A romance writer shows her children ... (By Nadine Crenshaw)
3. Talk about everything except divorce. I was not a talker when I met your dad. In my childhood, I'd learned that it was best to remain silent around my alcoholic father, who could twist any statement into a weapon. But Robert stubbornly refused to accept my silence. It was my first intimation of the strength of his love.
There is only one subject, we discovered that should be taboo in a marriage: divorce. The mere mention of this word brings it into the realm of possibility. Your father and I learned this the hard way. During a trying period years ago, I found myself calmly saying, "Maybe we should get a divorce.: He answered, "Maybe we should."
How did we get to the point? Simply by mentioning the ugly. "D" word in times of anger ("If we cant work things out we might have to consider divorce") and by slipping it sideways into discussions ("If we ever got a divorce...").
The day we frankly confronted the divorce option, we were not terribly angry with each other, but we had gradually let divorce become a real choice in our thinking. We made a pact, then and there, never again to mention the word "divorce" in association with us. we haven't dared break that pact in 17 years.
4. Want the best for each other. Being married doesn't mean that you are glued together. One of the wonderful things about love is that it binds without crippling. Remember, not all your activities, friends or enthusiasms will be the same as your mate's.
When your father went back to college for his teaching degree, it meant starting over, but I wanted him to fulfill his potential. When I decided to abandon paramedical training and become a writer, he encouraged me. Loving someone doesn't mean your goals are always identical. But if you want something, then your mate wants it for you too.
* To be continued for part 3