Beauty in Battle Podcast

8 Qualities of a Healthy Marriage

August 15, 2023 Episode 79
8 Qualities of a Healthy Marriage
Beauty in Battle Podcast
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Beauty in Battle Podcast
8 Qualities of a Healthy Marriage
Aug 15, 2023 Episode 79

Did you know the divorce rate in America has steadily declined in the last 20 years? We didn't either! But that prompted Success Magazine to write an article on marriage and the eight traits that make relationships strong. 

Check out today's episode as we dive into each of them!

Show Notes Transcript

Did you know the divorce rate in America has steadily declined in the last 20 years? We didn't either! But that prompted Success Magazine to write an article on marriage and the eight traits that make relationships strong. 

Check out today's episode as we dive into each of them!

So today we have a really cool podcast. Um, we're gonna be talking about the eight most important qualities of a healthy marriage. And I pulled this from Success Magazine. I love it. Not that I read Success Magazine, but I thought, you know what? This is pretty cool. Let's see what Success Magazine says are the eight top traits Yeah.

Of a healthy marriage. So we're gonna dive into that now. We we're getting crazy great feedback on our last podcast, which was an interview with. Auntie Ann, uh, Byler. Yeah. From Auntie Ann's pretzels and her husband Jonas, and their amazing marriage story. Amazing story. Mm-hmm. So many people don't even realize that the whole, um, genesis of Auntie Ann's pretzel came because of a crazy situation in their marriage.

Yep. But I don't wanna give you a spoiler alert. You gotta go back and listen to it. Um, but there was a song that we wanted to play. For Auntie Ann and Jonas. Mm-hmm. Because as you guys all know, as our listeners, you know, Tori and I like to play some good love songs at the beginning of our podcast. Um, we wanted to play it for them, but I couldn't figure out how to get it to work.

Yeah. It wasn't working lunch. Yeah, because we were interviewing them through Zoom and all that kind of stuff. But anyway, um, so I wanna play it for you now, and this guy is one of my favorites, Johnny Mathis. And I, I know Johnny Mathis and you probably do too, from his Christmas music. Yes. The best Christmas every year he is, got Christmas music out and um, but I didn't realize dude, homeboy's got a lot of other good music.

And so the reason why I like some of these old school songs is 'cause when you're, you're dancing with your spouse in the kitchen to one of these old school songs, you feel like you're in a movie. Mm-hmm. You know, all the best movies kind of magical. Yeah. All the best movies. Just think about the best movies, best love stories that are in the movies.

They always have some old love song that the couple dances to. Yes. Yesterday we were talking about Sleepless in Seattle. Oh yeah. 'cause that might be the best soundtrack, love soundtrack of all times with so many great oldies. Yeah. It's quality. It is so good. And so we started watching Little Clips from that movie That is a solid movie.

Yeah, we need to watch that tonight. Yeah, we do. Let's do it. Okay. Here is, chances are by Johnny Mathis.

Even the opening is amazing.

Chances are because I wear a silly the moment you come, what a voice, chances are you. I'm in love with. Should I keep playing it to her? Keep it going just because

I know that feeling. Chance you

Yeah. It's, you know, chances are, chances are, So go send that song to your spouse. You guys have a little, little dance in your master bedroom to that this evening and thank us later. Okay. Alright, so let's jump into this, uh, the eight most important qualities of a healthy marriage. Again, this is by Success Magazine.

So Tori and I basically we're, are gonna take the eight and just talk about 'em. Alright, number one, well actually before I get into the first one, one of the things they pointed out, which I didn't believe until I researched it, but the divorce rate in the last. 20 years mm-hmm. Has been going down. Yeah.

That was really interesting to me too. It's crazy. And, but, but here's, here's another crazy stat. Even though the overall divorce rate has been declining, and I, and I wanna look into why this is, yeah. So I don't know why that is yet, but, so we'll look into it. Mm-hmm. But even though the overall divorce rate is declining, do you know in couples 55 years and older, it's increasing.

Interesting. Isn't that crazy? Huh? So you, you get this thought that, you know, the older couples got it all together. No, they don't. Yeah, and I think it's probably my, my guess would be that it has something to do with, uh, second or third marriages or whatever and some baggage going in, but who knows? Um, anyway, so we'll talk divorce at another occasion, but let's talk about eight traits of a Healthy Marriage Success Magazine.

Number one. Intentionality. Hmm. And what they mean by this in terms of marriage is identifying a pain point in your marriage and thinking about how you can improve it by having a goal that you're always working toward together. Yeah. Which is, it's good. That is so good. And it just reminds me of our conversation last week with Anne.

Yeah. Um, and Jonas and how, when things, you know, when things kind of went. South for them. And they were, were in the situation that they found themselves in. They had to rebuild their marriage. Mm-hmm. Right? Like they, things had gone wrong and they had to rebuild it. And it started with intentionality. And the, for them, it was finding, Anne said she, they had to find some things that they enjoyed.

Individually and start doing them together. That was the be the very beginning of rebuilding their marriage. Yeah. With that kind of intentionality, and I think that was so strong because we've heard this with so many couples, like, what? What are the things that you enjoy doing? And do them together. Mm.

Like your life should be pleasurable together. Yeah. Do the things that you love to do, things that you have in common. And for them, what they had in common at that point in their relationship was they love to listen to music. The same type of music. Yeah. And they love to go for motorcycle rides. Right.

And so their point of intentionality was to do those things now together. Yeah. And they started there and, and Jonas. On his own. His intentionality was, I'm gonna get through this, I'm gonna love her. Like God, like Christ loves me, and I'm going to then get my counseling certificate. Mm-hmm. Start to teach and train other couples and it became something that they did together.

Yeah. And so they had something to shoot toward. Yeah. So they had a bullseye. Right. There was this intentionality for their own relationship. Like, what, what made us do this? What, where did things fall through the cracks? Mm. Where you know, let's learn a little bit about basic psychology here and what happened to us.

Right. And then we can help our own relationship and then help others. But it was that intentionality to get help. Yeah. That intentionality to like, what happened? Right. They, they didn't just like, okay, you know, I'm not sure exactly what went wrong, but they just went back to life as normal. There was a lot of intentionality, you know?

Um, and as, as I was reading this magazine article, one of the psychologists, because they had several psychologists, you know, PhD people that, uh, contributed to this article, what one person was talking about, the importance of a couple always having a bullseye. Is that you always kind of, you have to have something that you're shooting toward.

Yeah. Together. If you don't have one, then you don't know if you've hit it. Mm-hmm. And I started thinking about that because it could lead to purposelessness. Right. In your, in your marriage and, uh, when you aim at something together mm-hmm. And then you're both learning and you're growing and you're improving in that thing, whatever it is together.

It gives you momentum. Yeah. It gives you real momentum. Yeah. And you know, we talked about this at one point when we were, you know, asking for advice about parenting from some wise friends of ours, um, Beth Volk. I went to her and I was like, how your kids seem to be really respect. You guys have a great relationship.

What, what's your secret? And she said, desire. She said, do you desire that for your kids? Do you really, really, really want strong relationships with them? Do you really want a strong family? What's your vision for your family? Like what? What do you want? Yeah. Right. What's your desire? Because if you delight yourself in the Lord, he gives you the desires of your heart because we have this thing inside of us, right, called the the reticular activating system.

Yeah, that's right. Now what you look at, you move towards. Yeah. And so it has to start with desire. If you don't have a desire for a strong relationship, then you're probably not going to be intentional. Mm-hmm. Yeah. It has to start with desire. Like you have to want it. And I think that a lot of times in relationships, you don't get there until things start falling through the crack.

Mm-hmm. And there's been, you know, major things that have happened and then you're like, oh my goodness. I might lose this. I don't want to lose this. Yeah. But why don't we start before that happens? Yeah. And start with desire. Like what do you really want? Do you want a strong relationship? Um, I was listening to a, a psychologist, a relationship psychologist this week.

She's secular. She doesn't, I wouldn't even recommend her because of some of the things that she Yeah. Was talking about. But one of the things, and kind of like her main, um, Uh, you know, her main, uh, sentence that she says over and over and over again. Mm-hmm. And like, when is the quality of your life is determined by the quality of your relationships.

That's so true. She starts there. Right. And I think it's so important, like, do you really believe that? Do you believe that the quality of your life starts with the quality of your relationships? I do. And so it changes the way I do life. Yeah. Right. Well, you have to believe it because the longest. Running research study to date.

Hmm. It's been running for more than a hundred years. Yes. Yeah. Has looked at the longevity of life, what leads to a longer exactly. Literal, physical life, and they narrowed it down to one thing. Relationships. Relationships. Yeah. It was relationships. And I think we just have to get on board. Like, do we really believe that?

Do you know? And um, you know, even in, in the scriptures it says, love others as I have loved you. Mm-hmm. Like that is the commandment of God is to love others. We are relational beings. We are created for relationship. And do we really value that? Yeah. That's good. So that's intentionality. Now we spent a little more time on that one.

That, that to me was one of the foundational ones. We'll, we'll get through these other seven a little quicker, but, so number two, empathy. Obviously putting, putting yourself in each other's shoes. Now, here's one thing that you need to know about. Empathy. Empathy. You don't have to share an experience together.

Hmm. So like, let's say your husband gets fired at his job and you're the wife and you've never been fired at anything. Well, you can still empathize even though you don't have shared experience because you have shared emotion. Mm. In that moment, he feels like a failure. Right? Well, you felt like a failure before.

Yeah. So you connect at the emotional level, even though you may not have the same experience level. And so that's really important there with empathy. And what I'd like to tell women, because obviously I'm a man and I identify as a man, um, What I like to tell women is that you're gonna get more empathy from your husband if you give him an opportunity to fix your problem.

Hmm. Now, granted, husbands, I tell you this, you've got to listen first before you try to fix. Listen, get down into it, feel it, you know, empathize. Then at some point, whether it's that day, the next day, the next week, whenever your wife is ready, wife, give him an opportunity to help you fix it. Yeah. 'cause if you don't.

Then he'll no longer empathize. Yeah. And he'll get cold towards you and you don't want that. That's so good. That's so true. And I think that, um, you know, empathy is putting yourself in the other person's shoes. Having that ability to say, okay, what, instead of being defensive and saying, wait a minute, if you're saying this, then this is maybe what you're saying of me, and you're automatically putting yourself in the defensive instead of putting yourself in the other person's shoes.

So I think really the thing that gets in the way of our empathy is, Defensiveness. Yeah. Right. Like, it's about me. Like, wait a minute, this is how, you know, you're, you're not listening to what they are feeling. You're just thinking about what you are feeling and what this says of you. Yeah. Yeah. And it just puts in you in a very, um, defensive position.

And I think, you know, one of the things that I've talked about before, um, with the Enneagram is, um, there's these three different, um, Defense mechanisms and one of them is. Self-preservation. Yeah. And self-preservation is just, you know, we're we, um, one of our core needs is security. Our very, actually the top core need of, of humans is security.

Yeah. We need to feel secure and oftentimes we develop these self-preservation defenses to make ourselves feel secure, but it's unnecessary. We are like, we don't need to always protect ourselves from every little thing. Mm-hmm. In that, That self-preservation can really get in the way of our relationships if they're, if it's done unnecessarily, if we're just like constantly trying to protect ourselves and we're always looking out for ourselves.

Mm, then we don't practice empathy because we're so busy thinking about. And what we feel and how that affects us. And it rocks our security that we aren't able to get outside of that and be like, wait a minute, what are you feeling? Mm-hmm. And that's just such an incredibly important part of relationship is empathy.

Yeah. So be aware if your self preservation, um, defense mechanism is getting in the way of your empathy. And what I tell people, what I tell couples, if you're struggling with empathy with your spouse, Just pretend like your spouse is your kid. Mm-hmm. Like, you know, I know that sounds cheesy, but we are all empathetic with our kids.

Right? Right. When my kid has an issue. I'm not like instantly thinking of how that affects me as a dad. Yeah. I'm not at all. I'm totally in the kid's world. Right. You know? Then why don't we do that with our spouse? Yeah. Your spouse is someone's kid too. Yeah. That's been a really good tool for me. When you, when you start acting like a kid, like 13 year old Jason, I think, okay, this, this is phase son, you know, I think about your mom and I think about what she would feel about how I'm.

I'm responding to this, right? And I think about my boys, I think about Trey and Jake, and I'm like, how would I want a young girl to respond to this foolishness in them? That's so funny. Like I would, I'm like, I know them. I know Trey and Jake. They got really good hearts. I know, like as a mom, I'm con, I see the best.

I'm pulling for 'em. I see. I'm pulling for them. I see the very best in them. And I'm like thinking, no, I get it. I, I get what you're, what happened here? You just did a bone head thing. Right? 'cause you're a boy. Because you're a boy and your brain's not developed. It is true. And your brain is falling outta your head right now.

But it's the same thing. I have to, that's been a really good tool for me. I'm like, okay. Jason is a, is is a boy, somebody's son. You're somebody's son. And how would, how would that mom want you? So rule of thumb, women be more empathetic. No. Okay. So number one, intentionality. Two, empathy. Number three, forgiveness.

Um, and I just think about the Lord's Prayer. That's the greatest sabotaging prayer you could ever pray. You know, Lord, forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors, which means that you have a responsibility to walk in forgiveness and marriage is that opportunity to forgive like Jesus forgives. Mm-hmm.

Right. Um, this lady named Dr. Gina Zagar, she's a PhD, she's a psychoanalyst based in Los Angeles. She said one of the best gifts in any relationship is the ability to overlook your spouse's mistakes or their ordinary transgressions. If you can bypass your spouse's flaws, you'll end up swelling If you, sorry.

If you can't bypass your spouse's flaws, you'll end up swelling with negative feelings and resentments, which can lead to long-term damage. Wow. And that damages both physically and relationally and mentally. Hmm. And emotionally. So it's long-term damage because you can't get past resentments. Wow. So, You gotta walk through forgiveness.

If there's something that your spouse has done or said that has really hurt you, you have to bring it up. Don't think, oh, well I'm, I'll just get over. I'll just toughen it up. No, no, no. You gotta get it out. Yeah, get it out. And then spouse, that, that's been, you know, whichever spouse has done that, don't get defensive of it.

Just recognize you said or did something. It doesn't matter what it is. Hmm. Uh, and, and especially if there's, uh, unforgiveness in you or bitterness or resentment that you felt toward another person. Doesn't have to be in your marriage, but it'll manifest in your marriage. So we really gotta walk through forgiveness.

Wow. Forgiveness is an important thing in, in marriage. Yeah. It's so good. It's so true. And you know, I think that listening prayer is such an important practice Yeah. In our, that's good. In our lives because we, I think a lot of times, maybe we don't even know where there's unforgiveness or there's resentment or there's bitterness, which is a result of unforgiveness.

Yeah. Um, but that's where listening prayer. Has really helped you and I is like having that time to say, Lord, what? Like un unveil what you want to unveil. Tell me where, oh yeah. You know, tell me where I, where I'm not forgiving or where resentment has crept in. And you know, I did this recently. I just was in listening prayer and asking the Lord, you know, is there anything in me that that is causing?

Um, I've, I had been feeling really tired Hmm. And physically, and I'm like, is there anything in me that I'm holding onto that, you know, maybe a result of this? And I really felt like the Lord was saying resentment. Hmm. And as I began to just ask the Lord, what, what, what could I be resenting? And I really felt.

After a long time, like I just kind of sat in it. You got, you were actually out of town and Lundy was gone and I just had the time to do it and as I sat in it, I really felt like the Lord was saying that there, the resentment was actually with my own self and, and it was. And I needed to forgive myself of some things and to not resent myself for not being perfect, for not doing things exactly the way the standard I had set in my heart to do.

And I think when you set a standard for yourself really high, you naturally. If other people in your life fall under that standard. Yeah. And if you, if your standard for yourself is too high and you can't, for, you can't let go of things, it turns into resentment for yourself. But then it turns into resentment for others because that they, they now are under that same standard that you Yeah.

Erected for yourself. And so the Lord really convicted me of that. Like the standard that you have for yourself is too, Is, is too high. You need to, to forgive yourself for not being perfect and not doing things Exactly, yeah. The way that you think it should be. And then I think that, and I, I really felt like in, in doing that, I could let go of some, some too high of standards I had on people that I love a lot.

Yeah. And a lot of times those standards come as a result of how we were raised. I mean, I, I went to a Christian school, it was a great Christian school, you know, when I was in junior high and high school. But man, the girls had to wear OTs mm-hmm. And couldn't wear jeans to a game. Yeah. And just all sorts of stuff.

And now we all realize, man, that was just, that was actually fundamental Baptist stuff that Yeah. All that stuff was just petty. Yeah. But it does cause people to have an oversensitive and overactive conscience. Yeah. And, and so, man, you know, that's definitely one thing that you gotta work through. I'm just glad that you said you didn't have to forgive me of anything.

'cause. My heart was beaten a little fast over here, and you're like, what is she gonna say? Am I in trouble? She's gonna do it on a podcast we'll talk about. We'll get there later. So forgiveness is important. Number four, integrity. I love Dr. Tony Evans' definition of love. He said, love is compassion with standards.

It's not one or the other. Uh, today I think the definition of love and culture is nothing but compassion. We're just supposed to be compassionate for people, but there's no upholding a standard. Why would there not be an upholding of standard? Because. In order to have standards, you have to have a standard bearer, not, not a bad, it's bearer someone who creates the standard.

You have to have someone who actually creates those standards and you know, by and large, culture doesn't want anything to do with God. Yeah. So compassion with standards as a married couple, you need to have compassion for each other, but you also need to obey the rules. Right. There are rules, there are boundaries in relationship.

Yeah. Rules without relationship leads to rebellion, but relationship without rules leads to rejection. Mm. If Tori said, Hey, you know what, I'm gonna go on a date with another guy tonight. Well, there's a rule. Yeah. In marriage, you can't do that. Right? Yeah. So I think integrity, and it's not just obeying the rules of relationship, but it's also being the same person in private, that you are in public.

Yeah. Having no secret life at all, like your spouse should know every password to every device you've got. Yeah. And have free access. Yeah. And then you don't shame them if they're like, Hey, give me the password. It's like, well, you don't trust me. I mean, I get that, you know, if your spouse is too untrustworthy, but.

Let 'em, let 'em look. Yeah. Let 'em go. Mm-hmm. Let 'em do whatever they they wanna do. Yeah. And, uh, and so that integrity is key. Yeah. Because relationships move at the speed of trust. Yeah. I love the analogy of a fire. A fire with boundaries is a beautiful thing. Yeah. It warms your house. It's a beautiful to look at.

It's a gathering place. Um, but without boundaries, it can burn your house down. Yeah. That is, that's, that's the best analogy there is. And that's the same analogy used for our fifth point that we read here. Intimacy. Intimacy, not just, um, emotional, psychological, but also physical intimacy. That's where the analogy of the fireplace comes, you know, physical intimacy, sex and marriage.

It's, you know, it's like a fire and a fireplace. Mm-hmm. Right. But if, if one or both spouses end up going outside that outside the boundaries, And, and do anything else with other people, then it can burn the house down. But with intimacy, we're talking about being fully known and fully accepted. Mm-hmm.

This is what intimacy is in the scripture. It's emotional, psychological, physical safety. Yeah. That, that I'm fully known. Tori knows me in a way that nobody else does and I'm safe. And that's emotional and psychological. It's like, so on those two levels, it means feeling comfortable to openly express your feelings.

As well as ask your questions, excuse me. Ask your partner stimulating questions for conversation. Like, let's go deep. Yeah. Ask questions. You all know what that feels like as a couple, like, I don't wanna, like, I'm scared to ask too much, you know, because then I'm scared of what I'll find out. We've, you've, everybody's felt that way before in terms of like, like I don't wanna ask Tory about that guy she dated that had the dark.

Hair in the dark eyes before we ever met. Are you saying that 'cause you have light hair and light eyes? Yeah. Maybe. Maybe I'm talking out of an insecurity here, but so, but on an emotional and psychological level, it's being open with each other and it's feeling safe. It's that psychological safety that Google came up with and said that's why the.

The most successful teams in their business were those who had psychological safety, where people felt safe to open up and express their ideas. Mm-hmm. And they weren't gonna be bashed Yeah. Or ridiculed. But then on the physical level, intimacy is about connection. Yeah. Right. Um, so, and, and I'm reading this book, uh, kingdom Marriage by Tony Evans, and, and he made a connection that I never saw before.

He said, on, uh, sex to a marriage is like communion in a church. Hmm. So you know the church is, Jesus is the groom, the church is the bride. Right? Right. Now we're betrothed, but communion is that thing that comes together and reminds you of your union. Hmm. Sex is the same thing he said. That's why God put the desire for you to have it.

Yeah. He wants you to come together and communion. Yeah. I thought that was so good. And I was like, I can't wait to tell Tori this. I'm so gonna use this. We need more communion. Girl. I think one of the, the best books we've read on sex is, um, married Sex. Married Sex? Yeah. Who, who? I think that was Gary Thomas and Phila.

Yeah. Debra tta. Debra Fileta. It's, it's really good if you guys haven't read it. And I think. That they're, you know, growing up sometimes in a, in a Christian bubble or, yeah. Where you viewed God or you viewed sex, um, as dirty or, um, what was it that, you know, shameful that you should feel guilty even talking about it?

Yeah, it was just off the radar for so long. And I think one of the things they said is that, um, we have learned. What was the, the, the quote? Um, not to how to, not to savor it, but to, what was it? Oh, yeah, yeah. Sorry. The, uh, Gary Thomas said that Yeah. He said, you know, we're taught at a young age to save sex for marriage, save, save sex, but not to savor it.

Yeah. In marriage. Not to savor it, not to look at it as a good thing, as a pleasurable thing. Yeah. And yeah. And I think, um, it was, I think it's just a really good read for anyone who's struggling with Im, um, with intimacy within, yeah. That's really good advice. 'cause that's what you wanna do. So that's intimacy.

Uh, number six, shared values. It is healthy in marriage to be like-minded. I'm not saying that you both have to agree on everything, but you do have to share, share the same values. Mm-hmm. Right. This is why, uh, Jesus talks about us being unequally yoked. Like, don't be unequally yoked. Yeah. You know, So you what, what, what values do?

Values are what you deem important. Mm-hmm. What do you value? Whatever you deem important, it acts like a stake in the ground for your marriage, and that stake is gonna hold you steady in the storm. Yeah. If you don't have shared values, then when the storm hits, then. Everything crumbles. Yeah. Like just imagine if the riots that took place, the b l m riots, you know mm-hmm.

A few years ago took place. What if one of you was a raging leftist and the other was an absolute far alt right person? You know what I'm saying? And then those riots happen. What's that gonna do in your relationship? Yeah. You're gonna fight each other. Mm-hmm. Like, it's gonna be bad. Yeah. You need to, you need to have shared values.

Yeah. It's really important. So for Tori and I, one of our core values is connection. I. Which I'm jumping the gun a little bit because number seven is connection. But let me dial back to a shared value. Connection is one of our core values. Um, it's why a lot of times if Tori's like, Hey, I'm gonna go shopping like for groceries, I don't like doing the regular shopping course.

She doesn't like it either. We have a shared value that neither of us like shopping, but if she's like, I'm gonna go, I gotta go run to the store and get some stuff. A lot of times I'll jump in the car with her. Mm-hmm. You know, it's like, okay, yeah, there's some things that I can do, but what I value more than that is connecting with her.

Mm-hmm. And then that's why we work out together, because when our kids were younger, we couldn't do any of that. Yeah. It was always divide and conquer. Right. But connection was something we really wanted to do. So I always said one day when our kids are at a place where we don't have to stay home with 'em, I'm gonna go to the grocery store.

And then I just made good on that promise. Because one of our shared values is connection, and we'll do, Tori and I will do everything in our power to bend our schedules and flex and say no to so many different things because we know that it'll run in the, it'll run over our ability to connect with each other.

Mm-hmm. Did you wanna say something on shared values before I jump into that? I think that another one of our shared values is just family. Like that's really, really important to us that, um, that we are. Making space for our family, meeting the needs of our kids and extended family. And this, you know, I think about, my parents are really good about this too, and I think it really unites them as a couple.

They're like a real powerful couple because they have this really strong value for family. Hmm. And so they. They're always kind of moving towards, you know, that this, that end like, yeah, can, can we get our family together? Can, you know, you know, even now they, they will look for opportunities just like you look for an opportunity to go with me to the grocery store if they, if there's somebody who needs a ride.

They wanna be the ones to bring them because they know that, that time in the car with them, that's they can catch up or you know, it's just, they're always looking for ways to connect with family and that really, them having that common goal together makes them really powerful as a couple. Yeah, I love that.

So that's shared values. And number seven, as I said, is connection. Um, and what they mean by connection is being fully present with each other. You've gotta be able to unplug from outside influences. I'm just telling you. And today, with the technology going on, I mean, everybody's heard it, everybody knows it.

It's so easy to be distracted. Yeah. I mean, goodness gracious. This, this same, uh, Dr. Zagar, the girl I said earlier who was the psychoanalyst based in Los Angeles, she said, being able to pause and reconnect with your partner without the additional noise and distraction of your phone will intensify and solidify your marital health.

These are, these are like people who aren't even Bible believers are saying you, you've gotta slow down. Yeah. And be fully present, otherwise you can't connect. And connection is so incredibly key in your relationship. So there's connection. Mm-hmm. Number eight. Number eight, okay. Is openness. Openness. No secrets.

Zero. Talked about that a little bit earlier, but in successful marriages, Um, problems aren't seen as shameful secrets that you gotta be s you know, that you have to sweep under the rug. They're, they're actually opportunities for growth. Mm-hmm. You know, Tori and I have this running joke with each other.

And it's, it's, you know, kind of funny, kinda sick at the same time. I'm like walking down the beach, Tori and I, I'm like, do you have anything to confess to me? She kinda laughs. I'm like, because right now would be a great time. I'm in a good place. I can take it. I can take it. Go ahead. Yeah. Lay it on me. Is there anything that, that, that I don't know that I need to know?

Mm-hmm. You know, and, but I think the most important. Element to openness is just being a safe place. Yeah. Right. And that's something that you really have to grow into because I think about our, our relationship. Early on, I don't think it was that safe. I think that we had to grow into it. I think we had to practice it.

I think that there were some things, there were some responses to our openness that were not met with Grace and with Yeah. Um, you know, calm. Oh yeah. And so it's a practice. It's something that you kind of have to keep on keeping on. Like, let's, I forget who told me that in marriage. Uh, uh, when we were early on.

Mm-hmm. Not just in our marriage, but in our parenting. I think it might've been Tom Berry. Um, and we need to have Tom mcc Carolyn on the podcast. Yeah. We need also Scott and Beth Vol, two of our favorite couples. But, um, they told me in parenting, if you're gonna ask your kids something and you want them to confess something, you want them to admit something or whatever, don't freak out when they give you the answer.

Yeah. Yeah. If you freak out, they'll never be honest with you again. Mm-hmm. Don't freak out. Yeah. Like, so if openness is gonna be something that's gonna help relationships and, and help strengthen your marriage, then you, you have to be able to get to a point where you can put your big girl or big boy pants on and handle whatever answer's coming.

I'm not saying that it won't hurt you mm-hmm. But work through it Yeah. In such a way so that your spouse won't want to ever keep it from you. Yeah. So true. So that's openness. Um, let me say this real quick. It's, it's never too late to get a counselor or a coach or a therapist involved if there are perpetual problems.

Um, research shows that couples wait an average of six months before they seek outside help. That's way too long. Like sometimes you gotta just get a counselor and don't think, oh, well no, I don't need that. No. Spend the money and go get it. Go get a therapist, get somebody to help you. Okay. We prefer Christians, but just get whoever's available and, and get the problem out there.

'cause oftentimes the one thing that therapists or the counselor's gonna do if they're really good is just get you talking. Yeah. That's it. And then you get it out and then you are your own therapist at that point. Right. So anyway, that's openness. Here are the eight. If you want to grow in your marriage according to Success Magazine, you need intentionality, empathy, forgiveness, integrity, intimacy, shared values, connection, and finally openness. That was really good. That's it. Um, okay, before we go, I. A recipe that we made, made a lot of food this week.

Lay it on me. We were, um, you know, on vacation, didn't have to cook for a whole week, which was an absolute dream. Even though I love cooking, it was just so nice to have a break. And so been trying different things. Been kind of excited about. Trying new things. Um, I guess coming off of that break, and one of the things that I made this week was this garlic Parmesan chicken in the air fryer.

It's ba it's by bad batch Yeah. So this is not an original, but they did a pretty good job of writing this one. And you really loved it. Oh yeah. They're actually, it was incredible. They're chicken skewers. And I bought this, this little skewers that are small enough to fit in an air fryer. And then as I'm making 'em, I'm like, wait a minute, I'm, why am I even doing this?

Why am I putting 'em on skewers? So at dinnertime, everyone has to pull them off. The skewers, it just didn't make sense to me. So I did away with the skewers and we just made them into strips. They were so good. Um, I'll, I'll make a little reel and you guys can go to get the full recipe from bad batch, but they're called Garlic Parmesan chicken and they were so good.

They're a little bit spicy. Um, had a little bit, a little bit of a crisp on the outside and they were so good. So I'll share that with you guys on Jason Tori Instagram. And then I have another one for next week too. Oh yeah. I think I'm, uh, you guys are, I think I know which one you're talking about. And that's baller status.

Mm-hmm. Yep. Alright. Hey, thanks for hanging out with us. Eight most important qualities of a healthy marriage, Tori. Let's try to incorporate these ourselves and not just tell people to do it. Okay? I'm in. Let's do it, you and I. Let's do it. Alright. If you haven't taken our free marriage assessment, not not assessment challenge, take it five days.

You'll love it. Um, and that's it. That's all I got. We'll see you guys next week. Alright, take care.