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Kickass Couples Podcast

How to Build a Stronger Relationship with Your Spouse – Ep. 99 RECAP – Julie & David Bulitt

By April 19, 2023No Comments



relationship, communication, important, julie, partner, kim, david, challenge, couples, love, people, commitment, intentional, intimacy, early, therapist, child, communicating, spend, passion


Matthew Hoffman, Kimberly Hoffman


Matthew Hoffman  00:09

Welcome back, everybody to the Kickass Couples Podcast. I get to sit next to this hot lady next to me today. And we’re bringing you a recap episode of our time with David and Julie Bulitt and they were a lot of fun. What a cool combination Kim of people. He is a divorce attorney and she is a therapist and counselor for couples, families and people. And so what a great mix and I also do some coaching on relationships for other people.


Kimberly Hoffman  04:22

They do I love their interesting dynamic and that they come from it come at it from two different places. But yet at the end of the day, they are coming back together to help couples stay together which I love.


Matthew Hoffman  04:36

Submission that we relate to and that we are on as well. And what was one of your first takeaways that you got from our time together with them?


Kimberly Hoffman  04:44

When we asked them what made them kick ass I love their comment, which was you know what makes us kick ass is we’re a great team. And I think that team is important in a relationship. they work well together with finances, with kids, with communicating, and that all those things together make them a really kick ass couple. So I love that response. 


Matthew Hoffman  05:11

Yeah, they work together. And, you know, they talked about, you know, having issues early on in their marriage, I think they had a child that’s autistic. And I think, you know, challenging. And they both came at that from different places. And they realized they had to come together. And I think that, that really determined how they approach things. And they did it with love. And, you know, I think they’ve grown and learned a lot how to have that dance. 


Kimberly Hoffman  05:37

You know, those are the kinds of things that can either make or break a relationship, right? I mean, when you start out with some really challenge big challenges in your relationship with family members, that can be really tough. And if you do come at it from different places, you have to figure out how to navigate and communicate how you can both be on the same page. And I think they were able to do that. 


Matthew Hoffman  06:00

Yeah, it’s important. I mean, there’s always going to be issues, it’s not a question of if it’s really more when, and then figuring out how you’re going to do the dance when there is a disagreement, or it may not even be a disagreement Kim, it might be just a challenge that you’re facing together in the relationship. And if you come up with an effective way to put opinion decide and really work on that team, that partnership, to get through it and make sure that the outcome is best for the US, you’re going to keep winning, and it doesn’t really matter what the challenge or opportunity is to be able to come up top on that. 


Kimberly Hoffman  06:32

Sure. What about their commitment to each other? I think that was established really early on in the relationship. When Julie said, you know when David said he was going to do something, he did it. When, you know, he said he was going to be somewhere at a certain time and place, he was there. And so I what I heard her saying is that he really laid the foundation for the commitment in their relationship early on, and they were able to build commitment from there. 


Matthew Hoffman  07:02

And I think she said it was important to her that he wasn’t playing any games, which I love, you know, we can sometimes, doesn’t mean that having fun, but it means don’t play with emotions, don’t take advantage, don’t push buttons on purpose, or, you know, unnecessarily do typical things that could hurt the relationship. And I think, you know, one of the things I think that David said, and Julie said as well, because it was important for her to know that he was there for her and that he could she could count on him. And then conversely, I think he said the same thing. And so I want to kind of pause on that idea for just a moment. Kim, its presence is what they’re both I think really talking about right? And that knowing that your partner will be there. So I’m curious Kim, when you think about our relationship, and you look at our commitment to each other, what does I know you want me to be there for you, that’s a given. But I’m curious, how do you look at that? In other words, what is being there for you look like to you in our relationship?


Kimberly Hoffman  08:03

 Well, first of all, I think it’s really important for me to be able to communicate to you so that you know and understand what that means. Right? I can You can guess and you can do things that you think might be important to me. But I think first of all, it’s really incumbent upon me to help you understand what being there for me looks like right? And so it’s different for everyone. For me, it is knowing that if I need you and I call you, you’re going to pick up the phone, and you’re going to answer. If you see that I’m struggling with something, you’re going to stop what you’re doing, and you’re going to come to help and assist me. If we’re having a challenge with one of our children and you see me, you know, just I’m up against a wall and I just can’t push any further than you’re gonna rescue me. And so I feel like for me, that’s where you show up, and where I need you the most. 


Matthew Hoffman  09:56

Yeah, well, I appreciate that. And I think I do understand that and it’s a constant challenge to deliver that need. And so those needs change over time, her needs might be one way today in a week, they might be different based on the situation. So we can assume once we know them, once we’re done, it’s like constant dance and communication for me for a camp for me to know that she’s got my back is that she knows what challenges I’m facing. And that she’s supporting me, encouraging me and building and lifting me up to know that I can be successful and the work that I’m about. And so and I choose to communicate with her, I’ll say, Hey, this is really big. This is a focus. Gosh, I’m struggling, I don’t have an answer here. Or I think this might be the answer, what do you think? I like having a sounding board because I’m not working in the company with a lot of individuals and a huge team. It’s a tight knit team. And sometimes I just want a different perspective. And she’s got good knowledge about what I’m doing. And so she’s able to give me perspective, and I appreciate and trust it. So that’s what it looks like for me. So I want to encourage everybody out there. If you don’t know what your partner’s needs are, or how they have to have you show up for them in the moment or the season you’re in right now. I encourage you to have the discussion and talk about that David and Julie did, Kim and I do and I hope that you all out there are having that communication regularly. So that you not only you can know, but you can stand and deliver on what those needs are.


Kimberly Hoffman  11:28

 One really cool thing that Julie and David did was they did something called “Pass the Trash.” And that was if one of them was really struggling or really having an issue in that the other person would come and save them in that moment, right? They would come in and actually take over the situation and let that other person go rest or do what they you know, just regroup, do whatever they needed to do. And I love that phrase “Pass the Trash.” And you know, you’ll have to listen to the episode so that you can hear it in more detail. But 


Matthew Hoffman  12:06



Kimberly Hoffman  12:07

love that, that the they actually termed it. 


Matthew Hoffman  12:10

Yeah, the term comes from a poker game, a card game, actually, where you pass the cards you don’t like and hope to get some better ones. And I think especially if you’re a parent, you have kids, you know, I can hear Kim working with one of our children and just butting heads and they’re screaming and there’s tension and there’s anger and frustration and I can slide in and interject myself a to protect her from the child, but be to give her a break. Or know that I’m going to do the bedtime routine that night because she’s just had it up to her eyeballs. And so knowing what that is, and being willing, you know, or just say to you, I gotta pass the trash and no questions asked, your partner needs you and you step in and take over. I think we’ve all done that. But you know, having an agreement and an understanding of what that’s like is like, Hey, I’ve reached my limit, and I gotta move on. So you might Intuit it. But there’s nothing wrong with saying, gotta patch you to trash and getting out of there. So that was a great example. I loved it, too. 


Kimberly Hoffman  13:04

Yeah, I want to hit it on a little something with regard to communication, I think we’ve established that. They communicate well, and they’ve been married a really long time. And they’ve learned how to do that communication dance. And one of the things that I love that they said is that they have two rules that they follow. And it’s not what you say, but it’s how you say it. And it’s not what you say. It’s when you say it. So how you say it. And when you say it are really important. 


Matthew Hoffman  13:34

Yeah, if you want it to be received, well, it can’t be accusatory, it can’t be negative. So we’ve talked about some of our webinars Kim tone, like, what’s your tone, because the tone I send it out is the tone that it’s going to be received. And then timing, you know, you and I have different times for communicating on heavy issues. And if you’re hitting me up at 10 3011 o’clock at night, you want to have a deep discussion, I’ll do my best, but it’s gonna be really hard for me to show up and be my best because I get up so early. I’m spent, I just don’t have a lot to give at that point. And vice versa. If I hit you up early in the morning, as soon as you get up with something heavy and intense, you’re not going to be ready either because you’re not in the full fog in the prime swing before coffee, right? We gotta respect that. No doubt. And yes, like, what’s your regular dynamic and communication? Is it working? Are you showing up? You know, does your communication need a tune up? And I think really making sure and there’s nothing wrong with going to your partner saying, Hey, I know you want to talk about that. But that tone just really, when I heard that tone, it made me feel this way or I want to talk to you about this, but this is just not the best time to watch these credits. Have to watch it’s huge danger, big danger, big watch out. You know, and I think that one of the things that David said he said communication is a constant connection between them. So if you think about a tether when you have constant communication with your partner that tethers really short, and they’re close, when you’re not having the frequent communication, whether it’s a phone call a text, a conversation, a FaceTime and email, whatever it may be, that distance goes greater and greater and greater, and then you’re not close, you’re not connected. You’re on the same page. So my question to everybody out there listening today is, how are you filling the spaces between you? Is it intentional, or are you just letting it happen by default. If your communication is happening by default, and it’s not intentional, I guarantee you’re leaving a whole lot of good on the table, because you’re not in the same proximity with your partner on a lot of things. It could be practical, functional, but certainly your intimacy and the relationship that you’re building together.


Kimberly Hoffman  15:48

Yeah, I want to move on to conflict resolution, because I think they hit on something here, that we have talked about before in our podcast. And they were hit with this issue, which is, they got into some financial challenges. And I believe it’s really because they didn’t have a financial plan. And it took them a couple of years to dig themselves out of this financial situation that they put themselves in. And I think without a financial plan, we are on a very slippery slope, because they got into a routine of oh, well, you got a $50 haircut. So I’m gonna go buy a brand new pair of shoes, or, you know, you went out and spent this amount of money. So now I feel entitled to be able to go out and do the same. And so over time, that put them into a really challenging spot, because they didn’t have a financial plan that they were following. 


Matthew Hoffman  16:56

Yeah, I mean, there’s got to be 


Kimberly Hoffman  16:58

And that causes conflict.


Kimberly Hoffman  16:59

 I love that you asked them about intimacy, because we don’t always go there with our couples. When we do we talk about intimacy and different kinds of intimacy, but they were really open about intimacy in their relationship and how that changed over the years. Do you want to talk a little bit about that? 


Matthew Hoffman  16:59

 Yeah, it’s intentionality, right, you have to be intentional with everything in your relationship. And if you’re not intentional, and it’s by accident, I guarantee you, there’s gonna be a lot more dust ups, arguments, disagreements and miscommunication. But when you’re acting with intention, and communicating, Kim, and I have agreement that if we’re going to spend one of us is going to spend more than $500, on anything, it’s an automatic conversation. And that’s just an example on finances, because neither one of us would be good about someone going out and having those kinds of decisions all the time and racking up the expenses, on things we haven’t agreed or certainly aware of, right?  And so that’s just a small example about how we are intentional. We have a budget, and we look at the budget and what we’re spending and where it’s going to. And that just makes our relationship stronger, because we’re on the same page. And we’re showing that intention. And I think that David and Julie had a lot of intention in their communication, and it was tight. And it was frequent. And it meant that they were closer together because of it.


Matthew Hoffman  18:03

Yeah, it was interesting, because I kind of said, well, what do you do to keep it intimate? Because they’ve been married? 30 some odd 5/6/7 years, and they’ve been like for a while. So how do you keep the passion alive? Yeah. And fresh.


Kimberly Hoffman  18:36

 Great question.


Matthew Hoffman  18:36

 And you know, and David said, Well, he said, You know, we’ve been together a lot more sexually, and meeting their intent and focused in on purpose. And I think that he said, you know, the physical side was important to both of them, probably more important to him. And he said that they have that connection. And that connection is a bond, one of the many ones that they share. And it was really important that you know, one of the things that I think make your intimacy and your passion as David said, I’ll do things for her that I know she likes me to do. That right there. That act of service is a way to have connection. It’s a way to show your passion and love for somebody. And I guarantee you it leads to a stronger, more healthy sexual relationship. Because when you appreciate somebody and you because they’re looking out for you, and they’re they’re making sure that they’re doing things that for you that they know you love, then that is a demonstration of love. And so if I do that for Kim and one of the things he talked about doing for Julie actually said she loves baths, and I’ll get a bath drawn for her and I’ll bring her a glass of wine that’s filling her love tank that is going to make her more inclined to be close and intimate. And when you do that, it’s like I can’t wait to show this person how much I love them. 


Kimberly Hoffman  20:00

Well, they know each other’s love languages and that is evident by the things that they discussed in their podcast. And so I think that that is an important thing to know. And then not just to know it, but to act on it. And that’s what they do. 


Matthew Hoffman  20:17

Yeah, I think doing the things that your partner likes, means keeping the passion hot, you get enjoyment, because you’re doing something for them. And they get enjoyment because they know you’re putting their needs first. That means they’re your number one priority, how can it not help but feel good, and form a passionate bond, when you unequivocally know your partner is dedicated to you, and doing things that they know you love. That’s that’s big reassurance. And it’s also nice


Kimberly Hoffman  20:48

 Flirting, we like to flirt with each other.


Matthew Hoffman  20:50

No doubt.


Kimberly Hoffman  20:50

You have to do some flirting.


Matthew Hoffman  20:51

 it’s great to be on the receiving end. And they certainly did a wonderful job of doing that together.


Kimberly Hoffman  20:59

I think that, you know, one of the things that David brought up was he sees a lot of people in his office 1000s of couples over the many years that he has been practicing. And he said, You know, it’s not so much he noticed that it is the cheating that it is, you know, unhappy, anger. But he said, it is really what it has boiled down to and I think Julie would agree, being a therapist, and what she does in her practice is it all comes back to communication. And it’s poor communication within the three C’s that we always refer to. And so, you know, he called it the malaise creep. And so what happens over time is that we become disconnected. And we no longer have this friendship system, going with each other, which we know is so important. We’ve lost connection, we’ve lost the intimacy, and we’ve grown apart, which is so fixable. 


Matthew Hoffman  22:10

Yeah, you’ve allowed your relationship to become transactional, you know, which can be quid pro quo, I’ll do for you, if you do for me, or they’re all the things that you have to do, right? He, you talked about earlier, I interview with him, I gotta walk the dog, I got this appointment, I have that commitment. Right? When we treat our partner as just another one of the things we have to check off in our list for the day, it’s become transactional. So we’ve gone from romantic best friend to this is something I’ve got to take care of, and cross off my list. And I think that he that’s what he after, you know, 30 years of being a divorce attorney, he said, That’s what comes in. And it’s a slow fade, right?


Kimberly Hoffman  22:50

 Yeah, it’s not on purpose all the time. 


Matthew Hoffman  22:52

No, and it’s not it’s not that people are saying I want to be distant from my spouse, but they say, I’m not going to give them the time that they really need, or the time I need to be close to them because I’m gonna do what’s expedient, or what’s efficient, as opposed to what’s sufficient.


Kimberly Hoffman  23:09

 Well, it all comes back to Matthew, what prioritization. prioritizing your spouse, which is what we’re all about here at KCN.


Matthew Hoffman  23:19

Yeah, they do a great job of doing that as a couple. It was so fun to talk to him about that. And, you know, brings up the question if you are in your relationship, and you’re like, you know what, you don’t know how we got here. Or maybe you do know how you got there. And you’re not sure how to get back on track or you want some help learning what you can do that as the sole reason we are here. We have our Bi-monthly live learning sessions with our panel of therapists, we have intensive coaching for couples and individuals. So hope you go to Matthew P. Hoffman and check us out. I would love to have a conversation with you. We have a free relationship assessment call, you can sign up for it online, you’ll get right into my calendar. And I would love to have some time to get to know some other great couples and talk to you about what you can do to get back to your own relationship nirvana. 


Kimberly Hoffman  24:05

Thanks so much for listening in everyone and remember happily ever after doesn’t just happen. It is on purpose.