Guest Post: Love, it burns
Husband and wife need to talk. Late in the evening when the children have been settled the conversation happens suddenly in the bathroom as two days washing is loaded into the machine. The husband comes in and helps the wife thoughtfully, even though he too has had a hard day he understands that his wife works hard too, raising his sons and daughters. This is a team effort, this family he tells her and wraps a hand around her from behind and kisses the back of her neck. As the husband does this he realizes its been years since he pulled such a move and is surprised when his lovely wife grips his hand, hers is cold, and turns to face him, still holding his surprised hand and squeezing it a little too tight. We need to talk.
So the drama unfolds just there in the laundry, the dirty clothes lying at their feet while she says it isn’t working, she wants out. She invokes the bushfire metaphor. It is time to leave now before the burning front sweeps through and leaves them smoldering ash, another statistic in the wake of love’s destruction, too stupid to leave when they had the chance. Don’t let us become another example of people too blind to get out of their own way, who let ignorance and pride bring them down.
No the husband says. Not so fast. Look what we have here, don’t you remember the way we used to be? It can be like that again. And the children, they are beautiful and we have a responsibility to them. At least to try. To try to fight, stay and fight, the husband says. Ok, so we have fallen into rough patch, but that’s natural, there is tinder here for a fire to burn, he admits, but only if we let it. Only if we ignore the first signs. Only if we let the sparks go unchecked, but now we’ve admitted there’s a problem we can get the buckets of water and the hoses and we can put the small fire out before it burns us down.
The husband is persuasive, and he does have valid reasons the wife thinks, maybe she was too quick to jump ship. It’s not as bad as it seems. So the couple continue, move on with their lives and put out small fires as they arise, stamp on the sparks that come flying over the fence into the back yard, all the while fatigue grows, because the battle for love is long and arduous, takes resilience and composure. But fixing the tiny problems is distracting. Their eyes looking down for small fires while the sky above fills with dangerous black smoke so when the real fire finally arrives they are still there, they haven’t run and they don’t have the energy left to fight.
Does this sound like you or someone you know? Foolishly pushing forward with a marriage that should’ve ended long ago? Staying together for the kids is one of the most powerful reasons that people stay in toxic relationships. But the reality is that it can often be worse for them to grow up in a household where the love between parents has faded. It can often be better for all involved for the parents to live separately. To chose the lesser evil, as it were. So if this sounds like it might be you then you should consider looking into getting some help from professionals like those at many of the firms who deal with Family Law in Sydney .