MindForce: Mental Fitness & Career Stories!

Power Couple Wisdom: Larry and Holly Jones on Thriving through Love, Life, and Learning

December 20, 2023 Nathaniel Scheer Season 1 Episode 11
MindForce: Mental Fitness & Career Stories!
Power Couple Wisdom: Larry and Holly Jones on Thriving through Love, Life, and Learning
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Ever thought what it takes to thrive as a power couple amidst life's many challenges? Join us as we open up a heart-to-heart conversation with the formidable Joneses - Larry and Holly - who've not only mastered the art of mental fitness, but also built an enviable partnership. From their serendipitous college encounter and a love that weathered a rocky episode, to finding each other again in the wake of an accident, their journey is an inspiring testament to the power of resilience.

Love is a marathon, not a sprint - a wisdom the Joneses have internalized in their 11 years of marriage. As they reveal the trials and triumphs of navigating a relationship while juggling demanding careers, you'll learn the true essence of a balanced marriage. They'll also shed light on the often misunderstood phenomenon of the 'seven-year itch', demystifying it not as a time-bound event, but as a unique opportunity to delve deeper into understanding and responding to each other's needs.

But life is nothing if not unpredictable. The Joneses talk about the rollercoaster ride of moving overseas during the tricky times of the COVID-19 pandemic and how they adjusted their sails to accommodate their precious new additions - their kids. As they share their wisdom on maintaining personal space within a busy family life, and the importance of fighting fair, you'll walk away with insights that can enrich your own relationships. So, buckle up for this enlightening journey, rich with lessons on love, life, and learning.

Scheerious Positivity!

Nate Scheer:

Welcome to Mind Matters where your mind matters the podcast for love, life and learning. Today we have a wonderful couple on the Joneses. This is a power couple for mental fitness. We have a chaplain who can take care of all your spiritual and other needs and a wonderful social worker that can take care of a bunch of other mental health issues. What a dynamic duo. Welcome to the show.

Holly Jones:

Thank you.

Nate Scheer:

This is going to be a great podcast. Today we're going to go over kind of their story and some of the lessons about life, kids, marriage lots of fun topics today so we're going to dive into it. Very first is their story.

Holly Jones:

Oh, that's good. That's good stuff. So I like this part because there's my story. That's the truth. And then there's his story, and it's filled with lies. So we met in college, at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, oklahoma, in 2001. And that was when love blossomed for my husband, that beautiful day. And then we just became friends after that because I was like nah son.

Larry Jones:

We went on a horrible date. It was a horrible date. She was the reason why the date was so bad.

Holly Jones:

I was the reason. See, that's not a bad story.

Nate Scheer:

Anyway, is this the definition of where friends zone started? Yes, oh, absolutely.

Holly Jones:

Because I didn't want to date him. I was interested in the older man and he was not interested in me, so but Larry and I became besties. He was my lair bear and he started calling me some silly name, because apparently Holly is not a real name to him.

Larry Jones:

It's short for something. Yeah, it's name for a flower Like.

Holly Jones:

Larry is short for something, but he said Holly was short for Hellendria.

Nate Scheer:

Yeah, I don't think anybody knows that, so I silly answered to that.

Holly Jones:

It's really ridiculous that I did that. Anyway we graduated the same year, 2005. And he went back to Richmond. I stayed in Tulsa a little longer, by 06 or 7, we lost contact because he cut me off and then I couldn't continue to support her because she had been in love with me for such a long time. It's ridiculous.

Larry Jones:

Everyone knew it, including her best friend. They all knew that she loved me, and so I had to stop that.

Nate Scheer:

Yeah, If the best friend knew it was for sure.

Larry Jones:

Yeah, I needed her to live her life. I didn't want her to be pining for me for years.

Holly Jones:

Yeah, that's what I was doing.

Larry Jones:

Anyway.

Holly Jones:

So then, I think a year and a half or something went by and his crazy girlfriend reached out. Crazy girlfriend at the time, was it still?

Larry Jones:

dating. Anyway, I think she was a girl.

Holly Jones:

Connected to his last girlfriend, and then the last girlfriend reached out to me.

Larry Jones:

Because, she knew that we were really close friends during.

Holly Jones:

And then reconnected us.

Larry Jones:

Yeah, so it's her fault that she's not married right now.

Nate Scheer:

Wow, the ex of an ex who's a matchmaker. I hope she doesn't list to this poor girl, anyway.

Holly Jones:

So yeah, maloy, and Behold 2008.

Larry Jones:

It was 2009.

Holly Jones:

2009. Sorry, 2008 car accident. 2009. Reconnected with this guy in March yeah, after Mardi Gras. I had just gotten back from Mardi Gras with my family and, sure enough, it was a pleasant surprise to chat it up with him. And, sure enough, by December of 2009, he asked me to be his last girlfriend, mm-hmm. So, oh guys.

Nate Scheer:

Yeah, yeah.

Holly Jones:

So that was the start of a beautiful everything that is today.

Nate Scheer:

And that is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but it.

Holly Jones:

That's mostly true, oh you see, I told you all my story With the parts that I added in, because that's not why.

Nate Scheer:

So, what happened with the car accident? Who was that with?

Holly Jones:

Oh, I was in Washington state. We had just had a bad ice storm, a snowstorm, and I was heading back out to work I think it was a nice little freeze over the night before and I hit black guy. Somebody cut me off, terrible lady Cut me off and so I flipped my car a couple of times. I flipped it About five-ish times and went right to a ditch. So the good thing was that a couple who was getting ticketed on the other side spotted my car flipping and was interrupted the police. It was like sir, did you not see that car?

Nate Scheer:

I know this ticket is important and all, but there's someone dying over there.

Holly Jones:

There's someone dying, ok, yeah so he ended up calling it in. And then, yeah, I found my phone and I was on the phone with my best friend and she was like Holly, holly, and so I pick up my phone. I was like I'm going to call you back. I just got a car accident. And she was like oh my gosh, and so I don't know who I called. I think I was about to call work and say hey, I'm going to be late. But she called my mom, so she did a better job than me and my mom got there really fast.

Nate Scheer:

That's crazy. You make it out with out any inner juries, just scratches.

Holly Jones:

Wow.

Nate Scheer:

Yeah.

Holly Jones:

God is good.

Nate Scheer:

That is a blessing.

Holly Jones:

Yeah.

Nate Scheer:

OK, larry, last chance for a few extra plugs for the story, or is that it?

Larry Jones:

I mean, that's mostly true. I do remember that the weekend that we actually reconnected was a race weekend for me, and so I was working through the process of getting my professional racing license, and so, of course, things have to do. My car had a sway bar snap, and so I was out for the rest of the weekend on like Saturday midday. So, I've lost a lot of money, but I decided, since I had some extra time, I would give her a call and apparently that was the first time that I'd ever called her on a weekend.

Holly Jones:

And so that stood out to her. We were Monday through Thursday friends.

Larry Jones:

So it stood out to her, and that's one of the reasons why things got more serious. Because I actually made that phone call on the weekend.

Nate Scheer:

So a solid chunk of metal that goes across your car. Yeah, how does that snap?

Larry Jones:

Yeah, right, so I was going through a right-hander right angle and at about 90, like a 90-mile-an-hour right-hand turn, into a back straight. You easily hit like 130, 140 on it, and so I felt I'm going through the turn, I feel it, things get different and I start hearing that metal Doing this thing and so I'm like, oh, it's probably a good, yeah, it was a good, a good time to do that.

Nate Scheer:

Oh, sounds like double blessing going on indeed.

Larry Jones:

Yeah, it could have got a lot worse. A lot of guys had a rough time in that same corner that we can it's so funny.

Holly Jones:

He took a picture of it and I was like you should have kept it so we could hang it up above our. Yeah kids, if it wasn't for the sway bar, you wouldn't be here.

Nate Scheer:

That's awesome. Well, it sounds like a great story, lots of blessings and things that were meant to be. Next part we're gonna go into Pet peeves to either of you have pet peeves, none or unknown.

Larry Jones:

Known or unknown hmm, I Know what mine is. Oh, okay, is it?

Holly Jones:

is it your pet peeves for yourself?

Larry Jones:

No, it's definitely.

Holly Jones:

My one trade lightly, sir. Um. So I'll I'll say I used to have pet peeves where he Would not pick up his stuff like and here's the catch, that the catches that he still does it today. So, he rolls his socks off his feet and then where he takes them off is where they live, mmm, until someone collects them. And usually now I let him do it. But I used to be so angry to clean up behind him and now I just let him do it because, hey, you made choices. I'll be washing these clothes, but these won't get clean cuz you put them where you put them.

Larry Jones:

I must have a lot of different pet peeves. I feel like every year there's a different one that I didn't know about, so I'm just learning about this the same time you.

Holly Jones:

I've totally said this, so no, no.

Nate Scheer:

I was just saying on tiktok, she saw a thing about how all males Don't put the clothes in the hamper, but right next to it, yeah, you don't do that. And then she looked down. Sure enough, they're right there. It's funny, though, because I feel like it always has a reason right, there's always a reason.

Holly Jones:

I don't know what that would be like. I got to me for me.

Nate Scheer:

We wear the uniform all day.

Holly Jones:

Yes so.

Nate Scheer:

I get to wear clothes for three hours. Yeah, a lot of times those are put on the floor on a strategic position to be worn later because they're not.

Holly Jones:

Dirty.

Nate Scheer:

Sitting chilling, but I probably should put them folded or some other place. But like, I have a reason and you already have a system, so yeah, you know why change it if it on the floor next to the bed on my side is the clean kind of dirty, but not dirty sounds logical.

Larry Jones:

Hmm, yes, yes of course to Larry what do you got, oh boy so mine has been the same Probably for a long time. So, as I stated earlier, I was going through. Oh boy.

Holly Jones:

Yeah, that's it.

Larry Jones:

I stated earlier that I was going for my race license right, and so one of the things that I feel like I'm pretty decent at is driving. I'm very confident in my ability to handle a vehicle, but this woman here Ensures that I know everything that is going on around me. That light is green. Don't hit that guy. There's a parking space.

Holly Jones:

So I now I assist you said this big bar in free money my way that was the old car.

Larry Jones:

None of these new ones have issues. I have these little windows now it's, it's all good. So, yeah, I Pretty much am told how to drive Very regular basis.

Holly Jones:

I try to stop. I think that's something to tell. Show me that he can't see I.

Nate Scheer:

Think the best part is when the person that's assisting you with the driving makes you extra nervous and yeah, the problem worse, yeah, and so is the oh.

Holly Jones:

Oh yeah, it's always, that's what causes the right, there was no like something that you're familiar with.

Nate Scheer:

It's like I was good and tell that ex-exple nation. It was all crazy, but okay, so we've got a pet peeve on either side. Do you guys do anything to help mitigate, or you guys kind of just rockin, living with it? It sounds like.

Holly Jones:

I think, like he said, he voices his dread of me giving him feedback during his driving.

Nate Scheer:

Yes, yes and so.

Holly Jones:

I. I tried to hold it back. I try to rain it in absolutely. Oh that's nice, I try, and then when I don't, it's because I've forgotten.

Nate Scheer:

I feel like you're gonna die.

Holly Jones:

Thank you, or my foot is already stepping on the break and the imaginary one on yours.

Nate Scheer:

I love that one. Mm-hmm yeah cars in us Driver's Ed where they have the extra one. Oh, let's just do that in all cars.

Holly Jones:

It's interactive.

Nate Scheer:

I get to play to him.

Holly Jones:

But yeah, I think I've adjusted by literally. He'll get tired of those socks there one day and then Good stuff next up.

Nate Scheer:

We got Expectations over your wonderful 11 years of marriage. What are some of the expectations that have kind of changed?

Holly Jones:

So for me, I think, when we got married, I was Definitely thinking oh my goodness, my Chilverous husband has arrived and he will mow the lawn, take out the trash, he'll fix cars in the driveway, he'll also wash the cars and then he'll go fill them up with gas and he all of this stuff, right, because he's gonna take care of everything and I'll just, you know, be Susie and keep house inside, you know, except for cooking. Don't ask me to cook, we're ordering anyway. The expectation, right, has adjusted from that, because now I Am like, oh, he forgot the trash. So instead of me getting angry, I'm grabbing the trash on my way out the house, right, I am doubling back just in case recycle was forgotten, you know, cuz they're so back-to-back, right, and so on. It's less probably stress on him, because he didn't even know that I had an expectation of such. We went through marital counseling when we first uh, pre-marital counseling, right, and I think they were talking about expectations and and my expectation was that he knew my expectations and so I was like to be expected on reading minds.

Larry Jones:

Yeah, why?

Holly Jones:

would you not know what I? Yeah, why can't you read my mind?

Larry Jones:

Why don't you know?

Holly Jones:

Right, but um definitely discovered that I needed to adjust and participate where he just wasn't. He wasn't. Um, probably feeling the exact same way, like I think, definitely think that he is all about taking care of the cars. Right, he's gonna make sure that my beautiful headlights were replaced. Glory, I look amazing driving down the road now and that makes a big difference. Right, I let him do what he does best, and that's definitely care for the cars. But everything else, I've been able to say what I need from him rather than just expect him to do it.

Nate Scheer:

And especially with you both working. I think that's another big thing. I think a lot of times we have the older style of stay-at-home mom or you know whatever that may look like. But now that a lot more people are both working, then a lot more stuff has to be divvied up, shared and hopefully into things that people enjoy. I know we both hate the laundry, so that kind of sucks, so no one wants to do that one, but that's ironic. If there is stuff that one actually enjoys, that's interesting, larry.

Larry Jones:

Yeah. So actually it's fun that you bring up laundry. That's the one thing that I will make sure that I always leave for her because, for whatever reason, she loves it, she enjoys it, it brings her happiness, peace. So I don't touch that and you know I'll wash the dishes. You know try to clean up every now and then around the house and stuff, but she's a bit of a do-it-all, so even if I find something, she will still find something else to do. So it's kind of difficult to to run down the list and knock things out for her, even though I like to try to do that for her. I know she's just going to find another way to busy herself with that time, which is kind of unfortunate. You know I wanted to be able to sit down and relax, but I don't think that's one of the things that that gives her sanctuary. So I think the most important thing with our expectations is we try to regularly have talks about what we need, especially every time we PCS you know what's, you know what's the top of the list right now, because those things change. Like I have a crazy commute now and so I don't get back home as fast as I used to, and so that kind of factors into what time we have available for what and how we, you know, kind of rearrange our lives. So I think every time we PCS we try to attack that again and in between we try to make sure that we're talking to each other, to remember each other and what we, what we need from each other.

Nate Scheer:

Yeah, I think expectations are a really interesting topic and it kind of makes me think, as you guys were talking through some things, even though it's slightly off the topic, but expectations of what marriage is really supposed to look like, because I was previously married didn't quite work out, and so it's interesting because I remember thinking as a kid or growing up, you had Disney and all these ones or like kind of like you had started to talk about the, the person riding in on the white horse and saving the day, and everything was going to be perfect and and whatnot. And so one thing I found in life it seems like it's coming up more and more the last few years is balance, everything is balanced. So my first marriage really had difficult times and we'd, you know, ride to work and back, because we worked in the same office and not even be able to talk, and we had a lot of difficulties and things like that. And I remember thinking, well, this is the way it is, it's just difficult. You know, everyone has challenges and everyone fights and and so it's not until, you know, I met Adriana and, you know, moved on to this new life where it was like this is closer to what it should have been and so, even though we have challenges and ups and downs, it wasn't painful, and so that's where I think it's. It's interesting that you don't know what you're supposed to know because you've never experienced it yet. So that expectation is really difficult. Where it's not going to be roses, it's not going to be, you know, super painful every day, somewhere in the middle, and that balance kind of find in there. So, yeah, kind of interesting knowing the expectation for what right looks like which.

Holly Jones:

I'm sure is some type of balance right in the middle yeah, so you know you're trekking along, but can we ask you questions?

Nate Scheer:

oh, of course yeah so, uh, let's see.

Larry Jones:

Let's see what we got for what we got. Uh, do you know this is wonderful? Uh, do you know your wife's needs and how do you feel those?

Nate Scheer:

absolutely um. So I think this is an ongoing thing, as, uh, you know, we talk about mental fitness, as we have in the other episodes. It's an ongoing thing that never really stops, so I continually try to work on this. She is words of affirmation, uh. So she had, um a difficult childhood and she was told that she was dumb, stupid and a lot of words that I'm not supposed to use. So, uh, censor those. I'll edit um, because they, you know, trigger and they bring up things of being lesser than her whole life, and so the biggest thing for her is, uh, reassurance and things like that, and I'm not as vocal as I should be to fulfill that need, try to work on it. So we've implemented some things, um, a few different things. She has her love box, which is a device that sits on her desk and I can send things to that like kind of like a digital postcard, and so it's just a reminder of uh that she's, you know, doing good and that I love her and things like that. Um, we've also tried um the NFC's, like that same system and thing that you use to scan your credit card at the, the bank or not the bank, the check out at the teller. They have some smaller things of those. It's a small disc, and so she has one at her desk, and then I have one at work and actually, when I place my phone down, it automatically sends her a text. Um, so we do some things to try to fulfill the need and uh game the system a little bit, um, but just making sure that we're remembering to touch base with each other and things like that. Um, but always trying to communicate more and communicate better, because that's uh what she needs. Um, so I'm I'm learning to do that better that's awesome.

Larry Jones:

I like the intentionality in it yeah, it's even set up a system that's that's incredibly uh advanced yeah, what you guys have, but I like linear gpt chat gpt that's awesome man yeah yeah you keep it fresh and didn't down her for what she needed, right?

Holly Jones:

um, so many people will just say, oh, I don't understand that and abandon the thought.

Nate Scheer:

But yeah, it's really interesting. One of my favorite books is fierce conversations by Susan Scott, and one of the things that she uses in the book is called the beach ball effect I think that's what she calls it, hopefully and that's where it's hard to relate to someone else in business, and so a lot of her references are business related, but they're easy to apply across this general life. So in the business aspect the person looks down, they see red because they're standing on the red portion of the ball and they're having a hard time relating and understanding the person that's standing in the green. So in the example I think it's like the person that works in finance versus the person that buys equipment. The person that's in finance is like we can't afford this, is too expensive, and the other person is like, no, I need this, this will help me accomplish my job. But all they're looking down is continue to see their green or red or whatever color it is. They are on the all on, the are on the ball, but if they were to step out and, you know, go into the green when they're the red and understand from their point of view, it really helps them understand. So it's kind of the same concept, just understanding that everyone was raised differently, in completely different backgrounds and will have different needs yeah, that's good so that reminds me of a.

Larry Jones:

There's a psychologist, john Gottman, who talks about love maps and understanding your, your, your spouse, and where they came from and what their childhood was like, the things that were difficult for them, and all that kind of gives you a good basis to understand where they are and how they are as a person. Now, um, like you say, you know the things that are trigger words for her and where that comes from. So it kind of gives you the opportunity to kind of make your um, the way you handle yourself, a little bit more malleable, a little bit more different different from how you might naturally uh operate, just so that you can make sure that you're helping her to feel comfortable and feel like she's in a sanctuary. I think that's awesome absolutely okay.

Nate Scheer:

Well, I'll go back to you for another question and then we'll bounce on one back to me. Uh, next one for you. Uh, what does partnership look like in a marriage?

Larry Jones:

you want to start that one, want me to start that one you can start. So partnership I think that goes back to uh needs a little bit actually. So, um, understanding what I'm good at and what she's good at, and we kind of try to play to those strengths. So if I'm if I'm better at car stuff than I'll handle that. You know, if I'm better at handling finances which we're actually we take that one equally actually. But you know, if I'm better at finances, then I'll make sure that I handle that. But, um, we try to play to our strengths and understand that we are partners in this. If I fail at my side, she fails, and so it would behoove me to do the best that I can do on my stuff because it keeps us healthy. If I fail, she fails, and I can't allow that. So I try to make sure that she also feels supported in the things that she does. So I know she's running off to work, to do all the things that she has to do as a chaplain and be special and be awesome and all this, and I want to make sure that she knows when she comes home she's got somebody in her corner, you know. And so even in what she's doing. I'm still her partner in that, even though I'm not there. You know I try to provide what I can for her when she's still out, so she knows that, hey, she's not in this alone, as much as it might feel like she's the only person in her office at times and she's the only person feeling what she feels. There's still somebody cheering her on and I try to make sure that I remind her of that whenever I can, because I understand what it's like to to deal with stuff, difficult stuff, and feel like you're all by yourself in it. And if we're supposed to be partners, we're supposed to be a team. Then I don't want her to ever feel that way, if at all possible so really partnership just sounds like support right yeah, yeah be in there.

Nate Scheer:

Team, team, it's another good one that's good so what do you have, holly? I'm just gonna cosign partnership on the loan, yeah I had it in team.

Holly Jones:

Yeah, she was good.

Nate Scheer:

I think that's probably the core of that whole thing just being there for each other. And another aspect of that is probably being intentional and asking the question, like kind of we talked about earlier the expectations, knowing what the person wants to know or doesn't want to know. You guys kind of work together on the finances, but other people, I'm sure if it's taking care of it's good. I don't really care, don't really tell me about it, because we talked about different experiences and rays. If finances were always rough, maybe don't want to hear about it, it's squared away, it's taking care of the bills are being paid. I don't want to see the numbers on the page, maybe that's overwhelming to some. So probably just having the conversation on what you do or do not want to hear, and that comes together, because I think there's probably no 50-50, which is one thing that's commonly, I think, misunderstood. We talk about work-life balance, we talk about partnership. They're wanting to see these even balances where it all comes together, but it's probably never like that. It's probably, I'm sure, more of a 45-55 or whatever it may be, either in number of hours or how much effort it takes for different things, as long as you're there for each other? Next question is do you believe in the seven-year itch?

Holly Jones:

I do-ish. So I say that just because I think some people have never heard of it. And so they're just. It doesn't have to be seven years, it could be five years, two years. Someone's getting antsy, but it's because something's missing, that you're not investing, you're not making sure you're being intentional and keeping the fire alive right, If you're not pouring into that relationship, then you're getting exactly what you're putting in out.

Nate Scheer:

Hmm, you gotta keep on dating, right.

Holly Jones:

Yeah, which is difficult when kids come along. Oh children, Half. Of them.

Larry Jones:

they say it's fun.

Nate Scheer:

But absolutely we ended up how many years are you at?

Holly Jones:

This is 11.

Nate Scheer:

11. Oh yeah, we did touch on that in the year back earlier. Okay, 11 years.

Holly Jones:

Yes.

Nate Scheer:

So did you feel that at a seven then?

Holly Jones:

So at seven years I felt like I knew him more that day than I knew him before. Right, I think we've heard couples say I love you more today than ever before. And at that time I think seven years, I think oh, we was in Colorado. So we were at the last assignment at that place and the assignment was just and but Colorado was great. He got to break into his field. He actually joined another car club. He got his dream car. Like literally everything was roses for him and then I felt like I was sinking just in quicksand for three years and it was a challenge. But that didn't stop us from continuously pouring into this relationship. We did a great thing every Valentine's Day we bought books that were just couples' books, I think one of them was a couple's book to read before you go to bed, or other ones were prayers and scriptures to pray over your spouse, and it was just something that we continuously spent and dedicated 28 days just to each other and it just set the tone for the year to say, hey, I'm all in, I'm totally putting this uniform on every day God help me and going to a job that I literally just stare at the place and try not to cry, just to walk into. But this didn't suffer, yeah.

Nate Scheer:

Complete side question. But did you ever have that moment where you had to take a real deep breath in your car before you walked in?

Holly Jones:

Absolutely.

Nate Scheer:

My first year commissioning was really difficult. It was one of those things that the sticker shock was real. I was in smaller units and I thought, between the flight chief and the flight commander and different things, I kind of knew what was happening on the other side. Boy oh boy. I was definitely wrong on that one. So yeah, I remember that first year it was pretty difficult. I used to park on the side of the clinic and sometimes have to take a few, probably more than a few, probably a full like 10 minutes to take some deep breaths before walking in. It was pretty rough but luckily things pass.

Holly Jones:

Yeah, those seasons. That's why they're called a season right.

Nate Scheer:

I always like the metaphor of the roller coaster there's ups and downs and you never know what's going to happen, but at some point you just got to throw your arms up, scream a little and wait for the next thing to happen. Have fun when you scream. If it's fun, terrifying or sad, I mean. A good scream feels kind of good, yeah. So, larry, what do you think about the seven year itch?

Larry Jones:

So I'm not sure that it was even on my radar very much. I think once we got engaged is when I started hearing about the seven year itch like that. Like I may have heard about it maybe once or twice. I think there was a movie that it came out and that was about as far as it went for me. But I kind of got to this point me and one of the other guys who was in my, in one of my classes at the time because we were in grad school during the time we got engaged, and so one of the other guys who got engaged at that same time, me and him decided we were going to try to figure out, like you know, all of the things we could just gather up as much wisdom as possible from married folks, divorced folks, anybody we could gather that might have some good insight. And so every week we would reconvene and share what we've gotten. And that was when I kept hearing, you know, watch out for the first year, watch out for the third year, watch out for the fifth, the seventh, the ninth, you know, and every time we would say these things to each other and kind of relay this stuff I remember I wish I could take credit for it. But he actually said that, man, it's starting to sound like the year you stop trying is the hard year, and so that thing really stuck with me, like we're 11 years in and it's still like, puts chills to me. You know, to think like I have to continue trying every day that I wake up I have to be intentional about loving my wife and make sure, and she make sure, that she feels loved, because I don't want to stop trying. I don't want to see what that life looks like when, when things sour. So that's really stuck with me, man, and it's been super serious for me. I mean, there was some other other wisdom that we gathered. You know, make sure you tell her you love her every day. You know things like that. But I think continuing to try is just about one of the biggest things you can do.

Nate Scheer:

Just being intentional.

Larry Jones:

Yeah.

Nate Scheer:

I think that's a really good lesson to. On gathering wisdom, I mean you were kind of saying it slightly jokingly, but I think that's something that's super important. On like reading, they say like if you know you're a leader, you'll read or you know whatever thing. That's cliche and rhymes, but I think that's something that's super important is that other people have done things and have made lots of mistakes. Why make the mistake again? So reading is definitely super important. I have a question it's probably sort of an awkward question, but I want to throw it out there. So, as a chaplain that hears people's problems and things that are going on in that confidential type realm, and then also as a relationship person that's taking counseling sessions and things like that, do you think there's a point at which a relationship cannot move forward? Is there like a point of no return?

Larry Jones:

Yeah, I would say that there is, and I would say that that's the point. When the other person turns away and walks away up until they walk away, there's always opportunity for it to work out. It can be on the rocks, you can be arguing every night, you can be doing all that, all the stuff that sucks, you can be in the middle of all of it, but until that person has walked away from you, there's always an opportunity.

Nate Scheer:

And by walking away you don't mean physically.

Larry Jones:

Physically when they're actually gone once they've left. I think that's.

Holly Jones:

So I can I say it's not necessarily physical. Yeah, just because I had a couple in my, in my office, and of course they arrived late. Right, it was already late in the game. Fresh new baby rolled in right with him and while she was present in the room he was not Right Because he'd already mentally and emotionally left the relationship and literally while she was crying, there was like he handed her a tissue and there was nothing there.

Larry Jones:

Hmm, hmm, so is that.

Holly Jones:

Yeah, but then they got me to sign the ERD papers after that.

Larry Jones:

Oh my gosh. Well, that's a little different. So my thought process is, though, that if that person is still in the room, there's still an opportunity and I'm going to say it there's still an opportunity for God to move on them.

Holly Jones:

Hmm, I believe that they need them to believe it too, of course.

Larry Jones:

My thought is, as long as they're able to be around that person still, I feel like there's always room for a change of heart.

Nate Scheer:

They cared somewhat. I guess they got in the room.

Larry Jones:

Yeah, exactly so. I've had a bunch of couples sit in my office and be in a bad way, and one of the things that I'll always point out to them is that both of them are in the room. If this relationship was as bad as it can get, there would only be one person here. Just simply by showing up, there's a shred of hope.

Holly Jones:

That's good.

Nate Scheer:

That's good stuff. Okay, next question for me Okay.

Holly Jones:

So, sir, what's the most difficult thing you've endured in your marriage?

Nate Scheer:

Oh, this one's easy. So an overseas move during COVID. This one's super easy because Adriana does not have any experience in the military, so it was her first BCS, so that already makes it completely crazy. Her brother is in the reserve so she has a very tiny amount of like seeing someone in uniform but no parents and grandparents where it got used to, like moving around and all those different things, so really no connection. So the first PCS overseas, and then COVID it was just the crazy trifecta of trying to move through that. Really, just the out-processing was insane. I had to tell her multiple times that PCSs are crazy.

Holly Jones:

Just stop this way.

Nate Scheer:

They will never be this crazy. Everything was super difficult. All the civilians on base. So I was an AFMC. Afmc is Air Force Materiel Command and they're notorious for having a massive amount of civilians, so some people say a million civilians.

Holly Jones:

I try to play off the acronym.

Nate Scheer:

So when the base shut down, we initially went to this blue silver team where, like, a lot of people either went home or went to split shifts and it was crazy the amount of people that did not put on an away message or a forwarding phone number or anything. It was like they did an all-call on Friday or whatever day it was and the civilians seemed like they just walked out and just went home. I'm sure fear and there's a lot of different things going on and it's not a bash on civilians Definitely part of our overall team and make things happen and good continuity. But it was just really difficult to get signatures to do a lot of things that we needed to do. We needed to get the kids passport no fee passport and overseas just so much more complicated than a regular one. So I'd done one to Guam but it wasn't a different country and so it was sort of similar. But definitely the trifecta was crazy First overseas move for her, covid, and then, yeah, the overseas aspect of it was just crazy. But I think which we'll probably touch on in a little bit but both of us like to keep things fun and even when we're stressed and things like that, we be goofing and having a good time. So I think that's kind of how we got through that. I'm sure there was some difficulties and we were frustrated and challenged and stressed at different points, but at some point usually we crack and get all goofy and start laughing. So it works out.

Holly Jones:

Yeah, that's good. That's what's needed, right? Yeah, oh, my goodness, we moved with the next, so y'all moved 2020 summer. Was that the minute that they said, okay, now people can move?

Nate Scheer:

Yes, so yeah, we were waiting every day to figure out the stop movement was going to get lifted. It looked like we weren't going to move but yeah, it was the end of July and it was crazy because we did leave in Rouse, went up to mother's house in Vancouver, Washington, and so we were there and then we weren't sure if we were going to have to like stay there or like go back, because we'd already out-processed the base. I don't even know how that works. You get checked back in to Edwards and like you can't send me, apparently, and then, if I stay at mother's, are you just like draining my leave? and you're charging me. I don't even know how that would have even worked, but luckily it all worked out.

Holly Jones:

Good Did they drain your leave.

Nate Scheer:

I mean the days that I used. But that was already planned. So we took two or three weeks as we knew we were leaving the country and whatnot. But if it would have got stuck? I don't know how that works. They just keep telling him. I guess that would have been rough, so I'm glad it worked out.

Holly Jones:

We had lots of friends that were stuck in between. Like one of my co-workers, he sent his family on. Did a TMO, not TMO a TMO yeah, it was called something else, some of the J for us when we was coming over here. Anyway, did TMO and I think he sold his house and he was staying with one of our co-workers and then a stop movement came and he was stuck there for like months and his poor family, they were like just devastated because he couldn't get to them without driving his own car, right, but the word was don't move.

Nate Scheer:

So yeah, yeah, it was crazy. It's interesting to look back. I'm seeing some of the goofy pictures and stuff pop up because we just passed March and so now every year in March you would be seeing some crazy pictures of people wearing gallon jugs on their head and gas masks and the goofiest things. But it's interesting to think back of how many things had never occurred before. It was so many things that we just didn't know how to handle. There's stop movements for certain things, for national disasters and things like that that have occurred, but those are short-lived and we kind of understand how they work. But a worldwide pandemic really no way to know how that was going to play out. So how crazy, yes. Next question, a quick shift how has life changed after having kids?

Holly Jones:

Remember when you were like keep dating. Yeah, they're blockers. We just like to have conversation in the morning or in the night in conversation, and so do they. They too want to have conversation.

Nate Scheer:

They want to be part of everything. They want to be a part of it all. They can hear, for some reason, when they're not supposed to hear it's so weird but then you tell them to do something.

Larry Jones:

They can't hear nothing.

Holly Jones:

They can't hear a thing. Yeah, so the spontaneity has shifted.

Nate Scheer:

That's what we're calling it.

Holly Jones:

That's what I'm calling shift.

Nate Scheer:

Kids are completely dead, but it's got to be shift, but it has caused us to be creative.

Holly Jones:

I remember it was Valentine's Day in 2015,. And we have a picture of sitting and I think we were putting her to bed or something like that, and then we drink some wine to just a little something, right, because we came from nothing with this little baby. She gave us hugs and kisses, goodnight. Her bedtime was terrible. It was like 10 at night. Then we just stayed up and finally talked and clink, clink, but that was the reminder that, yes, this little, tiny little lady was with us. But we need to now be more intentional, more dedicated, get more creative. So, yeah, we started taking her. We were like want to go out to eat? Yeah, let's go out to date. Then she'd be there and we'd be like here's a book, here's your toys. She talked to us or try, or babble, right, What'd you say All right, me too. I love daddy too. But yeah, that's how we were able to adjust. And then we added a little boy, and now they get to talk to each other while we're on a date.

Nate Scheer:

I think this is a really good example. I think we've already mentioned it in the show before, but there's no reason not to bring this one up again. Is the concept of the oxygen mask on the airplane right, taking care of yourself so that you can take care of others? I think this is a prime example of making sure that the connection for the couple is taken care of, because if not, you're not going to be taking care of the kids, so almost a direct relationship to the oxygen mask fallen. Absolutely I mean, hopefully you're not getting to the oxygen mask, because that's not good.

Larry Jones:

Right, it's more proactive, do you have?

Nate Scheer:

anything else on that, Larry?

Larry Jones:

So I remember. When I don't, I thought I've always wanted a family. I should preface this with that. I've always wanted a family, a wife who loved me, kids who loved me.

Nate Scheer:

Somehow yeah right.

Larry Jones:

Thanks to God. Appreciate it, God. So somehow, the second that she told me that she was pregnant, I freaked out. I felt like it was time to run. I had to go.

Nate Scheer:

Oh physically leaving.

Larry Jones:

Yeah, we're talking about it right Confessions, I think it lasted all of about 15 seconds and I think the only thing she saw was my eyes got big and then they went back to regular and I was like, wait a minute, this is what I wanted.

Holly Jones:

What's happening?

Larry Jones:

So I mean, we did everything in the order that you know everybody said you're supposed to do get married, you know, have what I think was like one or two years we had, and then have a kid, right. So everything was as it should have been for the most part. We were still pretty broke, but still, you know, it was, it was the way it was supposed to be, so there shouldn't have been too much running around or trying to leave. But the thing that I think started to actually weigh on me was that spot and edit that she's talking about that we had to figure out what to do with it and I started to mourn the freedom that we had in our relationship and wonder how are we going to be able to manage? You know, like what's, what's this going to be? You know I'm going to miss our normal. And she said something that I don't even know if she knew how big of a deal it was to me, but she said This'll be our new normal and it was something freeing and hearing that that, yes, it's, it's a change, but we'll manage it and it will be fine, and I'm not sure why freaked out so much. But there was something that I needed in that statement that she made, and it's. It's been true. Our new normal has been just fine. I've enjoyed it. Um, I do love the the one time a year when we take a trip by ourselves. We used to go on cruise ships. Every year, pre-covid, right, um, and I would relish that, you know, because that's that moment for us to be irresponsible. You know we can stay up late because there's no kids to put the day. We can wake up late because there's no kids that are waking us up. You know we can do what we want to do, but, um, Aside from that, I'm still able to enjoy my life with my wife and my kids. So nothing, nothing truly needed to be mourned. But it took her saying that before. It kind of clicked for me, hmm.

Nate Scheer:

Yeah, it's interesting how your fun changes. I think of, like, uh, at the clinic, walking around and whatnot and hearing the younger airmen or whoever it may be, is a fridays approach in and they're talking about heading downtown and you know, hitting clubs and bars and things like that, and I'm thinking about some pj's and movie night. We be doing movie night, oh, two or three times a month, almost every friday. I think is some type of movie night pajamas, popcorn and and everyone in the king-size bed. So, um, it's interesting how your, your fun definitely shifts over the years. But, uh, now when I get invited to anything at like nine, like, oh, that is so late, I'm trying to be In bed with that popcorn.

Larry Jones:

Invading popcorn time.

Nate Scheer:

That's what's sounding good to me. Um, I'm glad we're we're able to, you know, shift our our fun to different things. That's right, um. Last question for you guys what are ways spouses can fight fair? Yeah.

Larry Jones:

So I'll start if if that's cool with you. Yeah, I'll let it, I'll allow it so, with fighting fair, I think it Starts with knowing the things that get to your spouse, like we were talking about earlier, like you actually brought up that you knew the things that were triggers for your wife or how to push buttons. How to push what should be doing that to me, oh wait a minute.

Nate Scheer:

Good, she's not on here.

Larry Jones:

So, knowing those things, I think, firstly, you know so you don't press those buttons, because if, if I win and you lose, we both lose, so it's not a win at all. So in your fighting, there's no below the belt, because you, you, you decided you wanted this relationship and so any sort of fighting that's not fair is just hurting you. So why do it? You know why not. If you're gonna be married, why not be happily married? So if you're gonna fight, fight to resolve it, figure out what the issue is. Let's resolve the issue. Let's not fight when we're angry and try to and try to quote-unquote, fix it, because you're not gonna do it. You're just taking punches, taking tabs, don't go to bed angry. So you don't want to right. You know there's those moments where you're a little angry and then you have to roll over and goodnight you know, but at least you're trying, you know, trying to keep, keep the communication open you know yeah. But um to to know. You know, these are the things that they get to my wife. Let me not say those things because if I want this, this conversation, to progress and I want us to get somewhere and move on to our next issue and not have this be the same one that we argue about every day, then let me fight the way that I need to fight, and that fighting means fighting for your marriage, not fighting against your spouse.

Nate Scheer:

And probably more outward, I would think too, like save the energy and whatnot for Finances, or you know an outward struggle that you're having. You know, you, you guys, against the world, as opposed to at each other. There's gonna be things that are come, gonna come up. Life is crazy. You see, I might as well use the energy to fight the the world. Not like fight the world, that sounds bad, but take on the challenges that come up.

Larry Jones:

That's exactly right. Like we, we tried to make a agreement, uh, when we first started that we would keep our issues external. So we're gonna try to make sure we're good between me and her. We're fine, and the world will try its level best to do what it can do to make our life more difficult. But that's the world doing it. It's not us doing it. There's a, a painting by uh, jack vetriano, uh, and it's this couple that's dancing in the rain, um, at the beach. Ironically enough, I'm not sure why they're at the beach, but it's a beautiful painting, uh, and they're dancing. It's raining. They have a, a butler and a maid in the background trying to rush over to them to provide umbrellas and stuff to keep them dry. And they're not even thinking about it Because they're so in love. They're just into their relationship and they're trying to make sure that this is where I want to live. You know, this is what I want to be. Um, I'm not even concerned with what the world is doing, because it's gonna try. It's gonna try to rain on me, doesn't even matter, because we're good and that's kind of what I wanted our relationship to look like. Um, she was so awesome as to Get me that painting and it's it's hanging up in our, in our bedroom right now and it means something to me to see that. Uh, because it's very indicative of of the role that I I think that our marriage plays.

Nate Scheer:

Hmm, holly, second cosine.

Holly Jones:

I will cosine what he said. Ditto right, I like, uh, so fighting fair we were. We, um, our church back in atlanta Used to have fight nights and it was just so much fun to see the couples come together because you could tell that in the room it was just a mixed bag of what everybody was dealing with, from brand new, newly engaged, newly weds to on the verge, right, um, probably didn't come home three nights in a row, but we're here tonight. We're gonna try to work this out, um and so it. It started off with dinner, right, keep it light. And then they started having hard-hitting conversations where they were talking about sex, money, um, second marriages, step kids, like. They just started going in on all the hard-hitting conversations and we just were like, uh, we, this is, I'm so glad that they're talking about it, right, just when do you get to talk about it with other people? other than therapists, right? Um, and it was awesome to have everybody Finally let their guard down in that room. That's where I just got to get immersed in the environment of fighting fair right. Yeah, because we're not fighting Particularly each other, we're fighting to stay afloat together, and so I I enjoy that we even made the stage into a uh boxing ring. Oh, we're so corny. It was awesome and it just was so it it just it's the picture that I always I see now. It's us getting in the ring together, not to fight each other, but to fight the situation.

Nate Scheer:

That's really good stuff. It reminds me of uh larry's episode with me. He had asked, like, what do you want to see out of the podcast? And my answer Was something along the lines of being able to have conversations and, uh, hopefully, something that's said and comes through the airwaves connects with somebody and so, um, the other ones. We've been talking about mental fitness, but if it's relationships as well, hopefully there'd be something. If it were ever to help a single person, all of it would be worth it. A man hour is the setting up, the editing, all those things. It's all worth it if somebody gets some help along the way. And really I think you kind of touched on it like, where do you get to do this? Why is it something where we have such a difficult time? Um, having these conversations? We should be able to, to talk about it and, and hopefully throughout the podcast, uh, we can continue breaking stigmas and and having good conversation. But, uh, last questions for me.

Holly Jones:

Yes, so how do you maintain a positive energy in your marriage and in your all's environment?

Nate Scheer:

I think the biggest thing for us Is we have the bonus of both being weird. So I think that we do enough like odd things and, uh spontaneous things. That really keeps things light a lot of times, even when things are kind of stressful. And uh, there's a lot going on. Um, she'll throw on YouTube on the tv and randomly dance on, you know, a Tuesday night and she'll have a dance party with Alexa on full volume, with Aubrey or you know, just some things like that. So having um the partnership that we have, where we're always doing goofy stuff, I think uh really lightens the mood and it probably wouldn't work for everybody. Maybe that would be annoying for some people if, like that was, um, either person was more uptight, but we're uh different enough when we do different things, but then similar enough where things like that are kind of hilarious and it kind of breaks the the stressful times um and makes it so that it's not so difficult.

Holly Jones:

Yeah, that's cool.

Nate Scheer:

Well, I think the biggest thing, um, this time is trying to make sure you're taking care of your yourself, your spouse, and really being on the the same team, as we talked about being in the ring together fighting those external forces. One of the biggest things we talked about on this one, and also some other episodes where we talked about mental fitness, is that intentionality. I think that's probably the most important part if you're gonna Drill this episode down or any of the challenges that we have, is being intentional putting things on the calendar If that's your appointment with your friendly neighborhood chaplain and you know, getting things off your chest, I mean proactive with your mental fitness. Or putting dates on the calendar, or the cruise once a year, um, taking the time to be intentional. Life is going to keep moving. Time keeps moving, um, if you're not intentional and set some time aside and block calendars. I've heard that saying. They say if you want to know what's important to someone, check their Checkbook and their calendar. That's a very true statement. If they're not blocking time for things, they probably don't really care. So thanks for coming on the show. You guys got any final words?

Holly Jones:

Hmm, thank you for having us. This is fun, and gazing into his eyes just makes me fall in love all over again.

Larry Jones:

Yes, Points that's what we really here for expanding love.

Nate Scheer:

Well, thank you for listening to mind matters. If it's on your mind, it matters. Thank you for coming out and having some conversations with us. If anyone would like to jump on the podcast and have some conversations on mental fitness, their afsc or any other Conversations you would like. If it's on your mind, it matters to us, so let's get together and have a conversation. Thank you, we'll see you next time.

Love, Life, and Learning
Changed Expectations in Marriage
Understanding and Meeting Emotional Needs
Love, Partnership, and the Itch
Navigating the Challenges of Marriage
Overseas Move During COVID Challenges
Navigating Parenthood and Relationship Changes
Maintaining a Positive Energy in Marriage