PP 216: Fill Up to Give Love with Sam and Patrick Cullinane

Quick Show Notes – Fill Up to Give Love with Sam and Patrick Cullinane

“You can’t truly give somebody the love that they need until you have filled up your own love cup.”

Sam and Patrick Cullinane were married just shy of 10 years when they separated. During 11+ months apart, they both grew, and they reunited before turning in their (signed) divorce papers. Tune in to hear Sam, Patrick and I chat about how they are helping couples create healthier, lasting relationships. We discuss kids, communication, finances, self-love and respect and more!

.@biggerlovebook and @thekimsutton discuss communication, finances, self-love and more: https://thekimsutton.com/pp216 #communication #finances #selflove #positiveproductivity #podcastClick To Tweet

Episode Transcription

KIM: Welcome back to another episode of Positive Productivity. I’m so happy that you’re here to join me today and I’m thrilled to introduce you to our guest Patrick in Sam Cullinane. Patrick and Sam are authors and owners of Bigger Love. Welcome you two.



KIM: Oh you’re so welcome. Can you please, share a little bit about your journey and how you started bigger love with the listeners?

PATRICK CULLINANE: Yeah, no problem.


PATRICK CULLINANE: It’s it’s more — our journey is basically a tale of two over the decades. First ten years of our marriage, we kind of fumbled through it. Didn’t really have any of the right tools and place. Weren’t necessarily seeking the right tools and it ended with basically, me, moving out about a month before our 10th year anniversary and we were separated for almost a full year.

SAM CULLINANE: When I decided to –

PATRICK CULLINANE: I signed the papers and sent them back to her.

SAM CULLINANE: Yeah, we signed divorce papers.

PATRICK CULLINANE: But we pulled the nose up and we were able to do that because we both discovered, you know, near the end that we kind of owned a lot of our shit through that year that we were apart. Stuff that, you know, we were bringing to the table that wasn’t helping our relationship work and we were ready to get rid of it. And that enabled us to get back together. And then in the second decade of our marriage, we’ve also spent a lot of time, kind of, figuring out how we can continue to level up, and get better and better at our relationship and in our relationship.

SAM CULLINANE: So, a lot of people ask us for advice about relationships and is that what has been our journey? And we decided to write a book about it.

PATRICK CULLINANE: And there you go, Bigger Love.


KIM: Without getting too personal. What were some of the things that you had to leave behind in order to get back together successfully? What were some of the biggest shifts that you made?

SAM CULLINANE: For me, the biggest shift that I had to make was prioritizing our marriage. I always thought of my job being my first responsibility because I made most of the money. And felt like, that was the most important thing to be able to provide for my family. It also ended up sort of being an excuse, I think. And then the kids always got the next, you know, they were my next priority. So, job number one, kids number two and Patrick got whatever was left. And so, I had to – I had to change that. That doesn’t make for a successful marriage.

PATRICK CULLINANE: Yeah and we were in two completely different places but that was largely one of my biggest issues was that, you know. She really couldn’t tell in the beginning when we split up that her job was consuming her and it affected her as a mom. And then definitely more so even her as a as a wife. But she didn’t really care.

So, on my side though, the things that probably exacerbated that or made it even worse, as I used to have insecurity issues. And I get jealous of a lot of the — She’d spend, you know, weeks at a time travelling with four men that she worked with. And then, you know, they’d be up until the wee smalls in somebody’s hotel room working on deadlines and all that. And so, I had a — I’d used to, I get jealous. And then kind of ask really stupid questions and stuff when she got back. And tried to get rid of the insecurity side. That was a hard one for me. I also had to focus on, you know, something I learned later into it is that I need to focus on things I have control over. Not things I don’t have control over. So it’s step one with AA and all kinds of other different groups out there but it’s something we’ve all heard a thousand times in our lives. But it didn’t really resonate for me until we were apart and I realise that I don’t have control over so much. So, I gotta quit worrying about the rest and letting it affect me. So, that was a big one for me. Anyway, I got to the point where I knew I would be happy either with or without her and I was just in a really good place. And I think she saw that, recognise that. And was like: “Wow, it’s a new look.”

SAM CULLINANE: That’s sexy.

KIM: That’s fabulous. And I — Sam I’ve just realized in the past couple of weeks, I’m almost embarrassed to admit, that it’s just been the last couple of weeks. That I am guilty of doing the same to my husband.


KIM: My work first, the kids second, cooking is nowhere on the radar because I burn everything and I’ve tried to make –

SAM CULLINANE: Yeah, that was me

KIM: – but he is definitely becoming — Yeah, he’s definitely been coming in way down and it’s so unfair because he is my rock. Like, he’s there through anything. And Patrick, I can’t even — like it would — I understand your concern completely about when Sam would be away. And if — Like, at the event that we met at, my husband was concern. You know, who are you gonna be with but there was just no way that I was going to be in a hotel room with, well, just men. It just won’t have happened if we were gonna meet because I’ve been in so many compromising situations in the past. Like, I just didn’t — I didn’t want to be in that place. Like, my husband’s my one and only. It’s just not going to happen. I don’t want to hear that questions after.


KIM: And I didn’t even want to think about the possibility, yeah. So, how did bigger love come to be?

PATRICK CULLINANE: It’s basically — It’s, in a nutshell, we kind of tell a little bit about our story in there and then we look back on the whole thing. And I think the reason a lot of people that are on the verge keep coming to us and saying: “You guys, ended up not getting a divorce. What did you do?” So, there’s all these tips, tools, tricks, hacks, things that we learned in the last 10 years. That we wish we would have had in the first 10 years because we don’t feel like, have we known what we know now we never would have had that. That mid marriage crisis. So, Bigger Love’s about that. It’s about helping other people avoid the pitfalls that we’ve had in our marriage. And how to have the love of their life for the rest of their life.

KIM: I do want to ask just because of my first marriage. What would you have to say to somebody who is in an abusive relationship? I was — Mine was mentally, it wasn’t physically.


KIM: Are, yeah –Well, just what would be your advice?

SAM CULLINANE: I don’t know. Yeah, I think it’s hard for us. I mean, we’re not psychologists. We haven’t, you know, read a thousand relationship books. All of our — All of the insight we have in our book is really about what we’ve learned as a couple. So, I don’t know if we were in any position to really tell people but my first instinct is don’t stay, is to get out.

PATRICK CULLINANE: Yeah, absolutely.

SAM CULLINANE: And I don’t know if that’s the right answer but I don’t – Yeah, I just 

KIM: Actually, that’s my response too but I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t, like, contradicting anything. So, listeners if you’re in an abusive relationship, we’re not saying that this is going to work for you. You have to protect yourself.


KIM: Mentally and physically. And not just yours — Well, you had to protect yourself first. Started like when you’re on an airplane and they tell you to put your mask on because when you protect yourself you can also protect your kids.


KIM: So that was the final step for me

PATRICK CULLINANE: A hundred percent and the other –

KIM: Yeah.

PATRICK CULLINANE: the other thing. We kind of talk about the divorce rate it’s over 50% or it depends on the rate. It’s around 50%. We think that if people have the right tools and they really want to make it work then we can reduce that rate to 15% but nowhere do we say zero cause there’s –

SAM CULLINANE: Because some marriages just aren’t — they won’t work, right?


SAM CULLINANE: I mean and I think abusive relationships are that way. I would tell people to get out. And one of the big concepts we talk about in our book, Kim, is loving yourself. We asked the question early on in there, you know, who’s the love of your life. And a lot of people answer their partners but we would say it should be you. And as long as you’re taking care of yourself and loving yourself it’s harder to let that. I think it makes it more difficult if you’re loving yourself and taking care of yourself. You won’t tolerate the abuse. You’ll get out easier.


SAM CULLINANE: I think that’s one of the main concepts that we believe. That, you know, loving yourself is probably the most wonderful thing you can do for yourself and it’s also critical to having healthy relationships.

KIM: Oh, absolutely. My husband laughs because I’ll ask him the question: “Oh, have I told you the story about tadadat?” Before and he’s like: “Oh yeah, about 19 times.” Listeners, I know I do that some of the same to you too. But the day that I was introduced to the Law of Attraction, completely changed my life because I had been walking around with a dark cloud. And letting every circumstance but especially my ex-husband control how I was feeling. And letting him affect, you know, through his criticisms and everything. Letting him control what I thought about myself but that day when I realized that I had the power and the right to be happy. That day when he got home from work and he started in. I just looked at him and smiled. I’m not sure that I recommend that course of action but –

SAM CULLINANE: I was going to say: “How did that go over?”

KIM: – He just looked at me and he said: “Why are you smiling?” And I said because you no longer have the power to dictate how I feel. And he was never physically abusive to me. However, I know if he was physically abusive that would have been probably a trigger. But it all went from there and from that point that’s where I learned self-respect. I was, let me think, I was almost 30 years old by that point. And I had never had self-respect before. And –

SAM CULLINANE: I don’t think, you know, it’s funny that for self-respect. I don’t think we’re really taught to — I don’t think we’re ever taught how to create that for ourselves. I think it’s something that, you know, I mean me, myself too. Like, I mean it’s taken so many years before I have learned what self-love, I mean, self-love and self-respect are, you know, very closely aligned.

KIM: Oh yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

PATRICK CULLINANE: And about the only thing we’re taught when it comes to self-respect is especially girls are, you know, don’t give up the goods. Respect yourself.

KIM: Oh, absolutely.

PATRICK CULLINANE: But it goes so much further deeper than that when we talk about self-love.

SAM CULLINANE: So much deeper.

KIM: Yeah and unfortunately

SAM CULLINANE: [Inaudible] of self-respect.

KIM: Yeah, thank you. Especially for the little girls too. I mean there’s — Barbie is getting better, in my opinion, but she’s – The journey of Barbie is not totally there yet. Little girls had to be taught that it’s not all about how they look. It’s how they treat others. It’s how they treat themselves. It’s not about the clothes that they wear. You know, they can be brilliant individuals and even if they’re not the smartest. I know there’s a good expression out there right now but I can’t remember it. The sharpest –

SAM CULLINANE: The sharpest tool in the shed.

KIM: – Yes, thank you. Even if they’re not the sharpest tool in the shed they are still worth proper treatment and respect from others. So, –

SAM CULLINANE: Yeah, they’re still worthy of love. We’re all children of God.

KIM: – Yeah absolutely. My first husband was actually my high school sweetheart. And I’ve seen this happen for a couple of our nieces. My husband and my nieces, as well. They started dating a boy in high school and they were concerned, you know, that was it. If they weren’t with him, then there was never going to be another person. And although my first husband and I didn’t get married until after college. It was more because we found ourselves pregnant. And our nieces did the same thing. Listeners, if you are young, if you are in high school and you’re feeling this way. Don’t feel this way. I didn’t meet my husband who is undoubtedly my soulmate until I was 31, 32. We’ve told our boys they’re not allowed to get married until they’re 32. We don’t care if they have a girlfriend until then because then they’ll actually know themselves.

SAM CULLINANE: Yeah, I think that’s so important what you’re talking about. Knowing yourself and I also, you know, I’m a little — it’s funny because I think society also kind of tries to pressure you into staying with one person. You know, I think there’s that, you know, idea like: “Oh, if you were, you know, your first love is your true love and isn’t that beautiful.” But I don’t think all of us are fortunate enough to meet our first loves in high school or when we’re young, you know. Like you said, I mean Patrick was 29 when we met. I think I was 23 and –


SAM CULLINANE: well, whatever.

PATRICK: She’s always trying to make me older

SAM CULLINANE: Well, he is older. And yeah I don’t  — And I had also found myself pregnant after in college, like you. And I was married before only for a very short period of time. But yeah, I mean and that certainly wasn’t my soulmate either. So, I think it’s good advice to say, you know, hold out for somebody that you really click with

PATRICK CULLINANE: And then learn how to love and respect yourself completely. And expect that from whoever the other person may be. I mean, to me it’s not so much about age. It’s just, it takes a long time to get to that point.

KIM: Oh absolutely. I remember I was sitting in my office. I had a business at that time. If you can call it that. I mean, I barely making a quarter a day but I had watched the bucket list and then ended up creating my soulmate spec sheet. And these were the things that I needed if I was ever going to date again. In it, they weren’t huge things but it was a matter of respecting me and respecting my children. And Tony Robbins wrote a list of everything that he was looking for in his life and look where he is now. I don’t think it’s unfair to challenge everybody who’s listening today. To write a list of what you’re looking for in your life. What you’re looking for out of your significant other and if you’re already with someone. And they’re not matching up then have that conversation because communication and conversation is so important. So much is shoved under the rug. Did you see that.

PATRICK CULLINANE: Definitely, I think communicating your, just your basic needs often goes by the wayside. Or maybe you second guess them before you even get them out.

SAM CULLINANE: And I think there’s also this idea that if you’re with someone and you’ve been with them for a little while that they should know what you need. They should know what you want and you expect them to do those things. And, you know, it’s not fair to ask somebody to read your mind.

KIM: Oh absolutely not. I mean my husband has figured out that there’s, like, one time of the month that he should bring home some chocolate.


KIM: Yes. Yes ,I was actually, my 11 year old. No, my 12 year old and I, were just discussing it last night. He’s like: “Mom, did you know there’s a chocolate bar in the fridge?” I’m sorry listeners. I know this is TMI and I was like: “Yeah, that’s mine and it’s being saved for the right time”. He’s like: “What do you mean?” So, I had to explain to him. He’s like: “So, does every woman need chocolate.?” I was like:  “No but when you meet your woman you’re going to have to figure out what her chocolate is like. He was like: “Okay.”

PATRICK CULLINANE: I would also help any men listeners that are out there that for our relationship, I would say, quarterly, you need two chocolate bars.

SAM CULLINANE: And a beer.

KIM: I am not going to argue that at all. Oh my goodness. But actually and we don’t fight very often. But just recently I had to express that, you know, if not every week, if not once a week but maybe once a month it would be nice if I could sleep past 7:00.

SAM CULLINANE: Oh yeah, that’s a luxury with as many children as you have and your busy life. So that’s awesome. And so you asked him for that?

KIM: Yeah. It hasn’t quite happened yet because he can sleep through anything. So I’ve been sort of like, [breaths heavily], you know. In the morning –

SAM CULLINANE: [Inaudible] P Adam: “Remember what I really need, one night. One morning this month.

KIM: Just one morning would be awesome. You know, shut the bedroom door and take them to the other side of the house and let me sleep in be. That would –


KIM: – so fantastic.

PATRICK CULLINANE: If you got a 12 year old, they’re probably going to sleep until you wake them up. So it’s the same when you get up. So, there’s alarm one morning, jump up, get the young kids out of the house. Take them somewhere for breakfast and let you sleep then.

KIM: Yeah.

PATRICK CULLINANE: There’s a tip for him.

KIM: Yeah.

PATRICK CULLINANE: Saturday is good.

KIM: Exactly. So, this is a nosy question, but what was the what was the click of you two realizing that the divorce papers were not being turned in and you were getting back together?

PATRICK CULLINANE: When I had — So, throughout the course of our separation, sex really wasn’t a problem for us. In fact we always — I mean the best sex I’ve ever had has been with Sam. And –

SAM CULLINANE: Mine has been with Patty too.

PATRICK CULLINANE: so, she allowed me to seduce her several times over that time period. We stayed –

SAM CULLINANE: Meaning we had sex while we were separated, still.

PATRICK CULLINANE: Yeah and we stayed because we –

SAM CULLINANE: Just to make it really clear.

PATRICK CULLINANE: Yeah, and we stayed because we had kids together we were, we stayed pretty good friends. We’re always good friends anyway, but we didn’t want to be — If we were going to separate and then divorce, we didn’t want to be the kind of parents that fought or talk shit about each other in front of our kids. And so, we we stayed on pretty good terms which made this seduction pretty easy.

SAM CULLINANE: And we also were in constant contact about, you know, we decided to make joint decisions when it came to the kids. And so, you know, we talked a lot still.

PATRICK CULLINANE: And I saved my bitterness for when she wasn’t around. But — So, I guess, I don’t know, about 11 and a half months into our separation. I had a — I’d booked this couple’s massage at a ski resort. And I booked it, like, I think I bought it on Groupon or something. So, it was just kind of sitting there and I asked Sam if she wanted to go up. She was in town. She was like: “I’ll be in town Saturday”. And then she called me Friday afternoon and said: “Oh, I guess, I’m in town a day early. So if you want to go have dinner or something?” And I’m like: “Well I have this couple’s massage, if you want to go?” And I’m like: “Oh, I’m gonna seduce her up there. It’s going to be awesome.” And –

SAM CULLINANE: And he did.

PATRICK CULLINANE: Yeah but we ended up having — We talked all night. We had this awesome night where we kind of realize that, you know, both of us has owned a lot of the crap that has kept us apart so. And she was ready to —my business was taken off, she was ready to be like, potentially retire for a little while and just be a mom. And that was huge for me so.


PATRICK CULLINANE: And I got myself to the point where I knew I could be happy with or without her. I chose, I mean, with was my first choice because of our kids and –

SAM CULLINANE: And because you thought I was awesome.

PATRICK CULLINANE: Well yeah but that part too. Anyway, so we decided to give it another shot but because we came at it from a completely different angle than before. And we knew and communicated a lot of what we needed going forward. And then continued to grow that part made it easier.

SAM CULLINANE: Yeah and Patrick, I mean, when we split up you know I felt overwhelmed by my responsibilities as the mother. As the household taker, you know, carer of the household. As also the, you know, main provider. And the fact that Pat had come and got his shit together and figured out his business. That was awesome and I felt it was, yeah, I was really proud of him. And I also thought that was really attractive, you know, for him not — I felt so — It seemed so heavy when we were married and it was great to have this burden lifted. That I didn’t have to do and be everything to everybody. He was gonna be stepping up.

KIM: How old were your kids then when you went through this year?

PATRICK CULLINANE: I think they were started at 8 and 12 and maybe finished 9 and 13.

SAM CULLINANE: Yeah, it’s on about right. And during our year apart, we were really apart. I moved to Spain. I had an opportunity to work in Barcelona and I took the kids with me for part of that time. And then we had some visa issues. They ended up having to come home but when we were — we set apart. It was pretty far.


KIM: Wow and have they ever talked about how they’ve seen things change with you? And if they recognized –

PATRICK CULLINANE: No, they mostly –

KIM: – a lot of the changes?

PATRICK CULLINANE: No, they mostly just complain. The kids. I don’t –

SAM CULLINANE: You know, it’s funny, I don’t — we’ve –

PATRICK CULLINANE: I don’t think either one of them has even read our book.

SAM CULLINANE: Yeah, I don’t think they have either like: “Oh, gross we don’t want to know.”

PATRICK CULLINANE: Yeah. There are [Inaudible] so they spent, I hope they don’t listen to this podcast. They spent a lot of time kind of focusing on themselves and their world.

KIM: Okay.

SAM CULLINANE: And I’m I’m glad they do that but I think it’s kids there was a lot of — I think they were relieved that we got back together but I don’t remember them being like elated or, you know,


SAM CULLINANE: It was kind of like: “Oh good, whatever.”

KIM: Well, I never realized with my boys. I have two boys from my first marriage. They’re 12 and 15. I never realized how much, our marriage, my marriage to their dad, really affected them because like they don’t even like driving down the road that we all lived on together. Because it just brings back bad memories for them. With that said, I do want to say that my ex has changed, tremendously. I can’t say he’s done a full 180 or a 360 or whatever the appropriate degree would be. They still have issues with him but the abuse is gone, for the most part. So they do spend 50% of the time with him. However, they don’t want to be down that road, physically or emotionally. And they’ll talk about how they remember all of fighting. And they just remember it. And they can see the change in our house. Well, I hope that their dad and new stepmom don’t listen to this too. But I mean, they’ll even say to us about all the fighting that goes on in that house and I means it’s nothing, as far as I know, compared to what it was between their dad and I.

But I think as parents, that we often think about what or how it does impact our kids because they are learning. They’re learning fighting instead of communication and it’s sad.

SAM CULLINANE: Yeah and I, you know it’s — Yeah. It’s interesting cause we would say, you know, a lot of people tried to stay together. They try to save marriages because of the children. And I,  you know, if it’s too far gone. If it can’t — If you can’t create a loving supportive environment in your home. I think that’s something else where you just got to get out. I mean, it doesn’t, you know, — being as, you know, you are a testament to being a part is probably – is better for your boys than than being together

PATRICK CULLINANE: Especially if the apart, you know, looks like still coparenting. Still being on the same page. Still not letting each other talk crap about yourself, talk crap about the other spouse, to your kids, in front of your kids. Living and seeing that drama if there’s a way to keep it friendly and on the same page. Then your kids really aren’t — They’re going to be fine.

SAM CULLINANE: Yeah and they’re happier when you’re happier.


KIM: Oh yeah absolutely. It’s funny, my ex and I now talk more, now. Than we did when we are married. So if one –

SAM CULLINANE: I think that’s how –

KIM: – yeah, so if one –

SAM CULLINANE: Patty and I went during our year apart also.

KIM: – if one of them is in trouble at one of our houses. The other house knows, almost instantaneously, because we’ll get a text: “Hey, was so-and-so, you know, having issues today?” Because I see my kids every day, except for the weekends, that they’re at their dads. They come here everyday after school until their dad gets home from work which is a pain in the butt, somedays. Listeners, I cannot record podcasts. Tune into the next blooper real and you’ll hear why I cannot record podcasts on when my kids or the older kids at home. But yeah, I know and we can we can easily coordinate who’s doing what as far as sports events. And who’s taking the kid to the tournament, and handling orchestra concerts, and all that. And if we can do it with ease now. But every part of our marriage should be able to be done with ease. Finances was probably one of our hardest parts and that’s a big change from where my husband, Dave, and I are at now. Finances have been definitely more of a struggle with Dave. But Patrick, as you were talking about before, you know, focus on the things that we can change and don’t worry about the rest, right? I mean, I hate to say it but sometimes there’s just a bill that can’t be paid.

PATRICK CULLINANE: Yeah and I would agree with that except for the finances part. And I’m the guy that we’ll be like it’ll be fine and don’t have to pay that now. I already know we have a 30 day grace period and all this. And Sam will be completely freaking out about it but.

SAM CULLINANE: Yeah well and it’s funny. So, finances is one of the top things that couples fight about.


SAM CULLINANE: And it’s interesting because, you know, a lot of people will say that they’re the opposites of their partners. And that’s kind of, you know, by design. I think because we help balance each other out. What’s interesting about finances is that if you marry someone who isn’t your financial opposite. One partner will start to lean towards being your financial opposite because it’s required. So for example, if Patty and I were both spenders. That’s what I call that Pat. If Patty and I were both spenders one of us would soon start to lean towards not spending as much because you have to, it’s for survival. So even if you came into a relationship and you were financially completely on the same page. You had the same, kind of financial profile, as far as risk and spending. It will evolve to the point where you actually will be somewhat opposite. And so it’s one of those things that is constant conflict and I don’t know that it ever goes away. It’s all about staying in conversation until you agree to agree.

KIM:  You just gave me so much clarity –


KIM: – because that’s exactly what happened here. I leaned in to the controller.


KIM: And all bills are on my plate. So, it feels sometimes like it’s all my worry about where the money’s going to come from. Whereas, my husband has access to the card and we’ll spend: “Oh it’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay.”


KIM: No, sometimes I just want to take his cards away.

SAM CULLINANE: That’s — So we have a process that we kind of go through on a yearly basis and then we try to look at our, we’re not very good at, we’re not very disciplined about it. But where we try to look at our financials, you know, weekly’s awesome. Monthly’s good but every year we try to talk about what our top values are and then our goals for the year. Individually, we do this separately and then we come together and try to figure out, jointly if we can agree, on what the top three to five values and goals are. And then when it comes to spending money, if it isn’t kind of in alignment with those values and goals, we don’t do it. And sometimes your values and goals is saving money, right? You’re saving money for your retirement. You’re saving money for kids college. And so then that can help curb the spending and also kind of, you know, avoid a lot of conflict because you’ve already agreed on high level. Very high level how it’s all going to shake out.

PATRICK CULLINANE: If you can do it with regularity which is the hard part because it’s somewhere between pulling your own teeth, having your skin peeled back and going over the financials is, you know.

SAM CULLINANE: Yeah, Pat loves it.

KIM: Yeah

SAM CULLINANE: It’s not fun but it’s kind of running, it’s running the business of your life.

KIM: How did you just describe that again? Peeling my skin back and –

SAM CULLINANE: Or pulling your own teeth.

KIM: –  Yeah, that’s about how it feels.


KIM: Yeah. So actually, I just don’t discuss it.

PATRICK CULLINANE: [Inaudible] That’s how we build it up that it might feel but it’s never as bad as we think it is. In fact, every time I do it I’m like: “Why don’t we do this more often?” Because I’ll be a little charge. Then I’m excited throughout the same page.

KIM: Well within the year before my husband and I got together, he was homeless and living out of his car in Fargo, North Dakota in the middle of winter. So –

SAM CULLINANE: Wow, that’s a story.

KIM: Yeah. So, he’s comeback to any struggle that we’ve had is always: “Well, I know what it’s like to be homeless and, you know, what we’re dealing with right now is nothing similar. We’ll be okay.” Well but the point of us taking care of this right now, is so that the seven of us, won’t be homeless. So, one of the biggest hurdles that we both had to get over was that when money comes in it doesn’t mean that it needs to get spent right away. So, let’s start raising our zero and actually I had a business coach who helped me with that. He’s like: “Kim, you need to start raising your zero.” So, even just taking $20 out of the invoices that are paid, are out of the paychecks and putting them in a safe spot. Putting those fives or tens into, you know, a tin. When we started seeing that money accumulate. I felt so good, knowing: “Oh my gosh, we made it through a weekend with more than 34 cents to our account.”


KIM: Yeah

SAM CULLINANE: There’s a great book called The Richest Man in Babylon that — cause Patty and I, you know, we we work a lot on trying to create the lives that we want. And so that means for us to be financially free where we can spend our time doing things we love instead of having to trade our super dollars. And that book is brilliant at helping you think about money in a different way which is pay yourself first. And then you pay all off your bills. So that means, you’re stashing away, I think in that book, they recommend 10 percent but whatever it is. So that — and then once you have accumulated enough of that then you can invest it. So those dollars are making you dollars. Anyway, I highly recommend everybody, like you said, even if it’s 20 bucks, you know, it’s something. Pay yourself first. It’s a great book.

PATRICK CULLINANE: :  And it doesn’t have to be all about saving also. I mean, traveling is very important to you and you love to do it as a family in once a year. And set a budget what those trips are going to look like. And so, when you pay yourself first, you might put 15 bucks in savings bin and five on the travel bin.

KIM: I love that. We haven’t even taken our honeymoon, yet. We’ve been married almost six years.

PATRICK CULLINANE: Yeah, honeymoon bin

SAM CULLINANE: Yeah. You need a honeymoon tin.

KIM: And I never even took a honeymoon with my first husband. It’s time.


KIM: I’ve been watching Lion King all weekend. I hear: “It is time.”

SAM CULLINANE: I love the way you think. Is there a new one now? I heard there’s a new one coming out.

KIM: Total tangent listeners, but, you know, that’s why I haven’t done the Positive Productivity Podcast. No, you can actually get the original Lion King on Amazon Prime now and watch it digitally. And –

SAM CULLINANE: That was my assistance favorite movie.

KIM: Yeah it came out –

SAM CULLINANE: long time ago before

KIM: – actually when I was in high school.

SAM CULLINANE: She’s 24, so

KIM:  Yeah. And then the original release or the re-release onto DVD happened when my son, my oldest was just one or two and now they’ve just re-released again. But I have to say I do not recommend Lion King two. That was just like a yawner. One and a half is okey. But yeah, Amazon and with all of our littles now, it’s so funny to see, you know, these movies coming back out because you have to wait until they re-release them. But they’re loving all these and we don’t buy DVDs. I don’t even know if they sell DVD players anymore. We just buy it all digitally so that we don’t have to worry about scratched disks.


KIM: Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about VHS tapes anymore.

SAM CULLINANE: Yeah or where to put them. We used to have a whole bunch of DVDs and it was always a mess over there.


KIM: Oh yeah because then the kids would rip apart the whole shelf.

SAM CULLINANE: Get them out –

KIM: Yeah.

SAM CULLINANE: Get them out and it’ll  be all over the floor and yeah.

PATRICK CULLINANE: I got excited because I had — we had a, I don’t know, [Inaudible] I think over  a thousand DVDs but we were having a garage sale and I was like: I’m gonna sell all these DVDs for like 2 bucks a piece, we’ll make $500.” You know, or actually 2000 but anyway. It was like 80% of the cases didn’t have a DVD in them or it was cracked in there or too scratched to use. And I’m like: “Dang it.”

KIM: Yeah absolutely. I know how that feels. We’ve got all these great movies on DVD and half of them just go straight in the trash and we find them. This has been an absolute pleasure having you on the show today and I feel like

SAM CULLINANE: Thanks for having us here.

KIM: Yeah you’re so welcome. I feel like we should have a part two because I feel like we’ve only started to scratch the surface.

SAM CULLINANE: We’re totally in.

KIM: Okay, awesome. Where can listeners connect with you? Find out more about what you’re doing and get in touch.

PATRICK CULLINANE: We have a Facebook page called Bigger Love Book. We have a Twitter account called Bigger Love Book. And we have a website called biggerlove.com

KIM: Fabulous.

SAM CULLINANE: We try to make it easy.

KIM: Oh, thank you

PATRICK CULLINANE: I mean the books are for sale on Amazon, Kindle and audible.

KIM: Great, listeners, if you’re driving or unable to write that down right now. You can find all  show notes, including the links, and eventually a transcription at thekimsutton.com/pp216. Again that’s thekimsutton.com/pp216. Patrick and Sam, thank you so much again. Do you have a last piece of parting advice or golden nugget that you can offer to listeners?

SAM CULLINANE: We didn’t get to this but I would tell you to have more sex with your partner.


SAM CULLINANE: That’ll be the preview to part two of our conversation.

PATRICK CULLINANE: Just, I’ll second it.

KIM: I don’t normally chime in during the golden nugget but I would have to agree.

PATRICK CULLINANE: Well, she’s stalled mine.

KIM: That’s what he said.

PATRICK CULLINANE: I’d say, you know, and we’ve touched on a little bit in the beginning but you can’t truly give somebody the love that they need until you have filled up your own love cup. So definitely love yourself.