This chat with Roger and Kathi Lipp was fun!
They’re inspiring and insightful. The authors of Happy Habits for Every Couple, Roger and Kathi have worked hard to make their marriage the best it can be. They also have a blended family and share openly about the good parts and the hard parts of that journey.
Mentioned quite a bit in this interview is Kathi’s book Clutter Free: Quick and Easy Steps For Simplifying Your Space. Clutter is a challenge in some marriages–especially when an innie is married to an outie! (Want to understand that better? Take our FREE Personal Operating Inventory from No More Perfect Marriages!) Also mentioned is the Clutter Free Academy Facebook Group and their Leverage Speaker Conference and Communicator Academy.
Sit back and glean from the humor and the hope that Roger and Kathi share in this conversation!
Talk About It:
Kathi and Roger talk about the importance of having clear expectations. What can we do to make communicating expectations better?
Which one of us is the planner, and which one is more spontaneous? How can we better appreciate what each other brings to the table when it comes to making plans?
Kathi said, “We’ve spent a decent amount of money on counseling.” Is that something we ought to consider for any of our stuck places?
Are we playing to our strengths in our marriage? Is there any way we’re allowing frustration to color the way we look at something that isn’t a strength in each other?
Think About It:
Kathi said, “I think fun is so underrated in all of our relationships.” What can we do to increase the “fun” in our relationship? (Check out last month’s progressive dinner Design-A-Date if you need an idea!)
In talking about the first five years of their marriage, Kathy said, “…just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean it wasn’t right.” Have you ever convinced yourself that when marriage is hard, it might not be “right?” Can you see how the enemy could easily whisper that lie?
Jill said, “When I’m a better me, we’re a better we.” Is there anything in my emotional, mental, or spiritual health I need to get after?
Kathi said,”I can’t force change on anybody else, but I can empower change in the relationship by my changing.” Is there any part of our relationship that I can make a change in? Like how I respond? How I think?
Book mentioned: Getting the Love You Want by Dr. Harville Hendrix. Kathi said they keep several copies on hand!
Roger and Kathi talked about the challenges of having a blended family. They mentioned the importance of counseling, and that having fun together is important-you don’t have to constantly be working on things!
Roger’s favorite habit from the book: get important dates like birthdays and anniversaries, and other important information in writing! Even things like pants sizes.
Kathi’s favorite habit from the book-do something you did when you were dating, or re-visit a place you went together before you got married.
Play to your strengths as individuals and as a couple-even if you don’t fit into stereotypes.
“You have to be able to find your car keys before you go change the world!”
“In blended families, each year is like a dog year.”
“Just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean it wasn’t right.”
“We don’t have to be overwhelmed by our stuff. We can make empowering choices.”
“What I have come to understand, for most blended families, and we’ve talked to hundreds if not thousands, is that the first five years are like a war zone.”
“I feel like, for almost any couple, if both of them are committed to growing and health, regardless of what their past has brought them, it’s important to recognize that commitment to growth. To recognize, “Okay, I’m trying to figure things out, that I didn’t figure out from childhood. I get that, but I’m doing it with somebody who says, ‘I honor marriage. I care about you. This is hard. We’re going to figure it out, and we’re going to do whatever it takes.’”
“ I can’t force change on anybody else, but I can empower change in the relationship by my changing.”