Marriage does not work.

If my parents failed at marriage, then I will fail also.

All conflict is bad because it will bring about the failure of my marriage.

These false beliefs can make for an unhealthy marriage and can even foster divorce. We have developed an exercise called The True Vision Exercise that is disigned to help ACODP's dispel their false beliefs about marriage. Here is how it works.

Draw a line down the center of a piece of paper, making two columns. At the top of the right column write the word "BELIEFS." Under this column identify and write all of the false beliefs that have been a part of your thinking as a result of your parent's divorce. At the top of the left column write the word "EVIDENCE." Now move into the logical, rational, left side of the brain. This is the side that makes decisions on facts, not feelings. Under this column, write all the objective observable realities of your marriage that you can which you know to be true. List all the data you can to prove that your impression or idea is true. You may use what your partner says and does, as well as background information, as a means of determining the truth as objectively as possible. Here is an example of this exercise.

Under the column of BELIEFS you may write:

  • My father cheated on my mother therefore men are not to be trusted.
  • Most men cheat.
  • Since my mother wasn't enough to keep my father, then I will not be enough to keep my mate.
  • Marriage does not work

Then list the EVIDENCE showing the truth as you know it about you, your spouse, and your marriage today:

  • We believe in Marriage…till death do we part.
  • We believe in Christ as the center of our marriage.
  • We go to church almost every Sunday and believe in the Ten Commandments.
  • We will learn skills to make our marriage work and practice them regularly.

Make several copies of your list and put it where you would see it several times a day, like on the bathroom mirror, on the fridge, in the kitchen, or taped on the computer monitor. Read the list every time you walk by a copy and repeat it to yourself daily, whenever you feel fearful. Researchers have found that replication, that is repeating a process over and over, is the best way to reprogram trauma from childhood.

These excercises are just the beginning of forging a triumphant future for your marriage. You do not have to live in the shadow of your parents' divorce. You can be set free.

Originally published in May 2008.

To order a copy of Adult Children of Divorced Parents: Making Your Marriage Work visit AdultChildrenofDivorcedParents.com or call Rodgers Christian Counseling 704 364-9176.


Drs. Beverly and Tom Rodgers have been Christian relationship counselors for the past 26 years. They own and operate Rodgers Christian Counseling and the Institute for Soul Healing Love in Charlotte, North Carolina. Both have their PhD's in Clinical Christian Counseling. Dr. Bev has a Masters Degree in Marital and Family Therapy and Dr. Tom also has a Masters Degree in Human Development. Together they have written 4 books: Soul Healing Love: Turning Relationships That Hurt Into Relationships That Heal, How to Find Mr. or Ms. Right, Adult Children of Divorced Parents, and The Singlehood Phenomenon: Ten Brutally Honest Reasons Singles Aren't Getting Married. Drs. Beverly and Tom Rodgers also facilitate relationship workshops for couples and singles across the globe. For information on their books or workshops, visit: http://www.soulhealinglove.com