Voted Top 10 Mental Health Podcasts for Women in 2022!
May 11, 2022

How to reconnect with our partners. Derek Hart's story.


With his limitless patience for the struggle of the couple, Derek Hart helps couples make connection again, a full emotional re-attachment of their relationship. Couples will only heal if the individuals make contact with their hurt places, and then reveal those hurts to each other. For 31 years, Derek has fine-tuned his craft by making contact with his own inner wounds, and turning those wounds into profound, clearly actionable steps couples use to heal. Derek's mission is to prevent the endless hours of the couples argument, and turn that into short, often 10-minute moments in time for a couple to truly understand what no longer works. Through a workshop, a conference lecture, and 36,000 hours of coaching, Derek's heart shines through as he sits inside the couples dilemma with them, until they make sense out of their struggle, and finally nurture each other to have the dream they started with.

Connect with Derek: http://www.understandeachother.com

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Coaching Session info with Melissa: https://www.thebrightsideoflifepodcast.com/p/coaching/

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Transcript

Derek Hart:

If I can make enough contact with what's going on inside, I become lovable. And that is a way to walk around the world making contact with people that pick up on that energy from me and they then love me.

Melissa Bright:

Welcome to The Bright Side of Life, a podcast where people share their personal stories of struggles, pain and grief. But through all of that, they are still able to find the joys in life. Hello, everyone, and welcome to this week's episode of the bright side of life. I am your host Melissa bright, I do not know if this is your first time joining us here or if you have listened to every episode in which if you have I love you very much. But if you have not yet subscribed to the podcast, please be sure to do so on your favorite listening platform so you never miss an episode. And if you just love, love, love the podcast so much and you would like to support the show, you can do so by writing a review on the website, sharing your favorite episodes on social media and with friends and family. Or lastly, you can make donations by going to the donate page on the website. Whatever you choose to do, however you choose to support the podcast, I am very grateful. And also you can do all of that stuff right on the bright side of life podcast.com And today I am talking to Derek Hart. I literally have been waiting since February to have him on my podcast, Derek helps couples make a connection again, a full remote emotional reattachment of the relationship. This is because couples will only heal if the individuals make contact with their hurt places, and then reveal those hurts to each other. For 31 years Derrick has fine tuned his craft by making contact with his own inner wounds and turning those wounds into profound, clearly actionable steps couples use to heal. Derek's mission is to prevent the endless hours of couples arguments and turn them into short, often 10 minute moments in time for a couple to truly understand what no longer works. Through workshop, a conference lecture and 36,000 hours of coaching Derek's heart shines through as he sits inside the couples dilemma with them until they make sense out of their struggle, and finally nurture each other to have the dream they've shared. So without further ado, Derek, welcome to The Bright Side of Life. How are you doing today?

Derek Hart:

Great to be here, Melissa, I'm having a really good day so far. And thanks for bringing me out. Appreciate

Melissa Bright:

it. Yes, well, I'm so excited to talk to you. And I literally, I know we have a lot to cover. And this topic is such an important one, we're talking about one of the closest bonds that we can have with someone so someone we are in a relationship with. And we're going to be talking about connection, disconnection and how we can heal and be close to our partners again. And for time sake. Because we could talk all day about this, I really want to start where you usually come into the picture and a couple's relationship, when there is no longer a connection, or at least that's how one of them feels, or maybe they both feel they're arguing all the time, which further creates the space between them. One person doesn't feel heard all the scenarios. So we're just going to dive right in. And I'm going to ask kind of relationship be saved. At this point in the relationship, if they feel like there's no longer a connection.

Derek Hart:

Yeah, I would say that by the time they get to my office, my workshop into a meeting with me, they both probably feel like there is no connection. And that's been dying for a really long time. And the sad part is, you know, we wait and wait until it just hurts so bad. And so we're at the very extreme end of some often almost having to leave a relationship to really recognize it's time to do something different. So, you know, couples that have, you know, been fighting for 18 years, usually have a 19 year relationship. So they come to me after 19 years, and they've been married and they're ready to break up. You know, when did this start? Well, you know, 18 years ago, and then the other person often says, actually 18 years and nine months ago. So 90 days in patterns start and they're very predictable. And while I hear a million stories and every couples really unique, the predictability of the patterns are getting clear with me and I can help them solve that. Often no matter how distressed they are.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. Why is there like how did they end appear in the first place? Why is there a disconnect? Yeah, I'll stop there.

Derek Hart:

Yeah, you know, you know, I was talking just now about 90 days and Okay, so that very first moment of when one person gets their feelings hurt. Yeah. All right, that very first moment of, let's say, a woman's looking for a man that's, you know, kind of chivalrous and gentlemanly, right. And they're at a restaurant, and they're walking out of a restaurant, and the man opens the door, and lets it kind of slam on her and doesn't hold the door for her. Now, I'm not commenting on whether men need to open doors for women, I like doing that. A person doesn't have to be that way. But she is holding something and it knocks her and he doesn't pay attention and doesn't see it, okay. Her feelings just got hurt. She just got frustrated. But this is new love, and she wants to keep it. And she has an entire childhood and history and experience of of coping when she gets hurt, like most of us do. So she doesn't make contact with what's happening inside of her. She knows she's frustrated, possibly, often, she's not even conscious of that. But she skips herself entirely, doesn't say something, doesn't know what to say. Or if she's a little more proactive, she does say something. And the man feels criticized already on the first second or third date. And he never calls her back. Or she holds it in. And that is a ticking time bomb that has begun often on the first date. And that ticking time bomb lends them in my office 10 years later.

Melissa Bright:

18 years later, 50 years.

Derek Hart:

I had one couple. I forget the exact ages. I think she was 98. And he was 104. What that's the oldest couple I've ever had. And they were just starting, like intimacy vulnerability from scratch. They they've been resentful for 70, like 79 years.

Melissa Bright:

Oh, my gosh, that's crazy. But I say it's crazy. But at the same time, I feel like there's so many people that can relate to this, it's usually not just months that this has been going on it is throughout a lifetime throughout a very, very, very, very long relationship. So what you teach and what I want to definitely ask you because some people might not be familiar with either one, their inner child, to their wounds from past? How do you how do you get people? So say you have a couple and you have this guy that definitely doesn't seem like he's in tune with his emotions? How do you get them to recognize or to even get to the place of, hey, do you have a past experience of where your parents weren't in your life or your dad was mean to you or left you or whatever the scenario? Because, as I understand it, that's where you usually go with them is their inner child.

Derek Hart:

Yeah, yeah, I need to take people inward. And we are dealing with a little bit of art and a little bit of science, the, the finding out and figuring out of why, why is this happening? My mother was mean to me or my father yelled at me. Okay, that's information in the intellect. To take that information and bring it inside means we have to do this kind of strange thing. We have to make insight go inside and connect to the body, to the sensations to the emotions to the meaning you've made up about your father yelling at you as a child. So if if, let's say I have a wife who gets angry and frustrated, or just mildly sarcastic, that stimulates something inside the man, so I have to begin with a really slowed down compassionate set of words and it's different every time based on what I'm feeling in the moment and seeing him, but it's like, okay, it's like I'll say, Hey, wait, hold on, hold on. I want to slow this down. I just If something happened, and you and your wife said this, and your eyes closed a little, and your face got a little flashed and you clenched your hands, let's slow down. Can you go within? Are you detecting your breathing? Are you feeling your butt in the chair? What started happening inside you just now? Can you give me it? And I'm going really kind of fast right now. Can you can you give me an image? What's it like in there? And eventually, we can get to the point where I'm saying, so you feel put down all the time you feel inadequate. Your wife says just one thing. And it's like, she doesn't even have to say anything. You just wake up in the morning and you look at her, and you're already bracing for impact that you're going to be told you're doing it wrong again. Yeah. So he can make contact with Yeah, he was criticized as a child, and that's information. But I'm actually giving him empathy right now that this is happening in my office in real time. That has to be witnessed and felt by the three of us. Okay, for him to eventually have a tear run down his cheek.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. Do you find that? What was how is it? How am I going to ask this, I am very, very intrigued by males, because they usually are often closed off and don't want to show that emotion. They have to be strong. So them even coming to you in the first place. is amazing. I like I think it takes a great deal of courage. Usually females were like emotional all the time and just cry whenever. So I just think it's amazing of the work that you can do for men. And I have a question about that. But we can get back to that. But can you? Okay, so you said in one of your videos, I've watched a lot of them. You said in one of your videos that you try to find the one thing that couples are saying to each other, that they aren't saying to each other? Can you explain what that means?

Derek Hart:

Yeah, all go back to the example I was just using about criticism and bracing for impact. So let's say now a man will criticize a woman just as much as a woman a man. So but let's we're going in this one direction right now, a woman that is critical of her husband, okay. She doesn't think she's being critical, because her brain and her heart are trying to make contact, she's trying to actually say something, and be real and be truthful about her frustration. And she's just telling the guy what's bothering her. And then he gives a certain response. And she'll, she'll think he's defensive, and unresponsive, and, and emotionally unavailable. Okay? When I start talking about what's going on inside of both of them, and they feel me getting it, they can make this contact within. So when I say to the man, so you wake up in the morning, and you look at your wife, and you kind of remember a time when it was good, but you just know you want to get dressed and get out of the room, because something's going to be said to you, that shows you that you're not doing it right and you feel put down all the time, and you have to hold this and you keep it bottled inside, and there's nobody to bring it to all day long. You have to keep this inside. Right. And then if I turn to the woman, and I say to her, so you see your husband and you just want to make contact, you just want to connect, you want him to look at you and want to give you a kiss and want to give you a hug, but he's always so far away. And then as soon as you say something, he goes even further away, and he sometimes walks out the door and you don't know where he is. So what starts happening is you know, the woman will say, Yeah, I can't get anything out and have it get hurt, I don't feel seen. And then we're at that point of we have to slice this into small pieces back and forth and and the more of the trauma there is in both of them. The more I have to slice this into like quarter inch, tiny little pieces. I'll give you an example. So I'll talk about he's feeling put down and criticized and it and he Never get away from it. Now, the woman is starting in the session to feel defensive with me with both of us because she's not offensive. She's not aggressive. She's just saying the truth, right? So as I'm validating him for feeling like he wants to run away, I have to say, and and then I'll turn it over to her name's Mary. And Mary, this is very hard on your heart, isn't it? It's so hard to see that mostly what he feels is that you're going to criticize, and it's very tough on you, isn't it? You know, I promise we'll come back to that in a few moments. So I have to hold them both at the same time continuously. If I don't keep them at the same pace, I'm going to lose one of them. And they're going to say that magical thing that happens in most couples sessions with most therapists, which is I felt sided with over my partner. Yep, that can't happen, or it's actually not going to work.

Melissa Bright:

Yep. I, that's exactly I knew you were going to say that. Because that's what people usually do is they like, keep score, and then they will fight after they see a therapist. Well, she said this, and she sided with you and she, what it's like when you see them both and tell them, like one of your sessions. That's exactly what you did. And you let the guy know, like, it is okay that you feel annoyed. It's okay that you feel uncomfortable. It is okay that you feel pissed off whatever emotion that you have, it's okay that you feel that also, okay, that she is feeling this, that and the other, which is so important. And I feel, and you can correct me if I'm wrong, maybe sometimes guys don't get that enough, because maybe guys don't know how to do that. And so you might be the first male that has actually acknowledged their feelings of hurt, annoyed, mad, whatever, and telling them that it's okay. We'll all while doing that.

Derek Hart:

Yeah, you might be amazed to hear that. In terms of which partner is the harder partner to work with loner ability. It's 5050 down the middle. All it's always been the man getting properly validated by me, opens up if he has some capacity to do that. Everyone's a good communicator when they feel safe. Yeah. So I wrestle with and linger in the pain and suffering of a woman 50% of the time, more with with going at the pace that will help her catch up to the vulnerability because she's been really hurt.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. So we'll give I'll give you an example, which is me. So my easy backstory is my dad was extremely, extremely hard on me and my brother, when we were little, often yelled, I was never good enough, took all of this with me as a grown adult. And now in my relationship, anything my boyfriend said that was a slight criticism. I sometimes flew off the handle, and most of it was because I felt I was disappointing him because I disappointed my dad 18,000 million times. So why would I not disappoint this guy? Yeah, you said something in one of your videos that I was, like you said 95% of the relationship. You said that, like, people are bringing their past experiences into the relationship. And I learned that the hard way, because I always expected my boyfriend was going to react how my dad did. And he never did. Never, every time he proved me, like I'm like, Melissa, why do I think every time and just recently has my relationship gotten better to the fact because my boyfriend is calm. He is patient. He doesn't like talk down to me and I was always the one that freaked out because of all of my life stuff from my past. And I say all that because I definitely feel that I have like attachment issues. So

Derek Hart:

all two people on this call do

Melissa Bright:

and oh, a whole hell of a lot more people in the world. Yeah, exactly. So what happens when people are because I feel like even me, I'm scared sometimes to even be vulnerable. It's even hard to say I'm hurt and I feel and hurt. I can't say that he is going to run for the freak another way if I say that he's not but that's what my brain is telling me. What do people do what happens like when they can't be even vulnerable? They can't eat Men say those words.

Derek Hart:

Well, first of all training is necessary. And it's not intuitive. How I show people, even if even if they're sitting in here with me, and they're saying, I don't want to be vulnerable, I don't you know, I don't know how to do that. The paradox is always that they're actually doing it right now, even if they're not. So it's so when I say, Would you turn to your partner and find his eyes? And would you say, I don't want to be vulnerable with you, it's too scary. If I get vulnerable, then I'm gonna fall apart in front of you. And I am not willing to do that. And then they cry. Yep. So it's pretty incredible to me how actually, they give me all the information right now about exactly what's happening. And because we're going slower in here, yeah, they'll say, but what about this, and I'll just often say, what you just said, is the deep thing to reveal. You just simply don't do that in your life outside of this room to go. Yeah. And they have no idea that they're actually pretty in contact with their vulnerability.

Melissa Bright:

Right? I'm curious, cuz you sent me some videos to watch. And I don't know that if you remember them. So where do you start with a couple when they come in there in terms of because it seems the ones videos that I've seen, you get to the issue so damn quick. And for people to like, look at each other, even though they're married. Sometimes that's even hard because of the vulnerability. And I think it's powerful that you do that. I think there's obviously a reason why you do that. So where do you start? Are people like, I can't do this? What? I'm just curious.

Derek Hart:

Yeah. So if, if I have a couple that I've never met before, and I say, you know, you know, hey, what's going on? You know, you want to share the kind of the nugget of what's been happening in your relationship. I've never met them before I say that sometimes. And then, five minutes later, I have to say, by the way, what are your names? Hi, I'm Darren. Okay, so I say that, okay. There are 43 muscles in the face. And we can make 10,000 expressions. Okay, so when I say what's going on, and I'm thinking of one of the videos I sent you, yeah. And I'm looking at the woman and her face moves right into grief. Now, think about that for a moment. Do Do I need to know any information of betrayals? Or how long they've been together? Or if she was the middle child? Or who was more abusive, her mom or her dad? Or what their injuries are? Do I need to know that information? Or can I connect to how freaking hard it is to be a human being in a relationship that is not working? So if I say, We will wait, I don't want you to use your words, would you look at each other, and the pain is on her face. And that video I sent you actually was really nice, because the man happened to have tons of compassion in him. Yep, he's just busy protecting himself from being criticized all the time. So all of a sudden, if I start talking, and I'm paying attention to her face, as I'm talking, I can literally just say, as they're looking at each other, if I'm talking through the woman, I'm not asking her to repeat words, I'm just talking through her. And I can say something pretty generic because of the human condition of how hard it is to be disconnected. So I can just start saying, you know, I'm hurting a lot in I don't know how to share it with you. And you're my main person. I've been with you for so long. And I'm hurting, and I keep it bottled up inside. And we go round and round and we fight and I miss you so much. There are so many places where we haven't connected in a long time and I need touch and affection and love and where are you? I miss you. And that happened to work, if that's the truth. Yeah, that's pretty generic. I know and I need to know their story a little bit more. But sometimes I can say that and we have five minutes of grief and tears. And they both know exactly what's been going on. I don't even know If they live in the United States yet, right? So what do I really need to know?

Melissa Bright:

That is so true. And I think we're talking about the same video, you said, you said that the guy was annoyed. And then he's and then you said, and I could be off my mark. And then he said, he's like, I don't know if it's annoyed, or if it's like, uncomfortable or something, which I, I literally said out loud, I go helpless. And he said, powerless. And I was like, okay, yeah, like, that's because a lot of guys are fixers, and then they see us crying, and they don't they just want to fix us, but they don't know how so then they feel powerless to you. I'm just amazed that that's like, that's your approach is you say it instead of having them say it.

Derek Hart:

Yeah, I do you do. If I am going, if I am building trust, and it's pretty incredible. A lot of people will. Like, if I get referred, they'll trust me right off the bat. So I feel really fortunate about that. Yeah, I used to do a lot more one line at a time, and they would repeat it. Okay, the mind has to do a lot of things to actually hear my words, make sense of it, repeat it and be vulnerable. I changed this around in the last couple of years a lot where I would just have them look at each other. And if I start talking through them, it's kind of like when you go to a movie, like a really good movie means you don't have to think that much. But it takes control of your brain. So I'm actually talking for them and through them, and making really close contact like 95% 97%, often of what they've been going through. And if I'm describing that, and they're hearing their life explained by me, while they're looking at their partner, it's just instant loner ability and instant revealing of where the hurting is.

Melissa Bright:

Okay. So, if I was a woman in this position in one of your sessions, I'm going to be complicated. And I'm going to say, I want to hear my boyfriend say it. How do I know that he he's here, and he's totally in this to fix our relationship? I want to hear him say those words, because this is his easy way out there. You just get to say it. I want to know that he's real, and he's going to be here. What do you what do you say to me?

Derek Hart:

Okay, so first, I'm gonna I'm gonna give you a couple of thoughts, and then then I'll do it. So you're experiencing anxiety right now? Melissa is, okay. So what I'll say is, okay, so Melissa, there's a lot happening. Let's let's all slow down together. There's a lot happening inside you. There's a lot happening. I want you to breathe and be with your own feelings and feel your butt in the chair and your arms on the table right now. Okay. When you feel something painful in your relationship, what's been happening is your energy goes outward at your partner with your frustration. Let's bring it inward and share the thing that's happening. And the thing that's happening is, hey, I'm in this counseling session with you partner right now. And I am concerned that what Derek just said, even though you're agreeing isn't something that after this session that's going to be validated. I am concerned that the thing that's happening right now, you're just agreeing with just to just to be agreeable. And I've experienced this before. And I'm scared Derek's not going to help us. I'm really scared. We're not going to get anywhere. And I have this going on inside all the time. This is fear inside me. Would you be here and just hear me right now?

Melissa Bright:

Spot on?

Derek Hart:

Yeah. It's your fear. Yeah. That is tricky sometimes to name. Because what were you afraid of just now, let's look at what happens when you go outwardly at him. You're having fear about the past? Because you know how he's been right? Yeah, you're having fear about the future of what it's probably going to be like, which makes you hopeless, and feel unsafe about your future with this partner. If we take that too, right now. There's something to describe. That is the truth inside you. You're you're not having fear about the past and future. Your fear is here. Now, right here in the room of what you're going through, and you're now modeling for your partner how to be vulnerable and authentic. Yeah, There's nothing else you can do I want to say, yes, he needs to learn that. But the problem is you've been trying to get him to learn that by telling him to learn that by teaching him to learn that by reading 100 Psychology, psychology books and explaining how he should do that, instead of doing one thing only, which is modeling closeness with a partner, which will then show you if he can eventually learn it to if he can't, and you're actually doing this. That's an incompatibility possible. Yeah. You you actually won't know until you do that.

Melissa Bright:

Right? Yeah, yeah. Okay. I was just curious. I know how my brain works. And I know what I would say. And I'd be like, Yeah, that's exactly exactly what I would say. So. Okay, um, I'm trying to think of like different different scenarios that could happen. When it when is like the relationship, doomed? Have you had it where? And I know that's such a loaded question, but when do you feel that they're just might not be like for people. We will be right back after this break. Hi, friends. It's Melissa bright, you know, the host of this podcast, I wanted to take a moment to tell you about the bright side of life coaching. Yes, that is my new coaching business. And I am so excited to help you guys reach your goals. Whether you guys have listened to this podcast, follow me on social media, or you even know me in real life. You know, I have been on a healing journey the last two years, but it hasn't just been a healing journey, it has transformed my life, I have my self worth back, I am so much more confident, I no longer self sabotage. I actually love all of me now. And I want to help you do the same so you can reach your goals. I literally picture other Melissa is out there struggling with these things, and I so badly want to help them. I've been there. And it's not a fun place to be, especially if we have been here most of our lives. So if you're interested in the coaching services, please go to The Bright Side of Life podcast.com and click on coaching to get more info or book your sessions. I offer a three month program or I offer a one off session as well. If you have additional questions, please feel free to use a contact page on the website. Once again, that's the bright side of life podcast.com and click on coaching to book your sessions. The link will also be in the show notes of this episode.

Derek Hart:

So if I'm three or four sessions in with a couple, and I have to say, I need to see you both individually a couple of times each. That means that we are not in couples counseling we are in pre couples counseling, free couples counseling is we can't get enough safety in the room. Because things are kind of contraindicated for it to work such as they threatened to leave the relationship to too much drugs and alcohol are happening. We cannot slow it down to create enough safety, which means I can't lead them into connection. They won't follow my lead in and they won't allow me to interrupt. If I'm just a counselor that's listening, that doesn't help at all, I need to lead them into direct interactions that help them connect. So I do a couple sessions with them. I need to see if they have the capability of going inward and making contact with a toddler inside themselves with a five year old, a seven year old, a nine year old, a teenager. And that is where our coping strategies were formed as an infant all the way through our childhood, those coping strategies are 95% of every couples conflict. If I can't make contact with what's happening in me, I can't present it into the 5% of adult relating where I actually can see the person in front of me.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, that that's what I do now. Like before I will before I used to, like always react to my boyfriend and now I'll actually say what like, why am I feeling this way? And like, you know, answers will come up like Oh, I'm scared to disappoint him or I'm scared to even state my feelings because of my attachment issues, whatever. It's very, very interesting that you say that. Do you feel that there is a common theme here? for men and women, is it usually like women are tend to be this way in that way where men tend to feel this way in that way. And I guess the best example, I could say, women often criticize men, and then men feel helpless, or can it go both ways interchangeably?

Derek Hart:

You know, there are tremendous differences between men and women. But the core of vulnerability is a bit of a feminine activity. And it's pretty darn equal how it works. So I talk a lot about polarity how important masculine and feminine is in relating. That's why I want to help people temporarily drop into deep, deep vulnerability, and cry on each other's shoulder and share five minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes, who knows. But if they don't have a sense of coming out of that into adult land, and being masculine and feminine, that's a really, really major problem. They're not going to be sexy to each other, which is the whole darn point to be sexy to each other. Right? So are there differences between men and women, there's a few things I say pretty consistently. Like, if I have a man that has been feeling criticized, I'll actually validate something that's become pretty universally accepted by I would say, at least, at least 250 to 300 men I've worked with I would I say something like, and his favorite thing is to make you happy. And he no longer gets to do that. It's off the table. He he wants to make you smile. It's it sounds so simple. Like and a woman kind of wants. A woman wants to make a man happy. But her emotional landscape, in some ways is more complex. She wants more things. But if a man can't make her laugh, and smile, and have her reflection back as happy, he's pleasing her. He's actually losing something. He wants to do that so bad. That he will be it'll be kind of okay with being criticized for a decade or two, to try to find his way back to someday making her happy again, but it's off the table and he can't and it's killing him. She has no idea. That's a major thing he wants. And he lost contact and consciousness about that years ago.

Melissa Bright:

Oh my gosh. You seriously no, like, I'm just amazed by how much how smart you are about. It's awesome. Okay, so what if, what if people can't see Derrick cart? What if they, you're too busy? They you, they can't get in to see you. What the hell can be people do at home to start repairing a disconnect that that they have? Like, I feel like obviously, there's certain stages. First, you have to become aware that there isn't even a disconnect, which I feel most people are probably aware of, but then at what is the next step? I don't even know what the hell to do. Where do I even start? What would you recommend?

Derek Hart:

Oh my God, I want to literally I want to I'm literally pulling out this thing that I give clients. You can find it. The proceeds for this are actually on my website. Which so it's a little magnet. Oh, yes. Okay. Okay. So there's, it's called the after argument repair guide. And it's and I wrote a couple paragraphs and I wrote this is how you make up Okay, now, think about how many different problems we think there are, you know, you know, like, like workload at home who does what chores the children the inlaws. sex, money, housing, right? There's, there's a bazillion problems. Yeah. Okay. Now, think about these statements for a moment. Okay, no matter what your conflict is, okay. Think about if you actually stopped and looked at each other and did this miraculous thing of for a moment, knowing that you are not perfect. And you actually might not be a great communicator, and actually might have something to learn about humility. And you don't know what to do when you're in conflict. That's the starting point. I don't know what to do next. Just that statement. Yeah. I don't know. What to do next is a miracle when you think about a seven hour fight a couple Knapp. So I'm going to read a couple of these, just think about applying it to no matter what's been happening. If you're stopping and looking at each other making eye contact. Imagine saying, even though I run away, what I really want is to connect with you. Right? I felt unattractive to you and not desired. Right? I felt afraid. And I didn't know what to say next. I'll say one more, I criticized you. I've done it before, I will be careful about that.

Melissa Bright:

People just had those four in their back pocket.

Derek Hart:

That's it. To get a $12 magnet or something, and the proceeds go to domestic violence. That's amazing centers. And if you have that on your frigerator, if you actually stop and just pull that off your frigerator. And look at it, it's pretty impossible to fight. It's also pretty impossible to fight to get if you get naked and go in the shower. It's pretty hard to fight. It's also pretty hard to fight. If you make eye contact and sit with each other, and set a timer and whisper what's bothering you. It's really hard to fight. Yeah. But we start whispering and then all of a sudden, we bring our voice back and we forgot the exercise in the first place. And then I can name exactly why you are a problem. And it's related to how your mother treated you. And if I if I do that the complexity is I'm probably accurate. I probably know exactly what led to you being the way you are. I've heard enough about your mother to know she was critical of you. And that's what hurt you. And it will not help at all. Because you can't hear me analyze you and make contact with me. It's impossible. I see you over there hurting. And and I want to know more about how that happens. And I think I probably push you away more than I realized and I don't know what else to do. Yeah, that's the starting.

Melissa Bright:

That's a huge one. And I want to make sure that I understand it when you are saying that. Like people pointing out the obvious like say I have daddy issues, quote unquote, like it doesn't help when people point that out and like use that against you, which my boyfriend has been aware of that, but he's never made me feel like shit for it. He'll just say, Yeah, this, this is something for way back then I have nothing to do with this. But for couples that they do, make you feel bad for that. You're not going to get anywhere. That's what you're saying, right? If you're like analyzing that and saying, Well, you got daddy issues and blah, blah, blah. That's that's not gonna help that's just gonna make the person more defensive. Right.

Derek Hart:

It's a direct criticism. Yeah. Yeah, I can't I can't hear it. Even if you're that's what's so complicated. Even if you're accurate, it won't help. Yeah, yeah, a couple and couples are brilliant. I get couples in here. He's a psychiatrist, and she's a psychologist. Wow. I mean, what 12 years each have higher education. And they can't make contact because they don't know how to say, ouch. That hurt. And the other person says, oh, show me where that hurt. How did that happen? Sweetheart? Yep, they can't do it. They can analyze each other and diagnose each other and you're narcissistic, this and narcissistic that and you're a gaslighter. And you know what they are? And there is they're both gaslight us you know what narcissism is. Narcissism is a super healthy stage of what you're supposed to learn in childhood. And because of imperfect parenting, it doesn't get properly developed. And then we grow up thinking about ourselves constantly because we can't resolve our pain. Yes, some people become mean and nasty and and and aggressive. And those are the types of narcissists that we really kind of have a hard time with. And the other people who are taking all that in and getting abused are also narcissists because they can't stop thinking about their own pain and what to do about this and keep trying to get someone to love them that is never going to be able to so narcissism is something in adulthood that needs healing, which is learning how to become and work through our healthy developmental narcissism that wasn't there in the first place. We actually often read self help books and start with learning boundaries. That's a real thing to learn how to say no, yep, that's what a child needs to learn, and a child that doesn't learn that and starts taking care of his parents feelings, grows up, and camp can't stop thinking about their own pain. And that's narcissism.

Melissa Bright:

So true. If I'm

Derek Hart:

depressed, and I need medication, it means I can't stop thinking about myself. This isn't the problem. By the way, depression is really complicated to to heal. And, and it needs to be known that if I can't stop thinking about myself, I need proper support layers of support, and validation. And if I am getting repeatedly misunderstood in romantic love, that is what I would call hell on earth.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah. I'm taking everything and like trying to apply it to like myself and figuring out because my boyfriend has called me selfish before on certain things. And in a lot of ways he was right. I was, I'm not an only child. But I grew up with my mom, like, my brother was my dad. So essentially, in one way, I wasn't only child with my mom. And like, one day, it just came to me. And I'm like, why am I selfish? Why am I selfish? And then it was like, well, because I've been in survival mode for a really, really long time. And I told him that and he was like, it was an aha moment for kind of both of us like, wow, I didn't consider that for a minute. So it's, it's interesting that you say that, I wanted to ask you do do people need to be like, how educated and aware do they have to be before they come and see you, because we have your you deal with human beings of all different levels there, they might not even know that there's an inner child that needs to be healed? Or maybe they're very aware. But do you need to educate them on anything? At all?

Derek Hart:

It's a great, it's a great question, the psychiatrist and the psychologist, I might need to see for months and the person who has never had a day of therapy in their life. In two sessions learns vulnerability and right what to do. There is there is no pattern because the language of vulnerability is built into us from the get go. And And if somebody can hear me validate them and make contact within, we're dealing with something that is so complicated, how they were able to be that relaxed, that that came from somewhere. So now we're into like nature versus nurture. What happened in their childhood? That is a mystery. I have absolutely no idea why someone can heal, and why someone cannot. But I'm a good vessel to help them heal if that capability is there.

Melissa Bright:

Right? Yeah. If you had to say, and you might have already have said this, I just want to make it clear. If you had to say what is the single most important thing to heal a relationship and to make people connect again, what would you say it is

Derek Hart:

the ability to look at my partner with all the frustration that's going on. And then to take my eyes and make them go backwards into myself and make contact with what I'm feeling inside. And attempt to recognize if it's familiar, if it's related to how I've been in my history, to breathe to make contact with what it feels like, and then do the thing that if they can't, they need to get help, which is differentiate my past from this moment, what's actually happening with my partner and then say words to my partner 95% revealing my pain that's familiar. 5% explaining to my partner how this present day experience is triggering it.

Melissa Bright:

That is amazing. That is seriously amazing. Okay, One of my last questions. I have two more three more questions. But one of my questions, I am so scared that there are still listeners listening that are like, Melissa, I cannot even get my partner to. We are so far gone, I cannot even get him to agree to even talk to me for five seconds. That's how much we hate each other. How in the hell can I even say, I listened to this episode. And I think that we have a chance at resolving this. If their partner just doesn't want to hear it. What what is there anything that they can do, because that's one of the biggest issues is people won't go to therapy, one person isn't willing to go, I'm not doing that shit, I know, no, I don't need help, or whatever it is,

Derek Hart:

yep. The only thing we have at our disposal is vulnerability, to see who the person is in front of us. And I am talking about vulnerability with a capital V. Meaning you might be thinking you're vulnerable, and it needs to get validated often with a really good counselor or therapist. So in that moment, a thing to say to your partner is I'm really sad that we don't grow together anymore. And I miss having the relationship we did in the beginning. I believe we need help. And I'm really sad that I want to get help. And I would really like your help and doing that with me. And if you want to do that. I believe it's really important. And I'm scared to ask this. And I don't even know if you'll come with me. But I believe it's a requirement for us to continue connecting. I need your help evaluating people. If it's a woman asking a man, and you want to be brilliant as the woman throw in, I need your help evaluating. If it's a good counselor I've chosen I value your opinion. Yes, a little sneaky. But that makes him finally for a moment, have a piece of information that he can use to make her happy. Yeah.

Melissa Bright:

Is it possible that only one goes? You don't see you don't see individuals in terms to try to repair marriage, do you?

Derek Hart:

I see individuals sometimes for four to eight sessions, and the magnitude of the change. They go back into their relationship and do things differently and then the other partner will show.

Melissa Bright:

Wow, okay. That makes sense. Okay. You it says that you have healed like a lot of your like inner child wounds. How did you? I know this is probably a long time ago. But how did you learn to do that become aware that you even wanted to do that you wanted to make a change? Because I'm right now currently in this healing process, and it's been amazing, amazing. And for you to be able to help people do that now.

Derek Hart:

How did I? Well, I went, everything I'm telling you today, I've been through much of my life. And I have spent my I've spent 32 years now healing from massive, massive neglect. Mother overdosed on drugs killed herself. So a drug addict my whole life. You know, she was a drug addict. My whole childhood. Father was Asperger's. So mother was borderline Billy MC, anorexic depressed. food addiction with, you know, my dad, I mean, it was a disaster. So I started at age 20. And down the healing journey and in relationship I realized is the place where all my things could come out and I can work through them. So I became obsessed with learning how to be healthy and become the person who can be in that 95% of explaining what's happening inside. And I have a partner now, who is my teacher and can do that too. faster and better than I can. So I can recognize that now. I I had to spot her to be able to see that it's available.

Melissa Bright:

Yeah, that's amazing. Thank you for sharing that. All right, how can people connect with you, Derek if they want to know learn more about you

Derek Hart:

go to understand each other.com and don't go to understanding people do that. So understand each other.com You know, I think on the very bottom of the site, it says magnets if they want that the guy that was talking about watch the video on top. I just got a documentary made. And they can then watch that and then schedule a call and right now it's mostly For couples, so it's mostly relationship based. So if you're going to show up, please show up as a couple. And you can do a strategy call for free right now. Probably going to change later in the year. But you can set that up and see how we work together and see if it feels good and get on a video. And we're not just going to introduce each other, I will dive immediately into doing the work I just described in this in this podcast.

Melissa Bright:

He won't even ask where you're from.

Derek Hart:

I hope you I hope you speak English and have a good microphone and video.

Melissa Bright:

That's the only requirements. That's the only requirements. I love it. All right, my last question that I asked all of my guests, Derrick, in your own words, what does the bright side of life mean to you?

Derek Hart:

Oh, wow. If I can make enough contact with what's going on inside me. I become lovable. And that is a way to walk around the world making contact with people that pick up on that energy from me. And they then love me. So if I'm defensive, that's felt, and people don't want to come in towards me. And if I can continuously look at my past and make sense of it and feel it in front of people. Everybody wants to come towards me. Yes, that's pretty bright.

Melissa Bright:

It's amazing. And I feel that because that's what I've done. I started my podcast two years ago, when I was just literally started therapy and my podcast the same week. And I've been doing this for two years, and I am in such a different place now. Healing, shining the light on wounds, so much stuff and it's it's incredible. And if people can make it here, that's like the best part of life. Awesome. Thank you, Derek, so much for coming on here. You know, I've wanted to talk to you for a long time. So thank you for taking time out of your day to share everything. So great.

Derek Hart:

Thanks, Melissa was really really fun. Yes.

Melissa Bright:

Thank you guys for listening to this amazing episode. I can't say this enough. I am so so excited that I got to talk to Derrick Hart. I have been following him on social media since February and I'm telling you literally I could share every single one of his posts because he knows his shit. And there this is some like deep stuff that is going to transform your life and it's going to transform your relationship if you are willing to do this work and I'm telling you just like he was saying so much of this pain is coming from past experience past experiences these childhood wounds these beliefs that we have taken with us and that is where the work can happen. I hope you guys got something out of this episode. Don't forget to go to his website order that magnets so we can have that I know I'm getting myself one. If you want to connect with him, of course his information will be on his episode. The link will also be on the show notes. Guys, as you know, if you know anyone that needs to hear Derek's story, please please share it with them. Because we never know if this is the one that puts hope back in their heart.

Derek Hart Profile Photo

Derek Hart

Couples Rebuilder

With his limitless patience for the struggle of the couple, Derek Hart helps couples make connection again, a full emotional re-attachment of their relationship. Couples will only heal if the individuals make contact with their hurt places, and then reveal those hurts to each other. For 31 years, Derek has fine-tuned his craft by making contact with his own inner wounds, and turning those wounds into profound, clearly actionable steps couples use to heal. Derek's mission is to prevent the endless hours of the couples argument, and turn that into short, often 10-minute moments in time for a couple to truly understand what no longer works. Through a workshop, a conference lecture, and 36,000 hours of coaching, Derek's heart shines through as he sits inside the couples dilemma with them, until they make sense out of their struggle, and finally nurture each other to have the dream they started with.