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A Second Wife’s Journey of Healing

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
March 26, 2021 2:00 am

A Second Wife’s Journey of Healing

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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March 26, 2021 2:00 am

Today on the broadcast, Ron Deal and Lore Ferguson Wilbert discuss the healing journey she's experienced as her husband's second wife. She suggests adopting a heart of compassion instead of competition.

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COVERED TOPICS / TAGS (Click to Search)
second marriage
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Part of what makes a second marriage work is for husbands and wives to recognize their work patterns present in your first marriage that we need to be addressed need to be corrected. Lori Ferguson.

Wilbert says both she and her husband are realizing that in his previous marriage. He was very mad that he did not take leaders and healing really human thing that now guessing here and so when I criticize his leadership, and even small ways what that steaming is tamping down that little sprouts of leadership. I need to water it and give it some sign of Christian. This is family life to day hosts are Damon and Wilson on Bob team can find us online@familylifetoday.com. This will here today for Maury Ferguson, Wilbert. It takes a lot of grace, a lot of humility, lot of wisdom and maturity for a second marriage to work well. Stay with us and welcome to family life to the thanks for joining us. One of the things you guys have often talked to couples about is how when we start marriage.

We bring unopened suitcases into the marriage with us write a whole bunch of men and we think we've opened most of them but we get there and we go. I forgot about this one. I forgot about that one there all kinds of surprises that come along later. Yeah, I think in some ways that's the beauty of marriage image really, really difficult, but you get to open wounds and things you've carried I mean there's moments where you lick your spouse and I like what is that there like we talk about this is who I am realize and it's something you've carried into that's that's harmful right. It seems like sometimes I marriage can bring out and up some of those things in our past and all of us about those suitcases from our childhood from relationships we had in high school or in college or whatever's going on you that you get into a second marriage and there's a whole new set of luggage that comes with that because now you're bringing in. I done this before. I've been married before and and that's what were focusing on today in fact were in be listing to excerpts from an interview that our friend Ron Diehl did with Lori Ferguson, Wilbert Lori had written an article for fathom magazine called Second Life Second Life where she just got really honest about the challenges of of dealing with the fact that she was number two, and that there had been a number one and that meant. There's a whole lot of interest to Holland expectation there's a lot of adjustment.

There's a whole lot of reality. That's gotta be dealt with. So Ron reached out to her and for his podcast family like blended, he interviewed her and they peel back the layers that a lot of second husbands and second wives have got to deal with.

Let's listen to a part of that conversation, let me ask a question, I know, out of the blue. What's your relationship with his first wife.

What I mean by that is, even if it's just your internal dialogue. How do you posture yourself in your mind. Maybe you've never met or never had a conversation but there's still a relationship there. How would you describe think that again. That has changed over time. Think in the beginning I felt more insecure in relation to her. She was a bigger personality.

Even casino would go out more and more extroverted enjoy different things and I enjoyed the felt inferior to her and insecure. I think the more time is gone on. My heart has just become more broken for the choices that she made and the damage that happened here and the way that she placed no other gods before God in her life and I just lament that now I'm in a place where I am careful to make sure that I don't think that Nate necessarily my husband needs to be praying for her and thinking of her often but I just taken posture that whenever she comes to mind, which sometimes in some seasons is often and in other seasons is not at all. Whenever she comes to minors try to pray for her and just asked the Lord to be near to her because I think that there is something broken in her that needs to be healed, that the Lord wants to heal and sent to pray for that sitting for me.

My posture has come from just an insecurity to now I'm unable to pray for her with I think more open hands but I don't. Again, we don't have children and I think that adds an element to marriage and second marriages that I think complicates things in some really beautiful ways and some really difficult ways. So she's not in my life, in the sense that she's there. But yeah, I'd I hear what you say about we still do have a relationship in a sense, so I just want to make sure that that relationship is is honoring the Lord and honoring my husband. We do not disparage her speak badly of her in our home to one another. I'm really careful to make sure I don't pit her against me in conflicts that we might be having or throw something in his face about their marriage because that isn't that is not caring for him. That might make you feel better for right but that isn't ultimately caring for him or honoring to God.

You are one of the things I want to talk to the listener for a minute who maybe does have stepchildren and is in a complex situation where kids are moving between homes and you do have interaction on a regular basis with the other household your your spouse's former spouse.

It's easy to have a relationship there.

That's parental but then crosses over into the you know what was and what happened and what's ongoing, you know, because of how the other person acts or behaves or what they bring to the equation through the children that sort of stuff. There's always there a relationship, meaning just as Lori has talked about whether it's real or imagined. You have this internal dialogue with that other person and checking your dialogue I think is really important because if you dialogue to yourself about them are things like oh there's such a horrible person you just throw them into that category constantly work through the competition or somehow not helpful to the children the enemy whatever that just makes it really difficult for you to pray for them to honor them in front of the children and you just might find yourself slipping down those roads where you're bringing up old negative stuff and say negative things that just supports that internal dialogue so you know, I would say as Lori has done try to check that and keep that in a place where if what you're thinking in your head was set out loud the other person were to hear it that you would not be horribly embarrassed by what they just heard.

I think to I so agree that I think so. I just wanted for the listener, how might I know I am the child of divorce and it was a theory very messy very long drawn out lawyers on both sides that this is one of the messiest devices we've ever walked through. I'm glad you brought this up this actually my next question was to ask about this because I could tell from your blog that there were things that you see in your husband because of his divorce reminded you of something out of your family.

I think I know, so I was 20 when my parents divorced again and I have a large family and so younger siblings who are caught in a custody battle for about 12 years nasty nasty nasty cross state lines and I had to navigate that as an adult, watching my younger siblings be torn back and forth between these my warring parents. I had to watch that as an adult sort of interacting with both my parents as adults and learning to verbalize hey that's painful when you do that or that's not helpful or just as an adult Lake must be mature around this. So it started out giving you a lot of anger toward divorce had a lot of I would say a lot of baggage around divorce and I think the more time went on, the more empathy rose up in me just for my own parents, but I think for any adult who has to walk through the pain of divorce and so I think by the time I met my husband when I was 34. I had more empathy just for him and for us his story and I think I would have had as it 20, 25-year-olds still caught in the middle of these warring parties you seen your blog you hate divorce, you know what happened to your family. Obviously, most detrimental and difficult for you 12 year custody battle so you had siblings and they were caught in the middle of all of that and you saw it sounds like, so the worst come out. It was, I mean I don't overstate it and I want to not be hyperbolic, but it was and I walked to some really difficult things in life. It was probably one of the hardest things I've ever walked through and I know that divorce doesn't have to be like that. I know that if you've got two people who are endeavoring to honor one another and that process to compete. You can look really different but it didn't look that way for my family and so yeah it was. I would say was one of the most formative things for my life forming me and how I saw the Lord and how I saw marriage and I was terrified of marriage is terrified that marriage is going to be abusive and dishonoring and full of fights and anger in the Lord in his grace did not give me a marriage like that, but I was to carry that terror around for years and am thankful that he didn't bring that into your life in this new marriage. I'm wondering if you had any hesitation. So when you met your husband and started dating and he knew his story at some point, did you have any sort of black-and-white.

Well, I can't be with you.

I didn't.

I think it's okay if someone does have those feelings and need needs to work through them with the Lord, and with good leadership around them.

I didn't because I knew many of his close friends. I knew the pastors and elders. He had walked through his divorce with from our church is very close to those people and so I knew that his character was what it is but I do that because other people about her. His character very helpful and that's a wise thing to do. I think is necessary in these things is necessary to matter who you marry. I think it should be a part of that process of getting to know someone, but just really grateful that I didn't have those concerns kind of coming on this package break in here were listing to a portion of a conversation. The blonde deal the head of family life London had with Lori Ferguson, Wilbert, about the reality of being a second wife for her second husband in a marriage, and that point about going a little bit of a background check and having others who can vouch for the character. She was right that matters is whether to first marriage, a second marriage. Don't just allow your own blinded infatuation to carry you through this. If you've got friends or family members were thrown up red flags about the relationship you need to pay attention to those, and if you don't have people were thrown in the red flags.

Ask your friends there anything you think I'm missing here. Yeah, I think it's critical really is going into a second marriage you're going to do your first marriage. What do the people that are the friends of the person you can marriage say I know that I you know I dated a girl for four years from high school through college.

We are to get married. I was my junior year, a year from now go to graduate were get married and I cannot tell you the number people who at random times would walk up to me and say hey you really don't know her and I just blew it off. Let me one of them was her sister which I should've been listening to.

One was my mom and I course a bike with my mom know. But as I look back I realize they all were trying to tell me some.

I couldn't see and I wasn't listening. I think it's a little bit like wearing sunglasses.

You see the person you think you know everything but their parts that you don't and so to ask someone else can be a really wise move. But let me ask you this. If you're going into a second marriage would you ask a former wife about her husband that year engaged. I think that so dependent on all of the dynamics of how the breakup happened and what the level of anger or hostility in all that is because she may have nothing nice to say, he may, and I don't think your you just have to recognize if you asked that question how you're going to a subjective answer and you have to filter that through whatever wounds are paying led them to where they are. I think I might ask, but I don't know that I would necessarily take the answer is writing well. This is for real or for sure, I'd be more likely to ask other family members. People at church. That's where I go I go to the people who know that other person on a spiritual level, watched what their walk with Jesus looks like they can comment on that as hard as it is you want honesty yeah you really want to know at the end of the day.

Their walk with Jesus is gonna be the key thing to the success of that new relationship are absolutely what we want to continue hearing. An excerpt from Ron's conversation with Lori Ferguson, Wilbert, let me just say runs will be hosting an event here in about four weeks called blended and blessed. This is an annual event that we do in family life. That is the premier event for couples who are in second marriages couples were in blended families. Couples were looking for help for their relationship. They just want to strengthen the relationship. The that they're in today. You can go online to find out more about the blended and blessed. It's an online event this year. People really watching from all around the world.

Some couples watch on their own. Other couples get together with other couples. There are churches that will be hosting this event.

Again, go to family like today.com for more information about blended and blessed. It's coming up four weeks from this weekend that's April 24.

Of the information is available online@familylifetothe.com so let's pick up the conversation.

This again is Ron deal with Lori Ferguson. Wilbert talking about the dynamics of being a second wife, Lori want to go back to something. We were talking about earlier talk about the wounds that your husband has from his previous relationship. You seen your blog, the wounds of a former spouse can be deep and raw and a mere misstep of the second spouse that would be you can be wildly more painful than we knew until about a time when you inadvertently stepped on something wrong, painful, what did you learn from it. Yes I'll give you an example from this morning and now today that's great that we know were navigating life in this pandemic season and registering to figure out some new rhythms in our home and send you normal he's not normally here in the morning that he's been here the past seven weeks he's been here and so that's it. That's the new thing for me. I usually work from home and I'm by myself and so we are trying to figure out a new morning prayer rhythm that he's a morning person. I am not.

I take a little bit longer to wake up this morning. He's trying to serve implement some family prayer for us and he mentioned it last week and I said go for it. Like, please. You read that I'm still groggy and waking up in the morning but if you want to take the reins on that and so he was and he spending the past couple of days and it was confusing to a part of it was confusing to me and so this morning he said why don't you take leadership on this and I was like I want you to do it. He's like what I've been doing in the past couple of days and you fussed at me for a couple of days and I realize like what's going on there is I had not explained to him that it would be helpful for me to understand.

Like the bigger picture of what he's thinking in this this the details of the morning and when he explained that was helpful. What I realizes like in his previous marriage. He was very passive and he did not take leadership. He will admit that freely he would say that now kissing here and so when I criticize his leadership incident and even small ways what that steaming is tamping down sprouts and leadership deflates whatever whatever it is pressed in, and now is pushed out. Yeah he is he a really is a good leader and he's such a good leader at work and in the church and in our marriage but in those moments wife specifically said he would you take leadership in this and then I come in and say will why are we doing it this way. I am aware that that thing right there because of how poorly he led how much she criticize, and wounded him for his leadership in their marriage. That is a really tender tender thing to be so careful not to handle with him with kid gloves.

He's a grown man in his 40s.

You know he knows he's loved by God that to remember in those moments, like God is bringing something to life and I need to be careful around how I speak about it. I need to water it and give it sunshine instead of crush it under sort of a delusion.

Whatever. I'm thinking at the moment. I think this is a great example to the listener. I would say this is a great example of you know, in any marriage relationship for men to venture out and try to leave their wives in a spiritual direction in a way that enhances and encourages the marriage and the vastness of the couple, and then to have it criticized. That's really deflating for men, you know, we really do want to be a failure or inadequate. That's a huge Achilles for us and so in any relationship that's deflating when that may have been a real source of contention in a previous marriage relationship. You're right, there's a there's an added depth to a bruise there. That is so tender and easily pressed.

And so for you to be aware that to recognize well I really gotta put some self-control on when it comes to these moments and it's an ongoing learning experience right yeah and you stay on this before and that it happened again today is that's that's life. We recognize that we work on it. We recognize we work on it think that's a good elephant.

Somebody said that because we have a big blowup about something you have conflict around something.

Anna gets ironed out and work through and we think okay now I get it whenever you have to deal with that and wish that the way that like human yes work we have to come again and again and again to the same things and make sure that were repenting often and naming our sin often are specific sin against another often not been general and it's this is an ongoing process. It's like peeling an onion and wizards consciously peeling back the layers again and again to get to the root of what God wants to heal and it does get easier the more we invite the spirit in and the more discipline we apply to ourselves with time.

We do shift those patterns, behaviors, and it does get easier.

But even from a neurological standpoint.

Literally, you gotta rewire your brain sometimes and that just takes time.

So cut yourself a break yet it does take time and it also takes another person to help rewire our brains. We can just do that by ourselves. And so if we are with someone with whom that conflict just keeps coming up again and again and again and were not able to to seek healing or have a good conversation about it might be time to bring in 1/3 person is who is helped sort of do the work of rewiring brain networks and neural pathways and all those things so that might be a counselor or coach pastor somebody who's really depending on the depth of the problem somebody who's really trained therapist to lead you through that Lori don't want to come full-circle to some of the things that we started with just wrap it up like again given back to you. Some of the words this really insightful blog that you wrote called second wife Second Life you say that even though you are his second wife in the blog you say this is still his and your first life yeah you the second wife, but this is your first life. Your first and only life you said that your one aim is to be found faithful within it. How does being found faithful help when you feel. Second, why think remembering I am not second to God. I'm not an afterthought to God and so reading my identity in the Lord, knowing that I was perfectly formed by him for this life and so that includes for me 34 years of singleness and now five years and married to it with my husband and whatever the future may hold.

I don't know what the future holds.

And so the Lord has only given me one life and the Lord has crafted me for this life and so so not thinking of myself as second and now way to the Lord. And then I think I think it's a subprocess you know I don't think anyone does. This perfectly think we we are all navigating life differently with the faith that we have in the story that we have the insight that we have in and said I think it just it looks different for everyone and we have to give ourselves a lot of patience and give the other a lot of patience and walkways. What you just said I think would be really good advice to somebody who is really struggling with being second, is there anything else that you might add to that somebody is really wrestling with. Yeah, I really want to be first but I'm not his first think it's just helpful for me to remember that today I am his first and today I'm I am the choice that he has made to love and honor and walk with in sickness and health, and in all those things and so that helps me just to keep my eyes on today on what I can do today and not be thinking about all that scum in the past. Whether that's the first marriage, or there's just a history of sexual pastor's unemotional past that someone has just helps me tear that God's doing something new today he's using you in our marriage. Today he's doing something new in the world today he doing something in the church today and I get to be a part of that today. That helps me to feel less like second-best or secondhand Plan B.

I'm not Plan B to God. I'm not Plan B for my husband in God's eyes. What we been listing again to a conversation Ron deal had with Lori Ferguson, Wilbert, and she's talking on. Gotta keep thinking about what my favorite verses in Scripture from Isaiah where Isaiah says that God brings beauty from ashes and Ron deal is often said every second marriage, every blended family.

These are born out of loss. Whether it's the death of a spouse or divorce. Whatever it is you're coming from a place of loss. There are ashes at your feet and God says watch what I can do with these actions I can make something beautiful out of this high level what she said in her blog when she said this is still your first and only life and when I've talked to engage women whose fianc has a past and a lot of times even a sexual past essay, but there's no one else in the entire universe like you. This is all new, but that's not always easy to remember in the moment yeah and she said it so wealthy and it's like this is my first life. Now it's like you're living in the moment and I think sorta one of the lies of the enemy is to take us into the past again so have us live there when it's the past. It was hurtful, but it's gone it's done and we have to go to the future but more importantly, live right here.

I am her husband. She is my wife right here right now and that's all that really matters if you need to hear these things, not just once, you need to hear him over and over again. That's why people subscribe to Ron deal family like blended podcast so they can listen to new episodes and they can go back and listen again to episodes that really spoke to them.

There's information on our website@familyliketoday.com about how you can subscribe to the podcast as well. It's why people are to be joining us on Saturday, April 24 for the one day live stream of been called blended and blessed are our annual event to help strengthen couples were in blended marriages, blended families, when you sign up for this event as a church, your church will have access to this content on an ongoing basis. There's more information about the one day live stream event available on our website@familylifetoday.com Ron Buell will be giving leadership to this and will be speaking at the event along with a whole host of speakers again. It's a great one day event called blended and blessed get the information you need on our website@familyliketodate.com or call one 800 FL today. If you have a questions or we can help you get signed up for the event or speaking of the event, David Robbins, the present family life is here with us and this event this podcast all all that were doing to help blended marriages and families really part of the larger commitment that we have here at family life to effectively develop godly marriages and families. Thanks, Bob. You know the vision at family life has been for a very long time that we would be about every home being a godly home. Everything we do points to how do we pursue people and families and help them grow in their godliness.

And that's why I'm so thankful for Ron deal be a part of the family life team helping blended families a large subset of families and our nation with very unique challenges is why we're grateful for events like blended and blessed because many times blended families will will go to marriage events at their church. And it just seems like there's helpful things, but then always connect to their exact situation. And that's exactly what blended and blessed is for. It's a whole event specifically designed for the unique challenges and opportunities.

Blended families have another it's coming up soon would encourage you if you are part of a blended family. If you know someone is in a blended family. If you want to minister in and understand the needs of blended families. I would encourage you to sign up and and pass on that information, but it's also why we develop resources like the family like blended podcast. We want a place where blended families can can know there's something coming for them uniquely wired for them, so make sure to check out Ron's family life blended podcast and blended and blessed down again. You can go to our website. Family life to.com for information about the podcast and about blended and blessed and with that will wrap up for this week. Thanks for joining us. Hope you have a great weekend.

Hope you and your family are able to worship together in your local church this weekend and I hope you can join us back on Monday when working to talk with our friends Jackie and Stefano Bledsoe about the phases that a marriage goes through and how we need to adapt and adjust when our marriages in the new stage were in the new phase in tune in for that I want to thank our engineer today. Keith Lynch, we got some extra help this week from Bruce Goff course our entire broadcast production teams involved on behalf of our hosts David and Wilson. I'm Bob Payne will see you Monday for another edition of family life today.

Family life to you is a production of family life of Little Rock, Arkansas.

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