Our 8 years together (so far) have been ridiculous.
We’ve dealt with infertility, and then later on surprise pregnancies! Financial hardships and being on government assistance. Crazy things going on with our family and their health and genuinely not knowing what the future holds at different times. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. And although we’re still not just together, but in love with each other more each day, we could not have made it through without our community.
There are a lot of different ways that community can come into your life and play a part in your survival. Especially for your marriage.
For starters, there’s power in just knowing that you’re not alone. A lot of the times, it feels like we’re the only humans on earth struggling with a particular issue. That no-one else could possibly be going through it. And that is such an isolating feeling! It breeds helplessness when all you truly need is hope. Having a safe and supportive community you can open up to means there’s no reason to be embarrassed struggling. It means knowing that there’s actually not something wrong with your relationship, or you, or your partner. It’s just something that you guys need to work through together.
Our experience has been with couples that first cross that sharing barrier, that scary line of telling the honest truth, almost every time we have either felt it in the exact way at some point or someone else in our community has. So you are not alone by any means.
With the right community, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about, if you need help and you ask for it. In the right community, the only thing to be embarrassed about is choosing to suffer alone.
The second benefit of a powerful support network is that it can help you keep each other accountable. With the right community around you, you’ll discover that there is a mutual feeling of everyone striving to be successful and truly doing well together. That looks like the people around you letting you know when they see the greatness in you and cheering you on to not play small. A healthy group will have conversations regularly like this:
Celebrating + Updating
“Hey, we wanted to keep you posted. We’re really starting to move these things forward by implementing these new actions, and we’re super pumped about it.”
Openly asking for help/advice
“Guys, we’re really struggling with this area of our relationship, but we’re not ready to give up. What do you think we can do?
Caring, open and honest observation
“Hey, you guys are truly capable of fantastic things and would really benefit from doing XYZ. I know that you can, and I know that guys can have a relationship that’s a 9 or a 10, and right now it’s not, so what are you going to do about it?”
With a healthy and strong support network, there is no off-limit conversation. The goal is to lift the standard and hold each other accountable, instead of taking the easy route. In this kind of community, there’s no turning a blind eye and saying things like, “well this isn’t our relationship and it’s up to you guys.” Because if you truly love and care for somebody, you will want to hold them accountable to not quit and not give up on themselves.
Want to take this one step forward? Bryan and I had this conversation when we first went through pre-marriage counselling: “What would it take for us to leave each other and get divorced?” We went through every possible scenario and decided, together, that there would never be a situation that we would leave each other for. (And yes, we talked about all of them). Having that decision made and standard established, we let our community know that it’s not an option for us going forward, so they can help support us if the time ever came where we were questioning it. Because no doubt there will be tough times! It’s a part of life! And, yes, it might require some serious work to get through, but that commitment is made and having the support and accountability there will give us a fighting chance.
So the third thing about this kind of truly uplifting and supportive community, is that it brings to the table, being able to call out things we see because we love each other (not to make ourselves feel better). Because there’s a very big difference. We all see it on Facebook, when people are nitpicking at other people. This isn’t the type of calling out that we’re talking about.
Like our first point, it’s about calling out things that are good and bad! Expressing things like, “Hey, I’ve noticed that you guys do this so well – how do you do that?” and empowering them. And it’s also saying things like, “Hey, I noticed you guys seem to be having a rough time – is everything ok? Do we need to help? Or how can we walk through this together with you? Maybe we’ve been through this or been there?” And this step may take time, because it requires a level of trust, but it’s incredibly worth it.
Being able to call someone out, depends on what’s going on in your heart. If you’re seeing the faults in other people, then your comments won’t land. But if you’re seeing the potential they have for a fantastic marriage, family and life, then the message will be incredibly powerful.
So what if you’re reading this and realizing you don’t have a community around you that can truly support your mission for a powerful marriage? What if you realize that maybe you’ve been surrounding yourself with people who turn away from conflict, are quick to judge or maybe just don’t want to hear about your struggles?
Remember our promise to you? You are not alone.
We have created a very special, judgement-free, empowering, uplifting, accountability-friendly community specifically for this purpose. Because you deserve to have an incredible marriage and you deserve to meet other people on the same mission as you. Meet the #ConnectedCouples Community. Right now we’re taking pre-registrations to join our FREE private Facebook group where there’s going to be personalized content from us, the ability to ask us questions, share what’s going on for you and also help others out.
Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to join the waiting list for our group, and at the same time, receive our short, inspirational email once a week.
We are also inviting you to take up our offer for a FREE discovery call with us, to see if 2:2 coaching could really benefit you. This is where you’ll have the opportunity to speak with us face to face (online using video chat) and pick our brains for 30 mins. You might be surprised with the potential we see in the both of you, and just how great your marriage is and could be!
One last thought on community: please don’t assume that because you have people in your life that you have good healthy community. We all have people in our lives, but we’re not talking about having people in our lives for the sake of having people in our lives. What we’re talking about is having people that are going to challenge you and encourage you and be there for you when times are hard – not just say, “I’m praying for you. We’ll talk in 6 months.” (We’ve all experienced that, right?) We’re talking about having people around you that are checking in with you and asking, “Hey man, how’s that going? How can we be there for you? How can we help you? Can we watch your kids for you? Can we bring you a meal? Can we love on you?”
Because you deserve that kind of support. And it is possible.
Want to watch our original Live Stream on this topic? You can view it on our Facebook page here.