April 19, 2023
7 Ways to Support Your Spouse Emotionally in Tough Times | S5 E14

When your spouse is going through a crisis, it's hard to figure out how to help without being hurtful. The Alessis share 7 keys to keep your marriage strong when life hits one of you hard.

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What do you do when your spouse is going through a difficult time?

 How can you be there for them without being too needy, overbearing or quick to try to solve their issue? 

In this episode, Steve and Mary Alessi reveal how they supported each other in seasons when each of them had to endure a tough season.

You'll learn 7 key approaches that will help you be a better, more supportive spouse and keep your marriage strong even when life hits your partner hard. 

You'll walk away with practical strategies and insights to help you be there for your spouse in their time of need.

For more inspiration and encouragement for enduring difficult times, make sure to read Steve Alessi's debut book,"Forty Two: A Guide To Finishing Well When You Were Almost Finished"

If you enjoyed this, you'll really like these episodes as well:
Recalibrate Your Marriage? How to Strengthen Your Relationship Through the Ever-Changing Seasons of Life S4 E5

Leaving and Cleaving: How to Protect your Marriage from Excessive Parental Influence | S3 E19

I Hate It When You Talk To Me That Way! | S2 E1

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Steve Alessi: Hello, and welcome to another episode of The Family Business with the Alessis, where family is everybody's business. And today in the podcast booth is Steve Alessi and Mary Alessi.

Mary Alessi: Good to be here today.

Steve Alessi: How are you, babe?

Mary Alessi: I'm doing good.

Steve Alessi: Yeah. Been a good couple of weeks. Uh, we enjoyed some nice times of, uh, celebrating, and now, uh, we have released a 42 book that, uh, is.

Mary Alessi: Pretty exciting, and it's already doing great. It's doing well. The feedback's phenomenal, and, um, a lot of tears, a lot of inspiration and motivation that people are sharing the book has given them, and that's what it's all about. Telling your story is giving people license and freedom to tell theirs.

Steve Alessi: Well, let's get right into it today, because something, uh, that has come up with the book itself, and, uh, people can get the book on Amazon, and hopefully they'll be able to do that. 42 by Steve Alessi, but leave a review. Leave a review. Thank you. Uh, one of the things that, um, come up in our whole story of the heart attack and such is the support that you were able to give over the year. And, um, while we were going through all of that, right? I was going through that, uh, your support and part of my deal when I came back to the church, and I was just letting people know what a rock star you were during all of that, you were solid, literally, as a rock. To be able to stand there and go through everything that needed to be had to be dealt with while we were going through it, even to the point that you shielded our kids from the actual heart attack itself. Because you were focused, uh, on me, and you had to deal with them while they were in the room next door, and you didn't want them to see anything so they wouldn't be traumatized by it. So, uh, first, thank you. Glad you're strong.

Mary Alessi: Can I just hold on a second? I have to interject by nature, and you know this about me I am probably the most indecisive person. I cannot decide where I want to eat. I can't decide what paint color to go with. I'll pick ten different whites, and I can't figure out which one. It drives you crazy. Pick something, Mary. Just decide. You get mad at me if I don't pick the restaurant we want to go eat to, because you don't want the pressure of me now offering ten suggestions, right?

Steve Alessi: Wow. Confession is good for the soul.

Mary Alessi: That's true. I know who I am in my strengths and in my weaknesses. I have a difficult time making a decision, and even my adult kids will tell me this day, mom, make a decision. What do you want to do? Where do you want to go? But in that moment, right, that was not me. I made a decision solid, and I was able to see how choosing whichever way you choose, if you choose the right way, it gives you strength, it gives you peace. Um, it gives you the ability to go through something that you didn't think you were strong enough to go through.

Steve Alessi: Right?

Mary Alessi: And so that's what's a part of the book in the story. And I think even Gabby said it this morning as she was reading it. Um, dad, what she said about mom in the book was so beautiful because she chose life, right? And that is something that I look back on even in my own life. And I realized that was a moment for me. I have to choose in this life and death moment that I'm going to choose life for my children, life for my husband, life for this moment from a person that by nature is so indecisive, I cannot choose. And I want to say that right off the bat, because it would be easy for other people to dismiss themselves and say, I could never go through that. I'm not as strong as Pastor Mary. Well, I by nature, am not either. But in a dire moment, I'm just grateful I did make a decision.

Steve Alessi: Yeah. So thank you for that. So what I want to talk about today in the podcast booth here is how to be a support for your spouse when your spouse is going through something, going through a rough time. So you were there for me, but I was with a couple of guys, uh, this week. And both, um, of them, uh, one was going through something, and the other had a spouse, a wife who was just experiencing something. So I'm not talking about a life and death situation. It could be something as simple as a slip and fall like you did, where now your shoulder is fractured, and I'm, um, here to help support you through it. It could be something that's business related, where your spouse is handling something on the job, right? Husband or wife or lost their job, lost their job, going through something in their career that they're having to deal with. Or it could be the loss of one of your spouse's, uh, parents, or maybe surgery, uh, or, uh, anything like that, right? When your spouse is going through something like this, uh, let's talk about how the other spouse can help support them.

Mary Alessi: Even life changes, like getting older, right? Just aging.

Steve Alessi: But especially when there's crisis, something going on. Boom. Something happens. How do we support each other through it? When I'm, um, not the one going through it, but I'm the one that's sitting there watching you go through it right now. I have to be there for you. So I want to talk about that because I'm afraid some spouses, uh, couples, when they go through a difficult time, I'll tell you, just from a guy's perspective, it's easy to think, well, I got the kids. They're going to help mom get through it.

Mary Alessi: Right?

Steve Alessi: I got to take care of my job. I got to take care of my ministry. I got to take care of me and my life. Right. Because by nature, we may not be a caretaker. It's easy for us to just think, um, somebody else will step in, her mother will step in and help her.

Mary Alessi: Go through her sister, their friends.

Steve Alessi: But how important is it for the spouse, uh, to take care of the other when the other is going through it? And I say that because we're one when we get married.

Mary Alessi: That's right.

Steve Alessi: A husband and wife become one. And you can't expect a, uh, total healing for someone that's your spouse, if only 50% of the person is there. So you can't give up your space. Personally speaking, I think it's my goal, my responsibility, which then becomes my goal to make sure that if you're going through something, I got to be there with you to help you get through it. And it's a pain, because I'd rather go ahead and let the girls do it who are much more into taking care of their mom. But I can't do that, right? So I have to step up and be that support for you and say to my job for a minute, say to whatever my activities are, let me put all that on hold. Because an accident or whatever it is, I need to be there for, and I'm going to speak from my side of the table, my wife, right? I got to be there for her. And, uh, why is that important?

Mary Alessi: I think it's important because it really shows that love and that care for your spouse. When you do go through something as a married person, you aren't going through it on your own. And it's not really fair to default to family members when it puts you out. Mhm, that's not right. That's your spouse, that's your loved one. Whether they're going through something emotionally, psychologically, physically, circumstantially, that is your spouse. And before God, you've made a covenant with that person. You are one, as you said. So when she's hurting, you're hurting. When he's hurting, you're hurting, right? And the truth of the matter is, I think those are the circumstances where we really do form a union and a really sweet, um, covenant with each other when the other one's down and you know your spouse is on your side. Something we like to say, um, some of those of us ladies who've been friends a long time, and we've talked at a couple of the wedding showers to the brides. And, um, Melanie Gomez is the first one to have brought this phrase up. And it's so good. She said, I know that when Tony's down, whether it's a job situation, if I'm not Team Tony, it's going to bring a lot of pressure and pain to my marriage. But I don't care if I don't understand it, if I can't relate to it. I put my teen Tony t shirt on and I am Team Tony. Whether he broke his leg or he's just having a hard day, i, uh, am Team Tony. And the difference that that makes is night and day. Well, we say, okay, men aren't naturally nurturing, but women aren't naturally understanding with their husbands. Women can be very nurturing, but if they're going through something emotionally, their husbands are, and they don't understand it. They can almost be brutal at times. Like, um, what's going on with you? Figure it out. Come on, stop it. You're being a grump. And that painted such a beautiful picture of when your team marry. There's just something that happens in our marriage, in our relationship, that brings such a confidence that I know you've got my back. If my arm is broken, you're going to be the one that gives me my medication. You're going to be the one that says, I got mom. I'll make sure she has her water at night. She's got the care that that extends. It just goes such a long way because there's healing in that.

Steve Alessi: Right.

Mary Alessi: And you feel like, man, whatever problems I have just gone are going away because my man's got me or my wife's got me. Right. And it's just a beautiful picture of really loving each other the right way.

Steve Alessi: Right. Tying your shoes.

Mary Alessi: You've had to tie my shoes.

Steve Alessi: Had to tie your shoes. I've had to do a lot of things. I don't want to mention on this podcast.

Mary Alessi: You've had to do a lot of things.

Steve Alessi: That's cool. Uh, tell me though, what does it say to the kids?

Mary Alessi: Hi, everybody, it is Mary Alessi and I am popping in here today just to let you know. Steve's book 42 is out. It's available on Amazon. You can click the link in the description and find everything you need to know about it. But I promise you, if you get this book, you will want to share it with everyone you know that might be going through a difficult time that got knocked down and they're having a hard time getting back up. So make sure you get it 42. It's available today. And hey, do us a favor, leave us a review. When you read that book, it's a quick read. You're going to get through it very quickly because it is so well written and you're going to love all the stories that are in there. So make sure you get it. 42. Steve Alessi. Thanks, guys.

 Oh, man. It says to the kids, first of all, they raise the level of their own expectation of what to look for in a spouse if they're not married. But they also learn how you treat your spouse, how you love your spouse. Because I think one of the worst things that we and I've experienced over the years in Pastoring and being with past being with couples is that caustic sarcasm that we hear from other couples. Uh, oh, he would never help me do that, or he would never put gas in my car, or he would no, my husband would never and they don't realize it. Erodes your modeling of marriage for your kids, you can do that and still say married. But how much more beautiful is it that you show to your kids a relationship that is so caring for one another and nurturing for one another? That's my husband. That's my wife. Before you were our kids, we had each other before you were in this world. And I think it just makes your kids see you as mom and dad in such a beautiful light of what they want to be and what they want to have.

Steve Alessi: Yeah. Uh, they need to see that the husband and wife it's not an arrangement. It's a covenant.

Mary Alessi: It's a covenant.

Steve Alessi: And a covenant means I got to be there with you for you. Because you were there for me, I got to be there for you. It's just something that we have to deal with. So, um, it doesn't have to be a crisis. Could be business related. It could be something just physical, thrown out back, whatever. Okay. Um, there's a difference between babying a person pampering, um, them. Hopefully, you're not the kind of spouse that needs pampering. You're securing yourself enough to know, uh, that we're together, we're both strong. 50 50 coming into the marriage is only a matter of, um, the two become one. So it takes 50 50 to complete, to make one. But when you come to the table, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, uh, sexually, it should be 100 100. You got to give yourself 100% to your spouse if you're going to have a healthy marriage, not just an arrangement, if you're going to have a covenant. Because a covenant means I'm there through thick and thin, whether I want to or not. Sacrifices attached and so forth.

Mary Alessi: Uh, if I'm hurting, you're hurting, you're hurting, I'm hurting.

Steve Alessi: If your schedule is interrupted, so is mine.

Mary Alessi: Exactly.

Steve Alessi: All right, now my routine is a little different. I can't go to counseling tonight because I have to hang out. Counseling is code word for hanging out with the boys. That sometimes that you get my connect group that I have. So I can't go to counseling tonight because I got to stay home with Mary to make sure that we're getting her fed. And, um, I'm taking care of she needs my help. She needs me. So here's a few things I think that are important, that if we're going to be there for one another, I think, one, you have to be understanding.

Mary Alessi: Yeah.

Steve Alessi: And when I say that, what I mean is you have to look at your spouse and say about them in your mind, it's okay that right now they're not 100%. It's okay that they're not well, right now, it's okay because what you're sometimes accustomed to doing is thinking. My spouse needs to be taking care of themselves. They need to be all in, so they're going to have to carry their load and so forth. Well, what happens when they can't? Do you think less of them? Do you immediately say, oh, they're just.

Mary Alessi: Like my father, or they're just like their mother?

Steve Alessi: Their mother, right. No, I think you need to be, uh, more respectful and say to them, I understand right now. You can't do your part, and I'm all right with that. And I'm not going to look at it like you've interrupted my life. You're being interrupted.

Mary Alessi: Right.

Steve Alessi: You're being put out because of whatever this issue is. So I understand right now. Um I'm here for you. You need me.

Mary Alessi: I think that's good. Uh, understanding is something that can be so lost in marriage. And one of the things you and I have talked about, even for our own relationship, as we're cresting 35 years friendship, mhm being friends, and sometimes in marriage, we can treat our spouse so horribly, like they're not our friends. And we'll take food to our friends who's been in the hospital.

Steve Alessi: Come, uh, on.

Mary Alessi: We'll call our friend. Is there anything you need from me? How can I help you? We'll tell our other people, friends in our lives, man, my friend is hurting. She had surgery, or she's going through something. Let's pray for her. And yet, zero compassion for our own spouse. Zero compassion. And we're not talking about, like you said, the needy spouse. It's always we're talking about how in the life of a marriage, when things happen to each other, you can develop patterns where you're not understanding. So if I don't understand what you're going through, then I'm not going to help you because I don't understand it. Get it together. What's wrong with you? Why are you going through that? Well, I fractured my humorous well, I didn't yeah. Come on, we got things to do. Let's go.

Steve Alessi: Or how stupid that was.

Mary Alessi: Stupid. Why would you trip?

Steve Alessi: How could you trip?

Mary Alessi: Trust me. I'm saying all those things to myself. But we can be kinder to our friends and horrible to our own spouse who we are one with.

Steve Alessi: Yeah.

Mary Alessi: So understanding is really not something that I might not understand.

Steve Alessi: Yeah.

Mary Alessi: I don't understand. You might not understand right now why my arm still hurts so bad.

Steve Alessi: Yeah, but get over it already, will you?

Mary Alessi: It's been two weeks, right? It's only been two weeks. Yeah, but that's you know, we we laugh about. We we use that as an example. But there are deeper emotional things that couples go through that you don't understand, uh, what the other spouse is going through if they lost their job. And you're the personality that the sun's always shining, you always find good and the bad. Well, your husband's or wife's personality might not be like that. So you don't understand. I don't understand why you're losing your faith. I understand why you're acting so upset about it. God's going to provide well, that's annoying to the person that's going through something. It just needs a minute to process. So understanding is neither here nor there.

Steve Alessi: About empathy, because I think we also need to be empathetic when a spouse is going through something. We've got to be able to give them some space and just, um, be empathetic towards it.

Mary Alessi: I do, too, because sometimes that's all you need is a couple of days just to process and get through feeling whatever it is you're feeling and a person that really loves you gives you that space and doesn't judge you through that space. I, um, remember hearing this a, um, few years ago, really a great quote, wives, how they would approach their spouse going through something, and the two words they used were if you need to address it or approach them about it. Is there grace for that right now in the season they're in? And is the timing right? So be very careful what you're going to say. Think about what you're going to say, if you're going to say it. And is there grace for that person, your spouse, to hear it? Because you can really be going through it. And you already know with this arm.

Steve Alessi: Spell that out a little bit.

Mary Alessi: Okay, so like my arm right when we're in the emergency room and I'm in agonizing pain, that is not the time for you to say to me, how could you do this? On the day that my book comes in and we have this unboxing, didn't you think you should not wear those rubber sold shoes walking around carpet? How could you trip? You could have gone into you would never I'm just using this as an example.

Steve Alessi: Yeah, I said something, actually, when you were laying on the floor. I thought it was a joke. Nobody got it, so it didn't land. Oh, you remember that, huh?

Mary Alessi: You had to steal my thunder.

Steve Alessi: Thunder today.

Mary Alessi: Yeah, I was hitting yeah, but not the time. Okay, timing.

Steve Alessi: There you go.

Mary Alessi: Timing. Okay, you were joking, but the timing was bad because I'm moaning and crying in agony and pain. Oh, you had to steal my thunder. So you were joking. But whatever. Okay, so that's another thing. Yeah, don't do that. Um, but that's the whole picture. Sometimes with our spouses, we want to rush in and be aggressive about something. To think we're going to snap them out of it when they're going through something and they need time. Is the grace for that there is the timing right to make that statement or to say that sometimes it's okay to give your spouse 48 hours to just process and give them some space. That goes back, though, I think, to that friendship thing. If you'll see your spouse, treat them like you would your friend under those circumstances, you're going to handle it better.

Steve Alessi: Which then I think you need to be patient with time. You got to give your spouse time to sort things out. So they may not be responding right away like you want them to, uh, like you think they should, but that patience on your part to say, all right, they're in this funk, they're in this hole, they're feeling physically, they just can't handle it. Yeah, he should get up and go to work, but maybe he's not ready yet. Maybe he needs to feel 100% before we just be patient and let your spouse, uh, just sort some things out. Especially if it's one of those life altering, career altering deals, right. Um, if they were let go downsized in the company. Uh, there's a lot on a man's side, I'll tell you. Ego has a lot to do with, uh, us, uh, responding to things in life. And if our ego has been bruised in the slightest, something's happened that could cause our egos to be bruised. A man's going to go through a real challenge here. Absolutely. He feels like he's got to control things he wants to provide. And if that's upset in the slightest, his ego is going to be bruised. So just be patient.

Mary Alessi: Right.

Steve Alessi: Give him time to sort some things out.

Mary Alessi: And you know, pressure in a marriage um, reveals itself in different ways from husband to wife. And a husband can be under pressure and it reflects very differently. And a wife might not understand and not realize, okay, he's under pressure right now, let me back off vice versa. She's got the kids all over her. She's got pressures I don't have. Because we view the world differently. We view the expectations of our kids and our day just the expectations of our day so differently. And patience is required under pressure. Uh, you've got to be patient with your spouse if they're going through something. And it works both ways. Mhm. So when you're loving and patient, it all eventually comes out anyway. One of the things that I remember Kathy Hayes telling me, um, it's so important for wives if they live with a spouse that's a very driven personality that when they're going through a storm, you don't understand. Don't get in the storm with them. Somebody's got to stay in a place of peace.

Steve Alessi: Yeah.

Mary Alessi: So just don't get in the storm. And sometimes as young wives, we think, I'm going to fix you and I'm going to change you and I'm going to talk you out of it. Instead of just being patient and letting the process happen, you jump in that storm and before you know it you're in a fight, you're crying, you're mad, and I'm just trying to help you. Well, that's not your role, right? Just let patients work. Have her perfect work. Because there's pressure here right now.

Steve Alessi: Right.

Mary Alessi: And you come through the storm, you get out of the hormonal crazy. You do come through and your spouse is there waiting for you on the other side, you ready to go now? And, uh, that's just such a beautiful way to treat one another.

Steve Alessi: Right. Which then I think being supportive when a person's going through something is really important. I say that because there's a tendency to, uh, put yourself in the middle of it, to make it about you, when in a moment like that, you need to make it about them.

Mary Alessi: Yeah, it's true.

Steve Alessi: Uh, so I can't be needy. Like, oh, my gosh, I'm not getting my needs met right now because of this disruption in our flow of life, because of what they went through. Sure, you can't be needy. You got to look at the person that's in need. So to be supportive of your spouse when they're going through a hard time is to say, I'm not going to make anything about me right now.

Mary Alessi: Right.

Steve Alessi: Because this isn't the time. This is about them. Let me help navigate them through whatever they're feeling or whatever times needed for healing. Let me give them some space. And I'll tell you right now, in our culture down here in South Florida, with all of my dear Latin brothers that are all machismo, it's all about the man, okay? That's something where they have to get better in, because they can't sit back and think at this point when their spouse is going through something, uh, they just need to get over it.

Mary Alessi: Right.

Steve Alessi: Because I got to go on my life. We got to go. No, slow down for a minute. This may not be your go to mhm. You may not be the touchy feely kind of guy, okay. And everything's probably been about you. She makes your food, makes your bed, takes care of your schedule, all that kind of stuff for you. So when she's going through something, you got to put a pause on that.

Mary Alessi: Right.

Steve Alessi: You're a better support system when you say, babe, what do you need from me?

Mary Alessi: Yeah.

Steve Alessi: And I would even say ask that question. Do you want to be alone in the room or do you want me to sit next to you? Do you want me to watch? What do you want to watch? If you're on the mend and you're relaxing, okay. Do you want me around or do you want me to just close the door and I'll throw you something when you need it?

Mary Alessi: Am I getting on your nerves? You need me to back up?

Steve Alessi: Are you hungry? Okay. What do you want from DoorDash? Or, uh, what do you want me to go pick up? Um be supportive.

Mary Alessi: Right.

Steve Alessi: And just don't make it about yourself. Which then let's also include be prayerful.

Mary Alessi: Yeah. Oh, yeah. Pray for your spouse. Pray for your spouse when they're going through something. You pray for me all the time. I pray for you all the time. There's something so powerful about just stopping because it's a humbling experience what it gives to the atmosphere of your home and of your marriage. Words cannot do alone. But the posture of prayer I am asking God to help my spouse is the most beautiful display of love and care. Um, and you have always exemplified that in our family, praying for your children and praying for us. And that's true leadership, I think, too.

Steve Alessi: Well, they all say we all say, trust God, right? Well, sometimes I got to trust you to God.

Mary Alessi: Yes.

Steve Alessi: So God knows you and what your needs are more than I do, and I'm okay with that. He knows the deep needs that you have, the hidden secrets of your heart. So when you're going through something like this, hey, maybe it's God trying to teach you something.

Mary Alessi: Yeah, it's true.

Steve Alessi: Maybe God's trying to show you something.

Mary Alessi: You don't interrupt the process.

Steve Alessi: Don't interrupt.

Mary Alessi: So I pray for, um, him.

Steve Alessi: I got to sit back and say, yeah, as much as I trust God here, I want to trust you that's right. To God, because God's going to get in there and work it out. And now if we flip it from how does a wife respond to a husband who's going through a midlife crisis, going through a career change, going through a hit, problems with his parents, um, money issues? That is a great place for a wife to come alongside of her husband and just let him know, hey, hon, um, I'm praying for you.

Mary Alessi: Yeah.

Steve Alessi: Uh, I'm with you on this, and I know God's going to here's what I think is great to be able to say to your husband, especially if he's a Godly man. I know God's going to direct you.

Mary Alessi: Right. That's very good.

Steve Alessi: I know that because you know what that immediately does to me when you tell me that, wow, I'm a man of faith. I got this.

Mary Alessi: Yes.

Steve Alessi: I don't know exactly what to do tomorrow, but keep praying for me, babe. Um, I'm going to help find the answer as we go on, which then I would say to support your spouses or going through something like a difficult time. Be close.

Mary Alessi: Right.

Steve Alessi: We are one, and I can't separate from you when you're going through a difficult time or else you're operating at 50% energy and power.

Mary Alessi: Yeah, it's true.

Steve Alessi: Uh, and sometimes it's easy to back away, because if I'm not the nurturing type, that's not my go to. It's easy to pull back and think somebody else is going to fill the void. But yet we're one. So if we're one, the only way to help you be 100% to get through it is to be present with you.

Mary Alessi: Be close. That's so important. And it also shows that the only thing that matters to me is you. Not my needs, not what I had my expectation in this marriage to be. And now you are falling below the line of my expectation because you're going through something. You really do learn what selflessness is. Uh, when your spouse goes through something, when they take the hit, you take it too. You're in this together. You don't isolate yourself and say, he's going through something or she's going through something. And I think that's something that needs to also, um, be spoken to. It goes back to understanding. Whether you understand or not makes no difference. Stay close to your spouse. Love your spouse. Be there for them. You don't have to understand. It's not always on you to fix your spouse. Just be there and just love them. And it makes a world of difference.

Steve Alessi: And the last one be a confidant. Yeah. When we go through a hard time sometimes, that's when we're our most vulnerable and we wrestle with thoughts that are not necessarily truth. And we need to know what to do with those thoughts. And the best thing to be able to do is bounce them off somebody. And the spouse should be the confident that they bounce them off of and not freak out when they do.

Mary Alessi: Well, can I tell you that in the book, when you start sharing about your honest feelings and thoughts and I've shared this with you before that when you started doubting. You started saying things to me about faith and God and, how could God do this? And you were really saying things that scared me.

Steve Alessi: Sure.

Mary Alessi: What I had to step back and say was, well, at least he's confiding in me. Uh, these are deep, dark thoughts he's processing. And he's confiding with me. He doesn't necessarily have to mean it, and I don't have to talk him out of these thoughts and these feelings. He's saying them out loud. I'm a confidant. That means I'm a place that he trusts. I'm a person he trusts with his deepest, darkest fears. And that's a beautiful gift. And I had to restrain myself from trying to talk you through your process.

Steve Alessi: Or running to mom and saying, oh, my God, Steve, we're losing Steve. I don't understand what he's saying. You don't share those details with other people. You hold them in.

Mary Alessi: That's right.

Steve Alessi: And again, you want to talk about, what do I pray about? Hey, those are the things you pray about. When they share with you stuff you don't understand, then those are things that you pray about. But be a confidant. She should not need a sister or a best friend or anybody else to bounce their thoughts off of. They're just thoughts. Uh, it's not truth. It's just thoughts. And that's how the enemy plays with us. That's how life plays with us. When you go through something that's difficult, you're introduced to some of your weaknesses, right? Your limitations. And if you're introduced to the limitation, the weaknesses you don't hang out at limitation or weakness too often. But when you're forced to do it because of a life altering event or career altering event, then you're stuck there and you can't help but have these thoughts that you have to process and there's nobody else that you should be processing them to than your spouse.

Mary Alessi: Exactly.

Steve Alessi: And if you can be that kind of support for each other and be friends, then over time, you're going to walk through that. So, Mary, how do we know all of this? It's because we went through it, right? And 42, when that heart attack hit and life and death and world seemed to be crazy, going upside down, everything in perspective. You were that support. You were that support. And, uh, with every kid when you were on your back, I took you as my support. I needed to be your support. When everything that you would go through, from the loss of your father to the loss of that marriage with your mom and dad, early on, I knew I'm Mary's support. I needed to be that. And I didn't want your mom to be a support more than me or your twin sister to be more of a support.

Mary Alessi: That's right.

Steve Alessi: And definitely not your kids to be more of a support. You're my wife. You're my responsibility. It took you as my own. Better for worse, richer for poor. Sickness.

Mary Alessi: Sickness and health.

Steve Alessi: All those vowels, they weren't just words, they're covenant. So we need to be with each other when we go through the hard times. So hopefully today's podcast has been an encouragement to you, especially if you're married and you're going through some things together. Our prayer is that you will have a rich, healthy, prosperous marriage and be each other's great support. Thanks for joining us today.

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