Today, we have a very special guest with us, Robert Carnes. He is technically always with us, as he is the Managing Editor of MarriedPeople— he’s the guy behind the scenes who takes care of the MarriedPeople blog, social media and produces the podcast.
Robert also recently published a devotional on storytelling called The Original Storyteller. He and his wife, Victoria, have been married three years and live in the Atlanta area.
Today, we gave him a microphone!
The Tension: We feel like conflict in our marriage means that we’re doing something wrong.
Interview with Robert:
In writing the book, I discovered four main elements that identify stories. These four elements apply well to marriages, because those are essentially stories, too.
- Characters: every marriage involves two very different characters. We should act like a supporting character to our spouse, rather than viewing them as an antagonist. It’s easy to see a story from OUR perspective, but when we can shift the narrative and put ourselves in our spouses’ shoes it can relieve some tension.
- Conflict: every marriage faces conflict, both internal and external. But there’s a reason that stories don’t keep going on after ‘and they lived happily ever after.’ Because we tell stories about things that don’t go right. Conflict is a necessary part of a story, otherwise there’s nothing to tell.
- Change: no one stays married to the same person for the entire marriage. That’s because we change over the course of our lives. The best story characters develop and so do we! Hopefully you and your spouse can change together.
- Context: we all have a backstory—we existed before our marriage and that gives us depth. Stories have settings, authors and audiences. These things shape our perception of stories. Our background shapes how we see our spouse and our marriage.
What has this looked like in your marriage?
Victoria and I have been married for three years. She is a CPA, and she’s really smart. She always wanted to be a CPA, and in that world she works long hours during tax season. From January to April 15th she works upwards of 60 hours a week.
That is a known part of our story, and I want to make myself a supporting character in her story. So I try to help around the house more during that time. Last year, I used tax season as an opportunity to further my career and keep myself busy. That’s when I wrote the book The Original Storyteller.
Truth: Every marriage has a unique story to tell—and it’s OK if that involves conflict and change.
Your one simple thing for this week: Pick one story to tell your spouse that’s unique to your relationship.
This story could be something about how you met, your wedding day/honeymoon, favorite vacation, a ‘remember when…’ story, even just telling them about your day.
Thanks for joining us for the Married People Podcast. We hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and leave a review – they help us make the podcast better.
If you want more resources, check out Your Best Us. You can find more from Robert Carnes at The Original Storyteller. You can also find him on Twitter and Instagram. Finally, we hope you’ll join us for next week’s episode!