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fun, humor, relationship, kim, laugh, spouse, talk, pillar, feel, friendship, share, insecurity, bond, love, increases, helps, t o, people, important, partner
Kimberly Hoffman, Matthew Hoffman
Matthew Hoffman 00:09
Welcome back to the Kickass Couples Podcast. We are going to do a deep dive today into one of our 14 pillars. And it’s kind of one of the late additions. But one of the better pillars that we have. Kim is the pillar on fun and humor. And when we originally started out the Kickass Couples Podcast and our whole KCN platform, we really only had 13 pillars and we talked to so many people and they said, where’s the fun? You’re missing the humor.
Kimberly Hoffman 01:59
Matthew Hoffman 02:00
And so we didn’t turn back.
Kimberly Hoffman 02:02
But we added it. We said you know you are absolutely right, heard it over and over again. And we added it. And now I think it’s one of our favorites.
Matthew Hoffman 02:11
And we hear about it from so many people that they would when we ask people in this podcast, if you’ve been listening for a while, you know, we say what’s your favorite pillar and why and so many people pick fun, and humor and you can’t have a kick ass relationship without fun and humor. And we do have some fun and humor in our relationship. Most of it at ourselves.
Kimberly Hoffman 02:33
Listen, I mean, laughing increases endorphins. And that is what makes us you know, happy and joyful. And so I think that laughter is really important in a relationship and then having fun along with that, you know, having new experiences together, it gives oxygen to our relationship.
Matthew Hoffman 02:52
It does, it does. And it took me a long time to learn how to be self effacing and laugh at myself, and not get angry when others laugh at me or with me. Hopefully it’s more with than that. But that was something I had to work on and understand that it’s not about me, and I have to be willing to let go of an awful lot of things. And I think, you know, we always start off or not always but sometimes start off with some fun quotes Kim and I found one from Tim Allen. And this is kind of humorous. And this is not about all men. But I would say a quote that a lot of men might it just might sound true or real. He says a guy knows he’s in love when he loses interest in his car for a couple of days. That’s Tim Allen. If you’re not paying attention to the car, you’re thinking, well there is somebody in something more important to my wife, right? That might be true.
Kimberly Hoffman 03:44
And Rita Rutter, she said, I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They’ve experienced pain and they bought jewelry. Haha.
Matthew Hoffman 03:57
Yeah, two things, you know, I will come out and say it up front guys. Women are much better at experiencing pain. I thank God, they’re the ones that give birth to our children, because I don’t know how they do it. I don’t think I could do it. And they’re better at it. I am a big baby when I’m sick and not feeling well. And my wife could probably do more with one arm tied behind her back. Even if she’s not feeling good. That’s just how they’re built. So we tickle your funny bone a little bit. And but we’re gonna get serious because we want to get some creative juices flowing about the whole idea of having some fun and sharing a little humor with our spouse. So there’s a great study that was done Kim from Utah State University, U S. U. right? And in that study, they said let’s get statistical. Let’s talk a little bit about some of the things behind fun and humor and they were really addressing the issue of what the purpose of play was. So let’s share some facts that we found about what the purpose of play is not just in your number one relationship really, but in life in general.
Kimberly Hoffman 05:04
Sure. We’ve found through that study that it increases bonding, it increases communication, it helps with conflict resolution, and really overall helps with I think, relationship satisfaction.
Matthew Hoffman 05:21
Yeah, yeah. And I mean, when you have fun together with your spouse, it helps you experience positive emotions, which can increase relationship satisfaction, when you’re feeling positive about the relationship, you’re feeling better about it. And you can unite a little more easily to overcome differences. And give hope when you’re working through difficult challenges. So when we use play, and humor and fun, when we’re navigating those difficult things to help bring us closer together, and create a more positive shared experience.
Kimberly Hoffman 05:51
Yeah, and I think some of the studies even found that when we play and have fun together, that it really increases our friendship system, that it enhances our friendship, which we know is such a vital part of a relationship is really being friends and having that friendship system in place.
Matthew Hoffman 06:12
I think the friendship system is huge Kim, and we’ve talked a lot about that, let’s pause for a second kind of dig into that a little bit. Because if you’re in a relationship, you know, we one of the things I love about our oldest daughters in a great relationship with a young man, and they were friends first, and they didn’t date, really, they got to know each other, and we’re solid friends. And then when it came around time for them to date, they already liked each other. And they love being together, and they enjoy each other’s company. And they really built a solid foundation. And I think let’s talk about that a little bit more. What do you think play funny humor, having fun together? Why does that have an impact on the friendship system? What are your thoughts on that?
Kimberly Hoffman 06:54
Well, I think that anytime that we can increase those endorphins, and really fulfill that joy, and just really feel like we are having a good time together, then it binds us together, right? So it makes us connect with each other in a really special way. And I think that that’s why that friendship system is so important.
Matthew Hoffman 07:21
It is in the casual fun and humor and play. It’s you’re not looking at it as relationship building, you’re looking at it as having fun. And the natural byproduct is the bonding that occurs. And it helps you kind of make that leap, right from friendship, to love and to romantic, romantic partner versus just a friendship. And that’s a system that since we’re friends, we’re always going to be friends. It’s like, you know, do I love them, but I don’t like them. So you know, we want to make sure we have the light down first, and then the love and play. And fun and humor are just a great way to do that.
Kimberly Hoffman 07:59
So let’s break down the friendship system. What exactly is it? What does it mean? And kind of how does it work within the relationship?
Matthew Hoffman 08:06
Yeah, that’s a good a good thing to talk about. So the friendship system in any relationship is really? How are you relating to each other? What are you doing with each other? And can you count on them? Do you want to seek their advice and counsel? Do you want to share your hopes, your dreams with them? When you have a concern or something great happens is your partner, your spouse, the first person you think of sharing it with? Because you have that bond with them.
Kimberly Hoffman 09:33
Matthew Hoffman 09:33
Kimberly Hoffman 09:33
And that sense of security, right? I feel safe in my space with you that I can come to you and share all these things with you. And you are going to really listen to me and you’re going to respond in a positive way and you’re actually gonna be interested in me, which is really a big part of it.
Matthew Hoffman 09:52
Yeah, knowing that you have a friend and somebody and that they’re excited to hear you. It’s not the rolling of the eyes. Oh, are we back on that again? War, right? Tell me about that.
Kimberly Hoffman 10:01
Yeah. And so love mapping, I think the government’s have kind of have that term that they use as a part of the friendship system. And I think that’s a huge way of building that friendship system, talking about our hopes and dreams, sharing stories with each other, it means that maybe we’ve had an intimate moment. And we’re going to just stay up and embed and talk and tell each other about, you know, what, what’s really on our hearts and what what was really, we’re feeling deep down within our soul.
Matthew Hoffman 10:35
Yeah, well, mapping is a great term. And it’s really just about creating those touch points that form the map of your relationship.
Matthew Hoffman 10:43
Matthew Hoffman 10:44
Serious things, fun things, exciting things, difficult stuff.
Kimberly Hoffman 10:48
Yeah, visioning together, what does our future look like, together? All those things?
Matthew Hoffman 10:52
Yeah, hopes, fears, dreams, all those things helped create that map, that help us find each other, or find a way back to each other. When things are tough or challenging, or pull us out of what we’re used to doing.
Kimberly Hoffman 11:04
Right. What’s another one that you can think of?
Matthew Hoffman 11:08
Well, talking about the friendship system?
Kimberly Hoffman 11:10
Matthew Hoffman 11:10
you know, I think it’s how do we respond and view each other. So you know, everything starts in our thought about how we feel about our spouse, but a lot of us don’t necessarily verbalize it or put it into action. And we can say what we’re thinking, which is one great thing. But I think the most successful way to do it in our relationship is service. So I’m developing the friendship system when I’m doing things that I know my partner needs, wants, appreciates, or might like, and it’s not. And it’s not a necessarily a grand gesture of love, like one of the things for you in our friendship system, I know that you hate to unload the dishwasher. And if I ever see it’s clean, I tried to do that as much as possible, not because I’m looking for attaboys, or to gain points. But I know it’s something I care about you. And if I do something that you don’t like, I’m making your day easier, just a little thing to make it a little bit better.
Kimberly Hoffman 12:06
Yeah. And I would say that, you know, you draw a bat for me sometimes, because you know, I like that as well. And so those are things that you’re doing to be of service to me, because you know that they’re going to make a difference in my life. And I feel like the more people can do that, find those things within their relationship that are important to their spouse, and act on them. The better we are with our gratitude and fondness and appreciation, all those parts of the continued love mapping, right?
Matthew Hoffman 12:40
Right. Yeah. When when you say to somebody, hopefully you can say about your partner, they’re, they’re my best friend,
Kimberly Hoffman 12:45
Matthew Hoffman 12:45
They’re a great friend, because they do all the things that a friend should do. They’re aware, they’re attentive.
Kimberly Hoffman 12:52
Yeah, they know, they understand.
Matthew Hoffman 12:53
Yeah, they’re pouring in. And they’re just ready to do that. So. So Kim, if you had to define play, what would you you know, because some people like What do you mean, play together? Do you mean like, you know, get a board game out? And? Or, like, what is play If you had a look at it?
Kimberly Hoffman 13:10
That’s a really good question. I think sometimes it’s as simple as just being really silly with each other. Right? You’re you might have these little code words for other people in your family that you use, or, you know, just little things between the two of you can be a look, even. And those are things that make us a little a little bit silly. But we laugh at those things that might be just a silly emoji that you’ve texted your spouse in the day. But But I think it really is, you know, play is, is how we use our discretionary time, right? It’s extra time that we have, and how do we use that time. And so in our relationship, we will spend time not necessarily playing a board game, but we like to paddleboard together, there were things that we enjoy doing and spending time together, that creates fun, and activity, right exercise in the relationship. And so I think that, that those are really important things that we have to do within our relationship to cultivate that fun and humor pillar.
Matthew Hoffman 14:19
And I think it’s huge that you know, we’re gonna get into it a little bit more but carving out that discretionary time. You have to use it, you know, when we have free time, I just want to veg right? I’m going to watch something
Kimberly Hoffman 14:32
Read a book, we can be selfish with it, or we can say let’s do something together.
Matthew Hoffman 14:35
Yeah. And you’re not going to always always choose, you know, having alone time and self care is important. We talked about that a lot. But I think that, you know, some great examples. I mean, we we went on a bike ride this last weekend, and it was about an eight mile ride on a trail near where we live and we went to a place to have brunch, and then we rode back
Kimberly Hoffman 14:53
Matthew Hoffman 14:54
and then and then we tracked back and we had just a lot of fun and we were taking in Nature. There were people involved, you know, walking, biking kids dogs, we had a new restaurant experience. We were with some friends. And it was fun. It was fun. And we had, that’s a good example of, I think, playing together.
Kimberly Hoffman 15:16
What about, so you know, a new activity together, you know, really discovering something new, trying something new together, I think is a really great way to have fun together. And maybe you try it, and it’s not for you. But maybe you try it and you go, Oh, my gosh, we love this. For instance, we did line dancing. And we’ve never been to, you know, a country western bar and done line dancing before we’d said we’d always threatened to do it, but never had done it. And we did it. And we had such a great time. And we’re gonna go back again earned it together, neither of us knew what we were doing. We could laugh at each other.
Matthew Hoffman 15:50
Well, the truth is, you’re a trained dancer, you grew up in ballet and jazz and lyrical dancing and all this other stuff. And I just like to have fun on the dance floor. So I’m not as methodical or good. But you know, we weren’t the worst. And we certainly weren’t the best. But we found an activity that we had fun and we laughed at ourselves. It was great people watching.
Kimberly Hoffman 16:10
Matthew Hoffman 16:10
And we definitely got to connect during that.
Kimberly Hoffman 16:13
But for people that are out there, it could be you know, they’re listening. It could be, you know, a dinner out at a fun new restaurant, right? Just something fun listening to live music somewhere going to a concert. Like we do paddleboarding together. And we like to do activity when we have fun together, especially outdoor activities. So I think you have to sit down like you said, carve out time for it, and make it a priority and talk about what sounds fun to you. What can we do together?
Matthew Hoffman 16:42
Yeah. So Kim, what are some of the enablers if people say, Okay, if we want to do this, what are some of the things that we should keep in mind or so that they can do it? What are some of the required elements?
Kimberly Hoffman 16:54
Yeah, that’s a great point, because sometimes we have to have a budget for it, right? Because sometimes, having fun together can cost a little bit of money. And it doesn’t have to, but in some instances, like if we want to go to a concert together, do something, it could involve an expense. So budgeting for it, I think is important. You hit the nail on the head, when you sort of carve out time. You know, a lot of people say I don’t have enough time, I can’t you know, there’s not, there’s not time for this in my schedule, but make time for it. We have time for other things make time for funding.
Matthew Hoffman 17:24
I think there’s nothing wrong with saying we’re going to carve out fun time. And it’s, it’s not in its calendar. And even though one you know, fun time is not doing a honey do list. That’s not fun. It’s not a project, something you have to do or say we really got to fix this or put this plant in the ground, whatever. Those are things that need to be done. But you want to make sure that the fun time is the two of you. And
Kimberly Hoffman 17:49
Matthew Hoffman 17:49
and it can include family extended family sometimes or it can include other people. But you need to make sure that at least half the time I would say it’s just the two of you.
Kimberly Hoffman 17:58
Matthew Hoffman 17:58
So you get to
Kimberly Hoffman 17:59
hold that sacred space for just the two of you. And also make sure you’re not discussing any challenging or I think things that maybe might add a little bit of stress to your time together. I think you have to save those things for another time.
Matthew Hoffman 18:16
Yeah. yeah. So you know what about using humor. Kim. You know there. We talked about having fun. And then there’s the pillar is fun and humor. So using humor in romantic relationships. There’s a great quote I found from quora.com It said having a sense of humor helps you distinguish the important from the trivial. Being able to laugh about the inconsequential things keep them inconsequential, and I think, Man life can be serious and heavy and whether it’s work or family or community or your place of worship. Things can get kind of tough and I think You really need to do a good job of about determining how serious something is or how serious of a place it should occupy. And don’t let it take more than it should. And if it’s inconsequential, and you’re just being caught it wrong time, you got to be able to laugh about it and laugh it off, right? I think and doesn’t mean make light of serious things. But it means don’t let the minor become major if they don’t deserve it.
Kimberly Hoffman 20:27
Matthew Hoffman 20:27
And I think humor is a great way to do that. Keep your spouse accountable for laughing when we can.
Kimberly Hoffman 20:35
And I think even even using it to defuse conflict or tension, we could maybe be in a heated moment. And you know, just throwing something silly out there, in the middle of that moment can defuse conflict and make it not even be an issue and might purchase start laughing. And then it becomes a total non issue. Or you kind of see how silly this really is
Matthew Hoffman 21:02
Kimberly Hoffman 21:02
That we’re having this discussion or this challenge right now. And so I think using sometimes humor when it’s appropriate to defuse conflict is a great idea. We have friends who had put into place if they really started getting into super heated argument really started going at it. One of the things that they would say to each other, all right, take your clothes off.
Matthew Hoffman 21:27
Kimberly Hoffman 21:28
Matthew Hoffman 21:29
That’s what they did.
Kimberly Hoffman 21:30
This is what if this is what it comes down to. We’re going to do this right here. Right now. We are going to strip fight. And can you imagine just fighting like totally naked? Just probably..
Matthew Hoffman 21:43
I think we should get into that tonight. See what you.
Kimberly Hoffman 21:45
I think though, that, and I’m not saying that, you know, they did it all the time. But it is something that they did, no doubt. And I think it really helped a lot. And you would just start dying laughing at each other. So
Matthew Hoffman 22:02
And then it usually ended up not always but usually ended up in something that they both enjoyed. Possibility distinct possibility. So what are some of the watch outs Kim? If you had to, if people, you know, there’s an old expression that you can have something happen, and you think it’s good, but it’s really not good. And it’s the I think the phrase is that it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, right? So something happens, and you think, Oh, this is innocent, but it really isn’t. It’s destructive. And I think that, you know, one of those things that I had to learn about is sarcasm. You know, using sarcasm is too careful, you can cross the line when humor goes bad. And you know, one of my biggest pet peeves, and I’ll share with everybody in case, this is something that you fell victim to or you’ve done your own is saying something negative or sarcastic and biting. And then you follow it up with an immediate, I’m just kidding. You know you because you think it’s that Get Out of Jail Free card. As long as I said, just kidding, I have permission to say anything I want to say even if it’s hurtful or damaging or degrading. And so that’s a watch out that you think you’re having fun, and you think you’re kidding, but when it becomes sarcasm and starts to dig, so watch out, because that’s not fun, it’s not humorous. And that’s gonna be destructive to the relationship instead of positive.
Kimberly Hoffman 23:23
I think you also have to be really aware and careful about speaking or making fun of your spouse in front of them, or even when they’re not around. Right. So I think you have to be really careful how you speak in front of your spouse, and that you’re not saying something funny or about them, or, you know, where it comes off as being derogatory, because I think it could catch them off guard and embarrass them and really make them feel uncomfortable.
Matthew Hoffman 23:51
Yeah, you’ve got to stay dedicated in front of their face, and when you’re not in front of them, right?
Kimberly Hoffman 23:56
Matthew Hoffman 23:56
You know, you need to make sure that you’re staying true in both those things. And I think, you know, laughing or joking about a trigger or an insecurity, you know, it might be humorous to you. But it’s not as if it’s one of your partner’s triggers. You gotta treat it with respect and care, and or an insecurity, you know, making them feel badly because of how they feel. That’s regardless of what the issue is. It could be spiders, it could be heights, it could be a certain kind of food. I mean, you’re, we have a family member who just hates feet, like doesn’t want to touch them, or have them be around her, and it grosses her out. And you say that
Matthew Hoffman 24:22
And we do make a little bit of fun of her that
Kimberly Hoffman 24:32
We make a lot of fun of her.
Kimberly Hoffman 24:35
but the bottom line is you’re right.
Matthew Hoffman 24:37
It’s a real insecurity
Kimberly Hoffman 24:39
She doesn’t like it.
Matthew Hoffman 24:41
Kimberly Hoffman 24:41
So we have to be careful of how we have to tread lightly on those subjects, I believe.
Matthew Hoffman 24:48
So if we want to give some ideas to Kim, our listeners about what are some of the things that we can do to have fun and interject humor and what are some of the things that you think about?
Kimberly Hoffman 25:00
One of the things that we do sometimes is we, you know, we continue to have fun texting each other flirting with each other. And I think we have to really be intentional about flirting with one another. I love that one.
Matthew Hoffman 25:15
I do too. And it’s nice. And it’s funny. You still catch me off guard sometimes when you do it. And it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it. But I don’t know. I’m not always expecting it.
Kimberly Hoffman 25:23
Matthew Hoffman 25:24
And I think that’s, that’s the fun. That’s the fun is when you flirt and everybody likes to be flirted with, especially with somebody you care about, I think and I think that’s great. I love kind of coming up with words, special words when something is happening or code words. We have some really good friends who were married for more than 54 years. And they had a code word they use and it was TOFTS, T O F T S. And instead of getting into it or getting angry or having to talk about a situation, usually involving somebody else, they could just look at each other and say toffs, and it stands for too old for that shit. T o fts. And they didn’t have to say it out loud. Because they were both. They’re both pretty conservative and you know, straight laced. But they could just laugh and go ah, TOFTS like we’re not gonna go there, we’re not going to do that. And I thought that was a great example. And they could have a shared moment, and someone else would know about it.
Kimberly Hoffman 26:24
I think also taking turns creating fun experiences or a fun date together is a great way to play.
Matthew Hoffman 26:34
Yeah, it’s nice not to have to always be
Kimberly Hoffman 26:36
the one to initiate
Matthew Hoffman 26:37
Yeah initiate. And it’s nice, nice to enjoy. And I think, you know, I think having Kim fun with your intimate times together, either doing things you’ve not done or trying or doing things you haven’t done in a long time. Early on in our relationship, I think was actually our first anniversary. I surprised us as a chapter in my in my book. We I got a I think like two one gallon bags full of rose petals, and just covered the hotel bed where we were staying. And I mean, that was fun. Because I don’t know if you’ve ever felt how soft a rose petal is. But being immersed in that it was, yes, it was sensual. But it was a lot of fun. It was kind of silly. I think the first time we were both a little leery of it. But it’s something that we’ve done. Again, and it’s it’s fun, and it’s different. It kind of brings back that spark to some of those times.
Kimberly Hoffman 27:30
Yeah, I think you have to be adventurous in that regard. And it’s important to add that little bit of fun or spice into your romantic life as well. Yeah.
Matthew Hoffman 27:43
And something that we’ve done with our kids that I think that you could certainly Institute with couples is our yesterday’s. And we just had a yesterday for my son who turned 14, our youngest. And it’s basically almost everything he wanted to do in a day we did it. And it’s yes, the answer is yes. And I think when was the last time you ever had a yesterday for your spouse where you said, Hey, what are all the things you want to do today? And if I can, if it’s physically humanly financially possible, I’m in we’re gonna, we’re gonna say yes. And that’s kind of a treat, to have fun and approach and stuff like that. So if you look at our own relationship, Kim, you know, let’s let’s just kind of be get introspective. A little bit more here. How do you think we’ve successfully approached the fun and the humor in our own like, if you’d say our recipe for doing that is what are some of the elements that you’ve seen crop up in our time together that we use or continue to use?
Kimberly Hoffman 28:41
I think we take turns planning of things to do together. And I think that that’s really important, because like you said, it takes the onus off of one to have to do it, the other one can just show up and enjoy the ride. But we love to go to concerts together. We like to spend a weekend away doing fun things together. And so I think we really take the time, like you said, two calendar things to plan that fun and active time together. And, you know, I think that we’re willing to explore new ideas with each other, you know, go downtown, and kind of utilize our downtown and what’s happening there during night nightlife. And so I feel like we do a good job of trying to do bring different things into play, to have fun, and to bring a lot of joy to our relationship.
Matthew Hoffman 29:36
Yeah, it’s like any of our pillars and that we talked about, this is just one of the 14 it’s work, but it’s fun work because you get to experience it. One of the things that Kim and I did this summer is our goal, and as we work together is to quarterly at least have a night away. Or it could be a long weekend. It might be just one night where the two of us get to go do something just the two of us with no risk. sponsibility for dogs kids home. And this summer we took the train into Boston from where we are in Maine, living and working for the summer. And it was fun to be on the train. We sat in business class, which was not expensive, but you have a beverage and something to eat if you want, and you have internet, and it’s a fun seat, and it’s a carefree ride. And we went to a concert together, which is one of the things we talked about liking to do. And it was the yacht rock review. And we got to go have fun and sing songs till we lost our voices. We toured around the parks of Boston and saw out of the natural places, they’re so adventurous, exploring, and dedicated time together, doing intentional things, but also doing nothing and just being able to spend time together. It’s such a great recharge, and it Bond’s us and brings us more closely together, we have the conversations and we have so much fun, kind of enjoying it. So we just wanted to give you all some ideas about how you can approach this pillar in your own relationship, and things you might do to deepen it and make it more intentional. And make sure that you’re weaving it in to really all the other things and opportunities that you have with your partner.
Kimberly Hoffman 31:15
Yeah, I think it really is a key ingredient to creating that stronger connection and bond and really elevating that intimacy in the relationship. So go out there and have some fun, and put some humor into your lives and relationships.
Matthew Hoffman 32:16
Remember that happily ever after guys does not just happen. It’s on purpose.