Marriage Conference 2022
“Mowage! Mowage is wha bwings us togevaa… todaaay.”
Some of your marriages are tip top, exemplars to the vocation.
Some of your marriages have convinced your kids to be single forever: “Wait, that’s the pinnacle of love I’m shooting for? No thanks.”
But most of us are in between.
We have good and bad days. Our spouse can be the greatest source of love and support one-minute aaaannnnd then push us to contemplate first degree murder in the very same day. How can the waters be glassy one-second and hurricane conditions the next? I can tell you the answer but you won’t like it. Wanna hear it anyway?
That’s what it’s designed for. “Wait what?! It’s designed to make me an A%$hole?” Nooo, but it is designed to expose the A%$hole. An object used by design works best. A screw driver makes a terrible toothbrush. Intimate relationships are designed to expose us. We are safe to be ourselves, but some of our selves, aren’t the best versions. If you’re a poser in front of your spouse, they know. That’s the design.
Marriage is designed to be a sanctuary of honesty. A place to work out our crap. Once you’ve put some time in, no one knows you better than your spouse, not even your parents. They become the expert witness to hold you accountable to greatness, cause they love you. They have the ability to recognize your BS and ask questions. Let me use an image you won’t be able to forget (sorry in advance).
Remember the movie Joe Dirt, the crapper-tank scene? Joe Dirt ties what he thinks is an atom bomb to his back in order to coerce private information for his betterment. He threatens to hit it with a hammer and kill everyone. The authorities show up and shut him down. It ends up it wasn’t an A-bomb at all, just an old RV septic tank with a BIO hazard sticker on it. “It’s just an old crapper tank people,” says the old police officer, and he whacks the cap off, spewing crap all over Joe Dirt.
You, me, we all have a crapper tanks tied to our backs. It’s a reservoir to store the crap we can’t emotionally handle. It fills up over time- all the trauma, betrayal, envy, all the bad or confusing versions of love we adopt as truth. Each event puts one more turd in the tank. Usually between the 30’s and 40’s, the tank getting pretty full. We have two choices.
⦁ Start to deal with our sh*t. (Examine, question, counseling, drain) Or
⦁ It overflows onto us, our spouses, our kids, our co-workers, etc. and no one enjoys it.
This can be intolerable…for everyone. If you watched the video, Joe Dirt, during the poo shower says, “Is it done? How much is in there?!” It depends. How much have you unpacked so far?
This processing-time (old enough to emotionally understand our trauma and strong enough to address it), is called “midlife” in some circles. We try to cover it up with a new addiction, an affair, a major change. We try to bury the sadness, the unfulfillment. We start to blame those closest to us. “Maybe you’re the reason I’m so uncomfortable.” But, the design is already in place. It’s working as it should. You are just very uncomfortable. This is the time you need someone close, someone invested in your betterment, someone who can stand at the barrel end of your pain and realize it has nothing to do with them.
Well, guess what? That’s what your better half is for. You are in a long-standing relationship, walking next to a subject matter witness of yourself- in your house, in your bed, aware of all your reactions, your over-reactions, your anger, sadness…all of it. You have a live-in sounding board.
The design of marriage is to process it, through and with that person, together.
It’s been my experience that you take turns. Your spouse’s crap will rise up, gets loud and it gets dealt with…or flung on everyone else. Once that’s all cleaned up, you might have a blowout, and then everyone else helps clean up your mess. It’s the design.
Now folks, this ain’t easy. Sometimes we imagine greener grasses, “if only…” but most of the discomfort is just crap on your face. Deal with the crap!
“Well that’s a nice speech Polito, but marriage is @$#%& hard …for a normal person! What about us? What about the effects of Shift work? Cortisol? Trauma? Disappointed birthdays? Anniversaries? Holidays? Failed expectations? Childcare? Unexpected childcare? Depression? Isolation? Alcoholism? Separation? Low Testosterone? Paranoia? Hypervigilance? Cynicism? Lack of trust? Decision fatigue? Absence? Exhaustion? What about those?!!”
You’re right. So, how do we take an already complex, beautiful union, add so many variables, and still succeed? The answer? …I don’t have it (suckers!). But I know who does, and we’re flying them out to explain it to you all.
We are taking this year’s hard-earned drinking money and spending it back on your marriage, your relationships. We are flying out Dr. Gilmartin and Dr. Mynda Ohs (view the previous post for their short bios) for an eight-hour marriage conference at the Escondido Center for the Arts on either, February 4th or 5th. Both days will contain the same content. These two experts are top shelf ($$$$), and their wisdom is available to you. My wife attended a Gilmartin conference. She came home, looked at me like I was a lost puppy, “Honey…I’m so sorry. I had no idea what you go through. Do you wanna go for a run or a Mt. Bike ride? Is there anything I can do for you?” I was confused, “Ummm…yeah, I wanna go for a Mt. Bike ride…wait, what’s this about?”
These two folks will explain to you and your significants, what is going on under the surface. It is sooooo helpful. Teams do way better when everyone’s running in the same direction. This information is gold. Forward this email to your partners, look at your calendars and pick a day (it’s gonna fill up).
The conference will be a tag team between the two of them. Dr. Gilmartin goes into the pathophysiology of the body’s reaction to shiftwork (crazy stuff!). You’ll understand the “why.” Dr. Ohs will cover the “how.” She will dive into the more clinical side of the tactics and strategies of communication and how to accommodate each other in this vocation. She will basically take the expected outcome described by Gilmartin, and layout the game plan to digest it as a couple on a daily basis. In between these two rock stars, you will be sent out on short breakouts with each other to discuss and answer questions designed to root the concepts deep within your hearts and marriage. Easy enough huh?
“But Polito, my spouse is a douche, there’s no hope for me.”
“I know, I work with him!”
But what if both your perspectives are broken? What if that smell is a call to love, a need for your live-in witness to bring real perspective. “Ummmm, you have a turd on your face…nope…a little higher…yea, right there.”
What if the version of your spouse you’re getting isn’t the real version, just the wounded one? Wanna find out?
Here’s the skinny. Below is the link to sign-up. There’s a $50 deposit per couple ($25 -stag).
Here’s the Sign-Up Link:
Upcoming Events – StachetoberFest
This conference is open to first responders (Fire, Police, EMS, Hospital, etc.)- married, engaged, dating, or single. This email goes out to about 2,000 people (not counting social media). First come, first served.
If you own a Lamborghini, you don’t take it KIA for service, you take it to the experts. This marriage seminar is specialized for you, take advantage.
If any of you fine folks have connections or donations that would benefit this event (coffee, snacks, meals, office supplies, $pon$or$hip, etc.) please emails us, and let us know firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: “Conference Contribution”