I have no idea who is right or wrong in the situation but the whole thing made me think of several things.
1) I'm grateful for a marriage with communication skills that, while not perfect, are passable. I'm grateful for a husband who listens to me as we work through very difficult challenges and who is still here after nearly 14 long years of uphill climbs and impossible situations.
2) Having a child changes everything for a couple -- whether they are married or not. John had told us that he couldn't see himself finding a woman who he could actually want to marry, but that he could have a kid with a girl. We tried to explain to him that having a kid with someone means you are tied to them forever, whether you like them or not. And until the kid is 18 you are financially responsible -- even if you don't feel morally or emotionally responsible -- and because of this you have to talk to that woman for all those years, especially if you want to see your child. Children who are born to very young couples who don't stay together have quite a journey and in my world my grandchildren are looking at this.
3) Sometimes I need to be a better listener. But I've already blogged about that this week.
4) I'm grateful that my kids are being raised by two parents who love each other, live together, and sleep (emphasis on the word sleep) together. They don't have to worry about whose house they will sleep at tonight or if mom and dad are going to have a fight when they are dropped off. Or, even in the best situations, they don't have to explain to their friends that mom lives one place or dad lives another. I am not condemning anyone in this situation or passing judgment because I know it is a difficult road. I'm just feeling grateful for my marriage.
5) The woman was trying to explain to her ex the special needs of her son and how they were exhibiting themselves at school and at home and how he was contributing to the issues. This made me very grateful that I am not attempting to live at home alone without Bart in parenting my kids who have mental health issues. It would be unbelievably hard and that makes me think about others who were parenting kids like ours who have lost a spouse to death recently. I said a prayer for the remaining spouse. And it made me think of single parents and I am in awe of your tenacity and strength.
Sometimes unintentional eavesdropping can leave me entertained or informed, but today it just made me very sad about lots of things. Sad, but grateful. And that's a strange mix of feelings.