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David Bulitt, Julie Bulitt, Matthew Hoffman, Kimberly Hoffman
Matthew Hoffman 00:00
Welcome back, everybody to the Kickass Couples Podcast. We have a dynamic power couple with an unusual mix of background and expertise with us today. We want to welcome David and Julie Bulitt to the Kickass Couples Podcast. We are thrilled to be here in the Phoenix. Thank you.
Matthew Hoffman 00:18
Right, where Phoenix is the name of our Airstream if you’re new to the Kickass Couples Podcast we’re on Airstream number two, because our first one burned to the ground last summer, you know, we had, we don’t know what happened, but it did. And we’re excited to be coming from our Airstream trailer, which is our studio. And where are we reaching you guys? Where are you coming from today?
David Bulitt 00:39
We’re in Silver Spring, Maryland today actually.
Julie Bulitt 00:42
Yep, outside of DC.
Matthew Hoffman 00:44
And as we were just in DC, we got to witness the cherry blossom suite and took our youngest son to do his first tour of Washington and stayed right up on Capitol Hill. And, man, we had a lot of fun.
Julie Bulitt 00:58
David Bulitt 00:58
Yeah, Cherry Blossoms are earlier this year than usual.
Julie Bulitt 01:01
David Bulitt 01:01
Usually they’re eight they’ve usually planned for the all the stuff in the first weekend of April. But I guess because of the warm winter. That’s why popped off a little early.
Julie Bulitt 01:09
Matthew Hoffman 01:11
It’s been beautiful. So yeah, you guys are in a beautiful part of the country. We’re in Greenville, South Carolina, Spring has sprung and we are ready to leave winter behind for sure as we cruise in. And we love to start off all of our interviews by kind of asking a similar question. And I’d like to know and Julie, I’m gonna ask you to start if you don’t mind, would love to hear what you think makes the two of you a kick ass couple?
Julie Bulitt 01:35
Well, lots of lots of great things. I think we work really well together. We’re just a great team. And when I say that, I really think about difficult times where we’ve had to come together over, you know, kids issues, financial issues, communication issues, and we really do work together with a lot of humor. And that’s what makes us a kick ass couple in my in my opinion.
Matthew Hoffman 02:04
Sure. And that’s great. How about you, David, what would you add to that?
David Bulitt 02:09
Well, she listens to everything I say. And we do it works perfectly. No, I think Julie alluded to it correctly. we were challenged early in our marriage with with an issue with one of our children. And we came at that from very different places. And as a result of that challenge, although although she continues to struggle to this day, as a result of that, I think that that gave us tools to use in other areas of our relationship.We, a lot of ways helped us helped us be who we are today as as a couple of 36, almost 37 years married, I like to say 17 of the happiest years of my life. And I think that that is what, in
Kimberly Hoffman 02:51
Congratulations, that’s a lot of work. But I love the team mentality. I think that a lot of couples don’t approach the relationship with that spirit, that same spirit, and it really can get you through a lot of, you know, ups and downs in life. And so that’s it’s it’s wonderful to hear that. I’m a firm believer that we are a product of the people who raised us that it has a huge impact on what we bring to our next relationship. So I would love to hear from you. You know what, what did growing up look like when you were younger?
Julie Bulitt 03:31
Yeah, yeah. so on. really modeled for me what I wanted in a relationship, somebody that I could count on. And I would say that’s good role models. You know, I feel like we both had good role models.
Kimberly Hoffman 04:30
Sure, and how do they express love? How did how did they show love to each other? Was it visible?
Julie Bulitt 04:36
Yeah, very different. very differently, actually. So that’s interesting that you ask about that. So my dad is very sort of like affectionate and warm and physical. And my mom is what I would call a traditional Bostonian, very, like reserved and not very touchy feely. So they definitely have differences in the way that they interact, and I would say that I’m a mix of maybe a bit more like my mom, in some ways. So that’s been something that we’ve dealt with in our relationship that I’m not as you know, affectionate or you no touchy as David would like. And you know, I’ve really had to work on that. And I continue to still work on that.
Kimberly Hoffman 05:26
Sure, how about you, David, tell me a little bit about what love will look like in your household when you’re growing up.
David Bulitt 05:33
What sticks out to me most about, you know, where I was raised, I was when I went, I had one sister and my grandparents were, were a very intricate part of our family. And we grew up close close by here. And so the one thing even though both my parents were busy, my dad, my dad was a store owner and an entrepreneur and my mom stayed home and took care of the house and more of a traditional kind of role. But the one thing that stuck out the most in terms of positive impact is that they made sure we always had dinners on Sunday nights, often other times during the week as well, many times almost every night, during the week, but Sunday night, my mother usually would cook or they’d cook out on the grill, my grandparents would come over. And that stress, that kind of togetherness that I think that I have used in my own family with my girls, and and now with our grandkids with three grandkids, also where we try very hard to spend this time where there’s not, there’s not a lot of other things that are going on. You know, if it was a day that there was a great football game on, you know, we would have dinner after the game, or we have dinner during it so that nobody would be, you know, would be distracted or looking elsewhere. That’s a That’s a silly example. But it was, but we all made the time for that. And so that was that is something that has stayed with me during all these years.
Matthew Hoffman 06:51
That’s beautiful. Well, we learned a lot from the people that raised us about what we want to do, and sometimes what we don’t want to do. And marriage is a beautiful dance of that, we kind of have three, we have 14 pillars, that we in our platform that we think are all critical to a successful and thriving relationship. And we often like to focus on what we call the three C’s. And those three C’s are commitment, communication and conflict resolution. So thinking about commitment, Julie, how what does commitment look like to you and your relationship with David? How does that come about?
Julie Bulitt 07:27
Well, commitment is for me, you know, very, very early on, I knew he was in so one of the one of the very big differences I noticed in my relationship with him with David was, there wasn’t any game playing, if he said he was gonna call me or we were gonna go out on a Saturday night or whatever it happened. So he was I could tell that he was like, into me, but also into the relationship pretty early on. And for me, commitment really means that I know he’s going to be there. I you know, I know that, you know, if I have a bad day or a bad week or a bad year, or I don’t feel well or I don’t, you know, act, you know, in a nice way, I don’t ever worry that he’s going anywhere. I always know that he’s you know, going to be there through you know, sort of thick or thick and thin as you say better or worse, right? Me that knowing that he’s going to be there is commitment.
David Bulitt 08:25
You talk about the marriage being a dance, right, and we talk a lot about we’re Julie is a queen of metaphors here in our house, we we talk a lot. So I’ll use one of mine which which if you’ve ever played cards, there was a game called pass the trash. And we employed that metaphor when it came to having difficulty either one of us were having a difficult day or one of us are having a tough time with the kids. And in the game, the poker game passed the trash, you get dealt seven cards, and then you look at your hand it’s closed, and then you pass for to your left that you don’t want to guide to your right passes four, then you pass three to the two first two people down and two, and so forth. And so you keep passing it along. And so so the reason I raise it is because there there was regular regular times, and there continues to be even though our kids are grown, that you know, you just can tell, right? You guys have been married, you’ve been together, you just can tell that the other one has just reached their limit, and they need the trash past and you take that trash and let them do what they have to do. And so to me that whole past the trash piece is, you know, underlies this commitment discussion or this pillar that you’re talking about.
Matthew Hoffman 09:36
A willingness to take on the difficulties of your partner so they can have the break that they need. That’s, that’s true commitment. Right? You’re putting yourself second. You’re putting them first. I think those are both great examples. Thank you.
Kimberly Hoffman 09:48
I want to talk a little bit about communication because communication can either make or break a relationship as we well know. How do you prioritize, and communicate in your relationship with each other?
David Bulitt 10:04
Well, I’ll start, I’ll start with us in first of all, the pandemic has recreated, you know, what we do in a lot of ways both, both of us are fortunate in that we, that we work remotely and, and with the joke is I haven’t, I haven’t put a shirt and tie on, you know, I’m a well, I’m a divorce lawyer. So, and I would wear a shirt and tie to work every single day. And now, if I ever have to put a tie on, it’s, you know, I start to cringe. But the, the point I’m making when you ask about communication is that now it’s much more frequent, it’s much more regular, during the course of the day, Julie’s where we are, where we are now is on the bottom floor of our home, and I’m gonna level up, but nevertheless, we’re constantly, you know, we’re constantly seeing each other constantly talking. And so there’s, there’s a very regular dynamic between us, that’s, that’s different in a lot of ways, then, you know, five years ago, not to mention 25 or 30 years ago, and communication, as you know, raising children, changes between partners, as the children as your kids go from being infants, to toddlers, to teenagers to up and out. And, and so the whereas all that extra airspace used to be filled, right, when our kids were there, you know, there was not as much time to communicate. Now, sometimes people, what we see in folks is that now there’s too much time, right? You don’t know how you fill that airspace, and we, we don’t have any trouble filling the space, we you know, we know, we know, when the other is busy and doing something we know if there’s something important, we understand the both the verbal and nonverbal cues. And, and for us, it’s a it’s a constant aside from when we’re sleeping. It really is a constant connection, that in terms of the communication between us.
Julie Bulitt 11:44
discussion or, you know, some life changing decision. Right. Julie, on the other hand, is more apt to want to have a discussion when it hits her. But she understands and I’m not, although she may want to talk about it, she knows I’m not up for it. So she’ll wait to the morning, and then interrupt me at a different time.
Julie Bulitt 12:55
Kimberly Hoffman 12:58
But I think what I hear you saying is just sort of respecting those boundaries, you don’t function well at 11 o’clock at night to have a really serious discussion, you know, surrounding finances. And, you know, even though you may want to, you know, get answers to that question right away, you understand that, and so you’re willing to wait and have that discussion at an appropriate time. So there’s, again, we talked about dance, there’s that dance of when to and when not to, but I think you’ve learned that over time, obviously. And a lot of people don’t respect those boundaries, though, in the relationship, and I think that’s what gets us into trouble.
Matthew Hoffman 13:35
I’m curious on that subject. Did you guys have a specific conversation about that? Or was it a consensus you came? How did you guys figure out the boundaries? And like, what the system of what works? Trial and error, and hey, this is a big fight. Gotta stop. How did you get How did you arrive? So I want to know the process.
Julie Bulitt 13:57
That’s very funny. That’s very funny that you ask, it took it took me a while to get the hint, if you will. I would be like, Oh, honey, there’s what? And he would be like, no, no, no, no, I’m trying to go to sleep. Do you see that? You know, I have sleep issues anyway. Do you know like, no, no. Can we talk about this tomorrow? So I would try, you know, at sometimes to have conversations that not the best time
David Bulitt 14:27
Took 27 years to figure it out.
Julie Bulitt 14:29
27 years, yeah.
Matthew Hoffman 14:36
A short amount of time, okay. Kind of leading into that I would like can you guys, either of you. And you can each have your own unique story. So you guys could agree and go hey, okay, we agree. Can you think of a time when one of you screwed up and really stepped in it? And then share with us how did you confront that and deal with it? So it didn’t derail the relationship?
David Bulitt 15:00
I’ve never screwed up.
Julie Bulitt 15:01
Oh, that I mean, you know, that first of all it happens, you know, it happens on a regular basis. I mean, David always says, you know, he’s really good at apologizing. And he is better about apologizing.
David Bulitt 15:17
Because I do it so often.
Julie Bulitt 15:19
Yeah. I mean, yeah. Yeah, no, you do it often a time that we’ve, I mean, listen, I’ve screwed up a lot. I’ve, you know, I’m in charge of the finances, and I missed paying bills before and I’ll, you know, like, you know, something will happen. And I’ll have to go to him and say, you know, like, I didn’t pay this bill. And this is, you know, blah, blah, blah, this happened. And can you you know, call the credit card company and beg for forgiveness or whatever it is.
David Bulitt 15:51
Timeshare. Well, we did that. And we sold cars, and we shed ourselves of things and debt. But so I don’t know if there was ever a time that I really felt like I screwed up and stepped in it, and then had to work my way out terribly. We’ve had lots of disagreements over the years, but But the biggest one was what we was what we’d sort of jumped in that pond together.
Julie Bulitt 17:50
Yeah. Yeah. And I think, you know, it took I mean, again, I was I was paying the bills, I’ve kind of always paid the bills. And since we’ve gotten married, maybe in the very beginning, you did, but I was the one firsthand, seeing like, Oh, dear, oh, dear. Oh, dear. And, you know, we don’t have enough money to pay these bills. And so I think I would, you know, I would like attempt to have a conversation with David. And then we would kind of go on, do our thing. And then it did take us a while for us to, like, get together on the same page, and really work through a lot of, you know, the financial plan. And it didn’t go away quickly. Let me just say to you, we were like, it took
David Bulitt 18:33
Julie Bulitt 18:34
yeah, like three years to get like in a better financial position.
David Bulitt 18:39
And what we’ve seen with folks and like you, we work with couples and so forth is that is that when when people have a certain habit in terms of spending, or certain likes and things that they want to do, and they realize they can’t do it, then there becomes oftentimes this sort of balance of power sort of thing. Oh, you got a $50 haircut. So I’m gonna go get a new pair of shoes. Oh, you did this. But I can do that. And before you knew it, all that bouncing back and forth, and that’s, that’s important, what leads to a lot of financial stuff, not to mention, some people just put their heads in the sand, which is kind of what we did jointly. So you know, so that I think that’s the best way to answer your question was more of a she and I held hands and we stepped in it together.
Julie Bulitt 19:21
Matthew Hoffman 19:24
Great, and your work sounds like you work through it together and in had had that great experience.
Julie Bulitt 19:29
Yes, yes. Although,
Julie Bulitt 19:31
No, it wasn’t a great experience. But I will tell you that you know, we’re both firm believers that you learn from your mistakes. And we had some friends that were did a similar set, you know, had a similar situation, but they got bailed out by their parents. And they didn’t learn their lesson. They went on to do it again and again. And we we both like we learned our lesson like we are, that was not a good situation. And it was hard.
David Bulitt 19:31
It wasn’t a great experience.
Kimberly Hoffman 20:00
So in addition to the three pillars that we just talked about, we have 11 More, and I believe you have in front of you the list of the all 14 pillars. And so I’m curious, I’m gonna ask you, David, first, what of the remaining 11 pillars really resonates with you and why?
David Bulitt 20:21
Well, there’s several actually. But but in terms of, of where I need to work on the patient’s pillars, she always tells me to push my P button. So that’s one that comes up with some regularity that I have some issues when it comes to patience as evidenced by the fact that I cracked a tooth while I slept, because I grind my teeth. But the patience is something that I work on, the intimacy is always something that’s been important, probably more important to me than to Julie and our relationship. And that’s something that she has worked on. So that’s, then you know, we can certainly talk more about any any of these things. And the other two that struck me all strike me to be honest with you, there’s not one here that we couldn’t spend an hour or two talking about. And you all didn’t did a really terrific job of sort of taking a couple’s you know that whole prism of what we all need and what we look at and sort of break it down into 14, you have 14 pillars, but so, so if I want to focus on one more, it would probably be the appreciation one, because there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t appreciate being with her. And that’s that’s the honest truth. And I express it to her sometimes most of the times I do sometimes maybe not as much as others, but there’s not a day that I don’t look at her appreciate that she is she I’m heading to Delaware, she packed me food too, just little things that you don’t think about that I that I just appreciating her all the time. And, and so if you’re asking one thing, one of these that really sticks out, while the others are still there, I’d say the appreciation pillar is the one that I would, I would lean on the most, although again, like I said, the others are we could talk about as well.
Julie Bulitt 22:04
Yeah. Yeah. And then, for me, I mean, for me number 14, like fun and numr I think that’s one of the things that’s been so important in, in our, in our relationship is we have fun together. I mean, we can be anywhere, anytime. And it could be just David and I, or it can be with friends or whatever. Like there’s never a time where I look at him and go like I’m bored. Or what are we going to do tonight or whatever. I mean, we laugh, we laugh, you know, lots of times, it’s inappropriate laughter over things that we would never say, you know, on on a podcast, but we laugh a lot
Kimberly Hoffman 22:44
The stuff that’s just between the two of you can
Julie Bulitt 22:53
We have a lot of fun. The other thing and, you know, I’m trying to think of where this would fit in maybe the moral code, or I don’t know where this would be, but I think the the respect piece
David Bulitt 23:09
Flows into a few of them
Julie Bulitt 23:10
Flows into probably, you know, appreciation, you know, trust those kinds of things. Yeah, I think that like that may be an overlay on top of many of your pillars. And for me, again, that’s a piece that our relationship, that’s very important. And it and I think it makes us you know, better. Because we both really respect each other. I mean, there’s times I complain about him to, you know, my best friend or whatever, but it’s in a boat, it’s in a most respectful way, right? And I’m out, you know, I really do respect him. And he really does respect me. And I think that goes a long way.
David Bulitt 23:10
I mean, she’s right, we do we do try to have, we do try to have a lot of fun together during the pandemic, for example, when no one was going anywhere in theirs locked down. We started this thing on Facebook, we’d call couples cocktails, and we would you know, just go Facebook Live invite a bunch of people we all have a drink together on Facebook. And then and then we said okay, we got to do something different. So we started getting doing like theme nights. We did like a 1920s She got dressed in this great looking flapper dress and I I got dressed up we did a Western night. So we, you know, we, we can make our own fun. A lot of time.
Julie Bulitt 24:22
Yeah, we do we make our own fun.
Matthew Hoffman 24:25
That’s great. Well, it kind of leads into you know, y’all been married more than 30 years. We’ve been married, come up on 28/29. And, you know, one of the challenges is how do you keep it exciting and novelty and passionate because, you know, things you can get in routines and habits and you’re like, oh, gosh, here we go again. So what are the two have you done to keep it fresh and keep it novel and keep that passion and excitement really at a high boil as opposed to a low simmer?
Julie Bulitt 24:55
Yeah, so I will say and this is something sort of very early on that, we’ve always made sure that we have like a date night, or a date day or, you know, once a week, we were definitely doing something even, you know, like raising four kids, we would make sure that we had a babysitter, or we’d put the kids to bed and then we would go sit in another part of the house that we didn’t use on a regular basis. We always made time for our, you know, as as a couple to do something together. And that started, you know, years and years ago and has still kept up for us. We, you know, we’ll have date night at least once a week.
David Bulitt 25:34
They’re asking about passion,
Julie Bulitt 25:36
David Bulitt 25:36
passion. Okay, so here’s the real answer. What we have done, and I think, in fairness, a lot better to use probably a word that in the therapy world isn’t a good word to use, but a lot better way since our kids are grown. Is we have been a lot more together sexually, don’t you think?
Julie Bulitt 26:02
Was that what you were asking about? Like? How do you keep it spicy in the bedroom? Or?
Matthew Hoffman 26:07
Well not, Not necessarily, like from a technique standpoint and outside the bedroom? But no, you’re I mean, so you you can you can a comfortable relationship a safe relationship or repetitive. That’s not exciting, and maybe not something you look forward to? Yeah, so the novelty and passion, right? We all love to experience it. But when you’ve been in that relationship for so long, it’s hard to keep that passion and excitement there.
Kimberly Hoffman 26:38
I know you’re there.
Julie Bulitt 26:42
David Bulitt 26:44
We’re with some folks. I don’t know, it was sometime not that long ago. And there was another couple in the restaurant or wherever they were holding hands or nuzzling or whatever. And one of the people that we were with said, Oh, they must have just gotten there. Were dating, dating. And my reaction was, well, why? Why should they just have gotten together? Just why shouldn’t yeah, whatever, whatever was there five years, 10 years, 25 years ago is still there. It’s just that there’s so much other stuff that’s in the way. So I mean, like, you know, I’ll do things for Julie that I know that she likes me to do. She likes she likes a nice bath before she goes to bed or bath before she would go out or whatever the case may be. So I’ll take a shower, I’ll get dressed I can I bring her glass of wine in the bathtub. And I might peek at her in the tub for a minute longer than she wants me to. But but you know, little things like that, that sort of, you know, on those date nights and not just the date nights, other times as well. You know, we’re all noticed her and vice versa.
Julie Bulitt 27:41
Yeah. And I think we also still flirt with each other.
David Bulitt 27:44
Julie Bulitt 27:45
And that’s what I think keeps you know, seek sort of keeps it
David Bulitt 27:48
I did it right before we got on with you. She said no.
Julie Bulitt 27:51
That wasn’t flirting. Yeah, that was flirting in a different way. But it Yeah, I mean, I think that we just we work hard at noticing each other. And we work hard. We also will have conversations about you know, open conversations about things that you want to do or you want to try or you know, whatever it whatever it looks like. So, you know, intimacy in the bedroom. But also, we were intimate in conversation as well.
David Bulitt 28:19
You know, we haven’t done what a lot of what what I have seen a lot of folks do. And you know, when people come to my office, they’ve been married for 20 or 30 years, whatever it is, oftentimes, and they’re unhappy, but they’re not not angry at the person they’re married to. They don’t dislike that person, they just over time have grown apart, and why have they grown apart because of all the other things in life that get in the way? Right? So I call it this malaise creep. You know, you do all your stuff, the kids go to soccer, we got to do this, I’m working, she’s working, gotta go here. Gotta go there. And then one day, right, it’s quiet in the kitchen. And you look across the table. And if you haven’t maintained that intimacy, work to your consistently maintain that intimacy, it’s not there anymore. And so so so we, and I recognize that from a professional perspective, frankly, and have really been sensitive to that and and Julie’s right. It’s not just not just not just from a sexual perspective, but intimacy in terms of how we connect and how we communicate and what we do together. And when we do it, if I gotta go run out and take the dog out, she got 10 minutes to outcome with you. And that’s a piece of intimacy that we have worked very hard to maintain.
Kimberly Hoffman 29:37
Sure, and seasons change. You know, I appreciate you acknowledging that over the years you are in a different season. However, maintaining and prioritizing the intimacy part of it is so important. It doesn’t matter what stage of life you’re in. We have to make each other a priority.
Matthew Hoffman 29:57
Kimberly Hoffman 29:59
So, I’m curious, do you know each other’s love language? We’ve talked a lot about intimacy. And I think it’s really important that that kind of goes hand in hand with intimacy that we know what our partner’s love languages. So David, do you know what Julie’s is?
David Bulitt 30:17
Yeah, acts of service, no question about it. And, and so she likes when I do things, either that she doesn’t expect me to do or that she needs me to do you know, whether the other day I ran up to UPS and waited in line god knows how long to get this package from Amazon that you know, things that you know, acts of surfing cleanup through the dishwasher. I’m not very good at handyman sort of things, but I can lift pretty much anything you need lifted, I can move anything, and I can do and I’m great at the laundry. So, so definitely, it’s acts of service for her. There’s no question about it for me. She knows mine, too.
Julie Bulitt 30:54
Yeah. Yeah. So so he likes, compliments, affirmations and touch for him, you know, he really likes if you go by and touch his shoulder, you know, or say, you look great today. Or, you know, look, I told him, he looked cute yesterday, or he really liked that. But you know, we do have different love languages, but we’re always trying to, you know, remember what the other ones love languages. Because for me, like, I will make, you know, I’ll make dinner or like, you know, pack up some food for him to take and that to me, I’m like, I’m showing you I love you. But then I have to remember, oh, no, no, that’s my love language.
David Bulitt 31:35
There’s, there’s a chapter in our first book, I guess I can say this on your podcast, it’s the captions, I don’t give a shit about the dry cleaning. So the dance well, you know, Julie thought, well, I took your I got your dry cleaning. Like, I don’t care that whether you took my dry cleaning, or pick my truck, you know, come on over here sit on my lap. And, you know, tell me how they how good I love it or something like, something like that. So she said, that’s what happens, we start talking about these love languages, which, which is a brilliant book, as we all know. And which is why it sold 20 plus million copies. But when people start start to apply their own love language to their partner, without understanding that the partner’s love language is different. And we, you know, and so it’s hard to do that, right? Because you want to do something that feels good feels good to you, because you assume it’s going to feel good to her. But in fact, it doesn’t, it doesn’t feel the same, because that’s what’s on top of our sort of priority kind of list.
Kimberly Hoffman 32:31
And, Julie, you alluded earlier to the fact that a lot of the touchy feely behavior demonstrated openly sort of really showing love was difficult, a little bit difficult for you, because it was not modeled to you from your mom. And so how did you overcome that? I’m still working on it.
Julie Bulitt 32:56
Yeah, no, you know what, it doesn’t come naturally? Like, I mean, I’m, you know, I’m well into my 50s During the other number. And, yeah, I have to work on it. Honestly, like, it just doesn’t come you know, it’s not natural to me. So it’s, it’s really a work in progress.
David Bulitt 33:16
Yeah and we have a daughter who’s 25 years old, who has the same very similar ish relationship, and apparently, isn’t showing as much, you know,
Julie Bulitt 33:26
David Bulitt 33:26
Or affection as one might think she would.
Julie Bulitt 33:29
Yeah, yeah. So I said, well, first of all, you come by this naturally, we’re on the third generation of, you know, fish of cool fish slash stoic women, however, you want to look at it, right? And so yeah, but you and I, and I told her, I said, first we’re going to talk about it, you know, you’ve got to explain to your partner, that this isn’t really about him, this is about you, and that he shouldn’t take it personally, that you’re not all that, you know, affectionate or demonstrative. But you also have to take ownership for it and work on it and say, hey, you know, this is important to you. So, I’m going to when you pass by, you know, touch you on the shoulder, or, you know, pat you on the head, or whatever it is.
Matthew Hoffman 34:12
Sure. So I have an interesting question for you all, and I haven’t done this before. But I would love for each of you to think you’re each in careers, where you deal with people who have got a lot of issues, or they come to you and they want you to solve their problems, or you want to help them solve their problems, right? I’d like to know from each of you what is the most common or recurring issue you deal with? Like, if you can say, oh, my gosh, this is what I hear about most. Bring it back to the relationship side. And then in your mind, what do you think the antidote to that problem is or should be?
David Bulitt 34:47
So I’ll go first, right, because I get asked this question all the time. Yeah, I’ve been doing divorce work for 37 years, and represented and seen, I don’t know how many 1000s of people in my office, right. And everybody asks the same question, why do people break up? You know, what’s the hardest thing in a relationship? Is it cheating? Is it money? Is it finances? Is it kids, whatever it may be? And the answer is very much what what we just talked about a few minutes ago? The answer is the lack of communication on your three C’s a lack of connection, and the lack of the lack of maintaining those things on a consistent basis. Because there are certainly there’s many relationships that break up because because someone has strained there’s many relationships that that break up, because financial reasons or differences over parenting, and various other things. But the most common thread in my office has been this just kind of losing sight of what you can’t lose sight of if you want your relationship to succeed. And that’s, that’s really it. Can be pushed off, can all be mixed in. But that is all often is there.
Matthew Hoffman 36:01
Would it be fair, and I wanted before I want to do want to hear from you, Julie Bell want to say, David, would you be would it be fair to say that it’s a prioritization issue, that they fail to prioritize their spouse above whatever else, is there?
David Bulitt 36:21
Yes, and it’s, and here’s the thing, Matt, it’s not often purpose. In fact, most the time, it’s not purposeful, right? It’s not purposeful. I didn’t ignore you today, because I wanted to ignore you. I ignored you because I had to be at work at six, I had to get the kids to soccer by three, I had a phone conference at eight, I had to eat, the dog needs to be walked and then I’m exhausted. But I didn’t do it on purpose. That’s why I call it’s like this malaise that kind of creeps into a relationship. So, you’re 100%, right is, is it’s prioritizing, but you have to you have to have that little, you know, that little ding in your head every day that I got to do it. And that’s what most of us don’t have most of us.
Kimberly Hoffman 37:05
Yeah, got to make time for it.
Matthew Hoffman 37:07
Sure. Go ahead Julie, I cut you off, right, when you were about
Julie Bulitt 37:14
Oh, it’s fine. And I have like 16 things that are going through my head when you know, when you asked me, What do I see in my office between couples? And I really do think, you know, communication is definitely it. I also think not feeling heard, or seen or understood is a big issue that people have. And I do a lot of work around, you know, what can you do? So you know, to communicate differently with your partner so that they can, you know, see you and hear you and acknowledge you and then vice versa. What what do you need to do? To see your partner to let them know that yeah, you may not agree with what you know, they’re thinking or the way that they’re doing something, but you can at least understand it. And I think a lot of life is perspective taking. And I think that, you know, we work with a ton of couples on on this issue. When we do our we do some couples coaching and really trying to get, you know, if you sit with somebody and you take the time to understand why they did something or why they didn’t do something, it will make sense. Right? So then it becomes something around, okay, I wouldn’t have done it that way. But I respect that I understand it, it makes sense to me. And I think that if you take the time and do the communication, that that really helps the relationship. And, you know, I talked about lots of times about assuming good intentions, and a lot of times we we assume negative intentions of all and specifically our partners, and how destructive that is in relationship to assume somebody did something on purpose or to hurt you or to make you pissed off.
Kimberly Hoffman 39:01
Wow, this has been a lot of great discussion and information. Is there anything that we have not asked you that you feel we should have or that you would like to discuss? While we have both of you here today?
David Bulitt 39:20
Well, I think what’s interesting about what you guys do we do is that we we do a lot of the same things, but we come at it from different places, obviously we have our own, we have our own way of of of communicating as to you and I’ve looked at a lot of your stuff online and so forth. And I think that that the need is out there when people need help. And people need to understand they’re not the only ones right that are struggling. There’s lots and lots of relationships that are struggling that don’t need to fail. And it’s sometimes it’s just a little and you guys know that sometimes just taking a screw and turn it just some just a little bit other times could be lots of screws. But sometimes it’s true It’s just a little bit of a
Julie Bulitt 40:01
David Bulitt 40:02
Let’s try this. Let’s move here. Let’s try that kind of a thing. And I think that that you guys are doing a great job clearly with the folks that you work with. And we’re just, you know, we’re thrilled to have been able to take the time and talk with you.
Julie Bulitt 40:15
Yeah. And I mean, I just, you know, we talk about relationships being hard work. And if you think that they’re not, you’re going to be even, you’re going to be set up for failure, because their hard work, and you gotta keep on working on it, we, you know, almost 37 years, and as you heard from many of our answers, we’re still working on it, we still don’t have it, right? We, you know, we might be a little bit better in some areas, but we’re still it’s a constant, you know, it’s constant work.
Matthew Hoffman 40:46
Kimberly Hoffman 40:47
we’re all a work in progress. And we’re all gonna fall short, day after day. Like we said, You’re gonna step in it, but it’s how we handle it and how we approach it. And I think so many couples don’t have the tools in their toolkit to do that. They don’t spend in time reaching, enriching their marriage, and there’s, there’s just so many things. We’re out there that we’re trying to teach people that you can do, just like you said, David, those little tweaks make such a world of difference in your relationship. It gets you back on track.
David Bulitt 41:20
Matthew Hoffman 41:21
So where can people reach you if they’d like to learn more about you and what you’re doing? What’s the best place for people to go? We have a website, www.thebulitts.com. Our first book, the five core conversations for couples came out on Valentine’s Day 2020. And our second book, Secrets of strong couples is due to be on the bookshelves on July 11 711. So we’ll give out free Slurpees
Julie Bulitt 41:50
Matthew Hoffman 41:51
So you’re, we’re all sort of all on all of the social media channels on Instagram, on Facebook, on YouTube on Tik Tok and LinkedIn, @thebulitts
Julie Bulitt 42:03
Yeah, the bulitts.
Matthew Hoffman 42:05
Beautiful. What are you guys have been great. Thanks for opening up and being transparent with us today. We look forward to sharing the pearls with our audience. And I know that we’ll be our paths will be crossing again soon.
David Bulitt 42:17
Sounds awesome. We look forward to it.
Julie Bulitt 42:18
Thank you guys for having us. It was great chatting with you.
Kimberly Hoffman 42:21
Matthew Hoffman 42:22