It’s Time: I’m Launching a Podcast Soon

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“How are you doin’?”

“I’m great, I got that ‘excited/scared’ feeling. Like 98% excited, 2% scared. Or maybe it’s more. It could be two; it could be 98% scared, 2% excited but that’s what makes it so intense, it’s so—confused. I can’t really figure it out.” – Oscar, just prior to being launched into space, in the movie Armageddon.

I’m planning to launch a podcast soon.

Like in weeks, not months.

I’ve got that ‘excited/scared’ feeling. And the 98-to-2 ratio swings wildly, depending on the moment.

It’s been a while since I’ve gone journal-style here. I really do try to keep this space about articles that are helpful, so I apologize for the interruption. This is my only effective means of telling you what’s going on.

Writing has always been easy for me. I don’t mean the quality of it. For everyone who likes it, someone else thinks it’s trash. What I mean is, I spent 10 years writing newspaper articles for public consumption, so the idea of putting words down and sharing with others wasn’t particularly scary—only the subject matter.

But this podcast project? It’s an entirely different proposition.

I have zero broadcast experience. There were a couple of times at the newspaper when a regional news station wanted to interview me about one of my stories I’d written live on television. Every time that happened, I would disappear and not answer my phone or texts until they found someone else to fill in.

That’s how afraid I was.

Because I’ve written a few semi-popular things, I’ve had the pleasure of being interviewed for a few radio and/or podcast shows, and in the process learned something I hadn’t previously considered: The ability to speak—to use tone and voice inflections to communicate ideas provides greater depth to the ideas I’m trying to share.

I can write a sentence, and it can be interpreted three different ways, and it’s sometimes frustrating as a writer to deal with feedback or criticism rooted in a fundamental lack of understanding what I’d intended to say.

Kind of like how I imagine most husbands and wives feel during every marital fight.

Why I’m Launching a Podcast

As afraid of this as I am, I am truly excited about the opportunity to communicate these things that matter so much to me, and that I believe so strongly in, in ways that I believe might resonate or connect more effectively with a particular listener.

Also, I’m just some schmoe. Some divorced guy. Some people inexplicably care what I have to say, and it’s my pleasure to keep talking about the stuff I talk about, but there’s a level of credibility I simply don’t possess to be able to legitimately help people struggling in their relationships.

And while I’ll continue to look for opportunities to share valuable insights from subject matter experts like my friend Jay Pyatt, who recently guest-posted on how to rebuild trust in a relationship following a betrayal, mostly this place is for me to tell the stories about my failed marriage that I hope some people can relate to and identify with in ways that might help them better understand their own marriage.

But the podcast? It’s an opportunity to feature experts, thought leaders, or even just really thoughtful or entertaining people I know who can have real conversations about real marriage that I hope people will like and connect with in ways not dissimilar from the feedback I’ve gotten here for the past five years.

On a Personal Note

Some of you know, but maybe most don’t: My parents split when I was 4, and then moved more than 400 miles apart.

Twice a year, my mom would drive to meet my dad, and I’d hug one parent goodbye and drive away with the other—sometimes for weeks; sometimes for many months.

Sometimes there were tears.

Sometimes I fucking broke. Just inconsolable in the backseat while one of my parents disappeared in the rear window, knowing it would be another half of the school year before I’d see them again.

I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. But the one thing I was totally certain about was that I’d never get divorced and put my future children in a position to feel anything like that.

No way.

I was certain.

Five years ago, almost exactly, my marriage officially ended when a court magistrate signed a piece of paper filed away in the downtown courthouse.

And even though I’m in a pretty solid place today—mentally and emotionally RE: my divorce—there are still these little moments.

When my son hugs me extra-tight because he knows it will be a few days.

When my ex-wife texts me photos of their family vacation on the very same beaches we used to frequent when we lived in Florida right after college.

When I attend a family reunion for the weekend—one where a bunch of us were aware that this is likely the last time we’ll all be together while my grandfather is alive. And when I go to hug him—the guy who was the first to assume the role of father-figure for me during my first year living far away from my dad; the guy who taught me to fish, and shoot a BB gun, and who fathered eight children—my mother, the eldest.

And when I go to hug him, he tells me he has a gift for me.

Then hands me a cigar.

Weird.

Near as I can tell the man never smoked, and it was super-out-of-the-ordinary to be handed tobacco from him. So I just held it and stared for a moment, confused.

And this man, undergoing kidney failure, this physically weak and deteriorating version of a guy who was larger than life when I was 5 and needed him to be, tells me: “That’s the cigar your father handed me the day you were born.”

And now I own a nearly 40-year-old cigar that is one of the most precious objects in my life.

Because my grandfather—the father of my mother—kept a cigar given to him by the man she divorced who lives several hundreds of miles away for the better part of 40 years.

And then was somehow thoughtful enough amidst his uncomfortable life and failing health to dig it up and hand it to me.

And you might be wondering what the shit that has to do with MY divorce and MY son and MY ex-wife, and I can’t really answer that.

I just know it mattered.

I just know that family matters.

Love matters.

And that’s why I write things. And that’s why I’m starting this podcast.

About the Podcast—‘It’s Not About the Dishes’

It’s not the most amazing podcast title in the world, but it accomplishes one very important thing.

It automatically prompts the question: What does that mean?

And the answer is layered—just like all of these nuanced and complicated conversations we have about relationships, marriage and divorce here.

To many of you, the symbolism will be evident—in January 2016, I published an article called She Divorced Me Because I Left Dishes by the Sink, and several millions of people read it, and it’s basically the entire reason anyone gives a shit what I have to say.

There are more than 4,000 comments on that article. Most of them full of positive feedback. Others? Not.

I don’t need anyone to like it.

But the part that’s always eaten away at me are all of the people who totally missed the point. All of the people who didn’t get it.

There were all these people who said: “OMG! Your wife was such a control-freak! Who gets divorced because of the dishes? Your feelings about where to put that drinking glass matter just as much as hers! It’s your house too! You’re better off without her, dude! Grow some balls!”

The entire point sailed a thousand miles over their heads: It’s not about the dishes.

And that conversation is rife with peril.

The complex and layered nature of that conversation is the very reason we continue to see more than half of all relationships fail. (About half of all marriages end in divorce, and MOST dating relationships fail before marriage.)

I hesitate to make promises, but in an ideal world, there would be one episode published per week. I’m thinking 45 minutes each, with the majority of them featuring a guest who I perceive to be qualified or well-suited to discuss whatever the topic of the day may be.

I want it to matter to people. To be useful. And maybe even fun. We’ll see.

This is a subject I take personally—relationships. Marriage. Divorce.

My life has been defined by it.

It’s rarely been pleasant, but I usually try to make the best of things. And if my experiences can somehow help others avoid some of the negative consequences of broken homes and families, or if my experiences can make someone suffering from them feel less alone, then maybe I can die one day feeling like I did something worthwhile.

Something that mattered.

I hope this can be that—something that matters.

I’m really scared. But I’m also really looking forward to sharing it with you.

Thank you so much for being a part of it.

…..

Here’s What I Sound Like

So, I had to do a mic test. It’s full of poorly calibrated mic settings, and contains some vocal flubs, but I recorded an audio version of You’re Right Guys—You Can’t Make Women Happy, and if you’re interested in hearing what the podcast will kind-of sound like (minus guests), you can find that recording here:

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30 thoughts on “It’s Time: I’m Launching a Podcast Soon

  1. kirstencronlund says:

    This is awesome! Can’t wait to subscribe! Are you interested in a suggestion for some guest speakers? If so, I have an idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      I tried to reply to this on my blog app, but it appears to have failed. Apologies.

      YES. I don’t have any sense of what’s normal for podcasts, but shooting for weekly seems about right (presumably with a couple of holiday breaks), so 45-50 shows per year?

      I totally need a guest list, and I have a lot of work to do in developing that.

      I’ll take every suggestion I can get. :)

      I’m so glad you’re interested. Thank you very much for that.

      Like

  2. Kerri Wall says:

    Wonderful Matt! Way to go! Your contributions to this important conversation are very valuable. Thank you for your persistence and authenticity :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      Hey Kerri. Thank you very much. It’s going to be fun to talk about all of this stuff with my actual voice. Familiar territory, but an entirely new medium.

      I’ve really felt a strong pull in this direction over the past couple of months, so it’s cool to see this start to come together.

      Like

  3. Sue says:

    Wow, I love you! I listened to your sample podcast. You described my horrible marriage and relationship to a giant letter T. I’ve been waiting so long to hear words such as those, that I’m not Too sensitive, or a bitch, iI have legitimate scars and it NOT all me! It takes two people to have a marriage and it takes two people to ruin one. Its NOT all me! Thank you so much! I’m definitely hooking up with your podcast and all your articles. Bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      Really kind words, Sue. Thank you very much.

      I’m sorry things aren’t awesome at home. You’re not alone. Which is why more people need to be discussing these things.

      Like

  4. Linda Kasko says:

    Wonderful! I you can express yourself anywhere close to your writing so it makes it even more personal I think most of the naysayers will go away. Looking forward to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! Would your ex-wife agree to you interviewing her? Could be awesome.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Michelle Ray says:

    I can’t wait! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pure awesomeness. Congratulations, this is going to be, well, awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. gottmanfan says:

    That story about your grandfather was so touching.

    It’s not about the dishes but it *IS* about the cigar.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. gottmanfan says:

    I have so many ideas for speakers to invite!

    Terry Real would be a fabulous speaker to interview since he specializes in how to reach men, what motivates them to not respond to women in common marriage issues etc. what women can do to respond to that.

    https://www.terryreal.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      A fellow commenter here has a close personal connection to Terry Real and suggested it might be possible to make an introduction.

      That would obviously be very cool.

      Anyone with celebrity status is going to be a tough get in the early going. But hopefully we can do good work and make it worth their while to agree to come on in the coming months/years. 🤞🏼

      Liked by 1 person

      • gottmanfan says:

        He does several podcasts I have heard that seemed like “regular guy” podcasts so hopefully he would be open.

        He has books to sell so maybe that helps too. 😀

        Like

      • Linda Kasko says:

        People with celebrity status seem to have skeletons hidden in their closets. I’m just interested in something real. But my take is people aren’t really interested in solutions they just like to talk and listen. But, I’m sure it will be entertaining and I wish you well with it.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Matt says:

          You may be right, Linda.

          All I know is I also want to discuss real-life as well. It doesn’t matter if people don’t feel as if it applies to them.

          We’ll see.

          Like

  10. gottmanfan says:

    Jancee Dunn would be another great speaker. She is a writer with a previously shitty marriage who wrote a book recently about several approaches she took to improve her marriage. He was doing a lot of the stuff you write about, she had to make changes too.

    The title of the book says it all:

    How To Not Hate Your Husband After Kids

    https://www.terryreal.com/patriarchy-now-webinar-replay-2/

    Liked by 1 person

  11. robynbird says:

    Matt! Am so excited about this for you and can’t wait to have a listen! <3

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Louie says:

    I’m very proud of you Matt…this next step is critical to getting a message . ..something out there to the untold numbers of hurt or hurting or hurtful that don’t do well with reading about the subject at hand. I’m certain you will wow them in a more personified fashion that will break down some barriers because of perceived impersonalNess ( if that’s a word ). Blessings for success my young friend . .. and I will add your voice sounds as I imagined it would . Also blessings for your wonderful grandfather . ..my dad suffered from kidney disease but had so much courage and fought with dignity and love

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Kcat10 says:

    Awesome job, Matt! I just read your skillful and touching article (really enjoyed your poignant story about your grandfather) and listened to your sample podcast. You’ve helped so many people with your blog. I believe you’ll reach even more people with your podcast. I’m restating some of what I said there, that you have a great voice for podcasting. You sound much like I imagined you might as I read your blog, and it’s extra nice to hear you say it. You’re so right; tone of voice can add even greater depth and understanding to the written word. I admire your courage in doing this, and I’m looking forward to subscribing to it!

    Like

  14. Astrid says:

    I love hearing this. The world thanks you for living with courage :). And the title of it’s not about the dish is perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Donkey says:

    Congratulations, how exciting!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Gillian Gahagan says:

    Hey Matt, I’m new to your blog and I’ve been binge reading over the last week. I can’t tell you how validating reading your blog and the comments/conversations have been for me over the last week. I feel less crazy, and more grounded in myself than before–so even if my marriage doesn’t make it, at least I know that I’m not crazy,”too sensitive” or wait for it…..”emotionally unstable!” Yes, it was said about a month ago. When I defended myself by saying that the marriage was toxic, so no wonder I felt unstable, he sarcastically responded, “Just keep justifying your emotional instability!” I really wish I were kidding.
    It might be too late for us, but reading your blog is very healing, and I’m stoked for you that it’s resonating with so many people and that you’re blog has taken off. I’ve been telling everyone about it lately, because I think your take on relationships is so important.

    On a side note, I really relate to your story about your parents divorce. My brother and I went through the same thing–we were 3, and 5, respectively. I’m the oldest, so I remember more of what happened. I vaguely remember being told about the divorce by my mother, and then one day my dad drove away for good in his yellow mustang convertible. He moved about 4 hours away, and we only saw him every other weekend for a few years, until he moved 7 hours away, and then we only saw him in the summer. It was pretty damn traumatizing, and no one can tell me otherwise. Well, that’s it–there was no point to that other than to relate.

    Cheers, thanks for your blog, and I look forward to your podcast! Cheers :)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Matt says:

      Thank you so much, Gillian.

      I know we’re not the only ones. Not even close. But in five years of writing here, you’re the first to share a childhood story similar to mine.

      And I think I can appreciate, as you can to me, how that forged in us a commitment/passion/desire to never get divorced ourselves.

      And then, we wake up and we’re here.

      In a home that doesn’t feel like home. In a life that you never conceived of.

      And no matter what role we played (and I’m in no way casting blame or shirking responsibility), we were not armed with the proper tools or information either before or during our marriage to avoid its slow descent into Shitpool Central.

      It happens so gradually, most of us don’t see it until it’s upon us.

      All I know to do is write and talk about it.

      It means a lot to me that you like it. Thank you so much for saying so.

      Rooting for you.

      Like

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