Ferne Kotlyar

It’s Friday! And you know what that means…

Welcome to a new episode of Fridays with Ferne!

Our case today is about Amy, an American lady who falls in love with an Italian man; they get married and have a child. Six years later, she starts having feelings for another man. Amy loves her husband, but her feelings for the other man begin to overwhelm her.

What do you think Amy should do with these new and unrelenting feelings? Join us to find out!

Have you ever found yourself in a situation like this? Do you have a case you’d like to talk about? Share your story! If there's a challenge you'd like to discuss here on the podcast or privately, please reach out to us:



Episode Transcript

Kim Ades: [00:00:05]
Hello, hello. This is Kim Ades, I am the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching, and you have just joined The Frame of Mind Coaching Podcast, where we typically invite leaders from all over the world to come onto the podcast and get coached live and in person.

Today we have a special episode featuring my daughter Ferne Kotlyar. She's coming on to the podcast to throw at me a unique case, one that she invented by the way. I never know what she's going to throw at me just as you listen to the cases, I am listening to the cases. I haven't heard them before.

But Fernie, welcome. What do you got in store for me today?

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:00:41]
Thank you. Thank you! All right. So today we have a case about a girl named Amy.

So Amy lives in the States. You know, she works for the FBI, she's also young and quiet, you know, mid-thirties and driven. Before she hit her mid-thirties, she-- sorry, she was in the States and she did an exchange through the FBI in Italy, and she met this guy. You know, young, attractive, Italian, charming, all the things. And she ends up falling in love with this guy and getting married.

And so eventually she ends up moving to Italy, living there, learning Italian and starting a life there. And so she works for the FBI, the American FBI in Italy, and finally they ended up having a child together. So she quits because she needs more time off to spend with her child, to raise him, to take care of him, to do all the things.

A few years later after she spent a whole bunch of time with her child, she sends him to preschool, and she decided she wants to get back into the workforce. So now she goes in, works for the Italian police system, and she ends up getting a partner.

Actually the partner is this American guy who is also quite, you know, young and charming. And she really, really hits it off with him. She feels like, you know, being in Italy, everybody's really lovely, but she feels like with this guy, there's this connection, you know, he understands her. He's a piece of her home. You know, they say speak the same language, come from the same place, have the same culture. There's this really good connection between them.

And so as time goes on, they become friends and they spend more time together and more time together. Yeah. And, you know, they start to go out outside of work and na, na, na. And she starts to develop feelings for this guy and, you know, she has a husband that she loves at home and a child with that husband and, you know, everything's perfect in her life. So why should she have feelings for this other American guy?

And so, you know, she spends more time with him. And at this point, you know, she starts to get butterflies when she sees him and she has sometimes dreams about him and she's like, "oh my God, this is getting way too out of hand". And so, in a few weeks they're planning a steak-- they're supposed to have a stakeout and it's supposed to be just the two of them for like five days straight. And she really, really doesn't know what to do.

She could have no communication while she's in on the stakeout. And all she has is this other guy that she started to have feel-- that she has feelings for. And she doesn't want to ruin her relationship and she's super lost and confused, and she doesn't know what to do.

And it's like making it hard to eat and making it hard to sleep. And she feels so torn. She doesn't want to, you know, get a new partner because she likes this guy and she doesn't want to get a new partner because what if they're terrible, but also she doesn't want to, you know, divorce her husband just for some guy.

And so she feels very, very torn. So what recommendations would you give her?

Kim Ades: [00:03:48]
Well, here's an interesting situation, right? Because you're asking me to give her a recommendation before she goes on the stakeout. And so my question for you is, has she cheated on her husband at this point?

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:04:03]

Kim Ades: [00:04:04]
Are you sure?

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:04:05]

Kim Ades: [00:04:06]
I don't know. Has she?

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:04:09]
No, not yet.

Kim Ades: [00:04:10]
What is she getting from this guy that she's not getting otherwise?

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:04:14]
She feels this connection of home, this feeling of understanding.

Kim Ades: [00:04:20]
Okay. And has she shared any of that with her husband or not at all?

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:04:24]
Not yet.

Kim Ades: [00:04:26]
Not yet. So she's been having this partner developing a relationship and her husband doesn't even know that there's a partner?

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:04:33]
Well, he knows there's a partner. He's met the guy on multiple occasions. He just doesn't know that she's starting to have feelings for him.

Kim Ades: [00:04:39]
Okay. So, I mean, from my standpoint, you know, the fact that she's confused is very important. I mean, not important, but an important element of the conversation.

So we never want anybody to make decisions from a confused state or a downstate or a cloudy state or a state of being unclear. We don't want people to make decisions from a place of frustration or stress. We always want people to make decisions from a place of absolute clarity.

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:05:10]
And how do we get them there?

Kim Ades: [00:05:12]
So right now, what she has is a lack of clarity and what she needs is to figure out a way to gain that clarity. And so throwing her in the middle of this situation, this intense situation, where she might need to make, or she might make decisions that are not aligned with what she wants, might be a bad idea.

So the question might be, I might ask her, do you know what you want? Are you clear about what you want? And it sounds like right now, she's not so clear about what she wants. And so what I would encourage her to do is, you know, maybe this is a great guy. Maybe this is a guy that she will end up with for the rest of her life. We don't really know. We don't really know what this is about.

And maybe what's lacking in her relationship is something that needs to be addressed. So there are lots of questions for me that are-- that need to be brought up in the conversation, but more than anything is that I would not throw her into a five-day stakeout with a guy where she's in a state of absolute confusion and no clarity.

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:06:21]
So should she do?

Kim Ades: [00:06:22]
I would ask her if it's possible to take a bit of a sabbatical, take a bit of a break and not put herself in that intense situation. I'm not saying don't be partners with the guy. I'm not saying quit everything. I'm not saying stop your job, stop your career, go find another career. I would say in this moment, putting yourself in that situation is highly risky.

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:06:47]
And what if she can't without like, she can't avoid the stakeout without quitting her job?

Kim Ades: [00:06:53]
I think that there are very few moments when somebody actually can't. And so, I mean, if she were really, really sick, would she take some time off or would she go on a stakeout with the guy?

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:07:06]
But how does she prove that she's sick? There's no doctor's note that's going to say, "oh, I'm sick of love".

Kim Ades: [00:07:12]
Well, I mean, yes, there are, she could potentially see a psychologist and she could potentially get that sick note. But at the end of the day, you know, a lot of times people believe they have no choice that they can't, that they're trapped, that they're stuck, that they don't have options. We often have options. Most of the time we have options.

If it's an option we're not comfortable with, I understand that we have that also a lot of the times too. Options we're not comfortable with. But what I want to do with her is allow her to get a little bit of space so she can establish what she wants, what she truly wants.

I want to walk her down the road of, let's say, you're on a stakeout. Let's say things get heated. Let's say you cross the line and you do step into the "I cheated" category. Is that something you'll be happy with?

If this guy is for you down the road, which could possibly be the case, don't you want to handle your marriage with integrity and respect and grace?

And so I really want to push her to make decisions about who she is, what she stands for, what her values are and make decisions from that place of clarity. Even if she still has feelings for the guy.

It's very important for her to address her marriage first. And if the marriage isn't all that it's cracked up to be, let's address that problem. Either let's let it go or build on that relationship, that first commitment she made. And if it's not going where she wants it to go, and if she wants to let it go, let her let it go first, before she even considers any kind of relationship with this guy.

So right now she's putting herself in a situation that isn't fair to anybody. Not to herself, not to the guy, not to her husband.

And so I think it takes great strength to say, "Hmm, this isn't a smart move. I need a little clarity. I need a little space. I need a little breathing room to understand where I'm going and how to get there".

Right now, that intense kind of high pressure situation, doesn't allow her to get the clarity that she's looking for. It just turns up the volume of the tension.

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:09:33]
Right. And what if, you know, this relationship with her husband is, you know, perfect. There's something really wrong with it. But she still has feelings for this guy. How does she get rid of those feelings? If that's what she chooses to do.

Kim Ades: [00:09:46]
Well, we often have feelings, you know, we often have crushes, even when we're married. Right? We have crushes. It doesn't mean we have to act on them. And so she has to make decisions about what she wants to do with the feelings she has.

Is it super important that she eliminate the feelings? No, feelings come and go. They pass, right? They come and go. They pass. It's important for her to make a decision about whether or not this marriage that she's in is the one that she wants to continue to be committed to.

And it's okay for her to have warm feelings towards someone else doesn't mean she has to act on them. And it doesn't mean her marriage is completely in a state of disarray. And it doesn't mean that this other guy is her soulmate. It doesn't mean anything. It means she has warm feelings for a guy.

Okay. But the key here is she needs to get clarity about what her relationship at home is really about. And once that happens, once that clarity happens, she can be in a car with someone that she has warm feelings about and not take action. She needs to be clear about that.

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:10:48]
What if she feels guilty for these feelings?

Kim Ades: [00:10:51]
We would talk about guilt and where guilt plays a role, and it really doesn't almost anywhere play a role.

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:10:58]
At all?

Kim Ades: [00:11:00]
Very infrequently does guilt play a role. Guilt helps us sometimes know what our values are. So when we're doing something that's at odds with our values, guilt informs us. But living with guilt isn't all that useful. So in her case, right? She has feelings of guilt for having feelings.

We always have feelings. Feelings are something that just exist. Is it okay to have feelings? Of course! I might be super mad at someone and want to kill them, it doesn't mean I do.

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:11:37]
That's fair.

Kim Ades: [00:11:38]
Right? So it's okay to have feelings, understand that feelings come and go. They pass. And also it's very important to understand that feelings come from thoughts. So the way I feel comes from the way I think about something. So we really want to understand what she's seeking, what she's extracting from this experience and help her perhaps extract that from other experiences as well, not just from this one guy.

So if a connection to home is important, maybe in Italy there is an ex-pat group of Americans that she can belong to and get that feeling of home more often. Maybe there are other ways that she can get that connection, that feeling of home in a way that is consistent with her values and doesn't trigger guilt.

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:12:26]
Hmm. Yeah.

Kim Ades: [00:12:29]
Makes sense?

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:12:30]
For sure. And so you're saying essentially that by changing the way she thinks you can change... she can change her feelings towards this guy.

Kim Ades: [00:12:38]
Well, number one is again, make some decisions about what you want to do with your relationship at home. Number two is you have feelings, is that okay? Is it okay to have feelings for another person? Sure. It's not always okay to act on those feelings.

But number three is where do those feelings come from? It comes from certain thoughts. So let's look at the thoughts that are triggering these feelings. And let's see if those thoughts can be addressed or those thoughts can be generated with another relationship somewhere else that feels more comfortable, safer, more at ease.

And maybe when we do that, the feelings might neutralize in the car on a stakeout. Right? And it might be okay to just be in a car with someone who you're friends with, nothing wrong with that.

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:13:25]
Yeah. Fair enough.

All right. Well, thank you. And if you were to give this girl one more piece of advice, one quick, like 1, 2, 3, you know, what would you say to her?

Kim Ades: [00:13:38]
I think that very often people feel pressured to take action or to do, like, "I HAVE TO be on the stakeout". And I think it's very important to say you don't HAVE to do anything.

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:13:49]

Kim Ades: [00:13:49]
We have beliefs that we have to, we have beliefs that we have these obligations. We have beliefs that we have no options, and I always want to encourage people to say, hold on a minute, you do have options. Let's look at those options and let's take ownership of those options. And if you're going into a situation that might create a real big problem at home, maybe that's not such a wise decision.

And so I want her to slow down. And so very often we feel trapped. And we feel like we have no choices. And when we feel like we have no choices, understand that our thinking is causing us to feel that way, because there are always unbelievable amount of choices in front of us.

So what I want her to do is slow down and evaluate her choices. In this case, a choice could be let's delay the stakeout, let someone else go instead of me, let's not do a stakeout. Let's plan, another option, and on and on and on.

But the idea is for her to step back from this high pressure environment where it's really putting herself in the line of fire and potentially creating a situation that she will not be happy with-- in the end.

So the really quick feedback is when you feel trapped, it's often because we feel like we have no options, we have no choice, and I always want to help people see that actually they have many more choices than they are aware of.

So I want to pull her back, slow her down, give her some options and not push her into that situation that could cause a big problem in the end.

Ferne Kotlyar: [00:15:23]
Makes sense. Good advice. Thank you.

Kim Ades: [00:15:25]
Thank you! Yet another interesting, challenging case. Ferne, thank you for being on the podcast with me for doing this. It's always fun to do things with you anyways. So, you're definitely challenging me.

For those of you who are listening, I hope that you took something of value away from this podcast. If you have a case you want to share with us, please reach out. If you have a challenge that you want to be coached on the podcast with, please reach out to me as well.

My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com

And if you have a challenge that perhaps you want to talk about, but not so much on a podcast, please reach out to me as well.

Again, my email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com

For those of you who are listening, thank you for listening! Please like, please share, please leave your reviews. We'd love to get your feedback. Thank you so much.

Until we see you next time. Have a great day!

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