Should you alert a newlywed to the fact that her husband slept in your bed after neglecting to inform you he was even married? 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 email@example.com. Now let’s dive in!
On This Week’s Feedback Friday, We Discuss:
- A bit of good news to report: 30 victims of human trafficking were recently rescued by episode 833 guests Nathan Paul Southern and Lindsey Kennedy!
- Should you alert a newlywed to the fact that her husband slept in your bed after neglecting to inform you he was even married?
- Is it worth exiting your current relationship to give the BPD-afflicted ex with whom you’re trauma-bonded another shot now that she claims to be getting the help she’s always needed?
- The relationship with your current husband began as an affair. Are you in the wrong for wanting to attend his adult son’s wedding, even though the (perhaps rightfully) bitter ex will be in attendance?
- For all of its pros, your “dream” job in space exploration is saddled with way more cons than you were expecting. You’re aiming for a job that’s out of this world, but should you settle for bringing your dreams back down to Earth for better work/life balance?
- Is it overstepping boundaries to strongly hint to your sickly but stoic co-worker’s adult kids that they should cherish every moment they can spend with him while they still can?
- Have any questions, comments, or stories you’d like to share with us? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
- 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:
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Miss our conversation with Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a Hamas co-founder who worked undercover to thwart terrorist plots? Catch up with episode 407: Mosab Hassan Yousef | The Green Prince of Hamas here!
Resources from This Episode:
- Tom Hardin | Tipper X: The Man Behind Wall Street’s Biggest Sting | Jordan Harbinger
- Chris Miller | Chip War: The Battle for Semiconductor Supremacy | Jordan Harbinger
- Nathan Paul Southern and Lindsey Kennedy | Sourcing Cyber-Slavery | Jordan Harbinger
- Should I Tell My Lover’s Wife That He Is Cheating On Her? | Quora
- Treating BPD | National Education Alliance for Borderline Personality Disorder
- How to Recognize and Break Traumatic Bonds | Healthline
- EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) Therapy | Cleveland Clinic
- Blame’s All Mine — Her Personality’s Borderline | Feedback Friday | Jordan Harbinger
- Isaiah Hankel | The Smart Way to Focus and Grow Successful | Jordan Harbinger
- How to Deal With Your Partner’s Ex-Spouse | Brides
- What Happens When a Dream Job Turns Miserable? | Cosmopolitan
- Has Anyone Landed Their Dream Job but It Didn’t Turn Out the Way You Thought? | r/Jobs
920: Would It Defeat Her to Know Husband’s a Cheater? | Feedback Friday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to Feedback Friday. I'm your host, Jordan Harbinger. As always, I'm here with Feedback Friday producer, the amateur rapper spitting mad bars in the sign-offs every single week, Gabriel Mizrahi. I appreciate that you have a hat on backwards today, by the way. That very much goes along. Yeah.
[00:00:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: Unplanned, too. Also, this is the Que Bonito hat, but I turned it around so you couldn't make fun of me.
[00:00:24] Jordan Harbinger: And I did anyway.
[00:00:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: Except you did anyway, and I probably look just as ridiculous with it on backwards, so fair enough.
[00:00:30] Jordan Harbinger: 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. Our mission is to help you become a better informed, more critical thinker.
[00:00:44] During the week we have long-form conversations with a variety of amazing folks, from cold case homicide investigators, economic hitmen, gold smugglers, former jihadis, rocket scientists, or extreme athletes. This week we had Tom Hardin, aka Tipper X. When he was young, he ended up being an FBI informant who took down, helped take down hundreds of people for insider trading in what I believe was the largest insider trading case in history. Imagine your personal life going through that. And then of course the rest of your life sort of being defined by that really interesting guy. We also had Chris Miller, author of Chip War on semiconductors and how the balance of world power rests on who controls the manufacturing of these amazing devices.
[00:01:25] On Fridays, though, we share stories, take listener letters, offer advice, and mercilessly roast Gabriel for getting way too into the sign-offs lately.
[00:01:33] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, man. Good old MC Gaby on the ones and twos over here.
[00:01:36] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it's I feel like if you were in a rap battle, instead of roasting the other person, you'd just try to, like, appreciate their childhood and build them up.
[00:01:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, that's how you absolutely bury someone, right? Just extreme empathy.
[00:01:48] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, it would be a weird show, but I think I would watch it.
[00:01:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, I'd watch that too.
[00:01:53] Jordan Harbinger: Anyway, before we jump in, I have another wild story to share with you guys. So Nathan Paul Southern and Lindsey Kennedy, they're the journalists from our cyber slavery episode. That was episode 833. On that episode, they explained how organized criminals hold thousands of people in modern day slavery in Southeast Asia. And they forced these people to run cyber scams around the world.
[00:02:13] So when you get a text like, "Ellie, I'm at the airport waiting for you. Where are you?" or whatever, often those scams are being conducted by literal slaves under the orders of human traffickers, who are usually Chinese gangsters. So Nathan and Lindsey sent me a message a few weeks back, like one o'clock in the morning, asking for FBI contacts because they found out about one of these human slavery operations that was moving their slaves because they had sold them. They were moving them to a different country in a bus.
[00:02:39] And the crazy part is they found out about this because one of the targets of the scam, somebody who got a text, replied, "Are you being held against your will in a call center?" And the scammer, who turned out to be Cambodian, then replied saying, "Yes, I am." So the target contacted Amnesty International, who then contacted Nathan and Lindsey and the police. So this person literally did what we said to do on the podcast, which would be amazing if they found out about it from our show. Probably, no way we can really find out. But then Nathan and Lindsey got in touch with the Philippines and Thai police, told them that these Cambodians were being trafficked to Burma, where they would probably never be seen again. Because once you go into Burma, it's a military junta. There's no rule of law, really. I mean, that's the end of it. In fact, the traffickers had already probably killed one guy after beating him to a pulp in front of everyone else because he tried to call the embassy for help.
[00:03:28] So, Nathan and Lindsey worked their magic, found the cell phone location of the Cambodian, the location was of course moving, because it turned out, they were indeed on a bus, on the highway, heading to Burma. And then, Lindsey and Nathan, And the police from Cambodia, Thailand, and wherever else, physically chased the dot on Apple Maps like a scene out of The Bourne Identity or whatever. So they stop the bus and the traffickers turn and run and try to escape and get into other cars and get away on foot and they all got caught and they rescued over 30 hostages from this operation.
[00:04:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: Such an incredible story.
[00:04:01] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:04:01] Gabriel Mizrahi: When you told me this, I was like, I can't believe this.
[00:04:04] Jordan Harbinger: I also can't believe this happened because, first of all, the incompetence and sort of apathy in that area about this is enormous. So I'm so glad that this happened. And anyway, this is why we taught people to engage this way. A random act of kindness or attention can literally save lives. And this is so important. Like I said, Burma's a black hole where if you're trafficked, you're screwed because the entire country is a military prison. So the fact that these lives were saved and the traffickers were arrested and hopefully will be brought to justice because somebody took a moment to ask if the scammer was okay, I just found it very moving. It sort of lets the whole lesson sink in, right? Like, oh, this is a real thing. This happens. And it can be great.
[00:04:44] All right, we've got some fun ones, we've got some doozies. Gabe, what's the first thing out of the mailbag?
[00:04:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey Jordan and Gabe, I'm single and a couple of months ago I went out drinking and dancing with some friends. Someone introduced me to a new guy in the group and he became my dance partner for the night. I ended up sleeping with him just the one time. Then, later someone let it slip to me that this guy is married.
[00:05:08] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh, shoot drama! Yikes!
[00:05:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: I was horrified since I used to be married myself and the idea of me being the other woman sickens me.
[00:05:18] Jordan Harbinger: I get that. I get that.
[00:05:20] Gabriel Mizrahi: I did some internet sleuthing and found semi recent wedding photos. She lives in a different city for job training. He visited that city recently so it's my impression that they are not divorced. I know some relationships are intentionally non-monogamous but I don't believe that's the case here. I feel that this woman deserves to know what her husband is up to. I've considered confronting him and letting him know that he can tell her, or I will. I could get in touch with her myself, although I'd like to remain anonymous if I do that. A part of me thinks that he's responsible for his relationship, and I should just remove myself from the situation and leave it up to fate, slash karma, slash God. But another, bigger part of me thinks that there's a girl code, and the golden rule, do unto others and all that, that I need to follow. Should I mind my own business? Am I silly for wanting this woman to know? If I do tell her, how should I do it? Signed, Bust This Dude for His Turpitude, or Stay Shrewd and Elude a Crude and Skewed Feud.
[00:06:19] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, Gabe, I see you're going to go ham again today, just going to flex on us and these sign-offs.
[00:06:23] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, dude, I'm inspired. I don't know what to tell you. I'm into it.
[00:06:26] Jordan Harbinger: Gabe, I got to say, the letters we get that are about, "Should I notify this total stranger about something they should know?" I just, I find these questions among the hardest to answer.
[00:06:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: I know what you mean. It's so hard to know what's appropriate in situations like this.
[00:06:39] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, on the one hand, she has some very good reasons for telling this woman, "Hey, your husband's cheating on you. I'm really sorry. I just thought you should know." But on the other hand, she doesn't really know this guy. She doesn't know the terms of his marriage, if they're happy together, what sort of person he is in general, if he's going to, I mean—
[00:06:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: I don't know. She doesn't get the sense that they're non monogamous and he just got married, right? And he visited that city recently. So it sounds like this woman is completely in the dark.
[00:07:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's right. So for all those reasons, and maybe this is me as a married guy speaking, I'm leaning toward telling her this poor woman probably has no idea her husband is out carousing with other women, sleeping with them, or at least slept with one while she's off in another city doing her job training, enjoying her newlywed bliss and talking about how great this guy is. So she deserves to know, and like you said, there's girl code, there's the golden rule, more importantly, you could really do her a solid.
[00:07:31] She'll probably be devastated, but in the long run it's definitely better that she knows. And if it turns out that they aren't monogamous, then she won't mind, and it won't be a problem. I just think everyone here has more to gain from this information coming to light than from you keeping it a secret.
[00:07:46] The only caveat here is, you have to be prepared for things to get a little messy for a minute. This guy might get really mad at you, the wife might want to talk to you, your friends might have mixed feelings about your decision, but you didn't do anything wrong, you didn't know, so in my opinion, that's their problem, not yours. You know, I might make sure from the friends that the guy's not. "Oh, he's got a psycho temper problem, but it's never affected us." You know, you don't want to be on the bad end of a crazy person.
[00:08:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right. But, you know, speaking of her friends, I'm a little surprised that none of them gave her a heads up that this guy's married.
[00:08:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I thought that was weird. I was wondering about that as well. So after they do the deed, one of them goes to her and says, "Oh, by the way, he's married." But is that one of the friends who were out that night dancing?
[00:08:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Unclear. I mean, if it was, that's really uncool of them.
[00:08:30] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. "Thanks a lot, Debra. Information that would have been helpful before I got it in with Trevor after salsa last night. What the hell?"
[00:08:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: You think it was salsa? Was it a salsa night? I'm getting strong merengue vibes from this story.
[00:08:42] Jordan Harbinger: Salsa, merengue, frigging '90s hip-hop, night down at the club. Whatever it was, it was sweaty. I'll tell you that. And I have a very clear image in my head of this night.
[00:08:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Then again, it could have been someone outside the friend group or somebody who wasn't there that night. But I have to think that someone in that friend group, they were friends with this guy—
[00:09:00] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:09:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: And they're friends with our friend here. So somebody that night must have known he was married.
[00:09:04] Jordan Harbinger: I'm kind of angry at the friends—
[00:09:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah.
[00:09:05] Jordan Harbinger: —to be honest. Where's the human slash girl code from their side of things. Like, "Oh, they're really grinding upon each other and he's married. Maybe mention it. Nah, that's fine. Let's let this get completely off the rails.
[00:09:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also, that means that all her friends might know that she slept with one of their married friends.
[00:09:22] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that she danced with him all night at the very least and went home with him. So your other option is to talk about this with your friends, too. Tell them what happened that you didn't know because they'll probably be like, "Wow, what a scumbag." Or they'll be like, "Yeah, he and his wife are cool like that. We thought you knew," and then you just have a lot more information.
[00:09:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Also, maybe one of them can tell the wife. Maybe they know her better.
[00:09:41] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe that would keep her out of the line of fire potentially and protect her reputation. Otherwise, you could contact her anonymously and that might work. But you know, I think there's a decent chance the guy's going to realize it's you. Unless Instagram profile and you're like, "Oh, I'm a friend of so-and-so. She slept with your husband. I just wanted you to know. He's going to believe that.
[00:10:00] Gabriel Mizrahi: It's hard to pull that off. If that account has like two friends and one of them is you and the other is like CNN or whatever, it's going to be kind of sus.
[00:10:08] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, you got to follow CNBC and FOX too just to cover your tracks.
[00:10:12] Gabriel Mizrahi: It might as well throw Newsmax into the mix. Just keep them guessing politically.
[00:10:15] Jordan Harbinger: You have to put in some real work to make that cover story bulletproof. Maybe more work than a mature, thoughtful adult like you really wants to do with this nonsense, but it is an option. Otherwise, just come right out and tell her as yourself and accept the consequences. Like I said, he's probably going to know it was you anyway. Or, you could have one of your friends do it, but then you'd have to convince them, unless they're just like so appalled that this happened that they can't wait to tell his wife. We don't know their relationship. But then you're dragging other people into your drama, which isn't necessarily wise and fair. So, I think you tell her.
[00:10:46] Other people might disagree. I do understand the argument that it's not your place, and you should leave it up to karma slash non-denominational higher power to sort it out. As long as you're not putting yourself in danger, I think this is the move. But from where I'm sitting, it is your place. Because you're a party to this, whether you like it or not. He put you in a really awful position by pursuing you and lying about his situation. And now he's left you to hold this guilt and anxiety, which sucks. So telling his wife would be a way to resolve those feelings, while also giving her the information that she needs to move forward. And if it makes you feel better, You can give him a heads up that you're going to tell her, or, like you said, you can give him the option to tell her himself. That makes some sense to me. Of course, he's probably going to be like, "Some psycho's going to call you and say we slept together. Ridiculous!" But, you know, the cat's out of the bag.
[00:11:33] At the end of the day, it's your choice. And this is his marriage. I don't think you have an obligation. To insert yourself, but you do have a right too. Now, I'm really sorry things played out this way. What a class act this guy is, huh? Freakin Trevor. Probably smells like a YMCA locker room and expired Jean Paul Gaultier cologne. Sending you a hug, and good luck.
[00:11:55] You know who you can hook up with absolutely guilt free? The amazing sponsors who support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:12:04] This episode is sponsored in part by Nutrisense. This is something is so cool. At first I thought it was going to be kind of scary. This is a continuous blood glucose monitor. So it's basically a sensor that sticks into your arm. And I felt like, what? I am not sticking that thing. On my arm, but it actually, I didn't even notice, I barely felt it, it just feels like sticking something on your arm, you don't even notice the rest of it, and it is enlightening to say the least, man. I'm talking things like mood swings, focus, energy levels throughout the day, I can basically look at in an app and there's a graph showing me why I feel like crap currently, or why I feel a little bit hyperactive. Nutrisense allows you to keep tabs on your glucose levels in real time. There's a health dashboard that tracks how you are reacting to things that you eat, exercise, stress, sleep. I've had it on for a few weeks. I had no idea some of the foods that I ate that seemed pretty normal and healthy were spiking my blood sugar, like sushi, and other stuff that I thought would definitely spike my blood sugar, like candy and ice cream, which I definitely eat from time to time, do pretty much nothing. What happened to the whole thing I learned as a kid where when you eat a candy bar, you're supposed to have a crash. That's not happening to me. Either way, Nutrisense doesn't just leave you with the data, they give you a free month with a board certified nutritionist who interprets it for you. So with the sushi thing, she actually came in and was like, "Hey, I saw you ate some sushi and your blood sugar spiked. Next time, add some protein, maybe a little sashimi. That'll avoid spiking your glucose." And so that, that's what I do now when I eat sushi. I love the fact that I can make a choice on something and then get feedback from my blood and then feedback from a nutritionist so that I don't have the same kind of reaction to food next time. It's really amazing and this is how you stay healthy long term, y'all. Visit nutrisense.com/jordan to get 30 off your first month plus a free month of nutritionist support. That is nutrisense.com/jordan.
[00:13:44] This episode is also sponsored by AG1. I want to tell you something that's been a game changer for me and Jen. Jen especially loves this. Life gets busy. The last thing I want to stress about is whether I'm getting the right vegetables in my diet, micronutrients, et cetera. That's where AG1 comes into play. My friend Tim Ferriss told me about this a zillion years ago. My friend founded this company, actually. It's not just another supplement, it's like an all in one nutritional insurance for your body. Each scoop is packed with 75 vitamins, minerals, probiotics, whole food source nutrients. Thank God, they didn't say superfoods. I don't have time to ensure I get all that in my regular diet. I mean, I'm not even paying that close of attention. I know I should be, but I'm trying to chase my kid around with a spoon so he eats. That's like my new thing. First of all, convenience is key. We're in Taiwan and brought our AG1 travel packs to make sure we're getting all the right nutrients, stay a little bit healthier. Bubble tea can't provide all the major nutrients. Who knew? To build good habits, you need to lower the friction to get there. In the mornings, Jen and I each mix one scoop of AG1 in a glass of water and boom, we got our bases covered for the day. Secondly, it's not just about what's in it, but what is not in it. No artificial nonsense, no sketchy additives. Again, my friend started this company and is really kind of like anal about not putting crap in it. I also like that it's not overly sweetened, it just has that slight green flavor. So it's like, green enough, you know it's working, but not like, hey, we masked all the stuff with sugar or what, corn syrup, I don't know. But don't just take my word for it, try it out for yourself. Try AG1 and get a free one-year supply of vitamin D and five free AG1 travel packs with your first purchase. By the way, people are like, oh, well, how come vitamin D is not in there? The vitamin D is suspended in oil, and you don't want that in your powder, because it's extra, extra disgusting and probably chunky in a way that is not going to work. So they give it to you separately. So free one-year supply of vitamin D and five free travel packs with your first purchase. Go to drinkag1.com/jordan. That's drinkag1.com/jordan.
[00:15:33] Thank you for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our sponsors does keep us going. All the deals, discount codes, and ways to support the show are at jordanharbinger.com/deals. You can also use our AI chatbot to search for sponsors. Please consider supporting those who support the show.
[00:15:47] Now, back to Feedback Friday.
[00:15:51] Okay, next up.
[00:15:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, I was in a serious relationship with a woman who was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder while we were together. Needless to say, things got ugly very quickly, as this is a disorder that requires an incredible amount of self work and dedication. A year ago, I was forced to leave the relationship after witnessing her self harm and experiencing all sorts of verbal and physical abuse, which flared up when she drank. The highs and lows of a relationship with a borderline person are unlike anything I've ever felt before and I became trauma bonded with her. For the last few months, I've been dating a new girl. She recently told me she loved me when she was drunk and I responded by saying that I'm dealing with a lot in my past and working on myself.
[00:16:42] Ah, yes, the response every woman wants to hear when you tell them.
[00:16:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I love you. So here's the thing, I'm a giant mess.
[00:16:48] Gabriel Mizrahi: I got some stuff.
[00:16:49] Jordan Harbinger: And I don't really, yeah.
[00:16:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: The next day, she said she was blacked out, and didn't remember anything.
[00:16:55] Jordan Harbinger: That's what I would say too, frankly.
[00:16:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Which might be true, or might be based on my response.
[00:17:02] Jordan Harbinger: Love? Psh, I would never say that. Man, I had like 12 drinks last night.
[00:17:06] Gabriel Mizrahi: Blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-a-alcohol—
[00:17:09] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:17:09] Gabriel Mizrahi: —my friend.
[00:17:10] I'm just not ready to be at that point with her. I told her that I had past trauma, but I've never detailed all the things I went through with my ex. I've been in therapy for over a year and have further done EMDR therapy, which has helped with the trauma. The details of the past relationship are personal to me, but I don't know if it's unfair to leave my girlfriend in the dark. Then, recently, my ex reached out to me saying that she's sorry for who she became that she's gotten treatment for a variety of things, including the BPD and also an eating disorder, and has done DBT and ketamine therapy infusions. I've never loved somebody the way I loved her, and I've thought about her every single day since the split. But then again, she talked about having changed before. Do I risk going back into contact with a person who had such a drastic effect on my life? Should I believe that the changes over the last year are real? And what do I owe my current girlfriend? Should I give her more details on what happened and why I'm having a hard time being open to more commitment? Signed, Looking for the Coordinates of This Borderline.
[00:18:19] Jordan Harbinger: God, whenever I hear about borderline, that Madonna song comes into my head.
[00:18:24] There's a lot going on in this letter.
[00:18:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: There sure is.
[00:18:26] Jordan Harbinger: Let's see if we can get to all of it. I don't even know how we even get to all of it. First of all, I am so sorry you went through all this. This relationship with your ex sounds extremely chaotic, scary, painful, in a number of ways. My heart goes out to her because she's obviously struggling with a lot. My understanding is that BPD is almost always caused by trauma. But my heart goes out to you too because you experienced some truly hurtful and heinous stuff.
[00:18:52] And I'm not surprised that this relationship left such a mark on you. So honestly, best thing you did was end that relationship. Both to protect yourself and to allow both of you to go off and do this very important work. She obviously needed to take care of herself. And I'm proud of you for that, especially given that you were bonded so strongly, and you had, and apparently still have, very strong feelings for her, which I want to circle back to.
[00:19:14] Now I want to talk about your ex for a moment. She obviously had some pretty severe issues, self-harm, eating disorder, the impulse to lash out and abuse you, among other things. And yeah, the borderline personality is very volatile. Very hard to be in a stable relationship with. But you know, BPD, even though people talk about it like it's this super scary irreversible thing, it's not. It is treatable, it is something you can recover from. It takes a lot of hard work around trauma and relationships and it takes a lot of time, and it usually takes a very strong relationship with a therapist. DBT is one of the best modalities for treating BPD. There's a lot of acronyms going on here, sorry for that folks.
[00:19:54] So I'm glad your ex sought that out, but that personality can absolutely evolve, it can heal. So the stigma around BPD, it's very unfortunate. I mean, these people are already dealing with enough. So I'm very happy for your girlfriend that she went off and worked on this. And there's a world where she's a very different person now. And I sincerely hope that's the case. But my strong advice to you is to be very thoughtful and very cautious about how you engage with her or re engage with her. First of all, it's only been a year since you broke up. I'm not saying that a lot of growth can't happen in a year. But that's pretty damn recent history. The older you get, the more you realize a year is not that long at all, even if you're just peddled to the metal on something. It's possible that she's still in the process of doing this work, of understanding herself, of changing, and you just don't know what you'd be walking back into.
[00:20:42] Second, your ex did some truly awful things to you and you're clearly still working through all of that. Whether she's changed or not, there are some real scars here. So I worry about what re engaging with her is going to do to you and whether that's healthy, even if she's different now. Third, even if she has changed, let's give benefit of the doubt, that doesn't mean that she's the person for you. Even if you've never loved somebody the way you loved her, even if you have thought about her every single day since the breakup, because having those feelings, that alone doesn't mean you should go back to that relationship. I mean, those are emotions. They have virtually nothing to do with the quality of your relationship, if I'm honest.
[00:21:21] Gabriel Mizrahi: Could not agree more, Jordan. And the fact that he loved her so intensely, and that he's thought about her every day since, when she treated him the way she did.
[00:21:29] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:21:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Ah, that's a very important signal.
[00:21:31] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I was kind of muddling that around, but I didn't know what to make of it. Why do you have such strong feelings for somebody who was so chaotic and hurtful? There's something else going on here.
[00:21:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well, he knows that he trauma bonded with her, right?
[00:21:43] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Okay. Wait, what is that again? What is trauma bonding again? Is it just kind of what it sounds like?
[00:21:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, it is. It's developing a strong attachment to someone who causes you harm.
[00:21:52] Jordan Harbinger: That's what I thought. So probably pretty common in abusive relationships.
[00:21:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Very common in abusive relationships, and I think there's a lot more to it, more than I know. I think it involves, you know, becoming increasingly dependent on the other person and overlooking their flaws. It can often include gaslighting, questioning your reality, losing your sense of self, all of that.
[00:22:11] Jordan Harbinger: Got it. So basically, what we would define is a toxic relationship.
[00:22:15] Gabriel Mizrahi: Pretty much. Yeah. Anyway, he knows that he trauma bonded with her. So he understands how a lot of this works now. But I worry that he's going to open the door to somebody who really profoundly hurt him. Somebody who is still a bit of an unknown quantity. Not because there's this super loving, healthy relationship there, but because he has residual feelings from when they were both activating each other in very concerning ways.
[00:22:38] Jordan Harbinger: Which is why, if I'm being honest, I'm leaning towards saying, don't go back into contact with this woman. It's a chapter in your life that's closed. Keep it that way. At a minimum, be very cautious, be very bound read about it so that you can protect yourself and pull back if you need to. But I don't know what you have to gain here.
[00:22:56] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:22:57] Jordan Harbinger: I feel bad saying that because I really do believe that people can change. But like I said, that doesn't change what she did. The damage is done. Maybe y'all just need to move on and get a fresh start.
[00:23:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: And like he said, she has said that she's changed before so—
[00:23:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I know he's going, yeah, but she apologized, she's gotten all this treatment, maybe she wants to make this right and we can heal together and try again as different people, but man, I am very uneasy about that. Saying I'm sorry, I mean, the words aren't hard to say. She could be sorry and still be chaotic. And even if she isn't, that still doesn't mean they won't recreate the same pattern together.
[00:23:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: Or that seeing her isn't going to reactivate these old wounds and confuse him even further.
[00:23:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's a good point. I didn't even think about that. If this were me at my age now, when I was like 24, I probably wouldn't have made this choice. But if this were me, I just keep the door firmly closed, accept her apology, wish her well, acknowledge her for her tremendous work, but keep it closed.
[00:23:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: You know, I tend to agree with you, but if you feel the need to open this door, which I am also very uneasy about, I would open it very slowly, like so slowly. I'm talking, you meet for coffee in the morning, you keep it to 45 minutes or whatever. You don't start texting every second of the day. You don't start dating each other immediately. You don't carry on with her behind your current girlfriend's back. You pay close attention to all of the signals you're getting from her. Check in with yourself a lot about whether your interactions feel healthy and feel fair. If she picks a fight with you in line at Starbucks on hangout number two. For me, that's just run. Like, that's a run situation.
[00:24:32] Jordan Harbinger: Good call. Starts provoking you by text in the middle of the workday with 17 paragraph rants. Block.
[00:24:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, do not think about it. Do not pass go. Do not collect 200 borderline bucks. Just move on.
[00:24:44] Jordan Harbinger: There's no point.
[00:24:46] Gabe, I'm nervous for him already, just imagining these scenarios. Like, why do that to yourself?
[00:24:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: I'm like sweaty talking about this. I'm nervous.
[00:24:53] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Ugh.
[00:24:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: If you want to talk to her, yes, you are welcome to. But just, yeah — the better question for you right now is why do you think about her so much? Why did she stir up these feelings in you? What does that say about you and your patterns?
[00:25:08] Jordan Harbinger: That's what I'd be trying to answer first. Not whether you should start talking to her again. I feel like that's not even step one.
[00:25:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: As for what you owe your girlfriend now, I mean, look, you're allowed to disclose as much or as little as you want about your past to a new partner. But what I can tell you is hiding your past from her and not helping her understand how that past is informing the way you are now, that is an obstacle to intimacy because there are parts of you that you are not allowing her to know. So, again, the question I would ask myself is, why? Why am I doing that?
[00:25:39] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Is he trying to keep her at arm's length? If so, is he doing that because he's not 100 percent sure about her or because he's ashamed of this past relationship?
[00:25:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: Or because he's skittish about getting involved with a new person, maybe, after what he went through? Like, I can't have that again, maybe.
[00:25:54] Jordan Harbinger: Or is he trying to slow roll this relationship because suddenly his ex, who he's low key still in love with, just popped up again and he's going, "Hmm, I don't know, maybe I want to give this another try."
[00:26:03] Gabriel Mizrahi: These are all possibilities, although I sense that he's kind of a guarded guy, in general, and there's something kind of precarious about telling his girlfriend, "Look, here's the truth. This is what I went through.: Although to be fair, he did allude to her that there was a past. I mean, she knows that something happened, but he just isn't sharing much about himself or the details. So it's hard for her to even know who is this guy? Why? What's holding him back from loving me the way I love him? These are all great questions to take into therapy.
[00:26:29] There's one more thing we need to talk about, Jordan, which is both of his girlfriends seem to have an interesting relationship with alcohol.
[00:26:35] Jordan Harbinger: Yes, I am glad you caught that. I perked up at that part in the letter. I mean, a lot of people drink, but like, "Both my girlfriends drink until they get blackout drunk," unless the one is just lying and it's an excuse because she is embarrassed. I don't know.
[00:26:46] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay, so look, his ex's abuse would flare up when she drank. It sounds like she had a real issue. Also very common with BPD, by the way. But then his new girlfriend let it slip that she loves him when she was drunk. And the next day she's like, "I blacked out. I don't remember. What did we talk about?" Which she might've said that just to save face, or she might've said it because it's true, which is more concerning.
[00:27:08] Jordan Harbinger: Either way. It sounds like she drank too much. I don't know. We might be making a leap here, but it is a meaningful detail.
[00:27:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: Maybe his girlfriend doesn't drink a lot, and she just happened to get hammered and blurted out a sweet thing when she was kind of disinhibited. It could be completely innocent.
[00:27:22] Jordan Harbinger: Frankly, that happened to me. I told Jen I loved her for the first time. I had, like, three sheets to the wind.
[00:27:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: Really?
[00:27:27] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it was very romantic. No, it wasn't at all. And I remember it being like, "Oh, god, I didn't mean that." And she was like, "Really?" And I'm like, "No, but I did, but I was so embarrassed." And my friends were there and they were like, "You're an idiot." So it's all about context.
[00:27:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Big current girlfriend energy from you today.
[00:27:40] Jordan Harbinger: Big current girlfriend energy. Yeah. It's in context, it mattered.
[00:27:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: In context, it is significant. Yeah.
[00:27:46] Jordan Harbinger: There may be a pattern here is what I'm trying to say. Not with me, but with her.
[00:27:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: You're fine. You're married.
[00:27:51] Jordan Harbinger: I'm fine.
[00:27:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: But yeah, if it is a pattern, what's that about? You know?
[00:27:54] Jordan Harbinger: Whether he picks people like this or whether he tolerates it more than he should.
[00:27:59] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes. One more thing for him to consider. So where my mind goes now is he's saying, "I'm just not ready to be at that point with her," but is he not ready to be at that point because he's not opening up to her or is it because she's drinking and that worries him and maybe it's a little triggering to him and he doesn't know whether to take what she says seriously at all? Or is it because this trauma he went through is very real and he has his guard up because there's a very big part of him going, "I cannot end up in a situation like that again, you know, I can't be responsible or exposed to someone who's going to ruin my life"?
[00:28:31] Jordan Harbinger: That's what he needs to get clear on absolutely. And my gut is telling me that all of those are true to some degree. But again, a really productive conflict to bring into therapy, and I'm so glad that he's there.
[00:28:43] Honestly, Gabe, I want to push him to give his girlfriend a little more information about what happened, why he's having such a hard time being open to more intimacy with her, even if they don't ultimately work out. They've been together for a few months. It's still early days, but it's not like date three or four. They're a couple. They're together. This is when you talk about this stuff. I think it would be very helpful for her to know where he is emotionally, why he's hesitating, and decide if this is the guy she wants to love at all. And it would also be very helpful for him to see how she responds to this story.
[00:29:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:29:13] Jordan Harbinger: Whether opening up to her helps him make more sense of this old relationship and maybe brings them closer together, if that's what he wants, of course. Totally fair if he doesn't or needs more time, especially if she has some issues of her own, like the drinking, which may or may not be a thing.
[00:29:26] Gabriel Mizrahi: But it's interesting, his main question was, should I talk to my ex again?
[00:29:30] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:29:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: And like so many letters we receive, I think that's kind of the wrong question.
[00:29:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:29:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: The right question is, why does this person still have such a hold over me? What does wanting to talk to her again reveal about me right now? If you answer those questions first, I think the answer to all these other questions are going to become a lot clearer
[00:29:47] Jordan Harbinger: But they're all fair questions and good questions. And I got to say I love that you're being thoughtful about this reaching out for advice, taking your time. I think that's really smart. But while you do that, I would strongly consider staying away from your ex period. You both still have work to do, I just don't know what you have to gain by going back into that relationship, even if it's a friendship. And that's compatible with her growing and getting better. But just because she's gotten better, it does not mean that she is your person. Keep that in mind too.
[00:30:16] I would also check out episode 877, it was question one on that Feedback Friday where we shared thoughts with a guy who's married to a woman with BPD. That should give you some more insight into these relationships and/or remind you why you parted ways with your ex in the first place. We'll link to that in the show notes as well, 877. Sending you good thoughts and wishing you all the best.
[00:30:35] By the way, it's a good time to mention that if you just go to jordanharbinger.com/ any episode number, like 877, it'll take you to the episode page for that. So if you listen off the website or you want to look at the show notes for any episode, just type in the number right after jordanharbinger.com and that little slash.
[00:30:50] All right, you can reach us email@example.com. Please keep your emails concise, use descriptive subject lines, that makes our job easier. If you're finding dead squirrels in your mailbox, your abusive dad is hunting you down, or your best friend is spiraling out in a coke fueled frenzy, 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.
[00:31:12] Okay, what's next?
[00:31:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hi, Jordan and Gabe. I am in one of those interesting relationships that began as an affair and is now almost in its fifth year.
[00:31:23] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:31:24] Gabriel Mizrahi: We both worked at the same company and were both in therapy figuring out how to leave our spouses when we became romantically involved. We actually discovered how much we shared while discussing the Isaiah Hankel episode of your show.
[00:31:37] Jordan Harbinger: Random episode from a long time ago. Wonderful. The Jordan Harbinger Show facilitating adultery since 2018.
[00:31:44] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah. And shout out to Dr. Hankel for helping you smash in the office. I think he'd appreciate hearing that from us.
[00:31:49] Jordan Harbinger: Nice.
[00:31:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: Man, Jordan, this could be the couple from question one. If they start listening to the show together and share notes.
[00:31:55] Jordan Harbinger: I suppose that's true. I do doubt it. I'm guessing these are two decent people with obviously great taste in podcasts. Trevor though, and our friend from question one, that's a one off sh*t show, but let's see where this goes.
[00:32:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: I was married for eight years without children and the divorce was relatively amicable. He's been married to a woman for 25 years. has three adult children, and has been in divorce proceedings for three prolonged years, partly because his ex wants to continue getting the significant money he pays her, which he does out of guilt, and partly because she got breast cancer and he delayed filing for divorce. He left when the youngest child turned 18, and he realized that the chasm between him and his wife was just too great. They're different in every conceivable way — interests, tastes, activity, professional drive. She has since taken to drinking, adopted three dogs, and told everyone that she is hell bent on taking every dime my partner has. I have a great relationship with their youngest child, his only biological child with her, and his middle child. The oldest refuses to meet me or speak to him. My partner and I also moved in with his amazing mother, who had cancer, and took care of her until she passed away. I've become very close with his entire family, and they are a very fulfilling part of our lives. Meanwhile, his ex didn't attend the memorial service because she, quote, "could not bear to see me where she should be standing."
[00:33:23] Jordan Harbinger: Okay, we get it. You win the best possible other woman award. Noted. No, I'm playing. You do sound great. You guys really love each other. You're a good person and his ex sucks. I take your point. We get it.
[00:33:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: His son is marrying his fiance next year, and the wedding will be the first time that his ex sees me in person.
[00:33:41] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:33:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: The kids want me to attend, but they're also concerned about her mental state and said that they wish she were less hostile toward my partner. Neither my partner nor his son thinks she will cause an outburst unless she drinks a lot, although she does struggle to emotionally regulate, so I thought I would attend and just be as low key as possible. We don't feel it is my responsibility to manage her emotions.
[00:34:04] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:34:05] Gabriel Mizrahi: Am I in the wrong for wanting to attend the wedding of two great 20-somethings I care for and love dearly? Or should I suck it up and not attend so she can be part of her son's big day without the pain that my presence will cause? Signed, Try Not to Be the Aggressor With My Predecessor Who Feels Lesser Because I was the Transgressor.
[00:34:23] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh. Yeah, I don't know. Can you rhyme aggressor with transgressor? I mean, you did. But can you? Is that fair?
[00:34:28] Gabriel Mizrahi: You're going to nitpick my sign-off right now?
[00:34:30] Jordan Harbinger: I probably, probably shouldn't do that. It's not like Kanye who rhymes like shoes with shoes and you just go, dude, that doesn't rhyme. It's the same word.
[00:34:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Dude, we're living in a world where T-Pain rhymed the word mansion with Wisconsin. Like, that's the bar.
[00:34:44] Jordan Harbinger: This woman, she sounds like a very difficult personality. You've really painted a picture of a troubled, honestly, pretty petty person, who's making things a lot harder than they need to be. But, to be fair to her, she's probably deeply hurt by the fact that her husband cheated on her, slash, you stole him away. Although, weren't they in therapy for figuring out how to separate before? So it's not you, really.
[00:35:07] Gabriel Mizrahi: I don't know if they were in therapy together, but I think the husband was in therapy trying to figure out if he should leave her.
[00:35:12] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Right. But that's the thing. It wasn't like, "Oh, I met this other woman. I'm going to leave you."
[00:35:16] Gabriel Mizrahi: Correct.
[00:35:17] Jordan Harbinger: Like, "I can't stay married to you. And oh, look, I met somebody else after I'd already made the decision." That's not her fault.
[00:35:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: He had his own reasons for leaving before he met her. That's right.
[00:35:25] Jordan Harbinger: Plus she got cancer in the middle of that. So that sucks. The drinking, the surrounding herself with dogs, the vindictiveness. Those are probably the only ways she knows to cope with the pain and even the scales, if you will—
[00:35:37] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:35:37] Jordan Harbinger: —which is obviously super sad, but it does make some sense. But then to be fair to him and to you, you guys are clearly a much better match, you share similar interests, similar values, and again, you both obviously have excellent taste in podcasts, you're welcome. The way you got together was a little bit messy, I suppose, but I'm guessing that was because you were really drawn to each other, and you did right by leaving your spouses. And anyway, here you are, you're part of the family now, and it's all great, except for this ex, who won't let it go.
[00:36:06] So to be very direct here, no, I don't feel like you're in the wrong for wanting to attend the wedding. You have a great relationship with the child and his fiancée, you care about them, they invited you, you're basically their step mom, you have a right to be there. It would be different if dad was like, "I got to bring my girlfriend," and it's like, "No, we don't want her there," that would be totally different. This is everybody but kooky ex. It just doesn't sit well with the partner's ex. If that's going to ruin the whole wedding for her, that is definitely just her problem. Hopefully, stays that way during the wedding, depends on what she drinks, but hopefully just her problem.
[00:36:38] You said it best, it's not your responsibility to manage her emotions or her issues with alcohol that she clearly has if she can't regulate those emotions. And I say that fully empathizing with how difficult it must be for her to watch her ex and his new partner, and you should be thoughtful about that too. This woman is obviously hurting, but at some point, it's like, "I'm sorry it played out this way, Nancy, but this is what's happening. He didn't want to be married to you anymore. It's not because of me. It's actually because you guys weren't a good fit, and spiraling out, self-medicating. 'Not going to his mother's funeral because she can't bear to see you where she should be standing.' It's just so petty and rigid and limited. It's understandable, but it's, man, it's so immature, really, it's some high school sounding crap right here. "And it's time to process this divorce and accept your husband's wishes, and start building a new life that isn't just about trying to get him back, or get back at him."
[00:37:32] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's right. That's what I would say if she were the one writing in.
[00:37:35] Jordan Harbinger: I know we're assuming a lot about this woman's capacity for growth and forgiveness, but it's been three years.
[00:37:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:37:40] Jordan Harbinger: Three tough years, no closure, divorce still going on, because of this stuff. But it is time. At least start the process of moving on and stop externalizing the blame for everything that's gone wrong in your life. So yes, Nancy might be very injured by your presence at the wedding, but given that you and your partner are in a meaningful and legitimate relationship now, and the rest of the family wants you there, I absolutely do not think that should keep you away.
[00:38:05] If you were only dating for six months, and the divorce was still fresh, and the kids didn't know you well, I'd be like, "Ehh, sit this one out, stay home," not appropriate for him to bring his side piece or whatever to the daughter's wedding. But you guys are in a very different place now.
[00:38:19] Gabriel Mizrahi: The larger theme here is you can't cramp around other people's feelings forever. It's just not realistic. And it's not fair because this woman isn't just expecting you to spare her.
[00:38:29] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:38:29] Gabriel Mizrahi: She's also denying her child the joy of having you at his wedding.
[00:38:33] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's pretty self-centered in my opinion. Plus it's his wedding. It's his choice.
[00:38:38] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, totally. But you know, that probably hurts her in a whole other way, just to know that her child likes our friend here and actually wants her there.
[00:38:45] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, of course, but that's just one more sign that she needs to work through these feelings and come to terms with the reality of her situation.
[00:38:52] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:38:52] Jordan Harbinger: I know how hard that must be for her, but it's time. But again, her journey, not yours.
[00:38:57] So go, enjoy the wedding, try not to look too good, if you know what I mean. If you run into Nancy at the bar, be kind to her, be gracious, which I'm sure you will. Avoid any unnecessary drama, she's probably going to try and spill wine on you. You're there to celebrate your stepson and his wife and enjoy that day with your partner. And, I'm sorry there's going to be a ghost at the feast, but you know, she's really just haunting herself.
[00:39:18] Gabriel Mizrahi: Well said.
[00:39:19] Jordan Harbinger: If your partner could plug The Jordan Harbinger Show in his wedding toast, that would be great. It's the least you can do, really, seeing as he wouldn't be standing there with you if it weren't for yours truly. So good luck, and have fun.
[00:39:30] You know who won't take you for every dime you have, Gabriel? The amazing sponsors who support this show. We'll be right back.
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[00:43:08] Now back to Feedback Friday.
[00:43:12] All right, what's next?
[00:43:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey, Jordan and Gabe. I work as an engineer on a space exploration-related project, which has always been my dream. My boss is great and the pay is above average. The program is also historic. It aims to put the first woman and the first person of color on the moon by 2028. I'm thrilled to be part of this history in the making.
[00:43:34] Jordan Harbinger: Wow, that is very cool. So this job is meaningful to you, I get it, it's exciting to be part of something like this?
[00:43:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: The problem is, the program team is understaffed, the schedule is impossible, and my workload is outrageous. We have a fraction of the staff that we requested, we're way over budget, and management has responded by beating us up over the schedule, which just adds meetings to our overloaded 12 hour days. I'm trying to retain some work life balance, but I'm constantly putting out fires, so I'm not in control of my day. I also manage way more subcontractors than everyone else. I feel like I'm being taken advantage of. I also feel like I'm not appreciated. The chief engineer complained about my team in the middle of the open office, blaming us for delays that were largely out of our control. Meanwhile, my fourth patent was just awarded. There was no announcement, no party, no fanfare. Just an email from the automated system.
[00:44:27] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, yuck. That sounds extremely intense and stressful, and I'm sorry they're not treating you guys better. That's a real bummer. The patent thing is especially frustrating.
[00:44:35] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:44:35] Jordan Harbinger: Getting a patent is a huge accomplishment. Companies should be celebrating employees who achieve something like this. Well, okay, let's take a moment to celebrate you. Congratulations. You earned a patent on something that you helped invent. That is awesome. That is really cool. Most people will never do that. Well done.
[00:44:49] Gabriel Mizrahi: I talked to my boss's boss and he told me everything I wanted to hear. He'll get me an office for some much needed privacy given the nature of my work. He'll give me a promotion. He'll hire more people. My boss said not to expect anything, that his boss hasn't hired more people despite promising to every two years. Given the vibe in the office, there may be a mass exodus soon. My mentor in another division was alarmed that I'm so miserable and he assured me that this program is not typical within our company. He said that I could work for him with a lot less stress. While tempting, it wouldn't be in space exploration, which has always been my passion. I could also move to another company in this field. The associate director of engineering recently went to our major competitor and says he's much happier, but I would lose the 10 years of seniority and all the contacts I have within this company. I'm almost 50 years old and loathe the thought of starting over again. I've tried drawing boundaries, talking to management, and working less. Is it time to jump ship, or should I learn to live with the stress? I'm aiming for a job that's out of this world, but should I bring my dreams back down to earth? Signed, Hanging on to My Dream Job When I'm Stuck in a Real Slog.
[00:45:58] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm, interesting problem. So if we had to boil this down, the bind you're in is, do I keep doing work that's super meaningful to me but is making me miserable? Or do I jump ship to do work that's less meaningful to me, but end up happier? That is a tough one. Because either way you're going to have to give something up. Either your sense of purpose or your lifestyle and sanity which sucks. And I wish your company were better managed so that talented people like you didn't have to make that trade off. But it sounds like you've talked to them. Multiple people have talked to them. You've tried all the traditional strategies for managing this crazy culture. And they haven't worked. If your boss is right, then things aren't going to change soon.
[00:46:36] So, if things continue this way, I do think that you're going to have to decide which of these is more important. Working on your dream project, or having a balanced, healthy life. Only you can really answer that. It comes down to your goals, your needs, your values. Also, you can decide that you'll put up with this for another six months, a year, and reevaluate. Sometimes giving yourself a time frame helps so you don't feel stuck. Give yourself the keys to the prison, so to speak. But I understand that you might want to stay there until 2028, when you can see these historic goals come to fruition, if you finish on time.
[00:47:10] But, that's a full half decade away. It's not exactly right around the corner. And that's if everything goes smoothly until then, which it doesn't sound like is happening. So that's another interesting question to ask yourself, whether you need to stay all the way through to feel connected to this meaningful mission. Maybe playing a role in it for a period of time is enough, and you can jump ship and look back at this chapter fondly. So, I think you need to sit with this question, purpose versus sanity. Talk to some trusted people about it, reflect on what you want, and see what answers come up.
[00:47:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: I agree, and I hate that this company is making her choose when they could just be better managers, but such is life, I guess. Look, you mentioned a few other concerns we need to touch on, namely that if you left, you would lose the 10 years of seniority, your contacts in this company. And then you said, "I'm almost 50 years old. I don't want to start over again." Those are all legitimate fears. I totally get them, but I also think that those are worth digging into some more. What I would want to know is what does losing 10 years of seniority really mean? Does it actually mean that you would have to start at a lower level somewhere else? Or does it just mean losing the status you currently have in your office, which you can absolutely recreate in your next job, by the way, and maybe even climb higher. And when you talk about losing your contacts in this company, what does that mean? Are you saying that you would have to rebuild your network in a new office, which is, again, totally doable and might actually be fun? Or are you worried about actually burning bridges? I'm not sure that you would really lose your contacts if you transitioned to another role. You can maintain those relationships, and who knows, maybe they'll even get better in a certain way.
[00:48:43] But the thought that I'm most interested in is this fear of starting over at 50. And this one I understand the most. What I'm hearing from you is that a really big part of you wants stability and predictability alongside your purpose, and that is fair. But I worry that this thought, "I can't start over at 50," is playing an outsized role in this decision. You might be getting to a point where the best move is to jump ship, and there could be an incredible role waiting for you somewhere, a much better lifestyle, and maybe a different sense of purpose. And I worry a little bit that you might be cutting yourself off from that because you think that it is too late to make a change.
[00:49:17] Now, I'm not saying that it's easy to make a change later in your career, or that you're wrong to want stability, but I am saying that if there's a great move to be made here, it might be harder when you're thinking the thought, I'm too old for this. So I'm just encouraging you to explore that thought and to see if it's really true that being 50 should stop you from starting a whole new exciting chapter.
[00:49:39] Jordan Harbinger: Right. She said she loathes the idea of starting over again. That's a strong word. Maybe she has some good reasons for that, but maybe the loathing is also a signal that she's overly attached to her situation and it's keeping her miserable.
[00:49:51] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, exactly. There's another angle on all of these thoughts, which is, "I'm almost 50. I have seniority. I've seen a ton. I know a lot of people in this industry. I have a lot to offer. So why not explore another team?"
[00:50:03] Jordan Harbinger: For sure. And also making a big transition at 50, it might shake her up in a really fun way. And it might totally rewrite the idea that it's hard to make a move at 50. That what she really wants is for things to stay the same again, not telling you what to feel. It's all legit. But I think what Gabe's getting at is sometimes these concepts can get in the way of a great thing if they hold you back from even considering it.
[00:50:25] Gabriel Mizrahi: And that is especially true in her case because she has a lot of data that this company is going to continue to be a mess.
[00:50:30] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:50:31] Gabriel Mizrahi: And she has so much to offer another team. I mean, her mentor is actively recruiting her. This associate director jumped ship and seems to be having a good experience. So. There are some very cool options here. She just needs to resolve the purpose piece.
[00:50:43] Jordan Harbinger: I also find myself wanting to tell her that the whole idea of starting over, in a way it's real, in another way it's really not. It's real in the sense that yes, you'd be starting on a new team, forming new relationships, learning a new product or whatever. But it's not real in the sense that you don't just wipe the slate clean and lose everything you did before. You still have your accomplishments, you still have your knowledge base, you still have relationships. I know you said you'd lose all your contacts. That is almost certainly not the case. And you're going to put all those resources to great use in your new role.
[00:51:13] When I started the new show, the one you're listening to now, five years ago or whatever it's been, almost six now, that fear was really big for me. Like I lost everything. I'm starting from scratch. I got to recline the same mountain just to get back to where I was before. It's going to take forever, but I wasn't really starting over. I had all these great assets, I just needed to put them to work. I thought it would take years to find my footing. I thought it was going to take forever. It took months. I worked my butt off. It was intense. It was scary. Don't get me wrong. I had some sleepless nights. But that belief that I was starting over, it turned out to be essentially a fiction. It's just something else to consider while you contemplate this move.
[00:51:50] Gabriel Mizrahi: Your other option is to go back to your boss's boss and say, "Look, I know this isn't fun to hear, but our program is a mess and everybody is miserable, and if you don't find a way to make this ship run better, I think there's going to be a mass exodus, and if I were the boss, I would want to know now." There's a chance that that'll freak management out enough to make some big changes, and maybe that'll make your life easier. So, worth a shot, and if you're going to leave anyway at some point, you don't have a ton to lose there.
[00:52:14] Jordan Harbinger: Good point. She might even come across as a real team player if she delivers that news in the right way. But if they don't listen and make some changes, then yeah, I think it's time to look at your options.
[00:52:22] the best advice we can offer is to stay open to all the possibilities and investigate all of your beliefs around this transition because that's how you're going to arrive at the best decision for you. And you sound like an amazing employee. I know there are great things ahead, no matter what you choose. So good luck.
[00:52:38] Okay. Next up.
[00:52:40] Gabriel Mizrahi: Hey guys, my longterm coworker is dying from cancer and his doctor is giving him only a few weeks to live. He's an older guy in his 70s. He's had back to back cancers and he's just getting over pneumonia and COVID, which means he can't do chemo right now because they can't get his numbers up. The thing is he hasn't told his kids the extent of his condition. He's from the older generation, and so he likes to be stoic and not show any weakness. They think he's fighting cancer, but I heard him say that he feels like giving up tomorrow. I'm now thinking of going to his son and suggesting that he spend time with his dad. I could say something like, "I've known him for 15 years, and I know he doesn't open up or share weakness. Something in my gut says that he doesn't tell y'all everything. I've seen too many cases where parents like to stay strong and pretend like nothing's happening." I called my wife and asked her thoughts, and she's saying, "Stand down, it's not my business, it's his decision, and I should honor that." I completely understand, but I'm also thinking about this from his kid's perspective. I'm sure I would kill to have someone tell me something like this. Am I sticking my nose where it doesn't belong? Signed, Orchestrating This Goodbye Without Trying to Pry or Going Awry.
[00:53:54] Jordan Harbinger: Wow, yeah, this is a real conundrum. So I'm thinking about question one again, obviously.
[00:53:58] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yes.
[00:53:58] Jordan Harbinger: Similar situation How much do you meddle in other people's lives when you have information they should know but you know, my gut reaction is I'm feeling like that woman had more license to break the news than this guy in this letter does.
[00:54:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Because she was actually involved, you mean?
[00:54:12] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I mean, she slept with the guy, so she was party to the situation, and she felt super guilty. But our friend here is just a colleague, and this guy's cancer diagnosis really has nothing to do with him.
[00:54:22] Gabriel Mizrahi: That's a fair point, but he feels it has something to do with him because he's known this guy for 15 years and he's watching these kids miss a chance to be with their dad in the last three weeks, potentially, of his life.
[00:54:32] Jordan Harbinger: But that's a little bit of a leap, isn't it? I mean, it doesn't sound like he's super tight with these people. He just works with the dad. It sounds like he's going out of his way a little bit to be involved. Our friend here is definitely right. This guy is almost certainly doing his kids a huge disservice by not being open with them about his treatment. He's lying to them and if slash when he dies, it doesn't sound good. He's robbing them of precious time with him for some reason that I think is frankly probably pretty stupid. Like, I don't want to deal with the emotions. It's just, it's horrible.
[00:55:02] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, you're right. It's really sad, but then is it our friend's business to make that right somehow?
[00:55:07] Jordan Harbinger: He also doesn't know what kind of relationship this guy has with the kids—
[00:55:10] Gabriel Mizrahi: Right.
[00:55:10] Jordan Harbinger: —whether he has a reason for withholding this information from them.
[00:55:13] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, that's where my mind is going. And he doesn't know how the news is going to land with the family.
[00:55:17] Jordan Harbinger: There's a lot of factors here. So I guess the question is, is giving this guy and his kids a chance to spend precious time together before he dies, is that more important than pissing him off and violating his privacy? And that's hard. Part of me is like, definitely, who cares if he's upset? They deserve a chance to see him. It's their dad or, you know, convince him to pursue treatment or whatever they want to do with the information.
[00:55:36] Gabriel Mizrahi: But then a part of you is going, uh, it's his life, you got to stay out of it.
[00:55:38] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Honestly, I'm kind of split here.
[00:55:41] Gabriel Mizrahi: Okay. So let's look at this from another angle. Why is our friend here so invested? He said that he would kill to have someone tell him something like this if he were in these kids shoes, which I completely understand, but I do wonder if he's maybe finding parts of himself in these kids, locating himself in them. Is it possible that he's projecting his own paternal qualities or feelings onto this guy and that's affecting his decision?
[00:56:03] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Look, that's a fair assumption, but he doesn't know for sure that they'd be happy. I mean, all things considered, you'd probably want to know if your dad literally has weeks to live, but you never know what's going on with people, man.
[00:56:14] Gabriel Mizrahi: He also said that he's seen too many cases where parents like to stay strong and pretend nothing's happening. I don't know if that's actually true or if that's just something he thought he would say to frame the news, but either way, it sounds like this coworker being so stoic, this is really hard for him to watch.
[00:56:28] Jordan Harbinger: So what you're getting at is, is there something in our friend here that's responding especially strongly to that decision?
[00:56:34] Gabriel Mizrahi: Yeah, we obviously don't know what our friend's relationship with his family is like, but I wonder if that's informing this desire to intervene.
[00:56:41] Jordan Harbinger: I see, like his dad or someone else in his family is stoic and avoidant and this is just activating him in some unique way.
[00:56:47] Gabriel Mizrahi: It could be, yeah, that's an interesting possibility, for example.
[00:56:50] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, maybe it's a way to work something out with or through another family, I don't know.
[00:56:54] Gabriel Mizrahi: Could be, yeah, it's an interesting theory. Or, his dad is the complete opposite of this older guy at work, so it pisses him off to see somebody keep their children in the dark in such a big way. Either way, I do think that's worth exploring because I think his motivation for doing this does matter.
[00:57:07] Jordan Harbinger: I do agree with that, but you know what? I think there's an important step here before he contacts the kids. And I think he should start by talking to his coworker directly. Ask him about his treatment, ask him how he's feeling. I know he's a tough nut to crack, but I would try to get him to acknowledge what a big deal this is. Put himself in his children's shoes. Realize, maybe, that he's robbing them of the chance to really soak up their relationship while he's still around.
[00:57:30] Gabriel Mizrahi: Mmm.
[00:57:30] Jordan Harbinger: He can never undo this mistake. He might be very guarded or stubborn, but hearing it from you, who knows? He might also cave and tell his kids and then tearfully thank you later. I don't know. Or, he might give you a damn good reason why he isn't saying anything to them, and then you'll know. Who knows, maybe they're greedy little sh*ts who keep bugging him about his will and where he's leaving his money, and he wants to live his last few weeks of life in peace without people calling him and asking for crap.
[00:57:56] Again, you just never know what families are like. But time's a wastin so I'd talk to him ASAP and make your decision from there, ideally with his help and his blessing. You might be the friend and guide he needs right now, but I'd really let him drive, if possible. Sad story. Poor guy, poor family. I hope he gives his family the connection they deserve.
[00:58:17] Hope y'all enjoyed that. I want to thank everyone who wrote in this week and everybody who listened. Thank you so much. Go back and check out Tom Hardin aka Tipper X and Chris Miller with The Chip War if you haven't yet.
[00:58:27] The best things that have happened in my life and business have come through my network. It's the circle of people I know, like, and trust. I'm teaching you how to build the same thing for yourself in our Six-Minute Networking course. That course is free. It's not gross. It's not schmoozy. You can find it on the Thinkific platform at jordanharbinger.com/course. Dig that well before you get thirsty, folks. Build those relationships before you need them in ways that don't make you look like an a-h*le. jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:58:50] And if you haven't signed up yet, our newsletter, Wee Bit Wiser. It's a bite-sized gem from a past episode from me to you delivered to your inbox once a week. So if you want to keep up with the wisdom from our 900-plus episodes and apply it to your life, I invite you to come check it out. You can sign up at jordanharbinger.com/news.
[00:59:06] Show notes and transcripts always at jordanharbinger. com. Advertisers, deals, discounts, and ways to support the show also jordanharbinger.com/deals. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter and Instagram, you can also connect with me on LinkedIn, Gabe's on Instagram, @GabrielMizrahi, or on Twitter at @GabeMizrahi.
[00:59:24] This 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. Remember, we've 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 could 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.
[00:59:57] You're about to hear a preview of The Jordan Harbinger Show with the son of a Hamas co-founder who ended up working undercover for Israeli intelligence against his former friends and family to thwart terrorist plots and save lives.
[01:00:10] Mosab Hassan Yousef: Hamas is an Islamic movement. My father is one of the founding members of Hamas. Hamas, for us, was everything, to the point where it became an army. It's a monster. I agreed to work with Israel, with a hidden agenda to be a double agent. The level of pressure that I had to go through, my heart stopped for approximately 30 seconds. Most human beings cannot make it back. I was tortured mentally and physically. Everybody in the city knew that I'm a dead man.
[01:00:47] Jordan Harbinger: For more with Mosab Hassan Yousef, including what happened when his family found out he worked undercover, check out episode 407 on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:00:59] Mandy Matney: Thank you for listening to the Murdaugh Murders podcast, the show that started it all 93 episodes will take you on a journey of twists and turns, ups and downs, tears and belly laughs. We continue this mission with our newest evolution, True Sunlight. Luna Shark's True Sunlight podcast is the antithesis of true crime. True Sunlight values accuracy over accessed journalism. True Sunlight is shed with empathy, not exploitation. True Sunlight is the intersection of journalism, true crime, and systemic correction. We continue to shed light on Stephen Smith's case and Alex Murdaugh's co-conspirators. But also, we like to take deep dives into other cases around the country. True Sunlight empowers listeners to understand their legal and judicial systems with our unique brand of pesky journalism. Listen to True Sunlight wherever you get your podcasts or visit truesunlight.com to learn more.
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