Post Featured Image

When Marriage Needs a Mulligan*

It started out so well.  From the time their paths crossed, they were drawn together with a force they did not want to resist.  Dating led to engagement and on into marriage.  The honeymoon raised some warning signs but love and passion quieted the nagging concerns.  The first year of marriage, consumed by work, social engagements and learning to live together distracted them from the unsettling tension signaling trouble ahead.

During the second year life became more routine opening the way for the growing concerns to come into focus.  Passion declined sharply, replaced by a sense of ought and obligation.  The spaces between their togetherness widened and filled with frustration and indifference.  The conviction that the marriage was a mistake was no longer framed as a question, yet the implication was unthinkable.

The confirmation of pregnancy in September seemed to infuse the marriage with new meaning and a sense of purpose.  The growing life diverted their senses away from the fragility of their relationship and on to preparation for the baby’s arrival.  In May, a new cast member arrived on life’s stage, commanding attendance and attention.

Fatherhood, exciting at first, dissolved into the realization that an intruder had taken over his home and commandeered his wife’s attention, interest and affection.  Motherhood filled a hollow place in her life where uncertainty, frustration and anger had darkened her days and filled her nights with forboding.  The love she needed to give now had a place to live while the love she longed to receive swept through her without reserve.

The cold distance between them widened as indifference numbed the sense of loss of the bond the passion filled early days promised.  The child became the fulcrum and the gravity which held the couple together while the hunger for the warmth of a nurturing relationship gnawed at the fragile fibers of their commitment.  The dream of being loved unconditionally and sharing the journey through life seemed unattainable while a feeling of being trapped financially prevented them from uttering the words separation or divorce.  Yet they both knew they could not go on indefinitely in this state of emptiness and disappointment.

Neither could bear the thought of living apart from the child so they consulted with a marriage therapist from whom they learned that marital love is not a noun but rather a verb.  Happiness is a deviation from the norm, not the standard condition of life.  The norm of life is contentment; a state of being that is neither bored nor infused with excitement.  They learned that feelings come unbidden and leave without warning and therefore are not reliable indicators of reality.  We feel passion and are driven by its power but we do love in spite of how we feel or what we want at any given time.  Feelings follow and reinforce the loving action.  A healthy, mutually satisfying relationship is built on commitments based in the needs of the relationship and fulfilled with actions and attitudes rising out of the foundation of self-control.

Both believed that the marriage was a mistake and wished out loud that they could start over without penalty.  He explained that in golf a poor drive from the tee may be replayed without penalty.  The therapist responded that a mulligan is not the same as a new game.  It simply allows the golfer to continue the same game as if the first drive had not happened.

What the couple wanted was to wipe out the marriage as if it had never happened and take a different course.  This cannot happen in life.  Once a marriage is formed and a child is born, a mulligan, a restart, is the best for which a couple can hope.  As in the game of golf, however, the mulligan stays in the minds of the players.  No matter what the player with the mulligan scores in the game, everyone remembers that the score is always one stroke higher.

Should the couple go on to divorce the marriage remains a fact in their lives and the child will tie them together as long as they both live.  In life, a divorce is forever part of a person’s history and current resume.

A mulligan in marriage is not a divorce but rather a place where the couple is able to stop, learn from their past mistakes, draw a line separating them from their negative past and design a marriage which is mutually satisfying, healthy and growing.  Then, with the help of a marriage therapist, build a new marriage in which both wish to live.  This is how the marriage mulligan works.

* A second chance to perform a certain move or action

Copyright 2011 – Dr. Orville E. Easterly All Rights Reserved – Do not copy.

25 comments (Add your own)

1. Tiffany Adams wrote:
My spouse and I need counseling can anyone help us?

Sat, October 22, 2016 @ 4:42 PM

2. wrote:
Very good info. Lucky me I came across your blog by chance (stumbleupon).
I've saved it for later!

Sat, April 8, 2017 @ 9:05 PM

3. Hollysmets wrote:
Мне 17 и я не сижу на шее родителей благодаря сайту -

Wed, April 25, 2018 @ 7:29 AM

4. FidelHor wrote:
Срочно Требуются сотрудники!
В связи с расширением крупной компании, срочно требуются сотрудники для удаленной работы за компьютером! Зарплата от 90.000 рублей в месяц.
От Вас: наличие выхода в интернет и наличие компьютера или планшета! Желание работать и зарабатывать. Так же, Вы можете работать с мобильного телефона, если у вас нет компьютера. Специальные навыки, знания и опыт не нужны! Выплаты ежедневно на Вашу банковскую карту. Подробности на сайте нашей компании: Спешите! Требуется всего 2 сотрудника!

Fri, May 4, 2018 @ 10:01 PM

5. wrote:
It's a shame you don't have a donate button! I'd
most certainly donate to this brilliant blog! I suppose for
now i'll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed
to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will share this site with my Facebook group.
Talk soon!

Sun, August 12, 2018 @ 12:36 PM

6. wrote:
I am really grateful to the holder of this website who has shared this enormous piece of writing at at this time.

Wed, August 22, 2018 @ 3:07 PM

7. wrote:
When some one searches for his vital thing, therefore he/she wants to be available that in detail, so that thing is
maintained over here.

Sat, September 15, 2018 @ 9:45 AM

8. custom wrote:
Indian tablets for women .

Mon, September 17, 2018 @ 7:32 AM

9. wrote:
Remarkable issues here. I am very glad to look your article.
Thank you a lot and I am having a look forward to touch you.
Will you kindly drop me a mail?

Mon, September 17, 2018 @ 9:23 PM

10. wrote:
Excellent blog here! Also your web site loads up very fast!
What web host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to your host?

I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

Mon, September 17, 2018 @ 9:36 PM

11. wrote:
If some one needs expert view about running a blog afterward i advise him/her to pay a visit
this weblog, Keep up the fastidious job.

Tue, September 18, 2018 @ 12:59 AM

12. wrote:
I got this web page from my pal who shared with me on the topic of this website and now this time I am visiting this web page and reading very informative articles
or reviews here.

Tue, September 18, 2018 @ 2:58 AM

13. wrote:
You're so interesting! I do not believe I have read something like this
before. So good to discover someone with original thoughts on this subject matter.
Really.. thank you for starting this up. This website is
something that's needed on the internet, someone with some originality!

Sun, September 30, 2018 @ 2:43 PM

14. wrote:
Very quickly this web site will be famous among all blog people, due to
it's pleasant articles

Sun, September 30, 2018 @ 4:32 PM

15. wrote:
Thanks for a marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed
reading it, you could be a great author. I will ensure that I bookmark your blog
and may come back very soon. I want to encourage continue your great posts, have a nice holiday weekend!

Thu, October 4, 2018 @ 11:41 PM

16. wrote:
Thanks very nice blog!

Sat, October 6, 2018 @ 5:50 PM

17. wrote:
Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post!
It's the little changes that produce the biggest changes.
Thanks a lot for sharing!

Sat, October 6, 2018 @ 11:26 PM

18. wrote:
Hi friends, pleasant post and good arguments commented at
this place, I am truly enjoying by these.

Sun, October 7, 2018 @ 8:06 AM

19. wrote:
You really make it appear really easy with your presentation but I
find this topic to be really one thing that I think I might never understand.
It seems too complex and very wide for me. I am having a look ahead to your
next put up, I'll attempt to get the dangle of it!

Mon, October 8, 2018 @ 11:03 AM

20. wrote:
Hmm it seems like your website ate my first comment (it was super
long) so I guess I'll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I'm thoroughly enjoying
your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I'm still
new to everything. Do you have any points for inexperienced
blog writers? I'd definitely appreciate it.

Thu, October 11, 2018 @ 3:31 AM

21. wrote:
Thank you for any other informative website.

The place else could I am getting that kind of info written in such
an ideal method? I've a project that I am just now working on, and I have been on the look out for such

Fri, October 19, 2018 @ 1:20 PM

22. wrote:
If you are going for best contents like myself, simply visit
this site every day as it provides quality contents, thanks

Sat, October 27, 2018 @ 9:32 AM

23. wrote:
Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.

I'll make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful
info. Thanks for the post. I'll certainly return.

Sat, October 27, 2018 @ 8:34 PM

24. wrote:
Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News.

Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
I've been trying for a while but I never seem to get there!

Many thanks

Sat, November 10, 2018 @ 3:01 PM

25. wrote:
Hi mates, how is everything, and what you wish for to say regarding
this paragraph, in my view its really awesome designed for

Mon, November 19, 2018 @ 12:40 AM

Add a New Comment


Comment Guidelines: No HTML is allowed. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Thanks.