My Inheritance

My mother is dying. There are shuffling noises overhead coming from her bedroom. She has cancer, and her death is imminent. I am her only child. We never liked each other.

I stare out the window at my large backyard covered in a crust of ice.

The bird feeder is nearly empty. I know I must replenish it, but I can’t command my body to move.

Before my seventy year-old mother moved in, I thought I’d continue working and hire a nurse to care for her. I wavered.  In the back of my head I wondered if we might find an emotional connection before it was too late. In the end, I convinced the senior partners’ at my law firm that it would be better to work at home for a while and take care of her myself.

Now I see my wish to wring more from our relationship as foolhardy. It’s elusive, like an important thought I can’t recall that hovers in the back of my mind. Now I just want to get through this miserable time and have it end. I’m so tired my teeth ache.

Continue reading “My Inheritance”

ARE WE MAKING PROGRESS IN MALE/FEMALE RELATIONSHIPS?

Several women of my generation, whom I admire for intelligence, independence and insight, have discussed with me how they view male/female relationships. They think they have to manipulate a man to get and keep him. Yes, they are women of my generation, but I am rather stunned when it comes from younger women who appear forthright and comfortable in their own skin.

The maneuvering is often to avoid issues that women fear might make men uneasy, like announcing your own needs and wants. Another is, even if she solves her own problems, making the man she aims for think that he solved her problem and suggesting that he is masterful and brilliant. She might try to make him feel that she is needy and dependent on his enormous abilities, and that she is much less informed about worldly matters.

What a burden to have to plan each day filled with pretense, constant editing of thoughts and creating outright lies. It is great to tell a man he is a terrific person and mean it – not as a ploy to get what you want. I would imagine that such behavior is addictive to an insecure man. The problem is that the deceit can never end. If the perpetrator of the game stops she may fear that her man will seek the “unconditional adoration” from someone else – many times that is exactly what happens.

The addiction to adoration is no different, to me, than any other addiction. Dealing with unending deceptions is that it has to be dredged up on a daily basis and near impossible to keep up indefinitely. Sadly, many times tying the knot will give a woman a rest from such tension, but it can be misinterpreted as a loss of interest.

It is best to be honest up front and to be yourself and not planting a false face all the time. Deserving compliments are very important. Deception is fatiguing. 

Copyright, Frances Metzman, Progress in Male/Female Relationships, 2018

WHAT TO DO WHEN RELATIONSHIPS REPEATEDLY GO BAD

When relationships go bad, it can throw us into a mental sink hole. Trying to breathe life into a relationship that has gone on life supports is a very sorry state. Look at art and music We are forever inventing poems that laud or scorn a significant other and singing songs of love-angst. What happens all too often is we find ourselves scraping the bottom of our hearts for those passionate flames when what actually remain are ashes of a burnt-out love.

I know we like to think of love as spontaneous. That can be very dangerous. We have to use our intellect way before meeting someone and as well as throughout the romance. It’s imperative that past failed choices be carefully scrutinized and mulled over thoughtfully. Otherwise we are open to repeat mistakes. There are certain steps to take before allowing ourselves to become inundated with anger and resentment from a failed relationship. Both people involved need to concentrate on the good qualities in each other and be able to express what we perceive as annoying in order to avoid going through emotional hell when the end is in sight.
 
In most instances, these choices are left to chance, romantic chemistry or spontaneous combustion or whatever you choose to call it. It appears that when we do that we tend to repeat mistakes. If we don’t use rational thought and self-exploration, we go into marriage with the same poor emotional baggage that we absorbed from our mentor/parents throughout childhood. We must be cognizant of learning positive qualities rather than coming to adulthood with the negatives wired into our crippled emotional intelligence. The lack of self-exploration makes for bad mental health which ups the ante drastically to make a mistake in choosing a mate.  

Denial creates a void that allows dysfunctional to overflow until it reaches its own level. That happens when a combination of universal issues such as power struggles along with issues unique to the individuals are ignored. And this can occur repeatedly in every relationship that an individual enters. It is a difficult task to unearth motives behind destructive behavior but quite doable – or should I say a necessity.

I know some serial wedders and they often come from an unhealthy background. They tend to marry their parents in disguise. Poor mate selection may duplicate personalities and an atmosphere similar to what we saw during our childhoods. The illusion is that we have another chance to attract the love we didn’t get from our parents. Unfortunately, the mate we picked just like the parents, is incapable of showing love. And the outcome is another broken marriage. We haven’t learned to listen to the warnings of our inner voice.

But the situation isn’t hopeless. If our parents have serious inadequacies, we need to look around to find better mentors. Watch the couples who speak to each other with obvious interest, and those who cultivate a healthy, affectionate, caring relationship. These are the qualities that create staying power for a deeper more romantic relationship. You have much more control over your relationships than you realize. We must be cognizant of these factors if we want love and happiness with a spouse. You’ll have a much better shot at reversing what you’ve simply been calling bad luck in choices.   fran 

Reunion (Except)

Reunion (an excerpt from The Hungry Heart by Fran Metzman) 

It had taken Toni two hours to put herself together for the reunion with Caroline and Lana, two women who had meant so much to her in the past. Until a week ago she hadn’t seen or heard from either one of them for sixteen years. At first, they had occasionally phoned then e-mailed, and after all communication stopped, they lost track of what everyone was up to.

Studying herself in the mirror, Toni hoped she gave the appearance of success, confidence and a woman who had arrived. In the last year an urge to meet up with the old friends had become progressively stronger until Toni got their new e-mail addresses through old friends and made the arrangements. They all decided to wait until they met to play catch-up. She wanted to show her mentors how far she had come from being an administrative assistant, a euphemism for secretary, at Scarducci, Adden and Drugers. The law firm had hired her straight out of high school. 

 

Caroline and Lana were newly graduated young lawyers at the same firm who, unlike Toni, had grown up privileged.

Although Caroline and Lana had treated her well, Toni felt that she didn’t measure up to them because she couldn’t afford to go to college. She always felt on the rim of their friendship. Despite having been invited to both their homes on a couple of occasions, in her perception, she never entered the inner circle of their lives. Looking back, she knew that feeling opaque in their presence was because of her own insecurities. Yet, undeniably, knowing them had been a life-changing experience. She could now present herself as a person of substance.

Going through her entire wardrobe, it frustrated Toni to realize she was so trying to impress the women – how pathetic. Still, she had tried on five of her best suits, finally settling on a Valentino design that she’d bought in a consignment shop. The beauty of combing the exclusive Main Line consignment stores was that they provided hugely discounted, runway-quality clothing, discarded by the ultra-rich after wearing them once or twice. It seemed as though hardly any of the Main Liners had the word wasteful in their vocabulary. The better for me, Toni thought.

She made, what she considered, an astronomical amount of money as an associate lawyer at a prestigious firm, Jackson and Haymour, that was located smack in the middle of Center City Philadelphia. Yet, she had never lost the fear of poverty that came from her deprived background. She only allowed a sliver of childhood memories to rise from time to time. Back when she worked at the Scarducci law firm she had never spoken of her roots, and no one had asked.

One last shake of her long, silky hair, a tug on the sleeve of her black short-jacket with chalk pin-stripes, a pat on the puffed-up collar of her cream silk blouse and she was good to go. The suit was perfect, and she approved of the effective dusting of make-up – thin purple eye liner, pale pink lipstick, and brushes of light magenta rouge on her mocha colored skin. As she often did, she felt grateful she’d inherited her Caucasian mother’s fine, softly waved hair that fell below her shoulders.

Years ago, her once beautiful mother had hair like that, but it had thinned, and she was beaten-down looking since her dad died six years ago. He had been ill for many years and unable to work. Toni missed him, and felt sad she visited her family so little because of long work hours. She promised herself to change that, but knew she probably wouldn’t. Her mother and sisters were proud of her, but what she missed most was the approval of the two friends, a goal that had haunted her over the years.

Toni walked out the front door of her West Philadelphia town house that was nestled in the protective shadow of the University of Pennsylvania where she had graduated from law school only four years ago. Originally, she had lived in the poorer side of the neighborhood, but recently moved to this more elegant and expensive location. She hailed a cab to take her to the Center City hot spot, La Bella.

Christmas in August (Hungry Heart Excerpt)

CHRISTMAS IN AUGUST (an except from The Hungry Heart) 

As Nancy moved around the room making last minute preparations, she exuded a fluttery nervousness. Her short leather skirt clutched her shapely thighs, making each step shorter than usual. She had the sensation several phones rang simultaneously, and she couldn’t decide which one to answer first. If she didn’t calm down, Curtis would know he’d unnerved her. They both knew her body language had always been an open window to her interior landscape. She glanced around the room, trying to ignore the Christmas tree in the corner. She hoped Curtis wouldn’t comment on the fact she was still celebrating Christmas in August.

And how shocking that Curtis showed up like this out of the blue. She had taken him off her list years ago, a sure sign their breakup was final. Curtis had left Chicago seven years ago, and she’d not heard a word from him for four years. Now he claimed he’d applied for a job in the city, and came in from California for the interview. This morning he’d called to say he wanted to come over and visit.

When she first met him ten years ago, she’d just turned twenty-six, and her enchantment with him loomed larger than the twelve-foot tall figures on billboards. He took up all of her breathing space, and she depended on him to dole out oxygen for her sustenance. And when the oxygen was in short supply and she was about to expire, he’d give her just enough air to survive. All the cruel witticisms she’d planned to heap on him at the first opportunity evaporated when she heard his voice. She didn’t hesitate to invite the love terminator up for a drink. She should have simply refused. Why didn’t she?

Hiking her skirt to the top of her thigh, she knelt to open the liquor cabinet. She pulled out a bottle of Glenlivit Scotch, his favorite, and untouched since he left. So many times she tried to throw it out only to return the container to the same exact space. She brushed the bottle with her fingers, raising a small cloud of dust, and chided herself for keeping it so long.

After Curtis walked out, he left a void that filtered into every aspect of her life. She couldn’t sleep, her work slipped, and she juggled a multitude of minor physical ailments that could be blamed on plain old depression.

For a year and a half she felt her hold on sanity was barely more than a slim thread. On late evening walks, she found herself peering into windows wishing those happier looking strangers would take her in and comfort her. Movements made too swiftly terrified her, like she balanced on the edge of a cliff and had to walk perfectly erect and in a straight line. Just when the unrelenting loneliness threatened to swallow her, she’d found Tom. He’d saved her, and it wasn’t a rebound. She truly loved the man, the kindest person she’d ever met.

Tom is a meat and potatoes guy while Curtis loved fine cooking. Sometimes Curtis had cooked for her, his favorite meal being feta stuffed veal chop with rosemary. Nancy recalled that she always bought the food, and that hadn’t bothered her at all. Curtis seasoned and cooked like a top chef. Nancy set out the caviar and crackers with chopped onions on the side. She chided herself because her intent was just to say a quick hello and have him leave as soon as possible. If that was the case, she asked herself, why had she opened a jar of the Beluga caviar he loved so much?

The doorbell rang.

MY INHERITANCE (excerpt)

MY INHERITANCE (“The Hungry Heart” an excerpt)

My mother is dying. There are shuffling noises overhead coming from her bedroom. She has cancer, and her death is imminent. I am her only child. We never liked each other.

I stare out the window at my large backyard covered in a crust of ice. The bird feeder is nearly empty. I know I must replenish it, but I can’t command my body to move.

Before my seventy year-old mother moved in, I thought I’d continue working and hire a nurse to care for her. I wavered. In the back of my head I wondered if we might find an emotional connection before it was too late. In the end, I convinced the senior partners at my law firm that it would be better to work at home for a while and take care of her myself.

 Now I see my wish to wring more from our relationship as foolhardy. It’s elusive, like an important thought I can’t recall that hovers in the back of my mind. Now I just want to get through this miserable time and have it end. I’m so tired my teeth ache.

I climb the stairs and enter her bedroom. My mother is packing, her open suitcase stuffed with clothes and her silver tea set. Glints of light ping off the gleaming surface of the polished metal.

 “Just where do you think you’re going?” I ask her.

 Without a word, she places her underwear beside the tea set, overlapping each piece two inches apart.

 “I’m still alive. I’m going home.”

 Her words bounce in the air and their meaning nearly slips out of my reach. We have only talked around her impending death. When she chooses, she blocks out what the doctors told her. “You can’t go home. You’re not well.”

“I’m better. I want my salad bowl back, too.”

 My mother barely stands upright. Her handwriting is no longer legible. “We sublet your apartment and put most of your things in storage. Remember? You’re staying with me for now.”

 She glares at me. Although she’s shriveled four inches from her original height and lost a lot of weight, her presence still fills the room.

 Her attention focuses on a nightgown slung over a chair. It’s one that she brought from home. I grab it, crumpling it under my arm. Three weeks ago, when my mother first arrived, I bought her a batch of better fitting clothes so that her weight loss wouldn’t be so apparent.

 Each lost pound seems to represent one less breath left in her limited allotment. I’ve tried to count the numbers of breaths she takes in an hour. Then I multiply them over a day, a week, a month, figuring how many are left within the short time she has left. It’s a senseless activity that fills long voids in our conversations.

 She stares at the floor. “I’m real sick, aren’t I?” Her voice is a hoarse whisper.

“Yes, but I’m taking care of you.”

 She looks pathetic. Then her expression hardens, and she narrows her eyes.

“You want me dead so you can get all my things.”

 Her belongings are like her emotions; meager and held tight to her body, like the empty pocketbook she takes to bed each night. Neither one of us can love freely.

Hungry Heart Review – Ray Greenblatt

A Review of THE HUNGRY HEART, written by: Ray Greenblatt, Wayne, Pennsylvania

 Ray Greenblatt has lived in New England, the West Indies, and along the Eastern Shore. He has written short stories, essays, and poetry which have been published across the U.S. in periodicals as diverse as America, English Journal, and Joseph Conrad Today. He was nominated for the Pushcart Prize twice and won the Anthony Byrne Prize. He was also  editor of the magazine General Eclectic. A teacher for many years Ray Greenblatt has taught writing in the Philadelphia Writers Conference as well as spoken at the John Steinbeck Festival in Salinas, California.“ 
by Fran Metzman
(Wilderness House Press, 2012)

 In her new collection of short stories, Fran Metzman proves that she is a daring experimenter. Most of her stories deal with contemporary issues that surge daily through the media; from family relationships (My Inheritance) to black-white relationships (Reunion) to white collar fraud (Dinner).

 Most of the stories are told from a third person point-of-view with a  woman as the major character. In “Dinner with the Mob” a woman speaks for herself. In “The Right Seasoning” a man takes the stage to reveal his  development.  One story Metzman places smack dab in our “City of Brotherly Love” with references to: Montgomery Avenue, the Main Line, the University of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Orchestra, West Philly, Center City Philadelphia.

 Her genres vary too. “Dinner with the Mob” is nearly Theater of the Absurd with so many of the guests at a posh dinner party having served time and crowing about it. “The Invisible Wife”  is Surrealism since the ex-wife secretly lives in her ex-husband’s attic to observe him with his new wife. “The Right Seasoning” grows into Comic Horror as a widower recaptures his wife’s essence by using her ashes as seasoning in his cooking.  It reminds me of Roald Dahl’s story “The Landlady” in which a traveling salesman has tea—which tastes peculiar—with the sweet old landlady then discovers upstairs embalmed tenants who were poisoned.

 Metzman is skilled in choosing just the right wording to fit the storyline. Her imagery is striking: “He put himself right out there, allowing her scathing words to claw his soul.” (Redemption). “She goes to a dermatologist who pumps poison into her face until she looks like a dolphin.” (The Early Bird Special) “A thickening silence bound Andrea in place.” (The Girls from Mapleton)

 Entire paragraphs vibrate with meaning.  In “The Girls from Mapleton” Chris tries to deny that her friend’s preacher father seduced her as a child: “Her voice pushed out against some invisible force that tried to silence her. Once the words were out they seemed to spin and then hang in the air menacingly. Chris produced  a tube of orange lipstick that matched her nails. In three broad strokes her lips became vibrant but refused to open to emit sound.” In “Christmas in August” an old boy friend wants to force himself back into Nancy’s life: “Now she sensed he wanted to backfill the void of the last four years to make it firm enough to walk across. It set her even more on edge and she began babbling about her graphic design job and how she’d been made director of the department. When a  hole appeared in her monologue, she plugged it with giggles.  The calmer he appeared, the faster she talked. She felt feverish.” Finally Nancy realizes that Curtis had always been and is still just trying to use her: “It was as though Curtis had placed a bookmark before the last chapter of a thrilling book when he left, and now she had read the disturbing conclusion. The book was closed, and she had a sense of peace.”

 As we can see, Metzman can be a mesmerizer in her word usage. Here she probes even more deeply into psychological depths. “She told herself to sit and listen to how she herself continued the legacy of repressing emotions” and “My head woke up too late. It forgot my body is nearly dead.” (The Early Bird Special) An inanimate object becomes a forbidding thing: “She recalled with repugnance that the plaster walls in that evil house had absorbed the smell of chicken soup that Barbara’s mother cooked twice a week.” (The Girls from Mapleton) Metzman’s insights into human nature are telling: from “Poverty doesn’t equate to a bad childhood” (Reunion) to “They both knew her body language had always been an open window to her interior landscape” (Christmas in August); until Metzman puts her finger on a real secret of happiness though rendered maniacally—“A craving to find something she lost or never owned overwhelmed her. She intended to teach Bruce the real meaning of love, offer her larger house for them to live in, share her inheritance with him. Other women offered sex which many men interpreted as love. She offered love.” (Myra’s garden).

 Although we’ve been getting hints of it, we shouldn’t overlook Metzman’s sense of humor, even in serious situations. “The Right Seasoning” is an especially fascinating and starkly funny story. Charles loved his wife Ruth and her cooking. “Food had fulfilled him, rounding his belly and marking events in his life, much like keeping a diary.”  He even thinks of a meat thermometer in a new way. “How nice if he had such an instrument to gauge his emotional health on any given day.” Meals became more and more special. “He had the notion that these sumptuous dinners coated their vital organs like a buffer against disease and that they’d live forever.”

Unexpectedly Ruth dies. “Pleasant dreams turned into a repetitive nightmare of a four foot tongue, lashing at the tasteless air.” He tries to recapture the magic. ”Each brick  seemed old and tired now, but once a week the kitchen came to life when he started the fire.” Memories return to him. “Rose, in her crisp, white apron had always created multi-colored hues round herself; vermilion filled the room when she cooked red sauces, dots of purple spun through the air when she stuffed  eggplants.”

Soon his grief has created a  fantasy around Donna, his next door neighbor who is nothing like Ruth. “When she wasn’t looking, he inhaled the faintest scent of rosemary from a sundress. Tears burned his eyes.”  Eventually Donna transforms into Ruth. “Soon Donna’s   nose took on a girth and her eyes went to ink black. A beauty mark appeared on Donna’s newly olive-toned cheek, and her pencil thin, skim milk colored mouth swelled and shaded into terra-cotta. Heat rose from his skin and his knees buckled. He wanted to shout out his wife’s name, but contained himself.”

Two stories I want to focus on because for me they are the most powerful in the collection. “Getting Close” has ties to “The Right Seasoning” with the theme of food common to both; you might also observe that their endings “go over the top.” Yet “Getting Close” offers so many dynamically memorable truths.

The story opens dramatically: “The scent of earthy root coming from a pot of potatoes boiling on the stove invades my nostrils.”  Things are not well between the two women: “Our relationship was on the brink of total extinction, and I saw this as the last chance to rebuild an endangered species—mother and daughter.” Food again becomes larger than itself: “Parboiling, braising, steaming, sautéing, roasting and frying are sacred rituals.”

 The mother holds so many demons inside: “Now I sense that she is searching through her unending bag of torturous comments she has on the ready for me”; “It scares me to look at her and see my future.” Another symbol: “Beside the window is her blue wing chair that retains the shape of her. It is the saddest chair I have ever seen”; “melancholy oozed into every inch of space in the apartment until it bulged at the seams.” The mother moans:  “It’s a cry of mournful horns blown on mountaintops for the dead,  for lost love, sickness, evil and torment”; “I don’t have the courage to walk into her deadly radiation zone.”

In an act of defiance mixed with appeasement, the daughter tries to accept the only thing her mother has openly offered: “I stand at the dividing archway between the kitchen and the living room holding a ball of dough. I fling it against the wall. It flattens, clings for a  moment then plops to the floor. Strangely, the sound makes me want to giggle.  Looking up, I see my mother in a violent blur. She’s banging her head against the wall with a rapid, steady beat …She wails and calls to God to end her miserable life.”

“Ripping away the coverings, I begin stuffing food in my mouth. My mother stops her head banging rituals and watches me, a stunned look on her face. I wash down the chicken with a turkey leg, and then break off a piece of baked potato and smash it into my mouth. I gobble half a loaf of bread. Filling a tall glass with water, I slurp it, forcing my impacted food down my throat.” Inevitably, “there is a furious protest from my stomach, and I rush to the bathroom. Falling to my knees, I cling to the toilet bowl and retch. Like a punch to my gut I vomit nearly choking on the volume.” Yet nothing is really solved between them.

In the final story I wish to discuss, Metzman’s opening story “My Inheritance,” the mother is older, more withdrawn, actually dying from cancer. Reference to food and wild displays of emotion are absent. Again, the opening is powerful: “My mother is dying. There are shuffling noises overhead coming from her bedroom. She has cancer, and her death is imminent. I am her only child.  We never liked each other.”  Then both women are partially revealed: “Her belongings are like her emotions; meager and held tight to her body, like the empty pocketbook she takes to bed each night. Neither of us can live freely. That became only too clear to me after my two marriages failed. Still, I’ve decided that we will have some kind of solution before she goes even if it kills me, too. It looks as though it might.”

It seems the sole nourishment between them is a special tea: “Without my mother knowing, I fix us marijuana-laced tea every night. It helps her sleep, eases nausea and calms my nerves. She brightens. ‘That’s really good tea.’” Metzman digs more deeply in this story: “Unanswered questions rattle in my mind like bingo balls whirling in mesh cages. I picture the cage stopping and the winning ball rolling into the cup. It has my father’s name on it.  I only saw him three times since he left.” Her mother finally confesses: “I’m angry because you remind me of your father. No backbone to either one of you. And your face is exactly like his. It’s like looking at his glazed eyes that never saw me. And, oh my God, when I see your full mouth, always pouting, I only see him. Just looking at you makes my bones hurt.” 

That’s the amount of closure we get, and as real human beings we can feel for both characters on this page. “I tuck her into bed, lean over and kiss her cheek. It feels like disintegrating old newspaper.” No exaggerations, no gimmicks, not a wasted word. With incisive use of dialogue, these last two stories discussed are told in an intimate first person . Metzman’s writing style has deepened so that it shimmers, speaks truth, and affects us emotionally.

In a Postscript of my own, I would like to comment on Ms Metzman’s short Afterward called “Writing and Healing.” A reader or indeed writer can learn a lot from this brief chapter about the dynamics of an author in the process of creating her stories. Yet as I sit here, still with a hungry heart, I do not think of sugar plum fairies. Dancing through my head, due to Fran Metzman’s vivid writing, I daydream about knishes, kugel, blintzes, latkes …

Ray Greenblatt
Wayne, Pennsylvania


Tip #1

One rule of thumb in writing, particularly in fiction, that I adhere to is learning structure in writing. Would you trust a doctor to operate on you if he/she didn’t have a working knowledge of anatomy? Well, I liken that to writing – structure, structure, structure. Once you learn the elements of dialogue, narration, point of view, description, setting, time & place, etc. and the balance between all of these elements, you are off to a flying start whether you write non-fiction, literary or commercial fiction.

There are visual images that need to be addressed such as white space on a page. In today’s world, there is a greater push for white space (tends toward commercial) rather than dense words on every page (tends toward literary). Again, balance enters into this. Think of your audience. If writing more commercial fiction give your reader more white spaces, less description. Even in literary pieces, people raised on speed in computers, texting and iPads easily tire of long passages that go on and on about the landscape. Readers like to get to the story quickly and absorbed in the conflict that ensues whether it is physical or psychological or both. And don’t forget CONFLICT! That is the heart of your story.

There should also be adherence to reality – what motivates people in real life and how does that translate into fiction. Study human behavior for an understanding of human behavior even if writing commercial fiction. 

That is not to say you can’t experiment, but you need understanding of structural elements in order to innovate. Like great artists who have gone experimental, almost always they can do realistic work first. Picasso did realistic portraits before his famous bombastic pieces.

Statistically Independent

An article in The New York Times by Sam Roberts, January 16, 2007 said: “For what experts say is probably the first time, more American women are living without a husband than with one, according to a New York Times analysis of census results.
“In 2005, 51 percent of women said they were living without a spouse, up from 35 percent in 1950 and 49 percent in 2000.”
When divorces occur, men are much more likely to remarry than women. At ages 45 and plus, around 1/3 of men remarry and approximately 25% of women. I was intrigued by this statistic and curious as to the reasoning behind it, and looked at it from different angles.
Most women are reluctant to leave a marriage for reasons such as; family, economics, image of stability and fear of traumatizing children. For another thing, they don’t want the stigma of failure as problems in marriages are usually attributed to woman.
I find that women will live with many flaws in their marriage before committing to the heart-rending deed of divorce. There are many women who know their husbands are cheating (either with women or men) who might even be keeping a mistresses. Still, they stick with the marriage.
No doubt, there are women who leave marriages because they are on a mission to find themselves and although the union is good, they leave. I believe they are in the minority. For the most part, when a woman wants out there is good, solid reason. Perhaps once out of a bad marriage many are reluctant to jump in again – especially if they have the means of earning a decent income.
In this modern world where the sexes are supposedly equal, women are still doing the majority of household chores. Tie that into a husband who is unresponsive to their needs, is emotionally distanced and/or underlying it all has little respect for women. Yes, there is still a strong prejudice that women are not as smart as men. It might be a nasty holdover from yesteryear but there it is – in your face. Can we rid society of this deeply embedded and destructive perception? We need to explore many of the reasons before anything else.