A Look Into Our Marriages

Welcome to Ear Biscuits, I am Link And I am Rhett

This week at the round table of dim lighting, we are going to be answering your questions Lots of good questions I predict that we're gonna spend most of our time talking about marriage We'll get into marriage a lot And I just wanna get into the first one

How, I mean That's not even done That just feels so abrupt I mean, that made me feel anxious and uncomfortable Oh my goodness, they're answering the question already

I feel like you gotta just ease in Like how you doing? How are you? I mean like You don't wanna know how I'm doing I mean, like we're here, we're at the studio It feels good to be able to get out of the house and just come to a place where there's no one I'm related to directly

You know what I'm saying? No one who's in my immediate family They're all at another place They're at the house that I was just at That I shall return to happily Listen, I hope to be upbeat, and I'm not going into negative or complaining mode, but- Certainly seems like it

The world, let's I don't know what to say I really don't, I mean And I can tell- Personally You didn't know what to say, that's why you were like, literally, I looked, and we were 30 seconds in

You were like, let's get to the first question Yeah, because like- If that's any indication of just how you feel right now I'm overwhelmed, man I mean, do you wanna talk about how we feel? The last thing I want is to start complaining about something associated with my life at this point So I'm not going to do that

I'm not asking you to For longer than a few seconds I'm just, everything that's happening in the world and everything, between what my personal life and what's happening publicly, I mean there's just a lot going on Listen, all you have to do, here's all you have to do It's so overwhelming

All you have to do when somebody looks at you and says, what's wrong? You just say, 2020 Everybody gets it man Just say, 2020 But I don't even wanna say, it's not that everything's wrong There's a lot that's right that's happening

That's true It's positive and overwhelming Yeah And it's constant And it should be

Again, I'm not complaining that, that every morning there's something, there's a new detail to grapple with in the news and figure out how I personally am gonna respond to that And then if we start to talk about how we as companies or as leaders of a company are gonna respond Again, I am not complaining I am just acknowledging the fact that it is so complicated and overwhelming and necessary I'm not wishing for these issues to go away

I'm wishing for Coronavirus to go away Well, yeah, that's kind of what I was getting at when I was talking about getting out of the house I was like, I think that there's this the thing that we've been talking about is boy, it would be one thing for humanity to be, like humanity addressing one major issue is difficult enough for humanity to do that When you throw multiple issues at humanity, which is what 2020 has decided to do So let's really dig in on systemic racism in America and yes, that's the right thing to do

And I'm not trying to escape from that constantly I'm trying to find ways and we are constantly talking about ways that we can properly be engaged You just made it sound like that's what we were about to dig into Just to clarify, that's not what we're gonna do No, it wasn't

We gonna be answering your questions But no matter what you put out, there's an elephant in the room that matters more than other things that matters the most right now, black lives matter more than what we're gonna talk about on the show today Even to the point where making a decision, to talk about anything that's like lighthearted or funny It feels weird It just feels weird

It feels weird I mean, it's like, everybody's got stuff they're going through personally too And everybody's got their own shit they're dealing with And then, you're right, 2020 is a doozy But I don't wanna come across as complaining about it because it's such an important movement and now is the time and we all need to make sure we're taking care of ourselves and we're having space

But when we come to these microphones and then it's just like, it's tough to know, especially when it's like, do you feel like everything can be scrutinized or criticized when you say something into a microphone? Yeah, well, I think that's the temptation, especially for white people who have the privilege to just check out of the conversation, if they want to, if they conclude that they don't have, there's nothing personal at stake, they can be like, can we just move? Can we just talk about something else? And I think your point is, it's like, no, we're not moving on and we're not moving on until real change has taken place That's my wreck again, today, which when we get to it will be directly related to this stuff And if you feel that as a white person, you feel that fatigue setting in, that like, Oh, I gotta think about this And I was just trying to figure out how to argue with my uncle about Coronavirus And now I got to argue with him about the, it's like, yeah, unfortunately, unfortunately or fortunately for better or for worse

And I do think for better as what you were getting at is like, we got to keep talking about it because it's just not some thing where there was this movement and everybody got excited and put stuff on Instagram and then all of a sudden it's like, okay, we good now? No, no, we're not good, that's the point We're not good It isn't good But how do we transition to having this Ear Biscuit be about something else for a second? And I just say, I don't want to defend that decision I just wanna have a conversation

Well, I think the question itself will demonstrate the awkwardness of the transition So without further ado, why don't you just ask the first question? See, we could already been halfway through this I think that was good I'm glad that we didn't Now ask this question

Praise Sharp, by the way, shout out to Praise Sharp She was the solver of the riddles that in the mythical society that led to, uncovering the fact that we were doing a live broadcast of a screening of me watching, "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" for the first time ever And all the clues were wrapped up in that stereoscopic viewer, which featured movies from the eighties I'd never seen But wasn't there like a- There were a number of steps and she There was one still frame on GMM, right? Yeah, there was a clue on GMM that tied back to the stereoscopic viewer and there were a number of layers and we could watch it happen in the discord when it was being solved

That's the kind of stuff that's happening in the mythical society Way to go Praise, you figured it out Solving mysteries Your question, how old were you when you had your first celebrity crush? Who was it? #earbiscuits I didn't have like an immediate answer to this

I really had to think about it The first person I thought about was Daisy Duke, from "The Dukes of Hazard" Okay, well She's a controversial choice Well, as a kid, I watched that show and she wore what became to be known as Daisy Dukes

But all I remember feeling was just weird and tingling and I didn't really understand or wanna come to grips with anything that was happening and that was not a plan come to grips with what was happening How old are you talking about? I mean, that's pretty young, right? I don't know what years, but I think my first real crush that I remember is, Vicki, the robot featured in the television show, "Small wonder" The girl who played the lead? Yeah, the robot The robot Did you watch the show? I mean, it started in 1985 and went to like 1999

I didn't watch it religiously Oh, I watched it as a religion I worshiped her as a celebrity crush 'cause she was a robot No I don't know, I was like, oh, she's cute And she's kind of robotic, it's kinda cool

I remember being embarrassed that someone would find out that I had a crush on a robot girl I read a little bit about the story You understood that she was an actor? Well, yeah, I knew it was an actress, but like So it wouldn't have been weird to have a crush on the actor who was playing her I had a crush on the robot

I had a crush on the character I liked how she acted like You wanted a robot girlfriend? Yeah Which that is not a good thing No, it's not

If you have a robot girlfriend or if you've got one of those real dolls, I'm not saying that that's wrong, but what I'm getting at is if you wanted a woman that you could program and control that that's a- Problem In place of an actual woman that could get problematic that could reveal some bad tendencies about yourself, which was the point of that robot girlfriend song It was a guy who wanted to turn her on and turn her off when he wanted to I just thought she was cute, man I thought it was cute how she- There is definitely more going on in that though

Now that you've talked about it Okay, there's something in there So her dad was like a technological advanced electronics guy Like he made her and then he made her as a robot and then didn't tell anybody So as a family, they had a flesh and blood son, they had Vicki, the robotic daughter Her name was Vicki, I couldn't have told you that

It stood for something V-I-C-C-I Virtual, no Very ingenuity cute Ventriloquism But they kept it a secret that she wasn't a human

Hence the whole point of the show, right? There's a lot of tension there I don't remember, the first crushes that I remember were just girls that I went to school with And I remember like being in first grade and having crushes on girls You pick tall girls, which makes sense But then when you started dating, you started dating short girls

Right, yeah And you never dated a tall girl? Well, there was that one girl in college that was kind of tall that you wanted to date Yeah, but she didn't date me No, she didn't wanna date you I didn't mean to bring it up but, did she tell you, I don't wanna date you? No, I never told her that I wanted to date her

I thought you wrote her a letter or something I thought you made a play I like you, check yes or no Definitely would not have done that specifically No, it never became a thing

It never became a thing She was as close as you got to date a tall girl Right, but I mean, in first grade having a crush on Lisa who was in second grade, who was, boy, she was so tall And I just think that was coincidence Really, she was the only tall girl that I had a crush on growing up

We name another Well, I'm trying not to name names anymore because of Well, you have a tendency to name first and last names You don't have to name The girl who you would always have dreams about flying to her house

She wasn't tall She was tall No, she wasn't She's taller, she wasn't short Five four, maybe

No, she's taller than that Five five max, 100%, sure I remember her being tall Five four Maybe I just watched her in your dream

Your memory is flawed But what I'm saying is that celebrity crushes, I remember, and I had to look her name up because as soon as I read this question, celebrity crush, there was a model that I remember really, really liking in the eighties as I was sort of becoming myself And 'cause I guess in 1987, I'm 10 years old And like I said, I was already liking girls before that, but the closer and closer I got to like 12, the stronger and stronger these urges got, Christy Turlington She's still around

Well, yeah, she's not dead Wait, is that what you mean? I think she might still model Well, yeah, I mean, I'm sure she does in some capacity I remember Christy Turlington But she's like one of those classic supermodels of the eighties that like alongside Cindy Crawford, et cetera

But I just remember her as a boy and just thinking, wow, she's very pretty I mean, I thought those things too, it didn't transfer into a crush because I would never, I could never date a supermodel I feel like to me that was a disconnect I would stop at the magazine section at the grocery store 'cause she was on a bunch of covers I would go to that section where there was beautiful women on the covers of magazines

I'm not talking about the porn section because that's not in the grocery store and I'm not talking about like Juggs, I'm talking about like Vogue We already knew that Beautiful woman on the cover And I would just stare You wouldn't pull the magazine down and thumb through it

Well, 'cause I think it's important to understand that, and this is the case in most places, but like you didn't walk around Buies Creek and find a woman that looked like that We weren't in Los Angeles or whatever, this was like, it was this something that you're like, does this really exist? And of course, now we know, technically, no, it doesn't exist because it's been manipulated This lighting is perfect She's got on his makeup and exactly the right way I'm trying to figure it out, I think I know the answer

What's more problematic You been enamored by this airbrushed woman or me being enamored by a robotic girl Well, I think what I'm discovering right now is that, and I think it's one of the reasons that, and this is not the point that I was trying to make and I'm not trying to make a woke point That's not my intention, but I do think it's interesting that just as this young boy walking through the grocery store, while your mom's picking out Vienna sausages, you're sitting there with your little bike and sausage in the magazine section, staring at these manufactured, beautiful women like Christy Turlington And just thinking that this is, I remember thinking things like, this is why I exist

It's like, I just remember thinking that like, this is what I'm here for Yeah To find that And that is just not a good thing to be thinking To think that this some manipulated

Sorry, I couldn't hear what you said Why is your watch talking? Your watch is trying to give you some advice here Wow, why would Siri, were you asking me if I was asking her, I said something that sounds like Siri, but now I'm gonna put her to sleep Sorry, this is like putting Vicki to sleep They did that

I just said Vicki do not disturb me And so she will never us again until I turn it back on I don't know what my point was My point was is that it probably wasn't a healthy thing But I specifically remember when I saw her on TV

'Cause she was in a bunch of commercials, she was in a bunch of ads I mean, and I didn't know her name I had to look her name up, I didn't know her name at the time It's like that girl That's what I'm about

You were, I wouldn't call it an obsession, but I mean, we interacted with the female form differently Expand, please I'm just saying, I didn't gawk at the magazines I was too embarrassed to do that I was embarrassed that I liked Vicki

I didn't want anyone to know And not to get graphic, I'm just being honest here In other words, when you as a young boy looked at Vicki, you didn't think, boy, I wonder what that robot looks like under her clothes, right? And I'm being honest with you That's the kind of thing that I was thinking when I saw the ad, I was like, okay, what else is there? That's how I'm wired Yeah, it's interesting that I had shame in just having a crush on Vicki

I wouldn't have wanted anyone to know and I would have denied it I didn't tell you the girls that I had a crush on Not until like probably middle school at that point, I was pretty open about it The girls in school that I had a crush on I didn't want anyone to know that and I remember when

Including them Yeah And even in a like middle school, when people started pairing up and like, oh, she's my girlfriend, we're going together Like, I was really nervous that when I got a girlfriend, like my family was gonna find out, it's such a weird thing I remember just being so nervous that they would be like, you've got a girlfriend, what's her name? You weren't scared of them finding out you were scared of having to talk about it

It was like revealing a part of myself I felt like they would know something about me that I didn't want them to know that I had a girlfriend that I liked a girl that I wanted to hold a girl's hand or kiss a girl I didn't wanna talk to my parents But I was embarrassed that they would know Hey do you a girlfriend? I think that that is normal

I think that the idea, every time I wanna talk to either one of my boys about girls immediate embarrassment So I think that that's totally normal I think it would be a little bit odd if they weren't somewhat embarrassed about it I remember being at a baseball game and it was when I was dating Amber and we were watching the baseball game You were one of the players and your mom was there

You were one of the players You say that like it's an accomplishment They cut no one from the team I didn't apply for the team, I didn't care for it 'Cause you misunderstood, it wasn't an application

It was just showing up You're where's the application, I can't be on this team I had learned enough about baseball to know that I needed to be in the stands, holding hands with girlfriend I'm sure Amber held my hand, I didn't hold her hand You're talking about middle school baseball? Yeah, when I dated Amber

Okay, seventh grade And your mom was sitting there in the bleachers and I'm sitting there and Amber is holding my hand and I just felt so embarrassed that your mom was gonna see me holding hands with my girlfriend I get that Yeah, that hands says no more I think that, and I know that sometimes you feel like you need to check how

How weird I was? How weird you are Because you have said some things that are like, okay, yeah, that's different That's unusual but that's not I never looked at girls on a magazine cover and thought, man, I just wanna keep thinking about her I just felt like that's a woman

Yeah, exactly And that's not a boy, that's a woman That's right, that's what I was thinking That is a woman, that's what I was thinking I was like, why doesn't she look like on Buies Creek

I'm just gonna stay away from the hole that you're digging for yourself All I've done is been I've been honest about the fact that as far back as I can remember, when I saw a beautiful woman, I was very attracted to them You know what might make this better? Asking another question, which we'll answer after the break Beepboop2488 says let's talk marriage Will this move things over, if we talk about our longstanding love affair with our wives

My wife is not threatened by the things that I thought as a eight year old in the grocery store I didn't know her at the time I'm not talking about our wives listening I'm talking about everyone else listening, how like our interactions with females can be appropriate and mutually edifying And it not be based on some farce or your own needs or mine of a robot

Just to clarify though, we've talked about a woman on a television show and a woman in a magazine I'm very skiddish Those are not interactions I know When you talk about women in a magazine now, in like self image and the female form and stuff like that, I'm starting to get nervous

I understand Let's talk marriage! I've been with my husband since I was 19 And she doesn't say how old she is, she could be 20, but let's assume it's a longer than that Let's talk about how crazy it is to grow up together, become adults together, become parents together, keep the spark alive and not kill each other in the process Yes lets talk about that

That is the goal But first, we're going to, what are we doing today? We just wanna urge you to go to mythicalcom and just scroll around, just scroll around You'll find stuff that you didn't know we were selling That happens to me when I go there

And I'm like, yeah, that's great Rep mythical, rep you boys, there's something about Merck that, you can feel connected to us We crafted something, we mailed it to you You're wearing it or you're using it, you're spraying it Or you putting it through your hair or on your lips

And it's a connection, connect to us, by buying our stuff That's an interesting perspective I mean, I don't disagree with it, but I was just gonna say, is cool clothes You watch the show, but then it's like, you can wear the ethos That's also true, I like that, mythical

com Again, the question is talking about growing up together when you got married young, I mean at 19, right? So my wife had just turned, I don't wanna get this wrong, I think she just turned 20 Don't look at me She had turned 20 in December, 1999 And then we got married in June, 2001

I guess I was 23 at the time Well I was 21, I turned 22 on our honeymoon 'Cause I'm like half a year older than you and got married a year after you So there was like yeah And we've been, Christy and I, I've been married 20 years

And you've been married 19 years I've been married as long as this woman lived before she got married And I think maybe she has to 'cause that's kind of wrapped up in a question she'd been through a lot Well this made me think about, we did talk about this a little bit in the last year's podcast, just the idea of growing up together The thing about getting married young is you haven't become the adult that you're going to be

And they're still, at 19, at 20, early twenties, there's still a lot of change I mean, there's a lot of change at any point in your life, but especially at that time, like you haven't lived alone Like you haven't been an adult with responsibilities And all of a sudden you're two adults with responsibilities figuring life out together A lot of people get married at that age get divorced because once they kind of figure out who they are, they're like, Oh, this is not gonna work

But a lot of people, if you're blessed as we have been to kind of be able to grow up together and as you learn, and as you grow, it enhances the connection That which is I think what has happened But the thing that this made me think of is something that Jessie and I have started doing Which is, I don't remember why we started, I know that she had been watching the first season or the last season, I don't know how many season they have been, of this ""Married at First Sight"" I have not heard of this

Is it a reality competition show? It's not a competition I don't know if it's a Netflix original or if it's just on Netflix now, we watch it on Netflix and we just started whatever the latest season, season two, I don't know So at first I was just like, me and her liked to watch Trashy, we'd like to watch Trashy Reality TV together and laugh at it Like we watched the Bachelor together, we even watched that bachelor The one where they did was basically music

It was American idol Mitch Bachelor, and they put the couples together and they had to sing together And then have people come and judge it And it's just like, it was a cringe-fest But we like to watch things that are bad because it entertains us Makes you feel better about not being that cringy

Not being on that show But this show, which I just assumed was gonna be another one of these shows, the premise of the show is they go to a city So this season they're in Charlotte, North Carolina, and all these single people apply And all these single people are like, I wanna get married, I'm ready to get married And there's a team of experts who are the hosts of the show

And they go through all these people, interview them, I don't know all the process They narrow it down to these four couples that they have out of- So they paired people together And is this over the course of the season or is this at episode one? Episode one is the selection of the four couples Now let me explain to you, this is how it works and this is episode two By the way, is called naked and afraid? 'Cause that's how I would describe my honeymoon

Just kidding You can watch that after, episode two is the wedding Of the four couples And this is on their wedding day, is the first time they've ever seen each other Oh my gosh

Like when the bride walks down the aisle, that is the first time that the groom is seeing her I mean, my knee jerk reaction is that doesn't sound like they have a very high opinion of marriage It's just like, yeah, let's give this a shot That is what I thought going in And that may still be true

It's just like, oh, this'll be fun We can always just get divorced, that's a great way to start a marriage Now hold on, before you judge it, you're judging it hard right now I'm saying, this is the assumptions that I'm bringing to And that's what makes it so entertaining

Now, the way that the show works is, and this is, if you have a certain view of marriage, you would think that this is wrong and maybe you fall into this category And I would probably have fallen into this category before I started watching it, I think differently about it now This show has changed, what you think about marriage Yeah, I'm gonna explain that So the way that it works is they're married for eight weeks

And at the end of eight weeks, you decide if you're gonna stay married to get divorced, that's the season of television And so I don't know what episode we're on right now, but like the second episode and the third episode So cameras are following them Last night we watched the beginning of the honeymoon And so there's these questions like, are we gonna have sex on the first night? We literally met this afternoon at our wedding

Are we gonna have sex? And then, I'm not gonna spoil anything, but there's like, who's gonna have sex, who's not gonna have sex? And it sounds like I'm talking about a trashy show I would be so afraid to forget my wife's name Oh, that's what happens when they walk down the aisle, they introduced themselves It's like, I'm Natalie It's still sound pretty gross man

You know when they find out their last name? And again, at least this at this season, where they're in Charlotte, it's very traditional It's like four couples, heterosexual couples, men, and women And then all the women are taking the husband's last name So the way that they're like, we now introduce to you, Mr and Mrs

Johnson and the woman's like Johnson, she's like responding It's great television Let me just say, it's great television because of that, 'cause you put yourself in this and you're like, what would it be like Okay, I just thought this was gonna be Trashy Reality TV, that I was just gonna be laughing at the whole time The reason my wife likes to watch it with me is I weep when I watch the show

Why do you weep? And I don't mean like, she'll look over at me and like, I've got like tears in my eyes, like multiple times while watching this show You got tears in your eyes Well, I got tears, 'cause I'm laughing right now I got tears in my eyes I was making you cry

I don't know But I've been trying to figure out what's going on And Jessie, we've been talking about this and I think there's a number of things First thing is it's like- This one was going on in your heart? Well like why am I responding to the show in this way? And so one thing is, is that it is hit me, that these marriages, which are arranged by someone else are very similar to my marriage And let me explain what I mean by that

Meaning that when you're young, you don't know what the hell you want I mean, you don't know what the hell you want when you're old either, but especially when you're young and you're figuring out who you are Think about how differently I think about literally everything than I did when I was 23 20 years have gone by, I changed in many different ways, ways that we've talked about on the show, still married to the same woman who has also changed in similar and different ways And there's this idea that, Oh, well you gotta be exactly sure about this person

You gotta know everything there is to know about them You should probably live with them before you get married, because you need to know what kind of habits they have This show calls that into question And calls into question that it's really about someone who is the individuals that make up the marriage are ready for the commitment that marriage is They are prepared to be like, I know you're not perfect

I mean, first of all, one of the things we've been talking about is the process of having experts, select your spouse for you is probably at least as reliable as the process of you selecting your spouse for yourself Let me just say that, that's a premise That's a working theory that I have And I'm not talking about, we should go back to arrange marriages I'm just saying that if you wanted to submit yourself to this process, you like to think that no, no, no, no, no

I would be better at making this decision because I'm rational I wanna make sure I'm in love with somebody, whatever your reasons would be I submit that, that initial spark that makes you fall in love with somebody while it is important, it isn't the thing that, and we talked about this before, but there isn't the thing that maintains a 20 year marriage So yeah, let's talk more about the commitment component But I do think that when I was, trying to figure out if I was gonna propose to Christy, if we were meant to be together I was doing lots of math, I was doing lots of analysis

And even when we got engaged, like we went to premarital counseling, which I highly recommend because it can raise flags that could lead to like, you know what, let's turn back now Let's make as an informed decision as we can about the commitment we wanna make I feel like some of what these experts that you're describing did we try to, Christy and I tried to do in our premarital counseling, like we went through this book and it was a workbook Maybe you went through the same word, but can't remember what it was called Like a Tom Nelson

No, but it was in an, Oh you mean like a Tom Nelson evangelical publisher It was like preparing for marriage or something like that Yeah, I think it was from a Christian world view But it was very practical Like it guided us to talk about things like

Sex Yeah, like our expectations for sex But then smaller things like habits, like things that matter to you, small things that are a big deal to you Things that can be annoyances, like how you deal with money And then putting a plan in points

They could be points of conflict Points of conflict, you put a plan in place It's like, okay, we hear each other and we agree And we're planning our future, but we're also analyzing, like, there is a chance and it felt very slim that our counselor who was walking us through this would be like, you know what You not right for each other

Pull the plug, you're not right for each other I'm sure some counselors do that ones that were really bold I still think that seems like a really great idea This television show? Not the television show 'Cause it is a great idea for a television show

Premarital certification, I won't even say counseling Like some sort of third party certification I mean, as my kids get older and they're like, as they start finding partners, I'll be like, can you agree to a third party certification? I'm making this up right now because I don't want to- Maybe you should just go on this television show Okay, yeah, they could just go on there Okay, I agree, I get what you're saying

I agree with all of it I'm interested in the commitment component, but like tell me what you're learning Well, to add to your thought, finish your thought You finish my thought To add to your thought

Finish him I think that, and again, I don't there experts, how qualified are they, I don't know They got PhDs and shit But how does that certification process that they are putting these people through compared to the sort of the very small focus group of the two of you and a counselor, how does it compare? And I'm saying that my suspicion early on now, now first of all, one of the things is like, who's gonna stay together, like that's one of the fun things about watching it And Jessie and I were like, Oh, this couple, I think they're gonna be okay

Like we say things like, I think they're gonna be okay And then this couple it's like, Ooh, like he's really organized and she's not And so you would be like, why did they put them together? And sometimes it is a huge problem, and sometimes it's not, it really depends And maybe the reason why they put them together is cause the producers overrode the expert That's the thing that I talked to Jessie about

I was like, what do you think, don't you agree that 'cause I get into the production side of it, I was like, don't you think that they made the people on this television show signed something that said that they understood that one of the criteria for them Casting Coupling people together is an entertainment quality Sure it's in the fine print or something Yes, you will be matched according to your compatibility, but you will also be matched according to entertainment value

And they probably didn't say, they probably just said with the prerogative of the executive producers So it's probably covered, I'm sure they've got that covered on Netflix or whoever makes the show Now all that being said, I think the reason that I get teary eyed and first of all, there's like one couple, they elicit nothing I have no sympathy for them I don't really like either of them

They sound like, they're meant for each other I think they have the smallest chance of staying together, but these other three couples it's like when like the bride walk down the aisle and like the husband saw her, it was like, I found myself in this, I do this at weddings in general, I get kind of teary-eyed at weddings But I found myself, in the first time it happened, I was like, what the hell is happening to me right now? Why am I responding in this way? And I think that it has a lot to do with thinking about those moments in my marriage and the way that like Jessie and I did not know what we were doing this same sort of like deer headlights, what have I gotten myself into? Am I ready for this? That is so sensationalized and exaggerated in this show is something that I felt about that whole period of my life when we got married because of the culture that we were in One of the reasons we got married when we got married is because at the time we were abiding by a worldview that said that premarital sex wasn't part of God's plan It's like, you wanna have sex, you got to be in a committed marriage, specifically, not just a relationship, but a marriage

And that had a deep impact on our decision making abilities Exactly, again, I'm saying all this, because you may look at this show like you did And like I did before I watched it and said, this is ridiculous Why would anybody make a decision to get married based on some experts on a television show? And then you start thinking about the reasons that you get married And I say, none of this to say that I was madly in love with my wife, still am, was drawn to her, we were compatible

We couldn't stay away from each other We couldn't imagine not having a life together All those things were in place, but so much of that was just influenced by the nature of who we were at the time Could these cultural pressures and expectations in our worldview, right But that got us into it

But none of that stuff keeps you in it, that kinda throws you over the threshold, but it doesn't keep you in the room But yeah, they got married in episode one And by episode eight, they're deciding if they're gonna stay together But really that means is like, we're gonna pretend to be married for eight weeks No, legally binding

I know, but they've kind of thrown out the window They're let's play marriage Let's be married in an experiment for television for eight weeks And then we'll decide if we really wanna be married But to tie it in with our story

One of the girls on the show, one of the women she's 27 years old, is a virgin who has saved herself for marriage Okay So that feels like there's more at stake, because she's gonna give up her virginity, which is very important to her, according to her worldview, and then not stay with this guy because after eight weeks, it seems like maybe it's gonna be a little bit difficult I think that is the question The fact that she said, okay, again, I'm not making a statement, I'm not promoting the purity culture thing

I'm just saying that the fact that she has saved herself for marriage increases the chances that their marriage will go beyond the eight weeks, because she's given up more Did she wait to have sex until, has she waited so far? They have not consummated yet Yeah, okay, that makes sense At the point that I'm in That supports my assertion that- They will though

You think that she's gonna hold out for eight weeks I guarantee you she's gonna do it She's already basically said that she's going to do it Oh yeah Because once she realized that she wants to have sex with him, she's already married to him

And according to her worldview- That's not typically how it happens She got the okay as soon as she got married to him But if she subscribes to that worldview, she's probably also subscribed to the worldview that she can't get divorced unless there's infidelity So unless he cheats on her in the next eight weeks on this television show, which is probably not gonna happen because there's cameras on him the whole time, she's gonna be married to this guy for a long time And a lot of times that doesn't work out well, I'm just saying, I'm not judging it good or bad

I'm just saying that that decision makes it more likely for her to stick around in the marriage room for longer Regardless of the situation But how many of these contestants- Don't say contestants man Are acting- Couples, married couples What are they saying about commitment? Things that make me cry

Really, so instead they're like, they're not like just tiptoeing around like, Hey, this is an experiment They're not acting the way that I'm saying, they're acting like our lives depend on this relationship The reason that I like it is because the people on the show, the reason I feel about it differently, like when I watched the "Bachelor" or the "Bachelorette" or "The Bachelor in Paradise", which is the trashiest trash I've never watched any of these Me and Jessie even watched that- I'm watching "Small Wonder" reruns

We watched that, "Too Hot to Handle" that I tweeted about, the whole point of the show was to be trash When we watched those shows, I just judge the people, the contestants constantly And I'm just like, how stupid do you have to be to go on this show? And like, these people don't understand anything about life These people on "Married at First Sight" like it's a different kind of person Like they are taking it very seriously

It isn't like, in other words, when you watch, "The Bachelor" you're like, how many of these women, you watch "The Bachelor" how many of these men are on this show for clout? So they can become reality TV stars you don't get that vibe at all from these it's like, I did this because I wanna be married because I see myself as a married person And I haven't had any luck in that in my own life, trying it my way So now why don't I let these experts do it for me? Its not that I don't believe in I don't know what I think about arranged marriages, but I do think I have this belief, which I haven't thought about, or like asserted I'm just gonna vomit this out and see if I can make sense of it like everything else I say

I believe that arranged marriages could work just as well as unarranged marriages Now I don't want to get into like, who's arranging it? I'm not weighing in on that But if you put two people to together, if you submit to a process and you're on board for that And it's by your volition Both people are equally committed

'Cause a lot of times arranged marriage and marriage in general can be kind of tied into just patriarchal thinking But we're talking about in the perfect world, both people are yeah We wanna be married, just like in that show, I have thought in general it could probably work I think it's part of my, I guess my experience kind of impacts my opinion in that, like Christy and I were talking the other day about this a couple, and I know nothing about her, she was like, so and so has announced they're getting a divorce It's like their motivational speaking couple that they talk about relational dynamics

And after like almost 20 years of marriage, they've decided to just be friends And I'm like, listen, I don't know anything about this, if you divorce after that long, and you just wanna be friends it's like when you add the detail that they have a public persona of giving marriage advice And then that makes sense that I'm just saying there's an ulterior motive to maintain a friendship, to prove that like, my voice is still valid when it comes to relationships But that's a hard thing to believe that like you've been married 20 years and you just get divorced and you were still best friends and we are raising our kids together, it's like, that's freaking complicated, I'm just suspicious But I know nothing besides what I just said

I know nothing except the thing my wife said to me, offhanded I've got no fucking clues about that But I told Christy tacked on to that conversation, I was like, we've been through so much together and I can understand being married for 20 years And I mean, we've changed so much that we could have changed in ways that were so different and divergent that we would get a divorce, but I'm so grateful that we haven't changed in exactly the same ways and we haven't changed that exactly the same times, but we've gone through so much of it together that we're still very much in it together And where we're like, we're on the same page The book is a big book

I mean, the page, it's not like teetering on a pinhead that you're trying to like, just to stay on the same page You don't have to believe the same thing about everything You don't have to have the same instincts You don't have to be the same person to make it last 'cause Christy and I are not the same person, but we've changed in this, it's in like a dance, there's a give and take And there's a listening and there's a sharing it's undergirded by this commitment, I guess that we are in this together, we are together

We are gonna go through this together and it's gonna when it's really hard, at times it's really hard But if you come through it, if you come through each of those things that makes it, you can go into the next one with that much more confidence The next marriage? The next trial If you can figure out first marriage, what you did wrong, go to the second one A lot of people do say that, I'll do that my second marriage I wanna stay here, I know we're staying with this question, but I wanna stay here

'Cause one of the things, I don't remember the name of the study I don't know where this was, Jessie told me about it But there was some relationship expert slash psychologist who said that they could look at, they basically set couples down and had them communicate with each other on video And this person could watch like 20 seconds of the video I feel like I could do that too

And decide if they're gonna stay together? And make a very accurate prediction as to whether or not they would be together five years from now I'm not getting the numbers exactly But it was like an unbelievably short amount of time of seeing them together could make a very predictable, a very reliable prediction about how long they were gonna stay together What would you look for? 'Cause I feel like I could do that Well, here's the thing

I know what I would look for That's one of the things you're doing as you watch the show I firmly believe that while you could get into some really like analytical, it's a vibe Hold on, I wanna say this is important because there are things like me and Jessie have talked about this lately we've been like, you know how sometimes like, you know someone and you get a vibe from them and you can be like, I think this person is duplicitous Or I think that this person, there's something off about this person in their character

And you can kind of sense it but then you're like, that feels judgemental, I'm not basing that on anything other than just a conversation I had with them And me and you have noticed this and there's been a couple of times when like we've met with someone in like a business capacity and then we'll come out of a meeting and we'll be like, I don't get a good vibe from that guy And it might be that, but what I have learned is that whatever is happening when I say that to myself is more reliable than the two hour conversation That me and you might have afterwards trying to rationalize our way into thinking whether or not somebody is worth working with And that's what I think this psychologist is picking up on is that the human capacity for processing things in a way that you cannot even articulate is way under appreciated by most people

In other words, the vibe that you get from someone is very often reliable That doesn't mean you're gonna be wrong sometimes, but I'm just saying that I think that we talked about this, 'cause there's this the one couple that we don't think, the look on his face when she says something, the look on her face, the physical, just the way that they seem to be connecting And then there's another couple that is immediately, you're like they got it, they're gonna be together a long time, I can see the way they interact To me, it comes down to, and I don't know how long it takes, it varies from person to person But if you can tell if somebody is like a genuine good person, but if I was trying to be specific about my analysis, to me, something that would be a telltale sign was like being able to quantify humility

If I'm listening to it on a conversation and it's, you could tell that they don't seem like they're certain that they've got it all figured out or they're the type of person that can say, they're sorry, you gotta be willing to be humble and admit your mistakes to stay in vibrant relationship And I think when you've been married, as long as we have, we really know our partners Like I know Christy, I was gonna say inside and out, but then that would have been weird Right, well, but sort of true It's totally true, but I didn't mean it in that way

Get your mind off the magazines You dirty minded a little boy I am just here, I didn't say anything I mean, we know each other, we know everything, we feel like we can predict what the other person would say or think or interact and what, like we know what the other person is capable of as friends People think our friendship is so extraordinary for that reason, but I feel like that's really a requirement for marriage for long lasting marriage is like, people are like, and I guess that's why people say that about our friendship is like, because it's not a marriage and people don't invest that much in friendship, but I think you have to have that in a marriage, but it's such a high standard to really know

But what I'm seeing in these couples is like, literally, okay, they just got married But they're not, I mean- Hold on They just got married and then, after they get married, the camera follows them as they walk back through everybody, we present to you, Mr and Mrs Johnson, they walk through everybody and then they go to this little, they all get married at the same place someplace in Charlotte

And then they have their first date No, they're just sitting there talking to each other and there's like a bottle of champagne Like they do all the couples have to do it And it's just like, I looked at the way that these two people interacted with each other and the first moments of ever meeting And I feel like I can make a reliable prediction and that's not what the psychologist was doing

So I don't think, I agree with everything that you're saying that the key to like a continuing marriage is this learning about each other is communicating, but I'm talking about compatibility that gives you the right runway to be able to establish those things that you're talking about I feel like it's something that you can just sense in a sixth sense kind of way Now there are some people, and this is the case- I think is unfair to put it on the first time you meet, especially on television, after you've gotten married, Because there's plenty of it I'm just saying, I'm not saying it's 100% right I'm just saying that there is this, you can sense compatibility pretty quickly, but there's lots of people who get married young did not realize that they weren't

I mean, just because you're the two people eligible people who get married in your small town in the same year doesn't mean that you're compatible, right? It's statistics, you just weren't in the right place at the right time Then you start trying to figure out are you actually compatible? And a lot of this, that's where your commitment kind of goes into, you've got compatibility and you've got commitment And compatibility on its own cannot keep a marriage together forever Commitment on its own can, there are people who hate each other, but because they don't believe in divorce, they're just gonna be together forever I think that the beautiful marriages are the ones

And once there is a compatibility and that compatibility can grow because you change over time, that's coupled with a commitment that then there are these beautiful moments of like, we actually love each other, have a great time with each other, but that's not always gonna happen because I'm a human, you're a human, I'm gonna be an asshole, you're gonna be an asshole And in those moments to get through the asshole moments You got to stay committed That's when you gotta have that commitment in place And the only thing I'm saying is how crazy it was to look at these couples and make a decision about compatibility

I would add it as a commitment to a couple of things It's not just a commitment to staying together I think it's a commitment to being, it's the reason why there are vows It's like you commit to the certain things that you're gonna do You serve and love the other person place their needs before your needs in sickness and in health

Like that sickness thing, that can get real tough And that's a huge commitment and it's a blind commitment and for most people who haven't care for someone who's really been sick So I think it's a commitment to those things that you're promising that you're gonna make it work I'm committed to dancing with you Sometimes the music is gonna suck

Sometimes our legs are gonna be broken, but we're committed to dancing together through life And that's something that it requires constant cooperation and fidelity Well, and I think that the thing that is difficult for a lot of couples, and this should be incorporated into the more traditional vows if it isn't a commitment to communicate And I think that people have a difficult time and this can be personality based, but you know how sometimes when you're having a difficult moment with someone who's a friend, any relationship And sometimes what you have to do is you have to have that meta conversation

You have to talk about the way that you talk to each other You have to be like, you have to sit, some couples get to a place where, Oh, we're not really communicating, we're not connecting anymore And we have lost the ability to talk about the fact that we're not connecting anymore And I think that that happens in so many relationships, it's like, if you stop talking about the nature of your connection is gonna be very difficult to get the connection back without addressing that directly If you're just focused on the superficial stuff, the specifics of the current argument that you're in, but you haven't gotten to the, how do you actually connect and how you communicate solving this particular problem is not gonna be helpful

It's just gonna just kick the can down the road, and I think that's what you were getting at earlier with the marriage counseling is like, it helps you having a third party a lot of times, Oh, we can have the uncomfortable conversation that we, for some reason can't have with just the two of us You break through to that, plane, its a different plane Not just premarital, but like marriage therapy is very good, sometimes you just have to bring in a third person And my therapist is my wife's therapist, which is not necessarily advisable across the board, but in our situation, because a lot of the times what we're doing is we're talking about each other is like, well, my therapist has the other side of the story And then occasionally, if there's like an acute issue, we'll both go in together, and that has been helpful

I think, knowing that most relationships, I'm not gonna say all, there's this entropy, right, of it okay, this isn't gonna last forever because we're both imperfect people that have are prone to selfishness And we're not the same person, and there's so many variables, you never know what could be thrown at us as a couple So then it's just having this mentality that okay, if that's the tendency, then we have to be vigilant about the threats to our relationship from internal and external and just know that, okay, we're gonna identify, and we're gonna face these threats head on And not just because we know that that's what's most likely to happen is that something is gonna sneak up on you And then a few months, you're like, okay, there's a wall that's built up

This is a threat to our marriage longterm It's not just lean to a bad week or a bad month I felt like I had this very heightened commitment, Christy's parents are still together, my parents were in my experience were never together And so I had this mentality that like, I was gonna stay committed, divorce was never an option I haven't reassessed all of that mentality Maybe there's some negative aspects to that

And I think you can lean on that and it's like, it minimizes the amount of work that goes into it You just can't say, well, divorce is not an option Like we've already talked about, that's not how you dance just by saying, well, I'm gonna stand here and I'm gonna be here, that's not dancing And I thought statistically, you hear this thrown around, I don't know if it's true, I don't know what the latest statistics are but I always heard when I was in the church that the divorce rate inside and outside of the church is about the same I always found that hard to believe, just because I didn't see as much divorce in the circles that I was in, because it felt like people were more committed because they did have this sort of ideological underpinning that included divorce is not an option

And I do think that there is a dark side to that because a lot of times it ends up being, and I've witnessed this not with friends, but just with people that we knew in church, where there would be like this person is being emotionally, maybe even physically abused And yet they're staying in this marriage because they have this ideological commitment and that's for them to figure out Or for the kids or for other reasons, but as it applies to us, I think that, 'cause my parents are still together Jessie's parents are still together, so I didn't have that same sort of like, well, I'm gonna be different But I brought the same mentality that you did to the marriage is like- It is nice to have it off the table, where you agree from the beginning, from before the beginning of being married, that like divorce under normal circumstances is not an option, we're not gonna use it as a relational escape patch

It's a last resort And I do think that there is again, and this is not- When it comes to relational that I guess I'm not judging anybody and I'm not prescribing anything I would have a difficult time, obviously kids change the picture because you've got some people who are gonna be affected, especially if they're kids that you're currently raising they're in the house But if there's a couple that again, just like marriage at this show, which this has become an ad for this show unintentionally, but like, okay, if you believe that getting married and getting divorced on a television show is wrong, then I can't argue with that

I'm not gonna change your mind about that But if you think that these people came into this on their own volition, then they together made the decision They weren't compatible, they haven't brought any kids into this yet And then they make a decision to mutually separate and get divorced Then I'm not gonna be like, well, you have dishonored the institution of marriage by doing that

And I'm also gonna say that if it's somebody everyone has their own reasons for it But I think that it's the idea that this committee, this is like this, isn't just a serious thing This is a commitment that through all these potential circumstances that we're gonna stay together Because if we don't think like that, we're gonna see a way out And then in your lowest moments, you might go for the door if you've installed the door

But if you've never installed the door, you're not gonna leave, but you know what? You could decide at a certain point in your relationship together, hey, let's install the door If you come to that conclusion as a couple And you're like, I think that we need to seriously consider that maybe we're not supposed to be in relationship with each other There was a time in my life when I subscribed to an evangelical worldview where I would be like, that's the devil talking You can't go there, 'cause that's now you're talking about building the escape hatch and you're gonna do it

And my perspective on that has changed It's like, it's not my role to judge other couples and how they go about that but what I can say from speaking from own experiences is that not building the escape patch, not putting the door in has been one of the reasons I can point to for being married for 19 years For me And for me too I'm sure that there's people in our position who were saying similar things and then down the road, they get divorced Of course

Even that couple that I was making all these assumptions about because they're public and they're saying they're friends that's just me bringing my assumptions to it, I don't even know their names What are the names let's say them? It does get complicated and I do wanna make a commitment to not judge other people I mean, cause it's like, who have been, or are going through a divorce I think there's clear because what I hear you and me saying is that if what you have collectively decided to do is this, then there are certain decisions that you can make to help make that reality become a reality That idea become a reality

What you've made together decide that you want a different reality Well, 'cause everything that we said seems to imply that the high road is to stay- Married forever Married forever And I used to think that, and there is something beautiful about it I'm not gonna argue with that

And I do think there is something beautiful about like overcoming adversity and like just the nature of commitment, but you know what, there's plenty of examples of people who were in a difficult marriage and not just necessarily one that they needed to get out of for like safety reasons, but just people who mutually discovered that they wanted something different Now there each and other beautiful, committed relationships That's a reality as well And there was a time in my life Again, if you subscribe to sort of a conservative, evangelical worldview, then if you really read certain parts of the Bible in a certain way, then those marriages after divorce are illegitimate marriages

And I'm glad that I don't have to think that anymore because the observational, my experience is that no actually some of those marriages are better and healthier and better for these people and better for the world than the previous marriage And I'm not gonna cancel that marriage because I got some ideological commitment How do you think my mom felt over the years when like culturally, we were in an environment where it was like, you can't, I mean, you failed Something is wrong with you Twice

You're in your third marriage now It's like, you failed twice And that's not what happened And in many places, you're not qualified to be in leadership If you're in a relationship like that

Like you've kind of like, you've got this mark on you and you can never recover I think we've said everything through the filter through the lens of, we love our wives and they love us And that's, I wanna be with Christy until I die Cause she'll already be dead, no or until she dies I mean, I just wanna cover the basis until one of us dies

It's called till death do us part Yeah, I don't wanna start, like- They took care of that a long time Who dies first? It's not until I, or you die It's till death do us part You don't have to think about who dies first

You just say that 'Cause you don't wanna have to unravel that I told Jessie she's younger than me, I'm tall, I'm gonna die first I mean, I'm just going with the stats, tall people don't live that long, sorry She gets very upset when I start talking like that

So commitment looks different for her than it does for you Yeah, I'm like, listen, if things go as according to just like nature, you're gonna have at least a few years to just find a new man How does that feel? I mean, you're joking now but- She hates when I talk, I love to joke with her about that Because she says things like, well, if I died, how long would it take you to get married? And? And then I say things like, I don't know if I would get married and then she gets really mad Oh really? Cause she wants you to get married

She don't want you to be what? a Philander or Playboy or something? I don't know, and I was like, I just haven't thought about it, cross that bridge if we get there, you know what I'm saying? But like, I don't know I'm a different person If you're honest though, I think what you would say, I know what you would say You'd say, well, I've been watching this show I'm gonna go on this show

That season three of "Married at First Sight" is everyone is a widower or a widow I think I just gave you all a good idea That's gonna get real heavy Talk about crying while you watch it And now you gotta hear all the stories of how their spouse died, but that's a bad idea

I mean, but as a producer, they have to think about it They've been talking about it Oh yeah, hopefully a producer of "Married at First Sight" is listening in So we ended up just talking about- Marriage We talked about marriage, but we really just talking about our marriages

I mean, I thought about those four marriages on that television show as well I mean, I didn't really get into specifics So is that your recommendation this week? What's the name of the television show? Arranged and arranged I'm gonna give another recommendation on top of that What is the name of the show? It's "Married at First Sight", it's on Netflix

I can only vouch for the most recent season I don't know what season that is It might be season two, I'm only four episodes in, but I do have another wreck that goes back to what we were talking about before, which is some of the things that we continue to be dealing with as a society for the betterment of our society And it's a book that I made it a recommendation in my letter to a white man that I wrote, but I'm gonna talk about it specifically here And that is, "I'm Still Here: Black Dignity "In A World Made For Whiteness" by Austin, Channing Brown

And this book, I'm just gonna read the description here that was made by whoever wrote this particular review, the Hello Sunshine Book Pick, a Reese's Book Club "From a leading voice on racial justice "and eye opening account of growing up black Christian "and female that exposes how white America, "white America is a love affair with diversity "So often falls short of its ideals" And I know that you started this book as well, but the general idea of the book is exactly what was just described there That we can come to this place and this is something that is happening in the midst of the movement right now, where a bunch of white people can be like, yes, we value diversity, and we believe that is something that should be represented in our circles of friends, in our businesses in society, in our leadership and our legislature

It's the right thing to say And it's an easy thing to say right now, One, her point is- Challenging to enact She tells from a very personal perspective, what it has been like to be in white spaces as a black woman in spaces that said that this is what they valued And maybe even thought that this is what they valued, but didn't understand what that actually meant It's incredibly challenging, it's incredibly eyeopening

I think it actually, I don't know if it wasn't New York times bestseller from the beginning or if it has become a New York times bestseller in the midst of this movement, but it is a New York times bestseller 'cause it's two years old, but it is really sort of experiencing this new wave of interest because it speaks so directly to the movement that is happening right now And I think more importantly, or even more importantly for a couple of white dudes like us is asking the question of what does moving beyond valuing diversity to making diversity an inclusivity and sort of deconstructing this, white is the norm mentality that a lot of us have without even realizing it What does it take to break that down? What does it take to move beyond that? Because that's the real work that needs to happen? It's not just recognizing the racial injustice is doing something about it and having a real change So "I'm Still Here" by Austin Channing Brown, and it is a pretty easy read So no excuses for not checking this one out, wherever you check out books, you could just buy the book as well, don't just check it out

All right, we'll speak at you again next week And please as always contribute to conversation using #EarBiscuits To watch more Ear Biscuits, click on the playlist on the right To watch the previous episode of Ear Biscuits, click on the playlist to the left And don't forget to click on the circular icon to subscribe

If you prefer to listen to this podcast, it's available on all your favorite podcast platforms Thanks for being your mythical best

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