What Women Want Today
What Women Want Today

Episode 66 · 6 months ago

What's Killing the Modern Marriage?


This week on the podcast I am interviewing Corrin Voeller who is a licensed marriage and family therapist and owner of Prosper Therapy. 

She specializes in working with couples on-the-brink of divorce and helping men increase their emotional intelligence to save their relationships. 

You can find her on social media as Corrin the Counselor. Her funny, upbeat and direct personality is infused into her work, drawing in people looking for counseling to feel less traditional and more real.

We dive into our conversation talking about her therapy technique called Discernment Therapy which helps couples decide what they want to do with their relationship.

We discuss why each gender may want to end the marriage and how far in advance these decisions are being made, and what the other partner says almost 100% of the time.

Corrin shares what she believes is Killing the Modern Marriage and the most important aspect in effective communication.

I'm excited to invite Corrin back for part 2, if you have any questions you'd like me to ask her send them to me in a private message on Facebook, Instagram or email me. I will ask her during our next interview.

You can find out more about the program she mentions for men or her counselling services on her website  

If you enjoyed this episode please consider leaving a rating and review on Apple Podcast. Your support is appreciated!

Hello and welcome to this week's episode of what women want to say podcast. I'm your host ry columns. I'm so excited to be with you guys. This week. I've got a very interesting guest on podcast with me. Her name is Karin ballards. I pronounced that right, Kren Buller's bulls. Okay, sorry, but no worries. Korean is a license marriage and family therapist and I'm so excited to have this conversation with you today. I've been looking forward to having you on. Welcome to the show. Thanks for having me. I'm happy to be here. So, Kren, why don't we start out by you just giving us a little bit of your background, sharing anything you'd like my audience to know about you? Yeah, for sure. Hey, I'm Karin and I'm, like she said, a marriage and family therapist. I specialize in doing couples counseling and particularly I specialize in working with couples on the brink of divorce. I do a particular kind of therapy called discernment counseling. Yeah, discernament counseling, which is helping a couple decide what to do with their relationship. So when people are like stuck or they're considering divorce and they're not sure which way to go. There's a particular type of short term counseling that we do that helps people decide what to do. And then I have another niche that I really work in because of the work that I do with couples on the brink. I have also found that a lot of the stuff that I end up doing is working with men on their emotional intelligence to help them repair relationships. So that's not only repairing their relationship with maybe their wife, if that ends up happening, but also their relationship with themselves and their relationships with others, so parents and Co workers and things like that. Is just really helping them learn how to be more emotional and be more relational. I find that's super interesting that you work with the men on the emotional intelligence to two thoughts came to mind while you were talking. So one I had a conversation with a gentleman, oh gosh, maybe a year ago. He does dating coaching and he works with a lot of men and he said that the mental typically do as much work on themselves as he noticed the women do, like as far as like personal growth, and he also said that women usually figure it out first that they want to end the relationship. So what do you have to say about those two things? Yeah, that's yeah, he's right. He's right. The research shows that and also anecdotally, that's what we find to we sort of have a saying as marriage therapists that like, women will end the relationship for their happiness and men will end a relationship if they have someone else. That's generally what we find. Yeah, it's very rare to meet a couple where he's saying I'm leaving because I'm unhappy. It's a very rare thing. Wow, so I have bent full disclosure. I've been divorced twice. I'm on my third marriage. I remember very distinctly and I hope my youngest daughter is not listening. I don't think any of my kids listen to my podcast. I think I'm safe, but but I remember my youngest daughter's father. I was sitting in a starbucks with a friend two thousand and nine and I told her then I thought I was going to get a divorce. I didn't think it was going to work out. I didn't have the guts to end it until two thousand and eleven. So two years I lived like that thinking and I can't say that I didn't try to make it work, but every time something went south, I would go up. There's just another reason why. You know, in my mind ...

I was building a case. I was buildings. Were divorced and were yeah, and I thought that. You said, Um, where was it? If two people love each other, nothing is impossible, except deciding where to eat. So I want the eating part. Is called different story, but I want to I want to know your thoughts on that a little bit, because it's not, I don't think it wasn't that I didn't have fun feelings for him, but I lost respect for him, I lost a lot of reasonet for him and that ultimately was the end of things for me. Well, I think there's there's so many things I want to touch on on all that. It's like, Terry, I love you, but you're actually extremely normal when that we look at the research of when people decide to end the relationship, they have decided to do that, on average it's two to seven years only. So you're not slow. You're right, you're right. Falling in that normal category is, as everybody else the the most interesting thing that I find with that, with that statistic, I guess, if if you want to call it that, is that the other partner is always two to seven years behind the leaving partner. Right. So it's like you have you've already processed that right by the time you got to two thousand and eleven, and you were like, you know what, Yep, I am, I'm I know that this is right for me and this is what I'm going to do. You have already probably grieved a lot of that relationship at that point, and he was probably I'll tell you exactly what he said, because this is what every single man says every time they contact me when they're like her and we need help. She told me she wants a divorce. They always did the exact same line and they always say, I'm blindsided by this information. Yeah, I think you're right on track with that. He that I was just going through a mood or, you know, change my mind or you know, we could work on it, and I was too far into the decision making process at that point. You're already you, you are already been telling him, I'm sure, because just the same thing I hear from every single couple that I talked to is like I have been telling him over and over this thing doesn't work, and this thing doesn't work and that thing and and then nothing happens. No Change, no real lasting change, comes from it. And I have a theory on that. And what I I mean, I don't have any evidence to back it up. It's just my own little thing of like what I've been noticing and what I what I think ends up happening, is I think that we have a culture that tells men and tells women, to tell both people that like a woman is supposed to be unhappy in her marriage. It that just is in in the way that we see it play out in all of these different areas is like, you know, think of TV shows that you've seen, our movies that you see. It's like it's always, you know, like the funny guy and then the wife who slightly frustrated, slightly unhappy, slightly in the and that's part of the stick, right. It's like, yeah, Oh, there she goes again, nagging him all, there she goes again. Nothing's ever good enough, you know, and so I think we absorbed these messages as in the relationship and it becomes like, Oh, well, you know, it's part of that saying to marriage is hard. Oh, it's just hard, right, and so then you don't really need to take it any concerns that seriously if it's just hard. And so I in it affects both people, right. That affects the person who's unhappy and who's been saying, Hey, this isn't working, we need to do something about it, and then they feel very dismissed by their partner. And then it also affects the other partner who who literally does feel blindsided. I believe them when they say that. I believe them when they say, I did not see this coming. I...

...never thought that this would happen. And they're like and they kind of are in this state of shock where they're just like what, like, how did this occur? And and I think it's because of that. I think it's because they were like, Oh, you know, that's normal. She's supposed to be annoyed with me, she's supposed to be frustrated, she's supposed to be slightly unhappy, and then we don't do anything about it. We don't get how, we don't learn how to do relationships. And that's what I believe is you have to learn how to do relationships. Most of us weren't taught how to do them. We just see what we just see what we saw and then we go out there and we try our best. I saw that you said that on your instagram account, that you know we weren't taught, and I always have said, you know, children don't come with an instruction manual, right. It's like you had that first child and you think, looky, I finally got this off, that you're all, I'm ready for number two, and number two comes and they're totally different the number one. And I have four of your unique children and none of them came with an instruction manual. But you said that no one teaches us how to do relationships. I loved that. And then there was a woman that responded and she said because you talked about the woman. You remember this post that you put on there. You talked about the woman who taught her children, her young boys, like stupid them, obsessed. She put him through like husband school, right, is that what it is? All I saw was, I was like one or two tick tock videos of this guy talking about that. Yeah, and he was like, he mentioned, yeah, his mom had put him through. He's an adult man. I think he was in his like S. I haven't gone back to like try to find him again, but yeah, he talked about his mom had put him through husband school and I'm assuming that this mom was angry about what was happening in her relationship, because that the as the story goes on, he says like she I think it was from like the time the boys were entering puberty up until they went off to college. She had all of these like she was probably creating lessons as they were coming up in her relationship and putting them through it. And he was talking about how to emotionally validate women and how to be a good listener and how to, you know, take concerns seriously and how to help, be protective without being patronized, saying or infantilize. You know, all these great things. Don't you want to meet the mom? I want to meet the MOM. Yeah, for sure, for sure, because I know, you know, I think about, you know, my marriage is and I think about some of the garbage that I brought with me from watching my own parents be married, you know, and and most of it was garbage, to be honest with you, but some of it is like almost like expectations to like and this is a silly one, but it's just the first one that POPs in my head. Like to me my husband, since I'm usually the first one headed off into the bedroom to do the five million things women always do before we actually go to bed, you know, and he yeah, and I feel like, well, it's his job to lock the doors, turn off all the lights, make sure that the home is like secured for the night. And Yeah, I'll wake up the next morning and I'll go out into the living room, TV still on, lights are still on. I'm like, is that not your job to do that? You know, I think we come into into a marriage, even if it's your first one, and you think, well, my dad always did that and my mom always did that, how come you're not doing that? And so how often do you see that playing a role in the dissatisfaction of a marriage between two people, because it could easily be the man saying, well, my mom always made me low fun Tuesday, how come you don't make meat low fun Tuesday? Her, her, yeah, all the time. And I think I think a most interesting thing about that is that it's not...

...conscious in the beginning, right. It's like subconscious, like we have all of these beliefs that we carry into relationships and we don't even know that they're there because in the beginning of your relationship, you guys start out very equal on most things and you know, and that's what people usually talk about. They're like what happened? And it's like, well, you were still carrying those things. You just didn't realize it until you started, you know, getting, I guess, dissatisfied, if that's what you want to say about it, and going like what's going on here? And so learning how to have these conversations, learning how to create space to look at that and really get it out there you which takes a ton of introspection, right because of if you don't if you're not doing introspection, if you're not sitting there saying, what did I bring into this relationship? What are my unconscious beliefs about what marriage is, what this is supposed to look like, what each person's roles are supposed to be, then you're not able to talk about it. You're just you just point fingers what you're doing this, you're not doing that. So I think that that's the first stuff that people need to learn how to do. It is like slow down, and say like what's bothering me and why? How do I feel about it, and then working together to create a space to have those conversations. So I think I saw that you said that you help people fix their shitty communication. Is that kind of part of what you were just talking about? You you have to learn. I did a podcast few weeks ago I talked about I talked about like a dance, you know, like a couple does a dance and then something new enters in and all of a sudden you're not dance in the same steps anymore. And so it's communication. The way you approach that with couples? Is that like teaching them a new language or a new step in the dance, like you know how, yeah, yeah, how do we take what we've been doing what works for us, maybe with our friends or with our employment and at home? But it's got to be so much different. I mean, I don't know if it is. I don't I think it's the same. You know, I think that we're not really taught how to do communication. Wow, the best thing that you can do for a communication is listen, right, like that's the most important part, and instead we really focus on how do I talk better. How do I say this right? How do I get the right words? And if you if both people in the conversation are focused on listening to understand the other person, that's communication. Most of us have conversations where we respond right, like you say something like Oh, I love fruit loops or something like that, and then I'm like well, I really like Coco puffs, and then that's how most conversation and we're not it. It's like, instead, what I really teach people how to do is, like just stick with somebody for a a minute, right, like you like fruit loops. Really, what do you like about them? Right, how long have you liked them? But and you just keep going on that. And if I always tell people, because our biggest fears like, well, what if I do that and they don't pay attention to me, like I don't get that in return, I say, first of all, you got to do it, and then if they don't, now we're working with something else. Okay, you can't just assume that that's going to happen. So you don't do it right, try it first. If that happens, now we have a new problem with will software. Okay. Second, if you both are focused on each other. You take care of each other just like that. M So it's about being curious. It's not just taking what they say and then responding with your own. It's being more curious about what they have to say, why we're they're coming from. Yeah, I could see that various and validating, right, like everybody's perspective is valid all the time, right, like that's your experience. It's very, very rare...

...for me to listen to somebody talk and, you know, and if I stick with them and ask questions and understand what they're thinking, it's so rare for me to go I don't know how you got there, like I don't know why you think like that or why you feel that way. It's almost always I'm like, Oh, yeah, I can see, I can see where you're at. I don't necessarily always agree or think maybe that's going to be the thing that's the most helpful for them, our best but I can always see why they're why they're thinking and feeling like that. And then, and that's what I call relationship data. So like, if you guys are doing that, you know, if you're doing that in a relationship, really sticking with somebody, listening validating, trying to understand them, being curious, like you said, and you start building this relationship data, you start understanding your partner on a whole different level. You're able to take that data and apply it to other situations, but you understand, you know, like, Oh, I know that Terry tends to feel this way about these types of things. So if this kind of situation starts to occur, I can pretty much you know. Not you're not going to like be like, oh, I know exactly how you think and feel. You still want to leave room for curiosity, but you can P pretty much say like, you know, I know what this what this type of situation is going to be like for her, because I've been there, I've been listening, I've been understanding and paying attention. Right, tell me, tell me what you meant when you said codependency is killing the modern marriage. Oh Gosh, I'm fine. My instagram so funny because I just so like but I think that, I think that marriages were built on codependency in the past and and what I mean by that is we had this idea of marriage, as you know, when to become one, I cannot live without you. You complete me right and so basically what we're saying is that you're not a whole person anymore. You need somebody else in order to survive. And we had generations of people who, you know, through really no fault of their own, because this is all we knew at the time, they got a lot of their needs met through the relationship right in order to become a whole person. And so and then eventually people start going like, Gosh, you you really can't survive without me, can you? Like you, you rely on me for your self esteem, you rely on me for your friendship network or this or that, and that's not what modern marriage needs. That's not what I see when I see people who they grew up in an environment where we were told things are equal. We you know, now that I'm an adult, I realize, like that was that girl power sticker on my fabric keeper might not have been extremely accurate, but you know. So we have different expectations. I want a whole individual who knows how to take care of themselves and is okay without me, and I want to be a whole individual and and be able to meet all of my own needs. And we're looking for in modern relationships. We're looking for relationships that in camps us not fulfill. MMM Oh, I love that. So you brought up the word generation, so I'm going to go through with you. So obviously I'm a bit older and I am of the generation that was very gender specific when it came to marriage, gender roles. I do this, he does this and I'll say it. We have one of those me and my husband have one of those relationships. Just a quick backstory. When we met, it's not like I was like a house what... I want to call myself? A domestic engineer or anything like. I always worked, I've always had jobs. I was actually working for a fortune five hundred company in a very high position. Loved my job, loved working. He has been with the same company's Blue Collar worker for twenty three odd years, but he also owned a business on the side. So when I came into the picture, I'm still raising my youngest, he's still raising three boys. I kind of just stepped into this roll of you got your hands full and I'm going to help you, kind of filling all these gaps you've got going on here, because your house is not clean enough and your launder he's not done, and you you're eating habits are horrible. So I'm just going to come in here. And I don't think I thought it at the time, but you know a lot of women would say, you know, I'm going to fix you, a woming to fix this whole situation. I don't think I thought I was going to fix him. You are like you looked at it and you're like, I can do this better, let me show it. Yes, that's true, but I also thought I could help. You know, I want to. Yeah, yeah, and so we just not with ever having a conversation about it. We just sort of moved into these roles and you know, I was after we started cohabitating, I was commuting a long distance every day, like three hours round trip, and his kids were still in the school close to his home where we lived. And you know, it just became where I was doing all the commuting, working, doing all the chores and we never sorry, my door just slammed. I we never really have renegotiated those terms. Well, now we're empty Nesters, we've moved a couple of times since we got married and we're just still sort of staying locked into these very traditional gender roles. But I feel like our lives have changed a lot and he no longer has the second business that he runs. I'm working from home now. I feel like when he retires there's going to be a moment where I'm going to go, wait a minute, how come I'm still doing all this and now you're retired and that means you get to stop, but I'm a woman, so I just keep the I get to keep doing all the things I've always done. And you know I mean, it's not a problem now, but I do you see this in like do you see this playing out in your practice with couples where you know these roles to sort of like happened and then they never get renegotiated and now all of a sudden you've got presentments on one person's part and can you read renegotiate after ten, fifteen years of marriage? Yeah, you said so much. I don't know. I'm not sure which one to go after, so let's see. Yes, can you renegotiate? A hundred percent, and you should. That should be built into part of being a relationship. I think that's where things get really tricky and hard and when people say no, no, you don't get to like we have to stay exactly the way that we said that we would back when, you know, our situation was different, and that's just not fair and it's not good for either of you, because all you're looking all that will end up happening to somebody's going to be resentful and angry, and you know. So you shouldn't renegotiate. In fact, you should do it frequently, right, like as you guys are transitions, you've already gone through transitions, you have more transitions to go through. It's going to be a constant renegotiation. That's where really strong relationships happened. The you know, when it comes to the gender roles, listen, I am not telling anyone that they cannot do it like that. Right, if it works for you, guys and you are happy, do it like. Who Cares? Or like? I don't care how anyone's relationship looks. As long as they're happy and it works for them, do it. It's when it's the problem happens when when people are assigned roles and tasks based on...

...their gender and they do not want them. This wasn't part of the deal, right, this wasn't what I thought I was signing up for. We were equals before, and now all of a sudden I have to do all of this, you know, and there is no space for manegotiation, there is no space for understanding, and that that's when there's the problem. Yeah, I could see that totally. And you know, I mean, I'll cope back to what we both could have said earlier. I can do all that stuff better anyway. So I'm just gonna keep to it. And I have lots of people who will say, like, I just have higher standards and like I need to do it because, you know, I want it to look like this. They're never gonna do it like that, and so you know. And then, you know, sometimes it's like, well, what can they take on so that you don't feel like you're the one who's doing it all, because it has to feel like a partnership. Yeah, and my husband, I mean honestly, I love cooking and I love him in a clean house. I don't mind either one of those things, and he's so great about you know, hey, you've been cooking a lot lately. Let me just speak through out for dinner. So I have no complaints about yeah, good, yeah, like, let me find the most expensive place, let's do it. I usually give him a couple days notice to him like hey, you know, I think good am I os on Thursday. I really would like Margarita. So yes, there you go. Listen, our time went very fast together today. Let's make sure that people know where to find you and if they're looking to work through their relationship issues or, like you said, on your website, I think it was your website, maybe, with social media, that's sometimes it's not about working it out anymore. It's about how figuring how to end it peacefully is. That's the gist of it. Yeah, that's so we're to find you. Yeah, you can find me. My website is Karin the COUNSELORCOM on social media it's care in the counselor on Tick Tock, and Karin Vowler, so it's voeler on instagram. That's where I post a lot. I have a men's emotional intelligence course coming out and yeah, it's called, tentatively called, why the heck is my wife so mad at me? So that's going to be releasing soon and that's again really just teaching those fundamentals that I feel like aren't really taught in our society and that's what leaves men so far behind, which is unfortunate for both both people right with people, and so that is going to be releasing pretty soon. But yeah, so that's where you can find me and make sure you reach out. I do read comments and DM's and all of that and I do like to hear what people tell me to focus on Lego, you know, talk about this thing. That's where I get a lot of my ideas from. So that's awesome. I love that, Krin. I hope you will agree to come back at some point in future. I feel like we could have talked for least another hour. I'd love to have you come back. Mean, I would love that. Yeah, thank you. Maybe we can get some people to send in some questions if they'd want you to answer on the podcast. We be kind of fun. That would be super fun. Yeah, if they want to send in some questions for you or say like yeah, that's all well and good, but what about this topic? Like that could be really fun for us. This was easy to talk to you. Yeah, Oh, I had so much fun. Thank you so much for being here with me today. Enjoy the rest of your day. Okay, okay, thanks you to take care. Okay,.

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