Rule 081 | Talking Things Out Can't Fix Broken Furniture

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Whether it’s broken furniture or the deconstruction of someone’s faith, The Peppers always try to take an approach that is as forgiving as possible.

Thanks to PrepDish, Minted + Songfinch for making this episode possible! Click right here to learn more about our sponsors and head to our site for more info about how to support the show.


QUICK BITES:

  • Sadly, our annual end-of-the-year purge resulted in a heartbreaking smash of broken glass.

  • Curious about what the broken table might sell for? Prepare to have your jaw drop open here and then please come help scrape Jessie off the floor.  

  • Our affinity for Craigslist runs several seasons deep. Proof: The infamous Goodwill armoire + our usual pre-move prep.

  • Episode 73 will explain why Sadie is hard to calm down when Jessie is around.

  • Spite cleaning. Is that a thing?

  • Haste makes waste, especially when it comes to glass. An homage to Ep 44: Wine glasses are not meant to be washed by hand.

  • Our time together is short these days, and that makes every conversation feel too precious for arguing.

  • Jessie’s spiritual life has been transformed by the book Centering Prayer And Inner Awakening by Cynthia Bourgeault.

  • Welcoming Prayer involves these three steps: identifying your emotion, welcoming the emotion, and then letting the emotion go.

  • Looking for a cool coffee shop in downtown KC? Say hey to our friends at Monarch, and please be sure to tell them we sent you.

  • Gerard brings up his updated stance on pacifism and you can hear us talk more about it in Episode 49: Pacifists Fight With Puns Not Guns.

  • Listen to the Liturgist podcast episode about mysticism to hear what inspired Jessie’s extra dose of insight.

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. Is there a favorite book that you find yourself regularly recommending to others?

  2. Which piece of furniture in your house holds the strongest sentimental value?

  3. Do you think it’s possible to forgive someone before they’ve apologized for their misstep?

  4. Have you ever been hurt by what Gerard labels ‘reckless faith’?


Rule 080 | Don't Forget To Have Your Thing Checked

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Jessie is concerned about the health of the family car while Gerard is wishing that she’d buck up and take care of it herself. With additional hardware issues to solve at home, the Peppers admittedly have some tech troubleshooting to do.

Thanks to PrepDish, Songfinch + our own Great Love Goods for making this episode possible! Click right here to learn more about our sponsors and head to our site for more info about how to support the show.

QUICK BITES:

  • A quick read for anyone who is curious about the epic downfall of the mighty Saab.

  • Jessie borrowed the “damsel” slogan from one of her favorite podcasts called You Made It Weird.

  • Our strong phone preferences have been previously documented and the individual assertions still stand.

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. Who feels more comfortable handling mechanical issues at home: you or your partner?

  2. Have you ever been talked-down-to by someone who was hired to help with a technical task?

  3. Can you think of any chores that you typically prefer to do with your partner’s help?

Rule 079 | Stay Away From Unmarked Bottles Of Hot Sauce

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The Peppers are finally whipping up some homemade hot sauce for their neighborhood Christmas gifts this year. Gerard wants to invent his very own recipe and Jessie is having deja vu about the last time they took a stab at it. Once you listen to this week’s show, be sure to check out the launch of our latest project called Let’s Taco ‘Bout God!

Thanks to PrepDish + Songfinch for making this episode possible! Click right here to learn more about our sponsors and head to our site for more info about how to support the show.

QUICK BITES:

  • You’re probably not surprised by how much The Peppers LOVE hot sauce. We talked about it on the show a few years ago, and now Gerard is ready to give it another shot.

  • Gerard wants to use this recipe, but hopes that Jessie can add her own dose of creative flavor. Sounds like grilled pineapple is going to be the secret ingredient, which means that G will have to do the taste testing all by himself.

  • Jessie’s sugar-free grain-free granola is a seasonal adaptation of this simple recipe.

  • Become a hot sauce ninja by keeping these tiny cholula packets nearby at all times.

  • Curious about the official scoville rating system? Check out this handy chart to keep your spice levels in check.  

  • Check out the launch of Gerard’s latest project! It’s called Let’s Taco ‘Bout God and you won’t want to miss it.

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. If you could deliver one thing to your neighbors for a holiday gift, what would it be?

  2. How do you feel about the art of re-gifting?

  3. What is the spiciest thing that you’ve ever eaten?

Rule 078 | Always Keep A Plunger Within Arms Reach

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A special episode of Marriage is Funny where The Peppers talk all about houseguests having them, being them + what to do when they take over your lives from now until January 1st. Gerard + Jessie give some helpful tips when it comes to managing expectations, and making your home a great place to host guests.

Thanks to PrepDish, Ritual + Zola or making this episode possible! Click right here to learn more about our sponsors and head to our site for more info about how to support the show.


QUICK BITES:

  • The Peppers have simplified their holiday plans by letting things fall into place around the plans of other family members.

  • We gave a rundown of our usual Thanksgiving approach in last years episode: Rule 066 | Spontaneous Combustion Is No Laughing Matter.

  • We no longer have the “Friendsgiving” excuse for not being with our own families around the holidays, and now have to be a bit more careful about hurting the feelings of our own parents.

  • One way to alleviate “Family FOMO” is to make sure that the partner who’s away from their family during a holiday gets some extra TLC by choosing at least a few of the holiday traditions.

  • Being regular houseguests has helped us learn how to be better hosts. We have a handful of favorite things about staying with friends + family, so take a listen to the comprehensive list as a way to make your home an extra cozy nest for guests.


Houseguest-HOSTING TIPS from the Peppers

  1. Comfy cozy bed. Fill your duvet covers with TWO comforters to make things extra luxurious.

  2. Temperature control. Let your guests have their say with the thermostat.

  3. Coffee Set-up. Everyone has a strong opinion about this one, but supplying the caffeine basics will make a significant difference.

  4. Give A Grand Tour. Bathrooms, parking, entrances, kitchen cupboards, etc.

  5. Water Access. Give a head’s up on things like faucets, filters, or bottled.

  6. Wi-fi Log In. Put the network name and password in a prominent place.

  7. Plunger Placement. Bathroom supplies should be easy to find and fully stocked at all times.

  8. Room Layout. Don’t clutter the space with too much of your own stuff.

  9. Preferred Linens. Decent sheets + towels go a very long way.

Gerard’s Holiday Family-Time Playbook

  1. The Traditional Trade — Alternating years and/or actual occasions. Use the predictability of it to manage expectations.

  2. The Marathon — Hitting all houses and invites in order to make everyone happy. Bonus points if you get pie at every stop.

  3. The Wild Card — Do whatever the hell you want and don’t worry too much about breaking tradition. Perfect opportunity for visiting friends or taking a private vacation, but deliver the news carefully to avoid hurting feelings.

  4. The Home Team Advantage — Become a real adult by hosting the holiday on your own turf. Stay mindful of group dynamics and don’t be surprised by a random mix of people.

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. Have you ever felt “Family FOMO” when spending a holiday away from your parents + siblings?

  2. What are the top three details that you appreciate when being a houseguest?

  3. Do you have any things that you are too grossed out to share with your spouse?

Rule 077 | Things Fall Apart When Priorities Get Out Of Place

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The Peppers decide to go rogue by getting serious and breaking some rules. Gerard claims that his full plate has left no room for quality time, while Jessie admits that she’s been craving connection amidst a dry spell. This episode is a very honest look at how to (barely) survive a difficult season of marriage.

Thanks to PrepDish, Minted + Follain or making this episode possible! Click right here to learn more about our sponsors and head to our site for more info about how to support the show.

QUICK BITES:

  • Jump way back to Episode 1 to hear how our nearly-broken marriage inspired us to start this show in the first place.

  • Having support from the original Great Love Gangsters has been one of the things that has ultimately kept us going. We would love to connect you with your own crew of couples, so sign up right here to get involved!

  • We’ve talked about busy work schedules before and you can listen back to Episode 56 for some context.

  • Gerard hasn’t always been a workaholic, but he now understands the danger of stepping foot on the slippery slope.

  • Shared projects are important to us, but sometimes the timing tends to backfire if both partners aren’t on the same page. Back in Episode 37, we talk about creating and serving and encouraging others together, but protecting quality time is always our first priority.

  • We’ve reached the homestretch when it comes to busy schedules, and holding on a little longer is the only hope we have!

  • Our past experiences with seeing professional counselors have not gone as well as you might think… Feel free to listen to the story of The Narcoleptic Therapist right here.

  • Throughout this episode, we discovered a handful of phrases that help when said to your partner... “I miss you.” / “We can do this.” / “I want to be better.” (Feel free to steal your favorite or use all three.)

  • Jessie sneaks up on Gerard all the time and you can follow along with the shenanigans over on IG stories.

Jessie’s Tips For Following Through On Projects:

  1. Test for success before you invest.

  2. Know when a project should be shelved for later.

  3. Give yourself grace when something fails.

  4. Having an outside voice provides perspective.

How to talk to difficult people about politics:
(AKA Our Re-do from Episode 75)

  • Do your research about both sides of the issue.

  • Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

  • Learn how to present a compelling argument.

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. What is one way that you and your partner could connect with each other through playfulness this week?

  2. How many hours did you and your spend working and/or parenting this week? How does that compare with the time you’ve spent focusing on your spouse?

  3. Do you and your partner have another couple who you can ask for prayer or advice or encouragement when things get tough?

Rule 076 | Mystery Is Meant To Keep Marriage Alive

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Jessie accidentally hops on the “true crime” bandwagon and Gerard agrees that some of their media consumption is concerning. In this episode, The Peppers discuss everything from sex to drugs to murder, so you may not want to listen with your kids in the room.

Thanks to PrepDish, Minted + Audible or making this episode possible! Click right here to learn more about our sponsors and head to our site for more info about how to support the show.

QUICK BITES:

  • So many true crime mentions from this episode: Serial, NBC’s Dateline, Dirty John, and many more!

  • Haven’t caught up on The Pepper’s cross-country trip? Check out Episode 10 to hear about our coast to coast adventure!

  • Jessie has talked about her skittish nature on the show before. Episode 27 was when we documented her mild paranoia and the drama that ensued after she dove through a window.

  • Connie Britton is Jessie’s crush of the week.

  • Take a look at the Peppers neighborhood by watching Dexter + CSI: Miami!

  • Bravo is launching a new scripted series called Dirty John (based on the popular podcast) and some of the taping took place on our very block!

  • My Favorite Murder is one of the leading true crime podcasts that Jessie mentions, much to Gerard’s dismay.

  • This article inspired the original Dirty John deep-dive and was written for the Los Angeles Times by Christopher Goffard.

  • The Girl On The Train + Gone Girl are two of the books that increased Jessie’s appetite for mystery.

  • Grab the Overdrive app to read your LIbrary’s books for free!

  • Making A Murderer is Gerard’s exception when it comes to true crime TV that features blood or gore. Fictional shows are another story, and in this category he has watched The Sinner, Yellowstone, Breaking Bad + House of Cards.

  • The Peppers both enjoyed Weeds + Ozark which we promise are only coincidentally about drugs.

  • We last discussed our distinct TV preferences back in Episode 56. (The front runner is still a show called Big Little Lies: a mini series based on the book by Liane Moriarty.)


TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. What is the best mystery you’ve ever read?

  2. Have you ever gotten sucked into a show, series or book about something dark or disturbing?

  3. Do you ever feel concerned about the kinds of media that your partner consumes?

Rule 075 | All Is Fair In Love And Politics

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We’re talking about politics and it’s just in time for the midterm elections. Facebook-Gerard is glad to be back but Uncensored-Jessie is unsure about his arrival. Social media may cause a sense of split-personalities but apparently, it’s even harder to for these two to agree on important condiment decisions as a family.

Thanks to PrepDish + Season for making this episode possible! Click right here to learn more about our sponsors and head to our site for more info about how to support the show.

QUICK BITES:

  • It’s high time to revisit some of the things that we talked about in Episode 27. (Pretty funny to the last time we tried to tackle a similar subject, pre-Trump.)

  • Gerard explains how digiphrenia has been a very real experience for him. If you’d like to learn more, we recommend the book Present Shock by Douglas Rushkoff.

  • The infamous FB post has since been deleted, but Gerard’s sentiment remains the same and Jessie happens to agree.

  • Tearing down someone’s character is an unfair and ineffective way to win an argument online. (Especially if you’re attacking someone who is married to a collegiate-champion debate captain.)

  • We’re looking for ways to have real-life chats with people about what they believe, but we promise not to ruin the evening if you end up having us over for dinner.

  • Pacifism resurfaces in the form of a lurking husband that is covered in camouflage... We talked about this last (minus the weeds and the machete) back in Episode 49.

  • Gerard’s edgy approach to twitter has created conflict in our midst and it’s something that that gets Jessie riled up about, even after a full year has passed.

  • The podcast called “I love you, but I hate your politics” has been broadening our perspective of what it means to love someone who may be on the opposite side of the aisle.

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. Who’s more political on social media -- you or your partner?

  2. How does it make you feel when your partner posts about something online that you happen to disagree with?

  3. Have you ever made a joke (either in person or online) that got taken out of context?

Rule 074 | Venting Is The Best Way To Let Out Hot Air

The Peppers discuss the distinct value of having a group of friends who can love you despite the occasional need for an honest debrief. Gerard asserts that drinking scotch with dudes makes a great backdrop for discussing scripture* while Jessie agrees that having close friendships are a key element to the pursuit of Great Love. Their conversation proves that gender stereotypes do not matter when it comes to communication and despite some overanalyzing, the two learn a ton from completing the full-loop together.

*No confidentiality codes were harmed in the making of this episode.

Thanks to PrepDish, Ritual + Follain for making this episode possible! Click right here to learn more about our sponsors and head to our site for more info about how to support the show.


QUICK BITES:

  • Jessie + Gerard have very different approaches when it comes to walking into a party. Take the Strengthsfinder test to find out if you’re a woo or a relator.

  • Men deal with chronic loneliness more than most people might think. Gerard referenced this piece about masculinity after telling about the men’s retreat that he went on with our church. → “What’s the problem with men in America?”

  • Venting is not an excuse to slap the other person across the face with an insult, it’s about releasing of internal pressure and understanding each other more fully.

  • Take a peek at the full definition of the term triangulation to find out if it could be something that happens in your own marriage.

  • Jessie is a stickler for restaurant service, but she sometimes needs some help when it comes to speaking her mind.

  • Gerard vents his work frustrations when he gets home from work, and Jessie is keen to let him so that they can get it out of the way and get on with their evenings.

  • Using a protective forcefield is key when your partner needs to share but you don’t want your feelings to get hurt. Whether it’s a preface or a footnote: give your partner a head’s up before you launch into a diatribe.

  • Being honest with each other about faith has been something that tends to trip us up when it comes to venting. Waiting until the other person is open to receiving the feedback is the only way we’ve been able to navigate this space, but it’s tempting to blurt things out before your partner is ready to talk.

  • We loved reading The Zim Zum of Love to get a better idea of the connection between us... The idea is this: Marriage is like a magnetic force that deserves to be protected.


TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. Do you consider yourself to be more of a woo or a relator?

  2. If the the wrong meal gets delivered to you at a restaurant, are you more likely to send back your food or just eat it anyway?

  3. How would you describe the difference between venting and complaining?

  4. Who are the people in your life that provide space for accountability and emotional safety?

Rule 073 | Sympathy Pains Can Lead To Sympathy Problems

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This week, Gerard + Jessie learn that sympathy pains can extend from partner to partner, as well as from person to pet. Appliance anxiety causes destruction at Casa de Pepper and the whole family is shocked that no one actually got shocked. Depression isn’t always easy to talk about, but it’s important to tell your spouse how you feel for the sake of boosting the overall (mental) health of the marriage.

Thanks to PrepDish, Thrive Market + Amazon for making this episode possible! Click right here to learn more about our sponsors and head to our site for more info about how to support the show.


QUICK BITES:

  • Jessie and Sadie suffer from sympathy pains in everything from back pain to misophonia to general anxiety.

  • We are trying to figure out the best ways to keep our girl calm, and these herbal pills and CBD drops are starting to help. We loved this podcast episode about separation anxiety and are thinking about getting Sadie a thundershirt for any noisy holiday nights.

  • Jessie is pumped about the new Thrive Market clean wines + Gerard gets on board with the sustainable meat + seafood section!

  • Sadie’s anxiety started with Summer fireworks, but we’re hoping that it stops at the infamous attack of our air conditioning unit.

  • The Peppers try to decide if electricity can scramble someone’s mental health. Are there any scientists in the audience who would like to weigh in?

  • Jessie shares about her struggles with anxiety + depression and wants the Gang to know that they can find hope in healing. Three things that have helped with her own personal progress: Studying self awareness, designing her life around alignment, and embracing spirituality in a wholehearted way.

  • Please be careful of adverse reactions in pet vaccines! This has happened to us twice, and thankfully never resulted in the loss of any furbabies. (A related warning to our local friends: Don’t EVER take your animals to the Long Beach ER Vet on PCH + Ximeno.)

  • Jessie’s new Amazon-fueled guilty pleasures: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and sugar-free dark chocolate chips.

  • A Henri Nouwen quote that is encouraging us this week: “As soon as we feel at home in our own house, discovering the dark corners as well as the light spots, the closed doors as well as the drafty rooms, our confusion will evaporate and our anxiety will diminish and we will then become capable of creative work.” -- From The Wounded Healer.

  • The podcast Jen Gotch is OK… Sometimes is a great resource if you’d like to listen to someone share their personal experience, and she also gives tons of info and resources about mental health.

  • For anyone who’s been told, “If you’re sad, just pray about it,” we are here to assure you that God is fully ready and willing to sit with you in your pain. Jessie has taken a deep look at how her sense of spirituality helps her operate in the world, and this approach has made a significant difference in her overall wellbeing.

  • Gerard describes his experience of worry and stress and how they both pertain to his own emotions. There are distinct differences between anxiety and depression, especially when it comes to clinical and situational settings.

  • Knowing how to support your partner during a difficult time is the key to pulling through the depths together, in one piece. Jessie learns that her attempt at coaching Gerard is not always well-received, so The Peppers get honest about what either one wants when they happen to be feeling low.

  • Jessie is a big fan of practicing gratitude daily and has evidence to show as to why it helps keep anxiety at bay. TLDR: Filling your brain with good stuff will leave less room for the things that brings you stress.

  • This week’s MIF Mailbag highlights a listener question about how to support your spouse during a bout of depression… Gerard relies on something that we call “redirection” and it’s become a very effective tool to help pull someone out of a funk.

  • Distraction Disclaimer: This is not the same as avoiding or ignoring your problems, and it’s far more about giving the other person the choice to get pulled out of their “well” as you help them climb up to safety.

  • The bottom line is that asking your partner, “What do you need in this moment?” is often the best way to find out which way to go next.

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

1.) Do you ever get sympathy pains when your partner is uncomfortable?

2.) Have you ever tried a gratitude practice? Do you believe that it would help you in a moment of stress?

3.) What do you typically want or need from your spouse when you’re feeling down in the dumps?

Rule 072 | Your Memory Might Not Be As Strong As You Think

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This week, The Peppers learn that it’s hard to claim accuracy if you can’t quite remember the details. Gerard admits to correcting Jessie more than he should and Jessie admits that she only exaggerates when it’s truly necessary.

Thanks to PrepDish, Thrive Market + RXBAR for making this episode possible! Click right here to learn more about our sponsors and head over to our site for more info about how to support the show.

EXTRA NOTE: We are donating all of the profits from this episode to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Feel free to join us if this cause is also near to your heart!

QUICK BITES:

  • Jessie is closely following the career of Brian Williams. His career may be tarnished, but her admiration is unwavering.

  • Check out the clip of that fateful Letterman episode here. (Jessie cannot watch without hiding her eyes.)

  • Sneak a peek of the new photos we took with Christa and be sure to check out her work if you’re local!

  • The Peppers cannot seem to agree on the details of how they met. Is this a case of basic stubbornness or simply the fading memory of an avid storyteller?

  • Gerard listened to a podcast about memory that is making him question his “flashbulb moments.” This discussion causes both Peppers to ponder how our memories change as we get farther away from them.

  • Envelopes = danger. Licking them is a sticky business.

  • Alzheimers is a real bitch. Donate here to support research for a cure. We’re giving all the proceeds from this episode and would love to have you join us!

  • Listen to Malcolm Gladwell’s “Free Brian Williams” episode of Revisionist History.

  • The Notebook opened the floodgates of Jessie’s tearducts and Gerard has been puzzled about this for the past 13 years.

MIF MAILBAG:

This week we share tips about moving houses with your spouse! Hiring movers, how to pack, and who to call when you’re up to your ears in boxes.

Listen to past episodes about furniture and purging for extra suggestions and we’ll try to share a house tour over on instastories soon!

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

  1. How long do you have to know somebody before you consider them a true friend?

  2. Do you and your partner agree on all the details of your wedding? Guest count, dinner menu, playlist, etc?

  3. Can you remember what your partner was wearing the first time you both met?

Rule 071 | Fancy Knives Make Happy Wives

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The Peppers are spicing things up in the kitchen while also trying to save up for some serious upgrades. Jessie insists that cooking shows are what keep her feeling inspired and Gerard admits their new diet is improving his cooking and his confidence!

Thanks to PrepDish, Casper + Amazon for making this episode possible! Find out more about our amazing sponsors right here.


QUICK BITES:

  • Gerard wants Jessie to be a contestant on Masterchef, but Jessie fears that her baking insufficiencies (among other things) will prevent her from making it to the first cut.

  • Jessie shamelessly admits to her plan for trying to befriend Joe Bastianich as a way to get to his mother.

  • Gerard is proud that his wife is doing her research before making a big purchase. Time to bust out the Consumer Reports in order to get the best deals on a new appliance!

  • We learn that Amazon is the best place to buy a new appliance… Who knew?!

  • Jessie shares three tips for stove shopping: Try before you buy, always ask for a price cut (obv), and avoid the warranty by purchasing a nicer model to begin with.

  • Here is the fancy SMEG oven that is worth daydreaming about.

  • Jessie is an aggressive saver if she has a goal to aim for, while Gerard likes to gradually set money aside so that he can shop whenever he feels like it.

  • We’re obsessed with our new Misen cooking knives.

  • Gerard shows off his proficiency for imitating The Swedish Chef.

  • PrepDish is making us both feel more confident in the kitchen, while Primal Blueprint is revving up our metabolisms and making us more conscious of what we eat.

  • It’s true that switching things up in the kitchen is a great way to increase your creativity throughout the day!

  • We couldn’t live without our bulletproof coffee in the morning… Gerard uses grass-fed ghee + Jessie blends hers with MCT oil. The help of a new immersion blender has drastically changed the deliciousness of both!

  • We are bringing back the MIF Mailbag segment so send in your questions if you want us to answer them on the air! This week, we chat about keeping “the cushion” healthy and also share some thoughts about welcoming a new child into the home.

TRIGGER QUESTIONS:

1.) Who is your all-time favorite person to cook with in the kitchen?

2.) Are you more likely to splurge for an appliance warranty OR spend more upfront on a more reliable option?

3.) What is the one kitchen gadget that you would not be able to live without?

Don’t forget to share this episode with your favorite married friends and be sure to tag us on social media while you listen!