Craig and Roane spend time with Eli Machen, renowned author, speaker and certified counselor, to uncover the reasons why people cheat. Referencing his multi-decade experience as a specialist in the field of sex addiction, Eli discusses the significance of understanding the root cause of one’s problem as well as how to recover from that addiction. Travel along on their journey to learn how one can overcome the darkness and despair of self-loathing to get to a place of trust and understanding.
The episode was recorded on November 6, 2020 at the offices of R+E by Blue Sky Media as well as the offices of Eli Machen.
Matt: Welcome to season three of the Robertson and Easterling podcast. I’m Matt Easterling.
Craig: And I’m Craig Robertson, Matt and I are board certified family law attorneys with decades of combined experience serving Mississippians throughout our fine state.
Matt: In 2019, we began wondering if the struggles our firm deals with on a daily basis could be used to help the general public and from there the Robertson and Easterling podcast was born.
Craig: During the first two seasons, we had open and honest discussions with everyday people about their individual relationship journeys, some ending in heartbreak and others in redemption, but all with powerful stories to tell.
Matt: In season three, you will hear more of the same stories from other marriage and divorce survivors as well as from our new co-hosts, Eva and Roane Hunter from LifeWorks Counseling, even Rhone are both licensed professional counselors. We’re excited to partner with them and hear the different perspective they’re going to have for all of our listeners.
Craig: Speaking of listening, if you’re new to our podcast and haven’t heard seasons one and two, be sure to check them out on iTunes, Spotify, or your favorite podcast player. Now sit back, relax and enjoy today’s show. What you’re about to hear is going to help.
Craig: Yeah. Everybody, welcome back to the Robertson and Easterling podcast. We are as usual sponsored by LifeWorks counseling and today I have as my co-host my friend Roane Hunter
Roane: Glad to be back again and hosting with you – sitting on this side of the table.
Craig: It’s more fun when we get to ask the questions together, as opposed to me, cross-examining you
Roane: You’re kind of good at that.
Craig: Yeah, I’ve been doing it for a little bit, but introduce our guests today. I’m excited to have it.
Roane: Yes. So man, we certainly are so excited today. We’ve got special guests, Eli Machen with us. Eli. We usually just refer to him as yoda. Eli has been around a long time. I’m not going to say he’s old, but he’s just got a lot of wisdom and experience. Eli’s gotten connected with us – I don’t know when we even connected with Eli even. I did back years ago, along the way when we lived in Atlanta and then in our journey and finishing all of our work and starting our practice. Now we actually have the privilege of getting to work with Eli and Jim Crass and doing our couples intensives. Yeah, really kind of riding shotgun and watching them do their work. I mean, Eli truly is…he’s kind of what I would call an artist. He is a master therapist, and he just has a wealth of knowledge and experience. I think he’s done everything you can do in the counseling world from running mental hospitals and clinics and private practice, and then working with different people along the way. He does a lot of work up at onsite outside of Nashville, help develop some of their programs. Same thing at Bethesda workshops in Nashville, he really developed that program along with Mark Laser, who, some of our listeners may know. But Eli’s just a man. He’s been around and certainly we are grateful for just his friendship, his mentorship and certainly for me, just him as a father figure. Fathering and brothering. We do these special focus men’s trips. The special spiritual focus is called fishing.
Roane: Very, very serious. We actually do some work along on those trips, but fishing is the focus. And then Eli has been a part of even our men’s community here and has been on the trips with us – on our big man’s adventure trips out of our men’s coaching weekends and certainly connected with, and was just a part of our community as well. So, man, we’re just so glad to have you as a guest on the podcast and I’m going to shut up and I’m going to let Craig interrogate Eli. Cross examine if you will.
Craig: Eli man, give our listeners a little background, tell us about your work and your life.
Eli: Well, first of all, I’m just grateful to be here with you guys and some of the things that we can talk about today. So thanks for inviting me to be part of this. My background is that I started way back in the 1970’s realizing that I felt like I was destined to be a counselor. And so slowly worked my way through school. I wanted to combine a spirituality with counseling. So I combined seminary with my graduate work at university of Connecticut. So I started out with a lot of head knowledge and not much experience, but with a lot of big vigor and passion; I think that’s where I got into the field of sexual addiction. When I had just finished working as a senior vice-president of a mental health company, national mental health company, I decided to go ahead and launch a home hospital program and full continuing care. And so I did that outside of Tampa, the Clearwater, Tampa area. And I had two hospital programs there with eight outpatient offices, community mental health center. And as we began to continue to work with clients, we kept seeing this odd behavior come through. And we couldn’t tell what it was; it was combined with depression. The psychiatrist saying this is some kind of obsessive behavior and it was around sex. And so we didn’t know, I didn’t, when I was dealing with, I just thought, “well, just stop it.” That didn’t work. So, I didn’t know and I’ve got a call from a friend who said, there’s a gentleman that’s coming to do a conference for us. Would you be interested in being a part of that? And it’s on sexual addiction? I thought, well, that sounds like something I probably need. And I went down to see Pat Carnes and then later with training with Patrick in Golden Valley. And that’s where I started back in 1989. And that’s what we built our own first Christian inpatient program there. It was a couple of years later I kept running into this other gentleman called, his name was Dr. Mark Lazar and we’re working there at Golden Valley with Pat Carnes and I finally convinced him to come here; come work for me and let’s build this program up. We started doing that and then right around 1994, psychiatric hospitalization was going down the tubes. Insurance was not paying – psychiatric hospitals were sounding out or closing and so we decided to take the program, condense it down to a 4 to 4 1/2 day program and take it on the road. And so we did; in 1995, we started traveling and doing these intensive workshops all over the country.
Craig: And that’s the Faithful and True Ministries
Eli: Back then it was not Faithful and True; we didn’t really have official name for it. We were just out there doing it – we worked for different organizations. Sometimes we worked through the American Family Association (for a long time and they promoted it and we traveled with that) and then they decided to not continue that. And, so I forget what year it is now – 1998, I think it was, I stopped doing that. We basically took it on the road for a year or so and then we then landed in Nashville, Tennessee, and took it to Bethesda, which then became, the Bethesda Workshops for Men and Couples and Marnie Free was already doing workshops for women with sexual addiction. And so it can kind of complimented the whole thing,
Craig: You don’t have any way to know this, but Mark Lazer was actually an expert witness for me in a case in the early 2000’s. I represented this young guy who had looked at some porn and his wife didn’t know what to do with it. And so, he ended up going to some of the workshops that probably you were a part of, but definitely Mark Lazar was a part of. I’m probably one of the few lawyers in all of Mississippi who’s seen porn played in open court. And it was in that case that Mark testified in many, many, many years ago. So for our listeners who don’t know much about sexual addiction give a baseline definition.
Eli: Patrick Carnes’ definition was when somebody has a pathological relationship with a behavior around sexual behaviors. Ok, so it’d be basically a pathological relationship with sex and any form they’re off.
Craig: Well break that down a little further, Eli. So pathological we’ve got people like Roane listening to our podcasts and what are big words like pathological.
Eli: I think what I often say is this, this is the confusion – that sex and behaviors around sex, without trying to simplify this too much, is it can be confused with intimacy. I usually refer to sexual acts as an intimacy disorder. And it’s more about a person, not really self-loving, not really liking who they are. They hate their life and they have in their mind, if they, or somebody else are doing something that they’d be happy – that they somehow or another, they would be, it’d be better than their life. So there’s a lot of self-loathing and self-shame along with the sexual addiction outside of fetishes and other things that go along with that. But I think basically it’s behaviors around, in relationships or sex, that end up destroying people’s lives – their soul, their spirit, their hearts, relationships for objectivity, as opposed to intimacy.
Roane: You mentioned when you started in Clearwater, Florida, what year was that when you were, you had the program?
Eli: We started; we actually didn’t start. We started doing it in 1989, but we didn’t have the official program until 1990. And then Mark came down somewhere around in late 1991.
Roane: And I should have been there in 1990, not working with you, but as a patient, but you know, back then, as you know, there was just nothing out there. I mean, Patrick Carnes was it. And then you guys probably were not far behind him. So really, it’s one of the things that Eli just always says, he’s one of the pioneers in this work and another piece of work that you’ve really helped develop and other therapists use the model today, is working with partners of sexual betrayal and dealing with the betrayal trauma. So just touch on that briefly, if you will.
Eli: So we had some spouses start calling in. You know, our husbands are coming back from these workshops and they’re acting different, they’re talking different and they get in their little groups. And it’s like, okay, what are you doing for me? At this point, I am a recovery spouse, and I have no clue what to do, but we started building a program. We put together an intensive program in 1995 to start working with partners and that was the beginning. I made a lot of mistakes in early days of co-dependency. I got stoned twice. Uh, no, not with weed. I mean, with rocks. And it’s like, it was a process of us learning the whole thing. I mean, the work around partnerships process of sex addicts is still going on today. I think it’s still evolving and it’s come a long way since those early days. It started there and I didn’t really get into my own recovery until…
Roane: Yeah. Talk about that base a little bit. Cause I know that was a, that was a huge life changer. I always tell people, you know, when you’re looking for a therapist, one of the first questions you need to ask them is how much work have you done? Uh, how much time have you spent sitting on that couch? And so certainly talk about that part a little bit and doing your own work and how that came about.
Eli: Well, I didn’t have any idea I needed to be on a couch. I wasn’t the one that had problems. Yeah, that was the delusion. It’s like, I thought I was taking the high road. I thought that I was the one who had it together and I wasn’t doing stuff that was inappropriate, so what was my problem? So, I think I suffered from the lack of really understanding deep within some of my own need for the work and so my codependency, and my other dynamics that may or may not be connected with this partner with sexual addiction. And I know I’m using these terms – anytime I think we get caught up in a relationship with an addict of any kind, it has a huge impact on us. So, you know, that’s kind of the key thing is that I started my own recovery in 1999. I started going to ALANON because at that time I couldn’t find an SANON. I went to ALANON and I got a therapist and I went to many sessions and I began to realize why in the world did they not tell us in graduate school that this is something we should be doing. It would have saved years off my life. It would have been different. It’s totally different sitting on the couch rather than being the therapists that are in him. It’s just, it was one of the greatest things I ever did for myself.
Craig: Eli, how does that play out in a marriage though? Talk from a practical standpoint on the addict and the partner, how does that play out in most marriages?
Eli: Oftentimes the addict, the one that’s either gotten busted or he/she has shared that they’ve got this addiction, or maybe they don’t even admit to having an addiction, but they’ve got a problem that keeps coming. And it’s like there’s an awakening that takes place and it’s like, suddenly you realize that you’re not really married to the person you thought you were married to, and you’re not sure how much of your marriage is really real. You don’t have any way to judge how much of this relationship truly existed the way I thought it did.
And so I’m not sure who I’m married to, I’m not sure how much the marriage I was really a part of, and because of that dynamic and the way the brain works with our own self-esteem and self-image is that we then begin to question who in a fact we are. And so it’s that we struggle to suddenly lose context of who we are. We’ve lost our me and oftentimes we’ve done behaviors that are throwing ourselves under the bus – putting ourselves behind, trying to keep the marriage, trying to be enough in the marriage, doing a lot of kind of dysfunctional behavior. In the sense of thinking, at least I did, I think I’m doing the right thing here; this is what I’m supposed to do. And the pain that I go through is just the suffering that I have to go through. We all get weird thinking around that and it’s hard for us to understand we are part of it. It’s just really hard because we’re not doing that stuff, but we’re running around trying to, we put ourselves last, we run around focused and obsessed over what our partners are doing or not doing and who they didn’t are with, where they are, what’s going on. And we lose our life somewhere on that process. It’s not about us anymore. I think that that’s why it’s so hard for us to realize, why do I need help? And then the whole difficult process of now trying to figure out how I’m ever going to trust again; that’s like, how can I ever know? And that’s a double-edged thing. There is a program I’ve put together (I’ve now got it on YouTube for anybody that wants it), but the point being is like how do I even trust me? And I think I didn’t realize that at first until I went further down, I was thinking, I don’t trust anybody, I don’t trust any women, and they’re all going into that. And I kind of generalized my fear, my anxiety and my trust, or lack of trust across the board. Really the major problem that I needed to start with is learning to trust me. Can I make really good decisions? Can I really know reality as it is? Or do I rewrite it or do I make it to only look at what I want to look at and deny what’s really right there in front of me? The sober I got in my own recovery, my ability to see reality and embrace it and say, “okay, this is what’s real,” the further I got at – the crazier I realized I was. Looking straight at grass and saying it was some other color than green, because it was easier for me to see it that way than to see the truth.
Roane: I’ve heard you talk about it, but the idea that when a partner says…when all hell breaks loose and everything comes out into the light and the partner says, “well, I had no idea that this was going on.” And I think that’s kind of where you talk about the intimacy disorder. Because it’s like, if this other person is over there in the bushes, not showing up and you don’t know that they’re not at the show-up place, that’s what we call an intimacy disorder.
Eli: Right. If I’m not (you’ve heard me talk, Roane, about the show-up place) and it’s like, it’s easy for me to look across the other side of the show-up place and say, my spouse or partner never showed up. But then like you’re saying it, why didn’t I know? Well guess what? I wasn’t there either. Yeah, I think that that’s the huge piece there is why we get buffalo’d is because I didn’t know I wasn’t showing up and I didn’t know I was connecting intimately with somebody or whatever else and/or accepted not being that way. And so I think that that’s a huge piece of us as partners is to learn how to know that I’m showing up? What do I need to do to show up? What does it mean to me to be authentic? And I think one of the key things I say it over and over to couples today, safety is the most important thing. If I’m not going to feel safe, I’m not going to show up. So I think that the first part and most partners need to know is this relationship going to make the distance or not? Are you committed to this or not? Are you going to stay and are you going to work the program or not? Because it doesn’t feel safe if that doesn’t happen and is hard for the partner or spouse to show up vulnerably when they’re not sure they’ve really got somebody with them at the show place that’s going to do the distance.
Craig: We’re talking about the show up place and I really liked the sound of that. That is where one steps into an environment where they can be vulnerable and where they can be real and where they can be transparent. Help me and our listeners understand what is the show up place?
Eli: Well, it’s any place that’s like…Roane and I have a show-up place cause we’re friends, we’re colleagues, we work together so it’s like we have boundaries around our relationship or with things that are kosher and not – the things that are acceptable between the two of us. And so in that safety of that relationship, the safer we feel, the closer we get. It would be that true as my wife and I. We focused big time on building safety in our relationship first and as safety came along, the ability for me to be in the show-up place (this place where I come to a place – whether it’s with my son, whether it’s with my wife or whether it’s my friends), if we have the boundaries in place, we have it defined, okay? This is our relationship that we’re going to have and so as that relationship is defined, then we have boundaries and there’s that safety, then I come to the relationship as transparent as I can. And that’s me showing up. And I think my job in my recovery is that I’m to show up; my job is to show up with my clients, with my friends and colleagues, with my wife and with my son and Jovan. And so if that makes any sense, so it’s like however I come to a relationship and depending on how transparent we’re willing to be, depends on how much I’m showing up.
Roane: Hey guys, this is Roane Hunter at LifeWorks. Our couples intensive is focused on developing healthy relational dynamics and true intimacy. Couples don’t have to have it all together or even be sure they want to stay together. Couples that have been on the brink of divorce with papers filed, have not only stayed together, but they have built something new from the rubble left behind. Real issues are addressed using experiential therapy and a systemic framework for ongoing growth and healing. Couples develop a growth plan that emphasizes personal growth and inviting the other to show-up, connect and journey together. LifeWorks Counseling – the science and soul of connection.
Matt: Hey, I’m Matt Easterling, thanks for listening to our podcast. I hope you’re finding these stories insightful and comforting. If you relate to anything you’ve heard so far or if you just want more information, you can request a consultation right from our website by completing a simple form. Of course, you’re also free to just give us a call. Family Law is all we do. As experts, we have the information and advice to move forward – whatever that may look like for you. We would love to be in your corner – until then, sit back, relax and enjoy part two of today’s show.
Craig: Well, help me understand a little bit more because you talked about the partner and what were our listeners who aren’t as familiar with some of this vernacular and language as the partner of an affair or of an addict. And you talk about that person not being at the show up place either. What does that mean, Eli?
Eli: Well, if someone is acting out and objectifying, then they’re not being authentic and real themselves. In other words, I believe that it’s like, if I objectify someone then I’ve already objectified myself. I don’t want to be who I am; I want to be somebody else. And so once we begin to objectify ourselves and others, we’re not showing up authentic. We’re not being intimate. We’re just totally – we’re vacant. So we could be in a relationship and not real, not honest, not transparent, not vulnerable. A person could live with us a long time if they’re willing to accept that little relationship and never really know us. And so that’s the piece that’s like, you can’t do both. And the confusion is, a lot of guys I’ve worked with in the past that said, “well, why can’t I do porn, why can’t I do this?” You know, I can show up with my wife. And I said, do they know that? Do they know you? No. Well, then you’re not really transparent, you’re not really being vulnerable – you’re hiding. And so I guess that’s what I mean by that.
Roane: Eli, one of the things I hear you talk about it, we talk about it – the three things that kill intimacy, kill relationships – secrets, silence, and judgment. And when that happens, you know, it’s going to kill it. You’re not going to be able to show-up. And so being transparent, being open, talking about things that need to be talked about, and then not getting judged at the show-up place. And ultimately when those things are not there, that’s true. Intimacy.
Craig: Eli, I’m going to ask you a divorce lawyer question. So why do people have affairs? Why does it happen? You know, our listeners know I’m a divorce lawyer and I’ve got this podcast with the marriage counselor, and so I don’t know how weird that is, but break it down, man.
Roane: LOL. I’m cheaper.
Craig: Very true. We had a financial planner on the podcast and he said the biggest financial event that most people are involved in is the breakdown of a marriage – a divorce. I don’t care if you’re the founder of Amazon, as many multi-million dollar transactions as he was involved in, a divorce is the single biggest financial transaction. But just boil it down just as simply as you can – why do people cheat? Why do people have affairs?
Eli: That’s what I was saying earlier. They’re discontent. I think that Roane brought up an issue around shame. Shame always comes with a message, a negative message of who you are. And so most of the time, affairs happen long before the relationship. And what I mean by that is the roots, the seeds of an affair, have usually started years and years before the affair ever starts. So an affair just doesn’t typically (I’m not trying to speak generally), because there’s always exceptions somewhere, but an affair typically is not. If I have a client that comes in and says I had an affair, well, it didn’t take me long to root out that it probably goes all the way back to something in junior high school or thereabouts early, early life. And so the seeds of that and the sense of – what would make me happy and what would fulfill me? Or it would dispel the lie of shame is this person, this relationship, this sexual activity. The person that they’re looking at in the pornography. And so then they look across the street and look across a room and they say, if I had this person, then I would feel better about myself. It would, if I could have an affair with this person, then it would make me feel so much different about me. And so it, it never does, but that’s the lot. And so it’s a failure to accept the fact of who we are and embrace that.
Craig: I’ve been a divorce lawyer now for 20 years and I’ve been telling people most of that time, that an affair is usually a symptom of the disease, not the disease itself. And what I’m hearing you say is the seed, the root, the virus to use my disease analogy, is this uneasiness with oneself. I don’t like myself and so I am seeking after something that I think is going to be more fulfilling or something that’s going to help me medicate the fact that I don’t like myself.
Eli: Self-loathing is the sense that I caused the stories in my head. Prior trauma, prior shaming and environmental influences is that I don’t like me. I, matter of fact, I hate myself or I loathe myself. And so that’s easy for you then project into the relationship and say, well, it’s my relationship’s fault. Or if I was with somebody else, being somebody else, doing something else, then that would tell me that I’m okay. That I’m all right. That I’m trying to get validation of who I am externally. And so therefore I’ve had conversations with men over the years who say, “well, I’m really happy in my marriage, I just do this on the side”. I say, “well, okay, what is on the side that’s not going to give you what you want in your marriage?” And so you list off this long list. It says, so you’re saying that this means you’re satisfied, that there is something completing in this relationship? Well, no. And so finally we get down to the truth that really it’s about when they say I’m dissatisfied in this relationship or with this partner that I’m with or with this spouse, it’s really about them and they’re wanting their partner or spouse to change that. And so if they can’t then, okay, it must be out there somewhere. Ad bottom line, I don’t know I’m sure we said this earlier, this is really an intimacy disorder. And if I can’t connect with myself, my true self, my authentic self and have an intimate dynamic relationship with myself and be okay with that, then I can’t then connect with another. But I’m going to project that on somebody else’s fault. So it’s like, okay, I’m just with the wrong person – that’s why. And so that’s the dynamic that I think draws and pushes that whole thing.
Craig: Which creates this behavior that we, we act out and we hide and we lose that intimate connection with our spouse and that vulnerability with our spouse, which is what is the foundation of a fulfilling relationship anyway.
Roane: It’s like when we’re acting out, the shame of acting out, whatever that is reinforces the shame that’s already there. And it’s so counterproductive because it just produces more and then we want to pursue more comfort, medicate, fix it. And it’s just a perpetual cycle.
Craig: That’s what you’re describing then is the addiction cycle.
Roane: That’s what it is.
Craig: And so in the desire that one has to medicate the shame, they create more of it.
Roane; Yep, yep and the shame is the driver so often.
Craig: So, Eli, I’m very interested in the in the piece of the partner though, because so many times I’ll have a person who comes into my office and maybe they went to a counselor’s office or maybe they didn’t and they come into my office and the other person’s affair is, in their mind and in their heart, the only thing that’s wrong. And therefore you explained it before, but they think it’s their problem – fix them, they’re the cause of this. But what I’m hearing you say is that’s not always exactly how it happens.
Eli: If you’re asking me about how we choose a partner so that we have a relationship and then we turn around and blame that partner for not doing what we had hoped would change our world or our life. The dynamic is that I’m going to find somebody out there that knows how to do the dance I’ve learned to do in life. So if I grew up in an unhealthy environment with unhealthy attachment relationships, then I’m going to find somebody that’s going to be the same way. That’s so that we can dance the same dance. And so if I’m unhealthy, I’m going to find that unhealthy. If I grew up in a hall and I walked right past healthy all day long, they won’t interest me. They’re not something that’s gonna flip my switch, they’re not dangerous enough, they’re not needy enough because that doesn’t fit my dance. Now, if I grew up in a different environment, a different home, where there was a lot of healthy boundaries, there was a lot of healthy, nurturing, and caring and attachment, then I’m going to walk right past the unhealthy cause I’m going to be drawn to the healthy so that we could dance a dance that I know. So we have this saying, oftentimes we’ll say is, healthy and healthy can live together and often times unhealthy and unhealthy live together (it’s not very pretty, but they do), but rarely will healthy and unhealthy engage in a relationship or if they do stay in that relationship. And so that’s that dynamic because maybe certain things attracted you to this person, but then y’all don’t know how to do this dance. And so if either of those partners don’t choose to move towards healthy, then what happens is, is that they don’t make it. There’s kind of that dynamic, it’s like I’m looking for somebody to deal and go through repeating the trauma that I grew up. Because I know it. And so it’s like, okay, I know this trauma. We call that trauma repetition.
Craig: As we’re closing out this episode today, let’s talk about, let’s give some hope to the couples that are listening to this. I mean, you talk about unhealthy and unhealthy can be in relationship with one another and healthy and healthy can be in relationship with one another. How does a couple get there? Talk about the roadmap to recovery?
Eli: We talk about how – what’s the hope for a couple that finds themselves in their relationship, but it’s really dysfunctional? It’s like, it’s very unhealthy whether there’s infidelity going on or not, it’s just unhealthy. Now as this couple says, okay, we were wounded in our family and in our community early on and being isolated in ourselves, we’re not doing anything but staying dysfunctional. So if this couple, both individuals in this coupleship, are willing to reach outside of themselves and look for help, then the chances of them achieving a relationship that they really, really long for (and what I think we’ve been created and built for) is that that’s their hope. And so one would be is if they get into counseling and dealing with individual wounds and trauma in their life that impeding their ability to show up, be vulnerable and intimate. Then as they get into, okay, we know our dance as a couple is dysfunctional and painful and hurtful, we don’t want to continue this, but we don’t know how to get out of this. Then have a couples’ counselor teach you the skills to build and mentor you into a relationship that you never thought was even possible -that you may never have experienced. Now also, we teach oftentimes that you can’t heal alone. You know, healing takes place – wounding takes place in some kind of community and healing takes place in community. We’ve been not been designed to heal in isolation, so having a support groups, having friends that are in recovery and moving in direction that we want to be moving in, there’s a synergism and also a hope provided and empathy, which is really important in the healing process. If somebody looks at you across the room and says, “I get you, I’ve been there and there’s help”. And then you got this me too factor in the sense that there is. – somebody out there understands me and gets me and I’m not alone with this. And so that’s why in recovery, we encourage the 12 steps as a support group. So therapy groups, you know, community in which everybody is healing
Craig: Right. I like to tell people, and I think it’s true, that if a person let’s say there’s been a discovery and they end up in my office or they end up in Roane’s office or they ended up in your office – I tell them that it’s as if they’re standing at the foothills of two equally complicated mountains to climb and both of them are extremely difficult. And their lives are going to be very different on the other side of those. But what I’m hearing you say is for people to experience wholeness and for people to experience recovery, both partners have to journey over that mountain together.
Eli: Yes, you talk about two mountains here that we have to climb. One is a divorce side and one is the recovery side and yes, either way, I mean, it’s a tough cut. It’s tough on the children. It’s a tough on everybody who’s around it. So you gotta make a decision. Which mountain are you gonna climb? Now, I will say this, that for those couples who decide that we’re going to climb the mountain of reconciliation and healing as a couple, they find when they get to the top or at least close to the top, that there’s a level of glory and experience that they never thought was possible. Is that a climb? Yes, it’s a climb, will it continue to work on that relationship from now on, probably. Did they ever reach the apex of that mountain? I don’t know, because there’s always room for improvement. But the brighter the sun shines, the cleaner the air, the more the environment, the awesomeness of our relationship achievement that makes the climb worth it.
Craig: Eli, thanks for connecting with us today. Tell our listeners where they – I know that you’ve got lots of resources available online. Tell our listeners where they might find a little more information about the work that you do. I know that I’ve seen some of your YouTube videos, so tell our listeners where they can connect with your work.
Eli: You asked me where my videos are – you can get some of this information on videos. I’ve got 50 plus videos on YouTube. The channel is ShowUp365 (all one word), ShowUp365. I’ve taken all my videos and put them up there for free to access. Some you will see in playlist and some are just, you know, individual videos. You take your pick. I think you’d see that part of that was designed to help couples rebuild trust in their life and in their relationship when there’s been betrayal.
Craig: Man, Eli, thanks a lot for spending this time with us. We really appreciate you.
Eli: I enjoyed this. Thank you very much. I appreciate the opportunity to be here.
Craig: You’ve been listening to the Robertson Easterling podcast. Thanks for tuning in.
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Craig: Have a great rest of your day. And remember, there is nothing wrong with arming yourself with information. On behalf of the Robertson and Easterling family, thanks for spending time with us.