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Casey Caston, Kimberly Hoffman, Meygan Caston, Matthew Hoffman
Matthew Hoffman 00:00
Welcome back, everybody to the Kickass Couples Podcast.We have the holy grail of couples today. We’ve been trying to get together with Meygan and Casey Caston for a long time. They’re famous on marriage 365, we finally caught up with them. We’re so excited to have some time with both of you today. Welcome to the podcast.
Meygan Caston 01:46
Thank you so much for doing this.
Matthew Hoffman 01:49
Glad you could be with us.
Kimberly Hoffman 01:52
I am so excited to have both of you here. This today. It’s been great to watch the two of you because we all work sort of in the same space. And so I’m going to come right out of the gate and ask you, Casey, what makes you and Meygan a kick ass couple?
Casey Caston 02:12
You know, we do not forget the fact that we were once at odds with each other. We don’t forget that we can get there easily as well. We work really, really hard and fight for our marriage. We’re very intentional with our time and we love to have fun together. And I think that that, to me, creates this, this sense of playfulness is a very attractive feature that you don’t see in a lot of couples, you don’t see a lot of couples having fun. And when you see it, it’s attractive.
Meygan Caston 02:47
Yeah, I think for me, we’re a kick ass couple because no matter what’s going on and with our lives, with our kids with money with our schedules, we, like Casey mentioned, always make time for very intentional because if we’re not, we actually quickly start to move into like, fighting unhappy, not great couple. And we feel that disconnection and so we know the pain, the pain, motivated us to change. We don’t want to go back to the pain, the loneliness, the disconnection. So there’s been times we will just be like, we’re not going to work today. Or we’re going to like, let the kids watch TV. And we need to fix this. You and I matter more than anything else. And I think that’s why we’re kickass couple.
Kimberly Hoffman 03:30
I love the word intentionality. Because I believe that that is really what gives oxygen to your relationship. You’re very intent on what you’re doing and how. All the three C’s right? Commitment, communication, conflict resolution, you are committed to being intentional about those things.
Matthew Hoffman 03:48
And I love what you said to you know, a huge part of our platform is prioritization. And I heard you say, Hey, we’re gonna put the rest of this stuff aside, because what happens between us is most important, we subscribe to that, as well. And I think that most people run into I say, 90% of all relationship problems are due to people not prioritizing their spouse, because they’re putting somebody or some thing ahead of their partner. And when that happens, it’s a recipe for disaster. So I, I love to hear you say that and it kind of leads into our next question. You know, Kim and I both believe that we’re products of the people that raised us and you know, when we come to a relationship to a marriage, we’re bringing in whatever we got growing up, good, bad, indifferent. And if we don’t know how to deal with that, or even may not share it with our partner, it can really cause some issues down the road. So Meygan, what I love to hear you share with us is what did love look like for you growing up and how did you see your parents whoever raised you express it and how did it how did it kind of inform who you are today?
Meygan Caston 04:53
Yeah, I had one of those home lives where my mom worked really hard to make it look perfect on the outside. I mean, but behind closed doors, it was a hot mess. And it was this constant struggle, like do you care really more what people think about us? Or do you actually just care about us. And my mom was actually the one that was more abusive and aggressive towards my father. And so I grew up in a home where my parents fought a lot. And at second grade, my mom sat me down and said, Your dad’s smoothing out, we’re separating. A year later, she found out that he was having an affair. That affair lasted for additional years. So my mom and dad were separated on and off for five years of my childhood, all throughout elementary school, they finally divorced. Unfortunately, when I went right into junior high, it was like, the worst time like, hormones are going crazy parents are divorcing, and it was very toxic, very, very toxic. And so I don’t think I ever had a really great model of marriage, of what love looked like, just healthy communication. In general, my mom is someone who definitely is an avoider kind of stuff and then out of nowhere, just blows up. And so you never really knew what you were gonna get. My dad was just so busy with work kind of neglected us and the kids and just, was so hurt by my mom. So my dad actually did get remarried. And he is still married to the woman he had an affair with. They’ve been married for a very long time. So there’s been a lot of healing and processing with that. But yeah, I went into marriage. Very excited. But I would say that to the core of one of my things that I look back at, and I’m so grateful for is my parents stuck me in therapy at 13, after they divorced. And it was my therapist who became my safe person. It was her that put me on the map to say, this doesn’t have to dictate the rest of your life. And so I was really fortunate actually to be able to heal and process those things, which I think kind of gave me like an excitement to work with people and to really be very self aware. And just deal with things because my parents didn’t deal with things. They just stuffed everything or blew up at each other. And I’m like, I don’t want that I hated growing up in that home. I wanted a different life for me. So at least I learned it through therapy, but I definitely wasn’t modeled in my upbringing.
Matthew Hoffman 07:17
Gotcha. Well, it sounds like you weren’t able to get it with your parents in that situation. But you found it, and were able to pull it forward. That’s a great story. And almost every couple of I think we’ve interviewed has said they either have gotten therapy or continue to get therapy. And they, you know, we a lot of times don’t know what our blind spots are. And it’s helpful to have people or if we know what they are, but we don’t know what to do with it like, Okay, what do I do? It’s nice to know that you got that and were able to bring that forward. How about you, Casey, what did what it looked like for you growing up?
Casey Caston 07:52
Chaos. Pure chaos. My mom has been married six times. And so in the time that you know, the first 1112 years of my life, I lived with her. And I, you know, there was never, anybody ever checking in on me. My mom was doing her thing. I was, you know, single parent, then there was a blended family then there was you know, another husband that comes through and so chaotic, and not like nothing was stable for me. In all that time, my mom, this was a recent, you know, revelation for me, just looking back, no one ever checked in on me. No one said, Hey, Casey, how are you doing? Let’s just, I just want to check in, like, how are you feeling with all this change? And so that was my norm. And so when I walked into marriage, like that was just not a natural bent for me to check in on Meygan, because that was never modeled for me. So through my mom’s multiple marriages, I think I felt like well, if conflict happens, you know, my mom’s getting a divorce. If she didn’t find something where there was something about this person that was she was willing enough to walk away. I felt like walking into marriage when conflict happened, Meygan’s gonna find something that will, you know, it’ll be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, she’s gonna walk away because she found one thing she didn’t like about me. So I lived in a lot of fear, fear of conflict, fear of, of distancing, really, any emotion that was distancing created a lot of tension for me and anxiety. And because again, I never had that model as well. You know, you just kind of wing it and you just react on your emotions. And so
Meygan Caston 09:48
And let me say, let me add to this to that when when I started dating Casey, you know, at that time his mom was on her fourth marriage. It’s hard to sometimes keep track with the timeline, but I remember he normalized all this. Like his mom never called him his mom never said I love you, his mom and him didn’t go to dinners. And I just thought, That’s not normal. He’s like, it’s not normal? And so, you know, it’s one of those things that we both you normalize what you know, because that’s all you know, you have nothing to compare to. And I was shocked to see that he had what he had normalized because his mom on the outside is so put together. If you’ve met her, you’d be like, she’s an amazing person. She’s educated, she’s beautiful. She really isn’t like a messy person. You just so it’s very confusing.
Casey Caston 10:37
Meygan Caston 10:37
And she just knows how to, like, say the right things and do the right things. But of course, her personal life is is a disaster. Sorry, I just had to interrupt because I just, I’ll never forget going, you know that that’s not normal. He’s like, it’s not like it’s not normal.
Casey Caston 10:52
So the level of like, awareness and skill level of managing an intimate relationship was a complete zero, like, just No, no, no one had any healthy conversations with me about how to maintain a lasting relationship, we didn’t know how to communicate, and even what you know, thinking about my my dad remarried. And she was also this very sweet woman, but she had no emotional engagement with me at all, even though I was even asking for that. She never engaged like, we never had deep talks, it was very surfacey. So when I think about going into marriage, and even now, as we create content in marriage, 365, I can transport myself back to when we first married, and I really am talking to myself, I’m talking to that, that husband that’s walking into the relationship unaware of his wounds that he’s carrying, unaware of, you know, how to communicate, and I’m talking directly to Casey Caston, 20 years ago, because that’s the person that needed the most help and needed the tools and resources and, and awareness.
Matthew Hoffman 12:06
Yeah. So I got to ask you a synthesis question, right? You each had your own challenging developments of what you did, or mostly didn’t see an experience? How did the two of you come together? And take those two backgrounds and make it a winning relationship? What did you do? I know, I know, it’s not one thing. And I know it’s not one day we did one. But how do you how do you how did you take those two backgrounds, and turn it into something that’s gold? And that is really working well for you today?
Meygan Caston 13:34
Well, what’s interesting it was it was the infidelity on both sides of our parents and coming from broken homes that actually drew us together in the dating years. That might sound weird to people. But we had that in common. It was like, wasn’t it horrible, we didn’t really like it. We don’t want to be like our parents. So then fast forward, we get married. And guess what we slip into all the bad habits, patterns. We had no tools, no resources. And so I remember at year three of our marriage, I had asked Casey begged him to go to therapy. I had such a great experience. And actually his family grew up there anti therapy. So that was there there another difference to add to our lists were very, very, were more different than like, as you’ll as you’ll learn, but and he just wouldn’t go and he said it was all my fault. And I remember just wanting a divorce and my best friend at the time. God bless her soul, because I’m so grateful. She challenged me and she said, You know, that’s a really big decision to divorce. I think before you do that you need to meet with someone. So I met with a therapist. And she said, have you done everything in anything you can to save your marriage so you don’t live with regret. And that really just sat with me like oh, shoot, like I know my answers. No, I haven’t done everything. And she goes Meygan 99% of the time, I meet with people, they haven’t done everything. They may have thought they did everything but they haven’t. And she said if you want to make a better marriage, it starts by making a better you and you’re here on the couch. You’re sitting here, you’re willing you’re wanting, why don’t you about your wedding vows and hopes that in a couple months, in a couple of years, your husband, his heart will soften. And that’s exactly what happened is I started to take the focus off of him, and what he was doing and the baggage that he brought into our marriage, because I was just finger pointing at that time, all three years, it was just blame shift. It’s all your fault. And I started taking accountability and ownership for my own part. And I was like, Well, I’m not a great communicator, maybe I can learn, you know what, I don’t even know what boundaries are. Maybe I can learn and start implementing them. And so my therapist actually walked me through seven steps. And within 13 months, Casey, it was such a massive shift in our marriage, that he he I remember, baby, were in the bathroom of our one bedroom apartment, you just started to cry. And you’re like, okay, like, it’s so evident that an unhealthy spouse now, because when we both got married, we were we were both unhealthy. But I did the work, to not go to that level. I’m like, I can’t, I can’t do that anymore. I’m not happy with myself. And so we steal that mantra all the time from my therapist, but it’s true if you want to make a better marriage make a better you. And then Casey started to work on his own self. And we started to repair marriage, and it took years. You know, was it a quick summary.
Kimberly Hoffman 16:14
A lot of work.
Casey Caston 16:15
Yeah, no, I remember this one was one time, I was fuming like my face was red. And I’m like, like a red bowl, charging at Meygan like, ah, and she sees me from a mile away. And she’s just says she’s she stops me. She says, Hey, listen, I can tell that you’re really upset right now. And I want to hear what you have to say, because I love you. But right now, I don’t feel like it’s going to come out in a healthy way. So why don’t you take a walk outside, come back inside. And then let’s talk in a healthy way. And that never happened before. I mean, what would happen is I would charge it Meygan, she’d charge at me. We’re both very competitive people, right? And so when we were fighting, it was we’d fight to the death. And we would, we would, we would, we would fight to win. So it got ugly and nasty. And so when she just stopped that, I mean, that was like the Iron Curtain coming straight down. And I and it was a reflection on me, like I am the unhealthy spouse. And it was a great reflection. And of course, you know, one of the biggest challenges that we hear about couples working on their marriages, that they’re like, Well, I’m waiting for my spouse to come along. I am waiting for my other partner. And one of the core messages behind if you want to make a better marriage make a better you. That’s a message of self mastery, that we have to work on ourselves. And of course, the only person you can control is you. And the only person you have authority over is yourself. Of course, that’s not a popular, you know, cultural statement right now. We want to blame shift. It’s not my fault. I’m a victim. But having a healthy marriage starts by being intentional with yourself.
Matthew Hoffman 16:38
Kimberly Hoffman 17:00
Definitely. I hope our listeners are hearing this, it only takes one of you. Yep, to start the healing process of your marriage. It’s huge.
Meygan Caston 18:13
It is it is huge. It’s a it’s a mind shift change for sure. Because again, our culture says something different. And I think that for anyone listening that wants to experience like true, like rest and freedom and peace and confidence. The second you decide, I am no longer gonna concern myself with what my spouse is doing and trying to control them or trying to micromanage them, because that was me, I’m a I’m a recovering control freak. And you let that go. And you say their choices are their decisions, and they’re going to be responsible for the consequences coming their way of the things that they’ve chosen to do. But I’m going to take responsibility for me, when you give yourself that empowerment. It is so freeing and it will bring so much mental clarity and peace in your life. It’s it’s probably the best gift I gave to myself.
Kimberly Hoffman 19:07
Sure it’s worth gold. We have 14 pillars that we believe it takes to make a successful marriage. And we really like to focus on the first three, which is commitment, communication, and conflict resolution. I want to start with commitment. Casey, how does commitment show up in your relationship with Meygan? What does it look like?
Casey Caston 19:34
My commitment to Meygan was on shaky ground when we first got married because, again, I lived in such fear and anxiety. And when I look back right now, my commitment to Meygan, it’s founded in trust. It’s founded in the fact that we’re a team, team Caston we’re stronger or better together. And that commitment requires courageous choices throughout the week, right? If I’m feeling distant from Meygan, my natural tendency is to run away if or to avoid conflict at all costs that is that is 100% ingrained in who I am. But courage is choosing what’s right over what’s easy, right. And so my commitment to Megan is that even if I feel uncomfortable, we’re going to address any issues that are happening in our relationship. Do I get it right all the time? No, it’s a it’s lived out every single day these these micro decisions of do I turn towards Megan? And towards our relationship? Or do I turn away and just try to run a numb out or avoid? And so that commitment, I think we’ve talked about before is has ultimately we’ve had to cancel film days. Because Megan eyes commitment is that we want to be authentic representations of who we are. There’s what you see in our videos is not like some trumped up, you know, actor actors or method actors, right? Let’s look like a happy couple. No, no, we’re committed to the fact that we want to be a kick ass couple. We want to be committed to our relationship, that is the most important thing.
Kimberly Hoffman 21:29
How about for you Meygan? What would you say makes you a committed spouse?
Meygan Caston 21:36
I think it’s really easy to commit to someone when things are going really well. So on our wedding day, it’s very easy to commit and say our vows because we’re in love, and we feel the good feelings. And you know, we just really have a whole life ahead of us. But the people who are committed are the ones in my mind that show up at the hardest times, the most challenging times, we’ve gone through infertility. Our son was diagnosed with autism, that was a really rough season, we’ve had toxic families cut us out of their lives, job losses, the list goes on and on. And it’s actually the commitment in my mind, that will we turn towards each other in the hardest times, that shows our commitment to one another, like, we’re not going to give up, we are going to pursue each other, we’re going to fix this, we’re going to figure it out. If we can’t figure it out, we’re gonna raise our hand and we’re gonna go get help. But we are 100% committed, even when we’re stuck, which happens to even experts, right? We get stuck to that we are not going to just give up. And the thing for us the motivating factor is that do you think Casey’s mom on her sixth husband is happy? Nope. And my dad’s on his third marriage, you know. And so it’s kind of one of those things that in a good way, we saw a lot of people think, well, it’s just I marry the wrong person. And really, for us, we saw a lack of true commitment in a marriage of really figuring it out. And of course, starting with figuring out you yourself first. But that’s how I view commitment is it’s easy to commit in the easy times. It’s really hard. People who show up in the hard times. Those are the people who are committed, that are truly committed.
Kimberly Hoffman 23:20
We keep fighting for the US that we that’s what you keep working towards.
Matthew Hoffman 23:25
Yeah, I know, I work with my co author of my book, Chris Cambas, I still use phrase all the time he goes, every marriage, you’re marrying somebody else’s set of problems. And you may as well stick with the ones you know, and familiar with Seb trading him in for another set that you don’t know and you’re not sure how to deal with because you’re gonna have a set of problems no matter where you are. And it’s just, I’m committed, like you said, Meygan, I love that, that, um, we’re gonna figure it out. And if we can’t, we’re gonna get help to figure it out. Because it’s not an option. You know, we have too many options to hit eject in life on so many things. But the beautiful thing about marriage is when you make that investment, and you’re sticking in the tough, the rewards are huge.
Casey Caston 24:05
God bless Meygan for sticking it out with me.
Meygan Caston 24:07
You know what, you know, what’s interesting is people don’t talk about the statistics on second marriages, and how you have an even higher increase in chance of divorce. And people think like, oh, they don’t want to really talk about why. But the reality is, is that if you believe that you married the wrong person, your first time you marry a second person, like you just said, Matthew, that person now has their own set of issues. And if you didn’t deal with yourself, and you’re not focusing on yourself, it’s always going to be someone else’s fault. You rarely meet a divorced person that says the first statement is, well, you know what I? I really, really, really made a lot of mistakes. I really shouldn’t have did this or I missed the red flags. It’s very rare you hear accountability. For someone who’s been divorced, it’s usually when my spouse cheated on me. Or you know, I married a crazy lady.You’ll hear that all the time, right working with couples.
Kimberly Hoffman 25:03
We’re all victims.
Matthew Hoffman 25:05
Meygan Caston 25:06
Meygan Caston 25:06
So it’s the people who do get married a second time for those listening. They’re like, Great, I’m on my second marriage. There are people who have a happy second marriage, but they did the work on themselves. And they said, I know what we messed up the first time, and I’m not going to do it again.
Casey Caston 25:22
I want to add something that I think it’s really important because if your commitment is not, like, cemented inside your mind in your heart, then it doesn’t give you the energy required to put the hard work in. Because if you’re not committed, you’re like, Well, I can’t, like 90% Sure, we’re gonna make it but there’s a 10% that, you know, I just, you know, and you kind of throw your hands up, you give up, you give up working on yourself, you give up working on your marriage, and I, I’ll never forget, of course, 1519 Cortes lands on mainland Mexico. And famously, the men are hiking up the hills and the valleys and they turn around, and Cortez burns all the ships Because there was a commitment 100% commitment like, Hey, we are here, we are seeing this through no matter what, there is a result, there’s no like turning back and, or, you know, there’s no like escape route. We’re 100% in on this. And I think I really feel in this cultural moment. Like you said, there’s a lot of people that that don’t, you know, they call them starter marriages, or they you know, they don’t value this commitment that they make, like, Hey, this is this is us in our vows. In the good times, in the bad times, we are gonna see ourselves through no matter what comes our way for as long as we both shall live. You say those words you are burning the ships? Yeah, but maybe like a magnet card
Kimberly Hoffman 27:00
I love that visual.
Casey Caston 27:01
Yeah, maybe like the Magna Carta or the Declaration of Independence, we go back to that document to remind ourselves, this is what we committed to right 300 years ago.
Matthew Hoffman 27:12
And I think that I think the biggest lie and he reminds me is that people think that commitment is restrictive and suffocating. And the exact opposite of what we’ve been talking about is true commitment is free. When I know that don’t have to worry about Does she love me, she’s going to be there for me she had my back is she going to support me, when I can put those concerns out of my mind. I’m thinking about progressive steps and moving me and her and us and the family forward. So committed is one of the most freeing things because when we know unconditionally, unequivocally no windows, no doors, no Plan B, I don’t have to worry about so many things, I can really focus on forward movement.
Meygan Caston 27:55
And that and that is proven in multiple research and studies done on the family unit in general, when children are grown up in a home where there’s commitment, it’s unconditional love. They know like no matter what I do, even mistakes they make mom and dad are still gonna love me, accept me, they’re not going to just write me off or push me out or kick me out or whatever. kids grew up in such a healthier life. And they have such a healthier mindset of what family is. And so it’s interesting because so much in marriage, right? It completely speaks to our parenting and how our children now then grow up and move about as as adults. And so your commitment to one another as husband and wife also greatly impacts your children.
Matthew Hoffman 28:40
Yeah, absolutely there. It’s not just the two of you, but they’re watching. And as we move as we move into our second see communication, which is really kind of a glue, I call. I did a post of this last week and I said you know communication is like the crazy glue, that you mix up yourself based on the quality of relationship that what you’re saying and all the different ways in your life. So Casey, I love to hear what is communication look like? Between you and Myegan? And how has that been working for you in your relationship?
Meygan Caston 29:14
This is gonna be fun.
Casey Caston 29:17
Ah, boy, he put me on the spot first time.
Matthew Hoffman 29:22
You can you can phone a friend if you want Megan to jump in.
Casey Caston 29:25
I want to hear from Meygan first. All right.
Meygan Caston 29:29
I knew he was gonna do that.
Matthew Hoffman 29:32
All right. All right. You’re in the ring he’s back off the ropes.
Meygan Caston 29:35
I’m happy to go first just like the bedroom. Oh, okay.
Casey Caston 29:39
Meygan Caston 29:40
So, for both of us, we’re both talkers. We’re both extroverts. We both are very opinionated people. So when we’re not healthy, we don’t have healthy communication. And the biggest thing I would say that we have really worked hard on and we do not get a perfect but it’s really trying to listen to understand the person’s perspective and feelings. It’s what we call it spousal awareness. If we’re talking, and we’re communicating, it’s like, What is he trying to get at? What is he feeling? Oh, look at his body language, oh, he must be stressed, and trying to pick up on those cues. And I know that that takes time. And there’s practice and learning and whatnot. But I will say, that’s really helped us in having really open and honest conversations about anything like hot topics, even where it hasn’t had to move to conflict, because we’ve been able to have healthy communication. I think also, too, is validation. Like, at the end of the day, you know, I want to be validated that my thoughts and feelings about whatever, not even just our marriage about the kids or money or this thing I’m dealing with, with the girlfriend of mine, I want him to validate me, I think that’s part of the understanding perspective. But then the thing that, you know, we would would say, has radically changed our marriage is something called the weekly marriage business meeting. It’s a once a week meeting we do at Sunday nights after the kids go to bed. If we do not do this meeting, we do not do well in marriage in general. But it’s communicating about all of the logistics, date night. Money, meal planning schedules, kids schedules, sports schedules, because we’re in that phase right now. You know, alone time, self care time. For us, we schedule sex, that’s when we pull out our calendars. But we really go through our whole week. And we just have these conversations before everything’s happening. So we’re not stressed in the moment, we ask questions like the checking in, is there anything I can help you with this week? Is there anything last week that we didn’t do? Well, that we need to change? You know, anything like that isn’t anything I need to apologize for, but just that consistent, but actually putting it in the calendar, commitment to communicate about life and logistics on a weekly basis has been a game changer for us.
Matthew Hoffman 32:09
Casey Caston 32:10
Okay, so I love Meygan, Meygan, gets straight at the blocking and tackling of life. And then for me, this question required a little bit of thinking about communication. And I’ll maybe I’ll take this a little bit higher elevation, in the fact that you know, to be an effective communicator means you have, you have to have, you know, a higher level of emotional intelligence, right. And to develop that requires time, requires time, in solitude, time to think about oneself, time to tell if you can hold space, if you can hold space for yourself, then you can hold space for someone else. But in a distraction driven culture, we don’t hold space for ourselves, because when we’re standing in line, we’re scrolling through Instagram, you know, in when we’re sitting on the toilet, or scrolling through, you know, social media, like, we don’t create space where we can be one with ourselves. And so you have to be intentional about that. And so I just think about, like, when we were first married, I would just carried myself back to that point where there was no time for processing to think about, you know, that last interaction, you know, we actually call this the, these autopsies. We do this with couples, when you think about my last interaction with this, you know, my spouse, like, she said, this, and I started thinking this, and then all that’s what happened when I was triggered by her saying those things. And more recently, Meygan, and I, you know, when we’ve been triggered, you know, I typically we both take time to go, like, what was that all about? And then we can come back and say, you know, when you were telling me this, I was feeling very triggered because of this. But that takes time to think about it. And I don’t think that we are, again, we’re living in a cultural moment that we don’t take time for self care, we don’t take time for processing and thinking through those things. And that autopsy, by the way, is so valuable for couples that are trying to heal from some of the wounds of the past is to be able to sit down in a space that is not you know, where they’re not triggered emotionally and then to process like, what happened there. What were you thinking? This is what I was doing? Oh my gosh, you know, and, and that that does require maturity?
Matthew Hoffman 34:59
Kimberly Hoffman 34:59
I want to move on to conflict resolution. Because
Casey Caston 35:02
Kimberly Hoffman 35:29
we’re always going to have conflict no matter what, right? It’s always going to show up somehow in our relationship. So Meygan, how do you resolve conflict when you and Casey see those things arise in your marriage?
Casey Caston 36:12
It’s makeup sex, right?
Meygan Caston 36:15
He keeps trying to get me to do makeup sex.
Kimberly Hoffman 36:17
I’ve had people say fight naked, so, everything goes.
Matthew Hoffman 36:21
Putting the cart before the horse, Casey, come on. Come on.
Casey Caston 36:23
Have you heard? Have you heard the dead joke that says my wife and I were arguing in the middle of the argument she took off her shirt. That’s when I knew it was a booby trap.
Meygan Caston 36:35
Kimberly Hoffman 36:36
Matthew Hoffman 36:37
Oh, see fun, and humor is coming out. And I love it.
Meygan Caston 36:42
Okay, so for us, one of the things a technique that we use, it’s been very successful is something we call the code word. So this is when we know either we’re going into flight or fight mode for Casey he’s mentioned he’s an avoider. So he’s definitely a fighter. I am a fighter, I’m strong, I will keep going. And it just doesn’t end well. And you know, when you’re emotionally triggered, and you’re flooded, nothing good is gonna come from your conversation at that point, you’re going to be hurt easily, you’re gonna say things you don’t mean. And this is what couples do, right. So in order to protect us and protect our marriage, we use our code word which we is something very positive right now it’s Humphreys, yogurt, which is where we met. And in once one of us says that word, and presume are the two words Humphreys, yogurt, no other words can be spoken. And we basically give each other like an adult timeout, like, time to process time to go, take a walk with the dog stretch, take a bath, do yoga, pray journal, whatever, something positive. That way we’re protecting our marriage from going really into a bad place. Because we’ve been there many, many times. And we don’t want to do that. And we don’t really escalate to that point anymore. Because we use the code word. But the thing is, after the code word said, you know, you spend about 20 minutes, 30 minutes, sometimes an hour depends on how bad the fight was. You have to come back to it right and resolve it. And that’s kind of the autopsy that Casey mentioned, as we autopsy like what triggered you what triggered me, but I think one of the things that I’ve just realized in marriage is like, you have to be humble, you just have to start with an apology. Like if you just say like, you know, I, I could have been better with my tone. Or, you know, I, I kind of I kind of approached us at a really bad time, you had a really stressful day at work, you may not even really be actually in the wrong or think you’re in the wrong. But if you show up and you’re humble to admit something that you could have done, or that you might have done that hurt your spouse or wasn’t the best, that brings defenses down. And that’s the goal, right? We want to bring defenses down. Because if we never bring defenses down, we’re always going to be in that flight or fight mode. And so I’ve just learned that with Casey and I, and I teach, he will tell you like the best thing he could do to come to me is just give me an unsolicited apology. Just Babe, you know what, I’m really sorry, I snapped at you. I don’t even need much more actually, after that. Just taking accountability and ownership. Or you know what, I really made that choice, and I didn’t even include you in it. I’m so sorry. And for me, I think coming to that conversation of just admitting something that I did wrong. Like, you know what? I’ve been, I’ve been just too busy with the kids lately, whatever that is. If you start a conversation that way, it’s gonna help bring defenses down.
Kimberly Hoffman 39:25
Yeah. Okay. So taking ownership and having a code word. I love the code word idea, listeners. It’s really effective. How about for you, Casey?
Casey Caston 39:34
Yeah, well, on that codeword. It’s funny because it kind of follows along with your your C’s here that the way I draw it out for in coaching sessions is like you’re communicating about something, then you find something that is divergent from your thoughts. Because, oh my gosh, we’re two different people. So conflict is going to happen. And in that state of conflict if you don’t have tools. If you don’t have the emotional awareness or, and maturity is that you will take it personally. My spouse thinks different than me, that must mean something against me. And then you move from communication that conflict into combat. And that combat is that area where a lot of couples find themselves. And then they’re fighting about the way they’re fighting. So it’s just, you know, the dog chasing the tail, it goes around and around, and couples get stuck in that. So the the code word is really effective. I wouldn’t change a single thing that Megan said, The only only other additional thing that I think that couples don’t have in math, you kind of talked about this earlier is that we all carry these wounds into our marriage. And I would just say with with conflict, when you’re trying to resolve conflict, I think it’s really important to come to the conversation with a sense of compassion. And to be compassionate and compassion recognizes the stories that we walk into the room with the wounds that we walk into the room with. And when Meygan and I are doing these intensives, this is couples in crisis fare recovery, or they’re considering divorce, we spend a full day unpacking their stories. Because what we’re eliciting is, is this sense of compassion, like, Hey, you may see across from yourself, an adult male. But you may not understand that he’s walking into that room, carrying the wounds of a 12 year old, who’s looking for validation or, you know, just got, you know, emotionally shut down. Or, you know, for Meygan, you know, someone who’s been largely ignored for all his childhood, emotionally. But she sees an adult male she, there’s expectations, like you’re gonna act like an adult. No, I’m actually going to act like a 12 year old because that’s, that’s the state of stunted growth. I know. That’s what I know exactly. That compassion is so, so powerful.
Matthew Hoffman 42:08
I love that. Yeah, understanding what you’re facing and treating it with kid gloves, as opposed to what may be presenting, because I think that’s wonderful. Yeah, so, you know, if we all had the benefit of this, maybe we’d be in different places, but you guys got 20 years into this game. So you’re not you’ve become seasoned, you’ve learned a lot and you’ve grown, but Casey, if I’m gonna try to put you on the spot again, and you can tag out if you need to. But and that’s okay. But if you could go back to your unmarried self, and put your hands on your shoulders before you got married and say, All right, here is my advice to you as you enter your marriage. What would you tell your unmarried self, on how to approach marriage?
Casey Caston 42:59
The number one piece of advice that I would have given myself is to lower your expectations. Like I went into marriage thinking that we were going to, you know, like a cuckoo clock. Every hour, we’re going to have sex. And that was going to be like the time okay, 60 minutes. Let’s go. Like I had. Yeah, fine. Come on. I did wait until I was married. So I was there was a lot of expectations, riding on that. I had expectations that Megan was going to meet all my my woundings. She was always going to be there for me. The expectations were so high, walking into marriage, the ideal idealization of like, Oh, we’re just always going to have fun. And we’re never going to have to deal with the conflict, because conflicts are bad people. We’re good. We’re good people. I was just so fanciful, of what, what marriage was supposed to be like, and I think that if I was able to lower those expectations, all of the angry angry outbursts, right, all of that, that. Like, yeah, anger towards these broken expectations. I mean, we wouldn’t be we wouldn’t have been had as horrible of a marriage before that. Growing up, I wasn’t an angry person. And I remember the first couple of years I was like, I’m not an angry person. And yet with Meygan, I am absolutely furious. And at the slightest thing provocation, I would just explode on her. And now looking back, it really is because I had such crazy expectations. And so the pedestal was so high and once that the floor drops, right, it was it was a big fall for me.
Meygan Caston 44:54
I’m so glad you shared that baby because I would agree with your answer for you. I mean, because No, but you guys, I feel that I felt those expectations placed on me, right? Like he was, he knows and he wasn’t communicating. But boy, I sure felt that pressure constantly.
Casey Caston 45:13
In dating, we both talked about these mommy wounds. And we both like have this connection about like, oh, you know, this pain too. Oh, I have this pain, too. And so that actually created this connection that I thought she was going to be solving when I got married.
Matthew Hoffman 45:28
Mm hmm. Yeah. expectation. So Megan, how about you, if you’re gonna go back to your unmarried self before the that balloon burst and say, here’s the one thing you need. My best advice to you about marriage is? What would that be?
Meygan Caston 45:44
Yeah, I get really good at apologizing, choose to forgive and let go of the pain or you’re just the one that suffers. And to create boundaries. I know that that’s not technically one thing. But to me, they all work together. So you know, we apologize. But we apologize and hopefully change. We don’t just say I’m sorry. And so I think both but part of the apology is also extending forgiveness. And Casey is such a beautiful example of being put to forgive and I’m not my parents hold grudges. So that was modeled for me. I think two I would just working with couples, I’ve noticed that women tend to be the ones that hold on to grudges more than men. And so I don’t want to stereotype for everybody. But for us, that would be accurate. And I’ve learned over the years that the sooner I forgive and let go, the happier we all are in the marriage. And I just for so many years, just wanted to hold on to that hurt and that pain, and justify it. And it felt unfair. And it wasn’t until I actually learned more about the forgiveness process, because I think everybody actually wants to forgive. They just don’t know how. And that that is what I wish I told what I wish I knew if I could go back and say Meygan, get really good at apologizing, get really good at forgiving, and get really good at creating healthy boundaries in your marriage. Because those are the things that heal and protect your relationship. And they’re going to happen, it’s going to be all the time because you’re you’re two imperfect people who have different perspectives, different beliefs, different upbringings. And it’s gonna get messy. And then there’s external things like the pandemic, or again, our child being diagnosed with autism, things that are out of our control that we could have never planned for. What are you going to do in those moments? And when you’re hurting.
Kimberly Hoffman 47:33
Yeah. Casey you touched on EQ, a little earlier, self awareness. And I want to ask you, what do you do? Or what can you share with our listeners that you do for self care, so that you can show up as your best in your relationship?
Casey Caston 47:51
Yeah, there’s a habit that, that I, I’ve actually appreciated. First of all, waking up in the morning, you know, before I engage with other people having time to self. For me, it’s scripture reading. I love the book of Proverbs. There’s 31 chapters. So you just pick a proverb, a day, whatever date it is. And I feel like that, that that kind of gets me in the right mindset. Throughout the day, though, one of the things that I love doing is just even taking five minutes to myself, and literally doing nothing. I’d sit outside and stare at clouds. And it just, it was just a moment for me to pause from just doing stuff. And actually just reflecting on where am I at what’s going on inside me? Like, how’s my day going along? Like, am I am I showing up in a healthy way? Like, is Megan and I connecting? Are we feeling connected? Again, I don’t, there are days that I don’t get to that. And it just the the day goes through. And it’s just like one task after another, you know, shaking hands with one hour to the hour and it just you move through the day and you don’t even check in with yourself. So self care also looks like just that moment of checking with self. So time, it requires time. One of the things that Meygan I do is we do spa days. So this is we go to a spa, we check in in the morning. And that day is a day of reflection, a day of journaling. A day of sitting in the steam room or the sauna or working out or getting a massage and just spending that day really looking back, like the full month or whatever that the timeframe is and just saying like How have I shown up? And it’s in those moments. It’s like the autopsy right? It’s in those moments. We got to go okay, I’m gonna make a conscious choice to make a change or maybe I need to check in with Meygan because It wasn’t a great interaction or something’s left unresolved. That’s the time to, for me personally check in. So
Meygan Caston 50:08
The best part about the spa, by the way is there’s no technology allowed, and you can’t have your phone. So it really forces you to be one with your thoughts. But sometimes we just do spot is genuinely just for rest, like I just need rest. You know. For me, I exercise I have always worked out. I’ve always loved it, but I don’t exercise for my main purpose of losing weight or looking good. For me. It’s mental. It’s spiritual, and it’s emotional. Those things first are my top priority. I feel better. I feel like I have more energy. I’m a nicer person. I’m more patient, mom and wife. Of course, I feel more confident physically in and out of the bedroom to with Casey, but self care for me is definitely getting active. And you know, some people aren’t into the gym, they say there’s about 400 different options of working out 400 different options in America. I mean, you’ve got every kind of class, you can do yoga with goats. I mean, if you do maybe you don’t like yoga, but you like goats do go do goat yoga, right? I mean, there’s so many things you can do. Sometimes it’s just walking the dog in our neighborhood and getting outside and being active. I think the big thing though, for people who exercise is try not to and this can be really hard. Try not to listen to a podcast or a but or try not to listen to music sometimes when you’re active, like just be active. But I know. I also walk my dog and will listen to podcast to I’m pro poker pro podcast. But I do think that a lot of times it’s you’re not even allowing your brain just to not have technology or like learning time. Like Casey’s mentioning just be one with your thoughts, which Casey I’m surprised you didn’t mention he loves to surf. And that’s another great thing is there’s snow tech in the ocean. So he’s just out in nature, being out in nature is incredibly healthy form of self care.
Matthew Hoffman 51:56
You guys have been so gracious with your time we would love to sit here for hours.
Kimberly Hoffman 52:02
I know I feel like we could go on and on.
Matthew Hoffman 52:03
We’ve gotten so much so many great gems from you. But before we sign off, where if people want to learn more about Megan and more about Casey and more about marriage 365 Where should they go? And what can they do?
Meygan Caston 52:19
Alright, so head to our website, marriage365.com. Our number one resource we have is a monthly membership. So think like Netflix, mixed with masterclass mixed with therapy all in one and it’s on our app, it’s incredible. both spouses can get access, but it’s really neat, because the reality is, is that a lot of people, you know, they just won’t go to therapy, or they can’t afford it or they don’t have access to it. And it’s just an incredible way I know you guys are members to marriage 365 to learn and to grow and to heal. And again, we created this product, this service to really allow an individual spouse to learn and to grow. I mean, ideally, of course we want you to do with your spouse. But if you’re listening and you’re like, my spouse isn’t on board, I’d give anything for them to listen to this podcast. This is a great, great resource for that as well.
Kimberly Hoffman 53:11
Thank you both for showing up today for being vulnerable with our listeners. We are so grateful. I feel like we need to do a part two.
Meygan Caston 53:19
Kimberly Hoffman 53:19
Do that again in the near future.
Matthew Hoffman 53:22
I don’t even think we got half of what we’d like to cover with you guys.
Kimberly Hoffman 53:25
Matthew Hoffman 53:26
So much good stuff.
Meygan Caston 53:27
You got to invite us back. And we got to talk either about toxic family dynamics because we are experts in that field from personal experience, or Sex. We love to talk about sex and intimacy. It’s one of our favorite topics to talk about.
Kimberly Hoffman 53:40
That’s perfect. We will do it.
Matthew Hoffman 53:42
Thank you. Well, we appreciate you. And we are grateful for the time and we know there’s gonna be lots of good things to pass on. So thank you for joining us today. And as we exit we just want you to remember one thing
Kimberly Hoffman 53:54
happily ever after doesn’t just happen. It’s on purpose.
Matthew Hoffman 53:58