Living Right with Dr. Ray – Catholics and Divorce


♪ ♪ (applause) Ray: Thank you, thank you, thank you, and welcome to “Living Right with Dr. Ray.” Thanks for being with us. Next hour we’re hoping to help you a lot bit live right. Delighted to have you folks here. We’ve got a great show today. We’ve got, of course, Fr. Larry Richards coming on to tell us all about Catechism wisdom, and how that compares with worldly wisdom. We’ve got a real child psychologist. You don’t have to just put up with me. A real child psychologist, Ariana, and she’s going to tell you how to massage your parents, psychologically speaking. Also, Rose Sweet is coming with us. She is a nationally known Catholic speaker, author, DVD series person on Marriage, Catholics who have been victims of civil divorce against their will. So Rose is going to give us a lot of good stuff. Now, I’ve been noticing here with this group, it looks like some of you have raised your children. It looks like some of you have more than one child because I can tell by the tic. I can tell by the tic. (audience laughs) Some of you may have one child and as long as a teenager, you still have a tic. All right, have you heard of something called “The Birth- Order Effect”? A birth order effect basically says where children are in the family is kind of how their personality takes shape. You know, the baby’s kind of spoiled cause the baby gets everything, the oldest one’s the achiever. The research essentially says there’s just a little bit of truth to that, little bit, and a place it holds the most, oldest and only, as a group. They tend to be a little more achieving, developmentally a little quicker. I don’t think that’s their position. I think we all change our styles. First kid, you boiled everything she came within 50 feet of. Last kid, you throw him this big dirt ball, say, “Here. Chew on that. (audience laughs) Wipe your mouth off on the gas can before you come in the house.” (audience laughs) First kid, do a videotape of every burp and bowel movement he ever had. Last kid, one snap show at the birth, one at the wedding rehearsal dinner. (audience laughs) “Dad, how come I got no pictures?” (audience laughs) “That’s not true, son. “Your sister did a popsicle stick sketch of you in kindergarten. “We kept it. “Besides, you look like your sister. Use her pictures.” (audience laughs) First kid, you sneak into her room every night. You stick a mirror underneath her nostrils, (audience laughs) make sure she’s still breathing. (audience laughs) Last kid; you tell the dog, “Get out of the crib. (audience laughs) “Don’t lick her in the face. “No, I was talking to the baby. “You don’t know where that mouth’s been. (audience laughs) Poor dog.” Somebody asked my wife when our 9th one, Peter, was about 2-3 months old…. By the way, I do have 10 children. That is why I’m here. It’s quieter here and it smells better. (audience laughs) Our 9th one, Peter, 2-3 months old, “Is Petey sleeping through the night yet?” My wife said, “I don’t know if he is. We are.” (audience laughs) You know, you kind of just get to that point. (audience laughs) So, speaking of getting to that point, this is, this is my favorite part. This is kind of what I do for a living, but I get a chance to do it here on a much more condensed basis. This is where we take questions from the group, and, by the way, you get cheap, free advice. You don’t even have to pay for this. So who’s got our first question? Yes ma’am, your name. Carolyn: Carolyn. Ray: Hi Carolyn. Carolyn: I have a question for you. I have seen you several times, both on the stage and both, you know, working. Ray: I didn’t repeat my material, did I? Carolyn: No. Ray: Okay. Carolyn: Not at all, (audience laughs) and I was curious, ’cause you’re always up, you know, never down, always up with everybody, and I just wondered, do you ever get angry? Ray: No! I don’t! Okay! Are you happy? (audience laughs) What kind of question is that? (audience laughs) Of course I do! I live with children! (audience laughs) God puts them in there to, I don’t know, I just keep adding days to my purgatory. I read somewhere where each kid is like another 12 years in purgatory, or something like that. (audience laughs) Do I get angry? You know what anger is? Anger is how you think. Anger’s how you think. It’s the thoughts underlining the emotions, all right. If I play softball and I pop up to the infield, with the bases loaded, and I take my bat and I fling it against the screen, I’m probably telling myself, “I’m a terrible ball player, I’m an awful ball player. What am I even doing here?” This is foolish. This is supposed to be recreation. I’m not having any fun because my thoughts are making the pop-up much worse. It’s not just a pop-up to the infield on November 3, 1996. What it is is it’s a pop-up that says, Ray Guarendi’s a bad ball player. When you think like that, and we’re going to have a role-play here in a little bit, and what’s going to happen is you’re going to see that our mother is going to take this very personally. You want to take something personally? You’re going to get angry. You try to control your thoughts, they control the emotions. Carolyn: Thank you. Ray: It’s a good question, Carolyn. That, that is the basis of a lot of therapy, by the way. Okay, what you have to do is, as a therapist, you take the client and you find out what they’re thinking. If they come in and they have “anger management issues”, which is the real shibboleth nowadays, you go right at their thoughts– “What is happening in your head to make you react this way?” Great question. Carolyn: Thank you. Ray: Ticked me off. (audience laughs) Yes ma’am. Your name? Margaret: My name is Margaret Wakemen. Ray: Hi, Margaret. Margaret: My question–I see you–I’ve seen you out several different times, okay. Ray: You’ve got to get a life here, Margaret. (audience laughs) Margaret: And you seem, you seem to know everything relating to your faith, because I see you as a very, very faithful man. Ray: Well, it’s easy for me to act that way, isn’t it? If you put me in a nitty-gritty at home, then that’s where it starts to unravel a little bit. Margaret: What I wondered was, if you have someone come to you for counseling, and they happen to be not of any faith and maybe a little agnostic, how do you handle their counseling with all your faith and all your beliefs that you do put into your–even emotional about it? Ray: Some people. Yeah, Margaret, some people come to me because they want religious based, Catholic based, Christian based advice. Some people come to me, they don’t care, they could care less. All they want to know is, I’m hurting. Make me live my life better. As you’ll see today with Fr. Larry Richards, God’s truth is truth, no matter whether you believe there’s a God or whether you don’t. So what I’ll do with somebody who comes and basically says, “I’m no religious, I’m atheist, I’m agnostic,” and I get a lot of those–I will work on their approach to life that is grounded in some kind of traditional moral understanding of life. Let’s say a guy comes in. He’s going to leave his wife and kids. He has no religious commitment. As far as he’s concerned, “Feeling’s gone, I’m out of here. “I got three little kids; 10, 6, and 2. “So what! That neighbor lady’s cuter.” Okay. With a guy like that, I start to approach it from the perspective of, what are you choosing? What is the shift here? Okay, so you leave your wife and you hook up with the 27-year-old and you guys start to live your life together. What’s going on with the children? What do you think’s going to happen when and if your wife decides, well, I’m going to get married again and now there’s going to be a step-dad raising that little 2-year-old, and the 2-year-old’s calling step-daddy “Daddy”? Okay, so, in fact, there is a standard strong moral underpinning even if you say it comes from God or it doesn’t, and that’s a lot of what I do. Margaret: Thank you. Ray: Interestingly enough, you ask somebody in therapy, “Where does God come into all of this,” Most people will then tell you, I, I do believe in a God but I’m not really quite sure what He thinks or how He thinks about this. We’ve got the opening to talk. It’s a critical issue in their life. Margaret: So you can convert, maybe. Ray: Well, I have had clients do that, and it isn’t because I overtly evangelized or proselytized. It was simply because they saw wisdom in a better way to live their life, okay. Other questions? Man: Dr. Ray, my question is, I come from an annulment with my wife and, former wife, and I was wondering, it seems when we discuss serious issues to deal with the kids, there’s always tension. Ray: You’re not on the same page. Man: Not at all. Ray: Okay, the most common problem of divorced situations, by far, this parent’s raising them over here, this parent’s raising them like this. Two things I’m going to tell you. Don’t compete with her. Do not try to be as Disney as she is; do not try to be as permissive as she is. You’ll lose. Okay. You be who you are, and you hope and pray that those kids come to understand that my father’s way’s a better way. And one thing I can tell you that will give you hope– all the years–I’ve been shrinking for a long time. I used to be like 6’9. (audience laughs) All the years that I have seen those situations, typically the Disney parent is the more unreliable parent and the older kids start to see, my dad’s stricter, but I can count on my dad. Now, we’re going to cut it short on questions because easy enough to ask questions. We’re going to go to the nitty-gritty. We’re going to do a real life question. You look like I could manipulate you into saying what I want you to say. Your name? Elizabeth: Elizabeth. Ray: Elizabeth! Come on up Elizabeth! (applause) Going on the fly here. Elizabeth: All right. Ray: You’re my mother. Elizabeth: Okay. Ray: This is the second year of my marriage. I’m not coming over on Thanksgiving. I’m not coming over at all. I am going to my wife’s house and spending breakfast, Thanksgiving dinner, and the evening football games at her house. I’m 31 years old. I have been at your house forever, okay. Here we go. “Mom, um, Tiffany and I are not, we’re not coming over this Thanksgiving. Um, we kind of decided it would probably just be best just to go to her place and, and, and spend Thanksgiving there if that’s okay with you.” Elizabeth: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! What did you just say? Ray: I um, Tiffany and I are going over to, we’re going over to her mom’s house. You know, I, I just figure maybe it’s time to start a new tradition, maybe alternate. Elizabeth: Oh, wait, wait, wait, wait honey. Did you say you were going to have breakfast, dinner, and a football game there? Ray: Well, that’s kind of the way they set it up. Um, they, you know, I mean, we’ve been, we’ve been coming, I’ve been coming to your place for a long time. Elizabeth: You’re telling me. Ever since you’ve been a baby, honey, you’ve been at my table. What are you trying to tell me? Ray: Mom, it’s a situation where… Elizabeth: All the kids will be here. Your cousins are coming from New Jersey and New York and they’re all going to be here. They’re looking forward, honey. Ray: I know, I know that, and know that and I, if it were, if it were up to me. Elizabeth: Yeah. Ray: If it were up to me. Elizabeth: Whoa, whoa, whoa, who is it up to honey? You’re a grown man. Ray: (sighs) I think Tiffany feels a little bit like you don’t… Elizabeth: Oh, Tiffany. Ray: She doesn’t feel like sometimes she’s welcome at your place and she… Elizabeth: Tiffany, this darling wife of yours that I have nursed along and showed how to cook and shared my recipes with, this Tiffany? Ray: See what’s happening here? Remember how I said thoughts make you angry? She’s taking it personal. Are you taking this personal? Elizabeth: Yes, I am taking this very personal. Ray: She’s taking it personal. As soon as she took it personal… Now, reading between the lines. You be the shrink. Elizabeth: Okay. Ray: What am I doing? Elizabeth: Placating your wife. Ray: I am. You’re absolutely right. You see how I… Elizabeth: Over mom. Ray: Over mom. You see how I ducked it? (audience laughs) I wasn’t going to get into it. Here’s why. If you’re in a situation like this and it comes mom versus wife, mom versus husband, dad versus husband, sadly, most of the parents are going to lose. Parents are going to lose. Elizabeth: The parent’s going to lose. Ray: Parents are going to lose. I have to live with her. Elizabeth: That’s true. Ray: And I’m making a judgment. Maybe it’s sissy judgment, but I’m making a judgment that I’ve got to placate her. I’ve got to go along. You don’t know what went on behind the scenes. You just don’t know. Elizabeth: Yeah. Right. Ray: And so you don’t know, and I see this in therapy all the time, what the spouse is living with. So I figure, my mom’s always going to love me. Elizabeth: Yeah. Ray: I’ve got to live with that person. (audience laughs) You were beautiful. Elizabeth: You know what, I always think of that expression, “A son’s a son till he takes a wife. A daughter’s a daughter for the rest of her life.” Ray: Well, I’ll tell you what, I would not want to tangle with you as a mother. (audience laughs) Elizabeth: (laughs) Thanks, honey. (applause) ♪ ♪ Ray: I could take questions from you folks all day, but I got to go to the mail bag, or, or in the interest of gender sensitivity, the person-bag. (audience laughs) This is from Roseanne. Roseanne doesn’t give her address. It’s far away though, ’cause it’s, it looks like it’s printed far away. (audience laughs) “Dear Dr. Ray, this probably seems like a strange problem. I have a kid who’s too good.” (audience laughs) I’m giving this, copies of this to all my children… A kid that’s too good! I had a mom ask me that one time. “He’s wonderful!” I said, “Well, it sounds great. “What’s the problem? “Well, you think he’s too good. You think some day he’s just going to blow up and torch the neighbors’ garage?” “No I don’t.” That’s the stuff of TV media, people. What’s going on here? It’s typical. Every kid’s attitude towards life is interlinked with his temperament. Okay, so you got this kid that’s kind of this easygoing, wanting to hold the high standards temperament kid, and he’s getting out in the real world and, “Oh, you smoke? “Oh, you, you watch those kind of movies? Oh, I don’t, I don’t put that on my computer.” As my wife once said with our children, how do you teach a kid that something is wrong without it spilling over into judgmentalness?” ‘Cause little kids go, “You didn’t put your seatbelt on! “You didn’t put your seatbelt on! “Put your seatbelt on! “Grandma’s not putting her seatbelt on mom! Can you believe that? “I can see, Grandma’s not putting her seatbelt on, Mom. Tell her to put her seatbelt on.” (audience laughs) That’s what happens, and some kids take it further. Some kids basically have to mature through several years where they realize, not everybody does it my way, and the true virtue–this is what’s interesting– the true virtue, it’s still reaching out to those people. Virtue is not measured by, “”I’m good and you’re not. There’s a chasm between us. No. Virtue’s measured by, I know what I’ve got the grace to do. Maybe you don’t. So I’m going to care for you and love you anyway. Interestingly enough, and I tell this to parents, they’re going to come around, but some kids take a lot longer than others, and sometimes if you’re going to have that attitude, you are going to have less friends, but if you’ve got a judgmental attitude, it’s a given, you’re going to have less friends anyway. (audience laughs) When we come back, Rose Sweet is coming to the program. Rose, great lady. I’ve been, I’ve been carrying her career for years, but that’s another story. Rose is going to tell us all about what happens when Catholics are part of a divorce they didn’t want. Don’t go away. (applause) ♪ ♪ Rose: The first thing I say is, go to the Church. She’s our Mother. She’s Got Wisdom. She’s Smart. She can help you through this. Ariana: If you just tend to disappear every now and then, you know, and go upstairs and read your book for a couple of hours on end, you know, they appreciate you a lot more when you’re not there. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ (applause) Ray: I just have one question. Is that for Rose? (audience laughs) Or is that for me? Rose: A little bit for you. Ray: A little bit for me. My mother’s here. Well, welcome back to “Living Right With Dr. Ray.” This is our guest segment. We are delighted to have with us Rose Sweet. Rose, I can’t list all your stuff because it will take up the interview. Author of numerous books on marriage, annulment, sadly, divorce, step-parenting, you have series. I met you years ago working on a series myself, Fr. Mitch, Chris West, Fr. Donnelly. Rose: Calloway, Dr. Donald Calloway. Ray: Calloway, okay. So we got a chance to meet and I wanted to have you on the program because you’ve lived this stuff for a long time. You don’t ask a woman how many years, but you’ve lived this stuff. Rose: I’ve lived it, and with the grace of God, come through it, and I’m here to help others through it. Ray: What is the difference between a faithful Catholic, having a divorce pushed upon them, and someone who basically goes the cultural route that says, “Hey, you know, we got tired of each other, we don’t get along. “This happened, etc.. We’re splitting, it’s better for everyone.” What’s the difference here? Where do you, where do you see the struggles? Rose: Well, marriage takes two people, right? Ray: You’re brilliant. Rose: Okay. Ray: Right. Rose: And divorce only takes one. There’s only one person who can leave and, and the marriage has fallen apart, okay, and it’s–you didn’t want it. What do you do? In a certain sense, you’re the victim. Now, that doesn’t mean you’re without sin. You may have, you know, added to the problems in the marriage, but you are sticking to your vows, and the other person left. But I also want to say, what if you left too, and you didn’t want to? Ray: What do you mean–what do you mean by that, Rose? Rose: Because your husband hit you for the third time last week and broke your jaw this time and he’s making moves on your daughter. You don’t want that divorce, but for some reason, you have to file. So I run into people who are both not wanting to file for divorce and having to file for divorce, neither one wanting that divorce. Ray: People misunderstand how the Catholic Church has taught on this, which is, you can’t leave a situation like that. You somehow have to stay. Your husband is gambling away every bit of money in the family. He’s going to leave the family destitute. Your wife has just had her fourth affair and she’s moved out for two years with some guy. They would say, who, who is the Catholic Church to say you can’t split under those circumstances? Clarify that misconception. Rose: Well, first of all, I would suggest, go get your Catechism of the Catholic Church. This stuff is in there and it’s very clearly written, and you may still be married, but that doesn’t mean you have to take abuse. You don’t–you protect yourself from physical harm, you protect your children, and then you get counseling, you go see your pastor, and there are things that the Church can offer you, but you don’t have to be a victim. That is different than your marriage. Your marriage is another issue that they’ll take, help you take a look at later. Ray: Do you have any stats? Do you have any figures on what percentage of practicing Catholics are civilly divorced against their will compared to the general public? Rose: You know, I don’t have status on that because, and this is sad to me, in the Church, in most of the churches, divorce has been such a taboo for so long that we don’t gather statistics ’cause we don’t talk about it, but in, in my work, with a divorce, and separated, and remarried, I would say, 50% of the 50%. There, there’s usually somebody in the marriage who knows we could have worked it out if we’d just tried one more thing, and the other one said, “I’m done. “We tried everything. I’m out of here.” Ray: One of the saddest things I get, in therapy, a spouse will come in and a spouse will say, “I’m here because I want to save my marriage. “My spouse says he or she will come in. Maybe they’ll come in next week.” Typically as soon as they come in, it is clear they want no part of this, and it is clear that they’re coming here just to say, “See, I went to counseling. Are you happy now?” Rose: Right, right, right. Ray: I see that all the time. Now, in those situations where there is a civil divorce among, well, a serious Catholic…. I get a lot of calls like that on the radio show. How hard is it for the, I’m going to say, the victim, the victim spouse, to live a life, not remarry, because they’re viewed as married, especially with family members and friends who say, “You’ve got to get out. “You’ve got to date. “You’ve got to meet somebody. You can’t just sit here?” Rose: It’s so hard because the pressure is, go on and get back in the saddle and ride off into the sunset again. But you know what? Divorce is hard, being chaste is hard, being human is hard, being married is hard. Ray: Not for my wife. It’s a real–it’s, it’s been real, pretty easy for her. (audience laughs) You know, I’ve told her that. (audience laughs) Rose: You know, maybe I could help her get an annulment. I don’t know. Maybe we could talk about that. (audience laughs) No, no, no. Seriously, no, life is hard, and, you know, I don’t want to discount the struggle that, that divorces are trying to stay faithful to your vows. That’s why we need God’s grace, but He carries the bigger part of the cross for us. That’s where our faith comes in. Yes, it’s difficult, but we’re here to help, and, you know, no longer can you say, the Catholic Church doesn’t understand and isn’t here to help. We have resources and, and people and time and staff to help anybody. Ray: You’ve done a lot of workshops, you’ve presented around the country. What do you tell these folks who basically are sitting there going, I’m 41 years old, I am now civilly single. He’s long gone, okay, he’s in Saskatchewan somewhere. Um, I’m going to live the rest of my life alone. What do you, what do you tell them? Rose: The first thing I say is, go to the Church. She’s our Mother. She’s Got Wisdom. She’s Smart. She can help you through this. It may have been for a lot of different valid reasons that the marriage bond wasn’t valid to begin with, and that’s what happens in the annulment process. That’s a scary topic to a lot of Catholics. Ray: Well, some people say, that’s just Catholic divorce. That’s all, that’s Catholic divorce. What’s the difference? Rose: Well, we know, there is no such thing as Catholic divorce. If you have a valid marriage bond, it can never be broken until death. Ray: Who, who said that? Who’s going to come up with something, who’s going to come up with a teaching like that? Rose: Ah, Jesus Christ Himself. I mean, He’s the one who showed us how to be the bridegroom to the spouse. Ray: It’s interesting, the apostles’ reaction, wasn’t it? When Our Lord said that, the apostles said, “Well then, it’s better not to get married,” because they knew what He was talking about. It wasn’t a matter of, well, if you have certain reasons you can leave. He’s saying, “No, no, no, no. This is, this is a God bond here.” And the apostles are going, “Well then, you might as well not even take the chance.” They knew human nature. Rose: Yeah, and the feelings would be gone, and I don’t want to stay here anymore. Right, exactly, and He says, “No. “You know why? “That’s not how I love you. I love you unconditionally, forever.” And that’s what marriage as a sacrament is supposed to do. Image–not just image that love that Jesus, the Bridegroom has for the Bride, but our marriages get caught up into it mystically in a certain sense. Ray: Yeah, but wouldn’t you have to want to be that way? Wouldn’t you have to want to embrace that idea of marriage? Rose: Well, yes, of course, and that’s what we do. Ray: I’m a trained psychologist. I ask those kind of profound questions that sort of seem obvious. (audience laughs) I get paid big bucks for this, you know. Rose: Define big bucks. Ray: Well, okay, I can buy a sandwich. Rose: Okay. Ray: In my office, I will get people who will come in, and they routinely say this, Christian or otherwise, “Well, no, I think there are too many divorces, too many divorces out there, and I just don’t think that people should just get divorced for any reason. But in my case…” What happens is, “The cases that fit me are okay.” And I think in the Church’s wisdom, she said, “You know, you, you crack that door open, everybody’s going to run through it.” It’s human nature. “I can’t be expected to live with this kind of discontent.” “He’s a jerk.” “She’s high maintenance.” Rose: Right. Ray: “We disagree on discipline. There’s no way.” We’re going to talk, if we visit again, which I think we’re going to, we’re going to talk about not only the misconceptions but the ideas that have run rampant in our culture that it is better to be apart than to stay together in a conflicted home. I know, that is by–I was trained on that. That’s the one. Rose: “It’s better for the kids.” Ray: “Better for the kids”. I got that constantly. Rose: It’s wrong. Ray: That’s what I imbibed in graduate school. Will you come back? Rose: How much ya paying me? Ray: Same as I’m giving you this time around. I’ll double it, I’ll double it. Rose: Double zero is zero. That’s sounds good. Ray: Well, you know, hey, I’ll triple it; I’ll triple it. Rose: Oh, no. Of course I’ll be back. Ray: Okay. Rose: This is an important topic. And thank you for having me. Ray: Thank you, Rose. Rose Sweet. (applause) Did you ever notice that grow-ups do a lot of talking? We’ve got our opinions about the way life should go, about the way parents should parent. Well, I had a real child psychologist into my home recently, and I picked her brain about you and your parents. Her name is Ariana. Nice name. Let’s see what Ariana has to say about us. Hi, Ariana. Ariana: Hello. Ray: How old are you? Ariana: 13. Ray: Tell children how to stay out of trouble for three months at a time. What do you have to do? Ariana: Well, you have to get involved in a lot of activities so you’re not at home as much. Ray: Oh. Ariana: ‘Cause they appreciate you more when you’re not at home. Ray: They do? Ariana: And then if you just tend to disappear every now and then, you know, and go upstairs and read your book for a couple of hours on end, you know, they appreciate you a lot more when you’re not there. Ray: The strategy is, the less I’m around, the less I can get in trouble. Is that what you’re saying here? Ariana: Yes. Ray: So you go up to mom and you say, “I’ve been grounded for two weeks. When do I get off?” Do you do that, or do you just wait until they come to you and say, “Ariana, um, you’re free now. Be about your business?” Ariana: Well, I usually nag them, more like, “Can you, like, shorten it, you know?” Ray: Nag them? Ariana: Yeah. Ray: That’s your favorite strategy? Word? Ariana: Well, yeah. Ray: What’s the best nagging strategy? Ariana: Well, a lot of times if you bribe them it works better. You know, like if you’ll massage them or something, it works a lot better than if you just… Ray: Massage? Ariana: Yeah. Ray: Like verbally massage, like, “Oh, Mother?” Ariana: Yeah. Ray: “Thank you for being my mother. “I’ve been watching TV and I recognize that you are probably the nicest mother that I’ve seen on TV. “You kind of a combination between, oh um, Ozzy and Harriet and Aunt Bea.” How do you massage them? They’re on to you, yeah. Ariana: Yeah, but what you have to do is, you have to try to distract them, and just take them away from what you have done and just try to, you know, let them feel like… (laughs) Ray: Now, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait, wait–for a young girl who gets in trouble every three months, to be this strategizing about how to get around your parents, is that because you’re that sweet, or is it just because you’re that good at massaging? Ariana: I guess it’s a combination of both. (laughs) Ray: You grow up to be a mom. What would you most look out for from your children, that you could be suspicious that, “Hey, they’re trying to massage me like I used to do?” What would, what would set you up? What would give you the clue? Ariana: Well, if they over-compliment you. Ray: Over-compliment. Ariana: That’s big. Ray: That’s big. (laughs) Ariana: Yeah. (laughs) Ray: Okay, all right. Ariana: And if they try to get you to go places, like, “Oh, why don’t you just go hang out at, you know, so and so’s place and have fun?” Ray: “Here, Mom and Dad, here’s 10 bucks. Why don’t you go watch a movie?” Ariana: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Ray: Kind of a reverse getting rid of a little kid. Ariana: Yeah. Ray: Okay, over-compliment, if they try to get you to go somewhere, like, “Mom, why don’t you, why don’t you go take care of yourself for a change?” Ariana: Yeah. Ray: You’d be onto this? Ariana: I hope I would be. Ray: Why? Ariana: ‘Cause that’s exactly what I would have done when I was little. (laughs) Ray: (laughs) Well, there’s good news and bad news here, young lady. First of all, the good news is, I would absolutely love for you to be my child because you get in trouble every three months. The bad news is, I’d be scared of you. I think you could outthink me. There’s no doubt you could outthink me. Okay, I’ve got one more question for you. Ariana: Okay. Ray: Our last one. How do you know your parents love you? See, we’ve got to soften this up to show you really are a sweet kid. Ariana: Okay. Well, they’re always, always selfless. They always think about me before they think about them. Ray: Wait! Are you massaging them? Is this a massage? Is this a national television massage? Ariana: Maybe, maybe. Ray: Okay, all right. Ariana: But…. Ray: They always think about you. Ariana: Yes. Ray: And put you first. Ariana: They, they really do. They have me in so many different activities and they just, you can just tell, you know. Ray: How do you tell? Ariana: In the long run. Ray: How do you tell? Kisses, hugs? Ariana: Yeah, definitely way too much PDA. Ray: PDA, what’s that, honey? Ariana: Public Display of Affection. Ray: Oh, is that your mom and dad? Ariana: Yes. (laughs) (applause) Ray: I feel rather inadequate getting outthought by a 8th Grader. I couldn’t keep up with her. I think that if she lived in my home, I pretty much would probably have to sleep in the basement, because she would somehow massage me out of every parenting technique that I had. What do you think about that young lady? First of all, she’s sweet. She is sweet. We had a lot of off camera interviews, and she is a sweet girl. Her parents are delightful. She’s one of eight children. What do you think about either what she said or did she prompt any question in you, from her material? What have we got? Yes, dear. Would you stand up, ’cause they need to get a good picture of you. Judy: Okay. Ray: And your name. Judy: Judy Burman. Ray: Hi, Judy. Judy: Do parents really fall for this? I mean, come on! (audience laughs) Ray: (laughs) Well, okay, ah, hold on a second. We’ll put the mic on everybody. Do parents really fall for this? All: Yes! Ray: Yeah. What happens–you know what it is? A lot of it is, intellectually we realize, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, I’m getting manipulated here, but emotionally parents are soft. Woman: It feels good. Ray: It feels good. That’s exactly right, it feels good. You know, and I want to hope, I want to hope that my child is getting this, and is, in fact, meaning it. I know, I know, I’m delusional. I understand this. I would say as a shrink, approximately half, half of parents can actually get out-maneuvered, at least half, and the numbers go up as the kids get older, ’cause the kids get smarter. You’ve got to–you’ve got to really be stumbling around to get out-maneuvered by a 3-year-old, okay. (audience laughs) You throw a 15 year-old at ya, like my son Peter back there, and you could run into real maneuverability problems. All of a sudden you’re standing there and you realize, hey, (audience laughs) he’s got what he wanted, and he’s, he’s gone. (audience laughs) My wallet. (audience laughs) Other comments, other questions? Sir. Gotta stand up. Let them know who you are. Ron: Hi, I’m Ron. Ray: Hi Ron. Ron: In our household at least when I was young, we out-manipulated my mother far more than my dad. “Dad, why don’t you take time for yourself? Go pamper yourself.” Yeah, right. (laughs) But we could really handle mom pretty well. Ray: Why? Why mom? What’s different between mom and dad? Ron: Emotional. They were just much softer. Ray: More nurturing. Ron: And more nurturing, things like that. Ray: Dad was an Italian dad? You look Italian. Ron: Correct. Ray: And so, what were his favorite phrases as a dad? Ron: I thought my dad was illiterate when I was young. The only words I thought he knew was, “no” and “hey”. That, those take, those took care of every situation. Ray: That’s how he disciplined everybody. (laughs) Yeah, my dad’s main discipline techniques was, “Hey!” And that was pretty much it. (audience laughs) He did that to me at my wedding rehearsal dinner. (laughs) When we come back, “Living Right With Dr. Ray” will bring in the favorite– He gets more applause than I do–Fr. Larry Richards and “Catechism Wisdom.” We’re going to find out this around “Wisdom About Marriage.” Don’t go anywhere. You’ll miss it. (applause) ♪ ♪ Fr. Richards: You need love and God is Love. God knows everything about sexuality. Isn’t it amazing, the first Commandment ever out of God’s mouth was, “Increase and multiply?” Ray: When I was in grad school, we got a lot of notions, and we got notions that took hold in the popular culture. There is some advice that is just worth ignoring. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ Ray: Who has more wisdom about living right? The Catholic Church, founded by Jesus Christ, being on earth approximately 2000 years, or modern psychology, which tells folks how to live? As always, with me on “Catechism Wisdom,” is my friend, Fr. Larry Richards, pastor of St. Joseph’s Church, Bread of Life Community in Erie, Pennsylvania. And I don’t–I will brag for you. Fr. Richards: Please. Ray: You get around a lot through the country, the galaxy. Fr. Richards: That’s what they say, I get around. (laughs) Ray: Well, you only go one time there. Fr. Richards: Exactly. Ray: And they move you to someplace else. Fr. Richards: Absolutely. (laughs) Ray: Fr. Larry, let me tell you what the Catechism says about marriage. Fr. Richards: Please, Dr. Ray. Ray: Yes. I would think you’d know this, but I’ll read it to you in case. Fr. Richards: Okay. (laughs) Ray: Section 2362… Fr. Larry, I mean, I really kind of don’t want to criticize some of the things that you preach for the pulpit, but this whole idea that sexual union is reserved for marriage– aren’t we kind of past that? Fr. Richards: No, never, because the reality is, sex by definition is a giving of your life for somebody, and so if you’re going to give your life away to somebody else, then all the other preconditions have got to be there or it’s not truly the giving of your life. Ray: What preconditions? What preconditions? Fr. Richards: That you have to give. Ray: I love, I love the person. That’s a precondition. Fr. Richards: Well then, you haven’t died for them unless you’d given your life spiritually, psychologically, socially, financially, everything. That’s the point. That’s why marriage is the place where I give my life for you. So any time sexuality happens outside of a marriage, it’s a lie, because it’s not, “Here, I’ll give you this to make me feel good.” Sex by definition isn’t about me and how I feel. It’s about you and how I can give you my life. Ray: Yeah, but, but, but modern notions, then led in a lot of respects by the charger of psychology says. Fr. Richards: Those psychologists, I tell you. Ray: Well, I had to make a living. Fr. Richard: Yeah, not good, but anyway. (laughs) Ray: Two consenting adults. Fr. Richard: Sure. Ray: Two deciding on their own people, if you will, can come together in some kind of union, physical, and who, who should tell them you can’t? Fr. Richard: Well, and again, I think most people–they take sexuality and don’t go far enough. Sexuality, if it’s just an expression of two bodies having sex with each other, what a waste, but when you’re really in love, and you’ve given yourself spiritually, it should be– sexuality by definition should be the consummation of a life that’s already been given. So you should–like I often say, it’s so hard that, you know, I am more intimate with more men and women than they are with their spouses. Why? ‘Cause I see their soul, and they’ll share with me as their priest their soul, but, even though they share their bodies, sometimes these couples, they never share their soul, and because it doesn’t, sexuality doesn’t take on the spiritual reality, it becomes less of what it really is. So every element of sexuality also needs that spiritual element, and when people enter into this spirit, the sexuality with no spiritual element, it’s a horrible reality instead of a reality of love. Ray: Psychology is oftentimes forced by reality which, of course, reflects the Church’s wisdom into agreeing with the Church. There was a fascinating survey done not so long ago. Fr. Richard: Was it fascinating? Ray: Fascinating! Fascinating! Fr. Richard: Oh wow, great. Ray: In the words of Mr. Spock. The survey asked a wide range of folks, “What is your level of sexual satisfaction?” Singles, people who had no morals whatsoever, people who had been married two times, three times. This is going to come as no surprise to you, but I’ll ask you the question anyway. Who do you think reported consistently the highest level of sexual satisfaction? Fr. Richard: I don’t know, Doctor. Tell me. Ray: Thank you. I was glad that you did ask me that. Contented marrieds. Fr. Richard: Wow! Ray: Faithful marrieds, the highest level. Conventional wisdom says, “No, no, no, no. You need variety.” Fr. Richard: (laughs) Yeah. Ray: Conventional wisdom is wrong. Fr. Richard: Exactly correct. You need love, and God is Love. God knows everything about sexuality. Isn’t it amazing–the first Commandment ever out of God’s mouth was, “Increase and multiply.” So He told us and gave us the definition, “Sex is for procreation, and love is part of that reality.” And so, again, the world says, “Go for it,” but isn’t it amazing that some of these people that keep doing these things are always empty inside? When you do it with God, He gives you peace and He fulfills your emptiness. Ray: One test of wisdom is how well it works in the real world. When Our Lord says, “Union, physical intimacy is to be confined to marriage,” I guess you could say, He knew what He was talking about. Fr. Richard: Can you imagine? (laughs) Ray: Thank you Fr. Richard. Can you imagine, huh? (applause) Ray: “That is a hard saying. Who can follow it.” Our culture says those days of marriage commitment and the sexual act are gone, they’re gone. We’ve outgrown them. Well, if there is a God, then He’s Infinite, and if He tells you to do it this way, don’t do it this way. You’re going to be wrong if you go against Him. Comments, questions about what Fr. Larry may have stimulated in you? Anything? Yes ma’am. Please stand up so we can see ya, and your name. Elizabeth: Elizabeth. Ray: Hi, Elizabeth. Elizabeth: Hi. Um, you know, actually I used to think that, what does a Catholic priest know about marriage? But as listening to that little tape, I realize, you know, people tell priests very intimate details, and he does see the heart, and would come up with a lot of wisdom. That I, I just refigured my mind on that, actually. Ray: What, in 6 minutes? Elizabeth: Yeah. Ray: Well, you’re easily influenced. People walk into my office, before I had kids, had no kids, and I would give them advice on discipline, and many of them would say, “Do you have any children?” “No.” So I had to go out, get 10 children. (audience laughs) It was a business move. (audience laughs) But I found that the folks who least wanted to hear what I had to say were the ones who said, “Do you have any children?” This is a very widespread nonsense idea that I have to walk in your shoes before I can give you any kind of decent advice. I oftentimes will say to my clients, “Okay, let me see if I got this right; you, you, you want me to, to maybe experience this?” Okay, that means I’ve never had trouble with the law, I’ve never been an alcoholic, I’ve not been into drugs, I’m married to the same woman–I could really only work with middle-aged males who have not been in trouble with the law and don’t abuse chemicals. (audience laughs) That’s about all I could work with. I’ve never been a woman. I’ve never been a troubled adolescent. I’ve never been somebody who’s left my wife. How could I give them any kind of advice at all? Next time you have a physical problem, go to the doctor and say, “Hey, wait a minute, have you ever had arthritis? Okay, well then don’t try to treat me with arthritis.” (audience laughs) You see how that falls apart? It’s basically saying, nobody else can give you ideas or wisdom if they haven’t walked in your shoes. And remember this– even if I walk in your shoes, that doesn’t mean my ideas are going to be any better. It just means I could be as miserable as you. (audience laughs) It means, I could give you the same dumb advice that you’ve fallen upon to put you in the position you’re in. And speaking of dumb advice… when I was in grad school, we got a lot of notions, and we got notions that took hold in the popular culture. There is some advice that is just worth ignoring. Maybe the granddaddy of them all promulgated by Sigmund Freud. He said… Now, if any of you have children in here under 5 or 6, my advice to you, get out of here right now. Go home. Start disciplining them. You don’t have much time left. (audience laughs) Okay, you’re on the edge. I don’t know about you. I was very, I was very different now than I was when I was 5 or 6. My wife says, I have the maturity level of a 9-year-old, (audience laughs) which is quite high for husbands. I mean, that’s up there. (audience laughs) When I burp the alphabet at the table, I always say, “Excuse me.” (audience laughs) When you were 5 or 6, any political party affiliations, deep religious convictions? What qualities would you value in an older 2nd Grade man at age 5 or 6? This is old psychological nonsense, but it lingers, it lingers. I asked a group of ladies one night, all women, “When is personality established? “It’s complete now. You can’t do anything about it.” Lady in the back row raised her hand, “When you’re married?” “No ma’am, when your life is over.” She said, “Same thing.” (audience laughs) That was a tough crowd. That was really a tough crowd that night. (audience laughs) She was sitting way in the back. I think she left early. I don’t know. (audience laughs) Many of you have come to the faith later in life. You look back on your childhood, your young adulthood, you weren’t anywhere near God. You were living your life. You had all kinds of things going on, and somewhere in that journey age 20, 22, 26, 35, 41, God got your attention and you became a believer. Well now, if the Holy Spirit had to say, you know, (sighs) “I wish I would’ve gotten to ya before 5 or 6. (audience laughs) “Okay, I can’t create a new person now out of ya. “Your personality’s been crystallized for 42 years. (audience laughs) Even if you were 7 or 8 I might have had a chance, (audience laughs) but 5 or 6 is my, my real optimal operating time.” (laughs) This is telling God, “Forget it. “You can’t transform a life; you can’t transform a soul, because the personality’s already laid out.” Now, there is one thing I do have to say as a qualifier here. We are all wired different, and shy little kids tend to become shy adults, and aggressive little kids tend to become more aggressive adults, and talkative people tend to become talkative adults or TV hosts or guys that just talk 2-400 words a minute with gust up to 800. (audience laughs) Yes, we are all wired a certain way. We have a certain temperament and that temperament is pretty much there from birth. So in that sense, you build upon your temperament. But, you know, it’s not a sin to be talkative. That’s not a sin. Okay, it isn’t a sin to be shy. It’s not a sin. So when we transform who we are, it’s a moral transformation. You know, I don’t, I don’t scream at her anymore. I used to scream at her. I don’t scream at her anymore, okay. Now I’m still a guy with a temper, but I don’t scream at her. Personality is not established by the age of 5 or 6, but it is kind of laid in there a little bit. Some children take this much parenting to raise. Some children, in the same family, take that much. You’re raising that one? Feel pretty cocky. I’m pretty good at this. I’m a natural! I’m a natural! I told her don’t touch my knick-knacks. I’m not about to go putting my knick-knacks up 15 feet off the ground guarded by Rottweilers in electrified cages. This child knows when I mean no, I mean no. And then the second one comes along and eats your Rottweiler. (audience laughs) First one was a freebie round, a mulligan from God. (audience laughs) Here, play with this. (audience laughs) I’ll save the real human till later. (audience laughs) Once again we are closing it up and “Living Right with Dr. Ray”. As I always do, (claps) I’ve got to give my thanks to you guys. Don’t clap for yourself. That’d be self-centered. (audience laughs) I’m going to give my thanks to you because you’ve been wonderful. Airs no program without you. What’d we learn today? Well, we learned, the birth order effect is kind of a parenting effect. In other words, you tend to get a little more sloppy with your kids as they get older, and maybe it’s because you get more tired, and maybe it’s because you say, “Here, take the car. (audience laughs) “I know you’re 11. “That’s okay. (audience laughs) Here, just don’t speed, okay.” (audience laughs) Secondly, what did we find out from our guest, Rose Sweet? We found out there’s a lot of misconceptions that are just swallowed whole by folks out there regarding step-parenting, regarding marriage. And speaking of marriage, what’d Fr. Larry tell us? Well, God kind of designed us to be committed. He designed us to be fully faithfully unified with our spouse, and if that’s not going to happen, the car starts to wobble and sometimes it wrecks. God knows what He’s talking about. Ariana, she knew what she was talking about. You will be more acutely aware of when you are massaged, (audience laughs) and just remember one thing–the only people better at psychologically outmaneuvering you than a teenager is a spouse. (audience laughs) Thanks, everybody. Thanks for joining us here on “Living Right With Dr. Ray.” Hang in there. We’ll see ya next time around. God bless you. (applause) ♪ ♪ Next time on Living Right With Dr. Ray, a Harvard- trained psychiatrist who believes in God! Are words discipline? How many words? Kid goes to college, can you control him? What leverage do you have? And Fr. Larry from the Catechism is going to tell us why materialism is a trap! See you then. ♪ ♪

Michael Martin

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