Clément talks to BB Easton about her book “44 Chatpers About 4 Men” which is a memoir she wrote in private, only for it to become the inspiration behind the #1 Netflix show “Sex/Life”. We discuss her experiences around the book and the show and her thoughts on her industry and niche and the importance for women to feel many positive emotions in relationships.
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[00:00:18] He might not have, if you haven’t check it out, it’s talk of the town, I think at the moment. Yeah. We get to see the side of that character, Billy, that is actually the real BB east and the real woman behind the actual diary of all of the men and the memories and the recounting is her husband really like Cooper.
[00:00:40] Did she really have exes like Brad, we get to find it all out in this episode. I hope you enjoy this episode. If you do, please leave a rating and review in the apple podcast platform because every single one we get helps us reach more people. So without further ado, let’s jump right in. See you on the next one.
[00:00:57] It’s really cool to get you on the show. I did watch the show sex life. I didn’t, I don’t even know how much you’re involved with that. How did you help with that? Yeah, they really just took the idea and ran with it. Netflix was looking for a TV drama. They wanted a sexy female centered, like 50 shades of gray or something along those lines that would really be a conversation piece.
[00:01:23] And the producer who had option 44 chapters. Was having a conversation with them. And he was like, oh, I have this book and it’s, it’s a romance. And it’s a comedy. My memoir is really it is not to be taken very seriously and they were really looking for a serious scandalous, sexy show.
[00:01:42] But there was enough there with the story of a woman who’s journaling and her husband finds it. And what happens after that, that they were able to take that kernel and then create what they really wanted out of it. So I was just on the sidelines, like shaking my POM poms and cheering them on because they had their vision and we’re like, but yeah, it’s very different than the book.
[00:02:05] It’s. There are a lot of scenes here and there that they took that was so fun to watch. But for the most part it’s this whole fictional world that they built just inspired by. Yeah. Yeah. I’m putting a spoiler alert so that anyone who’s listening knows that we’re going to talk about it and maybe in some detail, but I’ll be honest with you.
[00:02:25] I watched the show and I found it pretty difficult to get my head around some of the things that happened. Did you watch it? Yes, I’ve watched it twice. So we got to watch it early. And then I watched it with a bunch of friends when it came out. It’s a very different tone. But I understand why they made the changes that they made because my book has a nice little happy ending.
[00:02:47] It wraps everything up with a cute little bow and that doesn’t make for great TV. So they really wanted something that would get people talking and not would be a little more controversial. So they definitely achieved it. It’s everything. It’s all I’ve been hearing about his sex life and the ending and episode three.
[00:03:06] And so they really accomplish their goal. Are they going to do another season? Cause it kind of ends on a cliff hanger, right? That’s their hopes. So they, that, that ending was, with the intention of now what happens. And we want everybody to want to know what’s going to happen. So I’ve been told that after that Netflix always waits a month to look at a full month of viewing numbers before they make a decision for season two and we’re coming up on a month.
[00:03:33] So hopefully we’ll find out soon. Good luck with that and congratulations on the whole thing, by the way, because it’s an amazing accomplishment. I’m writing a script right now for a movie, which I just stumbled across. I had no idea that I was going to be doing this.
[00:03:46] I’ve never done it before. And these things, they just they’re serendipitous. They happen because you’re focusing on something, your passion let’s say, and you get drawn into it. I would say it’s a kind of like a karmic energy. I’m not, very spiritual, but things just start to happen when you’re aligned with what it is that you feel you should be doing.
[00:04:08] Yes, this is everything I’ve learned through this process. 100% as I thought, I didn’t even think I was writing a book. I thought I was just writing a diary at first. And then once it turned into a book I thought five people were going to read it. I wouldn’t to open a bank account for my new, like author side business.
[00:04:26] And the lady asked me how much money I thought I was going to make that year. And I was like 50 bucks. And she was, she said it costs a hundred dollars to open the bank account. So are you sure this is the job for you, sweetie? But that, that, because it was completely a passion project, I feel like anytime you tap into that is when the magic happens.
[00:04:46] And when the doors open. Like I never intended for it to become a show. I was looking for a publisher or an agent or somebody and stumbled upon a talent manager completely by accident. And he’s the one who knew the producer who pitched it to Netflix. And because it was like a wrong number, it was, I thought I was calling an agent and I was calling a talent manager.
[00:05:07] Like all of this has been so serendipitous that. So I wish you a lot of luck with your screenplay. I actually wrote my first screenplay last year during quarantine. And it was so much fun. I felt that same way again, where it was like I was learning something new and it was a blast. It was so much fun to write.
[00:05:26]It’s a totally different type of writing, so it doesn’t flow easily, but I’m getting better and I’m getting there, but thank you. I appreciate it. Let’s see what happens. Fingers crossed. So you said not much of the show actually represents what is really in your book, in your diary. Is the whole scenario with your husband finding out part of it?
[00:05:49]So that’s really the crux of this story that the show does really revolve around. That was their inspiration. But instead in my book my husband discovers these diaries that I’ve been writing these little journal entries about my exes, because I went through a very extensive, bad boy.
[00:06:07] Learn from my mistakes and married a nice guy. Who’s an accountant. And we had two lovely children and a very nice stable home. And while I was on maternity leave with my second child, you just, there’s this phase in parenthood where you just lose yourself completely. I call it like being in the trenches where it’s just survival.
[00:06:28] Like you’re nursing every two and a half hours. You’re in a This disgusting nursing down with like sour milk on it. And you just don’t feel very sexy and you don’t have the freedom to do whatever you want anymore. You, I couldn’t even go to the store without having to time that, because I knew I would have to be home in time to nurse in two and a half hours.
[00:06:45] And if it takes 30 minutes to get there and 30 minutes, it’s. You are a slave to these little people and in your relationship becomes survival as well. Like you’re just trying to help each other manage the thing that you’ve built. And I started reading romance novels at night to keep myself awake while I was nursing just on my phone.
[00:07:06] And. Discovered this whole genre of bad boy romance novels. It’s like the tattoo artist and the Marine with the chip on his shoulder and the the underground street racer. And I was like, I did it, all of these guys. I can write these stories and not even making things up. So I started journaling at night while, in between feedings, I was just writing these little stories and it wasn’t really about the Xs as much as it was about.
[00:07:33] Reconnecting with who I used to be and all the fun I used to have and how free I was. And it was the it was the only, it was the only fun I was having at that time. And I loved it and it was just supposed to be for me. And one night I was coming downstairs and putting my daughter to bed and heard my laptop slammed shut, and I come around the corner and my husband’s sitting there on the couch.
[00:07:57] Totally guilty. And I like saw my relationship flask flash before my eyes, like I’m getting divorced. I don’t know what he read, but I know it wasn’t good. But instead it was like on the show the next night he came home from work and he was like, I got a babysitter. We’re going out. Get dressed and it was the best time.
[00:08:18] And I started noticing that he was becoming a little more passionate in the bedroom. And so neither we didn’t really talk about it, but it was this kind of little communication tool. I kept it going. And I would, I was a psychologist, so I’ve observed his behavior and see if he was doing any of the things that I wrote about.
[00:08:36] And because when you’re a psychologist, you have psychologist, friends. They were like, okay, so this is behavior modification, 1 0 1. And you have discovered the holy grail of relationship behavior. What you need to do is write whatever you want him to do, say that your ex did it, and then you had solved everyone’s problems, but it was a lot of fun.
[00:08:58] My husband responded very differently than Cooper on the show. We had fun with it and it really did help improve our relationship and get us to focus on us. And the show that’s not dramatic that isn’t, that your acts didn’t come back. The tattoo artists didn’t show up and say, I didn’t finish that tattoo.
[00:09:17] So I’m here to finish it. Does not make for good TV. So yeah, Stacy Kaiser came along and she was like, all right, we’re going to take this story. But then we are going to make it a, an emotional roller coaster. And she did it, the whole team at Netflix. Like I couldn’t stop watching that show. I knew it was going to happen.
[00:09:37] And I was like, I could feel my heart pounding and like my pupils dilating. I’ve really, even though it is very different, I love the changes from a TV perspective because it was amazing. Yeah, it sounds like it’s very different and I totally get the dynamics between TV and books. It’s a really different medium and people are in a totally different mindset.
[00:09:57] Like when you’re watching TV, you want to be entertained when you’re reading a book, it’s you take your own time. You don’t know whether you’re going to read a chapter or two when you just want to relax and have some quiet time. And that’s the real people, I guess people need to realize that.
[00:10:11] So hopefully if people listen to this, they’re. Then they’re going to realize, okay, this is just for, entertainment, there’s more to it than just getting views, which I think a lot of the show does very well. Whether or not it makes sense. So when you said that you’re a psychologist by trade and you noticed that your husband was responding to your writing and trying.
[00:10:33] What was the initial, did you ever worry about that? Cause in my mind, if I know that I’ve manufactured something, even if it’s by accident, my brain’s going to start to think, I don’t want this. I don’t want this and it’s going to sabotage maybe whatever they’re trying to do. And I’m just myself.
[00:10:50] So I know that I’m just a unique person. So what happened with you when that started to begin? No for me, it was very it. I was getting so much positive reinforcement. So I look at everything having been a school psychologist. A lot of my training was behavioral. You’re having to try to shape children’s behavior at school.
[00:11:09] On top of all of the learning things in the social, emotional aspects, behavior is a big part of what I did. And with children, with dogs, with anything that you’re trying to help mold and shape behavior. Negative reinforcement and positive reinforcement are two really big aspects of that process.
[00:11:29] And so I look at everything like that. This behavior is going to continue. If it’s been positively re rewarded or reinforced, and it’s going to decrease if it’s being negatively if there are consequences. So I was getting lots of positive reinforcement for my behavior, for my journaling behavior.
[00:11:48]So I was just thrilled that things were improving and that we were having fun. Again, there weren’t really any consequences. It wasn’t until. I really realized that it was turning into a book and wanting to publish it, that I got concerned and spent a lot of time talking to lawyers and making sure that I protected everybody’s identity and reassuring my husband, that nobody was going to find out it was him.
[00:12:11]But so far so good. Has anyone reached out to you now that it’s out and, it’s there for everyone to see? I don’t know. I’m assuming they’ve seen it or they’ve heard of it now, right? Yeah. Actually, one of my exes, who I wrote about there are three X’s that I was journaling about and one of them did find out about it.
[00:12:33] And I see we’re still friends. I see him. He was the rockstar X. If anybody has. 44 chapters about for men. But we’re still friends. I still see him like once a year on the holidays when he comes back in town. And I hadn’t said anything about the book. I hadn’t said anything about the show. I told him I was a stay at home mom now.
[00:12:51] And he found out from somebody we went to high school with. So that was a fun text to get. I thought I was going to. When I read that, he was like, Hey, so I’m reading the book. But he was so sweet. He just said he was very flattered. And then he was very happy for me. So crisis averted. But luckily no, we really haven’t.
[00:13:08] I really haven’t had any issues other than that think knock on wood. Yeah, no, it’s a, it’s a. Pleasure to be mentioned in this story and have it seen by him. It’s an anonymous thing. So it’s oh, that was inspired by me. But the book itself dives into 44 chapters, what’s the story behind 44.
[00:13:31] Cause that’s an interest. Actually it’s based on a punk scene from the eighties called 88 lines, about 44 women, the nails. And I love this song. It’s so clever because it really is literally 88 lines and every two lines are about a different woman. And as I was writing, I thought I realized that it was going to be about four men, these three exes and my husband.
[00:13:55] And just when I was brainstorming titles, that one came to mind. Reminded me and it was shaping up to be around 44 chapters. So I thought I’m going to, I’m going to borrow that song title. Cause I just love it so much. Oh I see. Inspiration. There are so many different ways to write books like this you’ve written.
[00:14:15] Is this the first book you’ve written or you’ve written more, this is the first book. Yeah. What do you think about the industry in general when it comes to like erotic books and reading and have an also have any women reached out to you, does it help people when they read these books, reignite passion and desire in their relationships?
[00:14:36] Maybe. Absolutely. I have, I know all industries get a bad rap, any industry in the entertainment world, whether it’s publishing or filming movies or film and. But what I found at least with the romance industry is that well, and I started indie, so I was independently, self-published and there is this community on social media.
[00:14:59] This indie romance community it’s and it’s actually a pretty big community, but they are so rabid and so loyal and positive and supportive. That’s why 44 chapters about four men did so well when it came out, I hadn’t told anybody about the TV film deal. I wasn’t allowed to announce that until Netflix picked it up, I, it was like, Three years, four years before I was able to say anything.
[00:15:26] So that was going on in the background, but the book did so well because of this community. And I just made friends and was, learning who the influencers were and following authors that I loved and I would reach out and say, Hey, do you want to read my book? And here you can have a free copy if you want to review it.
[00:15:42] And people were like, yes, I got so much. You. Publicity and promo when people were making graphics to share on Instagram and reviewing all over good reads and Amazon, and I didn’t spend a dime, it was just people who love romance. And they got so excited about this book because it’s different. It’s a comedic memoir really, but it’s sexy.
[00:16:02] So the Romans community loved the stickiness of it, but they also loved that it was different from everything they had read. Cause it’s based on a true story. I have nothing but love for this community. And then now I have a publisher for these books and that has been a really pleasant process.
[00:16:18] I’ve been so lucky to have found these warm, generous, amazingly smart women who just love romance and they just want to share it and they just want to help you share it. And I couldn’t be more fortunate. That’s amazing. And when you’re lucky like that, obviously you wrote a pretty good book from what I can gather.
[00:16:42] I haven’t read it, but it sounds like you’ve had a pretty decent run with the first book. But when you’re lucky and you stumble across a network or community, a tribe like that too, will vouch for you and be there for you. That’s a blessing for any industry, including my own. And so congratulations.
[00:17:00]That’s a huge. Like step and I can see how that really helped you catapult it because these days it’s really tough to get publicity organically. It’s really difficult to get traction. And maybe one of the reasons why it did get traction is because, like you said, it’s based on a true story and people can really pick that up when they read it.
[00:17:19]Okay, I have read through some novels that are designed for women that are written for women, because I was curious, I wanted to understand I think you can see the fiction in it. You can, if you’re honest with yourself because maybe people aren’t, that’s probably why they read them.
[00:17:35] Cause they’re just looking for an out and I’m going to ask you a question about that a second, but yeah, th maybe the fact that it was a true story is okay, now I’m living vicariously and now I can relate to a lot of this stuff too. And it’s more realistic, right? I can definitely.
[00:17:48]And I, I. To my journal in a way that makes you feel like I’m talking to the reader. So I’m talking to my journal, like it’s a real person. So when you’re reading it, you feel like you’re being spoken to directly. And I think that really helped too. It wasn’t my intention, is that I was literally just writing a journal until it was started shaping, turning into a book on this a year later.
[00:18:14]But I. Luckily, I think that aspect of it really helped people. Cause they said, I feel like I’m, having drinks with my best friend and she’s telling me dating stories. And there’s an intimacy there that you don’t get with a lot of fiction. When you did realize that you wanted to turn it into a book, and it was just a diary to begin with. And that was the moment where you’re like, okay, I’m going to have to do something with this. Did you approach your husband and say. What do you think should we, should I do this or did you just write it and then telling afterwards it was more like, so I’m going to do this.
[00:18:46] I don’t tend to ask for permission. That’s a lifelong problem. But yeah, there was a lot of trepidation he’s very shy and private and would have been mortified as say like people at his work. Discovered that it was about him and read. He didn’t even know what I had written completely, once it turned into a book, but he’s a pessimist to my optimist.
[00:19:07] So he assumed it was terrible and it’s going to make him look really bad. But I assured him that nothing bad is I will protect you. I’m going to change everything. I’m going to change your name. And so once the book finally came out and the sky didn’t fall, it was like, oh, okay. This is fine. Nothing bad happened.
[00:19:27] Nobody at my work knows. Then he got a little more supportive, but it wasn’t until we started going to book signings that his attitude did a 180 because he has Vanguard. It’s the cutest thing ever. These women who have read the book recognize this cute man in a tie next to me. And they’re like, oh my God.
[00:19:48] And they gush. They want hugs. It’s adorable. And he’s so shy that he eats it up. So now he comes to all of my books, signings. He carries my books around and so we have a really good time and it gives us a time to, to reconnect. We don’t take the kids with us. We get this fun little weekends, some, we do signings and cities that we want to visit, and it’s just been the best thing for us.
[00:20:12] So he’s my like unofficial assistant now. He’s very supportive. Amazing. Yeah. There’s always that kind of how am I going to be able to get behind this? And then if there’s something in it for it makes right. Nothing like stroking ego a bit. But I wanted to ask you this question.
[00:20:32] Why do you think books like yours exist today? Because there’s porn there’s a bunch of different stuff you can do too. There’s therapy. There’s right. There’s a number of different avenues that people have. If they’re feeling sexual desire, especially when they’re in relationships and they don’t know what to do about it.
[00:20:49] Why do you think this industry is and I know it’s so popular because I’ve seen the data at some point, and it’s crazy how many books are sold. You wouldn’t think it. But I wanted to ask you, what’s driving this and keeping it going. So the way I really look at Zandra’s is I feel like when you walk into a bookstore, Really, you’re not looking at books on shelves or stories.
[00:21:17] You, you are shopping for feelings. You are walking down this aisles and you’re saying, what do I want to feel? And personally, if I could walk around feeling the giddiness of new love all day, every day, that is the feeling I would choose. I don’t need action and adventure. I don’t need drama. I don’t need suspense.
[00:21:39] I just want the butterflies. Having a crush. I just want to walk around like that all the time. That’s my favorite feeling. Any movie I watched that I fall in love with is because there’s a central love story. Any book that I’ve read that I fallen in love with has had a central love story because it makes me feel a way that I love to feel my husband watches stressful work shows.
[00:22:02] That’s what I call them. He watches shows about people with stressful. Like gold miners and construction workers. And like all of these, reality TV shows about people who are like almost going to die on the job. Like, how do you, why do you want to feel this way? Why do you want to say stressed?
[00:22:17] But he likes it. So it’s, it’s the same thing at an amusement park. Some people like the big rollercoaster, some people like to spin around. Everybody has a different sensation that they’re seeking. And with books, it’s the exact same way. And I think a lot of women are like me and we just love the feeling of being in love or falling in love or.
[00:22:40] Wondering if that guy likes you back, like all of those fun, warm, fuzzy butterfly feelings. And we get those from reading and we get them from some movies too. But when you’re reading, you really can extend it for eight or 10 hours, that I really think that I’m not alone in that. I think it’s, like the number one bestseller.
[00:22:58] Fiction genre romance because at least, and I differentiate between romance and erotica. Erotica is a little different and you both can have sex in them, but erotica really focuses on the sex is more. Porny which is valid. People love that too. That’s how they want to feel. And then romance is really more focused on the relationship and there, there will be love scenes or whatever in it, but they all kind of fall under the same umbrella.
[00:23:21] And really, I think the overarching appeal there is just. That feeling of being desired and being in love and the excitement. I can’t get enough of it. Yeah. Okay. Great. And I can see that. I, my, my next thought is like, if this industry is so booming and it’s about romance and it’s about the fields were taught that well, that comes from your partner.
[00:23:47] That’s supposed to come from the relationship. And I’m just thinking, is that something that’s lacking in their relationship as their communication needs to happen? Are we supposed to be, Experimenting with new ways of generating this romance or do we need to have more of a a finger on the pulse of the romance and the relationship?
[00:24:05] Or is it just something that happens that you can’t avoid? Because you know what people get sick of each other. Come on. What do you expect? Yes. I think that’s such a great question because there, there is this fallacy that someone is going to complete you, someone is going to be everything for you.
[00:24:24] That is something yeah. Is lacking. And just because there’s a problem in your relationship or a problem with your partner and what I learned, and I fell into that fallacy. That was really the beginning of the book that I wrote. 44 chapters about for men was I was trying to get my husband. To change. I was trying to get him to be more passionate and do all of these things.
[00:24:44] And I felt if he would only do this, then he would be perfect. And if he would only do this but what I really discovered was that the things that I felt were lacking, I had in the past and I chose to not commit to those long-term I chose to commit to. Person who is very safe and very stable because it, it brings so much joy to my life to not have somebody put his fist through a wall.
[00:25:12] Every time he gets angry or to not have to walk on eggshells shells because this bad boy that I’m dating is so sexy is also like a raging lunatic. You learn over time. But that doesn’t change the fact that I did still like those three. And I did still have a lot of fun in those relationships until they went bad and I was like sobbing on the bathroom floor, inevitably.
[00:25:36]So I think what, what writing these journals did for me and what reading these books does for me is it gives me a safe place to feel all of that fun, dangerous, thrilling drama that I had in those early relationships that were so toxic. And not that all of these books are about toxic relationships, but, th they worked for me, the bad boys and the tattoo artists.
[00:25:57] And those were not guys that I wanted to marry. Those are not guys that I. Wanting to settle down with, but there was still a certain air of thrill and drama and danger that came along. That I will never feel again in my real life. Hopefully I don’t want that. I don’t want to welcome that into my 39 year old life.
[00:26:15] I have a mortgage. I have two mortgages, actually, two children, like there’s no room in my life. For crying on the bathroom floor anymore. So I think that’s my way of getting it all is that I have this beautiful, safe, stable, loving thing at home. I don’t want to jeopardize that, but when I want to feel that thrill or I want to.
[00:26:35] Revisit those crazy wild child years that I had, I can read a book or I can journal, or I can do that safely from, my, my home that I paid for with my stable job and not have to deal with the drama. Yeah. This is a real clear message here. Like there’s no room for that risk anymore. As you grow up, when you get older, you you’re.
[00:26:57] Your threshold for risk just drops dramatically. I don’t have kids, but I can imagine if I did, I wouldn’t be doing half the things that I’m doing right now. But you said that cause it’s interesting cause in the show when Cooper finds out, it’s almost as if there’s like a lot of tension because Cooper fields.
[00:27:16] His wife is about to cheat on him or wants to cheat on him or, so he’s got to save the relationship. And it turns out like she does want to cheat on him. She does at the end of the whole series, apparently she does. But that wasn’t really the case with you is what you’re saying.
[00:27:30] You, you were really just. Reliving those feelings, because at that, up to that point, how lucky is it that he did find it? Really actually is pretty lucky because what do you think would have happened if he didn’t that’s an issue? Absolutely. I would still be a school psychologist.
[00:27:45] I would be a stressed out and miserable shell of a human and I’m sure we would still be married, but it wouldn’t be nearly as fun. That’s for sure. But yeah, I really, I like that you brought up Cooper’s response and how different it was to Ken’s because that was really engineered for the drama of the show and to give men something, to sink their teeth into.
[00:28:09]I was talking to the producer about it and he said, and he’s a man. And he said, I really feel like we need to give these male characters a lot more depth and backstory and an emotional arc. Because he said, Ken has no arc. And I was like, oh no, Ken has no arc. Ken is, he will. He is the same person that I met and he will die the same person that I met.
[00:28:32] Like he is just the most, even keel, laid back human. And they wanted these male characters to have this emotional journey and to have feelings, whereas my husband doesn’t. I thought it was like, Great decision both for, just the dramatics, but also to give the men some characters who have some depth for them to relate to.
[00:28:53]Yeah, there were. For the most part, I saw it as just pure entertainment, but there were parts in that show where I thought this is a good lesson, besides everything that’s happened, that’s just being batshit crazy up to this point. There is a lesson here. And although I know in the following scene, it’s going to get completely made redundant because that’s just how the show is going.
[00:29:15] That’s just how these things build up like, When you do encounter these existential questions is this all there is to marriage am I ever going to feel the same passion and fire that I did with my ex partners? Or am I ever going to feel that way again? And she goes to the psychologist and he sits her down and they talk about it and he says something like Cooper.
[00:29:43] Isn’t supposed to be like, he’s not supposed to be like your ex and that’s because you’re looking for something different now. And it’s as he said earlier, there is an onus to put so much pressure on our partners to fulfill things that we have to resolve within ourselves.
[00:30:01]Where our mature. Has to take place. And it’s the hindering or the, the I guess when that maturing stops that process you’re stuck in a loop. You’re like still looking. It’s almost I used to play video games while back and one day I woke up and I just didn’t feel the same way.
[00:30:21]I didn’t feel like it was giving me the same pleasure. And I realized I, I forced myself to play for a while. And then I realized okay, I’m over this really? This is not doing it for me anymore. And that’s okay. That’s totally cool. It was a natural evolution there there’s just this internal growth that I think is really only going to happen when we.
[00:30:44] Spend time with ourselves and we start to be introspective about all the things that have been happening up to this point. Like you reflect and I, everything through the journal, through the diary, that must have been so insightful. Was it like a therapy for you? A proper, did it come to some serious conclusions and insight?
[00:31:03] Absolutely. Absolutely. And that main insight was exactly what you just touched on. It was that through that journey and through exploring all of those relationships, cause I had been romanticizing all of the good things about those relationships and the good things were the thrills and the excitement and the passion and all of the wild, crazy nights that we had.
[00:31:25] But in journaling, I would write those stories and then I would write the other side of the coin. I’d be like, okay. But that was fun and all, but let me tell you, the other story is about Hartley or about Heinz or about night and what else? This joker did that wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. And I wrote it very comedically and had plenty of funny stories about all of them, but in that process, forcing myself to not only look at it, All of the rose colored aspects, but to look at oh yeah.
[00:31:56] And he also cheated on me like three times and this happened and really made me realize, remember why I chose my husband and that I made a choice and I stand by that choice every day, because I don’t want what I had, if I did, I would have ended up with it. I would have run to Vegas with any number of those guys, but.
[00:32:17] So even though we want to have it all, I think you can a little bit, you can have those conversations with your partner. If things have gone stale and said, you know what, maybe we should try this. Or maybe I would really like X, Y, or Z, and make it about yourself and state it positively.
[00:32:34] Don’t say we don’t ever do this anymore. You don’t ever dah dah, but say I would love. Whatever to go on a date again, I would love to send the parent and the kids to your parents’ house and just. Slept around the house naked all weekend. Like we used to or whatever to say it from a personal need, because your partner just wants to make you happy when you’re happy.
[00:32:57] You are much more pleasant to be around. Everybody wants a happy partner. So if that, if it’s that simple, it’s just going to your partners. Hey, I want to try this. I been missing this. They will bend over backwards to do it. It might not be as passionate and wild and crazy as that guy that you met on new year’s Eve on the sunset strip when you were on Molly and like 2003, but it’ll be good.
[00:33:23] And you love this person. So it’s the trade-off is, you can, there’s no debate. It’s, you know what, the person that you end up with. And sometimes people end up with lots of different people, but the one that you’re with at the moment is you’re with them for a reason. And sometimes it’s because they don’t do a lot of the things that you think you want.
[00:33:45]W how to answer to riff on what you said, I’m going to ask you, how old were you when this diary was was found out like how old was Cooper and how old were you when he found out. I was 31 and he was 34. Okay. So you’ve already grown up and you, weren’t just in your early love life.
[00:34:06]And I think it takes a certain amount of maturity to be able to look at that and see. W, okay. I can, I, there’s something I can do here rather than take it the wrong way and start to get upset and let your ego get, or so I think that for me is really important, to take into account because I’m thinking of people who are listening to this now, and maybe it’s men, maybe it’s women.
[00:34:29]I’m just wondering to myself, what do you think the major challenges are? In relationships today. Because we talk a lot about that on this show, and it’s such a fascinating subject because I want to solve all those problems. I know I can’t, but every person we get on here, I want to know what they think is really happening today.
[00:34:51] And what can we do about it? There is, w we grew up I’m 38, right? So what kind of similar age? Oh, we grew up in a time where you didn’t have a tech talk on your phone or Tinder or whatever. And so it is a very different world and no one can argue that it’s not like saying. It’s not like saying, oh God, there’s video games out now.
[00:35:14]This never used to be a thing when I was younger. This is real connection to other human beings, but it’s yeah, it’s just how would you say it’s like a castrated version of it? And it’s damaging us and changing the way that we connect and the expectations we have of each other.
[00:35:29]When we get into relationships now, sometimes it’s after. Two dates and most of the buildup to that was spent behind the screen, with messages and bad spellings and grammar and stuff, and highly inappropriate things, because you don’t have to deal with it, there. So what do you think is one of the major challenges or the major challenge today when it comes to people having relationships and keeping them.
[00:35:53] Good enough. Good quality enough to be able to stay in them. Happy. I think you touched on it in In your riff right there. I really feel like it’s the technology, just the ever present lore of entertainment and distractions and a nest, the possession of feelings. The stressors that we have in all of our pockets.
[00:36:19] And, two people could be sitting on the couch next to each other, and they’re both worlds away because we’re both entertaining ourselves individually. They thought everybody was going to have this huge baby boom during quarantine because everybody was at home together. And that they would just naturally like, may like rabbits and it didn’t happen.
[00:36:38] There was actually, It’s like the fewest babies born in years after this time. Yeah. It’s it’s actually a crisis in the U S they were talking about we don’t know what’s going to happen to them labor force because so few babies are being born. Following COVID. Yeah. So people were not at home connecting with each other.
[00:36:58] They were at home and nest the timing, their stressors, because it was such a stressful time. And people weren’t communicating with each other to try to get comfort, because I listened to your comfort crisis podcast and was just nodding through the entire thing, because I feel like that easy.
[00:37:17] Drug that lore, that distraction of having a device in your pocket that you can just disappear into at the touch of a button is really preventing us from. Connecting, and if you think about the days before TV, like you would go to bed with your partner, you would go to the bed. When the sun went down, you didn’t have a TV in your bedroom.
[00:37:39] And it was a lot easier to cuddle and to be present with your partner. And now there’s a TV in the bedroom and there are two phones in the veteran. There are two laptops, two tablets, and you are competing with all of those distractions. For your partner’s attention and affection. And it’s, I think that really is the crux of our relationship problems, that, and just communication as well.
[00:38:03]Even when we do communicate, like you said, it’s behind a screen, it’s a few characters on a text. It’s not It’s not true interpersonal communication and it leaves so much open for misinterpretation and it’s just not intimate and all of those are barriers to real connection. I dated a girl recently who just wouldn’t have a phone call with me.
[00:38:25]It was compounded by the fact that she worked online. So I got it. I gave her benefit of the doubt, but even, with that being the issue, it’s you can’t build a relationship with someone if you can’t even talk to them. Like we tried the whole voice message thing for two months.
[00:38:43] It doesn’t work. It just, there’s just, it’s, like I said, it’s castrating your chances of having something worthwhile. Do you have any tips for, do you have. Things that you implement, like T like tricks where you can maybe put your phone away, or how do you manage that in your life?
[00:39:03] Basically from dinner until the kids go to bed, we do no technology. So it’s, it’s still way too much technology, but that’s it’s baby steps, but that’s really nice. Like we have family dinner every night where we look at each other and we talk to each other, then we all go for a walk around the neighborhood.
[00:39:21] And then we read books before bed and we put the kids to bed. But my husband goes to bed. A morning person. He goes to bed at 10 30 and I go to bed at four in the morning because I’m a night out. And that’s when I get my best work. That we don’t have that like evening quality time together, but we find it other shower time has become our quality time.
[00:39:40] Actually, we always take showers together and we coordinate and I’m like, all right, when are you getting in? I can get in at seven 30 and we like to schedule it like a meal. And we both, it’s productive time, but it’s also our time to reconnect. And that’s just art. We’re in survival mode, still with two little kids, but that has really worked for us.
[00:39:59]It’s just this little daily date that we have. And we both work from home, so it’s convenient, but that no technology time for the family every night has been crucial for me to just feel like I know my kids and that we get some of that, we’ll play board games or whatever. And I would really like to extend it and make it longer, but that’s the best we can do right now, but I do love it and I think it’s been so good for us and the neighbors comment all the time.
[00:40:24] Cause we walk around the neighborhood and they see us at the pool or they’ll see us at the grocery store and say, I love that you guys walk. I always see you walking. It makes me so happy. And I’m like, you should get your family out. But it’s so hard. It’s so hard and it makes you happy. You have to make yourself uncomfortable.
[00:40:40] Like you guys were talking about on that comfort crisis podcast. Like you have to make a conscious decision that I’m not going to do the easy thing. I’m going to do the harder thing and it’s, I’m going to be better for it, but it’s tough. That’s a really important point that you just made. I had a conversation with a good friend this morning and we always talk about really deep stuff.
[00:41:00] He’s the, one of the only people I know who I can have a conversation about just deep introspective thoughts and spirituality and things like that. One of the tough, one of the things we talked about today was suffering pain and how to be able to really truly know yourself. You have to be accepting of suffering and you have to welcome it in some way.
[00:41:24]Not to the point where you’re a sadist, but. At least just when you recognize that you’re going through the suffering, you can stop yourself from reacting to it and just see what’s happened to see what’s going on. So it’s like a detachment and yeah, so you just basically said that and anyone who’s listening to this will most likely not enjoy suffering.
[00:41:47] I don’t think anyone does, but but there is that other side to it where you can see it as a. An opportunity. It’s like an opportunity for growth. And that’s where the biggest growth happens is in, it’s not in the happiest moments. They’re great. Don’t get me wrong. I love being happy.
[00:42:03]And that’s what I try to do every day. But when something comes along that rocks your boat and something that, maybe something that you’ve lost, someone you lost or rejection or whatever it is. Just take a moment and see it as an opportunity for growth. And with families, love, we get people messaging us all the time saying I’m suicidal, I’m depressed.
[00:42:25] What do I do? He’s cheating on me. He left me. I feel like I just want to give up. And my friend said something earlier and he said something really profound. He said, you got it. You’ve got to help these people. Not by telling them how to treat their pain, but by showing them that they were already enough.
[00:42:47] Before they started the suffering. It’s they’ve tricked themselves into thinking that they’re not enough anymore. When an actual fact, all they’ve done is just lose focus of that. And so this whole topic that we’re talking about now is on a tangent, but it’s so important to recognize that, and so coming back to, full circle to what we were initially discussing is like in a relationship where you feel like.
[00:43:12] It’s hard. There’s a challenge rather than say, okay, how am I gonna, how am I going to get an external and some external influence to to fix this. Maybe I need to look for a different partner or maybe I need to watch porn, with a lot of men have that problem. Instead of doing that, I would recommend sit with it for awhile, experience it, get to know the suffering, figure it out.
[00:43:37] What’s it trying to tell you, and then take action. And I swear, it’s going to be a lot higher quality and is probably gonna. Just so much for your relationship because like I said, that’s where the real growth happens. Absolutely. And if you do sit in it, it will pass so much more quickly. I really look at pain and suffering like a candle.
[00:43:59]This candle is three inches tall. And the only way to make it go away is to burn it. And you can sit and just let it burn and just get it all over with. Or you can keep blowing it out every time somebody likes it, you come along and blow it out. Cause you don’t want to feel the pain. And it’s going to keep that flame.
[00:44:17] That’s going to keep coming back and keep coming back and it’ll come back in different areas of your life and it’ll come back and different. You’ll manifest it in different pains in your body. You’ll manifest it in different problems in your career, your personal life or whatever, but that. Coming keep coming until you finally just stop blowing it out and just sit and watch it and try to figure out what it’s trying to teach you.
[00:44:39]And like you were saying with relationships there might be suffering because perhaps there is a problem in the relationship and maybe there’s a solution to that problem. Or maybe you do need another partner. And a lot of people will avoid getting a new partner or. Maybe you don’t need a partner at all.
[00:44:56] Maybe you just need to be alone for a while, but people will avoid making that choice because they’re avoiding the pain. But like you said, honey, you’re already in pain. You’re already in pain and you’re going to stay that way longer. So just rip the band-aid off and just get it over. I love that candle analogy is amazing.
[00:45:15] Yeah totally. I never thought about it like that. It’s hard, isn’t it? But it gets easier. It gets easier with time. It does. It goes back to positive reinforcement. Like a couple of times, if you sit with the pain and then you realize, oh, things got better. Oh, that actually was a good thing for me to do then.
[00:45:34] I just had an eight year old walk in my room. Hi honey. Then yeah. Then the next time the pain comes, you have that frame of reference to say, okay, I can blow it out or I can do what I did last time, which worked out it sucks, but maybe I should just sit with it and see what happens. But it’s so hard.
[00:45:53]Nobody as human beings, we are. Hardwired to avoid pain. We don’t want it. And so it’s really hard to make yourself override that instinct, but that’s like you said, that’s where all the growth comes. I mean there’s libraries and libraries of books of people saying, the, basically what we’re talking about now, but in, in probably more eloquently, are a group of them.
[00:46:14]The ancient Chinese ancient Indians. Yeah, it’s been a fascinating conversation, really. Honestly, it’s been such a great way to connect with you on this journey that you’re in right now. And I’m really excited for what’s next. I can’t wait. It’s just, it seems like it’s a really fun time for you and full of newness.
[00:46:35] And I can see it. I can feel it in your energy. So I’m really happy for you. This was such a pleasure. I love these conversations. Like I said, as a former psychologist, I used to get to have these conversations every day. And so getting to talk deeply about anything now is such a treat.
[00:46:50] And I just appreciate you so much for having me on, and this was delightful. Oh, it’s my pleasure. How do people get their hands on 40, 44 chapters before. 44 chapters about format. Yeah. It is available in the states, at least it’s available at, on Amazon at Barnes noble at Books-A-Million at target.com.
[00:47:09]I do have several publishers internationally depending on what country you’re in, you can just look it up online 44 chapters, about four men, and hopefully find a retailer near you. Nice. And how would people get in touch with you if they wanted to? What’s the best way to do that? That is very easy because I procrastinate on social media very regularly.
[00:47:29] So you can find me on Instagram, on Facebook, on I’m rarely on Twitter. Twitter is Twitter scares me. It’s a lot of negativity over there. But Instagram is probably the best place to find me. I live. Okay. Excellent. It’s been a real pleasure. Thank you for coming on. And I hope that we can do this again in the future.
[00:47:49]When you have your next book out. Absolutely. I’d love to. Hey, thanks for tuning in. Make sure you subscribe today and you won’t miss. The next episode. We cover topics like recovering from infidelity, online, dating, managing chronic anxiety, and so much more we’re on all the popular platforms. So take your pick and we’ll see us too.