In this episode of Frank Relationships, Dr. Gayl and I interview and answer each other’s questions about relationships. Get to know the man and woman behind Frank Relationships.
FRANK RELATIONSHIPS: THE INSIDE SCOOP ON FRANK LOVE AND DR. GAYLE
Speakers: Frank Love, Dr. Gayle
Date: November 05, 2012
Frank: This week we’re letting you in. Yes, Frank and Dr. Gayle are interviewing and answering one another’s questions. Want to get to know the man and woman behind Frank Relationships? Stay tuned.
Welcome to Frank Relationships where we provide a candid, fresh and frank look into relationships with the goal of acceptance, respect and flexibility. I’m Frank Love and you can find me, my blog and my various social media incarnations at franklove.com
Once again, I’m joined by my clinical psychologist co-host, Dr. Gayle. What’s up, Dr. Gayle?
Dr. Gayle: What’s up, Frank?
Frank: This week we are the guests. Yep. Dr. Gayle and I are going at it. I’ve spent years blogging and sharing my ideas and perspectives with the world and Dr. Gayle doesn’t always agree with what I have to say. Dr. Gayle has spent years in the field working with individuals and couples and I don’t always agree with what she has to say. Yep. We’re getting into. So, if you want to know what we think of cheating, why trust is really a non-issue in relationships and why loyalty is in many ways a joke, ladies and gentlemen I suggest you join me and Dr. Gayle as we play in the sand box. Yes, alright.
Issue number one, the premise, or at least one of them of my book, How to Gracefully Exit a Relationship, is that relationships don’t fail, they change. Just because a relationship doesn’t last happily ever after, doesn’t mean it failed, it just worked for a finite amount of time. When it stopped working that incarnation of it ended. Dr. Gayle, you and I are both divorced, did your relationship change or did it fail?
Dr. Gayle: That’s a great question. I think a little bit of both. Obviously, it failed, because it ended in demise, and I believe it also changed. But I think what happens is, people often have certain ideals that they don’t always discuss prior to marriage or prior to entering a relationship, so things often do change. People change and people don’t always change together.
Frank: So did it fail or did it simply changed?
Dr. Gayle: As I stated before, I think both.
Frank: What was your goal in the first place? What was the goal of your relationship?
Dr. Gayle: The initial goal was to remain together forever, happily, right? So, I don’t think anyone enters a relationship to say that it’s going to end, particularly in marriage. That’s just my belief. So you want me to say–what do you want me to say?
Frank: I want you to, to say what your deal is.
Dr. Gayle: Right, so I think it was a little bit of both. It failed because my goal was for us to remain together forever. So one, it failed. Two, it changed.
Frank: So, your goal when you got married was strictly to stay together forever? That was it and that was all?
Dr. Gayle: Well, that wasn’t it and all, but you asked, “Did it fail?” It failed, because one of the goals was to remain together forever. So, with that regard it failed.
Frank: If you had to do it all over again, would you do it again or do you look at the situation as a beautiful situation? It came, it passed, you learned from, you enjoyed. It’s over, moved on, you’re good.
Dr. Gayle: Hmm. I don’t think I would do it again. I learned a lot from it, but I don’t think I would do it again.
Frank: Does that mean you wouldn’t get married again or you would not–if you could replay that situation, you would not put yourself in that situation again?
Dr. Gayle: I would be more conscious if I were to get married again. And I think I’ve learned a lot. I’m more evolved as a person. I have a different point of view. I’m not as close-minded. I’m open to a lot more things now than I was before.
Dr. Gayle: Like dating someone that’s divorced or dating someone that is separated. Initially, when you’re single or when you’ve never been married, you’re like “Oh, what’s wrong with them? They got divorced. What’s wrong with them? Why didn’t their relationship last?” When you’re on the other side of it, you have a whole different view.
Frank: So are you more evolved or are you now just a part of the crew that you used to talk bad about?
Dr. Gayle: Because I have to be accepting now?
Frank: Yeah, you got to be a little bit more accepting now that you– you can’t talk bad about the divorcees, because you’re now one. Is that evolution or is that simply reality?
Dr. Gayle: Well you know, I read a blog before and the person that wrote the blog stated, that “oftentimes women in their late 20’s or 30’s that one, the ones that haven’t been married verses the ones that have been married and divorced, are completely different,” and I believe I am different from my friends that have never been married. We have a different viewpoint and so I believe that, I’ve learned a lot. I’m more accepting and understanding and I’m completely different than my friends that have never been married before.
Frank: Okay. Well, I’m going to jump in and put myself out there
Dr. Gayle: / Exactly, let’s here from you.
Frank: / I am certainly divorced. I am happily divorced. I’m happily married. I look back at my previous relationship and I don’t regret it. I certainly wish there were some things that I would have planned better for, but the relationship wasn’t a failure. It came. It went. I learned a lot from it. It certainly supports me and where I am today. And I’m happy to be where I am.
Dr. Gayle: How do you define failure?
Frank: Failure is looking back at a situation and determining that there was nothing that I got out of it. That’s failure as far as I’m concerned. If I learned from it, it wasn’t a failure, it’s just a stepping stone.
Dr. Gayle: Hmm. Okay, I disagree.
Frank: I’m listening.
Dr. Gayle: To me failure means, it didn’t last, right? Or let me ask you this. What were the goals for your first marriage?
Frank: To have children. That was the biggest–I was always up front with that with her. My biggest goal was to have children and to raise my children. It was–and I felt like it was important to be married in order to make that happen–in the context for which I saw it happening and it did. Now, even if I would not have been married–and actually when my oldest was born, I wasn’t married to her. We got married after my daughter was born. I don’t look at that as a failure. So, I think we beat up on ourselves when we look at our situations as failures instead of opportunities to learn.
It’s similar to jobs. I’ve certainly been fired from a job or two, but if we look at those situations, we can see that as a failure, because we got fired or because the job ended. But how is that beneficial when we can just as well look at it as an opportunity where we learn something. I certainly have learned from every job that I’ve had since I started working. When I was 14 years old and I can’t say that I see any of them as failures.
Dr. Gayle: Okay. Sounds good. In each situation you do learn from it. Hopefully, you encounter the situation, you come through it, you take what you get from the situation. What it is that you didn’t like, you leave it there or you modify it to make your life better, to make yourself better. So, I agree with you on some regards on some respect, but if something didn’t last then to me that’s a failure.
Frank: What is it about lasting that’s so important to you and other people who think the way you think? And I have to raise my hand and say, I’ve been there. I I have felt the same way you feel. What is it about the need to last that causes you to look at a situation as a failure instead of everything being temporary? Life is temporary. So, what’s there for you?
Dr. Gayle: Well, I kind of think of it with regard to marriage. What’s the point of getting–to me I wouldn’t get married or I would get married, didn’t get married the first time, wouldn’t get married again, to think that, “Oh, this is going to be temporary. If it doesn’t last, I can just get a divorce.” You know what I mean? So, I would think that you go into a situation for it to last. If it doesn’t last then that’s failure.
Frank: Hmm. Now, if you were to get married, you would never consider getting married for a finite period of time? Let’s say you’ve got married for five years. You say “Hey, baby let’s get married for five years. At the end of that fifth year, we’ll re-evaluate. If you want to continue, we could re-up for another five years and if you want to roll, we can roll and there’s no hard feelings, we’ll plan out exactly how we’re going to divide stuff or how we’re going to raise our children, if we have any. What do you think of that?
Dr. Gayle: I think that’s crazy.
Frank: Let’s hear it.
Dr. Gayle: Why not just be in a committed relationship? Why get married?
Frank: What’s the difference?
Dr. Gayle: There’s a big difference to me. These are my views. If you get married at church, if you get married in the eyes of God verses “We have a soul connection–” even spiritual connection I think, why put that on paper if at the end of this five year contract, we’re going to come together, we’re going to re-evaluate and you have the opportunity to move on, I have the opportunity to move on. I think that’s crazy. Why put that on paper? Why not just live together?
Frank: Well, why put it on paper period?
Dr. Gayle: Because as I said it before, my goal is to make this thing last, forever.
Frank: So, if it lasts forever, it’s necessary to put on paper. It can’t last forever if you don’t put it on paper?
Dr. Gayle: No, it can certainly last forever if you put it on paper.
Frank: So, what’s the point of putting it on paper?
Dr. Gayle: The difference is, how you view it and how you think about it, I believe. If you go into it thinking that “Hey, you know what, this thing may or–” now, you can go into it thinking that it may or may not last, but I believe that if you go into it thinking, “In the end of this five year point, we’re going to re-evaluate,” what’s the point? You know what I mean? Especially–let’s just bring in other things; finance, especially if you have children, if you have property together, if you have other things together, stocks what have you, that’s a lot to say, “Let’s put this on paper, let’s make this legal, because in five years, this might not even last.”
Frank: You mentioned putting it on paper
Dr. Gayle: Uh-huh.
Frank: Now, we’ve discussed this in the past. I’ve seen marriages, one of three things.
Dr. Gayle: Okay.
Frank: You can get married as far as I’m concerned and just simply say to your partner, “We’re married,” and that’s a covenant between two people
Dr. Gayle: Yeah, that’s like a spiritual connection, I think or spiritual covenant.
Frank: You can also get married where you’re getting married in front of clergy.
Dr. Gayle: Okay.
Frank: And no paper. In the first two, no paper is even in the question. It’s not necessary to have paper in order to do either one of those.
Dr. Gayle: Okay.
Frank: And then the third is getting married in front of the court.
Dr. Gayle: Uh-huh.
Frank: “Legal marriage.”
Dr. Gayle: Uh-huh.
Frank: We’re not just simply talking about putting it on paper, so if you were to-let’s say you were to get married in front of clergy, is that legitimate marriage to you?
Dr. Gayle: In the eyes of God?
Frank: Is it marriage to you?
Dr. Gayle: In the eyes of God, yes.
Frank: Okay, so it’s not on paper. How do you justify your statements to date?
Dr. Gayle: Well to me, if I’m going to get married in the eyes of God, it’s going to be hand-in-hand. We have two different views, you and I. When I think of marriage, I think of clergy, I think of God, I think of legalizing it, putting it on paper. That’s what I think of marriage. Otherwise, I think you are just and when I say just, I mean just in a committed relationship–whether you choose to share finance, financial obligation, whether you have children together, whether you live in the same household–those are two separate entities to me.
Frank: So are you saying that marriage to you is all three?
Dr. Gayle: Uh-huh.
Frank: In order to be truly married, in order for you to be truly married, you would have to do all three?
Dr. Gayle: For me, yes. However, I have friends that when I was married, we attended marriage groups and they were great. So, one of the couples in the group, they weren’t legally married, but they did seek counsel from a clergy member. They were spiritually–in their point of view, they were spiritually connected, they were spiritually married and I think that is an important part of marriage, but to me that’s not the same as being all-inclusive. And when I say all-inclusive, I mean all three.
Frank: You mentioned re-evaluating. And when you mentioned it you were talking about in marriage, how you basically, would not be re-evaluating, if you’re truly married as you see it.
Dr. Gayle: No, no, no. No, no, no. I think that you do have to re-evaluate, but I think that there’s a difference. Now, I think each person should re-evaluate, each couple should re-evaluate. “Hey in six months, let’s come back. Lets talk about where this is going, how you feel in this relationship, how do you think we can change and make it better.” I certainly think that you should always re-evaluate, because you’re always evolving, you’re always learning and you’re always changing. I think that should be a part of the marriage.
Frank: If you re-evaluating in the relationship isn’t that some indication of uncertainty? If you are certain that the two of you want to be here, what is there to re-evaluate? You’re going to be here.
Dr. Gayle: I think we’re thinking of re-evaluation as two different things.
Dr. Gayle: But when you say re-evaluate, it sounds like you’re saying, “Let’s re evaluate to see if we want to continue or we go our separate ways.” When I say re-evaluate, I say “Let’s re-evaluate, let’s see what we can change to make it better or what we can keep to continue to improve on.” Does that make sense?
Frank: Yeah, wouldn’t that just be an evaluation, instead of a re-evaluation. If you’re evaluating, you’re taking a look at something period. You take a look at it. You go about your business. If you re-evaluating, you’re taking a look at the same thing that you looked at a little while ago to see if it changed for a reason. There’s something that you’re going to do. If you re-evaluate and it has changed or it hasn’t changed, what are you going to do?
Dr. Gayle: It sounds like you want a trapped door in your marriage, is that it? It sounds to me. What’s the point in being in a committed relationship and saying, “I’m going to get married to this person, if you’re going to always have an out?” If that were me, I wouldn’t feel protected. I wouldn’t feel that I should be vulnerable to you. I wouldn’t feel that this is a true commitment.
Frank: A trapped door. Well, there’s no need for a trapped door. Everything that you just noted in terms of commitment, feeling vulnerable, all of that good stuff, those are things that you do, because you benefit from them.
If you and I were married, if you withheld vulnerability, that would be to your own detriment. You wouldn’t be doing me any favors, because we’re married by being vulnerable. You would actually be doing yourself a disservice by not being vulnerable as a result of not feeling safe. And add to that, safety is a joke. There’s no where that safety’s guaranteed.
Dr. Gayle: What makes you say that?
Frank: Well, what makes you say that it is? But I mean, that’s one answer and I’ll actually answer the question. Safety is one of those things that we’re always vulnerable. There’s nowhere that I can even imagine where I can truly say, that “I’m not vulnerable.” So, to go there and to act as though someone needs to give me safety or make me feel safe in order for me to do, x, y and z, I’m doing myself a disservice. Your thoughts?
Dr. Gayle: My thoughts are I wouldn’t want to be in a relationship with you. That doesn’t make me feel safe, that doesn’t make me feel like I want to be completely committed to this person, because in five years, we’re going to re-evaluate and he may come back to the table and say, he doesn’t want this any longer.
Frank: I absolutely might and the thing is, I might do it in one year and so might you. And let’s make no mistake about it, I don’t know how your relationship–I don’t know who said what when your relationship decided to end. Whether you said you don’t want to be here anymore or whether he said, you don’t want to be here anymore, but somebody said it and it was not preface. It doesn’t sound like by a tone that, “Hey we’re not going to ever come together and say that we’re done.” Well, it sounded as though you had a tone in your relationship where leaving the relationship, “was not” considered an option at first, but at some point in time that changed.
Dr. Gayle: Right, so I have a friend–one of my married friends that she has a saying, you know I was like “Hey, don’t you think he’s the one? You know, you guys have been married for ‘x’ amount of years. Obviously, you think he’s the one.” And she’s like, “Well, you know what Gayle? I don’t know if he’s the one, but I think he’s worth the fight.” And that was like so profound to me, because oftentimes women or–I’m going to speak for myself. I was under the assumption that “Hey, this has to be the one. Maybe there are other people out there that could be the one, but this one is the one.” You know what I mean? And she kind of changed that for me, because that’s one of the couples I idealize as “Hey, this is one of my, this is what I would want to have. They work well together, they vibe well together, they have a cute little family; kids so forth.” But actually, she put a whole different spin on it for me like, “No, he may not be the one, but I’m worth fighting for it.”
So, I think that’s what people have to be secure in. I would have to be secure in, “Hey, if at five years and we come together and whether we’re evaluating or re-evaluating, I want it to be that “Hey, I don’t like this about you, but I’m willing to work for it. I’m willing to put forth the fight, because I think that you’re worth the fight and I think this is worth the fight.” Wherein what I hear you saying is, “At the end of five years if I don’t like x, y and z and we’re allowed to jump out this trapped door on the side, I’m going to take the exit. I’m not going to put forth the fight and I’m not going to put forth the effort.”
Frank: Well, actually I’m not saying at the end of five years, I’m saying at the end today.
Dr. Gayle: One year.
Frank: I’m saying at the end of today, at the end of any period of time, if the relationship is not working for me, I might leave. And I’m saying, “I want you to do the exact same thing. I want you to feel comfortable leaving this relationship when it stops working for you. I do not feel as though we need to fight for our relationship.” In fact, I wonder about the concept around needing to fight for a relationship. What is there to fight for? We stay in it for as long as there’s a reason to stay in it and we invest our time in relationships and we invest our energy, because we’re going to get something out of them. We are in relationships for a return on them and it’s not a fight, it’s an investment. So, what exactly are you fighting for?
Dr. Gayle: So, in a marriage, I think that what you just said is completely crazy.
Frank: I’m listening.
Dr. Gayle: In a marriage, what’s the point? What’s the point in saying that in a union, in something that I’m willing to give my all for, that I have the opportunity or you have the opportunity to say at the end of however long, whatever your contract says, that I have the opportunity for an out, I think that’s crazy?
Now, if we’re just dating, then yes. I think that’s the purpose in dating. I think that’s the purpose in learning and meeting different people, prior to determining that this is the committed relationship that I’m willing to settle down with. This is the thing I’m willing to have kids with. This is the thing I’m willing to share property and invest with. When you are at that level, I believe that there’s absolutely something worth fighting for.
Kind of like a basketball game or when celebrity basketball players make trades for ‘x’ amount of money and millions and millions of money. They are fighting for a ring, they’re fighting for a championship, they’re fighting for their contracts and their careers. That’s worth the fight. You know what I mean? So I think that same thing should be attributed to a marriage. A marriage is completely different from, “You’re just my boyfriend or we’re just in a committed relationship.” Otherwise, there would not be a pedestal and I think marriages are on a pedestal. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be worth the effort. What’s the point? You know what I mean?
Frank: So, are basketball teams, football teams, are they fighting for whatever it is you mentioned or are they negotiating for it? I mean, you trade players, it’s a negotiation, you got a chemistry on your team–you think you add a new member of the team, you think it’ll get you to the championship. Is that a fight or is that a negotiation?
Dr. Gayle: That’s a fight.
Frank: Is it? Okay. Now, you mentioned idealizing a couple. Now, that’s one of those things that I have continually taken a close look at and I–
Dr. Gayle: I didn’t say compare.
Frank: I said idealize.
Dr. Gayle: Okay.
Frank: That’s what you said and that’s what I quoted.
Dr. Gayle: Okay.
Frank: So, what is the benefit in idealizing a couple? It could be the First Lady and her husband, the President,
Dr. Gayle: Uh-huh.
Frank: I’ve watched so many couples be looked at in a given light. I did a blog on Seal and his wife some months ago
Dr. Gayle: Uh-huh.
Frank: And how they even got remarried a few months before calling their relationship “quits.”
Dr. Gayle: Uh-huh.
Frank: So many people looked a them and thought they were the perfect couple,
Dr. Gayle: Uh-huh.
Frank: Yet clearly something wasn’t working for both of them at the time when they ended their relationship.
When idealize a couple, we are giving them a story that we don’t necessarily know the real deal around. We think that, when they go home and close the doors, “Everything’s great. I want to be like them.” I mean we can even say that about the President and his wife. We certainly don’t ever see them argue, but do we think they don’t?
We don’t get a glimpse into the marital problems that they have and most would say, “All marriages have them.” So, to idealize them is a bit of–in some ways–a wasted use of energy. Do you agree?
Dr. Gayle: No, I disagree. So, coming from a therapeutic point of view, and also coming from a point of view as of someone that took those marital classes before I got married, in a idealistic world, you would have a couple that has been married for several years, like a seasoned couple, right? So like 10 or 20 years they’ve been together. This couple has weathered the storm, whatever their storms are, they weathered it and they’re still together.
You have a couple that’s been married maybe five years, right? So they aren’t newlyweds any longer, but they’re getting into the groove of things and then you have a couple that’s somewhere in between, so these people will be the couple that you would go to for counseling, kind of for you guys to get together, for you to kind of see where couples are at different stages; for you to be open and vulnerable to them and for them to also offer you feedback and so you can say, “This is something that they do. I don’t necessarily always like it, but this is how they handle certain things.”
And so as an adult, hopefully you’re at this stage in your emotional development that you can say, “Well, things aren’t perfect. I really like how the First Lady and President, look on the outside, but because we’re adults and we realize that things happen and life happens and things happen behind closed doors, that everything isn’t always perfect. But because I have these couples that I can go to and that we can be open with and they can be open with us and we trust each other, that we can learn how to still idolize them, but not put them on a pedestal to the point like with Seal and Heidi Klum. Well, there relationship ended, then “Oh man, then mine has to end too, because this was a couple that idealized.” Hopefully you would say, “Okay, their relationship ended, what can I take from that? What are the good things that I can take? What are the things that I can take that weren’t necessarily as so good that are in your eyes, that you call good? What can I take from that and how can I make my relationship better? How can we make this thing work? How can we utilize what we learn from them in order to either alter some things in our relationship or keep things the same?
Frank: What would have you think that a couple that was married for five, 10 and 20 years would be open with you? Just because it sounds like they were married five, 10 and 20 years.
Dr. Gayle: Well, certainly Frank, I wouldn’t walk outside the studio and grab someone off the corner of the street. These are people that–like for instance, my friends have been married almost ten years now, so those are my friends. These are people that I feel close to. These are people that I would say, “Hey do you mind being a couple that we can come to and we can share and we can foster and learn from?” Obviously, it would be someone that you’re close to; whether you get those couples or get those relationships from church, whether, like I said, it would be friends that you already have in your life or whether it’s a relative that you’re close to and that you say, “This is a relationship that I think I could benefit from, that I could learn from.”
Frank: You’re listening to Frank Relationships with Frank Love and Dr. Gayle, and we’re talking to one another. Today is the day when you get to know us a little better. Instead of being co-hosts as we interview a guest, we’re both co-hosts and guests.
Now, I’ve always thought that being married for five, 10 and 20 years, only means one thing, and that’s you’ve been married five, 10 and 20 years. Being successful at anything in particular as it may be correlated, is not so true. So, to think that they have gotten along for five years, that they’ve been married for five years, is possibly a farce; same with 10, same with 20 years. You can be married and haven’t seen each other in years. You could be married and live on two different continents, cities. You could be married and fight every day in a manor that someone outside of the home would detest, who actually idealizes that same couple. What does it mean to be married for five years when we’re looking at that couple as a model?
Dr. Gayle: Well, obviously, I would think common sense would say, that if the couple that you idealize is actually living the life that, behind closed doors, they actually don’t get along, they argue everyday, but on the outside, they’re able to pull it together, then obviously that wouldn’t be a couple that I would want to have as my mentor couple.
Frank: Well, how would you know?
Dr. Gayle: Well, if we’re going to be vulnerable enough to share, then obviously people can’t put on a false face all the time. Right?
Frank: No, well maybe just in front of you.
Dr. Gayle: No, but, I’m a clinician, right? So, I would think that at some point I would get the point. And even if you’re not a clinician, then I would think that at some point, you and your partner can kind of get the point that, “Hey this, after we really know them to some degree, this really isn’t what I thought it was.” And if this couple is being completely honest with you and honest with your feelings and being a true friend to you, I would think that they would be open enough to say, “You know, maybe we aren’t the couple that you guys want to have as your mentor couple, may be we want to fall back a little bit, may be you want to step back, may be you want to choose someone else.”
Frank: Like you said, you’re only getting to know them to some degree and may be they like being put on a pedestal, may be they like you idealizing them. And if they do, they’re not going to tell you that. So, at some level it becomes how sincere are you being to yourself and your own motivations and what you need and what you want and what you are organically taking in as being reality when you idealize someone else?
Dr. Gayle: So, you and your wife, first or second, you guys never went to or participated in couple events or-So at my church, we have this thing, we have small groups, and so there are “couple” small groups that you can go to and the point is, for you to be open and to grow together and share life together, right.
And then, in addition to that, as I stated before, I have a close friend. A lot of my friends are social workers or therapists. So, one of my social worker friends, she also had a small group of couples that had been married–that were at different stages in their relationships or marriages. So, the premise was and we agreed that this is going to be a safe place; a place that we can be honest, that we can be open, that we can share. Each week we had certain topics that we would talk about, and at some point you learn who’s being open, who’s being honest, who’s coming and who’s being guarded; who is someone that you feel like, “You know what? Man I think I could learn a little bit more from them. Maybe this is someone I want to ask to be a mentor couple for me. At some point you do learn. You’re intelligent enough to say, and to realize that “Even though I may have idealized them before, maybe after getting to know them a little bit better, I’m going to fall back.”
Frank: I’m not sure how you answered the question. So, the question was, “Are you doing yourself a disservice by idealizing a couple?”
Dr. Gayle: No, I don’t think so at all. I think you can idealize someone. It’s just like having your parents. Your parents model certain behaviors for you. As an adult, you maybe learned that this particular behavior, “I don’t really like of my parent. I still love them. They’re still my parents. I still respect them, but this particular thing, I didn’t like about them.” So, ideally you would want to take what you liked from your parent and apply it to your life or apply it to your behaviors or what have you, relationships. What you didn’t like you leave it with them or you alter it. That’s kind of what you do with relationships; even with friendships. From my point of view, that’s what people do. That’s how we evolve. That’s how we learn.
Frank: But there’s a difference between loving and appreciating someone for who they are–
Dr. Gayle: Uh-huh.
Frank: And putting them on a pedestal. They’re not the same thing. We can love another couple and love the individuals and the couple without putting them on a pedestal, whether they’ve been married least or more years than you are, you have been. Agree? Disagree?
Dr. Gayle: I think it’s just a difference of a definition of the word idealizing. To me idealizing is not putting-idealizing, okay maybe, possibly is putting someone on a pedestal, but at the same time, just because I think Barrack Obama is a great President or that First Lady Michelle Obama has excellent style, I don’t think everything that she does is great and to the “T.” So, I can idealize them, but I can also say, “I love her style, but I’m going to take that and I’m going to tweak it a little bit to fit my own personal style.” Do you get it?
So, I’m going to utilize this couple. I’m going to love them. I’m going to learn from them. I’m going to idealize them, but I’m going to take from them and how they interact together and I’m going to tweak it to fit my own personal relationship.
Frank: You can learn from anybody, whether you put them on a pedestal or not; and whether they’re married, unmarried, whether they’ve been married longer or shorter than a period of time than you have. So, I’m going to put this particular subject down, but I’m ending my side of it by saying just that. We can learn from everybody. We don’t need to put them on a pedestal in order to do so.
Now, there’s a blog I wrote sometime ago, called Would You Let Your Three Year Old Go to Europe with Your Ex? And now what the deal was, was Chris Bosh, basketball player extraordinaire with Miami Heat, he and his girlfriend were at odds. He was invited to play in the Olympics in Europe. I believe it was over the summer or recently, and his girlfriend, his ex and the mother of his child didn’t want the baby to go. Well, the argument literally was terrorism. She didn’t want the baby to be exposed to a terrorist threat or something to that effect. What are your thoughts on letting your child–if you had a baby–leaving the country to be with your ex? And I should add it to the mix. Chris Bosh is now remarried and I believe his wife went with him to Europe.
Dr. Gayle: Right. I remember reading that blog. I’m just a blog junkie. So I also read the blog with my other bloggers. But I don’t have children, so I don’t have the baby mama, baby daddy drama, what have you, that comes along with that. Hopefully I won’t have to encounter that. But on the outside looking in, it sounds like it was, for lack of a better word, hate from the ex-girlfriend or ex-wife or baby mama. However, you want to describe her. It kind of seemed like–
Frank: They hadn’t been married.
Dr. Gayle: Right.
Dr. Gayle: So it seems like she was throwing shade on the situation and on their relationship. I would imagine the product of divorced parents–I would imagine that the first girlfriend or the ex-girlfriend-when a new person comes along and you feel like you have been the person that was the “ride or die” chick beforehand and you aren’t receiving the privileges that the current girlfriend is receiving, I could see her being upset. And I could see her using the child as leverage. Was it right? Who knows what’s right or wrong?
In my opinion, I don’t think that it was okay. If he’s going to marry this woman and this woman is going to be in his life, I would think that you would want your child to be able to be around her, to be able to trust her with caring for your child. I think at the time she was pregnant or she had just had a child or something like that, the new wife.
Frank: The new wife. I think she had, yeah.
Dr. Gayle: So, I would think that “Okay, she’s caring for her child. This is my child’s sibling. I would think it would be okay for them to go overseas.” Whether they were going overseas or whether they were going to Baltimore, for the child to be able to go with them. That is her father. It’s not like it was a stranger. It’s her dad. It’s her step mom. It’s her half sibling. So yeah, she should be able to go. And I think the girlfriend– the ex-girlfriend, she wanted him to pay for her to go too.
Frank: Right, right, right, right.
Dr. Gayle: I think that was completely insane. We’re not even together. Why would I want to go on a vacation with you? Let alone, who in their right mind would pay for you to come? We’re not even together? Why would you want to do that?
Frank: We’re not getting along.
Dr. Gayle: Right and we don’t get along. Why would you want to come? That’s ridiculous to me. But like I stated, I don’t have kids, so I’m just an outsider looking in.
Frank: Got it. You’re listening to Frank Relationships with Frank Love and Dr. Gayle and we’re talking to one another. Today is the day where you get to know us a little better. So, instead of being co-hosts as we interview a guest, we’re both co-hosts and guests. I hope you’re enjoying. Okay, Dr. Gayle. Take her to a chick flick.
Dr. Gayle: Okay.
Frank: How important are chick flicks when you’re dating? Do you want to be taken to a chick flick or do you reserve the chick flicks for you and your girlfriends? And if your partner takes you, does he get points?
Dr. Gayle: Yes and no.
Dr. Gayle: I think that going to a chick flick is important. I like drama. I think most women do. So, it’s a give and take.
Frank: I’m not sure where you’re going. You like to watch it or you like to be in it?
Dr. Gayle: Drama?
Dr. Gayle: I like to watch it.
Frank: Okay, alright. I had to ask.
Dr. Gayle: No, chick flicks are important. You get to see how the person reacts, how your partner or how your date reacts to certain points in the movie. And it’s something good that you want to talk about. And obviously, he’ll want to go see what some action, blowing up, fire. Some type of movie like that. So, it’s a give and take. But it’s different, because of course you’re going to go back and watch that same movie with the girlfriends, so you guys can really actually talk about it and converse, because, I doubt that you want to talk about some dramatic movie with me, right?
Frank: Here, here. Yes. But I also can concede that it can be a good thing to take your significant other to a chick flick from the man’s point of view.
Dr. Gayle: What? I can’t believe you just said that.
Frank: Yeah. I’ve given up on that one. So, when they come out, I pretty much resign myself to going to the movies and–
Dr. Gayle: Being romantic?
Frank: Buying the popcorn, taking a blanket, my sunglasses and just–
Dr. Gayle: Taking a nap?
Frank: Grinning and bear it. Exactly. Alright.
Dr. Gayle: Well, you’ve learned something over those past two relationships, right?
Frank: Yeah, I guess I have. Is marriage for women? Do you think that marriage is a covenant, “that is created to benefit women and women only,” or primarily women? Or is it something that benefits both parties?
Dr. Gayle: Is marriage for women? Did you really just ask that question?
Frank: That was my question.
Dr. Gayle: Oh my goodness. No, I don’t think marriage is for women. I’ve encountered several men that are ready to settle down. They want someone who can have their children and they can learn from and grow old with. I don’t think marriage is for women. I think that’s a completely ridiculous statement. And it all depends on how you define marriage.
Frank: We’re back to that?
Dr. Gayle: We’re back to that.
Dr. Gayle: So, but just from your initial question, I do not think that marriage is for women.
Frank: How important is appearance in a relationship? Do you think that your partner and getting jazzed up every once in a while or even everyday, is critical to your attraction or chemistry? Or do you–you know–don’t really care?
Dr. Gayle: I think it’s completely important. I think that men are visual creatures. Is that correct?
Frank: I mean, visual in part, but we want to feel too. So, it’s not just the visual, we want to get a squeeze every once in a while, also.
Dr. Gayle: Squeeze and a touch.
Frank: Yeah, exactly.
Dr. Gayle: Right, but you have to want to touch what you’re looking at, right?
Frank: Yes, this is true.
Dr. Gayle: So, it goes hand-in-hand.
Dr. Gayle: Okay.
Frank: But, we’re not just visual creatures. The visual part is a part of it, but the tactile matters.
Dr. Gayle: Tactile.
Frank; And it’s the same with women. Women want to touch and feel too. Don’t, don’t–
Dr. Gayle: Yes and women also want to enjoy what they’re looking at. Like when I roll over in the morning, I don’t want to say, “Ah.” You know what I mean? And roll back over. So, it goes hand-in-hand.
Oftentimes, I think that men feel like, “Oh I got her now. I can just look any type of way or she just needs to be the one to keep it together.” It goes both ways, because attraction is very important in a relationship.
People do change, people do gain and lose weight, people go natural or cut all their off or what have you. I go through several different changes. But at the end of the day, you still have to be attracted to that person.
Frank: Alright, I can get with that. Monogamy, how important is it to you? Well, let me go back, let me go back. Did you make concerted efforts in your marriage to present yourself as “on top of it” on a given day? Did you say, “Today, I’m dressing up?”
Dr. Gayle: I do that. That’s just me, anyway. So, if you ask someone else–like I have a cousin. She’s very low key, doesn’t like to dress up a lot, but her husband loves that, because that’s her. So, it’s the individual. You know what I mean?
Frank: Okay, so since you like dressing up regularly, did you ever dress down, because that’s what you thought he wanted to see?
Dr. Gayle: I can’t speak on that particular relationship, but if I was with a person that wanted me to dress down some, I probably would. But I like to dress up.
Frank: Okay. Alright, alright.
Dr. Gayle: I’m a girly girl. I like to go to the counter and play in make-up. I’ve wore make up since I was 12. I like to change my hair and I like to wear heels. So, if you like a dress down, jeans and tennis shoes type of person, I’m not it.
Frank: And you won’t be it every once in a while either?
Dr. Gayle: I would every once in a while.
Frank: Okay, okay. Now monogamy, how important is it to you? Would you be willing, in a, shall we call it, prenuptial agreement, to say if, “I had sex with someone else, I would pay you a million dollars?” Or would you be willing to accept a similar assertion from your partner? Would you be willing to put a monetary amount on what most call infidelity in your relationship in order to make it plain and clear how much it means to you?
Dr. Gayle: Like a Kobe Bryant situation?
Frank: I don’t know what Kobe did, but, yeah.
Dr. Gayle: No Frank, I think that’s crazy.
Frank: I’m listening. How is it crazy?
Dr. Gayle: That’s, that’s another one of those pre-marital questions. What is it called? Deal-breakers?
Frank: Uh-huh. It could be a deal-breaker. I’m listening.
Dr. Gayle: A relationship, especially a marriage, again it goes back to what’s a deal-breaker for you? How do you define marriage? How do you define relationships? Some women think that every man cheats, so “we’re going to talk about it and we’re going to go to counseling and we’re going to move on.” Some women think that, that’s a deal-breaker. “That’s it. I can’t do it. I can’t have it. We have to be monogamous.” In my point of view, yeah monogamy is very important. Why be together if you’re going to cheat? I just think that’s crazy. Why not just be single and do whatever you want?
Frank: Well, but you haven’t put a finger on my question. And the question was–
Dr. Gayle: A million dollars?
Frank: No, it doesn’t even have to be a million dollars.
Dr. Gayle: A high class hooker.
Frank: It is just simply a penalty. Would you be willing–
Dr. Gayle: Flag on a *(inaudible) 51:47.
Frank: Yeah. Would you be willing to state how much it meant to you or create an agreement with your partner that said, “Look, this is how much it means to me?” Now, people, all the time, get married and just leave it wide open and say, “I’m only going to have sex with you for the rest of my life.” People all the time do that. They say that to one another and then five years, 10 years, maybe one day later, they both– one of them finds themselves in bed with someone else. That being said, if doesn’t-leaving it so open doesn’t really relay how much it means to you or to your partner. Or it doesn’t create an agreement around what the consequences would be if you did. And possibility, if there were some set consequences, you would be less likely to agree to it, number one, or you would be less likely to break the agreement, number two. Please, weigh-in on those issues.
Dr. Gayle: I don’t think that matters. You said sometimes people find themselves in bed with someone else. Well, that doesn’t happen overnight. Just like you don’t get 500 pounds overnight, that’s a gradual thing. So, at whatever point–in your blog and in your book, you often talk about how important communication is and I’m heavy on communication too. It’s vitally important to a relationship, any type of relationship whether we’re best friends or whether we’re in a committed relationship where we’re together as a couple. So, things just don’t happen overnight.
Frank; Trust, how important is trust in a relationship?
Dr. Gayle: It’s vitally important. It all goes hand-in-hand. Trust, monogamy, commitment; those are all very key things in a relationship.
Frank: Now, I’ve got a different take on trust.
Dr. Gayle: Okay, I’m certain you do. Let’s hear it.
Frank: I looked it up. What is trust?
Dr. Gayle: And your definition is completely opposite of what other people think trust is.
Frank: Well, I’m going with the definition.
Dr. Gayle: Okay.
Frank: If you look up trust, the definition is faith. Now, most of us when we’re discussing trust–
Dr. Gayle: Uh-huh.
Frank: We say things like, trust has to be earned and if trust has to be earned, it’s not faith. To earn faith is a joke. Faith is based in it not being earned. Faith is based in something that is not–there’s no proof. If you had proof, it wouldn’t be faith. So, when we’re talking about trust and it is a synonym for faith in the dictionary, how can you have trust in a relationship, when you have a history, you have proof, you have a significant level of experience with one another? I think trust is misused most of the time in relationships.
Dr. Gayle: I don’t understand your question?
Frank: I don’t know it’s so much that I had a question. I said that I’ve got a different take on trust.
Dr. Gayle: Oh.
Frank: Now, do you have anything to say about my take?
Dr. Gayle: That faith and trust go hand-in-hand?
Frank: Faith and trust are the same thing according to the dictionary.
Dr. Gayle: I think trust has to be earned, so obviously we disagree. Of course, we disagree, but yeah, trust does have to be earned.
Now off the gate, just like with a stranger, you wouldn’t say, “Oh, you’re a stranger. I know nothing about you, so I’m going-why don’t you come into my house. I’m going to go away for a few days. Why don’t you come and house-sit. Here’s my credit card. Here’s my–” You wouldn’t tell a perfect stranger, “You know what? Why don’t you come watch my four beautiful kids for me while I go to work?” You don’t, you just don’t trust people off the gate, right? You wouldn’t do that. So, similarly in a relationship, you wouldn’t just trust someone just because. Trust obviously has to be earned.
Frank: Well, actually if you were talking about trust and faith when dealing with child care, which I’m not necessarily recommending, you would be giving your children to someone who you don’t know. If you know them, you’re not trusting, you’re not trusting that they’re going to take good care of your children, because you know they’re going to take good care of your children. It’s not trust. You’ve got a history. You’ve got proof that they’re going to do it. Now–
Dr. Gayle: You’re contradicting yourself.
Frank: How so?
Dr. Gayle: Because you’re just-that’s not-you still earned it whether it’s through an application process if you go–
Frank: I didn’t say you applied for anything. I didn’t say you Googled anything. If I walked up to a perfect stranger on–
Dr. Gayle: Uh-huh.
Frank: The corner and gave my baby to them, that’s trust.
Dr. Gayle: Right, but my thing is–
Frank: It may be crazy.
Dr. Gayle: It’s crazy.
Dr. Gayle: And that is trust, but you wouldn’t do that. So, therefore trust has to be earned.
Frank: If you wouldn’t do that, then you’re not using trust. Moving on–
Dr. Gayle: Thank you.
Frank: Loyalty, I looked up loyalty, and to be honest, the definition made no particular sense to me.
Dr. Gayle: You thought it was crazy, right?
Frank: Well, it really was non conclusive.
Dr. Gayle: You’re against all conventional definitions.
Frank: And I got to tell you what I see loyalty is. Loyalty is all things being the same–
Dr. Gayle: Uh-huh.
Frank: Going with the choice that you have history with,
Dr. Gayle: Okay.
Frank: What’s loyalty to you?
Dr. Gayle: Loyalty is, again, lack of a better terms, ride or die. Right? Loyalty is someone that I can call on, whether it be a best friend these terms, a significant other that they are always going to be there for me. And at the end of this five year contract, they aren’t going to say, “You know what? I’m good. I enjoyed the ride, but I think I’m going to jump on another train.” That’s not loyalty.
Frank: You’ve been listening to Frank Relationships with Frank Love and Dr. Gayle. We’ve been going at it today and I’ve had a ball. I’ve been thrilled at the opportunity to expose myself and to help Dr. Gayle do the same thing. We’ve discussed cheating, the idealization of other couples and loyalty as well as many, many, many other things.
Dr. Gayle: Many other things.
Frank: I hope you’ve had as much fun as I have had today, chopping it up with my co-host. As always, it’s my wish for you to walk away from this conversation with a heaping, helping of useful information that will help you create a relationship that’s as loving and as accepting as possible.