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Kickass Couples Podcast

The Art of Balance: How to Nurture a Healthy Relationship – Ep. 111 RECAP – Rob & Linda Kessler

By July 12, 2023No Comments



relationship, respect, rob, partner, commitment, linda, love, committed, kim, fun, modeled, couples, talked, feel, important, recognize, communication, wins, playfulness, healthy relationship


Matthew Hoffman, Kimberly Hoffman


Matthew Hoffman  00:14

 Welcome back, everybody to the Kickass Couples Podcast, we are happy to be with you once again. And today we get to do a recap episode for Rob and Linda Kessler, a kick ass couple that we had the pleasure of interviewing. And it was kind of neat, because she is a stunt woman. That’s one of her big jobs. She does fitness and some other things. And Rob has some great businesses and things he does too, but kind of fun to jump into Hollywood a little bit. And she’s been a double for Taylor Swift and some other names you may have heard of, but really loved the energy and the playfulness that This couple had together.


Kimberly Hoffman  03:51

Definitely a dynamic duo and a fun couple to speak with. And I think there’s a lot of great information in this interview.


Matthew Hoffman  03:59

Yeah, it was a lot of fun. And I think, Rob and we always ask them what makes them kick ass. What do they think? And Rob came in and said, You know, I really always talk about our balance. And he said that there’s a great symmetry that the two of them have together and they play off each other with a lot of support, respect, and trust. And I think he said, you know, we work together well, we get the signals, we know what the other one needs. And they each are committed to providing that there’s a lot of given take and I think a lot of couples in relationships. Sometimes you all our listeners probably know people who say Oh my gosh, he’s always the leader or she’s always the one out front. What I think was kind of neat about this couple came one of my big takeaways is that they change the leads in they take turns leading in the relationship based on the needs or what they find and I thought that was kind of refreshing.


Kimberly Hoffman  04:51

They’ve really learned how to do that dance together. And in doing that have really perfected a great relationship. Tip and how to navigate and sort of, like you said, let the other person leave. If they’re not, neither one of them were sort of domineering, they knew when to back down and let the other one take the lead because of their strengths. And vice versa. And you’re right, that really stood out in this interview, because I don’t think every relationship has that ability.


Matthew Hoffman  05:21

No, I mean, often in a relationship, you know, we’ll walk away and go, Wow, you know, he really wears the pants in that family. Oh, my gosh, she really does. And you know, it’s no fun to always be in one position. In a relationship. When you do the same thing in the same roles. Not only does it get boring, but it gets stale, it gets old. And also, sometimes it can be a lot of work. You know, one of the favorite things that Kim and I laugh about, is I’ll ask the male component of a relationship, I’ll say, Hey, do you guys want to get together? You want to do something? And sometimes a guy will go, oh, I don’t know. I don’t keep our calendar, I’ll have to talk to my wife, because she does all that I’m like, all that you don’t have any clue what’s going on on that side. And so everybody works it out differently. And I just think the excitement comes when there’s leadership on both partners in the relationship. And everybody kind of takes a turn. And we we certainly have our roles in our relationship where Kim and I take the lead in some things. But it’s really fun to not always have to wear that hat, I think. 


Kimberly Hoffman  06:22

Yeah, I would agree. We talked to them a little bit about their histories and about their how love was modeled in their families. And I think one thing to note is that it was very different for each of them. Rob grew up in a family where there was a divorce situation when he was a young boy. And he felt that his parents didn’t model a healthy relationship to him. His dad was a business person, a very successful entrepreneur. And that’s what he spent most of his time doing. That’s what he was committed to. And the kids and family felt that. And for his mom, I think that that’s where she really kind of stepped in and was the person that gave him a lot of love and support. And even after the divorce, he said she was working three jobs, but still made the time and the effort to connect, and to have him and his siblings spend time with her. And so that’s sort of where they got that nurturing, and the modeled behavior of commitment and love and care and support from a parent.


Matthew Hoffman  07:36

Yeah, I think that Linda had a bit of a different background, her parents were still together. And she said, You know, I don’t know if everything was super supportive. He said, My dad was huge. And you know, Linda learned how to fix things and to take charge and get involved and, and take the lead. And she’s really into sports and fitness. And she plays basketball does stuff in the yard. And then she with her dad, and then she go inside and do the girly things with her mom and do plays. And so she said she had a great upbringing. And our parents are still together. And she brought that forward. And what I love is that, you know, we are all products of our background and who, who, who raised us and the things that were modeled or not modelled and we bring those things forward. I think that Linda and Rob did a great job of bringing what they liked forward and creating some similarities in their own experience. They’re competitive, they play together. And I think they did a great job of bringing forward what they liked and being intentional about creating those things in their own relationship, whether it’s traditions, activities, how they treat each other, what they like to do, and and I think it’s it, it was great and refreshing to see how they were able to navigate that. 


Matthew Hoffman  08:50

Yeah, and I would even add to that, that even the things that they brought forward, which we all do in relationships that maybe weren’t as positive, they brought those full Word but also recognize them and we’re willing to work through them and willing to really dig into that, so that they can overcome those things together. 


Matthew Hoffman  10:13

Yeah, that’s a great segue kind of in the commitment can because Rob started saying, you know, relative to commitment, he goes, Well, you know, in my previous dating relationships, I was not committed, I was not faithful. I did what I wanted. And he said, You know, I really didn’t have the most healthy relationships. And I think he learned the lesson that, you know, dating and marriage are different things, because he got into the relationship with Linda, and he was bringing some of those old habits forward, and she’s like, hold the phone, put the brakes on, you know, that’s not going to happen here. So I think he was really self effacing and sharing, I had to learn what commitment in a relationship for life was going to be like, and I think he did. And he changed his ways, and really went all in on commitment with Linda. 


Kimberly Hoffman  10:59

Yeah, I would agree. And what I loved is that he really realized and recognize that it’s important to have boundaries, right, she was setting boundaries, but it was important to have those boundaries, and that he had to give up some of that old behavior, and some of those old ways to have a new and better self, a new and better relationship. And so what I loved was that he said, that, I found out that that in so doing that, it wasn’t restricted. For me, it was freeing to me, because all of a sudden, I’m in this relationship, that I can be who I want to be. And I can really appreciate the safety of where I am in this relationship. 


Matthew Hoffman  11:47

That’s huge Kim and you think a lot of us when we get into a relationship, you know, Kim and I are working on year 29, right now. And sometimes when your partner wants or needs something, and you may not want or need that doesn’t rise to the top of your list, you feel like you’re giving something up? Or why am I losing? How come I don’t get to do what I want to do. When in reality, when you make the decision, a win for the US or for the relationship you are winning, because if it works for the relationship, you benefit, and I think that Rob kind of find that found that out early on. And they did a great job of demonstrating that going forward. And I really, you know, when Linda was kind of talking about her sense of commitment, Kim, she said, You know, I have a standard, I know my worth, I know I’m valued. And that if I want to be treated well, I’ve got to treat my partner in that same way. And she so she committed to that she goes, you know, for the thoughts and minds, plans together instead of just the me mentality. She goes, I’m committed to what’s best for us. So we can thrive good for myself and good for the partner. And she was super strong and saying I know what I’m worth. And sometimes in relationships, when people don’t know what they’re worth, or they don’t feel valued, where they feel like they’re not worthy. Problems can arise out of that because it leaves the other partner dominating and taking and the and the other one, maybe not getting all their needs met.


Kimberly Hoffman  13:14

 Now I want to kind of move into the conversation we had about communication, because we know that communication is at the root of almost everything right? And they both Well, at least on Linda’s part, she said that the smallest things are what are most important. It’s those little gestures that happen on the day to day realm that really make a difference in their relationship in terms of communication.


Matthew Hoffman  13:48

Yeah, I think you’re right. Can we say it often, you know, small things often. And you’ll Linda kind of said it’s not the big huge grand gestures and the showboating and the public declarations, but it’s those little things consistently over time, every day,


Kimberly Hoffman  14:05

Yeah and they do little things like send each other little gifts, maybe it’s flowers or little emojis throughout the day. And they really tried to speak to each other’s love language, but they don’t do it as an apology. They just do it as I thought of you in this moment. And I wanted to do this for you. And so that it’s unexpected, and just so appreciated.


Matthew Hoffman  14:32

Yeah, I think that you know, she said he’s never given me flowers as an apology only because he’s grateful in a loving gesture. So I think that a lot of times, you know, a default for couples can be as Oh, shoot, I stepped in it. I messed up, I get you some I need to do something nice for my partner. No, you need to do something nice for your partner every day in multiple ways and communication, whether it’s words acts of service, it could be something in writing it could be doing something for them that they will appreciate or value and not even telling them. Because you’re not looking for credit, you’re not trying to get points. But you’re committed to doing those little things throughout the day, every day through communication, because it’s from your love, not out of obligation. And I think that that, you know, Rob said he was really self effacing, because I am not the best communicator. He said, I am working on it, but I do what’s right, when it matters, to know that, you know, we’ve talked through things that I’m showing up, and I’m present. So he, he did kind of admit and say, you know, what, I know it’s important, and I’m working on it, and it’s a struggle for me, but I’m gonna circle back, make sure we’ve got understanding, and that we straighten the things out that might be between us.


Kimberly Hoffman  15:44

Well, I think it’s really about learning each other’s communication styles. And I believe that they recognize that in their relationship that they really needed to do that. And once they understood what those were, what those roles were for each of them, then they adapted to that. And they understood what was happening. And we’re better able to communicate, you know, in relationships, we have people who are pursuers and then people who like to retreat, right and don’t want to really conserves. Right, right. I don’t want to have this conversation right now. And I think once you realize what your spouse or partner’s style is, then you’re able to have those conversations around what those styles are about. Okay, so you don’t you like to retreat you like to kind of run away a little bit. Okay, how can we still have come back to that conversation? And still make sure that we have those discussions? without you feeling like, you know, coming at you and pushing you to do this.


Matthew Hoffman  16:48

 Yeah, I mean, when it goes, I’m a pusher. I hate the silence, and Rob’s a little more need some time to reflect. Kim and I are different, too. She is more of a distance, or she likes to put time and chew on things and think about them, and come back. And I’ve had to learn, you know, one of the one of the dangers of concept, the big takeaway for me, Kim here is, I don’t want couples to think that they have to homogenize their communication. It’s not about making the styles the same and doing it all.


Kimberly Hoffman  17:14

That’s right, it’s just recognizing and valuing the difference.


Matthew Hoffman  17:18

Right.  And understanding it and then saying, Okay, I don’t have to get stressed here. Just because he or she doesn’t want to handle it now doesn’t mean it’s not going to be handled, it’s gonna be handled in a different way. And be cool with that. Because you understand how your partner needs to communicate. And I think they’ve done that well. And they are upfront saying we’re different, but we know how to handle it and allow it to play out. So everybody wins. 


Kimberly Hoffman  17:44



Matthew Hoffman  18:29

What about conflict? Did you have any takeaways from conflict resolution? 


Matthew Hoffman  18:57

You know, I think that Lynne and Rob shared with us they didn’t have a lot of conflict in their relationship is that? Well, I think she said they’ve created mutual respect. And because they respect each other, they’re not going to step on those landmines, walk through those explosions and pull the triggers that get each other riled up. She said, we have enough respect in our relationship that, you know, like she said, the worst case scenario is, you know, hey, you’re picking on me, you know, one of them said to the other, you’re picking on me and I don’t want you to pick on me, It’s eating me up, blah, blah, blah. So she goes, Okay, the person has to say their piece. The other one says, are you done? Yeah, we’re done. I had to get that out. And now, you know, she said, there’s no blow ups because there’s small moments. And we allow the moments to occur. We address them, and we move on, because underneath it all under girding those conflicts or dust UPS is a deep respect that they’re both willing not to violate so stuff occurs. Yeah. So she goes we have our little frustrated moments. And then we’ve worked through them. We say that well, gosh, we’re kind of saying this Same things, and we move on and through it.


Kimberly Hoffman  20:03

Sure. What about their pillars that they really appreciated about each other? What stood out to you the most?


Matthew Hoffman  20:12

You know, I think that when we we talked about their favorite pillars, and we look at those things, I think that Linda was talking about having to have fun, you know, got to have fun and playfulness. She goes fun and humor is huge. And you know, she said, we are both super competitive, and super athletic. They have what beach volleyball court and their home and they play. And there was a while like, they’d always be on separate teams usually. And, you know, she’s like, Hey, man, he was like spiking the ball on my face. And they had to talk about that and realize that they can be competitive, but in a constructive way, and bring out the best in each other and want to tell the story about their, you know, games.


Kimberly Hoffman  20:51

Yeah, so they were keeping track of UNO games. I think they got up to past 500. They have a spreadsheet spreadsheet, a Google spreadsheet,


Matthew Hoffman  20:58

I know of who’s won, right? Which game, when.


Kimberly Hoffman  21:01

 Right, right. So you have to love and appreciate the competition that they bring to the relationship. But they do it in fun and in humor, and they’re, you know, poking at each other. And, you know, they they really appreciate in value, having a good time together 


Matthew Hoffman  21:21

And giving in a part of the way they have fun and express that with each others. A little bit of grief, you know, in a loop bustin the chops like oh, you’re gonna do that? Well, I’m gonna do this. I think


Kimberly Hoffman  21:30

 Yeah. All in good fun though.


Matthew Hoffman  21:31

Yeah. And I think Rob did know, I think he said, Hey, I’ve got more wins in uno than she does. Any, any any. Where’s that? And she grinds her teeth and says, okay, all right, here you go. You’re gonna go there. Yeah. But there’s a lot of playfulness there. And, you know, Kim we talked about respect, one of the questions we ask our couples sometimes is What does respect look like for you? And I think, you know, Linda talked about how she respects herself and how she respects Rob. And I think that one of the things she said, you know, we have a lot of self respect. And which means she said, she travels a lot, she could be gone for weeks, sometimes a month at a time. And she said, I am aware, both publicly and privately when I’m out there, and there’s a bunch of guys on a crew, she goes, I do nothing to flirt with them to give them any inclination or idea, I have zero interest, because I’m committed, and I respect my husband so much, I’m not going to do anything, knowingly or unknowingly, hopefully, where he would feel disrespected. And she said, hey, when I’m gone, he’s at home by himself, taking care of the house and taking care of the animals and doing his work.


Kimberly Hoffman  22:38

And I’m having trust in that I can leave him and that he’s not going to stray from the relationship. And so let’s talk about that a little bit. There’s, you know, a couple of different kinds of, of respect. And that is, you know, there’s that public and private, right in public, you have respect for your wife, and you’re showing that, and vice versa. In private, you’re doing the same thing. And how you hold yourself accountable in the relationship and having that commitment to the relationship of trust, is, it’s huge.


Matthew Hoffman  23:21

It is and if you’re in your relationship, guys, and and women, you know, everybody that’s listening out there, there are things that you can do, in your words, in your actions, in everything, the way you carry yourself that show, hey, I respect my partner, I respect my spouse. One of the small things that I do, there is a chapter in my book, kick ass has been called Stand and Deliver, whenever my wife, we’re sitting at a table eating dinner at home or out in a restaurant or with friends at a party. If she gets up, I stand up because it’s not because I think I have to be chivalrous and do that for it’s because I’m letting her know, I see you I recognize and out of respect, I’m recognizing your presence. When she comes back to the table. I do the same thing almost every time. And if another it’s not just my wife, it’s other women in the group I do that. They get embarrassed. And they might say, Oh, you don’t have to do that. That’s not important. Or they give their husband the elbow and say, How come you don’t do that for me? Right? It’s just a small way. And I’m always I hold the door for strangers. You know, and I do the same thing for my wife. I get the car door for her. If we’re walking in a city, I make sure I’m on the street side just there’s so many little things in what you think, say and do. I try to praise her in public too, because she’s she’s worth it and she’s deserving of it. And I want to let her know every way I can. I honor and respect her and she does the same for me too.


Kimberly Hoffman  24:48

And I think what those things do is build safety and security into the relationship. It really makes the other person feel heard seen value You’d respected as you were saying. And I think that those are important components to have in your relationship. It builds security.


Matthew Hoffman  25:10

It does. And you know, just like, I’m always looking for opportunities and things I can do to help her is share the load, take a relief off, but take the load off for her. It’s important for us all to have traditions, and things that we do that express our trust or appreciation or gratitude is we’ve talked about communication today comes out verbally. We’ve talked about actions. We’ve talked about, you know, things, doing things and not getting the credit. And I think this couple was just a great example, Kim have a lot of those different ways of creating that safety, net of respect and trust and commitment. And it was just refreshing, if you haven’t listened to the whole episode would encourage you to go back and do it. They’re a lot of fun. And they are both successful in their own right, but have built greater success together because of their commitment to honor, respect, love and cherish and just a lot of fun.


Kimberly Hoffman  26:05

Yes, go back and listen to the entire interview. And I know that you’ll appreciate what you hear. 


Matthew Hoffman  26:12

Yeah, check it out. And if you guys, anybody that’s a listener right now saying, Man, I wish I had more that my relationship, or I want to see those things manifest for me, but I’m not sure how to get there. Please take the time to go to You can get a free relationship assessment call, I’d love to talk to you. And see, learn more about your relationship and see if there’s anything I can do to support you in the journey that you’re on. So thanks for joining us today. If you liked this episode, or others, please give us a like, shoot a review and we’d love to hear what you think.


Kimberly Hoffman  26:46

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