March 7

Divorced at Age Two

March 7, 2014

Marriage

I talked to a couple who were in the process of divorcing. Their marriage was simply awful—attacking, withdrawing, lying, addictions—an unspeakable mess of conflict and pain.

“When did your marriage begin to go bad?” I asked.

They concluded—finally agreeing on one thing—that their marriage really started to go bad after their second child was born.

“Oh, it all began much earlier than that,” I said. I learned about their childhoods, and how they were badly and repeatedly wounded, after which they spent the remainder of their lives responding to their pain.

“What I’m telling you,” I said, “is that your divorce began when you were both about two years old—perhaps even earlier. By that age you were already so distorted by pain and fear that your course in life was set—leading you to this place.”

In the succeeding days and weeks, they learned a better way to live, and now they enjoy a richly rewarding marriage.

When looking for the cause of our present problems, we tend to identify the more recent and dramatic events, but those are rarely the real cause. The wounds that affected us most happened earliest, when we were so young that we don’t even remember them. We have to identify those wounds and heal them, or the problems continue from the untended source.

 

PCSD

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