Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Lies Couples Believe, by Chris Thurman

Are you experiencing discord, disagreement, unhappiness, or discontent in your marriage?  Whether it's just a little, every now and then, or a permanent state, the reason your marriage is less than it could be is likely because you are believing a lie about yourself, your spouse, or marriage itself.  In Lies Couples Believe: How Living the Truth Transforms Your Marriage, Dr. Chris Thurman breaks down ten common lies that can diminish or even destroy a marriage.

Drawing on decades of counseling married couples, Dr. Thurman identifies ten lies that he has seen impact marriages.  No marriage is exempt.  He writes, "every one of us who are married believes all ten of the lies covered in this book.  We believe some of these lies more strongly than others, but we believe all of them to some degree."  I will leave it to you to conclude whether he is correct.  I will say that if you have never believed any of them at any time, you are a better spouse than I!

Here are the lies:
1. The purpose of marriage is to be happy.
2. My spouse can completely meet all my needs.
3. My spouse is a bigger mess of a human being than I am.
4. I am entitled to my spouse's love.
5. Our marital problems are all my spouse's fault.
6. My spouse should accept me just the way I am.
7. My spouse should be just like me.
8. I see my spouse for who my spouse really is.
9. My spouse has to earn my forgiveness.
10. We can reconcile without repenting.

Do you see yourself in some of those?  All of those?  Maybe depending on the day or month, you have bought into some of these lies.  Dr. Thurman's emphasis throughout Lies Couples Believe is fixing your own attitudes.  As tempting as it might be to blame marital unhappiness on your partner, you can see by the lies he lists that step one is acknowledging the lie and changing one's own beliefs and actions.

Each chapter (lie) concludes with practical steps to reflect, to apply biblical truth, and to take action.  Like I suspect many readers will do, I initially scanned the list of lies and thought I was exempt.  Surely this book isn't for me. . . . But I have to admit (as will, I suspect, will most readers), most of these hit home.  Newlyweds or old couples, blissfully happy or on the ropes, just about any couple can benefit from reading Lies Couples Believe. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the complimentary electronic review copy!

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