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Saving Your Marriage From Divorce (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Cross Radio
January 13, 2022 5:00 am

Saving Your Marriage From Divorce (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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January 13, 2022 5:00 am

Dr. David Clarke shares that if you are struggling in your marriage that you are not alone and there is hope. He discusses the three main bad marriage types: “We’re unhappy but willing to work on it marriage,” "My marriage is stuck but my spouse won’t work on it marriage,” “My spouse committed a big sin marriage.” (Part 2 of 2)

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The couple who don't have the honest conversation. I'm unhappy you're unhappy, we're in trouble. Those with you if you voice it and you'll be will seek a plan like my plan of your pastor focuses resources and end the intensive's are awesome. They're excellent. I think you can make what you got to have a conversation and you have to start doing some porch light you'll hear more from Dr. Dave Clark today on Focus on the Family about what to do if you feel stuck in an unhappy marriage your hostess focus president and author Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller, John our discussion last time. Dr. Clark was packed with practical advice. I taken notes and thinking okay got to do this I go to do this.

It was awesome. If you missed it, get the download download the app for your smart phone get it will send you the CD just get a hold of us, but there were so many very good ideas to help a couple who are not doing well in their marriage and that's okay yet as Dr. Clark said last time.

That's like 99% of us at some point you're going to hit a dry patch and the question is what you do there. Are you water it. So something grows again.

Are you just going to burn it down and I think you Dr. Clark gave us some fabulous advice on what to do next. Another thing I loved about what David sure last time is that you have a good marriage. You need God's help and strength. Fundamentally, that's the foundation and if you haven't called out to God in prayer before or if it's been a long time. He's near by God never goes away from you. We always move away from God. I hear focus our heart is a strength and and maybe even help save your marriage is with the help of the Holy Spirit.

One way we do that is through our hope restored program and that's a marriage intensive specifically designed for couples on the brink of separation or divorce. If you're hurting and in that area.

Call us get a hold of us and we will be there for you yet you call or visit our website. The numbers 800 232-645-9800 the letter a in the word family or get the details you need about hope restored and other helpful resources for your marriage. In the episode notes and when you get in touch ask about Dr. Clark's great book. I don't want a divorce, a 90 day guide to saving your marriage David walking back to the program. Great to be back. You are a lot of fun, but you are a bit I could see tenacious cantankerous you don't let go of your couples that come to you for help. Do you know you like in their face on it. I like it like a Marine drill sergeant best friend. But that's not what it's like at first because I'm really hard on them. This is a tough program and we gotta get all hands on board. It's almost what we need is human beings are done we we need somebody ever play football and I was kind Alexa days ago.

I'd come around the wind sprints. In my freshman football coach grabbed by the facemask you are playing this team, you better run faster, you better finish first. I mean, I don't know if you can do that legally grab someone by the facemask, but it taught me to shape up like I do marriage boot camp. That's it. Let's start here by having you recap something you said yesterday, and that is that what many couples need to do is take their marriage out into the backyard and shoot it. That's a good word picture is you done your first marriage is over. It's not working out. That's why you're in my office. That's why reading the don't want to divorce but that we are calling focus, you're in trouble and that marriage were not going back to that marriage you don't know what you're doing.

It's broken down it's done. It's like an old car to push it over the cliff for this unit were to start fresh and in you reshape it you re-create it in a way that's healthier, especially in that area that we covered last time communication positive comments to your spouse.

Those things that should been going on for a long time how to how to have conflict healthy conflict and not tear each other apart again. If you missed it, get it because it was really good today want talk about what you call being married to a stick. Okay, now what's that stick is a person could be the husband or the wife that really is not into the marriage not been a change. They are happy with a very low level of intimacy. I mean real low and they can live 4050 60 years in a marriage just like that. I wanted you to come after me on this.

I want to be a little sympathetic to the stick because I got a little stick and make what happens to a person who develops that kind of emotional disconnection. There's something else going on there like you grew up saying I don't want to be connected. Is it traumas a protection. What if they learned as a child or as a young adult makes mystic great question.

It's a wound of some kind that's exactly right.

And if I stay a stick. I never have to do with that wound. It's a dad. I had a dad that that modeled being the stick I learned from him. I saw him abuse and mistreat my mom for ever. And so that's that's what I learned that's what I know and so it's not just modeling that hurt me to him.

A boy in that kind of a situation growing up. That hurts me every day to deal to and to cope. I gotta get a very hard veneer over me. I want to be married, have a marriage. I have no idea what that's like and I would be just like my dad. So that's what happens then it could be the stick can be a good guy or can be a bad guy the stick that's a good guy is when the wife comes to him and says we got a problem.

I'm not happy and and we need to make some changes. A good guy will always listen.

We always state also was a simple tablet will so you know what, I love you.

You're right.

What we have to do a bad guy will say no, get out of my face you're wrong I'm right I'm knocking to make the changes tough. Now that's a synagogue in part is that response because they are comfortable to comfortable with who they are all yeah they do want to make any changes. I'm fine just the way I am. Thank you very much what you're asking of me would not only be way outside my comfort zone was going to get. Don't say this, it's good to get you close to my wound is getting me into my wound around not doing that okay so let's go to it. So you're married to the stick.

You want changes you want more intimacy. You don't want a roommate. So this is that second phase we talked about last time.

One spouse wants change the other spouse doesn't know. We also spoke about both spouses wanting change last time.

So this is the other side of that coin. What does the person the wounded spouse begin to do to confront this.

What you don't do is follow the typical and very traditional Christian approach, which is keep on loving him if you love that guy who's a stick for 30 days. I've offered 60 days, I've heard five or six months you meet needs you don't make an issue have anything he's gonna turn around miraculously and start loving you. That's the dumbest thing anybody ever said it's not true. It's never been true. Get to the believer, and that though you're saying. I've seen thousands of couples that have tried that it's never worked it literally never worked. If you got a stick. Now that works with a really great guy who's in the first category when on the first category anymore crack I will both want to work something out that works like a charm.

But it's also applied to the stick and that even a good stick will not respond that you keep loving the ad litem of a good stick if you keep loving me. I think you're fine. I have no reason to change not got my attention to what's confrontation look like from the healthy person you set a meeting as a very serious come to Jesus meeting with your stick was a Jos's husband wife is a husband is honey in three days were to have a very serious meeting about our marriage and the kids are to be out of the homework in a sit down. I'm in a make a presentation and what you think and pray before the meeting so will I that will get the man's attention. Hopefully that's a good stick to respond, but were edging into. He's not a good God will give them an opportunity he'll say I want talk about it right now all I can talk at all. It's good to be three days and is a one-way conversation when you do sit down and it's on to make a presentation of five tenant, speak the truth about our marriage. I don't want any response because we can to get his defensiveness and I can't leave you say in this and all that stuff. Forget it ominous that you wanted to entertain the response of the interruption to walk away and give them a note that says the same thing you're not going to have a dialogue.

This will give the same dumb response is always given and you're sick of hearing that and you should be friendly, so I'm unhappy in our marriage. Here's why I'm part of the problem to a not saying I'm not.

Let's go through a series of steps, and I don't want a divorce.

For example, that that is to turn our marriage around him asking the think and pray about that. I am not happy you don't use the words I love you in that first meeting as if he hears that you're done. I think I'm okay she loves me.

It's always good to hear say here's nothing else. Boom exactly so after 30 years you figure some things out so I got so you lay it on and literally you get up and you walk away your asking for response within the next week. If he's a good stick. It will take a week and taking 30 minutes it'll take $0.25 to be following you down the hallway if he does not respond respond in a very negative way. Now we know we did a serious center on and are on her hands.

He's not gonna change the sounds of like Matthew 18 is that the basic biblical principle yes lying here that's exactly what it was the sin you're seeing here just I don't want to change that. I don't remember that being religious is the lack of connection right now it's any anything short of loving your wife as Christ loved the church is in my book, sin. Now it is not a sin if you get the guys attention first phase of first category we talked about if he changes right away. And there's repentance were done working to move on to build a new marriage together, but if I resist you on that. I am in serious sin.

I'm attacking the most precious institution. God ever created on the earth, and that the marriage that puts me in a serious simple position. So no, that's a whole different category you got the Bible says you're going to confront sin. So I apply that passage. Matthew 1815 to 17 to the marital situation. Not many people do idealizing the work you know we've concentrated on the key part of the story and I appreciate that and I know you do that in the book you come from that male perspective, but you also talked yesterday about women are also more so now engaged in some of the disconnected behavior describe what this looks like from the other side of the marriage when it's the woman who's not emotionally intimate.

Maybe she's the distant one in this scenario. She was raised in a home where there was abuse there was neglect. She's very wounded and so she's not taking any chances to get close to any man she wants to be married and she is married by get her level of intimacy is good any way lower than his. Now the roles are reversed, and I I'm not getting my heart to anybody and women are even more sensitive the men so it's even less likely she will and she will resist that you cook your food. She will be in the bedroom with you, she will be the best wife in other areas but she's not going to open up her heart to you which is exactly what this man needs and what can happen is over time. A course that this breaks the man down because even the physical part of the relation. If you have a willing partner.

Boy does that get old checking something off a list that doesn't work, and so it really breaks down what you will fight hammer and tongs any kind of opening up. She's got her own wounds. So my approach is to try to shake that person up so that they will enter the system and maybe God willing make some changes yeah and again these are delicate situations that are all unique so were trying to apply your experience as a counselor. People are hearing this if it applies great. Obviously, if it doesn't, but you're still hurting. You gotta call us. That's what were here for and we give you more specificity on these ideas and hopefully put this resource in your hands by Dr. David Clark, I don't want a divorce, a 90 day guide to saving your marriage. David let me come back to the question of the confrontation. You have some very specific steps that a spouse in this situation again to say the wife what she can do to begin to reset the platform for marriage go through some of those steps of confrontation you talked about the meeting, called a meeting and then move on from there.

What's next after the meeting he's gonna blow you off. He's done 1,000,001 times, and he's going to do it again.

Let's make that assumption had the opportunity he has failed once again but this time you notice can be miserable and wring your hands and pray and hope for the best.

Now you to do something a series of steps, and the next thing to do is you develop a support team because now you moving into the other stages of Matthew 18 we have a serious in our hands. He's not responded what we do we widen the field of people we talked to so you have a solid support team family friend you to go to your pastor or church leaders and notes the one or two witnesses now your husband's gonna have to weather as can be a surprise visit because he won't do it if is surprise one or two godly men if they have the got to the church at but it's men that he knows if he can find men with the guts to do it could be his brother could be his dad could be someone that knows him and will ask that you tell them the truth about your marriage, you may not done that at this point, here's what's happening confronted no response. Would you talk with my cousin, would you come over the house.

Surprise visit of me and the kids can leave whatever you're going to have a serious conversation you're going to confront him and ask him to make changes right, let's keep going though because it doesn't get any easier. So let's go through what that next step could look like the shunning. I believe what what do you mean by that. If this guy who knows in the dirt ball category and that's what I call in as sitting dirt ball as weathered the church leadership coming to him. That's heavy duty.

That's my spiritual leadership if he is, whether that he's not going to change all stop going to that church when it will then number in the going to shunning mode that's according to the Bible nowhere. Matthew 18 that's the next step. You tell your kids what's going on if they're small course you do your best to use words they can understand whenever trash.

Dad but we tell the truth is that the meeting my needs.

Here's a story older kids. Maybe the recall would you make the call. Here is what is when you start shunning Durbin a notice obviously this is big time. A confronting of sin you tell them what's going on the support teams on board and now you're going to going to shunning mode could be a week could be two weeks God will guide you. But you just shut down the relationship. I don't talk to you. I don't say anything to you unless I actually have to I don't do your laundry for sleeping in separate bedrooms.

I don't sit in church with you. This is upping the ante and hopefully shaking that center up hard to do with God's help, you can do what you gotta have the support team. It is heavy-duty but the man's asking for because he's not responded to the other reasonable steps he could've answered your first confrontation.

Avoid all this. The one or two witnesses.

It is whether that is whether the church leaders from now were going to ignore him not to make food for him to make food for the family and it's as if he doesn't exist.

I will see how he likes it. This is not again this is it's a form of punishment, but were trying to actually shake them up, bring them back to the Lord so things can change.

Had David in a world that is all about accommodation and being kind. This sounds really rough.

It is rough and most ladies listening will go.

While I don't know if I'm strong enough yes you are, we have the Bible story after story that every story in the Bible is of a person with God's help and power didn't said things they could never do on their own. You can do it in the ports. The book will guide you through a divorce, but this is something that you can do and you now you listen to me now you have spent five years, seven years 10 years 25 years doing it the other way. How is that gone, accommodating, loving, putting up with keeping the secret. It has not worked. Yeah your about finishes a person what about the fear that no let's say I'm the guy and I'm good. I'm going to shun her and the fear is she's can actually run and go find somebody else or the piece that that spouse finds in that setting. While this is so much easier. Why stay married you. Those are bona fide options that could happen and I say that wouldn't happen anyway that persons already gone. People say, but I do this yellow Johnson will then work there to believe for sure there already gone. I am telling you at this level of confrontation were into the system here. If you have the shun for heaven sake that persons gone, they could care less about you. There's no love.

While this is deep stuff. It's biblical. It's there, but then it is difficult that next step after that shunning phase would be a separation I've had marriage experts sit here John say we need actually a bit more separation in marriage to make people appreciate what they have. I don't know that that is the right thing but talk about the effect and the good outcome of separation. This is the last stage of Matthew 18. You don't want to go there but God says now this is not if we have someone who doesn't respond to shunning. Okay, now you've in a circle the wagons you can get financially ready unit matrix for your kids ready that you support team in operation at your church on board and now you're going to commit to get a job, get retrained, you can have the scene attorney. All these things are important now for the separation.

It's a big deal but you know what that's to protect you and your kids. That's what it's really about now, but it's the last gasp of the chance for this incredible center are not going to live with you. Luckily but allow you to destroy me and destroy our kids and your grandkids I'm I'm done with that. That's a very strong message. Now if you want to back you have to get you back yet and that again, the goal is all good, just tough getting there right this and is I've seen this saved many marriages because even these guys are really sinning. There's a chance with these series of progressive steps more and more intense course. That's what the Bible is the Bible to the word of God.

It works can turn this kind of person around and if it doesn't, you fall the Bible and there Let's move to the third category as you describe the three marriage types, two of which I just gave the third one is where that spouse does something so egregious.

Maybe it was an affair, let's assume that let's put it in the in the opposite order. This time, let's say, a wife, a woman has the affair. In this case, what did the dynamics of that look like I'm sitting with a couple if that's the case let's either will sitting there I turned to the woman and of course I'm reading I'm reading repentance. Are you sorry when FA was revealed and you know your partner knows this lady knows her husband knows if she doesn't stop and doesn't break apart and fall to my knees begging for forgiveness.

How could I serious problem so if I'm reading that Morgan have to go to the tough love steps are that I'd like to if we have repentance. That's one thing, but I I'm very clear on this and allow Christians get this messed up and they're not right there witnessing Bible but then there misreading it that sin is completely that woman's fault 100% not 90 8100. If I choose to sin ice in the Bible is very clear and I can't blame anybody else. So if I will ask are you owning 100% of this is their brokenness here. And here's a series of steps in the first steps are course you stop the affair completely make phone call you make a tax I'm done I'm out you break off any contact with that person right stinking now and if you don't I'm not seeing you again. I will see your husband will do some tough love thing, but I'm done with you. This is what Jesus would say I'm telling you on the authority of Scripture to stop the sin is a process of stopping sin.

Yet, just stop it. And in that context will do the healing along the way but stop it in the bargain.

A focus on the affair were to focus on the sin that's the first phase 1st through three months nothing but what you did wrong I don't hear but the marriage were not doing that right now. The second phase. It can you help your husband heal from this terrible thing you've done you will tell the entire truth about the affair verbally as well as you write it out. I have them write out the narrative of the affair might be 25 pages long. It was a two-year affair and might be for five pages. I want the truth.

The gory details of the sex or the physical part Everything else and that is a power as someone who will do that that someone has repentant testing that right away, but when asked he read in my office how God uses those moments of confession, plus the other person can heal unless they know the truth, I'm sorry had the affair will keep in general. Gosh, I'm so sorry. Would you forgive me that doesn't cut it.

There's no marital change that can be nothing what I say is if there is true repentance and recovery with both of them than that. That's the core they're getting reconnected even as we go through those steps and the person has to heal and forgive all the other partner verbalizes questions and awful pain and and there's a number of conversations directly on point about the adultery and that person writes what I call the document of response you can see how popular this approach is initially because Google you gotta be out of your mind. My pastor or some will meaning of the book says no you don't do this you just gonna forgive and move honestly don't do that. I'm telling you it never works. This is the marriage work right now when I get to the nuts and bolts of it. But now were healing for what you did wrong.

He writes back, how could you do this and reads that in my office and that's that's getting them reconnected and were getting past the sin. Based on that foundation. Now we can rebuild the marriage that would be the easy part.

Actually, this is hard, but it sounds right.

It sounds good and you're saying because is based on Scripture. Let me ask you this from Scripture. It says God hates divorce and I'm sure it applies even in these tough circumstances, why, why does God hate divorce.

Well it it breaks the covenant.

Every marriage is a sacred relationship between two believers. So he just and it's the very picture of Christ relation with the church for heaven sake that is unbelievably sacred.

He wants that to be permanent and octal couples is for 31 years. If you if you do sacred relationship. You don't feel that way now but if you know what, how damaged is in years.

Frankly, is a mess with God's help. It could always turn around his marriage different.

If you dating breakup.

I don't care if you live in together whatever stop that. I don't mind tell people to break up. But if you're married different story. Let's get this done with God's help he can turn everything around and it can be wonderful. He gets glorified, that is good. I'm thinking of the listener and the need for that final word of hope. You draw an analogy of the Israelites and Goliath to that couple facing a bad marriage. What is that analogy will hear you are in a year you're facing the most intimidating warrior of his day. No one challenged him because you would be killed. There was no way to beat him humanly speaking, David could have been a tremendous warrior as you see in the story.

Not one Israelite adult man warrior even attempted it impossible. So you're in a situation like that with you marriage it seems impossible to just no way out.

Look what's happening. It's been years like this, and Satan is pushing your done. God may not be done, and is not to be done with that marriage is always a chance with God's help to get together at the five stones Dave and David had to actually walk out there. God could kill Goliath with a heart attack before while he was waiting no David you have to walk out there you can have 50 throw the stone from there. I'll take over, but that took incredible guts.

So God is as you to step forward in faith, follow a series of steps and let's see what he can do and we know he can do anything that's true.

The only caveat in all of this would be the abusive situation we haven't mentioned that.

And I want to be clear, at the very end.

If you're in that situation you need to get to safety. Right now. Oh yeah, I've never varied in 30 years that there's been any physical contact of any kind, and it's usually not one time but even one time you're out.

We have an immediate separation. We use the church as covering. Hopefully we have what we have shelter people are stepping forward Oya that's beyond the pale were separating.

Now that is good. It's good for people to know David this is been so strong. Thank you so much for being with us will thank you and for the having the courage to do this. I'm telling you it's tough stuff. Well it is and let me turn to you, your listening is touched your heart. Maybe you're in a tough situation. Your marriage is hurting your hurting. We want to help you we have caring Christian counselors available on staff to give you that initial consultation and kind of guide you in your next steps to recover and to restore your marriage that they can also tell you about our hope restore program, which is a marriage intensive for couples like you and we believe so strongly that it will help you that we want to know about and act on it. 80% of the couples that go two years later are still married and doing better and we want you to be able to experience that kind of victory in your relationships to speak with a counselor today and find out more about hope restored her number is 800 K in the word family 800-232-6459, and due to the call volume.

We may have to take your name and number, but we will give you a call back just as soon as possible. At today's program that yes highlights why we exist. We want to save your marriage and to help save many others, so if you're in a good spot with your marriage, would you help us help struggling couples in the name of Christ. Your donation helps cover the expense for counseling that we offer for free. It help sponsor couples who need but can't afford hope restored and it allows us to put this broadcast on air your financial partnership allows us to give couples the hope in the practical tools they need to trust in God big enough to save their marriage.

Thank you in advance for your generosity to the ministry.

You make a donation of any amount either monthly pledge or one-time gift to Focus on the Family were going to send a copy of Dr. Clark's book. I don't want a divorce donate online today. The link is in the episode notes or call 800 the letter a in the word family coming up tomorrow Kathy Lynn and Sherry Gregory describe how to find time and space to connect with God failure his natural pain is natural that when we stop going to God with that when we trying to take care of things on our own. We only have so much reserve on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team.

Thanks for listening today to Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. As we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

I was convinced that nothing can change what was going on in our marriage and I want to try anymore but my commitment to God, help me try one more time. We went to a hope restored marriage intensive and it was life-changing.

The counselors created the safest environment we can imagine, so that let us really talk much different course now I believe we received a miracle that week received your free consultation. Hope