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Lipstick on the Rim: Who TF Did I Marry (and Do a Podcast With)?! TikTok Sensation Reesa Teesa On Lying, Gaslighting, Communication, and Her United Nations of Relationship Red Flags with Marriage Therapist Vienna Pharaon (PART 1)


It was just a few weeks ago when Reesa Teesa emerged as one of the biggest stars on TikTok for her 50-part series, ‘Who TF Did I Marry’ which recounts the events that include meeting, marrying, and divorcing her ex-husband. Cut to over 400 million views later (that’s more watches than the Super Bowl) and Reesa Teesa (real name: Tareasa Johnson) has officially become an overnight sensation. We loved the idea of breaking down relationship red flags and thought who better to bring on than marriage therapist and author of ‘The Origins of You,’ Vienna Pharaon. We touch on all the United Nations of red flags from lying to gaslighting and so much more. Whether you already love Reesa or don’t know her yet, fasten your seatbelts and buckle up, this episode is for you.

[Vienna] On How to Spot Red Flags in Relationships

“When it comes to warning signs or red flags, one of the things that’s important to acknowledge is, are we in a space where we’re willing to see them? I think we can notice them, but when we’re disconnected from the intuition or the gut check, we look over certain details. It’s so easy to ignore and dismiss them and also to reject what it is that may be presenting. We may notice discrepancies but also try to make sense of them. So if we’re willing to see and acknowledge the red flags, we’re looking for things that don’t match up or make sense. If we’re spending physical time with someone, we may even begin to notice behavioral changes like body movements. Some people are really good at hiding those things too. It all comes down to this: if the details are starting to not match up, are you going to a place of quickly trying to make excuses for it, rationalize it, and minimize it in order to maintain your goal in the story that you would like to have? I challenge people to really look for what keeps them from acknowledging what is in front of them.”

[Reesa] On Why She Took Her Story to TikTok

“I really just wanted to tell my story and talk about my experience. I really just felt like y’all are not going to believe what this person put me through and I’m going to tell you guys what happened. It all started when I ‘stitched’ someone else’s video with the prompt, “what’s the most effed up thing your ex has ever done?” So I stitched it and it got a lot of views so I made a video saying, “things my pathologically lying ex-husband lied about.” I only listed like three or four things and people responded asking for more. I wasn’t on Facebook or Instagram at the time, so I used TikTok, a platform I was on every day to tell my story. While I was making it, I really hoped that this would help somebody not do what I did. It really was the desire to get married and be in a loving relationship. Despite everything, when our relationship first started, he was my person. I was so excited. But don’t ignore your inner voice, don’t ignore the red flags. So it just started as me being ready to tell my story, and then it evolved into hoping that this story really does help someone. By midway of the series, I started seeing the reactions and the views coming in, so I thought if a lot of people are watching this, I hope it helps somebody.”

[Vienna] On Rebuilding Trust

“It might not be what everybody does, but I think Reesa is actually actively practicing this by sharing her story on TikTok. Reesa began this series to share her wisdom in hopes of helping somebody else, and I think this is really deeply healing for her because she’s going through a process in which she’s witnessing her story and share the details in her story and move through the story in an honest way, which is so different than how she lived it and experienced it. Trust is a really tricky one. Betrayal, deceit, lies, are some of the the hardest things for a human being to come back from. There’s a lot of different layers but trust can be restored. There’s an Ernest Hemingway quote that I really love: “the best way to know if you can trust someone is to trust them.” I don’t think of that as an eyes closed, reckless trust. I think of that as an eyes wide open type of trust. The alternative is to not trust anyone, and if you don’t trust anyone, you can’t restore trust.”


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