Marriage is being there for the other in bad times as well as the good. Married love stands through thick and thin, no matter how hot the trials or how hard the test. Married love never loses hope. It's always there, always dependable, always ready with outstretched hands and open arms to take the other in--to love, to comfort, to hold, and to cherish. Marriage is learning to let the little things pass.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Main 7 Reasons Behind A Broken Marriage

So will it be at all right to say that most marriages today fail? Or is it the people in a marriage who fail each other? In depth studies of human relationships and psychology has pointed out 7 main reasons behind a broken marriage. They are:

* Lack of communication- It is said that people in love; tend to understand each other’s unspoken words also. If that is considered to be true, then why does lack of communication play guilty in breaking up a marriage? Two people living under the same roof can’t survive without sharing and caring for each other. If either of them turns a deaf ear to the other’s problems and necessities, then that person is left with no other choice to think differently. People living in society, can’t survive alone and if you are unable to communicate with your own life partner who has vowed to share his/her life with you, then no one can save a marriage from falling to pieces.

* Suspicion, jealousy, possessiveness, professional rivalry- This is a very common issue that plays a crucial role in breaking up marriages. Suspicion is a figment of your mind, a disease which has no cure. Once it gets into a relationship, it starts degrading it slowly. It’s an unconscious behavior on the part of an individual which often results out of lack of confidence and insecurity. The only solution lies in them being supportive and open minded.

* Ignorance- One main reason why a marriage breaks up is ignorance. Many people are ignorant of the seriousness of this commitment and prefer to visualize it through rose tinted glasses. Such thoughts are of the immature mind, but marriages made under such misconceptions, rarely survive the hardships of life.

* Uneven social status- It might happen that circumstances lead to a marriage taking place between two families with different status levels. In such cases, adjustment often makes the marriage work out. But where one or both fails to adjust or accept the social change, the relationship tends to fall apart.

* Mental incompatibility- Human psyche is something that needs years of study. For a marriage to be successful, mental compatibility is a necessary. Like minded people tend to click each other better. However, understanding each other plays a crucial role yet again in this.

* Absence of time and bonding- Life becomes beautiful and worth living with its small moments. The moments of togetherness are what two people can share and cherish for a lifetime. But these small moments get lost in the crowd of mundane necessities. The urge to live a better life, the rat race to success leaves very little time for couples to spend time with each other and to bond. Gradually, they become strangers living under the same roof and somewhere the knot loosens.

* Family issues- Adaptability to circumstances and a little bit of compromise are the key ingredients behind a successful marriage. Whether it is a nuclear or a joint family, the bonding is necessary. But in some families, excessive interference of other family members in the matters of a couple leads to tension.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Marriage Separation and Consequences

Formal or Informal Marriage Separation

A couple can seek legal separation (separate maintenance) by a court or informal separation, which eliminates costly expenses, including attorney and court costs. During time of separation, a couple can either reconcile any differences or may proceed onto the next step seeking a legal divorce. Most states require a couple legally separated by residing in different location at all times, which does not include separate bedrooms in the same house. A couple living apart does not constitute a legal separation. Some countries or states require a prerequisite of a legal separation for period of time, before filing for a legal divorce. Some couples can resolve their difference mutually during a separation by written agreement, which is drafted by a lawyer. However, desertion is different from a separation, which is recognized by courts, when one of the parties leaves without the intention of returning. Contrary, "Constructive desertion" occurs when one of the parties, forces the other person to leave. In such a situation, a court does not penalize a defendant for leaving, for their own protection or that of a child.

A couple may seek a trial separation, which is easily reversible then a legal separation, and hopefully through counseling will resolve problems. Resolving problems during an informal separation, does not involve the costly expense for hiring attorneys. Hopefully mutual equitable solutions can be ascertained, regarding working arrangements, possession of car, bank accounts, credit cards, child custody or any other personal items or matters. However, property division would require legal advise from an attorney. During this time, a couple can live together, but not necessarily sleep in the same room or bed. A formal separation despite being a costly expense, incurring time and pain, maybe be necessary, when a couple cannot resolve their differences. The process and procedures for obtaining a legal separation is the same for "Dissolution of Marriage," except the couple is still married. A court will govern what will happen during a legal separation, regarding issues of property division, child custody, alimony or spousal support, (If their incomes are substantially different). Typically, a court will have the power to resolve as part of a legal separation, any and all issues, that would be normally be resolved in a divorce. A marital settlement agreement is signed by both parties, and becomes a valid legal contract that is enforceable, if any terms are violated. A marital settlement is recognized in all states. A martial settlement agreement is not a divorce and cannot legally end a marriage. The terms of a separation agreement may be changed through a separate written agreement. Any part of a settlement agreement, regarding parenting and support of children, must be reviewed by a court, which ensures rights of the children adhere to their best interests.

A couple that is legally separated, may either live together or live in separate residences, for any number of reasons, including can't tolerate living together, continue receiving medical insurance by the other's spouse's company, and some religious beliefs prohibit divorce, but allow a legal separation, couple can live apart. Sometimes spouses may wish to remain legally separated, long enough to qualify in order to receive Social Security or military pension benefits, prior to a divorce. Any time during the process for obtaining a legal separation, either party may request the court to convert the proceedings, into dissolution of marriage or divorce. Most jurisdictions require a waiting or "cooling off" period, before a court will issue a divorce judgment. Beware, after a person obtains a final Decree of Legal Separation, they must go back to the court and file Petition For Dissolution of Marriage, if the legal separation wants to be changed to a final divorce.

When a couple seeks a separation, the person moving out, should consider the following: If the couple is living in a rental community, the person moving out, should remove their name off the lease and utility bills ( gas, electricity, phone, cable,

trash, paper, etc.), because you maybe held liable for any unpaid past due payments. Forward your mail to a post office box, close friend, relative or new permanent home address. Make copies of all tax records for the past six years. Beware any past taxes due are still your responsibility. Make a note of all address, phone numbers, account information, pension accounts, bank and credit accounts, insurance policies, and any other financial paperwork, that maybe divided during the separation or legal divorce. Place a freeze on all joint credit accounts, which prevents you from incurring debts, if your spouse fails to make any future payments. List all items in a safety deposit (preferable take pictures), which maybe divided later and take any personal items. Pack up all personal belongs, including: Clothing, medicine, family heirlooms, mementos, and any items you personal purchased yourself or received as a personal gift.

Certain states have their own laws regarding legal separation or do not recognize that status. According to Colorado law, parties who have been granted a decree of legal separation do not lose their inheritance rights. The state of Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and Texas do not accept or can't file for a legal separation. However, in the state of Florida, child support and alimony must be paid during a separation. In the state of New York, one year after filing of the Court's judgment of separation, either spouse may sue for "no-fault" divorce, based upon one year of living apart.

Couples should review their insurance coverage, regarding when coverage may be terminated, in the event of a legal separation.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Two Step Process in Marriage Separation

Perhaps the most difficult part of a divorce is the initial separation. This is because there is usually great emotional pain associated with the breakdown of a marriage. Marital Separation is a TWO STEP PROCESS: -

1. The decision to separate; and
2. The actual physical separation itself.

Neither step is easy, especially if the desire to separate is not a mutual one.

Even if both parties know that the marriage has been rocky for some time, one party announcing to the other that he or she wants a divorce, can still be quite devastating. It means that in spite of the promises made to each other when they first got married, this person is effectively saying that they don't love or want the other person anymore.

Rejection is seldom pleasant, depending on how you react to it. It certainly disturbs a person's emotional well being and can be extremely damaging and debilitating if you let it.

Where the decision to separate is yours, you are likely to be more prepared psychologically for the news than your partner. These days, lots of women are "choosing" to separate and divorce rather than tolerate a rocky marriage. They are no longer happy in the relationship and are not willing to settle for less. These women often have the advantage, over other women, of being financially independent of the other spouse.

Even where the decision to separate does come from you, it will probably be as a result of a lot of soul-searching, heartache and agony. Such important decisions are seldom made lightly and often come at critical times in a marriage.

Some couples simply grow apart. Others were not well suited to begin with. It may be that the relationship has merely reached its "use-by date". We should not beat ourselves over the head or necessarily feel guilty. It is a pretty big order to expect two young people, in love, to make a decision to separate.

We should not beat ourselves over the head or necessarily feel guilty. It is a pretty big order to make a pledge to one another for life when they so often lack, because of their young years, the life experience to be fully informed of what is involved to really make a marriage work, for life. It should also be remembered that there are only two people in the world who truly understand the sexes unfortunately, nobody knows who they are!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Wicker Husband

I found “The Wicker Husband” by Ursula Willis-Jones to be an interesting short story. I found that reading it, you can tell that the other was trying to emphasize what jealously can do to people and how it is probably the ugliest personality trait one can have. At first all of the people in the city would be disgusted by the ugly girl, but once she got a wonderful husband, everyone viewed her differently. That is very superficial. They never wanted to get to know the ugly girl. All they ever did was try to ruin her relationship with her wicker husband, because the wives were jealous she got him and the husbands were mad because he was such a caring and loving husband to the ugly lady. The author used many repetitive lines throughout the story. This helped emphasize how much of a problem the wicker husband caused for the other families, but I found it to be rather annoying. I hate reading basically the same thing over and over. The author went into great detail about the appearances of some of the characters which was good because I could basically picture them in my mind, which helps me to understand everything that is going on. While reading the short story, I felt almost guilty because people in real life act the way that the townspeople do sometimes. As wrong as it is, people always judge others to an extent from their external appearances without giving them a chance to show their true colors on their insides.

The Wicker Husband
By: Ursula Wills-Jones

Once upon a time, there was an ugly girl. She was short and dumpy, had one leg a bit shorter than the other, and her eyebrows met in the middle. The ugly girl gutted fish for a living, so her hands smelt funny and her dress was covered in scales. She had no mother or brother, no father, sister, or any friends. She lived in a ramshackle house on the outskirts of the village, and she never complained.
One by one, the village girls married the local lads, and up the path to the church they'd prance, smiling all the way. At the weddings, the ugly girl always stood at the back of the church, smelling slightly of brine. The village women gossiped about the ugly girl. They wondered what she did with the money she earnt. The ugly girl never bought a new frock, never made repairs to the house, and never drank in the village tavern.
Now, it so happened that outside the village, in a great damp swamp, lived an old basket-maker who was famed for the quality of his work. One day the old basket-maker heard a knock on his door. When he opened it, the ugly girl stood there. In her hand, she held six gold coins.
'I want you to make me a husband,' she said.
'Come back in a month,' he replied.
Well, the old basket-maker was greatly moved that the ugly girl had entrusted him with such an important task. He resolved to make her the best husband he could. He made the wicker husband broad of shoulder and long of leg, and all the other things women like. He made him strong of arm and elegant of neck, and his brows were wide and well-spaced. His hair was a fine dark brown, his eyes a greenish hazel.
When the day came, the ugly girl knocked on the basket-maker's door.
'He says today is too soon. He will be in the church tomorrow, at ten,' said the basket-maker. The ugly girl went away, and spent the day scraping scales from her dress.

< 2 >

Later that night, there was a knock on the door of the village tailor. When the tailor opened it, the wicker husband stood outside.
'Lend me a suit,' he said. 'I am getting married in the morning, and I cannot go to church naked.'
'Aaaaaaargh!' yelled the tailor, and ran out the back door.
The tailor's wife came out, wiping her hands. 'What's going on?' she said.
'Lend me a suit,' said the wicker husband. 'I am getting married tomorrow, and I cannot go to my wedding naked.'
The tailor's wife gave him a suit, and slammed the door in his face.
Next, there was a knock on the door of the village shoe-maker. When the shoe-maker opened it, the wicker husband stood there.
'Lend me some shoes,' he said. 'I am getting married in the morning, and I cannot go to church barefoot.'
'Aaaaaaargh!' yelled the shoe-maker, and he ran out the back door.
The shoe-maker's wife came out, her hands trembling.
'What do you want?' she said.
'Lend me some shoes,' said the wicker husband. 'I am getting married in the morning, and I cannot go to my wedding barefoot.'
The shoe-maker's wife gave him a pair of shoes, and slammed the door in his face. Next, the wicker husband went to the village inn.
'Give me a drink,' said the wicker husband. 'I am getting married tomorrow, and I wish to celebrate.'
'Aaaaaaargh!' yelled the inn-keeper and all his customers, and out they ran. The poor wicker husband went behind the bar, and poured himself a drink.
When the ugly girl got to church in the morning, she was mighty pleased to find her husband so handsome, and so well turned-out.

When the couple had enjoyed their first night of marriage, the wicker husband said to his wife: 'This bed is broken. Bring me a chisel: I will fix it.'

< 3 >

So like a good husband, he began to fix the bed. The ugly girl went out to gut fish. When she came back at the end of the day, the wicker husband looked at her, and said: 'I was made to be with you.'
When the couple had enjoyed their second night of marriage, the wicker husband said: 'This roof is leaky. Bring me a ladder: I will fix it.'
So, like a good husband, he climbed up and began to fix the thatch. The ugly girl went out to gut fish. When she returned in the evening, the wicker husband looked at his wife, and said: 'Without you, I should never have seen the sun on the water, or the clouds in the sky.'
When the couple had enjoyed their third night of marriage, the ugly girl got ready to out. 'The chimney needs cleaning,' she said, hopefully, 'And the fire could be laid...' But at this, the wicker husband ñ she was just beginning to learn his expressions ñ looked completely terrified. From this, the ugly girl came to understand that there are some things you cannot ask a man to do, even if he is very kind.
Over the weeks, the villagers began to notice a change in the ugly girl. If one of her legs was still shorter than the other, her hips moved with a swing that didn't please them. If she still smelt funny, she sang while she gutted the fish. She bought a new frock and wore flowers in her hair. Even her eyebrows no longer met in the middle: the wicker husband had pulled them out with his strong, withied fingers. When the villagers passed the ugly girl's house, they saw it had been painted anew, the windows sparkled, and the door no longer hung askew. You might think that all these changes pleased the villagers, but oh no. Instead, wives pointed out to husbands that their doors needed fixing, and why didn't they offer? The men retorted that maybe if their wives made an effort with new frocks and flowers in their hair, then maybe they'd feel like fixing the house, and everybody grumbled and cursed each other, but secretly, in their hearts, they blamed the ugly girl and her husband.

< 4 >

As to the ugly girl, she didn't notice all the jealousy. She was too busy growing accustomed to married life, and was finding that the advantages of a wicker husband outweighed his few shortcomings. The wicker husband didn't eat, and never complained that his dinner was late. He only drank water, the muddier the better. She was a little sad that she could not cook him dinner like an ordinary man, and watch him while he ate. In the cold nights, she hoped they would sit together close to the fire, but he preferred the darkness, far from the flames. The ugly girl got in the habit of calling across the room all the things she had to say to him. As winter turned to spring, and rain pelted down, the wicker husband became a little mouldy, and the ugly girl had to scrub him down with a brush and a bottle of vinegar. Spring turned to summer, and June was very dry. The wicker husband complained of stiffness in his joints, and spent the hottest hour of the day lying in the stream. The ugly girl took her fish-gutting, and sat on the bank, keeping him company.
Eventually the villagers were too ridden with curiosity to stand it any longer. There was a wedding in the village: the ugly girl and her husband were invited. At the wedding, there was music and dancing, and food and wine. As the musicians struck up, the wicker husband and the ugly girl went to dance. The villagers could not help staring: the wicker husband moved so fine. He lifted his dumpy wife like she was nought but a feather, and swung her round and round. He swayed and shimmered; he was elegant, he was graceful. As for the ugly girl: she was in heaven.
The women began to whisper behind their hands. Now, the blacksmith's wife was boldest, and she resolved to ask the wicker husband to dance. When the music paused she went towards the couple. The ugly girl was sitting in the wicker husband's lap, so he creaked a little. The blacksmith's wife was about to tap the wicker husband on the shoulder, but his arms were wrapped round the ugly girl.

< 5 >

'You are the only reason that I live and breathe,' the wicker husband said to his wife.
The blacksmith's wife heard what he said, and went off, sulking. The next day there were many frayed tempers in the village.
'You've got two left feet!' shouted the shoe-maker's wife at her husband.
'You never tell me anything nice!' yelled the blacksmith's wife.
'All you do is look at other women!' shouted the baker's wife, though how she knew was a mystery, as she'd done nothing but stare at the wicker husband all night. The husbands fled their homes and congregated in the tavern.
'T'aint right,' they muttered, 'T'isn't natural.'
'E's showing us up.'
'Painting doors.'
'Fixing thatch.'
'Murmuring sweet nothings.'
'Dancing!' muttered the blacksmith, and they all spat.
'He's not really a man,' muttered the baker. 'An abomination!'
'He don't eat.'
'He don't grumble.'
'He don't even fart,' added the tailor, gloomily.
The men shook their heads, and agreed that it couldn't go on.
Meanwhile the women congregated in each other's kitchens.
'It's not right,' they muttered. 'Why does she deserve him?'
'It's an enchantment,' they whispered. 'She bewitched him.'
'She'll be onto our husbands next, I expect,' said the baker's wife. 'We should be careful.'
'She needs to be brought down a peg or two.'
'Fancies that she's better than the rest of us, I reckon.'
'Flowers in her hair!!'
'Did you see her dancing?'
And they all agreed that it couldn't go on.
One day the wicker husband was on his way back from checking the fish-traps, when he was accosted by the baker.

< 6 >

'Hello,' said the baker. The wicker husband was a little surprised: the baker never bothered to speak to him. 'You made an impression the other night.'
'I did?' said the wicker husband.
'Oh yes,' continued the baker. 'The women are all aflutter. Don't you ever think ñ well...'
'What?' said the wicker husband, completely confused.
'Man like you,' said the baker. 'Could do well for himself. A lot of opportunities...' He leaned forward, so the wicker husband recoiled. The baker's breath smelt of dough, which he found unpleasant. 'Butcher's wife,' added the baker meaningfully. 'Very taken. I know for a fact that he's not at home. Gone to visit his brother in the city. Why don't you go round?'
'I can't,' said the wicker husband. 'My wife's waiting for me at home.' And he strode off, up the lane. The baker went home, annoyed.
Now the wicker husband, who was too trusting, thought less of this of this than he should, and did not warn his wife that trouble was brewing. About a week later, the ugly girl was picking berries in the hedgerow, when the tailor's wife sidled up. Her own basket was empty, which made the ugly girl suspicious.
'My dear!' cried the tailor's wife, fluttering her hands.
'What d'you want?' said the ugly girl.
The tailor's wife wiped away a fake tear, and looked in both directions. 'My dear,' she whispered. 'I'm only here to warn you. Your husband ñ he's been seen with other women.'
'What other women?' said the ugly girl.
The tailor's wife fluttered her hands. This wasn't going as she intended. 'My dear, you can't trust men. They're all the same. And you can't expect ñ a man like him, and a woman like you ñ frankly ñ'
The ugly girl was so angry that she hit the tailor's wife with her basket, and ran off, up the lane. The ugly girl went home, and ñ knowing more of cruelty than her husband did ñ thought on this too much and too long. But she did not want to upset her husband, so she said nothing.

< 7 >

The tailor's wife came home fuming, with scratches all over her face. That night, the wives and husbands of the village all agreed ñ for once ñ that something drastic had to be done.

A few days later the old basket-maker heard a knocking at his door. When he opened it, the villagers stood outside. Right on cue, the tailor's wife began to weep, pitifully.
'What's the matter?' said the old basket-maker.
'She's childless,' said the baker's wife, sniffing.
'Not a son,' said the tailor, sadly.
'Or a daughter.'
'No-one to comfort them in their old age,' added the butcher.
'It's breaking their hearts,' went on the baker.
'So we've come to ask ñ'
'If you'll make us a baby. Out of wicker.'
And they held out a bag of gold.
'Very well,' said the old basket-maker. 'Come back in a month.'
Well, one dusky day in autumn, the ugly girl was sitting by the fire, when there came a knock at the door. The wicker husband opened it. Outside, stood the villagers. The tailor's wife bore a bundle in her arms, and the bundle began to whimper.
'What's that?' said the ugly girl.
'This is all your fault,' hissed the butcher, pointing at the wicker husband.
'Look what you've done!' shouted the baker.
'It's an abomination,' sneered the inn-keeper. 'Not even human!'
The tailor pulled away the blanket. The ugly girl saw that the baby was made of wicker. It had the same shaped nose, the same green eyes that her husband did.
'Tell me it's not true!' she cried.
But the wicker husband said nothing. He just stared at the baby. He had never seen one of his own kind before, and now ñ his heart filled up with tenderness. When the ugly girl saw this on his face, a great cloud of bitterness came upon her. She sank to the floor, moaning.

< 8 >

'Filthy, foul, creature!' cried the tailor. 'I should burn it!' He seized the baby, and made to fling it into the blaze. At this, the wicker husband let out a yell. Forward he leapt.
The ugly girl let out a terrible cry. She took the lamp, and flung it straight at her husband. The lamp burst in shards of glass. Oil went everywhere. Flames began to lick at the wicker husband's chest, up his neck, into his face. He tried to beat at the flames, but his fingers grew oily, and burst into fire. Out he ran, shrieking, and plunged into the river.
'Well, that worked well,' said the butcher, in a satisfied manner.
The villagers did not spare a second glance for the ugly girl, but went home again to their dinners. On the way, the tailor's wife threw the wicker baby in the ditch. She stamped on its face. 'Ugh,' she said. 'Horrible thing.'
The next day the ugly girl wandered the highways, weeping, her face smeared in ashes.
'Have you seen my husband?' she asked passing travellers, but they saw madness in her eyes, and spurred their horses on. Dusk fell. Stumbling home, scarce knowing where she was, the ugly girl heard a sound in the ditch. Kneeling, she found the wicker baby. It wailed and thrashed, and held up its hands. The ugly girl saw in its face her husband's eyes, and her husband's nose. She coddled it to her chest and took it home.
Now, the old basket maker knew nothing of all this. One day, the old man took it into his head to see how his creations were faring. He walked into town, and knocked on the tailor's door. The wife answered.
'How is the baby?' he said.
'Oh that,' she said. 'It died.' And she shut the door in his face. The old basket-maker walked on, till he came to the ugly girl's place. The door was closed, the garden untended, and dirt smeared the windows. The old basket-maker knocked on the door. No-one answered, though he waited a very long time.

< 9 >

The old-basket maker went home, disheartened. He was walking the long dark road into the swamp, when he heard something in the rushes. At first he was afraid: he wrapped his scarf closer round his face. But the thing seemed to follow him. From time to time, it groaned.
'Who's there?' called the old man.
Out onto the roadway staggered the most broken and bedraggled, the most pathetic and pitiful thing. The old basket-maker stared at what was left of the wicker husband: his hands consumed by fire, his face equally gone. Dark pits of scorched wood marred his chest. Where he had burnt, he had started to rot.
'What have they done to my children?' cried the old basket-maker.
The wicker husband said nothing: he had lost his tongue.
The old basket-maker took the wicker husband home. As daylight came, the old basket-maker sat down to repair him. But as he worked, his heart grew hot with anger.
'I made you, but I failed you,' he said. 'I will not send you there again.'
Eventually, the wicker husband looked as good as new, though the smell of burning still clung. But as the days passed, a damp black mould began to grow on him. The old basket-maker pulled out the rotting withies and replaced them. But it seemed useless: the wicker husband rotted from the inside, outwards.
At last, the old basket-maker saw there was nothing else to be done. He took up his travelling cloak, set out at night, and passed through the village. He came to the ugly girl's house. In the garden, wreathed in filth, stood the ugly girl, cuddling a child. She was singing the saddest lullaby he had ever heard. The old basket-maker saw that the child was the one he'd made, and his heart softened a little. He stepped out of the shadows.
'Why do you keep the baby,' he said, 'when you cast your husband from home?'
The ugly girl cried out, to hear someone speak to her.

< 10 >

'It is all I have left of my husband,' she said at last. 'Though it is proof he betrayed me, I could not leave it in the ditch to die.'
'You are a fool,' he said. 'It was I that made the child. Your husband is innocent.'
At this, the ugly girl let out a cry, and ran towards the river. But old basket-maker caught her arm. 'Wait - I have something to show you,' he said.
The ugly girl walked behind him, through the swamp where the water sucked and burbled, carrying the baby. As the sun rose, she saw that its features were only those of the old basket-maker, who, like any maker, had passed down his face to his creations.
When they came to the dwelling, the ugly girl opened the door, and saw her husband, sitting in darkness.
'It cannot be you,' she said. 'You are dead. I know: I killed you myself.'
'I was made for you alone,' said the wicker husband, 'But you threw me away.'
The ugly girl let out a cry so loud, birds surfaced from the marches for miles around, and threw herself at her husband's feet.

A few days later, the villagers were surprised to see the old basket-maker standing outside the church.
'I have something to say,' he said. 'Soon I will retire. But first, I am making my masterwork - a woman made of wicker. If you want her, you can have her. But you must bring me a gift for my retirement. Whoever brings me the best gift can have the wicker woman.'
Then he turned round and went back to the swamp.
Behind him, the villagers began to whisper. Hadn't the wicker husband been tall and graceful? Hadn't he been a hard worker? Hadn't he been handsome, and eager to please his wife?
Next day, the entire village denied any interest in the wicker lady, but secretly began to plan. Men eyed up prize cows; women sneaked open jewellery boxes.

< 11 >

'That wicker husband worked like a slave, and never even ate,' said the shoe-maker's wife to her husband. 'Get me the wicker woman as a servant, I'll live like a lady, never lift a finger.'
'That wicker husband never quarrelled with anyone, never even raised his voice. Not like you, you old fishwife,' the inn-keeper said to his wife.
'That wicker husband never tired, and never had a headache,' said the butcher to the baker. 'Imagine...!'
'Lend me a shilling, cousin,' said the shoe-maker's wife. 'I need a new petticoat.'
'I can't,' lied the blacksmith's wife. 'I spent it on medicine. The child was very sick.'
'I need that back-rent you owe me,' said the butcher, who owned the tailor's house.
'Been a very bad season in the tailoring trade,' muttered the tailor. 'You'll get it soon.'
The butcher went into town, hired a lawyer, and got the tailor evicted from his house. The tailor and his wife had to go and live in the shoe-maker's shed.
'But what are you going to do with the empty house?' asked the butcher's wife.
'Nothing,' said the butcher, who thought the place would do admirably to keep a mistress. The butcher's wife and the tailor's wife had a fight in the market, and went home with black eyes. In the tavern, no-one spoke, but only eyed each other, suspiciously. The lawyer was still in town. Rumour had it that the tailor's wife was suing for divorce: the inn-keeper's wife had her husband arrested after she found the stairs had been greased. In short, the fields went uncut, the cows went unmilked, ovens uncleaned: the village was obsessed.
When the day came, the old basket-maker came to town, and sat on the churchyard wall. The villagers brought their gifts. First the tailor, who'd made a luxurious coat. Next the miller, bringing twelve sacks of grain. The baker made the most extravagant cake; the carpenter brought a table and chairs, the carter a good strong horse. The blacksmith's wife staggered up with a cheese the size of a millwheel. Her cousin, the tailor's wife, arrived with a bag of gold.

< 12 >

'Where d'you get that, wife?' said her husband, amazed.
'Never you mind,' she snapped.
The inn-keeper's wife wasn't there: she'd slipped while climbing the stairs.
Last to come was the butcher. He'd really outdone the others: two oxen, four cows, and a dozen sheep.
The old-basket maker looked around him. 'Well,' he said. 'I think the prize goes to... the butcher. I'll just take these and be back, with the wicker lady.'
The butcher was so pleased, spittle ran from his mouth.
'Can I have my grain back?' said the miller.
'No no,' said the old man. 'That wasn't the bargain.' And he began to load all the goods onto the horse. The villagers would have fallen on each other, fighting, but they were so desperate to see the wicker lady, they just stood there, to wait.
It was dusk by the time the basket-maker returned. The wicker woman was seated on the horse, shrouded in a cloak, veiled like a bride. From under the cloak, white flowers fell. As she passed the villagers, a most marvellous smell drifted down.
The butcher stood outside the tailor's old house. He'd locked his wife in the coal cellar in preparation.
The old basket-maker held out a hand, and helped the lady dismount. The butcher smelt her fragrance. From under the veil, he thought he saw her give him a saucy glance. He was so excited, he hopped from foot to foot.
The wicker lady lifted her veil: she took off her cloak. The butcher stared at her. The wicker lady was short of stature and twisted of limb, her face was dark and rough. But worse than that ñ from head to foot, she was covered in thorns.
'What have you done?' shrieked the butcher.
'Ah,' said the old basket-maker. 'The wicker husband was made of willow. Willow is the kindest of trees: tall, elegant, pliable, of much assistance in easing pain. But I saw that you did not like him. Therefore I made you the wicker lady from blackthorn. Blackthorn is cold, hard, and thorny - it will not be killed, either by fire or frost.'

< 13 >

The villagers would have fallen on the old basket-maker there and then, had not the wicker lady stepped forward. She seized hold of the butcher and reached up to kiss him. The butcher let out a howl. When he pulled his lips away, they were shredded and tattered: blood ran down his chin. Then, with a bang, the butcher's wife broke out of the coal cellar, and ran down the road. Seeing the wicker lady kissing her husband, she screamed, and fell on her. The two of them rolled in the gutter, howling and scratching.
Just then, the lawyer piped up. 'Didn't you check the details first?' he said. 'It's very important. You should always check the small print.'
The men of the village took their butcher's knives and pitchforks and tailoring shears, and chased the lawyer out of town. When they'd run out of breath, they stopped.

'That old fraud the basket-maker,' said the baker. 'He tricked us.'
So they turned round and began to go back in the other direction, on the road into the swamp. In the darkness they stumbled and squelched, lost their way and nearly drowned. It was light by the time they came to the old basket-maker's dwelling, but the old basket-maker, the wicker husband, the ugly girl and the baby, as well as all the villagers' goods, had already upped, and gone.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Can Your Marriage Survive a Crisis?

Crisis Can Strengthen or Rupture a Marriage

The true test of a marriage's strength comes through crisis: death, illness, unemployment or other personal disasters. During these difficult times a couple either learns to lean on each other, or they simply isolate and the fabric of the relationship comes unravelled. Why?

Many people were never adequately prepared to deal with adversity. When faced with a spouses disability, or the illness or loss of a child, they simply refuse to deal with reality and abandon the situation. Others play the blame game. If only you had, if you listened, and on and on, they
unload their grief and anger on each other.

How does a couple avoid the pitfalls inherent in such situations? First, avoid the temptation to cast blame. It is too easy when emotions are running high to lash out in anger. Try and recognize and validate your partner's feelings. Let each other know how much you need each other. Put off any sort of intensive talks until the situation has calmed down.

Don't isolate from your partner. Let each other know what you are feeling and why. There is no shame in expressing grief and hurt. Men are particularly good at trying to keep a stiff upper lip, and internalizing their emotions. They often need the reassurance that we don't think any less of them for crying or showing grief. This can be a very moving and profound moment in your marriage. Very often, a man, once he's been given permission to express his deepest feelings, will find himself much more open and loving in all other areas of his relationship with his wife.

If sudden unemployment is the issue, sit down and calmly discuss options and plans to weather the financial loss. Complaining about it or casting aspersions on your partner's abilities as a wage earner is cruel and counterproductive. Reassure him/her that something positive will come of
this, and you both will work through this together.

The marriage vows state for better or for worse, in sickness and in health. If your loved one is diagnosed with a chronic illness, it will place great stress on the marriage. Enormous sensitivity is called for in dealing with this issue

Use crisis situations to deepen and intensify the love you have for each other. Instead of avoiding or fighting the situation, go through it step by step, side by side. Your marriage will deepen and build layers of rich complexity as a result.

Self Analysis: Have you ever faced a truly difficult situation together? How did the both of you handle it?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Unhappy Marriage? Divorce may not be the solution for an unhappy marriage!

Most people think that they are in an unhappy marriage because they are simply not compatible anymore. They think that their differences cannot be resolved. A lot of the times, it is not an issue of incompatibility, it is simply because they do not have the resources to find a solution to their unhappy marriage. The word "incompatibility" is a nominalization (a process noun), and such words create the impression that nothing can be done about the incompatibility and hence, their unhappy marriage. A more empowering question to ask would be "How can we be more compatible with each other?"

If you are thinking unhappy marriage, it could be because you are stuck in a rut of thinking about the "unhappy marriage" problem and how to fix it. That is called problem thinking which revolves around what wrong or needs to be fixed rather than what is sought after. A more empowering alternative would be outcome thinking which provides focus for what you want to achieve, the ensuing effects and the resources required to achieve it.

Here are some questions that you can ask so the you can find the resources to overcome an unhappy marriage and achieve the marriage that you've always dreamed of.

Questions to ask yourself if you are in an unhappy marriage:

Unhappy marriage solution Q1

Is it worth saving my marriage?

Most people think that divorcing is an inevitable solution for an unhappy marriage. At the end of the day, the question of whether it is worth saving your marriage is one that only you can answer. Usually, we all have parts in us that want contradicting outcomes. Does one part want a divorce and another still loves your spouse? That is natural - realize that both parts are serving a positive intention of making sure that you are happy. If you have even a tiny part in you that still loves your spouse then read on.

Unhappy marriage solution Q2:

What do you want instead?

Usually in an unhappy marriage, there might be a perceived incompatibility in the following areas: physical, mental, spiritual and emotional.

Emotional Compatibility – Ability to empathize with a partner’s emotion. Level of caring, love and nurturing shown towards each other.

Intellectual compatibility – Enjoying similar interests. Enjoying similar types of discussion.

Physical compatibility – Frequency and quality of sex. Tuning into each other's sexual rhythms.

Spiritual compatibility – Seeing “eye to eye” and sharing spiritual values. It does not mean belonging to the same religion.

Overall energetic compatibility - Indicates the harmonization of the masculine and feminine energy between the couple.

So the question to ask here is, how specifically do you want to be physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually compatible?

Be detailed in your description. Do not censor what you write. Begin with the sentence "If I can have anything I want ...."

Unhappy marriage solution Q3:

What are the resources needed to get what you want?

The marriage problem solving steps can help you overcome an unhappy marriage or rather, manifest the kind of marriage that you have always wanted.

Energy follows thought. If you focus your thoughts on "unhappy marriage", then that is where more and more of your energy goes. You end up getting more and more of what you do not want ie, "unhappy marriage". Hopefully the questions have set you thinking in a different direction from what you have been used to.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


If you want to be completely healed from all the bitterness and pain of your husband’s betrayal, and if want your marriage to survive, you will have to forgive him.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean you try to short circuit the natural process of grieving, or deny that you’ve been hurt. To come to the place of forgiveness you must first admit you’ve been hurt – deeply.

Forgiveness will cost you everything, and cost your husband nothing. It means you will never hold what he did against him again; his debt, which he can never repay, will be completely erased.

Forgiving your husband for his sin against you may be the most Christ-like thing you ever do, and it will identify you with Christ like nothing else can. Jesus was killed by the people He loved, so the people He loved could be close to Him. You’ve been betrayed by the man you love, and the only way you can ever remove every barrier between you and your husband is to forgive him as Christ forgives.

If you withhold forgiveness, you’ll keep yourself trapped in bitterness and pain. Your bitterness will continue to be a wall between you and your husband that will keep your marriage stuck in resentment, misfired communication, and hurt feelings.

Forgiveness doesn’t give him the permission to abuse your grace and indulge in sexual sin. It doesn’t mean you stop holding him accountable for his actions, or that he no longer needs to go all out in the battle against lust.

Forgiveness is a choice, a powerful act of the will; it’s not something you will feel like doing. It’s giving up of all of your anger and releasing your husband from all expectation to grovel, or make it right. (Which, he can’t.)

When you forgive him, you allow God’s grace to flow freely through your heart, flush out all of your pain and anger, and fill you with His peace. You tear down a wall that was between you and God, and you and your husband. Your forgiveness allows God’s grace to flow to your husband and lift his shame and guilt. It is only after you forgive when you will find peace again.

If you’re struggling with providing forgiveness, Jesus can give you the power to let it go, if you’re willing.

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