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The Tanner Wallace Podcast

May 27, 2020

#002: "It's a tall order." That's what Matt concludes about picking a life partner in your 20s. Trying to understand what was the right thing to do, he recounts how he overcame fear for the chance of living authentically. On this episode, I talk with my second husband, Matt, about his first marriage and our marriage. You'll learn what it means to be a "marriage in progress" and why being brave matters so much in marriage. You'll hear what he thinks his best year of marriage has been so far, and guess what? It isn't one of ours! 

About the Show
To trace the journey from “I do” to “I don’t” is a difficult, confusing one full of twists and turns, surprising discoveries and numbing confrontations with hard truths. Given the complexities of social systems, our parents, our children, our friends, even sometimes our acquaintances, can get caught up in our journey whether they wanted to or not. No one wants to get divorced. Well, okay, yes, some of us wanted to get divorced given what we had learned, what we were experiencing, or what we came to understand needed to feel whole. But that’s different from “wanting” things to arrive at the place where divorce seemed like the best path forward given all the factors in the mix. Are you wiser with a take two? Let’s learn together.

002’s Guest
Matthew is an associate professor of educational psychology. His first marriage began in the fall of 2004. His first, and only son, Jack was born in 2010, and his daughter, Emma in 2013. He embarked on his take-two journey in 2017 when my daughters, Stevin and Rowan, and I moved into the house he shared with Jack and Emma. We were married in the spring of 2018 thus officially began blending our families.

Key Concepts
Emotional Skillfulness: The skills and abilities to identify and communicate emotions
Emotional Intimacy: When partners feel safe and willing to share their feelings with each other, even uncomfortable ones
Marital Satisfaction: An individual’s assessment of the perceived benefits and costs of marriage to a particular person

Websites, Resources, and Ideas Mentioned
Catholic Church’s perspective on marriage
Pema Chödrön’s “tender heart of a warrior”teachings

Research Studies Informing the Recap
Emotional Skillfulness in Marriage: Intimacy As a Mediator of the Relationship Between Emotional Skillfulness
and Marital Satisfaction; Cordova, J.V., Gee, C.B., & Warren, L.Z.
Emotion Skills and Marital Health: The Association Between Observed and Self–Reported Emotion Skills, Intimacy, and Marital Satisfaction; Mirgain, S.A., & Cordova, J.V.
A two-dimensional approach to relationship conflict: Metaanalytic findings; Woodin, E. M.

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