and got some interesting responses. The article entitled, Those Aren't Fighting Words, Dear, is an essayist's first hand account of dealing with a rough point in her marriage when her husband was *feeling as if he no longer loved his wife and was not sure that he ever did, and also that he disliked what she'd become and wanted out of the marriage. This came out of the clear blue without any warning, after twenty some-odd years of a good life and marriage and family life together. Her reaction, a stoic "I don't believe you." (Or, as she put it, "I don't buy it.") And the poetic resolve to let her husband go through what he was going through while refraining from causing detrimental, long term harm to their family. After four months of his midlife crisis-induced meltdown and attempt to throw it all away, his rightful mind had returned. From reading the article, I'm led to believe that given the same opportunity to re-do, she'd handle the situation in the same manner.
I can say without a shadow of a doubt that before I even finished reading the article I was hoping that (God forbid) in the similar circumstance with my own husband of the future, I would possess the same grace under fire and exercise my right to keep my marriage intact through the free will of both myself and eventually my husband's. In sending the article out to a few people, who in turn sent it out to a few more people, I got some interesting responses back. Most were astonished accolades at this woman's method in choosing to let him stay in the home to work through his issues, though seemingly disrespecting everything their marriage and family stood for. (Her friends, with good reason, kept trying to convince her to get an attorney, get the ball rolling, and get him out of there.) There was some mention, in the responses, of a level of low self esteem and denial, but if you actually read the article and understand exactly what she's saying to the audience, she states in no uncertain terms her method and goal for healthy resolution of her marriage, in lieu of a dissolution. Her husband tried to blame her for his pain and unload his feelings of personal disgrace and inadequacy onto her, as she put it, yet she handled the situation with paramount grace, dignity, wisdom, great self-esteem, quiet yet superior strength and unconditional love in those months that he was wreaking havoc in their life. In the grand scheme of things, his misdeed was for a total of four months (privately, she gave him six to get it together) in comparison to the twenty years they'd spent together; call me a hopeless romantic/sentimental fool, but I'd like to think that now he gets to spend the rest of his life making it up her, too!
So, here's to the essayist, Laura A. Munson, for understanding the journey of marriage doesn't necessarily end when one person has a crisis and decides leaving is the solution. At the end of the day, each man and woman that has made a commitment to one another has to determine what it means to honor that commitment when their partner has lost it (WHATEVER "IT" IS). Let us all be fortunate to find a person that will understand how to keep the marriage moving forward [with the verb of unconditional love], should we ever decide to let a crisis cloud our good judgment and threaten our stable households.
HERE'S to blessed families with healthy longevity... and no ONE way to figure out how to make your marriage WORK.
*If it's one thing I've learned is that FEELINGS do not keep a marriage together. If anything, FEELINGS are why divorce is so rampant.