Todd and Karen Ehman live in St. Johns, Michigan. Todd works in the auto industry while Karen is a writer and speaker. They graciously pulled back the curtain on their relationship and talked about lessons learned in their 31 year marriage. If you’d like to check out her books, you can find Karen online at www.KarenEhman.com. The book we mentioned in the video was Keep It Shut: What to Say, How to Say It, and When to Say Nothing At All.
For Couple Discussion:
Todd and Karen shared about what first drew them to each other. Revisit that in your relationship: what first drew you to each other?
Was there anything that first drew you to each other that later became a frustration?
Karen said, “I love a good debate but I’VE HAD TO LEARN that there’s a person sitting across from me that I’m on the verge of steamrolling.” What “I’ve had to learn…” experience have you had in your marriage?
Does one of you take longer to process decisions than the other? Are you handling that difference well? If not, what would be helpful?
Can we be more intentional about “sneaking a date night” in the middle of busy activities?
How do we do remembering that we’re not each other’s enemy?
How aware are we of our own blueprints that we carried into marriage from childhood? How aware are we of each other’s blueprint? (For more info on blueprints in marriage check out No More Perfect Marriages.)
Quotes to talk about or think about:
“Strength carried to an extreme is a weakness.”
“You have to learn to embrace your own romantic reality and learn to be excited you’re having a hot dog and a milkshake with your honey.”
“Find the joy in your own unique marriage and quit thinking it needs to be like somebody else’s.”
“We need to remember we’re not each other’s enemy. We’re allies. We’re in this thing together. Christ has brought us together and will keep us together.”
“In marriage we sometimes forget the fact that our spouse is still our brother or sister in Christ.”
“Don’t say something permanently painful just because you’re temporarily ticked off.”
“Too often we let our words fly without any filter between our brain and our mouth.
“I’ve got a CD spinning in my head and I can’t find the song.”
“Pause before you pounce.”
“Be quiet and talk to God before you talk to your spouse.”
“A person’s response is not really about us, but likely about something from the past. Try to figure out where that’s coming from and what’s going on inside him/her to get to the root of the issue.”
For Personal Reflection:
Todd Ehman said, “Because i know how Karen grew up, I understand why she does what she does and thinks the way she thinks.” Are you a student of your spouse? Do you understand the impact his or her home internship has on your marriage?
How do I do remembering my spouse is not my enemy?
Do I see my spouse as my brother/sister in Christ?
Do I too easily let my words fly without a filter between my brain and my mouth?
How do I do at thinking about the emotional pain or baggage my spouse is carrying? Am I able to pause and respond based upon how my spouse is probably feeling?