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Retroactive Jealousy #579

On the Regular version of today’s show …

Recorded LIVE at the 2022 SMR Getaway.

A caller has an issue with a statement made from a past show and left us a message asking if we would tell our daughter the same thing I said on the air.

A husband is suffering from retroactive jealousy over things his wife did before they were married and even before they had met.

On the Xtended version …

An encore conversation about our fear of being alone.

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Announcer: You are listening to the regular version of Sexy Marriage Radio. Smrnation.com.

Corey Allan: Welcome to another episode of Sexy Marriage Radio coming to you live from the 2022 Sexy Marriage Radio Getaway. Everybody say hello.

Audience: Woo.

Corey Allan: Where once again, we are getting together with some of the sexiest people on the face of the planet.

Pam Allan: True that. Yeah.

Corey Allan: You included, Pamela.

Pam Allan: Well, thank you. Thank you.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. But yeah, this is one of the fun things we get to do when we do the getaway. This year, a bunch of people came and joined us in Indianapolis, Indiana. Cool town, by the way.

Pam Allan: Yeah, our seventh getaway, the first time we ever left Texas for getaway and it's been an absolute treat up here in Indy.

Corey Allan: It absolutely has. So those of you that missed out, sorry that you missed out, but ...

Pam Allan: Maybe next time.

Corey Allan: Maybe next time, but since you're tuning in to Sexy Marriage Radio, we're glad that you do, and the way you can let us know what's going on in your mind or what questions you may have or how you want to add to the conversation, you can call us at (214) 702-9565, or email us at feedback@sexymarriageradio.com where all of these are used as either questions that we cover on the show or conversations that round out the dialogue or feedback that they want for us or to tell us where we got it wrong. I'm good with that. Let us know because we all get better and we also ask the nation and those of you that are here during lunch break, rate and review the show, follow, tell everybody that's in your booth near you at the restaurant you go to, I want you to scream about Sexy Marriage Radio. Just let them know. Create a scene downtown Indy, no problem at all, but help spread the word that married sex is the hotbed for sex.

Corey Allan: And we got this that came in, Pam, of a guy that sent me a message saying he just wanted to let everybody know or let us know how thankful he was for Sexy Marriage Radio, particularly the Academy. He listened for a while and was seeing some really good results and decided I want to do something that supports you.

Pam Allan: Oh, sweet of him.

Corey Allan: So he joined the academy not really thinking he'd get much out of it, but lo and behold, he's gotten a ton out of it and he's loved it and so he just wanted to make sure he said thanks and he's got a great support for what we do and he's found all the people in the Academy to just be incredibly helpful and beneficial and he's so glad he's a part of that community, so...

Pam Allan: Well, thank you for joining. I mean, appreciate you wanting to support us, but so glad that you're actually getting something in response to that. That's fabulous.

Corey Allan: Absolutely. And the way you can find more about that is SMR nation.com/smracademy. So coming up on today's regular free version of Sexy Marriage Radio is a couple of questions that have come in to wrap up a past episode and then a new question that's come in that's been in the queue for just a little bit. Then on the extended content today, those of you that are listening to this episode, you get the surprise. Because as we're recording this, I don't know what the extended content's going to be because we're not recording it here while we're at the getaway, so...

Pam Allan: All right, well let's just rock and roll then.

Corey Allan: ... all that's coming up on today's show.

Speaker 4: Hey Dr. Allan and Pam, I'd like to push back, calling a foul ball in the most respectful way possible. I'm a long time listener to the show. I love the work you guys do. You said in episode 574 that you're not the moral police when asked should a young engaged woman take her fiance for a test run before the wedding night to ensure she approved to the size of his equipment. I understand not everyone that listens in the nation has a biblical worldview, but I think over the years, you've made it clear that you and Pam do. It seems to me that you were suggesting she tried to arouse him to check things out. I know you have a daughter and maybe you have advised her in this way, but I don't know.

Speaker 4: I have four daughters. If one of my girls were to ask you the same question, what would you say? I've always been under the impression that SMR's mantra was the best sex happens in the marriage bed. I guess I'm confused. Are you endorsing the sexual experience outside the marriage bed? You often have said sex is not just the penis and the vagina. Please help. Full respect to you and Pam.

Corey Allan: Pam. So this is the episode that went on a couple weeks back where...

Pam Allan: It had a bunch of questions from Instagram.

Corey Allan: ... questions that had come in from Instagram and one of the questions was she was curious of what if I get stuck with a micro penis?

Pam Allan: Yeah. Her friends were, "Oh my goodness, you're not going to have sex beforehand." Yeah.

Corey Allan: So I made the comment of, "Well, when you're making out one time, just be in his lap and you kind of get an idea."

Pam Allan: And this guy brings up a totally valid question...

Corey Allan: He totally brings up a valid point.

Pam Allan: ... would you tell your daughter that? Heck no. You would not tell your daughter that. You would not tell your daughter that.

Corey Allan: Right. I love the fact that he... because he's capturing all this perfectly because we've been adamant about we don't want to be a moral police for people because people will choose what people choose. We have our beliefs and a biblical worldview where sex is confined to the relationship. That comment is born out of the fact of what the world is like that we live in, that if there are concerns I've got about being stuck with some equipment that won't be satisfactory, if you will, well, it's likely people are messing around in some degrees or shape or form and so that was what that comment was born out of. It's not necessarily a prescription of what you should do, it was more a description of what people do.

Pam Allan: An assumption of what they might be doing.

Corey Allan: It was description of what people do.

Pam Allan: Okay.

Corey Allan: I mean, am I wrong? Am I wrong? I'm looking at the audience. This makes for great radio when I'm looking at the audience.

Pam Allan: And they're silent.

Corey Allan: Yes.

Pam Allan: No, it's very common to make an assumption that people are going to have some sort of activity going on.

Corey Allan: Correct. Correct.

Pam Allan: If this lady's messaging in and maybe isn't doing any of that, there likely should not be a recommendation to do something beyond that. Make sense?

Corey Allan: Right. No, I get it and I get it and this is where it gets dicey because it is that element of what would we tell our 17 year old daughter if she had a legit concern of, "What if I get stuck with a micro penis Dad?" That would be an interesting opening to a conversation, but there's also elements of, okay, one, ask the question to whoever it is you're interested in. I don't know if he would divulge that if that's actually what's going on with him, but you're upfront about it.

Pam Allan: Well, number one, if you're getting married to him, hopefully you're going to be able to be talking about this anyway, so start bringing it up beforehand.

Corey Allan: Well, that goes back to that element of if you can't talk about this aspect of what you want to do with somebody else, you're not ready to start doing it. That's one of the best sex advices I've ever heard. If you can't talk about this with the person yet, you're not ready to do it. That's what we need to do is be having those conversations. But the other, because somebody else emailed in about this too saying, "Well, you don't necessarily have to make out. Go swimming." Swimsuits kind of are revealing sometimes. Does he ever wear sweatpants?

Pam Allan: Well, unless you're in a cold pool.

Corey Allan: Well, it could be cold. Yes.

Pam Allan: It's like a scared turtle.

Corey Allan: You're not wrong there too. But it's recognizing that there's components of this, that it's how do I... Because again, is there really an issue about size when it's really what we've always had as that concept of it's who it's attached to. Who's the person?

Pam Allan: It's who it's attached to. It's what do you know, how do you know how to use everything about you?

Corey Allan: There's a whole lot more going on. So if I am basing the status of a relationship long-term on what is the size and the possibilities, well, you're already set for some failure and some struggle because you're setting your bar really, really low or small, to keep it in context.

Pam Allan: Yeah. Well, and still maybe that's just reemphasizing the answer to that person's question. He was calling and specifically saying, "Okay, Dr. Allan, here's what I expect this show to be."

Corey Allan: It didn't seem to jive with the message we've had and he caught on that. That's true. It didn't. It was an offhanded comment that was made and those would get me in the most trouble in the entirety of my life are the offhanded comments, but it was really born out of this is what I see going on a whole lot more are hear going on a whole lot more than actually, "Yeah, this is what you should do." Because if I'm really concerned about that, I can find some pointed questions and some conversations that maybe I can glean some data and there's also the chance that person is lying to me. Well, that's the case with every single one of us when we got married to, and even as we're married. There's a chance I've pinned my partner down and they're lying to me. Yep. Am I willing to take the risk and be committed still? That's what I see. That's how we see marriage go forward.

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Corey Allan: So an email that came in that a guy that joined the my.SMRnation.com platform, he actually sent this message directly to me, and he said, "What brought me to sign up is I've recently started suffering from retroactive jealousy. I've been married for just under three years. We've been together for four. I was previously married to my high school sweetheart so she was the only one I had been with until my divorce. After her, I dated and I slept with a few women. My current wife was married, but single longer than I, and she also had had more partners than I did. A few weeks ago, we opened up somewhat and talked about our past, which I loved because I felt it brought us closer, which is interesting because there's that element of we start talking about our history with each other or before each other and I feel bonding, but then there's this element, like he's going to pick up on, that it's like, "I don't know if I wanted to know all that."

Corey Allan: So he said, "Well, three weeks ago I was upgrading her phone and for some dumb reason, I decided to go through her texts and found one where she sent a topless pic to someone that she did date before me. And it was a few months into our relationship," so there was an overlap when they had just started dating. She hadn't quite moved on. That's kind of the way I'm reading this timeframe. "Well, it just happened once. We talked about it and I did confess that I was looking at other women in our marriage bed while she was sleeping, so we prayed and we did forgive each other and moved on," so there's this element of he's not innocent in this whole thing either with pornography. I hear this as he didn't try to make a moral stance. He's like, "Hey, let me kind tell you what my world has been like too."

Corey Allan: "So last week, for some reason, things got the better of me and I went through her phone again, but this time I read the past text with the guy she dated and talked dirty to. After that I'd been spinning and the OCD part of me of retroactive jealousy kicked in. She told me that it'd been a year and a half since she slept with someone, but I saw a text that looked like it may have been a few months before she met me. The dumb part is I think I told her that it had been some time for me also when it was really about a week or two before we met. My problem is I can't stop obsessing about what I saw and I know it shouldn't matter because it was before me. And besides that one picture, she's been completely faithful. I even saw in the same text that I think she told a friend that the sex she had with me... The sex she had with a guy with before me, that I was the sweetest person she'd ever met and one of the greatest lovers.

Corey Allan: "So she's even recognizing she's got a good catch right now. I should be holding onto that, but the OCD part of me keeps kicking in, what do I do?" What do they do, Pam?

Pam Allan: Let it go. Let it go. I mean...

Corey Allan: Nice.

Pam Allan: Well, I obviously defer to you on most of these, but I'm looking at this was all before you guys met. I get maybe being jealous about something if she's bringing up, "Well, you're not as good as this guy."

Corey Allan: Well, no, but let's jump on this though because I think what we get jealous about with our past, the retroactive jealousy he's picking up on, it's not necessarily, "I'm jealous of the person and what all went down," or whatever, "I'm jealous of that aspect of her that maybe I don't feel like I have it." Maybe she doesn't talk dirty to him and, "I saw now you're talking dirty to somebody else and I really wish you would talk dirty to me," and that sometimes can be born out of... That's a better question I ask myself of what is that tied to?

Pam Allan: Okay. And have you ever talked dirty to her that she knows that's something you want? They are really green in their relationship. It sounds like they've not been together very long.

Corey Allan: Married for three, together for four.

Pam Allan: They've been married for three, together for four, but the stuff he was finding...

Corey Allan: Was prior.

Pam Allan: ... was all prior.

Corey Allan: Prior relationships. Both had been married before, both had...

Pam Allan: But they've only been discussing those... The timing I got a little confused on here, but that's still pretty green.

Corey Allan: Okay. They still don't quite know the back office is what you're describing.

Pam Allan: Yeah. I jus think that it's not like in three years with all of the history that they've had with the relationships, that stuff doesn't get worked out on a whim.

Corey Allan: That's true.

Pam Allan: Things take a while and he's still feeling like... It sounds like he's still feeling like he has to have his stake in the ground to claim his territory somehow.

Corey Allan: Okay.

Pam Allan: Am I wrong on this?

Corey Allan: So it's born out of he's he's feeling like there's some... What's the right word? Risk. Some possibility she's not all in, some she's holding on to something. Some...

Pam Allan: Well, he's clearly read in her text that he feels like... she says he's the better lover, so I don't know where his deficiency is and what he's thinking of himself. That's just what I'm reading.

Corey Allan: But he's right...

Pam Allan: Where are you seeing this? Where did you go with this when you heard it?

Corey Allan: Well, I think the first is that point I just made of I think a lot of times what we get caught up in is when I start to understand somebody and I start to have a relationship... Like with you. When I have this relationship with you that's going on 29 years now, there can be aspects of, "Man, I really wish you were X," that could be based on when we were dating, which that's eons ago on how old we were at that point, so we were completely different people, but there can be aspects of, "Man, I wish that there was that novelty or that riskiness or that aspect that I really...." and that's what I'm really holding onto because I don't see that here. But then I can also, what I hear him saying possibly, is this idea of, "I maybe see aspects of my wife that I haven't seen in our relationship and so how dare you because...."

Corey Allan: Isn't it interesting. I'm looking for not a show of hands, but nods with this in the audience that's here, isn't it interesting how I can hold my partner, this is what he's doing that's fueling the retroactive jealousy, I can hold my partner to a standard I don't even keep myself because he recognizes, "Oh yeah. I actually slept with somebody right before we met, even though I told her it was actually longer than that, and now she's...." So it's just that element of, "Okay, so you're lying to me about this, what else are you lying to me about?" That's one of the threads that can go. What do I not know?

Pam Allan: What do I not know?

Corey Allan: Which that's another component of kindling on this fire.

Pam Allan: And how am I kicking myself because I'm not being really truthful with you either?

Corey Allan: That's where I think he starts is okay rather than what's her house and the order they're in, get your house in order.

Pam Allan: And it doesn't sound like he even knows why he is lying to her about it. We're being forthcoming on things, why did I even omit some things?

Corey Allan: Right. Well...

Pam Allan: Does it make any sense?

Corey Allan: No, it doesn't, but, again, I think that's part of the human nature of when I start to get trapped or I feel like I'm surprised by something, sometimes my reaction is how do I get out of this as fast possible?

Pam Allan: Or does it just make me feel better for you to think that you are the last one to do something because I can take a higher ground because I haven't been doing as much?

Corey Allan: Oh, the old moral high ground.

Pam Allan: Not that there's a high ground on either of these, but...

Corey Allan: No. Well, there's not a high ground on most marriages actually because the stances we take... Okay, let's go this way. Maybe this helps with this retroactive jealousy. Okay. A lot of times what we do as human beings is when I come up against something that I'm struggling with, I will, as a human being, predominantly go either a one up move or a one down move to try to control a situation. Okay. The one up move is the moral high ground. It's the better than. It's the stance. It's the, you should haves. "Why didn't you tell me? I can't believe you did that." It was those kinds of things where I'm kind of casting judgment on the situation. The one down move oftentimes is I can play the victim role. "I can't believe you would do that. I don't even know who you are anymore." It's kind of that I'm pulling back and I'm reacting hopefully to try to elicit a response of care or concern and, "Yeah, I know. I'm so sorry, and trying to boost you back up.

Pam Allan: That's how I heard it too. The victim role, yeah.

Corey Allan: There's this element at play of when you can start to see this dynamic better, you start to recognize, okay, for him, you pick up on he did a one down move. That's what's kicking in his OCD on this issue of... At least that's what it sounds like when we're reading this. It could be more, don't know, but it's understanding that's part of our process of growing up. We do this on all kinds of areas. On everything that we face in life, in marriage with somebody else, there's a chance where I'm going to try to control things and I'll do a one down move or I'll do the one up move. We do this as parents. I was raised, and I have yet to say this to my kids, but I was raised whenever I questioned some edict that came down from mom or dad on high, "Why do I have to do that?" "Because I said so."

Pam Allan: Oh, I've said it.

Corey Allan: I know you have. I have not. I've been very careful.

Pam Allan: I know you have.

Corey Allan: That was a one up move on you right there I just made.

Pam Allan: Really?

Corey Allan: But it's but it's seeing it as that's because I felt like, "Okay, hold on. I don't want to be that," and so looking back, I realized those are just moves we all make and they can be happening on these situations where now all of a sudden they get the better of me because that's what fuels the, "I just got caught in it and I went looking again," because everyone that's ever been cheated on or get information that you can't quite make sense of in your head, that creates this vicious cycle where I just think of more data will solve it and most of the time I'm digging my own grave and I may even bring my partner in with me. Because now all of a sudden, I don't recognize what's in front of me and I don't see how I've been culpable to.

Corey Allan: So what you picked up on, Pam, was that aspect of him, of what's your culpability on this? Are you retroactively guilty or disappointed or honest about your baggage you're bringing in? Are you dealing with that? And what does that mean? How do you handle that? Then you could ask the questions maybe better of, "I'm just wrestling with this." Because the one thing I would say for couples that are here since they're privy to a lot more of what's going on with the getaway and all the sessions we've done thus far, but one of the best things we can do when facing these kinds of things, where I come across something with my partner that it's like it, "I don't get it. It doesn't make sense. It seems out of character or it's kind of titillating." it's like, "I'm kind of intrigued by that. I'd like more...." and now I get obsessed by it, is I need to make the move of how do I call out that dynamic and that aspect rather than I'm trying to pin them down, explain yourself.

Pam Allan: Well, okay, so that sounds like you're approaching them about something in them.

Corey Allan: Well, it's her being able to... I'm sorry. It's him being able to say to his wife, "This has kind of thrown me. I don't know what I need to do with this yet, but this is kind of thrown me. I'm better likely going to get my bearings back when I can be honest about that because maybe my answer has nothing to do with her."

Pam Allan: I would bet 99% of the time it has nothing to do with her.

Corey Allan: I think you're absolutely right.

Pam Allan: It's pretty clear, he thrown us up his hands saying, "I don't really get this."

Corey Allan: "I don't even know why I do this."

Pam Allan: "I don't know why I do this because...." I mean, he's laying out both sides of the argument. He already sees both sides of it. "She's told me these things. She didn't tell me about these texts that I went digging through and didn't ask her for," and they were all before him, other than the one. He knows the stuff he hasn't been straightforward about. Voice those questions with her. What a time for the two of them to grow together, for her to really see... because she probably knows something weird is going on in his brain, so what a time for the two of them to grow together by bringing up and saying, "I don't get this."

Corey Allan: And this is where you get a chance to grow by understanding asking the questions creates better opportunities to clearly define our struggle, maybe not find an answer right away, but I can define our struggle better and that's the difference. That's the power of approaching this through a little bit of a different lens.

Richard: Hey Corey, this is Richard. Great episode on testosterone. I thought it was wonderful you hear the biology and the information behind that. I did think there was one question that was asked and was left unanswered and it had to center around the whole male gaze area. She did a great job of talking about how it was a natural part of, I think, male sexuality. The phrase she used was to objectify to a certain extent. And as she went through the testosterone piece, it became, to me, pretty clear what she meant.That was from a biological perspective. She did start to wrap around to how we deal with that, that men should not feel shame about it, that recognize it, understand it, say it's okay, and then she entered a question where she said basically that men should talk to dad or another male model to determine how do I want to interact with this and who she is and pay attention to that when I know I'm really drawn to this physicality.

Richard: And I appreciated her phrasing it as a question because she was telling men and boys to talk to men and she's not a man. The challenge I think, or the reason I wanted to call, is knowing that the church, some of the church, has had a problem with particularly the security culture or modesty, which really telling boys that they don't have to change in telling women that they need to dress differently. So boys don't lust, for example. I think that potentially could carry over. It would be possible for a man who had gotten teaching that let him off the hook when he was younger to simply say, "It's the way I was made. God made me this way, so she just needs to understand or deal with it," and I don't think that's the right answer. So as a man, here's what I would say if I was talking to somebody else.

Richard: Now that a man or a boy understands the role testosterone plays and the possibility that it could contribute to a negative objectification of women, he now has the responsibility to grow, to train himself, to treat that person with the attractive parts as a whole person who is equally and wonderful made, who deserves the same respect and friendship that he does. And I would tell men who in a position of leading and mentoring other men that they need to actively and specifically say that to the boys and the younger men that they lead. Wrap up something like that where relearn, how to deal with it and learn how to treat others as God intended them to be treated and I think that makes that episode wonderfully solid. Thank you, Corey.

Corey Allan: That's just a follow up from the testosterone episode. I think he is spot on because Carole Hooven, Dr. Carole Hooven, took that stance of the biology of us. She's an evolutionary biologist, so she's just looking at the mammalian species and that has been used to the detriment of a lot of people, of, "Well, that's just men being men," and it's been incredibly destructive and so there does need to be a message that adds to it, just like he's saying, that the way I think of this is when a man tells me, "Well, I'm just being a man," I'm like, "Okay, hold on. There's a difference. Your biology might be I have this male gaze and I objectify women and I look at them, but to what end? Because every species does, but what makes the human species different is we are not among the canine and primate species." We see humans as humans hopefully, as individuals. And we need to honor who they are, not the parts of them only."

Corey Allan: And I love that framework that he's saying. I don't think we say it any better than that. It's just the idea that what needs to be out there is this message that, yes, there's a difference fundamentally between men and women, of who we are uniquely, but we believe here that God... that we are beautifully and wonderfully made. God made men, god made women, and there's a synergy and a connectedness that comes from that and men need to be better men and women need to be better women and we all need to be better as the creatures we were defined to be. I love it.

Pam Allan: Enough said.

Corey Allan: This has been Sexy Marriage Radio. If we left something undone or there's something else that needs to be said on anything that we've covered today, we ask you to let us know. 214-702-9565. You can also email us at feedback@sexymarriageradio.com. To those of you in the audience today, thank you so much for hanging with us. To those of you that are listening today, thank you so much for hanging with us and we'll see you next time.