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Finding Restoration When Love is Gone (Part 2 of 2)

Finding Restoration When Love is Gone (Part 2 of 2)

What do you do if your spouse says "I don't love you anymore"? Dr. David Clarke offers guidance and hope as he discusses how you can navigate a marital crisis and help restore lost love. He explains why couples drift apart, what to do if your spouse is having an affair, how to practice tough love, and more. (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: July 22, 2015


Dr. David Clarke: But you should never chase and beg and plead ’cause that’s just legitimizes what they’re doing. Yeah, it is your fault. You’re trying hard. I’m through with you. You gotta actually push back and say, “No, you’re sinning.” “Of course, they have, we have marriage issues,” you’d say,” but those can all be fixed. We both know Jesus, don’t we?”

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Well, that’s a tough love perspective from Dr. David Clarke about how you should respond if your spouse says, “We’re done. It’s over.” Dr. Clarke is back with us today on Focus on the Family, and your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly. Thanks for joining us. I’m John Fuller.

Jim Daly: Uh, John, we shared a powerful conversation last time with Dr. Clarke, and I’m certain we confronted a lot of husbands and wives in that process, uh, because it’s easy sometimes to take our relationships for granted. I really appreciate David’s no-nonsense approach of speaking the truth, God’s truth, in a culture where a lot of people don’t want anyone holding them accountable, but we, in the Christian community, can’t afford to live that way because, uh, people outside the faith are watching our marriages and our families to see if what we claim to believe is really true. That’s why it’s critical that we keep our relationships strong and healthy, and if you’re struggling in that regard, uh, get the help you need before your marriage gets to the breaking point. That’s why Focus on the Family is here, to help strengthen and rescue hurting couples, and we have our counseling team and Hope Restored, where we provide intensive counseling over several days for those who are ready to give up. Giving up is not what God wants for your marriage. Uh, contact us today for the help you need to get on a better path.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative). And our number is 800-232-6459. Call to set up an appointment with one of our counselors or ask for information about Hope Restored. Uh, again, that’s 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY or stop by And if you missed our conversation last time with Dr. Clarke, you can order an audio copy of that when you get in touch.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John: And now, here’s, uh, Jim, how you began part two of our conversation with Dr. David Clarke on Focus on the Family.

Jim: Uh, your book, What to Do When Your Spouse Says, I Don’t Love You Anymore, um, is blunt. It is really good in that respect, and it’s a caution sign, you know? We have those highway signs. I think your book is very much like that, uh, for married couples to better understand how to communicate together to prevent the enemy of our soul from taking us down, which is what he’s doing and wanting to do each and every day, and it seems right now that we’re weak in that area and unwilling to do the hard work that we need to do to make sure that we’re more of a testimony, not a, “Oh, yeah, that happens to them, too, in the Christian church-”

Dr. Clarke: Yeah.

Jim: … kind of couple. Um, so, thanks for that sense last time that, um, we need to work at our marriages and do a better job. Uh, we ended last time, I’d asked you a question about, uh, that woman who feels guilty, that maybe her husband has done this, and what role did I play into it? It does raise a question for me, in terms of a woman’s self-esteem and self-worth, and I know the shoe can be on either foot here, and I don’t mean to, uh, genderize this, but, typically, still today, it’s, um, men that have affairs and their, um, hurt wives. Not always. I get that but talk about what’s going on in a woman’s heart, that complex person. We laugh about it. We talk about men from Mars and women from Venus and noodles and spaghetti and w- waffles and all the different ways we can describe how genders react, but that sensitive heart in a woman, uh, what is going on with her sense of self-worth in this moment when she’s no longer being the one that her husband says, “You’re mine.”

Dr. Clarke: It is just beyond devastating. Women are so sensitive in this area. “I’m fat. I’m not attractive to you anymore. I’m not attractive to anyone anymore, and I’m not a good housekeeper, and I guess I’m not a good mom.” I mean, she goes across the board trying to find out how could this have happened, and she thinks it’s because of her. That’s not true. Plus, get this. Every trauma she’s ever experienced in her life, at that very moment, comes rushing in. So, it’s even more devastating. “My dad neglected me. Didn’t think I was that pretty and preferred my sister. I had a boyfriend that rejected me. I had my previous husband who, who dumped me.” Whatever’s happened in her life, everything [inaudible 00:04:31] with this trauma comes in. So, she’s got the whole ball of wax.

Jim: So, it’s like a breaking of the dam, not just springing a leak.

Dr. Clarke: Oh, yeah, this is Hoover Dam just splitting open. He’s done that to her with that one sentence, and so she is desperate to somehow … The most natural response is, “Okay, it is me. That’s some control I can have, and I can hold off maybe the other parts of self-esteem, and if I can really win him back by chasing him, all this can go away.” Not true. You’re gonna make it worse ’cause he’s done with you. You could be the best wife on Earth the next month, and it will make no difference to him ’cause he’s through with you. His heart is turned off-

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Clarke: … and he’s got someone else shoved in there who doesn’t belong there. So, any attempt to win him back is wrong and actually un-biblical and you’re not confronting his sin.

Jim: When that couple has broken their relationship for all these reasons that we’re talking about, what is that man gonna find in the next relationship?

Dr. Clarke: Absolutely disaster, misery. Here’s the irony, and I will tell these guys this, but they don’t get it. They think it’s gonna be so much better, and I’ll say, “It will be, buddy, for about four to five months. That’s all you’re gonna get, maybe a year at the outside. It’s you and her against the world, and your kids hate you, and, and you’ve hurt your wife, and you can’t go to church. All the weight of that’s gonna crush you and her, and you’re gonna be separate from God because He will never bless this relationship. It’s out of His nature to do so. You’re gonna have that major problem,” and the guy looks at me like I got three heads. I’ll say, “I’ve talked to a thousand guys just like you, and a thousand out of a thousand, that’s what happened.” Still don’t believe it.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: So, all the books out there, Christian books, who talk about being happy, and someone rationalizes, in this instance, with this set of circumstances, infidelity, “Hey, you know what? God wants me to be happy.”

Dr. Clarke: Wow.

Jim: That’s a common one.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Clarke: Oh, it’s very common.

Jim: What do you say to that person that says that to you?

Dr. Clarke: I get my Bible out, which I keep in my off- I say, “I’m serious. Show me in the Bible where God wants you to be happy.” They can’t show me. “Further, me, read me Malachi 2:16. That’s as clear as a bell. Whoa,” but I’m trying to get the message across, “You’re not gonna be the exception to sinning and getting away with it. No one does.”

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Clarke: And I tried, and I’m tough enough that I, I’m hoping to make the message clear. I’m banging him in the head, but I’m also saying, “Look, I’m trying to save you, buddy. I want you to believe that. Save your life.”

Jim: In many ways, you’re acting like the Old Testament character of Nathan-

Dr. Clarke: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … when he confronts David.

Dr. Clarke: Right.

Jim: Uh, set that story up for us and talk about why that worked.

Dr. Clarke: It was an incredible story. He was King David, number one man, a man after God’s own heart in that kingdom, really could do no wrong, and walk with God. He makes this terrible mistake with Bathsheba, and it shows how crazy you can get in, in an affair and in sexual sin. You will do things you would never dream of doing. He has Uriah killed to cover his sin, like, and that’s covering, doing whatever you can, and Nathan took his life in his own hands. He had the guts. God’s looking for people, friends, family members, pastors, counselors to have the guts to stand up and say, “You’re the man. You’re sinning.” Nathan did it.

John: And he could have been killed by David-

Dr. Clarke: Oh, instantly.

John: … for offending the king.

Dr. Clarke: Right. “How … In my throne? How dare you?” But to David’s credit and, of course, God’s, ultimately, he was broken, but Nathan tells a story of the sheep and all that, uh, boom, just nailed him, and he responded, and God restored him. There were consequences. We need more Nathans. We need a lot more Nathans. We got a bunch of wimps out there that won’t speak truth. I had a wife the other day in my office. Her husband’s having an affair, and she can’t find anyone, not anybody at her church, that will stand up and say and deal with her husband. I said, “That’s disgraceful. Well, I’ll do it, and we’ll try to find somebody else to do it.” She’s alone. She needs somebody to support her.

Jim: So many friends would say to themselves, “Oh, you know, my friendship means a lot to me. If I say that, I may not have that friendship any longer.” Not that … It sounds too simplistic to say it that way, but, um, and we may not even process it that way, but that may go through our minds, that, is it our role? Is it our responsibility to say-

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … to my friend, “You seem to be out a lot without your husband. What’s going on?”

Dr. Clarke: Right. That’s a real friend. The Bible talks about a friend that sticks closer than a brother, and you speak truth. My best friend, Rocky, speaks truth to me in areas of my life, and it’s, and it’s really saved me a lot of grief. He’s got the guts to do it, and the Bible’s clear. We don’t, we don’t hear sermons on Matthew 18 because it’s so uncomfortable. We like to just save all the marriages before that point. Well, we’re trying to do that, and Focus tries to do that, but there are times when it’s broken apart, and we need somebody to step forward, and the Bible clearly states, “One or two witnesses.” That’s a friend. That’s someone who has the guts to, on the behalf of the wife or the husband, step up and confront the sinner in love. We could choke out so many sins just across the board, name the sin, if we had accountability, on a weekly basis and as needed, a call in the middle of a night, if you have to, when Satan’s doing his thing, but we don’t have that because, ultimately, we want to sin. If I’m not gonna be accountable, what I’m saying is, in essence, “I want to do these things,” because then no one knows. Satan does his best work in secret-

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Clarke: … but if I’m gonna have Rocky know everything about me, everything about me and my weaknesses, okay, I’ve changed the whole game.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Clarke: Now, I can stay out of that, and I’m saying, “I don’t want to sin.”

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

John: And how about you? Uh, let me ask you. Do you have a close friend, a Christian, who can hold you accountable? Sounds like really good advice. Well, today, on Focus on the Family, Dr. David Clarke shares, uh, some powerful advice and the insight from his book, What to Do When Your Spouse Says, I Don’t Love You Anymore. We’ll recommend you get your copy at And as we return to the conversation with Dr. Clarke, I asked a follow-up question about accountability. And I wonder if you can just give me, as a guy, a couple of questions I can ask somebody if I feel like that, that looks like a dangerous behavior, a sinful behavior that he’s engaged in, maybe not leading toward a divorce, but maybe my friend is really doing some stupid things. W- W- How do I broach that subject with him?

Dr. Clarke: I would give him a little bit of a warning ’cause guys don’t like surprises, even if it’s a good friend of yours, and you’ll, you’ll say, “I need to have a meeting with you. I’m concerned about some things in your life, and I wanna have an honest conversation with you about that.” Now, if he resists that meeting, okay, now we know, k- without question, he’s doing something wrong, and we’re gonna have to … and then you’re gonna show up and just surprise him.

John: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Clarke: So, it’s a good test. Any guy that, that is not into something bad or is willing to talk about it, “Okay, that’s good. Okay, let’s meet.” So, he knows the agenda. It’s not, “Let’s have a couple of pancakes,” and then, “Are you sinning? You, you …” I wouldn’t start that way, but once you’ve set it up that way, then the conversation is, after some small talk maybe, maybe very little, “I’m, I’m concerned about you. You know I love you, and I’m saying this out of love and concern, as the Bible would have me do, and I’ve seen some things in your life that I’m concerned about, and man-to-man, this is just between the two of us, I want you to tell me the truth, and I’ll do whatever I can to help you. I will, I will spend time with you. We’ll, we’ll … If you want me to go with you to your wife or your pastor, I’ll do that. I’m a friend. I’m not just dumping a load here,” and you want a relationship where you’d even say, “You know what? I want it to go both ways.”

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Clarke: “I’m confronting you, but you know what, man? I got my own issues, and I got my own weaknesses. So, when we’re done with you, I want you to ask me the same questions.” That’s gutsy. That’s a two-way street, and it lightens the load on him because it’s like, “Yeah. I got issues, too,” and if he’d respond to that, that’s gonna be a deeper friendship, and you can save him, and it could be short of serious sin that you and he can work things out with God. He may have to go to his wife and share something, but you’ll support him in that, too. That would be strong.

Jim: Let me ask you, in your experience, David. Uh, I’m laughing because I, I’m reminded of a comedian who had a little skit on this, and he talked about, uh, a couple that he knew in this skit, that they were divorcing, and he talked his wife into letting him go play golf with this man so he might talk to him about, you know-

Dr. Clarke: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … this divorce, and so he goes away for four or five hours, and the man comes home, and the wife says, “Well, did you talk to him?” And he said, “Nah.” He got a new club and never spent any time talking-

Dr. Clarke: (laughs)

Jim: … about the divorce.

Dr. Clarke: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: And he turns that into a funny schtick.

Dr. Clarke: Yeah.

Jim: But that is kind of where a lot of us, as men, are at today.

Dr. Clarke: Yeah.

Jim: We never get around to the tough discussion. Women, it seems, in their relational capability, they’re much better at sitting down and talking heart-to-heart. They, uh, and I don’t wanna just say they’re wired for it, but they seem more capable and competent in doing this. Men struggle. That description of a conversation you just provided, um, I don’t think it happens very often in male relationships. It’s, “Yeah, I spent four hours golfing with him, but his relationship with his wife just never came up.”

Dr. Clarke: Right. And you gotta make it come up. Nathan made it come up. It is gutsy, and it runs against, I think, male nature to get that deep, but it’s the requirement of scripture. We have examples. Course, throughout scripture, every time sin happens in scripture, it’s to be confronted.

Jim: Is it a lack of manliness? Are we missing … As men today, are we missing what it means to be a Godly man? Because we’re not … We’re jocular. We’re more in that place of fun and entertainment-

Dr. Clarke: Superficial. Right, and Satan, with entertainment and sports and all the stuff that guys like to talk about, he’s winning because that’s not what you should be talking about only, and a guy doesn’t … Like I was telling John, uh, you don’t wanna confront the guy because you don’t wanna be confronted. This is a two-way street. If I have got the guts to confront Rocky, then I have to let him confront me ’cause guys immediately would say, “Well, you’re calling me on this. How about you?” Exactly. So, if we get a two-way street, it could make a huge difference.

Jim: Uh, last time, we talked a bit about, uh, rightfully, that when a spouse is in the situation they have sinned against God, and as they begin to project that sin to the spouse, well, she never did … fill in the blank, or she would not … fill in the blank, and we begin to justify why I was in this affair because my needs weren’t being met. You’re saying that’s not how sin happens. Sin’s between you and God.

Dr. Clarke: Right.

Jim: Those things may be backdrop items that need to be worked on, but when you sin, that’s between you and God, and I think you hit that very forcefully last time. Let’s move to the next step. I mean, let’s say the couple wants to look for-

Dr. Clarke: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … reconciliation and repair. Um, how do you begin to work on those contributing factors, uh, together and talk about them honestly?

Dr. Clarke: Transition is tricky, but it can be done, and it can be done when you really have healed in that first phase. The man’s re- Let’s say he’s had the affair. He’s repentant. He’s sorry. We done all the work, the document, the response document, [crosstalk 00:15:18] conversations.

Jim: Five to six months, usually.

Dr. Clarke: Right. Five to six months in, we have really healed, trust is being rebuilt. Now, we make the segue, and I’ll be very clear. Now, they know it’s coming ’cause I already told them that. We’re gonna reach the point, we’re gonna look at the marriage very hard. When the wife has enough trust, and you’ve changed … I wouldn’t ask her to do that until she knows you’re a different man. You’re the next Billy Graham. You are growing, you are solid, you are on track. Now, she can trust you with more personal things. Now, we can look at the marriage, and so what we do is the first assignment is always, okay, now, we’re gonna start look at your marriage. This is … It has nothing to do with the affair. You’re still working on that mop up operation as you need to, but the whole different arena now is your marriage. I want you to bring … The homework is, what have each of you done in your marriage, apart from any sins, that has been your responsibility that has really caused problems in this marriage? And we all have a list. The guy has a list, and now the wife, who was the victim, now she has a list, but she can do that now because she’s healed, and, and she knows that the marriage wasn’t where it, what it needed to be. Fine, and now she can actually do that work. So, we start going down that path, and-

Jim: What does that typically look like, um, in your counseling practice? What are the more normal things that a wife who is in that situation, has made it through, committed to her husband, what are those things that she would need to work on?

Dr. Clarke: Very commonly, she will admit, “You know what? I, I, I have focused too much on the kids. You know, I, I’m a, I wasn’t a mom before, and I’m, uh, and I’m spending too much time with the kids, and they really come before you.” It could be her career. “I’ve really gotten involved in my career, and I’m trying to please people.” I was talking to a teacher the other day, a, a female teacher, wonderful teacher, and she’s going way too far. She is absolutely … Teaching’s a huge job, and she’s doing more than she needs to. She needs to admit, “Boy, that my career’s too important.” She may have to admit, “I’ve not been as affectionate with you. I’ve not respected you as a husband. I don’t praise you. I don’t act like I’m crazy about you. I, I’m doing sex as a duty.” All that would be very classic things that she needs to own and begin to change.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative), but you’re saying, absolutely, that should never be a rationalization for the husband.

Dr. Clarke: Right.

Jim: Sin is sin.

Dr. Clarke: Right. ‘Cause if I’m that woman and I participated in your affair and I’m partly to blame, then the rest of my life with you, if I stay with you, I’m gonna have to wonder if I’m good enough today, if I’m good enough this week. That’s got nothing to do with it.

Jim: David, as you, last time and this time, again, talk about that point at which a man, if he’s in the, uh, perpetrator position here, if he’s the one that has caused the infidelity, etc., the importance of repentance, apply that more broadly, spiritually speaking. What is in the human psychology, in the spirit of the human being? What is going on with repentance, and why do some spouses get it and they wanna change and they say, “Okay, I’m in,” and then others continue a façade? What is the difference there? What does true repentance look like?

Dr. Clarke: Ultimately, it’s between you and God. That’s what it all comes down to. Yes, I’ve damaged my wife terribly, but that isn’t even the primary thing. I’ve hurt God Himself, who sent Christ to die for me. All my sins, I’m thumbing my nose at Him, and I’m saying, “I don’t want a relationship with you.” I’m choosing the world and what it, it has to offer. True repentance is, “I get it, and I’m very aware. How could I have done this to my savior, Jesus Christ, to my, to the God who created me, who’s given me all these good things? And if you get that, then that typically leads to brokenness, but if you don’t wanna get that and you’re gonna say, “You know what? God really isn’t that important, and there’s a better way.” Now, that’s what you’re saying. “God’s way is not the best way. I’m gonna do it my way, and God’s disappointed me, and He’s not been …” and they’ll blame God. When they really get honest, they’re blaming God for their sin.

Jim: Uh, let’s move again past that point where the friction and the, the big sin has happened, the recovery’s occurred five to six months down the road, they’re working on their own issues, uh, the marriage is doing pretty good, there’s more trust, but how does that offended spouse not fall back into the-

Dr. Clarke: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: “How come you worked so late tonight? Um, what was that phone call about?”

Dr. Clarke: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: How does she or he, uh, rebuild the trust that’s been broken, even over a year or two years or five years?

Dr. Clarke: Yeah.

Jim: How do they really ever trust again?

Dr. Clarke: Boy, good question. What I have to have that lady do, and I’m gonna actually have both of them do it as part of the marriage work in the second phase, Jim, and that is she has to look at all the things prior to marrying this man that are now gonna transfer in and cause her not to trust. Satan’s gonna use every one of those. “My dad neglected me. My dad abused me. The neighbor boy touched me inappropriately. I’ve been disappointed in these other relationships. I’ve never healed from those.” All that now, and Satan will kind of wait. He’ll, he’ll have it explode at first, but if you heal, it goes underground. Now, he’s gonna wait, ’cause he’s smart, until you’re starting to heal, and now he’s gonna hit her with that. So, and the guy will think, “She’ll never forgive me.” All that stuff has to be dealt with. Now, we do it together. The husband’s gonna be your main support. The one that hurt you the worst is now he’s gonna help you through these personal issues, and you’re gonna help him through yours, and that’s a huge part of the process.

Jim: What do you teach her to do to … How does she bite her tongue if she has that concern? What, practically speaking, do you help her do differently?

Dr. Clarke: Other than working on her own issues with her husband, she needs to see it as Satan’s lie. He’s the father of lies. He is lying to her by trying to confuse her, and she needs to see it that way. I’ll have actually write down, write down the lie. What is Satan telling you? What’s coming into your head, and what’s the truth? And this is the husband’s not even around, she’s thinking all these things, and then as soon as you can talk to your husband, then bring that out, and I think always need to be shared, but in the context of, “I went through a hard time today. I am trying to trust you, but here’s what happened,” and to the other, they pray about it. That’s strong. So, it’s never secret. “I battled this. I think I know the truth.” He just reinforces it. “Honey, I want you to always come to me, and I can explain why I was late from work,” and so you have the discussion, but it’s brief, and then you move on.

Jim: If you have a, a serial abuser in that regard, um, the wife has tried valiantly to save the marriage because she knows God says He hates divorce. If it is perpetual and sporadic improvement, is that a better situation in terms of her making that final decision to say, “You’re not maturing. You’re not growing. I’ve gotta say it’s over.”

Dr. Clarke: Yeah. Yeah. That’s really God speaking to her, and I never recommend divorce, but I will say … I will go as far as separation. Clearly, this is a case you need to leave him, and I say, “Let God be your guide, that there is a biblical reason here, and based on his behavior of not turning from his sin, relapse after relapse-”

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Clarke: “… bad attitude, okay. Uh, you know, you can talk to your pastor. Make it a matter of prayer, and I believe God will, will release that, if it’s God Himself, but He will find a way to release you, and it’s based on, yeah, His continuing sin.”

Jim: And, and so in that case, I mean, there needs to be, uh, a reasonableness to the situation and to make sure that you are pursuing God’s will in that.

Dr. Clarke: Right.

Jim: I like that idea of separation, not divorce, that … as the ultimate goal.

Dr. Clarke: Right, and that, that’s really his last chance.

Jim: Yeah.

Dr. Clarke: He … God’s gonna honor you for giving him every possible opportunity while protecting your own heart, but now we’re gonna have to go to the next level, a- and I have to train some of these ladies. They may not be ready to leave. Well, let’s get you ready, emotionally, financially. Uh, get a job. Get training. Gotta rebuild your life because this kind of a dirtball, and I say, “Dirtball, because he is now proven to be a dirtball, is gonna cut you off financially, squeeze you, try to character assassinate you. So, you gotta get ready for all that and be strong and tough enough. That’ll just confirm … Of course, (laughs) it’s not gonna work, but you … These guys are so nasty to protect themselves, they’ll say things like, “Well, she’s really crazy. You don’t see this at church, but I live with her, and she’s cra-” Uh, it’s lies to ruin her reputation, to protect himself, and there are guys that are smooth enough and good enough, the narcissists of this world that can get away with it-

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Clarke: … but I want the wife to know, “Be prepared for that. You’re gonna move on.”

Jim: And, again, I’ll say it, but in a … I’m sorry to keep saying this, but the shoe is on both feet. In other words-

Dr. Clarke: Right.

Jim: … the women do this to men. Men do this to women in this modern culture.

Dr. Clarke: Oh, yeah, and, and the, the percentage of women having affairs is rising. It’s not going down.

Jim: Right.

Dr. Clarke: So-

Jim: Uh, you say that most marriages fail not because of, of adultery, um, although that’s a predictor, uh, but because couples fail to do the, the very hard work of, uh, healing and living a biblical marriage. As we wrap up right now, take a minute as, to end on a high note, really, on a biblical note, and give us your best argument for why all this work and pain is worth it.

Dr. Clarke: Boy, I could tell you 100 stories. I’m thinking of one right now of a couple that has, that has gone through the process and is, right now, at the end, and it’s a wonderful story of redemption, and they, we hit all the high points. He, he’s a Godly young man. He made a mistake. He slept with somebody at work. His wife was devastated. She had a difficult past. All that filtered in. They’ve gone through the steps, and, right now, they have a better marriage than they ever had before.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Clarke: They’re close. They’re intimate. They have honesty. Everything is clicking. God’s at the center, and so that’s what I’m talking about.

Jim: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Dr. Clarke: That’s what can happen with God’s help, a wonderful story. Who gets the glory? God does. He … They worked hard. We all worked hard, but God did it.

Jim: And it’s beautiful. It’s when it works, and it takes our participation-

Dr. Clarke: Yep.

Jim: … uh, not fairy dust, our hard work-

Dr. Clarke: [crosstalk 00:24:34]-

Jim: … to say, “God, we wanna honor you-”

Dr. Clarke: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jim: … and, uh, there is an enemy of our soul, and to recognize that. Dr. David Clarke, author of the book, What to Do When Your Spouse Says, I Don’t Love You Anymore. Thanks so much for being with us.

Dr. Clarke: Well, thank you.

Jim: What a wonderful way to end that conversation, with hope, and that really is our bottom-line message today. There is hope for your marriage, even if you don’t feel it, and here at Focus on the Family, we’d like to help you in whatever we can. We’ve mentioned our Hope Restored program several times these past two days. Hope Restored is a counseling retreat that’s designed to help your marriage survive and thrive, uh, through intensive counseling over several days. Hurting couples learn how to love each other again, really how to communicate with each other and put God at the center of their relationship, and we have a 99% satisfaction rating for those couples who’ve gone through Hope Restored. Those are pretty good odds, and we encourage you to check it out. If you need to talk to someone right away, uh, let us put you in touch with one of our Christian counselors. They are available to talk with you, pray with you, and get you on the right path to heal your relationship.

John: And the number to call for every one of these resources and so much more is 800-232-6459, 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY or visit our website,

Jim: And. If the relationship with your spouse is in a good place, let me invite you to join our Marriage Rescue Team. Uh, we need financial partners, like you, to support broadcasts, like this one, and provide the counseling, websites, and other resources, like Hope Restored, that we’ve described. If you can make a monthly pledge to Focus on the Family, uh, you’ll help rescue hurting marriages all year long. Imagine how many more families we can save and strengthen when we work together. So, can we count on your generous support today? I hope so.

John: We’d love to hear from you, and we, uh, do understand that you might not be able to afford a monthly pledge right now. Uh, please know that your one-time gift of any amount will have a great impact, as well. Either way, if you make a monthly pledge or one-time donation of any amount today, we’ll say, “thank you,” by sending a copy of Dr. Clarke’s book, What to Do When Your Spouse Says, I Don’t Love You Anymore. And it might be that you know a couple who could benefit from this important resource. Donate at or when you call 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. Next time we’ll hear from Dr. Kathy Koch, who offers some great spiritual encouragement.


Dr. Kathy Koch: No matter what our specific purposes are, I do know that we were created to leave the world a better place. We were created to make a difference that is positive.

Today's Guests

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