After over 20 years of marriage, Laura Munson was content. She had a healthy marriage, loved her children, had a good home, and a man she was grateful to still call her friend and lover…even after all these years. She was not prepared the day her husband, the father of her children, came to her and revealed the gut wrenching, heart breaking message: “I don’t love you anymore. I’m not sure I ever did. I’m moving out.” The words hit like a punch to the stomach. Munson worked to gain her breath and slowly, but steadily, regained her composure. Then, she took her husband by surprise by looking at him and saying the words she would repeat time again: “I don’t buy it.” Munson knew her husband. He was a good man. Yet, he was struggling with a new job and having difficulty bringing in income. She knew he likely felt like a failure and had, apparently, decided that wiping the slate (his marriage, their children) clean was the answer to his happiness. In her recent article to the New York Times, “Those Aren’t Fighting Words, Dear,” Munson shares how her commitment to her 3d mink blink strip eye lashes kept her family together. What did she do? Why did it work?Sioia
#1. She held to her marital commitments: Munson’s refusal to accept her husband’s declaration didn’t change his mind. He didn’t move out, but he removed himself from the family. He ignored her birthday, skipped family events, and was unreliable. Munson didn’t expect him to change overnight. Instead, she gave him space, 6 months, to work it out. By not filing for legal separation, Munson left divorce off the table. She stood by her marriage even when her friends told her to lawyer up and kick him out.
Marriage therapist (aka the Divorce Buster) Michele Weiner-Davis encourages spouses in Munson’s situation to remain calm and not panic and give up because your spouse has chosen to give up on you. Instead, look at what you can do to be a better spouse in communication, managing conflict, 3d mink blink strip eye lashes, and self-care (not selfishness).
Weiner-Davis contends that some marriages are high conflict, abusive and dangerous situations. Staying in and hoping your spouse will change is unhealthy. However, Weiner-Davis notes statistics suggest that high conflict marriages only account for 15% of all marriages. 85% are low conflict. According to researcher Linda Waite, at the University of Chicago, statistics suggest that 2/3 of deeply unhappy couples who stuck through their marriage were happier 5 years later.
#2. She didn’t make his problems her own. When her husband broke his news to her, he expected her to burst into tears, 3d mink blink strip eye lashes out and belittle him, start a custody battle, grovel at his feet, and beg him to change his mind (and deep down she wanted to do all these on more than one occasion). But she realized it wasn’t up to her to fix his problems. Instead, she had to make sure he didn’t use their marriage and children as a scapegoat. She knew her happiness didn’t come from outside success. He had to figure that out on his own.
#3. She didn’t put him down in front of the kids. Waiting for her husband wasn’t easy. As Munson shared, “I had good days, and I had bad days. On the good days, I took the high road. I ignored his lashing out, his merciless 3d mink blink strip eye lashes. On the bad days I would fester in the August sun while the kids ran through sprinklers, raging at him in my mind. But I never wavered…”
How easy would it have been for her to bolster her position by getting her kids on her side. They saw the change in him and the way he wasn’t interacting with the family. Yet, when they asked, she said “Daddy’s having a hard time as adults often do. But we’re a family, no matter what.” Dad wasn’t crazy, insane, idiotic, stupid, or lazy; he was “having a hard time…”
Even when one is not getting their needs met in a season of marriage, it is in their best interest to respond and act with love and respect. Dr. John Gottman recommends avoiding negative names, labeling, and criticism as a key to successful marriages…even those experiencing 3d mink blink strip eye lashes.
Slowly, but surely, her husband returned. He was able to repair his place in the family. (Imagine the difficulty their kids would have trusting and accepting him if their mom had turned them against him during the difficult times!) He returned to work on their marriage. He even encouraged her to write their story so they can be champions to others struggling in their marriages. They still experience conflict, as most couples do. But now, they’re working together as a team, hand in hand to have decades more of life together…till death do us part.
As President of Stronger Families, Jeff is passionate about casting a vision for improving family life and fostering a marriage 3d mink blink strip eye lashes in the Northwest and beyond. He played in the NFL, as a quarterback, for eleven years with the Rams, 49ers, Seahawks, and Eagles. Jeff has published articles in The Seattle Times, USA Today, and American Enterprise.