0:00:00 – Speaker 1
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0:00:31 – Speaker 2
Are you ready for the nextTalk?
0:01:01 – Speaker 1
Today we’re going to talk about a huge fight we had a couple weeks ago and it was actually a huge breakdown in communication. But it led to a breakthrough and, as we’ve walked through these last couple of weeks with everybody you know in this pandemic, we’ve learned a lot about our marriage and the struggles that we have and also the things we’re really good at, and so we kind of wanted to take you on our journey with us. We’re going to be pretty transparent about this fight. It’s going to be kind of hard. We’ve had to swallow some pride right and being able to share this.
0:01:32 – Speaker 3
Yeah, yeah, it wasn’t. I wouldn’t set it up like that. It wasn’t that bad, it was just very necessary.
0:01:38 – Speaker 1
Well, I just think you know we said a lot of hurtful things to each other and I think it’s actually, I think you said more hurtful things than I do.
Oh, here we go, we’re going to fight again, okay, so let’s just start this off. First of all, like everybody, we were pretty much going on week two of the stay home order and we were really busy at work trying to figure things out. You know all the adjustments that had to be made and also the homeschool thing, you know that hit us and we were trying to I should say I was trying to figure that out. That pretty much falls on me.
In our home we kind of have a set up. Traditionally, matt is working 10 to 12 hours a day outside of the home and I work, but I’m working from home. I’ve worked from home for the past 15 years and so I’ve really learned that balance of work, home life and I, you know, pretty much manage the household because I have more flexibility than Matt does, and so that’s kind of our set up and I think we need to kind of explain that there’s no right or wrong set up for you and your family. I just wanted you to know, like, where Matt and I are coming from about this fight that we had. So would you agree with everything that I just said there about kind of how?
0:02:46 – Speaker 3
we roll with things. That’s how we do it.
0:02:48 – Speaker 1
Yeah, that’s, that’s, that’s our system. And so we were going on week two of this stay home order and we were not talking, and I could feel it.
0:02:55 – Speaker 3
So it was a stay home, stay safe in Texas. Where we are Right and it was that people could leave right for their essential duties, and I worked for an employer who is considered an essential or critical employer, so I was at home some, but also in the office some, and nonetheless it was different.
0:03:15 – Speaker 1
You were kind of back and forth, but you still had to leave you know where.
I wasn’t leaving as much Right, and so we were trying to figure at homeschooling to. Of course, like I said, that all kind of fell on me and we were also processing like what a pandemic is. I mean, I think we were both. We weren’t saying it out loud, but just thinking about death and destruction and the fallout and everything that’s to come From this. And even though we weren’t talking about that, it was weighing on us without us even realizing how much it was weighing on us.
0:03:45 – Speaker 3
Well, and it’s not easy to talk about those things. The one they’re not fun to talk about. And two, it’s not something that you typically bring up. When you got kids hanging all over you, too, you don’t typically talk about. You know this gloom and doom of reality, and I think a lot of people just really prefer to not even bring it up.
0:04:02 – Speaker 1
0:04:04 – Speaker 3
Not always the best thing to do.
0:04:06 – Speaker 1
So it was week two. I could tell we were off. Matt sometimes gets up early before he goes into work and goes on walks. I am not much of a warning person at all, but he got up and in my mind I’m thinking okay, we’re not talking, a date is now a walk around the block, so I need to spend time with him.
0:04:24 – Speaker 3
By the way, I wasn’t thinking any of that.
0:04:26 – Speaker 1
0:04:27 – Speaker 3
This is a big difference to men and women. I was just like let’s go for a walk. And you were thinking, oh my gosh, we’re not talking. Yes, he did that, that, that, that, that all these things that I just wanted to go for a walk.
0:04:36 – Speaker 1
Exactly so, I think. Even going into the walk we were on total opposite page and we didn’t even know it because we weren’t communicating.
0:04:43 – Speaker 3
And we’re men and women are different. Yeah, and so it’s the natural fit and our personalities are different too.
0:04:48 – Speaker 1
I mean all of it. Right, we have to factor all of that into it. So I get up and, again, I’m not a morning person, you know. So I get ready and we take off, and the first couple of minutes was just kind of quiet, you know, I think we were. It was nice to have fresh air and we were listening to the birds. So we started talking about.
I think I brought it up first and I basically said something about hey, you know, I don’t think we’re really in a good spot right now. I’m kind of feeling like everything is on me, like I have to get out and try and hunt for toilet paper, I have to prepare the meals which we’re cooking all the time now. I have to figure this whole homeschool thing out, which I’m not used to. On top of all that, I’m still working from home and making all the adjustments that I have to make at nextTalk to adjust for the pandemic, and I’m drowning and I don’t know what. How do you remember how you responded to that? I kind of just tried to say it and I probably said it in a very selfish and pouty way because I was emotional and it was morning, like you know.
0:05:51 – Speaker 3
Yeah, I don’t know, I was just. I was just wanting to walk, so I don’t remember exactly what I was thinking. You know what? I can tell you that I thought that that would be a great opportunity to kind of share some of my thoughts that I hadn’t shared, that have been kind of irritating me. Maybe I thought, well, if you’re going to tell me what’s irritating you, I’m going to tell you what’s irritating me.
0:06:12 – Speaker 1
So you’re thinking okay, let me get something off my chest, so let’s tell our audience, our listeners here.
0:06:17 – Speaker 3
Yeah, I don’t want social media.
0:06:18 – Speaker 1
What happened next?
0:06:20 – Speaker 3
I don’t like social media, but I’ve joined Twitter just to get information on the pandemic, so I don’t follow much, but on Twitter you can see who. If you like things, is that right?
0:06:32 – Speaker 1
Well, because you follow me oh yeah, so you can see what I like.
0:06:35 – Speaker 3
Yeah, so I see what you like. So the day prior I was on looking at pandemic stuff and I saw all the things that you like and I in that moment I thought she’s spending more time liking things on Twitter than she is talking to me and interested in what I have to think and what’s on my mind, and so I told you that. And I may not have said it in a way that was really great, but I think that was kind of lighting the wick to the dynamite.
0:07:02 – Speaker 1
So let me just say folks, it hurt when he said that.
0:07:06 – Speaker 3
And I didn’t mean for it to hurt.
0:07:08 – Speaker 1
It’s done really bad. And it was again confirmation that we weren’t talking. And I guess I would caution you if you’re sharing your feelings more on Twitter than you are with your spouse, it’s a big red flag. And I think that’s what was happening, because I was feeling all alone because Matt, I felt like he was checked out and we’ll kind of get into that what I said next. But you need to really have your guard up. If the outside world knows more about your feelings than your spouse, I think that should be a red flag. So he says this to me and I couldn’t get anything out. I just started crying.
0:07:42 – Speaker 3
Yeah, that’s pretty cool.
0:07:43 – Speaker 1
So we’re walking down our street and about that time I had a hoodie on, so I put my hoodie up because I’m bawling, right I was ready to turn the other way. It took everything I had not to just be like, ok, I’m out of here, I’m going back home right now, like literally I would have been OK with that.
That crossed my mind several times and I was thinking I’m not going to run, I’m not going to run from this problem, I kept telling myself. So I got super defensive, obviously because, obviously Well, I mean because you were right. And so I got defensive, and so I got defensive.
0:08:16 – Speaker 3
You were right, so I got defensive.
0:08:18 – Speaker 1
Well, I got defensive because you pointed out my bad behavior right and it’s done and it hurt, and so I got defensive. And then that’s when I said I feel like you’re completely checked out, Like I have to do everything.
0:08:32 – Speaker 3
Which, by the way, was also true.
0:08:34 – Speaker 1
You are not helping at all. I’m adjusting, I’m trying to be calm for the kids and I don’t even have a place to vent because I can’t talk to you. So we’re walking down the street and we’re quiet.
0:08:46 – Speaker 3
We were both wrong and both angry.
0:08:48 – Speaker 1
But how did you respond to that when I was like you? I don’t know if you remember what you said.
0:08:54 – Speaker 3
Well, I’m sure you’ll remind me.
0:08:55 – Speaker 1
Well, I mean, I was like you’re checked out. You didn’t respond with your rights.
0:09:00 – Speaker 3
No, I was defensive and you were right.
0:09:04 – Speaker 1
similarly, and you started saying right now, I still have to go to work and you’re making me feel like I’m doing everything wrong right now, but I’m stressed Like I have work stress. You actually get to stay home, have a flexible work schedule and love on our babies, you know.
0:09:22 – Speaker 3
I didn’t say it like that.
0:09:23 – Speaker 1
Well, I don’t know what you said, but you said like you get to be at home with the kids. Well, right. You get to do all these things. It could be so much worse.
0:09:30 – Speaker 3
I did say that.
0:09:31 – Speaker 1
And I think when I heard that, like I knew it could be so much worse, like I knew I was already feeling selfish for feeling this way, but I couldn’t help it because I was still feeling it. And so when he said that y’all, like I felt, so dismissed, I felt I did, I totally felt like you didn’t care about my feelings because you were just like you should be grateful that where you are right now.
0:09:57 – Speaker 3
Yeah, logical, for emotion is not always the best conversation.
0:10:01 – Speaker 1
Yeah. So then we were yelling basically what we were doing wrong to each other and why, you know basically arguing our points, going in our corners and you know being stubborn, and then we just stopped. There was like silence for what? 15,. It seemed like forever.
0:10:16 – Speaker 3
It was great.
0:10:18 – Speaker 1
It was like 15 minutes. I’m still crying. He’s not, I mean, he’s just walking, he’s like whatever. We passed by neighbors as we were walking and Matt would be like, hey, how you doing. And I would like, with my hoodie, you know, kind of smile out like everything was fine, hi, as tears are streaming down my face.
0:10:38 – Speaker 3
Maybe they thought you had allergies.
0:10:40 – Speaker 1
I don’t know. But in hindsight it was a pretty funny sight, but in the moment, like I was really mad at you.
0:10:47 – Speaker 3
Yeah, yeah, you were.
0:10:48 – Speaker 1
And I think you were really mad at me. Yeah, because you felt like I was attacking you.
0:10:53 – Speaker 3
0:10:54 – Speaker 1
And telling you about all the things you were doing wrong. Yeah, you could really cut the tension with a knife and we finally, after passing multiple people and being very fake like everything was just fine which still is a funny picture in my mind, cause I feel like so many of us do that on social media and otherwise we just act like everything’s fine when it’s not. Yeah, and that’s what we were doing. And we finally reached our driveway and I think we both kind of wanted to run in opposite directions. I didn’t want to come in the house, but I remember looking at him and saying, hey, you know, before we walk in the store, like we can’t fight in front of the kids, this isn’t good for them. And I think we kind of both agreed Okay, we’re not going to fight in front of the kids. We looked at each other, we didn’t work anything out. It was basically just okay, I’m not going to fight with you, I’m going on my own way here and we’re going to do our own thing. And that’s where the big breakdown ended.
0:11:47 – Speaker 3
Yeah, that did. But you know again, if you’re out there and you’ve got kids, it’s tough because it’s hard to communicate in front of them. You also don’t want to fight in front of them. This is why it’s tough whenever you’ve got kids or you’ve got in-laws or others living with you. It’s certainly not an easy way of communicating whenever you’ve got to navigate others in the house.
0:12:09 – Speaker 1
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0:12:32 – Speaker 2
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0:12:58 – Speaker 1
Investment advisory services offered through PAX Financial Group. If you’re just now tuning in, this is Mandy.
Kim is not with me today, but I have my husband, matt, here I’m here, and the first half of the show we talked about a big fight that we had on week two of quarantine big blow up, and I think everything was getting the best of us stress and emotions and everything. And I really want to talk about how we moved from that to where we are now, because I feel like now we’re in a really healthy spot. One thing that I wanted to talk about before we move forward is the last couple of years. Matt and I have struggled with our roles at home. The reason is because I’ve been working more and we’ve had to adjust who’s doing what, because I’ve always been a more of a stay-at-home mom more of the time I’ve worked from home for 15 years but really working a lot in the last couple years more and we’ve struggled with that roles of who’s doing what.
And I think what I’ve learned through a lot of this is the problems that were already there in our marriage, the stuff we were struggling not really problems, but the struggle that we had in our marriage. This pandemic put a spotlight on it and you know, in the beginning of the show you can see like I was feeling all alone. I felt like he had checked out and took his hands off at the wheel and like I’m in this all alone figuring out how to homeschool and do it all, and you know he’s just getting to work and I’m like, well, I got to work too. So we had to kind of talk through that. I spent a lot of time in prayer after that fight. I cried a lot because go listen to our body change show about premenopause.
0:14:33 – Speaker 3
Oh my gosh, it’s horrible.
0:14:35 – Speaker 1
It’s a whole learning experience in a marriage with you in your 40s, when you’re going through premenopause stuff. I’ve never cried so much in my life. You can attest to that.
0:14:44 – Speaker 3
I will not say anything that put me in jeopardy. My gosh.
0:14:48 – Speaker 1
So you know, as I was praying after this fight, god reminded me of something, and it was this God loves to protect us from things. He’s our protector, he’s our fixer, and I kept thinking Matt can’t protect us from a pandemic and everything that entails. And so when God showed me that I prayed for the right time, and I remember the kids were preoccupied with something, and so I grabbed him and we went into our bedroom and I shut the door and he laid down like he was getting ready to go watch this movie. And here I am pacing back and forth get ready to have a conversation.
0:15:23 – Speaker 3
Wearing out the carpet.
0:15:25 – Speaker 1
You had no idea how long it was going to be dropped on you, right?
0:15:28 – Speaker 3
What are you doing?
0:15:29 – Speaker 1
So that’s how I started out the conversation, because I felt like God gave that to me. And I said and I knew he had felt attacked from our fight, I knew he had felt like he was failing as a dad and a husband, which wasn’t really what I was thinking, but that’s how I started out the conversation. I said I know that you like to protect us from things, you like to fix things. When we have a problem, you like to help us solve it. And you can’t solve this. You can’t fix homeschool for me, you can’t tell me what to do with work and how to balance all this right now and struggle with my feelings that I’m going through. You don’t know how to do that. And I think by coming at it in a way of seeing the good in him instead of seeing the bad, I think it softened you a little bit, don’t you think? I know you don’t like the word softened, but you felt less attacked and more like okay, he’s thinking of the good thing about me, not the bad things.
0:16:19 – Speaker 3
Yeah, sure, instead of, as we were on our walk, being defensive and just more interested in each of us sharing what we wanted to share for ourselves, more our own individual interests, we had taken time to be able to kind of think a little more level headed and say, okay, let’s think about this a little bigger picture. Instead of what do I need, what’s important to me, let’s kind of look at this a little bit broader.
0:16:45 – Speaker 1
Well, and the minute I came at it from that perspective, you then started opening up to me about stresses that you’ve been going through, that you hadn’t been communicating for a while, right, stress about work, stress about like he was still having to go into the office at that point like he said, essential, but he was also working from home some and he wasn’t used to that.
He wasn’t used to working from home and not just going and leaving to the office and letting me take care of the kids and everything. And then he was worried about germs you know, bringing germs home to the kids. And we started a new rule like the kids always run and hug him right when he walks through the door. We couldn’t do that anymore because he had to take his clothes off and shower before he could hug the kids in case there’s germs on him, right. And then we just started talking about the like. I know you kind of opened up about just the stress in general of this disease and what it’s going to do to people and what it’s going to do to people around us.
0:17:43 – Speaker 3
And I think with so many people right now I can speak for myself there’s just so much change and so much uncertainty that I think we just get generally fearful and honestly kind of defensive and just kind of go into our own little area of protection, of individual sheltering and protection and so he’ll try to cope.
Well, yeah, I guess so, and the thing is, we’re all coping in our own individual way, which is everyone’s different. So, yeah, so for me, I needed to take a minute and really recognize that. I really didn’t understand what you were going through, even what I realized at the moment after we had our little fight and then we actually got to talk. The big difference is, the reason we were able to talk the second time after our fight is because we’ve broken down all the barriers and we’d gotten rid of all of that anxiety and all of those.
0:18:39 – Speaker 1
Emotion, oh yeah, my emotion, basically, well, in your anger might come out in tears. Yours was anger. You were irritated.
0:18:46 – Speaker 3
Well, and, honestly, I think most of it, for both of us, was just based on all this change that’s happened in the world and all the uncertainty, and so, you know, it almost creates a hard shell around us, and so we had to break through that. And then we got to a point where, ok, all that stuff is now out of the way, so now I could actually listen to what you were saying. And then I was able, by listening, I was able, like, truly listening. I didn’t, I wasn’t thinking about myself and what I was defensive of. I was thinking about OK, what is she trying to say? Like, I know we speak different languages always, but what is she really trying to say here? And that’s when I realized that you weren’t attacking me.
0:19:29 – Speaker 1
Well, and then you, I think that you it really I appreciated you saying, ok, I get it. Now, Like there was a moment in this conversation when you said how can I help you? Like what? How, I don’t want to fail, I don’t want to be checked out, but I understand why you feel that I am.
0:19:51 – Speaker 3
Well, I did say that and it’s because, for the first time, I actually get understand, because I didn’t. There got through all the mud and we finally got to dry land and we were able to. Actually, when I spoke, you were listening and listening to understand, and when you spoke, I was listening to understand.
0:20:12 – Speaker 1
Well, I think too. And when you opened up to me about how you were stressed and you hadn’t been communicating that to me because we were both trying to figure out all the change Individually I had more empathy for you and instead of looking at it like as a failure, I looked at it as like, oh, he’s trying to cope. You know what I mean. Like instead of you, instead of me, thinking you’re checked out, I thought, oh, he’s just trying to handle it. Oh, like I am.
0:20:39 – Speaker 3
Well, in the reality, I think we were both right in many ways, equally to how we were wrong. That’s kind of weird, but what I mean by that is individually and within our own minds. I think we were right about what we were thinking about the other person. But then when we really started talking like sincerely, and we let down all the guards and let that let out all the fear, I think that’s when we were really able to truly understand what was going on in the other person’s mind. And this happens pretty often with us. I mean, it really does. I think it happens with a lot of people. I think I know what’s going on in your mind but, believe it or not, there are times when, no, that’s actually not what’s in your mind and, um, Well, and I think that you know another thing we unlocked there open communication, really unlocked practical tools to help us figure it out.
0:21:37 – Speaker 1
Okay, so now we’re understanding each other, but what does that really look like, like? How do we help each other? Yeah, and I think this really helped. We came up with a few things, and one of the things that Matt had been doing that I felt like checked out about was that he would just disappear, like he would go take a nap, he would go play guitar, he would go do something and he wouldn’t tell me. And so in my mind, I’m like, okay, I’m trying to juggle all this stuff. Where is he? In his mind? He is still like trying to figure out. Okay, because when he’s working from home now he’s working a lot more from home, but he’s still going into the office, I’m because he’s essential and so, but in his mind, home is safe place.
He hasn’t had 15 years of figuring out how to balance work and home at home, right, and so in his mind, home is safe place, home is downtime, and so when he would get off a work call, he wouldn’t need a couple of hours of downtime. Right, yeah.
0:22:33 – Speaker 3
And I didn’t like, why would? And you’re thinking why aren’t? Why is Matt not telling me? Why would I tell you? Well, I would. I, this is home.
0:22:40 – Speaker 1
I don’t tell you when I go somewhere and I’m viewing it completely different, because now I’m like now home is like work and everything. For us it’s the office, at school. Home has changed and so we again. We weren’t communicating about our roles, and it’s the same thing we’ve been struggling with for the last two years, about communicating with our roles and how they’re changing, except this just put a huge spotlight on it. So a couple of practical things we came up together with is just communicate. If you need time alone, go have your time alone, but let’s just communicate it about it. I need a minute, I need a three hour nap, I need this like and that goes from both of us, right.
0:23:15 – Speaker 3
Before you get to that, I think it’s really important to know. Don’t assume that you know exactly what’s going on the other person’s mind, especially during something as significant as this global crisis. Don’t.
Even if you’ve been married 20 years, like us even if it’s 40 or 50 years, don’t assume you know what’s going on that person’s mind. That’s the most important thing for me. It was most helpful for me whenever I stopped assuming that I thought what was going on in your mind and I finally said well, what’s going on? Then? Oh, you’re upset because this, this, this and this. I had no idea. I thought that’s what you’ve been doing for the past 15 years. Well, no, it’s not. It’s actually quite different.
0:23:57 – Speaker 1
And, as silly as it sounds, I told Matt. I said I know this is stupid, but can you help me keep the kitchen clowners for your clutter? It just helps me, it helps me feel like I’m managing everything better. And I mean he has completely stepped up there. He’ll say to the kids get your stuff off the counter. You know he’ll wake up early in the mornings and clean it up. He’s really helped with that.
And then the other thing is, you know, like just communicating exactly what we’re feeling. Like I know, one day recently I was having a down day, like I was just tired and sad and you know, it just hit me and I just Matt, wanted to talk about all these things, like these practical things, like what are we going to do in the summer? Are we going to take a vacation this year? Are we going to do all that? Like he’s talking about all these things, like let’s talk about the budget, and I looked at him and I was like I can’t today, like I can’t, and I think before we would have just pushed through because we needed to. And now he just understood he’s like okay, we won’t do it today. And so I feel like we’re giving each other space. Now, it’s not that everything’s a hundred percent amazing because we’re in a pandemic. We’re all still struggling, but I think we’re learning how to navigate, to communicate each other through the yeah.
So three things from today’s show Don’t shame your spouse for how they are struggling. Two a fight does not mean your marriage is a mess. It means there’s a breakdown of communication. And three chase after that breakthrough, talk in a calm manner, see each other’s point of view and then have that open communication lead to practical steps on how you can help each other.
0:25:33 – Speaker 2
Thanks for joining us on nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim on AM 630, 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 video series and podcast at nexttalkorg. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
Transcribed by https://podium.page