When I was about 7 years old, my parents realized that they were having marital problems. My father knew there was a problem long before this, but he was now ready to do something about it. They began the process of looking for a marriage counselor. They found many. They went to many. But it was always the same song and dance.
The marriage counselor would begin by getting the story of their marriage from both parties and then begin speaking to my father about what he could do to improve himself. My dad, being a humble and loving gentleman, was more than happy to take sole ownership of the repairing of the marriage, but knew that doing this would only exacerbate the problem.
Let me explain…
My mother was abusive to Dad. I remember one day, I walked into the living room and Mama told Dad to turn around. Apparently he had done something naughty. He obliged and she commenced slapping him on the back. It seemed to go on forever. I don’t remember how it ended, but I do remember Dad just standing there, calmly, letting her blow off her steam.
She would regularly kick him out of the house and not allow him back until he apologized to her liking. One cold winter night, he decided that apologizing would be the wrong thing to do, being he had done nothing wrong. He walked two blocks away to a local bank and climbed up behind their lighted sign in the alcove of the bank’s entryway. The fluorescent lights kept him warm through the night. I don’t know if he came home and apologized but, from experience with Mama, she more than likely lost interest in the punishment and let him back in the door.: