476: WHEN “OK” IS NOT OK

“Don’t fake being OK. You only hurt yourself. Be real with what you are going through but don’t let it consume you.” —Anonymous

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When saying “OK” all the time becomes the default characteristic of your marriage, you are at the tipping point of marital demise. It’s what precipitates couples on coaching sessions where one spouse wants out. Things are “OK” right before the marriage is no longer desired.

Put in grading terms, “OK” means satisfactory, but not good — you’d get a “C”. That’s just one step above a D, which doesn’t pass the class.

There are lots of reasons you may choose to say that you are OK when you’re not: fear of starting an argument, inadequate timing, uncomfortable situations, choosing your battles, doubts about whether it will change anything. But we want to encourage you to not settle in your marriages for “OK” over and over again. Left to inertia, “okay” is the path to divorce.

We want to shift the perspective on what it would mean to answer honestly. Rather than fearing a fight, what if you each took it as an opportunity for better connection. This requires an investment from both spouses. The sharer must be honest, loving, and not aggressive. The hearer must be humble, listen without interruption, and desire to overcome rather than to compete.

(If all of this reading “OK” has you wondering where the word actually comes from — the short is that we don’t know — but here’s an interesting article.)

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