One of the most common reasons for divorce is irreconcilable differences. In other words: “We just grew apart.” The promise many couples make to one other slowly dissolves without intentional communication and investment in the relationship.
Falling in Love
Michael and Lorraine Ragsdale were “matched” through an online dating website in 2006, and their attraction quickly became evident. The couple met in person after a couple of weeks. “Although we didn’t have a lot in common at first, we enjoyed being around each other,” they said. Michael also immediately connected with Lorraine’s son, Jeremy, who was three years old at the time. The three became a family in 2008, and have welcomed Lauren (6 years) and James (21 months) since the wedding.
At a Crossroads
Slowly, Michael and Lorraine grew apart. “We both lacked commitment to our relationship,” they said, “Simply put, working at our marriage was no longer a priority.” Michael and Lorraine had reached a critical crossroads: let go of their marriage or make one last effort to revive it. They knew the relationship was struggling to survive. “I guess you could say the spark was gone. The things that first attracted us to each other became non-existent.”
The couple ended up at an Oxygen for Your Relationships seminar held at Fort Drum, New York.
The Moment Everything Changed
Seven years had worn down the marriage, but five minutes at Oxygen awoke hope for Michael and Lorraine. One of the exercises during Oxygen is to spend five quiet minutes looking into one another’s eyes. Both agree that this was the best moment of the entire eight-hour seminar. “It was an emotional experience that connected us in a way that we hadn’t felt in a long, long time,” they said. “It was more than a breath of fresh air; it was life-changing.”
As they continued, new revelations shed light on the couple’s differences. The two discovered each other’s Flag Page countries, which explained how they both preferred to communicate and engage with the world. They also learned their “talent families,” which illuminated their natural gifts in categories like relationships, creativity, leadership, task completion, etc.
The final hours of Oxygen proved to be life altering. The couple discussed the role of forgiveness in their relationship. “The seven steps to ask for forgiveness was powerful and something we desperately needed,” they said. “On that day, we made the choice to forgive each other and move forward in our relationship.”
A New Commitment
Michael and Lorraine have used the lessons they learned in Oxygen for their daily lives. They renewed their commitment to each other and agreed to do everything within their power to have a marriage that honors God, one another, and their children. “Our relationship is definitely better, and it’s still a work in progress,” they said, “And, with your help, we can keep going!”