Roger Marsh: Welcome to Family Talk. I'm Roger Marsh. Did you know that during the pandemic there was an increase in use of pornography by 11%? That is according to an internet safety website called Enough Is Enough. They also share that over 80% of all pornography depicts some type of aggressive behavior toward women. That is absolutely horrific and unacceptable. Pornography is a huge problem in this country. It destroys lives, marriages, and families.
Well, our guest today here on Family Talk is Nancy Blake. She returns again for part two of a conversation that she had with Dr. Dobson about how she felt after discovering her husband was addicted to pornography. During the next half hour, you'll learn more about what she did to rebuild her life in the aftermath of this bombshell revelation. Nancy Blake is from Southern California where she earned her teaching degree and also teaching credentials. Nancy and her first husband purchased a fast food franchise back in 1965, and they ended up successfully owning a chain of restaurants. She taught during the day and then would help out at their restaurants as she could at night. And in her spare time, she would also lead Bible studies. Today, Nancy has six grown children and 12 grandchildren. Now let's join Dr. James Dobson and Nancy Blake right here for today's edition of Family Talk.
Nancy Blake: Here we were having this great life with lots of travels and traveling all over the world, opening up these McDonald's restaurants and celebrating with other franchisees and taking the bus around the nation with Ray Kroc. He had a custom made bus that was so fun. We just had a fun life and we had a wonderful lady who would always be there with our older sons, so we knew that it was okay to leave. Then he talked me into selling the McDonald's. I didn't want to and I carried on and cried and begged, but he said, "I just want to take you and our younger son around the world and you can homeschool him and whatever."
Dr. James Dobson: What was his real motive now that you know?
Nancy Blake: I don't know. I don't-
Dr. James Dobson: Was he supporting another family?
Nancy Blake: Not at that time, no. I really feel like there must have been an employee or employees that were going to press sexual harassment. That's my own interpretation. And he wanted to get out while he could.
Dr. James Dobson: That's speculation obviously.
Nancy Blake: That is totally speculation. I don't know.
Dr. James Dobson: But you had five McDonald's and he started selling them off one at a time.
Nancy Blake: No, we sold them to a wonderful family, all of them.
Dr. James Dobson: All of them.
Nancy Blake: I sat at a long boardroom table and my dream died that day, one of my dreams, because I always wanted to pass it on to our kids, but I was married and you listen to what your husband says. I mean, even though I put up a big stink. So it was several months later, I don't remember the exact timing that he said, "I have something to tell you and you're going to leave me." And I thought, "Why would I leave you? We're about ready to travel around the world. It's going to be so fun." Anyway, I remember sitting there thinking, "What's he going to tell me?" He said, "I've never been faithful, and I'm addicted to pornography." And he was so kind and loving. You knew him.
Dr. James Dobson: Yeah.
Nancy Blake: He never hurt me physically, but it's as though he kicked me in the stomach and I just-
Dr. James Dobson: And what did he tell you?
Nancy Blake: He told me the story when he was 12, he had found, as I just told the story, a magazine and it had escalated. He was involved with different women and prostitutes before our marriage and after our marriage, and would I forgive him? I thought I was going to pass out. And I got my breath. I don't even think I was crying because I was in shock. And I said, "Yes." I don't feel like it, but-
Dr. James Dobson: This was a complete surprise to you?
Nancy Blake: Oh, total. Like I said, I was very naive.
Dr. James Dobson: It's usually out in the open because it's hard to hide.
Nancy Blake: He was good at hiding it. He had one locked drawer in his desk and I didn't think anything of it, but when he left, I picked that open and it was full of pornography. Anyway. So he told me this and he said, "Will you forgive me?" And I said, "Yes, I will forgive you because God tells us to, but I don't feel like it and hopefully He'll bring me the feelings." And he said, "Will you stay married?" And I said, "Yes, if you get help." So then we went to counseling three times a week and he said he was going to sexual addiction classes once a week and he'd come home with these sad stories about what happened. I don't know if he made him up or if he really went or what.
Dr. James Dobson: It calls into question everything, doesn't it?
Nancy Blake: Yes, because I don't know what was real. See how dumb I was?
Dr. James Dobson: You weren't dumb. You were a woman who loved her husband, tried to follow him-
Nancy Blake: Yeah, I believed him.
Dr. James Dobson: Biblical principles. You didn't want to hurt your children. You have all kind of reasons for what you did. But I wrote a book called Love Must Be Tough, which would've given you different advice.
Nancy Blake: And I read it. I guess I didn't pick up on that. I should have. But anyway.
Dr. James Dobson: You were the classic victim. You were an easy victim.
Nancy Blake: I was easy.
Dr. James Dobson: Out of love, you were an easy victim. You were easy to abuse and to fool and to lie to. And you did it for the best of reasons.
Nancy Blake: Well, and getting flowers all the time and these beautiful poems. Oh my gosh. And taking me to these wonderful places.
Dr. James Dobson: He was good at it.
Nancy Blake: Yeah. Anyway, so I said, "We're going to go to therapy." We went to therapy for a year and a half and I woke up one morning and he was all dressed and he had a suitcase. And I said, "Where are you going?" And he was throwing down money and he was throwing down credit cards. And he said, "I've never been faithful this last year and a half." He said, "I'm leaving you. I never loved you, and I'm out of here." And he walked out the door. Then it was 26 years of marriage.
Dr. James Dobson: You fell apart, didn't you?
Nancy Blake: I did. I thought, what am I going to say to our son? He's only five in the other room. The other two were off at college. What am I going to do?
Dr. James Dobson: What was your answer?
Nancy Blake: I prayed. He tells us that He helps us in our weakness, that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. And I claim to-
Dr. James Dobson: That's what I admire so much about you. It's been very encouraging for Shirley and me once we knew of the details to see the way you have depended on the Lord and the way He has responded to you. He really put His arm around you, didn't He? He got you through that era.
Nancy Blake: He did. I claimed verse in Joshua 1:9, "Have I not commended you?" It's not like if you feel like it, "be strong and of good courage and be not dismayed for I'm the Lord your God." And then He promises "I'm with you always." And he was with me. One of the times when we went through the divorce. It's almost funny now when I look back on it because I tried to find humor in it, which it wasn't funny. But I sat at this long boardroom table and we had lots of assets and there were all these court reporters and I was alone with my attorney and I walked in the door, I opened up the door and I said, "Lord, you need to go in before me. I can't do this on my own." So I pictured a chair where he was sitting. So by the end of the three or four hours in these divorce proceedings, because I kept looking at that chair for strength. He probably wondered why I was looking at that empty chair, but I never told him.
Dr. James Dobson: You did not file for the divorce.
Nancy Blake: No.
Dr. James Dobson: Your husband did, Bob, and did that come as a surprise? He'd already told you where he was going with it, hadn't he?
Nancy Blake: Well, he had done his research. He had the best divorce attorney where we lived. I didn't know a divorce attorney, so I had to start from scratch. I didn't know where to go or who to talk to. I mean, I had wonderful friends that came alongside of me. And I didn't want my kids to know what their dad had done. The older boys knew by this time, not the extent of it, but they knew.
Dr. James Dobson: How did they respond to it?
Nancy Blake: Honestly?
Dr. James Dobson: Yeah.
Nancy Blake: I'm not trying to take credit because the credit goes to the Lord, but I learned in my Bible studies when I became a Christian that you count on Him and you listen to His Word. And He always taught me that you love the sinner and not the sin. And that's what I taught my boys. I used to do a Bible study with about 20 surfers when my kids wouldn't go to a Bible study. So I said, "Okay, I'm giving it." So there were about 20 surfers, 15 to 20, and we started out with pizza and chocolate chip cookies for maybe 45 minutes and 10 or 15 minutes of study. And then by the end of the time it was reversed because the Word of the Lord caught on. So I taught my boys to, "You love your father. He was a good dad when he was around. Lots of fun vacations and tickling."
Dr. James Dobson: You deliberately shielded them from hatred, didn't you?
Nancy Blake: I tried really hard.
Dr. James Dobson: You did not want them to hate their father.
Nancy Blake: No.
Dr. James Dobson: And you preserved their relationship with him and they have a good relationship surprisingly today.
Nancy Blake: They do.
Dr. James Dobson: And they love the Lord.
Nancy Blake: Oh, well that was it. It was really the Lord that did that for them because they knew how devastated I was and I wanted everybody to-
Dr. James Dobson: Nancy, do you realize what a great job you did in an impossible situation?
Nancy Blake: Thank you.
Dr. James Dobson: Somebody needs to tell you that the Lord saw that and honored it. And those of us who know about it honor you today because you were the victim. You didn't know it. You had no part in it. And Bob took advantage of you and hid things from you and hurt you in many ways and walked out on you. And yet you didn't allow yourself to hate either, did you?
Nancy Blake: No, but I hated what he'd done, and I made the mistake of telling other people, anybody who would listen what had happened, that I wasn't divorcing him. I'm a Christian. He was divorcing me. So that wasn't right of me to do probably, but I-
Dr. James Dobson: Well, you're human. What's the next chapter? Did the Lord begin to heal your troubled mind?
Nancy Blake: Well, there's one point that I want to bring up that he also had one of our employees, he had her pregnant at the same time he had me pregnant, our younger son. And he asked me to give her a baby shower and my maternity clothes. And I said, "My goodness." I said, "She's our employee."
Dr. James Dobson: Let me get this straight now. You were pregnant and he had gotten another woman pregnant.
Nancy Blake: Which I didn't know.
Dr. James Dobson: And he asked you to give her a baby shower. Are you kidding me?
Nancy Blake: I know. And I look back on it and I think you've got to be kidding.
Dr. James Dobson: Did you say that at the time?
Nancy Blake: Well, I said, "Why would I do that?" But I hardly knew her. And when you do something so intimate like that, it's usually for a dear friend. And then my maternity clothes, we were going to these really special things, so a lot of them were specially made and they were beautiful. So my husband said that her boyfriend had gone to another state and he felt sorry for her.
Dr. James Dobson: He didn't admit that he was the father.
Nancy Blake: Oh, no, I didn't know any of that. So my three boys have a half-sister. So I called this gal, in the book, her name is Sandra, and I called her and I said, "Sandra, I was crying. Sandra, how could you have done this? How could you do this?" And she never to my recollection, said she was sorry. And she said, "How can you call me?" And I said, "Well, I'm calling to tell you that I forgive you, but I don't feel like it, but God tells us to forgive, so I'm telling you I'm going to forgive you, and He'll bring the feelings." In so many ways, she says, "I want to know that God." So I had an opportunity to share how she could know the Lord. And she said, "Will you teach me?" And I said, "No." And I don't think I told her, but I never wanted to see her again.
Dr. James Dobson: Yeah. That makes sense.
Nancy Blake: But I pointed her to a good church and she said, "What can I do for you?" And I said, "Raise your little girl to know Jesus."
Dr. James Dobson: You are one of a kind. Do you know that? I have not known very many women like you who've gone through something like this with such compassionate love and tolerance and hurt, deep, deep hurt. Hurt usually brings anger and anger brings hate. You didn't go down that road.
Nancy Blake: No. I was angry and I hated what he had done and I hated what she had done. Thank you for saying that though. That's nice of you.
Dr. James Dobson: Well, let's go to the happy part of your journey. The Lord had another plan.
Nancy Blake: Yes, He did.
Dr. James Dobson: Tell us about it.
Nancy Blake: Okay. So I always wanted to be happily married, and so I went on a dating site and I was on for two or three years and it was awful because when I was dating when I was younger, the men pursued me, but that's not the way it is now. I was the initiator and I had to say, "Oh, I like your profile," or whatever. So I just kept trying and I tried to make it a game. Sometimes it was fun, sometimes it was awful. But I didn't give up until the last month. I just went before the Lord and I said, "I guess this isn't what you have for me and I'm going to give it one more month and then I'm done."
Dr. James Dobson: And you did.
Nancy Blake: And I did. Then I met Joe and this is what happened. Again, I was the initiator and I said, "I like what it said on your profile." And I sent it off. Weeks went by and a few months went by and I didn't hear from him, and I thought, "Well, that takes care of him." So I deleted him and I went on to my next conquest. Meanwhile, he has two daughters and his son. One of his daughters met with him and said, "Dad, there's somebody here who's deleted you." And he said, "She did what?"
Dr. James Dobson: That doesn't happen very often, does it?
Nancy Blake: So he opened it up and he said, "Will you give me another chance? You won't regret it." I got together with him and I found out that he was married 49 years and took care of his wife for 10 years with Parkinson's, and he lifted her in every position and then took her to Europe twice in a wheelchair and took good care of her. I knew he had integrity, somebody that would do this for somebody he loved. When I mentioned to him, "That must have been so hard for you," he said it was a privilege. And I'm so thankful. He's the most wonderful man. And when his wife and he were married, she wouldn't allow him in the kitchen because that was her domain. So as she was getting really ill and couldn't cook anymore, he put the wheelchair up to the center island and she taught him how to cook. And consequently, he just loves to cook.
Dr. James Dobson: He's made a wonderful husband for you, hasn't he?
Nancy Blake: Oh, he's like a wife.
Dr. James Dobson: Is that right?
Nancy Blake: I mean, she taught him how to sew. I lost a button the other day. I said I'd take it to the cleaners, and he said, "No." He said, "I'll sew it back on." I'm going, "What?" Because she taught him all that before she passed away.
Dr. James Dobson: Well, Nancy, that's an absolutely wonderful story. I appreciate so much you coming and sharing it. Like I said at the beginning last time, there are ladies out there whose husbands are secretly into this stuff. Most of them know it and they don't know what to do about it. And you started with prayer. There's also a need at a point like this to get proper counseling, to know what to do. It usually does not help to just threaten and warn and yell and push the guy out and so on. But there is a need to turn loose and let him go. And I talk about that in my book, Love Must Be Tough, and I do hope our listeners will get a copy of that book. I've written 72 books and that's the one that had the most unique understanding of human nature in it.
I've had thousands of letters literally from people who have read this and understood, "I've been trying to hold this guy against his will. Or this woman." It's the same thing on the other side. And the mistakes that are being made will determine largely whether or not the marriage survives. It doesn't always survive. Nothing works with everybody. But if it has a chance, you have to let it breathe. And you suffocate a relationship, then you will probably see the further destruction of the family. You didn't do that because you didn't know to do that. You didn't even know what you were up against. There was an unseen force out here. You knew something was wrong. In the bedroom, you knew it was wrong, and yet you couldn't get a handle on it. Is that correct?
Nancy Blake: I really wasn't worldly, so I didn't know. I thought something was wrong with me.
Dr. James Dobson: That's typical. You took the blame for it.
Nancy Blake: I did. It was so freeing to know that there's nothing wrong with me.
Dr. James Dobson: Yeah. If you'd have been a better wife, if you'd been better in the bedroom, if you had been more loving, more caring. It's never one sided. Any relationship that falls apart has two sides, but there's usually one who wants out and is doing all kinds of wrong things, and another one who is desperate to hold it together.
Nancy Blake: One of the most painful things for me is we had that Bible study that I started in our home when we moved to a new area and we'd been meeting for 15 years every week. So the men, when they found out that he was leaving and divorcing me, met with him for the purposes of restoring him. Well, their hearts were in the right place, but it caused their wives to be unsafe because we were going through a divorce and there was a lot involved. So one of the men told me and left the group. Bob put his head in his hands and cried and said, "What would you do if you live with such a cold woman?"
Dr. James Dobson: They blamed you too?
Nancy Blake: Well, I don't know if they did, but I felt like they all knew and I was full of so much shame.
Dr. James Dobson: Yeah, shame is a killer.
Nancy Blake: When you say speak to that lady out there, and I just want to say that I do want to talk to you out there who's listening that it's not about you. It's about what they see and we can never compare to that, whether it's guilt or whatever, but we couldn't begin to compare about that. So to tell mothers, tell your sons and maybe your daughters too, don't even look at it. Don't even allow that to come into their life because you never get rid of it. And in my situation, this is what happened.
Dr. James Dobson: Well, let me say again to the woman that's listening to us today, don't yield to that guilt trip. If your husband is involved in something of this nature, it is more than likely not your fault. Yes, you can look inside and see something less than perfection. That's human nature. There's not a husband or wife out there at all who can ever be above that. You give that to the Lord, but don't yield to that temptation to turn those guns on yourself. If anything, at this point, you need love. You need somebody to put an arm around you, somebody to care for you, and you need to care for yourself.
Nancy Blake: God tells us in His word to expose the deeds of darkness. So that's what I wanted to do today, and the enemy isn't going to like that. And so I wrote the book and over the years I threw it away twice because it wasn't that it was painful to write, it was just a stinky subject to write about. My friends say, "Oh, you're writing a book. What are you writing about?" And I go, "Pornography." All of a sudden, the subject's changed.
Dr. James Dobson: You're right about one thing. Satan is going to harass you for being here today. You're going to go home and you're go and say, "What did I do that for?" I've exposed myself to the world on the most dark painful aspect of my life. What did I do that for? I'm telling you, the Lord brought you here.
Nancy Blake: I do know that.
Dr. James Dobson: And He brought you here on behalf of so many people who are suffering at the point that you did, and the beautiful part of your story is you landed on your feet. You have a husband who loves you, who cares for you. You have children whose lives have not been destroyed by this amazingly. That's prayer, that they grew up normally and they even love their father.
Nancy Blake: Oh, of course. And they held onto the rock. They knew the Lord. They didn't wait until the storm came. And we have to know the Lord, not just know about Him, but we need to know Him.
Dr. James Dobson: Shirley and I are reading the Book of Exodus. It says that the people were crying out under the oppression of slavery in Egypt, and it says, "The Lord heard their cry and was concerned."
Nancy Blake: He cares about us. He loves us.
Dr. James Dobson: He heard your cry.
Nancy Blake: And He cares about anybody who's out there listening and thinking you're all alone. Well, you're not alone. Sometimes you might not feel like it, but He never leaves you and He's always with you.
Dr. James Dobson: Let me talk to the men out there who saw themselves in this discussion. Maybe they heard it and they said, "Oh no, they're going to talk about something too close to home." Let me say, I don't care how old you are or what you've done wrong, God is a forgiving, loving God, and you get on your face before Him and you cry out to Him and you repent and you ask for forgiveness, and you ask Him what to do next. You talk to those you have wounded and hurt, whether your children or your spouse or your mother or father, whoever it is that you've hurt and done wrong to, you get forgiveness. It is not too late to straighten up your life.
As for how you deal with the relationships you've got in your new world, I certainly can't offer generalities about that, but I can tell you there's a path to forgiveness and I'm asking our listeners to pray for the Bobs of the world. Not only for the Nancys of the world, to pray for the Bobs of the world because there is freedom and joy at the end of the line, and you have found it. I thank you for being here. Get a copy of this book, read it, and if you have reason to need it or anybody you know needs it for $10, you can get this story or you can get a CD of these two broadcasts from us. Blessings, Nancy.
Nancy Blake: Thank you.
Dr. James Dobson: On behalf of Shirley, we put an arm around you and thank you for the woman you are, Nancy.
Nancy Blake: Thank you very much.
Dr. James Dobson: Okay.
Roger Marsh: Well, what an inspiring story from Nancy Blake here on Family Talk. We never do know what someone else is dealing with behind closed doors. It's my personal prayer and for all of us here at the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, we pray that every married couple who's going through a problem right now could lean into the Lord for strength and wisdom in their marriages. By the way, we just heard the conclusion of a two-part conversation featuring Nancy Blake and Dr. James Dobson here on Family Talk. If you found value in today's program and you want to share both parts one and two with a friend or someone you know who needs to hear this message, visit our website at drjamesdobson.org/familytalk. Remember, you can also easily share this program from the Official Family Talk JDFI app. It's courtesy of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute, easy to download from your app store today. You can create your own account and customize the content you receive. You'll also have access to thousands of archived episodes of Family Talk at the same time.
Now for the month of June, before, during, and after Father's Day, we want to celebrate and encourage the guys. That's why we have created the "Straight Talk To Men" 10 Day Email Series. It certainly will put a spring back in your spiritual step for sure. Simply visit drjamesdobson.org/straighttalk and you'll begin receiving these emails every day for 10 days in a row, filled with encouragement and practical tips that are rooted in Scripture. Again, that's drjamesdobson.org/straighttalk. Go there and join us today. You will be glad you did.
Well, I'm Roger Marsh. You've been listening to Family Talk. It's Friday and the weekend is here. Hope you get a chance to spend some quality time with your family. Have a great weekend, and be sure to tune in again Monday for another edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.
Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.
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