Confident Couples and Strong Relationships
Neither Bud or Sara are veterans, which might make them seem like an unlikely choice for a podcast whose audience is primarily veterans and those that support them. However, I recently came to learn a very interesting trend. The rate of divorce amongst actively serving military is on a whole lower than the general population with few exceptions. If you think about it, there are incentives that the military has to keep couples together. Pay incentives, housing options, and other similar incentives. But after separating from the military all that goes away, and with it divorce rates skyrocket.
That's why I asked Bud and Sara to be on the show. They're co-hosts of the Confident Couples podcast, which talks about the power of intentional relationships, and the practices they've developed to help build their relationship.
They also talk about two intentional practices that they've instituted in their relationship.
- "The Ritual", a daily communication process
- Monthly life planning dinner
Links & Resources
Scott DeLuzio: 00:03 Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast where we talk about issues affecting veterans after they get out of the military. Before we get started, I'd like to ask a favor if you haven't done so already, please rate and review the show on Apple podcasts. If you've already done that. Thank you. These ratings help the show get discovered so it can reach a wider audience. And while you're there, click the subscribe button so that you get notified of new episodes as soon as they come out. If you don't use Apple podcasts, you can visit DriveOnPodcasts.com/subscribe to find other ways of subscribing, including our email list. I'm your host Scott DeLuzio. And now let's get on with the show.
Scott DeLuzio: 00:44 Hi, everyone today my guests are Bud and Sara Dunn, Bud and Sara host the Confident Couples Podcast where they talk about ways to strengthen relationships by working on communication, finances, and a couple’s overall commitment to each other. Now, neither Bud nor Sara are veterans, which might make them seem like an unlikely choice for a podcast whose audience is primarily veterans and the people who support them. However, I recently came to learn a very interesting trend. The rate of divorce amongst actively serving military is on whole lower than the general population. Of course, there's some demographics that vary within the military, but overall, the military does a pretty decent job at keeping spouses together. If you think about it, there are some good incentives to staying married while in the military. There are pay incentives, improved housing options, insurance and other things like that. But after separating from the military, all that goes away and with it, the divorce rates unfortunately skyrocket. So, Bud and Sara, welcome to the show. Why don't you tell us a little bit about yourselves and your background?
Sara Dunn: 01:56 Hey Scott, this is Sara and I'm here with Bud and we are just an average couple from Michigan. And we like talking about relationship stuff, which is something we discovered about two years ago when we realized a lot of the very intentional things that we do to work on our relationship were not super normal. So that's how we ended up starting the Confident Couples Podcast. And we're really thrilled to be here with you with the knowledge that we're just an average couple that love talking about relationships and we hope that we have something good to share.
Bud Dunn: 02:35 So took me about two years to talk Sara into starting the podcast and it's fun that now we're doing an episode like this with you; because when I wanted to get it started, the whole jumping off point for me was just sharing some of the things that we've learned with peers of ours in documenting some of the stuff that we've done so that hopefully it'll impact somebody in a positive way. You know, we talked about how it's like a pizza. You eat what you like, you pick off what you don't, you don't need to use or eat the whole thing and maybe you mold it into something different. So that's some of the practices that we've gone through and some of the episodes we've done. And we're excited and thank you for inviting us on. And I think I'd be remiss if I didn't thank all the listeners too for the sacrifices that they've made; as civilians that we are, for the country and for their fellow countrymen and women. And we really appreciate all the effort that your listener and you have put into your sacrifices you've made as a military member.
Scott DeLuzio: 03:35 Absolutely. Thank you that. Let's jump right in. So, as I alluded to in the intro, married service members have a few incentives to stay married while they're serving. These incentives aren't exactly a strong foundation for a good marriage. I think that this is one of the reasons why those marriages tend to fall apart after leaving the military. So, let's start off with the basics. Let's talk about some of the foundations of a strong marriage. I think this is a good place to start because a good foundation really is crucial to any marriage. So, what are some of those basics that make up a good marriage?
Sara Dunn: 04:19 Well, we have our opinion about this topic and I should say we're not trained relationship counselors either. So, these are just things that we've figured out ourselves. So, we've been together for 17 years. We've been married for almost nine years now and we've always been very committed to a strong partnership in our marriage, thinking about the future, thinking about where we wanted to go together and really keeping that as a priority. So, it was advice from a friend of ours that created our three foundations of marriage that we ended up talking about on I think the very first episode of our podcast. Bud's the best at explaining those. So, I'll let him do it.
Bud Dunn: 05:03 So the three principles are, we call it the three-legged stool, and it's communication, finance, and intimacy. And the basic concept of why we call it the three-legged stool is that you kick one leg out and it all falls over. But if you keep all legs underneath you, then you can pretty much walk through everything or anything that's challenging in your life or your business life or your work life or your family life or anything else. So, you can navigate your way through it. So, the first thing is communication. If you're talking to each other and you're having issues and challenges, then you can figure those things out through communication. If you're handling your money well and you know that your money's coming in and it's going out. And I want to retrench that real quick,
Bud Dunn: 05:48 if you just know what is going on with money, whether you're handling it perfectly or whether you're handling it exceptionally well, as long as you're working towards a future that you want to financially, even if you're behind the eight ball, just knowing where it is, is a stress reliever. Financial independence or finance or money management is a hard topic for people. And then the last thing is intimacy and intimacy can come in a couple of different forms. It can come in physical intimacy through sex and it can come through communication intimacy where you're going to be deeper than just the normal stuff. It can be touch, it can be a lot of different things. For us as a married couple and for others, married, physical touch is a big part of this. That's if you're doing those three things well then you can walk through a lot of different challenges in life and manage them together.
Sara Dunn: 06:47 So, I really think that these are a lot of the things that create those issues within a relationship. So, I think we've all heard of other couples that struggle with their communication, they don't feel seen or heard or they don't feel that they're able to talk to their partner about their real feelings and maybe they don't have those foundations of good communication set up. So, that's an important thing. And we've all heard of couples that can't get their money figured out and it creates so many arguments and so much stress because they don't believe the same things about their money or one partner feels like the other one isn't really managing money well and they're not having good proactive conversations. And then of course intimacy as well is a huge thing that can cause relationships to break apart. So those are common reasons for a relationship to end. And that's why we try to keep them top of mind all the time and keep them as things that we're always working on because we know that the risk is there.
Scott DeLuzio: 07:51 Yeah, that's a great way to think of it. The three-legged stool, where if any one of those things is wobbly or is not present, the whole thing's going to fall over, maybe not right away, but eventually it'll probably fall over and whoever's sitting on it's going to come crashing down to the ground too. So, okay. So, we have a good foundation in place. We have the three pillars of a good relationship in place or at least now we know what goes into it so we can work on those things. But then there's going to be times when things go wrong. Life isn't perfect. Life is messy. It's inevitable that couples are going to disagree with each other from time to time. And there's a ton of little things that could go wrong each day, splitting up the household chores, all the way to bigger things like finances like you were talking about. The key is how you handle those disagreements and that the issues that pop up. What's some advice that you might be able to give on how to handle these disagreements and how to get back on track.
Sara Dunn: So, I like this question and sometimes I like to think about it even in a different direction. So, what can we do to avoid arguments in the first place and wondering what are some of those intentional things that we can put in place that actually help relationships to keep moving forward and avoid that feeling of, “Oh, this thing's going wrong. Oh, this thing's making me crazy. Oh, my partner's not doing this and I really need them to do it.” That's one of the reasons that we started our podcast is that if people think a little more proactively and put some intentional practices in place in their relationships, they can actually avoid a lot of those big blow up arguments because they have communication opportunities built in to their everyday.
Sara Dunn: 09:46 So, there's two different intentional practices that we have really developed over our marriage and really recommend for other couples who might be struggling with their communication or just their relationship in general. The first one is what we call the ritual, which is just some sort of daily communication practice that's very ritualized. So, we always sit down to dinner together and we ask how was your day? And it is a jumping off point for each person to share openly whatever is important to them that day. So, it could be a rundown of this is what I did today or it could be this is the one particular challenge I'm trying to work through and I'd actually really appreciate your perspective or I didn't really have a good day and I need some support around that. So, it opens that door for someone to feel seen and heard and for the other person to help them out as needed.
Sara Dunn: 10:45 Anything you'd like to add on the ritual?
Bud Dunn: Nope.
Sara Dunn: Okay. Some sort of daily communication practice with your spouse, so you feel really connected on a regular basis. And I know that this can be a lot harder for people with children. We don't have any children. I know that that adds so much more busy-ness and takes away a lot of your attention. But we know other couples that have this type of ritual maybe in the morning, before kids get up or over coffee or they do it at night right before bed. Just some sort of communication and connection practice. It's just good to find that time that works in your schedule to make sure on an everyday basis you feel really connected. So that can really help to avoid things building up or someone feeling like they're unimportant, which can really lead to a lot of other problems in a relationship.
Scott DeLuzio: 11:40 I know my wife and I, since you mentioned, the issue with the complication of having kids in the mix; my wife and I have three kids. We have this kind of a process where we talk with each other, it's usually after the kids have gone to bed, at night, we put them down to bed and then for the next few hours were up we have that time where we can talk with each other about what's going on during the day and things like that and it really does help to have that kind of communication and keep that open. That way if there is an issue with something, it's not going to just build up and fester and become a bigger problem down the road, which a lot of times, even little tiny issues could become big issues down the road. When they start building up, it becomes that straw that breaks the camel's back and causes those bigger arguments.
Sara Dunn: 12:40 So I think, I love that idea of the right after kids go to bed. I think it's important to take that time to mute the TV, turn it off for a few minutes and have that face to face communication about what's going on. So that seems like it would be a really good time for a ritual.
Scott DeLuzio: 12:58 Yeah, exactly. I think that's a great time to do it. And again, like you said, it really should fit in with what works with your schedule. You might work opposite shifts or something like that and there may only be a short amount of time that you're actually in the same place at the same time for days or whatever and it may not be possible to do it at the same time every single day. So, do what works for you. Make sure you make it a priority.
Bud Dunn: 13:29 Yeah. There was another couple that we were introduced to that has another more radical practice that they do every week instead of every day because their lifestyle is a little more hectic than a lot of us from a travel side and every weekend, this husband and wife on Sunday, they have a conversation. It's centered around two things, which is what did I do this week that you never want me to do again. And what did I do this week that you never want me to stop doing? So, they're trying to condense it down into a couple individual things that we may have done with each other. And the whole concept here is that, if I'm going to be with my partner for 30 years, I'd like to know about the things that I'm annoying them so I don't do them. And if I'm going to be with them for 30 years, I'd like to know about the things that they cherish and love so I can keep doing them. Sara hates it.
Sara Dunn: I do hate that.
Bud Dunn: because it's so radical and I think it's so tough and there is a toughness to it.
Sara Dunn: 14:31 I hate it because, the question, what do you never want me to do again? I would worry that I would start looking for those negative things throughout the week. I would so that I had something to report to you on Sunday that I hated and I prefer to kind of keep a positive mindset and put a lot more attention on things I like. So, I personally don't want a practice that encourages me to find the negative. I do think that a couple of things about that that are great is that it is very ritualized again, so they're like set questions you're asking each other and I know someone listening is going to be like, you sound like robots. Why would you ask the same question every day? Or the same question every week? That seems like too much or that seems weird.
Sara Dunn: 15:21 You're not having a natural romantic relationship. And I would just encourage you to try something because you might find that it gives you some structure to start conversations you wouldn't have had otherwise. So, having some sort of question that is your ritual question, you ask each other, it can put you in the right mindset to start a serious conversation. So, it's not just what are we having for dinner? The “how is your day?” question is not something we throw away. It really triggers our attention to turn to the other person and listen in a very active way. So, when Bud says to me, “how was your day?” I try to make sure I don't have distractions going. Sometimes I can do it while I'm cooking and sometimes, I'm not paying enough attention to this interaction. So, it's important to me that I know that that question is our connection question and I need to turn off everything else and really focus on you. So, I do like something that's structured and more ritualistic.
Scott DeLuzio: 16:30 Yeah. And it makes sense too because it gives you that time also to sit down and be intentional about the communication that you have and know that this is our time together to talk about what's going on and help each other through maybe having a problem at work or whatever it is. It also shows that you care. Do you know that I cared that maybe you're having a problem and there's maybe something I can do to help you out and work through this situation?
Sara Dunn: 17:08 And I want to actively listen to what you have to say. Your important.
Scott DeLuzio: 17:13 Exactly. Yeah. Not while you're driving home from work and talking on the phone while you're dealing with the jerk who just cut you off and you're not really paying that close attention at that point. But if you can just sit down and it doesn't even have to be long and it could be a five, 10-minute conversation and probably do most of you know what you need to do in that short amount of time?
Sara Dunn: 17:40 Yeah, I agree. I would say our conversations usually don't go more than five or 10 minutes in the back and forth.
Bud Dunn: The mind only takes with the ass can endure.
Scott DeLuzio: 17:54 I like that.
Sara Dunn: 17:56 Yeah. So, it doesn't have to be long. Sometimes it does drag out if we've got a big issue to work out together, but at least it's given us a platform to do that. Before we move on from intentional practices, I'd love to talk about the second intentional thing that we do to make sure to work on our communication. This is very structured and intentional, but we do something that's called a monthly life planning dinner. And this evolved for us. We used to do annual goal setting and a monthly goal review together, which is a little intense and I didn't necessarily like having Bud as my accountability partner, because I felt like he was being my boss. That's a separate topic that we did talk about a lot in our episode about life planning dinner.
Sara Dunn: 18:44 But the Cliff Notes version is what we've evolved into is life planning dinner is our monthly intentional opportunity to go through a few key things. We always do gratitude for the month, like something great that happened, thank each other for it and just notice and recognize those good things. And then we always do a review of our budget. So, we're big on money transparency and creating a platform for money conversations. But we also recognize that talking about money, just like on a random weeknight, if you're having big issues, nobody wants to do that. Nobody wants to dump that on their partner. And I think a lot of times that's why we don't have money conversations is we don't know when to have them. When is your partner in the right mindset to talk about this really hard thing? So that's why we always wrap a budget and money conversation in a life planning dinner because we both know it's coming and we're both mentally prepared to have that conversation. So how are we doing with savings? How are we doing with income and expenses? That's all part of life planning dinner. And then we do a little bit of a goal review or just talk about what we'd like to accomplish that month so we can again, make sure we're connecting with what's important to us and to our partner and working together toward a vision for the future. Forget anything, Bud?
Bud Dunn: Nope.
Scott DeLuzio: 20:10 Yeah. And you know a lot of this from the outside looking into some of these things, and sort of like the couple that you were talking about, it seems somewhat transactional to maybe an outsider. But I think at the same time, it's not really because you're being intentional about your relationship and you're not just coasting through and just letting life happen to you. And then suddenly finding out, “Oh crap, we have no money in the bank because we spent it all on this nonsense that we didn't need. And all those trips that we took that we didn't need to go on and everything else that might've gone on.” When you're intentional about it, when you sit down and you talk to each other and you care about what the other person has to say and listen, things tend to work themselves out.
Scott DeLuzio: 21:10 You can figure out what's going on in the other person's mind and you can work through issues if you both don't agree on something, which, I don't know a couple of who agrees on everything. I don't know that they exist and if they do, God bless them, but I don't know that they exist. At least, you'll know where the other person's coming from. So, it's not like a surprise when something happens and they react one way. I knew they were going to do that because we already talked about this.
Sara Dunn: 21:42 So question for you, Scott. As we're talking about structure and intentionality and routine, are there elements of structure and routine to military life?
Scott DeLuzio: 21:53 There definitely are. I mean, most days are structured where you wake up at this time and you exercise at this time and you eat breakfast at this time and then whatever your job is, you go and do your job for X amount of hours and you eat lunch at this time and then you move on, you continue your work day until the end of the day. And it's very structured, for the most part. I believe a lot of people who are in the military crave that structure when they get out, because you go from a day that's very much structured where you can pretty much say at any given point in time, this is what I'm going to be doing and when I'm going to be doing it, where I'm going to be and everything like that. And then you get out and suddenly, it's just like, do whatever the hell you want. You can come, you can go, you can do whatever. And no one's there really for accountability. And that's when things start to fall apart, I think in some cases.
Bud Dunn: 22:57 So there's an overall arching theme that I think our process keeps coming back to which is, how are you building ritualized structure into your daily practice in your daily life to help you cope with the chaos that is life in general. So, I think for your listeners to take back especially if they're craving or come from and you can see how successful the military is that getting difficult objectives done on a regular basis. And they do that by having a structure and a rhythm and a reason and a rhyme of how they go about it. Now when you're out of the military and you are craving or looking for that structure, you get to craft your own; so think about how you want to craft your own structure, how you want to start to build your own practices, how you want to start to create the world that you want to live in with the practices that you think are deemed as successful or necessary or important to you.
Bud Dunn: 23:57 You know, for us daily communication is important. You know, for others it might be every couple of days or it might be once a week and for some who are really good writers or good verbalizer ( I am especially beyond horrible writer and I have to do my best work in communication verbal language). You're going to craft your strategy and your design and structure and rituals and be open to how you want to put them together. And we're talking about practices with you today that has taken us eight years to develop. We do it one way and then we modify it and do it this way, and then we tweak it again and do it that way. So, go down that path, walk that path with us, and you're okay to start at zero or you're okay to start at year three and work your way through where you want to go or where you think you want to go.
Sara Dunn: 24:55 And I would say that our veteran listeners are uniquely equipped to put this type of structure into their relationships. So, I know it's not normal, not everyone in the world has very intentional communication practices and different practices like this, but I think that it's really worthwhile having had that kind of structure before, you're uniquely equipped to do this. So, don't write it off.
Bud Dunn: 25:23 I listened to a couple of your episodes and I don't think you're, we aren't, and I don't think you are particularly religious in the way that you approach things. Is that still correct?
Scott DeLuzio: 25:40 Oh, in the podcast we haven’t covered religion too much in the podcast.
Bud Dunn: We don't either. We don't touch it at all.
Scott DeLuzio: It's not necessarily intentional that we haven't covered it. It's one of those topics that just hasn't come up.
Bud Dunn: So, we don't cover it at all but for our listener who may be religious or going to mass or church on a regular basis, if you start paying attention, church, religion, all of them, they've all got rituals in there and we don't look at that and say, well, that's transactional. We don't look at that and say that it's transactional at all. We look at it and say, this is touchy feely and this is love. This is spiritual, you know. But it's all ritualized and it's all standardized and we do the same hymns in the same time, in the same way. We marry people year after year with the same First Corinthians. Well, we do the same damn thing
Bud Dunn: 26:44 repeatedly, but nobody says that's transactional. Everybody says that's spiritual and love. So, I think we can take a lot of lessons from that, whether you're religious or not, you can take lessons from that. We are ritualistic human beings by nature. That's just who we are by design. So, we're going to always be, it's in our DNA. We're always going to have some ritual that helps get us up in the morning and helps move us forward and this whole structure. So, let's just feed it. Let's just use it to our advantage.
Scott DeLuzio: 27:18 That makes a lot of sense. I think that that probably could help some people wrap their heads around that ritual in that transactional nature of it, how it feels like it's just routine and how you go through all of that. But it does make sense because if you make it a routine and you make it a habit that you do this routine, you're not going to miss those steps. If it's just something that you talk about, on occasion whenever you feel like it, then you're going to start to miss things. If you're not approaching it with some sort of intention, you're going to end up missing those conversations that might be important.
Scott DeLuzio: 28:00 Definitely. So, we mentioned finances earlier and I know that's one of those things that people aren't supposed to talk about in polite company. Right? There's some politics. We hit religion too. So, we got religion and finances. Politics is around the corner. I know we might as well just jump into politics, but finances are something that you should talk about. And we covered that a little bit. I know my wife and I talk about money all the time. We have a rule together that if anything is going to cost more than $20, if you're going out to the store and it's like an unplanned purchase or whatever, we go and talk about it first. Other than the necessities like gas for the car, groceries, utilities, stuff like that. We’ll talk about it if it's going to be over $20 and that feels somewhat transactional as well, but it serves as a good sanity check. So, we're not spending like crazy on stuff we don't need. So how transparent do you think couples should be when it comes to money? I'm guessing separate bank accounts are not the best idea. So, what are your thoughts on that? I don't want to put words into your mouth.
Bud Dunn: 29:16 So, this is something that we don't stand on a lot of pillars and say this is exactly how you should do it. And this is one of them that we do. For us extreme transparency is the best remedy. So, what's that look like? For us it looks like same bank account money into the same bank account, money out of the same account and, monthly tracking and measuring and communication around how that money's moving. Budgeting, particularly. So, other tactics that you want to use inside of that framework, is it $20 is it $500 is it $5? It doesn't really matter to us. But what matters most is that the money's all going in the same place. The money's all coming out of the same place and that you and your partner are looking at that money movement together. And what we notice for ourselves is that we used to do the first two steps and then we missed the looking at the money movement together. And what would happen is that earlier in our relationship it would be, I was the one who was tracking and measuring and looking at it
Sara Dunn: 30:31 because you liked doing. So, I kind of put my hands up and was like, Bud likes doing the finances,
Bud Dunn: 30:38 I love to track our money. Everybody's got a chore that they love to do. You know? And this is just my chore that I enjoy doing. So, what was happening though was that I was tracking and measuring and then was not communicated to Sara. So good example, like entertainment budget. We were burning through entertainment money of like going out to bars and restaurants and going out at night. We were having a blast doing it and we burn up our whole first year of marriage budget in 90 days. And I was always bad. Oh no. But I didn't have a plan for fun and I didn't have a platform to like to tell her or I had never done it before. So, inevitably what happened where these passive aggressive comments, “Oh well, we're going out together to dinner again tonight?”
Sara Dunn: 31:28 He'd be like, why? He's like, what do you want to do for dinner? I'm like, “Oh, let's go for tacos again.” And like he would get all uncomfortable and mad at me and I didn't know why because we weren't having open communication. You know, I'd go and get a coffee and he'd be like, how many coffees have you gone out to this week? And I feel like I'm doing something wrong here, but I don’t know what it is.
Bud Dunn: 31:47 So as soon as we started bringing the finance discussion to the table on a monthly basis for us, it's once a month. It became a different conversation. What I ultimately learned was that by looking at it and hoarding the information and only knowing it exclusively for myself, then I came to live on a place called Mars and Sara having none of the information. And not even being gifted or seen or participating in any of the information flow came to a place no, live in a place called Venus. And because of those two things, then I just saw the world completely differently than she did. And as soon as we started talking about this, we both became to live in a world called reality and then we could handle it together.
Scott DeLuzio: 32:41 Yeah. And communication is key, I think in all aspects, but especially in finances, because like you said, then if you're not communicating, you're going to end up with those passive aggressive comments. “Oh, you're getting another coffee and all that kind of stuff. And that's not helpful to anybody, but it happens, you know? So, opening that communication and talking about the issues that you're experiencing. You're trying to save up for something, but you keep spending money. It just doesn't work. That's just not how money works. You can't keep spending if you're trying to save.
Sara Dunn: 33:19 Or one person can't feel like they're saving and they feel like the other person keeps spending. One thing that we did to avoid that problem, and I highly recommend this to all couples, especially newly married couples that are just first combining their finances, is to give each person in the relationship a small discretionary budget or a $20 bill, some cash, we call it the shopping budget and it's a certain amount allocated to each of us. It's equal, every single month. And we're allowed to spend that without judgment. So, if I want to go get coffee, that now comes out of my shopping budget because I could also make coffee for myself. And that's a choice that I'm making to have some fun on my own. If I want to save up for a new shirt or something that's going to cost, I can save my shopping budget over months. If Bud wants to go on a golf trip with his buddies, he can save up over months for that in his shopping budget. And I don't say anything about it
Bud Dunn: 34:23 My wishes are deeper than Sara's, you know; she's just got a $2 coffee from Starbucks and I'm like, Oh, golf clubs.
Sara Dunn: 34:31 Is that sarcasm? I'm creating the examples here so they get to be my examples. But it's so nice. It's nice to have money that you get to spend where someone doesn't make a passive aggressive comment about that. Another box just arrived on the front porch and what's that now and what did it cost? It's one of those things. We even had a conversation, what did I pick on you about recently? And you were like, it's my shopping budget. It doesn't matter.
Bud Dunn: 35:07 You literally texted me about a new set of golf clubs, this show.
Sara Dunn: 35:10 Oh, that's right. The vintage golf clubs you wanted to have. I'm like, what are you going to do with those? And he goes, it doesn't matter to you. It was my shopping
Bud Dunn: 35:18 budget, a gift that's from this crazy guy at a golf store. It's like we buy clubs.
Sara Dunn: 35:24 And that was the end of the conversation. So that's a helpful thing to have in any relationship, no matter what that monthly amount is, make sure that each partner has something they can spend without judgment and get some joy from without someone picking on them.
Scott DeLuzio: 35:38 Awesome. That makes a lot of sense with finances. And I think this leads into the next thing, I want to talk about where you're working together to make sure that the finances are in order. You're communicating, you're savings and your spending are in line with each other's expectations and whatever your objectives are, if you're saving up for something. The next thing that I was going to talk about is that a marriage is like a team sport, which isn't always perfect, right? If you use let's say baseball as an example here, you have a pitcher and a catcher, right? The catcher relies on the pitcher to throw the ball and the pitcher relies on the catcher to catch the ball.
Scott DeLuzio: 36:33 The best way for that to happen is if the pitcher throws a good pitch every single time. But occasionally, the pitcher's obviously not going to throw a good pitch. He's going to throw a wild pitch and it wouldn't do the team or the pitcher, the catcher, any good if the catcher just threw his hands up and started bitching and moaning about the bad pitch. It is his job to catch the ball no matter how bad of a throw it is. And, if you want to flip that around, it also doesn't do the team any good if the pitcher complains about how the catcher didn't catch the ball; they just need to roll with it and do the best they can to help make up for the other person's shortcomings. So, like a marriage, it requires both to work towards the same goals, support each other in the process. Kind of a long winded way to get to the question I had for you, but, the question I guess is, what should couples do to change their mindset from playing an individual sport like golf for example, to a team sport like baseball. It's not even the best analogy here. Maybe doubles in tennis or something like that is a better example. But what is the best way that couples can change their mindset to become more of a team player.
Sara Dunn: 37:48 I really like this question, because I started thinking about how is marriage different than an actual sport? And I want you to imagine a world where baseball didn't really have any set rules. You got to make them up and there was no way to measure your success. So, there wasn't any scoring, there wasn't any playoff. It would be hard to know if you were doing a good job or not. And unfortunately, marriage is a lot that way where your only goal is stay together through all things, which sounds terrible. So, I think that the way that sports can actually show us how marriage can be more successful is thinking about the fact that in a sport there are some guidelines and if there is something that the team is working toward together
Sara Dunn: 38:42 So, I think marriages do best when couples take the time to get on the same page about where they're going in the future. What do they want life to look like five, 10, 15 years from now? Have you had a conversation about that so that you guys can talk about that together? Again, that's something that we've done intentionally. So, we did a 15-year vision. Like what would be awesome if we were able to accomplish 15 years after we got married and do we agree on what that looks like or do we not? And we can talk through that a little bit. If I said, well, my dream is that we're retired 15 years from now and Bud's like, I'm never stopping working. Then we have some conversations that we need to have. And I think that a lot of couples in marriage, they just go day to day just trying to make it through the day as opposed to being on a team and working toward a future together.
Bud Dunn: 39:38 Some people call it a dream conversation; we call it visioning where you're going to go through and actually write out where you want to be and five, 10, 15, 20 years each increment as many of them as you want. And this is the fun part of where it's like, what do you see? What are you doing? What's it smell like? What's it tastes like? So, that it's more than just, I'm doing this and I'm doing that. It's like, how do you feel? Actually? I think that when we did this and when we see others do it, it changes somebody's mindset too. That my win is Sara's win and Sara's win is my win too. We're both actively working towards whatever that vision statement is. We've got our own individual vision statement; we've got our family vision and we've got a family vision statement for the two of us. So, though every collective effort a minute and an hour of effort that we put in every day towards that is something that I know I'm winning and if I have a bad day or if I'm not doing the best, she's winning. So, I get to have a win in that sense, as well.
Scott DeLuzio: 40:54 Yeah, I mean it makes the analogy makes sense, too, when you think about it like a sport. When the pitcher has a great game and has a no hitter or something like that, the team, the team makes out for it. You can have the worst players on the field and if the pitcher is doing good or not, the worst players on the field, but you can have players who are not having their best day. But if the pitcher is having a on day, everybody wins and so you feed off each other, help each other out and make the best of whatever is thrown your way. So, it's really a great example. And I like how you guys phrase that and mesh that together.
Scott DeLuzio: 41:52 So, it looks like we're over time, already, but that's okay. I've really enjoyed this conversation and I really do want to thank the two of you for being on the show. I do think it's an important topic, so I'm glad that we had the time to chat about it and talk about some of these best practices. Maybe if you want to put them that way for relationships and marriages. Important things to talk about, but you guys do have the Confident Couples Podcast and I do want to let people know about that. If you wouldn't mind letting people know where to find more about you too. And the podcast and where they can listen to it.
Sara Dunn: 42:39 I always mess this part up so I'll take it. I update the website so all our episodes are [email protected] And the podcast is available on anywhere you listen to podcasts, including Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google. So, we've talked about so many things in the last half hour that we have full episodes about and they're not like super long and crazy. Our episodes are 20 to 30 minutes and we go in depth on topics like the daily ritual, life planning, dinner, fighting fair, budgeting and money, the shopping budget; there's episodes on all those things. So, if anything here peaked anybody's interest, go and do a little search on budandSara.com and you might be able to find some more in-depth information.
Scott DeLuzio: 43:35 And I will definitely have links to all of this in the show notes so that if you're looking to get more advice on relationships and want to listen to the podcast, you can go ahead and check out the show notes and link over to their show from there. So, thank you again a Bud and Sara. I really enjoyed this conversation.
Sara Dunn: 43:54 We did too. Thank you, Scott.
Scott DeLuzio: 44:01 Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to check out more episodes or learn more about the show, you can visit our website, DriveOnPodcast.com we're on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at DriveOnPodcast.
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