Older couple walking on beach.- close together.

From Separation to Sharing the Love: A Dynamic Marriage Journey

Marriage Dynamics Institute Commitment, Communication, Connection, Faith, Family, Forgiveness, Humility, Intimacy, Marriage Counseling, Marriage Courses, Marriage Health, Quality Time, Reconnecting, Selfishness, Separation, Uncategorized

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Every Dynamic Marriage journey has a “before” story.

For *Greg and Kate Watts, the story began when they met in 1976. According to them, it was love at first sight.

We enjoyed being together and spending hours in great conversation.  We shared the same sense of humor.  Our interests were similar.  We enjoyed going to church together and our personalities complimented one another. 

The couple quickly began preparing for the future by reading books about marriage and taking a marriage preparation class. They were also mentored by a couple from their church.

Marriage Journey

On July 7, 1979 we were married. Our first several years together were wonderful.  Our daughter was born in 1981 and our son in 1985.

Then in the early 1990’s, life gradually began to change. They both worked high-stress jobs on opposite shifts. School and church activities and other community involvement edged out real family time. And they had almost no time together as a couple.

We were involved in worthy activities and had good intentions however our house was not in order. Our focus was not on God and one another. We appeared to be a happy family at worship service on Sunday morning. But anger,  frustration, loneliness, and pain consumed us.

That’s when they separated for six months. Kate had the children. Greg was alone.

In spite of living apart, we still tried to carry on our lives as if nothing was wrong.  We were in denial, trying to keep control.  In reality we were falling apart. 

One Sunday the Holy Spirit moved them to ask for God’s help and prayers from their family. Soon after, they began seeing a Christian counselor together.

It was the hardest thing we ever did.  Our conversations during the sessions were painful and we left feeling exhausted.

In one of their last sessions, the counselor challenged them with this question:  Do you want to be right, or do you want to be married?

Greg and Kate realized they had both been prideful and selfish.

We were more in competition with one another than we were working together as a team. 

They made a deliberate choice to commit their marriage and family to God, and things began to change.

Dynamic Marriage Journey

That’s when some friends told them about a course called Dynamic Marriage. In the course, Greg and Katie learned about love busters, communication, and how to meet each other’s needs in healthy ways. And they came to a new understanding of the importance of prayer in their relationship.

Our marriage was transformed.

Prayer

First, Dynamic Marriage showed us that prayer is absolutely essential to restoring two wounded hearts. When we prayed God showed us how to be vulnerable, open and honest with one another. 

The couple experienced God’s forgiveness and learned how to forgive one another.

As God opened our hearts, we began to put our house in order, truly becoming one in marriage as God intended.

Verses like Philippians 2:1-2 took on new meaning for them.

If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.

Lovebusters

Next, we learned how to identify and stop love bustersbehaviors that cause the other unhappiness or pain.  

Greg and Kate learned that behaviors like angry outbursts, disrespectful judgments, and selfish demands can get in the way of intimacy in marriage. They made a plan to replace these and other love busters with behaviors that reflected Jesus Christ’s humility.

Communication

Learning how to communicate with one another openly and honestly with respect and love was vital.

They began to nurture trust, work through conflict, and renew intimacy in their marriage.

And as they began to understand each other better, Greg and Kate realized ways they could each make changes to become a better spouse for the other.

Our marriage journey became one of building compatibility, mutual fulfillment, and growing in love by communicating with one another.

Meeting Needs

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4 

The Dynamic Marriage course taught us to identify and communicate our own most important emotional needs. We learned new habits that meet those needs for both of us.

Greg and Kate describe their marriage as an ongoing journey of learning and love.

God gives us answers to how to be married and we continue to learn and relearn it every day. Because we are sinners, we still ‘love bust’ sometimes. But we forgive when the other messes up.  We have conflict in our marriage, but now we have the tools we need to overcome and grow.

And the peace in their marriage impacts their children.

God has blessed us with the gift of a happy marriage and our children have benefited greatly.  Both have shared that when our marriage became Christ-centered and happy they had a growing sense of security and peace in their lives.   

Dynamic Marriage Journey Multiplies

Since 2006, Greg and Kate have facilitated many Dynamic Marriage courses. And they love sharing their dynamic marriage journey with others.

Through Dynamic Marriage courses, we have the privilege of seeing what God does to bless marriages.  He makes healthy marriages stronger, and He heals troubled marriages and restores broken marriages.

 

* Names used with permission. Adapted from a testimonial shared with their church congregation in 2008.


Dynamic Marriage courses teach married couples how to overcome relationship withdrawal,  work through conflict, and enjoy intimacy. Courses are led by trained facilitators.


When couples are experiencing severe discord in their marriage, they may need the A New Beginning workshop for marriages in crisis. Participants are encouraged to follow up with a Dynamic Marriage course a few months later.

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About the Author

Marriage Dynamics Institute

Marriage Dynamics Institute (MDI) wants to cultivate healthy families, churches, and communities by helping create marriages full of joy, meaning, and purpose. Having served more than 75,000 couples since 1994, MDI offers workshops and seminars for marriages at every stage, including those in crisis.