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Welcome to the kick-ass couples podcast. This is the place where we help committed couples who want to level up their marriage experience, newfound, clarity, hope, and confidence. We’re Matthew and cam cohos and husband and wife.
We believe all couples deserve and are capable of experiencing an extraordinary and fulfilling marriage. And each week we’re bringing you life lessons from real life, successful couples to help you grow and strengthen your relationship.
Yeah, both my parents express love in different ways.
I have to foster an environment where she’s comfortable telling me what she thinks, not what I want to hear.
I love how you’ve come together and you have created your own, your own culture, so to speak right. And taking the great from both side.
Okay. And then moving forward, honey, I’ll be sure I do this. Does that make sense to you? Interesting. Yeah, that would be helpful to me. And I’ll do this,
That commitment to be able to listen, but also the time commitment
Put herself where other men would perhaps hit on her. Cause I’m probably a slightly jealous, I guess, very little, but she’s, I think I’m more jealous than she is.
It started right after this message. If you want to learn how to experience the best, most fulfilling year of your marriage, we invite you to pre-order Matthew’s new book, kick husband, winning at life, marriage, and sex. You can get email@example.com. Again, that’s AF offman.com. And now back to the show,
Rob and Gabriela, we’re so excited to have the two of you guys with us here today and Maynard, our Airstream studio.
I am so excited about this podcast because a, I know you guys are a kick-ass couple. We know you well, and, um, I, I’m just, I’m grateful that you’re here with us today and that you’re open to sharing with us more about your relationship about your history together and what makes you guys kick. So that’s, that’s really kind of where we’re going to start. Thank you. So asking you both, what makes you a kick-ass couple and either one of you can take that or I want to hear it from both actually, but whoever wants to go first.
Well, thanks guys. I appreciate the opportunity to be here with you guys and, and, uh, you know, just talking about our relationship and I don’t, I guess I never, uh, considered myself, us as a kick-ass couple, but, um, I think that, yeah, when we look at our history and our trajectory, we’ve worked so hard to, to get better every day and get closer. And after 20 years, I can see the difference between where we were when you first got married and now,
Right. That’s right. That’s right. I feel the same way. I mean, we’ve been steadfast for 20 years through our commitment to one another and growing together and it starts with that commitment. And, um, I’m proud of it, our body of work. And we feel like we’re leading by example too, for not only our boys, but our friends, our community, anyone who meets us. And it’s real. I mean, I’m madly in love with her, everything about her physically, spiritually, emotionally, and I’m very proud of the beautiful relationship we have.
So you would say that commitment is probably a big part of what makes you to a kick-ass couple, because Gabriela, there is no doubt. You are a kick out, you got to embrace it. You got to open your arms, bringing it own it. Maybe because you’re a part of that, that crew. That’s how you guys roll.
Yeah. I think commitment is a big, big, uh, it defines yeah, every day we’re committed to working, uh, on each other, working to be great examples to our children and committed to our relationship.
Oh, that’s great. Well, we’re going to come. Commitment is a huge thing. And we’re going to spend some more time on that a little later, but you know, you’ve probably heard the, I said this with the low Casios and other people that we talk about. Sometimes you have to go backwards to go forward and, um, you know, think back and understand. And so I’d love to throw out to the two of you and Gabrielle, if you don’t mind me starting with you, what I’d love to know, what does love look like in your family growing up? How did you experience it in your family, with your parents? What did you see and what did love look like to you and your experience? Yeah,
I think, uh, both my parents express love in different ways. My dad was a very physical touch. He would always hug and, and say, hello, tell me you love me. So words of affirmation as well. So he was, he, he wanted the love and he asked for it, my mom, on the other hand, she would, she would just, by her actions, show her love, you know, just getting us our meals and, and showing that she would sacrifice for us and taking us a whole summer to my grandfather’s farm and just allowing us to be free and ride horses and just, you know, she was just more, uh, acts of service and things that she did for us. We realized how much she loved us. And I think, yeah, it was, it was kinda, kinda cool to have the mix of, of both styles.
Great. So you saw, you saw love express differently from like your mom and dad and they gave you a good, a good roadmap, uh, of, of, of how that, how that, so how do you think that seeing your mom and dad express that, how did that affect, or what did that give you to bring to your relationship? Because we come with those unique backgrounds right. Of how we experienced it and you arrive at this relationship and you’re thinking, this is how love is expressed, right. This is how I think it should be in what I need. So how did you bring from what you saw in your parents, you know, forward, uh, how did that, how did that shape love for you? Yeah,
I think I, I did take a little bit of both and acts of service were huge for me. Like every time he said, oh, something’s broken or this knee, I don’t like the way this looks, I would immediately try to fix it or try to do or change it. And that was my way of showing love. And at the same time, I also wanted that physical touch and, and the hug. And I love you. And the little words, because that’s what I, I knew my dad, you know, would, would do with me or he needed from me and I needed that from him. So I think, uh, yeah, I kind of brought a little bit of both into our relationship, for sure.
Thank you for sharing that with us. I think that we all come to a relationship with something different, right? Maybe the way that you grew up, the way love was expressed to you is going to be very different from what it, what it was for Robert, or maybe it’s the same. But I think we all, um, come to a relationship with an expectation, and that was what was modeled to us when we were younger. And so, Rob, I’m just curious, what, what did it look like for you? What was it like in your home growing up? How did your parents express love and, um, just how did they relate to each other?
Yeah, interesting to look back and analyze it. Uh, my mom and dad were different like Gabriela’s parents. And in terms of my mom, she was, it was activities with her. She would express her love to me by playing badminton or taking me on adventures or playing catch or riding bikes or climbing mountains, or, you know, going skiing. And just in being there and hugging me, laughing and physical touch. And my dad, he expressed his love, I believe, and the rest him. But this is what I recall. And watching him was to be a provider. It was a different generation. He was showing his love. I’m the provider. I’m going to work hard. I’m going to work my way up the ranks. He worked for the federal government and provide for my family, whatever they need with clothing and, you know, vacations. And, uh, he would show up at all my sporting events. Uh, he would be there physically show up. And he wasn’t really expressive with words about loving, which doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean he was bad. It was just different. And he felt that the best thing he could do is be the provider for the family. I had three older sisters and, um, my mom did not work. So he was the bread winner, you know, during that time then in the seventies and eighties. And that was how he felt, um, the best way he could express his love.
I’m curious, how did they, how did they express love with each other? What did,
That’s a good question. Yeah. Uh, not a whole lot. I mean, I think there were some times I remember them holding hands. Um, but we’ve, I’ve taken a playbook, you know, I believe in showing my three sons, I have three boys, you know, how to, how to romance a woman had a dance in the kitchen, had a whole how to hug their spouse and how to love, and then verbally tell them that I love this hot mama Jamba. I’m madly in love with your mother. I hope guys that you understand how important it is to pick a mate and pick someone who’s kind loving and beautiful in every way. Like, like their mother. I did not see that as a young man. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t there again, my parents didn’t express love, you know, they weren’t overt about it. They were more a behind the scenes, little more private. I suspect, again, I haven’t asked them that, but, you know, I hope they did it privately, you know, but I definitely not over,
How did you, how did your parents Gabrielle or yours, how did, how did you see them express love to each other when you were growing up?
Yeah, I think for me, and it’s another thing that I was thinking that it’s part of my love language gifts. I saw them give each other a lot of gifts from my mom’s side. My dad was always on a, trying a new diet. And so he would come home from work and she would have the meal from that specific diet made for him. And that was like her gift, or she would pack it for him and then he would come home and bring flowers to her or bring just something little. And then I realized that to me, like, I appreciate that as well. Like receiving it when Rob come home, comes home with something, you know, I saved you, you know, half my lunch and that’s a gift and I appreciate it so much. And it means so much to me because it meant that he sacrifice, you know, he could have had the whole thing, but he knew that, you know, that little half that he could say for me, uh, would be well-received and would make positive deposits in my love tank
At tank full. Right. So actually you saw your mom and dad demonstrate that acts of service and gifts, uh, growing up and that’s something that became important to you.
So I kinda, maybe, I don’t know if you have that expectation or because that’s what you were exposed to, but yeah, it was, it was kind of sweet maybe, and then a lot of hugging and in front of us, but yeah, I think that’s, that was, it was nice to see. So when I, when we do it in front of the kids, I know that it’s, it’s having a, it’s going to have a positive impact on them seeing us be, you know,
Right. If I could interject, if I could add to Gabrielle his comment is that when we leave the home, we don’t ever leave without saying goodbye. I love you with a kiss or equally as important is when we come home from work or an outing or an activity is to greet. I greet Gabrielle. That’s a big priority in our home is to greet one another first. It’s not to take it, take it lightly. How, Hey, how was your day, honey? I don’t ignore her. I don’t walk in and put my stuff down. I go right to her and that’s a big priority in our home when we arrive. And when we leave. So like the compound effect, you do all these little things and we do it because we love each other and we enjoy doing it. But I believe that we we’ve implemented that in our home, which is really helped an already great foundation,
Not take each other for granted
That you, I love hearing you say that, um, you know, when you, when you see each other after a whole day has gone by that you greet each other or when even you’re getting ready to leave for the day, you’re, you’re saying goodbye. I love that you are basically letting each other know. I love you. I see you. I hear you. Those are all important things in a relationship. And just those, those little actions mean so much.
Absolutely fun. Fun to hear a little bit about what you guys experienced growing up in that kind of has an actual lead into what we have in our platform, 13 pillars and of those 13 pillars. There’s three qualities that we really think are foundational in any successful kick relationship. And the first one of that, there’s three CS and the first C is commitment. And so I’d love to hear rom, you know, I’d love to hear what does commitment look like in your relationship with your wife, your number one relationship.
Yeah. I love this. Share that number one, we were committed to each other and with God together. So when we took our wedding oath and we committed to in front of our family and friends and to God, that would be committed to one another through thinking through thin and to us, it’s not just Gabrielle and myself, but to God as well. And that’s the ultimate commitment and that as are the foundation of our relationship. So our commitment is when things are good, when things are bad throughout any time at all. So it’s real important to us that we remind each other that, and then we keep that top of mind every day when we pray, when we have conversations, when we have conflict, when we have good times, we offer gratitude, but ultimately it starts with our commitment to each other and with God.
Great. That’s a good, a good starting point foundational, right? Yes.
How about for you Gabriella? What does, what does commitment look like to you in your relationship? How do you express commitment?
Yeah. Commitment. Um, for us it’s it’s is making that decision every day that we’re gonna be together, that we’re gonna work with, you know, together to get better, to grow together. Um, and it’s kind of kinda like what we’ve seen. We’ve been blessed to see that our parents have, you know, are still together. So that’s a great example for us to say, yes, they’ve had hard times. They’ve had, you know, struggles, but the commitments there and they’ve stayed together. And so, you know, when we ever have struggles, sweet re always come back to, we are we’ve we committed before God on our wedding day, 20 years ago to, to be together through thick and thin and good and bad and healthiness and sickness. And that’s, that’s, we, I think we remind each other every day that that’s, that’s what we, um, we promise before God, to each other.
So you guys, do you guys think in thinking about commitment? Do you feel that that was something you just knew from day one? Or was it something that you were ignorant of or did you have to learn? Was it a process to learn how to express an honor and develop that commitment? Like how did, how did you get to know how to do that or why to do that? Right.
That’s a great question. I like to take this one, Gabriel, we think in our minds, we know a lot when we’re young and we’re newlyweds and what does that word mean? But for, for me, what it means is I had a vision I’m committed to this woman. We’re going to have a wonderful life together, but really that’s where it started. I started to learn w what does this look like? I had to unpack it really and investigate it, and really more than investigate. That’s not the right word. Let me take that back. What I mean is I had to really understand deeply what does that look like? And, uh, by studying, become a student student of becoming a great husband and becoming a great couple that’s through books and through mentors, that’s where being around other people and replicating things that I like from other relationships.
And that’s the path and journey we’ve been on by learning and relearning and reminding. So that commitment, it’s a commitment to learning and growing together through different resources. It could be great podcasts like you guys have put together, which is awesome. It’s a great service that you’re providing so many couples who are doing great, like us, or who need it, who don’t, aren’t who not doing great different stages, but for comedic the commitment, it keeps evolving, you know, my commitment. So now with technology, with podcasts, or with daily email reminders from daily dad, or all pro dads, for example, or other resources out there. Yeah. So
I agree. I’m sorry. No,
The commitment is key. It’s a commitment to keep growing and learning about what my commitment looks like. Cause it’s, as our kids get older and leave for college, our commitment may change in terms of the dynamics of the home as a breadwinner, uh, where are we going to live? What we’re going to do, but ultimately the commitment to being as a, as a great couple and a great husband is something that I have to keep studying and people learning.
Yeah. It’s not a fixed process. What I hear you saying is it’s not a fixed process. You’re, you’re a student you’re always learning and you’re always investing in figuring out. And I’ve, I I’ve seen some great examples of, uh, your, your ongoing learning and prioritization. Can you, can you share Rabo way that you have prioritized your commitment with, with, uh, Gabriela?
Uh, last time I sold, I sold the company a few years ago and I asked Gabriela, what can I do to be a better husband? We were having a walk one day. She goes, can you cook more? So I said, okay. Okay. I said, so at that point I was like maybe a first grader, a second grader in terms of my abilities in the kitchen. And I, uh, I, I engaged a local chef and I took, uh, cooking classes three days a week for eight weeks. And I learned how to cook and I, I didn’t say it and brag to her and tell her honey, I’m doing all this. I just did it. And I know access services part of her love language, but I heard her, I asked her, I, you know, when you ask somebody a question and be ready for the answer, she gave me the answer and I took an action. I’m proud of it. So she did me a favor, but ultimately I, you know, we did it for each other. It’s not 50 50 it’s 100%, 100%. And I often I have to foster an environment where she’s comfortable telling me what she really thinks, not what I want to hear. Right. So that was, that was great.
Yeah. To what you say with the commitment. Yeah, for sure. It’s, it’s that commitment to be able to listen, but also the time commitment because to everybody, you know, time is so precious. Everybody’s so busy doing things for others, but the time that we have together, if I’m planning to learn something, well, why can’t we learn it together? Let’s we did dance lessons, which Rob, uh, he, he, you know, he orchestrated dance lessons for us and that’s time together. And that’s building on to that commitment of, you know, growing together and you skill and you, you know, so, so I think time, commitment of your time is, is huge for couples because you see a lot doing things on their own separately, and then maybe they’re growing, but they’re growing. They could be growing apart. So for us, that commitment, uh, also means devoting time to be together, whether it’s learning a new skill or just, um, learning about each other and just asking those questions
And on the way here and should be just on the way here today. Gabby’s like, Hey, do you want to do this yoga on the beach? I said, sure. I’d love to. So she invited me to this yoga class on the beach, um, I guess next, next weekend, it’s early morning yoga. So the kids sleep in, we we’ll be there real early, but it was an opportunity. And she took the initiative to find a cool activity that we can do together. We enjoy doing activities together, which are physical, you know, for exercise out with nature. And then we can learn together a new skill or practice something that we already know a little bit about. So that was I think, a really good example. Yes.
I love that. I love to hear how you’re looking for opportunities to do things together and thus just growing that commitment level even more, I think life’s a journey, right? It really, truly, uh, we have peaks and valleys throughout our life. And the next thing I want to talk about is while we’re going through all those peaks and valleys and sort of things are happening to us, we’re busy with work or busy with kids. We’re trying to navigate a lot of different things. Uh, but we have to communicate with each other because communication is part of, one of our three CS of that we believe is one of the three top important pillars of a successful relationship. So I’m going to ask you Gabriela, how, how do you communicate with each other? How, what does communication look like in your relationship? And, and, and it’s probably different for both of you, but how do you communicate with,
I think that’s the, one of the biggest CS I may say. I bet we’re, I’ve grown. Um, I came from a family where the love was, um, maybe you weren’t praise for doing a great job. It was expected. So if you got praise was like, you did something really, really special, but if you are valedictorian in your class, well, that’s expected, you know, great, great, good job. But it’s not said it’s kinda like understood. So I came from that and I brought that to our relationship. And, you know, I met with, um, someone whose love language is words of affirmation. So I learned to adapt it and I’ve grown so much. I could I look back at myself, you know, when we first got married, how I used to communicate and how I communicate now and how, just those little things that show, you’re not taking someone for granted, thanks for making breakfast this morning, honey, that was, you know, really great is that that’s not overpraising is just acknowledging the, you know, the love that was put into that breakfast or, or the, the effort and the, the thought of making something special. So for me, I’ve grown to communicate better and, and just acknowledged that everybody communicates differently. And, and specifically with Rob, I see the difference when I, you know, leave a note that says that I love him or in his lunch box. And, and I do those little things I see has a huge impact. And it makes those little deposit.
It sounds like one of his love languages is words of affirmation.
Yeah. So when you see that it has such a positive impact, yes. You’re going to continue to do it, and then it becomes part of who you are after a while. So it’s, it’s kind of like practice how you practice.
How about for you Rob? What,
Right. Well, I, I grew up in a real ethnic New York family. So we like, we don’t like what you’re wearing and you look bad, they’ll tell you, you know, so very, very, quite verbal expressive, you know, praising or criticizing argumentative. Uh, in fact, overanalyze analyzing things and Gabriel real styles, you know, it’s not, it’s not worse or better. It’s just different. So I’ve learned to, you know, accepting, accept her style, but at the same time, work on doing my best to communicate the way she prefers to communicate less is more, you know, less over-analyzing if we did have a co had a conflict or an issue, you know, beating it to death is not going to be, make break, make her, it’s not, it’s not helpful to her. So do my best to understand that at the same time being true to who I am and what I need and sharing that with her and the appropriate times, maybe not in that heat of the battle or for conflict, but during one of our evening walks, we enjoy taking walks four to five nights a week after dinner, holding hands and, uh, you know, listening to each other.
And I’ll take note of, uh, something that I need from her. And I’m comfortable sharing, Hey, during that moment, this is, I’m not sure if that was your intent, but this is how it made me feel and a very kind loving, tender way. And, uh, I think it’s helped us a lot. And we’re committed back to the other C we’re committed to communicating in a more healthy fashion to one another.
I think it sounds like you all carve out time to communicate, which I think is really important in a relationship. We get so busy with the day to day that we forget that we need to sit down or in your case, hold hands, go for a walk. And let’s just talk to each other. How was your day, what did you do today? What, you know, what happened in your day that made a grade, or maybe it was something that made it challenging? I think those are, that’s an important part of a relationship is to be able to just even have the time to communicate creating that time.
Absolutely. I’ve taken the time you, as I think I hear Rob tell other stories you shared today, the walks the time together or after the kids go to bed or before the kids are up and really making sure you have the opportunities to have that quality communication, which really just brings you into each other’s world. And it’s a great way of leaning in because in relationships you can either be leaning in leaning away or leaning against and leaning in and having that quality communication is bringing you closer together. And I can can see that. And I appreciate that you’re making the commitment to do that because it’s kind of the glue, right? That helps keeps you guys, um, so solid 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 to then get your results. Simply visiting Matthew hoff.com. Again, that’s matthew.com. It’s time to start kicking. Let’s go. And Rob, I’d love to ask you for conflict resolution, our third C what is that? How do you guys approach conflict? Because certainly it arises. And can you think of how do you guys, or how have you learned to approach it in an effective way with each other?
We’ve come a long way. We’ve come a long way, like a lot of great couples. And we, we consider ourself a kick couple we’ve come a long and that’s, you know, yesterday we had a little conflict yesterday and, and how we handle it is something that, uh, it’s, it’s, it’s critical. So how we approach conflict is that here or the other person, make sure we don’t cut them off and hear them and restate what we think we heard from the other person, not tell the other person they’re wrong, you know, to respect their point of view and then share with them, Hey, this wasn’t my intent. This is what I, my intent was this, perhaps this is what you heard and, and own it. If you apologize, if you hurt the other person’s feelings or there’s a misunderstanding and try to be tender to not raise our voices.
Um, and then just try to remember that, you know, be loving and kind throughout it, it’s not always easy, but, uh, and then try to have closure to me it’s important in conflict that I have some sense of closure. I don’t like Gabby knows that and she’s adapted her style and kind of like to share that with me and I hate, okay, so we talk about it and then, what I like to say, okay, moving forward, honey, I’ll be sure I do this. Does that make sense to you? And then she’ll say, yeah, that’d be helpful to me and I’ll do this. So we kind of like, we’ll meet in the middle in a way that’s a healthy, loving, godly way,
Recognizing that you need to apologize. And then apologizing is huge. I I’m curious, and I don’t want to put you on the spot or make you uncomfortable, but give me an example of what a, an apology looks like. A good apology
For me. I would say, look her in the eye and say, Gabriela, that was really out of line. You know, I spoke too early, for example, the other night, okay. There was a, one of our boys with technology. We have some challenges and we have not huddled up on it. And I was disappointed. And I, before I went to bed, I made the mistake of bringing it up at a bad time. It wasn’t urgent. It did not need to be discussed before we go to bed. She was tired. I did not recognize that. And I selfishly brought it up at the wrong time because it was bothering me. I kind of vomited on her at the wrong time. So when an apology looks like Gabriela, that was, that was the wrong time to bring it up. I could have waited and brought it up during a time ago during one of our walks and said, this is how I feel.
How do you feel? Can we make it collaborative? Can we brainstorm on this instead and address this what I believe to be an issue and she’s in. So that was my apology. It was clearly the wrong time and the wrong and the wrong delivery. And she interpreted it as if I just want to make a unilateral decision on, I can do policy for our son. The reality is I, I she’s, she’s so smart. And so wise, I like to make decisions together. And not in fact, we prefer that almost always. So, uh, that, that was an example of an apology where I owned. It, took ownership on it.
I love what you shared Rob, because you know, to, to the things, we talk a lot about ignorance and prioritization, you know, ignorant is not a bad thing. It means you just don’t know. Right. And if you’re going to, I think the key kind of the uniqueness about our platform, what we talk about is prioritization. And what I heard you say is that I wasn’t prioritizing my wife, by the way I was responding. I responded the way I wanted to and what I thought was best for me regardless. And so, and you caught yourself and, or afterwards said, okay, maybe I wasn’t doing such a good job. So let me reprioritize my spouse. That’s right. And say it in a different way. And I think that’s, that’s the perspective that works because when we’re being selfless and working on filling, you’re filling the response that she needed, it gives her the space to hear you because you’re doing it in a way that works for her and also gives her a chance to have that reciprocity and do and do it back. And I think it’s, um, there’s a lot of norms maybe in social mores about, you know, being strong. And if you apologize, you know, strong, strong people, don’t apologize. And I think it’s really the opposite is the strongest people say I’m wrong, or I messed up, or maybe I could’ve done it better. Right. It’s like owning, you talked earlier about owning the mistakes. Can you think Gabrielle of a time that, um, that there’s been a conflict and how, how have you worked through that and your relationship. Yeah.
And I think that that apologizing and even saying, well, my intent was not to offend you or my words, I didn’t mean this, but that’s what you perceive. And that’s your perception of my words. And that’s how you interpreted it. So it’s yeah. Apologizing for even making the other person feel a certain way that you didn’t, it was not your intention at all. So, um, for, for us, um, conflict resolution has been, uh, learning how to have these conversations that we know are going to be tough. We know, um, it’s a, maybe it’s a sore subject for one or the other. And, but we have certain rules that we’ve learned and we’ve implemented over time. It’s like, you know, you’re not going to bring up the past. The past is the past. We’re not going to, you know, hit are, we know each other, we have certain trigger points or certain things that, you know, he’ll say, or I’ll say that.
So, so we avoid those. So it’s like a conscious decision. So we have, we’re going to have this discussion in this conversation, but we’re not going to go, you know, we’re going to try to move forward and focus on, on the issue, not bring up other stuff. And, and so I think that’s helped us so much and, and just staying focused and then, um, for him, uh he’s he applies it more than I do. Like, okay, this is where I heard you say, you know, so you said this, this is what you meant. Is this what you meant? So clarifying. Cause a lot of times you don’t clarify and just, okay, you assume, you assume, assuming you go through the whole discussion making assumption. So clarifying, okay. Is this what you, what’s your main concern? And, and so it’s, uh, it’s, it’s helped us so much and we’ve, we’ve definitely grown and that in that C
Oh, what about when things get heated? When things get really heated? I think that we’re all human and sometimes things escalate and voices rise. And I know for me, my heart starts to beat fast and I can feel the anger coming up within me. And it’s something that I am constantly working on. Um, so what about in the heat of the moment? How do you handle that?
I th I think for me, I kind of shut down and then he’ll recognize that I just, I won’t say anything. That’s gonna bring up another conflict. I’ll just, just kinda, and then, but I do know that that, you know, makes him more upset. So, so I know that’s one of his triggers. So, so it’s, it’s hard, it’s a hard balance because, um, in a way you want to do what you feel comfortable doing and you, you go, you revert to your original, you know, whether it’s a shutdown mechanism or you just revert to what you’re comfortable with and dealing with a conflict, but,
Uh, tree you’re saying that you kind of retreat, you just get quiet. You don’t say anything. And Rob, how do you respond to that? Want to keep going
Back to my origin? We battled my sisters and my family. So I grew up in a home that would keep discussing, you know, beat it to death. It was pardon my French here, but I’ve learned in doing my best to recognize Gabriela cause she doesn’t respond well in that. And that’s not a healthy moment for her. So what I can, I can focus on what I can control is my delivery and my style and my tone and my volume and recognize that. And take a moment if possible, even with a quick little touch, hang on, you know that that’s cool off here a little bit, you know, trying to do those things. You know, sometimes it doesn’t work. And then also respecting if she’s she’s done and she’s done, they don’t chase you upstairs. I, in the past I would, I would want to continue it and say, honey, you know, come on.
I’m still not clear. That’s not healthy either, but creating an environment by my tone and the words I choose not saying you’re wrong. What are you thinking that, you know, or even being insulting using that, Hey, that was stupid. You know, those are not happy words for really to hear. So what I can do is control my tone, be tender, be kind empathetic, respectful. And if she still doesn’t want to address the issue at that moment, that’s okay. Accepting, accepting, take note of it. If it’s really important to me, I’ll bring it up another time. But often it’s not, if you look at the big picture, it’s really not. You ended up going down this rabbit hole or something. That’s not that important. So breaking that habit, self-awareness something I wrote down as Matt was talking earlier, you know, we’re both very self-aware, as I know you guys are as well as that. Self-awareness in addition to the three CS being aware. So being aware at that moment when getting upset and doesn’t want to talk. So I have to, I can choose in that moment to continue to escalate it selfishly, or I can deescalate it, having that self-awareness and that discipline.
I love to hear both of you guys talking about that third C and kind of before we move on, I wanted to, a lot of times, a lot of people look at conflict in a relationship and they say, if it’s going to work, I have to be what they want me to be, or I have to change in order to meet their expectation. So in your relationship, how do you, how do you guys work with that battle of meeting your spouse’s expectation, but not changing yourself to be what they want? So how do you under, is that, am I being clear? Is that making sense to you? So how do you, how do you work through that? Because there’s compromise. I believe there compromises everything and it’s kind of getting out of your agenda and your will to say, what’s for us, it’s not, it’s not win, lose, right? It’s not you or me, it’s us. So how do you, how do you, how have you all been able to navigate where you’re winning for us and it’s not one over the other?
Yeah, I think the way that, I mean, I think when we first got married, we, we won it. We had that commitment to learning and getting better together. So I, so if, if I was committed to learning, but he wasn’t, I think it would be a challenge because then he, if he feels like he has to change, but I think we’ve both grown. We both read books, his needs, her needs of five love languages. And so we know it’s, it’s a mutual, you know, commitment to each other. And so it, it, it just makes it easier because I know that he’s working to not change, but improve on things. I know I’m working on improving the way I communicate and things that will help our relationship. So, so I think it’s, we’ve both from the early stages of our marriage, recognize that yes, we had similar backgrounds in terms of our values and our family. And so we shared that, but we also had differences in, in how the diff the styles of communication, love, and commitment and trust and all of those things. Um, he came into, into play for our relationships. So we knew we had to create our own.
That’s what I hear you saying, Gabriela, is that the two of you are committed to a growth mindset. Yeah. And because you have the commitment to the mindset, it’s helped you navigate differences or, or, uh, of approach or opinion or desired outcomes. But the commitment to that growth mindset is critical to navigate the conflict because you want to learn how to do it better. And as opposed to having to own that, it’s your way or Rob’s way. Right. And so I, that I heard that theme in there, and I think that’s critical for people to understand really the commitment to the growth mindset, because you’re going to, you’re going to be, it’s not static, right? The only thing constant is the change that you face based on your life and your career or your career, your kids’ experience. And so how do we grow together through that? And I think that you all have shared some great examples of that.
Absolutely. I appreciate hearing how you have, um, come to the table to do all these three CS. And, and it is, uh, it’s a growth over time. And when we start out, we have these expectations of each other and we see that, oh, wow. That, you know, this isn’t, this, isn’t how we want it to be this isn’t, this, isn’t what I thought of when I thought of what commitment or even communication look like. And you grow together, you learn and you experience and you read and you just keep working together to be better together. And I think that, um, when you do that, you’re, you’re, you’re better for each other and you’re better for your family as well. So we’ve, we, we, we focus on these three CS because we believe that they’re the most important, but we have other pillars that we believe are important, uh, as well. And we gave you a little list of those. And so what I, what I’d love to do now is outside of the three CS, have, um, you Rob pick one, one that really speaks to you, one that you feel, um, other than the th the first three, what’s important to you. What, what one really resonates with you? Okay.
Number 13, security security resonates with me. Um, I was a youngest child and my sisters were older and I was alone a lot, you know? So at times when I’m not thinking well and not feeling well, I’ll be insecure. And if Gabby does something, not on purpose, that makes me feel insecure and our relationship, it can impact me in the past. Uh, but I’ve shared that with her in a healthy manner, how important that is to me to feel secure and be reminded of that. What does that look like to me? So not just, Hey, I want to be more secure. What specifically can she do to make me feel secure?
And what are some, what are some things I can
Tell you? A lot of things, you know, she mentioned a few earlier with some notes, with a text, a call, her initiating an opportunity for us to do something special together, a date night, or it’s an exercise, you know, a
Daily morning hug, Devon,
Just one a day. Gabriola has only one morning, one morning, morning,
We got plenty of hugs, but in the morning time, when she comes downstairs, cause I’m always up first and she gives me this beautiful hug in the off. It can last anywhere from three seconds to like 15 seconds and just this big hug. And she smells so nice and she’s dressed for the day and, you know, and look me in the eye afterwards, you know, telling me, I love you, honey. I said, I love you too. And I said, your ready? And I got the boys lunches, or, you know, and it’s just, that helps me feel secure. You know? And I, I, at one point I felt insecure the fact that I needed that, but there’s nothing wrong with that
The day, right? I mean, hugged each other, you put a little into each other’s bank account, and
That was my Kim to answer question security for me. And those were some of the ways, um, those are some examples and what it looks like for me.
Sure. What about you, Gabrielle, as you look at that list, what, what other quality rises to the top or really high importance for you and your relationship
It’s that trust and that honesty. And, uh, I think that that’s something that we constantly, uh, give importance to and for you to feel secure, having trust that I’m going to, you know, that I’m going to be a faithful loyal or whatever you want to call it, like you insure or you, you state, um, you’re out and you know, you’re meeting other people, but you’re always stating I’m happily married. You’re always talking about your wife. You’re always showing pictures. You have in the back of your phone, pictures of your family, talk about your family, constantly, that it makes huge deposits into my trust. And, and, and knowing that you’re mine and you’re going to be with me and you’re committed to me. So for me, trust is it’s, it’s big. And it’s something that, you know, I think we, we work on every day to build on that trust, trusting each other and trusting that we’ll be there for each other whenever, you know, um, we’re going through hard times or, or going through situations, trusting that we’re, we’re going to be there to support each other. And the, the honesty part as well is knowing that, that you’re truthful, that you are you, when you’re with me, you’re not changing. You’re not someone else you’re, you’re, you’re who you are. And you’re comfortable being who you are around me. And I’m comfortable being who I am around you. That’s a great
I love that. So we’ve got trust and then we’ve got security to two of our other pillars. And what do you guys think you each do well in those areas? So looking at those other pillars outside the three CS, can you share a Gabrielle, you shared a little bit about, um, what Rob does, you know, to make you feel that trust and that being secure. Bob, can you think of some of the things that Gabriella does for you? Uh, what does she do well in that area, in your relationship for trust? What do you, what have you seen?
Um, I know that Gabriela doesn’t really, um, put herself in situations with, I mean, she’s an attractive, beautiful woman, and she’s very mindful of what she wears and doesn’t put herself where the other men would, uh, perhaps, you know, hit on her. Cause I’m probably a slightly jealous, I guess, very little, but she’s, I think I’m more jealous than she is. So for me, uh, she doesn’t invite that is attractive versus attracting. And if we’re going to go out dancing, she may dress a little more provocative, but she’d normally does not dress that way, um, because she’s respectful of, of herself and that’s her style. But also she knows that, um, for my trust, I think I know how some guys can be in the workplace or in society. So that’s one of the things, I mean, I trust her unconditionally. Um, but at the same time, uh, she’s very respectful of me and what I like. So that’s one of the ways I can trust her.
And the other side of that. So that pillar, that’s the fourth pillar in our platform. It’s trust and honesty. And so how, how is the honesty side that goes, obviously trust and honesty are kind of hand in hand, right? Because if you’re trusting, you’re honest with each other, how is honesty played out in your relationship with each other? How has that shown up that you’ve seen? Or what role does it have in your relationship?
I think, yeah, showing, being who, being the people, the people that we are, that, you know, showing who, you know, how we really feel about certain things. And, and yeah, maybe your view about this, but knowing that you can, like Robert can share his views on certain things and, and trust that I’m not going to judge him or that I’m going to, uh, accepting each other. So that honest, it, it builds on the honesty within the relationship.
That’s a good point. I think honesty, we’re real, we’re authentic. We are who we are. We’re honest, not only with each other behind closed doors publicly, we’re consistently, you know, we’re authentic and honest in every way by our actions and our words. And we live it. We walked the walk every day.
Yeah. That’s great. Well, we’ve seen that demonstrated in so many ways and you guys have been really great and open, and if you had to say, what’s the biggest challenge that you face in your relationship? Like what, gosh, what seems to be the toughest thing that either you have to deal with repeatedly, or maybe just where you are right now in your relationship and how do you do that?
I would say the third C I mean, I mean, excuse me, the second seat communication. I think, uh, you know, it’s something it’s, it’s a, it’s an ongoing challenge for both or opportunity for both of us to keep, you know, understanding how to communicate more effectively with one another about, you know, whether it be serious issues or minor issues, being concise, clear, tender, respectful with our communication, because life is about communication. Whether it be facilitating with the kids or events or send, even send an electronic message, really communicating with each other, I think is critical. So now I know why I was a three CS, but it’s critical. And it’s an ongoing challenge because not only has get Brilla come from different homes, she comes from a different culture. So there’s those aspects of that, which come into our marriage. So those are things that I’ve identified. I’m very open to other cultures and I’ve lived in other cultures, but at the same often we’ll default our culture, you know, and those little idiosyncrasies can creep in. So I have to be a, we have to be aware of that as a couple. Um, so the communication is something that’s an ongoing opportunity for us. I wouldn’t say it’s bad. I’m proud of what we are. We’ve come a long way, but we have to keep working on that has to be top of mind as they say. Sure.
That’s a, that’s a great point. You know, you brought up having a difference, um, in, in your marriage and culture, how has that played into your marriage? How has that impacted your marriage?
I think, uh, initially, uh, I didn’t, I underestimated the impact of it. You know, I underestimated the difference of how, how different and significant it could be. And, and I downplayed it, but then I realized that, uh, in Latin America or in the Caribbean and some of the world that she came from Venezuela, um, the men have a different role for a specific example. Here’s a specific example. My sisters, when they saw how Gabriela would take care of me, like in terms of food, they will look at that as subservient, okay. Here in the U S and women would say, wait, but Gabrielle and her part of her culture, she wants to please her husband with the food and take care of him, take care of with this sewing, a button that comes off. It’s not about like, he’s more powerful than me. It’s just a way of showing love and expressing that it’s not bad.
And she has, she, she likes to show love that way. And then often that the husband, uh, is, uh, in her home and her parents’ home is very different than, you know, some homes here it’s, uh, not better or worse, but different. So we have to be aware of that. We’ve taken it to a different version of two point, oh, we take a nice hybrid mix of that and made it our own culture. So we keep, uh, the Hispanic and the Latin culture in our home. But we also take what we think is the best of both our home. Does that make sense? Yeah,
I agree. I think also, um, the way we we’ve communicated, like at first it was like lost in translation. Well, this is in my culture. This is, you know, this is a big deal or whatever. I said, it’s not an insult, but, you know, for him it would be like, whoa. So I think that was, uh, that was part of our, um, initial, uh, maybe three, four years of our marriage. It was like, oh, that’s not what I meant to say, but in my culture, this is what it would mean. And, and don’t take it that way. And, um, but I think that, yeah, we’ve, we’ve learned to, you know, we’ve evolved and I’ve, um, becomed this, this version, you know, where, of where I come from, but also of where I am and keeping up with the times and my children are now, you know, part of this culture.
So it’s, it’s really kind of growing and embracing the goods, keeping some of my, uh, culture and just evolving into this hybrid version of, of how we communicate and how we accept each other and how we, we, uh, we go through some of these tough conversations. Um, I think for me as well, communication is our, is our biggest opportunity because we’ve, we’ve learned, we have rules. We, we have, um, kind of like a playbook on how we’re going to talk about these tough issues, but we still sometimes end up in that place that we were like, we got here. How did we get here again? But it’s like, okay, we need to continue to work on it. And, and just, uh, it’s, it’s, uh, it’s our biggest opportunity how we communicate and sure.
I love watching the two of you sort of, um, develop that 2.0 hybrid because I see your boys who love Latin music. And I see, you know, Rob speaking, fluent Spanish, and I just love how you’ve come together. And even some of your children speaking Spanish, and I love how you’ve come together and you have created your own, your own culture, so to speak, right. And you’ve taken the great from both sides and melded them together. And you’ve really raised your children in such a healthy way. So thank you. Thank you for being great examples,
Combination. Yeah. A great way of taking what’s unique about each of you and bringing it together in a way that works for you. Not because it was what you thought it was, and it has to be that same way, but really developing your own. And it being fluid. It’s not a, it’s not a fixed, right. I mean, we have rules. We try to play by and work with, but you’re willing to have that growth mindset and, and flow with it. I love, love to love to see that. And you guys have done it beautifully. And so my, my, my hat goes off to 20 years of marriage. I know that you knew each other before then, and that’s a commitment and you guys are committed to the process and the joy of learning. And, uh, there’s so much care and respect between the two of you.
We all have our moments. I know there’s things that we don’t see about your relationship. And likewise, we, you know, I, my favorite quote is I have feet of clay. You know, I fail every day and say, gosh, I maybe could have said that better or done that differently. And it’s easy to look back, but instead you guys are looking forward and thinking and communicating lovingly how, how that can be better. And, um, you know, I’d love to kind of end if we could with you guys on, if, if you guys could each give one piece of advice to yourself was before you were married, what would that one piece be? If you say, oh my gosh, if I, if I had started off this marriage with knowing then doing this, what would that be for each of you, uh, to your unmarried selves?
Yeah, I think for me is showing more of that affection. Cause it’s something that, you know, I thought, Hey, if I just do acts of service, he, he will know that I, that I love him. If I just have this all ready for him, he will know that I love him. So if I knew that, you know, words and those are so, so important and to others, not just him, but it just to, you know, others cause people have different love languages. If I would have known that I think I would have applied that from the beginning. Just it, it doesn’t take much, right. It just, but building that into your, your habit of showing people how much you appreciate them by telling them versus assuming that just, Hey, I was there for you that show that I loved you. I came to your, uh, you know, birthday party that that’s, that’s showing that I love you, but saying it more, it’s something that, that I’m practicing more. And it’s also something that, yeah, I wish I did that 20 years ago with the people that I love and, and, and would have brought that to the relationship because some of us just need to hear it. Right. We need to hear it. Yeah.
Uh, for me, it would be keep dating, you know, um, everybody everybody’s madly in love when they get married and was a honeymoon period, but really you have to keep dating, keep it spicy, keep it fresh adventure, you know, keep dating your wife and fall in love over and over again. You to keep falling in love with her. You know, when you wear those first few dates, we listened to every word we’re intently, respectful, kissing her on the lips. I tell some, I joke around a lot with friends of mine. Like, are you kissing your wife on the lips? You better kiss her on the lips. Keep kissing, kissing, baby, keep kissing. So keep dating her, making those special moments, making her feel special. I don’t have to bring flowers, uh, just on her birthday and Valentine’s day. It should be just out of nowhere just because, just because keep it fresh.
And it’s not about throwing money. It’s about being thoughtful, taking the time and making those moments, having a picnic or having that glass of wine outside of the kids. People make excuses. I have no time. I’m so busy. I’ve got three kids. Well, we have three kids. I’m an entrepreneur. Gabriella works. We make the time you make time for what’s important to you, right? And so for me, it’s keep dating, keep dating it, keep it special. That’s why I appreciate it so much. What would you be? What you all are doing with this podcast and giving a roadmap to other men I’ll speak on behalf of the male species. Male men need to be hit over the head. And Matthew has been a shining example for me as a friend than a brother, as a mentor. But a lot of people need to hear this. It’s a lot of, it’s obvious what you hear. You’re like, oh my goodness. But for me, thank I thank God that I had the drive to learn on my own through books and through friends and through podcasts. I have a burning desire. I mean, I’m hungry to learn more. I’m not sure why that could be another podcast, but for this one, I’m blessed that I have it and my advice for myself 20 years ago, but keep dating her and falling over,
Over and over again. Great advice, no doubt and a fun and a fun process.
Having fun together is so important. Create the fun. Like you’re going to do yoga on the beach. It’s an activity. It’s something fun that you can do together. Especially when you know what the other person loves plan a fun activity that they love. Right? So it’s creating those opportunities. Absolutely. Absolutely.
Yeah. Lots of growth. Well, we’re so grateful to the two of you for sharing, pulling back the curtain a little bit and let us learn about how you got started and what, what mindset you brought to your relationship. You guys are a fantastic example of a kick couple based on not just the things we’ve talked about today, but so many other, I have to have you back another time. So we can dig a little deeper and learn, learn some more of those tips and tricks.
Yeah. After 20 years, I know there’s a lot more to unpack. And so we definitely want to have you guys back on it. Yeah.
Everybody deserves to have an incredible relationship. And if we can talk about how to do it and share with each other and build each other up, we’re going to have more fantastic kick-ass relationships where people are learning how to prioritize their number one relationship. So thank you guys. Thank you. Look forward to having you back.
That’s all we’ve got for this episode of the 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 this 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 pick us couples, podcast.com and we’ll get it over to you right away
Until next time. Remember happily ever after it doesn’t just happen. It’s on purpose.