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Growing Apart: Fighting the Marital Drift

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
January 6, 2022 9:00 pm

Growing Apart: Fighting the Marital Drift

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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January 6, 2022 9:00 pm

The natural tendency marriages have to drift towards isolation and what you can do to get out of autopilot. Check in with Jesus and check in with one another. Start having intentional conversations- where you are vulnerable and tell your partner what you need from them. Invite in mentors, counselors and others for help.

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So you know is not every day that you get to be in the presence of somebody you know like the president. I now this is an exciting visit. AA rehab presidents in the studio no it is not Joe Biden is David Robbins, the president of a family life today and Meg Robbins. Welcome to family life today is good to be you, Mr. Pres., let's go there first lady about welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and will send it on Dave Wilson and you can find or on our family life Family life today. This is an exciting day rehab presidents. I wish you guys can all fit down with David and Meg because they are amazing people you would like them right off the bat and you would relate to them. They got four kids there in the midst of raising these kids.

They've got a highschooler all the way down to a kindergartner sister all in school what we recently heard you guys give a talk that I thought was pretty riveting and one of the reasons you caught my attention. At the very beginning was because you were talking about the drift toward isolation that can so easily happen in marriages. It happens to every single marriage.

Would you agree that that's true, most definitely. Yeah, no marriages.yes no no family is static because the circumstances around us and the currents of life are not static, especially when you're in the stage of life where you have kids that life is demanding year, the president of a large organization we been in the midst of this pandemic which creates a lot of stress.

Something to take us to what you've learned and how that isolation is something that we all need to figure out how to deal with is a great question because if were honest and mean it doesn't have to be in the middle of pandemic life say life is going to push us away from each other. The drift is not just naturally create intimacy between the two of us in our marriage and the reality of life is that it's hard and hard things happen. It is busy and if you have kids or your emptiness or whatever stage. I think the natural tendency is for us to drift apart and that goes with the relationship of the Lord drifting apart our relationship and marriage with your kids with with those that you want have a heart for mission and invest in and trust the Lord to work in their lives. Reality is there selfishness that we have in our own life that will drift me apart from Meg because of my own selfishness I have going on. There's the world and the forces and cultural currents that happen in our lives.

And then there's also the enemy.

Meg is not my enemy. We have a enemy at work seeking to draw us apart from the relationships that matter most and we have to pursue one another. We were actually at the beach this summer with my family and one of the last days was one of those days where the water was kind of wrath there is always a current in the ocean, but it was extra this day and our kids love to, but the board said get out there in their writing. Wave after wave after wave before they nail it. There lay down the beach. United Water is taken down and were running down there yelling on the ocean current and just walked back over in the water and they really can't get back & were motioning and yelling at them, then get on the CNN walk back over here where we are in anything the bucket again, but on your on your your drinking way too far. You gotta get out and get on dry sand. We've all been in the water and you don't realize I can get over here you never been able to do a movie board is that this is beach with Nonno. I just keep I can control all of the most courted people I know my wife to balance everything on point on the paying of all I have drifted whether on a boogie board or not you drift in as you said, life if you don't stop the drift. If you know we do about this as we can remember on Friday night at every marriages headed toward oneness or isolation you had toward oneness unless you work toward oneness unless what you're saying right right we have experienced that we literally enter marriage we've had to get out as the water and walk on sand back toward each other because we mention we can remember just want to say about with us what we love about them and that's what we see time and time again is that you get out on the sand for three days. Yeah, it's a rhythm break there something that happens that second night there something about being in a room with other couples at all different places in their marriage at your your being guided with timeless truths to move toward one another and work as a team and that's it. That's why we love begins to remember so much and you know I do just want to say that right now is our half-price cell and it happens two times a year. Now is the time to take advantage of getting on the sand marking out and planning for it now is a great time to take a manager to go to family life so somebody said how I how do I sign up or you can call us one 800 FL today incentive for we can remember near you and go to the beach yeah but you will be on the same no matter what some talk about the you know you shared as a staff conference, sort of. This drift that took place even in your life and family marriage in this last year. Now well ultimately it's not a matter of what we get it out in the drift happens and we realized that some significant things were happening at work hard in our life and our marriage and just the total current of life and that will create this little wedge between us and every new thing that happened seemed like a hammer like the enemy was just hammering out wedge and and everything that happened seemed to push us just a little bit farther apart. The first one of the pandemic starts and we have a kid with a lung disease and so not risky, especially in those initial months and unknowns.

Those first skiers of the pandemic with an at-risk kid was really consuming.

You feel that Meg dead ending. I thought has been really healthy.

He is just turned 15 and he's been really healthy mess in his life and God has provided some amazing medicine along the way that has been even knew that has been significant for him that we knew this is cell and now and this is kind of uncharted territory for us personally to feel so at risk with you know his plans being compromised the beginning we were extra cautious and wanted to keep him safe but knowing we keep control all things and another one way is just unexpectedly homeschooling Internet been the very beginning of the lot down and suddenly you know our kids were at home all the time and trying to manage the teacher's expectations and trying to be good and helpful mom, which I wasn't doing very well at all.

The not exactly working from home you know women leaving the ministry through an unprecedented time and doing so from a bonus room on a couch that was all. You know what marketplace you like okay this is this is my life from 9 to 5. I thought it was significant when you are doing this talk because each time he talked about this wedge you should do this right here in the studio and took a step apart and so another thing happen and you took a step apart. It's a great visual to think that as we go through hardships or just the daily grind of life that drifting takes us a step apart from one another. What else happened well in the middle of it intimate before I started. Actually we were moving the family life headquarters from Little Rock to Orlando to join the rest of crew into the middle of the pandemic. We made our family and just navigating meeting our kids to a new school and helping to make new friends and all the things that came with that was another step apart driving in the wedge and then finding a home and having the values and be the same page in this market where weight we can't afford as much as we thought we could afford and and trusting God for that magic home and my parents came to visit her 10 days which actually turned into two months because my dad that while they were here and my in-laws came to visit and to turned and left my. I do it with Ford in that circumstance, you know what the crazy thing is he was away on a school trip the Lord really put a bubble around him several times this year and this is one of them. He was away on a school trip and he came home and for two more weeks. He bounced around to all his friends houses spending the night and sweet friends came alongside and just said he's welcome to stay here as long as he needs to you and said he did not get it, but our other three kids's it's it's worth. Yes, the wedge keeps going. We've all this is our story. Every story has the story where it layering of what's happening if were not accounting for them. The drift can keep going yeah I know but the sovereignty improvidence of that of the gifts that just go. I would've never seen that one coming and forgot to go invest time, stated all of these people came around as were new to the city and this this new school community came around us and it deepened our relationships with them and certainly forge relationships with them were while God just deep dive our relationships in a new place.

So you're seeing God in the midst of the struggle year circular seeing his hand. His evidence is love for you guys. No doubt, but yet at home. Yeah, filling the reality. Yeah, the way I think it was just you know one thing after another was kind of realizing yet pushing that gap a little bigger. My dad is 85 and had to it and that was super scary were so thankful that he he is okay he made it and I know that's not everybody story Stephen the midst of this, like here as we said you can drift apart where you resentful or had any expectations of one another. During that time because I know that can happen, she is because there are sure there were times when leading family life was demanding a lot of time and energy from daybed and I was you were amazing. When my parents were there and my dad was really sick and very available but you know that was a lot in my mom and I were trying to care for my dad and yet keep the other kids quarantine from us because we didn't have it and it's got so strong. I remember the day I watch my bride check in her dad into the hospital here in Orlando, not his hometown and you know her coming home wondering is them coming to visit us and watch some kids towards the thing that my going to live with this. You know it, and it might take his life and others.

The weight of that. Certainly you just start functioning and and you go into little bit of survival mode. But then when you have those moments where you go okay.

How are we really doing were surviving.

How are we doing in this we really did have to come to terms with this.

This is strongly affecting the way were disclosing or not disclosing things to one another and we were starting to make some choices of wisdom to keep it going. You know, don't we want time to go to the places that usually cultivate intimacy which is a scary decision to make. You know that that risk in time of how long do you let that go and collect the Lord in his kindness to all of us is like you don't let that go along. The longer you let it go, the harder it gets and had to get up on the sand and take several days away to go okay we let it go too long and that's what happened to us is that we really did that resentment or just, we want time for that. And so the distance grows, we had to get away for multiple nights to go. Let's really talk about this was dig into what's keeping us from moving toward one another and how did you know that you needed to get away me. What was it that said okay it's time we can keep going. We gotta get away and one would be were just functioning and I felt like okay were spending time with the Lord and were kinda spent time with each other but it's just a functioning.

Keep the plates spinning and sometimes you gotta get away and let the plates fall for three days got God him you know and get reconnected to one another.

We needed that I just saw were just keeping plates spinning and were not getting life outside of ourselves. It's that intentional conversation looking at one another and saying, tell me how you really doing and I think that we can just go through the grind of life without really touching base of 10. Tell me how you how you are that I would add some people apply wired a little bit like me, which is on one of the conversation. I know she was the habit that I sort of want to avoid. I know were not doing well and again I don't know the guys liked better now. Right yeah but from decades of my marriage is like no I don't want you should start that conversation in the sun but also like know because I know not doing good.

I know you think you're doing worse and I think doing. Thank you. Thoughtless yet. I just saw that if we just pretend were great were great stupid, na´ve perspective, we need to talk about this and you can't do it in the middle of the chaos. A lot of couples are in the water in their thinking, yet we've drifted, but maybe we'll just float right and you guys it doesn't is going to naturally float you back to the drifts are too strong. What's interesting is that typically like and want to talk things out myself feeling think that was a huge red flag for me not wanting to open up like I normally lead and I don't mean I didn't know that. I think what I realize as we got away, and since, in time going there and talking and really focusing on what what is this wedge had become careful to careful. I knew that David was carrying a lot a lot on us a note.

Things of the family things with family life and work and I didn't want to put one more thing on hand and started that trend and then it know when you go for a while and you're not letting someone and it's hard to take that step over that got me to bust open through the door and to see what happens. But I remember in the same way the times you would share. I needed to hear this strongly for me. Remember one night you go.

I feel like I'm giving you a flower of my heart, and you listen to it and then you put it on the bedside table and and don't ever revisit and it was an important thing for you to share with me okay when I even try to bring it to you.

We talk about it. Your tenets of this flower when were having the side.

I moment when you put it over the bedside table for it to wither over there and I needed to sure it and that is one of those things that made us plan for months out like we were looking at the calendar when could we ever get away and just go right you market that we don't wait to try to fix it on that one time a ways not to fix everything, but it was I was do whatever we can to market out so that we can get away and in the meantime, I would chip away at addressing what's here. We didn't do it perfectly. We needed some outside help me sought it out from some mentors. We invited people in and I think that's the thing out encourages invite others and when you going all by yourself when there is, this strong wedge like sometimes it actually won't help at all in the wedge could grow stronger invite some mentors or counselors or go to a getaway like get some outside input in that space. Talk to the couple that one spouse is saying yes yes we've drifted. I want this, but my spouse doesn't see it.

They think that works fine. How would you encourage them.

What would you say because my mind is pray a lot to pray that God will soften your spouse's heart and that anything is just to be willing to be honest and try to have that conversation just like hey would you be willing to do this because this is something I feel like I need rather than saying hey I thought your distant from me, you need because I think that's probably a lot of how our conversation started as just being honest in saying okay. We we can't wait until we can get away what is this look like between now and then let's have some conversations that there a lot of people that probably feel that way and the great question you just I think the QB own what you can own thing so often we look at the other person and go, we need to do this because you let go of my Meg said it is it's worth reiterating of what do you need and if you can express. This is what you need and not saying I'm bringing you so that you can hear it, but like it, we can surrender.

That's what we say every Friday night like when something shared from on stage or in the workbook that you think is great for someone else. No, the elbow you know is it's for you and you focus on you and see what God wants to do to draw you together. I think that's where you start. Also it's it's a hard place. So pray and intercede and also go I need this. Would you join someone you got away. What happened I would say God met us significantly and we needed him to and he so faithful and I think whether it's in a Meg are referred to. Let's be less careful and was a big take away for us. Let's be a little less careful. Also careful in how you approach it in terms of not not accusing pointing fingers that careful in speaking the truth in a loving way. Is that what you mean yes that I think also I was being too careful. I was trying to make the decision whether David can handle where I was initially are what I was needing got enough on his right on trying to deal with it myself and let the Lord and certainly God was meeting me in as places that I realized where missing a lot because he is now necessarily yeah what I'm dealing with our house sat or scared. I really was when my dad was in the hospital and also feel like God medicine.

Each one of us can have these moments of here's who we are when we're depending upon Jesus and living out how he's wired us day-to-day.

While were not there individually were not there and together in it, just lifted her eyes to go almost draw a picture of what you currently are day-to-day and I drew this picture of this guy carrying the world on my back thinking that every day I'm not feeling like that's what I'm living out, but instead I know I'm a joyful person.

I love bringing life and you know like that's not what the visual of what my day-to-day was and to be able to call out in one another. This is who you are.

Yeah, this is who God made you to be. This is who you are in Jesus. And when you're depending upon him, and woe. That's not what were living out day-to-day. You can't manufacture it back but you can lift your eyes to what attracted you initially what God is shaping in each one of our lives and in it, gave us.

That moment of less trust the Lord together to call each other up and back to who we really are. When were experiencing life in Jesus. You, as I listen to you think is really important to make this point I think a lot of couples do what you did during that isolation and they never come back. They end up that becomes her life. She pours herself into the kids or her friends or whatever he does. And because you don't check in three months, six months, ever you get to a place where this is just our life.

You survive. You feel like there's our marriage.

It's okay if you are in different beaches sat here while the kids leave you often see that couple we don't have anything and they never what you're modeling Sando couple listening. You've got a market on your calendar and even when you said for much and I'm thinking you put four months out. That's ridiculous but you had to because that's the world you live in an and you did it even four months couple could be listen so we can do this for six months okay get it on the calendar and do it if it so we can remember or going to a hotel and just getting away and having this conversation you're going to drift to a place you never wanted to get to unless you intentionally say this stops now this stuff now, and maybe get together next week and I don't know what you can do it even a weekly check in at just saying how are you this week.

I think that's really important and leader.

We have survived some really tough times because first were checking in with Jesus like Lord I'm speaking the truth.

Here's where I am, Lord.

He's always there, but then checking in with one another. Those are the things that bring oneness and intimacy is one of those conversations, I don't want to have its most port conversation. I have to have here we are today because of for so many of us marriage maintenance is one of those things that gets moved to the back burner regularly. It's one of those important but not urgent things and so as a result, we just kinda keep putting it off. Whether it's the weekly check in the David and were just talking about or whether it's something big like a weekend getaway going to one of our weekend. Remember marriage getaways. I've talked to so many couples through the years who have said all yeah we talked about going to those we've just never done it and that's because as I said, it's easy to put that on the back burner and go well, it's not critical.

Problem is, by the time it becomes critical. There are bigger issues at work taking care of your marriage is one of those things that needs to be a priority and one of the ways you make it a priority is by deciding now that you're gonna take a week in the spring and go to a weekend to remember marriage getaways. We've got about three or four dozen of these events happening in cities across the country this spring. If you sign up today or anytime over the next two weeks.

You and your spouse can save 50% off the regular registration fee.

This is our early bird special that we make the family elected a listers you be intentional about planning a weekend away and you can save 50% off the registration fee and by the way the weekend. Remember, comes with a complete money back guarantee if you do not feel like the weekend met your expectations, you can call when it's over and ask for your money back and will give it back to you with no questions asked. So you really can't lose the only way you can lose is by not taking good care of your marriage.

Find out more about the weekend to remember go to our website. Family life to there's a link there that will give you all of the information about when and where getaways are being held in cities all across the country.

You can register online or you can register by calling one 800 FL today in the website family life to look for the information about the weekend to remember getaway or call one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life among the word today just be intentional plan getaway together as a couple and invest in your most important human relationship to relationship with one another in your marriage and we hope you have a great weekend.

Hope you and your family are able to worship together in your local church this weekend. Hope you can join us on Monday when were to talk about what you do when it feels like all of the love, the passion, the joy of a relationship has faded and you're just kind of roommates in its blog and you're not really happy what you do to bring new life and new joy to a relationship that has gone flat. Kevin and Marcia Meyers. Join us to talk about that Monday hope you can be with us for that as well on behalf of our hosts Dave and Ann Wilson.

I'm Bob Lapine will see you back next time for another edition of family life to family like today is a production of family life accrued ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most

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