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Kickass Couples Podcast

How to Heat up Your Love With a Spoonful of Commitment – Ep. 117 RECAP – Scott & Nancy Kiesling

By August 23, 2023No Comments



relationship, work, kim, adventure, scott, choice, communication, nancy, couples, understand, heard, therapy, choose, polar opposite, share, victim, easy, conflict, commitment, practice


Matthew Hoffman, Kimberly Hoffman


Kimberly Hoffman  00:00

Welcome back everyone to the Kickass Couples Podcast and this recap episode of Scott in Nancy Kiesling. I love this dynamic duo because they really had some special things to share with us. They have an unique approach to relationships and how they work in helping couples in adventure therapy. And we’ll talk a little bit more about that in just a minute. But it was neat, wasn’t it?


Matthew Hoffman  03:12

I never heard of adventure therapy before. And man, they don’t just teach others they live it themselves.


Kimberly Hoffman  03:17

They do it. Absolutely. And I think you know, right off the bat in asking them what makes you kick ass was that they both said that we really not only live presently, but we live adventurously. And they do it independent of each other, and with each other. And while they do that, they really work on having that adventurous mindset. And so they actually share that with other people and have adventure therapy as their business and help people with relationships.


Matthew Hoffman  03:52

Yeah and I think it was cool, because, you know, for everybody that’s listening, let me go ahead and define adventure therapy. I said, Alright, guys, tell me what adventure therapy is for dummies, you know, make it a third grade level so I can understand it. And Scott was really sweet about saying, you know, the idea around adventure therapy is more mindset. It’s the openness of your mind. He goes, Yeah, we do the rappelling and we do all that crazy stuff, and we have fun, but it’s about curiosity and resilience of people you know, playing the game of life on this journey at its core. He was really saying it’s about having a mindset of possibility. So the experiences open you up to what you can do. And that’s a natural lead in to what couples can do right on relationships. 


Kimberly Hoffman  04:37

And what I appreciate is he really boiled it down to for adventure for some people can just be really heading your fears straight on right? Or for some it can be as small as just looking somebody else in the eye or stranger in the eye and saying hello and even for some Matthew,  just getting out of bed in the morning. So when you think about adventure, we’re all at different levels in our life of what that looks like and what that means.


Matthew Hoffman  05:10

Yeah. And Nancy did a great job of walking it through is that, you know, we all think adventure is the crazy stuff. And it is and they do that but she said for everybody it’s a different definition. And they work hard to help meet people where they are, whatever that may be, and take those steps and grow. And I think that was, I enjoyed that. 


Kimberly Hoffman  05:32

Yeah. So I would, I guess, you know, we’ll go into kind of a little bit more about, you know, what makes them kick ass, and really their commitment to each other. You know, they, they both came from really different backgrounds, I would say probably polar opposites. And, you know, I think for,  Scott, it was that, you know, he had a fork in the road, he came to a point in his life where he had to make some major decisions, he was going down a bad path of drugs and alcohol. And he told himself in that moment, at that fork, I can either choose to continue to go down this road, or I can change my trajectory. And I can rewrite, and really define what I want my life to be and to look like. And he began to find mentors, he had a growth set mentality. He started reading and really looking for ways to grow and to better himself as an individual. So he started working on himself first. 


Matthew Hoffman  06:41

Yeah. crazy story. I mean, he was so open and sharing and really vulnerable in his communication to us. And I’m sure that’s hard for a lot of people maybe listening, but he was talking about being on a roof. And he had one foot off of it, right. I mean, he was contemplating suicide was in a really dark place for all those things that you talked about Kim, at the moment that he said, you know, he decided I’m not going to live my old story anymore. It’s not working for me. And he began to do all those things, you’re saying to figure out how do I get on the other side. And, you know, I want to kind of take a step back, Kim, it is easy to be a victim of our circumstance, whether you’ve had a horrible childhood, as he did a lot of difficult, you know, his dad was an authoritarian, alcoholic, you know, he got into drugs. So we can all say, hey, my circumstances made me do this, and be a victim of his circumstances. And a lot of people say that about their relationship. And some people would say, oh, you know, I was so bad. They did this to me, I can’t do this because of what other people have done. But he took the opposite approach and said, you know, what, I’m not going to be a victim about my life, I’m certainly not going to let this come over into my relationship. And he said, I have a choice. And I think that we all have personal choices. And we’re doing it in the context of our relationships. In your relationship, you have a choice on what you’re going to do to make it work and make it successful, instead of choosing to step out and hit eject, and he made the choice in his life, and that later translated to success in his relationship. And, you know, that kind of naturally leads Kim, you know, into commitment. I mean, he had a tragic story in their own relationship they had to overcome. 


Kimberly Hoffman  08:33

Yeah, he did during some of their adventure, I think there was an accident. And it really set him back. And he said, you know, it was an accident that really had an impact on their relationship. And so they can either make the choice in that moment to what a lot of people do, is, this is too hard. And I’m gonna get out and I don’t want to be a part of this, let it ruin the relationship or let them work through it grow together, and to really sort of rewrite the story of what their relationship was going to be. And they chose a ladder, they chose to work through it and to become become stronger, to become more committed into, you know, come out shining on the other side of this tragedy.


Matthew Hoffman  09:26

Yeah. I think that anything that you face individually or collectively, Kim, as a couple, you have a choice to say, are we going to go grow through it? Or are we going to grow out of it? And sometimes it may seem easier to say, I’m grown out, I’m getting out here, I’m escaping. 


Kimberly Hoffman  10:39

Like you said, hit the eject button. 


Matthew Hoffman  10:40

And sometimes, you know, when it’s really it’s hard, if there’s abuse, you know, there are some reasons that hitting eject is the right thing. But the deep work, the challenging work comes in saying I’m not you know, this is my journey for life come what may. And if I’m nothing illegal, and I’m not being abused, I’m going to stay in here and get into the mass because it’s worth working through. 


Kimberly Hoffman  11:02

And he linked it back to commitment. 


Matthew Hoffman  11:04



Kimberly Hoffman  11:04

 He said, that’s where the commitment came in for us


Matthew Hoffman  11:07

 Yeah. And he said, You know, I only kind of use his words here. He said, being committed to a life of joy, and opportunity, as opposed to struggle, and victim and challenge. He said, When I live that for me, it automatically creates space for us to live that together. So I guess I want to kind of put this out, what are you choosing your life to be about you have choices on what your focus is going to be? Are you going to focus on the problem? And what can’t be done? Or are you going to choose to focus and be a possible Attarian about what can be and work through it together.


Kimberly Hoffman  11:44

That’ a great point, Matthew, because we all get to write our own story. And we can play victim or we can dive in and say no, not going to be a victim. And this is the kind of person I want to be. And this is how I want to show up for my partner in a relationship. 


Matthew Hoffman  12:00

Yeah, it’s easy to take your finger and say, if they’re not doing this, you’re not you won’t, you can’t you never you always write, we love to deflect and make the story rewrite the narrative about somebody else. But the reality like him standing on that roof saying, I got a choice here, and I’m gonna choose to live, I’m gonna choose to do the hard work, and I’m gonna choose to do the things that are gonna give me what I want. And we have that choice in our own relationship too.


Kimberly Hoffman  12:25

We do. And he even when we started to talk about communication, you know, he came back to the same point of, you know, I didn’t have good communication skills, I had horrible communication skills. And I had to learn how to communicate properly with my wife, you know, Nancy, I, you know, I had to learn how to communicate properly with Nancy, it’s not something that came natural to me, I, you know, wanted to get better at it. And so guess what, I had to practice. And you’ve got to, we have to learn each other’s communication styles. And we have to practice good communication with each other. It’s like speaking a foreign language, I believe.


Matthew Hoffman  13:11

I think you’re dead on Kim on practicing. And I think kind of a question I want to ask, I’m gonna put you on the spot. And I’ll put myself on the spot, too, is how are you practicing your communication skills to improve in your relationship? Because they talked about how they did and what they did? And I’ll go first because you guys, it’s easy to talk about concepts and ideas. And so you got to write what can we tell you a lot of what you just need to do X? Well, I’m going to tell you how to do x and, you know, free in communication. One of the things that I’ve practiced and done lately, I was in the car with Kim’s parents, we’re going out to dinner, we’re driving away. And you know, we’re about out the door on our way to to the reservation want to be on time, right? And she said, Hey, is Did you lock this door and that door and the dogs? And did you do this and that? And it would have been easy for me to say it doesn’t matter? Who cares? Let’s go. And but instead, I clarify. And I said, so. You would like to see the door be locked this way in the dog? He goes, Yeah, exactly. I said, Okay, hold on, put the car in park, ran back, took care of it got back in the car. And I said, there you go. She said great. Thanks. And on, we went. So in the moment, I had the choice to understand what her need was, and respond to it, or discount her feeling and emotion and say what she was communicating to me was not important. It obviously was important to her because she was communicating. So I chose to take that communication and act on it. And that was an example of good communication and prioritization in the same breath.


Kimberly Hoffman  14:44

That’s great, because you could have easily responded in a very different way. You could have been exactly exasperated with me or said well, I didn’t check the door. Did you check the door and they’re gone. could have gone a different way.


Matthew Hoffman  14:57

 Yeah, do you have one you can share? 


Kimberly Hoffman  15:00

I would say that, one of the things that I’m working on with you and my communication style is, a lot of times when we’re talking about things, there’ll be times when I get a little bit triggered. And in the past, it’s been really easy for me to sort of go from zero to 60, to get a little heated about things, or just be a little triggered, and then be a little agitated. And so I have really learned and been working with you on just taking a moment, to creating a little bit of space, and breathing and just saying, Okay, I have a choice in this moment. I can respond lovingly, and say, so I hear you saying, XYZ, did I understand that correctly? Or I have a choice to jump down your throat? And why would you say that or you know, and be critical, right? And then and I know what that does, as soon as I’m critical or soon as I become defensive in my conversations with you, I you immediately get fearful. And you immediately get on a defensive as well. And I think that it puts us in a really bad place really fast. And so I’ve really learned how to speak to you more slowly and quietly and calmly and take that moment to choose my words, and make sure that they’re not coming at you.


Matthew Hoffman  16:56

Yeah, I appreciate that. And she does. And so all of our listeners, there’s two examples of how you can practice better communication, as Scott and Nancy do in their relationship and kind of brought to the fore point. And I think that, you know, Scott also said, Kim, just before we leave kind of this idea of communication, he said, I’ve got to be aware of Nancy’s perspective. What’s her perspective? What’s her reality? Because she’s speaking it. So of course, she’s feeling it. And I gotta say, Okay, why is this happening? And what’s the opportunity for growth? Doesn’t take as an attack doesn’t take it as her not really understanding or feeling what she’s saying. But how can he open up and see how she’s seeing something? 


Kimberly Hoffman  18:31



Matthew Hoffman  18:31

And he takes it as a learning opportunity. And I love that and their communication.


Kimberly Hoffman  18:35

Yeah, absolutely. You know, they had we talked a lot about communication with them. You know, she’s talked about, that she’s an open book that if you ask her something, she’s going to tell you, she doesn’t, you know, she doesn’t care she’s going to, but she said if there was a problem with something that she was afraid to address it she was afraid to open up about, it was a real struggle for her. And so she didn’t want to bring it up. She didn’t want to nag anybody, and she didn’t want to create any conflict. So she had to learn, even if it was something like, oh, you know, do you mind picking up after yourself and not leaving clothes on the floor, whatever it would be, she would just pick up the clothes as to avoid any kind of conflict. But, you know, she had to begin to talk about and really be defined what she was feeling and sort of what she needs. She couldn’t push those. She learned she couldn’t push those things.


Matthew Hoffman  19:33

Yeah, couldn’t let them stack up. I think she was kind of willing to sign off. She said, You know, I can’t push it away, not address it and be afraid to talk about it because it’s going to pile up and then it’s going to be a blow up. So I think she would I heard her saying there Kim and I think you’re so right to bring it up is she was wanting to handle those things in the moment. And sometimes it’s not always convenient, right? We’re on a mission to get something done. We’ve got priorities and your spouse can comes in and is the fly in the ointment. You can get angry and frustrated to say, Well, I’m not going to deal with it, I’ll push it off till later. But when you kind of slow down and take that time, like you’re sharing, she said, You know, it’s like, speed kills, right? She slows down and addresses those things. And I think, I think kind of leads me to my next big takeaway from Scott where Scott was saying, you know, in conflict, when they were talking about conflict, he’s he would say, you know, instead of, hey, I’ve got this hammer, and you’re not getting, you’re not getting me you’re not understanding, I’m gonna say it louder. I’m sad again. And I’m gonna keep saying the same thing again and again. And again, Scott said, I can say something like, Hey, wait a minute, I must not be explaining this. Well, let me change my approach and see if that works better. And I think we’re we both get sometimes, you know, in relationships, couples get so incensed that they’re saying the same thing is not being heard. So I’ll just screw to say it again. Or I’ll say it again, maybe you’ll get it this time, right. But really, we have to change tack, realize that we’re adding to that end, and we’re not doing something to avoid that conflict, he says, I’m going to try a different approach. So it’s up to us to be willing to change, not up to them to get what we’re saying. Again, and again, if they’re just not happening.


Kimberly Hoffman  21:25

They had a lot of great things to share with us in the overall interview, and I really appreciated their perspectives, because they did come from two polar opposite positions, but were able to come together and create a beautiful relationship. And you know, like we are Matthew, you know, we work on it every single day. And we’re committed to doing that we’re committed to knowing each other’s love languages, knowing how we communicate with each other, or learning our communication styles. And, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s always a work in progress. And I think it’s important for our listeners to hear that, you know, the more we put into it, the more we get out of it. And the more easier honestly, it becomes.


Matthew Hoffman  22:18

And I think if there was had to be a theme of this conversation with them, it’s personal responsibility, and personal accountability in relationships, it’s easy to look and say they’re not, they won’t point that finger. But I think Nancy and Scott did such a beautiful job of synthesizing what they each could personally do, and how they can be accountable to each other, which gives them the win and the relationship. So go back and listen to this episode. It was terrific. It was a fun take on adventure, and what that means for them in the business that they have. But also in their relationship. They were definitely kick ass. And I think that you all would really enjoy that episode.


Kimberly Hoffman  22:57

Absolutely. I love how they’re out there helping other couples just like we are.


Matthew Hoffman  23:01

They’re in the same vineyard, doing great work. And we hope you’ll check them out. And listen to the episode. And if you’re feeling in your relationship, that things are not happening just the way you’d like them to. You’ve got obstacles in the way and you are not sure what to do next, please go over to Check out what we have there on the website. And if you want to schedule a free relationship assessment call, I’d love to talk to you and see if I can do anything to understand where you are, and help you break those obstacles. So until next time, please remember


Kimberly Hoffman  23:36

happily ever after doesn’t just happen. It’s on purpose. 


Matthew Hoffman  23:40

Thanks for joining us.