Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Seeing Friends' Marriage Woes Spurs Reader to Action

DEAR HARRIETTE: Two of my close friends are going through a hard time in their marriage. The wife confided in me when asking for a suggestion for a therapist. While she was sharing what was going on, I realized that her marriage is way better off than my own. What’s more, she is addressing their issues head-on. I stopped fighting for things that I think are important years ago because it always turned into an argument. Now that I see what this couple is going through because they won’t settle for living in conflict, it makes me think that I should revisit some of the friction that seems to plague my marriage and try to get my husband to talk with me about it again. I begged him to go to therapy years ago, but he refused. Now that his friend is going to therapy, maybe I can convince him to reconsider it. What do you think? -- Conflicted Marriage, Detroit

DEAR CONFLICTED MARRIAGE: One of the best things that can happen when you are helping others is that you shine a lens on your own life and discover ways that you can help yourself. If you have been going along with a marriage that is unfulfilling and your friends have helped you to notice that, take the time now to work to rekindle the flame. Talk to your husband. Tell him what you want for your marriage. Ask him what he wants. Suggest that you revisit the idea of therapy to bring the two of you closer together. You can point out what’s happening with your friends as a point of encouragement.