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This all-star episode introduces Sunny and Sunmarie Burns: two people who have an amazing love story that leans toward the realistic without losing the romantic.
Listen to this delightful couple’s take on why preparation and intentionality are vital to having a wonderful sex life in your marriage. They also go a little deeper into the practical benefits of natural family planning and how this has helped shaped their marriage, which is going strong ten years down the road.
Lastly, the Burnses highlighted the immense value of being completely honest with each other and letting all your flaws out in the open to give way to honesty, respect, trust, and full acceptance. And won’t you agree that these are the elements of not just a successful marriage but a great sex life as well?
- Building the foundation of a relationship on honesty
- Being cautious with intimacy
- How relationships transition to getting more physical
- How contraceptives can help in preparing for and building a harmonious family
- How marriage benefits from subscribing to delayed gratification
- Discovering the Rhythm Method and Natural Family Planning
- The fallacy and unrealistic nature of sex in movies
- Being open to constantly developing your sex life
- Finding integrity in yourself
- “Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts”
- “Questions Couples Ask”
Sammy Uyama: Welcome, everybody to our new episode of Love, Life and Legacy, a show all about sex. We’re here to help guide you in this turmoiled world, to provide some, you know, useful and real down-to-earth advice on sex. It’s something that’s, it’s so hard to find real practical and realistic guidance on this topic. There’s so much really exaggerated, out-there stuff and are things that will actually help you create a really fulfilling sexual relationship. And I’m here with you with two amazing, amazing individuals, Sunny and Sunmarie Burns. They’re one of my favorite couples and just two people I’ve been so excited to get on the show with you. Hey, guys, how are you doing?
Sunny Burns: Good!
Sunmarie Burns: How are you?
Sunny Burns: Good to be here, Sammy.
Sammy Uyama: I feel like right now… today, in Korea, it’s March 31st; March 30th for you guys. 2020. And I feel like every conversation anyone has has to start out with a mandatory “How’s it going over there?” with the, with the virus. It kind of seems to be every conversation, so. And in particular you guys are right next to New York City, which is, you know, the epicenter of a lot of what’s going on in America right now. So how is it for you guys?
Sunmarie Burns 01:12
Right well, they’re definitely tightening up here. It’s getting more intense day by day. We have, all the parks are closed, which our kids are very unhappy about.
Sunny Burns: 8:00 pm curfew.
Sunmarie Burns: Yeah, curfew every night. And I think just now, now, we’re being restricted from leaving the state.
Sunny Burns: I don’t know if that’s…
Sunmarie Burns: Has that not gone into effect yet? There’s talk about it, so.
Sammy Uyama: Oh, wow. Well, that will be a big deal.
Sunmarie Burns: Yeah, it’s getting, it’s getting interesting.
Sammy Uyama: Okay, well, I’m glad you guys are safe and your families.
Sunmarie Burns: Yeah, thank goodness. Yeah. So far, so good. Let’s keep it that way.
Sammy Uyama: And okay, so the reason I wanted to have you guys on, just a little about the show, is about sex about marriage. And this is one of the most wonderful couples I personally know. And if there’s anyone that has a lot of nuggets of wisdom to share about what it takes to create a really incredible marriage, and by extension, incredible family, it’s these two. And that’s what we want to dive in with you, with all of you guys. Some, some other peripheral facts. They run their own blog website, Fam Vestor, which is all about family, finance and freedom. And they have their own podcasts as well. So they just share a lot of amazing insights and really useful information regarding the whole world of, centered and finance but beyond that, of just what does it take to know what… thoughtful topics of raising a good family, living well, living with the lifestyle that you want, having freedom in your life. That’s a fair, fair (crosstalk).
Sunmarie Burns: Yeah, thank you. That was quite a flattering introduction.
Sammy Uyama: I mean, I’m pleased because you guys have so much qualifications in so many areas, and unfortunately, we’re not you know, that… we won’t be talking about that. But just, I do want to share to people, a little bit to the people, kind of your background. So now you have multiple rental properties that your… you’re individual homeowners, and I think 11 units total, right? You have renters and they pay you money every month. And you’ve got an engineering job working for the Department of Defense. Sunmarie, you’re taking care of three children now. Your youngest is how many weeks? Nine weeks now. Nine weeks. Two boys and daughter. And Seung Kook is so profoundly proud of his, this little fact about himself as he’s never paid for a haircut.
Sunny Burns: Or a cup of coffee.
Sammy Uyama: Or a cup of coffee. Why? Because it’s, because you don’t drink coffee. Have you accepted coffee for free?
Sunny Burns: I don’t know. I don’t really like coffee. So no, probably not. Even a coffee candy. I just can’t stand it.
Sammy Uyama: Right? Yeah, actually, I don’t, I drink coffee but I don’t like that candy or coffee-flavored ice cream. Anything that’s coffee flavored, I’m not a fan. But anyway, so there are a lot of things that you have really interesting stuff to share about. So they should, you guys should all check out Fam Vestor. Yeah, really interesting. It’s one of my favorite podcasts and great blog. But for this episode here, we’re gonna be talking about marriage and talking about you guys’ relationship, talking about sex. And in that area in particular, you also have said a lot of really fantastic things to share.
Sunny Burns: Another fun fact is I’ve only ever kissed one girl in my life.
Sunmarie Burns: And I’m the lucky one.
Sammy Uyama: Oh, we gotta get that video up online, that was adorable. So you’ve been together 10 years. You’re married, blessed for eight years. Coming up on your ninth year, or is it, do you just…
Sunmarie Burns: Now we just hit our eighth year last week? Yeah, we didn’t even remember our own anniversary. My mom baked us a cake and makes us a beautiful. meal, chicken cordon bleu. And we’re like, well, this is fancy. And she’s like, it’s for your wedding anniversary. Like, oh, that.
Sunny Burns: Yep. We seem to definitely like, highlight, like our first, first courtship date together. I was like, on my birthday, you know, I was 20 years old. You were 23. And 10 years, almost 10 years ago now coming out in 10 years.
Sunmarie Burns: I was 22.
Sunny Burns: 22.
Sunmarie Burns: Don’t make me.
Sunny Burns: Anyway, we just highlight that moment because that was pretty momentous. You know, we were very serious about entering into a relationship. It was very, yeah, it was very intentional. And it was, it was one of those nights where we kind of like discussed, like, ah, do we want to move forward with this? And we just kind of laid out our entire lives. Laid out our core values, whether we’re in sync or not and whether this is something that should be pursued. And I think that just, it was a memorable time, that’s why we celebrate it.
Sunmarie Burns: Right. That’s definitely a day that we, we do remember. Plus it helps it’s on Sonny’s birthday. So we would be celebrating anyway. But it’s an easier way to remember the day, to.
Sunny Burns: Yeah.
Sammy Uyama: Yeah, there, you combine holidays there.
Sunny Burns: Yeah, you get so many dates after you’re in a relationship for a while, you know, you get…
Sunmarie Burns: In your relationship. And then once you start having kids, there’s just so many important days to remember. It gets overwhelming.
Sammy Uyama: So many, congratulations, first off.
Sunmarie Burns: Thank you.
Sammy Uyama: And yeah, and I guess that just speaks to what a wild ride it’s been for you guys. That so many exciting things going on that you can just skip over your entire anniversary.
Sunny Burns: It happens every year.
Sammy Uyama: Really?
Sunny Burns: No excuses.
Sammy Uyama: Every day, every day for you guys. Just exciting. And that’s right. So you’ve been, you’ve been together a long time and I hope that what people get enough is just how remarkable your marriage is. So I guess how I’ve had the good fortune to be able to stay with you guys and sit on the sofa and and just chit chat together, and, and being with you in person is just really a joy. And part of what I think will make the relationship so remarkable is just the level of, I guess, how intertwined your relationship is. And that’s particularly an important topic for us at High Noon is, no wait, we’re all High Noon. You know, we’ve talked, we did a whole episode on behind the scenes, but this idea of like, when the sun is straight up, and there’s no shadows, and, and relating with people with this level of transparency and honesty and people fully see us and then we fully see other people. And I was really impressed by how well you exemplify that in your relationship. And I wanted to speak that. I don’t know. Do you feel that that’s something that that’s made a difference for you guys.
Sunmarie Burns: Yeah, I mean, I definitely think that’s been an important core aspect of our relationship since day one. And honestly, I think it’s what’s made things easier for us as a couple over the years as well. It’s just really knowing we can trust one another that we’re going to be honest and truthful, no matter how hard it is with one another. And so when we say something, we know that it’s, it’s really what we mean. I know that for me, especially in the very beginning, when I was first starting to get to know Seung Kook, and we, we had that first initial conversation on his birthday. He came over, and we talked for a long time. And this was the moment where we were trying to decide is this something that could have a future for us. This, this idea of matching and so forth. And what really struck me was his honesty on that, on that day. He kind of laid out before me who he is as a person; his past, his dreams, his, you know, hopes for the future. But most importantly, he shared things that were, you know, things he wasn’t proud of from his past, you know, and was incredibly honest with me. And what struck me was that he was willing to lay this all out before me and say, you know, this is the person I am these, are the things I’ve done. Some of them, I’m proud of; some of them I’m not, you know? Can you accept me for who I am in my entirety? And I realized in that moment, you know, no one’s perfect. And it’s, it’s unrealistic to think you’re going to find someone who’s flawless in every way. However, to find someone who is going to be honest to you, and truthful with you your whole life through is real. More than anyone could hope for. And I realized that he was that type of person. And so I felt very comfortable in, in the idea of moving forward in this relationship because I knew he wasn’t hiding anything from me. And that was really huge. And I feel like it allowed me to open my heart and mind to the idea that this matching is worth pursuing.
Sunny Burns: And I think building on that foundation, you know, starting the very foundation of your relationship with honesty is so important. Because you know, then you can really be on the same team, you can trust each other and keep building brick by brick knowing you have a sure foundation where you know, everything is built on the truth, and that you guys can build it together. And I feel like that’s been like key for our entire lives that we’ve built together. And I feel like we’ve done some really cool stuff. We had an awesome adventures, built, some great businesses, have awesome kids. And I think it all stems from building that foundation right.
Sunmarie Burns: Right.
Sunny Burns: And it’s not easy to lay out all your flaws, you know, to someone, you don’t really know that well. And luckily we did youth ministry together. We were friends for, you know, six months or a year before, before this. So we kind of had a gauge of who we were. But, you know, to admit some of your, you know, your defeats your failures, it’s not easy. But I think it’s really the best policy or honesty’s the best policy, especially when you’re starting a relationship. You start out at Ground Zero and you build from there. You don’t want to start building at this half truth, not being completely true to your, your future spouse, and then you know, a couple years down the line, something comes up and they find out this truth about you because inevitably, something will come up. And then that everything that you’ve built to that point is not you know, it’s not real anymore.
Sunmarie Burns: You start to question was it all real, or was it just a facade,
Sunny Burns: Right. So I guess it’s critical that you start at a foundation of truth. And you know, I always knew that kind of growing up, that that’s where I want to start, you know. My parents have an awesome relationship and it’s something I want to kind of model my relationship with. And they’re just so in sync, you know, they’ve been married 40, 50 years, a long time. And, and they’re just so in love with each other still to this day, and I knew that’s what I wanted with my, my spouse, and their communication’s so good. And I think it’s just because, you know, they’re, they’re each other’s worlds and they’re always communicating. And that’s something I definitely wanted with my spouse. And you know, early, when I was in my teens, I got into pornography. And that was something I was super ashamed, ashamed of, but it was an addiction that I just couldn’t break. And, but I knew, you know, that, I knew at some point, you know, I’m gonna meet my future spouse, and I need to build this foundation upon truth. And if I want any chance of having her accept me wholeheartedly, I’m going to need to break free from this addiction and build this track record of hey, you know, yeah, I’ve done this in my life that I’m not proud of. You know that’s something that goes against my values, but I’ve come clean with it. And I knew the longer track record I could have. You know, I think when we first that, that night, that talk, you know, I had a year at that point behind me where I hadn’t viewed pornography and masturbated, all of that. And because of that, I think it made it a lot easier. You know, you knew that I was serious that this wasn’t this thing where yeah, I quit a week ago, and now I’m done. I knew that I was sincere in my attempts in my you know, and I think that allowed. But bringing that up, I think, was so important.,right? Bringing that up, knowing that I was willing to, you know, show her exactly who I was, and start that foundation right is key.
Sammy Uyama: You’d mentioned that Seung Kook had shared, the things he’s proud of, things he’s not proud of. Is that what you’re alluding to?
Sunmarie Burns: Yes, it was. I’m more beat around the bush. He’s always very direct. But yes, it was, you know, I was, I guess, a little bit naive or sheltered at the time where I didn’t realize the widespread problem of pornography in our culture, you know, and, and how many people are affected by it. So I was kind of caught off guard, for sure when I first heard it. And I think that that’s more common for women to be caught off guard when they hear that. But I realized, you know, in, in having him tell me that I was a little bit surprised, a little bit concerned. But my main takeaway was almost relief, a feeling of relief, because I knew he wasn’t, you know, trying to be some vision of a perfect person. He has his flaws, and he’s being upfront about them and he’s being honest about them, and he, he’s explaining to me what he has done to take action to correct things that, that he wasn’t proud of, you know. I could see that he was a person who, who reflects on life and actively works on his character and works on the things that he feels need to be changed. And that gave me a huge reassurance. I said, you know what, we all have our skeletons in the closet. Our things that we’re not proud of and ashamed of. And it is so hard to be standing in front of a person that is a prospective spouse, you know, match in and you’re just hoping that they will accept you and, and you have this huge hope. That’s like the hardest moment to lay your dirty laundry out for everyone to see. And so I realized that and I respected that greatly And, and honestly, that made me respect him more and trust him and feel like yes, this is definitely a relationship I want to move forward with because he has just done the hardest thing I could imagine anyone to do, you know? You know this person you’re hoping will accept you and be that honest. So it was honestly, it was huge.
Sunny Burns: And, but, and to have that acceptance, you know, is life-changing.
Sunmarie Burns: Yeah that’s what I’d like to hear. That you know, yeah that’s kind, of what a generous, saint-like response from Sunmarie. And for, and for you, Seung Kook, what was it, what was that like to receive that after sharing such a scary thing?
Sunny Burns: Yeah, like, you know, I’m just nervous. I’m shaking, you know. I’m sharing my heart and my truth. But, you know, she, she accepted me wholeheartedly, and it wasn’t easy for her but she did. And I think, and like I said, it was life-changing, you know, to be, to be fully upfront and to be accepted and to be taken for who you are and loved for who you are. And like I said, because we started that way, I feel like that accounts for the majority of our sex success. We’ve been in sync as we’ve been building our team now. (crosstalk) Yes. Yeah. And yeah, just been able to really grow and build their lives in the way I really feel like we were meant to.
Sunmarie Burns: I remember you were so nervous and your, your voice sounded very strange. And you’re sharing all these things, and I could tell you’re really stressed. And then afterwards when you asked me like, alright, so this is who I am. Can you accept me and do you want to move forward with this? And I said, yes, I, I do accept you and we can move forward. And he just like, sat down on the lawn, and just like took this deep breath of like, really fast, like, oh, he was really stressed. But yeah, you know it. I think honesty is so important. That’s what I tell a couple or I tell young people who are looking toward, you know, getting into a process with someone, that’s probably my, the first piece of advice I give is be honest about your past. You know, it’s so important, whatever it is, because you don’t want to create a vision that maybe you’re something else ,and then a week later, two weeks later, a month later then you lay the kaboom on. And, and then that person is kind of put in a very uncomfortable situation of being like well, you know, I, that’s more than I bargained for. And how do I get out of this now, you know. it’s a little bit unfair to them and it’s, it just makes it so much harder.
Sunny Burns: It shatters the foundation, Right.
Sammy Uyama: Another, I know another side is even for yourself, even if this person is really loving towards you, if you, if, if you’re holding on to something, you always, you’re always wondering, you’re left with this question; like okay, you know, they say they love me, but they don’t know this thing about me. They still feel that way. And you can never really feel yourself and that this person really loves you. So I’m wondering, um, what, what a way, just what a way to start a relationship! Gosh. And, and you guys were both so honest and generous from the beginning. And it’s such a good foundation. And I’m wondering, over the years, has there been other stuff that it was very difficult to, of course you always had to pause to be honest with one another, but you found it was still difficult to be honest. And it was, you know, it was a hard thing to talk about. But in hindsight, you look back on like, that was a really important thing to discuss and it, it brought a relationship to a new level. Any of those kind of experiences?
Sunmarie Burns: I feel like we do so much together. We sort of move forward together in most things.
Sunny Burns: Yeah, I know initially, when we first kind of began, you know, courting one another, dating one another. It was, it was a struggle because I wanted to invest 100% into our relationship, and, you know, make it as best as possible. And Sunmarie was kind of more like, who is this? Who is this guy, you know.I have my own routines, my own family I hang out with. I need some space. I need some space. And for that, for me, it was very hard. You know, like I said, I’ve only ever kissed one girl in my life. So I haven’t really been dating or anything like that. So I was more just, you know, this is this person, and that’s gonna be my forever. And once that that person is my life, I wanna 100% invest into that person, and to be kind of rejected a little bit from, you know, do you want to go on a date on Saturday night? Like, oh, no, I’m doing something. My family kind of hurt me in the beginning, but we learned to kind of communicate better, learned how each other’s families and upbringings were. And soon, you know, over time, over a year or two years, they’re a little roller coasters of emotions and ups and downs, kind of smooth it out. And when we, when we eventually got married, I feel like since then we’ve been like so solid and so golden. But I think we were also very intentional about, you know, before getting married, we were very intentional about, you know, our physical relationship and just keeping, keeping kind of a lot of the physical relationship to a minimum, and really trying to work on ourselves emotionally, our emotional relationship, our just communication and trying to separate that from all the physical. Because you know, you get butterflies once you, once you start this relationship with someone for a marriage, but I feel like it can get confusing when you have that and you both want that so much, that physical connection. But when you can isolate away from that and in the very beginning, kind of focus more on that emotional intellectual connection. It will be rocky, but I think that also added to such a strong foundation by building that sense of trust building that. Because it takes discipline, it takes discipline to have that physical…
Sunmarie Burns: Restraint.
Sunny Burns: …restraint. And I think that showed Sunmarie a lot of respect, a lot of trust, a lot of…
Sunmarie Burns: Yeah. I mean, from, from my perspective, too. Like, I felt, you know, I need to make sure I can trust this person before I start considering holding their hand or, you know, investing in them any more than just a friendship. You know, I need to know that this is really for real and that, you know, this is forever. So it took me a long time to warm up to the idea. And for Seung Kook. He was, he was there a lot sooner than I was, as he just explained, you know, this is my forever person. I want to make the best relationship possible. And for me, I was kind of like you need to earn my trust. I need to, need to really know, wholeheartedly that, you know, we’re gonna make it to our wedding day, you know, and I’m not going to give you all of my heart until we get to our wedding day.
Sunny Burns: And for me, that was really hard because I’m all about, you know, being a person of integrity. And I wanted that faith from her that you know, I am going to trust that you are who you say you are, and that I don’t need a ring to feel that trust in you. So for me, that was really hard, like, Oh, she’s not trusting who I am, especially at one point, maybe a year into our relationship. Something happened within my family where, you know, there was a relationship that ended and that was very hard for somebody and she kind of withdrew from me. And we had been holding hands and then she kind of withdrew physically from me and not allowed that anymore. And for me, I’m a person who loves progress and I hate stepping backward. And that was kind of really crushing to me. And that was a really hard time in our relationship when she kind of withdrew from me, not from any action on my side. But yeah, from my family. And that was definitely a hard up and down time period in our relationship.
Sunmarie Burns: And you, you asked, were there other things that were hard for us to share with one another? And I think those are definitely things that were hard to explain – our emotion. You know, to step out of the status quo, like, oh, everything’s fine on the surface, let’s pretend it’s there when in fact, you know, he has this internal turmoil. And I’m, you know, the cause of it, you know. And just having those honest and open conversation, sometimes it was hard to actually speak them to one another. So we would often write it in a letter. We wouldn’t mail it to each other, but we write it in a letter and get together and then give a letter to the other and sit and let them read it and then cry while you’re reading it and then talk about it. You know, we had a lot of those moments.
Sunny Burns: A lot of roller coasters this first couple of years.
Sunmarie Burns: It was, it was, it was rough. I remember a lot of conversations. It was a lot of tears on both sides, just, just learning how to trust because, you know, in this world you see so many examples of people hurting one another, you know, often unintentionally. But it’s just the way things end up and we become kind of hardened to it and, and put up all these walls, which unfortunately in the world today, you, you need, you need to have some walls. But when, when moving forward in a relationship toward a marriage, it’s, you have to kind of deconstruct those walls sometimes to get to a place of true trust and understanding. So…
Sammy Uyama: Wow, we have to, we have to slow down. We have to… you have said so many amazing nuggets and I just want to like catch all those. There’s so many things you both shared there I thought were just amazing. Just… first of, I think is so vital as you both were really clear on the purpose of this relationship. And it was with that end goal of this is forever relationship. Right? And that, I think, makes such a huge difference. And a lot of relationships, I think that there, there’s not, they’re either not clear and what the, what the direction of that relationship is going or they have different opinions about what’s the purpose of this relationship, right? And that’s, especially young couples today. It’s such a thing where it’s like, oh, they don’t even know what the call is like, what, what are we, you know, literally people don’t even want to say we’re a couple.
Sunmarie Burns: Right. And so… We were a couple after our first four-hour conversation, and then we’re like, this is done. We are matched forever.
Sammy Uyama: Oh, yeah, exactly. That leads to the next point. So you had this commitment and you’re a couple and then dealing with different paces of commitment and how you just navigated that, and Seung Kook could being so eager and ready. And then Sunmarie just wanting to take things slower, but also just being, you know, generous with each other, or understanding with each other that you’re different. Not levels really but speeds. Right. And, and being accepting of that, and then also fluctuating and going backwards some, and how frustrating that can be. And I think it’d be difficult for anybody.
Sunny Burns: Yeah.
Sammy Uyama: Then I love that point about being cautious with your intimacy, hmm with one another. And using that, like that’s, that’s treating as sacred and special in your relationship. And especially as a woman, I think I see so often that women deal with fears of, you know, the man leaving them or something. And so they use intimacy as like a tool or a weapon to get, get someone’s attention. So the, I guess the self-esteem that you have for yourself to honor your own, you know, the intimacy you give. That’s really precious. And the confidence of not, of just giving that when you’re ready for it and not get, you know, just throwing it away, and you know, like it and then presenting it later, I think that happens a lot. And as a guy accepting that and being supportive and embraced, and embracing I… so I work with a lot of young couples, and it’s such a, one of the saddest narratives is when a young man is, is very eager for physical intimacy, and the woman is not so comfortable, but you know, I love him and now like he really wants it and, and so like they, they give in, and then it caught. I’ve seen so many times that cause, cause, it cause problems later on, right? So it’s just that you know, and then the last point that you shared that I’m so passionate about that, this idea that relationship can get better over the years. And which one, you just mentioned after you got married, it’s been golden, these years have just been really fantastic for you guys. And I hate this narrative of, of, you know, the, the honeymoon phase and then, you know these conversations of people in their 40s, they’re calling their wife their ball and chain. And yeah, I’m sorry, I, I never want to feel like that about marriage. And, and what I’ve seen and experienced is that a relationship is just like any other party. It’s like your, your health. It’s like your finances. If you do the right things, then it just gets better. It doesn’t have to deteriorate, right? It’s like your body doesn’t. And you guys really exemplify that. And I just wanted to highlight that in particular.
Sunmarie Burns: Thank you. Yeah, I mean, I I agree with you there too. It really bothers me when I hear those statements too, because I do feel like if you started out on the right foot, you know, where you don’t jump into the butterflies and the excitement and the emotional, physical, you know, fulfillment. But you really work on the hard stuff in the beginning, which is the communications, the line of communication, open and honest conversations, how to talk about sensitive things kindly to one another, you know. All these, all these tools that help a relationship go more smoothly if you can really hone in on that and focus on that in your early years. It just makes it so much stronger for your, you know, the rest of your marriage. If you jump too quickly into all of the physical things in a marriage before working on those things, it can distract you.
Sunny Burns: I think it really masks a lot of the underlying issues because you’re just kind of in this like happy honeymoon phase. And yeah, just, you know, these little things that might hurt you a little bit, kind of you can smooth over because there’s this nice physical attraction, this physical connection, but if you kind of isolate that, you can work out those little kinks and really firm up that foundation.
Sunmarie Burns: Right. And then, and then down the line when the butterflies wear off ,when the honeymoon phase supposedly is overworked, you know. When you, when your husband comes home and it’s not like all butterflies in your stomach anymore, you know you’re familiar with one another, you still love each other. But on a completely different level, you know, where the true love is there where you love every thing about the person, you know, the character, the relationship you have with them and so forth. And when you have those difficult moments, because you always will throughout your relationship, you’ll know how to deal with them. You’re not trying to learn how to deal with them two, three years into your marriage. You already worked that out in your first year. You know, first few years of…
Sunny Burns: Yeah, during the first few years of our relationship, we read so many relationship books. We probably read, like, five you know, five love languages… a lot of books.
Sammy Uyama: Great books.
Sunmarie Burns: Oh boy, we have a stack. But anyway, yeah, we did, we read a lot of books. “Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts” was another one. “Questions Couples Ask” is another one. A bunch of, a bunch of great marriage and relationship books that we were reading. We took marriage courses. We took, you know, a bunch of marriage courses actually. And we even met with a counselor a couple of times.
Sunny Burns: So we were very intentional about developing this relationship. And I think that’s why I think we can both honestly say every single year, marriage just gets better and better and better.
Sunmarie Burns: Right.
Sunny Burns: Wouldn’t you say so?
Sunmarie Burns: I do.
Sunny Burns: We better say so.
Sunmarie Burns: More in love with you today than I’ve ever been before, and that’ll only keep going up.
Sunny Burns: I really believe that will only keep, our relationship only continues to get better. And that’s all I foresee.
Sammy Uyama: Right. That’s so cool. Wow. Thank you. This, I did… I want, I want to talk about sex. I’m also, because I think that you know, and it’s something that we can offer on this podcast that doesn’t get talked a lot in other places. Right and, and I know you’ve got, I imagine just with the intentionality put in all parts pf the relationship is another area that you’ve put a lot of thought into. So I’m curious, like, about your, your perspective of sex in particular, because it’s such a confusing topic for, you know, there’s so many mixed messages about it. And so I’m wondering, you know, for you guys, sounds like even in your single days, you both grew up very intentional and with very strong with very specific values that you brought into your marriage. And so even with that, what kind of concepts that you have about sex and what it would be like or what it was supposed to be like. So I’m eager also to hear from Seung Kook how porn influenced your, your perspective of what to expect from sex. And then in hindsight now, what’s, what have you realized that a good sexual relationship is actually like, huh?
Sunny Burns: Yeah, so a few months into our relationship, you know, we started holding hands. And for me I remember that first night very vividly where we first held hands and that was just like, a fireworks experience. Because, you know, we had not made a physical connection with anyone else in our entire lives. And that to me was so special like we I think we like walked around for like five or six hours just not wanting to leave each other. Because that, like, physical connection was so awesome. Like, I still remember vividly, like the holding hands was like, so much better than even our first kiss. It was like, it was just like, yeah, just like this beautiful, crazy connection.
Sunmarie Burns: Yeah.
Sunny Burns: But yeah, and I think that comes from kind of like, you know, having some purity and saving yourself for that, that future person. And I think they, there’s a lot of power that comes with that. And…
Sunmarie Burns: We realize the power of the physical connection in that moment. And it made us very conscientious of the fact that we don’t want to move too quickly in this, because this is powerful. And it’s something that has to be handled responsibly, I guess, you could say. And so we, we had some discussions early on about, well, when do we want to take the next step? You know, obviously not before we were married and blessed. That was, that was quite clear to us. But even when we were looking toward the blessing date, we didn’t feel at that point in our lives was a good time to start a sexual relationship because we both felt, you know, you have to be ready for the responsibility that comes, comes with that.
Sunny Burns: Right. My dad had been adopted, you know, when he would, when he was eight years old, you know. He was, he was abandoned by his mom, his family, and him and his two siblings were adopted. So, you know, he very much like, brought it home to me, you know. You know, having a baby can be the best thing in the world, or the worst thing in the world. And it’s all has to do with timing. And if you’re prepared, and his, you know, thought was, if you’re having sex, you better be ready to have a baby. And so that’s kind of where I was coming into the relationship is, you know, if we’re going to enter into a sexual relationship, then we should be at a point where we can willingly and happily and have a child enter into our family,
Sunmarie Burns: Right. Even, even if you’re using contraceptive methods, there’s no guarantee that they’re going to, you know, work and so you have to be in a mental space that you can be okay with having a child introduced into your life, you know, that it won’t like destroy your marriage or shake something up so much so that you can’t handle the responsibility that comes from that.
Sunny Burns: Right. So about a year and a half after we got in, like, got together and started our relationship. We got, we had the blessing ceremony, which is like a religious marriage ceremony in our faith tradition.
Sammy Uyama: Right. And we we did a, an entire podcast episode on that. So you guys listening can refer to that if you’d like to know more.
Sunny Burns: Yeah. And at that point, you know, our move, our church, our faith tradition kind of says wait 40 days, and then you can kind of start your physical relationship. You’re gonna have sex if you want. But we decided, you know, I was still in school. Let’s wait till after I graduate, graduate college, which, you know, we got, we kind of started our relationship 2010, I was graduating 2013. So another, like, year later, another year and a half later. And at that point, you know, I’ll be, I’ll be working full time as an engineer, and I and you’ll be working full time as a teacher and I really, our lives be a lot more stable. And we’ll have a legal marriage ceremony at that point. So that’s what we did. We got legally married in 2013. And we saved our, you know, our first time having sex was our, well, actually, it wasn’t our wedding night. It’s a few days after our wedding night, we can go into details of why that was. But yeah, so that’s what we decided to do. And there were stages, you know, after, after we had our, you know, religious blessing marriage ceremony… …
Sunmarie Burns: And we were okay to have our first kiss.
Sunny Burns: … and do a lot more physical things. And I remember one night, you know, this is after we’re blessed and had our religious marriage ceremony. We go to a family camp, and we get our own cabin together, just me, and me and Sunmarie, and, you know, I’m thinking, you know, oh, you know, we’re kind of religiously married, where we’re okay to kind of be more physical. And I asked Sunmarie, I’m like, is it okay to, what is it second base? Is it okay to touch you? And she’s like, mhm. And then I start, you know, fondling her a little bit. And then she, she starts, you know, lemme go here – she starts crying. And I’m just like, why? Why are you crying? You know, we waited all this time. I wanted this to be a magical moment and she’s crying and I was like, not this again with the holding hands and taking it back and just, you know going, going two steps forward only go five steps back. And, and so that was, that was a tough moment.
Sunmarie Burns: I mean, you know, even if, even if you are, you know, in a place of being married and ready to take that next step, both sides may not be ready for it, you know. And I would say that I was mentally ready, but then when, when the moment happened, it just kind of shook me up. Not that I didn’t want it but just like the newness of it and everything. It just was nerve wracking.
Sammy Uyama: Yeah. A lot of emotional stuff can come up on, like, subconsciously or who knows, you know? I don’t…
Sunmarie Burns: Right.
Sammy Uyama: Yeah. So you don’t know what that, Sunmarie, what that was? It was just this thing that came up for you.
Sunmarie Burns: Oh, well, I guess just being a very guarded person your whole life and then finally letting someone in is like, it’s nerve wracking, you know. And, and just wrapping your mind around that – it, it takes time, I think. And you know for me, I, it was slow going. I get a lot of…
Sammy Uyama: I think it just, your guys’ experience speaks so well to the importance of both really honoring people’s readiness on both sides. That’s, yeah, I think it’s really important and it’s really great to see you guys done.
Sunmarie Burns: I think the important takeaway there is, you know, for both sides, men and women, but I’m sure this happens more, in the case of men initiating things, and then women getting uncomfortable, perhaps, is just to like, not, not take it too, personally, you know. Don’t feel like oh, she’s not ready. Maybe, you know, it’s something I did or whatever. And just, just take it with grace and be patient and just understand, you know, you know, they’re just not there yet. And that’s okay. It doesn’t mean that they don’t love me or they don’t like me or whatnot. It’s just that they need more time. And I think also for the, for the partner who’s struggling with moving too fast. They feel a lot of love and respect and reassurance when the partner is willing to give that grace and space and be like, okay, you know, I’m sorry, you’re not comfortable with this, we’ll take a step back and, and I’ll just wait until you are, you know. And I think that that’s huge, you know, for, for couples to be able, to be able to communicate that way and to allow that space and patience for one another, to be able to meet at that place. If it’s not the same timing, because oftentimes, I think people are ready for different things at different times. And that’s okay.
Sammy Uyama: Yeah. Thank you.
Sunny Burns: Yeah. So I guess, entering into our actual legal wedding ceremony, leading up to it, you know, we knew that that’s when we kind of want to start our sexual relationship. And so we kind of both talked about it. And you know, are you okay with condoms? What do you think of birth control, and we had those discussions kind of leading up to that well in advance, you know, at least a year or two, probably even the start of relationship we were talking about it. And so just having this open, honest communication on some of these, you know. We tried to make like no topics tab, but we can talk about anything. I think that really helped with our, with our marriage, you know, just making sure that communication was always present, that we’re always talking and always, you know, chatting how we felt. And so, you know, I was, I was okay with condoms. I didn’t like, like hormonal birth control because I was a very natural person, you know, I’m into like barefoot running. And just and I feel like our bodies are equipped to be everything we need them to be. Suddenly.
Sammy Uyama: I’m surprised you’re wearing pants.
Sunny Burns: Who says I’m wearing pants?
Sunmarie Burns: He’s wearing pants. Don’t worry. But he doesn’t wear blue jeans.
Sunny Burns: I’ve never worn blue jeans,
Sunmarie Burns: Not a pair in his life.
Sunny Burns: Another fun fact for all of you guys. You should read all my fun facts.
Sunmarie Burns: But yeah, back to that, back to that point.
Sunny Burns: I think you, from a more spiritual realm, You didn’t want to, or religious, you didn’t want to do…
Sunmarie Burns: Contraceptives. Right. I didn’t like the idea of, well, I guess I didn’t like the idea of disconnecting the responsibility that comes with with the action, you know. I felt like sometimes, it’s misused where, you know, people mess around a lot because they can without the responsibility, and it kind of cheapens the experience.
Sunny Burns: If you learn anything about listening to us, we’re all about delayed gratification, you know. We’re all about investing in building for something greater. And we are all, you know, we don’t believe that comfort and ease brings happiness. We believe in challenging ourselves, continually growing. And if that means, you know, making those harder decisions, we are all about it.
Sunmarie Burns: The sacrificing makes the reward all that greater. Yeah. So, so we had that attitude. And also I felt like, you know, it, might I have my own reasons of feeling, you know, like, you know, it’s, it’s not fair for the woman to have to take perhaps a potentially toxic substance into her body in order to like, you know, get rid of the responsibility that comes from when perhaps, perhaps when the man wants satisfaction or something. I just had an issue with that, you know. And also, I just didn’t want to ever jeopardize the possibility of having kids one day, should I have a birth control method that may, may harm that lasting effects. So all these fears were there, you know, and we knew we didn’t want to wait too long to have kids. We did want to have more time. Just enjoying the couple life.
Sunny Burns: So we weren’t making babies right away.
Sunmarie Burns: Right.
Sunny Burns: We just wanted to relate, try our relationship together.
Sunmarie Burns: So we were trying to search for what was a happy medium between, you know, contraceptive methods, and we came upon natural family planning.
Sunny Burns: Yeah, I had heard from my parents. My dad had mentioned like years ago about something called the rhythm method, which is something a lot of Catholic people practice. And it’s just like, you know, having sex only certain times of the month and you know, abstaining certain days. And when I can, so recently I just found out that there’s a lot newer methods, a lot with better efficacy rates. And there’s something called natural family planning. And specifically we found an instructor on the simple thermal method which has like three checks of fertility and is, has the same efficacy rates, which is like 97%, 99.7 as hormonal birth control. And so we took, what was it, six weeks of classes in her home. She was an instructor…
Sunmarie Burns: In the Archdiocese of our local area.
Sunny Burns: Yeah. So it was fun to have to pay for these classes. We did. It was like.
Sunmarie Burns: But it was pretty nominal.
Sunny Burns: Two hundred dollars for the six weeks or something.
Sunmarie Burns: It came with all the course material.
Sunny Burns: She didn’t make any money, it was just for the course materials.
Sammy Uyama: And so you, like for people wanting to find that locally, like, what you googled thermal…
Sunny Burns: Yeah, natural thermal.
Sunmarie Burns: Simple thermal method. Natural family planning…
Sunny Burns: Just search natural family planning. And there’s instructors all over the place. And I really do recommend taking the class. I felt like it was such an invaluable class for a young couple, because it really opened up the whole dialogue of fertility of sex. You know, we just, you know, after this class, we would just talk about these things because it was opened up, you know. We would see diagrams of vaginas and penises, and it would just, you know, we’d get to talk about these things. And I think that was, that was powerful. It kind of made these taboo subjects less taboo, and we were able to communicate what we thought.
Sunmarie Burns: We could also understand, you know, the, the, just the miracle of the human body and how it works. And and we could respect one another better in that way, too, because we understood you know, the differences between a man’s body and a woman’s body and how it works.
Sunny Burns: And, for me, it was fascinating to see suddenly make these realizations about our own by like, oh, that’s why that happens.
Sunmarie Burns: Right.
Sunny Burns: And to learn about it from my end…
Sunmarie Burns: It’s such a taboo topic that no one really teaches you about that. You don’t really learn about, you know. And then when the time comes to have a baby, it’s just like okay Dr. Almighty, whatever you say, you know. And if you really actually learn to understand what’s going on in your body and, and just have that realization, it’s so powerful. And, and it’s a very, like, beautiful thing.
Sunny Burns: It is.
Sunmarie Burns: Spiritually, too. It just makes you marvel at the wonder that God created in, in each of us.
Sunny Burns: Yeah. What I love about natural family planning is, you know, I talked about three checks. So basically you’re checking your temperature in the morning; the woman is, because the man is always fertile, the woman is fertile sometimes. So checking, you know, your temperature in the morning and you’ll see spikes throughout the month and that you gauge you know, is she fertile? Is she not fertile? And you’re checking, you know, some some sensitivity signs and some fluid signs. And those are the three checks. But basically, I really encourage you to take the class before you start practicing NFP.
Sunmarie Burns: Right? They do. There are apps on your phones and so forth to help you chart your fertility throughout the month. But definitely having a course is very beneficial because it really helps you understand what’s going on. And usually your instructor is certified and can check your charts for you to make sure you’re not miss reading them. If you’re, if you’re using it as a form of, to delay childbirth. Or if you’re, even you can use natural family planning as a way to have a baby, have a baby, if you’re struggling with fertility issues, you know, you can come to understand your body better and learn about like, yeah, am I, am I hormonal, hormonally out of balance, and perhaps that’s why we’re struggling you know. Or what time of the month is the best time to try for a child, right, Rather than just blindly going in and hoping for the best, you know.
Sunny Burns: And the way we were taught, I think, is really awesome because you know, you chart. So you have a chart and you write down the temperatures every morning. And usually the way they they made it was you know, Sunmarie would take her temperature and the husband or the spouse would chart the whole thing. So it makes it into a very, like, you’re on the same page, right? You know, you know the score, you know not to ask on certain days, depending on your desired results, and you practices periods of abstinence, which then you can develop, you know, other parts of your relationship during those times. And it sounds like a struggle, it sounds like a hardship.
Sunmarie Burns: You gotta go 10 days a month without…
Sunny Burns: Right.
Sunmarie Burns: …coming together. It’s like, well, no, actually, because it’s a beautiful break from the physical relationship in order to work on the emotional. And you could just snuggle on the couch and watch a movie and talk about each other’s day and hold hands and, you know, communicate to each other in ways that don’t have to always lead to sex. Right.
Sunny Burns: Right. And then you have that honeymoon phase towards the end of it. And I think it’s, it just really is a great thing for, for couples. And I really believe that’s why we really promote NFP and we really love it so much.
Sunmarie Burns: Yeah, we, we did it. And that is why as we mentioned earlier on our wedding day, we did not consummate our marriage that night, because it wasn’t working on our charts right? It wasn’t the right time.
Sammy Uyama: So you should have planned your wedding day.
Sunny Burns: It was a good night though. It was definitely a good night regardless.
Sunmarie Burns: But yes, um, and then we saved that moment for another time.
Sunny Burns: During our honeymoon actually went to Hawaii,
Sunmarie Burns: Right, like two weeks later, something. A week and a half later, something like that.
Sammy Uyama: Okay. So Hawaii is where the magic happens. The Magic began.
Sunny Burns: Yeah.
Sammy Uyama: What are some, I’m curious, what are some before and after, from each of you? You’re, you’ve talked a lot about this. I’m sure you’re very well informed going in, but still, did you find you had some concepts about how sex works before and the reality afterwords. I mean, just for myself, it’s a fascinating topic because I, I felt very informed about what to expect from sex. I was also many years old out over my own pornography habit, masturbation, so a lot of it was flush on my system. But still the before and after, it’s so drastic about like, oh, this is like actually how sex works. Even just like, practically it’s like you never think about physically, how do you, like, get the bodies to fit together, right, when it’s like, like, you know, her arms, like, really heavy and like, you know, my, I’m losing blood circulation in my finger. You know, so for you guys where do some, you have anything like that that you experienced?
Sunny Burns: It’s just messy. very messy.
Sunmarie Burns: Yeah.
Sunny Burns: Like you see, like in movies, people that have sex and they just they just roll over and go back to sleep. It’s like, no, sex is too messy to ever do that. Too many fluids.
Sammy Uyama: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Yeah.
Sunmarie Burns: I mean, I think another thing too is just that, you know, in Hollywood, they make it seem like this, you know, amazing moment from the get go. And it’s like, no. Especially when you’re new to it, it’s, it’s not necessarily going to feel that way in the beginning, you know. It’s something like anything you’ve got to work at, over the years to get better at and, and be patient with it, you know. Like, first few times aren’t, aren’t like, you know, necessarily the most amazing experiences of your life. But for some people, some people they are, but to have that patience with yourself, too, that it’s like, oh, you know, it was okay, but maybe next time, it’ll be even better, you know. And to just know that it’s not like, that hot moment you see in the movies where they make it out, like, you know. It’s, it’s this magical moment from the very beginning.
Sunny Burns: Yeah, in our case, the first couple times were definitely you know, there was some pain, there was, it wasn’t the easiest thing.
Sunmarie Burns: I remember thinking, well if this is what this is, why there’s so many people in the world (laughter). Nothing personal against you
Sunny Burns: Maybe we won’t have our four kids, we’ll stick to one.
Sunmarie Burns: But we have three kids today. So you can see where that went.
Sunny Burns: Yeah, so anyway, I feel like our sex life every year just gets better just like everything else right? Wouldn’t you say so?
Sunmarie Burns: Yes. No, for sure.
Sammy Uyama: Ah, yeah.
Sunny Burns: Yeah. And it’s just something that we constantly develop, you know, we constantly are getting more familiar. We’re constantly getting, you know, I’m starting to know better, you know, what Sunmarie likes, she knows better what I like. And it’s just this thing that you continue to develop and you make better and better throughout your marriage. And there’s so many aspects of sex that I feel like it’s really endless what you can keep doing. And sure you can keep it boring if you, you know, aren’t continuously investing. You know, you can learn things. You can do different things. But just like anything else, you know, you have to continually innovate in the relationship. Sunmarie and I make it a point every single year, the Five Love Languages book was so instrumental to our relationship. Make it a point, every October we read the book, it’s just a four-hour audio book that we listen to, and make a commitment to do that every year because we, you know, I prioritize our relationship and we’ve intentionally made it a priority. And we do that by listening to that book. And again, we just continually reinvest into making our relationship the best that can be.
Sunmarie Burns: Right and it’s both a physical and emotional connection, you know, that we have to make sure both sides of it are well nurtured throughout our, our years, you know, to not lose track of the fact that we need to communicate. We need to find out what each other likes and we need to work on, on making sure we have that open line of communication where we can talk about things and be honest with each other and, and get to know you know, what makes our spouse happy.
Sammy Uyama: So what are some things you’ve discovered, like, that you see, are important for actually making a fulfilling sexual relationship between two people? What are some important elements?
Sunmarie Burns: I think one for sure is to both agree to want it in the moment that you come together, you know, not for one to push, push another for it. And to respect when a partner is not feeling up for it. Because I think if, if, if it’s something where one person wants it and the other isn’t in the mood, then resentment can build over time. Misunderstanding can build. So that’s always been very important that you check in with each other and make sure it’s what you both want. So for us, like we, we always say, you know, are you tired tonight?
Sammy Uyama: Yeah, you’ve got like code words.
Sunmarie Burns: Tired is our code word. Are you “tired” tonight? And it’s like, yeah, you, I’m kind of feeling pretty tired or I’m tired. But you know, I’m not really that tired. And that’s kind of the code word for, like, I’m up for something, you know. And I think I think that that’s a, it’s a good thing to check in with each other, you know, use the code word, so that you’re not, like, being confrontational. It’s sort of like a gentle questions like, how do you feel, you know, to check in and make sure how’s the emotional climate or, or even the physical climate issue really wiped out, you know. You’re not going to be in the mood. And so that’s been key. I definitely think that’s been important for us to make sure that it’s something that’s both mutually rewarding.
Sunny Burns: Yeah, right. Yeah. Someone told me you know, speed is the enemy of intimacy. So I think really just kind of taking it slow and really, you know, I feel like you have to warm up your wife a little bit, because she’s a lot slower to get there than you are. And you know, a lot, a lot of times I feel like, I don’t know, I don’t have experience in this. But I think a lot of women aren’t satisfied. And, you know, they can’t get there, you know, they don’t achieve a full orgasm. And then it’s not really exciting for them. So I think one book, you know, I read prior to starting a sexual relationship was she comes first and it’s all about, you know, having your wife have an orgasm first. So all the pressures off for the man. And, you know, he can, you know, if he, you know, has an orgasm shortly afterwards or, you know, 30 minutes afterwards. It’s all fine at that point, because at least both, you know, both partners have had a…
Sammy Uyama: A plus experience.
Sunny Burns: … a plus experience. Yes. So, you know, the pressure’s off, and I think that was a great book to read. And that was a great philosophy on how to initiate sex, just yeah. So just, you know, taking it slow and making sure that you know, you are able to make your partner feel good, too, and making sure you’re taking care of her and just, you know, just not go straight into intercourse. But you know, warming up with some foreplay first, I’d say that’s definitely key.
Sunmarie Burns: Right. And it shows it shows your partner that, you know, you want it to be something that’s mutually enjoyable. It’s not just like fulfilling a personal need, you know? Because I mean, I feel like I’ve heard a lot of unhappy wives make that complaint, you know, like, he’s just wanting too much and he’s not sensitive to when I’m not in the mood for it and blah, blah, blah. And I feel like it can lead to a lot of discord which can you know, flow into other parts of the relationship, you know, feeling like you’re not understood or you’re not heard or respected?
Sammy Uyama: I have a question, different, another question for you guys. So how do you guys navigate the every relationship has a high drive and a low drive? Inevitably, whatever the level, one is gonna be more interested in sex than the other? So how do you navigate this this area?
Sunny Burns: Yeah, I don’t know. I feel like it definitely fluctuates in our relationship, like who’s the higher drive person? I remember like when I was younger, I definitely thought like, you know, I’m super high drive, I’m going to need sex every day, twice a day. And when it came to getting married, it didn’t end up being that way. You know, if we had sex two or three times a week, that was fine by me, and yeah, I don’t know. Um, we’ve never really had difficulties there, I feel like.
Sammy Uyama: Oh, wow, okay, that’s great. Well, any and did you ever have any experiences where one of you felt overburdened? Like it was, It typically it’s like either it’s too frequent or it’s not frequent enough, you know, and it’s like kind of swings from one to the other. And, as for a low drive person, when you want to be sensitive to your spouse’s needs and soaking up, even if you’re really not in the mood so much, but wanting to help them. Or as a high drive person, being sensitive to your spouse’s needs and just like waiting, you know, continuing to wait and how do I, you know, to consider the other without feeling like you’re just acquiescence… what’s the word?
Sunny Burns: Acquiescing?
Sammy Uyama: Acquiescing. You’re not continuing acquiescing the other way, you’re both satisfied and happy with this relationship.
Sunmarie Burns: I mean, I think that with natural family planning, we haven’t had so much of that experience because it’s, there’s a built-in abstinence period. So it does kind of, you know, give you this break without it being one asking for it, or the other asking for it. And after the break, you’re both pretty eager, I guess, to get back to connecting to one another. So I feel like that’s helped with us if it’s just everyday all the time, and there’s never really a, like a break period and abstinence period. I could see that being an issue of some people getting bored or whatnot. Someone else like feeling the need for it more than the other. But I’ve never felt like we’ve really had that kind of an experience, honestly speaking. And the only thing I can, I can point a finger toward what could cause that is this, this built-in absence period that we have through the method that we use.
Sammy Uyama: Yeah, but it’s really, it’s been really amazing to hear from you guys. Just especially the whole going through the whole process of developing comfort with one another and. And from Sunmarie, lay it you know, little by little. But you know, it’s still a challenge to really let go and to trust you know, okay, making that conscious decision that I’m going to trust this person. And I can feel them being vulnerable, like opening after being guarded for so long, really opening yourself up to this person. And then someone could really honoring that and, and taking care of you. That’s really great to hear and also being supportive of, you know retracting a little bit when need be? And just being really clear and where you wanted to go in your relationship and steadily moving forward to that, towards that. And it’s brought you here to this place, three children later.
Sunmarie Burns: Yeah, yeah. And I will say this. When, when we did natural family planning, we successfully did it for a little under two years, which was about the time frame, we wanted to wait. And then we came to a place of feeling like we are ready to have kids. So then we got more lenient with our charting. And we, when we were ready to have our first son, that’s when we conceived our first son right when we wanted to, you know. And so it definitely worked for us in a lot of ways. You know, some people have doubts about natural family planning methods and definitely the one you follow will determine efficacy rates. And then also, if you, if you really are charting very diligently will affect it. But for us, it was a very effective method and it worked exactly as it should have and the way we wanted it to. So for all three of our kids, you know, we had the amount of time that we wanted to, to avoid pregnancy in between the amount of times that we wanted to achieve pregnancy. It was very scheduled, I guess you could say. So it was a very effective method for us and it worked in helping us bring about our children at the time we wanted them
Sammy Uyama: It sounds like it’s so intertwined with many aspects of your life. I’m just hearing that it’s the secret to your guys’ wild and fantastic sex life as well.
Sunny Burns: And it led to other things too. Like it led to us kind of discovering natural birthing. You know, Sunmarie had all three of our kids naturally. And yeah, just led to a lot of other…
Sunmarie Burns: Wholesome lifestyle…
Sunny Burns: …choices, yeah.
Sammy Uyama: Yeah. Hmm. So, what guidance would you have for people navigating the world of sex for maybe for single people who are, you know, wanting what you guys have later down the road? What they can do to prepare now, for couples in a relationship would you like to offer them?
Sunmarie Burns: Yeah, I think it’s, it’s, it’s hard when you’re single, you know, and you’re lonely and you are longing so much for that committed relationship with someone. It can be hard. And I see a lot of young people kind of testing the waters in certain things. And I guess my my hope is that, you know, they can really struggle through those challenges and stay true to who they are and what they believe in and really like stay strong to save your heart. And you’re, you’re, you’re being for, for your future spouse, because, you know, the more that you save yourself for them, the more beautiful that experience will be when the time does come, you know, if you’ve, if you’ve, you know, done certain things before. It’s not going to be that magical moment when you do finally meet the person you’re meant to spend your life with. You know, like, if I had kissed someone before I kissed Seung Kook, that moment wouldn’t have been that magical moment. You know, I’m so glad that my first kiss was with my, my husband, and it was magical and it was a beautiful thing. And I had nothing else to compare it to, which just made it all that more wonderful. You know, I wasn’t like comparing it back to a previous memory. And I think that that’s really important across the board when it comes to all sorts of different kinds of physical interactions.
Sammy Uyama: I’m glad you clarified that because I’ve been hearing from Seng Kook about how proud he is of his first kiss. And there was silence on.
Sunmarie Burns: I realized that, halfway through the episode, I was like, I should have chimed in there and said it was the same for me. People are gonna start thinking it wasn’t. Well, it was just to set the record straight.
Sammy Uyama: Then the record is straight. And thank you for that. Just so what you’d like to offer young people is to really keep in mind the long term; what it, what it is that they really want. And then stay true to that. Yeah, yeah, try.
Sunny Burns: I know, even though there’ll be challenges along the way.
Sunmarie Burns: Exactly. And there definitely will be. And I think the saddest thing is when you give a part of yourself away, you know, to someone that it’s not meant to go to and then the remorse that comes from that. And then that becomes something that when you do meet your forever, partner, it’s something you got to lay out on the table and be like, hey, sorry, but this, this has happened, you know. And it just becomes another thing that you have to stress about discussing and seeing if, if your partner is going to be able to accept you with what you’ve done in the past. So if you can try to limit that as much as possible and keep your eye on the goal, which is finding lifelong happiness and love and marriage. And then you’ll be so much happier in the long run.
Sammy Uyama: Thank you. What about Seung Kook, what would you like to offer?
Sunny Burns: Yeah, I think for me, what was key was, you know, finding integrity within myself and you know, aligning with the person I want it to be. And, you know, I kind of mentioned, you know, I had this run in with pornography, which I was not in alignment with who I wanted to be at all. And so I really took action towards, you know, trying to break free and trying to become a person that I’d be proud of offering up to my future spouse and saying, hey, this is who I am. And you know, for me, then involved developing a lot of habits a lot of personal yeah habits that could transform me into the person I want to become. So I want to be you know, fit and good looking.
Sunmarie Burns: And you where. And you are.
Sunny Burns: So I would run at least twice a week and I’ve been doing that for, you know, the last what is it, like 15 years now running at least twice a week, listening to audio books and podcasts; developing my mind developing my smarts, developing my intelligence. And just like becoming a person who could willingly you know, accept change, and becoming an early riser to get things done and become, yeah, just, just, just working on yourself to become who you want to be. And making that a priority and doing it intentionally rather than just coasting through life and getting maybe to marriage someday, you know. Think about what type of person you want to be for your future spouse and start working on it now. When you’re single, it is so much easier to work on yourself than when you have, you know, three kids running around who need constant attention. It’s so hard to work on yourself at that point. So, you know, the more you can invest now into becoming the person that you want to be, I think, you know, the better your life will be in the future. So, so take the time now to really invest.
Sunmarie Burns: Right. And, I, to piggyback off of that, I think the better you know who you are and what you want to be, the better you will know who is right for you in a marriage and to build it and make it work. Because if you have clarity, and you can tell the other person, this is who I am. This is what I envision my future to look lik, that it’s easy to figure out whether you can align with someone and you can kind of get on that same railroad car and go in the same direction together. Rather than, you know, meet someone like them, think they’re cute, be like, oh, let’s make this work. And then realize, oh, shoot, we are going in two different directions.
Sammy Uyama: Yeah. One of us wants kids, the other doesn’t.
Sunmarie Burns: Right. Yeah, yeah. One of us is really career-driven and wants to, you know, pursue this or that and doesn’t have time for a family life and maybe another does. And then it can, it can put rifts in relationship if those aren’t things you knew in advance.
Sunny Burns: By the way, one to mention, I am now 10 years porn-free. So it’s another lifetime ago.
Sammy Uyama: Yeah, that’s so awesome. And I, I, that’s another thing that made such a big difference to your guys’ relationship, I imagine.
Sunmarie Burns: Yeah, for sure. I’m eternally grateful that I am not a partner who has to worry about that.
Sammy Uyama: You guys are like a snowball couple, just a prime example of the right things done early on. Building off each other little by little until you get this gigantic, unstoppable force of a life you guys have build
Sunny Burns: An avalanche life.
Sunmarie Burns: Well, thank you.
Sammy Uyama: Yeah. Thank you. It’s really great to meet you guys. Thank you so much.
Sunmarie Burns: Thank you.
Sunny Burns: Happy to be here.