Aug 212013 96 Responses

The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Marry

(The following is an excerpt from Friends, Partners & Lovers)

“In sickness and in health.”

On two occasions I have said those words with the full confidence that the couple repeating those words actually knew what they meant.

The first occurrence brought a smile to my face. She had endured and marriage was her reward on the other side of illness. Together they have journeyed through the struggles of a serious disease as boyfriend and girlfriend. Now they would be husband and wife. They knew what “in sickness and in health” meant. (See: The Number One Cause of Divorce)

in sickness and in healthThe second occurrence brought a tear to my eye. She had weeks to live. The vow renewal was his gift to her. I almost cut the words fearing the might be too painful. But with a crowd gathered I included them as a testimony to all who would hear them say, “in sickness and in health.” They meant it and everyone knew it.

Few people consider sickness and suffering when picking a mate.

They consider how the other person might look in the morning or what bad habits they might have.

They consider what offspring they could produce or what extended family they might bring to the reunion.

Yet few people ever consider what is a vital question—can I suffer with this person?

It sounds like the beginning of another marriage joke, but it’s not.

It’s a real question and one which should be explored by every dating couple.

Suffering is a part of life. (See: Marry a Partner, Not a Child)

And the older a person gets, the more we realize that suffering is not a rare occurrence, but is a common aspect of our lives.

Sorrow comes in many forms, yet it is guaranteed to come.

BEWARE: Not everyone suffers well.

Some live in denial—unable to confront the deep realities of life.

Some live in despair—unable to recognize the convergence of laughter and tears.

Few have the grace to suffer well.

Those who do suffer well are a well-spring of life and faith.

  • Who do you want holding your hand when the test says “cancer?”
  • On whose shoulder do you want to lean when the doctor says, “We’ve done all we can?”
  • With whom do you want to lie beside when you don’t know where your child is or if they will ever come home?
  • When your world turns upside down, in whose eyes do you want to look?

Find someone who suffers well.

I know it doesn’t seem important when life is perfect.

A beautiful smile is far more attractive than a quiet determination.

A common interest is far more appealing than internal strength.

Yet when life falls apart, you want someone you can run to, not someone you want to run from.

  • You want someone who believes in you.
  • You want someone who instills faith, not causes doubt.
  • You want someone who hopes no matter the circumstances.

In the Bible, Job’s wife responded to his suffering by saying, “Curse God and die.”

Had he not suffered enough?

Was life not difficult enough?

Enduring hardship was enough, yet Job was also forced to rebuke his wife during his time of struggle.

Life is hard enough; there is no need to make it harder.

Choosing a spouse who does not suffer well makes life harder.

It makes every grief stronger.

It makes every sorrow more painful.

It makes every hurt deeper.


when our spouse knows how to suffer,

when they have don’t live in denial, but confront the sorrows of life,

when they don’t live in despair but know how to laugh and cry at the same time,

when they offer support and hope in all of life’s challenges,

when they can see the big picture of life,


every grief is wedded to hope

every sorrow is matched with love

and every hurt is paired with healing.

One of the great guarantees of life is that every person, every couple, will suffer. When choosing a mate, choose someone who suffers well and you will never be sorry. (See: If Your Dog–or husband–Runs, Don’t Chase Him)


For more, see:

What to Look For in a Mate

Blessed are the married who mourn


96 Responses to The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Marry
  1. Christy patterson Reply

    Kevin ur sister and I have been friends since grade school. When she shares these post it truly blesses me in so many ways. To make a long story short we lost r oldest daughter a couple of weeks ago to a drug OD. She’s had many challenges in her life and has faced many demons. This particularly touched me because had it not been for my husband who’s loss was just as great as mine I would not have survived this tragedy. I’m so encouraged by ur insite and how God is using u to reach others were they r in there life. May Gods blessings be abundant in all u do. I no for a fact my life is rich w blessings everyday from my Heavenly Father. My 4 month grandson is proof of that!!!

  2. pam Reply

    Kevin, I have been meaning to write to let you know how much I am enjoying your posts. Todays post hit home with me because I truly am blessed to be married to a man that I know will be there in sickness and health, because he already has been. God is so good to allow me to be married to Ray. I am so thankful to God for him.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Pam, Thank you. Today’s post is much more meaningful for some because they have experienced the truth.

  3. Charlene Leamons Reply

    I love your blog Kevin. This one is very insightful with much useful information for couples to aspire to hang on to. Sometimes we don’t know at the time that we choose our mate whether or not they will ‘suffer well’ until life presents it’s trials.
    Then we discover our strengths and weaknesses. With the grace of God and the love of a caring spouse we can make these discoveries together and weather the storms. We hope to come out stronger in love and faith and always together.
    Tony and I have weathered loss and heartache, joy and beauty. I know God brought us together to fulfill his plan for us…though we didn’t hardly know God very well back then.
    Thank you for your thoughtful words of inspiration and knowledge to help us all.
    God bless you and you family.

  4. Ashli Reply

    I think Charlene is right, sometimes we won’t know what it’s like to suffer together until after “I do”… so what is your advice to someone who is dating, and just added this to their future spouse expectations list?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Great question. 4 thoughts:
      1. Date at least a year so you can see how they react through many situations.
      2. Seek to understand how they have dealt with disappointments in the past. Did they grow from them? Did they deal with them?
      3. Truly understand their perspective on life (know their theology).
      4. See how they treat people who hurt.

      What would you add?

  5. […] response to The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Marry, a couple of readers asked w...
  6. Emily Reply

    I really loved this post, and I loved the way you considered Job and the way he rebuked his wife for telling him to curse God. I’ve asked myself this question about my lovely boyfriend a few times and I still wonder how I can really know how he will handle suffering (we’ve only been dating for five months). I suffer from an auto-immune disease myself, and I want to know that as I get older and things get worse that he’ll be able to handle it, as well as all of the other problems life throws at us. I’ve had a few significantly negative things happen in my life, and my mother has been a wonderful role-model of how to handle suffering in accordance to God and I am so thankful for that. Reading this post has reminded me of that, and to remember to take into serious consideration how my future husband will handle adversity. Thank you for a really wonderful and godly post. It’s something that I will keep in mind and apply in my life.

  7. […] The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Marry This was my favorite post of the month....
  8. mundanefaithfulness Reply

    Kevin- this week I find out how far my cancer has gone. I have battled nearly two years. These words speak such truth. I did love the smile of my guy, and the thought of the beautiful babies god would create between us, but this suffering, this beautiful suffering. It has mattered. The heart of love, grace and integrity in my man as he has walked with me in my broken bottom. It has been more than beautiful. You are so right. What you say matters. But it feels impossible to know, I feel it has been such a grace to suffer next to my guy. I’m not sure I saw it at 21, but I certainly see it at 37 and watching my days grow shorter and shorter.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Kara, thank you for the thoughtful response and encouragement. May God bless you.

  9. […] The most overlooked essential characteristic in a life partner. […]...
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  11. wingslikeeagles23 Reply

    This is nicely said. I have chronic illness (fibromyalgia and interstitial cystitis) and my husband knew this when we were dating. It has deeply affected not just my life but his. He has a wonderful quiet determination with it, something I often forget is there, and so important. I know a great many people with my illnesses who have been left by their spouse, sometimes of many years, because they could not take it. I am so blessed.

  12. Anne Fine Reply

    Your message here truly cuts to the heart of things. I’m coming from the opposite end of the spectrum than most of the commenter here. I DIDN’T ask the right questions, pay attention to the signs, make the right decision when chosen my mate. Then when the storm came and the tidewater rose, I found our home was built on shifting sand. I’m facing the tough situation of raising two young children (5 and 8 yrs) while fighting for my life against terminal lung cancer all by myself. Well, I have my family and friends who help tremendously, but it is not the same as a husband who loves you and puts you and your children first. Who you know, when it is your time to leave this world, will take care of your children as well as you and teach them all they need to know to be happy and good people. If not for my faith in Jesus Christ, I would not be here to tell this tale. I would not have seen my 5 yr old start kindergarten this year. My 8 yr old accept Jesus into her heart. My 5th year of LIVING past my initial diagnosis. Where we fail as individuals, Christ is more than able to step in and pick up the slack. To fulfill His childrens’ needs. And bless even the worst circumstances.

  13. Barbara Reply

    What a challenge and something to think on as we are coming up to our 55th anniversary.

  14. Mommy Jing Reply

    This is truly enlightening. I will definitely impart this to my daughter when she’s older. Thanks for giving more meaning to that vow. I haven’t given it much thought until after reading your post. Great advice.

  15. Marci Reply

    This blog entry was reprinted in Family Share and I read it as a Facebook post this morning. WOW! Someone else is thinking about this!
    I teach Latin at the Jr. High/High School level in a classical academy in CA. and in my home, as well. Having finished homeschooling my own three children, I started teaching other students 13 years ago and recently added the academy. That is my background for the following comments.
    Every year, I share my favorite Latin word to show students how English has been enriched by Latin. This is what I tell them. Just yesterday, I presented this to my 9th grade class.
    I first looked into this word “passion” as I was helping my daughter find a church to attend in Ohio. I kept reading the bios of church staff how they were passionate about guitar, watching a sunset with someone they love, cooking gourmet meals….. I wondered what that really means!

    Several years ago, my daughter married and moved to OH. while her husband completed his PhD. work. She called and asked me (in CA.) to find a church for them! I decided to read the bios of the leaders. Almost each one of them had the word “passion” it. Lots of passion going around. I decided to study this overused word. This is what I learned.

    Passion and patience comes from the Latin word patior, pati, passus sum, meaning “to endure, to suffer”. Other English derivatives from this word’s various forms are is “passive” “patient”, “compatible”,
    What makes this Latin word even more interesting (to me, anyway) is that it is part of a small category of verbs called deponent verbs. Deponent verbs are passive in form but active in meaning. That turned out to be a very important part of the fullness and beauty of this word.

    A passive verb is one that expresses something being done to the subject – The boy was bitten by the dog – versus the active expression of the same idea – The dog bit the boy – where the subject is doing the acting.
    Putting together the form and the meaning of this word enriches everything about it – we have a verb meaning to suffer, endure which is passive in form but active in meaning. How can I be both at the same time!!
    To endure (itself meaning to harden or to have hardness put in) or suffer (itself meaning to be carried under) fully mean that one is not visibly doing anything under the circumstance (the passive part of being of being a deponent verb) but is internally acting by resisting an outward response to the suffering (the active part of being deponent). It is the “(actively) working internally (controlling anger, panic, despair) while you are (passively) suffering or waiting.”

    So to me, the Passion of Christ is so much richer if I think this way about it. He looked passive during His arrest, trial and crucifixion. But on the inside, love was very active – as active as on the day of creation – He was bringing forth a new creation – US – through his waiting – suffering – his enduring – his passion!! He was actively obeying the Father in His anguished spirit all the while looking passive to onlookers. Ah, the Passion of Christ.

    And then we need to consider the COMpassion of Jesus! That is where He endures WITH us. And we are called to endure – be compassionate with others. He suffers with us in our sanctification – the painful, life-long privilege of the beloved. We, too, are to suffer WITH others.

    We can also see that compatible comes from this word. It means – able to suffer with…. I asked my two married children – when they were clearly in love but not yet engaged – if they were compatible with their “friend”. “Are you able to suffer together? Are you able to endure hardship together?”

    How compatible and compassionate and patient are we with our spouses?
    How compassionate and patient are we with our children?
    “patience is not the ability to wait; rather, it is about how you wait.”

    If we say we are passionate about something, are we truly willing to suffer for that thing? Youth directors that are passionate about guitar, surfing, good movies….??? What are we thinking!!

    Patient and compassionate and passionate and compatible. These come from the same beautiful Latin word!!
    If you read this far, thanks for hanging in there. The beauty of this one word illustrates why I love Latin and love sharing it, teaching it.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this important subject.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Thank you for reading and for the response. Whenever I think of the word passion, I always remember passion week. Thanks for explaining how the two are linked.

  16. Ana Campos Reply

    I’m grateful to have read this article. I thought I had met my soulmate and we had plans to marry. I loved him completely. But when I got sick and it lasted a few years, he stood by me and supported me. But in the end, just could not communicate his issues and he personalized the side effects and blamed me. It was pretty bad. We broke up. I wish him well. But the truth is I’m glad that I know now he is not the man I should marry. A true love will stand beside you even when you aren’t at your best and help you get healthy again. Isn’t that what love is about? 🙂

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Ana, I’m sorry for the pain of your experience, but I’m grateful for the lessons learned. blessings.

  17. josnewlife Reply

    This is so timely for me, I finished my last of 15 rounds of chemotherapy, a week of hospitalization and surgery a year ago, on November 18, 2013; after being diagnosed with stage II breast cancer last March. These words “in sickness and in health” have meaning – and through our tears there was also laughter – I was not a perfect patient, he was not a perfect caregiver, we were both scared and running on empty, but my husband of 30 years and my 17 year old son hung in there, and God helped us through every step. We have become closer as a family, and I don’t take a minute for granted. I thank God every day for my family – friends – and even strangers who helped us through. Thank you for your writing – this was just what I needed, today!

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      J, Thank you for the kind words and testimony. May we all learn to suffer well and help others to do the same.

  18. CMack Reply

    I agree with so much you say. But be careful when you heap condemnation on Job’s wife. She had also lost her children, her home, wealth, position, and most of all, the companionship of her best friend, Job. She was “rebuked” by Job, or you could say “reminded” of their joint devotion to The Lord God. She was teachable and humble – she recognized the wisdom of Job’s words and didn’t rage, lash out or defend her grief. Her sorrow is human and transparent and normal. And she stayed and supported her husband, even in the darkest, pain-filled days.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      CMack, Good point regarding being careful with Job’s wife. She doesn’t exemplify the normal human response to suffering. Unless I’m forgetting something, I don’t think we hear from or about Job’s wife after chapter 2, correct?

  19. keith kerber Reply

    “We do not fall in love and then get married. We get married and then learn what love requires.” – Stanley Hauerwas. I have quoted this many times in marriage counseling and in wedding homilies.

  20. […] Thompson’s The Most Overlooked Characteristic Of Who You Want To Marry is really excellent ...
  21. claire Reply

    I came accross this article on my daughter’s face book (I think it’s becoming popular) and thought it such good and needed advice I’d like ask your permission to share it on my blog also (with your name and link of course)

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Absolutely Claire. Thank you for asking permission first.

      • claire Reply

        great! thanks for getting back to me.

  22. wholesight Reply

    Great points about suffering well & why this matters. However one thing missing for me: it’s a choice & a value, and also a skill, something we can learn and practice. It is not an inborn character trait. Circumstance and personal history have a big influence on how we respond to suffering. As someone who does not always suffer well, I am working on doing it better; but if I were to beat myself up for those times I fail in this goal each day, that wouldn’t be helpful! Compassion starts w/ourself & is then extended to others.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Wholesight, I agree that the ability to suffer is like a muscle–we can strengthen our ability.

  23. Molly @ Fresh Basil for Two Reply

    This past summer, a year and two months into our marriage, I was admitted to the hospital because some complications in my pregnancy had become life-threatening. We weren’t sure what was going to happen to me or our baby. My husband led us in prayer several times at the hospital and each time I was overcome with gratitude and peace and knew we would make it out okay. I was so grateful to have a strong, faithful husband who could be there by my side during that experience. I was even more sure that I had picked the absolute right partner for me.

  24. Sock Reply

    Wow…. No wonder I never want to get married. I can’t image having anyone hanging on me if/when I find out I have cancer or if my kids disappear. Good grief.

    • BT Reply

      I agree. I woudn’t want to be a burden to anyone. I wouldn’t want to be a martyr for anyone. I think there is a fine balance here. I don’t agree with, “Find someone who suffers well so they will put up with all your crap.” What I take away from this article, is that a person who doesn’t get overwhelmed by their own suffering would make a good mate. It is possible to suffer without making others around you suffer. That is the kind of mate I want. And that is the kind of mate I aspire to be.

      • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

        BT, I wouldn’t agree with what you put in quotes. I will say, having seen some spouses support one another through difficult times and other spouses choosing to run at the first difficulty, the ability to suffer is vital to a good marriage.

  25. […] The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Marry […]...
  26. feener Reply

    As someone who is suffering greatly right now – I feel you are writing as someone who has never truly suffered.

    I have been with my husband for 15 years and we have suffered most of it. Sickness, death, miscarriage, infertility. Most recently the death of my brother and best friend combined with so much other loss this year. People who have no idea the pain we (I) are suffering have tried to comfort me with Job. Job brings no peace or hope to those who are suffering. Job is about faith and honoring God during every trial and tribulation. Job was “rewarded” for his faith but that does not replace what he lost. While I am thankful that I am not like those without hope and I know that I will see my brother again, I am not suffering “well” as you put it.

    Some people think that in grief you are supposed to move on, especially when you have faith and know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the LORD. That after a month or so you shouldn’t be crying daily or having difficulty performing normal daily functions. Grief also doesn’t equate to depression. I am sad. Morose. I cry daily and wail for my brother who was taken from me too soon.

    My husband is beside me everyday and helps me get through each day because he loves me. I can fall while he is able to stand strong and help carry me through this grief and pain. As God is also carrying me. I do not suffer well. Did he make a bad decision in marrying me? No. Will we be together through everything? Yes. Do we love each other despite everything? Yes.

    Instead of saying that you should marry someone who suffers well, perhaps you should change the word to faithful. Someone who will be faithful through every trial and tribulation. Someone who will stand beside you during those times of unbearable suffering when you know that you might not suffer well. Someone who will be faithful to your children and your memory.

    I do not suffer well but I am faithful to both God and my husband and he is as well.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      I wish the article could have been more meaningful to you; I’m sorry it was not. Blessings,

  27. […] The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Marry by Kevin Thompson […]...
  28. […] idea is stolen shamelessly from the Kevin Thompson article that’s been circulating on Faceboo...
  29. Ellen Stumbo Reply

    What a thought provoking post. I have only been married for 12 years, but life IS messy, and I can look at this and be thankful for the man I get to suffer with. You are so right about the “good feelings” we dream about,and those are good things to look forward to! But those romantic feel good moments seem to have become a standard to which to live by, and the dream to pursue. But when the messy of life shows up, that is what either breaks us or brings us together. I can tell you I am so thankful for the man I get to suffer with, reading this has made me appreciate him so much more!

    It also makes me think about how this affects parents of children with disabilities. I wonder if it is because there is an overwhelming message that tells us that disability is just a different normal, and while it is for many, I have met countless families impacted by disability who “suffer” from isolation, from sleepless nights, from worry, from challenges that affect their children and therefore their families AND their marriages. A large percentage of marriages end up in divorce when there are children with disabilities, how does suffering enter into this equation? That is what I am trying to think through and figure out. I am only beginning to think about this because it is a complex issue with so many different variables, but thank you for making me think about this, it will take a while as I think and pray, but I will be coming back to this.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Thanks Ellen. The connection between having a child with special needs and divorce is a topic which greatly interests me. I wish there was a way we could strengthen these marriages.

  30. Kevin Reply

    Just writing to convey my thanks for your insightful article and to let you know it’s serving others through my site

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Thanks Kevin for the comment and for linking to the article. Blessings to your ministry.

  31. […] chanced upon this article entitled, “The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Mar...
  32. Judy Reply

    Pastor, with great respect for what you’ve written because it is a very good lesson for all folks especially those thinking that marriage is about making themselves happy, but please reconsider Job’s wife. I believe she spoke with great compassion when she said why don’t you curse God and die. She was a faithful wife. She lost everything too. Her kids died too. The only thing he had that she didn’t was the disease. She probably felt that if he died at least he would not have to suffer anymore. She stayed with him through it all! And when the suffering was over she again was a faithful wife and gave birth to I believe it was eight more children! The woman was a trooper. She was one tough and compassionate wife. If more women were like her there would be fewer divorces in our world.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Judy, thank you for reading and for taking time to comment. I would like to read the story of Job the way you have, but I just can’t see it in the text. For example, if her statement was one of compassion, why did Job strongly rebuke her? I don’t judge her for her response. I can’t imagine the pain she must have gone through. However, the text seems to contrast Job and his wife and point us toward responding like Job. As for the restoration, the text never says she was the one who gave birth to the new children and it is often assumed it was not her.

  33. brideandgroom Reply

    Awesome article nice to read it.

  34. Jordan Reply

    Kevin when I read this article I cried. I had broken up with my best friend because neither of us really knew how to suffer well. He was in the army and along with distance during his deployment came stress we weren’t prepared for. I still loved him but I let my anger get the best of me. Little did I know a month after we separated he was in a life threatening vehicle aaccident. This was 12 days ago, he’s been in a coma since… I have prayed and found my peace in God. I’ve known Jesus for years now and I still sing to Him. I know if I give it all to God and trust Him, He will bring something good out of this horrible circumstance… Your post has inspired me to learn how to suffer well. I want to be gracious for the sake of my friend’s health and recovery. If I’m going to support him I need to handle myself with wellness and minister to him when he’ll be in the midst of his fears. Let him know Jesus gives peace, strength, and patience. I want to be there as his friend and not be selfish but help him because I do love him. So thank you. I’ve saved this page so please don’t ever delete it. ♡

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Thank you Jordan. I’m sorry for your pain and the struggle your friend is going through.

  35. […] following is a repost from a blog by Keven A. Thompson. Keven’s words are so eloquent and true tha...
  36. Joel Kellogg Reply

    I want to thank you for this.
    Your words have had a profound effect on me.
    This is as close to defining love as I have read.

  37. […] Let me end with a short excerpt from this article: The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Wa...
  38. Cynthia Horacek Reply

    This article (The Most Overlooked Characteristic of You You Want to Marry) was excellent. You said all the things I held in my heart overtime I looked at the wonderful man I married. Suffering? Yes. But we had a wonderful marriage. We worked at it. Marriage isn’t all fun and love and happiness all the time; sometimes there is anger,hurt, differences of opinion; and sometimes we have to really grow up and step up and try to see things from our spouse’s eyes, and heart. Sometimes one of us has to step up and be the first to say “I”m sorry” and “I love you”. Sometimes we need a “time out” from each other and it has to be okay to take it, and not take it personally. It’s too easy for people to just walk away from a commitment like marriage these days. I was married to, in my humble opinion, the best husband, best father, most wonderful man on earth. We sugared together – though his Corhn’s Disease (inflammatory Bowel Disease), my depression, not being together on our wedding night because he was sick and we went straight from the wedding to the hospital. And in the end, I suffered along with him when he had cancer. I went to every radiation treatment with him, every chemotherapy session with him; helped him learn to change his ostomy bag, and helped him deal with the “leaks”. I suffered when he was dying, and I fought, yet I fought with the hospice doctor for morphine, which I should not have had to do, but I did. I learned to deal with doctors to assure he would receive the best treatment possible whenever he needed it, and with Crohn’s disease, that was a lot of the time. I sat in hospital waiting rooms when he had surgery; I sat by his bed when he slept in a hospital after surgery or before surgery, or just waiting to hear if would have to have another surgery. And when I saw sick, me made chicken soup and grilled cheese or scrambled eggs; my comfort foods. When our daughters had a problem, he was always there for them, as was I; he never every raised his voice to them.
    I’m sorry; I didn’t mean to write a book… but your article spoke to me so much; there are so many people who bury their heads in the sand and just deny, deny, deny. That want it be all about them, and they forget what their partner may be suffering through. No one should have to suffer alone. When you asked the questions about who’s shoulder do you want to lean on; who’s had do you want to hold…. etc, well, that person is gone now. I don’t have that, and I don’t have anyone I want to lean on, there is no one else who’s hand I want to hold…. I’m alone now. My daughter’s are grown, married, have their children. That isn’t to say they wouldn’t be there for me if I asked, or if I needed them – they would. But I don’t want to put that burden on them, even. Anyway,sorry I got this so long, but thank you for sharing your wisdom.

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Thank you Cynthia for reading and for telling me know your story. Blessings.

  39. […] No matter how much you grieved the loss of your parent at a young age, you will have to re-grieve th...
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  42. Trackback: :D
    […] the greatness of God. I’ve read so many articles circulating on FB recently on couples needing...
  43. […] there’s another question to ask. Kevin Thompson first pointed it out here. He calls it the most o...
  44. […]  “Those who do suffer well are a well-spring of life and faith. Who do you want holding your hand...
  45. […] article:
  46. […] note: This article was originally published on Kevin A. Thompson’s blog. It has been republish...
  47. scmuiblog Reply

    Hello kevin, i love your articles. I wanted to ask for permission to copy them and post them on my blog to inspire people?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      Thank you, but unfortunately I’m having to change my policy on reposting because of upcoming books being published.

  48. scmuiblog Reply

    Alright. Thanks for your feedback. God Bless

  49. […] read this article that totally changed my paradigm. I absolutely concur. I learned this too in Dece...
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  51. […] The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want … – I know it doesn’t seem important when l...
  52. […] some of the struggles we have gone through. A number of months ago, my sister in law had shared an a...
  53. […] there’s another question to ask. Kevin Thompson first pointed it out here. He calls it the most o...
  54. Elizabeth Reply

    Reading through this posting creates a question: What happens when you have married someone who does not suffer through life’s trials well? What do you do when your spouse withdraws in stress, is easily irritated or angered by difficult events, or becomes hopeless in the face of difficulty?

    • Kevin A. Thompson Reply

      That’s a great question Elizabeth. I would work with a counselor to slowly build endurance muscles. Like a physical work out, we can work on our emotional strength as well. It will probably take outside help to do so. Of course the person has to be willing to go through the process.

  55. […] The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Marry […]...
  56. CJ Reply

    Great article. How I wish I had read it before I got married. When we were dating, I was completely in love with my guy. He was charming, incredibly intelligent, tidy, outdoorsy, good with money, a great cook, wanted kids, and made me laugh. He was perfect. That changed when we moved in together. Suddenly he became cold, distant, angry, and deffinitely didn’t handle situations well when they didn’t go how he expected. He didn’t want to do things together anymore, and he certainly didn’t want me going out and having fun without him, even it if was just for exercise. Once we were living together, I learned he didn’t know how to have constructive conversations. He’s more the destructive type. You know – blame, shame… He had all these rules I didn’t know about when we moved in. When I didn’t do things the “right” way, he would put me in my place. He constantly criticized everything I did. It’s like that’s the only way he knew how to connect. When I came to him with my woes, he would either blame me or break down so I would have to comfort him! When I came to him elated about something, he would find a way to turn it around and discount or even vilify me or the thing that made me so happy. I learned long ago not to bring my woes or joys to him. He didn’t suffer well, and yet, suffering is what he did best! He was in constant suffering, and made sure I was too. This was not how I thought people who love each other treated one another. I was so confused!! I know love is not all roses, but with him it was all thorns.

    When I told him I wasn’t feeling sure about getting married, he begged and pleaded, and convinced me it would be work, but we could work through anything. This spoke to my personal motto, which is: you can do anything you put your mind to. With someone who wasn’t constantly attacking me, that may have been true. He didnt’ want me talking to my friends and family about our “dirty laundry.” Instead he sent me to therapy. Airing my woes provided catharsis, which eased my burden, which really didn’t serve me in the end. I regret that I listened to him. I went through with the marriage, and have regretted it more than anything else in my life. The worst is when our kids came and he started treating them the same. This man does not know love. He only knows technology. He loves his computer and seems to mostly want nothing to do with us, but also doesn’t want us to leave. It destroyed me for a time. For years I was in a terrible depression – it lasted my son’s entire babyhood, until he went to kindergarten. Then I found mindfulness, which brought me out of a great darkness. I have learned to be at peace, and even happy despite him. Out of protection for myself, I closed my heart to him long ago. I would never cheat on him, but I do not love him. I would leave him if I could, but we have these two beautiful, bright children that need food, clothes, and a place to live. I couldn’t afford to strike out on my own with my kids. So I feel like I’m stuck in this loveless, hateful place, doing the best I can to shield my kids from his arrogant, destructive nature. I’ve endured it 13 years. I don’t know how much longer I can keep doing this.

    We tried couples therapy. It helped some. I feel like his individual therapy helped much more. It helped him mature. He is no longer as critical as he used to be, but I think he will never understand love. Plus there has been a new turn of events that has pushed me to the edge. I always tried to understand him, and have patience with him. I tried not to take it personal that he never wanted to spend time with me becuase I understand that introverts need a lot of alone time. I understand that his poor social skills are due to the fact that he probably has aspergers. But his incapability of being my friend has suddenly become personal, because he has a new, socially awkward best friend who is a young woman. He has started spending all his time on the weekends with her, pursuing horseback archery together. He assures me they are not having sex, but it wouldn’t be that different to me if they were. He lights up when he sees her, like he did for me once. They laugh together and are connected in ways that I dreamed I would be connected to my husband but never have been. It hurts that he shunned me for so long only to finally kindle a friendship with this other woman. I’m angry at myself for allowing him to restrict me for so long in so many ways when in the end, he is following some other dream without me. Maybe it’s time to start sleeping on the couch. And I’ve started thinking about my own dreams again.

    In the end, what I’m getting at is, I wish I had looked at how he suffers. If I had, I would have realized marrying him was a mistake. I was looking forward to enjoying the good times and weathering the hard times together. But instead, I weather every day, which wears a person down to the point that it is no longer possible to enjoy each other most of the time. I fear the day when I actually need him to be there for me. Because I don’t trust he will be able. It’s not his thing. And frankly, after so much suffering on a daily basis, I’m ready to walk out even without the sickness part.

  57. […] It’s not enough to restrain yourself on behalf of your spouse. Love must also motivate us to a...
  58. […] While having fun on a Friday night is nice, going to dinner and a movie will reveal very little abou...
  59. […] there’s another question to ask. Kevin Thompson first pointed it out here. He calls it the most o...
  60. […] The culture isn’t cursed. (See: The Most Overlooked Characteristic of Who You Want to Marry) [...
  61. Chrystal Reply

    Kevin, Truer words have never been spoken. My 91 year old father found himself in this situation, where dealing with his age and maladies were too much for his 89 year old wife. Her response was to simply dispose of him through a nursing home and when that wasn’t an option, then divorce became the answer. God has been merciful and faithful. Thank you again for your ministry!

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  63. Christina Reply

    Why isn’t THIS “quote by Kevin” #MEME ready for Facebook, Twitter and the like??? I believe it’s one of your all time best personally!! Love it!!!

    “When life falls apart, you want someone you can run to, not someone you want to run from.”

  64. […] not have imagined this situation. This suffering became a pressure cooker for our relationship. Kevi...
  65. […] Suffering in life and in marriage is inevitable but has high potential to glorify God. In the case o...
  66. Maya kareem Reply

    thanks for informiton

  67. Maya kareem Reply


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