While you’re in the most fulfilling relationship of your life, how do you let your fairly conservative family know it’s not quite what they’d consider traditional? Welcome to Feedback Friday!
And in case you didn’t already know it, Jordan Harbinger (@JordanHarbinger) and Gabriel Mizrahi (@GabeMizrahi) banter and take your comments and questions for Feedback Friday right here every week! If you want us to answer your question, register your feedback, or tell your story on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- How do you let your straight-laced family in on the fact that you’re in a fulfilling, polyamorous relationship with two other people you love dearly? And what are your legal protections as a throuple? [Thanks to award-winning product manager Ebonee Younger for helping us field this question!]
- You’re a teenager whose parents never allowed you to go to public school, but they never homeschooled you, either. How can you be expected to make it in the outside world and improve yourself without an education? [Thanks to attorney (and formerly homeschooled) Corbin Payne for helping us answer this one!]
- You recently lost your battle with a gambling addiction and blew far more money than you had. Two questions: are there legitimate debt relief companies, and how can you build positive habits to make you more resistant to your unhealthier impulses? [Thanks to bankruptcy attorney Erin Hoskins for giving us some clarity here!]
- Inviting your girlfriend and her daughter to live with you has turned into a nightmare. If you break up with her, you have to face the guilt of throwing a depressed single mother with a suicidal daughter out of your house and deal with the emotional pain of losing someone you care about. But are you being fair to yourself if you remain in this relationship?
- Your evangelical ex left you because his faith has convinced him that your gay relationship is a sin, but now he wants you back — even though he still holds these beliefs. Is there any scenario where this could actually work?
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at email@example.com!
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter at @JordanHarbinger and Instagram at @jordanharbinger.
- Connect with Gabriel on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
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Taped at The Venice West in L.A., Jordan Harbinger Live Presented By Hyundai features an interview with the best-selling author and host of The Daily Stoic podcast, Ryan Holiday. Catch it on LiveOne here!
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Miss our first interview with Bill Browder — just one of Vladimir Putin’s countless sworn enemies who have thus far eluded his murderous grasp? Catch up here with episode 3: Bill Browder | Hunted by Putin!
Resources from This Episode:
- Cindy Otis | Spotting Fake News Like a CIA Analyst | Jordan Harbinger
- Jo Marchant | Placebos and the Science of Mind over Body | Jordan Harbinger
- What Is a Polyamorous Relationship? | Verywell Mind
- Why Unicorn Hunting Doesn’t Work | Poly Philia
- How Do You Tell Your Parents You Are Polyamorous? | Quora
- Polyamory and the Law | Harvard Law School | Harvard Law School
- Ebonee Younger, SPHR, SCP | LinkedIn
- How Is Homeschooling Legal? What Ensures That the Parents Won’t Neglect Their Kid’s Education? | Quora
- How to Report Homeschool Educational Neglect by State | Coalition for Responsible Home Education
- South Carolina Department of Education
- Federal and State Accountability Education Associate Ann Bogan
1429 Senate Street
Columbia, SC 29201
- Corbin Payne | Twitter
- Free Online Courses, Lessons, & Practice | Khan Academy
- Meet the World’s Best | MasterClass Online Classes
- Stream Entertaining Nonfiction Learning | Wondrium
- Degrees, Certificates, & Free Online Courses | Coursera
- Dealing with Debt | USAGov
- National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC)
- Court Website Links | United States Courts
- Erin Hoskins | LinkedIn
- James Clear | Forming Atomic Habits for Astronomic Results | Jordan Harbinger
- BJ Fogg | Tiny Habits That Change Everything | Jordan Harbinger
- Gretchen Rubin | Four Tendencies: The Framework for a Better Life | Jordan Harbinger
- Sean Young | Changing Your Life for Good with SCIENCE | Jordan Harbinger
- Affordable, Private Therapy Anytime, Anywhere | BetterHelp
- Former ‘Ex-Gay’ Leaders Denounce ‘Conversion Therapy’ in a New Documentary | Morning Edition
- Pray Away | Netflix
- You Can’t Pray the Gay Away | Skitso Music
717: Coming Out as Polyamorous to My Family | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with my Feedback Friday producer and best friend, that is my FFP FBF BFF, I like to keep things simple around here, Gabriel Mizrahi.
[00:00:12] On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. So we want to help you see the Matrix when it comes to how these amazing people think and behave, and our mission on this show is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. So you can get a much deeper understanding of how the world works and make sense of what's really happening even inside your own mind.
[00:00:38] If you're new to the show on Fridays, that's today, I don't care when you listen, today is Friday, we give advice to you. We answer listener questions. The rest of the week, we have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of absolutely incredible people from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, performers.
[00:00:55] This week, we had Cindy Otis, a former CIA agent who now specializes in combating disinformation. How ironic! And Jo Marchant, one from the vault, on the placebo effect, what it can do and what it cannot do, the limitations of the placebo effect. This will help separate a lot of the health and wellness scams and mumbo jumbo from the real thing. A lot of people think the placebo effect is just all kinds of medical things that happen in your mind. And the truth is it's far more limited than that. And we need to be mindful of that, or we will get scammed. More dangerously, a lot of people avoid getting real medical treatment because they think they can placebo their way out of things that are frankly going to kill them. So make sure you've had a listen to everything that we created for you here this week.
[00:01:39] Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:01:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe, I live in Ohio and I'm happily in a polyamorous marriage, meaning that I have multiple serious relationships at the same time with the knowledge and consent of all parties involved. My partner and I originally agreed to keep the details private from our families but we've recently been throwing around the idea of telling them about it, mostly because we both started dating a person we both care for deeply, and it's rather serious. We're not unicorn hunters. In other words, polyamorous people who only date as a package and cannot date separately, but it just sort of worked out to be a throuple.
[00:02:16] Jordan Harbinger: Meaning three people, all dating each other. I never heard throuple. It's—
[00:02:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:02:20] Jordan Harbinger: -funny.
[00:02:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: And all having equal standing in the relationship. Yeah.
[00:02:23] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. A little bit of terminology to get clear on here.
[00:02:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's a whole lexicon. Yeah.
[00:02:27] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:02:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: But I'm a bit unsure about how to approach this topic with my family in a way that they'll understand. They are very traditional and I worry that they won't accept my life choices. This is particularly hard because I'd love to introduce this other person to my family and bring them to events. They're a legitimate member of my relationship and an important person in my life. And I don't want them to feel like they're not welcome or important enough to be there. What's the best way to approach my family about this? And what do I do if they refuse to accept it? Also, can I be fired for being openly polyamorous? Signed, Assessing The Folly of Coming Out as Poly.
[00:03:05] Jordan Harbinger: Super interesting question. Gabe, we've done a lot of "how do I come out to my parents" questions, but I don't think we've done any, "how do I tell my family I'm in a relationship with two other people" question.
[00:03:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: I think this is a first. This one is tricky.
[00:03:19] Jordan Harbinger: It is. Yeah. If the person writing in had more open-minded parents, this could be relatively straightforward, I would think.
[00:03:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:03:25] Jordan Harbinger: It's going to be a little weird for them, but you can imagine—
[00:03:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: A little bit.
[00:03:28] Jordan Harbinger: You can imagine a world where they'd have some questions and then be like, "All right, two people, got it, whatever." But these parents are, like, "What are you Mormon now? You got two wives."
[00:03:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:03:36] Jordan Harbinger: But these parents are super traditional, if they're going to come to wrap their heads around this, let alone accept it, yeah, I think it's going to be a bit of a process.
[00:03:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: My first reaction is, do you have to tell them? You know, do they absolutely need to know about this?
[00:03:50] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:03:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: But what's interesting about this question is that they care deeply for this new partner. Like they said, it's serious. They're an important person in their life. Not bringing them to Thanksgiving or whatever, that might make this new partner feel unwelcome or unimportant. So this is like, this has to happen, right?
[00:04:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Yeah. This isn't some rando they met on the Feeld app and slept with a few times. This is like in their world, this is as meaningful as saying, "This is my partner." The stakes are higher and—
[00:04:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:04:16] Jordan Harbinger: It's like ignoring a regular significant other. It's another significant other.
[00:04:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. You can't just fly your first partner out to visit your parents and then tell the other partner, like, "Sorry, but it's just too weird for my parents and we met you later, so yeah, we'll just FaceTime you during dessert and you can tell Aunt Carol you're our roommate from Craigslist," or whatever.
[00:04:33] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Yeah. That's not going to go down too well, as that person sits at home, watching Disney+ on their iPad. Someone's feelings are getting hurt. And the new partner's not going to get any of that sweet, sweet marshmallow-covered potato casserole that passes for food during Thanksgiving.
[00:04:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. That's the real travesty actually.
[00:04:50] Jordan Harbinger: The real tragedy here. Yeah, there's going to be a lot of bitterness around the whole thing and they're throuple and if the person writing in is going to be fair to their partners and authentic with their parents, they got to come clean. They can't just bring home one of those jello molds and be like, "Sorry, bro."
[00:05:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: That does not travel well. Yeah.
[00:05:04] Jordan Harbinger: No. First of all, I would make sure that you're really ready to have this conversation and be prepared for whatever reaction they have. I'm guessing just based on what you shared, that your parents are going to have some questions. And one of those questions will almost certainly be, "So what does this mean? How does it work?" And you're going to have to give them the poly 101 spiel and do it in a way that's as loving and as non-threatening as possible. And they might respond in any number of ways they might hear you. And then just pretend the conversation never happened, which is totally on—
[00:05:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: I can see that.
[00:05:37] Jordan Harbinger: —on track.
[00:05:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:05:37] Jordan Harbinger: Right. That's a thing. They might also deny that this is a real relationship at all. They might even possibly reject you for this. I'm not trying to scare you here. I hope they respond well, or they just don't write you off immediately. I just want you to be prepared. So if they hit you with some tough questions, you know, like, "But isn't this immoral? Is it really fair to your other partner? Oh, someone's going to get jealous? Wait, when are you going to grow out of this phase?" "How the hell am I going to explain this to Mema" is going to be one of the questions for sure.
[00:06:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: For sure.
[00:06:05] Jordan Harbinger: Whatever they come back with, I would think through your responses in advance and just be ready to have that conversation. My advice — and this is coming from a guy who obviously is not poly, I can barely manage one relationship. I'm just imagining I would focus on answering their questions as simply as you can. And don't try to convince them that polyamory is amazing or it's the answer to all relationship problems.
[00:06:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:06:29] Jordan Harbinger: That's a separate conversation. I know some poly people love to be like, "You don't even get it, bro." And it's like, "Don't do that with Uncle Jim. He's just not on board. He's not going to get it." Your agenda at first, anyway, it's much more specific. Tell them about your new partner, get them to acknowledge your relationship, make it okay to bring this new partner home. You don't also need them to endorse your whole lifestyle or fully buy into polyamory as a concept because frankly, it's just, it's possible, it's likely they'll never even get there.
[00:07:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, what you're also getting at is what are your expectations and what can you live with your parents accepting? For example, if your parents say, "Aah, fine, I guess your other partner can come to Christmas, but you know, I don't want to explain this to Mema and Aunt Carol. So can we just say that you're like friend from work?" I mean, if that happened, could you live with that? Or would that feel just as unfair and just as hurtful? Honestly, if this were me, I would probably settle for that if I were in your shoes, just as a transitional phase. Your parents might have to go through the stage of, "Okay, I guess I can deal with this, but can you guys like not make out at the Thanksgiving table," before they get to the stage of, "Sure. I get it all three of you can be in the family Christmas photo." As silly as that might seem to you, I do think you have to be patient with your parents who need to go through their own process here.
[00:07:50] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Also, this means someone in your existing relationship who everyone thought they knew already is bisexual, which to most people who are not sort of woke 21st-century peeps, they're going to be like, "So your wife is gay—"
[00:08:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's a bombshell.
[00:08:06] Jordan Harbinger: "—now? Or you're gay now also, but you're also straight. I don't understand." Whether that's you, your original partner, so that's just another glitch in Mema's Matrix. That's probably going to make her head explode.
[00:08:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Glitch in Mema's Matrix. Amazing. That's a good point. Yeah, there's a lot for this family to take in here all at once. So we also have to talk about what happens if they don't accept any of this. If that happens, I would give them some time. Again, this is a process. They might need several weeks, maybe several months before they come around. And honestly, that is fair.
[00:08:37] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:08:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: If you grew up in a community or a generation where, you know, it's Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve and Tegan from Tinder.
[00:08:46] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:08:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's a lot to take in. So be patient, keep investing in your relationship with your parents. Try to help them see that this doesn't change your character or your morality or how you feel about them or how they should feel about you. But if they never come around, well, then I would get clear on whether they're not accepting your relationship or they're not accepting you. Maybe that feels like the same thing, but in practice, what does that actually mean? Does it mean that you and your parents don't have a relationship at all anymore? Or does it just mean that they can't get on board with having all three of you at the dinner table because it's just too weird and it's just too uncomfortable? And that's just a reality that you guys need to work with.
[00:09:27] Jordan Harbinger: Well, that gets at another angle here, which is maybe the throuple needs to do some work on what they can accept from this family. Like if this person's parents just flat-out refused to meet Tegan, will they all be okay? Can they survive as a throuple without the acceptance of one party's parents? Is there a world where Tegan forgives our friend here and allows the other two partners to visit the family, and Teagan still knows that she's loved and appreciated? And it's just not a thing?
[00:09:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Great question. You know, it just occurred to me, one of the upsides of polyamory, three sets of in-laws. So if one of them doesn't accept you, maybe the other two are cooler and that makes up for it. Or maybe it's just more people who could potentially disapprove of the relationship. I guess that's possible too.
[00:10:09] Jordan Harbinger: Six people breathing down your neck, every holiday. Imagine the rotations, "It's been three years since you've come home for Christmas." "Well, I mean, here's how our system works."
[00:10:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: "All right. Check out the spreadsheet. It's on Google Docs. We'll make it work."
[00:10:22] Jordan Harbinger: "Exactly. We shared it three years ago." My feeling is that they need to be ready for any response and not predicate their entire relationship on whether these parents can get on board. Because the reality is we can sit here all day and say the parents should embrace them and should be open-minded but they can do whatever they want.
[00:10:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: They are allowed to have their reactions, a fair point.
[00:10:41] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:10:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: And I would hope that if this relationship is truly loving and truly legitimate, then they don't need these parents' approval to survive, even if it hurts if they don't get it, although I know that's easier said than done.
[00:10:53] Jordan Harbinger: Sure. But all relationships have to build up some mechanisms for dealing with adversity, disapproval, conflict. A lot of that stuff is inevitable and this just might be their version of it.
[00:11:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:11:05] Jordan Harbinger: As for whether you can be fired for being poly — I almost forgot about that. We ran that question by Ebonee Younger, employee relations expert and talent strategist, and Ebonee reminded us that Ohio like 49 of the 50 states is an employment-at-will state. At-will employment means that an employer can fire an employee for any reason or for no reason with no warning and without having to establish just cause. And being poly, yeah, not a protected class under any US anti-discrimination law. So an employer could technically terminate an employee who has come out as poly, but Ebonee said that that would be a really crappy move by an employer, especially given the recent emphasis on diversity, equity, inclusion in the workplace.
[00:11:50] In fact, Ebonee said that as an HR person, she'd be far more concerned with the aftermath of workplace morale after making a move like that. So in Ebonee's opinion, most employers who had an issue with you for this, they'd probably make up a reason to terminate you. You know, they'll start finding problems with your deliverables or claim you were insubordinate. Or set unrealistic targets and then say you couldn't meet them rather than just come right out and say, "Well, I saw you ordering a three-pack of Snuggies on Amazon for you and your partners." So my personal take, the more likely scenario is that any bosses who have a problem with your lifestyle, they start to subtly undermine you or ice you out, or stop giving you as many opportunities and your career suffers in a more subtle way that you can't quite put your finger on, at least not right away.
[00:12:41] So Ebonee's advice is read the room. If your company culture is highly conservative, your best bet is to keep that stuff to yourself and only share it with close colleagues. So there you have it. I hope your parents can accept your lifestyle. I think if this is my family, I'd be more fascinated than anything else, but I also do understand how this would be super weird for a lot of folks. Maybe it's the Midwest in me, but definitely, this falls in the category of out there.
[00:13:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:13:08] Jordan Harbinger: It's a little bit shocking and you have to keep that in mind when you drop this bomb on your parents. Most importantly, I think you need to figure out why and how much you actually need their approval in order to fully enjoy your relationship or your relationships. I don't even know if this is singular or plural now, Gabe. See, it's even confusing for us, at least from a grammar perspective.
[00:13:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: It is.
[00:13:29] Jordan Harbinger: Wishing you guys the best. Please send us a cute throuple selfie from the Thanksgiving table if you guys make it there. Ideally, with a horrified Uncle Frank in the background, I'm going to need to see that for myself. You can keep the marshmallow covered, whatever it is though. I'll pass on.
[00:13:44] You know, who was always welcome at the dinner table, Gabriel? The amazing sponsors who support this show. Stand by for a great deal on a three-pack of matching Snuggies. We'll be right back.
[00:13:55] This episode is sponsored in part by Wrkout. Well, I'm not going to lie. I'm pretty happy my six-pack is starting to pop. I will say it's still in the refrigerator, but you can see where there are abs hiding underneath the last holdouts of subcutaneous fat, which is pretty exciting. I've never actually been this thin in my whole life or fit, I should say in my whole life. I also love my virtual trainers, Kareem and Chad, who both have the most trainer-ish names of all trainers, anywhere. Kareem and Chad, they've actually become some of my closest friends. So hey, if you're lonely and you're kind of chubby, then this is killing two birds with one stone. My 80-year-old mom is actually doing workout as well. I got her into it. She loves it. She also loves her trainer, Elizabeth. There's something comical about the fact that my mom's new bestie is a 30-something Manhattan night with tattoos and a half-shaven head. So Wrkout is, I can't recommend it enough. It's personal training. I do it while traveling, all you need is a phone or a laptop or an iPad, and you can use their software. They are actually real. It's not just recorded classes. They are watching you work out. You can take a video of what you have with you at the hotel and they'll tell you what the workout you can do is, and they'll go through it with you. It's amazing. I just can't recommend this enough. So if you want to see what highly vetted world-class virtual personal training can do for you, check out wrkout.com/jordan to try it out. That's W-R-K-O-U-T.com/jordan. Remember to skip that first O. And if you need me to refer you personally, just email me. I'm happy to do so.
[00:15:22] This episode is also sponsored by Better Help online therapy. As you just heard, I invest in myself. I have my trainer four days a week. Gabe and I have voice coaching once a week for Feedback Fridays. I keep in with regular checkups with the doctors, the dentist. I think taking care of your mental health is just as if not more important. You are your greatest asset, invest of the time and the effort into yourself. That definitely includes your mental health. Better Help is online therapy that offers video, phone, even live chat sessions with a licensed professional therapist in the comfort of your own home or wherever. Rather than waiting weeks to get booked with a therapist, get matched with a Better Help therapist in under 48 hours. Jen, I know you love Better Help. Tell us about it.
[00:16:00] Jen Harbinger: All right, so I signed up for Better Help and it's been amazing. I got matched with a therapist in like 20 minutes and I scheduled a call with her the very next day. I felt so much better right after speaking with her about this personal issue I had. I highly recommend it no matter what you're going through to speak with a licensed professional therapist and our listeners get 10 percent off their first month at betterhelp.com/jordan. That's better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan.
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[00:16:46] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:16:50] All right, what's next?
[00:16:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi Jordan and Gabe. I'm 15 years old from South Carolina, and I've never been to school like real school. My parents get away with it by claiming that I'm homeschooled, but I'm not. How can I get a decent job without a diploma? And how do I improve myself without an education? Signed, Charting My Own Path As An Auto Math.
[00:17:13] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh, this is wild. I knew there were kids out there who didn't go to school. I assume they lived in forests or something, but I think this is the first time that we've actually heard from someone in this situation. Oh, wow, I'm sorry that your parents haven't given you the education that you want and that you are frankly, entitled to by law. I totally understand why you're concerned, but I got to say, I admire you for recognizing this as a problem and reaching out for help. And that tells me you have a great attitude. You're proactive. That resourcefulness will serve you really well in life, regardless of your level of education or formal education.
[00:17:49] We wanted to talk to an expert about this. So we reached out to Corbin Payne, defense attorney, and friend of the show, also interesting, Corbin's actually a former homeschooler. So kind of the perfect person to talk about this. In fact, he's a big believer in homeschooling and he gets really worked up about families, that claim to be homeschooling their kids when they are not. To use his words, "It's a black eye on the rest of us. And it does a real disservice to children." Obviously, right, they're not going to school or they're not getting an education, they're sitting at.
[00:18:17] So here's the deal, and we're going to get a little nitty-gritty here for a second. Corbin studied the South Carolina Department of Education website, and a guide to homeschooling provided by the Home School Legal Defense Association. And it looks like your parents should be regulated by one, the school board; two, a statewide agency that regulates independent schools or a homeschooling group of 50 members or less. And according to the rules, you're supposed to be getting tested regularly. And your parents are supposed to be keeping records of your progress and submitting them to the authorities from time to time.
[00:18:50] Corbin wanted you to know that for two reasons, first, to make the point that if your parents have not been doing this, they're violating state law, right off the bat. Second, to make it clear how rigorous good homeschool parents are in educating their children. So what can you do about all this? Oh, you know what? They could also be faking those records, which is definitely a violation of state law as well. That's even worse, I would imagine than the negligence involved.
[00:19:17] So, all right, what can you do about all this? Well, my first move would be to talk to my parents, make them see how they're holding me back. Get them to agree to send me to a school or enroll me in a real homeschool program. I'm guessing you've already tried that, but we got to start from there before talking about escalating things because I do think you need to give them a real shot at fixing things. This is the whole thing. Like you call tech support and they're like, "Sir, is the computer plugged in? Have you tried turning it off and turning it on again?" That's this part of that. Okay.
[00:19:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. Let's troubleshoot the parents.
[00:19:45] Jordan Harbinger: Right. But if they absolutely refuse, then Corbin said you got a few options. One option is to call or email the Department of Social Services in South Carolina or Child Protective Services specifically, that's a division of DSS and tell them what's going on at home. Just keep in mind that DSS tends to put out more serious fires, like overt child abuse, stuff that you read in the news that's kind of horrifying. So it might be a while before somebody checks up on you. Your other option is to reach out to the state coordinator for homeschoolers in South Carolina. Tell her what's going on and yeah, report your parents. We are going to attach our contact information in the show notes for you. There's a direct email and phone number there. Corbin has a feeling that'll kick things into gear.
[00:20:31] Another move, contact your local school board and tell them your situation. Maybe they have the ability to compel a family to send their children to school, or they can escalate this with the right agency or connect you with a study-from-home program where you're enrolled, but not going to school in person, something like that. Seems more doable now with the pandemic than ever before, but in Corbin's view, contacting all of these agencies simultaneously, that would maximize the chances of somebody taking action and helping you out.
[00:21:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree completely. My only advice is be prepared for what might happen if you tell your story to these folks. According to Corbin, what will probably happen is some sort of review where they check to see if your parents are in compliance with the law. And based on what they find, they'll probably reach out to your parents and basically audit them to make sure that they have the right records, that the records are actually real, proof that you're in school, test scores, that kind of thing. If they don't, then this should result in you getting sent to public school, but it might also kick off some kind of investigation into your parents. And there could be some consequences to that. Those vary from state to state and case to case. It's impossible for us to say exactly how this is going to play out. But your parents could be fined. They could potentially lose certain benefits. They could even face jail time or probation for not sending you to school.
[00:21:53] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:21:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: And based on our research, if the state finds any related offenses in the course of the investigation, for example, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, child endangerment, child neglect, the punishment could be even more severe.
[00:22:06] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:22:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: And that might be a tough thing to watch your parents being held accountable here. But Corbin's view, and I agree with him a hundred percent on this, is that this is critical being denied. The education you need to survive in this world, the education you deserve, and also an education that is right there and easily available to you online if nothing else. That's hugely unfair to you.
[00:22:28] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Absolutely. If this were me and my parents couldn't be reasoned with, I would definitely say something. This is not okay. This is your life. This is your future. All that said, though, whether you end up going to school or not, there are so many ways to educate yourself these days. First of all, there are some great homeschooling resources out there, real homeschooling resources. That'll help you learn subjects at your own pace. I would definitely look into those. You can also check out resources like Khan Academy, Masterclass, Wondrium. These are just a few that come to mind. They're all relatively low cost and can really advance your education. Especially Khan Academy, I think for formal stuff like math and science, but if that's hard for you an even cheaper option is your local library. They might even have subscriptions to some of the services that we just mentioned. I really don't know. And I think that Khan is free, isn't it?
[00:23:17] But more than anything, don't be afraid to take your learning into your own hands. You can learn so much by reading books, participating in forums, watching YouTube videos, listening to podcasts, meeting other young people who want to learn on their own, building things, apprenticing for people.
[00:23:33] I went to school my whole life, and I went to college and then I went to grad school for law, right? I went to law school, but to be perfectly honest, the most important stuff I learned, I learned by reading things online and talking to smart people. It wasn't in a classroom. So why fully support you going to school, and you definitely need teachers, I also want you to know that most, if not all of your education, the best parts anyway, that will happen outside the classroom.
[00:24:01] As Corbin put it, learning and education never stop, starting out a few years behind, yeah, it's a challenge, but you can absolutely overcome it and it doesn't have to hold you back in life. You are still young enough to bridge this gap. Look, I know you think, "Oh my god, I'm 15. I haven't been to school." You're still young enough to bridge the gap. I promise you. So keep reaching out to people who can help you build great relationships, become a sponge if you're not already. And I am confident you'll set yourself up well, even if your parents don't value education as much as you do. And good luck, man. I am very much rooting for you on this.
[00:24:34] And Gabriel, I don't know if you edited this, but the letter was well written.
[00:24:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:24:38] Jordan Harbinger: This was not like some chicken scratch on napkin with a bunch of misspelled words and grammar errors. This guy's not uneducated.
[00:24:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: That was basically the letter, yeah. I mean—
[00:24:46] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:24:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: —to your point, just the fact that he reached out, says a lot about him.
[00:24:49] Jordan Harbinger: At age 15, I would never have reached out about something like this to people like us.
[00:24:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally.
[00:24:54] Jordan Harbinger: First of all, I wouldn't have even been looking for something like this. And secondly—
[00:24:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly.
[00:24:57] Jordan Harbinger: —I don't know if I'd be like, let me write a really coherent, persuasive email to these people. This person is definitely a go-getter, possibly gifted, educated in some way, either by reading a ton or absorbing a ton of information informally in some other way. It's very strange that he's never been to school, but also never been educated at home I'm curious about how all of this, why. That's the other question is why, but of course, he also probably doesn't know. That's the question for the parents.
[00:25:25] Anyway, you can reach us firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep your emails concise, use a descriptive subject line. If there's something you're going through, any big decision that you are wrestling with, or you just need a new perspective on stuff, life, love, work. How to get closure with your biological father who won't acknowledge you? Whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up friday@ jordanharbinger.com. We're here to help and we keep every email anonymous.
[00:25:51] All right, what's next?
[00:25:53] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. I recently lost my battle with a gambling addiction and blew far more money than I had. Without going into all the details, my family and wife have been very supportive and I want to regain their trust and repair these relationships. Obviously, I am getting a therapist, and my wife and I understand that we might need couples counseling too. I'm also looking into working with a debt relief company. I always assumed there was a big catch with these places, but maybe one of them can help me. But I sure as hell am not just going to pick one off of my Instagram ads. Do you know anyone who's worked with companies like these? Are they legit? And can you recommend some good episodes of your show for building positive habits while I work on all of this? Signed. Balancing the Books Without Falling For Crooks.
[00:26:39] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, man, I'm really sorry that you've been struggling with this addiction. That's got to be very intense, but I'm really happy that you have all this support around you. That you're starting therapy. That you and your wife are willing to work on this. That is actually really great news.
[00:26:52] Debt relief, not exactly my domain, but we wanted to dig into this for you. So we reached out to Erin Hoskins, a great bankruptcy attorney. And Erin was very clear when we talked to her, she said she would not recommend working with a debt relief company. There may be some reputable companies out there, but she said finding one will be very difficult. And ultimately, she doesn't think that the service they provide is very useful or helpful. Basically, a debt relief company, either negotiates with your lenders or consolidates your debt in some way. And then you pay back the debt relief company. They often charge large upfront fees, excessive service fees, high-interest rates, and then they spread your payments out over a long period of time. So in the end, you pay more than if you had just paid the debt off yourself. It sounds like a hustle to me.
[00:27:41] A better option, according to Erin, is something called credit counseling. Credit counseling is less costly. It's a lot more useful than debt relief. It's obviously not the same thing. I had these confused as the same thing for a time. What credit counselors actually do is they discuss your financial situation with you and they help you develop a personalized plan to solve your money problems. It's almost like financial therapy. They're usually trained and certified in consumer credit, debt management, budgeting. So they tend to be much more legit and practical from the sound of it.
[00:28:12] Plus there are often free or low-cost options for credit counseling and these services will discuss your specific situation and provide personalized help and resources, including, like I said, budgeting, classes on money management, that sort of things. We're going to link to a website in the show notes that discusses the advantages to credit counseling, how to find services and two accreditations to look for when you're shopping around.
[00:28:34] By the way, that website also talks about how debt collectors work, the laws that govern the practices. So if debt collectors, who can be kind of a shady bunch, a lot of the time, if they become an issue for you, you know your rights. Occasionally, I get calls from collectors for stuff. That's either not for me, fraudulent or somebody submitted something by mistake and it's like, "Oh, I paid this," and the collectors, they almost never care. They will just hound you and you have to call the company and be like, "Here's the thing I paid off a year ago. What are you doing?" And they'll be like, "Oh, sorry," but even then the debt collectors will break the law, call me at all hours. Some of it I think is just straight-up fraud, but I think once they get their hooks in you, they just will go for your money no matter what. And half the time they probably just keep it.
[00:29:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:29:14] Jordan Harbinger: I think, it's kind of a shady industry.
[00:29:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Good to be prepared for people like that. But Erin did say that as a last resort, filing bankruptcy is a viable option if you need to pay off debt and you want to start over with a clean slate. But she'd only recommend bankruptcy if all your attempts to pay off the debt have failed and you might lose your home or your car or something else of value. A bankruptcy, it'll remain on your credit report for 10 years. And insurance applications, job applications, credit applications, they can all ask whether you've ever filed bankruptcy in your life. But still, it can be a good option. It can give you breathing room to save your house or your car from foreclosure or repossession, and it can allow you to discharge certain types of debt.
[00:30:00] So Erin's advice is before you pull the trigger, talk to a bankruptcy attorney, some will even do free consultations to discuss your options. And also to talk you through the different types of bankruptcy there are out there. Erin also reminded us that bankruptcy law is federal law, but property rights are governed by state law. So it's important to discuss bankruptcy with an attorney in the state where you live and to make sure that you understand all your duties and all your rights when you file.
[00:30:27] If hiring a lawyer, just isn't an option right now, which I understand, most bankruptcy courts also offer pro bono services. So we're going to link to a website that has a bunch of links to all the bankruptcy courts, webpages for you in the show notes too, just give you a little head start there.
[00:30:41] Jordan Harbinger: All solid advice. As far as good episodes for forming habits, we're also going to link to a bunch of those in the show notes for you. Great stuff for anyone who wants to create stronger habits, including stronger financial habits.
[00:30:53] I'm really sorry you're going through this. I am sure that this is incredibly stressful, but I'm really happy to hear that you have your family around you, that you're willing to put in the work to repair those relationships. With the right counsel and the right moves, I think you can find your way through this. Beyond that, I recommend really engaging with therapy and figuring out the roots and triggers of this addiction so that you can manage it. It's not just going to go away. If this painful chapter makes you a more responsible partner and a healthier person, then it's serving an important purpose in your life. And I wish you the best with your recovery. So good luck. We're sending you and your family good thoughts.
[00:31:30] You know, what's never a risky bet, Gabe? The products and services that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:31:39] This episode is sponsored in part by Progressive insurance. Most of you listening right now are probably multitasking. While you're listening to me talk, you're probably driving, cleaning, exercising, maybe even doing a little grocery shopping, but if you're not in some kind of moving vehicle, there's something else you can be doing right now, getting an auto quote from Progressive insurance. It's easy and you can save money by doing it right from your phone. Drivers who save by switching to Progressive save over $700 on average and auto customers qualify for an average of seven discounts, discounts for having multiple vehicles on your policy, being a homeowner, and more. So just like your favorite podcast, Progressive will be with you 24/7, 365 days a year. So you're protected no matter what. Multitask right now. Quote your car insurance at progressive.com to join the over 27 million drivers who trust Progressive.
[00:32:23] Jen Harbinger: Progressive Casualty Insurance Company and affiliates. National Annual Average Insurance Savings by New Customer surveyed, who saved with Progressive between June 2020 and May 2021. Potential savings will vary. Discounts, not available in all states and situations.
[00:32:36] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is sponsored in part by The Daily Boost podcast. The Daily Boost is a daily motivation and coaching podcast that gives you practical, tactical, and real-world advice that you can use right away to get what you want in life. Hosted by my friend, Scott Smith, The Daily Boost is unlike any other personal development show. It's upbeat. It's fun. It's a bit in your face, real honest. And most importantly, a lot of you have written in and said that you love this show, how effective it is. Topics include increasing work productivity, how to communicate better, stopping burnout, there's a lot in here. It's actually very short. A few people told me that y'all listen in the shower. So I guess this is a shower podcast, but I think a lot of people start their day with motivational stuff. And if you're one of those people, I would say The Daily Boost is a good addition to your rotation here. The Daily Boost goal is to give you what you need to reach your goals, and of course, the motivation to keep going until you get it. So just search for it. Listen to it. Follow The Daily Boost podcast, wherever you get your podcast.
[00:33:30] Thanks everyone for listening. Thank you so much for supporting our sponsors. All the deals and discount codes at jordanharbinger.com/deals. Or just go to jordanharbinger.com and use the search box. You can search for any sponsor right there, and the code will pop right up when you search. Please consider supporting those who support this show.
[00:33:46] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:33:50] All right, what's next?
[00:33:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. Four years ago, I invited my girlfriend of two years and her 10-year-old daughter to move in with me. We had high hopes of finding a better life together in a new state, but unfortunately, living together has been nothing short of a complete nightmare. Within a year, the daughter fell into a deep depression. It got so bad that we had to speak to school counselors, therapists, principals, teachers, police officers, even hospital officials on multiple occasions. My girlfriend either completely ignores her daughter, choosing to constantly be on her phone, or gets into vicious arguments with her like two sisters would. There's also been an ongoing legal battle with the daughter's father, which has cost tens of thousands of dollars as well as an enormous amount of stress and pain. But the worst part is the extent of my girlfriend's depression and emotional trauma. She suffered an enormous amount of abuse from her family and from the father of her daughter. She had her daughter at a young age, so she never got to grow up and was forced to continue living in the abusive family household while she raised her daughter by herself. Despite all these challenges, I don't feel any resentment toward my girlfriend or her daughter. I love them both deeply, and I want to support them the absolute best I can. What fills me with anger and confusion is how my girlfriend and her daughter deal with the situation. They are the laziest, most unmotivated people I have ever met. They deal with their depression and anxiety by distracting themselves with phones, tablets, computers, TV. On a typical day, they spend anywhere from six to 10 hours on the couch watching media. I believe they do this because it's an easy way to avoid their problems, but it drives me crazy. After losing both my parents, I realized how important it is to make the most of each day. So when I come home from a long day of work and I want to do something fun, it drives me insane that I can't get them off the couch. I've spoken to my girlfriend numerous times about getting therapy. And she always agrees with me that she needs it, but she never follows through. And she usually has some bogus excuse about how it won't work for her. Meanwhile, I'm a motivated person who wants to own my own business, build a future for myself, and fill my life with amazing experiences, wealth, love, and happiness. My girlfriend just feels like a massive anchor on my efforts. If I stay with them, I feel like I'm selling myself short. If I break up with her, I have to face the guilt of throwing a depressed single mother with a suicidal daughter out of my house. Not to mention the emotional pain of losing somebody I really care about. What do you think I should do? Signed, Letting Out a Sigh Contemplating These Two Different Lives.
[00:36:33] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man, this is bleak.
[00:36:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:36:36] Jordan Harbinger: Gabe, I got to say, I feel really bad for all of the people in this situation.
[00:36:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:36:42] Jordan Harbinger: This guy's girlfriend has been through a lot in her life. Her daughter has probably absorbed a lot of that pain. She's struggling with serious depression. She's suicidal. These two are at each other's throats, especially with a kid who's that young too. It's just so icky. There's probably a lot of anger and frustration built up. They're clearly numbing with their screens but then the girlfriend just refuses to get help. And then there's this guy who's caught between genuinely loving these two and not wanting to be held back by all this pain and all this dysfunction. This just is a nightmare. And whatever he decides to do, he suffers. That's a very confusing position to be in. So look, we could dissect every aspect of this family till the cows come home, but I'm just going to cut to the chase.
[00:37:24] I don't think you're wrong to be very concerned about all of this. What your girlfriend and her daughter are going through individually and with each other, this is incredibly complex. It goes back long before you got together. And it's not entirely your job to fix that. Your girlfriend and her daughter desperately need to be talking to a professional. And it would probably be really helpful for her and her daughter to be in family therapy together too. But that's primarily their work to do. I'm really bummed to hear that your girlfriend is resisting that help, but I'm guessing it's because of the prospect of unpacking all the stuff she's been through, that's probably very scary for her. It's no excuse for not going. That's why she needs to be going, but that would explain the reluctance.
[00:38:08] Now, it sounds like you've already tried to encourage her several times to consider therapy and I'm glad you did, but if you want to overcome this obstacle, I would try to help your girlfriend work through her resistance. I would ask her, "What's been hard about reaching out to somebody? What comes up when you think about going? Are you afraid of what you might get into? Does knowing you have to go to therapy make you feel a certain way? And what makes you think that it won't work for you? You know, get her to open up about what's really going on here. Don't just settle for like, "Oh yeah, therapy won't wear for somebody like me," click, click, click. That's just an excuse. That's a way out. But it is meaningful because it probably holds a key to some deeper feelings she has about getting help.
[00:38:50] Maybe that she feels she doesn't deserve that help or that she's not equipped to make the most of it or she doesn't have the strength to confront all this stuff. Or maybe that she'd just have to admit that she's kicked this can down the road for so long, and maybe she's a little bit ashamed about that. That's what you could help her work through. That's how I would support her by empowering her to begin her own healing and then steering her to book that first appointment. And if you can get her in there and hopefully her daughter. That could be a massive game changer because I just don't see you fixing all of their very significant problems on your own. Not without a real commitment from them as well.
[00:39:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree completely. I love that approach, but what you're also getting at, Jordan, is this question of responsibility. Like how responsible is he really for these two women? And what should that responsibility look like? Because look, the first thing he said in his letter was that they had high hopes of finding a better life together in a new state, which signals to me that he's probably felt responsible for them in some way, from the very beginning. And then he's gone on to support them in various ways since like emotionally, financially, even legally. And he's sticking around, even as things get really bad because the guilt of leaving is just so great. He's paralyzed.
[00:40:08] Guilt is a really interesting emotion in this context, by the way, it makes perfect sense. And I do think it's somewhat appropriate, but I think it contains a lot of information about how this guy views himself. Maybe he thinks of himself as a good guy, you know, as a solid person who doesn't just up and leave when things get hard. Maybe even as a kind of savior and the idea of leaving that's clearly bringing up some really difficult stuff for him. Maybe he feels like he would be a failure or someone who's abdicating his responsibility or not living up to the expectations he has of what a good partner or a good father figure actually looks like.
[00:40:45] And to be fair. I do think that there is a legitimate layer to that guilt, Jordan, after all, he got involved with them before things got this bad. He does genuinely love them. And it's probably really painful to think about leaving them like this, especially after moving them to a new state, but what's happening now is he's becoming more conscious of that role. He's watching two people who are in a lot of pain struggle to help themselves. And he's discovering that he can't make them get better on his own.
[00:41:13] And I also kind of wonder, even though he said, "I don't resent them, but I am angry and I am frustrated," I think on some level, he does kind of resent them and that's fair. And he's realizing that if things continue this way, taking care of them like this, that might actually be more like enabling them. That is a very intense thing to confront, especially for someone who feels this profound sense of responsibility for other people.
[00:41:37] So if you want to find a way out of this bind, I think you're going to have to unpack this conflict a little bit more. How did the sense of responsibility get created with these two and maybe with other people in the past? And what is the thought of leaving, put you in touch with? What do you gain or what do you cling to by sticking around if you're not truly helping them get better? And also I just got to ask, are you really in a partnership that really reflects what you value and what you need?
[00:42:06] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. Yeah. I'm with you, man. I get the sense that there's a whole identity wrapped up in the role he's been playing.
[00:42:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:42:12] Jordan Harbinger: A bunch of self-concepts and those can be hard to part with.
[00:42:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:42:16] Jordan Harbinger: But I'm going to be honest here, if this were me, I'd leave. I would. I know that's brutal, but this is a real problem. And he's compromising on an incredible life that matters a lot to him for two people, well, his girlfriend, primarily who just won't get the help they need. It's not that it's a problem. It's a problem that other people, the people who really have the problem are like, "Nah, I'm going to pass on getting help, but you can continue to live in my world if you want."
[00:42:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. You have a thing about this.
[00:42:43] Jordan Harbinger: I do have a thing about this. I just don't have a ton of sympathy for people who need help and refuse to get it. I have a little bit, right? I understand that it's like, "Oh, I don't want to open this Pandora's box or go through this scary door," but it's like, why is that then my burden? These people are also then taking someone else down and holding them back as a result. It's not this guy's job to save his girlfriend. It's her job to save herself and to take care of her daughter for God's sake. And she's just not doing that. Like I said, I have empathy for them. They got dealt a really sh*tty hand in life. I'm not trying to minimize that. But that doesn't change the fact that they are the ones who have to step up here.
[00:43:24] And we just got a letter from a kid who's 15 and has never gone to school and is like, "What can I do?" And she's like, "Oh, I could go to therapy and it's all said, but I'd rather watch Netflix." Get bent.
[00:43:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: That is a good point.
[00:43:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I just don't think this guy is helping anybody by sticking around while they scream at each other in the living room every night as they live tweet their seventh hour of the freaking Kardashians marathon, and then complain that they're angry and depressed.
[00:43:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow. That, yeah, that really painted a picture.
[00:43:50] Jordan Harbinger: Like he said, it's a nightmare. And that's beside the Kardashian marathon, which is its own nightmare. And to your point, is he loving and supporting them or is he just enabling this nonsense?
[00:44:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:44:01] Jordan Harbinger: I think he's enabling them as long as they're not making any real progress. And we haven't even talked about the hit that all of this must be taking on his energy, his finances, because they're not doing anything, right? He's just paying for this stuff and his mental health.
[00:44:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yep. You're making some good points. Having a partner and having a family, it's obviously a lot of work. It creates obligations, but it shouldn't feel like an albatross around your neck if that's how you feel something isn't right.
[00:44:25] Jordan Harbinger: I just want this guy to be free. I want him to be successful. I want him to not regret missing out on an amazing life because he was playing nurse for a freaking decade, right? Because we're going on 10 years here or whatever it is. But listen, I'm not saying you should kick out your girlfriend and her now 14-year-old daughter out of the house tomorrow. I'm not even saying they're beyond help at all. I want them to get help. I want them to honor this great life you've tried to give them, which is why I hope you can help your girlfriend work through her resistance. But at a certain point, you just need to decide when to listen to this voice that's telling you that something is not right here.
[00:45:03] And for me, that point is when you realize you have done everything you can, and your girlfriend just isn't stepping up to the plate and seeking out the help she and her daughter so desperately need. So I hope that gives you a new angle here. I know this is complicated, but I really do think you need to take care of yourself as well as your girlfriend and her daughter. I'm wishing you the best. All of you, I really am.
[00:45:27] All right. Next up.
[00:45:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys. I was living with my partner for close to two years when it became apparent that he was deeply unhappy because our gay relationship was in his view, not compatible with his evangelical Christian beliefs. Eventually, he left me telling me it was to pursue his faith. We remained incredibly close and despite my friend's advice maintained a relationship that was more like dating than anything else. It took me almost two years to become comfortable dating other people and asserting that I needed clearer boundaries. Then recently, he lost his job after choosing not to get vaccinated and became homeless. Now, he's saying that he wants us to get back together. He maintains his faith and still believes that homosexuality is wrong, but says he can't fight being gay and wants us to be together.
[00:46:14] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:46:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm still in love with him, but I can't get past the sickening feeling that the same thing will happen again. That I may be more appealing to him right now, whilst he's feeling vulnerable and has fewer options. So do I give it another go or not? Signed, Tempting Fate With This Man of Faith.
[00:46:34] Oh man, I don't have a good feeling about this.
[00:46:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, me neither. To be honest, I'm still struggling to wrap my head around this thing we hear on the show a lot, the whole, like, "Being gay is a sin, but I also can't fight being gay," that thing.
[00:46:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:46:46] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, I understand that people have that conflict. I know it's hard, but at what point do you go, "Okay, this is clearly a part of who I am. I didn't choose it. So if my religion tells me that's wrong, maybe I need to reconsider my beliefs or find a church that has a different lens on all this stuff." I know that's tough, but just look at how much damage this causes people, not just this boyfriend who's evangelical, but his partner, the guy writing in, right? He's stuck orbiting this guy who just will not embrace who he is.
[00:47:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: It is really sad, but if I'm being honest, Jordan, that's not the only thing that makes me concerned about their relationship.
[00:47:20] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. Yeah, I was going to say, I agree. There's the religion thing, which is obviously a real obstacle to their relationship, but there are all of these other concerns. So first, he decides not to get vaccinated, which — okay, I don't have to get into all that here. That's his choice, but it does sound like the guy writing in is not a huge fan of that decision. And that's sort of a core values issue in this couple. Now, he's homeless. Probably couch surfing as supposed to sleeping behind a Dunkin' Donuts or something, but still—
[00:47:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:47:46] Jordan Harbinger: And that's tough. I do feel for him, everyone goes through hard times, but that does also raise some questions about his ability to take care of himself, how he's making his career decisions. You know, how sort of dedicated are you to this and that you didn't make a backup plan and you decide to die on that hill, and now you're homeless. And to your point, all of that is making your ex more vulnerable right now. He needs a place to stay. He needs a good friend. Maybe you look a little bit more appealing to him at the moment.
[00:48:15] Now, that isn't inherently problematic, although it sounds a little bit like he's a user potentially. When you get knocked down, that's when you realize what really matters in life, who really matters in life, who really has your back. So if your ex went through all of this adversity and was like, "Wow, you know, I'm realizing you're the only person who truly cares about me. My feelings for you are real. And I have some stuff I need to work through with the church. I want to give this another try with a new approach," then I might say, okay, interesting. The guy's evolving. He's reevaluating his beliefs. He's hit hard times and that's caused him to look at things differently. I mean, I've certainly gone through things like that myself with my old business and stuff. And it came out stronger on the. Maybe he's going to be a different partner this time. Take it slow, be thoughtful. Maybe give it a shot, but that's not what you're saying.
[00:49:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:49:02] Jordan Harbinger: What you're saying is he's the exact same guy. He would probably bring the exact same problems into your relationship. Except this time, he doesn't have a place to sleep or any money. So he's totally dependent on you. And that's actually what concerns me here. If you guys share the same values, the same priorities. Whether you can trust his feelings at all, or whether they're being colored by the fact that he just needs money in a place to sleep short term.
[00:49:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, same here. But you know, I also wonder if seeing this guy need you so much. Maybe that's also kind of gratifying and kind of reassuring after everything he put you through. And I wonder if maybe that's informing your feelings right now too.
[00:49:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Good point. Like, "Oh, okay. You dumped me for Jesus, but now you need me. How about them apples," right?
[00:49:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Exactly. Like it might be nice to feel needed by somebody who didn't seem to really need you that much before or was willing to put someone else first or something else first, the church. But if I were you. I would really try to separate out those feelings. So you're not getting back together for the wrong reasons or for muddled reasons. And to your credit, I think you're already doing that. Like you mentioned, you're still in love with this guy, but you can't get past the sickening feeling that the same thing will happen all over again. The word sickening, that's pretty intense. That is a strong word. And if you're having a reaction as intense as that right now, you're absolutely right to listen to it.
[00:50:22] Jordan Harbinger: I agree because he's been on this carousel before. He pretty much knows how this ride ends.
[00:50:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes, exactly. So my question for you is why, why get back together? And I know, I know, love be cray, the heart wants what the heart wants and all of that, but if he holds the beliefs he does, if he hasn't resolved the tension between his religion and his orientation, then this guy isn't really available to you. You can't be in a happy, well-functioning relationship if he's secretly hating himself and hiding your relationship from people and stuck in all of this shame and judgment. I feel for the guy on some level, I really do. It is so sad. It's just not fair to you.
[00:51:04] So as hard as it is, I do think you have to ask yourself, what is it about this guy? Why has it been so hard for you to draw these boundaries with him in the past? What happens if you say, "I'm really sorry that you're struggling right now. I know you lost your job. I know you're homeless. I'll help you as much as I can, but I can't get back together with you until you take a look and really resolve all of this other stuff"? Your ex aside, I actually think that would be a really interesting question for you to consider just for yourself.
[00:51:33] Jordan Harbinger: Good point, Gabe. He's come such a long way. Since this relationship first started. He's learned how to draw some crucial boundaries and prioritize himself. And that is great. But now he's getting pulled back in. So this latest attempt to start the relationship up again, it's also an opportunity for him to understand himself even better to get even clearer on his needs, his values, what kind of person he should really be with. So I hope you get to do that.
[00:51:58] And just like I said to the guy from the last question, I'm not telling you to abandon your ex completely. If you guys can be friends, support him appropriately, but maybe you holding this boundary and also holding him to a higher standard, maybe that's what he needs to take a closer look at himself too. And maybe that's the best way that you can actually help him right now.
[00:52:21] Hope y'all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this weekend. Everyone who listened. Thank you so much. Go back and check out my episodes with Cindy Otis if you haven't done so yet.
[00:52:30] If you want to know how I managed to book all these amazing folks for the show, it's always about networking and relationship development in a non-icky way. Digging the well before you're thirsty, helping as many people as you can. Check out our Six-Minute Networking course, the course is free. It's over on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. The drills take just a few minutes a day. I wish I knew this stuff 20 years ago. It's been amazing for my business, my personal life. Again, all free jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:52:58] A link to the show notes for the episode can be found at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts are on the show notes. Advertisers, deals, and discounts are all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram or connect with me right there on LinkedIn. Gabe is on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi or on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi.
[00:53:18] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Josh Ballard, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions are our own. I am a lawyer, not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything that you hear on this show. Ditto, Erin Hoskins, her advice is general and informational in nature. Please seek independent legal representation before making any decisions. Remember, we rise by lifting others, share the show with those you love. And if you found this episode useful, please share it with somebody else who can use the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next.
[00:54:00] Stay tuned after the show, we've got a trailer for our interview with Bill Browder. He was one of the first investors in Russia after the fall of the iron curtain and became a thorn in the side of Vladimir Putin, who to this day has him looking over his shoulder after he uncovered a massive fraud inside the Russian government. This is one of our most popular episodes. So if you haven't heard that yet, you'll want to check that out. That's at the end of the show coming right up.
[00:54:25] Bill Browder: Making 10 times your money is the financial equivalent of smoking crack cocaine. And once you do it once, you just want to repeat it over and over and over and over again. And it was completely, absolutely wild west chaos, gold rush type of situation.
[00:54:40] The companies were run by these oligarchs and these oligarchs said, "Well, we might as well just cheat everybody on everything." And so, well, I was sitting there down 90 percent. They were going to steal my last 10 cents on the dollar. I took a decision which nobody had ever taken before, which was to take on one of the oligarchs. I did. I fought back big time.
[00:55:01] And I ended up with 15 bodyguards. There was a lead car, a lag car, a sidecar, three armed guys in my car. When we got close to the home, they would go and scout the rooftops for snipers. They would look for bombs under the cars and secure the stairwells, and then escort me into the apartment. And then I had two guys with automatic weapons sitting in my living room. It was very, very intense, very scary.
[00:55:24] And after that I hired a young lawyer named Sergei Magnitsky to help me investigate it. Sergei and I exposed the crime. The same people who Sergei testified against arrested him and then tortured him to try to get him to withdraw his testimony. And they thought, you know, here's a guy, he buys his Starbucks in the morning. He wears a blue suit and a white shirt and a red tie. And he works in the tax practice of an American law firm. He'll buckle in a week. And it turns out that they got him wrong completely. He's the most principled guy in the world. He was really a man of steel.
[00:55:56] On the morning of November 17th at 7:45 a.m., I got the call from Sergei's lawyer and it was the most horrifying, life-changing, soul-destroying news that I could have ever gotten.
[00:56:09] Jordan Harbinger: And if you want to hear more about how bill Browder took on one of the most powerful men in the world, Vladimir Putin, and continues to fight for change, check out episode three of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
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