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

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
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August 10, 2022 6:00 am

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

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

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August 10, 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 2 of 2)

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For me to ask all these things, to see Chad and love Chad and forgive Chad, it was truly just out of obedience to the Lord. That's Kathy Robichaux sharing how God was working in her life and in her shattered marriage. Our host is Focus on the Family president and author, Jim Daly. I'm John Fuller and the book capturing this story is by Chad Robichaux called, Fight for Us. You'll find renewed hope and encouragement from that book. It's a story of redemption.

We're continuing today. John, we heard from Chad and Kathy last time from a conversation we had with them a few years ago. And man, they really went through some heartbreaking and difficult things during their childhood, both coming from broken homes and broken marriages with their parents. Chad later suffered from PTSD after eight tours of duty in Afghanistan in the special forces.

And it was not a smooth transition back home. Chad continued to deal with PTSD. Kathy, I think in many ways, felt like his protector, his nurturer, as she was trying to raise three kids pretty much on her own.

And there was a lot of fear in her at that time. If you didn't hear last time, you've got to listen to the first part of this painful story, because it really set up what we're going to talk about today. Kathy and Chad separated for a while after Chad had several affairs.

It's inspiring how God worked through the pain and brokenness as you're about to hear. You were spiraling down almost like that death spiral in a marriage, 15 years of struggle. Kathy, you were feeling all alone. You talked about that last time. We had to drop off at a very touching point when you were struggling with Chad's affairs and things like that. Let's pick up the story there. You were trying to figure out what was going on.

You're not even sleeping in the same bed at night. You've got this career in mixed martial arts, people giving you accolades, Chad, about what a good fighter you are and how fearless I'm sure you are and how you were 18 and two and finding all the, I don't know, the strokes and the accolades in that environment. Where is God beginning to show up in this picture? Chad Jordan Sadly, that wasn't even the low point. Darrell Bock That's not the bottom yet.

What was? Chad Jordan The bottom for me was we separate. We sell our home.

We move into separate apartments, sign 12-month leases, and start the paperwork for divorce. Me and Kathy had two separate reactions. Kathy went into a church.

I was at this church last week. I remember people telling me that she would lay against this wall and just be crying against this wall. She started just really getting people around her to encourage her and pray for me. I went to this apartment and thought I was going to live this single life, which lasted about a week. Then I had that time to reflect and realize that of all the people I blamed my whole life, my father, the military, really Kathy for not understanding what I had been through, I always just blamed everyone else around me as an idiot and the realization that it was me and that I had caused this. I had destroyed my family. That kind of clarity in my life at that time led me to make a decision that I was going to remove myself from the situation, and I decided I was going to take my life.

I would sit in my closet. I was a policeman before, so I knew what happened. Somebody would find me, and I didn't want my kids to find me. I had heard the statistic that one in three children from a parent that commits suicide will take their life as well. I still don't know where I heard that, but I remember thinking it and thinking, man, my kids, they follow me in everything I do.

They've been wrestling since they could walk, and I didn't want to leave that legacy for my kids. I was trying to plan how I was going to make it look like an accident, but I would remember just sitting in my closet for a period of about two weeks with my pistol and just trying to talk myself into doing this. Then I got a knock on my door from Kathy, and Kathy had the divorce papers, the final divorce papers, and I just needed to sign. We had been through the three-month cool-off period or whatever it was in Texas at the time, and she wouldn't give me the paper. We were very kind of edgy. Any conversation between us was very hostile, but she asked me this question that just changed. It's the reason we're sitting here today. She asked me how I could be as successful as I was in the military as an MMA fighter doing all the schools and deployments and the crazy deployments that we did, and when it comes to your family, you'll quit.

So how can you fight for everything else, but you don't fight for our marriage? That's right. That question, it just radically impacted me. I don't like being called a quitter, but she was right.

So she pushed the right button? Yeah. Were you hoping to do that, or was that just a God thing?

No, that was totally a God thing, because I know I had said that in some ways before, because I didn't understand it. I mean, watching him, if you Google Chad's name, you see these amazing pictures, MMA pictures of him, total facade, right? And in our home, it's fallen apart. Our kids are hurting. Our kids don't understand what's happening, and everybody believed Chad was just this, I don't know, almost a God. I think they were looking at him, they just loved him. And my husband is willing to give up his family for all of the people that are just loving on him. What's hard is, I didn't understand how he can feel everyone else's attention, and their, I don't know, the praise they would give him, I guess, but he couldn't feel anything from me.

Nothing I said. I know we had really bad times at that time, but there was no way to love him and show him love or care anymore. He wasn't accepting it. He wasn't accepting it. And so it hurt that he would accept this from men and women. And so for us to put our house up for sale and move out and move into different places, and what was crazy is it didn't, like he, I remember him actually crying when we moved out. I'm like, you're the one making these choices to be with other women, and you're crying as we're packing up our U-Hauls and leaving, why can't you just stop doing what you're doing and let's say no on going, you know, and on doing this.

But he didn't, he wanted to continue doing what he was doing. So when I moved into my own place, this is the first time. Now I'm in my early thirties and had my children very young. How old were the kids at this point?

They're like elementary, junior high school age, maybe 11, 12, 13 years old that they're about. And so this is the first time. So they're aware, they're fully aware.

Oh yeah. They've seen some bad stuff. They've seen that mom's very jealous of women.

They see that. And, um, and so when I got into my own place and the kids had to go visit with dad for the first time, that's the first time I'm having to give up my kids and leave my kids and I would be home alone. So I just got on my knees and I just started praying that, you know, asking God like, why? And I don't know if I was asking him why so much, like, why are you doing this to me? But like, why, why is this happening?

I don't understand. It hurts so bad. Did you ever feel like you had an answer to why?

I mean, Not at that point. In fact, now I see with what we're doing, it's so clear, but I didn't see at that time. It was only pain. It was just pain, but it was the most intimate time I've ever spent with the Lord, which was the most precious time of my life. So, um, That's a powerful statement.

It was, it really was. In fact, sometimes I'm like, I think, and I'd love to have that time again, one-on-one with him, but I don't want to be in that much pain again. Isn't that interesting how that circumstance or the circumstances that hurt us drive us toward God. And they are precious times, but we Christians tend to want to have comfortable times.

We don't want to have painful times that draws close to him. Can I ask you, Chad, as a man, just man to man, when you walked into church on a Sunday and you knew all this stuff was going on, what did that feel like deep in your heart? Not the part you were expressing to everybody at church, but when you'd walk in the front door and guys particularly would come over and say, Hey Chad, how you doing, man?

And pat you on the back. And I saw your fight and you're, you're awesome. All the things that Kathy is saying, what really was going on deep in your heart? Well, I felt like a fraud one and a, and two, you know, it made me question if I even believed at all. I mean, I had a real struggle with my faith. Um, one, I don't, I, at that time I would have said I had struggled with my faith, but, uh, I believe that was just really angry at God because, you know, things were going my way and, uh, and I couldn't understand, you know, the things that I was struggling with. And so it was kind of a mix of those emotions.

What in you, um, because I'm trying to just trying to think of people that I know, um, what in you kept that Holy spirit hook in your heart? Cause I think a lot of guys particularly will snap the hook off and walk away and they would go into years of denial, years of frustration. They go through with the divorce because they don't want the hassle. It takes them longer to come to the conclusion that you came to in a relatively short period of time. You halls go out and you're thinking, wow, what am I doing? Kathy pops the question.

Why we fight for your country, but you won't fight for our marriage that penetrates you. What's that difference between a guy that's still got that hook from God and, and even though it may not feel strong, it's there versus the guy who just cuts that off and walks away. I think I've always felt God call him, you know, I don't mean call it to ministry, but I just always felt God calling him my life. And, uh, and, uh, I always kind of knew it was there and, um, to do the right thing, do the right thing. I just didn't know how to do it.

I never had, even at a young age, I would say I gave my life to Christ at 14 years old, but there was no mentorship or discipleship beyond that. And so I was left to do it on my own. And so when Kathy asked me this question, I knew I had to make a decision. I knew I had to do something different.

Uh, you know, we always say, you know, if some, if what you do in your life isn't working, why not do something different? That was that moment for me. Uh, but I knew I couldn't do it by myself and I had never had anyone around me. I had to go to Kathy and look at this time in my life, I had a thousand students that always fans, everyone that told me everything I wanted to hear and no one in my life that I could trust me to hold me accountable, to make these changes in my life. And that was a really sad moment for me because I did that. I, as an inventory in my life and realize that I had pushed accountability out of my life. I had to go to Kathy and say, in this church you're going to, is there someone that could help me with this, hold me accountable to this.

And she introduced me to this man, Steve Toth. He never served in the military and I think God made him ADD and wired him specifically to deal with me because he didn't give me time to manipulate him or, and yeah, I'd literally wrote a plan out on paper how I was going to fix my life. And, and, uh, he looked at this plan. We met for coffee at Starbucks and he looked at my plan and I don't even think he looked at it.

You just slid it back to me. He said, you're going to fail. You ended up right back where you are.

And I was like, what's a good plan? And he's like, no, it has nothing to do with your relationship with Christ. And if you don't build your life off of that, you're going to write back where you're at right now. Well, speak to that guy. That's in that denial right now. You're the military guy. Talk to me.

If I'm living there, what are you saying to me? Yeah. I mean, I, you know, I, I believe that for me, God was always there. I continued to push him away and cover it up with busy-ness and accolades and, and, uh, one achievement to the next. And I don't say that boastfully at all. As a matter of fact, I was recently interviewed and somebody read my kind of resume and they said, how's it make you feel?

And said, it makes me feel terrible. It sounds like you're describing someone that lived this whole life discontented. And, uh, I was just really searching for, to be the person I feel I was created to be. And that's what was longing inside of me. And, uh, to be the person God created me to be. And, and, uh, and instead of just doing that, I covered it up with all these different, actually, and some of those things that did my life were good, right? The military service.

And I love martial arts and I love competing, but those weren't the things that I was created for Kathy. I need to pick up. We are on the last portion of today's program.

The U-Hauls have gone out. You guys are living in separate apartments. Chad, you've contemplated suicide. You've mentioned a while ago that you sat for a couple of weeks in and out of this closet thinking, how do I do this without my kids knowing I did this? Um, where does God begin now to heal it? She's mentioned this question about fighting for the marriage. What happened next?

Well, for me in the lowest of my lows being stuck in my bed and stuck inside my house because I was so depressed. Um, I knew I needed to pray for my husband, but I really didn't know what to pray for him. And I really probably didn't even want to pray for him because he was making that choice, you know, making the choices to not be married anymore. And, but so I picked up the book power of a praying wife and I thought I would go through like the first, you know, the chapters and see which ones he needs to be prayed for. So I started picking out like his temptations, his integrity and, but the very first prayer in there was praying for his wife and I'm thinking he should be praying this prayer over me. You know, he needs to be praying for me. And so I began to pray for me and the Lord really started opening up my eyes to see a lot of my sin in the marriage and what I was not doing to honor God as the wife God had called me to be okay.

Everybody just went, what? I mean, talk about this because it's a matter of the heart. Restate that because it's so important. And people who are in bitterness and denial, this is the hardest thing to get that God really wants your attitude to move in a better spot.

It's so true. I mean, I've lived in such bitterness for so long and unforgiveness that I knew it was time to, uh, well, I guess I should say, I didn't know it was time. It was really just God opening my eyes to see that it was time to start recognizing my faults in the marriage and how I wasn't being the godly wife he had called me to be. How did that help you attitudinally?

I mean, when you caught that, when you, okay, Lord, it's me, I got to get my heart. I can't control Chad. What did it do for you in terms of your attitude toward Chad?

Right. Um, well, I guess because in there I started praying that, uh, God helped me to see Chad the way you see Chad. So I didn't want to see Chad the way he saw Chad. Maybe I didn't know that, but, uh, I mean, that's not what Chad was doing the way God sees Chad, you know, like help me to see Chad the way you see Chad and help me to love Chad like you love Chad. And the most, the biggest thing was helped me to forgive Chad the way you forgave Chad. So I'm praying all this stuff, not even expecting to even be back with my husband. Right, really in faith.

Yes, it was. And it was really just being, uh, just honoring God is really, and it grew in my heart. It really was true, um, true growth for me to ask all these things to see Chad and love Chad and forgive Chad. It was truly just out of obedience to the Lord. And I don't know how it got there. It just did. As I began to pray and get closer to Christ and that intimacy between me and Christ, that's what came out.

That's what I started living. So how does a woman that has been, um, hurt and her heart's been torn out over and over again say yes to the man that wants to come back home again when he's already did this to me several times? How does she say yes? All I can say is that God had given me this peace one more time. So it softened your heart.

One more time. It softened my heart and it really did. It allowed me to see him just with enough grace that I can say yes one more time. But the following year to come, I don't know if it was harder, just a different heart. It was just so hard the following year to come to obey the Lord, to love Chad and to forgive Chad the way he did and to work on that. Not be the woman I was before who threw the past in his face.

So therefore we didn't get anywhere. But now to put my hope and trust, even my anger I felt towards Chad, put this in God's hand, put this at the cross every single morning. Now was I successful? Not every day, but I was going somewhere for the first time.

And your heart was improving. I think it's important for people, particularly women to catch that though that you left it to the Lord. That is significant.

Don't under value. That's the thing. And that is the thing in every marriage when you can put Christ first. That's what it means to put Christ first. Chad, where are you at in this?

You're the bad guy. Well, it was really crazy because I made a decision to make these changes. I have this mentor in my life who's willing to disciple me. And hold you accountable.

And hold me accountable. And he led me into surrendering my life to Christ on the most authentic level I ever could imagine doing that. And then beyond that, he started mentoring me and actually a year-long process of biblical manhood. And what I discovered at the end of that was, well, not just end of it, but through the process is that my marriage was finding restoration, my relationship with my kids was finding restoration, with this PTSD thing that I thought would never go away. As a matter of fact, the doctors had told me it would be something I'd deal with the rest of my life.

That started going away. And what I discovered was it wasn't an incident or a series of incidents that really led me to where I was. It was the choices I was making every day.

And I never lost control of that. And that God actually had a blueprint for manhood, which I had sought all along. And when I started aligning my life to that, that's when I found healing. You see, I think it's important to know all the pills, all the counselors, all the programs, everything I tried before didn't work.

MMA, jiu-jitsu, as cool as those things are, while those things didn't work, when I simply made a decision to align my life with the life I was created to live through this blueprint, that's when I found healing and nothing replaced just stepping into that relationship with Christ that God always had for me all along. And in this process, talk about Kathy, when I came home and we started restoring our marriage, Kathy went from this woman that was praying for me every day and wanting this man of God. And now I'm trying to be that. And it was met with, I mean, she was really fearful and I could see it right away. She would have moments of where she was thankful, but then she'd have moments to where she would almost rebel against it. And I think it's really important for couples that are in restoration to understand that because I didn't understand it at first. I'm like, she prayed for this and now she has it. And she wants to take us right back to where she came from.

And I'm so thankful for Steven and mentorship he gave me because he asked me some tough questions. Does she have a right to be hurt? Is she scared you're going to let her down again? Well, it's really rebuilding the trust. Yeah. How long would you say that process has taken or is it still building? Where are you at, especially for couples who need that word?

I would say it was a full year. Now, I had to make a decision. When Steve told me this, I decided that she was entitled to that. So instead of her getting angry about something or throwing something in my face and me saying, hey, you already forgave me for that? I'd say, I'm sorry that I did that to you.

I can't believe I did that to you. And I would try to love her. And sometimes she'd let me hold her and love her and pray with her.

And sometimes she'd push me away and walk out the room and go outside the room and pray for my wife. And that's what made the difference. That was what was different from the times he had hurt me before. You saw more of God in him.

I did. I saw him willing to allow me to show my fear without any repercussions. I needed to be able to show him that and him accept that I needed that without shutting me out, without showing me he was going to leave me. I wanted to see him that he was going to stick by me while I express this fear instead of running out the door. I mean, there were times that I would hear his keys in the drawer open and right away, it would put me back in the moment of him leaving me. And for a while, he knew he even had to be careful with that next to me.

Did you talk openly about that? Here's the feeling I had. Yes. That's good.

Yes, exactly. He actually, yeah, I hear him say it every now and then that Kathy even had her times of things that would actually bring her back to the moment. So about a year, how long ago was that? So that was about a year of your marriage and how many years ago has this been now?

That was in 2010 that we were reconciled. So five, six years. Yeah. And then, yeah. We started. By 2011.

Yeah. And people thought it was insane that we would start a ministry anyway, but when this happened in my life, I felt like I truly did find the cure. I always say the best way to describe it was like I had stage four terminal cancer when I was dying and Steve gave me the cure. And I knew how many other veterans were struggling with suicide, 22 a day, the divorce rates. And I felt like I found the cure and I wanted to share it with someone else. And so we started passing it forward to others right away. And that's been your passion is to reach other couples, military couples, particularly who are suffering in a similar way.

Right. Suicides, divorces, divorce rates are just staggering. And we felt like we found, again, we found a cure and a cure was, you know, everyone talks about the problem in most things like this.

And the truth is there is a problem, but there's also a solution. We feel like we have it and we've committed our lives to paying that forward. And we did it pretty quickly. And we admittedly said we went out of the woods when we started this, but we were just on a path and we want to take others along that path with us. Well, that's good. Let's link at our website. We'll link to the Mighty Oaks Foundation and people that are motivated.

I'd encourage them to help you do what you're doing with the military as well. Can I end with this? Because in my heart, I was that little boy. I came from that broken home, just like you two both came from broken homes. How are your kids doing now?

Are they in terms of their faith or they go, wow, God is real. Look what happened to our mom and dad. Where are they at? Yeah. It was probably one of the most shameful memories of all this was sitting our kids down and saying it was going to be better.

Right? You're not going to have to hear us fight anymore. And they were just devastated. And that could have been lifelong destruction for them. But I'm so thankful for the restoration God has brought into our family. You stood up to your word. You mean?

No. I mean, telling our kids that this is going to be better, this divorce. Oh, the divorce is going to be better.

And you're not going to have to hear the fighting anymore and these things. And the truth was, it wasn't going to be better. It was breaking their heart to even hear that. It was breaking their heart to hear that. Yeah.

We did it anyway. And so they responded so quickly to just grab hold of this change and a shift in our hearts. And I'm so proud to say all three of our kids are just on fire for God. Two of them are in Bible college. And well, one's second semester of Bible college and he's a Marine Corps Reservist. And my daughter's leaving into Bible college here soon. And our youngest son, he's just on fire for the Lord too. So it's amazing.

Isn't that something? It surprised me that they were praying into their pillow at night. Oh yeah. God, will you bring mommy and daddy back together?

My youngest one would be the one that while I was struggling and he would hold my hands and pray with me. It was amazing. That's so sweet. That is so sweet. And all I can say is well done.

The nuggets I'm taking away and I hope the listeners are as well. You hit it really strong, Kathy. Turn toward God, put your burden on him. Trust in him and you hit it, Chad. Then find the truth of who you are and it may not be pretty, but God loves you. He cares for you and he will pull you in a better path, a righteous path. And that's what I pull out of this. It's not our circumstances that dictate who we are.

It's what we do to deal with them. And in your case, you did so many of the right things, even though you were doing wrong things as well, but you turn toward God. You put the yoke on him and invited him in and you begin to act more like him, praying for each other, loving each other. And that was it. Thanks for being with us. Thank you.

Thank you so much. Isn't it great to see God working in people's lives like he did for Chad and Kathy? That's why Focus on the Family is here, to encourage and inspire you in your marriage and in your family relationships, in your walk with Christ. If you're resonating with some of Chad and Kathy's stories, don't wait, call today and talk to one of our counselors who can offer the help you need to find redemption for your marriage. And John, I really feel like I need to mention a program here at Focus called Hope Restored, which offers intensive marriage counseling. We have several locations across the country and it has an 81% success rate. We go back to those couples two years later and do a survey, every one, and find out how they're doing.

81% of them are doing better and still married. If your marriage feels like it's near the end of the rope, ask us about Hope Restored today. Also, Chad's new book is called Fight for Us and your marriage will definitely be strengthened when you read it. Also, donate today and be part of the team and I'll send you a copy of the book as our way of saying thank you.

Contribute as you can and request that book or ask to speak with one of our counselors. All of that and more when you call 800, the letter A in the word family, 800-232-6459 or stop by the program notes where we have all the details. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for listening today to Focus on the Family.

I'm John Fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ. I was shocked when she gave me the divorce papers. I was so done.

I had reached my breaking point. I was desperate for a shred of hope so I called the Hope Restored team at Focus on the Family. They listened to me and they asked about what was happening in my marriage. They encouraged me and my wife to attend one of their marriage intensives for couples in crisis and they prayed with us. They helped me believe that my marriage could be saved. I agreed to go but was very skeptical that anything could help us.

But the whole environment was so safe and non-judgmental. I felt my heart start to open up as we worked with the counselors. Both of us still have work to do in our marriage but for the first time in a long time we have hope again. Focus on the Family's Hope Restored Marriage Intensive Program has helped thousands of couples who thought that their marriage was over. Find out which program is right for you at
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-13 12:38:25 / 2023-03-13 12:50:51 / 12

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