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Is your relationship suffering from the Putt Putt Syndrome (Pt.3)

Is your relationship suffering from the Putt Putt Syndrome (Pt.3) - Patrick Wanis
Is your relationship suffering from the Putt Putt Syndrome (Pt.3)
Is your relationship suffering from the Putt Putt Syndrome (Pt.3)

This is Part 3 of the transcript of Joanie Winberg, host of the Single Again! Now What? Talk Radio Show, interviewing Celebrity Life Coach and Human Behavior & Relationship Expert, Patrick Wanis Ph.D. about The Putt Putt Syndrome and relationships and marriages. (Part 2 is here:

PATRICK WANIS: I think that’s great because the other thing that both men and women need is the surprise; it’s the mystery; it’s the tease; it’s flirting.  They need the passion.  And again, men express their love to a woman just one of two ways – really quite simple – it’s either providing for them or through sex.  That’s how a husband also wants to express his love.  I have female clients who will say to me “Well, all he wants to do is have sex.”  And I say, “With who?”  She goes, “With me.”

JOANIE WINBERG: Oh, that’s a good thing.

PATRICK WANIS: Yes. I said, “Really?  He wants to have sex with you?  Why does he want to do that?”   And then she’s like, “Huh?”   And I said, “Well, you mean he does want to have sex with you.  It’s not with someone else, right?”

“Well, yeah, but all he wants to do is have sex.”  I said, “Because that’s the way he shows his love.”

Now, he obviously needs to learn that that’s not the only way.  And it’s true that men forget that women need emotional support and they need to be praised, and they need to be reassured, and they need to be cherished and treasured and reminded, and reinforced that they’re the one, the only one.  And guys forget that.  But women also need to understand that that’s how men are expressing themselves.

So, understand that that’s how he is going to express himself to you and if you’re not feeling it because there’s something else lacking in a relationship then both of you need to work on that.  And you can simply ask your partner, “Out of a 10, how would you rate our marriage?”  And he might say, “What?”

“Well, out of a 10 – 10 being the best, how would you rate this marriage?”  And he’ll go “I don’t know, five or six, whatever number.”  What else; what do you think is lacking?”  Ask your partner – talk to each other.

You mentioned a moment ago how a date night can become boring.  You’re exactly right.  So what you need to do here is take the hat off.  When I say “the hat”, take of the hat and the costume that makes you a mother, take the hat and costume off that makes you a father and be again a woman, be again a man, be again a woman and a man that are trying to seduce each other.  You know, poetry, romance, seduction.

Use technology to your advantage.  You can send your husband or wife, your partner.  You know if you’re single and you’re starting a new relationship, send some flirty messages via text.  Send some flirty messages via Facebook.  Keep the passion going with those rather than saying, “Have you paid the bill?  I can’t believe you forgot the electricity bill.”

JOANIE WINBERG: That’s true.  You know, the other thing, too, Patrick, I’m thinking is to be impulsive.  I mean, think about it, when people are dating, that is probably the biggest thing that it probably attracted most people, is that they were impulsive.  And say, “Hey, you know what, are you free?  You got a minute?  I know we get – you know, we’ve always got bills to pay; we always got something going on; we’ve always got work but you know what, it’s going to be there when we get back.  We can – we can escape.”

I know a couple who – I mean they are just an unbelievable couple.  They used to go into the city because I’m in the Boston area and they would go still and rent a room for an afternoon.  And then would just…


JOANIE WINBERG: …you know, it didn’t have to be a big ordeal of a whole weekend or anything like that.  She says about once a month, they would just meet in the city and then rent a room. She said, “That was our time.  We escaped.  We shut everything off.  No text.  No phones or anything.”

And she said, “And that just really helped our marriage.  And in fact we did it in the afternoon when the kids are still in school.  So, it didn’t even affect anybody.  We weren’t even missing the taxi cab driver that we are for our kids.”  So, she said, “We didn’t miss anything, but it worked out perfect.”

And it’s amazing what it did for their marriage.  So it can be just that simple.

PATRICK WANIS: And what a great example because that was another example given to me by a couple that have been married for around 40 years and what he said to me was they would do exactly that.  They would go to a motel or a hotel for one night of the week.  Not every week, but when they could, and when they could afford it.  And it would just spice up their relationship.

I think the other thing too that we haven’t discussed but definitely was brought up in the movie is about your dreams.  You know, what are your dreams?  It’s easy for us to get lost, to lose our dreams and to live off the dreams of our children.


PATRICK WANIS: Yes.  And this is another one of the things I teach.  Your role as a parent is to provide everything that’s necessary for your child to live his or her full potential, not for the child to be what you couldn’t be or what you never had a chance to be.

Because, I remember that my parents wanted me to become an attorney or a doctor, you know, when I was just trying to decide what I wanted to do in college.  Although my father was an engineer and my mother already had a PhD, but I wanted to think, “Well, what do I really want to do?”

And what happens if your child wants to be a musician, if your child wants to be an actor or an artist, a painter or something else?  It’s not their job to make up for what you didn’t have.  So when you, as an adult, are in a marriage or in a relationship, don’t lose sight of your own dream as well, whatever that dream is.  Whether it’s “I’ve always had a dream to go sky diving.  I’ve had a dream to go rapid rafting, water rafting or I’ve had a dream to visit this country…”

You can still make it happen.  And what you’re teaching children as long as you don’t neglect them is self-respect and knowing how to look after yourself.  This is a really, really important example for children because it also teaches them about boundaries, about discipline.  And, “Hey, you’re still a child.  Respect your parents and let your parents have their time.”  And then the kids, when they grow up will actually love you and appreciate you more than if you did everything for them.

Talking about your audience, which you said to me “Single Again! Now What?” I have clients that come to me who are single.  And I will sometimes work with the mother and the daughter or the father and the child.  And I had one lady come to me and her daughter is 17 years of age.  And she said to me, “Well, my daughter and I used to be best friends.”  And I said, “Well, that’s not the role of the parent.  You’re not meant to be their best friend.  You got to kick their behind sometimes. How will you do that when you are her best friend?”

JOANIE WINBERG: That’s right.

PATRICK WANIS: And she said, “But I want to be best friends.”  And I said, “No, no, no, no, no.

JOANIE WINBERG: That’s right.

PATRICK WANIS: Your child is not there to replace what you’re lacking from a relationship with another adult, a man.”

JOANIE WINBERG: And also, Patrick, just to even understand myself being a single mom and raising my children since they were 12 and 9, and now they’re 29 and 25 and they’re – one is a doctor herself of biology, and another one has graduated from a very prestigious school in Boston and works now in Manhattan.  And I’m very proud of them.  But, playing both roles (mom and dad) at that time, I had to really have the love from the mom, you know, to show that “Yes, I still love you.”  But I also had to be the disciplinarian to say, you know, “Okay, these are the boundaries.  These are the rules.  I’m reacting to your actions.  You might not recognize your mother.”

As someone asked me, “You had that fear in your kids?”  And I said, “Absolutely, they needed to know the boundaries.  They needed to know that, yes, I love them.  And it’s not because I don’t love them if I’m reacting to their actions, but I’m doing that because I love them.”

So that’s a hard thing to really be able to separate that.

And you’re absolutely right.  We don’t want to be their friends which we can become when they’re 29 but not when they’re 12 and 9.  You’ve got to be the adult, the boss, but yet, knowing that you love them.

And I always said to my kids, “I don’t care how big you are.  I’m always going to give you a ton of hugs and I’m always going to love you, but this is how your mom reacts if…”

PATRICK WANIS: And you’re exactly right.  And here’s the most shocking thing I’m going to say.  When the child – particularly for people listening right now who are single and have children – when you give up everything for your child, listen carefully please, your child is going to resent it and your child is going to grow up with guilt and your child is not going to be able to have another healthy relationship, and I’ll briefly explain why.

I have clients who are now adults, you know, 25, 28, even older who come to me and complain that they ended up making up for what their mother wasn’t getting from another man.  And they resented the fact that their mother gave up everything.  In fact, a 17-year-old client said to me that she resents her mother for not having a boyfriend.  And her words, her exact words were, “I wish mom would get a boyfriend.”  And then I said to her mom “Here’s what she said to me.”

“I can’t believe she would say that.  Why?  Why would she say that?”  I said, “Because she wants you to have your own life.  She doesn’t want you to give up everything because then she feels guilty that she can’t be herself.”


PATRICK WANIS: So it’s about balance.  And I think what we need to understand is, if you give up too much, and this goes all the way back to what we started talking about at the beginning of our interview; If you give up everything and forget about the relationship (your marriage), you place a lot of guilt on your children.  Your children will feel guilty that you sacrificed for them and they’ll start to think that they weren’t good enough or they’ll expect it from everyone else.  And if you neglect your marriage, you’re actually neglecting your children.  So when you neglect your partner, that’s when your partner will start looking outside the marriage to get those wants and needs met.


PATRICK WANIS: So you’ve got to remember the things that brought you together. Why did you come together.  What brought you together?  What were your dreams?  What were your fantasies?  And you know what?  If you have a great body and she has a great body, that’s critical to your self-esteem, self-confidence and strengthens the relationship.  Now, when I say “a great body”, I don’t mean you have to have society’s idea of a body, I mean, that you look after your body, that you dress well, that you go to a hair dresser, that you do dress up in sexy clothes, that, ladies, you do put on lingerie for guys.  Guys like that.  They love to see their wife in lingerie.

When you do that, the message to the other person is, “I’m still excited by you.  You still are important to me.  I still love you.  I still want you.”  Whether it’s, “I want you to take me now or whether I want you…”


PATRICK WANIS: It’s the same message.

JOANIE WINBERG: I was just going to say the other thing, too, Patrick, is that; when the man sees the wife taking care of herself and vice versa, the message is “Wow, I respect you because you respect yourself.  You love yourself enough, how can I not love you?”

So, to me, how attractive is that: a woman who’s maybe in her sweats and let her hair go and is becoming overweight or the man gets the big belly and he’s out of shape?  If you don’t care enough about yourself to love yourself, then you’re thinking, “Well, how does that other person love me, too, I mean, if you don’t respect yourself, would you say?”

PATRICK WANIS: What a great point.  You’ve got a key point here.  And I was just saying this to Allen Cognata, the producer and director of the film, just yesterday.  I said, “Every relationship begins with you.”


PATRICK WANIS: And we were talking about this and I said, “What that means is, the more that I love and respect and accept myself, the more I love, respect and accept others and the more that others will love, respect and accept me.”  So you’ve got to build up a good relationship with yourself.  You know your limitations; you know your strengths; you know your weaknesses; you love and accept all of that about yourself, but you respect yourself because when you respect yourself, I promise you, you’ll respect your partner.


PATRICK WANIS: And you won’t respect your partner if you don’t respect yourself.


PATRICK WANIS: So, I think you’re planning to wrap up and I was just going to say I think that this is a great thing that Allen and the whole team have done with this movie, The Putt Putt Syndrome, because it’s such a great concept.  And the way that they presented it is really wonderful because they touch on some really powerful points and issues, but it is a dark comedy so there are a lot of funny moments to it, but a lot of really revealing moments and a lot of, not just moments, but events and emotions that people will relate to.

JOANIE WINBERG: Well, I’ll look at it and I’m excited to see it because I hope that it’s a wake-up call for people.  I hope that people that are either in relationships or marriage will say, “Hey, you know what?  We got to do something about it because we just saw ourselves on that screen.”  And I hope that they wake up and start to look at it that way to say, “You know what, honey, we can do something about this.  Let’s make a plan.  Let’s change our life.  We also got our kids, they see and hear everything.  Let’s be the better role models for our kids so they can grow up and have healthy, happy relationships.”

So that would be my dream is that people wake up, or if they are single again, that “Okay, I’m not going to jump in a situation and do the same thing.  I’m going to learn from this and be the best I can be.”

PATRICK WANIS: And it’s not too late.  And I think that’s the point you’re making.

JOANIE WINBERG: Uh-hmm.  Yeah.  Yeah.

PATRICK WANIS: And you’re right, it’s not too late.  And I guess for me, Joanie, the final point I’d like to make is: please also understand that within any relationship, once you enter the security of the relationship – notice I said once you enter the security of relationship…


PATRICK WINBERG: You’re issues will come up.  Your insecurities will come up.  So if you have a problem,  that you’re afraid of rejection or you have a problem with emotional intimacy or some other fear, be willing to face that and then go and get the help that you need for that because remember, I said every relationship begins with you.  So if you heal yourself of that, you’ll help the marriage and you’ll help your relationship.

So number one, it’s not too late.  You can take action.  And if there is some other block, some other subconscious block, some other issue that goes back to something that happened in your childhood, the way you were raised, then heal that and allow your relationship to create a safe environment.


PATRICK WANIS: So that you can speak to your partner and say, “You know what?  This is a fear I have; this is why I shut down; or this is why I cry when this happens.”  So that your partner can offer you that support, that encouragement so that you really can have not just the sparks and the fire and the passion but such a deep emotional connection that you keep growing and growing, and the bond and the connection keeps deepening and deepening.  And then you’ll have a really satisfying and fulfilling relationship and marriage.

JOANIE WINBERG: Absolutely.  Patrick, this has been phenomenal.  I mean, it’s amazing how fast time flies, but everything that we’ve talked about, all the tips and the tools and the topics that you’ve touched upon today, I can’t thank you enough because I really just think this is something that’s very powerful.  I hope people go and see the movie, The Putt Putt Syndrome, because I think it can really help make a difference in our society.

And Patrick, I just want to make sure, once again, that people have your website which is

And also I just want to thank you for being one of our experts for the National Association of Divorce for Women and Children.  And you are also on our website.  I’m really excited about that and honored that you are one of our experts as well, Patrick.

PATRICK WANIS: Well, thank you, Joanie.  It’s my pleasure.  And if people want to know more about the movie, it’s the  The word putt is spelled P-U-T-T.  So it’s the and it’s a great movie.  You’re going to love it.

JOANIE WINBERG: Absolutely.  And also we want to thank our listeners for listening in.  And also, Patrick, thank you for being on the show.  And remember to join us every Wednesday at 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time to hear the Single Again! Now What? Blog Talk Radio Show and we’ll talk to you next week. 

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