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Welcome to the kick 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-host and husband and wife
In 26 years together, we’ve seen a lot and never thought it could to be as good as it is right now. We’re here to help you successfully navigate the messy, dirty, and wonderful world of
Marriage. 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, strengthen your relationship.
We’ll get started right after this message. If you wanna 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, that’s Matthew hoffman.com. And now back to the show, welcome to kick. Couple with Jeff and Jessica Jennings. This is a recap episode of our interview with them.
One incredible couple. They are, they are both lights, marriage, therapists, and counselors. They have private practices and they’ve come together to do and establish a new business called greatest marriage ever. And they are dedicated to helping couples really turn their relationships into the best that they can be. And before we dive into those recap notes, some of those pearls we’re gonna share with you all today wanted to just keep you up to date and let you know about some of the exciting things that are happening in kick couples nation. I’ve been referring affectionately to my wife. This time period is the third trimester. She can relate to that after birthing two children. And I could humbly try to relate, even though I’ll never have that full experience, but I feel like it because so much is happening so fast and it’s exciting. It’s uh, difficult.
It’s challenging. And we launched this podcast the first week of August, the kick couples podcast. That was the first launch. We’re about to launch October 1st, kick couples, nation and kick couple nation. And what you may hear us refer to as KCN is a membership site to help imperfect couples that want to level up in their number one relationship. We have licensed marriage therapists, a team them four of them in total, we do monthly webinars. We have a private Facebook group, Kim and I do a TG WM segment, which is a live streaming video segment. Thank God we’re married once a week and it’s full of great stuff. So we hope you’ll that out. And that’s all leading up to a wonderful book launch Kim, that is all about my relationship with this kick woman sitting right next to me now. And, uh, that book title is kick husband winning at life, marriage and sex. And that goes on sale November 12th at a launch party of our hometown in the last 27 years, Tampa, Florida.
Yeah, it’s all great stuff. And I think it all really boils down to, we believe that all couples are able to and are deserving of having a joyfilled relationship. And that’s what we’re here to do is just help make that happen.
So we’re excited you tuned in today and we’re gonna dive in, we’re changing our format a little bit on our recaps and this was my bride’s idea, and she’s got full of great ideas. And so you’ll hear some of the same things. We’re gonna talk about the pearls. What are our key takeaways? We each have three key takeaways that we’re gonna talk about today that some of them might be the same. So we might go deeper into some of those topics. And in the end, we’re gonna talk about some of our other pillars that the couple we interviewed, uh, Jeff and Jessica, the other pillars of our 13 key pillars for successful relationships. We asked our guests to pick out which other ones they think are important and why. So that’ll give us a chance to take a deep dive into some of those other, uh, qualities that make a relationship kick. So Kim, I’m gonna turn it over to you. You get to go
First today. Well, I think there were some awesome takeaways. First of all, from this particular episode, they both had a lot of great things to share. And with both of them being therapists, marriage therapists, um, they were able to really get a little bit deeper into the whys. And so I felt like it was really hard for me to just pick out three, but I’m gonna start with the first one. And that was Jessica, who said that in the beginning, they found the purpose and the passion, um, on their own. So individually they found what their purpose and passion was. And then they came together and they found each other. And so they found their true identity on their own and then grew together. And she also said that when you are purposefully pursuing your own identity, that there’s a certain attraction and magnetism, um, when you see that in your spouse and that, that really helped them to really pursue, um, their relationship and grow and together. So she felt that bond was ever deepening. Sure. Um, while they were working on their purpose and their passion. And I wanna stop
You for a sec, Kim, cause I think you touched on something really important. And I wanna go back and ask you what you think about this and maybe in our own relationship. And I bet all of our listeners could think the same thing. Why is it important to have an identity that is your own and your own purpose versus a purpose for the relationship? Not that there aren’t goals for the relationship, but why is that important for the individual to really be locked in on what their purpose and their passion is relative to the relationship?
I really just believe that makes a Mo a more fulfilled person. So when you really honed in on what your purpose is, and you know what your passion is, and you’re able to pursue it, it just makes you a better person and you are fulfilled on your own. And so by being fulfill on your own, you then can really take all of that and pour into a relationship and be successful in your relationship. Right?
Yeah. I agree. I think that one of the traps, right, that I know that we can fall into is maybe we’re looking to our spouse to fulfill us, or that they’re responsible for our happiness or our contentment. And we think it’s their responsibility and that’s a real false sense of personality. You’re relying on someone’s personality to fulfill you instead of it coming from within. And if both people do that, what do you bring into that relationship? If you’re looking to someone else to make you happy, right. And make you fulfilled, man, that’s draining for the person has gotta supply that. And that’s just not sustainable. It’s
A lot of pressure on you to fulfill yourself and to make sure I’m fulfilled as well. And so I don’t think that’s a good recipe for our relationship. So that’s why I think you have to really pursue your own individual, uh, purpose and really be happy and joyful within your yourself before you can really have a successful relationship with someone else. And it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t, you know, don’t have to be married. It’s just a relationship in general. It’s what you bring to that relationship.
Absolutely. And the good news Kim too, is that if you have your purpose and passion, which I know you do, and I’m aware of it, then I can support you in that. But if you don’t have it and, or I don’t know what it is, I can’t be there for you. I can’t support you and know how to come up next to you and underneath you and encourage you to give you what you need to fulfill your own purpose and mission. Sure.
Well, how, how about you, Matthew? What, what did you take away? What are one of the things that you took away from this interview, you with Jessica and Jeff? Gosh.
Yeah. The first takeaway that I kind of took note of is when Jessica talked about rising up fully for who you are and speaking the truth in love, and then she talked a little bit more about, she said, you know, you can’t sugarcoat problems. You don’t wanna make, ’em so sweet and tender that they don’t sound like issues. Uh, you know, you don’t want him to be too sugar sugary, and you don’t want him to be too sharp. But she said, and something that she had to work on, she talked a lot about this in our interview. She had to learn how to be assertive and assertive language is loving. It doesn’t mean you’re yelling and being negative. And Jeff had some triggers. He talked about, about being yelled at and some violence and some crazy circumstances as he was growing up. And, you know, she talked a little bit more about seeing obstacles and agreeing to go forward, even though there are obstacles together. And so she talked about that language and communicating. So, you know, you talked about finding your purpose and she said, you gotta rise up and fully for who you are. And speaking the truth, not just about yourself, but about your spouse in love, because if you’re holding them accountable, then you can speak to them lovingly about that.
Yeah. That’s, that’s great that you, um, that you made note of that. That was my number two, actually. Oh, gotcha. Because I love the, I love the statement of speaking truth, um, in love and being able to, she said really, um, be committed to owning her own stuff and to showing up. And that means being vulnerable and to share your true self and not to be afraid of that. There’s and to, to know that there’s safety in doing that in the relationship,
That was great. One of the quotes, I kind of underlined that she made, she said the obstacle is outside of you and you can conquer it together. And I think we’ll talk more about that later in conflict resolution, maybe, but everybody thinks when things arise in a relationship that it’s a person. And if you’re struggling with something in your relationship, one of the key steps that she talks about is the obstacle is not the person. It’s not, he or she is doing something or he or she isn’t doing something. You gotta look at it as a thing and say that thing, that belief, that false impression or thought is trying to get in the way of our success, let’s recognize it for what it is. And then together figure out what we have to do to conquer it. And, and that’s great because it takes personality out of my spouse did this to me, I’m a victim, or they didn’t do that. And how dare they. And it’s really about understanding, figuring out together how to work through those obstacles, isn’t it?
Absolutely. You know, um, one of the things that Jeff said relating to that is, um, there’s some transparency there, but also being able to receive that information, that vulnerable, uh, information that transparency and know that, um, the relationship is not threatened. It’s not at stake, right. You’re safe in that space. So I think that that was a really important, um, point as well. Um, one of the things that they said that they also try to do is stay away from the four horseman. And I think that’s always a good reminder to our listeners, what those four things are. Matthew, do you wanna share,
Share with us? And it’s interesting cause that leads kind of into my next big takeaway and I was gonna let you go, but I’ll jump in since we’re talking about communication, right? And um, some of the things, and I’ll get to the four horseman in a second, but you know, they were, Jeff was saying, you gotta be honest, you gotta be vulnerable. You gotta be transparent. And you’re, he felt a little challenged to communicate when he was upset. And so he said, man, you know, and life, your relationship is not gonna always be sunshine and roses, right. If you think it is, then you haven’t been in your relationship very long. And so his challenge was how do I communicate when he is irritated or upset because his tendency and he recognized this is to withdraw based on his family of origin and some of his child experiences.
And real, he talked about staying away from those four horsemen, which to review the four horseman are, uh, things that John Gottman recognizes in some of his work that can come in and, you know, ride in that he calls ’em horseman because they ride in and want to trample take over and, and bowl over. And one of them is defensiveness. Another one is contempt. The third is stone walling. And the fourth is criticism and criticism and defense, I think as Jess kind of said, she goes, those are really related. Cuz if you’re defensive, you’re defensive because you’re being criticized. So you’re withdrawing and those two really play off each other a lot. What, what, what, what else did you get from that, that, uh, area about the four horseman and communication?
Yeah, very much the same. I think that we all fall victims to, um, those four for horsemen. And I think they creep in without us even realizing it, maybe you’re having a discussion and all of a sudden the other person just becomes defensive. Right? Mm-hmm and then the criticism starts and before you know, it, you are in the middle of, um, a blow up that really could have been, I think, deflated, if you’re really aware of those four things and you really try not to let them sneak in. Yeah.
Being aware of, of them is huge. And I think she gave a great suggest and Jess said in when there’s criticism and when there’s a disagreement like that or a struggle, she said, you have to look at the process, not the content. And it’s so hard because we get offended by the content of what our spouse may or may not be saying or what they’re suggesting. Yeah. And you take it as an affront it’s criticism. But if you look at the process that you have to go through in order to handle those issues and say, are we using the best process to work through this issue? It, it’s not about the content, but it’s about understanding and resolution. If it’s possible to get through it. She said, if you’re committed to the process, the content’s kind of irrelevant. I,
That was my number three. So I just, oh God, I’ll let
You cut you off. Oh, take over, go
Get in there. But, um, since we have the same number two, my number three was exactly that, um, example that she gave, um, looking at the process and not the content and the, the example that she gave in this particular episode was, um, about the finger nail clipper, right. They have fingernail Clippers and they keep the several of ’em in the same spot. And Jeff was trying to look for the fingernail Clippers and couldn’t find them. And he got real irritated with that. And so her example was that it was, had nothing to do with the fingernail Clippers. It had to do with the PR the fact that he loves order. It’s important to him. He felt out of control and unimportant in his own home because he couldn’t find what he needed. It wasn’t put back in the proper spot. Right. So, um, that was her, their example of it’s really the process. It’s not the content had nothing to do with the fingernail Clippers.
Right. And that’s usually, it’s funny. I mean, we, we, I use the example in our book, we have a chapter called take out the trash and it has nothing to do with the domestic of taking out trash. It has to do with communication. And are you being listened to, and you know, we talked about this before. If Kim asked me to do something one time, two times, three times, four times, I may not think it’s important. It may not. I, it go, oh, that could be the least important thing. It’s not even rising on my radar. But what I have to be careful of is that if I’m gonna be successful in this relationship, I have to understand if something is important to her, then I’ve gotta accept, influence, and be willing to look at your opinions and value them as if they were my own.
And so something’s in, in this scenario, Jeff said, you know, I want to know that what I need is where I left it and not just where it happened to and be put back. So he appreciates that order. And it doesn’t mean that she’s gotta be afraid or concerned about it, but she can go, okay, that’s a trigger for him. I can work harder to minimize the times when that occurs and becomes an issue for us. And that’s, that’s love, right? And that’s communicating in a safe way. You know, you gotta slow it down. You gotta sure that you’re being loving and you gotta not allow those other things to creep in. It’s not, it’s not the, the, the, discussion’s not about the finger note Clippers. It’s about, do you value me? Do you appreciate me? Right. And are you listening and valuing what I do for this relationship?
And Jessica said something really interesting. She said that sometimes that process is elusive. You don’t really know what it is. So by taking a minute, taking a breath, slowing down, um, maybe even having a discussion about it, then that elusiveness tends to, to dissipate and you can see, understand the real reason for the discontent.
And I think she also said a big wash out is you have to make sure that you’re understanding and seeking to, you have to be like an inspector, right. And, and a detective, what are the feelings that are underneath the discussion and making sure that they’re acknowledged because you and I have said before, you have the right to feel the way you feel, and if somebody’s discounting your feelings, they’re really discounting you. Right. So we want to, I think she said, you gotta make sure that you understand what are the feelings underneath the discussion, like in this situation with the finger out Clippers, it was that Jeff felt outta control, not listened to, and he didn’t have the order that he needed to be successful in what he was trying to do.
Sure. And with anyone else it could be, I feel alone. I feel UN cared for. There’s a lot of things that could be happening there. And like Jessica said, it sometimes can be elusive. So we do need to stop, investigate, ask the questions. I really slow everything down so that we can better understand
And talking with Chris can, I don’t know when we, if you remember, when we interviewed Chris and Lori canvas, he said, what’s the story within the story. Yeah. And that was his way of saying, let’s get at what’s really happening here. What are the feelings, as Jess said that are underneath this, and then, okay, you’re saying you’re upset and angry about this, but can, let’s get to the heart of what’s really bothering you or another easy question to say, guys to your spouse is, Hey, why is this so important to you? Help me understand. And that simple question opens the door for that discussion to occur, right? And for the exchange to happen. Sure. When it comes to 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 kickass assessment in this powerful free tool.
You’ll learn what they are and how you and your spouse are ranking in each. And you’ll get recommendations that will help you start improving today to get your results. Simply visit Matthew E hoffman.com. Again, that’s Matthew E hoffman.com. It’s time to start kicking. Let’s go anyway. So that’s good. I, my next one had to do with kind of conflict resolution. That’s something we talk about with all the couples when we get together. And some of the things that they both talked about, we have to stop doing in conflict resolution when we’re trying to fight fair, right? Is we gotta stop naming, blaming and naming calling. You know, it’s the point finger that accusation. And again, what’s happening underneath what’s the root cause versus the symptom, right? That anger, the flare up, the screaming, the yelling, the disrespect, those things are symptoms. They’re not the root cause.
And if you’re quote unquote fighting fair and conflict resolution, you’re not resorting to do things that are are triggers or that are gonna blow up when you step on them because you know your spouse. Right. Right. And I, I think that, I remember they talked about self protection strategies, right? You gotta make sure that you’re protecting yourself. Every, we all have them things that we do and won’t do because we don’t want to get hurt. Right. We naturally avoid danger and don’t want, want to hurt ourselves. And in situations, when we have conflict, we walk in and we put these walls up where we put things in to, to keep us safe, but we gotta be willing to communicate our feelings, be vulnerable and not allowing that INESS and shutting down to come in. And I loved the expression. I think that she shared, I think Jess may have shared, she said, you gotta break the ice. Right. Because it’s a, if when, when the relationship is icy and cold,
Right. One person needs to step in and break the ice. Yeah.
I mean, how long you wanna live in that icy stage, it’s not a fun place to be cold and unloving and distant from your spouse.
And another thing she said is that, you know, you’re both hurting, both sides are hurting and that there are no bad guys. There should be no bad guys.
Yeah. And I mean, coming back to the idea about, she said, you gotta own your stuff because every, every discussion re conflict, there’s two sides. And I think if you’re willing as a spouse to say, Hey, you know what, Mia culpa, I’m gonna own my junk. This is what I contributed to the problem. And I can work on that and I can make sure that doesn’t happen again, recognizing that. And then I’m showing my true self instead of trying to be perfect. She really struggled with perfection. She said, if I used to think, if my spouse is gonna love me, I gotta be perfect. I gotta look perfect and act perfect and say the right things and do the right things. Right.
And that’s a lie. It is a lie. That’s a lie. And we all have that tendency to, um, to have a lie, right. Might be different for each of us. But to be able to call that lie out and say, this is not true. I do not have to be perfect. I do not have to be, um, all the time, um, a 10, right. In order to be loved and accepted.
Yeah. Worthy and deserving. And I think that she said, there’s not a bad guy in the relationship. There’s, there’s a bad thing that’s happening, but it’s not. One is right. And one is wrong. And nobody likes to play the role of bad guy, but you can recognize the behavior or the cycle. You know, that’s taking you to a bad place, but there’s not a bad person cuz you love each other. You’re committed and you’re dedicated to working it out. Right. And, and I,
And I love that. And I think the, um, one more thing while we’re, while we’re still on this point is that once you’ve unveiled that belief in this case, maybe it’s a lie that I need to be perfect. Right. Once you’ve unveiled that you have a superpower, you know what that is? And you can then go to yourself and say, wait, stop. I don’t have to be perfect. There’s love, there’s safety. Everything I need is right here. I don’t, I can take a breath. I can step back. I don’t have to be perfect. This person isn’t expecting that from me.
Yeah. Yeah. And then what’s nice about it is that you can support that. If I, Jeff said, Hey, I know that’s something that she struggles. So when we’re not in a disagreement or fighting, I can encourage and support her not to treat herself that way or accept that lie about herself. So not only is it the person that says, this is my issue and I’m gonna work on it, but it’s the support of loving spouse that says when we’re not in conflict, I’m gonna remind you that this isn’t who you are and that you can dump that and to not take actions or say things, you know, I did that with, with, with Kim and, and a great example is, um, when we started this podcast, my wife was on the fence. She said, I don’t know if I wanna to do that with you.
That’s not, not my gift, not my gift. You do it so much better. You got that theater background, you’re a speaker you’re comfortable. And then once we, she made the decision to come in. It didn’t force her. She made her own decision. She’s a big girl on her own. And people started giving her compliments and saying, you’re doing well. And you’ve got some skill and talent. And then she would say, it’s not my thing. I I’m no good. And I told her, I put my arms on her shoulder one day and I looked at her and I said, stop saying, you’re not good because you are, you’re not perfect. I’m not perfect, but you have talent skill and ability and you need to own your goodness and stop beating yourself down. And so that was an opportunity I was given. But if I didn’t know that something that she struggled with, then when we’re outta conflict, I couldn’t support her on it. So understanding what it is for you, spouses out there, whatever issue your, your, your husband or wife is struggling with, you can be a huge cheerleader and advocate for helping them recognize it and work out of it in a loving way.
Yeah. There was a lot of affirmation there, um, for me. So thank you for acknowledging and, and seeing that and, um, supporting me when we’re not on the air. Um, and just in life supporting me in life in general. Oh, I
Love, I love the opportunity and I, I know we’ve spent some good time. I wanna briefly touch on some of our other pillars that they talked about. Yeah. Do you want to, do you have something on one of those? So
I love Jeff Jessica’s pillar was faith. Um, she talked about how they meditate together. They attend church together. So their faith is important to her, to the relationship foundation. Um, it gives them a lot of strength and a power to be really be able to over overcome any and all things. That’s
A great connection they had. And I think she said something like, you have to believe in the truth about themselves and each other and that their faith and their moral code, those things, the meditation, the prayer, the church, they do help them do that for each other. Yes. And I thought that that was great. I really agreed.
Agreed. It happens to be one of, um, my favorite pillars on the list as well, because I really feel that that foundation, if I don’t have that foundation, that spirituality, um, that really just grounds me each day, then I can’t show up for you. And I can’t show up for our family. Sure.
And that if you’ve joined us, this is your first episode listening. You, haven’t heard of this. Talk about our third team pillars. We have 13 pillars. And we think that these qualities you can find ’em on our website, www.matthewphoffman.com. And those 13 pillars are the qualities that we think make up every successful relationship. We talk about ’em ’em all the time. And Jeff picked out appreciation. He said, you know what? You gotta have gratitude practices. What are the three things that you like about each other and not forever, but that day, Hey, I saw you do this. I appreciate that. You know what I love about you most just those three things he says, whether you’re writing them down or verbalizing them and making it, you know, you don’t wanna take each other for granted. And I think that sometimes we get so wrapped up in family, in work, uh, in extended family or family of origin that we forget to look at the person that we’re committed to and let them know what we love about them and what we appreciate about them and express that gratitude. And you know, when you’re expressing gratitude, you, you can’t Kim, you can’t be grateful and angry at the same time or fearful isn’t that matter. Yeah. Can’t be grateful and fearful. So if you’ve got anger or fear about something, stop and think about what you’re grateful for, because it’s, it’s a great reset. And I think that Jeff said that’s really important to him. He loves to hear appreciation from Jess about how he is to her and the relationship, right.
And their family. And that just, that kind of led right into another pillar that we have, which is, he said, it makes him feel secure it reassures and reaffirms their relationship and his security in their relationship. Yeah.
Love that. And guys, we could go on in this re cap forever, but what a dynamic couple, a power couple, a kick couple. They were both so tender and sweet. And if you’re looking for counseling or marriage advice, if you need help in your marriage, not just cuz there’s an issue, but we believe Kim and I believe in getting help to invest, you know, you change the oil in your car and rotate the tires and the alignment’s gotta be in place. That’s Jeff and Jessica Jennings. And I think if you go back to the full episode, their website is there greatest marriage ever.com. And man, there are just incredible people and we’re so glad to have the time with them. So if you haven’t listed the full episode, please go back. It’s episode 14 on the kick couple’s podcast. This has been the re cap of Jeff and Jessica Jennings. Thank you for joining us today. If you haven’t done so already, if you’ve just listened to one episode, please, please, please like us. Give a review and give us a rating. If there’s something you’d like to see us do differently, or if you, we could get better, let us know, give us those ratings, share it with a friend. And remember that happily ever after this, not just happen.
It’s on purpose. That’s
Right. We’ll see you guys again soon. Thanks a lot.
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