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Kickass Couples Podcast

How To Prioritize Your #1 Relationship Amid Pressure and Challenges: Episode 4 – Locascio

By August 12, 2021September 9th, 2022No Comments


Speaker 1 (00:02):

Welcome to the kick-ass couples podcast. This is the place where we help committed couples who wants to level up their marriage experience, newfound, clarity, hope, and confidence. We’re Matthew and Kim cohosts and husband and wife

Speaker 2 (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.

Speaker 1 (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,

Speaker 2 (00:42):

The relationship. And now let’s dive in to today’s episode,

Speaker 1 (00:48):

Denny and Amber LoCascio in the house today. We’re going

Speaker 3 (00:51):

All in on each other because I truly want to

Speaker 1 (00:53):

Be better. He can’t enter into a relationship with the thinking, well, if this doesn’t work out, there’s always, this hit each other

Speaker 3 (01:01):

And you can’t cheat on each other. I can take one

Speaker 2 (01:03):

Comment that’s made off the end and

Speaker 1 (01:05):

Completely let it derail my emotions. It’s not about becoming what your spouse wants, right? It’s about becoming for each other. What you need

Speaker 2 (01:15):

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, hick husband, winning at life, marriage, and sex. You can get again, that’s app And now back to the,

Speaker 1 (01:40):

We are so excited. We’ve got Denny and Amber low Casio in the house today. This is momentous would definitely a kick couple wouldn’t you say?

Speaker 2 (01:51):

No doubt, no doubt. One of my most favorite, um, younger sort of upcoming, I think couples and we have the pleasure of being friends with Amber and Danee. So this is really special for us because we know them well, and we know that they are. So we can’t wait to, uh, have them share with all of you, their experiences and a little bit about their relationship.

Speaker 1 (02:15):

Yeah, I’ve got to know Denny. Denny is a, if you’re looking at the video today, he’s wearing a few shirts. So he was hiding the buff, the buff guy that he is, but he definitely has some strength and conditioning and taught me how to work out correctly. That was my first intro to Denny, many years ago, and his gym and a great relationship. We’re in an accountability group together. We get together once a month to make each other better. And then he was wise enough to marry Amber. We were there when that happened, definitely got an upgrade in the relationship there, and they have two beautiful children, Aubrey and Maddix van that are just as cool as their parents are. So it’s fun to see all the, all the stuff that you guys are doing in your life right now. And we’re glad to have you here today. We’re in Maynard and, uh, and this is our, our kick-ass couple of studio. And then we’re going to have a great conversation with these guys today. And because this is the kick couples podcast. So it would follow suit that the first question is going to be, what do you think makes a couple? And like, why are you guys a kick couple? So I’m gonna, you guys either one of you can answer that first, so you can look at each other

Speaker 3 (03:33):

First and then,

Speaker 1 (03:34):

All right. You’re you’re on deck, big dog. So

Speaker 4 (03:38):

Kick I’m thinking about is successful. So in our book is as a couple, are we living up to our potential, not as individuals, but as a group, are we doing the best we can? Am I supporting my wife the best she can? Is she supporting me? Or are we raising kids? The things that our values are we doing the best we can in those categories doesn’t mean that we’re better than any other couple. We’re not trying to compare ourselves to each other, but are we doing the best we can for our relationship for our family? That’s why I wanted to find a kick.

Speaker 3 (04:05):

Yeah. And I’ll just tack onto that. I think it’s always striving to be better in who you are and always learning. What can I do to strengthen this relationship, right. And what is it that my spouse needs in this moment for me to be supportive of him, um, and always looking for opportunities to improve as that spouse, right. And making sure that you’re, you’re supportive of your, your husband and, or your wife and just adding what they need in that moment of time to make sure that they’re fulfilling their potential. And, um, you two are moving in the same direction consistently. Right? You’re growing, but you’re moving together. Sure.

Speaker 1 (04:43):

Wow. Two power answers and a good bill. I don’t think I could add anything or make any better, pretty, pretty well done. Pretty well done. So one of the things that Kim and I have learned, and we kind of start off, all of our interviews is you’ve probably heard the expression you have to go back to go forward. Right. And so one thing that we think is kind of at the foundation of successful couples is to say, well, how did they arrive at this relationship or this marriage? And what did they bring? What do they think love looked like, right. What was modeled to them as they were growing up? And what was your image? So before you all got married, you came to the relationship with what, what, what does love look like? Or what should it look like? Or what is success or failure and what were your expectations? So we’re kind of gonna, again, uh, I’m gonna throw it out to, uh, since Denny answered the first one, I’m going to ask Amber, I’m gonna say, Amber, what did love look like in your family growing up? How did you see that through your parents’ relationship

Speaker 3 (05:42):

Was really lucky to have parents who have always put each other first in their relationship. So they modeled for both my sister and I that, um, their relationship was first and foremost, God. And then second was my mom for my dad and my dad for my mom. They would always put each other first. And then it was the kids. Right. And we were important in their life, but it was always each other first. Um, and then I think second, it was, they were joins in making decisions. It wasn’t that I could play one side against my dad whenever I wanted something. I can go to my mom and ask her if my dad had already said no, uh, and go to my mom and, and ask her and see if I could get a separate answer. They were always kind of, um, on the same page with how they were going to move forward as a couple set the standard for their kids.

Speaker 3 (06:35):

And so, um, I just have, I’ve always seen a really strong and very powerful relationship between the two of them. And they’ve always been physical in a very good way as well. Um, you know, they have always shown affection towards each other and have always kind of modeled a really loving, very affectionate kind of relationships. So I think I came to that with the expectation that there would be a lot of laughter. There would be a lot of love. There would be a lot of communication, open communication. Cause I always saw that from my mom and dad as well. Um, and so those are the biggest things that I think stand out for me, for what my parents, how they modeled love. Sure.

Speaker 1 (07:15):

It sounds like a terrific way experienced that. And you brought some important things to the relationship.

Speaker 2 (07:21):

I love to hear that in VR. I think you and I are very similar in our families of origin. I, I share a very similar background and um, I’m just curious. What, how has love express express to you? How did you feel loved by your European?

Speaker 3 (07:38):

My parents always vocalized it. It was always, I love you so much. Um, I think you’re amazing, you know, they, they articulated their love. They also showed it quite a bit. I mean, my mom was a big hugger and so it was my father. Um, they were always present. So if I had a gymnastics competition or if I had a big exam and it was in something that my mom could help me with such as, um, you know, it was a math exam or something she would always step in and she would be present and, and, um, walk me through everything. I think they were always present in our lives. Um, and, and maybe it was more so for me than my sister, because I was the youngest. And so growing up, um, my mom was getting her PhD at LSU and, um, you know, my, my family was young.

Speaker 3 (08:28):

My parents were really young. My mom was 20 and my dad, or I’m sorry, my dad was 20. My mom was 18 when they first got married, had my sister about a year later, had me at 26 and my mom decided to go back to college to get her PhD. And so they were a very young couple re trying to raise a family, trying to get an education, trying to elevate themselves in their family to another level. And so my mom being 26, when she graduated, I was about 10. When we, she finally got her PhD, we moved to Virginia. And so I got them a lot more in my life than I think my sister got them. And so I benefited from that quite a bit, but they were always present. They always showed up and they made it a point to be, um, interested in what I was interested in with.

Speaker 2 (09:15):

It just sounds like they’re very attentive and very nurturing. And, um, you’re very blessed. Uh, Denny, how, how about you? I would love to hear a little bit about your family of origin and, and what love sort of look like to you and your family growing up.

Speaker 4 (09:30):

So we have a few things, Amber and I, as similar, but many things differently about, uh, my family, you know, similarly, my family is very affectionate, you know, hugs and participation in sports sports like Amherst family has always a big deal in our house. So always the families at the games, traveling, taking us, they are doing those types of things. Uh, what’s very different about our family is just my parents, probably not always were on the same page. My dad kind of had his way of doing things. My mom had her way and my dad never really upped his game as being a husband or those types of things. We never really worked on. He kind of checked the box of being married and that’s just kinda what he did. And that was kind of really how he is in life. He goes to work, comes home.

Speaker 4 (10:12):

That’s how life is. And so seeing those things probably really affected me how I view, how I wanted to be later on as a husband, as a father, but I also had influence and both sets of grandparents. I have both my grandparents on both sides are like married 50 plus years, fully committed, like what Amber had with her parents, the joy, the laughter, caring for each other more than anybody else. So I also had those things in my life too. You know, when I was in high school, my senior year, my parents got divorced. So I also saw things too, like, Hey, I don’t ever want this in my life. So what am I going to do to make sure that this doesn’t happen? So I saw things I didn’t like and things I did, like, which really affected us. And, uh, my relationship with Amber,

Speaker 2 (10:54):

You’re so fortunate to have those role models. You know, sometimes we don’t always get that from our immediate families, but there are people in our families who can give those examples and, and be those, uh, parents for us. So, uh, I love, I love hearing that Denny and thank you for sharing that.

Speaker 3 (11:13):

Can I add on though? Oh, absolutely. So I think his mother is amazing. She’s been a godsend to us for sure. And his mom made it a point to make sure that he was exposed to other strong men in his life as well. Not just his grandfathers, but people in the church who she knew he would have a really good role model in and making sure that, you know, he had what he needed in that moment that was really pivotal in his life or when he was becoming a man, you know, and, and going into adulthood. So I credit his mom so much with how he turned out as she’s, as she’s a wonderful lady. I have had the benefit of that, getting to know her

Speaker 1 (11:53):

As well. And you guys are blessed. And I think one of the ideas I heard you express Denny is that we think growing up that parenting is just our parents. And I think when we get more mature and maybe have a little more life experience, we see that those father and more motherhood roles can come through a lot of different people. Uh, and it’s not always our parents that we get that parenting from. And it sounds like your grandparents fill that role for you. My mom passed away at a very young age and she was, she was 59 when she passed away. And I was really bitter about it for a while. But as I look back and my wife and I have shared, I was mothered by so many people in so many loving ways. So that, that, that, uh, that need was fulfilled, uh, through other people and in great ways. And it really helped me grow as an individual to find that and see that and recognize it. So we do get a lot of parenting from our biological parents, but that’s not always where it all seems to come from which,

Speaker 4 (12:55):

And that’s the village, you know, Aubrey always asking the question, daddy, why don’t have so many uncles, everyone’s close. Friends of ours are all uncles to her, the males in our lives. So just having positive influence, having influential people around that, we can not just teach ourselves with the lessons everyone else has learned, and we can all grow, grow.

Speaker 2 (13:16):

Thank you for opening up and sharing that with us. We believe that there are 13 pillars for, uh, that are necessary for a successful marriage. And we really focus on three of those pillars, uh, the, those three being first of all, commitment and then communication and conflict resolution. And so I just want to talk about those three things with the two of you. And I guess we can start with the first one being, um, commitment. What does commitment look like in your relationship? And either one of you can, can take that question.

Speaker 1 (13:53):

Well, we’re both going to ask you both to give it, but we’ll see who could go with Amber. Are you comfortable taking and taking that one on first? What it looks like for you guys? Yeah.

Speaker 3 (14:02):

So what does commitment look like to me and specifically with our relationship? I think it, it looks like showing up and being there for your spouse day in, day out through the thick of it through the really hard times. So, you know, just taking a couple of examples, I think going through pregnancy and having a newborn baby and, uh, the trauma of that experience and having a spouse there that will show up and be in that moment with you and, and give you everything that you need, um, to make sure that you’re taking care of yourself and that you’re taking care of your family. And the way that you need to another example is, you know, I was hospitalized right after we were married in Napa and he was there by my side the entire time. So it’s not just being there through the things and the exciting things and the successes, but it’s being there through the really hard times where you don’t know if you’re going to make it, you know, another minute. And, um, I’m, I’m really fortunate to have somebody who is so steady and, um, you know, he’s always, he’s always striving forward and, and he doesn’t waiver in his commitment to whatever it is that he’s taken on, whether it be a relationship, his kids, his job, um, anything that he donates his time to, like, he’s just always been so committed and I’m, I’m so grateful for that to have somebody who’s so steady in my life.

Speaker 1 (15:28):

So it sounds like you feel that in a lot of, a lot of different ways and you have, have felt that from, in, in demonstrable, tangible ways through, through the thick and thin. Okay. That’s great. And Denny, what does it, what does it look like to you in, in your relationship with Amber?

Speaker 4 (15:45):

Commitment to me is just, non-negotiable like, whatever the words you use are the commitments you make and that that’s like written and rock solid as it is. So when we got married, like there’s not even an option for divorce, like that’s completely taken off the table. To me, that’s commitment, I’m committed to Amber for the rest of our lives. So that that’s really what it was to me as simple, I guess, as I could come up with the words to use,

Speaker 1 (16:10):

That’s a great concept. And I think that, um, we’ve talked about that before in some other people, there’s no plan B, uh, in, in, in the book we wrote a kick husband and I’m a coauthor. Chris canvas is a licensed marriage therapist. And he said, you can’t enter into a relationship with the thinking, well, if this doesn’t work out, there’s always this right. And what I heard you say is that there’s no plan B, this is, this is the relationship we’re committed to it, and we’re going to figure it out and we’re going to stick with it no matter what.

Speaker 4 (16:41):

Yeah. Outside of that, I mean, Amber and I pretty much have two rules for our marriage is you can’t physically have physical contact like, and hit each other and you can’t cheat on each other. Outside of those two rules, we are fully committed to our relationship for the rest of our lives. Those are two of the things that are non-negotiable, can’t do those things, everything else we’re going to forgive each other. We’re going to move on. We’re going to work through those things, those challenges and the good times and the bad.

Speaker 1 (17:05):

How did you guys come up with those two things? Was that one saying, Hey, I want this, like, I’m interested in that. Tell me more about that. I think just,

Speaker 4 (17:12):

Uh, going to church, pastor Brad was maybe talking about that on just relationships on marriage and those types of things is the earliest. I can remember those two.

Speaker 3 (17:19):

I think we’ve always been on the same page with those two things being kind of non-negotiables for us. I can’t recall how we came up with those two ideas, but he and I both feel incredibly strongly about those two in particular. And I think for me, just as a female, I want to make sure that, you know, I’m safe and, and we model a, uh, a relationship that doesn’t show any sort of physical violence towards one another whatsoever. And that could be from me to him and to me, right. I want to make sure that both ways, a hundred percent, I want to make sure that our kids know that that is never, ever acceptable to show to their friends, to show towards each other. And so I’m going to model an example of what I want my kids to become as adults. And then the infidelity thing.

Speaker 3 (18:07):

That’s just not something I think I could ever really get over. And so for me, that’s always been really important and making sure that you set that standard with your spouse and you know, where that line is and that they know that they cannot cross that and that there are going to be significant repercussions and your life will never go back to the same, you know, there’s no coming back from that. So he, and I think have always identified those two as, as things that would definitely break our relationship. And so we’ve, we put them out there and we both agree to them. And so

Speaker 2 (18:39):

I love that you shared with us your non-negotiables. I think those are really important things, and I’m appreciate learning those from you. The next thing that we really believe is important too, is, is communication. And you all are really what I would say in the thick of life. You have a business that you’re running, you’re working full-time, you have very young children, you got a lot of demand. And so I am really curious to hear, how do you communicate with each other? How do you make time to communicate with each other

Speaker 3 (19:16):

And what kind of communication

Speaker 2 (19:20):

Communication do you have? I want to, I want to know that

Speaker 3 (19:24):

I chuckled because it’s different for both of us. Do you want to take it first? I’ll be happy to take

Speaker 4 (19:31):

The low Casios may, uh, fly with passing colors. And many of these pillars two is where we, uh, have our largest area of growth, especially early on, you know, um, the, the book five love languages really in all, honestly saved our marriage early on, just from the communication standpoint where Amber is, you know, communicating her love language in one way, or I’m communicating in a different way. And it was having to get to the point where I had to learn what Amber her needs were and our shoes learning what my needs were and getting to that point was getting us on a foundation. And then from that point on, it was really, it was been growth for us on how to I continue to support her. And how does she support me? And even then what she used to be is not necessarily always what she is now.

Speaker 4 (20:19):

So along the path of us growing is learning what Amber needs, um, what are areas that we continue to grow on? Uh, how was she acting or what would I need to change right now to be better at communicating? Um, you know, for us, we’re talking about the kids for us, our calendars are a way for us to communicate is like, Hey, seeing what’s coming up, see what’s on the schedule talking about how is your day going? What do you need help with? What can I help? You know, what can I assist you with? Uh, what at the end of the night, just putting some time together that it’s just us without any distractions with the TV or the phones, those types of things. I think that’s a big deal. We may not get the most amount of time right now, but we make, we try to make as much in that time that we do have, uh, just make it, you know, all in on that time.

Speaker 3 (21:06):

Yeah. I like to talk about everything and I probably, um, I’ve probably backed down a little bit from that since becoming a mother, because you are so exhausted at the end of the night that sometimes you just want to kind of sit in silence, you know, you don’t want to talk anymore. You just want to decompress a little bit. Exactly. Um, but early on in our relationship, I wanted to talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, ask questions. Um, and Denny is V he internalizes so much and he’s processing everything, but he’s not necessarily regurgitating everything that I’m saying. And so he and I had and still have to an extent, different communication styles. Um, fundamentally I think I’ve I’ve um, if there was a spectrum and we were on opposite ends, I’ve moved towards his end of the spectrum a lot more as I’ve gotten older and older.

Speaker 3 (21:58):

Um, I chuckled at first when you asked the question because, um, Denny thinks that a way of communicating with me is putting something on the calendar and then we don’t have to have a conversation with it. And that is something that I struggle with because it can come through on our calendar, but I don’t necessarily see it, or I don’t think about it, or I don’t plan accordingly if it’s a birthday party, there’s things that go along with getting prepared for that birthday party. Right? So it’s having a conversation of what are you doing? What am I doing? Are we doing this together? You know, and making sure that there’s dialogue that comes along with just putting it on a calendar. So, um, for them,

Speaker 2 (22:31):

What are the expectations? Exactly. That’s something I’m still learning. What are your expectations when we’re talking? Or maybe we haven’t talked about this?

Speaker 3 (22:41):

Yes, yes. So, uh, Denny hit the nail on the head. Communication is something that we recognize a hundred percent is probably our weak spot, but that we’re constantly moving towards improving upon.

Speaker 1 (22:55):

Oh, well, I heard what I loved is I heard a couple things. One when you talked about the five love languages, Kevin, I read that as well. And it was helpful to us, but forget what it is, the fact that you all, I know Denny is a, is a, uh, avid reader. And Amber, I know you read and listen, and you know, you’re always, both of you are looking for continuous improvement, which is critical, but to have that in a relationship and a marriage is the oxygen of the marriage and the fact that you all a realized it wasn’t going so hot. And then B you didn’t move away from each other, but you leaned into each other, read a book that gave me a little bit of some ground rules or some structure. So it wasn’t one of you telling the other, right? And that’s a, you invested, you invested in that relationship and investing in the communication.

Speaker 1 (23:41):

You know, it’s never going to go away. And there is, there are some social norms and expectations about how men communicate, how women communicate. And I think there are some, uh, some things that men and women do differently, but it’s just different communication. And Amber, the fact that you said, Hey, I’ve learned, I had to move a little closer to his style for it to be better for us. And I’m sure Danny is, has learned how to come the other way. And it doesn’t, it’s not about becoming what your spouse wants, right? It’s about becoming for each other, what you need. And so I think you, what I heard you guys saying is, Hey, it’s, it needs to be better, but we’ve done some things and we’re working on it. And that’s, that’s the beauty, that’s the magic of being a kick. So that’s, uh, you guys just shared a great example in your relationships. And I love to hear about that on communication and, um, and fulfilling that for each other. I think

Speaker 2 (24:38):

The idea of continuous improvement, I think it’s really important. And I think that’s what keeps us, um, going in the same direction, keeps us sort of, um, committed to each other

Speaker 1 (24:51):

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 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. And you’ll get recommendations that will help you start moving today, get your results, simply visit Matthew Again, that’s It’s time to start kicking. Let’s go.

Speaker 2 (25:29):

I wanted to ask you both about, um, sort of a more hot topic and that’s conflict resolution. I know that from our families of origins, we see how our parents may be modeled conflict resolution, how they handled communicating with each other when there was a challenge or something came up and, you know, life ebbs and flows with challenges and issues. And I’m just, I’m curious, when you have a conflict, how do you resolve it? How do you approach it? How do you talk about it would love to get your insight on what you do in your relationship when there’s a challenge that arises

Speaker 3 (26:09):

What I saw growing up from my parents, um, they did not fight in front of us. In fact, I never really thought they had a fight because we weren’t exposed to it. If they disagreed about something, they always had that disagreement behind closed doors. So for me, um, it’s important not to have, you may have a disagreement with your spouse, right. And kind of have that negotiation in front of them. Sure. But for me, it’s important not to have that full blown disagreement in the presence of our kids. For me, that’s really important. The way that we deal with conflict resolution is completely different as well. Um, but I think that comes back to our communication styles. So for me, I like to talk about what’s wrong and I like to talk about it in the moment when it’s fresh and when the emotions are raw.

Speaker 3 (27:02):

And, um, I feel like that is when we’re best positioned to kind of resolve that conflict. Danny takes a very different approach where I, I say he likes to get on his train and go for a really long, long, long train ride and then come back and, um, and then have the conversation. So early on in our relationship, it really bothered me a little bit to not be able to have that conversation in the moment that I felt like we needed to have the conversation, but whenever I would Badger him on it, it just made the situation 10 times worse. And so I think over time and just making sure that I didn’t let my ego get in the middle of what was really going on. I learned that I had to back down, I had to give him the time that he needed to process whatever it was that we were arguing about so that he could come to the conversation and be productive at resolving whatever the issue was between the two of us. Um, and, and so now I think we found a really good, happy spot in how we handle conflict. I don’t know. W what would you have to say?

Speaker 4 (28:14):

Uh, you’re, you’re, you’re spot on, on many of it. And I think too, now that we’ve had kids, young kids at that, that it comes to a point to where, like, you got to make a decision. At least I do person. Like how long do you really want this argument to last? Do you want to continue to not be comfortable in the house and not be comfortable with your wife and just hold this grudge? Or do you want to find some middle ground, talk it over, figure out what needs to happen. And that way you can just move on and still find joy and be productive. And I think some of the funny things that we’re coming up with now is like, if we feel a certain way about maybe a topic it’s like, are you really, really prepared to die in the mountain on top of the hill for this? And the name was like, Nope, I’m not ready to die on that mountain. So that’s what you want to do. Let’s go with it. So it’s like, all right, are you really gonna continue to fight for what we want to do do today? Or something, whatever the topic is that we want to come up with, we said, Nope, okay. I’m not ready to die for it. And if I am, if we keep it that it’s just something, something, uh, that we came up with, uh, recently. Well, that’s a great way

Speaker 1 (29:14):

If you guys to determine how important it is. Yes. Right? Yes, I am. Oh, it’s that important to you? Okay. Well maybe

Speaker 3 (29:25):


Speaker 4 (29:26):

The good news yet. We have not both one to dine that mountain just yet.

Speaker 2 (29:31):

That’s good. Well, and I love that, you know, it sort of brings a little sense of humor to it as well, which sort of breaks up, whatever is just firing at that time. You know, you bring a little humor to it. So I think that’s that’s

Speaker 1 (29:48):

Well, I love, and you guys is funny. You, you used a term that’s in our book that Chris canvas has an expression with his wife called taking the train. He, and he shared an experience. You got I’m in the shower. And I’m thinking about my day and I’m getting ready. My wife comes in and you know, it’s 20 questions, and I need you to do this and this to dah, dah, dah, dah. And he’s just thinking, whoa, wait a minute. And so they agreed with an expression cause his style, she’s like, take the train. Here’s the things I need to talk to you about, take the train, let me know when you want to come back and we can address them together. And that’s compromise. It’s also understanding where each other need to be. And I wouldn’t say there’s only two styles of conflict resolution, but in our relationship, Amber, I treat things like you do.

Speaker 1 (30:32):

Hey, it’s fresh. It’s here. Let’s get through it and handle it. And Kim is a lot more like Denny, like I need some time I need some space, let it rest. Let’s come back and address it once I can have had a chance to really process how I feel, how should I feel and all that. So it’s, you guys have done. What I hear you saying is you found a great way to figure out how to handle those conflicts and you know, 69% of all conflicts in a relationship you’re not going to resolve. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff, right? Cause it’s not about conforming the person to what you want them to be, but figuring out the dance and that language while maintain that joy in love. And it sounds like you guys have kind of come up with a great way to do that and not be derailed or down spiral, right. From, from that. Can you think of, can you guys think of any specific examples on the conflict resolution where, you know, a little thing with each other, with the kids or something that popped up and that you could share, like how you, how you work through that specifically?

Speaker 3 (31:40):

Yeah. I mean, there’s one coming up. [inaudible],

Speaker 3 (31:48):

I’m planning for it. Um, no. So next weekend we’re doing a ruck and you know, rocks are really important to my husband and, um, it’s in Sarasota and it’s a big deal for him because he’s planning it and he loves taking our family out there. And it’s a time for us to be together doing something that we can all physically do while enjoying being outside and working towards our health. And, um, having young kids, I think adds a level of complexity to planning, things like that. And so for, for him to plan it and then expect that I’m going to be there and Maddix is going to be there. Maddix is only 18 months and it’s a, how long, 12, 12 miles. It’s a 12, 12 mile rock where we have to wake up at five in the morning day takes. Yeah, good portion of your, your afternoon.

Speaker 3 (32:35):

You have to wake up at five in the morning to drive down to Sarasota to prepare and then, and then push your 18 month around. So for anybody who’s not listening, rucking is just power walking, but with a weighted backpack. So it’s, um, it’s doable, but it is physically strenuous. And, and so to have a 18 month old come along on that is, um, something that I am not necessarily looking forward to, you know, but it’s important to my husband. So he has scheduled it. He kind of set the expectation that we’re going to be there. And I pushed back and, you know, told him my honest feelings of, I don’t want to do this with an 18 month old, you know, that’s, that’s a lot to take on. And so, um, he gave me my space. That was an experience where I actually needed time to just think about logistically, how does this work out?

Speaker 3 (33:23):

It wasn’t something that I thought in the moment we had a good resolution to. So I really had to reflect on what does this really look like? And so I, you probably gave me a week to work through that situation in my head. And then, uh, you know, the conversation came back up and he said, what are you going to do? And I told him, I, I just need flexibility in this situation. You know, I can, I can do the rock and I can show up and be present, but I, I get an exit plan. I need an exit strategy, right. I need to be able to at whatever point, that makes sense to have that off ramp from the rock and, and be able to take, um, our 18 month old, back to an environment where it’s comfortable for us. And, and so I think that was an example of, um, conflict resolution, but more so compromise, you know, and just making sure that I show up in that moment where it’s really important for him and I’m present in the moments that are, um, important for our family, but also that he recognizes that, you know, it’s not always apples to apples and sometimes I need a little bit more flexibility in the situation.

Speaker 3 (34:25):

And so that’s, that’s a really good example that comes to mind. That’s a fresh,

Speaker 2 (34:30):

I love that you were able to say to him, you know, I need an out, I need to have some flexibility. I want to do this and I want to support you. But I feel in my, in my head that maybe Maddox, isn’t having a great day on my back or wherever you going to be carrying him in a stroller, pushing him. And, um, it gets challenging. So I think just knowing that in advance, knowing that you have that flexibility is, is why. So I love to hear that you, you sort of, you worked it out ahead of time.

Speaker 1 (35:02):

No, it all smiles over their day.

Speaker 4 (35:05):

Well, I mean an 18 month old, can’t make it four hours

Speaker 2 (35:09):

And his stroller.

Speaker 1 (35:11):

I don’t understand what’s the problem

Speaker 3 (35:13):

Has set that bar so high. He thinks that every kid can accomplish

Speaker 2 (35:18):

Well, yeah. Maybe tell a little bit about Abra so that it’s not only matter cause it’s Aubrey as well. So we’re not just talking about an

Speaker 3 (35:24):

18 month old. I have no problems with Aubrey going out there.

Speaker 4 (35:28):

There’s a lot of uncles out there.

Speaker 1 (35:31):

Aubrey’s the four-year-old that rides her bike with training wheels for four hours, smiling, singing, and thinks this is the best thing yet. It’s a force, a force to be reckoned with no doubt. She doesn’t know any

Speaker 4 (35:43):

Better. She says

Speaker 1 (35:46):

Both blocks. Sure. So there’s guys, we’ve kind of the three CS. We’ve got some good responses from you on those. And there’s something there’s a few other things that we want to talk about. There’s a, uh, an expression that we have, uh, called spillover thinking. And it’s a concept that Kim and I have talked a lot with each other and, um, success in one area is spill over thinking is really just success in one area, your number one relationship, right? If this is your number one human relationship spills over to success in every other area of your life. So I just want you guys to think about, and maybe respond. How have you seen the success of your relationship with each other, benefiting you in other parts of your life, whether it’s your career, your extended families to have your immediate family, but what have the two of you done or shared that’s really brought success to you in other parts of your life?

Speaker 4 (36:45):

I mean, the first thing that comes up to me is I would not be the father to Aubrey had I not had Amber as my wife. Um, just the things she teaches me about communication, about a father, daughter relationship, uh, expectations as a male, having a daughter, those types of things. Like she’s the ultimate teacher for me when it comes to that, I would not have the relationship with Aubrey. Had it not been for Amber.

Speaker 1 (37:15):

That’s so interesting. I

Speaker 4 (37:16):

Think that’s great.

Speaker 1 (37:18):

Yeah. So she, models has modeled and really taught you like about what it means to be a good father to your daughter. That’s why it’s fantastic. Yeah. That’s powerful. What about you, Amber? What’s what would you think? What is spilled over from your relationship into other areas of your, of your life?

Speaker 3 (37:38):

I think Denny is so steady and who he is as a person. And I tend to kind of have ebbs and flows in my emotions. And I think what he’s brought to me personally is just, um, a steady hand. And I’ve been able to take that to many different facets of my life, whether it be raising our kids and taking more stoic approach in that, because, you know, Denny is very big on the stoic philosophy where he doesn’t let the little things, um, ruin his day, right. Where I could take one comment that’s made offhand and completely let it derail my emotions. So I think, um, he reinforces that steady nature in me where it’s not always natural. You know, I always want to let my emotions kind of drive the outcome of my day. And Denny is the exact opposite of that. He is very much in control of his emotions. He’s very much in control of the outcome of a, and I’m constantly trying to move more towards that direction because it’s powerful. I mean, you could do so much when you kind of stop caring about the noise in the situation. Um, and he’s fantastic at it.

Speaker 2 (38:50):

I love that. I, I admire that about Matthew as well. I feel like he’s the constant in our family and always has been. And that has taught me so much because I, um, sort of ebb and flow or again, if something has happened during the day, it can really derail me as well. And I think that having a, a constant in your life is, is important and it’s, it’s a big help to your relationship.

Speaker 1 (39:19):

No doubt. So we’re going to do two more things here. One is we want you guys to, I’m going to give you a second, a long intro to this. If there’s one piece of advice that you could give yourself when you were first married, what would it be like? What have you learned thus far in your relationship like home? And if I’d been doing this from day one, my life would’ve my life. Our relationship would have been so much better if it didn’t take me so long to figure that out. Can you each think of that? One thing like, Hey, you know, Amber, when we first got married, cause you said you guys had been together 17 years, but you’ve been married. Is it 12, six going on seven, six going on seven. Okay. So you guys have been in a long-term relationship that got you in marriage, came in a little bit later with kids. So who, uh,

Speaker 4 (40:04):

I mean, our area that we need the most work on is the communication. The we’re so strong on many of the other pillars in our relationship when it, but when it comes to communication, that’s, that’s really, especially for me where I struggle the most. So that’s probably learning those lessons early on in our relationship. So we don’t have to go through some of the challenges that we went through early on. So how do I better communicate to Amber, you know, when she needs to talk and how do I get that train going faster to come back. So she’s ready for it. It doesn’t feel, you know, angry at me for taking so long or whatever it is. I think learning those types of things would fast forward our relationship a lot better.

Speaker 3 (40:43):

I’ll go back to five love languages. I think if we had read five love languages, the first or second or third year in our relationship, it would have saved so much heartache. Um, and we were young when we first started dating. So there was plenty of opportunity to evolve in who you were. And we were really lucky where when, you know, as we were growing, we were constantly growing towards each other, not away from each other. So that was kind of the saving grace in our relationship that we were, we were always moving kind of, uh, but in the same direction, we always fundamentally wanted the same things, but I’ll see until we had that resolution, that, that revelation of this is what Denny really needs, and this is what Amber really needs. Um, we didn’t necessarily know how to fully show up for one another in our relationships.

Speaker 3 (41:31):

So I’m big on, um, words of affirmation. And I’m also pretty big on acts of service. Denny could care less if the house was clean care less. And, um, you know, I would spend a Saturday morning or in the early days in her townhouse cleaning the townhouse top to bottom and he would come home and not even recognize it. And that was a big point of frustration for me because I’m like, I just spent hours cleaning the townhouse and you’re like, hello. And he’s like, I could care less. Let’s go out and do a bike ride or let’s go out and hike. And, and so for me, it was, it was recognizing that like he wants quality time and that was important to him. So even though it was important for me to have a clean house for us as a couple, that was not important. What was important was showing up for him in the ways that he needed me to show up. So that would have saved me years of heartache,

Speaker 4 (42:20):

I think to where Amber is getting out to. It’s not just 50 50, like it’s not just about her coming over and meeting what my needs are to us. I know someone told me early on, I don’t know who said it, but it’s a hundred percent, a hundred percent. So Amber a hundred percent trying to do her best for me. And it’s me 100% my best for her. And it’s not because I’m doing it because she did it for me. It’s because you want to do it for each other, but you want to, I want to be the best husband I can be. She wants to be the best wife. So we’re going all in on each other and I’m not doing it just because, uh, the expectation to do it just because I truly want to be better.

Speaker 2 (42:50):

And that’s a commitment part, right? I mean, I think that’s a beautiful thing. I love that you two are growing together. You’re learning together, you’re engaged. Um, you know, you make each other a priority in your marriage when you have so many other things, you have all these little vortexes out here just kind of sucking you to them, but yet you still come together and you make each other, um, that number one relationship. And I think that, that, you’re a great example. And I’m so grateful for you opening up and being vulnerable with us and spending time with us today to, to share, um, what makes you successful? What really makes you kick? Cause I wish I only wish that I could have been where you guys are now when I, when Matthew and I were where your age, because I feel like it’s yeah, at seven years in the marriage, we were not where you are at all. And I think that came much later. And I think you guys are an amazing example. And for those people that are listening to us now, they can really hear how the, uh, the pros do it. The young pros

Speaker 1 (43:58):

You guys are definitely kicked. And I mean, we’ve gotten to talk about kind of the three CS, and then we gave you a little foreshadowing and said, as you guys look at this list of these other pillars, if you had to pick one quality that you think is most important, uh, what, besides the commitment, the communication, the conflict resolution, what ingredient, or what focal point do you think is most important? Um, in that relationship?

Speaker 4 (44:27):

First thing that jumps off the page for me is faith. And to me, it’s about faith in yourself, like knowing who yourself is first, like for me is my faith in God. And I can’t bring my best to relationship with Amber or my kids, unless I have the relationship with myself first and feeling fulfillment with myself. I think that’s like the old adage. When you’re on an airplane, you can’t save someone else’s life until you put the air mask on first for yourself. So for me, it’s that foundation of faith in myself and knowing myself worth my value. And then I can help everybody else. I can’t help anybody else for, I help myself. That’s the one that jumps off the page for me.

Speaker 1 (45:03):

Okay. So faith and, and what would you say Amber is, would you agree, is there something different that jumps off to you or another quality or

Speaker 3 (45:12):

I think that I think I tend to emulate the most is probably selflessness of making sure that our family is taken care of. My husband’s taken care of and everything that we need to do is kind of taken care of. And sometimes almost to my own detriment, but making sure that our family is in a position of, um, you know, being where we need to be. So for me, that’s probably stands out the most because I feel like that’s what I need to give for our family to be best positioned, um, to have a successful day or week or whatever that that looks like. Um, so that’s the one that really stands out to me taking a selfless nature.

Speaker 1 (45:54):

And w and what do you, what do you think is your biggest challenge each of you relative to those important qualities to, uh, not letting that get in the way of you doing that? Well, like Denny, you talked about your faith and your, um, what gets in the way of you keeping that, where it needs to be in your relationship,

Speaker 4 (46:15):

Two young kids right now, it’s just the time commitment. You know, we have a four year old and an 18 month old. So they’re in the way, lack of better words is higher needs is like, they’re not necessarily that self-sufficient, they can’t just cook themselves all the food they want, or they can’t drive themselves to gymnastics or whatever it is. So it’s like really making sure that you’re right now putting them as a priority. So kind of the ebbs and flows of life. So right now it’s just making sure that they’re okay and the time commitment to do that and continue to have a business, continue to have a successful marriage, those things that all require time and work. So putting those in. So it’s just really a priority of like, where does yourself that, that faith portion fill up that time. Okay.

Speaker 1 (46:58):

All right. How about you Amber, with being selfless and what gets in the way of you not being selfless or tries to derail you from that, having that focus in your relationship?

Speaker 4 (47:11):

I’ll answer for you. It’s the time with her as well, because like she is, it’s funny. She said, this was my comment about her is she’s the most selfless person I know her and her dad are like the two most selfless people. I know. And like, she’s like asked me the other day, can I put a hair appointment on the schedule? This girl doesn’t do anything for herself. So it’s like, yes, put four hours in the calendar. So you can go by yourself, I’ll take care of the kids. It’s not a big deal. And she just, w she’ll even ask to do that and not just go in and do it. Like she’s the most selfless person I know.

Speaker 3 (47:43):

But I think sometimes to my detriment, like it’s not it’s, yeah. It’s not a problem of being selfless because I want to do everything for my kids. And I want to do everything for my husband, but you need to take care of yourself as well in that equation. Right. I needed to take care of myself so that I can show up for my husband, um, and not be fully drained at the end of the night as well. So it doesn’t get in the way. It’s almost like I need to prioritize myself to an extent and make sure that I’m not over prioritizing being selfless, right. To make sure that we are in a position to where we’re happy, you know, and I’m not completely burnt out at the end of the day.

Speaker 2 (48:21):

And you have to build that time in front of you 2%, especially as a young mom and wife and work. And I mean, everything else is all consuming. And I think that we give, pour so much out into our family, that at the end of the day, there’s little leftover. Um, and we just sort of go to bed drain and we wake up and it’s like, Groundhog day. Just start, do it again the next day. So I love that you recognize that. And I think it’s important that we do make time for, for ourselves.

Speaker 1 (48:56):

W we’re grateful, you guys have given us a good amount of time and shared openly. We appreciate you. And just want to recognize, you know, Kim said it earlier, but where you guys are in seven years of marriage, if we had been there and we were up on 26 and a half, but if we’d been where you guys are at seven, we’d been a very different place right now. So it took us a while to learn a lot and you’re getting ahead of the curve, but it, it, and it pays off in spades. You can tell because you see it in you, we see it in your relationship and your love and commitment for each other. And we see it in your kids and how they operate and how you work with them. And you guys are modeling it, what it means to be kick in all areas of your life, whether it’s your, your relationship, your business and your family. So we want to shout out and recognize you for your commitment to those standards, because it’s, it’s evident in how you live and what you do. So thank you for sharing with us today, a little peeling back the curtain a little bit, and showing us what happens in the LoCascio household. You’re

Speaker 3 (49:59):

Welcome to be here.

Speaker 2 (50:01):

We’ve got for this episode of kick-ass couples podcast, if you liked 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 the show and leave a review in apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you tune in to listen. Then email us a screenshot of your review at podcast at kick-ass couples, And we’ll get it over to you right away

Speaker 1 (50:35):

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