Empowering Yourself When Your Partner Looks at Porn | Ep. 22

As you’re doing the work to heal your relationship with food and your body you will inevitably encounter circumstances that feel overwhelming. Ones that crush your heart and feel like they’ve set you back big time on your path to healing. For many women having a partner who looks at porn can be one of these things. Join Chanci and Relationship Trauma Coach, Lindsay Poelman, as they talk about 

  • Lindsay’s own experience with her husband looking at porn
  • How to take care of yourself when you’re going through the pain
  • Feel it to heal it
  • Why it’s not your fault
  • The harm of Christian conditioning around women’s roles in relationships.
  • How to heal and move forward in the most empowering way for you! 

About the Host:

Chanci Dawn is a non-diet certified nutritionist, mindset and embodiment coach whose soul’s purpose is to help women create the most wildly free and loving relationship with food and their bodies. After over 30 years of dieting and recovering from her own eating disorder Chanci is determined to help women find the same freedom she has through embodied eating and pleasurable living. Chanci believes that when you fall madly in love with yourself you’ll have the power to change your world and from there you can change the world around you making embodied eating a deep and powerful form of activism! 

Find Chanci on the following platforms:

Website: http://www.chancidawn.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/theembodiednutritionist

Facebook: https://facebook.com/chancidawn

About the Guest:

Seven years ago I thought I had it all. Then one day out of the blue, my husband told me he had been lying to me for years about his porn use. I felt betrayed. I was gutted. I felt like I had no one to talk to and didn’t know what to do. I started questioning everything. It felt as though my life had 180’d. To top it all off, within a week of telling me, he started having panic attacks. He then stopped working due to anxiety, depression, and side-effects of his medication.I had a 4 year old, 2 year old, 3 month old and became a caretaker for my husband. I didn’t see any positive end game. I spent a lot of time struggling to survive. I became an avid information gatherer. I read, listened to a LOT of podcasts, and talked to trusted friends. I needed more. I went to traditional therapy. I went to specialized therapy. I went to energy workers, muscle testers, practiced yoga (all great things that still serve me today). I needed more. It wasn’t until I got a life coach that my healing came full circle. I was then able to start believing that I could be confident, connected, and optimistic about my life again. And now I’m here, to help you, do the same! 

www.instagram.com/lindsaypoelmancoaching

https://www.lindsaypoelmancoaching.com/self-advocacy

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Transcript
Chanci Dawn:

This show is about freedom. Freedom from your constant struggle with food and letting the size of your thighs determine your worth. Join me weekly for no whole fat, unfiltered girlfriend kind of conversations that will inspire, teach and empower you. As we tune into our own body's wisdom and tune out of the diet industry lives, we can live our most radiant, pleasurable and fulfilled lives. My name is Chanci dawn. I'm a non diet nutritionist embodiment and mindset coach. But most importantly, I'm a woman on a mission to grow a deeply connected and conscious relationship with food and my body. And I'm here inviting you to do the same. Let's go.

Chanci Dawn:

Hello, my friend, welcome to today's show. Super pumped, you're here because I have a really, really special guest for you today. Her name is Lindsay Poelman. And Lindsey is a coach who works with women to really help them self advocate when their partners are looking at pornography. So pornography is very, very rampant in our society. But it's not talked about enough, especially, I think, in this aspect of self advocacy and how what to do when your partner is looking at pornography, and it's something you'll you personally are not comfortable with. Some people are and that's fine this episode. Actually, this episode still can be with you for you, because you're going to learn how to self advocate for yourself. In other ways, perhaps it's not to do with pornography, but definitely things are going to come up. So when you are healing your relationship with food and your body, you are going to encounter outside influences outside circumstances that are going to trigger you that will maybe feel like they're making you you know, fall off the your whole embodied eating wagon, even though there's not a wagon to fall off, as we already know. But just that will set you back and really just kind of like oh a dagger in the side, right. And for sure, pornography for me. I've had partners in the past who have looked at pornography. And it was really, really difficult, difficult for my my own self image difficult for my relationship with food, my body relationship with him, it is just so layered. And I believe that it needs to be brought out into the light so that we can talk about it and get the support that we need. So you may have a partner who dabbles you may have a partner who you know, readily looks at it, you may have a partner who you don't know if he or she looks at it, or you may have a partner that looks at it, and you're totally fine with it. And this episode can still be for you if pornography isn't something that triggers you, because you are going to learn how to advocate for yourself regardless of what the circumstances. So put on those earbuds if little ones are around. And let's dive in. You are just going to love, love, love Lindsey, I can't wait for you to listen to this episode. And please, please share this show with your friends. We are talking about things that really matter here. And I want you and your friend and your sister and your mom and your aunt and everyone to have freedom. So please share it. Let's get the word out there. Let's get the support we all need. I love you. Let's go

Chanci Dawn:

Okay, welcome, Lindsay.

Lindsay Poelman:

Now, I'm so glad we get to finally hang out with each other again, it's been way too long.

Chanci Dawn:

I know it's been years and just before I push record, we had a little ketchup but we're like, it's a good thing that this podcast is like two girlfriends having coffee because we still would be catching up during this and you get to all listen to our catch up. So anyways, Lindsay, I'm so happy you're here. And we just so the audience listener knows we've met a couple of years ago in a coaching mastermind that we did together and you were the one person that I wanted to like pull out of the screen and like plant in my kitchen and just sit there and have coffee forever because I just love you. So having you on here is really special to me and especially you know the topics we're going to be talking about they're just really tender. And and I think I just know that the our listeners are gonna get good In so much from your wisdom and what you're bringing to this conversation, so why don't you just start out by introducing yourself? Who are you? And where do you live? Because that's pretty romantic and sexy in my mind.

Lindsay Poelman:health stuff that happened in:Lindsay Poelman:

So that they can have the tools they need to the coaching tools that they need to support themselves, and also know when it makes sense to get outside help from, you know, trauma therapists and things like that. And I just think there's so much coaches and therapists can do and by collaborating and being a team around humans and clients to support them. And so I've just kind of doing that I have I serve women whose husbands look at porn. So I have an online program for mainly online, there's still group coaching for women whose husbands look at form with a lot of modules and things like that. And then I also train coaches. Because the thing is, is trauma kind of comes up in any niche. And so my

Chanci Dawn:

gosh, exactly, because trauma is a human thing. Yeah,

Lindsay Poelman:

it's like part of the human experience. And so the more I just think the more coaches that we can educate, the more they can serve their clients and with any to and also not see it as a failure when they also see that the client can use some content of support from therapists as well. So

Chanci Dawn:

absolutely. And I remember when we first started connecting, I think both of us were actually maybe you had already done a bit of the training around around all of this and trauma, but I was just entering into it. The feminine embodiment coaching, and remember, we were talking a little bit about that. And I'm like, There's something more there's something missing, right? And, and I loved talking to you more about this, and then doing my own training, and then coming through, I'm like, Oh, yes, like, this is such an integral part of someone's healing. And so I love that you're doing this, and I love that you're coaching coaches, and that you're also still in, you know, the helping of women whose husbands look at porn. So can we talk about that? Can you tell us about your arm? Let's talk about porn. That's actually, when I'm like, I want Lindsay on here. Because when we are working, and healing our relationship with food in our bodies, and we are doing all of this internal stuff. And then there's still all these circumstances around us that happen that we need to talk about. It's so much more than I'm just going to manage my mind around this right or there's just so much more to it. So that's what I really wanted to have this conversation that really hones in and focuses on this one subject when your partner is looking at pornography. Right? So would you feel comfortable? I know you do because you share it all the time on social media, but can you share your own story with this because you You talked a little bit about your husband, but let's like, just so that the audience can really know you and where you're coming from in your own experience. And then I'd love to go Are we into more about how they can approach this in their own lives? Yeah, of course. So thing that's going on?

Lindsay Poelman:

Yeah, of course. So my husband and I both grew up in a pretty, like high demand religion, you could say, very conservative Christian, or high demand religion. And the religion that we grew up in Warren was like, I mean, it was almost taught that it was like the gate. Like, it was like the end of everything good in your life and emerge the way it was taught to us, as you know, teens and things like that. Like, when I was a kid, if I heard of a couple getting divorced, you would hear like the ultimate Oh, yeah, he's looking at porn, right? Like, that was the thing that people could slap on to a divorce, and say that that's why bla bla bla bla bla. And so for me as a girl, it's like, okay, just find someone who doesn't look at porn, right? And then for all these poor guys that are like, who are looking at porn, it's like, they're talking about the elephant in the room so much that they like, don't know how to not like an elephant in the room. And then they're so shamed, that they're too scared that they don't want to hurt their spouses and whatnot, but then they end up looking at porn, more porn, because for whatever reason, anyway, um, and so it's, it's just kind of this tough thing where it's taught in a way that it's shame inducing for men. And then it's shame inducing for women, because of how we internalize what it means, you know, through media and different cultures and things like that, what it means for us if our husbands look at porn. So anyway, we both grew up in this very, you know, conservative Christian culture. And Michael was like, yeah, just find someone. I mean, it was a lot more than find someone who doesn't look at porn, right. But like, it was definitely like something you watch out for. And, you know, my husband and I, we met volunteering in Thailand together. So I felt like we saw each other's true colors really fast. And I'm just like, trusting Him. They just think so safe with him. He's so good. Like, if anyone met him or knew him, they'd be like, yeah, like, he's, he's pretty golden. And anyway, and so as we were dating and getting more serious about marriage, you know, he did tell me, like, hey, just see now like, I used to have problem with porn, I don't anymore. Talk to my bishop about it, and blah, blah. So for me as a 22 year old, I was like, okay, like, I trust that I trust you, and whatnot. And then

Chanci Dawn:

and there must have been an element of safety in there as well. Like, oh, he told me, right, he brought this told me there was transparency. Yes. Yeah, for sure. Yeah.

Lindsay Poelman:

Yeah. And then a year into our marriage, like some pop up, pop up ad popped up on his computer, and he clicked it and, and he told me about it. And I just like, you know, I was like, 23 year old Lindsey, like thinking it's like, the thing that could ruin everything. Right? And so I was just scared and I remember being so ashamed to just like, I remember like, wanting to hide a little bit like physically, like, want like changing in the closet. Like, you know, we've been married for under a year, but I was like, suddenly want to like change in the closet because of like, my own body image issues around what it means if your husband looks at porn, and here I am, like in triathlon, like triathlete shape. Like, no kids, yeah. triathletes shape, really good shape and still wanting to hide in the closet.

Chanci Dawn:

This is so familiar.

Lindsay Poelman:ed and continued. And then in:Lindsay Poelman:

And I can, but tell me what question what questions come up for you.

Chanci Dawn:

Yeah, no, I'm just wanting to hear more. I just want the listeners to get to understand you more, and why you came into working with women. Right? So your I would love to hear now. You're part of your healing journey in this okay. to that. Yeah, where you're at right now where you're devastated to where you're like, ready to give back. And now to help other women. So Okay. Let's hear that.

Lindsay Poelman:

Yeah. So cut me off if you have any clarifying questions, too. So from there, I remember just being thinking like, what the hell just happened? Like we chancy we had, we just had our third baby, we just bought our house in the nice neighborhood. My husband's about to buy into his practice. Like all of our check box, things were coming into place. Yeah, then this happened. And then he wasn't working. And then I remember within like two or three weeks, I was like, He's not going back to work anytime soon. I could just tell her like, he couldn't even fall asleep by himself. And soyou know, in the beginning, I think our natural instinct as women, it's like, okay, like, let's make sure everyone around us is okay. Right. So it was like, keep the husband alive, because he was pretty nonfunctioning, keep the husband alive, keep the kids alive. And I had a really dear friend who kept pushing not like she really lovingly was pushing, like, and what about you? Like? Are you good? Like, what about you, like, I'll watch your kids, you can get some, go get some therapy or something. And, and it took me like five months to finally like, six, maybe six months to finally go to a therapist, because I just realized I didn't have anyone I could talk to about this. And so I just, I hit a pretty low low, and then I went and saw therapists and that's where I was able to get a lot of stuff done because he was still non functioning and not working. And we had an I've started working as an accountant again, because he wasn't, there's just so much going on. But I found a great trauma therapists. And I found one that understood she, she was a therapist for guys who were sex addicts. And the reason I went to her is probably because I was like, I want to make sure I have a therapist who understands my husband. Thankfully, she really, really understood the betrayal, trauma side of things. And so she was very, very, very integral, integral, integral, integral. Integral, my healing, just letting me process process process process, like I process so much grief with her. And then I got to a point where I just remember, like asking another therapist, like is this health always going to be because I started going to groups, and the groups were just, it was like, there was a level of connection there. That was good. That was a good general shame. dissipater. But it felt a little bit like blind leading the blind. And so while I'm a huge advocate for finding group support, when you can find group support where you come away lighter, that's a really, really good thing. And so I just remember being like, there has to be more. And I remember asking, like one of the top therapists in a state I lived in like, is this always going to be a thing and she just looked at me with like pitying look like almost as if like, once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic, like it's always going to be a thing in your marriage, and I just can't see like I couldn't, I just like now. Like, there has to be more. And that's when I found coaching. And I think for me, the coaching has been hugely beneficial because I have been doing I'd been doing the somatic work since I started with therapy. And so coaching was great for me, I was able to really take off with it, because I always knew when I, I shouldn't say always, but it was easier for me than I think a lot of other coaches to know when it was time to get into my body, ya know, process and not use, like mindset mindset mindset, my way out of everything. And so once I started seeing that pattern with, you know, other coaches struggling to know when to do that, that's when I thought, and also people coming to me to get coaching who had come out of other coaching programs, and they're like gaslighting themselves, because they can't figure it out. When it's like, No, nothing's wrong with you, we just need to try these other things, too. And like, throw the model out for a little bit, and no one to do that. That's why I kind of decided to start serving coaches as well. And so, but the coaching, the mindset work has been really, really, really important to so finding the hype for me finding the hybrid for myself, so that I can help my women in their self advocacy program, but also help coaches know when to do that as well has been awesome.

Chanci Dawn:

I just love that. And, you know, I love to think about coaching as having, giving my not really giving but creating a sparkly, beautiful toolbox with my clients, right. And in this toolbox, there's so many tools that we can draw from, and that I think, mindset plays a beautiful role in all of this. But there is that deeper element of this relationship with her body and moving this frozen, I call trauma, frozen tension, same thing, right, but like moving the frozen tension, and really knowing how to guide someone in that and knowing how to do that for your own self, when you're feeling like, oh, you know that one of the most profound healing moments for me ever was I was having a panic attack. And I was going through all my training at this time, and I laid on my floor. And I was like trying to mindset myself out of it at first, right, I was trying to the lab or you know, look at things in the room and all of this, like bringing myself centered, but I just lay down. And I went in the fetal position because that's a safe position for me. And I held myself and I just started rocking softly. And then I was like just moving one little finger. Because you know, as you know, movement is so important and moving through this. And just little sounds right. And I it was the first time I had really started fully practicing what I was learning. And I felt it was such a profound experience for me, of I could literally feel the anxiety go. You know, it was like surrender, welcoming it, surrendering it moving in it breathing, like, or like sighing, whatever. And everyone's process is different. But this is what I needed. And I haven't actually experienced a panic attack or a panic attack since that, because my body was just like, okay, and now it moves through things faster. But that takes practice, right? So I love that you're doing that. And I love that, you know, you two are creating these beautiful sparkly toolboxes for your clients and for yourself. Because it is it's it's so wonderful when we can take all the modalities and just be like, yeah, what works right now what do we need? Let's experiment with this. You know, when you're dealing with something like when your partner looks at pornography, it is so like, if if it bought some women doesn't bother. And that's fine, right? Like it all it's like, not? What does it mean to you? For me? I grew up very much like you in a very, very religious home and exactly the same, right? You didn't go to dances because it leads or no, you don't have sex because it leads to dancing. Like that's how much dancing was looked down upon in the church I went to right, so we would laugh about that joke. But pornography was the worst thing ever that your partner could ever be, you know, it's like the ultimate betrayal. Right? And so that is so stuck. And it is there's so much trauma around that. And unless you go into the body and use that tool, it's really hard to get to the root of it. Right? So, so please share with me the process what how do you start? Like, I don't even know like when a woman comes to you. It's not like this is this is what I'm dealing with. Yeah, so much shame. And there's so much anger and confusion and all of this different like where do you go? Where do you even start with her?

Lindsay Poelman:

Yeah, such a great question. And I will say I love that you brought up how it hits everybody differently because it does. So for one person it's body image. For one, it's betrayal. Most of the time wants women to clean up They're thinking and they're feeling and processing general processing around like the idea of him looking at porn, they realize the betrayal is what that's usually what they realize is like the crux of a lot of it is when there's betrayal, or lies or lack of trust, but where do I sit? where I start? Generally, it's gonna be generally, of course, because it's so different for everyone. And I think that's why having, you know, one on one on one support in some way can be really, really impactful. But generally, there's grief in the beginning. So in the beginning, it's for me, it's how do I help my clients see, feel seen and heard? How do I help my client feel felt? And not in a weird way, talking about porn? But like, how do I help my client feel seen and heard and validated, and not crazy, right? So it's like, we want to establish safety, so that they can open up to you enough to feel validated. And, and then when that validation is there, and they're like, oh, my gosh, someone gets me, that's when the other stuff can come in. And usually, what I see is a lot of grief work in the beginning, moves through the grief. So we can see the anger, move through the anger. But generally, it's about it from what I see very generally, it's about creating safety, so that we can support them with emotional regulation, and making sure that they know that they can have emotions and feel them and move through them. So they know how to do that. And then they can have like emotion, like emotionally repetitive corrective experiences, can be really, really helpful, too. And so it's almost like making sure they feel safe enough to process emotions. So that we can bring in the mindset work so that they can use their mindset to support them when triggers come up, and things like that. So that they can shift the framework and shift the way they respond to the triggers as they come up. And so it sounds pretty basic, like just kind of likethose, you know, those kind of three things. And it but it looks different for each person, but generally, really making sure that safety is there, and that they feel validated. And that they understand that they aren't crazy for everything that they feel, and that everything they're feeling and experiencing is totally normal. Because it is even if it's different than the lady down the street and how she experienced it. It's just hugely validating. And it helps so much with the shame to you know, I can't tell you how many clients I've had who've said, like, I've never shared so much with someone and still felt safe or not felt judged. And, and for a lot of and I think that's why it's so important for coaches like you, and all the other coaches in the world to like, be, you know, to understand this, so that because for a lot of people, we might be the first people that ever provide that environment for them, you know, which is pretty valuable. So the fact I think it's just cool that you care enough to like, oh, yeah, there's this thing. Let's make sure we talk about it. And I think that can be such a shame dissipator too.

Chanci Dawn:

Oh, absolutely. Bringing things out of the shadows and into the, you know, just doing that. It's like, oh, okay, it takes that edge off. They're normal. I'm not the only one. Right. That's where I love. In this podcast, we have so many really important conversations that are girlfriend conversations sitting across from each other, having coffee, normalizing the struggles that we all go through. Because the more that we can do this, and the more we can feel seen and seen and that we're not alone, then, then that's where the healing is. Right. And that's where we need community. We need to talk about this stuff. So yeah, so I love it. Like when I first met you and we were talking about what we do as coaches or like, I help women who husbands look at porn. I like got goosebumps. I'm like that is amazing. Thank you for doing this in this world. It's so needed. So when we're looking Oh, go ahead.

Lindsay Poelman:

No, I was just gonna say I think you have a gift for that too is like helping normalize things and and I think that's a gift of yours is just being a safe enough person for people to bring this deep stuff to as well. And so I think it's really cool that you're doing a lot of the same stuff too. In your in your neck of the woods. I love it.

Chanci Dawn:

Thank you I received that in in it's really it's really something that I asked God for. Right I'm like I want to be I want to be someone that people I'm all like, I'm not even PMS and I'm all cried. Oh emotional and this is so And, but um, my goodness, just a sec who that's funny, you're getting all emotional about it. But you know, it's such an honor to be able to be someone who other people can feel safe with. Right? Like, and I yeah, I asked God for that, like please like that's the coach who I want to be, you know when I see that in you and here we are just pumping each other up because all coffee chats aren't, they should be so good. But thank you and yeah, so. So let's talk about when, what a woman can do when she doesn't have a coach yet. And she just found this out. Right? There's something in her life, either she didn't realize or it's just becoming like, a really deep wound. What Yeah, what can she do? Lindsey? Oh, that's such great question. A big thing is to, in the beginning, just let yourself be.

Lindsay Poelman:

And whatever that is the rage, the anger, the grief, the sadness, like, you're not crazy, it's probably just, we're just finally letting some emotion out. And so I think the big thing is to, in the beginning, when you find out is like, let yourself be let yourself feel. And if there if the, if you notice yourself having like, you know symptoms of like having a hard time getting out of bed. And like if you start noticing, no, because there's this there's a whole spectrum of how it hits people, you know, and so for some people, they need to, for some people, they don't care. And for some, it's a big thing. And they need to let themselves be in processed that and for some people, it can knock them flat. And so if you're on near that side of the spectrum, where you're kind of knocked flat, just keep it so simple, like, just nourish yourself in the easiest ways that you can think of, like, drink a little extra water every day, park one parking spot, you know, further from the store, like just do the littlest, easiest, most loving things that you can to just nourish your body. And, you know, you don't have to think about like, I think it's so easy to want to get into the how and the when and why. And that's really normal, it's common trauma response. Also, just trusting that like, the information will come on, we need like information that is in our highest interest will come when it's meant to come. But we can just get into our body and feel and stay connected. think can be really, really impactful. But that being said, for me, would have been really hard to do in the beginning. I went into like a total shock response. And I was in a fog for a while as well. And so I think getting professional help from someone who's trauma informed is really, really important. And until you if you like you, you said if someone hasn't found a coach yet, you know, I would say find a safe friends that you can talk to right? That where you feel better after and where you feel validated and where you feel better after talking to them instead of worried and afraid. So that makes a big difference. i There are certain people I just never went deep with on this who wanted me to go deep with and I and I didn't and then there were people that I went a little too deep with and I kind of regretted it but moved on anyway. And and then I have like my angel friends who like were just there for me. You know, in whatever ways I needed to listen and let me vent. And that was everything. And I can't like think about them without getting emotional because of the support that they were for me during that really, really hard time.

Chanci Dawn:

Oh, I'm so happy you had that. And that is bringing the shame out into the light the shadows, just to friends. So to recap, be gentle to yourself. Yeah, I love to two of the pillars of embodied eating with the program that I have our compassion, right for yourself and curiosity. So I think those two can really play here. When we look back at the pillars of where what we're working with in a relationship with food and body bringing in that compassion. It's like flooding yourself with honey coated compassion and all your emotions are valid and let them be right so that and I love the self care part. You talked about like even just parking a little bit further away from the door just so your body's moving and you're still taking care of her. Right. Yeah. And then the speaking to someone you feel safe with. And yeah, whether it's a coach or not. So those three things, beautiful place to start.

Lindsay Poelman:

Yeah. And, and again, like even if your husband thinks it's about you You are doesn't think it's about you. It's not about you. So it's, that was so hard for me to believe at the time. But it's true. But even if your husband doesn't believe it's true, because of what he was raised to believe about sex, and how much spouses, you know, all of that stuff that doesn't his porn use has nothing to do with you, even if he thinks it does. And so just being really like making sure that you take care of yourself and that too, and, and one other thing, too, that I just thought of, really quickly is just that women for women were so conditioned to, like, get into rescuer mode to like try to rescue our spouse or help him with his healing. And I totally did that I pushed his healing. I put it ahead of mine for like, a good solid at least six months, and I was I needed support. And I remember I went to a therapist. I think somewhere in that actually, in the beginning, I went to a therapist, because my husband was, you know, because of what was happening. And she turned it on me. I'm just saying things I just offered. She like, told me to try. And I never went back to her because I was like, No, that's not what this is about. This isn't about like, why should I have to do work here this, like, it's this isn't about me, I need to know how to support my husband. Like I didn't even know that there was any turning inward, that can happen. And so just letting it be about you letting yourself get professional help, even before he eat, whether he's getting help or not to like letting yourself take up equal space, in the partnership makes a really big difference. And of course, like just knowing even if you don't believe it right now, trust me, and knowing that you didn't cause it, no matter what he says, or doesn't say,

Chanci Dawn:

not so important. And it's so hard to actually, you know, embody that truth. But I think that's where speaking, open Lee about it helps. So, like so much in coming down to that truth of it's not about you, right? Yeah, yeah. So yeah, yeah, that's so important. Now, that brings me to the question of what if he thinks is totally fine. And he's like, there's no reason to this isn't about you. It's just something I enjoy. And I'm not going to stop. Yeah, do you? What do you say to your clients? And like, do you run into that often? Or do most of your clients come from a place where the their partners like, Yes, I'm, I'm confessing this and I'm, we're gonna get help on both ends? Or does that happen very often?

Lindsay Poelman:

Yeah, it does happen, for sure. Because I think a lot of a lot of us, you know, a lot of times, people come to me where both parties, both members of the partnership have been raised in the same super conservative Christian environment. And it's like, we only come into adulthood, sometimes we get more clear on what we want. And for some adult men or women, they're like, I want more in my life. And for some, let you know, sometimes the partner is like, and I don't want that in my marriage. And so, but what I usually what I usually help my women do and see, because a lot of times, it's when you clean up your thinking, and everything around the porn. What, when, when people when people come to me, and I know for me, when I was going through this, it was all about the porn stopping, like, ordinated to stop so the marriage could go on type thing, like, that's where my brain was. And what, what I usually see, and I think this was different for me and my husband, we always have a lot of pretty good foundation, like foundation of intimacy with all different types of intimacy like emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical, and all of that stuff. And so yes, like the betrayal, trauma, there was like a glitch there. And that was really, really tough. But what women are normally wanting, is the intimacy that comes with a healthy sexual relationship, or they want the other types of intimacy in marriage that are already lacking. So for whatever reason, and so as for usually as women as we kind of work, process, grieve, work through stuff, start developing the belief systems around like, you know, us taking up equal space in our marriage and loving our bodies in the way that we want to. What we see is like, an eye it's so beautiful when women start like when I see this flip, but like, even if the husband isn't stopping or is stopping what they see is they just want more intimacy in their marriage. And sometimes the husband wants that to and sometimes he doesn't. Generally there's still like a want match there and so they can both work towards that while he's working down his foreign or while he's not but either way, it just doing your own work and turning inward helps you get really clear on where your values are, and where your wants align with your partners with respect to intimacy, and you know, for some of them, and I know we're kind of talking about this, like, from a woman, husband looking at porn type thing, it can totally be flipped, you know, I've had guidelines to, and for some men, it's like, they want that intimacy to, and they're willing to do that work to get it. And for some men, they aren't. But what happens is, people usually see it's less about the porn and more about more of a depth and breadth of intimacy, and all the other intimacy arenas have their merge. Hmm, if that makes sense.

Chanci Dawn:

Oh, yeah, it does. And with that, I, the word safety keeps coming to my mind. And I think so much like in my own personal life, when I think about a partner looking at pornography, it disrupts the that intimacy of you are my safe person, like, this is you and me? And I think that that is, yeah, like, what would you say? Would that be? Because I, I work a lot with like, the masculine feminine energies to rate like the archetypes of it, and polarity and how the feminine, really, it's like that safety and security out, can I rest in you, like, that's such a deep desire of that feminine energy that we all have, right, but when I'm like a feminine identified woman, and I'm really in that, that's where I always like, think when I work for my partner, I want a partner, I can just like, curl up on his lap, and just little tiny fetal position in his lap and feel, feel held and feel like the whole world could be falling around me. And if I'm can sit here in your lap, I am safe. I'm secure. You are my fortress. Right? And to be able to have that. And when I think about, like, with pornography coming in. To me, personally, it feels like that, that shatters that. Because it's not just you're not this solid fortress for me. Right? Would you say that's a trauma response? To trauma or from conditioning? Or? Because it feels very true. So yeah, coach me, Lindsey.

Lindsay Poelman:

You know, it's such a good question. And, again, I, I couldn't I think it can be trauma response response for people. I've also just seen so many women where they feel really safe with our husbands While their husbands look at porn. Because they realize that it's not necessarily the porn, it's the trust, safety and the other types of intimacy. And so even though they want a marriage without porn, they can still have that there. So I think just understanding that that's possible. But I think you know, something that something to consider for people to consider, too. And I think this is why it's so helpful to think that it goes so much more beyond just our thoughts, which is what some people kind of like to stick with. But the thing is about, about porn, and I learned this in one of my trainings, and I don't know if this is helpful, and I'm not saying this so that you women can go have ammo to like, say to your husband,

Chanci Dawn:

like, this isn't a tool for your sparkly toolbox to hold it.

Lindsay Poelman:

Yeah, but I think it can be helpful to understand, like, when we think of marital dynamics, it's usually the attitude behind the behavior, that, to me, that can that makes marriages and not necessarily the behavior, because a lot of men are coping with different things, because, you know, they have their own attachment issues or, you know, detachment things and whatnot. And so, but the thing with porn, is that you supposedly, research shows that if you watch porn for more than 30 minutes, you usually have observed some sort of abuse. Hmm. So I think what can happen, I'm not saying this does happen. I mean, I've like, is, I think sometimes, and I could be totally wrong, but men might, you know, unconsciously internalize some of this, like, you know, different, you know, dominance or hierarchical type things that they're internalizing by watching porn. And if they're bringing in that this, these unconscious, internalized attitudes of entitlement into their marriage. That might be something more of like, maybe why someone might say, like, it needs to be the porn needs to stop because of that, but I will say there are plenty of men who just aren't doing that.

Chanci Dawn:

Mm hmm. Yeah. And there's so many, you know, different I guess I assume so many different tastes like some people, some men would be more drawn to that kind where others would be drawn to different. So I guess that would depend on the person. And maybe there's already a little bit of, you know, the preconditioning, around that of what they're drawn to as well. Hopes and care. Right. So yeah, that's interesting. Yeah,

Lindsay Poelman:

yeah. So there's not like a one size fits all. And I think that's helped, I think that's actually can be really helpful for, for any women listening, or partners or spouses is his looking doesn't have a map of your marriage ending, like, there's not like a dot, it's connecting the dots, and to what type of porn he looks at, or this ending or beginning. Because it's your marriage. And so you're gonna carve out your Myrtle journey in a way that works for you. And I like to even just say, it's like your life, individually. And you get to carve that out. And the more, both of you or at least you are just like turning inward and learning how to really connect to yourself, you're, it's always going to be a win win, because you're going to get more and more clear on what your non negotiables are. And sometimes, for some women that they might be like, Okay, actually, I can be okay with this. You know, if as long as he's like working it down, or whatever, or maybe it's not very often or, or if I don't, if it's not affecting our intimacy, I actually can be okay with this. And for some women, they just get really clear on it, not it like it being a non negotiable to, and I don't think there's a right or a wrong, it just depends on what your values are. or whatnot. So like, I really

Chanci Dawn:

love that there isn't the right or wrong, right? It's not the binary or the black or white. It's just, it's making a decision on what's right for you. And like, in your reasons, for making that decision, and have your own back on the other side of it. That empowerment for sure.

Lindsay Poelman:

Yeah. Because people I mean, if you walk, people are gonna judge you for walking. And if you don't walk, people are gonna judge you for that. So it's like, people will be judging like the people who judge are going to be judging you no matter what. So what is it that you want? And what fits okay to unapologetic, unapologetically, unequivocally take a stand for the life that you want. And for some women, they see that it can work in a marriage. And for some, they see that it's not a match. And yeah, and I think just as long as they're connected themselves and their values, like what if we let that be their choice? They've decided that's what works for them.

Chanci Dawn:

Mm hmm. The Guiding Light? Yes. And in that making sure that you're getting the support you need. So that, you know, you're making this decision from a clean Yeah. Right. Yeah. From a trauma place. Not from Yeah. All the conditioning and all of that, right.

Lindsay Poelman:

Yes. And that's the beautiful thing, too, is like you can set. We don't have to set boundaries from fear scarcity. We don't have to walk out of marriages out of fear of scarcity. We can do all of that with love, too.

Chanci Dawn:

Mm. Hmm. Wow. Oh, that feels really good. Like when I think about that, it feels very light in my shoulders. Yeah. Oh, and it doesn't have to be this like, ah, more and more and more. Yeah, have that frozen tension in your body when you can get the proper support to make those decisions and move forward in a way that you in love? Yeah,

Lindsay Poelman:

yeah. And the more that as coaches that, you know, people, amazing people, like you help women connect to their body. Like, they can know that for themselves, no matter whether their spouse believes them, or doesn't believe them, right. And so just making sure that no matter what the world says, We can walk in our truth, like that's where the magic is.

Chanci Dawn:

Absolutely. Oh, I can I have so many questions. We're gonna have to have you back on because we can't do it for like five hours, right. But the one of the last things I would love for you to speak on is, and you brought it up, right. So when you first found out that your husband was looking at porn, and you were saying like, you were 23, and you were hiding, and you didn't want to be naked in front of him, and it affected, you know, your physical intimacy with Him. I'm sure at the time too, right. Did it

Lindsay Poelman:

at that place? Yeah, I didn't want to have sex for probably like three weeks or something. Yeah, yeah, sure. There. Yeah.

Chanci Dawn:

It's almost like because I've been there and for me, it was like, this feels shameful. Like, I don't feel comfortable and it's also a bit of a punishment for you. Right? Like if that's what you're wanting to do, then no, you don't have access here. And this was a long long time ago for me, right? It's definitely not current right now. But yeah, it I remember both of the feelings. I remember actually my husband he went to the strippers, and to me that was equivalent to pornography and it and yeah, I was like hiding from him, I was so mad, he would come into the room and I would like chlorine, come to coke come into the room and I closed the door and there was definitely no intimacy happening. Yeah, for like two or three weeks, right? And then the charge started releasing, and it wasn't so cute. And then I was like, Okay, right. But I really, really remember that. And so what would you say to a woman who wants to hide?

Lindsay Poelman:

Hmm. Yeah, I mean, it's, it's, sometimes it's a trauma response. And sometimes it's either way, trauma response or not, it's just figuring out a way to create safety. So sometimes, you know, we have different attachment styles. And sometimes for some people it is to like withdraw with that type of stuff, you know, to be more withdrawn and whatnot. But either way, you're probably creating safety for yourself in some way. And that's totally okay. And we are not meant to be your husband's, like sex objects. And so like, men, and I love that my husband coaches, men who want to stop looking at porn, because we, we talked about how men are so much more powerful than they know. And so a lot of these like ideas that we it's like, these ideas that we were taught to believe around sex, and how much need to have sex and, and, you know, all of that stuff. It's so disempowering for men too. And so like, I was just,

Chanci Dawn:

like, I just can I just say, Oh, my goodness, is it ever right? I remember as a young married girl in my 20s. And being taught that I was to have sex with my husband three to four times a week, at minimum, in order to keep him faithful. Yeah, that's so that that was it. And I remember reading a book in Bible college. It wasn't a part of curriculum, but it was all the girls, we were all reading it because we were all there to find. And I remember it, and it was, oh, I forget what something like how to properly 10 and care for your husband, something like

Lindsay Poelman:

that. badly written by a man or a woman. And that's just like marinated in?

Chanci Dawn:

Yes, it was written by exactly it was a woman, I remember feeling really uncomfortable with it. But I'm like, Well, this is true. This is a Christian book like this is yeah, you know, and it was so confusing, then when I got married. And I felt like I couldn't honor myself in different, you know, occasions. And yeah, that creates a lot of trauma for a woman.

Lindsay Poelman:

Yeah, and that's the thing, too, is like, for women, if you feel like you need to like, because a lot of times like the safety. You know, a lot of times when people have sex, we as women, we want the emotional intimacy there. And that's sometimes where the disconnect is between husband and men, husband and wife sometimes. And so even if, you know, whether you're looking at it as a punishment for him towards and it's like, we've been conditioned to be thinking about him, when really behind that, we're actually probably just trying to protect ourselves, because we don't feel emotionally safe. And so taking whatever time we need, is so important. And that's one thing I was so grateful for if my husband is like, just so respectful about time and space that I needed, either, you know, physically or emotionally, or whatever, in my own healing, because sometimes that the trail stuff can go really, really deep. And so giving yourself space, even when your husband doesn't get it, even if he sees it as a punishment, that you're just learning how to create safety for yourself. Like, he's a grown ass man, he can learn to figure out like how to be okay. Yeah, and so much more powerful than they know. And they've been disempowered by these dumb rules and ideas and systems to

Chanci Dawn:

absolutely and this brings me back to, it's not about you. Because when, because I was just thinking, you know, I remember my experience of being like, Okay, you're looking at porn. I'm not safe. I'm going to hide. I'm going to not have sex with you. But then there's this because I'm not feeling safe in it, right? And then there's this this brat brain thought going on, saying, Oh, but if you don't have sex with him, if you don't please Him, then he's going to continue looking at porn because he's not being fulfilled in the relationship or he's gonna go have an affair. And it's up to me to control all of this. Wow, isn't that like poo crazy making?

Lindsay Poelman:

Yeah, and that's why it's so some of these like, Christian teachings like, there's these. What the problem with a lot of these like Christian based teachings is they don't see the other side of the coin when they're teaching this stuff. And so, for me, I was taught that like being modest dressing modestly and appropriately helps men with their thoughts, right. But the problem is when you're sitting in that, quote unquote, truth, which isn't a truth, but that's what I thought, you're, we're also seating in this idea that we're responsible for their good and their bad behavior. It's like we're sitting in the idea that we're responsible for their good behavior. But that's also simultaneously on the other side of that coin, seating and responsibility for what we see as bad behavior. And so that's why when men are looking at porn, women are feeling responsible. Or, you know, because we've just been taught and so and that's just one example of one way that we've been taught to be responsible, but there's like a myriad of ways that we, as women are taught to just be completely over responsible for things we have absolutely no control over.

Chanci Dawn:

Oh, yeah. And then the burden of that, right is that

Lindsay Poelman:

it's so much it's too much.

Chanci Dawn:

It is, it's just way too much. So thank you for doing the work you are doing and you to and dear listener, if you are experiencing this, you know, type of situation in your life, like reach out to Lindsay, like, follow her. She's amazing. And you will feel safe there. Right? And there is help for you. So I mean, in this intensity, this conversation that we're having here, we could just, it was like, Well, I feel like we got deep but you know, it's still so surface because there's so much to this, right? So that's I really do encourage anyone who's listening to get the help like to reach out you're not alone. And Lindsey, how can they find you?

Lindsay Poelman:

Oh, yeah, they can find me at Lindsay Pullman. That's P O E. L. Lindsey Pullman coaching.com or on Instagram, Lindsey Pullman coaching. So and I just feel the same way about you, like so much love to the work that you're doing for women as well. You? Yeah, just

Chanci Dawn:

want to give you a big hug. I'm gonna come to France just

Lindsay Poelman:

do it. All right. Well, thank you. Chauncey, for having me. Well, I

Chanci Dawn:

want to ask you one more thing before we and yes, you're welcome. Thank you for coming on. And I would just any last words of wisdom, or love to our listeners, like anything that you'd love just to share to wrap it up?

Lindsay Poelman:

Um, yeah, I think the I think the last thing I would just offer that I maybe haven't said is your desire for healing and happiness is a human right. And it's your you have the if you have a desire for healing, and happiness and growth in your life, it's there because it's possible. God doesn't mess with desire. He bestows desire where it's possible.

Chanci Dawn:

Oh, goosebumps. That is, that's a quote, I'm going to beautiful. Thank you so much. You are amazing. It's been wonderful just visiting with you and seeing your face and connecting and listening to your wisdom and this like lives. Awesome. Well, thank you, my friend and we will much love to you.

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