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Kickass Couples Podcast

How To Communicate During The Toughest Times: Episode 13 – Hibbard

By November 2, 2021September 9th, 2022No Comments


Matthew: (00:02)

Welcome to the kick-ass 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 cohos and husband and wife 


Kim: (00:17)

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 


Matthew: (00:29)

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. 


Kim: (00:43)

And now let’s dive in to today’s 


Matthew: (00:45)

Episode with mayor Frank and Teresa Hibbard 


Frank : (00:48)

Into a lifelong partnership where there’s no outs you’re going to have to fix whatever problems you thinks, 


Teresa: (00:56)

Uh, on any given day. It’s either we’re a kick-ass couple, or we want to kick each other’s. You know, 


Frank : (01:02)

I said, I think you’re both pretty selfish. I don’t know if you’re going to make it 


Teresa: (01:06)

Because every morning you can choose to enjoy it or choose to like nothing. 


Frank : (01:10)

I recognize the fact that we may not have all the tools in the toolbox to solve some of our communication issues. And we found somebody that helped give us those tools going for 


Kim: (01:21)

We’ll get started right after this message. If you want to learn how to experience the best, most fulfilling year of your marriage, invite you to pre-order Matthew’s new book, kick husband, winning at life, marriage, and sex. You can get Again, that’s apt And now back to the show, 


Matthew: (01:45)

The first question we like to always start off is, and, um, Theresa, I’m going to ask you this, if you don’t mind starting, what makes you guys a kick-ass couple 


Teresa: (01:54)

On any given day? It’s either we’re a kick-ass couple or we want to kick each other’s. You know, 


Matthew: (02:00)

I love it. 


Teresa: (02:02)

I think that, um, one of the things that makes our relationship really unusual and special is the balance that we have between one another. I mean, many people say opposites attract and certainly Frank and I are very different. And I think that the great thing is that we have, um, we’ve learned how to, how to get this balance that works really well between one another. And if I’m having a tough time, he kind of fills in and supports that if he’s having a tough time, you know, I come in and support that. And so it’s just been a really, um, and it takes time, you know, 25 years of what has worked and what has not worked. So I would say, you know, probably balance and laughter and, um, that nothing is failing. It’s just learning and keep going. 


Kim: (02:48)

That’s awesome. I, um, I love that, uh, you know, like you said, on any given day that, you know, it could be kick-ass or it could be kick you in the. I think that’s awesome because I think we can all really relate to that as couples. Um, but I love hearing that, um, you guys have really found a balance and, um, a way to make every day work for the two of you. And as we know, it takes work every day, right? It’s not, it’s not easy. So mayor Hibbard, what would you, how would you define yourself as kick? 


Frank : (03:22)

Well, I think we are young in the yang. Uh, we definitely have different strengths and weaknesses and we offset each other, which is great. Um, I’m a pretty serious person at times. Uh, unfortunately can be moody, uh, 25, well, 27 years we’ve been together, uh, has led Teresa to understand that I also stunt understand, you know, some of her needs we’ve learned to communicate a lot better over the years and it hasn’t always been easy. Uh, I think the balance I’d go back to as well. Uh, we’re always trying to prioritize how we’re going to use our time and schedules are often hectic, uh, for everybody in life. Uh, but we have to balance those and make sure we’re putting first things first. It’s not as though you’re giving up on, uh, bad things. You’re just giving up on good things versus great things on a daily basis. And that’s really how the prioritization goes for us. And, uh, it, it requires a lot of communication, uh, both verbally and other ways that we communicate, uh, often the non-verbals are more important than the verbals. Uh, but I think, you know, we have found, uh, that right way for us to make things happen and get everything done. 


Kim: (04:49)

Sure. I’m a firm believer that, um, what happens to us when we are younger and, um, sort of our, our families of origins play a really big role in what we bring to the table when we meet our significant other. And I’m curious for you mayor, how, how, how did it look for you growing up? What was your family of origin like in terms of expressing love and care for one another? 


Frank : (05:21)

Well, I’d say, uh, I have an interesting background. I’m the youngest of six and a mistake, although my parents never would admit that, but when you have five kids, five kids in 10 years and then an eight year gap, I think my father was surprised that’s for certain. Um, you know, my father was a very successful businessman, uh, had a family company that was sold, uh, but he was also an alcoholic, a functioning alcoholic. Um, but it was a very difficult time for about 20 years for my parents. And my mother is the great example of somebody who has perseverance and love and stuck with my father through thick and thin. And, you know, he did recover and did not drink for the last 25 years of his life. And he loved her in a way that I’ve really never seen before. Uh, he put her on a pedestal and they had a marvelous relationship, but it wasn’t easy. And so that’s an example for me of how he turned out ultimately. And then also the way my mother, uh, reacted, uh, I, she had a strength that I don’t think many people have today. I think they would throw in the towel. 


Kim: (06:53)

Sure. Especially with that many children and, you know, just regular demands of the day and of life. Um, and then to have, you know, a husband who, um, had challenges as well. Um, she had to be a huge pillar of strength for you all. 


Matthew: (07:13)

That’s great to hear. That’s great to hear. How about you Theresa? What did love look like for you growing up in your family? What did you see modeled in your experience? 


Teresa: (07:22)

Um, I am going to copy a, uh, author friend of mine. Um, Bob Goff who says love does. And so in my family, it was a lot of doing love was in a lot of the actions. My dad, um, I w I’m the oldest of four and my mom stayed home and her role was to take care of the home and raise the kids. And my dad was on the road in sales. So he was gone quite a bit at the time, but there was just a lot of, um, my mom was constantly doing things every day. When we came home from school, there were like cookies. Uh, and we always had cookies and there was a lot of structure and a lot of routine. And so, um, it was kind of, it, it was really a little bit more challenging, I would say than I think in Frank’s, um, situation, because I didn’t see them a lot together because he was gone traveling and sales and she was home. 


Teresa: (08:12)

So that was, um, you know, it’s kinda one of those things where you, and I don’t know if this is your experience, but you kind of take some of what you’ve seen and experienced growing up. And you’ve said, I want to do things differently in my life. And so I can, I am very happy doing for others as well. I think that was something that I watched my mom do. We love to entertain. We love to have people over. We love to cook together. And so I get a lot of joy out of cooking and preparing and giving a meal, which is my way of expressing love to people. And I enjoy watching them eat it. I don’t always eat it because of all the work, but that is just, you know, that’s kind of one of the, one of the ways that I think that, um, again, that’s carried over into our relationship is, you know, that action is really expressing and showing your love in ways that are meaningful to the other person. And sometimes it’s a little hard to figure out what those things are. And so 


Frank : (09:05)

It goes back to those love languages, um, which some people want love in different ways. That’s something that we’ve sometimes struggled with. Cause I’m a Dewar too. That’s how I show people, uh, with my time and efforts. Uh, whereas sometimes Theresa would like more uplifting speech and affirmation from me rather than me doing something that I think she’ll appreciate by taking a load off of her. That’s, that’s one of our challenges. 


Matthew: (09:41)

So you, do you think you have a pretty good understanding of those love languages now of each other? Or do you think it’s just more in getting yourself to the habit of giving your partner what they want 


Frank : (09:52)

Better every day? We’re a work in progress, I guess. Yeah. 


Matthew: (09:58)

I think we all are right. 


Teresa: (09:59)

So I do have to brag on him about this. Um, I, my parents are 82 years old. My niece, their oldest granddaughter just graduated from college in Charleston, South Carolina. And I knew they weren’t comfortable traveling and it’s not easy to get to Charleston via plane. So I said, mom, dad, if you all want to go, I will drive you and we’ll stop where you used to live and see your friends. And so we went on this road trip a couple of weeks ago, um, came home on Sunday. It was mother’s day. And, um, I was, you know, getting home and Brian calls and he says, oh, by the way, I, um, I’ve got dinner for us. And I made dinner for your mom and dad. And so it’s in the kitchen. Could they, they live close to us. So he made them dinner. The house was completely clean. 


Teresa: (10:43)

All the laundry was done. There was nothing for me to do except walk in the door, unpack my luggage. There was also some roses and he got my mom some roses. And so his, um, his doing also extends to others as well. And people know that he loves them by the amount of time and the actions. We’ve got a little grandson, that’s got some developmental challenges. And when we found out what he needed, Frank was on the phone, calling everybody that he knew to try to get Dawson the care that he needed. And he’ll do that for. He does that for anyone and people don’t even know the extent of, you know, his thoughtfulness and his generosity with his time and his willingness to go on behalf of other people to do something for them. If there’s stuff that he probably does that I don’t even know about all the time. So yes, his love of others and action are really great examples. Okay. 


Kim: (11:38)

Great. Sounds like he hit a home run with tapping into those love languages on mother’s day. So kudos to you mayor. 


Frank : (11:46)

Thank you. Moving on. 


Teresa: (11:52)

All right. Keep going. We’ll keep 


Matthew: (11:53)



Teresa: (11:53)

Keep going. 


Matthew: (11:57)

Yeah, absolutely. I love it. I love the interplay. Well, it’s interesting, Theresa, your story really leads into kind of what we want to talk about next, which is our first pillar. If you, we sent you an email, we have kind of 13 pillars that we think are present in every relationship. Uh, you’ve got them right there and we’re going to, yeah, you do. You’re a rule follower like this woman sitting next to me here. She’s good at that. And um, so we’re going to talk about commitment and I think that your story about, uh, about, uh, the mayor on mother’s day is a great example of commitment. And, but talk to me about commitment in your relationship and what, what ways do you see that quality showing up? You gave one good example, but as you think about your relationship, what are some of the ways that you see his commitment to you come out? 


Teresa: (12:43)

You know, and all I was looking at your 13, um, pillars here, and I was trying to figure out where you would, where you would use the world loyalty in any of these. And it could be in commitment, which is number one. And Frank’s loyalty to me. I’m trying to think of another, um, example. He will go to bat for me in any situation. And, um, if something’s challenging, um, sometimes he steps in where it could be not what I would want, but he’ll do that anyway. If he knows I’m having a really hard time and he’s a fixer. And so the commitment, I think also is that we both have agreed that we’re in this and that we’re going to do this and we know it’s not easy. And yet, um, the biggest point is that loyalty and that commitment to the two relate to the relationship and to one another, you know, we have S we brought down this path together, we’ve traveled down this journey and we have made a decision. I think you make a decision just like you can make a decision to be happy. You can make a choice to say, okay, this is a brand new day. How is it going to go? And I think you have to make that choice to say, okay, this is a new day. How are we going to start all over again? You know, there’s a sunrise every morning, you can choose to enjoy it or choose to like, not enjoy it. And so our commitment to one another is just 


Kim: (14:07)

Every day. I think what I hear you saying is that there’s no plan B we’re in this. And we are going to wake up every day and we’re going to figure this out. We’re going to get through the day, and we’re going to figure this out. How about for you mayor? How would you define commitment? And you were, 


Frank : (14:24)

Well, we, we certainly try to spend a lot of time together. Um, and I think you need to schedule that because life gets in the way and those other commitments in your life, uh, sometimes seem to rise above your commitment at home. And it goes back to that balancing act, you know, uh, Theresa is very busy with her job. I basically have two full-time jobs. Uh, they’re very different and there’s a lot of push and pull on the relationship. So we have to sometimes schedule that time together, just like it’s an appointment, uh, to have that date night to decompress, kind of update one another on, uh, what we’re going to do, you know, going forward and really what the priorities need to be. Uh, but to the commitment to the relationship, you know, there, I think all couples have had difficult times. Um, we certainly have, uh, in certain periods of our relationship and sometimes, you know, we have gone for outside help. And I think that was important that we recognize the fact that we may not have all the tools in the toolbox to solve some of our communication issues. And we found somebody that helped give us those tools going forward. And, you know, that’s something I’d really encourage people to do, you know, is understand. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Uh, but sometimes you need somebody that’s going to get you, you know, around a curve that you’re having problems with. 


Matthew: (16:07)

Absolutely. And I think that you’re the fact that you state that your commitment is so deep, you’re willing to venture into that unkind. It’s tough to ask for help. I think we all struggle with that in different ways because you’re almost admitting, Hey, I don’t have the answers or I can’t do it all. And I think it’s a beautiful example of your commitment to your relationship with your bride there, that you’re willing to do what it takes and if getting outside help or getting some influence. Kim and I have, uh, gone through courses and done stuff for our relationship because we don’t have all the answers either. You know, I, we, we, I have feet of clay and I make mistakes every day. Uh, and I go, gosh, why did I do that? Why did I say that? And so learning how to better communicate and meet those needs is, is a great example that you shared. I appreciate you bringing that out. I think kind of growing up in our, in our less mature years, Kim and I were talking about this the other day. I used to think that if somebody’s getting a help seeing a counselor that was a sign of weakness, or there must be a problem there. And now I’ve really turned that on its ear. And I think it’s a sign of maturity and wisdom that we’re looking at others to strengthen our circle. 


Kim: (17:15)

I believe it’s a way to enrich our marriage. And we forget that we need to do that. And being vulnerable enough to say, we need help, or we need tools. We need to find some different tools to put in our toolbox. There’s nothing wrong with that. And we need to be aware of when those things happen and maybe their triggers or things that, um, you know, start sending us down a wrong path, to be able to straighten ourselves out is really important. And sometimes more than we can actually take on ourselves when it comes to 


Matthew: (17:44)

Creating a kick marriage, do you ever wonder how you’re doing? We found that there are 13 key components that make up a thriving relationship, which is why we’ve created the kick-ass assessment in this powerful free tool. You’ll learn what they are and how you and your spouse are ranking in each one. Then you’ll get recommendations that will help you start moving today, get your results, simply visit Matthew Again, that’s Matthew It’s time to start kicking. Let’s go. And, you know, you talked about, uh, communication, uh, mayor, and that’s kind of our next, uh, of our three CS that we think is foundational. And how have you, how have you all worked? Give me some examples of great communication and give me some examples of when you think of a time where things didn’t go well, and how do you, how do you repair? How do you communicate when it’s not going well? Or there’s a kind of that elephant in the room? What, what do you do to get through those situations? 


Frank : (18:50)

Well, Theresa talked about food. Um, we kind of are foodies. Uh, it’s something that we do for charities. We do, uh, dinners at our house that we make all the food and auction them for different, uh, 5 0 1 C3, but going back to us, getting together, um, and again, taking time to break bread and go somewhere where we can really talk, uh, is first of all, almost like service on a vehicle. It’s kind of service for our marriage is to slow down and not be worried about making the meal, but sitting there and just talking over all of the different things that are going on and kind of giving each other a preview of what you’re worried about or what you’re, you know, focusing on at that, at that moment, there are times when we have communicated extremely poorly. Um, and you know, a lot of people say never, uh, let the sun go down on your anger. 


Frank : (19:55)

Uh, I don’t know that we always follow that one because sometimes there are times that you really do need some space to think about what you want to say and do absorb what the other person is feeling. Uh, and I think that’s wise. So I don’t agree with that parable. I think sometimes you need a time out, uh, to let tempers cool and, uh, let level heads prevail. And so I think that’s something for us. It may not be the right thing for other couples, but it is certainly something that occasionally we will just say, timeout, I’m not talking about this anymore, because all we’re going to do is go into a death spiral. Uh, and we need some time 


Kim: (20:43)

Research shows that heartbeats go up and, um, you know, we, we really put ourselves in a place of where we aren’t hearing anymore and, you know, we’re just trying to shout over each other. And so no, nothing good is being said or heard during that time. Um, so it’s, I think a timeout, um, makes perfect sense and, uh, coming back to it at a later point in time, I think you feel totally different. You may even look at it in a totally different way. Um, so love hearing that. I think that’s great advice for couples. 


Matthew: (21:19)

I agree. And you know, there’s a statistic that we found out in some of the work we’ve done that 69% of all problems are perpetual. So more than two thirds of this stuff in your relationship, you’re not going to solve, or you can’t change. Right. Because it’s something about the other individual that maybe you’re struggling with and you have, it’s more about learning and acceptance as opposed to, well, I’d be fine if she would just blank. Right. And, uh, we, we love to wave that one sometimes, but it doesn’t really exist. So it’s definitely a skill that I think all successful couples either have, or need to develop. And it sounds like the two of you have been able to do that. 


Kim: (21:58)

Now I’m curious. How about conflict resolution when you all have had these, um, little flare ups or blow ups with each other? Uh, and maybe sometimes it’s big and sometimes it could just be a small godly or just really getting on my nerves today. Um, or we’re irritating one another today. How do you resolve that? How do the two of you come back to, um, bringing together your thoughts and, um, your opinions on what just happened, 


Teresa: (22:30)

Um, before, if it’s okay. Before we go to that one, I just back to the communication, one of the other, just really special things in our marriage, in our relationship and communication that happened. And I can’t even tell you when it started happening, but it’s like every day Frank will call me at some point during the day I get a phone call and it’s not just, you know, it’s just like, Hey, how’s your day going? I was thinking about you. And so at least once a day, he reaches out and just calls and it has been so evident and becomes so much part of my day in his day. That if we go a whole day, I’m like, wait, I didn’t get a chance to talk to you or I’ll call it the end of the day. And when I, and his partner, she’s like, you guys are so cute. 


Teresa: (23:13)

You talk every day. And I just think it’s really sweet. And we don’t even necessarily talk about a lot of things during that call because we both have very full schedules and days, but even if it’s just a voicemail, Hey, I was just thinking about you. Hope you’re having a good day. How are you doing? How’s your day going? Good. Great. Okay, good love you. And that is really become a, just, I look forward to that. And if I don’t, if I don’t get the phone call, I’m like, wait, oh, I can make, I can make the phone call too. I think he even said, you know, Tracy, you could pick up the phone too. It doesn’t always have to be me, but some reason it was just one of his ways of just reaching out again, the affirmation in that action about how important I was that he was thinking about me during the day. 


Teresa: (23:52)

So as far as conflict and problem resolution, this has been a challenge. And I think it’s a challenge for a lot of couples. And I would say that, you know, you, you mentioned Kim, you know, just the irritability piece for me, as I have gotten more, um, mature and gotten older, it’s occurred to me that, you know, we all have bad days and it’s okay to have a bad day and to give yourself permission and to give the person that you love permission to have a bad day. And that it’s not about you. I think really subdues what could be potential conflict. Um, there’s nothing worse than if somebody is in a bad mood and they’re irritable and they snap or say something and you automatically like, what did I do? Why did I, you know, and, and then things can only escalate, but if you give, you know, I give, uh, give Frank permission to kind of have bad days. 


Teresa: (24:44)

And I, and he gives me the same. And we, I think we can joke about it at times and say, okay, we’re having one of those days. So I’m just going to stay out of your way today and come back together and say, would you like to talk about what happened? Or would you like to talk about what’s going on? And so, um, and I think back to Frank’s point that giving ourselves permission to say, let’s take a time out. This is, this is not going well. And again, it’s practice it’s practice. And when you have enough of those, where you have gone into that death spiral, and you’re both like, you’re a jerk, you’re a jerk, whatever. And then you say, okay, we’ve got to try something different. And for us, it was let’s walk away and then we’ll come back together and try and figure out what happened. And so sometimes it’s rehashing the conversation. This is what I heard you say. Not really not what I meant. And it takes a lot of time. And that’s been kind of a big breakthrough, I think for us in the last, I don’t know, maybe five to seven years. 


Matthew: (25:38)

That’s great. Teresa, what, what I hear you saying in what kind of, what came to my mind is like diffusing a bomb, right? Like you can say, oh, there’s a landmine and you can step on it. And they go, holy crud, look at all the damage. I lost my leg, right. Or you can go, whoa, wait a minute. There’s a landmine. You know what? I’m going to walk around that I’m not going to. So, you know, you can w what I, what I heard you saying is we diffuse it before it happens. And that’s an active choice. And what, what also tobacco even further would allows you all to do that is you’re committed to each other. You know, that, oh, you know, if we get in a really bad fight, man, we’re, we’re done. We’re over. No, that’s not going to happen. He’s committed to me. I’m committed to him. We can walk through this. And, uh, and, and the fact that you’re choosing to do that, I love that example. 


Frank : (26:24)

So Theresa does give me a lot of grace because I’m usually the bomb. I deal with people all day long. And whether I like it or not, I have to be nice. Uh, I’m not being disingenuous. Uh, but you have to be patient obviously with citizens. And as we go through the process of, of governance. Uh, so I am probably the one that is more of the landmine. And, you know, one of the things I’ve got to think about is, am I treating the people that I am with on a daily basis, better than my own family. And so you have some pent up things and then you get home and then they get the worst of you, which really isn’t fair. Um, the only other thing I’d say on conflict resolution and something that we have always worked on and struggled with at times is bringing things up from the past. 


Frank : (27:23)

Uh, and that’s something I encourage people to figure out. We call it, bringing her up, or, uh, you know, so one person is having that bad day. The other person raises the fact that they had a bad day, two weeks ago. And I put up with you, you know, uh, or something else that knowing that was one that we struggled with for many years, I think we don’t do much anymore. Uh, but it’s, it is something that I think you need to put things away and I mean, throw them away, uh, rather than having that memory, like an elephant and remembering that one time, five years ago, that you did something similar, uh, really is not beneficial in resolving conflicts. That’s a great point. 


Teresa: (28:12)

Great advice. 


Kim: (28:14)

So I’m curious. Yeah, exactly. Um, I’m curious of the 13 pillars, the list that you have in front of you, uh, Theresa, you mentioned that you really, uh, put loyalty sort of under that category as commitment, but as you look at the other pillars, I’m curious to hear from each of you, which other pillar stands out to the most, or maybe it’s most important to you. Cause we all sort of, um, are gonna resonate with something that’s different. Is there one that stands out to you? 


Teresa: (28:49)

It’s, it’s hard. I think, because if you’re saying just one, I think you have to have all of these things and you’ve done a great job of coming up with 13 pillars of successful relationships. And I think if every, you know, if we all sit down and look at these things and you are able to say, I see that in my relationship, or I’d like to maybe spend a little more time in that area. Um Hmm. Um, I’m like, you know, lasting love, trust and honesty, selflessness unit. It’s all very difficult to say, just one other one. So I’m going to defer on to see what Frank says. We shouldn’t like you should have done the whole, like, what do you think? He’ll say, what do you think? She’ll say 


Matthew: (29:32)

We can do that. Teresa let’s pack that we’re going to rewind or Theresa, what do you think Frank is? What do you think Frank’s going to pick 


Teresa: (29:39)

And why? I think he’s going, I think he would say trust and honesty because he is a very honest person. I don’t, there was something that, uh, oh, we had a recent situation where, uh, his best friend and I from Arizona were trying to create a surprise for him. And this was just last weekend. He was flying into town and he called and said, Theresa, well, let’s surprise Frank, let’s you set up the golf thing. I don’t want to tell him, I want to show up. Well, you know, Frank’s not a big surprise person. He does not like surprises. Like it would be not on this list of things. So we agonized over this whole thing, pulled it off long story short. I said, afterwards, Frank, I know you’re going to be totally honest with me about this, even, you know, I said, were you surprised? And he said, yes, I was absolutely surprised. And I knew, I knew he would tell me the truth. And so sometimes it’s not always easy to hear the truth, but I think, you know, trust and honesty is what you had. I don’t know. Am I wrong? 


Frank : (30:33)

Uh, that’s one of the tops, I think selfless, that’s the one that I kind of gravitate to I’ll have the whole list, because I think if you are more selfless, uh, it takes care of a lot of the problems. Um, it’s been something that I’ve looked at in other people’s relationships and even told them, I said, I think you’re both pretty selfish. I don’t know if you’re gonna make it, um, that wasn’t, yeah, there’s the honesty. Uh, you know, and that’s been family members that I’m referring to. Uh, so, you know, I think, and again, you know, you asked about our upbringing and that’s kind of what I go back to watching my parents. Uh, my mother was absolutely selfless. And my father after he recovered really was for my mother who had, uh, some physical limitations and she was really there. So I think that’s one of the big ones, but we’ve got a lot in here. 


Frank : (31:38)

I mean, we’re both servants in the community, uh, Theresa, you know, is with the salvation army and she’s the development director for them raising money so that the programs can actually take place. And Matthew and I originally met, you know, through different boards and, and not for profits. And I continue to be involved in those. And we met at church. So the faith and moral code, uh, kind of comes through. So there’s a lot on the list, obviously that I think are important. I don’t think there’s one element that makes you successful. It’s a lot of elements that come together. Sure. 


Matthew: (32:16)

And that’s a great segue. You’re, you’re, you’re setting me up perfectly today, mayor. Thank you. So when you talk about success and I know that each of you are successful individually and collectively, but I’d like you to think about your individual success or the success of your relationship because I’m a firm believer that if that relationship is strong as the cornerstone or foundation, and there’s going to be spillover from that relationship into those other areas. So I love you each to take a minute and, um, mayor, we’ll start with you and tell me, how has the success of your relationship spilled over into other areas of your life, whether it’s one of your two careers right now or something else? 


Frank : (32:57)

I would say that the fact that Theresa has given me the freedom to do so many things, which frankly was a sacrifice for our relationship. Uh, there are many days that I will go 13, 14, even 15 hours straight. Uh, so very early in the morning until late at night with meetings and you know, different organizations, uh, through my regular business and through, uh, city government. And so that is a sacrifice. Uh, but I think if you want to be successful, you’ve got to commit time and we all value time, probably more than any commodity in our life. And so our relationship is strong enough that Theresa has been willing to sacrifice time together so that I can be successful in hopefully transforming our community in a positive way. And I don’t know that all relationships could handle that 


Kim: (34:09)

Very selfless. I mean, that is if you a lot of credit Teresa for, um, being able to raise a family and, um, do all the things that you’re doing in the community as well. Um, without having, um, mayor Hibbard present all the time, that’s a huge sacrifice. 


Frank : (34:32)

Well, fortunately she accompanies me on a lot of things, but the other issue is, you know, people are throwing darts at you a lot of times and that’s not always easy. It doesn’t bother me 


Teresa: (34:44)

Very protective. I am very mama bear. We were at a function the other night and he got caught up with somebody and I went and I rescued him whether he was happy about it or not just, you know, I’m like, I can’t have this happening. And so I just kind of go in and say, oh honey, I think there’s somebody else. You need to see take them off, take them away. So I’m protective, which is not always good because I would say things that wouldn’t be favorable. 


Matthew: (35:13)

That’s a good, a good quality. 


Kim: (35:15)

How about for you to RESA the success of your relationship? Um, how has that spilled over into other areas of your life? 


Teresa: (35:25)

Um, similar, I think what Frank would say, I think the security of our relationship that I’m really safe, but with him and between the two of us and um, in, in spite of the number of things he deals with in both of his jobs and especially in our culture, this crazy last couple of years of culture has changed dramatically. I know I can come to him with anything and say, I really need you to hear me. I need, I need your perspective on this. I mean, he is incredibly smart and has incredible perspective on things that always just blow me away. And so I believe that my success, um, in my position, it comes because of the strength, the security that I have and that I can go to him and say, I’m really struggling with this. Can you give me a different perspective? Can you give me some insight? 


Teresa: (36:18)

Can you give me, you know, something, um, something that I’m not seeing and it’s not always what I want to hear and he’ll even say, okay, you’re not going to like what I have to tell you. And so that’s kind of back to the honesty and the truth that, that, and so I have to brace myself, but I leave a lot of that from our relationship. Is that, um, it’s again, it’s the commitment that we have to one another, it’s the loyalty it’s that I know he’s going to be there for me and that he’s always there. And, um, that has made a huge difference. 


Kim: (36:55)

So if there is one piece of advice that you could give yourself, and this is going back to when you’re first married, what would that piece of advice, 


Teresa: (37:09)

You know, oddly enough, um, and I don’t know that this would be for everybody, but I have found that our relationship is stronger and better. I think when he is involved in two things, like when he’s working in, when he was mayor and on the council the first time, and I think a lot of that has to do with the, that you have to be really clear on what’s happening and you don’t have a lot of time to maybe nitpick at one another because there are so many other things that are happening. So it’s like, this may not make sense at all. And in my mind, I am envisioning what I’m trying to say. It’s just like, all this stuff is stripped away. So for us being busy and doing things together makes us stronger. And so I would say to an unmarried or to our unmarried self, find something that you like doing together and do it. And that I think for us, oddly, it was his commitment and his, um, involvement in government and serving the community that way. And then it was cooking together. So I think you’ve got to find something that you really, really like doing together. And it ended up finding that strength in one another to, to handle everything else. 


Kim: (38:23)

That’s great advice. We ha we have to play together. We have to have fun together and we have to create those opportunities for fun and play within our relationship. 


Teresa: (38:33)

We were fortunate. We got married, 


Frank : (38:35)

Uh, I think realistic expectations. I think people, uh, Have certain expectations of what marriage is and before getting married, I think sometimes those expectations and vision for what marriage is, is something you’ve seen on TV or in movies or read about in books. And the reality is it’s a lot of hard work. And so I would, that would be the advice that I would give myself is understand you’re going into a lifelong partnership where there’s no outs, you’re going to have to fix whatever problems you face. And it isn’t always going to be a fairy tale and it’s worth it. 


Kim: (39:34)

I love that. That’s great 


Matthew: (39:35)

Advice. Great advice. 


Teresa: (39:38)

I think to that, you know, you hear a lot of people say, oh, you make me so happy. Aren’t we so happy? And I don’t see that in one of your 13, uh, you know, cause happiness is a, it’s a state of mind. And I think you have to also know that, you know, being content is different than being happy and you can still be happy if you choose that. But there is the comfort and again, security about, you know, the contentedness of, uh, of a solid relationship and happy. It’s just fleeting. And so yes, the expectations 


Kim: (40:13)

Product, I think of doing all these things, right, doing them well, the joy and the happiness comes when you’re invested in these. 


Matthew: (40:23)

Yeah. And it’s a choice. I agree with what you said earlier, happiness is, is certainly a choice that we can make, choose to make or not make. And, uh, it’s up to us to make that determination. And we’d love for you to each tell us. So, um, mayor Hibbert, where can, if people want to learn more about what you’re doing, uh, where, where can they find you? Where should they look? If they want to see that some of the things you’ve done professionally in, in, in that beautiful city of Clearwater, where should they go? 


Frank : (40:51)

Well, unfortunately I’m only a Google away, uh, you know, the newspaper and our own, uh, public information officer and others put out a lot of things about what’s going on. Uh, you know, we’re trying to transform a city in a downtown. We’ve done that with our beach. It’s been ranked the number one beach in the United States, three out of the last five years. Uh, but we have other challenges. Uh, COVID is obviously brought on some new challenges. Uh, we’d been through bad economic times. I was the mayor when we were in the great recession during eight, no nine, which really extended into 2012 and 13. Uh, this is kind of a new wrinkle. Uh, we have other challenges that I think all cities are having around the country, uh, from money to, uh, certain social unrest, uh, solving inequities, job creation, budgets, um, not all, that’s very sexy, uh, but it is necessary. I always tell people, local government is the most important level of government. We are the ones that really affect your daily life. Uh, you follow the national politics and it’s probably more interesting. Uh, but if you want to talk about your quality of life and the quality of life of your family and carrots, it’s the local government, that’s delivering it. You want safe communities, you want good parks and recreation library, as you want good education. Uh, you want to feel safe in your house and neighborhood look no further than your city. How about, 


Matthew: (42:34)

About the work that you’re doing? Where, where can we find and learn more about the impact that you’re having on your community and your 


Teresa: (42:41)

Well, as Frank said, I have the blessing of working for the salvation army and it is an amazing organization. And we have, there are, there are different units all over the country. Um, for me, we’re in Clearwater and upper Pinellas county. So we’re serving those people in Northern part of Pinellas county. There’s another unit that’s St. Pete and one over in Tampa. And so what we’re doing is, um, we’re really trying to keep people in their homes. One of the things that, um, you know, if you think about the, another effect of COVID is there were families that were already on the brink of poverty before that happened. And so you’ve got families that are in a position now that are about ready to fall below that poverty line, maybe lose their homes. They’ve already lost their jobs. They’ve been trying to keep things afloat. 


Teresa: (43:34)

And so we are really working very diligently to keeping families in their homes. And so we’re providing rental assistance, we’re providing coaching and case management and opportunities for them to change their lives. And the salvation army, uh, across the country is also making that commitment. And then there’s the ongoing word, feeding people still, um, twice a month. And, and so I would say, you know, you can visit our, and you can see what’s happening. And then I would also encourage all your listeners, no matter where you live sometime throughout the holidays, find your local salvation army and go and ring a bell for awhile. It is life changing. It is a great thing to do as a family at Christmas time, just go stand in front of a kettle, bring a bell that is where the majority of the units make their money to last and serve people on a year round basis. So it’s, it can be really fun, especially if you sing and do silly dances, you were, 


Kim: (44:32)

I’ve done it. I love it. I love it. Well, I want to just, uh, Theresa just acknowledge you and thank you for your service to the community of Clearwater, as well as the salvation army. I also want to say thank you for just opening up today and being vulnerable with us and, uh, giving us a little bit of insight to your relationship and, um, just sharing with our listeners, how you are really truly a kick-ass couple and what you’ve done over the years to help that to grow and to nurture that relationship. 


Matthew: (45:11)

We’re grateful. Thank you. I mean, the, the, the things, a lot of good pearls today, and you’ll get to hear them and see them, and we’re excited to share those. Thanks for, thank you for being vulnerable. We’re, we’re glad that you gave us some of your time. I know that we could have been one of those nos and we would have gotten over it, but, uh, it would have been hard. So we’re glad you said yes to us. And we think that really your experience is going to bless and help a lot of other people. So thank you for your time and for being so honest with us today, we’re glad to have had you. 


Kim: (45:40)

That’s all we’ve got for this episode of the kick-ass couples podcast. If you like the content of the show, you’ll love Matthew’s upcoming book, kick husband, winning at life marriage insects to receive a digital mini book of quotes and images from the book. All you have to do is rate this show and leave a review in apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you tune into. Listen, then email us a screenshot of your review at podcast at kick-ass couples, and we’ll get it over to you 


Matthew: (46:14)

Until next time. Remember happily ever after it doesn’t just happen. It’s on purpose.