Sunday, August 8, 2010

Is This How?

A friend's marriage is disintegrating.  It is awful.  What started out as her husband's request for counseling has turned into him moving out on a "temporary" basis.  Can someone please explain to me how leaving one's wife and children "temporarily" is actually helpful in the restoration of a marriage?

She said something the other day that has bounced around in my mind.  Aside from the plethora of issues they face, she said neither of them ever saw their parents fight, much less reconcile.  She said it has taken her a long time to realize that maybe the example her parents and his parents modeled did not actually help them learn how to moderate their marriage.  She never saw that it was okay to argue and figure stuff out and that it was okay to do so in front of the kids.  She said she never realized how much she didn't learn because her parents never modeled how to fight and how to reconcile.  Her husband had a very similar experience.

Her parents didn't want to fight in front of the kids.  His parents didn't want to fight in front of the kids.  I keep thinking that if Darling and I never argued in front of the kids we would never talk.  With three children, two cats, and a dog, we're busy.  The opportunity to go into our room, close the door, and hash out our testy business doesn't often present itself.

Is this how (or one way) a marriage falls apart?  Things get bottled up and repressed and put on the back burner until you have a moment to talk, but that moment never comes?  Is this how my friend and her husband never checked in with each other emotionally?  Is this how, after a decade of marriage, they are looking at each other, each professing they made decisions to make the other one happy - only no one is happy?

~ G

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