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Bro-in’ Out!

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Totally Married Podcast

Episode 161

Elizabeth and Andy discuss gratitude and follow up on last week’s debate about why Andy doesn’t get the out and about love that he deserves before answering listener questions about whether or not it’s kosher to date your best friend’s ex, budgeting for a wedding, what’s the proper city etiquette, how to proceed with a partner who won’t go to therapy, and what to do when you’ve found a great match but they have just ended a terrible relationship? Enjoy!


robyn says:

Andy says Bounce for shore for T pls

O-Shen Christ says:

Why do we have to decide between one of the other T-shirt I want one of each because Somedays I feel like telling all the whiners to just bounce and some days I want to say your a trashbag to everyone

Jacquie F. says:

I can understand why Andy would think that list is funny but the context the poster on Reddit gave points out how much of a trashbag the guy was. She said that he just e-mailed it to her while she was on a flight out for a business trip and then wouldn’t return any of her calls or texts. It was definitely not intended to be funny, it was passive aggressive and really shitty.

It kinda hit home for me when I saw it because I’ve used many of those same excuses and I sometimes go long stretches without being able to feel like having sex. I have to imagine the list of excuses wasn’t his first go-to move to try and resolve it but its definitely not a productive one at all.

Lindsey says:

If my husband did this, he wouldn’t need to keep a spreadsheet because it would be a big 0! He is obviously a jerk, and who’s to say he wasn’t a jerk about the request each time? Does he just grunt caveman style and demand it?

Just because you are married doesn’t mean you are required to just put out whenever asked. I usually am on Andy’s side but him laughing about it does make him a bit of a bro which I don’t usually think he is!

As for shirts- Andy Say’s Bounce! for sure.

Gary says:

The fact that the poster went on reddit and there doesn’t seem to be much of a response/dialogue from her makes me think it was done for comedic purposes.

JZ says:

On the therapy conversation, I have suggested therapy in the past to my husband. I received an overwhelming no. And the reason for that response was in the past he did do therapy with his ex. It ended up that the therapist and his ex ganged up on him and the relationship ended badly. Probably worse then if they would have just ended it before that. I think some people (people like my husband) believe that in the end therapy isn’t going to work and it’s going to end up where they are ganged up on or some version of that. Not every culture was raised to let others into their mental space. It is still often preceived as a weekness (not right or wrong just a perception).

So here is my suggestion. If you feel you both need some kind of counseling start going by yourself first and share your experence with your husband. Maybe also look into book on communication. Not everyone listens the same way. My husbands is a short answer type person. He doesn’t like long winded explinations. Me, well I like long explinations so the words sink in better. Neither way is wrong or needs to be fixed but sometimes just understand eachothers needs does help.

My other suggestion is to request that if he isn’t going to do therapy then see if you can get him to read a book on communication or couples issues. Do it together and see if that works.

Just remember that not everyone has the same views and if you love this guy and want to make it work then maybe it’s that you both have to bend a little.

Sarah says:

This is great advice. My husband is almost afraid of therapy and I think it’s more the fact that he’s only seen couples go to therapy right before they’re headed for divorce. Eventually he could see it in a positive light if I continue to share my experiences.

Dominic says:

I think the list could be funny if you were in one of those relationships where you routinely joked about things like that, but in most contexts it sounds so resentful and nasty. If it were like “Wives say the Darndest Things” where you giggle about it, then yeah, funny. But not giving someone a scorecard and then POSTING IT ONLINE FOR STRANGERS TO SEE.

I think the equivalent would be if a woman were to give her partner a scorecard like “3 out of 5 stars; Needs Improvement”. Treating a woman like the sex machine that you can slip a quarter in and get sex out of is the grossest thing you can do. And then inviting other people to judge her is beyond passive aggression.

Therapy is one of those things that I think has more of a stigma in smaller cities. In big cities it’s so obvious that people have therapy readily available and that it helps. I’m with Elizabeth, I totally understand the older generation thought of, “We dealt with our problems, we didn’t pay someone to talk.” and I can even understand the thought of “It’s people who are stealing your money under the guise of helping”… but to not believe in therapy seems unreal to me.

Because what the guy is saying is that “I’m okay with the way things are” and the girl is saying “I don’t want to settle for this”. And there’s no reason why you should stay with someone who isn’t willing to at least make an attempt. You don’t have to compromise yourself if someone won’t meet you half way.

Dating your best friend’s ex really depends on circumstances. I’ve dated best friend’s exes before, but they were all definitely over, married, or had split on good terms. To me, it’s sort of like dating your best friend’s sibling: some people are okay with it, and other people aren’t, and for wildly different reasons. But you definitely have to ask and if they say it’s okay, even if they’re not okay with it, it’s really their problem because they said yes. But you DEFINITELY don’t do it on the sly.

And I have to say, Andy does seem a bit like a bro. To me, bros are the wise-cracking, cynical dudes who are either completely absorbed in their own little world, or who are looking to have someone notice them to feel important. Having worked as a bartender and seeing guys ogle or almost manhandle waitresses or hostesses, I can totally see why people might be distancing themselves.

Guys tend to tip way less than anyone else. Especially age 20-60. It’s like waiting on teenagers, you never know how rude or how nice they’re going to be, so you keep your distance. I’m willing to bet he wouldn’t get that response with Elizabeth and Baby Oprah there having a good time.

To put it in some perspective, I’ve had waitresses come up to me rolling their eyes telling me that a guy stiffed them a tip but left them a paper saying, “Here’s a tip: I’m a cool dude here’s my number”. It’s always way worse with waitresses, who either get flirted with against their wishes but they have to play nice, or people going ballistic and calling them “dumb bimbos” or something like that. I’ve seen guys upset at the waitress who has a line of 15 people because she put his “eat in” cup of coffee in a “to-go” one and berate her in front of everyone, and I’ve seen the smarmy guy who acts like she was supposed to kiss his ring.

I’ve had bros come up to me who were very much, “Give me my drink and leave me alone”. With bros, it’s hard to tell if you’re going to get a business dude who only wants their order and none of the social interaction, a guy who’s looking to score, or the entitled jerk who likes being waited on.

You always end up wondering if the next person is the time bomb who had a bad day and is going to make it your problem, or a creeper, or someone who doesn’t know social etiquette. Sometimes it’s nothing personal, or it could just be that what someone else said or the fear of what someone else might say hangs over you. One of the hazards of public service or retail is trying to juggle different masks and avoid a catastrophe.

That being said, Andy is a joy to listen to and once you hear him and see (hear?) his personality, you realize that it’s a total misunderstanding.

And Elizabeth is a very warm person and it really comes out in her voice, which is a softer and gentler tone in general. The only time I can imagine her being cold is when she’s emotionally frazzled, like emotionally or physically drained when she just can’t and it’s not a personal choice. To me, if Elizabeth were being cold to someone, I would assume she were just having an off day, or that she was being deliberately cold like that person doesn’t deserve her warm personality. That being said, if it were unintentional, I feel like Elizabeth feels things so deeply she would dwell on it… or leave a note in their mailbox unsigned saying, “I’m sorry I think I was rude to you I didn’t mean it”.

And again I’m sort of with Elizabeth on tipping grumpy waiters. If they’re making all of the effort, but have a slighty sour demeanor I always wonder if giving them a nice tip will make their day. Like they’ve had a bad day and somehow me giving them more money made it all a bit easier.

Kendrick says:

The chain of old fashioned diners is called Ed Debevic’s. From their site: “Don’t expect this diner to be a ‘Please’ and ‘thank you, sir’ kind of place. Ed’s servers pride themselves on snarky remarks and serving sides of sass!”

Elizabeth wins this round.

O-Shen Christ says:

Oh god Kendrick Andy will NEVER hear the end of that!! Lol

Becca says:

I hate to disagree, but…

For the couple asking for budgeting advice – money wise, I suggest setting up a direct deposit/automatic withdrawal into a special saving account. Maybe with a different bank that they don’t keep the debit card or checkbook with them. This way, they don’t have the temptation and can save up money. Personally, I wish we had had more money to have a bigger wedding. Mostly, that we could’ve invited more people, but I also wish we could’ve afforded more “perks”. We’re only doing this once so I wanted to do it big. Our wedding was amazing, and it was more about the memories, but after hearing about the writer inner’s life style, I doubt they’ll want to do a small destination wedding or something low budget – not that there isn’t anything wrong with that. In my family, wedding are big celebrations, not necessarily fancy and over the top, but everyone gets invited so the food/bar tab is considerable. Other people prefer a Sunday brunch, others elope. I think the wedding industry is ridiculously over priced, so im a fan of shortcuts, but I also think it’s the time to live it up a little.

I also think Andy is a bit of a bro. He’s not a jerk or anything, but the way he talks, and to me, how he dresses, it’s kind of bro-y. It’s more of a laid back attitude, I think his typical response of “Bounce” is could be considered bro-ish. Maybe it’s more of a west coast thing? I don’t get a jerk vibe from Andy, but he def doesn’t talk like my husband’s mid-western friends πŸ™‚

Richard C says:

Haha sorry to give you a little existential crisis with my over 100 hours comment, Elizabeth. But I don’t have qualm 1 about spending that much time listening to you guys. You and Andy bring me a ton of joy every week.

I, personally, don’t think Andy is a bro. In my estimation, there’s a kind of disdain/disrespect for women at the core of a bro, and I just don’t see that in Andy.

I’d be a proud Brosen!

James says:

I want a “tight and mighty” band tee :p

As for budgeting, being exact helps. Come up with a figure for the wedding. Having a stated goal is important instead saving vaguely.

Consider using the envelope system for the budget. Determine exactly how much you want to spend in each category, be generous the first month, then withdraw that amount in cash and place in an envelope marked “groceries” or “restaurants” etc. That’s all the money you can spend in that category, when it’s gone, it’s gone. This is the best way I’ve found to stick to a budget. Subtract your savings goal for the month from your income, and what’s left is what you can spend in your budget.

I manage to save every month using this and i make a quarter of what you guys do, lol. Good luck on the wedding!

gpwatson says:

regarding the spreadsheet guy…i have no idea what his motivations were behind that list. my thought upon reading it was it may have been put together by a someone who wanted figures to back up the amount of sex he and his partner were actually having. sometimes men and women don’t have a clear picture of how often they have sex if they don’t keep track somehow. i heard the ‘frequency of sex’ topic come up on a radio show years ago and during the conversation a number of men and women said they kept a list or checked ‘sex days’ on the calendar. i started doing so myself and have done that for years. i didn’t really mention it to my partner until once we had a disagreement about how often we were having sex and i told her i knew exactly how often we’d had it in the last year. at first the knowledge that i kept a list kind of pissed her off but i think she was surprised when i told her the actual number-which was much lower than the number she had in her mind. maybe the guy that made the spread sheet just wanted to be able to back it up when his partner may have told him “we have sex all the time”.

Lindsey says:

I can understand this, I keep record myself of how often my husband and I are having sex, however I keep it for ovulation tracking. My husband just saw it for the first time the other night and was surprised at how often we actually do have sex. He himself thought the numbers were much lower.
HOWEVER, it’s one thing to keep track of it and discuss with your spouse. Its a whole other thing to share it world wide and make a fool of your partner.

Lara says:

I work in the world of finance so I got really excited about the couple on a budget’s question. Like Becca said, a deferred saving account is a great idea and a piece of advice I always give to people. Typically, you don’t spend what you don’t see. So, for example, I have savings wired to a completely different financial institution and can only take the money out if I physically go inside a branch, something I would not typically do.

Another thing to consider is having very defined savings goals. So not only saying, “I want to save money for this” but actually planning out your goal almost like you would weight loss. “I would like to save x amount of dollars for x purpose by x date. I will achieve this goal by putting away x amount of dollars/month.” Then create visual reminders for your goals and create specific savings accounts for each goal. Also consider placing a picture or reminder of the goal on your debit cards, wallet, fridge, wherever so you see the reminder constantly. And set up little rewards for yourself along the way. When we reach 25% of my goal, we go get ice cream or a nice dinner, when we reach 50% of the goal we’ll go on a weekend excursion, etc. Expect setbacks to happen and if an emergency comes up, cover the emergency and go right back to saving towards your goal. The more defined your goal is, the easier it will be to stick to it. Good luck!

P.S. I eloped in Vegas and have absolutely no regrets!

Liz says:

For the writer-inner that wants the fancy wedding, maybe ask yourself why that’s so important to you. I get wanting to have a big wedding that includes all your family and friends, but having a “fancy” party… where does that priority come from? Maybe make a list of which aspects of the wedding are most important to you (band vs. DJ, full meal vs. just a cocktail reception, expensive dress vs. vintage, exotic honeymoon vs. weekend getaway), and focus on saving money on your non-dealbreakers.

All that said, it’s your money, and if you’re happy to skip vacations and dinners out for months for this wedding, get on with your bad self. Just try and visualize how you’ll feel about that money six months after your wedding, when it’s all over. The excitement and anticipation of planning a wedding can be really fun, but you’ll want things to look forward to after it’s done, too, that don’t include being broke.

T says:

RE: the sex tracking trashbag;

To be clear, he emailed it to his wife as he left town for a business trip, which is, well, kind of passive aggressive at best.

However, it ended up on the internet because she put it up on Reddit to say, I assume, “can you believe this asshole?”

Just making sure the proverbial chain of evidence is clear here.

Ashlee says:

My husband totally considers himself a Brosen! Andy doesn’t strike me as that typical frat-guy type of bro, but he does have a coolness to him. Like, a crisp tee and rad hat vibe. He’s a bro in the good way!

I like both shirt ideas, but I’m leaning towards Andy Says Bounce. Though we have started using trash bag to describe… well… trash bags. We also say “THAT’S A BETRAYAL” when referring to trash bags who share intimate relationship details to people who aren’t their significant others. I love that we both listen to the show and adopt your terminology πŸ™‚

CD says:


You mentioned having a Trashbag of the Week section on the show. Maybe you could open it up to Facebook or Twitter and pick some out from the listeners. I’m sure people have pretty good trashbag stories!
Also, RE: Not going to therapy. Elizabeth said how it seems weird for someone to not want to do therapy. Well, I think I could shed some light on this. Of course, I can only speak for myself, but maybe someone can relate to this. I grew up in a very gossipy I guess kind of family. Grandmas especially. The reason I don’t want to do therapy, even though I feel I could probably use the help, is because I know my family will judge and won’t approve of it. The idea of just telling them that I would like to go see one kinda scares me. I’m sure eventually I’ll go and not give two fucks what they think, but for now, I’ll stick to talking with a close friend or two every once in a while. That, and also my first experience with a therapist was pretty useless, which sorta colored my view on therapy for a while.

Erika says:

Elizabeth I love you to death. But you definitely seem out of touch when describe a bro vibe as “hip hop” hahaha… Andy got it, a bro is someone who is fratty and douchey. But don’t worry, Andy, you’re not a bro

karen says:

Hey guys! I was just listening to the beginning of this episode I was FLOORED by the true trash bags who are insulting Andy! I’ve been listening from way back in the beginning and everything I hear from andy is super cool and funny. When he makes jokes, it’s never in a cruel way. Maybe some people don’t get his humor? I wish I had a husband as playful as him! Trash bags better lay off Andy! (and Elizabeth too for that matter!) You’re both super cool and don’t let people’s cattiness let you think otherwise.

anyway- just wanted to send some love over your way. I love you guys. I will listen to you two talk all day!


Loyal Laimewad

Allison says:

Andy seems to be a real cool kid. Maybe that makes people intimidated? No bro-ness detected.

Also, I love both T-shirt ideas. If I have to choose I’m going with Andy says Bounce. However, that don’t be a trash bag art you shared on FB is pretty fucking adorable.

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