#5.4 The Horrible First Year Revisited

on Thu Feb 09 2023 05:37:27 GMT-0800 (Pacific Standard Time)

with Darren W Pulsipher, Paige Pulsipher,

The first year of blending families can be pretty tricky and downright horrible. In this episode, we talk about the challenges of throwing two families together and how we dealt with the obstacles we ran into.


#relationships #blended

The first year of blending families can be pretty tricky and downright horrible. In this episode, we talk about the challenges of throwing two families together and how we dealt with the obstacles we ran into.
Listen to this Episode

Love does not conquer all.
  • For those of you that think everything has been rosy. It has not.
  • This has brought up some tension and memories of the hard times. Sacramento Airport.
  • We were naive enough that we thought love would be able to handle all of the problems we faced. That helped but was not enough.
  • Everything was hard.
    • Meshing kids. We had two 16-year-olds that were completely different from different kinds of friends. One very social and another not very social at all. You cannot force them to be friends; they don’t want to be. Now they are excellent friends.
    • Meshing rules. Is there a double standard for some of the kids? Or is everything the same?
    • Meshing discipline. Understanding boundaries with stepkids was rigid. Older kids and younger kids.
    • Expectations for a clean house.  Darren’s idea of cleaning is picked up. Not clean. Paige wanted things cleaned.
Logistics of a blended family
  • Moving
    • Logistics. What to keep, what to throw out? Where do we fit everything? Two households crammed into one place.
    • Moving kids from schools, friends, and church. Etc.
    • Paige and the kids are trying to overcome feeling like guests in the house.
  • Finances were hard
    • Food was hard, what to cook, what did kids like, what did they not like. How much to cook?
  • Going to church in the same congregation as Darren’s Ex-Wife
    • Whose friends are whose? 
    • Who can I talk to? 
    • Who do I vent to, etc.?
  • Going out to dinner was a challenge. Soda or water? Why was it contentious?
  • Remember your kids in the changes
    • Kids have such little control over the situation, so they want some control over it. Mountain Dew (Jake), Jacob with his long hair.
    • The kids need to feel like they have some control and some say. 
Marriage counseling and other help got us through it.
  • Marriage Counseling was a big win for us.
  • The night we got engaged was our first counseling session.
  • Consistently working with a counselor allowed us to establish communication patterns faster. Something we needed to navigate all of the stuff we brought with us. Kids, Exes, jobs, debt, etc.
  • Empathy – Get in the trenches with each other. Instead of getting upset with what they are feeling, try to understand it. And why they are feeling that.
  • Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt. Assume the best first.
  • Don’t find fault with your spouse; you will find it.
  • Communication, laughter, alone time, intimacy, not wanting to fail.

Lemonade Moment of the Week
Darren and Paige head to Las Vegas, to catch some shows and brave the strip with all the craziness.
★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
Podcast Transcript


Okay, so we had an epiphany.

We should go back and visitour most listened to episode ever.

Yeah, because peoplelike the nitty gritty, don't they?

They do.

And it was fascinatingbecause we both sat inthe kitchen last nightand listened to this episode,which was the sixth episode we did,produced four years ago in March.

Called The Horrible First Year.

And it was fascinating listening to it.

When you say.


Because you don't like listeningto the podcast, do you?

I don't because I'm just I'mso critical of myself.

I'm like, Oh, why do I say that?

And why do I do that?

And why do I?

Yeah, So I don't typically liketo listen to our episodes.

I listento them because I learn new things.

And it was fascinatingwhen we talked about it, you were like,

Is that still bothering you,what we talked about last time?

No, I was like, Well,that's still bothering me.

It's been four years, honey.

Uh huh.

And you even said,

I remember why we did thisepisode, and I had no clue.

But you remembered somethingthat happened at the airport.

I remember that we were talking about thisepisode at when we were at the airport.

We were outlining it and we got in a big

I shouldn't say a big fight.

We're not getting a big fight,but we got in an argument.

Yeah, that I was upset with you about.

I do remember.

I remember that.

But I was like, Oh yeah, I remember.

I had no clue what she was talking aboutbecause I had forgivenyou for that incident.

You're so gracious. Thank you.

So let's get into it.

When when we firsttalked about the horrible first year,

I think almost anyone that goes through ablended family runs into the same issues.

When you first throw two familiestogether,is tough.

It is really tough.

It is really tough.

One of the reasons we did that episodefour years ago was because my friendhad told me that

Because you said that was our six episode.

Yeah, it was six.

So that our first five episodes,even though she was enjoying themand she thought they were really good,they were a little too rosy.

She was like,

You're making blended families seem,you know, a little too Pollyanna.

And so that's why we did the episodethe Horrible First year, and it has beenour most listened to episode,like by far, far.

Maybe this one will be second.

Because they see the title the horrible

First Year.

They're like, Ooh, let's hear all that,you know, nitty gritty stuff.

So when we went into getting marriedand blending our familiesand at the time, so you guys not

Paige has four children.

I have six.

If you don't knowthat you haven't been listening.

And when we first got married,you had two at home,and I had five at home.

Five and a half?

Yeah, correct. Right. Yep.

So we were throwing seven kids togetherin one houseand we thought the lovewe had for each otherwould just flourish and blossomand conquer all problems that we had.

Yeah, we really did.

We did. Like, that's not even a joke.

Like, we were like, the kids get along,

We like each other's kids.

We love each other.

So this is all goingto be fine and dandy. Andit I mean, I guess it was fine and dandy.

Well, it worked out.

It worked out, but gosh,

I don't know that it was fine and dandy.

It was hard.

It was hard.

It was. Hard.

In fact,listening to the episode last night.

It brought back some p some trauma.

It did.

And it brought backlike I didn't remember.

I think I said,how many times in that first yeardid I get in the car and drive away?

I didn't remember that.

I did remember You said five times.

Yeah, I think five times I had gottenin the car and said, I'm out of here.

Not like out of the marriageor out of the family,but I can't take this anymore.

I need my space.

I did not remember that.

So it's okay if you get in the carand drive, you know, some place.

Come back.

Just come back. Yeah, just come back.

You might need a little space for a minutebecause it is hard.

It's hard to. Well,what were the hard parts?

What were they what would you saywere the hardest parts of that first year?

I would say the hardest parts weremeshing our roles and our personalities.

When it came to dealing with the kids andand disciplining thingslike that, I would say that was probablyone of the hardest things.

And continuesto be one of the hardest things. Yes.

I mean, you had been,you know, raising your kids for 20 years.

I'd been raising my kidsfor over 20 years.

We had different styles, differentyou know what I mean?

Like and now all of a sudden, it's like,whoa, like,

I'm not okay with thatand you're not okay.

Like, that was that was tough.

It was tough.

So in that first year,

I understand where your boundaries arewith your step kids is really important.

Yes. And we we had mentioned thatlike with the older kids,

I did not parent your older kids.

You did not parent my older kids. Like.

No, that's that's to me,that's a hard no, you've got to step back.

Well, within reason.

What do you mean?

Well, then our kids reallydid anything extraordinarily bad.

But if they had if well, and there werethere were a couple of timeswhere I stepped in one specific waywhere you had had itand all the kids were not doing well.

I mean, the house was a disasterand they felt my wrath, all seven of them.

I did not distinguish,am I going to yell at my kids?

Yes, that's true.

I'm going to yell at all of them.

So in that case, yes, there wasthere was me parenting.


But when it comes to teenagers, it'sit's tricky.

It is tricky.

But yeah, so that was one of theand then meshing the rules, right?

Like we now have seven kids in the house,five from onefamily, two from another.

We had seven different schedules.

We had people coming and going.

People were dropping backpacksand books and shoes.

And there's nine people living in this.

It was it was it was a little crazy.

We had to mesh some rules.

And yeah, it was interestingbecause the kids would

I think they at the beginning,the kids would say,

I was more of the strictone and disciplinarianand you weren't.

You were the more fun one.

But there were certain things that you didnot budgeon, which I thought was wonderful.

You taught me how to not budge on things,even though the kids would consider memore strict.

Yeah, yeah.

I think it's interesting because I think

I am probably the more strict one.

I think it's just I come about thingsdifferently than you do.

So, you know, I mean. Yeah.

And so, yeah, like, I don't bend on.

You're not going to sit hereand throw a fit and yell at all of us.

You're going to go to your roomand you're going to throw that fit.

And when you're done throwing a fit,we'd love to talk to youand see what's going on,but that's not appropriatefor you to subjectall of us to your craziness.


And that goes for anyonethat goes for myself, likeremove yourself from the situationwhen you are feeling out of control.

Or even even the cleanliness of the house.

You like the house fixed upand you crack the whip on the kidsa couple of times and even pulled outthe big crack the whip, which was me.


I felt like I probably wasn't like thatbefore I married youbecause I didn't have as many kids.

We had to.

Yeah, I only had two at home,but we had to likewe had to set down some boundaries.

Ah, it was, it was not good.

Like the state of the house was not good.

So it was like, okay, we've got to.

So these were joint rules that we didthat applied to everyone then, right?


Yeah, for sure.

But you,you said there were some double standards.

I did.

What I had.

At sometimes is there double standardsor is everyone have the same rules

When we first got marriedand blended these kids together?

Well, I mean, I guess I don't consider itdouble stack odds.

But yes, I do believe in what I think.

We both believe that different kidscall for differentdiscipline. Discipline, but the.

Rules are the same.

Like you have to be home at midnight.

You have to be home at midnightlike you. What?

I mean, like the rules.

But yeah, different.

You have to come outdifferent kids in different ways.

And like some of our kidsjust looking at themthe wrong way, like,

I'm disappointed in you.

Look. Yeah, they're really upset.

They're upset.

They would crumbleand change your attitude. Yeah.

There's other kids that are like,

That's all you got from me.

Oh, look, who cares?

So. Oh,you took away my phone for a month.


I don't care. Right. And some kids, you.

If you say you, I'm taking away a bookfor a week and they would be devastated.

So. Yes. Sothat'swhat we that's what we mean by that. Yes.

That is what we mean.

But the rules needto be somewhat consistent.

So be careful with your rulemaking.

Yes. Yes.

If they feel like,oh, wait, that's her biological child.

So they're getting preferential treatment.


And we did have to havethose conversations with some of our kidsand say, listen, this kid over hereis having a hard time right now.

I know you think thatthis might not be fair because you thinkthat, you know,they're getting more leniency.

Well, you got to give this kid a littlebit of grace because of this hard time.

They're goingwe we did have those conversations withsome of our kids because that's not fair.

Well, kids, we're in a divorce situation.

Guess what? Life is definitely not fair.

We all know this already.

It's like life is not fair.

And there are reasonssometimes why life is unfair.

And we were trying to get themto understand that.

The other thingthat was difficult at the beginningand I've seen with other familiesis meshing kids.

And what we mean here is the relationshipsbetween those kids.


And in that first yearwhen we when we got married,we had three adult childrenout of the house already in college.

You're off on church missions or whateverthe case may be.

And seven at homeand the kids are were already gone.

We didn't worry about meshing,but the kidsat home most definitely were livingunder the same house.

And we were a little bit concerned abouthow do we get these kids tolike each other enough where, yeah, youknow, there wasn't heartache in the house.

Well, I think what we learnedand what we learn even more now isyou can't force anyyou can't force the kids to be friends.

You can't force them to like each other.

In fact, probablythe more they feel that you're forcing it,the more they're going to push back.

But you have to provide opportunities andto become closer with each other.

So, you know, a fun family activity.

You've justyou've got to provide those activities.

So we we did not didwould you say we required the kidsto go to those activities that we had?

No, we didn't, because there were timeswhen some of the older kids didn't come.

We did not requirewe highly encouraged it,but no, we did not require it.

But we were like, Hey, it really be greatif we could all go do this.

I think we set the expectation there.

So yeah, Hey, you need to come.

Yeah,we really, really want you to come, right?

And I would say our two oldest in our homeat the time were Jake and Dallin.

They're two weeks apart from each other.

They were like two shipspassing in the night.

Very different personalities, Extreme,different personalities.

Didn't really they.

They didn't not get along.

They just didn't.

They didn't connect.

Connect at all.

Not until they left the house.

Well,they didn't not like each other, though.

That's the thing is it wasn't like. Oh,they hated each other.

No, it wasn't all.

It was just like, you do your thing,

I'll do mine. Peace out.

You know what I mean?

It was just that type of thing.

Wasn't any kind of contention.

But then they.

Yeah, they, they lived in the same townwhen they went to college and.

And they became good friends and.

But we justyou can't force it, right? You can't.

I mean, even though we wanted these 216year olds at the timeto become good friends,you cannot force that.

You can't.

Now, we had an interesting situationbecause there's an age gap betweenthe three youngest children, which areonly what are they, only two years apart.

The three youngest.

Yeah, Yeah, two years apartbetween the three youngest.

And then there's an age gap of six yearsbetween the older set of kids.

So the three youngest kids, when we gotmarried were four, five and six years old,still very young,where the the next youngest one was 12.

And then we had ahow, 14 and then 216 year olds at home.

So it was very different.

The teenagers had already been somewhatraised by us, but the three little ones,we call them the Three Amigos,we raised them together.

So it was a very different dynamic. Itso when we first gotmarried, you had been livingin was a four bedroom house.

And I had a six, seven bedroom house.

I had five kids.

You had two, But we had all of our stuff.

Yep. Right.

You'd been in your house for some time.

How many years was it?

Can we like either eight, nine years.

Eight or nine years?

And then I had just moved into this housethat that we're living in now.


But we still had 20 years of stuffthat all had to come together.

So that was an interesting situation.

Yeah, itit really is like that's very differentin blended familiesbecause you have two householdsworth of stuffthat you're nowcondensing into one householdand that doesn't happenwhen you first get married, right?

You've got barely any stuff,you know, a little bit of myselfand a little bit of your stuffand no kids, you know, Sothat was interesting.

But little tiny things likehow many sets of silverware do we really?


How many frying pans do we need?

How many cups do we need?

How many towels do we need?

You Just stuff that we both had.

And then what?

Who are we throw out?

What are we throwing away?

I was like, Well,maybe she likes these plates.

And yeah, you know.

It's tricky and you don't want your kidsto go, Oh, great.

So she just came alongor he just came along.

So we just got rid of all of our towelsand all of our dishes, like, you know,

I mean, things that they're comfortablewith, and now we're tossing things.

Anyway, it's it's tricky, but we didwe kind of just went through things mean.

All right. We don't need five frying pans.

Let's get rid of three.

You know what I mean?

We we really did have to do that.

Yeah, Yeah, that. Just sounds trivial.

It's not trivial. It's a lot of work.

It is.

And there's a lot of emotiontied to it, too, for some reason. Yes.

And it wasit was very tricky, I would say.

Now, if we had to do it over again,we would have sold this houseand bought a new house together.

Really? Absolutely.

Because this house I just boughtsix months earlier.

I understand that. Right.

So where would you want to live?

Well, that's fine.

We could have lived herelike we didn't have to move away. But.

Yeah. Why? Why would you say that, though?

That iswhen you move into someone else's housethat they've been living inand their kids have been living in.

I think my kids and myself,we felt like guest in the housefor some time now for a really long time.

But four months, it was like, Oh,that's your space, not ours or, you know,

I mean, just.

That could be. Tricky.

I, I definitely think my advice would beto people that are blending familiesto not move into one of your houses,to sell both of them, or if you'rerenting to stop renting all themand get a new house to get those interest.

And here's our new housewith our new space, with our new family,our new adventure, right together,not high.

We're here into your house now.

And I can see that.

So, yes, that would

I would definitely advise that for sure.

Now, another thing thatwe ran into and well, andit was interesting when we first had this,it was the food billwhen we first got married.

Oh, my goodness, it was crazy.

Oh, finances were hard in the beginning.

It was really.

Hard. Well, especially becausewe were relying just on my salary. Right.

And I was paying childsupport and alimony at the time, too,because you quit your jobjust because of the logisticsof having seven kidsgoing in seven different directions,five of which needed to be driven around.

And my job was 40 minutes away.

So yeah.

It was yeah,it was just like, Can't, can we do this?

And you didn't work at home at the time.

You were in the officeevery day or traveling.

So yeah, it was almost impossiblefor me to keep working.

And you obviouslyhad the bigger salary, sothat was hard.

But yes.

The food bill, the first month we sat downand looked at it was, Holy cow,what just happened?

Well, you came to me and you were like,

So we need to have a talk.

And I'm like, About what?

You're likethe food bill Now,

I had come from a situationwhere I was on a very strict budgetwith food.

I was spending$75 a week to feed my familyand I was doing it like thatwas what I had to do, and I did it.

So then I marry you and I'm like,

Oh dear, makes good money.

You know,

I don't have to worry about the food.

But like,we never talked about the food bill.

When we got married.

It was ten timeswhat you were normally spending.

Yeah, literally ten times.

It was not ten times.

No, we. Were spending money.

It was Oh, yeah, it was 20 $800. Right.

That first month

I spent 2800 or we spent. Yes.

Like I literally felt like

I was going to throw up.

I was like, What?


And I, I didn't know how to cook forso many people.

I was over cooking and making huge amountsand I didn't know what the kids likedand what they didn't like.

It was all it was stuff.

It was all really hard.

And we were having two dinners a nightat that time because the kids swam.

So yes, not too different.

Didn't like not two different meals.

I want people to make sure theyunderstand we weren't makinghamburgers andthen spaghetti because some of the kidsdidn't like hamburgers.

No, no, no.

It was yeah, the kids swam.

They ate some dinnerbefore they went to swim.

And then they came homeand ate more. Yeah.

And they came home and ate some more, so.

But yeah, so that was tricky.

So I would saymaybe have these conversationsbefore you get married, like, hey,you know,you just went from three people to ninepeople.

Let's set a budget from the grocery storeand let's figure out, you know, let'sand maybe talk more about,you know,these are a lot of the meals that my kidslike and these are the kids, you know,things like that.

I think we actually didpretty good on on the mealsharing, don't you think?

I mean, as far as you broughtsome really cool recipes toto the family that the kids love today.

Yeah. Yeah. So and then I had some too.

So that part turned out,except we had a couple of picky eaterswhen we first emerged.

Oh, yes, we did. Oh.

We did. I was so frustrated.

And yeah, I think we wanted to handle thatdifferently too.

Oh yes, we did.

So I'm like, fine, if you want to eatchicken nuggets every day, who cares?

Here's the chicken nuggets.

And you're like, No, they need to eat.

And so we actually compromised on that.


And our rule was we weren'tgoing to make anything special for anyone.

This was our day.

I would have been crazy.

That would have been crazy.

So we made this meal.

Now, if you don't like somethingthat we cooked, you have to try one biteand then you can fill up on allthe other things that are at the table.

But we're not going to gomake you another meal.

We're not going to gomicrowave your chicken nuggets,but fill up on whatever you like here.

That was a good call.

That was a good compromise because, yeah,

I think you were more of like the clearyour plate type of person. And I.

Grew up that. Way. Yeah.

I've never been a clearyour plate type of person.

I'm like, if you're full, stop eating.

If you don't like it, don't evendo. Another logistics thingthat was difficult was going to churchbecause when when I bought this housespecifically down the street from my ex,so my kids could easily transitionbetween homes.


Which means we werein the same congregation at church.

A little uncomfortable.

A little,a little.

A lot uncomfortable. A lot uncomfortable.

But would you say it was worth it?


That someone has to ask me that today.

They saidif you had to do that over again,would you not be in the same congregation?

I said, absolutely we would.

I would still do the same thing over againtoday,even though it was so uncomfortableand really hard.

Really, really hard, I would still dothe same thing over again.

Well, why why would you do that?

Because that waswhat was best for the kids.

It was best to keep the kidsin the same congregate sessionevery single week with their friendswith the consistency.


They're already switching back and forthbetween houses.

We don't need them switching back andforth between churches every single week.

So what was the hardest part then?

I mean, it uncomfortable.

Why was it uncomfortable?

Well, because I came into this, right?

You guys had already beenin this congregation for.

A. Year. A year? Yeah.

I didn't know who wanted to be my friend,who I thoughtwas just trying to be my friend,to get maybe information out of me.

Like, I just didn't know

I was being paranoid, you know?

I mean, like, I just.

Who are, you know, your ex's friends?

And they were like,

I want to be friends with everyone.

I was finewith being friends with everyone.

But Iyou know, I just I just I felt like I wasjust in some kind of landmine situation.

I just did not know how to deal with it.

And it took me about a year and a half,

I would say, before I went, you know what?

I'm just going to be me.

And if people want to be friends with me,they can be friends with me.

If they don't, that's their choice.

And I'm not going toworry about every little thing

I say, like I'm just going to be me.

And it became a lot better.

But yeah, was challenging too.

It was it was challengingand challenging for peoplein the congregation to how can I talk towho can I know right?

They don't want to seem like they're,you know, betraying anyone'sfriendship by talking.

Yeah, it was it is very tricky.

Is very tricky.

But like I said,

I would still do it over againbecause that was best for the kids,for sure.

Okay, Let's talk about another challengegoing out to dinner.

Oh, gosh.

At a restaurant.

Now, you were used to only three.

I wasused to already six or seven or eight.

And now when my other kids were home.


I have four kids.

So there was six of usthat would you know, that wasthere were six in our family.

But now we're talking nine. Yeah.

First off, it's hard to find a placethat will take nine people.


And then the big soda incident.

And this is the one that.

I just, I,we talked about this last night.

I still don't understand here.

We didn't have a lot of moneyin my first marriage,and we didn't drink soda at home.

Like I said, we were on a tight food billwhen we went out to dinner,which wasn't very often.

It was a treat, right?

It was a treat to go out to dinnerand yeah, sure, kids get a soda, right?

That's how we didwhen we went out to dinner.

And you were of theyou probably more often than we eat.

Yeah, we did. But.

And you were like, well, why get a sodathat adds, you know, two bucks per person?

So why, why do that?

And yeah, it was funny.

There wasthere was contention because I was like,

Why are you falling on your sword on soda?

Like, I just couldn't understand.

I was trying to figure out whyyou were falling on your sword on soda.

Well, I was just like,why not just let that go?

Like, my kids are used to having a sodaat dinner, so why not now?

Let your kids have soda dinner.

What's the big deal?

It's, you know, only 20 bucks.

And. Yes, seriously, it was.

It's I.

Know this sounds stupid, people,but this was probablyone of the biggest contentious thingsthat and the and theand the big caffeine debate was a bigwas a big thing in our family.

So and I was just like, dude, let it go.

Like, let it go.

And it's really not a thing anymore.

No, no, no.

It's not a it's not a thing anymore.

If our kids get soda at dinner,that's fine. We'll pay for it.

We don't care. It's fine.

If they get a caffeinated soda at dinner,that's fine too.

We don't care.

It's fine.

But, yeah, in the very beginning,like you were really.

You were really, like,

No, we're not doing that.

And I was just like, Why?

So yeah, that was that was that was.

Because I said so that doesn't count.

That's just. No, that doesn't.

Especially when you're blending families,that.

Doesn't count, that doesn't know.

You don'tget to see that much in blended familiesbecause I said sothat is a thing in the past,if you wanted to say that before,don't say that now.

It's all about it's all about compromise.

And you got to figureyou got to figure things out.


And and you do have to compromiseand and decide what you want to fallon your sword about and decide,is this a good ideaor not?


Now, one thing that we did dothat helped us through that first year waswe went to marriage counseling.

In fact, the day we got engaged,we were in marriage counseling.

That is true.

That is true.

And we we were listening backto our episode from four years ago.

We're talking about how we got engaged.

And then we went to marriage counselingand then we went out to dinnerand we went to Olive Garden.

And last night we go,

Why do we go to the Olive Garden?

You know,we could have gone to the fancy like.

We still don't know whywe went to the olive.

I don't know if it was rightnext to our marriage counseling.

I don't know whywe were at the Olive Garden.

I don't know either.

But we went to the Olive Garden.

So maybe we'll go the Olive Gardento celebrate our engagement.

Maybe. Maybe that's what we need to do.

That's what we needed.

I actually like their soup inside.

Yeah, I know you do. Nowthat the counseling is very importantwas very important to us.

Primarily because our marriage counselortaught us how to get in the trenchesas she used to call it, with our spouseand trying to empathizewith what they were dealing within this massive changethat's happening in their livesand the lives of their kids.

To me, this was invaluable advicebecause I had to set my pride asidea little bit and say,

What is she going through right nowthat's causing thisdisruption in our communication?

What what did I say that triggered her?

We talked a lot about triggersand things like that.


I would say marriage counseling saved us.

Actually, I would go as far to say that,that without that, I don't knowthat we would be sitting here todaylike she helped us throughso many things.

So advicego to marriagecounseling even before you get married.

Go to marriage counseling. Well,because what does it do?

It teaches you how to communicateeffectively and to remember one thing.

And and when we listened to it last night,

I was like, oh, yeah, right.

You need to fight for your spouse, notfight with your spouse, fight for them.

You want themto be as successful as possibleand you want your relationshipto be as successful as possible.

Yeah, So you should be fighting for that.

I would say another thing that shehelped us with was she talked to us aboutmaking surethat like when Darren would saysomething that I didn't agree withit, especially when the kids are littleand especially in the beginning,you need tojust kindof keep your mouth shut in that momentand then you take your spouse asideand go,

I do not agree with what you just saidand it's okay to come back out to the kidsas a united front and say, you know what,we've we've changed our mind.

Right? There's nothing wrong with that.

In fact, I think it's good for the kidsto see that, you know what, Things change.

I changed my mind.

I said somethingin the heat of the moment.

I changed my mind.

But I think it's really importantto have a united front with those kids.

And it's okay for mom and dad to walk awayand come back with a different disciplineor whatever it is.

But it's good to be a united front.

You know something I learnedfrom all that is I learned to be a littlemore patient and thoughtfulin inthose situationswhere things are a little more heatedand you dish out that you're groundedfor the rest of your life.

Comment that I just need to sit backand think about, right.

What what is the best course of action?

What would Paigeand I want to do together?

So it helped me to step back a little bitand be more thoughtfulin in those conversations.

Well, I would say even now,today, like there weresome things that went on this weekendthat you were just biting your tongue.


With some decisionsthat our son was making this weekend.

And you were just like,

I wish she wasn't making that decision,but I'm not going to say anything.

Right. But I only talked to you.

Yes, you took me asideand talkedto me and I really appreciate that.

And Yeah, but yeah, it's important that.

Well, and this is something important too,that she talked about empathywith your spouse.

When your spouse is coming to, you say,

I'm really concerned about this.

Instead of getting defensivebecause they're talking to younot in front of other people.

This is the time that you can really say,hey, I understandyou know what you're feeling or tryand find out why they're feeling that way.


I think goes a long, long way in helpingyou get through,especially that first yearwhen you're going to step on landminesyou didn't know existed.

Yeah, that's true.

So take a and take a deep breath.

Remember why you're marriedand and that will help out quite a bit.

You know, another thing isgive your spouse the benefit of the doubt.


Assume the best first.

I think a lot of times we assume we.

Get reversals up. We're like, yeah,she wants to fight. Yeah.

Why did she go?

She said that because she wants to hurt meor she said that because she, you know,blah blah.

Maybe give them the benefit of the doubtand not assumethat they wanted to hurt youand not assume that they're coming at you.


And maybe and like you said,try and see where they're coming from.

But yeah, we've we've it's been yearsthat we've worked on this one.

Right. It's a constant, constant thing.

We have to work. Yeah.

And I think we're we've gotten pretty goodat this one, like it's tape,but it took years and years.

Do you.

I think you just always jump to, you know.

Why would you say that?

Why would you say why?

Why are you being mean?

And the other person's going,

I wasn't trying to be mean at all.

You know what I mean? Like,why did you assume I was being mean?


Like, you make these assumptions and.

Yeah, so,yeah, give him the benefit of the doubt.


And then the last one here.

Well, the second to last thoughtthat we covered inthat episode, still very valid today.

Don't try and find fault in your spouse.

Why you will find it.

If you're looking for issues withyour spouse, you will absolutely find it.

That is true.

That is very, very true. Right.

If you're sitting there today going, oh,you know, everything he's doingis bugging me, and then you keep lookingfor more things that are bugging you.

Oh, yeah, You're going to find it.

And you'll find more.

And then those thingsturn that around, though.

If you do turn it around, thenif you're only looking for the good thingsin your spouse, then guess what?

That's what you're going to find. Yeah,that's very true.

That's very true.

All right.

The last one has to do with laughter.

And we've talked about this before.

We talk about this a lotwhen we first got married.

I loved your laugh. Mm hmm.

I loved how you made funout of difficult situations.

Uh huh.

But I didn't like that sometimes.

No That was one of the reasons

I got in the car and drove away one timebecause you made some comment about,you know,

I don't know that

I've made light of something.

I made light of something.

Why can't you take anythingserious? Was probably.

And I don't know,

I was just like I thought,you know, you said,that's why you married me.

And now the one thing that you said,

I mean, not the one thing,but one of the things you married me for,you're now saying, why are you being like,this.

Is annoying me that day?

Yeah, I was.

I don't even remember. What? I don't.

I don't either.

I have no, I don't remember about at all.

But so what's yourwhat's your advice on that.

Things that you want once found cute andand adorable.

Why did you find cute and adorablein the first place?

Ask yourself, because it was cute.

It was different.

Why is it getting on your nerves now?

I think you have to ask yourself that.


So remind yourselfwhy you enjoyed that about your partner.

Yeah, right.


And, you know,you could always use the lame excuse.

Well, I liked it then. I was younger then.

I've grown or it's annoyingnow all the time.

They do it all the time. Yeah.

You know what?

You got to swallow some try and get backto where you used to be.

Well, what's that saying?

Familiarity breeds contempt.

I think that's bogus. Why?

I think it's true. I think.

I think it can be true.

You know what it can beif you're only looking for the negative.

But real familiarity, maybethe right word is real intimacywith someone.

Maybe you know them, really know them.

You It means to love them even more.

Not contempt. Right?

But I think you have to be carefulthat you it can easily lead to right.

The more you know about them,the more you can use it against them.

And. Right.

So I think you have to be careful thatyou're not using it in a negative way.

Yeah, absolutely.

Yeah, yeah, absolutely.


Our limited moment,the week has to do with a little getawaythat Paige got me for Christmas. Yep.

I got you a couple of shows in Vegas,which I hate Vegas.

We're not huge Vegas fans,but they had some pretty cool shows there.

Got to see a Prince tribute band,which was really fun.

Yeah, we were.

Everyone was up and dancing.

It was like a concert. It really was.

It was fun.

And then we got to see Michael

Jackson one.

Yeah, the Cirque du Soleil.

That was incredible.

I mean, outstanding.

It really was incredible. Butwe hate Vegas.

Like, why do we hate.

So you don't like the smoke?

We don't drink, we don't gamble.

We don't walk around half naked.

We don't like smoke. All kinds of things.

Walking around like the list is longabout the things that we don't do.

But you know what?

We found a little gym there.

We spent three or 4 hours in this onemuseum, and it was fascinating.

It was on the Mafia.

Yes, the Mob Museum. That's cool.

That was actually pretty.

We were like,oh, this is actually interesting stuff.

So it just Vegas makes me feel icky.

Like walking aroundand seeing all these people that are just

I feel sorry for themthat they're walking aroundwith hardly any clothes on, wantingto take a picture with you for money.

Like, I justit makes me sad for these people.

But yeah,

I just feel icky when I'm in Vegas.

But the shows were really good,really good.

And we had a lot of fun.

If you like today's episode.

Give us five stars on iTunes, Spotify,


And head to Facebook and like us.

And check out our blogat Where's Eliminate Talk.

Where you can leave questionsand comments.

Add. But most of all.

Go out and make some lemonade.

You betcha, baby.