About four years before it came out Debby got the idea for the book while we were at a conference in Cannon Beach, OR. We were listening to a preacher talk about theology (at a Bible college level) and she had tuned him out and her mind started wondering. She says it was during that message God gave her the basic principles and outline for the book. Later that day she told me she thought we should write a book on marriage and I told her she was crazy! We put the idea on the shelf as something we may consider in the future and didn't discuss it again for about a year.
This was our biggest decision and one that didn't come easy. Initially we wrote about our experiences and problems with only vague references to the depth of our problems and didn't actually talk about the infidelity. We offered solutions to our problems but didn't specify the extent of our problems. We were having coffee with some close friends of ours and we asked them to read several chapters of the manuscript and give us some feedback. Mark, in his wisdom, leaned back after reading chapter one and said, "You guys haven't been through anything. What credibility do you have to help other couples when your problems are only minor disagreements and inconsequential fights?" He challenged Debby and I that if we really wanted people to listen to our advice, we have to let them know that we've been through the fire and have dealt with some of the most destructive behaviors and choices and have overcome tragedies.
We believe that the majority of relationships suffer from poor communication and unmet expectations at times. When we have expectations of one another that are not met, the instinctive reaction is disappointment, which develops into anger, and then bitterness and resentment sets in. Most often this disappointment, anger, and bitterness can be avoided if we discuss our expectations in advance. I believe couples, or people in general, have a problem with communication because of insecurities and a lack of trust. They feel insecure and afraid to be honest with their partner when it comes to discussing expectations and many people don't know how to communicate their feelings. We have discovered over the years that communicating our needs, desires, and expectations to one another in advance has helped us avoid fights and disappointment.
Our faith has played a key role in our lives and our relationship and no, I do not believe we would have survived the infidelity as well as other problems if it wasn't for our faith in God. We know there is nothing we can do to make God love us more, and there is nothing we can do to cause God to love us less. Understanding the power of forgiveness and restoration has been a powerful factor in allowing us to overcome the infidelity and the numerous problems we faced. We acknowledge that people worship in various ways and their faith may differ somewhat from ours, but since our faith plays such an important role in our lives we can't share our story without mentioning the complete forgiveness and the power of God in changing lour lives.
We certainly don't claim to have all the answers or a "quick-fix" solution to a struggling marriage, but we have endured so many challenges and problems early in our relationship and may have made so many different choices if we knew then what we know now. Our desire is that people can read our story and relate in some way with the challenges we overcame. If our example can help someone avoid making similar mistakes, our purpose will be fulfilled. Our book isn't necessarily for people with struggling marriages only, it can be used for encouragement to strong marriages as well as newlyweds. In fact, at book signing events we have sold more books to be given as gifts at weddings than to people looking for answers to their own marital problems.
Our website is www.youramazingmarriage.com and our book is available on amazon.com as well as most major online retailers. Your readers can also ask for it in their favorite bookstore. There are links on our website to previous radio interviews and articles we have written. We would love for your readers to send us some feedback on how they are overcoming problems in their marriage, or contact us with questions they may have. "Discovering Your Amazing Marriage" is available for the Kindle and Nook as well as in paperback.