How to Be A Human Episode 007 How To Stay Married With Shantelle & Yannick Bisson

Today I am having a beautiful conversation about marriage and how to stay married with Shantelle & Yannick Bisson.

Shantelle is a published author and small business owner, and her husband Yannick is an internationally celebrated actor who can be seen on CBC’s Murdoch Mysteries. The two are celebrating 33 years married and 3 beautiful children and today they share what is can take to stay married.

We are talking about;

  • The balance of the hard & the easy parts of life that are required to stay married to your person
  • How healing our past stories/traumas play an integral role in our relationships
  • Growing together over the years even as your interests, and you as a person continually change and grow.
  • And so much more…

 

I loved this conversation & hope you will too. So grab some tacos and let’s dive in, okay?!

You can read through the full transcription of today’s episode HERE

Want to connect with Shantelle & Yannick? You can find them over on Instagram at @shantellebisson@yannick_bisson You can also grab a copy of Shantelle’s book here shantellebisson.com

 

How to Stay Married

Hello, hello, and welcome back to How to be a Human, the podcast with Leisse Wilcox. I am so happy and honored that you’ve chosen to spend this time with me today. I have a really exciting episode for you today. That’s kind of a funny story, how we got started; I want to kick it off by just I always forget to say this stuff, I get so focused on the content that I forget to focus on, literally everything else. Namely, part of the way in which this podcast grows is by listener support. And listener support looks like simply going to Apple Podcasts and leaving a review, click five stars. And leave, leave even just a couple of sentences about what kind of value you get out of this, which is a fancy way of being like, why do you like this podcast, share it with a friend, tell somebody else about it, share it on your Instagram, and tag me @leissewilcox, and I’ll reshare it to my own platform. This is a foundational piece of how this podcast keeps going and growing without the need for ads, sponsorships, and membership fees, which, like against all advice of any business coach or business strategist, I really don’t want to do it, I really want to just keep this available to people. And part of the way I as a small business owner do that is by that kind of support. So you know, if you enjoy this podcast, if it makes a difference in your life, I feel like if you’re still listening to it, chances are it’s probably made a difference in your life over, head over to, you’re there right now just like go to leaving a review, leave just a couple of sentences. I love to share reviews with my own audience in my own community, and leave a five-star review. And I would just so appreciate that. 

 

So circling back today how to stay married? Is this a good question or what I’m so honored to be joined by two of my favorite clients. Interestingly, I’ve worked with both of them as individuals. And this is like the nature of conscious relationship coaching for me, right, but every relationship you have in your life is an extension of the relationship you have with yourself. So when we strengthen that connection to self, and we figure out are aligned with your values? Are you clear on and aligned with your vision and purpose for your life? Have you healed old traumas and toxic patterning that prevent you from moving in the direction you want to move in? If we’ve done all that stuff, chances are the relationships in your life get really good. The relationships you have at work, the ones you have with your kids with other family dynamics. And absolutely, that is the case for your intimate partnerships. That’s true. If you are partnered, if you are unpartnered, if you are unpartnered and looking, all of this is true. It’s not an algorithm. It’s not like oh, you love yourself. And then you get this dream job or dream relationship or dream family. I’m not advocating for that at all. That’s not what life looks like. what this looks like, is again, creating this really, really strong and centered connection to yourself, so that you are able to be in the fullest expression of who you are in every aspect of your life. Because all of life is relational. It’s all relationships. You know, I talk a lot about the lady at the grocery store because frankly, that’s like the hub of my social circle right now in like year two of the pandemic, but it changes every, it changes how you show up in every relationship, including the way you are out in those just like casual kind relationships, we have those little micro connections we have. 

 

So, how to stay married. I’m so happy to welcome two people that you may already know, you may already adore Shantelle Bisson and her husband Yannick Bisson. Shantelle is the author of the first I think, the first of a series but she is the author of How to Raise your Kids Without Losing Your Cool. And Yannick is a celebrated award-winning actor who is the star of the Murdoch Mysteries. I value confidentiality so much and privacy so much that we’ve had a big conversation pre-show to clear and to clear up, they actually requested that they could come and speak about their experience working with me on this podcast because it was so positive. And you know, as somebody who protects my client’s privacy and confidentiality, because I think it’s such a sacred relationship. I’m so fiercely protective of that. Not to worry, we have across-the-board consent. So it is my pleasure to welcome Shantelle and Yannick Bisson. 

 

Leisse 

Welcome. How are you both doing? It’s such a pleasure to talk to you.

 

Shantelle

Thank you. It’s nice to talk with you.

 

Yannick

Doing great.

 

Leisse

Good, good, good, good. You’re in sunny LA. We’re just talking about the differences between Toronto, Toronto, and La right now. As I said, I really just hope this can be a casual conversation focused on how to stay married. I feel like you guys have been a great example of, really I’m gonna use the word weathering because I think that marriage can feel very stormy, at many different seasons of really weathering this beautiful marriage together. And how I may have played a tiny supporting role in that for each of you.

 

Yannick

Oh, definitely. I think the funny thing is, people ask often, how do you do it? What’s the secret? And I have absolutely no answer. Part of that might be, the answer is to just constantly be open and searching. And willing to do what you have to? I think the second you think you have it figured out, aside from a few you know, key things, I think, once you sort of figure you’ve got wrapped is when you run into trouble, so.

 

Leisse

How about you Shantelle?

 

Shantelle

Yeah, I think for me, you know, weathering is certainly a good term to use, because it is ever-changing, right? Just like the weather. I mean, there are all kinds of different seasons. And in a marriage, you know, there’s the hot and heavy, easy to be, you know, sexually aroused an exciting part of the marriage. And then there’s the like, you know, everything kind of goes dormant for a little while it gets under the snow and waiting for spring in the sun. So I mean, definitely relationship has its hills and valleys, for sure. And I think, I think for us, like Yannick was saying, there’s always been a mutual commitment to exploring how to grow together, you know, because, of course, you’re going to grow separately as individuals and grow apart. And, you know, find new interests that aren’t, interests that aren’t appealing. The thing that we’ve been really good at, is finding our way back to one another, and being equally interested and committed to him having the best relationship that we can.

 

Leisse

You know, it’s you both know that I am obsessed with relationships, but not necessarily like a traditional relationship coach way, my fascination with relationships stems from the fact that everything in our life is relation. So when we have this really strong connection to who we are, that necessarily changes how we show up in every single relationship. And, you know, I feel like what you’re saying is true not only of an intimate partnership but it’s true of growing your business. It’s true of parenting, you know, you get into some moments in each of those, like all of these scenarios, sometimes it’s like, I am so good at this, like, this is so easy. I was meant for that. And then there are other days where it’s like, what the fuck am I doing? I’m not I just what is the purpose of my life? Like, I wasn’t made to do that. And I feel like there are so many similarities in those growth and decay patterns within one given marriage.

 

Yannick

Absolutely, I mean, just like any other aspect of life, you don’t wake up feeling the same way every day, in life in general, you don’t wake up feeling, you know, exuberant and full of piss and vinegar every day, some days. You know, we feel like Wow, I’ve got this, this and this challenge, and I don’t know that I’m really up to it or, or I’ve forgotten, you know, that I am really good at this or whatever. And it’s similar in a relationship where some days you feel like where are the tools? Everything’s sort of failing me right? Oh, I’m either saying things incorrectly or…

 

Shantelle

I am doing everything wrong.

 

Yannick

A little self-pity party, you know, impossible to be exactly the same person every day in life and it’s the same in a relationship. So you do have to sort of check yourself and you have to make sure that you keep some common ground. And, and I think that’s one of the things I’ve sort of, I’m more naturally predisposed to being sort of wake up the same way, put pants on the same way just be sort of, you know, steadfast and very just steady. Whereas Shantelle has, you know, she’s able to go in lots of different directions. And I think each one of those complements the other, but there are inherent weaknesses in either one of those, I think sometimes I get a little stuck in my ways. And, and Shantelle can sometimes feel like she’s, or from my observation, she could feel like she’s not cool with being stuck in any particular pattern, so.

Shantelle

I hate sameness, I get bored so easily. And he loves sameness. Like, it’s amazing to me that we, you know, just celebrated the 33rd anniversary of our first date together. We went on our date that night, and I kind of never left. I feel like, you know, we have been together, you know, 33 years, I mean, we had a minor hiccup with the 16-year mark.

 

Leisse 

The 16-year Itch seldom talked about. 

 

Shantelle

Yeah, I mean, you know, it’s just, it’s just like anything else, right, it’s just, you get tired of putting in the work sometimes. And sometimes you just want to lay in bed and eat potato chips, and not give your partner what they need. Because you’re, you know, you’re exhausted, it’s, it’s, it’s just like anything in life, like, you hit the wall, right? Like you’re, you’re tired of, of being there at all the right times to support and lift up and encourage and inspire. And sometimes you just want to take a break from that. And I think that that’s probably where a lot of couples may be run into trouble is that they allow those moments to go on for too long, where they stop giving to their partner. And with all due respect, right? Because you just, it’s like you said, with your kids, you just don’t fucking want to anymore. Like, you’re only one person, you’re only one vessel. Like, I feel like I’m giving out of myself at every turn. And you to the point about like, even in your job, relational, like everything you do requires that you give of yourself that you compromise yourself, that you, you know, that you are, you know, showing up for that person. And it, you know, it gets tiring.

 

Leisse 

It’s that nuanced line between, like, my dad used to say, not that I take relationship advice from my father. But nonetheless, this is like a great thing he would say. But there were some very real kernels. Anyway, this beautiful notion that you know actually sounds very cynical, but I think it’s very beautiful that relationships are the delicate art of compromise. And when compromise turns to sacrifice, it’s gone too far. But you know, for me, relationships, again, across all aspects, especially in intimate relationships. The work of a relationship is relentless fucking communication. It’s relentless. It’s checking in on what do I need? What do you need? What do we need together? Right? And Yannick when you’re speaking to, like, wanting to get out of bed and put on your pants repeat, like, kind of like, gravitating towards Groundhog Day, versus Shantelle. Like, I’m allergic to sameness, like I want something, you know, stimulating and different and changing what we’re talking about, like a big blanket statement, yes, this is problematic if we’re talking about anything other than non, anything other than binary, like heterosexual relationships, I appreciate that. But what we’re talking about is classic, masculine versus feminine energy, right? Like, men tend to be this rock and be this mountain. And it’s like, yep, give me the same linear-focused goal every day that I can achieve. And for women, it’s more of this like the ocean around the rock. Like, let me crash into you. Let me ebb and flow, let me experience brand new things. Let me be still let me be erratic. And it’s like we are driven from such different places, that when you juxtapose those energies against the need for relentless communication, yes, 33 years sounds like a long time when you look at it from that perspective, right. 

 

Yannick

That’s a lot of communication. 

 

Shantelle

And in many cases, forced communication, me on him. 

 

Leisse

Well, and that’s and that’s the other thing, like, I can’t remember. His name escapes me right now, but you remember that book. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. 

 

Shantelle

Oh, yeah. 

 

Leisse

It’s like an 80s book. And again, very problematic in a lot of ways. But…

 

Shantelle

We were so young back then. 

 

Leisse 

I know, I know. Just a twinkle in your eye.

 

Yannick

Yeah, the truth is like, it quite literally feels that way. I’m a sponge. I don’t understand the paper. I, you know, like, it’s just like, I don’t get what you want, are you where you’re at one bit? And then there are days where it’s like, I cannot imagine my existence. In my navigating this world without you by my side, and everything you have to offer and you complete me and all those things that are just the opposite of that. So it’s interesting. And, you know, luckily, we’re able to have a bit of both, yes, it up a little bit. Stay awake, stay on our toes.

 

Leisse 

Well, And that, to me is this really beautiful representation of like the Venn diagram of relationships, right, that we have two independent people overlapping in this interdependent relationship. So two full circles. And there’s this awesome space where they overlap. And when times are really good, and things feel really strong. That overlap is great, right? Like it’s there. It’s like it’s big. There are so many common shared things. When it gets fully superimposed. It’s just enmeshment. And it’s codependence. They’re when they’re too far removed, and they’re not overlapping at all. There’s like no connection. Now. We’re just we’re not codependent, we’re just coexisting, right?

 

Shantelle

Yeah. And I think you know, what, in 33 years, I have to say that we’ve gone through all of those phases of the relationship, you know, and certainly, you know, it’s like Yannick said to it’s like, you don’t feel the same way every day. And there’s that corny saying that, you know, I choose to wake up and love you every day. But that’s the reality. Like, literally, you choose to wake up and love your partner every day. And it’s the same way that you get up every day. And you choose to like, today, I choose to, you know, I’m not going to lose my cool with my cats, or no, I’m going to you step back, and I’m going to not be reactionary with my, you know, teen or, you know, like, it’s fascinating to me that the observation of 33 years of being with him is that, how much easier or how much more willing I am to extend grace, or to be patient or to choose to allow someone to be themselves in other relationships that I have. But my fuse with him is so much shorter, the expectation of him needing to be exactly what I need at all time. Yes, is with you know, there’s way less rate forgiving with him than there is with like a girlfriend or a co-worker, or one of my staff members. So it’s just it’s, it’s fascinating, as you know, we’re going to be 52, I find for me, it’s really interesting, as I’m aging, that I’m starting to realize that, you know, I put him through a lot of intolerance, you know, and just unrealistic expectations of, you know, behavior, because, you know, he’s my most intimate relationship. And it’s like, well, you’re, you’re the one person I expect to do it perfectly at all times. You know, because I need you to be that because all my other relationships aren’t that.

 

Leisse

You should just know, I know. Well, and you know, again, I even I think about it’s like we could be talking about marriage or raising kids or running a business. Like, it’s, it’s just so true. You know, kids can go to school for the day and just keep it together. They just keep it together. And they put on that mask for their teachers, and they put on that mask for their friends. They walk through the door at 3:30. And they fall apart. Right? You know, you can be running a business you can be with your clients, with your boss, whoever it is, and you can like keep it together, keep it together, then you come home to that safe space, where it’s safe to fall apart. And I think that sometimes we lose sight that yes, it’s a safe space to fall apart and we are still coming back to it’s a shared space of that sacred relationship that is still worthy of attention. It’s just a matter of like, how do we figure out the kind of attention it requires and how much of us can we each give to that relationship at any given moment? Hence, the relentless communication work, right. So Esther Perel suggests that In each of our lives, we require three different partnerships. And if you’re really lucky, you find those three partnerships with the same person. Can you speak to that?

 

Yannick

Oh, I definitely agree. And I’ve espoused that for a number of years, I think, you know, there, there are areas of our sort of efforts in life where I am a complete, I’m at a loss there, there are organizational skills that Shantelle has, that I really rely on. And I think, you know, there’s, we have sort of a partnership, a shotgun, kind of, you ride shotgun, you watch my six. And, and, you know, we have that, but then there’s also, you know, where we’re passionate, where I just catch her eye, and I’m going to wrap up everything and get her in the bedroom as quickly as I can because she’s the hottest woman in the world. And then, and then there are, you know, there are times where, where we’re, you know, somewhat inconsolable or broken or weak and, and, you know, I feel like I wouldn’t be able to pull myself up if I didn’t have the support from her, that’s an almost like a child, we know each other’s child heart. And I just wouldn’t be able to sort of move on. And, and I think, you know, in the same way, Shantelle has times where she reaches out, and I am the person that’s able to sort of help ground her and help her sort of gather herself back together and move forward, because she’s just hurt on a level that, you know, she’s inconsolable. So you know, that’s just, I’m sure there’s more. But that’s just the three that I can grab at here.

 

Shantelle

I think that’s interesting how he interpreted what you had just said, because this is the thing, right? This is the thing about relationships is that we hear the same words, yeah, but it impacts us differently, in different ways. Like, when you just shared what you shared. Like, I instantly thought through the decades of the time that we’ve been together, like how we have been different human beings for one another, like, like when you’re young, right? Like that person that you would date in your teens and in your 20s is fun and carefree. Like he’s like he smoked when we started dating. He smoked weed daily. And, you know, we started dating at 18. And, you know, cocaine was huge, like we’re going to do some flow with a bunch of friends. And we’re gonna stay up all night. And so we were rowdy together, you know? And then, of course, we got pregnant really quickly, because I imagine that’s what happens when you’re stoned and drunk all the, and like am I on the pill? I can’t remember, let’s do it again. You know, so, um, I think it’s, for me when you made that statement I thought, you know, certainly who we were, up until our mid-30s was one human being right, we who how we showed up in the world and how we showed up for each other and just who we were individually. And luckily for us, those people were compatible, you know, those people in our 20s we were compatible. And then, you know, in our 30s we started, you know, I didn’t feel like, who he was changing into, who he was growing into, was compatible for me anymore. And I started to think to myself, well, you know, I picked him at 18. And yeah, these first 16 years, you know, it was good, but would I pick this person who’s sitting beside me now for like, the next 18, you know, who he had grown into. And, you know, the answer at that time was no, you know, I wouldn’t want to be in this relationship, in this partnership with who this person is now for another 18 years. So, you know, that’s when we, you know, and we’ve done some work and I’ve been very open with you because, you know, I don’t know if people listening know that I worked with you through, you know, ongoingly by bi-weekly time and coaching and working together, and then Yannick did just the eight-hour breakthrough because his time you know, He’s not got that same ability to commit to, you know, weekly or bi-weekly…

 

Yannick

I have a shorter attention span.

 

Leisse

Yeah, different strokes.

 

Shantelle

We’ve worked with coaches and therapists, and we’ve done the forum and asked, and all kinds of stuff. And even all those quote-unquote tools weren’t enough to get us through that, that stage of accepting and growing together into, you know, our mid-30s. So we, you know, and during that time apart when we were separated, you know, we both dated other people, and, you know, in dating those other people, I would close my eyes at night after, you know, what was maybe a great date or not a great date. And I’d be like, okay, so going forward? Who, can I see myself with that person? Or who do I want to go to Italy with, you know, when I’m in my 50s, you know, who do I see myself holding hands with? On the beach at 50? And 60? And who’s that partner? What does that partner look like? And time and time again, his face showed up? The next day showed up. And I was like, Okay, so, you know, this is a partnership and a relationship that is worth fighting for. And getting back to that connection, you know, that connectedness, so yeah, so when you brought that up, I find it fascinating because I immediately went to like, it was quite seamless, and easy-going, when we were young, we were just naturally very compatible. And then we went through that glitch, where, you know, the second phase of our relationship, I’d call it where it was a lot of push and pull. And it was a lot of, you know, coming to common ground and understanding and working toward the greater good of, you know, staying together. And so now for me, and I mean, we could live another 50 years, but like so now I’m, I’m looking at this as this is the third relationship. This is a mature relationship, right? Like this is we’re heading we’re gonna have our first grandchild. So we’re in that area of life, like where we, some people are already thinking about retirement, and we’re like, Okay, so now what adventures are we going to go on that don’t involve the kids. Where are we going to ski next? So it’s, it’s interesting that there have been these commonalities all throughout that have managed to continue to allow us to be that, you know, that one of three partners that you need in your lifetime? 

 

Leisse

Well, and I think that you know, you answered that question very differently and interpreted it very differently. And you’re both right, which is also so interesting. And your vulnerability and honesty just, like knocks it out of the park. So thank you for sharing so openly about that. I think what you’re both speaking to, is the fact that we absolutely change and evolve as humans over our life that like that is the natural order change, growth, that is the natural order. So it’s a matter of, how do we monitor this is so scientific, but like, how do we monitor two independent growth rates while they’re in the same petri dish right at the same time, and there’s this little adage that I heard many years ago that you can choose to either invest in your marriage or you can choose to invest in your divorce? Have you ever heard that before?

 

Yannick

Oh, no, never. I mean, it makes a ton of sense because it’s, it’s you know, right in line with today I choose you, this moment I choose you. And it’s interesting how you’re, one thing I’ve noticed especially late is is how your, how you value your relationship is just completely changes. What is important to you within your relationship shifts, the emphasis the things that are the touchstones begin to shift you know, as you mature. And it’s funny what you start to observe as the most priceless aspect of your relationship. You know, I would say similar to what Chanel said is it’s very different now than it was in the beginning. So so the questions and the wondering and stuff start to fall away because you’re invested in what you prize and what you want and what you value as opposed to investing in what’s on the other side of the fence so to speak. 

 

Leisse 

Both are very expensive.

 

Shantelle 

Yeah, I mean, I think it’s it’s, it’s interesting, right? Because they’re no matter what, and I keep waiting for you know, I keep waiting for that. That aha moment of like, just deep trust and security. I don’t know if it comes you know, I grew up watching my dad be a runaround and alcoholic and you know how it The story’s about my dad are just wild and crazy. And Yana grew up with a father that, you know, sat on a park bench one day, and they were looking out at, you know, watching people go by, and he, he said, Yannick, you know, there’s something like, you can find something attractive about any woman. And, and, and I get what he was saying is that there’s beauty in every human, but it was more like he sexualized women. So, you know, there’s a lot of, you know, there’s a lot of stuff. And I don’t know if all women are like this, but for me, there’s a lot of stuff to like, continually let go of, and there’s, you know, the daily, the daily reminder that you know, you can’t control the way someone thinks you can’t control the choices that other people make, you can only control yourself, you can only control what you think, and what you want, and how you show up and how you behave in any given situation. But you know, a lot of my, my life has definitely been spent worrying about when’s he going? When’s he leaving, when you know, which person is he going to just see that, you know, that beauty and that’s going to, you know, turn the head enough to just take them out, you know? And so for me, there was a lot of anxiety wrapped up in the marriage and in the relationship of, you know, worrying about how to, how to keep him, you know, and putting that responsibility on me, rather than, no, he needs to decide to stay like he needs to decide, you know, every relationship has its different jumping-off point, right, like, some people love an open relationship, their marriage is open. They’re completely fluid in their sexuality, they’re completely open to having multiple partnerships, blah, blah, blah, blah, you know, when we got together, we got married, our decision and our structure for our marriage were that and our religion was that it was going to be monogamous. You know, so, for me, knowing that watching my father roll around, I was like, that’s not possible. How am I ever going to achieve this, you know, the utopian concept of monogamy? You know, so I was always waiting for it to break and for it to not happen. And I think I operated, you know, from that place of fear. Yeah. You know, so it’s interesting that you know, within a relationship, it’s like you said, you can either invest in your divorce or invest in your, marriage? I think that there was a lot of energy that I spent, not knowingly investing in my divorce but definitely investing in the demise of the purity of it, you know because I was always putting on that there’s no way it was going to work. There’s no way, you know, so I was already living in the divorce.

 

Leisse

Yeah. And so and that’s where, like, from a very clinical perspective, this is so fascinating to me, because what you just said, Shantelle is like, you just identified the father wounding that each of you has, right. And it’s like, it’s one of those things where it’s like, you are each very special. And in this regard, you’re not special. Like we each have father wounding, we each have mother wounding, we have relational wounding it is trauma. And when you just said it so beautifully and so casually that, oh, yeah, I grew up watching my dad do this, he grew up watching his dad do that. And here’s how both of those old patterns from a previous generation shaped and almost informed our own current reality. And you know, that’s what I get, like, super turned on by like, okay, so if that pattern doesn’t work anymore, what do you want that pattern to look like? If your subconscious mind is constantly sweeping your environment, and looking for signs, to confirm what you already believe to be true? If you believe that all men are dogs, or if and this is like, again, so sweeping, but if you believe that all men are dogs, or if you believe all women are available to be sexualized, it’s like, so that doesn’t really create a really nice, unhealthy pattern relationally for you, right? So that’s the shit, we got to go back and heal. We’re not talking anything about your relationship. We’re talking about you as individuals being able to fully identify and fully heal from the wounding of the past, right?

 

Shantelle

Yeah. Yeah. 100% and you know, and we tried years and years and years of therapy, and we even, you know, became members of a nondenominational church and rose all the way up to leadership roles. And, you know, we tried God, we tried the Bible, we tried all the things and, you know, it’s still at 34 was like We can’t do the way we built it. You know, when you’re young and we also had little kids, so you’re busy, right? You’re running ragged with three kids, and it’s all about them. And then as they started to become teens, it was like, Oh, shit. Yeah, where are we didn’t we really didn’t build this very well at all now? So now what?

 

Yannick

You also you have, you’re starting to have this mirror in front of you in the form of these little people you reflect and look around and, and you start to feel time slipping by so every little thing that you perceive as negative gets amplified. Oh, yeah. You know, 10 years just flew by, do I want another 10 years to fly, I’m still young and you know, you, you start to look outward. And it’s a bit of a slippery slope. I think I found myself doing it. I know, Shantelle did too. And we had exhausted a fair amount of resources, we had got a fair bit of work. So so you start to feel a little bit discouraged. And, you know, not super optimistic for your future together. So so it’s funny to speak to the sort of different relationships that you have with the one person it’s, it’s funny to imagine that you could possibly be one year feeling like, wow, this is really not going to work. To another year, somewhere in time feeling like I can imagine my last breath with this person. How does that happen? 

Leisse

People are weird. So if you’re comfortable, would you each share a little bit about it because I know you said you’ve, you’ve each done coaching, you’ve each done therapy, you’ve each had your own experience with other kinds of healing modalities. And each of you blessedly has been so open and so supportive of the work that we did together. 

 

Shantelle

Because it works.

 

Leisse

Thank you. I mean, I know that but I know. 

 

Shantelle

I want to yell from the rooftop when something actually finally fucking sticks,

 

Leisse 

Yannick wrote me a testimonial that like made me I’ll just share it with you. Like, I lay down on the floor, and I just cried like, I just cried when I read it. I’m gonna cry now. Because it to paraphrase, it was awful. It’s actually like a direct quote, it’s not a paraphrase at all. But you built your life and career on coaching, and that this, by far was the best. And I was like, fucking fuck, thank you. I was so touched because I think this work is just beyond value. And the fact that that was your feedback, and Shantelle you’ve given me personal feedback along similar lines. So like, oh, thank you so much. It makes me just shiver. But can you speak to a little bit of what that was like for each of you?

 

Shantelle

Well, I think for me, I think the habit and pattern that we’ve established over our 33 years together is that I’m usually one that goes, this is bullshit. I’m not living in this pattern with you anymore. I’m committed to living forever with you. But I don’t want to live it like this, whatever this might be during that phase that we’re in, you know, so I’m constantly the one I mean, he initially was the one that dragged me to a weekend at the forum, which I will never forget. 

 

Yannick

Transformational work. You know, it was the technology we had at the time.

 

Shantelle 

And then, you know, once we had the kids, the game shifted for me, you know, to me, and it was like, Okay, wow, shit, how do we become the best humans that we can become for these two people because I came from a shitty background, he came from a shitty background, you know, my parents, my mom did the best she could as a single mom to keep it all together. My dad was abusive and absent and neglectful. He didn’t know what to do with women unless he was having sex with them. So he had no relationship with me whatsoever. You know, Yannicks parents can let him speak to that, but they were a little bit more selfish and narcissistic. So we had literally no tools, no skills, nothing whatsoever. And yet, now we were 21 with two little girls. You know, and the shift had already started to happen, you know, the drunken stupid mistakes, you know, at the bar while I’m home with the kids like the shit was up, the rain was already coming on the wall that this was not going to go well.

 

Leisse

Which makes sense at the time, right? Like, I know that’s not a popular thing to say. But contextually it’s like, of course, because the pattern is just repeating, right? 

 

Shantelle

Well, yeah. A the pattern is repeating And B were 21. Who is 21 with two kids, and you know that you know, 21-year-olds are in the bar, you know, hooking up with every girl that their father told them has beauty? But you know, so there started to be this terrible pattern. So we, you know, right from the get-go, I was like, No, no, no, no, no, we got to nip this in the bud, we got to figure this out, we got to, you know, we now are no longer, it’s no longer about you. And I, we now have made a family. And they didn’t ask to join our club, we brought them in, and we owe it to them. So it became, you know, my life’s mission and work to do it very differently than how it was done to me. So, you know, I then became the one dragging him around and reading all the self-help books and getting therapy and doing the coaching and doing the stuff. And, you know, it worked for a time and there were moments…

 

Yannick

We had some great tools that came out of that as far as parenting, and, you know, community and, just how to interact it with people in general, you know, conflict resolution, it was, it was a lot of really good stuff that came out of it that for sure. 

 

Shantelle

But nothing that broke down our habits and our patterns and individuals. They were tools to get through and to cope with. But nothing got to the root of us. Nothing got to the root of me. Why do I do that? Why do I say that? Why do when I get upset with him? Instead of asking for what I want? Why do I play this game of like, you should just know what I want because you should just know.

 

Yannick

All the understanding of the roots was still completely vague. And then how to instill or to change and to actually make the life that you wanted? That was also Who knows? So those two things just were never really addressed? Or the tools were never sort of available.

 

Shantelle

Like breaking the cycle and getting out of the pattern I never had. I’d never done that in all the 10s of 1000s of dollars I spent, all the courses I took. 

 

Leisse

Like isn’t that shocking? That’s shocking to me. Like most relationship therapy, most relationship counseling, couples counseling, in my own experience, is about putting two people in a room who basically hate each other, or they’re very close to hating each other and asking them to be more vulnerable and more open than they’ve been able to do or to be in like 20 years. And you know, having been through that experience myself, I sat and watched my partner lie, like a bald-faced lie to the therapist. I was like, this is bullshit because it doesn’t work when you don’t tell the truth, right? I’ve had friends who’ve gone to relationship counseling, and the first question like, think about fucking emotional safety. The first question that was asked was, Well, tell me, do you want to be in this relationship? And immediately, my friend, who was already cheating on her husband over and over and over again, was like, Oh, yeah, I want to be in this relationship, because she couldn’t find the strength, or the safety to be like, no, I fucking can’t stand this guy. I gotta get out of here. And so now you’re investing in what is going to be the coping tool? What is going to be the skill set you use, while in this unhealthy pattern? Right? Breaking it down as individuals and being like, what is your patterning? What is your wound? And what’s important to you? And honest to God, bringing it back to that Venn diagram of like, let’s focus on this circle over here. And then we’ll focus on this circle over here. And then we’re going to figure out very organically, like fucking very easily. Where do they overlap? Do they still overlap? To what extent do they overlap? Right?

 

Shantelle

Yeah. And well, and that’s why I said to you, I said Yannick, and I want to do your podcast with you. Because I think that, you know, you’re obviously exceptional at letting people know that you work great for individuals, but people need to work with you as couples, whether they do it separately like we did it separately, you know, have weekly zoom calls with you. Together, do you want to be in this relationship?

 

Yannick

No, actually it was quite funny, we didn’t really go deep into our relationship. It was my relationship with myself and the world and the past and the future and all that.

 

Leisse

Which is always the case. It’s always the case.

 

Yannick

Yeah, whether people end up the right thing is for them to stay together or not. Who knows? You know, it ended up being a lot healthier after that self-examination. Not together, we’ve never actually sat down the three of us together. So

 

Shantelle

No. And I think what it allowed is because we both did the work, we both held the wins by working with you, individually, individually. And separately. It allowed us to clear our own space, and also be able to really hear the other person when they are speaking. Because now we’re cleared, you know, mean, like, now are bullshit. And that narrative and that tape recorder are, you know, quite different. It went out with the 70s, you know, even exists in your head. And so you’re a because you’ve done the work. And yeah, I like I’ve done the work and Yannick’s done the work. You know, he’s able to look at me and say, Hey, I, you know, I’m like, wow, that sentence you said really triggered me because my dad would blah, blah, blah. And he’s like, Oh, shit. And I realized I said that sentence the way I said it, because of my mom. And you’re able to understand each other, and not look at the other person like they are an alien. We both have done our work with you. So there’s space to be vulnerable and honest. And I think that’s been the biggest difference. And, and we, yeah, I mean, it’s just been remarkable.

 

Yannick

If I reflect on the differences between what you’ve been doing lease and what, you know, the different things we’ve tried in the past is, is it’s all just about trying to lay things bare, and identify all of the hurt and identify all these different things. And then there are no real tools, there’s no real like, visualizing going forward. There’s no real sort of stuff. It’s just kind of let’s try to lay everything bare and identify…

 

Shantelle

Well and then your partner, like, Okay, cool. Fuck, Wow, that’s really shitty stuff. And they don’t know how to help you. It’s my turn to dump my shit, that’s a lot of shit you just dumped. And now you both just have your shit out there, in the sunlight…

 

Leisse

And now everything just stinks. Like, if the issue is, you know, I’ve used the analogy before that, like, when two people are sitting on their couch, and they see a crack in the ceiling, they patch the crack. And then a couple of weeks later, they noticed the windows leaking, so they fix the leak. And then a few weeks after that, they noticed there are ants coming in, and the basement light bulb was broken. And like all this shit is happening. It’s not actually a series of little problems. It’s a crack in the foundation. So if you keep throwing Band-Aid solutions for a byproduct of the actual problem, you keep having fucking problems over and over again. Whereas I’m such an advocate. If you go down to the foundation and assess it, and look at where it’s cracked, look at where it needs some healing, then you can actually make an informed decision like, do we want to invest in healing this foundation and repairing it? Or Oh my god, do we have to light a match, burn it down and start all over again? Right?

 

Yannick

Yeah, absolutely. And I think that’s, that’s the biggest difference is realizing that you know, relationship, a marriage, whatever you want to call it. There are two sets of foundations that, we need to fix the cracks in each one of those. And then, sort of…

 

Shantelle

Well, and that’s a great analogy, because that’s the reality right, like, it’s not just one house’s foundation. But two foundations, both built by different contractors…

 

Leisse

Speaking totally different languages. 

 

 Shantelle

Totally different. One contractor might have been a cheap ass, making every possible cut.

 

Yannick

And you’re expecting everything to be awesome. And then you try to build a breezeway between? 

 

Shantelle

Yeah, yeah. And then here you are. And you’re like, we’re all surprised out in the world that the divorce rate is over 50% Are we really now? like, you know,

 

Leisse

And second the divorce rate from second marriages? I shouldn’t laugh. It’s higher. 

 

Yannick

Oh, no. 

 

Leisse

Like talking about a cracked foundation.

 

Shantelle

Yeah, well, you know what, and this is what we would say like in the thick of like, I don’t like you anymore. I don’t want to do this with you anymore. Like you, you, you. I hate you. We’re not going to you know, I don’t want to you’re not my person. Like we’ve gone through all those gamuts of emotions. The reality is we look at each other and be like, Yeah, but do I really want to go through this with somebody new? And start over again from zero?

 

Yannick

The bottom line, you’re gonna go and your foundation will travel. And you’re gonna have to go through all of the same things.

 

Shantelle

Yeah, after the hot sex, like three times day stuff wears out in three months, you realize, oh, everywhere I go there I am. 

 

Leisse

Exactly. I just adore you so much. Is there anything else that you feel wants to come up or be witnessed or shared?

Yannick

I think, you know, auxiliary to all of this. It’s funny, my relationship with my job has also changed, and how she’ll tell and I together interact with my job and interact with her job and counsel each other hasn’t changed. And that has all kind of flourished. I’m having trouble keeping track of how many things are coming out of me now. 

 

Shantelle

You know, my I often I always operated with his job like, Oh, so this will be the costar you are going to be having an affair with, this the actress you leave me for and that was all tied into my own, I never made it as an actress. It was all I want it in the whole wide world. Oh, so here, he’s going to be working with this woman who’s doing her thing doing the thing I wanted. So she’s going to be more confident she’s going to be more fun. She’s gonna be more light. She’s going to be sexier. She’s gonna be all these like, this will be the one he leaves me for, you know, so I was always operating from that. And you know, now I’m like, fully I’ve read I’ve released that entirely through my work with you because I healed all the reasons why that was there in the first place. 

 

Leisse

All those threats. That’s so beautiful.

 

Yannick

Yeah, actresses are not where it’s at. I’ve had to deal with too many. I’m kidding, there are many lovely, talented people out there. 

 

Leisse

I was gonna say we’re all just people. Some of us just play people on TV as well. I like to ask all of my guests something about their favorite song. Like what is the song that really brings them back to just like, a moment in their life? And I would love to know from you. What is this song that like, definitive of your relationship? No pressure.

 

Yannick

Your eyes. 

 

Leisse  

Oh, great jam.

 

Yannick

Fantastic, incredible song incredible time in life, but also makes me optimistic and very celebratory of you know, the person that’s performing? You know, everything, all the doors open. The light, the heat, everything, and I am complete. 

 

Leisse

I love it. 

Shantelle

Wow, he’s kicking my ass on this. I honestly, um, but I honestly don’t have a song that I feel is representative of our relationship. I can listen to Taylor Swift. Yeah, you know, style and be like, yeah, I think my guy when we were young our, our vibe. Like, I just don’t know if it’s my dancing background or whatever. But music is really important to me. And, you know, I find I relate us back to songs all day long, like when I listened to them. So I think it’s just, I don’t know, I think our journey has been so complex, and it has a whole soundtrack. Literally a whole soundtrack.

 

Yannick

Yeah, absolutely.

 

Leisse

I know that both of you. I know. We’re out of time. And I know that both of you have some very cool shit coming at us. So can you tell us where to connect with you where to find you to get a little more Yannick and Shantelle in our lives?

 

Yannick

Well, I have a bunch of ancillary product. From my experience, my time with Murdoch Mysteries has kind of become this thing. So I’ve got a podcast now that’s happening where we have audible stories that are outside of the Murdoch Mystery stories. I have a movie that I’m directing and starring in a movie of the week. It’s a Christmas movie. And so it’s you know, it’s a themed movie, but it calls on certain skill sets certain tools as a director that I’m going to have to do differently than the other shows I’ve directed, so I’ll be doing that in March. And I’ve also just been contracted to do a play for Mirvish. It will be one of the first plays that are back up and running in Toronto. Post-COVID, during COVID I don’t even know what, but that will be the CAA theater and that will be Dial M for Murder and I’ll be very, very scary for me. I’m here in junior high I was in you know, the chorus of Bye Bye Birdie. And we will be starting season 15 will be at backup and prepping in April so I just got attacked. Yeah, honestly. It’s so much fun that really well in some good stuff like winning franchise like that’s a lot of fun too because it really legitimizes your you know, the hard work you put into you know, this world for so long.

 

Shantelle

Yeah, and for me, I’ve got I wouldn’t call it the follow-up but necessarily, necessarily, but it’s part of the brand of my without losing your cool brand. The teens, Parenting your Teen Without Losing your Cool, hitting the shelves in May 2021. So excited about that. I’m going to start working on Being in a Relationship Without Losing your Cool so that I can have that out in the fall and for Christmas. And I’m getting ready to open up Shantilly place for 2020 my Marina on chandel lake in North Kawartha that comes with its own whole wack of, do hiring and we’ve had more kids apply to be staff members this year than the year before. I think we had over 30 applicants which is exciting but difficult because they’re all you want to give them all a job as a small business so you can’t and I’m expanding my, without losing your cool brand with a journal that’ll be available on my website, shantellebisson.com and some fun, cool sweatshirt merch there. And yeah, just continuing to be the mother to three adult females well, wrapping our brains around becoming grandparents.

 

Leisse 

The youngest grandparents who have ever lived. 

 

Shantelle

Yes. And you can find me @shantelelbisson.com everywhere except for Twitter because it’s become political.

 

Yannick

Same with me, I am @yannick_bisson on Instagram. And if you don’t like what I say, then you move the fuck on. 

 

Leisse

I appreciate you both so much. I can’t tell you. Thank you so much for being here.

 

Shantelle

Well, thanks for having us.

 

Yannick

Thank you so much.

 

Shantelle

Thanks for undoing all our bullshit. We appreciate you. 

 

Leisse 

My pleasure.

 

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