Whatever with Heather - Mindset, Parenting & Personal Growth

17. Things We Do That Make Our Marriage Work [featuring. Bryan]

October 25, 2023 Heather Evans Season 1 Episode 17
Whatever with Heather - Mindset, Parenting & Personal Growth
17. Things We Do That Make Our Marriage Work [featuring. Bryan]
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

My husband, Bryan joins me for this episode of "Whatever with Bryan and Heather". We talk about what has fortified our relationship over the past 11 years. Our first marriages ended in divorce, so we'll share what makes this relationship lasting.

We'll talk about respect in marriage and allowing each other to grow. Then we'll talk about the 3 parts of our relationship that makes it work including being teammates, lovers and best friends.

A few things we'll talk about is how teammates work together and support each other. How lovers express love through love languages to grow love. And how best friends have fun and share experiences and stories together.

We hope you enjoy this episode!

Speaker 1:

All right, welcome back to another episode of Whatever with Heather. Today's a special edition. We could actually call it Whatever with Brian and Heather. That's dumb. That's what we're calling it today. Yeah, Um, this guy here the most amazing guy is my husband, the most amazing guy, the luckiest guy, and I invited him to the podcast today. We were going to film on the week of our anniversary, but life got crazy.

Speaker 2:

Life's all over the place. Just kids here and there and jobs and everything.

Speaker 1:

Yep, so he's here today. This is our first time recording two people on one mic, so the audio is a little weird. That's why we're going to do it anyway. We tested a little bit first, but yeah we're also in kind of an echoey spot in our house. Did you hear that sound?

Speaker 2:

Yes, there was a beep somewhere.

Speaker 1:

That would be one of the kids, OK we're in an echoey spot of our house, which is probably our first bad decision, but here we are.

Speaker 2:

We're here, we're doing it.

Speaker 1:

Sometimes perfection stops you from doing what you want to do, so we're just going for it. So what are we going to talk about today? I think we should talk about why this marriage works and our last marriages didn't. What makes this marriage last? We are we have been married for 11 years now, which is a record for both of us what has made this marriage last and work that maybe didn't not like to criticize the other marriages, but more so like what is working this time, why we think it works. The pieces of our marriage that we think are like what has made this last thing, yeah, cool, cool. And maybe not that the other marriages didn't have that, but they probably didn't. That's OK.

Speaker 2:

Well, grow and learn, find the right people.

Speaker 1:

OK, so we haven't scripted this, so I'm just going to ask you what is the first thing you think that makes this marriage work? What do what do we do? What habits do we have or beliefs, or whatever, that makes this marriage work?

Speaker 2:

I think, like mutual respect, like I respect you and your, your thoughts and your ideas and your emotions, and then you often do the same respect in return. We're, I think, a lot of marriages. It's more one sided. It typically leans more toward the male or the female as far, or the one of the spouses.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, like some. Person demands respect but doesn't give it.

Speaker 2:

Yes, one person is the the one that offers the most of themselves to the other, and there's not reciprocating.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, so why does that matter?

Speaker 2:

Because without mutual respect you feel you feel not respected, you feel like you are less important than the other person. But I think me and you we feel on the same level, we feel like we are equally respected and we deserve that respect. But we we actually receive that respect.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and it makes me think maybe, like if you're not respected is it hard to actually feel loved.

Speaker 2:

Because if you're not respected, you feel that disrespect and you often probably push it back onto yourself. So you don't even love yourself because you're like well, I'm not worthy of this respect, I'm not getting this respect.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

If you don't love yourself, can you actually really love somebody else as well? Yeah, the way that they need to or deserve to be loved.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, there's probably like a dissonance, because the person is saying they love you, but respect would be an action of showing they loved you. So there's like this misalignment between they. Could be like I love you, I love you, and even like bring you gifts or whatever and show love through some ways, but then if you're not respected, it's this cognitive dissonance of like I feel love but I also don't feel loved.

Speaker 2:

Then you try to rationalize it. Well, they do love me because they did A, b and C, but then, like the rest of the alphabet, they did not do. There was no respect there.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, cool, I think that's true, just mutual respect.

Speaker 2:

So what do you feel like? Is that one of the reasons so successful?

Speaker 1:

Why it's a 10 out of 10 marriage 10 out of 10. I think a huge part is we're both allowed to grow and we both are growing and then also growing in the same direction. So I mean we can talk about the first piece you're allowed to grow, I'm okay with you growing and changing and evolving.

Speaker 2:

It doesn't mean I'm just becoming a completely different person. I'm still me, still my personality. I'm just you're allowing me to change the things about myself that I want to change and be the person I want to be.

Speaker 1:

And I feel like I'm allowed to grow. I'm allowed to change my interests, my focus, not to the degree where it disrespects you or the family, like where I'm just constantly doing different things and therefore there's no stability, but I'm allowed to grow and change, change my viewpoints on things, have discussions. That might be because you and I believe things differently than even when we got married and I felt open enough to have discussions about that. Religion, politics, the meaning of life, death those have all shifted in our marriage. And it'll continue to shift and they didn't like shift necessarily together at the same time and we probably believe things differently.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Some things we don't see exactly the same way, but it doesn't bother me, like I don't feel like you need to grow into my belief system and I don't feel like you think that I need to shift into where you're at.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, and I'm allowed to, to be myself and think and express my views on things without judgment from you, because you're like well, that's just his point of view and he's growing and that's what he views at that time.

Speaker 1:

So like we're allowed to grow. And then I said something else I don't remember what it was, but then also that we're growing in similar directions and I think that comes down to us having similar values and conversations about it. Yeah, but our values are pretty aligned. Like we value time with our family, we value being a hard worker, we value raising resilient, kind kids. Things that, like we don't really value is like the showy things in life, like a big house or nice cars, and that's okay. No judgment on people that value that. But I think that since we like value the same things, we're both growing towards what we value and we make sure to recalibrate, often like okay, this is not right or maybe we're kind of slacking off on this. I think we're both okay being called out, which is like different than growing. But another thing is we're both okay having those hard conversations and even though, like ego might come into it, we're like I might feel resistance now I'm definitely more the caller outer, but I've asked that of you more like I need you to like make me own when I'm not and you're going to meet resistance because you, anytime somebody calls you out, even if they're doing it with the best intentions and the nicest possible way, you're going to feel attacked.

Speaker 2:

Yeah.

Speaker 1:

Well, and we? Don't like when we don't like seeing areas where we're failing, and we probably already know that. Yeah, I mean, I know.

Speaker 2:

Our brain has told us that hundred times already.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

We've already had the bully appear telling us, and then somebody else just mentions it, and they were like well, they're attacking me too.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think a lot of times women, we feel a lot more like we this is why women are probably known for being naggy is that we're willing to tell you what's not working? Like this isn't working. This part's not working. I need more of this, I need less of this. But if the husbands were to say the same thing towards?

Speaker 2:

us Feel like a jerk.

Speaker 1:

We, yeah, you would feel like a jerk and I would not be happy with you. So we've slowly shifted to where I'm like I need you to call me out, or if I'm calling myself out, I don't need you to be like, no, it's fine, it's nobody. I need you to say, yeah, you don't want me to spare your feelings. Yeah, I need like, if I'm saying, hey, I'm on my phone too much, or I'm like doing this behavior repeatedly, like I'm really short-tempered with the kids, I don't need you to call me. I need you to validate that what I'm seeing about myself is true, but it's hard to do it in a way that doesn't feel attacking. But that's where the respect comes. Like I, I know that you will never say something just to hurt my feelings. Yeah, I don't think we've ever said something just to hurt each other's feelings. That's very different from our first marriages. Not to compare and contrast is we don't fight aggressively. We argue and we are very respectful in how we argue and we never fight dirty, like there's no low blows, just because we know what would hurt.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, because we've been married for 11 years, we know what would hurt.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, I knew. I mean, it's easy to even know what would hurt. I know what. Would you know what you could say that would hurt me just because I'm a woman? And I know what I could say to hurt you just because you're a guy. I know what parts like that I could tear down about you. And I think a lot of times marriages get stuck in these kind of low blow fights.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, it's hard to come back from that because you can't take backwards once they're out. They're out there, yeah.

Speaker 1:

Well, it's just, it feels disrespectful. It's a lack of love. It is disrespectful, yeah, and it's harsh communication. It's calling someone out or whatever, belittling them just for the sake of being right or for the sake of winning.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, winning the argument.

Speaker 1:

And I would say we don't ever argue. No, I wouldn't say that. We do argue to win sometimes, yeah, but it's always done respectfully.

Speaker 2:

And from a place of understanding yeah like we, eventually you're like.

Speaker 1:

well, I do see you say yeah, well, I think also for me, like ownership is huge. So if I've seen something and you're arguing back with me, then I just need ownership of like. Yeah, I did mess up that part. Not that I need you, I want to blame you, I just like. One thing I cannot stand is when people don't take ownership of their actions, their words, their behaviors with our kids, with when I substitute, teach, like when kids are like I didn't have my phone out, yes, you did just own it. You not owning it frustrates me. And so when we have like an argument and you actually did something and you're like well, not like, but you, it's because you didn't. The intention wasn't there to cause harm. And so from you, you're arguing from your intention and I'm arguing from your action, and I want you to take ownership of the action. Yeah, so I think we fight fair, which is another thing that makes our marriage work, because we do argue. I don't feel like we argue a ton. You are very annoying. Right, like once a month, right before my time of the month, ironically, you're very annoying.

Speaker 2:

It's weird, it's just. It's almost like I could track it on the calendar about when I become the most annoying.

Speaker 1:

You're just always so annoying and I don't know why you time it like that on purpose.

Speaker 2:

You're so annoying, I do keep a calendar and I'm like this is the week I need to be annoying as much as I possibly can and a couple of days.

Speaker 1:

I mean, and probably once a month, I'm like do I even want to be married anymore? You're literally the same person and I'm like I just don't think I can make this work.

Speaker 2:

I just have extra bad dad jokes on that week.

Speaker 1:

Oh, I don't even know what it is. It's just everything's a knife, just insert a bunch of knives and twist them, just yeah, he doesn't do anything wrong. He doesn't do anything wrong, but I know that about it.

Speaker 2:

And I know that is coming up and so and you don't belittle me.

Speaker 1:

No, sometimes we laugh about it. Sometimes I'm literally so mad at you and don't want to be married anymore.

Speaker 2:

Yep, and in my brain I'm like I don't know what I did.

Speaker 1:

You did everything wrong and nothing right, but I still don't fight, I don't low blow, but there I will pick arguments. But you know that. Yeah, I think that's another piece is that we know each other's personality traits, so we aren't shocked when we are ourselves. Like he's not mad at me every time. I can't handle him once a month.

Speaker 2:

No, I understand.

Speaker 1:

He gets it, he respects it and like, instead of him being like wishing I were different, he just maneuvers around it. I mean, it's no different than a toddler, right? And you know they're tired and hungry and so they're throwing a fit. Instead of resenting them for being tired and hungry, you maneuver around it. You're like okay, we got to get a snack and we got to get to bed. You don't amp up with them, you don't expect them to be different. That's how they, like, are right. Then he knows, like that time of the month right before it, my hormone, I am not functioning normally and he could cut me down for that. Like, well, you're just being a little hormonal. Sometimes we laugh about it while it's happening because I, literally I'm just like you're like, you're so annoying right now. Yeah, I'm like, am I about to start? Is it that time of the month? Because you are so annoying right now I'm, I take ownership become more annoying.

Speaker 2:

I don't know, Maybe I'm like maybe my hormones are, like you, should be extra annoying right now.

Speaker 1:

We need to do some scientific study on it of, like what's actually happening, but no, like he doesn't belittle me or resent me, even though it's pretty consistent and it didn't. It wasn't always that way in our marriage. It's something that's changed about me. My definitely get much more agitated.

Speaker 2:

You're more comfortable too. Yeah, you're more comfortable with somebody. You're more willing to express your annoyance.

Speaker 1:

I don't know. I just think you've gotten more annoying.

Speaker 2:

Possibly. We learn and grow.

Speaker 1:

So, yeah, that, what else? Anything else? I mean, there's lots of things.

Speaker 2:

We're willing to, like, actually try to understand the other person, even though, like, there's no way that I can always 100% have what's in my brain and verbalize it into a way that you are going to understand it, because we're we have two separate brains you still try to understand and I try to do my best to put it across, and then, vice versa, where there's some stuff that you've said and I'm like I don't understand what you're saying all the way. But I'm trying to understand and I just need you to be patient with me that I'm trying to understand what's in your brain.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I would say our most of our arguments are miscommunication.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, like I need you to normal.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think that, like I'm like I need you to communicate this in a different way. I don't understand it, or I need to communicate things in a different way because you don't understand it, and we will start to get a little bit like more short tempered with each other while we work through that communication. But there's still never low blows. There's still never like if you ever saw us fight during like a miscommunication, we both kind of hold our ground and try to communicate until the communication is resolved. I don't feel like either of us is like meaner.

Speaker 2:

No.

Speaker 1:

But like maybe me a little.

Speaker 2:

No, I just think you're. You're more direct around, just like. Okay, now I'm trying to figure out how to work my thought out of my own brain into your brain, and you'll get frustrated too, because you'll understand.

Speaker 1:

you know sometimes that you're not communicating it clearly.

Speaker 2:

And I will too sometimes. No, I'm not communicating it and I know exactly what's in my head, so I'm like I know this here. I know I'm not communicating it appropriately, but like I'm trying to figure out.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, this happens a lot with like projects or because I can visualize.

Speaker 2:

Say, if we were I don't know making a table or something like, I can visualize exactly what it's going to look like. But can I put that out into words, into something that you'll understand?

Speaker 1:

Yes, and then I need to see it, because sometimes I'll figure out where there's a problem that we need to address earlier. So we are better together, like if we both understand the vision, the vision becomes better. That's a good phrase. I mean even for, like our marriage. If we both understand the vision of our family, the vision works itself into a better vision a more precise vision, a more intentional vision, and like for our marriage too. So we have a lot of laughter in our marriage. We have a lot of serious conversations.

Speaker 2:

A lot of uncomfortable conversations.

Speaker 1:

I would say a lot I mean with our kids. Oh yeah, a lot. We've reached those years of uncomfortable conversations with our kids.

Speaker 2:

But we become less uncomfortable when we talk to our kids about uncomfortable issues.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and I just feel like we're a team and what we always say. I think it was a few years into our marriage probably five years into our marriage that we finally realized, like why we feel like our marriage works because of the three things we have in our marriage. It's probably like halfway through our marriage so far and we realized that we are teammates, we're best friends and we're lovers and those are like the three pieces of our relationship that make our relationship it's like a triangle, it makes it whole because we're teammates.

Speaker 2:

We compliment each other well as teammates. Yeah, there are things that you do that I'm not the best at and there's things that I do that you're not the best at and we're willing to talk to each other about it, but you're way better with the scheduling, obviously. So I'll kind of step back on that and just check in with you like hey, what about this or what about this? And so we compliment each other as teammates. We're willing, and then we're willing to take on more work if we need to, like if I'm out doing more jobs and like the dishes need done, like you're willing to just step up and do the dishes. And you don't make me feel bad about it, I did all the dishes because you did it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and we split that like teamwork. We split the house duties pretty equally. We work pretty equally, even when we own the.

Speaker 2:

She hangs up more clothes, though.

Speaker 1:

I do hang up more clothes. I hate hanging up clothes. He cooks like pretty much all our meals and does the grocery shopping. That's pretty much him. But like sometimes I'll be like, hey, why don't I go grocery shopping with you? Sometimes we just go together. Last time we divided and conquered. I took half the list. He took half the list. He cut down the time. Like I'm always looking for ways to help make his life easier and he's always looking for ways to help make my life easier. So, hope, prep things for me. Or there's times where I'm like, hey, I know you were teaching classes upstairs, so I vacuumed and got that ready. I knew you wouldn't have as much time. So we're always looking for ways to make each other's life easier and carry the low. Like the low just shifts. I feel like we're constantly in like this, like fluctuation, but we're always recalibrating. It's never like well, this is your responsibility and this is mine. We're never settled. We vary. Like every single day is like this okay, like I have a little extra time, I'm gonna get these dishes done, or I have this, or we'll get to the point where the house is a mess and it's like, okay, we gotta, like, both invest some time in getting this picked up. So we're always doing that. We're definitely like teammates. They're very equal in our relationship and what we contribute and what we give and what we take, yeah, so we have that. Then we're lovers. I love him. I find him attractive.

Speaker 2:

I find myself attractive. I find you utterly attractive and I love you with everything I have. Like I would do anything for you at any time, and I only want to make you happy.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I think that goes into like he opens doors for me, but also it's that constant he's evaluating what needs I have, I'm evaluating what he needs, and so that sounds sexual Like she let me sleep in this morning.

Speaker 2:

I usually wake up with the kids and she's like hey, why don't you sleep in? She didn't make me feel bad about it or anything.

Speaker 1:

So I think the love aspect comes into the way we communicate with each other, the way we respect each other, the way like, if I know you're really busy, I'm going to take some of the load. That kind of falls into the team, like teammates will do some things for you, but if it's the person you love the most in the world, they're like it's easier to share the load. Yeah, so I think we have that. We hold hands, we dance, we go on dates. Sometimes our dates are just at home. We're like you kids have to go to bed. We're going to, like, watch a movie, or what else do we do? We've gone to play tennis.

Speaker 2:

And, as a leper, you're willing to do things to make me feel good, like I know that I love to hug you, but when you're walking through the house, sometimes like you would just like to walk through the house and not have me stop you and hug you. But you're willing to stop and hug me because you know that's something that, like makes me feel love.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, the whole love languages thing, being willing, like I know your love languages and you know mine, and a lot of people get stuck in love languages, like, well then, these are mine. So he needs to show me he loves me by acts of service. And what is it? Words of affirmation, those are my two. My acts of service, words of affirmation are what I need, but you are quality time and physical touch. So we have different love languages. And so, in order for me to show him love, he, there's two things that have to happen he has to realize that when I'm doing acts of service and giving him words of affirmation, that's my way of showing love. And I also have to realize that he receives love through physical touch and quality time. And so, since we are in love, we're lovers. Part of my job is to make sure I'm showing him love in the way that he receives love.

Speaker 2:

And I recognize your love being shown in your own way.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. So then it actually makes you feel doubly loved, right, cause now there's actually four love languages in our relationship, and so when he's doing acts of service for me, it's because he knows that's how I feel love. And then when he's like walking by, spank my butt or give me a hug, that's also a way he shows love, and so I feel loved in all those ways. Even though physical touch is not one of my love languages, I know it's his, and so we both notice when we're communicating love to each other and that it actually makes it easier because there's now there's four ways we can communicate love and we recognize it, and it probably took a while for us to adjust to that, cause I was like, ooh, I don't want to be touched.

Speaker 2:

And like words of affirmation they were just like. I mean, I'm comfortable with anything else.

Speaker 1:

So we've really adjusted and that's like where our ability to show and give love to each other has grown. So there were teammates, lovers and then best friends, and so friendship, you know, is different than being like lovers. It's a different level of love. And like this is who I want to spend my time with, this is who I want to hang out with, this is who I want to tell about my day, this is who I want to send funny memes to.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, that's who. I want to send all the funny videos. I want to tell all the dad jokes that I find. Tell you all the jokes. I want to spend all my time with you. I want to grow old with you. Just want to sit on the couch hold hands.

Speaker 1:

We like to play video games together.

Speaker 2:

Yep.

Speaker 1:

We like to play board games together. We like to do puzzles Like that feels all best friend to me.

Speaker 2:

You play some tennis.

Speaker 1:

We like to go shopping together. He's who I want to call or text with something's going on in my life. He's who I can trust with secrets Not that I have a ton of secrets, but he's who I can trust with, like when I need to tell him something about life or whatever. He's who I can trust. I know it's not going anywhere. That's the whole best friends piece. Yeah, we'll go to yoga together. Anyway, those are the three things that make our relationship work.

Speaker 2:

That'll be my next tattoo.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, a triangle, a triangle tattoo. So that's it. I think that's. We've probably covered enough for today. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Speaker 2:

There you go.

Speaker 1:

And that's it. How was it being a guest on my podcast?

Speaker 2:

It's great. I thought that I just get to sit back and chill. Sit in the chair.

Speaker 1:

Did I let you talk enough? Yeah, I'll listen, I'll listen back to this and I'll probably be like Heather.

Speaker 2:

No, that's great, you let me talk. Okay, let me jump in there.

Speaker 1:

You're in there, you're in there. All right, well, thank you for being here. Welcome, thank you for watching. If you're watching on YouTube or listening on your favorite podcasting platform for another episode of Whatever with Heather or the special episode of Whatever with Ryan and Heather, and I'll see y'all next week. Bye, thank you for watching.

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