broken heart


October 12, 2008

Can This Marriage Be Saved? – When a person is desperate and unhappy, when things don’t seem to him to be going his way, when he feels irrelevant, unloved, unimportant and hopeless, what he does next is not necessarily a description of his real character.

No, I’m not excusing murder, mayhem, slander, physical abuse or bigamy. But just suppose a man you know… or one you love… made a mistake. A big mistake.

On one unsuccessful business trip, he got drunk and inappropriate with a woman he hardly knew. Then he took another trip and was with her again.

He came home with a guilty conscience and a rash. His wife came down with a similar rash. It was her doctor who diagnosed the humiliating venereal disease.

Her husband admitted to his misdeeds, agreed to take the prescribed medications and to go to marriage counseling.

“My first instinct was to kick you out,” the wife said. “I cannot believe you would do this to me.

Why hadn’t she kicked him out? I asked.

She hesitated. Her girlfriends would all tell her to dump the guy… she knew that… and nobody would blame her. Still, it took her a long time to answer.

Finally, she said, “I can’t just kick him out without trying to understand. Really, this is all so out of character for him… He’s family… he’s my family…” (She spoke about him as if he were not in the room.)

“Why haven’t I told him to leave? Because I’ve loved him for such a long time, I don’t know how to stop. My husband is a good man… at least he always was. I think he always was.

“Maybe I did something …”

The husband asked for a tissue to wipe his tears.

“Things have been tough,” he said. “Nobody understands how tough. You don’t understand. The market has crashed, I’m getting old, the economy sucks and I don’t feel well. I guess I just needed someone to make me feel good…

“I can’t believe I just said that… I sound so lame… I can’t believe you are still talking to me.

“I don’t know if I can ever forgive myself. I brought home a disease and put your health in jeopardy… maybe I just need to leave.”


Perhaps. This couple is challenged to determine just how important they are to each other. There’s some real dialogue going on here (perhaps the first in a long time) and this is an important first step.

The healing process is tough, I warn them. How much is really at stake if they split?

I want to hear about:
. How and why they fell in love?
. What it is about each other that they admire?
. What it is about each other that would they like to change?
. What it is about themselves that could stand some tune-up?
. If they can still identify a common dream?
. how each is willing to support the personal dreams and cope with the personal frustrations of the other
. If each is willing to learn some new tools?
. If both are willing to take responsibility for that which went wrong?
. If she can really forgive?
. If he can he forgive himself?

Haven’t you also done something you wouldn’t want to be a life-defining event? Or hurt someone in a way you still have nightmares about?

This couple opened the door to a second and better chance and I’m rooting for them.

Thanks For Visiting,

Email Dr. Linda

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