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Kickass Couples Podcast

Crossroads and Connections: The Story of One Couple’s Triumph – Ep.108 RECAP- Christine & Bret Eartheart

By June 21, 2023No Comments



bret, relationship, christine, couples, kim, talked, crossroads, feel, love, differences, intimacy, learn, connection, brakes, growing, commitment, couple, continuing, moment, great


Matthew Hoffman, Kimberly Hoffman


Matthew Hoffman  00:09

Welcome back to the Kickass Couples Podcast. Today we get to do an incredible recap episode with Christine and Bret Eartheart. A couple, Kim that I’ve got to say I relate to almost every couple we interview because they’re gone through some of the same things are going through some of the same things. But this couple of it could have been our like doppelgangers. I mean, they


Kimberly Hoffman  03:05

We have a lot in common a lot in common.


Matthew Hoffman  03:08

They’re deeply spiritual, incredibly positive, enthusiastic. They have been at the relationship game as helping couples a little longer than we have. I loved. This is probably the steakiest, the meatiest interview that I think we’ve ever done, because there’s good in every interview, but there’s so much good. In the time we had getting to know this incredible couple.


Kimberly Hoffman  03:32

Well, they have perspective, and they have experience. And you know, they’ve learned and they’ve grown together in their own relationship. And so now they’re sharing that with others. They’re coaching people, they’re really supporting others in relationships. And I think that they have a lot to share a lot to give.


Matthew Hoffman  03:52

They they do and we are just fellow workers in the field. And I think that we’re all doing good work,  we’re at different places in the vineyard, sometimes different activities. But I don’t feel a sense of competition with them at all because they recognize the good in what we do. And it was just so much fun to get to know this cool couple. What do you think what struck you first Kim, what was one of your big takeaways as we talked to Bret and Christine?


Kimberly Hoffman  04:17

Right out of the gate when we asked them what made them kick ass, they said, we do the work. And that really sums it all up. Because as we all know, marriage and relationships take work. They’re not always easy. And for this couple, they have learned how to commit to doing the work for each other.


Matthew Hoffman  04:41

Yeah, I love that. That was Bret’s comment. And I think he continued to say we maintain doing the work there in relationships, especially in what’s most important to you. There is never a one and done mentality. It’s like oh, we’ve already done that. You’re gonna do and redo and redo and redo again again again in your relationship. And he’s talked about the maintenance and the continued growth. And, you know, we kind of liken it to a car, right? I mean, you rotate the tires, you check the alignment, you change the oil might need new brake pads, because you’ve been hitting the brakes hard, right. And so there is work that just to maintain. So there’s a difference between maintaining Kim and growing the relationship. If you don’t do the maintenance work, then that’s when the wheels start to fall off. And if you want to get better and keep it progressive, you got to do new things in new ways to hit those new heights. And I think that they model that just beautifully. When Christine was talking about what makes them kick ass. She said, You know, she used kind of an analogy of instruments, and she said, you know, strings, she said, we had to learn how to harmonize each other, I was playing a song and a tune. And he was, and it’s not about changing the tune your partner’s playing, but it’s learning how to harmonize and bring them together. So you don’t lose what’s unique in each individual, but you kind of knit or weave it or write it into a beautiful song. So that the differences aren’t butting heads, but the differences are coming together. And so they are ending up with a beautiful song of the two of them and I kind of like that example.


Kimberly Hoffman  06:18

They’re two uniquenesses to come together and really strengthen and give power to their relationship, exactly what did in a really positive light rather than a negative.


Matthew Hoffman  06:29

And I think a lot of couples look at differences. And they go oh my gosh, I do this. And she does that. Or he does this, but I do it this way. It’s not about changing your partner to your way of thinking or being. But it’s about learning how to respect and understand how they are and allow it to bring the magnification, because you don’t want to marry the exact person who’s just like you. And I think Kim, you know, what attracted me to you one of the deep qualities that I think you have and I respect so much about you is your ability to serve and help others and you do that in such a beautiful way. So and I tried to do that as well. But I can also allow that difference that gift that quality of yours to get me upset or angry because at times in our relationship, I felt like oh my gosh, there she goes again. She’s out helping somebody and doing something and she’s focused outward, and I’m waving my arm going, hey, don’t forget about me. So I could allow that gift that difference. That characteristic you have to get me upset, or I can see it’s a good thing and support you in that. And also lovingly say, I love the fact that you serve and give. But don’t forget that I need to be I need you to I need you to or I might need you first or I might need you right now at this time. And so I think that’s kind of an example for our listeners to say, you know, you can’t be an irritant and pull you apart. You continue to communicate and work through it but magnifying glorify those differences and say, How can we weave this into a song? That’s beautiful for both of us? 


Kimberly Hoffman  08:09

I want to talk about their history a little bit because I think it had a big impact on their relationship. And that is they both came from very different backgrounds. Bret with a very dysfunctional family. There was alcoholism, there was infidelity, not a great connection, a family connection as he was growing up. And with Christine was the complete opposite. There was a lot of love and nurturing and some really good connection within that whole family. And so coming to their relationship. I think that that brought on some interesting things for them. Would you agree?


Matthew Hoffman  09:48

Yeah. Bret, I think he said, You know, I was pretty soured on the idea of marriage. I saw it my parents was and I was like, Whoa,


Kimberly Hoffman  09:54

Yeah, I don’t want it.


Matthew Hoffman  09:55

 I don’t think I ever want to get married. And so that was what he left his family of origin with that concept. And then Christine, as you said, just she said, and this is a one thing I want to kind of call out Kim. She said, My parents were best friends, and they were each other’s number one priority. And I think friendship is huge. You got to be friends first. That’s why we always caution couples who are dating and together saying, You got to develop the friendship system. Because if you don’t like being with the person first, and you jumped to the romance and the sex and all that other stuff, you haven’t given yourself a great foundation. She said her parents were great friends. And they’re each other’s priority. And what is unique about Kickass Couples Nation, everything we do and talk about is that word prioritization. And that’s important. That’s critical. And having that united front.


Kimberly Hoffman  10:47

Yeah. And I think what’s interesting is when they they did get together, they did get married. And at that point, there was some turmoil in that, you know Christine really felt like she wasn’t being seen, she wasn’t being heard. And it wasn’t that Bret wasn’t seeing or wasn’t hearing or he just wasn’t used to having to check in with someone wasn’t, you know, used to having a relationship where there was a lot of back and forth and deep connection. And so for him, it was, I feel like for both of them was just a really big misunderstanding.


Matthew Hoffman  11:26

Yeah, I mean, Christine said, he doesn’t worry about me.


Kimberly Hoffman  11:29

He doesn’t care about me. 


Matthew Hoffman  11:30

Like my mom. He goes, she said, My mom would wait up and sleep on the couch. So I got home. She was not helicoptering, but just super concerned and connected.


Kimberly Hoffman  11:38

Lot of check ins.


Matthew Hoffman  11:38

 And so when she didn’t get all those check ins from Bret, she’s like, she made 


Kimberly Hoffman  11:39

He doesn’t love me.


Matthew Hoffman  11:39

He must not love me. And so what was cool about that is that she said, I had to learn to ask for what I needed. And I couldn’t hold him to a standard. And this is huge, Bret and I want you to hear this. She couldn’t hold him to the standard that was expressed to her when she was growing up. Because he wasn’t aware of it. He didn’t do it. And he didn’t know how to model it,


Kimberly Hoffman  12:06

Ya you know, missing misinterpreting what love really means through the misunderstanding of his actions, right? She just didn’t understand and didn’t really know what was happening. But in her mind, she made up the story. He doesn’t love me, he doesn’t care about me.


Matthew Hoffman  12:25

Yeah. And I loved how she said, she said, I had to learn how to unhook from what love meant to me growing up, because it was going to be different. Not bad. Not unfulfilling, but she had to learn how to define what love meant with Bret and communicate what her needs were, so he could feel them. And if he wasn’t capable, working with him on saying, This is what I need. And this is how you can help me where I am.


Kimberly Hoffman  12:50



Matthew Hoffman  12:52

 Yeah, comparisons can be deadly, especially if you’re saying I want you to love me the way I was loved from my parents, or and you’re not crafting your own story together.


Kimberly Hoffman  13:04

What about commitment, I feel like they, you know, the transformation of their relationship really came to their commitment to each other. They got a couple years into the relationship, and they kind of looked at each other and said, This isn’t going well. This is really hard. And, you know, we’re we’re at a crossroads. And we have some choices we’ve got to make here, either one, we can kind of just keep doing things the way that we’re doing. Right? Or two, she said, we can make a powerful commitment to each other. Or we can just bless each other and have each other go.


Matthew Hoffman  13:49

Yeah, she talks about that


Kimberly Hoffman  13:50



Matthew Hoffman  13:51

Yeah, she talked about that independent path. And you know, sometimes couples, they want to do their own thing. And they’re not focused on the US, it’s on the me or the I. And I think she said it was dangerous as we were we’re in our routine right then and there. I was doing my thing he was doing his and continuing to do that may have worked for the moment or for the individuals, but it would be at the at the it would derail the relationship the US, it’d be to the detriment of the relationship, if they kept going on those independent paths, which were more parallel, as opposed to being together and unify.


Kimberly Hoffman  14:27

And they decided to dive in and do the hard work and made the commitment to really working on the relationship. And I don’t want to give it all away because there’s so much good stuff in this podcast that I hope people will tune in and listen to but you know what else on the commitment side, would you?


Matthew Hoffman  14:48

Well, I think Bret kind of referred to I love the term he’s talked about they faced a crossroads moment. Alright. Two roads converge and here we go. Which way are we going to go and I bet You know, we’ve all had crossroads. times in our relationship. Kim you and I had one after being married for 20 years. And you know, everything seen from the outside, and oh, it all looks good, but neither of us were super happy. And we were at a crossroads moment. And we did the same thing Bret and Christine did is we said, we’re going to commit to each other, we’re going to do what it takes to go deeper, not just to barely maintain, but we want to thrive, we want to be on that upward climbing trajectory. And I think everybody out there is either had or about to have a crossroad moment where you look at each other and you say, the decisions we make right now are going to change the trajectory of our relationship. And you want to make those decisions that are beneficial and most positive for the US. What’s going to work best for the relationship not I want I need and I think not what you want, you need and you think, but how is the relationship gonna win? And let’s make the decision that wins for us. 


Kimberly Hoffman  15:58

Yeah, I think much like Christine and Bret, we made the decision to prioritize our relationship. And that’s really what it boiled down to. for them as well. I want to talk a little bit about communicating. Because I think they had some really good things to share within communication. And that is that, you know, when they when they communicate, sometimes they get emotionally charged. Right? And rather than getting emotionally charged and sort of letting that take over and really fester up, she said we look at it as an opportunity to wonder and look under become more vulnerable with having vulnerable conversations, open conversations. What are the deeper longings and dreams that we are both having here within this? You know, how are we uncovering and learning through our communication with each other?


Matthew Hoffman  18:06

Yeah, I like that wonder like I wonder why they feel this way. I wonder what is underneath as I wonder and then look under because what present sometimes Kim in a relationship, you know, you’re angry and frustrated, you lash out at me. More often than not, it can have nothing to do with me. It can have to do all with you and what you’re experiencing, you have to look under the emotion sometimes I love that little expression that she used. And I also think that they learned a pretty cool thing about communication Kim, they had the acronym PIES and she said it wasn’t unique to them. But it was something that was shared with them years ago. And pies stands for how are each of us doing physically, intellectually is the eye, the E is emotionally and the S is spiritual. So it was a kind of a check in, hey, sometimes we’re out of kilter here, you’re getting irritable or man with this on a negative let’s let’s let’s have a PIES check in. And so they went out to dinner that she said one time they took a walk, they said let’s check in with some pie. And you know, where are you and so sharing those moments, you know, we have another one we call take out the trash, right? And MAGS,  M A G S and we talked about that check in method. So think about when’s the last time you checked in with your partner across a spectrum of categories, where they are physically, where they are intellectually, where are they emotionally and where are they spiritually it’s just a quick check in as a great tool to make sure your communication is on point and really sharing relevant information. It’s not what time are we doing this? Who are we having dinner with? Where are we going to the party who’s got it’s not all those tactical things, right? But it’s more things that have more emotional input in the relationship.


Kimberly Hoffman  19:54

 What about conflict resolution? Now we talked about conflict resolution is being growth waiting to happen, right. And that’s exactly the words that they use. Conflict for us is an opportunity to grow. And I feel like there’s so much that we can learn and try to understand from each other when it comes to conflict. We had some really great things to share about that with us as well.


Matthew Hoffman  20:20

They did. I mean, Bret said, you know, you hear couples who say, Oh, he said, he worked with a lot of couples, oh, we never fight us, really, you never have a disagreement. And he said, that’s usually a red flag or a warning sign in his experience. Because when people say, we don’t argue, more often than not, what it usually means is that one partner is so strong, the other one just decides, hey, you know what, it’s easier to give in and fight, right? Or I’m totally fine, letting them keep the reins all the time and determine the direction I just, I’m going to happily go along with whatever they say.


Kimberly Hoffman  20:54

 Or you just brush it on the rug and keeps continuing to build up and fester. And I think eventually, resentment builds. And that’s a whole nother ball of wax. But I think that, you know, one other small thing that I want to point out before we close that, I think is a really great way to end is that when we talked about other pillars, we talked a little bit about intimacy. And they really were very open and upfront about the physiological component of intimacy, and how important it is that we really pay attention to it. And we really cultivate it within our relationship so that we have success long term. And they just talked about it as kind of like being a vitamin to keep, you know, the relationship thriving and vibrant. And so I really appreciated them acknowledging that.


Matthew Hoffman  21:50

That was great, you know? Yeah, I mean, so she said, you can you have choices and, and making sure that you make the right choices, there are things that you do that, put the brakes on the relationship on intimacy, or put the accelerator on. And she said, if you’re doing things, if there’s seasonal things going on in your relationship, or your work, or your family that are constantly putting the brakes on, man, the furnace gets cold. And she said, You got to make sure you have the connection, and a strong sexual connection that feeds the pleasure and enjoyment of each other. And I thought that was


Kimberly Hoffman  22:25

 Well said.


Matthew Hoffman  22:26

 that was fantastic. So they’re, oh my gosh, this couple is doing so much right. They are positive, optimistic, full of love for each other and their true desire to serve and help others go check them out. Look them up. Bret and Christine Eartheart and man. They’re incredible. And we love the time together and think you will really enjoy the full interview. If you haven’t checked it out yet.


Kimberly Hoffman  22:55

Yeah, they’re fantastic. People love hearing about all the great work that they’re doing. And I appreciated so much our time together. 


Matthew Hoffman  23:04

Yeah, they’re definitely kick ass.


Kimberly Hoffman  23:05

Thanks for listening in everybody. We are so excited to be able to bring this recap to you today. And we look forward to having you back on visiting our podcast and remember happily ever after does not just happen. It’s on purpose.


Matthew Hoffman  23:24

Thanks, everybody. We’ll see you soon.