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DIVORCE-PROOF YOUR MARRIAGE during coronavirus quarantine


In Episode 032 of the Naked Proverbs podcast, Rich and Nik Scott offer advice on how to keep your marriage from ending in divorce due to mandated coronavirus quarantines.



Nik:

Welcome back to the Naked Proverbs podcast where we unclothe the truth about Black love family and marriage. My name is Nik Scott, one of your hosts, and I'm here with my husband,

Rich:

What's going on? It's your boy Rich. And today we're going to talk about becoming a casualty of quarantine.

Nik:

Right at the beginning of every episode, we always remind our listeners that we are not trained, licensed, or professional therapists or counselors. We have been married a long time and we use Naked Proverbs as our platform to share our advice, our opinions, our stories and our experience. If you haven't already, make sure that you're following the Naked Proverbs on whatever podcasting platform you listen on. And if you like what you hear, make sure that you stop to give us a five-star rating on iTunes or wherever you are listening right now.

Rich:

So, you know, we love to start each episode by saying thank you to our listeners. And in a time like this, I know that you could be doing anything with your time. So, if you're choosing to tune in, we truly appreciate it.

Rich:

What has been going on? I mean, it's been a week since we saw y'all, since we talked to y'all. Since y'all tuned in? what's been going on?

Nik:

A whole lot around here.

Rich:

Yeah.

Nik:

It's been a crazy week. The weather was beautiful. Can we just start off with all the great things?

Rich:

Okay, let's start with the great things.

Nik:

The weather was beautiful. And I was able to spend a lot of time outside on the patio, soaking in some of that good vitamin D. Making sure that I'm getting some fresh air.

Rich:

That's true. What else was great. The kids were nice.

Nik:

The kids, the kids were nice. There were no fights.

Rich:

No arguing, no fussing and acting teenage.

Nik:

Nope.

Rich:

You know, so the kids were in a great, great space. That's always a positive. We have plenty of toilet paper.

Nik:

We haven't run out of toilet paper, y'all.

Rich:

No, we haven't. I mean, it was a good week, you know, I mean, where there's some, you know,

Nik:

we had some hiccups

Rich:

speed bumps, some hiccups

Nik:

we had some hiccups.

Rich:

But I don't think that you know, they were horrible.

Nik:

No, I would say outside of the weather because everybody knows around here how much I like to be outside and outdoors. So, aside from the weather, another really great highlight of our week was our guest segment on Mama Didn't Tell Me This podcast.

Rich:

Oh. Yeah, I loved that.

Nik:

It was so much fun.

Rich:

That was so much fun. There was so much knowledge and it was just a really great experience. Definitely.

Nik:

It was a great experience. And if you did not get a chance to tune in live, because it was a live podcast. The link is on our Facebook page. So, you might have to scroll down just a little bit to find it.

Rich:

But you know, like any week, everything wasn't as great as it could be. So, we started off the week with a little bit of a car accident happening.

Nik:

Yeah. So, y'all who have little kids, toddlers and elementary age and middle school. Let me tell you something. Teaching your kids how to drive sucks.

Rich:

Oh, it's hard.

Nik:

It sucks. And for me my experience as a child, I didn't get my license until I was an adult. So, I don't even, I didn't even know what this life was like. And our kids at this point, both of them have been in substantial accidents where we've had to pay deductibles and one of them happened on Monday.

Rich:

It's always their fault. And I think that they have torn up their car at least three times now, at least.

Rich:

Well, they haven't just torn up the car three times. They've had to have actual filings with the insurance company three times

Nik:

Four? Three?

Rich:

It's three.

Nik:

Yeah, it is.

Rich:

Believe me. I know.

Nik:

It's three.

Rich:

Yeah.

Nik:

The best advice that we could give people who are coming up

Rich:

get a beater.

Nik:

Yeah,

Rich:

get a beater.

Nik:

That's exactly what I was going to say.

Rich:

Man do not let them drive your car. I don't care how old it is. I don't care how much you want a new one. If you get a new one, give them your old one. But I'm telling you do not let them use your everyday car because you will find yourself on the bus.

Nik:

That is the best advice that I can give like if you have a 14 year old or 15 year old who's getting ready to start learning how to drive. Get them their own car. If you can afford it.

Rich:

If you can't steal them one. Just don't let them drive yours. I'm for real.

Nik:

Don't steal a car y'all

Rich:

Well long term borrow,

Nik:

don't steal a car, but don't let them drive yours. That's fasho.

Rich:

Get your worst enemy and see if they'll let you borrow their car

Nik:

for real

Rich:

let them train on that.

Nik:

I mean, not all kids tear up cars

Rich:

just ours.

Nik:

Well, you know what, this is what I do believe because remember when the neighbor across the street when their oldest daughter was learning how to drive that car stayed with duct tape on it.

Rich:

Yeah, both neighbors the one at the end of the block and the ones across the street

Nik:

they used duct tape their kids are because they got tired of paying that dag on $500 deductible.

Rich:

But the problem is not the $500 deductible. The problem is when they hit somebody else's car, I'm paying for that through my insurance, which means my insurance rates are going up.

Nik:

Yep.

Rich:

So, I'm paying more than a $500 deductible. Matter of fact, my insurance doubled last fall. So, anyway, okay, so that was one of the things

Nik:

that was one thing,

Rich:

what else did we have happen this week? I mean, this was a pretty eventful week.

Nik:

So, I went downstairs on what day was it? What day did I make the Margarita tequila situation?

Rich:

That was a day I had to go to work

Nik:

So, that Tuesday?

Rich:

Might have been Wednesday.

Nik:

Wednesday. So, Wednesday I go downstairs to the basement because I was trying to make some margaritas, but it wasn't working out right. So, I needed to go get some Sprite. Go downstairs to the basement. And I'm like, it smells awful down here like, what is that smell? People who know what natural gas smells like it was a little cause of concern. But then I'm like, man I have. I'm not the only one who's been up and down the stairs today. Rich has been down here. Our oldest daughter has been down here all day, and no one's complained of it being funky. So, I kind of dismissed it. But then when I went to bed that night, my spirit told me that I needed to call the gas company to come check our basement.

Rich:

So, she never said anything to me y'all. Our child is sleeping in the basement y'all. It gets colder in the basement does everywhere else. So, everybody turns on this little space heater y'all. So, my bright shining apple warrior next to me, you know, never thought, man the house smells like gas let me actually tell somebody so that we don't blow ourselves up and kill ourselves. But anyway, go ahead.

Nik:

So, I woke up the next morning and I called the gas company because it was just on my spirit like call the gas company. And in my heart, I really wanted to believe that there was not a gas leak in our house because we got Coronavirus going on, we got all these things going, all this other stuff going on our kid just got in a wreck two days ago, so, I'm like surely this can't be happening. Because we don't have that kind of luck, like we don't have that kind of when it rains it pours like we'll have one off things that happen. Sure enough.

Rich:

Man, this guy came, the gas company. He ran his little test and he asked, because you know recently oh well maybe two months ago, we got a new hot water heater a little longer than that

Nik:

it was November ish somewhere in there.

Rich:

So, we had to get a new hot water heater and we didn't have to, but it was going out and we didn't want you know, all those problems and we were in a place where we could get one, so we got one. Anyway, they came out they tested the city signed off because when you get a new hot water heater, it's a big ordeal like you have to get a permit pulled. You have to have the city come confirm everything has been done correctly, because you are dealing with gas and well you could blow up the house, right? So, they came and did all that. And there were no problems according to them. So, when she said it, I was kind of like, well, that's the only thing we've really done down there.

Nik:

And that's what I thought too.

Rich:

So, that means it's probably this hot water heater was a bad install or something. Anyway, our gas people came. They did a little test and he did it again. Then he did it again. And I was like, uh-oh, you don't do the test that many times. That's like the pregnancy test. Right? You just really want to make sure did it really come out this way?

Nik:

Right.

Rich:

So, in the end, he's like, hey, Mr. Scott, you do have a slight leak on this elbow right here. I've never seen this happen in my life. But yours is cracked. Let me put a little water on it so you could see the seeping of the bubbles. And I was like, okay, I see it. So, can you fix it? Oh no, I don't do that. You need to call a plumber. Have a plumber come out and they will take care of it.

Nik:

As soon as I heard the word plumber. I knew we was gonna be in some trouble as far as the bill was concerned. Because A) we are supposed to be on a lockdown quarantine so people ain't supposed to be coming up in my house. I'm already you know a little nervous about that. I find a plumber and I called a couple. And the man on the phone assured me that we were going to get a good rate when this guy came out. I mean, granted it was same day, it was within a couple hours, they were here to come and fix this cracked thing on our furnace that the gas company had already identified and turned the gas off.

Rich:

Really the guy comes in and look at your thumb. I want everybody look at their thumb. Just look at your thumb. You see your thumb. That's about the size of the little piece of pipe he had to fix right. So, literally, I texted my business partner, bro you never gonna believe what happened? We have gas leak. So, you know he's like you guys okay? You need a place to stay? You know I mean he's a great business partner so he's checking in. I'm like, no, we good, got a plumber out here. All right, let me know if you need anything. 15 minutes later, literally, I can look at the text. That's how I know, 15 minutes later I texted him, bro, he's leaving. He's like, what's up? Is Everything good? You need something? What happened? He's done. 15 minutes of work. An elbow that I could have went to Home Depot and got for probably three bucks or less. It cost us over $500 for him to fix this little bitty piece.

Nik:

In 15 minutes.

Rich:

15 minutes. I told my wife, actually no, I told my business partner we're in the wrong industry. If we can make $500 every 15 minutes. That means that we're making two grand an hour. I was like so we need to change our profession. We need to change things up.

Nik:

The fact that we had to pay so much that, pissed me off so bad that I didn't even want to talk about it for like, because every like, I like to stay in a very positive space, right? I don't like things to bring me down and that shit pissed me off so bad y'all

Rich:

she still mad y'all can't you tell?

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Rich:

So, I don't know if you've been paying any attention to the news. But there are multiple articles written, there have been multiple reports of people in other countries having an increase in the Number of divorce filings. And they're basing it on the fact that, it's all the different countries that started quarantining prior to Colorado and multiple other states and could possibly, I don't know, be the US, but I know a lot of states in the US have their mayors or their governors, excuse me, have imposed shelter in place stay at home orders, right? So, in some of these other countries, though, where this was not done, you know, city by city, county by county, province by province, whatever, but it was just done as an entire country they are seeing an increase in the number of divorces, at least filing for divorce. That's pretty interesting, right?

Nik:

I don't know if it's interesting. I, last week, we did a whole episode about couples reconnecting and staying together and a comment that I made last week was there's going to be a whole lot of babies being made during this quarantine. Well, on the flip side of that there's going to be a whole lot of divorces that come out of this quarantine also. And it really pains me to say that. But I know that there are a lot of couples out there who felt like things were going great in their marriage and in their relationship until they had to be forced to be with this person. And then they're realizing like, damn, like, I thought things were good. Now all of a sudden, we're arguing every day, I don't like this person. And then there are some couples who already knew that they didn't like each other. And they were using the opportunity that they had to be out of the house to go to work, to run the kids around, as their way to ignore or try to forget about the problems that they had at home.

Rich:

You know, you're right. That's not so much interesting. As much as it is sad.

Nik:

Yeah.

Rich:

Because when you stop and think life is short, and for someone to be married, or in a marriage, and they're unhappy, and they haven't figured out how to bring that happiness and that joy back into their marriage, and instead they're just going through the motions, this is definitely a time that is going to highlight that and to really bring it to the forefront. Because if you've been just avoiding your spouse, if you've been one that has easily just been able to get away, and now you're stuck in the house or stuck, you know, on your property, or whatever that looks like, but you guys are stuck together, then this could easily cause some people to have some serious friction, which can lead to people realizing that they don't want to be together.

Nik:

I think one point that I want to make before we really dive into the content of this episode, is that having a marriage and being married are two different things. And we've had a whole podcast episode on that, and I will make sure that I link it for our patrons to go back and listen to it. Because being married and having a marriage are two different things and you cannot just jump the broom and think all of a sudden everything's gonna be hunky dory and peachy keen, like you have to work on this thing.

Rich:

You have to. We talk about in sickness or in health when we say our vows, right? Even people that create their own vows, say some form of that. Well, this is not necessarily sickness or health. But this is exactly that type of situation where it's a hard situation that you have to work through. So, you know, what we don't want is for our listeners to become casualties of the quarantine

Nik:

First couples, if you are in this situation, if you're in the house with your spouse, whether you thought things were great or not, but you don't like them. At this point. You just flat out don't like them. You don't want to be around them. And you're like, this is driving me crazy. The first thing that y'all need to decide as a couple, not individually, but as a couple is if you want to continue in this marriage? Because if you do want to continue in the marriage, then I would say listen to all of our past episodes. Every single one of them. Because there's a lot of great content in there. And it's not about tooting our own horn or anything like that. But there's a lot of great content in there. And the other thing that I would say, is continue to listen to this episode and actually take steps to mend your marriage. Don't just passively listen and say, oh, that was great, and move on with your life. And if you don't want to continue in the marriage, then

Rich:

there's really no advice. Because unfortunately, if you don't want to be married, there's nothing I can say that's going to make you

Nik:

Yeah,

Rich:

want to stay married, right? If both of you have already come to the conclusion that your marriage is over. Well, I wish you both the best. One thing that this quarantine or these shelter in place, orders can help a couple do is really focus on what is the root cause of your issues, right? Because sometimes we can get so busy with life that it's easy to just sweep it under the rug or put it over in the corner, say we're going to deal with it at some point and then we never deal with it because life is happening. And there is no pause button, right? The kids have to be driven to school or to practice. You've still got church or this meeting or that meeting, you've got work, you've, there's always something that can get in the way of you having a real conversation with your spouse about issues.

Nik:

Yep.

Rich:

Well, this is that pause button. It's been hit. And for many people, this is an opportunity where they can really get down to the root of what's causing the unhappiness in their marriage.

Nik:

Now is not the time to nag. And this is for husbands and wives because wives are not the only people that nag and although we have a reputation, I mean, we can nag because you know, let's be clear. We're the helpers. So, if you if you want my help, you gonna have to listen to me at some point, but it's not the time to nag. It is not the time to nag. If you already don't like somebody. It's not time to be like, well, you said he was gone do, when you gonna do? This ain't that time. It is just not that time.

Rich:

No. And I mean, last week, you know, we gave some really great ideas of things you can do together as a couple. And I think for us, thank goodness, we're in a good place. So, it's easy to come up with ideas of things to do together. But that doesn't mean that you shouldn't have some time apart. Because if you've routinely had time apart, and you know from going to work or going to the gym or running the kids around or whatever it is that you do, there's nothing wrong with still finding a way to have some time apart. Maybe one person goes upstairs, one person goes downstairs, maybe you go sit on the front porch or the back patio, but it's good to have some alone time. Because while you can work on your marriage during this time, you can also work on yourself. So, take some time for some self-reflection and some opportunities to spend some me time

Nik:

Definitely take some time away from each other and be productive with it. And less be clear if one spouse or the other does not feel like talking, you don't have to talk. And just because one spouse is ready to talk about it, don't make the other one feel like it's time to talk about it. Just because you're ready to talk about it. This is not the time for all of that. Like you really have to respect each other and each other's space and treat the other the way that you would want them to treat you during this time.

Rich:

But I'd also say that if you are that spouse that's not ready to talk about it, don't miss your opportunity to work through these conflicts that you may have in your marriage. Because a lot of times we just find ways to avoid because we don't want to have to deal with it. So, remember that it's okay to work through your disagreements, but you don't want to continue to just avoid them either. Because they're not going to get better by just sticking your head in the sand.

Nik:

You don't have to stick your head in the sand. But there are so many ways to communicate without talking. Let's talk, let's talk, let's talk I don't feel like talking. Well, guess what you If you use email, you could write a letter, you could leave a note there are so many ways to communicate without having to have, talking can become so confrontational so fast and, and what I'm trying to really impart here is that we want to avoid anything that can spark a huge disagreement or a fight between a couple.

Rich:

And I would say, I have to disagree with you. Because if you're just avoiding and you're not actually going to deal with the issues that are in your marriage, then everything we're saying is a waste of your time.

Nik:

I wasn't saying avoid the issue.

Rich:

Well, you're saying you don't, you want to avoid anything could create conflict. Well, the reality is you here because of conflict more than likely. Like you didn't just fall into this, I hate each other, I don't like each other from nothing happening. There was something that possibly happened, some conflict or whatever. And by not addressing it by not dealing with it, it's festered, it's got infected and now it's gotten worse. So, to me, it's like at some point, you have to deal with it, even if you don't want to. Because by dealing with it, now it's out there. And now we can make that decision that you talked about in the very beginning. Is our marriage worth fighting for or not? Is this something that I can get over and forgive and move on about or not? And if it's you're not able to then okay, now we know it's in the air. You know, we were gonna get divorced anyway. So, but if it is something that you can work through avoiding it during this time, it's not good. Because if I'm mad or upset, and I'm just not saying that, that's not helping anything.

Nik:

I'm not saying avoid. At all. I'm saying avoid the big blowout argument fight. That's what I'm saying avoid. I'm not saying avoid the issue. I'm not saying avoid the problem. I'm not saying don't communicate about it. I'm not saying stick your head in the sand. I'm saying if at all possible, if there are ways for you not to go into a situation, an already tense situation, light a match, like we talked about earlier with the gas light, a match and then everything blows up. That, now being locked down together is not the time to have these big blow up arguments, which could lead to other things that couples, I would hate to imagine could, could end up in worse than divorce. So, I'm not saying avoid any of your problems. That's not what I'm saying. And I really want to be very clear on that. What I'm saying is try to operate from the standpoint and from the, the emotion of peace.

Rich:

Something that you can do as well as you are trying to work through any conflicts or problems is reminding yourself of your partner's positive qualities, right? There was something that got you down on one knee, there was something that got you to, to the point that you said I do. And a lot of times in marriage, you can forget those great qualities that your spouse brings to the table because you're focusing on one small little thing or one big thing, whatever. But you aren't really focused on all those positive things that they bring to the table. So, something my wife always says, and I really try to do a better job of it, is seeing the good in your spouse. Like no matter what is going on, stay, take a pause and really see the good and your spouse. You know, if your spouse is, your husband decides he's going to cook dinner and he never cooks, and he burns the chicken. Don't focus on the fact he burned the chicken, focus on the fact that you know what, he tried to take the initiative to go cook, and let me continue to relax, or sit on the couch or whatever it is you were doing. So, that's the thing I think that is very important is being able to see the good in the actions and the words and the things that are going on with your spouse.

Nik:

People say one bad apple spoils a bunch. You have one bad apple, you might have 100 good ones, and people automatically focus on that one. But I would say take that a step further. Don't just focus on the good qualities about your spouse, actually write them down in a journal every single day. Jot down the great qualities about your spouse and why you are thankful for them. If they cooked dinner and burnt the chicken, in your journal be like yeah, you know, he cooked dinner and burnt the chicken, but he cooked dinner to relieve me of that responsibility that I had to do today.

Rich:

And why stop there? You know, I think a lot of spouses say a lot of great things about their husband and their wife to other people. Or they journal it themselves. But actually, say that to your spouse, like, there's nothing wrong with you actually saying, you know, sweetheart, I really appreciate the way that you tried to cook dinner today. I know didn't turn out the way you wanted. But I want you to know, I appreciate that. And I see you and I love you for that. Because that can have a huge impact on them. As well as yourself. So, there's nothing wrong with you know, actually journaling. I love that idea. But let's also let's put it out there in the air right, let's speak those words.

Nik:

And if you're not quite ready to speak them, there are other ways to communicate.

Rich:

Yes, she wants to keep. There's other ways to communicate definitely.

Nik:

You can text, you can write a note, again, the point is to just let your spouse know how you feel about it and not just keep it to yourself. One thing that a very wise man just recently told me, and I thought that it was a great, great, great advice was to think about what you want to say twice. So, think about it twice before you say it. So, instead of going at your spouse in the heat of the moment, and always going for the jugular, think about it, like is this something that would harm my spouse? And if it is, then you probably shouldn't say it. Or maybe you shouldn't say it the way that you were going to say it because again, let's be clear, we don't want to avoid whatever the issues are, but we do want to approach them as gently as possible.

Rich:

And I love that. Because you know, recently and I was listening to some Spotify and listen to India Arie. Who was one of my favorite artists. And one of her older songs came on, it's called Talk To Her. And the lyrics of this song really spoke to my heart to the point that I had to go apologize to my daughter, that I've really been more focused on how I'm speaking to the women in my household. And this song if you've never heard it, I'm just gonna give you a real quick part of the chorus. No, I'm not gonna sing it. Says when you talk to her, talk to her, like you want somebody to talk to your mama. Don't get smart with her, have a heart to heart with her, just like you would with your daughter. Because everything you do or say, you got to live with it every day. And to me, that's an important part here is when you communicate because it's important that you are communicating, and this is to my men, but really think about how would you want somebody to speak to your mom? Or if you have a daughter? How do you want her husband someday to speak to her? How would you speak to her now? So, when you're having those conversations about conflict or disagreements or whatever it is with your spouse, stop and think about, well, how would I talk to my grandmother? Because as someone I call on a regular basis is my grandmother. And she says some stuff to me sometimes because I mean, she's my grandmother, right? That she's saying I love, but sometimes it hurts. But I don't snap on her. I don't put her in her place. I don't correct her. I receive what she says. I think about it. You know, I show her love. I show her grace. And I think it's important that when you're having these opportunities to communicate with your spouse during these quarantine times, that you remember those things.

Nik:

Focus on yourself. It's easy when your spouse is a pill, because all spouses aren't wonderful all the time. But when your spouse has a pill and a jagged pill at that, it's easy to say, well, they're the ones. They're the reason. They're the cause of all the problems in this marriage and why I feel this way and why I'm snapping all the time and why I treat them the way that I treat them. Well, I challenge you to focus on yourself, right? Focus on the thoughts that you have about your spouse; we know how powerful thoughts are. So, if you're constantly thinking negative things about your spouse, I challenge you to check yourself on that. Watch how you speak to your spouse along the same lines of what my husband just said, with the India Arie song, watch how you're speaking to your spouse, are you speaking to them out of love? Or are you speaking to them out of anger or ego? Right? We all are familiar with the, the quote, watch your thoughts, they become your words. Watch your words they become your actions. Watch your actions they become your habits, watch your habits they become your character and watch your character because it becomes your destiny. And that doesn't just apply to life that applies right here in your own marriage.

Nik:

Thank you so much for tuning in to this week's episode of the Naked Proverbs podcast. We want you to truly have a happy marriage. We want you to continue to thrive in your marriages and indulge in your spouses on a regular basis. Don't forget to follow the Naked Proverbs on whatever podcasting platform you are listening on. And we will talk to y'all next week.

Rich:

Peace.

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