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Thriving in the Early Years of Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
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September 8, 2021 6:00 am

Thriving in the Early Years of Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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September 8, 2021 6:00 am

Bill and Pam Farrel explain how the first five years of marriage can be the best of times, or the worst of times, depending on how the couple approaches communication and conflict. With humor and personal examples, they explain the differences between men and women, and the danger of addictions, such as videogames, which rob time from the relationship. (Part 1 of 2)

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Best thing about being a newlywed fact that you never have to leave the person that got here at last present the best thing for us is experiencing life in a new way in the new chapter with companions and with my best friend alongside me doing my thing about being newly married for me is having someone help with the artwork because I hate mowing the lawn from the romantic to the practical will be talking with Bill and Pam Farrell today about how to make the most of those early years of your marriage. Welcome to Focus on the Family with your host focus. President Jim Daly I'm John Fuller, Jon. I love those comments from newlyweds because it is such a special time for young couple, but it can also be fraught with a lot of emotional landmines and were coming back to a really great interview with Bill and Pam Farrell about this critical time in a relationship and we wanted to air it again because it was so helpful. Bill and Pam do such a great job of sharing their highs their lows from their marriage and they really offer some wise advice about dealing with various situations and I as we jump into the content. Jim once you repeat a story that you told the ferrules it the beginning of our time together about the first nine months of your marriage to Jean. Well we had a really unique situation and I don't know if I'd recommend it to anybody. We went on a nine month working honeymoon as the technical team for a drug and alcohol prevention program at high schools across the United States. I think 17 states, so we traveled from school to school, town to town and put on this production and course we were together all the time 24 seven.

It was just the two of us. So when we were done for the day. Jean, the introvert would say now I'm going to the grocery store to pick up a few things to say is the extrovert hey lets go together.

She feel like I know that that's okay.

I just need a little time my she just wanted a long time. I get that good news is that you have worked through that kind of thing you been married for what over 30 years now and I think 35 actually. So I think you know I figured it out soon enough. And I gotta say those early years are so critical in understanding one another and that that's going to be the focus of Bill and Pam's book called the first five years. Make love investment that lasts a lifetime.

It really is an excellent resource for any younger couples. So get your copy. We got the link in the show notes. Let's go ahead now and I get into this Focus on the Family conversation with the ferrules and they really want to hear more about this working honeymoon. Welcome back to Focus on the Family me back with you and I those trip to the store read over lengthy shopping trips right through the hall, just like I was feeling rejected my life for weeks or months.

Love may want to be alone.

Why would you want to be alone extrovert. I love people and he needs to burn our relationship. I get that there's times I just need a break in the action to regroup but it did you know this a good place to start because it did really rock our world a little, but we didn't have the maturity to even talk about this kind of had questions and point because we own a marriage, assuming the other person is like us and knows us completely yet has the same needs has the same approach to life has the same way recovery likes to do a lot of the same things just look different than we, and once you get married you start to realize why I really did marry somebody different than me is said to check another app we need that complement let's talk about that big question which is what is God's design for marriage and why do it this way you know when that opening line on the first five years.

Your marriage is your unique creation team, your God brought you together for a reason. I have seen and if you really believe that God brought you together as a married couple for a reason bigger reason that my personal happiness, and I like to hear if you feel like no purpose here and we are called the teams can accomplish that purpose. I'm willing to put up with a lot of season Bill and vice a versa.

He's willing to put up with Stephanie because were called to make it to France as a team is something noble about that but how do you is that early, you know, newly married couple, you find that kind of wisdom because you're you know you're younger you haven't had life's experiences. The way of the two of you.

How long have you been married 3434 years so you guys have had a lot of you know a lot of life's experiences you've learned. You've written books about how to how to create a marriage that works but again if Jean and I were 25 talk to that person about how to find that foundation because what you said Pam with probably 80% of that groups interact yeah I'm not happy today. What's wrong with that ungodly family and I grasp this purpose that God's comment together for a reason and one that wasted course. He grabbed great mentors you have a host of mentors, not just L&I, but they were smart.

I think I'll get mentors and on one of the things that they learned is unique about us. You know I am a strength college and we met around athletics and sell Fellowship of Christian athletes is a good place for us to be plugging as a newlywed couple like what's unique about us. They stopped to ask that question and are starting to find their way as ministry couple at night and so it's fine to see them figure out who they are when they got married a part of their balance was they wanted to be strong is a strength coach.

He was late, so they wanted a strong and said just knowing that word reflects who they are a fun thing to have hanging in your house. You know what word would describe as I live that is ideal, but I think young couples learned by asking other people because we really expect young couples to have the wisdom you're talking about you.

We live in a really distinct magic you reach the right person and suddenly just know how to do all things as Pam and I discovered by accident that you really learned this from other people because we got there we both came from homes that were not real healthy right and we didn't want to repeat that and we had heard.

If you focus on what you don't want to be you will become that while okay but where to go from there, lost in the process. I was enamored with Pam.

I thought she was most beautiful thing ever hit the face of years. I like well I hope loves enough diseases also set up really straight, but beyond that, I have no idea what I'm supposed to do here. Let's turn it back. We gotta connect with a little bit of real here first five years of your marriage get away with the story that I know about.

I want others to hear the you have a humorous Christmas story.

What happened after I had a second reception reading and so I went back to my hometown and we're staying with my mom and my grand parents give it this wonderful party and Bill Mack probably 70 relatives below from having four people he was related to to like 74 people in one day. A lot of my failures very nicely because my mom was afraid of people and my dad broke with his mom broke with her so the family so we didn't do relatives and I'm so we are getting ready to go to the big family Christmas thing. I really innocuous statement asking about which shoes I should wear everybody in my family game and my mom and shoes. And right now I'm trying not bad because I thought my mom and I knew I needed so Bill came in okay in my mom's like she was where he/she was no question in my mind were doing this over.

She I'm smart enough to know don't say anything right now is your young man of unusual when I wasn't smart you, what would be the most helpful, but every fiber of my being is saying all this is a simple subject of leaving and cleaving. It's a good one.

It's one of the most difficult things that a young married couple experiences and the need to get it right and your example of the right thing for the man to do is a good example. Let's hear clip from another worried person about what to do.

My mother drives me crazy because she calls my husband every single day just to chat and I just wish them. I don't talk to me that much, and so it's really frustrating for me because I feel like he talks to her more than he wants to talk to me so what am I really supposed to do about setting this kind of boundaries with T9 relationship. While I mean there's a big one that is describe what would you say to the young married woman what her true feelings were not that the mother-in-law calls and talks all the time it was. I wish my husband would talk to me that much.

That's the real statement of what has to happen there. How does she begin to address this with her husband. What does she need to say how does she need to say so that it doesn't alienate her from her mother and my best advocate.

In most cases, such as an adjustment that needs to be made and that this is a conversation with her husband before it just builds up into resentment and explodes in an ugly way in an argument like you know me only love you mom and yeah that's all that and sell if she could simply sit down and say okay value your mom. She's made you a wonderful godly man and I so appreciate the fruit of wet your pants and put in your life so long for more time with you and how can we work it and it seems like you have a natural way of talking with your mom several times now a day for us to figure out what look like in our new relationship.

So can we sit down and figure out how we can connect on a really good level with our time together and you know when you come with an attitude that's not against anybody else, but for all of us usually will turn into a winning conversation.

If we start blaming that then fireworks go off. You know, it points to something that is so true marriage. I've said this many times when you look at marriage to me that this life is a metaphor for the spiritual life what God intends for us so we could have created a way that we could reproduce without anybody else right to the animal and insect do it, but he decided no input to people together and are going to really rub the selfish of each other. It's almost like God is wanting us to learn something very godly through our union as man and woman in one of the signs of selflessness and what I hear you saying that Pam is how she can uphold the value of her mother-in-law in their relationship, but teacher husband how to connect with her and it's so critical. So often when we get bumped what's in spews out and we haven't prepared ourselves in a godly way in the spiritual way reading the word ugly things can come out what your point is so well taken Jim because we love to teach about selflessness. We like to talk about selflessness will actually like to be self and marriage forces selflessness upon us because it's a hard answer to this young wish jobs he cares about her marriage.

She obviously wants to have a really strong relationship with her husband, but the hard message to her is she needs to not compete with her mother-in-law that her job is to captivate her husband not compete with her mother-in-law if she falls in the trap and try to change his behavior. She's in a position she cannot control and it reminds me of a story that actually led to the first chapter in our book the first five years we would call get in the game because this guy brought his wife into my office and obviously cared about his relationship cared about the marriage, but he felt attracted so many people fall into. He set her down to my office and started telling her who she said honestly you between all of us intellectually. He was probably correct on a lot of things. They were probably something she needed to change. But he was probably saying some of the right things but the way he was saying it has taken it one work so speaking truth without love yeah and I'm proud to have a breakthrough.

The sky and I knew he was in the sport. So I finally just stopped most of you know what you even in the game you like that guy that sitting in the stands yelling at the referee yelling at the coach on the field so you got your decision to make you the latest to decide you don't want the game at all, or you can learn how to be a true husband died. So get out here and you call me again if you want to get the game while I'm not sure what's can happen at this point, but two weeks later he called me said okay but I wanted you, and came back to my office and I was still how to do this, so would you teach me how to be a husband and that was the attitude turned her whole marriage around from having divorce papers T you're onto something here, Bill and Pam that I think we should explore a little bit more and that is those natural differences you I was. I found them so endearing much alike are some here and we have an audio clip the kind of explains a little bit of difficulty that we have encountering those in really embracing those differences right so my wife comes up to me and she super emotional and she just starts talking to me about these things.

I have no idea where she's going with the conversation and I try to help her out by providing solutions, but she said she just gets mad at me. How do I deal with that. So what's the difference in how does he approach that he yeah we women tend to be very verbal, jumping from subject to subject to subject in rapidfire black got its Tylenol because of a couple like this man came up to Bill and my wife and I think she's broken three absolute rigorously came in. She's probably the most verbal woman I met to this day. He looked at her and went go ahead and say she talks from subject to subject to subject to subject to subject for 55 straight minutes and when halfway through that he looked like.

This is what I think something is wrong with her, she just goes on all the bills that you just need to listen so he taught him some active listening skills, and so she hopped from subject to subject for 55 minutes and then she leaned back and she said to me okay so find Mike's copy. You said that when man travel and make connections and if I make spaghetti and what you know word were done for today but will mean a couple weeks ullage and my boys were making toaster waffles in between those two. I think that might work because I was looking for a guy way to explain this guys like food, so I figured it probably would work and I explained that admin compartmentalize her thinking we would like to break life down to one issue at a time. As labor problem solvers of the guy said I want to give her solutions. That's a sincere motivated response from a guy we really do want to give solutions we want to break things down. Given answer. Create a plan to move forward and be her rock that's our brain chemistry us. We want to do and so I explained it to this couple and I told her if it's his turn to talk this week. You cannot change subjects and it was really hard for her but six times that we had to stop and you can't go that it's not the subject acted as box right and so will we get married we don't realize that we've married somebody very different in us that we have to learn new communication skills but in your first five years of marriage. How both the man and the woman learn to complement this rather than critique it and criticize it. How does a really hard probably creates the greatest amount of conflict because you not communicating and you start shutting down what I remember sitting in her living room were having a nice conversation and I said something to this day I still can't tell you what it is that I said but I got this incredible reaction from him, she's jumped out of her chair and ran to our bedroom and follow me as I can remember is what is what what just happened and what am I supposed to do like my dad never told me marriage is like this one guys that you run Forrest run and I was were a lot of guys are like what do I do now like to seduce emotional outburst and in my mind I'm thinking do I follow her into the bedroom and try to repair this or should I sit here in the living room and outlast this behavior that looks really bad to me. Maybe she just needs space I'm totally guessing wrong either. What I learned.

That was one time I stayed back. Why didn't you come and was why do you come and I'm still angry at the Louvre, what is man, we need to learn the women process always need answers a process in their connecting life. It's one of the main ways that women build trust is a connect their life to the person they think is important that we collect that Jimmy think something like that conversation and all all baby yeah empathy and I speak for the guys for just a moment, please. Because Mary Davis women think guys know this because all your girlfriends know the office of safety to talk okay you will know that we don't have that compartment built to hold them in so many women get offended well if you really understood me. He wouldn't need to be told he would just know how life just like any she's thinking it's a measure of how much you love me and care for me that you would know this without me having to describe it as is. Guys like like you before friends growing up. And you're all upset like that. I just talking to the ground. If you knew me into doing better right right to bring a skill the merit they listen you know talk about that women can struggle to understand the way your husband thinks in his ego. I think on the if it's to try to communicate with your wives, as if that's the male shortcoming on the female side.

She may not fully understand how much a guy needs to be appreciated and that's one of our great weaknesses. Pam, how can you help young married woman understand the ego needs appropriately of her husband Ray is right on this earth that really early and Army, we are at a party I got back I think there's music playing like a really good dancer and so he's with me around the floor and he does this big move super romantic and when you know I based this is wonderful. They gussy on the floor and he said just ripped my pants. I got up and I licked them I spun around I thought it was funny other friends that it was funny.

Bill did not think it was funny and really really really quiet ride home and I realized that day and a good idea to criticize your husband in public and really great idea whom we know he's around a really bad idea to make him look bad in public hold mail. Thank you. Nine.

One of the things that life can do yourself a favor help her husband, like good people in his life like get his boss in his family and his friendship circle and those buddies on the ballfield brag on your man. A lot of women I think I'm just sensing it may be cringing at that just feels phony and it doesn't you know benefit if he doesn't know who he is man how I can help him as his wife but what you're saying is so true were kind of fragile our weakness guys a highways three sons. They are much more fragile than you think you know these three strong athletes. They look like to be Superman. Any of them. Their hearts are still like a little boy bringing you a little flatware when he's five years old looking mommy and if you don't, given that attention crashed box with deep deep deep deep down in the heart of your man is that sweet spirit and I think that's why man appreciate wives and why they want to get married till wife is that somewhere deep down, this is wonderful little boy that he loves when his heart is cherished and white women.

Man is that's our special role time. Always go so quickly.

Whenever we get a chance to talk to Bill and Pam Farrell and will continue this conversation next time on Focus on the Family John.

They are such a fun couple, and I really appreciate what they shared today. I think the most important point is that we are all naturally selfish and selfish people don't miraculously become selfless when they get married and part of God's design for marriage is to help us become more like Christ by putting us together to smooth out those sharp edges in Ephesians 4 to the apostle Paul encourages us and I'm paraphrasing here to bear with one another in love with patient's humility and gentleness.

That's a great place to start in your marriage. I would agree it's not always easy, though, which is why I so appreciate with the peril shared about finding a mentor couple that can be so helpful at any stage of your relationship and we all need to help each other and that's why Focus on the Family provides so many resources we don't want you to do marriage by yourself. So please come visit our website and discover what we have for you and I'd recommend starting with our free marriage assessment which will help you identify the strengths of your relationship and maybe a few weaknesses things to work on.

Then you can start going to work on those weaknesses with a huge selection of marriage, articles, devotionals and by listening to our focus on marriage podcasts and remember you can always get a free call back from one of our caring Christian counselors as well and we are here to help and that we get all the details in the show notes and if you believe in marriage and would like to help other couples.

Please consider joining our team with a monthly pledge any amount, large or small, helps us develop tools and resources to help marriages and families thrive in Christ.

And when you make a pledge of any amount I'd like to send you a copy of the Pharaoh's book the first five years. Get a copy for young couple in your life and if you can't make a monthly commitment. Right now we get that will send the book out to you for one-time donation of any amount just call 800 the letter in the word family 800-232-6459 or follow the link in the episode notes to donate to the work of Focus on the Family and request your book if you enjoyed today's broadcast. Please tell a friend to tune in next time the ferrules will be back tackling more issues that tend to crop up in those early days of marriage like this one for a few years. My husband seems to be assessed with seems like he spends more time doing what our two-year-old son get them to recognize she's addicted to.

On behalf of Jim Daly, and the entire team. Thanks for joining us for this Focus on the Family podcast take a moment or two, please give us a rating and sure about this episode with a friend, you young married couple in your circle of influence on John Fuller inviting you back more help you and your family thrive. Okay Mike got here soon as I could. What's going on hey I just want to give you an update on my marriage is a good news. Yeah our marriage is going great right now. I can be happier.

That's awesome you is like a solid 5/10. Having a marriage that's just okay is couples really want to live. Give yourself and your spouse an all-inclusive weekend you'll slow your pace.

Focus on each other get more that's

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