Episode 29: Can You Change Your Partner? (“Take Me or Leave Me”) Featuring Janessa Zech

can you change your partner

“Take me as I am, baby, or leave me.”

Can you change your partner? Can you even ask your partner to change?

Marriage Theraoke goes Broadway with the song, “Take Me or Leave Me” from Rent.

We a little bit of a hard time nailing down a specific topic for this song because the song encapsulates so many common relationship problems.

The idea of “take me or leave me” has Maureen and Joanne (the couple in the song) both stuck trying to change each other but unwilling to change themselves.

Since we can’t expect to change our partner, we should start with ourselves. Join us as we discuss self-confrontation, listening to each other’s concerns and healthy expectations.

And who better to discuss a musical with than a legitimate musical theater performer? Janessa Zech joins us to talk about changing your partner and does us one better by performing this week’s song rewrite!


Follow Janessa on Instagram.


Episode 28: Armor (“Cold As Ice”) Featuring Jaime Wilkins


Brene Brown armor

We may think that fear lies at the heart of many relationship problems, but Brene Brown teaches that all successful relationships have fear- fear of change, fear of not being enough, fear of rejection.

What destroys relationships isn’t fear, but the ARMOR we put on to try to protect ourselves from the fear.

In today’s episode we interview life coach Jaime Wilkins who talks about two common forms of armor: perfectionism and numbing our emotions.

The song “Cold As Ice” by Foreigner talks all about numbing, so we give it some therapy.

Rich makes it much better. 

Show Notes:

Jaime’s website

Jaime’s Instagram

Jaime’s podcast

Rich’s lyrics:

“I’m as cold as ice.
I try to numb my insides because…
I avoid shame and strife
But now I pay the price
I know

I’ve done this before, we do all the time
Put on our armor, say “things are fine”
We close ourselves off, avoid fear and shame
Gotta be vulnerable
And embrace our pain

I’ll say it twice
We have to sacrifice for joy
To be concise
Vulnerability is the price I know

I’ve done this before, we do all the time
Put on our armor, say “things are fine”
We close ourselves off, avoid fear and shame
Gotta be vulnerable
And embrace our pain”

Episode 27 Theory Class 102: Managing Expectations Show Notes

Managing Expectations podcast

Class is in session again!

It’s Theory Class 102, where Celeste builds off of Theory Class 101 (Episode 24) in describing foundational aspects of solid relationships.

Today we are talking about tier two of a satisfying marriage: managing (and often letting go of) expectations. Specifically Celeste will go into 4 areas to manage your mindset in your marriage.

Rich is taking notes and, live during the episode, writes lyrics to an original love song with a country twang, (‘Grow Together’). 


Celeste’s Pyramid of Marital Health:

3 Tiers of Marital Health



Episode 26: Kids Over Marriage (“There Goes My Life”) Ft. Becky Squire Show Notes


kids over marriage

Two firsts in Marriage Theraoke history today: 1. We tackling children (the topic, not actual children) and 2. We are tackling country music!

First up, children.

Ideally, there would never be any conflict between our children and our marriage and everyone would get along in blissful harmony.

In reality, our children CAN and often do put a wedge in our marriages.

Either by prioritizing them above our marriage, disagreeing about parenting or just plain busyness and exhaustion.

Today we are talking about putting our marriage first with our guest Becky Squire!

And you better believe Rich harnesses his inner cowboy for the karaoke remake of this one! 

Show Notes:

Beckysquire.com (Becky’s blog)

Becky’s Instagram

Becky’s article called Why You Should Put Your Spouse Before Your Children

Becky’s article Your Husband Has 5 Basic Needs- Are You Meeting Them?

Becky’s article Your Wife Has 5 Basic Needs – Are You Meeting Them?

Rich’s Re-Written Lyrics:

“He watched his daughter drive away. Looked out the window and wiped a tear
Kinda implied that his life was over
His wife said, “you know that’s sweet but weird
You and I are still here…

She said: “I’m not here to criticize, but a thing we sometimes did
Was to spend our time, energy
Focused totally on our kid
Oh well.
But now we try to do more
And start to say…

“There goes my wife
Or There goes my husband, they’re everything
Gonna focus on them tonight
There goes my wife

So when you’re more than just “two of us”
Don’t forget your partner’s needs
Don’t undermine throw them under the bus
Give them some of your energy
And time…

Little things can mean a lot
Like greeting them when you walk through the door
I’m not saying “forget your kids”
But for your spouse needs your support

So start to say
“There goes my wife”
Or “There goes my husband, they’re everything
Gonna focus on them alright
There goes my wife”

And the iconic music video:


Episode 25: Honoring Dreams (“A Million Dreams”) Featuring Laura Heck

honoring dreams

Someone once asked renowned marriage expert Dr. John Gottman what was one thing they could do RIGHT NOW that would have the biggest impact on their marriage.

His answer?

Honor your partner’s dreams.

First we have to know what those are, then honor them.

Today we are thrilled to talk with marriage therapist and Gottman expert Laura Heck, who walks us through the good, better, best of honoring our partner’s dreams.

And Rich’s re-make of The Greatest Showman’s A Million Dreams legitimately made Celeste cry.

It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it hopefully spurs a meaningful conversation with your spouse, we give this episode an A+.

Show Notes

Laura’s website (where you can hire her)

Laura’s podcast Marriage Therapy Radio

Rich’s Re-Written Lyrics

“I close my eyes and I can see
The things you did along with me
But I call them my own

Through the struggle, through the years
You helped me to face my fears
I couldn’t do it alone

If I don’t chase my dreams it’ll drive me crazy
And you said, “It’s okay, I don’t mind.’
I didn’t care, I didn’t care if you were going crazy
I ignored your dreams in place of miiiiiiine.

And now it is your turn instead
To chase the dreams from in your head
Whatever dreams are keeping you awake

I see how you supported me
And made my life what it could be
Now a million turns is what it’s your turn to take
To do the million things for the dream you wanna make

There’s this life, we have built
Never cried for milk we spilt
We kept working away.

I built my dreams, room by room
But your dreams they were subsumed
You put them awaaaaaay

Now I see, now I see how I kept you burdened
And you said “I care, I don’t mind.”
But now I see to become your very own person
I need to support you in the dreams that you desiiiiiiiign

And now it is my turn to do
The unsung things to support you
In whatever dream you’re itching to chase
I’ll give up nights, I’ll watch the kids
All the things for years you did
Now a million turns is what it’s your turn to take
To do the million things for the dream you wanna make

However big, however small
Just say you’ll give it your all
But don’t chase your dream for me
You may soar you may fall

But I’ll be there through it all
To make the dream you see
To the dream you want the world to see
I’ll take and make it a dream for me!

Cause now together we will do
The dream that has inspired you
The biggest dream is what we’re gonna make
Because your dream has be-come mine
We’ll grow together as you shine
And do the million thing your dream is gonna take
A million things for the dream your gonna make

For the dream you’re gonna make.”