How Mark and i keep our relationship Hot and healthy
In this episode, my dear, brave husband Mark Testa and I share some tips that have helped us thrive in our ten years together.
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In this episode you'll discover
Mark and I celebrated our ten year anniversary last week! We were reflecting on our time together, and thought it would be fun to share a bit of our story, and what has helped us to keep our relationship thriving during so much chaos.
It's not been all rainbows and unicorns by any means, but we always find a way to come back together, to focus on what is good and amplify the health of our partnership. And thankfully we have found ways to keep our chemistry hot and alive!
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(Full Transcript Below)
Hello, and welcome to The Find Your Feminine Fire Podcast. I am your host, Amanda Testa. I am a sex love and relationship coach, and in this podcast, my guests and I talk sex love and relationships and everything that lights you up from the inside out. Welcome. Hello everyone. And welcome to the Find Your Feminine Fire Podcast. I'm your host, Amanda Testa. Today, I am going to be talking with the amazing Dr. Mark Testa, who is also my husband, and today is actually our 10 year anniversary. So I thought it would be a fun episode to do a little bit of reflecting on 10 years of marriage and how we've made it this far. So, Mark, thank you for being here. Thank you
Mark Testa (00:51):
For having me, Amanda. It's great to be here. I'm excited to share some of this information and tell you a few things that you don't know about me yet.
Amanda Testa (01:00):
I love that. I always love a bit of mystery because that is definitely exciting. The air of mystery can bring a lot of excitement, especially in a longterm partnership. We have been together for 12 years married for 10, right? Yep. So Mark, before we dive in, maybe you could talk a little bit about who you are and what you do and why you're being brave enough to come on this call because I know not every husband would be this brave, so thank you for doing it.
Mark Testa (01:28):
Yeah. Perfect. Well, thanks for doing it. It was a good recommendation this morning. I'm a chiropractor and acupuncturist for the last 30 years. I've had my hands on thousands and thousands of people and I've just, you know, always been into alternative medicine, natural medicine, integrative medicine, holistic stuff, functional medicine. And really, I think just my nature is to be more naturaland into nature and into, you know, the natural sciences. And so that's sort of my background and I think my courage to be here is I like to educate and share things with people. And I certainly know from touching thousands and thousands and thousands of people, there is no one way and we all need some sort of constant, you know, reminder and support. And so if I can do that, whether it's in healthcare or relationships or other things that interest me, I love to do it.
Amanda Testa (02:24):
I love that. And I have to say it's sometimes really fun to hear your partner talk about themselves in a way that you don't normally every day as you are living with someone all the time. And especially now with the craziness of the world and the pandemic and being stuck together, you might not feel very excited around each other's presence, but sometimes when you can have these different perspectives to see one another end, it can remind you like, Oh yeah, this is why I was attracted to this person in the first place. Right,
Mark Testa (02:53):
Right. That is true. And I think, you know, it's important to like our anniversary to remember that who I fell in love with, because right, sitting here so close to you and looking at you, it's awesome. Cause we don't really do this in the daytime. You're busy on busy, but slowing down to remember who you fell in love with is awesome.
Amanda Testa (03:12):
I love that. Slowing down to remember whp you fell in love with so sweet and it's something that is sometimes hard in the business of life. So that's one of the things I wanted to talk about today. Like what are some things that we, that we do to keep our relationship harmonious and exciting and loving, and then what we do when it's not in that flow because we're humans. And obviously we have our moments. We're very passionate.
Mark Testa (03:36):
We are very passionate. You and me and our daughter and together it's a,
Amanda Testa (03:42):
It's a fire your energy up in here.
Mark Testa (03:45):
Amanda Testa (03:46):
So let's talk to that. The first thing is how about trying to make time to remember who you fell in love with, how can you do that when life is so busy and you feel like you have zero alone time, so I'll share a couple of things that I feel are helpful. And then Mark, I'd love to hear your opinion as well, because I think one of the things that we always know is when we make time, even if it's 10 minutes, it is huge because we both are busy. We're both working from home. We both have a lot of responsibilities and we also have our daughter who just turned eight. And so trying to parent, and also with a single child, she wants a lot of our attention. So feeling like we have zero time together , you know, happens a lot. So I think even just finding those little moments when you can get together, even if it's for five minutes, maybe before, like we like often in the morning before our daughter wakes up, we'll work out together. We will maybe have a cup of coffee together, or if we're working together and we can sneak away, we'll go grab a cup of coffee. And another thing is when you feel like you can't get away at all, from being a parent is honestly taking advantage of screen time. Right. Sometimes you got to let them watch a show and have some time together.
Mark Testa (04:54):
Yeah. Right. Exactly. I love our coffee breaks, which we don't get maybe once a week, but we walked down to the local coffee shop and that is great. And like Amanda said, it reminds me of the analogy, little hinges, swing, big doors, just 10 minutes, just can connect us, reconnect us when we're working at home. And you know, we're both busy when you just come over to my side of the office and sit on my lap. I love that. I mean, it's, it's great. And I should do more of that to you, but I like you on my lap then you probably want me on yours. But yeah. You know, I think that, that, and you know, I think too, the other thing is you got, gotta work on yourself before you can, you know, expect to get fulfilled from somebody else. And you know, I'm really saying that to myself again, which I, and I do that a lot with journaling and meditation and journaling a lot lately. So
Amanda Testa (05:47):
I have to say, I'm very grateful that Mark and I are both on a path of growth and trying to be, always learn and do better. And you know, we've actually bonded a lot of recently over things that we want to do together. Like, you know, definitely working more on our daily actions to be anti-racist and to do what we can to help those who are oppressed and to, you know, bring more justice in the world and all the ways. And as well as, you know, you mentioned earlier finding time, even if, you know, to come sit on your lap or whatnot. And I think it's finding ways to flirt and keep that fun alive. And that's one of the things we realized lately is that with all the stress and with everything going on, we haven't had much fun. And we put a lot of pressure on ourselves with our businesses and with our parenting.
Amanda Testa (06:35):
And I think just really taking a step back on occasion and just saying, you know what, we do have so much fun when we allow ourselves to, so we just made that a new intention, like we just reconnected to our intention of, yeah, let's have more fun. And since we have, it makes it much more easy to sneak out for those little breaks or to put this priority of even recording this podcast interview, you know? And so like when I take this five minutes to come and flirt or flash or something fun, you know, just to be playful and to remember the way you were in the beginning, there's a quote from Tony Robbins. And I, you know, you may think what you will with him, but I do appreciate this quote. He talked about, you know, "if you do what you do in the beginning, there won't be an end. "And I think there's some truth to that in some ways, because often the longer you're with someone you lose that kind of putting your best self forward or, you know, putting in more effort, I guess, right.
Mark Testa (07:32):
More effort for sure. Or, you know,
Amanda Testa (07:37):
Mark Testa (07:37):
So like, like I got to come up with more, but if you just reprioritize your efforts, I mean, we work in waste so much time on stupid things that we don't really need to do. And I can just say, you know, since January I've been largely off Facebook and I love that and just not wasting time there. So not necessarily coming up with more time, but just reprioritizing it. So you focus on the things that are important and really for me in this pandemic and just, you know, witnessing and watching, I thank your family and your health are the two most, I mean, everybody says it, but if you don't realize that by now, get your journal out, that's yourself. Why not? But I think those are the most important things to put, put attention on. Right.
Amanda Testa (08:21):
Right. So, as Mark mentioned about, you know, with making more time, when you feel like there isn't having that intention, like you said, just putting intention behind what you're doing is huge. And then the second thing we were just talking about was doing your own work and always not expecting everything from your partner. I think it can be really easy to think, well, Oh, if they only did this or it's all because they do that and Oh, if they only did this, you know, we really can do a lot of blaming. And I think when you can stop and take responsibility for your side of the equation, cause there's always two sides. And I know when Mark and I first got together, he would say this quote, if you want more love, give more love, which I don't know who to attribute that to. But I think it's so beautiful because it's true. If you notice that things are really disconnected in your relationship, what are some things you can do to make an effort to reconnect? Maybe even it's just making a list of all the things you appreciate about your partner. Maybe it's remembering some of the things that you used to do together that you love and finding a way to bring essences of that into the present moment.
Mark Testa (09:20):
Yeah. Yeah. I agree. And you know, they want to exercise. We, we, we should do it tomorrow night on our date night fears loves and desires because when you ask, what do you love about me? It really makes you you know, especially when you go for two or three minutes uninterrupted and you know, you're beautiful, you're hot, you turn me on, et cetera. Right. Those things come out immediately. But then you start going deeper about what you really love about that person and reflecting on it and realizing that, you know, they have a lot of great attributes and things that you connect with on connect well on that sometimes just get overlooked. Or you said something today where, you know, hopefully you don't go too far beyond where you started and slip down a slippery slope. And
Amanda Testa (10:14):
I think that's one of the things Mark said early on in our relationship about building a strong foundation. I know I'm very lucky. I have awesome partner. He's so aware, but that when you have those cracks in the foundation, you need to work to amend those. And sometimes after you've been in a relationship for a long time, I remember before we ever had our daughter, we never really argued. It's really easy not to argue when you don't have a lot on your plate. And then obviously becoming parents out of a lot more stress and less time together. And so there would be more and speaking of children, I was just interrupted. So we had to pause for a second. So yes, back to that, I remember we got into some arguments that were really unkind and I feel like there's like a threshold that's broken at that point sometimes. And you go past a level of the way you would treat one another and you have to like go back and men that foundation and recommit to kindness and respect and you know, we're all human it's going to happen. You're going to lose your shit at times and say things you don't mean, but the more you really have to work to repair the damage.
Mark Testa (11:13):
I agree. Totally agree. And I said it last night when we were falling asleep, when I say, I'm sorry, I love you. I'm sorry. Cause I was just thinking about some stuff and, and felt bad. And I just wanted you to know that.
Amanda Testa (11:28):
Yeah. I think it's a beautiful process. It's called the h'oponopono and it's a really beautiful forgiveness prayer. And it's, I love you. I'm sorry, please. Forgive me. Thank you. And I think it's been really powerful. We've even at times to just spend a few minutes saying that to one another and so much is comes up and there's often emotion and tears and things that can come up. And there's also very healing because you're offering forgiveness to yourself and your partner for being human right for
Mark Testa (12:03):
It is it's just being human and know. And I think about that too. You know, there, there is no place you get, like there is no better, there is no place that's under the rainbow. And again, I think about all the people I've talked to and touched in 30 years, everybody has a story. Everyone has a story and some worse than others, but Nope, there is no perfect anything other than just accepting, you know, who you are and where you are. And like I tell them man, and our daughter, I wake up every morning really with the intent to be, you know, as good as I can be every day. Yeah.
Amanda Testa (12:46):
And I think that forgiveness piece is such a huge part in relationships, especially longterm relationships. And, you know, we talked about making more time. We talked about being intentional. We talked about doing your own work. And I think the other thing I want to bring up is just, you know, creating practices and rituals to honor the sacred connection that you have. Right. I love the fact that, you know, there's millions and billions of people in the world. And for some reason, you and this person bonded and connected and fell in love. And it's a huge gift. I feel like it's such a huge gift. And often we forget the sacredness of that in the business of life. And so finding times to create those environments where you can be vulnerable and intimate with one another and maybe it ends in sex, maybe it doesn't, but it's just finding time to connect.
Amanda Testa (13:35):
And I think the key that's helped us, obviously me being in the work that I'm in is I've learned a ton of tools and practices, but actually using those things, doing them as a practice. And he mentioned earlier, one of my favorite practices, it's called the fears, desires and loves practice. And I can actually, if you want to get that, you can go to my website and download it. It's www.amandatesta.com/intimacy, And you can get this practice. It's such a powerful one and it's often really hard. Like I'm curious Mark, the first time you ever did it. How was that for you?
Mark Testa (14:11):
Well, it's awkward and it's hard, you know, what do you fear? What, you know, those are hard. It's makes you it's you're vulnerable, but that makes the ignites the connection man, like amazing when you're so vulnerable with your partner and really in their face while you're doing this thing. So at first it was, you know, little uncomfortable, but now it is just the most healing connecting, you know, thing, one of the rituals we do. And I love it.
Amanda Testa (14:40):
And I'm curious, Mark, what we would say to people out there listening who are maybe like, Oh, my husband would never do that. You know, what could you say to them to know what could they say to their partners to get them excited to do something like this or at least to get them on board to be open?
Mark Testa (14:55):
Yeah. I just think about some of my friends and put myself in trying to convince them, I think just, you know, being gentle with it and you know, what talk about what you hope to get from it. Like, you know, if you know, you've been not paying enough attention to each other, that might be, and you want to pay more attention to each other, that might be the catalyst to doing it. Hey, we have this, I learned this cool thing and you know, I think it would help us get back to what we used to do and have more fun in our life and relationship. And, and I probably, you know, talk about the benefit that could come from it, especially, you know, when you were first in love and yeah,
Amanda Testa (15:38):
I know that's a question I get. And I think that really is, is like getting really clear on why it's important to you and what you hope to benefit and how it could benefit the both of you are key things to share. And so, and I'm curious to Mark over the years with all of that, thank you for being so patient and open to all the beautiful practices and tantric rituals. And so much of that is incredibly powerful. Sacred sexuality is a huge part of what I teach. And I think it's so important and you can do it with, or without a partner, but something about it, as I mentioned earlier, it helps you really, really honor that sacred connection, that gift that you have to be with this partner and really making spirituality something you can do together and actually have a whole course around that, because I think so many couples can use this as a tool to, you know, make things more exciting and to keep the passion going in longterm relationships. I mean, I think there's so much depth that can be had when you explore these angles. And I'm curious Mark, from your perspective, what have you gained from it or what maybe is one of being open to some of these practices? How would you say that they have deepened our relationship?
Mark Testa (16:47):
I, again, I think with the vulnerability helps deepen it, but also, you know, just it's it aligns what you're doing together and keeps it moving in the right direction or, you know, in, in a, in a single direction, right. It's not going all over the place. One person going one place, the other person going another. So I think, you know, it's been helpful that way, especially, you know, some of the prac that the relationship intention in and of itself is powerful. I mean, you're working on it together. And so I think so many couples just drift apart. Like I got my job, you got yours, I'll see you in the house on Saturday and Sunday, see at bedtime and drift. And it doesn't mean you're having an affair or anything like that else, but you just grow apart. So I think these things help, you know, are good. I don't want to use the word glue, but good attraction to remain attracted to each other, a good energy to remain attracted.
Amanda Testa (17:51):
And it doesn't mean not only connects you physically, which is a big part of it. You connect energetically and you, you know, remember that you are on the same page because I think we often forget that. And there's a lot of resentment that can breed. And when you are on the same page, I think there is more of a community feel and the relationship in the family. I mean, I feel like, at least for me, what I can see as I see more of a, you know, we all are going towards the same goal. So everyone steps up to the plate, whether that's with household responsibilities or parenting, or, you know, taking turns, making date nights or whatnot,
Mark Testa (18:33):
You say it so much better than I do. That's great. Yeah. It does help with that sort of unity and, and, you know, and then you talk about things like I've learned a lot from Amanda that help us with our relationship. I and our daughter has too. And I've learned from that. And that's I think that helps make you a better partner to get an understanding how your spouse ticks cause it's different than when you started dating. It's different than before you had kids. It's different. Certainly after kids, it's different since March, since we've all been together, 99.9% of the time
Amanda Testa (19:12):
I know, I love, I was you might've heard my interview with Emily Nagoski a few weeks ago, talking about how togetherness can be kind of like pizza, right? And you love your partner, but you love pizza and maybe you've just eaten a whole pizza and you're like, you know what? I am good on pizza. Like I love pizza, but I don't need any more pizza right now. I'm going to go take a nap. So like finding ways to have time for yourself. And I think that was something that even I think was in our wedding vows, but that, that quote from Khalil Gibran might be mispronouncing his name. I can't think of exactly what I'm talking about. It's about may there be space in your together. Khalil Gibran.Thank you. Maybe there'll be space in your togetherness. And I think that sometimes what we forget is like doing things that light you up, making sure that you make time for that and giving space for your partner to do that so that when you come back together, you're each whole and have more to bring versus expecting someone to meet all those needs for you. That's unrealistic and it's unfair. Really.
Mark Testa (20:08):
It is unfair. And since, you know, since you've been taking these morning hikes, right, that's where you get rejuvenate and revived and I can see it and tell it. And it, you know, you come into our relationship a different person and it is helpful to just like, yeah, put your own seatbelt on first or however the saying goes,
Amanda Testa (20:25):
Because I can totally tell when I'm not doing those things and not doing my practice and we'll lose an egg, we'll lose it. Right. I just feel like my nervous system is fried at zero patients. I don't want to be touched. And then if I take that time to even do a practice or take a hike or whatever it is, even if it's five minutes of breathing in the bathroom, I notice a difference. And I think too, like if you are worried, you know, that your would be supportive as you dive on these journeys. I think one of the things that that's a perfect thing to share is that how much better you are, how much everyone benefits when you take care of yourself? Cause I remember when I first went on this journey, I was so mortified. I remember my first, the first time I signed up for that Jade Egg course, it was all about reclaiming your sex drive. And I had no clue what it was and I was embarrassed. I didn't want anyone to know. So I think I did eventually tell Mark, I'm like, don't come in the bedroom and doing this practice. And then he would see how different I was after. Like, can you tell it to, to just the difference in it? Like maybe if you notice right after I'm fresh from a practice, how I am versus otherwise sometimes.
Mark Testa (21:23):
Right, right afterwards, you're very energetic, very bubbly, very grounded, very central to me, very beautiful. Just much more relaxed I can, you know patient just really re just recharge. It's just, it's very night and day obvious when you do those practices. And then when we, when you come out of it afterwards,
Amanda Testa (21:46):
And I think the same is just for giving your partner that space. Because if you do, once you, once they see how different they are after a break, then you're going to support that. Right. I am supportive of Mark, taking time to do what he needs to do. And he's supportive of me taking time to do what I need to do, because we both know it's better for everyone that way. So I think that could be a great way to wrap it up is just how really supporting one another supporting yourselves. Obviously you've got to have to compromise at times, but knowing that it's for the good of all right,
Mark Testa (22:16):
It is and what relationship, what thing doesn't exist without compromise. It's just, that's what yin yang is. They coexist and they need each other and without one, the other doesn't happen and it's just all fluid. It's I mean, think it's any other way is it's just not anywhere.
Amanda Testa (22:39):
I'm so very grateful to be married to you, Mark. Thank you.
Mark Testa (22:42):
Grateful that to be married to you and that we're still together, we still love each other and we do all this fun stuff together. Thank you.
Amanda Testa (22:52):
We do. And I think that's what makes us remember that we love each other because it's so easy to forget when you are doing all the boring chopping wood and hauling water day to day activities, dealing with the meltdowns bedtime, that takes four hours away. Right? So, well, I just want to thank you all so much for listening and hopefully you have gleaned something to support you in your relationship. I'll also just invite you to check out that practice and see how, you know, how it works for your relationship. I'd love to hear. And I'm curious Mark too, if you have any other last words or anything else you'd like to share on reflecting on 10 years of marriage together.
Mark Testa (23:36):
Yeah. Just keep growing together, you know, invite your spouse, just keep inviting them to participate with you and work on it together. Cause you know, the environment needs to be ripe and then you got to fertilize it, the seeds already been planted and you've just got to, you know, just keep inviting your partner. And I know I don't always want to, but you keep inviting me and we do it. And I'm always, I'm like, what? Why didn't I do that earlier? I'm always kicking myself, but just keep yeah. Just keep, keep working on it. Yeah.
Amanda Testa (24:08):
It's like anything, you know, even if you think about exercise or whatever it is you're doing at first, you're like, I don't want to go. But afterwards you feel amazing. And like anything that you want to nurture and that you want to flourish and grow, you have to take care of it. You have to spend time and energy and effort there. And it can be a fun, rewarding experience. It doesn't have to feel hard and it doesn't always have to involve like sitting in a therapist, all this hashing things out, you don't have to go there. There's so many other ways you can mean that course that's one way and that can be supportive, but there's many ways to go about connecting and reconnecting. So thank you.
Mark Testa (24:46):
Well, thanks for having me on your show. I've always wondered what it was like to be on your show. So thanks for doing it. And this is an amazing space you have,
Amanda Testa (25:00):
And thank you so much all for listening and see you next week. Thank you so much for listening to the Find Your Feminine Fire podcast. This is your host, Amanda Testa. And if you have felt a calling while listening to this podcast to take this work to a deeper level, this is your golden invitation. I invite you to reach out. You can contact me at amandatesta.com/activate And we can have a heart to heart to discuss more about how this work can transform your life. You can also join us on Facebook @Find Your Feminine Fire Group. And if you've enjoyed this podcast, please share with your friends, go to iTunes and give me a five star rating and a raving review. So I can connect with other amazing listeners like yourself. Thank you so much for being a part of the community.