Top 7 Tips for Overcoming Adversity as a Couple

Every couple is bound to run into challenges. Some may struggle with finances, others may be dealt a terrible blow with an illness in the family. Sometimes difficult situations may arise and pass quickly, while other times, they linger and keep us under a perpetual state of stress.

For Daniel and myself, we went through the heartbreaking process of reuniting our then-three-year-old foster daughter with her biological mother. She had been with us since she was six months old, and it was one of the most devastating times we had experienced. On our way to send her off, she fell asleep in my arms in the car, and tears just ran down my face as I gazed at this little one I loved so much, knowing that we would never hold her like that again. A few days after she left, we were watching “The Good Dinosaur” with the family, and Daniel just broke down and cried. We realised we had to be like the good dinosaur, drawing the lines to give our daughter back to her own biological family.

Although adversity can come in different faces, we believe that certain things have to be in place for us to be strong as a couple to overcome them.

    
Sometimes, when we face issues as a couple, we can get heated and find ourselves arguing with each other. The important thing to remember is that you are not fighting against each other, and instead you are on the same side.
    
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7 Must-Do’s to Overcome Trouble Together

In this post, we want to share some of the most important things we need to do in order to rise above the challenges that come: 

1. Treat the trouble as a separate entity.

Sometimes, when we face issues as a couple, we can get heated and find ourselves arguing with each other. The important thing to remember is that you are not fighting against each other, and instead you are on the same side. One way of doing this is to use a concrete object to represent the issue whenever you are entering into a discussion: for example, you might take a coffee mug and place it in between you. The visual aid helps in keeping you both aware that you are tackling an issue that is entirely separate from you two as individuals.

2. Spend time expressing your feelings.

Agree to have some time when you can each express how you feel about the issue. This can then be a safe place where you don’t pass judgment, and instead strive to understand each other better. Doing this is especially helpful for tragedies that cause grief, especially since the emotions involved in grief can be confusing and take time to unravel. .

3. Make an effort to appreciate each other.

During difficult times, it can be easy to get all negative and find things to criticise. One way to combat this attitude is to be intentional at finding things to appreciate about each other. It can be something you both agree to do, or it can be something you can do yourself to ease the atmosphere with your spouse.

4. Get support from trusted friends and mentors.

Sometimes, challenges can overwhelm us and drain us of strength. In times like these, it’s good to find trusted friends and mentors who can offer moral support. A couple we know who lost their teenaged son to a sudden death went to therapy and found it helpful in sorting out some of their tumultuous feelings; in their case, the husband was only able to articulate some of his troubled emotions during one of the therapy sessions, and his wife was extremely grateful that it helped them talk things through.

5. Take time for self-care.

Difficult times mean that there’s added strain on our emotional and mental health. This means that as couples, we need to be more intentional about taking care of ourselves. It might mean taking time out individually. What refreshes you? Is it taking a walk, going for a swim, going for a massage? Do you come alive when playing music, reading a book, working on a handicraft? Even if it’s only a few minutes in a day or an hour each week, don’t despise the power of nourishing your heart and soul.

6. Find space for dating each other.

When adversity comes, sometimes we may end up pouring all our time and energy into solving it. Make a commitment as a couple to set aside time each week for date time; it doesn’t have to be long, and it doesn’t have to be expensive. The point is that during this time that you both agree on, you also agree to pause all discussion about the issue and focus instead on cultivating your relationship. This can be extremely difficult to do especially if the issue on hand comes with an urgent timeframe, but this time of detachment from it can spell wonders in re-energising you both.

7. Focus on hope.

One of the most devastating things about tragedy is that it can feel like the end of the world. The truth is, it isn’t! Spend time talking about things you can look forward to in the future. Usually, this may be hard to imagine especially right after the troubling event, but slowly, you may be able to turn your eyes outward.

Adversity Can Make Us Stronger

When troubles strike, our goal should be to grow closer together through it, instead of growing apart. This is why it’s crucial to keep our communication lines open, and why, if needed, we can seek help from trusted professionals. Don’t give up, we are cheering you on! 

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