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My Spouse Wants a Divorce: Part 1
With Dr. Joe Beam
(0:00) If you just recently found out that your spouse wants a divorce, you’re probably still in shock, reeling, wondering, “How can this happen and what can I do to somehow snap him or her out of it so everything changes and we’re happy once again?”
It’s breaking your heart.
You certainly don’t want your marriage to end.
You love your spouse.
Or maybe, you’ve known about it for a while…
…and you’ve been trying this, that, and the other. Maybe your friends are telling you what to do. Maybe your family’s telling you what to do. And it seems that when you do those things suggested on the Internet, it just makes things worse.
Well, we want to help. As a matter of fact, we’ve helped thousands upon thousands of marriages, and most marriages we work with are in crisis. Since 1999, I’ve been working with marriages in crisis, along with our organization, and our success rate, believe it or not, is three out of four couples.
And yes, most of those couples, when they come to us, have already been through marriage counseling, or have talked to their pastors, rabbis, or whomever else it might be. And quite often when they finally get to us, it’s because everybody in the world has told them there is no hope. And many times, when they come to us, one of them has already made up his or her mind to leave. And so, they only come to our intensive workshops because the other person offers some kind of a deal, “I’ll give you this in the divorce if you come,” or something like that. So, we’re used to working with people whose spouses want out of marriages and yet still have that three out of four success rate.
The Ideas in This Article Aren’t a “Quick-Fix”
(1:38) I’m going to be sharing three major ideas with you, some things for you to do. But understand that it’s not a magic pill. We don’t have that. I mean, we could claim, “pay $49.99 and we’ll send you this video, audio, or book, and it’ll give you everything you need to do and your spouse will come begging back for you to be taking him or her back, and so sorry that they hurt you.”
I even saw one that said: “And they’ll want to be making love to you every day for the rest of your life.” You’re right enough NOT to believe that. There is no such thing as a magic pill, a magic phrase, a magic action. And so, if you want to save this marriage, you must understand that in all likelihood it didn’t get in trouble overnight. Therefore, it’s not going to get better overnight.
You say, “Well, that’s kinda discouraging.” You see, we will always tell you the truth. We’re not going to lie to you like some people would. We will tell you the truth, and based on that, there are things that you can do that, hopefully, will begin to turn this thing around. And with time, bring your spouse back so that you can develop the love you need, and actually, have a better relationship than you had before. Not because of the trouble, but because of what you’ll learn from the trouble you’re having.
By the way, we have a lot of different videos about relationships, particularly about marriages, and often about marriages in trouble. If you just look on YouTube, you can subscribe. We’d love to have you as one of our subscribers so you’ll know when our new videos come online (YouTube.com/MarriageHelper).
There are Three Things You Need to Know:
- Take Control of Yourself
(3:18) Right now, let me just share three things with you. This first one is going to sound ridiculous to you, but..
- if you really want to try to save your marriage
- if you still love this husband or wife that wants out of your marriage
- if you want to do what can eventually lead to putting this marriage back together
- if you want to make it better than it was before
…the first thing you have to do is to take control of yourself.
Oh, I know. You’re hurting. You’re in pain. Maybe you’re even feeling the tremendous panic some people feel when they go through this. You feel rejected, or as if somehow you don’t have any self-worth. There’s all kinds of negative emotions that people feel.
It’s okay to feel.
It’s okay to be angry about what’s happening. It’s okay to be hurt about what your spouse is doing. It’s okay to be sad because of the fact that you have lost something that was special to you. You actually will be going through, if you’re not already, a grief process where you’re going to experience anger, bargaining, etc., and to some degree you probably feel lonely, like, “Nobody can really understand this because they don’t know what I feel deeply inside.” All those things are okay for you to feel. They really are. But if you allow those feelings to control you, in all likelihood you’re going to wind up doing the wrong things. You say, “What do you mean?” They will lead you to wrong decisions.
And so, if you’re going to take control of yourself, the first thing you need to do is to make the decision.
What I mean when I’m asking you to do that is this: I’m asking you to do some introspection. Look deeply inside of you to examine why you want to save this marriage.
- Do you love this person that wants to leave you, abandon you, divorce you? If you do, that’s fine. I’m not trying to put that down in any shape, fashion, or form.
- Is it because of the fact that you have so many years invested in this that it’s like, “I’ll lose all of that if he or she goes away?”
- Is it because of the fact that you’re wondering, “What am I going to do financially if this thing falls apart?”
- Or, “How is it going to affect my children? Is it going to have a negative effect on them, not just now, but a negative effect in their future?”
You need to consider those questions. Additionally, ask yourself, “How important are these things to me? And if I want to save the marriage, why do I want to save the marriage?”
Here’s why this introspection process is important. If you go through this process of doing what you need to do to save the marriage, it’s not always going to be smooth. It’s not always going to be easy. Sometimes, even though you’re doing things exactly like you should, your spouse is going to react in some kind of a negative fashion. Or, other people, maybe your friends, are going to be telling you things you find to be extremely painful.
Additionally, if your husband or wife is involved with another person, they may actually do things to cause damage to you. They may post negative things about you on the Internet, or send you texts or phone calls just trying to upset you because of the fact that they now have your spouse and you don’t.
And so, sometimes this process of trying to save the marriage is three steps forward, two steps back. And on some days, two steps forward, three steps back. And what keeps you going when you hit these obstacles? The thing I’m asking you to do right now. You need to look inside yourself and say, “Why do I want to save this?”
- If it’s because you love that person, write it down.
- If it’s because of the fact that you want to do what’s best for your children, write it down.
- Even if it’s something such as, “I don’t know how to take care of myself financially, how to feed my kids, or even feed myself,” or, “I’ve not worked outside the home in years and now have to go do that.” If that’s part of your motivation, go ahead and write it down. Don’t feel guilty if that’s part of your motivation, because sometimes it is, and it’s a part of life. It’s reality.
Don’t be upset with yourself or think, “Well that’s not a good reason.” Right now, every reason that leads to trying to save the marriage without doing damage to you, your children, or anybody else is a good reason.
Make a List.
The reason you’re writing it down right now is so you have a point of reference when those hard times come. Or, when they come again, and sometimes come more intensely, and you think, “I’m just going to give up. I’m just going to quit.” You can look back at this list and go, “But wait a minute. Here, are the reasons I’m trying to stay in this marriage. Despite what he or she is doing right now, I still think they’re a good person. I still love that person even though I don’t love what he or she is doing right now.”
You can change your decision later. But right now, what you’re trying to do is to find within you the motivations, the reasons, that will keep you doing the right things when you don’t want to. Because you’re going to have some bad days. You see, this is not a quick trip. It’s a journey. It’s going to take a while. And if you wind up going back and forth because you’re not sure what you want, it’s going to be much more miserable for you and for everybody else around you.
Now, once you figure that out, see if what’s important to you fits within your beliefs, values, or the context of how you see yourself. That’s going to give you the strength you’re going to need.
Problems With Control & Guilt
(9:14) As you take control with yourself, don’t try to take control of your spouse. Unfortunately, people who are in panic mode often do that. As a matter of fact, even some people on the Internet, suggest that you should, “be sending a text every day to him or her even if they say, ‘Leave me alone.’” DON’T do that. Based on our experience with thousands upon thousands of couples, we know if you do anything that leads your spouse to feel that you’re trying to control or manipulate, then rather than being drawn back to you, your spouse is going to be pushed further away from you.
In psychology, we call it self determination. You first experienced it when you were about two. (That’s what explains the terrible twos.) Self-determination is: I want to make my own decisions. I want to take control of my life. I don’t want somebody else dominating me.
Self determination remains with you for the rest of your life. So if you’re doing things where your spouse feels manipulated and controlled, it’s probably going to work against you. And that includes trying to control him or her by instigating guilt.
A lot of different people instigate guilt, but it seems it occurs a lot more with those who are religious. For example, they start taking their Bibles, or whatever their holy book is, and start showing these passages, or Scriptures, and say, “According to this, you’re sinning. You better do the right thing.” Or, “Look what you’re doing to me. Your children won’t have what they need because of this terrible thing you’re doing. You violated your vow against me,” et cetera. Now all those things may be true, but if you think you’re going to control them by instigating guilt, it’s probably going to backfire against you.
(12:21) Now, has there ever been a case where a person, out of guilt, comes back because the guilt becomes so strong? The answer is yes. But when those people come back, they tend to go back and forth. What I mean is, if they come back just because of guilt, then the temptations, since we’re using religious language right now, the temptations may still have strength. And so while you might, in the short term, get the person to come back to you from guilt, it’s probably not going to last in the long term. And again, the other person may feel manipulated.
- Don’t Use “Push” Behaviors
In addition to that, don’t whine. Don’t plead. Don’t beg. Don’t fall apart. One lady told me, “When my husband was leaving, I followed him out to the driveway. He got into his vehicle to leave. I banged my head on the concrete and he still left.” Well you understand that’s not very attractive. She was thinking, “Because he loved me at one point, and surely he still somehow has love inside. So, if I’m banging my head on the concrete, and I’m bleeding, and he sees me in pain, he will jump out of his car, take me in his arms, hold me, love me, tell me he’s sorry, take me back inside, dress my wounds, and we’re going to be happy ever after.” Could that happen? Yes, it could. Will that happen? Probably not.
Because when you’re whining, pleading, and falling apart, it’s not attractive. And again, it tends to push him or her away from you, because you’re not just that becoming physically unattractive, you’re also becoming emotionally unattractive. You see, one thing that pulls people together is emotional attraction. It occurs whenever you’re doing things that evoke emotions within the other person that he or she enjoys feeling. But, if you’re evoking negative emotions within the other person, emotions he or she does not want to feel, then rather than drawing them toward you, it pushes them away from you.
Three Reasons People Divorce
(14:48) So, think about it this way. John Gottman, in his book called, “A Marriage Clinic,” explained that people leave a marriage (or want out of a marriage) at least for one of, or more of, these three reasons:
- I don’t feel that you love me
- I don’t feel that you like me
- I don’t feel that you respect me
So, if a person feels like you’re trying to control, manipulate, whine, plead, or any of those kinds of things, will very seldom feel like you’re treating him or her with respect. In all likelihood, they also won’t feel loved.
Also, make sure you don’t give up too much to the other person, or do whatever they say. A lady said to me just the other day, “Well, he asked if we could use the same attorney. It would be less expensive, and I said ‘Sure.’ And he said, ‘Well, let’s negotiate things,’ and I said to him, ‘You just decide. Choose whatever you wish. I’m going to be happy with it.'” And I said, Why? Why did you do that? And she said, “Because I want him to think positively about me, and that then somehow is going to lead him back to me.”
(16:31) When you give up too much, how much respect do you think the other person feels toward you? You see, it just doesn’t work. A silly thing people say is: “If you truly love someone, let them go. If they come back to you, they were meant to be, and they’ll be with you forever. And if they don’t come back, then it wasn’t meant to be.” That is NOT true. Trust me. If you have a relationship with a person that you love, it’s worth fighting for. And so if you give up too much, you’ll wind up losing this, because you didn’t make a stand. If you try to demand too much, you’ll wind up trying to control your spouse.
What you’re going to want to do is to operate in calm confidence. Oh, I know, “Calm? How do I get calm? I mean, my whole world’s falling apart. I’m upset. I feel rejected. I’m angry. I’m hurt. I’m lonely. I’m sad. All those kinds of things. So what do you mean, calm?” Well, if you need to, then that’s when you find a therapist. I’m not talking about a marriage therapist, not a marriage counselor, but somebody who can work just with you, helping you to deal with your emotions. Or if you’re religious, then you get with God as you understand him to be, and learn how to pray and meditate.
But at the very least, even if you’re falling apart inside, if you can find a way to be strong enough that when you’re interacting with a spouse who’s trying to leave you, you can still be calm. As a matter of fact, of the three things I’ve talked about, it’s still the same one, number one, take control of yourself. Because you see, we don’t succeed in saving marriages. We succeed in helping you know what to do to save your marriage.
Some Other Considerations
And as I said earlier, since 1999, our success rate is three out of four couples- even when one spouse was absolutely convinced he or she did not want to be in the marriage. Or even when a spouse was “madly in love” with somebody else, we still have an extremely high success rate, and we can teach you that system.
And here’s what we say about it:
It will work if anything works.
It will work IF anything works.
Right now, what are you going to do? Stop begging, pleading, or whining.
(19:26) Another thing is you can manage your business items together. In other words, if you have an actual business together, you can talk about that; children together, you can talk about that. These allow you to talk to your spouse without becoming defensive, or him or her tuning you out.
Now, you can allow your spouse to open up conversations with you. That’s part of that S.M.A.R.T. contact. But you’ll need to respond in a way that shows that you’re strong, calm, and gentle (even if it hurts). And take it one day at a time. Now that’s what S.M.A.R.T. contact stands for, but we have another YouTube video that explains it in great detail.
We’ll also teach you how to be a safe place, but not a doormat. Because you will not be respected as a doormat. You see, strong people accept what other people feel, but they might not accept everything that a person does. And as you become strong, you can accept whatever your spouse feels at the moment, knowing what it is that you hope he or she feels as you go through the process. But you don’t have to accept everything that he or she does. Do not become a doormat.
(20:34) So hear me: your life’s not over. It’s not. You can be happy again. You can. And we’ll teach you various ways to do that so you can be happy again. Hopefully, by putting your marriage back together, making it better than it was before, and going to the future together.
But if God forbid, even if it does does fall completely apart, and he or she divorces you, (we absolutely hope that doesn’t happen) the things we teach you will show you how to have a really good relationship with the next person, and you’ll be the kind of person that will attract the kind of person you can be happy with.
Now that’s not our goal. Our goal is not to try to marry you off to somebody else. Our goal is to help you save this marriage. But the principles we’ll teach you- if somehow they fail here- will still be applicable to your life and help you to be happy again in a wonderful relationship.
So, you need to…
- believe in yourself
- believe in what you can do
- take control of yourself
…because it’s going to be awfully hard for your spouse to believe in you, if you don’t believe in yourself.
If you’re going to need some help with that, feel free to call us. You can ask about our coaches. We have coaches all around America, male and female, you can book time with and he or she can help you think things through, help you stay calm, help you do the things you need to do to hopefully save this marriage. And if not save the marriage, at least have a better life. They won’t tell you what to do; that’s not their job. They’ll listen, they’ll understand, and they’ll guide you. The number you call here is not to one of the coaches. The number you see here is to take you to our client representatives, who can help you get to our coaches or any other resources that might be of assistance to you. 866-903-0990.
Don’t have your headphones or a private place to listen right now? Read the script here:
My Spouse Wants a Divorce: Part 2
With Dr. Joe Beam
(0:00) Your spouse wants a divorce, and you don’t. You want this marriage to last. You want to somehow put it back together, even if your spouse is involved with somebody else or has left you for whatever reason.
You want to put the marriage back together, not just to be married, but to make it good again, better than it was before.
We can help you do that.
We’ve worked with thousands upon thousands of couples in the very same situation that your marriage is in right now, and thousands and thousands of individuals just like you, who is the one who wants the marriage to make it when the other person either has already left or definitely wants out, whether they’re leaving because they want to be with somebody else, or some other reason all together. So, we have a lot of experience with this.
(0:45) In part one, I talk about the fact that you need to take control of yourself.
Now, if you do it, it will help you do parts two and three, and if you cannot get control of yourself, if your emotions are just totally out of control, and you can’t find some way to become calmer, at least when you’re interacting with this spouse, it’s going to be much more difficult to do parts two and three.
I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I am saying it’s going to be more difficult.
(1:42) But now let’s talk about this. Your spouse wants a divorce. You don’t.
You want to save the marriage, so what do you do?
One of the first things we ask you to do is this:
Assess what the real problem is.
Now, stay with me here. Stay with me, because I might be going a different direction then you think I’m about to go.
The first thing is, don’t think it’s all about you.
Unless of course it is.
I mean, if you have been a person that’s been cruel, and vicious, and physically destroying, or mentally or emotionally destroying the person that you live with, and he or she now wants out just because they can’t take the fact that they’re scared of you, that you’re going to hit them, that you’re going to do other damage to them physically, or you’re going to do more damage to them emotionally or spiritually, those kinds of things, then yeah, you’re a big part of the problem.
But, most people, even if they have done some of those things, are not all the problem, and you’re not going to win in putting this marriage back together, even if you have contributed heavily to its downfall, by beating yourself up.
You see, if you’re going to go around having a pity party, “Oh, woe is me I should have done this. I should have done that. I shouldn’t have done this, I shouldn’t have done that.”, you’re going to spend a lot of time having pity parties.
(3:00) An interesting thing about pity parties is you don’t ask anybody to come because if they do, they may cheer you up, and so, you wind up having it all by yourself. It’s all about, “I’m terrible. I’m evil. I’m wicked. I’m sick. I’m sad. I’m dumb.”, whatever it might be.
Even if you have done things that have been part of falling this marriage apart, beating yourself up and becoming, “Oh, I’m terrible, terrible, terrible.” is not going to help you put it back together.
Now, you do need to accept responsibility for whatever you’ve done. You really do.
But as you take responsibility for what you’ve done, be careful not to program your spouse against you.
What I mean by that is, if you go to him or her and say, “I don’t blame you for leaving me. I’ve been a terrible person, I don’t know how anybody can live with me.”
What kind of ideas do you think you’re putting into your spouse’s head?
You’re reaffirming his or her choice to leave you by saying, “Yup. Even you get it. Nobody can live with you.”
(3:57) So, if you’re going to take responsibility for your behavior, which is mature and is the appropriate thing to do, don’t do it in such a way where you beat yourself up, say terrible, terrible things about you, because as you do you’re just going to turn your spouse against you even more, or you’re going to wind up giving ammunition that he or she may use against you if indeed they really want a divorce.
So, if you say something like, “You know, I’m terrible. I’m the meanest person that can ever be. I don’t know how anybody can live with me.”, and your spouse is actually wanting out of the marriage, you realize that he or she may be quoting you exactly to his or her attorney, and his or her attorney can figure out how to use your statements against you, to make you lose even more when it comes to the divorce.
(4:46) So, be careful that you’re not giving ammunition, and don’t go back dredging up things from the past that he or she either one, may not remember, or two, has never known about.
All of a sudden you think, “Well, the only way we can put this back together is for me to absolutely gut level honest, and so I’m going to tell you every terrible thing that I’ve ever done in our marriage. Even the things that you don’t know about.”
Thinking that somehow, that openness, that transparency, that vulnerability, is going to bring him back to you, or her back to you, is probably going to backfire on you.
Because remember, we’re talking about a spouse who already wants out of the marriage, and if you give them more reasons to leave the marriage, it’s not going to be pulling them back to you, it’s going to help push them further away from you.
So, you might be saying, “Well, Doctor Beam, then what do I do?
I mean, you said take responsibility when appropriate.” Yes, but do it maturely and do it succinctly.
You say, “What do you mean?”
If indeed you have been a controlling person, then you could acknowledge that.
“I understand that some of the things I did, led you to feel controlled. I’m sorry.” Boom, that’s it, that’s enough. If he or she wants to talk about specific ones, listen.
If they ask you things like, “Can you explain to me why you did that?” If you have a good answer, give it, but I would be even careful about that.
(6:12) If it were I, I would say things such as, “Well, I can see how that led you to be controlled, and I understand you want to understand all of my motives that were involved in that. I don’t know that I can explain them. I just know that what I did led you to feel that way, I’m sorry.”
So, you acknowledged what you’ve done wrong, but you don’t beat yourself up, and you don’t hand him or her ammunition.
You say, “Well, why even acknowledge it all?”
Because, if indeed you’re going to put this back together, there does have to be some degree of openness, transparency, and vulnerability. But, what I’m suggesting strongly is that you don’t go to such a degree that it winds up being used against you and actually, facilitates the ending of your marriage.
So, if you have certain responsibilities, admit it.
You say, “Well what if it was something like adultery? What if my spouse says, “But you cheated by sleeping with Charlie or Charlene?”
If you have done it, and need to admit it, then you can say, “Yes. I did.” If they start asking you about details, “Well did you do this with Charlie or Charlene? Did you do that? How many times were you with that person?”, et cetera, et cetera…
I strongly suggest that you look at him or her and say the following, “Yes I did that, you’re right it happened. I am so sorry. But at this point, I don’t want to discuss the details. If, at such a time, you decide you want to try to put this marriage back together. Then as we go through the steps we need to go to, to put the marriage back together. Then I will answer those questions when it’s the appropriate time to answer them, and the appropriate way to answer them. I’m not trying to lie to you, I’m not trying to deceive you. I’m just saying, right now in the situation that we’re in, I admit what I did, but I do not want to go into any details, at this point.”
(8:09) Now, don’t let them push you into it. “Oh, that’s exactly who you are. See? You’ve always lied. You’re lying now, and you always will lie. I can never trust you again, because if you were honest …”, reply, “I can understand how you feel. I really can, and I hate the fact that this appears that I’m being dishonest with you, but I’m not. I’m telling you the truth. I did do that.”
But, I’m pretty convinced based on the studies I’ve done, like for example, watching this video, I’m pretty sure based on the studies that I’ve done, that it will only do more damage than good right now. Now, if we can work through things and get to a place where we’re actually trying to put the marriage back together, we will talk about the things we need too, in the right context, with the right help. But … can’t do that right now.
“No, I’m telling you the truth, and I understand your frustration that you’re not getting all the information that you want, but I’m trying to do what’s best here. I’m trying to be honest, as best I can. I don’t want to lie to you at all, but I want to make sure that when we actually talk about these things, when the right place with the right help, so that it does good, so that it doesn’t do more damage to you, doesn’t do more damage to me, but hopefully, we could learn how to get beyond it.”
(9:21) Now, you can do what you want, I’m not telling you what to do. I’m just telling you how I would handle that.
That’s a way to take responsibility without beating yourself up. That’s a way to take responsibility without giving the other person ammunition. He or she may get angry, but if it were I, I’d still hold to my guns on that, very calmly, referring you back to video number one, very calmly, because the more you have calm confidence when you’re dealing with your spouse, even if inside you don’t have any calm confidence at all, if you can be calmly confident in your interactions with him or her, in the long run, that’s what’s going to be the best affect.
You understand? In the long run, it’s what’s going to be the best affect. So, don’t think short-term, think long-term. So, try not to fall apart.
By the way, if you become convinced that you’re the only person to blame, that your spouse is some kind of a saint, that he or she is a marvelous amazing person who’s never ever done anything wrong, and therefore, everything is all your fault, and that’s the kind of thing you’re communicating to him or her, they’re going to believe exactly the same thing– that it’s all your fault. It may be mostly your fault. It may be hardly your fault.
Only in the rarest of circumstances is it ever all one person’s fault, and my guess is, that’s not true of you no matter what you have done.
(10:46) Now, another thing not to focus on, the first one’s not focus on beating yourself up.
The second thing is:
Don’t focus on your spouse’s flaws.
You say, “What?” Okay, I’m sure that he or she isn’t perfect and maybe a lot of the problems you have are tied into the way that he or she has treated you, or the things that he or she has done. But, understand that just as you are, in all likelihood, not all the problem, then your spouse in all likelihood is not all the problem, either.
If you start trying to figure out his weaknesses, and her flaws, and those kinds of things and think, “Well, if I can focus on what’s wrong with him. Focus on what’s wrong with her. Then we can figure out how to save this marriage.” In all likelihood, that’s going to work against you in big ways.
Here’s what I see on the internet all the time. I go into these groups about marriages and read what people write, and they want to diagnose their spouses.
Particularly, the spouse who’s trying to leave a marriage. There’s one group, for example, that I go into regularly, it’s actually one of our Marriage Helper groups, and I go in and read what people say. I typically don’t write in it because of the fact we have admins who do such a wonderful job in there, and so I just admire their work and don’t get in their way, but I will go in occasionally and read some of the things that people write, and it’s amazing how many people have diagnosed their spouse as being a narcissist.
(12:08) As a matter of fact, I was just speaking for a group over in the state of Arkansas where one of the questions was asked, we’re having this class from a church where she was going, where the teacher is explaining how that some men are narcissists, and talking about “how do you deal with a narcissistic husband, and so I’m asking you, what are the signs of a true narcissist?” To which I replied the same thing that our admins regularly and constantly say in our groups on Facebook and et cetera, “there are very, very few narcissists.”
When you look at the true diagnosis, I mean the true diagnosis from the DSM-5, there are very few people who are true narcissists.
Now, are there people who are selfish? Yes.
People who are arrogant? Yes.
People who do stupid things because of their selfishness and arrogance? Yes.
People that sometimes are hard to live with because of that? Yes.
But it does not make them a narcissist.
A narcissist is an actual diagnosis, and there are very few people proportionally speaking who are true narcissists.
But then they start diagnosing all other kinds of things, like, “Here’s what’s wrong with him. Here’s what’s wrong with her. Here’s what’s wrong with him. Here’s what’s wrong with her.” You say, “Well, why can’t I do that?”
As soon as you put him or her into some pigeonhole, “Oh, he’s a narcissist.”, or, “Oh, she’s bipolar.”, which by the way, on average takes about 10 years to diagnose even by a psychiatrist, because of the fact that people with it very seldom get to the psychiatrist or the one who really can diagnose it, they go so long without going that that’s part of that 10 year process.
(13:42) But here are people who meet these people for the first time, or even haven’t met them at all.
One lady said to me, “My therapist said my husband is a narcissist.”
“Oh, she diagnosed him?” “Yes.” “How many visits did she have before she made the diagnosis?” “Well, she’s never met my husband.”
Not only is she unprofessional, she’s unethical. Run, because once you put somebody into a category, into a pigeonhole, narcissist, bipolar, whatever it might be, then you start treating that person based on that view, and it affects everything you think about that person, it affects everything you do in relationships with that person, or even the things you do about that person.
If that’s what you’re doing, “My spouse is the problem and here’s why.”, or, “She’s a narcissist, or my wife is some kind of a sex addict.” Interestingly, it’s amazing how many people get diagnosed as sex addicts, not by a professional but by somebody who says, “Well, if he or she does that then he or she must be a sex addict. I found a thing on the internet and I read that, oh my goodness, that’s exactly what’s going on here.”
(14:44) I actually know of a good man, a great man, a wonderful man, who on one occasion, while sitting in a shop where his car was being repaired saw a Playboy magazine in a trashcan.
First and only time in his life he picked it up and looked at it. A woman walked in who was related to him, saw that magazine in his lap, saw him looking at it, right there in that public place, and diagnosed that beloved relative of hers as a sex addict, and treated him that way for the rest of his life.
That’s just wrong.
If you make those kinds of diagnoses, you’re going to wind up making a whole lot of bad decisions when it comes to the other person.
So, I strongly recommend, don’t focus on his or her flaws as this is the problem, and if we can fix him, or we fix her, everything will be okay. Probably not gonna work. As a matter of fact, in all likelihood is gonna work against you.
(15:44) Even vilifying your spouse to others.
A guy just said to me the other day, “Well, my wife’s having an affair, an emotional affair with another man and her parents are backing her because they know we’re having trouble. Mom and dad backing their daughter, but I’m convinced if I go tell them she’s emotionally involved with that man at work, then they won’t be on her side anymore, they’re gonna be on my side. So, I need to go tell them that.”
My response is, “That’s not gonna work well.”
As soon as you go do that, here’s what your wife’s gonna do when she hears that you went to her mom and dad and you told them she is having this “emotional affair” with another man. She’s gonna see that as you throwing her under the bus.
Rather than being compelled to come back to you, like, “Oh my goodness, let me go back to that really good man.”, it’s gonna be, “How dare you hurt me, in terms of relationship with my parents. I cannot believe you did that. You’re evil, you’re wicked.”
In other words, they’re going to attack you.
I know one man that we probably could’ve helped him save the marriage. Everything was going in the right direction, but the final thing we couldn’t get him past was this, “My wife has told everybody I know about my affair, and I just can’t go back into that world again, because if I go to church with her people are gonna be looking at me like, there’s the adulterer. If I go to parties with her, her friends are gonna be looking at me like, he’s the guy that cheated on her, and I just can’t go back and face that judgment from everybody around me. So, I just can’t go back.”
So, if you’re vilifying your spouse, if you’re saying evil and wicked and terrible things about your spouse to other people, understand this, it’s gonna come back to you at some point, some way, it’s gonna come back in a bad way. It’s certainly not gonna make the marriage better.
(17:35) Now, if you just want to hurt him or her as much as you can before you divorce them, then I guess vilifying and telling people things is what you might want to do to cause as much pain to that person as you possibly can.
But, if you really want to put the marriage back together this is not going to help you.
You say, “But I need to talk to some people.” There are occasions when sometimes you really need to, but we recommend go see a professional. Go see a counselor or therapist who’s licensed so that when you tell them what you feel about your husband, about your wife, they can’t tell other people. The word cannot spread. If they tell other people you’ve got a lawsuit that you can file against them, because they’re not supposed to do that.
You say, “Well what if my husband’s …” oh, let’s say you’re religious, “My husband is the worship leader at church, and he’s sleeping with one of the women at church, doesn’t my pastor need to know?” Well see, now we’re talking about about a different situation. Let me tell you right here that rather than speaking generally to that, although in general I would say that in situations sometimes somebody else does need to know, not because you’re trying to throw somebody under the bus, but because of the fact that sometimes there are just right things that need to be done.
(18:44) If you’re in a situation like that and you can’t decide what to do, you call that number on our screen here, and you talk to our client representatives who will tell you about the various resources we have. One of those resources is our coaches. We have male coaches and female coaches. They won’t tell you what to do, that’s not their job, but they will help you think through the pros and the cons. They’ve been very well trained toward that.
So, if you think you’ve gotta tell somebody something it may be worth your while to spend just a little bit of money to call our non-profit, and to line up some time with our coaches who can help you think that through before you make that decision.
But, generally speaking, just like diagnosing is going to work against you, vilifying is going to work against you as well.
So, if you think, “Well, I’m gonna fix my spouse, and that’ll bring him or her back.”
No. No, fixing is not going to work, and that’s often the flaw of seeking counseling.
“Okay, let’s go to counseling, so I can get the counselor to fix my husband, or get the counselor to fix my wife.” If you walk in there with that, it’s not gonna be marriage counseling most of the time.
(19:55) As a matter of fact, if you go to traditional marriage counseling… (by the way, the ones who are really, really good marriage counselors are awesome, are worth their weight in gold, but like every other profession there are people who are awesome at it, people that are mediocre at it, and people that are just almost dangerous at it in terms of what they’re gonna do) We hear stories all the time about people that went in to see a marriage counselor and it worked out against them. Now, we’re not against marriage counseling if you’re gonna do it, get the best one you can, but understand that often the flaw of seeing the counselor is, “I’m here because I want him or her,” the counselor, the therapist, “… to fix my spouse.”
Well, if you watched the video number one you understand that you start with trying to control you. You do not start with trying to fix your spouse. Are there some things that may need to be dealt with later? Yes. Are there some behaviors on his part, her part, your part, that might need to be rectified and changed later? Yes.
But the first thing to focus on right now is not that, if indeed you’re trying to put a marriage back together when your spouse wants a divorce.
Don’t even focus on the insurmountable problems like, “Oh my goodness, this terrible thing happened, that terrible thing happened.”
(21:03) For example, and I’m gonna give you a big one, but “My husband has impregnated the other woman. There’s a baby that’s gonna be in the picture. Oh my goodness. How are we gonna deal with the fact that there’s gonna be another baby?” They begin to see that somehow as an insurmountable problem.
Well, believe it or not, there are actually ways to deal with those things where that he could fulfill his responsibility to that child, but not still be emotionally or any other way involved with that woman that’s not health. We could also be married to you, and put the marriage back together, and make a good marriage. I know it sounds ridiculous. It’s like, no nobody can do that. It really can.
We have some people overcome just about everything you can possibly imagine, but if you focus on what appears to be insurmountable, like, “That’s just too big, that’s too major.”, nobody can get past that.
Understand that when you focus on the negative, it makes you negative, and you’ll lose the desire to salvage a marriage, and you in all likelihood will vilify your spouse.
Rarely is a problem unsolvable.
People can change.
Now, I left my wife many years ago. I divorced her. I divorced her because I wanted to be with another woman, and fully intended to make that relationship work. That one, eventually fell apart. Well, I got involved with another woman. Very much involved with her, because I was intent about not coming back to Alice. Now, understand that Alice is a really good person, but some of the things she did are in direct contradiction to what we’re teaching you here. Not because she was a bad person, just because she didn’t know what else to do. What I did was always much, much worse. Understand that in our story Alice is the good one, I’m the one that did the bad stuff, but she wasn’t perfect, and she tried some things that actually pushed me further away.
(22:46) So, I did not come back to Alice immediately when that thing fell apart with the other woman. I actually developed it with yet another woman after that. Not immediately. It took a period of time, and it was in that relationship when I decided “I need to go back to my marriage.” I can’t explain all that here, it’s too much.
If you want to find our video about that, that’s actually two videos I’ve done about them, Married But In Love With Somebody Else, and then, Married But In Love With Somebody Else: Part Two, if you want to hear more about on that story.
When I finally asked Alice, and we’ve been divorced three years at that point, but when I finally asked Alice, “Would you consider the possibility of taking me back?”, every person she talked to … she talked to her church leaders, because she was very much part of her church, she talked to her family, they were all against it. Oh, by the way, all the church leaders were against it. She talked to her friends, even her best friend said, “If you go back to Joe, I’ll never speak to you again.”, which by the way was a promise that she kept, she’s never spoken to Alice again after Alice decided to come back to me.
(23:57) But, do you hear what I’m saying here?
They were all saying, “He’ll never change. Don’t you know … not only the stuff he did that caused your marriage to end, his adultery, but all the things he’s done since then. The lifestyle he’s been living with liquor and drugs, and women, and all those kinds of things. He’ll never change. People can’t change. Once they do this they’re always gonna be like this.” They told Alice that.
She decided to risk it and take me back.
Now, at the time I’m making this video we’re nearing our 32nd anniversary of our second marriage.
People can change.
Well, even if they were sex addicts … I wasn’t, but yeah, even if they’re so-called sex addicts.
Even if they … no matter what.
Now, I’m not saying that necessarily a person will change, but I’m telling you that a person can change, and if you focus on the insurmountable problem, you’re not gonna believe that.
Rarely is a problem unsolvable.
Believe it or not, no matter what a person has done, it is possible to forgive. Really, no matter what. It is possible to forgive. It’s possible to reconnect with each other.
(25:04) Here’s another thing not to focus on.
Don’t focus on the other person if there is one.
If your husband or wife is involved with somebody else, and you think, “Well, if he or she just goes away, that other woman, that other man, if they just go away, then my life will be fine.”
It’s probably not gonna work that way. Oh yeah, that other person is definitely part of the problem, but just as you’re not all the problem, and your spouse isn’t all the problem, then that person isn’t either.
If that lover goes away, your spouse still may want out. Why? Well, I turn to that in just a minute.
If you try to do things to get rid of that other person, like trying to turn your spouse against his or her paramour, then more than likely, rather than turning him or her against that paramour, you’re actually going to push them closer together.
They become advocates for each other, and so if you’re attacking that other woman, attacking the other man, your spouse is more likely to go to their defense and make the relationship stronger. You see, don’t make yourself the enemy.
The lover is not your competition. Really.
You say, “Well, sure it is, that’s why he or she wants to leave us for that lover.” No, that person is not your competition.
In a very true sense of the word, you are the competition.
You’re competing with you.
Oh, I know, that sounds stupid doesn’t it?
You’re going, “Well, I was with you so far Dr. Beam, but I think I’m gonna have to leave you now, because you’re nuts.” Stay with me just a minute as I try to explain that.
(26:39) One other thing not to focus on. You say, “What’s that?” This gonna sound like the craziest thing you’ve ever heard…
Don’t focus on trying to save the marriage.
“Wait, whoa, whoa, isn’t that what this all is about, that I’m trying to save the marriage?”
Yes, but if you focus on trying to save the marriage, if that’s what you’re focusing on, you’re gonna wind up doing probably the wrong things.
You’re gonna get more anger, you’re gonna get more hurt. You’re gonna do more controlling, dominating, manipulating kind of things. You’re gonna make poorer decisions.
“But, it’s all about saving the marriage.”
I am all for saving the marriage, but if that’s what you’re focused on you’re gonna make poor decisions.
“Well then, what should I focus on?”
All right, let me give you a basic truth, and then tell you what to focus on.
Here’s a basic truth of life:
People don’t leave what they have unless what they believe what they’re going to is better.
Now, hear that well.
People don’t leave what they have unless they believe what they’re going to is better.
It may not be better, but for whatever reason they believe it’s gonna be better.
Don’t think that if you try to argue them out of it you’re going to win, like, “I understand that you think that’s better, but let me prove to you why it’s not. Think about this, think about that, think about the other.”
For example, if you’re religious, look at the bible, you can’t do that that’s a sin. Whatever it might be, you’re not going to win, because you’re trying to use logic to overcome emotions, and when those two things come into combat with each other it will be the emotions that will win.
(28:09) Now, I understand that the situation they’re into, the thing they’re headed toward may be the worst thing for them ever, but as long as they think it’s better than being with you that’s where they’re gonna keep going.
So, what do you do here?
What you focus on is trying to understand why he or she thinks that that’s better.
Do they think it’s better just to be away from you because of your actions? Are you controlling, are you dominating?
One woman said, “My husband made me into a sex object. I mean, at least once a day, sometimes twice a day, occasionally three times a day. I had to curtail all of my desires, all of my schedule, do everything just exactly like he wanted to give him as much sex as he wanted where I got to the point I dreaded him coming home, because I think I’m just gonna be used as an object again. Having sex that much my body’s not even able to cope with it, and I find it to be painful. I have no meaning. I have no value. I want away from him because of what he’s doing to me. I would rather be alone than to be with that.”
(29:09) Now, if you’re therefore doing anything, if it’s controlling, dominating. If it’s acting like you’re the parent and the other person’s the child. If it’s the fact that you lie habitually. Is it the fact that you spend all the money and waste it away?
My friend, Dave Ramsey, on his radio program will say, “Financial reasons are the number one reason for the divorce in America.” In terms of what people argue about my friend Dave is correct.
People argue about money more than anything else, but it’s not the money that’s leading them apart, it’s the fact that I don’t feel like you respect me.
So, people will leave situations if they think just being by myself is better than being with you because of what you’re doing.
Now, if that’s what’s happening, if you understand, okay, then it may mean, as a matter of fact if that’s the case, in all likelihood it means there’s some changes you need to make. Like stop being controlling, stop being dominating.
Well, you might think, “Well yeah, I’m happy to, but I’ve lost my chance. He’s already gone. She’s already there. What do I do?”
Well, that’s more than I can talk about in this video, but there are ways to do that as well.
That’s why I suggest you call for our client representatives at the number on the screen. They can direct you to our resources, many of which are free. Some of which, even though we’re a 501c3 non-profit, we have to charge for. You can use the free resources if you need more you can use the ones that have some fees associated that are very reasonable, but there are ways even when the other person has already left that you can change, and hopefully that change will finally be seen by him or her.
(30:43) You see, here we’re looking for the long run.
Whatever it is that he or she thinks is better, whether it’s because being away from you is better because of how you’ve been doing, or whether it’s because there’s another person out there, and I think being with him or her is better because I like my relationship with that person better than I like my relationship with you right now. Or even like, “I have found a lifestyle that I cannot live if I’m a married person, and right now I’m enamored of that lifestyle.” Those are actually different things, but all the same principle.
So, rather than all those things I just suggested, don’t focus on those because they’ll pull you in the wrong directions.
The thing to focus on is: “Okay, I’m gonna try to understand why he or she thinks being away from me is better than being with me.”
“Is it because of her? Is it because of that lifestyle? Is it because of what I’ve been doing?”
Whatever it might be.
When you understand that don’t try to destroy the other person or relationship. Don’t try to convince them by logic what they’re doing is wrong.
(31:44) What you can do is start working on you so that finally, and it typically does not happen overnight, he or she begins to see you becoming a better and better person.
There are some very clear steps to go through to make that happen.
As that occurs what we’re hoping is, with time, as you develop and grow and become the best you you can be, he or she begins to realize, “Wait a minute, I need to be back over there. That this thing I’ve gone after, or this person I’ve gone after, this lifestyle I’ve gone after, or even the thing I tried to get away from… I’m looking back at you and thinking… but wait a minute.” ‘
You see, that’s exactly what happened with Alice and me. I was involved with another woman very deep emotional connection with her, I came back for several reasons, but one of which was that Alice had developed and become such a better person that I realized being with her would be a good thing. It took me three years, after a divorce to do that.
Hopefully, that will not be the case with you because there weren’t people there to help me, but we are definitely here to help you.
(32:53) So, did you understand this video?
I gave you a lot of things not to focus on, because if you do you’re probably gonna push the spouse away, and the one thing to start working on right now, which is trying to think, trying to understand.
Now, don’t go ask your buddies, “Hey, my husband left, what do you think he’s leaving me for?” “Hey, let me ask my family. My wife left, what do you think she’s leaving me for?” Oh, and God forbid you put it on the internet, “Hey, here’s what my spouse is doing. Why do you think he or she is doing that?”
No, no, no, no, no. You’re gonna get so many bad answers if you do that.
You pay attention.
You think back on the conversations you’ve had before.
You are taking control of you (video 1).
You’re beginning to figure out what it is you really need to work on.
Do you understand? Well, we have another video to talk about, and a whole lot of other things beyond that that you can get on our other videos here, and resources that you can call that number and get to right now that our client representatives will help you have. If you call after business hours leave a message, they’ll call you back.
Be sure to check out the third video in this series.
Don’t have your headphones or a private place to listen right now? Read the script here:
My Spouse Wants a Divorce: Part 3
With Dr. Joe Beam
(0:00) Your spouse wants a divorce, but you don’t. You still want to be in this marriage and you find yourself running through a whole range of emotions all the way from despair, like, “What am I going to do?” to fear, like, “Why is this happening and what’s my future going to be?” to anger, like “How dare he or she do this to me?” You’re questioning yourself. “What’s wrong with me?” “Why doesn’t he or she want to be with me?” “Am I unlovely?” “Am I unlovable?”
I hope you’ve seen the first two videos in this series. If not, I recommend that you stop now and go find them. In the first video in this series, I talked about:
- How you need to take control of yourself (even though that is so difficult to do in a situation like this).
- Giving you some hints about how to do it, and how not to do it.
In the second video, I talked about:
- How to assess what the real problem is.
- How we have found that people consistently do the wrong things by focusing on the wrong things.
- Focusing on the right thing (assessing and knowing what you should think about) and how that will affect the way you act.
- A system that will work, can bring your spouse back, and make your marriage better than it was before- not because of the problems, but because of what each of you will learn by going through these problems.
The Right Help is “Objective”
(1:55) And now, I want to talk about getting the right help. What I’m about to say may sound contradictory, so please stay with me just for a moment: Only you can do the things that you need to do that can potentially save this marriage and make it wonderful again. Nobody else can do them for you. But, at the same time, most people, when they try to do it by themselves, wind up messing it up, not because they’re dumb, but because of the fact that they have not been in this kind of situation before. It’s awfully difficult to look at it objectively when you’re right in the middle of it. So, get the right kind of help that can help you be objective and help you think through things you should/shouldn’t do.
You might, for example, want to find a marriage counselor or therapist. Many people do that. Just be aware that there are those who are amazingly good, there are those that are mediocre, and there are those that are just terrible at it, like there are with every profession. If you’re going to see a marriage counselor, I recommend that you call around first. Not just talking to people who have seen them, which is a good idea, but asking for five minutes on the phone with the counselor before you set your first session. If he or she won’t do that, that’s a bad sign. You probably need to look for somebody else.
Things to Ask a Counselor/Therapist
Here are the kind of things you want to find out, the questions you want to ask:
- What is your success rate in helping marriages in situations like the one that I’m in? Whatever number they give you in their success rate, if they give you a number at all, then ask further.
- What does the success rate mean? For example, one counselor said, “I have a 90% success rate.” I question that. What does that mean? “Well, if both parties do exactly what I tell them to do, exactly the way I tell them to do it, 90% of those marriages make it.” Okay, that’s not really a 90% success rate, because she’s not counting all the other ones that don’t do exactly what she tells them to do.
- Also, ask what his or her view is about the marriage. What we recommend is this: If you’re going to use a marriage counselor or therapist, find one who sees the marriage as the client. You can ask them that up front. If they say, “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” then you might want to move on quickly.
If they’re a true marriage counselor, then they should be counseling to save the marriage. Unfortunately, many of them are trained in such a way that they just want to help each of you be happy, and therefore, if your husband or wife says in the first session, “Well, I just really want to be out of this, and that’s what’s gonna make me happy,” there are a large percentage of those therapists that are then going to do exactly that. “Well, let me help you figure out how to divorce each other in the most amicable way with the least amount of damage.” That’s not really a marriage counselor in my estimation, so ask: “Will you take the marriage as the client? Where, that you understand we’re trying to put this marriage back together, and will you work at it like that?” And then, ask what his or her beliefs and values are to see if they’re similar to yours.
For example, if you’re religious, say that. “Hey, I’m religious, will you work within the parameters of my religion?” Or, “I really want to make this marriage work. Do you understand how intense I am about that and can you help me with that intensity to know how to focus it, so we can do the right kinds of things?” In other words, ask good questions up front. If you don’t get the right answers, keep looking until you find the right one, or you might want to do a different route rather than going to a marriage counselor or therapist.
Examples of Marriage Help…That Isn’t Actually Helpful
(5:13) Some people say, “Well, I’m just gonna use my family and friends.” I know they love you and some of those people might be full of wisdom, but understand the difficulty with that. Your family and your friends love you. That means in all likelihood, they’re gonna be biased. You see, here’s this person, your husband or your wife, who’s causing you pain. That makes them upset, because they love you.
Getting good, objective advice from family and friends is often difficult, not because they’re bad people. They’re really good people, but they’re people who love you tremendously, and they’re mad at that person hurting you, so be extremely careful about getting help from your family and friends. As a matter of fact, often the advice they give is just exactly the wrong thing to do.
(5:55) Oh, and whatever you do, don’t ask it on the internet. Oh my goodness. In some internet groups, sometimes people will ask questions like, “Why did my husband do this?” “Why did my wife say that?” People that have never met them, and don’t know anything about them, start giving all the answers. “Oh, he did that because of this” or, “She said that because of that” and, “Here’s what you should do.”
I’m sure they mean well, but they’re operating off their own experiences, and you aren’t them. Or, they’re operating off what they’ve heard others say and you aren’t them either. So be very, very, very careful about posting it on the internet and looking for advice there. We have Facebook groups where people do that. And so, our admins regularly have to step in and say, “Pay no attention to the 15 posts just above, because they’re really bad advice.”
(6:40) Then you ask, “Well, there’s some online courses. Can I take those?”
Here’s the value in an online course: If your husband or wife is not interested in working on the marriage right now, and you are the one wanting to do it, an online course can be really, really good to help you focus.
But understand that if it’s just an online course, you need to make sure that what’s being taught is actually gonna be to your advantage. We see online courses all the time that make impossible claims. If you ever see these claims- run. Don’t get those. I saw one where it said, “You just send me your money and I’m gonna give you the magic words to say, and the magic things to do, and when that happens, your spouse is gonna come back begging you to forgive them for ever having done this idiocy, and want to make love to you every day for the rest of your life.” If they make claims like that, they’re not telling you the truth. Nobody has the magic pill.
This Will Be a Process
(7:29) You see, it really is gonna be a matter of process and work. Your marriage didn’t get into trouble overnight, even if it sometimes it appears that it did. Your marriage didn’t get into trouble overnight, and it’s not going to be repaired overnight. And so if you’re gonna use an online course, then make sure you use one where they’re giving you good advice and they really understand what they’re doing, and avoid anybody that tells you what to do.
You Need to Find a Resource Centered on Teaching
Now, teaching, i.e. here are the principles, here’s how this works, here’s how that works, think about this, think about that- that’s what you want. Because nobody is exactly the same situation as other people, and if they’re saying, “Do exactly this. Do exactly that. I’ll tell you how to think. I’ll tell you what to do.” Nobody has that right.
If You Use a Religious Leader- Make Sure They’re Experienced/Trained in Marriage Problems
(8:22) You might be saying, “Well, we’ll go to our religious leader” or “We’ll go to my rabbi, or my priest, or my minister, or an elder in my church,” or whatever your religion might be. And those can be very helpful people if number one: they have some understanding of how to work with marriages in trouble. The fact that they may even have a doctor of minister degree, for example, doesn’t mean they’ve had any training or education in how to help marriages. Now, if you want them to help you spiritually, and they’re people who are good, mature, spiritual people, awesome. You say, “Well, I want to take my spouse to see my minister, rabbi, priest, whatever.” Well, I would ask our spouse, “Do you really respect this religious leader?” Because if they do not, then that’s not gonna work. Too often what we see is that when the spouse wants out, he or she doesn’t want to hear anything about religion. But, if your spouse will, then fine. But then you might want to talk to that religious leader before you go see him or her as a couple to find out what his/her values are about marriage, because, just the fact that they’re religious doesn’t mean they’re pro-marriage. We hear it all the time. “Well, my pastor said we should just divorce.”
So if you’re gonna see a religious leader, make sure you both respect that person, that your spouse is willing to see him or her, and that this person has some knowledge. If you’re going just for spiritual matters, spiritual knowledge is all they need. If you’re also going for help with your marriage, they need some education there as well.
About Marriage Helper
(9:39) Or, you can consider people like us. We’re a 501C3 nonprofit. Now, let me just very quickly, and forgive me that it sounds like a commercial, but I just want to tell you the kind of things to look for, even if you choose not to use us but somebody else. First of all, hear me again. Please get the help you need. Don’t try to do this alone. Get the right help. Now, if you were to call our number, you’ll get connected to what we know as a client representative. Now, he or she is not the one trained to help you deal with the problem. He or she is the one trained to help you understand what resources we have, and to help guide you to the one best for your situation.
So we’re not a hotline that if you call that number below, you get a person that’s gonna listen and give you all this great advice. Rather you’ll be connected with a client representative, who will listen, and then as they understand your situation and ask questions about it, he or she will say something such as, “We have these free resources over here. I suggest these. Go get them today and they’ll help you.” Or, it may be that they discover, okay, your spouse is really not willing to do anything. Well, you might want to look into our online course. It’s many, many sessions. It starts with very basic, elementary things, and it’s teaching. It won’t tell you what to do.
Very soon, we’re starting an online course (Jan. 2019) where we’re also gonna have a coaching call every week, so that one night a week, you can actually call in. Now, a bunch of people call in at the same time, so they’re not gonna talk to you individually on the coaching call, but you call in and you can type in your questions and either I, or one of my associates, will be answering those questions as fast as we can, giving you, “Okay, with that situation, think about this. Think about that.” That comes with our online course. It’s very, very good, and has a lot of really good effect. It’s for people whose spouses won’t be involved at this point. It’s like, “Okay, if that’s the case, then what do you do? What do you need to understand? What do you need to implement? What do you need to stop?” Not telling you what to do, but teaching you principles. Now, that one does have a fee, but it’s very reasonable and you get a lot more than you pay for.
(11:32) And then some people say, “No, no, I want more than that. I want to talk to somebody.” Well, we have trained coaches that are outstanding. Now, these are not counselors or therapists. They’re marriage coaches. They’ve been trained by us and certified by us. They’re men and women all across America. You can talk to them by phone, or by Skype, or by FaceTime. You can purchase some sessions with them. Now, even though we’re a 501C3 nonprofit, we want to be in business tomorrow and the day after that, which means we have to pay our people that work with us, and our rent and all those things, so there are fees for those. We have many free resources, but the coaching will cost you some money, but it’s extremely reasonable, and the value that you get is more than what you’ll be paying for, I’ll guarantee you. That person then can listen to you. Now, here’s another advantage of that. If you decide to use the coaches, they can work just with you, or if your spouse will be involved, they can work with you and your spouse in a coaching capacity, not a counselor or therapist, but a coach, helping you to understand what the problem really is, the things that you guys need to stop doing because you’re hurting each other, and the things to do if you want to put the marriage back together.
(12:36) Then ultimately, we have an intensive three day workshop. Our marriage reset workshop. Now, many people come to that, where one spouse is absolutely convinced that he or she no longer wants to be in the marriage. As a matter of fact, many of the couples that come to that, one spouse is “madly in love” with somebody else, and they’re convinced, “As soon as these three days are over, I’m gonna divorce you and marry the other person.” The divorce might already be in process. Sometimes, they even bring the final papers with them. They say, “Well, why would those people come to a three day intensive workshop?” Well, first of all, because we treat everybody with respect. We do not twist their arms to stay married. We don’t. We treat everybody with respect. Yet, we’ve still had a three out of four success rate with this since 1999, that the couples that come to these, three out of four of them actually save their marriage, and are still together seven years later.
Now, what makes that remarkable seven years later is the fact that more than 90% of the couples that walk in the door, one spouse is saying, “I’m done. I’m out. Nothing’s gonna make this marriage work.” Now, did you hear me say, “We will not manipulate them or twist their arms.” We just present a tremendous amount of awesome material. We have some fun. There’s a lot of laughter, believe it or not. Sometimes it’s a little sad, because people are hurting because of the situations that they’re in, but it’s an extremely good three day weekend. And 99% of the people that go through it, even the ones that wind up divorced, 99% of the people that go through it, even the ones that walk through the door saying, “This marriage is over. Nothing is gonna change that,” 99% of those people recommend it to other people.
I’m saying it’s a worthwhile weekend. Of course there’s a fee for that as well. Our client representatives, if you call and talk to them, can help you understand some things that you can do that hopefully will convince your husband or wife to come to that intensive three day workshop, if indeed they will, without you manipulating or forcing them. Because that’s not gonna be a good thing, either.
(14:34) Now, understand. There’s a lot of resources out there. You’re gonna choose what you think is best for you. We’ve been doing this since 1994. That’s when I started the first nonprofit to help marriages. And we have seen a tremendous amount of success. If you want to use somebody else, that is certainly your choice. If you want to use us, then our materials are really, extremely good.
So, what do you do? Well, you see that number right there. Call our office and ask for the client representatives and they will contact you. Now, again, that’s not the hotline. They’ll listen. They’ll ask questions. They’ll guide you to the free, or to the online course, or to the coaching, or the workshop, based on where you are and what needs are happening for you right now. And if none of those seem to be applicable, they’ll tell you where else to go, like, “Oh, what you’re looking for, you really can find that resource over here.” Because you see, we exist to help you. Period.
(15:24) Now, did you notice those three things? The first one, was take responsibility for yourself. The second, was assess the situation as it really is. This one, is get the right help. T-A-G, tag. Because sometimes that’s what we need.
Like the old wrestlers of ole, when they get into the ring and they get into a bind, they tag somebody else and say, “I need help.” We’re here to help. We’d love to. Please subscribe to us on YouTube. Please watch our other videos, and please, please go back and watch videos one and two of this. And give us a call. If it’s after business hours or if all of our client representatives are busy, they’ll call you back. We really want to help. Thank you.