Let’s Talk About Sex with Dr. Susan Orenstein | Episode 23

Let's Talk About Sex with Dr. Susan Orenstein | Episode 23

Are you and your partner struggling to reestablish intimacy in your relationship? How can you make a long-lasting impact in your relationship that benefits you both? How can you begin to talk about the difficult things?

In this podcast episode, Billy and Brandy Eldridge speak about sex and relationships with Dr. Susan Orenstein.

Meet Dr. Susan Orenstein

Dr. Susan Orenstein, a licensed psychologist, and relationship expert and has successfully helped couples optimize their marriages or learn to let each other go so they can find “happily ever after” elsewhere.

She is also the host of the After The First Marriage, which is a podcast dedicated to helping individuals find their happily ever after elsewhere.

This means getting back in touch with their best self and reimagining possibilities for a fantastic future.

Visit her website and listen to her podcast here.

In This Podcast

Summary

  • The most common thing couples need help with
  • How do couples regain that trust in their partners?
  • Addressing issues with sex
  • Tools for easing into difficult conversations
  • Hardest pills to swallow

The most common thing couples need help with

In Dr. Susan Orenstein’s experience, the answer is intimacy. People may come into the consulting room and say that they have a communication problem, but in fact, it is larger than that. Couples may have stopped trusting their partners, are walking on eggshells around them, they may have stopping confiding in one another and therefore they have less intimacy. Over this period, they have built up armor in the tense environment and can no longer interact with one another sincerely through their barriers.

How do couples regain that trust in their partners?

By starting to talk about the elephant in the room and getting right to the root of it. Have the tough but necessary conversation about how each person feels in the relationship.

Acknowledge that you are not feeling as close as you would like to feel and be with your partner, and then commit to talking about this together – not with friends behind the partner’s back, not delving into escapism. Commit to having a difficult conversation together with sincerity and integrity.

Addressing issues with sex

It is important to talk about what is getting in the way of the one person who is having trouble with sex at that time. There is not only one cause but a multitude of factors that have built up over time. However, Dr. Orenstein gives a generalized cause which most couples struggle with when it comes to issues with sex; that it is to do with stress. But trying to solve this issue by pressuring your partner or guilt-tripping them does far more damage than good because it adds more stress.

Couples should take a step back and try a new tactic of having ease in their relationship outside of sex first, to genuinely enjoy time spent with one another. Someone in the relationship can be more controlling over the other and feel as if they control the other person’s sexuality. This ownership or hostage situation is what adds more stress. Working to create an environment that is free and loving and open to express sexuality can encourage the partner to open up.

Tools for easing into difficult conversations

I think it’s important for couples to look at themselves and to say ‘okay am I doing anything threatening, am I being sarcastic, am I being belittling and then saying it’s a joke’? Just to be honest with ourselves about how we might be threatening our partner and not recognizing it and just cut all that out. When you cut all that out it makes a world of difference.

  • Start by identifying what threats are on the table. For example, if one partner uses divorce as a threat during an argument, or bad-mouthing each other in front of their children or loved ones.
  • Release tension with your partner. If you spend a lot of time working together or with the children and stress builds up, try to release that tension together by doing activities you both love to do together.

If one person initiates more than the other and has a fear of being turned down, the other one should learn how to graciously say ‘no’ so that the conversation keeps happening, so that you can both be aware of the other ones’ feelings and boundaries.

Hardest pills to swallow

If you’re not willing to look at yourself and your role then you’re probably wasting your money in couples therapy.

The beginning is the hardest because you have to admit, acknowledge, and commit to working through it by building a foundation of safety and trust. Dr. Orenstein talks about helping couples find a two-way system, like a tandem bicycle, where you work together to the goals and whoever is in front warns the other about what is coming up in themselves, in their lives, in their emotions, and so forth.

Another hard pill to swallow is when the ego gets in the way and partners start blaming the other for all the faults in the relationship without reviewing themselves too.

When both people are willing to say ‘let’s work together’ and leave their egos at the door, that foundation of trust is encouraged and the conversation shifts from ‘you’ and ‘I’ to ‘us’.

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.

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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!

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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.

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.

Hey, Beta Male Revolution. Glad you guys are here with us today. Don’t forget to sign up for our free ecourse. If you’re a beta male or you have a beta person in your life and want to understand them a little bit more, go to betamalerevolution.com, go over to the link of courses and we have a free ecourse there for you. So sign up. Also if you haven’t rated and reviewed our podcast on your favorite podcast listening device, Spotify, iTunes, all the other popular ones, go on there and rate and review, tell us what you think.

Today on the podcast we have Dr. Susan Orenstein. She is a licensed psychologist and a relationship expert and has helped successful couples optimize their marriages and learn how to treat each other. So we get into the wonderful topic of sex today. And we’ve wanted to talk about sex multiple times and it came up today. Very fitting for Brandy and I, we were in a bit of… we found ourselves on the podcast in conflict often, and we’ve got to sit here and smile. But you’ll notice if you go about halfway through the podcast, Brandy admits that we’re just off, and we were struggling that day. And hey, we’re in this together, and we’re in this to change as a couple also. So we are learning. So Dr. Orenstein is going to be on today. Thank you for listening to her. Keep coming back.

________________________________________

[SUSAN]:
Oh, it’s a pleasure to be here today and call me Susan. So I am a psychologist in North Carolina. I’ve been in private practice for over twenty years and I specialize in couples issues, relationship issues, and sex issues which are all blended together and always interesting. So I’m glad to be here. Thank you for having me.

[BRANDY]:
Thank you for being here. When Billy told me that he was able to talk with you, I was really excited about having you on. I want to know, what do you see in the chair? Like what are the most common things that couples come in and need help with?

[SUSAN]:
Intimacy. So what couples will say is we have a communication problem. And that’s true, too. But people don’t get really specific about what they mean by that. And I think what I see is that people stop trusting their partners, and they start walking on eggshells, have different kinds of armor on and stop confiding in each other and the intimacy just starts to disappear, and it’s really sad. So with increased armor goes decreased intimacy. So I try to help people feel safe enough to take off the armor, confide in each other, be authentic with each other and to reconnect.

[BILLY]:
And so how do we do that? When we’ve armored up, and we’re having a hard time trusting our partner, are there any things… I know, it takes a lot of work in the office, but over a podcast, just for our audience, are there things they can begin to do outside finding a therapist or a psychologist to work with? What are some things they can do to take off parts of that armor and begin to open up to one another?

[SUSAN]:
Couples can start talking about the elephant in the room, which is the ‘us’. They can have conversations about how they’re feeling in the relationship and be really honest. So instead of saying, oh, yeah, everything’s fine, or everything’s mostly fine, but then not wanting to talk about it. One of the ways to start taking off the armor is to acknowledge that you are not feeling as close as you’d like to be with your partner. So that’s step one, is that, okay, let’s be real. Yeah, I’m not so happy, and I’m not so happy. And then to commit to, okay, I’m going to commit to talking to you about this. Not talking to friends behind your back, not making passive aggressive comments, not escaping into alcohol, or shopping, or whatever the escape is, but I’m gonna commit to having real, authentic conversations with you. That is a great place to start.

[BILLY]:
And so, I do some work with couples and usually when they come in – and I don’t want to just put it in the category of just the guys because I really think at times it’s a balanced issue and you can correct me on that if you think so – but sex comes up. And a lot of times, it’s we’re not having sex, and if we had more sex, everything would be okay. Is that true?

[SUSAN]:
No, it’s not true.

[BILLY]:
Yeah. I’m so glad you said that because I tell people that all the time.

[SUSAN]:
But there’s some truth to it, if that’s… I mean, some people really have very good relationships, but the sex becomes a problem that they don’t know how to address. For other people there’s lots of issues and sex is just a symptom of lots of the other. So yes, it’s true and no, it’s not true. And when people are unhappy about sex, when they’re not finding their sex life fulfilling, then that becomes so big in people’s minds, like, the dissatisfaction about that is incredible. The good news and the bad news is once sex becomes kind of predictable and pleasant and satisfying, then life just goes on. Then there are other kinds of issues that come up.

[BILLY]:
Yeah. So if someone comes in your office and says, Dr. Orenstein, the problem is sex, and if we had more sex, our marriage would be better. So can you just talk my partner into having more sex? Where would you go with that?

[SUSAN]:
Okay. I would go with that by wanting the partner to have a voice and for the two of them to talk about what’s getting in the way. And there are as many things that get in the way as there are snowflakes. So it’s not just one cause that causes problems. But I’ll tell you, if you wanted to generalize what causes problems, of all the different reasons that people have problems, it’s stress. So if you’re trying to solve your sex problem by pressuring your partner, or giving them a guilt trip, then you’re actually putting more stress on the table which is not sexy. So it’s the exact opposite of what’s going to help. So we have to figure out how can couples put more ease into their sex life, more fun into their sex life, take the pressure off the table. And sometimes what I do to start is to help people make sure they have an ease in their relationship outside of sex. So, do couples know how to be playful? Do they know how to kind of joke around and laugh together, or is somebody experiencing their partner’s humor as belittling? So we look at the big picture of how couples relate and how they enjoy each other, and then look at sex from there.

[BILLY]:
Well often I see people, they want to control the other person into behaving how they want them to be, and I’ll often tell them, if you’re trying to control someone into sex or control someone into loving you, it’s not a loving relationship – that’s more of a hostage situation – and you need to release them. And I believe if we begin to work on trust and safety, then often the intimacy and the sex comes. Do you see that to be true?

[SUSAN]:
Yes, I like your metaphor of the hostage situation. Unfortunately, I have seen a lot of couples where they become controlling about each other’s sexuality. And they feel in a way like they own the other person’s sexuality. Like they might feel like they can tell the partner how to look, how to dress, to wear makeup or not, to stop reading romance novels, or stop looking at porn, and different things that to me, appear to be controlling, as if that once you are in a committed relationship, then there’s some ownership. And I think you said ‘hostage’, that’s really interesting. When we’re feeling controlled or like a hostage, that’s not in a place where we can feel loving and free to express our sexuality.

[BRANDY]:
Well, I want to go back to what you were talking about prior to the sex, is the intimacy part, and the trust part, and talking to each other. If you had to give some sort of practical tools for couples right now in just easing the conversations to get to the harder conversations, what are some of those things that you say to them when they’re not willing to talk, when their guard is up?

[SUSAN]:
Well, I have people start by identifying what threats are on the table and those aren’t easy conversations but that has to take place. So like you said, sort of the hostage, or if somebody feels in danger then really nothing else can happen. So I have couples look at threats. So for instance, is one partner, when they get angry, is their go-to statement ‘Why don’t we just get a divorce?’ And so they make that comment. Or they bad mouth each other, you know, they’ll make a snide comment in front of their child about the other one, like, oh, look at your father doing such and such or oh, yeah, of course, your mother blah, blah, blah. So one of the first conversations may not be very easy at all, but it’s really, let’s look at the ways that we might be threatening each other and being mean. And how can we create love and safety and trust and fun when they’re these things that are really kind of unkind, and even threatening? Like, if you’re threatening divorce, or at the extreme, I’ve seen people threaten violence which, of course, is the opposite of safety. And really, you cannot have a loving relationship when there are any kind of threats.

And some people, myself included, were kind of raised on passive aggressive comments like, in my family, we didn’t make aggressive comments, we might have made like belittling comments or like, belittling, making fun of people and then somebody could say, oh, well, that’s not what I meant. You’re being too sensitive. And I remember when I was with my husband over thirty years ago, and we had our first argument, and I turned to my go-to which is sarcasm. And he called me on it. He said, well, that wasn’t really nice. And I remember thinking, I don’t want to be like this. But I didn’t think of myself as being mean or aggressive because that’s just how I was raised. So I think it’s important for couples to be able, each person to look at themselves and to say, okay, am I doing anything threatening? Am I being sarcastic? Am I being belittling and then saying it’s a joke? And just to be honest with ourselves about how we might be threatening our partner and not recognizing it, and just cut all that out. And when you can cut all that out that makes a world of difference.

[BILLY]:
Yeah, well, and I love that you bring up your own relationship, because I read on your website you’ve been married, what, thirty plus years?

[SUSAN]:
Yes. I think it’s thirty-two. I think I’ve lost count. But yeah.

[BILLY]:
I love how you mentioned that because this is not just something you do professionally. Your personal life mirrors that and so often, I think, I mean, people want to ask me and I don’t know how appropriate it is in counseling sometimes. But they want to, you know, what do you do in your relationship? And they push back against that. And I think sometimes some structured disclosure is helpful just in building rapport and like, yeah, I struggle with this too. It’s not easy. But when you do it, it’s so worth it. Yeah. So what do you feel like the hardest part of when you’re – I know we don’t tell people what to do – but when you’re giving people guidance, and you’re giving couples ways to build intimacy and talk to each other, what’s the hardest pill to swallow? What’s the hardest bit of information you give them that seems to be the most difficult thing for them to implement in their life? Is there any one thing or is it all over the place?

[SUSAN]:
I have to think about it, but I would think the beginning is the hardest. The building the foundation of safety and taking all the threats off the table. I think that’s the hardest. So for instance, and people will say, oh, marriage, it’s a lot of work. You always have to put work into it. It’s hard, blah, blah, blah. I mean, I would say from my own marriage, for instance, there’s an ease about it. There’s an ease about it because we trust each other and we know we have each other’s back. And if there’s any time where threats come on the table, we get them off really quickly. I think the initial stage is generally the hardest for people, of building that safety and trust.

And then then there’s one other piece I would say, which is sometimes when people have blended families or they have… maybe they have businesses from before, maybe this is their second marriage or they’re a little older when they’re getting married. I think for a lot of people the challenge is to develop an ‘us’, and what we call it – I learned this from my mentor, Stan Tatkin who created the PACT couples therapy, he talks about a two-person system. And he says that some people really are born and raised as a one-person system and so it’s really hard for them to be collaborative. So I do see that in my practice, is that some people are so used to being a one-person system, they don’t think to tell their partner, oh, I invited so and so over for dinner, or I booked us a flight here next month. They’re so used to doing things for themselves that they don’t remember that the partner is always really there. And so a lot of the work we do in those cases is to help couples become a two-person system.

And sometimes I use the metaphor – and people seem to like this metaphor – of a double bike. So I grew up having a double bike, a tandem, and I had my friend Melissa and we used to ride around the neighborhood and that was our sense of freedom. And then my husband and I got a double bike a few years ago, we’ve gone on a few bike trips, it’s really fun. But what I tell couples is when you’re on a double bike, and the person in the front… so my husband and I are on a double bike, and we had to get used to this, let’s say there’s a big bump that he goes over, and I’m in the back, and he wouldn’t tell me and then a second later I go, I mean, pain, you know, it’s jarring. And I told him, look, from now on, you got to warn me when you see, I can’t see ahead, you have to tell me. And so he would say ‘bump bump’ and then I would go ‘bump bump’ and you know, I’d learned to lift my seat off the seat and prevent some pain there. So that’s an example of a two-person system.

Another example of a two person system is that neither of us can jump off the bike when we’re biking, or the other person is going to crash and die. So, I think people who are used to one-person systems and now have to function as a two-person system, first of all, for some people, that idea is so foreign to them. And so that can be a real challenge, is to teach people what that means, what that looks like. And so that’s an example.

[BILLY]:
I love the metaphor of the double bike, we actually have some friends that I believe that’s where their couples counseling started. When they rented one on a trip they went on and couldn’t get in sync, and it just ended up being… they thought it was going to be beautiful, but it ended up being this frustrating thing where they couldn’t pedal together where they weren’t working in tandem, and they ended up in this horrible argument, but what a great metaphor for life. You know, it’s…

[BRANDY]:
Okay, so, Dr. Orenstein.

[BILLY]:
She’s like, let’s get into this.

[BRANDY]:
I’m ready to go. I’m ready to go full in. So, Billy and I are just off, and I wonder how many, like, does it get easier? I mean, for thirty years. Because I still feel like as much as we try, we still end up in the same arguments, it feels like we repeat the same things over again. I’m writing notes on the board as you’re talking and I’m like, one, we need to talk. One, we need to get the threats off the table. Two, we’re on a bike together. And I’m writing these notes down because I feel like we just go round and round about the same things, like, does it get easier?

[SUSAN]:
If you have the tools, I think it does. And if it doesn’t get easier, then there may be some tool that you’re missing.

[BRANDY]:
There may be one through six.

[BILLY]:
Let’s pull ’em out. That’s the thing… doing a podcast together has put us in a situation where we have to work together in a way we haven’t before. And we do get off, and it’s bringing out new things in our relationship, and the way we… and I think in life, whenever there’s a new phase and there’s always new phases, if you could just get one consistent phase. But as soon as you do the kids get a little older and you’re going into a different phase. And, you know…

[BRANDY]:
Our arguments have stayed consistent.

[BILLY]:
Yeah, they’re usually about the same thing.

[BRANDY]:
Yeah.

[BILLY]:
It’s usually about, for me, I believe, pride and ego. And it’s really hard to surrender that sometimes.

[SUSAN]:
Well, I think in those times, sometimes just having some really fun ways to connect and distract, you know, to be able to joke around. So a big way to release tension is humor, is sex, is having hobbies together where it’s not so much about the work, it’s just let’s let loose and have fun and change channels. So if you’re working together, or you have the responsibilities of kids together, that’s really heavy and so we need some relief, release, entertainment, that kind of thing.

[BILLY]:
But that’s so hard when you have that armor on, to be vulnerable, and like the first person to get playful, or to flirt, or… it feels, you know, it’s like the fear is, you know, are they going to accept that bid for attention? Or is it going to be shot down and I’m gonna feel rejection?

[BRANDY]:
It’s a threat.

[BILLY]:
Yeah, it’s a threat. It’s trying to bridge the divide between the being shut down. And that seems… you feel like you’re a million miles apart, but you’re usually just a few phrases, and a couple of gentle gestures away from dissolving some tension, but it’s just so hard to get to that place even though it’s so close. It feels so far away.

[SUSAN]:
Yeah, I hear that. And I think in some of those examples I would help couples, let’s say, with bids for attention, or humor, or sex, and feeling vulnerable that the other person may not accept, to teach them how to gently and lovingly say, oh, honey, that sounds fun. I can’t do that right now, how about… you know, to be able to graciously offer another alternative instead of to say no, because people don’t want to hear ‘no’. So to have kind of a rain check. You know, the raincheck if you invite a friend to do something, and then they can’t do it. But if they say no too many times, you’re not going to reach out to them. But if they can, predictably say, oh, I can’t do such and such a date, but thank you so much for asking. How about… and they offer another alternative. Those are the people I’m going to stay friends with. The people who are not available over and over again, I get tired and I stop reaching out. So I think in that example, to help your partner so they don’t feel so vulnerable, be sure to offer a rain date or an alternative.

[BRANDY]:
Good. I’m taking notes on that. That’s number six. Rain date.

[BILLY]:
We have a large whiteboard in our podcast room and we get such good stuff out of doing this podcast and we get to share it with our audience. And that’s one of the most enjoyable parts of getting to do this. So when you’re trying to reestablish intimacy between a couple who has their armor on, and who feel a million miles away from each other, you’ve given us a few things. Well, I don’t even know what I want to ask.

[BRANDY]:
When do you tell them, like, yeah, you guys shouldn’t be together?

[BILLY]:
I have down here, I have down here, when do you call it? I don’t know if I should ask that, but I’m gonna ask it – when do you call it?

[SUSAN]:
So I never call it. I have a tricky thing, a little sneaky thing I do the opposite of, so I don’t say, oh my gosh, I think you guys should call it. I will say, huh, well, why are you all together? What are you getting out of this relationship? And it’s for them to really be able to come up with an answer. And if they don’t have an answer, then it might be an ‘aha’, like, we need to come up with an answer. We need to create some reasons, some really good reasons why we’re good together. If we don’t have them, we need to create them. Or if we don’t want to create them, then maybe it’s time to call it. So it’s for everybody to decide that themselves. I would be really arrogant to make that decision because people surprise me. Sometimes I’ve seen couples come in and I’m like, oh my gosh, I have to take some deep breaths, like really, and then they soften, and they show their friendly side, and it’s remarkable. And then other people don’t. So I would never be the one to call it.

[BRANDY]:
You don’t ever like, leave the room later on, after it’s over, and been like, man, they’re not gonna last two weeks?

[SUSAN]:
Oh, well, sure, I think that, but I won’t say it.

[BILLY]:
I love Dr. Gottman’s research and I saw you were trained in some of that, and how he can tell in what, the first…

[BRANDY]:
Three minutes, or something.

[BILLY]:
I mean, so long of talking with people, in the first twenty minutes or so, whether they’re gonna make it or not depending on how they talk with each other. But I mean that’s kind of been my experience. I’ll think in my head, I don’t know if you guys belong together, and then that strange miracle will happen and they’ll work out. And then some couple who has some seemingly trivial issue will decide to walk away from each other. And so it is trying to predict fingerprints and snowflakes, they’re all different. Every relationship is different. You never can. And people will ask me individually, should I leave? And that is never for me to answer. I just usually tell people, you will know in your gut, and you have to be able to sleep at night, and that’s really… but you want to make sure you’re making it from a healthy place, that you’re really sound in that decision.

[SUSAN]:
Mm hmm. It’s really heart wrenching for people, I think, especially when they have kids and they’ve been married a long time. But then what surprised me, one of the big surprises in my practice, is I had a couple – I’ve had this a couple of times actually – but I had a couple and they went back and forth between would they make it work, and they decided they wanted to end it. And I felt so bad, as more of a new therapist, like oh, I failed. They didn’t get what they needed from me. I should just hang it up. But as they were walking out, like, they thanked me and one of them hugged me. And they said, this is so great, like, we have clarity. We can now have a future, and thanks for helping us get that clarity. So that blew my mind. But you know, there are people who have good divorces and decide, you know, this really isn’t going to work for me. And then they have a chance, they have an opportunity to learn about what didn’t work from their first marriage, and to build a future with someone else and have a really loving future there. So that happens too.

[BILLY]:
Yeah, it’s never easy. It’s never easy. But I tell, especially couples with kids, even if you end it, it’s not done. You’ve got to learn, at best you have to co-parent together. And so you have to have some kind of communication and learn how to talk with each other and get on the same page. So in working with couples, and we’ve kind of gone through this, on reestablishing intimacy, and sex, what’s the hardest thing you come across as a therapist?

[SUSAN]:
So I would probably say something different depending on the day. I think what’s hard is when… I think you put it, like, when ego gets in the way, when people are so guarded and stubborn that they can’t look at themselves, and they just want to blame their partner. That’s really hard. So when both people are willing to say, yeah, I can see my part in this, or I want to do this to make you more feel more safe and secure, then I think the sky’s the limit. But when people are pretty stuck in, look, it’s your fault. You need to fix it. And then they kind of show up for couples therapy, which is interesting, because you really need both people to cooperate. So that’s really hard. And I would probably say, if you’re not willing to look at yourself, and your role, then you probably are wasting your money in couples therapy.

[BILLY]:
Yeah. Oh, so powerful. Thank you for sharing that with us. I tell folks, and I tell myself all the time, I look in the mirror and I have to clean my side of the street. A lot of times I like to go get on other people’s front porches and rearrange them and make it the way I like, but I don’t have any business over there. I gotta straighten my own stuff up. And a lot of times, it’s just hard to do when I’ve got my eyes on the other people in my life. That basically it comes down to wanting to control, but surrendering some of that. So, and in moving out, I’ve got a few questions. And one came to mind, and I always like to ask this, why did you become a psychologist?

[SUSAN]:
Oh, boy. Why do we all? I wanted to help people. So that sounds kind of naive, like a child’s… well, when I was a child, I actually wanted to be a lawyer, like my father was a lawyer, because I wanted to help people who were… I wanted to help empower people. And then when I went to college and I saw how much you’d have to read and write for law school, and that it was really, I thought it was kind of dry, and then I discovered the field of psychology and how completely interesting and fascinating it was to me, it was a no brainer. The field is so interesting. Every class I took I wanted to learn. Still in my free time, I’m learning and reading, and I thought it would just play to my strengths. I like being in the listeners role. I like being curious about people. I grew up loving soap operas, actually, true confession there. The Guiding Light was my favorite show. So for all those reasons, it’s just been a great match for me. I like to empower people, and I like to listen to their stories, and help them create their stories for their future.

[BILLY]:
You have a much better reason for not going to law school than me, it was that whole ELSAT score problem.

[SUSAN]:
Oh, okay.

[BILLY]:
That was a challenging exam.

[BRANDY]:
He got into a law school in, like, the Caribbean.

[BILLY]:
Not in the States and it wasn’t reputable nor licensed, but I could have gone.

[SUSAN]:
It’s to our fields benefit that you’ve [unclear].

[BILLY]:
Well in life or as a psychologist, what’s the hardest lesson you’ve had to learn?

[SUSAN]:
I’ve had to learn to stand up and have a voice, and that it’s not always pretty, that I can’t always please everybody. I can’t always be popular and say things that are easy for people. I have to challenge people. I have to make… not make people uncomfortable, but I have to speak the truth. I have to speak the truth even when it makes people uncomfortable. And that’s empowering for me, but it’s also a constant challenge for me, to be brave, because it’s hard. I don’t come by that naturally. I’m not an outspoken, blunt person. So, continuing to speak up and have a voice is my lesson, my challenge.

[BILLY]:
In closing, what or who inspires you to keep going, keep doing the work you do in the world?

[SUSAN]:
Yeah. Oh, I would say my husband, Rafi Orenstein. He is a beautiful person with integrity, and he’s always growing, and I want to keep up with him. And I want to inspire him like he inspires me.

[BILLY]:
Dr. Orenstein, thank you so much for your time and wisdom today. We can’t wait to speak with you again and look forward to continuing collaboration with you.

[SUSAN]:
It’s a true pleasure. Thank you, Billy and Brandy. Keep up the great work.

[BRANDY]:
Thank 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.

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