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Tough times build tougher relationships

Growing · 3 min read

What do you do when life throws something at you that you weren’t expecting? A devastating diagnosis. Infertility. Financial problems. Transition. Loss of a loved one. These are some common examples of things that can send us as individuals or as couples into a downward spiral. Even the strongest couples will encounter times of difficulty that are completely out of their control. 

Have you or your partner ever felt like you had hit rock bottom? How did you navigate that? 

Tough times aren’t always because of relational conflict. Often, some of the hardest seasons are ones in which external factors dictate how you and your partner are relating to each other. 

For the first 2 years of our marriage I felt as though I was in a transition that would never end. The change of career, country, language, and a worldwide pandemic were all factors that I felt I had little to no control over. There were many days I felt like giving up because the pressure of adapting to this new reality was far too much for me to handle. At times I felt broken, incompetent, and like a massive disappointment to my wife. 

The independence that I had once had was completely shattered, and I needed to learn to be interdependent with my wife. Throughout all of that, she supported and uplifted me, and carried a very heavy load despite it being an extremely challenging time for her as well. We learned that these tough times are there for a purpose. To help us grow stronger together as a couple. 

In Toucan’s Growing module there is a section titled Tough Times’ with a video in which real couples share openly about some of the most difficult times in their relationship and what it took for them to find their way through. 

Whatever you and your partner may be dealing with now or will deal with in the future, you aren’t alone in it. Tough times are also opportunities to allow others around you to support you. Support systems like church community, family or friends, can be invaluable for those tough seasons. Talking to a counsellor can also be a lifeline for many. 

When tough times come, and they will, remember that they have a purpose. What matters most is how we respond.

If you need help from a third party or professional support, that’s a great thing to do. Here are places for you to connect to professional:

Counselling Directory — UK

Psychology Today — US

We want to thank the amazing couples who shared so vulnerably in the Tough Times video. Your stories help so many couples every single day. 


TIP — Toucan Together’s new Growing Module sets up some great conversations about strengthening your relationship as a couple. You’ll discover how to grow together through 5 common relationship challenges; explore 5 ingredients for a thriving relationship and find fresh perspectives for marriage (whether you’re married, living together or dating). You’ll also hear some great real stories from couples talking honestly and openly about their relationships. GET STARTED | LOG IN

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