Darkness in the Soul of a Marriage, as Daughters Watch

I came face to face tonight with a terrible reminder that some people among us live in spiritual darkness.

We went to the Cornbellys maze and fall festival tonight as a gift from my work. Xander and Ada did the pillow trampoline and bounce houses etc. etc. and had a wonderful time. But at one point, I happened to turn around and found myself unexpectedly face to face with a hulking man just as he angrily called his wife a bitch.

He did this in front of his two very young daughters.

I was so startled I just said “whoa.” The man did not meet my eyes, but his wife did, and the look in her eyes was haunting. I was swept along by the crowd and I did not see them again.

My first thought was, did Xander hear that? Luckily Xander was headlong for the three-story climbing wall and was just far enough ahead of me that he didn’t seem to hear.

It is difficult to imagine marriage where a man would talk to his wife like that. If I ever even thought about saying such a thing -- in front of the kids or alone with my wife -- I promise you that me and my belongings would be on the curb about five seconds after I closed my mouth. My wife would never, ever put up with that.

Years ago, I was in the spice market in Luxor, Egypt and found myself standing in front of a man who was beating his young son with a stick. I’ve never felt so helpless. That moment has stayed with me. It still pains me. This is how I feel tonight.

Degrading your wife while your kids listen is the least manly thing a man can do. The most cowardly thing. How terrible that his tender-hearted daughters witnessed this. And if he acts like this at a crowded family-friendly event, imagine how he acts behind closed doors. I hope his wife and daughters are safe. I don’t know how to help them.

But I do know how to make sure that Xander is brought up to honor the women around him, and Ada to expect vastly different treatment and tolerate nothing less.



  1. Wow. That makes me feel sick just thinking about it. Unfortunately, I learned through a friend's experience that this type of behavior and worse (she had her jaw and chin and hyoid bone broken) happens regularly enough that the maxiofacial surgeon's office told me not to worry about getting them victim's advocate information, because they were all too familiar with the system. I cried when I heard that. I'm glad you looked at the guy. The fact that he wouldn't look you in the eye says a lot. Thanks for teaching your family, too!