7 Things Couples Shouldn't Say

7 Observations about Married Couples

marriage Jan 30, 2023
Picture of Asian couple. Wife is covering the husband's eyes in a playful way.


When Russ and I first signed up in 2012 to facilitate Thrive small groups I was nervous. Thrive is an 8-week marriage curriculum created by Northpoint Community Church. We still experienced conflict regularly. We still had days when we would get angry with each other. How were we equipped to lead other married couples? Sometimes couples in the Thrive group were married even longer than us, which was 8 years at the time.


During the first evening of our group, Russ and I shared our marriage story. After we finished sharing the good, the bad, and the ugly, a wife in all seriousness asked why we were the ones chosen to lead the group. Apparently, we appeared pretty messed up.


Russ had been married before with two kids. His childhood was a fearful one full of chaos and violence. It's no wonder the wife wondered about Russ' past. What she didn't know is the divorce led Russ to counseling. He started the long journey of understanding how his family of origin had impacted him, and how his desire to not be like his Dad had impacted him. 


I, on the other hand, grew up in a Martha Steward on steroids environment...full of rules and discipline. I grew up not realizing the trauma that happened to me from birth to 2 years, which created me to be an avoidant child. Heck, I'm still trying to undo the avoidant traits I have from childhood. haha! Both Russ and I had to learn how much our family of origin was controlling our current behavior today.


Some people think you can arrive at a place where your junk no longer impacts you, where you don't have conflict and prayer has solved all your problems. We must have disappointed her initially but I have to give her credit for staying with the group.


Here are just a few of our observations sitting on the front lines watching couples transform during the Thrive process:

  1. ALL couples have conflict whether it's in the form of fighting, taking flight, or freezing.
  2. Some need permission to know conflict is healthy.
  3. The secret sauce in managing conflict is in how you repair to show that you care.
  4. Most painful interactions between spouses are usually tied to a deep emotional wound.
  5. All family of origin brings some type of baggage into the marriage.
  6. Couples still feel a stigma about going to counseling. We hire personal trainers for our fitness goals, and accountants to help us with our taxes, so why not proactive counseling for the most important relationship in the family?
  7. Husbands, "you're the only chance for romance with your spouse" and Wives, you're the only chance for ... well, you know.


Have you thought about signing up for a married small group? If you're local to the Atlanta area, Thrive opens up registration both in Spring and the Fall. Don't miss out on this opportunity to peer into other people's marriages and find out just how similar we all are to each other.

If you'd like to learn more about Thrive and the other services we offer please send me an email at [email protected].


Learn new communication skills you can immediately apply in your marriage and some harder skills (with practice) that will transform your marriage.