Saturday, March 27, 2004

Yesterday I was in Stepanagert and stopped in to see one of Godchildren who I had not seen for a few months.

He greeted me and told me that I had come just in time and if I was willing to take his wife to her village. I told him I didn’t have a problem if he needed me to do this. He told me he guessed that I didn’t understand, his wife wanted to leave him and had packed her bags.

I took him into the bedroom and asked him if he wanted to talk about it? He did and told me that he understood that he was to blame, but he said that if his wife leaves, he will not take her back and has no problem living alone.

He went on to tell me about what had happened in the morning and his being demanding with his wife in regards to breakfast not being what he wanted it to be when he had an unexpected guest. He said that he knew this was not that big a deal, but knows that her wanting to leave was a build-up of things that he had done.

I asked him if he was interested in my opinion? He agreed and said that as his Godfather, he as no right to object to what I say.

I started out to tell him the importance of family and how such a change would have an adverse effect on his 2 children.

I went on to tell him what I have observed in the past and had pointed out to him long ago was his being harsh with his wife and daughter, belittling them in front of friends and how I would guess this really bothers his wife.

I called in his wife and the three of us discussed his discontent with her and her discontent with him. She told of how her biggest complaint is the belittling in front of his friends.

I told them that it was very important to communicate and at least talk everyday for 5 minutes with each other, even it is talking about nothing.

We came to an agreement that each of them would request from the other one reasonable thing they would like to see change, which they would work on this week.

I then said that I was going to leave the room and they should sit next to each other for 5 minutes and talk. I added that if it was not too difficult, to hold hands while talking.

It seems that in this country there are no such things as marriage counseling, but there sure is a big need for it. These were very big issues to this couple, but in less than 30 minutes we put things into perspective.

As this exchange was going on, all I could think is that here I am in Artsakh with an Armenian couple and was fully understanding their problems and knowing what each one of them was feeling, not by that half hour talk, but from what I have observed in the last 6 years from talking to people here and really feeling what they feel. The women feel like slaves to their husbands and children. The men feel like they have to show they are men and are very aggressive towards their wives.

My aunt who was a social worker would have been so proud of me, as 5 minutes later, my Godson and his wife joined me in the living room and they were both talking and smiling.

They have agreed to give their marriage a second chance and if they feel like there is a problem that they can’t resolve, they will call me and we will sit down again and see what can be done to fix it and move forward.

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