I’m reading “Why I Stayed” by Gayle Haggard, wife of disgraced minister Ted Haggard. I find it remarkable that the family stayed bonded – in fact bonded more deeply – during their ordeal.
Here’s one observation among many: Gayle Haggard writes that Ted was honest, but not graphic when speaking with the children about his indiscretions. The children needed to know what he had done, but they didn’t need to know in depth.
That is saying what you mean without being mean when you say it. A PowerPhrase is as strong (read here: “graphic”) as it needs to be, and no stronger.
The communication had a surprising effect. Their children were relieved to discover that their father wasn’t perfect.
It’s a powerful read. Falling off the pedestal meant falling in to life. Where there is crisis, there is opportunity, and Gayle Haggard committed to using the experience to deepen their relationship. I never imagined I would resonate with her writings as I do. There are plenty of questions raised but not answered, and I wonder what might have been excluded to paint them in a better light than they might deserve. However, I can say the way Gayle turns the crisis into a bonding opportunity is as close to The SpeakStrong Method as I’ve ever seen.