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We are so excited to be with you today. Kick couples nation, coming back to do a little recap for our kick-ass couples podcast. From episode five, we had the pleasure of talking to Rob and Gabriela Cantore. And so this is today’s recap of some of our biggest takeaways.
I really loved I’m sitting down with Robin Gabriela because they, um, are the epitome of kick-ass I think, um, why do you say that? Well, they have been together for 20 years and they are still totally in love, committed to growing together, um, to moving forward together. Uh, they just, they like to have fun together. It’s just really obvious from their interview. Um, how much they really want to just keep their, uh, number one relationship, a huge priority.
Yeah. They’re still dating each other, even though they’ve been married 20 years, it’s there. They still on those romantic journey together. Aren’t they? I know, I love to hear, uh, he calls her my, my spicy Mamba, John, but he’s got all kinds of great pet names for her, uh, his, his beautiful, beautiful wife, and they have such a special relationship. We’re excited to share with you today. Some of our takeaways. And I think that, you know, when we, we always kind of talk about our pillars and we talk about the three CS and one thing that really talked to him that spoke to me, I guess, when they share that is they talked about commitment and they said that we’re committed to growing together. So yes, they’re committed to each other, but they’re committed to growing together, not just in their relationship, but in their own understanding of what it’s like to be a friend, to be a husband, to be a wife, to be parents. So they really are on this great journey together of learning and they’re lifelong learners and committed to that. And we’ll talk more about that a little later.
Yeah. They, they, they definitely are. Um, I think one of the things that, um, I really took away from their, their interview is that they both, um, came from really different places, right? Different cultures, different backgrounds. And when they first came together that wasn’t easy for them. Um, but they were committed to figuring it out and to really, um, getting to know what each other’s needs were and, and going from there. And I think that’s been a continual process. And in there
It has a lot of learning. I mean, Gabriela came from a south American culture and there’s a lot of cultural mores and norms that she, that were modeled by her parents who were both very loving and she felt that’s what she brought to the relationship. And I think that she shared that a little bit when she talked about, uh, ways that her parents expressed love. She said her parents were, were very different that, uh, there, the affirmations really came both her parents, not her mom was very loving and physical and her dad was too, but that her dad, uh, expected and that south American culture, there, there were ways that he expected from his wife and she fulfilled that. And so Gabrieli kind of, kind of had an idea that you just did those things because you did them, you didn’t talk about them and they were expected, so you would do it and not really discuss it.
And that really, she said that she and Rob had to work together to figure out that he needs to hear her say, uh, express gratitude for what she’s received from Rob. Because Robin said, gosh, I did these things and she would just say nothing. And she said, well, that’s what he’s supposed to do. That’s she, she expected it, which is fine. But culturally, they had to, to work on that together. And, you know, Gabby said that she’s a fixer she’ll fix things. And so her, one of her way of expressing love when they first got married, was to do those physical things and fix things. And, and Rob appreciated that because she’s much more handy than he is and is able to do those things. But Rob didn’t that, that, wasn’t his number one leveling.
Yeah. And she really did. I think after a little while, figure that out. Um, she was in a place of, gosh, I’m doing all these things and it’s really not making him happy. He actually is a little bit irritated. Right. And so I think that, um, after really learning what his love language was, which is, um, words of affirmation, right. That’s really important to him and spending time together. And so I think that once she realized that she really had to meet him where his needs were and began doing that out of love and respect for him. Yeah.
I think it was a good growing for her and her willingness to meet and where he was and provide what he needed. And then Rob was able to give Gabriela what, what she needed. And when Rob was talking about his family of origin, he said there was not a lot of love expressed in his house. Not a lot of PDA expressed when he was growing up. And he said, you know, we, we always talk about there’s things that you learned from your family of origin. You say, I’m definitely gonna do that. And then there’s things where you say, there’s no way in heck I’m going to do that. And Rob said, you know what? I’m going to make it an active, conscious decision to publicly express love, not just for my wife in front of my kids, but to my kids that that’s normal. And he has three boys. So he is modeling such a beautiful sense of manhood for those three boys, because he loves his wife. He tells her that all the time he kisses her, he hugs her. And then he says, boys, this is how you treat a woman. He’s teaching them how to be a good partner and a good friend
Flowers for no reason at all. There is every morning, um, a kiss when they greet each other and another kiss when they depart. And that’s, uh, you know, that’s, there’s no, that’s a, non-negotiable, that’s just what,
That’s a great tradition. And I think they’re modeling that. And every time they write, every time they meet and every time they depart, there’s always a hug, a kiss and embrace. And there’s a chapter in our book, kick husband. And one of those chapters is titled stand and deliver. And one of the commitments I’ve made to my wife and I would encourage all men to do this for their wives and their, their significant others as well is every time I’m in a room and Kim walks in, I stop what I’m doing. I stand up, I greet her, I hug her, I kiss her and I give her the recognition that she deserves. So it’s just an opportunity for me to tell her, I see you, you’re important to me and I care for you. And, and that’s something that I have chosen to do for her. So it’s not just a, Hey, good morning. How are you? Or I’ll see you later, goodbye. But at the same thing, and it’s, it’s respect and it’s a conscious decision. And Robyn Gabriella made that decision together. And it’s, it’s, it’s a beautiful activity. Yeah.
Yeah. I’m, I’m so grateful for that. Um, every day when I walk into a room, you’re right, you stand up, you greet me, you give me a kiss, but it tells me, it makes me feel secure. And it tells me that you’ve got my back today. And that means more to me than anything.
I’m glad you’re aware of that. And another thing I loved about Robin Gabriela is I think that they are lifelong learners. Uh, they, they both, I know, especially Rob, they have the, the feeling that the life is a classroom and they’re learning and they want to mentally feed themselves. Whether it’s reading a book, listening to a podcast, watching a video course, doing a new activity together, uh, something that, uh, you know, Gabriela, they talked about Gabriela, inviting him to do beach yoga early in the morning. And he’s like, well, gosh, I’ve never done that. But if you want to do it, I’m in, let’s go. Right. And so there, a lot of couples, I hear a lot of couples and it always concerns me a little bit. When I do Kim, where they say, you know, I need my me time. I want to go be with the boys.
I want to go golf. I want to, whatever the guy activities are, they can’t wait to get away from their spouse. And really you should be, you can’t wait to be with your spouse and creating those activities. And times when you do stuff together, maybe it’s an activity that I love. Maybe it’s one that you love, or maybe it’s one we love together. You have to kind of take turns and figure that out. But Rob and Gabriela are actively looking for opportunities of things they can do together because they know they’re going to have fun. They know what fills each other’s love tank and they’re building those ties and having those experiences together.
Sure. And another thing that I really appreciated, what Rob said was he asked the question to Gabriela, what more can I do to become a better husband? Right. And, you know, I thought about it and she said, cook more. And he said, okay. And so, you know, he took that very seriously, went out and, uh, got some cookbooks and maybe even ask for a little bit,
You had an instructor. He had a young guy that was a sous chef at a popular restaurant, come in and teach them knife skills. And how do I cook and work on recipes together? And it was a cool time in Robin Gabrielle’s relationship where he had sold his business and was working less, he was working and having more project oriented stuff. She was working full time and he was taking more lead in home activities. So it was a beautiful time for him to learn that. And also not only the Gabrielle, they appreciate it, but he, again, he showed us three boys, Hey, this is what men do. They listen to their wives, they respond, they step up and he had a lot of fun doing it too. So it’s a, it’s a great, uh, I think opportunity that he took action on and what a clear example of his love and commitment.
Sure. And it works both ways because, um, Gabriela also mentioned in the podcast that, um, you know, she was not praising him enough, giving him a words of affirmation gratitude. And she said, I’m going to write notes and I’m going to, I’m going to express gratitude more and I’m going to be more thankful. So they’re both willing to step up and do what the other needs to feel good about the relationship.
Yeah. And that comes back to commitment and she had to learn kind of really how to adapt her communication style. And what’s so healthy for really any relationship. And we talk about this in the book as well. And Kim and I have shared it that when you see good in your spouse, you have to take the time to recognize it and speak it. Because if you just say, wow, that was really nice. And you never let them know that you appreciate that. But just saying, Hey, I just want to let know I did this the other day with Kim and was sharing with her things that I was just so grateful that she was aware of and taking care of for herself and how, uh, much I’ve seen her mature and grow in specific areas. And you got to take the time out to do that. And Gabriela saw those things in Rob and appreciated them, but she was at, gosh, I had to learn how to speak it and put it into words. Because as we talked about earlier, Rob’s love language is words of affirmation. And when he hears somebody say those words about the goodness that somebody sees in him, he lights up and gosh, who wouldn’t. I love that too. Absolutely.
I think we all do
What else? What was something else that struck me about our time together with,
Um, you know, I, I love that they, um, take time to connect with each other that really stood out to me. They take long walks together. Um, in addition to the fund that they have and the activities that they do together, um, they love to have very, um, committed time with each other where it’s just the two of them. They’re alone, it’s quiet. They can walk, they can talk. And, you know, the Gottman’s used a term, uh, called creating, shared meeting. And that’s what you, that’s what you do during those moments. And that’s a really great way to become very intimate with each other and to really know, and understand and learn more about what the other person needs, what their goals might be.
Sure. And it’s nice because it’s, it’s, there’s no technology. They put the phones away. There’s no TV, no music, no radio. They do it on walks. Kim and I, uh, one of our good friends, Denny Nambour that we interviewed in episode four of, um, of, of, of our kick-ass couples podcast, they introduced us to rucking and rucking is hiking with a backpack with weight on it. And so that’s great. Uh, uh, love mapping time and seeking shared meaning because Kim and I are on a walk. It’s usually an hour and 15 minutes, maybe an hour and a half. We’re not going so fast, not running. So we can, we can, we can talk and catch our breath, but we talk about everything. We talk about our relationships, our parents, our kids, our work business, you name it. And it’s just a great time to connect and, um, get, uh, make sure that we’re on the same foundation as we’re going forward day to day.
Exactly love that time together. It’s really important if you’re not, when we were younger and first married, we took a, a course called remember growing kids God’s way. And they said, you gotta have couch time. And we looked at each other couch time when the kids are there and they’re young where you’d say, Hey, you know what, mommy and daddy are going to spend 15 minutes on the couch. And this is our time. You can go play on your own, but this is mommy. And daddy’s time to connect and talk. And man, that example is so true. And we really focused on carrying that into our relationship today.
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I want to switch gears just a little bit and talk about how they handle conflict. Um, I think that, um, you know, they, they both need different things. Um, and they shared with us that, um, you know, they have rules, right? When it comes to engaging in conflict
Ground rules. Yeah. I mean, if, if, gosh, if you think about it, you know, the conflict’s going to happen. And the fact that they said, we’ve agreed that this is how we’re going to handle it is incredible maturity, but also effective because it really allows you to fight fair. There’s going to be fights and arguments and disagreements, but it doesn’t give you a reason or an opportunity to be nasty or to break somebody down or to hurt them. And if you establish these ground rules in your relationship, it means when you have a disagreement, you know that no one’s going to ever get hurt and you can safely share what you need to share.
We actually are learning how to have tough conversations together.
Yeah. And I remember, I think the first thing, one of the things they shared was that you don’t bring up the past. You can’t say, well, you did this before, or are you always right? It’s not, you can’t go back. You can’t go back to the history and blame somebody today for what happened in the past. The past is the past. And we got to move on. I think that was, that was one of their ground rules,
Avoid trigger points. Um, make sure you’re, uh, speaking back what you hear. So clarification, I think, um, was really important as well.
Yeah. Rob said, so this is what I heard you say. So you got to clarify no assumptions. I know everyone’s probably heard that old adage about assume when you assume you make an out of you and me. So we don’t want to assume we think we know what our spouse is saying, but we want to use clarifying, is this what you meant by this? So is this what’s really bothering you or you felt this way because, and I think that’s, uh, and you know, you, you mentioned hitting on triggers and if you know that your spouse has a trigger, like you can say something about their mother or their father or something they did with another relationship that they were in, then you are actively manipulating the emotions of your spouse because you know, that’s going to bother them. And that’s just not loving. That’s not unconditional love. That’s really choosing to turn against or lean against, uh, your spouse. And so it’s not just about, you know, being respectful. That’s part of it. But if you really love your spouse, you’re going to intentionally stay away from those triggers that, you know, bother them. And we we’ve learned that as well in our relationship. Sure.
Uh, Rob talked a little bit about needing security, um, and how important that is to him. That was one of his pillars, um, initiating time together. Um, again, those morning hugs, how important it was for him to, uh, get those notes in those texts. Cause that’s what makes him feel, um, most intimate with Gabriela and secure in their relationship.
And I love the question, Kim. He said, this is a question I’ll often ask Gabriela when we’re having a deep discussion. He will say, guys, write this down, take notes. What is your main concern with this? Because he wants to know what is it that Gabriela is most concerned about in the conversation that they’re having. And that’s just a way of kind of cutting through and going directly to the point, tell me, what’s bothering you about this, or tell me where your concern lies. Not because he’s guys is going to come in and try to fix it or make it go away. But he’s got to understand it because if he understands her, then he can be a more effective friend and lover in the relationship. I love that question. What is your main concern here?
Yeah. And we always are. We’ve learned that it’s not always, um, what you’re arguing about. Right? Usually there’s something really deeper and more serious going on. So by asking that question, I feel like you’re just cutting right to the chase. What’s really going on here. How are you, what are you, you know, what are you worried about? What are you fearful of? Right.
Yeah. A couple of the things they shared, they said, focus on what you can control. Right? If you can’t control something, then why worry about it? Because if your efforts, what you do or don’t do in the relationship are not going to impact it, it’s out of your control, right? So you really should not focus on it or make it an issue. Um, they also said, I think Gabriela said, you know, we’ve gotta be tender kind and accepting. And I thought that was just a, a really nice summation of when you’re approaching your spouse with any, if you’re in a conflict, if you’re tender kind and accepting, that’s going to go so far to diffusing any anger or malice or frustration that might be at the, at the heart of the issue, you’re discussing. Sure.
I also love that. They both said, um, you know, we came from two different backgrounds, different and difference in culture, um, and really came together and created a new version, um, of a relationship, which they, he called their hybrid version. Um, but I love that idea and that thought of, um, you know, we’ve got our backgrounds we’re coming together and now we’re record creating our own family, our own version.
No, I think that’s a good point, a great point. And it was really fun to hear them talk about just kind of the systems and the framework that they’ve worked on. And there, they don’t have it lik they say, Hey guys, you know, it’s a work in progress, but they’ve got some neat stories from their background and things that they’ve had to work out together. It’s, it’s, it’s a great interview. And, um, you know, I think when we were kind of ending and talking about advice, I love what Rob had to say after 20 years, I said, Rob, you know, what, what, what’s the advice that you’re gonna give to your unmarried self? And he said, I would tell my kids, or I tell myself, keep dating your wife, falling in love, keep kissing her on the lips and having those special moments and, uh, making sure that you’re thoughtful and creating those moments that are going to have an impact.
And the Gabriela said, no, the love language, how many times have we heard that over and over again?
Yeah. How do you like to be loved? And if you don’t know how your spouse likes to be loved, there’s a lot of different ways to do that. Um, and you know, I think it all comes down. Kim, one of the biggest things, the PR that we have, what’s unique about kick-ass couples and the kick-ass husband book and kick couples nation is that our uniqueness is we’re gonna talk a lot about and teach you how to prioritize your spouse and how to put them in that number one spot, because I’ll tell you what guys and ladies, gentlemen, and ladies, Kim is my number one relationship. She’s my priority, the number one human relationship. I spend more time, energy and effort working in this relationship. And I confidently say that she does the same for me. No doubt. I trust and secure that. And if you’re not prioritizing your number one relationship like Robin Gabriella, all the examples that we’ve given you and the things we’ve talked about, it’s really just, how do they prioritize each other and their relationship?
Sure. It takes time. It takes commitment. But, um, this is a 20 year, more than 20 year, um, commitment of growing and loving each other and being invested. Um, and they are extremely happy. They have amazing children. And, um, yeah, I think if you want to, if you want to hear this episode in its entirety, it’s definitely worth it. They are a kick-ass couple and they have a lot of fruit to share with, with everyone
Of story. If you want to learn whether you’re a male or the female in the relationship, or no matter what side you’re on, you’re going to pick up a lot of great concepts and ideas on how they built such a successful relationship. So we appreciate you tuning in and listening to our recap today. Uh, Kim and I are excited that you’re listening and hope you, if you haven’t heard the interview with Rob and Gabriela canter, please check it out, visit us on iTunes on Spotify or wherever you like to listen to your podcasts. You can even go to Matthew P hoffman.com and see all of our episodes and some of our favorites there. So until next time, remember that happily ever after does not just happen. We’ll see you guys soon. Bye.
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Until next time. Remember happily ever after it doesn’t just happen. It gets on purpose.