After multiple military deployments and years of separation, I was feeling helpless, hopeless, and defeated in my marriage. I thought for sure we could never get back to what we once had. It had been a good loving relationship. Friends would comment. “I want what you have. Not the material things. I want your loving marriage.”
It had been nearly 30 years. We were not living together and had started the legal process for divorce because we could no longer communicate in a healthy way. There was so much hatred, resentment, and ugliness in our relationship. It was terribly shameful and hurtful. We needed something different than what we were dishing out in our marriage. Speaking for myself, I was pretty much “checked out” of our marriage. I didn’t believe there was anything left worth fighting for. The situation seemed hopeless.
Like a cat jumping out of a tree, sometimes you think you can land on your feet. But this just didn’t seem like one of those times. Even after 30 years of successfully investing in and navigating life’s challenges together, we had no clue how to go about fixing things. This was uncharted territory.
Our marriage was in complete disarray and crisis. The foundation was shattered.
We were at the point of divvying up our assets when reality began to paint an entirely different picture. Failure was never an option for us in life. And we still had two things in common: dedication and stubbornness. But the writing was on the wall. We needed some serious outside help and we needed it fast.
So we told our respective attorneys we were going to put things on hold to try and reconcile. My husband set up an appointment with a counselor and I had just happened to stumble upon the A New Beginning workshop with Marriage Dynamics Institute. We were going to try to save our marriage. I increased my prayers for our marriage and my husband, and I asked my husband to pray for us and for me.
Things began to move in the right direction. We both liked our marriage counselor but needed that extra something to give us some momentum and hope. I asked my husband to attend the A New Beginning workshop with me. Schedules were tight and he didn’t seem that interested in going.
But we had heard good things about the workshop and that it had a great success rate. We were told there was still hope and we would learn things at the workshop that could help us save our marriage.
So, we found a free weekend and went.
My husband and I attended the workshop hopeful and willing, but with some skepticism. Remember, we had been married for quite some time. We already knew marriage takes work.
Did we return home after our weekend at A New Beginning all lovey-dovey and fixed? Absolutely not. But we did come home armed with tools, knowledge, processes, and most importantly, hope. We had hope that, with work, we could save our marriage.
A New Beginning is not a marriage retreat that puts a short-term band aid on the situation. It’s an intensive weekend that provides the information, instruction, and tools necessary to repair a marriage for the long-term.
At the workshop, I learned so much about myself and what my husband needs from me, and it took a while to put those things into action. But after days, weeks and months of baby steps we continued to see progress.
Our marriage is now in a good place, and as we continue to use the tools from the workshop I’m convinced our marriage can be great.
I heard my husband singing around the house the other day, something he hasn’t done except in church for a very long time. It brought great joy to my heart to hear him sing, not because he is a terrific vocalist but because I know he is happy, and that makes me happy. We saved our marriage!
This personal story was sent to Marriage Dynamics Institute recently from someone who participated in the A New Beginning workshop in 2017. A New Beginning is a three-day workshop led by an experienced professional counselor.
With thanks for their service, Marriage Dynamics Institute is pleased to offer workshop discounts for military personnel, both active and retired.