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Couple Helps Restore Veterans and Families Struggling with PTSD

Chad Robichaux was a young marine when he married teenaged Kathy. After his service in the military they experienced big problems in marriage. Now restored, they are helping to restore other veterans and their families. Read Transcript

Well, Chad Robichaux was a fighter.

He fought for our country in Afghanistan.

He trained hard to be an MMA fighter.

So naturally, Chad was shocked when

his wife sat him down and asked, why won't you

fight for our marriage?

NARRATOR: Chad Robichaux was a member

of an elite military joint special ops task force.

He served eight tours in Afghanistan

before being diagnosed with severe post traumatic stress


After he served, Chad trained to be a world champion MMA fighter

and later, opened a flight school with his wife, Kathy.

The business was a huge success.

But his life and marriage suffered,

as Chad struggled with the symptoms of his PTSD.

In their book, "Marriage Advance," Chad and Kathy

share how their marriage was restored

and how you can develop a stronger marriage too.

Chad and Kathy Robichaux are here with us now.

And we thank them for being on our program today.

Good to have you with us.

Thank you for having us.

Thanks for having us.

Chad, let me start with you.

You had eight tours of duty to Afghanistan alone.

Along the way in those eight tours,

were you are aware that something was changing in you?

I'd say when-- over time, I definitely

felt my like symptoms would started creeping up as

far as anger and irritability and that would later

turn to extreme anxiety.

And eventually, it turned to me falling apart.


But in the beginning, did you realize

how serious this could be?


I thought it was something I can handle at first.

You know, I let my pride and ego say

this is something I could just push down--


And not talk to anyone about it and something I could handle.

And then the anxiety turned to where I had physical symptoms.

I felt like my throat would swell shut

and my arms and face would go numb.

And I just would-- you know, my pride

wasn't letting me talk to anyone about it.

And eventually, it all came crashing down.

Well, you know, handling stuff is what you were taught to do.

I mean it's hard to acknowledge that to yourself I'm sure.

So Kathy, here he comes home, and he

begins to experience these panic attacks.

And what were you thinking?

Well, when he would come home between deployments,

he was very distant and absent.

And I didn't really see anything happening other

than just a disconnection from us.

So I just continued on.

And when I did see him with the panic attacks

after coming home from his last deployment,

I was scared for him because this

was the first time I had experienced

my husband in a situation that he

didn't feel he was in control.

It was out of control.


You stayed really busy when you got out of the military.

And maybe that was part of running

from the PTSD was all the things that you were doing,

including the MMA fighting.

But what was going through your head at the time?

I mean, were you aware, OK, I'm out of that war environment

and now I'm back in the good old US of A,

but I'm feeling these things?


I quickly tried to find something

to compensate for this lifestyle of being a warrior.

And I did martial arts my whole life.

So the MMA thing was something that I gravitated to right


It was something I felt masculine again.

It filled my ego.


But I took something that actually could have been good

for me, something productive in training, and I abused it.

I would spend 10, 12 hours a day training and neglecting.


And yet, you say-- because we're going to talk about

your book, "Marriage Advance"-- you say that there was

something in you that wanted somebody to say to you, stop.


I mean, I was making reckless choices in my life.

I was neglecting my family.

I wasn't willing to get well.

The anger was out of control.

And the panic attacks were still there.

And the way I was expressing those things

were making bad choices.

But wanted somebody to step in and say, stop.

But I really had put myself in a position

to where everyone around me told me what I wanted to hear.

And no one really told me what I needed to here.


It must have been so scary to feel

that when you were in such an-- well I mean,

war is never in control.

But you know what I mean.

Where all your training was able to be exhibited,

and you could almost hide in that.

And now here you are in day to day life.

In the process of all of this Kathy,

I'm sure we're skimming over the multitude of feelings

and things that you had.

But you read Stormie Omartian's book,

"The Power of a Praying Wife."

I did.

And this was after what-- we were headed for divorce.

We had sold our home.

We moved into two different homes,

going through the whole separation process.

I was so broken.

And I was so hurt and so lost.

And all I could do was just get on my knees and pray.

But I didn't know how to pray for somebody I was so hurt by.

So I figured if I just follow the prayers for my husband,

maybe I'll find healing.


But the first prayer in there was praying for his wife.

And so I just really got into it with the Lord

and prayed for me.


TERRY MEEUSWEN: What did God reveal to you about you?

Well, for me, it was and was finding forgiveness and really

is where I needed to start.

And I found things in me that I needed

to work on, which allowed me to see

how to view my husband on the way that God viewed him.

And to love him the way that the Lord loved him.

And so it was starting with me first,

where I was able to move forward.

And then out of those convictions that were personal,

came the conviction of your marriage

being such a high priority.

Were you afraid to go back to him

and say, why won't you fight for your family?

I mean, I would have been-- I would have been scared,

like do I really want this?

And will he really do it?



At that point, I didn't really know that I was asking to,

you know, wanting that back.

Or that the Lord was going to put this back together.

I was more angry like, how could you

do all these things for war, for your fighting?

Everything he did--

TERRY MEEUSWEN: For the country, yeah.

--he does at 110%.

But when it comes to our family, you quit?

How come you're going to quit on us?

And you're just going to move on.

It's so much easier.

I don't understand.

Willing to lay your life down, but you can't do it our family.

And our children are hurting.

And he listened to that last time I said that to him.

TERRY MEEUSWEN: What did that do to you, Chad?

My question was probably, it's-- I'd say

that's the center point in my life.

I mean, that question-- it really

cornered me that she asked me, how could do all these things

that I was successful at.

And when it came the most important things in my life,

my family, my health, I quit.

And being called a quitter is something that

didn't resonate well with me.


But she was right.

And I had to make a choice.

And so I chose to get back in the fight and follow her lead.

You know, I've learned how to fight from all these people,

coaches, and the military.

But watching her fight for our family

was probably the most inspiring thing that I've witnessed.

Even when a family breaks apart,

when a marriage breaks down, it is so hard

to learn to trust again.

How did the two of you do that?

That was all god.

Even being intimate, how does that happen?


It was god.

It was the same thing, go back to-- help

me love him the way you love him and getting on my knees

every morning.

TERRY MEEUSWEN: Lot of surrender in that.


And it wasn't between me and him,

because he couldn't do any right for me.

Everything that he was doing, it doesn't matter.

It was wrong to me.

So I learned to take it to the Lord every single morning

I was doing that, at least for the first year, year and half

every morning.

And then it started going every other day and further

and farther apart.

And I still do that because the enemy will come in and try

to remember, remember.

And it's surrendering.

Why is worth it?

Why is it worth it?


Well I'd say for us, there's so much

that we have gained out of restoring our marriage.

Because now our story has been able to save

so many other marriages.

So now looking at it from where we are now,

that's why it's been worth it.

I didn't see it back then, but I do now.

Be in the marriage and the couple and the people

that god created us to be, living outside of that

never allowed us to reach our potential

or our purpose in this world.

And so I think by a fighting for our marriage

and coming in line with who god created us to be,

we're able to fulfill that purpose that god had for us.

And you know, Chad, I see that all the things that you

trained in and did so well that in your mind

and in the thoughts of others defined being a man

were just the surface.

You figured out who you are as a man of God.

And that changes everything, doesn't it?

That's right.

That's right.


You've got an amazing program for couples

that I know you've established.

Listen, if you're struggling in your marriage

or you know somebody who is, you need to get this book.

The Robichaux's book is called "Marriage Advance."

Love never gives up.

Its powerful.

This is a 26-week workbook that couples can use

to build a stronger marriage.

And you need to get a hold of it.

It's really awesome.

Chad and Kathy, thank you for being with us

and for your vulnerability--

Thank you.

--and your passion for what you do.

Thanks so much.

TERRY MEEUSWEN: For what God does through you,

it's pretty exciting.

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