13 episodes

We all know that marriage has its challenges, especially when you're finding the right work-life balance, managing expectations, and keeping the romantic spark going after years together.

But it can also be one of life's greatest blessings.

That's why Ashley and Audrey come together every Tuesday, ready to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing couples today—all from a Christian perspective!

So grab a cup of pumpkin spice and settle-in!

From infidelity to sexlessness to typical relationship faux pas, nothing is off-limits as they field questions from all directions. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/hopeandher/support

The Hope&Her Show Hope&Her

    • Relationships

We all know that marriage has its challenges, especially when you're finding the right work-life balance, managing expectations, and keeping the romantic spark going after years together.

But it can also be one of life's greatest blessings.

That's why Ashley and Audrey come together every Tuesday, ready to tackle some of the most pressing issues facing couples today—all from a Christian perspective!

So grab a cup of pumpkin spice and settle-in!

From infidelity to sexlessness to typical relationship faux pas, nothing is off-limits as they field questions from all directions. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/hopeandher/support

    Got Goals for Your Marriage in the New Year?

    Got Goals for Your Marriage in the New Year?

    It's New Year's Eve, and the girls are backing talking about resolutions for 2020. Typically towards the end of the year, we set up personal goals but rarely do we create goals and expectations with our spouses. 

    Audrey and Ashley start the show by reminding us why it's essential to have goals in the first place—goals protect us from chance, especially in marriage.

    If you're setting resolutions for the new year, ask yourself, "What do I want out of 2020? What do I want my marriage to look like?" Once you have an idea and a vision, you and your partner can have a conversation and hold each other accountable.

    Both Ashley and Audrey share that they are focusing on putting God in the center of their relationships and prioritizing their physical fitness. The ladies also briefly discuss the importance of date night and share some budget-friendly date night ideas like taking a walk, having a wine-night at home, or attending a free concert.

    The first step in making relationship goals is including your partner in the creation of the goals. Goals should be specific and measurable. Remember to keep them simple, overwhelming yourself can lead to early burnout! In this process, you should also write down and include the "why" for your goals. When things get tough and you don't want to want to follow through with your goal, reminding yourself of why you committed in the first place can be helpful. Remember, you're starting a new habit, so this can take time.

    Tip #1 - Become More Intimate: Intimacy happens outside the bedroom and what happens outside the bedroom, impacts what happens inside the bedroom. Intimacy can simply be good conversation, being your partner's cheerleader, or just giving your undivided attention and listening to listen instead of respond.

    Tip #2- Talk for 20 Minutes: Spend the first 20 minutes after you get home talking and connecting. Enjoy some time together, ask about each other's day, and genuinely listen to what the other person has to say.

    Tip #3- Learn Your Love Languages: The way you show love may be different than that of your partner. It is normal to have different love languages. Make sure you and your partner can recognize each other's love by learning their language and having conversations about it.

    Tip #4- The Bead Method: Sex with vaginismus can be stressful and cause tension. Often men want sex to feel close, and women need to feel close to want sex. At times a man's desire can catch women off guard or at a time when she doesn't feel particularly sexy. The Bead Method can help. When one member of the relationship wants to be intimate, they place a bead in a jar. From this point, the couple has 24 hours to have sex. This window allows each person to prepare. 

    Later the ladies answer a question from an Instagram fan whose recent marriage struggles have impacted her desire to use her dilators.

    In This Episode


    Ashely and Audrey's Marriage Goals [1:30]
    Cheap Date Night Ideas [6:30]
    Planning Your Marriage Goals [9:10]
    Tip #1 [13:50]
    Tip #2 [16:55]
    Tip #3 [18:10]
    Tip #4 [20:25]
    Vaginismus Question From Instagram [24:15]

    Resources

    Carolyn Evans - The Bead Method


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    • 30 min
    How Nine Be-Attitudes Can Change Your Marriage

    How Nine Be-Attitudes Can Change Your Marriage

    Merry Christmas from the girls! 

    Today, Ashley and Audrey are sipping hot apple cider, reminiscing over the previous year, and talking about Mark Gungor’s Be-Attitudes of Marriage: 9 Simple Steps to a Happier Healthier Marriage and offering additional insight into attitudes that support healthy relationships.

    9 Steps to a Happier Healthier Marriage


    Be Nice
    Be Content
    Be Connected
    Be Prepared
    Be Proactive
    Be Clear
    Be Do-ers
    Be Patient
    Be Dead

    Be Nice: We often prioritize our feelings over being nice to our spouses. But feelings are short-lived and often selfish. Remember, feelings are indicators and not dictators, and we should not always act on our feeling or share them. It's healthier for you and your marriage to evaluate your feelings before sharing and focus on what your partner is actually doing well.

    Be Content: In our “me-centered” world, we expect our partner to carry the emotional weight of making us happy. Your spouse cannot make you happy; only you can do that. In times of weakness, lean on God and decide to be content within yourself.

    Be Connected: A healthy group of friends who share your values and will hold you accountable can strengthen your relationship and positively influence your marriage. Avoid friends who are drawn to drama, only speak negatively about their own spouses, or bring negativity into the relationship. 

    Be Prepared: Life is tough! There will be curveballs, but you need to understand that trials and tribulations are part of married life. Foster a relationship with God as a way of building up your foundation, so you are better able to weather the storm.

    Be Proactive: You can’t reap what you don’t sow. You can listen to podcasts and books, but ultimately you need to put it into practice. Don’t wait for something bad to happen to get flowers or do something for your partner. Take the first step, and be intentional and proactive.

    Be Clear: Assuming that your partner knows something can lead to miscommunications and misunderstandings. When these happen, remember to assume the best intentions and do not magnify small challenges.

    Be a Do-er: Turn your words into actions. We can plant a seed in a relationship, but we have to remember to nurture and tend to it so that it can strengthen and grow.

    Be Patient: When you plant and nurture the seeds of a relationship, you don’t see growth overnight. Accept that your marriage is a journey together. This is not a sprint; this is a marathon—a Spartan Race!

    Be Dead: We all have a selfish side. In a healthy relationship, this side of you had to die. Ask yourself, in what ways am I being stingy? How am I being selfish? Push yourself to be more flexible.

    Later, the girls respond to an Instagram question from a listener who is struggling to understand her vaginismus diagnosis. She says her diagnosis doesn't exactly line up with every symptom. 

    In This Episode


    Be Nice [6:15]
    Be Content [11:40]
    Be Connected [16:40]
    Be Prepared [20:00]
    Be Proactive [24:30
    Be Clear [26:30]
    Be Do-ers [29:30]
    Be Patient [30:18]
    Be Dead  [36:18]
    Instagram question [38:50]

    Resources

    Be-Attitudes of Marriage: 9 Simple Steps to a Healthier and Happier Marriage

    Coming Soon | Hope&Her Support Group | Waitlist Sign-Up


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    • 38 min
    4 Relationship Habits | How to Create a Marriage that Stands the Test of Time

    4 Relationship Habits | How to Create a Marriage that Stands the Test of Time

    Ash and Audg are back this week, discussing relationships and reveal the four habits that will help couples create thriving marriages.

    Habits for Successful Couples

    1.  Be curious, not critical.
    2.  Be careful – don’t drain the life out of your partner.
    3.  Ask, don’t assume.
    4.  Connect before you correct it.

    We have unrealistic expectations about what love is supposed to look like. It’s essential to be realistic and have conversations early on while dating. That way, if you continue to grow together, then you set your relationship up for success.

    And when life hits you hard, remember how your words affect your partner – if you're spewing hurtful things, you can never take them back. Make sure you are in the right state of mind to bring up unresolved issues.

    The goal is to find a place in your relationship where you can recognize hurdles and understand that your partner is on your side – not the enemy. Plus, couples will want to make it clear and make it common to ask questions.

    Sometimes, in marriage, we can get too comfortable and forget to display affection and love. We all want to feel loved. It’s essential to keep the fire burning by making time to connect and being attentive to one another.

    Later, Audrey and Ashely answer a question from Instagram about a listener who's having marriage troubles during her vaginismus treatment.

    In This Episode

    ·  Four habits that will help us create thriving relationships [1:20]
    ·  Learning how to overcome relationship hurdles [11:00]
    ·  Knowing how to resolve conflict healthily [15:15]
    ·  Making time for date nights [19:00]
    ·  What are the loveable traits of your spouse? [23:55]
    ·  Vaginismus question from Instagram [26:00]

    Resources

    Be-Attitudes of Marriage: 9 Simple Steps to a Healthier and Happier Marriage
    Treat Him Like a Dog: And Other Tips for Marital Bliss
    Recreational Enjoyment Inventory


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    Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/hopeandher/support

    • 28 min
    Five Ways to Overcome Avoidance

    Five Ways to Overcome Avoidance

    Today, Ashley and Audrey are discussing avoidance. Who avoids the tough stuff? If you are not comfortable with conflict, you may simply avoid it. Others may find themselves shutting down when they go home because they are avoiding thinking. When there is stress, it is easier to deny the hard truth. Eventually, we will need to deal with the hard truth and overcome our circumstances. The longer we prolong it, the harder it will be.

    Question from Instagram | I am struggling with extreme avoidance issues. I grew up in a household where touching yourself is frowned upon. In high school, I had painful sex. Now, I am dating a great guy and looking to overcome my fears.
    Advice | Just do it. You are not alone. Are you afraid of failure? Another question you need to ask yourself is, what have you overcome before? Vaginismus is one of the most treatable sexual female health conditions out there. Women who are consistent with their exercises can overcome it.

    Another way to overcome your fears is by touching your dilators. Get them unwrapped and rub them against your skin and your thighs. Skin-to-skin contact will teach your body and your brain not to be afraid of the dilators. 

    Once you figure out what causes your avoidance, then you can learn what you need to overcome it. 

    Here are some five common ways to cope:
    1.) Deep breathing
    2.) Taking a moment
    3.) Meditation
    4.) Prayer
    5.) Regular exercise

    In This Episode
    -Question from Instagram [4:15]
    -Being consistent [7:20]
    -Touching your dilators [11:00]
    -Recognize when avoidance is happening [21:10]
    -About analysis paralysis [23:45]
    -Finding ways to cope [25:45]

    Resources

    1.) The Bible App: https://www.youversion.com/the-bible-app/
    2.) 5 Ways to Cope With Anxiety: https://www.hopeandher.com/post/5-ways-to-cope-with-anxiety
    3.) Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hopeandher/


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    • 37 min
    Negative Self-Talk During the Holidays

    Negative Self-Talk During the Holidays

    Today, Ashley and Audrey are discussing negative self-talk. They want everyone to have a healthy and happy holiday season by creating new habits during the prime time for comparison.

    Some of us will take inventory of what we did the past year – it’s a dangerous place to be. When Ashley and Audrey reflected on the past year, they thought about how it took a while to get their website launched. Being a new brand, it took time to establish itself.

    During their reflection, they realized that greatness takes time.

    Have you ever struggled with negative self-talk? 87% of Ashely and Audrey’s Instagram followers said yes. Do you have a way to combat negative self-talk? 69% said yes. You are not alone – most people suffer from this.

    Then, Audrey and Ashley explain some ways to combat that negative self-talk:

    o  Talk kindly to yourself.

    o  Say positive affirmations to yourself.

    o  Remind yourself that greatness takes time.

    o  Strive to be a better you.

    o  Find practical ways to improve.

    o  Focus on the positive.

    Continue to show up for yourself and make progress no matter what. Consistency is essential; we have control of our story. Later, Audrey and Ashely discuss perfectionism, being your harshest critic, and how to find a silver lining.

    In This Episode

    ·  Being present [2:20]

    ·  Greatness takes time [4:15]

    ·  Instagram responses [6:40]

    ·  Battling the negative self-talk [8:30]

    ·  We are showing up [15:45]

    ·  Are you a perfectionist? [17:50]

    ·  Are you your harshest critic? [19:50]

    ·  Vaginismus Question | How can I find a silver lining? [24:00]


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    • 28 min
    What's Your Purpose?

    What's Your Purpose?

    Ashley and Audrey are back this week, talking about purpose and identity. 

    What happens to your sense of purpose when life is spinning beyond your control? When your friends are moving forward with their careers while you're left feeling stagnant? Or when you struggle with vaginismus and have a front-row seat to everyone else's wedding and baby shower.

    That's why we're here today: Whatever season you're going through, you still have a purpose that is uniquely yours.

    Our purpose arises from the extraordinary gifts that God gave us that sets us apart from other people in our lives. Once you find that purpose, you'll begin to feel less isolated. You'll feel like you're within a community of people striving for similar goals, as you mature and grow in tandem.

    Audience Question | 00:25:55 

    How long does it usually take to heal from vaginismus, and will sex always hurt? 


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    • 32 min

Customer Reviews

<3 Alicia ,

More Hopeful Now Than Ever Before

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Great Conversation, Authentic Advice

These ladies are so down to earth with their very genuine and grounded advice. They're honest, thought provoking, and I feel like they're speaking right to me personally!

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