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Magical Transformation
By Celia Anderson
28, May 2006 - 14:32

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"Divorce was legal by mutual consent in Ireland up until the ninth century. Also, women could divorce their husband for reasons such as wife beating, sterility, or failing to pay maintenance. Men could divorce their wives for reasons such as infertility, infidelity, or bad management. This was part of the first written legal system in Ireland, referred to as Brehon law. The Roman Catholic Church had supported the idea of divorce for some time, but began insisting that marriage was an ‘indisolvable bond’ from the twelfth century on. As time went on and English Common Law began liberalise on the topic of divorce, Ireland’s legislation remained unchanged."

According to Article 41.3.2, of the Constitution no law shall be enacted providing for the grant of dissolution of marriage. While divorce was prohibited, marital-break down of other forms did exist, in the form of death, desertion, or lack of communication. Many couples hid their failed marriages as society seemed to not have caught up with the idea that a marriage can break down and both partners were frowned upon when the secret was revealed. A friend of mine kept his unhappy situation a secret for near to 10 years and chose to live half a life just to make everyone else happy.

As we all know, there are many reasons for a failed marriage, but I think "lack of communication" should be place near the top. In this day and age, women are supposedly looked upon as equal. Not in all cases as the world has gotten the gist of if but not all have joined in. The fact is; we are not equal and before you decide to look up my address and hunt me down, just hear me out. I believe that woman can do many things that we take for granted as "Man’s work" but then that could be said for "Woman’s work" as well. Just have a look how many men are seen in public, strolling around with a baby in their arms, changing diapers (not so public) and generally taking over some of the chores at home. It used to be unheard of for the man of the house offering you coffee and then go make it while you sit chatting with his wife. But this is just one of the new trends that are coming up in this century. In the past many men used to help out in the house or take care of their children, but as this was also one of those "taboo" things for a "real" man. They would not advertise it and would never be seen doing it in public in case one of their "buddies" happens to spot him being less than manly. There are so many other examples that go both ways, but the difference is not sexist, it’s based on misunderstanding.

I am fully aware that many people will think I am absolutely mad and disagree with what I say, but many out there will understand it. Take this harmless situation for example. It’s weekend, both parties work a 5-day job and have to catch up with the housework on weekends. The woman of the house has been busy tiding the house while the man of the house has shot down to the shop to get fencing for their new vegetable garden. After a few hours, the woman of the house sits down and has a well-deserved cup of coffee. In comes the man of the house, dumps the merchandise onto the back porch and flops exhausted down across from her. Looking at the steaming cup of coffee in his wife’s hand, he says; "Boy, I could do with one of those?" She sighs heavily!! She is tired and would just like to enjoy this cup of coffee. He is confused at her reaction. He did not expect her to get up and make him the coffee. He was quite willing and able to do it himself.

He gets up to make it, trying to avoid the pending situation. Now that is where Catch 22 comes in. Confusion and guilt is a two-headed monster. She feels guilty at not making him a cuppa and he feels confused as why a relaxed atmosphere has turned sour within seconds. That’s were communication comes in. We are not mind readers after all. This situation can go either way. She could walk in and say; "Sorry about that sigh, I am just tired and had just sat down. I thought you wanted me to get up and make you that cuppa!" or he could go to her and say; "Sorry about that misunderstanding, I really did not expect you to make the cuppa. It just came to mind as I sat down and saw yours?" Anyhow, something like that would suffice.

If the couple had avoided each other after that or started referring to mistakes in the past or "you don’t understand" me accusations, then the end of this situation would be predictable. The "you don’t understand me" statement gets used much too often…and it is a fact that people do not understand each other. Where is it written that when that ring slips on your finger some magical transformation happens and suddenly two different personalities understand each other clearly? That’s nonsense and the faster people realise there will always be some things they will never ever in all their years of marriage understand, the more chance their union will have. Talk to one another; tell them how you feel, explain a statement that is misunderstood. Give the other a chance to say their piece before you attack or defend. Listen to them and hear what they are saying. Stop being so hard on yourself and remember we are all human and we make mistakes and misunderstand. And above all, for goodness sake remember we are not mind readers.

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