Greg Gorman shares how he and his wife Julie help married couples thrive and save their relationship from going downhill before it is all too late.
Greg Gorman, founder of Married For A Purpose, joins me on the podcast today and we go over why this is. We dive deep into what makes marriage successful and why you should be married with a purpose, not to avoid to the problems. Learn tips on how to date again and how to serve each other better in this amazing episode of the Brett Snodgrass Podcast.
As a John Maxwell Certified Coach, Teacher and Speaker, Greg Gorman can offer you workshops, seminars, keynote speaking, and coaching, aiding your personal and professional growth through study and practical application of John’s proven leadership methods. Greg and Julie serve on the Executive President's council for the John Maxwell Team. They are also certified LIFEPLAN facilitators Working together, Greg will move you and/or your team or organization in the desired direction to reach your goals. As a front-running leader of top producing teams for over 25 years, Greg has enjoyed coaching and transforming struggling organizations to top-performing teams. Greg & Julie have also authored multiple books including Married for a Purpose, What I Wish My Mother Had Told Me About Marriage, Two Are Better Than One: God Has A Purpose for Your Marriage, and What I Wish My Mother Had Told Me About Men.
GREG & JULIE'S WEBSITE: www.marriedforapurpose.com
GORMAN LEADERSHIP: https://www.gormanleadership.com/
FEATURED BLOG ARTICLES:
LINKED IN: www.linkedin.com/in/marriedforapurpose
GREG & JULIE'S BOOKS:
Doyou feel like your marriage is going downhill? You and your spouse aren'tconnecting the same, you've lost the passion and fun that marriage used to be?Greg Gorman, founder of Married For A Purpose, joins me on the podcast todayand we go over why this is. We dive deep into what makes marriage successfuland why you should be married with a purpose, not to avoid to the problems.Learn tips on how to date again and how to serve each other better in thisamazing episode of the Brett Snodgrass Podcast.
I’m excited for you to join me. I got a great friend of mine, Greg Gorman, on the show with me. He's from South Florida. He’s married with three kids, an entrepreneur, and a businessman. You guys are going to love him. He is a man of adventure. He's dropping so many nuggets on this show. He’s crazy about marriage. Before I introduce you to Greg Gorman, though, I want you guys to go over to our new website, IronDeep.com.
We’ve got a new retreat coming up. It’s our very first Iron Deep Men's Awakening is coming up on September 25th of 2022. We’ve got maybe four spots left. You guys are not going to miss this Men's Awakening event. It is for entrepreneurs and business owners who are male, who are seeking more of what you say, not necessarily more money, but more significance in life, deeper intimacy with God, and more relationships with other guys.
You guys want to check that at IronDeep.com. Go to that. Also, check out our new YouTube channel at Iron Deep. Check that out. Now, I want to introduce you to Greg Gorman. Who is Greg Gorman? He is from South Florida. He is a family man, and an intentional husband to his amazing wife, Julie. He's an intentional father, and he intentionally has a lot of fun, and you guys are going to see that.
He believes our potential is our greatest gift and lives to help mine that potential from himself and others around him. His website is MarriedForAPurpose.com, and Greg and his wife Julie, are extremely passionate about helping married couples thrive. He takes a unique different approach. You are not going to want to miss this. I talked to him after the show about signing up my wife and me for his program, The Reboot Process. I want to introduce you to Mr. Greg Gorman. What's going on, Greg?
How's it going, buddy?
I'm doing fantastic. I’m super excited to have you on the show. We're going to be talking about marriage, and not only marriage but how to be married for a purpose. I’m super excited about that because you run an organization, Married For A Purpose.
It's exciting to be here.
Before we get talking about the nuts and bolts of marriage, why there's such a problem with marriages out there and a lot of people are in this lukewarm type of mediocre marriage. Some of them are hanging by a thread in their married life, but let's start with this question. Who is Greg Gorman?
I am a father of three. We live in South Florida. My wife and I, and I am also the husband of Julie Gorman. I love being near the beach. Here in South Florida, we live about a mile off of the beach. Anything having to do with water, you've got my attention. I'm all in. I love fishing. I love hunting. I have a passion for marriage, which is something that I didn't expect, honestly. I fell into it, and feel like at this point it's a calling. It's someplace in my life that has borne a lot of fruit, both for my family, but also, for others. Outside of that, I'm an oxymoron they say. I've been called a surfer hick dude. I'll pick up by my language that sometimes it doesn't compute. It's like, “Is this guy a surfer or is he a hillbilly?” The answer is yes.
The answer is yes, both. What have been the best waves you surfed at and the location?
I would say, Australia. Australia was really nice. We have waves here on the Southeast Coast of Florida, but there are only a couple of places where they break well. The Bondi Beach in Australia, they’re pretty smooth.
That's a bucket list for me. I’m going to get there sometime. We're going to be talking about marriage, and you said you fell into this. This isn't something when you were 20, 21 years old, you're like, “I'm going to be a marriage coach, consultant. Me and my wife were going to help marriages.” Talk to us about how did you fall into this? What happened to you to get so passionate about marriage?
Julie and I have been married many years now, and we were both married and divorced before. We brought a lot of baggage into our marriage. Our spouses, both of them were unfaithful. Biblical grounds for divorce, both of us tried really hard to make our previous marriages work, but nonetheless, eventually, we had thrown the towel.
When we came together, baggage from our previous marriage, plus our upbringing and all the different things that we all encounter in life, everybody's got a story, but we brought ours right into the marriage. The short version is we almost didn't make it. We loved each other passionately, but we fought as passionately. I can remember in fact about a little over two years into our marriage, when Julie and I both realized we went a whole day and didn't fight.
When I say fight, I mean fight. Sometimes, it was legit. As God would have it really, both of us are fairly growth-minded and want to improve as human beings, as leaders, and things of that nature. As we continued to go on our own growth journey, we began to change. There were a couple of turning points in our marriage where we realized that the health of our marriage was not up to the other person changing. It was up to me changing. For her, it was up to her changing. “This one's for free because you didn't ask,” but I believe that that's a great fundamental for anyone who is in a relationship.
It does take two, obviously, but the only way to grow is to grow yourself and focus on what it is that you might need to do in order to improve the relationship. As we continued to grow as people, our marriage got healed. We had begun teaching a young marriage class two years into our marriage. It's funny because we were called by our pastor to do this. Remember it's hair, teeth, and eyeballs at our house. It's not pretty.
You guys still said yes. You guys said, “We're going to teach this.”
It was funny because we sat down, and I'm a very authentic, very transparent person, what you see is what you get. I shared it with Julie. I said, “I'm willing to do this and I'm excited about doing it, but I'm not going to go in with the church face on. If we're going to do this, we're going to go in and we're going to be straight.” We fought on the way to church that day.
We did. We were very transparent and authentic with the people. I feel like what happened is through that approach, it was a signature to everything we do, that people felt comfortable. They felt like they weren't the aliens in the room who were dealing with something that nobody else could relate to. In fact, the very people that were leading the class had their stuff that they were trying to work through.
I believe that it made us relatable, and it created an environment where people didn't feel like they were going to be judged. That thing took off like crazy. It was so blessed. Over the course of time, we continued to find ourselves serving in marriage ministries. We ended up writing a book or two. We had always worked together. I'm trying to draw this to a point for you, but years ago, I felt like I had a tug at my heart. Julie and I needed to be working together again. I tried to pull her in. I was doing a lot of corporate speaking and executive coaching at the time. I was also running a couple of other businesses of ours.
I wanted to do something with her again. I tried to drag her into my world which didn't work at all. She's got a lot of competencies for business and such, but it wasn't her jam. She wasn't having it. As I continued to process and pray, I realized, that if I'm to look at our life and see where there is a unification, a cross-pollination of the fruit, it is in marriage. We began to toy around with some of the things that we had learned over the years that had taken our marriage to the next level and things that we'd shared with other people.
We found a passion. I thought that my passion would be in business, and I still do have a passion for business, Brett. It was interesting how God refined my heart because it's such a great need as you mentioned before. We have such a different approach and there's been such great healing. It's very gratifying to work with people and see not their marriage, but their life change. We developed a passion for it.
What you said about how you came into that class and took off the mask, number one, you were vulnerable, real, and raw. That speaks volumes, because a lot of times, we feel like we can't relate to the expert, the teacher, but if the people can relate to you, that's awesome. That's a great foundation. It's why you guys are so successful with what you do. Let's get into the problems a little bit. I know there are a lot of common problems with married couples. I went through premarital counseling and they talked about, “Here are the top 3 or 4 problems that you're going to face.” No one walks down the aisle and gets married, thinking that this is going to be a mediocre marriage. “We're going to struggle. I hope that we don't thrive, that our marriage is okay.”
No one says that. We all want to have a great marriage. We want to thrive. we want to be in love with each other, do things together, and have a purpose, but it seems like that's not the case. Many times, when I was talking to you about it, we're doing some men's things, and one of the biggest problems in these men's lives is marriage. They’ve got this great business. They're doing some great things, but when I ask them about their marriage, it's like, “It's all right.” I'm going to ask you, why is that? What are some of the problems that you're seeing with these marriages? What are some commonality?
First of all, for any of your readers, let me say this. If you think about it logically, there are few things that are more worthy of your time and an application of yourself than your marriage. The reason is that if you've ever been an employer, as an example, then you know how a marriage problem affects the productivity of an employee. I know countless executives and worker bees from all ends of the spectrum, police officers, and military. When you begin to have problems at home, it affects every area of your life.
Statistically, happily, thriving marriages make more money. They're healthier physically and they're generally happier. Something that touches so many different areas of our lives, it's worth making the investment to do a little maintenance on it every now and then. The problems, if you will, that we run into most commonly, the first one I say, everybody's going to like, “No kidding.” It's communication.
What we found, Brett, is that people know that it's an issue, but they're not sure exactly what to do about it. At the risk of sounding a little bit anecdotal, I want to offer a thought on that, if I may. One of the things that we have found that is so incredibly breakthrough is when a husband and wife can begin to learn to communicate properly by slowing everything down in their communication.
What I mean is when we begin to get irritated, then the conversations tend to speed up and we start replying fast, and it gets emotional. As soon as that happens, there are two little glands that sit on top of our kidneys called adrenals. Once those babies kick in, then we have the flight or fight that sets in. What that simply means is that our blood literally drains out of our brain and into our extremities, which means we're not thinking straight any longer. When we start slowing things down a little bit, that helps us to get ahold of our emotions a little bit.
The second piece of it is to listen for understanding, not for reply. This is something that, generally speaking, we as Americans suck at. Probably elsewhere in the world too, but we are in such a microwave fast-paced society, that we are constantly listening about the first three words and we're thinking about what we're going to say in response. It is a recipe for disaster.
I've learned with Julie and with many other relationships that if I will slow down and listen for understanding, what that looks like is, pausing and not thinking about what I'm going to say, but trying to listen. Do I understand what she's saying? I then ask a question to ask for clarity to make sure that I understand what her point is or to find out more, so that I can better understand. I may not agree, but if I can understand, then it's going to at least help me to have more of an intelligent response.
Communication, slowing down, and listening for understanding. Anything else with that?
Not with that, but you mentioned problems in general, because that one's so common, I wanted to throw that one out there. Let me give you another broad stroke too, because of the way that you asked the question. One of the things that Julie and I learned is that all thought leaders throughout time have disagreed on a lot of different things. No matter what era of time they come from, and no matter if they're Baptist or Buddhist or anywhere between, there's one central thing that they've all agreed on unanimously. That is we've become what we think about. If that's true, then it's important that we think about what it is we're thinking about. I'm not trying to play Dr. Seuss here. I mean that.
Let that set on you a second. Think about what it is that you're allowing to occupy your brain space. As it applies to the marriage relationship, many times, the couples begin to hit some speed bumps. If they get up enough courage, and that's a big if, to reach out to someone to get some help, all too often, the person on the other side of the table wants to immediately dive into the problems and the issues. “Let's talk about the problems, talk about the issues, let's see if we can fix the problems, solve the problems, and so on and so forth.” If that's true, if that's the normal approach, and if what we know that all the thought leaders have agreed upon, and King Solomon said, “As we think in our hearts, so we become.”
If that's true, then if we spend our time trying to diagnose, fix, and solve problems, even though our intent is noble, the subject matter is still a problem. That's a negative pull on our spirit, what we learned is that there's a better question. We're not saying that you need to ignore problems, problems exist. When David went to fight Goliath, he didn't say, “There is no Goliath, there's no giant over there mouthing off,” but he came with a different approach. We encourage couples to build on common ground by asking, “What's the desired outcome?” Fair enough, we've got all these problems, we've got these issues, but rather than focusing and giving energy, because here's another truth statement, what you feed grows and what you starve dies.
We keep feeding the problems, and what happens is we become problem-aware, and every time we solve one, there's another, and we're knocking on the door waiting to be solved. We're feeding it. As we begin to ask different questions, what is the desired outcome? What do we both agree that we want? We may need to take that on a high level at first, but once we find what and where we can agree, then we can begin to pull it down to some of the more specifics and begin to build a vision together on how it is that we get to what it is that we both agree is a desired outcome. Now all of our energy and all of our focus is moving forward to where we want to be, instead of focusing on what we didn't want was causing issues to begin with. Does that make sense?
It does. I love your approach. Before the show, you said you guys use a different type of approach, you use a unique approach. I'm already bought in because even on your website, I was reading through it and it talked about how you don't have a problem-focused marriage, you want a purpose-focused marriage, and you focus on the purpose. Where do you want to go?
It's funny, even when I asked that question, my expectation was to think about, “The big problems are finances, sex, in-laws,” and go down the list. I love this approach. You're focused on this purpose-focused marriage. I want to dive into some practical applications. I know this is a lot and it's heavy. This takes a lot of time and a lot of work, but talk to our audience a little bit about some practical application of someone who says, “I want a purpose-focused marriage.” What are the first couple of steps that they can do with that?
First, we always have to start with, again, communication and simultaneously with that communication in trying to understand, because here's what happens, Brett. When we are dating, we put our best foot forward. We're on our best behavior, and we're very gracious. In other words, there's not much about the person that we're dating that we're going to take issue with. If so, we may not date them for very long. Is that fair to say? We're putting our best foot forward. Then once we get married, the dynamic begins to immediately change. This is an important thing to recognize because what happens is we get comfortable and when we get comfortable, we're no longer putting our best foot forward.
We get complacent. Those are two Cs that come along with one another. The more comfortable we are, the more complacent we get. You'll find this in your marriage, you'll find it in your business, your finances, and so on and so forth as well. That complacency is where things begin to erode. If we can recognize it as such, then, we can begin to rewind to go, “What do I need to do to be able to see my spouse as a person instead of a spouse?”
As a person who has good days, who has bad days, who never intended to whiz in your Wheaties and ruin yours. They got stuff going on. When I look at Julie as a human being, and I actually see her as a person, I realize that there are times, and there have been seasons in my marriage where I've treated total strangers with more grace than what I've treated her.
I certainly treated coworkers and bosses and so on and so forth, because I don't have to air out every single grievance that I have with my boss. I wouldn't be working somewhere if I did that. I don't expect my employees to do that with me either, but yet for some reason, I've had seasons in my life where I felt like I needed to do that with Julie. Again, it comes back to that thought circle, “What am I allowing to preoccupy my mind?” Those are some good things because then we can begin to think about, “What do I need to do to begin to see my spouse as a person and begin to date them? How can I freshen this thing up?”
The other thing is to look at what your list of expectations is. In one of the books that we wrote, one of the chapters is about expectations that cause confrontations. It's interesting because we all, if we're honest, come into marriage with a certain set of expectations. If we've had good premarital coaching, counseling, whatever, then they've helped us uncover some of those things that we need to talk about that maybe we didn't even know we needed to talk about.
I can tell you one of the most comical conversations Julie and I ever had was about the difference in our upbringings. As a result of that what the list of expectations were, and we cracked up at one. It's like no wonder we had sparks, not good ones, but we had good ones too. We began to break down and be honest about what those expectations were, and then level set and communicate what our expectations were going to be moving forward. It was a very productive conversation. It took us a minute to get there, but it was a very productive conversation.
On the expectations conversation, would you recommend forcing yourself and your mind to try to lower some of your expectations? For example, I came back from a camping trip with my daughter. We did a dad-daughter camping type of trip. One of the advice that I got was, “Come into this and lower your expectations,” because my expectations are high going into something like that. “We're going to have this amazing time. We're going to have the best connection we've ever had. We're going to have some emotions going on. It's going to be awesome,” but if it doesn't happen, then I'm like, “I feel let down.” It’s the same thing with marriage, do you think, to lower some of those expectations and then you're surprised?
That could be a good strategy, honestly. Everything is relative. There are some expectations. You need to have those expectations. The thing that shifted for me several years ago, Brett, that dovetails with what you're talking about there is when, as an example, I noticed that when I came home from work, I had some expectations.
Dinner’s on the table. Everything's organized. You're ready to be served. You have had a long day. She does too, I'm sure.
That's the thing. There was a place on my drive that when I went past this, I began to switch my hat. I started to think about, “I need to put my dad hat on and I need to put my spouse hat on, my husband hat.” I don't know what's been going on in their day, but what I do know is that I'm tired and I do hope to be served, but I need to walk in without those expectations. I need to expect to serve instead of being served. It's a tall order, fair enough, but there were times I would sit in my driveway for a few minutes before I went in so that I could mentally prepare. That intentionality goes such a long way and all of these things that we're talking about.
When we set the intention like, “What kind of an evening do I want to have?” When any one of us walks into a room, we bring an energy with us. Automatically, the temp either goes up or down, or it gets lighter or darker. It's like, “God, he is home,” “Daddy,” or, “Hey, baby.” For me, with that very black-and-white understanding, I would sit in my driveway and decide which one of those guys I wanted to be.
I didn't go in until I was ready to be the man that I was designed to be for my spouse, to pull out the best in her, to pull out the best in my kids. There were some days that were a lot harder than others, but I can tell you that as I began to personally take accountability for that change, Julie began to take accountability for that change in her as well. It began to reciprocate. It doesn't always happen immediately but in time it does.
Sometimes as a businessman, we're trying to cram everything in on the way home. I've realized sometimes I'm on the phone, I get in the driveway and I'm talking to someone, and my mind is in this conversation. When I get out, I'm way back here. My kid's jumping on me, they're like, “Hey, Dad.” I'm not prepared to be home. What I've done is, that last 15 minutes, 20 minutes, I'm not on the phone. I'm preparing myself to enter into the home life. I love that. You talked about dating your wife and putting your best foot forward and I agree. Our dating relationship was awesome. We dated for about thirteen months before we got married. Now I'm getting ready to celebrate ten years this 2022 with my wife.
It's been amazing, but I get it. I'm the same way. I've gotten comfortable, a little bit complacent here and there. I've done things now that I wouldn't have done when we were dating, treat her away, maybe not, and be attentive to her. When we were dating, I was all in. When we were together, I was present, all about, “I want to get to know you. I want to know you more and deeper,” but sometimes I'm distracted. With that, do you prepare yourself and your mind? Do you coach your clients to try to put their best foot forward, dress up a little bit, smell a little bit better, and take a shower? Are these some of the things that you're talking about putting your best foot forward and trying to date your spouse?
Yes, there are two sides to this coin in reality. It's our home. It is our spouse. It is our family. If there's one place that we should be and have permission to not be at our best, it's hopefully would be at our home. It's when we oversteer that, and we enter that lane, that ditch of complacency where it becomes a problem. There is yet another piece to this. remember, there's only one way to build anything. That's by building on common ground. Politicians around the world, for that matter, not just here in the United States, have shown us exactly what happens when we major in our differences.
We divide and we become more and more and more divided over our differences, but we've trained leadership with Dr. John Maxwell all over the world with presidents, cabinets, military bases, mom-and-pop shops, hospitals, you name it. Between that and our own leadership journey, one thing that we learned is that it doesn't matter if it's a government or a family. When you can give people a common cause, a common vision, a common purpose that they share, then they'll drop their differences and forget that they had any, to begin with and rally around the cause.
The more that we can focus on building common ground, fight for unity above all, and then formulate a vision of where we want to go, where we want to be, let's say, 2 to 5 years from now if you could begin to think. Honestly, I like to separate couples for this. We do this during our reboot process. We literally separate the spouses. Sometimes these are people who have been at each other's throats, getting ready to divorce. This is the last-ditch effort to try to make it work.
When we get to this place, we separate them and say, “Write out your vision for each one of these domains,” and then we pull them back together. It's always interesting how people come in saying, “We don't have anything in common. We're not on the same page with anything.” It is like a magic pill. It's like, “We actually want a lot of the same things.”
When we begin to capitalize on that and synthesize a common vision for their future, then it's not the discipline of doing the right thing anymore, which sometimes feels very disempowering, demotivating, and overwhelming for that matter. Here's what we need. Here's where we want to go. Here's where we want to be. What's my part to align our lives with this, and what do we need to do together to align our lives with this? Now, it's not just a vision, but it's an inspired vision, which means we don't have discipline, but we've got inspired discipline. It's inspired by the vision, which helps keep us on track.
This is good. You have to tune in to Greg Gorman and check out the website, MarriedForAPurpose.com. Greg, I want to talk about coaching and consulting, and I'm going to raise my hand where I've never had a marriage coach, honestly. We've been married for many years but haven't had that. We've been to counselors and sat in that room a few times. It’s not a lot.
I'm a big visionary. I run a business, doing this men's community called IronDeep.com. I have a vision for all that. I'm a big visionary. My wife doesn't like to talk about vision. She is a very content person who wants to pour into the kids and be at home, and that's great. We haven't had one so honestly, I get what you're saying. I want to go here. I feel like sometimes I'm dragging her. “Come on, let's go.”
I felt that way sometimes.
My question is coaching would help me possibly, but does everyone need a marriage coach, a marriage consultant, someone to help them with this process, whether they're good, okay, or on the verge of divorce?
I think so. It's probably seasonal. There are some seasons of life where we have some couples that come to us, Brett, that are doing fine, but they feel like there's more. They don't know exactly what that more is. They might be like your wife for example. They're not good at visualizing and such. A good coach is trained to ask the right questions, to be able to get down in there and help pull that stuff out of you.
If there's one thing you could change about your life right now, one thing about your marriage or your life, what would that one thing be? If your life was better a year from now than it is now, what's changed? There might be a whole series of questions like that to get you thinking in different ways than what you might be if you were in the cage of your brain. I do think that it is very necessary, in different seasons of life, because sometimes life throws us curve balls too.
Greg, thanks for being on the show. Any last tip to our audience out there about wherever they're at in marriage, whether it's on fire, good, great, or lukewarm, any tips for our audience?
There's a passage in the Bible that tells us not to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewal of our mind. That means, to me, communing with God and understanding what He wants from life. If I could encourage anybody to maybe slow down and ask God, what does He have to say about you? What does He have to say about your relationship? Get quiet. We're not great at that as Americans, generally speaking. We want to go with our list of needs and things of that nature. Allowing God to speak over us, He always speaks in love.
It's never like, “Greg, I remember the other day.” It's not like that. The reason that I say this is because it helps us secure our own identity. Anything that we say about ourselves, we believe about ourselves, or that anybody else says about us that isn't aligned with who He says we are, what He says about our situation, or who He says our spouse is out of alignment with Him, which means it's in alignment with the enemy of our soul if you want to know the truth about it. I know that's a little bit deep and fundamental in a sense, at the same time, but I believe that if we can slow down long enough to get in touch with that, then it will give us a lot of the roadmap to begin to respond differently to ourselves and to our spouse.
One of the common words that I keep hearing you say over and over again, whether it's communication or whatever, is slowing down. Slowing down, reflecting, examining yourself, and focusing on what you are thinking about. How can you help yourself grow in this area? That's a great first step for us all to do.
I'd love to recommend tons of our resources and such, and you've mentioned the website, but I will tell you another book on that note that we read that was to this point, and that is the book, Essentialism by Greg McKeown. If any of your readers have not read that, I highly encourage it. Don't make any prejudgments about what it is by the cover or the title. Get in and crack it and about three pages in.
I'm going to write that down. Thanks, Greg. It's been awesome. Thanks for being on the show. I appreciate you, buddy.
It’s such a great honor. Thanks so much. I enjoyed it.