Join Our Wedding Community Today!
Click Here
Jan. 18, 2023

Couples Communication Tips

Apple Podcasts podcast player badge
Spotify podcast player badge
Google Podcasts podcast player badge
Overcast podcast player badge
Castro podcast player badge
Stitcher podcast player badge
iHeartRadio podcast player badge
PocketCasts podcast player badge
Castbox podcast player badge
Pandora podcast player badge
Podcast Addict podcast player badge
RSS Feed podcast player badge

In this episode, co-hosts Kristina, Mike & Sharon talk with Karen Hanson, a licensed mental health counselor in Forida about effective communication, compromise and fighting fair in your marriage.

Listen in on this episode to learn about the art of compromise and hear how to keep your relationship robust with healthy communication techniques.

Co-hosts Kristina, Mike & Sharon dive deep and make themselves a little vulnerable in this episode when they sit down and have an impromptu therapy session with a licensed mental health counselor in Forida, Karen Hanson.

Tune in to this episode to hear all about being whole ourselves to be healthy in the relationship, making lists of all the things you love and appreciate about your partner and how our thoughts, feelings and beliefs x our actions = our outcome.

BY THE TIME YOU FINISH LISTENING, YOU’LL UNDERSTAND that compromise and communication are KEY to keeping a marriage healthy.

Tell us how you and your spouse keep your marriage alive & well through healthy communication. Share your responses with us and tag us on Facebook or Instagram @theringtheblingandallthethings 


Kristina Stubblefield  0:00  

Who would have thought that where to eat dinner would be one of the most complicated issues in your marriage?


Michael Gaddie  0:06  

Communication is key. But how do you make it effective?


Sharon Rumsey  0:11  

compromise fighting fair, and keeping the spark alive? We cover it all. In this episode with our guest, Karen Hansen, a licensed mental health counselor in Forida.


Kristina Stubblefield  0:22  

You got engaged. Congratulations. Happy. Yes. joyful time. Of course. Now what timelines to do lists and checklists. 100% Don't worry, you're in the right place. Welcome to the ring, the bling, and all the things. Hi, I'm Kristina Stubblefield, one of your hosts, along with my two good friends, Michael Gaddie and Sharon Rumsey. We have over 50 years of wedding industry experience between us. We have seen it, heard it, done it and found a way around it. We are here to get you from down on one knee to down the aisle. Our podcast will cover everything from you saying yes to the I do's and all that happens in between. So buckle up and enjoy the journey. Now let's get started with this episode.


I'm really excited about this episode, because we're not only going to be talking about a topic for engaged couples, but this topic can also apply to those who are already married. So we have a exciting guest with us today. Her name is Karen Hanson, thank you so much, Karen, for joining us, we really appreciate it.


Karen Hanson  1:54  

Absolutely Glad to be here.


Kristina Stubblefield  1:56  

Sharon, Mike, I know this is going to be a little different from our other topics that we've done before. But we really want to dive into the mindset and things that go on, not only during planning, but as you start your new life together.


Sharon Rumsey  2:14  

Well, our promise was that we would get people from down on one knee to down the aisle and even do some things to help them with their life after. So I'm really excited to have Karen on today. And to help married couples kind of navigate the the rough rodders that can be the first couple years of marriage.


Michael Gaddie  2:34  

I'm happy that you're here because I've been married when actually Tuesday I'll be married 30 years. So hopefully I can learn something from you today to make this last 30 more.


Karen Hanson  2:47  

Wonderful. Let's look well at the goal.


Kristina Stubblefield  2:50  

will shout out to Mike and his wife Pam on this big anniversary milestone. So kudos he's a saint.


Sharon Rumsey  2:57  

She's an absolute saint.


Kristina Stubblefield  2:59  

I know. Karen is not familiar. We just won't go watch that. It's a whole nother episode. Pam, as I say, Karen, let's just dive right in. First of all, let, if you don't mind, will you take just a minute, introduce yourself to our audience, and share a little bit about yourself?


Karen Hanson  3:17  

Absolutely. Okay, so my name is Karen and I am a licensed mental health counselor in Florida. And I work with couples and I actually work with children from ages six to adults in their 80s I love people. And my whole goal of doing all this is to be a guide and be information spreader like a bumblebee from person to person sharing on tips and working through processes and then when things get tough having those tough conversations and helping people have this tough conversations, but I just absolutely love what I do.


Michael Gaddie  3:59  

Well, Karen starting off,


Kristina Stubblefield  4:00  



Michael Gaddie  4:01  

Yeah. And first starting off, what would you recommend for keeping the married couples that are just getting married or have been married? Fresh? How To what do you recommend to keep them healthy with their relationships? Well,


Karen Hanson  4:17  

you know, one of the movies that was really popular I think was the 80s was the whole You complete me thing. Um, do you remember was that Derek why Maguire? Because that was the name of the


Sharon Rumsey  4:29  

Jerry Maguire. Yeah,


Kristina Stubblefield  4:31  

that would be starring Tom Cruise. Yes. Jeremy wire.


Karen Hanson  4:35  

Okay. Okay. Everything else was great about that movie. But that one line was something that was kind of concerning for me because I think it's really important for people to understand that we have to be holed ourselves and really be healthy and really be secure in who we are. And then getting a married person or a couple of partner into your life is just a bonus. And then you get to have a witness for your life. And then you get to have someone to share it with instead of being too reliant, or getting angry at them, because you have expectations and they can't meet them. So really doing a lot of self care and be very, very stable in what your values are, what your why, why are you getting married? Is it because you want to have kids, and then you find out they don't? Is it because you want to be married for you know, 30 years and sit on the front porch when your person wants to travel. So it's really getting down to what's the end in mind, when we're at the end of this journey that worked on together? Are we at the same place, obviously, we're going to grow as we go along, but you keep talking as you go along, and make sure that those values are in line, I like to tell people at the beginning of any relationship that you don't go into it with, okay, you know, five, 610 2035 years down the line, we're going to break up, you know, everyone goes in with it, like, this is my person, this is it, this is all I need to do. And so, remember that feeling, you left feeling really secure that feeling inside, write it down, write down a whole list of things that are awesome about this person, you know, I love the way that they smell. I love the laughter I love their, their funny way that they walk into a room. And you know, or sleep walk or whatever it is. Because if you don't keep that appreciation, going write it down in a notebook and keep adding to it. Because if you don't keep it going, you're going to find out when they come to me. You know, 10 years later sitting across from me, and I ask, What do you feel about the other person? I can't stand the way that they laugh. It drives me crazy. I can't even stand to hear their their voice. Well, they've forgotten what they had fallen in love with.


Michael Gaddie  7:19  

Do you feel that? Do you feel that when marriage or when a couple first gets married? Do you think they should jump in and have kids? Or should they wait a while. So they like for example, when Pam and I got married, we didn't have our first child or our only child until we were married 10 years. And I felt like we wanted to do a lot of things together, you know, share things together for a long time before we even begin to build a family.


Karen Hanson  7:45  

Right? It's a personal choice. And I'm really careful not to put my values on other people or what I did or did not do in my relationships, because it really is a personal where they're at they may have been together since ninth grade. And so when they get married in and they're in their 20s, they know this person, right? So what's most important is that their values are in line. So how are you going to raise your children? You know, how are you going to discipline them? How many children who's going to do most of the childcare? Who's what's going to happen? If you both get a promotion at the same time? Who gets it? Where are you? Are you You're both have to move to the west coast or viscose? Which way are you gonna go? You know, these are the the what ifs that kind of come up. And you're never gonna know what everything is. But to have a little bit of agreement on or an A feeling not even just the agreement on Yeah, these are the kind of goals I want to have three kids, you want to have three kids great, you end up with two and a half, you're fine. If things if things come up along the way, it's learning those skills have become communication. So when people show up in my door, there's usually two three things that are the common things, it's that they've forgotten how to communicate, or they've never communicated. Or they weren't so secure in their values that someone started to say, oh, whatever you want, dear. You know, where do you want to go to eat wherever you want to go? And then they get in my office and you're like, I hate Mexican food. You know, so learning how to to be who you are




be in a relationship


Kristina Stubblefield  9:48  

here and I love how you just brought up food and that topic and we were kind of laughing about it. But I hear that goes on a lot even with me and my husband but Our friends, you know, we joke around like, you don't want to talk about going out to eat because nobody wants to make a decision. And right, you've hit on that. And I think that affects a lot of couples.


Sharon Rumsey  10:13  

Absolutely. And when I tell my husband that I don't care, I really don't I really do care.


Karen Hanson  10:19  

Okay. Ooh, so then fabulous. So can I do a little bit with her for a second? Say what you just said, again,


Sharon Rumsey  10:27  

when my husband asked me what I want for dinner, and I say, I don't care. I actually do care. Because just like, I don't like Mexican food. So you just made me think of us, because that happens a lot. And I'll say, I don't care. You can pick and then he picks something, say Mexican. And I'll go, No, I don't want that. And then he says, what you told me to pick. So it's a communication breakdown, for sure.


Karen Hanson  10:56  

So what goes on in your head? Right at the moment, when it's going to be a decision time? You know, you're gonna there's a fork in the road. It's either going to be I choose he chooses, but it's the thought you have?


Sharon Rumsey  11:10  

Gosh, I don't think that we do it all the time about dinner? I guess so. I really don't care as long as he doesn't pick Mexican.


Karen Hanson  11:18  

Okay. Okay. Is there a feeling that goes with that?


Sharon Rumsey  11:23  

Um, that he should know, after being married this long that I don't like Mexican food?


Karen Hanson  11:30  

Okay. Okay.


Sharon Rumsey  11:32  

How about Is there a belief? Not really, I don't think.


Karen Hanson  11:36  

So. Believe kind of like, Listen, believe it believe bleep, you should really know me by now. is a is a belief?


Sharon Rumsey  11:46  



Karen Hanson  11:46  

Let me take you through a really quick thing. So I'm going to do two things. If you can give me the time to do that with you.


Kristina Stubblefield  11:52  

I'm just gonna say real quick for our listeners that are tuning in Karen's joining us from Florida. So we are using some software that allows us to do this remote recording. So if there's some times where there's pauses where that hasn't happened on our other episodes, it's because of this is how we're doing it. So Karen, you get the floor with Sharon, me and my girl, we'll go make us a drink or something. And you have all the time that you want with Sharon,


Sharon Rumsey  12:19  

you too are going to pay dearly for this.


Kristina Stubblefield  12:22  

Yeah. Okay. Karen, take it away.


Karen Hanson  12:25  

Share, I promise this is going to be painless, okay. Because we're not going to dig really deep. I would know, okay, that to someone. Okay. I just want to give you a little, a little skill building, and maybe a little knowledge and a little skill. So thoughts, feelings, beliefs, okay, I'm up for it times there. Okay, our thoughts, our feelings and our beliefs, times our actions equals our outcome, no matter what. Think about that for just a quick second in life, what we say what we feel what we believe in what we do gets us where we're at. So when you have a clear end in mind, a really, really clear end in mind. and in this situation is I don't want any frickin Mexican food done with Mexican food. I don't want it anymore. I want to go to a different restaurant. Okay, so your thoughts, feelings and beliefs. Forget what actions right now. But your thoughts, feelings and beliefs need to get you there. Because you're either further away or you're closer to so that I want to go out to eat, feeling as I'm hungry. Belief is I get to choose where we go this time action is instead when you say Where do you want to go to eat? You say, I want to go? Blah, blah, blah. And now you're closer to your your outcome of eating where you want to eat? Does that make sense?




Sharon Rumsey  14:01  

all we have to


Karen Hanson  14:02  

do in any situation where it's conflicting with what you really want is to look at the end in mind and say what you really want and then ask yourself, What am I thinking? What am I feeling? What am I believing in my getting closer to or further away? And then pivot? Change it just a little bit.




one skill. second skill is a rating got it one tool. Second tool is a rating scale. So, Sharon, where do you want to eat today?


Sharon Rumsey  14:38  

a steakhouse. Okay,


Karen Hanson  14:39  

on a scale of one to 10 How important is that to you today?


Sharon Rumsey  14:43  

Seven, seven.


Karen Hanson  14:45  

Okay, I'd like Chinese today. But it's really only a three because I had it last night too. So why don't we go ahead and do your steak tonight. And then all of a sudden, you know, we might Both have different choices. But in every one of our choices, there's a How much does it matter? Like tomorrow night, I may really, really, really just want to go out for a chocolate cake for dinner. So what Michael asked before is what are some of the things that new couples can do? Well, they can at the very, very, very beginning decide, okay, when we get to a decision where there's a crossing the road, we don't really know which way to go here, let's rate it, how important it is. Now, one person cannot always say it's a nine. And the other person can always say it's a two, because that's not honest, need to be authentic, and honest with each other, and ourselves on what we really want.


Kristina Stubblefield  15:50  

I'm gonna be honest with you, Karen, I just took notes. And this is something that goes on between me and my husband. And me and Sharon have actually talked about this before, because her and Ron are the same way her husband's name is Ron. And it can escalate into other things like the symbolist small thing over food, and I'm sure other people out there deal with this. But what you just are did write down or I did write this down. But I really love this scale thing. Because you can find some common ground,


Karen Hanson  16:22  

it takes it out of the it takes it out of the emotion, the heat of the emotion. Because you know, at supper time, we've already had a very long day. We've already had some disappointments, we've already had some moments where you know, you want to throw the computer out the window or whatever it happened. And now you got to go home to the person you love, by the way, but you also feel very, very safe with so then all that mask stuff comes up and if you've been crabby since eight to five, and now at six o'clock and you're hungry. Oh, gloves are off. Right? You're ready to just you know, don't stand between me and my supper.


Kristina Stubblefield  17:06  

Sharon, what's going through my mind is right now is pleased Sweet Baby Jesus. Don't let Ron and Josh here this episode. He say you all need to listen to this episode.


Unknown Speaker  17:18  

You are mentioned in it.


Kristina Stubblefield  17:21  

But you know, Karen, a couple things. I know. Mike, you were writing some stuff down. Sharon, though. On an all seriousness, thank you for being willing to share that with Karen though, honestly. Cuz, you know, that was you.


Sharon Rumsey  17:32  

They both know they owe me now.


Kristina Stubblefield  17:35  

Okay, but you did take one for the team. So thank you, Sharon.


Sharon Rumsey  17:39  

One of my things offered to take me out for Mexican food. Um,


Karen Hanson  17:45  

well, you know, you and you're brought up? Yes, go ahead.


Kristina Stubblefield  17:49  

Can I ask you one thing, you mentioned two things that I know we're gonna want to mention or talk about. You brought up self care and skills. One of the things that I'd like to mention, you know, skills. Unfortunately, in school, you know, you're not always given all the tools, you know, for life skills. And I think that basic communication, you know, I don't even know if they still offer some of the business classes that they did you know, when I was in school, specifically High School. But a lot of times these younger engaged couples, they haven't crafted those skills, or maybe even encountered something where they had to use those skills. Do you have any tips or anything? Because I think we come back to the center thing of communication. Do you have any tips for people out there as far as getting those skills or working on them?


Karen Hanson  18:45  

Sure. And actually, we have been learning those skills since the day that we started talking. Because we've had two or one or a bunch of people modeling for us how to communicate our whole lives. We have watched whether it's been good, or maybe not so good, whether escalation gets to violence, or whether it's, you know, people laugh it off. So we've been watching people communicate our whole lives. So it's important to bring that up. Because if you imagine you have an invisible backpack on your back, and as we go through life, we keep shoving stuff in that backpack. Well, communication is one of those things, how did we observe people's communication styles, and then you can actually and she goes back to what I was doing with Sharon, if your outcome is I don't want to communicate the way that my parents did. I want to communicate lovingly or openly or whatever the outcome is, then it goes back to are your thoughts in line with that? Are your feelings in line with that and are your beliefs and in this particular one beliefs is the more important one because If you have the belief that women shouldn't make decisions, because that's how it was in your household, if you have the belief that if I say what I want to say, then it's going to start a fight. If I don't give in, it's gonna start a fight. Well guess what people who fight usually stay together. Because they're communicating. It's the people who throw those stuff into the backpack and hold it inside. that eventually, one day, the husband or wife comes home and says, Hey, I noticed that we didn't take the garbage can in, and all of a sudden, all Heck, breaks loose, and the roof comes off the house. And you're wondering, what just happened. It's because someone was pushing and pushing and pushing and pushing and pushing down until they hit their point. And it couldn't be pushed down anymore, and it just exploded. And that's what happens if you don't keep having those difficult conversations. That's where the growth comes. So it's when when you've hurt my feelings, when you cut me off in the middle of a conversation, and that is something that I grew up within, in my household of never being feeling like I was being heard. And so when you do that consistently, that's an open sore, that keeps getting reopened. And in but you don't know that about me. I probably don't even know that about me until I finally figure out Oh, that's what's going on. That's the belief. So then you're able to say, you know what, honey? So Karen, and I feel, you know what, honey, I feel like you're not listening to me. And I'm not a value when you cut me off in the sentence. That's an that's using an if statement. So that is the skill. I feel when whatever it is happens. And then the other person's role. And this is the agreement you have at the beginning. It's just like a business agreement, you have agreements and how things are going to be happen, you know, do what you're going to do. So the agreement is, I'm going to keep listening to you until you feel heard. And when you feel heard. I'm going to ask you, I'm going to paraphrase it for you. You know, honey, I heard you say that when I cut you off, you feel like you're not important. Did you feel heard? And the other person says yes or no. And until they say, yes, the person keeps doing it. With the whole goal of actually hearing what the person was saying,


Michael Gaddie  22:49  

well, I want to say something like, yes, it made sense a lot. What I want to say is, like I said earlier, we've been married 30 years this week, and when Pam and I got married, and I remember this like it was yesterday, when we got married, the minister was up there and said his vitals and the one thing he told us, he says, promise me this. Every night before you go to bed, I always say good night. And if you have a problem that happened during the day, or you had an argument, don't go to bed mad. Start up, start wake up the next morning, start fresh and start all over. I have and Pam can confess to this too. We deal with that a lot. Which our situations a little different because we started dating when we were freshmen in high school. And we work together every day, should we go to work, we don't drive to work together everyday, but she's in the car in front of me or I'm in the car behind her. And so we come home and you know, especially working with these two girls here, Christina and Sharon, that gives us a little time away from each other. And Pam does her own thing. But we both Always remember that never go to bed mad because that is a big no no. And I feel like after 30 years that's really helped us


Karen Hanson  24:13  

write because there's actually a brain component to that. So when we go to sleep, we kind of chew on everything that's been going on throughout the day. And so when you go to bed mad, you have just given a steak and potato dinner to your brain to be jumping on all night long. And so when you wake up


Kristina Stubblefield  24:40  

that brain is like or it's already


Karen Hanson  24:42  

you know, it's fueled with all that stuff it's been doing for the last eight hours. So you've now that you've taken a small problem that was this big and you've now made it this big. And then if you go to work, and then you think about it all day and all that legacy building person doesn't matter, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, whatever it is. Now you've made this little problem this big. And then you get home and the trash cans not out and the kids are fed and the dog peed on the floor and whatever is going on. Now, we have taken a problem that could have been solved in 15 minutes with a difficult conversation and have made it into I'm not talking to you for three frickin days. Forget it. And any intimacy off the table, you do that? 510. If you make it that far, yours, what's the quality of your relationship? Is it closer to your outcome?


Michael Gaddie  25:44  

Well, I do believe to what you said that you need. It's good to you know, a lot of people say people don't fight. But I mean, I really do think it's good to have a good fight every now and then. So it just blows it all out and gets it all out in the open and then you move on


Karen Hanson  25:58  

well, and it's fighting fair. That's the key. So if you're fighting, and you start tearing at remember that list I talked about, you know, the things that you really like, and then 510 15 years later, the things that aren't on, you know, if you start taking those things that you really, really valued about that person. And now you flipped it around. And that person still thinks you love them because of this. And now you've switched it, you've created even a bigger problem, because now that other person's equilibriums off, and we're wondering what I don't know who I am now in this relationship, and I don't know where you are. And then do you even love me and you're just fighting about the milk, you know, and now we're into this Do you love me and, and all that


Sharon Rumsey  26:47  

go is something that comes up a lot with my husband and I is he calls it opening the archives, because I do kind of tend to carry a backpack. And so when I get upset about something, when I get upset about something that's happening currently, I'll bring up something that happened three years ago. And he always says there should be like a three month limit on what you're allowed to bring up when you have an argument to say there you go open up the archives again. Yeah, opening the archives again, and pulling out, you know, everything I've ever done that made you mad. And I really have been working on that a lot. Because I know it's something that really bothers him. But yeah, you know, that's just, I think, too, knowing what buttons you're pushing is important.


Karen Hanson  27:38  

Mm hmm. And it all goes back to those beliefs. So you're really not pulling the facts out of that backpack. You're pulling what you believe about those facts. And if you I bet, if you were to look over the things that you pull out, there's a common theme about them. And those common themes are tied into your values and your beliefs. And when they get trampled over, then they get a special spot. You know, in those backpacks where they have the like inner zipper, they get to be put in that inner zipper and really precarious and pulled out only when you tried to write. So it's your job, not his


Sharon Rumsey  28:24  



Karen Hanson  28:26  

To look at those and say, Hmm, if I keep holding on to this, am I getting closer or further away from what I really want? Do you really want to end the nice weekend with a fight on Sunday afternoon? And then start pulling up? You know, 180, Sunday afternoons? Probably not. The last question to ask yourself is, is it worth it? Is it worth it to make the change? Because if it is you're going to do it if it's not worth it, you're gonna keep doing your same habits.


Michael Gaddie  29:03  

With that being said, Karen, I mean, I know here locally at my Pacific church that we go to and a lot of Catholic churches in our area. They recommend that the bride and groom's goes through a I won't say a counseling, but I mean, it's some kind of course that you have to go through, like two or three months before the ceremony and if you don't complete that, he will not they will not marry you. Do you recommend brides and grooms having counseling before they get married?


Karen Hanson  29:36  

Well, again, it goes back to I don't know what they're teaching. So if they're teaching them how to not fight fair, then No, I wouldn't recommend it. But if they are teaching them the skills that are healthy, yeah, absolutely. I think I think my grandmother told me when she was was dying, I asked her what the secret of life was. And she said, Come back tomorrow, and I'll tell you, and I came back and she said, learn something new every day. I was 19, I thought she just wanted me to stay in college,


Sharon Rumsey  30:11  

love that


Karen Hanson  30:12  

he a few years, took me a few years to figure out, you know what, hang it, she's right, we can learn something new every day. So if you are 1920 2526 36, on your 30th anniversary, you can still learn something new about yourself, you can still learn something new about your partner. And you can still learn something new about your relationship.


Sharon Rumsey  30:41  

Love that.


Kristina Stubblefield  30:42  

I'm just sitting here like taking all this in. And, you know, we've been here for a few years, we've been on this earth, that all of us for a few years. And I think back to where I was, you know, when I was 20. And goodness, I did not have many skills, I probably had more than most people. But I still had no idea in regards to relationships, and, you know, truly being there for each other no matter what was going on. And that's why I wanted and I'm glad Mike asked that question about the counseling or classes or whatever. Because, as you've said, you know, no matter what age they're entering in this, it's still two people coming together into a relationship. So I was really curious, your take on that if you recommended they talk to someone or take some skill building or whatever those classes are even called,


Karen Hanson  31:48  

if that's how they're going to learn it. If they're going to eat that there's some there's, there's a difference between learning and knowing. So if you go to a class, you learn the information, you fill out whatever checklist quiz or to pass, get your piece of paper and go, No, they didn't learn anything. They didn't. I mean, they learn something, they didn't integrate it, they didn't make those changes. But if they go to someone who can get to those beliefs, and those values and get to those, what are the gaps, and in awareness building and all that kind of thing, where they can actually really take it in, and it means something to them. That's where it's going to be the more more powerful but you know, what we don't learn from words, we learn through experience. So they're going to have to practice it and they're going to, we all stumble and fall in our relationships. That's how we learn, regardless of whether it's, it's a romantic relationship, or a friendship or a mother, daughter, son, Father, we learn from those, where were you and and where I pick up what what you believe might not be what I totally believe in, especially as you get older, you see that divide happening within families. That's okay. They're just deciding who they are. And in every moment, we are deciding who we are.


Sharon Rumsey  33:20  

Karen, I know we talk a lot in the wedding business, about trends, you know, wedding trends and things that we see changing over the years. But in your business, or their relationship trends. You know, what do you see kind of, in the years you've been in practice what changes and marriage relationships are you seeing, um,


Karen Hanson  33:43  

one of the major things that I've seen is the waiting to have children that a lot of the younger couples coming in, are are waiting until your late 30s even even, you know, into their 40s to have their first child. You My mother had me when she was 42 A long time ago, and I my fifth my sisters are 12 and 15 years older than me so yes, I was a welcome surprise. So but that wasn't like that a while ago now it is and they actually what younger couples are doing is they're having pets, dogs before they have children. And I I'm all for that one because I'm a dog lover anyway, but to because you're actually practicing. you're practicing practicing the who's going to get up to let the puppy out at three o'clock in the morning. Who's gonna clean up the poop, you know, morning feed, diaper changing. Having those difficult conversations, being able to say I feel like I'm doing all the work. I need you to


Michael Gaddie  35:01  

It's funny you say that because we had a dog. We had a dog when we were first married, and we had it for 10 years before we had our son. And we were actually scared to bring our son home because we didn't know how scooter that was our dog at the time, would react to Ryan. And I'll tell you what he really comfort in. I mean, he was right there to make sure nobody hurting. And everything. He was totally opposite than what we thought. So we were so attached to our dog. We didn't know. Oh, gosh, we're bringing the stranger into the house. How's the dog gonna act? That's, that's funny. You mentioned that.


Kristina Stubblefield  35:38  

I was shaking my head because we are doing the puppy thing right now. And it was just, the news was just broke to me a couple months ago at the vet's office, that the puppy experience goes till about two and a half years. And I was like, Oh,


Karen Hanson  35:57  



Kristina Stubblefield  35:57  

I don't remember that from years ago when I had a puppy because I rescued quite a few. And the last or last dog horrible. He Oh, he was three when we adopted him. And then we didn't know how rubble was going to take to a puppy. And it has been, it has been an experience. My brother and sister in law tell me all the time. It's just like having a newborn. And we love it. But there are times that it does get overwhelming. But there's no better sound. I'm sure I don't we don't have kids. I'm sure there's no better sound of than feet on the on the floor. There's no better sound than the Paul's coming across our floor. Our puppy isn't here today because he actually got neutered. And it has felt like a big missing like, Oh, well, he needs to go out so many times. You know, it's not like the adult dog. Oh, did I make sure we ate his food because I switched his bowls out. And he really is scared of the other roll. And it's like, wait, we're missing on doing something today. Like, it's not the exact same. And I'm sure we're I'm making it sound like pets are very similar to kids. And I know that's not the exact way it is. But I love how you talked about their learning, by the trend being people getting a dog or a pet, and learning that responsibility and what all is involved and how you've got to work together as a team. I think that was great that you mentioned that Sharon, I think you were gonna say something.


Sharon Rumsey  37:37  

I was just gonna ask her. This is fascinating to me. What other trends are you seeing in relationship land?


Karen Hanson  37:46  

So you know, you ask that, and I've been kind of racking my brain a little bit. And the funny thing is, is I don't see a lot of new couples. And why don't I see another lot of new couples because they're in love. They're excited about their, their relationship, and they haven't hit some of those, those pain points yet. So I I'm not sure what other trends younger couples, I can tell you older couples are, are feeling the crunch between taking care of older adults and having children. So they're kind of called the sandwich. Age against generation. And that adds stress to a relationship. With COVID with the uncertainty of a lot of different things about jobs, that's that's increased people's anxiety. And the interesting thing about anxiety is that anxiety and depression are best friends. And they hang out together. So you can Evan flow between the two and when you add a mental illness and I don't say that lightly because we get physically physical illnesses and we have some mental illnesses. It's not the big ones that people think of we have times in our lives where we Evan flow. And if we have a partner that understands that you can ebb and flow with it. And you know, I told you that whole I don't like this phrase you complete me. Because if I'm ebbing and flowing in your ebbing and flowing who's completing who in which way are you going? It's I need to be my whole, right. And in a relationship, it is very, very rarely 5050. Think about that. It's not 5050 it's not 5050 every day, because our energy levels are different. So remember that experience that that example I said earlier, you come home you've already had a rough day The garbage is out, you come home and you blow up or you just go to bed or whatever it is, are you at 50%? or higher? No, you're probably right around 20%. Right, your other half, needs to pick up the ad. If you're at a 20


Sharon Rumsey  40:24  

then maybe later the next week, it flips.


Karen Hanson  40:30  

That's how you keep a stable home for your family. For your dogs or your kids. My dog anytime we had an argument with run outside, he was so sensitive to just the sound, he actually helped us learn to fight there.


Unknown Speaker  40:46  

Right, Evan flow?


Karen Hanson  40:50  

Evan flow. Now it's not fair, someone's always just like the scale, it's not fair. If someone's always at a nine, or it's not fair, if they're always at a 20 then you have an imbalance in the relationship. And somehow you got to find it. So it's like, it's like a plane, you know, it's very rarely a straight shot, you know, the tail winds, the whatever, I'm not a pilot. So I might not even be saying this, right. But if you have a range that you can stay in, you know, 4060 that kind of range. Great. If you're constantly like this, you're gonna have some tough times ahead. Yeah.


Michael Gaddie  41:34  

I think the information you've given our listeners today has been great. The one thing that probably shouldn't even mention this, but I'm going to, because it's so important, especially talking to you today. You know, sometimes I've been doing this for almost 33 years now. And I've been doing weddings, almost, you know, third of my life. But, you know, sometimes I think the bride, or the couple gets hooked up on their wedding day. And the only reason I'm mentioning this is because we're talking to you today. And, you know, sometimes I feel like the love is not always there, because I'll be honest with you. And I probably should not be talking about this on our podcast. Because that's a totally another episode. But I mean, I have you would not believe how many brides I have done their weddings twice or three times, believe that or not, I love it. But sometimes I think they're so young, and they don't realize what the word love means that they really need to stop and think about and if they're in a situation right now that you're planning a wedding, but are you marrying the love of your life? It's not just about that one day and having a party and being the bride being the princess walking down the aisle, right? I mean, there's so much more to it than just that day. And I think your information that you give enough today, I think that should you know help them learn and what to do and what what what's the common the the years to come? Well, you


Karen Hanson  43:12  

know, a lot of times it goes back to what we were talking about with that outcome. is the outcome the perfect dream wedding? Or is the outcome the perfect dream? Marriage? Is the outcome, the perfect relationship, or just the time to be on stage? And that's where we're really doing that soul work in those classes that you mentioned, and and really looking, you know, talking to someone and figure out, you know, what is my outcome? What is my dream, because that's going to lead everything else. That's gonna lead everything else.


Kristina Stubblefield  43:52  

I will share something quickly with you all. Since we're all being so open here in this episode today. Um, you know, I was married at a Yep. I married at a younger age. And, gosh, looking back on it. For the both of us. We were married for three years. And I believe it was right after my 21st birthday, I believe I probably should know that a little bit better. But anyhow. So I did the whole church wedding. I did all the bells and whistles. As a matter of fact, Mike, the class that you mentioned, oh, yeah, we took that sign off on our paper and there we went down the aisle, red roses in hand. And there is a picture of me, with my parents on each side of me, right before I walked down the aisle. And I remember that picture vividly. It was all right there. What was I doing? It was I was there, you know, and thank goodness was very fortunate to separate the separate on goodnight lease. Yes, we were we were, you know, we were both young. And what I learned from that is, you know, we had so much growing still to do. And it I think along the way, you know, it helped me in with my marriage with Josh, who has never been married before. But I highly respect him. Because I was coming out of a relationship. You know, when we ran into each other, we went to school together, never dated, you know, played sports, so forth and so on, and ran into him. And he steered clear like, I don't he would return phone calls, and we would talk, no dating, I was like, What in the world is going on? And you know, come to find out, he said, You know, I didn't want to be that rebound person. Like, I wanted to know that you wanted to go out with me, because you want to go out with me not because this whole message just went on. And that I highly respect it day in and day out. Because I think that was a pivotal point for our relationship to be where it's at. And, Mike, I'm so glad that you brought that up. Because in my eyes, I was getting to the age when I first got married, that's what you did. You went to high school, you went to college, you got married. And then there you went. But it doesn't have to be like that for everyone. And I think Karen has even shined a light on some of that. So, it, it's amazing how you can look back on life experiences, and how much you've grown what you learned from it. That was Karen mentioned it, you live it, you learn from it. And I took a lot away from that. And I wouldn't change anything to be honest with you, because I'm so happy where I'm at. And I think a lot of times people get maybe hung up on that, that they worry about, what about this? And what about that. And, you know, Karen said at the very beginning when she started, you've got to be happy, your whole you know, your whole self, you can't look for someone else to fill that. Gosh, I think that's such a powerful statement, I really do not have to


Karen Hanson  47:44  

wait. And you know, I love that you brought up that you learned you learned from it, because that goes back to we learn something new every day to write. And if we have an experience that doesn't go the way that we would have liked it to have gone. It's only a mistake. If you didn't learn from it. If you didn't take anything from it, if you took something from it, and it's a lesson and you move on. When we think of things as mistakes, it goes in that backpack, and that just makes you heavier and heavier


Kristina Stubblefield  48:20  

and heavier. And Sharon, I know you're getting ready to say something. But Karen, I'm so glad you highlighted that. Because it wasn't right away that I learned from it. It took me just a little while because I felt like I was so much. I was so young at the time. But it was something that I didn't carry around with me all the time. Things that went through my mind was disappointing the people that came and share that day with me. But you know, when you have that communication, we didn't always have it in that. And I didn't have it in that first marriage. But as it was coming to an end, I think that's what allowed us to kind of part ways the way that it ended up being so, so easy. I don't I hate to say so easy, but easier than probably expected was because he sat down for three or four hours and talk to through this and we have our whole life ahead of us. It's not together that that's not not how it's going to be. And it did I did learn from it, but it didn't happen right then it really did take a couple years for me to really take away from that relationship and I've taken over the years I have so Sharon Go ahead.


Sharon Rumsey  49:37  

I just was loving what she said and I wanted to acknowledge that I am also on my second marriage and was married very young. I had my first child at 20 you know and who you are 30 is not who you are at 20 but I think a big you know since we're being so open like you said a big step for me was accepting and forgiving myself, you know, for mistakes made. Because until you accept who you are, and you forgive yourself, you know, for, for mistakes made, I don't think you can help go into another relationship and be healthy. I was single for 15 years went to a counselor every single Wednesday at 230 for two years, just to get, you know, we, my divorce was not an easy process. So just to, to process what had happened and try to learn who I was because I had been someone's wife and someone's Mom, you know, my whole adult life. So I think bringing that whole Healed person into a new relationship is so important. And I love that she said that, because I know if I had gotten into another marriage, before I did the hard work it, it would have been a disaster. And I'm really thankful, you know, for time spent learning who I was,


Kristina Stubblefield  51:07  

you know, what, Mike, who would have thought that this would be the ring, the bling, and all the things open session where Here we go.


Sharon Rumsey  51:15  

I feel like I feel like


Michael Gaddie  51:19  



Kristina Stubblefield  51:23  

things that this might, that this might show people is it's okay to be open. It's okay to be vulnerable. Exactly. You know what? It's okay. If you need to go and speak to a counselor, or ask for help. Hey, it's okay. I went to counseling, I went to counseling. When I was a teenager, I believe I went to counseling after my first marriage. I'm here to tell you is the ring the bling is a judgment free zone. And for anyone out there listening, it is okay to ask for help. And I know you all probably all agree.


Sharon Rumsey  51:59  

I think counseling should be mandatory. I have said that my you know, since I was 30 years old, I think that every single young adult think it should be like offered in school? I don't know. But I think it should be mandatory, that everybody gets an opportunity to sit down with someone and just understand themselves. And I think that we would all be better off if everyone had that opportunity.


Kristina Stubblefield  52:29  

Mike, I didn't know if you were getting something. But Karen, I know, I know. We've had you on here for quite a while. But one of the things I would like to ask you in closing and and that you don't have to go into big depths of this. But you know, I don't want to go without mentions mentioning something about COVID. You know, we're still dealing with that right now as as we discuss this episode. And is there any one tip that you could maybe share with people, whether they're engaged, married, doesn't matter if they're listening to this podcast? You know, it's been rough on everyone, no matter what your circumstances are? It has played some kind of role in your mental health. Is there anything you would recommend to people, no matter where they're at, as far as that goes,


Sharon Rumsey  53:13  

I would


Karen Hanson  53:14  

say that the most important thing is to have a really strong belief that this is going to work its way out that we're not going to be in this forever. Because when you don't have hope. You don't have anything to look forward to. So we're in the winter, you know, we're in a winter storm. And we need to take care of yourselves and and do all the things we can right now. But we can look forward to that there's going to be a spring.


Sharon Rumsey  53:45  

Perfect. Love it.


Karen Hanson  53:47  

Wow, that and you know, Thank


Kristina Stubblefield  53:49  

you, Karen. That's awesome.


Michael Gaddie  53:52  

I was just gonna say it's been a pleasure having you here. And I mean, we've all I think Sharon and Christina both have, we've all learned something. And I think we've took this to another level that we really weren't, wasn't expecting to take it to. But I think that's perfect for our listeners. So I just wanted to say thank you so much for being here. It's been it's been a pleasure.


Unknown Speaker  54:13  

It's been a pleasure. Thank


Karen Hanson  54:13  

you so much, too. I guess my final thought is


Sharon Rumsey  54:19  

if you can focus on the now


Karen Hanson  54:23  

and really enjoy and love and care right now and then have an endless amount of now's


Sharon Rumsey  54:33  

it's gonna work out.


Karen Hanson  54:35  

It's gonna be a great journey. So I thank you all


for allowing me to come on.


Thank you for opening up and being honest, inauthentic, because that's really important in life as well. So thank you.


Kristina Stubblefield  54:52  

Thank Karen are people able to connect with you as far as if you're local or something like that is Is there ways that they can reach out or anything like that.


Karen Hanson  55:06  

So I in licensed in only in Florida, so I can only take clients in Florida. But I'm not the only game in town. There are so many different counselors in any area. My advice to anybody is when you find a counselor is like finding a pair of shoes, you got to find one that fits, that's the right style, right size that can go the mile with you. And if they get old and stinky, you go find a new pair.


Sharon Rumsey  55:33  

I just was going to say thank you, I think that she's given some wonderful advice. And I just got my bubble burst because I was gonna call her and make a zoom appointment. Cuz I got a lot out of this. But anyway, just on behalf of Mike and Christina, I want to and our listeners, I want to thank you so much for sharing your experience and your expertise. It was our honor to have you on.


Karen Hanson  55:58  

Thank you. I so appreciate it. Love spending it. I told you at the beginning. It's what I love to do. And I appreciate your courage to be open. Keep doing that. Karen, thank


Kristina Stubblefield  56:11  

you so much to the time that you've came on here and shared with our listeners. We greatly appreciate it. I echo everything Mike and Sharon have said. So we greatly appreciate it. So for all of our listeners out there, thank you for tuning into this episode. For any of our other episodes. If you want to write a review, if you want to subscribe, go to our website, the ring, the bling and all the and again, thank you to our guests, Karen Hanson. Thank you that what you have given our audience I think they will be able to take away from for a long time to come. So until next time everyone, stay safe.


Thank you for tuning in to this episode of the ring, the bling and all the things. If you like what you heard, make sure to hit the subscribe button to get notified of upcoming episodes. You can also visit our website, the ring, the bling and all the for past episodes, and make sure to connect with us on social media. If you would like to help us get the word out about this podcast. Make sure to share with your family, your friends and anyone you know in the wedding business.

Karen HansonProfile Photo

Karen Hanson

Licensed Mental Health Counselor in Florida

Karen Hanson is a licensed mental health counselor in Forida. Through the use of evidence-based therapeutic approaches, Karen has many years of experience working with individuals, couples, and families on breaking through what is holding them back from living the lives they desire. You can expect a “real” conversation, with gentle nudges and humor mixed in, as you both work together on exploring greater self insight, clarity and strategies that work to create balance in your life again.

(Note: due to licensure requirements, Karen can only see clients in Florida)