the spontaneous couple confession

for the past many years, i’ve noticed something that i’ve started to call the spontaneous couple confession (scc).


i have a lot of friends. maybe too many friends. anyways, i also am someone who people trust. some of those friends are coupled and i’m either friends with one person in the pair or both. and, depending on how i know the people in the couple, i sometimes find myself hanging out with the two of them and me.

the confession

and then this wonderful/hilarious/sometimes difficult thing happens where one member of the couple says something, either to me or to both of us that the other person hasn’t yet heard. i’ve started calling it when it happens (a) because i love when it happens and (b) because i want the couple to know that i’m seeing it. very self-aware couples get what i’m saying pretty quickly and sometimes lean in to unpack a thought. less self-aware couples sometimes get frustrated or mad at each other and it devolves (either while i’m there or after i leave and i hear about it later).

either way, there are so many fascinating things about this to me. one of the biggest things is that i’ve repeatedly seen people in couples take the opportunity while a third person is around to say a difficult thing that they haven’t said in a 1on1 dynamic with their partner. those moments are the real confessions and i think people feel safer saying it with someone else around. when it’s a particularly difficult thing, i think it feels nice to have someone else around to validate or at least witness their experience.

interestingly enough, though, i think it really is spontaneous. i don’t think people plan to blurt things out when i’m around; it just happens because they’re being authentic and communicating about what’s happening to/for/with them as an individual or as someone in a partnership.

my curiosity: does this happen to everyone? either way, i think it’s a dynamic that should be used to the advantage and well-being of couples, not taken as fearful or worrisome. it always bothered me that weddings nowadays either skip or seem to not really mean that part in the ceremony where it’s like “do all you people agree to support this couple as they develop, in good times and in bad?” and then the congregation/attendees have to respond. maybe the scc is one of the ways that support shows up.


words / writing / post-processing
413w / 10min / 2min