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Warming a Cold Marriage with Hope

As Pat and Gayle's ministry responsibilities increased, so did the tension in their marriage. After 23 years, Gayle reached a breaking point. Pat, however, held out hope for healing. Read Transcript

We were very much in love.

He asked me three weeks after we met if I would marry him.

And I said, yes.

We dreamed of serving God together.

We had a dream of having some sort of worldwide music


NARRATOR: Pat and Gayle Hadley had high hopes

when they married.

But the daily responsibilities of work and family

soon took a toll.

GAYLE HADLEY: The dreams that I had

of traveling the world together and singing for the Lord,

none of those had happened.

I think I took all that disappointment, all that hurt,

and I turned it towards Pat in a way,

because I connected him with those lost dreams.

I wasn't really aware of how bad things really were.

So I just got to a point where I thought, well,

this is as good as it gets.

This is just the way it is.

This is the way it's going to be.

This is normal marriage.

I started focusing on the children.

And my relationship with my husband

became more of a business partnership.

NARRATOR: Pat pastored a church in Alaska,

and Gayle served as the worship leader.

But as their ministry responsibilities increased,

so did the tension at home.

I always felt pressured to have a perfect marriage,

as a pastor.

You're an example.

When marriages fail for pastors, you've

got to find a new career.

Pat and I couldn't even be in the same room

together without arguing.

There was constant arguing, fighting over things.

PAT HADLEY: I was living downstairs.

She was living upstairs.

We'd meet together in the kitchen,

talk about things that we needed to talk about,

and then go about our lives.

NARRATOR: For 23 years, Pat and Gayle went through the motions.

But after a blow-up on the day their daughter left

for college, Gayle told Pat she'd had enough.

Everything I did was either for my children

or for my husband or for the church.

I felt like I was gone, like there was no me anymore.

I didn't want to do this anymore.

I didn't want to be married.

I didn't want to be a pastor's wife anymore.

I was just done.

That was the lowest moment, because I never

stopped loving my wife.

I didn't want my marriage to end.

I didn't want my family to suffer divorce.

And then I heard God's voice.

And he said to me, come to me, and I will heal you.

And at one point I said, heal me?

I don't need to be healed.

I need you to heal her.

NARRATOR: Pat heeded God's voice and, in an attempt

to find his own healing, met with

a local Christian counselor and author, Art Mathias

and began reading his book, "Biblical Foundations

of Freedom."

In that book I learned that I needed to forgive,

that if I was going to be obedient to Jesus and obedient

to God, I had to learn how to really forgive people from

my heart-- not only my wife, but everyone in my life that had

hurt me.

I began to pray for her.

And I had never really done that in my marriage,

because as long as I was bitter, I

wasn't going to pray for her, because the bitterness was

blocking it.

So I started praying prayers that

had a little bit more authority of heaven behind them.

In the name of Jesus, Satan, you cannot have my family.

You cannot have my wife.

You need to get out of here and leave her alone.

Some nights I went into our bedroom.

I laid down on the floor by the bed, and I prayed.

I prayed silently so she couldn't hear me,

but God could hear me.

NARRATOR: It didn't take long for Gayle

to notice there was something different about Pat.

He wasn't even fun to argue with anymore,

because I couldn't get him to argue with me.

So I asked him-- I'm like, what have you been doing?

Because you're different.

You're giving me lots of space, which is good.

I needed that.

But you're different.

What's going on?

And I talked to her about forgiveness.

And I said, you know, I have a lot of things to fix in me.

And it's not about you.

It's me, and God needs to fix some things in me.

And so I'm going to do that.

I had been trying to fix things by my might and my power.

And I was learning how to fix things by his Spirit.

And that's the only thing that worked.

NARRATOR: Gayle began to see God on her own

and to try to understand forgiveness in a new light.

GAYLE HADLEY: These things that I

had been holding onto for years, all these things that

had happened to me, I had the wrong focus of what was wrong.

And I thought Pat was the enemy and that people in the church

were the enemy.

And even my family, I had seen them in the wrong way.

And they were not the enemy, and that I could forgive.

And I just started feeling joy again.

And it was such an amazing thing to feel

this warmth and this love and this joy

that I hadn't felt for years.

Hope was springing up in me that my marriage could be saved.

She was becoming a new person, and I watched it.

And I was like, this is what I've been praying for.

Now God was showing up and reworking her and me.

And it was beautiful.

These were things that were new to us.

So what we're really learning is we're

learning how to take the teachings in the Bible

and make them real in our lives.

NARRATOR: Today, Pat and Gayle say their marriage has never

been stronger.

I never knew that it could be this good.

I never knew that this is what life

could be like being married.

She is my best friend.

And she's my partner.

And we face life together.

And it's awesome.

He's the first one that when something happens to me

I want to share it with him.

And I have hope for our future together.

I am so thankful that God showed me the way,

showed us the way of life and showed us

how to live life together.

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