As a kid, I used to read the column "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" in a women's magazine, maybe Ladies Home Journal. The columnist would outline both sides and then dispense words of wisdom.
Sometimes, I feel like I might be that wise columnist, but I only hear the one side from my best friend in Michigan, and I've learned to laugh at the totally ludicrous words that come from her self-obsessed husband.
He's had some real jewels the past few weeks. When they were discussing her "output control" issues, he said, "I've learned to tolerate you over the years."
With that kind of obvious adoration for her, it's hard to imagine why this marriage is floundering.
When one day they were discussing if they would ever remarry other people if one of them died, the husband said, "Oh, my God. I could not do this again."
In the midst of another argument, he declared, "I'm sure there's somebody out there who would love me more than you do."
I'm not sure why she didn't take him up on it and suggest he go look for that somebody.
Then just this week, her two teenage sons got in a fistfight and had to be pulled apart. My friend was obviously distraught at the idea that her children were willing to beat on each other. She told her husband that she needed some support from him.
"Oh, I gave you support earlier in the week when I let you go to Washington for two days," he said.
She had to go away for work to Washington and he was kind enough to "allow" her to go. He has no problem overspending the money she makes, about twice as much as he does.
In the past, for her birthday he has given her a horse (which she never got) and a trip to Paris (which she had to pay for). He schedules twice monthly massages for himself to relieve all of his stress. She's been sick since October and can't seem to get well because of all the stress she's actually under.
So, back to the original question: "Can This Marriage Be Saved?"
My diagnosis: As long as she's willing to laugh off his narcissism and verbal attacks, the marriage can continue indefinitely. I'm willing to to be her sounding board for as long as she needs me because I love her even if she's married to an asshat.
And, just in case she decides someday to meet him at the courthouse, I'll try to keep track of all the hurtful things he says. She may need them as evidence.
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