Beauty in Battle Podcast

How to Help a Hurting Spouse

June 22, 2022 Jason Benham, Tori Benham Episode 25
Beauty in Battle Podcast
How to Help a Hurting Spouse
Show Notes Transcript

While in college, our old strength trainer used to say, "You’re only as fast as your slowest leg!" 
In marriage, this means you're only as strong as the weakest partner!

All of us go through times of pain and heartache, struggle and strain. This is one of the reasons God gave us the gift of marriage - we have a built-in helper in our time of need!

The question is, how can we help our spouse when he/she is hurting.

In today's episode we're going to share four keys that will help you unlock your spouse and get them moving onto the path of health.


If you haven't gotten our book, check it out HERE!

So today we're talking about how to help a hurting spouse. Like when Tori punches me and I'm hurting really bad and what can she do to help me out of that? That's that's, that's the direction we're going. Yeah, yeah, yeah, no, I, I like this because I went through something a few months ago and Tori helped me out of it.

And I've got some practical things that she did and she didn't even know what she did. So I'm gonna list them. Because I think it's really helpful in terms of a spouse who's in the strong position and a spouse who's in the weak position. I mean, it happens to all of us, right. In our marriage that sometimes some stuff happens.

Yeah. We either get hurt physically or emotionally, relationally, whatever. And the stronger spouse, you know, has to take an opportunity to help us out of it. So we're gonna talk about that, but before we get going, Tori has like this really rockstar joke. Somebody sent us who sent it. Okay. I have a joke from Shelly carpenter and she said, this is from her niece, Elizabeth.

Oh, good job, Elizabeth. What did the B say when he got married? What I love my honey and then here's another one that she sent. How did the hot dog ask the bun on a date? He mustered up the courage. Oh, quality. That was Elizabeth too. That was also Elizabeth. Good job, Elizabeth. And one more, what do you call a happy cowboy?

Uh, no idea. Jolly rancher. Okay. So use those around your dinner table tonight for the kiddos. yeah. Thank you, Elizabeth. Okay. Uh, let's jump right into this. Um, when I was at Liberty, we had this strength coordinator. His name was Dave William. And I remember I was at Liberty back in the nineties and this guy was ranked like top five strength trainers in all D one colleges.

He was in the top five and he had come from university of Washington and he had all these great sayings, but one of his best sayings, he always said to us that a bunch of us dudes that played baseball at Liberty still remember, uh, he said you're only as fast as your slowest leg. Yep. So we're like, okay, what does that mean?

So he got our team together and he brought us out to the baseball field and we, he put us all along the fence and he told us like, he, I think we had to face, right? So we were all along the fence facing right where the fence was on our left hand side. And he said, okay, I want you to hold onto the fence with your left arm.

I want you to pick your right leg up. And in 30 seconds, I'm gonna start the I'm gonna start the clock for 30 seconds. And I want you to, to raise your right leg up. To like the high knee position where your leg is parallel to the ground. So a high knee, and then tap your right foot as fast as you can bringing your leg back up, like in a, running in a, in a running motion.

And I want you to count how many you, you do. He said 3, 2, 1, boom. And then all of us were sitting there doing it now for 30 seconds, going as fast as you can, with your one leg, doing a high knee, trying to tap the ground, you don't realize your hip flexor is gonna get blown up. Like I could imagine, oh my gosh, we all had to strap our stretch, our, uh, hip flexors after that.

But so I remember I, I forget what it was like 30, 31. And then he said, now everybody turn around. So now we had to turn around and face the other direction and we are gonna do it with our left leg and every single one of us, two to a. We're slower on one leg than the other. Yeah, that's so interesting. I think my left leg was a little bit slower.

I think I had like 29 taps. Hmm. And he said, my job is to speed up your slowest leg. He said, because I can't make you fast, but I can make you faster. Wow. Which is true. Mm-hmm I mean, David, now my twin brother, he , when he ran the basis, it looked like he was running against a hundred mile hour headwind, like he'd round third base.

And it looked like there was. Tractor trailer attached to his back so he had a hard time moving, so David needed some help, but so coach Williams, it it's true because in my junior year, I think I stole maybe five bases. Is that good? No. Okay. It's not good at all. But then in my senior year I stole 20. wow.

But one of the reasons why is cuz we did this, this one leg drill thing where we, we measured our slowest leg and then we started doing single leg squats and got up to where we were doing really heavy single leg squats. And one little quick note, just cuz I'm a dude mm-hmm and if there's ever a dude listening to this, he'll get a kick outta this, my roommate, Tim, her who we should have Tim and Carolyn on the podcast one of these days.

Yeah, we totally should. They live next door to us, but he was my roommate in college. Uh, and he was a pitcher drafted by the Dodgers. He squatted three 15 single. Wow that amazing. Yeah. Yeah. That's and, and we wore pin stripes, so he looked really good in those pin stripes. so, anyway, that means nothing about what I'm talking about, but we did single leg squats, but what we did was Dave Williams sped up our slowest leg.

And because of that, we all got faster. Wow. And so translated to marriage. Um, your marriage is only as strong as the weakest partner mm-hmm yep. So there are times. One of you is weaker than the other, because of something that you've gone through. Now I'm not talking about selfishness here. Right. You know, like a, a bad marriage typically will become tyranny by the most selfish partner.

Yeah. Right. Mm-hmm so in a bad marriage, if one of you always has to have your way, like if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. Well then. that's not a good marriage. Yeah. So it's tyranny by the most selfish partner. So I'm not talking about selfishness here. I'm talking about like pain, right? When your partner is really suffering.

Yeah. Like they've gone through something like some physical pain, emotional pain, the loss of a loved one, right. Like when I lost my mom. Right. And you helped me through that. That's what I'm talking about. What we're talking about is that your partner's suffering. Like they, they need help. Right, right. This isn't just some chronic thing where they're always weak and selfish or whatever, but something's happened.

Right. And you gotta help. 'em um, so that's what I wanna talk about today. I love it. And I wanna jump in because I went through something a couple months ago and Tori really helped. But before I jump into that, um, I wanna share one, one quick key. Okay. And you'll like this tour because you, you, I think you've actually taught me this, but, uh, for the, for the stronger partner, and this is, this is a, this is a key for the weaker partner.

But if you want your stronger partner to actually have the energy and motivation to help you in your weakness, like when you're going through that pain or that struggle, then they have to know that you're willing to get outta the. Yes. They have to know that. Okay. If I'm coming down into this pit right.

Of pain, yes. That you're in. Are you willing to get out of it or, or are you gonna constantly just bring me, you, you just want me to sit down in it with you? Yeah. You have no intentions on getting out. Yes. If that's the case, then if, if you, if you wanna get out, then I'm gonna help you. But if you don't, then what you'll find is the stronger partner.

The partner who's in that position of strength in that moment, who's not experiencing the pain, they won't have the energy or the motivation to help you get out. They'll actually run the opposite direction. Right. But when you're bringing up another issue or something else, and it's the same thing over and over and over again, and you're not willing to get out.

Then they're gonna lack the motivation to help you. Right. And I've seen this, it's gonna be a trigger, like I'm gonna get pulled back into this pit again. Yeah. And yeah, that's, that's a really tough one, you know, in studying the Enneagram and, and all the nine types. Um, the four on the Enneagram tends to be most in tuned with their emotions.

And they can have a tendency to want to really sit in that emotion. Yeah. And, um, and it can really become, it's something, you know, somebody who is a four and is motivated as a four is which is the loyal? Um, no, not the loyalist. Sorry. Um, a four is the romantic, the romantic. Yeah. Um, When you are a four, one of the things you have to be aware of is am I willing to get out of the pit?

Like I I'm, I've gone here. I've processed the emotion now, am I willing to take what I've learned from this and get, be better and get stronger and to move forward? Yeah. And not to sit in the, you know, and CrossFit, we call it, we call it sitting in the suck. Yeah. which is in CrossFit. It's a good thing. But in relat, You only wanna do that temporarily.

Right? Exactly. So, yeah, that's such a great point. And it makes me think of, um, the story of Jesus when he was healing. Was it the leopard? Yeah. Well, he said it several times, but one at the pool of Salo. Yeah. When he says, do you wanna be well, yeah, that's how he starts his healing process. I was actually just talking about this to one of our, our kids.

Um, who's experiencing, you know, some, some physical pain. Yeah. And one of the things that's so important that you always need to ask yourself is, do you wanna get well, or is this in any way in your subconscious, uh, um, something that is, um, a crutch for you? Yeah. Is an excuse for something. That's right. Or do you really wanna get well, and I think that that has been something that you and I have been really, uh, thinking about a lot lately in different areas of our life.

Mm-hmm is this something that you really wanna get well in or is, or somewhere in your subconscious you're using it as an excuse? Uh, right. And we do that and Jesus asks that question to this leper. Do you want to get well, because so many people identify with their pain. When someone's in pain, there's two things that, that aren't, uh, that, that aren't true about them that oftentimes they want, like, right.

Okay. So the, the two things would be expectations and obligations because they don't want expectations or obligations. Therefore they'd rather just sit in their pain. It's like, uh, somebody who gets some type of diagnosis. I don't know, whatever. Let's just say ADHD. Yeah. I'm not a fan of diagnosing people because then they often can use that as a crutch.

Right. I'm not saying that you can't be diagnosed, but I am saying you just never wanna identify. Yeah. Yeah. You can't identify. It's sorry. I'm not sorry. I'm not, you know, I didn't, I didn't get that assignment done. I have ADHD. Yeah. Sorry. I didn't get that job done. Or so often we. Yeah, I I'm ADHD. It's almost like I'm I am, this is who I am.

Yeah. And so Jesus would say, well, do you want to get rid of that? Or don't you? Yeah, because if you identify with it, then I'm not here to help you. Yeah. Right. Do you want healing? Do you want it right. There was a guy at our CrossFit gym who was always complaining about some. Little ache or pain, and therefore he never really pushed himself hard and CrossFit mm-hmm he was the kind of guy that didn't want to get well, mm-hmm because he didn't wanna push himself.

He didn't want to be expected to push himself or obligated to push himself. So expectations and obligations. So, uh, and I covered that in one of our, uh, better brothers live streams. Um, and, and it's, it's a really cool. Twist on Jesus coming in and saying, oh, I can heal you, but I need to know. Do you really want to get well?

So in tar, in terms of marriage, the, the weaker spouse. Do you really wanna get well or don't you? Yeah. Or is this just something you want your spouse to stop being as healthy as they are and come sit down in it with you and not get out. Right? Because if that's the case, the healthier spouse is gonna lack the energy and the motivation to get down there and help you.

Right. So now on that foundation, if you really do wanna get well, and you're the unhealthy spouse, here are some things that the healthy spouse can do for you. Right. Okay. I wanna get practical on this. Um, Tori really helped me out several months ago. Um, I don't know what it was, but I, I think since about 2014, since we got fired from HGTV and, and David and I went on this whirlwind speaking tour and starting other several, uh, several other small businesses and writing books and, and all that kind of stuff.

I really worked myself too hard. Mm-hmm like very hard. Yes. On top of being a one on the engram, which means I felt guilt when I couldn't do certain things. Mm-hmm if I couldn't accept a speaking engagement. Seattle Washington. Yeah, just after I accepted one in Washington, DC, and then I'd feel guilt for it.

So I've got this guilt going on while I'm overworking myself and I had a full on, I didn't have a mental breakdown, but I think I had like anxiety attack. Yeah. Something stupid in there. It hurt me. Yeah. In, in, in this case, it. A hundred percent I wanna get, well, it was like a desperation. Yes. We were able to eliminate that whole, the whole beginning.

Part of do I wanna get well for you was very strong of, oh, my word. I oh my have to get well, yes. Yeah. If you guys heard the, uh, The podcast we did. I think it's ti titled, uh, when perfect. Isn't so perfect. And it was a, a interview we did with a pastor, couple Denny and Heather Smith, and Heather opened up about her anxiety, panic attack.

Yeah. And how she had, she suffered for two years. Mm. By God's grace. My suffering was probably a month, maybe six weeks, but Tori really helped me through that. And, and some of the things that she did, uh, I was just talking with her earlier and I said, honey, we gotta, we gotta talk about, uh, the aspect of marriage, of how to help a hurting spouse.

When you go through pain and I wanted to list a few things that you did. So I've list listed out four things that Tori did that that really helped me a lot. Um, and this'll help us in our marriage and, and in your marriage is too the first thing she did and which I think is the most important is that she gave me hope.

Mm. She gave me a vision for being healed. wow. Like I, you wanna say something. Um, yeah.., when you're saying that, I'm just thinking about, um, just the last several years, how the Lord has really convicted me and shown me in scripture, just the, the importance of pursuing prophecy.

Um, which prophecy is just simply the building up of the body. Right. And actually my best friend from, from childhood Nicole Milo. Well, her name is not Nicole Milo anymore. Yeah. Nicole Cook. Um, she was the one who kind of really, uh, pursued me and, um, with this truth. Yeah. And, um, anyways, it, in, in first Corinthians, Uh, 14 one, it says follow the way of love and eagerly desire, gifts, the gifts of the spirit, especially prophecy mm-hmm, the building of the, of the body.

Yeah. It's so important. Speaking life, people speaking life into people. And, um, I don't think it's a coincidence that the Lord really has put that on my heart so strongly in the last, I don't know, however many, five to seven years. Yeah. Um, because. I think the first thing that came to mind when you were struggling was to go to the Lord and say, what, what can I speak into him?

Yeah. Give me the words. What do you, what do you, what would you say to Jason? I wanna be your voice. Yeah. What are you saying? Give me the words that you wanna say I'm gonna, I'm gonna speak life. So give me the words and that's that, that's what prophecy is, is just speaking life. Yeah. And so I remember when you, when you, this first thing, you know, kind of hit.

That was, that's where I started. I was like, all right, Lord, I don't know what's going on, but you're gonna have to give me the words to speak life into him cuz I don't know what's happening. Right. Well, you know, I, I don't know how many of you guys have ever had an anxiety attack or panic attack or whatever.

Um, all I know is that, uh, I was in a bad place for, for several weeks where I just felt like this constant gut ache. This. . I mean, I, I think I was in adrenal fatigue. Mm-hmm the whole bit, and it's, it's a, it is a, I felt like I was burning from the inside out. I didn't wanna go do anything. I didn't wanna talk to anybody.

Yeah. It was just miserable. And so I'm sitting there one morning. He was not himself. I mean, oh, It hardly, almost hardly recognizable in the, in the way that you were behaving. Yeah, it was, it was odd and it was kind of, it was honestly scary. I was losing weight and I'm, I'm just like, okay, this is crazy. Now.

I, I always like to say I'm a good virus away from, from having a decent set of abs . I didn't wanna lose weight this way. so. But I was sitting one morning and I was praying. I was sitting by her fireplace and Tori just walked up, put her arms around me. She said, honey, you're gonna get past this. I prayed to the Lord, um, for a word for you.

And I really think that he's, he's saying this is just for a season mm-hmm and it's not gonna last that long. Like giving me hope like that. And then she just went and walked off and started doing her divos on her own. Cuz we typically do our devotions on our own in the morning and then come back together.

I honestly, I mean, that touched me so much. I started crying right there and I'm not like a cry guy, you know, I'm not like David, he's a Boohoo Fest but that right there, the first thing that she did, she gave me hope a vision for being healed. Yeah. When she spoke life over to me like that over me, like if, if you're gonna help a hurting spouse start with speaking life.

Yeah. Because you're gonna, you, you will get out what you speak in. Mm. So that's the first thing she did. Second thing. Um, she paused her issues for my. This is why it's so important for the hurting spouse to want to get well, because if, if I didn't really want to get well, and, and I just found my identity in being someone who struggles with anxiety attacks.

Now, then now Tori has to wait on me, hand in foot and I don't have to be expected or obligated to help her with anything. Well, then that's great for me because I'm just gonna sit here and be selfish, right. If I didn't give her that feeling of, I wanna be well. Then her pausing her thing for my thing would burn her out.

So, but because she knew that what she did was she basically put her stuff on hold for mine. I remember probably two weeks after, um, I was kind of struggling and just, we were talking to several doctors and getting blood work done and all sorts of stuff. And I was like, honey, how are you? She's like, well, I don't really have time to worry about me right now.

Let's just get you taken care of. And that honestly made me want to like hurry up. Let's all right, Jason, let's get my stuff handled here. I gotta be the man again. No, right. So she paused her issue for my issue. Uh, number three, she created a safe space for me to open up, like, like she got down on my level and went at my pace and I've read, I've read books on.

On I've read several things, articles or whatever on anxiety. And I I've read a book on anxiety too, and, and read several other things. But I know that if, if one spouse, if the healthier spouse in that moment is like constantly telling the other spouse who's struggling. Mm-hmm Hey, let's go, let's get moving, you know?

Right. Let's get back. Let's get back in the game or whatever it is. That is the worst thing that you can do. Right. It's like, you've paused your issue for my issue. And now you've created a safe place for me to open up. Meaning there, there was no judgment. It's like, okay, I've gotta start talking about things and figuring stuff out.

Right. Right. Which leads me to the fourth thing, um, that, that you did that really helped me was you helped me process my emotions. Yeah. Like. Chewing something up. Mm-hmm I think we've talked about this before. Um, but processing emotions is, is like what we do when we process food. Mm. Like if I took a big, um, celery stock or a, or a broccoli stock, and I just shoved it into my.

My, my stomach. Yeah. It is going to wreck my body. Hmm. I've gotta chew it up first. Right. So God has given us these teeth and these jaws as food processors. Yeah. And they chew things. So then I swallow it. So then I can take the good out of that and then dispose of the bad. Uh, the same is true with processing emotions.

And this is, what's really hard for men to process emotions, cuz we're not necessarily in touch with our emotions. This is where a woman comes in and really helps us. process through emotions, a series of questions. Mm-hmm , it's like asking, well, what is it that you feel right? Like now, why would you feel that way?

And making me feel safe that I could answer that question. Like, I didn't feel like you were just prying. Right. You know, mm-hmm so it's, it's all of that. And, you know, as we're learning more about emotions, one of the things that's really important to know is that you do feel it in your body first, you feel emotions in your body first.

Yeah. There's a reaction before, um, your, the pro before you can process that emotion. Yeah. And a lot of times, um, we just kind of run from those negative. Feelings about the, you know, or unpleasantness of those emotions. Yeah. And so it it's really important to, to recognize that what you're feeling in your body mm-hmm and I think a lot of what was happening with you was a, a body reaction yeah.

To, to some emotions that were unprocessed. And, and I think because you helped me process through that, that I started paying attention to my body. Mm. I'd start feeling bad and you're like, okay, where are you feeling? I'm like, I think I feel it in my gut. Yeah. And then Tori, Tori was like researching all of this stuff.

That's when we really started looking at, uh, traditional Chinese medicine. Mm-hmm figuring out because they, they, they, uh, source a lot of their. um, research and a lot of their sickness and disease, two emotions, right? Like trapped emotions. Right. And well, they recognize the body's soul spirit connection.

Yeah. It's all connected. Mm-hmm and in Western medicine, we're like, uh, no, it's all about the body. It's all about physical, right? It's like, oh, you ate too much sugar. You've had too much caffeine. Oh, you're feeling this in your body. Let's fix that with some medicine. Yeah. With some medicine mm-hmm and the next thing, you know, it's like, well, you're not fixing the thing that brought the pain.

Right. And what I learned from that is is you, you need, your body is talking to you. Yeah. You need to listen to it. And if you're feeling that jittery, if you're feeling that whatever the pain is, that you're feeling, there's a reason it's there mm-hmm and you gotta get to the source of that. And God has given you, you, your spouse as your primary healer.

Right? Right. It's like, um, in Genesis, when God gave Adam a helper suitable the Hebrew phrase for helper suitable, ISER Kinetico, and that, that means helper suitable and the, the worder, which is helper is used 16 times to refer on how God refers to himself in the old Testa. That he is the helper. Right. And when king David was in trouble and he prayed and he said, God, you're my rock.

My help in time of need. Yeah. He, he used that exact same word that God used to describe the woman, right. That he made for Adam. So the woman was the helper. And so that's what you did for me is that you helped me. You were in the position of strength, right in that moment, if I'm in trouble and I need help, the helper comes in, who's in the position of.

The helper mm-hmm right. You're not just some sidekick assistant. Right. But the same is true when the roles are reversed. If, if you, you, Tori, as the wife are going through a hard time, then I've gotta come in as a helper. Right. And what does that help look like? Well, those four things that you did for me, and I, I wanna wrap this up with that, but then I do want jump in to a future podcast, maybe the next podcast on, on what we can do if we're the hurting.

Hmm. Yeah. So we wanna get well, and our spouse is doing some things to help us. What can we do as a hurting person? I think to, you've got some good stuff on that. Maybe we'll get into that on our next podcast, but the thing that you can do as the, as the stronger spouse to help our hurting spouse is you gotta give them hope, which is give 'em a vision that they can be healed.

And that God's in this thing, right? Pause your issues for their issue. Right. Create a safe space for them to open up and then help 'em process their emotion. And if you do this, I promise you, uh, what you'll find is that you'll have that strength back in your relationship with once again, but you'll actually be stronger.

Yeah. Cause I have a thankfulness and a gratitude for you now. It's even greater than it ever was because of the way that you helped me out with yeah. With my little issue and we, and we grew closer in the process. I mean, this that's what relationship is, is, you know, being vulnerable, being open and being the helper and being, being a giver and a receiver.

That's what relationship is. And so when we have these opportunities, Um, they're just, they're, they're really special. And even in, in the moment, maybe it felt a little overwhelming and it was hard, but I honestly think that we'll look back at that time in our lives forever as a time that we grew even closer.

Yeah. So, and if you're a dude listening to this, if you show your wife humility and vulnerability, Combined. I promise there's a big payoff for that. So just saying please. Okay. End this tour. Let's do a, would you rather, okay. This isn't a gross one. Is it, um, we'll find out. Would you rather have a hat made of sticky, itchy cotton candy stuck on your.

Or shoes made of slippery, gooey slime stuck on your feet. Oh, I'll take the shoes all day long. Like, like, um, the dude on cloudy with a chance of meatballs, you had those shoes. He couldn't get off. Oh yeah. I like that. Okay. Slippery, gooey slime stuck on your feet. It is. Y'all take that. All right. Thanks for, for listening guys.

We'll we'll be here next week. All right. See ya. that's a great ending. .