Show Summary

Leslie & Laura discuss the critical difference between the idea of the person you married and the actual person you married. They also reveal how having a Dishwashing Definition of Done potentially saves you thousands of dollars; and give the first update on marriage therapy/ritual progress (hint, Leslie’s not doing All The Things).

Show Resources

Show Notes


  • We’re recording at 10:15pm, but we’re keeping our commitments, people!
  • Basically, having kids ruins all your plans.
  • Laura’s first adult conversation of the day.
  • Thunderstorms can also ruin your plans.
  • Stuff happens; you can choose to be faithful to your promises, even if everything seems. to be working against you.
  • And you can choose to have a cheerful attitude, too!

What is Marriage? Who is the Marriage Startup for?

  • Marriage = all committed, consensual relationships! If you wake up next to someone that you’ve made a “till death do us part” commitment to, it counts! Whether or not your relationship “counts” where you live, it’s totally legit to us.
  • Don’t let our traditional gender roles skew your expectations of who this show is for.
  • We’re a mixed race marriage. Leslie is Norlombian (Norwegian-Colombian).
  • Even if you are single, you can probably glean a lot from this podcast.
  • We want to hear your story, especially if it’s radically different from ours!

Main Topic – “The Idea of You”

  • “You need to be married to the person you are married to, not the idea of them.”
  • Be aware of the expectations you are bringing into your partnership.
  • Unvoiced and unmet expectations are the root of resentment
    • That goes for business relationships/partnerships too!
    • If you are in business with your spouse it’s true 2x.
  • Laura’s dad is the ultimate handy man. Her parents built the house she grew up in!
  • Leslie is not the ultimate handy man. He’s not even the second runner up handy man. He knows what a hammer is. It’s a start.
  • Leslie is not the guy to stay up late and make sure the kitchen is tidy the next morning.
    • Laura tries hard not to be resentful of this.
  • Reality is that Laura is a lot like her dad and she loves waking up to a clean house and tidy kitchen. She loves having a clean slate.
    • Laura has resented not only that Leslie doesn’t do it, but that she “has” to do it!
    • It’s been a journey to let go of that.
  • The Checklist is up in the kitchen!Hereis said checklist:
  • Leslie thinks of himself as cleaning the kitchen most nights! So what’s wrong?
  • HelloAgileScrummers! There is no shared definition of done for “Clean Kitchen!”
    • As a person who is groggy at 5am in the morning, Leslie wants a clean counter on which to make his coffee in the morning.
  • Leslie cleans, but not to Laura’s satisfaction, because there is no shared definition of “clean kitchen.”
  • This impacts the business. If the start of the day is tanked, it will potentially damage the business, how we do customer service, answer emails, do phone calls, etc…
  • Leslie commits to do the checklist for the week.
  • If you don’t openly communicate and share what “done” means it leads to false agreements about your partner.
    • “Leslie never finishes cleaning the kitchen, therefore he’s ‘half assed.’” It begins to destroy a relationship.
    • Our response is going to be colored by this false agreement.
  • Leslie knows this plays deeply into Imposter Syndrome “Amazing business face on the outside, but considered ‘half assed’ at home.”
  • If you work at home, this unhappiness over the mundane creates a depressing atmosphere that can impact everything, especially sales.
  • If Leslie isn’t careful, he starts buying into the agreement that “yes, I’m half-assed.”
  • Just acknowledge that we can’t read each other’s minds!
  • Don’t be a nag: “Get on that checklist!” (Would you want someone talking to you that way?)
  • If we were business partners, we might take personality tests to help solve these types of issues.
  • “The ramifications of not doing the dishes could be thousands and thousands of dollars.”
  • We’re pretty sure businesspersonalitytestsare going to be the next “experiment” after marriage therapy.
    • Laura “I’m a total personality test geek!”
  • Start documenting the difference between who you think you’re married to versus who you are actually married too. Do it in a kind and gracious way.
  • We want to know these criticisms so we can be better partners because we know what we create together is better than what we create apart.
  • Laura reads her “benediction” (of sorts) to Leslie:

The happiness and fulfillment of my marriage cannot rest on

my hope or idea of who Leslie should be. 

I have to relate to him.

I have to allow him to be who he is in the relationship.

Not who I want him to be, or hope he will someday be.

I have to be in relationship with Leslie in the here and now.

 Marriage Therapy, Ritual Update

  • The “Coming Home Ritual” is really working for us. It’s made a dramatic improvement in our relationship in just one week!
  • Day 1 was hard, but it got easier after that.
  • Biggest impact on Leslie is that he “knows what to do now” which has made a powerful impact on him as a father and husband.
  • Laura loves seeing Leslie head down to the river because she knows that she is almost off work! It brings a sigh of relief.
  • Laura: “Watching my partner take care of himself really impacts me.”
  • Laura gently reminds Leslie that he is supposed to leave his iPhone behind.
  • Leslie: “REASONS!”
  • Laura wants Leslie to leave his iPhone in the office for the rest of the evening.
  • Leslie commits to leaving his iPhone in the office for the ritual (not the entire evening) for the week.
  • WE KISS! WE RECORD IT! SORRY! But not really.
  • Your valiant, exhausted hosts grab a beer.

Here’s What I’m Going to do for You

  • Laura
    • Putting her iPhone down throughout the week in solidarity with Leslie during his ritual.
    • “I won’t use it as an escape.”
  • Leslie
    • Take care of Ethan, our one year old son, twice a week during lunch.

Thank you for listening! We love you; be kind to each other.

Posted by Leslie Camacho



    I had to laugh about Laura’s expectation that the kitchen would be neat and clean when she got up in the morning. That didn’t come from ME!! Taking care of that before bedtime was a function of my need to serve — if you’ve seen my office, you know that “neat and clean” are NOT among my needs. But I love your mother, you see…..

    It chokes me up to hear the love that you two so clearly have for one another as you talk in openness and honesty; and as each of you pledges to serve the other in specific ways!

    Your kids are VERY fortunate, indeed….

    Bless you both….you make me proud.


    1. Earl,

      Thank you so much for having a messy office too. Solidarity!

      Laura and I have been fascinated to see the difference between reality and expectation. This is one of those ironic things where in business this is something I pay very close attention to but at home I barely gave it a second thought.

      It’s 6:43am and I just finished the checklist. I don’t always get to it before bed but more times than not I’m getting to it before the stay starts and it feels really good. I get up around 5:30, have some quiet time, make coffee, and listen to the Daily Audio Bible Podcast while I do the list.

      That “need to serve” is very strong and what the list does, mundane tool though it is, is give me a very specific way to serve that I know is needed and appreciated.


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