There are lots of statistics floating around about the fraction of marriages that end through divorce. Most of the time you will hear about numbers in the range of 50%. However, some brave couples give every ounce of their energy to ensure that they do not become just another part of the head-shaking statistics. They strive to kindle their flames, to find common ground in the areas of finances, child rearing, career choices, and sensitive issues regarding toilet paper mounting and tooth paste squeezing. Their plucky resolve and gritty determination can serve as an inspiration to us all. You can almost hear the swelling music rising up in the background as the camera pans out and we find the happy couple romping through a field of wildflowers, cavorting off into the sun.
Recently while rummaging around through some seldom used areas of my mind, a real-life story came back to me about a couple that lived next door to a friend of mine back when I was in graduate school. My friend told me the story about a very typical couple that consisted of a working wife and working husband with the standard 2.3 kids. The seemed to have a significant amount of strife that caused friction in their marriage. It had them on the brink of dissolving their relationship.
However, at the same time, their children were quite popular in the neighborhood. They made friends with a number of other children up and down their street. They were so popular that their house became a regular hang-out spot after school and on weekends. After all of the drama and back-and-forth, the couple ultimately decided not to separate because the neighborhood kids would lose their hang-out spot. Of all the reasons to decide to stay married, who would have thunk of this one, the neighbor's kids?