Are you a mad wife? A mad husband? Mad at your wife, or mad at your husband? Or just plain mad?
Madness is senseless folly or rage—craziness. Shakespeare’s Polonius says of Hamlet: “Though this be madness, yet there is method in it.” You and I are probably not feigning madness as Hamlet was. But perhaps our madness is pretending that we have all our marbles when it comes to marriage or that our anger is nothing serious or things will get better with time.
Harrison Scott Key, in his recent book, How to Stay Married, The Most Insane Love Story Ever Told, chronicles the demise of his marriage. He goads the reader’s madness with reality:
“If you think this couldn’t happen to you, you’re a fool…What will you do with the fact that one in four marriages experiences infidelity? If you’re a man, you’re more likely to commit infidelity than you are to play a musical instrument. If you’re a woman, you’re more likely to have an affair than you are to have bangs.”
We may be aware of the enticements of the world, the dulling of our minds and senses, and yet we allow ourselves to be lulled into mediocrity, laziness, smoothing over, feigning niceness when we are, in fact, seething with anger.
If you are one who rages silently, shoots word bullets at your spouse, or just acquiesces in cowardice, please know these are mad strategies. Why gamble that your marriage will get better with time? That is madness.
Seek help. Ask your spouse to get help with you. That is not madness. That is sanity. Everyone around you will think so; even if they don’t, that is okay. Do not let other’s perception of your marriage be the reason it fails.
People love to watch a marriage go up in flames, which affords the blessed opportunity to warm your ego by the fire. “We’re not perfect but, look at those two.” It’s a vicarious thrill, the itch to burn it all down and walk away while proudly declaring, “We would never do something like that.”
The Owen Center sees couples every day along the road of madness. Marriage, if nothing else, requires initiation into the craziness of love, self-sacrifice, and service, plus faithfully raising the next generation. To think we can travel that road without help is folly indeed. Harrison Key again states:
“If you’re just going about your business, a nice couple in a good marriage, living your lives, raising your family, the drains will grow putrid and you won’t even know. …You will need help to determine how, exactly, to stoke the flame of love and burn away the deadfall of your own endless wanting.”
No one has all the answers, of course. But it is good to seek wisdom and forsake madness. In marriage, everything is at stake. Where we might be disappointed with our spouses or disappointed with ourselves, James 4:6-10 says, “[God] gives more grace…‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Submit yourselves, therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”
If you would like to inquire about an appointment for marriage counseling, you can do so here.
 Harrison S. Key, How to Stay Married: The Most Insane Love Story Ever Told (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2023), 294.
 Ibid., 295.