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Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
March 9, 2021 5:00 am

Identifying Triggers in Your Marriage (Part 2 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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March 9, 2021 5:00 am

Based on their book "Marriage Triggers," Amber and Guy Lia discuss common, everyday things – from house cleaning and backseat driving to workaholism and lack of intimacy – which can provoke anger and tension in marriage. Our guests explain how couples can identify those 'triggers' and deal with them in a healthy way. Jim Daly's wife, Jean, joins the conversation. (Part 2 of 2)

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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 today. The Lord eventually started Amber you arm is all wrong and he's Mr. wrong because nobody is perfect. There is no perfect person, except for Jesus Christ and sell that's what I had to come to let you know what we need about God did bring us together. He is wrong I'm wrong because were two people that are simple, we need to yield to being perfected in Christ day by day will guide you and Amber Leah are back with us today on Focus on the Family hostess Jim Daly on John Fuller and Linda continue to help you find more peaceful existence with your spouse. Tamp down those conflicts that Jim unfortunately, from time to time for America. They do talk about that last time I thought it was a very fun, but it was due to it had great content.

If you didn't hear her program was time to get the download that will be up on your smart phone, go to the focus website. You can listen there.

There's a verse in Romans that catches my attention. If it's possible the verse says as far as it depends on you, live in peace with everyone now. I don't know that we always think about the verse in the context of our spouses, but that would be the first place to apply it right live in peace with your spouse.

If that describes where you're at, may be not at peace with your spouse and you need to be at peace with your spouse today's programs before you because God's mercies are new every morning and as you listen to the days program, I'd encourage you to surrender your marriage in your heart to the Lord in this area of your life and guy and Amber are some great guests. As Jim said the last conversation we had with them was wonderful on the relationship coaches their TV production professionals.

They written a book called marriage triggers exchanging spouses angry reactions for gentle biblical responses great deal and that we do have, of course, the book here at the ministry give us a call if you'd like a copy engine we should mention that your wife Jean has joined. I think it's very brave of you to my mouth. Now it's great to have Jean with this welcome Jean think you people yes only people love it when you're here, so thanks for saying yes guide Amber thanks for being back with let's kick off today Amber with your love language should something Gary Chapman is the author of the love language book he's been on focus many times is a great friend and that you identify with words of affirmation, Jean. I think you would agree with that for you right short of affirmation or love language but you describe guys pretty much pathetic in that delivery mechanism affirmation right as I forgot, I think, just to be honest, Jean might agree with Amber to delivering love language Jean affirmed that his room the gross Amber described that area were. This is how you communicate that's your Chapmans conviction on this is everybody's wired with a certain communication style things that affirm your heart. Words of affirmation what from your heart with firms Jean's heart had a guy what you damaging your ready I'll come to you about how I've let you down. Chapmans Street was profoundly impacting on me early on in his early days of our marriage because it gave me a concrete understanding of why some of these triggers were also taking it vantage of our relationship because we were not beating each other but early on, especially when I recognize that my love language was words of affirmation is really acts of service. Yes, I'm in the kitchen was smart, but he was loving me so dry and put it away still excellent but I was just starving for affection and I couldn't understand why he wouldn't get with the program and sounds you ever talk that out you ever sit down to his book is the first book that was given to me by my wife triggered for so long that we could get to the point where we were doing really well for one another, giving each other what each other needed crisis where I just said I have to either do something radically different or tomorrow just like today and because my efforts in trying to fix my husband and be his Holy Spirit voice were not working.

I knew the only person I can control is myself and sell. I just started with what I really think important. Underestimated prayer is Lord I'm not sure what to do but I know that you know what to and sell I'm just going to be an open book. I need you to just cleanse me and show me what to do think that because I don't know what to do like it's in your hands. I ironically had to situations where you see your wife walked by you and you think to yourself how she looks absolutely stunning but it stays in me and doesn't come out of my mouth because for some reason I just wasn't purposeful about getting that out and telling her what I was thinking in those moments, and that's what she needed. She wanted to hear those things.

I appreciate you appreciate what you did yesterday. Those kind of things and I just and verbalize it. So I found myself having to schedule in my calendar twice a day. I would do a reminder in my calendar that just said think Amber and it would pop up would be a quick reminder of my blackberry at the time and it would just say that it would be purposeful for me to call her and say something or to remember and they did all the time, but I needed a prompt to like remind myself that she needed something that was okay for me it didn't remove the meaningfulness because at least he was working towards, and Amber guy you make a statement in the book were you're identifying a question that God often puts on both of your hearts during arguments and misunderstandings is really spiritually sensitive that you can hear the Lord is your arguing that's better than me. I usually have to come down okay Lord, I'm sorry I didn't mean to say that I love what it is. Do you want to win the argument or do you want love when that is a beautiful starting point and one that most of us couples just blow by and when you get to a place of brokenness and you think I don't know what to do, but I need you to show me he will show up for you.

You can always count on God to either tear he hears our prayers. He hears the ache in your heart that you can't even put into words and that's why lessons I remember very being at a point where I and I were in an argument and I just remember this thought that came into my mind. Amber, do you want to win, or do you want love to link because in if you want to keep winning this argument tomorrow just like today and you're not living life to the full November. The thing about that. It sounds right and true and everybody just went that would be good, but then you gotta do it.

And that's the hardest part. Why, I guess. Two questions. One, why do we have that hesitancy. What becomes the obstacle in doing what is so right. It's because were not living out Colossians 312 to 14 and at least for me that was trail which says put on a compassionate heart with kindness, meekness, patients and it says to bear with one another.

Right which means we can have to bear with each other's through some of these triggers, and it also says be forgiving of one another as Christ has forgiven you on what that looks like is me taking a deep breath instead of starting again and literally I would stop. We got to the practice of stopping in the middle of the wrong words and saying I'm upset. I recognize that I didn't mean to really say that. And I want to not say anything further that can be damaging.

Let's take a break for a minute and go take a breather so we can calm down and have a conversation outside of conflict and we just got good at giving ourselves permission to do that and they just take spiritual maturity is not the point. The point for us all of our relationships to be not being refined yet this life is not on if we start thinking lots just about healing the marriage. It's not just about healing the marriage. This is about an eternal report. This is about living and becoming more like Christ and that's our endgame so we need to start doing things differently than we've been doing and we need to be radical in our commitment to saying let's stop. Let's take a break. Let's put each other first.

And let's be forgiving each other, just like Christ gave us and then we gotta start saying and doing things well I think you're saying exactly what I believe is the purpose of marriage.

You know the whole culture.

The orientation that we have is when am I getting out of this almost like a contract is so obvious that the Lord said, listen on creating this institution so you can become more like me scary because that description is selfless giving time loving and learning to serve one another, which is not natural right works against our flesh, but what the Lord wants. I think that is the whole answer to why marriage white well well you tell people if it feels like the death of you to yield in that moment, then you're in the right place as it should be exactly right, just south of view that the right place to be and it's so helpful just to pause to give permission to pause, not try to solve the problem in the moment when the heat is going. Stepping back is been so helpful for us and I hope is your watching and listening along here you're finding a lot of great handles to grab onto for your relationship.

This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. We got going. Amber Leah here with us as our guests in Jim Daly as well, going Amber have a book marriage triggers exchanging spouses angry reactions for gentle biblical responses. That's what were talking about right here and I want to make sure you get a copy of this book. Just give us a call 800 a family or click the link in the episode notes let me transition will go to something that really caught my attention in the book. There's a point you said in your marriage when you realize you didn't have a foundation of friendship okay I believe most married people are leaning in right now. When they first because there are seasons in marriage when you don't feel close. It's busy, it's kids, it's a Littles runner on on everybody's time but I guess the first question is what made you realize that I don't have a foundation of friendship with my spouse and what that looked like like at one point, I think you know, just like you.

You said you get so caught up in all of the demands and the things that are happening, you shift your focus from being a married young married couple who are very good friends to suddenly everything shifts to the care of the kids care of parents care of your career. All of these other things in the friendship slowly becomes the last thing that you get to because everything else feels important and so we didn't we stop dating. We stopped having time for ourselves when we would go out to parties we always had kids with us, you know, and it just the opportunities to continue to build a friendship became less and less and less, and so we had to decide that in order for everything else to flourish.

We have to redevelop our friendship and find ways to build out again and it just has fed into all of the other areas of her life. So, if you found to be the best way to do that. What comes to my mind to spend time together do things together. Zephyr yes absolutely cute. We are firm believers that you have to set aside time and it doesn't have to be a big weekend away. Or a big crazy steak dinner. It can be coffee in our time together. You can be an hour at Starbucks just to say how are you and have a couple and it's amazing what that our can do every week. Let me let me ask you this for the wife. Just picture someone in your mind, wife or husband who saying I hear what you guys are talking about, but I don't feel like my spouse wants friendship with me.

What recommendation do you have the desert feeling that I getting any response and maybe they're using the wrong tactics that might be. But what what would you say that individual so I'm in trouble when you get to the point where you don't really like each other because the friendship has stated it's difficult to have the emotional energy to want to even be together in this kind of moments, self early on in one of those early conversations we had was we need to simply fake it till we make it for a little bit because we know that putting in place some time for one another and to do things that we used to do that we no longer do that work fine for us to get there we have to start putting things back in place and trust the process that we are going to rekindle those emotions and feelings of friendship.

At some point. It is really important.

One of the little bit because what you're saying is go through the motions when you don't feel it because your feelings will catch up with the right actions.

That's right because not lying. There is just doing the right thing absolutely we do a lot of parenting missing one of the things I tell moms and rough day to stop and smile start smiling now. If the kids are getting to you. Just stop. It's not just active, smiling scientifically read the impact on your on your thinking on your mindset and it's the same even if it's something that you're trying together. You know, find some common ground that you both is new territory the event that make that time be purposefully intentional really structured in our calendar like like life has a chokehold on you. Your schedule has a chokehold on you then you have to remove that chokehold and very purposeful ways. We are intentional to planned downtime in our calendar weeks we have time where it's just nothing is planned and we don't let anything in That so We Can Just Relax at Home Even a Not Have Something to Do All the Time, but Also Know We Color-Coded Our Calendar yet. Here's Things for the Kids.

Here's Things from School Hears Things Better Work That Is Organized Now and Were We Run Three Businesses. We Homeschool Everything Together, so We're Not Talking about like I Work and She's a Home. We Both Have Crazy Crazy Schedules like It's a Challenge, yet I Hear That and That Applies If You Guys Can Do It, Others Can Let Me Go to the Spiritual Side of This in the Last Few Minutes That We Have Here. This Is One of the Big Triggers We Hear from Couples. A Lot Of Wives to Disappointment, but They Feel like Their Husbands Are Leading There Not Taking That Spiritual Leadership Role and It's Frustrating and the Wife Is Hard to Not Have Some Expectations and so I Guess That Would Be the Question What You Say to the Spouse Who Is Struggling with That Wife Was Struggling with the Lock of Her Husband Doing What He Should Be Doing to Be the Spiritual Leader of the Home Spiritual Leadership Issue Is One I Had No Idea What so, until I Started Being Transparent about That in Our Own Marriage Just about Everybody. A Lot Of People Struggle with That and so I Got Really Caught up in My My Kind of Growing up Mindset of What a Spiritual Leader Would Look like and Then Really Was Putting on Guy and You Guys on His Own Spiritual Path, and so Am I and so We Had to Allow Room for One Another to Be Who We Are in Christ and for the Holy Spirit to Work on Us, so It Didn't Mean That We Could Have Conversations about That but Were Supposed to Spur One Another on toward Love and Good Deeds. So What That Means Is, It Doesn't Mean That I Has To Lead a Bible Study. Over Dinner Every Night. This Expectation That I Had That He Was in a Command Spiritual Leadership Looks like. Hand Taking the Bible Verse for the Month That Our Kids Are Going to Memorize and He Can Come up with a Cool Song so They Memorize It Today Is My Strength.

I Just Put That on Diet and Self. I Became Very Judgmental of Him and That's Not a Good Place to Be Tonight and I into the Relationship, Feeling This Way Because Amber We Both Have Grown up in Christian Homes but Ever Literally Studied, You Know, Is Very Different Experiences and so My Faith, I Think, Tends to Come a Little More in When I'm with the Kids, Hiking, and I Can Make Things Very Real to Them Spiritually When I Can Have Conversations with Them on a One-To-One Basis.

I May Not Sit down in Have the Family Bible Study, but I Pour into Them in the Way That I Can Connect with Them and It's a Very Different Ways. You Pressure Coming from.

Oh, Absolutely, without a Doubt, but I Never Felt like I Could Ever Do That Because I Always Felt like She Would Criticize Me or I Can Never Do the Right Thing or I'm to Do the Wrong Verse. I Just Really Wanted to like This May Be the 20 Role. I Think 8090% of Us Husbands Feel This for Gina and I That Was It. She and I Think You Can Speak to This but Being a Biology Major, and She Wanted a Very Traditional Devotion with the Family. After Dinner I Much We Have Boys Daughters That Might Work, but You Boys We Got Got the Backyard and Roll around in the Hurt Me I'm under King Saul. That Really Was My My Approach to Integrating Faith into Everyday Life. And I Think That Is Typical of Husbands Were Looking for, like Driving Them to School. We Talk about Progress. Have Them Read a Proverb As I Was Taking School but She Wasn't Seeing That and I Think You Know You Gave Her the Sense That I Never Talk about the Lord with the Boys and That Was Inaccurate and It Is Judgmental Amber You Use That It Is Absolutely and That to Think That We Have It All Right That We Know Exactly How It Should Be Done Running down with That Devotion Rushing from It Because One of the Things I've Noticed with Mom's Particulars of Fear and Control Component Were Very Difficult Culture Where the Cultures Grabbing Architects and Telling You Know about Sex and about Other Things and It Scares Us and I Think Moms Particularly Really Deeply Feel That Threat. And so I Think It's Born Out Of a Good Place to Compensate for the Messaging. The Kids Are Receiving the Culture in the Right Route. How We Do That Effectively Is If Your Wagon, Your Finger Is This on.

It's Really about Letting Each Person's Spiritual Strength.

He Spiritual Strengths and If I Had Continued to Place My Expectation of What Spiritual Leadership Should Look like. On Him We Would All Be Missing out on.

I so Appreciate That. That's a Good Word for. Again, I Think Moms Particularly Have Those Concerns. Husbands Are off the Hook.

That's Don't Get That Metal Here We've Got to Be Engaged. We Need to Be Engaged, You Need to Be Dad and Talk about the Lord in Those Contexts That Fit You and Amplify the Lord's Work in Your Life.

We Are Right near the End Amber God and We've Taken a Mostly Lighthearted Approach to These Things but There's Been Depth to What We Talked about.

I Always Say, You Know, It's Hard to Cover All the Content in This Workbook People's Need to Get the Book and They Can Read It and Highlighted and Underlined It but There Was a Night I Want to Make Sure We Capture This Thursday Night When You're Fighting Got so Bad in Some Couples, We Can Identify with This Because They're There Right Now but You Amber Considered Leaving Your Marriage. What Happened That Night and What Helped You to Turn the Corner of the Two Well I Recognized That I Would Get up Every Personal Happiness for the Sake of My Kids like I Would've Stayed in My Marriage. I'm Happy Just to Try to Give My Kids Some Semblance of Security, but That Wasn't Really Working Because I Remember Very Distinctly the Lord Speaking to My Heart and Saying I Am Not Creating You to Settle for Less Than God's Best for Less Than My Best for You.

I Did Not Design or Bring You Together to Just Navigate through Life and Soldiers through and Try to Keep Peace. That's a False Peace by Just Not Arguing Any More. I Came to Give Life to the Full Energies Assess and so I Recognize That Week. I Could Not at That Point Allow Satan to Win and to Fracture Us and to Overtake Us.

Buyer Triggers and Sell. I Just Came to the Point of Great Humility and Saying Hard and It Was Totally the Lord Because When You're at That Point and You Just Think That It's Hopeless.

It's a Very Dark Place to Be, but Because We Had Children and I Think A Lot Of Couples Feel This Way They Want to Keep That Marriage Intact and so I Just Made a Decision on and Actually I Remembered Our Wedding Vows. Dionysus Said on the Day That We Got Married and People Kinda Guffawed at the Thought of What We Were Saying, but We Said out Loud to Each Other. I Will Not Divorce You. And so We'd Said That Because We Knew There Would Be Challenges and We Wanted to Hear and Really the Fact That We Had Said That and I Think A Lot Of Couples Obviously Are. That's the Intention When You Get Married Is That You, till Death Do Us Part. But We Wanted to Say It out Loud so That When Those Nights, like the One I Wanted to Just Go on. We Would Remember What We Said and Continue to Fight for One Another, As Opposed to with Each Other Because If Were so Busy Fighting Each Other. We Are Powerless to Fight the Good Fight to Fight the Better Fight and That's What I Realize I Realize That If I Walked Away Today.

I Will Not Be Fighting the Good Fight Anymore with Him and God Can Make Away If He Is the God of Yesterday Today and Forever. And He Is Unchanging, Then There's Nothing That's Impossible with Him and He Can Bring Us Back Together Again and It Does Take Intentionality Back When You Come to That Point We Really Are Prayerful That You Will Consider That Your Triggers Are Not the End of Your Story and That There Is an Opportunity for Help and for Growth and Were Living Your Perspective on You. I Just Totally Agree. Amber Made a Comment One Time about There Is Nothing That Anger Can Do That Love Cannot Do Better and for Me That Really Says Settled, You Know, for Me, and in Those Moments When I'm Feeling Anger.

I It Just Pops into My Mind and I Just Remember This Is Not What the Lord Has in Store for Me and I Control the Ship and Ike I Have To Make a Decision Right Here to Love Her Better, Even If It's Not What I Want in This Moment Because I Know That That's What's Best and You Alluded to That Scripture and It Was the First Scripture That I Was Given As a New Christian and 15 John 1010 the Thief Comes to Steal, Kill and Destroy. But I've Come That You Might Have Life and Life More Abundantly. And That's in Every Area That's What's Amazing about That Scripture It's about Your Marriage. It's about Your Relationships, the Enemy of Our Soul Is on the Prowl, and He Wants to Take down Your Relationship, Especially If You're a Christian Because It Credits Him in so Many Different Ways and That's Why We Need to Be on Guard and Know Who the Enemy Is Dreamlike. You Said and Then Fight for What God Wants for Us. This Been Great. Let Me Say to the Listener. There's a Couple of Things That Focus Has for You. One Is a Free Marriage Assessment Tool We've Had over a Million People Take This and It Just Points out What You're Doing Well and What You Can Work on and I Think What Amber and Guy Have Talked about Last Couple Days Would Be a Critical Area of Work for You If Your Marriage Is Worded Needs to Be Right Now. Know What Your Triggers Are What Your Spouse's Triggers Are. There's Also for That Couple Who's Really Struggling. This Is the Tuneup Situation That Couple That Is Thinking of Divorce. Let Me Encourage You to Contact Us about Her Hope Restored Marriage Intensive Program. I Said Last Time. It Has an 81% Posterior Success Rate, Meaning We Go Back to This Couples Two Years Later, 81% of Them Are Doing Better and Are Still Married and It's an Incredible Four Day Experience. That's the Typical Intensive and I Think If You're in That Spot. Call Us Because You Need That Kind of Help to Communicate Better with Your Spouse. Most Importantly, Get the Book Marriage Triggers As I Said Last Time Will Send It to You. Just Let Us Know That You Needed If You're Able to Join Our Team of Monthly Supporters Want to Send a Copy of Leah's Great Book As Our Way of Saying Thank You and If You Can Afford It, We Understand, Just Let Us Know and We'll Get It to You.

We Believe in the Cause of Marriage and What It Means to the Kingdom to Have a Healthy Good Thriving Marriage in Christ and All You Need to Do Is Contact Us. Our Heart Really Is to Help You Wherever You're at and or Numbers 800 K in the Word Family Were Stopped by the Episode Notes the Link Is Right There for You Guys.

Amber, Thank You so Much for Being with Us Really Appreciate It. It's Only Centrally. It's Great to Have You in Here.

I Always Enjoy Having Her Well. Thank You for Having Me Love Being Here and Be Sure to Join Us Next Time for Some Simple Ideas from Boldly Living for Christ. No Matter What Your Life Situation but We Said Whatever God Puts Us Just Deeply Desire Uses That Whoever Is Nearest with the Trailer Park Neighborhood to Say God Could You Let Your Light Shine Natural Ways Half of Jim Daly and the Entire Team.

Thanks for Joining Us. Focus On The Family I'm John Fuller Inviting You Back Once More Help You and Your Family Drive When a Woman Discovers Her Husband Struggled. She Needs a Practical Plan. The Latest Book from Focus On The Family Aftershock but Professional Counselor Joanne Conti Will Help You through the Seven Steps of Self-Care and Learn How to Deal with the Emotions Involved in the Discovery of Your Husband's Addiction.

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