Couples Talk – Dealing with our differences

Monday 19 October 2020

JOIN US for an hour of raw, real life relationship stories with COUPLES TALK. Open and honest interviews to give you encouragement and support for your relationship.
Whether your relationship is flourishing or you need some encouragement to keep going, we all need to give time to our relationship – even a great marriage can be improved!

We all have our differences, our own little quirks and preferences. Sometimes, it’s these differences that actually attract us toward each other to start with. Perhaps over time though, these seemingly small differences start to take on a life of their own and start to grate and frustrate! At FamilyLife, we get it. Why can’t they just clean up after themselves? The coffee granules don’t live on the side! Or why do we have to go out tonight, can’t we just stay home and relax on the sofa? Or do we have to spend more time with their family?

At this COUPLES TALK event we will be sharing the story, of how one couple has come to celebrate the different perspectives, preferences and personalities in their relationship! They’ve learned through many experiences of frustration, hurt (and disbelief!) over many years that their differences make them stronger as a couple. Join us to find out how they have arrived at this conclusion and how they make their relationship work on a day to day basis!
Monday 19th October 2020

8-9pm …with optional Q&A until 9:30pm

It’s MORE than conversation, with interactivity and “takeaways” …read on!

Your hosts for the evening will be Andy and Tiff Atkins. They met in a muddy field at a music festival back in 1986. They got married four years later and have since produced a large selection of now grown-up children; one of whom has also produced two grandchildren for them. They have spent most of their married life working with Agapé in the UK and also in Russia. Andy is a curate in the Church of England and Tiffany works full-time with FamilyLife. Andy loves adventure and spontaneity, he likes trying new things which is currently beekeeping. Tiffany loves quiet and predictability; if she had any talent she’d like to have been an artist. They enjoy spending time with the family and exploring new places together.

Tiff and Andy will be interviewing Jo and Dave Arkell. Jo works part time for Stewardship and full time for her family! She loves swimming, walking the dog, tap dancing and sitting down. Dave is a Software Developer and when he’s not fiddling with all things tech, he’s much more of an adventure seeker! He especially loves throwing himself down a mountain at speed with two pieces of metal strapped to his feet. They have 4 boys, the last of which just went to secondary school. 

Jo and Dave will be sharing their story of how they have dealt with differences relating to marriage, kids, jobs, you name it. They will be sharing how they’ve frustrated the patience (!) out of one another at times, by the way they do things so differently. Their honeymoon almost came to an abrupt end after an argument on how to bring up their children got out of hand (this was of course before they had any children). However, they have come to learn (over many years!) that their differences are worth celebrating and will be sharing how they came to understand that God has made them different for a reason.


Tune in with audio only if you feel like simply watching and listening. Or interact fully via the chat box – there will be time for your questions to be answered. You’ll also receive our TAKEAWAYS …these are next steps to help you grow a stronger and thriving relationship together.


As this event is our gift to you Entry is FREE, although a ticket is required. If you are living in the same place as your partner, please register for 1 ticket and use the same device to connect to Zoom. (Please check your junk/spam folder for the zoom link, if you cannot see it after registering).

If you are in separate locations, you will need to register for 2 tickets, so
you can use more than one device to access Zoom.
Numbers limited, so get your (free) tickets here!

In case you need more convincing, below is some feedback from those that have attended a Couples Talk event already. You can also read how one of our evenings went here.

“Amazing story, love your family. Such wisdom and learnings this evening.”

“Thanks Family Life, these couples talks are so useful and helpful.”

“Thank you so much for this evening, very special family and we are most grateful for your vulnerability and authenticity, big BIG love to you!”

“Thank you for sharing your story it’s been very encouraging and it helps us to keep believing we can get through difficulties.”


“What are some of the ways you are different to your partner and how might that be a challenge to them?”

Try to schedule in some time after this evening’s session in the next week to sit down and chat together about your differences.

Have a think about how you can capitalize on your differences, not just bear them or deal with them.

  • Remember you are thinking about the ways you are different to your partner and potential challenges that brings to your partner. (Not the other way round.)
  • Use the ‘do’s and dont’s on listening‘ download to help you in your discussion.  
  • Think about ways that your differences may be a challenge.
  • How do your differences complement each other?
  • How do they help you work well as a team?
  • How can you understand these differences better? Think particularly about how you may communicate differently.
  • Differences are part and parcel of two people coming together with potentially different backgrounds, experiences, personalities, values and beliefs.

Here are some areas where couples often experience differences, and which can have the potential to cause tension. You can use these to help stimulate your reflections and discussion:
– Conversation (eg feelings vs facts)
– Going away (adventure vs peace and relaxation)
– Finance (spend vs save)
– Social (evenings in vs party animal)
– Timing (planned vs last minute)
– Order ( everything in its place vs comfortable in a mess)
– Energy (night owl vs early riser)
– Getting it done (Planned vs spontaneous)
Physical intimacy – download gives more information on this.

Dave and Jo’s top tips:
1) Don’t assume you know everything about your partner. There’s still stuff to find out 20 years in.
2) If your differences mean that you are stuck, ask God for help. Instead of battle lines drawn, come together to ask God for a way forward.

Do’s and Don’ts on listening:
Download content here

Differences in sexuality between men and women:
Download content here

Other Couples Talk events coming up:
9 November
14 December

With different topics each time from managing money, to Christmas; put these dates in your diary!

FamilyLife UK is a ministry of Agape Ministries Ltd
Registered charity No. 258421
167 Newhall Street, Birmingham, B3 1SW
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