AMA: Balancing Family and Self, Navigating Degeneracy in Schools, Fixing Your Marriage

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We go deep today talking about:

  • What advice would you give a father who is in the midst of trying to start a family? 
  • What event or achievement led to your decision to embrace the role of ‘dad coach’ with confidence? 
  • How can you navigate the challenge of a marriage in crisis while continue being an amazing father to your kids?
  • How can you navigate past family issues and pursue family reconciliation?
  • How can you best support your child in understanding your partner’s actions and motives to keep you apart?
  • How can you train our kids to deal with other kids in school that constantly joke about homosexuality and sex? 
  • How do you balance work life self-care without the guilt?

#170. AMA: Balancing Family and Self Without Guilt, Training Kids To Deal With Degenerate Jokes in School, and What To Do If Your Marriage Is On The Rocks


[00:00:00] Intro Part: So if you want to keep the family together, truly, you need to be willing to get uncomfortable to break down all the walls that you weren't willing to look behind in your own life, to realize why you were showing up this way in the first place, and just become the best version of you, because even if she does leave and makes a terrible choice, and has to deal with that herself later, you will have shown yourself, both.

[00:00:19] Intro Part: And your children, who you are, what a man does and how to move forward in life when hardship happens.

[00:00:31] Intro Part: Welcome back to the DadWork podcast. This is Curt Storring your host and the founder of DadWork. And we are back for another AMA ask me anything episode. I am going to run through a bunch of the questions that you guys have submitted in hopes to just give you a little bit of encouragement and what I would do, or maybe just some of my own experience.

[00:00:49] Curt: So we've got some good questions this week. I hope that you'll stick around. But before that, I just want to share one thing that came to mind this morning. And, , this was something that came up in scripture and I was just [00:01:00] convicted of this because like a lot of us, I think I end up trying to pick sides that make me feel good.

[00:01:06] Curt: Like many of us, I can still get caught up in the politicization or the us against them mentality. When I look at the world. I want to be a Christian. I want to do the right thing. I want to be a strong masculine man, husband and father. And I want to do that in the face of the evil around us now. That's not wrong, but what I do think is wrong, at least in my thinking it's as identifying as anything, but Christian. , as I was considering this I'm like, man, even the cool stuff that I really identify with, like Christian nationalism. Like being a super masculine man, like, oh, Christ was super manly. Like, yeah.

[00:01:44] Curt: Those things, maybe they're good, but at the core of it, I just had this thought today that the only attribute worth anything is Christ-likeness. So I could be all of those things. I could be the Christian nationalist. I could be the, you know, [00:02:00] whatever denomination or whatever that I feel pride fully part of.

[00:02:03] Curt: And I don't think we should trick ourselves here. There was some pride in my heart, as I was thinking about this, that I am of these people, and these are the right people versus everyone else, but that was still a layer between me and Jesus Christ. And so I'm not perfect. I'm not going to get this right, but I was just convicted this morning that I should not be optimizing for anything, but Christlikeness, I should only be going, am I on team Jesus or not right now?

[00:02:27] Curt: Not am I on team conservative? Not am I on team freedom? Not am I on team nationalism? Like whatever. I just want to be on team Jesus. So let's focus on Christ-likeness. I would say.

[00:02:40] Curt: And let's not get lost in sort of the prideful masculinity that while I think is very important. We don't need to spend so much time going. Oh, well. Jesus was the most masculine man ever love. Yeah. But he was a lot more than that too. So why would I base my whole personality on just one side?

[00:02:57] Curt: I mean, he doesn't talk about that. He obviously [00:03:00] is masculine just using this example. But more than that, he's obedient. He's just obedient. His entire life was obedience to God, the father. And so there was none of this politicization, the only politics Jesus engaged in was to tell those who are Hotty in their spirituality, that they were doing it wrong.

[00:03:18] Curt: And so I don't want to get caught up in that. So this is like a very incomplete thought, but I just wanted to share that because I see so much division. And while I know there is right and wrong in some people write in, some people are wrong. I'm going to base my rightness being as close as I can to Jesus and as obedient as I can. To the father.

[00:03:37] Curt: So I'm going to fall a very short, I'm not saying, oh, look at me doing this. It was just a thought that Christlikeness was the only attribute worth anything when it comes to being that way, rather than just, oh, I want to be more masculine or, oh, I want to be more, whatever. Anyway, we'll leave that like that, that was just a quick thought I wanted to share with you guys.

[00:03:55] Curt: Let me know what you think. , follow me on Instagram. dadwork.curt send me an email at [00:04:00], , or join us inside of our community. DadWorkLegacy, and drop a post in there while you take all of our courses, , for one low price, like 29, 99 a month. Ridiculous. But it's all in there.

[00:04:11] Curt: So anyway, join us. One more thing before we get into the questions.

[00:04:15] Curt: One of the next episodes coming up here in the downward podcast is going to be my review and preview. And what that is is I take some time before the end of the year to review the entire year that has just passed or 20, 23. And then I take some time to look ahead to preview 20, 24, and I intentionally block out my calendar so that I can look really deeply to see what did I learn?

[00:04:39] Curt: What didn't work? What do I want more of that did work from this past year, moving forward? What did I do? What did I learn? I want to put all of that down on paper in my planner, on my computer, wherever you're going to do it. And then I like to plan set goals and rhythms and stuff for the next year.

[00:04:54] Curt: So I'm going to be doing that myself and then I'm going to probably record a podcast. So if you guys want to do that [00:05:00] in your life, you can follow along in my format. And it's been really powerful. The last probably four or five years, I've been doing this to just be really intentional with my time, how I'm moving forward. Where I've been so that I can continually make progress and growth as a man, husband and father putting the family first without getting lost in the weeds of the day to day stresses of life, you must be planning for where you want to go.

[00:05:23] Curt: The risk of not doing that as one day, living day by day by day, you wind up at the end of your life and go. This, isn't where I thought I'd be. And that is regret. So I don't want to live a life of regret. I don't want to get to my death bed and go like, whoops, you've got the chance now, not to live that life.

[00:05:38] Curt: So take the week or the hours or whatever it's going to be. To do some intentional planning. I think it'll bless you greatly. So let's get into the actual questions.

[00:05:46] Curt: All right. The first question is, what advice would you give a father to be we're in the midst of trying to start a family? And when that day comes, I want to be ready in all ways possible. Amazing. This is an awesome question. I'm really glad that you're asking this. And I wish I asked this question. , before I became a father, there's a lot of [00:06:00] stuff on this that I would love to share.

[00:06:01] Curt: I might even do a, a new dad course one day. I think there's just a lot that I wish I knew. , but I'm going to rifle through some things. Number one is do the inner work that you need to do now so that you don't get surprised by triggers and past pain when the child is born, because your kids have a way of bringing out the best and the worst in you.

[00:06:19] Curt: So I would dive into your past, look at your childhood, your assumptions about marriage and family. I would do it with your wife. So you both know what your assumptions are and what your expectations are. And I've even heard of people doing this with like a marriage counselor, or a coach or something like that to guide you through the process.

[00:06:35] Curt: Just because it's hard to know what questions even to ask. So you will be so much stronger if you can deal with at least a little bit of that stuff. Now, knowing that you'll be. In the weeds, you'll be tired. You'll be upset. Oh, why didn't my wife do this? When I thought she was supposed to do this, you're tired.

[00:06:50] Curt: The baby's taken up all your wife's time and suddenly you're just resentful. It's like, well, if you knew this coming in, that these sorts of things were likely to come up, or if you had established some things [00:07:00] beforehand. You would be able to move through that a lot better. So go all the way back and figure out what sorts of things happened in your childhood, your wife's childhood, what the assumptions and expectations were communicated.

[00:07:11] Curt: Those come up with a plan. And, , one important point on this is to talk about medic communication. So recent podcast guest, Dr. Josh Straub called this medic communication, but it's basically communicating about how you communicate. So, Hey babe, when I get triggered, I know that I get snappy, angry, whatever blamey. And so I just want you to know that's likely happening.

[00:07:31] Curt: I'm going to try my best not to do that, but if you see that. It's not you it's me. And I'm gonna try my best when you call me gently on that. To reel myself back in and hopefully she can share something as well. , also know that it will be hard that your old bachelor childless self will have to die.

[00:07:47] Curt: And you won't want to give that up in some areas. , but you absolutely must. So it's not to say like, you just have to keep your old self out the window, but you will evolve to becoming a father. And that requires that your single [00:08:00] cell for your childless self, which is still hanging on there a little bit of selfishness, being able to do whatever you want all the time, putting yourself first, those things have to die and sometimes they're painful and that's okay.

[00:08:10] Curt: It's so necessary. So don't judge yourself when it's hard, but no it's necessary the same with your wife. She's going to have to become a mother now. And. For so many of us fathers and mothers, that's a radical experience when nobody's been there to show us along the way. So give her some grace, give yourself some grace and also get on the same page.

[00:08:28] Curt: So, you know, who's going to do what, when you're going to do it, how you can help and serve each other when you're struggling through this. I would also say to have a plan for when things go wrong or when you're triggered. So get good at communication, emotional mastery, conflict resolution, learn about fatherhood.

[00:08:44] Curt: And I'll say parenting here, but really fatherhood because. So much of the so-called parenting advice these days is really motherhood and it's not very good motherhood either. There's not a lot of good fatherhood content out there. And I'm trying to get that across. I know there's other men trying to get that [00:09:00] across, but all of the so-called gentle parenting these days. Lots of good stuff in there in terms of emotional practices, in terms of communication. Not a lot of good stuff in there for fathers.

[00:09:10] Curt: I think we have to be more assertive. We have to lead. We have to push for our children's potential. We have to encourage them to get up when things go wrong or when they get hurt on their bike. For example, rather than the mother just going, oh, come here. You know, it's going to be okay, let me kiss your booboo. Dad goes, Hey, I see that hurt, bud.

[00:09:28] Curt: Let's get back up and try again. I know you can do it. So there's a difference between fatherhood and motherhood. You would be very, very useful if you learn what those differences were, how to be a father. And if you can just find men who have the family life that you want. I would just go and follow them, use them as mentors, even from a distance.

[00:09:46] Curt: Just watch what they're doing. And follow in the footsteps of people who are doing. What you want out of family life? , also just knowing that you can get good at these skills is a huge game changer. I just thought, you know, you sort of woke up one day, you're a dad. Oh, [00:10:00] crap. I suck at this. Guess I'm screwed.

[00:10:02] Curt: I didn't realize that just like a golf swing. Just like, you know, learning sales or something, I could just improve the skill and become a better dad. So those things are very important just to clear that, uncertainty in that fear of, oh, am I ever going to get good at this? Yes, you just need to invest and learn how to like actually spend the time getting good with repetitions practice and you'll do it.

[00:10:22] ADS 1: Hey guys, it's Curt Storring. I want to take a quick break to tell you about our Family Leadership Blueprint. If you want to lead your family better, if you want to build an intimate marriage, if you want to confidently raise great kids, then I highly suggest you download the Family Leadership Blueprint by DadWork.

[00:10:38] ADS 1: You can find that for free at It includes five main pillars that you need as a family leader to thrive and see success. Head on over to to download your free copy today. That's All right, let's get back to the show.

[00:10:57] Curt: I would also set goals.

[00:10:58] Curt: What is your goal for [00:11:00] marriage? What is your goal for fatherhood? Who would you like your children to be? What would you like your marriage to look like? Ideally in an ideal world, you, what do you want? Out of marriage. What do you want your kids to be like? And I don't mean, no. I want them to go to Harvard.

[00:11:14] Curt: I want them to become a doctor. That's none of your business and it's totally out of your control. But what you can do is you can set goals for the traits and characteristics that a child or a human should have. And then how will you as the father train those things in them? How will you train prudence?

[00:11:30] Curt: How will you train fortitude? How will you train a hard work and work ethic? Well, there are things to do along the way to guide them through so that they learn these things. And that's your responsibility. I would solidify your habits and your rhythm now. So that it's going to be easier to come back into them after the baby's born, rather than starting from scratch. I would understand as well, something, I didn't know that fathering and connection starts right away.

[00:11:53] Curt: Not just when they're old enough to catch a ball. A first couple of years, I was like, man, can't wait till they're old enough to play catch. That'll be sweet. I guess I [00:12:00] just chill until then. It's like, no dude, like with my third and fourth, I started building that connection right away. It's like skin to skin.

[00:12:07] Curt: You're holding them, you're talking to them, you're looking at them in the, in the face. You're showing them you're being with them. You're sort of just always around knowing that every interaction is an opportunity to build trust. And you're training your child's nervous system for how to react. To the world around them.

[00:12:23] Curt: So if I see that, you know, I'm changing my daughter and I'm putting on like new clothes, I'm saying, Hey, I'm going to take your arm out of the sleeve. Now I'm going to lift the shirt over your head. It's going to be cold. Ah, I'm taking a breath with her and she's like, you know, six to eight months, even before that, right from when she was born, I was doing this. Then, Hey, I'm going to put your shirt back on.

[00:12:42] Curt: It's going to be scary for a sec. It's going to go over your face. I'm going to put your arm in. Great. And then I pick her up and then we go do our thing. So there's so much you can do to connect right off the bat that I didn't know. And then the final thing I'm gonna say here. Is that you have to make space for your wife and baby to bond.

[00:12:58] Curt: This is like a forgotten truth [00:13:00] in the Western modern world, but mother and baby must bond. It is so much harder for the mother and the baby to develop a strong bond for the child to feel, again, that nervous system regulation, if they haven't spent like. Weeks or even a couple months. With the mother, like really, really close with the mother.

[00:13:21] Curt: So these are things like making sure that you do more than your fair share, making sure your cooking, your cleaning, your wife has offer feet that you're giving her everything she needs for this very important time. Not because like, she doesn't have to pull her weight, but because hormonally, because connection wise, because your child needs this time with mother, baby together, bonding in that almost like a. sacred union of sorts that is so necessary for everyone to develop and grow.

[00:13:49] Curt: So get friends and family to help cook extra meals, prep, some meals in the freezer beforehand. Let them rest, let them recover. Let them connect. And then you can carry on from there. So it's going to be hard, [00:14:00] but it's also amazing. There's nothing that's going to challenge you and let you grow. Like becoming a father.

[00:14:05] Curt: So congrats. If you guys get that done and I can't wait to have you in the fold.

[00:14:10] Curt: Another question here is what made you go and say, all right, I can be the dad coach. Was there a specific event or goal you achieve to give you the confidence? All right. I know how this works. Now I can start helping others. I am seeing all the things I don't know, in my area of expertise, I hardly find the courage to call myself an expert or coach.

[00:14:27] Curt: So the answer to this is that a coach once asked me why it should you be the leader? And I said, because I'm willing to, because I will step up and that's courage. It's not hubris though, because it was paired with humility, knowing that I was going to screw up there was going to be conflict. I would be seen sometimes not knowing what I was doing. It's going to be uncomfortable. And yet I was willing to step into leadership. That was generally in another context, even outside of what I'm doing right now.

[00:14:56] Curt: And in DadWork. But it just goes to show that like, [00:15:00] what is a leader? It's the guy who's willing to step up and have people follow him and make those mistakes and be the tip of the spear and take the brunt of it while holding the space and the responsibility for everyone else. So if you can do that, people need leaders.

[00:15:11] Curt: We all need more leaders in our life. Even if it's just being the leader of your family in terms of doing this, like as a dad, It wasn't my goal to be a dad coach. I just started writing on Instagram, like, I don't know, two or three years ago now because I had suffered so badly as a father and as a husband, the early years of my family, that I was just trying to share what worked for me so that other guys didn't have to experience what I experienced, because I almost took my own life because things were so bad.

[00:15:38] Curt: So that's how it started. And one thing led to another and here we are, we run communities. We've got clients who we coach and we help them become family leaders who are hard to kill, easy to love and equipped to lead. So. So that they can lead mazing families have intimate marriages, have confident kids who listen to them and are obedient, but also go the way that they need to go.

[00:15:59] Curt: In terms of [00:16:00] standing strong in the world, we do all this kind of stuff because I just started sharing and people started telling me they liked it. People started applying what I was saying to their lives and seeing results. And they're like, yeah, sure.

[00:16:09] Curt: I'll follow you. What else he got? I don't know, we could do this. Sure let's do that. So it just came naturally. It was one step at a time. So if you think that you need to know step 100, but you haven't even taken step one. You're not going to make it. What we all need to do is take the next right step.

[00:16:25] Curt: And I'm telling you this from experience. I love knowing every single detail. But I also don't let that stop me from taking action. Right now, my journey is very much like, how do I just be obedient? What's the next right step. I don't need to know anything else about the future. God's going to take care of that.

[00:16:41] Curt: What do I need to do right now to be obedient to him? And that's not going well in two or three years of projections look like this. I might need to know this. Someone might call me on not knowing this. Like, dude, just go out there and do it and learn as you go. And you're not going to be perfect. You don't need to be perfect to be an expert.

[00:16:57] Curt: All you need to do to be a coach or an expert is to be one [00:17:00] or two steps ahead of the people that you're leading. That's it. If I could have followed someone one or two steps ahead of me, Awesome. And guess what I do, I've got mentors and coaches and elders and friends around me who are one to 20 steps ahead of me in a lot of areas of life. I just go to them for help.

[00:17:17] Curt: It's awesome. And that's what we do. So if you can lead someone through your experience who is just one step behind you, then do that. You don't need to be a perfect expert with a hundred percent knowledge across the board.

[00:17:26] Curt: All right, going to combine a couple of questions here. One says my wife cheated on me.

[00:17:30] Curt: I think I still love her. She's not doing anything to show me that she feels the same way. Doing everything I can to fight for her and us seem to be getting nowhere. At what point do I ask for a divorce? We've been married 12 years. I have three kids. She used to bend over backwards for me, and I took it for granted. Now I feel she's just in it for the kids and doesn't love me anymore.

[00:17:44] Curt: I'm going to combine that question with best way to still show up as an amazing father for the kids. When the marriage is ending, not by your choice, wife has chosen to leave. I have been trying to show up fight for the marriage, but her mind is made up of two kids. Cohabitation still want to show up the best I can for my kids.

[00:17:58] Curt: So, this sucks and I'm sorry that [00:18:00] this is happening to you guys. , I have worked with a number of men who sort of come to the conclusion that. Yeah, I could have put the work in earlier and sometimes he can't write, sometimes this is your wife's sin alone, and there's no justification for this, for her leaving for her, asking for divorce for her cheating. No justification.

[00:18:15] Curt: And there's usually a reason behind it, which is likely she doesn't feel loved. She doesn't feel safe. She doesn't feel connected, whatever. Anyway. That's no excuse, no matter if you were the worst husband in the world, I don't think there's any excuse. this is on her. That's unfortunate. She's going to have to repent and deal with that.

[00:18:30] Curt: So I pray for reconciliation on both accounts and everyone's account, who's dealing with us. , but the question is like, how do you then either. Show up in a way that she's like, actually, you know what? Reconciliation is awesome. And or when she's like, Nope, I've made up my mind. I've made a terrible decision.

[00:18:46] Curt: I'm really going to have to figure this out. And I'm going to suffer later on how do you, as the father show up for the kids, for the wife, whatever. And I think the number one thing here is for the man asking, do I ask for a divorce? I would say don't ask for the divorce. Like there's never a time that that's okay. she's made a [00:19:00] choice.

[00:19:00] Curt: Why would you make the choice to like, I dunno, get the upper hand by ruining the family yourself. Then you take that responsibility. If she's going to leave, if she's going to do whatever, make her the one who is taking that responsibility, you always follow truth and truth. And goodness is you keep the family together and you aim for reconciliation until she says no way until the fat lady sings, so to speak. Now the, the goal and the situation is basically that you need to start focusing on you and that's paradoxical because we often talk about service and sacrifice and leadership. That's very important, but so many guys don't even know who they are that there's no self to die to.

[00:19:35] Curt: There's no ability to sacrifice when you don't actually have a, identity, a personhood, and as it were, and I almost see this as a lot of guys will operate almost like apparitions. Okay. So instead of having like, Hey, here's my boundary, here's my identity. I know who I am. I know my values. I know what I wanted a life.

[00:19:53] Curt: I know I'm going to get it and I can love and sacrifice and all that kind of stuff from a very secure knowledge of who I am most. Men these [00:20:00] days are what I would call the nice guy. They don't have that. They're almost like apparitions where other people's feelings and identities can come into them. Their own identity sort of float away.

[00:20:07] Curt: There's no boundaries. They don't feel very good. They don't know who they are. They don't know where they're going. And so what happens a lot of time in these situations when men are faced with disaster, so to speak, they finally go, oh man, it's too late, but I need to try my hardest to be the man that she wants. And it's like, dude, the man that she wants is not the happy wife, happy life, dude.

[00:20:26] Curt: It's not the checked out guy. It's none of these things. It is a man on a mission who knows who he is, who can love her, make her feel safe, seen stewed secure

[00:20:35] Curt: All of these things that are going to allow you to create intimacy and vulnerability and connectedness and trust and authenticity, this is the only way to beat.

[00:20:43] Curt: So whether or not she wants any of these things, now, many women have just chosen in. They're never going to do it. And there's nothing you can do just assume that's true. That is painful. And that is the truth that most men in your situation do not want to admit. Well, if I just like sweep it under the rug.

[00:20:58] Curt: Oh, well maybe she's going to do this. Oh, if we just [00:21:00] have a trip together. No just assume worst case scenario she's out. What would you do? You just going to wallow forever? Are you going to become an even worse, man? You're going to have your kids see you not doing anything. No, you have to commit. I need to be the best version of me. For me. And the for me is for them.

[00:21:18] Curt: If I'm not solid, if I don't know what my values are, if I don't know who I am, if I don't know where I'm going, if I don't know who I am as a father. How am I ever going to give anything to this woman who needs stuff from me as my wife? How am I ever going to leave my children? Not knowing where I'm going or who I am or what I'm doing.

[00:21:34] Curt: You can't. And so every man needs this and it just so happens that you guys need this right now real quick, when the stakes are super high. So let this be less than anyone who this is not happening to do the work now. So it doesn't get here. So go and figure out what are your values? If there were no women on earth, what would you do with your life?

[00:21:52] Curt: What mission would you try to accomplish? What adventure would you go on? Who would you be? If you didn't have to worry about getting the [00:22:00] positive affirmation from your wife? A lot of men end up acting like puppy dogs where they're like, well, If I can just please her, then everything's going to be okay.

[00:22:08] Curt: And that comes from your own need to be validated and loved because you probably never got that as a kid. That's usually how it works. It doesn't always work like that. So just bear with me. That's usually what it looks like. You've got to realize that you're okay. You can deal with it. You're going to be all right.

[00:22:22] Curt: If you put yourself first and it doesn't matter if anybody else in the world loves you. Mostly because Jesus loves you. And if you're the only person on earth, I'm sure he would have died just for you. So I'm not a scholar, I'm not winning anything like that. So if that's wrong, don't at me, but that's the amount of love that I think we can all take the identity we have in Christ to be able to say, man, yeah, I want my wife to love me.

[00:22:41] Curt: Yeah. I want to be respected, but. I'm good because I know who I am in Christ. That is an unshakeable identity that I probably, we all get to and it's going to take work.

[00:22:51] Curt: I would recommend listening to my last podcast with Ken Curry and then the one before that as well, last year, those are good in terms of how to build yourself, how to become that [00:23:00] man.

[00:23:00] Curt: So you can imagine that there's two options. Option. Number one is you do nothing and you wallow in it and you just sort of. Let things happen with inertia and drift. 100% chance that she leaves in the sucks. Or you can go all in on making you the best version of you. And chances are, unfortunately, she's probably still going to leave, but this is the only option with even a sliver of hope.

[00:23:25] Curt: So if you want to keep the family together, truly, you need to be willing to get uncomfortable, to break down all the walls that you weren't willing to look behind in your own life to realize why you were showing up this way in the first place and just become the best version of you. Because even if she does leave, it makes a terrible choice as to deal with that herself later, you will have shown yourself and your children, who you are.

[00:23:47] Curt: What a man. Man does and how to move forward in life when hardship happens. I think that's the only thing we can do. Be the best version of you. I do not wallow in it. Do not do things to make her happy [00:24:00] because she's not going to respect you. She will only respect you and end up feeling safe with you eventually, perhaps. If you show her that you are the rock, which means knowing who you are, where you're going, what you're doing. And building the emotional and communicative skills to speak with her, to build those connections, to show her that you are a safe, emotional person to talk to rather than being overwhelmed by her emotions, rather than going inside, rather than blowing up, rather than not even knowing what your emotions are called. So you've got to do a lot of work here. But regardless of the outcome, it's going to be worth it.

[00:24:31] Curt: And there's really only one option. If you want to be a good man and a good role model for your kids and that's to do this work. So best of luck to you guys praying for that reconciliation and for anyone else, who's not there yet. Don't let it get here and do the work now, hopefully that helped

[00:24:46] Curt: all right.

[00:24:47] Curt: There's another question here, but a very, , complicated family setup, I would say. Mother and I split up a number of years ago. I think there were other children involved as well. She had anger and drinking issues. And, , there was just a lot of [00:25:00] chaos by the sounds of it. And there's this sense that there should be a reconciliation because it's important to have the father and the mother in the home, a lot of conflict and stuff like that.

[00:25:10] Curt: So I just want to, first of all, thank you for listening. , the person who gave this question, because he says he listened to the podcast in the deer, stand with a son. , very much appreciate that. That's amazing to hear. And I'm not the best person to answer this question, but what I do want to say is if you are trying to reconcile or build relationship, and this goes for everyone, So if you're just like, oh man, this doesn't apply to me.

[00:25:29] Curt: It does. You have to be able to be very clear, just like the last answer. Most of that applies to you right here as well. But in terms of letting other people back into your life or letting people into your life in the first place, it's so important to set boundaries so that people know how to treat you because you will be treated the way that you let people treat you for the most part.

[00:25:48] Curt: Now, some people just treat you poorly and they don't care. That's when you got to set a real hard boundary and a real big consequence, and just not take part in that at all. But I have heard and worked with men who reconciled with their wives, [00:26:00] who, you know, not quite the situation, but almost, and they had to say, look, I would like to reconcile.

[00:26:05] Curt: I'd like to be a husband and wife. I'd like to create a home for our children. But here's what I'm willing to put up with. Here are my boundaries. Here are the consequences. If you step over these boundaries, now you have to be full of grace because it's not just like you set boundaries in your, , you know, the, the mother of your children goes, oh, okay.

[00:26:22] Curt: Totally good. Thanks for communicating those. She's going to task. She's going to like, not have done the work you're doing. So she's going to constantly probably trip up and go across your boundary. And you're going to have to give her grace, but you are going to have to stop, stand in the way of foolishness and say, here's the consequence that happens now because I cannot trust you. With this boundary until I can trust you with this, this is going to be what it's like.

[00:26:43] Curt: So whatever that looks like for you, you got to know who you are. Again, like the last answer you're going to be figuring out what you're willing to take in terms of behavior. What is good for your children? Are you willing to have a woman who drinks in the house? Yes or no? If no, what's going to be the consequence.

[00:26:58] Curt: And if she says, well, no, I'm not going [00:27:00] to give that up. Then there's your answer. I guess she can't come back into life that way. So do the best, whatever she chooses, but you must be the one to lead this process and set the boundaries to show her what's acceptable as you try to reconcile. So, anyway, thank you for listening, especially while you're hunting.

[00:27:15] Curt: That's awesome. And hopefully it gives you a little bit insight, but again, I'm not the best guy to answer that question.

[00:27:20] Curt: Another one, man, I'm sorry. There's a lot of you guys going through some hard stuff and I'm hopeful that this is useful for the guys who are not, , going through this, but I think there's a lot of lessons to be learned. And I know from some of our coaching calls that I can be very inspiring and convicting to hear from guys going through hard stuff like this for guys earlier in the marriage.

[00:27:37] Curt: So they're like, oh dude, I don't want to do that. Because I don't want to get to this result. So bear with me here. This has been an legal battle with my son's mom. He wants, she wants to take him from me turning nine, starting to realize his mom's actions and motive to keep us apart. How do I help him navigate this? When he asked me, why is mom's doing what she's doing? Okay.

[00:27:54] Curt: So the, the thing here, I think we can all get behind is how do you help? Your children navigate hard situations. , [00:28:00] honestly with proper emotional response, , reactivity or responsibility, I should say. And the first thing that comes up is to be honest. , provide the emotional tools and space for him to process what's going on.

[00:28:11] Curt: He will need to build his emotional digestive tract. I like to call it, which most of us in the modern world do. , most of us don't know how to digest emotions. We hold them in. We blow up everything socks, and it just happens over and over. This is a very difficult, but beautiful way for you to potentially teach him how to navigate these hard emotions.

[00:28:31] Curt: You're going to have to be the one to teach him because he's not going to learn it in a vacuum.

[00:28:34] Curt: We don't inherently know how to deal with this kind of stuff. So how are you showing up? Are you badmouthing her? Are you breathing deeply and speaking your emotions out loud when you're overwhelmed? Are you navigating stress and anger appropriately? You've got to teach them these things. Ask him how he's feeling and then hold space for that.

[00:28:53] Curt: So you're not like, okay. But like, if you could just be happy, it would be okay. Like, no, oh dude, like. I totally understand you [00:29:00] feel abandoned. Totally understand. You feel angry, like why? Yeah. It is confusing why your mother might be doing this. It makes perfect sense. Tell me more about that. What does that feel like?

[00:29:08] Curt: So validate. Empathize with his feelings. Make him very certain, this is not about him. And suggest that it makes sense that he would think it's about him as a child of divorced parents. I know a lot of children end up blaming their selves, even if it's not, , conscious, even if it's subconscious, there's this level of, well, if I was just better, they wouldn't have done this. So make him know it's not about him while being like, yo dude, if you think this, like totally understand, that makes perfect sense.

[00:29:39] Curt: Of course you'd think that and then work through that and give him the space to say, well, Well, it must be by me because of X, Y, and Z. And so work through that with him, giving him space. , and then show him that you are not going to leave him. Show him that even if the courts are going to screw around with you, that you are not going to lie down, that you will always be the safe place for him and that you will always [00:30:00] fight for him so that even if you have to be a part for longer than you want, and it's going to be miserable, I know he will come running back to you at his first opportunity because you were the man that he wants to be with the man that he wants to be.

[00:30:12] Curt: The man that he trusts also don't blame her. This is probably the hardest part in terms of the guys that I've talked to, like don't blame. , his mother for this take the high road, he is going to need to take the high road and your son is going to need to learn how to treat women when he's older.

[00:30:26] Curt: And so if you just bad mouth her and show him that women can't be trusted, that they should just be, you know, verbally abused. What's he going to learn from that? So you have to die to self big time here. And I can't imagine how hard that is, but showing him how to treat women by taking the high road is going to make you an absolute superstar for him and also give him what he needs to move forward in his own life.

[00:30:48] ADS 2: Hey guys, it's Curt Storring. I want to take a moment to tell you about our private training community, DadWorkLegacy. If you're a married Christian father, I want to invite you to join us inside of the DadWorkLegacy community. [00:31:00] Joining us inside DadWorkLegacy gives you the full DadWork course library, giving you everything you need to know about family leadership.

[00:31:08] ADS 2: marriage, communication, emotional mastery, and so much more. But you also get access to a community forum of like minded Christian fathers. This is a place where you can come to learn everything you need to become the role model for your children, the shield. For your wife and children against the degenerate culture.

[00:31:27] ADS 2: We're doing it all inside of this private community. If you are ready to level up your fatherhood marriage and leadership game alongside other good men, join us over at, hit the button to apply, fill out a quick form, and we will get you in the doors. That's

[00:31:45] ADS 2: Enjoy the rest of the podcast.

[00:31:47] Curt: Next question here is Curt.

[00:31:48] Curt: What are your thoughts on how to train our kids to deal with other kids in school that constantly joke about homosexuality and sex? My wife and I send our four kids to public school and try to focus on teaching them how to be in the world, but not of the world. And it seems [00:32:00] like a great opportunity for their faith to be tested. Our oldest son is in sixth grade, dealing with a constantly, we have four kids. , 11 9, 6 and three, my two oldest confess their faith and we try and study the Bible daily with them.

[00:32:10] Curt: So it sounds like you're doing a lot. Right. And I will not profess to be an expert on this. So I'm just going to give you my thoughts, not my expert opinion. So my thoughts on this are that, first of all, I hear you. It's so hard and it's prevalent everywhere. It is a very degenerate culture and it's sad. , and this is the risk we take sending our kids to public school.

[00:32:28] Curt: So that out of the way, I would say to be confident and nonchalant about how you talk about this and almost. I couldn't figure out the right way to say this, but like show remorse or pity or grace for the kids who are doing this. , when we have interactions with children that my kids think are difficult to deal with. , or they're, they're saying things that are like, oh dad, why are they talking about that kind of stuff?

[00:32:48] Curt: Usually we just say, look, it's probably that those kids are feeling lonely. They might not be getting the love they need at home. And so I know it's hard and I know it's really frustrating for you, but it would be [00:33:00] so good for them. And they might even help them stop being like that. If you show them grace and love. Because people don't talk like this act like this, whatever, if they feel secure and home.

[00:33:11] Curt: So that's been a huge thing for us. We just always, , make it such that we can see why the child might be acting this way. It probably just because they never been taught, they probably don't have a father at home leading them or guiding them. And that's sad. That's tragic. So what can we do to be that light, that salt and light in the world?

[00:33:27] Curt: I think that's a really good way to approach it. , we talk about the truth. We talk about the world. We talk about like politics and what's going on. We talk about all that kind of stuff with the kids and not in like a fearful way, because we're not fearful. We just say like, yeah, this is what's going on. Here's probably why. , it's a, it's a direct attack against God.

[00:33:46] Curt: That's what the world is. , and that's what we're going to have to expect. And so just so you guys know, this is probably why, this is what they're looking for. Here's the goal for a lot of this kind of stuff. , and that's just why we don't participate in X, Y, and Z. That's why we [00:34:00] do things this way. , and then, you know, just talk about a very calmly nonchalant, like, oh yeah, you don't have to get worked up about or fearful. , like I know some people do and then just trying to bring it back to the Bible and like, oh yeah, this is the way God made it.

[00:34:10] Curt: And that's just how it is. And, , I also heard something the other day where, , I think it was like a third generation pastor. He's like, yeah. My dad just did an amazing job teaching me that the church was the place to be. Like they had the most generous people, the best relationships, most amazing feeling.

[00:34:26] Curt: And like obviously the, the only eternal answers. , but if you can get your kids, and this is what my sort of new goal is, is just continually show who we are as Christians, who other Christians are, show them the positive effects of living this life. And obviously we're all going to be persecuted to some form to some extent or another, but we're also blessed.

[00:34:48] Curt: And a lot of that blessing is from people acting like Christians. So if we would like to bless others, if we would like to have more blessing than being the salt and light being ambassadors. Hers to Christ. [00:35:00] Is the only way to do it. And that happens in the church that happens in the home. That's how we can lead.

[00:35:05] Curt: And so, you know, that's part of what we have in our family values or family mission statement is that we are light in the dark. And that means when we see people like this suffering. We're the ones who help them. We're the ones leading. We're the ones holding that candle in the dark being like, Hey, if you want some of this, be happy to have you join us around our light.

[00:35:22] Curt: And the final thing I want to mention on this is make sure you as a father are doing an insanely good job on giving them an identity.

[00:35:29] Curt: Just like God, the father did when Jesus was baptized. This is my son whom I love with him. I'm well, pleased. , in that was identity, affirmation and love. This is my son. Well, that has to be the case for your children too. What does it mean to be the son of Curt? What does it mean to be a Storring?

[00:35:45] Curt: Well, that's part of our job. What does it mean to be in Christ? I didn't know what that meant. So teach your kids with them and teach them where they are. Positionally. With God, because of Christ in Christ through Christ. All of those things are so [00:36:00] important so that they don't start going like, well, I don't know, like, are these kids right?

[00:36:03] Curt: Like, who am I? Am I, am I really me? Am I really a boy? Am I really this? So that there's no confusion. They're just like, man, I know exactly who I am. I'm sorry that you guys don't, but why don't I share a little bit with you and just create confident kids in their own identity and in Christ. That's what I would say again. This is not practice.

[00:36:20] Curt: This is what I'm literally trying to work on myself right now. , so just sharing thoughts, not expertise, but thank you for the question. That's very important. These days.

[00:36:26] Curt: All right. Last question here. How do you balance work life self-care without the guilt? I don't have any hobbies, not many friends.

[00:36:32] Curt: And part of that is feeling super guilty about not being at home. We have five kids. I'm starting to feel as if I've lost me to being a husband and dad. Who can relate. Probably a lot of us. In a sense. It's awesome that you've lost me to being a husband and dad that's mostly the point, but like I said earlier in this episode, In order to die to self, there needs to be a self to begin with.

[00:36:53] Curt: So if you sort of like lost who that guy is, it's going to be very hard to die to him so that you can serve and love your family, because [00:37:00] you're probably going to feel resentful. Like, I don't know who I am and now these people are taking from me now. Like, I feel guilty about this, but then like, I kind of want this.

[00:37:07] Curt: That's how resentment builds.

[00:37:08] Curt: So you're going to have to do the work. To get through this

[00:37:11] Curt: I've experienced similar thoughts. And I would say there's probably some immature childishness to kill. Which is totally normal. I'm not like outing you or anything like that, but like, what are you upset about? What are you missing? What are you resentful about?

[00:37:23] Curt: What do you wish you could do? What do you need to let yourself feel? What do you need to admit to your wife? What are your judgments about your wife? What are your judgments about your family? What do you wish? Like, what are all of these feelings that I know you have. But you haven't expressed yet, right?

[00:37:37] Curt: Like, of course I'm pretty angry that I don't get to do anything and I'm starting to feel resentful because it's all about them. And what about me? Like dude, get that out there. I admit that so many of us try to lie to ourselves. No, it's good, man. I'm just like doing the family thing. That's what I need to be.

[00:37:51] Curt: Yes, that's awesome. I'm going to just die to self. But if you're actually feeling resentful, then don't lie. You have to get that feeling up and out [00:38:00] and resolved. Otherwise, it's going to come out at the most inopportune times, and you're going to drive a wedge between you and your family. So getting brutally honest with yourself, writing all this in a journal, finding a buddy, you can talk to about this joining a men's group and talking to about this, but the end of the day, man, you are dad and husband.

[00:38:15] Curt: Now this is the season you're in and it's glorious. It is so much better to be dad and husband than to be the old you. And it might not feel like that cause it's painful. And you long for those days, you probably need to grieve the loss of that. Like single child's life, even. You've got five kids. There's a lot of time passed.

[00:38:32] Curt: You might still need to grieve this. And that's okay, but who you can become as fully dad and husband is way better. You're just going to trust me on that way, better than the old you. And that's what I have experienced. I know my wife has experienced that sort of dying to her past self. , and it's just so much better this way.

[00:38:47] Curt: So your wife is also meant to be doing this. Like I said, my wife had to go through this, but your wife is also meant to be doing her part. So unless you're like totally screwing around when you're at home. Unless you're like going to work and [00:39:00] making no money and just like lazing about she is meant. Presumably you've talked about this.

[00:39:05] Curt: She's meant to be doing her job at home and you are meant to be doing your job either outside the home or leading the home or providing for the home, whatever that. , interchange of responsibility and roles are you guys are decided on that. So there doesn't need to be guilt in it. Unless you're not doing your part or unless, you know, your wife needs more help and you're not giving it, or unless your wife asks for more help and you don't think it's right for her to ask for more help because you're doing your part and she's not being able to do her part. There's a lot in there.

[00:39:33] Curt: You've got to communicate with her express, your assumptions, your expectations, hear from her. Both of you probably need to share with each other, like what you're feeling instead of being like, oh, it's fine. I'm just husband, dad. I'd be like, babe, I'm starting to get resentful. It's not your fault.

[00:39:45] Curt: It's all on me. But we got to talk about this. Is this working? Is this okay? Here's something that's on my heart. I really feel like I need. In order to serve you guys the best. An hour to go have coffee with Bob every week or two hours to go play hockey on Sunday nights or [00:40:00] whatever, go to the men's breakfast.

[00:40:01] Curt: Like whatever you need. , and it can't be a lot. That's right. You're going to have to make sacrifices, but it might need to be a little.

[00:40:08] Curt: So, yeah, both of you will need to be supported at the end of the day. , both of you will need maybe a little bit of time alone or a part. But if you are just doing like a little bit out of the house, and this is just a season you're in where you have like one thing. That's going to have to be okay.

[00:40:23] Curt: But also make sure that you're helping to support her in having that one thing. As well.

[00:40:28] Curt: And again, say it time and time again on this podcast, this particular episode know who you are, know what your values are, how you want to live them, where you want to go, what your goals are, how are you going to get there?

[00:40:36] Curt: And that will help you to dive more, fully deeper into your new identity here. As husband and father to sort of let go of the old one that you're sort of clinging on to.

[00:40:45] Curt: So I would just personally, like most of my life is at home. , but I also know I'm responsible for making the money I'm responsible for working, but I'm also responsible for the family's role in the community.

[00:40:55] Curt: I'm responsible for community coming in, us, interacting with the community, having friends so that we're not an [00:41:00] island that is brutally important. So I invest time. In a Bible study outside the home. I invest time with friends having coffees or going to their place. I invest time as much as I can doing things that are very high value for my family, but that also fill me up.

[00:41:14] Curt: So combining those two things is awesome, but I've also played hockey. I've also done jujitsu. Some of these things I'm not doing anymore, just because now we got four kids. We got a dog. It's not the season for that, but I'm fine with that. Like, I don't care because I get the things that fill me up relationally that are good for my family.

[00:41:30] Curt: And it's so much better to be around the family. Really serving them now that I know who I am, that I don't need all those other things. So make sure that you're just interacting with the community for your family's sake as well. It's not great to be isolated.

[00:41:42] Curt: But I would say end of the day, talk to your wife about this, come up with some boundaries like, Hey babe, I'm going to do. I got to do something like one day, a week, two hours a week, whatever it looks like I'm going to serve you better. I'm going to show up for the kids better. But here's what I'm thinking.

[00:41:54] Curt: What do you think about that? And would you like some time to do the same?

[00:41:57] Curt: So hopefully that helps, , don't feel guilty about it. It's just a [00:42:00] natural part of things. Having to die to yourself and come into your new role as husband and father, as the main part of your life.

[00:42:04] Curt: All right. I think that's it. , I think you probably heard a couple of ad slots in here just in regards to signing up for the . to get a free Family Leadership Blueprint, the five key pillars that you need to nail to be a good family leader, or if you want to join us, get all of our courses.

[00:42:19] Curt: Get access to the community. Get access to a bunch of other guys. And me. Join us at inside the DadWorkLegacy community. It's like 29 99 a month. It's crazy. , it was 1 29 at one point. And. Through prayer. I just had it on my heart. God was like, lucky. You're going to make the 29 99. That was like, God, this doesn't make any sense.

[00:42:37] Curt: Like, don't make me do this. And he basically looked at me and said, , you're fortunate that I'm allowing you to keep it at 29 99. Not make it free. , so anyway, that's just been my prayer life recently. It doesn't make any sense business wise, but it is a good opportunity. And I think moving into 2020 for the best gift you guys can give to your wife and kids is to be the best version of you.

[00:42:55] Curt: And I think our courses are a huge way to do that. It's all the [00:43:00] skills training that I think we need as fathers in order to actually show up as the safety, as the leader, there's communication, there's emotional mastery, there's fatherhood, there's marriage, there's roles. There's how do you set a rhythms and habits?

[00:43:12] Curt: There's like a leadership and legacy vision. Planning. Course. And we're going to be releasing many more courses like courses on yelling, less, leading more. All that kind of stuff. Plus workshops, bonus content, community guys in there. It's awesome. If you want to join us and become the best man, husband and father that you can be for a 2024.

[00:43:31] Curt: Anyway guys, thank you for listening. If you have more questions, hit me up at That's C-U-R-T and we'll do some more AMAs if we get some more questions in here, but I appreciate you guys for listening and for being engaged. With the questions, that's it for me, enjoy the rest of your year.

[00:43:47] Curt: Hopefully you listen to the next couple podcasts as well, but if you don't. Merry Christmas, have a wonderful new year. And I appreciate you guys for listening. Let's make this. The best, last couple of weeks of the year.

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