An Overdue Apology

The growth in Michael's character over the last three years ~ as a believer and as a husband ~ has been tremendous. As we've walked out our marriage restoration together, this change in him has fostered a deep trust and vulnerability that not only serves to strengthen our relationship, it's also created safety, great love and oneness between the two of us.

You may remember that we just finished a Marriage Intensive a week ago. It was during this time ~ in conversation with one of the couples ~ that a memory came up for me from our bad days; a time when Michael had falsely accused me of inappropriate behavior with a dear friend. I'd been deeply hurt by him over that event (as had my friend and his wife) and it was the first time in our relationship that Michael had made a false accusation of me which was a foreshadow of things to come for us.

I think that because these kinds of accusations continued and worsened over the years, the incredulity of the first time lessened a bit though the relationship between my friends and myself definitely suffered and it was sad for all of us. Where it had once been extremely close, it changed and became very fragile and...careful.

So, here we were ~ at the Intensive ~ and in the course of conversation this particular incident came up and Michael realized that he would have a chance to apologize to my friend in person (no less) because he was going to be in California visiting with another friend (these guys were my late husband's best friends) and they were going to visit with us during our vacation.

It was awesome. Michael greeted both guys warmly and with an openness and a trust that I can SO tell you he never had in our bad days. During the course of their time with us, he took the opportunity to humbly and sincerely apologize for his actions all those years ago. He made it clear that he didn't expect anything in return, even forgiveness; he just wanted them to know that he was deeply sorry.

This may be a bit confusing as I started off mentioning one guy and now Michael's apologizing to two. The one he apologized to for the accusation, the two he apologized to because he knows of their love and friendship towards my late husband and their concern over how Michael had treated me in the past. Got it?

All this to say that we continue to have times of restoration as we walk this out and that it's moments like this that make it all worth it; for my heart, for Michael's heart and for the hearts of others.

And to that I say, "Amen!"


Our Intensive Testimonies

Having just finished a Marriage Intensive this past weekend, I thought it would be fun to post the testimonies that we wrote to Joel and Kathy 3 years ago when we went to our Intensive (they actually still had them on their site!). It was fun to look back and see what our feelings about it were as I've been posting the testimonies of the couples who were just with us for the past several days.

So...enjoy! And don't forget to jump on over and read the most recent testimonies from the Intensive we just had (only have two up so far as we're on vacay and could only post the ones we received via email so check back next week for the others). If you're thinking of coming yourself, our next Marriage Intensive takes place in Anaheim, CA September 16 - 19. Perhaps we'll see you there!

Dear Joel and Kathy,

How can I begin to describe what your Intensive has meant to my marriage? My wife and I have been separated for about four months. In that time, my wife introduced me to your books and the scales began to come off of my eyes. It turns out that I was not Prince Charming - on the contrary, I have been quite the clueless husband who has fallen short of meeting my wife's needs.

Not only has your Intensive Weekend given me the knowledge and skills needed to be the man who God has meant for me to be by meeting my wife's needs - we are no longer separated! Praise the Lord! ~ Michael (and Annalea)

Dear Joel and Kathy,

When my husband and I separated for the THIRD time and I had filed for divorce, I began searching for something - ANYTHING - that would give me a reason as to why I had come to such desperate measures. Your web site, books, phone counsel, group calls and this Weekend Marriage Intensive have been like cooling water to my marriage.

After some "not so subtle" hints, my husband finally agreed to read your books. Then he began to listen to the weekly conference calls and be both knew that coming to an Intensive was a must for the beginning of true healing. We have both learned so much from your guidance, love, honesty and support. Because of these things, I now have a glimmer of the hope I've been so desperately searching for. Can this be real? Is it really possible to be treated like a queen? I've always known I was meant to be a "Royal" (smile) ~ Annalea (and Michael)


Swagger Wagon


Marriage Restoration Success

Michael landed on something great during one of our weekly ministry calls a couple of weeks ago; Guys ~ get out of your wife's head. Don't assume how your wife will react to something you do or say. Instead, do the right thing (be Christlike) and let her decide how to react.

Trust that when you do the right things, the desire that God has put into her heart will come back to life toward you and then enjoy the results when she begins to respond warmly. Don't decide that she is going to reject you and then live from that. Get out of her head.

Ladies: Get out of husband's head. Enjoy his positive words and actions when he does them. Don't get into why he's doing them, how he's feeling about them, or if he want to do them....just enjoy the positive actions and words of love. Let him fight his own battles in getting his flesh to die and getting his heart and head into the right place.

Assuming that you know what the other is thinking and feeling can work against you and the marriage. Remember, you're both coming from a different place now so don't set each other up for failure. Walk out what you're learning together and set your marriage up for success!

Hope to have you both join us on the call tonight at 7pm! Dial in information can be found in the side bar to the right so don't be shy!

We care about your marriage!


Through The Fire

Yesterday I was going through a box of files looking for a birth certificate for one of our boys and came across a file that said "Divorce/Restraining Order". I pulled it out and opened it. Inside was a copy of the divorce papers I'd served Michael with in March of 2007 along with a credit card slip for $1100 that he'd spent to retain an attorney along various notes and financial statements.

I felt a vice squeeze my heart.

Even though, praise God, our marriage is restored it was no less painful seeing those documents from that time in our lives. You may be wondering why Michael still even had the file. I know I did. First off, he keeps just about everything and when I brought it to him and asked why it was still with us, he'd genuinely forgotten about it. Then he took me in his arms and held me and apologized for how he was with me back then and validated the choice I felt I had to make at the time and apologized again for the fact that he'd been with me in a way that even got me to considering divorce. Afterward, we checked it to make sure there wasn't anything in it that we needed to keep such as W2's or our marriage certificate, etc. Then we threw it in the garbage because for us now, that's what it is.

When I thought about writing this post I thought it would have been good to take a picture of those papers with our names on it but then I realized that I never want to see them again or be reminded of where we used to be. I know that Michael loves me and our children and that he's fully committed to our marriage. He walks through the fire for me every day - laying down his life for me as the ultimate sacrifice unto God.