Read an Edited Transcript of the Show:
Welcome to Sex Afflictions and Porn Addictions. I am your host, Craig Perra, from themindfulhabit.com. I’m the founder of The Mindful Habit, the world’s number one online at home addiction program for men struggling with sex and porn addiction. I base this claim on the over 230 independent, verified, authenticated real testimonials from men and their wives, over 200 of them five star excellent. And this is a podcast to help you create healthy sexuality and a great life.
So, if you’re listening to this podcast, your relationship already is strained, potentially in a significant way. I don’t mean to be an alarmist, but your marriage is under attack and I so strongly encourage you to embrace this perspective. And I’m gonna tell you why. I’m gonna build a case why you should listen to me.
The coronavirus not only impacts the GI tract. It doesn’t just impact respiration and make you feel sick and give you a fever. It’s crushing marriages, infecting relationships and absent action, your relationship is screwed.
Today, I’m gonna give you 14 simple easy and yes, some of them are obvious, some are not. Fourteen powerful things you can do to make sure your relationship survives coronavirus and comes out of this crisis stronger.
So, a divorce lawyer interviewed online talked about the peak times for divorce are after long explore during the summer holidays and over Christmas. Why? Because people are spending more time together. You are now likely in some form of quarantine where you are spending more time than ever together. So, I just wanna share with you what’s going on in China, okay?
One administrative office in China saw over 300 couples applying for divorces in the last three weeks. Another registry in another province received 14 requests for divorce in one day, hitting the upper limit, the most they’ve ever received. Officials claim it is due to self isolated couples spending too much time together. One city had to put a daily limit on the number of divorces that were allowed to be filed in a day. And this comes as China declares the lowest number of new coronavirus cases yesterday. No new cases in the province where this all started. Couples are impacted and relationships have been impacted in a significant way.
So, I read about an interview with David Cates. This guy’s got a PhD, a licensed psychotherapist. He’s the Director of Behavioral Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Here’s what he says in Newsweek. “Quarantine is stressful. A review of the evidence published in the Lancet, the prestigious scientific journal, indicates that quarantine can have negative psychological effects including anger, confusion and in some cases posttraumatic stress symptoms.” Trauma is all over my world. These fears that the coronavirus is triggering trauma. Okay?
Other studies reported for those who are in quarantine other psychological symptoms; emotional disturbance, depression, stress, low mood, irritability, insomnia, more PTSD, anger, emotional exhaustion, low mood and irritability. Factors that increase the stress of quarantine include a longer quarantine duration, the fear of being infected, boredom, inadequate supplies, inadequate information, and financial loss. He said, “Being together in a small space for a much longer period than under usual stressful conditions means more opportunities to amplify both positive and negative dynamics.
So, here’s his summary. “That relationships with a strong foundation will survive and may even flourish. Where those characterized by poor negotiation skill, destructive communication and lack of appreciation are more likely to buckle under the stress.” And so, in his interview,Cates spoke to research by John Gottman. John Gottman runs the Gottman Institute, the leading couples program. The leading evidence based couples program in the world. He’s got a great book, The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work. It is always very close to me when I am doing what I do in helping people manage the crisis of sex addiction and porn addiction, The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work, great, great, great book.
They did a study back in the ’70’s and I wanna tell you about this study, ’cause this leads to my number one, which is, which is really, really, really, really important. So, what they did in this study is they wired and recorded, like, thousands of couples over the years. Literally, everything that they did. They measured their biometrics. Once they accumulated and aggregated all that data, they realized that they could predict with a 93% accuracy what couples were getting divorced based upon this one thing. One thing. And the one thing was the positive attention to negative attention ratio.
So, couples who had at least five positive comments or gestures for every negative interaction were generally happy. So, five positives to one negative. Why five to one? ‘Cause a negative is so powerful. We’re fear based organisms. We react to fear so when that fear of not being good enough or fear of being unlovable is triggered in us by our partner, it takes five good ones to make up for the one negative. And what they found in this study, for the couples that had five to one, happy. Right. Four to two, miserable. Three to three, was like, on the track to divorce. Flip flop two to four the other way, divorce. It was literally like jumping off a cliff when that ratio changed. When it was any other than five positive interactions to one negative interaction.
So now, right, knowing that, let’s get to the 14 things that you can do so you don’t end up a relationship statistic. So you come out of this stronger and I beg you to take notes. Everything I say is evidence based, has been researched, has been part of my life and my practice in helping people struggling with compulsive sexual behavior and their relationships for the past eight years.
Here’s what happened. We overlook the easy. We look for these complicated solutions and we overlook the easy. Please, in this time of crisis, do not overlook the easy. I want you to be happy. I want you to be successful. I want you to thrive.
So, number one, calculate your ratio. Spend a day noticing, taking notes on each interaction that you have with your partner. Was it positive? Was it negative? Calculate your ratio. How many positive interactions are you having and how many negative interactions are you having? Calculate that ratio and do everything possible that you can to get to five to one. And what’s awesome about the five to one is it, it’s easy. These aren’t big bold gestures. You don’t gotta do one of these promposals that I’ve seen online with incredibly complicated, ornate… You just have to be kind. You just have to let the other person know that you love them and that you care about them and they’re making you smile and when you see something funny or you read a funny joke or see a funny video, pass it along. Watch it together. Five positive interactions to one negative. So, number one is to calculate your ratio.
Number two. To survive and thrive during quarantine, couples should look for opportunities to show interest, find areas of agreement, express affection and appreciation and demonstrate empathy. Okay, so that’s a mouthful. That is a mouthful, but this is basically an extension of number one which is to be kind. Look for opportunities to accentuate the positive. Find areas of agreement, express affection and appreciation and demonstrate empathy.
Number three. Recognize that worry, fear, stress and guilt are expected and these are normal reactions during quarantine and not criticize one another for expressing these feelings. Right? Hear, see the other person. What is intimacy mean? Into me you see. See your partner. Let them see you. And if you’re listening to this podcast and they’re not, someone’s gotta lead. Someones gotta take charge. Someone has to make sure things don’t go to hell in a hand basket and you get swept into the undertow of fear and reactivity. Excuse me.
Here’s number four. Get the facts and understand the actual risk, okay? Media coverage, whether it’s dramatic lead-ins bold headlines is likely making your personal risk seem worse than it is. So, get the facts and understand the actual risk.
And related to that, number five, get the facts from a reliable source, such as the CDC, your local health department. I’ve been looking to my local health department and getting some great information. Well, listen, I have been blessed, I have been ahead of this curve ’cause I got clients way smarter than me who told me we’d be in this quarantine, this shut in type state two weeks ago. People said I was crazy. Just wanna put that out there. The ego’s talking, yes, the ego’s talking. My parents thought I was nuts when I said we’d be in this spot two weeks ago. But that’s because I paid attention to the right news. The right news. Reliable sources.
Number six. Limit media consumption such as 30 minutes and evening rather than reading headlines or keeping cable news on all daily. There is no benefit to you keeping cable news on all day. I just can’t see it. I can’t, I know things are changing, I know you’re confused. Maybe you have many check-ins, but do not let it be this constant, all out stream of information that you are digesting. You are putting poison in your body. You are making your trauma worse. You are hurting and impacting your PTSD. You’re making those triggers worse. So limit media consumption is number six.
Number seven. Connect with others who can provide social support. So, I know that the addiction communities locally have been shattered, have been fractured. But there’s other ways to get help. You can reach out via telephone, email, social media, text message, FaceTime, Skype and if you need to jump into an aggressive program, guess what? I run a group coaching program. For the right guy, it is the best program in the world. More on that later. Number seven, connect with others who can support you, who can lift you up. Not bring you down.
Number eight. Create and follow a daily routine. A morning routine, an afternoon routine and an evening routine. We as humans strive best when there is structure. And ideally, these routines would include time for work, time for exercise, time for hobbies, times for learning and time for eating. Even if that routine is two minutes long in the morning. Even if that routine is two minutes long in the afternoon, five minutes before you go to bed. Start small and grow. But have a routine. Most of you, your routines have been disrupted in a significant way. Counterbalance that. That is not going to happen by accident.
Number nine. Stay busy. This is a good time to catch up on books or movies. Fix things around the house you’ve been meaning to get to. Learn a language. Try out new recipes. These are things that you could do together as a couple or they can also be separate activities. So, stay busy.
Number 10. Eat well. It is going to be very tempting for you to binge eat. I did last night. And as some of you know who have been paying attention over the course of the past two years, I’ve got GI issues and I’ve learned that I was misdiagnosed with Crohn’s disease at one point. I don’t have that, but I’ve got other issues and that means I gotta pay really careful attention to what I eat. I paid the price, but I’m not gonna do it again. I’m gonna eat healthier. Committed to eating healthier, but I wanted to let everyone know that I was tempted to binge. It’s okay. I’m gonna make mistakes. Forgive yourself. You fall down, you get back up. That was a lesson. I learned a lesson last night. Well, this morning when the lesson came. I learned a lesson that I gotta take, I gotta, what I put in my body is gonna affect how I respond. Gonna affect my ability to lead. So, I gotta eat well.
Number 11. Get sufficient sleep. Now listen, I told you, I was gonna talk about the obvious. I was gonna mention the things that we all know to do, but we take for granted. Eat well, number 10. Number 11, get sufficient sleep.
Number 12. Exercise. Go on YouTube. Whole body workout no weights for men, whole body for women. If you’re older the Diamond Dallas Page has gotta great yoga channel. Yoga by Adrian is a wonderful yoga channel. There’s a million things out there. The Prison Exercise. You don’t need any, you don’t need any equipment. Just push-ups, sit-ups. If you can’t do a push-up, you lean against the table and do a push-up that way. So, no excuses. You’re gonna have to exercise and for those of you who were disciplined enough to go to the gym, well, you’re not going to the gym now. And if you’re listening to this in a part of the country where you’re still letting you go to the gym, your government is way behind and, and really making a mess, look at other states. See what the responsible states are doing. So physical exercise.
Thirteen. Learn formal skills for managing stress. Such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation or mindful meditation. I live in a world where I have to practice mindfulness. I have to because the monkey mind left unchecked is so dangerous, it drives me to dark places. Brings me to places where I think of myself as a piece of shit. Makes me wanna numb cope and escape. It’s a lot to wanna numb escape and cope with right now. So, I’ve gotta train that monkey mind so it doesn’t grab those negative thoughts as it has habitually conditioned and trained to do. So many people are like, “I can’t think about this, I can’t think about that. I have these thoughts and I gotta stop thinking this, I gotta stop thinking about…” Stop it. You’re making it worse because that which you resist persists. You’re making it worse because that which you resist persists. You must practice mindfulness.
And there’s a couple of great resources to do it on your iPhone in the app store. The app Headspace or the app Calm. Two great resources. On YouTube, mindfulness. Guided visualization. You can go the science route. You can go the spiritual route. You can go the religious route. You will find something mindfulness in whatever way is good for you. Whatever you attract to. Whatever you connect with. You will find somebody doing it that way. Google UCLA free mindfulness resources. You gotta train your brain. You gotta proactively manage this fear. So, learn formal skills for managing stress. Lucky 13.
Fourteen. Last but not least, be proactive in your relationship goals. Recognize that your marriage is under attack. Pardon the drama. Just recognize that there’s an assault on your marriage that you have, you know, left unchecked, have no control over. But you do have incredible control. You can be proactive. You have the power to create positive. You have the power to bring more love into your life. You have the power to develop and grow in intimacy. You have the power to lead intimacy. Into me you see. You have the power to use this crisis to touch your partner’s soul, the person that you chose to live the rest of your life with. Pretty crazy, right? Things like this remind us we don’t know how long the rest of our life can be. That’s the gift. That’s the opportunity.
So, those are your 14 reasons, 14 things that you can do to use this crisis to not get divorced. To use this crisis to grow your relationship and notice, it wasn’t all relationship stuff here. I didn’t wanna do that. I think there are some relationship things that you can do and there’s things that you need to do independently. Individually. There’s both. If you’re gonna be successful, you’re gonna have to do both.
Now, if you want structured help… Not everybody does. But if you do want structured help, I have reduced the price of my online self study program from $499 to $99. That is the self study program. The price has been reduced from $499 to $99. You can sign up for that right on the website. Select the $499 option and enter the coupon code MINDFUL2020. So, this is for the self study program only. You have to select the $499 option. You get 400 bucks off and only pay $99. The coupon code is MINDFUL2020.
Now, my most popular option is my group coaching program. And I am absolutely blown away by the incredible support that these guys are providing for each other. The men in this program have chosen to use this crisis to grow stronger together. They appreciate the value of communication. They appreciate the value of having a coach who’s going to push them, who’s going to drive them, who’s going to expose blind spots in an assertive, aggressive way ’cause life is too short to suck. I have dramatically discounted the group coaching program. I’ve expanded the number of scholarships that I offer per month. If that’s something you’re interested in, you have to talk to me. You can call this number to schedule time with me. This number is 877-769-3790. The number is 877-769-3790. My receptionist will take your information and schedule a time for you to talk to me. I’ll reach out to you. I’ll text you and share with you what those options are.
So blessed, so privileged that you are using your precious time to listen to me. I am so blessed. I’m gonna continue to honor that by creating broadcasts that are gonna help you create healthy sexuality and a great life and to help you own this time so it doesn’t own you. Feed the right wolf and embrace your power of choice. Craig Perra from The Mindful Habit signing off. Peace and love.