Marriage Interview Paper
The first woman I chose for the interview about reliving the experience of their marriage was Emily Greene, 45, who lived on 13, Maple Street. Emily is currently a single mom and works freelance apart from being a full time house wife. She has been divorced for six months from her husband Mathew Greene, who is ironically a marriage counselor.
As I entered the tastefully decorated and neatly kept Greene family house, I was greeted by an over friendly Labrador mix who was preparing to bowl me over with his affections, until his mistress calmed him down with a sharp reprimand. Emily led me to the living room where the settings for a session of coffee were already arranged and the tantalizing smell of the rich brew was permeating the air.
After we were settled down with our cups of coffee along with a pen and notebook in my case, I formally started the interview I was there for. “How long have you been married?” was my basic launch off question. Emily and her husband had been happily married for twenty three years when the arguments started. They had three children. The youngest Mark aged seven, Sean, thirteen and the eldest, Sophia, a pretty girl of seventeen.
Emily and Mathew were high school sweethearts and their married life had been free from the usual bickering of married couples, Emily declared. They were in tune with each other’s thoughts and feelings and had done a good job of raising their children in a nurturing and peaceful environment with the right amount of discipline and independence.
But then things changed when Mathew turned to the profession of marriage counseling. According to Emily he started to treat everything in their lives as if they were his clinical cases. He became too calculated in the way he took decisions or solving a problem. Emily was used to sharing her fears or anxieties with her husband and finding a solution for any trouble together. But lately he met her concerns with a scornful attitude and advised her to change her won perspectives about things instead of fixing them up with mutual discussion.
Emily thinks that perhaps seeing too many broken marriages in the course of his career has embittered her husband and he had become disillusioned about what the future held for them which made him lash out in frustrated responses and depression. But she also thinks that problems could have been solved if he would have just opened up to her about his own fears for once and solve things mutually like they had always done. Tears still swam in her eyes as she admitted that the only reason she decided to end their marriage was because of the children. They were disturbed and confused from their father’s altered behavior, especially Sophia, who understood the gradual fragility of the bond between her parents months before they actually announced it.
I got the impression that Emily was an extremely dedicated mother. For the sake of her children’s mental peace she had been willing to sacrifice her relationship with the man she had been married for half her life and was still in love with.
Emily shared that till the last point she hoped that her husband’s attitude will take a turn for the better by some miracle, but that was not destined to happen and they ended up getting separated before their twenty fourth anniversary.
To lighten up the mood without straying from the topic I asked Emily about the happy years of their marriage. Her face lit up, as I had hoped it would, as she recalled of fonder memories of going on three honeymoons, buying their own house (the one in which we were sitting) and saving up for a completely new do of the house. I praised sincerely their taste in interior decoration. The house radiated with an aura of well being and comfortable luxury.
I asked Emily how she was finding life now as a single mother. She said that the one positive thing that had come about after her separation was the discovery of her own wings. She had revived her talents and tested herself in various environments of work. This made her aware of her own strength and abilities. This period had been the first in which she found herself outside the circle of dependence and protectiveness she had surrounded by, her whole life. Right out of high school, she had married Mathew and before that she lived with her parents. This phase of being without any reliable emotional, physical and financial support had been a learning experience for her. Emily admits that her main motivational point were her children.
I moved on to question Emily in general about what she thought of the marriage institution. Was it true, in her opinion, that there is an element of gender dominance present between all couples, and usually the men are in power over the household? Emily was skeptical of that belief. She admitted that there were cases, many in fact which the husbands have an unfair amount of control over the family but that cannot be called a successful marital relationship. The people who are more sensible nurture a relationship in which both partners are equally involved in facing the day to day struggles of the practical world. She thinks that mutual understanding and confidence in each other are the keys to a relationship. She reflected that her own had crumbled only when these things had disappeared.
I asked Emily what kind of advice she will propose to give the younger generation about marriage and the suitable age for getting the wedding bells ringing. She laughed and said she might not be the best person to give that sort of advice as she herself got married when she was twenty years old. But on a serious note she added that now when she looks at it retrospectively, she would not willingly want her daughter to follow down the same path.
“It is better to explore your options first and test your “metal” in the world” she said with a smile. “ I would like Sophia and all the other girls of her age to find out themselves before they set out to merge their identities with someone else’s.”
She said she was fortunate that she was married to a man who had a strong career drive right from the start. Most boys of that age are uncertain about their lives and it usually ends up in disastrous results if they get into an early marriage. We wrapped up the conversation on this note and I thanked Emily for her time and sharing the experiences of her private life with me.
My next interview was with Imogene Hertz. Imogene, 34, lived with her husband Steven Hertz, 36, in a luxurious version of a Spanish villa on Boulevard Avenue. Imogene and Steven were generous hosts as they welcomed me on their patio. After a brief tour of their house Steven retired inside the house and left me and Imogene to lounge around on their patio which had scenic view of their heavily blooming lawn.
After praising the wonderful state of her prized roses I led the conversation to my desired subject. Imogene replied to my standard question about how the two of them met with a dreamy look in her eyes. “I was twenty eight, a fashion journalist, and my long time boyfriend had broken up with me. Steven worked as a journalist for the sports edition of our publishing company. We had met a few times going to and fro from work. I used to be too wrapped up in my life to notice him in those meetings but he always stopped me for a word or two.
A month after my break up, when I was going through the world like a zombie, he asked me out for coffee. I took a chance upon that invitation which I am still thankful for.”
I asked Imogene to share their personal relationship. Was it perfect? She replied with an outright NO causing us both to burst in laughter. They have been married for six years and according to Imogene they had been in countless arguments and fights through this along with their dating period. ‘I was severely insecure after Matt (her previous boyfriend) and once I started getting seriously involved with Steven I became possessive to a paranoid level.” Imogene said Steven handled her years of temper tantrums with care, understanding and patience.
Imogene said that now it wasn’t one sided anymore. Once Steven had proposed her fears had finally been assuaged the relationship had become more balanced out. Now she was also able to handle Steven’s occasional temperamental outbursts and despite getting into arguments they haven’t yet found one yet from which they couldn’t get out of. I ventured to inquire Imogene about what were their plans about children. ‘We have to come to a mutual agreement that we will only have children when we feel ready to take up that job. It’s a big responsibility and you are answerable not only to yourself but also the society if you bring them up wrong, ” was Imogene’s reply.
Imogene said the best thing about their marriage was that she knew they would make it till the end. She was the thing that kept them together even after so many fights and arguments was that neither of them gave up.
They might rant and rave and not speak to each other but the thought of separation or ending the relationship was just not an option for them. “We are happy!” she declared.
I asked her what kind of advice she would give other people on marriage. “It should be a well thought out decision. Not something you have to do. Get to know the person. Spend time with them. You might find someone pure gold, who has always been there.” Imogene also said that being married to someone opens you up to a whole lot of learning experiences. Tolerance, sharing of personal space and accepting you are wrong are some of the things. As it was time for me to draw the interview to a close, I wished Imogene and Steve to continue having the positive approach towards their relationship in the future also and departed.
Taking both these interviews had been an enlightening experience for me. I concluded that marriages need to be worked upon by both partners in order to thrive. At times things might look bad but losing hope is not an option where relationships are concerned. And yet sometimes you need to be courageous enough to prioritize your life and do what is right for not just yourself but for other people who are involved in. What matters in the end is how positive a person you are.