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SINGULAR SUBJECTS - Communication is key

Published:Monday | March 8, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Soloist

After a 16-year marriage, two friends of mine seem ready to call it quits. Ironically, when I started seeing my man six years ago, the husband in this union dared to say that he did not think he was right for me. The man has turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me. But enough gloating.

Following a series of family events, the wife found out that her husband has been spilling his guts to his mommy, even as his dearly beloved was under the illusion that mother-in-law loved her very much. Wrong! The hypocritical woman had been pretending all these years and, in fact, could not stand her!

When my friends began courting in their teens, he was a struggling carpenter who had more than enough to support her through high school. She was a very poor student whose parents had five other mouths to feed. She became a nurse; he remained a struggling carpenter. They married and began a life together. They have one child who has been getting the best education, and she has steadily improved her education but he remains functionally literate and, at the best of times, has just enough work to pay the bills.

'Empty shell' union

She now has two degrees and more certificates than water in the Mona dam, and he is still a carpenter who is not even HEART-certified. She has given up badgering him to advance himself. In fact, all she seems to do is remind him that he is responsible for all household bills as she draws closer to her friends who are on par with her educationally. They are now living the classic 'empty shell' union and when his actions upset her, she says she can't be bothered to talk about it. So he goes to mommy and she goes to be with her gal pals. Both seem to have forgotten that the Bible says married couples leave their parents and become one with the other. By the way, they are big Christians and active in church.

When I heard the news, I simply told them to go get professional help if they want to save the marriage. But being the realist, I also gave them the number of a good divorce lawyer. You see, I believe in burying useless things and giving every dead thing or person a decent funeral. That includes relationships and betraying friends.

No sense staying and fooling yourselves that a marriage that has outlived its usefulness can be given life support, or worse yet, making yourselves unhappy. Life is too short. Some things are just not meant to last, and the line 'till death us do part' can also be interpreted to mean the death of the marriage!

If there is no communication, forget it.