Speaker 1: Matthew, Speaker 2:Kim, Speaker 3: Chris, Speaker 4: Lori
Speaker 1 (00:02):
Welcome to the kick-ass couples podcast. This is the place where we help committed couples who want to level up their marriage experience. New found, clarity, hope, and confidence. We’re Matthew and Ken co-hosts and husband
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 (00:29):
We believe all couples deserve and are capable of experiencing an extraordinary and fulfilling marriage. And each week we’re bringing you life lessons from real life successful couples to help you grow and strengthen your relationship.
Speaker 2 (00:43):
And now let’s dive in to today’s episode.
Speaker 3 (00:47):
Long time ago, we settled the question of whether or not this was our journey for life, you know, come with me and, and, you know, we’ve lived that out.
Speaker 4 (00:54):
It was tough sometimes. And so I, um, I saw a lot of, a lot of things that I didn’t want for me.
Speaker 3 (01:04):
It’s not feeling too good. If it gets a little bit bumpy, I can keep a door open. I can continue to look at other women. I can continue to have flirtations, you know, these types of things.
Speaker 4 (01:15):
We always just, you know, make sure that there’s not any,
Speaker 3 (01:22):
When this person you’re speaking to knows more about your spouse in the family house knows about this person. It’s at that moment, you have crossed into it.
Speaker 2 (01:30):
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 firstname.lastname@example.org again, that’s app offman.com. And now back to the show.
Speaker 1 (01:55):
So we are so excited just to have Chris and Lori here today with us. And we have a lot of history because this is the guy that’s my coauthor. He, he agreed to the madness of being the coauthor for kick husband, which is coming to a bookstore near you later this year. So in Lori, you know, I know firsthand how important women are and to the success. So I know he is what he is because of, uh, having you in his life. And I’ve gotten to hear bits and pieces of that. So Kim is certainly more than 50% of this partnership and she is the boss. And I admit that, and I think the sooner we all do that, the better we are. So we are just so grateful to have you guys here with us today. And we’re going to start this off with a really easy question. We want to know from each of you, and you can decide who’s going to go first. There’s no order. What makes you guys kick couple?
Speaker 3 (02:56):
Well, I mean, first, thanks for having us. Um, it’s always great to catch up and see you guys. And so, uh, just appreciate it to be here today and really catch up and see everyone and everything you’re doing. This is, this is phenomenal. Um, so what makes us a kick-ass couple? Uh, so this is a question I think about a lot, right? Like how did we make 25 years? Right. Um, about a year ago we were sitting out, uh, on, on the back porch by the pool and just having a glass of wine relaxing. And basically we look back and we met and like, how did we do this? Right? How did we, how did we, you know, make it this whole, this whole way? And, you know, fundamentally it was a simple answer we wanted to, right. We just, we wanted to make it happen.
Speaker 3 (03:44):
But from a therapist perspective, you know, I tie that into the idea of commitment. And, uh, I mean, obviously I’m a Gottman, uh, therapist and John would say, you know, I’m completely emotionally invested into this relationship. Um, this is my journey for life. Come what may. And if you, if you think about it, it’s an astronomical statement, right? This is my journey for life come what may and I’m completely emotionally invested into it. So there’s, there’s no, there’s no open doors, right. For, for anything else. So, you know, I would think and ponder that question. How do you know, is that me and Laurie? And, um, yeah, I would say, you know, for sure, right? We’ve since the day we met, we’ve been completely emotionally invested. Um, you know, the long time ago we settled the question of whether or not this was our journey for life, you know, come what may. And you know, we’ve lived that out through all the, you know, good times through all the bad times. And you know, we’re like any other couple, we have good times when we have bad times, we have the four horsemen that’ll come galloping and we have perpetual problems.
Speaker 1 (04:52):
Perfect, Chris, I dunno. There’s not perfect people sitting across from us,
Speaker 3 (04:58):
You know, all these things, but from a commitment perspective, um, like without, without commitment, we have nothing, right? There’s no therapy in the world is going to help you. If there’s not a commitment into the relationship. I mean, don’t even go see a therapist you’re wasting time. You’re wasting your time and you’re wasting the therapist time as well. Right. I read, uh, you know, I kept on and I continue to think about this idea of commitment. Like what is that? You know, what’s the, the vastness of it.
Speaker 1 (05:26):
And we’re going to get there in a minute. So I want you to save some powder for us. Don’t, don’t give us the gold answer now, but it is important. No doubt. Hey, but you said something earlier, Chris, you said there’s no open doors. We talk about, talk about that a little deeper and let everybody know what he meant by that.
Speaker 3 (05:41):
So, so one of the forms of betrayal, uh, that we speak about is, um, conditional commitments to a relationship. In other words, um, you know, it feels good now, right? But you know, there’s, there’s, you know, potentially a plan B, right? It’s not feeling too good if it gets a little bit bumpy, you’re not, I can keep a door open. I can continue to look at other women, right. I can continue to have flirtations, you know, these type of things. Uh, and that’s actually a form of betrayal. I’m not completely emotionally invested into the relationship. Right? Um, and so without that, without that complete emotional investment inside that relationship, those doors and windows will be open. Here’s a great way to know. Here’s, you know, because fundamentally we’re talking about affairs of the potential for affairs and easiest way to know when we’ve crossed that boundary. Right? When we think about this idea of not being completely, emotionally invested is when the person, this person that you’re speaking to, right. Knows more about your spouse and your family than your, you know, than your spouse knows about this person. You’re speaking to it’s at that point, it’s at that point, you are in an affair. That’s the open door, the open door. When this person you’re speaking to knows more about your spouse and your family than your spouse knows about this person. It’s at that moment. Wow. You have crossed into an affair.
Speaker 2 (07:09):
So, so Chris, what I’m hearing you say is that what makes you the two of you kick is, um, your commitment to each other, that there is no plan B now the door’s closed. Um, and so I’m just curious, Lori, what would you say makes you and Chris a kick-ass couple?
Speaker 4 (07:29):
Oh gosh, we have come a long way. Um, I mean, honestly, I mean, it’s just been a blessing that somehow God put in front of him to become a therapist and go down this journey. Um, and it’s true. There is no plan B I mean, it’s together till, till we die. Um, divorce is not an option. It’s something we don’t ever want. It’s something we’ll always strive to just work, work through things and be honest and open and trust. I mean, trust is huge. And so to know that he’s leaving for work and I don’t have to constantly worry about where he is, what he’s doing, that I know he’s my guy and he’s going to be here forever. And our journeys is just going to be that. And that’s something we talk about a lot. It’s not just something, I assume it’s, it’s different conversations throughout our marriage, um, that we’ve had.
Speaker 4 (08:36):
And, and, um, you know, just that level of trust and commitment and just honesty and knowing who he is and why he thinks a certain way and why I think a certain way, and just respecting that of each other. And just knowing that, you know, there, like he said, there, there are no open doors and being mindful of that because it can happen very easily. And you honestly, in this day and age have to go out of your way to make sure those things don’t happen. Right. You know, there’s other people always wanting to get in, or you’re put in situations that could allow for that, but being mindful and making sure, and it’s to the littlest tiny thing, my mother-in-law lives next door, anytime a worker comes in the house, I have her come over. Not because I know I’m not going to do anything, but I just never want a neighbor or someone to assume or think something else is going on. So, um, we always just, you know, make sure that there’s not any doubt, any doubt whatsoever.
Speaker 1 (10:00):
And I love what you said, just to follow. I want to kind of dig for a second. You, so we talked about commitment, we talked about trust and it’s not only am I thinking or wanting or looking for that, something else, but not putting yourself or your spouse in the situation where it could occur. Right. So it’s not just, Hey, I never would do that. That’s not how I think, but it’s, you got to take it a step further, right? What you were saying in protect you do, when you have that, your mother-in-law come over, you’re protecting it. You’re not allowing the opportunity to even exist. Right. And I think that’s speaks to commitment and to trust. And that certainly is something that makes you guys kick. And I I’d love to see that.
Speaker 3 (10:39):
Yeah. I think, I think in terms of commitment, those little things, right. Um, I’ve read this, this article, uh, I don’t know, a couple months ago. And it was talking about from, from where we are on planet earth to the edge of the universe is like 95 billion light years, guys. I ha I don’t even know what that means, but that sounds pretty big. Right. And there’s like a hundred billion trillion stars. I don’t even know what that means, but that’s, that’s like big, that’s a lot. Um, but that’s, that’s the size of the commitment it to a marriage. It’s, it’s that vast? What I find as a therapist is until couples come face to face with the vastness of that, that commitment, you know, thinking of it in turn, you know, the size of the universe and until they come face to face with that and, and get comfortable and settle in that relationship never, never starts. It doesn’t even begin. Sure, sure.
Speaker 2 (11:34):
Well, before we, before we sort of move forward, um, I want to move backward a little bit. I really believe, I truly believe that we are a product of those who raised us and that those who raised us are a part of, of who we are and that we bring whatever that may be to our relationship. And so, Laurie, I want to start with you, I’m going to ask you, what did love look like in your family when you were growing up, sort of your family of origin, what did that, what did that look and feel like to you?
Speaker 4 (12:10):
Well, um, didn’t have a perfect family. Um, my mom and dad loved me. I knew that, um, they had a pretty Rocky relationship and, um, it was tough sometimes. And so I, um, I saw a lot of, a lot of things that I didn’t want for myself. It wasn’t, you know, great. So, um, they stayed together, um, for the kids kind of thing. And so I always thought, I just don’t want that. I mean, I love my mom and my dad has passed away. It’s been 20 years. They were together for 35 years, uh, before he passed. But unfortunately, um, I wouldn’t say they were great role models, except they were great role models of maybe how the relationship I would want it not to be. Um, my dad provided I had great grandparents. I mean, that type of interaction was great, but when it came to their relationship, it just, you know, my father was Latin and it was, uh, very typical.
Speaker 4 (13:31):
You have my dinner on the table and you do this, you do that. Um, you know, and it, it was tough. And my mom had her things too. Now looking back, you know, because you look back and you kind of see, okay, now I know why he got angry at certain things. I know why she was the way she was. And you’re able to look at that and say, I don’t want to go down that road. I want to do something different. So, you know, I think it had a lot to do with me, not having a lot of serious relationships and waiting till, you know, Chris and I met each other. We didn’t get married until I was almost 30. And so, um, and I think part of that was just being worried that I didn’t want to go down that same road. Um, but I love my parents. They were awesome and provided, but it just not relationship wise with good example.
Speaker 1 (14:33):
So you learned, you know, we, we either learn, we always learn what we like and what we don’t like. And when you say, wow, that’s important to me, I’m going to do that. And then the stronger lessons are no way in heck. Right. Am I going to, I don’t want that. So I’ve got to do something different and that’s, that’s important because that’s what you came to the relationship with. So you didn’t, there weren’t a lot of things that you saw growing up. You obviously, they took care of you and provided, and you have relationships with both of them, but there wasn’t a lot of things that you said, wow, that’s I want to replicate that. Right.
Speaker 4 (15:05):
And there were, uh, you know, grandparent relationships and, um, respecting family and all of those things, which were great and great traditions and such, but as far as if I look at just their relationship, yeah. I didn’t want that for me.
Speaker 1 (15:24):
That’s good to know. That’s good. It’s, it’s really, as Kim said, it’s in our bones, right. It’s kind of who we are. So Chris, same, same question for you. What does love look like for you growing up? Whether it’s parents, grandparents. I know there were some, so,
Speaker 3 (15:38):
You know, uh, me and my mom, my brother lived with my grandmother and grandfather and, uh, had my grandmother, grandfather had a, a very, very old fashioned, like 1920s, old fashioned committed relationship. We’re in it. We’re gonna, you know, we’re gonna die together. But, but th there was, that was the relationship. There really wasn’t anything else. He worked all day, she stayed at home, you know, they didn’t, um, that was the extent of the relationship. Right. Uh, but in that, um, you know, I, I did see commitment, right? Like we’re family, this is how it goes. Things might not be perfect, but we’re family and we stick. Right. Um, you know, my mother, she never dated, uh, you know, until I was, uh, both me and my brother were grown up and out of the house and then she ended up getting married. But, um, that was the ideal, right?
Speaker 3 (16:39):
Our, our family was our family and it was our family and we always just stuck. Right. That was our commitment. And we didn’t, you know, we didn’t veer from that. It was, uh, you know, the home was pretty turbulent Rocky at times. You know, my granddad was this old Greek guy, you know, he was, uh, a company, nine states. He was a Marine in world war II in the south Pacific. He was a pretty hard dude. Right. And so it was pretty stringent, you know, and, uh, uh, very authoritarian, you know, the household ran, but, you know, in that, you know, I did see a lot of commitment. I think I learned about commitment in an in-depth way in that environment, and also learned a lot about, um, just work ethic, right? Our, our family was his built around work. Right? So Y there were things that I certainly knew. I didn’t want yelling, screaming, hollering, you know, these very rigid type rules. Uh, there were certainly things, um, that why I left the, the bad stuff behind the screaming, hollering, yelling, very register the, the idea and the sense of commitment and work ethic, you know, whether it’s to the marriage or in life, you know, I brought a lot of good things out of, out of my family, you know, into our relationship.
Speaker 1 (17:54):
Sure. What, what would give me an example of one of those good things. I mean, you talked about the work ethic commitment, but what’s one of your, like, what’s one of the fondest memories, or you said, I’m going, I want that,
Speaker 3 (18:05):
Um, with Laurie, right. Um, we met at a, uh, dueling piano bar in Ybor city on a blind date. And we, I was driving back across the Courtney Campbell Causeway, into Clearwater with my buddy who had sat us up. And he said, what are you thinking? I said, um, I’ll bet you $500. I married this girl. Um, so that night was kind of a turning point for me, but, you know, fondest, uh, my fondest memory is this. And this is when, like, I really, really, really, really know, uh, of Sam problems with my heart. Right. And, uh, I needed to go in for an open heart surgery. Uh, so it was November 20th, 1996. Laurie was a general manager for Marriott. So she had an, you know, she ran entire hotel. And so she took an entire month off. Right. She, her first day off was like, the day before I went in for my surgery, she took an entire month off. And then the second month she went back part-time so she risked everything. Right. She risked her entire career. And, and so Y the heart stuff was not fun to remember. I mean, that was a fond memory because I knew, uh, you know, that spoke to me right. There was that spoke a level of commitment.
Speaker 1 (19:31):
That is commitment. Yeah. No doubt. Love to hear that. So you, you brought that story forward into your relationship, and that kind of is a, is a good, uh, I think leading into our first, uh, our first, see, we talked a little bit about commitment, and I think that your story about taking a month off, and so you were not married at that time?
Speaker 3 (19:54):
Nope. We weren’t married. Okay. And, uh, so we were dating, you know, and, uh, uh, w I mean, we knew, right. We were, we were pushing toward, you know, forever. She actually sat me down and said, so I’m getting ready to turn 30. I told myself, I’d be married at 30. Where are we? What’s happening here? What are we doing?
Speaker 1 (20:17):
What are you doing, buddy? Get off the pot. Let’s go.
Speaker 3 (20:22):
Okay. So, I mean, but you know, that spoke to me, there was a lot of wonderful things, you know, about her. I mean, at night I knew, right. I knew I was going to marry this girl. And, uh, but that was just, you know, that is just one of many, many, many examples. Sure. Right. Um, I can tell you past 25 years being married to me, it’s been like a, you know, a ride on the mall, but which gardens,
Speaker 4 (20:47):
But ups and downs twists and turns that’s, I, I, you know, there’s not a relationship that probably isn’t that way. Like, there’s no perfect. You you’ve never arrived. You know, it’s not like, well, we are in love. We’re going to get married. Right. And we know everything. It’s not. Absolutely, absolutely. Well, so we’re going to kind of move into our three CS and commitment. You told a great story about commitment and I mean, I’m impressed Lori, that, uh, that that’s, that’s great. Now I know now I know why the two of you are together. So maybe Lori, maybe you can share something about, like, what does commitment mean to you in your relationship and how have you seen that quality of commitment expressed in your time together? Well, you know, Chris, just, you know, from years and years, I, he has just told me, you know, that this is forever.
Speaker 4 (21:42):
Um, he comes home every night. He doesn’t go out and party with the guys ever. Um, he just gives me that reassurance, he’s that person I can fall back on. And I went through a really tough time, a few years into our marriage, um, with anxiety, um, and, um, and depression and, and things like that. And I just had kind of like a breakdown of sorts. Um, and, um, he was there. I mean, he did not turn away from that. He embraced it. He helped me, um, you know, there were mornings, I would wake up just having a panic attack or an anxiety attack, and he would just hold me and tell me it’s going to be okay. I’m here for you. I, you know, he would say, okay, what is it that you have, I mean, down to what is it you have to do today that is causing so much stress.
Speaker 4 (22:50):
And I would start listing off, you know, as a mom with a little boy, and he’s got to go to school, I’ve got a clean house, I’ve got a blah, blah, blah, the Lido just on and on. And he’d say, okay, so what if that doesn’t happen? What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen if that doesn’t happen. And he would kind of bring me back to reality. So the house gets cleaned tomorrow instead of today. So take that off your plate. And so he would just hold me and we would have these conversations. And next thing you know, I was, you know, just relaxing from this panic attack or anxiety attack and not understanding at some point. And I think every woman goes through this when their kid isn’t in preschool or kindergarten and comparing yourself to all the other so-called perfect moms. And you’re striving to be that, you know, my kids, the smartest, and we have the nicest home, or, you know, I’ve never been into that, but still you have that pressure.
Speaker 4 (23:57):
And I wanted to be a good wife at the same time and a good daughter and sister, you know, just all of these things. And everyone thought I was, but inside I was dying inside trying to be this for everyone. Um, and one day, one of my friends and what got me to this, um, her son said, you know, mommy, you have different friends for different things. And you know, you have this friend, um, you know, you like to go play golf with her or whatever, and you have miss Lori as your friend. And she goes, yeah, I have miss Lori because she’s a rock. I know anytime I need anything or I need advice, I can go to her. And she is solid. And when she said that to me, I was like, if you only knew inside I was dying, I am not that person. And so I think that’s when I just realized, oh my God,
Speaker 1 (24:55):
That’s a great, that’s a great story. What a beautiful example of commitment and being there through the thick and thin, 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 E hoff.com. Again, that’s Matthew hoffman.com. It’s time to start kicking. Let’s go.
Speaker 2 (25:42):
Right. Um, so I guess the next thing that I’d like to talk about with the three CS is, is communication. That’s a big one. I mean, how we communicate with each other is so important and plays such a huge role in our relationships. So Chris, tell me a little bit about how you and Lori communicate with each other and give us some examples of, of that
Speaker 3 (26:04):
Listen, right? Uh, where like every other couple on planet earth and we battled before horsemen criticism, contempt, defensiveness, Stonewall, uh, at the same time, I’m a therapist, right? So all day long, 12 hours a day, right. Um, um, helping coaching couples, you know, uh, on how to eliminate them. And we found that, I say, you know, so that’s always going on in the back of my head. So when these are popping up, I continually try to, um, you know, employ the antidotes. Right. I think a couple, couple of weeks ago, uh, had set something, oh, you know what it was, uh, we had, we were in the kitchen, we had gotten into a little spat, had friends come up. And then later that night I said something to her. We started getting back and forth into this criticism defensiveness type thing. Right. And so I just wanted to slow it down and said, Hey, listen, I love you.
Speaker 3 (27:02):
I’m just, this is just something that I have thought I have felt. Not that you, not that you’re doing it, not that that’s in your heart, not that that’s in your mind. Right. So again, soft start. Right. Um, but this is something that’s been bothering me. So, you know, how do we do it for me? I just slow it down. Right. I slow it down. The four horsemen are always present in my mind. So I slow it down. I start employing the antidote soft, start up or take responsibility where I have to. But I think, I think the most important thing is just speaking to your spouse from your heart. Let me speak to people from my heart. It’s, it’s, you know, fail-proof right. It always works. And so we can slow the conversations down, which I think we’re pretty good at. And just, uh, we speak to one another from the heart. Uh, those conversations are easy. That’s what I would tell people. Just slow it down, shut the conversation down and just speak to one another from your heart.
Speaker 2 (27:57):
I have all those tools in your toolkit, which is, which is great because most of us don’t have those tools in our toolkit. I know for me, um, uh, like I always, I’m a work in progress. I’m learning what those tools are and I’m still working with those tools. Um, but tell me a little bit about what about when things get heated, when things get really hot and you guys are just, both of you are on fire, maybe one is and one isn’t, but the other one wants the other one, get to get the other one going, tell me how you communicate then.
Speaker 3 (28:27):
Well, I, you know, four horsemen Gallop, uh, for, I mean, really for a brief period of time, because we’ll, we separate, right. So we don’t, uh, it doesn’t go on our relationship from a, from a kind of a clinical perspective is a little bit more pursuer distance or, um, uh, and, but it’ll rotate back and forth. So I think in general, I think I’m a little bit more of the pursuer at times. I think Lori will be a little bit more of the distance. Things will get heated, excuse me, and she’ll tend to walk away. Right. Uh, but then there’s other times, right. Where she takes on the role, the more pursuer, right. Which would involve criticism worker suing, generally, there’s going to be criticism involved and I’m aware that this was a distance that I stole. Right. Um, and so, uh, none of that really works me. Um, but what I find that we typically do is we just sorta kind of go on our way, you know, relax ourselves, you know, do our own forms of self-soothing and then come back and have better conversation around it. So
Speaker 1 (29:31):
Successful communication and your eyes, when you think about your relationship or in general as a therapist or a couple, is it both being pursuing or both being distancing? Are, is it normal to have in a relationship or one is doing one and one is doing the other
Speaker 3 (29:46):
Totally normal, uh, there’s an entire therapy built around the idea of pursuer distance or demand withdrawal it’s called emotionally focused therapy. Okay. The idea is that the relationship is the attachment, right. And so when there’s a threat or a perceived threat, um, you know, in the mind to the relationship that triggers a stress response, so fight flight and freeze, and that, you know, if it’s a fight, right. If we manifest the pipe response or the pursuer right. Flight is the distance or right. So that, that’s the idea behind it. Very, very typical. Very typical
Speaker 1 (30:21):
About for you, Lori. So when communication, like how do you, how do you perceive the way you all communicate in your relationship or what’s what’s what role does communication play in the success or the challenges that the two of you
Speaker 3 (30:34):
Speaker 1 (30:39):
I didn’t sound like Lori’s voice. I don’t know. I might be able to relate to that. My wife has some Cuban Latin descent. She’ll say, don’t make me go Cuban on you. I backed it up, back it up.
Speaker 4 (30:58):
Well, you know, we have been just so fortunate really to know these things and learn what he’s learned through therapy and through, um, having national marriage seminars. So I’ve sat in literally over, you know, 250 trainings of therapists listening to this over and over and over again. So for us, we’re very fortunate that we have learned these four horsemen and we can catch ourselves doing it. Although we do sometimes, you know, say that was contempt or, you know, you’re just being defensive. I need an ally right now. I’m just venting. So we do sometimes explain that to each other because we know about it. So it is a process of learning. Um, let’s say I’m, I’m not arguing. I’m just venting. I just need an ally. I don’t need you to fix it. I just want to get it off my chest. And so I think that, um, over the years we have just gotten better and better, um, at that.
Speaker 4 (32:13):
And I don’t think there’s ever a big argument. Like he said, you know, one could be the pursuer distance or we take time away, but we always come back and finish what we started. So to speak, whether it’s solved the issue or here’s my take on what happened. Um, I came to you, all I wanted to know is this, this and this, you know, I felt that you were distant or being defensive and I guess you weren’t. And so then I began, you know, to come at you and I’m sorry. So we always end up talking. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, and that’s the one thing that a lot of people in a relationship never want to say is I’m sorry, because they think they’re giving up something and you’re not, you’re really, you know, just wanting a good relationship. And I say a lot is like, would you talk or speak that way to your best friend, but you’ll speak that way about your husband or to your husband and all of these people I see on social media, the way they speak to each other. And, you know, it’s, it’s really tough. I mean, how do you respect the other person? If you can’t say, you’re sorry, and you can’t accept an apology, truly accept it and not hold it and bring it up, you know?
Speaker 1 (33:44):
Yeah. Bring it back. We live that stuff. I love, I loved what you said in talking about communication. I heard you say it’s a work in progress. And I think that, you know, it’s not a destination. Right? Good communication. Oh, we’ve got that down. Now we can move on to something else. And you know, someone who is a therapist and someone who’s been supporting it and working it and got that exposure. You’re always, what I heard you say is you’re always working. You’re always working and you have to remind each other, even though you have the tools you’re still using those tools yourselves and in an effort to make the relationship better. And it’s a process. And I think that what we want to make sure that everybody understands is that it’s the commitment, right. To the process. And, uh, you, if you’re committed to the process, you’re going to keep working and stirring and moving forward. So I appreciate you sharing that and accepting an apology. It’s, you know, it’s when it’s over, it’s over, right. And that we’re not going to carry baggage with us and say, well, last week I remember you said this, and man, I haven’t, you’re not out of the doghouse yet. That’s not a, not a fun place to be. Right. And so I’m glad that you’re accepting and moving on is,
Speaker 2 (34:51):
Oh, you can’t keep bringing it back up by. I feel like that’s a, uh, a rut that we get into is kind of bringing people back to that same place. Um, got to move on.
Speaker 3 (35:03):
Well, we ended up flooding, right? We, our heart rates get up every time we come back to it, uh, sorta wanting to win it. We just start flooding more and more, I think in terms of this. Yeah. I’m getting older at this point. Right. Um, and so I think a lot of what’s out there, but I think,
Speaker 3 (35:25):
I think until we understand our relationship with time, right. Um, we, we are, we’re not going to understand, uh, we’re not going to engage the sense of urgency, right. Uh, in our relationship really in anything in life. Right. Um, and so, so I think when we can begin to think in those terms and understand that relationship that we have with time, um, being able to be humble and come back and say, Hey, right. Like I’m not, I’m not meaning anything wrong here. I’m not trying to, right. It becomes easier. We have this finite amount, right. A finite amount of time. And I think we all want to make that worthwhile and, and well,
Speaker 4 (36:07):
And I, oh, go ahead. No, no. I think that one of the best things that, um, you know, I have learned and heard, and I don’t know if it was Gutman or not, is like in a relationship when you’re arguing. Um, you’d never, you know, there’s some people like I won that argument. I won. So it’s always like, well, if you won, then your spouse lost. So do you want them to feel like they’re a loser or that they lost something. It really should never get, it should never be like, I won you lost and we’re going to keep tabs. And so I never want to walk away. I want to walk away with a better understanding of what happened or what I was trying to say, not walk away and go, Hmm. I showed him. Okay.
Speaker 1 (36:57):
There’s no winners. That’s funny to see there’s I believe it or not. That’s a chapter in the book that we, that we have. And it’s not. Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s, we, there’s a lot of elements going on there, but you know, it’s not about winning and losing the third pillar of those three CS is conflict resolution. And I think that is a skill. And I think Chris, you’ll, you’ll fill in the data if I’m wrong, but 69% of issues in a marriage or relationship are not resolvable. Right. Is that what you shared with me? Completely unsolvable unsolvable. So there’s really not too many things we can focus on, right. That w conflicts arise, whether it’s what somebody did or didn’t do said, or didn’t say. And I think having the skills and understanding how to work through those conflicts is certainly a skill that has to be present because they’re things Laurie, when we were talking about communication, you said, you know, we come back to it to make sure, at least there’s understanding. Maybe we’re not crossing it off the list, but we got to have understanding. So, so Chris, when a conflict arises in your relationship, how do you guys handle it? What do you do?
Speaker 3 (37:59):
So there’s two types, right? So there’s the perpetual stuff. And then, and then the solvable stuff, uh, if I got, if I forget to take the trash out, which I pretty much always do, right.
Speaker 1 (38:10):
Is that perpetual, is that solvable?
Speaker 3 (38:14):
It’s just like this daily little task type thing. Right, right. And that’s kind of an easy, I mean, it certainly can be frustrating for, right. Um, but you know how we’re going to solve that? Well, I, you know, in an example like that, I need to do that task. But again, at the same time, we’re more mindful about, you know, sort of the four horsemen. Like she might say, you know, listen, it’s not so much taking out the trash, it’s the idea that I’ve asked you to do it and it didn’t happen, which then sends me a message. You don’t care. Right. And so I don’t. So then, and you know, it puts it into a whole different sphere, not about the trash, not about the trash, right. On the perpetual side, we have perpetual problems like any other couple. Um, so what I try to do, and Lori’s good at as well is, is shift away from the metaphor, what we would call in therapy to content and move to process.
Speaker 3 (39:07):
Right. In other words, to the real narrative, um, an example would be, have this older couple that I’ve seen and, uh, mid eighties married 45 years and they’ll come and watch her twice in a year. They just liked it. Honestly, I don’t have anything to add to that conversation. I really don’t, but they like to come in and just air it out. So one time they came in and they were arguing about this new window that they’re putting in and it was getting heated. I said, it ain’t about the window guys. And he said, you’re right. It’s not about the window. This woman’s been trying to control me for 45 years perpetual issue. Right. And she said, now I’ve just wanted an opinion for 45 years perpetual issue number two. All right. So now we’ve identified them and we go off your, what we call the dream within the conflict.
Speaker 3 (39:51):
Like, what do you want in this thing? And he said, I don’t want to be taken advantage of. And she said, just fundamentally, I, you know, I really want to have voice. And so then we went into, you know, all the interventions to really just gain, uh, gain a firm, understanding of why these things, those two positions I don’t want to be taken advantage of. And I really want to have voice are so central to who they are. Right. That’s the idea with perpetual problems. They exist because of fundamental differences in personality and lifestyle needs. Right? And so these positions that we take are, they are part and parcel of who we are as a human being. We’re absolutely never gonna budge on them. And so if we’re going to be able to live in peace, we have to understand them, right. We can create good conversation with good emotion. And I think we do that pretty well around these things that are really central to us.
Speaker 1 (40:37):
So it’s understanding, let me back up a second one, stop you. So you said it’s about understanding is what I heard you say, and you have to understand the perpetual issue might be yours might be hers, but if there’s no understanding, you’re not going to have peace.
Speaker 3 (40:53):
Yeah, we got it. So there’s the perpetual issue, but then what we would call from a government perspective, what we would call the dream within the conflict, what I simply say, what do you, what is it that you really want in this issue? Right? Tell me in a word or a short sentence. And, and that thing that, that I would speak, or Lord speaker, you guys would speak to anybody. Those things are really coming from a part of who you are as human beings. You’re not, you’re not going to budge. And so if we’re going to be able to deal with 69% of our problems, which are unsolvable, we have to gain an understanding of why this thing is so important to you.
Speaker 4 (41:26):
And a lot of times it comes back to something that’s happened in your past. It’s not really about the argument we’re having here. It’s it, it triggered something, you know, it triggered, you know, that’s what my dad used to say to me. And when he would say that to me, it would make me feel terrible. And now you’re saying it, and that’s what triggered an argument or something like that. So when you’re going through a dream within conflict, what you really want here, or you’ve done love mapping and learning about each other’s past, sometimes you’re more aware of why something is so important to that person or why when you set it in a certain way or, oh, you’re just like your mother or you’re just like your father, you know, that can just, that’s where a lot of big arguments it can happen. And if you’re not in tune to your spouse and understanding where they come from and what has hurt them in the past, you could be hurting them and not even know it. And then that just can manifest into a lot of resentment and uncaring and them distancing them. Yeah.
Speaker 2 (42:45):
It sounds like getting to the core, the real root of the issue is, is what you really need to be looking to do rather than just back and forth. And I hear
Speaker 4 (42:55):
Speaker 1 (42:58):
Right. And what I heard you say is you talked about the desire and the dream. In other words, it was that when you said, what do you really want out of this? What are you looking for? It was to be resolved perfectly. What would that look like?
Speaker 3 (43:11):
Okay. So for the older couple, I told you about,
Speaker 2 (43:17):
We have, we have, we have 13 pillars that we have put together that we believe constitute or make up a successful relationship. We talked about the first three, the foundational three, but we also have others that are listed in front of you. And what I’d like to do now is to ask each of you, which one speaks to you the most. So Lori, we’ll start with the, you, is there one here that you would say is most important to you?
Speaker 4 (43:52):
Um, I would say trust and honesty for sure. Um, lasting love, of course. Um, if you had to pick one, I would say trust.
Speaker 2 (44:11):
And so why, well, tell me a little bit about that. What, what, what makes you say trust?
Speaker 4 (44:16):
I just think that trust overall in a marriage or relationship is a huge, a huge thing. I mean, it’s trust and trustworthiness as Chris will speak about a of times it’s, you know, knowing that I don’t have to worry. I mean, knowing that this guy’s going to be here forever, knowing just he’s got my back he’s, you know, it’s just that sense of security, I guess, too. It kind of goes hand in hand knowing that, you know, I don’t have to worry. I know that he’s loves me. He loves my son. He loves us as a family. I know he’s going to protect us. And so I, I trust, I just trust him and there’s not, I don’t, if you don’t have that, I just feel like it won’t last.
Speaker 2 (45:18):
Yeah. You’re always worrying or you’re always wondering. And I feel like it’s interesting because with a lot of these, um, podcasts that we’ve done, most women have said that their number one is trust and honesty. Right. So I feel like that that is important for us to know that when you’re, when, when our significant other is put into a compromising position, because we know it’s going to happen, it’s going to happen over, um, you know, the span of our relationship probably more than once. Right. And how are they going to respond? Right? What are they going to do? And so I feel like that is a big issue for women, right? That’s really important to feel secure,
Speaker 4 (46:02):
Right? And it’s not always trusting, um, that he’s not going to look at someone else or trusting about, you know, is he going to cheat on me? It’s just trusting being a trusting, human being, being a trusting husband, trust that he’s going to take care of us, trust that he’s got our back, that he will protect us, that he will do whatever it takes to make our family happy.
Speaker 1 (46:32):
Can you think, give one example, one thing that Chris does that makes you feel that way? Give me, give us one example.
Speaker 4 (46:39):
Um, he, he just puts his family first.
Speaker 1 (46:42):
So you guys are the priority.
Speaker 4 (46:43):
We are the priority. I know that I know that he would do anything and everything for our family period, without a doubt.
Speaker 1 (46:54):
I can see that. And Chris, what about you? What, as you look at this list, which outside of the three CS, which one do you feel is most important to you or your relationship to?
Speaker 3 (47:03):
I may it’s faith, faith. My faith allows me to do all of those.
Speaker 1 (47:08):
Okay. Tell me a little bit more about that.
Speaker 3 (47:12):
Speaker 1 (47:13):
How does that work between the two of you?
Speaker 3 (47:16):
So as, you know, getting ready to turn 56, but as a young teenage guy, I kind of had, you know, a pretty dynamic moment, you know, when it came to my, uh, relationship with the Lord. And, and so that changed me in substantial ways, right. It would allow me to, um, uh, uh, uh, trust at a greater level. Right. Cause I just have a sense that no matter what everything’s going to be okay. Right. Allows me to have greater patience, uh, lasting love, selflessness, those type of things. And, and so my faith for me is important and I feel it allows me to do, uh, all of these things. How does that play out between me and Laurie? Um, listen, uh, there could be an argument, you know, heating up, um, what I know, right. Uh, it’s going to be okay, like this isn’t going to end.
Speaker 3 (48:13):
Right. We’re going to, my faith tells me, right. Uh, this just a moment time, right? Uh, this isn’t the end of the highway. We’re going to figure this thing out because I just have, I have faith and trust in, uh, really my faith and, you know, the relationship that I have with God. So that’s been the biggest thing for me in my life. And that permeates everything I do, whether it’s my marriage or being a dad or, uh, you know, uh, my practice, whatever my faith, my faith allows me. I feel to experience life in it full it’s because I know that at the end of the day, all it’s going to be well, no matter what comes down the pike. Sure, sure. Like your faith is your foundation. Absolutely. For everything else, a hundred percent, you know, as a young guy, uh, from told you me, my mom, my brother lived my grandmother and grandfather and he liked to drink, you know? Um, but from 12 to 16 years old, I was in and out of drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers. And I would constantly get arrested. Last time I got arrested was down Niebuhr city and I was looking at 40 years in prison, 40 years, I’d still be in prison today. This was mandatory sentencing back in those days. Um, but, uh, it didn’t happen for a lot of reasons. Things didn’t happen in Tampa back.
Speaker 3 (49:43):
Um, but interesting thing with that, my forever three-year, uh, probation. I had to do community service at the Baptist conference center right later, later on in my life, I ended up going to seminary and I met a guy who became the director of the Baptist conference center. I helped him plant a church right there at the Baptist conference center. Right. Sort of came all the way back around. Um, but, but I will tell you, my faith carried me through all of that. Um, and so that’s been the focal point in my life. I feel in my faith, it allows me to, it allows me to engage life at its fullest. Sure. Those are great stories. I agree. Faith is at the core of that. And I realized that’s not for everyone. That’s just for me. Sure.
Speaker 1 (50:27):
That’s what works for you. And so that’s a good lead into kind of a, we, there’s a concept that you and I have talked about. I think Chris and Laura, you may be familiar with it. Maybe not. It’s called spillover thinking. And we firmly believe that the relationship is if the relationship is strong at goodness, that security foundation trust is going to spill over into other areas of our lives. So how do you, how do you each see just quickly, how do you eat, see the success of your relationship? Cause we know it’s, you are kick and it is a successful relationship. How have you seen that spill over into other areas of your life?
Speaker 3 (51:05):
Oh, I mean, we’ve got two different non-profits, um, you know, that just right there, right. Where we reach out and, and, uh, whether it’s therapy or coaching or, uh, just bringing people together for, for different things, whether it’s a bowling tournament or inviting couples over to sit down and just have a glass of wine and a good conversation and uh, those types of things, but also think our relationship, we make an impact on the community by, by doing a lot of those types of things as well. So those are things that come to my mind, but I’m sure Lori has. Sure.
Speaker 4 (51:39):
Yeah. I think that the spillover of our relationship being strong is, you know, our son, I think that, um, you know, we are a great influence, you know, he may not have thought so in high school, however, now his fourth year in college, he calls every single day for advice for, you know, I mean, we’ve just been able to spill that over onto another generation. Hopefully, you know, we’ll break any generational curses that were prior, um, uh, in our lives. And, and I do think with like national marriage seminars and with his therapy practice that, you know, that’s our heart and that’s why national marriage seminar started was because he was doing therapy and I was working the front desk and people kept coming in over and over, oh, he’s the second therapist or the third therapist we’ve been to. And I didn’t understand that.
Speaker 4 (52:45):
I’m like, well, why is everybody going to all these different therapists? And, and I realized, and Chris told me, you know, you can go all the way and get a master’s and even some doctorates and never took a class in couples therapy or marriage therapy. So yeah. And you could be certified licensed marriage and family therapist, but never took one class on how to do couples therapy. Wow. So they could be a great individual therapist, but when you put two people together and all their junk and all of that together, I mean, so that’s where national marriage seminar started. We sit on the, we’ve got to get this out there, the training for therapists that’s right. And so now we’ve trained over 35,000 therapists in 10 years and just think how many people they see, wow,
Speaker 2 (53:40):
Well, you, you guys are such amazing role models and have really come a long way. It sounds like, um, you know, it doesn’t, it doesn’t just happen, right. I mean, you two were first committed to each other and now you’ve grown and you’ve learned and discovered, and you’re sharing that with the rest of the world, which is huge. And so we just want to thank you for that, um, and acknowledge you for that. But what, um, what I want to ask you now is that, is that if there was one piece of advice, one piece of advice that you could have given yourself prior to marriage, right? What would it be? One piece of advice that, um, you could have given yourself when you were first married, unmarried you’re unmarried.
Speaker 4 (54:34):
I would say to not expect that you’re going to have a perfect marriage to not live in that dream world, that everything is going to be perfect and that, um, you’re not going to have to work hard.
Speaker 3 (54:50):
Okay. And Chris 95 billion, light years, hundred billion trillion stars perspective and the fast, and having a better understanding of my relationship with time. Hmm.
Speaker 4 (55:08):
It just doesn’t happen. And I think that so many people go into marriage and think, oh, it’s just going to, it’ll all work out. I mean, it’s work.
Speaker 3 (55:19):
Yeah. I think people get married because it’s like, this is what we do. And then they have a child because this is just like the next thing that we do. But they never take a look at, they never understand the 95 billion light year, a hundred billion trillion star thing. It’s just like another step in their life. So there’s not an actual commitment. It’s conditional, conditional. Right. I heard you say that. It’s just, it’s just what we do. This is just right. We grow up, we get married, we have a kid, but there’s no real thought. Right. It’s just something that we do. Okay.
Speaker 5 (55:50):
Well, you guys are rock star so much from you today and we’re so grateful to have you here. So thank you for sharing and for opening up a little vulnerable, even today.
Speaker 1 (56:04):
It’s great. You know, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s might be common sense, but it’s not common practice. And uh, so you definitely get some great nuggets and we appreciate you guys opening up and coming on. And like I said, we’ve just scratched the surface today. So we’re going to be doing this for a long time. And we look forward to almost more about you guys, always here. It’s been fantastic. And, uh, going through the book was just a lot of fun, a lot of fun. Now you got to get what going [inaudible] I could see some dynamics. Absolutely. And you got that connection, but you know, I’m grateful. I’m grateful. Now you guys, I’m grateful to be here today and good. Well, thank you. I appreciate it. And we’ll be sharing with you. All right.
Speaker 2 (56:57):
That’s all we’ve got for this episode of the kick-ass couples podcast. If you like the content of the show, you’ll love Matthew’s upcoming book, kick husband, winning at life marriage insects to receive a digital mini book of quotes and images from the book. All you have to do is rate this show and leave a review in apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you tune into. Listen, then email us a screenshot of your review at podcast at kick-ass couples, podcast.com and we’ll get it over to you right away until
Speaker 1 (57:32):
Next time. Remember happily ever after doesn’t just happen. It’s on purpose.