Skip to main content
Kickass Couples Podcast

How To Establish A Loving Bond Ep: 68 – Marie-Claire & Nick Cates

By September 14, 2022No Comments


How To Establish A Loving Bond – Ep. 68 – Nick & Marie-Clair…

Mon, 9/12 10:34PM • 50:11


marie, relationship, nick, appreciation, life, feel, kickass, claire, learning, married, marriage, communication, couples, commitment, pillars, conflict resolution, affection, expressed, important, love


Kimberly Hoffman, Marie-Claire, Matthew Hoffman, Nick Cates


Matthew Hoffman  00:02

Welcome to the Kickass Couples Podcast. This is the place where we help committed couples who wants to level up their marriage experience newfound clarity, hope and confidence. We’re Matthew and Kim, co-hosts and husband and wife.


Kimberly Hoffman  00:16

In 26 years together, we’ve seen a lot and never thought it could be as good as it is right now. We’re here to help you successfully navigate the messy, dirty and wonderful world of marriage.


Matthew Hoffman  00:28

We believe all couples deserve and are capable of experiencing an extraordinary and fulfilling marriage. And each week we’re bringing you life lessons from real life successful couples to help you grow and strengthen your relationship.


Kimberly Hoffman  00:42

We’ll get started right after this message. If you want to learn how to experience the best, most fulfilling year of your marriage, we invite you to order Matthew’s new book, Kickass Husband: Winning at Life, Marriage and Sex. You can get it at or visit Matthews website, Again, that’s or  And now back to the show.


Matthew Hoffman  01:18

Welcome back to the Kickass Couples Podcast. In today’s episode, we are interviewing the shining duo Marie-Claire and Nick Cates, a dynamic passion driven couple who worked their way to becoming two incredibly successful entrepreneurs and one kick ass couple. As a teenager, Marie-Claire immigrated to the US from Haiti. She’s the founder and CEO of a multimillion dollar beauty business called Acne Experts Skincare located in Beverly Hills. She has become a sought after beauty and lifestyle expert on social media. Her proudest accomplishment was being able to provide her son with the support he needed for stability and life success. Marie has tackled fear and shame firsthand, learning to embrace challenges as stepping stones on the path to an amazing life with their true love, Nick Cates. Nick had a dream of becoming an NBA or NFL star. But his teachers identified and nurtured his unique penchant for writing where his love for storytelling grew and landed him at BT and PBS where his TV career started. He has had many successful production roles from the E Series celebrity homes, to developing specials for A&E, Style, Vibe TV and E! entertainment. Nick launched the real estate company Showpads and has had a production company called Minefield Productions. Nick continues to thrive as a realtor, real estate investor, developer and devoted husband.  We are so excited today to have a fantastic power couple from the West Coast. We got an East Coast West Coast connection going on the Kickass Couples Podcast today. That’s right, baby. Yeah, we got young and lovely Marie-Claire Cates and her dashing, I would say Prince right. What do you think he looks like a prince? Nick Cate’s on the on the line with us. Hey, welcome to the Kickass Couples Podcast. 


Nick Cates  03:20



Marie-Claire  03:20

Thank you for having us.


Matthew Hoffman  03:22

Our pleasure. We are glad you’re here. You know, it’s we get to interview some great people. And I know that we’ve had a brief introduction before today, but we always like to start off our podcast by asking what makes you a kick ass couple.


Nick Cates  03:39

Going in hard from the beginning.


Matthew Hoffman  03:41

Hey, go big or go home, baby.


Nick Cates  03:45

 Wow, wow. Do you have do you have uh, off the top of your head? Can you think of why?


Marie-Claire  03:50

I think because we have a lot of fun. Yeah, we’re weighty. We’re you know, we have a lot of fun. I think that makes us a kick ass couple. Our friends always say that you guys always having a lot of fun. So


Nick Cates  04:01

Yeah, you know, and maybe that has to do more with kind of energy. Right? So I think one of the things that that may be, you know, that may give us whatever it is it gives us is that we try to embody kind of a an attitude, a spirit of lightness of funness of just easy love, that there’s nothing serious going on here. We’re just two people trying to get through life in the most enjoyable way possible. 


Marie-Claire  04:30



Matthew Hoffman  04:31

I love that. That’s great. Well, fun and humor is one of our pillars it’s our 14th pillar. When we started Kickass Couples Podcast, we had 13. We interview people and they go where’s the fun? How come you don’t have fun? You got to play together. And we said, “oh man, we missed it.” So we added our 14th pillar and I love to hear that you got to keep it light. There’s enough seriousness in our life today. And if we’re not seeing the good and having fun, it makes it hard for sure.


Kimberly Hoffman  04:54

You know, I don’t know you well, but I’m looking forward to diving in and learning more but right away immediately just got great good vibe. So I know what people are saying when they say, You guys are fun that you like to have a good time. So I feel it.


Marie-Claire  05:11

Thank you. Yeah.


Kimberly Hoffman  05:13

Well, we are, you know, we talk a lot about in our podcast about our history. And we really believe that we’re a product of the people who raised us, I think that we bring a lot of what’s modeled to us into our relationships. And so Marie Claire, I’m just curious, what did love look like in your home when you were growing up? How was it expressed in your family?


Marie-Claire  05:40

Hmm, that’s a great question. So I grew up in Haiti, and my parents were quite conservative. So my, I met my dad when I was six years old, because when I was born, he had a stroke, and had to go away to get physical therapy. So, I physically met him at six years old. And my mother is just, I just got a she’s a tough lady. She’s the disciplinarian. And when I met my dad at six, he was just extremely loving and affectionate. But my parents never showed affection toward each other, because in my culture, if you are affectionate or you kiss, it feels like you’re teaching your children to be a little bit loose. So, I didn’t grow up watching my parents. They never held hands, they never kissed, they never, yeah, they just never held hands, none of that. But oddly enough, my father was the one who gave me a lot of affection. So, I can say, Love, to me looks like the love that my father gave me, which is extremely kind and tender. And just just easy, easy, easy. So, that’s how I would explain I how I saw it when I was growing up.


Kimberly Hoffman  07:02

How about you, Nick, how did love look like in your family? How is it expressed to you?


Nick Cates  07:09

Yeah, you know, it’s interesting, because I grew up in a very much kind of traditional, intact husband and wife, you know, two kids kind of a family in LA. But the thing that that actually, I think enhanced, the love that I grew up around, was that I also had my grand my, my paternal grand mother, and great grandmother, very close, they actually at some points lived in the house, and also lived on the same street and then also in the same neighborhood. And I say that to say that. Whereas my mother and father were great, you know, attentive parents, having that additional layer of unconditional kind of my grand grandmother, great grandmother love really kind of gave me a sense of safety and nurture. I think that was very important, because my dad was very much like, like, Marie’s mom was more of a disciplinarian. And my mother was very much kind of the more softer touch, the more like, willing to like whatever, which gave a great balance, I thought. And then on top of that, you had the maternal grandparents that were always very willing to just sacrifice anything for your happiness. So that was how it looks for me.


Kimberly Hoffman  08:32

And how about your parents? What did they model for you in their behavior


Nick Cates  08:38

In my parents behavior, when it comes to love, my father’s version of love was discipline and preparation for real life. So he would show he would be at times critical, or at times very much instructive, and was really one to kind of be a man’s man kind of a thing. So he brought that energy to the whole thing. And my mother was was much more nurturing, but in terms of their interaction together, like Marie, I didn’t see a lot of like, PDA or whatever. But I always got the sense that they were kind of in it together, and they divided up the roles of the household, and just kind of got through the day, There was just not a lot of hoopla around, you know, like, love and affection like that. It was just like, let’s just keep everything moving forward. Let’s take care. You take care of this, I’ll take care of that the kids are okay. You know, and they had their own social life, their own friends and extended family. So it was just kind of everything was just kind of like, you know, very steady.


Kimberly Hoffman  09:51

Sure. Sounds like you both



add in one thing. 


Kimberly Hoffman  09:54

Of course.


Marie-Claire  09:55

When we met, you know, I’ve known your dad, Nick’s dad passed away in December. But I had known him for eight years before that, your parents were affectionate, like you remember, they would like kiss in front of us and like, we’re going to our bedroom, and


Nick Cates  10:09

I’m gonna go I’m thinking more about like when I was a kid. 


Marie-Claire  10:12

When you were a kid, okay, yeah.


Nick Cates  10:14

 When I was coming up. 


Marie-Claire  10:15



Nick Cates  10:15

They were, you know? Yeah, I don’t recall that there was like, a lot to outward shows of affection. It was just togetherness. I guess their their way of showing affection was just that they were together. There wasn’t like a lot of tension. It was very, everything was just very kind of, you know, just alone. Yeah, just very smooth.


Kimberly Hoffman  10:40

Yeah, well, it sounds like you each came from very different backgrounds. So you brought different histories to your relationships. So as we keep asking questions, it’ll be curious to see how that plays out.


Nick Cates  10:54



Matthew Hoffman  10:54

So yeah, I want to ask kind of that synthesis. Because I, we’ve, I’ve gotten the pleasure of speaking with you all twice, once before today, and briefly in today. And I can feel I mean, it’s easy to look and I know Kim, and any of our viewers that are watching this interview, you can see the closeness you can see the love, you can see. So how you both came from you were loved and taken care of and things were expressed differently. But it seems like you all have a very affectionate relationship, yours closeness, and there’s touch and there’s that. How did you all take? How did you get there? How did you go from two backgrounds? Where that maybe wasn’t? As much of it? And how did you negotiate and work on what the two of, what your relationship was going to look like, in that in that area of love and affection.


Nick Cates  11:38

Well, I, I would definitely have to credit my wife for being being the, you know, the, the merchant of affection in our relationship, because that’s her, that’s her love language, right? Her love language is very much about physical touch, quality time and those things. And I tend to be model more of the steady, steady and stability part of the relationship on acts of service, right? So I tend to be more like doing things to show that I love you or whatever. But, you know, physical touch and words of affirmation all that aren’t as natural to me, you know, foundationally. But through our being together, I’ve learned how to express those things more and be more top of mind. And that’s really comes from the energy that she brought to the relationship. Sure,


Matthew Hoffman  12:36

I appreciate that. That’s, it’s nice to it’s fun to understand how you come from two very different or, or similar in your case, you know, ways and then what, what, what mix and what you come together and how you figure out. And it sounds like the two of you did a great job of understanding what your desires and your needs are, and leaning into that and learning from each other. So I think that’s, that’s a beautiful thing. 


Nick Cates  12:58



Matthew Hoffman  12:58

And it kind of leads naturally. We have the 14 pillars we’ve talked about and we have the three C’s, and the three C’s are kind of the most important ones are what we call the foundation. And that first C is commitment. So Nick, I’d love to hear from you first, maybe? How do you see commitment expressed in your relationship with Marie Claire?


Nick Cates  13:18

Yeah, you know, I think the thing that’s, that’s interesting about us is that we got married later in life, right? So we’ve had relationships beforehand, and we were both married. I was married, Marie was married. And those experiences I think, brought us to the point when we got together, because we had been through things that were really not, you know, they were not positive experiences. And so when we got together, I don’t think there was any expectation of one another about what we will become when we first you know, kind of the how we came together as kind of a long 20 year, you know, story, but when we got together before, just before we got married, I don’t think we came into it with expectations. But then once those expectations built.  We said, “hey, we’d like to be together.” We’d like to, for example, when we first started dating. Marie’s perspective was, I don’t want to be married, I’m happy to have a life partner, right? And so because she was very happy with the life she was living, without having all the pressure and all the whatever being in a relationship and having all the some of the downsides that go with that. Coming out of my marriage, I kind of always assumed that I would get married again. So I said to her, Well, I’m not really interested in the life partner thing, I’m dating in order to find a partner. And so I had in my mind that being in a relationship is about staking your claim on the person that you want to do this life with, and that requires, you know, to kind of go all in that be like halfway. And I don’t think honestly, Marie was even halfway in emotionally, I think she just was like, I’m happy. And I don’t have expectations about whatever needs to happen. I know that I’m good where I am right now. So if you can add to my life, great, you know, we can call when you want, but you know, I’m really going to be okay, either way. But then once I kind of put that stake in the ground to I’m willing to commit, even without asking for her hand in marriage, like, this is what I’m after. What did that what did that bring out in you?


Marie-Claire  15:39

Yeah, I remember us driving from we have gotten into a country music festival. And we were just driving back was a long drive. And we were talking about, you know, being married, and I said, you know, I really would be just fine. I want a life partner, I don’t want to be married. And in he surprised me. And he said, You know, I’m not dating just to date I want he said, I want to be responsible for you for someone. And if that’s you, that’s your job. And I was like those words I never forgot. He said, I want to feel responsible and support someone. And I never forgot that. So I looked at them in a different light. And, and then the more we dated, and I got to know, Nick is he’s just as outstanding. I mean, I won the prize, pretty much. So that was easy. That was easy to let that idea go have to let go of the life partner. And you know, because he’s definitely quality husband material. 


Kimberly Hoffman  16:48



Marie-Claire  16:49



Kimberly Hoffman  16:49

And I appreciate that you’re 


Nick Cates  16:50

And just to  kind of maybe get more to the point about commitment and what that looks like, because I know that you want to kind of synthesize that, I think that commitment to me really has to do with more. So because I’m a guy, at the end of the day, I’m a guy, I’m moved by the things that guys are moved by your eyes, your whatever, like all those things. Those things are, you have to recognize that and then you have to figure out what you want to do. So commitment has to do with saying, really forsaking all others, right? That’s the first step of commitment, you know, but then, if you forsake all others, and you want to be happy in my my commitment goes to another level, which means that you have to be committed to understanding what moves and motivates your partner, because you can take the first step of saying forsaking all others, but there’s so many other layers below that, that have to also be committed to, in order to have a relationship that is going to be viable. So there’s like the affection part, right? Okay. So Nick, you got to get comfortable with being more effective. Being responsible for some binding means like when she’s when she’s having a day, you know, and it’s her turn to get all the attention and whatever, you got to be committed to that when you have to like, whatever all those different things are. That’s what commitment means to me that 


Matthew Hoffman  18:13



Nick Cates  18:14

Attributes to all those layers.


Matthew Hoffman  18:15

 Yeah, you walked it through great.  You walked it through great, and I’m not gonna respond, because I didn’t know if Marie-Claire wanted to add anything. And I don’t want to steal any of that


Marie-Claire  18:22

I don’t.


Matthew Hoffman  18:23

That loving thunder.


Marie-Claire  18:24

I, I agree with everything you said, and commitment to me. And I’ll add another layer, which you’re just you just mentioned is, I put Nick’s happiness matters a lot to me. And so commitment to me is respect and happiness. And I know, respect is really big on his list. So when we met, I talked, we talked about what is important to you your values, and he said, I want to be respected. And he didn’t have to say it twice. I respect my husband, I don’t, I we’ve never had a fight where I call him out of his name, we’re because I know it’s important to him. And I make it important to me, so his happiness, and just you know, respecting you is really big. So that’s all I think about is,


Matthew Hoffman  19:12



Marie-Claire  19:13

 Are those things.


Matthew Hoffman  19:14

Two great examples.


Kimberly Hoffman  19:15

I appreciate all these conversations that you had prior to getting married, because I believe in, you know, not enough couples do that. And they just jump right in, and then they start asking questions afterward. And sometimes they find out things that they don’t really want to know or hear. So, I think these conversations before we get married are so important. All these deep dives into, you know, how you feel, what moves you, what motivates you, all of those things are really important.


Matthew Hoffman  19:46

Great answers. Thank you 


Kimberly Hoffman  19:47



Matthew Hoffman  19:47



Kimberly Hoffman  19:48

So the second of our three C’s is communication. And that’s a big one. How we communicate with each other, when we make time to communicate with each other. And I am curious, I’m going to start Start with you, Marie-Claire.  Tell me a little bit about what communication looks like in your relationship and how you communicate with each other.


Marie-Claire  20:09

Yes, we communicate a lot. So, if and then there’s an understanding. So when, what and then also, too, when I talk, Nick listens, he’s an amazing listener, because of him, I’m actually a better communicator. So it’s, it’s touch, it’s affection it’s expressing what I like when he does them, I and also to when, when something’s not going, right, we talk about it. So and it feels easy. It feels like I can come and talk to Nick about anything. And it’s respectful. It is. It’s intentional, as well. So I am not going to be in a space of anger and anything like that. Well, we’ve never had really a lot of anger. And talk to him. So yeah, 


Nick Cates  21:02



Marie-Claire  21:02

It’s, um, it feels open. You know, it feels open. I can I feel very safe and supported. I can talk to him about anything like, like, Nick is my best friend.


Kimberly Hoffman  21:16

Having that safety and security surrounding communication is huge. Being able to be vulnerable, vulnerable with your partner


Marie-Claire  21:22



Kimberly Hoffman  21:23



Marie-Claire  21:23



Kimberly Hoffman  21:24



Marie-Claire  21:25

Yes. And we have very long talk, like we can talk about anything, and we’ll go to bed and it will be two o’clock in the morning we;re still talking. So that’s one of the things we like to do a lot.


Nick Cates  21:37



Kimberly Hoffman  21:37

That’s beautiful.


Marie-Claire  21:39



Nick Cates  21:39

Yeah, I, if there’s anything I would add, it’s just that. You know, we’ve been we’ve had this, we’ve had if you ever turned it back right? So you know, what it feels like to not be heard, you know, what it feels like to be in. Really, that issue of not being heard is really, I think, or wanting to be heard as the key to communication, right? You listen with the intent of understanding, not with the intent of speaking your next words, right? A lot of times people are listening in there, what they’re really listening to is all the things that they want to say, without first acknowledging what the other person wants to say, you know, and so I think we’ve gotten better at that over time, you know, and we’re still still working on it. But I know when I speak, you know, I feel much better about the Marie’s intention on hearing me. And I want her to feel like when she speaks that, you know, and it’s doesn’t have to be in a conflict way, but just say, hey, here’s what happened to me today, blah, blah, blah, because I could have the intention of saying, you know, oh, well, before you finish on what happened with you today, here’s what happened with me today. Or, you know, you just have to kind of create the spaces right?  If she’s speaking, I create a space where, where she feels like what she said landed.  I want to feel the same way when I speak she’s creating a space where what I say lands, and then we both feel fulfilled in that communication. 


Matthew Hoffman  23:08



Kimberly Hoffman  23:08

True active listening is a lifelong process, I believe.


Matthew Hoffman  23:13

It is, it is  When it comes to creating a kick ass marriage. Do you ever wonder what you could be doing better? Have you ever thought how helpful would be to be a part of a like minded community of other imperfect couples who want to level up and their number one relationship? Come visit Kickass Couples Nation, where you can talk with people just like you who are looking for ways to invest in and increase their joy, commitment, and fulfillment in their most important human relationship. You’ll have access to a team of licensed marriage therapists, coaches, articles, podcasts, live webinars and more. Just visit “” So you can learn more about a community that’s ready to help you level up. That’s Matthew P So you can become of the growing Kickass Couples Nation right now.  It’s funny, we have a webinar coming up this week on KCN. And we’re talking about our communication pillar, but really, we’re talking about listening skills. And I think a lot of people think communication is what comes out of the hole with the teeth, as opposed to you know, that listening and I think you nailed it, Nick, you know, understanding. Everybody wants to feel all of our greatest desire, and really need is we want to feel understood, because if people understand us, then they’re validating, yes, we get you, I hear you, I’m listening, I feel you, as opposed to what you’re saying. If I’m just thinking, I’m not paying attention to the context of you, but I get to speak now. Right? And you know, that’s, that’s a throw away for your partner, for your spouse and the fact that you’re aware of that and you’re each working to meet that need, and find understanding because, and it’s critical because understanding is a great segue into our third pillar, which is conflict resolution. And you know, anybody who says oh, we never fight about everything, it’s always rainbows and sunshine, you know, I think they haven’t either been married very long or maybe I don’t know, and they’re not living with the person they call their spouse. I don’t know. But so conflict resolution is something you know, and understanding’s part of that huge. We’ll get into that in a minute. But, Nick, when you think about conflict resolution, what does that look like in your relationship with Marie-Claire, when there is a disagreement, or you’re coming from right field, and she’s coming from left. How do you guys work through those issues together?


Nick Cates  25:29

Yeah, it kind of builds on and I guess that’s why it’s third is about communication style, right. And I think that what it looks like for me and Marie, is that we’ve learned to communicate kind of first, because if I’m, if we’re, if we’re honest, which is reason why we’re here, like Marie’s communication style with me, she called me her best friend, right? So with her best friend and her family members over time, they would basically talk all over each other, and they would be like, you know, finishing each other’s sentences, and blah, blah, it’s like, I’m like that I need, I need you to not get ahead of the story. Don’t Don’t, don’t try and anticipate what I’m gonna say, like, I’m gonna say it, and then you have the chance, and it’s gonna be more fulfilling for you. And I don’t feel cut off and I don’t feel, you know, like, up ended or, or you’re saying the wrong thing? Like, no, we took a left turn not a right turn, right? So so I’m saying that because that was just basic communication about like, you know, I want to just have the fulfilment of telling my story, and then I’ll let you tell your story, right. And so when it comes to communication, once we were I mean, conflict resolution, once we had a better grip of how to communicate so that we both felt good about it. And I think Marie, you have an aha moment about that right?


Marie-Claire  26:50

I did. I did. Because he would say, do you notice you’re trying to finish the story, because that’s what I did. Like, my mother did it, I do it with all my girlfriends. So you know, you’re sitting, you’re like, oh, and then you whatever. And then, you no, so continue with the story. And I used to do that a lot, a lot. And then once he made me aware of it, I realized I was doing it with my customers, with my work. I was like, oh my god, I’m not a great listener, because I’m just trying to, to just make you feel better by just anticipating what you’re gonna say so that we’re like, oh, see, I understand you, but that’s not really great communication. So in the beginning, we would talk about that. So now when we have to talk about something like I’ll give an example, because I think we have a lot of respect for each other. So if there’s something whenever something is happening, when nipping in the bud, like immediately, so for example, the other day, we’re on our way out to dinner, and you were looking for your glasses, and his glasses were, you know, I organize. I’m the organizer around my house. Well, I knew exactly where they were, because maybe we’ll just tick them off. They’re all over the place so, he’s just looking. So I went to where it’s supposed to be. And I just took it out. And I just showed it to him and I was like these? But the way I showed it to him was like these? Like, you’re always like, you know, you’re not organized? And he said, “Will you just not give it to me like that?” “I’m like, it’s okay, honey. Let’s go to dinner.” And he said, No, there’s something I want to say. So I closed the door. And I turned around, and I looked at him. And he said, “This is important to me that if I’m looking for something, and you offer assistance, and you find it, that it feels safe for me to ask for help.” And I was like, “Oh, that is a big.” I was like, “Babe, you’re absolutely right.” He said, because just think if you keep doing that, I’m never going to ask you for help, because then it’s you’re just going to make it seem like see, I always find things like you’re not organized enough. And I got it. I totally got it. And then I was like, Oh, you’re absolutely right. I’m so sorry. And then we went to dinner and had a great time. And it didn’t turn into a oh, you know, I didn’t because from the foundation of I always want to listen to him. He wants to be heard. And I respect him. I respect his opinion. And his happiness is very important to me, so I think that helps.


Kimberly Hoffman  29:20

And what he said to you make sense.


Marie-Claire  29:23

It did. 


Kimberly Hoffman  29:23

That you understood why he it was making him feel the way he did, that’s key.


Marie-Claire  29:29



Kimberly Hoffman  29:30

That’s key right there. That’s what makes all the difference.


Nick Cates  29:33

 It’s a practice because we’ve had that conversation, you know, more than once and


Marie-Claire  29:36

Yeah. Totally.


Nick Cates  29:36

 I think, you know, I think that there are certain I said like I’m a guy right? And Maria is very much I’m using this as a as a like an archetype not that everyone fit full full, fulfill this role, but I tend to be more a kind of a guy guy and Maria’s very much a girl girl if we can just use that term just for for convenience, right? So, you know her her position, often I feel energetically is that I’m a woman I know better, right? At the end of the day, like, I’ve got intuition, I’ve got like, I get it before, before you put your feet hit the floor and you get out of bed and put your pants on, I’ve always done laps around the around the block, like, from her mind, I get the sense that, that she feels like she knows best, right? And that’s not a bad thing, because in many ways she does. And whether that’s true or not, when when it comes down to communicate, communicating and resolving conflict, you’d have to put that down, you have to  be available for something that you don’t know, some aspect that you’re not aware of. And in our day to day life, we constantly are helping one another out, she’ll come to me actively, or either passively and need help with whatever. And when I give her help, that’s that, there’s no I don’t need a round of applause. I don’t need validation. And maybe that’s why you’re you’re willing to because I don’t really require it. I That’s I am enjoying the fact that getting the thing done. Also, when I receive help, I don’t need that look like. Like, like, it’s just gotta be like, Yeah, okay, that’s why you’re here, because it helps me when I need help ya know? Yeah, that’s kind of it. That’s kind of thing. It’s got to be a win win. And to go back  to the conflict resolution, I think that’s the perspective


Marie-Claire  31:29

Yeah. Yeah.


Nick Cates  31:32

 That we come to with like, I can’t win, and you lose, and you can’t win if I lose in a conflict resolution, right? It’s gotta be a win win. We both walk away feeling like, okay, yeah, at least we have understanding for one another. We may not agree on what the whatever it is. But I get why you feel that way. You get why I feel that way. And we’ll figure out what the ultimate will be.


Matthew Hoffman  31:57

Yeah. you impact so many great things there Nick, I want to make sure we cover a couple. One of them is that just because I disagree, or have a different opinion, has nothing to do with whether I like you or love you or not. It just means it’s your perception, how you arrive. Everybody arrives at different things. And I love the idea. We say all the time, before you’re married, it’s I and you right? When you’re married, it’s us. And if a decision wins for the US, it’s the right decision. If it’s win, win, if it’s win lose, that is not right for us, because it’s not about gaining somebody gaining and somebody being disadvantaged. And, and we all both of us, you know, both partners in the relationship have to be willing to make that sacrifice. And it sounds like you all have arrived at a point where you are working to make sure A it’s win, win, you’re giving each other what you need. And then in that conflict when conflict arises, or for whatever reason, there could be a million reasons you’re looking to understand and and then understanding is what keeps you smiling and keeps you happy. So MC, you gave a great example about the glasses, you know, and your willingness to say, “Hey, babe, I’m sorry. You’re right.” And you’re when you nip things in the bud, they don’t fester, they don’t turn into something else. They’re quick, they’re done. And you move on, which is 


Marie-Claire  33:18



Matthew Hoffman  33:18

a great lesson.


Kimberly Hoffman  33:19

Well, in addition to our three C’s, we have 11 other pillars that we believe play a huge role in a successful relationship. So Nick, I want to ask you, first of the 11 pillars, and I believe you have a list in front of you. Is there another one of those pillars? And we’ll just we’ll pick out one for now. That really resonates to you that really speaks to you. One that’s important to you.


Nick Cates  33:49

Yeah, well, full disclosure. Marie and I had a conversation, a brief conversation about this before and she said “Don’t steal the one that I want to choose.”


Kimberly Hoffman  33:57

Right? I get my own.


Nick Cates  33:58

Don’t steal it. 


Matthew Hoffman  34:00

No me too. 


Nick Cates  34:04

And she told me that it was appreciation. And I was like, You know what


Marie-Claire  34:08

 It’s mine too.


Nick Cates  34:09

I want to do apprecation too, but I’m gonna say something different, I’m sure than what you’re gonna say. Right? 


Marie-Claire  34:15

So you go.


Nick Cates  34:16

So I’ve just, I’ve tried to feel like I like I tend to be like, I just go on and on but I’m gonna try. 


Marie-Claire  34:22

You’re doing good.


Nick Cates  34:23

But by saying this that appreciation to me, it looks a lot like what we talked about with conflict resolution, right? The appreciation meet feels a lot like the conflict resolution part where as I said, we’re too we’re learning our ways about how to be a better couple every day and we’re doing the work that it takes. But you know, in life, you know, you stumble, you say the wrong thing. You do the wrong thing. You you feel like you have a solution or whatever. Like for example, I may try and surprise her with something that I’ll give you great example, I’ll give you a great example. And this is all about appreciation, I’m sorry, I tend to go on and on and on. Here’s, here’s what it is. You see your relationship, not for what the most recent thing that happened was, whether that was a good thing or a bad thing. You see your relationship in light of the whole arc of the relationship of what you know about the person, and you decided to be in this relationship, because your assessment of that person is that you are a wonderful, unique individual that brings value to my life. So on any individual episode, it doesn’t necessarily, you know, add too much, nor take too much away, because you already decided based on that person’s, you know, being who they are being that you value them. So the example I’ll give is that I took Marie for her birthday on a trip. And, you know, the first surprise of the trip was great. The second surprise, that ship of great was great. The third surprise of the trip, which was a place where I booked for us to stay. She did not like it at all. She’s like, you know, like this, this place does not, I don’t like this place, right? 


Marie-Claire  34:44

But I said it nicely.


Nick Cates  35:20

 No, no, no, I’m giving your energy, right? And now, we get there 


Marie-Claire  35:44



Nick Cates  36:08

 She’s sitting there, we’re looking around, blah, blah, blah. And it was clear that something was wrong, because she had been on such a high most of the most of the trip. And then this part, she’s like, not there. And so I said, Is there something wrong or whatever? And she basically said, “You know what, I don’t like it here. I don’t I don’t want to stay here.” Right? But rather than making me feel like, like, I messed up, which, I guess in a certain way I had. She’s like, you know, me, and you know, where we’re with this is? Did you really think that I would be okay with this? And I was like, “Yeah, I did.” But you know whatever. So the bottom line is she rather than making it and issue, she showed appreciation,  she said, You know what, we’ve had such a great time that I’m going to take over from here, I’m gonna book the place that I feel good about that you feel good about. And then we’ll go there. And we’ll enjoy that. And to me, it wasn’t so much about the money. It wasn’t so much about, you know, whatever it was about how she said, Nick, I see you, I know you love me, I know that you put a lot of effort into everything that we’re doing here, whatever. I want to show you that I appreciate you by doing this thing. And that’s the character that that’s the character that makes her so precious to me that she’s able to see it all. You don’t see like, “Okay, you did this, this, this, this and this good. And he did that, and it wipes everything out.” Right? That’s true appreciation. True appreciation is when you can see all the great. And then when something doesn’t quite match up. It doesn’t erase all that because I’ve had that before. I’ve been in relationships where it’s just like, your last thing is the only thing that can be seen. And if that was good, then you’re good. If that’s bad, then you’re bad. Appreciation means that I see you in the totality of who you are. And if I love you because of who you are. You have great latitude to like, okay, maybe you missed the mark a little bit here. There. I still love you. I still appreciate you, you have not been diminished. And that’s, that’s more precious to me baby and you are great at that.


Kimberly Hoffman  38:37

I love I that’s so awesome. 


Nick Cates  38:40

Epic six minute. 


Matthew Hoffman  38:41

No, you did it beautifully. You brought it home, brought it home. Ding ding, ding, ding ding. I mean, that’s like, that’s like the weight hit the top of the bell on that swing. 


Kimberly Hoffman  38:51

It’s nice to hear the example too. It’s great


Matthew Hoffman  38:53



Marie-Claire  38:54



Kimberly Hoffman  38:54

 For our listeners to be able to, you know, actually have something that they can hear as an example of what appreciation looks like and what it feels like. How about you, Marie? I know Marie-Claire has the same exact pillar, which is appreciation, but I bet we’re going to hear something a little different.


Marie-Claire  39:14

Yeah. Appreciation. It’s actually my, my default. I feel like it’s innate. So I have an appreciation for life in general. I’m most likely wake up on the right side of the bed because as soon as I get up, I thank God for another day. I learned to appreciate. I appreciate everything around me everything. I don’t take nothing for granted. Even the challenges. So appreciation in my relationship is really because I appreciate everything so much. And I feel so blessed, you know to live this amazing life that it just overflows into  Nick, so I appreciate him by just the things I do, the things I say to him, we compliment each other all the time, like last night. You were you were going somewhere one of these nights like he he wore, so I was  like, Oh my God, where are you going? You look so nice. Oh my, where are you going? So I do that to him and he does the same to me. So if I’m going out and I look nice, Nick will get off the sofa and start clapping. It’s like Mrs. Cates in 8 years he, he still done that. So I do the things that he likes. So appreciation, like even down to my nail color. And I know there’s a certain nail polish that he likes. But when I see the smile, when I come home he’s like, “oh, I love this nail polish color.” But I do the same thing for him. We I appreciate him, I by the words that I say to you,  how I talk to you, how we communicate, how I feed him how I mean, I show him a ton a ton of appreciation. It’s because I appreciate everything else around me. My friends, my family, my life. I feel so blessed. And it’s just, you know, at this point, it’s a natural default. Like it’s


Matthew Hoffman  41:18



Marie-Claire  41:18

 Pretty, it’s hard that I have like a tough day or, you know, I’m feeling some some type of way, because the first thing I do in the morning is appreciation. This is what I show, I wake up in appreciation. So I feel like it’s just the energy just radiates all around.


Matthew Hoffman  41:37

I love that. And I mean, another word that goes along with it is gratitude. Right? You’re, you’re recognizing the good in your life. And you’re 


Marie-Claire  41:44



Matthew Hoffman  41:44

Not just from Nick but from everybody else. And you’re appreciating it through everything you do. That’s living gratitude. And that, you know, that flows so naturally Marie-Claire over into. Kim and I have a concept that we’d like to talk about called overflow thinking. And so I’d love to hear and Nick, if you’d start maybe in your relationship with Marie-Claire with MC sit next year that that that diva, how does the goodness of your relationship, which seems abundant. How does it overflow into other areas of your life? Because there’s so much good there? How does it spill out and show up in other areas?


Nick Cates  42:20

Yeah, that’s, that’s, I think that’s one of the thing that I’m most grateful for in our relationship is that, excuse me. I feel like I’ve had a frog in my throat the whole time.  But anyway, one of the things I’m most grateful for in our relationship is how Marie has impacted my life and made it better in the sense that, again, I tend to be a very, like, you do the work to get the thing kind of a person, right? that’s how I have been that the success that I’ve had in life has come from the work that I put into it. Marie is very much a spirit, you know, feeling led person. And so in having respect for her and seeing how that has affected her life, I’ve been inclined and really appreciate it, how I’m able to take on those things and really start a practice that I think has now amplified to your to your question about overflow thinking amplified our power together. So as opposed to us being you know, we were complimentary of one another like what I what I have has been helpful to her in terms of just like just get it done. And what she’s had it’s been greatly important to me in terms of like it always doesn’t take hard work sometimes it comes from just being, comes from being still, comes from being whatever and raising your vibration, raising your energy, raising those things and availing myself to teachings that that that are on that same level. I think it’s created an energy between us you know, where we are complement we’re both individuals in a way but our energy is complimentary and now it impacts my business better I think it impacts her business better impacts how we affect other people where when we’re have the opportunity to be you know, connected to folks and so I think it’s really been that’s that’s the biggest difference that I’ve noticed.


Marie-Claire  42:37



Matthew Hoffman  44:37

Right. How about a few Marie Claire, what would you say 


Marie-Claire  44:40



Matthew Hoffman  44:40

How do you see the goodness of your relationship overflow into other parts of your life?


Marie-Claire  44:44

Yes, I there’s there’s so much more ease. I always say that when I met Nick, I already had a pretty good life. And now my life is like it’s I feel so blessed. And I could just can be I can really totally literally be because when you’re happy, you don’t even have to say you’re happy people see it, it radiates the way I walk, the way I leave the house, the way I conduct myself when I’m outside, because there is so much goodness coming from our relationship that, you know, it’s like, I’m better equipped to run my business. I am a pretty busy woman, you know, I run three businesses. But you know, that support that you get, it’s like you’re equipped to just take on the world to look at your marketing and talk to people and do all these things. So I just feel very supported. And then in turn, people around me just feel supported as well. You know what I mean? Yeah. Yeah. 


Matthew Hoffman  45:48

That’s great.


Nick Cates  45:48

I think. I think it’s been overflow is a real good,


Marie-Claire  45:53

It’s yeah. It’s pouring out of our pores. Yeah. Yeah. 


Matthew Hoffman  45:58

Love it. Great example 


Marie-Claire  45:59



Matthew Hoffman  45:59

From both of you.


Kimberly Hoffman  46:01

Well, I have a fun question to ask. And I’m going to ask you first Marie-Claire. 


Marie-Claire  46:05



Kimberly Hoffman  46:06

If you could go back to your unmarried self. And give yourself one piece of advice, knowing what you know, now, what would that advice be?


Marie-Claire  46:17

Marriage is the best thing in the world, when you marry your person, and that also, I’ll add to that too, and that you’re gonna be okay, no matter what, that you’re gonna be okay? And it’s gonna be okay. And that marriage is not so scary after all. And when you marry the right person, it is such a blessing. It is such a blessing.


Kimberly Hoffman  46:41

That’s beautiful. How about you? How about you, Nick? If you could go back and put your hands on your shoulders of your unmarried self? What would you say?


Nick Cates  46:51

Yeah, well, what Marie said pretty much says it all from a relationship standpoint. And what I would add, if anything else goes back to the last thing I said, is that, you know, what, it’s nothing terribly serious going on here. That’s a quote we get from, from 


Marie-Claire  47:12

one an author that would read our book.


Nick Cates  47:14

 we you take everything so seriously, and everything is about trying to, you know, make the next achievement, get the next thing, you know, whatever. And those things have their place. But it’s really about being happy in every step of where you are. And you know that it’s never going to be done. You’re never going to get all the way there. You’re not supposed to you’re supposed to be happy at every step along the way. And if you have that, then whether you get wherever you’re trying to go or not, you’ve already gotten the blessing that this life is for, which is to enjoy it all along the way. So that’s that’s what I would tell myself.


Kimberly Hoffman  47:59

Yeah living happily


Nick Cates  48:00

 Still working on.


Kimberly Hoffman  48:02

 Moment by moment.


Marie-Claire  48:03

Yeah. enjoying the journey.


Matthew Hoffman  48:05

Works in progress. For sure. Well, you guys have given us just some great items. Thank you so much for being present, and being real and being with us. And we loved getting a little insight and learning more about you. If people want to learn more about you or follow you or get more involved in what you’re doing. Where can they go to look to see the other good things that you all are doing right now?


Marie-Claire  48:30

Well, I’m pretty active on social media so they can find me @MarieClaire_90210. Great. Yes. Right.


Nick Cates  48:41

And I can be found @Nickcatesdeals, Nickcatesdeals. That’s me.


Matthew Hoffman  48:48

Great. Well, we’re gonna encourage them to look you up and put those in the show notes. Thank you so much, both for being with us. 


Kimberly Hoffman  48:55

Yes, thank you. I had a lot of fun today. And I’ve learned a lot. It’s been fun to sort of peel back the onion a little bit and learn more about both of you. So thank you for being open with our listeners and for sharing all your great pearls of wisdom in your very fun and fabulous relationship.


Marie-Claire  49:15

Thank you for having us.


Nick Cates  49:16

Yeah, this is a blessing. You guys are amazing. And really, 


Matthew Hoffman  49:18

Thank you.


Nick Cates  49:19

We can’t thank you doing enough. 


Marie-Claire  49:20

You’re doing great work. Thank you.


Matthew Hoffman  49:22

Our pleasure. We look forward to connecting with you guys soon.


Kimberly Hoffman  49:24

Take care. 


Marie-Claire  49:24

Take care. 


Nick Cates  49:25

All right. 


Kimberly Hoffman  49:26

That’s all we’ve got for this episode of the Kickass Couples Podcast. If you liked the content of the show, the love Matthews newly released book, “Kickass Husband: Winning at Life, Marriage and Sex.” To receive a digital mini book of quotes and images from the book, all you have to do is rate the show and leave a review on Apple podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you tune into. Then email us a screenshot of your review at “” and we’ll get it over to you right away. Until next time remember, happily ever after doesn’t just happen it’s on purpose.