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How God Saved a Military Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
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August 9, 2022 6:00 am

How God Saved a Military Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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August 9, 2022 6:00 am

Military veteran Chad Robichaux and his wife, Kathy, discuss his former struggles with PTSD, which led to the couple's separation, and how God helped Chad overcome PTSD and restored their marriage. (Part 1 of 2)

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I was a little misplaced subminimum life is not in Afghanistan but in my own bedroom.

Weisbach turned to me and the dead marriage to Carol so cold was her hard reflections from Chad Robichaux story were telling today in this broadcasting his wife look back at a very troubling time in their marriage and what God did to restore it. This is Focus on the Family your hostess focus president and author Jim Daly and I'm John Fuller. There are so many marriage relationships that are challenged and hurting and they need God's touch. We have an incredible story of how God worked in a marriage involving the military couple this was recorded a few years ago, but the lessons learned and the wisdom shared in this story are as relevant as ever.

Chad Robichaux served in special forces in the Marines for eight years in Afghanistan. He came home for good and realize that he was suffering from PTSD. His marriage was caught in the crosshairs of that suffering in today going to talk to Chad and his wife Kathy about how God took them from the bottom back to the top again and if your marriage is struggling, you're gonna want to lean in today and listen because I think you learn some golden nuggets of how to fight for your marriage and how to survive and I think in the end. Give God the glory for what will be accomplished in your marriage and chatting.

Kathy established the mighty Oaks foundation to help other military families is soldiers return home from combat with trauma is also written a new book about their journey to restore their marriage after PTSD titled fight for us. Let's go ahead and jump into the conversation recorded here at Focus on the Family with Jim Daly Chen Kathy, welcome to Focus on the Family, let me start right here and I so appreciate your service and Kathy you in that role of support and spouse.

Thank you for what you done for country eight tours in Afghanistan that had to be hard yeah it took a major Ptolemy on many of my friends, you know I wasn't on when I came home suffered. I know me and my friends came home and really struggled and yet it was hard but I am thankful that I got serve thing for former service and thankful to get to do now working to get some more of that story and how that set up the difficulties in your marriage but Kathy, you talked about being raised in a broken home, not only for you, Kathy. Also if you Chad both raised broken homes. Kathy talk about your home and growing up in what was the picture like for you my father. First of all let's a single father for many years. My mother and him when they divorced. Somehow my father got most of that custody of Aston my mother had visitation rights, and many times my dad was just trying to find a place you know for us to stay while he would work. He was in the way most the time and I think it especially has he remarried and he had a family with they made their family.

I definitely felt like I was in the way and how old were you when your parents do for all. I was still a baby.

I was paid to completely divorced and when he got remarried I was six so when they had their own children. It became harder and I was just becoming a not growing up and so by the time I was 10. Actually I ended up moving in with my real mom thinking maybe this will be better but my real mother was just very busy woman she was. I don't think she was ever into anything. You know it wasn't drugs or alcohol. I don't believe that she lost custody. In fact, I truly don't know what the answer is to that, but I do know she was a hard-working woman.

So when she come home at night. She didn't have time really to spend with me whether I want the last thing on her plate that had to be horrible as a child not to feel connected to your father or your yeah why is it really wise and unfortunately I think that led into a lot of my own insecurities growing up and even to this day I mean a course site. I have Christ I had. I can go turn to him when I'm filling not because you know I definitely will sink back into that feeling every now and then.

And I gotta find where the truth really lies spent but yeah I was hard you know I will go I was a cheerleader in high school and the reason friends that had their parents there quite often and I would always Selectman I wish I had my parents here to support me and never once did any of my parents show up to any of my activities and I was always admiring that with the other, but it left a hole in her actually what you really did a really because of that I think I I bombard on my kids too much around. They had everything locked in there like no jet have you what was your home life like growing you And I am very similar path of coming out broken homes. I get a step up to see my son Hunter John recourse reason through third-generation Marine. My father was a Marine. We came home from Vietnam I think you struggle with a lot of things that that I struggle with, but he just didn't ever get the help he needed. So I grew up in a very dysfunctional home with a very angry father who's probably suffering from just a year and so I never really understood that as a kid I just knew this had this angry man drank a lot in physically abuse my mother then my stepmother then myself and my siblings and he was bars and women and suggest hard just really hard life, and if he buys you know I think people could relate to me who's lived in the home that siblings get really close and so Mimas arrival yeah you just gonna bond together in my bed up a brotherhood year older than me and he and I were to talk about John military escaping that lifestyle and when I was 14. He was 15 he was shot and killed and so that was just devastated. Wash them and held really. I was 14 I was pushing him alive for the title 14 that happens you met is teenagers are correct. You guys were young. Yeah, I was my first year in the Marine Corps. Kathy was in her senior in high school and we met in them think we separated from each other since so you have that happen in your coming together as a master like how it all happened. It was just kind of you know were getting married thing with that except one night say I will go back to the so when we got together we actually met through a friend of mine went into the Marine Corps and so China needed a ride one day and we kinda met up on accident. I gave him not you chat gave the guy a ride home that went right and this wasn't planned.

Anything less. I was in like he had met me and I wasn't really interested in him. I would like to start 2 inches taller than me back then but now shrink it and then this time I saw him. This time I had showed up at my friends house that my friend Scott was dating and another girl was there now getting ready to leave and Donna kind hanging out there and I had sweats on my hair was up in a bun. This was 1994 and he showed up again and I've already been like to know I don't want to meet him on the really interested people that I was like, look at that girl knows like he wanted to get to know you had a feeling it was a blind date there setting up on because you and go out with me so I never ends. I never seen the girl before but when I saw Kathy there. This girl is getting pretty and something that Kathy was in sweats with her parent about. I let her know my date around, but I don't remember it speaking to well so you know what little thing that he did that melted my heart was we were all it sit in the back of his truck. It is just that brand-new open bed truck and he had Kami pain in the back of his truck like playing with Kami paint will he started painting my face with no fingers or whatever. And as soon as his them kinda passed over, just that she alone and put it on me.

I felt they didn't just kind of put that you could put my makeup across my cheek bone and that's all the ladies was there feeling that so there you are.

Military young cop, you're in the Marines.

What was that commitment like for you Being spouse. The wife Marine well you know back then. This was 19, we got married and 95 just graduated high school training. Let's a few that's school I had him like pretty much almost every time we were off. We were together, and now all of a sudden I get married in my Prince charming is like has to work for always gliding within the engines that you know so that although there wasn't war going on right you know he was really busy training so that some getting used to. It wasn't what I what I thought marriage was going to be like in the course things ramp up in the middle you should get deployed all that activity going on. You talk about your PTSD. We've had shows about PTSD, but describe it. For those of us who never served in the military don't understand what is it look like what does it feel like yet. I mean, for me it wasn't like a one incident that happened and Allison have PTSD.

I think it started with a slick really intense drive to my job. My job an intense level and just wrote strong passion, and eventually turn into being one person in Afghanistan I come home and be in someone could be someone totally different home so that intensity start turning in anger and that and it trickled over to my home number been Afghanistan's raging like a lunatic just fuel in anger and now come home to my family and I'm starting to see him behaving the same way and you know my voice and my home became not a very happy place. My wife and kids. They were became very scared of me and I was aware that I thought Kevin was walking on egg shells and that being aware that Kathy been what I believe to be this really godly Christian lady. I felt very out of place and so I felt very comfortable being home and had two kids at that point or 333 and that that anger eventually start turning anxiety, and so I was and is very small, special operations group of guys very tough cut of special ops group yeah so there's less bravado and people to talk about things like that so I start having his anxiety feelings, but I want to say anything and I think that, keep it to myself and try to push down a drive-through led to a natural progression of things once I wait for me to start off with like my arms go numb and arms were good in my face with my cheeks we go numb and all the physiological symptoms of panic attacks that would aware that's what it was in my throat with the Lycos will shut in and that eventually that let her know what I know now to be full-blown panic attacks at the Lycos dying heart attack and very scary and and I just kept trying to do with myself I didn't tell anyone at work in fact one time I came home from deployment until Kathy she took me to civilian doctor and he gave me antianxiety pills not refuse to take them to try to go back again and the very last deployment. About two weeks. It now critical parts of it but I couldn't recall weeks. Kathy, let me ask you as a spouse. What were you responding like how did you feel like there was no solution. You didn't understand that point we had no clue what was going on.

We didn't even know about posttraumatic stress.

So, how he was acting lots scary to me. I was very angry to very broken flick overnight yeah and so she was very quiet. TC look like.

All I can say is like a sick person. Maybe you know just very down week so it was easy at that point at the beginning of his last deployment and finding out something was wrong. It was easy as that woman as a mother I wanted to nurture him and care for him. That was the easiest part of the whole thing and he would let you yeah let me he would wake up in the middle of the night and just asked me to hold him and I would just hold in my pray for him. I knew something was wrong and it scared me because I was looked at Like Superman, you know like he would no matter safe. Someone even dare walked into this house. They better run out. Clicking on it was always like that. And so to see my husband in this position of weakness. It was different to see sounds totally fine, comforting him and loving him through this, standing in the gap.

Yeah, that's admirable.

I don't know that everybody could do that you saw that it is your responsibility in the moment and yeah right Chad, let me ask you this question how long from the time you were seeing action. The eight tours, special ops in the Marine Corps. How long was it before he started feeling these panic attacks in the PTSD symptoms were still in the military was after well when in 1993, says a long span of active-duty reserves other life things and then in 2007's when I came home from the last deployment of April 07 and that's what I was actually diagnosed with PTSD you're in a long time. Yes or capping the context of and how are you helping managing always curves and swerves in your life is difficult, you know, getting out of active duty and him going into law enforcement and exciting but scary move. But the thing was, as we were starting our family and rolling to the kids and yeah yeah that's all I knew. That's all I did and so best thing I could ever ask for. But I really felt alone most the time and like a single parent yeah I did feel like a single parents and and so I really everything that I thought marriage was specifically like and you know having Prince charming came to rescue me and I thought that we were to live happily ever after and have this awesome family.

I'm I really felt like definitely found myself feeling very alone and I felt really just you know they're not really in a good healthy marriage and then can I ask you about that because we've alluded to that but your your believer you're going to church. Yes I'm not sure whichever you or your face with everything going on in war. I like to talk about that a little because you know a lot of times, as Christians, we are in a world full of sin in our hearts are sinful. What was happening spiritually at this time for you guys what was going on while I think we always went to church right when we even first got married. If I could bill a transparent and honest about my I looked, looking back I believe I went to church related to drag my wife. There is a new life of the church. She should be a great godly Christian woman. Be faithful and my kids go to Sunday school and learn about new right and wrong and limited plate. My family and checking a box myself. I was never gonna be on the surface so that not a lot of men do that and really I think at this kind of masculine persona of myself and I looked at a lot of men in the church and thought these guys are not like me discussion we can know Sally.

In some cases true right is a lot of Christian men that don't stand up and be the man I got called in the be and I was my perspective to this, the picture painting. There being almost like a single parent and our heart goes out to single parents because they're looking at everyday and there's no no solution right around the corner from but did you feel better start to become bitter torture you know for sure that all yeah I said it really dead.

I think a lot of my way I would react to him would even be out of anger or bitterness towards him because I mean I'm I'm grateful he always provided he always you know we never went hungry he whatever he did.

Whatever job he did.

He said at 100%. He was a hard worker, but in our home. He wasn't putting that time and effort into her home and not that was you know in the early mid 90s he was really focusing on his his martial arts career as well and so for me I I was even better towards even just him being in the gym just made me so upset with him because I needed him. A lot of times you try to communicate the reason I'm digging on this is I thinking many cases marriages are in trouble. In this way does tickly wives are saying.

I have different picture of what this would be like and you can fill in the amount of what it is. Whatever your struggling with is a listener in your marriage may not your husband's in the martial arts but their giving their time and energy to something other than what you would like to give time and energy toward how did you communicate with you guys just fighting.

At this point. Did you ever could. You have a discussion about it.

Your feelings, your desires and for Chad, his feelings his desires. How did you communicate or was already so much tension. You couldn't talk it through Yahoo was really hard for us to see he was.

He I mean unfortunately I hate this and I see it so often as women we try to discuss this with our husband. We try to share with them know that we get accused of being naggers and so trying to find a point. How do you discuss this with your husband and share something that's bothering you and not be accused of nagging about it.

How you get there.

And because we were so young at that time in our early 20s and not having really being connected in a church we did not know how to communicate and so it was just always just draw-our marriage. How many years did this go on the strife this goddess well 15 years, 15 years of trying to figure this whole thing out here the victory and how it finally came to me that there is no model either for us. We had no money can both commence broken homes, not connecting to a church to have that mentorship and discipleship in our marriage. When the model we didn't even have anything they met my mother was a kind of woman. By the way, who is divorced and married and divorced three times. She I learned in the first two years, don't go to her about problems in our marriage because she'd always say pack up your bags and leave them. That would be her sole gap and I had Hunter my oldest son pack up your bags get Hunter and leave and that was it and I don't know you know how did you resist that temptation.

Having that kind of modeling and then say you know what, I'm not can stick with it.

I think I'd say sometimes it was probably my faith that gave me the strength but a lot of times it was fear and also and I can say this probably for a a lot of majority women out there. If I can just make it till the kids graduate high school and then on out here together for the kids yet, stick together for the kids because I was scared to death of my husband.

He was very good at manipulating the story and I was scared that he would actually somehow turned northwest something around on me and to hurt me. He would somehow take my cats for me and so I just figured if I can just hold in there and tell my kids graduate high school and there were some tough stuff we been the little ones surfacing here. I wanted in the last few minutes of today I want to get down to the degree Chad you pursue martial arts training. You had your own studio. I believe in that environment you got into mixed martial arts MMA competitions things like that. Very heavy, very macho.

These are like fighting fullbore right and you are good at it in your women and that such on a trajectory of pulling your way from your family describe that environment.

What happened will want to know when I came from Afghanistan and was diagnosed with PTSD and if you like I could do anything like that anything physical.

My body would stop working and Kathy and my counselor. The time recommended that I'd do jujitsu because of something that I just she was more short of nonsense. I was five years old that only fought professionally as a special mixed martial arts fighter, and so when they convinced me to go try it and I get back on the mats and wrestle with some my friends. I literally felt like I'd found a cure because I feel comfortable, so comfortable.

I felt like I couldn't think about Afghanistan and do that because if us focus on something else. My buddies would choke me so had to be focused and and so I took something that could be good for me and I abused it like a medicine or anything else. What happened at will. I spent 10 or 12 hours a day on addressing mats and obviously a fine successor husband in a much time and so I I master record of 18 into the thought in the some of the most biggest televised fights in strikeforce and Bill Letourneau speak shows and so what happened was I surround myself with all these people who told me everything I wanted to hear and know when it's only what I need to hear and I was that I was still living in a broken home.

I was still angry. I was still having panic attacks. I just had those things really well and so I just kind of takes aside a success that everyone saw but at home. Many nights got and I slept in separate bedrooms always say the loneliest place of been in my life is not in Afghanistan but in Mont bedlam. Weisbach turned to me and Justin is dead, marriage, and also didn't take long with all that attention that I got from MMA for me to step outside of our marriage until a fair and I didn't care if I got caught. I just didn't care. I was so cold towards towards her, so you're doing a lot to cover up the pain you're feeling is what it sounds like to me.

I was a bearing with dirt of life stay busy stay busy Kathy with an affair and mix with this whole thing that had devastated and wasn't just one bright exactly because this actually went back even before he left Afghanistan and so so I was already dealing with the past and then you bring destined posttraumatic stress on top of you know everything Ellison always say you are you Superman before you left Afghanistan, I coming back now and I'm supposed to deal with our past and deal with this now. And you know there is just so much unforgiveness inside of me and so you know yeah was easy for me to turn my back at night because I just was so her from him and so empty on people women hearing Catherine going right on. I could feel that for you and some of them are actually living it right now exact in their identifying with the pain that you live were at the end of the home coming. God corner. What a heartbreaking powerful story from Chad and Kathy Robichaux and next time we'll hear how God repaired that brokenness and hurt in their marriage and will get into mortgage details.

Yes, John and I hope our listeners can stick with this as we continue to talk about the darkness. Robichaux's experience in their marriage before finding a beacon of hope, because God did intervene, and he glorified himself in their relationship, and you know what you may be in a dead marriage to his. Chad described in you don't know what to do.

Which way to go your listening thinking that's us. Circumstances may be different, but your live and in it and I want you to know that Focus on the Family is here for you. We want to be in your corner and we believe the Lord is right there with you to and even though it feels like despair. We know that God can deliver you. We've heard it over and over again.

We have a great program called hope restored, which is a four day intensive marriage counseling effort with several locations across the country and it has the 81% success rate. Two years after the couples attend. That means are still married and doing better. If you're in a difficult spot. Call us. We have some scholarships available. Although they are limited and we want to help you in your marriage didn't touch today. If we can be of any help to you and you might be wondering how did Chad and Kathy story in this next time as they share how God moved in their lives and in their marriage. In the book he wrote is called fight for us and inspire you to make changes in your marriage. Get your copy today for donation of any amount to the ministry when you call 800 K word for or look for the link in the program Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting you back. As we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ you ever wonder what it was like to meet Jesus face-to-face teaching on the Messiah flash all new novel by Focus on the Family call I have called you by name. Based on the streaming series immersed yourself in first century Galilee experience the Savior to the eyes of his followers want to dive deeper into Scripture with everything Stern learn more about the chosen novel chosen chosen

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