I was listening to a podcast yesterday of an excellent therapist
named Adam Lane Smith.
He was saying that in his experience in working with couples who are in conflict
it is extremely hard to save the marriage.
He said couples usually wait too long to seek help.
By the time they walk into the therapist’s office, it is too late.
One spouse has already made their decision: “I’m outta here.”
That spouse will just go through the motions of therapy
to make it look like they tried.
Then they will leave.
He said the ONLY way marriage therapy works
is if BOTH spouses want to save the marriage.
What can we learn from this
about the potential of the Red and Blue halves of our country
to remain united?
Looks like we need to ask:
DO both sides of America want to save the marriage?
Or has one side (or both) already made the decision to leave?
Let’s get personal
Let’s accept that neither you nor I
can answer either question with certitude,
because they are about millions and millions of people we don’t know.
All we can know for sure is how each of us as an individual
answers these questions.
I hope you will take a deep breath and join me now
in asking these questions of ourselves:
Do I want to save the marriage of Red and Blue?
Or have I already made the decision to leave?
Let’s you and me both dig deep and think this over.
I’ll go first, because I never ask you to do something I am unwilling to do.
“Dr. Hall, do you want to save the marriage of Red and Blue?”
As soon as I type that, tears come in my eyes.
“Desperately,” I whisper.
Photos of dead men wearing grey or blue
splayed horribly on the ground at Gettysburg
flash before my eyes.
“Our rage now isn’t just leading toward divorce.
It is leading toward war,” I say to myself.
I want us to see the danger.
I want us to prevent the catastrophe.
Like a married couple, I want us to find the best in each other.
Find common ground, build constructive solutions, and save the marriage.
I want us to say the Pledge of Allegiance together,
as we did when we were children:
“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands
with liberty and justice for all.”
Yes, I want our red and blue marriage to be saved
and I will do all in my power to save it.
“Dr. Hall, have you already made the decision to leave the marriage of red and blue?”
No. I will never leave.
My Pledge of Allegiance is my vow.
Our marriage is indivisible.
In every word I write and every word I speak
I vow to be constructive.
I will listen.
I will connect.
I will build bridges.
I will have faith in my fellow citizens
and never despise them.
I will never place myself above them
as superior, self righteous and blameless.
I will honor the best in us all
and forgive the rest.
Together I want us to summon our braver angels
come through this time of fear and rage
and create a new birth of freedom in America.
Over to you
Do you want to save the marriage of Red and Blue?
Or have you already made the decision to leave?
I hope you will take the time to ponder and write down your responses.
I will greatly value, and learn from,
each of your transparent responses to these vital questions!
Thank you for your courage in facing these questions with me.
We are all in this together.