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James Sexton

Marriage Secrets from a Divorce Lawyer

“This is the most legally significant thing you will do, other than dying.”

Marriage is something that is so important to people. In fact, you probably thought about what your wedding would be like as a child.

When people go into a marriage they think so much about their venue, their cake, their guest list — but they never really think about what they are signing up for.

Marriage is, legally, one of the most important things you can do. You are signing away half of your life.

And there’s nothing wrong with that – if it’s the right person.

On this episode of The School of Greatness, I brought on someone who knows so much about people being with the wrong person and how to set yourself up for a great marriage: NYC divorce attorney James Sexton.

“If you think paying attention is hard, then marriage is hard.”  

James has intentionally focused his practice on divorce and family law since his graduation from Fordham Law School. In addition to his Juris Doctorate (Law Degree) he has a Master of Arts degree from New York University where he focused his graduate research on the areas of persuasive speech and propaganda studies.

To top it all off, James is the author of the incredibly informative book on marriage, If You’re in My Office, You’re Already Too Late.

On this episode he discusses how a lot of people rush into a serious relationship without ironing out all of the details. He shares the insights he’s learned from thousands upon thousands of failed marriages.

And he shared why he still believes marriage is a good idea.

Learn all of the inside secrets to creating a successful marriage, on Episode 626.

“You’re signing up for a contract you don’t know the terms for.”  

Some Questions I Ask:

  • Have there been any clients that were going to get a divorce then decided not to? (9:28)
  • What is the technology of marriage? (10:35)
  • What training would you want people to go through before getting married? (17:12)
  • How long were you married for? (23:24)
  • Do you feel like when marriage gets rough that they should throw in the towel or work through it? (27:36)
  • What are the most important things to find out about your spouse before getting married? (32:08)
  • When a couple is disconnected, what can they do to reconnect? (35:32)
  • What are the top 3 reasons people get divorced? (38:56)
  • What’s the best way to handle financial stress? (40:47)
  • What is the real reason people cheat? (45:48)
  • What does the government dictate in a marriage? (56:47)
  • Would you ever get married again? (1:05:21)
  • Is there a marriage you’ve seen that you admire a lot? (1:13:23)

In this episode, you will learn:

  • Why people tell more to their lawyers than their therapists (7:29)
  • The real failure rate of marriages (13:16)
  • What inspired James to write his book (20:45)
  • When one client realized her marriage was over (30:02)
  • The thing James loves about divorce law (34:36)
  • The best thing people can do to solve their problems (38:15)
  • The history of marriage (42:00)
  • How to keep your sex life satisfying (49:54)
  • The importance of a prenup (1:00:18)
  • James’ marriage advice to his kids (1:11:06)
  • Plus much more…

Connect with
James Sexton

Transcript of this Episode

Lewis Howes:              This is episode number 626 with James Sexton.

Welcome to The School of Greatness. My name is Lewis Howes, former pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today. Now, let the class begin.

Matthew Hussey said that, “Fifty percent of great relationships is how you treat someone. The other fifty percent is having the ability and confidence to communicate the treatment you want in return.”

We have a special guest on, his name is James Sexton, and he is a trial lawyer with two decades of experience negotiating and litigating high conflict divorces. Now, I’m actually fascinated by this because it’s so interesting to me how much a marriage actually, and the relationship between our parents, actually creates who we become. The energy they put off, what we see them mimicking, all the patterns that we see from our parents, and their marriage, whether it’s good, bad or in between, we start to mimic those along our childhood and into our adulthood.

Now, James is the new author of the book, If You’re In My Office, It’s Already Too Late. And after dealing with over 1,000 clients who’s marriages have dissolved, over everything from an ill-advised threesome with the nanny, to an uneven division of carpool duties, yes, that’s true, he also knows all of the what-not-to-dos for couples who want to build and consistently work to preserve a lasting, fulfilling relationship.

So, this is advice from someone who’s seen it all. Over a thousand divorces go through, and what works, what doesn’t work, and why they all end up failing once they come to his office. And what we talk about today are why divorce attorneys get more of the truth from clients, than actual therapists do. Because as attorneys, you actually have to share and reveal everything, whereas therapists you may hold back some things.

Also, the training that every couple should go through before getting married, and this is extremely important. And why we aren’t encouraged to be honest about our feelings. Also, what to do when marriage challenges do come up, and how to prevent them. And the real reason that people cheat in marriages.

This was fascinating to me, so if you’re listening, make sure to share this out with your friends, lewishowes.com/626. Post this on your Instagram story, tag me and let me know what you’re thinking. I think this is actually going to serve and help so many people who are in marriages, who are divorced, who are in relationships and thinking about getting married. All of this comes to play in this interview.

And before we dive in, I want to give a big thank you to the Fan of the Week! This is from Fia, who says, “[This is] one of the best podcasts out there! I’ve listened to hundreds of podcasts and Lewis hits the mark with John Taffer,” our latest episode that we had on a few weeks back. “Talk about insightful, thought provoking, and most importantly, transparent. Lewis made a titan like John answer some powerful questions that resonated more than just words. In addition, he spoils us with the video of their conversation. Seeing John’s face as he lights up about the common denominator he found in all his failures, #inspired!”

So, Fia Harrowman, thank you so much for your review, you’re the Fan of the Week! And again, if you guys want to leave a review over on iTunes, or right on your podcast app, if you’re listening on your iPhone, you can just scroll down on the podcast app and leave a review there and have a chance to be shouted out as the Fan of the Week. So, again, thank you to everyone who has left a review, it means the world to me, as it spreads the message of greatness.

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Again a big thank you to our sponsors, to the Fan of the Week, but I’m excited about this juicy topic and I know you’re going to love this as much as I do. This is a powerful one! And without further ado, let me introduce to you the one and only, James Sexton.

Welcome back, everyone, to The School of Greatness Podcast, we have Jim Sexton in the house. Good to see you, man!

James Sexton:              It’s good to see you, Lewis. Thanks for having me.

Lewis Howes:               I’m excited about this! You’ve got a book called, If You’re In My Office, It’s Already Too Late – A Divorce Lawyer’s Guide To Staying Together. You’ve been doing divorce law work for two decades, right?

James Sexton:              Yeah, about that. A little less than that right now.

Lewis Howes:               Almost two decades working with couples who have gone through every challenge under the sun, right? Who have been through it all, from sleeping with the nanny to financial issues, to what you said, car pooling, who’s doing what car pooling on what days. Little stuff to big stuff and everything in between. You’ve seen it and you’re not a trained therapist, but you’ve probably had years of work in your experience of being a therapist for a lot of people, I’m assuming, right?

James Sexton:              Yeah, you know, I see people at their worst, and I think I see them in a way that, people still lie to their therapist, you know? But they don’t necessarily lie to their divorce lawyer. Because there’s a tremendous incentive not to lie to me. Lying to your doctor and lying to your lawyer and the two people you shouldn’t lie to. Our only job is to protect you. Our only job is to make sure that, whether your goals are legitimate or illegitimate, our job is to protect you.

So, I think I get to see a very, very candid, I know more about their finances than their accountant, I know more about their personal life than their therapist, I know where all the skeletons are.

Lewis Howes:               Why do they tell more to you than their therapist?

James Sexton:              Because they have to. I mean, for me to protect them properly. I mean, the first time I meet them…

Lewis Howes:               What’s the laws under their jurisdiction, they’re like, “Okay, I have to tell you,” whereas the others they can they lie a little bit, little lies here and there.

James Sexton:              Yeah, I mean, I think other professionals you just don’t feel the automatic sense of, “You’re here to protect me.” I am there to protect them in the rawest, realest way. I really am like a shield to them. And I say that’s my job, I’m a shield and a weapon. And I’m a shield in the sense that my job is to protect my client’s interests, and I’m a weapon in the sense that I’m there to advocate what it is that they need me to fight for, what it is that they need me to advance.

I represent people who have been cheated on, and I represent people who cheat. And I represent people who, their spouse has a drug or alcohol problem, and I represent people who have drug and alcohol problems. So, I’ve spent so much time with every variety of the person in a couple.

That’s how the book happened. It really turned into, look, I’m not a therapist, I’m not a philosopher who’s just depending on what I think people do. I’m just telling you what people do. I’m just telling you what I see actually happened in actual marriages. This isn’t theoretical marriages, this is actual marriages.

Lewis Howes:               The real mess.

James Sexton:              Yeah, the real train wreck.

Lewis Howes:               Now, you’ve worked with, is it over a thousand clients now?

James Sexton:              Yeah, easily, easily.

Lewis Howes:               Have there been any clients that you’ve worked with that were going to get a divorce and then they decided not to after working with you? And then they came back together for whatever reason. And if so, what was that reason?

James Sexton:              It happens pretty rarely. And that’s why I actually called the book, If You’re In My Office, It’s Already Too Late.

Lewis Howes:               [Would you say] maybe 1% of people? Less?

James Sexton:              I would say even less. I would say, in a 20 year career, it’s happened maybe three times, where someone, by the time they were in my office, it’s so far along, and the wound has so festered, that it’s hard to turn it around. I mean, look, that’s the truth. When you look at people, it’s a whole lot easier to maintain your weight, than to get real fat and try to lose it all, right?

So it’s the same thing with marriages. No single raindrop is responsible for the flood. There’s these little arguments, these little issues that people have and they just build and build and build to the point where, once that dam breaks, by the time you’re in my office, it’s done. And it’s rare that people will come back from that.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah. You were talking about before we started, that marriage is a technology. Now, what does that mean? What is the technology of marriage?

James Sexton:              Well, I mean, I think anything that’s designed to solve a problem is a technology, right? I mean, this mug is a technology, and what is the problem to which this technology is a solution? Well, it’s a problem if I can’t hold hot tea in my hands. It’s a problem of, I don’t want to use, and kudos to you for using non-disposable ones. That zero waste woman, you listened to her. And the truth is that it’s designed to solve a problem.

So, the next question is, “Who has that problem?” Anyone who wants to drink a beverage has that problem. And the next question, and I think the most important question, is what problems does it unintentionally create? So, every technology is a Faustian bargain, in the sense that it solves a problem, and it creates a problem.

Lewis Howes:               You got to clean it. You got to use water to wash it. You have to store it.

James Sexton:              Exactly. And now you went and found stylish ones, you know classic, plain, and you found ones with Woody’s sayings on them, and it can break, and now my favourite mug was broken and how am I going to replace it? Again, some of these problems are silly little problems in exchange for really great benefits.

But most people never ask themselves the question. The technology of marriage, which is a man-made technology, a human-made technology. We got together and we said, “Hey, let’s create this legal contract.”

Lewis Howes:               Governed by the State.

James Sexton:              Right, governed by the State. Let’s turn a lover into a relative. Let’s find a way to turn this into a legally binding contract. And people just go and sign up for this technology. And they spend more time thinking about what cake they should serve at the ceremony, than thinking about, “What did I just sign on for, and why did I sign on for it, and what are some problems it might create for me, in exchange for the things that it solves for me? And by the way, will it even solve the problem that I’m trying to have it solve?”

And one of the things I talk about in the book, is if you got married to solve the problem of being alone, you might be alone still, in your marriage. If you got married because you want to have more sex, being married is no more a guarantee of getting sex than living near a restaurant is a guarantee of getting fed. It doesn’t mean, just because you’re in it, you’re going to receive the benefit that you think you’re going to receive of it.

And how many couples, before they get married, really sit down and say, “Hey, we’re going to sign up for this technology. What do you want to get from it? What should I be wanting to get from it? How will it change over the years?” That just doesn’t happen. So, if that doesn’t happen, how are we then surprised, that it doesn’t work, 53% of the time?

Lewis Howes:               Fifty-three percent is now the statisic?

James Sexton:              Is the divorce rate.

Lewis Howes:               The divorce rate, then more, probably still don’t work, but they’re in it.

James Sexton:              Exactly, so that’s the part, and it’s funny that you go there, because that’s where I go with it. So, 53% is already terrifying. If I said to you there’s a 53% chance you walk out of this room and you get hit in the head with a bowling ball.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, you’re probably not going to go out.

James Sexton:              Or you’re going to wear a helmet, at a minimum. Right? At a minimum you’re going to wear a helmet. But you probably wouldn’t go out. Now, let’s look at that number though, 53% end in divorce.

Lewis Howes:               Is that US, or global?

James Sexton:              US. US only, okay? Now think about, what percent stay together for the kids?

Lewis Howes:               That should get divorced, but stay together?

James Sexton:              Can’t stand each other, but they stay together because they don’t want to upset the kids, or they don’t want to give away their stuff.

Lewis Howes:               I would say another 75% stay together, even though they want to get divorced.

James Sexton:              Okay, so let’s say another 25% of married people. So now we’ve got a technology with a failure rate over 75%. So now, what percentage stay together for religious reasons? Probably a declining percentage over the years, but let’s say 5% more.

Lewis Howes:               That might be the same as kids and all that other stuff.

James Sexton:              Might be. So, if I say there’s a technology with a failure rate of 80%? Toyota had a .0001% brake failure on one of their vehicles, and they recalled all of the vehicles. So if I say to you 80% of technology.

Lewis Howes:               And we still use it, yeah.

James Sexton:              Not only do we use it, we celebrate it’s use.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, it’s part of our culture. And we’re shamed if we’re not married.

James Sexton:              Absolutely. Well, because it’s considered a sign that you’re not mature and forward-thinking.

Lewis Howes:               And we’re shamed when we’re divorced. But now we’re being celebrated to get out of marriages if it’s not what we want, or we’re not getting what we want.

James Sexton:              That’s a trend that’s definitely starting to change, so I think…

Lewis Howes:               It’s like, “Leave him! Divorce him!” or whatever.

James Sexton:              Right. Well, I think, as self-actualisation became more of a thing and after the 1970’s people started thinking about themselves and their happiness, and it wasn’t just about the unit any more, it was about finding yourself, then, yeah, it became more acceptable to be self-interested. I’m not going to say “selfish”, because not all self-interested behaviour is selfish.

But it became more acceptable to say, “I’m not happy. I married this person when I was twenty and now I’m forty, and shockingly I’m not the same person at forty that I was when I was twenty. And now I’m a different person and it’s no longer a good fit.”

I mean, you know, the analogy I tell people is, if I said to you right now, you can have any car you want. What car would you have?

Lewis Howes:               Well, I just got a Tesla.

James Sexton:              I have a Tesla, too.

Lewis Howes:               I actually don’t care about cars at all.

James Sexton:              I don’t care about cars either.

Lewis Howes:               But I got one for tax reasons, actually. I had a 1991, I still have a 1991 Cadillac Eldorado that has, like, 60,000 miles on it, but it just, I Uber everywhere because I don’t want to use it.

James Sexton:              It’s a great car. If you could have any car you want…

Lewis Howes:               It’s a Tesla, I like the Tesla, because it’s fuel efficient, I just wish it had a bigger back…

James Sexton:              Okay, so you’re a pragmatic guy.

Lewis Howes:               It’s a nice car, though. It’s clean.

James Sexton:              If you ask most people that question.

Lewis Howes:               They’re going to say, “Ferrari, Lamborghini,” yeah.

James Sexton:              Ferrari, Lamborghini, “I want a Maserati,” okay? Now, if I then said to them, “Okay, you get one car, though. Whatever car you pick, that’s the car you’re going to have for the rest of your life.” Suddenly a Lamborghini is a terrible idea, because you can’t put a car seat in it for a kid. And you can’t, when you’re eighty years old, get into that car, right?

So if you’re only allowed to have one car, you got to find a car that not only makes sense when you’re twenty, and thirty, and forty, but when you’re seventy, and when you have kids, and when the kids have gone away. So, again, like, a minivan, that might make sense when you got three kids, when the kids go off to college, that minivan no longer makes sense.

Well, marriage is a technology where you’re signing on with one person and saying, “For the rest of my life, I’m going to be with this person.” And that’s a very challenging thing. But here’s the thing: I actually think people give more thought to the car they’re buying, than they do really to the technology of marriage, and what about it specifically they like or don’t like.

Lewis Howes:               What training, or information do you wish every couple would go through before signing up for the technology of marriage?

James Sexton:              That’s a great question. I think, if you buy a house, you get a lead paint disclosure, you get a HUD disclosure that talks about the loan. You get all kinds of disclosures, right? You sign a will, there’s all these pages that explain to you in great detail what’s happening when you sign that will.

When you get married, you don’t even get a pamphlet. You don’t even get a one page brochure that says, “By the way, this is the most legally significant thing, other than dying, that you will ever do, legally,” and you don’t get any information about what just happened.

So, the first thing I would say is, I think, everybody who is going to get married, should have an hour consultation with a divorce lawyer. Absolutely.

Lewis Howes:               So they should go into your office, before…

James Sexton:              Yes, but for a different reason. Proactively.

Lewis Howes:               But for a different reason, yes.

James Sexton:              They should come in proactively and learn about what’s about to happen legally, what’s about to happen to my rights? What’s about to change in terms of how I own property, the financial obligations I’ll have to this person. I would also say one of the best things they could do is talk to someone, candidly, who’s been married for an extended period of time.

We’re not encouraged to be honest about our relationships. We’re not. I mean, one of the things you talk about in The Mask of Masculinity, that I loved, is about, particularly for men, but I believe it’s for women too, we don’t share candidly what’s really going on in our lives. We’re in a very curated society, where you put up on social media the best picture and the best vacation photos and the best of everything we’re doing, and we don’t share with each other the challenges, we don’t share with each other, even really relevant information.

Like, when I meet a couple, who’s been together for twenty years, you know, I love the story of, “How did you meet?” But we don’t talk about, “How many times a week do you have sex? Who initiates it? Do you always do the same stuff? Because you’ve been together for twenty years, and you know what each other like? Or do you try, do you call on Audible for a while, just do some whacky thing?” Like, “What is it really like? The day to day of your relationship?”

And so many people, I mean, you’ve been in relationships, I’ve been in relationships, so many people just don’t talk honestly. Even when I’m with my guy friends, do we really talk honestly about the day to day of our relationships? The way we talk to the women in our lives? The nickname they have for us, or the nickname we have for them? Again, it’s private to some degree, information.

But if we could share that stuff a little more, we’d have a lot more accurate of a perception of where our relationship stands in the scheme of things and how we’re doing. I really think there’s this perception that people have of, “Oh, well, we’re only having sex this many times a week,” and it’s like, “Okay, well is tha a lot? Is that too little?” You don’t have anything to compare it to.

So, in marriage, there’s no way to know if you’re doing well at it. Because you can’t say, “Well, we have fights every now and then.” Well, okay, people have fights every now and then, but if you have a fight every week, it might be lot, but how would you know? What do you compare it to? So I would say, one of the best things you could do to people who are considering getting married, is put them in a room with people who have been good with that technology. Who have managed to, not only endure marriage, but endure it and still like it.

Lewis Howes:               And thrive. And thrive!

James Sexton:              Yeah, and say, “You know what? I’d sign on for this again. In a room full of people I’d still pick this person.”

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, that’s cool.

James Sexton:              And how many of those opportunities do we really get, to talk to people that way about their relationship?

Lewis Howes:               No many, yeah. And maybe also talk to someone who’s been through a divorce and ask them what didn’t work and why didn’t it work and what to look out for.

James Sexton:              Where did it break down? Exactly! See, one of the principles that inspired me to write the book, was the idea that, and you know, I hate using car metaphors, because I’m not a car guy, but it’s the best analogy I can think of in the sense that if, when you bought a car, you did every  bit of preventative maintenance that a mechanic told you to do…

Lewis Howes:               Change the oil every two months or whatever, yeah.

James Sexton:              Yeah, my sister’s a dentist, and she always says to me, “By the time your tooth hurts, you’re screwed.”

Lewis Howes:               Prevent it, yeah. Floss every day, not after you get the cavity.

James Sexton:              Right. If you do all the stuff she tells you to do when you go see her, your teeth are going to do well. So, for me, it’s who knows more about how a car breaks down, than a mechanic? So I know people are in my office and I get a very candid view of them and I get to talk to them, and I have been very blessed that people trust me with tremendously personal information. And so, what I wanted to do with that information is just find a way to leverage that into some kind of wisdom that people could use and say, “You know what? Just don’t do what they did.”

When we were talking about titles for the book, it was a hilarious escapade. Because one of the first ideas was, “Well, we’ll call it, Everyone’s Screwing Everyone,” because it was about how people just abuse each other in the process of divorce, and how they’re really taking advantage of each other. And then we said, “Well, no, that’s too pessimistic,” and we said, “Well, maybe we can just call it, Vows, and talk about the promises that people make.” But it’s not really the promises that are interesting, it’s the way that people go in with good intentions with those promises and they just can’t keep it together.

So, I really think that, for me, the best thing we can do with anybody, is to, yeah, show them a model of success, right? And show them a model of failure. And, look, you’ve said it a million times on this show that you learn just as much from your successes as your failures. You might learn more from your failures, even, to some degree.

So, we don’t have those role models. We don’t have relationship role models. And one of the things you talked about in The Mask of Masculinity, when you talked about Neil Strauss, and his marriage. And how he says, “Look, it was my stuff. It wasn’t like I said, ‘Oh, I don’t like marriage, because I don’t like this about it and I don’t like that it would force me to do this and force me to do that,’” and really what is was, he just really didn’t want to look at his own stuff. And he felt like, to have a good marriage, he’d have to look at his own stuff, which is absolutely true.

Lewis Howes:               And terrifying.

James Sexton:              And most of what my book is about is, “Yeah, you got to look at your stuff.” If you want to be successful in this technology, you got to look at it, own it, and share it with this person.

Lewis Howes:               And be aware of it, and be honest with the person about who you are and what you want, what you don’t want.

Now, you were married for how long?

James Sexton:              I was married for twelve years.

Lewis Howes:               Twelve years. Got divorced.

James Sexton:              Yep, got divorced.

Lewis Howes:               While you were a divorce attorney?

James Sexton:              Yes, while I was a divorce attorney.

Lewis Howes:               So, you’re hearing these stories every day, and going through your marriage.

James Sexton:              But you know, my marriage, I think, benefited from my experience as a divorce lawyer.

Lewis Howes:               Because you knew the cues of what not to do, or what was going to work.

James Sexton:              Yes, but it was hurt by the fact that I love what I do for a living, and was so consumed with it, that I worked constantly. My ex-wife, who is one of my dearest friends to this day, she’s remarried to an amazing guy, who is a great step-dad to my sons who are now older, they’re both in college. But I’m very blessed. I mean, I’ve had an experience of divorce where I’m still close friends with her, I’m friends with her husband. I’m very lucky for that.

Because I look at it, like, there’s a lot of people I love that I wouldn’t want to be married to. And she’s one of the. She’s someone who I appreciate, who I just think is an amazing person, but we don’t have the exact ingredients that you need to be successful in marriage.

Lewis Howes:               Long term, yeah.

James Sexton:              Because we met when we were seventeen. And what we wanted when we were 17, 18, 19, 22, when we got married, 24 when we got kids, and then we turned around and we were in our thirties and we went, “You don’t actually have that much in common.”

And so, either I’m going to have to stop being who I actually am, like, “I love to travel, you don’t like to travel.” From silly things. “You love shabby chic furniture, and I love very Zen aesthetics. You love this kind of movie and I love this kind of movie,” and you reach a point where you kind of go, “Well, do we white-knuckle it now? Because we don’t want to quit something that isn’t working?”

Or do we say, “You know what? Let’s call this, and let’s find someone who feeds us in the right way. Or just be alone for right reasons.” And I’m very blessed that the person who I was married to was mature enough to see it the same way, and to have that painful, but really wonderful conversation that so few people can have.

And that is to say, “Look, this thing was successful. We both are leaving this better people than we were when we came into it.” And we’re leaving it with two kids who are the exact chemistry of the two of us, and they’re made up of the two of us. But we’re going to kind of take our different paths now, and let’s still love each other, let’s still respect each other.

Lewis Howes:               Conscious uncoupling. That’s what it’s called, right?

James Sexton:              Absolutely, yes. That’s the term that’s been handed to it. But you know, the truth is, is that people have been doing it for years. You just don’t hear about it. My divorce is the least interesting thing about me.

Lewis Howes:               Really?

James Sexton:              It really is. Like, if you said to me, “Tell me ten things about yourself,” the fact that I’m divorced wouldn’t make the list, because the fact that I tried to marry someone and stay with them forever and it didn’t work out, isn’t that interesting, it’s not that unique. You know, when you hear about, and the people who talk about their divorces, incessantly, are people who were wounded by them, and now they’ve been victimised by their divorce, and so it becomes a tremendous part of their identity.

Lewis Howes:               They hold onto it for a while and they talk about it and, “Here’s what happened,” yeah.

James Sexton:              Absolutely, there’s the silent, there’s a huge number of people who have had divorces like mine, where the marriage just ended, it ended in a friendly fashion, they continue to co-parent successfully together and they both live their lives.

Lewis Howes:               There’s not this pain and resentment for years.

James Sexton:              No. And I have to tell you, as a divorce lawyer, as a practising divorce lawyer, a huge, I would say more than 50% of the people I represent, it’s that kind of transaction. It really is, that it’s just two people that their time is done, and now we just have to figure out how to divide up the things they have and work out the schedules with the kids.

Lewis Howes:               That’s quite a lot, 50%.

James Sexton:              Yeah, that’s the majority. I’d say at least 50%.

Lewis Howes:               That’s good.

James Sexton:              But, the thing is, the other 50%…

Lewis Howes:               Are louder.

James Sexton:              Are so much more interesting. Because, really, who wants to hear about, “Oh, I talked to my ex-wife yesterday and she’s lovely,” you know? “She’s moving to Rochester soon,” you know, like, that’s her life.

Lewis Howes:               It’s the drama and the train wreck.

James Sexton:              Yeah. “She threw a bat at me! She set my car on fire!” It’s way more interesting, you know?

Lewis Howes:               Oh, man! Do you feel like marriage, I hear this all the time, it’s something that’s not going to be easy, right? There’s going to be challenges, there’s going to be fights or arguments and there’s going to be some things that you’re not going to agree on. If you agree on everything, awesome, but it doesn’t sound like there’s many marriages that are always perfect, and always smooth after ten, twenty, thirty years, there’s going to be some conflict.

So does that mean, in your opinion, we should be like, “You know what? Let’s just throw in the towel,” when it gets too challenging? Or, “You know what? It’s getting challenging, that’s when we got to dive in deeper and come together as a marriage, because we signed up for this.’?

James Sexton:              That’s a great question. I would say the following: I think one of the most common things people will say to you about marriage is, “Marriage is hard. Marriage is hard.” I don’t know that that’s true. I think, if you consider paying attention hard, then marriage is hard. If you don’t consider paying attention hard, than I don’t think marriage has to be hard.

I think that it’s, again, not to use the metaphor again, but losing weight is harder than maintaining your weight. And I really think, look, you’re going to have challenges. You’re not just going to have fights, you’re going to have challenges. Life is going to throw challenges in your way: illness, adversity, career issues, day to day miscommunications with each other. If you’re not paying attention, those things get huge, and then the big, big things happen.

So, people come in and they go, “I’m getting divorced because he’s sleeping with his secretary.” You are. That’s a great reason to get divorced and that’s a legit thing. He’s sleeping with his secretary, because there’s something wrong in the marriage. And you don’t want to look at that, because you have some culpability in that, and it’s easier to just go, “Oh! This harlot came and took him away,” it’s a lot easier to say that.

But the truth is, you stopped paying attention. And this is the question, I find myself, when I have a minute with a client, who I’ve been some miles with. And we’re sitting outside of the courtroom, waiting for the case to be called, and I have enough of a rapport with them, we’ve been enough of a distance together that I feel like I can be candid with them. I’ll say to them, “Was there a moment when you realised your marriage was over? What was that moment?”

And you would be amazed at the insight, if people think about that question, that they give. I had a woman that said to me, and it was, to me, a very powerful example I discuss a little bit in the book. She said, there was a kind of granola that she liked, and you could only get it at a certain store, like a Whole Foods, or something like that. And her husband used to always buy it. Whenever she was running low, she’d just open the cabinet and there’d be another bag of it there.

And she loved that, because he didn’t say, like, “Oh, and look, Honey, I bought your granola,” like, “I get credit for that.” He just would do it. He just saw that this was something… He was paying attention. He just saw that there was this little thing. And there was this little kindness that he showed her, that let her know she was important to him. He was still kind of trying to woo her. Without being obvious about it. And he was still paying attention.

And she said, then one day she just ran out of granola, and it wasn’t there. So she thought, “Oh, well, maybe he’s just busy and he didn’t notice,” so she kind of left the bag out. And, sure enough, he still didn’t replace the granola. And she said, she had a tangible memory, it was about a year before the actual divorce. But she said she had a tangible memory where she thought, “Okay, this is over. This thing is over now.”

And I think that that’s the thing. That’s kind of, if you boiled my book down, one of the things I say to people is, there’s this thing in every relationship, some little thing, that if you did for your partner, or some little thing that you just had to tell them, that at some point, you just stop telling them.

You know, I don’t know if it’s just, in the morning saying, “Oh, you’re so pretty,” or when she walks by, or if it’s her saying to you, “I love you’re strong arms!” or whatever it might be. There’s just those little things, we just want someone cheering for us.

Why do we get together? We want connection, we just want connection. There’s no other reason to get married, other than wanting connection. So, those little disconnections, that’s the add. And it’s death by a thousand paper cuts, and that’s the challenge, for me, is that’s what people need to sort of find, their way to connect.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, yeah. What do you think are the most important things to find out about your spouse before getting married?

James Sexton:              See, I’m super pragmatic about that. I think you’re going to be living with somebody, so I think you should know some bare bones things. Like, I want to know, can you go to bed with a dish in the sink still? Or are you somebody that needs to have the dishes cleaned? What time do you go to bed? What time do you like to wake up in the morning? Are you a loud morning person or a quiet morning person? Do you, how do you feel about credit card debt?

Very pragmatic questions. How many times a week do you think you should have sex when you’re married? For you to be satisfied? You know? These are the kinds of questions, if I’m signing up to live with another human being, to share my finances with them and to only have sex with them for the rest of my life, these are important questions! For real!

Like, would you buy a car and, like, “Oh, I don’t know how many miles it is, or I don’t know how many doors it has.”? These are basic questions.

Lewis Howes:               Or if it’s going to turn on if I turn it here.

James Sexton:              Right, right! Just ask some fundamental, honest questions. And, look, there’s nothing wrong with asking those questions. We’ve convinced people that this idea of a soulmate, that you can just meet someone, instant chemistry, and if you don’t have instant chemistry and perfection, you’re doing it wrong.

And so you’re discouraged from asking pragmatic, practical questions like, “Listen, how many times a week do you think you should have sex?” Because if you had those conversations, not only are you going to go into the relationship with your eyes open, but it’s going to allow you to actually serve the needs of your spouse a little bit better.

Lewis Howes:               For what she wants, or he wants, yeah.

James Sexton:              Right! Because now I know what’s advertised. You know, “This is what you said you wanted, and I want to know, am I meeting that standard, or am I not meeting that standard?” And if I’m not, we can have a conversation about, “Hey, listen, just so you know, this is why I’m not like that any more.”

Because very often, if you talk to women about why did they stop sleeping with their husbands, or husbands, “Why did you stop sleeping with your wife?” they’ll tell  you the reason. They’ll say, “He stopped being complimentary to me, and now he only hugs me when he wants to have sex. If he hugged me more often, I would probably feel more romantic towards him.” If you’d had that conversation, you wouldn’t get to this war that no one wins.

“You’re not hugging me any more, so I’m not going to sleep with you.”

“Well, now I don’t feel affection towards you, because you’re not sleeping with me.”

“Oh, well now I feel even more upset because you’re not sleeping with me, so now I’ll start sleeping with somebody else.” And now we’re just off the races, and meanwhile we have two people that signed on for the same task that now have completely lost the plot.

I mean, one of the things I love about divorce law is, in this culture, where we’re so full of it, we don’t want to admit when we screwed up. We don’t want to admit when we’re lost. We’re terrified to admit when we’re lost. No one meant to get divorced. You can’t pretend. You’re in this beautifully raw situation. Anyone who is in my office, they did not mean to be there.

And there’s something, to me, really beautiful about that. Because it’s this opportunity to just say, “You know what? Yeah, we tried to do this thing and it fell apart.” And so, to me, that can be beautiful. That’s an opportunity for growth. The barn’s burned down, now I can see the moon. I really feel like that’s the thing, that if people could have that level of honesty and candour and realness in marriage, they wouldn’t end up in my office.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah. When a couple is starting to lose connection, what do you think they can do to get reconnected?

James Sexton:              I think the core is communication.

Lewis Howes:               Just start talking.

James Sexton:              Just start. I talk about ways to have that conversation. Very pragmatic, practical, like. I didn’t want to write a book that will filled with conclusions of lofty, “So you need to reconnect with your partner.”  what the hell does that mean?

Like when your partner says, “I want to feel more fulfilled.” What does that mean? Do you mean you want to have a date night once a week? Or do you mean you want to surf more often? Because I don’t know if I should take you out to dinner, or drive you to the beach. What does that mean?

Lewis Howes:               Be more specific, yeah.

James Sexton:              Specifically. And so, I think, people need to know how to talk to each other. And, in fact, why not have a conversation about how you have conversations. Like, why not talk about, “Listen, when there’s a problem in the marriage, how are we going to talk to each other about it?” And one of the things, there’s a chapter in there called, Hit Send Now, and it’s about just this very simple idea, and that is, send an e-mail to your partner.

The reason I called it, Hit Send Now, is that I always thought it was kind of funny when you hit send on an e-mail, you can’t hit, like, unsend. It’s just, you hit it and it’s like, “Okay, wow, it’s out there now.” And I’ve had e-mails where I’m like, you know, I write my e-mail, and I’m like, “Phew! Okay, there it is! I can’t take it back, now!”

And it’s kind of exciting, but it’s also kind of terrifying, and I think the idea of Hit Send Now, is to say, listen, when some little thing’s going on in the marriage, you know that this could be an issue some day, but you don’t want to… You know, write an e-mail. Write an e-mail to the person and just say, like, “Hey, listen, when we were sitting around last night, we were having dinner, and you kind of made that little comment about my sister. Like, I don’t know if you meant it or not, but it kind of hurt, because I always thought you liked my sister. So, I don’t know, I just wanted to let you know.”

And, see, unlike a conversation, if we have that in a conversation, you immediately are going to be defensive. And by the way, you may not be ready to have that conversation. You might have other things going on in your brain. So, an e-mail’s great because it gives a person a chance to digest it. It gives them a chance to sort of think it through, not be immediately defensive.

And what I even say to people is, “Make the subject heading, Hit Send Now, because that way the person knows, “Oh, it’s going to be one of these e-mails. Okay, brace myself for it. Be ready that this is what this is. And you can time when you send it. Send it when you know you’re not going to see them. You’re going to be out of the blast radius. And you’re going to give them a chance to digest it. Send it to them in morning when you know they’re sharp, or at night when they’re calm, whatever.

Hopefully you know your partner well enough to know what’s the time to talk to them, before they go to the gym, or after they get back from the gym. You know, if you want to ask me something, ask when I get back from going to Jiu Jitsu class, because I’m calm as a Hindu cow, you know. But if you see me on Friday morning, when I’ve got court, this is not the time to talk to me about relationship issues.

So I would say, the best thing people can do is communicate in a very clear way with each other. That’s going to solve 90% of the problems you have. And most of this book is just about ways to communicate with each other, and ways to own your stuff and help your partner own their stuff.

Because I still believe that relationships, maybe not marriage, but marriage at it’s best, is about having someone who sees your blind spots. You know, we’re better together as human beings. We’re better in connection, we’re better when we have the benefit of each other’s perspective and when we help each other see the things that we just can’t see about ourselves.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, it’s true. What would you say are the top three reasons people get divorced? Is it infidelity, or is it financial, or is it something else?”

James Sexton:              Yeah, I mean, the top three big reasons, again with the idea that the little things add up and cause these things, but yeah, absolutely infidelity would be number one. Finances would be number two, and number three would be, I would just call it attrition. It would just be that relationships just burn up. Like people just don’t care any more. You know the opposite of love isn’t hate.

Lewis Howes:               It’s contempt, right?

James Sexton:              It’s indifference.

Lewis Howes:               Indifference.

James Sexton:              I mean, hate is a passionate emotion. I mean, if you hate me, you feel strongly about it.

Lewis Howes:               If you just don’t care any more.

James Sexton:              Right! Like, you know, there’s a line in Casa Blanca, the movie, where one of the characters says to Humphrey Bogart’s character, he says, “Boy, you really hate me.” And he says to him, “You know, I suppose if I gave you any thought, I probably would.”

And I found, when I saw that film, I thought, “Oh, that’s the most cutting insult,” because when you really just don’t care, that’s the opposite of love. Because love is about, “I’m paying attention, I want to please you. Your pleasure gives me pleasure. Your joy gives me joy. Your sadness becomes my burden, and it becomes something I want to alleviate.”

So, indifference, that sense of, “I don’t care what you’re doing. I don’t care if you’re happy, I don’t care if you’re sad. I don’t care,” that’s the thing, and that’s where people land sometimes. They just land in that place where they used to care, and then, in this escalating war of, “Well, I shouldn’t have to do that.”

“Well then I shouldn’t have to do this.”

“Well then I shouldn’t have to do that!”

“Well then I shouldn’t have to do that!”

And now you’ve got two people that are just, “Great, you guys won. You did great! None of you has to do anything for each other any more. Great job! Great job! You’re living with a person who owes you nothing and you owe them nothing, except what the state tells you that you owe each other.” And you never meant to be there. You never meant to be there.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, wow. What’s the best way to handle financial stress, in your opinion?

James Sexton:              Financial stress? Don’t get into it? No. The best way to handle financial stress, again, I think candour. Just candour, honesty.

Lewis Howes:               Probably communicating it before you get married, about these things, so you don’t get into it.

James Sexton:              Absolutely! Again, what’s the best way to lose weight? Don’t get fat. I mean, the truth is, try to find a way to prevent getting in that place. But, look, once you’ve got financial stress… So, there are financial stresses you can’t prevent, you know, you lose your job, your company lays off 500 people and you’re one of them.

Lewis Howes:               Or you’ve got a medical challenge that happens.

James Sexton:              Yeah, okay, so how do you deal with it. Well, with candour, with courage, with honesty, with fearlessness, with bluntness.

I mean, one of the things I love about your book, and that’s why I said the two books together would actually be a great combination. If you know a guy who is getting married, you buy him your book and buy him my book, and I think you just dropped the statistics down on these guys! Because the truth is, knowing your stuff and being fearless enough to say, “This is what it is,” that’s where the magic is.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, yeah. I saw in one of the chapters says, “Yours, mine and ours, the financial system that works best.” So I think a lot of people have their own way of how they want to run their money. They’re like, managing it their way, spending it on things they want to spend it on, some like getting in debt, others don’t like getting in debt, so how do you find “our way”?

James Sexton:              You got to keep in mind, marriage was created as a technology, when women were property, essentially.

Lewis Howes:               When was it created?

James Sexton:              It was created in a medieval context. I mean, it was created essentially to preserve wealth. It was created to preserve lands. Royal families would marry each other, and rich families would marry each other, to preserve land and to bring clans together, you know, the Game of Thrones mentality. “I’m marrying this person, not because I love them, but because this makes sense. This family makes sense. This union of the clans makes sense.”

Lewis Howes:               “That’s our vision and…”

James Sexton:              Okay, so that’s the origin of marriage. Now, at some point, 1920’s, 1930’s it started turning into some romantic notion of well, I should have some….

Lewis Howes:               The movies, they always brought that in.

James Sexton:              You know, that’s entirely possible. I mean, entertainment media is very much how people perceive… Advertising is the dream life of a culture. We started to convince people that marriage should be more about love, it should be more about romance, and then people became consumed by that model. Why? Because it’s a compelling model, it’s a wonderful model, I mean, there’s nothing more exciting than the initial days of a relationship.

Somebody once said there’s nothing more exciting than getting married, and nothing harder than being married. And so, getting married, super fun, courtship, those early days of a relationship, they’re fantastic, they’re fantastic, there’s so many people you could have a really wonderful early relationship with. But how many people could you have ten, twenty, thirty, forty years with?

So, you know, when you think about the fact that marriage was put together when women couldn’t own property, when women were essentially sold. I mean, you’d trade a cow for the guys daughter. I mean, that is what it was. There’s still cultures where, “Trade five livestock for my daughter,” and that’s the trade.

So now we’re in a society where we’ve kept the same technology that was rooted in that, but we’re in a place where men and women are both in the work force, men and women have, obviously, both autonomous value and they’re equals, at least in the theoretical sense, even though there’s still some inequality and patriarchy and things people still have to figure out and deal with.

The truth is that men and women have equality of opportunity, ideally, so now, what makes sense? You’re no longer bringing together this overreaching man who’s in charge and gong to work, and this woman who’s going to stay home and tend to the hearth and the children. We have two intelligent autonomous man and woman, I didn’t get into it in the book, but men and men, and women and women. I mean, we have marriage equality now. We fought really hard for it so gay couples and lesbian couples could have the privilege of this failing technology. So, we said, “Why should we have all the misery? Everybody sign up!”

Lewis Howes:               “Everyone should!”

James Sexton:              And I secretly believe that there were probably gay and lesbian individuals who had been with their partners for long periods of time and secretly voted against marriage equality so they wouldn’t have to have the conversation.

Lewis Howes:               Really?

James Sexton:              Yeah, because, think about it: when they weren’t able to, they could be like, “Oh, I’d love to marry you, but, aarrgh! the government won’t let me! I wish!” Then all of a sudden it’s like, “Great! The government’s letting us.” Like, “Oh, okay, well I guess we have to have that conversation now.”

So I really do think that, from a financial place, yours, mine and ours, the basic idea of it is just to say, look, have some joint finances, have some sense of, “We’ll have this account that joint money goes into. We’ll pay for joint expenses from it.” But then have some autonomy. Have your own individual accounts.

Have something that you can use when you want to buy the other person a birthday present. I mean if you have a joint account and I buy you a birthday present from that account, I bought myself a birthday present. So, you know, let a person have a little autonomy financially, but have a joint account so there’s still some sense of shared purpose financially, you know?

Lewis Howes:               What do you think is the real reason people cheat on each other? Is it these little things that have added up over time, that people aren’t paying attention to?

James Sexton:              I mean, I think, at it’s core, it’s the human need for connection. I think Esther Perel and there’s a lot of people.

Lewis Howes:               She’s incredible.

James Sexton:              She’s incredible. Incredible. I love her work and I love the way she thinks about things.

Lewis Howes:               Do you know her personally?

James Sexton:              I don’t, and I’ve secretly said to everyone, to do a panel with her would be the coolest thing in the world. The future of marriage, would be really… Because she has such incredible perspective, and she comes at it from this mental health perspective, and she comes at it from a, really, like a hacker mentality. I don’t think she realises it, but she wants to Uber marriage.

Like, she’s thinking about it, “Well, why don’t we do it different?” Instead of like, you know, she’s got that Silicon Valley approach which is, don’t look at how we did it, look at it and go, “Well, wait, what if we just rip the technology apart and started from nothing? What could we do with it?” And I love that about her, I love Made In Captivity, I think it was just a genius piece of work.

And again, I think if people understood those concepts before they got married, or even thought about them, you’d already be a step ahead of the game, because identifying the problem is a huge piece of the problem, is that people never identify. But I would say that I think cheating is a function of losing that connection. And I also think it’s about a human need for physical intimacy, physical attention, physical attraction.

I think John Gray, for example, did great work. He’s super intelligent with his ideas of, you know, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. And “men are like a microwave and women are like a slow cooker,” and that it takes us different times, sexually, to heat up. I think some of that was tied to some sexual more, yeah, there’s some biochemistry there, but I think the truth is that women are now becoming permitted to own their sexuality. We’ve become a more sex positive culture.

A lot of that misogyny that was motivating women to not be sexual beings, it started to fall apart. I don’t know if it was Kim Cattrall in Sex And The City as Samantha, or if it was this long term thing, but I think men and women are very sexual. I see men who cheat, I see women who cheat, I see men who have been cheated on, I see women who have been cheated on, and I can tell you, men don’t cheat more than women. Women don’t cheat more than men.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, Esther says that too, I mean, women cheat just as much.

James Sexton:              Women cheat just as much. They, in my experience, do it more intelligently than men, but yeah, they’re not as impulsive or impetuous about it. Infidelity happens because people have a need, a sexual need. And they have a need, and sex is, they attribute it to Oscar Wilde, but I don’t think it actually came from him, I don’t think they know who said it. But he said, “Everything in life is about sex, except for sex, which is about power.”

And I think the truth of sex is that sex is a way we share our affection for each other, it’s a way that we share our attraction to another person. And when that starts to fall away in a relationship, then people cheat. The question is, then, how do you maintain that connection? Because that’s why people cheat. People who have happy, functional, active sex lives with their partner, and they’re really truly fulfilled by it and they maintain intimacy.

You know, intimacy is defined as the ability to be yourself with another person. So, it’s not about sex. Sex is ideally tied to intimacy, but you can have great intimacies, and not have a sexual relationship with someone. You and I, as friends, can have tremendous intimacy. I can be myself with you, you can be yourself with me.

But sex is a tremendous way for people to build intimacy and sustain intimacy. You know, people say sex is the glue, it’s the glue that holds it together. Because, what is it? It’s the thing that separates a lover from a room mate. It prevents it from just being, because if you just want to have a roommate, have a roommate, you know? Sex is the pillar of marriage.

And so, how do we maintain sexual connection with someone? Satisfying sexual connection? Again, it’s not about how do I stay married? Easy. Don’t get divorced. You know, how do I stay happily married? That’s a much harder question. How do I keep having sex with the same person? Not a hard question to answer. Just keep having sex with them. How do I have satisfying sex with that person, that’s going to fill my needs and is going to prevent me from wanting to go have sex with other people? That’s a more interesting question.

Lewis Howes:               Well, how do you do that? After ten, twenty years?

James Sexton:              I can tell you how you don’t do it. How you don’t do it, is by not sharing with the person, what you really want. There’s a chapter in the book called, Go Without Or Go Elsewhere, where I basically say that if you don’t share every sexual desire you have, with the one person you’re allowed to have sex with, you’re an idiot. Because you’re either going to go without it then, or you’re going to go elsewhere to get it.

Lewis Howes:               And resent it.

James Sexton:              Yeah, and resent it, or you’re going to have to go elsewhere. And then potentially ruin the relationship. You know, I talk about a client I had who was into feet, in a sexual way. And again, it’s not my thing, I’m not a foot guy. I mean, to me, feet and sex, it’s like, I use my feet to get to bed to have sex. Other than that the feet don’t get into it.

But this was this guy’s thing. He loved feet. And in a really intense way. Sexually it was a fetish for him. And, you know, you and I laugh at it, but the truth is, you know, it’s actually a pretty generic thing apparently. Google it, it’s a pretty generic thing. People like it. And you know what? Attraction is so hard to understand, desire is so hard to understand. Why do any of us like what we like?

It’s the reason why I’ve just never been homophobic. Because until I can articulate to you why I like what I like, how can I possibly judge you for the things that you like. You know? So, the truth is that sexual desire is so complex and so hard to understand, that we don’t realise that there’s a tremendous value in just identifying what it is that you want, and sharing it with your partner.

And I say in the book, don’t, just in the middle of sex, it’s like, if you want your partner to talk dirty, you know, that’s a very common thing. People like to talk dirty or to have someone talk dirty to them. Maybe we watch too much porn and that’s why we feel that way, or maybe in romantic films that people speak sexually to each other and that’s why. Whatever it is, maybe there’s just something in us that likes the sound of our partner’s voice. But we’re afraid to say something.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, embarrassed or whatever.

James Sexton:              Yeah, you’re embarrassed. You don’t want the person to be, “Wait, what? What the hell’s going on?” You don’t want that to happen. So you hold it in. You don’t say anything about it. Who are you serving there?

Lewis Howes:               No one.

James Sexton:              Maybe this is their fantasy, too. You know, you have to be, again, what I say in the book is that people have great intentions and cause tremendous problems in their sexual relationships. So, the following example is the best one I can think of. So, you’re with this sexual partner for, you know, initially. And initially you’re having tons of sex, and it’s great sex and it’s all new and it’s exciting.

What starts to happen? You start to learn what the other one likes, okay? You start to figure out, “Okay, she likes this,” and , “He likes this,” and, “I do this first and then that warms up for this and this is great.” And that’s part of the fun of early days, is figuring out what the other person likes.

Well, then what starts to happen. Then you go, “Hey, listen, let’s play The Greatest Hits,” right? “I know that this they love, and this they couldn’t care less, so I’m just going to do The Greatest Hits.” And you have good intentions, I mean, you’re really, you’re trying to do the right thing. You’re going to do their greatest hits, they’re going to do your greatest hits, and everybody is going to be so excited in a much shorter period of time, and we’ll be done before John Oliver comes on, you know, whatever it is. So, then what happens? Six months, a year, two years of just doing the greatest hits.

Lewis Howes:               They get boring.

James Sexton:              Starts getting [boring], right? I get an album I like, and I love this song and that song.

Lewis Howes:               You can only play it so much.

James Sexton:              Play it a hundred times. I mean, when, you know, Zero To A Hundred, by Drake, came out I probably listened to it a thousand times. So many times, then when I play it again, “Oh my gosh, I can’t hear this song again.” So the truth is, people with really good intentions create a sex life that creates discontent in their sex life.

So then, when it happens though, that’s the key moment, what do you do? Well, if you’re smart, you say, “Hey, you know what? We’re kind of always doing the same things. Let’s change it up. Let’s do something different.” You Hit Send Now. You send that e-mail. Again, don’t just call an audible in the middle of sex, because the person’s going to start to go, like, “Where did that come from? We’ve been doing The Greatest Hits and all of a sudden you did this random thing!” You know?

Lewis Howes:               Let them think about it, yeah, yeah.

James Sexton:              Well, let me take the example of talking dirty, which I think is a pretty ubiquitous, simple example. Don’t just start straight up porn dialogue in your partner’s ear if you’ve been silent all these years. Maybe say one or two little things and see what their reaction is, gauge their reaction. You touch them on some body part you haven’t before, see what their reaction is. And then have a conversation after about, “Oh, did you like that when we did that?” and, “Oh, I kind of threw that in there, what did you think of that?”

That’s the kind of communication that I think prevents people from losing the plot, being stagnant, even with good intentions, and losing their sexual desire and attraction to the person that they’re with. Because that is at the core, I have to tell you, of so many people that come into my office. They tell me, “We stopped sleeping together six months ago,” or, “We stopped sleeping together three years ago,” or, “We haven’t had sex in five years.”

Lewis Howes:               No way! Five years?

James Sexton:              I had somebody come into my office, no joke, last month, who said they hadn’t had sex with their partner in eight years. Eight years.

Lewis Howes:               What?! You’re a roommate.

James Sexton:              Yeah, you’re a roommate. You’re a miserable roommate at that, because even a roommate, there’s no expectation of sex. Like, you don’t see your roommate go, “Wow, we haven’t had sex in a while.” You’re not supposed to have sex with your roommate. But you’re supposed to have sex with your sexual partner. You’re supposed to have sex with your spouse.

And, by the way, if we haven’t had sex in eight years, can you get mad when I have sex with someone else? That seems wildly unfair, you know? So that’s the trip. But you know, the answer to that is: Yes, you do have a right to be upset, if we’ve never had a conversation about why we’re not having sex, and not figured that out. Because a lot of times, it’s, again, those little things.

Anyone who’s been in a relationship knows that you sit with your partner, and you’re having a conversation about the best way to get onto this highway from this particular place, and it turns into a slight disagreement, and ten minutes later it’s, “You know, I never liked your mother.” It’s like, “Wait, what? How did we just get there?” But anyone who’s in a relationship knows, the fight was about one thing, and then it turned into some other much bigger, deeper thing.

So, it’s the same thing when it comes to infidelity. You know, there was one conversation happening in the relationship about sex, and then all of a sudden you turn around and you’re completely in a different place and you’ve lost the plot.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah. I was at a Cirque du Soleil show over the weekend in Vegas, and it was Zoomanity, which is the sexual, like, lovey, sensual one, and the host of the show, the drag queen, was asking questions to people who looked like couples, like, “How long have you been married? Are you married? Are you together?”

And the drag queen asked one of the couples, “How long have you guys been married?” and they said, “We’re not married, but we’re life partners.” And she goes, “Well, what does that mean?” and then the guy took the mic and he said, “We’re not allowing the government or the state to dictate our relationship.” I thought that was an interesting perspective, you know, what are all the things that the government or the state actually dictates when you sign a contract of marriage?

James Sexton:              Sure, yeah. And the funny thing is, isn’t it amazing that you live in a culture where marriage is everywhere, and you don’t know the answer to that? And I’m not saying you specifically, nobody knows the answer to that. Like, I know, probably, twenty engaged people, who don’t know the answer to that.

You know, whoever discovered water, it wasn’t a fish. And what happens in these situations is, people are so surrounded by marriage as a technology, that they don’t ever stop and ask the question, “Wait a minute, what legally happens when I get married?”

So, what legally happens when you get married is, A, you opt out of the title system. So, I have a car, it’s in my name. It’s titled in my name. I have a bank account, it’s titled in my name. So, title is the legal term for when someone’s name is on something. So, if you and I are friends, and you own a car and it’s in your name, and I own a car and it’s in my name. I’m taking your car now, Lewis. Because your car is in your name. So you have proof of ownership of it.

If I say, “You know what, Lewis, I’ve bought a car. I have a Tesla, you have a Tesla, it’s silly that we both have Teslas. Let’s share a Tesla.” So, I’ll put your name on my Tesla. And now we both are titled owners of that Tesla. Well, now, if you and I have a parting of ways we have to divide that Tesla somehow. And the law says, “Okay, we’ll divide that based on how much you put into it, and how much who repaired it and who fixed it up.”

So there’s all these kinds of ways to determine the ownership interest. Just like a business. If we start a business together, it’s in your name, it’s in my name, how are we going to divide it up? When you marry, you immediately opt out of the title system. So, if it’s in my name, it’s ours. If it’s in your name, it’s ours.

Lewis Howes:               Whatever one person owns, no one…

James Sexton:              If I buy my wife a Rolex watch, I bought myself one half of a Rolex watch. If I get $10,000 in credit card debt, my spouse just got $5,000 in credit card debt. So, you’re opting out of this, now, no one knows that. You’re now opting in to certain systems regarding a lifestyle. So, you’re opting in to systems about maintaining spousal support or alimony, what used to be called alimony, is now called spousal maintenance, or spousal support.

And that is a system whereby, if one person is an earner, and the other person’s less of an earner, that is there is a split between those people, that one person has to now make payments to the other person to maintain them in a certain level of lifestyle or rehabilitate their earning capacity.

Lewis Howes:               For life?

James Sexton:              No, not necessarily for life. Every state has certain formulas as to how they do things and every state had different numbers and percentages and how many years you have to be married before the right to alimony kicks in. But, again, people don’t know those things when they sign up. People, when they get married in New York State, don’t know, “Oh 17% of my gross income less FICA is my child support exposure if I have a child. One child. 25% if I have two.”

You know, people don’t learn that. You don’t get a piece of paper when you get married that explains that to you. You’re signing up for a contract you don’t know the terms of. And, again, I think you’re just sort of assuming that it’s a fair contract. You haven’t read it, but you just assume it’s a fair contract. Getting married is like when you just agree to the terms of service on the app that you just bought.

Lewis Howes:               But you have no clue what it is.

James Sexton:              You have no clue. But if that app could take half your 401K and your house, and leave with your kids, you might read the terms of service before you just kept hitting accept, you know? And that’s the reality. That’s why, I think, if you put engaged people in the office of a divorce lawyer and just say, “Hey listen…”

Lewis Howes:               “Here’s a pamphlet.”

James Sexton:              I do more pre-nups now, than I ever did before, and more and more people are getting pre-nups.

Lewis Howes:               Do you think it’s smart to have one? No matter what. Even if you want to be together.

James Sexton:              Absolutely. It’s not only smart to have one, it’s incredibly foolish not to have one.

Lewis Howes:               No matter who you are, no matter where you’re at in the relationship, no matter how romantic you are, and you’re like, “We’re going to be together forever.”

James Sexton:              Look, I don’t plan on dying, but I have a will. I know I’m going to die. Every marriage is going to end. It’s either going to end in death or divorce. But it’s definitely going to end. There’s no such thing as a marriage that lasts forever. It’s either going to end in death or divorce. Do you have a will? Okay, your marriage is going to end in death, so you have a will. Your marriage might end in divorce. So why not have a pre-nup?

By the way, why not have a pre-nup for the reason I’m talking about, which is just to have some discussions about, “What do you expect from this marriage?” Why are we afraid of that discussion? Why can’t you sit down with a person who you’ve been dating for that period of time, and who you apparently like that much that you’ve decided you want to have this person be the one you hold hands with as you walk into all of the challenges of the world.

You can’t have a conversation with them and say to them, “If this ends, maybe it’s your fault, maybe it’s my fault, maybe it’s our fault, maybe it’s some third party’s fault, whatever. If this ends, and I’m not saying it will, I love you, but if this ends, what do you think it would look like? Would you set my s**t on fire? Would we sit and say, ‘Okay, wait a minute, here’s what I need, here’s what you need.’? Would you want half my things, would I want half your things? What would be important to you? What would we do with the dog?”

And having that conversation, by the way, I believe very much so, and I’ve heard it said many times on your podcast by a variety of professionals, we’re the most alive in the presence of death. We’re the most alive in the presence of loss and sadness. And so, I think we’re the most acutely aware of the value of love when we think about losing it. You know, when we think about, “What if this person was taken from me? What if this person who I love wasn’t with me any more? What would I lose? What would I not have any more?”

Because, really, it’s a conversation about value. It’s a conversation about, “What is this person bringing to my life and to my heart?” And so, why not have that conversation? That’s a great conversation. We’re storytellers, human beings. And my job is to tell stories. My job is to go into a courtroom and tell the story of a marriage, to a judge, in a way that flatters my client, that puts a halo on my client and horns on the other side.

And I want to persuade them to see things my client’s way. That my client’s the great parent, the other side’s not the great parent, if it’s a custody case, whatever it might be. So I’m a storyteller by nature. And I have to learn how to spin some of the same facts into different outcomes. And what I’ll say is, I understand the power of stories, and the stories we tell ourselves about our marriage and the stories we tell each other about our marriage.

We’ve all been out to dinner with someone who we’re dating or married to. And somebody says, “Oh, so how’d you guys meet?” And so you tell the sweet little story of how you met. And everybody kind of lights up a little bit. Everybody pays attention to that story. That’s a fun story. I like to hear that story. I like to hear, “How did you meet your girlfriend?  Tell me about that.” And, by the way, your demeanour changes when you tell that story.

Lewis Howes:               You light up, you reflect.

James Sexton:              Yeah, you light up, and so I think people, kind of, in that moment, there’s a lot of reconnection to the love again, there’s a lot of reconnection to each other in that moment. Because why? Because you’re talking about when this person wasn’t with you and then they came into your life and they added something to your life. Well, why not have that conversation when you’re getting married?

Why not have a conversation about, “What did I have before you, and if there was to be an ‘after you’, what would it look like for me?” Because I think that’s a very romantic conversation. I think it’s a very romantic thing to speak so honestly to someone about, “Here’s what you bring to my life, here’s what I hope I bring to yours. If this ends, in a way other than us dying, what would it look like? How would I express my love for you?”

You know, I’m very proud, as a divorced man, that my love for my ex-wife is still evident in my behaviour. It’s still evident in the fact that I treat her with love and respect and I’m still someone who supports her as a person, and who’s still emotionally there for her. I’ve embraced the man she married, because he’s now part of my family, because he’s part of my sons’ family. So that’s an act of love, to talk about how marriages end in a very fearless way.

And I think it would be a great thing if people did it more often. Pre-nups are on the rise, people don’t talk about getting pre-nups, because it’s not something you talk about on Facebook, “Oh, we just did our pre-nup,” you know? You post, “Oh, we just tasted cakes,” or, “Oh, we just found the venue!” You don’t say, “Oh, just finished negotiating the pre-nup,” or, “Just finished talking about the pre-nup!” But it’s something people are doing, because they’re pragmatic and they’re realistic.

Lewis Howes:               And they know the stats, too. Fifty-three percent, so it’s like, “Let’s be realistic. If something happens, hopefully it doesn’t…”

Now, you’ve been married, you’ve been divorced, would you ever get married again, and do you believe in the technology in the way that it is right now, still?

James Sexton:              Yeah, I believe very much in marriage. I think marriage is like the lottery. You’re probably not going to win. But if you win, what you win is so good, that it’s worth buying a ticket. It’s worth giving it a chance.

My parents were married for over 50 years. My mom passed away two years ago after a long battle with cancer. But they had a tremendous partnership, and their lives were better for having loved each other. And they had ups and they had downs and they had challenges, but their lives were really enriched by the fact that they married each other.

I think the upside of marriage is so good, and the downside doesn’t have to be as bad as we make it. I think that’s where Ester Perel’s got it right. We have to reinvent how we view marriage. And we have to, as a culture, start talking about what’s really going on in marriages, and what’s really happening with them, and what’s really important to us in marriage.

We have to start looking at marriage as a technology, not as some romantic sentiment. And I think if we do that, we’re going to find ourselves in a better place as a culture, and that’s a technology that might be worth signing on for. But definitely a pre-nup. I mean, a pre-nup would be in order.

Lewis Howes:               I got you. Now, so you would get married again, let’s say you got married and it worked and it was amazing, and all the things happened that you wanted to happen, and you enriched both of your lives, but for whatever reason, ten twenty years later, it’s not working any more and you decided to part ways again. Would you get married again?

James Sexton:              A third time. Great question.

Lewis Howes:               Would you continue to do it, and say, “Well, you know what? I’ve done it a couple of times…”

James Sexton:              So, I had a client who I did his fourth divorce, and a pre-nup for his fifth marriage.

Lewis Howes:               No way!

James Sexton:              Okay, I had the same reaction as you. But let me tell you what he said to me, and it was really, it stuck with me. This was fifteen years ago. I said to him, because he was an older fellow at that point, I said to him, “Look, you realise you don’t have to marry them, right? You can sleep with them, you can date them, you can even, people live together now.” Because I thought, maybe he’s old school, maybe no one told him that it’s okay, not from, like, the Vatican perspective, but it’s okay, you can do this. Nobody’s going to look at you culturally any more and say, “Shame on you, you’re living in sin.”

So, he said to me, he said, “Look, let’s say you buy a car. And you drive it for twenty years and it’s super reliable and it gets you where you need to be, but eventually it just breaks down. So you go out and you buy a sports car. You buy a flashy, amazing sports car. And within six months you realise this was a terrible idea. This was impractical, this is not the right car for you, so you get rid of that car.

“And then you get another car, that’s closer to the first car, and you really think this is going to be the car. But, for whatever reason, it just doesn’t kind of mesh the right way, and maybe it’s that you’re driving habits after all these years, but it breaks down and you get rid of it. Are you going to just walk everywhere for the rest of your life?”

And I remember thinking, “Okay, that’s not bad.” The truth is that we want to maintain connection. Marriage is not a decision one person makes, it’s a decision two people make. I mean, arguably, more than two people. Because people get married not just for each other, they get married because their parents expect them to get married, their culture expects them to get married, their friends expect them to get married. So it’s not even just about a personal decision between two people.

But no one ever gets married just because they felt like getting married. There has to be another person in the equation. So, I think, realistically, people just keep trying. I think it’s foolish to say, “Well, if I had a failed marriage I wouldn’t get married again.” There are very few things in life that I was good at the first time I did it. Very few things. A lot of times I got to screw something up several times before I get it right.

I was bad at Jiu Jitsu for a good five years before I got even vaguely good at it. The first time somebody hands you a baseball bat or threw a spiral, you didn’t catch a football and go, “Oh yeah, I know how to do this now.” It’s something that you really have to fail, you have to suck at before you get good at it. So, marriage might be that kind of thing. You might have to suck at marriage a little bit.

Now, maybe you can suck at it, and improve at it during the marriage. Or maybe you suck at it, you have to end the marriage, and you go, “Okay, let’s try this again.” It’s a very personal thing, I think, and it has to really do with… I’m always afraid that anything I say about marriage is going to come off as an endorsement of or a condemnation of marriage. And it’s not that. Again, it’s a technology. I’m not for or against mugs. I just know what purpose they’re supposed to serve, and I know what problems they potentially create. And then the question is, “Do you have that problem?” Not, “Do I have that problem?”

Now you say, “Is marriage good?” For who? For you, or for me? Or for your cousin, or for your mom? Those answers are going to be different. Is that shirt good? Yeah. That shirt’s good for you, it wouldn’t fit me. So the question really is about, “Does this technology make sense for you?” And if you live in the tundra, your Tesla doesn’t make sense. So, can I then say, “Well, Teslas are stupid?” No, Teslas just don’t make sense for you.

So I think marriage, why can’t we look at marriage the same way? Why does marriage have to be one-size-fits-all? And again, that’s the kind of stuff that Esther Perel, I think, says so well, because she says on the show, is that, it doesn’t have to be, it’s about the two people that are in that marriage and the larger context of the group they’re in. If then, that makes sense. Not just, “Is marriage good or bad?”

Lewis Howes:               You have two kids, you said? Or one?

James Sexton:              Two kids, yeah.

Lewis Howes:               Two kids. What advice do you give to them on marriage?

James Sexton:              I’ve always told them to take it seriously. Just take marriage seriously. My one son is nineteen, the other one’s soon to be twenty-one. My older son is at the age where I married his mother. And we remind him of that constantly. And he’s completely freaked out by it. and my younger son is at the age where I moved in with his mother. He’s also equally freaked out by that thought.

But I’m very blessed in the sense that my sons grew up with the sense of marriage as a technology, because of what their father does for a living, and also because we had to explain to them at the ages of ten or eight and ten, we had to explain to them, in a way that a kid could understand, and the way that we chose to do it, was to say to them, a very specific thing. We said to them, “Mom and Dad don’t love each other in the very specific way married people are supposed to. But we both love you, and you’re only going to have one mom and one dad, and we’re always going to be a family.”

And we repeated that over and over and over and over again. Because, think about, break that down a little bit. It’s not, “Mom and Dad don’t love each other.” No. Mom and Dad love each other. There’s a lot of people I love that I wouldn’t want to be married to. We don’t love each other in the very specific way married people are supposed to love each other, and kids can understand that, because kids know, “The way I love Grandma, the way I love Mom, the way I love my teddy bear, are three different ways.”

So, it’s okay to say, “I love this person, but I don’t love them in the very specific way a married person is supposed to love their spouse,” you know? And that, to me, is what I’ve always tried to say to them, is, “If you’re thinking about getting married, take it seriously, ask yourself, ‘What problem am I trying to solve by marrying this person?’ Look honestly at what you want, what they want, and what will likely happen if they’re in your life.” Just like that car example.

Yeah, you don’t know what’s going to happen in life, but there are certain predictable things that you can think about. You know, I’m going to get older, my health with fail eventually, at some point I may want to have kids. I know I’m going backwards, but, you know, we will have misfortunes sometimes, we’ll have challenges. So, knowing what you’re likely to come up against, does this person make sense? And if the answer is yes, then give it a shot. Have a pre-nup and give it a shot.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah. Is there a marriage that you admire a lot, that you’ve seen?

James Sexton:              I have, yeah. I mean, I don’t have a famous person marriage I can point to, although I think Ted Danson and Mary, I forget what her last name is, I think they seem to be each other’s fans in a huge way. I mean, I love when you see couples who have been together for an extended period of time and they’re just still cheering for each other. They’re just still so in this person’s corner. And they look at them, like, “I’m so proud of them. I’m so excited about them,” and that, to me, those are relationships worth having.

I have a real relationship role model. I have two very dear friends who have been married for a little over twenty years. I knew them when they were in college, we all went to college together. They have two sons who are roughly the same age as my sons, and they still, she still refers to him as her boyfriend, and he still refers to her as his girlfriend. And she’ll write on her Facebook, “Oh, my boyfriend’s coming home today!” because he travels a lot for work, and she’ll say, “Oh, my boyfriend’s coming home today!”

You know, Jimmy Iovine, the record executive and genius, said, because he’s had an incredibly successful marriage, and an incredibly happy marriage, long term marriage.

Lewis Howes:               The second one? Because he was married for a while and then he got remarried, right?

James Sexton:              This is his current marriage, yeah. So he’s been married for an extended period of time. And his secret to it, that he’s pretty open about, is, “Never stop closing your wife.” He’s like, “I’m always trying close. I’m always just trying to impress her, woo her.”

Lewis Howes:               It’s never finished.

James Sexton:              Never finished. Right. And that’s why I said, marriage is hard if you think paying attention is hard. If you don’t thing paying attention is hard, marriage isn’t that hard.

So it really is about, like I see in my relationship role models, I see in them, this constant, like they wouldn’t forget to get the granola. They wouldn’t stop doing that little thing. That little thing that lets the other person know, “Man, I like you, I’m cheering for you, I want it to be good.”

Lewis Howes:               Yeah, that’s cool. Make sure you guys get this book, I think it’s really cool: If You’re In My Office, It’s Already Too Late – A Divorce Lawyer’s Guide To Staying Together. Make sure to check this out, I think it’s going to be really powerful. You can get it right now.

Couple of final questions for you. This is called, The Three Truths, and if this was your last day, many years from now and all the stuff you’ve written and talked about and everything you’ve experienced and all your dreams you’ve had come true. But you wouldn’t be able to leave them behind. You’d have to take them with you. So no one would have access to all your information, your message, your content, the things you’ve done, you’d have to bring it with you when you pass on.

But you’ve got to leave behind a piece of paper that says your Three Truths. Three things you know to be true about all your experiences in life, whether it be from your career, work, love, relationships, parenting, whatever it may be. These were the only three lessons you could leave behind. What would you say are your Three Truths?

James Sexton:              So I would say the first one would be that the hard thing to do and the right thing to do are almost always the same thing. Because I think that that’s something I’ve learned in every aspect of my life, that the hard thing and the right thing are almost always the same thing.

The second thing would be: It’s all about connection. I’d probably just write, “It’s all about connection.” And I would hope that the person would understand what I meant, that there really was nothing else at the end of the day. Everything we do in our lives, whether it’s our desire for sex, our desire for money, our desire for art, to create art, to create beauty, it’s all about connection.

We’re just trying to connect to each other. And that’s the beauty of it, and that’s the tragedy of it. Because in my office, I see the beauty of it, and then I see the tragedy of it, when we lose that connection, or when we miss that connection, or when we let that connection fall apart. So I would say it’s all about connection.

And the third thing, and it’s probably a shallow thing to say, but I would say, “Don’t take it so seriously.” I think, when I look back on my life, as a forty-five-year-old man, solidly mid-life, I look back on it and I think to myself that there really are only five or six moments, that, when I think about my life, I go, “Wow! That was such a great moment!” And none of them, when it was happening, did I realise how great it was.

You know, I think back now, I just had this thought the other day, because both of my sons are in college now, and so I became an empty nester in September when my youngest went off to college and I was thinking the other day, if I had to think of a moment in my life that was the greatest moment.

And it wouldn’t be when I graduated law school or when I won some trial, or when my book was published. It would be some night when I was divorced for a year or two and I went to the store to get just what the kids liked to eat, because they were coming for the weekend, and I made them dinner and they sat at the table doing homework.

And we were just together and I felt like a really engaged, wonderful, loving father. It wasn’t the kind of father I had, my father was like a, of his generation kind of a father. He drank and he didn’t talk to much about feelings or anything like that. He wasn’t the kind of man that would read The Mask of Masculinity. But, to me, those little moments, those unexpected little moments, it’s everything, and so, just don’t take all of the other stuff so seriously.

Because, when you look back, even in a marriage, there are moments in that marriage, that, while it’s happening, you had no idea that that’s the best it was going to get, you know? So, just cultivate space and leave opportunity for those ridiculous little moments and don’t take the rest of it so seriously.

Lewis Howes:               I like those. That’s cool, man! I want to acknowledge you, for a moment, Jim, there’s a lot of pain that couples go through. It’s a lot of heartache, a lot of misery, there’s a lot of stress, anxiety, through the divorce process. So, for you to give some great information from your almost two decades of insights, and to be able to hopefully prevent a lot of the pain that people don’t need to go through.

I want to thank you for using your gifts, for using your information and presenting it in a way that is fun and interesting and inspiring, but also informational so we can hopefully not make a lot of mistakes that 53% of people do make. Maybe not even mistakes, but just being aware, going into what we’re doing and having all the information laid out.

James Sexton:              Yeah. I’d love to put myself out of business. I say it all the time. I’d love to put myself out of business. I don’t think it’ll happen. I think the truth’s out there in a lot of things, but can people apply the truth, and are people interested in hearing it? I don’t know. I hope so, you know?

Lewis Howes:               Yeah. Same thing with nutrition. There’s a lot of nutritionists that would love to put themselves out of business. When all the information’s available for us, for some reason we keep making the same mistakes or getting obese or hurting ourselves in that way too, but you’ve got a powerful gift and I’m glad you’re able to present this information in a fun and interesting and storytelling type of way. So, I acknowledge you for all that you’re doing, man.

James Sexton:              Thanks. That means a lot to me.

Lewis Howes:               I’m glad you came on. I think this is going to be fascinating for a lot of people.

Final question. Before I ask it, make sure you guys get the book, we’ll have it linked up with everything else we talked about on this page, on the resources, on the show notes. Final question is: What’s your definition of greatness?

James Sexton:              I would say greatness is diving deeply into what you do. Everything that you do. Just diving deeply into it and the tragedy of our time is people spending five days a week looking forward to two. You know, fifty weeks a year, looking forward to the two weeks vacation they get. To me, greatness is about identifying and diving deeply into the things that make you feel alive and that make you feel connected.

Again, it’s all about connection. I mean, it’s ridiculous that a divorce lawyer who disconnects people for a living is preaching the gospel of connection. But that’s the truth. It’s about connection. It’s about connecting to yourself, connecting to other people. So, I would say the definition of greatness for me, is about just diving deeply into connection.

Lewis Howes:               Yeah. Jim.

James Sexton:              Great to see you, Lewis. Thanks for having me.

Lewis Howes:               There you have it my friends! If you thought this was as fascinating as I did, make sure to share this out with your friends, tag me on your Instagram story right now. Go do this right now. Take a screenshot, tag me, @LewisHowes, let me know what you thought. I’d love to see your thoughts on this.

And I believe this information is actually going to help a lot of people in relationships right now, or those looking to get married in the future, or those who just went through a divorce. So, if you know someone in that situation, make sure to share it with them as well, to help spread the message of how we can live more harmoniously in relationships, in marriages, et cetera.

Again, a big thank you to our sponsor, weebly.com/greatness. Again, you get 15% off your first purchase. You can create a beautiful, modern, easy-to-build online store. You’ve got powerful e-commerce tools to help turn shoppers into buyers. They let you build your brand, promote your products, process payments, manage inventory and engage directly with your customers, all in one convenient place and they have incredible customer support. There’s no chatbots or anything like that. You get a great customer support person every single time. Go to weebly.com/greatness to learn more, and again, get 15% off your first purchase: W.E.E.B.L.Y. dot com slash greatness. Weebly. More than just a beautiful website.

And if you haven’t got your copy of The Millionaire Morning, make sure to go to themillionairemorning.com. Again, you’re going to learn the mindset of the rich, and how you can start applying these things right now to your life: The habits, the practices, the routines, you got to get on these things and start to watch your income increase, once you start applying these things to your daily routines. Check it out, themillionairemorning.com, free book, all you do is pay for shipping and handling and it ships all over the world. That’s right, themillionairemorning.com.

Again, every single week, our mission is to bring you some of the most inspiring human beings in the world at the top of their game, who have learned the secrets to achieving greatness, who have been there, who have gone through adversity, who have overcome so much and come out on top.

I am seeking the world for the greatest minds, the greatest leaders, the greatest athletes, the greatest billionaires, anyone who I think we can learn from at the highest level. This is The School of Greatness, it’s not The School of Average. It’s not The School of I’m-Just-Getting-Started. That’s okay that a lot of people are doing other things, but we’re looking for the top of the top.

So, if you know someone who is the top of the top, and that you want to see on the show, just send us an e-mail over on our contact form, but make sure it meets all the requirements that we have over there for guests. You can go to lewishowes.com and submit a guest, but again, make sure to read carefully, because they’ve got to be the best in the world at what they do.

Again, relationships are the key to success in life, and if we are always in conflict in relationships, then there is always going to be a challenge that holds us back. And Matthew Hussey said, “Fifty percent of a great relationship is how you treat someone. The other fifty percent is having the ability and confidence to communicate the treatment you want in return.”

So if you enjoyed this, make sure to check out the show notes at lewishowes.com/626. Again, watch the full video there, share it out with your friends, let me know what you thought, and as always, you know what time it is:

It’s time to go out there and do something great!

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