Shane Birkel is a couples therapist who trains other couples therapists. He has a podcast that gets over 400k downloads an episode and is a wealth of knowledge. In this episode, he talks self-esteem, relational health, and sex for parents. He's one smart dude!
every single problem that a human being encounters in their life comes back to some sort of feeling of unworthiness or some sort of feeling that they don't matter, or some sort of feeling that they're not going to be loved. Welcome to The Healthy Relationship secrets for parents podcast, saving your relationship from parents. So the question is, how can we be great parents and have an amazing relationship at the same time? That's the question. And this podcast will provide the answers. Welcome Shane Burkle relationship therapist, or shall I say, relationship guru. And thank you so much for being on the show. I really appreciate you taking the time. Thanks, Jason. Yeah, thanks for having me. I'm excited to be here. Great. Well, Shane, as you know, this podcast is for parents. And basically, I want to know how to save your marriage or relationship from parenthood. And that's a good way to put it. Yeah. Yeah, thanks. But first, if you can just say a little bit about what you do Shane, and maybe how you got into the work that you do? Or the why or whatever you feel like sharing? Yeah, absolutely. I I'm a therapist, I work mostly with couples. I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist. And I work mostly with couples. And I also teach a lot of therapists how to do couples therapy, and I have a podcast for couples therapists. But I really love creating videos on Tiktok and Instagram, just about how to have a good relationship. Yeah, I think I got into all this, because it just seemed interesting to me to try to figure out, you know, I think it's comes back down to like essential questions like what it means to be human. Who am I, you know, why do I experience the world the way I do? Why do I, you know, at the time that I started therapy school, it's like, how do I have a better relationship? You know, all of these types of questions that people have. And for me, it was, I don't know, just excited me to learn about that more. And then when I started working with other people just sort of helping them almost investigate, you know, what, how to make their lives better. What was the what were the things that were making them stuck? You know, and I do think parenting is something that tends to have a negative effect on relationships, not always, but a lot of the time. It's not, it doesn't mean you shouldn't be become parents, but it's something you know, it can be validating for people to hear hopefully, that that's a normal experience people have, you know, as you're entering into parenthood, that you might definitely face some relationship challenges. Yeah. And I think I know the answer to this question, Shane, but do you feel that you can be great parents and have a healthy relationship? Or are they mutually exclusive? Yeah, absolutely. I absolutely believe that. And I think a big part of that is how are you defining a healthy relationship? You know, so if, you know, I think what happens for a lot of people is that maybe during the honeymoon phase of a relationship, maybe the first few months, or the first couple of years, or, you know, it depends on each relationship or each person. But there's this experience of like, we're happy, most of the time, we feel really connected, it feels exciting, it feels easy. And people run into a time where the relationship starts to feel like more of a challenge. And then if they decide to have kids, it's even more of a challenge, and they start to define it as well, we must not have a healthy relationship, because we're not feeling the way we did when we started off. And so I would, I would encourage people to change how they're even defining having a healthy relationship, because you can have a healthy relationship and still be struggling and still be stressed a lot and still be overwhelmed. But I think there's a lot of potential there. Yeah. Well, that leads into an a great question, Shane. And I know you could probably speak on this for, like, 30 minutes. But can you define a healthy relationship? Or how do you define it? Absolutely. I think a healthy relationship is one that feels mostly good for me. You know, that would be whoever is asking if I'm in a healthy relationship. So you know, it's, I always talk to people there's this. This is another sort of philosophical principle that I think is important that I am an individual just living my life moving forward, growing, trying to be the best human being I can be and my partner is is an entirely different human being who's moving forward and growing in different ways. And I have to move into acceptance about The ways that they're different from me the things that I'm not getting from them. Because I think this comes from the way we're socialized that we often believe that my partner has to take care of me, my partner has to do things for me, my partner has to fulfill certain things for me in order for me to be happy in my life, and it starts to create a feeling of codependence or control or manipulation that I start to blame my partner for my own unhappiness. And so I like to really separate that out and say that I have my reality, and my partner has their reality. But those are two very different things. So I can express things that I want to my partner, like, Hey, I'd really like to have more hugs in our relationship. I'm feeling like I'm not getting enough of that. But I don't want to come from the standpoint that this isn't a healthy relationship, that would be a statement of objective reality of you don't give me enough hugs. That's a statement of truth. That's a should statement, you should be giving me more hugs, that's going to feel very blaming and shaming and critical and judgmental toward the other person who is living their reality. And they might not even notice, they might feel like the number of hugs that we have in our partnership is sufficient for them. And so I want to be able to move into a place of vulnerability to say, Look, I am in a healthy relationship. And I'm feeling a little lonely, because my idea of a relationship involves more hugs, that's my reality. And that's okay. So I can be accepting of myself move into compassion for myself about that. But it doesn't mean I have to blame my partner. And then it becomes a matter of do I work on my loneliness by myself, like, do I just take a deep breath? And or go to therapy, individual therapy for myself? Or do my own work about like, what did I experienced growing up in my family that makes me feel like I need these hugs are like, what need Am I trying to fulfill? And I don't even have to talk to my partner about it? Or is it something that I want to work on with them? Is it something I want to bring to the table, it's, it's but but if I do that, I have to come from a place of vulnerability and respect, and owning it, and be able to say, Hey, honey, this is important to me, I'd love to talk about it. Here's what I would request, here's what I would like, here's what would make me feel good. But I also have to accept that there are going to be a lot of those things that I don't get, I don't end up getting. And when we have kids, and I'll speak from experience, when when my wife and I had kids, this became even more challenging, this became even harder, I was getting less and less of the things that I wanted, in my life in general and in my relationship, and my wife was getting less and less of the things she wanted as well. And so, you know, it becomes a challenge to sort of figure out how do we, how do we both continue to communicate about it and talk about what we need, and still probably not get enough of it. But like, I think maintaining that respect and maintaining the idea that there is enough good stuff going on in this relationship, that I feel like it's healthy for me that I'm willing to put the work in, and I'm willing to continue having compassion for my partner about whatever their limitations might be. Yeah, that's awesome. You know, that's the highlight the last thing you said, to remember, there's enough good stuff going on in the relationship to make it worth my while. So what would you say became for a friend, that I am a little bit irritated? that the house is a little messy? It's something that, you know, we've talked about before, you know, I guess it comes to that idea of acceptance, versus the vulnerability, sharing how it feels, and requesting. I don't know if I get a question there. But I know I think I hear what you're saying. Yeah. And I think it made me think of this idea of agreements or contracts. Yeah. Because I think this is really important. Where, oftentimes couples, but each partner comes into a relationship with a set of beliefs, and expectations about what life should look like or what a human being should be doing or what a relationship looks like. So your exam for, you know, to take your example, if I have an expectation that the house should be clean and organized, or I need to even be even more specific about that, like what does it look like for me that the house looks clean and organized? Right and my partner has a very different understanding or tolerance For what it looks like for the house to be clean and organized, that's something that I might, if I haven't really checked that out for myself, I might, my brain might move into judgment about that reality. And I might walk into the house and say What's wrong with my partner, that they think that this level of cleanliness is okay in the house. So that's something that I really need to check that's moving into the blaming and criticism of my partner, without compassion without understanding. And we have to separate that out, that's really just my own perception, that's just really just my own understanding of, you know, probably has to do with what I grew up with. And the cleanliness that it did or didn't exist in my family growing up, and what I want, so I have to, I have to own it like that. So I can move into acceptance about the my partner has a different understanding of what that means. Or I can work toward change, like I said before, but if I do that, I have to be respectful. I have to own it, I have to speak from the first person, I have to say, this is hard for me, this is something that is important to me, this is that here's my request. But then we get to the agreements, right? Where if my partner says, Well, that's nice, honey, I have a lot of understanding and compassion for you that you get frustrated when the house isn't clean. But they haven't made like, but they're sort of saying like, tough luck. Like, maybe that's all I need. Maybe I just wanted them to be understanding and have compassion. But maybe I actually want it to change. But then I have to make a humble request. This is something that I want. This is important to me. And then my it's my my partner's decision, if they want to make that agreement, which becomes sort of a verbal contract. And this is where you have to get really specific. For those of you listening out there, it's really important for couples to get specific about what is the agreement? Are we clear on what the agreement is? So if it's a week later, and I walk into a house, and it's super messy, it's not that I don't have the right to be upset, or judgmental or critical about the I can be understanding of my partner that they have a different level of what they want from that. But but it's a whole different conversation if, if they broke a commitment that they said they would follow through on, because then I might be able to get a little bit more accountability from them about them saying, Oh, my gosh, I'm so sorry. You're right. I made a commitment. And I didn't follow through on it. Because I don't deserve any accountability if they don't see the world the same way. Like, if they don't have to say like, Honey, I'm so sorry, the house is messy. If they don't even agree that that's something that needs to happen. But they can they can say I'm sorry, that's hard for you like, but at the same time, if they made an agreement, now we have a whole different ability to be accountable. And for me to feel validation that we had an understanding that was broken. Yeah. And in a way, the spirit of agreeing to an agreement, maybe for the other partner, is that your enlightened self interest, as Terry real says, you know, if I can come through my partner here, we're helping each other out. And it feels better. Yeah, totally. I just had this, this conversation with a couple I'm working with one partner really wants to have a baby and one partner is kind of on the fence. They're kind of like, okay, I'm kind of open to it. I'm not really sure. And the partner who wasn't really sure, said something like, in order for me to feel more comfortable and safe about having a baby, I would really appreciate it if you could read some parenting books and come up with a plan and share with me what your vision of, of parenting looks like, for us as a couple. So that's a good example of like, can you help me help you? Like if you really want to have a baby, here's what you can do to help me feel better about making that decision. Shane, I was listening to your podcast, a couples therapist couch. And you were talking about boundaries and self esteem. It seems you know, the idea and also I was listening to an episode. You interviewed Jules, on the neurophysiology. Yeah, that was awesome. Yeah, and you guys are great. Yeah. You guys shared this idea of, was it power within or shared power? Yeah, power with power with versus power over thinking? Yes. And so basically what you're sharing is power with which is making a synonym. For a synonym for a collaboration, or whatever you want to call it, Stan tacking calls it secure functioning relationship. But also, it seems to me that a good place to start on yourself is to look at self esteem and how you hold yourself. I know you mentioned the idea of being one down shame. Also the idea of being one up grandiosity. And I want to share a quick example and run this by you to see what what you think. Sure. And going back to the mess at the house, I find myself getting one up and you'll explain this, you know, the grandiose, being judgmental, oh, my gosh, you know, my wife is so messy. Geez, Louise. But after years of therapy, and years of listening to your podcast, I have been able to notice and catch myself, Oh, Jason, you're one up, you're being judgmental. And then to take a deep breath, and remember all the good things that she is doing. Also, I'm going to share a kind of a little bit of vulnerability here. I noticed when the shame came up. And my wife and I were talking about daycare, saving some money, moving her daughter to a different daycare center. And I had immediate reaction to it. I was like, oh, okay, you want to change. But really, I had to pause because it triggered some shame on me. Shame that. I'm not making enough money. This is going back to the performance esteem he mentioned. But that's a separate topic. And then I was able to pause, and then share that. And then it was it was one of those cool moments, she even moved closer to me. Oh, my gosh, Jason, thank you so much for sharing that. But that was a kind of an example of growing up. Yeah. One down. And can you can you speak a little bit about boundaries? And for sure. Yeah. I mean, I mean, self esteem, or? Yeah, and they do they go hand in hand. But I do think it starts with the self esteem. And I think we live in a society that is just steeped with power overthinking. Yeah, which is, which is like, you're you're in that situation with your wife. And your brain goes straight to this sort of like, I need to win this argument kind of thinking, you know, it's a very win or lose. And this is how, if you look at the corporate world, if you look at the government, if you look at you know, the way that we learned from a very from the media, from the movies and shows that we watch, there's this attitude of like, the if you win, you will be happy and fulfilled in your life, you know, that performance based esteem, if you are successful, and you win, then you will be deserving of love. You know, and it's sort of like this hamster wheel, that people are constantly chasing, people are constantly feeling like, once I get this degree, then I'll be worthy. Once I get this job, then I'll be worthy. Once I make this much money, you know, once I have a partner who loves me once I have the house, and it's just a constant feeling that I'm using these things, in order to give myself the reassurance to give myself the esteem, like the self esteem, to feel okay in the world. And I think it's all an illusion. It's all an illusion. And I believe this to my core, and I believe this, this one thing is fundamental to human beings, and to being in relationships, which is that we are fundamentally valuable, we are fundamentally worthy. We are Funtom fundamentally deserving of love. And that every single problem that a human being encounters in their life comes back to some sort of feeling of unworthiness, or some sort of feeling that they don't matter, or some sort of feeling that they're not going to be loved. And so, like you were able to do that mindfulness process when your wife brought up the daycare, and go back to take a deep breath, and to take a step back and reflect on why are these emotions coming up for me, as she's talking about it, right? It's a very enlightened way of thinking about it. Because most of us if we're living in the power over power under sort of mindset, and my wife brings up changing daycares. And I have a strong emotion about that. And I'm not checking that out. I'll, I'll think, well, I have to convince my wife I have to move into power over I have to tell her this is a stupid idea. Why would you say In fact, and we, you know, that's an unconscious process of minimizing the other person's reality, in order to make myself feel better about my own reality, and what you're talking about, is so important and so helpful to relationships, which is the ability to catch ourselves to take a deep breath. And to think about what is this connected to for me, you know, and that's such a big one for men is like, well, maybe she'll think I'm not a good provider, maybe she'll think I'm not making enough money. And this This is connected to maybe she will if I keep asking, Well, why would why is that a problem? Well, then maybe she won't want to be with me, Well, why is that a problem, then? Maybe she won't love me anymore. And why is that a problem? Well, maybe I'm not deserving of love. Maybe I'm not enough, maybe I'm not worthy. Right? It goes back to these core themes that are, you know, really, the identifying characteristics of who you feel like you are as your identity. Like, I'm a dad, I'm a husband, I'm a part like, and it when we're talking about dirty laundry being on the floor or something, people are like, Oh, my gosh, I can't believe we find out about these stupid things. But it's like, it all comes back to a fundamental feeling of not being enough. And so the next question might be, well, how do we develop this sense of self esteem? And I think that should be the goal. You know, instead of, instead of, if I need that from my partner, then I'm constantly going to feel insecure in these types of interactions. Like in the examples, you were talking, I'm gonna, I'm constantly going to be and really, if you think about it, it becomes about controlling my partner's reality. You know, so if, if she said means of controlling your self esteem? Is that kind of what you're saying? Is that like, it's by means of, for the sake of being able to esteem yourself, okay? I got to like, but like, so if my partner says, let's change, daycares, and I have a strong feeling that comes up about that, then I'm going to try to control her perception of reality by saying, honey, that's a bad idea. We shouldn't change daycares. I need to change your perspective, I need to control how you think about that, in order for me to maintain my own sense of being a good provider, right. And so I then my listening skills, would at that point could potentially turn off altogether. And I'm no longer listening to what why this is important to her, or why she's even presenting this idea in the first place. And I'm just moving into I need to control her reality and make sure she doesn't make this decision. And so then it's not a relationship, where I'm generously giving an open and willing to listen and being vulnerable. It's now just I'm using her to serve my own feeling of unworthiness in the situation. So essentially, what you're saying is that a lot of issues could be prevented, if you're able to esteem yourself in a healthy manner, or is that overly simplistic? No, no, that's great. That's a great place to start, right? Like, if I am feeling worthy, if I'm, if I'm if I'm coming into the situation with a healthy, healthy self esteem. So I'm feeling worthy. I'm feeling deserving. I'm even feeling like, my partner is so lucky to have me because I'm such a great person. And it's not a cocky thing, but it's like a confidence thing. Okay. Cool. It's like, you know, I'm a, I'm a catch up. Yeah, I'm a pretty good husband. I'm a pretty good dad, most of the time, I'm doing my best. I'm bringing myself to the table in an authentic way. Yeah. And if my partner's not happy with me, that's okay. I accept that. I'm not coming from a place of fear about needing her to think a certain way about me in order for me to be okay. So if she says something to me, like, Honey, I really don't like how you're talking to me. I can take a deep breath and say, That's okay, honey. Oh my gosh, I am so sorry. Tell me how I can talk to you differently that will make you feel better. And it moves from being preoccupied with my own shit to being able to move into compassion understanding for her reality. I don't have to take her comment as meaning that I'm a bad person. I have the ability to simply move into compassion understanding for her concerns, like maybe my voice is too loud for her. Does it mean that it is if I'm talking to my brother or somebody else? But at this moment, the way I'm talking is I'm making her feel good. And that and if I move into generosity, if I move into a spirit of giving, if I move into compassion for her, then I can be at the service of her. I'm not. I'm no longer expending mental energy to control the situation and protect myself and feel like, you know, I have to convince her that I'm not a bad person, I am standing in the confidence of my own self esteem of my own self worth of my own. re like loving myself having compassion for myself, so that I feel that enough that I can move into compassion understanding for her, but it has to start with giving it to yourself. The more someone can do that, the more they can be present with their partners, difficult emotions, difficult stuff, whatever's coming up for them. Yeah. Well, and so one way to start to esteem yourself, is that to reminder, hey, like, I'm a good catch, I assume it's also being aware of the negative messages, messages that you, you know, tell yourself maybe being aware, you know, pausing taking a deep breath, I'm not going to go down that road. I don't know if you can speak on how to how to do that. Yeah, I think something I've been talking to people about a lot lately. That I think is a really interesting idea, is the idea of limiting beliefs. And this is a really helpful way for people to sort of evaluate, you know, what's getting in the way of me feeling love and connected with my partner. And so, here's what I mean by limiting beliefs. Like, if I'm in a relationship, I'll go back to my example of hugs. And I feel like, in order for, you know, I learned growing up in my family, let's say that nobody hugged each other in my family growing up, this isn't really true for me, but I'm just making this up. Nobody hugged each other, growing up. And I watched all these movies, where people gave each other a lot of hugs, and they told each other, they loved each other. And this story I made up in my head is that in a healthy relationship, people give each other a lot of hugs. And so and I'm starving for that, because I grew up in this family where nobody gave me hugs, and I married my wife, because she's a lot more loving than my family was. And I'm thinking to myself, Okay, I found someone who can complete me, I found someone who can heal me, I've found someone who can solve all of these esteem issues for me, by giving me hugs. And so I have this idea, in my mind, maybe I made up that I need at least three hugs a day, in order for me to feel okay in this relationship, in order for me to feel loved. Or the if you dig down with that the belief could be if my partner isn't excited and happy to get in once three hugs from me a day, it means that they don't really love me or care about me that much. So that would be the limiting belief that I have a belief that if I'm not getting this many hugs, and then if my partner doesn't want that many hugs from me, it must mean that they don't love me or care about me, which means that I'm not worthy, which means that I'm not lovable. And that's getting in the way of me feeling the love and connection with my partner. So all of us need to sort of, if you're feeling stressed, or if you're feeling angry, even or frustrated or overwhelmed with aspects of your relationship, you need to it might be helpful to explore what limiting beliefs am I carrying right now, that's making me feel kind of cloudy about this situation. I mean, sex is a big one, right? Like, especially with new parents, if you have a kid, and all of a sudden, one or both partners, aren't as interested in sex, you're just tired all the time, you're feeling like there's a baby who's taking all of your emotional energy, and you're not feeling like you're that interested in sex anymore. That's a huge one for people because that a lot of people have a belief that in order to feel like we have a healthy relationship, we have to have a vibrant sex life or something. And so if I have that belief, and if that's not happening, right after we have kids, all of a sudden, my my brain shard starts to short circuit and I start to think, oh my gosh, this must mean our relationship sucks. But that's really just a limiting belief. That's not That's not bringing a mature level of understanding to the situation, which would be the you know, you might you want to change that belief to something like I am in a loving relationship. My partner does care about me and because we just had a baby We're not having sex very much, or at all or whatever. And that's okay. Now, it could be something to talk about with your partner. But it no longer becomes something that has it, it doesn't have to have an edge to it. In other words, you would want to check on those limiting beliefs. You can also check on where those limiting beliefs come from, right? Like, what about growing up in my family makes me believe that these things are true. And once I realize that some of those limiting beliefs aren't true anymore. And I can rephrase it in a way that's much more loving and empowering, then I can show up in those conversations with my partner, feeling more of a sense of self esteem, self love, feeling more confident, and not being dependent on their answers matching mine in order for me to feel okay about it. Yeah. So basically, what you've seen, it's that part of a healthy relationship is showing up in a healthy manner yourself. Or, or having a healthy relationship with yourself as well. Yeah, the quickest way to a healthy relationship is becoming healthy for yourself, stop focusing on what your partner needs to do to change, which is where our brains often go. And it's much more empowering, like, the reality is, you can't do anything about that. It leaves you feeling like a helpless victim of your own life. And so I like to talk to people about moving into the driver's seat of their own life. Like, you don't have to be with this person. And I don't say that to be disrespectful, but like, you don't have to be with your partner anymore. If this isn't a relationship that serves you, and I tell people, you'll, you would still be a good person, you know, you'll be respectful, you'll figure out how to tell the kids you'll, you know, still take care of the kids, you'll you'll, you'll do it in a loving way. But you can move on, you can find a you can go live by yourself or find a different relationship or whatever. Like, that's totally fine. Stop feeling stuck, because you're not. But the reality is like, once you go through that, thinking through those options, you want to move into a sense of empowerment that I am choosing this relationship because I like it, because there's there's stuff here that's working for me. And it's worthwhile for me to work on this relationship I want you to I want people to move into the driver's seat of their own reality. And so yes, you can ask for things that you want your partner to change as a request. But you also want to sort of look at what am I what am I do? What can I do differently in this relationship? In order to get my needs met? Or what can I how can I get my needs met? And other ways that I'm not depending on my partner for that or something like? Yeah, well, cool, I want to, you know, end on the topic of sex. And I want to run this through the framework that you have shared. So say, for the sake of simplicity, sim simplicity, I am a male, in a heterosexual relationship. We have kids, and our sex life has really taken a nosedive. So how I go about that, first, is to be aware of any limiting beliefs, you know, maybe around my, you know, sex, self worth, you know, what that means is some of this rooted in the past. And then to understand that we are in relationship, it's not, we share power, it's not power over each other. And then to, I guess, need to do to, there's some acceptance, hey, maybe right now, our sex life is not going to be as vibrant as it wasn't the beginning. Or acceptance. Our sex life is not going to be how it was we first started dating, right? Yeah. But, or, and I wonder if there's anything that I can do on my end, to make it so we're getting more sex? I don't know it how I did right there. That's a good way of going about it. Right? If you're, it's all about the energy, if you're doing it in your partner feels like you're trying to manipulate the situation. That's a very different feeling than I want to do more stuff at the service of my partner, because maybe then they'll have more capacity and energy for sex or whatever I want. So yeah, so it could you could think about it like that. But you want to make it authentically doing nice things for my partner because I love them and care about them. And I know that's probably going to lead to more sex, but it's not like it's not like a tit for tat kind of thing. Not like an expectation. Yeah, but yeah, to go back to what you said. said like, as far as identifying the limiting beliefs, if I, let's say, I'm laying in bed, and I'm feeling super frustrated and overwhelmed, because I was hoping we were going to have sex and we didn't on this particular day. And I'm feeling a lot of feelings. And I'm thinking a lot of thoughts about why we don't we never have sex, why don't like feeling really dissatisfied with this feeling really frustrated, I think it's really important to take a deep breath, and to realize, like, why wasn't I thinking this last night, last night, my wife and I watched a movie together, and we went to bed. And because I didn't have an expectation that sex was going to happen, we still didn't have sex. And I was feeling fine. And I was actually feeling really happy toward my partner. But tonight, the story, I'm making up some different stories in my head, about this whole thing, I'm getting wrapped up in the emotions. And for me, that would be a signal that you're getting caught up in something historic, from your past about, like, about a limiting belief or about something that you didn't you know, something that you didn't get growing up in your family or something like that. And that would be a really good opportunity. I love asking this question to couples. What would you get? If you were getting more sex in your relationship? What do you think that you would want? Why do you want that? What would you be getting, and to challenge people to come up with some ideas, like, obviously, there's a pleasure, you'd be getting more pleasure, you might be getting more of a sense of connection, you might be get, you know, just the sexual release the you know, you might be getting more excitement, you might feel needed and wanted by your partner. So you want to really come up with, you know, some ideas, like what do you really want, like, if it's just about the sexual release, I mean, you can take care of that yourself. But there's something more that you're looking for from your partner. And so let's say one of the most important things is a sense of connection, or a sense of excitement, then you can really open up the conversation with your partner, like like, and again, this is challenging limiting beliefs, because now my belief is not that I need sex, in order to be happy in my relationship, my belief might change to Why let a little bit more excitement or a little bit more connection would make me feel good in my relationship. And now you and your partner can brainstorm, you know, what are what are three or four ways we can feel more excitement in our relationship? What are the three or four ways we can feel more connection, and all of a sudden, your partner is no longer feeling a sense of pressure, that we need to have sex in order for my partner to be happy. Because that just makes the dynamic even worse and more entrenched. Now, your partner's maybe feeling a sense of hope and optimism, because they have a couple more ideas of how to make you feel connected. And the two of you can just focus on those for a while, instead, and start developing those good feelings toward each other, instead of it being about sex. So those are just some ideas based on your, you know, on your question about that? Yeah, that's great. Well, Shane, in closing, is there one piece of advice you would give parents to have a good relationship? And I know, you shared advice, you know, throughout their, throughout our talk? Yeah, absolutely. No, yeah, I'll sort of try to make a closing thought based on everything we talked about. And I'm thinking about the importance of like, if you have a strong emotion, one of the one of the most important things you can do is challenge the the idea that it's someone else's fault or responsibility. If I have a strong emotion, one of the first things that my brain does is telling me is trying to say, who's making me feel this way? Or what situations being this way? And how do I fix it, because I don't like this feeling. And what I would challenge people to do if you if there's one thing you want to take away, is that if you have a strong emotion, stop trying to judge it as being something negative. It could be information about something you want to change. But you want to move into a sense of empowerment about that. Either I can work toward the change. Or I can do my own work about accepting the reality. Like if if you have a grandparent that passes away and you have a strong emotion about that. You can't fix you can't fix it by can't bring your grandparent back. You have to move into acceptance that I'm feeling sad because I lost this person I care about so acceptance and grief, that's, that's a big part of grief. It's all it's a part of life. And if you have children and you're not having sex as much, part of it is grieving the reality of your, what sex, what your sex life used to be. And that doesn't mean you can't come back to you know, once your kids get older, once you have more space and freedom and time, maybe you can get back to that with your partner. But it means you have to grieve it for the moment. Or you can face the difficult conversations with your partner about it. But when you have that difficult emotion, try to own it. Try to be self reflective about why is this emotion coming up for me? What are the stories I'm telling myself, that make me feel helpless or that make me feel like a victim in the situation? And how do I try not to look at it like that? How do I try to look at it in an empowering way? How do I try to feel this emotion and move into acceptance? And also explore? Is there any possibility for change, and growth and progress in the situation as well? That's really cool. I was gonna say, That's deep stuff. I'm not gonna say the the S word. shades. Very cool. I feel like, Man, I feel like it is pick your brain for hours. And it would be super enlightening. So man, thank you so much for your time, and keep going out there and doing good stuff. Yeah, thank you so much for having me, Jason. I really appreciate it. Great conversation. Great. And real quick, where can people find you? You know, say like, Dan, that Shane dude is cool. Yeah. Yeah, um, people could check out my videos on Tiktok or Instagram. Or you haven't even posted them to Facebook to but just look up Shane Burkle, and you'll find me on any of those places. And for therapists out there, you can check out the couples therapist. couch.com. But yeah, and I think I've heard people say that, even if you're not a therapist, that, you know, they listen to the podcast, and there's gonna be some there's some helpful stuff on there, too. That's where you can find me. Well, good stuff, Shane. Well, enjoyed the spring up in the Northeast, and we'll talk soon. All right, thanks. Take care, Jason. Thanks. Is Shane the man or what? I learned so much every time I speak to Shane, and if you want to know more about how I help parents have a healthy relationship. Go to Jason a pug dot life. Thank you so much for listening.