how our polyamorous clients build thriving relationships

Stop Letting Your Past Relationships Affect Your New Ones

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When you’re polyamorous, you want each of your relationships to have the freedom to grow.

But it might feel like there’s something between you. Some ONE between you.

Sometimes that person is real. But other times that person standing between you isn’t a person at all. It’s a memory. A memory of your past relationship(s). Because breaking up with someone doesn’t mean that they’re gone from your life. And if you’re letting your past relationships affect your current ones, then you’re still dating your ex.

So, how do you stop letting your past relationships affect your new ones? How do you put your past (and your exes) behind you and build thriving relationships?

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Cassie 0:00
Hey there, folks. So today we're gonna dive into a subject that we see all the time. And something that's really really difficult for a lot of folks, which is not making your current partners suffer for the sins of your exes. So today, we're gonna dive into exactly why that happens, and how you can stop bringing those past problems and challenges into your current relationships. So stay tuned.

Cassie 0:39
Here at Touch of Flavor, we teach non monogamous folks how to overcome their obstacles and build thriving relationships.

Josh 0:45
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 are in the right place.

Cassie 0:58
All of this information is 100% free. So please subscribe to and review our podcast.

Josh 1:08
Alright, Cassie, so we've got a really exciting topic today, yeah?

Cassie 1:12
Yeah. And it's something that we see all the time, we see folks come to us and they're like, my partner is amazing. I love them. They're wonderful. They're really trying to show up as a good partner. And we want to have this great relationship. But I'm insecure. But I have trust issues. But I get jealous. But but but but but but but but, there's all these things that I'm bringing from my past relationships into my current ones. And I don't know how to move myself in the direction of having a new, fresh, exciting, wonderful relationship with the partners that I now have, rather than suffering from the things that have happened with well, my past partners.

Josh 1:57
Well, and, this is something like really specific that we're talking about, right? Because, you know, oh, like I'm feeling insecure, or I don't feel trusting, or these things like these are things that we hear all the time. And that can come up for a lot of different reasons. Right? But you're talking specifically about the you know, it's not due so much the things that are going on in this relationship... Well, I'm sure we'll wind up talking about that as we go.

Cassie 2:20
Mhmm.

Josh 2:20
But specifically, either it is or people think that it is garbage from their past relationships coming in. So, I guess how would you know, since like, there can be a lot of reasons that insecurety pops up, like how would you know if that's what we're talking about? Like, that's what people are talking about when they're there.

Cassie 2:34
So one of the big things that you want to do is really pay attention to, am I having a problem now? Or am I worried a problem is going to happen? Because it happened with this person? before? I haven't had this problem with you. I haven't had this problem anywhere else. Now, if this is a pattern, and you've had it with quite a few exes, well, the common denominator might be you, right? But if it's like, I have this one ex and this one thing happened, and now I'm having some insecurities and challenges and fears built up around this one thing. And the current partner or partners that I have right now, have not shown me any reason to believe that, well, this is an issue in our relationship. That would be the first like indicator, maybe I'm really kind of stuck in that mindset from that past relationship.

Josh 3:27
Okay, gotcha.

Cassie 3:29
Yeah. So the problem with this, though, like the real challenge is that even if these are feelings that are from the past, even if they're things that are not being caused, currently, and we're going to talk about whether or not they are a little bit later, but even if these aren't things that are currently happening in your relationship, they still feel real. And the way that you show up to your relationship still impacts your partner. So some of the things that can happen is your partner can feel well, like this is unfair, that you are blaming them for things that they didn't do.

Cassie 4:12
It can cause you to not show up the way that you want to show up in your relationship. Maybe you're not being trusting, maybe you're not being as loving or open. And this can cause a lot of guilt for yourself. Right? A lot of guilt for yourself and how you show up in your relationship and also make your partner Well, a bit frustrated and annoyed because they don't know how to fix it.

Josh 4:36
Or they know that it's coming from a past relationship, right? And then they feel like there becomes a frustration, like this isn't even my problem. Right? Like I'm carrying somebody else's burden. I'm carrying the burden of your ex who maybe I already don't like to begin with. Right? And now I'm carrying the burden of that and that's impacting our relationship. So this other relationship that you have in this person that I don't even probably like, right is dragging our relationship down. And that's a pretty frustrating place to be.

Cassie 5:08
And the thing is, is that what happens is that creates its own set of problems. Right? It ends up creating that frustration, that annoyance, and then we do start having problems in our relationship. Because let's face it anytime that our partners are frustrated and annoyed with us constantly, and anytime that we are feeling stressed or upset, and things like that, it's going to impact the relationship and cause problems to continue. And so, the first thing with all of this. Um, is there anything else that you want me to dive into before I, or explain, before I go any further?

Josh 5:49
No, I don't think so.

Cassie 5:50
Okay. So I think we all kind of have that concept of like, we know that our lives impact how we show up, right? We're, we're human. So our experiences, it's part of who we are, like we bring to the table, what we have experienced before. And for a lot of us, it's not knowing how to work through those things. After they're there, because we're all going to have bad experiences, we're all going to have bad relationships, we're all going to have these things that we have to get over.

Cassie 6:30
And I know you're probably sitting there going, Oh, but I had this happen in a past relationship. And I had that... you're not unique. And I don't mean that as like you're not special and amazing. But we all have challenges in our relationships. And then we have to grow past those challenges, in order to be the kind of partners that we want to be for the people that we are currently with. So part of this is recognizing that like, regardless of those things, we have to show up differently. So how do we do that? Is really the question is how do we start moving into a place where we can shift those patterns and shift the things that need to happen for us to be living in the present versus the past?

Josh 7:22
Well, I'd be curious to know before that, what happens if people don't?

Cassie 7:26
Hmm. So when we get stuck in the past, we are still dating our exes. And this is something that I've told our clients multiple times, and your ex is your ex for a reason. Because it wasn't working. And what I mean by your you're continuing to date your ex or be with your ex, is you're treating this relationship like it is that past relationship, you are not giving this relationship the opportunity to grow and succeed as its own unique identity, you are, for lack of a better word, punishing your current relationship and partner and not allowing it to have its full potential.

Cassie 8:08
Which leads to a whole other array of problems, which is your partner gets upset because they feel like even if they are doing everything, right, that they're never going to be treated, or appreciated or trusted the way that they should be. It creates for yourself a barrier where you don't get to feel as deep. You don't get to trust as deep. And anytime that we're walking with like that armor on in our relationships, it dampens our passion. That feeling, so if you're feeling like, I'm just not really like having that NRE last well, there's probably a good reason. It's because you have armored yourself to not experience all of that emotion. And when you block the bad stuff, you're blocking the good stuff. When you're blocking the ability for something to go wrong, you're also blocking the ability for it to feel really awesome and amazing. When we dampen down those things. We're damping down everything. It's not like we can just dampen down and be like, I'm not going to trust you. Or I'm not going to like be as vulnerable. But I'm also going to feel super super amazingly passionate. That's not how this works. You have to be open in all of those areas. So you end up really kind of putting your current relationship in this bubble this way down bubble, rather than letting it be able to grow and expand the way that it would authentically without all of the baggage and trash in the other relationship.

Josh 9:45
Well and the problem is when you're doing that, right. I mean, there's a lot going on. Number one, you're suffering, obviously, right? Because you're suffering, whatever the insecurity is an anxiety is of, you know, like worrying that your partner is going to be like your ex, right? Or that things are going to continue, or that you're stuck in that cycle, or the things are going to look that way again, but also your partner is suffering. Right? And I mean, obviously, like, some of that is obvious. But the problem is for your partner, like when they're in a place where they aren't being judged for their own actions, right, it gives them a lot of uncertainty, because they don't know, you know, if I do A, if I'm going to get the reaction, like I did A or if I am going to get like a completely different reaction that doesn't even relate to what's going on in our relationship. Right.

Josh 10:36
And also, I think it really bears repeating what you said, right, which is that when you're doing this, you're still dating your ex, right? So there's still this sense of having this person standing in the way of your relationship, even though this person doesn't actually, well, maybe a lot of the time, sometimes you said gotta interact with them, right. But even though they may not even be a part of your life anymore. And that's never a comfortable place to be to feel like you're having somebody standing in between you and your partner preventing that relationship from growing into what you want it to be.

Cassie 11:18
Yeah. And I'm glad that you pointed it out that way. Because I think a lot of folks can relate when they're when their partner is dating someone that they don't get along with or that they don't feel treats their partner good enough. But having that person who isn't even like there do that, is such a powerful thing in a negative way. So those are kind of the things that happen.

Cassie 11:45
And the other thing that I want to just throw in there, that ends up being a challenge, and I mentioned this before, is that these things start to create other challenges in our relationship. Because we're creating those when we when we don't trust our partner, we start to build trust problems, we start to behave in ways that, I don't trust you. So then I start to acting in non trustworthy ways. Or I do things like, I'll give a good example. I'm afraid that you're not telling me about your other partners. So because of that, I don't trust you. So then I open your phone, and I look in your texts, and then I do something untrustworthy. And then you find out and you don't trust me, so then you start hiding things, right. So there ends up being this piggybacking of problems that perpetuate that aren't even supposed to be there.

Josh 12:39
And an easy, easier example for a lot of you to understand. I mean, because some of you might be like, Yeah, I've done that, and some of you would be like, I would never look in somebody's phone. Right? Although, it does happen quite a bit. But as an example, that might strike home with somebody who maybe that didn't strike home with is, you know... Because in my past relationship, doing X happening would start a fight. Now that X happened, right, I'm getting wired up and upset and worried and I'm starting a fight. It becomes a self fulfilling prophecy, anytime we expect, and this is why when we're talking to our clients, right, one of the things that we really start breaking down with them, is breaking down the stories and the beliefs that they have, the disempowering beliefs around their relationships and around their partners. Right, which is just a fancy way of saying what they expect the relationship to be, and to look like and to happen.

Josh 13:33
Because the problem is, if you are expecting bad things to happen, if you're expecting your partner to react in negative ways, if you're expecting this thing to cause an argument, if you're expecting, you make it a self fulfilling prophecy, and that's not some kind of like woowoo energy kind of thing. Like no, like, you start showing up in a way where you will make that a self fulfilling prophecy. And I think that is one of the biggest problems when you're talking about viewing your partner in terms of your ex is- I'm gonna take this a level deeper, like, on the one hand, you're still dating your ex, like you talked about. But on the other hand, you're kind of dating your ex because you're recreating those kinds of situations with your new partner. So like your relationship with your new partner is kind of becoming dating your ex, in a way if you don't fix that. So just a little something about.

Cassie 14:26
And with these things, it creates a not good environment for your relationship. Right? It makes you in a place where you aren't happy and you aren't celebrating the things that could be going right and you're not really acting in the way that you would act if this was a new fresh relationship. Because let's face it when we have new relationships, that's the great part about it. Right? We're missing out on like the best part of having a newer relationship, or a new relationship, it doesn't even have to be timewise. But a different relationship is that we get to start over from those other relationships, this gets to be a different slate. And when we do these things, we're not really taking advantage of this is a different slate than my other relationship.

Cassie 15:22
And so the problem is, is that folks try to handle this in ways that don't actually serve them, that doesn't make it better, and actually makes the problems even worse. So you want to talk about any of the ways that folks kind of-

Josh 15:44
I'll let you start.

Cassie 15:45
Okay. So one of the ways that folks try to handle this, is I just try to ignore it. And I try to push it away and say, oh, you know, I'm not really feeling these things. I'm not really, it's not really what's happening, even though I'm building it up, and things like that. And I go about trying to hide it, maybe from myself or my partner, and just dismiss that I have these emotions, or these feelings, or these thoughts that are coming up. And the problem with that is, is that anytime we have anything that we're really feeling and is really affecting us, and we just push it down, I mean, it's the coke bottle analogy, we shake it up, we shake it up a shake up, eventually, it's going to explode. And it might explode in one of those things that we just talked about, right? Like, I'm in an argument, and my anxiety builds up, and I lash out in that situation, or I'm so scared that you're doing something that you're not that I go and I look in your phone, or I do something I shouldn't be doing, right? It's this idea that if I just if I just for long enough, push it down and ignore it, it'll go away. And that just never works.

Josh 17:01
So I'm going to take a whole different tack here. And hopefully, I don't derail you too far.

Josh 17:10
So that's definitely a problem. But I see a problem a lot of times, it's actually almost like the opposite. Because, you know, when we're talking about relationships, we're talking a lot about patterns. And just because my ex is gone, right...

Josh 17:30
So Okay, so here's what I see happen a lot of times, right? I'm in a relationship with this person, it isn't working well, right. So I break up, right? The problem is, though, I still have the bad negative pieces of that pattern that I brought still there. And so then people get into a new relationship. And those patterns start repeating. And sometimes what people will do is they'll almost do the opposite, right? They'll look at the problems that are brewing, and they'll go, oh, this is just because, you know, this is what used to happen with my ex, and I just need to stop viewing my partner in that light, not realizing it was what you're talking about where the pattern is you. Not realizing that the reason they had these problems with their ex was because they didn't have the skills or the tools, or they didn't know how to handle certain situations, or they had things and patterns they needed to fix within themselves. And the way they deal with relationships.

Josh 17:30
And now they are repeating that in a new relationship. And so instead of looking and going, what do I need to change and fix to break the patterns and stop repeating this, whether it's my last relationship, this relationship, or the next relationship, I'm going to wind up in after this one... They go, Oh, it's just, you know, it's just my last partner treated me very poorly. Right. And so that's the problem. It's not what I'm bringing, it's just that my last partner treated me very poorly.

Josh 18:52
And they don't ever actually address the root issues of why these problems keep coming up, and the patterns that they need to change in how they're approaching their relationships that are causing them to repeat this in this relationship, and this relationship, and this relationship, and in this relationship. So you can have the one hand that you're talking about, right? But then you can have the other hand where people make that the problem instead of actually looking at the real problems, and it becomes a huge blind spot for people.

Cassie 19:27
Yes, and I want to just throw something into what you're saying, which is, we're not saying your ex didn't do things they weren't supposed to. We're not even saying they're not a bad person or whatever, or that they didn't make huge mistakes. But usually, we all have patterns that we're bringing. And if we didn't learn to get rid of those patterns that we had, we bring them to the next relationship. So I just want to because if you're sitting there going, Well, my ex was a total jerk. Maybe Maybe They were. But even when you have a partner who isn't doing things ethically, or isn't being a good partner, that doesn't mean that there isn't things that you aren't bringing that are causing or allowing for those things to happen.

Josh 20:17
Well, most relationships, it takes kind of two people to blow it up. Right? And here's the other piece of this. I want to say too, even if you were, even if it was a situation where you didn't do anything wrong, and your partner was a horrible person, chances are you've developed some unhealthy patterns in responding and reacting to what was going on, that you're now bringing.

Josh 20:41
So I guess what I'm trying to throw out here is this whole idea of punishing your partner for your ex, right, what I want to throw in is that it's not always just... Like that I have this idea of what happened in last relationship, my ex and expectations that I can't let go. It's that I am now approaching my relationships in a certain way. Either because these were patterns that I've always had. Or maybe this is just a pattern I developed in the last relationship because the last relationship was so bad, but there are real patterns and ways that people are approaching their relationships behind that, that have to be dealt with, right? Not just the, I just need to stop expecting this to be like my past partner. A lot of times that's a piece of the answer. But that isn't the whole thing.

Cassie 21:29
Yeah, and this happens, whenever we have something in our lives that is impactful, relationships are impactful, we grow and we adapt, and sometimes we grow and we adapt, in not good ways. We grow we adapt to protect ourselves and take care of ourselves in that situation. And a lot of times what happens is, we then bring things into another situation where we didn't have to have that adaptation.

Josh 21:57
I think this is gonna be easy to illustrate with an example. Right? So one, you know, one example I hear a lot when I'm talking to people, you know, an example where, you know, like, my partner was most of the problem even, right, is my partner was really argumentative and really mean and didn't listen to what I needed. So I got in the habit of expressing myself by like breaking down and screaming at them. Right? Okay, that was a response, the situation that was there. And now that I'm in this new relationship, guess what my pattern that I go to is when I feel stressed out, now I yell and scream, and now I'm damaging this new relationship. So that's the kind of thing that I'm talking about. Right? We all bring our patterns, and the way that we do things, both good and bad, into our relationships.

Josh 22:44
So whether it's, you know, this was something like I said, that I've had, and I brought through my relationships, or, you know, maybe I didn't have this for the last relationship, but now I do. Right? Part of the way we punish our current partners, for our past partners, it doesn't just by what we expect, it's by the patterns we bring in how we show up. It's all pretty entwined, to be honest with you. But I just wanted to kind of pull that out.

Cassie 23:09
Yeah. So where do we want to go from here? Because those were the kind of the two big things that I was going to talk about, as far as you know, how we handle things. And then there's kind of one more. Is there anything else you want to throw in before I-

Josh 23:21
No.

Cassie 23:22
So another way that folks tend to try to approach this is, we're going to sit down and talk about the problems. And I'm going to explain to you what happened in the past. And we're gonna rehash and talk about this over and over again, I'm going to explain to you why this happened with this partner, and you're going to explain to me why this

Josh 23:44
got, and then we're gonna go to therapy. And we're gonna spend six months talking about how bad our last relationships were, instead of focusing on fixing what's going on now, because that will fix things somehow. I'm saying this somewhat sarcastically. But this is a pretty common expectation, right, is that if we just process deeply enough, what happened in the last relationship, suddenly, we won't have these problems now. But that just isn't how things work, right, knowing why a problem is there does not fix the problem. Which I think is what you're saying.

Cassie 24:19
Yeah. And here's the thing, I'm not gonna say it's not a bad idea to like, figure out like, okay, maybe this is where I got a pattern from or, you know, this is a spot.

Josh 24:29
It's cool to know.

Cassie 24:29
It's cool to know. And sometimes it can even be helpful to know like, what are the things that like, trigger me into certain responses, like it's helpful to know that. Like, I know that if I'm in this situation that I get, you know, I get exhilarated a little bit more when I'm in the certain situations.

Josh 24:51
And but I want to be really clear here because this is this is the important piece. I'm not saying that there's not value like cathartic value in processing where something came from. But that is an entirely different thing from solving the problems now. They're both worthy goals, but they are both separate goals. Right? Knowing how to fix the problem now does not tell you why your problem is there, knowing why the problem is there. While it may be cathartic does not at all fix the problem that you have now. And people get those things tangled, so often, where they think that just by knowing where a problem came from, the problem is fixed. It's not fixed, it's actually not even any closer to being fixed. You've achieved a good but separate accomplishment of understanding. Which has its own benefits. Right. And I'm not saying I mean, it's absolutely a worthwhile endeavor, to a certain extent. And those benefits don't include fixing the problem now. And I think so many people, this is so important. So many people get tangled up in this so much, right? Where they spend so much time trying to understand why a problem is there. And then they don't understand, they're surprised, and they don't understand why the problem isn't fixed. It's because those are two separate journeys.

Cassie 26:24
And the other way folks try to fix this is they try to get unreasonable accommodations, or make requests that are just ridiculous in order to bandaid the problem, or to avoid that situation.

Josh 26:43
An example here would be helpful.

Cassie 26:45
So for example, my ex partner wouldn't be honest with me about where he was going. So now, every time you go somewhere, you have to text me when you leave, and text me when you get back. And I need to know exactly where you're going. And when you're going to be back and what time. Like every minute of the day, I need to know exactly where you are.

Josh 27:13
Or I need to be able to look in your phone so I can verify where you're going.

Cassie 27:17
Yeah. So things like that. And I was being a little like over exaggerated, but like you start trying to overcompensate with things, right, like I'm trying to find trust in you. So what I'm doing is I'm being really unreasonable with not trusting you.

Josh 27:36
Well and, again, we're back to the problem, the problems of whatever band aids you choose, and the impact of those band aids on your partner, and whether or not they choose to accommodate it. All of that aside, we're back to the problem is that it doesn't work. Right. And this is again, a place a lot of people get confused when it doesn't work. But they think that by by band aiding the thing, right? That then they will get back to place being comfortable, but that's actually the exact opposite of how it works. Because not only will most of these band aids will not suddenly give you that sense of security, like it's not going to magically come back. But most of the time, whatever band aids you tack over top of these problems actually make the things worse, right.

Josh 28:28
Easy example, you probably heard me talk before about, you know, letting your partners or through your phones, you know how much of our stuff you've listened to. Right? This is a really common thing. Well, my last partner was dishonest or in this relationship, you've been dishonest, which is another thing, right? But so you know, now we got to practice this radical transparency. I got to look at your phone all the time. Well, here's the problem, right? Nevermind the ethical concerns, and this and that, and this, I talked about this all before, right? The biggest problem is that you reading my text messages is going to make you more insecure.

Josh 29:07
There's no possible way that it won't, you have nothing to gain and only things lose, you have nothing to gain because if I'm trying to be dishonest, I'll just text on another phone, or I won't put it in text.

Cassie 29:17
Or delete it.

Josh 29:17
Or I'll delete it, or I'll get a secure app or a million ways to work around it. Right. So you'll never know that I'm being honest with you. But on the other hand, you will absolutely find things in those messages to make you uncomfortable. Because nobody and I say this as somebody who's incredibly poly. If I go through and read all of Cassie's text with her other partners, I'm gonna find stuff to make me uncomfortable. Because we're humans, and that's how humans work.

Cassie 29:44
Yep, that that one's text where your partner calls the other person attractive or hot or sexy or you see that-

Cassie 29:50
Pet name.. or...

Cassie 29:52
That picture that comes through any of those things is going to trigger that.

Josh 29:56
And this isn't about texts. I'm just giving this as an example. But you know, I think can use Cassie's example, like you're gonna text me every time you're here, every time you arrive, every time you this, every time you that, right. And there's a place for that. But if it's being done as a security blanket, right, then what happens is, you know, it's, it's, I'm not going to remember all these millions of times a day, I'm supposed to text you, and then I'm gonna forget. And now that's become a problem. Right? Because now I'm not being honest with you, because I'm not texting you.

Josh 30:23
So people try and bandaid it, but what I want to throw in here, it isn't just the band aids don't work. It isn't just that the band aids usually cause problems in the relationship, because now I'm pissed off that I have to do all this extra shit because of the problems you have with your last partner. Right. But also actively, most of the time they make the situation itself, the insecurity, the communication, the whatever it is, you're trying to Band Aid worse, because you're not dealing with the problems.

Cassie 30:52
Yeah. And typically, the other thing with these band aid issues, is that you keep having to repeatedly Band Aid over the last thing.

Josh 31:01
Put a band aid over the band aid.

Cassie 31:02
Yeah. Okay, so this time, you didn't text me. So now, now we're going to do this other thing. Oh, I found this picture of this person in your phone. So now you need to ask me permission before you're texting pictures, like it ends up being this thing that starts to get more and more and more built on, rather than actually healing, the insecurities and the trust that actually needs to be rebuilt.

Cassie 31:03
Okay, so what should people do?

Cassie 31:05
So, first off, I'm gonna kind of take a little detour here and say this. So you're gonna sit there, and you might be sitting here saying, Well, I recognize that all these things are from my past relationships. And I'm gonna say slow down for a second. Because some of the challenges that you have in your relationship are not your past relationship. And you really want to make sure, right, first off, that you are looking into what those things are, right? If you have insecurities, Is there things going on in your relationship that is causing you to be insecure? If I have trust issues with you, I need to figure out if there's actual things that has caused those problems. So the first step in all of this is really making sure that this is stuff that you're kind of carrying from your other relationships.

Josh 32:27
And I mentioned this earlier, because I suspect that most of the time, this is one of the mistakes people actually make, just in my conversations with people as a coach, and you know, the hundreds of people I talk to a year with this stuff, right? Far more often, what I see than a situation where it is purely about my old partner, and I'm bringing that stuff into this relationship is what I was talking about before, right? Where there are patterns that may have been present in the last relationship that are now also present here. And instead of recognizing those patterns and the things and issues that need to change, I'm blaming it on Oh, well, it's just because I had a bad relationship before. And if that's your answer, I mean, really, what's your solution?

Josh 33:24
Which I'm saying to say, like, you have to actually find a solution to the problems that you're facing now. Right. And so I would really encourage people to think about what Cassie is saying here. Because most of the time that I talk to people, and they believe that this is just oh, you know, I just have to get over what happened in my last relationship. Right? I mean, depends what you mean about by getting over because it's not just getting over ain the sense of like, I have bad feelings about my last relationship I need to get over. Right it is, there are patterns that were present in my last relationship that are now showing up in this relationship. And it isn't enough to just like I said, deal with like, Oh, I got to deal with the feelings about what happened before. Right? You gotta change the patterns that are happening now. And I would and correct me if I'm wrong here, Cassie. But I would say 99% of the time, this is what's going on. Because the truth of the matter is, if it was just about the feelings of it, and you weren't bringing patterns, you would not be seeing problems in your current relationship. Do you agree with that or disagree?

Cassie 34:29
I agree with that. And I was going to say it a little differently.

Josh 34:32
Okay, say it a little differently.

Cassie 34:33
So here's the thing. So if you're in that heart where you're like, okay, but I still think these are things from my past. Guess what? It's still the same problem. The way that you show up the way that you interact with your partner is now a current problem. So whether you want to think of it as just being from your past or whatever, really, this is at this point, the point that you are now, these are the the issues that you need to address from within yourself.

Josh 35:04
Yeah, it gets back to the whole conversation we're having about knowing what caused the problem doesn't fix it, right? Where the problem came from also doesn't impact whether or not there's a problem now. So I'd really encourage you to think about this, like, if you're in a spot where you feel like you're punishing your partner for the sake of your exes, fine. But I encourage you to really go deeper than to be like, Oh, my last relationship was bad... So... Like, what are the patterns that you are bringing to this relationship? What are the things you are doing in this relationship, because you're doing something or you wouldn't be running into challenges. And that's a really important distinction. It's a really empowering distinction. But it's a really important distinction.

Cassie 36:00
And I want to point out why it's so empowering. Because guess what, you get to change it, not your ex, not some person that like maybe you don't have any interactions with anymore, you now have the power to shift how your relationship currently is.

Josh 36:17
Because it isn't about what happened, you can't change that. Right? However much or little, you may have had to do with the downfall of that relationship and the patterns, you can't change that. What you can change is how you're going to show up differently to this relationship, and not only this relationship, but any other relationships that you have going forward. You get to decide that, but you can only decide that by looking at, like I said, what are the patterns I'm bringin? What are the actions taking, what am I doing now in my relationships based on these past problems, but it is empowering, like Cassie said, because you can take control of that. And you can take control of your actions and your reactions and how you're showing up. And you can do that differently. And you can seize your power there to make a change without being reliant like Cassie said, or being under the thumb of this person who is no longer maybe even in your life.

Cassie 37:21
And then from there, it's simple but not easy, right? It's then putting new processes new tools and new strategy into place. So that way, you are showing up differently, because what you're doing currently isn't going to change your you don't change your patterns without changing a lot of your behaviors. Right? So you start having to put new things into place. It can't just be like, Okay, I recognize the pattern. Well, now you actually have to replace that one.

Josh 37:54
That's step one.

Cassie 37:55
Step one is recognizing the pattern, right? And then step two is actually finding ways to replace that pattern with things that are going to work and make your relationship flourish.

Josh 38:07
It's more like steps two through 10.

Cassie 38:08
Yeah, to be honest. So anything else you want to add on to that?

Josh 38:19
I don't want to make light of that first step though. Because that first step is what allows you to take your power back from this previous relationship, right? Recognizing that whatever may have happened before, what is dragging your relationship down now is the way you're showing up and the actions you're taking and the reactions you're having and the patterns you're bringing in that you can change those things. Right. Like I said, it may only be step one. But the reason it's such an important step is because in taking that step of recognizing that and really asking yourself, like I said, okay, yeah, I know I'm struggling this relationship because of my last relationship. But what is it I'm actually doing that's causing problems now? What is it I'm actually struggling with? Now? Right? And then how am I externalizing that struggle into the space of my relationships, because it was just an internal struggle, and I wasn't reacting at all and doing anything with it. It wouldn't be impacting my partner, we wouldn't be now into into things, right?

Josh 39:28
By really asking yourself that though. Like I said, even though that is only the first step. And then the next like nine steps are actually doing what you need to do to break those patterns, to get new tools and new strategies to change the way that you're showing up. Right, that first step, the one that we're kind of focusing on in this episode. That's the step that allows you to seize your power back from that person you're no longer with and to step out of their shadow and to move forward and to change the course of you relationships from here on out so that they don't have to look the same as that relationship, or those relationships, looked.

Cassie 40:09
And what I do want to throw out here is that it's not easy sometimes to figure out what those patterns are. Sometimes trying to be the person who's on the inside, you might recognize some of the really big ones. Like, I yell in our arguments, or I shut down. But some of those patterns might not be easy for you to find and discover on your own.

Josh 40:38
Well, and even the ones that are, right, it's still only the first step. So I recognize my patterns that I yell in conversations. Well, great. But now what are you going to do about it? Because, you know, that's a problem, and you're still doing it. Right? So that is step one. But even in the cases where you recognize the pattern, which as Cassie said is that isn't always easy. There's still the breaking the pattern and doing something different. And that is most certainly not easy.

Josh 41:13
And just honestly, most people can't do that on their own. Right? Most people don't recognize patterns on their own, or at least not all of them. But even when they do, they don't know how to change it. Because if they do, obviously, they would have done already, obviously, they know yelling at the partner, or feeling super insecure, and then venting that, or having all these you know, these band aids in place. Right, obviously, they know that's causing challenges. What they don't know is how to do things differently. And, you know, for most people that takes getting the right help and perspective, to figure out how to break those patterns, especially when those patterns have been there for a long time, which for a lot of people they have. That's what I was gonna say.

Cassie 41:59
I mean, I think that really sums up most of this episode really, is you have to figure out what those patterns are, you have to start breaking those patterns. And you then can start to have the tools to shift those things. And for most folks, this isn't something that's super easy. You know, we have years sometimes of having these patterns, and trying to break them as is not a simple thing to do.

Josh 42:33
Most people don't do that on their own. Like if you're stuck and you need help, and you recognize the patterns you're in aren't helping, like I said, number one, in recognizing that you have the power to start doing things differently. That's step one, even if you can't even see the patterns, even just knowing, okay, let me let me adjust what I said before. Recognizing that you have the power to make a change, and you don't have to stay in that shadow of that past relationship, and you can change what you're doing now. That's step one, step two is recognizing the patterns. Then steps three through 10 are making the changes, right.

Josh 43:03
So even just recognizing that if that's all you're taking away from this, it is so important. Like even just recognizing that, no matter what may have happened before you have the power to break those patterns and show up differently from here on out and to build different relationships going forward. And you don't have to live under that. That is a huge step. And most people either can't figure out the patterns or can't fix them on their own. So if you are like, hey, I want to seize my power in that. And I want to step out of these past relationships, and I want something better for myself and my partners going forward. But I don't know how I don't know what the patterns are. Or even if I do, I don't know how to actually make the changes and change the way I've been doing this for years. Reach out for help. This is what we do. Like you need an expert, you need help. And you need help that isn't just as I said before, going to talk about what the problems were, like, That's great and cathartic and it doesn't actually fix them. If you want to do that, fine, do that too.

Josh 43:54
But if you want to fix the problems, you need help that's going to show you how to change what you're doing from here out and how to fix the problems. Right. And we help people with that all the time. If you want our help to do that, it's really simple. Go to atouchofflavor.com/talk. All right, you'll see our calendar, grab a spot. We'll hop on phone for like an hour we'll talk through, we'll go through exactly what those patterns are exactly where you want to be. And how you can seize your power back, change those patterns, show up differently in these relationships and have a different outcome and better relationships going forward. And now the New Year's coming up like why staying in this this shit and these patterns another year?

Josh 44:29
Like reach out, get on the calendar, Cassie or I will hop on at the time that you picked. It'll be the best time you've ever spent on your relationships. Absolutely life changing. We're here to help you. Right? Like Listen, I want you to take away from this I want you to take away that you have the power. If you take nothing but that away from this. I'm happy for you. But honestly that isn't enough and I want more. I don't just want you to recognize you have the power. I want you to actually do something about it. Right, and actually have have better relationships, and a better future, and to break out of these patterns going forward. And if that's it, reach out for help and make it happen. Like, because there is not an easy path of breaking those patterns and getting things back we need to be. That's it. Anything else you want to throw in?

Cassie 45:15
No, I think it was an awesome show. And we're gonna see you next time.

Josh 45:18
All right, we love you all. Have a great week, and we'll talk to you here soon.

Josh 45:27
Thanks for tuning into today's show. We release new episodes every week. So make sure to subscribe.

Cassie 45:33
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 46:00
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 46:24
So, if you want to see if we can help you do the same head over to atouchofflavor.com/talk. I'm Cassie.

Josh 46:32
And I'm Josh. Let's talk soon.