Column: Reviving your marriage today
I have been a divorce mediator since 1987 and a marriage coach since 2001. Over those years, I have watched several hundred couples divorce. For some, in my humble opinion, divorce very likely was their best path to happiness and contentment in life. A great many, however, eventually learned that their divorce simply traded one set of problems for an entirely new set of problems. You'll read more about that in today's column, which is guest-written by Steve and Laine Craft. They are the authors of "Start Again from Scratch: A No-Fail Recipe for Reviving Your Marriage." Steve and Laine are living proof that even dreadfully strained marriages can turn around and become joyful again. I'll be back at the end of the column to tell you how you can hear more of their story and learn how it can help your marriage or that of someone you know.
Starting from scratch
What does your marriage look like? It probably looks a lot like ours did. We began first with the classic power struggle issues, such as who wore the pants, whose job was whose, etc.
As we matured, we entered the "who worked more" phase. Who worked with and for the kids, the diapers, the kitchen, our jobs and everything. It became a working contest. If you tried to sit down, especially if the other was working, oh you were in big trouble. Does this sound familiar?
This will only lead to the ultimate marital sin, keeping score and "the list." If you had witnesses to verify your list, then it would count double. Surely, the judge would want to see this list and verification mattered.
If you look in the dictionary for "more worthless than worthless," it is here where you will find your list. It is useless unless you are building up your resentment and hatred power portfolio. But now the effort that you put into creating, documenting and organizing that score list, you know that kind of effort? Amazingly you can use that same effort to instantly revive your marriage and give you hope to start again from scratch. What do you have to lose? Why not start over with the one you said "I do" with at the beginning of your marriage?
Your marriage is not your problem. Your problems are your problem. Don't believe that getting rid of your marriage is going to have any effect on your problems. You and your problems are going to destroy the only good thing that you have left. If you get rid of your marriage, you will still have your same problems, and you will also have many more new ones.
You may ask why? Why do this with your wife or husband? The answer is simple, they are the only one who can give you back everything that you had and are losing. We call this the forgiveness miracle. As soon as you come clean and disclose your problems that you are hiding and lying about and then ask for forgiveness and likewise grant your spouse the same — if both of you do it — a miracle will occur!
Take your mate's forgiveness and then offer the same forgiveness back to them; then you can start again from scratch in your marriage no matter how desperate your situation has become.
This miracle is instantaneous. Through tears of joy, your eyes will see into one another for you know that she has given you the greatest gift. He loves you more than all of that "stuff." She will take you and keep you no matter what. It truly is unbelievable and in that instant you will both know that you have to throw everything away, all that you held on your list because you don't want it anymore. You don't even want to look at it. How could you have ever made the list and kept it close to your heart? The list that contained the pure and obvious hate — go burn it, burn it all. Burn your list like burning down an old dilapidated house in the country because it has no use or value. It serves only to blemish and corrupt and you, my friend, are moving to a new house, a castle really.
Forgiving one another, now that is a recipe for reviving your marriage. That is how you start again from scratch. This is the beginning of reviving your marriage. You may ask, "How long will this take?" Your life is a one day at a time victory unless you want to die. Death is the only "end line." Why are you in such a hurry to "get finished" or to "get fixed?" What then? Today brings forth destined tomorrow. Make the absolute most of both. Yesterday holds the lifeless lost. Walk and think and speak in absolute truth and fearlessness with God and the angels by your side and with God given anticipation of the miraculous mysteries of His chosen path for you.
Don't just tear your old house down, burn it to the ground, and move to something nice and spectacular. Do it now. Dare to believe that you too can start again from scratch in your marriage today.
Hear more from the Crafts
Well I'm back and thankful for the sage advice you have just read. Your marriage may be going through a rough patch at the moment — that happens to all of us. Rather than cut and run, let me join with the Crafts and suggest you re-invest in what you have rather than looking for a better deal elsewhere.
Steve and Laine are scheduled to be my guests on "TWOgether as ONE" 6 p.m. Monday on KLJH 107.1FM. You can also learn more about turning a marriage around at their website www.startagainfromscratch.com. While you're there please consider buying their new book "Start Again from Scratch: A No-Fail Recipe for Reviving Your Marriage." As we will be hearing in just a few months, it makes a great gift.
Ron Price is the co-founder and executive director of the Four Corners Coalition for Marriage & Family, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening and equipping marriages and families in the Four Corners area. He can be reached at 505-327-7870.