31: It’s Not Fair

31: It’s Not Fair

What’s The Episode About:

In this episode, Paul and Stacey will talk about a very powerful dynamic that keeps so many people stuck and miserable. It’s a dynamic that goes beyond marriages, and into all the relationships that people have in life, and it impacts us every single day, and yet it’s invisible to us.  

They’ll reveal what it is, how people have a lot of misconceptions about it, and how it always puts us in endless battles with the people that we are in relationships with.

Most importantly, they will share the action steps we can take right now to stop being victims to the dynamic, so we can start experiencing joy and fulfillment in all our relationships.

Key Points Discussed: 

  • Fairness is determined by the perspective of the person who is deciding whether it’s fair or not (02:38)
  • Our need for things to be fair only holds us back (03:46)
  • Measuring what we get in exchange for what we’re giving (08:21)
  • The concept of fairness in relationships is borne by measuring and keeping scores (10:20)
  • The withdrawal and holding back that comes from expecting others to give in the same way we do (13:34)
  • Accepting the unfairness of life without being bitter or negative (16:18)
  • Be the one to take action in your relationship without depending on your partner (19:46)
  • Making a decision and committing for 90 days (22:40)

Where Can I Learn More:

When Did It Air:

November 21, 2019

Episode Transcript:

Paul:               00:00 Hey relationship transformers. Welcome to the Relationship Transformer podcast. Today, Stacey and I are going to talk about a very powerful dynamic that keeps many people stuck and miserable. This one goes way beyond your marriage. In fact, I bet it has roots in your relationships with your siblings, and your folks, and so many more places. And yet, it’s impacting you every day of your whole life, and it’s invisible to you until we talk about it. So let’s cue up the intro and dive in.


Intro:              00:28 So the big question is this, how is it possible that one person alone can transform any relationship, save their marriage, great their unshakeable love and unleash passion, divorce, proof their family without needing their partner to get on board and do this with them and yet still get to be happily, authentically you without compromise. That is the question and this podcast will give you the answer. We are Paul and Stacey Martino, and welcome to the Relationship Transformer podcast.


Paul:               00:58 Alright. So, here’s the thing, and I’m just going to start off right with it… right out of the gate. Life isn’t fair. And yet, I think a lot of people can connect with that right off the bat and say, “Yeah, I’ve heard that. I agree with that. Yeah, life is often not fair.” However, when it comes to our relationships, we seem to forget that. We seem to lose touch with that altogether. And we’re constantly looking for something to be fair. Or that was unfair, or you know, what he said was unfair. What she did was unfair.


Stacey:             01:30 Or why should I be doing more? Why am I always doing more than you. Or when is somebody’s gonna do something for me?


Paul:               01:37 Exactly. Anybody starting to see my point? Right? You live this because we’re not aware of it. We have this belief that in life that there’s a right way, that there is something that’s fair, and if you don’t see it my way, it’s not fair. And that is going to keep you miserable and stuck. Let’s just look at a few of these pieces. So, they are different person than you, probably if you’re married to them, different sex than you. In relationships, they have a different upbringing than you. There are so many ways that you could look at this, and yet we’re expecting that there’s a common understanding of what is fair. So I like to use the example of kids, like did you ever try to do something fair with kids? Like let’s say, you’ve got some candies that you want to give them. It’s Halloween and you’re trying to be… let’s… I’m saying in air quotes, “fair” and give them each four pieces of candy. What happened? Did you ever see anything where like, you’re trying to do the thing… the fair thing. Right? By making it even for them, and it was like, “Yeah, but he had candy yesterday and I didn’t.”


Paul:               02:38 Or “How about for the first four years, since he’s older than me, that he got candy that I wasn’t here.” Suddenly, fairness doesn’t seem fair anymore. Why? What’s at the root of this? It’s that they have a different perspective of what’s fair. And you’re never going to get around the fact that, from their perspective, they see a different world. From your perspective, you have a different set of perspectives on the same world that they’re experiencing. And you’re never going to get around that. So the belief there is some kind of a… an outcome that is truly fair and universal for everyone will never ever hold up. Fairness is determined by the perspective of the person who is deciding whether it’s fair or not. End of story.


Stacey:             03:21 That’s it.


Paul:               03:22 There is no such thing as fair and the faster we all embrace that fact and learned to start replacing our need for it to be fair with what can I do in this moment to achieve the outcome I’m looking for or what is right for me that’s congruent for me in this moment and then become empowered to navigate that moment to make a different outcome. That’s what we’re looking for.


Stacey:             03:46 Yeah. Here’s the thing. Fairness is one of those words that does not have a globally accepted definition and I know that’s like what everybody knows what being fair means. No, most people think being fair means equal, but the actual execution of fair is going to be different for every single person. And so just to anchor in Paul’s point, you’ll never actually achieve something that everybody thinks is necessarily fair. Now you might accidentally walk into that every once in a while, but the truth is probably at least one person is compromising to try to make it fair or so it’s really, it’s not measurable and it’s really not the goal. And here’s what I really want you to get because this is so deep in our wiring to seek for fairness. And by the way, this used to be one of my biggest sticking points in my blueprint, actually, Paul to this actually is one of the things that brought us together is that we are both always seeking justice.


Stacey:             04:48 We’re both always seeking for what’s fair. We are both always willing to go to battle for what wasn’t fair for somebody. And like that’s an admirable quality, right? But the truth is what you’re seeing as being fair or not fair is only through your lenses and through someone else’s lenses. It looks very different. And I will give it to you this way as an example. There are times so think back to a time though, you know that you can remember where you saw something happening and you’re like, Oh that is so unfair. Like why are they getting this and I never do or why are they so much farther ahead than me? I worked harder like well think of that one time and that you can remember where something seemed unfair and you felt like you got the shorter end of the stick. No, I’m just going to tell you that there have been times in your life where someone has silently looked at you and thought that is so unfair, man.


Stacey:             05:48 Why should they get their way and I’m not getting my way. That’s the truth. It’s the truth. There have been times that you have at someone else and felt like you were getting the short end of the stick and there are times when someone else has looked at you and thought that you were getting the long end of the stick and they were getting the short end of the stick. Life isn’t fair. There are ups and downs to life and the only thing that actually does make it equal is that sometimes you’re going to feel like you’re on the short end of the stick and sometimes other people are going to look at you and think you’re on the wrong end of the stick. And that’s the truth. That’s why life isn’t really fair and our need for things to be fair is actually holding us back.


Paul:               06:35 Yeah, it’s just like blame, you know, we’ve talked in previous episodes many times about blame in effect, as long as you want to hang on to the fact that that was unfair. It’s a form of blame, which means nothing can change for you until someone else changes something to make that right for you. Right? So you can choose to stay stuck there, but that’s exactly what’s going to happen. You’re going to stay stuck there. You can accept what is without liking it. So, you know, that’s a different way of looking at it is I don’t like how that went, but I accept that there is no way this would have been fair and then decide what it is that you want and become empowered to do something about it instead. It’s a very different life if you stop waiting around for things to be fair, we’re just arguing your case that it needed to be fair from your perspective, especially when the one on the other side of this is what we call the white knuckle gripping on their perspective. Just as a hardback. You’re in an endless battle. There’s just gonna deepen the problem for you instead of fixing it.


Stacey:             07:31 And so just to expound on that, right, Paul and I teach that when you’re holding onto your way and your partner is holding onto their way, their white knuckle grip on their end of the rope in this tug of war is in direct proportion to the intensity of your white knuckle grip on your side of the rope. You’re way so many times we’re like, Oh my gosh, my partner’s just unwilling. They’re unbending and they’re so pushing and I’m like, well, look at the your side because you’re on bending and unwilling and on pushing, wanting them to come onto your side of the rope and do things your way. And so that’s what the white knuckle grip is about and here’s where the concept of fairness really kind of seeps in. And I think it’s one of those invisible things that we just don’t see that really holds us back.


Stacey:             08:21 How often do you find yourself consciously or unconsciously measuring and score? Keeping what you’re getting in exchange for what you’re giving in a relationship? How often do you find yourself thinking maybe you’re going to hold back or even holding back what you’re giving because you feel like you’re not getting in that relationship. How often have you thought to yourself like, you know what? Screw them, I’m not doing this for them. Because when I asked for support with blah, blah, blah, they weren’t doing that or they didn’t do it my way or they didn’t show up for me and so screw it, I’m not doing it again. How often in your day are you measuring? What you’re getting in exchange for what you’re giving. Even in parenting, we hear this and see this, right? Like we tell our kids like you don’t know how much we paid for that gaming equipment or whatever.


Stacey:             09:17 Like don’t leave it on the floor. Like that’s a version of measuring in scorekeeping about what we gave and whether their chores or their cleanliness or their behavior is equal in exchange for what we gave them. Like we are measuring and scorekeeping. It’s basically I did this for you, you should be doing this for me. Back and measuring and scorekeeping actually kills a relationship. It does not build, it never has a relationship is built upon measuring and scorekeeping. And I’ll tell you why and it’s because it really doesn’t work. We have a 90-minute training on measuring and scorekeeping and the tools for stopping it because, and I obviously more than I can do in a podcast, but if you know and I this they use to be me, right? Because my blueprint was so focused on fairness and justice. I was like an Olympic champion measure in scorekeeper and it was making me miserable and it was certainly making Paul miserable because he constantly felt it.


Stacey:             10:20 He constantly felt like, why are you a scorekeeping how many minutes I got to take a shower and versus how many minutes you got to keep a shower versus being with the baby, like why are you even bringing that up to me? And it’s because I was constantly, well it’s not fair. You had an hour and a half that you were at work or you didn’t have the baby or you went out after work and I had the baby and he’s like, why? Why are you even measuring that? Like I was so deeply ingrained in me to keep things fair, to keep things 50 50 to not give more than I felt like I was getting. So I wouldn’t feel like a fool so I wouldn’t feel like I was a doormat so I wouldn’t feel like I was being taken advantage of all of those feelings. If any of that resonates with you.


Stacey:             11:01 That’s all about fairness. That’s all about measuring. That’s all about scorekeeping and I’m going to tell you kind of in a nutshell why this doesn’t work. See, just like Paul has been explaining, everyone in life has their own set of lenses. You, your partner, your family, your kids, your pro, like the people you work with, everybody, there’s almost 8 billion of us here and we all see things through our own personal lenses. We all have our own values and rules and our way of seeing the world and our life experiences and our beliefs and our emotions and the things that we see in the meanings that we give to things. It’s all different. So two people can see the same event and have two very different meanings, right? One of them can be celebrating and the other one could be devastated because we all have a different blueprint in the world and what happens is this is why call it faulty relationship math.


Stacey:             11:54 When we try to measure and score keep is you give and what you give to your partner, you give yourself 100% you’re like, that was the right thing to do. That was the right thing to say. I thought it, I did it. Well, of course, it’s right. Like it’s what I would do. It is what you would do, but when your partner receives that, they receive what you did or what you said through their own lens, through their own blueprint, and it’s, you know, not quite 100%. It’s anywhere from, Oh, that’s not quite what I would have done or what I would have said to. That sucked. You sucked. Right? And so you’re somewhere on the spectrum, depending on how similar you are to your partner in that moment. And we’re very different usually than our partners. Especially like Paul said, if your core energy is masculine in their feminine or your feminine and their masculine, this is wildly different.


Stacey:             12:45 We see the world differently. We experienced the world differently. And so you’re always going to feel like in this faulty relationship math, this measuring and scorekeeping, you’re always gonna feel like you’re giving more than you’re getting, right? Because when your partner gives to you, just think about it. What was the last thing that your partner did or said that disappointed you where it was like, okay, but it was a little disappointing? Or you were like, why the hell did you say that? Who does that? Right? You were pissed about it. It’s nobody does things without a reason. From their perspective. That was the right thing to do or the right thing to say in that moment from their lens, how they show up in the world. They don’t have your blueprint and so when your partner gives to you, they, I really want you to get this, just pay attention for one second.


Stacey:             13:34 When your partner gives to you, they will never give to you exactly the way that you would’ve done it or set it. It’s just not possible. They’re not you, they’ve never been you, and they’re never going to be you. It’s not possible, and so when you measure what you’re getting from them, they always seem to come up short because it’s not exactly what you would have done or said what you thought. They’re not you. And so you give it 100% you receive it less than a hundred percent to varying degrees and you always feel like you’re getting more than you’re giving. So you start withholding. You’re like, you know what? Screw it. I’m not going to do what I would have done for your birthday because my birthday pass and you’re like, Hey, happy birthday, here’s a card and I had a party plan for you but screw you.


Stacey:             14:17 I’m not giving you a party cause you didn’t give me a party and you withhold or whatever you do, you back it up to try to match. Well, what happens when you back it up, you give it what you think is reasonable based on fairness and they give to you, but according to your filter came up a little bit short and this goes round and round and round again until we’re so descent, we’re so apart. We’ve withheld so much from each other that we’re not 50 50 we’re like 10 10 and the relationship is empty. Nobody’s giving to it because everybody has tried to hold back to make fair based on their model. The world until there’s nothing left. Right? Like we said in the last podcast, the plant is dead, the plant is dying because nobody’s giving to it because everybody had been trying to measure what was fair and there is no such thing as fair and so that’s why measuring and scorekeeping is a relationship killer and relationship development is the opposite of that. We don’t look for fairness. We look for what’s the best that I can do, what’s the most authentic that I can do and how can I serve my partner based on their map, their model of the world, and that’s the approach that we take and that builds up a relationship as opposed to breaking it down.


Paul:               15:30 Just to show. Another example of this too is like the flip around Stacey’s example. You know when Stacy was saying how like when we had children and there were struggles like I did this and you didn’t do that. Let’s play it out, let’s play it out. As if I really did do all those things she needed me to do. Right. From her perspective and I just did it exactly the way she told me to do it and wanted to. Do you think I had some needs on the other side to that? Now I’m going to be, if I was trying to be fair, come back and say, now I need you to do this exactly my way. That exactly my way. Of course, when you live in that model, that’s what your expectation is. There is no way to flip that around. There is no way to satisfy your needs without the other person coming back and saying, now satisfy mine. Because if fairness is the foundation of that, somebody’s gonna feel like this isn’t working and they’re going to stop.


Stacey:             16:18 A couple of key points around this. First, I want to reframe the energy around this because like I said, sometimes you’ll look at others and think, Oh, that’s not fair. Sometimes others will be looking at you and thinking, Hey, that’s not fair. Life is not fair, and that’s okay. See, some people will say like life isn’t fair and their energy is like life isn’t fair and that sucks, or it’s wrong. Yeah, life isn’t fair and that’s so wrong. No, I want to offer you this opportunity. Life is not fair and that’s okay. Life doesn’t need to be fair. Life is an adventure. Life is a journey. Life is not meant to be. Fair. Life doesn’t need to be fair and I accept that I’m at peace with that. I’m okay with that. There’s no need to be bitter about this fact. It is a law of the universe and there’s no need to apply a negative meaning to it.


Stacey:             17:11 If you apply a negative meaning to it, you’re still trapped in wanting it to be fair, but knowing that it’s not and that doesn’t exactly help. The second thing is if you’re in need to seek, fairness is keeping you stuck, right? If you’re doing the measuring, if you’re doing the scorekeeping, just know that it’s not your relationship that’s keeping you stuck. It’s not that it’s not fair that’s keeping you stuck. It’s not your partner that’s keeping you stuck, it’s you, it’s you keeping you stuck by focusing on measuring and scorekeeping. You know, you can hold tight to your belief about fairness and you know what? I see sometimes as somebody look at one of our programs because of course we say you don’t need your partner to do our programs in order to get your results in your relationship, right? You can do the 14-day boost program, the quick start program, come to relationship breakthrough retreat, do relationship U. We never have to meet your partner.


Stacey:             18:03 Your partner never has to listen to this podcast. You can still save your marriage, transform your relationship, be the parent you want to be transformed, your business relationships, your family, like all of it. And some people will still sit there and be like, yeah, yeah, but my partner won’t do it and so why the hell should I screw that? I’m the loser now. I’m going to do this. And they’re not like all of the things come up at all-around fairness. It’s all related to measuring and scorekeeping and what happens to that person? They don’t do our program or they don’t come to the event. They don’t take action. They don’t get the toolbox six months later, I think you and I both know what’s going on in that relationship. Did it get any better while they were waiting for their partner to want to do this?


Stacey:             18:49 I mean, if you refuse to do any of our programs, if you refuse to get the toolbox and implement our tools because your partner won’t, then fast forward six months, what’s changed? More resentment, more buildup of kerfuffles, more breakdowns in rapport, things may be slipped to a nastier level. Was there any point at which your partner magically decided that they wanted to do our program and they transformed everything for you know, and PS, why should they think about it? If you’ve been measuring and scorekeeping or trying to make things fair and you don’t want to move forward and create the change in your relationship without them doing the work, why would they want to do that for you? Are you really expecting them to do something that you’re not willing to do yourself? That they should do the program? They should transform everything, but you’re not willing and sometimes people will say, no, no, I will.


Stacey:             19:46 I will. I’ll go to the event. If they go to the event, I’ll do your program, but only if they go and here’s where I need to step in and give you a reality check on what you don’t see. First of all, that’s totally demand relationship and if you’re doing demand relationship there, you’re doing to band relationship elsewhere in your relationship and you’re just killing it. It’s an a downward spiral. Demand relationship doesn’t grow a relationship at kills it, so just own that. Even your thinking is demand relationship, but that’s okay. It’s where everybody is. It’s just up to you to take action to shift that. But second, your partner is wired totally different from you and you know, you think that you will give to them when they give to you, right? That’s like, Oh yeah, when they do your program, I’ll do the program.


Stacey:             20:32 When they say yes, the van, I’m totally going to come to the event you think yourself when they give all give. But the truth is when they were giving to you, they were, they were giving to you in their own way from their lens they were giving to you, but because you only had your lenses, you never saw their gift. You only saw a lack of what they didn’t give. Your man offered you his dedication, his commitment and his protection, but you only saw that he never shared. He never supported and he never listened. Your woman offered you helpful suggestions and nurturing anticipation of your needs, a desire to listen, and you only saw how she micromanaged. You belittled. You didn’t have faith in you and was irrational. You cannot measure what your partner gives you because you don’t own the measuring stick that registers what they are giving beyond the fact that life isn’t fair. Life will never look fair to you because you don’t yet have a real relationship. Education and understanding that everyone else on the planet is wired differently than you, and that is why fairness, measuring scorekeeping is just a downward spiral that destroys relationships. Life isn’t fair, and that’s okay. This should empower you to move forward without restraint.


Paul:               21:54 And how are you going to feel? By the way too, when he let go of all that, this is unfair. It’s going to help you in the moment. The faster you embrace the fact that things are not always going to seem fair to you and be okay with that, the faster you get relief from that negativity of trying to hold onto an illusion that the world should have lined up perfectly to be fair to you in whatever form that was. So why not start today? So we need some action steps, I think, in order to help you along here. All right, so action step number one, stop. When you find yourself thinking about fairness in air quotes and measuring, just stop number two, start, start our 90 day, no measuring scorekeeping challenge. Stacy, can you explain that for them?


Stacey:             22:40 Yeah. So here’s what I want to offer you the opportunity to do. That’s it. Let’s do it now. Make a decision and commit for 90 days, no measuring and no scorekeeping in your relationships for 90 solid days. Like if you will commit to that challenge. Say I will write, go into the relationship transformer or Facebook group today and post your commitment. I accept the no measuring and score keeping challenge. And then by the way, have compassion with yourself cause you’re going to be like a day into it and you’d be like dammit, cause you find yourselves measuring and score giving in your head. That’s okay. Don’t give up. This isn’t like a diet like, Oh shoot, I eat a whole cheesecake. I guess I’m off the diet. No, get right back. Get right back on and be like okay, that’s okay. It happens. It’s going to happen. I’m on the spectrum with it. We’re doing this for 90 days. Right? Even just having awareness and lessening how often, by the way, it’ll be helpful for you to notice how often you go into measuring and score keeping, but commit to focus on this for 90 days and then what’s step three, babe?


Paul:               23:43 All right, so step three is get right. The things that are creating challenges that you feel are unfair is because you’re unaware of them. They’re off of your radar, is time to get a real relationship education that you can use to understand how these things are showing up through your partners lens, for example. This will give you that superpower in life, right, and it’s not just with your partner, it’s everywhere. It’s in every relationship that you have. It’ll reduce the stress and so much of the unnecessary unhappiness that’s out there in this world today.


Stacey:             24:11 Yeah. I can’t stress enough how much relief and joy this will provide for you. When I stop measuring and scorekeeping, oh my gosh, the amount of energy and negative thought that I was dedicating to this kind of narration of my day in my head was like, “Oh, it’s so much more pleasant just to be me in my own head.” Once I gave up this constant measuring and scorekeeping, it may just made me so much more joyful. It gave me so much relief. I know this is going to impact your marriage and your parenting, but don’t underestimate how much this is also going to impact your work relationships, your family relationships, your friendships, even how you measure and scorekeep with yourself. And remember, for this, getting educated, follow the yellow brick road. Right? You want awes, you want that unleashed passion, and that unshakable love., you want to transform all your relationships?


Stacey:             25:09 Follow the yellow brick road, 14-Day Boost, into the Quickstart, into Relationship U, and of course, everyone comes to Relationship Breakthrough Retreat. Get the toolbox, get the tools that you need, and take that action. Alright, well, if you have loved this podcast, if this has been helpful to you, take a screenshot of your phone, share it in social media, hashtag Relationship Transformer Podcast, tag me, and share it so that the people who need it can see it. Until next time, remember, together we are changing the way relationship is done.


Outro:              25:44 Hey, would you like to get big results in your relationships in just 10 seconds a day? If so, then subscribe to our daily inspiration for relationship transformers or the D.I.R.T at www.MartinoPodcast.com/DIRT.


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