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143: 7 Signs That Your Marriage Can Be Saved

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There are characteristics and qualities of relationships that lead to better outcomes, and Dr. Camden Morgante joins us to talk about seven of them. If you’re concerned about your marriage or have qestions about the person you’re dating or engaged to, this episode is for you. 

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter to get a recap of the 7 signs. 

Partners get to talk about this episode and more on February 27 (9pm EST)/ 28 (1pm AEDT). Join us for $3/month to get last week’s romcom recap of Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Show Notes:
142: What if your marriage doesn’t make you happy or holy?
The Gottman Institute
Brené Brown on Comparative Suffering, the 50/50 Myth, and Settling the Ball
Marriage is never 50/50 (Brene Brown on Tim Ferris’ show on Instagram)

Dr. Camden Morgante is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 13 years of experience as a therapist, college professor, and supervisor. She owns a private therapy practice focusing on women’s issues, relationships, sexuality, trauma, and spirituality. Connect with her on Instagram

Transcript of Devi’s Interview with Dr. Camden Morgante

Devi (she/her) (00:50.643)
you know, and you wouldn’t be surprised by the statistic that I was, I had no idea that 70% of divorces in the United States are initiated by women. I was looking for research just internationally as well. And I know, so at least for in Australia, it used to be primarily women also until they changed the law and there’s now a joint divorce filing. And now I think at least half of our divorces are filed jointly.

camden (01:05.046)
Mm-hmm.

Devi (she/her) (01:23.54)
Um, but I found this kind of fascinating, especially as someone who grew up in purity culture, where I felt like what we were always told is like, it’s the guy who leaves, right? Like, that’s what you’re kind of told. So this is very, um, interesting that 70% of divorces in the United States are initiated by women. Why do you think that is?

camden (01:34.125)
Mm.

camden (01:45.378)
Mm-hmm. Yeah, I hadn’t thought about that with the juxtaposition of more traditional gender roles when you think about purity culture He’s the one that has to ask you out or he’s the one that has to talk bring up the talk about marriage and kind of Propose and things like that. So it is Yeah, it is interesting that it’s mostly women But I would say that is consistent with what I see in my practice of it’s typically women that are unhappy and that are encouraging

Devi (she/her) (01:51.646)
Yeah!

Devi (she/her) (01:55.13)
Yeah!

camden (02:12.118)
their husbands to come to couple therapy. And why that is, like, I wonder if just culturally, women have more options now. They don’t have to stay in unhappy marriages. Of course, some women don’t have options or don’t feel like they do, but as a whole, women have more financial stability and more rights than they used to. And so now they feel more free to leave an unhappy marriage instead of being stuck in it.

But I also see a lot of women who have tried for years to get their husbands to go to therapy or even just to make changes and he won’t or he doesn’t and they’ve been begging and then finally this is kind of their last straw. And it’s really interesting because in couples therapy, the men will just be like, this came out of nowhere. You know, all of a sudden she’s talking of divorce and the women are like, I’ve been talking to you about this for 10 years. It’s just interesting how they have different perceptions of things like that.

Devi (she/her) (03:10.52)
Yeah, yeah. And that comes through in Liz’s book, as far as the perceptions of like domestic labor, for example, and things like that. Well, you’re here to give us for people who listen to that episode and are now sitting and wondering, is this the time that I need to start to think about ending this marriage or this long term relationship? I want to give people

camden (03:18.972)
Mm-hmm.

Devi (she/her) (03:44.901)
some tools to know when to hold on. Talk us through some signs. How many do you have for us? Some signs that your marriage can be saved.

camden (03:54.146)
Um, two, three, about seven, I think. Yeah. Okay. Well, I feel like we should first start off with some just caveats, Debbie, because certainly we’re talking in generalities here. We can’t make any specifics to listeners to their particular marriage and if it should or can be saved or not. Like I would say, many marriages can work and can be saved.

Devi (she/her) (03:58.292)
Seven. Oh, that’s a lot. All right. Well, that’s good. That’s great. All right. Start us off, Camden. What’s the first one?

Devi (she/her) (04:07.849)
Sure.

camden (04:21.906)
even if they don’t have all these signs that we’re gonna go over. And then maybe some marriages won’t work or shouldn’t be saved even if they do have some of these signs. So I just wanted to make that caveat that we’re not speaking to anyone’s specific situation, but just some general trends that we see, I guess. So the first sign, and I think this is the most important one, is that you both want it to work. Like you want to stay married, you want to be in it.

Devi (she/her) (04:37.393)
Yeah.

camden (04:48.51)
and you’re committed to the marriage or have reasons to stay together. And sometimes that’s structural reasons like kids or money or religious beliefs, reactions from others that you’re worried about. And sometimes that’s more personal reasons like shared memories and affection and things like that. But I’m in couple therapy, like I’m looking for, do they even wanna be here? Do they even wanna be married? Because if there’s no desire to stay married, it’s likely not going to work.

Devi (she/her) (04:52.672)
Hmm

Devi (she/her) (05:18.588)
Right. Now, when you say you want to be married, that’s within the context, and maybe this is coming up later, in the context of you want to be married and you’re willing to work toward staying married. Is that what you mean? Or is that another side that we’re coming to? Okay, go on then.

camden (05:36.102)
Yeah, that was my second one. Yeah, number one is, or number two is, you’re both willing to make changes. And I think those are the two most important things. You wanna stay married and you’re willing to work towards it. And I would say with that, you have to be willing to look at yourself, not just pointing fingers at your partner and what he needs to change. Of course, there’s exceptions to that with abuse and things like that I would.

Devi (she/her) (05:43.679)
Right.

Devi (she/her) (05:53.437)
Mm.

camden (06:02.482)
I never put blame on the person who’s being abused, but in general, in general couple therapy, like you wanna look at yourself and how you’re contributing to the problems in the marriage or helping to maintain unhealthy patterns. And you have to be willing to change and to try new skills. So doing that work within yourself and then between you and your partner.

Devi (she/her) (06:20.497)
What does that?

Devi (she/her) (06:24.44)
Yeah, what does that actually look like? Someone being willing to reflect and to change?

camden (06:31.666)
I think it looks like listening to their partner and then also listening to the therapist when we point out some things that they may be missing or not seeing. In couples therapy, we say that the client is the relationship. It’s not either person. Like in individual therapy, it’s just that one person, but in couples therapy, it’s the relationship. So we try to be unbiased and look at what is hurting or helping the relationship here.

Devi (she/her) (06:45.045)
Mm-hmm.

camden (06:59.114)
If either person is doing things that are hurting the relationship, I feel like it’s my responsibility to point that out and just help give them some insight and then some tools and skills to work on it.

Devi (she/her) (07:08.9)
Yeah. So there’s a sense to which you will be able to see, oh, this person is receptive to feedback. Yeah.

camden (07:20.134)
Yeah, I think so. I think I can see it if there’s defensiveness versus, you know, willingness to hear and listen to either their partner or me, and then a curiosity of what does change look like or how do I not do that or how do I communicate differently or whatever it might be.

Devi (she/her) (07:38.488)
Okay. Okay, that’s good. Yeah, that seems crucial to me that the ability to say I’m going to attempt to change. I mean, we know change takes a long time, especially when these are very deeply entrenched patterns of behavior. Yeah. Okay, what’s the third one?

camden (07:48.622)
Mm-hmm.

camden (07:53.588)
Mm-hmm.

camden (07:59.19)
The third one is you have similar core values and goals for the marriage and for your family and for your life. You know, if a couple just has, they’re just on completely different pages. One wants children and one doesn’t, or one wants, you know, kind of more of a quiet, really like family-focused life, and one wants a very social and busy life, and they just can’t find a compromise on that. I have seen that just be really difficult because one or both of them are always going to be unhappy or feeling like they’re having to…

sacrifice for the other one and then resent them. So yeah, so I think it’s a positive sign if you do have some similar values and goals.

Devi (she/her) (08:37.488)
Yeah, and I guess you can often feel like you’re working alone to get to where you want to go, which I think that’s really a lonely thing in a marriage. I would imagine you have found this a lot in purity culture, working with people who have come out of purity culture, that they started off on the same page with the same goals. And then after time, over time, they have

camden (08:43.93)
Mm.

camden (08:48.863)
Mm-hmm.

Devi (she/her) (09:05.756)
discovered they have radically different goals, as they have gotten to know each other, undone the work of sort of spiritual programming and all of that. What does that look like for those people? That third one.

camden (09:08.826)
Mm-hmm.

camden (09:18.182)
Yeah, I think I see that in the situations where one person is deconstructing their faith and the other one’s not, or they’re just kind of at a different place in that process than the other one is. Particularly in the area of gender roles, I think that can be really tricky. One person, maybe they both agree to the traditional gender roles when they got married, and then now one person is more open to more of an egalitarian marriage than the other one.

Devi (she/her) (09:24.201)
Yeah.

camden (09:47.646)
It’s just not. And that’s very tricky, and that’s tricky for me as a therapist and as an egalitarian person myself. But trying to help them, again, find a middle ground and compromise or find ways that they can see each other’s perspective and where there’s overlap between their perspectives. There may be several areas they disagree on, but what are the things that we can all agree on and trying to work within that. But that is tricky.

Devi (she/her) (10:14.36)
Mm. Yeah. And I guess for someone in that situation who really feels like this person doesn’t like me anymore, doesn’t get me anymore, and is not interested in understanding why I have changed on these things, what’s something you would say to them?

camden (10:30.19)
Mm-hmm.

Oh yeah, that’s so hard. And I think that would be a situation where I would want to confront the other partner about really enter into their experience and try to understand what they’re going through and how that makes sense for them. And even if you don’t agree or see it the same way. And then for the partner who feels really lonely and feels like the other one doesn’t care.

And sometimes it is a matter of looking outside the marriage for sources of support, for community, for like-minded people that can kind of meet a little bit of that need if your spouse is just not willing or ready to get there yet.

Devi (she/her) (11:09.128)
Yeah, but it seems like it’s a bad sign for the future or the longevity of the relationship, like someone who’s not willing to go be interested in how someone’s changing.

camden (11:12.755)
Yeah.

camden (11:20.362)
Right, well we all change, you know, and when we get married, you know, we know we’re not gonna be married to the same person our whole life because that person is going to change. And so I think that’s why we have to make a commitment to change together, even if that doesn’t mean we’re in exactly the same place or we believe exactly the same things, but we’re going to have mutual respect for each other’s process and be willing to explore that with each other, if that makes sense.

Devi (she/her) (11:46.033)
Mm. Yeah, absolutely. Okay, let’s go on to number four.

camden (11:52.771)
Okay. You have some affection and love for each other. Certainly, there can be hurt feelings and a lot of anger and resentment, and sometimes there’s very good reasons for that. But when couples have totally emotionally withdrawn from each other, that’s a bad sign. When they’re just really close.

Devi (she/her) (12:10.504)
What is that? What would you say emotionally withdrawing is?

camden (12:15.378)
Yeah, that’s something I asked just in my intake paperwork for couples because I think it’s so important. If they’re just completely closed off, it kind of goes back to that motivation or wanting to change. They’re just not wanting to open up to their partner anymore. They’ve kind of given up hope in that. They’re not really willing to try, like spending quality time together or trying new things together. It’s just very much a closed off.

And like I said, sometimes good reasons, because there’s been a lot of hurt that’s built up. But that’s a bad sign. When there’s that Gottman, John Gottman calls it a negative sentiment override. There’s just so much negative feelings between you, it’s overridden all of the positive feelings or memories that you may have. So I always wanna look for some affection or some positive memories that are still there to bond the couple.

Devi (she/her) (13:10.94)
Mm. That’s good. That’s really good. Okay. Um, number five.

camden (13:19.362)
Number five, I would say even if communication is rough, and certainly most, if not all of the couples I see say communication is a reason for coming, but even if it’s rough, there’s an overall level of respect or the ability or willingness to listen and validate each other, going back to what we were saying earlier. And sometimes that is a skill that they have to learn. That doesn’t come naturally. The ability to listen and validate, even if you disagree.

Um, but I want to see, definitely want to see respect that they’re not, um, like calling, name calling and things like that, or what Gottman would call the four horsemen, um, of the apocalypse. Yeah. Which, especially that contempt where they’re sarcastic and name calling and just, um, yeah, just kind of nasty to each other. And then the stonewalling where they’ve just completely shut down, um, and defensiveness where

Devi (she/her) (14:01.492)
of the…

camden (14:17.394)
nothing’s getting through because they’re just turning it back on the other one. So, yeah, so I’m looking for the absence of those things, or at least the ability to work with those things and change them.

Devi (she/her) (14:28.648)
Yeah, so respect is so individualized, I think, sometimes our experience of what it means to be respected and to show respect. What do you mean? What is that looking like in your practice? So a couple who is struggling, but you feel and I mean, obviously, this doesn’t have to be how it works out, but you may feel like this

camden (14:39.009)
Mm.

Devi (she/her) (14:54.656)
this couple is gonna make it because I do see a basic level of respect between the two of them. What is it that you’re actually seeing when you think that or see that?

camden (15:04.27)
I think it comes down to, I see you as a person and you matter. Like you and your needs matter. And that came out in your interview with Liz that I listened to of, you know, she said several times like there wasn’t like this clear-cut abuse in her marriage. But what I heard was a lot of disrespect of her personhood of just, yeah, and I don’t know her so I don’t want to comment on her story, but just yeah, like I think that disrespect of you don’t matter.

your needs or your thoughts or your wishes don’t matter. And respect is a need for both men and women, unlike what we’ve been told sometimes and something that we all deserve, especially in your marriage.

Devi (she/her) (15:46.704)
Yeah, yeah. I mean, another thing that comes out in Liz’s story, I think is only one person’s time is being respected. Because of how the household is sort of set up, right? Yeah.

camden (15:55.182)
Mm-hmm.

camden (16:00.606)
Yeah, and going back to why more women are initiating divorces, I think that has a lot to do with it, Debbie, is women want more than just a partner who’s going to provide and not beat them or abuse them. They want someone who’s going to give them an equal partnership, whatever that looks like for each individual couple and how they work that out. But women want intimacy, women want a partnership, and many men, especially Christian men, have just not been…

raised to have the skills or awareness to give that to their wife. And so I think that’s leading to a lot of unhappy women and these women initiated divorces.

Devi (she/her) (16:40.328)
Yeah, and I think one of the misconceptions about divorce is people, especially for me, and I’m generalizing, I’m making my experience everybody’s experience here, but I think for me growing up, I always thought the reason why people divorce is they divorce to go to somebody else, right? Because marriage is still kind of the goal. And I think the difference today is that there are a lot more women who are very happy to say, actually, I’m out. I’m out of the whole thing.

right? Because they can have a full rich life on their own.

camden (17:14.55)
Yeah, and they want and deserve that respect for their personhood and to be treated with equal regard, and they’re not getting that in their marriages.

Devi (she/her) (17:25.188)
Yeah, that’s right. There was this TikTok and this is related to dating. There was this TikTok that I saw somebody share on Twitter that it’s a single woman, you know, early 20s, basically going through her day and how amazing her day is and kind of going like, if I’m going to date someone, like you need to be better than all of this, right? And it’s like all of her alone time, all of her this all over. And I just thought, yeah, this is different. This is very different culturally than what we grew up.

camden (17:44.175)
Mm.

Devi (she/her) (17:54.024)
what you and I grew up in.

camden (17:55.414)
Yeah, well, it’s different than the idea that the woman just sits around and is mopey and sad and waiting for Amanda come along. You know, she has more options now. She has more freedoms now. And I think that’s a good thing. It doesn’t have to be seen as a threat to marriage or a threat to men, which is that TikTok video was definitely taken that way. We can have both a full life as a single person and a full life as a married person. Yeah.

Devi (she/her) (18:10.75)
Yeah.

Devi (she/her) (18:14.805)
Yep.

Devi (she/her) (18:21.648)
Yeah, well, it’s a challenge. It’s a challenge to guys, I think, to say for heterosexuals, like, well, step up, step up your game. Like, yeah. All right, I think are we on number six now? Okay, go for it.

camden (18:35.046)
Yes. Yeah. All right. So this one is you come at the beginning of the problems, not after years and years of relationship problems or neglecting your relationship. Couples therapy has one of the highest like, like failure rates of all types of therapy. It’s it actually yeah, it takes a lot longer to see change because there’s two people involved, not just one, but I really think the reason why.

it has a high failure rate is because people wait and too long to come. Like when people come and they say, this is our last stop before the divorce lawyer, like that’s not a good sign. I think it’s better to be proactive, better to come sooner than later. And sometimes when couples do that, they’re a little almost apologetic or embarrassed about that. Like, should we even be here? We’ve only been married a few years or we just started having these problems. But I think that bodes well for them.

Devi (she/her) (19:33.298)
Mm.

camden (19:34.692)
rather than waiting until there’s been all these hurts that have built up.

Devi (she/her) (19:38.112)
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, and time, I guess that you’re working through, you know, 20 years of difficulty. That’s a lot to let go of and be able to focus on the future. Okay, what’s number seven?

camden (19:45.355)
right

camden (19:50.51)
Mm-hmm.

camden (19:55.578)
You’re going through a temporary stressor, but you have a foundation of love and trust in your marriage. So this could be things like sexual problems. That’s what I see a lot of in my practice. Or like a new baby that causes a lot of stress or infertility, maybe a new diagnosis or empty nest. So kind of these life stressors or transitions that you’re struggling with, but you come to get help.

and there’s a foundation still there, that’s a good sign that you just need the help and the skills to get through the stressor together.

Devi (she/her) (20:30.052)
Yeah, so that’s the idea that the problem is external to your relationship, but it is a source of stress to the relationship to the individuals. Very different from, I guess, the issue being the individuals. Yeah.

camden (20:41.196)
Mm-hmm.

camden (20:47.598)
Well, sometimes it can be both. I think with a new baby, that can be sort of an external stressor, but also maybe it’s bringing up internal stressors like, I don’t feel like I get enough help or support, or I feel like I don’t get enough attention or validation. Those are some common themes. So it can be, I think, both internal to the couple and external. And so again, coming back to those earlier ones we mentioned, is there a willingness to change and a motivation to change? And is there that?

level of trust and commitment and love and affection still there.

Devi (she/her) (21:20.376)
Yeah. Okay, fantastic. I want to okay, so those are the seven things that is so helpful. And I will make a post of that and put it on Instagram. I think that’ll be really helpful for people. Um, I want to you brought up this idea of like, moving toward a more 5050 model of, you know, whatever I I, Brene Brown.

I think I can’t remember if she said this on a video that I saw or I read it, but she talked about how there’s no such thing as 50-50 in a relationship that on some things, one person is 80 and you’re 20 or you come home at the end of the day and you have nothing left to give. And so your spouse has to be the one that pulls and does the heavy lifting. I guess when we talk about like a greater shared

responsibility of the burdens of a household and a relationship. Are we talking like sort of an exact 50-50, or are we talking about a system that’s a little bit more flexible?

camden (22:26.058)
Yeah, I wouldn’t say 50-50 is the goal because then I think that can get into scorekeeping, which is not very helpful. And also, like, not everybody has 50-50, you know, skills, abilities, time, you know, capabilities. Like that just varies. And that’s why I’m more interested in each couple themselves working out what does a more equal partnership look like for you guys. You know, if it looks on the outside like traditional where…

he works and makes the money and she stays home and takes care of the home and kids, but that works for them and they have found a way for that to feel mutual for both of them and that they’re both respected in that, then I’m happy with that for them. So it can look different ways for different couples, but I think it’s up to you to kind of, it’s subjective, up to you to define, like, do I feel like I’m a full person in this marriage and fully respected and supported?

And knowing that there are times, yeah, that you do give more and times that you give less and but overall that it kind of levels out to where you don’t feel resentful or taken advantage of in your marriage.

Devi (she/her) (23:33.716)
Mm hmm. Yeah, I’m curious, is there are there ever situations for you as a therapist when you go, this relationship is beyond hope, and I can’t I need to terminate or I, I don’t know, is that something that can happen in therapy?

camden (23:53.862)
Yeah, so like I said in marriage therapy, the marriage or the relationship is the client. And so I’m trying to work for the good of the marriage. If there is abuse that’s ongoing, I won’t see them. Like couple therapies contraindicated and they need to be seen individually. And if there’s like clear disrespect, I will call it out. But there are times where it can feel like a lost cause or times where I do feel like one is completely checked out or withdrawn.

And sometimes I would confront that or have a conversation about the direction we’re going and what their goals are. I think sometimes people come to couples therapy kind of as that last resort before divorce to kind of check the box of like, okay, we went to therapy, we tried, it didn’t work. To kind of, yeah, check the box, whether that’s to their community or family or to themselves to feel like I did everything I could. But I can tell.

when the heart and motivation is really in it versus not. And I think if it’s not, couple of therapies really not gonna make much of a impact at that point.

Devi (she/her) (25:01.508)
Yeah, yeah, it’s interesting. I, yeah, I think that’s it. In Liz’s book, for example, she talks about how she was the one who organized the babysitter for every day at night. She’s the one who made all the therapy appointments. She’s the one, you know, she was the one who bore every burden and he literally just kind of showed up in therapy. And I think that’s a good example of, you know, a situation where one person is trying to do the work and one person is just kind of, you know,

here for the ride or whatever and yeah.

camden (25:34.51)
Mm-hmm. Right. Well, but we have to we have to ask for more. You know, we have to and usually men have to be willing to step up and give more. And I think there can be grace for they never learned that, like we said, like they were never maybe taught those emotional awareness skills or that emotional labor. But that is really what today’s marriage and family life requires.

is that men are more emotionally accessible and supportive too, and to their children too. We want more from fathers now today than certainly our generation saw from our fathers and so on. So it requires a lot more of men, but I believe that there are men up to the task, and certainly I’ve seen that in my marriage.

Devi (she/her) (26:18.14)
Yeah.

Devi (she/her) (26:29.116)
Yeah. All right, as we end, I’d love for you to speak to people who are dating or engaged, to this idea that marriage should be hard. And I know we could do an entirely different episode on red flags and green flags and dating, and maybe we should, Captain. But I do want people who are dating and engaged to really pay attention to.

camden (26:39.603)
Hmm.

Devi (she/her) (26:56.896)
difficulty in their dating and engage relationship, specifically for Christians who were really taught that hard equals godly. Now you are a Christian yourself. What is a normal hard in a dating and engagement situation that is like, okay, that’s normal. That can be hard. It’s okay. Or am I even asking the right question? Is there a better question here?

camden (27:06.283)
Yes.

camden (27:20.982)
Yeah, that’s so hard to answer, Debbie, because I think it’s going to be so personal to each person. Like, there are things that I personally wouldn’t have put up with or pursued in a dating relationship that some other people are okay with and, and vice versa, I’m sure like, so it’s so hard to say that. But I do agree with you that it comes back to our theology of suffering. And, and

kind of this toxic evangelical belief that heart equals godly like you said and that if you’re suffering you’re doing something right and if it’s easy then you’re doing something wrong and it’s i feel conflicted about it because um you know she like raguar who you’ve had many times and who i’m friends with like she has been very clear about like her marriage is not hard and like her marriage makes her life better and she doesn’t think marriage should be hard and i love that for her and the other part of me is like yeah but we’re all human and we all have

faults, like we all have parts of ourselves that, you know, that are difficult or difficult to live with and that marriage brings those out. And I know that for sure applies to me too. So I think it’s just dependent on the couple and the person of what you want to put up with for the rest of your life and what you’re not willing to put up with. But I would say that’s where mentors come in.

trusted and healthy mentors and friends and people that know you and possibly therapists too who can say like, this is not normal or do you really want to feel this way or be treated this way for the rest of your life or not or give you a reality check of no one’s perfect and we can’t not give someone like that we’re dating a chance because of every little flaw. So but I can’t really define what those are, I guess. What do you think?

Devi (she/her) (29:10.068)
OK. Yeah, no, I think, well, you said something in there that I think is interesting. Are you willing to put up with this for the rest of your life? Which gets to the idea that sometimes we approach a dating relationship and think, this can change or this will change, when the reality is that I think our approach should be, I’m marrying this person with all of this stuff with it. And if it changes down the track,

camden (29:23.841)
Mm.

Devi (she/her) (29:36.432)
how nice. If it doesn’t change though, I’m still in it, right? Because I do think people show us who they are, except in those cases where you’re with a covert narcissist or something like that, and there’s genuinely you have no idea. And that’s not your fault. Like that is that person’s problem, the narcissist problem 100%. But I think, you know, people, like, let’s say many people will

camden (29:48.499)
Mm-hmm.

camden (29:53.39)
Mm-hmm.

Devi (she/her) (30:06.292)
who will say, oh, well, I’ll just, that’ll change down the track. Or it’ll change once we have children, or it’ll change once the job changes or COVID goes away or, you know, whatever. Yeah.

camden (30:17.522)
whatever it might be, yeah. I think that is a dichotomy too, because people tell us who they are and we shouldn’t expect them to change, but then at the same time people change. So we have to be willing to grow with each other and to accept that we’re going to change. But I wouldn’t wanna go into a marriage with the thought of this will change and then I’ll be happy because that’s risking a lot, especially if they’re really entrenched.

Devi (she/her) (30:27.85)
That’s right.

camden (30:47.03)
character logical personality things like narcissism or like chronic extreme disrespect. Or if it’s like addictive behaviors, you know, I would, I would really want to be careful with that and cautious. But

Devi (she/her) (31:02.42)
You just said something. You used the word characteriological. What did, yeah, what does that mean?

camden (31:06.134)
Character logically. Just a part of the person’s character. You know, it goes deeper than just external behavior. Like it’s really entrenched in their character. That’s a word we used to describe, like personality disorders. That this is not just like a transient thing, like depression can be, or you know, something more.

external, it’s really internal to them and something that kind of affects every facet of their life. And certainly doesn’t mean that people with personality disorders couldn’t be good partners or couldn’t get help or things like that, but that’s going to be a more entrenched and all-encompassing situation.

Devi (she/her) (31:50.108)
Yeah, so when you say entrenched, like you said, like chronic disrespect, what other things would fit into that aren’t in the realm of like a disorder per se that you’d get psychologically?

camden (31:59.622)
Yeah, I’m trying to think. You know, I said addictive behaviors or compulsive behaviors. It’s the, you know, sexual behaviors would fall in that.

Devi (she/her) (32:05.533)
Yeah.

Devi (she/her) (32:09.256)
like pornography, buying sex. Is that what you mean? Yep, okay.

camden (32:12.146)
Yes, yes, yes. Yeah, I think, you know, some of these just like personality traits or characteristics like laziness, or something like that, like, you know, really looking at is this a situational thing or short term thing? Or is this the person’s character? Have they been this way their whole life in many different situations? Or do they have?

Devi (she/her) (32:24.143)
Mmm.

camden (32:40.83)
you know, like that pattern of never taking responsibility for anything, like it’s never my fault, it’s always others fault. Like to me, that’s a character logical thing like that I would be looking for. And that’s why an interesting question asked when you’re dating is, you know, how did your last relationship end or why? Because I would want to look for are they just blaming the other person? I mean, of course, they’re going to put most of the blame on the other person typically, but are they also accepting or have some sort of insight into themselves too?

And if they like had a pattern of consistently blaming other people for the end of relationships, then that would I don’t know bring up some questions, I think.

Devi (she/her) (33:20.564)
That’s very interesting to me. Like that’s so interesting. Well, and then to me, when I layer that onto like purity culture ideas, like I had never dated anyone, right? Like I married the first guy I married. And I think there were a lot of us in that category. And now I think, gosh. Oh man, Camden, like there’s so much.

camden (33:34.862)
Mm-hmm.

Devi (she/her) (33:42.936)
you know, that I just was so judgmental of that I realize now that says a lot more about who I was than it does about, you know, my husband. So yeah.

camden (33:49.526)
Hmm.

camden (33:53.334)
Right. Well, I think, yeah, purity culture, you either went one of two ways. You either like didn’t give someone the time of day because they didn’t fit your whole list, you know, of what you wanted, or you stayed in a relationship too long because this is my first love. So of course he’s going to be the one or I’ve invested too much or we’ve, you know, we’ve done too much physically. So we have to get married, you know, and I think both of those are dangerous or could be dangerous. So yeah, purity culture didn’t set anyone up for very healthy relationship or dating skills.