Would your marriage survive if you or your spouse had to deal with any of these?
- Severe depression
- A home so small your visiting father can only get to the bathroom through your bedroom or by going outside
- Painkiller addiction
- A rehab program you cannot leave that's so bad your counselor commits suicide
- A bad hiking fall with a serious head injury for the one spouse who can drive
- Wanting to move back to a more familiar place to escape a bad job when you cannot find jobs for both of you there
- The slow death of a widowed mother
It could. And you could. And I know this because I just read a wonderful memoir of woman and her remarkable husband who survived all of them. The amazing thing? It's an incredibly upbeat, optimistic book full of events as amazingly delightful as these are awful.
If you have ever wondered, "How will I/we survive this?" — read this book. If you have ever thought divorce or suicide was the only way out of your current pain, read this book. If you are married to someone life seems to challenge at every turn, read this book, and pay attention to Jim's part of the story.
You need to know what remarkable things await someone who rides the waves that might have knocked them down. You need to feel, through Sue's story and the masterful way she writes about it, the other side of each wave, where anguish turns to exuberance and grief turns to peace.
If you bail while it's bad, you will never know the upside of crisis. And if you don't get this book, you will miss one great read.
Out of the Whirlpool: A Memoir of Remorse and Reconciliation, by Sue Wiygul Martin.
The book comes out in May 2013, so right now, let Sue know you want the announcement. While you're there, you can read early drafts of some of the chapters for free.
I am supposed to reveal when I receive anything from anyone whose work I tout. I received an autographed copy of the advance reader's copy of this book, with no requirement to do anything more than offer my feedback to Sue.
I received something much more valuable from her that I am not required to reveal. I met Sue while working for the US Department of Veterans Affairs on website and elearning accessibility. We met in person several times at meetings and conferences.
Sue possesses a presence, a fire in her belly that lets her move from outrage to laughter almost as fast an an infant does and to tender concern or all business as fast as that infant's mother. It's affecting. It's contagious. It's life-affirming. And she will tell you flat out that it and her blindness come from the time she took a rifle to her head to try to end a very unhappy time in her life.
So what does this have to do with marriage? Divorce is nowhere near as final as suicide, but it ends a family and a relationship. It keeps you from ever getting to the other side of the wave if there is one. Before you pull that trigger, you owe it to yourself to read Sue's story and try to catch a spark from that fire in her belly.