Our relationship seemed fine on the surface…

A young couple went through premarital counseling and went on to have a solid Christian marriage.  Premarital counseling is great to get a marriage off to a good start, but even the best relationship will experience strains. As time went on, they found their relationship was starting to suffer as they struggledour relationship seemed fine with communication, parenting and meeting their marriage goals. Here is their story:

This coaching experience was so useful and timely. We had an older couple recommend we go through this. As a young married couple, we thought there weren’t many problems  to really go through. This coaching experience highlighted unresolved issues that we assumed we had moved past, but really hadn’t. I had thought that if we were going to do marriage coaching or counseling it would include a lot of confrontation and blame.

The Coaching Process

This process was so much more dignifying. There was such a sweet atmosphere of compassion, empathy, and listening that allowed us to honestly and openly share our hearts (broken parts and all) in a safe place. The best way I can describe the whole process is, “It was safe.” Our coaches were fantastic listeners and there was never a time where I felt like they sided with one of us or another. They were truly there to help us hear each other better, without judgement or blame. When life became really busy, they would send us encouraging texts to help us remember to practice the skill sets we learned.  What love! Having that support helped us to continue to prioritize our marriage while we were learning these new skills. It gave us the push we needed to keep pressing into the deepening of our relationship, even during busy times.

Our relationship seemed fine on the surface, but after going through the entire coaching process I can see how little we truly knew about communication, empathy, caring, and creating a marriage without holding bitterness. We were very stressed in our life, and our marriage had gone to the back burner. It wasn’t that our marriage was terrible, it just was the last thing on our minds. We were trying to raise two kids under three, not getting sleep, and figuring out running our own businesses. Although we were friends, we put our friendship aside and focused on being business partners. We were very purposeful and results oriented as a couple. We forget that our marriage was also a place of importance that both of us needed to prioritize.

Coaching Results

We are less likely to explode emotionally at one another now, because we are addressing issues as they come. Before we would let things build up, because of a seeming time deficiency in our life. Now we realize how important it is to slow down, address things using the skills we have learned, and work through them immediately. We used to avoid them and then have to spend additional time working through more frustration and built up resentment.  Now we also have a specific framework we can use, so we don’t waste time trying to figure out how to speak to each other in a way we “think” will meet the other’s emotional needs.

Through coaching, we were finally able to meet some of our marriage goals that no matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t come to an agreement on beforehand. We:

  • Were able to agree upon a childcare place that we both trusted enough to watch our children (such a hard decision for a young family!).
  • Agreed upon how to create a family schedule that allowed everyone to meet individual health, career, family, and spiritual goals (also hard for two self-employed entrepreneurs).
  • Selected a babysitter that could watch our kids for date night. This was a huge win for us!

Coaching gave us the safe space to be able to really voice our needs, and allowed the time for us to slow down and have empathy for the other person’s needs. In terms of our children, their behavior has improved immensely as our communication has improved.

Again, we were, not in a terrible place in our marriage, but didn’t know how to communicate our thoughts and needs. We were both always fighting for time to share the things on our mind and heart – this coaching framework allowed us to experience what a real conversation can be like and how to share talk time. This has allowed our young kids to watch us listen well, rather than be impatient for our turn to share information. It has improved dinner time conversation, and even caused us to slow down to really enter into better conversations with our kids.

We honestly thought about going through the whole curriculum again specifically with parenting in mind, because we saw this as such an essential toolkit for our family!

Tucson, AZ 9/16/2019