Can a family (county) civil war be averted?

By TOM HENRY as published in the March 11, 2017 edition of the Blytheville Courier News

Let me try this again.

There once was a sweet, refined, lady that before getting married had a pretty good existence. She was well thought of and quite accomplished. She had her own way of doing things and was pretty successful at whatever she put her mind to. Then one day she married a younger husband.

Her husband was loud at times and often rowdy but at other times equally refined. But mostly he was rowdy and loud.

Admittedly, the younger husband had somewhat different goals in life than his older, refined wife. That can be expected, after all the two of them are two different people and have two different sets of interests and goals in life. Nevertheless, for many years their marriage worked well, pulling in the same direction and when they could not agree, they talked things out and compromised.

They lived in a community property state and realized that what was hers was his and what was his was hers and their debts belonged to them both.

He had once attempted to invest into something that he believed would benefit their future health. A “health plan” if you will with a respectable company, but the wife balked loudly and before the purchase could be made, the offer ran out and the company left town.

Years later, the younger husband decided he wanted to build a building on their property. It was arguably extravagant and he had the plans drawn up and even invested into a portion of their land without even discussing it very much with her.

When it came time to sign the contract to finance the new construction, the wife got very angry and refused to sign. She got so angry in fact that she went to the bank and attempted to “drain the account” of “her money.” Like the husband that had plans drawn up without communicating with his wife, the wife equally didn’t communicate while she worked to change the bank account.

As so often happens with domestic disputes, the wife attempted to argue her case before outsiders to get people on her side. The husband didn’t like it, but once the outsiders heard her side two bank accounts were forced upon him and now they were to pay their own bills out of their own accounts. The mess became much bigger now, trust was entirely gone, less could be purchased from the accounts and now there was twice the amount of paperwork and bank service fees.

At times of heightened passions, there was even talk about the possibility of divorcing each other. Meanwhile the wife forced her desire for two bank accounts. They didn’t have much of a marriage anymore did they?

To top it all off, family and friends (neighbors, cousins, siblings and best friends) failed to intervene to help save the marriage and correct the wrongdoings.

Clearly, to fully understand this story you must know that the older refined wife is Osceola. And the younger, loud husband is Blytheville. The outsider that ruled regarding their bank accounts is the Arkansas Supreme Court and the talk of divorce represents the murmurings I have heard regarding splitting the county into two. The “friends and family” are our state legislators that have decided to “not get involved” in the dispute. Lastly, the company that offered the health insurance and left town before the purchase could be made was the proposed new Baptist Hospital.

The solution to their marriage problems and to our county problems is the same. We must keep it all within the family, realize that we love and need each other. Talk it out, compromise and continue talking until we have rekindled the relationship that we once had and that worked well for so many years.

If the wife OR if the husband, either one, allows their pride get out of hand, then the marriage is doomed and life will be terrible for both. But if they can communicate and work together, reducing their overhead, sharing their talents and resources and working together as a family – they can reach new heights never before even imagined.

This dispute should never have gone before the Arkansas Supreme Court. Courts rarely ever miss the opportunity to massively mess things up more than they were before. But, the very fact that family took family to court [as has happened so many times before and as I listed in last week’s column] shows that the relationship is on life-support and charity and communication is almost non-existent.

Now, reader you and I have both seen marriages that are in the position that I have described in this story, where BOTH of the parties were being unreasonable and childish. If you are like me, when I’ve seen that, I have just wanted to shake them both and tell them how idiotic they were behaving. Well, I’ll let you complete the analogy yourself in that regard.

About Tom Henry 133 Articles

My Biography

I have been fortunate to have held a number of very interesting and diverse jobs over the years. Those jobs have ranged from being a newspaper reporter (twice), restaurant and retail single unit store manager (numerous), restaurant multi-unit manager, a Christian bookstore manager, an online hospitality management recruiter and pastor. I have been used numerous times to turn troubled stores into profitable stores with double digit increases in sales and national top ten rankings (multiple times). God has gifted me with talents, experiences and spiritual gifting that allows me to get “right to the root of the problem” very quickly.

Additionally, I have three college degrees including a Master of Arts in history from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and Arkansas Northeastern College in Blytheville.

I spend all of my non-work time with the sweetest woman I’ve ever met, Carol. Together we have four children (ranging in age from 19 to 25). She is without a doubt the answer to many years of fervent prayer. I have never been happier than I am now.

In my free time, I enjoy writing, reading, traveling (especially to historic/civil war sites), learning, intellectual discussion and singing/deejaying. Carol and I live an hour north of Memphis and love to go “walking in Memphis, ten feet off of Beale”.

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