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September 26, 2022 3:00 am
How do you get your marriage back to where it used to be? Author and former FamilyLife Today host Bob Lepine offers real strategies for the rough patches. Show Notes and ResourcesChange Your Marriage and Sign up for a Weekend To Remember In Your AreaFind resources from this podcast at shop.familylife.com.Find more content and resources on the FamilyLife's app!Help others find FamilyLife. Leave a review on Apple Podcast or Spotify.Check out all the FamilyLife podcasts on the FamilyLife Podcast Network
Were learning these things about each other, early marriage look when those differences start to emerge. You can start to think that I picked the wrong person. Is there something wrong with me. Is there something wrong with her. She doesn't think like me.
He doesn't think like me. And this is where we start to go in bad places, rather than going get were different and we got figure out how to honor those differences and appreciate those differences and in the process of making those adjustments are marriages can get better family life today where we want to help you pursue the relationship and will think that I'm Dave Wilson and you can find us in family life today.com or on our family life, family life today.
Today is a special day.
We have the legend using the voice of family today.
He's actually in the studio in Orlando welcome family today about this. So it feels so weird that I am not used to be in the passenger used to be in the driver right now so you guys to come sit, but were driving. I don't know. I want to drive that's what I'm used to doing and we want you to drive you like today as I got Caroline I took your line by line every once if you like walking into Orlando a new studio. Well first of all, it's privileged to be here and I course have been following what you guys have been doing since I unplugged a little while ago but I love what you're all about the ministries all about how God is using it. So just to be back in to be with you guys. This is a great for me and find listeners that don't know Bob has been our coach. He's been our mentor. He's really the one that started family life in many ways you're the reason were sitting in his chair. You know, we are eternally grateful we would not see any listener is like to hear your voice and go. I love that. Well, you know, having you here. I thought I got to do some for Bob looking and so last night I might've said that with my guitar saw you and God didn't even stop to think that this was a possibility, but should have known have now. I should have known figuring if he plays a lot enough you get the courses each syllable and has even heard. Now nobody started actually. Maybe if you that I can't say this is from God, but you know the listeners will deftly say this is not from God but you think about your life and family life in your book. Love, like you mean it, even the cruise be and they love like you mean I'm I know the back stories you did all that so I came up with a song called love like the peanut family is a man you got me deep in Diet Coke and get me a name that two home runs. Marianne's mind as you will, never brings calm the storm because she's really really fine and some so now all he wanted 138.
He's not like you need through family will be the there is there's a song writing competition show on TV about you and I don't think you should apply now you build over the years in the way that with. I like the title you know that I can say guy gave to me. So you read the new book yes called build a stronger marriage. The path to oneness. This I really got love like you mean it in the Christian husband decades ago. It's been a while what you say and I want to write something that can help couples you guys know this as well because of your involvement in pastoral ministry and sitting down with couples experience I've had of meeting one-on-one with couples who are trying to make the marriage work. There's some distress may not where they just can't hold it together but that's just it's not what they wanted to be what God wants it to be and in talking to them.
I started to see themes and patterns emerging in our conversations where you want to talk about marriage and family with people doing interviews with people for more than 1/4 of a century, and I thought there are some things that I don't remember hearing explored the way that I think they need to be explored better.
Some of the issues that are coming up in these marriages over and over again and so I thought if I could have a book that a mentor couple could take a couple, maybe their newly married to just trying to work out the kinks. You know they're just trying to get some of that those early frustrations.
Or maybe they they pick a spot in their marriage or 20 years and they just they found themselves in isolation and they don't know how to get back. I wanted to have a book where a pastor or counselor or a mentor couple could walk through this process with them and help them isolate and identify that's Irish and that's where the issues coming from and then figure out how to deal with that so that they can get to where God wants their marriage to be you start early in the book saying that many couples experience just what you said this disappointment, isolation, and you listeners know our story of that happen within six months, but you know when when Anna experience said in six months. We sorta thought we were unique like she says Mary used pigs mistake of my life.
I did not think most couples feel that way. You start the books and it's pretty common. I think most couples feel it and think I can't say anything because you see each other church on Sunday or use each other in some social setting. Everybody's got the best face on their putting on their best performance. Nobody knows that anybody's got any issues going on so we all go home from the small group meeting or the church meeting and we think. I don't know why mines not working everybody else's seems to be working. We don't know is the people who we thought their marriage was working there at home, have the same conversation thinking our marriage is altogether and this is where I think we do have to come to step out and say you know what there's dysfunction in all of our marriages, there are issues. Some of it significant in some marriages, some of it is minor in other marriages but if we can just get on the table. I love Ray Portland who I know you guys know and have had on the program when he was a pastor at Emmanuel church in Nashville. They had what they called the Emanuel mantra in the Emanuel mantra at their church was I'm a complete idiot.
That's the first thing number two is my future is incredibly bright and number three is anybody can get in on this and I thought let's apply that the marriage I'm a complete idiot in marriage, but the future is bright because of what God's done and in our understanding and anyone can get in on it. I think most couples don't know that the future is bright and that there's a way to get in on it and that's what I'm hoping this book will provide for folks, so Bob are listeners. Many most know you and know your name, they know your story. Take this into your life with Marianne.
You're super extroverted like you can just you and Dave remind me so much of each other and Marion's introverted and so when you guys got married did you base that situation where he thought this is what I thought it would be.
We faced all kinds of and that's just one example of the differences between the two of us that when we started marriage just little things what we dated for four years. I mean, I thought I knew her I thought, yeah II know just about everything but here's one of the things I've learned over the years is there's a lot that is under the surface and you assume that your girlfriend or your boyfriend or your spouse, you assume that there's nothing one way or act another way, until the actual moment where it comes to light.
Oh, I always thought you would make this choice always thought that would be your preference. Just because we can't unpack all I'm been married 43 years and there's still stuff. I'm figuring out stuff. I'm learning after 43 years. It's an ongoing process and this is where early in marriage.
Those differences take us by surprise. So the introvert, the extrovert side of things where I would just assume Marianne would be somebody who would like to be in the spotlight for the limelight for the group. I would say what. We have something she want to say about this or you asked Marianne what she is and she's why are you pointing are you singling me out and I'm going because I like when people ask me my opinion.
I just want to be over so were learning these things about each other early in marriage. What went when you don't know that going in. When those differences start to emerge. You can start to think that I picked the wrong person. Is there something wrong with me. Is there something wrong with her. She doesn't think like me.
He doesn't think like me. And this is where we start to go in bad places, rather than going yeah were different and we gotta figure out how to honor those differences and appreciate those differences and learn from those different what should we do. I mean, when we experience at six months, and in any year and we thought exactly what you said that we knew better, but we still felt like I think is married to somebody else if she was married we'd be happier. Yeah I know almost every couple of time to think.
I've had that thought so if you're sitting there and you're feeling a disappointment. The expectations you have are not you live in out in reality what your counsel to them. What should they do what I think the first thing you have to recognize is that every moment is not a defining moment in your marriage.
So there are seasons you go through where things are going rise to the surface. That doesn't mean it's the new normal. I had learned that there were particular times in the month when Marianne would act differently than she acted during other times of the month.
I didn't have to assume that in those odd moments. That was her new normal know it was just she was having a moment I have moments we all have our moments, rather than thinking that somebody in a stressful situation or somebody in a life hard you're sad you don't think that's now the new normal.
You just have to leave some breathing room and pour a lot of grace on top of those moments. I think that's a really good point because when I've done in our marriage. If we get to this point where were really struggling and I think this is it. Yeah, this is our future and it's always going to be like this, you're saying now it's just a moment I've never forgotten hearing about a study that was done in the state of Oklahoma. That fact. I shared this number times on family life today, so some blisters who would listen for a while may remember this but a study done in the state of Oklahoma where they went and found couples who had filed for divorce, but had never gone through with it and it had to be at least five years old or older.
So they went to these couples who five years or more ago had filed for divorce and they asked them about their marital satisfaction today and 80+ percent of those couples on a scale of 1 to 5, so the marriage was a four or five. It was great today and these were couples who five or more years ago in one of the divorce. So what happened well time happened and situations adjust and we grow and learn and we learn about each other and we learn how to complement one another instead of competing with one another and we learned that fine art of blending in becoming one in marriage rather than thinking get this. This is the new normal. I have this tendency to think it Marianne says something on a particular day when she stressed out and frustrated. If she says I never want to do that in my life.
I think she means that she's serious and I should remember she never wants to do that again only to find out. A few days later that she was frustrated in the moment and she said I never want to what she didn't really mean that. But we have to recognize that in the in the ebb and flow of marriage and life we make adjustments. We grow we get better. We learn we learn things we didn't know about each other. We learn things we didn't know about ourselves and in the process of making those adjustments are marriages can get better and your kids get older and some of you are in that state right now where you are dying because you got three kids that are under three and you think I don't even know if we can make stress levels change the 303 stress level is different than the 1415 16-year-old stress level, but yet they don't.
The moment passes. You can get on you can catch her breath. You just need to know in the moment how you breathe, how you support one another how you look at each other and as we have talked about for years at the weekend.
Remember you're not the enemy. I'm not the enemy working to get through this together.
I'm here I'm not going anywhere. Now let's figure out how we tackle what's causing the frustration today. I know that the study you quoted you saves Oklahoma Tim Keller uses that study in the meaning of marriage book and I remember reading that because he said as you so analyze the study. Like these couples are really happy now. Yesterday almost got divorced and so when I read that a member thinking.
Just hang on because you quit and you give me. I've said this here before, but I Maresca my dad.
You know they got divorced when I was a little boy is seven years old. I'm a man now I'm a pastor in Detroit he came to see me and I never asked my dentist question and in my entire life. I was scared even ask it I was driving. He was in the passenger seat were going to abandon her. So I'm a musician because he was a drummer so is a sorta cool moment, but I just said my dad hey dad, did you ever regret the divorce before I finish the sentence. He emotionally blurts out blank. Yes, I was shocked what you mean.
And he just said I wish we would've fought harder I missed your whole life. I miss so many things we gave up too quickly. That's just my story but I think a lot of couples if they would just fight for it.
I know it's hard to some is listen. Right now I dude you don't know how bad mine is. Yeah, I know how bad it is. I was in that home, and if you just hold on by that same time think you're saying Bob you gotta make some adjustments. You gotta learn you gotta grow. You can't just say I miss going to hold on.
You got a change or you're never going to get out of it. I'm thinking of a couple I know right now who would be in the hold on phase and they're trying to get some help for their marriage.
But honestly, the breakthrough is not happening so I think a lot of what happens is couples they get sideways with one another again of the distress they think we gotta get some help.
They may get some counseling and then they start to look around but nobody knows how to fix our problem and at that point they either say so that the couple. I'm thinking of. They live under the same roof, but that's about all that's going on in terms of the marriage that the pretense is there, but the marriage is is empty it's not a hold on and just graded out and maybe something magical will happen right but perseverance is part of the issue and then a commitment to say okay if we went here and didn't get help window somewhere else and then we can go somewhere else and will keep trying to tackle this thing rather than just send what we tried one thing and that didn't work. So I guess nobody has the answers. We've done everything we know to do and not of its work will go to a counselor go to a weekend.
Remember, get get a book, mentor couple to walk the energy that's right yeah work on fixing the illustration. You've heard me use this illustration if when you got married. If I gave you a brand-new car and I said this is a gift. It's a brand-new car really nice. Well here's the deal that the great car but here's the else, the only car you can have for the rest your life will upgrade with technology is comes along, but this is gonna be your current two things would happen. Number one, you would take really good care of that car you because you know this is gonna go this second thing is happened is you would say when it breaks down.
I guess I have to go pay the money and get it fixed. Needs a transmission not only option but important trend because it's the only car in that I have if we would treat our marriage the same way and say this is the only marriage I have for the rest of my life. So I'm to take better care of it and when it breaks down because it will. You might need an oil change to maintenance they might need a new transmission. I'll go get that because this is it for the rest of my life. I think we've got to have that kind of mindset when it comes to marriage. But what about the spouse that they are willing. They want to do all of that that their spouses like blue that's a good question.
You're listening to David and Wilson with Bob Lapine on family life today to hear Bob's answer in just a second. The first will look like if marriage is across the country started moving toward oneness toward seeing each other as God's good gift think the change lives. Just within each family and then imagine those change lives. Reaching out to neighbors and communities change the world. It starts with one couple one family, one home in a time so let me ask you, would you help transform families by giving to family life all this week when you partner financially with us. We want to send you a copy of Bob Lapine's latest book, build a stronger marriage to be our thanks to you when you give and help families this firstname.lastname@example.org when you call with your donation at 800-358-6329, 800 F is in family Allison life and then the word today. Right now, what happens when you want to work on your marriage but your spouse is like now. Good great question is Bob Lapine that's a really hard situation and that's where I think you have to find the strength to persevere somewhere other than your spouse. So the first place is you go to the Lord, and you say I need you to be my strength. I need you to be the one who helps me persevere in the heartache and the hardship. As you can have both. You can have the heart ache because marriage is not what you wanted to be or what you wish it would be and you have the hardship because you don't know how to fix things go to the Lord cry out to him read the Psalms.
See this almost in my distressed Lord I come to you. I cried. You're my refuge or my strength and then the second thing you do is you gotta have some people outside your marriage who are your people who you can go to where you can get refreshed you can get people praying with you and for you to be the right people.
They can't be people who complain or gossip and Marseilles I told you this is right and somebody that your faith is weak in your weary now help carry you around rancidity line and one of my thoughts was going back your car analogy is, you know, we know the purpose of the cars to drive right. I think when we look at marriage. We think the cars was make us happy and were not happy, there's another car does that contribute to not finding fulfillment. My merit not knowing why I'm married. I think that's the starting place for couples who are at that point in a marriage where they go.
This is not what I thought it was going to be. This is not what I wanted to be. Let's go back and say what did you think it was going to be and what you wanted to be and I know for me when I got married what I thought it was going to be was. I've met a woman who thinks I'm special. And if I marry her.
Then I got a live in thinks I'm special person was just going to spend all the time just reminding me of how special I am today.
Yes because I when we went on dates. She laughed at my jokes and she she seemed to admire should smile look at me, and not to what you think and she's I'm just looking at you, yes, yes I want that all the time.
Row longer than that. The whole point is I started with this.
This desire for marriage, it was all about. What am I gonna get out of this, how my going to benefit from this. And so as soon as I'm not getting what I had thought I was going to be getting for life even better now that were married as soon as that's not happening every day. I start go way way way this since this is like those things.
You buy a late night TV.
They look good in the infomercial's tone play out in real life. He felt interesting for us all to think what did you think you are getting yes this week I'll have a picture of what it should have looked like we get married and and sometimes our motives are not great like were getting married because the biological clock is ticking.
If I don't get married now never have kids I will have kids or I'm getting married, get my mother off my back because she keeps saying everything anybody I mean there's any number of reasons. Superficial motivations for getting married and then combine that with this image that what marriage is supposed to be about is certain of my wants and needs are to be fulfilled on a regular basis. If that's the transactional nature of your marriage. I'm getting married so that certain of my wants and needs will be fulfilled on an ongoing basis you started with the wrong premise because the Bible says that the reason for two people to come together. The reason for man to leave father and mother and cleave to his wife and for the two to become one, is so that together you can advance the work of God's kingdom in the world in a way that would be better than if the two of you were single now. I wasn't thinking anything like that.
Most of yet. Majority of writing, but when we come around and go oh wait, so diverse that sticks out for me here is Psalm 34, three, and somebody had brought this verse up to me. I never thought of in the marriage context. I heard the verse for years and somebody said this is the marriage verse and its verse.
Many blisters will know it's a verses magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt his name together. What's the purpose of marriage, a man leaves his father and mother cleave to his wife. The two become one, so that together we can magnify the Lord and exalt his name and we start to go. That's God's purpose for us getting married so that together we glorify him magnify him and exalt him. Now all of a sudden how my needs are being met or how your needs are being met. That's really secondary to the bigger question which is is God being exalted is he being magnified is he been glorified through us. And when you start to make that the priority in both of your focused on that.
It's so interesting how the little trivial stuff just kind of drops off license again, exactly, and I think Bob that's so good and that takes maturity and surrender to me when you start seeing Jesus and seeing that your plan for me but also for our Mary's changes things to take her eyes off of ourselves. You been listening to David and Wilson with Bob Lapine on family life to his book is called build a stronger marriage and will send you a copy when you give any amount email@example.com. Is it possible your current marriage problems are a result of past habits or maybe old feelings will Bob Lapine joined Steven and again tomorrow to talk about how to build a stronger marriage that's tomorrow on behalf of David and Wilson. I'm Shelby Abbott Lucy back next time for another edition of family life today.
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