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Together Forever: What’s it take?

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
January 12, 2022 9:00 pm

Together Forever: What’s it take?

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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January 12, 2022 9:00 pm

Wanting "together forever"--but wondering if you married the right person? Counselor & author Debra Fileta unpacks secrets behind lasting marriages.

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Well a lot of her listeners know how great our marriage started out did start as great.

It was great for you are great. Well, I mean for a month. It didn't last. They were laughing now because were near 41 but at the moment at the moment. I thought there is nobody better in the world and Dave will say I love those moments when you thought that didn't last long.

He didn't think that for two months. He got it for five months okay six months. I said marrying you with the biggest of my life know you yelled that guy was a great moment in our marriage and family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and Wilson and Dave Wilson and you can find this if it we live today.com or on our family life app is family life today. The thing is, I feel like most people are unprepared going into marriage of what the reality will be like, and so they get to the point where we were and maybe it's year one may be at year 20 but at some point they think. What in the world is happened and I don't want to do it that because what we thought was all I married the wrong person to the right persons out there and when I find them dinner would be. There were crass but almost every marriage goes through our experience.

Unfortunately we made it, but I think all marriages need help and we've got health today in the studio. Welcome Deborah for later with the season author of a book called choosing marriage in your you help us to help couples get through the tough editing always just the beginning of marriage, but it extends along got right yeah I can be at any point in marriage can be difficult but I think what you said is important to realize that everybody's going to get to that hard place.

At some point so that when it comes they're not shocked they're prepared. And I think there's hope in no excited to talk about that and were glad to hear you not only written using marriage written five books and there's more to come. But you know about marriage. We sit at lunch with you and Johnny got three kids you got a full line with her.her ivory son and he has been married how many years we've been married 14 years okay and you have a great podcast. Tell us a little bit about that.

That's called loving relationships and it's a hotline style podcast the people call in with their questions and I answer their questions.

From my perspective as a licensed counselor so it's a really fun show you guys. I'm just saying bike for the listeners. We had lunch with John and Deborah and we feel like oh this is going to be so good for you to even call in with your questions I'm calling sometime I would like to be the bad guys. Your voice is so that no not really.

What does this, you know that's our experience of marriage did you guys have a similar journey you and John yeah I would say very similar in the sense that you go into marriage with rose colored lenses.

My cages feel like this is going to be so easy. And this person is amazing and nothing could go wrong now. But what's so unique about that and interesting about that perspective we don't have that approach to any other area of our life. For example, my husband like we talked about at lunch is a surgeon for him to become a surgeon. He had to get 20,000 hours of training know actually we heard he just watches you to. I had to get 3000 hours of training to get my license as a therapist. He had to get 20,000 to get his license as a physician when your kids get their drivers license what they get at least 100 hours of training. How many hours of training do we need to get a marriage license. This girl is on my soapbox right her row so it really is meaning there is no requirement and I think the assumption is because were Christians were somehow going to be good at relationships, but we forget there's past baggage there's issues. There's things that we don't know how to deal with conflict and communication and the routes that run a little bit deeper and so my hope for the message of choosing marriage is that we realize that a good marriage is made up of choices daily choices sometimes really hard, sometimes simple, but there are things we can actually do to begin to train for the process of healthy marriage. It's almost like a muscle, you gotta train that muscle arts can atrophy it's not just going to be strong on its own.

So what is it look like to train that muscle intermarriage units is. It is interesting in that the you said a lot of times as followers of Christ. We think we have is can be easier for us. We actually went to family life. We can the remember marriage get away. We went to a two weeks for her wedding. That was our train. It's a fabulous marriage, that there is an engaged couple to again 14 days away were get married. We literally took no notes and all these people right now Troy why is there marriage is so bad, they must not know Jesus.

They must not be as love is we are, we won't need this. And then your her story. Like several months and were like in crisis. So what is it about being a Christ follower makes us think is can be easier for us. I think sometimes we tend to compartmentalize what it looks like to be a Christ follower. We we focus in on our spiritual health. But relational health isn't necessarily the overflow of that because the roots run deep in the things of our family of origin that we bring into relationships and one of the chapters in choosing marriage I talk about the fact that we all come to marriage with certain walls ways that we communicate or don't communicate and those walls are not healthy for example, the wall of withdrawal.

Maybe you're in the middle of the conversation starting get uncomfortable, so your default is to withdraw.

This was Dave yes keep going you don't you bring that up. I want to withdraw right now. You said John your husband was like that. Yeah it's a withdrawal tenancy.

It's like the inability to deal with these difficult emotions so it's easier just to kind of withdraw every don't happen will happen.

But I don't know this about our story is in the vertical merge booklet. Long story short is when we had our one of our first fight. I literally walked out of the room and didn't even know. That's my Tennessee I done my whole life. I walk out the room. Guess what she does policy.

I say come back here and fight me like a man again.

She yells that that's the chapter title of the chapter so yeah I had that so talk about the wall of withdraw or this thing you bring it merits what we do with it.

Well, I think first of all, recognizing that we have it here now and understanding some of those roots are things that you learn along the way. Yeah when it comes to dealing with conflict and communication you're not born natural communicator not born knowing how to do conflict while you learn based on what's been modeled to you. You learn based on your experiences and so many times the things that we bring into marriage. We've got to unlearn and begin learning a healthier approach of what it looks like to say what we need another wall is displacement. Displacement is when we have stress or emotional discomfort from something else but then we take it out on her spouse. For example, one day I remember I was home with with the kids. I didn't have for the time. Three kids. They were all sick. You know when that right yeah very little sick to their little in their young little there.

There's diapers and noses, and everyone's clingy and John was like 15 minutes late from coming home from work, which feels like three hours exactly. And he calls me on the phone and he said something wrong I don't remember what it was and it was probably something mild. Yeah, but whatever it was I was ready for a fight. You know I was frustrated and annoyed. I had so much build up a motion from the day and I took it out on him. I'm displacing that's the wall I bring into my relationship this displacement and put it on him. Another wall that I got this cycle even with that, I'm thinking of wounds from our childhood. Yes, that we bring into marriage that maybe we haven't even talked about or acknowledged or know about that there back there is that displacement may have anger issues or wounds cannot carry 100%.

Any think of some of the insecurities. We carry from our childhood. I worked with a gentleman who grew up with a father who in his household. It was dad's way or the highway, and he never felt hurt he never felt like he was good enough.

And years later he carries the same wound into his marriage whenever his wife gets close. Hey can you do this differently. It's like oh you think I'm not good enough. Yeah, because it's that displacement from the past that he's putting on her.

You know you just want to stick up for John here. Did you apologize to them later. I did you know because it wasn't his problem. They wasn't his fault. I did say something wrong, you know, one thing that we learned to do over the years is to be quick to acknowledge what we've done wrong and quick to apologize in choosing marriage. I say that a litmus test of your humility is how quick you are to apologize and how quick you are to forgive and I also spent some time talking about a proper apology isn't just I'm sorry or am sorry you feel that way or am sorry you feel that their steps to really moaning your role in the conflict and where there is a conflict that involves two people.

There are two people who need to own something. Maybe that percentage looks different. Maybe it's not always 50-50. Maybe in some cases it's 5 to 95. But if you don't have a role in the problem, then you also have no control. So you've got it see that ownership as a positive thing. I think sometimes we want to. Why don't have walls that I didn't really doing this was all your fault, but if that's the case then you actually have no control in the relationship is a really wise, how do you identify that you know even as you're talking early on. If you notice this and maybe it wasn't true, but I felt like when you said withdrawal wall. My wife looked at me when you said displacement. My wife looked at me because I'm just kidding, but it's like you know there were years of my marriage I didn't even see it. I didn't know I had him in one of the gifts God gave us as your spouse can help you see things. But what if you'll sit how do you identify that you have some of these qualities emerge.

I think that's my hope is that I can help you identify some of these things from a therapist's perspective, it's not your wife or husband telling you but it's like, hey, here are some things to be on the lookout for do you do this in conflict do you handle things this way there's reflection questions because there is no cookie-cutter everybody looks different. Everybody brings different walls into a relationship and you've got to be able to recognize them by learning about them. If you don't even know what they look like if you don't have a name for these walls do not recognize them.

I think that's the beauty of marriage and when God brings two people together.

We do recognize things in our spouse and they call it out and we have a choice for you to be defensive, or if working to receive it and I think the key is to is how we respond to our spouse. I'll never forget the first time that I apologize to Dave in our marriage, and he stop his weight weight. What did my wife apologize to me. I actually wrote it third was terribly even realize I had never done that.

There is a sense of pride in me. I had this from my background this winter.

Like we have to win everything and to apologize meant. Oh, I had failed which made me a failure. It would take me into shame. But I remember just thinking I can apologize today. He was so much more quick to apologize and I was I love that you maybe didn't say right way but I think when our spouse can draw attention to like noticing something instead of pointing a finger and accusing her spouse in a mad, angry voice. I think just to kinda point things out could be really a sweet gift from God.

I can be. I think part of the problem is in many marriages.

We try to withdraw before we deposit what you mean we call out the things we want them to change, which I consider emotional withdrawal before we made an emotional deposit of the things we love and appreciate when your bank accounts not filled up emotionally. It is harder to make those withdrawals yeah and so that's an area I think where we all have to be very cautious.

It's sure it's easier to call out your spouse, but have you filled them up. Have you built them up. Do you have enough in the bank to be able to make this withdrawal. This request point out this issue that needs to be changed and I think if we start there.

Yeah, it would make a world of difference in our relationship, which is so interesting because when were dating, we deposit all day long I the time when you get married you truly see one another and so I know that it was really easy for me to point out all day's flaws without making those needed deposits. I think that's really wise that you wish I would've done that well you know what is interesting about our journey over four decades, is she is my biggest cheerleader.

There's no nobody in my life that believes in me affirms me that I was always truth that did not happen for the first 10 or so years, but after we had some hard conversations and we understood some of things or send a perfectly I'm not kidding. I can't wait to get home. This woman loves me, she she believes in me more than anybody at times and like I'm not that good honey, but she you know and that is a deposit deposit the pot yeah yeah absolute, that is.

So we have the wall of withdrawal wall of displacement. What else while it's talked about one more wall and that is one that I often see that people don't recognize sarcasm and humor. Sometimes you come from a family who their love languages humor and sarcasm, but there's a place for that and and actually that's one of things I love about my husband is he's so funny and witty, but then you realize that that can actually be used as a defense mechanism and keep out the hard conversations. It's like, well, it's just crack a joke. Let's just kinda be light and fluffy and fun without taking the time to go deep and really work on the things that need to be worked on, and so I think that something that people don't even recognize but all these walls there's many more we could talk about but I think the key is understanding that we are not victims to these walls and in one of my favorite verses is that that this is all in once just one specific chapter in choosing marriage but one of my favorite things was towards the end of writing that chapter I was in the Psalms. Psalm 18 with my God I can scale any wall perfect first and that chapter.

With that he skated.

It doesn't matter what white you bring to the table from your family of origin with some work and effort you can scale those walls. God can help you bring down those walls in your relationship. Just like with you guys 10 years then, and for some people maybe doesn't even have to take 10 years yeah if we can get to a point were intentional and deliberate.

The more you know, the better you're going to do in marriage.

So as you speak to singles what are the things that you advise them to do and they may not even know any of these walls are their past history. What's your advice for them.

One my favorite things about this specific book was that I actually did research to back up some of these chapters that the chapters are laid out in choices you can make each day you now moving from pride to humility. What is that look like the walls chapters. There are all kind of laid out as these choices that you can make daily, but I took surveys of 1000 singles in 1000 married couples and compared their answers and then at the end of each chapter. There are reflection questions for couples, but there's also reflection questions for singles because I believe that so much heartache can be saved if we start doing the work. Standing alone, can you imagine if you can identify your struggles, standing alone, what you're going to bring to the table with some of that baggage standing alone. You have to wait until you're married to start the training process like joining the Olympics and the deciding to train not who does that mean most of us do that you're supposed to do it. If anything, we've had training from the culture I think about social media.

What they like. It gives us these expectations and we also carry training and from maybe our own families, which aren't always healthy exactly you and some of that has to be on train unlearned yeah that we can learn things the right way and so I think singleness is the time to begin the process of dealing with the emotional baggage that we carry recognizing our conflict styles are walls we bring to the table and hidden sins in our life. I mean this is the type of stuff that I I would love to see this almost like a couples therapy session. Whether or not you're married walking you through some of the most important things you need to work on in the process of choosing marriage and we've always said that to like when it be cool if we were teaching this in our school systems like how to get along with people. What is your conflict resolution vent now would be so good instead of learning. Some of this long crazy. What we learned in school but one thing that I found really interesting was that one of the questions I asked singles, is how often do you think married couples spend time in quality conversation in marriage. The majority of singles said hours per week have to be hours per week yeah, but the majority of married couples reported 60 minutes or less and the majority of them actually said it was more like 30 minutes or less per week or week, you quality conversation we think about that.

Think about the expectations we have women. The reality of these long conversations is going to be amazing. And then we find her husband watching ESPN all day in your thinking. LOL are you some other we walking with expectations we get, what would you say will couples listen right now and they're stuck, you know besides good choosing marriage and read it and walked to the questions but a lot of times when we get stuck we hear this a lot were speaking at conferences with couple one of them. Usually, one will come up and say all the stuff you talked about my husband does they won't apply it to themselves. They apply to their spouse, which is the easier thing to do and you see it in your spouse. It's hard to see in yourself. You know, talk to that that spouse that may be can't see it. What you tell them to do. How do they get out of Ground Zero and take some steps toward choosing marriage were so connected in marriage were so intimately connected. It's almost like can you imagine with me to gears that are kind of working together like in a clocking a fat these gears think of you and your spouse like to gears that are interconnected. When you begin to move in the right direction. It naturally causes your spouse to move in the right direction. When you begin to make those deposits when you begin working on yourself and your responses and your forgiveness and your ability to apologize when you begin doing the work. It will begin to change the narrative of your relationship. The patterns in your relationship because it takes to have a pattern sort, and so if your feelings stop realize that the one thing you have the most control.

Love is your actions and reactions in your relationship. Your ability to share what you need, your ability to affirm your spouse, your ability to begin to heal and grow on your own. Nobody can stop you from doing that and I truly believe it will begin to have a significant impact on your marriage as well. That's a good word that's like looking marriage there with me. Take your eyes off your spouse on the bad way but in the negative way in the critical way of euros in yourself and say God change me in time. Hopefully that'll change my spouse and I would add Dave to do that is that Jesus is cheering you on your spouse may not notice it first. Or they may not acknowledge what you're doing. At first, but God does. He sees your obedience.

He sees me praying she sees you following him and I would just add like ask God for help because she hears every time we call out he hears us. That is a great reminder from Ann Wilson God is on our side.

He is cheering us on. As Romans eight tells us.

If God is for us who can be against us and in our desire to want to see our marriage be all that God wants it to be. He wants the same thing for us. He wants her marriage to be what he designed marriage to be getting there is what can be a challenge and it's a challenge that Deborah Floyd is addressed in her book, choosing marriage, why it has to start with we is greater than me. You can find more information about Deborah's book when you go to our website. Family life today.com order it from someone if you'd like. Or you can call to order at one 800 FL today given the number is 1-800-358-6329 and then let me remind you about the special offer were making this week to family life today listers you and your spouse can join us for an upcoming family life weekend to remember marriage get away and save 50% off the registration fee. If you sign up for the get away with us today.

We have a special offer that's going on this week and next week for family life today listers you can join us for 2 1/2 days where we focus on helping you build a stronger marriage. Understanding God's design for marriage, his purpose and his plan. Knowing how to resolve conflict, how to improve intimacy in your marriage, your roles as a husband and his wife. All of that gets covered in the 2 1/2 to get away with more than four dozen of these events happening in cities around the country this spring and you can find out when a getaways happening in the city near where you live by going to our website of family life today.com. Click the link for the getaway gives you all the information you need. You can register online to save 50% off the regular registration fee. The questions about the getaway.

Call us at one 800 FL today, but the point of all this is make plans now to spend the weekend investing in your marriage. This spring go on Monday. Family life today.com and register for a family life weekend. Remember marriage get away and do it now so you can save some money without tomorrow. Working to hear more about the priority of oneness in marriage.

That's God's desire to become one American fuel threatening, it can feel like you can lose yourself but as we'll hear from Deborah Floyd tomorrow.

That's actually something that is glorious and wonderful.

Hope you can join us for about on behalf of our hosts David and Wilson on Bob Lapine will see you back next time for another edition of family life today family like today is a production of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most


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