Interview with Tim Kellis…

So today’s guest, Tim Kellis, is a little different from the guests I usually have as he isn’t a romance author, but I enjoy featuring different things.
He has written a book about improving relationships.  I haven’t read the book yet, but it does sound interesting.  I asked Tim a few questions about his book, writing, and more and here are his responses…

equality-coverWelcome.  Can you please tell us about your book?
The journey through “Equality: The Quest for the Happy Marriage” includes a trip through history, where the most significant lessons civilization has learned over the last few thousand years are used to demonstrate not only the way to set up a positive relationship, but the causes of that relationship turning negative.

Additionally, I dive into the science of psychology to answer the most basic question anyone asks who goes through the pain of divorce, “why didn’t we work out”?

The basic premise of the book is that we have a 50% divorce rate yet there doesn’t appear to be anything happening to help solve this problem.  Just because divorce has become a significant part of our culture doesn’t mean we should simply sit back while countless families suffer through the agony of splitting up.

The toll to society tomorrow because of our culture of divorce today is impossible to determine but future generations will have to deal with this change to the culture that has occurred over the last two generations.

For the first time in history I elaborate on a psychological solution to our psychological problems so that couples can learn how to change the direction of their negative relationships.  In essence, the psychological objective is to understand what happens mentally between two people who make one of the most important decisions of their lives, to get married.

The objective of this book is to provide real, logical help to couples so that they can learn how to stay out of the divorce trap.  The bottom line is to learn how to set up your relationship so that you can maintain a happy, healthy, harmonious, loving, affectionate, intimate marriage.

What inspired you to write this book?
My biggest influence, and the reason I have taken on the challenge of saving marriages, were my parents, who again just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  And their influence wasn’t because of anything they ever said to me, but what they did, stayed married.  What makes this more important was they had the typical marriage of couples from their generation, full of fights, but they managed to stick it out.  They taught me that divorce was not an option, that quitting was not the path to take.

My mom actually had my career mapped out when I was a kid to be a priest, something I took very seriously.  I was an altar boy (no, I do not have any stories) and studied the bible intently.  Although I haven’t read the bible since I was a kid I have used a lot of what I learned in my book.  And then I discovered girls.

Although my career was extremely successful I never met a girl who lit up my passion, until at the height of the stock market (I worked as a Wall Street analyst) in 2000 I met a girl I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life with, and then we started arguing.  Towards the end we went to a therapist looking for help solving our relationship troubles.  When I realized he wasn’t really helping I decided to tackle the issue myself, although that relationship ended.  Writing this book was my cathartic reaction to that pain.

When I met this girl I had worked for 5 years as a semiconductor analyst on Wall Street.  So I studied like a Wall Street analyst, reading over 100 books in a period of 10 months, which equates to 2 ½ books a week, straight for 10 months.  I believe this may be one of the most researched books ever written.  And at the end of this research my confidence in my ability to solve the relationship problem resulted in the book, after 9 months of writing.

The bottom line is a professional psychologist could not have written such an expansive book as “Equality: The Quest for the Happy Marriage” because of the limitations of the industry.  My joke is the 100 books read included nearly 2 dozen relationship books and the only books read that were fiction were the relationship books.  In fact, the first title concept I came up with was “Men Are From Earth, Women Are From Earth” to demonstrate just that point.

What do you feel makes your book stand out from all of the other relationship books out there?
This is the first relationship book written from a mental perspective, and as I joke above this is the first non-fiction relationship book written, because it solves the marriage problem.  The boilerplate that I have discovered with all of the other relationship books that I have read is they begin with a description of “John and Jane Doe” not getting along followed by behavior advice.  Until you get to the root causes of behavior you will not be able to solve the marriage problem.

Dr. Phil mentions in his book that he basically has not solved a single serious relationship problem in 25 years of work when he states “in the twenty five years that I have been doing work in the field of human behavior, I have seen few if any genuine relationship conflicts ever get resolved”.  And John Gray, author of “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”, reveals the depth of his book when he states at the beginning “I do not directly address the question of why men and women are different,” which would add profound insight as to how to overcome those differences.

What is the most important message of your book?
The single biggest objective of my book is to teach couples how to get along, how to resolve the inevitable conflicts that are a part of every relationship when you bring together 2 people from 2 completely different backgrounds.  You have to be able to resolve the different perspectives of each in a relationship.  If you do not then you develop what are known as “psychic lesions” which are unresolved issues that eventually lead to mental regression.

The most common source of trouble in relationships today is the imbalance of the relationship with the parents of those with insecurities.  We develop the emotional side of our minds at our youngest ages, beginning at birth.  If that emotional development includes an imbalance perspective from one or both parents then we develop into adults with those same insecurities.  And unfortunately to refute 100 years of psychology, we are not hardwired with those insecurities but learn them mentally, which means that we can unlearn them.  To summarize this project as succinctly as possible, if you want to develop the positive relationship then fall in love with your parents.  You will know this is the case if you can say you love your parents without the unfortunate “but” that follows those who have yet to let go.

What has the response been to the book?
The response from those who have read the book has been extremely positive.  I have a 20 minute interview with the first couple I worked with, you can view it on my YouTube page (search Tim Kellis), where Bobby and Lynn discuss what they learned by reading my book.  In fact, at the end of the interview Bobby calls it the bible.  The basic feedback has been about the depth and scope of the message in the book.  People who have read it come away with a much better understanding of their own relationship, which is my basic objective.

Did anything surprise you while you were writing the book?
I have been asked in the past about readers block, but I didn’t have any.  I guess this is because of the amount of research that went into writing the book.  Because I had worked as an analyst before taking on this project I have a very analytical mind.  So after I finished the research I spent 9 months writing the book, and every day was just a matter of sitting in front of a computer and letting the thoughts that had built up through my research flow to my fingers.

Where can readers find your book?
I am currently running a 20% discount on the book, in recognition of Valentine’s Day.  Even though it has passed I will continue the discount for a while.  You can find the book at:

https://www.happyrelationships.com/buy.aspx

You can also find the book on Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/Equality-Quest-Marriage-Tim-Kellis/dp/0979984807/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1234810171&sr=8-1

I recently sent in my application package for Barnes & Noble, so hope to hear back soon about having the book available through them.

What’s next for you?
I am completely focused on promoting the book at the moment, but I do have 2 more books in my head.  As soon as I can find the time I will sent down to write the next one, entitled “The 10 Steps to Spirituality”.

Do you a question you’d like to ask my blog readers?
I would like to hear from your readers their relationship issues that they would like to better understand.  I would also like to hear the success stories, how your readers in successful relationships manage them.

Thank you for the interview!

Thanks Tim for being here!

Reader you can learn more about Tim and his book at:  http://www.happyrelationships.com

So, do you have any questions for Tim?
Any relationship issues or success stories to share?

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23 Responses to Interview with Tim Kellis…

  1. Tim Kellis says:

    Jennifer

    Thank you so much for posting. I look forward to hearing from you readers.

    Sincerely

    Tim Kellis

  2. Kenna says:

    Interesting article. Like you, my parents have been together forever, and though they fought periodically while I was growing up, divorce was never really in their vocabulary. My grandparents were the same way.

    My husband’s parents just recently went through a very messy divorce after 20 years of marriage. Even though all of the children are grown, the divorce has been very hard on the family. It’s difficult knowing what to tell our children, who have been very concerned about not getting to see their grampa anymore. I think those fears are allayed now, with time. They still get to see both grandparents, just not together, anymore.

    My husband has always said what he took from his parent’s relationship was what NOT to do. Luckily, he had a good example in his grandparents’ relationships, which were both long and fairly happy. I feel like we have a very strong and healthy relationship ourselves, and hope that we provide a good example to our children. What I find sad, is that with all the bad examples out there, I’m afraid the divorce cycle is self-perpetuating. Maybe your book will help reverse that!

  3. highlandlove says:

    Great Interview Tim and Jenn.

    I don’t really have any questions. Sounds boring I guess. But we seem to be doing good. After nearly 13yrs of marriage we have our rough stops, our fights but honestly we can’t imagine NOT being married to each other. We both agreed when we got married, it was forever. No divorce option is there. We agreed it doesn’t exist to us. So we try to talk out our issues. I’ll admit we have times…………LOL but honestly we are best friends as well as lovers and we make a choice to be in this together. I think that’s a big thing for us. I think I’ll try to get your book, because it never hurts. And I honestly think that early in our marriage we read the FIVE LANGUAGES OF LOVE and it helped us ALOT to see that we had different ways of showing our love. Didn’t make it less, just that he saw love one way and I another.

    Great post Jenn.
    hugs,
    WendyK

  4. So excited to see Tim out there! I just received his book in the mail…this book is excellent! I’ll throw a question out there to Tim. Tim, your book is about understanding your mate in order to improve the relationship. What if it’s impossible? What if you are with someone for 13 years and he just gets on your everlasting nerve? What if your daughter (not his) hates him and you side with your daughter? Is this a doomed relationship?

  5. Lisa Sinnock says:

    Tim,

    I have a question and a couple of comments:
    1. Do you address these issues from the standpoint that there may only be one partner in the marriage working toward solutions? Sometimes only one will see the pathway out of the conflicts, while the other refuses to discuss or work on any of them.
    2. I love the fact that you mention the futility of ‘behavioral modification.’ People CAN change their behavior, but if the belief system and thought patterns of that person do not change, the modifications will break down quickly, or become a means of manipulation.
    3. I’d like to see more regarding hidden and unresolved issues – it is something I will look for in your book when I begin reading it. These can be very debilitating in a relationship – it’s much better to discuss the ‘elephant in the room,’ and then things can be worked on.

    Thank you for the invitation to the interview – looking forward to reading your book.

  6. Terry Odell says:

    Well, I can’t say I have any answers, but I’ve been married to my first husband for 40 years come August. If you go into things thinking it’s a 50-50 split, you’ll never make it. Be prepared to give 90 at any given moment. It’ll probably work out in the end, but there are no winners or losers. It’s a partnership. It also helps, I think, that we’re both independent people. However, the REAL secret, I’m almost positive, is separate bathrooms.

  7. Tim Kellis says:

    Kenna

    Congratulations on your marriage, and your comments on divorce is exactly the problem I am addressing. As I like to joke I am amused and amazed every time I read or hear about another study stating that there is no affect of divorce on the children. If the researchers would only ask the children if they were upset by the divorce of their parents then the results of all of those research studies would be the opposite.

    I am sorry to hear about your husband’s parents’ divorce, another example, even though your children are grown they are still negatively impacted by the breakup of their grandparents’ marriage.

    And yes you are absolutely correct, divorce becomes a self-perpetuating cycle, fortunately your husband is older. As you probably know, we learn from our parents. My parents taught me by staying together, even through the tough times, that quitting was not an option. Fortunately your husband has taken the more progressive route by using the negative influence of his parents as motivation on how not to behave, but many people who still have the scars from childhood take the opposite approach. Their parents quit so when the times get tough they decide to take the same path, hence our 50% divorce rate.

    Yes, I hope I can add value to keep our culture of marriage intact.

    Thank you for your comments.

    Tim Kellis

  8. Tim Kellis says:

    Highlandlove

    And congrats on your marriage. Sounds like you address conflicts in the appropriate manner. There are 2 paths taken with conflicts, arguments and disagreements, and the one I am trying to teach is through disagreements, which are logical discussions, even over emotional issues. Arguments, which are emotional discussions, are not resolvable. If you cannot address logically the why with conflicts then you have issues that become unresolvable which lead to what are referred to psychologically as “psychic lesions”, issues that become mental blocks because they are not resolved.

    And to address your comment about “The 5 Languages of Love”, if this concept is addressed positively then it can be very helpful. This book has been a huge success. I was at a marriage conference about 6 months ago and Gary Chapman was one of the speakers. He spoke intelligently, eloquently, and very humorously. The languages (acts of service, physical touch, quality time, gifts, words of affirmation) do encompass a wide perspective of the different needs within relationships. If you could understand which one is more important then you can comprehend how best to understand your spouse.

    The only problem with this approach is in reality it promotes a quid-pro-quo relationship in negative relationships. “If you give me physical contact then I will buy you things”, and this doesn’t work in negative relationships. Quid-pro-quo never works, the notion of conditional love. What is needed for successful relationships is unconditional love. In reality this concept is an extension of “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”, which promotes that the key is to appreciate the differences between men and women, and unfortunately the notion of “separate but equal” didn’t work as we have seen with our racial struggles.

    And the other problem with that book, and this problem also shows the materialistic approach of the professionals, is its materialism. The reality is he is promoting labor, sex, behavior, money, and communication, but he misses the most important languages, internal languages. The reality is the 2 pillars of happiness, and really the key languages to success are respect and empathy. Unfortunately you will have difficulty finding professionals discuss these 2 concepts because they have yet to breach the ivory walls of the psychology industry.

    Please keep in mind with my critical words about the pros, but we as a society expect them to solve our marriage problems and they have yet to do it.

    Again, thanks for your comments.

    Tim Kellis

  9. Tim Kellis says:

    Dorothy (Pumpupyourbookpromotions)

    You bring up an excellent question, and one that shows how difficult marriages get with divorce, the notion of a child from a previous marriage.

    I do want to address the question first of him getting on your nerves. Because we are so much more educated now than ever before many more of us are cognizant about what we can find wrong with our spouse. The quote I use in the book to demonstrate this point is:

    “Our present condition is, Legislation without law; wisdom without a plan; constitution without a name; and what is strangely astonishing, perfect Independence contending for dependence…The mind of the multitude is left at random, and seeing no fixed object before them, they pursue such as fancy or opinion starts. Nothing is criminal; there is no such thing as treason; wherefore every one thinks himself at liberty to act as he pleases.”

    What this in essence is saying is that you can argue over anything. Unfortunately the notion that you can find fault over anything leads to your relationship developing into a regressive state. And the reason for this is the perspective of the person being critical, which is backwards because of the fear that a subjective behavior which is not thought of ahead of time by the one behaving badly, could result in problems. The reality is there are 3 types of behavior, 2 which should result in anger, and the third which unfortunately cannot be resolved. If your husband is behaving illegally or immorally then you have every right to get angry with him, but if you are getting angry at him because of subjective behavior that you fear might lead to problems then you might be looking in the wrong direction.

    And as far as your daughter goes, the only thought I have is the need to work together with your husband to handle the issue with your daughter. After all she is the youngest. Unfortunately I do not know the issues between the 3 of you, but in divorce you have to also deal with her other family, something I suspect may be a source of the conflict. Again, the goal is for the parents to work together raising the children, not the children and one parent battling the other parent.

    Dorothy this may raise a few more questions so feel free to post them.

    Thanks

    Tim

  10. Tim Kellis says:

    Lisa

    Excellent question about one working on the relationship and not the other. My thought with this may be the approach that one is using in working on the relationship. I bet if you were to ask the other if he or she was interested in working on the relationship the answer may be yes, or it should be.

    But if the approach to problems is based on the fear that problems may occur, instead of solving problems that do occur, then again the perspective is in the wrong direction.

    I use a personal story to demonstrate my point. I worked on Wall Street as a semiconductor analyst, which basically means that I am one of dozens of analysts with opinions on the stocks I follow. I became negative on one in particular after being bullish on it, and the stock fell by 30%. After the market closed Intel bought the company and the stock doubled the next day.

    My point is I was castigated on the chat rooms for being so stupid. Smart Money Magazine even wrote an article about me entitled “What Was He Thinking” about how stupid I was to downgrade the stock before Intel bought the Company. Professional investors know the difficulty in predicting where stock prices are going in the future.

    The point is if you are addressing problems logically before they occur, or emotionally after they occur then you are basing your perspective on the underlying fear. The objective is to base your perspective on problems logically after they occur or emotionally before they occur. This is actually an extremely important difference between positive relationships and negative ones. And basing them emotionally before they occur basically means addressing the solution to problems before they come up with the goal of a happy outcome.

    And yes to your point on behavior modification without an understanding of the underlying belief system and thought patterns. The reality is our character traits cause our behavior, and our character traits are nothing more than system of beliefs that we learned growing up. Obviously the objective is to have positive character traits, to be nice, but unfortunately in our material world we also learn negative character traits. Until these are changed solving problems in marriage becomes very difficult.

    And the point about hidden or unresolved issues is until they are revealed you cannot address them because you do not know they exists. But the reality is anger is our way of exposing our insecurities. If we could only learn to neutralize our own defense mechanisms when our spouse gets mad then we could also learn to address anger, or sadness, when it is revealed.

    Lisa I look forward to hearing more from you.

    Sincerely
    Tim

  11. Tim Kellis says:

    Terry

    Separate bathrooms huh? I’ll have to reflect on that. And just so you know the title of my book is equality not because of any material 50/50 split but mental equality, where the man and the woman get to share equally in the logical and emotional side of the relationship.

    Congrats on 40 years, and good luck with the next 40.

    I would point out to you the following love stories:

    http://www.happyrelationships.com/loveStories.asp

    Tim

  12. Lisa Sinnock says:

    Adding to your point about unresolved/hidden issues, many times these come from our childhood – what do they call it? Transference? – and we expect, based on our past experience, that our spouse will react or respond in the same way an abusive parent did. It would seem that these, in particular, must be addressed individually, first, so that the couple can address issues pertaining to them together successfully. Do you agree?

  13. Great answer, Tim, but he’s not a husband so no ties there thank goodness. He’s a sweet person but acts childish and runs away from home all the time when I call his bluff on things. Daughter and he do not get along since they had an in your face sort of thing. He’s younger than I am by nine years and about 12 years younger than my daughter. The house is owned by daughter and I so she has a say of course. The constant tension when he’s here and she’s here got to the point where I made rules…he can’t come when she’s here unless I’m here. He broke the rule, I called his bluff and he ran away again. I’m great with it because it’s a pattern…he’s the coming and going guy I call him. But the thing is, do you think he and my daughter had a falling out in another life sort of thing? It’s crazy that they cannot get along.

  14. Deidre says:

    Hi Tim!

    What do you suggest when both husband and wife are extremely moody? Does anything work besides medication? LOL

    Deidre

  15. Lisa Sinnock says:

    Deidre,

    You’re too funny! I think chocolate might work…

  16. Carrie Key-Rodebaugh says:

    Hi Tim! I remember the great, centered kid that you were in high school, and I THINK I know how you’ll answer this question but here goes.

    How do you approach the spiritual part of marriage? My husband Gene and I enjoy a wonderful marriage thanks largely to our prayer life (we pray together daily) and our great friendship (we took the time to REALLY get to know one another as friends before anything else.) How does your book handle the very fragile topic of prayer in a marriage?

  17. BarbaraE says:

    Hi Tim,
    I think it’s great that you wrote a book about solving relationship problems. My husband and I have been married over 43 years. We had our children after being married almost 13 years and I think my husband never really adjusted to the change it brought to us. He loves our daughters and has always been there to help them anytime they needed him, but he has never understood that his daughters are not a part of him. They are separate entities. So he holds them up to standards that have nothing to do with their own abilities and personalities. Even with all of this, they both have a fairly healthy relationship with him.

    We are very much like your parents, since we have been fighting since before we were married. However, we were deeply in love when we married and have remained each other’s best friend. Since we are so close he tends to take a lot of things out on me and the girls. But I don’t let him make me feel bad. He knows when he has crossed a line and usually he will apologize in one way or another. I know he means well, and I also know that sometimes he has a lot of pressure from all sides. So I have learned to pick my battles. It keeps things on a much more even keel.

    As that woman who said that you sometimes have to give 90% at times, I have lived that, especially when he was very ill and I had to take over everything. I have also seen times when he was on the 90% point due to my own sickness or travel. Marriage is not equal. It is always changing in the percentage each partner shoulders from one day to the next. It is your willingness to do that kind of shifting that keeps you in your marriage. Also, I don’t think I can find anyone quite like him. 🙂

  18. Tim Kellis says:

    Lisa

    Thank you for your very insightful comment. Yes, transference is key. If you still have unresolved issued from childhood then you are afraid of those same issues in your marriage, which is the cause of the anger if you believe your partner’s behavior might lead to those same behaviors you saw as a child.

    And the point that couples need to address the issues together is very poignant. If we are able to neutralize our defense mechanisms when our spouse gets angry then we get to dive into the causes of the anger, so our spouse will not transfer their emotions onto us, but to resolve them.

    Tim Kellis

  19. Tim Kellis says:

    Dorothy

    That explains a lot, you guys have not decided to marry.

    But your question about their past lives can be important. You obviously have allowed this man into your life so there may be a spiritual connection, and yes it is possible that the connection with your daughter could have something to do with a past life connection between the two. I would say it all depends on how significant this man is in your life.

    Tim Kellis

  20. Tim Kellis says:

    Deidre

    That is too funny, and yes maybe keep chocolate around the house.

    Seriously though the objective as many of us know is to have a happy relationship, which requires individuals to be happy with themselves first. We get moody when we haven’t yet figure out what is bothering us, just that we are upset with life.

    But keep the chocolates around anyhow.

    Tim Kellis

  21. Tim Kellis says:

    Carrie

    Wow thanks for the kind comments about high school. The funny thing about high school, and I didn’t realize this until attending our 20th high school reunion, was that all I remember from high school is how mean my parents were to me. And at the reunion one of our classmates pointed out how he remembered my parents being tough on me. That comment shocked me, I never realized others knew how tough my parents were on me.

    Boy maturing is a very cool thing.

    And your question of spirituality and prayer. I don’t really address prayer per se, but I definitely address the spiritual part of the relationship. In fact, that is really the conclusion of the book, understanding the spiritual nature of the person we fell in love with and decided to spend the rest of our lives with.

    In reality, as the spiritual books point out, when we make a connection like that the reason transcends our own space and time, and is really so much more significant than how much money we are making today or how good looking we are, or vice versa. Unfortunately because of our material world we have lost that.

    The funny thing about all of the historical research I have done is I realize that one of the biggest causes of divorce is the fact that we have lost our way in our marriages. They used to be so much more significant, and included a spiritual component.

    I hope this answers your question, and thanks for posting.

    Tim Kellis

  22. Tim Kellis says:

    BarbaraE

    What a touching story, and so sorry to hear about the sicknesses you have both experienced.

    And the reality is it sounds like your husband is projecting his own sense of worth onto you and your kids. When we are not happy with ourselves we expect the rest of the family to make up for it. The expectations he places on your kids are a perfect example. He is using the issues he has with himself and expects his daughters to not make the same mistakes he has made. As long as they understand he is doing this for love then hopefully they will learn to cope.

    My parents used to tell us they were spanking us because they loved us, right before we got our spankings as kids.

    I certainly applaud you for the mature way you are handling your marriage. Time does wonders for those who continue to work.

    Tim Kellis

  23. Jolene says:

    Hi Tim, I am definitely going to be ordering this book. Even though hubby and i have beem married for over 20 years now, i know we have things that can always be improved upon. He is from a broken family and truly he keeps every one even me at arms length. He is in the military and has been deployed twice before and is currently in Kuwait again for the third time and the years apart definitely can take their toll on things. I guess i am always looking for new ways to see if i can get him to let that guard down and let me in…

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