It’s Not About the Damn Sheets | Episode 24

It's Not About the Damn Sheets | Episode 24

Do you and your partner go through patches where communication becomes incredibly difficult? Do you seem to misinterpret the other ones’ behavior, turning it into an argument? How do you navigate these sensitive situations when your ego and pride seem to stand in the way?

In this podcast episode, Billy and Brandy Eldrige speak about the fact that it’s not about the damn sheets.

In This Podcast

Summary

  • It is the small things
  • Presence versus proximity
  • Gottman sayings
  • We all do bids for attention

It is the small things

It is a metaphor for life and couples struggles and it’s not the big things that get us, it’s the little things that destroy relationships. I believe over time that it is the ask, and the rejection. If we do that enough times it whittles away.

Arguments that become bigger and aggressive over small things usually point out that there are bigger, more important issues underneath that need to be vented or dealt with. The small things are symptomatic of big things, and they both need careful attention.

Presence versus proximity

It seems to happen that someone in each couple will have one of these properties; one will value proximity as quality time and the other will value presence as quality time. These can become issues when this is not fully communicated and each person in the couple feels that they are not being valued, or listened to sincerely.

For Billy, proximity is important. It matters that he and Brandy are in the same house together. For Brandy, it is presence. That she and Billy are spending intentional and conscious time together. When these needs are not met for either member in the couple, tension can build because each person’s personal needs are not being met.

Gottman sayings

When couples get into arguments, it can turn nasty quickly when each person gets wrapped up in their ego or need to be right. It is important to take a step back to remember that it is you and your partner against the problem, not you and your partner against one another. These are some helpful expressions to keep in mind that you can say to your partner in the heat of an argument to ground one another:

  • I am on your side.
  • I hear you, I see you.
  • I understand you, I understand what you are saying.

We all do bids for attention

In research, it’s observed that happy couples turn towards their partner approximately 20 times more than couples in distress during everyday non-conflict discussions.

Throughout the day, you or your partner can request that the other meet a need of theirs. In healthy relationships with solid boundaries and respect, if your partner asks you to help them, then you should be able to. However if meeting their basic needs becomes a challenge and erupts into arguments, then some internal work may need to be done.

Books mentioned in this episode

Are you ready to find the freedom to be yourself as a beta male? Do you want permission and tools to be your best beta? Are you ready to join the revolution to find strength as a beta? If you want to be comfortable in your skin and be the most authentic beta male, then our free beta revolution course is for you. Sign up for free.

Useful links:

Meet Billy Eldridge

billy-eldridge

Meet Billy, the resident beta male. For Billy, this is a place to hang out with other beta males and the people who love them. We’re redefining what beta males look like in the world. I have learned to embrace my best beta self, and I can help you to do the same. As a therapist, I understand the need to belong. You belong here. Join the REVOLUTION.

Meet Brandy Eldridge

brandy-eldridge

Hello, Beta friends. I am an alpha personality who is embracing the beta way of life. I feel alive when connected with people, whether that is listening to their stories or learning about their passions. Forget small talk, let’s go deep together. Come to the table and let’s have some life-changing conversations.

Thanks for listening!

Did you enjoy this podcast? Feel free to leave a comment below or share this podcast on social media! You can also leave a review of the Beta Male Revolution Podcast on iTunes and subscribe!

Podcast Transcription

[BILLY]:
Beta Male Revolution is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a family of podcasts seeking to change the world. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

Today on the episode it’s just us. Brandy and I have a conversation. It starts out as where the podcast has been, where it’s going and then somehow, like always, or most of the time, it takes a left turn, and somehow it gets into an argument that we had, but we just went with it. And we begin to unpack and unfold how we work through that in real time with you guys. And just to let you know, some of the content that we use in our marriage comes from Dr. John and Julie Gottman. And Dr. John Gottman wrote the book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. It’s been very helpful for us, so grab a copy of that. And he and his wife, Dr. Julie Gottman, wrote Eight Dates. It gives you prompts for crucial conversations that every relationship needs to have to develop to their fullest potential. So another great book, you can go to our website, to Episodes, and scroll down and the book will be in there, it’ll take you straight to the Amazon link. We have some exciting stuff coming up in the world of consulting. We want to consult with those who want to work with us, as a couple, one on one with myself or Brandy, in creating the life that you want. So tune in today, and it’s not about the sheets, apparently.

[BILLY]:
Hey, Beta Male Revolution. It’s Billy and I am here with Brandy today. And we wanted to just invite you into the upper room, our little podcast room; we’re going to talk about the podcast a little bit. If you haven’t got a chance to rate and review on Apple iTunes, pop on over there and tell us what you think. There’s some stars you can throw up and then you can type a little something to us to let you know if you’re if you’re liking the podcast or not.

[BRANDY]:
No. Only do it if you like the podcast.

[BILLY]:
Well, I mean, it helps us grow. Negative feedback helps us grow.

[BRANDY]:
They can send that in an email.

[BILLY]:
I mean, you know how negative feedback helps people grow because I get some from you every now and then.

[BRANDY]:
Every now and then, yeah.

[BILLY]:
It helps me grow as a human being and individual. I love those opportunities for growth. Thank you.

[BRANDY]:
You had several this morning.

[BILLY]:
Thank you for making me a better human being. Oh my gosh.

[BRANDY]:
If you haven’t gone to our web page, and subscribed to our free ecourse for anyone who is a beta male or just a beta, or has a beta in their life, the ecourse is free, and it’s got some good little information, some little tips and habits that you can try doing to make life a little easier.

[BILLY]:
So if you want a beta guy up in your inbox, sign up, and we’ll send you some emails.

[BRANDY]:
Today we’re going to just pause. We’ve had a lot of guests on. Some we loved, some we liked, and some we tolerated. And we’re gonna get into that.

[BILLY]:
I liked ‘em all.

[BRANDY]:
You loved them all. But we’re gonna get into that. At the end of the season, we’ll kind of talk about some of the behind the scenes things and get into more of that. But today, we just wanted to talk about how podcasting is going so far, and then what you want to hear more of. So we would like you to go to our web page, www.betamalerevolution…

[BILLY]:
www.betamalerevolution.com.

[BRANDY]:
And send us an email, contact us, let us know some of the topics you really want to hear, and maybe some guests that we can try to get on, or I don’t know, maybe you want to be on the podcast because you have something to share. We’d love to do that as well.

[BILLY]:
Yeah. Reach out. Throw us a bid for attention.

[BRANDY]:
Oh, we’re gonna get into that.

[BILLY]:
We’re gonna talk about bids for attention today. But if you want to bid for our attention, reach out; we’re not hard people to get hold of. We’ve reached out to some people who’ve just flatlined us that we wanted on the podcast. Ian Cron, if you’re out there, we’d love to have you on. You haven’t returned our email yet.

[BRANDY]:
Donald Miller. That sounds very desperate, but we got Nadia Bolts and she was like…

[BILLY]:
She’s fire.

[BRANDY]:
I mean, I didn’t ever think we’d even get to speak with her and we got her.

[BILLY]:
We did. I thought we were gonna be best friends after that. But we haven’t. She hadn’t called to check in.

[BRANDY]:
We have decided to do one more season.

[BILLY]:
What are we doing? Why are we doing this?

[BRANDY]:
I don’t know, but we’re gonna give it one more season and see how it goes and then evaluate from there.

[BILLY]:
Yeah, yeah. Cos at this point, you know, we love doing this. It’s fun. But it is an investment in time, and energy, and resources, and for our busy lives, but I want to keep doing it. I was sitting with our two younger kids this weekend because I took them on a little getaway, cuz Brandy was doing college work, and our oldest was buying stuff for her…

[BRANDY]:
Buying stuff what?

[BILLY]:
You’re pushing the mic up in my face.

[BRANDY]:
Because you don’t sit close enough. And then people say, you can’t hear Billy. And then I tell you to scoot forward, and you scoot back.

[BILLY]:
You were going alpha on me and cramming the mic in my face.

[BRANDY]:
No, I was being a helper.

[BILLY]:
Thank you for helping me today.

[BRANDY]:
And trying, so that…

[BILLY]:
I’m trying to tell a story and you’re pushing the mic closer.

[BRANDY]:
Because you were telling a story I wanted you to be heard.

[BILLY]:
Oh, I love you.

[BRANDY]:
Oh, God.

[BILLY]:
So anyway, I had the two youngest out of town and our oldest, Hava, was buying stuff for dance. She was here with her grandmother and Brandy was working on school. But I’m sitting there playing with the kids and it took them out to the river. And we’re chilling out there and I just had this overwhelming feeling of what the hell are you doing? Why do you have a podcast? You’re the most stupid person in the world and you shouldn’t have a mic in front of you. And all the shame just came over me and I felt horrible about myself. And, man, it just came out of nowhere. I’m playing with my kids who I love with all my heart, in this enjoyable moment, and this thing just creeps up and takes my headspace, and I just felt so nasty. I don’t know why I shared that. I wish it was all, because sometimes I still feel like that.

[BRANDY]:
Because we decided to do another season. And sometimes I feel the same way, like, and maybe the audience does too.

[BILLY]:
What the hell y’all doing? Just hang it up.

[BRANDY]:
I think we started this podcast for several reasons. One, we wanted to do something that would bring us closer, and what we have found so far is we fight over the podcast stuff probably more than anything else because it has taken a lot of our time that we had free away. And so I don’t know about you but now, adding the podcast, I thought it would be easier than a podcast really is. And it’s taken a lot more of my free time away. So I feel like a walking to-do list constantly.

[BILLY]:
[Unclear] take [unclear] on some really good vacations had we not done the podcast.

[BRANDY]:
Gosh. Yeah. Yeah. And…

[BILLY]:
But we’re up here with a mic instead, looking at each other, trying to work our stuff out live, and in real time, with people we care about who want to be a part of this. And people have asked so many questions. Well, some questions.

[BRANDY]:
So many.

[BILLY]:
Not like we get a ton.

[BRANDY]:
Yeah.

[BILLY]:
But the questions usually are, okay, this is Beta Male Revolution – what is that? Why is there a girl on here? What is your mission? Why are you doing this? And I think it all goes back to learning to be an authentic human being, whether you’re an alpha, or a beta, or don’t fit in either box, because we really want to construct this thing and just blow it to hell, and where there’s no box, and there’s no label, but it just helps us describe ourselves – me, the beta, Brandy, the alpha – in a way that helps us be a little more understanding of how we approach the world.

[BRANDY]:
Yeah. I think that when we started this, there’s not… I mean, we’re not using science behind this. This isn’t like, you have to be one or the other. And for somebody like me who doesn’t enjoy labels at all, and doesn’t like labeling people, it’s funny that we have this. But we just look at it as really two people in the world, we decided to be partners in a relationship, and we have to work through stuff. And then as we work through stuff, building these relationships, not only with each other, our children, our community, people at work. And so the podcast has kind of just evolved into something, we don’t know. But it has evolved into a lot of guests that come on, and are specialists in their area, and Billy and I try to glean all the good information from ‘em we can, and put good stuff out there in the world. And it’s really, I think the Beta Male Revolution is just like you said, becoming authentic, but also becoming authentic when it doesn’t feel right, and building relationships. And I think that that is maybe where it’s evolving is finding fulfillment in life. And how do you do that? You do that through relationships.

[BILLY]:
Yeah. I felt a personal pushback to it. Like I’ve kind of typecast myself as this beta guy. And there’s been days where I haven’t wanted to be emotionally available, or sensitive, or in tuned, and I’ve wanted to put armor on and be angry and be mad and not let people in. And then I’m like, well, great. Now you’ve done this thing, and you want to be the exact opposite, and there’s this hypocrisy, this feeling of hypocrisy. But this is the space where we talk about that type of stuff.

[BRANDY]:
I think a lot of comments we’ve had – and I say a lot, because it’s relative to the actual ratio, the size of the people that listen to our podcast, so for the…

[BILLY]:
It’s more than we had before we had a podcast.

[BRANDY]:
People have said to us, like, I can’t believe how vulnerable you guys are, I can’t believe the truth that you’re telling, and you’re really going, like, raw. And Billy and I are like, we didn’t know that. We didn’t know that it was… I don’t know, it doesn’t feel hard to talk about everyday things. And I think, too, you had a story with drugs and alcohol, and us trying to get through that, that people already knew our story. And it was time that we told it instead of other people telling it. And I think that was part of this podcast, I think, that people were really interested in the most that we’ve gotten feedback from, is a lot of your addiction issues, because I think everyone deals with addiction in one form or another, whatever it is. And although I may not have an addictive personality – I don’t think I do have an addictive personality – I have my own issues that when you work your stuff out, whether I’d like to admit it or not…

[BILLY]:
Could we go back to what we called your issues? Could we highlight those right quick?

[BRANDY]:
Sure. Why don’t you give me one today? Just one?

[BILLY]:
No, I can’t.

[BRANDY]:
In not a joking way. What is one thing? One, and be honest.

[BILLY]:
You can be pretty hard charging.

[BRANDY]:
What does that mean?

[BILLY]:
You come in… um…

[BRANDY]:
Like a Tasmanian devil.

[BILLY]:
Yes. And you know what you want done and need done. And sometimes that’s very confusing to me.

[BRANDY]:
What, how, why? How is needing stuff done confusing?

[BILLY]:
I don’t know, I just need some… And then we talk about putting ourselves in the category of like, a parent and child relationship. And that’s… we want two adults in a healthy adult intimate relationship. But sometimes you want things done a certain way and a little guidance and direction helps me, because I would be okay with not doing things in a certain way. It’s very gray and abstract.

[BRANDY]:
Okay, so let’s get real. We had one way the podcast was gonna go, but maybe it’s gonna go this way for a second.

[BILLY]:
Can we go back to the other way we were gonna do the podcast, please?

[BRANDY]:
No, let’s just go ahead and get this out there. So one of the things we fight about a lot is when I ask for help… I ask for help because I need something done. And you have something that you do, which is fight me on stuff, like, give me pushback for the smallest things.

[BILLY]:
Yeah.

[BRANDY]:
So, what is that?

[BILLY]:
Well, sometimes the things you need help with are a priority to you. But they’re not always a priority to me.

[BRANDY]:
But why would I ask you for help then? Because I don’t ask for help all the time, and so if I do ask for help, it’s because I need help.

[BILLY]:
Yeah, and I got hit with that pretty hard. I read my daily reading that I go through last night, and I’m reading a book called A New Pair of Glasses by Chuck C., Chuck Chamberlain. And we had had a previous podcast about how a relationship is not a partnership, and it’s just based on this fifty-fifty thing is a myth, that if each person took care of their own personal responsibility, and worked on themselves, then things would usually, in most normal relationships, work themselves out. And we’ve talked a lot about cleaning your own side of the street, not getting on your partner’s side of the street, and meddling in their business, but really just taking a deep dive. And Chuck C. had a wonderful way of describing marriage. He said, marriage isn’t fifty-fifty or a hundred to a hundred. It’s a thousand to nothing. If you really love a person, you will do anything, and you will go to any length, and you will sacrifice time and time again for them, and look for nothing in return. And that’s where I struggle with selfish and self centeredness and not doing that work.

[BRANDY]:
So when you and I talk about this, and I say I need help, for example, when I throw the dirty sheets down to the bottom of the stairs, will you go put them in the wash for me while I’m still cleaning upstairs – small little example. And you didn’t want to do it, or you didn’t do it on my timeframe because you didn’t know I needed it done.

[BILLY]:
Yeah, okay and let me explain. Ego and pride will say, I need to jump when she says jump. That is not healthy. Coming from a heart that longs to help and to serve says, my wife needs something, I need to go grab those and get that done. But part of me will be wrapped up in what I’m doing, and it will be selfish, and self centered, and that part gives you pushback.

[BRANDY]:
I prefaced, because… when I ask for help, it’s because I need it done now, otherwise I wouldn’t ask. So I prefaced it the other day, when I asked you, hey, I’m about to go upstairs. I’m going to throw these sheets down, I need them in the wash. Will you do that for me? And you said, yes. And the reason I prefaced it is because when I ask you to do things, I get a lot of pushback. And I have my own theory about that. But then when it wasn’t done you were like, well, I didn’t know you needed it right now. I’ll get to it. And I said…

[BILLY]:
No, you were about to leave for work and I thought you were gonna be out the door, and I’ll get them thrown in before I’m done. And I thought that was legitimate. And, okay…

[BRANDY]:
But the reason I asked you to do it is because I needed it done now, because I knew how long it would take for the rest of the stuff. I had it calculated in my head. So that’s why I asked.

[BILLY]:
And I wasn’t in your head.

[BRANDY]:
It doesn’t matter. I asked you for help and you didn’t help. So my theory is that, because I’m an alpha, I think – and this is me typecasting you, and so I could be completely off here – but I think it is a male ego thing that you don’t want to have a woman telling you what to do, and you don’t want to be that guy that is a pushover, that doesn’t want to be run by a woman. You don’t like that.

[BILLY]:
Yeah. As evolved as I would like to be as a human being, I believe at times some of that old stuff can creep in. In the beginning, it wasn’t that. In the beginning, it really was you wanted it done one way, you had it in your mind how you thought it was going to be done, and I really was going to do it another way. Okay. But then when push came to shove, it was that ego, like, she’s not gonna tell me what to do. You’re not gonna tell me what to do. And then I do feel parented. And I’m like, this is some bullshit. All right, let’s go head to head on this thing. And then nobody wins. And we lose ourself in this argument and the whole point is missed. So, yes, and trying to learn and move forward… Because we’re on the same team. But at that point, I see you as an opposing force.

[BRANDY]:
Because I asked for help.

[BILLY]:
No.

[BRANDY]:
And it’s on my time.

[BILLY]:
Once it moved away from asking for help, and it got into a pride and ego struggle. It would have felt like surrender on my side when surrender is the place I should have gone to.

[BRANDY]:
That’s what I don’t understand, when… okay, so this goes back to what we were talking about. When I ask for help, it’s because I need it.

[BILLY]:
Yeah.

[BRANDY]:
It’s not because I’m telling you what to do. It’s because I need help. And when you don’t help me, or you say, well, I’ll get to it when I need to, then these are the things that run through my mind. One, I can’t depend on him. Two, that doesn’t make me feel safe. It doesn’t make me feel like he’s got my back. And then three, I don’t feel loved.

[BILLY]:
Okay. And I can feel like what I’m doing at the time is of equal importance also. Like, the thing that I was having to leave to come do the sheets, that had my attention…

[BRANDY]:
Which was laying on the couch with your phone. What were you doing then?

[BILLY]:
On that day, I wasn’t even supposed to be home, but I’d come home because I wanted to spend time with you. But it was still during work hours, but I’d had a cancellation at the office. So I thought, I’ll go check my emails at the house so Brandy and I could be together and we can chat a little bit. And so I was going through emails, and following up, and to me that was of equal importance as the sheets, which I was going to get to.

[BRANDY]:
Why couldn’t you communicate that? Hey, let me finish this email, and I’ll do it. Like, why couldn’t you say that?

[BILLY]:
I thought I had.

[BRANDY]:
No, you didn’t say anything. You said, sure, no problem.

[BILLY]:
Yeah, and I meant, no problem, it’ll be done. I promise you, it’ll be done.

[BRANDY]:
Okay. But again, that’s an argument. When I ask for help, it’s because I need it done now. Otherwise, I don’t need your help.

[BILLY]:
And that’s the thing. Really, what I was doing, in the big scheme of things, could have waited. I was in that… it’s hard for me to change categories of what I’m doing. And I am afraid of if I leave this while I’m thinking about it, I’m going to forget to come back to it. So I have to stay in this train of thought. And I usually think it’s gonna take me a little bit of time, but it takes me a lot longer. But I really should have hit pause. And if I needed to make a reminder on my phone, I would have, and I would have gone and done the sheets.

[BRANDY]:
Or you could have just said, can I do it after this email? But a lot of times, I’ve learned, you talk in your head, and you don’t tell me what you’re thinking. Or you could have just said… you could have said that, but then you told me, sure, no problem. I know, this is not… this is a bigger deal of wanting to be able to depend on you. It’s not about the sheets. God, it’s never about the sheets.

[BILLY]:
It feels like it’s about the sheets.

[BRANDY]:
It’s about if I need help, I’m not going to ask unless I need it.

[BILLY]:
That’s what I’m thinking there, they’re f-cking sheets, [unclear].

[BRANDY]:
Because I knew that I had to do the comforter next, and the comforter would take sometimes two hours to dry, and then I had to do this next, and this next, and this next, and I needed to have it done before the kids got back from school.

[BILLY]:
Yeah.

[BRANDY]:
And so I didn’t… what it says to me, the message you send to me is, don’t ask me for help, because you can’t depend on me, and I’ll do it when I want to, not when you want me to, because my ego, because I don’t want a woman telling me what to do. And so then it says, I can’t depend on my husband for help.

[BILLY]:
I’m sorry. I don’t want to be that guy. Yeah.

[BRANDY]:
And if you were coming home to check your emails, then how is that quality time?

[BILLY]:
Yeah. And there was a part of me that said, God, you just should have stayed at the office and done this.

[BRANDY]:
Yeah.

[BILLY]:
Why’d you come home? And life would have been a lot easier, had you just, like…

[BRANDY]:
Because I wouldn’t have asked for help?

[BILLY]:
Yeah, no, I mean, that wasn’t healthy. That was a negative, bad place.

[BRANDY]:
Okay. That was twenty minutes, or fifteen minutes of us going through…

[BILLY]:
That’s how long it takes us to do the sheets, guys.

[BRANDY]:
It wasn’t about the sheets. It’s not about the sheets.

[BILLY]:
It felt like it was about the sheets. But it is. It is a metaphor for life, and couple struggles, and it’s not the big things that get us. It’s the little things that destroy relationships, I believe, over time. It is the ask, and the rejection. If we do that enough times it whittles away. And my ego wants to defend, and I even… we’ll rewind it, I believe we could go back and hear myself starting to get defensive and wanting to explain myself away, the ‘why’. Because, I don’t know, I’ve got things in me where I don’t want to feel like I’m a bad person, or I dropped the ball, or I fail at things. And…

[BRANDY]:
I think that’s healthy to say though, because we all come in with our own biases. We all come in with our own shame that we wear, we all come in with our own brokenness, right? And so for you, when I say something and it doesn’t get done, you automatically go to I’m a failure, I’m a screw up, I can’t do anything right.

[BILLY]:
Where do you go?

[BRANDY]:
I go a lot to, I’m better off by myself, I don’t need help from anybody, I can’t even depend on the people I have, I’d rather just do it myself and do it right the first time.

[BILLY]:
Yeah.

[BRANDY]:
Why did I even commit to somebody? You know, I can go pretty dark, pretty deep. But it usually goes to, I knew I was better off being an independent person.

[BILLY]:
If we end up getting divorced… So, screw that podcast.

[BRANDY]:
[Unclear] podcast are listening, don’t do what they did.

[BILLY]:
Yeah. Don’t do what they did.

[BRANDY]:
Gottman has a… I mean, the Gottmans are fantastic for marriage.

[BILLY]:
Yeah. Fabulous. They’ve done more research on relationships than anyone else. And even though we haven’t got a chance to meet them, they’ve helped us a lot. And just…

[BRANDY]:
And you use some of their stuff in couples therapy.

[BILLY]:
Yeah, yeah. And I fail at using it at home a lot.

[BRANDY]:
Well, that is something…

[BILLY]:
[Unclear] going to that failure place. I just make the mistake not to use it at home.

[BRANDY]:
I think you’re really good sometimes, though. Like, sometimes, when you’re in the mood, which is funny because we talk about alpha-beta. We talk about alpha-beta, and I think that we all have that in us. We all have the passiveness, we all have the assertiveness, and we all have it at different times. And there are times that you’ll go alpha and I’ll go beta.

[BILLY]:
Oh, yeah, this is bullshit. Why are you coming at me with that, just this anger? But that is that part of that passiveness, if I stuff it long enough it’s going to come out in a very ugly way. And it’s usually when I perceive that I’ve been made to feel small, which is… that’s an embarrassing thing to admit. Because here’s the reality, Brandy, you want the reality?

[BRANDY]:
Sure.

[BILLY]:
You’re an amazing human being, and an amazing wife, and this system that we have that’s so chaotic would not survive without you. In a day without you in the picture, everything would fall apart. And I am so grateful for you. And those are the things I don’t say enough.

[BRANDY]:
Just do the effing sheets.

[BILLY]:
Do the sheets.

[BRANDY]:
It’s not hard.

[BILLY]:
It’s not about the sheets.

[BRANDY]:
It’s not about the sheets. Thank you for saying that.

[BILLY]:
I’ll do the sheets next time. Maybe.

[BRANDY]:
God, I hate you sometimes. So, when you came home that day, it was a bid for attention. It was… and the Gottmans say, you’re either turning toward someone or you’re turning against. And when we have these little, itty bitty moments, for us, I know that we are really busy and there is not a moment of the day that isn’t scheduled. There’s not a moment of the day that we can’t be doing something. And I feel really guilty when I sit down and watch a show because I think, I have, like I said, my walking to-do list of forty-five things I could be doing instead of sitting down and it’s constant. And I can work all night long and never sit down all day, and it’s not healthy. And you and I have had in this last year, a really busy schedule, busier than we’ve ever had before.

[BILLY]:
And we can have that, I think, that presence and proximity issue where that time, you were needing my presence, like, I need you to show up and help with the sheets. And me, I want to spend a little time with you. I’m going to come home and check my emails. I’m going to sit down on the couch and go through them. And we have proximity, so I feel close.

[BRANDY]:
Yeah.

[BILLY]:
And I think that’s… I don’t know if it’s alpha-beta, male-woman, relationship. Just, in my mind, if we’re close in proximity, we’re spending time together.

[BRANDY]:
Yeah, that doesn’t count.

[BILLY]:
We’re in the same house.

[BRANDY]:
No, that doesn’t count.

[BILLY]:
We’re good. But you want presence. You want full attention. If I ask you for something, I hear it and I’m aware. A lot of times if I’m involved in something else, I don’t even hear. I don’t even hear the ask because I’m so involved, and I’m getting my need checked because we’re in proximity, like, spend some QT with my girl.

[BRANDY]:
That’s not QT.

[BILLY]:
I’m good. We’re in the same house, baby. We just spent some time together.

[BRANDY]:
No. It is not me watching you flip through stuff on your phone. That is not quality time.

[BILLY]:
Checks my box.

[BRANDY]:
Yeah, well it doesn’t check mine.

[BILLY]:
Okay, I hear you.

[BRANDY]:
I need quality time. I need face to face conversation. Or I need your, you know, come hold my hand and talk to me. And being in the same room, that’s no different than anything… I can be in the same room with people at Walmart. That doesn’t build a relationship. So anyway, going back to Gottman, he says these bids for attention, there’s small little moments that can have an impact and stabilize a relationship. And a bid for attention is when you’re saying I want you to be involved in this conversation, or come sit and have coffee with me. An example would be…

[BILLY]:
Come get these sheets and put them in the washroom.

[BRANDY]:
That’s not quality time. That’s just something I needed help with.

[BILLY]:
It’s not about the sheets.

[BRANDY]:
When you say something like, I’ll get it next time, then. Like oh, I’ll get them in a little while. That, I mean, that’s not even a bid for attention. That’s just I needed some chores, I needed help, I had a lot of plates spinning and I needed to get out to the office. But a bid for attention was like last night when I came over and talked to you, I just wanted a little bit of quality time and I wanted to just bring you into a conversation. And I think that there are easy ways to say that. And Gottman has a couple, so I’m going to list them off. And one that we use a lot is, ‘I’m on your side’. When we start arguing and feel like there’s a reason we’re arguing I have to remind you, hey babe, I’m on your side. I’m not fighting against you. I’m on your side. Are you there? Okay. Okay. Another one is, ‘I hear you’. You used to say that all the time. I hear you. I see you. That’s letting me know that you’re…

[BILLY]:
What was the show we learned that from? Was it Dax Shepherd?

[BRANDY]:
Was it Friday Night Light?

[BILLY]:
No, it was… Dax Shepherd was in it.

[BRANDY]:
Parenthood?

[BILLY]:
Parenthood, the mother and father went through marriage and couples counseling, and the therapist told him to, when she was talking with him, to stop, look at her and tell her ‘I hear you and I see you’, and then let her speak, so she would know he was fully involved in the moment. Because he had a problem of disconnecting while she was talking.

[BRANDY]:
What?

[BILLY]:
Yeah, and we’ve used that.

[BRANDY]:
Yeah. I hear you. I see you. That makes me feel like you understood what I said. I appreciate that. Another one is, I understand you. I understand what you’re saying. And sometimes I look at you and I’m like, Billy, do you understand what I’m saying? Because you will be off in a different world. And you will respond. Yes. And then you’ll… a couple times you’ve said, actually, I didn’t hear anything you just said. So, talk to me about bids for attention. When you’re in the chair with couples, and you bring this up, what do you tell them?

[BILLY]:
Couples, well, bids for attention, I mean, there’s good data on that, that in research, it’s observed that happy couples turn towards their partner approximately twenty times more than couples in distress during everyday non conflict discussions. So twenty times more, that when your partner says, hey, and you turn towards them. Honey, I need your… you turn towards them. Twenty times more. Healthy couples. Couples that stand the test of time. That they see that bid for attention as just their partner needing something, and don’t internalize it as something greater that, you know, whatever we do in our mind when ego gets involved. So a bid for attention is anything your partner is requesting that’s just an internal need of theirs. And it’s just [unclear]. It is a thousand to none. What do they need? I’m showing up. I’m gonna be there for ‘em. One hundred and ten percent, every time, no questions asked. If you’re in a healthy relationship where a partner has reasonable expectations, you should have no problem responding to bids for attention. And if you do, that may be an indicator that you need to do some personal work, take a deep dive and see what kind of insecurities you’re dealing with. And chances are, nine times out of ten, they’re from some childhood stuff you don’t want to look at. Our insecurities, our walls we put up, the things that we carry with us. The past is always the present until you’ve dealt with it and it’s not.

[BRANDY]:
That’s sexy talk. I like it when you go all therapist on me. Like, when it’s not about me. When it’s just in general.

[BILLY]:
That was all about you and what you need to do.

[BRANDY]:
Hey, I want you to know that I’m on your side.

[BILLY]:
I’m on your side.

[BRANDY]:
I hear you. I see you. I love you.

[BILLY]:
I’m with you.

[BILLY]:
Are you ready to find freedom to be yourself as a beta male? Do you want permission and tools to be your best beta? Are you ready to join the revolution to find your strength as a beta? If you want to be comfortable in your own skin and be the most authentic beta male, then our free Beta Male Revolution course is for you. Sign up for free at betamalerevolution.com/course.

This podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. This is given with the understanding that neither the host, Practice of the Practice, or the guest are providing legal, mental health, or other professional information. If you need a professional, you should find one.

Beta Male Revolution is part of the Practice of the Practice Podcast Network, a network of podcasts seeking to help you thrive, imperfectly. To hear other podcasts like the Bomb Mom Podcast, Imperfect Thriving, or Empowered and Unapologetic, go to practiceofthepractice.com/network.

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