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Saving Your Marriage From Divorce (Part 1 of 2)

Air Date 07/19/2018

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Dr. David Clarke offers hope for troubled marriages as he outlines a practical plan for breaking destructive habits and rebuilding the relationship, even if only one spouse is committed to doing so. This discussion is based on his book I Don't Want a Divorce: A 90-Day Guide to Saving Your Marriage. (Part 1 of 2)

Episode Transcript

Opening:

David Clarke: So you're in a situation like that with your marriage. It seems impossible. There's just no way out. Look what's happening. It's been years like this. And Satan is pushing. You're done. God may not be done and is not gonna be done with that marriage. There's always a chance, with God's help. So God has asked you to step forward to faith, follow a series of steps, and let's see what He can do. And we know He can do anything. 

John Fuller: With God’s help there is hope for your marriage, and Dr. David Clarke is our guest on Focus on the Family. He'll be offering some of that encouragement to you, and we trust you'll stay tuned. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. And I'm John Fuller. 

Opening Wrap: 

Jim Daly: You know, John, in every marriage that I'm aware of - and I try to take little surveys when I'm traveling and talking to people - um, you're gonna hit times where there's conflict, there's misunderstandings, and maybe even hurt feelings. That's kind of normal. In a healthy marriage, both spouses come together to work on their issues as they arise through good communication and healthy conflict which is why we talk about strengthening your marriage so often here at Focus on the Family. But when we don’t deal with issues as they arise, a marriage can become stale, unhappy, and you and your spouse may get to the point where staying married doesn’t feel worth it anymore. I'm telling you, that's not a good place to be. 

Today we’re gonna come alongside struggling couples and give you the hope that the power of God - and yes, some work on your part will be required for your marriage to be better and that can make it a much happier marriage once again. Here at Focus on the Family, our heart is to strengthen and save marriages - one way we do that is through our Hope Restored program. This is a marriage intensive program located in Branson, Missouri. It's specifically designed for couples that are on the brink of separation or maybe even signed the divorce papers already. And if you’re hurting and in that spot, let us help you! 4 out of 5 couples - that's what I said - 4 out of 5 couples who go through the program are still together two years later and doing better. So I think it's worth your investment to check that out. Maybe not for yourself, but think of the witness and testimony as a Christian that you have in Christ. It's important that you be mindful of that as well. 

John: Yeah. You can find out more about Hope Restored when you call 800-232-6459. We also, of course, have details at focusonthefamily.com/radio. And I mentioned Dr. David Clarke is our guest. He has written a number of books. He's been here before several times - always very strong response from you, our listeners, and we're expecting the same today. His book that we're gonna talk about today is I Don't Want a Divorce: A 90-Day Guide to Saving Your Marriage.

Body: 

Jim: David, welcome back to Focus. 

David: Well, my pleasure to be here.  

Jim: We love having you here. You're just so energetic - number one. You're fun to be with. I can't believe you can contain yourself in a counseling session. You must be a very interesting counselor.  

David: I'm very active. I'm very directive. 

Jim: Are you subdued when a couple is in front of you? Or are you just in their face?  

David: I'm never subdued.  

Jim: I can see that.  

David: I tell them what to do and how to do it. That's why they're coming to me.  

(LAUGHTER) 

I don't say, "Well, how do you" - I have never ever said in a counseling session, "How do you feel about that?"  

Jim: You get right to the point.  

David: Oh, come on. Yeah. We're going to get right to it.  

Jim: I love it. And let me ask you. You believe there is some good news about bad marriages. How?  

David: Three words: join the club. 99.9% of marriages get into the danger category at one point or another.  

Jim: How?  

David: Five to seven years - huge problem area - the 7-year itch is real. And then if you clear that, then it's going to be the 18 to 20-year mark - another huge upswing. Marriage breaks down - annoying habits, male-female differences, communication problems, conflict issues, plus no one ever taught you how to be intimate. In a great Christian home, if mom and dad did that, they did it behind closed doors. I don't know how to do it. So your marriage is going to break down. That's the bad news.  

Jim: In fact, in this great book, I Don't Want a Divorce: A 90-Day Guide To Saving Your Marriage, you mentioned kind of three basic marriage types. Let's start there.  

David: Good - first, we're unhappy but willing to work on it. Our marriage is struggling. We admit it. We're going to be honest here - two adults. And we wanna get better. Maybe - and there's different categories in that main category.  

Jim: But that's not a bad place to be. That's a good place. They're recognizing, "Okay. We're struggling. We're roommates. Let's do better."  

David: Right. The couples who don't have the honest conversation - "I'm unhappy. You're unhappy. We're in trouble" - those are the ones that end up getting divorced. If you'll voice it and you'll - you'll seek a plan like my plan or your pastor or Focus' resources - and the intensives are awesome, they're excellent, I send couples to them - you can make it. But you've got to have the conversation. And you have to start doing something before it's too late.  

Jim: Let me ask you this: the want-to. We're going to come back and get the other two real quick. But what about the want-to that you're describing? How does a couple recognize, "Okay. We still have I-want-to-do-it-better in us?"  

David: Good question.  

Jim: I mean, that's it.  

David: It's usually going to be a conversation brought up by one of the spouses - probably going to be the woman because they're sensitive and they know what they're missing. Your basic guy doesn't know what he's missing. If there's food on the table, if we're okay in the bedroom, if my job is okay, we're good. Hey, aren't we good? Don't - not realizing the wife is dying inside. So she's going to bring it up. My theory is a good man's gonna get it. You have to bring it up. You've got to be very direct. He'll realize, "Uh-oh." And then we go through a series of steps and that - if he loves his wife and chances are he does - "Okay, what do I have to do?" Initially, he doesn't know what he's missing. He'll do it for her, and that's a fine way to start. Eventually, a few weeks into the program, he'll realize, "Oh, I've been missing. I'm not deep. I'm not close to my wife." So that's where - the want-to come initially from, "I love you. You're saying we're in trouble. I'm going to respond to that."  

Jim: What's the male thing about that? Why are we blind to that? What - is it ego? Are we saying, "Hey, even though we've got our issues, it's okay?" 

David: Partly that - we're into control. And I don't want to feel like I'm out of control in my marriage. But underneath, the real reason is: "Uh-oh. If this is really a problem, much is going to be required of me. I'm going to have to learn how to be intimate. I'm gonna have to really get deeper with my wife. I don't want to do that. I don't know how to do it. I'm not good at it. And so if I can somehow convince her that we're okay, then we don't have to do this." Well it's the dumbest argument in the history of the world. She's already saying, "I'm unhappy." We need to have a response to that, sir.  

Jim: Yeah. Alright, let's go to the other two. You mentioned the we're unhappy stage but willing to work on it. What's number 2?  

David: Number 2 is my spouse won't change. Many spouses are in this situation - probably the woman, could be the man. But let's say it's the woman. And you have a husband who is not gonna divorce you, but he is pretty much done with you. He is not going to be intimate with you. And he won't do anything to change. He won't read my book, I Don’t Want a Divorce. He will not go to a seminar. He will not go to an intensive. He won't talk to your pastor. He's not going to make any changes. And this can happen over a period of years. And the wife's dying inside. "What am I supposed to do if I have a husband or a spouse like that? What does the church offer me?" Well, Dave Clarke, through his book and Focus, is - we're offering you a plan, a clear plan that will get his attention, hopefully motivate him, get him to repent from his sin because that husband's in serious sin. If you're saying our marriage is in trouble and I'm not going do anything to work on it, I'm breaking one of God's most important laws. And so that's a sinner. And we're going to confront that sin.  

Jim: And we'll come back around on each of these. We're gonna explore them more. But we want to get the basics right up front. And the third one then is - what? - my spouse has sinned big time.  

David: Right.  

Jim: And I don't know that he deserves being married to me any longer.  

David: Right. This is the catastrophic crisis when the roof just caves in. "I found out my husband is looking at pornography, and it's been a pattern. I found out he's got an emotional affair going with someone at work or Susie that he knew back in junior high - whatever. Or he's got a full blown affair. Or there's a big alcohol problem, a drug problem, financial irresponsibility. He's gambling. He's wasted our money. He's done something that - or she's done something just outrageous. It's extremely sinful. And it's a massive crisis." How to heal, how to enter the system at that point, get the sinner to repent and get into recovery and then heal from what has happened - that's the challenge in that situation.  

Jim: Right. And I want to say, you know, every time you're voicing the he-did-this, you're really saying he/she/the spouse. But it's fatiguing to always have to say he/she. So, you know, unless it's specific to male behavior, you're - you're really trying to refer to both genders that could be in trouble.  

David: Oh, exactly. And women are - I hate to say this - women are catching up in the sinning category. So it could be either way.  

Jim: Well, yeah. I mean, that's it. So you've got this 90-day plan. What can a couple expect out of the book and the resources to help? I mean, really, is it that simple? 90 days? It sounds like - if I could be that bold - you're going to help me lose a little weight.  

David: It's 90 days because I say it is. 

(LAUGHTER) 

Jim: Yeah, right.  

David: I'm just saying.

Jim: What about 110? It could take 8 - 180. Who knows?  

David: It might. But it's - after 30 years doing this, I have developed a plan - been doing this now for 20 years. This book comes out of 20 years of - of I know this works. It's exactly what I do in my therapy sessions.  

Jim: So it's tested by couples - thousands of couples?  

David: I don't work in theory. I don't write a book. I don't present a seminar until I know it works. It works for Sandy and I. And we went through many of these steps - the blonde and I.  

Jim: The blonde and I.  

David: She didn't want to. But I said, "I'm writing a book, honey. Help me out here."  

(LAUGHTER) 

John: Can we just clarify the blonde is an affectionate term, and she's good with it?  

David: Oh, she is. She loves being called the blonde.  

Jim: She loves it. Well, let's spend the rest of time right now talking about marriages where both spouses are unhappy, but they're willing to work on it. We'll go a little deeper with each of these. How do you think these couples typically get where they're at? What creates the roommate mentality?  

David: I think it's the nature of the beast. It's just what marriage is like. And happened to the blonde - Sandy and I. And we didn't even expect it to, but it did. 

Jim: So this is pretty normal.  

David: It's very normal. You're infatuated. You're in love. You get married. Then you start living together. You're gonna find out just how hard it is - massive adjustments, annoying habits. "I can't believe she's like that." Sandy, found out that I'm a slob. She didn't know that because we weren't living together - unbelievable, world-class slob.  

Jim: You thought she knew that about you. 

David: Yeah, Dave Brown, my roommate in college, didn't care because he was a slob, too. I never got the memo here. So that was a big issue. And then things were already starting to break down. And we don't know how to be intimate. When you lose the rush, the adrenaline, the power of the infatuation, you don't have anything left. Now we have to learn to develop intimacy. No one's ever taught us - don't have a clue. You're given often in the church - and well-meaning people and they're wonderful and church is wonderful - but you're given the goal, but you're not given the how-to's.  

Jim: Yeah, that's a good point. 

David: Man, so...  

Jim: That's why Focus is here.  

David: Exactly.  

Jim: You think about that.  

David: And you do a wonderful job. No one else does it like Focus. And then you're already kinda on the edges. And then you do the one thing that's guaranteed to kill your passion stone-cold dead. You have a child.  

(LAUGHTER) 

You know what? What were you thinking? What are you out of your mind? Then it's all about the baby. When our Emily came, our first, it was just, like, catastrophic. We just - our lives were - just came to a stop.  

(LAUGHTER) 

We got to keep her alive. And then it was, "We got to stay alive. She's killing us." She was yelling all the time. She was very feisty. She's a wonderful person. But oh. So that...  

Jim: I don't know where she gets that.  

(LAUGHTER)  

I just got to say it.  

David: I know.  

Jim: That's so funny. You also give some advice in the book about this kind of marriage. You suggest we take these marriages out back and shoot them. What are you getting to? What is that all about?  

David: I tell most of my couples that. And they're shocked out of their heads. We're sitting there at the end of the first session. I say, "Look. I gotta tell you. This marriage is awful. It's dead. Take it out back, and shoot it. We're done." And they look at me, like, "Why are we here? I thought he was a Christian, Betty - Bob." I say, "Look. Your first marriage is over. We're not going back to that one. We're going to re-do it. We're going to heal from what's happened. And with God's principles, we're going to put into place the brand new marriage, which is going to take you the rest of the way." So that's a little juxtaposition I use. And it really seems to work.  

Jim: No. It's true. Okay, to successfully build a stronger marriage, you believe couples must strengthen their relationship with God. Everybody that feels that way is now saying, "Yes. We're getting to the spiritual component." That's so true. That's foundational, we would say. What does that look like, though, in practical terms? What does it look like to strengthen your relationship with God when you're in this kind of marriage?  

David: Well, here's the nuts and bolts. I'm assuming - and it's a good assumption because I always ask couples when I see them, "Do you know Jesus Christ personally? If not, we're going to do that, like, right now. Because without God's help, you're not going to make it." But then the second question is, "How are you personally doing in your relationship with God through Jesus?" Church attendance maybe a little little lax. I'm not having the quiet time. You're not close to God. Sir, if you're not close to God - or ma'am - you're not - we can't do the steps in my book. We're going to have to - we start with that. Let's get your faith back where it belongs. One of Satan's most effective tools is using marital unhappiness to draw you away from God. He's a master at it. I don't want to go to church. We're unhappy, you know? And we're just drifting apart. And so we don't want to pray together. Everything falls apart. But it's you and God - that's the main thing. So we started getting that back. And most of the couples in my office hang their head. They know exactly what I'm talking about. I don't get pushback. They say, "You're right." And the man will say, "I'm the leader. I should make sure we go to church." 

Jim: You know, let me ask you, David. That's an interesting observation with the couples that come to you. How many come to you that are struggling that do have a, you know, good healthy relationship with God? They're reading the word regularly. They're praying regularly, maybe - hopefully praying together regularly. How many of those couples come in for help?  

David: Three percent.  

Jim: Three percent - think of that.  

David: I mean, seriously - that's why it's in the book. It's Major League. "I am not close to God." It's only with God's power that I can love this opposite-sex person. Once I lose that connection, I literally cannot do it.  

Jim: You know, that fits with national survey work, that it's somewhere around 1 to 3 percent that the whole country of Christians would say that. If we're engaged with each other, if we're healthy spiritually, very few people have marital difficulty at the level that it's going to tear it apart. Let me ask you this. You believe the breakdown of most marriages is a breakdown in communication. We see that here at Focus. It sounds so simple. I was talking to Jean the other night. And we were talking about, how many generations do we have to go through? You know, when will we say, "Oh, it's communication" - because we've been talking about it for, like, 2,000 years...  

David: Yeah.  

Jim: ...You know, that we need to communicate better. We need to love and respect each other. Why is this so hard to do if it's so obvious?  

David: You know, nobody knows how. When you're dating and even early in marriage, you think you know how. You think you're having deep conversations. In fact, you are not because you don't know how. Every parent listening should actually sit their kids down, and there should be a crash course over the course of - of years actually teaching them how to communicate with the opposite sex. Nobody does it because you don't think to do it. Well, it'll just work out. We worked it out. They'll work it out. No. We need to have as part of premarital education in this country - and the church can be involved in that - very clear "I'm gonna teach you how to communicate." That's what I do with my premarital couples.  

Jim: Wow. Think of that.  

David: It's huge.  

Jim: Yeah - huge.  

David: They think they already know. They don't know.  

John: And we'll hear more in just a moment. Let me just say real quick, this is Focus on the Family and our guest is Dr. David Clarke. You can stop by our website or give us a call for a copy of his great book, I Don't Want a Divorce: A 90-Day Guide to Saving Your Marriage. We also have a CD or download of this broadcast - focusonthefamily.com/radio or 1-800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.  

Jim: So that error of communication - the book, the 90-day program addresses that head on. Another one and this I think is, if not equal to maybe greater than it because it starts everything else, selfishness. I mean I think, Dr. Clarke, the main reason God set it up this way - why opposites attract. I mean, he's probably smiling a bit because he's moving us toward his character - selflessness in marriage. Speak to that issue of how selfishness can destroy a marriage.  

David: Oh boy, it works every time it's tried. And it's tried every time. And I think of my marriage specifically. I was - I have a wonderful mother, Kathleen Clarke. I'm sure she's listening to this. I always give her a hard time. It's always the mom's fault, but anyway, she was... 

Jim: Wait a minute. I'm sticking up for moms.  

(LAUGHTER) 

David: She was so loving and so gracious. And I was the baby. It's great to be the baby, and so I was spoiled. I come into marriage. Everything had been taken care of. And I was with a great kid. Don't get me wrong. I was a great kid. And I really was - didn't give them too much trouble.  

Jim: Except you're really messy.  

John: You said you were a slob - yeah.  

(LAUGHTER) 

David: Well, except for the slob part - that's right. But mom didn't seem to care. She just shut the door. I come into the marriage with Sandy. Oh, my goodness - the expectations.  

Jim: Is she a firstborn by chance?  

David: No. She's second-born, but she's really is more of a firstborn. She's a doer. She's a mover. She's a shaker. She tells me what to do, and I do it.  

(LAUGHTER)  

She's a rock. But I - I came in totally unprepared. I thought that if Sandy just met all of my needs, well, of course, I'd be happy. And then if I'm happy, she'd be happy. A lot of guys feel that way. Well, it was the dumbest thing in the world. So I had to really revamp loving her. We had some great conversations. Talk about communication - she sat me down early in marriage and said, "Look. I'm doing everything here, Dave. We're at Dallas Seminary. I'm doing the laundry. I'm working full time. And I'm typing your papers late at night." I would hand them to her and say, "Would you type this?" And I'd go to bed. 

Jim: Oh my goodness. 

David: I was incredibly selfish.  

Jim: Okay. Snares, daggers are flowing right at you right now.  

(LAUGHTER) 

My goodness. What kind of a husband was that?  

David: Terrible! Sandy said, "You're out of your mind." And so I started doing the laundry, started doing the dishes when she cooked. I got a part-time job because the burden was too much on her. And I did my own dumb papers. But more than that, I had to learn how to love this beautiful blonde. I had no idea. And so I had to learn how to talk with her, how to make time with her, how to - how to really meet her needs and have conversations that would be deep for her. Our first year was rough, rough, rough, rough.  

Jim: Yes. Okay, for the men that are listening, let me ask this question: what does a deep, good conversation sound like?  

(LAUGHTER) 

I mean, we're down to 101, buddy.  

David: Well, you - literally, first, you let your wife define that because a guy might think, "This was a great conversation about me fixing the car engine or whatever it might be."  

Jim: The box scores.  

David: "...how the Red Sox are doing." Exactly. You know what? I don't think so. So you let her - you see - if you've got the guts, you sit down with your wife today and you say, "Honey, what is deep conversation?" She'll laugh her head off. "Ha. You kidding? You've never asked that!" She'll probably faint. But that - she knows exactly what she wants. And you let her know. And she'll let you know what - what she needs. "Well, we would talk about a topic, and you would say this or I would say that. And you'd asked me certain questions." She knows. 

Jim: Is that a good question to start with?  

David: It is. What is a deep conversation with me? What would that look like, honey? She knows the answer. And your particular woman will be able to tell you and choreograph it. And you'll say, "Okay, I'm gonna work on that." So it's like a training exercise. Women have a Ph.D. in communication. 

Jim: So we shouldn't be shocked by the speed in that reply when you ask that question? 

(LAUGHTER)  

David: There will be no pauses.  

Jim: Don't be upset it was so quick 'cause she's been wanting to answer that question for a few years maybe.  

David: She has. And that's male leadership. You need to be asking her, "What are your needs?" And that's one of her key needs. Let's start working on this. She will be beyond thrilled. And then together - yeah I mean, she'll teach you how to communicate. She absolutely will.  

Jim: Well, again, you mention it. Someone's gonna be working to tear you apart - the enemy. And he's so successful. David, you mentioned writing a letter of responsibility to your spouse. That sounds, again, a little intimidating as I read it. What does it mean?  

David: I'm sitting with a couple. This is second session. We've established some of the foundational things as we've discussed. And now we're going to talk about - in fact, the homework assignment is going to be - and they bring it in - the letter of responsibility.  

Jim: That just sounds bad. Sorry.  

David: It does. But you know what? I don't care.  

(LAUGHTER)  

Jim: I know that.  

David: I'm tough. You know that. And I explain it: "Look, you" - 'cause they come in for a session. It's all about the other person. "She bap, bap, bap, bap, bap. You wouldn't believe." And then she goes back, "Oh, yeah. Well, how about you, Bozo? Bap, bap, bap, bap." I say, "This is not helpful. You're probably right in what your partner is doing wrong. But it doesn't help. You can't do anything about that. So stop the rocks and the bottles. I'm gonna have you look in the mirror very solidly, pray over this and write - actually write out the mistakes you've made in the marriage for next time." You can hear a pin drop in the counseling session. But you know what? That's how we start. That's how Dr. Clarke starts. That's how the Bible starts. It starts with looking in the mirror, the log in your eye. Take a look. Be very honest about mistakes, regrets, things you have to work on. That's A and then, B, as what you're going to do, what you want to do to change those things. Couples that come in - and a lot of them try this because of resistance. They'll come, and they haven't done the assignment. I'm not going to see them again. This is a progressive series of steps. I'm not mean about it. Well, sometimes I am depending on if I've had my chai tea or not in the morning. Anyway, so I will say, "No. This is - in fact, we're going to cut this session short because you don't have the homework. I have no other agenda here." 

Jim: Yeah.  

David: And you can go now, and you're going to pay me. That nips it in the bud. 

Jim: That's good. I know another one that you talked about is focusing on your spouse's positive attributes. That can be so hard and, you know, especially if you have a critical nature, which I think all human beings do. It's whether or not you let it out of the cage and - because it's so fleshly to be critical. And you know, that's, again, one of the things Jesus talked about is, "Bite that tongue," you know? Don't go there. And how would we think about being less critical or not critical and more positive about our spouse? How do we do that?  

David: Well, it's a great question, Jim. When a marriage breaks down, as you know, it's all negative. When they sitting in front of me, they're all negative. The positivity is all gone. That's how they started in their relationship - with positivity. So we bring that back, and it has to be forced. I say, "You're not going to like hearing this. You're not going to want to do it. We're not worried about your feelings. You just have to do it. Faith in God, faith in this process and hopefully love for your spouse is going to be developing." We start with compliments. I'll say this next week. I want you to come with a list of 14 very impressive and real compliments for your spouse - physical attractiveness, character, what they do for you, spiritual qualities - has to be a real list. And then you're gonna drop - in seven days, two complements a day: one in the morning, one in the evening. That begins - and it's the most awkward thing in the world. They don't want to do. "I can't think of anything positive." Don't come back to my office until you have thought of positives because they're there. They're just totally buried...  

Jim: Right. 

David: ...By your dysfunction. And Satan's pushing them way out of - way out of whack. So when they start - after that week, things are starting to change simply because they've said something that is true, and it starts to connect them. So we start with that.  

Jim: Yeah.  

David: And it works.  

Jim: No. And it's so true. And it's so important. It goes back to communication like you're saying. Let's end today talking about conflict, which is, you know, again, another - all of these are so critical. I keep saying, "This is important. This is important." But the lack of communication and dealing with conflict in a healthy way is what got a lot of couples to the point they're at now, right? The point that they need help. What does healthy conflict look like? And David, you know this. Folks are gonna email us or contact us and say, "If you're Christian, you shouldn't have any conflict." Address that, too.  

David: Yeah. Those people have big problems. There's nothing worse in my opinion, I'll tell couples this, than a couple that has no conflict. Why? Oh my goodness.  

Jim: It sounds right, though. It sounds like a good thing.  

David: Yeah and very Christ-like. That's not true. Christ had a conflict with a lot of people. And they killed him. That was - that was pretty conflictual. And he always told the truth which got him in all kinds of trouble, even though it was done with love. Yeah, if you're avoiding, you're avoiding what is actually going on. 

Jim: So you're burying things...  

David: Absolutely.  

Jim: ...Potentially.  

David: Right. And that's keeping you far apart. And so those kind of couples - if I'm avoiding all these issues that are really bothering me, I'm not talking about a lot of things I should be talking about. And so you pull way apart. You're gonna have conflict. You actually want to have conflicts. It's built into God's system. And if you handle it the right way, there's all kinds of passion and conflict - working it through, finding out things about your partner you never knew. Closeness results. The making up is sweet. The whole thing works.  

Jim: Well, that's good. David, man, we have flown through this. But we're not done. We've covered topic one, you know, when the couple is unhappy but willing to work toward it. We still got to come back to the one spouse not being willing and kind of dig into that and then finally when the big sins occur, whatever that might be - infidelity or abuse or where there's something happening that needs more serious contemplation, maybe separation, those kinds of things. Let's come back next time and cover that. Can you stick with us?  

David: I'm not going anywhere.  

Closing: 

Jim: Okay, good. Let's do it. And let me speak to you, the listener. Maybe you've been listening all along, and you and your spouse aren't really fighting anymore because you're no longer even talking really - what we were just talking about - that good behavior but there's no intimacy. If your communication is nonexistent or hanging by a thread and you need someone to talk to about your marriage, we're here for you. We have caring Christian counselors who can start that process. And if you're in real difficult straits, if you're thinking, "I no longer want to be married to my spouse," we have Hope Restored which is a great program that you should at least inquire about. It's worth your marriage, I think, to make a phone call. And we're here for you in either situation. And I hope you'll take us up on that. We want to see your marriage thrive in Christ. That's our goal. 

John: Yeah, make that phone call today and talk to a counselor, get information about Hope Restored, and ask about resources. Our number is 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY.  

Jim: You know, having a great guest, John, like Dr. David Clarke on, it sparks the emotion. It opens the heart up. People are gonna respond today. They're gonna be hurting. They're gonna say, "What your guest was talking about really got a hold of me. I'm there." And we don't want you to just fall away from the conversation. We want to continue this discussion. And we want to help strengthen your marriage, like I said. You know, every month, our counseling team fields over 4,000 calls every month. I'm proud of that. And I'm so grateful to the folks who helped underwrite that. You know, you are directly partnering with us in that way. And one of the ways that you can help us meet these needs is to give a gift of any amount, and we will, in turn, say thank you by sending you a copy of Dr. David Clarke's book, I Don't Want a Divorce: A 90 Day Guide to Saving Your Marriage. That's our way of saying thank you. And maybe you're in a good place. Use it for a neighbor, a friend, a relative. But let's do ministry together. And in addition to sending you the book, when you make a donation today, your gift is gonna be doubled because of some good friends to Focus on the Family. 

John: Yeah. Make your donation online at focusonthefamily.com/radio or when you call that number. Again, it's 800, the letter A and the word FAMILY. 

Jim: David, we're gonna come back. Thanks for being with us today. We are going to hit it tomorrow.  

David: Cool - I'm here.  

Jim: Let's do it.  

Closing Voice Track:

John: All right. Well on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here at Focus on the Family, thanks so much for listening in today. Do plan to be back next time as we continue to talk to Dr. Clarke and once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.

  • Featured Book

    I Don't Love You Anymore

    Dr. David Clarke

    Dr. David Clarke lays out an action plan which turns the tables on the divorce-minded spouse and guides the injured spouse from becoming mired in devastation to calling the shots – leaving the fate of the marriage in the hands of the person still committed.

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    Have You Lost Hope in Your Marriage?

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Guest

Dr. David Clarke

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Dr. David Clarke is a licensed psychologist with a full-time practice in Florida, where he does extensive counseling with individuals and families. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Western Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary in Portland, Ore. Dr. Clarke has authored nearly a dozen books including Cinderella Meets the Cave Man, The Six Steps to Emotional Freedom and A Marriage After God's Own Heart. He and his wife, Sandy, have four children. Learn more about Dr. Clarke by visiting his website: www.davidclarkeseminars.com