Share This Episode
Focus on the Family Jim Daly Logo

Saving Your Marriage From Divorce (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
January 12, 2022 5:00 am

Saving Your Marriage From Divorce (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 594 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

January 12, 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 1 of 2)

Receive Dr. David Clarke's book "I Don't Want a Divorce" for your donation of any amount:

Get more episode resources:

If you've listened to any of our podcasts, please give us your feedback:

Truth for Life
Alistair Begg
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
Connect with Skip Heitzig
Skip Heitzig
Building Relationships
Dr. Gary Chapman

So you're in a situation like that with you marriage it seems impossible to just no way out what was happening in years like this, and Satan is pushing you.


God may not be done, and is not that marriage is always a chance with God's so God is asking 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 with God's help, there is hope for your marriage, and Dr. David Clark as our guest on Focus on the Family will be offering some of that encouragement to you and I would trust you. Stay tuned. Your hostess focus presidents and author Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller John in every marriage them aware of and I try to take little surveys when I'm traveling. Talking to people you're going to hit times where there's conflict there's misunderstandings and maybe even hurt feelings. That's kind of normal in a healthy marriage that both spouses come together to work on their issues as they arise through good communication, healthy conflict, which is why we talk about strengthening your marriage so often hear Focus on the Family, but when we don't deal with issues as they arise. A marriage can become stale, unhappy and you and your spouse may get to the point where staying married doesn't feel worth it anymore and tell you that's not a good place to be today were going to come alongside struggling couples and give you the hope that the power of God and yes some work on your part will be required for your marriage to be better and that can make it a much happier marriage. Once again I hear Focus on the Family our heart is to strengthen and save marriages. One way we do that is through our hope restored program is specifically designed for couples that are on the brink of separation may even sign the divorce papers already and if you're hurting and in that spot. Let us help you. 4/5 couples. That's what I said. 4/5 couples who go through the program are still together. Two years later and doing better so I think it's worth your investment to check that out, maybe not for yourself but think of the witness and testimony as a Christian that you have in Christ. It's important that you be mindful of that as well yeah you can find out more about hope restored. When you call 800 232-645-9800 the letter a in the word family and we also have details in the episode notes and Dr. Clark is written a great book that will hear more about today. It's called I don't want to divorce a 90 day guide to saving your marriage at David, welcome back to focus. Well, my pleasure there.

We love having you here. You just so energetic number one you're fun to be with. I can't believe you can contain yourself in a counseling session, you must be a very interesting counselor, dude. When the couple is in front of you just in their face. I'm never subdued touch and see how to tell them what to do and how to do it that I was able Howdy, I have never ever said in a counseling session how you feel about that right to the point will come on. You get right to it. I love it and let me ask you, you believe there's some good news about bad marriages.

How three words join the club 99.9% of marriages get into the danger category. At one point or another 5 to 7 years. Huge problem area.

The seven year itch is real and then you if you clear that it's going to be the 18 to 20 year mark another huge upswing marriage breaks down annoying habits male-female differences communication problems conflict issues. Plus no one ever taught you how to be intimate and integrate Christian home with mom and dad did that they did behind closed doors.

I don't know how to do it so you marriage is gonna break down.

That's the bad. In fact, in this great book. I don't want to divorce a 90 day guide to saving your marriage you mention, three basic marriage types.

Let's start there first were unhappy but willing to work on it or marriage is struggling.

We admitted work and be honest. Your two adults and we want to get better median. There's different categories in that main category, but that's not a bad place to be. That's a good place they're recognizing okay were struggling were roommates.

Let's do better.

The couples who don't have the honest conversation. I'm up I'm unhappy you're unhappy where in trouble those the ones in getting divorced. If you'll voice it and you'll you'll seek a plan like my plan of your pastor or or focuses resources and and the intensive's are awesome. They're excellent. I sent couples to the you can make it, but you've got to have the conversation and you have to start doing something before to like this. The want to come back and get the other two real quick but what about the want to that you're describing how does a couple recognize. Okay, we still have.

I want to do it better than us. Good question and that's it. It's usually to be a conversation brought up by one of the spouses probably going to be the woman is there sensitive and they know what they're missing your basic guy doesn't know what is missing. If there's food on the table if you're okay in the bedroom if my job is okay. We were good. Hey, are we good. Don't not realizing the wife is dying inside so she's been to bring it up. My theory is a good man's going to get it you have to bring it up. You gotta be very direct. You'll realize oh and then we go through a series of steps and that if he loves his wife, and chances are he does okay what I have to do. Initially he doesn't know what is missing he'll do it for her and that's fine way to start. Eventually a few weeks into the program. Who realize, oh I've been missing. I'm not deep I'm not close to my wife so that's with the want to comes initially from I love you.

You're saying were in were in trouble on the respondent.

But what I'm also hearing you say is that want to can be ha you may not start there. I mean I just don't know what I want and then when you start going through the process of why are we not as strong as we could be you start recognizing may be on part of the problem.

Oh yeah, I'm sitting couples in my office every week had for far this last week. The wife is they are each is dragged the husband there and he actually has the nerve. She explains on up sediment happy were not intimate and he's arguing with both of us saying no were fine. I'm telling you were fine.

I see what you doing in a shrink's office what your mind you're in trouble. Your wife is saying you're in trouble. But there's a lot of resistance of that, what's the male thing about that. Why are we blind to that. What is it you go every saying hey even though it better issues. It's okay. Partly that were under control and I want to talk him out of control in my marriage. But underneath the real reason is if this is really a problem much is going to be required of me. I'm to have to learn how to be intimate, have to really get deep with my wife. I want to do that. I don't how to do it.

I'm not good at it.

And so if I can somehow convince her that were okay then we'll have to do this the dumbest argument in the history of the world. She's already saying I'm unhappy we need to have a response to that, sir. Yeah all right. Let's go to the other two you mentioned the word unhappy stage but willing to work on it with number two. Number two is my spouse won't change.

Many spouses are in the situation.

Probably the woman could be the man split since the woman and you have a husband who is not in the divorce. You, but he is pretty much done with you.

He is not to be intimate with you and he won't do anything to change, he won't read my book. I want a divorce. He will not go to a seminar. You will not good when intensive. He won't talk to your pastor. He's not can it make any changes in this can happen over period of years, and the wife's dying inside one of my supposed to do if I have a husband or a spouse like that.

What is the church offer me. Well Dave Clark that was book and focus is were often you plan a clear plan that will get his attention. Hopefully motivate him get them to repent from his sin, because that husbands and serious in if you're saying or marriage is in trouble and I want to do anything to work on it.

I'm breaking want to God's most important laws and so that's a sinner working to confront that sick and will come back around on each of these were and explore them more. But we want to get the basics right up front and the third one that is what my spouses send big time and I don't know that he deserves being married to him any longer. Right. This is the catastrophic crisis when the roof just caves in, I found out my husband is looking at pornography and it's been a pattern I found out he's got an emotional affair going with someone at work with Susie that he knew back in junior high. Whatever or or you have full blown affair or there's an alcohol problem or drug problem.

Financial irresponsibility's gambling is wasted money. He's done something that or she's done something just outrageous. It's extremely sinful and it's a massive crisis how to heal how to enter the system at that point get the sinner to repent and get into recovery and then heal from what has happened. That's a challenge and I wish to say in every time your voicing that he did this, you're really saying he/she the spouse, but it's fatiguing to always have to say he/she so you know, unless it specific to male behavior in your you're really trying to refer to both genders that could be in trouble right exactly at that women are. I hate to say that women are catching up in the sinner category thistle grow younger when exit let's spend the rest of time you right now talking about marriages were both spouses are unhappy but they're willing to work on it will go a little deeper with each of these heavy think these couples typically get where they're at, what creates the roommate mentality. I think it's the nature of the beast is just what marriage is like a happened to the blonde Sandy and I and we didn't even expect it to, but it did. So this is pretty normal. It's very normal. You infatuated your love, you get married, then you start litigating to find out just how hard it is. Massive adjustments annoying habits. I can't believe she's like that.

Sandy found out that I'm a slob. She didn't know that because we weren't living together, unbelievable world-class law you thought you knew that about Dave living collagen courtesy was a slob till I never got the memo here so that was a big issue and then put things are already starting to break down and we don't how to be intimate when you lose the rush, the adrenaline, the power of the infatuation you don't have anything left and now we have to learn how to develop intimacy in one's ever taught us don't have a clue you're given often in the church and well-meaning people in the wonderful church is wonderful but your you're given the. The goal, but you're not given the how to say that's a good point man so that's why focus is here exactly about that and you do a wonderful job. No one else doesn't like focus and then you're already, on the edges and then you do the one thing that's guaranteed to kill your passion stone cold dead. You have a child you know what, what were you thinking when you your mind and it's all about the baby Elmwood owner Emily came our first was just like catastrophic wheat we did our lives were just came to a stop. We got to keep her alive and that was we got to stay alive.

She's killing us.

She was yelling all the time. She's very feisty.

She's a wonderful person but so that you know where she gets that I got myself money.

You also give some advice in the book about this kind of marriage you suggest we take these marriages out back and shoot them. What you get into what is that all about.

So most of my couples and their shocked out of their heads were sitting there at the end of the procession is a look at Italia. This marriage is awful. It's dead. Take it out back and shoot it were done in a look at you like why we hear that your I thought he was a question that he I say look your first marriage is over were not going back to that one were to redo ridicule from what's happened with God's principal to put in the place.

The brand-new marriage which is in a take you the rest of the way.

So that's a little juxtaposition I use it really seems to work now it's true okay to successfully build a stronger marriage you believe couples must strengthen their relationship with God i.e. everybody that feels that way is now saying yes were getting to the spiritual component that's so true that's foundational we would say, what does that look like though in practical terms, what is it look like to strengthen your relationship with God when you're in this kind of marriage is the nuts and bolts. I'm assuming it's a good assumption because I always ask couples will I see them do know Jesus Christ personally, if not will to do that.

Like right now because without God's help, you're not going to make it, but in the second point is how you personally doing any relationship with God through Jesus church attendance may be a little lax on not having a quiet time, you're not close to God serving up close to God or man. You know we can't do the steps in my book would have that we start with that, let's get your faith back where it belongs.

One of Satan's most effective tools using marital unhappiness to draw you away from God, he's a master at it.

I went to church were unhappy. You know were just drifting apart and so we want to pray together when everything falls apart, but it's you and God. That's the main thing so we start getting that back and most of the couples on my office, hang their head. They know exactly what I'm talking about. I don't get pushback. They say you're right and the men will say I'm the leader with I should make sure we go to church asking David that's an interesting observation with the couples that come to you how many come to you that are struggling that do have a you know a good healthy relationship with God. The reading the word regularly there, praying regularly maybe hopefully praying together regularly.

How many of those couples come in for help. 3% 300 say seriously thank you that. So if that's what's in the book is major-league. I am not close to God its own with God's power that I can love this opposite sex person. Once I lose that connection.

I literally cannot do it here that fits with national survey work that it somewhere around 1 to 3%.

That the whole little country of Christians would say that if were engaged with each other for healthy spiritually, very few people have marital difficulty at the level that it's gonna tear it apart.

If you believe the breakdown in most marriages is a breakdown in communication.

We see that here focus. It sounds so simple. I was talking to Jean the other night we were talking about how generations do we have to go through when will we say oh it's communication because we been talking about it for like 2000 years you know that we need to communicate better.

We need to love and respect each other. Why is this so hard to do if it's so obvious.

Nobody knows how when your dating and even early in marriage, you think you know how you think you're having deep conversations in fact you are not because you don't know how every parent listening should actually sit there kids down and there should be a crash course over the course of of years actually teaching them how to communicate with the opposite sex. Nobody does it because you don't think to do it well just work out. We worked it out, they'll work it out. Now we need to have as part of premarital education in this country and the church can be involved in that very clear.

I want to teach you how to communicate that side with my premarital couples laugh. I get that is that they think they already know they don't know this is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly guest is Dr. David Clark and contact us to get a copy of his book.

I don't want to divorce. We also have the entire conversation with David on a CD or it's available as a download stop by the episode notes to learn more or call one 800 K in the word family and now more from Dr. David Clark on today's episode of Focus on the Family so that air of communication. Another one and this I think is if not equal to maybe greater than because it starts everything else. Selfishness may I think Dr. Clark, the main reason God set it up this way why opposites attract. He's probably smiling a bit because he's moving us toward his character, selflessness in marriage, speak to that issue of how selfishness can destroy a marriage mobile.

It works every time it's tried and it's tried every time and I think of my marriage. Specifically, I was spoiled.

I come in the marriage.

Everything had been taking care not a great kid.

I don't get it when I was a great get and didn't get them to really message love mom didn't seem to care to shut the door. I commented to marriage with Sandy.

All my goodness, the expectations shape firstborn by chance know she second one which was more a firstborn she's a Doer. She's a movers and shaker. She tell him what to do and I do it is a rock but II came in totally on the but I thought that if Cindy just met all of my needs will course, I'd be happy. And then if I'm happy she'd be happy. A lot of guys feel that way when was the dumbest thing in the world. So I had to really revamp at loving her. We had some great conversation part of a communication. She sat me down early Americans and look I'm doing everything here Dave or Della seminary I'm doing the laundry. I'm working full-time and I'm typing your out your papers late at night I would hand them to her and say would you type this and I go to bed like good snares. Daggers are flowing right off your on that line.

That's what was that tennis did you out of your mind and so I started doing the laundry, start doing the dishes when she cooked.

I got a part-time job because the bird was too much on her and I did my own dumb papers, but more than that I had learned how to love this beautiful blonde had no idea. And so I had let haddock how to talk with you how to make time with her how to how to really meet her needs and have conversations. It would be deep for her.

Our first year was rough rough rough rough yes okay for the men that are listening. Let me ask this question what Tessa deep good conversation sound like the one on one body you you literally first you let your wife to find that as a guy might think this was a great conversation about me fixing the car engine or whatever it might be also doing exactly what not to think so. So you let her use.

If you got the guts you sit there with your wife today you say honey what is a deep conversation. Joe left ahead of you getting you memorize that you will be think, but that she knows exactly what she wants here and you let her know eventually you know what what she needs. While we would talk about a topic and you would say this, I would say that you'd asked me certain questions shehad a good question to start with this one is a deep conversation with me, what would that look like she knows the answer. In your particular woman will be able to tell you and choreograph an annual.

So, to work on that was like a training exercise women. I have a PhD in communication.

We shouldn't be shocked by the speed in that reply don't be upset. It was so quick to she's been wanting to answer that question for a few years and has and that's male leadership, you need to be asking her what are your needs, and that's one of her key needs. Let's start working on that she will be beyond thrilled and then together shall teach you how to communicate. He absolutely went well and that's a beautiful picture of how it could work to others for the wife to maybe knock some of that edge off of her anger that he needs to be taught.

It's hard for us to say that we don't be taught about anything we can fix that and then we totally drew massive but even in this area to be taught honey can you teach me how to be deeply intimate with you takes guts to ask that women tend to think he knows and is holding out on me. And here's the secret he doesn't have a clue. He needs to be taught and he's open to that, you'll do it together like every year of your relationship parenting. I'm in the bedroom. The physical the spiritual you work together right and teach each other when again you mentioned that someone's going to be working. Part the enemy and so successful.

David, you mentioned writing a letter of responsibility to your spouse that sounds again a little intimidating as I read it and what is it me I'm sitting with a couple.

This is second session we've established some of the foundational things as we discussed an hour to talk about the homework assignment is going to be and they bring it in the letter of responsibility sounds bad. Sorry it just let you know what I don't care that you know that and that the II explain it. Look, you as they come in for session, it's all about the other person she met at that that that you would believe.

And then she was back on now. How about you bozo by I see this is not helpful, you're probably right, and what your partner is doing wrong but it doesn't help. You can't do anything about that.

The rocks and the bottles I'm in a have you looked in the mirror very solidly pray over this and write exit write out the mistakes you made in the marriage for next time. You can hear a pin drop in the counseling session but you know that's how we start. That's how Dr. Clark starts at how the Bible started start with looking in the mirror. The log in your eye. Take a look be very honest about mistakes, regrets things you have to work on essay and then be is what you can do what you wanted to change those things. Couples that come in and and a lot of them try this cause a and they haven't done the assignment on looking to see them again that this is a progressive series of steps on that mean about it will sometimes end up going on that by chai tea are not the morning so I will know this is that Rick cut this session short because you don't have the homework I have no other agenda here and and you can go now and you want to pay me that nips in the butt. That's good. You know another one that you talk about is focusing on your spouse's positive attributes that could be so hard and especially PE.

If you have a critical nature which I think all human beings do with whether or not you let it out of the cage and because it's so fleshly to be critical and you know that's again. One of things Jesus talked about is bite that tongue don't go there and how would we think about being less critical or not critical and more positive about our spouse.

How do we do that, the great question Jim. When a marriage breaks down.

As you know, it's all negative.

When they're sitting in front of me there all night in the positivity is all gone. That's how they started and their relation with positivity. So we bring that back. It has to be forced say not like hearing this, you want to do it when a word about your feelings. You just have to do it. Faith in God faith in this process and hopefully love your spouse is good to be developing comp.

We start with compliments.

I'll see this next week I want you to come with a list of 14 very impressive and real compliments for your spouse. Physical attractiveness character I what they do for you as spiritual qualities has to be a real list and then your minute dropped and in seven days to complement today. One of the morning.

One evening that began its little awkward thing in the world they don't want to do. I can't think of anything positive.

Don't come back to my office until you have thought of positives because there there are just totally buried right by your dysfunction in Satan's pushing them way out when a whack. So when they store. After that week. Things are starting to change into because they said something that is true, and it starts to connect so start with that works and it's so true and it's so important goes back to communication like you're saying let's in today. Talk about conflict, which is again another.

All of these are so critical. I keep saying this is important is important, but the lack of communication and dealing with conflict in a healthy way is what got a lot of couples to the point thereat. Now write the point that they need help.

What does healthy conflict look like and David.

You know this folks. You can email us or contact us and say if you're Christian you should have any conflict address at two and those people have been Brahms. There's nothing worse in my opinion I'll tell couples is then a couple that has no conflict. Why, oh my, that sounds right.

That would sounds like a good thing and very Christlike. That's not true Christ in conflict with a lot of people and they killed him.

That was that was pretty conceptual and he always told the truth was gone and all kinds of trouble even though it was done with love. If you're avoiding your avoiding what is actually going on. So your bearing things Essentially Right and That's Keeping You Far Apart and so Those, Couples and Am Avoiding All These Issues That Are Really Bothering Me. I'm Not Talking A Lot Of Things I Should Be Talking about and so You Pull Away a Part, You're Going to Have Conflict You Actually Want to Have Comp It's Built into God System and If You Handle It the Right Way Is All Kinds of Passion and Conflict Working It through Finding out Things about Your Partner, You Never Knew Closeness Results. The Making up a Suite. The Whole Thing Works. That's Good, David Man, We Have Flown through This, but Were Not Done with Covered Topic One You Know When the Couple Is Unhappy but Willing to Work toward It.

We Still Got a Come Back to the One Spouse Not Being Willing and Kinda Dig into That and Then Finally When the Big Sins Occur, Whatever That Might Be Infidelity or Abuse or Where There Something Happening That Needs More Serious Contemplation. Maybe Separation Those Kinds of Things.

Let's Come Back Next Time and Cover That Can Stick with This. I'm Not Going Anywhere. That's How We Concluded. Part One of Conversation with Dr. David Clark about His Book.

I Don't Want to Divorce a 90 Day Guide to Saving Your Marriage John, I'm so Energized Whenever We Have David in the Studio. He Has a Gift of Saying What Needs to Be Said in Challenging Us to Live out Our Faith in Our Marriage That We Need to Do Things God's Way If We Want to Experience the Joy and Peace and Intimacy That He Intended for Us.

I Wholeheartedly Recommend David's Book to Our Listeners, Especially If You or Someone You Know Is Struggling to Save Their Marriage. We Also Have Hope Restored Where We Provide Intensive Counseling over Several Days to Couples Who May Be on the Brink of Divorce. That's Not Uncommon, but We've Seen God Move in Those Marriages and 4/5 of Those Couples Who Go through Hope Restored Are Still Together. Two Years Later and Having a More Satisfying Relationship. We Would Be Happy to Tell You More about Hope Restored and Other Resources We Have for Your Marriage. I Weave a Team of Caring Christian Counselors and so Much More Here Just Call 800 K in the Word Family 800-232-6459 or Stop by the Episode Notes Where We Have All the Details and John so Often I Hear from Folks Who Say to Me, the Need for Focus On The Family Could Not Be Greater Than Right Now They Instinctively See the Downward Spiral of the Family, Divorce Rates, All the Hassles and the Mayhem Going on in Family so If You're in a Good Place Join Us in Ministry. Let's Be That Difference in Christ to a Hurting and Painful World Who's Looking for Solutions. Your Ongoing Support Makes This Broadcast on the Podcast and Websites and Everything Else We Do Counseling All Possible. It's Only with Your Support and God's Guidance That We Can Do This Work Together so Please Support Focus On The Family Today Send a Gift of Any Amount and Will Say Thank You by Sending a Copy of Dr. Clark's Book.

I Don't Want to Divorce a 90 Day Guide to Saving Your Marriage Maybe You Can Pass It on to a Neighbor or Friend Who Needs.

I Know Many Families Are Going to Benefit from This Powerful and Once Again Our Number Is 800 K and the Ward Family or Donate and Get the Book. When You Stop by the Episode Notes for All the on Behalf of Jim Daly and the Entire Team Here. Thanks for Joining Us Today for Focus On The Family I'm John Fuller Inviting You Back.

As We Continue the Conversation with Dr. Clark and Once More, You and Your Family Thrive in Price and I Knew My Marriage Was Falling Apart. I Just Didn't Know How to Fix It.

I Felt like I Would Always Be Alone Even If I Stayed Married at Focus On The Family's Hope Restored Marriage Intensive. We Offer Hope to Couples in Crisis so They Can Have the Marriage They Always Dreamed for the First Time I Felt like My Husband Truly Heard Me. I Received Some Great Tools from the Counselor Said of Change My Life and My Marriage to Begin the Journey of Finding Health Go to. Hope Today

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime