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Kickass Couples Podcast

How To Prioritize Love In Your Marriage – Ep 67 RECAP: Audrey Bilger and Cheryl Pawelski

By September 7, 2022No Comments


Ep. 67 RECAP Cheryl Pawelski & Audrey Bilger – “How To Prior…

Mon, 8/22 9:54AM • 18:18


cheryl, relationship, audrey, kickass, couples, couple, prioritizing, love, marriage, fun, kim, college, kick ass, thought, talk, important, jobs, win, recap, ego


Kimberly Hoffman, Matthew Hoffman


Matthew Hoffman  00:02

Welcome to the Kickass Couples Podcast. This is the place where we help committed couples who want to level up their marriage, experience newfound clarity, hope and confidence. We’re Matthew and Kim, co-hosts and husband and wife.


Kimberly Hoffman  00:16

In 26 years together, we’ve seen a lot and never thought it could be as good as it is right now. We’re here to help you successfully navigate the messy, dirty and wonderful world of marriage.


Matthew Hoffman  00:28

We believe all couples deserve and are capable of experiencing an extraordinary and fulfilling marriage. And each week we’re bringing you life lessons from real life successful couples to help you grow and strengthen your relationship.


Kimberly Hoffman  00:42

We’ll get started right after this message. If you want to learn how to experience the best, most fulfilling year of your marriage, we invite you to order Matthew’s new book, “Kickass Husband Winning at Life, Marriage and Sex.” You can get it at “” or visit Matthews website, “” Again, that’s “” or www.matthewphoffman.” And now back to the show.  Hello, and welcome back to the Kickass Couples Podcast. Today, we are doing a recap episode of Audrey Bilger and Cheryl Pawelski. And wow, what an incredible couple they are. They’ve been together for 26 years and are married. And they are definitely a kickass couple.


Matthew Hoffman  01:43

 No doubt, oh my gosh. We could have talked to these guys for hours, we had to cut it short so we didn’t keep you on the line forever with this one.


Kimberly Hoffman  01:52



Matthew Hoffman  01:53

 It was incredible.


Kimberly Hoffman  01:54

 I think the thing I love the most is that these are two very accomplished women in their own right, who have come together with a spirit of adventure and just this love and dedication to each other. That’s incredible.


Matthew Hoffman  02:09

I know, I think that two accomplished professionals radically different careers. They’ve had great seasons in their relationship, but right from the get go was so easy Kim to figure out and tell that they are just so in love with each other and such a dynamic relationship. And man, if I had a checklist out of what are they doing right, I think I would have just checked almost every single box.


Kimberly Hoffman  02:38

I agree. I think that one of the things that really stood out to me is that these two said to each other, “we are our greatest project.” And I love how they look at their relationship as a project, because Don’t we all want to conquer? And you know, what’s the what’s the latest project? What can I you know, check off my list what what can I be working on right now. And they look at their relationship as the best and greatest project they have. And so it’s a constant work in progress. And they’re so proud of it.


Matthew Hoffman  03:17

Yeah. I think Cheryl said something like she said, it’s the best work, they can do better than anything else, they and they each generally feel that. So when you approach your relationship with that attitude, like I get to do this, I want to do this. And this is the best thing I can do or be doing. There’s no doubt that the results are going to be amazing. And they have been for them in their entire relationship.


Kimberly Hoffman  03:39

You know, it always comes back down to prioritizing your relationship. I mean, we say that over and over again. And here we are, again, with a couple that really is mindful about spending time together, they realize that both of their jobs, take them in such different directions and where they can be all consumed during the day, by things that they’re doing for their businesses, but then they say, wow, you know, we’re greedy for each other. We’ve got to spend time together, we’ve got to create a time together. And so you know, that comes back down to again, prioritizing and communicating. Let’s have dinner together. Let’s make sure that we can go on a walk together. They intentionally do things to create space and time to be with each other, because they’re greedy for each other.


Matthew Hoffman  04:35

They are and I think that’s a great you Kim said it they and they said that too. They say we are greedy about our time together and they make no apologies for so I never thought about being greedy for my time with you. And we both Kim and I both agree that we’re talking to them, that’s a great way to use greed because you want more of what’s so good and if you act that way, then you’re going to make sure Are you get to fill the bucket of your partner and they are doing that so well, I think, you know, I think Cheryl may have been the one that said “Our jobs are so intense they could eat us up,” because Cheryl is a record producer, a two time Grammy Award winning producer. She had the bling on the table right behind her there, it was fun to see that. And first time, we’ve talked to someone that has one, not one, but two Grammys. And so you can imagine the life of a record producer and the work that they do. And then Audrey is the president of a private college. And when you’re in charge of an institution, you know, that’s something else that can eat you up. So they can make excuses and say, Gosh, babe, you know, prioritizing the work and the job, but in the midst of that, and this is a couple where they both have full time demanding careers. So it’s easy for them to get pulled away. And they have a lot of love and respect. I think they used the example, I think Audrey was giving her first presentation to her board at the college. And then Cheryl was up for an alumni award from Marquette where she went to college. And they both wanted the other one to be there for them, but they knew they couldn’t, because they were in the right place doing what they needed to do. And so they talked about it, but no resentment. And instead, they chose to revel right in the success that the other was having. And that’s another. I mean, that’s another item on the list for a kick ass couple is to revel in the success and the accomplishment of your partner.


Kimberly Hoffman  06:29

They’re so proud of each other. And that just really shined through their interview, just that they really support, love and respect each other and want each other to do well. Again, it’s that project that they’re just continually working on. And that support and that love is just so evident in their relationship. I feel like they are just this incredible couple who are really aware of each other, their needs. They love how when it does get crazy and they are apart, they can come back together and say, Okay, we’ve got to be mindful of the fact that we need to have dinner. Cheryl says I walk my president to work every morning. And I love that that’s carving out time to communicate. And I think Cheryl said something really interesting too, about when you’re walking, what was the comment or? 


Matthew Hoffman  07:30

She said “when you’re walking your body is engaged in something that has to do and allows your mind to focus on what’s important.” And we came in, I can relate, we love to go on rocks together weighted backpacks, and rather for an hour hour and 15 minutes, sometimes longer and your body’s engaged in it means that your mind is free to talk, because you’re not thinking about other activity. And I think that’s a great example. And I mean, what’s so hard Kim is you know, a lot of the couples we talked to have different stories about what their love looked like in their families of origin growing up. And both Cheryl and Audrey had amazing families, they’re both their parents are still together. She said they’re a little corny, and they laugh at a lot of bad jokes, but they both modeled great relationships. So they came to the relationship with good models not radically different about what love looked like. And I think kind of my favorite big takeaway from this couple is that they said it was Cheryl that said, “the greatest act of love is to be there for someone else, and you contribute to them in the relationship” and I thought, What a great quote. In other words, the biggest loving thing I can do for my wife is to be there for her and contribute to her success. And they both feel that way. And imagine the impact and the synergy when both members of a couple are contributing and giving with the idea that the greatest act of love they can give is to pour in and make somebody else shine.


Kimberly Hoffman  09:00

Yeah, Cheryl said we are for each other all the time. And I love that quote, you know, they are she said, you know, my job is at every opportunity to make Audrey’s life easier. Wow. If we all had that sense of awareness with each other with our spouses, how wonderful would that be? How we would feel so supported and loved and encouraged? 


Matthew Hoffman  09:31

Yeah That’s huge, I mean.


Kimberly Hoffman  09:32

 It’s a great example 


Matthew Hoffman  09:33

It is When it comes to creating a kick ass marriage. Do you ever wonder what you could be doing better? Have you ever thought how helpful would be to be a part of a like minded community of other imperfect couples who wants to level up and their number one relationship? Come visit Kickass Couples Nation where you can talk with people just like you are looking for ways to invest in and increase their joy, commitment and fulfillment and their most important human are lationship you’ll have access to a team of licensed marriage therapists, coaches, articles, podcasts, live webinars and more. Just visit “” So you can learn more about a community that’s ready to help you level up. That’s “” So you can become of the growing Kickass Couples Nation right now.  Isn’t that leads into kind of some more thoughts about commitment. I think we’re Audrey said, you know, if she goes, “You got to ask yourself, is the relationship all about your ego? Or is it about serving each other and being service oriented? And that’s a conscious decision. That’s not something that just happens, or you fall into it’s a choice. So when you step back and look at your relationship, you got to think, am I being servant oriented in this relationship? Or instead is it all about me? And each of them have jobs and careers where I’m sure they have to be all about them. And because they’re in charge, you know, she’s Cheryl’s running the record company. And Audrey is running the college, right? So they each have to have those command and control relationships at work, but they’re so thoughtful, they don’t let that model come back to the relationship. And instead, they take their egos out the door. And you know what you just said about Cheryl saying, I walk my president to work, she goes, I’m a Sherpa, I carry your briefcase, I carry your bag. And you know, and I think she also another great act of love that Kim and I share is Cheryl brings Audrey her cup of coffee in the morning or was it the other way around?   other way around.


Kimberly Hoffman  11:36

It was the other way


Matthew Hoffman  11:37

So but you know, so they’re taking turns, right? And finding those things that they can do to say, you matter, I love you, you’re number one, you’re important to me. And that is just oxygen for the relationship. I love to see that


Kimberly Hoffman  11:51

It is it was really refreshing. And I want to talk a little bit about conflict-resolution, because we as we both know, there’s always going to be conflict in a relationship, you’re always going to, you know, not agree on something we’re human. And that’s just how it rolls, but when it comes to conflict, you know, they said one of their biggest challenges was really different playing different roles in their relationships. So while Cheryl was on the red carpet, accepting Grammy Awards, Audrey felt like the plus one happily, the plus one, but now that Audrey is president of a college, that rhythm has changed a little bit, she has a lot of demands on her. And now Cheryl is attending things that Audrey needs to be in attendance of. And so Cheryl has become the plus one. And so that dynamic in their relationship has changed. They even went as far as to move to different cities, so that they can be obviously near Audrey’s college. And so their roles have shifted. And that plays a huge impact on our relationship and how they handle that how we navigate that is is huge. And they’ve been able to do that with acceptance, and love. I’m not saying it was easy, but they were able to work through it and their relationship is better and stronger for it.


Matthew Hoffman  13:24

I think you’re exactly right Kim and they were intentional about it. It’s not guys, kick ass couples don’t occur by accident, it’s intentional and mindful, right? And we got to plan for the relationship. You know, it’s work, but it’s the best work that we can do. And I think that one of the rules that they came up with, I think this was Audrey that said this, you know that you gotta be aware, she said, “we have to be mindful to not say never and always as we talk to each other,” because when you use never, and always you never, or you always you’re using a superlative and casting your spouse putting them in that little box and saying that they can’t change or they’re inflexible. And I, I think it’s important because you don’t want to permanently label them some way because relationships and people are dynamic. We make mistakes. We have disagreements, maybe we’re not having a great day or performing the way we want to, but when you use those superlatives never and always it’s a dangerous zone in the relationship. And you know, never always is win, lose thinking, right? It means someone is right, somebody is wrong. Somebody does something, somebody doesn’t do something. And win lose thinking is so dangerous in any committed relationship. It’s got to be a win win. And we talk all the time. It’s got to be about the US. And they’ve done such a great job of making sure that they’re both in it for us and getting ego out of the way.


Kimberly Hoffman  14:52

Sure. And I think I’d like to kind of wrap up the the recap by just noting how much of a sense of adventure and fun that they have and how fun, humor, play is a huge important role in the relationship. They even seek out friends who like to play and have fun. They both love music. They love to dance. They love to be silly. And I think that that goes such a long way in a relationship to keeping it healthy and hearty and fun loving.


Matthew Hoffman  15:27

That’s right, they do it with each other and they surround themselves with people like to do it. Imagine the record collection on the wall, the vinyl of a record producer, and they you know, they use that fun and play to pull quotes out of songs, they start dancing and you know, they are so willing to make fun of themselves and each other and they keep that thread of humor. It’s our 14th pillar but such an important one to make sure that fun and humor are central and that’s their go to to to mix things up to make light of and to make sure they’re loving and supporting each other in that great way. What you got to go back and listen to this episode. It was full of so much great stuff.


Kimberly Hoffman  16:04

Yeah, I could keep going but I don’t want to divulge too much.


Matthew Hoffman  16:07

 I know


Kimberly Hoffman  16:07

I really want our listeners to go and go in and listen to the entire episode. They are tremendous couple. And it is got this interview just has so many great pearls of wisdom in it. So 


Matthew Hoffman  16:20

It does. I love the time we had together. I was telling Kim the other day when we were thinking about this recap. The only bummer is they don’t live in the same town we can’t go have dinner with them. So Cheryl and Audrey, we are going to come to California or Oregon one of the two, so we can hang out and have some of those fun times together. And so you know our hats off to you all for being such a kick ass couple and sharing so many great things with us that we can all use in our own relationships and make sure that we’re prioritizing and speaking of prioritization, if you want to learn how to better prioritize your spouse, if you want to have help and guidance and coaching, go check out at “” Kickass Couples Nation. That’s our platform. We’re here to help you level up and deepen and strengthen your number one relationships. So thanks for joining us today. If you liked this episode, or the full episode of Cheryl and Audrey, please give us a review. And you can send that review a screenshot of that to “” And we’ve got a special gift waiting for you. So thanks for joining us today. And we look forward to seeing you next time.


Kimberly Hoffman  17:27

And remember happily ever after doesn’t just happen. It’s on purpose.  That’s all we’ve got for this episode of the “Kickass Couples Podcast.” If you like the content of the show, you’ll love Matthews newly released book, “Kickass Husband: Winning at Life, Marriage and Sex.” To receive a digital mini book of quotes and images from the book, all you have to do is rate the show and leave a review on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you tune in to. Then email us a screenshot of your review at “” And we’ll get it over to you right away. Until next time, remember happily ever after doesn’t just happen. It’s on purpose.