The Jim Fortin Podcast

EPISODE 227: “The Three Biggest Problems In Relationships And How To Solve Them!”

July 20, 2022

This is a very special and also powerful episode. As you’ll hear I am interviewing Dr. Laurie Emery, PysD. 

Dr. Emery is a coveted relationship expert, transformational coach, and also a former coach of mine. Her primary expertise and zone of genius is “Transformational Relationship Coaching.” 

Candidly, I’d not even be doing this podcast had I not met her many years ago. She changed my life and when you listen to this episode carefully and over and over, you’ll find solid guidance that can completely shift your relationship with yourself and others. 

What was just said in the last sentence is vital to a healthy personal relationship because your marriage, personal and intimate relationships are only as healthy as your relationship with yourself. 

In this episode, we specifically talk about the three biggest problems in relationships and according to Dr. Emery these three things are: 

1) A lack of intimacy 

2) A lack of responsibility 

3) A lack of commitment 

In the headline, I talk about the three biggest problems in relationships and how to solve them, but solving them isn’t as task/process-focused as most people might think. 

The solutions to the biggest problems come from our self-growth and us focusing on our own personal evolvement without us simply expecting our partner to change. Like I said, in my opinion, this is an exceptional episode. 

Transformational Takeaway

To transform our relationships we first must transform our relationship with ourselves.

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Full Episode Transcript


You're listening to the Transform your Life from the Inside Out podcast. This episode is titled The Three Biggest Problems in Relationships. Now I have a really special guest on this episode. I'm interviewing Dr. Laurie Emery. Dr. Emery has a side doctorate, meaning she's a Doctor of Psychology. She is a Transformational Coach and a Relationship Expert. I've known her for almost a decade. And I have to say that she was my first Transformational Coach in the, in the word, or in terms of formal Transformational Coaching. I wouldn't be here now doing this podcast if it were not for her. So, I have a huge debt of gratitude for Dr. Emery. Secondly, she's a relationship expert and what she helps people do this day and age. Is she has them and she teaches them and coaches them to have a healthy relationship with themselves because when they have a healthy relationship with themselves, they can then have a healthy relationship with other people?

You know, my thought is my opinion that we live in a country and a world pretty much where many people are unhappy in relationships and in the US, we have a 50% plus divorce. Because people aren't even happy with themselves, and they don't know how to be happy with themselves. So, if I had to give her a name, I would call her a Transformational Relationship Coach. And if you find that you have relationship problems that keep reoccurring in your life over and over and over again, she's definitely someone that you're going to want to reach out to. Now, this is a little bit unorthodox, but Laurie doesn't have a website. She literally just takes calls and emails from potential clients and clients. So, if you want to reach her, and this will be in the show notes as well. Her email address is D R L E M E R, D R L E M E R I can tell you right now that I recommend her without reservation. I recommend her 800%. And I can say that about very few people, but I've known Laurie for a long time. I know the work she does. I know what she's done for me. I know what she's done for my partner and I, and I know what she's done for other people based upon what they've told me. So that being said, reach out to her. If you find that you're having challenges in your relationship, now I'm going to make this simple. What we talk about in this episode. And by the way, we had some technical glitches about the first 15 minutes of our interview, but I knew it would be so good that I thought to myself, there's no way I'm not going to ditch this episode and do it again. I want to keep on going. So, you might hear some editing and some glitching in the first 15 or 20 minutes, four or five, six times. That's simply some technical issues we're having.

But after I got off this interview with her, I said to myself, damn, she's good. That's a really good interview. And even though I said, she coached my partner and I, I went in and told my partner. I said, here, you've got to listen to this again. It's really good. And what we talk about are the three biggest problems in relationships. And according to Dr. Emery, the three biggest problems are number one, a lack of intimacy. Number two, a lack of responsibility and number three, a lack of commitment. And if you look at your own relationship right now, and you're having challenges, I guarantee you it's one of these topics that we're talking about in today's episode. I know that, you know, a lot of your friends and family, even if they don't tell you they've got relationship things going on, please, I'm asking you Laurie's mission is to help as many people in the planet as she can have healthy, loving, nurturing relationships. Please share this episode with your friends and family. That being said, enjoy the interview.

Hi, I'm Jim Fortin, and you're about to start Transforming your Life from the Inside Out with this podcast, I'm widely considered the leader in Subconscious Transformation and I've coached super achievers all around the world for over 25 years here, you're going to find no rah rah motivation and no hype because this podcast is a combination of Brain Science, Transformational Psychology, and Ancient Wisdom all rolled into one. To take your life to levels. You've never thought possible. If you're wanting a lot more in life to feel better, to heal, to have peace of mind, to feel powerful and alive and to bring more abundance and prosperity into your life. Then this podcast is for you because you're going to start learning how to master your mind and evolve your consciousness. And when you do that, anything you want then becomes possible for you. I'm glad you're here.

Jim Fortin: Okay. So, I'm talking today with Dr. Emery, who I want to point out, I wouldn't be doing the podcast. I'm doing what I'm doing without you, Laurie, in that it's crazy, right? Was it 24? October of 2014 when I came to the transformational weekend that you and Rich were hosting. And in that transformational weekend, I said, this is my life. This is what I've done for years with a Shaman. It's all it's, it's packaged in a different way. And what I didn't know was Warner Earhart, who was the founder of landmark forum, studied Shamanism for years. And I'm like, this resonates with me.

Laurie: Right.

Jim Fortin: And that day changed my life. And that I'm doing what I'm doing now as a result of that day back in October. But I want to say something here, you don't know this part of. I was talking to Rich recently and he said, some people didn't resonate with that weekend. And I'm like, how come? I mean, it, that weekend kicked me in the ass. And he said, because Laurie was a little firmer than what some people would've wanted. And I thought that's the best part of it is I remember the first morning when you were coaching me and I gave you pushback, and this is what you said, body language and all. Your exact words were, look, I'm not here to argue with you. And in that moment, I said, I'm paying like $8,000, I guess I should just shut up and listen and be coached here. and that, for me that morning was the pivoted point with you. But I want people to know that you've coached me. You coached me transformational aid back in 2014 and so you've also been a relationship coach with me. And that's what we want to talk about today. And before we go into all the specifics in the transformational coaching program, now you, you have basically the equivalent of a PhD, you're a side doctor. And you said your exact words and correct me if I'm saying this wrong, but you said I was a therapist for years. That stuff doesn't work. That's why I became a coach. Do you still hold that belief? And if so, what does that mean?

Laurie: Yeah, I think that what, what I believe today, and again, you know, we evolve, so you can ask me in five years, , is that the world of mental health gave me, a framework and a belief system, cause I was searching for my own answers and my own growth and my own healing. And what I found was. I was really still struggling to find how to heal myself. And it's not, I'm not saying therapy doesn't work. I wouldn't go that that far. I just think that the way therapy happens is really important. And I found that if sticking in a belief system like that in a box, that's good me found with my clients was. That, that those tools, weren't the most powerful tools to have someone heal, just sitting and talking about their history and their past and their traumas. And I just, you know, there's, there's not, there's no, there's no cheese down that tube, so to speak. Right. And what I found was healing was not only what we were just, uh, what we were building in the relationship, but, but also. That, you know, I think we heal, we get wounded in relationship and we heal in relationship. So, the way I was in relationship with people was critical for them. And then the tools in terms of how I bring all my parts home and live as my most authentic self those tools came from. So, what I said was it's about how do I come home to myself and live as my best self in my life and those tools that I coach from today.

Jim Fortin: Yeah. Everyone listening, we had a little technical interruption there. So basically, she was saying, as I understand that, that what you were looking for is tools for how do you come home to yourself and live for your best self, right?

Laurie: Yeah. Your most authentic self and create the results that you want from there.

Jim Fortin: Okay. So, let's go here for a moment is I have a being in being in this field for a lot of years now, and, and many years prior to meeting you, but in a different way, I have many people in my programs that are PhD's a therapist and saying, why didn't we learn any of this in graduate school? Yeah. I why didn’t one, I mean, one of my coaches right now as a licensed therapist and she's like, I didn't learn any of this in graduate school. Yeah. And she said, I'm becoming so much better of a therapist because now I ‘understand. A whole aspect. They never teach us.

Laurie: Absolutely.

Jim Fortin: Yeah. A lot of people listening right now are in therapy of some sort. What I'd like to address before we get into relationships is what do you think is broken in the current mental health therapy model what's missing?

Laurie: I think the model comes from what's wrong with me and how do I need to be fixed in one way? And I think there's a belief system that if I take a look at, you know, my traumas and, and go back into those traumas then, and then somehow fix myself, then I can be okay. And I think that's inherently a bad model only because. A, I think as human beings, we're not broken. There's nothing that needs to be fixed, so to speak. And I think a lot of people listening to that statement might want to argue with it because I think people in, you know, there's two places in our humanness. We, we operate from which is, and one of the biggest ones is our, our feeling not good enough as a human. And I think that's the human condition. I don't think it's the truth. I think spiritually speaking, we are perfect whole and complete just the way that we are. There are things that can be healed, but I don't think it's because we're broken. There's something wrong with us.

Jim Fortin: I remember when I was learning from you, something you said that I still use today is our two biggest fears. And we're going to go into the juicy stuff in a moment, the relationship stuff, but something you said is our two biggest fears are fear of abandonment and fear of inadequacy. Sure. And these are what drive people, either person is going to reject me. I'm not going to fit in or I'm not good. what would be a short answer for overcoming? I'm not good enough.

Laurie: Well, I go two places with that, so I can't promise you short, but I promise you I keep it as short as possible. So, one place I go, and it depends on what works for someone is inherently as a human being in our human condition. I think that I think that we feel not enough because in this body, this meat suit that we've housed our spirit in while we're on this journey.

Jim Fortin: Yeah.

Laurie: It, you feel inadequate because we're contained in this, and I hope this is not way too out there for no good.

Jim Fortin: No, by the way, my, my English, theirs are very spiritual and they're out there.

Laurie: Yeah. As a spirit, we come and we, we house ourselves in this meat suit that is limited right. And our brain for the way that it operates, we are limited in the way that our brain thinks. And if we're not controlling it, it's controlling us. And so, in that form, we, we aren't enough, right? Yeah. To me, where we're enough. Perfect totally complete is our most spiritual self, our most authentic self. When we. You know, let go of the, of the limitations of this body and being human and be one with each other. There's no such thing as not enough there there's no such thing.

Jim Fortin: Yeah. I, I say a lot of my podcast about that. Very simply. What I, what changed it for me is I used to always compare myself to people and I read this one quote. That was just an aha for me. No two people have the same karma, so it's impossible to compare yourself. And when I read that, I'm like, that's true. How, how can I compare to Bob or Susie when we're living completely different, spiritual past,

I want to segue from the episode for just one minute. Now, what I do know is that all of you folks listening, you represent what I call one of three places in financial society. There are some of you, some of you that are broke, some of you that are literally what I call just enough. Which means you make just enough money, and your entire life is about making just enough. And then there are people that do very, very well financially. So, you fit somewhere in one of those categories. For the most part, which being said, it's that time of year again. And I'm going to be doing a live training very, very soon, and it's a money master class and the reason that I'm doing it and I'm titling the class. How The Law of Attraction Repels the Money and Abundance You Want and How to Become Rich? Now, the reason I'm doing it is because I am tired of seeing so many people in so many walks of life and from so many walks of life, struggling to pay their bills and to make money. Now here's the kick. What we're taught. And I know because I was taught this or all of my friends were taught this, what we were taught about money and how to make money and financial security and all these kinds of things is wrong. It's broken. And to prove that look at your own life, look at the world around you. If it wasn't broken. And then 80, 80% of the us population would not be living paycheck to paycheck. You've been taught backwards. I've been taught backwards. There was one time in my life after college, I was literally, and I mean, literally near homeless, I didn't even have a car and I was sleeping on a fraternity brother’s couch and I; I might have had literally 7, 8, 10 bucks here and there, and I was struggling to get by. And this day and age, I'm a multimillionaire and it didn't happen overnight, obviously, but I'm going to teach you what I learned about money. And how to make money and how to become financially comfortable in this up-and-coming masterclass that I do once or twice a year, and one is coming up very quickly. So, all right now is watching your calendar, watch for details because they will be coming to you. And if you want to grow and advance your financial standing in your life and your financial security. Whatever you do get registered for this program. Once we send out the details. Okay. Back to the episode.

Let's talk about some juicy stuff. You're, you're a relationship therapist, your exact words, words to have, you know, help people become happy with themselves and others. But what people really want to know is there's a lot of people listening, and a lot of people will listen to this that are in unhappy unfulfilling. Sometimes hateful, sometimes suffocating relationships. I want to go general first. What do you think in your many years are the three biggest relationship problems that people have?

Laurie: I, number one, I will tell you lacks intimacy. That is number one. Okay. Spot. You want me to go into that? Or you want, if he's apart? Yeah. Let's go to the, let's go to the three and then we'll take him apart.

Jim Fortin: Do the three and then I'll take him apart. You got it. We'll unpack him. So, the first is lack of intimacy. The second I would say is, uh, a lack of responsibility. Okay. And third, and the third is the lack of the right tools. Okay. So, let's go there. Is lack of intimacy. That means a lot of things in a lot of ways, physiologically, emotionally, psychologically, let's unpack that it's all yours.

Laurie: Sure. Yeah. Intimacy, you know, everybody's heard people say it's into intimacy, right? Yeah. I think unless we know ourselves and we are connected, do, and doing our own work to clean out our stuff. I think oftentimes we; we get in the way of the relationship by putting our stuff on someone else. And that pushes someone away as opposed to pulling someone closer, you know, intimacy is being able to be vulnerable with your partner, be willing to be hurt, because it happens sometimes. And your partner being intimate and vulnerable with you. and there are tools that create intimacy that I think a lot. So those two are very connected to me. They're all connected. It's hard to UN it's hard to untwined them for me. Mm-hmm but, uh, there are tools that support couples to create intimacy that are never taught until there's a problem or not taught relationships skills until we're in so much pain. We're, we're desperate to do we get out, do we stay? And, um, and so being intimate and vulnerable with your partner starts with creating connection.

Jim Fortin: Yeah. Let me, let me ask you that. You said, um, we put our stuff onto others. What does that mean? So, if you're unconscious to your wound, keep on mind.

Laurie: If I'm unconscious to my own wounds and I'm just then reacting to what's happening in my relationship, then I think that you're doing stuff that's causing me to have my feelings, which is. A not intimate B, not responsible. And then using the third one, those are not the tools that have relationship work.

Jim Fortin: So, what happens when people bring that they never address that. And I, I think a lot of people don't know that it's even there or how to address it. Is that fair? That's good.

Laurie: Absolutely. Because when couples start working with me or even someone comes individually to talk about their relationship, oftentimes they really believe that their problem is the other person. Or they might maybe have the consciousness to say, I know this is a problem. It may be me. I have no idea what to do with it or how to fix it. Um, so I, I think that what happens is we also get in relationship thinking the other, the other person is going to, uh, make us feel better, make us feel happy, make us feel a certain way. And it doesn't happen outside of us. That's the way we put it on someone else. We think they're the cause of our misery, our unhappiness, our problems. So, we put it on the other person.

Jim Fortin: How do we, I know this isn't a therapy session, but for people listening, how do we solve that? What, what would you suggest if somebody said, hey doc, what do I do? What, what would you, what would their next step be?

Laurie: So, in my coaching sessions, I start with, well, first I want to know what is that you're committed to. Sometimes people come to. Because they're committed to getting out of their relationship. Sometimes people are coming to me because they're committed to staying in their relationship. If someone is committed to their relationship. And I say that as a first step, you can't go anywhere without commitment.

Jim Fortin: You always used to say I can't coach. I can't coach anyone without responsibility. Be commitment. It's not possible.

Laurie: Okay. It is not. Yeah. And I say that because if, if I'm not committed to my relationship, or if I'm conditionally committed, then there's nowhere really to go, right. We've got to have both feet in the boat on the relationship and be looking for solutions regardless of where they are, whether they're in me and my unfinished business or my partner's unfinished business, the commitment has to be there to the relationship.

Jim Fortin: Yeah. What, what I find Laurie is that a lot of people. They come to the relationship. They don't even know themself. They come to the relationship; everything melts down. And then apparently based upon divorce statistics, most people just cut and run. Yeah. Like 52% of the population. We never say, holy cow, what did I do to contribute to this?

Where am I the mess in this problem? So, you say people come to you because they want, they're committed to staying in or committed to getting. What's the difference because staying in obviously is about the relationship. But do you think those that are committed to getting out and there are legitimate reasons, many times, but do you think many of those people in your observation are getting out because they're not facing their own stuff?

Laurie: I think there's a, I think there's a few things. I think one is, people don't want to feel the messy stuff. And so, the easy answer is I'll get out. I think also some people just get so frustrated. They don't know what to do. And they think they've tried everything. And so, they're throwing their hands up and saying, I'm done.

Jim Fortin: What they do is, and we'll keep on going, is they talk to you, and they become a client of yours is what they do. I can tell you that's experience. Yeah. Okay. Next was, lack of integrity. Um, I can't read my handwriting.

Laurie: Lack of responsibility one. So, let's talk about responsibility cause it's. The way our brain hears that word is, uh, credit and blame, right? If I'm responsible, I'm to blame, or if I'm responsible, I get the credit. And that's our ego doing that definition. Yeah. Responsibility in the way that I'm talking about it is a, is a very, empowering, freed up way to look at our creations in our life. So, if I'm willing to stand 100% responsible in my relationship, it doesn't mean that my partner is not accountable for his or her behavior. It means that I'm going to stand over here going, what am I committed to creating first is the question. And then how do I create that? And 100% responsible means let's say, I say I'm committed to creating a vulnerable, intimate, connected, passionate, loving relationship. Well, I can look over at my partner and go, okay. So now in one, in being committed to creating that, uh, let's say today, I want to create vulnerability with my partner and the key is to go, I'm going to be vulnerable with my partner until I see vulnerability show up over there in my partner. I can think I'm being vulnerable. And I think we all do this. I might think I'm being loving, or I might think I'm being connected, but if it's not showing up in front of me, then it's not working in that relationship yet. So, the way you might experience connection or, uh, or loving me being loving is different than maybe how my husband would experience me to be connected and loving.

Jim Fortin: Yeah. Right. So. Keep on going, sorry, but I have an addendum there because I see it all the time but keep on going.

Laurie: Yeah. And so, you know, let's say I'm committed to being connected today. And I don't see connections showing up in my husband. Then I ask myself the question, what have I tried? What's worked, what's not worked. Right. And then let me look at knowing my husband, what would work in creating connection with the person I'm in relationship with? I know I'm going on, but I have to add this next piece, cause it's important that I'll come back.

Jim Fortin: No, you're great.

Laurie: Because I think a lot of people think I'm going to go out in the world and do me. And if, what, how I'm doing me, doesn't work for you then. Sorry, we'll be out of relationship. And I think the key to relationship 100% responsibility is who do I need to be to have a 10 relationship with you to have an ideal relationship with you.

Jim Fortin: So many things I want to ask there as a follow up, I see a lot of people saying that I get it. I'll, I'll do all that. When do we know that? As much as we're showing up vulnerably and we're there a hundred percent and we're doing everything you said, where's the point where it's not going to work. If your partner just won't show up in the same kind of way, is there a point.

Laurie: Sure. I mean, that's a great question. And, and at that point, it's where you find out is your partner committed. You can't make someone else be committed to the same relationship you are but listen to what I mean by that part too. I don't mean just saying your partner. Okay. We're married. Are you committed? Yeah. Well, we're married. I'm committed. I don't mean that. I don't mean that. I mean, commitment to the same relationship. So, if I'm in a relationship with a different philosophy or commitment to the ways of being that I want in that relationship. And I'm not communicating that with my partner and making sure I have the same agreement. Then I may be playing baseball and he may be playing soccer. Right. So, when I said I'm committed to creating a vulnerable, intimate, connected, loving relationship. I want to do that in team with my partner. It's like having a relationship contract. What's the kind of relationship my partner's committed to with me because there may be qualities that my partner is that are important to him that I haven't even asked about. So, we want to relate, recreate that relationship, commitment, or contract together consciously.

Jim Fortin: What if yet? Thank you. And what if the person won't bring or can't give part of the contract that you think is important in the relationship for you? And be, I mean, we know whether or not we're generally compatible as couples, you know, we just know that, but what if there's one thing that's missing that I just, I really want this in a relationship, like one partner's at the event now there's not, which we'll get to in just a bit, what do I do? Because the partners not wanting to bring what I might need, whether it's emotional or physical or sexual or whatever it, our quality time, whatever it is, how do we, what do we do?

Laurie: You're bringing up a lot of different parts. So, I'm going to unpack some things that you said. Okay. So first, when, and there's a lot in, in what you brought up, so first of all, you say that we're compatible and we just know that I want to say something about that comment because. There are a lot of reasons we are attracted to each other in the beginning of a relationship. Yeah. And some of those can be very simple that we can identify them like chemistry and physical attraction. And we might have the same values and the same goals in life. And maybe we really like each other. We don't just love each other, but we like each other, but there are reasons why we think we're compatible or we get together that are actually unconscious, that I think are even that's where the juice of the relationship happens. meaning if we're like puzzle pieces, right? The context that you are, or the puzzle piece shape that you are when you meet your partner, they fit together. And a lot of times people get together over what we call trauma bonding. So, like, it's like where I plug into your edges, and you plug into. it feels good then, because maybe I don't like to do sadness and you'll do it for me. Or maybe you don't even like to do it either. So, neither one of us do it. So, we plug in in that way, even though it's not necessarily good for the relationship or healthy. And so, the key is as we're together longer, when our stuff starts showing up is if you're committed to the relationship and you're willing to do the work, when the stuff shows up, when it starts getting difficult. See, it's easy to be committed on the days when we're loving and we're in love and it fits and it's easy. It's harder. Commitment is for the days when it gets hard, commitment is for the days when I roll over, look at my partner, I go, God, he's still breathing in and out. and commitment is. When, when my stuff comes up and I'm now because we get wounded in relationship, we heal in relationship. Yeah. So, here's where maybe it sounds more psychological in nature, but let's say I have a relationship wound that occurred from my dad or my mom and I meet someone who begins to play that wound out with me. But we're committed to a healthy, connected relationship. Then we're going to go in and get to know each other in that way. And how do I heal with you? So, I don't recreate the wound. And that's where the work happens.

Jim Fortin: I'm glad I asked a mangled question because I got a better answer than what I was thinking of as what was going to come. I don't know. So, you said a couple of things to unpack. Is that what it is right there? Or are there other well, it's the,

Laurie: That's the most important thing? You, you brought up a couple of things like, well, what if my partner doesn't do my love language? I, I heard you say, you know, like love language stuff. That's the thing, by the way,

Jim Fortin: Wait, let me stop. By the way, years ago, you told me when I was like, my partner's not bringing my love language. And you said to me, look, you must get over that. Not that it's not going to happen, but you know what? You can't get tripped up when I'm not getting, I'm not getting, I'm not getting, because I was staying tripped up there forever. And I think a lot of people do that.

Laurie: Sure. Yeah. Being a relationship to me is about being in service. Now that doesn't mean I lose myself to be in service, but it, but it's about being in service. It's about how, how, how do I be my best. And create the relationship to be, you know, uplifting to my partner. But let me go back to what you brought up, which is the, and it sounds kind of harsh to say get over that. But I think what we do is we go out into our relationship, and we give the love language that we want. Yeah. We don't necessarily give the love language that our partner wants to receive. Ideally for those people who are watching, who know all the five love, languages, quality time, acts of service, acknowledge words of acknowledgement, affection, and gift giving. Ideally, we become good at all of them, right.

We live in the middle, and we do them wrong, but let's say my partner really likes acts of service. And I really prefer quality. When you're committed to the relationship you meet in the middle and, and you learn to interpret, like, I know when my husband is doing acts of service for me, that is the way he's telling me. He loves me and I interpret it that way.

Jim Fortin: Let me go there for people listening. Also, when I said get over it, you come to people and if they're all soft and cuddly, you come to them soft and cuddly. And if they need firmer, you come firmer to me. You came like a, a sledgehammer. Because I needed it. So, when you told me get over it, that's the relationship we had because you knew. I would get it when you're like, get over your shit already unwell.

Laurie: Well, it's one, one thing important about you, Jim. And I know that you've grown so much over the years, and it was so fun, so much fun coaching you and I absolutely adore our relationship is you came to the table thinking you knew so much. Yeah. And that was getting in your way because I know how much you love your partner. And, and so out of that commitment, it's all. And I'm this, I was the same way starting my work cause what I, what I knew was in my way of learning and growing. And sometimes we got to bumble through that. So, yeah, I appreciate you did it.

Jim Fortin: You did your job on that one, for sure. Yeah. Okay. Then you said the last one we had two and again, I can't read my writing here.

Laurie: The tool.

Jim Fortin: Tools. Yes. It looks like tech. I'm like, it's not tech lack of tools. What does that mean?

Laurie: Yeah. So. You know, I, I it's, it's such a crime to me that we do not start teaching children as soon as I mean, birth would be great. And I I'm saying that facetiously, but kindergarten sure. Teaching relationship tools, how do we listen to each other? How do we, how do we listen? So, the other person feels heard and validated and connected with us. And that is a tool that is so critically important. Oftentimes, when we listen to each other, we're either doing a flyby we're busy, we're listening and we're interpreting the whole time. Our partner's caught talking to us, you know, and as we're interpreting, we're holding them to their history and there's all this stuff that happens in our brain that gets in the way of creating real connection. And the tool, an example of one of the tools that is so critically important is when my partner is talking to me. I am listening from A can I repeat back what my partner said to me in his words? Mm-hmm if you can't repeat back what your partner said in their words, then you didn't actually take in what your partner said. And that's important because we leave each other while the other one's talking. We are interpreting, we're thinking we're ready for a response. All of that is ineffective in creating connection and intimacy in a relationship. And once we can repeat back, we must be able to. Once we repeat back, we know we've got the correct information, then we know we're responding to what our partner actually said, and that the next step is to see if we can stand in their shoes and see if I can understand how my partner got there. Not that I agree with it because our human brain listens from. Do I agree? Do I not agree? Do I like what you said? Do I judge what you said? Do I think you have all the right facts? None of that is connected. Connected is I'm going to walk in your shoes as you described to me how you saw whatever you're feeling and thinking and seeing. And I can imagine being you. And if I can imagine, being you in your shoes, I can see how you got there.

Jim Fortin: Yeah. Had a friend of mine named Akio Matsumura he's the only person that's brought together. 1000 world leaders as a private citizen, the Dalai Lama Mother Theresa. Mikhail Gorbachev years ago, and he got Arafat and Rabin together in the nineties first person to do it. And I said, Akio how did you ever get Rabin and Arafat to sit down? And this is what he said, oh, that's easy. When you can see the world from another person's perspective, you can get them to do a lot.

Laurie: Absolutely.

Jim Fortin: And I like, I, I was like, hold it's in my living room. And I was like, that is profound, you know, really. And I'm guilty of not even with my partner, not seeing the world from my, from John's model of reality. Cause I'm so busy seeing things from my model of reality and I'm kind of like, its inner child, me, me, me. I want, I want, I want, I want, and then once I get, I'll give to my partner, which you talked about, and you've taught me years ago and I've learned from you. You said, let's go back there. I think it's probably one of the most profound things you've said today, in my opinion, is being in service to your partner that resonates with me. And you've said it before. What does that mean? And how do we, I think you've already answered how do we do it, but what does it mean? And do you want to add anything to that?

Laurie: Yeah, I, I think there's, it's such a challenge as a human being. We come out of our family of origin. And we, we have these places where we feel are interpreted that we did not get our needs met. And we then go out in the world looking for how to get that need met from others and how you know, and don't realize that the answer is to get your needs met within yourself. Because when you come back home, when you bring all parts of yourself back home to yourself, then you have so much to give to others. And so, to me, the juice of life is being in service and kind of getting off yourself. You know what I mean? Now that doesn't mean, ideally you end up with someone who has that same value system, because if you're in service in the relationship and I'm in service to the relationship, it's magical. It's magical.

Jim Fortin: My partner. I don't know if it's on my desk here and here it is right here. This was a Christmas card this year. And he said, When I'm truly with you and you're truly with me, it's magic.

Laurie: Absolutely.

Jim Fortin: And I kept it and keep a lot of cards, but I kept it on my desk because we know that when we're with each other and we're connected, it's, it's sublime, it's magical. Sure. And I think that's what you're talking about, but I think a lot of us, and I've been there and where do we go here? A lot of us might feel like our partners are takers and we're like, I'm always the one giving and giving and giving. What do we do with that? And am I, am I incorrect in my assessment there with that?

Laurie: No, I, I was about to go there. Actually. I agree with you. I think that, I think that the place where we all operate from we, we all have a tendency for giving or taking, and I don't want giving to be confused with being a martyr or being like I have to throw myself off the boat to be in river, I, what I mean by that is I take care of myself. And I look for how I can be in service to my relationship. Now, if I'm with someone who's a taker and who just keeps taking and taking then part of the way that I take care of myself is I address that how with my partner, right. And, but I, I also have to look at my choices. Did I, did I pick someone who is naturally a taker is my partner committed to doing the work with me? You know what I'm saying? And is my partner committed to healing within himself so that he can be available to be a giver. To me, there's a lot of factors that play into that, cause there's two people ideally being in service. But to me, the magic is in the giving, not in the getting, yeah, it,

Jim Fortin: It sounds like here from what I'm hearing is that it really, really comes down to the, to the service. And just doing everything you can to be of loving service to your partner and communicating. And is there a certain point when they're just not going to reciprocate back? You've punched every lever, every button, they just don't have it in them to reciprocate in some way that's needed in the relationship. What happens then.

Laurie: I'm going to bring up the word choice, because I think that's, this is where it applies when we choose a partner. I think a lot of people choose a partner going, I can work with that as opposed to I'm going to choose this person the way they are. I'm not trying to change them. I'm not trying to have them be different. I'm choosing my partner for who he is and knowing him the way he is instead of the way I want him to. I think a lot of people get in relationship. And then when they see the edges with another partner, like maybe I'm more extroverted and I want my partner to be more extroverted, but when we go out, he's quieter and passive. And that bothers me. Well, when I got together with him, he was quieter and passive. My job is not to change my partner to fit. Yeah, follow what I mean? Yeah. So wouldn't choose the idea of choice is it's like, if you're going to choose vanilla or chocolate ice cream, if you choose chocolate, don't be eating it. Wishing it was vanilla. Okay. Just the chocolate, the way that it is. And so again, if I, when I'm choosing a part, when I chose my partner, I wanted someone who I knew would be open to learning and growing. That was an important value for me. And I wanted that because I knew that was going to be necessary because who we are in year four and who we year are in year eight and who we are in year 15, we, we change, and we've got to learn how to grow together along the way. But part of that choice means the, the, the depth in the distinction of choice is surrender and acceptance. Surrender. What it's. And accepting your partner the way they are. Now. That doesn't mean you don't work on the relationship. Yeah.

Jim Fortin: Something big. There is. I think it's huge and it's hidden there but share values. You have to share certain values. How do we know when, okay? I'm not getting a hundred percent of my values met. I'm getting 80. How do we know when it's, we're not going to, we're probably never going to get a hundred percent met by our partner? How do we know when the cutoff point is that this is working and it's not working relative to values?

Laurie: You know, I, I wish we all had to go through, relationship work, uh, a, before we get married, but certainly as we go through school, but it would be ideal if we would sit down and talk about our values together. But oftentimes we don't, we just find the ones we like together, and we do those, and we have enough that seem to fit. I think that it's important that when we know ourselves, we can sit down and talk about which values are the deal breakers. Like for me, it is a deal breaker to, to have, I need someone who's open to learning and growing. I need someone who is giving like that is important to me. Now look, one of my values is education. It's not a big value of my partner.

Jim Fortin: That's for, to go.

Laurie: I handle that with myself. I handle it with my children. My husband almost has nothing to do with the kid's education. He lets me run that one. Yeah. He doesn't hinder me in any way. He trusts me to, to manage that one. We both are, are deeply, rooted in family values. Yeah. And so, when it comes to family, we are in alignment and that is a deal breaker for both of us.

Jim Fortin: Yeah. So let me ask you, you said, um, sharing different values and education is a value of yours and the kids and not as much of his. So, I think there are also degrees of values, but let me ask you this, a lot of people and you know this, and I see it all the time. One person will be sexually wanting to be sexually intimate, male, or female doesn't matter. And the other one just doesn't value it. How do you reconcile that? There's a lot of people listening that are in sexless relationships right now.

Laurie: Yeah. So, it doesn't start with sex. Yeah. It starts with connection. Whenever I meet with a couple, the, if couples didn't have to get comfortable with me, the first question I would ask is how's your sex life? Because your sex life is a mirror for the rest of your relationship. It's the mirror for how naked am I willing to be with you? How much of a giver am I with you? And how much of a giver are you with me? Right. And so, to me, it's not just sex. If we water it down to that, it's, it's cold and it's yeah, useless. But when you start with. Having a partner where you have the same values, we're both loving. We're both families oriented. We share. We listen, when we listen, we create connection and we understand each other, we have empathy for each other. We're respectful to each other. And we like each other. When you create time being that for each other, then wanting to be physically close unless someone's gone through trauma. They haven't. Yeah. Yeah. That's a different, we're talking. That's a different bag.

Jim Fortin: Understood.

Laurie: But when someone, with two human beings that haven't been wounded in that way, and even with trauma, there's some, there's a way to heal with your partner by creating the steps that I was just talking about and creating connection and intimacy. And its a, and it, it looks a little different when there's trauma, but when there's, when the people are not having intimacy in the bedroom, they are probably not having intimacy in any other part of their relationship.

Jim Fortin: I'm just thinking there I'm, you know where to go with that, because this is such a big issue for people. I see it all the time but then what I see from my perspective is a lot of people just, they don't know themselves. And I think that also applies to a lot of us. We just, we grow up, we become who we are. We don't really know. Our deep level subconscious value systems and different things. We make choices. We try to make it work. And then, oh, we're not getting along anymore. We're not having sex. We're not doing this. And in my own life, I've tried to make it about the external, even about sex and different things. And I've, I've recognized over the years. It's not that it's not the sex. There's something else in the relationship missing. And my own experience and I think that's what you're saying. So, for people listening, providing no trauma, if you're not having sex, it's because you're not connecting intimately somewhere else.

Laurie: And let me go into that a little deeper.

Jim Fortin: Yeah, please leads.

Laurie: Yes, absolutely. And when we're not, I think often in a long-term relationship, we a, we get comfortable and we, you know, life is life. We, yeah, life gets busy and we're working. And for some people raising children and oftentimes we stop watering and growing the relationship. And when that happens, often we start having wedges that get between us. And we start growing away from each other, even though we're maybe we're walking parallel, because we have the same goals to do the things that we're creating in ours. For example, you know, if you, if you let enough time go by where you're not taking care of your relationship, resentments can build even small ones over time, build wedges if you don't stop and make sure you clean out the roots or the, the weeds, so to speak of the, in the relationship and people often take for granted that relationships need attention. They need time, they need connection. Even over the little stuff that, that is annoying or that bothered you, you should be able to talk about it so that the weeds don't grow and wedge you apart over the years.

Jim Fortin: Yeah. You, you had said, and I think it goes back to this as relationships need time. They need attention. I think if I'm hearing correctly, what they really need is commitment. What are you committed to in the relationship and how, who do you, you told me years ago? Who and how do I have to be? To make this happen. And it comes down to our ways of being because everything else is external behavior.

Laurie: Yeah. People think that it's, I need to do a lot of stuff. Deep, have the results that I want. And we forget that our beingness, like how we come to the relationship with our partner is critically important because if I come to the relationship resentful and angry or short and disconnected, I can do things that are nice and loving. But my way of being may, may not translate the lovingness and the connection to my partner. So, our beingness creates everything, the commitment. First of course,

Jim Fortin: Let's, let's take that apart for a second. Then we'll go into things you can do to assist people. What do you define or call ways of being, give me some examples of what those would be? How can I be in a relationship?

Laurie: I mean, I can be loving. I can be fun. I can be passionate. I could be connected. I could be vulnerable. I can be angry. I could be mean I can be nasty. I could be bitchy.

Jim Fortin: Characteristics, right. A personality. And that's how we're being. And one of the number one way we must be is be committed to being in relationship with each other and then being committed to working on everything else and being responsible. For working on everything else and improving and growing and evolving with these other things under the umbrella of being committed to being in the relationship. Is that correct?

Laurie: Correct. Now I want to say one caveat that's important. Yeah. Would people in an abusive relationship, whether it be psychologically abusive, emotionally abusive, or physically abusive, these, this stuff goes out the window that, yeah. That when there's abuse, I draw the line. It's a no brainer. No one should be in an abusive relationship.

Jim Fortin: Just so people know, because I've been asked a lot when people say, what is abuse? What do you say abuse is?

Laurie: Well, I think you're when you talk about psychological abuse is when someone is manipulating and or intimidating or bullying, you know, psychologically, um, breaking down another person, physically there would be actual physical harm to you sure from the other person. And emotional would be just finding yourself, being purposefully hurt by the other person all the time.

Jim Fortin: Okay. So, the first one would be verbal and subjugation. You're stupid. You always do stupid things. I can't depend on you. You can't be trusted things of that nature. Right?

Laurie: Sure.

Jim Fortin: And obviously, the physical is obviously physical and then the emotional would-be what kind of manipulation or what things would happen and the emotional abuse.

Laurie: Well, I mean, I think there's a lot of ways emotional abuse can happen. One is, and this is the most insidious is withholding, diminishing another person's emotions, um, purposefully doing things that hurt somebody, uh, saying, and you there's a, there's probably a, an overlap a bit from emotional and, and mental abuse or psychological abuse. Like it could happen together. um, but I think, you know, in an emotion you can also find someone who discounts your emotions all the time, uh, minimizes your emotions and, and does says, or does things to put you down or hurt you

Jim Fortin: In those cases? Do we go to therapy? Do we go to coaching or do we recognize this is not a healthy relationship and I need to exit?

Laurie: Yes, and yes, because you get coaching or therapy because something landed you there. You want to do the work on yourself to make sure that you clean that off, so you don't choose it again when you leave?

Jim Fortin: What if our partners won't go to therapy, but I think I should. I, I, I'm going to go for me. What about that?

Laurie: No, no, no. I was saying a person who's in, we're still talking about the abusive relationship. Well, wait,

Jim Fortin: I'm sorry. I should have, I should have framed that. I hear a lot of times. Well, I will go, but my husband won't.

Laurie: Okay. Now left the topic of we've left the topic of abusive relationship.

Jim Fortin: Sorry. Yes. Sorry, what? Sorry I interrupted.

Laurie: I'm sure our listeners cause, okay. Yeah. I always say to people start with you, don't start with trying to force your partner, start with you. And, and I believe when we deepen within ourselves enough, sometimes that is so enrolling to our partner, and you never know what shifts you can make all on your own. By going in and working on yourself. Now, I think we know when we've reached the line where I've done a lot of work on myself and now, I want my partner to come work with me and then our partner won't and then it recreates a wall in the relationship. And then you have a choice. It's another, we have choice points, many different times in our relationship. It's not just when we get together the first time, you know, we grow so much every five to seven years. It's important that we keep choosing our partner because our partner changes as well. So, if our partner isn't willing to go to therapy or coaching with us, we have another opportunity to make a choice. Can we accept and surrender and choose it? If our partner doesn't want to go and still love that person and be with that person and create the best relationship possible, the way that he, he or she is? That's the question. And the answer is different for all of us.

Jim Fortin: Yeah. You're good.

Laurie: Thank you.

Jim Fortin: One of the reasons I love you, but you're, you're, you're good. So, okay. People listening and I'm sure you're going to resonate. I just I'm going to spit ball, but I'm going to say you're going to resonate with 80% of people listening to this podcast. 90%, 10% have the perfect, you know, fairy tale relationship. Everyone else is working in some way. And at some level, in some degree, what do you offer to assist people? What kind of programs or coaching or? Whatever’s.

Laurie: Yeah. So first and foremost, I meet someone, and I do, uh, a first consult to find out what's going on with that person. And there's a lot of different tools. So, one tool I, I use is doing one on one, uh, calls each week to do relationship building and healing work with people. Uh, I do couples work as. So, I do both one on one, people pick different things based on what their different packages date based on what they're up to. But I do one on one couples coaching, and I also do what's called couples intensives, where couples come work with me over a weekend. So, it's, it's many hours over a weekend where we work together and build in some of the tools. And we do things experientially over the weekend for a couple's intensive. And then they follow up with maintenance coaching with me after. Yeah. About once a year, I do a, a couple's training where I bring all couples together in a room where we do couple's work as a big group. And I haven't done that of course, since before COVID so yeah, we're getting all those things back up and running hopefully soon.

Jim Fortin: Yeah, no, I, Laurie, you've made a massive difference. I mean, I've worked with you. You've coached me. You've coached John. You've coached us together. You literally, I think there was a time in our relationship that not having the skills that you gave us, we probably would've, or maybe would've split back then. And you brought a whole new awareness to many blind spots and then gave us many, many tools to help us to help us heal is what it was. And, you know, for, for everyone listening, I want to say that you're one of the few people that I recommend without reservation. You're phenomenal at way you do. And you have a really big heart. I mean, you're really good, but you have a big heart, and you care about what you do and you, you love being of service to helping couples heal and men and have healthy relationships.

Laurie: Absolutely. Thank you, Jim.

Jim Fortin: Yeah. So, we're going to wrap it up there. Are there any final comments, anything you want to?

Laurie: No, I think you did such a great plug for me right there. And I don't know. There's not nothing else for me to say no. And you know, I wish for everyone to have a connected, unconditionally loving healing relationship, I wish for that on the planet, I think we'd have less fighting, less wars, less hate. I, I wish for that.

Jim Fortin: Yeah. There are so many things I can say, but I'm kind of, mind boggled after disconnecting with you again in this kind of way from day one. And I know that I'm always learning and I'm always growing and I'm always reflecting. And where am I missing the boat still? And did I hit this? Did I get that? You know, and I'm not mechanizing anything. I'm just like, it's always a work in progress. Sure. And my conversation with you, I know a lot of people are getting a lot of things, but I thank you for just sharing everything you did today.

Laurie: So, absolutely. Thanks for talking to me, Jim. It was great to be with you.

Jim Fortin: Thank you, Laurie. And I love you.

Laurie: I love you too.

Jim Fortin: Okay. So, I hope you really, really enjoyed this episode. I do want to remind you that if you're having relationship challenges, I endorse Laurie a hundred percent and I know that she can probably help you. And I want to remind you that you can reach her at D R L E M E R Thanks for listening. And I'll catch you over on the next episode. Bye-bye.

Thank you for listening to this entire podcast. If you're the kind of person who likes to help others, then share this with your friends and family, you know, if you found value, they will too. So please share via your social media channels. Also, if you have questions I'm here to assist. You can email me questions to And I may even use your question for a future podcast episode. Also, if you want transformational content like this daily connect with me on Instagram, my Instagram name is @iamjimfortin. Finally, I do have a personal request. I believe that we're all here to help others and to grow and evolve ourselves. Together you and I let's help more people. If you would, please leave a review on iTunes and a good one, by the way., I'd be grateful. And through your assistance together, we can transform more lives. Thanks for listening.


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Jim Fortin

Jim is an international subconscious self-transformation and high performance expert with over two decades of expertise in brain based transformation and high performance. Using a brain based approach coupled with transformational psychology and ancient wisdom Jim has created programs that create long-term core-level life transformation in his students.

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