Here at the Growth Marriage podcast, we believe every couple can have amazing communication, deep connection, and passionate, knock-your-socks-off love.
Back in 2012 I quit my fancy corporate job, sold everything I owned, and started traveling the United States with the goal of uncovering the secrets to truly epic love.
I’ve been trained by the world’s top experts, researchers, and authors - and I’ve interviewed the most incredible couples on the planet. And now my only focus is sharing the secrets of what makes amazing love possible with you.
Each week I’ll give you the tools you need take your marriage to the next level… but only if you’re willing take action. You’ll see that legendary love happens by choice, not by chance.
Anxious Attachmet with Kyle Benson
"I'm too much." "I'm not lovable." "My partner doesn't care about me." "We never resolve things... everything always gets swept under the rug." "My partner always dismisses my feelings." "Why don't my needs matter?" These are the thoughts of someone who struggles with Anxious Attachment. People who struggle with Anxious Attachment are always looking for affirmation, validation, and reassurance from their partner. They want to know everything is ok, and that they are still worthy of love. Oftentimes the strategies they use to get that validation ends up pushing their partner away, and creating a self-fulfilling prophesy. Today we're going to talk with attachment expert, Kyle Benson about Anxious Attachment, and how to develop a more secure attachment in our relationships.
3 Reasons Why You’re Feeling Burned Out
Are you feeling burned out in your marriage? Are you constantly stressed and overwhelmed? Are you exhausted all the time? Are you feeling lonely and depressed? Maybe you’re growing resentful of your partner. You might be secretly asking yourself, “Did I marry the right person?” Or wondering how long your marriage will last if nothing changes. If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. Every day I talk to people who are on the verge of burnout. They’re desperate for a change. Most people on the verge of burnout trend to blame their partner or other circumstances for their misery. “If they’d just put in some effort, things would be different…” But the actual reason for burnout is seldom a partner’s neglect. Typically burnout can be attributed to one of three causes. If you address the actual causes of burnout, the relationship tends to heal and improve. Couples start to reconnect, play, and flirt with each other again. It’s like the relationship takes on a new life. Want to know what the three common causes of burnout are that I see? 1. The Foundation of Friendship is Weak Your relationship is built on a foundation of friendship consisting of 3 pillars: I Know You I Like You I Have Your Back When you and your partner get busy with life, and consumed with other responsibilities... Or you stop having fun together and expressing gratitude for one another... Or you stop keeping promises to each other, and things like criticism, defensiveness, stonewalling, and contempt creep into your marriage… Your relationship starts draining you. When the amount of time, energy, and effort you put into your relationship always exceeds what you get out of it, you’ll eventually run out of steam, and your desire to contribute to the marriage will disappear. Keeping your foundation strong is absolutely essential if you want to avoid burning out. 2. You’re Not Setting Or Maintaining Clear Boundaries are meant to protect the things that are most important to you, like your time, your relationships, your energy, your attention. They create clarity around what you are responsible for, and what you’re not responsible for, like a fence around a home. Some signs that you’re not good with boundaries are: You sometimes feel resentful towards people you typically care about You tolerate disrespectful or unkind behavior at the expense of your own well being You feel frustrated that you spend so much time with people or on projects that aren't a priority for you You feel responsible when other people are angry, upset, unkind, anxious, or sad... You blame other people when you are angry, upset, unkind, anxious or sad You sometimes use manipulation, passive-aggression, or guilt-tripping to get what you want When people are constantly steamrolling you, taking advantage of your kindness and generosity, and you never give yourself permission to recharge… you are going to get burned out. Learning to say “No” to things that are urgent but not a priority is key to developing appropriate boundaries. 3. You’ve Lost Touch With Your Core Values determine what’s important to you and why. They guide you through conflict, and set your conscience on fire when they’re being ignored. When you make decisions that conflict with your core values, it will unsettle you, or even make you angry or resentful without even realizing it. Everyone’s core values are unique, and if you’re not clear what yours are, you will find yourself feeling aimless, and feeling constantly “off.” Some signs that you might not be living in alignment with your Core Values are: Family or friends ever tell you, "you're so hard on yourself" You feel like your life lacks purpose other than taking care of everyone else’s needs You have a hard time making decisions… even small ones that don’t seem to matter You feel like you’v
5 Questions for Your Weekly Marriage Meeting
Do you have a hard time thinking of things to talk about on your date night other than coordinating logistics, and kids? Are there conversations you avoid, and conflicts that have gone unresolved for too long? Do you feel like you and your partner are drifting apart and turning into that boring couple you swore you’d never be? Well, it’s probably because you’re not having a weekly Marriage Meeting. A Marriage Meeting is like a Staff Meeting. It’s an opportunity to connect, talk about logistics, calendars, and budgets. It’s also a chance to check the pulse of your relationship. How are things going? What’s going well? What can you improve on. Couples who don’t have regular, effective marriage meetings typically drift apart from each other over time and end up stuck in Roommate Syndrome… or worse. I want to make your Marriage Meetings easy for you. So, here are 5 things you should talk about with your partner every week during your “State of the Union.” 1. Gratitudes A good marriage meeting is one that doesn’t leave either partner dreading the next week’s meeting. So, one of your goals should always be to focus on the positive. That’s why I like to start every Marriage Meeting by expressing gratitude. What are the things your partner did for you this week that made your life easier? What are some of the “expected” things they do that you haven’t acknowledged them for recently? When did you see them at their best? What attitudes, behaviors, and words they said meant the most to you over the last week? Acknowledge them for these things. Not only will it help you feel more attraction and fondness towards your partner, but it will condition you both to always be on the lookout for the good things instead of slipping into the trap we are all susceptible to… only seeing the bad. 2. Celebrations After you’ve expressed gratitude, spend a few minutes celebrating your wins both inside and outside your marriage. Did you handle conflict better than you have in the past? Celebrate!Did you complete a big project at work? Call it out! Were you consistent with a fitness or nutrition goal? Revel in that victory with your partner! Your life is full of wins, both large and small. Acknowledging them… and even celebrating them is a great way to cultivate a strong bond with your partner. Who doesn’t want to be married to their biggest cheerleader? 3. Plans Logistics are boring, but they’re necessary to talk about when you share a life and a family with someone. If you’ve never done Marriage Meetings before, I’d advice that you initially try to keep this part of the conversation short… especially if one of you is reluctant to have this weekly meeting, or maybe they tend to default to a highly emotionally reactive. Go over your calendars together. Make sure all the important stuff is taken care of. Plan your date (or decide who’s planning it this week). As you get better at having a weekly Marriage Meeting, you can start talking about things like finances, or retirement, or checking in on bigger goals like saving for vacations, or paying off your house. 4. Improvements It’s important to talk about how your marriage can be better. But unless you’ve created a high degree of trust in your relationship, giving each other “feedback” isn’t going to go well. That’s why I recommend people who are new to the Marriage Meeting to skip this phase entirely for the first few months. When you’re ready to start talking about how to improve things in your marriage, be careful not to fall into the common trap of defensiveness. Defensiveness is an instinctual response we all have to when we feel like we’re under attack. So, the goal here is to avoid “attacking” our partner. (Or doing anything that could be perceived as being an attack, a criticism, or an affront on their character.) Complaining
Why The Communication In Your Marriage Sucks
I talk to couples every single day about their relationships. When I ask them what their biggest struggle is, 9/10 of ten they say, “Communication!” “We keep having the same fights over and over again.” “My partner just gets so defensive. We literally can’t talk about anything.” “We just don’t give each other the benefit of the doubt anymore.” Most people THINK the solution is to learn new communication skills. To follow scripts like, “When you do _______, I feel ______.” But most of the time, tactics like this don’t work… Because you don’t have a communication skills problem. Think about it for a second… Do you have a friend, family member, or coworker in your life with whom you don’t have these “communication problems?” Is there someone you talk to on the regular that doesn’t take everything you say out of context, or turn everything into an argument? For most people I talk to, there is. And if you have someone like that in your life, you probably have all the “skills” you need to be a relatively effective communicator. (Though there’s always room for improvement.) What most people don’t understand is that effective communication in a relationship is built on a strong foundation. And if that foundation is weak, you communicate poorly with the other person. If the foundation is strong, you tend to have an easy time sharing your thoughts and feelings with the other person. The foundation I’m talking about is your friendship. When I say the word “friendship” I’m not talking about knowing someone for a long time, or having some shared memories together. I’m talking about something very specific. A strong “Foundation of Friendship” consists of 3 pillars: I know you I like you I have your back I guarantee that if you think of the person with whom you communicate well, all three of these pillars are strong. And if your communication is struggling in your marriage, one of these pillars is weak. Let’s break them down for a moment. I Know You “I know you,” means I know what you have going on in your life. Your worries, fears, desires, goals, dreams, likes, dislikes, stressors, victories, and defeats... The reality of marriage is that at the beginning, it’s fun to learn about your partner. They are the source of all this newness, excitement, and intrigue. But the more time we spend with them, the more comfortable we become… and we lose our curiosity. Couple that with the fact that life gets busy. Family, work, hobbies, friends, and all the demands that we have on our time makes it really hard to stay tuned-in to our partner’s life. It’s not uncommon for couples to “drift apart,” then wake up a few years later and realize “” Here are some signs that your “I Know You” pillar might be weak: You spend the majority of your time talking about logistics and/or kids instead of connecting, laughin, or flirting If you had to buy your partner a present that would delight them right now, you’d have no clue what to get them You can’t think of anything to say on You can’t name your partner’s best friends You don’t know what your partner’s #1 stressor is right now You don’t know what recent accomplishments your partner is proud of I Like You “I like you” means I enjoy spending time with you. I think you’re a pretty great human. I see the goodness you add to my life. When you like your partner, your eyes light up when they walk into the room. You get excited to spend time with them, or tell them about your day. You make plans to be together, and you laugh at each others jokes. When couples have a strong “I Know You” and a strong “I Have Your Back” but a weak “I Like You”, they often say things like, “Let’s stay together for the kids.” They make a decent team. They have some shared goals. But they don’t spend more ti
The Wive's Super Power with Laura Doyle
Is your husband more interested in video games, work, or sports than you? Do you feel like he’s checked-out? Has he stopped caring about your marriage? Are you trying to think of ways to convince him to go to therapy? Do you wonder why he doesn’t seem to care about your happiness or your marriage? Do you ever feel rejected, hurt, sad, abandoned, afraid for the future of your marriage? If so, you’re not alone. But here’s the deal… nobody gets married with the hope of having an “OK” marriage. So, what’s the key? Well, let me tell you a little story... My wife and I recently got back from a walk around a lake at a nearby park. Halfway around the lake she turned to look at me and said, “I feel so lucky. I honestly feel like I fall more in love with you every day that we’re married.” She was so sincere, it brought tears to my eyes. Now, I’m not sharing this with you to make you feel jealous or inadequate. I’m not trying to pat myself on the back at all. It’s actually the exact opposite. Let me explain… The reason my wife sees me as such an amazing husband doesn’t have much to do with me. I’m just a normal guy. I play video games, follow sports (go Jazz!), and watch Star Wars movies. I regularly fart in bed… then laugh maniacally. Sometimes when I’m tired, stressed, or hangry (especially hangry) I say mean things that hurt my wife’s feelings. So, if I’m so incredibly average, why does she feel so great about being married to me? It’s definitely not my looks… I’m balding and have a serious case of dad-bod. The answer is this powerful cocktail of things my wife does… often without even realizing it. When she does these things it’s like a drug for me. I can’t help but stop being lazy. I turn off the TV so I can connect with her. I think about her when I’m out with my buddies, or traveling on a business trip… and can’t wait to get back home to her. I romance her with flowers and love notes. I clean the entire house while she’s at work. I kiss her more passionately than when we were dating. Sometimes I’m amazed at how she can unlock my potential as a husband simply by being my “love drug dealer.” I mean, who wouldn’t want to unlock more connection, intimacy, honesty, and mutual support?! Wanna know what she does that gets me to be the best husband I can be? The best way to explain what she does is to quote Myron Golden, a speaker I heard at a conference last month. He asked the audience, “Why does anyone do anything?” The answer? “Because they feel like it.” When something makes us feel good, we want to do more of it. Essentially, it all boils down to drugs. The reason people do drugs is because it makes them feel good! Taking a substance like heroin, ecstasy or cocaine, releases a boat-load of reward chemicals into your brain, like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. I’m oversimplifying the brain science here, but essentially, the release of these brain-chemicals is SO POWERFUL when you do drugs, that you will do ANYTHING to experience more of it. But illegal drugs aren’t the only way you can get a hit of those reward chemicals. You get a similar hit from the reward-center of the brain when you accomplish a big goal, receive a compliment, serve someone selflessly, fall in love, or when you eat a really delicious meal. So… why do I help around the house, make an effort to be emotionally supportive, encourage my wife to spend time with her friends, buy her flowers, and kiss her passionately? I do those things because she is my drug dealer… My wife is really good at giving me a regular hit of reward chemicals in my brain so that I actually crave investing in our relationship. She knows that if I do something she likes, and she responds with enthusiastic gratitude, appreciation, or praise, I’m gonna want to do more of that thing! She’s ma
Epic Wives Experiment Testimonial
What’s the most productive day you’ve had in recent memory? Do you remember it? You woke up, and just SLAYED your to-do list… You got into a rhythm, your energy was high, and everything was just clicking… I had a day like that a few weeks ago. Folded the laundry. Did the dishes. Mopped the floor. Took care of baby. Then I sat down to take a break. I opened my phone, and fell down an internet black hole watching clips of Taskmaster. (Be careful… you could get sucked into that black hole too!) And suddenly, I lost 3 hours. The rest of my day was not productive. I had lost my momentum. I thought about that day a lot. Momentum is powerful. Creating momentum - moving something from standing still to… not standing still - is the hardest part. But once you get it moving, it requires less and less energy to maintain or even build on the momentum. It’s true for physics… And it’s true for other areas of your life too. Think about your marriage for a second. In what areas have you lost momentum around something important? Maybe you’ve lost momentum around date nights, or apologizing, or making out. Maybe you’ve lost some momentum around having meaningful conversations, spending one-on-one time together, or complimenting your partner. Starting up again can feel awkward. But once you build up some momentum, it’s like riding a bike… it all comes back to you and starts to feel easy. Everything changes. But here’s the deal. Creating momentum is EXTRA hard for some people. Because they already have momentum in their relationship. But the momentum is sending them in the opposite direction of where they want to go! Maybe you’ve created momentum around being critical of your partner. Or maybe you find it really easy to complain, or say, “I’m not in the mood,” when they try to initiate sex with you. Maybe you’ve created momentum around watching Netflix every night (guilty), not taking care of your body, or not being honest about the things you’re struggling with. The amount of energy required to stop a moving object is far greater than the amount of energy you need to get something moving from a dead standstill. But it’s possible. Especially if you have some help. And that’s exactly why I created the Epic Wives Experiment. It’s made specifically for wives who know their marriage is headed down the wrong path. They’re feeling lonely, stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted. They don’t feel loved or supported like they used to. And if something doesn’t change, they are scared what will become of their relationship. Our goal is to give you the skills, the tools, and the extra push to completely change the direction you’re headed in. To make 2021 the best year of your marriage ever. If you’re a wife (or you know one), and you want to ensure that you have POSITIVE momentum for your marriage in the coming year, I want to invite you to come participate in this 30-day challenge. If you show up and do the experiments, I PROMISE the momentum of your marriage will shift for the better. If it doesn’t… I’ll give you a refund. Check it out here.