(This next letter from Randy to us and our responses
is included in the book, "Livin" It and Lovin' It!". It is cleaned up in the book and easier to read, but for those who do not yet have the book. Randy's questions are in script and our replies are in regular type. Here it is:
My problem is that my wife is very often cold and
sometimes verbally abusive.... She has been this way
pretty much since we had our first child. I still love
her very much and would love if we could have that outrageously
happy marriage you speak of in your book.
I must admit that I have not always been the man that
God has called me to be. Once we had our children I
became a workaholic in order to make ends meet. I have
always been that way. Much of my work has required that
I be out of town all week and only be home on the weekends.
Just to help with the clarity.
Susan became verbally abusive after the first child...
about the same time that you became workaholic. (from
My guess is that as a young husband, you were probably
fairly clueless about supporting a young mother. She
was knocked off balance by your lack of nurture and
support toward her as a wife and mother.
You became a workaholic after you secured her as your
wife and had that first child so your attention went
to other things.
It was her job to focus on the kids and home and your
job to go and conquer the world.
Your wife had the wind knocked out of her and became
She was never 'on balance' and therefore became out
of hand in the verbal department.
She was a young, violated wife who was treated unfairly
and she acted out in a bad way. This is very normal.
Sad, but normal.
Had you been a supportive husband and understood her
feeling of abandonment, betrayal and her feeling of
being treated unfairly in the relationship, you could
have changed then and ministered to her; and lived happily
You, like I and most other husband were completely clueless
You thought that your wife had serious issues and that
you were doing your job perfectly as a husband and father
because a man is supposed to go out and do the "hunting"
while the wife stays home to tend to the kids and home
She is supposed to give him total admiration, praise
and respect because of his hard work and she is to be
the totally content housewife and mom who is so grateful
to be married to a hard working husband.
You might ask her to go back in her mind and help you
remember what you were like when the first child was
Did you leave the pressure on her?
Did she need you to make her feel beautiful but you
failed to do so?
These are important questions.
My guess is that your being out of town was a huge issue.
Did your wife ask you at the time to be home more often?
Did she tell you that it was not right that you were
gone all week leaving her with the responsibility of
If so, in her mind it would be "Yeah, great. AFTER
you quit the job you apologize; after the deed is done.
It is hard for a wife to feel like her husband is sincere
if in your situation you resisted her need to have you
at home for years... and then later wanted to make it
all better with a simple apology.
To make a long story short, I foolishly had a short
affair seven years into our marriage and never told
my wife about it
When you were out of town, did Susan have questions
about your faithfulness?
Did she express these questions?
If so, I assume you denied any unfaithfulness?
My guess is that for the full amount of time that you
were on the road you were indeed unfaithful... not only
in the one affair but also in the things that you watched
on TV, and the places that you went to kill time.
Even without other actual affairs, my guess is that
you regularly connected with other women emotionally
while on the road, seeing if you would get a rise out
of them... in an attempt to develop an emotional connection
which would hopefully lead to something physical.
My guess is that you were really out "playing"
while your wife was at home saddled with the kids.
These wounds are probably still alive and well in Susan's
heart. She could feel your unfaithfulness in her heart.
It was a daily companion though she may not have been
able to label it as such. She just 'knew' something
My wife had an affair with our church choir director
4 years ago. At the time, he was a trusted friend of
mine. It absolutely devastated me.
Oh, poor baby.
You were "devastated" after your wife had
Ten years AFTER you had one yourself?
What "devastated" you was that she was doing
something that was "out of your site". This
had nothing to do with her adultery. How could it? You
did the same thing.
Your 'devastation' goes much deeper than this.
It was because she got out of your line of sight and
did something that made you feel like you were losing
her. You will understand this more in a few minutes.
When you were out "playing" and knew that
she was saddled down with kids you were quite content
to be out exploring your world and meeting people ie:
other women. You were having fun "conquering"
the world of work in whatever line of work you were
All the time you were able to assure yourself that Susan
was safe at home, straddled down with the kids. You
KNEW that she could not do anything that you did not
In essence, you were secure at all times that she was
right where she "needed" to be.... at home
with the kids.
When a young child is crawling and beginning to explore
his/her world, they want to get down out of mommy's
arms. They want to crawl away and begin to explore....
touching things, putting things in their mouths, looking
at pretty colors.
When the child is about four feet away from mom, he
will turn around and look for her. If she is sitting
in her chair watching him, he is content and happy.
So he crawls further. After four more feet, he turns
to look again. If she is there, he continues to crawl
and begins his journey of exploration of his world.
As long as he knows that mommy is right where he left
her... sitting in the chair, then he feels safe and
secure and confidently goes to conquer all of the new
and exciting discoveries in the world around him.
What happens when this child looks back for that reassuring
view of mommy and the chair is empty?
Panic sets in.
He begins to cry, to lift his hands up and cry "mommy......."
Nothing can console the child until Mommy is back, holding
him in her arms.
As soon as this happens, the child relaxes and wants
back onto the floor. His world is safe. Mommy assured
him of her love and he is now safe to begin exploring
He restlessly communicates that he wants to be back
on the floor and the journey begins again. He looks
back and sees mommy in the chair. All is well.
This is why men do what you did. They get married, create
babies and then conveniently create a life where they
can go out and play while they know that "mommy"
is at home with the kids.
When she is not doing exactly what he wants her to be
doing, he flips out, just like he did when he was a
little child crawling on the floor.
So, you went and played. You went and had an affair.
As long as you knew where mommy was and what she was
doing, all was well; you were content.
Your wife responded to what you were doing and not doing
and then she had an affair.
Yes, she knew you were being unfaithful in her "woman's
She was reacting not only to the unfaithfulness but
also to the neglect and passion she saw that you had
for everything else that came before her in your heart.
The NORMAL reaction would have been for you to say,
"Sweetheart, I am sorry that this happened. We
need to get away as a family to recover. Sure, it might
be bad that you had an affair but our problems are much
worse than that. I had one 14 years ago and thought
it would be best to hide it.... but in light of what
you just did, you need to know that I am just as guilty
as you. Let's seek God and figure out how to fall back
in love with each other again."
Instead, you acted out at your emotional age.... threatening
suicide, feeling suicidal. Poor me. Mommy did something
that was out of my site.... and my world is no longer
Now you are trying desperately to get Susan back into
your heart and you into hers and she is not buying it.
The question is this: Are you trying to win her heart
so that you can go out and play again once you feel
safe and secure with her? Or have you matured beyond
This is a question for Susan, and Susan alone to answer.
You cannot know this yourself. You of course are confident
that you have matured beyond your issues.... a normal
guy concept of himself.
Susan KNEW in her heart for the years that you were
on the road that you were being emotionally unfaithful.
Women can tell. She probably also could tell that 'something'
more was wrong during the time that you had the affair.
Again, my guess is that she probably said things to
suggest that these things might be going on. You probably
assured her that nothing was going on.... it was all
her imagination. You possibly acted righteously indignant
and "hurt" that she would 'mistrust' you in
The suicide "threat" is an abusive husband
action. "I have the power of life and death and
if you don't act the way that I want you to, I will
The hidden message is, "I have the power over life
and death.... it might be my life... or it could be
Thus the abusive man intimidates his wife and kids.
His wife and children are afraid of him. This same man
is often the one who will break things in the home (Not
his things mind you. He will break her things, the kids'
things or things that are special or owned by them as
a couple) or he will abuse a pet or kill a pet.
You did not say that you did these type of things....
they would just be normal actions for a man who did
what you did with your affair and then the "reaction"
of feeling suicidal in response to her having of an
The discovery of her affair followed about a year of
terrible treatment towards me including her watching
TV in bed to force me to sleep in the guest room. I
became quite verbally abusive at the time and also physically
pushed her around when I found out. It was terrible.
Why did she treat you so bad?
Women KNOW inside their hearts that they enter into
an affair in response to their husband being a disaster.
She got into her affair and you blamed HER! The paradox
is that you probably blamed her for your affair too!
In Hosea, even GOD says that he does not hold wives
responsible for committing adultery but he holds husbands
responsible for their wives affairs. Why? Because the
men were committing adultery first or putting other
things above their commitment to God and to their wives.
In other words, they had false idols in their lives.
They commit harlotry literally or symbolically and their
wives react by doing the same thing. God says it is
the husband's fault.
So, when you found out about the adultery...... and
then blamed HER, of course she would respond by treating
you horribly. You should thank God every day that you
are married and not dead!
(People Magazine front cover last week:"Why did
Mary do it?" Mary of course being the Pastor's
wife who shot her husband.)
Your wife responded to you by committing adultery. Mary
shot her husband!
I cannot express to you how deeply you violated your
wife when you attacked her about committing the adultery.
The truth is sad; she may never recover.
You have ONE JOB for the rest of your life.... and that
is to dedicate yourself to bringing about her healing.
If you can ever do this, you can have a happy marriage.
If you cannot ever accomplish this, you have to accept
it as a fruit of the seeds you have sown. The Holy Spirit
will help you and Susan by minimizing the bad fruit.
Your focus needs to be on becoming the man that God
has called you to become, which is Christlike. If you
EVER bring healing to Susan and you have a happy marriage,
then you can take pride in the fact that you have reached
that goal of becoming Christlike. The proof that you
have arrived will be your happy marriage and the fact
that Susan will be totally healed, secure, happy, content
and madly in love with you!
"I am too young to be living like a senior citizen."
You are still in the "poor me" stage.
This is not about you Randy. This is about Susan.
You devastated Susan.
This is about her getting healed.
"About 2 years ago the conviction in my heart was
so great that I told my wife about my affair 21 years
ago. I really want us to be open and honest with each
other. Needless to say she was devastated. She holds
the fact that I didn't confess my sin at the same time
I discovered her sin but at the time I was close to
suicide and not thinking rationally."
Do you notice that...
your "confession" had NOTHING to do with Susan
and her well being?
It was all about YOU.
Even you said, "needless to say she was devastated."
Yeah.... you caused her hell for a year for doing something
that you yourself were guilty of. She is married to
a king of hypocrites! Remember? The hypocrites wanted
to stone a woman for doing the very thing they themselves
were guilty of.
I cannot imagine that you have FULLY repented for these
The proof is that your wife has not felt that you have
changed. I addressed the suicide comment already so
I won't repeat myself.
Anyway, I have always tried to treat her like my queen.
Randy, this is not true.
You neglected your wife and committed adultery. You
did not always treat her like your queen!
and have now been obsessed with (treating her like a
queen) for many months now after reading your book.
I have asked her time and time again if I am meeting
her needs. Often she doesn't have much of a response.
I compliment her as much as I can. I hold doors for
her. I take her out to dinner. Recently, I took her
to Italy for our anniversary. She has little desire
for me. She says she doesn't feel like making love.
Lately she has been blaming her lack of desire on menopause,
although this has pretty much been a given all through
our marriage. My wife is absolutely beautiful. She is
48 but looks about 38. The only physical relations we
have are in the pitch black maybe once every 2 weeks.
No adventurous stuff here, and no talking about it either.
All she wants to do is watch TV when we are in bed,
then go to sleep.
So, she is not healed yet of the abuse that she has
That is understandable. Your job is to bring her that
healing. You are working toward it and if you stay on
the path, the healing will come. It is amazing that
we guys who have beautiful wives wound them so deeply.
Your wife obviously had a desire and enjoyed making
lov e in the VERY beginning of your marriage. She lost
interest after having the first child and you began
pursuing other interests in life, leaving her feeling
left out and abandoned.
This is killing me. I love her and want to treat her
like my queen but I feel like a doormat. She is not
responding. Lately I have been having a very difficult
time not feeling resentment towards her. I have tried
to calmly tell her how I feel but she always seems to
escalate the conversation into her screaming voice.
"This is killing me"
Okay... that is a good thing. You were supposed to have
"died" when you received Christ.
Like most of us guys, you are anything but dead. You
are alive and well. So, we get to learn to die by laying
our lives down for our wives to meet their needs.
In reality, this paragraph reveals a continuation of
the "poor me" attitude.
Do you see how this is all about you... how you feel...
you are trying to tell her how YOU feel, you are trying
to not feel resentment toward her.... you feel like
I do not see a lot of stuff here about how deeply you
know that you destroyed your wife as a woman and wife
by your actions of the past and the deep wounding that
she has because her dream of a wonderful and happy marriage
to a great guy was so destroyed.
I see in the above excerpt that you are trying to tell
her how you feel... like you think that she cares!
This leads us to the next excerpt from your letter:
She grew up with a verbally and sometimes physically
abusive father and 3 older brothers. Needless to say
she learned to dislike the opposite sex early. She seems
to project these abusive non Christ-like traits into
me even though I know I am not that way. She says that
she's afraid of me. When I ask her why, she can't really
tell me. She just doesn't seem to be able to trust her
man and truly let her guard down.
Oh, so your marriage issues are really HER fault?
She is wrongfully projecting unChristlike attitudes
onto you? The problem is her childhood? Sorry. You yourself
said that you were abusive to her after the adultery.
I cannot imagine a greater example of emotional abuse
than to do what you did to your wife. Of course she
is afraid of you. She is not projecting abusive behavior
onto you... you abused her and she does not feel like
you have ever fully repented.
Of course she cannot fully let her guard down and trust
You proved that you were totally untrustworthy. Would
YOU want to be hurt again if you were violated as deeply
as she was?
Think about it: You committed adultery, pushed her into
responding by getting into adultery herself and then
abused her horribly by blaming her... all the while
knowing full well that you did the same thing yourself.
Then you finally tell her about it years later at a
time when it could do the most damage... and you told
her about it NOT with the intent to help her... but
with the intent to ease YOUR conscience. It is all about
You are really not much different than the average guy.
You are trying... but you are just really clueless about
your wife (or any other woman) and what makes her tick.
If someone were to come along and take a shotgun and
point it at you and blow you away.... just enough to
put you in intensive care.... and succeeded in maiming
you for life.... and at the same time they shot your
children, you would be pretty upset to say the least.
Let's imagine that a few years later they came and said
they were sorry because their conscience was bothering
them. They move in next door and try to build a friendship.
You however want nothing to do with them except to tolerate
They should be glad that you do not buy a gun and shoot
The next thing you know, they come over and want to
tell you how bad it makes them feel that you do not
want to be best friends. They feel bad that you don't
"trust" them. Then they go to counselors and
drag you along. They tell the counselors that you have
issues with trust; you do not know how to open your
heart to develop friendships; and that your issues stem
from problems in your childhood when your elementary
school friends abused and rejected you.
The counselor would look at them like they are complete
and total idiots!
Helloooo! This is exactly what you are doing! You emotionally
maimed your wife so horribly and it was a culmination
of years of neglect, emotional abuse and your chasing
after other women emotionally and at least one physically.
Now you want to blame HER for being afraid of you, not
opening her heart to you fully and you want to say it
is because she was a victim of abuse as a child!
Hello.... it is time to wake up. Randy.
Your heart is doing well to have read the book and put
things into action but your understanding of how deeply
you violated and wounded your wife is not even close
Your wife knows this and this is why she has not received
"closure" "healing" and is why she
is unable to forgive you to the extent that she gives
herself to you in full abandon and trust.
Then you go on in your letter to say how you "end
up feeling frustrated and depressed because she does
no t seem to care that YOUR needs are not being met."
As ludicrous as your position is of worrying about your
needs being met, I will help you to analyze it:
You are seeing yourself as a reactor... which makes
you a wife.
Remember, a husband is the initiator and a wife is the
When you are responding, you are not acting as a husband.
In reality, your wife is in a responsive position. She
is still responding to the past wounds and to the areas
that she does not feel closure in. You initiated her
actions... and now you are responding to her.
You have to take responsibility that your actions initiated
her heart attitudes and bring closure and healing to
In truth, she probably has a huge internal rage about
how unfairly you treated her concerning her adultery.
How can you expect her to ever respond warmly to you?
It is going to take a total miracle of God.... That
miracle will come as you earn enough trust so that she
will open her heart to you and reveal her pain and rage...
so that you can bring closure to her.
You created this world that you are living in.
You are doing good in opening car doors, giving her
flowers etc. and you should continue doing that. However,
you have to convince her that it is safe for her to
expose her true feelings of mistrust and hurt that you
created when she committed adultery and you blamed her.
Have you ever taken full responsibility for her committing
adultery? Sure, she has to clear her account with GOD
for her sin in her heart but in your marriage, the fault
lays squarely at your feet.
She committed adultery in response to your unfaithfulness
as a husband. Her adultery sin is between her and God.
How unfair for a woman to be pushed to adultery by her
husband and then she has to take responsibility for
her action... but that is a result of a man's hard heart...
and again, your wife is the victim.
You said that your two older daughters say you should
leave because she is so cold to you.
How long have your two older daughters been married
to qualify them to give you marriage advice? Have they
been emotionally abused and neglected and dishonored
by their husbands for years on end yet? I doubt it.
They are still innocent and think dad is the hero for
surviving their wounded mother.... who is wounded by
everyone except their wonderful father.
You need to set your daughters straight and apologize
to Susan and to them for allowing them to maintain their
distorted view of reality.
To your credit, you said that you know that this is
somehow your entire fault. When you said that, I can
tell that you had no idea how it was your fault but
that you at least were willing to acknowledge that it
must be if someone could explain it to you.
Hopefully this letter has begun to give you that explanation.
Our next book will be covering many of the things that
we have written about in this letter. You will want
to order the DVD set from Bradenton.
We discuss these things in that seminar and you desperately
need to understand them. A book that you also want to
get immediately is "Discovering the Mind of a Woman"
by Ken Nair. There is a companion book called "Discovering
the Heart of a Man." It is also a good book for
you to read to understand your own heart and motivations.
Susan will probably not want to read it and it would
be offensive to her if you were to ask her to do so.
She knows that you have caused the problems in your
marriage and her heart is too wounded to want to venture
into reading a book that would help her to understand
Fortunately, the bible tells husbands to understand
their wives and not vice-versa. Someday she will be
interested in reading the heart of a man book if you
stay on this path of restoration.
Whatever you do, NEVER let anyone pressure her to read
books that tell women that they need to offer their
husbands unconditional respect, forgiveness and love.
(I will not name the current popular titles since this
letter is going out to 4500 people!)
Any book that puts the responsibility as 50/50 between
a husband and wife needs to be burned in your home!
There may be a time for books like those someday and
they won't cause damage but for now, the responsibility
is yours and yours alone to help Susan to trust you
enough to open her heart to you and let you bring healing
I love The Lord and want to follow his plan for my life.
I serve in the music ministry in my church.
I do not get the connection.
The Lord's plan for your life is to meet your wife's
needs and bring healing to her for the wounding that
you inflicted over your years. (Private note: Are you
listening Alaska? and Kissimmee?) It is also to bring
healing to your daughters' confused hearts.
The Lord's plan for your life has nothing to do with
music in the church. That is something that you do for
fun. It is a playground for you. There is nothing wrong
with it but it does not have anything to do with the
Lord's plan for you as a man. (We ourselves Pastor a
church but do not see that as very important in God's
plan for our lives. God's number one plan for our lives
is to reflect the HIS glory in our home!)
Then you said that Susan does not serve in the church.
At least she is being honest! If she were to be serving
in church, the hidden message is that she has a semblance
of a good marriage relationship. She knows that is not
true and does not want to misrepresent herself or your
No wonder she wants to go to a different church. She
sees yo u up front leading the church by playing in
the P and W team and yet she knows how angry, hurt and
violated she still feels toward you.
Hi Susan: We hope that we have hit some nails on the
head here in a way that has validated things that you
have not been able to communicate to Randy and that
this will give you a new platform to work from.
We want to thank you that you are still married to Randy
even after all that you two have been through.
The ONLY suggestion that we would have for you right
now is that you would try (even if you fail sometimes)
to just speak clearly and directly to Randy. Tell him
directly and clearly like we have in this letter why
and where he is not seeing things clearly and let him
know clearly the areas that are still open wounds of
pain for you. (We are asking you to try speaking clearly
and directly instead of screaming.. even though screaming
is better than other alternatives.. so if screaming
is the best that you can do then forget we even mentioned
You will have some major areas of pain at first and
if Randy is able to fully own them and you begin to
feel some healing, then other areas of pain will emerge.
You may feel like you will never get over all of the
pain as each "next" wave of anger and hurt
comes to the surface (kind of like "space invaders")
but if Randy can handle his adult responsibility to
comfort and apologize to you and bring healing to you
in these areas, then you will eventually get healed
up... and you will one day again have a desire for him.
Try this one on for size: How about the accusation that
you think Randy is abusive... not because he has been
abusive... but because you were abused when you were
little! Wow. That is a monster mountain of unfairness
to you. I used to do this same thing to Kathy and what
a crock of injustice that was!
I was abusive and then I wanted to blame her extreme
frustration and reactions on her childhood! AGGHH! I
also am fortunate to be alive! Thank God that Randy
and I did not get married to Mary!
Randy and Susan, You can come out onto the other side
of this. Hopefully this letter is step one of a REAL
Blessings to you!
Joel and Kathy
New Letter From Randy!
Hi Joel & Kathy,
Thank you for your e-mails. Things have been looking
up for the last month or so. As I mentioned in my last
reply, you really helped straighten out my thinking
from the “poor me syndrome” and I really
took a long hard look in the in the mirror. I realized
that it had taken me literally 28 years of wrong behavior
and attitude towards my wife to mess things up. I had
a lot more time of proving, and her a time of healing
then I was at first willing to admit. So we are in still
the process of me changing my thinking and my ways,
and Susan feeling “safe”.
It really is necessary to have the outermost patience
through this process. Things can and do improve, but
the “triggers” of the past are not far from
the daily life. We do have momentary setbacks. I have
found that a re-commitment to Jesus Christ and a desire
to be Christ-like in all my relationships has helped.
You have to throw away the old flesh and keep asking,
“How would Jesus handle this?” I must have
total unselfishness at all times. Much easier said than
Susan & I have tried to set aside even just a few
moments in the morning to pray for protection &
guidance. I often take this time to ask God in front
of her, to help heal her from the many years of hurt
that I have caused. Admitting that I am solely to blame.
It’s not just lip service. I really do feel like
I am to blame. When Susan prays I hear her heart and
it’s a blessing to me. I am still learning to
listen. That is the key. My opinion only matters when
I am asked for it.
I am so blessed to have a gift from God like Susan and
my 3 daughters. Family is the most important thing he
gives us besides salvation. I do feel like finally I
am starting to “get it”. I hope that the
other men that you have mentioned benefit from your
teachings. They sound like they are going through what
I went through 3-4 years ago. It’s a nightmare,
but it will get better with help from God and a genuinely
Thanks for the update Randy!
You are doing great.. keep going.. Joel
Update: Randy continued to apply himself and eventually,
Randy and Susan came to an intensive weekend that we
held on the last weekend of 2006. What a great way to
start 2007! Their restoration has been nothing short
of miraculous! We will paste a couple updates here at
another time. Life is so very, very good now for Randy
and Susan. (fictional names but very real couple!)
Well, Guess what? "Randy
and Susan" attended our first intensive and got their miracle! Here are their testimonies:
Dear Joel & Kathy
This is just a quick note of sincere thanks and gratitude
for allowing to be a part of your marriage
intensive weekend. What a wonderful way to bring in
the New Year.
We both felt the hand of God
was in the entire weekend.
As you know, I have read your
books and feel that you are “right on the money”
about the common misconceptions most men have (especially
in the Christian Church) regarding what the Bible says
about the marriage relationship.
The weekend with you and Kathy
and the other couples brought me to an even further
understanding of the importance men play as the “source
of life” (or death) for a marriage.
It’s a major responsibility
we men have to make sure that our wives and families
are able to draw positive and nurturing love and kindness
The only way for me to truly
be the husband that my wife needs me to be is to die
to myself, and my innate selfishness as Christ died
for all of mankind. What an awesome truth from the word
I’m excited to see Susan blossom once again as the beautiful self-confident woman
she once was, the woman that I fell in love with and
married 28 years ago. Already the change in her is obvious.
We will continue to work through
our past issues that I have caused, and continue to
see God’s hands work to bring full restoration
to our marriage.
Blessings to both of you...
Here is another letter from the
intensive.. from Susan!
"Thank-You Joel and Kathy
for a life changing weekend.
When I first read your book last
year, it was like nothing I had ever read before. It
was what I knew all my life was truth. That truth was
in my heart, planted by my savior.
Thank you for presenting the
truth in a way that couples in crisis can understand
and apply in a very real way. I know we will make it,
correct past mistakes - and have opportunity to share
Most of all, thank you for your
love and obedience to God."
Back Page | Next Page