Saturday, February 11, 2017

Checking Out Of A Marriage

I will admit that the Huffington Post is part of my morning reading. Perhaps it is too much to say that I “read” it; more like I peruse it. I read the headlines, and click through to very few of the articles. I do not generally click on articles pertaining to marriage or divorce. I learned long ago that most such articles are next to worthless for any number of reasons.

Some of the articles seemed to have been written by angry women with axes to grind; most were probably just click-bait for aggrieved female readers. It was low-percentage subject matter for me. So I was surprised one morning when I clicked on an article called, “6 Signs Your Husband Has Checked Out of Your Marriage (sic),” by Brittany Wong. Almost all of these articles are written by and about women, complaining about men. But I clicked, and I read it.

It’s possible that I wanted to make sure that I had not been the one to check out of my own marriage. I needn’t have worried. I was innocent in every one of the six cases mentioned, but my wife, the dear girl, was four-corners with the entire list.

Substituting the feminine pronoun for the masculine, here are the six:

1.   She’s hypercritical of everything you do;
2.   Stonewalling becomes the norm;
3.   She’s noticeably irked when you don’t follow through on something;
4.   You (plural?) aren’t as playful as you used to be;
5.   She’s impatient and short with you; and
6.   She confides in other people.

That’s a strong six-for-six right there. According to Ms. Wong, my wife was the one who had checked out of our marriage at some point. About fifteen years before our divorce, in fact.

I still cannot recommend that anyone read these articles about marriage or divorce, nor can I recommend reading the Huffington Post in general. I was, however, glad that I read this article. I lost a lot in our divorce; in fact I lost everything except for a few dollars. I lost my wife, my children, my father’s goodwill, many friends and neighbors, a lifetime’s worth of possessions, my wardrobe, my car, the house that I helped build and the home that was mine for decades. I often worry that I could have done something differently to save the situation, that it might have been possible for me to have done something to avoid the difficulties. Something “possible” would be the main sticking point here. Impossible things are, by their nature, impossible. This article had the effect of soothing my conscience somewhat. That was a blessing, and I am grateful. 

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