0:00:03 – Speaker 2
Hey, this is Mandy and Kim with nextTalk, where we are passionate about keeping kids safe in the digital world.
0:00:09 – Speaker 3
Did you know? we have tens of thousands of listeners in 60 countries. It’s truly amazing, Crazy only God. And, as a non-profit, everything we do at nextTalk is supported by people just like you.
0:00:22 – Speaker 2
Be a part of changing the culture of conversation in your home and around the globe by making a donation today.
0:00:28 – Speaker 3
Go to NextTalkorg and click on Give and check out our resources while you’re there, more than cyber parenting conversations to connect.
0:00:37 – Speaker 2
Hey guys, it’s Mandy. I have my husband, matt, on the show today.
0:00:42 – Speaker 1
Hi, good to be back.
0:00:44 – Speaker 2
He’s been here before. For those of you who may not have heard his prior shows. We’ve been married 21 years. 21 years, right, babe?
0:00:53 – Speaker 1
Uh-huh sure Am.
0:00:53 – Speaker 2
I right on that. Yes, 21 years. We have a 16 and a 13-year-old. The oldest is a girl, youngest is a boy. Matt’s a business guy, he’s not in ministry or anything. And I will also add, he spends a little too much time thinking about toy cars.
0:01:11 – Speaker 1
What’s not just toy cars. It’s basically anything a 13-year-old boy would think about.
0:01:16 – Speaker 2
So guitars, football toys, okay, things to have fun, right, that’s right. Anyway, i wanted to kind of give you guys an introduction to him if you didn’t know him already. I wanted to have him on the show today. Kim has taken the week off, but Matt and I kind of walked through something with the beginning of this year, really towards the beginning of COVID, when all of that started happening And we wanted to share that a little bit because I think it’s improved our marriage, even though it’s been really hard.
0:01:47 – Speaker 1
Yeah, would you agree?
0:01:48 – Speaker 2
with that, that it’s been hard, or that it’s been improved our marriage. What would you do agree with?
0:01:53 – Speaker 1
No, I think both. I think it has, but it was hard first and then improved. But like everyone, it’s a really new day and a new challenge.
0:02:02 – Speaker 2
So let me set this up for you. You know, at the beginning of the year and when all of this stuff started happening, we were under a lot of stress and our lives were changing, just like everyone else’s, I think. We all were kind of hit with oh my gosh, we’re teaching our kids now and we’re all working under the same roof, and it was just very different. It’s a different kind of life than we’ve ever had before, and so we were stressed and overwhelmed all time high and we had this snippy little exchange. Now, when I say snippy little exchange, after being married 21 years, we don’t really have a lot of those anymore. We’ve kind of learned how not to have those or how to avoid them.
0:02:42 – Speaker 1
I think the last snippy little exchange I had was of a second, and so it’s been a little bit since it’s been this snippy. It was pretty snippy.
0:02:53 – Speaker 2
It was pretty snippy and it was unlike us, and again I contribute it to high level of stress. All the changes through this year, right, but what was interesting was normally, if we ever have a disagreement or anything like that, typically Matt is leading the way with asking me are you okay, let’s dive into this? And he didn’t do that.
0:03:18 – Speaker 3
0:03:19 – Speaker 1
And I really like to confront challenges head on. I’m not a passive, aggressive person at first.
0:03:26 – Speaker 2
Well, and I think I’ve learned a lot from you in the sense of let’s not sweep things under the rug, let’s just have a direct conversation and get it out in the open and deal with it right. I mean, i feel like I’ve learned that from you. I think you have that skill in your job and in your leadership there And so you automatically have that in our home as well. And so I’ve picked up on that and learned it from you, because I used to be an avoid confrontation type of person. This time was different, because he didn’t have the conversation, he didn’t bring it up And I kind of just started giving him the silent treatment, not in the sense of I was being mean to you. We were still parenting, i would say for 48 hours after this snippy exchange. We were still parenting. Our kids didn’t know we were fighting, but Matt and I knew that we weren’t quite right, that there was some underlying tension. Would you agree with that?
0:04:17 – Speaker 1
Yeah, And again, in the past we would typically deal with it head on And for some reason we didn’t, And what we really knew, I mean we could tell.
0:04:28 – Speaker 2
Yeah, i mean, there was just this. We weren’t normal and we both kind of felt it. And so a couple of days went by and I finally asked him about it Like are we ever going to talk about this? And what he said kind of caught me off guard. Do you remember what you said? Do you want to share that or do you want me to share that? He said something to the effect of like I wanted to talk about it, but sometimes I just don’t want to bring things up because it’s so much drama, like there’s emotion, and it may be an hour, and sometimes you cry and I don’t want that, i don’t like to see you cry, and so I just avoided it at this time.
0:05:13 – Speaker 1
Yeah, I may have said something like that.
0:05:15 – Speaker 2
Something like that, right, am I paraphrasing right? And immediately I started thinking about oh my gosh, like we’re hypocrites. Because in my book I write about.
0:05:26 – Speaker 1
Actually, immediately there was drama and crying and emotion.
0:05:31 – Speaker 2
Everything that you wanted to avoid happened right, Because I was crying, and you are correct, Tony.
But once I got past that emotional aspect, I was like, oh my gosh, like I remember the part in my book talk in the marriage chapter where I write about the sweater If a strand comes undone, how you have to take care of that or it can become a big gaping hole.
And my whole point in sharing that in the book is you can’t ignore the snippy little exchanges or you can’t ignore the little white lies because eventually it separates you and your spouse and you grow apart. And so everything that I write about in the open communication and I talk about we weren’t doing and it was a big red flag to me because I was like something’s not right here, Why are you not bringing this up? And then when he was able to share with me you know it’s because of all the emotion and the drama, like it’s just so much work Then we were able to kind of get to the root of that And I said something to him that has now become the title of this podcast. I said I feel like when you dig into difficult conversations and you don’t want to, it shows me that you’re fighting for a marriage Like it means something to you, even though you may not want to talk about it.
0:06:58 – Speaker 1
So many guys would refer to this as a no win situation. Right, i’ve heard many of my buddies and others say I just wish you would tell me what she wants me to say. Right, i’m not going to win if I bring it up. And if I bring it up and I say something she’s not going to like which is a 10 out of 10 chance that’s going to happen, i’m not going to win. This is a no win situation. What you helped me understand is well, maybe in the moment you may not feel like you’re going to win, but in this approach, it’s a recognition that by doing the hard work, it really is fighting for the marriage.
0:07:38 – Speaker 2
Well, because we do know, when we avoid things and we’ve avoided things previously you know That it becomes a bigger issue than it really is. And then I’m snipping at you about something that’s not even really a big issue, you know, or you, vice versa, are mad at me about something because you’re harboring things inside, and so, as much as it is work to get it out, i have found it so beneficial that we’re on the same page and where I think we’re learning to communicate better. I need this. Please help me with that. Like, don’t assume you know what I need. Ask me Things like that. I think that has been very helpful in our marriage, as we have learned to kind of what we call fighting for our marriage, digging into the conversation.
0:08:28 – Speaker 1
Understand that both sides have to fight for the marriage. Both sides have to do the hard work. I think it’s one, and this is, i think, what happens a lot. One of them does a lot of hard work, the other one doesn’t, and it’s all found. And you know, if you’ve got two people rolling and one’s rolling, the other one in one direction, the other not, you’re not going to go.
So I think it’s critically important that both understand and both do the hard work to fight for the marriage and then kind of again have be able to create an environment where neither are punished, if you will, or neither are afraid or fearful of if I say that, or how I say that, or when I say that. Now I’ll copy that by saying I think you have to, you do have to find a decent time if you use a little bit of common sense and how you say what you say. And so you know, sometimes the broad brush stroke isn’t always the best. You know. You have to have a little common sense about it. But even if I think, folks, even if you don’t say it exactly the way you want to say it, but you kind of, you still lean into it and you fight hard and you address it head on, i think you’re going to be better off.
0:09:40 – Speaker 2
Well, and even though it is hard work, it takes out some of the drama that would come out of. Not totally.
0:09:47 – Speaker 1
No, i know it’s, i do know, at least with us, the longer things marinate, yeah, yeah, faster probably better word. The more they faster, kind of the more unclear. it is what we’re really irritated about. And now what’s off to a bigger, maybe a worse thing?
0:10:05 – Speaker 2
Well, and I know too that it’s really helped me to see your perspective of things and I know it’s helped you when I’m able to communicate my perspective and then we see it from a whole different light And that’s really helpful And then we understand. I know, with this snippet exchange we got to the bottom of where each of us were coming from and the week that we had come off of and why we were so in that mode.
0:10:28 – Speaker 1
Yeah, and it just really again, this is not like this is. This is more. When you think about partnerships Successful partnerships We’re talking about in the context of marriage, but even in business, or even in your job or whatever the case You know, whatever, you take something head on and there you don’t sweep into the rug, but you know you really demonstrate the respect for the other person to be able to sit down with them and express your concerns. I think, at the end of the day, you’re in a better place, 100% 100%.
0:11:02 – Speaker 2
I’ve learned that a lot, not I think that’s such a great point not only with you, but as working with the nextTalk team and working with different people Tackling it head on and, yes, praying for the right time and the right words and wisdom on how to say it and making sure your tone is right. All of those things are important, but what’s the most critical is that we just don’t avoid it Because we’re afraid of the difficult conversation.
0:11:27 – Speaker 1
Absolutely. And again, from a guy’s perspective, there are not many things that are as undesirable as as heading into this type of conversation. I mean it’s just not a pleasant place. There’s really nothing in my DNA that says I want to have this difficult conversation with my life. I know she’s mad at me, i know I’ve done something, probably something stupid, but I don’t really know what it is And I’m getting ready to open the door and just basically say, okay, take out the bat, start pounding. I mean I’m asking for this And again, that’s not easy, it’s not somewhere that most guys like to be, but I do think for folks that are willing to do it, i do think that the behavior, that action, is a demonstration of your love, your commitment and your respect for your partner.
0:12:19 – Speaker 2
So that’s what I have found Ever since we had this at the beginning of the year I would say it was March or something Ever since we’ve had that and issues have come up, i have watched you. There was one time in particular that we were in the bathroom. It wasn’t a real snippy exchange, but it was a disagreement we were having And you went to walk out and it was so interesting to me that you stopped and you pivoted and you came back and you were like no, we’re going to talk about this. And the minute you did that, i literally wanted to go out on a date with you. I fell in love all over again.
I know that’s super girly to say, but I saw that you had heard me in our previous conversations say you know, digging into the conversations means you’re fighting for our marriage. And I saw you make a decision to come back and have that conversation Would. It would have been easier for you to just ignore it and keep walking out of the bathroom, but you didn’t. Like I have been really proud of you that you don’t let things go. Now sometimes I will tell you I love seeing that leadership come out in Matt when he is like hey, we got to talk about this, but a lot of times it’s my fault and I have to take the lead and bring it up again, you know, because I have done something wrong. I mean, that happened this morning where I was a little snippy and I had to go back and say, hey, i’m really sorry, i owe you an apology, And then we went into a conversation. But I think we’re both learning when we need to dig in and be the bigger person and say we’re sorry first and really just not avoid.
0:13:52 – Speaker 1
There’s so many challenges and obstacles. It’s so important that what we focus on this is a priority and again fight for the marriage.
0:14:00 – Speaker 2
So well, i want to wrap that up. I think it’s a short, simple show, but I think it’s important, just as a reminder, not to avoid difficult conversations, because they’re difficult And you really do show your loved ones that you love them by pressing into the difficult. So we want to encourage you to continue doing that, not only with your spouse, but with your kids. Have the difficult and awkward conversations, and that shows that you’re fighting for your family.
Transcribed by https://podium.page