The importance of sharing the same values with your significant other and the downside of when you don’t.
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who has read 3% Man over a dozen times over the past 3 years. When the lockdowns happened, they didn’t see their friends much, but during 2021 they started reconnecting with them. At a party with her friends, he walked in on her doing drugs. He’s not into that and, apparently, she has done them for 12 years.
He broke up with her because she said she couldn’t promise she’d change. He asks my opinion. My comments are in bold italics like this below in the body of his email.
You’ve got to set and enforce healthy boundaries. I had this situation with a girlfriend of mine many years ago. That’s just something that I have no interest in, people that do regular drugs and stuff like that. I might drink, I might smoke a little bit every now and then, but I’m not touching anything else. And I didn’t want to have a girlfriend that liked the white stuff. I had lots of friends that did, especially when I was in the mortgage and real estate business. I remember we had this account executive that used to come in, and he was always high as a kite. He was always like that. He made a lot of money, but he spent a lot of it on the white powder.
I just told my girlfriend, “If that’s who you are and you’re going to do that, then I’m out. I’m not interested in that, ” and she quit doing it. But in this particular case, he told her, “Hey, I’m not down with that,” and then she went ahead and did it anyway. And so, what’s interesting is she’s trying to get him to compromise.
And this is an important thing, as a man. When you draw a line in the sand and you set and enforce healthy boundaries, they’re going to test that. Especially if they get the sense that you’re not congruent with that, and you don’t really believe it, and you don’t really mean it, they’re going to try fifty different approaches to try to fly under the radar and get you to compromise. And you can see, that’s what’s going on here. So, the important thing to keep in mind with this email is you’ve got to remember when it comes to negotiation, the strongest negotiating position is being able to walk away and mean it.
I’ve got a friend of mine, a really cool chick. She was with her boyfriend for several years, and drugs was a problem for him. He came from a very wealthy family, he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He’s kind of the black sheep of the family, he’s the screw up, and she’s together, successful. Many times he’s said he was going to change his behavior, and he just never could. And then, she eventually broke it off with him for good and walked away, ghosted him and everything. He tried getting her back for the better part of a year, and he cleaned up his life to a big degree when he realized she wasn’t coming back.
And so, what’s interesting is, they’ve been talking and I’ve given her my opinion on what I think he’s going to do, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens. Because the strongest negotiating position is being able to walk away and mean it. And if somebody really loves you and really values you and appreciate you, they will stop. There are some very famous cases. There was one, Victoria Principal and Andy Gibb in the 1980s, very famous for you Gen X people. She gave him an ultimatum. Andy Gibb was famous, related to the Bee Gees, their younger brother. He was handsome guy, very talented, and she drew a line in the sand and said, “Hey, it’s either me or drugs.” He chose drugs, and he ended up dying because of them, which was sad, but it happens.
You might have to deal with something like this in your life, or you might deal with somebody that’s stealing from you or lying to you. At the end of the day, you have to set and enforce healthy boundaries, because if you just allow people who continually violate your boundaries to stay in your life, you’re you’re inviting more of that. Not just from them, but you’ll invite that behavior from other people. So, it’s important to be consistent with everyone in your life about these things. You’ve got to hold people accountable. Otherwise, they’re going to walk all over you.
I read your book at least a dozen times over three years. I was going out with my girlfriend for over a year. Everything was going great. We were unable to hang out with most of our friends in 2021, but we traveled together a lot. However, we started hanging out more with her friends lately. At a party one night, I walked in on her indulging in a behavior that Scarface would highly approve of.
There was a scene in the movie “Scarface” where he basically had cocaine all over his face. It was pretty funny. That’s not something you want to find out that your girlfriend – I guess they were together close to three years, or maybe longer – is into. Because, she’s always been into it, she just never told him. And you’ll see, as we get further into the email, what she says about that.
I was blindsided. She never told me this was something she actively participates in.
Well, it was on a need to know basis, and obviously, you didn’t need to know.
I told her I was upset with what I witnessed, and she confessed that she’s been doing this for 12 years, but it’s “no big deal.”
And she never told me because she feared judgment and knew I wouldn’t like it. My trust was broken. I asked if she was hiding any other behaviors, although she said “no.”
Trust is the hardest thing to get and the easiest thing to lose. This guy has been with her for several years. It sounds like they got serious right before all of the lockdowns happened. And so, he didn’t really get a chance to know her, and what her peer group was like, and the kinds of things she really did for fun, just because they weren’t able to see each other and weren’t able to interact. This just goes to show the importance of taking your time to get to know somebody before you move in with them, before you get married, instead of just rushing into a relationship. Because you don’t know what you don’t know.
Right before another big party, we had a talk where I told her I wouldn’t be comfortable if what happened at the previous party happens again. I told her I don’t see a future together if that particular behavior continues.
I told my girlfriend at the time, I was like, “I’m just not down with this stuff. We can smoke or drink, but that shit, I’m not touching that and I don’t want it around me. And if you’re doing that, then I’m out. I don’t want to be with a girl that’s doing that shit.” Because the other thing with cocaine is it makes you horny, it makes you do stupid things, and a lot of girls give up the ‘pusswah’ for a little blow. Girls that are doing that are typically being very promiscuous, so thanks, but no thanks.
She told me I mean more to her than anything, but couldn’t promise anything, because she may slip up in the future.
In other words, she’s just basically saying, “Yeah, I’m going to do it again in the future.” That’s what she’s basically saying by that statement.
I told her I wouldn’t know how I’d react if she does slip up.
Which basically told her, “Go ahead and do it again.”
Ultimately, she did slip up at that party and I caught her trying to hide it. I broke up with her the following day. Two weeks later, she called saying she’s sorry and wanted me back. I just responded saying we should talk over dinner. We then hooked up. The following morning, she said “Now that we’re back together, I don’t want to live in fear that you’ll break up with me like that again.” I responded, “I never said we’re getting back together.” Days later, she called wanting to work on everything.
Remember, the strongest negotiating position is being able to walk away and mean it. So, what you’re seeing right here, he’s setting a boundary and then he’s kind of trying to enforce it, but you can tell, just like a little child, she’s trying to see if she can get away with it.
I responded saying, “I’d only consider working on things if you committed to giving up the white lines and would promise not to hide anything (or lie) like this again.”
Well, number one, she hid the drug issue from him, and number two, she lied, which, obviously, he didn’t like that. Those are major character issues, because if she lies about the little things, what other things is she lying about?
It seemed like she was in agreement. However, a few days later, she called saying she ultimately didn’t agree and I shouldn’t want her not to do something.
She really likes the white lines.
I should just accept her for who she is, and she didn’t want to live in fear that if she’s not perfect enough for me, I would break up with her again.
So, what she’s doing is she’s challenging, how congruent are you with the fact that you didn’t want her doing cocaine? That’s how she’s really testing him, because she’s got the impression and the vibe that there’s some wiggle room there, that he’ll just cave and it’ll blow over and won’t be a big deal. Women are clever. They’re going to come at you in fifty different ways. Just because they they respected the boundary the first time doesn’t mean they’re not going to try fifty different ways to slide under the radar the next time.
I just responded with “I’ve always loved you. If you change your mind, give me a call.” While I’ve been back to dating others lately, if she does change her mind and reach out, should I believe her?
Well, I would say, based on her behavior and her reaction, she’s going to continue to try to get you to go back on your word. And you have to be consistent 100% of the time. You can’t be consistent ten times and then let her slip up once, because then it just communicates that she can keep getting away with it, and you’re a softy and you’ll just cave.
Can trust be regained with someone who hid things?
Well, it really depends on how much of a liar they really are. Does she lie about all kinds of things? I would say, probably not. One little thing? If it was just this one thing she didn’t tell you, yeah. How much does she respect and value you, and love you, and appreciate you? How much leverage do you have in the relationship? Who’s got the position of leverage? Are you more into her, or is she more into you?
And if she feels, (the important thing being “feel”), that you’re more into her than she is into you, she’s going to believe she can walk all over you and get away with it. So, if she does come back, then she’s got to commit and come right out and say, “I will promise I will never do it again. I’m done with that. I won’t even hang out with those people anymore.” Because, if she says she’ll never do it again and then keeps hanging out with the same people she’s always done cocaine with, as Rick James said, “Cocaine is a hell of a drug.” You are who you associate with, and if she keeps hanging out with the people that do the drugs, you know how peer pressure is, “Aww, come on, just one line. Just don’t tell your boyfriend. If you don’t tell him, he’ll never know.” And then she’ll probably do drugs again.
But if she stops hanging out with that group of friends that does that stuff, that would be evidence that potentially you can trust her. But you’ve got to see how it is 90 days, a year from now, because you might just be waiting until she thinks she’s got you again, and then she’ll slip up. But if she’s hanging out with a bunch of party people who like to do drugs, ecstasy and all those other things, then that’s who she is. You are who you associate with. If those are your people, if that’s your tribe, then don’t be surprised if she does it again.
If she just distances herself from all those people that she was doing that stuff with and doesn’t hang out with them anymore, then you can probably believe her. But, like I said, you’ve got to look at what she does, not what she says. And what do I think? You know, it’s a 50/50 shot. Flip a coin, it could go either way. You can’t really tell. You can only tell based on her actions. But, if we look at her responses here, she really doesn’t want to give up the drugs. She really doesn’t. So, that should tell you what her intent is.
Her intent, more than likely, is going to be, “I’ll just deceive him and he’ll never know.” I mean, she even came right out and said, “Well, I never told you about it, because I knew you would judge me and you wouldn’t like it.” So, she knows the kind of guy you are and knows that you’re not down with that stuff. So, her way of dealing with it was, “Well, I just won’t tell him about it, and he won’t get upset.” But as you get into her life and you get into her actual peer group of people who she’s used to hanging out with, that seems to be who she is. You are who you associate with. It’s just the way it is.
So, like I said, flip a coin, it could go either way. You could give her a wait and see attitude, see that she stops hanging out with those people. And if she can’t, then wish her the best and find somebody that shares the same value system. Because you want a teammate and an equal, not somebody that’s a child, that’s constantly trying to see what they can get away with. You always look at what people do, not what they say.
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“Your inner circle should consist of people who share the same goals and values. Allowing people into your inner circle who don’t share the same goals and values leads to you having to compromise your value system. We typically become like the people who we spend most of our time with. In life, you’ve got to find your tribe of like-minded people who inspire you to grow and become more. Whatever you tolerate in life, you invite more of. You are who you associate with. Choose wisely.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne
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