Coach Sam Falsafi welcomes Natalie Martin to this week’s episode of Parables from the Pit. Natalie has been a big part of the Warrior movement over the past three years. She not only put Garrett’s WarriorBook into written form but has witnessed the growth of hundreds of men inside the Warrior moment, including that of her own husband, Chris, and has been instrumental in helping change the lives of thousands of men through her writing. This is a rare and unique opportunity for us to get a glance inside of a woman’s Pit by exploring Natalie’s.
Parable #1: Losing Yourself In Service
- Natalie was raised in an environment and culture where the women were told they needed to take care of the men in their lives. At the age of 10, after refusing to be at the beck and call of her father, she was labeled a feminist by him, a term that young Natalie wasn’t familiar with. This planted seeds of worthlessness inside of her where she felt that because she wasn’t male, that she was somehow “less than.” She had this constant feeling of needing to do more, yet never felt she was ever able to do enough.
- Natalie: In the Mormon culture, which is my background, women are always looking for ways to be of service to others, of losing themselves in service, and losing themselves in helping everybody else. It’s not really emphasized that you need to take care of yourself. We’re told to make sure we read our scriptures and do our hair for our husband. It’s very traditional; it’s very Donna Reed. I didn’t start out at college to get a degree unless it was an MRS degree. I have truly always just wanted to be a mom.
In your youth, what were you taught about the different roles of men and women, and how is this affecting your marriage?
Parable #2: Good Girl Syndrome
- Sam has conversations with thousands of men where the wife’s portfolio mirrors that of Natalie’s. These men’s wives have been taught that femininity is all about taking care of the family. Many of these women are disconnected inside of their relationship, they don’t have sex with their husbands, and they end up living like fucking roommates. Sam asked Natalie about this and was curious as to what happens to a woman’s sexuality when they actually think this way.
- Natalie: Our sex life has always been good, which is on Chris because I had the Good Girl Syndrome. I was taught that sex was for marriage, sex was for procreating, and sex was not something that you’re supposed to enjoy yourself. Fortunately, Chris has always been really good at being patient with me. Sex became the glue that held our marriage together when it was otherwise falling apart.
How does this conversation resonate with you?
Parable #3: The Empty Shell Syndrome
- Natalie: As a police wife, you’re a single parent. As a woman in a culture where it’s always about everybody else, I didn’t know who I was anymore. It was in January of 2012 when I realized I didn’t feel anything for anybody. I didn’t know who I was other than a mom and felt like I was mediocre at that.
- Even though I would go through the motions with the kids, I felt empty. I call it the Empty Shell Syndrome. I felt like I was walking on eggshells around Chris all the time. He would blow up over the stupidest things, then I would blow up over the stupidest things. The only emotions I felt anymore were anger and resentment.
How can you help your wife when she is feeling empty?
Parable #4: The Pit of an Unhappy Woman
- Coach Sam: Your Pit continued to become deeper and wider because of the series of “cant’s” coupled with the pressures of life that you were dealing with. You can’t pay your bills, you can’t have your husband at home very often, and on top of that, you have three kids. Inside of that, Chris was forced to lie the minute he walked through your front door. Although unintentional, the one place where Chris would actually experience a peace of mind and be able to disconnect, became a place where he had to fucking lie for the safety of the kids and to not worry you.
- Natalie: He was always gone. It wouldn’t be until months later that I’d hear about some drug sting he was involved in. At one point, he grew his gotee really long and I eventually found out that he was working narcotics during that time. He would go to a different town and pose as a scumbag, then come home and try to operate as a father to his children. He wasn’t telling me anything and our communication became absolute shit.
What are you hiding from your spouse? What lies have you been telling them?
Parable #5: WarriorBook
- Natalie: WarriorBook is a masterpiece; it’s my baby. I absolutely love everything about that book, even all of the Pits that I had to go through to get it published. The book tackles a Hero’s Journey. What’s beautiful about a Hero’s Journey is that everybody can relate to it. With it, I could see a mirror of the pain that I had in my own struggles. I could see the need to find an answer behind the pain. Otherwise, what’s the point?
- If we’re just experiencing pain for pain’s sake, there’s no point to it. But if there’s pain with a purpose, and we can see some clarity behind it, it becomes more relevant and it becomes a lesson to be learned to then teach to others so that they can have tools to navigate through their own Pit and pain. There are tools to help them realize that there’s a point to it all.
What stories in WarriorBook have influenced and affected you the most?
Parables from the Pit:
“Have a conversation with your wife and tell her that she’s enough, that she can be herself, and that she matters.
— Coach Sam Falsafi
“Literally, no one has read WarriorBook as often as I have, and in so doing, it gave me a grasp of what it takes to understand that we’re all like a book that has multiple chapters in it. Sometimes chapters have to be cut out; sometimes the chapters are expanded upon. Ultimately, it comes down to the power of the story of our own journey.”