Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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I Can't Live Like This Any More

Leslie Basham: Bill Rose had a great idea for a restaurant. He used his connections in professional baseball to fill his restaurant with celebrities.

Bill Rose: So we had limos lined around the block and cabs lined around the block. It was a trip because the athletes attracted great-looking women, and there were drugs all over the restaurant, and I succumbed to both. I would be staying up until 4 or 5 in the morning, going to an after-hours place afterward with some people, and sometimes getting home at 5, 6, 7 in the morning.

Leslie: Bill's wife, Vicki, was having a very different experience.

Vicki Rose: Here I am home with two children, completely by myself. I was so lonely. I had started to run through my mind over and over and over: How am I going to live in this marriage? How is this possibly going to work? I mean, I was obsessively thinking about: But if I asked him to leave, how would I raise children by myself? How will I afford to raise them? Will I raise them without a father? They need him, and I loved him, but the guy that I loved was kind of not there anymore.

Leslie: This is the Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Adorned, for Tuesday, March 5, 2019.

Yesterday we heard part of a conversation between Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth and Bill and Vicki Rose. We heard how Vicki grew up trying to fill a sense of emptiness. She filled it with success in business, being active in New York City's social life, with nice clothes, and money. And she tried to fill that emptiness by getting married to Bill Rose, who had part ownership in the New York Yankees.

If you missed part one of the story, you can hear it at ReviveOurHearts.com, and you can also see a ten-minute documentary our team made with Bill and Vicki.

When we left off yesterday, this couple had just gotten married.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: So when did the sense kick in for either of you that the expectations you had going into marriage . . . and, Vicki, I know you'd had a lot of expectations.

Vickie: Right.

Nancy: When did you start to realize this isn't all you'd hoped?

Vicki: That's such a good question. I don't think I thought of it that way, Nancy. I was still in the, "I'll do whatever it takes to make it okay. I'll swallow . . . I won't . . . I'll put aside my desires, and I'll just keep trying to make it okay. Maybe something's wrong with me that it's not okay.

Nancy: And what was not okay? What were you feeling that was not okay?

Vicki: There was an emptiness. We didn't communicate at all. We were like two people doing our own thing.

When I married Billy, he was working for his dad in the textile business. I was working in retail at Saks Fifth Avenue, and I thought, Here I'm marrying a guy who's doing something similar to what I'm doing. I came to realize that he just did that. That was not his passion. It wasn't what he loved to do. And I really loved what I was doing.

So I don't think I could have put into words then that "This isn't right." It's just that I was unhappy, and I sort of realized that my unhappiness had not just to do with the circumstances, but to do with things that I needed to deal with for myself.

My mom dying . . . I had never grieved. We had just gone on with life as usual. And what long-term relationship had I ever had? None. So I had no idea how to be a wife. I didn't know who to ask how to be a wife. I didn't have any examples before me.

Nancy: And you saw these occasional bursts of anger . . . was that your tipoff that there were issues?

Bill: I did, and I guess I didn't get it. I think my thought process was, I am providing you with a great roof over your head, and these events and dinners and . . .

Vicki: Great baseball tickets.

Bill: Yes, great baseball seats. We were in the owner's box. So I didn't get what was going on at all. I'll never forget, she walked in, I think it was a Sunday, and I had some friends over. We were watching some game, and she hit the roof about something. I'm thinking to myself, This is just not what a marriage is about. I can't have her embarrassing me in front of my friends. That's when I started to think, This is just not going to work.

Vicki: I remember coming in and seeing Billy watching TV with a group of friends. I was thinking, I have no part in this. I was feeling so apart from Billy and that we didn't have a relationship that we shared our hearts and shared our desires. I just remember being overwhelmed and upset by that, and my response, rather than saying, "All right, this is how I feel," was to blow up.

But I also remember that at that time, Nancy, I had no gratitude for anything. Nothing was ever enough. Nothing. I thought Billy would make me happy. I thought all these fancy things we did—baseball games and owner's boxes and gifts he would buy me—I thought they would make me happy. And it wasn't working.

I think I was afraid. It was like, What's wrong with me? Why am I not happy? Why is nothing ever enough? Why don't we have more, and then I'll be happy?"

Nancy: Did you think that children would make you happy?

Vicki: That was definitely the next progression. We were married almost five years before Douglas was born, just before I turned thirty. He was born in 1982, and I thought, Well, none of this other stuff is working, so maybe . . . Then I started to desire to have a child, which is, by thirty, a natural, married, female desire.

And then, of course, he was born, and I didn't have a great example of mothering. I didn't really know how to mother. He was a colicky baby. He didn't sit still. He was just constantly active, very busy, and I thought I wasn't a good mom. I didn't know how to quiet him or get him to sleep. Billy grew up in a family thinking, Well, child care is all the mom's responsibility. So I felt even more alone at that point.

Bill: Don't forget, my dad got married for the first time when he was fifty-five. Growing up, I saw my dad as the guy that goes to work, makes the money. It was my mom that dealt with all the household stuff and the rearing of me. So I expected that from Vicki.

Nancy: And Vicki hadn't come into the marriage thinking that was going to be her job.

Vicki: Right. I had come into the marriage thinking that Billy was going to make everything okay in my life. We came in, both of us very much thinking the other one was going to take care of our needs.

Bill: And see, I thought I was taking care of her needs because I was providing. I thought sometimes the way to get her off my back about stuff was to throw some money at her and say, "Sweetheart, here, go buy yourself this, go buy yourself that." And it usually worked, by the way.

Vicki: It did.

Bill: It worked for a certain amount of time, and then it would wear off, and we'd be back to the same spot again.

Vicki: We started going to counseling back then, which helped somewhat, but really, until Christ was at the center of our lives, which came later, we didn't have a foundation that we could share, that was square one. We had no square one to say, "Well, this is the way that it needs to be done."

Nancy: I'm thinking how kind the Lord was to put you both in a place where life as it was was not satisfying. Because if what we have here was totally satisfying, then would we ever really get desperate for what only the Lord can bring to our lives?

Vicki: That's so true. I remember back then, Nancy, thinking, If we just had . . . Because when the children were born, we were living in a small apartment in New York City. I thought, If we just had a bigger apartment that I could decorate beautifully, then I'd be happy.

I am so thankful that none of those things happened because, maybe for a while they would have made me happy, but . . .

Nancy: For a while.

Vicki: I just kept thinking, If only we had . . .

Bill: And I was happy with the small apartment because it allowed me to do a lot of other things that I couldn't have done if I'd spent a lot of money on an apartment and let my wife go wild decorating. So the trips to Europe, the trips to Palm Springs, whatever we did, we wouldn't have been able to do. We'd have had a nice apartment, but not been able to do the things that I liked to do. Therefore, we stayed in that apartment.

Vicki: Just to comment on what you had said, that is so true. I'm so grateful, and this is where God is so merciful, that God knows what we need and what we don't need. He was creating such a need in me, in us, in everyone, for Him. 

Nancy: He makes us realize how empty we are apart from Him. That stuff really doesn't satisfy—relationships, marriage, children . . . none of it, apart from Christ, can ever really deeply satisfy.

Vicki: Right. As we eventually separated, and then as I came to know the Lord, I started to all of a sudden be so grateful for the roof over my head and the building we lived in and the doorman that protected. I was just really so saddened by my previous desire for so much and not realizing how much I really already had and how blessed, how incredibly blessed my life was.

I had two healthy children. The children and I had just had so much fun together. They were, they still are, great kids. Coming to know Christ just changed everything.

Nancy: And I want to back up because you just covered a lot of ground there.

Vicki: I know.

Nancy: Somewhere in that journey, Bill, you left the textile business.

Bill: In 1984 our daughter Courtney was born. It was also in 1984 that I did leave my dad's business, and I opened a restaurant that I built from scratch. It was called The Sporting Club, and it was in New York City.

It was about ten blocks north of where the World Trade Centers were. The day my daughter was born (she's never let me forget this), we had Ricky Henderson's press conference. Ricky Henderson had just been signed by the Yankees, and it was a huge deal. And the press conference was going to be at The Sporting Club, which was a big deal for me.

So fortunately, Courtney was born early enough in the morning that I was able to see her, hold her, tell her I love her, and then shoot down to the restaurant to be there for the press conference. I mean, George was there, and it was a ton of press, and Henderson, of course.

Vicki: The restaurant had only been open two months, so to have this kind of event happen was huge for Billy and for the business.

Nancy: But that restaurant also became really consuming of your life.

Bill: It did. It was pretty large. It was 6,000 square feet, and I created an atmosphere of, "If you don't come to The Sporting Club, which athlete will you miss seeing?" So we had limos lined around the block and cabs lined around the block. It was a trip because the athletes attracted great-looking women, and there were drugs all over the restaurant, and I succumbed to both.

Then I would be staying up until 4 or 5 in the morning, going to an after-hours place afterwards with some people, and sometimes getting home at, I don't know, 5, 6, 7 in the morning.

This was in '84, and in 1986 we separated.

Nancy: So, Vicki, you knew this was going on, this lifestyle?

Vicki: I didn't know all of it. I knew that Billy was coming home from the restaurant at 4, 5, 6, whatever time in the morning. I was home with a baby and a toddler. Billy would come home, and I would just be getting up because the kids would be getting up at that hour of the morning. We had no life together whatsoever.

Billy was completely dealing with the restaurant, and I was completely home alone with the kids.

Nancy: So when you were together, what was the temperature?

Vicki: Oh, we were barely together. I mean, the restaurant was open . . .

Bill: About the same as it is outside right now.

Nancy: Pretty frosty?

Bill: It's frigid.

Vicki: Yes, it was not good.

Nancy: So was there a lot of anger, arguing, that kind of stuff expressed? Or just a chill between you?

Vicki: I'd go to Billy and say, "This isn't working."

He just did not want to hear that, and he would say, "I have to be doing this. This is what I have to do. This is our livelihood."

And I'd think, He's right. I understand that, but here I am home with two children, completely by myself. I was so lonely, and I had started to run through my mind over and over and over, How am I going to live in this marriage? How is this possibly going to work? I mean, I was obsessively thinking about, But if I asked him to leave, how would I raise children by myself? How will I afford to raise them? Will I raise them without a father? They need him, and I loved him, but the guy that I loved was kind of not there anymore.

Nancy: Were you really checked out of the marriage?

Bill: Totally. I really was. I had really started to do a lot of drugs back then. I started to really get addicted to cocaine, and there were days and nights I was doing up to 4 grams of coke a day, which probably should have killed me between that and the amount of Vodka I was drinking to counteract the drugs, to try to stay even. I'm not sure how I even ran the restaurant, but I did. I was what you would call "a functioning addict" back then.

Nancy: And other women were part of the scene too?

Bill: Oh, yes. Absolutely. And so I guess, you called me at the restaurant?

Vicki: I would call. "When are you coming home? When are you coming home? I need you at home." I remember both of the children had chickenpox at the same time. I was home by myself with the kids and just wanting his support, his being there, his something. And Billy just wasn't there.

Bill: Didn't you call me to tell me you wanted a divorce on the phone when I was at the restaurant?

Vicki: No. I came down.

Bill: You came down to the restaurant.

Vicki: I remember finally getting to the place where I just couldn't go on any more. I didn't know anything about addiction. I thought Billy was doing this because I wasn't a good enough wife. I'd just had babies. It was over . . . all these things. I just didn't know about addiction. I didn't know anything that I've learned a lot about since. I just figured it had something to do with me, but I came to the place where I couldn't live like that anymore.

And actually, a month before we separated, Billy had said, "Let's go on vacation. I'm going to try to stop doing cocaine." We went down to Hilton Head, and Billy would be in the room all day. I remember sitting on the beach on the row of chairs. I had just bought a Walkman, and I bought a classical tape, and I was sitting by myself at the edge of the ocean and just crying.

There were all these families all around me. They were playing Frisbee with their kids, and they were laughing and smiling, and I just sat there with tears rolling down my face. And I said, "Lord," and I didn't even know the Lord. I just prayed, "God, there just has to be more to life than this. This just can't be what it's about." That was in May of 1986.

Nancy: So you wanted to stop, at least at that point.

Bill: I did, but it was impossible. I couldn't do it.

Nancy: And, Vicki, you had stopped.

Vicki: I had stopped before the kids were born, before I was pregnant.

Nancy: You just made the decision to stop and you did?

Vicki: I did because I realized I was addicted. Back in high school I was addicted to diet pills. My mom had a big issue about my weight, had weighed me in on mornings, and so, unknowingly, I had asked a dermatologist if he could prescribe diet pills for me, thinking that would be a way to lose weight. I had no idea they were addictive.

Bill: Yes, but I've got to say, because you can't see my wife. She's five foot and weighs about 102 lbs. If she got to 105, we're talking about weight issues. I mean, it was ridiculous.

Vicki: Well, my mom thought, anyway, I had been, in high school, addicted to diet pills. I got very sick in college, finally, from them, and stopped. So I didn't want anything to do with drugs because I knew that would happen to me. But then when Billy and I got back together after our short separation, I started doing cocaine with him, and that's when we were partying, Studio 54, and all these celebrities. We'd be out until four in the morning, and I'd barely roll in to work the next day, and I started losing weight.

One day I realized I was in big trouble. I asked the store to send me on a trip to see my departments in Florida (there were three or four stores there), so they did. They sent me for five days, and I thought: If I could just get away from Billy and the drugs that were so available at home.

I spent five days in Florida, didn't touch drugs, and started eating again, and came home, and that was really the last time.

Nancy: That was before you had the children.

Vicki: Before we had the children, yes.

Nancy: Now fast forward. Bill's trying to get off drugs. Was it hard for you to understand why he couldn't just stop?

Vicki: Yes, absolutely, because I had made a decision and stopped. I thought, Well, if he loved me enough, he would stop. He would see what's happening here. If he loved the children . . . I mean, I just thought with anything he would stop.

Nancy: So you tried.

Bill: Well, it just couldn't happen. I just needed the drugs to make me feel normal. I'd wake up in the middle of the night and start to feel withdrawals and would have to do a hit in the middle of the night just to go back to sleep, just to get me back to where I was calm and felt normal and could go back to sleep again.

So it was out of control, and when Vicki came down to the restaurant and said she wanted a divorce . . .

Vicki: Actually, I went down to the restaurant and said, "I want to separate." And what I said was, "I love you so much, but I can't go on living like this. So when you can get your life back together, I love you, and I'm waiting."

Nancy: And so what you heard, Bill, was, the marriage is over.

Bill: I don't understand that. I heard the marriage is over, and when she walked out of the restaurant, I remember telling the bartender, "Well, my wife wants a divorce, so I guess I'm free." And there was actually a big sense of relief at that time because now I could do whatever I wanted and didn't have to hide anything, and it was probably the best thing. That's how I felt.

Nancy: And, Vicki, you're scared to death? Or, what are you thinking?

Vicki: I was very scared, but I knew I just couldn't go on anymore. It was a charade. Our marriage was nonexistent.

Nancy: We need to cut into this story at a very dark place, but hope is coming, I promise. Tomorrow we'll hear how God began to transform Bill and Vicki Rose. Sadly, there are many couples who can relate to Bill and Vicki's mess and their pain. But not everyone has discovered the same hope that they have found.  

That’s one of the reasons for this daily program—to help women like Vicki find freedom, fullness, and fruitfulness in Christ. But we can’t continue providing the podcast without encouragement from listeners like you who give financially to underwrite Revive Our Hearts. There’s a special group of listeners who provide a significant amount of that support.

Those who belong to our Monthly Partner Team give at least $30 a month a help Revive Our Hearts reach out to women like Vicki. That partner team also prays for us, and they share about this ministry with others.

Vicki: It's just such an encouragement to me to hear Revive Our Hearts. I read my Bible first thing every morning, but Revive Our Hearts is like a daily bread of teaching for me. It's reminders because I have poor memory, and there are days sometimes when I just wake up and things are askew—not because of anything Billy's done or I've done.

And then I hear the Word taught, and I hear the reinforcement of the Word, and I'm encouraged, and I'm strengthened, and I'm reminded that I'm not crazy, that walking with Christ is the most important. It's a tough world out there, and many people don't understand walking with Christ or why we do what we do, or just coming up against life, and I'm just strengthened and encouraged by listening daily to Revive Our Hearts.

Nancy: There are so many more women just like Vicki who need to be transformed by the Truth. If you've been listening to this program and you've been blessed by it, would you as the Lord if He would have you take the next and join our Monthly Partner team? When you join as a new partner this month, we’re going to say a big "thank you!" 

We want to send you a special welcome package that includes all the conference messages from True Woman '18 on CD, the True Woman Manifesto booklet with a 30-day challenge, a set of Seeking Him Scripture memory cards . . . and my books Lies Women Believe and Adorned. It’ll be like Christmas in March! That’s your welcome package this month.

Plus each month you’ll get a devotional booklet prepared just for our partners called Daily Reflections. And you’ll get a registration to one Revive Our Hearts conference each year. For all the details on joining the Monthly Partner team, visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Leslie: To become a partner and invest in the next generation of women, visit ReviveOurHearts.com, or ask how you can join the Monthly Partner team when you call us at 1–800–569–5959.

We've heard two days of a dark story from Bill and Vicki Rose. Find out how they began to find hope. It all began when Vickie got an invitation to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. She'll tell you more tomorrow on Revive Our Hearts.

One last thing, don't miss the ten-minute documentary the Revive Our Hearts team made with Bill and Vicki. You can watch this very powerful short film at ReviveOurHearts.com.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is helping you find hope in Christ. It's an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.

About the Speaker

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love …

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