A Loveless Marriage

This Friday I am going to turn 39. That sounds so strange to me. It is tough to believe that I could be describing myself. I can’t be that old, that is almost 40 and I can’t be more than 30, if that. Ok, I know the truth is that I am going to be 39. I have seen the birth certificate, been there for all of the birthdays etc.

What hits me about this is that when I think about my life experiences I have experienced or been exposed to so many “adult situations.”

Weddings, Funerals, Children, Divorce- Is it just me or should that line be accompanied by a dirge.

The latest twist is the loveless marriage. During this past year two different friends have confessed that they are no longer in love with their spouses and have asked for my advice. They presented me with a very difficult situation.

They aren’t in abusive relationships. I can’t look at them and say that their spouse is a monster, ok, one is a stupid muppet, but…

Anyway the real rub here is that they have children and as good parents they’re trying to evaluate what is in their children’s best interests. It is not an easy choice to make. Do you stay unhappy and unfulfilled so that you can prevent heartache.

It is one thing to subjugate your need for a fancier car/home/vacation so that your children can attend private school, it is another to stifle your heart.

Life is so very short and I find myself torn. I am cautious in how I respond. I want them to make the hard decision to stay or to leave. But I can’t say that I believe that every relationship is made to last forever.

I believe that some do. I know that sometimes you find that special person who completes you and that when you do you need to hold on to them. Don’t let them get away.

But there are others whose time is more ephemeral. The question is how to identify which is which.

I mention this because I just finished speaking or should I say listening to my friend cry. It was heart wrenching to listen to her describe how she forced herself to engage in conjugal relations with a man she feels nothing for just to keep her boys family intact.

It felt like she was begging me to give her some sort of profound answer that would allow her to live with him, but I couldn’t do it. I tread carefully and was cautious in my response. I want to say that she shouldn’t condemn herself to floating through life and living out a jail sentence, but I don’t know that it is my place to say it.

But the more I think about it, the more I believe that you have to find a balance, kids or not.

More on this later.

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