Wednesday, August 5, 2009

How to save a marriage

What would you do if you spouse came home after 20 years of marriage and said, "I don't love you anymore. I'm not sure I ever did. I'm moving out. The kids will understand. They'll want me to be happy.''

I refer you to an article in the modern love section Sunday by a writer named Laura Munson. You can get it on the website by typing in modern love in the search section. Or click HERE.

Anyway, I'll give just a brief summary because those interested can read the whole thing.
But her answer was, "I'm not buying it.''

She asked him how could she give him the distance he wanted without hurting the family.

He didn't move out but was unreliable for about six months, was distant and didn't even wish her happy birthday

Her friends were irate at her and said she should kick him out. She felt his problem was his, not hers and she had to get out of the way to let him solve it.

And eventually he came back, they had hard conversations and he encouraged her to write about it to help other couples.

Her last line was, "I ducked. And I waited. And it worked.''

My summary isn't doing justice to the whole story, which you can find on

But how many of you could do what she did. Your thoughts?


  1. Florida Dom,
    I read this and I see her as the smartest, bravest woman I have heard of in a long time. I know this may often happen after a seperation but rarely while still living in the same house. I'm impressed with her willingness to fight for her family - by not fighting.


  2. PK: I agree entirely with your analysis. She took a lemon of a situaton and turned it into lemonade. The grace she showed under pressure was admirable. Having the savvy to not fight was amazing.

  3. I'm really torn about this.

    Part of me says, what a WOMAN.

    Another part of me, says what a PUTZ.

    Becuase I'm a cynical bitch. And I"m thinking maybe he was having an affair?

    I'm really really torn ... so this isn't really a comment YET - I have to muse on it...

  4. FD, thanks for the link which I've just read.

    I think she's a very brave women to have been able to do it and I admire her for it.
    Not sure if I could have.


  5. Florida Dom,
    That was quite the interesting article. I know myself well enough to say I would not have ducked and waited. I would have been bitchy, etc. However, hats off to her in her success.

    Thanks, for sharing that.

    Debbie :)

  6. We had a BIG crisis in our marriage about 20 years ago and we could have ended it then, but didn't. You can think of this type of thing in the same way as cancer or a serious accident. You can get through it with patience and understanding (and bitchiness which is OK, too). I think you also need a "Plan B" to protect yourself in case patience, love and understanding don't work! Meow

  7. FD,I've read the article, all I can say is that she is a wise and remarkable woman.
    She gave him the room he needed, it's great that she saved her marriage.
    It will now be stronger than ever.

  8. Selkie: Please return after you muse and give us your insights. They tend to be very good.

    Ronnie: No doubt she was very brave and I don't know many of us could have done that.

    Debbie: I'm glad you enjoyed the article. Yes, it's difficult to duck and wait and it's amazing she was able to do it. BTW, if you're still inviting readers to view your blog, I'd appreciate an invitation.

    Meow: Congrats on suriviving the big crisis in your marriage and saving it. I think in our throwaway society, there's a tendency to throwaway a marriage instead of trying to repair it. You're now reaping the rewards of repairing it and I like your analogy to cancer or an accident. You can survive it. We've managed to survive the good and the bad for 40 years.

    Paul: No doubt she is a remarkable woman who handled a difficult situation very well.

    And thank you all for commenting and I hope readers will check out the article and give us their take.

  9. grins... have formulated my response... it required a blog!

  10. Selkie: I just went to your blog and read your post and suggest the other readers may want to do the same thing to get your insights. I think you probably have the majority viewpoint that you can't imagine doing what she did. But I'm in the live and let live mode. We have enough trouble figuring our own marriage (at least I do) must less figuring out somebody else's. So if it worked for her. I have no problem with it.

  11. oddly, from a quick perusal of the comments on the actual story, my take would be a MINORITY view. Odd, eh Certainly I'm not telling her what she should or could do - just my take on what she DID do.

  12. She refused to rise to the bait. She refused to become the bad guy in his drama and destroy what was left of his life. She stood firm until the storm blew over. She did not elevate herself or her feelings and emotions above 'them' and 'their family'. Wise woman. 20 years married, six months misery, the rest of thier lives as a married couple. If this is the worst that ever happens to her in her married life, she got off easy. CD

  13. FD thanks for a very thought provoking article. like some of the others comments. one part of me was like wow. but the other part was like what a push over. but on the flip side of that we've been married 31yrs this year. good... bad... but he's my best friend and he still makes me laugh after all of the years together. thanks

  14. Selkie: I didn't realize until I went back and read the comments on the original story that you were in the minority. There are a lot of different opinions on the story.

    Cultivated: She handled a difficult sitution her way and it worked for her.

    jam: It's great that you've been married 31 years and he's your best friend and still makes you laugh. Your marriage sounds wonderful.

    And thanks for all the comments. I felt it was a thought provoking article and regardless of your feelings on it, I think it was.

  15. I tried to do what the woman in the article did. I had to have a Plan B after a while because the first plan just wasn't working. I wasn't able to keep my cool the entire time like she did, but I did figure out how to do my own thing, and have my own life.

    And, now, five years after the divorce, my kids thank me for moving out, and for allowing each of us to be much happier and mentally healthier living in separate households.

    it's all about realizing your boundaries, and doing what works for you, without worrying about what everyone thinks, says or does.