About 27 years into our marriage, my husband and I had a fight –
He will call it an argument because fighting is what he would do with his brother when they wore boxing gloves as kids! And he would never fight with me…
I don’t remember what started the argument,
but I remember my husband broke down into tears and said,
“You never wanted to be with me anyway!”
Then he walked out the front door.
My first thought was, “I married HIM. We had 6 kids TOGETHER. What does he mean I never wanted to be with him?”
A few minutes later he came back and said, “I’m sorry kids. I’ve ruined your lives.”
Then I fearfully wondered if he had an affair… (Fortunately, this was NOT the problem.)
I thought he might not come back because of the two “D” words –
DEATH from acting on negative thoughts of depression.
He later told me that he wanted to climb into a snow drift along the streets of our neighborhood and freeze to death.
But, fortunately, he was too afraid from the pain of dying from COLD.
I wondered if he would ever come back and if we would have a normal relationship again.
How did I get here? How did high school sweethearts – and best friends of over 35 years at the time – come to this AWFUL PLACE?
I felt somehow responsible.
Was I not good enough?
Was this my fault?
What had I done wrong?
And most importantly: Why didn’t I see this coming?!
I felt unsafe and vulnerable thinking we may get divorced, that our once thriving and happy marriage was over.
I’m going to let you in a little secret!
Part of what caused this awful time in our marriage was a wedge placed between me and my husband.
That wedge was skillfully and nearly imperceptibly placed there by Satan himself.
How did Satan place a wedge between us? The following words from Jorg Klebingat described our situation perfectly of how the adversary weakened our relationship similarly to weakening one’s relationship with God.
Elder Jorg Klebingat said, “Whenever the adversary cannot persuade imperfect yet striving Saints such as you to abandon your belief in a personal and loving God, he employs a vicious campaign to put as much distance as possible between you and God.
The adversary knows that faith in Christ—the kind of faith that produces a steady stream of tender mercies and even mighty miracles—goes hand in hand with a personal confidence that you are striving to choose the right.
For that reason he will seek access to your heart to tell you lies—lies that Heavenly Father is disappointed in you, that the Atonement is beyond your reach, that there is no point in even trying, that everyone else is better than you, that you are unworthy, and a thousand variations of that same evil theme.
As long as you allow these voices to chisel away at your soul, you can’t approach the throne of God with real confidence. Whatever you do, whatever you pray for, whatever hopes for a miracle you may have, there will always be just enough self-doubt chipping away at your faith—not only your faith in God but also your confidence in yourself.
Living the gospel in this manner is no fun, nor is it very healthy. Above all, it is completely unnecessary! The decision to change is yours—and yours alone.”
The adversary had slyly placed lies –
I like to call them fiery darts – into my husband’s mind that I didn’t love him. The more these thoughts came, the more evidence my husband found to support these deceptive thoughts.
Just as Elder Klebingat’s statement that lies put distance between us and loving God, lies had put distance between my husband and me, his wife who sincerely loved him.
Living the marriage in this manner is no fun, nor is it very healthy. And, it is completely unnecessary!
Many years have passed since my husband and I were stuck…
in the muck of that awful place of our marriage. Through our Savior’s grace and healing and working with coaches and mentors, our marriage is better than it has ever been in over 35 years! We each made the choice to do our part in trying to heal our marriage.
By choosing to work on ourselves in the relationship, this is a fight we both did not want to lose.
As marriage coaching team, my husband and I are passionate about helping couples have stronger, happier marriages using the same principles and skills that strengthened our own marriage. And having worked as addiciton recovery mentors, many of the techniques we used to help clients overcome addictions apply perfectly to marriages as well.
Sometimes both spouses are not willing to put the work or effort into improving their marriage, or they have tried and given up. If your marriage struggles and you are willing to put effort into change, whatever the outcome, you will be in a better place going forward. The decision to change may be a little scary, but is a great place to start.
To start this process, we offer a complimentary eBook with powerful principles and tools to support you and your marriage. Check it out below!
Looking for ways to boost and strengthen your marriage? These Secrets from The Marriage Academy are a great way to start!
Maurice W. Harker, the head therapist at Life Changing Services, has a unique way of teaching about the adversary’s strategies to deceive and weaken ourselves and relationships. Learn how to develop keen awareness of the adversary’s influence in this free best-selling book “Like Dragons Did They Fight” available here for download: FREE BOOK