0:00:00 – Speaker 1
nextTalk, sponsored by nextTalk.org, contains content of a mature nature. Parental guidance is advised. Welcome to nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim On AM 630, the word. Mandy is the author of Talk and Kim is the director of nextTalk, a non-profit organization helping parents cyber parent through open communication. Follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter. Find our free video series and subscribe to our weekly podcast at nextTalk.org. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
0:00:37 – Speaker 2
We’re doing a month of marriage series, and this is Mandy Majors. I’m in the studio today. Kim is not here, but guess who I have with me? My husband, my best friend, matt.
0:00:49 – Speaker 3
0:00:50 – Speaker 2
Matt, for those who didn’t, don’t listen to your other shows. You want to introduce yourself.
0:00:56 – Speaker 3
Sure, my name is Matt. I’m Mandy’s husband. I work for a biomedical research firm in San Antonio, texas. I get the great honor to live life with my wife, mandy.
0:01:12 – Speaker 2
Oh, that’s so sweet. We’ve been married almost 20 years. Next year we have two kids, 14 and 11. We’re doing this series a month of marriage because often time Christmas is busy Sometimes in our marriage we focus a lot of effort on our kids. We just wanted to take a moment and be like you know what we need to pay attention to our marriage here. Christmas is a busy season. There’s work, parties and church parties and plays and gifts to buy budgets to stick to all these things. So many times we can end up fighting with our spouse through all of that instead of working together. We’re covering a wide range of topics here Today. We really want to talk about how your past affects your marriage, so we’re going to talk about this a little bit today.
Matt and I grew up very differently, so let me set this up for you. My parents divorced when I was three and I grew up as raised by a single mom. She worked a lot really hard to provide for us, sometimes three jobs, and so money was very tight for us. We moved a lot. You know, never had a, never bought a house, anything like that. We would always rent apartments or trailers and or condo. We ran into condo, a duplex. I mean we’ve lived everywhere right.
And so I grew up not getting a lot of material things. I mean I had the necessities I never like, wanted for anything. I remember one time I had a.
I was cheerleader in middle school and we had to buy a cheerleading jacket and I got the well we, all of our team was. We didn’t have to, it was, but our whole team was, our whole squad was, and I remember getting the, the amounts that it was going to be, and I remember crying in the bathroom before I went home because I thought this is going to be like an extra burden on my mom and I don’t want her to have to feel like she has to get this for me, even though I wanted it so badly because all my friends were getting one and I still. We got the jacket. I still have the jacket and I can’t get rid of it. It’s just one of those things, because I know she sacrificed so much. So that’s the world I grew up in, like material things were few and far between, and those that I did get I cherish deeply. So tell us how you grew up.
0:03:39 – Speaker 3
0:03:40 – Speaker 2
Honey, I mean, you set that stage for us.
0:03:42 – Speaker 3
So my parents have been married for how long?
0:03:47 – Speaker 2
Long, long time, long time.
0:03:49 – Speaker 3
So been married, exceptional parents.
0:03:51 – Speaker 2
0:03:51 – Speaker 3
Yeah, so my parents. My dad was a great role model for me and how he loved his wife, and my mother was an exceptional, exemplary mother, and it was. I’ve been only child and I had a tremendous amount of opportunity from the day I was born even to this day it’s. I have unconditional love and support, and I grew up in a household where my dad worked very hard and was an entrepreneur and provided really very well for our family and so I. When Mandy and I met, it was kind of the tale of two cities in terms of our expectations, our thoughts, and it made it interesting.
0:04:41 – Speaker 2
Well, and you know, when I hear you describe yourself, you know some people are like well spoiled. You know it’s funny because people that grew up like I grew up would say that about somebody. Matt was not spoiled, he really was not. I mean he was to an extent of like he was given so much, but he was not like bratty about it. He was very much like I want to share with you everything. I mean just he was just very down to earth for having so many material things. And I found that very intriguing when we first met, because I didn’t know how he grew up and he was just so down to earth. I just assumed he grew up similar to me and that kind of thing. And the more we talked, I’m like we grew up very differently. Both come from very loving homes, but as far as the material aspects it was very different, and so we had this thing going on early in our relationship. He loved to buy me gifts.
0:05:44 – Speaker 3
Early in our relationship I did. I saw my dad do this with my mom and I viewed this as just a way of demonstrating my affection and love.
0:05:55 – Speaker 2
So I worked at a grocery store when I was in college and I would get off work at the grocery store and I would have roses on my car and I would have cards like almost every day and I would have something like he was just showering me with stuff, right, which I loved. Don’t get me wrong, I loved, but I would always be like you don’t have to do that, like I know you like me, you don’t have to get me things to show me that I didn’t know how to process that Right, and so I feel like I handled it badly.
0:06:30 – Speaker 3
Tell me, I mean, I don’t know that you handled it badly. I mean you just for material things, all the way up to opening the car door. You just it wasn’t important to you. It, in other words, my intent was to use these open in the doors car doors, everywhere we went buying dinners, everywhere we would go buying you things. My intent was once again to demonstrate my affection for you, but it wasn’t always received that way, so my intent it wasn’t effective. Early on I learned that and I adjusted.
0:07:03 – Speaker 2
So I grew up you know, because my parents divorced so little when I was so little. I grew up with this mentality of I’m a strong, independent person. I don’t need a man for anything.
0:07:17 – Speaker 3
Still very strong and independent. I love it.
0:07:20 – Speaker 2
And I really was rude. I, looking back, I was rude to Matt. Many times he would try to open the car door for me, and so it wasn’t just material things, it was like respectful things and I would say I don’t need you to do that. Like I am, just, I’m not a delicate. I remember saying to you I’m not a delicate little flower, like I’m not like most girls, like I have been on my own for, you know, since I was three, I’m good and, looking back, I am ashamed that I handled it the way I did. I just don’t know that I knew any better. So we have the situation happening about this gift giving in our marriage and we’re really and this is when we were dating- this was 20 years ago, 22 years ago.
Yeah, this is when we were dating, and early on in our marriage too. Once we got married, though, the budget was way tighter. We started our careers, and you know it was really difficult to try and manage the budget. We went through Dave Ramsey, so we were very budget conscious, and so what happened is we never really had a conversation about the gift giving, other than we agreed that for birthdays, christmas, anniversaries, like those big dates that you would typically buy gifts for, we just said we’re not gonna buy each other gifts because we don’t have the money right now, and we’re going through Dave Ramsey.
Matt’s parents were able to pay for his college. I had loans that I had to pay off, right, so I was trying, we were trying to get those loans paying. That was like a priority for us on our snowball with the Dave Ramsey stuff, and so we made this decision that, all these big days, we weren’t gonna surprise each other with gifts. So we would buy a new bed or we would buy a camera you know those like household things that you need, that you don’t really budget for. That come up, and that’s what we would do, and we never remind you. We never had a conversation about what this looked like okay, so fast forward to recently.
0:09:31 – Speaker 3
0:09:33 – Speaker 2
I would say two years, two or three, the last two or three years maybe.
0:09:36 – Speaker 3
Okay, so two or three years ago.
0:09:38 – Speaker 2
So the last two or three years, you know I’m on social media and I’m seeing. You know because you know social media is so great. Oh my God, I’m seeing, you know husbands surprise their wives with gifts.
0:09:50 – Speaker 3
That’s why I don’t do social media.
0:09:52 – Speaker 2
Yeah, and I feel a tinge of jealousy in my heart Because I’m not getting those things from Matthew, right? And, mind you, we’ve never had another conversation about the gifts We’ve just gone along with. We’re not buying each other gifts and we don’t. We’re not really talking about it, right? And one night we were watching a show on TV.
0:10:17 – Speaker 3
0:10:18 – Speaker 2
You know where I’m going? Oh, my gosh. Okay, so my daughter and I, we have an obsession of when calls the heart. It is a bad obsession.
0:10:26 – Speaker 3
This is a stupid show. When calls the heart, it’s just a horrible, horrible show.
0:10:32 – Speaker 2
We cannot wait for the next series to come out. He says it’s horrible because it’s a love story and it’s it’s great. But it you have to agree, like you have to agree with me. It’s one of the few things we can watch on TV without worrying about the content in front of our kids.
0:10:46 – Speaker 3
Anything called when calls the heart is an immediate showstopper for me.
0:10:51 – Speaker 2
Okay, so we’re going to disagree on this because it’s one of the best shows on TV. Moms, daughters go watch it right now. It’s so, so good. But season five is a tear-dryker, so just be very careful about that and don’t get mad at me if you’re upset with how that goes. But we were watching this show and the main character did something amazing. The man did something amazing for the wife. He had rose petals spread out all throughout the house and my teenage daughter sets up on the family sofa. She looks at my husband and she was like why don’t you ever do that for mom? Do you remember this? Very likely. And my husband says because mom doesn’t like to get gifts like that.
0:11:37 – Speaker 3
Yeah, I think I did say that.
0:11:38 – Speaker 2
You said something like that yeah. Then I said well, I used not to like to get gifts, but now I do. I think I’ve changed and I need you to keep up with me.
0:11:49 – Speaker 3
Guys note this all started with a show called when Calls the Heart. Avoid, avoid, avoid.
0:11:56 – Speaker 2
No, go watch, go watch, go watch. It’s such a great show, it’s such a good family content show. So this then evolved into a family discussion. So, like my son and my daughter, we all started talking, because by this time the show’s over. But now we’re talking about the rose petals and why dad doesn’t do it for mom and why and you know, matt is saying mom doesn’t like it and all this stuff right. And we’re having this big discussion and we’re talking about when we used to date and how daddy I said daddy used to do this all the time he would put roses on my car and he would just send me roses I mean like all the time and we realized one. We weren’t modeling a good relationship for our kids. That was kind of evident with the whole discussion.
But the second thing was our daughter did something and it was like a light bulb moment. Again, like you think that’s girly when I say that, but it was a light bulb moment for me. So our 14 year old daughter this is what she said very simply like we have this whole big conversation going and she says okay, let me break it down for you guys, let me break it down. She said mom, you grew up not receiving material things, you don’t know how to receive, and you finally figured it out. You finally have been able to start receiving things and understanding that. And now dad has stopped because he has been pushed away. And she looked at me and she’s like I need you to start receiving. And then she looked at dad and she was like I need you to step it up, like you need to do something about it here. You need to get back in your gift giving mode, right? Is that how you remember?
0:13:27 – Speaker 3
it. Yeah, that’s pretty yeah.
0:13:29 – Speaker 2
And we kind of just looked at each other and we didn’t say anything, like it just went silent, because I was like processing what she just said and I’m thinking it has taken us 20 years to figure out what my teenager just said in two minutes and it made perfect sense Like I had never recognized in myself that I was not able to receive things, like I was not ever able to know that.
0:13:54 – Speaker 3
Well, and as I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more financially conservative, and so I’m really digging this whole not buying gifts thing Right, like it’s saving me some cash.
0:14:04 – Speaker 2
We’ve traded places actually Like. I’m like buy me gifts and you’re like no, let’s save.
0:14:08 – Speaker 3
Yeah, and that used to be flip roast. Yeah, I was good with it. Yeah.
0:14:12 – Speaker 2
So we didn’t say anything else in front of the kids that night because that enough had been said. But I think a couple of days later we had a date and we brought it up and we talked about it and we were like, huh, there’s something going on in our marriage Like we need to talk about this.
0:14:28 – Speaker 3
0:14:29 – Speaker 2
If you’re just now tuning in, this is nextTalk Radio at 2 pm on AM 630,. The word nextTalk Radio is listener supported. Everything we do at our nonprofit to keep kids safe online is accomplished through your donations To support our organization. Go to nextTalk.org and click on give. If you’re just now tuning in, I’m in the radio station. This is Mandy with my husband today Matt.
0:14:54 – Speaker 3
0:14:55 – Speaker 2
We just shared about something that our daughter taught us our teen daughter taught us about our marriage.
0:15:01 – Speaker 3
Yeah, absolutely. It’s amazing how clear that our kids can see things, and I think that we can still learn a lot from them.
0:15:11 – Speaker 2
So she kind of summed it up and said I don’t know how to receive.
0:15:17 – Speaker 3
Yeah, and really I think what I heard her say is Dad, you’re getting old and crusty, you don’t know how to give anymore. You don’t know.
0:15:24 – Speaker 2
Well, it’s almost like she was like you don’t know how to court your wife anymore. I know that’s old fashioned terms, but I think that’s what she was saying.
0:15:31 – Speaker 3
Yeah, probably, and she’s unfortunately. She’s probably right, and this would happen a couple of years ago and, to be honest with you, I’m still struggling with that. So this was difficult for me.
0:15:43 – Speaker 2
So once I realized this that I wasn’t receiving I dropped a few hints for Matt, like that I wanted him to buy me a gift, and he didn’t get those hints.
0:15:52 – Speaker 3
Yeah, look, ladies, just get. Don’t drop the hints, Don’t do the hints Just get to the point yeah.
0:15:57 – Speaker 2
So one day we went out and I had to be very honest with him. Now, this was a difficult conversation for me to have. It was a difficult conversation for me to have because I had recognized in this moment that I had played a part in why he wasn’t buying me gifts anymore. So things let me just tell you like for one I would say I was independent. But also, like early in our marriage too, when he would buy me gifts, I would be like did you use a coupon for this? Like if he had got bath and body stuff, I’d be like did you use the coupon? And like he’s like dude, just let me bless you. Like, stop trying to control it.
0:16:32 – Speaker 3
Yeah, when I would buy you stuff when I was a rebel and I would just like do it anyway, even though I knew you probably would not like it, most of the time it would be returned.
0:16:42 – Speaker 2
0:16:42 – Speaker 3
Right, yeah, and so I got to the point where the economist in me basically said it’s not worth this.
0:16:50 – Speaker 2
I had recognized that I had been pushing that away Right and everything in me just wanted to blame everything on that. Like you’re, we’re getting old and you’re not paying attention to me anymore. Like I wanted to do that, but I had to recognize my fault in it and so when we had this conversation, I didn’t want it to come across like you are failing as a husband. I feel neglected, like I need romance back and I need gifts back and I need all of this stuff back.
0:17:16 – Speaker 3
Yeah, but but hold on, it wasn’t just you failing, I was failing too, because I was kind of on cruise control. You are what it was a matter of. Hey, this, everything’s great, it’s great, she’s happy, everything’s fine, no problem. And that’s a very dangerous place to be in a marriage on cruise control.
0:17:33 – Speaker 2
I think that’s a great point, because in hindsight I wish I just made that up. That’s great and you know, in hindsight I kind of wish you would have come to me and been like I want to buy you things. I know that you’re struggling with it, but I wanted, I kind of wish you would have taken that initiative.
0:17:50 – Speaker 3
Well, you know that that, but we were on cruise control.
0:17:52 – Speaker 2
You’re right yeah.
0:17:53 – Speaker 3
The irony is, even as I sit here right now and I think you know we’re talking through this and I think about, you know, buying you stuff I can still in my mind go back to 20 years ago and the joy that I had and the excitement that I had and buying you things and seeing that, you know, that look on your face and at that time that look was more of like shock and all and disappointment, whereas now I could envision, if I were to do that now, that the look on your face would be of joy and appreciation and thanks and love and honestly, as I think about that, it kind of I don’t know kind of brings out, you know, a new kind of excitement. In that. You know, I think I can do this again.
0:18:41 – Speaker 2
I have squelched that. I squelched it because of my reactions and I really just failed to recognize and you just withdrew. And you just withdrew because you felt this is both our faults.
0:18:52 – Speaker 3
Yes, it’s both our faults.
0:18:53 – Speaker 2
Yes, and you know what? One thing that I really struggled with, coming from how I grew up versus how Matt grew up, is I never understood that you can enjoy material things and have material things but they not be your God. Because I grew up without a lot of extras. I always just assumed if you had the extras, if you had the materials stuff, that those were your God. Like there was no gray area for me and I feel like Matt has really taught me that in our marriage.
You know we’ve had stability. You know we’ve bought homes. You know not huge home, just your basic home. You know your basic, normal home, nothing grand. But to me that is like amazing that we have that stability. And I know with my home, like it’s not my God, like I could lose it tomorrow and be just fine, like if we had to live in an apartment or a trailer on some property, like I would be fine, but I do enjoy it and I have learned to have that balance. And so I think as I’ve matured, I have seen myself learn that balance and then I want you to surprise me with gifts more and then you’re done, because you’re like I’ve been pushed away so much.
0:20:10 – Speaker 3
You know I’ve said this before. Rick Warren talks a lot about this, about ambition and material things and how he really believes that God wired us to be ambitious and to enjoy good things and to be happy for others whenever they enjoy good things. Someone gets a new car, they get a new house, they get a new job, whatever the case. So we need to be happy for them and just really kind of share in that joy. But it’s bad when those things the new job, the new house, the new car becomes truly their God and that’s when you’re off kilter and you’ve lost your perspective, or it makes us jealous or covet or like those things.
0:20:55 – Speaker 2
I was feeling like jealousy when I was looking at the marriages on Facebook. That was not good and it was a red flag for me like something’s off, like why am I feeling jealous?
0:21:03 – Speaker 3
Yeah, well, I mean, and the good thing too is we’re talking about buying material things and gifts here. I know in Mandy she would be just as happy if I bought her a I don’t know, or if I made something right.
0:21:17 – Speaker 2
That’s what I was just gonna say. You know, I grew up the way my mom showed affection to me. She was just the best mom. But she would write little notes in the pancakes that I would eat every morning, which sounds silly, but you know, if I had a test or whatever, she’d be like good luck and it would be my pancakes for the morning. Or she would write me a little handwritten note that I would find in my backpack when I got to school. And so for me, that is huge. For me, Like when Matt texted me randomly out of the blue and says I love you, you’re amazing and there’s no reason for it. Like, those mean more to me than anything.
0:21:54 – Speaker 3
A little caveat there, when there’s no reason for it.
0:21:56 – Speaker 2
Yes, you know, like you’re not trying to make up for a fight or something you know.
0:22:02 – Speaker 3
And I have started doing more of that. Or leaves a postage note.
0:22:06 – Speaker 2
And, ladies, what I wanna tell you is your husband doesn’t know what makes you tick.
0:22:10 – Speaker 3
No, I have no idea so.
0:22:12 – Speaker 2
I’ve had to say that to him. I’ve had. I literally had to have a conversation and I had to say I want you to surprise me more and I want more gifts, and the gifts don’t have to be like they can be $20. Like I just want more surprises and I’m missing that. I feel like we’re missing some of that in our marriage and it’s been so great that we’ve been able to have those conversations.
0:22:34 – Speaker 3
Yeah, it’s the key. There is the conversation and it’s not us sitting down and talking forever and it’d be some long drawn out, emotional blah, blah, blah. I don’t, we don’t have. That’s not what we mean when we say talk. It’s just a real sincere, honest, look, we’re doing life together kind of conversation.
0:22:51 – Speaker 2
And there was a lot of apologies in it. Like I, when I started the conversation with Matt, I said I’ve pushed you away and I recognize it and I’m sorry. And then he, he said just what he said on the show. Like I’ve become complacent. We got on cruise control. I should have pushed through and said no, this is important to me. Like I want to surprise you with these things, cause it helps me, it gives me excitement in our marriage. Like to do that.
0:23:12 – Speaker 3
Well, you know, unfortunately there is a little bit of selfishness in there. It really is to see you and our kids like really excited or happy about something that I was able to directly do. I mean, I want to be that provider, right, that’s that’s a huge joy. It gives me the greatest joy.
0:23:30 – Speaker 2
And I’ve taken that away from you.
0:23:32 – Speaker 3
I’ve taken that away from you Unknowingly.
0:23:33 – Speaker 2
Unknowingly. And so you know, as we started thinking about these shows, we just thought this was kind of a good one to do. It’s near Christmas. I know one thing we do we’ve never gotten each other Christmas gifts before. I mean, we are still on the whole, we’ll put, we’ll put our, we’ll go take an extra vacation or whatever. This year I think we may try something different. We’ve been talking about like let’s set a budget and it doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, but we just want you to get me a little cool little things, you know, not because we need it or just because we want to be thinking about the other one.
0:24:07 – Speaker 3
Right, it’s really a demonstration, it’s. It’s us outwardly demonstrating our affection, our love, our appreciation, our respect for one another.
0:24:15 – Speaker 2
And our key is here Listen, if your budget is like we can’t do this, the notes I’m telling you. The notes mean more to me than anything. Or Matt, knowing that I’m stressed out, and he’ll do something around the house which is my responsibility. You know like, like normally, I’m in charge of the laundry He’ll sweep in and do something like that. You can show your spouse in so many other ways other than just the material things. Give them coupons, free back rub, free laundry day, when I’m gonna do laundry all day. Whatever you wanna do, you can do it on a low budget. But we just wanted to give you some ideas on how to start the conversation about what you’re wanting in your marriage.
0:24:57 – Speaker 3
I think really, and my mind, what it boils down to is, in this busy world, with everything going on, you take the time to just recognize, you basically turn the cruise control off and you say, okay, through all of this mess and all of the stuff that’s going on in life, you are still my priority as my wife, as my husband, whatever the case may be.
0:25:21 – Speaker 2
And instead of getting mad at you and blaming it all on you, I had to take ownership and we talked it through. That is the key.
0:25:27 – Speaker 3
0:25:28 – Speaker 2
I hope you have the open communication and be completely honest.
0:25:33 – Speaker 1
Thanks for joining us on nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim on AM630, the Word. You are not alone trying to figure out how to parent in this digital world. We are here with practical solutions to help you. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Find our free video series and podcast at nextTalk.org. Are you ready for the nextTalk? We’ll see you in a minute, Thank you.
Transcribed by https://podium.page