• ashleydrivard

#4 Roman Wyden : True Intimacy

This transcript was exported on Jan 14, 2021 - listen to the podcast here


Roman Wyden: I had a lack of intimacy growing up. I had a very positive childhood, but my parents just weren't away on how to be intimate. It's just not something their parents taught them. My father ended up being gay, but in the closet, and he got married, had kids. It was a very small town in Switzerland, so he couldn't be who he really was. It just wasn't possible.


Ashley Rivard: Hey, guys. I'm Ashley Dawn Rivard, and you are now Into the Dawn, a provocative podcast that looks at all things taboo, such as suicide, grief, sex, addictions, and more. Each week, I talk with experts who successfully investigate their areas of interest, and if you like what you hear, please remember to subscribe.


Ashley Rivard: Intimacy, it's something that we all crave, and at the same time, we have a very hard time attaining. What does true intimacy look like in relation to ourselves and with others? Well, today I talk with Roman Wyden, who's an intimacy guide, and has a podcast, You. Love. Life. Welcome, Roman.


Roman Wyden: Welcome. Yes, thank you. Thanks for having me.


Ashley Rivard: Yeah. I'm actually really excited about this topic. It's so meaty to me, the whole intimacy thing. In kind of unpacking that and what... How do you master intimacy? I think it's interesting also coming from a male who is this guide. So, tell me, what is an intimacy guide? What does that mean?


Roman Wyden: Yeah. Well, first of all, I'm excited to be here because you're right. It is a big topic. Intimacy is really something that's a life's work. It's not something that one can master and be done with, which is probably why I decided to call myself more of an intimacy guide, because as I'm guiding people through it with my wife, unfortunately, she couldn't be here today, but when we work with couples, we become sort of their guides because we're either in it ourselves or we see something that they're in that we used to be in, so we can guide them through it versus giving them exercises to go home and do and come back, like a coach would, or perhaps a therapist who's a bit more dissecting information and diving into the psychology behind each person and so forth.


Roman Wyden: So, I think we are more like if you would sit down with friends and you would share your story of, "Oh, we have a lack of intimacy in our marriage," and we'll go more into detail what that means, but then you would have your friends sit there with you and go, "Well, tell me more about it," and then, of course, we're also listening and looking for patterns, but essentially it's handholding guides, and it's... Our clients, the people we work with, they come to us because the marriage or the relationship's on the rocks. So, unfortunately, people wait too long, so there's a lot of work to be done, and it really takes a lot of undoing. If they came earlier, then perhaps there'd be a little bit less guiding through, but in most cases we do sort of sit down with them and really guide them through a situation.


Ashley Rivard: Is this intimacy both, whether it be sexually or emotionally, or what do you get more of?


Roman Wyden: Absolutely. I think we deal more with the nonsexual intimacy because that's another level of... There's a lot of trauma in people's lives. There's a lot of physical, not taboos, but there's just things that we can get into, but mostly, even when there's a sexual intimacy issue, it usually points back to just intimacy, just intimacy between the two people-


Ashley Rivard: Like vulnerability?


Roman Wyden: Vulnerability, connectedness, nonjudgmental allowance, letting each other be who they are in the moment, not judging. That's a lot of work in itself, so when that work gets done, the sexual intimacy is just a celebration. It just happens. We've had couples call us and say a week later, "Oh, my god. The sex now is amazing, and all we talked about was vulnerability, and really cleaned up that dirt in between them."


Ashley Rivard: Well, you could kind of say it's an inside-out job, everything, right?


Roman Wyden: It is, everything.


Ashley Rivard: But what brought you to want to do this work?


Roman Wyden: Great question. The bigger story is that I had a lack of intimacy growing up. I had a very positive childhood, but my parents just weren't aware of how to be intimate. It was just not something their parents taught them. My father ended up being gay, but in the closet, and he got married, had kids. It was a very small town in Switzerland, so he couldn't be who he really was. It just wasn't possible. So, he was a suppressed gay man, and so we never saw them kiss or hug, or there just wasn't-


Ashley Rivard: Did your mom know?


Roman Wyden: My mom knew, but I think she ignored it or tried to... What's the word? I can't think.


Ashley Rivard: Pretend like it's not there?


Roman Wyden: Yeah, she pretended so hard that it's not true that I think to this day she still thinks probably not, that he wasn't gay.


Ashley Rivard: Are they still married?


Roman Wyden: My father has passed away. My mom's still alive.


Ashley Rivard: Oh, I'm sorry.


Roman Wyden: Yeah. So, I'll see her soon, and I'll be speaking... Well, I sort of slowly bring these things up as she's getting older, because I don't want her to have any anxiety around the guilt and the shame.


Ashley Rivard: Yeah.


Roman Wyden: Yeah. So, he was gay. There was not a lot of intimacy. It was a good upbringing. There was no violence, no alcohol, drugs, none of that. It was pretty good, but I became very promiscuous at an early age. For me, having sex with women was filling that void.


Ashley Rivard: So, do you feel, when you say you became promiscuous at a young age, do you think it was solely due to the fact you weren't getting the intimacy at home, or you felt like there was lies, something being hidden, and you didn't know how to process?


Roman Wyden: It was probably both, but I would say mainly I just felt the need to be nurtured by feminine energy, and I did get that during those... It was like dopamine rush. It was like a hit every time, and that became my way to fill the void. So, I grew up and became a young adult, then a grown man, and into my thirties, I still felt the need to be promiscuous. I still cheated on every girlfriend I've ever had. Now, I will say when I was younger I had a few girlfriends who cheated on me, so that probably just threw some gasoline on the fire for me to be even more like, "Okay. Well, then I'm going to do it too."


Roman Wyden: So, then I met my wife in my early thirties, and I thought, well, I'm old enough to get married. I think I've got it out of my system. We got married, and we had two kids, and then about seven or eight years into the marriage, my wife was so busy at work that again I started feeling this need for feminine energy. This nurturing was missing again, and I decided to go to strip clubs and massage parlors, and I just needed that. I knew I wasn't looking for another life partner. My wife's amazing. I was like, this is it. We're it. But I didn't have the courage to tell her that's what I need, because she was so busy, so stressed, and dealing with such big projects, and it was like, at the end of the day, at dinner, it was the last thing I wanted to say, is, "Well, honey, I kind of need this and this."


Ashley Rivard: Was that also really vulnerable for you to express?


Roman Wyden: Which part?


Ashley Rivard: That this is what I need, I'm feeling-


Roman Wyden: It would have been, yeah.


Ashley Rivard: Yeah.


Roman Wyden: I didn't at the time. That would've been very, very vulnerable because what could've come back from her is, "Well, F you. Here I'm at work, slaving away, making money for the family, and you're asking about a sexual favor or a sexual adventure or whatever?" It's like, "F you," and I just was like, I don't want to deal with that. I'd rather than just go around back, get what I need, and have no attachment to it, kind of like just I'm going to go play tennis because I need to work out, and I'm going to come back, and that's it. So, it was that kind of thing in my mind.


Roman Wyden: Then years later when I was at a transformational seminar, there was a group of people doing homework, and the homework was to go tell someone that we're hiding something from, and I was like, "Well, I'm not going to do that one," and one guy was like, "Yeah, you're doing that one." I was like, "No, I'm not going to do that one. I have two kids. No." He's like, "Okay. Well, then you keep hiding, keep lying." I was like, "Screw that." So, I went home and I sat her down, and I said to her, "There's something I got to tell you," and I told her. I told her that I'd been going to massage parlors and strip clubs, and that I... Essentially, it's cheating. It doesn't matter. Right?


Ashley Rivard: Right.


Roman Wyden: Of course, it was rough. For her, that was a slap in the face. She had no idea, and for her it was like, well, here I am at work, working hard, and that's what you're doing. So, in essence, it didn't matter how I went about it. It would've been probably confronting anyway, but I went the hard way. So, it took us quite a while. It took us a good six months to a year. I remember one time driving on the 405, and this is a couple years later, and it just came back to her where she just looked at me and she's like, "I'm feeling disgusted, and fuck you," and she was just going off on it, but at the time, I was in a good space of, okay, this is her anger. I got to hold that space, and give it to me. Let me know. Right?


Ashley Rivard: Yeah.


Roman Wyden: So, I really got present to the pain and the hurt-


Ashley Rivard: You caused, yeah.


Roman Wyden: ... and that helped me a lot, to be like, okay, I still sometimes feel I need this nurturing, but I now know it's coming from my wound, from my wounding, from my void, so I'm not going to go act upon it because I now have a life partner who's committed, who's shown me, clearly, that she was in for the better or for worse, this one being worse. I'm a big advocate of letting people know that are about to get married to make sure you really will work through everything. It could be cheating. It is for a lot of people. Yeah. At that point, I was just like, okay, I'm done. I'm not going to go around back anymore, which I'm so happy now because it's so cool to know there's no secret, there's no hiding, there's nothing hidden. It still takes me a lot of courage to come up to her and ask for something.


Ashley Rivard: Okay.


Roman Wyden: We could talk more about that later, but the lesson there was I didn't have the balls to bring it up. I wasn't man enough, if you want to use that term, but I just wasn't courageous enough to ask for what I wanted.


Ashley Rivard: Yeah, yeah.


Roman Wyden: That's as simple as that.


Ashley Rivard: Is that when you also asked her for an open relationship?


Roman Wyden: No. I kind of went in phases. So, first-


Ashley Rivard: Okay. So, you solidified that little hiccup, and you guys moved on and got better?


Roman Wyden: We moved on, it got better, and then at one point we were doing this ceremony in Venice with a bunch of friends, and we were hanging out, and it was like a plant medicine meditation ceremony, and we were both there, and I remember the guide saying, "Try not to talk. Try not to... Just be in your own world." So, I was in my own world. My wife walks over, and she's like, "Hey. So, what are you getting? What are you downloading? What's present for you?" and I was like, "I think I should just be on my own." She's like, "Well, let's share. I'm really excited."


Roman Wyden: I was so authentic. I told her, I said, "I love other women. I love women. I'm fascinated by feminine energy," I just kind of was talking what was present. Of course, for her that was a big, whoa, what does that mean? I said, "I don't know if it means anything right now, but you asked me how I feel," and I was like, "I'm going to tell you. I'm not going to hide that." What ensured was that she said she needed to take a break, and her and her sister went to Mexico over spring break, and she took our two sons, and she said, "Well, just take four or five days and think about it, and I need an answer. What are we doing?"


Roman Wyden: That was the four most painful days of my life because I really didn't know what I wanted, and I knew that I could lose everything, and then a day later realize that's not really what I wanted, I do want it back, but it's too late. You never know. To this day, I remember my wife calls me on day three, even though we said we're not going to call, and she was crying, and she said, "I really need to know," and the kids were in the background, and I could hear them say, "Papa, don't leave us," and I was like-


Ashley Rivard: Oh, wow.


Roman Wyden: I mean, it gives me goosebumps now.


Ashley Rivard: So, she had told them what was happening?


Roman Wyden: She had to because she was so sad and crying all the time, they were like, "What's happening? What's going on?"


Ashley Rivard: And they were old enough to understand?


Roman Wyden: Seven and 10.


Ashley Rivard: Oh, yeah.


Roman Wyden: At that moment, I was like, "It doesn't matter what I want, but I do not want to rip up this family. There's no way I'm going to destroy this family," and I told her, "I'm in." In a way, that was committing to finally be in, but also not denying my feelings, also knowing that this desire for feminine energy or nurturing just still comes from an authentic place, but it's the wounding. It's the void that I'm trying to fill, but not saying, "Oh, those feelings are wrong." No, they're there, but they're not going to contribute to raising a healthy family.


Ashley Rivard: Do you feel when these type of things happen for you where you start to kind of look out, or you get this urge, do you always, once you go within, do you always find some deeper wound or trauma there, and then you have this awakening around it, going, "Oh, okay. That really had to do with this, negating this trauma, and now that I'm working on this trauma, I don't need to do that," or-


Roman Wyden: Yeah. I think I'm dancing that fine line as we speak, the last few months, where wanting to have sex with someone, if it's coming from a wounding, in my case, if I'm trying to fill a void of intimacy and nurturing and feminine energy is one thing, and then wanting to have sex that's really respectful and beautiful and playful is another, and finding that fine line where I go, "Okay, I'm not attracted to this person because of the wounding," because usually I will know when I meet a woman that I'm attracted to that we have the same wound. That's why we're attracted to each other. I'm a big believer in that, and my wife will know, when a woman walks in the room, she will know if I'm going to connect or not.


Ashley Rivard: Yeah.


Roman Wyden: She just knows.


Ashley Rivard: Of course.


Roman Wyden: I realized, okay, if I'm attracted to another woman because of the wounding, then let me just have a conversation with that woman. Let's just get to know them and talk, because eventually we both realize that we have that wounding, even if we're not talking about it, and eventually the mystique is gone, and then I go, "Well, I do have a partner, and yes, you were sexy or attractive for a minute, but eh." You know?


Ashley Rivard: Yeah.


Roman Wyden: There's many people. So, that goes away, but avoiding that contact, I no longer do that. So, if I do feel a flirtation or an attraction, I will go to, for lack of a better term, pop the bubble and go, "There's no mystique here, pop," and find out what attracted us, what is it, because if a woman, in this case I'm married, if a woman comes up to me and she says, "I really want to be with you," and I get the sense that she's out to take me away from my wife, I'm not interested. I'm committed. This isn't-


Ashley Rivard: There are people out there like that?


Roman Wyden: Yeah.


Ashley Rivard: I'm so naïve in that sense. I just-


Roman Wyden: No, and I don't mean take away from, but when they come in with the-


Ashley Rivard: Like conquer?


Roman Wyden: ... possible intention that maybe this will become a relationship, and he will leave his wife, that's usually evident, especially to my wife. My wife has met women before where she's like, "She likes you, and I know she is out to get something," and I'm learning from her. I'm like, "Oh, you're right. You're right," or, "She likes you, and she could be a really good friend," or, "She likes you, and let's hang out, all of us together, to get to know each other." There's different levels.


Ashley Rivard: Yeah, yeah.


Roman Wyden: When I feel that really kind of sexual, flirty thing, I just take a deep breath and I go, "Okay. There's got to be some wounding connection here," because that's what it's... For me, that's become a pattern.


Ashley Rivard: Do you feel that all men are like this?


Roman Wyden: As in feel how I feel?


Ashley Rivard: Yeah.


Roman Wyden: No. I think it depends on how you grew up. Lots of other men might've had the intimacy from their mother. Right?


Ashley Rivard: Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Roman Wyden: It's usually the mother's nurturing energy that's missing when-


Ashley Rivard: So, then they're not seeking it from women so much?


Roman Wyden: So they're not seeking it, and here's a cool thing, and you tell me if you need to move on. I wanted to add one thing, is we recently went to a cuddle party, and what it is, it's just a... It's what it is, is you go there to cuddle with other people and to learn how to ask for consent. So, every movement, every hug, every hand motion, everything needs to be consented. You can't just hug someone and then rub their back. You have to be like, "Is it okay if I rub your back?" and then-


Ashley Rivard: Interesting.


Roman Wyden: ... if they say no, it's like, it's no. If they're not sure, it's no. So, it was a great lesson in consent, but what happened was the last minute before the doors closed, this woman walks in, and clearly, here and I were just like... My wife knew. She was like, "Oh, great. Now I'm going to have to be maybe jealous if he's going to hug her." There was just something in the air.


Ashley Rivard: Wow.


Roman Wyden: But we looked at each other. We're like, "That's why we're here. We're going to work this out. We're going to talk about it later." One thing she told me later, what she got from this whole interaction, is that she said, "I don't want to in the future know that my sons are going to go to some cuddle party or a sex party or something looking for their mother," in other words, looking for that nurturing energy that they never got at home, and it taught her to really get into the moment of nurturing her kids now.


Ashley Rivard: Oh, I love that.


Roman Wyden: She's changed since that, two months ago.


Ashley Rivard: I love that.


Roman Wyden: Yeah.


Ashley Rivard: Wow.


Roman Wyden: She is on fire now, spending time with them, and really nurturing them. Right?


Ashley Rivard: Yeah.


Roman Wyden: It's not like she hasn't before, but now she's aware that if men don't get nurtured that way, that they will be the guys out looking for it like I did. So, in a way, we can stop that pattern now with our sons, because again, is there anything wrong with that? Yeah, we have to explore sexually. We have to learn things, and we all are going to go through our experiences, but I think when you just cannot stop doing it is when there's really a void.


Ashley Rivard: Do you think with men that the guys who... I know what you said in your case, you were screwing everything and you were trying to fill that void when you were younger, but do you think men actually really want to be alone and just quote-unquote play the field or just date around, or are they really actually looking for that deep connection, and they just don't know how to do it?


Roman Wyden: I think the answer to me is simple. We're all human beings longing for those deep connections. Right?


Ashley Rivard: Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Roman Wyden: I think when men are sort of... What's it called? When they're on hold, when they want to play the field, they don't want to commit yet, it could be a variety of factors. Mine was, well, I need to sleep with a lot of women because that hopefully will fill that void. Others could just be that their parents had a messy divorce, super messy, and they're like, "I don't want to get into anything committed." There's a lot of people, and I don't want to stereotype, but a lot of people in the polyamorous or open marriage, and in those lifestyles, often I find them saying, "Well, I don't really want to get married. I think commitment doesn't work," and usually when I dig deeper, their parents divorced, or they didn't know their mother or father, not everyone, but I think there is a pattern there, and so I feel that that trauma for a young boy becoming a man, eventually the divorce can really... It's like a PTSD, right?


Ashley Rivard: Of course.


Roman Wyden: It can really shock them into, "You know what? I don't want that. I don't want that pain."


Ashley Rivard: Right, it's too painful.


Roman Wyden: So, then they'll just sleep around, or they're afraid to commit. They don't have to be promiscuous. They could just be somebody you meet, and they're just not accessible. They just won't let you in because, "Well, if I open up and she comes in, now we're in. Now we're committed, and now it turns into a marriage and a divorce like my... No, not going to go there."


Ashley Rivard: Okay.


Roman Wyden: So, there's many other reasons why, but those are the two most comment that we find, that we see men go through.


Ashley Rivard: Yeah, yeah.


Roman Wyden: It's a great question. If you're someone looking for a man and he's not available, he's not open...


Ashley Rivard: Yeah.


Roman Wyden: It's funny. I just had a client two days ago from Australia, this young man. He's 32, beautiful man, just looks like a men's man with a beard and beautiful features, and just a good guy, and he said to me, "I can't open up my heart. I can't do it," and I was like, "Wow, that's really advanced because you're telling me you can't, but you're aware of the fact that you can't, so let's look at why." It went back to his father left him when he was six. He then reconnected with his father when he was 26, and the father said, "I'm sorry. I can't be in your life."


Ashley Rivard: Oh, wow. Oh, wow.


Roman Wyden: Then you just go, "Okay." He just spent 20 years opening his heart to go to his father, and his father goes, "Sorry." Well, that man's going to close his heart.


Ashley Rivard: Of course. It's just safety.


Roman Wyden: So, I think parenting is so underestimated or underrated, how important it is to really do a good job, to really give nurturing to the children. Even if there's a divorce, there's no reason today why one can't have a peaceful divorce.


Ashley Rivard: Absolutely.


Roman Wyden: I say this to our clients all the time. One time I had to... Can I cuss on this [crosstalk 00:23:20]


Ashley Rivard: Sure.


Roman Wyden: I said to this couple... They were bickering back and forth, and I said, "Guys, I don't give a shit where you guys end up, but you have a kid. I'm here to make this work for the kid, so please, can we stop pointing fingers? Can we get back to what matters?" They were both like... I said, "Really, my commitment's to the children." If you don't have kids, honestly... I usually work with couples that have children. If not, I feel less attached. I feel like they can go either way as long as you guys figure it out, and you're not hurting each other, just go figure it out.


Ashley Rivard: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.


Roman Wyden: But once there's kids, and that's what we're talking about, this sort of trauma that a man in this case with later still keep around until his thirties, forties, fifties-


Ashley Rivard: Yeah, if it's not looked at.


Roman Wyden: ... I'm still dealing with it.


Ashley Rivard: Yeah. I mean, do you think it's possible then to have a relationship that is just you and your partner for years to come?


Roman Wyden: Yeah, absolutely.


Ashley Rivard: And you're not going out of the marriage or...


Roman Wyden: I think ultimately, people always want to know is it better to be monogamous or right or wrong, or is it right or wrong to be polyamorous or open, or what's the right way to do it? I always say, "You have to be happy in the relationship." Now, selfish and happy is different because you could be like, "Well, I'm not getting enough sex. I need to sleep around, so I'm not happy." It's more about... My wife and I, we always say, "Let's talk about everything." So, if something comes up, we talk about it, and then we decide, is that something we could explore together in this committed relationship? Because we are committed to be each other's mirrors. It would be much easier for us to just divorce and us to go and do whatever we want to do.


Roman Wyden: There's going to be less learning, less spiritual hurdles that will give us growth in that because it's just me with no resistance, doing what I want to do. But inside my marriage, for me to have any kind of sexual fun that I'm going to explore with my wife, I have to bring it up. I have to have the courage to bring it up, and I have to be able to be with a no, or what if she says, "Well, if you want that, then I want this," and I have to be with jealousy or whatever? You know?


Ashley Rivard: Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Roman Wyden: So, in essence, that's where the growth is. I believe that if you're committed with someone, with one person in a monogamous relationship, you're getting the maximum amount of growth out of it. The moment you expand it to three people or four or five, still a huge amount of learning, but I think it's starting to become a bit watered down, and it becomes then more about the general drama, and just-


Ashley Rivard: Yeah, and don't you think that when you are expanding or bringing in other people into your marriage, it also allows you not to really show up in a really deep, intimate way with your partner? I mean, in a way, you're just bringing different energies into the relationship.


Roman Wyden: Yeah. I will say it depends because I would say it could work if the three people are so connected and so on the same level of respect, of authenticity, honesty, of... Respect is the main one because if... Let's say two people are together as a couple, married husband and wife, and let's say another man or woman comes in, if that man or woman is there in any way, shape, or form to take from that relationship, then it's the wrong person, but in order to find that trio on the same page, that's the needle in the haystack. It's possible. I'm not saying it's better or worse. I leave that door open and say it's possible. It's not something I want to explore right now because my wife and I had a moment in our marriage where we thought we would possibly bring in another man because she was interested in meeting this man, but not sexually, but just to start hanging out or having great conversations. She loved his hugs, and I was like, "Okay. Well, then I need to work on my hugs." Right?


Ashley Rivard: Right, right.


Roman Wyden: But it wasn't a jealousy moment. It was like, "Well, show me how... How do you like to be hugged?" It was the first time I had asked her, "How do you like to be hugged?" in 12 years, because we assume this is how I hug my wife.


Ashley Rivard: Interesting.


Roman Wyden: She never said, "The hug's okay. I need this kind of hug." So, then I hugged her that way, and we got super connected, and she was like, "That's all I needed."


Ashley Rivard: Oh, wow.


Roman Wyden: "That's all I needed. I don't need that guy."


Ashley Rivard: I mean, it just kind of goes back to what we were saying, though, speaking your truth, speaking those things that make you vulnerable and shake you to the core, but ultimately is what gives you the most juice and connection.


Roman Wyden: It's funny because we knew each other's love language. I knew hers was touch, but I always thought touch is soft, sensual, or whatever, and she's like, "No. In this case, just hug me and hold me this way, and I feel grounded."


Ashley Rivard: Interesting.


Roman Wyden: Same for me. If I feel like... There was a moment where I met three women during a period of time where I was really open because she said, "Well, okay. If you need to flirt and feel confident in that area, go ahead and do that, and let's see what comes of it," and then because my energy changed, literally in the next week I met these three women independently, and I didn't know what to do with the energy. It was strong. It was like, oh, my god, oh, my god. It was this sexual energy, and I was like, "I don't know what to do with it." Then I just decided to discontinue that because it was all, again, from the wounding. Right?


Ashley Rivard: Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Roman Wyden: I was like, well, what was I after anyway? If it's sex, what kind of sex, and can I ask my wife? Can we experiment? Can we explore? It can all be brought back home, but it takes courage to say, "This is what I like." Oh, I can't tell her that, because that's crazy, or not that I had crazy ideas, but I was like, is she going to like that? But I think if we just share it, then it's less of a mystery and it's less of hiding and looking for it somewhere else.


Ashley Rivard: Yeah.


Roman Wyden: Of course, people will say, "Well, yeah, but I get tired of my wife after 20 years, and I'm not in love anymore." I will tell you there's moments where I fall back in love with my wife every... A month or a year later or five years later, we get a renewed sense of falling in love that's the same intensity. So, I know it's possible.


Ashley Rivard: Interesting.


Roman Wyden: Yeah.


Ashley Rivard: Wow. But do you think it's just because you guys went deeper into your emotional intimacy?


Roman Wyden: Absolutely. I think the reason why my wife and I can fall in love with each other again is because when there is... Intimacy to me is like imagine that we both have a clear pane of glass. I have one, you have one. We can see each other through it clearly, and then the moment we start having secrets or not expressing something or sort of being suppressed, the glass gets kind of dirty. Little by little, you kind of start not really seeing each other, and my wife and I have come up with this sort of commitment that we say, "Whenever it's dirty, let's sit down and clean it. Let's find out," and then the love is there again because you now can see each other again, and it's the same person that you fell in love with 25 years ago.


Ashley Rivard: Yeah. So interesting. When you talk about when you have these moments and you share with your wife, I feel like there's a tightness when you speak about it. I would feel so much rejection, I feel.


Roman Wyden: From which part?


Ashley Rivard: From if my partner was like, "I want to explore another woman." I don't know. That just is-


Roman Wyden: Oh, absolutely.


Ashley Rivard: The fear of that to me, my biggest fear is being cheated on, and it goes back to, obviously, not being worthy or good enough. Right?


Roman Wyden: Yeah.


Ashley Rivard: So, that to me, I don't think I would be able to do the whole open thing. I'd feel so much jealousy.


Roman Wyden: Yeah, and she does too, by the way. This is something we've come to learn, a couple things, and it's great that you brought that up. How we do it is, first of all, it's when things are brought up. There is a timing. It's also how they're brought up. Is the space safe? Am I just putting it in the space like, "Hey, I want to be with other women?" or is it more like, "I'd like to share something that's really hard for me to share because I love you so much, and it takes so much courage for me to just voice that, and there's nothing I need to do with this or you need to do with this, but I just need to share." Right?


Ashley Rivard: Absolutely.


Roman Wyden: That's a different conversation, right?


Ashley Rivard: Yeah.


Roman Wyden: Still, it'll be that lump in the throat, because we did one the other day, and it was still...

She still said, "I felt unsafe. I felt like..." Unsafe is a word she uses a lot.


Ashley Rivard: Me too.


Roman Wyden: Right?


Ashley Rivard: Yeah. I use it all the time.


Roman Wyden: I said, "I totally get it, and I know why, and here's probably what I could've done, should've done." So, again, it's a work in progress. Most couple just don't do it because, well, then my wife will feel hurt.


Ashley Rivard: Yeah.


Roman Wyden: Well, if you never start, then you will never, ever have the courage to ever bring it up again in the future, and it's just downhill from there. You got to start somewhere. You got to start saying... But I think that's why it's good to take seminars and workshops where it's about communication and how couples and relationships work, and that's where we got all this from.


Ashley Rivard: Wow.


Roman Wyden: We didn't know how to do this. Nobody taught us how to...


Ashley Rivard: It seems pretty natural to you.


Roman Wyden: It is now because we do it daily.


Ashley Rivard: Wow.


Roman Wyden: There's daily conversations where... The other day, this was amazing, I come home, I'm like, "Hey, honey." I was so happy from my walk, and she was kind of in a funky mode because of the business thing she's going through, and she looked at me and she's like, "I can't even look at you. You're so fake right now," and I was like, "What?" and it just hit me because what I did is I rolled over her emotions. I didn't acknowledge the space she was in. I was like, "Hey, let's just keep this all happy. Yay," because that's how I grew up. My mom was always like, "Yeah, yeah. Let's not talk about the bad things."


Ashley Rivard: You weren't meeting her where she was at.


Roman Wyden: Exactly. I wasn't reflecting her. I wasn't giving her space. I was just like, "Yay. Let's make it a good day," and when she said, "You're so fake," it was almost like somebody took an icepick to my... My chest was made out of ice, and it just crumbled, and I went into a three-day ego death. I didn't know who I was. If I'm fake, then who am I, and where else have I been fake, and what do I really want, and I don't even know what I want. I mean, it was like a-


Ashley Rivard: Wow. That's awesome.


Roman Wyden: But I knew there was a bottom to it. I knew that I would come back up from that, like, oh, now I can be whoever I say I am, and I can be with her, reflect her, and be present with her. So, that was just a month ago or something like that. So, we constantly... You know?


Ashley Rivard: Wow.


Roman Wyden: But if she wasn't honest, if she was nicey-nicey, which she has been, and me too, that's why we fell in love with each other, we're too nice in a way because we're just afraid to hurt the other person, and here's an interesting insight I had the other day. It's so cool. Somebody, it was the guy, the Australian client I was talking to, and he said, "I'm afraid to hurt my girlfriend by telling her blah, blah, blah," and I said, "Look. It's never that we're afraid to hurt our partner. It's that we're afraid to hurt them, and that the anger that comes back from them we won't be able to handle, so we don't go there, but we say, 'I'm afraid to hurt you, so I'm not going to do it,' but it's really scared to be able to handle it," and I said, "You're a man. You can go out there and be honest, and if you get anger back, just hold the space. Just ask her what else, what else, until everything's out."


Ashley Rivard: So, every time you have these conversations then... I was talking to my girlfriend about this the other day, of sharing with... Dating and that whole thing, it's very uncomfortable and what have you.


Roman Wyden: Challenging.


Ashley Rivard: Yeah, and she was saying how she couldn't... So, she noticed that she literally... She's very authentic with me, and she's a seeker and all this stuff, but she notices with men she doesn't really share who she is.


Roman Wyden: Yeah.


Ashley Rivard: She's like, "I don't know why I do that," and so I said, "It's going to be... It's like that moment of knowing, oh, I'm trembling. I feel like I'm going to vomit, but that's where the gold is, and have to express that because it's not anybody them." You know?


Roman Wyden: Yeah.


Ashley Rivard: It's always about you feeling like I just showed up.


Roman Wyden: Absolutely, and I think it's just a fear of not being accepted.


Ashley Rivard: Yeah. I mean, we all have that.


Roman Wyden: Because when you say, "I'm into crystals and I love fairies," and the guy's like, "Okay," and he out of there, okay, great.


Ashley Rivard: Yeah.


Roman Wyden: Life just said, "Not that guy," but the woman then feels like, "Oh, shoot. I scared away a nice guy. I shouldn't have mentioned..." No. If that's who you are, but it is a fear of being rejected or-


Ashley Rivard: Because we're rejecting ourselves.


Roman Wyden: Yeah.


Ashley Rivard: You know?


Roman Wyden: Yeah.


Ashley Rivard: I mean, we all, to an extent, still do. Right? It's a daily-


Roman Wyden: Absolutely. Absolutely.


Ashley Rivard: ... process to [crosstalk 00:36:52] for ourselves.


Roman Wyden: My fear with my wife, the resistance I have to tell her stuff is the fear of being judged and not accepted, of being crazy or dirty or whatever, and so therefore, it's easy for me to say, "I'm not going to tell her about that," but now there's a second voice that says, "Yes, you are," and then I do it. Before, it was just like, nah, not going to say that.


Ashley Rivard: Yeah, yeah.


Roman Wyden: Now I know that, like you said, there's the gold. You know?


Ashley Rivard: Yeah. So much work. It's so much work.


Roman Wyden: But that's the only work we got to be doing.


Ashley Rivard: Yeah.


Roman Wyden: If you and I can have that kind of life and share this with people through a podcast and through... That means the work is out there. People are doing it. I hope more people join in. You know?


Ashley Rivard: Right.


Roman Wyden: Because we got to... I mean, it's not a doomsday message, but our kids really need change. You know?


Ashley Rivard: Yeah, yeah. For sure.