3 Tips To Grow Your Relationship

Episode #782

Are you looking to deepen the connection in your relationship?

Do you want to foster a sense of safety and intimacy with your partner?

In this insightful conversation between Doug and Andy, you’ll discover practical strategies for maintaining a healthy and thriving relationship.

Andy shares the importance of regular check-ins, ranging from daily interactions to quarterly retreats, as essential components of relationship maintenance. By creating intentional spaces for communication and connection, couples can navigate change and evolve together. From incorporating morning and evening check-ins to planning adventurous getaways, Andy emphasizes the significance of prioritizing and investing in your relationship.

In this episode, you’ll learn how to establish a rhythm of connection with your partner, incorporating daily rituals and periodic retreats to strengthen your bond. By embracing change and approaching relationship maintenance with intentionality, you can cultivate a fulfilling partnership that stands the test of time.

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Head over to our BONUS page for special access to some of the deeper tactics and techniques we’ve developed at The Powerful Man.

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Doug Holt  00:00

Hey guys, welcome back to another episode of the TPM show. Again, I have another special guest for you guys. And you’re going to love this one. I have one of our master coaches, Mr. Andy Torr. Andy, thanks for being here, brother.

Andy Torr  00:11

Hey, Doug. I’m so happy to be here. I love coming to The Ranch. And I love sitting with you and doing these podcasts.

Doug Holt  00:16

Oh, it’s absolutely fantastic. And one of the things I was talking about on an earlier episode we had Ryan in here is, it’s amazing, because right next door to the studio where we’re recording this you just led 13 men through what they shared with me was one of the most life-transforming events that they’ve ever experienced.

Andy Torr  00:34

Absolutely, The Alpha Reset is huge. I would love for every man on Earth to have an opportunity to do an Alpha Reset. You might hear in my voice that it’s a little bit scratchy today. We’ve been making some noise the last few days. But man, the transformations in these men is so rewarding and so exciting. We’re sending them home to their wives and families this morning, and I’m super excited. You might be able to hear some sounds outside the studio of them loading the cars right now.

Doug Holt  01:01

Yeah. No, it’s great. And I know it’s not what we’re going to talk about so guys, we’ll get into a deep subject here in a minute. But I also want to share is when I came here to The Ranch because I wasn’t involved in this Alpha Reset. These are all men that went through The Activation Method for relationships. So it’s our flagship program. And these men have come out the other side and decided they wanted to jump into what we call the next level of an experience.

And when I came in, it’s a three day experience. I came on day three and these men were so fired up. They loved the experience. Half of them jumped up, we all gave hugs, it was so nice to see them and meet them in person. Just an amazing experience to see these men really revived. Right? It’s almost like they found their mojo back again from their 20s or so.

Andy Torr  01:46

Yeah, yeah. It’s amazing. They’re so vital, just the energy and then the excitement. It’s like they found themselves a little bit here over the last few days.

Doug Holt  01:57

Yeah, it’s great. Well, you did a great job, buddy. Of course.

Andy Torr  01:59

They did the work. I just told him what to do.

Doug Holt  02:01

Yeah, that’s the way it works here. So you had a subject off camera that you brought up that I thought was a really good one. Let’s kick that off.

Andy Torr  02:07

So I’m having some conversations with the first lady. So as you know, my partner, Julie, I call her the first lady. I’ve got a fun little nickname for her. And maybe I should probably explain to you why I call her the first lady.

Doug Holt  02:21

Yeah, please do.

Andy Torr  02:22

One of my commitments to my relationship with her is to just bring some playfulness and some lightness and some fun into the relationship, and I’ll explain why that’s important in a minute. But I gave her this nickname, the First Lady because obviously, it elevates her. She knows that she’s my number one, she’s the lady above all else, and that she gets to be treated a certain type of way as the first lady. And so sometimes I’ll even talk to her in the first person, how’s the first lady this morning?

And it also reminds me that if she’s the first lady, guess what? I’m El Presidente, so I better show up too, because she deserves a certain level of respect. So when I call her the first lady, I’m reminding her of how special she is and I’m also reminding myself that I get to show up as the man who gets to be with the first lady.

Doug Holt  03:08

Absolutely, I love that.

Andy Torr  03:09

So I call myself forward. So there’s these two components that we need to have in any committed long-term relationship. And obviously, there is that element of fun and adventure and playfulness that’s so important. It just keeps things fresh and keeps things light. And you know, ultimately, it sort of leads to desire, right, a little bit of adventure, a little bit of playfulness, a little bit of uncertainty. You know, trips and fun and games and things like that.

But of course, the other component that we need in a relationship is that anchor of safety, right, emotional safety. And so things need to be predictable, certain things need to be consistent. And the reason why safety is important, and we talked about this in one of the earlier podcasts that I did, you didn’t understand the assignment. We talked about the provider assignment and the protector assignment. Protector is all about creating emotional safety. Why is emotional safety important? Because it speaks to our fundamental human needs.

Once we’ve covered off food, water, shelter, sleep, which we do as providers, the next most important set of needs that every human has is our social needs. Am I safe? Am I connected? Do I feel emotionally safe and am I connected to the people around me? Sometimes that’s more important than food, water, shelter.

Doug Holt  04:24

Absolutely. Yeah.

Andy Torr  04:25

And we see this play out even with our children. Doug, you’ve got young children.

Doug Holt  04:57

I do.

Andy Torr  04:29

You’ve had the experience where you take them to a playground, and they go play for 10 minutes, and then they come back and anchor, right and then go play for 10 minutes, and then they come back and anchor. That’s a request for connection. Am I safe? Am I connected? And it’s very frequent when they’re young, and it gets less frequent as they get older. But in some way, our children and especially our women are always telling us, I feel safe with you, I feel connected or I don’t feel safe, and I don’t feel connected.

So in order to have a thriving, healthy relationship, we need that element of safety and consist and see and predictability and knowing and that really ignites that fundamental feeling of love, and safety. And then we also need the opposite. We need adventure, excitement, unpredictability, uncertainty. And that ignites the feeling of desire.

The challenge is that we can’t have them both at the same time. So we’re always managing this paradox of, I need love, and I need safety, and I need to have them both met, but I can’t have the certainty and the uncertainty at the same time. So as the man, as the leaders of our relationship, the leaders of our families, we get to offer both of those things and then help our loved ones experience both of those things.

So the first lady and I have a — it’s a paradigm through which we view our relationship. And we call our relationship Base Camp. Now, when you’re going trekking in the mountains or going climbing, there’s always a base camp, there’s a place where you have good supplies, you have a lot of consistency, you have a lot of safety, and it’s day to day, you’re hanging out of base, base camp, you’re waiting for conditions to allow you to go and climb. It’s kind of boring. And there’s an essential ingredient in any relationship that needs to be it’s kind of boring, right?

You might have heard that expression, success is boring. Success is doing the things that work over and over and over and over again. There’s an element of that in relationships too. There’s an element of relationships where the consistency and the repetition makes it kind of boring. So Base Damp is the place where we find safety. And then we get to go climb a mountain, right. Julie gets to go off and have an adventure, she gets to go climb a mountain, maybe it’s in her work, maybe she goes out with her friends, maybe hits a little trip or something. And then she comes back to the safety of Base Camp with me and I catch her. Or I go climb a mountain, maybe I go off to The Alpha Reset, or I go do my thing with my guys, or whatever. And then I come back to Base Camp, and I ground with her.

And maybe we both climb a mountain together. We go take a trip together, we do something fun together, we have an adventure, we bring in that ingredient of excitement and adventure. And then we come back to base camp together. So there’s this idea that the foundation of our relationship is kind of boring, but there’s permission for both of us to go and fill our cups to have that excitement, to have that adventure in whatever way speaks to us that allows us to have full and complete lives without making each other responsible for that happiness.

Doug Holt  07:27

I love this analogy. It’s a really good one. And I know why you’re so excited to share it, because it makes a lot of sense. And one of the things I’m curious about and I want a point of clarification to make sure I got it right. And when you’ve mentioned safety, you’re not talking about physical safety as much. Obviously, that’s there. But you’re talking about the emotional safety that the first lady experiences as well as yourself, of course, that you provide that space for and I think a lot of men miss that.

Andy Torr  07:51

Absolutely. I mean, physical safety is, in my opinion, just a given. As powerful men, we don’t put hands on our partners. That’s a no go zone. So what I talk about when I’m speaking about safety is emotional safety. And if I feel emotionally safe, and if I feel grounded, and I have this consistency, and this trust that’s built into the relationship, then I feel like my fundamental needs are being met. And that’s really essential for us in a partnership. We get to meet each other’s needs for safety. I love

Doug Holt  08:25

I love that. And I bring it up Andy because I remember Doug 1.0. I didn’t get that. I remember my wife. And I want to go back to this analogy of base camp. But I remember my wife telling me that she didn’t feel safe. And I thought you got to be kidding me. At the time I’m doing jujitsu, I’m doing boxing, I was in the gym all the time. I was really fit. And I was like, geez, I can’t imagine how more safe you could be with me. Right? You’re going to be safe. But she wasn’t talking about the physical safety and I missed that. I didn’t quite get — no one explained it to me. And that’s why I wanted to revisit that with you, because I know there’s Doug 1.0’s out there listening to this right now and may not get the fact that women need to be of course seen, heard, desired. But in order for that to happen, they have to feel emotionally safe.

Andy Torr  09:10

Absolutely. And I love that you threw that in, seen, heard, and desired. Andy 1.0 was like that too, right? I didn’t get the protector assignment, I was all about provider. And I didn’t understand how the way that I was showing up was creating a lack of safety. So just even one thing, you said seen, heard and desired. Seen, right? Presence creates safety. Are you physically there in the home? And when you are physically there, are you mentally and emotionally there? Because if you are and you’re available to the people around you, then that feels safe.

But if you’re looking in your phone or you’re looking at your screen or in your head thinking about your business or any of that stuff, well, he’s here, but he’s checked out and something else must be more important. So he’s here out of obligation, and that doesn’t feel safe to me. So that’s why we always say to guys, listen, you know when you get home, put your phone away. You know, check-in with your loved ones, be present. And there’s a time to work and there’s a time to be present with your family.

Doug Holt  10:08

Absolutely. And that creates, as you were saying, Base Camp, right. It creates that Base Camp you’re going through. So tell me a little bit more about how you and Julie come together, you and the first lady come together when you form Base Camp? I got to imagine it’s not always deliberate. But there are times when you deliberately recreate that space.

Andy Torr  10:26

Absolutely. Absolutely. Somebody said something, I don’t even remember where I heard this, but that every relationship is going through a constant cycle of connection, disconnection and repair. Ideally, we want to spend longer periods of time in connection. Disconnection is inevitable and then we get to work on repairing that connection. So one thing that’s very important to Julie and I is maintaining that connection, and so we make agreements. What are the things that we can do more of that make each other feel connected to one another? And what are the things that we can do less of that cause disconnection?

And so we have an agreement around relationship maintenance. We have some daily rituals, we have a weekly ritual, and then we have a quarterly ritual that we do. And all of these things allow us to connect with one another in a regular and meaningful way that contributes to that feeling of safety in Base Camp. So the daily habit is something called launching and landing. So we launch each other into our day. She works, I work, we do different things. We connect in the morning, how are you? How did you sleep? How are you feeling about your day? What’s going on; all of those sorts of things, using our Hidden Motives Technique to just allow each other to feel seen, heard, desired, appreciated.

And then we go into our days, and then we land each other in the evenings. How was your day? How are you feeling? Can we check-in? And that gives us an anchor point for the morning for the evening. And maybe we do it in person, or right now I’m at the TPM Ranch, she’s back home. So we’re launching and landing each other through voice messages, right? Hey, I’ll call you at seven o’clock in the morning when I wake up. And I’ll leave you a little love note and I’ll launch you into your day. Or maybe she’ll — She’s three hours ahead right now. So she’ll leave me a message when she goes to bed and I can receive that when it’s time for me to go to bed, then we feel connected, even if we don’t get a chance to talk during the day.

Doug Holt  12:23

Can I interrupt you? I’m curious.

Andy Torr  12:25

Of course.

Doug Holt  12:28

Was this something, because you being an activated man, a powerful man, is this something that the first lady had experienced before? Or is this something completely new that you brought to her relationship?

Andy Torr  12:38

It’s new for both of us, I’ll be honest. Yeah. So one of the most powerful things that she said to me fairly early on in the relationship is she said, I have never felt so safe in a relationship. And she said, it’s because you’re so consistent. Like when you give me your word that you’re going to do something, you keep it relentlessly, no matter what, right? If I say I’m going to be somewhere, if I say I’m going to call, if I say I’m going to do something for her, I always make sure that I follow up because I’m a man of integrity.

My integrity is very, very important to me, so my words must match my actions. And so if I give her my word, my word is my bond. Right? As men, we are evaluated and judged and celebrated based on our integrity, our ability to keep our word. So I bring that into the relationship that if I say I’m going to do something, I always do it, and that creates a general level of safety for her.

Doug Holt  13:27

I love that. I had the pleasure of meeting Julie in person on a trip and absolutely a phenomenal woman. I can see it would take a powerful man to bring that in there. When you brought this to the relationship, Andy, and I want to know about the weekly and all the other rituals too. But do you guys use the intentionality of the languaging? Would you say, hey, Julie, I want to launch you into your day?

Andy Torr  13:52

Yeah. And so we very specifically use launching and landing, and that’s a ritual, that’s a habit that’s baked into the DNA of our relationship. And sometimes life gets busy, right? I’ve got three kids and sometimes you get out, and you get started in your day, and it’s 10 o’clock and send each other a little message. Like, hey, babe, can you launch me please? Like, I just feel incomplete. Right? And then she knows oh, okay. I didn’t send him a message this morning, or maybe I didn’t send her a message. That’s probably what happens more of the time. I didn’t send her a message. And then I’m like, oh, yeah, right. I get to launch her into her day, and create that connection and create that consistency.

Doug Holt  14:28

How did the agreement come about for you guys? Or can you give us an example of what that conversation looks like for a man who’s like, “Wow, this sounds awesome. And I would love to have this with my wife, but this is new for me.” How can that conversation look like for a man that wants to have this level of connection that you have with his partner?

Andy Torr  14:49

Connection is the word. So for me, I always frame it around connection. Ultimately, that’s what we want to experience in a relationship, right? We want to feel connected. We want to feel like we’re part of something. That speaks to that fundamental social human need. So like, babe, I really, I’m appreciating the connection that we have, I’m appreciating the moments that we have. And I know that things are busy, right? I know we both have our careers, I know that there’s the kids, and I know it’s very easy for us to put other things in front of the relationship.

But what I would like to let you know is that connection with you is one of my highest needs. And so what I’d like to ask is, can we come up with a way where we can have a connection in the morning and a connection in the evening so that we just stop the world for a few minutes, and prioritize ourselves and each other, and have that connection. So what I’d like to suggest is this idea that we launch each other into the day, we have a little conversation, little deep check-in, and then we land each other, and I got you every day. I’m here to launch you, and I’m here to land you. And that would just make me feel more connected to you if we could just make that a daily agreement that we get to keep for each other.

Doug Holt  15:57

I love that. Guys, pause that, rewind it, listen to it 20 more times and then make it your own, right? So many guys are going to regurgitate what Andy says, but make sure that’s your own tonality because what I love about what you said Andy there is your telling her, your future pacing, right. You’re telling her, here’s what I want, here’s what I want for us, and you’re leading. You’re leading very powerfully and you’re leading, because I think a lot of guys miss this, Andy that power can be led by love. Right? And you’re leading this fiercely but fiercely out of love. WOLF, Wise, Open Loving, and a lot of guys miss the F, the Fierce. And you’re doing that, so of course she’s going to follow.

Andy Torr  16:37

And the fierce is the protector, right. Like, I got you, I’m here to launch you, and I’m here to catch you. Fierce doesn’t mean rah! Right? Fierce is like I am your defender and your protector, and I will be here for you no matter what. And there’s a peace around appreciation too, right. Appreciation unlocks the feminine. Right? I appreciate the connection that we have, and I’m really enjoying it and I’d like to ask for more. And here’s what I’d like to suggest that we do, right? So we’re gently leading with love, acknowledging what’s going well, and asking for more of that that makes us feel more connection. There’s a little bit of vulnerability there too, isn’t there?

Doug Holt  17:11

There is. I mean, we could spend a whole episode breaking down what you said because there’s so many little nuances that you’ve mastered this, clearly. And you know me, I love languaging, and crafting it. We won’t do it this episode. But really, guys, you should rewind that, because what Andy did, again, is so masterfully woven in so many — he led but he led with what I suggest that we do. And that’s a gentle invitation for your partner to come along with a journey. I’m not telling you, you have to do this, we have to do this. This is what’s going to happen. I’m suggesting that we do this. And it’s a subtle nuance, but it’s a very powerful one.

Andy Torr  17:44

Exactly. And I’m sure you know this very well, Doug, communication is 90% non-verbal.

Doug Holt  17:50


Andy Torr  17:51

Right. So there’s the 10% of what I just said, the words that I said, but there’s the energy behind it too, and this is so important. A lot of guys miss this, right? It’s the tone of voice. It’s the facial expressions. It’s the eye contact. It’s the open posture. So many guys just kind of sit here like this, arms crossed.

Doug Holt  18:08

I love you. I love you.

Andy Torr  18:10

Of course that doesn’t feel safe. So I’m always telling guys when I’m coaching, listen, dude, uncross your arms, open your chest, let yourself be seen, right? Don’t get into this defensive arms crossed posture. Or notice if you’re a tall guy and you’re towering over your wife when you’re trying to talk to her. Can you sit? Can you make it safe for her so that she’s not always looking up for you and always feeling like a little — maybe a little bit subconsciously intimidated?

Doug Holt  18:34

Yeah, that’s a really good point. Getting back to Base Camp and the rituals. I love the daily. So you guys start off in the morning, you launch each other, which I love. And I got to imagine that could be, sometimes, it’s hey, we’re busy. Let’s do a minute launch each. And sometimes you probably have 15-minute, 30-minute conversations over tea or coffee in the morning. And then at the end of the day, you’re doing something which is the check-in or the landing where you’re saying I got you. We talked about in The Activation Method, taking our berries, you’re doing all these incorporating into it. Tell me a little bit more about how you do it into weeklies.

Andy Torr  19:07

So weeklies are fun. Weekly’s actually my favorite one. Julie and I have an agreement that every Sunday we do a deep dive, and it’s a deep check-in. So in powerful man parlance, this is an opportunity for us to practice Hidden Motives on each other. How are you feeling? What are you experiencing? What’s it like to be you right now? And there’s three questions. So I ask her, how are you, how am I, and how are we? So she gets an opportunity to tell me how she’s doing in a deep and meaningful way. And she tells me how I’m showing up and how she’s experiencing me which is very important feedback for me. And then we talk about the third entity, the relationship. How are we? How is the relationship?

The reason why I love the deep dive – Oh, and of course then once she’s responded, then she asks me the same questions, and I get to be open and vulnerable with her and let her know how I’m doing, what’s been great with the week, what’s been hard with the week? How am I feeling in this moment? How is she showing up? Maybe I give her some appreciation. Maybe I lovingly call her forward if I need something from her. And then how am I feeling about the relationship in general?

Sometimes it’s a 15-minute conversation, sometimes we go an hour and a half, and we stop the world for it. We don’t do it while we’re out in the world doing busy things. It’s face to face with lots of eye contact. And if we’re not together, then we’ll do it over a video call so that we have that full presence, and not just text message or whatever.

Doug Holt  20:31

Sure. That’s smart. And we’ve done a whole episode where Tim and I talked about, we do something similar, both of us with our partners. And I think it’s so critical that you have that. And you know, as well as I do, that most men are caught off guard when the divorce papers come or the term divorce. Usually, the woman has been thinking this for two years, planning her exit unless there’s something, you know, figuring out her way out. You’ve created in this feedback loop for you and the first lady, you find out within a week, day, maybe a week you know if things are off kilter, you know if the path that you’ve charted is going astray.

Andy Torr  21:06

Because we do this every week, Doug, nothing gets swept under the rug. It’s an opportunity to clear anything that may have come up, right. And Julie and I, we get along very well because we’re so honest with each other. But maybe there’s a little bit of turbulence in the week, or maybe there’s something that was misunderstood, or maybe we had a moment with each other. And so we get an opportunity every Sunday morning to revisit that, like, hey, you remember the conversation we had on Tuesday night? You know, I want to let you know that I’ve been carrying that a little bit with me. And I feel like maybe I misspoke, and I just want to check-in with you about how you were feeling? And can we just spend a few minutes and clear the air on that.

Otherwise, if you don’t, then what happens is you get into this pattern of resentment because it never gets cleared. And so you know the expression or the story of the Princess and the Pea, right? The Pea that goes under the mattress and she can feel the pea no matter how many mattresses are stacked on top. If you don’t clear those conversations then you’re just adding peas under the mattress, right? And she can feel them and she knows she’s there. And as men, we get to lead the clearing of the conversations because we’re leading the relationship. So we’re holding the container to say, I’m feeling that there was something off here, and I’d like to just explore that for us and make sure that we’re both feeling clear on it.

Doug Holt  22:20

Yeah, I love this. And because this is so advanced for a lot of guys in the relationship that are listening to this right now, this is something they want to strive for. I want to kind of paint the picture a little bit if I can, Andy, is the reason this is so powerful, guys, is if you are holding on to that resentment, all of a sudden, it blows up into these huge fights. You and Julie are human, you’re going to have disagreements. And if you don’t, that’s probably been a bigger problem, right.

No, honestly, because Julie’s bringing in things from her past, from her present work life and things that she’s out there in the world — Same with you. You bring those into the relationship, there’s going to be misunderstandings, conflict a little bit. And what most people do, what I used to do for sure, my wife and I is you hold on to that resentment and you bury it. And the next thing you know you’re fighting about the dishes, and it has nothing to do with the dishes and it’s a big explosion. And you’re having, instead of that, you’re having very tiny, clear ups, cleanups, if you will, to do it. I love it.

Andy Torr  23:17

And our women have these elephantine memories, Doug.

Doug Holt  23:20

Yes, they do.

Andy Torr  23:21

Like, they do not forget a thing. You know, I’m sure your wife remembers what you wore on your first day, as does Julie. So if we don’t clear these things, they do stack up and they do stack up and it feels like a little bit of neglect. If we’re not doing the housekeeping, it’s a little bit of dust that’s accumulating in the corner of the relationship. And we got to just keep that swept clean.

Doug Holt  23:45

Yeah, the Guttmann Institute has done the most research on marriages that I’m aware of. And I want to say that they can predict within that high 90 percentile, whether a couple will stay together or separate. And it’s based on conversation. And the one thing they’re looking for, resentment. That’s it. And so when you guys have these micro resentments that could happen, or men listening to this that build up into resentment, that’s what happens when 70% of divorces are initiated by a woman. 90, of course, as you know, percent when she has a college education or greater. If the resentment’s build up too much, you guys haven’t had these rituals that you and the first lady have, and you haven’t been able to clear that slate, things just get worse and worse.

Andy Torr  24:26

Absolutely. And resentment is just sort of, it is an unmet need or a perceived injustice that’s on a loop. Right. It doesn’t get clearer. So we’re constantly playing that story back to each other. So if you understand what the energy of resentment feels like in your body, then a wonderful way to just get clear with yourself is to just drop into that feeling and go okay, I’m experiencing resentment right now. What’s the story I’m telling myself? We get to choose our own adventure in life. We get to choose the stories we tell ourselves. Okay, what’s the story? Is this serving me? Is this serving our relationship? Is there truth to this story? Or am I just trying to shift the blame because I don’t want to do the awkward work of looking in and taking responsibility?

Doug Holt  25:08

Yeah. And you know, we’ll stack the evidence, Andy, as you know for whatever we want to find. So if you believe that your wife is evil, you’ll find evidence that your wife is evil. If you believe your wife, your partner is loving, you’ll find evidence that she’s loving. And the choice is yours. So these weekly check-ins give you guys, one, the ability to check-in with each other, two, to connect, three to clear up anything that may be occurring for either party.

Andy Torr  25:32

Yeah, absolutely. And there’s always, I think, a fundamental understanding between Julie and I that each of us is doing our best, each of us is imperfect. You know, even though I’m a TPM coach, I’m still a wonderfully flawed human being. and I get to be a work in progress, just like all of us do. And so we give each other grace that each of us is doing our best and each of us is trying hard. And we also get opportunities to improve our game.

Doug Holt  25:56

Beautiful, beautifully said. Now, if I’m not mistaken, you said daily, weekly, and monthly.

Andy Torr  26:01


Doug Holt  16:37

Quarterly. Excuse me. I was mistaken. So what happens quarterly for you guys?

Andy Torr  26:05

So, quarterly, we do a retreat, we go away for a weekend. And we get other people to look after our kids, and we get an Airbnb or a hotel or something somewhere, we go away for a couple of nights. And we stop the world and we have a little adventure, right, we go climb a mountain together. And so that just gives us a change of scene, it gives us an opportunity to just give each other our full presence, our full attention without distraction. Maybe we have some deep conversations, maybe we have a lot of fun, maybe we just do some self-care. It’s different every time, but it’s always a bit of an adventure.

And Julie loves to plan these trips. So we have an agreement that we both get to do this, there’s budget set aside for these trips. And she just loves to go and find these little places that are sometimes very close to home, sometimes a little bit farther away. We go away for a couple of days, we have an adventure, and we just fill our cups.

Doug Holt  26:56

I love that. And I can picture the old me sitting here, gosh, 20 years ago or whatever thinking, wow, this sounds so rigid, right? But we need to realize is that, guys, listen, I’m looking at you, but I’m talking to the people listening is you have to plan these things. Because otherwise you think well, we’ll just get away. It doesn’t happen. It becomes someday unless you put it in your calendar, the quarterly check-ins like you’re saying, or these retreats, they don’t happen. Sex dates. So my wife and I, we have two young kids, sometimes we got to plan it. We’re like look, Tuesday night, your mine. We’re planning it, get the babysitter, and this is what’s happening.

Andy Torr  27:34

And that’s a whole other podcast. Isn’t it, Doug??

Doug Holt  27:37

It is, it is.

Andy Torr  27:38

Yeah. So what these do is the daily, the weekly, the quarterly give us predictability. Which is another major contributor to safety. Right? Do I have — is there a rhythm to the relationship? Do I have predictability? Do I have a reasonable expectation that we’re going to have this Sunday clearing conversation every week, that we’re going to have this quarterly retreat? And that gives me a sense of safety that gives her a sense of safety as well.

Doug Holt  28:04

Yeah, when you look at the — I can’t remember the book that talks about the human needs. And every human needs certainty and uncertainty in there. And through this process, you’re creating the opportunity for both. Because the truth is people only want uncertainty when they’re safe, otherwise, they become problems, right. We call things that are uncertain problems if we don’t like them.

Andy Torr  28:26

Yeah. So what’s fun for me is that Julie loves to plan these trips. I let her plan them and she checks with me. “Oh, you want to go to this little town and I booked this little Airbnb?” I’m like, “Yeah, great.” But I want to be surprised. So maybe I don’t look at the Airbnb booking. Right? Maybe I don’t look at the town. Maybe we just, you know, I trust her. And so we show up together and I have some uncertainty, but it’s a pleasant surprise. It’s a little bit of adventure for me, and that’s fun.

Doug Holt  28:52

Yeah, I love that. And I love that you guys incorporate that and work that together. One of the things I really admired having dinner with the two of you, is the way that you both create space for each other to communicate. It was very evident to me when we were having dinner that you both ensured that the other person was heard and felt as if that their opinion or their voice was important.

Andy Torr  29:15

Absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, space is an essential ingredient in any relationship, in small ways and in big ways. Space is important in conversation, holding space for each other to feel seen, heard, desired, that’s important. And then creating physical space. You know, when I was married, Andy 1.0, there was no space in the relationship. There were kids, there were businesses. We were living on top of one another, and it was very unhealthy. I didn’t have a life, she didn’t have a life. We were always at Base Camp and it was boring and it was suffocating for both of us. Right? And so in the relationship that I have with the First Lady, she gets to climb a mountain, I get to climb a mountain, sometimes we go climb a mountain together, right.

Doug Holt  29:59

I love that. I love it a lot. So Andy, let’s wrap this up a little bit if we can. And a guy listening to this, and I’ll be, for me, this is reminding me that my wife and I have gotten away from our weekly check-ins. As soon as you started saying that I was kind of like, oh, shit. You know, we’ve just gotten out of the habit of it because I’ve been traveling, coming back, and just didn’t land into the habit again. And just like anything, it’s just easy not to do, right, anything that’s easy to do. So I’ll be incorporating that starting this weekend away with my wife again. So thank you. For guys listening to this that want to incorporate this, what are a couple things they could do today and start to take action?

Andy Torr  30:38

Gosh, this is all under the subject of relationship maintenance for me. And maintenance is just such an important part. I mean, we go to the dentist for our teeth, we go to the chiropractor or massage therapists for our bodies, we take our car to get its oil changed. You know, that maintenance is important because it keeps the machine running, right? Relationships get to be maintained as well. We get to change the oil every once in a while. So I think that the language that I shared earlier around connection is very important. Understanding that if both of our fundamental needs is connection, what can we appreciate that feels like connection, that feels like safety in the relationship right now?

And for some guys, there might be a lot to appreciate. For some guys, there might be less to appreciate. And to say, listen, I know that when I feel connected to you, I feel amazing. And I can tell when you feel connected to me, you feel amazing. And I’d love to come up with a way for us to be able to connect more regularly and maybe in a more predictable way so that we can just be more intentional with our relationship. And that word intentional is very powerful. So many relationships are on autopilot. Andy 1.0, that guy was on autopilot. You just kind of took everything for granted.

Well, she said her vows so, you know, I guess everything’s going to be fine from here on in. Right? It’s like, well, I bought the car. So I guess I don’t need to change the oil ever.

Doug Holt 32:00

Great analogy. Yeah.

Andy Torr  32:01

Yeah. So with the intentionality about listen, I just want to make sure that we are really pouring into this relationship, and we are really caring for one another, and also the third entity of the relationship. And when we do this, then our children thrive and everything else feels better. We have this base camp. So what can I do more of that’s going to let you feel safe and connected? And then once you’ve asked that, you also get to share what would help you feel safe and connected as well. What makes me feel safe and connected is when I’m able to connect with you every morning and every evening, or when I’m able to have a regular clearing conversation with you.

So what I’d like to ask for is if we could just try something out? Are you willing to just kind of play with me for a little bit? You know, maybe we try this for a month. Can we just agree to do a morning check-in quickly, evening check-in quickly, and see how that goes? Build on that. And if you get a rhythm for morning and evening, then wonderful and then add on to that, right? I’m really enjoying the morning and evening connection, I’d love an opportunity to just go deeper with you. Can we find a time in the busyness of our weeks where we can just stop the world and just do a deep dive, right? Maybe an hour or two, right? What would that look like? Maybe it’s Thursday night, or whenever works for you.

And create a pleasant environment for that, right? Remember that women are very sensory, right. So you don’t want to get out a whiteboard, and have a boardroom conversation with her about the relationship. Have a fire in the wintertime, maybe pour a drink of something, make it comfortable, make it pleasant, make it safe for her, and then she’s going to feel safe to drop in, well, you’ll both feel safe to drop into the relationship. So just create that environmental container to be able to have the deep dive.

And then if that’s working well then add on a quarterly retreat. That’s a little bit more because you’re together for a couple of days. So if things have been a little bit dicey for a while, that might feel like a bit of a stretch, which is why you start to add the little chunks of time and you make them longer and longer and longer. And then maybe you get to a point where a couple of days away actually starts to feel restorative for you and you can have the deeper conversations.

And remember, the thing I want to be really clear on this point, Doug, the purpose of the getaways is not to go and work on the relationship. You know, we’re not sitting there in the hotel room or whatever, talking about all the stuff that’s hard and bad. Let’s climb a mountain together. Let’s have an adventure. And maybe while you’re out walking around that city or at the Airbnb, then there’s an opportunity to have some conversations about the relationship. But that’s not the point of the retreat.

Doug Holt  34:36

Yes. Well, it reminds me, Andy, a lot of getting back to dating. You don’t sit down there on your second or third date and say, hey, look, I want to talk about, you know, a deep dive into our relationship. You know, that would be weird. Instead, you’re having fun, you’re getting to know each other. And I think a lot of men miss this where they miss that their wife isn’t the same woman they married. Just as we’re not the same men. She’s changed and getting into her world, it can be a fun adventure like it used to.

Andy Torr  35:04

Absolutely, absolutely. And the only constant in life is change. So we can expect ourselves to change, we can expect our partners to change. And the purpose of the maintenance is for us to keep up with the changes, right? Your car is going to incur some mileage, and it’s going to change the more you drive it, right. And so you get to maintain it, you get to replace some parts, you got to keep it in as good condition as you possibly can so that it has a nice long life and you can enjoy it.

Doug Holt  35:30

I love it. I love it. Well, Andy, thank you for all that you do for the movement for the men, and just all that you bring.

Andy Torr  35:36

Oh, such a pleasure, Doug. Thanks so much for the opportunity.

Doug Holt  35:39

Absolutely. Well, gentlemen, as I always say in the moment of insight, take massive action. Go back, rewind this, Andy has given you a lot of tips from BaseCamp to daily, to weekly, to quarterly check-ins that you can do for your marriage. Treat it like that automobile that you’re going to have the rest of your life, right. You want this to drive it, you want that ride to be pretty smooth. And Andy’s figured out a great way doing it with his first lady, so make sure you do with yours. Guys, see you next time on the TPM Show.