Episode 84: Practical Ways to Navigate Loss as a Couple—with Chuck & Ashley Elliott

January 2, 2024

Rob & Joanna Teigen

I take you to be my wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.

Whether it’s been one year, ten years, or 25 years since you uttered those vows, we can all agree that they have and will be tested! We all experience some kind of disappointment, loss, or pain. And even though we’ve vowed to walk through hard times together, grief can take a toll on our marriage, causing us to question how to communicate about the deep loss we feel, how to best support each other in grief, and even how to maintain our faith when life circumstances just don’t make sense.

Chuck & Ashley Elliott are popular speakers and workshop leaders, a pastor and a counselor who hold numerous psychoeducational certifications. After walking through miscarriage and grief in their own lives, they authored their new book, I Used to Be ___: How to Navigate Large and Small Losses in Life and Find Your Path Forward. Chuck and Ashley are here today to help us understand how grief can actually draw us closer to God and each other.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • How everyone responds to grief differently
  • The role “Switch Theory” can play in our outlook during hard times
  • Practical tools for navigating grief together
  • And so much more!

We hope you find this conversation insightful and valuable in your own relationship!

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Our Takeaways:

1) Grieving is the process of mourning what once was. When we experience grief, it’s usually because we have to say goodbye to some part of our identity or because some hope or expectation we had will no longer come to be. There is an identity shift that takes place as we walk through grief.

2) No one is exempt from grief. Many of us have a tendency, as Christians, to push away feelings of disappointment, loss, or grief because we feel like we are somehow being ungrateful for all the good things we have been blessed with. But the reality is that Jesus himself experienced grief. Regardless of how small or silly our grief may seem, it’s important to acknowledge the loss we feel and uncover how it was tied to our identity.

3) We don’t have to feel the same thing to support each other. We each were created differently and we aren’t going to have the same responses to grief as our spouse. But we can still support one another as we walk through grief individually or as a couple. It’s important to learn and implement good communication skills and be thoughtful to support our spouse in the ways they need to be supported. One way you may do this is by regularly checking in with one another. Chuck and Ashley shared how their family shares “Happy & Crappy” parts of their day to check-in regularly.

Meet Our Guests

Chuck & Ashley Elliott

Chuck & Ashley Elliott

Chuck and Ashley Elliott have been working with couples for over 14 years as speakers and workshop leaders. They have developed and taught many marriage programs and psychology courses. Chuck is the pastor at Bethel Church in Indiana, while Ashley is a licensed counselor with Auxilium Psychological Services. In addition to their latest book, I Used to Be ___, they have written several devotionals spanning prayer, loss, and spiritual intimacy. Chuck and Ashley have three boys and enjoy hiking, mountain biking, and throwing family dance parties whenever possible!

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