Episode 98 - Transcript - Infidelity - Dr. Alicia Walker

By Michael Rhodes | March 12, 2023

This is a transcription of Episode 98.  The transcription was done by software, apologies for anything that seems out of whack. A link to the episode is below.

Michael 0:00
Hey what’s up, gentlemen, this is Rising Phoenix podcast podcast about how to rise up after divorce. I’m your host divorce coach, Michael Rhodes. Let’s get into it. Joining me today is Dr. Alicia Walker. Dr. Walker, let’s just jump right into it. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself.

Dr. Walker 0:28
I’m an associate professor of sociology at Missouri State University. I’m regarded as an expert in gender and infidelity. Most of my work focuses on closeted behaviors, sexual behavior, so things that folks they’re kind of central to their identity, but they don’t openly share those sorts of things. Yeah,

Michael 0:53
gotcha. So and that’s, I found a, I believe, as a blog post, I think, on psychology. today.com is where I find most people, I think that’s where came across your article in the infidelity piece is what I’m sort of interested in. Because I, I deal with men’s men going through divorce, and I hear quite often that that’s what led to it. I know, that’s exactly our, your, your the scenario we’re going to talk about today. But the fact that they do cheat is a big curiosity. Curiosity to me personally. So. So that’s the big question. Why do women in particular cheat.

Dr. Walker 1:34
So the study that I ran, I partnered with a website called Ashley Madison, if you’re not familiar with it, their tagline is Life is short, have an affair. And they were kind enough to share my research call with their members. And so I spoke with 46 women and actually 46 men about their cheating. So the women were very clear with me, all but seven of them were cheating specifically, to outsource some kind of sexual need. So they were either in a marriage that was sexless, which we define as sex 10 times or less a year. Or they were in an orgasm with marriage. So there was six, but the sex was not satisfying for them for one reason or another. And they did not want to leave their marriages, they spoke actually very highly of their partners. They talked about what good people they were, how they were their best friend, they were like a really great father, really great partner, everything in the marriage was good, except the sexual aspect. And they had tried to remedy that in numerous ways. And finally decided that either they were going to have to try to get those sexual needs met elsewhere, or they’re going to have to leave the marriage, and they very much did not want to leave the marriage, they love their partner. They didn’t want to, you know, take their child’s father from them. Not that just because there’s a divorce of fathers, you know, completely disappears. But you understand what I’m saying? The father would be in the home with the child, I guess, is what I should say. Yep. Yeah. And so basically, this was a strategy to avoid, in their minds getting divorced. They had, you know, this was not a decision that they came to lightly, they’d spent years, you know, trying to so like, you’re just taking the case of the women who were in sexless marriages, a lot of them didn’t even know why the marriage was sexless. It was not their decision for it to be sexless. Their husbands weren’t interested in having sex. And a lot of those situations, women didn’t know why they didn’t know what the problem was. And it created a lot of hurt feelings, and upset and they said, they just finally came to this decision where they’re like, he’s not gonna talk to me about it. You know, I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t want to leave. But you know, I’m young, and I don’t want to live the rest of my life, not having sex. In some cases, they didn’t know it was some kind of health issue that couldn’t be resolved on the part of their husband. And then the other group of women said, you know, no, we have sex, but it’s not the kind of sex that I want, or it’s not satisfying sex. You know, we’ve tried everything we can to try to solve that there just isn’t a resolution to that. And so I don’t feel like I have any other choice, but to outsource the sexual aspect of my relationship.

Michael 4:45
Man that brings up so many questions. Well, go ahead. So is, isn’t this isn’t that scenario typically, or hasn’t it been typically the other way around? Hasn’t it been? In historically, I’m sure there must be studies that it was the man and I know there are studies that say men cheat more. But that type of scenario isn’t that hasn’t that historically been men have been the ones that have sort of outsourced their sexual needs.

Dr. Walker 5:17
So what’s really interesting about this field is that for a long time, that was the assumption that men were cheating in these entirely greater rates than women, right? And what we know is that women are cheating at least as often as men. And depending on how you define cheating, like, let’s say you expand that beyond just penetrative vaginal intercourse, in some cohorts, or some groups, age groups, etc. There, they’re outpacing men in their cheating. Yeah, I think there’s been a lot of younger, yeah, yes, well, and women in their 40s women in their 40s are at a tremendous risk to cheat. And so there’s been a lot of discussion, you know, is this an increase in women’s participation in fidelity? Or is this an increase in reporting? My guess is this is an increase in reporting, meaning, we now have the capacity to interview folks in a much more anonymous way. Right. So you feel safer, saying, Yes, I have done this. Women also have more financial independence than they’ve had? Of course, that could be an argument for an increase in participation as well. But I guess the short answer is we don’t know for sure what that is. And then I would also offer that most of the research on infidelity had been conducted by men. And not to say that their research is completely without merit. But, you know, we bring all of our experiences with us when we’re doing research, and that certainly informs how we see what we’re studying, right? I really didn’t think men were going to want to talk to me about their infidelity. It I really didn’t think that I just thought it would be women talking to me. So I was actually very surprised when men were so open with me. So there could be a lot of things going on, I guess is the short answer to your question. And then you had the added piece of, I have to imagine that the experiences of folks who log on to a website, create a profile, and then spend weeks vetting partners is very different than folks who lock eyes with somebody across the room, you know, spend too much time getting friendly with a neighbor or a co worker, I have to assume that the motivations and the experiences and perceptions are very different between those two, two groups. So the folks I spoke to are people who logged on and vetted and etc. Okay, so I’d love to run a study of folks who, you know, are cheating in the wild, if you will, to prove that there’s a difference. But I have to imagine that there is.

Michael 8:03
Yeah, I mean, it’s a motivational thing. Versus versus opportunity. Right. Absolutely. Okay, so we can say that it’s possible that either or you believe that it’s, it’s the the maybe the methodology, and the reporting is sort of catching up and finding these things more than they were in the past, and that perhaps, men and women treated pretty equally, you know, across demographics in terms of age and stuff. You know, since

Dr. Walker 8:36
I think it’s, I think it’s at least a piece of it. I also think it’s possible to imagine that there has been an increase just for the simple fact of greater financial independence, you know, getting divorces at fun at any situation, right? That’s a terrible traumatic thing to have happen. But it’s a completely different thing. If I’m not going to be financially destitute, if this happens, versus I really can’t risk doing this, because I won’t be able to feed myself. So it’s within the realm of possibility that it’s a combination of both things. Before it was it was sort of presented as this idea that men cheat more, because men want to cheat more. And I think that’s probably not accurate. I think. I think men may have cheated more because they had more opportunities, more access, less risk, in terms of financial, you know, being able to feed yourself.

Michael 9:38
Do you think then the motivation? Has? I had a question, I lost it. I’m curious about those that that are deciding they’re going to cheat versus that’s what it was those that decide to cheat versus those that do it out of opportunity. Um, you know, perhaps spending, you know, a lot of time with the soccer dad or whatever you do. What do you think? Is there more of those folks as sort of the opportunity, folks? Or is there more? Or maybe we don’t know? Or is there more of the I’m going to do this? Because I’m not happy, folks?

Dr. Walker 10:20
I don’t know. That’s a great question. I don’t know. You know, Ashley Madison is a multimillion dollar company. There are hundreds of 1000s of folks on that website looking to cheat. So it’s, it’s kind of difficult to say, yeah. But I think there’s a good amount of both kinds of folks. And I do think, I do think if you talk to somebody, and this is conjecture, because I haven’t have interviewed them, but I would imagine that if I’m talking to somebody who, you know, sparked up with somebody in the real world, you know, that’s not like a deliberate decision, right? That’s not I’m looking for an affair. That’s I slipped and fell, right? Or, you know, I developed feelings, or whatever’s going on there. So I think those are very, very different experiences. Could it still be that someone sparked up with someone organically and they’re still cheating for sex? Absolutely, yeah.

Michael 11:22
Do you think were these women at all concerned, or did they? And I, I’m not trying to, of course, I’m gonna pass judgment because we all pass judgment on people that say they don’t are full of shit. But, but I’m going to try to suspend it because I think that’s the best way to approach things. But you that these women have any I hate to say this is gonna sound very, very judgy. But do you have no shame? whatsoever? No, like, Oh, my God, I’m so I can’t believe I’m doing like what? Yeah, was it? Oh, yeah.

Dr. Walker 11:53
Oh, yeah. No, every single one of them said, you know, I feel terrifically guilty. A lot of them said things like, you know, when I’m talking to my husband, and there’s some kind of like, low level irritant that in the past, I would have, like, complained about that. I stopped myself and I say, Well, I’m, I’m a cheating, bitch. And I really shouldn’t say anything. Well, so no, they were, they were very cognizant of the shame and the guilt. Which was really interesting, because when I asked that same question of the men, they did not express guilt, they felt a lot more justified, I guess, in their cheating, and said, No, I don’t, I don’t waste time feeling guilty. Whereas every single woman said, oh, yeah, no, I feel I feel awful about what I’m doing. I feel like really rotten about it. And they were really, and this is gonna sound you know, people say, oh, you know, okay, but they were really committed to making sure that their partner did not find out about the cheating, which, yes, you can make the argument. They’re protecting themselves, but they said, I don’t want him to ever have to grapple with this information. I know that this would destroy him to find this out. And I don’t want that to happen. Because again, all but the seven women and I’ll talk about them in a second. All the women who are cheating for sex said, Your husband’s a great guy. And I don’t want him to feel hurt. And I don’t want him to, you know, I don’t want him to ever know this, because he’s gonna be hurt by it. And I don’t want that to happen. You know, that would be terrible. And he doesn’t deserve that. So no, they absolutely felt very guilty. And then the seven women, they were not cheating for sex. They were cheap. They were having sex in their affairs, but they were cheating for some sort of emotional deficit within, or at least, their perception of an emotional deficit within their relationship that they felt like, you know, their husband wasn’t interested in them didn’t want to talk to them, you know, wasn’t very respectful, they did not have very kind things to say about their husbands. They didn’t want him to find out, but they were slightly less concerned about that. And they were cheating to stay for like a period of time. So it’s like, I need to stay until x happens, whatever x is, you know, a kid ages out or whatever it is, versus the rest of the women who are like, Oh, no, I’m, I’m in it, you know, for long haul. So that was like, two really different motivations and two really different circumstances. And then the men were also not cheating for sex. They were cheating for what they perceive to be some kind of emotional deficit in that relationship. And they were looking to fill that

Michael 14:47
and how many percentage there in terms of you said seven women how many men was it that weren’t doing it for for sex? Mainly?

Dr. Walker 14:54
All of the men. Oh, shit. All of the men were cheating for it. Yeah. Yeah. So that was the interesting thing. Right. So first I didn’t think men were gonna talk to me. And then I thought, well, they’re probably just going to tell me they’re cheating for sex. Right? And so all of them when I asked the first question, their first answer is, I’m cheating for sex. But then they go on. And, and very, basically do one ad and say, Well, you know, yeah, I’m having sex. But that’s not really what it’s about. So the men all felt like they were it was really kind of sad. All the stories were honestly sad. And one way or another, the men stories basically went like this. I’m married to a woman, absolutely in love with her. I want her to think that I’m the most wonderful thing in the world. And she doesn’t think that she’s not interested in my jokes, and my stories about my day, and my hopes and my dreams and my fears. She’s lost all interest in me, she’s not interested in me as a lover, she’s not interested in me, as a person, right? And so even if they were having sex, which a lot of them still were, they said, she treats it like a chore. She like rushes through it. I don’t feel like she wants me. And so they were seeking out women who were enthusiastic about them, who wanted to hear about their day, who wanted to help them manage their emotional life, what I call relational management, right? Where I say like, Hey, what’s wrong? Are you okay? Do you want to talk about it, things like that. And they basically said that the conditions of their marriages really made them feel emasculated. And that they sought these affair partners, who made them feel manly again, who made them feel masculine, who made them feel, you know, not inferior, if you will. So the motivations were really, really different. But no, 100% of the men were like, No, I don’t really, I don’t really feel very guilty about what I’m doing. So that was a big difference. Yeah. Which was really interesting.

Michael 16:59
Yeah, I want to go back to the shame aspect or the the guilt that these women felt. If they were very cognizant of it, doesn’t that speak to some kind of there’s a mental health thing there right that if you’re if you’re, you’re putting yourself in a situation where you’re constantly doing things to make yourself feel shame. I don’t know what I’m I don’t know where I’m going with this. But like, I feel like that’s, there’s something there. Right. That’s not that’s there’s there’s I’m not sure where it just that seems so very, it’s screaming to me, there’s there’s a mental health issue here. And I don’t mean that in their crazy, I just mean, in like there’s some kind of fundamental, deep, self worth issue, if you’re going to keep putting yourself in a situation that makes you feel that way, right?

Dr. Walker 17:51
No, I would argue that that just speaks to the depth of their need. Their need was so great, that they were going to keep doing something even though they did feel guilty about what they were doing. So that knee that they were trying to get fulfilled. You know, this was just the cost of getting it fulfilled. The cost was, I feel guilty about what I’m doing.

Michael 18:12
Right. So that that pleasure was greater than the pain of shamed and I guess it’s yes,

Dr. Walker 18:18
absolutely. Yeah, absolutely.

Michael 18:21
Do did any of them during the course of your interviewing and talking with them? Did anybody get caught?

Dr. Walker 18:30
None of the women got caught. One man that I interviewed got caught. Like we’d only talked. We were less than a week into the interview. Because these interviews take a while, you know, it’s not it’s not just like, we sit down we have one interview, it’s like, it’s it’s over. It’s over weeks and months. And it was like maybe a weekend to his participation. And he told me that he had logged on to the website, on I think it was the family iPad, I believe, and then forgot to log out and someone picked it up. And there it was, which I really thought you otherwise seemed like a very bright guy. I really can’t understand. You know why you did that. Another guy we were near the end of the interview, so we’d spent months chatting and he got caught and I can’t I’m trying to think how he got caught it that’s not coming to me right now. But it was another sort of like, kind of careless sort of mistake to make. None of the women got caught the whole time we were talking

Michael 19:36
that’s I can hear some guys throwing shit at their whatever device you’re listening to this on, because unfortunately, it’s sad for me to say in some ways, when you go through this process, and it did for me for a little bit. You can become very angry at women in general. And this sort of and I’m not because I had two daughters. So I can’t be angry at all women. I have two future women out out. Room One of them’s outside. So it’s hard for me to, to look at them and have anger. So I

Dr. Walker 20:13
know I get a lot of a lot of mail about these two particular books and sound familiar. I get a lot of mail. Yeah, I can imagine. So, a lot of folks are, yeah, they’re really, really angry with women.

Michael 20:27
Yeah. Well, it’s I mean, it’s hurtful. It’s it at the end of the day, because we’re, you know, it’s funny when you talk about there was no shame or guilt, no guilt with men. That’s that’s surprising to me. But also what’s maybe it’s definitely equally surprising is that they the reason they cheated. And so that, that speaks to like men’s vulnerability and men’s like longing for connection and all these kinds of things. And then I mean, guys are, I mean, they’re all shitty fucking people. I mean, maybe that’s wrong for me to judge. But I don’t know, I have a conversation or leave or whatever. But but but that’s beside it. I can’t, it’s hard for me

Dr. Walker 21:04
to I understand what you’re saying. But I do want to be clear that all these folks had had conversations with their spouses, some of them might even went to therapy, some of them had begged their spouses to go to therapy, and the spouse wouldn’t go, you know, folks had really spent years before finally come into this decision, you know, to log on. i It is, and I want to be clear, I’m not a I’m not gonna infidelity apologist. Okay, but I think it is. Yeah, I think it’s just a lot more complicated than people want it to be. Yeah, that’s want it to be like really black and white. And

Michael 21:41
that’s very, you know,

Dr. Walker 21:42
I just think it’s, it’s just, I spoke to a lot of people who are in a lot of pain, for different reasons. And I spoke to, you know, the men were all in love with their wives. What they wanted most in the world was for their wife to be the person she was when they first got together with her. And so, so they would tell me, I go, I go and meet my affair partner, you know, she’s so excited to see me and we have this great sex. And she tells me, you know, how wonderful I am all these things. And that feels really good. And then I come home. And I’m just sad. Because the person I really want to hear that from is my wife, right? And then the women I talked to who are cheating for sex, said, I go, I see this person, I get my needs met, I come home. And you know what, I’m so thrilled to see my husband. And all of them said, I would not leave my husband, or any of these guys on these websites. There’s no amount of money that can convince me to do that. Because none of them could hold a candle to my husband. And a bunch of them said, you know, my husband didn’t have this health problem that kept him from being able to have sex. I would not be out here with these other people. So I mean, if you really think about it, like he’s a really sad situation.

Michael 22:59
Oh, yeah, I, you’re right. It’s easier for me and anybody else to classify this and we do this throughout life. we generalize we Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Things in bosses because it’s easier for us. It’s safer for us. It is, you know, brass tacks cheating is shitty, don’t do it. But I know that there is nuance to it. I always try to see the other side. I always try to be and I don’t know what the answer is. Who the hell Who the hell am I to say I just think perhaps there is a different route. But But again, I’m I’m not those people, although, that sort of happened to me. But so that and that leads me to another question is, you mentioned women in their 40s. I have a suspicion about this. of why that is, and I’m gonna guess and you can correct me clearly if I’m wrong. I’m gonna guess midlife crisis plays a huge part in these things, especially those women in their 40s is that this is a data show that

Dr. Walker 23:55
didn’t come up with any of the women that I spoke to at all. None of them seemed to be in the throes of any kind of mental. You know, there was no evidence of that. It did come up with the men I had several men tell me that they were in fact in the throes of a midlife crisis. Yeah.

Michael 24:14
So these women seem again, different than perhaps opportunists, but these women seemed very grounded and you know, otherwise normal in their lives. Yeah. Marriages as mothers, except for this, this one thing. How do you say

Dr. Walker 24:33
no, honestly, the way I describe these women is they were all really funny and really smart and really gregarious. Like I could imagine them at a party, you know, the crowd around them. entertaining people, they were extremely entertaining. They were a lot of fun to interview. They’re absolutely people that I could imagine myself being friends with. And I really didn’t get the sense of any Have them were doing what they were doing out of malice? Or because they don’t care about other people? No, I didn’t get the sense of that at all. It really seemed to me that they were just in these sort of impossible circumstances. You know, what do you do if you really love someone, you don’t want to offend your life with them. But you have this big, I mean, sexual need is a really central part of the human experience. And that’s not getting met. I mean, that is a really tough situation. A lot of them said, you know, when I stood up and married my husband, we never talked about this. We never had a conversation about hey, what do we do? If down the road, one of us can’t have sex? What do we do about that? Yeah, well, that, you know, that’s a really good point. We don’t have those conversations. So that

Michael 25:51
was, that’s what I was gonna say, that was another question I was gonna lead to, but they should have this conversations. And I wonder if if they were trying, if you’re trying to have I wonder if they ever said, Listen, I need to go get laid. But I don’t want to end the marriage. Like, I don’t know what the outcome would have been. I wonder if I wonder how that would have been received, especially at the man new or like, to me, that’s a real slap in the face in terms of a wake up call and like, oh, shit, she’s really like, she’s okay, I need to do something. And I get it. We talk we tried. Sometimes, I think maybe as men, it. And I’m not saying this is right, or maybe even accurate. But in my view, I think sometimes we need to be grabbed hold of and shook. And sometimes that requires, because if you’ve been in a relationship, again, I’m not excusing it. But if you’ve been in a relationship for so long, and you keep hearing complaints, and you kind of slough it off, not that you should again, not that that’s right, not that you should, but I think that’s is what happens sometimes that Sure, yeah, sort of take those conversations, and wrongly I will say for sure you ignore them, right? Because it’s like, Oh, here she goes again. I wonder if if, again, I’m trying not to judge these women or these men, but it’s hard. i There’s no way. I can’t I am. But I wonder if that would have like, if you wouldn’t you say I tried. We tried everything. Did you though? Like did you say listen, I’m gonna go get laid tomorrow, I got a guide lined up. If you don’t fuck me right now.

Dr. Walker 27:23
Well, okay, so I wanted to talk about that. So. So, for the women whose husbands had a health issue, you could say that all you want, there’s nothing you can do, right? But the women did say, I would prefer it, if we can open this relationship so that I wasn’t sneaking around because I feel awful about it. And for the women whose husbands didn’t have a health issue, and they were having sex with the sex wasn’t, you know, the kind of six they wanted or satisfying or whatever. They said, hey, you know what, I would love it. If he also had a friend, and he was meeting them, and he was getting his needs met. I feel great about that. You know, but all of them said, I have tried to bring this topic up. And he is not having it. He’s absolutely not have any part of this. Some of them said, I haven’t directly brought it up. But it’s come up in reference to like somebody else’s situation. And he’s made it very clear. That’s not an option. That’s not going to be okay. And so it’s it’s kind of a situation where we live in a society that so idealizes monogamy, right? That’s how it’s supposed to be we’re supposed to be monogamous. Someone loves you. It’s supposed to be monogamous. And if someone cheats on you, we sort of have this social script, right? So when she saw me, I’m supposed to set all this stuff on fire, but it out in the yard, put up a sign in my yard, telling her buddy, what a cheater he is. Right? I’m supposed to kick him out, right? There’s this thing that I’m supposed to do. So we know, intellectually, there are people who have open marriages, polyamory, whatever. But we almost can’t even imagine that for ourselves. Because we don’t have a lot of models. It’s not a very legitimized relationship configuration. Because we are all so enamored with the ideal of monogamy, even though that doesn’t necessarily work for everyone, like the people that I’m talking about in my book, who are in these, you know, who would imagine you stand up and marry somebody in your 20s that you know, in your 30s, or in your 40s? You’re going to be in a sexless relationship because of some health thing that isn’t anybody’s fault, or that you just want different kinds of sex or whatever it is. Sure. And so it becomes almost impossible to even imagine anything except I’m going to cheat on this person, or I have to leave them one or the other. And then people become afraid to even say like, Hey, A, let’s sit down and have a conversation about maybe we should open this relationship up, I did you I don’t want to leave, I want to hold our family together, but I need something I’m not getting well, then the problem is, you may say to me, that’s not going to happen. And since that’s what you want, I’m going to, I’m gonna enact the infidelity script, I’m gonna put all your stuff out on the line, and I’m gonna leave you like really tough conversations to have

Michael 30:26
Well, true. But but that’s not excuse not to have them. And that’s and that’s that person’s. We’re trying

Dr. Walker 30:31
to have them they were trying the men, the men weren’t none of the men were trying to do that. But the women Absolutely. We’re trying to have those conversations.

Michael 30:38
And I want so again, I’m not I’m not trying to be biased, but but I think if if, if, if you don’t if you didn’t actually say those kinds of things, are you kind of pussyfooting around it? And I get it’s hard conversation to have. But so what have it anyway, let’s let’s put all the cards on the table. And I can speak a little bit about this, because this is what I experienced. So there was something else that I wanted to bring, Oh, do you think that this this oh, you know, it’d be great if he seen other people? How much of that is, is guilt based? Like, I feel guilt by doing this. But if he had somebody I wouldn’t feel as guilty like it is. And I guess it’s probably hard for you to answer. But how much of that you think is in play in that sort of thought process? Well, if only he was,

Dr. Walker 31:22
what was said to me was, I’m getting so much out of this affair. I know I’m not going anywhere. I would want that same kind of fulfillment for my spouse. A matter of fact, a bunch of them said, I hope he is seeing someone that I just don’t know about. I really hope that because he deserves to be just as fulfilled as I am. So people, you know,

Michael 31:47
I mean, you’re very good at having a difficult conversations. Like that’s just say that to him, but anyway, but maybe they did. Okay. But well, I

Dr. Walker 31:55
mean, like I said they did broach it, but then we’re just saying no, that’s not okay. I’m not gonna do that.

Michael 32:01
Do you think that their tune would change if they were caught? Any of them either side of the equation?

Dr. Walker 32:07
To change? How What do you mean?

Michael 32:10
That, you know, this isn’t suddenly it’s a really big deal. And and I really screwed up my life and my marriage, because that, as you said, that script might play out where someone’s like, oh, you’re a cheater? Later. So So then all of that, all of that nonsense, I’m careful. I’m trying not to put my own feelings into this. All of that sort of view that this is for the better, and it’s for the greater good of my, my values are being met instead of, you know, my my vows or whatever. I don’t want to go down that road. But but but do you think if suddenly it was this, this is destroyed my family that suddenly that, that their tune would change about the positivity behind the affair?

Dr. Walker 32:55
Well, I mean, I think we’re kind of conflating issues. So I don’t think any of the women in the study would have said, Hey, cheating is a great thing. I don’t think anyone were saying that. But

Michael 33:08
they’re saying it’s a necessary thing for them, right?

Dr. Walker 33:12
Well, no, remember, they wanted to, they wanted to open the relationship. They wanted it to be a board, that just wasn’t an option. So I think if they were to get caught, they would either try to broach again, that conversation, hey, remember, I said I want to open this, you can do this, too. If that wasn’t going to work, then yeah, I’m sure that they would be upset that they had lost their primary partner, because all of them said, my primary partnership takes precedence. You know, I don’t I don’t meet a lover when I could be spending time with my husband, for example, right? Or it could be spending time with my kids. That always comes first. You know, I don’t if I am talking to somebody, and they seem promising, but then they kind of seem like they might be the kind of person who might blow up my life later. I’m not going to see them. So they bedded like really, really carefully. And they did absolutely try to put their families first in terms of what they were doing. So I mean, I don’t even feel like any of the women I talked to were infidelity apologists themselves, that was just sort of like, this isn’t necessary. It really came down to either I do this, or I leave the marriage and I do not want to leave the marriage. So I think this is my reality.

Michael 34:30
Something that I’ve sort of learned over these past few years is I think people are loyal to their values and not people. And so they valued sex, or fulfillment, intimacy, whatever. I’m not just I don’t want to classify just sex but because it’s more than that, but they valued that more than they valued it, fidelity or faithfulness, and I don’t mean that to sound. I know I’m probably sounding very judgy and I guess I am but I’m trying not to be But I think the truth is, is that these people, and I think people in general, I think they’re loyal to their values, and that particular person is valuing their fulfillment in a sexual way, you know, coupled with a few other things, not just sex, then they value faith, being faithful. What do you think that’s a fair statement that people value? People are loyal to values more than they are to?

Dr. Walker 35:26
I don’t, I don’t think I would put it that way. I don’t think it’s really about values, I would say that these people had limped along with unmet needs for years, some of them decades. And finally said, If I do not do something about this, I’m gonna have to blow up my entire life. Those are my options, either a blow up my whole life, or get my needs met one or the other. And, you know, again, you’re talking about fidelity, we have this cultural worship of fidelity. And we think that that means monogamy, right? And then we have people in these kinds of types of scenarios, like if you put yourself in their shoes for just a second, you’re like, I’m in this so involuntarily sexless marriages that I’ve been in for decades, you know? Yeah. That’s gonna get tough, right?

Michael 36:18
Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I don’t I don’t I don’t I don’t know. I can’t speak to that. Obviously, I didn’t have that. But I can tell you what I can speak to it. And that is, we dabbled with this polyamory type of stuff. And the problem with all that, and I think that I would be curious to know, one is does it really last long term? Because I don’t think that it’s I see no examples of a long term. And I’m not saying monogamy has any good ones either. But I, there’s, there’s tons

Dr. Walker 36:51
of research on polyamory. And I’ll tell you that that’s not what you were doing. Because you can’t dabble in that that’s a really all or nothing, kind of thing. So polyamory is literally, I’m creating multiple lifelong relationships with other people. And there’s, there’s a ton of research that yes, there. There are people who do that there are people who, you know, raise kids with multiple partners, it is the thing that people do, it’s definitely not for everybody. No. Other open configurations. Absolutely.

Michael 37:22
Yeah, I’m talking 1020 30 years, because I don’t I don’t I mean, ya know, there’s research. Yeah, I’d be I’d be curious to see that. Because I think what happens in my in my view, and we could call it whatever you want, but we opened up things for her, and then pesky feelings and lies got in the way. So I think it’s a great idea to have those types of things. And I’m sure people can navigate it. I’d be curious to see the data on how long it can last in general. I don’t know if, you know, there’s, there’s that that thing lasts until people die. I maybe thought I’d

Dr. Walker 38:02
be very there’s literally research that there are communities that people literally do do this their entire lives. It’s certainly not for everyone. It’s it’s, I will say I don’t think I’m a person who, who could do that. Not because I think there’s anything wrong with it. I just think I’m not maybe built for that. But there are people who do it, you can look up, Elizabeth chef, sh e FF has a lot of research on it, if you’re at all interested, there are other configurations. So polyamory is like a huge commitment. Okay. And people in in that sort of configuration will tell you they do way more talking than they do having sex, okay? What you’re talking about is just like opening up the relationship, right. And there are lots and lots of different ways to do that. And the fact of the matter is that a lot of people are going to fail at that. And part of the reason is, we don’t have models of how to do it, or what it’s supposed to look like, we don’t have a lot of language, we don’t have a lot of practice, you know, most of us have been in monogamous relationships. So we don’t really know how to navigate that. There’s a burgeoning field of folks who are, you know, therapists who help people open up their relationships and try to help navigate through that. But any kind of opening requires, like a lot of rules, a lot of talking a lot of trust. And one of the things that we’ll do is, if you have a relationship, that is anything except close to perfect, and you open it, it’s just going to reveal all the cracks in the relationship and the fact of it is most of us aren’t in nearly perfect. No, no, no, I think that’s so that’s, you know, that’s an issue.

Michael 39:41
That’s where I think that I That’s my bias is because I think as humans, we’re all imperfect. And so, you know, you’re when you talk about feelings and oxytocin, as I, as I say, to the guys all the time who want to, you know, they want to just friends with benefits. I’m like, oxytocin doesn’t give us Should about your intentions. It’s gonna It’s does. It does what it does. And so that’s why I think,

Dr. Walker 40:05
yeah, that’s very true. Yeah,

Michael 40:06
I mean, I am smart enough to know that I’m not that smart. But I am smart enough. So, you know, I understand that that is a doable thing I suppose to have these types of relationships I just I the sustainability, I find suspect, because we’re all imperfect, you know, we mess up. And I guess it, that it that can be said of any relationship, right? And it’s not about not messing up or not pissing off the partner or getting hurt by the partner. It’s about how do you navigate it, which I think is incredibly important. But that was a giant rabbit hole. That that’s okay, that I went down.

Dr. Walker 40:47
Yeah, I would just say, I guess my overall soundbite for that would would be that most people are probably not prepared adequately to have that kind of relationship configuration. And if that’s going to get more popular, it’s going to require a lot more education, it’s going to require a lot of shifts and how we see things. It’s polyamory, for example. So if you and I were in a polyamorous relationship, then you would know my partners, you would hang out with them, I would know your partners, I would hang out with them. You know, it’s, it’s just very counter to how we conceptualize relationships, how we approach them, how we navigate them, how we construct them. And so for that, to gain a lot of popularity, a lot of things are gonna have to change, and then you know, open configurations, that wouldn’t necessarily be the case, right? But we would have all these rules we have to navigate and all that can be very, very tricky. And then there’s a lot of stigma. So you think about Will and Jada Smith, right? They are in an open marriage and have been for decades. Well, since the conception of their relationship, it’s always been that way. And they faced all kinds of stigma, right, and they have access to the best therapists and the best, any kind of tool that you could get, they have access to it. And a lot of people have a lot of opinions about what they’re doing.

Michael 42:13
And I think, you know, it didn’t it didn’t I mean, it’s they’re still together. So maybe in some ways, it did work out. Yeah. But, I mean, they certainly had some trials, tribulations. You’ve seen that? When, when they sat down, and she kind of basically admitted, which I found odd because I thought the relationship was open. But that became a problem where it was like, oh, yeah, I had this. What’d she call it entanglement with this with this?

Dr. Walker 42:37
Well, they were separated at the time that it happened, I think is, is the situation what I don’t I don’t know if they told us why they were separated. But apparently they were separated. She thought he was there was over. I think he maybe also thought it was over. And then she had this entanglement. And then I guess they reconciled. And so I think that’s what created a lot of the issues. But yeah, and it was very brave of them to sit down and share all that with a lot of audience,

Michael 43:08
I think, Oh, wow. I mean, that’s true of any anything in this country, especially like you can talk about anything, and you can really piss people off pretty quickly. Oh, sure. You can plug a football and people get pissed. And I’m not even talking like my team versus your team. That other dumb shit. But yeah, I think, you know, again, like, you know, we look at that relationship. And obviously, I’m not familiar with the intimate details, but the fact that they were separated speaks to the difficulty of trying to navigate these different types of relationships. And I just think it’s, it’s, I guess, a question like, but I

Dr. Walker 43:41
think the difficulty comes in trying to navigate it in a world where that’s not common, or that’s not what most people are doing. I think that increases the difficulty. Yeah.

Michael 43:53
Yeah, I’m sure I mean, I’m sure navigating like I say it all the time. How, how, what does my relationship with my ex wife look like? Now? I because I don’t have a template. She’s not my friend. I don’t want her to be my friend. But I have to, but I have to deal with her. And so who is she to me? And what’s it look like? And it’s really difficult because there is no template? There’s these people that were the best friends? Yeah, go fuck yourself. I’m not interested. I mean, maybe someday, but I doubt it. Right. There’s a lot of hurt there. And not only not only for myself, but it reflected in my children. So so it’s it’s hard.

Dr. Walker 44:27
I’m not friends. I’m not friends with my ex husband either. I get it. Yeah.

Michael 44:31
There’s so many people were divorced that I and I I’m always sort of shocked when I which is crazy, but I’m like, oh shit. You too. Like I didn’t know. So I guess I will say sorry. I don’t want to talk about circumstances. But I think I think anytime you you go through something where there isn’t a template. It is obviously more difficult. The question I guess I would ask is, is monogamy so broken that there needs to be something else and I’m not a you know? I said, I said we tried things and whatever we want to call it, it didn’t work. That doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work for someone I just I’m very, very skeptical. And so not that monogamy doesn’t have its issues clearly, right? Relationships are hard period. But is it so broken? Or is it so outdated? Or maybe it’s I don’t know if that’s the right word, but is, why is there an IS? Is there a need? Is there a need for a different type of relationship?

Dr. Walker 45:27
I think it’s like everything else in life, it’s just not one size fits all. So some people that’s going to work great, there’s not going to be a lot of issues, right. And then other people, that’s going to be like being suffocated, and it’s not going to work for them. And then some people, it’s going to work really so like the women I talked to, that was working great, until it wasn’t working anymore. You know what I mean? So I think it’s just a case by case. situation, you know, for some people that that is the best way to do things. And for some people, it’s not. And then for some people it is until they have some kind of obstacle that just cannot be overcome.

Michael 46:07
So is it sort of safe to say that this medical issues aside? Is it lack of communication that causes these affairs? Would you say is that safe to say?

Dr. Walker 46:21
That’s a really good question. I definitely felt like when I was talking to the men, I kept thinking to myself, I really wish I could talk to these men’s husbands, because these men have this perception that, you know, my wife doesn’t like me, and she’s not interested in me and all these sorts of things. And she’s bored. And, and I disappoint her that all the time, I’m a disappointment to her, which is like, oh, that’s like such a sad thing that you think that. And I really wish that I could talk to their wives because I thought, I bet you that’s not what their wives think at all. And if people could just have a conversation, you know, things could be Trent. But the men were not really having those conversations, because I said, Well, what does she say when you say to her, you know, I think you think I’m a disappointment? Oh, no, I would never, I would never have that conversation with her. And I kept thinking, gosh, you know, seems like this weekend maybe gets off with the conversation with the women with all but the seven women, they had had conversations. But when you say is communication, the issue? I think it is because they were having conversations with the men were not receptive to that conversation. So the woman is saying, like, Hey, I’m either we have more sex, or I’m gonna go, you know, get sex somewhere else. And he just shuts that down. And just acts like, you haven’t said anything, you know, or just doesn’t want to talk about it. That is a communication issue. Right?

Michael 47:53
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, listen, I, I think on the communication side, I think both parties can be guilty. I do tend to think that men are more guilty in this regard. I think we are very, I was guilty, very averse to difficult conversations. I didn’t want to hear how I was letting her down and failing her. That’s what they felt like, even if it was just a hey, I really need you to do this. Oh, then, you know, I’m not you know, it’s just I took it personal, which is not crazy to say it’s I think people say that, you know, don’t take it personally. But what do you think

Dr. Walker 48:26
that’s about because that came up in my study, too. It seemed like any, any statement that their wives was were making that wasn’t your amazing, anything that wasn’t your amazing, they really internalized as criticism you hate me or disappointed, whatever, whatever. What do you think that’s about

Michael 48:45
it? It’s a couple of things. I think one is poor self worth. And we don’t have a leg to stand on, so to speak. And so any criticism makes us feel like, you know, we’re blown into wind, so to speak. And I think a poor relationship with our mothers, where we were told in not so many words that we were a disappointment. And so that pokes on an old wound that that we don’t want to we don’t want to deal with. So I think our foundation was wasn’t set properly, so to speak. So and the poor self worth comes from that of course, so that to me is absolutely why I did I couldn’t deal with criticisms because I felt like that meant that I was a shitty person because that’s what I was told all my life.

Dr. Walker 49:29
So what do you think is the role of therapy and all that?

Michael 49:33
Um, a good therapist will get you to to a place where you feel like you have self worth that’s what I tried now I’m I’m, I’m not perfect, but I hold man have I done a lot of work on me and so much so that I coach men now because I know what has helped me to gain some of that self worth to feel like now, truth be told. I haven’t been in another real relationship since and it’s been almost four years, three and a half years. So I don’t know I haven’t been tested in that. way again. But I absolutely think that you can’t ever get self worth if you don’t have some kind of, of professional help and some kind of way, I think both a coach and a therapist, at the very least a therapist, someone to guide you. I think some of the some of the times some of the problems with therapy is not only the stigma, but I think some therapists just aren’t very good. That’s that’s not No, that’s true of anything of any profession. Yeah.

Dr. Walker 50:29
Anything else scientists,

Michael 50:30
what the fuck ever. And so I think some therapists just listen. And that can be helpful. But I think what needs to be especially for men is let’s set some goals, let’s get some stuff done. Not only let’s talk about our feelings, and get some get some of these things out and find the root cause of your anger or your sadness, or whatever it is. But also, let’s get some stuff done. So you can start feeling good about yourself. So I think

Dr. Walker 50:53
I could absolutely see the value in therapy and a coach. No, that makes a lot of sense.

Michael 50:57
Therapy plays a huge role. And I think it’s becoming less and less stigmatized. It I think we all honestly, I think we all should be in therapy should be a fucking mandatory. I don’t know, I don’t know who’s paying for it. I don’t care. But it’s every week because we’re again back to we’re humans, we’re fallible. And so my best of intentions are still not the best. Right? I’m much better parent than my parents. But I’m not a perfect parent. I screw up all the time. I’m tired, busy. I got so much stuff going on. I’m stressed. I’m feel inadequate, sometimes. Like, like today, like, here I am. I mean, I probably they had all school today, I didn’t even realize it probably should be me. My youngest daughter has a friend over so she doesn’t get two shits about me. But like I should be. There’s a part of me going, Why am I not like what am I doing? And I don’t know if that’s negatively impacting I’m sure. micro moments. In in snapshots don’t but it could be adding up and long story short, I am sure that I fuck up a lot as a parent. And so therefore,

Dr. Walker 52:05
we all feel that way, though, right? Oh, my, my kids are all adults now. But even now with them as adults, I literally lay in bed and and, you know, replay the tape of like, anytime I was impatient or tired or distracted? Or you know, and think, Gosh, what are all the ways that I? I mean, I think that’s just being a parent, you know? So it’s so high, you know? And if you ask them, they tell you, you’re doing a great job. Oh, yeah.

Michael 52:33
Yeah, I just I know that that definitely. I mean, obviously, the divorce, I think is not a good thing for their mental health. And hopefully, over the long term,

Dr. Walker 52:43
I can tell you that the data says that if there was a lot of fighting and conflict in the home, that it is actually better for them. In a situation where you divorced.

Michael 52:55
Yeah, that’s always tricky for me. And I, you know, I love data. So I’m all about it. And I don’t think that data is wrong, because it’s I don’t, I believe it, but it’s all there. There’s that tricky thing where it’s like, well, then stop fucking fighting. But again, you can’t control folks. Most people can’t. Yeah, which is sad. Like, there’s so many, there’s so much of this stuff that I think is just sad. It’s just, it’s it can all be solved. No. A lot of it can be solved with, with good therapy and better communication for everybody. The ability to learn how to have difficult conversations, the ability to learn how to receive criticism, or comments, and not take it personally. I mean, there’s so many things here that are fixable. I do think all things are fixable. It turns a relationship dynamics. Because

Dr. Walker 53:40
I would offer to you, you know, you said, Oh, I didn’t listen, and I didn’t have tough conversations. You had a conversation with your wife about opening your marriage, and you listened. Well, and you responded to that. And I mean, that’s a tough conversation.

Michael 53:55
I was all for it. Honestly, and she unfortunately,

Dr. Walker 54:01
that’s remarkable. Honestly, that’s remarkable. She

Michael 54:03
wasn’t, I mean, for me, it was honestly it was, it was more of a sexual thing for me initially. And then she wanted to make it more and I was like, Okay, well, we can try this. And, you know, she was supposed to be honest and open about her feelings, and she just wasn’t and all of a sudden, you know, it was always and I sort of understand like, it’s, you know, it’s hard to I guess to say, Hey, I’m developing feelings, but that was the rule. You start getting feelings, let me know. Right.

Dr. Walker 54:28
And that has to will and you have to you have to abide by the rules that

Michael 54:31
yeah, that happened. And she didn’t and then she hit it. And because she felt guilt and shame, I’m guessing. I don’t know we’d never had these conversations once. Once I found out. I ran that script. I was so angry. I regret a little bit about my reaction. Maybe I could have saved my marriage. I don’t know mate, mate. Was it worth saving? Yeah, of course it was because I have a family and girls that deserved a chance to work it out or whatever. But she just once she was caught I think her and I don’t know. But I think her guilt and shame was not only over her feelings and she didn’t know what to do with them how to process them, but that she held withheld and lied. And I think it just, it was easier for her to just skip out on out the house. And it’s, I don’t, you know, I don’t I, there’s nothing I can do about any of the mistakes I made, I made him for sure. For sure, I was so angry, I was so hurt. Because we, here I am out going out on a limb to give you something he said you want. And and you kind of slapped me in the face with it, it was very hurtful, it’s still, you know, you know, I’ve worked through it. And I’m not nearly as angry, but I can’t have interactions with her one on one. I just can’t do I try do small ones. And I you know, I can do texts or whatever the app we use. But to do these to sort of pretend or to act like great co parents. It’s just it’s really, it’s hard. It’s hurtful. I can’t just let it go. To a certain point, now I can I can be around her. And if she asked me a question, I’ll answer it. You know, I have been trying to test myself and push myself to have small conversations because I don’t want to be holding by my anger.

Dr. Walker 56:14
I don’t Well, you don’t trust you don’t trust her.

Michael 56:18
I do not I do not. I don’t trust her to not open up an old wound and say something. I mean, she said, I said this, this is gonna be probably the 98 or 99th episode of this podcast. And I’d probably said this, I don’t know, at least a half a dozen times. One of the things that still haunts me is at the end. She said I don’t love you. And I don’t think I ever loved you. And and we were together for 15 years.

Dr. Walker 56:44
Yeah. Oh, okay. Yeah, 15 years is a

Michael 56:47
long time and two children. And, you know, in a listener,

Dr. Walker 56:51
I would offer that was an unnecessary thing to say even if it was true, it was not, it was not an unnecessary thing. I just kept that to yourself,

Michael 57:01
or theory at the well at the end. She was just she was just she was she was always sort of a closed off person in terms of sharing things and open opening up and at the end, I think she just felt like it just vomiting out all these these things. Her theory was was essentially that I was a narcissist borderline personality disorder, and I manipulated her into being together. But for, right, like, and I made mistakes, there’s no question I was a shitty partner for the first 5678, maybe even years of the relationship I was in ways that I don’t care to even admit, I have many regrets. But But I felt like I grew as a human, I went to therapy, I did all those things. Because I saw myself doing things are like that is not cool. I can’t be doing that or behave in this manner. Especially when we have kids. And so I really worked on myself, I really did. And I’m so committed to that. And that’s one of the rubs is like a, I’ve worked on myself and became better. And that didn’t matter. And b I didn’t even get a chance really to sort of to try and work it out like to yes, let’s see, maybe, maybe we can. And

Dr. Walker 58:13
do you think in retrospect that she broached the topic of opening the relationship, but her actual agenda was ending the relationship? Do you think that’s possible?

Michael 58:22
I think it’s Yeah, possible? Absolutely. I think that she didn’t know what to do. And so she thought maybe that would do it. Like I think, you know, there was problems. And she thought maybe because we had, we had done those types of things. I guess maybe you want to call him swinger type of things, but it was just her. And so I, you know, we had done it in the past, and then we stopped and we wouldn’t do it a lot. You know, there’s only three guys total over five years. So it wasn’t like every weekend or anything of that nature. Right, right. But then she’s broached it again. And I think it was her attempt to try and save things in a weird way but she never said that right? There was sort of periphery hints like you know, we need to reconnect but never like sit me down and say listen, I’m really struggling here. And this is what I need. And you know, and I why I asked about midlife crisis is I think that did play a part in her so I don’t know for sure. If you know any experts on midlife crisis, I’d love to. Because I think that is a factor. I’m hearing a lot of these stories when you talk about women in their 40s that rung a bell to me and it always seems to me like it’s sort of a midlife crisis where they just don’t one of the things she said to me that’s a big clue was she’s I don’t even know who I am anymore. And that’s like, I think that’s midlife crisis. One on One perhaps. Yeah, yes. And so I sometimes wonder if that isn’t, but I don’t fret about it too much anymore because I’ll never know the answer. And honestly, I think if you if you made her tell you why she left I don’t know that she really knows, because her reasoning did change. As time went on, you know, you know, it was it became, I think the last time that we I had a conversation was well, we just don’t work. Like what the fuck is that we were together for 15 years. What does that even mean? Yeah. So yeah, I don’t know I’m doing

Dr. Walker 1:00:14
she had come to you and said, I’m struggling, you know, she had said the things that she probably needed to say what would your response have been?

Michael 1:00:21
You know, I don’t honestly, if I’m being honest, I don’t I don’t know, I would hope that it would be okay. Let’s work on it. But I don’t know. It could have been my classic, defensive, silent treatment, childish bullshit that I did it very well could have been once. She was like, I think I want to divorce. I was like, fuck, I’ll do whatever you tell me to do, which isn’t good, either. But I was willing, and I was receptive. And I was like, okay, Lay it on me what? You know what, tell me what I’m doing wrong. And, and I was very open at that point. So I don’t know, I would love to, to blow smoke and be like, Oh, I would have been like, Well, okay, let’s fix it. I might have been like, yeah, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. I’m doing my best here. If you don’t fucking like it, you can leave. I might have said that shit. I don’t know, if I’m being honest. I would hope I would hope not. I know that. Like I said, once she sort of dropped the bomb, I would have I was open to trying anything. I wanted to save my marriage. I loved her. And, and I would have would have worked at it for sure. But, you know, sadly, I don’t, I don’t feel like I got that opportunity. And, and I don’t know, that you can make you can’t make someone love you anyway, and maybe she, I don’t know, my buddy Chris, who went through it 1819 years before me or 17 years, whatever it was. And went through therapy and he imparts a lot of wisdom to me. And one of the things that he was told by his therapist at the time was that women and men and, and love very, very differently for women. And you can, I’d love to know your get your take for women. It’s that’s it, they’re when they’re done, they’re done. It’s like falling off a cliff. And for man, it’s a gradual step down to falling out of love. I don’t know if that’s true. I feel like that was what happened with her like, there was no going back. And I think for me, even though sometimes she drove me fucking crazy. I didn’t want to see it. And, you know, I didn’t, I didn’t stop loving her. And maybe in some ways, I never will, because we had some really great moments. And it’s hard to actually, you know, I see guys struggle so very much when your identity gets wrapped up in another person, when when you feel like like you can be yourself and feel accepted by someone. And then they stop stop accepting you and you just crave that acceptance because they knew every nook and cranny of you and yet they still loved you. And then one day, they just said, You know what, I’m done. I don’t love you. And because I’m leaving, I’m leaving. Because of this, you’re a piece of shit, you’re a narcissist or this or that. It’s really, really difficult. And so that’s why I do what I do. Because I know the pain. I know the struggle, and I just want to help as many men as I can. And it’s, it’s good for me, it’s helpful for me, it’s therapeutic for me. I mean, let’s be honest, this was sort of like a therapy session in some regards, right? And that’s those are the good ones because it’s me being real and honest and it hopefully some some men out there will hear that and give it a give him permission to be real and honest in his life and tell it and speak His truth because that is what leads to healing. holding it in your shamed. Being afraid is not what leads to healing. So this was awesome.

Dr. Walker 1:03:36
You just have the one life you might as well just be yourself and be who you really are. I can’t I

Michael 1:03:41
can’t argue that one. I you know, it took us a long time to record this. I thank you so much for for getting back to me and staying in touch and us finally getting to work this out. I really, really appreciate it. This was really, really good. The last question that I asked everybody is what words of wisdom would you impart to a man just starting his divorce process? No pressure, oh, be

Dr. Walker 1:04:05
as kind to yourself as you possibly can. You’re gonna want to review all your mistakes, from back the tape, chastise yourself hold yourself responsible for all the things, you know, and it’s good to hold yourself accountable. And it’s good to see places you can grow. Absolutely. But it’s also important to realize that you’re a human being and that all of us react. There’s always gonna be situations where we react in ways that were not the ideal way. But that everybody does that. And that all you can really do is try to move forward and do better and that’s everybody you know, that’s not specific to men or women or whatever. And that it does get better and absolutely does get better just it just takes some time. It just takes some time and divorces is really traumatic. It’s an up ending of your entire err universe, but hopefully there’s something better on the other side.

Michael 1:05:05
Excellent words of wisdom. Thank you so much for doing this. How can people find you and your books? What’s the best way to get in touch?

Dr. Walker 1:05:12
So I do have a website Alicia dash walker.com My books are available on Amazon. The first one is called The Secret Life of the cheating wife power pragmatism and pleasure and women’s infidelity and the second one is called Chasing masculinity, men validation and infidelity. And then my other research that I do have some other research on infidelity as well you can find that on my website.

Michael 1:05:37
We will definitely do this again. I say this all the time. And sometimes I fail to rebook folks because I just get so busy and I’m always sort of looking for new folks to talk to but there’s much more to be to be talked and gained from from speaking with you. So we will definitely have to do this again. I thank you so much for doing it.

Dr. Walker 1:05:57
Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for having me.

Episode 98 – Infidelity – Dr. Alicia Walker

https://www.risingphoenixpodcast.com

https://www.risingphoenixdivorcecoach.com

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