Monday, April 21, 2008

I'm no marriage counselor, but...

So game night went well. I don't think it was as lively as it usually is for some reason. I think we'd all had those kinds of weeks. I know I sure had. The food went off without a hitch -- well if you don't count the failed onion ring recipe I was trying (I improved with some impromptu beer batter though!) or the fact that I didn't get food down until about an hour after everyone had gotten here. Thankfully no one minded. My time management was just not-so-much on Friday. Oh well, it was fun!

Everyone filed out and left around 11 or so that night. One of my friends stayed...until 2am. Not that I minded at all. Andi and I had a great time chatting with her. She was blowing off some steam about her husband. Her marriage is in a shaky spot. It was a bit awkward though, but not because she was sharing her trials and tribulations -- mostly because I'd never given that sort of advice before. I mean, sure. I've counseled many of my friends on their boyfriends before; but marriage advice? I don't think I've ever actually given any marriage advice. It was just strange.

This friend of mine is one part of a couple that my husband and I hang out with quite frequently. It's not to say that Andi and I couldn't smell the trouble brewing with these two long ago -- it's more like we've just been astonished that she's been putting up with it for so long. I was even starting to think that she was tolerant. And if she was -- great. It's just to say that I'd never tolerate that sort of behavior from Andi. But apparently, all the toleration has been really getting to her. And while it doesn't make me happy that they're having problems, it is almost a sigh of relief for me to know she's aware that she doesn't need to put up with the sort of behavior her husband exhibits. Andi is friends with this guy and he's even on her side of things. Of course we're trying not to take "sides" as far as they're concerned...but in private, we do of course.

These two just had a new baby at the end of December...they were only just married last September. You see where I'm going with this, right? Since the baby was born, this girl's husband has changed maybe three diapers...and I think I'm being generous there. He refuses to. On top of it, he's tried to brag about that to me and Andi. We tell him he's a jackass.

Friday night, my friend explained to me through sobs that the other night he'd picked up their baby girl from day care. For whatever reason, my friend didn't arrive home until 11 or so at night, and when she arrived home to the apartment, she found her baby still in her car seat. He had neglected to change her diaper, change her clothes, feed her a bedtime bottle or even just remove her from her car seat. He saw no problem with this. He'd been home with the baby quite a few hours. This sort of thing happens constantly.

He also told her that he'd never apologize to her before they were married.

One night he went out at 11:30pm to get a tattoo of all things, not returning home until 1:30 in the morning.

She said the other day she asked him if he thought she was disgusting and he couldn't even look at her. He ignored the question.

As best I could, I tried to boil a lot of his behavior down to the fact that it's normal in the first year of marriage. But it's not. I wasn't trying to side with him or sugarcoat anything, but my friend is getting down to her last straw. She's contemplated leaving already. I just didn't know the right thing to say. I didn't want to say the wrong thing. Had I said how I really felt about the situation, I might have added fuel to the fire, and that's not what I want to do. I don't want to encourage the break up of a marriage...but as a friend, I can't stand to see her being treated this way.

It's just such a heavy situation. My parents divorced when I was two, got back together and finally split up again when I was 7 or so. I didn't grow up with the best vision of marriage to look at. I just don't feel so sure giving marriage advice. It's such a major topic, and I -- by far -- am no expert.

Andi and I saw this couple again on Saturday. Despite the fact that my friend told me they argued for a good two hours after she'd finally arrived home Friday night, they acted like everything was A-OK.

What's a friend to do? I want to tell her the full extent about how I feel about her husband and the way he treats her. But I don't want to be responsible in aiding the failure of their marriage.


Rantings by a Middle Aged Drama Queen said...

If anything say something for the sake of the poor baby! OMG I almost cried about him leaving her in her car seat that long! You are to sweet I will tell a friend in a minute if her "other" is a J.A.! I would be like RUN, and don't look back! LOL

cyndy said...

It's a very personal decision, of course. But I heard from so many people AFTER my first husband and I seperated, about how much they hated him and the way he treated me. But, I sort-of wish they'd told me before, because maybe it would've helped me have the strength to leave him.

Kelly said...

I agree with the first comment. That is awful about the baby. but again its tough to be in that spot.. if I were in that situation I would probably say something..delicately if at all possible..good luck with that one!~
Hey have any names picked for your wee one yet?

Kila said...

Wow, this describes my marriage. Tell her to GET OUT NOW, 'cuz it won't get any better. I stayed because of the baby, then went on to get pregnant with #2 and #3 despite using birth control. So then I was really stuck. Now the kids are finally all in school, I'm back to working full-time, and I ponder divorce every day. It would be hard to go off on my own now with 3 boys. Of course I love my second and third boys, but I honestly wish ALL THE TIME that I had divorced back when that first boy was just a baby.

Tell her not to make the same mistake I did. It will only get worse as more kids arrive and the kids get older. Get out of the situation now.

Liz said...

My god that husband of hers does sound like a complete jackass. I hope she leaves him! Then someone actually nice might come along!

The bad part is if he can't even change a diaper there is no way she'll get him to pay child support.

Totally reminds me of my friend whose husband took their last 10 bucks to the corner store to buy formula and diapers, and came back with beer and a porn mag. She left him a couple years too late, I think!

- Liz