Feb 22, 2024
Having a dual career household and a busy family schedule can leave very little time to focus on your marriage. What if you discovered the secret to keeping your marriage not only alive, but actually thriving year after year? One secret that will enrich your relationship, spark intentional conversation, benefit your family and even help you to understand one another better?
In this episode, Tiffany shares the one vital tip that she and JR have found to make their marriage last year after year…getting away together. She shares how having one yearly trip to look forward to has had an extremely positive impact on their relationship that continues to enrich their marriage all year long. Yes, it can be difficult to get away and you can find many reasons not to do it. But setting it as a minimum in your marriage is well worth it. Listen in as she explains why it’s so important, and how to make it happen in your own life.
Tiffany Sauder: Okay. Where to start?
Jumping on this episode today and my face is literally hurting me. I Decided to get a chemical peel you know because I want bright glowing skin and it mostly feels like awful. So I am decidedly not a chemical peel girl. This is like day four or five. Anyway, I hate it. So I know some people have had success. Maybe you should try it, but my face is like dry and hurting and cracking and I hate it. So, uh, that's where I'm starting. Um, but I did this after I just got back from, a trip with my husband. We went away just the two of us, and this is literally my number one tip.
Tiffany Sauder: Number one piece of advice to couples who are wanting to stay married for a really long time.Which is like literally everybody. When you go into marriage, you're like, this is gonna be perfect. This is gonna be great and this is gonna be for a lifetime. But it doesn't always end up that way. And I've been really candid on the podcast that my husband and I have had to work really hard for our marriage and work really hard for it to be as good as it is today.And this is literally like the number one thing. Is getting away once a year, our lives are so big and so busy and too often pull us into different orbits, different spaces, different places. You know, he travels a lot. and so this is such an important time for us to reconnect We didn't always do this, and I wish we would have, it can be really difficult to get away. The trip that we were just on, it like literally doesn't matter where you go, but we just walked. We put like, it was like 20, 000 steps and two bottles of wine every single day, and we ate Everything.It was awesome. I think it has much less to do with where you go and what you do and more about having the time to sit and actually listen to one another to sit in conversations past the obvious tactical logistics of the day to day and actually get into the real conversations of your life. What are your dreams for yourselves?
What's your vision for your family? What do you need to solve differently for your kids? How can I support you better? How can you support me better? How do we solve more together so that at the end of 2024, We feel like we're more aligned, more of a team, closer, like all of that stuff has moved forward. And just like in our businesses, it doesn't happen without a lot of intention. So I have a few tips that I'll share, to help you get this into your schedule, but I am serious. If you want to make your marriage important getting time away just the two of you is incredibly important It reminds you that like we really like each other I have a whole entire existence outside of this role of being a mom like I'm a whole person and It is good to experience yourself in that way and it's good to like I don't know. Just be free of like, Mom, can you get me a drink? Mom, can you help me with this? Like, can you put this away and just like having to do all the chores of life? Like, it's awesome. But having a break from that is really refreshing.
Tiffany Sauder: So, here's some advice that I have. The first one is put it on the calendar in advance. We have found November is a really good time for us to get away. The kids are in routine back in school. Holiday crazy hasn't started. We have one kid in travel volleyball, and that's really difficult to get away in that season because we travel so much for those six months. So look at your calendar. Look at the pace and expectations and different seasons of your year and find a season that works well for your family or maybe your parents who can help you with the kids or whatever that looks like and put your 2024 trip dates on the calendar now, or at least like a two to three week it needs to happen in here and go ahead and let whoever's going to watch your kids know, Hey, we'd like to take this trip next year. Can you block your calendar so that all that stuff is set up. That's the biggest thing. Putting it on the calendar and finding somebody to watch the kids. So do it now. Do it in advance.
Tiffany Sauder: My second piece of advice is to get away for at least five days. So in a five day trip, there's two days of travel and there's three days of like actually being there. I found if it's If it's shorter than that, if it's shorter than five days, it just feels like you're packing up, unpacking, repacking, and flying home. Like, it doesn't actually feel like you're getting away. It always takes us a couple days, or me in particular, to just like unwind from the tactical demands of my life and what my head is thinking about all the time. And so, go away for at least five days. It feels long. It doesn't have to be fancy. It doesn't have to be far away. It can be a national park. Like, literally, it doesn't have to be glamorous, but getting away somewhere to a place that both of you feel like you can relax is really, really important.
Tiffany Sauder: the 3rd piece of advice is have a plan for what you want to talk about. I literally go with a list. I had a list on my phone And, I would say two to three months in advance of that, I was thinking about what are the things I want to get JR's attention on, what are the things I want his ideas around, what are the things I feel like we need to solve for in the family that we're not Maybe doing as well as I think we could right now and I like literally had a note on my phone of I Think I had like eight or nine topics that I wanted to talk to him about and I told him hey when we're at meals Not that everything has to be like this big dramatic thing But I want to talk about this stuff like we need to chew through These things so that we're on the same page and as I'm making choices for our family as I'm you know It's just like doing stuff that I know that we're aligned on what that's gonna look like so I literally had a list and I encourage you to do that when you're like trying to have a fun time away. It can be difficult to have the courage to bring up hard conversations and, I understand that. Like you don't want to bring the, I don't know, the stuff of life into like what's supposed to be a really fun time. But the beauty of being together for that long is you have time to actually resolve things. Like, Let's talk about this for a little bit. I'm really frustrated. Like that's not the way I see it. I don't feel like you heard me and maybe you'll have to walk away from that topic for a little while and come back to it. But because you're together for five days, you have time to do that. Like, I feel like we got, I don't know, six months worth of conversations done because had his full attention. He had my full attention and we, Just weren't like distracted with the day to day. So I just think it's so important. Have a plan for what you want to talk about.
Tiffany Sauder: We're not always as planful, but we had just been to a seminar the week before With Patrick Lencioni and he just published a book and there's a survey called the six types of working genius and so JR and I both took that test beforehand and Use that assessment results to like talk about our interaction, the way that we work together, like he and I, the way that we can hear each other better.I'll give you an example. It was like so powerful actually, so the premise of the book is that everybody has 2 geniuses and 2 working frustrations. So of the 6, 2 you're awesome at, they're like your natural default, 2 of them just drain energy from you, and the 2 in the middle, I don't know, they're like your medium working geniuses. You can do them for a while. but you don't consciously go there first.
Tiffany Sauder: So my working geniuses are invention. I'm an inventor. I have like a thousand gajillion ideas and galvanizer. So lots of ideas and bringing people together. That's what I love. And JR's top two are discerner, discernment, like Are things good or are they bad? Like, let's be discerning, which I very much value from him and galvanize are also bringing people together, which I think is really interesting. Cause the way we talk about our relationship in its ideal state is that we feel like teammates. That's like our ideal. Nirvana for our relationship. And I think it comes from us both being galvanizers, which is bringing people together, having a shared mission, shared understanding, like working together. Like, I think that's so interesting. I had never figured that out before, but I think that's why we talk about being a team as being the like highest evolution Of our version of marriage. I know there's different ways to do it. But for us, that's what we like it to feel like. so I'm an inventor, which just means I have a gajillion ideas.
Tiffany Sauder: So when he's gone for a long time. My brain is always just coming up with ideas, different businesses I could start, stuff that I see, wouldn't it be cool, I bet I could sell this, like, it just literally does that on its own. I don't have to make it do that, it just is thinking of stuff. And so then when J.R. 's gone, and I'm with the girls, and yes I'm like in my job, but like, you know, Kyler as the president of Element 3, his job is not to listen to all of my ideas. So when J. R. 's gone a bunch, I don't like have anybody to listen to my ideas. Which is fine. But then he comes home and I'm like, guess what? And I have all these words to say and Jr wanting to like, be the best he can be for me naturally steps into that conversation in his strengths, which is discernment and discerners are trying to figure out which one's good, which one's bad. Let's sort through this. What are my questions? And I get pissed. Because I just want him to listen and like validate me as an inventor, like, Oh my word, you have so many ideas. Those are great. I'm not going to go do them right now. I'm not asking him to like, look at a pitch deck. I'm just asking him to hear me as his wife and going through this test. This like 6 types of working genius. was so helpful for me to have the language to be able to say, I want you to hear me as an inventor. I don't want you to discern for me what I'm about ready to tell you. Like, I just want to share with you my idea because I just need to say it to somebody and I want you to listen and I just want you to say, wow, that's cool at the end. That's all I want you to do. I'm not going to go do it right now. I promise. If I think I'm going to go do it, then I will come and. Use your discerner brain to help me figure out if this is a good thing or a bad thing or what are the risks I should be thinking about because that's not a natural thing for me to think about. So my reason for sharing that story with you is that taking the time to go away. Prompted me to ask myself the question, Hey, while we're away and we were gone for 10 days, crazy, the longest we've ever been away from everybody. And it was incredible. we're going to be away.
I want to set my intention to how do we use this time thoughtfully, strategically to become closer at the end of it. And we use this tool. Like, let's be intentional. Let's both take this and then let's share results. And let's talk about how does that informs how we show up better for one another in our relationship?So again, like, could we have done this assessment in our day to day life? Could we have had that revelation and like deeper understanding of our natural states and how we can work better together? Just in our normal life. Sure, we could have, but I give that a 2 percent chance of happening in our life.
Like in the speed of the week, the demands on our mental energy. the season that we're in with our kids. We are just at sporting events a lot, which is so fun and so cool to support them and all this kind of stuff. But as a result, as a consequence, we don't always have the quiet time that we need in our relationship to, like, really connect differently.
and this time away is a really big deal. I, and I think, I think in every season, it's hard to get away. You know, there's like, reasons to not is, well, I don't have people who can help me with my kids.
Tiffany Sauder: Okay, let's talk about that. There are some people who have situations where their kids are like, have intense medical needs, and it's like literally almost impossible, but that is not the majority of us. Some of us just have not created a network of people who can help us with our kids. So if you are going to work outside of the home, both of you, you are going to have to learn how to accept help. And one of those is, Finding people that you trust that your kids learn to trust and through a set of experiences get to the place where they'd be comfortable with staying with them for a week. The young woman who stayed with our kids, her name is Chloe. She has been in our life for a very long time. And because of that, our kids were really comfortable with. Her staying with them during the school week and then my parents and my husband's parents helped on the weekends. I'm so grateful for that. And yes, we are so blessed with the proximity of that but find friends find coworkers find people at church find people at your gym create a relationship with somebody through carry. com like Intentionally say this is important for us Our marriage needs this time away. Would you support us in watching our kids? And we would help you. we would do that for our friends in a heartbeat that don't have family clothes. If they asked us, so just know people want to help you and it's about getting your brain around the fact that people want to help you and that you have to have help if you're going to be really productive, in a two career home, because you can't do it all. There's no way. So that's number one. Yes, you've got to figure out. care for your kids and I like strategically solve for that and using the same sitters over and over again, having them for dinner at our house, like doing things that make it feel comfortable for my kids to have that person there. That is really important so that the kids are doing well while you're away. The second is like, Hey, it's expensive. It is expensive. It doesn't have to be expensive, but so is divorce. It is very, very, very expensive to live in a relationship that is loveless from a relational perspective. And it is very expensive to get divorced. So I always say pick your heart. Um, yeah, it's expensive. It takes money for us to go away, but it is the place where we're choosing to invest in our relationship instead of on the backend. It's like, you know, preventative maintenance versus healthcare costs. You know, like it's expensive to hire a trainer.
Also, very expensive to like, you know, have hypertension and. You know, need heart surgery. Like that's also very expensive. So you got to pick where you're investing your energy. You got to pick where you're investing your money. You got to pick where you're investing your time. So that's moving you towards your goals. another, objection people have, like, isn't it a lot of work to get away? Yeah, totally. It's a lot of work to get away. Again, like, choose your heart. I remember the seasons where Jera and I's relationship was not a 10. Let's say not even a 6. The amount of energy that it took to exist in our home and in our marriage was, like, bone crushing because it was so much work.
It was so much work to navigate that relationship. It took so much mental energy. Like it was terrible. I was so tired because our relationship was just off and it was not good and we weren't supporting each other and it was so bad. And so yeah, it's a lot of work to get away. It's a lot of work to get four kids to where they need to go to make sure there's enough food in the house, like do all the things.
It is a lot of work, but again, it is the work I choose. Because I have been tired in my household for different reasons, for less productive reasons, for reasons that were less aligned to the outcomes that I want in my life. So yeah, it's a lot of work. Figure out how to simplify things. like make it easy.
Feed them DiGiorno for a week. Like who cares? They're not going to die, you know? So yeah, it's a lot of work. I'm not going to pretend like it's not. But again, choose your heart. I think some people really miss their kids too. I think some people are afraid they're going to get away. And... not know how to be them and not know how to exist just in the relationship. Because when there is not the distraction of I've got to run somebody there, the kids are interrupting us, the TV's on all the time. You actually are sitting in the reality of your relationship. And I think sometimes that can be a really scary idea for people. So we say things like, I think I'm going to miss the kids. I think maybe the truer thing we could say is I'm afraid I'm not going to enjoy it. I'm afraid I'm not going to have fun. I'm afraid I'm going to realize I don't actually like my spouse anymore. I don't know. Like a trip with your spouse reveals all of that stuff. And if that stuff is real, you've got to get it to the surface so that you can actually deal with it. You know, like that's not what you want. That's not what you're working for. Like let's end the charade and let's work on the thing that we want. Let's work towards it.
Tiffany Sauder: And I just think time away is so revealing of like, if our relationship is really strong, it will show that and if it's not, we need to know that if we're disconnected, if we can't agree on anything, if we're struggling to just like do a day together, we need to know that becauseif we don't, then all of a sudden we're going to realize, Oh my word, time fast forwarded.
We don't have a relationship at all. So anyway, this is like really, really, really, really an important thing. It is a sacred minimum for us in our home. I talk about minimums. We do not right now have the capacity for a really consistent date night. We don't right now have the capacity to say we're going to get away for a weekend quarterly.
Maybe someday, but right now this is our minimum. So whether this is the thing you and your spouse choose or not, one trip away by yourself for at least five days, that's what ours is. Find your minimum, find a way to get craziness of your life to be calm long enough that you authentically engage way past the tactical ordinary stuff of your life. just the housekeeping tasks. You know what that looks like. And really rediscover each other, go on adventures, go on new places, make each other laugh, like try new food, like all of that. And I told you are, I think one of the most exciting things for me when we go on these trips, we usually go somewhere new is when you're somewhere new, your senses are alive in a way that they're not.
When you're somewhere familiar, I walked from my car to the office today for. I don't know the 3000th time like so many times and I have no idea what the weather was. I have no idea if there was something on the sidewalk. I have no idea because it was just a very familiar walk for me. I just did the thing on autopilot. But when you're in a brand new city, when you're in a. Place where people don't speak the same language when you're in a new national park when you're sleeping under the stars When you're just doing something that's outside of the ordinary in a way that your senses are not like just numb to the routine I find myself so alive and I find myself Experiencing and seeing and feeling and tasting just at a totally different level then when I'm in my day to day I also think there's benefit to that. Like you just get to rediscover your own senses and rediscover yourself and then go back in, you know, to the normal life. I love my normal life. It's amazing. This was not an escape from the thing I hate, but this was definitely a season of rejuvenation for JR and I, this is a season of like me being a customer of my days, like a primary customer of adventure and, Where we ate and you know trying on crazy clothes like whatever I wanted to do We went and like did that kind of stuff and it was awesome.
So I hope that this episode has helped you see the importance of this I hope that it's encouraged you to take stock in this season of the holidays of like, Hey, you got to be a customer of your own life. You've got to make sure that you're tending to your marriage.
You've got to make sure that you're keeping that in the foreground because nobody else is going to force it to be important. It's going to be a you job. Thanks for listening in.
Hey, this is your weekly reminder to choose your hard. Literally everything is hard. If you see me speak, you will hear me talk about this because it was a huge unlock for me when I realized, you know what? Everything is hard being fit. It's hard being uncomfortable in your body. It's super hard having a messy house. It's hard having a clean house. It's hard. Having a shitty marriage? Super hard. Putting the work in to have a good marriage? Super hard. Bitterness? Hard. Forgiveness? Hard. literally, it's all hard. Getting up early? Hard. Sleeping in and feeling guilty? Hard. Like, everything is hard. This is your weekly reminder to choose your hard. Choose the hard that aligns with the places you want to go, the things you want to do, who you want to become, the good you want to place into the world. do not trick yourself into believing that the, like, easy path, I'm putting air quotes, it's a temporary path. It's taking you away from the person you want to be, the person you're supposed to be, the gifts you're supposed to deploy into this world.Like, stop it. Stop it. Choose your heart, pick the thing that is going to make you become.I was at an event last night and this young girl was talking about some early career experiences and she was talking about how she'd call her dad and just be balling. And he said, great sailors were not made in calm seas. The point is friction is what helps us become friction is what helps us go to the next level and when you become a weenie and you don't fight through and you don't pick the hard that aligns with what you're becoming, you're selling out on yourself. Don't do it. Don't do it. I'm not. I'm going to choose hard this week. I'm going to choose the hard that's aligning with who I'm becoming. and I'm telling you every single time you do, that muscle gets more and more muscle memory, that muscle gets stronger, and each time you do it, it becomes easier. I promise you.And remember, your kids and your people are watching. When you choose hard, the hard that aligns with where you're going, they will too.
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