SEASON 3, EPISODE 72

SHOW NOTES

Friends I HAD to bring back Dr. Morgan Anderson from one of your favorite episodes! In this chat, we talk about how we choose our relationships based on what we saw growing up. Dr. Morgan confirms it friends, our exes are not the issue!

Let me skip to the good part… we can change our ways, friend! If we need to, we can change and that’s exactly what Dr. Morgan dives into in this chat.

Friend, pull up a chair. This chat is for you!

Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, or iHeartRadio

Season 3, Episode 72

Nicole:

Hey, friends. So one of our very favorite chat that we have ever had here was when me and the Misterfella hung out with my dear best good friend, Dr. Morgan. Now, if you miss that chat, go back and listen to it. She is brilliant. She is the foremost relationship expert, especially for us young ins, and young and meaning over 30s. You know, but, you know, not quite married for 55 years, you know, and she is so so good at teaching you about attachment style, about why we are the way we are when it comes to our partnerships. And above all else, she dissected the heck out of me and Alex’s relationship. So that’s a great episode, you have got to listen to it. But because we loved having her here so much, I brought her back because I’ve got something really personal that I kind of want to unpack and it’s something I’ve been working on in therapy. But I had a lot of really powerful insights and I felt like having Dr. Morgan who I love here today to talk with you about it will really help some of you to have breakthroughs also.

So that being said, my dear, dear Dr. Morgan, I’m so glad you’re here.

Dr. Morgan:

Nicole, thank you so much for having me. I’m so excited.

Nicole:
So y’all don’t know this. But I love this lady like it’s literally I don’t know if you can hear my voice. I love this woman. Morgan, you are brilliant. You’re kind, you’re smart. You’re so good at this relationship stuff that like I literally want to have a separate podcast series like just us, like talking just this stuff.

Dr. Morgan:

Let’s go!

Nicole:
I know what’s great is people can catch a lot of your goodness on your podcast, Let’s get vulnerable.

Dr. Morgan:

Yes, very good.

Nicole:

Y’all like when I tell you, if you like the way that I chat transparently about kind of hot mess today probably shouldn’t have said that. This is you know, this is a different way I could do it. You’re gonna find out why I am those things on her podcast. She will literally break it down. She’s an official, professional real life doctor.

Dr. Morgan:

Yes. Thank you so much for that intro and I am so happy to be here with you. I was telling you I read your book on the plane. I feel so privileged that I was able to get a copy.

Nicole:
I just wanted you to know what you’re getting into literally, why y’all you have no idea like Dr. Morgan’s like a friend for real so it’s like, I am so nervous when he’s spoken to people’s hands. But I also know I can trust you because you understand.

Dr. Morgan:

Yes, I do. And I was on the plane sobbing as I’m reading your book. There are so many parts that I feel like I needed to hear. And I know that anyone that reads it is going to feel that way. Yeah, the person next was like, are you okay? I’m just having some healing moments as I was reading your book, Nicole. I am so excited to get out there. Seriously

Nicole:
Thank you so much. I appreciate you, y’all if you haven’t heard about the book, it’s called Nothing is Missing. And it is on shelves everywhere, October 10. But it is available for pre-sale now. And obviously my best good one was able to get an advanced copy because she’s amazing and great. And honestly, I’m trying to have my friends read it so that I Don’t chicken out in this whole process. I think my friends look at me being like, No, it’s okay girl, like you can read like that sentence makes sense.

Dr. Morgan:
It’s beautifully written. I think everyone needs this book. I know, I saw so many parts of myself and people are gonna see themselves in it. And it’s so real. It’s so honest. I read it so quickly. I couldn’t put it down.

Nicole:
Oh my gosh, people say it’s unputdownable. It is not even a real word. But that makes me feel so good. It is hard to read sometimes. So like get through even if it’s like, you know, good for you. It can be hard to be a page turner. But yeah, some of the like, I always like to say it’s a mess, but it’s not messy. So it’s a good read.

Dr. Morgan:

It’s such a good read. And I got to the end and I was like okay, I want to know about Alex, I want to know about the love story. Like where’s the rest? I’m already ready for the next one.

Nicole:
Yes, yes. Yes, there’s definitely a lot of goodness to come. So I’m so so glad that you enjoyed it. And thank you for that affirmation, you’re the greatest. Well, I think what’s great about you being here is part of what I want to talk about, I’ve never talked about on the podcast before.

And you are the perfect person for me to one, feel safe right, in talking about these things with and to know that you’re able to contextualize and give practical results. This is like your whole jam is like, you’re not just a type to be like, well, this is what a narcissist is, or this is what you’re like. And here’s how it shows up and here’s what you need to do. Like you’re really, really great about this.

So I want to talk about how people pick their partners, and how that relates to your parents. Because when I tell you the first thing that came to my mind when I came out of divorce was my picker is broken. I have not been able to pick the right partner. And I can’t trust myself to do so. So I just need to be single forever. So the idea that I’m with someone who’s great. And when I tell you I don’t even feel, God picked him for me because I still don’t know if my picker is right girl like I really don’t know. But I want to talk about that. You’ve read my book, you know, I talked about my childhood. You know, my father now, having read the book.

Can you tell me more about how these things relate? Do we really end up marrying our fathers and becoming our mothers?

Dr. Morgan:

Hmm, I’m already getting emotional. I haven’t even answered. Because, okay, Nicole, you wrote in the book, this sentence, and this is what got me to break down on the plane. You said, I was traumatized by my father. I was also loved by Him.

Nicole:

Yep.

Dr Morgan:

And understanding the nuance of that, that as a child, that’s what your brain wired for love. Love equals this, right? So you have those blueprints that are created about this is what a relationship is, this is what love is. And it’s not like you consciously can go change it. It’s no, it’s hardwired. Like your brain says, this is what love is. And that shapes every decision you make in your dating life.

Nicole:
Wow. And that’s bananas. Because it sounds like and you can confirm or deny. You aren’t choosing to be hardwired this way. Is it just like your body sort of taking in visuals of whatever, and then building an image of love? And like what type of visuals are you taking in? If that’s how it works?

Dr. Morgan:

Yes, I know, you’re a metaphor person.

Nicole:
I’m like what’s the example, Girl.

Dr. Morgan:
Yeah, here’s the metaphor: your brain has a file cabinet. Okay, that has relationships, right? And it’s taking all the data from your experiences and filing them away in this file cabinet. This is what a relationship is. Most of us go throughout our lives, never questioning what’s in there. And when we’re healing, the goal is that we empty that file cabinet out. Look at all of it.

Nicole:
No no, sounds terrible. No, thank you, right?

Dr. Morgan:

It’s so much work. And we decide like, Hey, this is what serves me. This is what I need to add. But yeah, it’s completely unconscious. I want to talk about a term with you that applies here, which is called repetition compulsion.

Nicole:
Oh, pause. I love these, y’all if you weren’t thinking to write some of this stuff down. I tell you, when I find out new terms, it unlocks. It doesn’t mean I solve it right away. But it gives me a reason to not feel guilty or pressured or ashamed because I realize there’s something outside of myself which means this is a thing.

So I love terms, repetition compulsion. So this relates to how we choose our partners later in life based on what we saw growing up. Definition, how it shows up need to know

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah, absolutely. So you are repeating the pattern that you had the blueprint, if you will, of what a relationship is and it’s a compulsion, meaning it’s not conscious, you’re doing this unconsciously. And here’s the thing that people don’t realize is we have this unconscious wish that this time, it would be different. That if this time I choose this partner in my adult life, and they’re emotionally unavailable, but if this time I can get them to love me, that’s going to make up for everything I experienced as a child.

Nicole:

Oh, that is weighty, weighty, weighty, weighty. So to try to put this into like real world context. And honestly, I’ll use myself because you know, that’s the thing I do here. So if I grew up with a father who always was transactional with their affection. So if you do this thing, then you’ll get this. If you get the great grades, I’ll give you a hug. I love you, when I see you succeed, I dislike you when I don’t, then, but success is defined by me or whatever. Then when I get older, and I’m seeking a male partner or a partner in whatever context, and I meet them, if they say, Oh, you cook dinner, here’s a hug. Oh, you didn’t cook dinner? You’re useless. I won’t see that as being a bad response. Instead, my brain will say, oh, that’s what I’m used to. That’s still and maybe even worse, I’ll call it love.

Dr. Morgan:

Yes, absolutely. Yes.

Nicole:
And not know that that’s not okay. And if anything, I’ll look for that. Because that is what’s appropriate to that.

Dr. Morgan:

Oh, and this is the big one. So you have a relationship homeostasis, comfort zone, with relationships.

Nicole:
Kind of like when you know how the doctor say, when you lose weight, you have like a happy weight, or you know, where you want to stay in their cycle? Yeah, your setpoint. So we have that in relationships also.

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah And it’s not even conscious, it’s biological. It’s your belief systems. It’s what you know, to be true about relationships.

Nicole:
So I want to speak to that. Because I, you know, and I try not to talk to my girls too much. But we’ll talk we’ll get into that later. Because a lot of why this came to mind is I have to be very conscious of my decision relationship-wise, because I’ve got three girls in those formative years where they’re picking their partner. So it matters a lot to me, but you’re telling me that unknowingly, I may choose chaos, because chaos is what’s familiar to me.

Dr. Morgan:
Absolutely.

Nicole:
Even though we do know when things hurt, and we do know when they’re painful. And we do know when they’re uncomfortable. I may still say no, I like like for me and my relationship. I’m a busybody. That’s what I grew up seeing. My mom always was on the move. She was always doing something in terms of caring for, preparing, like I will do everything in the household. That is a household I replicated for myself to my own medical, physical, mental detriment.

But that is what a relationship was. And that was me in homeostasis, that’s like me trying to be normal.

Dr. Morgan:

Yes. It’s your relationship, comfort zone. That’s what a relationship is. Even if I don’t know that I’m doing it. Yeah, we’re gonna do it unconsciously, until we heal until we change.

Nicole:
So let’s get to that part. Because this is already, like a lot on the spirit girl. So you’re telling me that I am unconsciously going to seek out partners that are similar to relationships where I was hurt as a child to try to fix it as I’m older?

Dr. Morgan:
Yeah.

Nicole:
And then I’m also going to try to pick the norm, which may not be a good norm, because that is what I’m used to. So if those are two things are going to exist, how do I know now, when I’m with Alex, that it’s different? Like, how do I get out of this? If I don’t even know I’m doing it.

Dr. Morgan:

The wonderful thing is that this can change.

Nicole:
<exhales> We all need to hear that, right? Everyone needs to hear that!

Dr. Morgan:
Exhale! Exhale! I think for some people, and I’ll speak for myself, it took a really traumatic experience for me to realize, okay, this has to change. And I know once you get to that place, and then you’re willing to have the awareness and you’re willing to do the work on yourself, when you change, you attract different people.

Nicole:

Right, so so I guess like not getting cart before the horse? How do I even identify that I’m in a partnership like that? Because I have, and not that I become a relationship expert. But listen, you get one failed marriage under your belt or one really bad breakup, especially when you go through the long season of healing, and I tell you, I have spent like a college education, a mortgage, in therapy. So it’s like, having done all of that, I look at some people’s relationships. And I’m like, there’s no possible way you think this is healthy. Like there’s no possible way this seems normal, like you don’t see it, but there’s something here not okay.

So how do they know that they can get out of it? How do they know that they shouldn’t just keep trying or that they could change or whatever, and that they’re not just in one of these terms?

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah, I think I mean, it takes both individuals realizing it, like both people have to realize, okay, my norm, even though it’s my norm, it’s not healthy. It’s not adding value to my life. It’s not sustainable and secure.

Nicole:

So let’s get practical. How does that show up? Is it like, oh, we fight every week, or we can’t make decisions, or I want to buy a new house, and he’s very okay living here, like, you know, how are people going to see this in their life, that they may have things that aren’t healthy?

Dr. Morgan:

I think one of the easiest ways to know this is if the relationship is draining energy from you. If it feels like a job, if it’s taking your energy, and it’s not adding to you, it’s not adding value, that’s one of the easiest ways to know.

Nicole:
Oh, that’s so good. That’s so good. Because we talked about this over lunch, I told you, me and Dr. Morgan are real friends, I like to surround myself with therapists. So we talked about this over lunch. And I think that a lot of people get confused with relationships, because people always say, marriage is work, you know, and it’s not going to be easy. Like we hear these things, and they’re true statements.

But it’s the type of work. So we sat over lunch, you can have your corporate job, and you can have your entrepreneurial job, you know, and both of them our work, but boy, do they feel different? And is that what you mean, when you’re saying with marriage that like, it’s work, but what does it feel like energetically?

Dr. Morgan:
Yes. What does it feel like? Yeah. And I do think if you feel like, wow, I keep trying to express myself, I keep trying to change things and nothing’s working, like you’re trying to show up, and then nothing’s changing. Right? You’re probably repeating old patterns. And yeah, it should, it should feel like work but work, that’s easy, I say.

Nicole:
I say worthy work.

Dr. Morgan:
Worthy work! Yeah!

Nicole:

Like when I tell you like, coming out of divorce, and having, you know, starting a new relationship, my relationship before it felt like a lot of work, but it didn’t feel forward moving. That’s the language, even though it was hitting marks, you know, like I was progressing in my career, and like, my kids were thriving, and all of that, you know, those are things I think the world kind of measures it with. But I didn’t feel like I was growing in my relationship at all. We weren’t becoming closer, we were not bonding more, we were not, you know, more intimate or making decisions for our future together.

I did not get visions of being in a rocking chair, you know, next to this person forever traveling the world, like it wasn’t growing. Whereas now I have, my relationship is a lot of work. But man, is it for it’s like the meaningful, worthy work that says, we’ll be where we want to be later.

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah. Where you’re getting that return on investment.

Nicole:
Right, I love a ROI.

Dr. Morgan:

I know <laughs> Where you’re showing up and you’re going, Yes, this is so worth it. We’re growing together, we’re building something together. We’re a team, this is a partnership. I always tell people, you want to feel like you are co-creating secure attachment.

Nicole:
Ooh, talk about secure attachment. We talked about this in the last episode, but it’s always relevant. Can you tell me a little bit more about that?

Dr. Morgan:

So both people have to want to create a relationship that’s stable, that’s consistent, that feels like a coming home, a safe place. And when you’re doing that, together, you know that you have to be attuned to your partner, and you have to ask them, What do you need to make this feel secure for you?

Nicole:
That’s so good.

Dr. Morgan:

You have to be curious, be attuned to your partner. And that’s always evolving. So insecure attachment, it’s this genuine curiosity of I care, you know, I want to know, what do you need for this to feel good to you.

Nicole:
So let’s talk about the converse of that. Right. So I can’t tell you how many you know, I can mostly speak to women, obviously, in that side of the relationship. But, you know, a lot of women will say, like, I can’t remember the last time my husband asked me what I needed. You know, there are a lot of women who can’t who won’t say that, like, I can truly say I’m in a relationship right now, where I literally am asked daily, by my partner, is there anything you need? Is there anything I can do differently? And I also offer that to him.

Dr. Morgan:
Yes.

Nicole:
That is because we are intentional about that, because of what we’ve had before. However, I had been in relationships before where that was never a question. And even if I offered what I needed, that wasn’t necessarily returned. A lot of women just think that’s how, quote unquote men are. You know, can you tell us a little bit about that thought process? One, is that true, you know, and two, is that just repeating what we’ve learned, is that repetition?

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah. Wow. I think men are so hungry for emotional connection, for support. And I think even though maybe we’ve labeled them that way, or society has said like, oh, you know, you can’t express your emotions or it’s been invalidating towards men, men and women, we all want the same thing. We want that emotional safety, that connection, right? It just hasn’t felt safe for them.

Nicole:
For sure.

Dr. Morgan:

So it’s all about just as you said of you expect him to say hey, how can I support you? How can I be there for you? We also have to reciprocate that. We have to tune in as well. It has to go both ways. And I do know this because I know we want to talk about parenting as well, yes.

That if I was a child, as a little boy will will say you had a parent that when you cried, they said Don’t cry, right? Like, think about the message that that that sends…

Nicole:
Like your feelings are valid.

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah. So then what happens? You shut down, right? You shut down. And I do feel, I wonder if you feel this way. But in our society, there’s a lot of men that are really like waking up to their emotions.

Nicole:
Oh for sure. I mean, I’m with a guy who’s like, I, he’s told me the other day, and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me sharing this, that he realized that his family didn’t say I love you enough, and that his friends didn’t say I love you enough. And he was like, and I love these people, and I don’t care. So he started saying, I love you to all of his friends. So he’ll get off the phone and say ok I love you, man. You know, and all of them say I love you back. And you can tell there’s a change in the energy when you see it, you know, and it’s a really beautiful thing. And it’s really meaningful, because, you know, we’re not hurt by more, I love you’s, you know?

Dr. Morgan:

No, I mean, and, and there has to be people who are willing to be brave and break the mold and do the healing, yes, be comfortable to sit in the emotions. And it just comes down to if we didn’t have that as kids, we didn’t have that safe space. And we never learned how to feel our emotions for ourselves, who’s going to ever learn how to be the safe parent for ourselves, right? So if I can’t be that way for me, how can I be that way for you? In a partnership, I’m not connected to my emotions so how can I even connect to yours? Right? So that’s why so much of great partnership is about the individual as well.

Nicole:

That’s so good. So I mean, so if there are women out there who are saying, well, my guy just doesn’t talk about his feelings, you know, or, you know, he never asked me what I need, or he never, you know, or even if he did, he’s like, I don’t know, and just kind of brushes it off. We shouldn’t just settle with accepting that to be the case, because likely that is showing either something they’ve learned or something, it’s not that men are just hardwired to not be like that.

Dr. Morgan:

Right? I think that’s our society.

Nicole:
Society. That’s so good. That’s so good. Well, then, let’s go back to where it comes from, right? Parenting. So, you know, one of the things that I have, you know, kind of talked about maybe tiptoed around a bit. But, you know, part of the transition, you know, from my previous relationship to my current one, you know, a big factor that I’m learning and realizing now is how important it is that my three girls witness me being loved well.

And when I tell you, I thought for the longest time that what mattered was me telling my girls, this is what a good man is. And this is what you want to look for in a partner. And this is what’s a relationship. But I didn’t realize, like you said, these little mini messages that they can pick up, you know, from watching you. And I’ve shared before, there was a situation that occurred in my current relationship with my little one, where we were getting onto the freeway, and she said to me, just unprompted, mom, I can tell you really like Alex, because you and Alex are very smoochy, smoochy and you and dad worked very smoochy smoochy, you know, and that her saying like affection. And you know all of that. She’s only 11.

And I was like yeah, it was like you know the language what I’ve shared with her in terms of divorce as well, you know, me and her dad spoke a different language. And, you know, we were really good friends. But you’re right, you know, me and Alex seem to understand each other a little bit better. And so yes, we’re very smoochy, smoochy. And that’s how he is. And you know, and it’s great that I’m able to find someone who’s like that, and what do you think about it?

And we had a little conversation about it, but I just didn’t even know that she was taking that in because she’s saying it out loud now at 11. But at what age do kids really start knowing that your parents maybe aren’t affectionate? Or when can they start picking that up?

Dr. Morgan:

Honestly, from birth.

Nicole:
Oh, every single every single mama right now who’s like when was last time I hugged my man? What was that? Send me hug me. What was it when we kissed in front of them? Like, every single one of us just cringed.

Dr. Morgan:
So it’s so felt.

Nicole:

Gosh, it’s true. It’s an energy in the household. That’s true felt so everything from now is it just physical touches? Is that what they’re picking up? Like, you know, Alex talks about walking by his dad kind of like patting his mom on the bum or, you know, always holding the door for her and things like that. And he does all those things for me. He talks about watching them fall asleep on the couch together. And you know, all of these things he witnessed growing up and frankly, like, I don’t know if I ever said this and I love his parents like they are just the dearest of people and his dad still does this stuff like they are in their mid 70s. And they are still like this. It’s like a little weird, a little gross and very sweet.

Dr. Morgan:
I love it!

Nicole: 

It’s like I mean, like, you know, you’re watching these to like flirt, almost, you know, and I’m like, Oh my gosh, I’m with a guy who has seen this. So you’re telling me that kids can pick up that energy.

Dr. Morgan:

Oh yeah. when they’re really young, they they pick up on everything. Sure, sure, whatever you take a deep breath, but it’s everything. Like how you handle conflict too.

Nicole:
As a couple. Yeah.

Dr. Morgan:

How you handle it. I remember I was four years old and I still which is crazy, right. But I remember my parents getting in a blowout argument. They remember my mom leaving the house and driving off into the night. Ooh, what do you think that did for my fear of abandonment? She didn’t come back for days. So even as a child what did I learn about conflict? Don’t do conflict?

Nicole:
Don’t do conflict…

Dr. Morgan:
Don’t do conflict or someone will leave.

Nicole:

Yeah. Which is also crazy. Because, you know, as adults, so many of us, like, depending on what we grew up with, might think that that was a great response. Right? Like, instead of because, you know, from an adult healthy perspective, we’re like, oh, she needed space. She asserted a boundary, she, you know, or whatever, you know, and it’s crazy, because kids don’t have the ability to process on that level. Right?

Dr. Morgan:
Yes.

Nicole:

Like, they don’t know, some of the nuances there. They just see presence and no presence, right?

Dr. Morgan:

Yes. Oh, my gosh, and this was one of the things I loved about reading your book, Nicole, where you talk about with your girls, you would always tell them, I’m here. And I’m never leaving.

Nicole:
I’m never leaving.

Dr. Morgan:

And I just think how crucial that is for kids, because they don’t know it. Right? Especially when you come from a chaotic upbringing. You don’t just internally know it, it needs to be expressed.

Nicole:
Over and over. And I still say it to them. I mean, it’s amazing how each of them, I can see, you know, I don’t talk about this question in the book, but I’ll talk about it with you, because you’ll understand, you know, I’ve got an 11 year old, a 21 year old and 24 year old now. And I’ve been their mom for 10 years. And I can see 10 years, 10 years of telling them in birthday cards, in person, every day, with the words I love you that I’m never leaving. And they each believe it on a different level. Which is, you know, their siblings, you know, but my 24 year old is still working on believing it. She knows it in her mind, but she doesn’t know it in her heart.

My 21 year old knows it in her heart and mind and is out in the world and fully functioning and, but still has moments where she has to touch base, you know, where she’s like, still there? Still there? So it’s like, more secure. Yeah. Where she’s like, I still have to reach out to make sure you’re there. And I know you’re gonna be there, but I just need to check still. Yeah. And my little one, I mean, I literally could leave her for four years. And she’ll be like, my mom was coming back because she does not leave, like what do you she can’t breathe without me. You’re crazy. Like, you know, like, that’s her energy. Yeah, is mom would never leave. And that is baffling that anyone would think that. But I’ve had her since three.

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah. This all makes sense from the attachments.

Nicole:
So tell me about that, that factors into our relationships down the line, right?

Dr. Morgan:

Yes, absolutely. Yeah. I mean, you think about to have secure attachment, we need a secure base. We need that parent that’s attuned that’s going to be there. If we’ve had a bad day…

Nicole:
Does it need to be both or can it be one?

Dr. Morgan:

Hey, to develop secure attachment you just need one person.

Nicole:
Heyy. That’s a beautiful thing to hear. Because, you know, especially going through divorce, you worry, you’re like, oh my gosh, you know.

Dr. Morgan:

For me, it was my Aunt Peggy. I lived with her from age 12.

Nicole:
OH! It doesn’t even have to be a parent parent.

Dr. Morgan:
No, it’s just if you have that person. I mean, I lived with her, you know, she basically adopted me, but it’s like, if you have that one person that is demonstrating secure attachment. And then the earlier the better.

Nicole:
Yeah.

Dr. Morgan:
Right. And then you can internalize it.

Nicole:

So at least have a baseline. You know what it looks like?

Dr. Morgan:
Yeah, some people maybe had a teacher that was like this for them. Right? Like, it can come from different sources. But yeah, it’s great if it’s a parental figure.

Nicole:
That’s incredible. I will say that transparently. I don’t. I’m not kidding. I don’t think I have ever spoken about this to anyone besides like, Alex. So I went to boarding school. And in boarding school, we lived in dorm style homes of about 12 students with what they called House parents. And so there was a married couple, and they tried to run them sort of family style, you know, so family meals, things of that sort. And having grown up with parents and you know, people read about this in the book, you know, I go into detail about it, chaotic relationship, you know, like it was, you know, I did not have a good parental marital example. And it was interesting because I had the benefit of living, during ages I’d say 12 until 17-18, with other parents, you know, and, and they are I won’t say their name just for their own privacy because I did not plan on talking about this, but my other dorm parents, they are like other parents to me, and what was interesting, I’d love to hear your take on this.

I picked the wrong relationships for the longest time. And part of it was I was sort of I don’t know how to explain about blindly just going to relationships. I never thought what do I want in a partner? What do I need? And what do I already know? It wasn’t until I went through the divorce process. And I said, you know, if I get back out to the world, what relationships are in my bank that I can call from to say, I want one like this. And they were my dorm parents, they’re still married to this day. They are some of the most incredible humans I’ve ever met in my life. And the way they treat each other with so much love and respect and I know that their marriage wasn’t easy, like, I know that they had hardship. And they faced everything from sickness to health to difficult children, and they just it is the definition of a partnership to me. And I never thought about it. I’m not kidding, knew these people. I was married for 12 years and never thought about their union as one that I wanted until a little bit before I met Alex. And they were in my bank of people.

So is that like, can you pull from anything? Does a TV show count, like, I don’t know, you know what I mean?

Dr. Morgan:

I love that we’re talking about this, because I work with clients around this all the time. And they’ll come to me and they’ll say, I don’t have any secure attachment models.

Nicole:
Yes. Everyone’s a mess girl. Yeah, you know?

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah. And I’ll say all but there are some just think about it, you know, for you as your dorm parent. Yeah. I always say yes, it can come from the, you know, whoever, the Obamas! There’s…

Nicole:

So is that, like, is it healthy to use fictional characters? Or is it pretend?

Dr. Morgan:

When I have people I have them create a vision of this is what securely attached relationship looks like? These are the standards, right? We got to get clear on what are the standards, I have them pull from different sources. But you never want to, like just try to get all your sources from one place. You want to develop it, but you can be creative. You can get it from different places. Absolutely.

Nicole:
Yeah. So that’s interesting to me. So you’re telling me that, because I worry about if you pick something fictional, especially in the age of reality, yeah, you don’t want to hold up…

Dr. Morgan:
Yeah you don’t really know right?

Nicole:
That you don’t really know what’s going on. And things are edited. Plus, also, the Kardashians are relationship out there. Are they necessarily the example of the one that you want? You know, or can you just pull pieces?

Dr. Morgan:
Just pull the pieces that you know, create secure attachment, just pull the pieces that feel good to you. And you have to think about okay, if my brain has never done secure attachment before, I have to build a map for it, I have to build a model for it. Right.

Nicole:
It’s like building a business. 

Dr. Morgan:
You have to intentionally build it. Yeah. So before you met Alex, you’re going back to your dorm parents, that was part of your brain saying, Okay, we got to rewire some things here. This has to look different this time. So let me build a different model.

Nicole:

So what you’re saying is I can extract from what I’ve seen, pull those pieces, and then create a model that works for me. But yeah, again, parental models are what works.

Dr. Morgan:

Yes.

Nicole:

And we have, we can’t skip this work. Basically, if there’s any point in time, where we want to have a relationship that is really thriving, whether it’s the one that we’re in or entering a new one, we’ve got to do the independent work to prepare by going back. And then in order to move forward.

Dr. Morgan:

Yes, pull out the filing cabinet, the relationships filing out and dump it out, you got to see what’s in there.

Nicole:
Ughhhhh. I don’t wanna.

Dr. Morgan:
<laughs> you’ve got to!

Nicole:
Oh, my gosh, I have to tell you, I am so grateful you’re in my life. I’m so grateful that my friends get to know you here because you are easily, I don’t even want to say the next big thing, because we’re already out here. And your podcast is like top rated and it’s so good. And it’s filled with goodies. But like, I just think that the way that you apply relationship theory and clinical science, and just make it so approachable and practical is just so real. And you know how I am about like, I mean, you got in my car and I was like, Girl, would you like a car? Twizzler like, I haven’t claimed that like everything. Like I just need the realness. I don’t need the perfection, you know?

Dr. Morgan:
Amen.

Nicole:
And I appreciate the grace that you offer to because you’re like, yeah, it’s gonna take you a while to work through it because you’re kind of a mess girl, but guess what, you could do it.

Dr. Morgan:

Oh my gosh, I’m just so honored to get to know you, Nicole. And I mean, I love love, love you and your story, and I just know how important it is.

Nicole:
Uh, thank you.

Dr. Morgan:

You know, I think back to my early 20s when I just thought that okay, nothing in my life is gonna work out. I’m a complete mess. I’m not enough, things are so badly wrong with me. Like, you know, I needed Nicole at that time.

Nicole:
Aw. And you’re here now to help people Morgan, you are doing this great work and you are such a gift. And I’m just grateful that we’re both on the side of team Love and team Healthy Love and team sure love, like, and people can work with you too. So I’ve got a bunch of friends here who are like, I’m never dating again, Nicole, your relationship gives me hope but for you, not for me.

But you actually have things to and I gotta give you a shout out here like because your stuff actually works. You work with people to help them find love and prepare themselves. Tell us more about that just real quick.

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah, I developed an eight week framework that takes people from whatever attachment style they currently have into secure attachment.

Nicole:

Amazing. So if you’re the girl who’s frantically like why would he text me back? It must be because he hated me. I’m overthinking all of it. And then you’re wrecking everything. You can make it so that I don’t freak out when I don’t get texted back.

Dr. Morgan:

Yes.

Nicole:
Oh. Buy it for all your daughter’s get them ready. Get them in the world, honestly, like it’s a gift for the kids. I mean, you get your 24 year old in that before they have to do it.

Dr. Morgan:
Yes, yes Nicole, you know, I know we talked about this. A lot of people I work with, they wouldn’t do it for themselves. But they have little kids and they come to me and they say Dr. Morgan, I need to be able to be in a healthy relationship because my daughters need to see a good example.

Nicole:
And our sons! Because yeah, you get to create the types of guys that I get to date later. The good. Yeah, my baby girls, your internet aunties. They’re going to need husbands someday too. So please raise them up for us.

Dr. Morgan:

Yes, absolutely. Yeah. And I love love the work I do. It’s so meaningful. I mean I”m geting all these wedding invites, babies.

Nicole:
I support that, if nothing but for the cake. Okay, I support it. So all that being said, Where can people find out about you? Where can people sign up for your course? And of course, listen to your podcast.

Dr. Morgan:

Yeah, the best place is on Instagram at Dr. Morgan coaching. And then I have links in my bio about the Empowered Secure Love Program, the week program. And then yeah, everything’s on the podcast as well. The let’s get vulnerable podcast.

Nicole:

So good. It’ll be in the show notes. All the details. Are there y’all. I don’t bring people on here too often. I definitely don’t like promote or share, especially if it’s clinical. Dr. Morgan is the real deal. It’s actually good. And guess what? You deserve that good. Love to so thank you, Dr. Morgan for being here with us, you are a gem.

Dr. Morgan:

Thank you for having me. And I want to just shout you out again. Can I please order her book. this is seriously life changing. And it was honestly healing for me in so many ways to read this book.

Nicole:
Do y’all see how she is? Do you see how she is? Please, please follow and I’m having you back like this has got to be a regular thing. Like, I just there’s so much healing. So promise me you’ll come back.

Dr. Morgan:

I will. Absolutely.

Nicole:
Ok I’ll see you then.

Dr. Morgan:

Thanks Nicole.

 
In this episode, Dr. Morgan and I chat about:
  • How we choose our relationships and what link it has to our past
  • What we can do to make healthier choices,
  • If we can change how we chose the people in our lives, and
  • What I was forced to learn about how I chose my partners

Resources and links mentioned in this episode:
  • You can now get my signature program, 1K1Day, FOR FREE when you pre-order my memoir, Nothing is Missing! Order HERE and submit your proof to get access to 1K1Day!
  • Find Dr. Morgan HERE and listen to her podcast, Let’s Get Vulnerable, HERE
  • Send me a DM on Instagram and Facebook!
  • Book a 20 min call to see if working together is the right next step for you!
  • Don’t miss our first chat with Dr. Morgan Anderson – Couples Therapy LIVE!
  • I love reading your reviews of the show! You can share your thoughts on Apple here!

More about The Nicole Walters Podcast:

If you’re looking for the strategies and encouragement to pursue a life of purpose, this is the podcast for you! Week after week Nicole Walters will have you laughing hysterically while frantically taking notes as she shares her own personal stories and answers your DMs about life, business, and everything in between.

As a self-made multimillionaire and founder of the digital education firm, Inherit Learning Company, Nicole Walters is the “tell-it-like-it-is” best friend that you can’t wait to hang out with next.

When Nicole shows up, she shows OUT, so tune in each week for a laugh, a best friend chat, plus the strategies and encouragement you need to confidently live a life of purpose.

Follow Nicole on IG @NicoleWalters and visit inheritlearningcompany.com today and click the button to join our betterment community. Your membership gives you access to a world of people and tools focused on helping you build the life you want.