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Matthew Hoffman, Kimberly Hoffman
Kimberly Hoffman 00:08
Hello, everyone. And welcome back to the kick ass couples Podcast. Today we are having a
recap episode of Trey and Lea Morgan, we are going to talk about some really fun takeaways
that we had, from our interview with them.
Matthew Hoffman 01:51
They were a great couple. They are in the full time ministry of marriage. And they have classes
and they do training and they speak they have a podcast, they just do all kinds of great things
to help couples level up and prioritize their number one,
Kimberly Hoffman 02:06
It’s fun to talk to the experts because I think that they have not only a great understanding of
what it takes to have a kick ass relationship. But they also have some unique things that they
do that might be a little bit different from from mainstream, and I enjoyed having some of
those takeaways from from this particular interview.
Matthew Hoffman 02:28
It was fun, they’ve been married, they’ve got a bunch of kids, and they’re in the thick of it just
like all the rest of the families. But you know, Kim, what did you take away? When they asked,
we always start off with what makes them a kick ass couple? What did you pull from that?
Kimberly Hoffman 02:43
That’s always a great question. And I feel like the thing that stood out to me the most was the
fact that early on in their marriage, they sought out enrichment for their relationship, meaning
they would attend workshops, or they read books, they really learned what each other’s love
languages were, they were doing some intense work in the beginning stages of their
relationship to really help, again, enrich their their relationship. And a lot of us don’t do that. I
feel like that’s something that we came to later on in life, realizing the importance of it after we
were kind of on the
Matthew Hoffman 03:26
Downward slope. And we came late to the game and was until after 20 years of being married. We just celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary a couple of weeks ago. And we are grateful
for that. But we didn’t realize that we knew individual development, whether it was mental or
physical or spiritual, that we had to do that. But it wasn’t until after 20 years of marriage, that
we started really being aware of the necessity to invest in our relationship every day all the
time intentionally with a whole toolkit of different resources. And they got that much earlier.
And I think that you know, you look back and you go man, what if we’d done this sooner, right?
And I hope everybody out there that you are taking intentional steps to invest in and enrich and
pour into your relationship. It’s your number one human relationship and if you’re not sure what
to do, that’s really why we started this podcast, and that’s why we have Kickass Couples
Nation. So we hope that you are intentional in doing things in that area. And you know, I love
one of the things that Lea said Kim about what makes them kickass is really it’s the mentality.
She said early on that in her early years, she said when there was a conflict or something that
she didn’t like she goes, Man, I wish he would just fix that. I wish he would change. I wish he
wouldn’t do that. I wish he would do this. And she said you know she had a quote, which I love.
She said “I made the changes that I needed to make and focused on me instead focusing on
what he needed to do better.” And I think that’s kind of a recurring theme. Something that
we’ve seen in a lot of couples we’ve spoken to, is when your focus is on what the other guy or
girl man or woman needs to do, you’re missing the boat, because it’s more every day. What
can I do? Right? What what do I need to do to show up best for my partner in this relationship?
And I think she got that. And I think you know, and she ascribed and she said, that’s why we’re
a kickass couples, because we both realize that we’ve got to work on ourselves, to show up
best for our partner, and not worry about how we can change or mold or modify our spouse.
Kimberly Hoffman 05:41
Right. And I think that goes right back to the very beginning of the relationship. When you’re
learning about each other, and you’re discovering each other. I feel like, you know, those are
things early into the relationship, if there are red flags then, and you’re having things that you
think, Oh, well, it’ll be better later, or it’ll be better when I don’t think that those things actually
ever get better. I think they just sort of intensify later on in the relationship. And so I think
doing a better job of also, really, making sure you’re a good match for each other before you
dive into marriage is important. Because the reality is you shouldn’t want to fix or change that
person. Because you fall in love with the person that you’re, you know, getting to know the
person that’s revealing themselves to you.
Matthew Hoffman 06:36
I think the number one piece of advice I could give to anybody that’s in a relationship and
thinking about marriage or coming back into another relationship is, if you’re not completely
happy and satisfied with them the way they are right at that point, in thinking, it’ll get different,
it’ll get better when you change them, when we’re married, then we will, or when we’re
committed, then we will, it doesn’t mean that the relationship can’t get better. But I think
abandon the notion is that you can change them and make them better, the relationship will
make you better, because there’s a lot of synergy there. But you’ve got to dissuade yourself of
the false notion. I can make them better or they will change this and then it will be okay.
Kimberly Hoffman 07:19
That’s great advice.
Matthew Hoffman 07:21
So what about looking at some when I think Kim, they went back to go forward? We’d like to do
that and say what a love look like, growing up? What was something that you pulled out of out
Kimberly Hoffman 07:32
Yeah, I think that the thing that I that really stood out to me the most was with Trey, he came
from a blended family. And not only was it a blended family, but it was a really large blended
Matthew Hoffman 07:47
Kimberly Hoffman 07:47
Trey’s father passed on really early, I don’t even think he was old enough to actually know him.
And then his mom remarried, and she remarried someone who had also lost a spouse. And so
they came together with seven children. And the thing that stood out to me the most was that
they were able to blend a family of seven children. And they each did it in a manner of taking
on those other children as if they were their own. So what I mean by that is they didn’t treat
them any differently than they treated their own children. And they also established right away
that no matter what, nothing could pierce the marriage bubble, they wouldn’t be able to pin
each other, the kids against them, they wouldn’t be able to manipulate them, or play the well,
this isn’t my biological child card. And I think that that is one of the things that really stood out
that they were able to really hold their ground and bring seven kids together. And I’m not
saying it was easy. And I’m not saying that it didn’t take a while. But it really stood out to Trey,
that they modeled that behavior, and they were able to even use that later in their own
Matthew Hoffman 09:20
And I think that’s applicable to anybody that has a blended family. It’s you know, you think
when you get together, maybe you think it’s going to be easy or normal. And you know, I think
Trey’s advice to a blended family is that it takes a lot of time. And the the difficulty of pulling a
blended family together is not a comment on the husband wife or the primary relationship. If
there’s difficulty, it doesn’t mean you made the wrong decision in the relationship. It means you
need space and time to develop that connectedness and what the husband and wife model
eventually over time will prevail and to be patient. I mean, he says their family rocked it. And in
what and what that really is, is unconditional love. It’s the unconditional love of the husband
and wife of and then looking at all the kids as all their children, and removing the labels. And I
think that, you know, we all tend to put labels on our children, even on our significant others, as
they always are, they are this. And you have to be really careful about putting those labels on
because then you pigeonhole them. And you’re saying they are this and they can’t. And they
have to do so much to overcome that in your thought. And it definitely has an impact on how
you relate to them. So those, those labels can be dangerous, and you know, but it’s more about
the unconditional love. And I think that’s a great advice to blended families on that.
Kimberly Hoffman 10:44
I agree. Let’s talk about commitment for a little bit, and maybe Leah’s idea of commitment.
And, you know, sort of what she saw in their relationship. And that is that they were, you know,
they had a struggle, if they had any kind of issues at all. They didn’t brush it under the rug. And
that was her quote, they always dealt with it straight on, and didn’t let things fester. And I think
that we’ve learned over time that really, the masters do this very well, as things arise, they nip
it in the bud, they bring it up, they have a discussion about it, and move on.
Matthew Hoffman 11:23
I think that’s great, Kim. Another thing I loved is you have to recommit every single day. So
think about that. Let that kind of sink in for a minute. You’re thinking about your relationship
about your partner, your spouse, your husband, your wife, are you recommitting every single
day to them in some demonstrative way in your thought, in your actions, in what you say and
what you do? And she said, every day when my feet hit the floor, Lea says, I’m gonna love my
spouse today, or how can I love my spouse today? How can I show up for my spouse today? It’s
not like, well, I did it once last week, you know, or I said something a few days ago, where we
did something special a couple months ago, right? It’s those daily habitual things that you have
to show up. And you know, Trey talked about love is an action. Love is not a feeling. We have
feelings that come from love, those feelings come and go. But even though he may not be
feeling love for her, he demonstrates it, because of his commitment. And you know, he made a
commitment with God and said, I’m going to be committed to you, I’m gonna be committed to
my spouse. And so even the times, we all have times, we may not feel that love, we might be
angry or upset or be ruminating about something. But regardless of those feelings, we can
hearken back to the commitment that we made to them and made to our creator, if you did
that in your religious service, and that commitment and demonstrate that it’s more than a
feeling. And I think that’s, you know, we all like good feelings. But commitment is much deeper
than that. And I think they understood that. And we’re really working hard to demonstrate it
and their relationship.
Kimberly Hoffman 13:02
Sure. What about the communication side of the relationship? Was there anything there that
stood out to you?
Matthew Hoffman 13:07
You know, they have a seems like everybody, all the couples we’ve talked to have some kind of
ritual or some kind of time. And I think that we always talk about our one of our rituals is
rocking together a way to backpack. We have great talk time when we ruck. And it’s a twofer
because we’re getting some exercise as well. But he said that they have coffee check ins. And,
you know, Lea talked about that, I think, and because she saw her parents doing it, and they
still do it today. They have coffee in the afternoon, and they talk about their day. Where are
you experiencing? Where are you on this? It’s those mental check ins, right? And you have to
have that emotional check in do you know, where your spouse’s emotions are? What are they
experiencing? Or what are they feeling? You can’t guess or suppose you have to ask and let
them emote and have that connection time. And you know, something Kim that you and I do is
we talk about either high, low victory, what’s the high of your day? What was the low? What
was the victory? Or another thing we use with our kids? Is the rose the thorn on the bud? What
was beautiful about your day? What was thorny, maybe painful, didn’t feel so good. It was
frustrating. And then the bud is what hasn’t blossomed yet. And what are you looking forward
to? Those simple questions and having those check ins do so much again, to anchor us to each
other and to our family members.
Kimberly Hoffman 14:27
I agree. And we do use that within our family. And it has proven to be a great tool for discussion
and opening up and talking about emotions and how we feel and it works the same exact way
in a marriage. I also noted with communication that you know, they really had a little bit of a
challenge in the beginning and that was mostly with Trey. And do you want to talk a little bit
about that from them. AOL perspective and then I’d like to talk a little bit about it from the
female perspective. Yeah.
Matthew Hoffman 15:05
I mean, as he goes, he said, Gosh, as a guy, you know, not all guys think there needs to be a lot
of communication, or they’re fine with minimal communication, right? And they don’t feel there
needs to be a lot of stuff coming out all the time. And he said, you know, as men, we’re fine
with less words, and we’re fine with not speaking a lot. But that’s not necessarily the case for
women. And he had to learn that, hey, if this is something she needs, I need to give it to her.
And it doesn’t matter what that is, if you don’t know, one of my favorite questions is to Kim is
how can I best be supporting you right now? What’s your biggest need? And it sounds so
simple, but if you don’t know, how could you possibly support them? And Trey learned that one
of Lea’s number one needs was great communication. And so he said, I gotta up my game, so I
can give her what she needs.
Kimberly Hoffman 15:56
Yeah. And I think from a female standpoint, that in this case, especially, I think, Trey thought, Why does she keep asking me questions about my day? You know, what happened today? How
are you feeling about this?
Matthew Hoffman 16:10
Is hounding me? Does she trust me?
Kimberly Hoffman 16:12
Yeah, I think he had a lot of concern that she wasn’t, you know, believing where he was, or that
he wasn’t being truthful and honest with her. And I think that it took him a while to have that
light bulb go on that. For a woman, it’s just a bid for connection, it’s an opportunity to connect
with your husband. And that’s why we ask so many questions, we just want to have a good
open line of communication, because it makes us feel closer to you. And it makes us feel like
we’re being valued. And we’re heard
Matthew Hoffman 16:50
Talk about that concept, Kim, we’ve talked about it before. But why are bids of connection, so
important for both men and women in the relationship?
Kimberly Hoffman 16:57
I think when we’re reaching out to our spouse to try to connect or have an emotional moment
with them, when we don’t respond, then we’re really missing an opportunity to be close to that
person. We may even be missing an opportunity that person may end up being vulnerable with
us. And so every time that door opens, and we don’t walk through it, then we’re shutting that
person down, and we’re shutting that person away. And that eventually will break down your
Matthew Hoffman 17:33
it will, you know, it sends the message you don’t care about or you won’t prioritize me. And a
recent example of this that I had in our relationship is Kim saying, you know, I email you things
and I asked you questions, and I’m asking for your feedback. And she goes, it may be days or a
week, or maybe I don’t even hear back from you. She goes, that tells me that you’re just not
valuing me. And I had to say, Gosh, I need to do a better job of making sure I’m responding
because sometimes it’s a need. And sometimes it’s a desire, and it doesn’t matter if I think it is
or isn’t important. But I don’t want her to ever feel he doesn’t think I’m important, he is not
willing to respond to me or to give me what I need. And then they start filling the blank with
what that might mean. So it can be real subtle. And it’s kind of a daily awareness to making
sure that we are responding and accepting those bids. No matter what form, it could be a
phone call a text and email, just a hand on a shoulder, right? And if you don’t respond and turn
away, you know, they could feel shunned. So it can come in a lot of ways. And we have to kind
of have our spidey senses on and be aware.
Kimberly Hoffman 18:47
let’s move on to conflict because I found that this couple had a little bit of a different way of
doing things when conflict arises. And one of the things that I believe it was Lea said that they
if they get into conflict, and it’s maybe getting a little bit heated, or maybe unresolvable in that
moment, that a lot of times that they’ll take time to write it down. And they’ll verbalize how
they’re feeling. And they’ll be really clear and concise about what’s going on. And they’ll give
that to the other person to read. And that’s not something that we have ever really practiced in
our relationship. But I thought it was great advice, especially for people who really aren’t sure
what to say next, or if they really are heated and don’t want to say something that they might
regret or they’re trying to get a point across that just doesn’t seem to be really coming across
well to their partner.
Matthew Hoffman 19:47
Yeah. I think using the written word is great in communication also for conflict resolution,
because if you have to write down in a few sentences, what is this bugging you? You can be
pretty succinct and it’s a great way for them to read. it without any harshness or intensity. And
as long as you’re being loving and thoughtful and your motive is good in the communication, it
can be a great tool. And I think another thing, Kim, you know, when we talk about conflict
resolution, I think they have a game plan. They know we may take a timeout, we may go to bed
angry, right? We may that old adage, never go to bed angry that might work for some, but it
may not work for others, you may need some cooling off time, some separation time, it doesn’t
mean icing your partner out, it’s never acceptable to give the cold shoulder or withhold love,
right? To have conditional love your spouse, there’s never a time when you say, Well, I’m
allowed to do that, because it’s damaging, no matter when you do it, whether it’s in the middle
of conflict or the middle of joy. So I would encourage you not to withhold the love or give the
cold shoulder, I’m not going to talk to them for days to show them how mad I am. Or when I
look at him, I’m going to scowl right? When it’s over, it’s over and you have to move on. But
they’ve agreed on a game plan. And if you if you and your relationship don’t have a game plan,
when conflicts arise, how are we going to effectively handle them together? Let’s agree on the
terms. Let’s agree on the rules. Let’s agree on what we can do
Kimberly Hoffman 19:50
Such great advice.
Matthew Hoffman 21:05
What we cannot do. And it sounds so silly. But when you’re feeling rosy and great and Lovey
Dovey, that’s the best time to say, let’s talk about our game plan for resolving conflict. Or
really, it doesn’t have to doesn’t mean it’s going to resolve in one opinion is going to weigh in,
but you want to seat you’re seeking really understanding conflict is about how can I gain
understanding because if you understand, then you can get into agreement. You may disagree.
You may agree. Or you may say we’ll leave it at this and we’ll move on. But having a game plan
of how we’re going to handle conflict is huge. And you know, Stephen Covey says, one of his
greatest things is you’re gonna go for a win win. It’s either a win, win, or no deal if his win, lose
or lose when you can’t accept it. And so if you have to say we’re gonna agree to disagree on
this, move on, but you never want to have a resolution that’s damaging to one and helpful to
the other. It’s got to be a win for us in and a win for the relationship. And I thought that they did
a great job. You know, I think Trey said, we’re a team and we’ve quit trying to go, I’m gonna
win, I want to win this. And I want to be right, because we realize that if one of us loses, we
really both lose. And if you have that mentality, as you approach conflict or misunderstandings,
then you’re going to come out on top.
Kimberly Hoffman 22:33
Agreed, and I would like to move on to one of my favorite subjects, and that is intimacy.
Matthew Hoffman 22:41
That’s your favorite subject?
Kimberly Hoffman 22:43
I know, right.
Matthew Hoffman 22:44
It’s one of my favorites too.
Kimberly Hoffman 22:47
Well, really, we’re talking about an additional pillar. And within that are, our guests really both,
I think, focused on the pillar of intimacy. And they believe that intimacy is, outside of our three
C’s, probably one of their most important, and one that they have discovered and learn the
most about pillar. And I believe that intimacy plays such a huge role in our relationship, as
there’s so many different kinds of intimacy. But specifically, this couple opened up the door to
speaking about sexual intimacy, and how important it was that they learned the necessity of
having a great, healthy sexual relationship. Later on, not early on in the relationship, but later
on. And I think I want to point out that it’s really easy for couples who are married and have
been in the marriage game for a number of years, to be very careful about the decline in a
sexual, intimate relationship. Because I think after a little while, it can kind of feel like you’re
just roommates. And you’re just Mom and Dad, and you’re playing the role of the daily ins and
outs of life. And you’re not making your sexual intimacy a priority in the relationship, and it can
be very damaging to the relationship.
Matthew Hoffman 24:26
Yeah, it’s huge. I mean, it may change over time, a little bit based on life stages. But I think
that Trey said, sexual intimacy is one of the biggest perks of your relationship. It’s not just that
fun thing you do on occasion, but sexual intimacy reconnects you, it makes you remind why
you love somebody, it’s the hormones that are released in the male and the female lobes when
you have sexual intimacy and that orgasm and the climax and all those good things happen. It
makes you feel physiologically great and euphoric. And, you know, you got to agree on the
frequency and what works for both of you. But it’s important that both partners needs are being
met inside of that sexual intimacy and that you focus on it, and make sure you’re taking
advantage of that huge perk, because that intimacy is the glue that holds the relationship
together. It’s fun, and you should take delight in it, and make sure both your needs are getting
Kimberly Hoffman 25:28
Yeah, the connection and the emotional bond that happens with sexual intimacy is huge. And
as you said, it is really important within the relationship, that we that we spend time really
enhancing that relationship and really understanding that relationship, her needs, his needs,
and really taking delight in that relationship.
Matthew Hoffman 25:56
And they do. And I think that they said, it’s easy to fall into habit, or routine, and not to make it
something that is key and vital, and you got to work on it. And in it, I mean, it’s not
Kimberly Hoffman 26:08
Gotta spice it up.
Matthew Hoffman 26:09
You gotta spice it up, you got to mix it up, it can’t be the same place, the same day, the same
time. You know, I’ve been accused, you know, and so we’re always looking for fun ways to
enjoy the sexual intimacy we have with each other. And it’s between us. And we can tease
about it. And we can flirt about it. And we have a lot of fun with it. And we want to just
recognize that Trey and Lea are approaching it in a healthy way. And they, you know, there’s a
lot of different kinds of intimacy. But they said, Man, this is one of the most important because
it’s it helps that bond and keep them strong together.
Kimberly Hoffman 26:46
And I love that you said there’s a lot of different kinds of intimacy. There are and they’re all
really equally important. This particular episode just really pointed out. And they were very
open and vulnerable with us about the sexual intimacy part of it, which we haven’t really had a
lot of our interviews kind of go down that route. So I appreciated them for that.
Matthew Hoffman 27:07
Yeah. And these are coming from people who counsel other couples
Kimberly Hoffman 27:09
That’s exactly right.
Matthew Hoffman 27:10
And other marriages
Kimberly Hoffman 27:11
Matthew Hoffman 27:12
In a faithful, Christian based way. And they said, You gotta have the sexual part. Right. And
they’re right. And so we appreciate that. And you know, there’s so many other good things
came out of this interview.
Kimberly Hoffman 27:23
Yeah, I hate to give away too much more, because it was a really great interview. And I want to
encourage all of our listeners to go and pull this up. Wherever you listen to your podcast and
listen to it in its entirety.
Matthew Hoffman 27:36
It was definitely worthwhile. And if this episode or other episodes raise questions in your mind,
you say, Man, I wish I could do that better. Or I could really use help in that area. Please come
check out Kickass Couples Nation. If you go to ‘Matthewphoffman.com’ We have a whole
community with a team of elite licensed marriage therapists. We do webinars, Kim and I do
private content. We have a fantastic Facebook group. We would love to help you on your
journey and learn what we can do to help you make it better.
Kimberly Hoffman 28:06
Yeah, you want to talk about enrichment? You can get it right here.
Matthew Hoffman 28:10
So thanks for joining us today and we just want to remember one thing
Kimberly Hoffman 28:14
Happily ever after doesn’t just happen. It’s on purpose.