marriage

Ep 074: For the Wife Whose Husband Works Long Hours

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Today I feel like I'm going through a blast to the past because I'm talking about a season of our lives that has been over for a while. One that was super hard and that I don't love talking about. I am talking about when Brian worked crazy long hours and I was barely surviving as a wife and mom through it. It was one of those really big chunks of my life that I look back on and just feel super grateful that I'm not there anymore. And for those of you who are there right now, I don't mean that to sound annoying. I hope this episode gives you a lot of hope that things can change for you!

I just want to say that if you're the wife of a long-hour husband, I totally understand. I know some of you have husbands who work even longer hours than mine did and they go to school or you're a military family and they're gone for long periods of time. I've heard from you guys before and I'm just so floored by your dedication to your families and I just want to encourage you that things can get better. Things can change if you want them to and if you're open to it. And if you're not and you know that you're right where you need to be and you're probably going to stay there, there's a lot of ways to create joy and abundance right where you are. I just want you to be encouraged by that.

 
 

In This Episode Allie Discusses:

  • Why it is important to rise above your circumstances, say no to complaining, and work towards joy in anyway that you can.

  • Practical ways you can make your husbands time off well worth it for your family.

  • How to use your routine as a guideline that keeps your family functioning smoothly.

  • What you can do to protect time with your spouse and ways you can encourage him throughout the day while he is working those long hours.

Mentioned in this Episode:


If you are looking for a simple way to connect with your hubby while you guys are apart during those long work days, let me help you out! I put together a list of 20 Text Messages that you can send to your husband to get a connective conversation started. It is a FREE download that you can save to your phone for whenever you kind of feel like you need to connect a little bit through the day!

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If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to. I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days. I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it. Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and I know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood. I’m Allie Casazza and this is The Purpose Show.

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Hi, beautiful friend! Welcome to another episode of The Purpose Show! Today I feel like I'm going through a blast to the past because I'm talking about a season of our lives that has been over for a while. One that was super hard and that I don't love talking about.

However, I have a blog post that I wrote years ago that has just kind of always gained traction, and it's on this topic of what you can do as a wife and mom when your husband works crazy long hours, because that is a difficult role to be in. It takes a lot.

This is mainly for women who are stay at home moms and their husbands work really long hours. That's the role that I was in for years. That's where I was at when I started my blog about seven years ago (at the time that I'm recording this episode) and it's how I came to find minimalism and simplify my life out of necessity.

Brian had a job at a big global company where he did tech work and he installed cable in different corporate offices and things like that. It was a physical labor job too. He would have to climb up into attics in 100-degree weather and install and run cables and all sorts of things. So, he was gone and he was gone a lot. And he was exhausted when he would come home. He usually left before the kids and I would wake up in the morning and came home after they were in bed, and sometimes even after I was in bed because it was so late. So, this isn't really a fond time in my life for me; parts of it were, but it was really, really difficult.

It was one of those really big chunks of my life that I look back on and just feel super grateful that I'm not there anymore. And for those of you who are there right now, I don't mean that to sound annoying. Actually, I hope that part of this episode gives you a lot of hope that things can change.

If anyone was stuck in that lifestyle, it was us. We were living paycheck to paycheck. We were super, super broke. There was no cushion for us to leave or find something else. We lived in southern California, which is where we live now. And Southern California is expensive. At that time, and even now, there really weren't a lot of jobs, but especially at that time. It was after the recession hit and there just really wasn't a lot of work. People were really struggling.

So, we felt really grateful to have that job and to have the opportunity for overtime, even when the overtime was forced. We were able to barely make ends meet, but they were met and we were okay. We just really missed each other and Brian missed out on a lot of really key things as a dad. And speaking of that, two things, if you have not listened to our story of how we got out of this time, listen to episode six, how my blog saved my husband from his 9-5 or got my husband out of his 9-5 I think is the less dramatic, actual title. It's very emotional. I cry the whole second half of the episode. It's our story, our money and business story, and it's really powerful. And there's also like a free download that comes with it, if any of you are interested in starting your own blog business

Basically, we went from super, super broke as a joke and then all the way out to the other end of the spectrum of a seven-figure income from my blog and me pursuing my purpose. And now Brian and I run our company, The Purpose Group, Inc., together from home, we homeschool the kids and we kind of take turns and swap out all the different roles. And it's awesome. This was our dream and we never, ever thought it would happen.

So, having said that, the second thing I want to tell you is if you’re resonating with this episode once I get into it, and you're just like, “Oh my gosh, I need to simplify. I need to be able to think about these things. I need to be able to breathe and enjoy my kids. I don't want every day to feel like I'm just waiting for the end of the day to come so I can be done,” go right now and download The Minimalism Starter Kit. You can go to alliecasazza.com/starterkit and get it for free or you can just go to the show notes for this episode and get it there, but The Starter Kit is exactly what it sounds like.

It is a beginning kit for moms who want to simplify their physical space so it's all about the home and how you can cut down on the clutter which is taking up your energy, your time and your focus. And you need to have as much of those three things as possible to pour into your kids and your family, especially if you are a wife of a long-hour husband.

So, go get that free download right away. And having said those things, let's dive into this episode.

So, when Brian got the job that he had for about eight years, before he left and even before that, the jobs he had before that were in the same industry and they were all really similar, but that job he had the longest so it stands out to me in my mind as that season.

Before he left so I could go all in with my business, he worked there for about seven or eight years. When he got that job, we were told that the hours were 8-4:30 and it was about an hour away from our house. So, with the commute and traffic, we were already kind of like, “Okay, well you're not really gonna make it home for dinner unless you get off early. But that's okay. We'll rearrange our schedule. We'll eat dinner late or you can eat dinner when you get home. We'll figure it out. But this job is awesome and we're super grateful.”

So, once he started working, we really quickly realized, through a lot of arguments and canceled plans, that overtime was just a part of his job. Brian never really knew when he would be off work. It changed day to day and depended on the heaviness of the workload and the type of work required at his final job of each day. And also, we started that job like when we had just had Bella, (or before we even had Bella, I think, I don't remember) but as our family grew in that job and once we had 3,4 kids to support overtime was no longer the company's decision. It became a mandatory part of his job in order to make ends meet.

So, at that point in our lives, we'd come to a decision that as long as his job could support our family, it was better for him to be at work for long periods of time so that I could stay home with our babies. And that was both of ours decision. Neither of us ever went back on it. Every once in a while things would get really financially strained and we'd think like, “Hey, is this right? Should I do something? Should I go get something to contribute? What can we do?” We just never, ever, ever felt peace about changing that. We always both felt really great about me being home and Brian working. It just never really made sense for us to both be gone at a 9-5 or whatever and pay for childcare and all that. It just wasn't going to be worth it.

We were always thankful for his job and the opportunity to have the overtime, but it goes without saying that it was really, really hard because basically what was happening was he was consistently working six days a week. Every once in a while he would even work seven days a week and he was working 12 to 14 hour days each of those days.

That's a really big thing and it requires a lot more than people realize. At that time most of my friend's husbands would come home before dinner was served and I just didn't even know what that was like. I used to think a lot about all the family studies that have been done showing that families who eat dinner together every night are stronger. They stay together. They sent happier, smarter kids out into the world.

And of course, as a believer, you know, it would be ridiculous of me to believe that God can't rise above that statistic and our situation and you know, make all things work together for good, but it still hurt me so deeply to know that we did not have a lifestyle that allowed for that type of daily family time. That was really hard. But I learned over the course of some time that the hard truth was that moping and complaining about it or trying to change things out of my control or out of anger is never going to do any good.

So, I continuously prayed that my husband would be where God wanted him and that He would just keep blessing us and guiding our work decisions and keep giving us peace about one decision or another, whether I would go to work or Brian would get a different job or we would stay where we were with Brian at that job and me at home. That He would just continue to guide us and keep giving us peace. That we would know that we were following Him no matter what changed or what happened

And that was really the best thing that I could do. It was the most powerful thing too. I know that that was where Brian was supposed to be at that time. And because of my prayers, God nudged me when it was finally time to make a change years and years later.

I want to say, I don't know if that sort of a schedule, if that's where you're at, if that's your lifestyle right now. I really don't know if that sort of schedule is sustainable for a couple who wants to have a happy, close marriage since you're really not able to share and talk much. But we did do that for a long time and we made it work. And even though we had a lot of struggles that wouldn't have happened if our schedule was lighter, it did work.

Yeah, it was some of the darkest times for us. Our marriage went through a really dark time several times in there. And I was really lonely. I struggled with depression. I had a lot of negative things happen, but it doesn't have to be everybody's story. I'm just sharing what happened to us.

So, if you're in that situation and it feels really tough, I want to encourage you. Pray. Be open to some other way, somehow. Wait. And in that waiting be all there where you are. Show up to make things as good as they can be in that season.

Like I said before, if there was ever going to be a family who was stuck in that lifestyle, it was us. We had no way out. We had no college or experience or anything that could get us an amazing job. Brian was constantly trying to do inner-company education, to get a better job and the company kind of dangled by like a carrot in front of him for years and years and promised a raise, six figures a year and all this stuff. And that's actually why we moved to Arkansas because of a promised position that would be much better for our family. And we got there and it was a total lie. It was actually worse and that's when we started the business.

I just want you to know that even when things are difficult, like look at what I just said, we moved away from everyone we know and love and things got even worse and that was God getting us into the position to make a change. He had a plan all along, so just pray, be open to anything, be open to some other way and show up and make things as good as they can be while you wait in the current situation.

So, in that season of our life, my job was to rise up in that circumstance, say “no” to complaining. I would always think about how does it make my husband feel when he's working as hard as he is and then he comes home to a complaining wife. I just didn't want that for our marriage and you know, feeling sorry for myself and all that. And I just decided to not do that, to come into this role and work towards joy in any way that I could. I'm sure you can see how this kind of led to minimalism and simplified living and all the things that I talk about now.

But here's really at the heart what I was focusing on during that time. It pleases God when I choose to praise when circumstances do not make it easy. It makes my husband so happy when I choose joy and I'm happy with him and grateful for his hard work ethic and his job. It pleases God when I make my husband happy. So clearly it does a lot of good when I choose joy and no good at all when I give into my flesh by griping, giving into depression and letting this “own” me and take over.

Plus, I would always think about who was watching me: four little people with souls and hearts open to receive what they see in me. As the mom, I'm the heart of the family. So what I say and do and the attitude I exude is everything in my house. And that's really powerful.

So having said all that, how do you handle life with small kids and being a stay at home mom with a husband who is mostly gone?

There are a few key choices that I made and I'm calling them “choices” on purpose that made a big difference and I want you to keep in mind that I was never perfect. All of these things were struggles for me. I failed all the time, but these are the things that I kind of figured out helped make it a little bit better.

So first of all, Brian's days off called for some serious family time. So, when Brian would have a day off, I pretty much ignored my cell phone and so did he. We would just turn the world off and tune into our family. Depending on what we were feeling was best for our family that day, we would either hang out at home or spend the entire day out, totally bypassing nap times and just paying the price of cranky babies and soaking up every hour together.

If we did stay home, we would really be engaged. We'd read books to the kids. We'd have a fun family movie night. We'd go for a hike near the house. Maybe even get caught up on things, whatever. Whether it was super fun or really mundane as long as it was done as a family, that was the goal. We involved the kids in everything, even when they were super little in any way that we could, because we just wanted to be together.


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Next thing was we took advantage of technology while Brian was working. Brian would leave for work before the kids were waking up and he would get home after they were in bed. We really tried hard to come up with a very unique schedule like I tried to have the kids be awake when he would come home from work and then just hope they would sleep in the morning and that didn't work because they were really little at the time.

We tried a workaround where we could be together when Brian got home or before he went to work, and nothing worked. So, I learned, okay, they need to just have normal wake up and bedtimes and we're going to have to figure something else out. So, when he was working and he wasn't seeing them, we ended up switching to iphones so that we could take advantage of Facetime.

The kids just freaked out and they would love talking to their dad on Facetime. We would do Facetime during Brian's lunch break a couple of work days a week. But I was careful not to tell the kids that it was going to happen until it was actually happening just in case something came up and it didn't work out because that caused a lot of arguments and frustration on my end when one of his jobs would go longer than normal. We'd be waiting to talk to him and the kids would not understand and they'd be crying. I definitely didn't want to foster any abandonment issues or anything, as slight as that might be. I just didn't want to cause any more heartache. It was really, really hard on us that he was gone so much.

I would also send him tons of pictures and videos of whatever we were doing that day. Even if he didn't respond or he couldn't see them until the end of his day, he always told me that that really helped him feel like he missed less and brought him a lot of joy.

The next thing was I would have it in my mind that I am a single parent on the days he's working. What that did was it removed all of my expectations for Brian for when he would be home. So, if he could get home early one night and help me with the bedtime routine, that would be great. If we could maybe make it to a social event that we were invited to together for once, that would be great. But I didn't hold onto those things as expectations.

I didn't want to be let down because when I would hold onto those things, like, “okay, this is gonna happen. Brian said he would for sure be off by 3:00. We're going to go to this dinner party. Great.” I would never let myself get there, after a couple of years of arguing and total chaos. I let go of those expectations because when I didn't, when I held onto them, I was completely let down if it didn't end up happening how we had planned. And then I'm in a terrible mood and I wouldn't be able to love on my husband when he got home and be in a good mood because I was just stressed and honestly a little resentful because the whole lifestyle was so stressful.

I always compare it to like a casserole that you're putting in the fridge for leftovers. You put Saran Wrap over it and that Saran Wrap is put super taut over that casserole. If you poke it with anything sharp, it's going to not only poke a hole but the hole stretches and expands into a bigger hole. And I kind of felt like that at this phase of our life. Like I'm just stretched so thin, if one little thing pokes a hole, the whole thing's gonna collapse and I'm done.

So, I acted like on the days when Brian was scheduled to work, I am a single parent. I have no expectations for a husband today. I would go out for coffee with a friend once a week and my mom would come over and stay with the kids when they were in bed so I could go. I would go every week to that no matter what. I kind of just did my own thing and had my own life. I went to barbecues without Brian. I attended things that we were both invited to by myself. Sometimes I'd go with the kids; other times I'd have a grandparent watch the kids and I would go by myself. But I didn't have any expectations of him and that way if he did end up coming, it was great.

And I know I just mentioned that I went out for coffee with a friend and kind of live my own life, but that's actually another point of something that I did to help myself during this season. Going out for coffee with my friend. It used to be on Monday nights and I'll never forget it. We did it for years. It was so great. She's still one of my closest friends and we live near each other again after the move to Arkansas. We live together again in Southern California. We used to go out for coffee on Monday nights every week no matter what.

I had to take care of myself and I had to make sure that my well was full so that I could continuously and constantly be pouring out to my family and coffee with my dearest friend was such therapy for me. It got me out of the house. I'm sipping a delicious cup of coffee that I didn't have to make myself. It's still hot. I'm talking to another adult. Total perfection. We never, ever missed a coffee night. Maybe it had to be rescheduled for a different night that week, but it was always once a week.

I remember one time we had the flu hit our house and somehow with quick healing and essential oils and a lot of juice, we still made it happen that week. We didn't care if the other got sick. We just stuck to it religiously. We both needed it in that season of our lives. And we had a great time and we always started our week out refreshed because of that coffee date.

Another thing that I did was I planned for an occasional nap during the week and I mean I really planned for it. Since my mom hours were almost double most peoples’ I was really tired a lot. I tried to let go some of the chores and just lay down on my couch a couple of times a week during the kids' nap times. Then when Bella got a little older and stopped napping, she and I would just cuddle up on the couch and we'd turn on Dora the Explorer or something and I'd just rest my eyes for 20 minutes or so while she watched her show and had a snack.

I just incorporated a lot of rest because I realized because my days are so long and I'm doing everything in the house - all the cooking, all the errands, all the parenting, every single thing – totally and completely from dawn to dusk by myself, I wore out quicker than most moms and I just need rest and I allowed myself that as much as I could.

Another thing that I did was I had a routine that I used as a guideline and it really helped me. This is when I started getting really into routines and I realized that even though I'm a super spontaneous person and I tend to want to reject all routine in order in my schedule, it makes me feel kind of trapped, this is when I learned that that is actually not what routines do at all. They actually enable you to have things taken care of so that you can afford to be more spontaneous and have fun because things aren't behind, like ever. And it really brought me a lot of freedom.

So, I would have a list of daily and weekly “must dos” kind of like the things that kept our family functioning smoothly. I would never fulfill it perfectly (it's not really my personality anyway) but that really helped me keep the cupboards full of snacks, the house picked up, the laundry caught up, all those things. And when you don't have your husband home to wrestle with the kids in the evening while you catch up, a routine is a huge lifesaver.

By the way, if you want to get some help in establishing some rhythms and routines in your day, I also have a freebie for that and I'll put that in show notes as well. I know I mentioned the Minimalism Starter Kit but I'll put that Developing Rhythms and Routines Workbook in there for you guys too. It's totally free. So you can go to show notes for that and I'll give you the link to that at the end.

Another thing that I did was I didn't let the work schedule, Brian's work schedule, become a “pause button” for our family.

What I mean by that is Brian's work schedule used to really bring us down. I would wait to do anything of memory making substance until he had a day off. And a lot of the time he would be so exhausted that he wouldn't want to do anything. He would want to stay home on his day off. And so, I was kind of constantly let down and frustrated and we felt like we were battling each other for serving my needs and getting out of the house and having a fun family day and serving his needs of lying low and letting him rest.

Especially the weeks where we only had one day off. That was really hard because normally when we had a schedule for a little while where we had two days off, we would just compromise. One day we do what you want to do; the other day we do what I want to do. When we had one day it was really high pressure to have a lot of things packed into that day. A lot of rest, a lot of play, a lot of family time and that just doesn't really work in one day with kids who are on a nap schedule.

So, I started just taking the kids to do fun things by myself. I didn't wait for Brian to be off anymore. While he was at work, we did fun things. Things that you would normally think, oh, we'll wait for daddy to have a day off, I just did them myself. I would invite a friend or a grandparent to come along with me if I needed to, because I knew my limits and when I could and couldn't handle the kids on my own, but I lived my life as their mom.

I took them on fun adventures all the time. We had Disneyland passes for a while, especially when Brian was working a ton of overtime and we had a little extra cash. I took the kids, eight months pregnant with my 11-pound baby (oh my gosh, that's a story for another day) to Disneyland by myself with a stroller and everything all the time in the heat of the summer. It was great. We had a great time.

So, I grew a pair, for lack of a better term, and just decided, “I can do this myself. Single moms do this. I can be super strong and handle this.” And I just did a ton of fun stuff without Brian and we had some awesome memories. It really cemented the closeness between me and my kids.

Another thing that I did was I planned a monthly night out, and some nights in on the weeks in between, with Brian and myself.

So, we are really, really, really, really, really, really, really big on having time together as a couple. In this season of our lives (if you follow me on Instagram, you probably know this) but we go out on a date night every single week. Sometimes I share that we're going; sometimes I don't. Sometimes I just need a break from my phone and don't care if you guys know that we're on date night. Before it just had to look different because of his crazy schedule.

The bottom line was that we had to have alone time together. Every married couple does and we were really big on that. We felt like it was extra important for us because our schedule was so crazy. When we would go out, we would choose a restaurant that we could afford, that we liked, and enjoyed the benefits of his working so much with a nice meal that we paid for, that we didn't have to cook. We would really make the most out of it.

I remember date night being once a month for a while during that season. We would sit close to each other, hold hands, kiss and act like a dating couple. Then on the weeks in between our outside of the house date night, we would stay in, cozy up on the couch and we'd act the same way together on our couch. As long as we were without the kids and enjoying each other's company, the goal was met, the marriage was strengthened and that's all that mattered to us.

We've said it before. We've done quite a few episodes of the podcast on our relationship and on date night (and I can link to those in the show notes for you guys as well) but date night has always mattered to us a lot. And even when it wasn't called date night and it wasn't every week and it wasn't fancy and fun like it is now, our time together has always been the most important thing outside of our relationships with God.

The next thing and last thing that I did to make that lifestyle easier for myself was I had a goal to leave the house once every day. So if I knew that at some point every single day I was going to leave the house with the kids, it helped motivate me to get dressed and put myself together in the morning, which always helps me feel energized. It lifted my mood. It helped me be more productive. Usually my outing would be the gym. For a while we had a really awesome affordable gym pass with Kids Club at this awesome gym. It ended up closing down. It was by my house. They probably closed down because they were so cheap.

But they had this great Kids Club with face painting, activities and a jungle gym. My kids loved it and they would beg to go every day. So, I used the opportunity to up my fitness game and get a break and it was just the perfect place to go. I had motivation and exercise boosted my moods and helped with fatigue. It was fun for my kids. I lost weight and got healthier.

On the days that we would skip the gym, we would do the park or the local lake or something, but pretty much every single day we left the house at least once. That was kind of my rule. It was pretty rare that something would come up that we didn't leave, like sickness or, I was fine, I had a lot of energy and was getting a lot done in the house and didn't end up leaving and that was okay. But the point was to help the day go by and be finished well. To have a good time together and just break up the day. Break up being home.

That's all I have. I know it's nothing hugely groundbreaking or anything. If you want more tips like this, you can listen to the episode about Life Hacks for Moms of Little Ones, which I'll link to that episode as well.

I just want to say that if you're the wife of a long-hour husband, I totally understand and I know some of you have husbands who work even longer hours than mine did and they go to school or you're a military family and they're gone like overnight too. I've heard from you guys before and I'm just so floored by your dedication to your families and I just want to encourage you that things can get better.

Things can change if you want them to if you're open to that. And if you're not and you know that you're right where you need to be and you're probably going to stay there, there's a lot of ways to create joy and abundance right where you are. I just want you to be encouraged by that.

Also, if you are looking for a simple way to connect with your hubby while you guys are apart, a while ago (I think like years ago when I first wrote that blog post that was based on this topic) I put together a list of 20 Text Messages that I would send to Brian that you could send to your husband to just kind of get a connective conversation started. I had it rebranded so it matches my business right now and it's a pdf that you can just download and save to your phone for whenever you kind of feel like you need to connect a little bit and he's away from you. It’s 20 Text Messages To Send To Your Husband. You can get that at the show notes for this episode. Again, it's totally free. You can go snag that and the Rhythms and Routines Workbook and the Minimalism Starter Kit Workbook and see all of those other episodes that I mentioned.

You can find everything that you want for this episode is at alliecasazza/shownotes/074. I love you guys and I hope you were super encouraged by this episode.


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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

Ep 040: How to Stay Close with Your Spouse with Jennifer Smith (The Unveiled Wife)

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Staying close to your spouse is hard. Especially if you’re balancing work and a million kids. There is no sugar coating it! But when we know the purpose of our marriage, it becomes easier to make our marriage a priority. It is about communication, setting a vision, having those tough conversations, and creating time for intimacy. Sure, the arguments will happen! But it is how we respond in them that matters.

Jennifer Smith is a wife and mama to 3 little ones (and another on the way!). Alongside her husband, she provides tons of resources for married couples navigating hardships in their marriage. Jen and her husband are honest and open with the things they have been through and strive to provide hope for those walking in the same challenges.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie + Jennifer Discuss:

  • How knowing the purpose of your marriage makes it easier to stay close to your spouse in a full, busy life.

  • Having a vision for your marriage and the hope that it brings when you are going through hardships.

  • Thoughts on arguing with your spouse when kids are around.

  • Tips on openly communicating intimacy issues with your spouse.

  • Ways to express your feelings and communicate them in a way that won’t feel like an attack.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over. Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood. So you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.


who doesn't love a GIVEAWAY?

Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com with a screenshot of your review on iTunes. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's amazing courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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Hey ladies! Welcome back to another episode of The Purpose Show!

I am so thrilled to do this one today. We have Jennifer Smith of The Unveiled Wife with us today.

We’re going to dive right in and try to keep this brief because we’ve got 7 ½ kids between us, so at any point somebody could interrupt or something could happen.

ALLIE: To start off, tell us a bit about your family. I wanted to give you space to share your marriage story because it’s the basis of everything that you do and it is really powerful. Can you give us a bit of background?

JEN: My husband and I have been married for 11 years and we have three children with one on the way. Elliot just turned five. Ollie is going to be 3 in about two months. Wyatt just turned one and the next one will be due in August.

We're really excited about our growing family and learning how to navigate all of that. It’s really exciting and fun.

Our marriage story is interesting and full of the ups and downs that I'm sure every single marriage faces. I know people's stories differ from situation to situation, but the hardships are hardships and it's difficult sometimes to get through. Our hardships started off right away.

If I could be really blunt, it had to do with sexual intimacy and it being really painful for me. For the first 3 ½ years of our marriage, we were just devastated. We had saved ourselves for marriage. We had all these expectations about what marriage would be like. We were really disappointed. We felt like we were suffering in that area. Because intimacy is such a requirement for marriage, it amplified a lot of other areas for us, like finances and just our attitudes on a daily basis were pretty negative.

We struggled for about 3 ½ years with that. Then God walked us through a healing process of fixing a lot of those areas in our life, including intimacy. A really unique part of our discovery is that things that were my personal care products, which I was putting on my body every day, was hindering my body from functioning the way that it should be, specifically parabens. I don't know if anyone's familiar with that, but we see it a lot in the cosmetic industry. “This is paraben-free.” I feel like there's a lot more attention coming towards that now, but back then not a lot was being said about it, so it was hard to figure out. But, we finally figured it out and once I took all of that out of my system and I'd switched all my personal care products, things changed within a week. It was pretty amazing.

Then it was this healing process of my mind and being anxious to go into sexual intimacy because I didn't want it to hurt. That was another year of retraining my mind. But, we figured it out and then we wanted to share our story.

We started blogging and sharing the things that we were learning. I was learning about how to be a wife, what God was teaching me about living a healthy lifestyle. It started gaining momentum so quickly. We have so many followers that love what we're doing and we feel so supported by them. It's been an incredible journey. We've been doing it for seven years now, which is crazy to think about. I feel like time's just flown right by.

That's the summary in a nutshell of what we've been walking through. My husband and I still blog together. We write resources for married couples and try to give them the encouragement that we felt was so necessary when we were going through our hardships. I felt like if someone could just have that little bit of hope to get past that one day, it's enough to maybe change the rest of their future together.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. And I think it's so random what was causing your problem. People don’t realize. You guys have done so much in redirecting marriages, wives, and husbands to the Lord and bringing Him to the center of their relationships again. It's easy to get self-centered and try to fix problems ourselves. You guys have done so much work to “rebirth” that idea the way that it's supposed to be.

But even setting that aside, just bringing light on the Parabin thing. It's so random. People would never think to look at that. I can't even imagine how many countless women you've helped realize, “I had this problem too. I didn't really know how to talk about it, or where to go, and this was totally it.”

I think everything about what you guys have done is so amazing, and that's why it's grown so big. That’s why people love you guys so much is because you're so honest. To me, that's what you guys are known for. Being super honest. “Here’s what we're struggling with. If it’s you too, here’s some help; if not, that’s OK.

There’s a lot of questions I get asked and I can answer and that’s fine, but I really wanted to bring you on to answer them yourself because marriage is sort of “your thing” and what you talk about and they think it's important to get other “takes” on things.

One thing that I always get asked a lot is, “How do you stay close and remain in that close space with your husband in the midst of three/four kids, a really busy life? You guys are like us where you both work together. You run a business together. You’re homeschooling, right? We have a very similar situation. It's so amazing to be able to work together, and this was our goal, but if anything, it's harder to intentionally connect on a personal level because there is work, kids, and homeschooling involved in our relationship now. It's easy to go out on date night and end up talking about those things. What would you say is a way that you and Aaron have remained close throughout all the business, all the kids, and all the things going on in your life?

JEN: I'm not gonna sugarcoat it. It’s hard. I feel like there's so many high priorities, especially in this early phase of young kids. Aaron and I do run our own business. There's a lot of high-priority things that require time and attention. It does get really difficult to make sure that we're coming together and being intimate even if it's just a conversation or letting each other know where our hearts are at.

But, I think when we know the purpose of our marriage, then it becomes really easy to make that a priority. Aaron and I always try and come back to the purpose of our marriage is oneness and we know that we can't do this individually.

We can't parent individually. We can't run our businesses individually. Everything is so tied together to the oneness of our team that we have to come together. Sometimes I do forget this and I do struggle. I'm exhausted. It's the end of the day. I've been through a lot. I just want to crash; I want to go to bed. Then he's sitting next to me sometimes scrolling through social media or whatever, and I just want to go to bed.

But I know that the priority of our purpose of “being one,” of being on a team, I have to communicate to him. I have to tell him where I'm at, if I'm struggling with something, if the kids had a hard day, or whatever the thing is that's on my heart. I need to tell him and if for whatever reason I fall asleep before that happens, I have to make time for it either the next day or whenever I get that chance.

My husband and I do carve out time to do this. We try and do a date night once a week. If, for whatever reason it doesn't happen, because our babysitter canceled or whatever, we just do it as a family. We let our kids play in the living room with blocks or something and we'll just talk right in front of them.

We love to go on drives. Our kids love drives. Sometimes we'll put a movie on long drives or just encourage them to talk to each other. That gives us a time to go over maybe some of our goals or what are we working on. That's some of the ways that we try and come together.

ALLIE: I love the drive thing. We do the same thing. The kids are contained and safe. We will turn on a movie or music and, “everyone relax and be quiet.” Then we can just hash things out.

Also, one funny thing that we used that for was when we were going through a really rough time in our marriage, probably two years ago now. That’s how we would “argue.” The kids were there so you can't get out of hand. They are contained and safe. We can sit and discuss like, “OK you go and then I'll go next.” It was always civil and calm because the kids were there, but it was a way to work things out. The kids are safe and busy. We're fine. We're going to work this out and we're not stopping driving until we're fixed. It’s a funny way to do it, but whatever works when you have little kids.

I love how open you've been about your guys’ intimacy issues in the past and that you guys are totally on the other side of that now. A lot of the messages that I'm sure you receive and that I receive, were things like “I just can't open up to him because we have issues and it's hard for me.” Do you have any tips for being communicative to your husband about intimacy issues? Typically, the man doesn’t really use sex to feel close and the woman needs to feel close before sex. I feel like I get a lot of messages with that theme. How would you encourage people to be communicative to their husbands about intimacy issues?

JEN: The first thing I always say is start with the spiritual side of things. It's really hard to go into conversations like that without God really prompting your heart and making sure that your attitude and everything is under control. I always want to encourage people to go to prayer first. Pray for your husband's heart. Pray for your heart. Pray that everything that you do communicate comes out right, and that God would help you navigate that conversation.

You have to make time to be able to talk to your husband about these things, because if you avoid it, then you're talking about years of accumulation of things that aren't being said. And that doesn't help anyone.

One thing that I wish I had learned earlier is that you have to practice communication.

So those first conversations are probably going to be kind of muddy and messy and, they may not unfold the way that you'd hoped. You and your spouse are basically training each other in how you respond to one another, how you get messages across, or how you let each other know where your hearts are.

It takes practice over time. Like I said, my husband and I have been married for 11 years now. We have put in the investment of communication. We've figured out how to best communicate and we still mess up. It's a matter of doing. By doing you gain experience and you start to understand that you can work through that.

ALLIE: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I love that answer.

Kind of on the same topic, do you have any more tactical tips for actually how to express things and communicate things in a way that doesn’t seem like an attack? It's hard not to go there when we're very emotional, they are hurting our feelings or whatever. What are some tactical, practical ways to bring things up, phrase things, to not make it sound like, “You suck. Everything sucks. I'm mad at you.”

JEN:  I think that understanding that God built our bodies with emotions is really important. But, we are still called to have self-control and we're responsible for how we communicate in those emotions. So, if you're really intense, if you have those really strong emotions, I would wait. I would push pause a little bit, just so that you can reign it in.

Then, when you go to talk to your husband, start with “I.” “I” feel like this is happening or “I” have been struggling because of this. Because when you start with “I”, they're focusing on you. Whereas, if you start out the conversation with, “I really feel like you are…,” you’re pointing the finger and starting with a complaint, and it's going to start the whole thing off on a negative foot.

When you start with what you're struggling with or maybe what you've realized over the last however long you've been struggling with an issue, I think it could soften things a little bit.

A long time ago somebody encouraged me to do “the Manwich,” which is complement, critique, complement. I don’t tactically use that, but you could. But, I just started with trying to compliment my husband and saying, “Hey, I really noticed you've been strong in these areas and if I could just encourage you in this other one…”

ALLIE:  Oh yeah. I love that. I think a lot of people’s main issue is communication. As far as Brian and I, he is very sweet and I'm very blunt. I have no problem saying, “I can't believe you did that that way. That was so dumb.” I have to tone it down and he's so sweet. But also we'll hold it in, so then it volcanoes out eventually. We had that going on for the first half chunk of our marriage. We had to really work on toning that down and smoothing it out. I hadn’t heard it called “the Manwich”, but someone told me about “the compliment sandwich kind of thing” and it really helped.

I didn’t want it to feel condescending. “You're so good at this. I just really wish that we could work on this.” I don't know, it felt weird. It felt a little bit unnatural, which is good. That's why it worked because it was my not my natural fleshly way of handling things and it really, really helped. I still try to do that when I'm focusing on being a good wife. It really, really helps. He always says, “I love talking with you because I want to grow and be a better husband. And I love it when you say it in that way.” It's not like, “this is another thing that's not going well.” It softens it.  

JEN: It softens your heart too. I think when you come at the situation with a compliment for your husband, your heart can't be in a negative place or you can't be gritting your teeth while you're complimenting them.

It really does soften the whole atmosphere. It brings a gentleness to the conversation that I think they appreciate.

ALLIE: Yeah, exactly. There's always something to be grateful for. There’s always some reason that you married him in the first place that’s good about him. Bringing up something that reminds you of that, especially if it's really an issue that you are hoping can be changed, it's hard to talk about those things.

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Do you feel like you are barely getting through your days friend? Does motherhood feel more like a hurricane of chaos that you are just surviving rather than the awesome, joy-filled season that you want it to be?

Well, motherhood is hard. I am not going to lie to you about that. While it is servitude and giving to your family from yourself, it doesn’t have to be something that we are waiting to be over.  Something that we are counting down the minutes till naptime, or bedtime, or waiting for the next day to start. If you are wanting to sort through the clutter in your mind, your heart, your home calendar, your health, routines, and relationships, I created Unburdened just for you!

It is a guide that will help you go from drowning in the sea of stress and overwhelm, to owning your time and living the best version of your motherhood. So you can live abundantly while intentionally focusing on those who matter most.

Unburdened is the overwhelmed beginner’s guide to a simpler motherhood.

In Unburdened, I will walk you through how to stop over-complicating, procrastinating, and just start making positive changes now. How to declutter, just a little bit – not super deep into it, because you can’t handle that when you are this overwhelmed – but a surface declutter that will get you real results in your house so you can clean up less.

How to declutter toxic relationships in your life and set some good boundaries. How to simplify cleaning, get healthy and feel better – finally!

How to simplify your calendar. How to start owning your time and not just managing it as life happens to you.

How to stop just setting goals and letting them sit there. Start actually defining where you want to go and getting there through reverse engineering and goal-setting.

How to create a cleaning routine that works for you and your life.

This course is a mini-course. It is small. It is straightforward. But it is everything for the mom who feels like she needs a total overhaul, but is too overwhelmed to start.

It will help you simplify the things that have you stuck and leave survival mode behind for good.

Is this resonating with you? Sound like you? Does this sound like something that would really help you right now? Go to bit.ly/getunburdened.

I really poured my heart into this little course. I created it for the mom who is really wanting to simplify, declutter, and pursue a life of less, but she is so burdened and overwhelmed with the mess of life. It’s not just her house. She wants to simplify at the surface of all the different things in her life so she can focus on her family more. So then she can focus more on really, truly purging her entire house.

If this sounds like you, I encourage you to check it out. You are probably the person I created it for. I want you in there. I want it to help you.

Check it out.  bit.ly/getunburdened

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ALLIE:  Staying on communication, I don't even know a specific question but I just wanted to talk to you about arguing. Do you have any general tips for how to argue? The kids are there and if things get really heated, what are your tips for that kind of situation?

JEN: I have changed my viewpoint on this little bit. I used to think that arguing in front of the kids was a good thing because then they get to see you also make up and show apology, forgiveness and all of that. Because I believed that, I justified my intense behavior in front of my son. I remember, specifically, the moment that changed for us. My son was about 1 ½ maybe 2 years old and my husband and I were arguing in the kitchen. To us it didn't seem that intense, but we also had a problem with bickering at the time. Things were escalating.

Our son was standing between us in the kitchen; we didn't even recognize him. He was standing there crying as loud as he could, just adding to the chaos. We stopped immediately and realized that we were creating this atmosphere of intense chaos for our child and his little heart didn't need to participate in that. He didn't need it and we didn't need it. It wasn't a healthy way of communicating for us. That really opened up our eyes to what was going on.

Now there's times that things come up and we get a little heated in our conversations in front of the kids still. We recognize it a lot sooner, a lot quicker and we're quick to cut it off. We actually do practice apologizing to our children. “Mommy shouldn't have said that to daddy like that” or whatever.

I've learned there's other ways of showing the kids how to be in unity with my husband and showing that forgiveness and apology even if they don't see the arguing.

ALLIE: Do you guys go to another room and work it out?

JEN: Yeah. If we notice that things are escalating to where things are being said that we don't want the kids to hear, we'll save it for later and make sure that we go away or wait until they're sleeping or whatever. We do whatever we need to do to protect their hearts. We want them to see us as one unit. We want them to see us as a team. We are trying to cultivate that in their hearts so they know who we are and that they can trust us and feel secure around us.

ALLIE:  Yeah, absolutely. I've had a similar heart change with arguing in front of the kids. It’s really out there. I feel like that's more the common piece of advice is to go ahead and argue in front of the kids. It’s hard when we do that.

Like I said about the “car thing.” It makes you keep it in a conversation where you're just discussing it. I love that you had that change of heart after seeing, “this isn't really working for us” and making it work for your family.

JEN: To encourage those listening if there are continual heated arguments happening and the way that you guys are responding to each other and communicating is not healthy, that needs to be addressed.  

I think you guys can work together as a team to encourage one another to change and mature in that area. Because I think that even if we're doing it behind closed doors, it's still not a good thing. It's not healthy to be arguing with that kind of intensity, especially on a regular basis.

I encourage you to maybe evaluate that part of your marriage. If heightened, if it's intense, maybe work on that. Hopefully that encourages some people that are listening.

ALLIE: Yeah, absolutely. I love everything that you said. We’ve gone through such a hard time with that and I wish that I had found you sooner because it would have helped me so much. Knowing that it is OK to feel like this, but you just need to address it. Not feeling shame or feeling like, “Your marriage shouldn’t be like this. You’re not going to make it.”

I remember one time somebody handed me a book and it was basically a scientific study on how to know if your marriage is going to make it or not. It said, “I'm a 100% accurate,  if I see this then you're eventually going to get divorced.” And it made me feel like, “there's no hope here.”

Jesus can radically change anything. That’s what draws me to your guys’ messages. It’s a hope anthem. Any marriage is if those people are willing to change or even one person is willing to change and work on things. I love that about you guys.

My last question for you is what is one way that you would like to encourage our listeners to pursue purpose, just right where they're at. If you want to relate that to marriage or something more general. What is on your heart in terms of them pursuing purpose in their lives right now, wherever they're at.

JEN: I would say that vision is really important and it's a really great way to experience that unity and oneness with your husband. My husband and I pretty much started out on our journey with goal setting and we love this. We love to take a day or drive or whatever it is and lay out on the table what are some goals that we can work on together as a team.

Now that we have kids, we even add them into the mix and ask ourselves, “OK, what can we do for Elliot? What can we do for all of them? What are some things that we want to look forward to in the future that we can work on today?

This really helps put us back on the same page too, so that he's not out chasing his dreams and I'm not out chasing mine. It really helps us keep the focus on our unity and our oneness. It reminds us about our marriage, what we're striving for.

We do this often. We do it at the beginning of every year, but also throughout the year as we're hitting goals or if new ones come up.

I want to encourage everyone out there that if you don't have vision for your marriage, you are basically living a little hopelessly because you don't have anything to look forward to. Even if you're going through hardships, if you have something to look forward to, it really gets you through that next day.

That was true for us. I think that was one thing that really carried us through those hard times that we were having. Establish a vision for your marriage, - for your family, if you guys work together or whatever it is that you want to goal set for - paint this picture of your future of what you want it to look like.

Even if it's a month from now, start. Start small and then work your way up to years or whatever. I really feel that it will get you guys communicating because you have to talk about how to accomplish those goals and what strategies you're going to make. It'll help you move forward together as a team.

ALLIE: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I think it's Proverbs 29:18, that says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” It’s so true, as a family, as a couple, anything. I have applied it to my business, my team, our family. It's such a team building thing for you and your husband to be on the same page.

And I've found Brian’s goals will maybe be a little bit different than mine, or I just don’t have those goals right now. We can still pull it together and make it work together to where we're helping each other. I love that you said that.

Thank you so much for being here and sharing your wisdom. I am so honored to have you.

Jen has written how many books now? 8 or 10?

You’re at Unveiled Wife, pretty much everywhere on social media, right? Where are you most active?

JEN: I am most responsive on Instagram? I'd say it's just quicker for me to shoot out a response there. And then second would be Facebook.

ALLIE: OK. So, we'll link to everything there in the show notes.

I have Wife After God. It’s an amazing book. I encourage you guys to get it.  

Jen has been blogging a year longer than I have, so there is a huge archive. You can get lost in there.

It’s unveiledwife.com. Go check it out.

But thank you so much, Jen. I'm so excited to have you here.

JEN: Thanks for having me. This is so awesome.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show. Did you know there is an exclusive community created solely for the purpose of continuing discussions surrounding The Purpose Show episodes? And to get you to actually take action and make positive changes on the things that you learn here? Go be a part of it. To join go to facebook.com/groups/purposefulmamas.

Thank you so much for tuning in. If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, and get step-by-step help from me, head to alliecasazza.com. There are free downloads, courses, classes, and ways to learn more about what the next step might look like for you and to focus on whatever you might need help with in whatever season you are in right now.  

I am always rooting for you, friend!

See ya next time!

Hey mama! Just a quick note, this post may contain affiliate links.

 

Ep 022: Working with My Husband: Lessons Learned & Q+A

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Running a business with your spouse is like an amped up version of being married. You are together all the time. You are having business meetings together, eating 3 meals a day together, watching the kids together, planning new content together. You do all of it together. And when you are used to being on your own it is weird to, all of the sudden, be doing it together.

We are getting ready to celebrate 2 years since Brian quit his 9 to 5 job and have learned a few things. But my favorite part is that I get to run my passion project with my best friend. I don’t have to “fill him in” on things because he is here doing it with me. Maybe you + your husband work together. Maybe you guys are thinking about it. Or maybe you’re just curious about we do it! Whatever the reason, I hope that you find some encouragement in this episode.

 
 

In This Episode, Allie Discusses:

  • How to transition from “you’re always gone” to “you’re in my space all the time.”

  • The importance of support when running a business together.

  • How it’s not about who is the breadwinner, but about discovering who you are and the value you bring to the business.

  • Boundaries when it comes to running a business with your husband.

  • The pros + cons of working with your husband.

Mentioned in this Episode:

 

 

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A library of inspiration

Want more inspiration than just the podcast? Do you want videos? Do you want pdf’s? Do you want to download things and get your hands on something to really get you started when it comes to minimalism and simplifying your motherhood?

The Supermom Vault is for you! 


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Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com and let us know you left an iTunes review. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's mini courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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Hey friends! Welcome to Episode 22 of The Purpose Show. In today’s episode I am going to be talking to you about working with my husband, Brian.

Most of you probably know that we run our business together. We have an S Corp and my blog, my courses, and what we do in my business are all underneath our incorporation. We run that together and there is a lot that goes into that.

Because we have a different dynamic in our relationship and lifestyle of running our business, I get a lot of questions, email, and messages about how this works. What is it like working with your husband? Do you like working with your husband? Does it cause any strain in your relationship? How do you balance the different areas of your life that you run together? Do you have boundaries?

I am just going to talk about this for a bit and answer a couple of the more common questions.  I would encourage you guys to find me on Instagram and send me questions if I don’t cover them in this episode.

Brian and I really love talking about it. We are passionate about it. We love what we do and we love our lifestyle together, although it was definitely a difficult transition. We have learned a lot along the way.

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At the time this episode airs, we will be a couple of weeks away from celebrating two years since Brian quit his 9 to 5 job, which was more like a 7 AM to midnight job. It was a lot of hours. He worked six days a week most of the time, 12-14 hour days all the time.

If you want to hear more about our story in terms of starting the business and how my blog got him away from that job, I would encourage you to listen to episode 6. It’s all about our story from complete poverty all the way to the other side through my blog and this business.  Go check that out. I will link it in the show notes.

It has been almost 2 years since Brian quit. I wrote in my notes to discuss the transition from “you’re always gone” to “you’re in my space all the time.” That’s really what it was.

That transition was really extreme. It was literally like “you’re always gone.” Brian would come home late at night, way after the kids’ bedtime, and a lot of the time after I was asleep. He would eat dinner really, really late. Then he would get up early in the morning, before the kids even woke up.

It was really, really hard. It felt like he was always gone. I did everything from dawn to dusk, bedtime and beyond, by myself. It felt like single parenthood. Making decisions. Running errands. Dealing with difficult toddlerhood issues. Raising the kids without Brian.

We went from that to the opposite. He quit. He was home. We were together all the time. For the first few months the focus was getting my business up and running in a way that would fully replace his income, and then exceed it. And it did exceed it, more than we ever could have imagined.

In the beginning he had to quit because it was necessary. It was, “either you quit or I do because I can’t keep doing it all.” I had the kids here, running our home life, cooking, taking care of the house, homeschooling, and trying to get a business to become a thriving thing all by myself.

We prayed and decided that he would quit and we would take a leap of faith. We had seen that it was a viable idea but we just hadn’t gotten to that point yet.

The first few months were fine because it was all about getting the business up and running and we did that together. Once it happened, we found ourselves in a different position. The business was doing pretty good. It was a lot but we were doing it together. It was great, but it was definitely strange for both of us in different ways.

For Brian it was like, “who am I if I don’t get up and go to work every day?” I had rhythms and routines in place, that I didn’t even realize that I had. A way of doing my day with the kids. A way of doing “house” that I didn’t realize was so important to me. I quickly realized that it was so important when Brian came into the mix and was “around” all the time. “Messing up” my house, my system and my day. When you are on your own, doing life, all of the time, it is weird to all of the sudden be together all of the time.

We had lots of different things that happened. We both worked on the business together – a lot – but Brian wasn’t leaving the house, going to a 9 to 5 job, clocking in, earning hourly wages, and then coming home. It was this never-ending thing where we were always working on the business, always talking about it. We were taking turns sharing the load of the house, the kids, meal preparation, and all of those things.

He started to plummet into this depressiveness from being “shell shocked.” He was grateful, but also kind of ungrateful because he felt like he didn’t know who he was without going to work every day. And I was struggling with just being “annoyed” all of the time because he was just kind of “there” all of the time. It was just hard for us. It was also weird. We were both so grateful and this was what we wanted. To be honest, we felt weird to be having a hard time with it.

We didn’t have any role models of people who had done this before us. My parents are entrepreneurs and they owned two businesses together since I was born, but it was just different. My mom ran more of a secretarial role in the business and my dad ran the physical “going and getting the job done” part of the business.  It wasn’t like ours. Our business is online, at home. We were making decisions and running it together.

There were really good things about it. We had awesome brainstorming sessions. We fell into this routine of doing that together every couple of days. We would get the kids in bed or lay them down for naps and then go into the office and shut the door. We had a wall full of white boards. We would have lunch together and come up with all these new content ideas.

It was so fun. It was so nice to have him there for that because I was trying to do that myself.  I am a very external processor, so it helped me greatly to fall into that routine of doing those audible, verbal brainstorming sessions with my husband, who is also my best friend. I trusted him. We had that really great dynamic together. It was really good.

It wasn’t like he left work and it was just awful. There are some really difficult parts of it that I want to be honest about. I feel like in today’s day and age, it is easy to make everything look super fluffy. While I am always really real, I can only share so much on social media. This is more of a platform where I can dive a bit deeper, and be honest. I want to share some of the things that we struggled with for some of you who may be in the same place, or may be considering getting into this lifestyle.

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Hey friend!  It’s Allie! Have you heard of the Supermom Vault yet?

The Supermom Vault is a library of inspiration I created for you.  It holds replays of my very best online workshops that aren’t available anywhere else, tons of really actionable pdf’s that are downloadable with just one click, more than 20 audio and video trainings from me, and professionally designed printables for your home to keep you focused and inspired.

The Supermom Vault is only $39.00 and is available at alliecasazza.com/allcourses.

Check it out!  It’s a really good simple start.

Want more inspiration than just the podcast? Do you wish there were more episodes?  Want more details? Do you want videos? Do you want pdf’s? Do you want to download things and get your hands on something to really get you started when it comes to minimalism and simplifying your motherhood?

This is definitely the place to go!

Check it out!  Alliecasazza.com/allcourses

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I see it like this: Marriage already brings out your flaws. Everybody knows that. Anyone who has been married will tell you that. In wedding ceremonies, the pastor always makes a joke about that, or comments on that. Marriage will really bring out any flaws. Anything you think is quirky or comical about a person, will soon become an annoyance and a major flaw once you are married and settled in. That’s just what marriage does. It brings out the flaws of the other person to you. And it brings out your own flaws to them and to yourself.

But being married and running a business with your spouse, will not only bring out your flaws, but it will shine a five billion lumen floodlight on them. And bring out a thousand others that you may not have known you had. Or that the other person had.

It is very vulnerable. It is very unique. It definitely will show you everything that is wrong with you. It will show you everything you don’t like about the other person.  It will show you every difference that you have.

I found the key to navigating it is to decide that you are going to work through things. That you are going to work through the differences and problems instead of ignoring it, sweeping it under the rug. Ignoring it because you are too busy and you need to focus on the business. Or just calling it out and saying that you don’t like and demanding the person to change it.

Running a business with your spouse is like being married on crack. It is a really amped-up version of being married.

Having said that, I wanted to dive into the things that I have learned in the past two years of Brian being home with me and us running the business together. These are a few simple things that came to my mind when I was thinking about this episode.

The first thing I learned is that his support is so crucial. In our relationship, I am definitely more of the self-centered one. I am more of a “taker” and Brian is more of a “giver.” I am more of the classic entrepreneur. The “don’t stop until you make it” type. I come up with a lot of ideas. I just have an entrepreneurial spirit.

I tended to think that I could do things myself and didn’t need any help. It is why I had a hard time hiring people in the beginning of my business. I thought “nobody can do this like I can” or “I can do this myself” or I don’t need anybody else.”

It’s not like I walked around saying that to myself all of the time. It was just an inner attitude.  I very quickly learned that Brian’s support is so crucial to my success and the success of my business. I definitely could not have him be indifferent or not thrilled about what I am doing. I will fully admit that I need him.

I need him in my life. I need him in the house. I need him in my business. I need his support. I need his brainstorming sessions. I need his input. I need his calm, steady presence when I have to fire someone, or have a difficult discussion with someone. I absolutely would do this so much worse without him. He is crucial. His support of the business, my passion, my mission, and what I am doing, is so, so crucial.

The second thing I have learned is that being the breadwinner is inconsequential. It doesn’t really matter. We learned together that Brian’s value does not lie in being the breadwinner, which he was. We had always been in agreement that I would be home with the kids. I never really imagined doing anything else. It’s not like I was a stay-at-home mom who was always bored. One who couldn’t wait for her kids to get older so she could do her own thing. I had a lot of friends who had that mindset, but I never related to that. I was very, very content to be a stay-at-home mom.

When things got really difficult and super tight, I would always think about getting a part-time job or find a way to help. Brain would always say, “If that’s what you really want to do, I will support you, but I do not want you to do that for money. I love having you here and I know you love being here.” That’s the page we both landed on for forever.

It’s so funny. I can’t even tell you how surprised I am that this is where we have landed. That, not only do I have something else that I am doing, but that it is our livelihood.

We quickly learned that Brian’s value does not lie in being the breadwinner. And neither does mine. My value doesn’t lie in being the breadwinner. Brian found who he truly is during this change in our lifestyle. We have both discovered what really makes a man and what makes a man a good man through this process. It really has nothing to do with “bringing home the bacon.”

Without Brian, this business would fall apart because I would not have that support, encouragement, and brainstorm sessions that I desperately need to keep this thing going.  And to keep myself going so that I can do these things.

I am such an introvert. I love what I do. I love it. But at the end of a day of recording, interviews, speaking to a group of women, I am just so drained. And he knows exactly how to refill that well for me. How to help me refresh my spirit and find rest. He knows when I need to talk and when I need him to not talk at all. He is so supportive and encouraging. I just couldn’t do this without him.

It’s not about either of us being the breadwinner. It’s become an identity in our culture. We quickly saw that. We quickly saw how much Brian was depending on that for himself as a man. Finding his identity in what he did.

He didn’t find purpose in what he did (installing cable), but he found purpose in supporting his family, being the breadwinner and providing. Outside of that, he didn’t really know who he was. Who can blame him? With those hours it’s not like he had time to go on a soul-searching expedition or anything.

We see it as, “Could I find someone else to take photos and create videos for me?”  Of course I could. Without me the business would keep going, just without any new content straight from Allie Casazza. Neither of us is “all important.” Neither of us is the “breadwinner.” We are both replaceable.

However, we are both a reason this thing has taken off.  We are both looking up, praying, as we seek God’s guidance in managing His business. It’s His; not ours. We are both working hard to spread this message of hope and light further and further for mothers everywhere. We are both passionate about that. Brian’s passion comes from mine. We are connected. We are one. I am so passionate about this that it has made him passionate too. This is our business and our thing.    

We purposely built the business up to a point where the team is managing the backend so much that if something traumatic happens in our family and we need to fall off the face of the planet for a year, the business will keep going. Keep making money without us. It is good. It is something that give us peace. We are both totally replaceable. Neither is more important than the other.

Just because it’s alliecasazza.com, and it’s my voice in your earphone right now, has nothing to do with it. Because I wouldn’t be here, talking, if it hadn’t been for Brian. Truly. I wish there were more words in the English language for me to express how valuable and precious his support is to me.

The next thing that I learned is that boundaries are good. When you are married, you have kids, and a business – boundaries are good. But sometimes we don’t feel like we need them.

I guess what I mean by that is when do you talk about business? When do you talk about homeschooling? When do you talk about you? When do you discuss your life on date night?

I have heard the rule, “don’t talk about the kids or business on date night.” I understand why people say that. I don’t know if maybe Brian and I have something different than other couples. Everyone seems to give that advice. Business can get touchy; it’s related to money. That can be a hot button issue for sure.

But, Brian and I are really passionate about what we do, what our business is for and we like talking about it. When we go on date night, we always talk about our kids. About homeschooling. About what we want to do about business. Talk about work. Talk about our team members. Talk about what goals we are reaching. We also talk about other things, like what books we are currently reading. What we feel like we are learning in our relationship with the Lord. We also talk about us.

I guess I would say that boundaries are good and they have a place, but it’s OK to feel like you don’t really need them. You just love what you do. You love your life together. Your business is a part of that life. Your kids are a part of that life. Your work is a part of that life.

We definitely make sure that there is a balance in our talks together. I will say, “how do you feel about us and where our relationship is at right now?” Then we can steer the conversation away from the kids and business, and just talk about us.

We talk really openly with each other. We are so open with each other. We will talk about our relationship. What problems we think we have had lately. Brian might flat out say, “I feel like we need to spend a little more time alone together and not with the kids.”  “I really feel like we need to up our date nights.” A few months ago we really amped up our date nights. We go every week, religiously. And we love it.

We have that balance. What needs our attention right now? This is our life together. The kids. Money. It’s all a part of it. If it is date night and there is something that needs our attention, but we are pretty good, we will talk about it. We don’t have those hard boundaries. It would make me so stressed to not talk about something that we need to talk about.  

I am an external processor. Brian is such a good listener and he loves talking about our life together. He always wants to ask me questions and find out what I need help with. Is there anything I want to talk about? Is there anything new going on? More often than I, he will have things to talk about. We like talking about our life together when we are together.

I have found having those tight boundaries doesn’t work for us. We definitely do have some boundaries and times where we need to focus more on us, but we kind of go with what we need. What we need to talk about. What needs our attention and we both enjoy doing that together.

I wanted to talk about that famous saying, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” There is truth in that. We definitely felt that from our previous lifestyle of always being separated and really missing each other. When we were planning this big change in our life, I was definitely worried how that would affect us.

It has been so much better this way. If you choose to openly discuss and work through the hard parts, the awkward parts, the annoyed parts, I would say “presence makes the heart grow fonder.”

Absence makes the heart grow fonder because reality fades away. When you are together all day, every day, you are in it together. You are doing life and all the mundane parts of it, side-by-side, hand-in-hand, together. And in that, presence makes the heart grow fonder.

I do not feel like sobbing through another episode (referencing episode 6 again) but I do want to communicate that I just don’t know where we would be if we didn’t make this transition.  Things were so hard and our relationship was always strong, close, and open. I was always so proud of our relationship despite our hardships. But being together – all day, every day, sharing the load, doing life together, really truly, in day-to-day situations that you can’t have if you are not together – has grown us closer than I ever thought possible.

I don’t want anyone to be really annoyed, turn this off, find me, and slap the crap out of me in an alleyway somewhere because they were so annoyed by what I am about to say, but I have just have to say it. Sometimes I just stop and think about us and I just can’t believe this. I can’t believe how close and sweet our marriage has grown from making this change and actually doing our days together. It has really made a difference.

I want to encourage you guys that if this is something you want and you’re worried about it. Yeah, it’s going to make you work on stuff. But it is going to make you work on things that you would get out of working on if you weren’t together all day, every day.

To wrap things up, I wanted to touch on what I like about this lifestyle and what I don’t like about it. Keep it super honest.

What I like about this lifestyle is the freedom. Instead of having “work hours”, I have more of a “running task list” that I can fit in whenever it works for me. If we want to ditch everything for the day and go to Disneyland with the kids, we can – because of homeschooling, running our own business and being the CEO’s. It’s really nice. It works really well for being such a busy family. It definitely helps me remain pretty mellow because things can ebb and flow and switch around when they need to. It makes it unpressured and easy.

Another thing that I life about this lifestyle is the constant help from each other. If Brian needs help, needs a break, or really wants to make it to a Crossfit class, I can take over and just do everything.  Actually, by the time this comes out he will have returned, but in a couple of weeks Brian is going on a guys’ trip to Nevada for a full week. That’s something that he really, really needs. It is going to be so good for him. I am so happy that he gets that time.

I will be taking over. I have cleared my work schedule. I will handle all the homeschooling and the house. Go back to how things used to be for a week. I have his back. And I can make sure he has a great time. I am holding down the fort.

I can’t even tell you how many times it has been reversed. I am in a Mastermind and we did a retreat in L.A. I was gone for 3 ½ days and Brian took over and handled everything. I don’t come home to a disastrous house. I don’t come home to everything undone and the kids haven’t showered. We have each other’s back.

When I needed to visit my friend in Florida, he was here. When we lived out of state, and I wanted to come home to California and visit family to do some test runs for the creation of my course, he held down the fort for five days. We take turns. We have each other’s back. That’s neat that we have the freedom to do that.

I also think that doing day-to-day life together is pretty uncommon because of jobs. It’s really beautiful. It gives us something that others don’t have. I see that a lot. I am really grateful for it.

My favorite thing is being able to run my passion project with my best friend and not having to “fill him in” on things because he is here doing it with me.

I have a couple of things that I don’t like but I don’t want to focus too much on them.  Honestly, we have worked through them during this process (like I was talking about before).  But, of course, there are pros and cons to everything.

What I don’t like is those “blurred lines.” Are you the co-owner of the business? Are you my co-teacher with kids? Are you my husband? It definitely blurs the lines and that can be difficult sometimes.

Of course, there is a heightened chance of arguments. It was really bad at first for sure. We really struggled. We went through about six months of constant bickering because we were just not used to being together all day. We were balancing a lot of new things. It was a stressful time. It was very new. It was super, super hard.

There is more that we are doing together, which makes more to argue about. But I can tell you from the other side now that you can work through that. You can totally fix that. It is not like that at all anymore.  It is in the past. We are so far removed from that. But you need to be on guard. You need to remain kind and respectful of each other. You have more against you in terms of arguments.

I think it is important to always choose gratitude. At some point in your life, all your hopes and dreams, can happen. They can turn sour if you choose to focus on the negative or you don’t work on the hard parts. The grass is always greener on the other side. When you get there, you are going to have problems, just different ones. You have to choose to stay grateful, focus on the positive, and work on the negative. Don’t just accept it as what it is. Don’t be annoyed about it. Don’t let it make you resentful. Choose gratitude. Work on things. And your life can totally turn around from that.

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

Ep 018: Prioritizing Sex in Your Marriage w/ Sheila Wray Gregoire

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As busy moms, we are in the hardest season when it comes to sex. We are exhausted majority of the time, we don’t feel sexy because things are leaking, we are being pulled on all day, and if we are being honest, sex isn’t our priority. We want it, but our bodies are too tired to do it. But sex isn’t just going to happen if we are waiting for it to happen. It has to be something that we start looking forward to. We need to have a different attitude and tell our bodies what to feel instead of waiting for our bodies to feel something.

In this episode, I am excited to sit down with Sheila Wray Gregoire to discuss Prioritizing Sex In Your Marriage. This episode is not light + it is not for tiny ears. We are talking about a lot of adult and marriage things. So, pop your headphones in and enjoy this episode alone! Make some space for yourself and enjoy!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie + Sheila Discuss:

  • The importance in believing you deserve sex + the impact it has on your drive for sex.

  • How libido works + varies from men to women.

  • Reverse libido + how to handle it.

  • Ways to prioritize sex among your busy life.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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A library of inspiration. 

Want more inspiration than just the podcast? Do you wish there were more episodes?  Want more details? Do you want videos?  Do you want pdf’s?  Do you want to download things and get your hands on something to really get you started when it comes to minimalism and simplifying your motherhood? Did you say yes to those questions? Then the Supermom Vault is for you! It holds replays of my very best online workshops that aren’t available anywhere else, tons of really actionable pdf’s that are downloadable with just one click, more than 20 audio and video trainings from me, and professionally designed printables for your home to keep you focused and inspired.


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Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com and let us know you left an iTunes review. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's mini courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


I_ve_got_you_2.png

Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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DISCLAIMER:  Hey Friends!  Before we get into the interview with Sheila today, I wanted to let you know that this conversation is definitely not for tiny ears.  This is a moms-only discussion. We are talking about a lot of adult and marriage things. I don’t want you to get asked tough questions from your kids who might be listening.  So, pop your headphones in and enjoy this episode alone. I am so seriously thrilled to be recording with Sheila. I really think you will enjoy this episode. Make some space for yourself and enjoy!

ALLIE:  Hey guys! Welcome to this episode of The Purpose Show!  I am here with Sheila Wray Gregoire.  I am super glad that you are here!  Sheila is an author, a course creator, a blogger.  Some books that she has written are The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, 31 Days to Great Sex, a course about Boosting Your Libido.  Sheila talks so freely in such a refreshing way about marriage, intimacy, having great sex and prioritizing that.  She opens up discussions about what could be an awkward topic, and does it in such a refined way. I just love you so much and I am so glad you are here!

Welcome!  Why don’t you just start by saying a bit about yourself and your life?

SHEILA:  I started blogging and talking about parenting and general women-stuff and found that every time I talked about sex that my topic took off. It’s kind of ironic because it was actually the hardest part of my marriage when I first got married. I kind of laugh at myself at where life takes you.  We are empty nesters now, so that is a new situation.  My youngest daughter is actually getting married next month.

ALLIE:  Congratulations!  It’s so funny to be talking to you in that season and I am way on the other end.  I have a thousand kids and they are so little.  Side note guys:  Sheila and her husband have done camper-living and traveling.  And we have done that with our kids, so it is cool to see that you guys are into that and love to travel.

I wanted to have Sheila here to give us this relaxed conversation about how to prioritize sex especially when there are little kids.  I am sure you get asked all of the time.  With the exhaustion that comes all of the time, it is such an emotional mindset for women.  You just feel grabbed at all day. It is so hard. I get asked about this a lot and I just don’t know what to say.  I am really glad that you are here.

What would you suggest to women who feel like life is so busy?  They love their husbands. But if they are honest, sex has become the last priority.  It is so hard if you are just not feeling it.

SHEILA:  Most women do not get how our libidos work at all. It makes sense why we don’t.  If you watch any movie or TV show, there is a certain plot when it comes to sex.  And it goes something like this.  Two people are together and then they start to pant, then they kiss.  They take off their clothes and they end up in bed.  That’s always the way it is.

They pant, they kiss, take off their clothes and then they’re in bed. And that’s what a lot of women think sex is: touch, kiss, clothes, bed.

So there you are at home…and you’re waiting to pant. And nothing’s happening so you figure you’re just not in the mood, right? But actually, that’s not the way that our sex drives work for women.

There is a woman, Rosemary Abbott at British Columbia, who did this huge study.  What she found was that for men arousal preceded making out. That’s pretty obvious and for the life of me, I don’t know why anyone would need to do a research study on that. But they also found that women aren’t aroused until they started.

That’s the big thing that I don’t think we get.  For women, it’s not like your panting. And it’s not because you’re not panting that you are not in the mood. Our sex drives are almost entirely here (head); for men, they are a little bit lower. And what you think is going to determine what your body does.

So what happens is it’s nighttime, you’re in bed, and you’re thinking, “O man, do I want to?  I don’t know, he’s probably expecting something.” And we go through this in our heads.  So if we just decided, “I am going to have an awesome time, and I am going to jump in”, we would be asleep already.  But instead we run all of this around in our heads and we drive ourselves crazy.

The big thing that I would tell women is we have to stop waiting to get in the mood and we have to start getting a whole new mindset about sex.  Because sex isn’t just going to happen if you are waiting for it to happen. It has to be something that you start looking forward to.

The way you’re going to do that is to just start realizing that sex is something for me.  It isn’t something that was just created for men. Sex is also something for me.  When you have sex, you sleep better. If you are exhausted, that’s probably what you need to do.

You feel better.  You get fewer colds the more sex you have.

ALLIE:  I mean if nothing else, do it for the fewer colds, guys.

SHEILA: So we have to stop with this whole idea that we are not in the mood to have sex and instead, say, “you know what?  I deserve this!  I have been running around after everybody else. I deserve to have an awesome time!”

Just have that different attitude and tell your body what to feel instead of waiting for your body to feel something.

ALLIE:  And what a huge blessing for our husbands too, on their end with the typical, “O I’m waiting…”  We were out with friends the other night and the husband said something like, “goodbye sex tonight”.  Because he had made a joke and she got upset.  It was just the whole typical relationship of the man and the woman.  So what a blessing for us and also for them if that’s our attitude.  If we switch it and we are like, “yeah, I deserve to have an amazing night. I’m exhausted.”  Instead of using it like a weapon that “you get it if you behave” or “you get it if I am in the mood.”  It breeds this unhealthy weird power balance that can’t be good for us.

SHEILA:   No, and I think we need to realize that sex is not just physical.  That’s the way our culture portrays it, right?  That sex is all about this physical urge, this huge sexual release or whatever.  But really sex is actually a deeply intimate experience.

I did this massive survey of thousands of women, and what I found was that the magic years for sex in marriage were 16-24. A decade and a half after you get married. You feel totally comfortable with each other. You feel like you can let your hair down. You can be vulnerable. You know each other inside/out.  You’ve probably seen each other on the toilet.

The kids are all sleeping through the night. You’re not as tired. And that’s when sex starts to really work. That’s when things really click for a lot of people.  And I think it’s because you feel so close.

We have this mistaken idea that the best years for sex are your early twenties or the honeymoon, but it’s not. It’s when you feel really close because it’s intimacy that makes sex really great.  It all feeds each other.

ALLIE:  That makes so much sense. That’s also a very hopeful finding for those of us who aren’t there yet.  In your head, and maybe it’s a societal thing, but you think the older you get the worse everything gets. So if it’s not going well now, this is going to just keep sucking my whole marriage.

It is so the opposite.  We are in the hardest season. Most of my listeners are where I am at, or even younger.  It is so hard sometimes.  The elements are so out of your control. The babies are waking up, or you’re pregnant and you feel seasick all of the time. It’s just so weird.  Things are leaking that shouldn’t be and it’s just a very weird, awkward, unsexy season in a lot of ways. You can work around it and sure, it can be great, but it’s so hopeful to know that although I feel so close to my husband and we have a great relationship, that the best is yet to come.  I love that you shared that.

You talked about libido.  I know you have a full course on this.  I will link to this in the show notes for you guys, but can you give us a few tips for if you feel like you do have a low libido.  Even getting to that mindset of “ok, I deserve this.”  What if you just don’t want to. What would you say about the libido thing?

SHEILA:  I think libido is really a use it or lose it thing.  When you fall into the habit of not having sex, it is really difficult to get back with the habit of sex.  A lot of it is just because we get so busy. Sex comes last on the to-do list and it just seems like such a major imposition.  If you think about it that way, it’s really hard to initiate sex.   If you have been turning him down a ton, you get into this dynamic where he stops asking.  I am really talking about places where she has the lower libido.  About 30% of the cases are where he actually has the lower libido.

For those who do have a lower libido, sometimes you just need to take a look at your life and where your priorities are.  For example, I got a comment from a woman who said, “Look, I work full time. I have a 7 and a 4-year-old. My husband works full time.  My life is spent making meals, running errands, doing groceries, taking the kids to all of their activities, and I can’t have sex unless I feel pretty.  So I need to have a shower. I need to shave. I need to put on perfume. I need to look good. And I don’t have time for all of that.  How am I supposed to have sex, when I don’t have time for all of that?”  Look at your priorities.

ALLIE:  That’s such a list. It would never happen if that was my list.

SHEILA: I understand that laundry needs to get done. Groceries need to get bought.  But if you are in a situation where you literally do not have time to do the things that you need to do to make a marriage work, you have a problem. And you need to do something about that problem.  Because if your kid who is 4 is going to karate once a week, and swimming once a week, your marriage is worth more than a 4-year-old enduring a karate lesson.  A 4-year-old’s karate lesson doesn’t matter.

Maybe you need to figure out ways to get your husband involved in some grocery shopping so it’s not all on your shoulders.  Maybe we need to look at how we do life.  You can’t be in a place where you have time for everything except for your marriage. It doesn’t work.

What your kids really need is for you and your husband to be together. Your kids need you to have a rock-solid marriage way more than they need their extra-curricular activities.  

ALLIE:  That’s where the priority thing comes in.  What do you want?  This or that?  I was just talking to my husband about this the other day.  As we are getting into our 30’s, friends that got married at the same time as us are getting divorced and splitting apart.  We were talking about the sadness of losing couple friends, and who do you hang out with now.

He was saying you just expect that it’s going to be there and you are not cultivating that friendship.  That intimacy. That “I don’t just love you, we have a life together, and you’re always going to be there”.  It’s “I really like you, and I am enjoying you, and I want to be with you.”  You’re enjoying that relationship. Cultivating that relationship.

I think it is just so sad. I have been there where you just fall into that season of “oh, you’re just there, we’re just doing life together.”  Cultivating is so important.  Then the sex just falls in right after that.

SHEILA:  Honestly, most women that you talk to say that their marriage is a priority. But if you look at it, most of the time, it’s not.  So, I want to say, listen, “if you think your marriage is a priority, then you have to make it a priority.” I know that life is busy, but it’s also a choice.  There is a choice.

If you’re in one of those seasons where you’re working opposite shifts and it’s just impossible, you’re trying to balance daycare and money is very tight – I get it. But then make up a 5-year plan so that you are not going to be here forever. It’s not sustainable and you’ve got to get a life that you can enjoy. Maybe it means downsizing. Go back to an apartment because you just didn’t have the bills. Whatever it is.

You want your marriage to last. You want to just have fun. Enjoy your husband. Not be stressed.  Then we have to think differently about how we do our money, activities, and all this other stuff.

ALLIE: Yeah, if there is a season that is so difficult that you can’t even prioritize your main relationship, other than the Lord, are you planning to stay there? It should be a season, not how you’re doing life.

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Hey friend!  It’s Allie!  Have you heard of the Supermom Vault yet?

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ALLIE: I want to come back to the reverse libido problem.  So if it’s the husband who is having that issue, what do we do if that is the situation.

SHEILA:  First of all, you have to figure out why.  Because it could just be that you have a higher libido than normal, and he doesn’t have a lower libido, and it’s perfectly normal. In that case, you just talk about. The way we talk about it is not that you’re an animal and  you can’t resist your urges.  You don’t want to say that.

You want to say, “I just want us to have a really intimate marriage.  I think we are missing out on it. Can we talk about it? How to live with passion and adventure and a better living life?”  That’s a better way to phrase it.

However, in a lot of cases when the husband has a low libido, it’s not that it’s normal. There could actually be something going on.  And that’s where we need to take a look. It could simply be health issues, or stress at work. Tons of antidepressants cause low libido.  You might need to talk to your doctor about that.

The #1 reason is porn abuse.  It’s really sad, but we need to get real about this stuff.  Sometimes, it’s not even that he is using porn right now. If you think about it, if you are an 11 or 12-year-old boy (that’s when porn abuse starts, that’s when they first get exposed), and they are starting to have sexual feelings. Then that feeling is paired with an image, or a video.  Not to get too graphic, but usually things are done watching porn so that sexual release is occurring.  That cements something in your brain so that you relate arousing with that porn instead of a person.

Even men who have stopped watching porn, even if they have gone through the battle and they have stopped it, they get married and she is not porn.   He might totally love her, but he is not necessarily aroused by her.  That’s when we really have to get to the root of it and start rewiring the brain so that sex becomes about intimacy and not about anonymity and not about weird stuff.  It is a difficult thing. So I would just say to make sure that’s not a factor because it is for so many men.  Especially in their 20’s and 30’s.

ALLIE:  I love that you brought that up.  It’s very sad.

My last question for you is I wanted to know what you would say to the wife who has been emotionally hurt. There’s been a lot of marriage trouble. Definitely not talking about physical abuse at all. But just a lot of emotional pain.  A rocky marriage. Maybe she is just feeling really resentful.  I recently spoke to a friend who was feeling like there’s such a wall.

It’s really hard without God because He can really help you break those things down and she wasn’t in that place. What would you say about emotions and past hurt is getting in the way of being able to open up and be intimate with your husband.

SHEILA:  First of all, there’s a big difference between emotional abuse where they actually try to control your behavior or you’re not allowed to have certain emotions, let’s put that aside.  If you are going through that, please seek a counselor, get some help. That’s not normal.

If it really is that you guys have really become distant and he doesn’t seem to want to listen to you. He doesn’t seem to share his heart at all. You’re living in the same house but you feel like you haven’t connected whatsoever.  Men tend to make love in order to feel loved. Whereas women need to feel love in order to make love.

ALLIE: So funny that’s the design.

SHEILA:  That can be a recipe for disaster because then you can feel disconnected. He wants to build that bridge by making love whereas she has no interest whatsoever until they emotionally connect.

So I would say that this is really a two-step process.  One is recognizing that when you do make love, you tend to feel closer.  There is actually a biological basis for that.  Where when you make love you produce Oxytocin which is the same hormone we produce when you are nursing your baby.  It’s a bonding hormone that makes you feel really close.

So after you make love for the next day or two, you tend to be more affectionate with him. You laugh more. The tension level comes way down. So if there is tension in the marriage, making love will actually bridge a lot of that gap that you might not understand.

So that’s part one. I know it seems like the last thing you want to do but try to throw yourself into it.  Try to remember how much you love him. Try to remember how much you want this marriage, and you might find that it starts to bridge a lot of that gap that you are feeling.

The second thing is your emotional needs do matter. If you are feeling distant, you do need to address that. It doesn’t always have to be this huge marriage makeover.  One of the very, very simple habits my husband and I started a couple of years ago when he was working out of town a lot, and we weren’t always home, is that every day we would still connect and we would share what was the high point of your day and what was the low point.

You know when you say to your husband, “what did you do today?” and he is like, “how am I supposed to tell you everything I did today? What do you really want to know?”  Just tell him two emotional things because that makes you feel like “I know where he is emotionally.” And he will know where you are emotionally.

Not where he had lunch or what he had for lunch, or how many sales calls he went on today.  That doesn’t matter. Because I know emotionally what’s going on with him.  It’s such a simple thing. It takes ten minutes a day but you feel a lot more connected.

It’s much easier than the question, “how was your day?”  Because you don’t know what to say to that.

ALLIE:  Right.  And they’re exhausted and you’re expectant.  I love the idea of what was the high and low because it is just a great emotional gauge for you to not expect much of him but you can totally tell where he is at by answering that question.  It’s such a good idea.   That was a very good, simple, practical idea and a good place to end, I think.

Thank you so much!  Where can people find you?  You have one of those blogs that has been there for so long, for ten years.  It’s overwhelming in a good way – there’s so much.

But I am going to link to the blog post that you shared.

SHEILA:  Yeah, so tolovehonorandvacuum.com has tons of stuff about sex and marriage. The sidebar has my top 10 posts for the day.  That’s a usually good place to start because those are the big ones.   You can find me at twitter, pinterest – just search Sheila Gregorie.

I do have my Boost Your Libido course which is perfect for anyone who has been really tracking with us.  I am going to give you guys a coupon code (use the code ALLIE at checkout). So hop on over and use that coupon code and let’s start getting this right. Because you deserve this.  You were made for this.  Don’t settle for anything less.

ALLIE:  Absolutely. I love that.  We will link to all of that in the show notes guys, just alliecasazza.com/shownotes.  Find this episode 18 and it will all be there for you guys.

Thank you so much for being here Sheila.  This has been great!

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

Ep 015: Prioritizing Date Night No Matter the Season You're In (feat. Brian Casazza)

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Although Prioritizing Date Night seems like an episode that might be helpful before Valentine’s Day, I purposely waited until after because I believe date night is all of the time.  It shouldn’t be something that is focused on once a year. Date night is an investment. And what you choose to invest in is important. Being busy, having kids, and not being able to get away are not excuses. Choose to prioritize date night with your spouse - it is worth it!

 
 

In This Episode, Allie + Brian Discuss:

  • The value of date nights as an investment in your relationship.

  • Viewing date night as a hobby, not just something on the calendar.

  • The importance of relieving yourself from the pressure of date night.

  • Date night ideas for every couple.

Mentioned in this Episode:

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Need some date night ideas? 

Brian + I put together a FREE guide that is loaded with all kinds of date night ideas! Whether it is a date night at home or out,  this guide is for you!


We think your home matters.  You should love the way you feel when you walk in.  You should have constant reminders of positive things all over your walls.

Why would you use such a large space for anything else, right?

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 Use coupon code THEPURPOSESHOW for 10% off.

Thesesolidwalls.com   Words Matter.

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Reviews are everything on iTunes! Would you take a minute and click here to leave a review? Email hello@alliecasazza.com and let us know you left an iTunes review. You'll be entered to win one of Allie's mini courses for FREE!  

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at hello@alliecasazza.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram


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Mom life. We are surrounded with the message that it’s the tired life. The no-time-for-myself life. The hard life. And while it is hard and full of lots of servitude, the idea that motherhood means a joyless life is something I am passionate about putting a stop to.  I’m on a mission to help you stop counting down the minutes till bedtime, at least most days.  I want you to stop cleaning up after your kid’s childhood and start being present for it.  Start enjoying it. I believe in John 10:10 “that we are called to abundant life” and i know mothers are not excluded from that promise. Join me in conversations about simplicity, minimalism and lots of other good stuff that leads to a life of less for the sake of enjoying more in your motherhood.  I’m Allie Casazza and this is the The Purpose Show.

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Hey ladies!  Welcome to Episode 15 of The Purpose Show.  This episode is all about prioritizing date night, no matter what season you are in.  My hubby is here with us.

BRIAN:  Hello again!

ALLIE:  So we purposely waited to do this episode after Valentine’s Day, although it seems it is an episode that might be helpful before Valentine’s Day.  I purposely waited till after because I believe date night season is all of the time.  It shouldn’t be something that is focused on once a year.    

When you have that attitude, your expectations and pressure to make Valentine’s Day super special, crazy romantic, goes away.  Because you have that time together all of the time.  It doesn’t mean you have to go out of the house. It doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money.

We have walked through probably every season of date night imaginable.  We wanted to share our take on all those different seasons, what we did in each one, and give you some inspiration and ideas to hopefully have you putting a date night time block on your calendar this week.

BRIAN:  What I have learned over the years, and what we have done together is using date night as an investment.  For example, if you don’t put any money in a bank to save it, there is never going to be any money saved.  There is never going to be any money there.

So I need to put in that time into our relationship bank throughout the year. I feel like it is an investment in our relationship, in our marriage over time.  You need to see that I am showing that I care by investing in spending that time.  That’s one of your love languages, too.

To put that time in throughout the year is important.

ALLIE:  Where you invest your time, honestly money too, is important. Sometimes there are seasons where you can’t really do much, but when I see that you are free with going to nice restaurants with me and putting that financial and time investment into me, just makes me feel so loved.  And of course, those are two things that are my love languages.

Investing in another person, spending time with them. If guys were initiating, “hey when are we going to do date night this week?”, and you had the babysitter on the phone on hold, have the calendar open, we would just swoon.

It makes us feel so loved to know that your husband wants to spend time with you.  That he is concerned about missing that time with you.  I think there have also been seasons where you were not that way and I carried it.  We have been married for a while and it is a maturity of “couplehood”.

BRIAN:  There were times when there was a pressure for me to plan a date night, or bring it up, or talk about it.  Things get busy. Things happen – good things, bad things – sometimes we would forget.  You would feel so sad.  You would feel it was a “if I didn’t do it, then it wouldn’t get done” kind of thing.   

But we have come to this place where we know that we need this for each other.  We plan it together.  We both just collaborate with each other.  We know that we want to go out on a date night every week or every month.

ALLIE:  That is such a good point.  In the past my attitude, as a young wife, was very much – my love language – time and money spent. I didn’t realize it at the time.  But if Brian gets me a present or invests in me financially, or spends time with me, those are the things that fill me up the most.

I didn’t really know that at the time, but back in the day, I had this expectation of “if you don’t think to spend time with me, take me out, even if it is just at home. I am not high maintenance when it comes to what we are doing, but if you don’t initiate spending time with me and having a date night with me, then you obviously don’t love me at all.”  That was my attitude.

BRIAN: It was hard for me to understand it that way, because it wasn’t my love language.

ALLIE:  I wasn’t really even communicating it.  It was like, “read my mind.”  The classic man/woman marriage struggle.  It was really, really hard.

Over the years we realized that it was such an expectation, really unrealistic, and really unconstructive, actually destructive.  Lots of arguments about that. It was just so hard.  Now its very much, “there’s no need for you to carry all of that, even though you kinda do.”

Recently, when sickness hit us we kind of skipped a couple of weeks.  You were the one who was “hey we should go out, let’s plan a date night, when do you want to go?”  It was nice.  The pressure is gone.  You actually enjoy spending time with me and want to spend time with me.  We have formed this habit of going out together as a couple.  When it is not there, you notice and you miss it.

Because I am fun to be around when I am not having my arms crossed and standing in the hallway with my heels on and my purse like, “are we even going to go?  Do you even love me?”  That’s gone now.  It is definitely this collaborative “coupleness”.

Date night is one of our hobbies. We love doing that together. We make it so fun.  “What do you want to get to eat this time?”  “Oh, I wanted to try that new drink, lets go to this new restaurant.”  “Afterwards do you want to walk around Target, go the lake?”  We will talk about it and we get excited.  The expectations are dead.  It is a collaboration together of how we are going to cultivate love in our marriage.

BRIAN:  Date night doesn’t have to be like that Valentine’s Date Night.  Like, “we have to go to dinner. We have to go to the movie. We have to go to this crazy romantic place because it is ‘date night’.”

I feel like date night is just you being you and me being me.  Putting everything aside and spending that time with you.  We have done it every way in the world.  Being at home with a dollar in the bank account. Or with lots of money in the bank account, it doesn’t matter.

At the house, with the kids with us, we would figure out to have them do something together while we go have dinner with ourselves that night.  Or just got something super-cheap that we enjoy, maybe a snack or something special to us.  It just depends on the situation.

ALLIE:  This is just our season right now, and I think we get questioned so much.

On Instagram I always share “date night” and what we are doing.  We love it so much.  I think it looks so shiny, “wow! Date night at a restaurant every week” and some feel that if they are not doing that then they don’t have a good marriage.  It’s just not that way.

We are not that couple at all.  We are super mellow.  We just love spending time together.

This is our season of greener pastures.  Our struggles are minimal right now and we are very thankful for that. We have come through a lot of hard times.  You can hear some about that in past episodes. This is just our simpler, easier season and we are just enjoying it right now.

That was my word for the year.  Enjoy.  We are just enjoying each other and going out to dinner and not having to worry financially about that has been very nice.  But that doesn’t mean we didn’t have awesome date nights on a shoestring budget.

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Shop around. Pick a print that you love.  Use coupon code THEPURPOSESHOW for 10% off.

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ALLIE:  Let’s dive in a bit more for the next couple of minutes of our date nights over the years.  I want people to ditch the excuse that their busyness, their kids, not being able to get away, is why they don’t  have time with each other. Let’s talk about things we did before this season. At home date nights.

BRIAN:  There was a point where we didn’t have a babysitter.  When we moved to Arkansas, we didn’t have family.  We had friends and people from the church…

ALLIE:  We weren’t going to ask them to babysit.

BRIAN:  We didn’t have the help that we have now in California.  We didn’t go out on a date for months and months.

ALLIE:  The only time we did was when we came back to California to visit and we would sneak in a quick date night while the kids slept at Mimi and Poppie’s house.

BRIAN: For that situation, we would put the kids to bed.  I would get stuck late at work.  We would make dinner together. Or you would have it made.  We would just sit and try to have a nice dinner that was different than normal that we shared together.  We spent time like that. Or we rented a movie from Redbox.

ALLIE:  Yeah, just something simple….

BRIAN: We would just sit and watch a movie.  Just saying, “we are going to just sit and watch this together”, it was fun.

ALLIE:  There were times where we were just exhausted.  You would fall asleep sometimes during date night. I would fall asleep sometimes during date night.  We would just be struggling.  We were struggling so much in those seasons. There were a lot of life struggles.  Sometimes we were just not in the mood.  But that’s not the point.

Nothing can be based on emotion or mood because then nothing will ever get done unless you are happy or in a perfect mood.  That’s just not going to build a lasting marriage.

I think when you are exhausted, when it has to be late, when you want to fall asleep, it’s ok but you have to make the choice to prioritize date night, no matter what’s going on.

Date night needs to be removed from the stereotype high heels, dinner out with a babysitter, a $400 price tag every time you step out.  It’s ridiculous. It’s unrealistic.

It can be talk a bit on the couch for 15 minutes while you catch up about your day.  Kiss a little.  Love each other a little bit.  Just be in the same place in the same time alone for a second.  The seasons will ebb and flow like everything in life, but the point is to prioritize it.

If you are broke daters, rich daters, at home daters, adventure daters, sit and talk at a restaurant daters.  It doesn’t matter what kind of couples you are or what season it is.  I think the point is to say “I love you. I am in this to win it. I want to connect with you once a week or once a month.”

BRIAN: I think there are so many different ways, so many things that you can do… being at home, order something at home, going out, adventure things, things that are fun.  There are so many things nowadays that you can do together.  I think the point is that no matter what it is, it is choosing to make this a time where we spend together.  That’s the main point.  It doesn’t have to only be a certain way.

ALLIE:  Right. Or be surrounded by pressure and expectation.

BRIAN:  The point is that I am purposefully choosing to spend this time or this night with you and do something with you.

ALLIE:  Yeah.  It can be in the morning.  There were seasons where we would get up at the butt crack of dawn. (Sorry I said butt crack if you’re not listening with your headphones and your kids are right there.)  We would get up and have coffee together. We were freaking exhausted.  But we just made it happen.

BRIAN:  When I worked nights, sometimes your mom would watch the kids while we went to a breakfast date.  {laughing}

ALLIE:  So we put together a free download that is just loaded with all different kinds of date night ideas for every couple.  Date night ideas at home. Date night ideas out. All different kinds of things. Super fun.  I think it is one of the most fun, free downloads that I have ever put together.

Go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes/ep-015  or you can just go to alliecasazza.com/shownotes and find episode 15.  You can download that for free.

It is really, really great.  I am looking at the list right now. It is so long and so full.  It is just super, super fun to have on your fridge as a reminder to love on each other. Spend time with each other. Have fun together.

Be encouraged you guys!  Promise that you will take action. Get out your calendar. Put a little block of time for time with your spouse on your calendar this week. Take a screenshot and send it to me on Instagram.  I want to see!

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This was an episode of The Purpose Show.  Thank you so much for tuning in.  If you are ready to uplevel and really take action on the things I talk about on my show, head to alliecasazza.com for free downloads, courses, classes and to learn more about what the next step might look like for you.  I am always rooting for you. See ya next time!

Episode 009: How We Keep Intimacy Alive & Well with 1,000 Kids (feat. Brian Casazza)

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In this episode, Brian joins Allie to talk about how they remain so close and keep intimacy alive, even with one thousand children.

With February, the month of love, right around the corner, the topic will largely circle around love, intimacy and marriage. However, this particular episode comes from the many questions Allie receives from her followers.

People often ask how Allie and Brian remain to be so close and connected.

The biggest thing to remember is that in order to feel close and connected to your significant other, you have to stop putting your intimacy on the back burner, putting it off until after you care for your kids. You need to keep the fire burning all day long, so that when night arrives, you’re happy to spend time together.

(We’ll be discussing grown-up things in this episode, so be sure to pop your headphones in to listen.)

 
 

In This Episode, Allie discusses:

  • Intimacy is not all about sex.

  • Allie and Brian share the 5 steps they take to maintain the intimacy in their relationship.

  • Communicating your needs is important, but you must share those needs in a productive manner versus being combative.

  • Quick tips for scheduling intimacy into the day-to-day.


If you are looking for a simple way to connect with your hubby while you guys are apart during those long work days, let me help you out! I put together a list of 20 Text Messages that you can send to your husband to get a connective conversation started. It is a FREE download that you can save to your phone for whenever you kind of feel like you need to connect a little bit through the day!

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Thanks so much for joining me! I’m so excited to experience the show’s progression with you!

If you’ve loved this episode, help me reach more mothers who want to leave a legacy of intention and joy by heading over to iTunes (or wherever you listen) and leaving a rating and review. And, be sure to subscribe while you’re there.

Reviews are everything for podcasters, so I truly appreciate it!

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at allie@thepurposefulhousewife.com or connect with me over on Facebook & Instagram

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