The Results of Desperation

Most couples have never mastered a sure way to navigate disappointment and offenses, which leads to hiding, pretending and even keeping secrets.



Thriving in marriage relationships requires vulnerability, openness, and honesty. These work well and are maintained in a culture of safety and skill sets of navigating conflict with kindness and mercy. Unfortunately, most marriages live with 69% unresolved conflict and never figure out how to be truly honest and truthful without hurting each other.  

When feelings are hurt, insecurities usually arise, and both husband and wife retreat or react, finding a way to survive and protect their perception of safety. The result is a dysfunctional cycle that seems never-ending and can lead to desperation.

And desperate people do shocking things, often resulting in:

  • Addictions

  • Secrets

  • Betrayal

  • Infidelity

And these lead to defeat, despair and broken relationships.


When feelings are hurt, insecurities usually arise, and both husband and wife retreat or react, finding a way to survive and protect their perception of safety.


How do we break the cycle of desperation?

Anyone who chooses two very important keys has the opportunity to unlock the door to restored relationship, renewed safety, and intimate connection. No matter how far the dysfunction has taken the couple.

We know this from experience. Our personal desperation led to the devastation of an affair and a pregnancy as a result. We were left feeling hopeless, defeated and disqualified.

Along the way, we faced shock, fear and even terror as the reality of the betrayal unfolded. We were like two people drowning in a lake, desperately trying to stay above the water. There were times when our efforts to survive turns into self-protection. Other times our greatest fears generated images of the worst possible outcome.

In our brokenness, we reached out to God, found help and were willing to listen to wise counsel. We weren’t perfect by any means, and many days we felt like we were spinning, but through it all, we found the vulnerability, openness, and honesty we had been craving. Through the challenges of restoration, we created a culture of safety and skill sets in navigating conflict with kindness and mercy. Now we have spent the last fifteen years helping couples discover the root causes of disconnect.

When it comes to helping couples, at first conversation we can quickly detect the chances of a couple receiving the help they need. Remember those two important keys? The two most valuable attributes in moving forward and opening the door to healing are:

1. Be Willing

Every person can find enough evidence to walk away from a relationship and convince themselves that they are justified. Being willing to make the decision that you will be intentional, agreeable, faithful, principled and rational sets you up for new beginnings.  

2. Be Humble

There is absolutely nothing you can do to force your partner to choose your relationship, but there is absolutely everything you can do to do your part.  Remaining respectful, teachable, yielding, patient and manageable keep your heart open to hear what you can do to change.

The temptation to blame the other person is valid and natural, but maintaining a desire to see through new eyes, understand from a new point of view and remain pliable will give space for God to mold you, shape you and most importantly, love you in your deepest pain.

The First Steps

  1. Simple prayer: God, what do I do? This act of humility opens the door to God’s solutions

  2. Love covers: In the face of betrayal, will you defend your partner and cover them?

  3. Find help: You need someone to come alongside and offer truth and wise counsel

4. Course correction

The choices and life that you are living have brought you to where you are right now and are insufficient to bring you where you need to be. You don’t have to make any big decisions, just make one good choice at a time, and change your trajectory.

Your days of desperation can be over in a moment, and they are not dependent or waiting for the other person to make good choices. Capturing the rich treasure of true humility starts with you. Nobody can do it for you, and it’s impossible without experiencing and knowing the extravagance of God’s love and value for you.

Hear more about this topic on Episode 3 of All About Relationships Podcast with Bob and Audrey.