blow up, oh, we resolved it, we fixed it, he's not going to go- he, she, they are not going to go through my phone anymore, right. And then the next week, it's, oh, we have a new problem. It's, we're trying to make agreements, and we just can't come to anything. So my partner doesn't think I'm going to be honest. And then the next week, you know, there's something else where it's like, you know, my partner is, you know, sneaking in and checking out what I'm doing on Facebook, behind my back, etc, etc, right? These are all trust problems. Right? And usually, it's not just that, right, it's typically a group of several problems that you reoccurringly have. And what you're doing is, you're tackling the specific situations, rather than the actual problems as a whole.

Josh 11:51
Well, this is the danger of this right. And this is, you know, we talk a lot here about the problem and things that, you know, seem like they're gonna work but don't work. Right. And you know, and that's the danger here, right? Because when you're in this situation, it feels like you're making progress, because you are doing work, right, and then something is getting resolved. But the problem is, is you're really not and like that, that's the real important thing to understand here is when you feel like this, right, you know, you have this idea that you are clearing this problem out, but you're not, you're just pushing it down. And this is something that we see happen so much in relationships, because what happens is, there's a bunch of stuff at play here. Right?

Josh 12:45
One of them's not addressing the root issues, right. And there's a whole lot of other things that go along with that. But really, at the end of the day, what's important to understand here is that it only looks like you're dealing with these problems. But as Cassie was saying, you're not actually fixing them, you're just pushing them down. That's why they keep coming up again, and again, in different patterns in different orders. But you'll see these patterns in the- in your relationship. Where it is the same patterns, right, in different forms, coming up over and over again.

Josh 13:18
And the real danger here that we see a lot of times is because it seems like you're doing something by sitting there beating on these things, because you know, you're putting in work, because it seems like oh, you have something and now- it is- now it's handled. It feels like you're making progress. But the problem is, is that progress is an illusion. Right? Because again, you're not fixing it, you're pushing it down, and then on to something else, and now, that pops up again later, and that pops up again later. So the problem is, is it's entirely possible here to be in this position, where you constantly have this illusion that you're doing the work fixing this, fixing that, fixing this, fixing that. But the reality is things keep getting worse, and worse, and worse, and worse.

Cassie 14:02
Yeah, and it starts to feel you know, as I said before, like- like you're incompatible, like, like, you can't actually fix things. Because you're always working to fix them. Right? It feels like you're not actually living and enjoying the relationship that you have. Because you're constantly working at it right? And not to say that you have- don't have to put work into your relationships, but that should be like a labor of love and like you should be getting those fruits of that labor versus feeling like you're just constantly constantly putting that work in. And you end up sort of wearing yourself out right you you wear out you know your your resources, your patience, you stop to, you know, you stop having that ability to give, you know, your partner charity and kindness and to actually be able to work at when new problems do happen, right? When there is new challenges that come up.

Josh 15:04
There's an important factor playing here that you have to remember. And this is why I was saying the problem is you have this illusion that we're making progress when you're not actually doing it. Right.

Josh 15:13
Relationships are never sitting stagnant, they're getting better, or they're getting worse, right? So when you have the illusion of progress, not progress, things are actually getting worse along the way. And what winds up happening, and especially the situation where people are putting in the effort, putting in the effort, putting in the effort, is people wind up getting to a point, either where they're tapped out, and they're no longer putting in the effort anymore, or they get to a point of feeling hopeless, right, or one of those two things happens with their partner. And the problem is that for a lot of people who are in this position, it kind of sneaks up out of nowhere, right? Because it's like, I'm working, I'm working, I'm working, I'm working on work, I can't do it. And a lot of times, you know, that the breaking point, that straw that breaks the camel's back, it's something that people don't see coming. Right. And again, that is why this is so dangerous to have this illusion of progress without the progress itself, because that's really what you're talking about here. When you're doing this whack-a-mole. Right? So I want to talk about why this happens? Do you have anything you wanna throw in first?

Cassie 16:18
Yeah, just that, you know, the the, it becomes a very difficult situation, because, as you just mentioned, like it does sneak up on you, right? Because you don't realize how worn out from that pattern you are, before it hits.

Josh 16:36
And it's frustrating. So often, I hear people talk about being frustrated or being tired, or being hopeless, or wondering if they're compatible anymore. This is where you get when you try and try and try and try. And you don't feel like you're getting anywhere, kind of the natural place.

Cassie 16:50
Yeah. And that hopelessness turns into almost a self fulfilling prophecy, you know, like, we're never going to be able to make things work, we're never gonna be able to fix things. And then it just continues to kind of fill into that, that cycle.

Josh 17:02
So let's talk about why this happens. Right? Because we kind of touched on, you're not really solving the problems. But what is it that's really going on? Because I think this is really important for people to understand. And I think and I'm interested in getting your your viewpoints, but I think there's two main things that are going on here, when we're talking about this, right, that people don't recognize that lead to this problem. And the first, I talked about this earlier, kind of in this, this sense of addressing root causes. But the first comes down to problems versus patterns. Right? So what do I mean by that, all of us come into our relationships with patterns that we have built up over the years. And these relationship patterns, they start from the time that we are, you know, this this tall, right, and we're learning from our parents. And then we learn from our parents, and we learn from the media, and we learn from the world. And we learn from the relationships that we have along the way, the good relationships, the bad relationships, and we develop these patterns in our relationships that sometimes we see. And a lot of times we don't, we're blind to, right.

Josh 18:25
But all of us have these years and years and years of patterns, and the patterns that we have both the healthy ones and the unhealthy ones are what define our relationships. And for a lot of people, we have a lot of unhealthy relationship patterns, in the way we communicate, in the kinds of attachment that we have. Right? In the way we deal with jealousy, in the way we manage time. In the- I could go on and on and on. And the way we push away rather than pull closer when there's problems, right, in the way that we get defensive and bite off our partners head. In the ways that we, uh-

Cassie 19:11
Handle NRE.

Josh 19:11
Handle NRE, or deal with rejection, we all have these patterns. And there's always a lot of unhealthy ones there. Right? And so, a lot of times what's happening because patterns aren't easy to break. Patterns are something that tend to take a lot of effort and a lot of intervention. Because it's it's hard a lot of times not only to know how to fix those patterns, but to you know, see the the water from inside the fishbowl. Right? So we don't wind up addressing the patterns, we wind up addressing this symptom of the pattern, right. So we don't wind up addressing the fact that we communicate in ineffective combative ways, we wind up fixing the fact that we're going to deal with the dishes and stop arguing about them and figure that out, which works fine until the next time a conflict comes up. Right?

Josh 20:17
We don't deal with the pattern that when we're going through rough things, we push our partners away. Right, we just deal with the rough thing that's going on right now. And now we're feeling more connected, or we don't deal with the fact that we don't know how to stay connected to our partner as time goes on. Right? We just go on a vacation real quick to try and like feel better for a moment, or find a new relationship to try and feel more connected.

Josh 20:44
But none of these are addressing the patterns. So what winds up happening is we deal with that thing, and things are better for a little while. Until the next time that pattern comes up, until the next time, a hard thing comes up until the next time, something that we don't agree on comes up, right? Until the next time, whatever it is, comes up. So we're whack-a-mole-ing it, because we're dealing with the little mole head, right? We're not dealing with the damn mole, to use the analogy that you're bringing into this conversation. So all we're doing is knocking that down. And now we're going to deal with another one of our symptoms. Until the next time, this problem, this, this, this root issue actually rears its head, this pattern rears it'a head. And we just - pattern here - pattern there - symptom of pattern, symptom of pattern. and pattern. and never dealing with the actual patterns themselves. Is there anything you want to tack on that?

Cassie 21:39
Yeah, um, and there's two issues that happen with this too.

Josh 21:45
I feel like I want to draw this.

Cassie 21:46
Right, there's, there's two issues that that end up happening with this. Is one, we start to avoid those symptoms rather than facing them. Which means when they do pop up, it's even more damaging. So we see this with folks who are like, you know, one of the the symptoms is jealousy. So you know, what, we're just, we're not going to, we're not going to date anybody and not going to fall in love.

Cassie 22:16
That's what we're going to do.

Josh 22:18
Or, to go back to something we talked about recently, we have this pattern of jealousy, the way we're going to try and deal with that is by: I'm going to read your text messages to see if anybody is getting too close to you, which is going to cause its whole own other series of problems. But it feels like I dealt with that problem the moment but I haven't addressed the pattern. So now other problems are coming up.

Cassie 22:40
Mhm. So you start to avoid the things that you need to do that you need to face.

Josh 22:47
I'm not going to draw it.

Cassie 22:47
That you need to work on. Right. So you're - so, so, first off, not only are you pushing these things down, you're actually ignoring them, you're actually ignoring them and allowing them to fester. And to get momentum. So like jealousy, right? If I - if you never actually address that jealousy, and we just keep bandaid-ing that symptom, well, you're never actually dealing with your jealousy. So now you're gonna need the next thing and the next thing and the next thing to deal with your jealousy. Right? So that's the first thing, right is that you're never actually dealing with it, and it actually can make that grow versus actually dealing with it.

Cassie 23:29
And the other thing is, is that, you know, and I want to give all of you credit, because, you know, you might be sitting there and going like, geez, will like, I thought I was doing the right thing like I really am trying to work on my relationship. But I want to give you credit is that it's because you care about your relationships, that you're doing this, right? It's because you love your partner and you want things to work. But what ends up happening, is this pushing down this, this, going back and forth, ends up making you and your partner feel less loved and less connected, because it feels like you're always attacking each other and these problems versus actually dealing with the actual pattern.

Josh 24:14
Well, and, like I said, and the reason that we do that is because those patterns are incredibly difficult to break. Right? So the go to for people and you know, and I honor and I've had this question before, but like, I honor anybody who does the work, who puts the work into their relationships, right? But we don't just want you to be putting in effort, or time, or energy, or money, or whatever you're investing and trying to fix your relationships. We also want that to be successful. Because effort alone, all these things alone, they don't heal the relationship. Right? You have to actually do the things that work. And the problem is, is that what winds up happening, because we can't address these patterns, right? Because we don't have the skill, or we don't see them and we don't know they exist, or the help that we're going to doesn't have the skill to actually address the underlying patterns, or whatever.

Josh 25:22
Right. And I want to - I want to draw a really important distinction here, too, because this is something that I hear a lot. So I'm going to finish this thought. And then I'm going to say the thing, right, but because we don't actually have the thing to deal with those patterns, right, the skill to deal with those patterns. We do the working on the symptom, the tip of the iceberg, because it feels good, it feels like we're doing something and we want the relationship to work. But the problem is that feeling of it feeling good, isn't actually in the long run, getting any closer to having that love, and that passion, and that connection, and that security and the calm and the peace that we want. Right? It's it's just, it's kind of like busy work, like, it's just the feeling of it. And I want to take a second here, because something just occurred to me, that's really important, because people confuse this a lot.

Josh 26:22
A lot of times when people do realize the patterns are there, and they're addressing it themselves, or they're trying to go to an expert or whatever. There is this confusion between the pattern and the past. And I want to separate those things. Because it's really, really, really important. And this gets down to kind of one of the key differences between coaching and therapy as well. Right? We develop these patterns through our past. And a lot of times those patterns are caused by bad experiences in our childhood or they're caused by bad relationships with our parents, they're caused by bad relationships or things in our relationships with our partners, they're caused by rough things in our lives that happen, they're caused by trauma. And it's pretty natural, a lot of times to think that fixing these patterns consists of going back and dealing with the things that happened in the past. And it's really important to understand that those are two separate things. Right?

Josh 27:41
It is helpful, a lot of times just for like your own personal well being to spend a bit of time, and I say a bit of time. Right? Really feeling and processing and venting and letting yourself really, really be in. Right and be in and process, when I talk about being in, I'm talking about processing, that's a whole nother conversation, right. But to really give yourself a little time to process whatever happened, and particularly if you've never dealt with that. Right? Like to really actually if you've never felt those emotions, to feel them, to let them come up for yourself to sit with them to work through them. And that's kind of a whole nother conversation. Right? And it's important to do that.

Josh 28:28
And it's also true, right? That changing your patterns now is really a very separate thing. There's maybe like, this much overlap between those two things. And so often what people think, is that, when they do recognize, well, there's a pattern underneath this thing, there's a pattern underneath this jealousy that I've carried around for years, they go, in order to fix that pattern, what I need to do is I need to go back and I need to process my entire childhood, right to try and figure out whatever may have caused this pattern when I was six.

Cassie 29:10
Yeah, I'm gonna say and go to every every possible spot in my life where, you know, I possibly could have had jealousy influence me, etc, etc.

Josh 29:20
And again, like if you have trauma, right, like absolutely, that's something that you want to deal with again for your own well being right. Um like, I just recently had to deal with like, the fact that surprise like I had like some post traumatic stuff that was coming up from like a previous job that I had, that it made my life a whole lot better to sit down and process that right. But with that being said, it's really important to understand that fixing the pattern is something completely different. Right? Because, you know, talking about processing that stuff is is is back looking - backwards looking. Right, but changing a pattern, right? Developing no matter what happened before, right? The new beliefs that you need, and the new ways of looking at the world that you need, and the new actions that you need to take and working through the mind trash. And the, the blocks that come up when you are trying to do that is actually an entirely separate process.

Josh 30:32
And I wanted to separate that out, because this is so important, because, like I said, usually most people don't recognize a pattern. But the people who do usually then try and fix that pattern by like I said, like trying to deal with everything that happened, you know, like, in their crummy relationship with their parents. And that, again, while there might be certain things there that you want to do, it's really vital to recognize that that actually does not change the pattern now.

Cassie 31:00
And in fact, you don't have to wait until you fully address everything in your past to start working on your patterns now. That is something that I think a lot of folks get confused as well.

Josh 31:14
Yeah, there's a releasing, and there's an outcome now. And it's really important. That's why I said, this is one of the differences between coaching and therapy. Right. And, you know, when you're talking about therapy, you're talking about, I want to go work on those traumatic things that happened, right. And you know, it when you're, you're doing that, it can be very valuable, to have a place to go vent, to have an ear, to have somebody to talk you through that. Those kinds of things, right. But it's really important to understand that, you know, venting, processing, something that you've never been able to or have the room to process and moving forward are very different.

Josh 31:59
And this is where coaching comes in. So this sometimes really confuses some of the people that we work with, initially, right, is therapy. And you know, if we have people, by the way, who have really, like have severe traumas or things they haven't dealt with, we will a lot of times tell them to go to therapy, as well for that thing, right. But it's this difference between looking backwards and processing. And actually looking at from here, where do I want to go? And what are the beliefs? What is the mindset? What are the actions? What are all those things that I now need to reach that goal of having those dream relationships, and it's really important to understand that just because you recognize this pattern, and you start addressing, you know, maybe some of that looking back that you want to address, that does not fix the patterns that you have now. You need to address those things separately. Because if you just go to address the pattern, or just go to address the past of it, you'll find that the now doesn't actually get better. And then you're stuck wondering why because you feel again, like you're doing all the right things. You want to chime in with anything there. I know I just over here over there, that just struck me as being really important. So many people get that confused.

Cassie 33:15
Yeah, I'm glad that you chime this into like what we were talking about, because it is something that confuses a lot of folks. And it can really limit your growth, right? It can limit the successes that you have in your relationship, and put such a longer period of time on getting from the place that you are now to where you want to be. Because you're not actually addressing making the new patterns and working on the future. So I'm really glad that you you threw that in there.

Josh 33:47
You don't even need to necessarily understand why that pattern is there to fix it. Right? That's another thing that people do. They're like, Oh God, like, Why do I feel jealous? I don't know. Like, I need to go process my whole childhood and try and figure out why I'm jealous. Now it doesn't matter. Like the question isn't why you might have developed jealousy when you were a kid. The question is now, in your relationship, when your partner is out on a date with somebody and you're sitting at home, feeling torn apart inside, what do you do to change that? It's a whole different conversation that is so, so important to understand, right? Because so many people, we see they take the step of like, Oh, I recognize there are patterns here. But then they don't understand how to fix the pattern. Right? You can only, it's important to understand this, right. And like I said, there may be processing that you want to do whatever. But you can only fix a pattern by looking at where you're at now and moving forward and that is a very different process from looking back and processing in like a therapy sense.

Josh 34:51
Okay. So that was thing one, and if you have anything to add to that, I'll say the other place that people um-

Cassie 34:57
Go ahead.

Josh 34:58
The other place that I think people get stuck on this, so that's kind of thing one ,and then thing 1.5. The other thing though the other place here that I see that people don't realize that really gets them stuck here is this whole fallacy in the first place of thinking that anything going on in a relationship is just the one problem that's looking at you in the face. Right?

Josh 35:27
People have this thought. And it is an untrue thought, right? That stuff going on in the relationship isn't connected. So they look at the moles popping up. Let's go back to the mole analogy. And they see this mole over here. And they go, Oh, there's something going on in my relationship with jealousy. Right? So we're taking it a step deeper. So this is this is realizing that there's problems beneath the tip of the mole here.

Cassie 35:57
The head of mole.

Josh 36:00
The head of the mole, tip of the mole..

Cassie 36:02
Hat, they wear hats a lot of times.

Josh 36:02
Hat of the mole.. Right. But it's still not really realizing what's going because it's looking like, it's going Oh, there's, there's a jealousy mole here, that keeps coming up. Right? Or, oh, there's a connection mole here, that keeps coming up, oh, there's a communication mole here, or a security mole here. Without ever realizing that underneath, you know, the scenes, like if you just lift up the cover of the machine. All of those pieces under there are interconnected. You look like you wanted to throw something in.

Cassie 36:18
I was just gonna say, yeah, that and it's actually they're not even one. It's not, it's not one mole, two mole, three mole. It's the nest of the moles, they're all connected. Right? All all the pieces are overlapping and intertwined. There is no one mole.

Josh 36:57
There is no one mole. And this is something that people do not realize that leads to broken relationships, right? Because again, so a lot of people don't realize that there's patterns, some people look underneath, and they either go, oh, there's a pattern, right? I have to process a pattern by processing the past. Or they go, Oh, there's a pattern. There's this one pattern. And this one other pattern, and this one other pattern. And they're under the impression that if they can just like, deal with that one mole, like if I can just deal with the jealousy, that will, my jealousy will be gone. Right.

Josh 37:37
But what they don't understand is, that is not how people work and relationships work, right? People don't go, I'm jealous, that's only related to the jealousy isn't related to anything else. It's just the jealousy. And I just need to deal with the jealousy. You won't be able to deal with jealousy, if you don't also deal with those other things. And this is the other place that we see people when they do kind of look beneath that surface, fail and wind up having their relationships blow up, right?

Josh 38:07
Because they think that they can solve these problems by just working on the communication, or just working on the jealousy, or just working on the connection, but it doesn't work. And I can give this to you as a very easy example. Right? Of how things are connected. First off, if we're jealous, we're probably in some kind of conflict. Right? If we're in some kind of conflict, we are pulling away from each other. That is how conflict works. If there is conflict, we will remove and we might still like, you know, I'm not saying you know, stop good times, or, you know, maybe we don't even have makeup sex, or whatever, but we're drifting apart. Right?

Josh 38:45
Now, when we're drifting apart. Also, now we have less security in our relationships. Because, you know, we recognize that we're in conflict, that we're worried about these other things, that we're feeling disconnected. So now we're withdrawing. But here's the problem with withdrawing, when we're withdrawing. Like, when we are we're not feeling secure, then we actually withdraw more, because then we need to protect ourselves. And if we're not secure in our relationships, then we need to withdraw. But here's the other problem. Now, we're not feeling connected. And we're seeing our partner connect, and go out with somebody else and maybe have this uncomplicated relationship, and maybe have this sexual intimacy that we haven't had in years. Oh, wait, now we're into the intimacy, right? And like, Oh, shit, so we feel jealous.

Josh 39:33
You can't address these things one at a time. Like there is no way I'll use the jealousy because that's an easy example. There is no way that I'm going to be able to help you, even with my help or Cassie's help or our help as a team because that's really how we address things. That if we were just to take you and try and solve just your jealousy and nothing else, there's no way that we can make you not feel bad. When you're feeling disconnected. you're arguing with your partner, you're not feeling secure in your relationship, and you're seeing them have this amazing connected sexual, awesome, easy relationship with somebody else.

Josh 40:08
There's nothing I can do to make that feel good.

Josh 40:13
Your relationships don't work, Oh, it's just the jealousy, it's just the communication is just the connection. It's important. And these patterns that we build up in our relationship, they're intertwined into different things. And in order to solve the problems that you have, you have to address all of these things and all these patterns, and raise the level of the entire relationship, or just doesn't work. And all of you have seen this in your own relationships. I've seen it in mine, you've definitely seen it in yours, right? Of how things are connected. And I really want you to stop and ask yourself for a second, like, when you think about it, do you really believe that these things in your relationship are disconnected? Cuz you know better? We all know better?

Cassie 40:59
I mean, I think you wrapped all that together. So do we want to get into like, how to address these things? And how to solve them? Or is there anything else you wanted to tag on? Before we get into that?

Josh 41:11
I just want to summarize I think, okay, so playing whack-a-mole. One problem is popping up.

Josh 41:18
Right, you're knocking it down, something else, you're knocking it down, something else, knocking down, something else. Oh! Back to that first problem- popped up again, right? You're getting frustrated, you're feeling hopeless, your partner is getting tapped out, whatever. Why does it happen? Right?

Josh 41:31
Well, number one, because most people don't look under the problems for the real patterns. And they don't do that. Because those patterns are hard to solve. So they focus on what's up here. Because that feels good, cuz we can knock that mole down. And we get that feeling that that's good. And that it's better. But it doesn't actually take us any closer to where we want to be. So we wind up frustrated and upset and feeling like we're never making any progress right.

Josh 41:52
Now, some people do eventually look below the surface, but then they can, at the patterns, and then they tend to make one of two mistakes. They either believe that addressing the past will solve that pattern, which is not true. And they don't actually do what needs to happen to solve the pattern. And they continue to wonder why things are getting worse, even though they feel like they're doing the right things. And slash or they think that they can address these things in isolation, not understanding that that isn't how people work, and not how relationships work, and not how humans work. And that you can't do that. Okay, so what is the truth of things? And what can people do about it?

Cassie 42:38
So the truth is, is that these aren't individual problems, right? That these are, these are all connected, that there's all these, these issues that have overlapped each other and what you can do, right, first off, is if you're sitting there, and you're like, I don't know, if I've been playing whack-a-mole or, you know... Doesn't sometimes, doesn't sometimes it actually just is the circumstance and what I'm going to say is, sometimes there is a circumstance, right? Like, I'm going to give an example, like COVID, threw a loop for a lot of people, right? That is something that we've never dealt with something like that, right? Like none of us have ever dealt with a pandemic before, right? So is this a circumstance, right? Like, and I want you to really like look at what's going on, right? Like, when you were when you've had these problems, and you've had things going on in your relationship? Because for a lot of you, it's not like today was the first time we've had an issue, right? Is I want you to look at the issues and the things and kind of take a mental inventory.

Cassie 43:51
And I'm not saying like get angry at your partner or be upset about them, things like that. But just what have been the recent things that have happened in my relationship? And were they really due to circumstance? And the answer is, if you've had more than like one or two things in the last while, probably not. Right? And ask yourself like, is this really due to circumstance? And ask yourself, you know, how often do I feel like, my relationship has been Yoyo-ing or whack-a-moling? Does it feel like I'm constantly doing little fixes, but my relationship isn't fixed? Do I keep sort of predicting the future? We have this thing today. We're gonna figure it out. But I know next week there's going to be a problem. Is that something that keeps happening, where I know that in a couple of days, there's going to be something new. Is there something you wanted to add?

Josh 45:02
Yeah. So I'll throw a couple of things in here as far as how to know if this is you. It's actually pretty easy. Number one, the same kinds of problems keep coming up. I mean, if yes, this is you. You're playing whack-a-mole. Right? Number two. I mean, just ask yourself.

Josh 45:20
Like Cassie said, you know, if you do have these up and down periods, how long has that been going on? And I mean, really an important question with that is like, are you happy? With the ups versus the downs? Right? And the last piece, because this isn't rocket science. Like overall, how happy are you with your freakin relationship? I don't mean overall, except for those two things that are really driving you nuts and making you want to leave. I mean, overall, period. Because these patterns, they're patterns that we all have. Right? So this is one of those, like, the proof is in the pudding, kind of things.

Josh 46:06
Like you can tell the truth of your patterns, and where those are at. And if that's working for you, by how well your relationships working for you. Like, if you're not happy in your relationship... You're unhappy. You're unsatisfied. You feel like it's mediocre. You're insecure? I mean, if you're unhappy, those patterns aren't serving you. Right. So that's a sign that you aren't actually addressing the root things there. I mean, I think it really is that simple at the end of the day. You agree?

Cassie 46:48
Yeah.

Josh 46:49
So, I mean, if you're not happy in your relationships, the answer is your patterns need to change.

Josh 46:55
I think that is kind of the base thing you can look at. Yeah, you can look at like, the same things keep popping up, you can look at, like I said, like, how long do you spend ups versus downs? And where do you- but at the end of the day, like, are you happy with where your relationship is at, if you're not, you have patterns are that need to be addressed, or need to be changed or improved, and upleveled. It's that simple. I'll get off my soapbox.

Cassie 47:18
So the thing is, what you have to do, right, to get out of this is you need to, one, not settle for quick fixes. Like we talked before about that, like instant feeling of like something feeling good. And just fixing that little thing, that mole that pops up, not settling for that, when you know that's going to reappear, right. Not avoiding the problems, because as we talked about before that whole like, Oh, well, you're jealous. So we're just going to avoid all the jealous issues that ever come up. And, or trying to escape from them rather, right? Not doing either one of those things. And just admit, like, you know, it may be hard to admit that, like, you haven't been addressing those patterns, right. But it's time to do that right to say, you know, look, I've, we've been trying and give yourself and your partner credit for that. Like, we always, always want to give you credit for putting in effort. There's a lot of people who don't put effort into their relationships at all. But recognizing that what you have been attacking, you know, the moles that you've been whacking haven't actually been, we're gonna keep going back to the mole analogy, right? Hasn't been those patterns that are underneath that are intertwined all together. Anything else want to add?

Josh 48:50
Don't settle.

Josh 48:54
Your relationships aren't the place to settle. And by, don't settle, I mean, not only don't settle for relationships that are a fraction of what they should be, for life that's a fraction of what it should be. So many of us do that.

Josh 49:06
Don't do that.

Josh 49:08
Right. But I also mean, don't settle for the feel good fix, Don't settle for the thing that feels like you're doing something, but isn't actually fixing-

Cassie 49:21
The relationship.

Josh 49:22
The relationship. And it's really easy to look at and go Huh, we keep coming back to the same spots or Huh, our relationship has been unhappy for blank amount of time and to recognize that what you're doing isn't working. And here's the thing, and this is what's awesome about this and it's also kind of a sign you can look for if you are on the right path as far as your patterns, you should be seeing big, consistent changes in your relationship and seeing them quickly.

Josh 49:55
I don't mean seeing it for the first week. After you start going on a date, right? I don't mean, just now you've avoided the thing for a couple of weeks. I mean, you should be able to do the stuff that you did before, and it shouldn't be the same problem. Right? So I don't mean, when things are hard, you push each other away. And you're like, oh, things haven't been hard. So we fixed that pattern. I mean, it's like, oh, something else hard came up, and we got through it. Okay, that's fixing the pattern, right.

Josh 50:23
But the point that I'm making is, you should be able to see big consistent changes, you should know, we talked about relationship inertia, right, when you're on the right path, you will have a sense that you are headed in the right direction, and those problems are actually getting resolved. And you'll see that over a period of time. It's really that simple. And it doesn't have to be long period of time. And that's the other thing about this, that's so great. That I want to pull this back around to here and just make sure, I'm telling you, because when we're talking about these patterns and things underneath, and how hard it can be to deal with those initial things. And, you know, you can't just deal with those by dealing with the past. I know it can sound like oh, god like this is so much work to fix. And, A, a lot of times it is a lot of work to fix. And yes, a lot of times that is something that people aren't equipped to break through those patterns on their own, or they would have done it already. It's hard to break 25, 30, 45, 40 years of a pattern, right without outside help.

Josh 51:14
But here's what's awesome about that, when you stop playing this whack-a-mole, and you actually address those patterns. You don't then have to address 500 different little things. You can address the patterns of your communication and your connection, and the way you interact. And that touches everything else. Right? Now, it's not you're trying to deal with every argument that comes up, right? It's you're just not arguing much anymore. Right? It's not you're trying to figure out 100 ways to navigate jealousy, now, you're not feeling jealous.

Josh 51:56
It's those things. And this can happen quickly. This is what's so great about this not being something where you have to process and go to therapy for everything that's happened in the last 30, 40 years of your life to fix these problems, is this can happen quickly. Right?

Josh 52:13
When we're working with our clients, they completely transform their relationships. And I mean, like, you know, on the brink of divorce, a lot of times, like who's getting the kids who's living where kinds of conversations, right. To happy and passionate and in love and their relationships being better than it's ever been. And now planning for the future and excited about that again, in just 10 weeks, because we address those patterns, instead of the piece by piece by piece by piece by piece by piece by piece by piece. And now, let's also go through the last 40 years of everything that's ever happened to you. Right?

Josh 52:49
So understand that when you address these patterns, you don't have to deal with 100 things. You don't have to deal with the last 40 years of everything. And real meaningful permanent change can happen probably faster than you ever thought was possible. I don't know if you heard me, I said 10 weeks.

Cassie 53:11
Or less.

Josh 53:11
I didn't say six months? Well, I mean, 10 weeks? Yeah, I was given the outside. Like everybody gets work, gets the transformation within 10 weeks. But I was, I was Yeah, I mean, like this, this, this real meaningful change can happen very, very, very quickly. Change you can see can happen in days, in a couple of weeks. Right. So keep that in mind. Like this isn't all, when we're talking about patterns, there's a very real benefit to addressing things like this. Right, beyond just that it works.

Cassie 53:49
So anything else you want to add?

Josh 53:53
No, I don't think so.

Cassie 53:55
Well, I think that, you know, that wraps us up for today. What do you think?

Josh 54:00
I mean, here's the thing, like I said, this, these patterns are difficult to solve, right? These patterns are difficult to change. And they're not things that you change by going back and looking at the past. Again, that might be something you need to do separately. But this is what we find talking to most people, right? It's easy enough to sit here and talk to you about these patterns. Right. And you might even after you look at this, and you really look at your life, you might even be able to start picking some of those and seeing some of those for yourself.

Josh 54:30
But here's the problem. It's one thing even to recognize those, it is a whole nother thing to actually address them. Changing your pattern that you've been in for years or your whole life is an incredibly difficult thing. And it is something that most people don't do on their own, particularly when you're talking about as we said, when you're dealing with relationships, you now need to change and uplift all of these patterns at once to get the result and where you're trying to go. And that just unfortunately, the truth of it is, like that just isn't something that most people do on their own. It's not something most people can do on their own, it's not a matter of intelligence, it's not a matter of drive, it's not a matter of whatever, it's just a matter of how difficult that is to do it with one thing, much less, you know, four or five or 10 different patterns, right.

Josh 55:19
And on top of which, like I said, like when that has been you in your life, it is incredibly hard to even see all of those patterns is incredibly hard to even see the water from inside the fishbowl. So that's something that you really need help with. And you really need help that addresses not backwards looking, like I said, that may be something that you want to do separately, it can very much improve your life depending, right, but you need help that actually addresses. How do you get from where you are at now? To where you want to be? And what has to change in those patterns? What are the steps you need to take? What's the mindset you need to have? What is the help you need to have? Right? What are the actions in the plan to get you from A to Z, you need to get that for yourself.

Josh 56:14
That's what I'd say.

Cassie 56:17
That's what we do with our clients every day. Right? That is exactly how we address stuff. And if this is something you know, like and again, we get it, you've put a lot of effort in and it's, it's not easy. But you can take a step and book a call with us. And we can dive into exactly what's going on. Because most likely, it's not exactly what you're thinking, right? It's probably not the one jealousy or the one thing, there's probably a lot of other things going on. And from there, we can discuss a plan and see what would be the best path forward for you.

Josh 56:54
I can guarantee and promise that even if you're seeing some of these patterns, which again, you may do after watching this, and kudos to you like that's an awesome thing to look for, you're missing a lot of them, because these are things that you have lived with for years or your whole life. Right?

Josh 57:07
You need an outside perspective, to even understand everything that's going on there. Right. So again, if you would like the help from us, this is what we help people do all the time and actually help people, again, not look at the past, but come up with that plan to get from here to there, right to get from wherever you're at now to having those loving, amazing, thriving, secure relationships, go to atouchofflavor.com/talk, it'll take you to our calendar, right? Pick a time that works for you. And then from there, you go to a little short application that, you know, just gives us some info that's really, really helpful. Getting a feel for where you're at helps us get the most out of the call for you. And then we'll get on the call with you at the time that you picked. We'll dive in, we'll get your crystal clear on three things. Right, what exactly those challenges are. And like we said, it's probably not what you think, or it's definitely not what you think, right? There's definitely stuff going on that you're not seeing, right. The exact steps that you need to take to get from here to that dream relationship, right, and what that dream relationship would look like. And we need to clear on all three of those things, what's blocking you, right, and come up with a plan, to move from A to Z. So if you want our help with that, like I said, Go to atouchofflavor.com/talk, we will absolutely help you figure out what those patterns are. That are standing in your way, help you see those things that you may be blind to, right and figure out a plan from here to there. Anything else?

Cassie 58:33
No.

Josh 58:34
Awesome. All right, everybody. It's wonderful talking to you, wonderful seeing you. And we will see you all here again next week.

Josh 58:48
Thanks for tuning into today's show, we release new episodes every week. So make sure to subscribe.

Cassie 58:54
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 atouchofflavor.com/talk 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 59:22
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're 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 59:46
So if you want to see if we can help you do the same head over to atouchofflavor.com/talk. I'm Cassie.

Josh 59:54
And I'm Josh. Let's talk soon.