Episode 78: Reconnecting as a Couple and Family with Trey & Lea Morgan
Brief summary of show:
With busy lives, kids and activities, how do we find time to reconnect as a couple and family?
We all know that family time and alone time are both important when it comes to building and keeping a strong foundation with our partners and kids – so why is it the thing most often overlooked?
Joining me for this conversation are Trey and Lea Morgan, Marriage Coaches, parents and married for over 30 years.
Trey & Lea speak to thousands of couples every year at their marriage workshops. They are also authors of the best selling book, “10 Ways to a Stronger Marriage” & “Wisdom for your Marriage”.
Listen in as we talk about:
[3:25] What family time really consists of
[6:50] How to protect family time without feeling like you’re missing out
[9:00] The importance of “coffee time”
[13:30] Tips and strategies for successful marriages and families
[16:15] Top issues couples struggle with
[20:45] Advice for couples who are ready to throw in the towel on their marriages
Notes from Natalie:
Connect with Trey and Lea
Connect with Me
View Transcript for this Episode
[00:00:00] Natalie: Hi friends. I get this one a lot. I wanna spend more time with my family, but I'm so busy and the kids are going in a thousand different directions.
[00:00:08] Is it really so bad for us to just sit and eat dinner at the TV? I wanna talk about that today and I wanna get some ideas on how we can enrich. Our family relationships. My guests are experts on marriage and family, not only from being married for 30 years and raising four boys, but Trey and Leah Morgan have been involved in marriage, ministry and marriage coaching for over 20 years, They do weekend workshops called stronger marriage workshops and stronger family workshops. They speak to thousands of people each year on helping their families work through issues and build stronger relationships.
[00:00:44] they are also the authors of the best selling book. 10 ways to a stronger marriage and wisdom for your marriage. If you like what you're hearing on the podcast here, do me a big favor, share it with a friend, leave me a review.
[00:00:57] My goal is to help more people and I can only do that by growing. You'll also find more health, family and positive. Set tips on my website, Natalie TISL T Y S D a l.com. Now onto this week's podcast with Trey and Leah Morgan.
[00:01:17] Natalie: Trey and Lee, so good to see you today. I wanna talk to you today. I know you do a lot of marriage issues, but you also talk to families about successful relationships. And one thing I see often with my own family and marriage is the lack of time we get to spend together.
[00:01:35] Trey: Yes family time is, is uh, one of the ways you spell love is T I M E E, and families need time together.
[00:01:43] And sometimes we have made the mistake of associating family time with. Maybe watching our kids play little league or play soccer or play something. And while that's, those are all good. They're not actual quality time that you get to actually spend one on one or face to face communication with your kiddos.
[00:02:01] We may chase, I know we spent years chasing our kids around playing sports all over the country and. The COVID year, our kid didn't get to play sports. And of course we were a little sad at first, and then we got to have so much time with him. He was our, our youngest all of a sudden we, we had him at home.
[00:02:20] We had dinner table time we had, and, and while we missed the sports thing we realized, we probably should have better done a better job, not counting family time, as we're gonna watch you play. Um, And so, yeah, I think families are finding more and more all the time, a struggle to find time when they can connect as families and, and the same is true in marriage as well.
[00:02:44] Natalie: Yeah. Lee, let's talk about that for a second. Is It conversations.
[00:02:48] How do you identify that? Because it does feel like we, we try to lump it all together and go, well, we're all watching TV together. That's family time, right?
[00:02:55] Lea: Yes. Yeah, just conversation you know, families are not getting enough communication time, face to face time, like we said, Husbands and wives are not. And uh, we found a statistic a while back that says husbands and wives are getting four minutes a day together of uninterrupted time, just, you know, face to face conversation, time and four minutes a day, we don't feel like is a healthy amount of time you know, for a relationship to thrive.
[00:03:25] And so, you know, I mean, sitting down around a dinner table as a whole family, Is a great way to. You know, maybe 30 minutes at least where you can, you know, ask each member of the family. How was your day? What did you do? You know? That was uh, what was the high point of your day today? Maybe what was a low point of your day?
[00:03:46] It's a day to, it's a time to really connect with your kids and find out what's going on in their world. Maybe, you know, some feelings they're having some things maybe that, that they need your help working through. And then, you know, we're, we're new, fairly new empty nesters. I think table time is still important for us, even though the kids are out of the house just for us to sit down and have that uninterrupted time to just talk and reconnect and see what's going on in each other's world is, is very important.
[00:04:16] Trey: Well, one of the things that we feel like we did pretty well you always look back when you've raised children or done marriage in our 34 years of marriage and go, we probably could have done better on this. One of the things we think we did well, latter part of, of marriage and family was we would have family time and, and rules were we start supper at a certain time and we don't all start eating until everyone's at the table.
[00:04:41] And your cell phone is not allowed at the table. And that included mine, you know, which was sometimes tough because, you know, I thought my job was really important and I get messages all the time, but that, that included me. And, and so we would put a cell phone. Away from a table somewhere and sat down and eat where we didn't have the interruption of answering a text message or answering a phone call or something along those lines.
[00:05:04] And those were, we look back now and realize how special those were to not only us, but to our children, that we had that table time. And we were able to connect with them even as teenagers. That is such a hard time to connect with our children because there's not always just tons of common interests when they're teenagers of things that we both like.
[00:05:25] And, uh, when you can sit down at a table and just spend some time talking, it makes a world of difference in both your relationship with them. And, and as a spouse as well.
[00:05:34] Natalie: What I have found at as a family and mom is protecting that. Is harder today than it's ever been, because there are so many things that distract us from family time.
[00:05:47] I mean, you know, there used to be a time you didn't have sports practices on Sunday, cuz that was a family day and church day. And now it's like, there's nothing about that. The games, the tournaments, the. Late night, my son swims. And one of the new practices we just saw is till nine o'clock at night.
[00:06:03] And, you know, we're, we're just competing with so many things that it's hard to protect that marriage time and family time.
[00:06:11] Do you have other advice on how to protect that and prioritize it without feeling out like you're without feeling like you're missing out on everything else in the world?
[00:06:21] Lea: One thing that we, that we tell.
[00:06:24] Couples and families is that you really have to be intentional with this. You have to look ahead maybe at your calendar and say, okay, let's look at the whole week. Do we have a, not do we have maybe only 30 minutes? You know, here's, here's a window on Thursday from 30, you know, for 30 minutes, that's our time.
[00:06:43] And we're gonna all make it a point to come together at that time. But if I just feel like if we're not intentional about that and we don't look ahead and almost schedule it. Like we have to schedule everything these days that it will just get overlooked. It will pass us by.
[00:06:59] Trey: Yeah. Yeah. It it's easy to do.
[00:07:00] And, and as, as parents sometimes it, it will require sometimes we have to say no to certain things. Like my, my kids would've been involved in 10 things each if we would've let them. And, and we kind of, at times had to go, you're gonna have to pick one or two of your favorite and not 10 things that were.
[00:07:18] Constantly, either taking you two or whatever. Cause we wanted to be supportive. We were just like every other parents, we wanted to attend anything they had, but there does come a time where you have to go, we're gonna have to slow up a little bit because we're not getting any time as a family uh, because we're doing six different sports or whatever it is.
[00:07:35] And, and it is tough. And so it does take, be an intent.
[00:07:38] Natalie: Yeah. What other advice do you have for couples or for families that maybe you would've changed or that you, I know you work with thousands of people. So what their advice or success stories do you have that we can all learn
[00:07:51] Trey: from?
[00:08:19] Trey: Can I tell a little bit about coffee time for a second?
[00:08:24] Mm-hmm what, what, another thing we have done, we have, our marriage is not perfect. Our family is not perfect, but looking back, one of the things that we look at now that we did well on. and it was purely accidental was we had, I had a job. My job allowed me to pick up my, my boys from school. We had four boys and I would oftentimes if she had a toddler or even if she didn't, I'd say, let me pick the boys up.
[00:08:50] I'd like to check in, see how their day was. I'll drop them off at the house and I'll go back to work. My job allowed me to do that. And. This was early in marriage. And I would ask her, I said, Hey, can you put on some coffee for me? Because I would love to take a cup of coffee with me back this afternoon to the office.
[00:09:07] And after about two or three weeks of this, Lee said, if I made coffee and drank a cup with you, would you take a few moments and have coffee with me? And I said, sure, I've got 20, 30 minutes. Well, probably for the past 25 years. Every afternoon, about three 30, because that's when we picked up kids, we kind of got in a habit of somebody builds a pot of coffee and we have a cup of coffee together.
[00:09:32] And that was our time. We kind of found ourself, you know, if the kids were all playing Xbox in the living room, we'd go to the bedroom. It was our time to just kind of reconnect. And ask about one another schedules about how work was going,