Can you balance support for an unlucky but amicable ex with personal boundaries that keep you tethered to your own improvement? 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:
- Can you balance support for an unlucky but amicable ex with personal boundaries that keep you tethered to your own improvement?
- As the rock upon which others find stability when they’re pushed to their limits, official assistance for your coaching role is lacking. Is it time to organize?
- Is the therapist advising you to stick with your philandering, narcissistic dentist of a husband because “you’re not getting any younger, and that’s just how dentists are” a quack?
- Your hard work and seed investment allowed your wife to quit her 9-5 job to start her own business, which is thriving after a bumpy start. But now she’s seen by your family and the community as the savvy entrepreneur and you’re just the dude who “works on the computer all day.” Is there a way to elevate yourself (and your withering ego) without diminishing your better half?
- After being caught smuggling Bibles into China 20 years ago, you’d love to revisit the country. How can you find out if you’re on some kind of list that might get you instantly arrested and disappeared by the totalitarian government when crossing the border? [Thanks to Laowhy86 for lending his expertise to this one!]
- 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 and Instagram @gabrielmizrahi.
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider leaving your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
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This Episode Is Sponsored By:
- US Bank: Apply at usbank.com/altitudego for 20,000 bonus points
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Miss our out-of-this-world conversation with Bowie-strumming astronaut Chris Hadfield? Catch up with episode 408: Chris Hadfield | An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Bioplastics | Skeptical Sunday | Jordan Harbinger
- Andrea Dunlop | Exposing Medical Child Abuse | Jordan Harbinger
- Tim Urban | What’s Our Problem (And How Do We Solve It)? | Jordan Harbinger
- What Do You Say to a Dying Ex-Wife? | Quora
- How to Support Your Children When Your Ex Is Gravely Ill or Dying | Divorced Moms
- Coaches Need Support, Too | Thinking Maps
- 8 Red Flags You’re with the Wrong Therapist | PsychCentral
- “How Obsessive Are Dentists?”— A Personality Styles & Disorder Inventory Based Prospective, Controlled Study | Journal of Dentistry
- Is She Moving Abroad for a Friend or a Fraud? | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Red Flags Making You Rethink Your Shrink | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- I Love My Wife, but Envy Her Successful Career. How Do I Deal With My Jealousy? | The Globe and Mail
- Kenneth Bae, Longest-Held US Prisoner of North Korea, Reveals Details of Ordeal | The New York Times
- Laowhy86 | YouTube
- Laowhy86 | How the Chinese Social Credit Score System Works Part One | Jordan Harbinger
- Laowhy86 | How the Chinese Social Credit Score System Works Part Two | Jordan Harbinger
893: Make Ex’s Hard Life Nice without Self-Sacrifice? | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Special thanks to US bank for sponsoring this episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:04] This episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show is brought to you by Nissan. Whether you want more adventure, more electric, more action, more guts, or more turbocharged excitement, Nissan is here to make sure you get it. Learn more at nissanusa.com.
[00:00:19] Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, a guy whose beard today is given, washed-up CW actor living in Malibu with his four purebred cats vibes, Gabriel Mizrahi.
[00:00:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: First of all, it's The CW.
[00:00:36] Jordan Harbinger: Ugh.
[00:00:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also, what does that even mean? What are you talking about?
[00:00:40] Jordan Harbinger: What am I talking about? Or why is it The CW? That's a better question. It's not the anything. It's just CW.
[00:00:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm just trying to understand what this roast was about. I'm not getting an image here.
[00:00:50] Jordan Harbinger: Whatever, it doesn't have to be true. Just go trim your beard, bro.
[00:00:52] On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories—
[00:00:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: They can be too specific sometimes. That's all I'm saying.
[00:00:58] Jordan Harbinger: The roasts?
[00:00:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:00:59] Jordan Harbinger: I think the more specific the better, candidly, but that's just where I fall on the scale.
[00:01:03] 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. And our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker. During the week, we have long-form conversations with a variety of amazing folks from drug traffickers and arms dealers, four-star generals, Hollywood directors, and astronauts.
[00:01:25] This week, we had Andrea Dunlop discussing Munchausen syndrome by proxy, and if you don't know, this is a very creepy syndrome where parents harm their children and take them to the hospital for the attention. It's medical child abuse is another name for this, and it is very dark and disturbing stuff, really interesting. We also had Tim Urban blogger over at Wait But Why on the division in American politics of something called low rung thinking and what makes for good and bad thinking when it comes to tribalism, especially here in the United States. Of course, a Skeptical Sunday last Sunday on bioplastics with Michael Regilio.
[00:01:59] On Fridays, though, we share stories, we take listener letters, we offer advice, play obnoxious soundbites, and mercilessly roast Gabriel for his appearance and/or predilection for the feline persuasion.
[00:02:11] All right, we're all sort of a product of our environment, right, and I've got a friend, he reads like three books a week, he works out twice a day, he's got three square meals. Tons of people want to have sex with him. And I don't know, can you believe it, he still complains about prison, Gabriel? He still complains.
[00:02:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: I did not see that coming. You're so sincere. Hurrah, David Letterman in the house today, okay.
[00:02:35] Jordan Harbinger: All right, Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:02:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. I'm a 38-year-old divorced dad of two boys, ages six and 10. My relationship with our mom has been mostly amicable, and the kids spent half their time with each of us, although we didn't create any legal agreement for custody and child support. Since then, I feel like I've gotten the short end of the stick. Half of my paycheck goes to a house that we both own but that she lives in, and it's significantly more than a typical child support order. I'm pretty strapped, and I can't afford things like therapy to help better myself. On top of that, our informal custody schedule has pretty much been based around her needs. I haven't pushed for a change because she had cancer, a treatable cancer, but cancer nonetheless. Then, recently, she got remarried. Two weeks later, she found her husband in the driveway, dead from an overdose.
[00:03:26] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man, this is very tragic. This woman has been through a lot—
[00:03:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:03:30] Jordan Harbinger: —hasn't she? Oof.
[00:03:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: What a period. Okay, the letter goes on.
[00:03:34] I was aware that he was a recovered addict, but I was under the impression that he was in recovery from alcoholism, like my ex, and had been sober for years. It turns out that he had been in recovery for far less time, and that he had been having a slow burn relapse for several weeks, which was news to both of us. On top of that, the same day she found his body, she learned that her cancer was much more aggressive than previously thought. She's now facing surgery and chemo over the next few months, and there's a possibility that she'll only have 6 to 12 months to live.
[00:04:06] Oh man, this is a sad story.
[00:04:08] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:04:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Obviously, I've set aside any hope of lowering my financial commitment, and I plan to have the kids more than 50 percent of the time since she's going to be recovering and dealing with chemo a lot. I am more than fine with all of that. But since all of this has happened, she's been checking in with me a lot, sometimes to support me in my recovery, sometimes to vent about her late husband. I care about her as a friend and a co-parent, but I'm having a hard time figuring out where the line should be. We were incredibly codependent and quite toxic when we were together. I felt like I was always supporting her to my own detriment, but she felt like I was never supportive enough. I really don't want to fall back into that pattern. If I pour a lot of myself into supporting her and she doesn't survive, then I could look back and see that I helped her be the best mom she could be for our kids for the last bit of her life. But if I do that, and she survives, as I hope she does, then I'm just going to be further behind in my life. But then, I feel bad about even being concerned about my own needs in this situation. How do I support my ex without losing the boundaries that I've only recently had the courage to put in place? And how do I keep those boundaries and care for myself without appearing like a heartless bastard to our friends and kids? Signed, Being My Ex's Rock, Without Being Blocked, Knocked, or Hitting Unnecessary Roadblocks.
[00:05:29] Jordan Harbinger: Whew, man, this is a wild story.
[00:05:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:05:31] Jordan Harbinger: Any one of these events would be a lot for a person to go through, but to have them all happen at once? is really truly next level. There are a lot of factors to consider in this one. I'm very sorry this is happening for your ex, of course. She's facing a possibly terminal diagnosis and grieving her husband and dealing with the fact that well, he wasn't who she thought he was and she's trying to be a mother to your kids and beat this thing. But also, you know, I feel bad for you as well.
[00:05:58] All of this has put you in a very unique position as a father and a co-parent just as a human being watching somebody close to you suffer. All of you are going through it right now, and my heart really does go out to you. So, look, you have to be there for your ex right now, and you want to, as you should, but you guys have a tricky pattern together. This past codependence, this toxic dynamic you mentioned, so you're not wrong to be keeping an eye on that, but like you said, these are extraordinary circumstances. She needs a lot of support right now and the tragic fact is she might die in the near future. I sincerely hope she doesn't but she might and it would be really special and important to make this chapter as supportive and loving as possible.
[00:06:46] You're not married to her anymore. So yeah, there are certain healthy limits to your role in her life. But I hear the love you have for her, and obviously for your kids, so when you said that you want to look back and know that you helped her be the best mom she could be, in what might be the last chapter in her life, I just found myself nodding along.
[00:07:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:07:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yes, of course you want to do that. But then there's this fear that you're going to get so wrapped up in that role that you're going to lose sight of yourself and your needs and your goals, and that is a fair concern, too. I don't think you're being callous for wanting to take care of yourself while your ex goes through this.
[00:07:22] So the conflict you have, feeling bad about even thinking about your own needs and all of this, I totally get it. You're at the whim of statistics here at the end of the day and there's a world where she makes it through and lives for a long time and there's a world where she doesn't and you can't know where that will leave you. That's a difficult bind. Your job right now is to find a way to do both. To be there for your ex, and also to do right by yourself. And that might not be easy, some days it might feel like you're failing. Because, here's this person you care about, and whom you do have certain obligations to, and her needs should take priority a lot of the time. She deserves that.
[00:08:02] But what you need to do is to be very vigilant about what that role does to you — how it fits with other parts of your life. Because, even if you had zero conflicts about supporting your ex for the next year, you would still have to make sure that you're healthy, you're sleeping enough, you're eating well, and you have enough energy for your kids. And that you're tending to your relationships, that you're continuing to move forward and build your own life. Taking care of a sick person, it's a big privilege in a way. But man, it can also be very draining—
[00:08:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:08:33] Jordan Harbinger: And you can only be present and loving to her to the extent that you're also being present and loving to yourself.
[00:08:43] I know that sounds corny to some folks, a hokey, whatever, but it's true. So what I would do is, I would take a moment and get clear with yourself about the expectations and experiences that feel, let's say, unfair or compromising. The ones that make you truly codependent, or make you lose sight of yourself, as opposed to appropriately being there for the mother of your children.
[00:09:07] For example, listening when she needs to vent about her late husband, yeah, that sounds like something a good friend and co-parent might do, but if you're spending four and a half hours on the phone with her every night and you're neglecting yourself and you can't make it to the gym because you're listening to her complain. And your kids are sitting there staring at you while she's talking with you. I mean, that's probably not appropriate.
[00:09:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:09:28] Jordan Harbinger: And it might not be necessary. It might not even be helpful to her, really, if that's even what she wants to do.
[00:09:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. Or if you find yourself going above and beyond and taking care of her, and then she turns around and goes, "You're not being supportive enough, I need you more," like the way it sounds like she used to, that would be a moment to check in with yourself and go, "Okay, am I being supportive enough? Is she expecting more of me than I can reasonably give here? Am I about to lose myself again in this caretaking role? And then you can adjust from there. You know, maybe you even talked to her about that possibly in a way you maybe didn't when you guys were married.
[00:10:00] Jordan Harbinger: Exactly. Because this codependence, as Gabe loves to put it, it's a co-production. It's so Hollywood, the guy just can't help himself. The co-production being, "My ex needs certain things from me, and then I lose myself in being needed, or my ex accuses me of not being there enough, and then I blame myself for not being a good partner to her." And maybe there are other versions of that too, but both of you have to participate in order to fall into that pattern.
[00:10:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:10:27] Jordan Harbinger: So your ex can behave however she does. But it's actually how you respond to her, how you capitulate to her needs, how you give up on your own, how you work through the stuff that a crisis like this brings up — that is what's going to determine whether your appropriate support just turns into something different. And if you notice any of those things happening, then you can go, "Okay, let me try this a different way. Let me give her 45 minutes on the phone, then I have to make dinner for the kids, I got to call a friend, I got to go for a jog," whatever it is. Or you can tell yourself, "Okay, I'm feeling guilty for putting a limit around how long we talk about her ex but that doesn't make me a monster. It's just a new thing for me, putting this boundary down, drawing this line." That's the kind of checking in with yourself I'm talking about.
[00:11:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, well said, Jordan. I totally agree. I also think it's interesting that one of his questions was, "How do I keep my boundaries without appearing like a heartless bastard to our friends and kids?" Such an interesting way to put it.
[00:11:20] Jordan Harbinger: To be honest, I don't know how realistic that concern is. It almost sounds to me like some baggage left over from the relationship. I just wonder if he's projecting a little bit.
[00:11:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, look, it's a reasonable question. I'm sure everybody in his life will have an opinion about how he's showing up for his ex right now. And maybe he won't be able to please everybody all the time. And that's just part of this really awful hand he's been dealt.
[00:11:42] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. Yeah, I can see that. Fair enough.
[00:11:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: I do wonder if his concern about what his friends and kids think, especially the friends, if maybe that's part of what's hard about staying connected to his needs. There's a part of him going, "Man, I really need to stay independent. I need to keep moving forward while my wife goes through this. But also, what's her friend Cheryl going to think when she hears that I didn't stop by the house one night because I needed to go for a walk?" Or, "Will my kids think that their dad is a monster if I grab a beer with a friend and have a good cry?" He's more in touch with his own needs now than he's ever been but those needs are still going through the filter of, "How do I make sure everyone else sees me the way I want to be seen?" Which is so normal, and it's not entirely bad.
[00:12:22] For example, look, it's fair for him to ask, "What kind of person do I want my kids to see me as? What kind of dad do I want to be?" But that can also be tricky to make decisions based on what other people, who, by the way, might not necessarily understand what he needs, or what he's really going through, or what his ex can be like to factor in what those people might think of him in the worst-case scenario in his head.
[00:12:45] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:12:45] Gabriel Mizrahi: In fact, I wonder if that's also part of this pattern that he's working on right now because maybe another reason he became codependent with his wife was that he overvalued other people's needs, other people's opinions, and possibly undervalued his own.
[00:12:58] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I think that's a good point and kudos to him for seeing that, but he might have a little more work to do in letting go of the idea that he needs to please everyone else all the time because, A, there's no way to do that, and B, that's not even necessarily going to make him a better father or friend to his ex through all of this.
[00:13:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: If these people even have those expectations, a lot of his fear about seeming like a heartless bastard might be in his head, because even protecting himself a little bit might feel cruel, when really it's just kind of normal and healthy. And their friends and their kids might actually understand that a lot more than he thinks.
[00:13:32] Jordan Harbinger: I agree, man. In fact, this might even be a pretty damn good opportunity to show his kids what it looks like to take care of himself and someone else, which I think is going to be good for them too.
[00:13:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree.
[00:13:41] Jordan Harbinger: Also, man, remember, you are not the only person in your ex's life who can be there to support her. I mean, maybe there's a Darth of people that are around, but part of your job might also be inviting other people to help you and your ex through this. Just feeling like it all falls on your shoulders, although I know that comes from a good place, that might be one more way that you help create this tricky dynamic.
[00:14:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: But look, all things considered, whatever the outcome is, I think it might be a good idea to prioritize your wife a lot of the time. If this does not go her way, or even if it does, you're not going to regret being a loving, generous friend to her through all this. You're afraid that if she does make it, you'll feel like you'll have lost six months or a year of your life. But you don't know that's how you'll feel. You might look back on those six months or a year and you might go, "Okay, I didn't perform at work as well as I would have liked, or I didn't get to work on myself as much as I wanted to, but I was there for the mother of my children while she went through a really dark time. I took care of my family. I learned how to support somebody without losing myself." That is huge growth, man. And I would argue that that's moving forward with your life, too.
[00:14:47] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, he might be narrowly defining what it means to move forward.
[00:14:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:14:51] Jordan Harbinger: Showing up to this crisis the right way, that'll help him evolve, too. And again, I am so sorry you're going through this. It's truly harrowing. We're sending you and your ex and your kids a huge hug, and we're sending your ex good thoughts as she goes through treatment here. I hope she makes it through. I really do.
[00:15:10] You know what doesn't make you a heartless bastard, Gabriel? Taking advantage of the crazy good deals on the products and services that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:15:21] This episode is sponsored in part by BetterHelp. Ever find yourself trying to sleep but your mind is running a marathon? Racing thoughts, anxiety, you name it, trust me, I've had my fair share of 3 a.m. mental rodeos. So what's the solution? The answer is to talk it out. And that is where therapy comes in. It provides you with a safe space to dissect those racing thoughts. And let me tell you, BetterHelp is one of the best ways to get that therapy without even stepping out of your front door. It's all online, convenient, flexible, and tailored to fit your schedule. Here's how it works. You fill out a quick questionnaire, and BetterHelp pairs you up with a licensed therapist. Don't like the match? No worries. You can change therapists at any time, at no extra cost. It is a game changer for mental health, designed to fit into your busy life, and give you the tools to find peace of mind. So, if you're lying awake, staring at the ceiling, thinking about everything and nothing, all at the same time, consider giving BetterHelp a try. Click, connect, and start the conversation. Trust me, your mind will thank you.
[00:16:12] Jen Harbinger: Get a break from your thoughts with BetterHelp. Visit betterhelp.com/jordan to get 10 percent off your first month. That's Better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan.
[00:16:22] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is brought to you in part by US Bank. It seems like there's a credit card for everything these days, right? Food cards, cards for travel, cards for rare stamp collecting. For me, I don't know what I'm going to be spending money on from one minute to the next, but wouldn't you know it, US Bank has a card for people like me. Check out the US Bank Cash Plus Visa Signature Card. With this card, you get up to five percent cash back on two categories that you choose every quarter. The great thing is the earning doesn't stop there. Even after you choose your first two earning categories, you also earn two percent back on one everyday category you choose each quarter, like gas stations and EV charging stations or grocery stores or restaurants and you still earn one percent on everything else. Apply today at usbank.com/cashpluscard. All that already sounds good but this card just keeps earning with a 200-reward bonus after spending a thousand dollars in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening. If you like choosing how your card earns, apply at usbank.com/cashpluscard. Limited time offer. The creditor and issuer of this card is US Bank National Association, pursuant to a license from Visa USA Inc. Some restrictions may apply.
[00:17:23] Thank you for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps the lights on around here. All deals, discounts, and ways to support this show are at jordanharbinger.com/deals. You can also search for any sponsor using the AI chatbot on the website as well. Please consider supporting those who support the show.
[00:17:42] Now back to feedback Friday.
[00:17:44] Okay, what's next?
[00:17:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. I'm a 28-year-old collegiate basketball coach, which has been my dream for as long as I can remember. But as I approach year three, I'm starting to have second thoughts. Last year, during the first half of my basketball season, my brother had a huge breakdown and ended up being sent to a mental hospital twice, fired his on-duty weapon in his home, was sent to jail, and ended up living with me while he was on house arrest. Then, at the same time, one of my players was struggling with her borderline personality disorder. Not only did I have to take part in pink slipping her, which means hospitalizing her in a psych ward, I was also the one she texted when she attempted suicide earlier this year. I went to her dorm, called the ambulance, called her parents, and stayed by her side for a week as she fought for her life in the ICU. She's doing better, and now has the help she needs from multiple therapists. During this time, I reached out to the campus therapist and also saw an EMDR therapist. But I found that there's little to no guidance or support for college coaches. We're expected to be everything for our athletes, but a lot of non-Division 1 schools do not have the resources to truly train and support coaches. I felt so lost through all this, like no one understood the bond we have with our players. Even the therapists I met weren't helpful. I think it would be so amazing to start an organization where coaches can reach out for support, trainings, safety plans, and other resources. So many collegiate athletes have been in the spotlight regarding their mental health. But coaches are forgotten about in the equation. I can't go a day without thinking about this new possibility. What are your thoughts about this path? Do you have any advice on how to get started? Signed, Looking for an Assist to Persist in Making This Vision Exist.
[00:19:31] Jordan Harbinger: Wow, okay, this is an extraordinary story on so many levels. Before we jump in, I got to say, you sound like a really great coach — the bond you have with your players, the way you show up for them in a crisis, the way you're dealing with some really intense stuff in your own life and still being there for them. That is nothing short of incredible. I have good examples of good coaches and bad coaches in my life. I think a lot of us do.
[00:19:54] When I got injured playing high school football, the coach didn't even bother going to the hospital at all. And I just sat there alone the whole time.
[00:20:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:20:03] Jordan Harbinger: And it was just ridiculous. They wouldn't even let other players go. They're like, "No, we're going to go. We're going to go. We don't need any players. They're just going to cause a crowd," and then they just didn't show up.
[00:20:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow. Interesting.
[00:20:13] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I saw him years later and he was like, "Oh, I think I recognize you," and I was like, "Yeah. You're a terrible coach and you just made all of our lives miserable. I told him that in at the post office in the line. I was like, "Yeah, you were a coach and you just verbally abused everyone and treated us like crap and I stopped playing football in part because of you. And you should stop coaching." And that's what I said.
[00:20:34] What did he say?
[00:20:35] He just grumbled, kind of like, he's like, "Oh, well, you know, whatever." He just didn't have a reaction.
[00:20:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:20:39] Jordan Harbinger: I think he knew, man. I think he was a miserable—
[00:20:42] Gabriel Mizrahi: He was a rough guy. Okay. Got it.
[00:20:43] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. And I don't feel bad telling him that because I hope that he did stop coaching. And if he didn't, then he got the reminder he needed.
[00:20:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Kind of the opposite of the woman writing in, huh?
[00:20:53] Jordan Harbinger: It's the opposite of the woman writing in. And I had another coach who was really good. You'd show up to his office. He'd be like on a phone call and he'd go, "Hey, you okay?" And you go, "Yeah, when you're done." And he'd be like, "I'll call you back." And he'd be like, "You want to go for a walk?"
[00:21:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:21:05] Jordan Harbinger: And I'd be like, "Oh God, this is way less important than you just treated it. Now I feel guilty about how much attention I'm getting from you."
[00:21:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's really sweet. Yeah. Those coaches really make a difference.
[00:21:14] Jordan Harbinger: You could tell that people came to him with really important stuff and had nowhere else to go.
[00:21:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:21:19] Jordan Harbinger: So anyway, I'm so sorry that all of this happened. Your brother's story is super tragic, and what happened with this player is really sad. These were obviously very difficult events. But you seem to be navigating all this with a lot of resilience, a lot of grace—
[00:21:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:21:33] Jordan Harbinger: —and a lot of love, I guess, for lack of a better word. And the one big upside to all this is that it's pushing you further along on this very special path of yours. I think you've hit upon something. really important here. You went through an experience that revealed a gap in the system, your system, that there's little to no support for college coaches, which I guess is surprising to me that people don't really understand the unique challenges of your role. And now, you're lit up about trying to solve the problem. And I love that. I think that's great. I think this is hands down the best way to come up with a great idea. Whether it's a company, or a non-profit, or just a resource, whatever it is, by being a customer, and going, "Huh? Okay, this thing doesn't exist, I really need it, and if I really need it, there's probably other people who really need it, too."
[00:22:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:22:17] Jordan Harbinger: That is literally entrepreneurship.
[00:22:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Absolutely, but you know what really excites me about this? Is that she is so excited about this.
[00:22:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I said she's lit up, you can hear it in the letter.
[00:22:27] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ideas like this come along so rarely, and when they do, you have to listen to them. You have to.
[00:22:32] Jordan Harbinger: I agree. Unless it's a terrible idea.
[00:22:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Sure.
[00:22:35] Jordan Harbinger: So here's my advice. First of all, I would start nurturing this idea every single day. And the best way to do that is to just talk to people about it, fellow coaches, friends, family, other administrators at the college, whoever, and just get in the habit of telling them about this problem, why it matters, the solution you have in mind. I think you'll be amazed at what comes out of these chats. Somebody might go, "Right on, more power to you, I love this," and then you'll get a little emotional boost, whatever. Or, someone might go, and this is very common, this is sort of a Six-Minute Networking thing right here, "Oh, you should go talk to Vice Dean so-and-so, she just earmarked funds for programs like this." And bam, you got a meeting with the person who could take this a long way to making it happen. You just never know. And it all starts by sharing your excitement, opening up about what you're doing. The second thing that I would do is start putting one or two pieces of the idea together, but in a way that is super small, and I mean like ridiculously small.
[00:23:31] For example, if I were in your shoes, I'd schedule a Zoom for three, four, five coaches you know, at your college, even other colleges. And just tell them your story. Tell them you feel the system isn't designed to address what you guys go through. Share the broad strokes of the organization that you want to start. And then, I would ask them, "Are you guys feeling the same way? Would something like this be helpful to you? What would you want out of it?" And hear them out. Take notes. Make these people your first users. And again, you never know what'll happen. Somebody might go, "Hey, sorry, I don't think this is going to speak to coaches at my institution, here's why." And then you can take that into account. Or somebody might go, "Wow, I'd love to help you build this." And you got your first partner. I mean, this is all serendipitous stuff that, this is how things happen.
[00:24:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Totally. I love that idea. But, you know, my gut is telling me that these people are going to go, "Oh, hell yeah, we need this, like, finally somebody gets it," because they're in her shoes too.
[00:24:30] Jordan Harbinger: Same here. I think these people are going to respond hard to this idea. So my other recommendation is, this organization you want to start, to share resources, I would just start doing that informally now. You can be this organization at first. I know, just what you need, another job, right? You've been through some real stuff now, you've learned a lot about how to show up for people, how to manage stress, how to seek out support. So you can create a one-page crisis plan, or you could send an email to another coach who's going through a tough time, or you could share a list of good books and websites you've read about handling the challenges of being a coach. Whatever people need, their needs are going to tell you what this organization essentially should be. And you just start small like that. You chip away day by day and the program will build itself.
[00:25:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: I love it, Jordan. That's exactly the right approach. My only other thought is I would stay open to what this thing looks like. This might, in fact, be a non-profit that works with athletics departments to do trainings and offer counseling, but it could also be a website with a really great resource hub or a monthly Zoom call for coaches around the world, or an Instagram account, or a WhatsApp group, or who knows, one day it could become a book, or all of the above at different stages. But at this stage, the only thing you need to focus on is the need for a service like this, and the solution that you want to provide. What that solution ultimately looks like and how it reaches people, that's what you'll discover as you go. Part of the fun is watching your vision evolve as more and more people jump on the bandwagon and offer their own ideas and, look, new challenges are going to pop up and those will tell you what this program could be.
[00:26:06] So I'm with Jordan. I think this idea is absolutely brilliant. But more than the idea itself, I think it's brilliant that you're so attuned to what you need as a coach because another person in your shoes might have thrown up their hands and just gone, "You know, there's no support for coaches. This job is way too intense I give up, I'm out," or, "I'm going to continue, but I'm just going to chug along and be miserable because that's just the way the system is." You're looking at all of this after going through some objectively difficult stuff and you're saying, "Something's not right here and I want to be the one to fix it." And that mindset is just phenomenal.
[00:26:37] Jordan Harbinger: I could not agree more, Gabe. This is the kind of person who actually should start a nonprofit or college initiative.
[00:26:43] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:26:43] Jordan Harbinger: Her sense of purpose is very personal. It's urgent. And I think that's going to make her very influential when it comes to this. And hey, I'm so sorry that all of this happened to you, but I'm also so glad that it led you here because I have a feeling this is the start of something really special for you and potentially for a lot of other people who could really use it. So good luck, coach.
[00:27:04] You can reach us friday@jordanharbinger. com. Keep your emails concise. Try to use descriptive subject lines. That makes our job a lot easier. If you're finding a dead squirrel in the mailbox, your neighbors are eavesdropping on your therapy sessions through the wall. You're feeling guilty for stealing money from your parents to fund your heroin addiction. Whatever's got you staying up at night lately, hit us up, firstname.lastname@example.org. We're here to help and we keep every email anonymous.
[00:27:28] Okay, next up.
[00:27:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, my husband of 14 years has had three affairs, that I'm aware of anyway. He's 67, I'm 61, and I'm his fourth wife.
[00:27:40] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:27:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: I've been talking about this with a psychologist, and she advised me to accept his infidelity and set boundaries. For example, that he can't communicate with his girlfriends while he's at home.
[00:27:52] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm. Okay.
[00:27:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: My husband is a dentist, and my therapist says that they're the most narcissistic of all professions. So dentists' wives just need to understand their personality traits. I've seen this quality in him for years, but I'm not sure how long I should accept it. She says that because of my age, I should just continue in this marriage. Yes, we're old, but my heart hurts. Complicating matters is that I don't have children of my own, and his kids and grandkids are my world. But, I'm incredibly astounded by this advice. Is this a valid reason to just look the other way? Do you agree with this advice? Signed, Pissed at my Therapist.
[00:28:33] Interesting story.
[00:28:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:28:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow.
[00:28:35] Jordan Harbinger: This can't be a real therapist. This is the worst. There's no way.
[00:28:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: I don't know.
[00:28:40] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, look, okay, this is unexpected. I've got to say, we've never been asked this explicitly to chime in on something a therapist said to one of our listeners.
[00:28:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hmm.
[00:28:49] Jordan Harbinger: It feels a little Intrusive or something, but I don't know. I'm not going to lie. It's also kind of thrilling.
[00:28:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I was about to say it's a little fun to do. Yeah, we'll tread lightly, I think.
[00:28:58] Jordan Harbinger: As long as you understand that Gabe and I are not therapists and we are definitely not your therapists as much as it might feel that way sometimes. Yeah, I want to tread lightly here. We're only going on your account of what your therapist said. And I'm not too keen on inserting myself into your process with this person, which is yours and yours alone. But, that said, cracks knuckles aggressively. I am shocked and taken aback by your therapist's opinion.
[00:29:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:29:22] Jordan Harbinger: I'm like, is this even a real therapist? Maybe I'm shocked not even for the reason that you might expect. Because, yes, I do find it strange and rather invalidating that your therapist is listening to you talk about how your husband is at three affairs that you know about. And her response is, "Well, you got to accept it because he's a narcissistic dentist and you're old."
[00:29:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hmm.
[00:29:42] Jordan Harbinger: I'm just stunned by that take. And I'm not saying that if you wanted to stick around, it's not a legitimate choice, if that's ultimately what you want to do, but I am flabbergasted that a therapist would advise you outright to do that. I mean, plot twist, the therapist is also banging your husband, and that's why she's telling you to do this. I'm so mystified.
[00:30:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: What was that you said a moment ago about treading lightly? We are not treading lightly.
[00:30:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, oh, sorry. That was not, that's the opposite. I'm stomping on this.
[00:30:08] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's cool. That's fine. Let's do it. I'm here for it.
[00:30:10] Jordan Harbinger: For crying out loud. But what I'm more concerned about is that your therapist is telling you what to do at all.
[00:30:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hmm.
[00:30:18] Jordan Harbinger: To be fair, there are different opinions about this. Some therapists, I want to say most therapists, they believe their job is not to tell a patient what to do, but to be in a process with them, right? It's that whole thing where they're helping the patient arrive at a decision that is right for them, even if that's not what the therapist would do personally.
[00:30:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:30:35] Jordan Harbinger: My personal bias is that approach is probably the most helpful. Not just because it's not really a therapist's place to tell a patient what to do, unless maybe it's a true emergency and the patient is putting themselves or someone else in danger, that's a different thing, but because it's important for a patient to work through things and learn to make these choices for themselves. Being told what to do, that's more like life coaching—
[00:30:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:30:59] Jordan Harbinger: —than therapy, and those are not the same thing. I recognize other therapists feel differently, and there are patients who love that. In fact, hey, look, I was catching up with a friend the other day, and she told me something like, "Yeah, my therapist said I need to stop dating guys who do this, and I need to get on a dating app and find somebody who's more like that, and I need to remember that I'm a catch."
[00:31:17] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:31:17] Jordan Harbinger: And in my head, I was like, "Oh, okay, maybe that's oversteppy, it sounds a little coachy and results oriented, but if it's helpful to you, that's cool, I guess." To be fair, my friend is doing better in her dating life, so maybe she was just a broken record and the therapist was like, "Look, you know, here's a reframe." Maybe that's what her relationship with her therapist allows, more power to her, whatever.
[00:31:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: I hear you Jordan. I'm with you on this, and it's funny because I also recently met a guy who told me a story like this. He was an athlete, actually, and we were chilling at this party, we were talking about life, and he goes, "Yeah, my therapist said I need to start microdosing mushrooms again." And I was like, "Okay, hold up, what? I don't know, that doesn't sound right to me. I mean, no shade on psychedelics whatsoever, but let me just get this straight, your therapist, presumably a licensed mental health professional and not a psychiatrist who's prescribing psychedelics clinically or whatever, they're actually advising you to pop some shrooms as part of their treatment?" I don't know, something about it just didn't sound quite right.
[00:32:14] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I haven't heard that one before. And you know that he's not a psychiatrist actually prescribing psychedelics because usually you don't say, "Yeah, my therapist told me I need to start microdosing mushrooms again." I don't think there's an Rx for that.
[00:32:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, he's just telling him to do it in his apartment. That's different.
[00:32:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:32:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: Anyway, I asked him a few more questions, and sure enough, he's like, "Yeah, my therapist is a former MMA fighter. He's pretty unconventional. He really gets athletes." And then, a few minutes later, this guy casually mentions to me that he's an addict.
[00:32:42] Jordan Harbinger: The therapist is an addict?
[00:32:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, no, he himself is an addict. So I was like—
[00:32:47] Jordan Harbinger: Got it.
[00:32:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: No, just red flags left and right, basically.
[00:32:50] Jordan Harbinger: Hey, you should do a bunch of street drugs. I know you're an addict that's in recovery, but this is totally different because they're mushrooms and you can't get addicted to them. I heard it on a podcast.
[00:32:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: It is a different class of substance. It's different, I understand they prescribe it for addiction, but it just doesn't add up.
[00:33:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, usually you don't microdose it, though, I would imagine. You do it with supervision. Isn't that kind of a — oh, God, why are we even going down this path? Obviously, the guy's talking out of his ass.
[00:33:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:33:14] Jordan Harbinger: So this is just another crackerjack ass therapist, in air quotes, who might or might not have experienced one too many concussions and is not going to supervise the use of illicit drugs that he's supposedly advised you to take. Now, I mean, look, not that a therapist can't have their own issues.
[00:33:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: Of course.
[00:33:29] Jordan Harbinger: But it seems like maybe it's time to get a second opinion there.
[00:33:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Look, who knows if this guy's even a therapist. This could be a life coach who he just calls his therapist. People do that sometimes. Have you ever noticed that? They'll be like—
[00:33:38] Jordan Harbinger: I have.
[00:33:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: "My therapist Lydia said I need to take more chances," and then it turns out Lydia is just this woman in their apartment complex who does like bodywork and likes to give advice in the elevator.
[00:33:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Don't even get me started on the Lydia's of this world. I don't even want to give too much away, but I went somewhere and I got like a massage and I was like, "That was pretty good." And he's like, "Yeah, just consider me, your movement guru." And I was like, "No, I will not be doing that."
[00:34:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: You, sir, are a masseur and that is the end of our transaction.
[00:34:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. This is a mediocre massage. I'm not going to be asking you about how to get my hip capsule to open up. This is not where this leads. And maybe people think we're a couple of Lydia's. Maybe the irony is we're sitting here every Friday, just being Lydia all day.
[00:34:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:34:24] Jordan Harbinger: We don't have licenses in counseling either, unless you count law, which is counseling in a completely different sector, so maybe I just need to shut the hell up now, I don't know.
[00:34:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: I don't know. I've been wanting to tell you for a while that you are such a Lydia, Jordan.
[00:34:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, go fill your shroom prescription, Gabriel.
[00:34:37] Anyway, what concerns me most here is that your therapist is telling you, yeah, you should stay with your husband, rather than actually helping you explore everything that these affairs, multiple affairs, that you know about have brought up for you.
[00:34:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:34:50] Jordan Harbinger: And then make a decision for yourself. That is what I just find astounding.
[00:34:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, same here, but I find it extra astounding because, to your point, this does not sound like particularly great advice to stay with your cheating husband because you guys are old, and he's a dentist, and he's not going to change, and you're the one who needs to draw boundaries. Like, the boundary, by the way, in question is no talking to your side pieces inside the house.
[00:35:12] Jordan Harbinger: I'm just realizing just how freaking bizarre this is. "Hey, no cheating in the house, Frank. Take it outside. That's why we have free nights and weekends.
[00:35:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow. Free nights and weekends. Wow. That is a great reference.
[00:35:26] That is a very dated reference.
[00:35:27] It is. Yeah. Our listeners, born after 9/11, just went, "What the hell is he talking about right now?"
[00:35:32] Jordan Harbinger: Well, kids, there was a time when you paid for a certain amount of minutes on your cell phone plan — and you know what? Just Google it. I do not feel like explaining to people on TikTok who use that as their primary form of communication. How Cingular Wireless used to approach customers from Sprint, and why you always called your grandma on Sunday.
[00:35:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Oh, yeah, you did always do that. That's true.
[00:35:49] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, of course, because she's going to talk for 45 minutes and that's all you had for the week, except if you had free nights and weekends.
[00:35:56] Is this a valid reason to look the other way on your husband's affairs? I think you could tell how we feel about that. What I'm hearing is that your husband, who apparently has some narcissistic tendencies, I mean, he is a dentist after all, has cheated on you multiple times.
[00:36:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wait, we have to talk about that. I'm sorry, I don't mean to interrupt.
[00:36:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:36:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: But we need to circle back to that. I'm so confused about that assessment about dentists, but—
[00:36:15] Jordan Harbinger: I think we Google that and find out that there's absolutely no basis for this.
[00:36:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Is that real? I don't get it.
[00:36:21] Jordan Harbinger: It's going to be like one of those articles in Cosmo where it's like top narcissistic professions and it's like medical and it includes everything medical and then it's like legal and includes everything legal and then it's like CEO, entrepreneur and it basically covers everybody who's not a school teacher or a cab driver. I don't know. It's a ridiculous assertion.
[00:36:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: I just don't understand like where that comes from. Is it because their teeth are nice?
[00:36:44] Jordan Harbinger: I don't even think we can look for logic in this. The therapist is clearly just making sh*t up as she goes entirely.
[00:36:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Not cool.
[00:36:49] Jordan Harbinger: And I think the guy's had multiple affairs. That's painful. That makes sense. If you don't want to look the other way, that's perfectly valid. And it's not like he's going to stop having affairs. You caught him three times. You're his fourth wife, Gabe, oh gosh. I don't even know if I should say this, but I wonder if you're the fourth wife, was he cheating on his third wife with you, or am I just being unfair and speculating and not, and probably shouldn't have said that?
[00:37:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: I mean, it's a little speculation, but it could be accurate. Hard to say.
[00:37:15] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. So yeah, honestly, I'm a lot more interested in inviting you to explore why you have put up with your husband's infidelity for so long. And here's another thing, Gabriel, this isn't just like me being like, that's a lot of wives, maybe she's the other woman.
[00:37:30] If you were the other woman. Maybe you feel like you have to put up with that because you were the other woman In the previous. I don't know now. I am being a Lydia. That's what's happened. I get why you might feel the need to look the other way whether your age should factor in here. I don't know. You're 61. That doesn't sound that old to me, frankly.
[00:37:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hmm.
[00:37:48] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe because I'm 43 and maybe that's because I'm old, too, in air quotes, how your husband's kids and grandkids Make it harder to leave. I understand that. I mean, there's just a lot going on here And if you explored all of that in therapy, and you got to a place where you decided, "Okay, this is who my husband is, I can accept having the kind of marriage where he has other relationships, and I'm here for different reasons, and I can be happy with that," I'd say, fine. As long as you're clear on all this, that's your choice. I don't know if I'd make the same one, but it's your choice. And if you got to a place where you decided, "You know what? This is hurtful, this is unfair, this is not the marriage I want to be in, and it doesn't matter how I got here, but I'm getting the hell out," you're never too old to respect yourself, then also great.
[00:38:28] That's your choice. I think, candidly, that's probably the healthier one, but again, I am not qualified to make that assessment. What's important here is that you're navigating all of this with as much awareness and insight as possible and That you have a healthy relationship with your own needs and your own feelings, without getting just dumbass advice from somebody else, like us.
[00:38:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Agreed, because putting aside the quality of this therapist's advice, what I'm hearing is that by telling you what to do, she's kind of missing you, right? She's pushing you toward a certain conclusion, a conclusion that might also be informed by certain biases of hers, which is another concern, but we don't need to go down there.
[00:39:07] Jordan Harbinger: So my advice, give this therapist another think. If you don't feel comfortable with her, if you don't feel that you're growing, that's an important signal that I would listen to. But also, before you ditch this person, I would actually recommend bringing all of this up with her. Your concerns about her advice, that she's steering you in a direction, a certain direction, I think that's absolutely fair. And her response will tell you a lot about whether she's the right person for you.
[00:39:31] Also, I would definitely check out two Feedback Friday questions we took about how to find a good therapist and how to avoid a bad one. That was question five on episode 624 and question one on episode 792. Those are going to be money for you right now, especially how to avoid a bad one. There are some ideas in there that will speak directly to this conversation that you might want to have. And I'm really sorry about your husband. It sucks, full stop. I hope you find the answers that you're looking for and I hope the answers that you find are truly your own. And thanks for letting us meddle in your life in a way that we promised literally minutes ago that we wouldn't.
[00:40:07] You know what will sparkle that smile that your narcissistic dentist just polished up? The amazing products and services that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:40:18] This episode is sponsored in part by NetSuite. We've been doing this show for 16 freaking years, and along the way we're continually refining how we get things done here. It seems like there's always a major project every year to ramp things up, and make sure that we're doing the most efficient work. The daily grind isn't just creating what I hope is great content, there's nitty gritty stuff like accounting, managing a production calendar, managing the team, payroll, all that stuff that, you know, don't really want to do. You don't want that to get lost in the manual labor maze, trust me. And when everyone on your team is using a hodgepodge of tools and services, it is like a rusty old thing and more like trying to herd cats, digital cats. But you know who's got your back? NetSuite. If what I'm saying has you nodding along, then etch these three numbers into your brain. 36,000, 25, and one. Well, at least you don't have to etch them in there, really, because it's going to be like a few seconds until I tell you what they're all about. Why 36,000? That's how many businesses just like yours are already using NetSuite to completely revamp their operations. Now you can forget that number. 25 NetSuite has been in the trenches for a quarter century, always iterating to meet evolving business demands. Now, you don't need that number either. And the big numero uno, that's one in Spanish, because your business is singular, unique, unlike any other. And that's why you need a tailored solution, all wrapped up in one neat package, and that is NetSuite.
[00:41:29] Jen Harbinger: Right now, download NetSuite's popular KPI checklist, designed to give you consistently excellent performance, absolutely free, at netsuite.com/jordan. That's netsuite.com/jordan to get your own KPI checklist. netsuite.com/jordan.
[00:41:44] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is sponsored in part by Nissan. These days, too many people have to settle for the next best thing, especially when it comes to choosing a car. But at Nissan, there's a vehicle type for everyone, for every driver who wants more. Whether you want more adventure, more electric, more action, more guts, or more turbocharged excitement, Nissan is here to make sure you get it. Because Nissan is all about giving people a whole spectrum of thrills to choose from with a diverse lineup of vehicles. From sports cars to sedans to EVs, pickups and crossovers, with Nissan's diverse lineup, anyone can find something to help them reach their more. In my life, I'm always looking for more meaningful connection, more meaningful conversation, whether it's deepening the relationships I already have or meeting fascinating new people who challenge my perspectives. These connections are what truly enrich my life and broaden my horizons, and I hope you all agree. And that's why I love that Nissan wants to help people find their more, more freedom, more adventure, or even just more fun. So thanks again to Nissan for sponsoring this episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show. And for the reminder to find your more, learn more at nissanusa.com.
[00:42:40] If you liked this episode of Feedback Friday, you find our advice valuable, I invite you to do what other smart and considerate listeners do, which is take a moment and support one of our amazing sponsors or more than one for that matter. All the links and discount codes and ways to support the show are at jordanharbinger.com/deals. You can also search for any sponsor using the AI chatbot on the website as well. We've got that thing speeding up, should have the latest promo codes, or you can just be lazy AF and email me email@example.com and someone will dig up the code for you. Don't be that guy or do use our codes either way. Thank you so much for supporting those who support the show. It keeps things going and we certainly really appreciate that.
[00:43:18] Now, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:43:21] All right, what's next?
[00:43:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I've been happily married for over 15 years and we have two wonderful kids. I've worked hard and moved up the corporate ladder at my job, resulting in a salary bump and allowing my wife to quit her nine-to-five to pursue other interests. She ended up opening a small business in our local community where I became her biggest fan, helping get the business off the ground by providing financial support as well as investing my time. Although my wife is very talented, the business has seen only modest success and during COVID, actually ended up being a tax write off. Since the business opened, we've been fortunate enough to move into a new home and have enough income to travel, buy new cars, save for retirement, fund the kids college fund, et cetera. The business has not contributed to this, which I'm okay with. But all of our friends and family believe that the change in social status is a result of her business, not my hard work and years of dedication. Even our kids applaud their entrepreneurial mom, while dad just, quote-unquote, "works on the computer all day."
[00:44:24] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:44:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: My wife seems to be more than okay with the narrative, often playing up her contributions to our local community as a successful small business owner and employer. I've never really been one to beat my own drum, and I don't want to tear her down to prop myself up, but I feel a little disparaged. Any conversation with her about this does not end well, and usually results in my wife telling me that I am not supportive. Should I be content knowing that my work is appreciated by my employer and be grateful that I can play the role of provider, even if it is behind the scenes? Is there a way to elevate yourself without diminishing your better half? Signed, Letting My Wife Shine While Trying Not to Whine.
[00:45:05] Jordan Harbinger: Interesting. Very interesting. I don't know why, Gabe, but there's something funny about this story. I know it's not funny to him. But I just can't help but chuckle a little bit because his wife is playing up this narrative, like, "I'm this successful entrepreneur, breadwinner, creator of jobs." And he's sitting across from her thinking like, "Okay, Bezos, I was the one who invested 40 grand of the money I earned at the job I'm actually crushing to get this business off the ground, the business lost money during COVID, but by all means, Tiffany, tell all of our friends how your crystal and incense shop that makes three sales a day is paying for the new Escalade and Maddie's Dartmouth tuition. I'd love to hear all about that."
[00:45:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Wow. That was great. I just got such a glimpse into this family. That was awesome.
[00:45:45] Jordan Harbinger: I know I'm just being an a hole here. We're having a laugh. I know this is distressing to you. So look, I have a couple of thoughts. First of all, it is clear that your wife takes pride in this business, as she should, man. Owning a business, even a small one, even one that's not doing that great, it's a big accomplishment, just not having something that failed immediately.
[00:46:04] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:46:04] Jordan Harbinger: And I'm guessing that your wife was looking for some purpose or meaning in her life, and it sounds like she found it in the business, and I totally understand that feeling. I'm sure that having the respect of your kids and your friends and your family, and even strangers, probably means a lot to her. As it would to anyone. And maybe she's a little bit intoxicated on some of that. At the same time, though, her embracing this narrative, it feels like it comes at your expense. And when she doesn't do anything to correct the record, you feel disparaged as a result, which is an interesting word to use.
[00:46:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hmm.
[00:46:36] Jordan Harbinger: You know, it kind of bugs me. You're not giving credit where credit's due. You feel diminished. You feel like she doesn't appreciate your worth. And then that's compounded by the kids who are like, "Oh, you just work on spreadsheets or whatever." And you know, I do get it. I understand. I don't think this is just about the money. I think it's also about how the people in your life perceive your effort, how they appreciate your investments. My advice would have been to talk to your wife about all this, but you tried that and it didn't go well. Her response is that you're not being supportive, which I mean, we got to read between the lines here.
[00:47:08] I think that means one of two things. Either your wife is missing something crucial here and when you try to tell her why this bothers you, she can only hear that, "My work is the only thing that matters and I'm not excited for you and your business," which sounds incorrect because you've objectively been a champion to her financially, emotionally, and logistically. So there's that. Or maybe you're just not articulating this to her in the most helpful way, which is also possible and could be compatible with the first thing.
[00:47:35] Obviously, we don't know how you're articulating all this, but part of me wonders if you're saying, "Hey, I don't like that. All our friends and family think you're the reason we can go to Hawaii every year and put money away in our retirement account. Your business is great, but it's not the moneymaker here," or some version of that, and maybe that makes it easier for your wife to interpret that as you. Not being supportive somehow.
[00:47:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:47:57] Jordan Harbinger: Now, I doubt that you're being that obtuse. You're probably being pretty thoughtful, but there's some understandable anger and frustration on your part here. And maybe that makes it harder for you to recognize her for her hard work, regardless of what the scoreboard says, while you point out that she's not honoring your success in return.
[00:48:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:48:15] Jordan Harbinger: Something worth considering before you have this conversation with her again.
[00:48:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's a very good point, Jordan. It's funny what rubs me the wrong way about all this. This might be my own bias talking, but what weirds me out about this is that his wife is living in a different reality here. This isn't just about recognizing who makes the money in the family. It's actually about believing in the same set of facts. Like when his wife plays up the story that she's the reason their family is doing so well, I think it freaks him out a little bit. It would freak me out anyway. Not just because it's like, well, what am I, a chopped liver? But because it's like, yo, you understand how finances work, right? We both have the same understanding of why we are where we are, correct?
[00:48:54] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:48:55] Gabriel Mizrahi: There's the social angle here, you know, the opinion of their friends and their family, but on a deeper level, I wonder if he maybe kind of resents that his wife is willfully buying into and also promulgating a very different set of facts about how they have arrived at this really wonderful position in life and doing so to benefit herself.
[00:49:15] Jordan Harbinger: I think that's why I was kind of laughing at the beginning because there's something just awkward and deeply uncomfortable about that.
[00:49:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:49:20] Jordan Harbinger: How do you turn to your spouse and say, honey, you're a little nuts and I need you to come back to reality so that we can be on the same page here.
[00:49:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:49:27] Jordan Harbinger: It's a spicy banana.
[00:49:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm sorry, a what?
[00:49:32] Jordan Harbinger: I meant to say spicy meatball, but I just thought I would let that ride.
[00:49:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay, I thought for a second that was a phrase I didn't know.
[00:49:37] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:49:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: That sounds like you just described another weird Trader Joe's snack I didn't know.
[00:49:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Bananas in a pickle!
[00:49:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Spicy bananas in a pickle?
[00:49:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, mmm.
[00:49:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: That does sound like something on the shelf that I would just breeze right past. They have some weird sh*t at that store. Okay, yeah, but I agree with you. To your point, It's tough because this comes at her expense, because she seems to have enjoyed this boost from being seen as powerful and effective, and he's essentially threatening to take that away from her by asking her to be accurate.
[00:50:06] Jordan Harbinger: But the reason I feel for him here is that he's not saying he's not proud of her.
[00:50:11] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:50:11] Jordan Harbinger: He's not saying her business isn't important.
[00:50:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:50:13] Jordan Harbinger: He's just saying, "Hey, can you maybe give me the same recognition? Because I'm working my ass off over here and it doesn't feel good to not be recognized at all." That's not crazy to me.
[00:50:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's not crazy. That's what he needs to help her see if he hasn't done that already. But he needs to do it in a way that doesn't sound like he's diminishing her or dismissing her in the process of standing up for himself. That's where they seem to be getting tripped up.
[00:50:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I think you're right. It's also possible that his wife is kind of delusional.
[00:50:39] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hmm.
[00:50:40] Jordan Harbinger: I know I'm speculating here, but the more we talk about this, I see a lot of MLM parallels where people who write in, they're like, "My wife's in an MLM and she's losing money." And she's like, "Yay, I earned the level where you get a cruise." And he's like, "And now we're paying 600 for the free cruise." And I'm just like, this sounds so much like that. And I'm adding some to the letter that wasn't there. Okay. This is not an MLM, but the more we talk about this, the harder it is for me to understand, how someone with a money-losing business sees themselves as a successful small business entrepreneur and employer.
[00:51:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:51:15] Jordan Harbinger: Being in business is a success. Okay? Technically, I will agree with you there, but it's a little worrisome to be like, yes, this is all my doing. When your balance books are like, yeah, you need to quadruple your business, or your husband's cutting a big check again. So, should you just be content knowing your work is appreciated by your employer, just be grateful you can be the provider behind the scenes, okay, yes and no. I love that your employer appreciates you, I think it's great that you feel valued in your career in a way that doesn't entirely depend on your family, but I don't think that means you need to settle for being underappreciated or deliberately misrepresented by your wife. Yes, you have a lot to be grateful for, and it's fair to expect your wife to recognize you for your contributions, just as you do for her. Whatever you do, I'd aim to make room for both of your contributions and accomplishments, financial and otherwise, and try to subscribe to the same set of facts. Be in the same reality. That's the real issue here. But, eh, what do I know? I'm just a guy that talks on a microphone all day, according to my kids. So, good luck.
[00:52:16] All right, what's next?
[00:52:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dear Jordan and Gabe, 20 years ago, I used to smuggle Bibles into China. One time, when trying to take Bibles over the border, I was caught, taken aside, and had to turn all of them in. Officials took my passport and ran it through the computer. They eventually let me go, and the next day I was back to smuggling more Bibles over in a backpack.
[00:52:39] Jordan Harbinger: Wow, gutsy move, man.
[00:52:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Brazen, that's intense.
[00:52:42] I would love to visit China again at some point, as the country itself is great, excluding, of course, the government. But with how hostile this current government is toward religion, I would be nervous about crossing that border again, even though I wouldn't be doing anything wrong this time. How do I know if I'm on a list somewhere in China? Will I be sent to a labor camp if I cross the border? Do I write China off for the rest of my life? Or is my brain simply going to the worst-case scenario and I'll probably be fine? Signed, Risk Whatever Happens or Avoid the Red Dragon.
[00:53:15] Jordan Harbinger: Wow, I mean, good question. This is brazen, man. That's the kind of thing that's gotten people into serious trouble in North Korea. Do you remember Was his name, Kenneth Bae?
[00:53:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I think it was. I think it was him.
[00:53:27] Jordan Harbinger: He smuggled Bibles into North Korea and he was in a prison for years and years.
[00:53:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mm-hmm.
[00:53:30] Jordan Harbinger: That was a very tragic situation. I know China is not as brutal as North Korea, of course, but smuggling Bibles into any authoritarian regime that bans them, that is very risky. And I'm honestly relieved you got off so easily because this could have gone very differently.
[00:53:46] We wanted an expert's opinion here, so we decided to run all of this by my buddy Matthew Tye, aka Laowhy86, aka C-Milk, he has a lot of dumb nicknames. He's a YouTube blogger, he's a human rights advocate, he's a friend of the show, he lived in China for 10-plus years. He runs a whole channel, all about China, so he's kind of become one of our resident China/Chinese law experts here, and you can hear him on The China Show, which I watch every week on YouTube, we'll link to that in the show notes.
[00:54:10] Laowhy was very blunt. He said you are absolutely on a list in China. The fact that you were taken aside, the fact that Bibles were confiscated. In Matt's experience, that means that what you did was serious enough to get them to stop you. That wasn't, you know, trying to take a tax-free watch into the country to make a couple of extra Rambos. Laowhy, Matt, said that this Bible thing, it was always a crime, but now it's taken very seriously. Back then, it was probably like, "All right, you know, can't bring these in." So in all likelihood, this was a pretty serious crime in the eyes of the Chinese, again, as evidenced by the fact they scanned your passport. I mean, that kind of tells you everything they need to know about where your name is. They have your name. They know you did that.
[00:54:54] Now, in his view, in Matt's view, the Chinese don't want to nab you for no reason. They probably just don't want you in their country. But let's say that they did give you a visa to visit a new one, or you've got your old one. Laowhy said that personally, he would not risk it. I know I'm in that camp, too, because you could potentially be a bigger target for hostage diplomacy if something else were to happen between China and the United States. You just never know what kind of international shenanigans you might get swept up in. To say nothing of how tough and capricious the criminal systems in countries like China can really be. I mean, you think the United States is bad and has draconian punishment. At least we have some rule of law. You have courts. You can communicate with people. I mean, China, that ain't it.
[00:55:38] So yeah, I'd stay away. You burned this country, man, definitely. Especially because of the criminal code in China, it's not fair. It's not reliable. Concepts like a statute of limitations. Oh, I did that a long time ago. Criminal procedure, let's just say they're flexible depending on what the government really wants to do. You just don't want to go up against that government.
[00:55:59] And big thanks to Laowhy for his expertise here. If you want to learn more about him and his work, again, I highly recommend Laowhy86 channel on YouTube, The China Show, fantastic content there. Also check out my two-part interview with him on the Chinese social credit score system. That was episode 643 and 644. One of my favorites on that.
[00:56:17] Lots of other good countries to visit, man. A lot of fun places. Taiwan is amazing. It's safe for the moment anyway. There's so many great places to visit in Asia. You're going to have just as much fun there. I promise. But just to be safe, maybe go ahead and leave the King James at home. Vacation is a lot more fun when you don't spend it in a gulag.
[00:56:36] Hope you all enjoyed the show. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this week and everybody who listened. Thank you so much. Go back and check out Andrea Dunlop on Munchausen and Tim Urban on political thinking without being political if you haven't done so yet.
[00:56:48] The best things that have happened in my life and business, by the way, have come through my network. The circle of people I know, that I like, that I trust. I'm teaching you how to build connections in a non-gross, non-schmoozy way. You can find it for free on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. Yes, you might not need it for your job. You might be retired. I still see a happiness dividend for you here. I still see a lot of benefits. And it's a few minutes a day, jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:57:15] Also, our newsletter, Wee Bit Wiser, every Wednesday, we dig into an older episode, bring out the gems, sign up at jordanharbinger.com/news. Show notes and transcripts at jordanharbinger.com. Advertisers, deals, discounts, and ways to support the show, all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. AI chatbot on the website as well if you want to ask it a question about any Feedback Friday, any promo code or anything ever on the show. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn. And you can find Gabe on Instagram at @GabrielMizrahi or on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
[00:57:47] The show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, and of course, Gabriel Mizrahi. Our advice and opinions are our own, and I'm a lawyer, but not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. Ditto Matthew Tye, aka Laowhy86. Remember, we rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love, and if you found the episode useful, please share it with somebody else who can use the advice we gave here today. In the meantime, I hope you apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you learn, and we'll see you next time.
[00:58:22] You're about to hear a preview of The Jordan Harbinger Show with retired astronaut Chris Hadfield.
[00:58:27] Chris Hadfield: I watched the first two people walk on the moon and I thought, "Wow, I'm going to grow up to be something. Why don't I grow up to be that? That's the coolest thing ever. It is purely the direct results of all of those little minute-by-minute decisions that I made since starting when I was a kid, just turning 10.
[00:58:47] When I got the telephone call asking if I would like to be an astronaut, I was at the top of my profession. I was the top test pilot in the US Navy as a Canadian. And then, to be selected as an astronaut, suddenly, I'm a guy who knows nothing. I sit in my office and I'm like, I'm a complete imposter. I have zero skills right now.
[00:59:09] Whenever anybody has offered to teach me something for free, I've always taken them up on it. How are you getting ready for the major events in your life? The things that matter to you, the things that have consequence. Are you just sort of waving your hands and going, "Oh, it'll probably turn out okay." Or are you actually using the time available to get ready for it? Maybe it will turn out okay. But if the stakes are high, to me, that's just not a gamble I willingly take. If at some point in life you think you know everything you need to know, then you're just in the process of dying.
[00:59:36] What astronauts do for a living is visualize failure, figuring out the next thing that's going to kill you, and then practice it over and over and over again until we can beat that thing. We know how to deal with it. Then, you do a much better job and a more calm and comfortable way of doing it as well. You don't miss it. You're not overwhelmed by it. It's something you can do while thinking of something else. You notice how beautiful it is, how magnificent it is, how much fun it is. You're not just completely overwhelmed by the demands of the moment.
[01:00:07] Jordan Harbinger: For more on how Commander Chris Hadfield managed to stay focused on his dream starting at age nine to become the first Canadian to walk in space, check out episode 408 of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:00:19] By the way, a lot of you filled out that survey that we were asking you to do and you found, annoyingly, the zip code question was at the end, so many of you couldn't submit because you were outside the United States and you'd realized you wasted your time doing that survey. I didn't design that in my defense, but I really feel bad about wasting your time. It's something I really try not to do here on this show. So if you took that survey and wasted your time doing it, I want to make it up to you somehow. I would love to give you a $10 Amazon gift card. Now, unfortunately, I can't just say, "Hey, send me your email and I'll send you a gift card because that invites a crazy amount of scamming." So what you can do is support that sponsor that you've been thinking about supporting for a really long time. Go to jordanharbinger.com/deals, pick a sponsor, grab something from them, shoot me a screenshot with that receipt, and I will send you a $10 Amazon gift card, which is the least I can do for you having submitted, or tried to, do that survey to help me out, and meanwhile, it just didn't work. And thank you for understanding that I can't just send people an unlimited amount of money because it would invite an insane number of scams. So if you can show, so if you do support a sponsor and you want a little $10 kickback from yours truly, please take me up on this. Just shoot it to me at jordan at jordanharbinger.com. It's the least I can do for your troubles.
[01:01:39] Thanks again to Nissan for sponsoring this episode. Let Nissan help you find your more at nissanusa.com.
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