Welcome to the couples expert podcast! With Stuart Fensterheim, LCSW, your source for the latest tips and practical downpour of advice on creating emotionally connected thriving relationships. Now, here’s Stuart.
Stuart Fensterheim: Hi there and welcome to the Couples Expert Relationship Podcast. This is Stuart Fensterheim, the couples expert. I am here today inspite of the fact that the world seems to have a great deal of problems. And as a result with all the problems the last few months, I am concerned. As a result of my concern I have traveled the globe, I have traveled far, I have looked on the internet, I have asked everyone I know who can help us, who can be that protector of our relationships. And I came up with it folks. I learn the people that we need to turn to are our protectors and the defenders of truth, justice, sexuality and spiritualness, Drs. Robin, Janelle Alex are our protectors. And they’ve agreed to be here. They’re coming. They’re coming on the Couples Expert Podcast.
Ladies and gentlemen, I need to trust you and I want your confidentiality because they are secret agents. And as secret agents they have a mission that sometimes goes beyond the norms. These secret agents are special agents. They are agents that are trained in arm to arm combat, they are trained in doing jobs all around the world. The world has lots of issues. Ladies and gentlemen, here at the relationship podcast we know that relationships are struggling, people are wondering is the world falling apart? What are they doing? How can they survive this? Can they feel good about their relationship in this kind of world?
Well, ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you something. Let me tell you something right now. We can, and do you know why? Because there are people like Dr. Robin, Janelle Alex. They are going to be the ones that help this world survive in terms of our relationships. And I have been fortunate enough to know them. And a result of that, I am bringing them to you. I am bringing them to you today and we are going to have a dialogue today about love and relationships and they are going to share their mission experience and their mission expertise with all of my community of listeners and I thank them for that and they are so wonderful and giving and they have been doing this powerful mission of theirs for over 25 years. And they have a life force.
A force in helping men, women and more importantly couples integrate the feeling of being loved and connected in their relationships with each other and by doing that folks, what they can provide, they can provide all of us an adventure. An adventure in this world about love, relationships and helping our fellowmen through that because if we can have a relationship, a relationship that is special, then we can also share that special time with our children and grandchildren and all the people in the world that need Drs. Robin, Janelle Alex to protect us in this world. They will protect us from ourselves, our apathy, our doubt, our interpretation of our partner’s behavior that is negative. We need to stop doing them folks because all of us need each other to be special.
Welcome Robin, Janelle to the Couples Expert Podcast.
Janelle: Thank you. We’re excited to be here.
Rob: Yeah, we’re very excited to be here and we’re ready to bring our spy branding here.
Stuart Fensterheim: Our spy branding. That’s interesting. So what it is a spy branding anyway?
Rob: Well, we bring that playful piece. A lot of people think it spies and they think of James Bond and the Mission Impossible type of scenarios. Well we like to bring that more fun piece like the Austin Powers kind of joking, having fun but yet we’re this international people of mystery.
Janelle: Of course now you’re making me think what Steve Mark and then the Pink Panther. But yeah, I always say it’s James Bond kind of meet Austin Powers, not to leave the women out it’s just that unfortunately the men are the famous names that we know.
Stuart Fensterheim: I want to age myself. For me it was Get Smart.
Janelle: Oh yes, yes.
Stuart Fensterheim: In the 1899 when you talk about the women, we can do age at 99 and get smart for those that are little older. So with the whole mission concept and the idea of you know, we really need to do something about the world in terms of the sadness and the anguish that comes in and so many couples sort of splitting apart for so many different reasons, how do you take that concept and really make it be meaningful for couples?
Janelle: Well, I think part of the piece to that is is that when we’re on a mission and if we think as a spy, we have a mission. We actually have a goal. There’s something we’re truly trying to achieve even though it might be quite challenging at times. And so we have to train for it. We have you be in shape and always be constantly looking for the next thing and the next piece to the puzzle to put it all together. So when we’re looking at our relationship that’s really, really vital. You cannot just go into relationship and if you get marry and then go oh, it’s happily ever after because that’s – those fairytales, they’re fun to read or fun to watch as a cartoon or whatever but not real life. We have to actually work and I know there’s lot of people don’t like the term work, it sounds all yucky and drudgery – drudgery, that was a weird adjective. But it’s really when you are working towards something that you so love and want in your life and there’s purpose to it and there’s a beautiful reward from it, then Rob and I are of course happy towards that. So I think that that’s the key. It’s always getting the next training if you will whether that’s working with a coach or counselor, reading a great book or while listening to an amazing podcast. But all those little pieces that you continually bring in and pay attention to and then implement because you have to take action and practice, practice, practice, continuing practicing of having the different aspects to your relationship and adding those in so all those beautiful pieces start to fall together.
Stuart Fensterheim: It’s really interesting about to what you just said and I love it so much because what you’re really talking about, I’ve been talking a lot about this with my clients and my podcast about having an intentional relationship. Having a relationship in which you intentionally decide what you’re going to pay attention to, what’s going to be meaningful and what are you going to do about making the relationship special.
Janelle: Absolutely. We just talked with Katie Hendricks the other day and of course many of you I’m sure would know who Katie and Gay Hendricks are. When we spoke with Katie the other day, we we’re having that discussion, they have their new book out about conscious loving and of course it’s about being kind of 40 and beyond. That consciousness and that awareness, because that’s what it is, it’s all intention and it’s all about having purpose.
Rob: Yeah and you have to keep wanting to improving your relationship. There’s not an end line to your relationship. It’s not a race to where you get to the finish line and you get the fun fair and you get a stand up on the podium, now it just keeps going. You just keep building on what you’ve learned, what works, what doesn’t work and you keep crafting your relationship and that’s what I love about relationships is there’s so, you know, you just keep stacking stuff on top of it and building on it and making it better and better.
Stuart Fensterheim: And learning from each other.
Rob: Yes, definitely.
Janelle: Oh yeah.
Stuart Fensterheim: And I think the piece that I like about some of the things that you guys do is really making it fun and playful. And I think so many people don’t talk, couples especially, don’t talk to one another about how to maintain playfulness. We do a pretty good job when recording but when we are in the relationship, when we’ve been together a while, that’s seems to go away, doesn’t it?
Janelle: Well, I mean think about how just as children typically we’re playful, we don’t think twice about it and as teenagers or as college kids we act like fools sometimes but we are more willing to yell, scream, cheer, whatever but as we become adults and we go in to our jobs especially if you get into that corporate mentality then oh my gosh, don’t be joking, don’t be silly, don’t do this because you’re no longer taken serious. I’m just always so upset by that, it’s like, “really?” And I use the example whether you like President Obama or not doesn’t really matter but he makes a good example on the fact that you’ll see him sometimes on, well I think he have some shows on Jimmy Fallon and President Obama will crack jokes and he’ll be on this side or the other. He did a spoof on – it was a Steven Colbert I think and things like that. So you see humor and it’s like if we could learn to bring that back in to even our big business lives then we’re going to lighten up even some of the most challenging and stressful times.
Robin: And I think there’s the friendship piece too. When you think about keeping your relationship fun and exciting, think about your best friends in life, the people you went to high school with, you just have fun with them and still to this day you have fun with those friends, why can’t we have that in our relationship? Why can’t we have that aspect of that friendship in our relationship?
Stuart Fensterheim: Right and I think that is really the foundation that keeps couples together, isn’t it? That piece of friendship and can you count on each other.
Robin: Right and I think that’s where a lot of people got that line, it’s blurred. It’s like how can I be a friend with my partner? We have to pay the bills and all that but there’s a lot of power in that friendship and like Janelle’s saying in that fun and playful piece and that’s need to be in there even when you’re having tough times when, you have that it’s always something to fall back on, you can still joke around with each other a little bit even in the most trying times.
Janelle: Well and I think another point to
Stuart Fensterheim: And those other pieces, how do you maintain that is probably one of the biggest questions that I get.
Janelle: Well I think you said it earlier, we’ve been talking about you are part of it is just that intention. You’ve got to be paying attention Rob, you say that we should be making love from the moment we get off the bed.
Robin: Yeah, the moment we get up, making love doesn’t start when you hit the bedroom, it starts in the morning when you get up those first kisses, the way you interact through the day that’s foreplay and it’s exciting. And when you start to think of it that way that the kiss you give your partner before you leave for work is foreplay it becomes a lot more passionate, those kisses might just last a few seconds longer or there’s a little more touching even when you’re out working now you’re thinking about your partner, you might send them a flirty text or just, “I’m think about you” kind of thing. It gets the ball rolling and now that anticipation starts to build and it gets more powerful as you think about it and you get more excited. It’s like ball chasing Indiana Jones down the…
Janelle: Just a moment ago when I made it trip of tongue and swabbed up, it’s no big deal. Rob and I had a little moment and we were both laughing. He’s kind of laughing at me, we’re laughing together, for me that’s part of that, that’s in a sense is like he’s showing his love for him, like I just made him laugh, that makes me feel good.
Stuart Fensterheim: Instead of him going, “How could you do this? We’re on the air. How could you make this mistake, I can’t believe you did this to me.” And it becomes a personal offense, doesn’t it?
Janelle: Yeah, yeah. It’s just about being able to be who you are with your partner because it’s that safety and that trust so you can be yourself and have fun and it helps then because now you can laugh at yourself and at or with each other but it doesn’t feel like you’re being grumpy or nasty to each other, doesn’t have that feeling at all. It just leads to when you have that kind of trust and that kind of safe feeling then can talk about anything, you can try different things in any part of your relationship, in any area whether I wanted to start a new business or hey I want to try something difference in the bedroom. So you can have much more easily have those conversations.
Stuart Fensterheim: The word that comes to mind for me that I also talk a lot about is having an authentic relationship. If you can’t be yourself, if you can’t be authentic, you can’t just be who you are, what do you really have?
Janelle: Exactly, yes.
Stuart Fensterheim: So those triggers that sort of get in the way of that, that’s what we’re trying to undo, wasn’t it? With some of these adventures.
Robin: Yeah, I think so because when you think about it, if you get upset because your partner laughs at you, you need to really take a step back and look out from their perspective. I love when I fall down because I’m the first person laughing, I mean I could be hurt and I still be the first person laughing because I look at it from that other person’s perspective and I think, “Oh my gosh, that looked funny”. Yes, we always wanted to make sure that our partner is okay but still those moments where the laughter just comes and flows, pure and free are magical and if you can get over that, “Oh they’re laughing at me” kind of mentality, you can probably see it’s pretty funny for yourself too.
Janelle: I remember there’s a couple of different things that popped into my head because Rob has a tendency to not necessarily always use a ladder. He will just climb whatever happens to be there, and I see him flying, do not do this, do not try this at home. You know, I’ve seen him climb on paint cans and fall off and I’m just laughing at the same time going, “Are you okay?” Because he has a relationship that we have and I know I’m not going to offend him, I’m go, “That was not very smart idea. That was pretty stupid. Why would you stand on paint cans?” But I don’t do it in a way that is you freaking idiot, dadadadada. It’s very different and we’ve been together a long time so I know how if I were to say something mean and I know what that would be the way that would come across to him. And I think that’s a key, Rob now, he’s just cracking up, he’s got the giggles, but he’s remembering crashing and the breaking the book case another time, do not do that either. He sounds like a monkey. He climbs on everything in the house. You have to understand your style of communication and what your expectations of yourself of course, but of your partner are and realize that we have different lenses that we see and feel things through.
Stuart Fensterheim: So you’re really talking about the two of you in particular in how would you be describing this, having a secure relationship because you have those experiences, those adventures with one another that have you seeing your relationship as fun, as meaningful and you’re securing each other’s love because of those experiences.
Robin: I think you hit on an important piece there that we looked at our relationship and treat our relationship as a third entity. I mean there’s Janelle and there’s Robin and then there’s our relationship, and we have to foster, we have to take care of ourselves and we have to foster that relationship and take care of it too, and we do we, we treat that like it’s its own individual piece of our life. I mean it’s like a third entity as I said. We want it to grow and thrive and be proud of itself too.
Janelle: When you have kids, because we have three sons, two grown sons and still one younger, a little guy at home, we consider that third entity the couple, the couplehood, coupleship, pick a work right, it’s the power center, it’s the foundation, it’s the support for the family which is of its own unit, its own entity in that sense. So there’s five of us when it comes down to that. So there’s a whole different dynamic but we show our sons that they can always come back, they can rely on mom and dad, or step dad, step mom because we have his, hers and ours. But they know that they can come back to us when they need something or hear, we listen and we do our best to be good role models for them as funny, let’s make laughing, joking moments, as well as this is how you supposed to treat your partner, and I think that’s a key component.
Stuart Fensterheim: Especially when you’re upset with each other, how do you treat each other at those times when you are triggered? That’s the time that it matters. No, I think that’s what you’re showing your children when you’re able to have these conflicts and still treat each other with respect and love and know that as you were talking about the entity as a couplehood that what’s important here is how you feel about each other not being about right or wrong, that’s what you wanted to demonstrate.
Janelle: Last week sometime my 19 year old, and he and I are very close but he said something, first Rob and I are [inaudible 0:19:27] focuses, metaphysically focused and some of the synchronism signs show up and of course we’re like, “Oh that makes sense and we get it and okay, here’s a sign.” So I was having this conversation and it was a bit far reaching with my 19 year old and he was like, “Okay mom, you’re just taking that way too far,” and blah and he walked off. And I was like really because usually he’s kind of open. So I don’t know, next time I went upstairs by his room, I stopped and say, “Hey, just a thought, here’s a lesson for the day”, and I said, “When you really have something that you really, completely disagree with somebody on, you stand totally on the other side of the fence from them instead of saying, ‘wow you’re taking that way too far and basically you’re flipping crazy’, so you know, that’s great, I’m glad that it makes sense to you. It doesn’t make sense to me but I respect you for that.” You don’t say those exact words but that mentality and that feeling and I said, “Take that to heart because not only treat your Mom that way but with a girlfriend or whoever then you need to be able to respond in that way so your partner feels that respect and again, it creates that trust and that safe space.”
Stuart Fensterheim: Right, and then after interactions where someone makes a demeaning comment to the other they expect from the person have all this desire.
Robin: Yeah, yeah.
Stuart Fensterheim: And to now we want to jump and how come you won’t make love with me after I just called you a jerk? And speaking of getting back to sort of the whole desire piece because I know lot of what you guys talked about is that adventure and how to make that adventure turn into having a really exciting or fulfilling sexual relationship, what are some of the things that you do with couples or [inaudible 0:21:19] couples and what type of adventures are we talking about?
Robin: We have our mission date night adventures series which is basically we kind of constructed a date scenario with the spy theme, there’s evil villains to [inaudible 00:21:34] and all these types of things. There are certain objectives that they’ve got to complete. All of our adventures allow for a little wiggle room if you will, they are not hard set so you can make adjustments for whatever works for you. But it gets the couple out of that same mentality of we’re going on the same restaurant , we’re going to eat the same things, we’ll go see a movie, we will set for two hours and not talked to each other and then will come home and we want to make love. No, we want to get that excitement building. We want them to go out and find things, achieved goals to make some excitement before they get to the bedroom so that when they get to the bedroom they’ll like, “Wohoo, that was fun, let’s continue this on.”
Janelle: And so the desire isn’t just about the sexual desire then. Then it’s about the desire to be with each other as well. Now for those that are bit more focused on, “Hey I just want to spice up the sex life” and maybe they still have all the playful piece and they’re willing to try some different things that are kind of outside of the normal thinking, then we have the sexy challenges and the of course the new books skidding ready to come out, but we have the sexy challenges that out there. There’s individual e-books and then there’s the big book of them but they’re all very much more focused on the sexual aspect of the relationship. Whereas the mission date night adventures, you go could do that just as a the date night, and at the end of the night or end of the weekend, whatever the case maybe, it doesn’t have to go anywhere else if that’s not what feels right to you. Because not all couples are in that, so we all know that that everybody is in this space but they can just jump back into having a great sex life. They may need to recover some of that adventure and that piece of the relationship before that physically intimate piece comes back into play.
Stuart Fensterheim: So it’s really making it more theatrical is what you really talking about having some of this fun, dramatic kind of experience with one another, dramatic maybe too much of an exaggeration.
Janelle: Theatrical is a good word, I think at times but there are couples that will go full blown, no dress all out.
Robin: Talk differently.
Stuart Fensterheim: Those are definitely fun.
Janelle: You don’t have to do that, you could just be in your Jeans and T-shirt and just be more normal and just playing along that way with it. It has that as what Rob said, the wiggle room, you can adjust and tweak it to what make sense and how far willing you might be willing to go out of your comfort zone.
Stuart Fensterheim: One of the populations that I’ve been focusing lately on and when we were talking earlier about all the stresses in life and how not to make it that serious, as serious as – more important in a relationship are really business owners, and the business owners really in my mind are the ones that need to just lighten up a bit. And I’m one of them so I can say that. How do you help those folks that say, “Wait a minute, I’ve got all this responsibilities, you want me to find more time now?”
Janelle: Yes, and I want everybody to know before we even give advice on it that Rob and I became entrepreneurs when we are both in our teens. I was 19,I started my first company and Rob, I think you were 16. So he was a few years ahead of me because he’s older than me but so there’s all of that. We’ve always, always, always run our own companies. I mean Rob had some different times, he works for somebody else here, there. And I did for about a year or so but for the most part, we’ve always worked for ourselves. When the older boys were children, when they were in elementary school I was PTO president, I was this, we ran that committee, we had two businesses that we are running at that time. And so we’re working close to, I don’t know, Rob is working 90 some hours a week at the business and I was putting in 50 there and 50 at my other company and we really, we’re just like crazy, crazy working and I actually took on some of my college education at that point then to. So it was clearly do this place, it was like, “Oh my god, I’m, so freaking tired”, and we we’re working a hundred hours a week and doing all of these other committees and all these other things, yeah, our sex life suffered as far as that part of the relationship and it’s difficult. So we had to learn how can we change that and fix that because we recognize that that had a big impact on how we interacted with each other at work or how we might interact with clients or customers and whether or not it was successful. So we’ve been entrepreneurs for almost forty years, 30-some.
So anyways, I just wanted to make that clear, we get it, we know what is like to be ridiculously crazy busy and I’m going to shut up because I’m sure Rob has stuff to share.
Robin: Well I think in business, we still need to bring that fun and part of that is having a great relationship because if you’re just going to work all the time and there’s no fun in your life, be it your relationship or anything, it’s just gets [inaudible 0:26:23], it gets old, you don’t want to go in, don’t have the same energy when you get there. My grandfather who has my biggest role model, he told me the biggest lesson he told me when going into business, he said, “No matter what you’re doing you can make it fun”, and he lived that statement. I mean he ran a humongous business and everybody loved him and that fun environment every time you step through the door. And so we want to bring that to relationships and when you do that, funny thing starts to happen. That fun and playfulness in your relationships starts to work into your business, now you’re going to work with a little bit pep in your step, you’re going with a little bit of excitement. At some point you’re ready for the day to be done so you can gain some more of that excitement and when you get home and its starts to build the great Napoleon hill had a whole piece on sexual transmutation to where you use your sexual energy that from your relationship to boost your business and we’ve really taken that a step further and built amazing ways for couples to do that.
Janelle: And when you have a really strong relationship, the friendship part of it, so you have the romantic part of it as well as the physically intimacy. You have the emotional intimate, the spiritual intimate, and the physically intimate aspect of your relationship and really I could say the mental piece there because you have those great deep conversations with each other a lot of fun in our view. When you have that, it opens the door for you to be able to better solve problems at work or maybe if you want to build a business or a client or whatever because you’re more creative. It opens the door to creativity for you. You’re also more confident. It’s been probably ten years ago now but there used to be a commercial on so some of us will remember that but the smiling Bob it was like a Viagra commercial or something, I don’t really remember but he was all of the sudden, he was finally able to have some great love making with his partner again and he was smiling all the time and everybody is like, “Bob, did you get a haircut? Bob, what’s going on with you?” So it changed him and he carried himself [inaudible 00:28:34] and that’s what happens. When you have that great relationship, you’re confident in yourself and again, it goes back to the trust piece. Now you’re comfortable just being who you are and you can take that out to the world so now your amazing relationship is not just making the two of you feel great and amazing, it’s feeding, it’s rippling out to those around and that beautiful energy is touching them too.
Stuart Fensterheim: And one of the things that I talked to couples about is you know, we all as business owners have a business plan normally. We look to the competition, we do all these things and we protect our business without business plan. Maybe it’s time that we all realize unless we have a relationship plan when we have a business, we’re in trouble. So if you are willing invest in a business plan and develop that, make the relationship plan also part of your business plan.
Janelle: Because of what I always say so, there’s the business side of your relationship, those aspects, the household has to be taken care of with whether you own it or whatever, you got the toilet is broken, the leafy roof, I can’t tell if it’s leafy but it can be leafy you know in the fall at least, fall out, you got to get the gutters paint. That’s a different one, I wasn’t thinking of it, those types of things that come in to play. The dogs got to go to the vet, the kids got to go to this event or that event or a home worker, whatever. So there’s all those pieces. So yes, there’s that more mundane, maybe not as fun piece but as Rob said, you can find ways to make it more fun but the key is to be planning it and have the conversations and talking about it whether it’s a few minutes every week or you actually set a business meeting for the relationship once a month, of course Rob and I have a regular business meeting for the business every single Monday at 11 am. Unless there’s something really important we don’t fluctuate that. We just don’t reschedule it unless there’s something with our son or when my family came to visit, we changed things a little bit, those types of things.
So it’s really being dedicated in to that piece of it and then having the conversation of the meeting for the relationship side as well and being committed to that. So you can make a very fun date night or you could sit down and say, “No, this is a practical conversation we have to have”, that’s an individual choice.
Rob: Well your business and your relationship are so intertwined and I think what people have to understand is you don’t expect anything out of your business unless you put effort into it, unless you put the time into it and our relationships are the same. If you’re not going to put effort, time, work into your relationship, it’s not going to succeed in the same way with our business. So we have to see the parallel there and how they work together to keep us all very, very happy.
Robin: Because relationships that struggle is not just like a light switch on and off, you’re doing great, you’re not. It chipped away over many years and months and unless you pay attention in that way, that’s what going to happen.
Janelle: When you said that I think of all the different roots that are being nurtured so they can grow and expand and so it’s very, very strong and solid. So when you do have the big storm that comes in the tree can bend but yet still come back up and be standing strong versus if you don’t have all those other pieces that you’ve paid attention to, and so that they’re strong in the grounds, the storm comes and bam, it’s over, you’ve lost it. Unfortunately a lot of couples that don’t know how to build that amazing root system if you will and that takes guidance, it really, really does. Rob and I are very adamant, we never tell anybody, “Well this is the way you have to do it and this is the exact method.” No but you have to say, “Wait a minute, here’s some guidance and now how can you take this idea over here? Tweak it to adjust the two of you, it makes sense for you”, and there you go. So you’ve got sort of mentorship or coaching, whatever you call it therapy or counseling, whatever, pick your word, they’re all a little different but how can that fit for you. And again, I’m going to have to say this, that goes back to trust as well because you have to trust the person’s that going to guide you or that you’re sitting in counseling with, because if you don’t trust him or her, you’re not going to take what they say to heart anyway.
Stuart Fensterheim: Yeah and I think what I do is I try to tell couples my role here is to facilitate what you two need and what I’m guiding you in you in that you have to have fun, you have to spend time, you have to love each other, know the positive things that you see in one another, if you’ll going to be able to have all that kinds of experiences.
Robin: Right and those statements, just like you say, you have to have fun. Well fun is different for everybody. What’s fun for me might not be fun for the next person, they might think I’m crazy but we have to understand that when we talked in generalities like that, you have to have fun in your relationship doesn’t mean you have to do exactly what I do. It means you have to find that piece, that fun thing to bring it in your life.
Janelle: And I want to make a note here too because as Rob just said it, fun is different from each of us. Rob for example loves to be in a huge crowd of people. He thinks that’s great fun and I’m like okay for a little while and then I’m done. That just doesn’t work for me perhaps because I’m emphatic and I pick up all everybody else’s energy but it’s overwhelming and I don’t like it for a very long period of time. So we have learned how to adjust that and that’s we teach other people. You have to learn how to adjust so that you each get what you need but yet you’re still honoring and respecting each other. So it can be how we’re having fun outside on a date or a big adventure all the way down to what’s you’re eating for dinner, or obviously, there’s often, more often than not of course, variations in your sex drive and how on earth can you come to the table on that if you are.
Robin: Why you’d take it to the table.
Stuart Fensterheim: Okay, here we go. Now let’s talk about the adventure date night in the table, right? What you’ve really talking about is finding the small moments and making them big moments, aren’t you?
Robin: I think we need to honor every moment whether it’s small, whether it’s big, just honor that and understand that’s all the part of how we fit together and how we merge our wonderful energies together. As Janelle said, it can be something as simple as dinner and finding out how to best orchestrate that, who cooks, when, and all those things or it could be like last year my father passed away and how do we handle that? That’s a much bigger scale of things but how we handle all this and honor these moments and how it shapes our relationship is what can make it really, really great.
Stuart Fensterheim: Or it could be real challenge if you don’t feel that security in each other’s life.
Robin: Yes, it can go to opposite as what everything, you can take it for good of for bad. I mean power is great but if you’re over abuse it, it’s nothing that you imagined it to be. So we have to be careful with everything that we do.
Stuart Fensterheim: And look for the fun in every single thing that you do. You could be going to the grocery store shopping and it could be a blast. It could be something that becomes a very emotionally and fulfilling and even enticing sexually just the whole experience with one another and who know what will happen when you get home.
Janelle: And you can make anything fun because Rob, I didn’t go to his father’s funeral. There’s some reason for that. I picked him over the airport and he says to me something about making his sisters and his mom laugh because he took a picture, he got a selfie of him and his Dad, obviously his Dad is in the casket, very morbid but I’m like, “You didn’t, did you really?” and he rips out his cellphone and share with me. And I’m just cackling but he lightened the mood for everybody because Rob is so playful and so humorous most of the time. I mean anyone that knows him, they’re like, “Oh my god, he always has a smile on his face.” And I’m one of the few people that would see anytime that he’s upset like “I don’t know what to do, I’m stressed.” Most people don’t see that because he’s such a happy guy which is amazing, right. So I’m blessed because I get to be in his presence all the time but it is that ability to shift gears, crack jokes and most of the time we can find a way to do that. Sometimes that doesn’t work but most of the time we can find some kind of humor and what’s going on.
Stuart Fensterheim: And what’s with some need about the story you just told us what it said to me that part of what Rob does is he looks at situations and say, “How can I make this the best thing possible?”
Robin: Exactly, I hate to say it’s my life purpose but it keep on going back to that statement that my grandfather made, anything you can do can be fun you just have to change it up, do something a little silly and it will worked out.
Janelle: Well and I think another reason – because we look at things differently than perhaps the average person, not that we’re not average, but what’s average, what’s normal. But we don’t believe that this is it, this is the only life we’re going to have, it’s so stressful and everything’s just got to be perfect and if we have this or we have that next level of income or we have all the kids grown out of the house then we’ll be happy or those types of things. It’s like no, wait a minute. This moment that we’re in right now, learn from it, enjoy everything you can find from it because you know what, it’s just a moment in my spiritual experience and just because I’m in this physical body doesn’t mean this is end all be all. And I know not everyone views it that way and that’s fine but that’s how Rob and I view things. So we come much more from the metaphysical perspective, sometimes my Bruto’s perspective will come out as well. So it really doesn’t matter but that universe so kind of thought, it’s just open as like wait a minute, I’m just experiencing stuff.
Stuart Fensterheim: And whether you believe into whole spirituality piece or not, what the message that you sending is make every moment count. I mean that’s really the message that you’re giving.
Janelle: Yes, you don’t have to be stressed and freaked out over this moment, it’s okay, it’s just a moment. I think it was my Grandmother that always said, I was thinking this is the second time I talked about my grandmother today, that’s interesting because she died many, many years ago but she said, “This too shall pass.” So whatever it is whether it’s good or there’s something that’s like, “Oh this really stinks and it’s really hard, and it’s a big struggle,” it’s going to pass. You’ll make it to the next thing. So I think that’s a great piece to understand and go okay, all right, this will be pass and I’ll be on to something else. So let’s not completely stressed out and be totally upset over this thing right this moment.
Stuart Fensterheim: We’re almost out of time for today and one of the things I wanted to ask the two of you is you’ve been doing this for quite a while, what is one or two things in your experience in working with couples or individuals or doing your mission date nights or the sexy challenge book that surprised you that you learned about yourself?
Janelle: That’s a good question. We learned about ourselves.
Robin: Mine is pretty easy because I used to not be this spiritual person, as metaphysically person I was very, “Hey, I have to have the facts, you have to show me,” and now that I’ve become – I’ve had my spiritual awakening and I’m learning, I don’t look for answers anymore, I look for questions because I feel like an answer is an end, it’s a stop. Okay, I got my answer, that’s what I was looking for. I’m looking for more questions, I want to know why, I want to question everything. Like you said, I want to know how can I make this situation humorous or lighten the mood, things like that. So I’m always questioning everything.
Janelle: What comes to me is starting at well, actually before I was 19, but I’ve worked with people, taught people, mentored people for basically my entire – I would say I guess even pre adult life but for a long, long, long time so thousands and thousands of people, right? So when I look at that, what stands out to me more than anything is that even though I’m guiding, teaching, mentoring, whatever, I always learn something from the student or from the client. Because if I don’t learn something from them then I feel like I failed everybody. So it’s that ability to say, “Wait a minute, no matter what I know, I’m always willing to see it from a different perspective and always willing to learn something new. And when we apply that to our relationship whether we’ve been married five years or five days, 5 years, 50 years, doesn’t matter or whether we apply that to our business life, whether we’re entrepreneurs or whether you work for somebody else, again, I said it awhile ago but opening the door to creativity but it’s the same thing with that, you open the door to all kinds of amazing possibilities. So it’s just something that for a long time I don’t think that I realized that I naturally did and at some point along the line and I said, “Oh, I’m learning from them too, this is amazing.” So I guess that’s what I would replied to you with.
Stuart Fensterheim: I want to thank the both of you, you have lots of things you’re involved with, you’re writing a book, you’re doing your workshops and just how open you were today and sharing of yourselves and your time, I just wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart and for my community of listeners who’ve I’m sure have gotten a lot of good tidbits, if they want to get a hold of you or if they want to get more information about some of the things you’re doing, what’s the best way for them to do that?
Janelle: Missiondatenight.com, they’ll love it because we’re always evolving the site and changing things so we got some new things we’re working on but missiondatenight.com, you can find out how to reach us there, obviously we’re on social media, pretty much everywhere.
Stuart Fensterheim: And I’m going to have it in the show notes as well.
Stuart Fensterheim: Again, I just want to thank both of you for giving of yourself and I want to thank all of you who tuned in for this week’s episode and we’ll see you next time. Take care. Bye-bye.