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THE SILENCE OF MARY?S HUSBAND AND HOW IT WILL INEVITABILITY EFFECT THEIR MARRIAGE

?The Unwanted Child?, by Mary Clearman Blew, is a look into the life of this author when she was 18-year-old and facing several unexpected, important decisions. These decisions were regarding the path she would choose that would ultimately map out what the rest of her life would be like. Mary marries at a young age with the notion that marriage will bring her all the excitement and grown up experiences that she longs for. However, her plans for her life come to a harsh holt when she learns that she is pregnant. Everyone from her grandmother to her in-laws seems to have different opinions about what she should do and the new plans that she should now make. One important family member who?s voice does not really surface is her husbands. Throughout the whole ordeal he remains relatively silent. This is rather troubling considering that he is her husband and they did just recently marry. There are many examples of the hard decisions Mary has to make on her own because she and her husband do not talk about the situation. They do not discuss and come to a mutual decision about what is best for both of them. She has to wonder if she will turn out bitter like her mother because her dreams have been taken away. This leads her to believe that she may become a helpless housewife that is stuck in the same boring life every day if she gives in to her in-law?s demands. The ultimate deterioration of their marriage will be caused by their failure to have effectively communicated.

Mary is an equal decision-maker in the family. However, there is no mention of she and her husband mutually agreeing on what they want to do about having a baby and both finishing school. The two of them do not decide together, and only together, how they want to handle the situation as a normal married couple would. Neither one of them ever brings up the subject and talk about their options together. If Mary and her husband were to have actually sat down together and make their own choices for their future, the whole mess could have a mutual answer that would please everyone in some way. Both could go to school part-time or they could go alternating semesters. That way everything would be fifty-fifty. Too bad Extended Degree was not an option for them! This huge void in their communication shows their immaturity and that they were not ready to get married. Mary is still being treated like a child and is told what she needs to do by her family, as well as from her in-laws. Marriage has not brought her excitement and opportunities, it has altered them.

Mary could be just like her mother and live the life of a housewife. But she knows that she will probably end up just like her and resenting her own child for taking away her dreams. If she always defers to your husband?s parent?s wishes she will be left with resentment, and their marriage will lose intimacy in the relationship as a result of her feelings. Relationships suffer when partners feel their sacrifices have not been reciprocated, as does Mary?s mother.

Marriage does require some sacrifice, but this sacrifice should not leave Mary as a helpless housewife if her husband shared equally. She and her husband took on the responsibilities of marriage and parenthood together. She did not agree to forfeit her own development or always place her needs last if there was a child. The marriage of Mary and her husband is very troublesome for the obvious lack of communication so early in their relationship presents the notion that the marriage is destined to fail.

Mary?s husband?s parents have a high control over their son?s life. It is their opinions that are being overwhelmingly heard instead of their sons. When they find out that Mary is pregnant, the mother-in-law immediately steps in and lets it be known that Mary must immediately alter all her plans for the future. ?Well!!!? My mother-in-laws voice carols over the miles. ?I guess this is finally the end of college for you!? (62). It is as if since Mary married her son she should have never even considered going to school in the first place. Where is her husband?s voice? It is as if he is just letting his parents make the decision about the situation and how it should be handled. Again when Mary?s grandmother agrees to continue lending her money for school the mother-in-law determines that Mary should now work to support her son because ?she? is pregnant. ?Unlike my in-laws, who have not hesitated to tell me I should go to work as a typist or a waitress to support my husband through college (after all, he will be supporting me for the rest of my life), my grandmother believes I should get my own credentials? (62). And even after Mary decided for herself that she would attend college and have a baby at the same time the in-laws are still chiming in on their disapproval and what she needs to do. ?But Mary! Tiny babies have to be kept warm!? ?But Mary! How can you expect to go to college and take good care of a husband and a baby?? And finally, ?We?re going to put our foot down!? (73). This all gives reason to believe that Mary?s husband still feel subservient to his parents wishes so he does not stop them from badgering his wife about ?their? baby. He never tells them to mind their own business and let he and his wife work it out. His not speaking up on his wife?s behalf shows that he does not feel as if he needs to defend his wife and her needs. This disregard for her feelings shows how the marriage is not a fifty-fifty effort on the husband?s part.

The fact that Mary?s husband does not support her and remains silent when his parents voice their commanding opinions about their situation reveals that he, like Mary, was to young and immature to be married. Also, the fact that Mary never mentions her disapproval of her husband?s silence is troubling because he should be her biggest supporter. The blatant disregard to defend his wife, and her lack of demanding support illustrates that communication gap between them and their marriage. The marriage will surely fail for Mary will eventually put her own foot down and take her husband?s silence no more.


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