FamilyLife Today®

Brian’s Story

with Barbara Rainey, Dennis Rainey | January 28, 2008
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If there was a way to switch places with your spouse for one day - to feel what they feel, to see the world the way they do, would you do it? Today on the broadcast, find out what happened when one couple did this.

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  • If there was a way to switch places with your spouse for one day - to feel what they feel, to see the world the way they do, would you do it? Today on the broadcast, find out what happened when one couple did this.

If there was a way to switch places with your spouse for one day – to feel what they feel, to see the world the way they do, would you do it?

Brian’s Story

With Barbara Rainey, Dennis Raine...more
January 28, 2008
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Bob: We all know men and women are different – we're different when it comes to movies …

[sounds of an action movie]

[sounds of a romance movie]

Bob: We're different when it comes to music.

[romantic song]

[hard rock music]

Bob: And when it comes to romance, we are different.  This is FamilyLife Today for Monday, January 28th.  Our host is the president of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine.  We'll see what we can do to probe some of those differences on today's program.  Stay with us.

 And welcome to FamilyLife Today, thanks for joining us on the Monday edition.  You know, I've always been scared when people talk about guys getting in touch with their feminine side, you know what I mean?  It always just kind of, you know?

Dennis: Right.

Bob: But then if somebody told me, "You know what?  If you could just understand how a woman views romance" …

Dennis: You think that would change it all?

Bob: It might improve your romantic relationship with your wife.  I might be willing to get in touch with my feminine side for that.  You know what I'm saying?

Dennis: So what extreme would you go to or what length would you go to to better understand Mary Ann's bent when it comes to romance?

Bob: I know why you're asking this question because I've read your book, okay?  What length would I go to – at the very beginning of the new book that you and Barbara have written called "Rekindling the Romance," you have a story about a guy who was willing to go to some extreme measures to understand romance from his wife's viewpoint, right?

Dennis: Well we wrote a little story, a short novel, and so it's so short that we call it a novella.  Ah, there you go.

 It's a story about a couple by the name of Brian and Angela, and what it does is it gives you a chance to peer into a marriage relationship but with a fascinating twist, a curious twist, a mysterious twist.  In fact, so strange and so mysterious I dare not tell you on the front end because it will spoil the story.  It's really cute.

Bob: And instead of you telling the story today, we thought we would get Brian and Angela themselves to tell the story of what happened the day they began to see romance from each other's perspective.

Dennis: Brian has got a little bit of an accent.  I think he must have grown up in the Bronx.

Bob: You talkin' ta me?

Dennis: That's a Philly accent.

Brian: Guys, do you understand women?  I mean, really understand them?  Oh, yeah, I know you say you do, but let me tell you a story.  It's a story about a man named Brian, a dope who was married to the most wonderful woman in the world who almost lost it all because he was too dumb to figure out that he and his bride were different.

 Okay, okay, guys, I understand, you're in a hurry, so I'll make it a short story, like, single-syllable words and a quick cut to the chase.  Here's the deal – I'm Brian Taylor; my wife's Angela.

Angela: Hi, there.  And I've got to tell you, since we finished our counseling with Dr. Marshall, Brian is, like, the greatest husband.

Brian: Hah!  I know, I know, everything is great now, but six months ago, after months of counseling and butting our heads against the wall, we gotta tell ya …

Angela: … it was a different story.

[door opens and closes]

Dr. Marshall: Hi, Brian.  Hi, Angela.  Good to see you again.

Brian: How ya doin', doc?

Angela: Hello, Dr. Marshall.

Dr. Marshall: Thanks for coming in.  So how are things going since our last visit?

Angela: Fine.

Brian: Fine.

Dr. Marshall: So what's been going on?

Brian: Nothing's been going on.

Angela: Oh, Brian.

Dr. Marshall: Well, Brian, why don't you talk about that?  How are you feeling about that?

[no response]


Brian: Huh?

Dr. Marshall: Can you talk about it?

Brian: What?

Dr. Marshall: About how you feel?

Brian: Well, you know, I wish she'd, like, you know …

Angela: … no, I don't know.

Brian: Well, you know …

Dr. Marshall: Brian, why don't you be more direct here?  I think Angela is ready for that.

Brian: Okay [clears throat] – I want to have more sex with you.

Angela: That's it?

Brian: Yeah, that's it.

Angela: Brian, you make it sound like a washing machine service contract or something.

Brian: Well, good grief, Angela, we've got to do something different.  I mean, we weren't always like this.  I mean, don't you remember?

Angela: What?

Brian: When we got married – our bedroom – it sizzled.

Angela: I don't know what happened.

Brian: Well, you sort of developed this aversion to all things sexual.

Angela: What?

Brian: Like the other night.

Angela: When?

Brian: Yeah, I guess it has been about three-and-a-half weeks.

[Song:  "I Only Have Eyes For You"]


Brian: So, Angie, ya tired?

Angela: Oh, yeah, Brian, I am beat.

Brian: So let's just relax and maybe we could, you know …

Angela: … oh, thanks, Bri.

Brian: I'll rub your neck, and maybe we can …

Angela: … oh, yeah, oh, hmm, oh – could you cut the grass tomorrow, honey?

Brian: Huh?

Angela: Mm, thanks, that felt great.  'Night, hon.  We'll see you in the morning – oh, don't forget the grass, okay?

Brian: Yeah, okay.  Goodnight, goodnight, goodnight [echoes].

[Back to present time]

Brian: So you see, Doc, I mean, why is it so hard for Angela to understand that sex is important to me?

Dr. Marshall: Well, Brian …

Angela: No, wait a second, Dr. Marshall, that's not a typical example.  Because, you see, Brian is like a heat-seeking missile when it comes to sex.

Brian: Well, that's good, right?

Angela: Oh!  And, anyway, he just won't take no for an answer, and his heat sensor is always on.

Brian: What's wrong with that?  I mean, it's not like I'm out chasing other skirts and stuff.

Angela: Skirts?  What's that supposed to mean?

Brian: You know – skirts.

Angela: Oh, you mean you're flirting with your cutesy little colleagues at the office?

Brian: No, I mean, I'm choosing not to lock my heat-seeking missile onto a new target zone.

Angela: Oh!  You're impossible.

Brian: Impossible?  I'm impossible, but I'm faithful.  I work hard.  I don't cheat on you, and I'm impossible because I want to have sex on at least a semiannual basis?

Angela: Brian?

Brian: Yeah?

Angela: Do you want a tip from a woman?

Brian: Yeah, I'll take a tip.

Angela: Try talking to me first for a change.

Brian: Oh, let's kick that one around.

Dr. Marshall: Look, I'm not sure this is getting us anywhere.  We may have to do something radical.

Brian: Hey, I'm open to whatever.

Angela: What do you mean by radical?

Dr. Marshall: Well, let me ask you again – are you willing to do whatever it takes to make this relationship work?

Brian: I am, absolutely, as long as it's moral – and, even then, you know, I'm open to negotiation.

Dr. Marshall: Angela?

[no response]


Angela: Hm?

Dr. Marshall: Let me ask you this one more time – are you willing to do whatever it takes to make this relationship work?

Angela: I – well …

Dr. Marshall: Are you willing to do whatever it takes, whatever it takes, whatever it takes …

[dream sequence]

Brian: For the first time in my life I had to think the unthinkable.  Was there someone else?

[Sad song]

 Maybe some guy she met at work.  Was that it?  Or maybe some guy who just paid her enough attention to catch her heart.  Oh, how could I be so stupid?

[Sad song]

 For the first time, I really felt what it might mean to lose her, and it hurt.

[Sad song]

Dr. Marshall: Angela?  Angela?  Are you willing to do whatever it takes to make this relationship work?

Angela: Yes.

Dr. Marshall: Good.  Now, I think you guys are going to find this helpful.  Let's see, let me get this right here.

Brian: Aw, gee, Doc, thanks for the drinks.

Dr. Marshall: Oh, not so fast, Brian.  You might want to know the ground rules before you take a drink of that. 

Brian: Huh?

Dr. Marshall: There's more in that little vial than meets the eye.

Brian: Oh, what is it?

Dr. Marshall: Well, just listen.  Now, this might surprise you, but your marital difficulty is really not that different than what I find in a lot of the couples who come to me for help.

Angela: Really?

Dr. Marshall: Yeah, look, you both recognize that things aren't what they should be, right?

Angela: Right.

Brian: Right.

Dr. Marshall: And you both want to make this work, you said so yourselves a minute ago, right?

Angela: Right.

Brian: Right.

Dr. Marshall: Now, tell me if I'm wrong, Angela, but I hear you saying that you wish Brian were more romantic, more attentive, more communicative, and more responsive to your needs, and you'd like him to be more of a spiritual leader. Is that a fair summary?

Angela: Yes, yes, that is it in a nutshell.

Dr. Marshall: Then it's clear that both of you feel like you've reached an impasse, right?

Angela: Right.

Brian: Yeah.

Dr. Marshall: Look, I know this might sound far-fetched, but hear me out.  Those vials I just put in front of you contain an experimental drug called Retrosamax.  It's designed to temporarily change what we call your "emotional set."

Brian: Oh, come on, really?

Angela: Experimental?

Dr. Marshall: Now, there's nothing to worry about.  It's simple.  Just drink that liquid and, Brian, you'll experience life through the emotional set of your wife.  Angela, do the same, and you'll see and feel life the way your husband experiences it.

Brian: You mean she'll think and feel exactly the way a man feels?

Dr. Marshall: Yes.

Brian: Like – everything?

Dr. Marshall: Yes, everything, and after one week, you both come back here, and I'll administer another drug called Retaxo – that's Phase 2 of the treatment.

Angela: Phase 2?

Dr. Marshall: In Phase 2 the Retaxo simply reverts you back to your regular emotional set.

Angela: You're actually serious?

Dr. Marshall: Totally.  So what do you think?

Brian: Hey, I'm game.  I mean, you know, if she wants to.

Angela: Whoa, whoa, wait a minute.  I'm not sure I want to experiment with my emotional set.

Brian: Oh, come on, babe, it's only a week.

Angela: I don't know, it just sounds a little scary.

Brian: Sweetie, how many times have you said to me …

Brian: [aside] For a split second I felt like Adam and Eve in the Garden only in reverse.  You know, taking the forbidden fruit and giving it to your mate.  But that's when a crazy thought surfaced.  This was too good to be true.  See, if Angela has my emotional set, then she'll want to have sex every day.  Haha! – game, set, and match.

Brian: Doc, thanks a lot.  I mean, really, really thanks.  I feel like maybe today was a breakthrough, you know?

Dr. Marshall: Great – Brian, that's great.  And, by the way, here's an envelope with some emergency instructions.  I suggest you don't open it unless you're seriously struggling with the changes during the week.

Brian: So, are we going to get together again?

Brian: [aside] We were saying goodbye to John in the reception area when I saw a little boy staring at John's aquarium fish tank.  His dad, meanwhile, was conducting business on a cell phone.  Every time the kid wanted to point out a fish, his dad waved him off.

Dad: I can't talk right now.  I'm synergizing on the phone.  So, anyway, Charlie, so I told him, I said, look …

Little Boy: Oh, Daddy.

Brian: Hey, little guy, whatcha lookin' at?

Little Boy: It's an Angelfish.  Was it named after angels?

Brian: I don't know.  You want to call him Gabriel?

Little Boy: But what if it's a girl fish?

Brian: [aside] I found myself empathizing with that little guy.  I wanted to come alongside of him and get down on his level and share in his wonderment about the Angelfish.  But my angel, well …

Angela: Brian, it is now 4:57.  In three minutes every office in Pittsburgh is going to spew cars onto the 279.  We've got to go – now.

Brian: Okay, okay, touchy, touchy.

[Angela and Brian are riding in the car]

Angela: Rush hour – I hate rush hour.

Brian: Want to talk about it? 

 [Brian thinks – "That's weird."].  I guess not. [Thinks – "For once she's ticked because we didn't get the jump on traffic?  Why won't she talk about it?  I wonder what she's thinking?  What is she looking at?  She's checking out Mr. Buff UPS Driver."]

 Babe?  Is something wrong?

Angela: No, why do you ask?

Brian: Because you gasped.

Angela: I did not.

Brian: Yes, you did – just a second ago.

Angela: That's ridiculous.  I did not gasp.

Brian: You coulda fooled me. 

 [Brian thinks – "She was checking him out."] 

 So – what were you looking at?

Angela: I have a – I thought you were going to bump that car.

Brian: Right, the one 20 feet in front of us?

Angela: Yeah.

Brian: Babe, we weren't moving.

Angela: Oh, really?

Brian: Yeah, really.  Mr. Speedometer here says zero.

Angela: Well, maybe that stuff John gave us was playing tricks on my mind.

Brian: Angela, I think maybe Mr. Buff UPS Man is what's playing tricks on your mind.

Angela: Brian, that's totally stupid.  I was not lusting after that – that man.

Brian: [Brian thinks – "Who said anything about lust?"]

 [aside] Twenty minutes later we pull into the driveway.  The more I thought about it, the more hacked I got with Angela.  I marched for the door and head to the kitchen.

Angela: Oh, what's for dinner?  You, I hope, big boy.

Brian: Angela, in your dreams.

Angela: Why not?

Brian: The kids will be here any minute, and I'm in the middle of making dinner, in case you've missed the obvious.

Angela: Come on, Brian, how about a little appetizer?

Brian: Cut it out, I'm busy.

Angela: Or we could always skip ahead to the main course.

Brian: How can you expect me to have sex with you when you are so obnoxious and selfish?

Angela: What?  When?

Brian: Like right now.

Angela: What are you talking about?

Brian: Here, you need to cool down, babe.

Angela: Huh?

Brian: I don't know who put the tiger in your tank, babe, but look around.  The laundry is piling up, the house is a mess, plus I've got to cook dinner and set the table before the kids come.  Do you get it?

Angela: No, I don't get it.  What's your problem?  It's pizza night.

Brian: My problem?  If you don't know, I'm not about to tell you.

Angela: All right.

Brian: You know what?  You really take the cake.  First you rushed me when I tried to talk to a lonely little boy in the counselor's office.  Then you totally ignored talking to me the whole way home.  On top of that, you were drooling over that guy in the UPS truck.

Angela: I was not.

Brian: Was so – and now you want my body?

Angela: I cannot believe – would you …

Brian: Ah!  Saved by the bell.

 [aside] You know, for years, I could have sex at the drop of a hat, but something had changed inside of me.  I wished I could call a buddy to talk about it, but what am I going to do, say, "Hey, Tom, last night Angela chased me around the kitchen, and I had to fight her off just to get dinner ready."  Right, like, that will play in Pittsburgh.  So, anyway, when bedtime rolled around, me and Angela were really on two different wavelengths, if you get my meaning.

[Song:  "I Only Have Eyes For You"]

Angela: Brian?

Brian: [Yawning] Huh?

Angela: I want you.

Brian: That's nice, honey, I want you, too.

Angela: No, Bri, I mean, I want you – you know, now.

Brian: Look, Ange, I'm beat.  Maybe tomorrow, you know, after I get the grass cut.  Angela!  I said tomorrow.

Angela: Well, it's after midnight, so it's already tomorrow.  So what are we waiting for [giggles]?

Brian: Cut it out.  Would you stop?

 [aside] Angie finally gave up and fell asleep.  I, on the other hand, was lying there fuming.  As I lay there in the dark beside my snoring wife, something drifted into my mind.  What was it that Dr. Marshall had said?

Dr. Marshall: I suggest you don't open it unless you're seriously struggling with the changes during the week.

Brian: Open what?  Oh, yeah, that envelope he gave us. Where is it?  Here it is.  "Now you know."  That's it?  That's your great advice?

 [aside] John had typed three words – "Now you know."  Was he kidding?  My emotions felt as if they had spent the night in a blender, and this is supposed to help?  I read it again – "Now you know."  Now I know what?  That I felt betrayed by her ogling Mr. Buff UPS Man?  That I resented my wife's thoughtless sexual advances?  Or that I wish Angela would try to connect with me emotionally or offer a little help around here?  Now you know – what kind of a prank was he pulling?  The nerve!  I was so confused.  Then – like a bolt of lightning it hit me!  This was what it must be like to be Angela – not once in a while but every day.  What a dope!  She needs me to talk to her, to value her, to tune into her world.  Now I know.  I know how selfish I've become.  We really are wired differently. 

 This sounds simple, right?  Well, it was after I walked a mile in her shoes.  The only question left was – now what?  I climbed back into bed, careful not to wake up my wife, and kissed her on the forehead, said a little prayer, thanked God for her.  I wondered what she might be dreaming about right now.

[end of story]

Bob: [chuckling] Well, there you have it – the story of Brian and Angela from Brian's vantage point, and I should mention to our listeners – next week we're going to hear the same story …

Dennis: Yeah, if the ladies laughed too hard on this, be careful, because next week we're going to see what happens to Angela when she has an encounter with what it's like to be a guy.

Bob: Well, and I ought to mention here that this is really what's at the heart of the book that you and your wife Barbara wrote called "Rekindling the Romance."   You look at the fact that men and women view this subject of romance very differently, and unless we can understand how we see it differently, we're probably going to have some challenges in our romantic relationship.

 We've got copies of your book in our FamilyLife Resource Center.  This is a great book for couples to read together.  This is one of those books that you ready your portion, and your spouse reads his or her portion, and you highlight.  And then you say, "Here, read this," and you just pass the book back and forth and read the highlighted parts and come to some understanding about your differences when it comes to romance in your marriage.

 You can go to our website,, and click on the red "Go" button you see in the middle of the screen.  That will take you to an area of the site where there is more information about the book, "Rekindling the Romance."  You'll also find that we have a brand-new Simply Romantic Nights collection.  This is volume II, and lots of new, fresh, creative ways to express your love for one another as husband and wife.  It's romance in a box for husbands and wives, the brand-new Simply Romantic Nights License for Creative Intimacy.

 That, together with the book Rekindling the Romance, all the details about those resources are on our website at  Click the red "Go" button that you see in the middle of the screen, and that will take you to the area of the site where there is more information about these resources, and you can order online, if you'd like, or call 1-800-FLTODAY, 1-800-358-6329, and someone on our team will make arrangements to have the resources sent out to you.

 Now, tomorrow Barbara Rainey is going to join us, and we're going to begin to explore how women view romance differently than their husbands, and I hope you can be here for that.

Bob: I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team.  On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine, we'll see you back tomorrow for another edition of FamilyLife Today.

 FamilyLife Today is a production of FamilyLife of Little Rock, Arkansas, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ.


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