What is on the mind of an insightful, beautiful and brutally honest woman? We’re going to find out … on this edition of Frank Relationships.
FRANK RELATIONSHIPS: JULIEANNE O’CONNOR, AUTHOR, SPELLING IT OUT FOR YOUR MAN
Guest: Julieanne O’Connor
Date: December 23, 2013
Frank: What’s on the mind of an insightful, beautiful and brutally honest woman? We’re going to find out on this edition of Frank Relationships.
Welcome to Frank Relationships where we provide a candid fresh and frank look into relationships with goals 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. You can also download the podcast of this and other archive shows on iTunes or with your favorite podcast app.
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Well, today’s guest is a spokesperson for business. Over the course of many years, she’s the author of numerous articles an actor, friend, wife and mother and she’s hell-bent on saying what’s on her mind and asking the people that people never thought they’d be asking regarding love and sex.
The shocking consistency of answers in both private and public are the inspiration for her book. The woman is Ms. Julieanne O’Connor and the book is, Spelling it Out for Your Man. Welcome to the show.
Julieanne: Thank you so much. I’m excited and grateful to be here. Thank you.
Frank: Why should women spell things out for their men?
Julieanne: Oh boy, I love that question. There’s a lot of reasons and I’m sure as a man it would be very easy for you to actually answer that, but we kid around a lot, because men seem to be missing what we call “the hint gene” and when I reference that in my book, I say it was either never there or it was cut with the umbilical cord at birth. And so, we get around because men just don’t pick up on the hints or frankly, they just don’t read our minds like we like them to.
Frank: And are you all good at reading minds?
Julieanne: Oh man, no. You know what? We read into things to such a degree that is merely, I don’t want to use the word “pathetic,” but it’s absolutely gets absurd. So, Spelling it out for Your Man is definitely designed for both men and women to really shed light on both perspectives.
Frank: Okay, nice. What do you suggest we do with the hint gene? Get rid of the concept altogether?
Julieanne: I think you got to scrap it, because when it comes to men and I’m sure you probably wouldn’t disagree, women really expect a lot from their men and then men are pretty straight forward. We kid around that we’re going to come out with a sequel to this book and it’s going to be called, Spelling it out for Your Woman, and it’s going to be one page and it’s going to say, “What I say is what I mean.”
And so obviously, if a man communicates in such a way that he’s straightforward, more than likely when you’re communicating with them you need to sort of speak his language and men need it spelled out.
Frank: So, what do women want? And I mean, what do men want, generally speaking?
Julieanne: Oh boy, I think you can answer that better than I can. But truthfully, I address a lot of different concepts, but one of the things that I did is for my husband when we met early on-I was madly in love with him, but he really irked me or he really upset me a lot, and I thought, “You know, I’ve been studying relationships long enough to see the writing on the wall, if I continue down this path.” So, I literally made him a key and it was this long list of what I say and do equals this is what it really means.
Frank: But why not just say what-if you took the time to make a list, why didn’t you just say what you meant instead of giving him a “this equals this,” why didn’t you just say, this?
Julieanne: Well, you know that’s the funny thing. That’s how women are and truthfully, it’s similar to if you compared it to text messaging. People really say what’s on their mind in text a lot of times. They just, they literally spell it out and things, intimate thoughts and thoughts that you would never speak come out in text or emails and I think the same is true for women. We just have a hard time saying truly what we mean. I don’t know if it’s the defense mechanism of-where us being fearful that it might come out with the wrong tone or we don’t want to have to spell it out. We secretly want you to love us so much that you-
Frank: Figure it out.
Julieanne: Give us flowers or whatever. We just sort of-that’s just the way we’re made and we don’t, we don’t communicate things straight a lot of times. Some women do. I think everybody is in a different place on this and people can learn these behaviors of spelling it out and thus the book. But I think it’s just one of those things where when you have a tendency in your nature to communicate one way or another it’s difficult sometimes to adopt another way in order to get through to your partner.
Frank: When you started with your husband, you started the story about how he irritated you. I’m curious about where you were in your relationship with him when you were getting irritated. First date, a couple days after you got married? What was going on?
Julieanne: Really, truthfully it was probably approaching the year mark or maybe right after a year point, because in the beginning you’re sort of navigating all of these different emotional ups and downs, which create all these chemical releases and I think you’re afraid to push too hard or sometimes it’s this back and forth that happens in that first year-three months, six months, a year whatever. And once I got comfortable enough to know that we could-we’re going to stick a little longer and I wanted to make his life easier and I certainly wanted to get some of what I needed out of the relationship at the same time, then I thought the easiest way-because he’s just not going to be able to guess that when I’m silent, for example, that means you better come over and say, “What’s wrong, honey?” And for him if he’s silent, that’s means leave me alone.
Frank: Leave me alone.
Julieanne: It sounds simple and it’s not that anyone couldn’t write this book.
Frank: But you did. Yes you get kudos for doing so. Okay, how does a woman simply give a man everything he wants?
Julieanne: Oh boy, you must have read the book. I have in the book, a section of what a man wants and I interviewed quite a few men, but the particular excerpt that’s in the book, that I’m going to reference is one where a man told me everything that he wanted and it’s literally pages and pages of information of everything that this guy wants. And it is speckled with sex, sex with multiple women, it’s all of the different things from a career to his toys to simplicity, because he doesn’t really need toys to-back and forth. And basically the bottom line is, look men want it all and that’s really simple.
So, if men want it all and they really secretly desire sex with other women and everything else then, you know what? Who better than you to do the job, because if you’re a woman and he wants all that, then you know what? If he was with another woman, he’d still want all that, because we’re professionally dissatisfied as human beings and the goal is to find some satisfaction and joy in the mess of it all, I think, at the end of the day. But yeah, men want it all.
Frank: And how do you as one woman, how do you do that in terms of accommodating him wanting other women?
Julieanne: You know what? That’s a terrific question and you know at the end of the day, I think the bottom line of the book is really to be ground in who you are to such a degree that you yourself ooze sex appeal, because you know that you’re the prize. You know that men are going to want you too. You know that you’re a unique creature that is-especially if you’re a woman who can have a baby. My gosh, what more power do you have than that?
And so, when you can be so secure in your own skin and be so okay with who you are and just trust, that you know what, if your man is going to be there. And if he’s not, he’s not. And why worry about it? Why worry about it. Why not live a life where you just open your heart and expand yourself and your being so much that he’s attracted to that energy.
And it’s not about the look on the outside. We’ve all had that experience where we’re walking down the street with our man and some woman passes by and he does a double-take or he’s trying to be discreet but you really know he’s checking her out and you’re just not happy about it. And the first thing you want to say as a woman is, “She wasn’t even that pretty.” Well, what was it then? And that’s what I’m talking about. It’s when you tap into that thing that you have that’s so beautiful from the inside out that you just trust and you let that energy go out there and your man wants you. You know?
Frank: So, do you let that, do you support that energy going out there-his energy going out there and may be even having sex with another woman, but having the confidence that you’re so great that he’s not really going anywhere in terms of permanently?
Julieanne: Oh God, you just went there, didn’t you? Oh boy, we are going to be frank on this.
Frank: Oh, let’s do it.
Julieanne: Okay, well look, not everyone’s going to agree with me on this, but I do have a section in the book and it is entitled, “Lie verses Full Disclosure.” And I have this thing that I always say, which is similar to if a tree falls in the forest and no one was around, did it make a sound? And my rendition of that is-
Julieanne: If somebody-exactly, if somebody cheated on you and you never knew about it, did it happen and the answer is “no,” because you know what? In your perceived world you only know what you know. Now, do I think it’s okay for somebody to put your body and your life at risk by cheating? Absolutely not. Do I think that the healthiest thing to do is cheat? No, I don’t necessarily believe that that’s true. And do I even think that it should be called cheating? Sometimes people have open relationships and that really works for them.
So, I think it’s very unique to the individual and I think that you look at relationships all over and you’ll see that there are always people that are perplexed by these celebrities who are married and they have what people call affair after affair and the wife stays around and I sort of figure whatever works for you works for you.
Now, if you’re somebody who has a problem with that, then it needs to be discussed and it needs to be resolved, because what happens is people cross relationship boundaries. And there’s a lot of confusion between relationship boundaries and love. Love is everything, it’s limitless, it’s beautiful and you know what? We all meet somebody on the street and think, “Oh, my goodness,” and you might not ever stop thinking about that person? And should you be faulted for feeling love? That’s, I guess, the question I would have to ask.
Frank: You know Julieanne, pack it up. We’re going on tour together.
Julieanne: No, you know what I was looking at your book, How to Gracefully Exit a Relationship, and I thought we should be bundling this.
Frank: This is-
Julieanne: A package deal.
Frank: I am digging what you’re saying. I really appreciate the concept of the tree falling in the woods, because as I think about-people, sometimes people go to the grave and they leave a spouse and the spouse finds out something about that person and is just devastated. But they felt great in the relationship over the entire relationship and they feel like the relationship was a lie and all of the kind of stuff. And I’m of the opinion like of the relationship was clearly working for you, the facade, whatever you wanted to call it, it was working. Why back track and feel bad about it now?
Julieanne: Oh, yeah.
Frank: Enjoy what you’ve had and if you didn’t know, that’s okay. It’s no big deal.
Julieanne: Absolutely. I’m a firm believer in that. We walk around in this world thinking that everything is supposed to look this certain way and that we should all be so perfect. And I realize that we’re taught these things either in society or church or whatever and how a relationship should be. But I think if anybody looks at their relationship, they’re going to see that your relationship, no matter who you are, does not look like anybody else’s textbook example of a relationship, because you’ve got two people brought up under different rules with completely different philosophies. Is there anything that we all agree on, the exact same absolute degree? And absolutely not. We’re all unique and so I don’t know, it’s an imperfect world and gosh there’s a lot of beauty in the imperfection of it all.
Frank: Isn’t it? I’m in current conversations with different people, kind of interviewing them, because my next book is going to be discussing the truth. And I take the position around lying as when someone lies to you, they’re just simply not comfortable telling you the truth. And that’s a rich opportunity to go deeper in that relationship. So, if I find out you were lying to me, I’m not mad at you, it’s just I have an opportunity to somehow make you feel more comfortable with me.
Julieanne: That is so well put. I don’t mean to interrupt you. I’m sorry. You know what? I’ve never heard anyone put that better, I don’t think, than what you just did. I think we have to take responsibility. There are a lot of things that we can do to help people feel more comfortable. And sometimes they’re just not going to or sometimes people are doing it because they really don’t want to hurt your feelings and the intent is beautiful. Somebody just doesn’t want to hurt you and you know sometimes people do things, in a moment, that they regret. Sometimes they don’t regret it, but you know what? If they’re back with you, they love you and it’s everything that it can be as it is.
Frank: Going down that road, something I was writing just yesterday and kind of exploring around the truth is that I can see several reasons for people requesting the truth. So when we say to somebody, “Tell me the truth,” I’m playing with the ideas around what we’re really digging for and what I got so far is, we’re asking for just information. Some of us just like information and we’re not going to do anything with it. We’re not going to judge you for it. We just want the information.
Some of us want to determine whether we’re going to punish you or to justify punishment by you telling us the truth. So, if you did something that we don’t like, we’re going to come down harsh on you and when that’s the case, if a party knows that you’re interested in punishing them, then most likely you’re not going to get the truth and you might not deserve the truth.
Julieanne: Wow, I am so impressed right now. You know what? I absolutely agree with you. I’ll take this back to my book for just a second. One of the things that I put in my key and then I sort of addressed throughout the book as well is that women oftentimes when we’re asking a man for truth, what we’re really asking for is reassurance. Reassurance that you love us and not necessarily the truth. Sometimes, in fact, I tell my husband, just lie to me first.
Julieanne: I’ll give you an example and it’s absolutely-poor guy, man, he had to really stand by me to come out with this book, because I air all of our dirty laundry. But I’ll give this example and this is going to make a lot of women mad at my husband for a second, but please forgive-
Frank: And probably at you for putting up with whatever you’re about to say.
Julieanne: Yeah, I’m going to share it, but it’s my fault. But it’s a good example of this clarity around asking for information whether you’re coming from a place of where you’re going to judge him or you’re just going to put that information aside or what. And let me tell you what I did and then I’ll tell you the truth of what my intent was behind it and what I got for that.
There was a night that my husband and I was drinking a little wine and I said to him, “Honey, tell me what’s the worst quality about me that you can come up with?” And this is not a question you ever want to ask a man. Who men, if you pry they’re going to eventually give you the truth. And so, I just keep prying and prying and he’s like, “Oh honey, everything’s great about you.” He’s playing all of his parts right at first.
I was like, “No honey, I’m not going to use it against you. Honey, just tell me, what is it?” I don’t know what possessed me. And he finally said, “Well, honey you said you know–I guess-I mean I don’t know. I can’t come up with anything.” But I’m like “Well, just compare me to others.” He said, “Well you know, I guess you’re the biggest girl I ever dated. I was like, “You said what?”
Frank: Mother fu-
Julieanne: And you know what? And it’s not that I’m a big girl, because I’m really not a big girl, but he dated these tiny, tiny little girls before and I’ve met them and they are tiny. And I had never forgotten the day he told me this and that poor guy has never forgotten it either.
Julieanne: But you know, my intention was, at first I was sort of being playful, but at the end of the day, what was I going to do with that information? Why would I even ask that?
Frank: Uh-huh. Yeah, there was-
Julieanne: There’s no positive ending to that.
Frank: There you go. No positive ending. Either you were going to have more questions later, because he said something that didn’t quite get to it. You really know that he didn’t go there completely or he went there completely and you were not particularly happy.
Julieanne: Exactly, and I should have stopped with “Honey, you’re perfect.” So, if you don’t want to know, if you really don’t want to know, let’s say we go back to the cheating subject, then don’t ask. And if you really want to know, because you’re looking to punish somebody then you need to look at your own self-confidence and check where you’re at with your desire to control or manipulate or own somebody as opposed to allowing somebody to live their life and be who they are. And to allow somebody, when you love-I mean when you love somebody, don’t you want them to be allowed to make mistakes, because that’s how we grow in life.
I sort of embrace just acceptance of somebody you love to such a degree that it’s okay for them to screw up. You know what? And some things I just don’t want to know about. Other people, they really want the truth, but from my husband I want to feel like I’m number one. If he ever does anything, I just don’t want to know about it and you know what? He doesn’t have to feel guilty about it. That’s how I feel.
Frank: And I’m going to add to what you said where it’s not all the time-it’s not necessarily screwing up. It’s experimenting.
Julieanne: I agree.
Frank: Because that’s what life is about. For many of us, that’s what life is about. Now there are those of us who only want to wake up at 6:45 A.M., get out the house at 7:30 A.M., get to work by 8:00 A.M. and then come home by 6:00 P.M., have dinner and go to sleep. There are people that absolutely want to just do that, and that is their life.
But there are other people, it sounds like you and I and your husband, that are interested in playing with life and interested in falling on our faces and getting scraped up and laughing about it and getting hurt and healing and laughing about it. It sounds-there are different types of people in the world.
Julieanne: Absolutely, I want to taste it all man, because we don’t know-our destiny is unpredictable and non-negotiable. Don’t you want to experience everything that you can experience within reason and with respect with people you’re with? Don’t get me wrong. Integrity comes in and says to play around those relationship boundaries that you set with somebody and sticking to your word. I’m always cautious when I hear people giving wedding vows-
Julieanne: Because they’re saying things that-they’re setting themselves up for failure. Boy you got to love radio, because if you get tongue-tied. But needless to say, it’s one of those things that you can set yourself up for being allowed to share the truth or being allowed to keep some things private, that’s a blessing.
Frank: Oh man, I’m having a ball. I want to take a break, but let me just go there. Alright, so, I’m having a conversation right now where the question is- well actually, I’m a part of a conversation where one spouse wants to create a relationship where they discuss anything, where there’s no “secrets.” The other spouse wants to create the relationship where there is the ability to have secrets or to communicate with something whenever one feels like it. And let me run that again, just so everybody gets it and ust so I make sure that I said it correctly.
So, one person wants everything to be on the table, every single thing to be on the table and the other person wants each of them to feel comfortable sharing whatever they want to share when they want to share it. I certainly believe I’m more invested and would like to see the one where you can share whatever you want to share when you’re comfortable sharing it, because we have to often experience things. We have to mull over things. Sometimes we meditate and pray about things and we get the opportunity, I think, in a healthy dynamic to think about stuff, experience stuff and not necessarily have, and that’s the key, have to talk about it, because if you create the relationship where you say that “We’re going to tell each other everything, we’re going to keep no secrets,” well then that means as soon as you do or know something you have to run over to me and tell me. And that means I got to check you to make sure you’re telling me everything that I think you should be telling me and that’s a cycle that I’m not really supportive of.
You end up basically snooping on one another to make sure you’re telling each other all of your secrets or that there are no secrets. When with the other, even if there are secrets, both of you saying, “So what? He’ll talk to me or she’ll talk to me whenever she feels like talking to me,” and that creates the comfort for open communication that I think is optimal. Any thoughts on that?
Julieanne: Oh my goodness. Okay, well, my mind-I have a really dirty mind and so the first thing that comes to me when I hear what you’re talking about is you’re talking about full disclosure verses privacy or however you want to say it and you’ve got two people, kind of coming from different points of view on this. And this is where people have to negotiate these sort of boundaries of where they’re going to fall on this and both have to compromise in this sort of a situation to some degree.
However, here’s what I want to say to the person who wants full disclosure. I would ask this. We have extremely interesting minds and I would say if you’re having a sexual fantasy, and I’m just going to take this to the extreme for a second, but think about a sexual fantasy, do you actually tell your partner every detail of your sexual fantasies and I would bet you-
Frank: You don’t.
Julieanne: That there is nobody on the planet who tells the truth. And I’m not saying that I know what’s in other people’s minds, but I do know what’s in my own and there is no way on my most truthful day with my husband that I’m going to share every detail. And so, I think that, again, you have to negotiate these boundaries of what you consider full disclosure, what is okay in terms of privacy.
But at the end of the day, when you choose to marry or be with or love another human being, the ultimate of love is respect for that person’s ability to communicate in a way that they choose and to respect their ways. And if you want to offer full disclosure, by all means, you should be allowed to do that. But to demand it, that is a whole different subject.
Frank: Yes, absolutely.
Frank: There are people who believe it’s a breach of trust in a relationship if you don’t tell your partner everything. And part of that is the bond of marriage is tested or in jeopardy if you’re not honest about all of your actions. How do you convince them otherwise?
Julieanne: Well look, you know what? We all give our word and break our word sometimes on a daily basis to some degree on something. It could be the simplest things. And look, I’m a big fan of integrity, but I think when it comes to a partner, you really have to allow people to be who they are. And I think that where we kind of get amiss is that we’re insecure and that insecurity you have to sort of ask, “Where does the insecurity come from,” because you don’t own anybody. Even if you’re married to them and have children with them, they are their own person and everyday they should be allowed to continue to be with you by choice.
I think people have to ask themselves what’s their motive. Is their motive, like you said, to justify punishment or it is just to get information. And is it necessary information-going back to the three where I was prying. What in the world do I need to know that for? I think it’s just a question of how secure are you that life happens and that somebody’s going to be with you. Are you trying to hold onto somebody or are you letting them go because you trust so much that they’ll be there?
And what place do you want and what space do you want to live in? You know what I mean and it’s a lot of fun to live in a space where you just trust. And I don’t mean that everybody is trusting when I reference trust. What I mean is that you trust in the process and you trust that somebody will be there, if they’re meant to be there.
Frank: Wow. I have made a new friend. I have-
Julieanne: I agree. Just reading some of the stuff on your site and your blog and just about your book at franklove.net, I mean I was, “Oh my gosh, a kindred spirit here.”
Frank: I will-
Julieanne: Fly out and visit.
Frank: That’s what I was about to say. I assure you and my audience that before I go to this grave, I will meet you.
Julieanne: Absolutely. I concur. I agree, completely.
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You’re listening to Frank Relationships. We’re talking with a not-so-quiet observer of men and women, their consistently repeated mistakes and she’s the author of, Spelling it out for Your Man. She’s Julieanne O’Connor. Julieanne, how can our listeners find you and your services?
Julieanne: I love it. Thank you so much for the plug. I was giggling about the all day energy greens, because I think to myself, “Well after that comment about what my husband said, that’s where I’m going.” But you know what? You can find my book, Spelling it out for Your Man on barnesandnoble.com, onamazon.com and certainly on my website at spellingitout.com or spellingitoutforyourman.com, whichever one you’d like to go to.
Frank: Let’s play with the concept around integrity for a quick minute. And so, how do you justify or how do you maintain integrity when you know that you might lie? How can you say you have integrity when you know that you lie and will lie? Or how can you believe in your partner’s integrity when they have lied?
Julieanne: Okay, wow, good questions. Man, you have got me going today. Okay, so integrity is a funny thing. We have a tendency in life to sort of set these boundaries or whatever of what’s acceptable and what’s not and then we have to sort of stick by those.
For example, rules. Rules or laws or whatever and these things are living, breathing-the word integrity should be this living, breathing thing. People change and can you imagine for example, if we still have some of the laws-and some of them are still out there, it’s heart wrenching-but some of the laws from back in the 50’s and those never changed? And we sort of make our relationship rules and boundaries a law, like they are never allowed to ever be changed. And you know what? People change.
And so if somebody, for example, marries you and says, “I’ll be with you forever, until death we do part and I’ll be faithful” and then one day, they’re sitting somewhere and they meet somebody and they have a connection, are they supposed to not be allowed to have love? And yes, everyone would say “yes” across the board for the most part, that they’re not allowed to have a connection. Then you have to ask yourself, “Well, what is a connection?” Does it have to be physical? What happens if they just want to share the experience of a discussion and yet there’s this chemistry and that’s absolutely not allowed or is it?
And so integrity, some people might not want to share that because they know their partner is going to be bent, because they would have seen this chemistry. Some people deny the chemistry and squash it and so it’s personal for everybody on what’s okay. But I’ll tell you what, when you impose your personal beliefs on your partner, that’s a different thing. You really have to stand back and allow people to be who they are.
For you it may be one thing and your partner it may be something different and these things have to be discussed, because sometimes those things may change during a relationship. In fact, they will. I assure you.
Frank: You know the irony in that is when you impose your own values or beliefs on your partner, you lack integrity.
Julieanne: Yep, I completely agree.
Frank: So, what you end up getting has everything to do with where you have created an issue for yourself.
Frank: Speaking of old laws. What are your thoughts on polygamy?
Julieanne: Oh, boy. You just want to get me into a lot of hot water right now.
Frank: Hey, I mean, where it’s necessary. If you say “That’s too much, Frank, I I need you to take some of the heat for that,” I’ll jump in and say, “Hey, it was my fault, we talked before the show” and I set her up and it was all my fault. Blame it on me.
Julieanne: Okay, here’s what I have to say. I’m just going to tell the truth. I believe that if it works for you, it’s absolutely okay. I believe that people should be allowed to love as many people as they choose too, if that works for them and they’re not crossing relationship boundaries that have been agreed upon by their partners where people are not getting hurt.
Now, if it goes into a category where people are being hurt by it, that’s a whole different thing, but you can look around the world and see that there’s a lot of people in polygamist relationships that are happier than a lot of people in monogamous relationships. And you have to step back and say, “Why?”
Frank: Tell me about your friends. Just tell me about your life, please. Jeff, the engineer here at the show, he just said, “What is she a guy?” So, I’m curious just who Julieanne is on a bigger scale, so people as they’re listening to you, don’t basically shoo you into a corner as being a woman who’s just so extreme that it’s just not worth listening to her. I certainly don’t think that and I want to give the listening audience an opportunity to let themselves off the hook by hearing you share just that little bit.
Julieanne: Alright, well, I appreciate that, and you know, I realize that you got to take the good with the bad in life and that there’s going to be some judgment about some of my perspective. But I really am a firm believer and sort of a expanding your heart so much that you allow people to be people as long as they’re not hurting others, of course.
I happen to be in a monogamous relationship with my husband. We’re seven years in, so I of course have the section about the “seven year itch in there.” But I’m a foster parent. I do a lot of rescue work with animals. I will say that my friends are amazing people and I truly open my heart to all types of dynamic relationships. I have a holiday party coming up and I send out an invite that references my weird friends, but the reality is, everybody to me is a little weird.
Frank: Aren’t we? Yep.
Julieanne: Yeah, and I just love people and I’m so intrigued and so fascinated by the human experience and about human beings and their relationships. It mind boggles me how beautiful people are when they really open their soul and allow people in. And I don’t mean that from necessarily the standpoint of disclosing everything about themselves. I think people should maintain some privacy and I think that that’s attractive. I think that when people have some mystery, it’s extremely attractive and that goes for men and women.
But the reality is, the people that I surround myself with are the people who come my way. And I know that I meet people-and like yourself-I gravitate towards certain people for some reason and I appreciate when they allow me in. So, my circle of friends is extremely eclectic, extremely interesting and we have a ball. And that’s all I can say.
Frank: I believe you.
Julieanne: I hope that answers your question.
Frank: Indeed, it does. What are the love basics?
Julieanne: Oh, wow.
Frank: Back to the book. We’ve really veered off direct course of the book, but we’re back.
Julieanne: Okay, love basics, that chapter seems to have struck a cord with the men and that is probably because I get quickly too the point for the men and women both of course. And this book originally I actually wrote for women and ended up with-I have over 100,000 people following the Facebook page right now and three quarters of them are men.
I think that if anyone can take anything from that, they’d realize that men are following it, because they see the title, Spelling it out for Your Man and they think, “Oh my gosh, I’d like to have it spelled out for me.” And Love Basics is just the first chapter. What’s Love Got to Do with it: Love Basics and it incorporates, have your cake and eat it too, which is just talking about all of us and how we all want our cake and to eat it too. It talks about obvious choices, it talks about the recurring themes and certainly what men want. And then all of my chapters have insights and any one section in my book and or chapter can be read independently from the rest and you can sort of just jump in the heart of what you’re dealing with in your relationship.
Frank: Okay. What are some of the obvious choices around dating?
Julieanne: I’ll have to flip though the chapter, but obvious choices are exactly what they say. And I think I have some good quotes in there, probably as well. But it’s simple things like, “You know if happen to be living in Los Angeles and you’re dating a guy from Spain and you want to have a monogamous lasting relationships,” then think about a move to Spain. It’s the simple things. It’s the really obvious things.
“If you’re dating a guy and he happens to be married with a couple of kids and he doesn’t want to have more kids and you really want to have kids then the wife part aside, then you might find another mate, because he said he doesn’t want to have kids, which means he probably doesn’t want to have kids.” It’s really obvious stuff that people think that they can change and I’m telling you for, especially for the purpose of women and there are always exceptions to the rules, so don’t get me wrong. I believe that these relationships sometimes actually do work out. But for the most part, if you don’t want to make your life a crazy tumultuous life, then think about, if somebody tells you something, especially if it’s a man telling you, then step back and say, “Okay, this is what I want in my life?”
And then, on another note, choose, if you’re in the choosing phase of a relationship, everybody has bad habits or has habits that can be annoying. And we all know that there is a point in the relationship when the sex appeal wears off of it and you have to deal with those habits, so choose wisely-habits that you can handle without becoming a nag.
Frank: Right or resentful.
Julieanne: Or becoming resentful. Absolutely.
Frank: I want to answer this question before I throw it to you. I just want to throw it out to the audience, but I have something to say about this question. You say, well, you talk about the issues men face with relationships, wanting to be the good guy or the great catch. And so, I want you to weigh-in on that, but I want to run my mouth about it first.
I’ve got a good friend and he’s rubbing his head right now around the issue of wanting more than one woman and his disposition and what he says is, “Look, we are told that if you want more than one woman you’re a jerk or you’re a bad guy or you’re whatever.” And he says, “I’m not a bad guy and yet I want more than one woman and I’m not a jerk and I don’t want to be perceived as a jerk. I just want to be able to say, ‘I want more than one woman.'” And that question brings him to mind and I throw the ball to you. Do whatever you wish with it?
Julieanne: Oh boy, this is going to be the toughest interview I ever have. I can already tell. Everything is going to be a cakewalk after this. Alright, again this is just coming back to respecting people’s individual choices. And I believe that what works for an individual, for one person, may not work for another and I completely get that. And this guy, if he wants multiple women or more than one woman or several women at once, whatever it is, so be it. If he is not hurting anyone and he’s not harming the world in some way by doing that, what is wrong with it?
We all have more than one person, I shouldn’t say all-some people don’t. But many people have more than one person, just by dating and do we beat up on ourselves because we date? We don’t call that wrong. My guess is this guy is saying he’s in a relationship maybe and he wants to still have another woman, is that-
Frank: That’s correct.
Julieanne: Okay, yeah, so this is one of those things where you have to sort of weigh your integrity with your relationship boundaries with that person that you’re in. Let’s say, maybe you’re in a monogamous or living relationship with and you have to decide, are you going to have other women and tell this person about it and they sort of have to either deal with it or give them the opportunity to walk away, which I believe this is going to be something that is perpetuating or happens frequently-I believe that you should give somebody the option to either be in that situation with you or not. I think that’s the right thing to do.
If my husband was really going to be out with other women, I would want him to allow me to decide if that was okay for me. And if it’s not okay for me, then he needs to find a couple of women who are okay with that. And I’ll tell you, there are women who are okay with that. And so, I think again, you have to just respect the individual’s choice on this.
And he should not be judged, because look at yourself, I always say, “Look at your own thoughts, look at your own being and think about the things you squash, what you really want and you just would never tell somebody.” And I can’t believe that there’s anybody out there who wouldn’t love to have multiple connections with human beings if it was that amazing or many other things that might be judged by society.
Frank: What are your thoughts on snooping?
Julieanne: I’m so against it. Here’s what I feel like. My husband and I give each other total privacy. We don’t get into each other’s email accounts or phones or anything. I know a lot of people who do that all the time and I believe that if you’re in a relationship where you feel like you have to snoop, then there is something fundamentally wrong and that fundamental wrong thing is in your own self worth. It’s based inside of you. If you’re looking into somebody else’s stuff, trying to prove them wrong about something, then you have to take a look at yourself and say, “What am I worried about?” If somebody is cheating, it will come out eventually, so don’t worry about it.
If that’s something that’s happening and it’s going to continue happening and that’s not okay for you, then you need to sit back and trust in the process until the evidence is presented to you in a way that is naturally occurring and then you can make your decisions, but snooping just to snoop really can make you crazy, it can make somebody else crazy and it really is a sign of your own insecurities.
Frank: You’ve talked a little bit about hurting others and when we talk about hurting others and you combine it with a conversation around cheating, some people say cheating is hurting them. How do you address that?
Julieanne: Again, it’s what people know and it’s coming back to these relationship boundaries and integrity. I think people get caught up on the cheating thing happening, because what has happened is, they set these relationship boundaries early on that they would never be with another partner, and then we call it “cheating” or “lying” or whatever if somebody then is with another partner. And so, what happens then is the trust is broken, because this person gave this other person their word that they would only be with one person and they ended up being another person. Now that person that they cheated on can’t trust them about anything they feel. They sort of open this can of worms of “your word is not good” and that’s where people really need to be careful when they’re setting relationship boundaries.
I think it needs to be negotiated, because everybody’s different, like this full disclosure verses privacy or whatever. And if you’re somebody and you know that you’re going to go out there and be with other women or other men or whatever the case, you know that you’re not going to be somebody’s watch in a monogamous relationship, why is it that it’s so difficult to just set the relationship boundaries in the beginning and trust that that person that you love will either accept it or not and be okay with them walking away if they’re not? Because it’s only fair in my opinion then to give somebody that choice.
There’s a lot going on here, but this is going back off to that idea where we set relationship boundaries and then we never revisit them and people change and they should be allowed to change and you should be able to go back and revisit those things.
People hurt themselves when they cheat too, because what happens is, they have broken their word with the person that they want to continue to co-exist with in a home and yet they still want outside the home have these relations and they feel guilty-
Julieanne: And then they have to actually lie and then they make themselves a little nuts about trying to hide their own activities. And so really it hurts everybody involved if that is something that is perpetuated without being just put on the table in the sense of, you got to just be okay with setting those boundaries and changing them.
Frank: And relax.
Julieanne: Yeah, relax and let people live and trust the right people are going to be in your life that will be okay with whatever your choices are.
Frank: You’re listening to Frank Relationships and we’re talking with a not-so-quiet observer of men and women as well as their consistently repeated mistakes. She’s the author of, Spelling it out for Your Man, and she is Julieanne O’Connor. Once again please tell our listeners how they can find you and your book.
Julieanne: Spelling it out for Your Man, can be found at spellingitout.com, spellingitoutforyourman.com or certainly on barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com. Thank you so much for having me today.
Frank: You bet. Just a few more questions. Do men really want to call all the shots?
Julieanne: Absolutely not. In fact it’s very unattractive for a man, if he’s calling the all the shots in a relationship and a woman doesn’t hold her own. Typically speaking, that’s not attractive. A man, typically, and I hope Frank, that you would agree with this, but you want a woman who says what’s on her mind and who can hold her own and who is confident, a strong powerful woman to some degree.
Frank: Yep. And what’s with men and listening? Do you think that there’s a natural disinterest in us listening to what you have to say?
Julieanne: Listening, what? Huh? Yeah. You know what? The most common spoken word in my house is, “Honey, did you hear what I said? Honey, I said did you hear what I said?” And the reality is you know as a man that you guys have some sort of little hang-up around listening. And if you’re a woman out there who was wants your man to listen better-and I’ll tell you this is the most reoccurring thing that there is-then you really need to talk to your man about a good time to talk to him and schedule a time.
Don’t hit him up when he’s coming in the door, home from a hard day’s work. Realize that men can compartmentalize-that’s a tough word to say-what they’re doing and sometimes they just shut it all off and they are not listening. And so I think it’s just really learning how to communicate with that type of situations.
Frank: You said that men are simple-or at least that’s what I remember you saying, that was at the beginning of the show. But what about women?
Julieanne: Women are pretty complex. Really, the word “simple” is so unfair, because I think men are complex in a lot of different ways. But women, we’re thinkers to such a degree that we really deserve an award of some sort, because we have a hard time shutting it all off. And we really do have 25 things going on at the same time in our brain and we’re multi-tasking everything. I think that the way we deal with information is just different.
I just say major props to men who can simplify things and shut it off easily. One of the things that I hear a lot is that, women get really frustrated with men when they’re sitting around doing nothing, while the women are doing everything.
Well, women just continue doing everything. They need to learn to shut it down. And I think that if we could just learn from me, that little simple thing, if we could just use that as something to emulate, I think that we would have a lot more piece in our own existence.
Frank: I’m going to tell you quickly before we wrap up about a conversation my wife and I had sometime ago, and it was around the children. So, she was pulling her hair out, because the children were-they were always asking her for stuff. And mind you, if it’s between me and she, they’re going to ask her. And I said, “Babe, they are asking you, because you respond in a given way. When they ask me for something, I might say to them, ‘Look, I’m reading the paper, leave me alone. We’ll talk in about a half hour. Until then, go find something else to do with your time.'”
She doesn’t do that. She will get up and do whatever it is they’re asking her to do. And I said, “You’re blaming me for not dealing with the kids and having them and the fact that they’re coming to you when we’re sitting in the same room, but really I suggest before we get to blaming me or before we point the finger at me, I suggest you really take a look at your relationship with your children and reformulate that. Really tell them to back off. If they want some-” and mind you our children are 14, nine, six, three and we’ve got a six month old.
Julieanne: Oh, wow.
Frank: And the two are constantly asking for stuff are really the-they can’t get it on their own, the six and the three year old, so those were my thoughts. “Look, tell them ‘no’ they cannot come in right now. We’re in our room. You can’t come in. We’ll come get you in a few minutes. Or ‘no’ I’m not going to get what you’re asking for or just ‘no.'” Or “I’ll get it in a few minutes.” Any thoughts on that?
Julieanne: I think again, you’re absolutely spot on. And women, you have to lighten up on us women as much as we need to lighten up on the men, because we have a really tough time. We really, in our nature are pleasers and we want to say, “Yes and here you can have whatever.” We want to give and give and give and there is a place for a woman to say ‘no.’ In fact, I think I’m just going to have T-shirts made up that just say ‘no.’ That’s it. It’s just going to have the word ‘no’ and just to practice. Maybe somebody’s got them out there already. But if we can learn from men how to sort of say, “Okay, right now is my time and that’s okay.”
Julieanne: We need that and I think it’s awesome that men do that by nature and I think women need to do it more.
Frank: You’ve been listening to Frank Relationships and we’ve been talking with a not-so-quiet observer of men and women, as well as their consistently repeated mistakes. She’s the author of Spelling it out for Your Man. She’s Julieanne O’Connor. Last time, please tell our listeners how they can find you and your book.
Julieanne: You can find it at spellingitout.com, of course on barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com. And thank you again. This has been a lot of fun. I’ve got to tell you.
Frank: Along today’s journey, we’ve discussed integrity, honesty and snooping. I hope you’ve had as much fun as I’ve had learning and discussing how to spell it out for your man.
As always, it’s my wish for you to walk away from this conversation with a heaping helping of useful information that’ll help you create a relationship that’s as loving and accepting as possible. Let us know what you thought of today’s show at facebook.com/relationshipflove, on Twitter @mrfranklove or franklove.com. On behalf of my producer, Phileta Legette, my assistant producer, Anayza Stewart and my engineer, Jeff Newman. Keep rising. This is Frank Love.
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