In this insightful episode, Cheri Timko, a couples relationship coach, emphasizes the significance of daily interactions, communication, and mutual empowerment in maintaining a thriving marriage while managing a business.
Discover more on Cheri’s site: CheriTimko.com
Hi and welcome to the You World Order Showcase podcast. Today we are speaking with Cheri Timko. Cheri is a couples relationship coach specializing in psychotherapy. Welcome to the show, Cheri. I am really excited to chat with you about this. I know you have personally a long relationship with your husband.
And you're also an entrepreneur, which is.
Always a challenge and I look forward to the conversation. We're going to have.
About that so.
Welcome to the show.
Thank you so much for thank you so much for having me today.
Yeah. Yeah. So how did you get started in all of this, and how does it play in?
To having a business and a marriage that works.
I have been a.
Psychotherapist for many years and realized that I just really love working with couples.
There's something really special about having two unique people come together and create something that is just very different, very specific to the two of them. And so that's.
The work of.
Helping couples connect that way can be challenging and a lot of other professionals will like, defer and say no. That's not really the work I'm going to do, but this is really the work that that I feel driven to do and really enjoy doing. So the work that I'm doing now.
Coaching that brings some of that stuff out of a therapy room and teaches couples how to have a really deep connection, have a passionate relationship, really know each other well so that their relationship can last really whether all the changes last a lifetime.
You find space is an important element and.
So do you mean space like having individuation so that people are still individuals?
Yeah. And just in terms of how you conduct your life, I've known relationships where the wife is so dependent on the husband that she doesn't make any decisions on.
You know, and I've known other relationships where the woman just like, makes all the decisions and he's just, like along for the ride if he wants to stay there, great. If not, who cares?
Yeah, this is where that uniqueness comes in. I think of our relationship as the intersection of two different personalities. So some relationships are you're really looking for the relationship that thrives for the.
Two of you?
And that structure may not make any sense to anyone outside the relationship.
Just very uniquely what the two partners agree is what makes them happy. So yeah, you can be in a relationship where there's a very codependent relationship, or where one or both partners depends on the other person so much that they couldn't. They'd have a really hard time surviving.
Without them. But.
All the way to the other extreme, you can have couples who are very independent.
And there's very little.
Overlap in their lives, and they also can have a really good relationship.
So it it's all about there's agreements that you make with your partner and making sure there's enough room for each person to grow as a person, but also having these agreements that keep them grounded and secure in in life.
OK. So let's tie that all into having a business and the challenges of doing that while also trying to raise.
This baby up.
This baby up, so I currently have two businesses and one of them runs pretty smoothly. There's ups and downs in it, but it's pretty predictable.
And then I have this other business that I call my colicky baby and it's getting to the age that I need to start calling it like my colicky toddler. We're difficult toddler because it just requires so much time and attention for it to run well.
That it could, it would.
Suck up every moment of every day.
If I allowed it to.
So in terms of marriage?
You know, having a business.
Is very demanding and people always say, oh, you work for yourself, you have a lot of flexibility. You can do whatever you want. And I think you.
Don't have any.
Idea, because that's not really the way that works.
In my therapy practice, I had to put a rule on my family that they couldn't change my schedule.
For like they had to.
Give me 3 weeks notice.
Now, how is that flexible and I can?
Do whatever I want. That that's not that way at.
So a business, particularly a new business, particularly a business that then a?
Growth stage is going to take a lot of time and a lot of attention to keep things on track, and the tendency is to put your marriage on the background on the back burner, you know.
It'll just keep functioning.
I've seen a lot of entrepreneurs that when they finally got the business.
Running smoothly, they realized that they had sacrificed their marriage in in the meantime. So I do think this is a little bit unique to entrepreneurship.
But maybe other couples don't face exactly the same way.
Yeah, I from personal experience can tell you that that.
It's a thing.
And I've seen it.
Lots of times and in my own marriage. I mentioned before I too have been married for a very long time and find that communication is very key and making time for each other. Even if you have to like schedule it on your calendar. It's like those times.
Need to be.
Sacred. Yeah. Thank you. Thank you. It's.
Your thoughts on that?
Yeah, a lot of couples wait for date night or wait for a romantic getaway or vacation. And they say when we get to that point, when we get to that, that place that we put it in the calendar, that's when we'll connect.
And they really miss out on the benefit of these everyday daily interactions. And what they'll say is they're too busy. And what I know is if your partner knows that they're going to have 15 minutes of your undivided attention at some point.
Some predictable point. So maybe like late in the evening, the kids are in bed and they know that they're going to have your undivided attention for 15 minutes or if when you say goodbye in the morning.
You say goodbye in a way that says.
I'm gonna miss you.
I'm going to. I'm going to think.
About you while you're gone.
Ethan, if you're going to the other room.
Right, right. These little touch points that can easily be built into your everyday really are what matter far more in the happiness of your relationship. So you know, I think sometimes we think about it in these terms that are just much too.
Big and we need to think about that nitty gritty. All of us have 15 minutes. We have 15 minutes that we could give our partners our undivided attention. But what we do instead is we try and multitask.
Where we're scrolling or playing a game on our phone while we're having a conversation. So our partner thinks that we're not really invested in the relationship and that takes a toll over time.
It can be really simple. I know. My husband and I, we walk together every morning. It's an hour of time that we spend together. We talk about it the night before, you know, when are we going to have to do it? So you can, you know, do what the other things that I'm doing. He's retired now. So he's a lot more flexible, but that's also.
Created a lot of challenges in our life because he was gone all the time. For most of our relationships, so I did everything and now I've had to like, I'm shifting gears into something different for us and he's shifting gears into something that's really different for him.
Just having those touch points and we eat dinner at the table together, even if it's just the two of us every night and it.
Even if it's leftovers, it's just like that's our time. We sit down 30-40 minutes or we just talk to each other, tell each other about our days.
Make plans for other things that we want to do, but just having those two points during the day that we know we're connecting and we have each other's undivided attention. Neither one of us is looking.
At our phones or?
We don't even.
Take our phones on our walk.
With us, that's beautiful. I love how.
You've hit like you've anchored these touch points into the relationship. I just want to assure listeners that it doesn't have to be an hour and an hour. Like if you spend 5 minutes in the morning just making eye contact, real hug, a real kiss saying I love you, you know, not just I love you.
But that meaningful, I love you. That is something that carries that relationship through even while you're busy doing other things. So when you have kids around, when you're running a business, when you.
Two careers and all the kid activities and the kid activities can just suck away a lot of time. Just 5 minutes, just 10 minutes, just a meal together. These things really, really anchor the relationship.
Yeah, they do. And you know, even in I.
I work from home so.
We're always, like, intersecting during the day and we might not spend a lot of time together. But when he was gone, we had times when we called.
During the day, he would be gone for weeks on end, but I knew that he'd call me in the morning, call me in the afternoon and he'd call me.
In the evening, we.
Talked so much we probably talked more than most couples talk. You know you can't.
Do much else on the phone.
And it didn't have to be really long conversations, but it was meaningful conversations. And you know, you talked about everything.
Yeah, exactly. Those are great examples of how to keep that relationship solid even while you're doing other things.
Yeah, and just knowing that.
You know, if you're both working outside the home knowing that you touch base.
A couple times during the day, it just keeps the lines of communication open and.
Even if it's just.
Hey, I love you just thinking about you.
See you tonight.
Yeah, I was.
Thinking of you, that's probably one of the most powerful things that a partner can say, because sometimes it feels like it's out of sight, out of mind. You think your partner is so occupied with other things that they're not thinking about you and they don't miss you. They're just taking that moment to say, hey, I was thinking about you. I don't have time for a call, but.
I wanted you to know I was thinking.
About you. That's a really powerful message.
And not being.
Afraid to be silly with your partner and.
Keeping life light. It can be so heavy.
A lot of the times because there's stress that's involved in in life in general, but not having to have every encounter be super serious.
We have to get something done right now.
You know you can just have fun.
Goof off. Interesting that we connect with our partner in the beginning through fun and laughter, and then we commit to each other and we give up most of that fun and laughter. So that is a real opportunity to build that.
Connection with your partner.
Yeah, and doing things that you both like to do together, even if you may start out not really enjoying it sometimes if you just go and participate in the experience, you may find that it's not the experience, it's the company that really makes a difference.
Yeah, doing fun things.
But yes, and life gets really busy at different times and we don't have time to do that. And then it it's almost awkward to get back into that. So remembering that you're supposed to be in seasons and some seasons, you know, are busier than others, but when you shift to a different season.
You need to step back and take stock again and say, well, what does fit here and how are we going to do this differently?
Yeah, and. And nothing is a forever thing. Like you're saying every everything has a season and seasons change and they progress. And one season is not the same as another, even if it looks similar like every summer is different than the summer.
We've had before.
Because you know progress and I think.
Relationships are kind of like that, they.
They have an ebb and a flow to them. Sometimes it's more intense than other times it's.
No, we're just treading.
Water right now.
But we're not going to tread water forever.
Which is it's a.
Really important point, sometimes you just have to do the.
Tough stuff for.
A little while to get to the other side, don't stay stuck in the treading water because that will.
Kill your relationship.
Well, even when you're treading water, even when you don't have much time together, you can. If you make those interactions meaningful.
There is time for them. There is time to make eye contact. There is time to smile at each other. There is time to look happy, to see each other. When the other person walks in the room. These are things that do fit in. I think a lot of times people wait until they feel that overwhelming.
Emotion for their partner and that's when they do those things.
But the other side of that is to make those good relationship habits. Then when your partner comes in, if you're in the habit of putting your phone down for 30 seconds, then there's time to make eye contact and say, hey, I'm glad you're here.
And if you have times when you hug and kiss during the day, I mean those little things you may not feel like you know, you're really in the mood, but.
Do it anyway.
You know, because it may spark something else for them, it's just like.
They're they could become habits and.
And those habits are touch points and.
We call it.
Changing electrons that are.
Exchanging electrons. When you hug, you exchange electrons.
Oh, I love that.
So I have to ask what business your husband is in that you guys have?
Exchanging electrons as your language.
Well, he was a truck driver for like, 25 years. He's just a silly, funny individual and he comes up with these crazy things and he talks about like.
Oh, that sounds fun.
It is fun, but it's fun because we continue to make it fun and we don't take things so seriously and we pick our fights.
Yeah. And every couple has conflicts.
You're supposed to have conflicts. You're 2 separate people with two different ways of looking at the world. So that's where that intersection of two personalities comes in is that you're not supposed to be the same person.
And you're supposed to be two separate people, and you're supposed to navigate those differences.
Do you find?
That sweet spot where both of you are happy so.
Yeah, what you bring?
Really honoring that, but also figuring out how that you're going to make that work together.
One suggestion that I have for people.
That I figured out over.
The years is don't play the victim.
When you're getting into conflict over something.
The main point of any discussion that you have with your partner needs to be to empower them to make a decision that benefits.
Both of you.
And when you start in the, I'm always the victim of this situation. That doesn't empower anybody and it makes the other person feel like they have to defend themselves.
It's the person that you're connected to, doesn't put them in a very good position and.
Doesn't do much for your relationship.
Whereas if you can recognize, hey, I think I'm going into victim mode here. Let's take a break.
Let's look at this in a way that is gonna.
Help us reach a conclusion that we're both happy with or that we can at least both live with.
Where neither one of us feels like we're falling victim to the others.
Point of view or the others decision that they're making for us?
That there's a lot of wisdom in what you just talked about seeing your partner as your ally, not your enemy, and looking for ways that both of you can win.
That's what you really are looking for when you want a solution. I think a lot of times people will give in to their partner or will try to get their partner to give in to them. And those solutions don't usually work because when push comes to shove, you're going to be like, oh, I didn't really believe in that anyways.
So really, pushing past those easy solutions and finding the solutions that really actually work for both of you, but that takes you know some investment of time and openness and thinking outside the box sometimes.
And that means that you can't have like.
A 10 minute one and done conversation. It might be a.
Conversation that you keep picking up and talking a little bit more about until you get to the solution.
And understanding how your partner thinks. My husband and I built a.
Camper out of wood for our.
Flat bed trailer and.
I built a lot of it, but we had a lot of conversations and during the conversations.
He I learned a lot about who he is and how he thinks and how he processes information. We was there was a lot of drawing stuff on paper because I conceptualized things in my head. I can see how things go together and I like. I can put a puzzle together in my.
I can see how the pieces fit 3D no problem. My husband's not like that at all. And when we talk about things when we're constructing something, he I've come to realize looks at things 180 degrees differently than I do.
Like I would.
Say, put the boards you know horizontally and in his head he would be thinking vertically.
It it's happened.
So many times, it's just like I can talk to him and I can tell him how to do stuff now because I know this is how he's going to process that information and this is what it's going to look like when he's.
Done. But man, for the longest time it was just like I don't understand why you don't get what I'm saying.
It was just because he processes that information differently that had we never built anything I didn't never know that about him.
Yeah. So when?
I have this this example that I use with couples sometimes, so if you imagine that you're standing back-to-back with your partner in a room and you're each describing the room, you're going to describe what you can see in front of you. And so if what is in front of you is a window, you're going to describe to your partner or window.
They're going to be facing the other direction. They're going to describe what they see. If there's a door in front of them and they're going to describe the door.
Well, it's ridiculous to argue that there's no door because I can't see a door or there's no window because I can't see a window.
The more different that you are, you're really describing a different part of the picture, a different part of the room, and the more you can see that as an asset more you can see that as to your benefit, then you start to understand that what's happening is you actually can see far more.
Than just your vision. You can actually see the whole room.
Because your partner is bringing that other piece of.
It and that's.
Where partnerships get really powerful and couples are able to solve problems and very unique ways that really fit both of them.
Absolutely. I love that and it is so true. And when you embrace the differences of your partner and you, you can both come together to be a more complete.
Version of your Union. Then just you know.
Being the other half facing the same direction which you know for some people that works.
But it's just much more vibrant and powerful. If you can embrace the differences and really make use of those differences to further your partnership.
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And when you're standing facing the same direction, what you get is a lot of agreements.
We both see.
The same thing we both experience things the same way and that you can have a good relationship that way, but you're not going to have this. This very creative, open minded partnership that can do things that are outside the box and.
Challenge. There's expectations, so that's where entrepreneurs you know when you can really embrace that in your partner, you can also.
Bring lots of new energy and lots of new creativity into your business. Now the opposite is true too, for a lot of people running businesses like this is also a source of a lot of energy and a lot of creativity because we're creating something that didn't exist before and it's.
Often tied with the mission or something that we feel very passionate about. So then bringing that energy back to the relationship also helps keep that relationship vibrant as well.
Yeah, that is really true, especially if you have a mission and the emission energizes you so much. If you can't bring it back to your relationship, if you can't talk about it.
And if it if.
It can't lift your relationship up.
And that's going to cause problems.
Yeah, it's really hard to.
To be one thing in one place and something else somewhere else.
It's such a fine balance of all these different pieces.
It really is. It really is. So you have a Facebook group, it's called date Night community. Tell us about that.
Yeah. So this is one of my passion projects. I love working with couples. I love working with couples when they're in that, what I call Roommate syndrome, where they're just kind of treading water and, you know, they're getting out of sync and they're just kind of.
Using their energy for lots of other things and not investing that in the relationship itself so that the relationship itself isn't feeding the rest of their.
Their lives so date night community is based around the encouragement to spend time with your spouse and I have resources in there so that you can be more connected with your partner. I do conversation questions so that you have new topics that you can talk about or.
Or thought provoking topics that you can bring to the time that you spend together, whether that's.
An official date or whether that's taking a walk or eating a meal together. You can use those to deepen the relationship. So yeah, I encourage couples, individuals, or couples who want to deepen their relationship to join me over there.
That's awesome. And we'll put the link in the show notes.
Below, because that's really.
It's a great thing because sometimes you just don't know what you're going to say.
Or you need a topic to talk.
About you also have.
The three relationship habits you need today.
Going to talk a little bit about that.
Yeah, these are.
These relationship habits that we've been hinting about throughout this conversation having relationship habits makes the rest of your relationship go really well. And if it is a habit, it means it happens every day.
And it doesn't mean that every single time it happens, it's going to be like this really powerful, meaningful experience. But if you have a habit and you do it seven days a week.
Even if you only have a meaningful interaction twice a week, you still have those and you wouldn't have had them if it wasn't a habit you would have been waiting for the stars to align. So the habits that really make a difference for.
Couples is having a ritual in the morning which connects them and that can be as simple as good morning. How did you sleep? What's your day look like?
And then having some time in the evening where you would connect and really know what happened in each other's lives. So we're really talking about 15 to 20 minutes where you each talk about your day and just have some connection around that. And then at the end of the day, having a ritual that's.
I'm glad you were part of my life today.
And we're at the end of it. Often that is a good time when couples share some affection or curl up together false sleep. But it also can be watching, you know, curling up together, watching something on TV or sharing some things that they came across on social media. So having those.
Anchor points that really help you.
Stay connected. Even if you're doing lots of other things with your time and energy, having a good relationship, it's not about staring into each other's eyes for hours on end. It's really having a connected life so that throughout the day you feel like.
There's someone there who? You can. Who, who you are connected with and who has some of the same missions and goals and understands you. So these relationship habits become the anchors for the relationship.
I love that. I love that.
And then I think.
Embrace these. It makes having a business and a marriage that's successful work.
Much better. So what's the one thing? Well, let me ask you this.
How do people work with?
I don't think I asked that yet.
Yeah. Yeah. So in my coaching I run the date your way back to desire program. It's a 12 week program built around six dates. So during that 12 week period, you'll have six days and a date is.
30 minutes of having a.
A conversation I have specific questions that you talk about and it's for 30 minutes. So this is not a lengthy conversation, but it's paired with 90 minutes of doing something fun or relaxing together.
And then I do skills teaching because we didn't all get the relationship skills that we needed when we were growing up. And so sometimes there are communication issues or working through problems or they'll get gridlocked on a problem. And so it pairs this together.
But the whole purpose is to connect through fund the way that you did at the beginning of the relationship. So that program I find to be really powerful for couples. So you can work with me in that program. You also have some courses that.
Deal with specific issues. Those are options, but if you want to hang out with me, really the date night community is the place for that. That's easy and free and.
People have access.
Awesome. Awesome. Definitely encourage people to join the date night community. I know I'm going over there.
Ohh yay. So what's the one thing you want to leave them with, Cheri?
You can have a really powerful business. You also can have a really powerful relationship and you're probably over complicating it.
Doesn't have to be this challenging, and this gut wrenching, and there are small changes that when you make them consistently and intentionally over time, you can change.
The whole trajectory of your role.
So I don't want to. I don't want to make this sound on oversimplified, but I also think that we over complicate relationships and it just makes everything else harder. So you know, figuring out those small things that you can change, they're really a game changer.
You can really have a transformed relationship without having to go through excruciating, time-consuming work to get.
I appreciate that sentiment so much and I know from my own experience that it is true. It's just taking the few moments and it doesn't.
Just walk across the room and plan to kiss.
Give somebody a hug when they're in the, you know, doing something.
Just a touch.
When you walk him by him, hey.
I love you.
I'm thinking about you.
How are you doing?
It's just little things.
You're very talented, yeah.
Overtime, very powerful and if you feel like you're not getting.
If you start giving it, you'll find that it comes back.
To you because.
People. People will mirror what you're doing for them, so if you're ignoring your partner.
Would be pretty much assured they're going to be.
Ignoring you too.
Yeah. And if you get stuck with that, there's probably some nuances that you're missing or you're not using the right habits to connect with them. So those are all things that are figure out table.
So don't stay stuck. Don't stay thinking that this is the only thing you can get from this relationship.
Absolutely, absolutely. And join the date night community. Let's chat over there. Thank you so much for joining me today. Cheri, it's been great.
It's been my pleasure. Thank you so much for having me.