Wednesday, April 25, 2007

What do you say…

What do you say to a friend who's facing the decision of becoming a single mother? To someone you love who's dealing with a disrespectful husband whose only good quality left is that, when he's around, he's a really good dad to their kids? (But really, all he does is play good cop to her bad cop and call mommy a poopyhead for giving them a strict punishment for not following the rules.) What do you say when he's stopped realizing that being a good husband is not an optional, but essential part of being a good father, a good person? What do you say when time and time again he's proven he doesn't care enough to change, that he's dismissed her reasonable requests as "impossible to please" and has long since stopped giving the slightest effort?

What do you say when her marriage is over, when she wouldn't have stayed if not for the kids; when maybe if she just had her oldest, just one kid, it would be easier to leave. But now there's two, and they're so little.

What do you say to someone who is so heartbroken, hurting so badly, wishing she could leave but tethered by the children, who are the only good thing she feels she has left?

The kids didn't doom them to this fate. They'd never have lasted this long without them. He's selfish and she needs more than he wants to give her. But she already knows that, has already said that having children with him was probably a mistake, that marrying him was a mistake. The most devoted mom I know, and she's saying these things, feeling this things.

Seriously, I just don't know what to say.


Ashley said...

How long were they married before she caught pregnant? It's only my opinion, but I think people should have to married for at least 5 years before they are allowed to reproduce (if they plan to at all)...that way, both partners can see exactly what kind of person they'll be tethered to for the rest of their lives if they breed. What was this woman's motivation for marrying that guy? I know we all do stupid things, but this seems like a colossally huge mistake.

Tiara Lynn said...

It's a classic case of hindsight being 20/20, in this case. I adore her husband. My love for him, as for her, goes back nearly a decade, so it's really hard for me to hear and reconcile these horrible things about him. We both attributed to his workaholicness when they first married to trying to make his way in a super competitive industry. He agreed to leave the industry eventually and start teaching his craft to get better hours. He did that for a full year and was miserable the whole time.

They were married for four or five years before they had their first child, and things were going pretty well at the time, although my friend did assume that her husband would contribute more once the baby was born. And he has tried -- they moved so he could get a better contract with less hours, but he's a workaholic. He tried teaching, but he was miserable. He's got this new company, and I think it's going to his head more than a little.

She just wants him to be something that he's not. Instead of "growing up" and settling down like many of us do, he's just not doing that. It's just now to the point where they've spent so many years "trying" to make it better (with hi half-assed attempts that he gives up on so quickly), he's just grown numb to her pain.

It sucks a lot.