Episode 30 – Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner – A Case Study With the OUR Method

Episode Summary

In this episode we discussed the pending divorce between Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner. We then analyzed a few issues of conflict in that divorce using the OUR method.

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All right, hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of the Emotional Embuffination podcast and another season of the Emotional Embuffination podcast. I'm your host, David Enevoldsen, and here on Emotional Embuffination, we are training to become emotionally buff enough to overcome any conflict in life, and at the same time we are trying to discover and optimize and maintain new levels of success and happiness and just make sure we're feeling all those good feelings more than we are the negative ones. This podcast is just one of a number of resources I have available. If you want to learn more, check out the emotional website, which is embuff.com. That's E-M-B-U-F-F-.com. When you are on the website, make sure that you sign up for my newsletter. It has some quick weekly Emotional Embuffination tips. Okay. Season three. I'm excited to be back. I'm excited to be back for season three and man, I've got a whole bunch of exciting stuff in store. I've got several things that I want to talk about that I'm excited about. I've got already several cool guests lined up, so season three is going to be exciting in my mind at least. I hope that you think so too. For this first episode, I'm going to kick off the season with another case study using the OUR method. And specifically, I want to look at an ongoing divorce between Kevin Costner and his soon to be ex-wife, Christine Baumgartner. Now, the OUR method, if you're not familiar with it, is a model for conflict resolution specifically within interpersonal relationships, you know, romantic relationships, anything that has to do with like a couple of people primarily.

And I talked about it in a lot more depth in episode 18. Each of the letters in OUR It's O-U-R which kind of represents "our" relationship and the way to solve problems related to our relationship. But each letter in that, that that word represents a different step in the process. So if you want to learn more about this, I'm going to go over it very briefly here just to make sure that everyone remembers you have a refresher or you at least have some sense if you haven't heard this before, of what we're talking about. But if you want a much more in depth explanation of the OUR method, go back to episode 18 of this podcast and listen through that first and then you can kind of jump over here. I'm also going to leave a downloadable PDF that just gives you kind of a visual of what the OUR method is. So check out the landing page for this podcast and I'm going to put links wherever you find it. If you cannot find links for the download, then go to the embuff.com website. Go to the podcast page. Find this episode. This is show number 30 and then you'll find the download link there. Okay, let's run through really briefly what OUR is.

So the OUR method OUR it's O-U-R. Stands for Own, Understand, Resolve. Now the idea here is that you go through whenever you've got a problem specifically in a relationship, you go through each of these three steps in this order and it's kind of important that you go through this step by step. Now, the first step is Own. The second is Understand. The third is Resolve. Own is all about getting a grip on yourself, getting a grip on your emotions, taking responsibility for what you are doing, essentially getting control of your reactions, your responses, your emotional states just to make sure that you're not inflaming things. You're not making bad decisions. You're you're in control of what you're doing. Before anything else I think you have to do that. You have to make sure that you're not blowing up or sabotaging the situation yourself. The second step is Understand. And Understand is all about getting an understanding of where the other person is coming from. You're analyzing their positions and not just their positions, but their motivations for things. Because very often we have situations where people are exploding about a thing, and really what they're upset about is not the thing that they're saying that they're upset about. Elaborate on this a lot in the Emotional Embuffination book, especially in the cognitive dissonance chapter. But the the idea here is that very frequently when somebody's screaming about something, what they're mad about is not the thing that they're screaming about.

It's something else that's underneath the surface. And so part of understanding is trying to figure out what that is, because if you start talking about the things that they're screaming about, things tend to blow up. If you start talking about the thing that they're actually mad about, things de-escalate. And I've had this experience many times now where you've just got to figure out what it is that they're really mad about. It doesn't, Understand, is not necessarily about saying their position is right or their position is morally correct or anything like that. It's not even to say that it's logical. It's just getting a grip on understanding where they're coming from. The last step is Resolve, and Resolve is all about coming up with an action step, a resolution, something that's going to fix the situation, or at least move you towards fixing the situation or moving you towards a better situation, something that's going to somehow improve what's going on. There are a couple of key things with the Resolve is that number one, it should be non-retaliatory. It should also be directed at solving the problem in front of you, not just lashing out. So one of the things that very often people do that create additional problems is they'll just start pointing a finger and blaming and saying, well, you did this and this is your fault, which doesn't typically move you towards resolution.

So you want to take a non-retaliatory action directed at solving the problem. And sometimes that can be violent and I go into a lot more detail in the book about whether or not you should use violence or violent action to try to solve your problem. Generally speaking, using violence, inflames situations or causes all sorts of ancillary problems. So you want to be extremely cautious about using violence. But sometimes it's appropriate and there are a limited number of scenarios where that can make sense. But, generally speaking, you want it to be non-retaliatory, not generally. You want it to be non-retaliatory in nature and you want it to be directed at effectuating a solution. So that's kind of the key step you got to go through them in order. So you first get a grip on yourself. That's the Own step. Then you try to understand where they're coming from. Then you take an action step or you decide on an action step and effectuate it. You go through whatever that action step is. Okay. That's OUR in a very, very brief nutshell. Let's talk about Kevin Costner. And, if you don't know who Kevin Costner is, I don't know where you've been living because since I was little, he's been just a very famous actor in so many movies that I grew up with. I remember Field of Dreams. He was in that. The Bodyguard, Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, Waterworld, The Postman, Dances with Wolves like a ton of stuff. Like he's a big actor. Most recently, he's been in Yellowstone, the show, which has been extremely popular. He's also done a lot of other stuff outside of just movies. Like he's formed a country music band with his wife, Christine. In, and so the two of them in it was in 2004, September of 2004, Costner got married to Christine Baumgartner. This was his second wife. They've been married for 18 years now. He was previously married to Cindy Silva. They got divorced in 1994. So, Costner, he has four other children from previous relationships, but with Christine, he has three kids. So there's Caden, Hayes, and Grace. Respectively, 16, 14 and 13 years old. So in May of 2023 this year, if you're listening to this, when it first came out, Christine filed for divorce. They apparently they live in California right now. They actually separated, according to the divorce filings on April 11th of 2023. That's a month prior to the divorce getting filed. Both of them are asking for joint custody of the children. The petition for divorce, I see this cited everywhere. And I feel like it's worth noting just as a side commentary, it's not really related to the OUR method, but the petition for divorce cited irreconcilable differences. And I hear this mentioned a lot. Like every time there's a celebrity divorce or somebody's talking about divorce in the press, they're always like, "Oh, and they cited irreconcilable differences."

I recently heard a podcast where in the podcast they were talking about the prominence of irreconcilable differences being cited for purposes of divorce. Now just be aware that when somebody's citing irreconcilable differences, I'm speaking as a former family law attorney, that's required. Like you have to say that in most modern divorce situations. Now you have to list a grounds for the divorce. It used to be that we would have fault based grounds, fault based grounds where you would have to articulate, somebody was cheating or somebody was on drugs or somebody was horribly abusive or you'd been separated for years or something like that. The modern kind of divorce systems in many states have shifted into a no fault system. And one of the primary no fault grounds that you see is irreconcilable differences. So basically, you just can go to the court now and say, we have irreconcilable differences, please let us get divorced. Now, if you don't articulate some grounds, the court can't give you the divorce. Like you have to articulate something and irreconcilable differences is one of the buzz languages there. So there's no special meaning when somebody says irreconcilable differences, it's just a court requirement that you're going to have to say. Now from I'll get off my soapbox on that. So from what I've been reading about, the divorce was something that Kevin does not want.

He does not want to break up from Christine. Christine did want to proceed with that. Apparently once the the couple had decided that they were indeed going to get divorced, Kevin had a Zoom call with the kids. And there was a little bit of drama over this because prior to the Zoom call, Christine had said, okay, we're getting divorced and I want you I want to tell the kids together. And so Kevin was, I guess, filming or something out of town. He gets on a Zoom call with the kids and he breaks the news to them. And so she's, I guess, understandably upset that he just told them unilaterally and she was taking the position that, you know, he didn't have the right to just say this without her being present and all of this.

Now, there's an important legal note related to the backdrop of this. They had a prenup. The and one of the requirements in the prenup was that if there's a divorce filed, Christine has to vacate the marital residence that they're in within 30 days. So another I guess, the major thing that everybody's pointing to in terms of the reason for the divorce was that Kevin's film schedule was extremely hard on the family. He was from Christine's perspective, he was basically never home. And he put that put a lot of stress on Christine.

He had been filming Yellowstone, the show, and there were some filming delays there that really exacerbated the problem. She was already getting frustrated and disenchanted. Then he got all excited about this new movie that he's working on, Horizon, and she did not want that to happen. And I guess he was proceeding anyway. I mean, he he was all in on this. He was very excited about it. He took out a mortgage to partially fund the film. And I guess that was her breaking point. She said, "Nope, we're done." So she files for divorce. The divorce gets filed. Costner tells Baumgartner, Christine she needs to move out. She fights that. So, and they kind of had a legal battle over whether or not she had to remain in the house. Through her attorneys and court filings, she said Kevin, "seeks to kick Christine and their three children out of the house the children have lived in for their entire lives, although the legal basis for Kevin's request to kick his wife and children out of their home is all but non-existent, this is still a matter of critical importance for Christine." Someone from Costner's people said, "It's disingenuous to bring the kids into this. This has nothing to do with the kids. The kids foundation is solid. This is all about Christine. Kevin has gone above and beyond in providing Christine the necessary means to find a suitable place for her to move." In some responsive filings that were submitted to the court, Costner said about this issue that Christine, "Grasps at straws with one baseless argument after another."

I'm not exactly clear what has been provided financially to Christine, but there was a source that indicated the prenup requires Christine receive some sum of money in the event of a divorce, and that purportedly Costner has paid that, plus an extra $1 million. And according to the court filings, he was willing to advance another $10,000 towards her moving costs $30,000 per month for a rental home, which Christine was not happy with. That was insufficient. On July 5th, 2023, despite the kind of back and forth fight, the court ordered Christine to move out of the house by the end of the month, which she then did. Christine was also at that point asking for $248,000 a month in child support, plus having Kevin pay 100% of the children's private school expenses, health care expenses. He kicked back at that. He basically said that he'd agreed to pay $38,000 a month and cover their school costs, medical expenses, etcetera. In a responsive filing, Costner said to with respect to the child support request, "providing the minor children with more than bare necessities does not require providing ludicrous extravagance designed to primarily benefit the supported parent." Later on, he upped his offer to $51,940 a month. She responded by saying, "That's completely inappropriate."

That was her, quote, "completely inappropriate." And although, "although Kevin has vast wealth and extraordinary income, he apparently expects his children to live far below his economic circumstances when they are with their mother." Another quote here, "while he resides in his 100 million plus beachside compound and spends at least 240,000 per month on himself with the children with him about 40% of the time. He thinks that his wife and their children should live on only 20% of that amount." They, "believe that $217,300 is the correct figure because historically the children have spent far more time with Baumgardner than with Kevin due to Kevin's out of town work schedule." She also asked for $350,000 in attorneys fees and $150,000 in forensic costs. From what I'm understanding, she hasn't asked for spousal support, although obviously the child support numbers, if she's getting what she's asking for, that's going to cover all that. After all this, the divorce started up. Christine was spotted hanging out on the beach with her kids and a guy named Josh Connor, who's I guess a financier. So she moved out. She according to some reports, she seemed very happy since she's moved out. In the filings that have been there's been a lot of back and forth filings already. There's accusations from both sides. Costner in one of his filings said that she was engaged in, "gamesmanship of the worst sort." She apparently is saying that she felt pressured to sign the prenup that they had and didn't understand it.

Now, obviously, from a legal perspective, this is because she wants to nullify the prenup. If she can kill that prenup, and usually I'm not a California attorney, but most of the time the prenup rules are pretty similar. There's this idea that if you are coerced into a prenup, you didn't have full disclosures like you were kind of duped into something or coerced or didn't understand what you were getting into, a lot of times you can wipe out the prenup. And if you can wipe out the prenup, then that takes you to the next tier of, okay, you can open up just the generic community property rules, which means she's not going to be limited to what the prenup is saying she's limited to. She's going to get half of whatever he's got or at least half of the community property that he has. So she's obviously challenging the prenup. She wants to get that wiped out. She's been claiming that Costner is withholding and stonewalling financial information. He's claiming her discovery requests are burdensome, oppressive and harassing. These are very common complaints I've seen in family law. Speaking again as a former family law attorney, Baumgardner has thrown out publicly that Costner has purportedly had an affair, according to her. He's denied that. And in fact, he kind of threw back at her. He, "does not know for a fact whether or not she did."

There are rumors she had an affair with Daniel Star, though there's been no confirmation one way or another of that. She's denied it. She went into court and was crying. Both are kind of blaming the other for the end of the marriage. He's saying she's the one that wanted to leave. She's saying he's to blame for putting work ahead of their family. And the divorce is at this point, as of the time that I'm recording this, it's still ongoing. So this is kind of the status, as I understand it, up to this point. So there's a lot going on here. And part of the reason I selected this is much of the Emotional Embuffination framework came when I was watching divorces as a family law attorney. And so I feel like there's so many lessons in the divorce process about how to optimize positive emotions, minimize negative emotions and not inflame situations when you're dealing with conflict in a family law context. So jumping into the kind of analysis component of this. With that backdrop in place. There is one preliminary comment that I need to make, and that is that it's really easy to sit on the sidelines and throw judgments about judgments out, about what people should be doing or what they're not doing correctly or anything like that. And I do want to throw out the caveat that anybody going through a divorce, it's, it's really challenging. And you often find yourself doing things that you never thought you would do. And so what I'm talking about here is, is not like, hey, Kevin or Christine, you suck because you did whatever. I'm not trying to say that at all. What I'm trying to say is, okay, let's look at the situation and say, how could we potentially improve this, reduce conflict, make you walk out of this situation happier or with less conflict or something like that. We're talking in the ideal here, from my perspective at least. We are not saying either of Kevin Costner or Christine Baumgartner or terrible people or awful or anything like that because they're doing whatever. I've been through my own divorce, and I had been working as a family law attorney when I did. And there were several times where I had to catch myself through the divorce process and realized that I was doing exactly the thing that I told so many people that were clients, not to do. And so walking around as a family law attorney, I can get caught up in it, too. I promise you that if you're going through a divorce, you can be really surprised by some of the things that you'll drift into and some of the behavior patterns that you'll get into. So please understand that Kevin or Christine are not terrible people just because of what we're talking about here.

And I think it's important to understand that they're both under a lot of stress as they're going through this process. So let's let's look at the OUR method now. There's a lot to unpack here. So I'm going to narrow this in on just a couple of issues that I think are especially relevant to kind of the divorce situation, just to kind of keep this focused. So first, I want to look at Christine's perspective and then I'll kind of flip it and look at Kevin's perspective. Now, there's so much happening here that it's, I like to use the OUR method as something that you're just looking at an individual issue or problem, and then you kind of run through the sequence for that individual issue. So we can't really look at everything. But there are two major things I'm going to primarily look at, and that is kind of the reasons for the breakup and the filings, the positions that are being taken in the court filings. Okay. Let's start with Christine. So the first step, remember, is Own. So we don't have a whole lot of insight into her acceptance of responsibility. I haven't heard her say a whole lot with respect to her positions or how she thinks she's contributed, anything like that. But we do know kind of the basic arguments. So we know that she's essentially saying he's never here. He's gone for months at a time.

He's off filming, you know, gallivanting around the world. And I'm just stuck here at home with the kids and I never see him. We know that she's making a lot of accusations in the filings. So, I don't know to what extent she's really understanding from Kevin what what Kevin is doing or his motivations or anything like that, and the fact that these accusations are popping up. To me, this is a real major mistake and this is something I see in family law filings all the time. And it's almost like expected at this point. You know, it seems that when people are filing anything and there's attorneys almost automatically do this, they start just throwing nasty comments out there in all the stuff. You know, we heard earlier the comment about this is gamesmanship at its worst. She's talking about the affair. There's I think these are errors. Now, there's sometimes tactical reasons for this stuff, like the affair, for example, that has probably potentially not probably this has potentially legal implications. So they're in a community property state. And the reason you can throw out affairs, because this doesn't have to do anything with fault. You know, remember, in some states, if you're looking at a pure fault based system, you have to show somebody was unfaithful in order to get the divorce in the first place. They don't have to worry about that. So it's kind of irrelevant for purposes of getting the divorce.

However, it can have some financial implications. So there's something just a little side legal argument here or legal explanation. When you're in a community property state, so community property is a situation where you have, once you get married, pretty much everybody has an equal interest in the property that's acquired during marriage. Typically, if you acquire something prior to marriage that's separate property, if you acquire something, post marriage, that's separate property, but anything acquired during the marriage, absent like a prenup or something, then that is community property. And if it's community property, you kind of more or less split it down the middle. One of the things that can offset that, however, is it's called different things in different jurisdictions, as I understand it, and different community property jurisdictions. But in at least in my state, Arizona, and I believe sometimes it's referenced as this or something else, in California, it's called community waste. So community waste is this idea that if I'm taking community assets and I'm just going off to the side of the marriage and I'm just blowing those community assets on something that just clearly does not benefit the marriage, and we're going through a divorce. The other spouse can presumably come in, demonstrate that and then offset that community property division. So, for example, let's say that I'm married and I'm having an affair and I've got this mistress and I'm taking community assets, I'm taking money that is community property, and I'm throwing it at my mistress.

So let's say that I go out and I spend, I don't know, $30,000 on my mistress and I give her gifts and jewelry and all sorts of stuff. Then we go through my through a divorce and my wife comes in and says, wait, wait, wait, wait, hold up. Our community lost $30,000 because David was over here having an affair. So my share should be offset that because that $30,000 clearly did not benefit the community. It was just wasted. And so instead of just having a clean even split or as close to that as you can get, my wife would get an extra $30,000 to kind of compensate for my community waste so that that's where it can have relevance in terms of the affair. Now, it sounds like this is kind of a fishing expedition. And I would argue that this within the framework of the OWN step is probably not terribly tactically advantageous because unless Kevin is well, number one, remember, there's a prenup in place and they're challenging it. They're saying the prenup shouldn't be there, although that sounds like a stretch, because from everything I've heard, I don't think there's a real valid grounds to challenge the prenup. So that in and of itself starts to become a problem. But that prenup is probably going to control the division of the property.

But even if we ignore that for a second, Kevin's got an enormous amount of money. So unless he's throwing ridiculous sums of money at a mistress then or some affair or something like that, then it's probably not going to be a big enough sum to really make sense for the overall division of property, because we were talking about many millions of dollars here. And if if we're just talking about, oh, well, he threw a few hundred bucks at a mistress or something, or even if it was 10,000 bucks, does that really matter in the scope of what you're fighting over with respect to the general estate? So in my mind, the the whole issue of having an affair, that allegation being thrown out without any concrete proof of it, I think is just inflammatory. And when you're throwing out inflammatory things, I don't think that you're effectively walking through this OWN step. I think that you need to get better control of what you are saying and throwing out there. Choose more effectively the allegations that you're going to make. Because what happens is the other side starts to react to it. They start to get very defensive. I've seen this so many times when somebody's filing something in a family court and then I get a copy of it from the other side. The other side files something, I get a copy of it, I show it to my client.

Client flips out and tells me about all the lies that are in the document. This is unfair. This is BS, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So, it is important to be aware of what you are saying and kind of not make assertions like that unless there is some tactically advantageous position, reasonably tactically advantageous position. With respect to the kind of general accusations made in the filings. I think it's important to really chill any sort of accusations made out there. So when she's saying all these nasty things about Kevin, you know, he's living out there in his palace and, you know, I'm out here alone with the kids and they're not living as effectively. The phrasing of all this stuff I think matters. Now, I'm probably going to butt heads with a lot of family law attorneys, but I think that's a big part of what inflames the situation. So just getting a grip on the language being used in filings with the court could dramatically alter how to the extent to which this becomes conflict and how much the conflict is blowing up. Let's shift into the Understand step. So, if we're looking at Christine's perspective and trying to understand Kevin, I don't know that, again, we're missing a little information from behind the scenes here, but it doesn't seem like she's really understanding his stance. Now, remember, Understand does not mean that you were in the right on the other side, just because you understand their position.

It's just getting a sense of where it is that they're coming from. So Kevin is he's a big star, like he's a successful guy. He's done a lot of huge things. He's known all around the world. Obviously, he's got a lot of money and he's ambitious. He's dedicated to his work. And all of that is coming out like the big core problem that she's articulated is that he's never around because he's always working. He's always off on some film schedule or something. So, if he's always off on some film schedule, then that to me is a reflection of his desire to go out there and produce great things to bring more money home for the family. You know, again, you don't have to agree with his position on this, but to me, that's and we get into some gender issues here, too, because we talk we've talked about kind of masculine and feminine energies and kind of mindsets that go with that. I mean, clearly, the him being so ambitious and trying to go out there and drive forward, earn more for the family, be more successful, that all to a certain extent taps into his masculine energy. So, again, that doesn't mean that he should just ignore his family or that he's even in the right for doing any of this. He's clearly got a lot of money, but she should probably try to understand that that's at least where he's coming from.

You know, that male perspective that he's in and especially, again, not becoming defensive in the filings. Now, let's step into the last piece of this, the Resolve from Christine's perspective. So, again, a couple of different issues here. The absence, I think she probably did the right things here. So it sounds like there was some effort to dialogue this, this issue of his absence before the divorce process. And clearly, she didn't get anywhere with that. She she wanted him to be home more. He wasn't coming home more. And then he said, okay, we're done filming Yellowstone, which took longer than expected, and now I'm going to be gone for Horizon. So she flipped out. Um, that's there's some something understandable about that. I mean, if you're just never there for your family, that's that's a problem, especially from Christine's perspective. And she tried to troubleshoot that with him. It sounds like she tried to say, hey, please be home more. And then he's like, okay, I'm going to be gone again by. Um, the next tier in terms of troubleshooting, that is, I think, exactly what she did. You you say, okay, this clearly isn't working and if you're unhappy enough and the problem is not getting resolved, then you have to move on to the next tier of the analysis. And I'm going to talk in a couple of episodes about a decision making algorithm that you can use to kind of run through conflicts like this.

But if if this is just a point where you are absolutely miserable and the other person is refusing to make a change there comes a point where you ask the question of is this relationship more important to me or is the situation that's being refused? Is that more important? And if that thing is more important, then you almost have to throw away the relationship. Doesn't mean you have to be a jerk. Doesn't mean you have to be mean. Doesn't none of that stuff. But you do need to make this assessment of do you want to stay if it's going to make you miserable? It sounds like Christine did that. You know, she said, okay, I want him here. She tried to troubleshoot that with him. He wasn't there. So she said, okay, I'm going to be happier if I'm out. And that that seems to be consistent with the reports that we've heard about Christine later on is that she has seemed happier since she's moved out. The divorce filings, I think that's a different situation. Both sides seem to be inflaming things. You can see the back and forths escalating. I saw something indicating that the challenges to the prenup alone had already run up to about $100,000 in attorneys fees for just Kevin. That's just one side. So clearly, a lot of stuff's being filed and thrown around and there's some problems here.

You can take positions without getting nasty, mean just be civil and sort of take the position. Here again, this is something I talked about in the Emotional Embuffination book, but you want to make sure that you are take a stance, but don't just take like get start name calling or throwing out anything just unnecessary that's inflaming the conflict. Again, I don't think most people do this because they're trying, especially family law attorneys. They're trying to paint this image of the other side is this terrible monster. And I think a lot of clients want it to be that way, but it just rapidly escalates the conflict. Another thing to keep in mind here is that I almost get the sense that some of her numbers seem a little inflated. I think for most of us, this is a bit hard to connect to because we're hearing him say something like, well, you, I'll give you $38,000 a month in child support. And she's saying, well, that's not nearly enough. I need 240 whatever thousand dollars in child support a month for the average person, $38,000 a month is like an annual income, much less a monthly income. That alone is mind boggling to a lot of people. Throwing out numbers of $248,000 a month, for a lot of people, that is just almost incomprehensible. So I think it's easy to discount her position on this.

I would submit to you that the numbers that they're fighting over are very much like the numbers that somebody who's not making very much is. It's just there they've got more zeros behind them, that's all. I mean, you can have $380 a month versus like $2,040 a month or something like that. There's a huge disparity between those positions, but that seems much easier to get a grip around when you're thinking about what's happening. So remember that these people are used to very different lifestyle. You know, again, Kevin Costner is a big name. He's made a lot of money. And there's been a lifestyle that Christine has gotten accustomed to. So I would submit don't get kind of hung up on how big the numbers are. Instead, think about the positions. Now, one thing that people do need to pay attention to, and this was something I constantly saw in divorces, is that when you start going through divorce, a lot of people want everything to be exactly the same. And typically you're taking what you were living on collectively. So either by way of one person's income or both of you are contributing to something and you're splitting that up into two different households, that's necessarily going to change something. If I was living on $5,000 a month and I was supporting both me and my wife on that $5,000 a month, she's not going to be able to move out and still have $5,000 a month going to her because there's just not enough money for that and we're splitting up the household.

Now, you can get into all sorts of arguments about what exactly the numbers should be that the one person's giving to the other or something like that. But I think it's important to understand that it feels to me like she's and I don't know all the specifics about the numbers here, but it feels to me like she's trying to maintain the same basic lifestyle that she had, and she should probably understand that that's not realistic. But those are kind of considerations in the Resolve component of this. I really think that she should stop saying nasty things, as should he. We'll talk about that in just a second. But for with respect to the divorce itself, I think maybe that's appropriate from from her perspective. And it's not happy. I'm sure Kevin doesn't want it. But let's shift into Kevin here. So Kevin's perspective on all this stuff, let's start with the Own step. So Own, is he getting control of his emotions, his reactions? Publicly when it wasn't in the filings, he actually sounded like he was doing pretty well. There was an interview with Fox where they asked him, how do you feel about the ruling today when he was walking out of one of the court hearings. And Kevin says, "It feels like there's no winner."

And when asked about a parenting plan, he said, "She's an incredible mom. We'll figure it out and we'll share." He sounded sincere when he said that. And so I think that is a huge positive in Kevin's favor because when he's out in the public, he's saying positive things about her. He's not just like slamming her and saying, oh, that horrible person said all these things. I can't believe she took those positions and I'm glad I won. You know, that's not the stance he's taking. He's also tapped into something here that I talk about in the very first chapter of the Emotional Embuffination book. And this is something that seems very apparent to me when we're looking at family law and in that it feels like there's no winner. So even if you walk out winning, it doesn't really feel like you won in family law because it's just there's so much damage, you know, and especially when you get into things like attorney's fees and the stress of the process and sometimes you get some of the things you want and not other things you want. So I think he's right. When you're going through divorce, it doesn't feel like there's a winner, even when somebody seems to be a winner. The while he's saying things publicly that seem on point and I assume this is coming from his attorneys, the filings that he's he's submitting to the court don't seem to be quite as kind to her.

And I think that that can be inflammatory and is inflammatory. Remember, one of his filings said that she was engaged in gamesmanship of the worst sort. You know, when you start throwing out statements like that or when he starts to say, well, I'm not having an affair, but I can't verify she's not having an affair, like, why do you even need to say that? Like, you could just say, I'm not having an affair. This kind of throwing it out unless you actually suspect that she's having an affair and it's got relevance to the the court proceedings, which unless you're going on some random fishing expedition right now, which is I don't know what else there could be, and she's going to have a significant enough expenditure of community funds to offset that in a way that's going to be meaningful and outstrip the attorney's fees that you're on. Then why do you even go in that, you know, just leave it at I'm not having an affair. Not, I'm not having an affair, but I don't know if she is. So I suspect this is coming from the attorneys that are drafting it. But I don't think that you should be throwing all that stuff out there. Let's jump to the Understand step now. Kind of the flip side of this, and he's off working all the time.

You know, Christine should understand he's trying to be the breadwinner and go out and be successful, etcetera. On his side of it, he should understand that his family needs him. You know, they need to have him around occasionally. From her perspective, she probably feels very isolated. She feels like he's just never there. She doesn't know what he's doing. Maybe he's having an affair when he's off on these other sets. She's just not seeing him at all. So he's never there for the kids. She's never there for him. And maybe he gets that now, I don't know. But that's where he should be understanding that she is coming from. Now let's move on to the Resolve step. On the issue of her leaving and the pain points she was experiencing. He probably needed to pay attention to her needs a little sooner. Now that he's there, I think it's probably too late. I do think he's doing the right thing for the most part and just dealing with the legal issues as best he can. I mean, again, he's sort of publicly saying polite things and nice things, not so much in the filings. In the filings. I think he should really be careful about what he's saying. Again, I think this is on both sides. Both of them are just saying things. And here again, I think this is coming from the attorneys, but they're ultimately signing off on it. And so.

You know, the counterargument with the affair, for example, that adds nothing on a tactical level. It doesn't move the case forward. The only function of that is just take a jab at the other side. When you take a jab at the other side, they become defensive. They start saying something that's going to make you upset. Then you take a jab back and it just keeps getting worse and worse and worse. So that is the exact opposite of what we want to do with the Emotional Embuffination. Remember Emotional Embuffination when we're making non-retaliatory, remember that part of it? Choices about actions that we can take. Or we're taking choices about non-retaliatory actions designed to solve the problem. So in the context of a divorce, you want to make sure that you are just looking at, okay, what do I need to do to solve this problem? Now, there can be tactical issues. If if we had some reason to believe that he really was wasting enormous amounts of money on an affair bring the affair up, that makes sense there. If this is just some weird side issue you're throwing out there to, you know, just make make the other side feel upset or try to make yourself look better in the eyes of the press, that's a different story. So I think that he needs to be very careful about that, just as she does. But I'm just going to leave it with those two issues there.

Again, there's a lot in any divorce that you can unpack, but I think that when you're I just want to get the habit of kind of running through these steps, the Own, Understand, Resolve. For any given issue, like we're looking at individual issues and there's a lot that feeds into each of these steps. You know, they go into a lot of other things that wrap into the Emotional Embuffination umbrella. But it's important to, I think, go through the practice of kind of looking at a situation and saying, okay, what what's somebody doing correctly or not correctly, you know, under this this paradigm and how can we do better? The things that they're experiencing here are very normal. This, to me looks a lot like any other divorce I've seen. The numbers might be different. There's not always a prenup. There's sometimes is. But really, the things that they're doing, the way that they're reacting, the things that were said, the problem that gave rise to the divorce in the first place. These are all extremely normal. The positions people are taking and the language that's being used and the pleadings, again, very normal. I saw this all the time. So just something to consider, especially if you're going through a divorce. But if you're dealing with any kind of conflict with another person, go through this OUR model. Okay. I'm going to leave it there for today's show.

That's going to bring us to the end. I hope that you found something here useful. Remember, if you're looking at any sort of relational problems, use the OUR method, run through it. Own, Understand, Resolve. You can find the downloadable PDF that gives you sort of a visual description of what's there. Go back and listen to episode 18 if you want a more full explanation of it. I'm hoping that you can take something here and and utilize that in your day to day life. Don't forget to go to the embuff, Emotional Embuffination website which is embuff.com. When you are there, make sure that you sign up for the newsletter. You got to keep working on this stuff. I mean, this is something that we do on a daily basis. We don't just go to the gym one time and you know, you say I'm buff forever. You keep going. You keep going regularly. You go a couple times a week, multiple times a week, sometimes six times a week, whatever your whatever's appropriate for your situation, you got to do it regularly. Or you don't make any progress. The same thing is true with Emotional Embuffination. You got to continue to work on your emotional states and your ability to resolve conflict regularly in order to improve and to get better on that. At the end of the day, I want you to be emotionally strong enough to go from saying things like, "The struggle is real," to saying, "What struggle?" Thank you all for listening. I hope that you have enjoyed this and I will see you on the next show.