Jun 132014 3 Responses

Every Couple Needs a Couple

You need somebody. And probably somebodies.

Last night I was talking to a friend. As we exchanged stories about life and family, he encouraged me. I’m not sure he realized it, but in telling his stories he gave me peace about a situation. What I perceived it would be like was not what he was experiencing. It might go differently for me, but my fears and his reality were not the same. He gave me hope. (See: Wake Up Every Day and Consider How to Make Her Dreams Come True)

We all need people like this in our lives. We need people who are one, two, or three steps further along than us in life who can speak truth into us about the future.

This is especially true in marriage. (See: How to Stay Married in the Tough Times)

One of the great perks of the pastorate is that I have many deep relationships with people from every stage of life. I can’t imagine doing life without them. Jenny and I regularly listen to and learn from those who have been through our current stage of marriage. They can encourage us. Laugh with us. Laugh at us. And let us know we will make it, too.

Without them, we wouldn’t know:

  • if our problems were unique or common
  • if we were the only ones who weren’t perfect (See: You Aren’t the Perfect Couple)
  • how we could navigate certain issues
  • whether others cared about our marriage

Having relationships with people who are further down the road than you can provide a tremendous resource and encouragement for your marriage. (See: You Can’t Be Great Without This)

Without them we will be left to our peers or ourselves. While peers are necessary, they cannot give us what we need to better our marriage. Peers are meant to walk beside us through life. Our friendship with them is often established as we experience life together. But generally speaking they are no smarter than we are.

We need others who have more experience, knowledge, and time dealing with the issues we face. We need someone who has been there and done that as we begin to get there and start doing that.

Having couples who have been married 10, 25, even 50 years longer than you provides a deep context for marriage.

When they say our problems are normal, we can believe them.

When they encourage us to seek help, we can listen to them.

When they tell us we will be just fine, we can believe them. (See: The Only Enemy of Marriage)

Because they are further down the road than we are, they have credibility in what they say. They may not know it all, but they know more than we are.

While these relationships are a natural part of the pastorate, many people do not have these relationships form naturally within their lives. To have them, you will have to be intentional to create them.

Church, social clubs, country clubs, family friends, and work, all provide opportunities to build relationships with other couples. While relationships are good, intentional friendships are better.

Here’s the amazing thing which too many people fail to realize—most healthy couples would love to assist another couple with their marriage.  If asked, they will help.

Every couple needs to find one or two other couples whose marriage they admire and intentionally become their friends. Tell them what you want. Let them know you admire their relationship and you want to spend time with them to learn. Have dinner, go to events, and find time to interact with each other. In doing so, you will see them interact, learn from their experience, and find ways to improve your marriage.

They will not be perfect. You will not want to copy everything you see. But even their flaws can be helpful to your marriage as you realize no one is perfect.

They can help you and you will help them. Every older couple is helped as they interact with younger couples. It will remind them of the importance of being role models which will encourage them to make wise choices. Interacting with younger couples can also reinvigorate an older marriage reminding them of the passion and excitement they might have once felt.

Cross-generational relationships can assist both the young and old.

Every couple needs a couple they can learn from and every couple needs a couple they can encourage.

3 Responses to Every Couple Needs a Couple
  1. […] love for your spouse to grow and then make an effort to spend more time around those people. (See: E... kevinathompson.com/reset
  2. Survivors Reply

    My husband and I had couple friends in our church. My husband was being mentored for becoming a pastor by our pastor and I was being mentored for leadership and counseled for some difficult issues by the same pastor.

    After 3 years the pastor turned the tables and began pursing a relationship with me after I had trusted him with sharing my weaknesses. It ended with 2 suicide attempts and a relationship that I finally got brave enough to expose after 4 years. The church supported the pastor I forced to confess.

    My marriage miraculously survived and has thrived. We made the hard decision to no longer participate in church when we found our former pastor and wife selling “Post Affair Recovery” life coaching for a significant price. We can’t understand how someone can sell advice on the devastation that was created by a “man of God” and claim God’s blessing on it.

    So we have intentionally found friends outside of the church. We intentionally will not place our marriage back in a place that can cause so much damage and group trauma.

    God is sufficient. We love each other by working on blessing the other person. Our marriage after 3 years of trauma therapy is stronger away from the hypocrisy. We survived church.

  3. […] long said that every couple needs a couple. In each season of life, you need to have someone you loo... kevinathompson.com/who-inspires-you-toward-a-better-marriage

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