Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Poser

I have always wondered what it is like to write a post completely devoid of photographs or illustrations of any kind.

I know many fine bloggers do. They express themselves so well they don't need pictorial support. Their words speak a thousand pictures (can I actually say that?).

For me a post, or a blog without pictures is like an Englishman without a tie. Not quite complete. Englishmen I used to know anyway.

I am trying my hands now at putting down just words. I know I'll be lost, but hope you won't be.

I feel like I'm ranting when there are just words. Pictures help me save on words.

Let me use this picture-less Friday to ask you a question: Can a couple who's been married for over thirty years suddenly decide that they've had enough of each other, continue to exist under the same roof, but generally have separate lives? How practical you think that arrangement is?

Because they are not formally divorced, family ties remain largely intact.

Universal convention, my upbringing, and the melancholic in me would scream a huge 'NO' - it's a crazy, out of this world idea.

But what do YOU think? (I wish I know how to put one of those 'vote' boxes, but I'll just do the tally from your comments). Thank you.


Su said...

Sometimes I just forget to add a picture, then after the post is already up and look back and wonder, "What the heck? How did I forget a picture?"

To answer the question... I would suppose that after 30 years, living together is just a habit that would be hard to break. Although I'm a bit skeptical as to the degree of "had enough" if they can continue to exist under the same roof. An "open marriage", perhaps?

I don't think I could do it, myself. But I suppose if it works for them, so be it. I just think there would be all kinds of awkward going on and it would be hard to move on from the relationship (since that sounds like what they want) if the same people are still living together.

Lo said...

Wow! That is a tough one......and very delicate. depending on so many factors.

They would both have to feel exactly the same about morphing the relationship and I doubt if that would be possible. I can only see it working if there were no 3rd parties involved and if financial constraints made it desirable.

Or if they each needed a live in pet sitter for their mutual critters.

Maria Zannini said...

I suppose anything is possible. But it's a sad way to live a life.

erica and christy said...

Yes, you can post without pictures. As for the personal question - I've seen it happen for a very short time. And I don't believe it can happen for long - way too toxic.

Good luck, Grandpa.

Lo said...

Hmmm, hour ago I left a long thoughtful comment and it seems to have disappeared.

Or did you delete it?

I hope it wasn't offensive to you.....I didn't intend it to be.
I really don't know the answer to your query.

Joanna St. James said...

Eeesh Grandpa I came to see juicy fruits and then you lay this one on me.
I really can't answer one way or the other because people are different. As long as it works for the couple in question then why not?

Theres just life said...

I can see the pros and cons of the situation. But me I don't think I could do it, too much old memories and baggage.
I would still think I need to put my 2 cents in on how they live their lives.

NancyDe said...

I think that living under the same roof allows for the pendulum to swing back so that you can start communicating again. Sometimes one or the other in a marriage needs a little emotional space, but that nothing is ever static and unchanging, not good times, and not bad times. You are still in my daily prayers, my friend.

Aishah said...

Personally, it is not possible but as a third party, I think it is workable if that is how the husband and wife have decided to live their lives. But then, how could the husband and the wife treat their marriage as an "ibadah", as an act of worshiping God. In fact, this arrangement may lead to a sinful life.

I think it is best if effort is put into loving your spouse for the sake of Allah. All these terms of falling out of love, no more chemistry, amicable differences etc., are terms that do not follow the way of life that we should lead.

That is my humblest opinion. And I think you did just fine without pictures:)

Grandpa said...

Thank you all for your comments. The couple in question really appreciate your thoughts.

This time I plan not to response to individual comments as I normally do. The issue is complex and merit a follow-up post, or at least a lengthy overall response, where your comments will be referred to.

But I need to answer Lo: your comment was received with thanks and remain intact. Sorry if I worry you there, there has been a slight delay in publishing most of the comments. Thank you.

Grandpa said...

In my comment above, a correction: "...I plan not to respond to..." of course;

Keep those comments coming! They are valuable inputs, and will help immensely with the couple's decision-making.

Akelamalu said...

MWM and I have been married for 36 years, together for 39. If we fell out of love I don't see how we could still live together, what would be the point? :(

You did just fine without pictures Grandpa.

G.G. Mueller said...

I think it can happen if, in reality, there is still a marriage of spirit. If that has gone then I do not see the situation working.

Being roommates is fine but if one party brings in someone else there will be friction and it will be destructive.

My thought is, that with rules, it may bring the marriage back.

I wish them peace and love whatever their decision.

Joylene Butler said...

You are such an inspiration, Grandpa. You always leaving me pondering. No pictures? Hmm. I've always been an avid photographer, so I have to say your blog without pictures would be wonderful, except I think I'd miss those lovely shots of your garden and your beautiful grandson.

As for 30 years of marriage turned into a case of roommates? If they were 30+ when they got married, perhaps. Life is difficult enough without the support of family and friends and customs. I understand that's what Prince Andrew and Sarah did for their children.

I think the expectations going into the arrangement would be understandable, but human nature is such that it's doubtful such an arrangement would work. There are so many factors to consider, one of them being: history.

Great post, Grandpa.

Anonymous said...

Oh, your pictures are YOU. Your pictures are YOUR BLOG.

But then, sometimes we want the words to take center stage, as in this post.

So, your question. Well, I'm traditional. For me it's not just a matter of "practical" but whether it's a "good" thing to do. You say "family ties." Family means people. I just strongly believe in family unity, of which there seems to be less and less in the world today. So like you, I would scream a huge NO, too.

Grandpa said...

Thank you all ever so much for taking the time to put your thoughts together to help a couple in trouble. May God bless you.

I will leave this post open for comments for a while more before perhaps writing another one, going back in time unraveling the past that led to this mysterious, heart-wrenching dilemma.

In the meantime, with apologies to earlier commenters, some facts ought to be stated or clarified. It seems unfair to pose a blind puzzle without clues or parameters (If you feel compelled to change your views or would like to put new ones after reading this, that would be great):

1. The couple is to live under the same roof, but NOT sharing a room;

2. There is no more spousal activities or responsibilities, except the occasional meals together;

3. I stated family ties largely intact. The remainder consists of disillusioned and angry children (and grandchildren, if they understand what is going on); but they remain the ties that bind - so far.

Grandpa said...

4. I should also explain why the couple resort to the blogsphere for advice: this has been going on for months with no solution in sight. Apart from one of the spouses shutting herself up from discussing the situation with families and old friends, it is felt that counselling has to go beyond them. They are too close to the issue. The couple need people who are uninvolved, unbiased, who can provide unemotional views - who can see the big picture.

This is not conventional. But hey, we are in unconventional times. Besides, what are friends for?

L'Aussie said...

Hello Grandpa, you did very well without pictures, but i'm like you, I love my pics although mine are usually thanks to mr google.

I've read a book where a couple did just that. They made their own quarters in their home and lived sorta happily ever after. It was true. A memoir. I wish I could remember the name.

Sometimes I think it'd be awesome to have your own separate space to do your own thing without being in each other's pockets all the time, so I vote YES it can be done (and has been.)

And BTW if you want to know anything just go to blogger help and ask the question. Those vote things are as easy as.


Grandpa said...

L'Aussie: Denise, you've left out a couple of words, so either you leave me guessing to fill in the blanks or come back with them :)

Either way hubby and wife are much relieved to receive your comment. Some positive light from a true story there. Who knows, they may be a step nearer to their own memoir too... ;)

Thanks Denise.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Hi Grandpa! I've been thinking about this since you posted it. First, yes YOU can definitely post without pix. You pull us in with your words.

Next, I think NancyDe is very smart.

Last, from my limited knowledge I think it can be done but only if without malice. A growing grudge would create an ocean of hate. And that would be sad indeed.

I think another question would be, what is the real issue and can that be solved?

Be well, dear friend.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Grandpa, I believe this situation must have started before the 30 years, one or two of them did not add firewood to their flickering marriage fire, letting it die out.
And this happens even after 10 years. For me I find the longer I am with my wife, I just cannot imagine life without her....

She is my friend first, then my wife. We share everything....and just have fun and I make sure I add firewood to our love life very often.
She is my gold medal and even gold need polishing now and then so as not to lose it's lustre.

And re pictures in blogs, I use them not only for illustration but to break up the paragraphs.
And to have fun.
Have a nice day.

Kittie Howard said...

Grandpa, your blog is just as interesting with or without pics.

About your question (and it's a complex one): When my parents marriage fell apart, for the sake of the kids, they lived separate lives in the same house. It flat didn't work! Whether this arrangement would work if kids didn't live in the house, I don't know.

Some years ago I did a research paper for a course I was taking and learned that it's a myth that older people are supposed to do just about everything together, that happier older people have individual hobbies and pursuits but come together to share the successes and failures of these interests. Research also said that when couples try to do everything together, there's enormous disappointment, a kinda flat feeling as neither is happy.

On a personal note, I've been married a long, long time and are very happy. I can't imagine living in the same house with someone who didn't love me.

Having said that, my psychology minor tells me that that the couple about which you speak have deeper issues that need to be resolved. Marriage counseling might prevent a lot of heartache.

Otherwise, if you're still interested in self-publishing, there's a young blog that will soon post a series about self-publishing. It's at:

My project is coming along nicely, about finished. But, be warned, it's tedious and beyond time consuming. I'm just now getting back into the swing of things. Sorry this is so long.