Less Stress In Life Podcast co-host Barb Fletcher and I recently sat down with Dr. George Naum and his wife, Vanessa Naum, MBA for a chat on richer, less stressful marital relationships.
Dr Jeep and Vanessa have been doing marriage coaching for 27 years, and specialize in helping physician couples save their marriages, families, and their bank accounts from costly divorces. Dr. Jeep is a regular contributor to Physician’s Outlook Magazine and is the author What’s Forever For: A Physician’s Guide to Everlasting Love and Success in Marriage.
Vanessa is a sex and relationship coach trained in a holistic and loving approach to sex and relationships that invites people to move beyond shame, clarify their needs and boundaries, and live emotionally connected in a radically embodied life.
Common goal but different motivators.
Before life with Dr. Jeep, Vanessa was previously in a marriage fraught with addiction and alcoholism. She shared she was 21 years old but tried extremely hard for five and a half years to make that marriage work. It takes two to tango, and I just could not get that man to dance. She gained perspective from that first relationship because it helped her define what she wanted in a spouse.
Dr Jeep’s grew up in a family of generational physicians and experienced his parent’s dysfunctional marriage. He sites the problem as a father, who did not respect what his mother contributed to their partnership. He witnessed many physician marriages fall apart and decided that he was going to do something about the problem.
Lack of pre-marriage education and communication causes stress.
Both the Naum’s site a lack of pre-marriage education and communication as a big source of stress. There are foundational things that you need to talk about and decide you are on the same page with or come to understanding on BEFORE you add the complexities of everyday life like a job or children. Talking about the number of children you want, where you would like to live, values and faith beliefs, and finances before saying I do, helps to avoid reality not matching our dreams for the relationship. Many couples miss this key step and suffering in silence.
Marriage is a Team Sport.
Ongoing open communication is vital to avoid power struggles and arguments. Vanessa said, “If we’re not growing together, we are growing apart. Finding a way to communicate helps marriages withstand the pressures of time and become resilient to the changes.”
No matter how stressful the day, it is important to give each other support. That may mean seeing patients and doing hospital rounds then changing diapers and playing with the kids to give the other parent time to decompress. Dr Jeep recommends having compassionate intuition and trying to believe that where your partner or spouse is coming from is from a place of goodness, a place of caring, as a strategy for protecting against becoming defensive about what you might be hearing.
Their recommendation for having less stress in marriage is to see growing your marriage as an educational process. Getting coaching and learning growth tools does not mean there is a problem, it means you want to grow the best relationship possible.
You can listen to their beautiful and vulnerable exams by listening to the full podcast episode here.
For more information on the Naum’s programs, check out their website.