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Focus on the Family Broadcast

Growing Your Marriage in Times of Stress (Part 2 of 2)

Growing Your Marriage in Times of Stress (Part 2 of 2)

Milan and Kay Yerkovich help you understand how your attachment style impacts they way you relate to stress and how you can use stressful situations as opportunities to grow closer to your spouse. (Part 2 of 2)
Original Air Date: August 13, 2019

Kay Yerkovich: When we’re at work or church, we do our best to put our best foot forward, but at home, our stressed self is gonna be more evident, and I think, you know, to help people understand that that stress response is different for … Some people do lash out. Some people shut down. Uh, some people, um, go out the back door as quick as they can.

Milan Yerkovich: Some people sleep.

Jim Daly: Right.

Kay: Some people sleep. You know, I know there was a period in our marriage, really for the first 15 years, Milan cleaned when he was stressed, and I had no idea that he was cleaning because he was anxious inside.

John Fuller: That’s Kay Yerkovich describing some of the common and unique ways that tension can manifest itself within the relationship you have with your spouse. Kay and her husband, Milan, are back with us today on Focus on the Family. And your host is Focus president and author, Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller.

Jim: And John, we had a great conversation last time with Milan and Kay, uh, talking about stress and marriage. And if you’ve had no stress in marriage, please write us a letter.

John: Yeah, we’d like to know your secret on that one.

Jim: Contact us. (laughs).

John: (laughs).

Jim: Because I think we all, uh, even the Yerkovich’s, especially in the early part of their marriage, the first 15 years was very stressful. And, uh, but they looked and studied the word to find ways to resolve this. And I am so grateful for those many years of pain that they had to go through so that they could help us today better understand what we’re feeling. And they’ve lived it and that’s what makes their testimony so powerful and what they have learned. And I’m sure many of you, like me, like you, John, uh, we have moments when we’re stressed out and we don’t even know why those triggers are occurring. And today, we’re going to talk about how to identify them and how to, uh, move forward. And if you missed the broadcast yesterday, uh, get a copy of it.

John: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Because that sets the, kind of the groundwork for what we’re going to talk about today.

John: Yeah, download the app so you can listen on the go or, uh, call us for a CD. Our number is 800-A-FAMILY. And online you can find a- additional resources at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Now, we mentioned last time that the Yerkovich’s are marriage and family counselors and they’ve written a number of books about the love style concept. And, uh, they have an in depth video series that really is the basis for this conversation. It’s called Turning Stress Into Opportunities for Emotional Connection.

Jim: That sounds like a challenge, uh, (laughs), but we’re going to learn how to do it. Milan and Kay, welcome back to Focus.

Kay: Thank you.

Milan: Thank you so much.

Jim: It is good to have you. And I’m telling you folks, uh, Milan and Kay have really lived it and Jean and I are learning so much from you and going through your resources. Uh, it’s fantastic. So, thank you for what you’ve done, thank you for living through difficult times so that you can now live in a much more God-centered time in your marriage. Just briefly describe that, the first 15 years and the last 35 that you’ve had together.

Kay: Well, I would say in the first 15 years, uh, we didn’t know how to describe our inner self. We didn’t have a vocabulary for feelings. Um, we … Neither of us really had memories of comfort growing up, so we really didn’t know how to take our stress into relationship. So, we ignored a lot.

Jim: Right.

Kay: Uh, we swept a lot under the rug. Um, we really had very little ability to even resolve conflict, because we didn’t really have good modeling of that either.

Jim: So, it just simmered? And I’m saying that because so many of us live there.

Kay: Oh yeah, it simmered. And of course-

Jim: Yeah.

Kay: … when things simmer long enough, they, you know, the pan goes dry and the smoke starts smoking. And, you know, you- you have to do something or you’re going to just stay in this painful place. I would say, you know, we learned how to emotionally connect, which has made such a difference. We developed a vocabulary for feelings. And we still have stress. Uh, stress is just a part of living in this world. But we know how to manage it now. We know how to take it to each other. We know how to ask for comfort. We know how to resolve a conflict, if the stress is between us. And those are just skills we did not have in the first 15 years.

Jim: And I so appreciate that background, because it paints the picture of your experience, what you have brought to bear on this, on human relationship. In fact, in the material, you talk about Hebrews 4:14 and, uh, kind of the example that Jesus gives us there. What- what happens?

Kay: Right. Well, he says that he’s … That the throne of God is the safe place to come.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Kay: And to bring our stress and our needs to him. And, you know, that is even a great model for a parent. You know, are we a safe place where kids can bring their emotions and their needs and- and be honest with what they’re going through?

John: Or a spouse.

Kay: Or a spouse.

Jim: Wow, that’s sounds w- … Even when I say it, it sounds more dangerous. Isn’t that interesting?

Kay: Well, and this is another point that I think is important to make is that, all that we’re talking about, to bring anything into relationship requires risk and it requires vulnerability.

John: Right.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Kay: And, you know, that is … It’s uncomfortable, because we don’t quite know how someone is going to respond. And it took us a while to get comfortable. There were a lot of uncomfortable inner changes before we learned and developed skills to make it more comfortable. But even looking back to our families or origin, there’s an atmosphere or a level of vulnerability or lack thereof in the home you grew up in. And the more vulnerable your home, the safer it was to, uh, be open and express your hurt or your feelings, the easier it’s going to be as an adult to go to people.

Jim: Mm-hmm. You also use the phrase, uh, that you picked out of scripture there, “One another.” How often scripture talks about one another. Uh, describe what you learned from that phraseology that the scripture uses, one another. Um, do you have some examples?

Milan: I do. We realized that, here we are married and yet we couldn’t take the commands of scripture to one another, which was to be … Speak the truth and love to one another. We didn’t know how to do that. Listen to one another. We didn’t know how to listen well. You know, the Bible says, “Be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” Well, we had that all backwards.

Jim: (laughs).

John: Mm-hmm.

Milan: And we had, we had to-

Jim: So true.

Milan: … work, we had to work so hard to learn to become good listeners. It’s a skill we had to learn to develop. And then we had to learn to comfort one another for whatever they were feeling, because we’re told in 2 Corinthians 1 to comfort one another. Well, these are commands of scripture. Now, we’re big on … In the church, we get the command of the Great Commission. Okay? “Go, make disciples of all the nations.” And then we’re big on the Great Commandment, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and your neighbors yourself.” We- we get those. We have missed, I believe, the one another’s horizontally that we’re supposed to do with each other.

Kay: And they’re the hardest in marriage, because that’s where we build up resentment. That’s where we have hurts that may not be resolved. And- and yet, that’s the most important place that we could practice the one anothers.

Jim: Right. Well, in fact, the phrase it, you know, nobody knows you like your spouse.

Kay: That’s exactly right.

Jim: That is, we- we don’t say, “Nobody knows you like your friend.” (laughs).

Kay: But, you know, it’s interesting, Jim, as much as that’s true, when we ask a couple, “What is your spouse’s stress response?” They kind of look at us like, “What are you talking about?” Well, what do you … What do they do when they’re stressed? What do you observe about them? What do you see in their behavior, in their voice tones? And it’s different for everybody. Some people go sleep, some people get angry, some people huff and puff, some people withdraw and retreat. I think, you know, when you can really study your family, study your- your spouse, your kids, what do they do when they’re stressed? Because that’s the time we want to move toward them to find out what’s going on inside.

Jim: Well-

Kay: They’re obviously not okay.

Jim: Yeah. And let me ask you that specifically, because I don’t know if it’s intentional, but I think we’re just not observant. I mean, I d-, I- I can think of that for myself with Jean. You know, do I know her triggers and those things as well as I should? Probably not. I h- … But it’s almost like it- it’s because I’m just not tuned into the frequency. Does that make sense?

Kay: Well, we … Automatically, when we sense those things, we’re like, “Uh-oh, stay away,” or- or pick a fight, or, you know?

Jim: Run for cover.

Kay: But we don’t know how to-

Milan: Run for cover, yeah.

Jim: (laughs).

Kay: We don’t … Yeah, exactly.

Jim: But we all do it. I mean, that’s the thing.

Kay: Right.

Jim: It’s not like I don’t want to learn. It’s like, I have a different reaction that I’m not even seemingly in control of.

Kay: Ri- or aware of.

Jim: Yeah.

Milan: I had a couple in my office who, uh, when she was stressed, she would rip open the closet, tear everything out of the closet and rearrange it all. And, uh, just put structure and o- and organization in her world. She would put … And a lot of us do this. We clean and structure and sort our physical environment as a way of managing our internal chaos and distress. And I taught her husband how to recognize that when she starts ripping the closet apart, or, uh, dumping drawers out on the floor, to instead of saying, “What are you doing?” Or, “That’s crazy.” Or, “Can I help you?” Uh, none of those. It’s, “You must be stressed right now. Sit down and tell me what’s stressing you before you finish that closet.” And he learned to engage by observing what her stress response was. And they began to have a closer, more intimate relationship because he dared to walk into the hurricane.

Jim: He did the opposite of what he probably felt like doing.

Milan: But that’s what God calls us to do.

Jim: Yeah.

Milan: Everything that God calls us to do is counterintuitive-

Jim: Yeah.

Milan: … to our fleshly nature.

Jim: You- you mentioned comfort, so let’s go to something you call, the comfort cycle. Uh, what is the comfort cycle? What are the elements of it?

Kay: There’s four points. Awareness. And then to engage. And then to find out more, listen and find out more. And then to resolve. Awareness is just what Milan was talking about. What is your spouse’s stress response? Because when you see it, or in a, in one of your kids, you can say, “You know, you’re doing the thing you always do when you’re not okay. So, let- let’s sit down.” That’s awareness. Or it may be that I’m now aware that when I’m ripping drawers apart, I’m not okay. I could go to my husband and say … The second step, to engage. Which is, “You know, I realize I really want to clean right now. I think I need to do the comfort circle.” Uh, which just basically means, I need someone to really hear me out and help me sort through what’s inside my soul.

Jim: Yeah. Uh, so that’s engage. And then explore-

Kay: Explore-

Jim: … so that-

Kay: … is find out more. And the difference between the comfort circle and other forms of communication is when you are the listener, you stay the listener. It’s all about the person you’re listening to. Um, even if you disagree, you find out more and you keep listening.

Jim: Right. So, you have the seek awareness, engage, explore and then resolve. So, what does resolve look like?

Milan: So, again, all of these are- are biblical mandates. Engage is to speak the truth and love each one of you as his neighbor. Uh, to listen and explore is, be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.

Jim: (laughs). I’m laughing because we do that so poorly.

Milan: I know that. And then, to resolve is to ask the other person to say, “Look, I can understand you have unpleasant feelings on the inside. And I can understand why you’re doing what you’re doing right now. But, what would help you? How can I … What- what do you need right now?” And that resolves it, because the person is seen, they’re known, they have vented, they’ve told you what’s going on. And then they’re … Create some closure. Closure is to comfort one another, uh, encourage one another. And so, the resolution allows a- a person to pick from the things that would allow them to feel better.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Milan: Which is, we could help me analyze this, which a lot of people want to do right away. We don’t analyze or fix anything. We listen first, empathize, fix tomorrow, uh, at- at some later date. But, uh, sometimes I would hold Kay if she was distressed. I would j-, you know, physically hold her.

Kay: I had to learn to allow that.

Jim: Yeah. Because that did not come naturally.

Kay: Oh, not at all.

Milan: No.

Jim: Yeah.

Kay: I mean, again, if you have a very affectionate family and, you know, they have their arms around you when you’re stressed, then that’s normal. But, uh, that was very abnormal to me.

Jim: Yeah.

Kay: And so, learning to receive comfort, um, through physical touch and through holding and learning to just even cry in the presence of my husband was a challenge.

Jim: Yeah.

Kay: It took a few years to really feel comfortable.

Milan: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Oh, the pain of that, ugh.

Milan: So, physical touch, I had to learn as a male, was not a sexual physical touch. I had to learn to distinguish and refine, uh, the skill and art and the emotional tolerance within myself to have physical touch and not have it be sexual. I had to learn to be nurturing.

Jim: Yeah.

John: Mm-hmm.

Milan: And that is something that both of us had to learn to do as well, is to give it as well as to receive it.

John: This is, Focus on the Family with Jim Daly. Our guests today are Milan and Kay Yerkovich. And, uh, we’re so glad to have them as we talk about stress, particularly as it affects, uh, marriage. And, uh, I think most of us who are married have had some stressful moments. Get the resources. We’ve got, uh, Kay, you mentioned, uh, some questions to use in this comfort cycle, uh, conversation. Uh, we have an emotions, uh, words’ list, a soul list that we’ve posted. A special audio that the, uh, Yerkovich’s have done. And more. Uh, all of that at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or call 800, the letter A and the word, FAMILY.

Jim: Uh, I like the idea of the- the cycle. What are things that disrupt that, um, in the relationship, the marital relationship? How do things go array? G- because some people may go to the website, they may look at that and say, “Okay, we can do this.” And then they begin to engage, step two, they’re trying to be aware. They begin to engage and then what can go array? (laughs).

Milan: (laughs). Everything.

Kay: Everything. In fact, it’s kind of funny. We had someone say, “Really, you should call this the discomfort circle.”

Jim: Oh, that’s good.

Kay: And- and we laughed-

Jim: No, I’m serious. That’s good.

Kay: … we said, “You’re right. It really s- … It started out as very uncomfortable-

Jim: That’s funny (laughs).

Kay: … not comfortable.” Uh, but I think the whole idea of just conflict in a marriage and the ability … I mean, we get defensive. We don’t like what someone says, so we start to correct it. It’s actually very hard to stay in the listener role when you don’t like what you’re hearing.

Milan: If you fight or flight or freeze, you can’t do the comfort circle.

Jim: Right.

Milan: You have to learn to un-thaw and begin to learn to listen, which means I have to regulate myself in order to be able to be a good listener.

Jim: Can I ask you on behalf of the listeners, can you just role play that for us? Just pick a topic, give us the topic so we understand what you’re going through, and just exchange that. Uh, uh, maybe do it the way you should, the discomfort way, the way-

Kay: (laughs).

Milan: (laughs).

Jim: … you shouldn’t do it. And then do it the comfort way, the way that same k- dialogue should occur-

Milan: Mm-hmm.

Jim: … when it’s healthy. Could you do that?

Milan: Oh sure, we can.

Jim: Okay.

Milan: Um-

Jim: Give us the- the what.

Milan: I got this thing in the mail called Silver Sneakers, which means you can go to any gym and sign up for free. But, A, I don’t like to admit that I’m aging. B, that I-

Jim: (laughs). I was going to say, it sounds like a little-

Milan: … B- B, that I need help. Uh, and C, I- I want to pay for it myself. I don’t want to walk in and et cetera, et cetera. So, when Kay showed me the Silver Sneaker thing-

Kay: This is how the first round went.

Milan: This is how the first round went.

Kay: Hey, honey, look, we got a Silver Sneakers thing. We can get in the gym for free now, we don’t even have to pay. We can go to all of them.

Jim: (laughs).

Milan: That is so needy and- and I- I … No. I don’t like that. Just no. I want to pay myself. I just want to go, pay for the gym membership and go, “Hi, gym member,” and pay for it myself. I don’t want to just have to need things from people because I’m getting old.

Kay: Are you serious with me right now?

Milan: Yeah.

Kay: Like-

Milan: I- I do not like what this is connoting.

Kay: You- you want to pay when it could be free?

Milan: I hate getting this stuff in the mail.

Kay: That just doesn’t make any sense at all.

Milan: It doesn’t matter, I’m going to pay 400 bucks and join the gym, because I don’t want to-

Jim: (laughs).

Milan: … do this because it is somehow an admission of weakness.

Kay: I- I can’t believe it.

Milan: So, that’s how-

Jim: Okay. That’s good, yeah.

Milan: … so that-

Kay: That- that was a first.

Milan: … so that’s the first conversation.

Jim: Right.

Milan: Okay. Second-

Jim: How could this go differently?

Kay: You know, honey, when we were talking about Silver Sneakers, I realized, there’s a lot going on inside you and I just kind of really reacted and I didn’t really bother to stop and say, what- what are you feeling about that? I … Can you pick a couple words off the soul words list that would help me understand like, what- what’s going on in you when you think of joining something for free or getting older?

Milan: You know what? I was reactive too. And I realize that I, the words would be, weak and pathetic.

Kay: Oh, wow.

Milan: Because I watched people in my family system growing up get weak and get weaker and weaker and more dependent and reliant upon other people taking care of them, when they could’ve been stronger and chosen to try to resist and stay strong. So, I- I think it just felt weak and pathetic. It- it felt like a decline. It felt like something that I- I just didn’t want to go to that place.

Kay: Oh, so really inside it’s a fear of aging, and just the looking at those in your family that didn’t really handle aging very well.

Milan: And it- it was also the inability to care for oneself and the dependence upon others. I saw a lot of that in my family and in my aging parents.

Kay: Oh, that makes a lot more sense to me. And so, really, the whole idea of just going downhill and losing that capacity is, you- you’re afraid of like getting to some place where you’re dependent on another person or I’m dependent on you or you’re dependent on me or-

Milan: Well, at least I don’t want to do that prematurely. I know that the-

Kay: Yeah.

Milan: … inevitability of that is somewhere in the future. I just don’t want to do it prematurely, when I can pay my own gym bill.

Kay: Oh, that makes a lot more sense to me now.

Jim: Even the conversation, even when you’re a listener, uh, the second conversation sounds so much more relationally driven.

Milan: Yeah.

Jim: Much more intimate.

Milan: It is.

Jim: And- and that’s your point.

Kay: Right.

Jim: That’s the whole point.

Milan: We have emotional intimacy right now.

Jim: Right. The rules, I- I think it’s important for people to understand these rules that you have touched on, Kay, the speakers … R- rules for the speaker, rules for the listener. Let’s touch on those quickly. And then we’ve got time for just a couple more questions.

Milan: The rule for the speaker, that’s the one talking, is stick to one topic at a time. The average couple, once a person starts talking, puts a mound of issues onto the table-

Jim: Right.

Milan: … to the point that you can’t even see where the table is anymore. That’s why the one topic was Silver Sneakers.

Jim: Right.

Milan: It didn’t switch to other issues, it stayed right on topic. And we disciplined ourselves to do that.

Jim: I could feel that.

Milan: Yeah. Kay, what about the listener?

Kay: Well, for the listener, I think the hardest thing is to just stay in the listener role no matter what you’re hearing and repeat back for clarity what you’re hearing. And then to find out more means I ask an intelligent question that gives me more information. And that’s hard. That’s a learned skill. And so, that’s why we- we, you know, we have the list of questions to help the listener be able to stay in that role.

Jim: Yeah. And you also talk about that four, the four steps of listening, which are really important I think, listen and summarize if the message is too long.

Kay: Yeah.

Jim: I can see that happening easily. So, am I hearing you correctly? And you-

Kay: You know, and that’s s- … People kind of resist that because it’s like, “Well, I’m just repeating what I heard.” But if you really get into an emotional topic, you may not hear it correctly.

Jim: Right.

Kay: And you may say, “So, this is what you’re saying.” And your spouse will say, “No, no, no. That’s not what I’m saying.”

Jim: Yeah.

Kay: And so, just re- clarifying is very important.

Jim: I think for me, one of the skills I have to continue to work on is I tend to complete the thought. You know, I see that as active engagement (laughs) and Jean sees it as interruption.

Milan: (laughs).

Kay: Yes.

Jim: I’m trying to tell you-

Kay: Well, especially with an introvert.

Jim: Yes.

Kay: Introverts process internally and they get interrupted a lot and their sentences get finished. Um, and so, if you’re, if you’re listening to an introvert, you have to be let … Take the time to let them process internally before they speak.

Jim: Yeah. Man, uh, this again is so good. We have mentioned soul words a couple of times. And again, that’s a list that you created. We post it on the website.

Milan: Mm-hmm.

Jim: Uh, Jean and I are starting to use those as well. Uh, what are they? Give us an example of three or four of those.

Milan: Well, we … They’re basically emotions and descriptors of emotions or words that describe emotions. Because we’re made in the image and li-, image and likeness of God, God is an emotional God and a cognitive God. He’s both. And from Genesis through Revelation, He has every emotion in the book. And He tells us why He has the emotion, where it came from, and what He’s going to do about it.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Milan: So, we then took a list of feeling words that, uh, we accumulated from various sources and we began to look at it every time we had a conversation. And also, I started looking at it as a part of my devotional time with the Lord, because I could pray and tell Him what my real internatal state was. So, uh, I feel sad today. I feel angry. I feel depressed. I feel, um, anxious. I feel overwhelmed. I feel, uh, jealous. I feel envious. All these are- are feelings. Uh, I feel insecure. I’m frightened. I’m scared. I feel tentative. These are all things that we feel, we just have never had words to identify them and to be able to articulate them.

Jim: Mm-hmm. You know, uh, man, this time flies so fast and there’s so many questions still. But we can’t cover it all. And that’s why getting a hold of the resources is so critical. But let’s speak to the process, because, uh, we’re all going to process this differently. We’re all going to begin to want to apply this. What are some of those, uh, warning signs, you know, like on the side of the road, uh, “Slippery when wet,” right? (laughs).

Milan: (laughs).

Kay: (laughs).

Jim: So, what are those warning signs as we begin to use the comfort cycle and we engage in meaningful communication? Where are the pitfalls?

Kay: Well, I think we are in a hurry. We think that once we hear a concept, we should just be able to apply it and it should all make a big shift in our relationship. And th- I think what we see with couples we work with and certainly in our own marriage is, everything took time.

Jim: Mm-hmm.

Kay: There were a lot of mistakes along the way. There were a lot of frustrations. We just kept pushing, because we knew we were doing what God was asking us to do. So, it’s being willing to push through the uncomfortableness of growth and to give it the time it takes to really make major shifts.

Jim: And what I hear you saying is stick to it, don’t- don’t give up when you hit a pothole.

Kay: Right. Because you will.

Jim: Yeah.

Milan: But that’s how we learned everything. You learn a sport, you … How many times do you have to repeat things, uh, if you’re good at it?

Jim: Yeah.

Milan: You guys are fabulous interviewers because you’ve done it tho-, over and over and over and over again.

Kay: Right, right.

Milan: You don’t have to thi- … You know, you think and you plan, obviously, but it’s second nature to you now. Which is what communication has begun to be for us. So, it- it’s a matter of learning to be able to spot if Kay starts to get dysregulated in a conversation, or I do, we’ll- we’ll say, “Time out. I’m not doing well right now. Let me catch my breath. Let me do some slow breathing and then l- … Give me five minutes to walk around the house and then I’m going to come back and let me try and listen one more time.” So, we got very practical along those lines.

Kay: Yeah, redos-

Milan: Yes.

Kay: … are a big part of growth.

Milan: And then, we … Then we had to work on our tone, because the Bible says, “Speak the truth in love.”

Jim: Yeah, that’s not accidental comment.

Milan: No, no, no, it’s not.

Kay: No (laughs).

Jim: We treat it that way though.

Kay: Yeah.

Milan: No, uh, w-, uh-

Jim: … if you can.

Milan: Let (laughs)-

Jim: (laughs).

Milan: Right. Or- or let your speech be as it were seasoned with salt that it may give grace to those who hear. We can speak truthfully, but it can also be seasoned in such a way that it’s palatable to the other person.

Jim: That’s so good. So good.

Milan: Had to learn to do all this. We didn’t know how. We- we learned all this-

Kay: And we weren’t counselors (laughs) when we were learning this.

Jim: Yes.

Milan: We learned all this at 40 years old, you know, and a- a- around that time zone of our lives.

Jim: Well, so good. This is so good and there’s so much more in the resources that you’ve created. I hope every one of you listening … I can’t imagine a marriage that doesn’t need this kind of help.

Milan: Oh, we all do.

Jim: And again, Jean and I are engaged with you guys. We’re using your resources too.

Milan: Thank you.

Jim: Because they’re so helpful. And that to me is a sign that the Lord is with you, when people are clamoring for that content. To me, that says something that you’ve got the nerve, you’ve- you’ve got the nerve, the hand on the right thing. And, uh, I’m grateful to you for doing that and allowing Focus to partner with you in this way to get it out.

Kay: Well, we love focusing with you and partnering with you.

Jim: (laughs). Thank you.

John: Milan and Kay Yerkovich on today’s episode of Focus on the Family talking about the way that you can actually grow your marriage through stressful times. That content is so helpful.

Jim: It is. And I’m telling you, if you’re looking for a silver bullet to solve problems in your marriage, this is it. As Milan and Kay just said, this stuff doesn’t come naturally. We all have to learn to deal with stress in our marriage. And in my opinion, the best place to start is by following Milan and Kay’s advice. And this is why Focus on the Family exists. We want to help you have the best marriage possible. Of course, challenges arise in every marriage, but we can help. We have a team of caring Christian counselors on our staff. You can call and set up an initial consultation with them. And when they call you back, they will listen to your specific need, pray with you and most likely give you some recommendations on where to start on your path toward healing. And if you feel like your marriage is in major trouble, we also have our Hope Restored marriage intensives. Uh, we hear from couples all the time that say these intensives have saved their marriages. With an 80% success rate, it’s definitely worth giving a try.

John: I’d agree with that, Jim. And then of course, we also have Milan and Kay’s terrific book, How We Love: Discover Your Love Style, Enhance Your Marriage. It’s available here at the ministry.

Jim: Yeah. And when you make a pledge today, and no amount is too small, we’ll send that book to you as our way of saying, thank you for supporting the work of Focus on the Family and helping couples just like you. Uh, you’ll also get an audio download of this conversation with Milan and Kay that has some bonus content that they recorded on ways to help your spouse manage stress.

John: Donate and get your copy of How We Love and that, uh, bonus audio download at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast or give us a call, 800, the letter A, and the word, FAMILY. 800-232-6459. Well, next time, you’ll hear some practical help for moms who are trying to do too much.

Kari Kampakis: But sometimes I was so tapped out that I was irritable, or angry. I was not able to give them what they needed emotionally. So, it really makes you take a look at yourself and think, “Okay, what am I doing in my lifestyle that’s depriving my family of what they need from me?”

Today's Guests

How We Love

How We Love: Discover Your Love Style, Enhance Your Marriage

Receive a copy of How We Love and audio downloads of "Growing Your Marriage in Times of Stress" and “Questions to Ask When Stressed” for your donation of any amount! Plus, receive member-exclusive benefits when you make a recurring gift today. Your monthly support helps families thrive.

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