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Overcoming Separation, Infidelity, & Dysfunction in Marriage - with Joseph & Madelyn Stallings

April 11, 2023
00:00 38:20
Listen on Your Favorite App

Overcoming Separation, Infidelity, & Dysfunction in Marriage - with Joseph & Madelyn Stallings


Welcome to this episode of our podcast where we're joined by Joseph and Madelyn Stallings, who have graciously agreed to share their journey through infidelity, separation, and marital dysfunction with us today.

Joseph and Madelyn have known each other since childhood, and on today's show, they talk about their journey towards a more healthy and thriving marriage, despite the numerous hurdles they've faced along the way.

The Importance of Premarital Counseling

We start by discussing how they met and their premarital counseling experience. Like Shaun and me, the Stallings have known each other since childhood. Joseph’s parents did their premarital counseling, but he doesn't recommend this. Neither do I, because couples tend to not be forthcoming when a family member (especially parents) are facilitating their pre-marital counseling.

ALSO SEE: Why Should I Get Premarital Counseling? 

We delve deeper into the importance of premarital counseling and how it can help couples overcome childhood wounds and trauma that can seep into their marriage.

An Unexpected Result of their Separation

The Stallings experienced several separations in their marriage: some lasting for just a few months, and the longest over a year. Then, quite unexpectedly, Madelyn gets pregnant. She shares her experience of becoming pregnant with someone else's child while she and Joseph were separated, and how they worked through the emotions of it all. Only by God’s grace were they able to reconcile and work through the pain of that choice. 

Disconnection Leaves You Vulnerable to Infidelity

We talk about the importance of staying connected and avoiding disconnection, which really makes your marriage vulnerable to infidelity. As Joseph puts it, "You can't let your emotions drive, but you can't put them in the back trunk either.” Basically, don’t allow your emotions to run your relationship, but withholding how you’re truly feeling only leads to disconnection in your marriage.

After their last separation, things began to take a turn for the worst again, and this time it was Joseph who was unfaithful. Joseph shares his story of having an affair and the steps they took to heal and move forward. We discuss the importance of understanding the real source of pain and how it can help couples to stop hurting each other and to find the real source of their healing.

Through their journey, Joseph and Madelyn have learned the importance of honesty, transparency, forgiveness, and communication. They remind us that marriages can truly endure more than we imagine, but through God’s grace, forgiveness, and  a lot of “heart work,” we can make them work.

Thank you for tuning in to this episode, and we hope you find it insightful and helpful in your own journey towards a healthy and thriving marriage.



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Meet Your Host
Meet Your Host
Dana Che is the founder of Thrive Relationships, where she serves as a marriage and relationship coach and host of the Real Relationship Talk podcast. She also serves as a pastor at her church. Whether in the church or on her podcast, Dana's mission is singular: to help people thrive in their relationships with the Lord and with each other.

On Real Relationship Talk, she is known for her graceful candor, humor, and her encouraging yet challenging advice. Dana holds a B.A. in communication from Regent University. She has a fierce passion for fashion and is a lover of all things sparkly. She shares her life with Shaun, her loving husband of twenty-three years, their four amazing children, and their “multi-cultural” dog in beautiful Virginia Beach, VA.

Connect with Dana:
Instagram: @mrsdanache
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