Episode 62: How the Pain of Your Past Affects Your Marriage—with Gary Thomas

December 6, 2022

Rob & Joanna Teigen

Every married couple will face challenges throughout their marriage. It could be dealing with a serious health crisis, mental illness, parenting prodigal children, infertility, financial setbacks, or overwhelming work and responsibilities. From the day a couple says “I do,” they set out on a journey that holds inevitable struggles and threats to a happy and lasting marriage relationship.

Today’s guest, Gary Thomas, offers a powerful teaching on how to make your marriage a fortress that can stand up to the battles you will face with your spouse. In this episode, we are going to hone in on just one of those battles: the pain and brokenness from our past that we each bring into a marriage. He also helps us to understand:

  • The effect the world has on our marriages
  • How your past has shaped who you are and how you react
  • The importance of getting curious about your behaviors
  • The power of God to redeem your past hurts and strengthen your marriage
  • And more!

We are praying that you enjoy this conversation!


Our Takeaways:

1) Our childhood shapes who we are today. You may not realize this without assessing your past and how it impacts who you are today. Our experiences and family dynamic helped shape us into who we are and what triggers us. Even if you don’t have a significant event that caused you pain, take the time to look inward and assess how your childhood affects how you behave in your marriage today.

2) Areas of past pain and brokenness cause a knee-jerk reaction. Just like a bruise can cause us to jump when touched, our areas of pain and brokenness can cause us to lash out. Those areas will be particularly sensitive and must be worked through with gentleness. We need to learn to recognize those areas in ourselves and be extra sensitive to those areas for our spouse.

3) Address things individually first. Even though you may feel the urge to work through all your past pain with your spouse, you really should take the time to explore them yourself first. This may be intentional time journaling through your childhood and how that connects to your behavior today, or that may mean meeting with a therapist to help you process your past. By addressing things individually, you can uncover triggers and get to the bottom of your reactions before discussing them with your spouse.

4) Get curious about one another and your past. We all have pain and brokenness in our stories. Once you have taken the time to reflect and address things individually, then you can get curious about your spouse. Don’t go into this with a fixer mentality; instead, seek to better understand and support one another.

Meet Our Guest

Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas

Gary Thomas is an award-winning author, speaker, and professor whose books have sold over two million copies. His writings have established him as a thought-leader in the areas of marriage, parenting, and spiritual formation.

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