This was the problem with these well-meaning people in a nutshell. When Beth gets upset, or fights Larry on an idea, he withdraws. I'm not sure if he's protecting himself or her, but my guess is that it's a bit of both.
No marriage is easy. Even the happiest couples have their issues. That said, there are countless men and women who are in marriages they know in their hearts have gotten really bad. Yet, they stay. Why?
Many couples come into counseling saying that they have realized they are just not compatible. One or both partners, but usually the woman, says that these areas of incompatibility are making the relationship hopeless.
It's easy to think you will leave if your spouse betrays you, but when confronted with the reality of divorce and dissolving your marriage, the stakes are really high. It's not that overcoming the devastation of infidelity is easy, it isn't. But it can be done.
I recently heard of a few couples in my age group throwing in the towel on their marriage. None of these couples broke up due to abuse, infidelity, or anything that would automatically spell divorce, but rather it was a general malaise in the marriage.
Everyone has their advice, but for the person wrestling with this question, there's no answer that doesn't make your hands sweat, heart race, and leave a permanent lump in your throat -- particularly when there are two young kids at home who adore the person you're considering leaving.
We parted as friends and years later, we're still friendly. Although I knew the marriage was over before it began, I'm glad it didn't end there. The road we traveled was one of love, laughter, pain, tears and, most importantly, growth.
We are all striving, in a relationship, to be more fully connected to another person. When we feel that connection, we know we are part of something bigger than ourselves. This lesson is one of the most important gifts that relationships can bestow.
A lot of women complain about their husbands not doing things their way. They also tend to blow those differences out of proportion. The result, sadly, is that husbands, fearing criticism, often do less and less, a situation that leads to "chore wars."
Between hormones, physical discomfort after birth and a complete upheaval of your daily routine, it's perfectly normal to feel resentful of a partner who gets to walk about pain-free without breastmilk-stained shirts or a child clinging to his body.