No Couple is an Island

When you move hundreds of miles from most of your friends and family, the time you do get to spend with them becomes extra special. And we’ve been blessed with a lot of that lately. We spent the holiday weekend catching up with college friends, old roommates, old acquaintances, family, and church friends. We ate tons of food, had meaningful discussions, and really just enjoyed one another. Yet throughout the past few weeks, in interacting with other couples and doing life with them, it all seems to come back to one theme: We’re not failing.

In spending a few hours with some of our closest friends and family (which we haven’t done a lot of since we got married) it really opened my eyes to one universal relationship truth: all marriages are exactly the same. Some have been in effect for longer than others, some marriages take on extra duties (houses and children), some are still just getting used to living with another person. But the more you dive into the marriage of someone you love, the more you realize that it looks quite similar to what you’re living out on a daily basis. The routines are the same, the “you’re in trouble” looks are the same, even the conversations are the same.

And the more you’re around it, the more you start to realize that maybe you’re not doing so bad after all. Other couples bicker sometimes. They have recurring issues they’re trying to work on. They have intense discussions over simple things like groceries and dirty dishes and whether or not dinner is overcooked. Other girls get emotional and cry and (Kyle’s favorite phrase) have “freak out moments.” Other guys tune their wives out and it’s not actually so they can hurt their feelings. And most of the time these couples are actually very much in love.

As I was reflecting on it all this week, i really started to wonder if there really is something to this whole fellowship thing. The more you talk about the things you struggle with, the more likely you are to find a couple who will breathe a sigh of relief and say, “Really?? Us too.” The more you hear other couples talk about their relationships, the more you think, “If they worked through that together, we can work through this.” And maybe some divorces, instead of being the result of unhappiness in marriage, are just the result of two isolated hearts that need a little encouragement along the way. Maybe they just needed to know that none of us are perfect. Even in love.

Are you open about your struggles or do you feel like we have to pretend that everything is always perfect?

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10 thoughts on “No Couple is an Island”

  1. I love it when you comment on each others’ posts. This was a home run. (also a great post by Jen). I’m glad I got to run into y’all this weekend. Keep up the good work!

  2. What a great post! I think that we are more open about our struggles–and that tends to be because I am an ‘open-book’ type of person to begin with.

    I have found that when you open up–especially with those who have been married longer than you have, or who have been divorced, remarried, widowed, or still single–you are able to get a different point of view on your problems. You hear, “Oh, have we had that fight before!!!” more times than, “well, that is a problem I have never heard of.” So I think it tends to be helpful–because you recognize you are not unique and every couple deals with the same issues.

    And in my experience, those who are pretending things are perfect have the biggest problems!!!

  3. I want to be open about our struggles. And I do my best to be open about them. However, sometimes I feel like we are the only people who struggle. I also sometimes feel like we are the only couple fighting for community. It's hard to be that open and vulnerable with people. However, I feel that it is imperative. Hiding struggles from one another only breeds isolation which, I feel, will ultimately result in the demise of even the strongest marriage. We are broken people, and sometimes, we need other broken people, outside of our marriage, to shine light onto the situations and things we can not comprehend alone. And God calls for us to be in community.

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  5. The world needs to be more open about our struggles- it’s like a domino effect. If a few people start to do it, the movement will gain momentum! (well, in my perfect world anyway).

    Marriage is such a funny thing. You can’t have a marriage without those supporting you- that’s why you get married in front of people because they too are vowing to help you in your marriage. I can’t imagine what it would be like if my husband was the only one listening to all my struggles and burdens- it would wear him down, no doubt. That said and done, it is also important to guard your marriage and your time from those around you… something we’re still working on…

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