You are currently viewing Episode 402: F the Cycle

Episode 402: F the Cycle

Welcome listeners! Today we are saying F the Cycle and using good energy to help deconstruct the negative cycle and rebuild a positive connection. In this episode George and Laurie reinforce the brain training concept, ‘Name it to Tame it’ in regards to the sexual cycle. Why is naming the cycle so important? It is because the initial reactive response comes from the limbic region of your brain. The primitive part of your brain that senses out real or perceived threat and gives you only a few options, fight, flight or freeze. All of these protective moves are designed to do one thing: get you to immediate safety. They do not promote connection or the needs of the relationship. Since these moves get us to safety and in control they feel good in the short term. Overtime, however, they erode connection in the relationship because of how the move impacts your partner. Naming the cycle takes the response from the limbic region of your brain to the frontal cortex where we gain a better sense of understanding and organization to what is happening. In simpler words, we become less reactive and more responsive. Come get a little nerdy with us today and learn more about how relationship distress affects your brain and take the opportunity to unite with your partner and say “F the Cycle!” Make sure to leave us a rating or review to help spread the word about Foreplay. Better sex and relationships for all!

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Show Notes

 Discussion with Guest Speaker
– The guest speaker discusses common patterns of fighting in relationships.
– They share a personal story about their partner making changes to be emotionally close, which led to sexual withdrawal from the speaker.
– The speaker emphasizes the importance of considering and accommodating their partner’s needs in addition to their own.

 Story from Speaker’s Life
– The speaker shares a recent incident where their husband was distracted during a conversation.
– The husband apologized and explained that he was dealing with a big issue at work.
– The speaker recognized the importance of the husband’s issue and encouraged him to focus on it.
– The husband took responsibility for his distraction and showed care and concern for the speaker’s feelings.

Women-Only Retreat Announcement
– An upcoming women-only retreat in Asheville is announced.
– Details about the retreat, including its focus on enhancing women’s sexuality through discussions, activities, and goal-setting, are provided.

Taking Ownership and Uniting in Relationships
– The speaker emphasizes the importance of taking ownership and seeing the bigger picture in a relationship.
– They highlight that both partners have good intentions in protecting themselves but fail to see the impact on their partner.
– The speaker suggests that uniting and working together is the key to breaking free from negative cycles.

Naming and Slowing Down the Cycle
– The speaker discusses the benefits of naming recurring patterns or cycles in a relationship.
– They explain how naming something helps the brain organize and slow down the process.
– The importance of acknowledging and honoring emotional and sexual protection in relationships is emphasized.

Breaking Free from Negative Cycles
– The speaker explains that negative cycles are a response to feeling unsafe or threatened.
– They give an example of how criticism can lead to a desire to walk away to avoid making things worse.
– The speaker encourages recognizing and breaking free from negative cycles that are larger than individual perspectives.

Holding on to Love and Positivity
– The speaker emphasizes not giving too much power to negative cycles in relationships.
– They discuss how negative cycles can lead to doubts, hopelessness, and a focus on the negative aspects of the relationship.
– It is important to hold on to the positive aspects and longings in the relationship during difficult times.


Laurie Watson [00:00:01]:

I’m Dr. Kate Belistrari, a psychologist and certified sex therapist based in Beverly Hills. Join me on my new podcast, get Naked with Dr. Kate for direct and bold conversations about sex, relationships, mental health, and tangible how tos listen to Get Naked with Dr. Kate wherever you get.

Joe Davis – Announcer [00:00:18]:

Your podcasts, the following content is not suitable for children.

Laurie Watson [00:00:22]:

Fuck the cycle. I’m so am tired of the cycle. We got to war against the cycle. That’s what I want, is I want people to just war against it. It’s like this creature that just tanks all of us and takes us down and takes down our relationships, and we got to, like, fuck the cycle.

George Faller [00:00:45]:

Oh, I like that. Laurie.

Laurie Watson [00:00:49]:

Welcome to foreplay sex therapy. I’m Dr. Laurie Watson, your sex therapist.

George Faller [00:00:54]:

And I’m George Faller, a couple’s therapist.

Laurie Watson [00:00:56]:

We are here to talk about sex.

George Faller [00:00:59]:

Our mission is to help couples talk about sex in ways that incorporate their body, their mind, and their hearts, and.

Laurie Watson [00:01:07]:

We have a little bit of fun doing it right.

George Faller [00:01:08]:

G. Listen and let’s change some relationships. So excited. Laurie another in person training. Philadelphia unleashing the power of sex and EFT for therapists. October 4 and October 5. This is one of our favorite trainings to do. It’s such a need out there to empower therapists, to keep their focus better in session and know how to help couples facilitate these bonding conversations through sex. Most of us don’t grow up in families talking about this stuff, so get some of the tools that you need. Have some fun. Engage with other therapists. It’s great to be back in person.

Laurie Watson [00:01:46]:

Oh, yes. It is so great to be in person. We had so much fun in our last in person training. I mean, people actually laugh at our jokes. And I got to say, some of what we’re doing, I think it’s pretty cutting edge. We’re working on stage one and stage two. For those of you who are therapists and EFT, you’ll get what we’re talking about. But even if you’re not an EFT therapist, there’s a lot here that you can learn about how to talk with couples about sex and how to become more expert at it.

George Faller [00:02:13]:

And if you’re a listener and you do have a therapist and your therapist doesn’t know about EFT, tell them, you know what? I think you should check this training out. I guarantee they’ll come out of that training with some new tools, which is that’s what we’re in the business of, right? Creating change with new tools.

Laurie Watson [00:02:29]:

Yes. So come join us in October in Philadelphia.

George Faller [00:02:33]:

I mean, it’s so quick. This cycle. We talk about cycle. We’re talking about that negative cycle where one partner says something, the other gets defensive, and before you know it, two defensive people both need to be heard, can’t hear each other, and it’s what creates distance and mistrust and more protection. It’s what breaks relationships. Right. It’s not a lack of love. It’s the defensiveness of a negative cycle that kills a relationship.

Laurie Watson [00:02:58]:


George Faller [00:02:58]:

So I like it. Fight against it.

Laurie Watson [00:03:01]:

Yeah. In the old days, I probably was more familiar with language, like spiritual warfare and things like that. And it’s kind of like that. It’s like this thing that has a life of its own just can take over us. And our automated defenses come up, and we’re on this path that we didn’t even know how we got on the path, and we’re going down the tube, and I just think we got to think about this, that there is actually kind of a force that works against us once we get on this automated path. So however you want to think about it, spiritual warfare or fuck this cycle or whatever, let’s get back. Let’s war against the thing that takes us down.

George Faller [00:03:50]:

So important to find the words that fit for you. So people don’t like profanity. Fuck doesn’t work. Cool. Spiritual warfare. Whatever floats your boat. That really what we’re looking for, is to get your nervous systems to mobilize. And the first step is you have to be able to name it. It’s such a gift for couples to start naming the cycle as the problem instead of the partner. I mean, most of us see things linearly, right? It’s like if my wife didn’t criticize me, I wouldn’t be angry right now. And my wife sprayed his saying, right. If I would just talk more and stop walking away, we wouldn’t have any problems. Both of us see the problem in the other person.

Laurie Watson [00:04:31]:


George Faller [00:04:31]:

And being able to name and say, wait a second. We’re both doing things for good reasons. We’re both just trying to get some response or protect ourselves. But what are we not seeing? We’re creating a feedback loop. We’re creating an environment where it feeds more defensiveness and protection. And that’s really what we’re calling a cycle. It’s the distance, it’s the mistrust, it’s the defensiveness, it’s the criticism, it’s the walking away.

Laurie Watson [00:04:57]:

It’s the looping.

George Faller [00:04:58]:

Protective moves. Exactly.

Laurie Watson [00:05:00]:

It’s that looping fight that we have all the time. I had somebody recently tell me their partner was making big changes and was striving to be emotionally close to them. And they said and the person who said this was the sexual withdrawal. It’s like, see, I told you if you would just do your part, it would be so much easier for me to do my part and look at what’s happened. You’re warm with me, you’re affectionate. And now I can respond sexually. And in my head, of course, I thought to myself, yeah, and if you had been saying all along, like, look at I really want to respond to you sexually, or had been responsive or just said, I know it. Hurts you when I can’t respond sexually. If you had been soft and warm, that would have brought the emotional sort of withdrawal closer to you. We see it from our perspective and we just think we got to get our partner to do the thing that makes it easy for us, but actually we can do the thing that makes it easy for our partner.

George Faller [00:05:59]:

Exactly. So both people really take an ownership for the good reasons why they protect themselves in either the emotional or the sexual cycle. I do like starting off, I think we try to do a good job of honoring how people protect themselves. Even that word fuck and pathologize the cycle. Right. All the cycle is, is like, I don’t feel safe. There’s some kind of threat we know in our brain, criticism lands exactly like physical pain. It’s a real response. So when my wife says, you’re late again, that hurts. It creates a physiological response. I don’t walk away because I’m a jerk. I walk away because I don’t want to make things worse. Just like my wife’s criticism, it’s a fight for the relationship. It’s trying to create change. Right. Our protection is healthy. It’s just when you put two protections together, they do not work. They’re never going to work. That’s the part that we’re saying you got to fuck the cycle. You got to start recognizing you’re getting stuck in something that’s bigger than just what your tunnel vision is seeing.

Laurie Watson [00:07:01]:

I think our protection was healthy, that we learned at a time that walking away or keeping things calm is helpful. And we also learned at a time that raising the ante and criticizing was the way we got the attention that we needed. I think in relationship, our defense structure is no longer healthy. It’s natural and sometimes it feels like we can’t control it, but I don’t know that it’s healthy. George, I think that the healthy response is a different response.

George Faller [00:07:32]:

Well, we’re going to get to what you’re going to try to replace it with.

Laurie Watson [00:07:35]:


George Faller [00:07:36]:

Right. But there is an immediate payoff to these defensive strategies. Right. When you’re angry in that moment, that anger gives you a sense of power, a sense of hope. It feels good to be able to feel like you can do something because the option is silence. Right. Which feels worse. So there’s an immediate power. Just like there’s an immediate in going away, there’s an immediate feeling of safety. It’s like, I have a sense of control. I don’t have to let this thing get worse. I can make a choice to try to diffuse this. So there is an immediate payoff in the short term, but yes, in the long term, it creates more of this distance and mistrust, which means you’re going to need more of it to survive the next time. And that’s the vicious loop that most couples don’t see.

Laurie Watson [00:08:16]:

Yeah. So the defense, our protective move feels good in the short term.

George Faller [00:08:23]:

Exactly. What are we going to do?

Laurie Watson [00:08:26]:

How do we war against it? How do we fuck the cycle?

George Faller [00:08:29]:

So that first move is the ability to just name it. We know, neurologically, when you name something and these defensive responses, they’re limbic region responses, right? They’re these powerful emotions. Being able to name something allows it to go from the limbic region to the frontal cortex. Right. When you name something, you start to have some kind of control. You slow the process down. So that ability to say, hey, we’re doing it again, I don’t like walking away. I don’t like your criticism, but I know we’ve talked about this. We’re doing it again. The cycle is happening again. We encourage couples to name their cycle. Right. It’s the merrygo round. We’re doing Denver, our first fight all over again. Where the rattlesnake, the atomic bomb. I mean, there’s so many creative, but the more that a couple comes up with their own name, that really captures this dynamics. It’s amazing what one person just saying, damn, we’re doing a merry go round again. Yeah, we are. Now they start fighting over the merry go round, but it’s already starting to get their brains to start organizing and slowing the process down.

Laurie Watson [00:09:34]:

Exactly. And I love your brain language, which you’re so smart and I appreciate that. I think what I’m hearing you say is it starts in our body, but if we can become conscious of it and then we have power over it. And one of the ways we become conscious that we’re in a cycle right then is by having a name, we kind of know our number and it’s the Denver cycle or we have a trip cycle. Absolutely. That always gets activated every time we’re going on a trip or every time we get rejected by sex or something, there’s this cycle that happens. I’m in the rejection pouty cycle. Maybe it’s just that.

George Faller [00:10:23]:

Yeah. And when we had Stan tackin on know, he was talking about how most of us declare its automatic nervous system. It’s not even a choice. We just anticipate what somebody means when they say something. Our body already knows the defense to that and we’re sleepwalking through it. So that ability to name it actually makes you more mindful. And in the present moment, you’re able to say, right now we’re in this thing. You’re feeling the present moment and you’re naming it. So there’s so much power to that. Simple. Just naming it.

Laurie Watson [00:10:57]:

Yeah. Okay. And we would say get creative. Even like, think about what you do. Give it a name that is powerful. I love that. Okay.

George Faller [00:11:08]:

And in naming it, I think the second part is not to give it too much power. So often, couples, it’s so discouraging to find yourself back here again so quickly. Right. It’s in these places when the cycles really got momentum that we start to think we got the wrong partner. All the negative tapes start to play. Why am I with this person? Should I get divorced? I mean, it’s really horrible when the negative cycle gains power and when it’s gaining power, when we need hope the most. We find ourselves in the most hopeless of place. Part of naming the cycle is also remembering this is just a part of our relationship. There’s so much more that doesn’t have room to express itself. Like love can’t really shine when the oppressive darkness has taken over, right? Our longings, our wants, the beautiful stuff in a relationship, we can’t access that when our brain is in this yellow brain kind of fear response. So we have to hold on to that.

Laurie Watson [00:12:09]:

Yeah. When the darkness is taking over, that’s what it feels like, right? I even know for myself when I’m in it with my husband, everything is eclipsed. It just the world goes dark. Like suddenly he doesn’t care about me. He doesn’t get me. He’s never going to get me. It just fills up with this dark pessimism about us. But once we’re back in sync again, it’s like you can see all the other parts of your relationship that are good. And this part we can work on. There’s all this hope that comes, but in the midst of it, it’s like we have to remind ourselves, don’t give this too much power. Tell yourselves, this isn’t everything. This is a piece. This is right now. We can work through this. Don’t give it so much power.

George Faller [00:12:56]:


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George Faller [00:13:27]:

If two people are willing to get back to work. Hey, we’re doing it again. Let’s go back to doing something differently. You’re going to be fine. It’s when you’re not willing to work because you feel righteous and justified in what you’re doing and the other person becomes the enemy. And that entrenchment is the sign of a negative cycle. Right? And I hope all our listeners, the negative cycle always comes back. It’s not about eliminating it. It’s just about limiting its damage when it does. Couples that can repair quicker are fine. They know it’s like, we haven’t had this fight in six months, but it’s here again. We know how to get out of this, right? It’s not so oppressive. It sucks to be here it again. But they can get out of it in a couple of hours instead of it less than a couple of weeks. So that’s not given that cycle as much power as it wants to take from us.

Laurie Watson [00:14:17]:

So sometimes to not give it so much power, we kind of have to soothe ourselves a little bit, talk ourselves through just a little bit. Like, here we are. We’ve named it Here we are. And maybe we can even say that out loud. To our partner right now, I feel in total darkness with you. But I know us, I know we can fight this together or something that encourages your partner. Like, you’re aware that you’re in your move, you’re doing your thing and they’re doing their thing, but you have a little bit of hope. I think when I’m with couples and the other person, maybe one person goes and talks about what they’re struggling with and the other person says, it’s just hopeless. We’re here again. It’s never going to work. All that just that energy just sinks. And you think, oh, wait, I’ve seen you guys get through this. I’ve seen you get beyond this. So we’re just saying, hold on to that. Hold on to that piece, that little bit of hope. Don’t give the whole cycle the power.

George Faller [00:15:15]:

Exactly. We feel like victims because our partner has done something that hurts and we’re back in a place we don’t want to be. But to take ownership, to say, wait a second, there’s a bigger picture happening here. What I’m doing to protect myself because I’m hurt also has an impact. That’s what neither partner is seeing. They have good intent in protecting themselves, but they’re not seeing the impact of what that’s doing to that partner and how their partner is hurt, too. When two people start to see they’re both hurting, they’re just expressing it in different ways. That’s really how they start to unite. They start to see that the only way out of a negative cycle is to grab your partner’s hands and start working together instead of pointing your finger and hoping your partner is going to change. So let’s talk about that when we come back. That uniting, which is the key to get out of a negative cycle.

Laurie Watson [00:16:10]:

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George Faller [00:17:07]:

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Laurie Watson [00:17:24]:

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George Faller [00:19:17]:

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Laurie Watson [00:19:24]:

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George Faller [00:22:05]:

I think, as you were starting to say earlier, it’s taking responsibility for what you can control, which is your response. Like, I know when I walk away, I have good intentions, because I’m trying to keep things calm, but I’ve done this enough time to know that actually how it lands for my wife when I walk away is, I’m not interested. I’m not listening. I don’t care. It hurts her. Like, I got to take that ownership to say, hey, babe, I know I did it again. I wasn’t feeling anything productive was happening here, so I just want to not make things worse. But I know that kind of leaves you alone in a bad place, and it allows a lot of your tapes to play. So I’m sorry I walked away again. It’s seeing my role in the cycle.

Laurie Watson [00:22:49]:

Yes, I will say, to my husband’s credit, the other day, I had something that I needed to talk about, and I was just talking. I thought it was a good moment, blah, blah, blah. And he was just so distracted. And finally I said, what’s going on here? And he goes, I am so sorry. I am distracted. I’ve got this going on at work. And then he told me about this big thing that had blown up at work, and I’m like, okay, you go, because what you’ve got is way bigger than what I got. But I think what he saw was he saw he was distracted. He took responsibility for it, and he explained to me why it wasn’t about me. It wasn’t that he didn’t want to hear. And he even said multiple times, I’m so sorry I left you in that moment. I’m like, Honey, don’t be sorry. What you had going on was way bigger than what I needed to talk about. But he kept sort of saying to me. He acknowledged his part of being distracted, and that meant all the world to me. I mean, it was consciousness. It was like responsibility. It was care because he was concerned about how I felt. He even brought it up again that night when we were going to bed. Yeah.

George Faller [00:23:59]:

It’s such a gift to give your partner permission for their response. That’s what the negative cycle doesn’t want to do. That’s why it feels so gaslighting. It’s like you feel like, I don’t care because I’m not listening. But then when you talk about that, I say, what are you crazy? I am listening. Like, I put it on you. Why you’re feeling the way you do, that doesn’t feel good. So, yes, taking ownership and giving the person your partner permission for how it landed, it’s such a gift. It’s like, all right, you get me now, and we’ll talk about, but I want you as the pursuer. How do you take ownership for your anger and criticism?

Laurie Watson [00:24:35]:

Yeah. I would say also in another cycle this week, I could see how what I said was not very soft. It was like, edgy. And I told my husband, I’m like, okay, I was feeling this really deeply. But the way I said it, it was raw, it was a blast. It added in that hopeless element that I was feeling, and I just bombed you. And I could have said it so much better. I’m sorry.

George Faller [00:25:12]:

That’s great. And if he’s getting bombed, if the emotion intensity is getting too big, doesn’t it make sense why he wants to get away from that?

Laurie Watson [00:25:22]:


George Faller [00:25:22]:

Going away, not because he don’t care. He’s going away to protect the relationship from further damage, just like you’re trying to be heard to protect a relationship, to bridge the distance. That’s the sad miss that’s happening in a negative cycle. Both people don’t see the good intent because they get lost in their own impact.

Laurie Watson [00:25:40]:

Yeah. I feel like this has been a big growth week for us. But one of the beautiful things that when I owned up to that and said that to him, he also told me where he goes when he goes away, like, in his head, basically, to this view of self that is not so great. And it was like I mean, it was a gift that he opened up. He’s never told me about that, like, where he actually goes in his head. And so it was a big growth week, and that’s us against the cycle. Right. We are uniting together. We’re not only telling each other, owning up to our problems and the way that we bring it up or the way we react, but then we’re going a step further and talking about what happens inside of us.

George Faller [00:26:25]:

This is it, the moment of truth.

Laurie Watson [00:26:27]:

Not that we’re perfect, trust me, by a long shot.

George Faller [00:26:30]:

The whole goal in naming a cycle and interrupting the cycle and not giving it too much power in uniting is to get it into a positive cycle. Right. It’s the replacing of the negative with a positive. That’s the whole key to this process. And that’s what people don’t get in a negative cycle. They don’t see the opportunity in that to transform it into a positive cycle. Actually, when two people in a negative cycle, both people are suffering alone. Both people are scared and hurting in their own dark little pits. That’s what a negative cycle does. And when they start to unite against it and they start to work together to change it, they find each other. And in finding each other and not being alone in these places of darkness, this is where we need love the most. So when love shows up in these places, like when your husband lets you into where he goes and he never talks about that, for the first time, now he’s going there, but you’re going there with him.

Laurie Watson [00:27:28]:


George Faller [00:27:28]:


Laurie Watson [00:27:29]:


George Faller [00:27:30]:

We can’t feel more powerful and more connected than in these places where we find our partner. So it is looking for the signs of a positive cycle. It’s not chance that if you learn to talk about your fears and your hurts in a way that brings your partner closer instead of pushing your partner further away, that couples that can do that can repair, they’re not so scared of the negative cycle. Their body trusts that they’ll find their way back to their partner. Right. What a gift that is. What a sense of safety that is to hold on to that in a relationship, right?

Laurie Watson [00:28:05]:

And this is how we do the last thing, right? We replace it with a positive cycle because the positive cycle is about connection even it comes before problem solving. The positive cycle of connection is something that has to happen before we can easily solve anything. And so when we’re with each other and we’re intimate and even if it’s a hard place to be and he’s telling me where he goes and I’m telling him why I burst out like that, it’s like it’s more intimate. And so then we’re connected. We’re in a positive cycle of connection instead of that disconnect.

George Faller [00:28:43]:

And we want to be intentional in celebrating that victory. We have waged against a negative cycle and we’ve found our partner. We’ve gotten through to the other side. Now we want to celebrate that. We want to let our partner know, good job. Couldn’t have done this without you. This is a chance for that positive affect of being able to feel blessed and thankful and gratitude and love, calmness, all that good stuff that makes relationship so worth.

Laurie Watson [00:29:11]:

It so true. I asked my husband how it felt to tell me where he goes, and he’s like, I’m not sure yet. I’m not sure it’s going to be okay.

George Faller [00:29:21]:

Minutes to think about it.

Laurie Watson [00:29:22]:

All right. But we’ve kind of been talking about that. Throughout this week, I think even us talking about it, lightens it for him just a little bit because he’s not alone in it. He’s not in that kind of desperate place all by himself. And I happen to know now that he goes there when things blow up at work, too. And so when things blow up at work, I’m able to say, are you in that bad place? And give him a hug and touch him and try to soothe him so that we’re together.

George Faller [00:29:52]:

Exactly. I mean, that’s the set up. A lot of withdrawers. They go inward to problem solve. They just want to find the safety to figure out what the hell are they supposed to do next. And when they go inward, the pursuer gets rejected and feels left out and they start protesting, which makes to put more pressure on the withdrawal and they freeze up. They’re not sure what the heck to do. Now they got another problem on top of the original problem. So they’re drowning in problems and they can’t fix it, which is a nasty spot to be. But now they’re trying to perform and try to make that pursuit. I mean, it’s so quick how the cycle can take over.

Laurie Watson [00:30:27]:


George Faller [00:30:28]:

So just appreciating each other’s moves, kind of taking them less personal, but more importantly, trying to learn how to show up in a way that your partner needs.

Laurie Watson [00:30:38]:


George Faller [00:30:39]:

So maybe we could practice real quick the sexual cycle. Okay, we just switched roles. Now I’m pursuing and got rejected and you’re withdrawing. How do we repair that? How do we both kind of name that cycle and start to lead it towards a positive cycle? So you want to go first? You want me to go first?

Laurie Watson [00:31:00]:

Sure, I’ll go first. Okay, so I’m sexual withdrawal, and I might know. Joey, when you asked me if I was tired or what about, I just I really didn’t give you much of an answer. And I think that I know that that kind of sets you off because it’s certainly not the response that you’re looking for, which I’m sure you want my eyes to light up and tell you, oh, yes, let’s do it tonight. But I think what is happening in me is I’m kind of gauging my energy. Like, can I say yes? Should I say no? And I don’t give you much of an answer, and I know that that’s not good because actually my heart says, I want to be with you. And if I had just probably said that to you, like, I really do want to be with you, but I’m a little anxious about my energy, you would have at least known what was happening in me. And so I think I blew it with you. And I’m sorry about that.

George Faller [00:31:56]:

I appreciate that. I know we fell into the cycle again with each other. Right. And I know when you didn’t say anything, I got pissed. I could see I got comment and roll over. I know I shouldn’t be doing that. It’s just so hard when I feel like I get hurt and it happens so fast. And I know that’s not going to turn you on by being criticized afterwards. I’m like, why the hell did I do that again? Because I know how bad it is for you. And I’m sorry about that too.

Laurie Watson [00:32:26]:

I appreciate that. I knew you had been hurt. I didn’t even take it in. I just chalked it up to us doing this thing and I’m sorry that you were hurt. I want to be an enthusiastic partner for you, and I do feel enthusiastic much of the time. I need to be more open, I think, with you about what’s going on in my head so that you don’t take it personally. Yeah.

George Faller [00:32:53]:

I think we’re doing that thing they talked about in the podcast, foreplay. Right? We’re uniting. So this feels pretty good. So what do you think? You want to have sex now?

Laurie Watson [00:33:05]:

Yes. Right. I will say after my husband and I did that work, that evening was great.

George Faller [00:33:12]:

All right, well, Laurie, here we go. Fuck the cycle. We’re just trying to get couples to recognize there’s a plan. You don’t have to keep falling into it and hopelessly feeling like it’s only going to get worse over time. There’s some concrete things you could do. One, you could name it. That’s the most important step. When you start to name it, you don’t give it as much power. You recognize this is going to pass, and you could do things very differently. That helps you repair much quicker than just trying to weather this storm for a couple of days or a couple of weeks.

Laurie Watson [00:33:45]:

So it might be too tired for sex. Cycle. Right. That’s my name.

George Faller [00:33:50]:

Okay, name it. Because you’ve had a couple of repetitions of this. You’ve talked about this. You know, this cycle. It’s not that surprising to you. You don’t give it so much power. You’re like, I know I’m going to get out of this. The tapes start to play. You start saying, Wait a second. It’s not that we’re not right for each other. It’s just we’re in a negative cycle.

Laurie Watson [00:34:08]:

Right? Don’t give it too much hour. Don’t let it eclipse and send you into the darkness. Try to remember this is a part of your relationship. It isn’t the totality of it.

George Faller [00:34:18]:

Exactly. And then you need to unite. You need to reach out to your partner. You need to take ownership for your move. You had good reasons to protect yourself, but that protection did some bad things to your partner. Own that. Say, hey, I’m sorry, I did my part again. When both people say they’re sorry for their part and they reach across the aisle and they grab each other’s hands, they are now uniting against the cycle.

Laurie Watson [00:34:39]:

Right? And then we need to replace it with a positive cycle. Where we’re in that intimate place, we’re starting to share feelings, go deeper, tell each other about what happens to us that is really about us, not about what they did to us.

George Faller [00:34:55]:

Both people are hurting, feeling like a failure or feeling rejected. And in those places are our longings and our needs. When our partner shows up for us in those places, that is a positive cycle. I feel like there’s something wrong with me. I don’t want to have sex. To share that and have your partner say thank you, I didn’t know that. Let me help you in that place. It’s that love showing up when we need it the most in our fears and our darkness. That’s what creates the power of connection in the positive cycle. And we want to celebrate that.

Laurie Watson [00:35:26]:

Yes, and we know profanity sometimes turns off some of our listeners because we are pretty much a clean show. But every once in a while, fuck the cycle. It has the energy that you need to bring war against the thing that is stopping you from being intimate.

George Faller [00:35:44]:

And we can have that energy with words like damn that cycle, whatever words you like, find it. But I agree with Laurie. So every once in a while, let’s tap into that energy that just wants to really access. Listen, I’m sick of this. Enough. That’s all that power is saying. Enough of this cycle. I’m not giving you one more drop of power. So go ahead, people, unite against that cycle.

Laurie Watson [00:36:08]:

Thanks for listening.

George Faller [00:36:09]:

Keep it hot, y’all.

Laurie Watson [00:36:11]:

I would love to invite you. This is women only, but we are having a retreat in Asheville on November 10 through the twelveTH and it’s going to be a slumber party. And so we’re going to all stay together in the same cabin. It’s a beautiful space and we’re going to have meals brought in and made and we know who the chef is and so it’s going to be wonderful. Maybe drink a little bit of wine, if you’d like to. And we have kind of some talks and time to work together on your sexuality. So the whole goal of this women’s sexuality retreat, the slumber party, is to basically enhance and develop yourself, your erotic self inside. So we’re going to be talking about anatomy and physiology and sexual attachment. We’re going to talk through blocks. What stops us? What are the breaks against our sexual expression, and then what are our gas pedals? What are our turn ons? How do we open up more sexually, like with enhanced sexual pleasure? And we’re going to talk about orgasms and roleplay and using joys and fantasies and some stuff. And each night we’re going to have a pajama party where we just relax and sit around and talk on the deck and hang out together. And then on Sunday morning, we’re going to set our focus and have concrete steps toward sexual engagement with our partners.

George Faller [00:37:33]:

Sounds pretty awesome, Laurie. And all the men. Don’t worry about it. Maybe we’ll have like a Spartan camp out somewhere, have a couple of beers and we’ll do our own version of that someday.

Laurie Watson [00:37:45]:

That would be great. So love to invite you. I will post it on under resources, and there will be the retreat, the scheduling events, and you can link and figure out if you can make it with us on November 10 through the twelveTH in Asheville. Okay, so tell us about your cutting edge training that you’re doing on success and vulnerability.

George Faller [00:38:09]:

Laurie we just keep pushing it. Coming up with a new module on the playbook of a pursuer playbook of a witcher. Really practical, moment by moment moves of what a therapist can use. We’re so focused on what’s happening in session enough, there’s talk about theories and these global things. I think most therapists are looking for, what do I do in this moment? Give me a tool. George so that’s what we’re trying to do.

Laurie Watson [00:38:35]:

That’s awesome. I am so glad you guys are doing this work. I think it helps us be organized to see you do it. You do demos, you do explanations. Teaching. It really is interactive, and I think that so many trainings that we sit through don’t give us an opportunity for that. So what you’re doing is really important.

George Faller [00:38:54]:

No, we try to emphasize, to teach it, show it, do it model of learning. You need to have some ideas. So we try to teach those and then we try to show what it looks like implementing those ideas. But most importantly, you now got to practice it. That’s how they become yours. And that’s what we want our listeners and watchers to do and become their own moves.

Laurie Watson [00:39:13]:

Find George and his

Joe Davis – Announcer [00:39:18]:

Call in your questions to the Foreplay question voicemail dial eight three three my. Foreplay. That’s eight, three three my. The number four play and we’ll use the questions for our mailbag episodes. All content is for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for therapy by licensed clinician or his medical advice from a doctor. This podcast is copyrighted by Foreplay Media.