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February 23, 2021 5:00 am
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Man 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've always dreamed for the first time I felt like my husband truly heard me. I received some great tools from the counselors of change my life and my marriage to begin the journey of finding health go to hope restored.com today today on Focus on the Family you'll hear a story about a marriage that seemed impossibly broken, but through a long separation there was finally healing and restoration. You'll hear how God brought this couple back together on John Fuller and your host is focused. President Jim Daly and thanks for joining us. You know I am positive the what you're about to hear will capture your attention and your hearts today and I'm also certain that for many couples, listening.
This will be exactly what God wants to talk to your heart about you might be in a marriage that's difficult. You might even be thinking about divorce or separation.
Today's program is going to be for you and I want to remind you right from the beginning that we have an outreach for couples and that such ration called hope restored one of the best things were doing her focus, and were doing a lot of good things we have several locations for couples who can benefit from this intensive counseling effort who yes may be on the brink of divorce hope restored has better than an 81% post to your success rate. So if you're struggling allow us to help you with resources and tools to help your marriage improve and our numbers 800 the letter a inward family.
If you just want to call right now. Let's go ahead and hear a great conversation with two guests Bill and Vicki Rose who know from experience how God can change heart and we spoke with them a while back and it's quite a story. Let's get started on today's episode of Focus on the Family welcome to Focus on the Family sound that is never this amazing organ unpack the story but you two have been married almost 40 years, and that says a lot. Right there, but there was turmoil and that I guess Vicki I want to turn to you and say what did that turmoil look like. Give us a little taste of what the difficulty was, and then will build the story from their well difficulty leading up to separating two young children aged one half and four. At that point I was terrified how I live alone how I raised two children by myself how I afford to do anything how I raised two children going back to work which I did just involved a lot of fear that now you both grew up in New York right in Manhattan. Yes, Bill, tell me about your background. What was it like growing up there and you're from a Jewish family both of you are from Jewish families to talk about your environment, what you know about marriage.
How committed. Were you to the process and the lifelong commitment laws soul and my parents have a really good marriage but my mom basically did everything to appeasement my dad there were 25 years difference in age. My dad never got married till he was 56 five and had me what it was 56. So clearly I was never spoiled and I had a great childhood growing up and my parents were culturally Jewish. There was no we never went to temple affect the only time that I ever went to Temple was my dad wanted to take the two World Series game which back that occurred during the high holy days and my mother said the only way he's missing school is your take an example. The morning so I want to temple dad and we want to see the Yankees play the Cardinals set what was the highlight of your day.
That day they will have a male hit a home run wanted to show so that's really is the weather game that you are a baseball fanatic played and that his greatest partier story. Yes Vicki let me hear from you in terms of your childhood and how you were growing up in Manhattan. You kinda hit your stride in your in the fashion industry right night. Riley's not close and so as I went to college I thought how can I turn that into something I can do for a living & saxophone Avenue is after eight years, starting in the day, starting as a salesgirl and working lacked to buyer, which is the goal in that environment. You both describe yourselves as type a people, but what does that look like as we get to know you better. What is type A for Vicki look like what was your day live life to the max make every hour count and I'm always right, and Bill had you feel about the first well she was never I don't know about that when I was my type A and I just I guess I like to be in control and I think that you like to be in control so we had to control people in the same environment when you got married, did you ever talk in your premarital days about this.
What attracted you to each other. Did you see something that made you think we could have something really special in this world with each other. We had none of that we we had no marriage counseling back in the dark ages 1977 that is aligned and we talk about anything. I was afraid you know about any of that and we just thought dating was fine and life was finally hung out with all these famous people and went to baseball games and sat down his box and acting like a great life and that was your current goal wasn't what I thought if I got married all these old childhood hurts and emptiness that had built up in my life would just go away.
Not hard with all that talk about that. What were you coming into adulthood and marriage with what was that what my baggage but when I was deftly baggage I got up and very strict and held my mother perfectionist had anger issues, and then when I was 18. A week before high school graduation she died I felt free in some ways, and that there is an emptiness that side to build and I didn't know what that lies. We didn't in my family we can know what talk about leaving Saddleback in 1971 there was no cancer care support groups at least that we knew about, so that is pushed aside and we went on life as usual well and John said that was a heavy thing and I went into marriage thinking everything will be fine once I get married on Sundays in a loving take care of me and that was really I thought about infecting your book. Every reason to believe you talked about your mom having you get on a scale way as part of the New York scene.
I think my mother came from a very small town in upstate New York how my Rashi's dissent is a better place to come from none to go to and see. I think she had a great insecurity now as I look back about being in you are getting somewhat of a social scene and set outward appearance is everything she wanted me to look perfect and be Fannin. Guess I was not out of the house and blue jeans, such as graywater pressure for you a lot of pressure and a lot of outside size doesn't matter what the inside ceiling case, you know, we were allowed to have feelings or cry and happy that you're coming from is really strong overindulged household sounds like Yankee fans all the way all the way and the talk about how you met these two type A personalities coming together. What was the scene like in which you met this young villain young Vicki. I was walking with a friend of mine Susan was John Schnell didn't forget and I do it one from the high school I went to New York and I saw this girl walk out of my parents building and I said to she's pretty cute 10 she is and he said I think her name is Vicki Gage I said how do you know that and he said because you know I want to be you.
She was she was at Pine Manor. They had run into each other.
So the last name sounded familiar, so I asked my mom to find out if she was related to Sue Gage who was a friend of my mom's turned out to be her niece and she said, but don't bother calling. She's going out with this like hippie guy from the village and so forget the whole thing saw dead and then a year later Sue Gage called back and said they broke up.
Have him call and let's tight nation traveling quickly right and that's that's what happens in the went out and did you fall in love.
Then there take time or what happened now is pretty quick. Are first date first first date I took me to this very fancy place anywhere call the club Pvt. dinner dancing place and it's not you are first met George Steinbrenner right was was in the club and then for second date. I took her to Ranger hockey game and then to the 21 club for dinner. So you're pretty impressed with what your needs were I was. I was a great day and I had been dating an artist starting artist window and I think that I so that was impressing is very impressed and then finally you pop the question, George Steinbrenner, the owner of the Yankees was that your wedding is that right was there was a small wedding to was what happened was a small wedding, partly because, well, when I was 10, my family was Jewish. We join a church that my dream had always been the church and I remember sitting with Billy and his family having a conversation about where our wedding would take place right after we had become engaged and his parents said there is no way you two are getting nine a church everyone taking as your Jewish and it would just be a total farce. So now we will not hear of it. And so we ended up having a small wedding in my father's living room. Now, how silly will, or his Yankee tie impressed you really where did it start getting rough. What happened was a year into it are quickly days. How did you realize okay we might be in a bit of trouble relationally. I would say within the first year my emptiness and my unhappiness and our differences.
We are so different. I love to go out and do things and I left like sports a lot on TV and sell as as that's enough. As we started having weekly both work all week and then we get to weekends and I want to go do something. And Billy was really happy watching sports on TV right and sell and also realizing that this wasn't the answer will let's talk about that because you mention it in your book.
There's just this need to have certain needs met and it wasn't there for you that was driving you to a conclusion that maybe he's the wrong guy. What it was driving me to the conclusion that I was really unhappy and maybe it was doing. Maybe it was. I wasn't sure but it was becoming clear to me that this thing that I thought would solve everything hadn't Vicki so many nights I would say men and women, but so many women are resonating with what you're saying because there expecting more in the relationship, then guys we tend to get away with not doing what we should do because we are all pretty comfortable watching sports on the weekend. Not everybody I know not everyone watches sports but talk about that Vicki what what was in your heart. What was really missing at that time and all the needs that you had that your expecting filter to meet what I have come to learn. Now, many, many, many years later and we had been married almost 40 years is that my has been, and anyone else's husband was not created to meet all my needs and and fill all my longings. Only Jesus Christ can do that and so putting my has been putting any has been in the position of being Savior is stuck in a work and he's good at analyzing to be disappointed if that's who I think he's supposed to be heading that manifests itself. My had to be more than just were not spending time on the weekends together. What were some other things were. Bill was not meeting that expectation started do this to Bill speaking for all guys at this point, but Vicki way. I think men struggle to understand hey, I can't be all that to you, not your girlfriend and we can understand any of that that we now understand a little better and our communication was. Not great.
We didn't know how to have a good fight. We didn't have to fight fair wages and I blamed him. He blamed mainly just clammed up and walked out. We we didn't have any tools we had no sound whatsoever into how to have a good marriage doesn't mean there's no disagreement and we also have misconceptions a good marriage doesn't mean there's no disagreement. A good match doesn't mean we agree about everything because we still doubt a lot of the time a good marriage means that we respect one another that we respect our differences, we work through our issues and were still doing that right at 40 almost 40 years.
We don't have it all figured out, but one thing I do know is that Bill is not meant to be everything for me and that's a real eye-opener. A lot of newlyweds need to understand and certainly remarried couples.
The sooner they understand that the healthier the relationship is going to be now the additional challenge you had as a young twentysomething couple was you didn't know the Lord you're not in a Christian context. This point you're in a very what sounds like a very worldly context you're living the high life here going out all the clubs and all of that. Could you see why the marriage wasn't working and what did you do well in. We separated in June 1986 separated we separated about five years after your marriage is 99 1/2 years after a nightly separated in 1982 separated for very short time.
Prior to that night and got back together not because we had any counseling or anything but just because one romantic night.
We got back together. Nothing really changed, but we let you know one thing that has always been constant is our love for each other. My love for you that's always been there. Yes, but you separated for a short time came back together. God was not in the picture, not in the picture, then then we went on to have children when our children were one and 1/2 and four we separated I had terrible addiction to cocaine and other things and I can live with that. Any longer and the emptiness and no relationship and it just it was just a mass chaos.
I owned a restaurant from sporting club, which was one of the top places in the country rated by USA Today, New York Times, and you would go there you be afraid not to go there because of who you might miss seeing me with every athlete that you can think of would come in person when they were visiting from out of town and because of the hours that I was spending there I get there around noon time probably get home around 45 in the morning and a lot of it was. There were drugs there women there and it was very easy to sit to succumb to both and bill it sounds like the emptiness. Vicki was describing earlier was certainly a felt in your life and you were trying to find some fulfillment in an things that didn't provide it was but I know that time I thought that these things were fulfilling and it took me a good 3 1/2 years of doing this before I started to realize the resisters how to be more out there you know really are. Hope today is to inspire people who are living in a similar place, it's not going to be the exact same place as Bill and Becky. But then, maybe in a similar place where they're not really living up to their potential in their marriage and they know it and we want to be able to provide that hope for you to inspire you to live each day better. And that's what we live and breathe to do her Focus on the Family so if you need help call us and we want to be there for you. I want to pick up Bill where you left off.
There because we talk to Vicki about what those needs were for her as a young newly married wife and what she was expecting from you so you got this thriving restaurant business in New York City. It's taking all of your time. What were your needs and were you running from something. Well, I don't know that I was running from something. It was a real power trip. This restaurant and I was caught up in the whole glamour of the athletes of the women in the drugs so I guess it was something I what I did was I put that before Vicki and before the marriage and I just thought this would make me happier. And as the years went on I realized I was just not the truth were so many people could fill in the blank with whatever they're doing, particularly men, whether set title whenever vocationally they're doing the not coming home at night because it's easier to be at the office. It's easier to earn the money and to justify time spent there.
Vicki at this time. Your single mom what that jungle look like for you. You're trying to sort out where do I go, what was your life like my life was completely around the kids and I also went back to work. A year after we separated I Macy's and tights.
Macy and Company is a corporate buyer so chaos increased as a nanny and I was running off to work every day to very young children, and so life is very chaotic and I didn't have any idea how to fix that right. I just kept running since Running to the next thing and during the season.
Vicki was was bill in your life at all loose was the separation such that you just lived your life, and he was he was out there are not part of any little of both Billy would come in once one night a week keeping McDonald's for the kids. And on that night was the night that I would be attending a 12-step meeting or have dinner with a friend and so we didn't have very much connection, except when we needed to talk something about the children. My life is so much about kids but also what whom I let my spouse to be doing now with my life. I husband's gonna separated were not divorced parents sat me down. My father and stepmother sat me down when one evening and said we saw Billy to restaurant with another girl and he can have an easy time finding someone you're not sure one that you have two children and said that really blew me away.
I didn't feel very much like parental support, and I know what I can do with myself. I didn't. I was just my brain was circling around and around and around all the time when I do and I can find another husband somebody to help me raise these kids, how may I do this because I really didn't know how to raise the children in a context where did you turn to sell a couple of friends decided that set me up with the date patents and so I went out and actually my mother-in-law encouraged me to have an affair.
She said that would make everything better. So I did and it deftly didn't and I realize at that point that that was deathly not the answer. One of these other dates that someone fix me up with lines of cocaine and this was back in the late 80s when people still thought that was a fun thing to do and test ID not to Vicki word of the Lord begin to enter into this does not living with you got two young kids did you all of a sudden wake up and say we need more God in our life now and the day after we separated I started attending 12 step program and enough you're familiar with it, but you through the process of the steps it talks about prayer, meditation, and having a higher power and so I started to pray and I had growing up in the church I started to go back to the church even though it wasn't a Bible teaching church patents year and half into our separation. I was invited to a dinner party by Mrs. Arthur S Thomas Nancy Lee Demoss is New York in New York City that the Waldorf-Astoria is a beautiful gold inscribed invitation that arrived, said Mrs. Arthur S. Demoss invites you to meet here secretary of the interior and his wife Donald and Barbara Odell here about Christianity in the world today. In the lower corner of invitation it's had black tie here.
I am a single mom with not much to do in a friend who worked for Mrs. Demoss had sent me this invitation and so accepted I said I'm going to just up and go out and have fun night and in fact I had an amazing night because I heard the gospel presentation at night and God had prepared my heart through working for these 12 steps and prayer, and I heard that God loves me and have plans for my life that I was separated from God by what the Bible calls sin, having killed anyone, including my husband and I would like to have that.
It was explained to me that sin was anything like worry gossiper fear and I knew I qualified and said that God loves me not to separated from him that that Jesus Christ was God's only provision for man's sin including mine that his shed blood provided the atonement, the forgiveness for all my sins and simply wait was offered that we could just receive him. They told us it says in the Bible to those who receive and he gives the right to become children of God. And so that night at that dinner party with 900 people in the grand ballroom of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
I prayed and asked Jesus Christ to take over my life to make me the person he created me to be. That's exciting is the Baxter in the course gone to her on the board of Focus on the Family years after this, and eventually was the interim president after Dr. Dobson step down from that role before I was appointed in that role.
So Don and his late wife Barbara have been terrific friends of Focus on the Family yeah and we got to meet with them to a three or four times after that dinner and we visited them couple times so they been so dear to us because what they spoke that night and there story had things in it fit matched my story you know this is really intriguing and we got to the point where were talking about how the Lord has kept you on the shoulder.
Vicki stood up bill whose doing cocaine and other things in the restaurant and you not clean in this either. You know you got your issues that you been dealing with and this is where people connect because if I could be so bold your guys's lives were a mess and spiritually speaking.
Everything I want to come back and talk about that and how the Lord began to innocence. Clean your heart and clean your house and I think people really we come back and talk about that. What a conversation with Bill and Vicki Rose on today's episode of Focus on the Family and I'm sure that you've connected with them at some level, as you've heard them sharing their story that's captured in Vicki Rose's book. Every reason to leave and why we choose to stay together. It's an excellent book conspiring in their true story is written from Vicki's perspective. It offers a lot of the scriptures that helped carry her through the tough times. Please request that book when you get in touch with us and will send that to you for a gift of any amount to Focus on the Family that we encourage you to support the ministry monthly. If you can do that if you're inspired by what God is doing through the ministry to help save marriages and many other things. I hope you will be a part of it. And if you're only able to make a one-time gift right now. We still will send the book as our way of saying thank you also, when you call if you need help in your marriage, you can request a consultation with one of our counselors absolutely free ticket manager that or find out more about hope restore the intensive marriage program that we mentioned, the top program donate and get help by calling our number 800 232-645-9800 K work-family or look for the links in the Epson on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team on John Fuller inviting you back next time.
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