So let’s talk about relationships.
The Hogan’s phone rings but they just let it ring. Kate’s gotten one terrible phone call already that morning, and they’re in no mood to answer another. Marshall’s busy defending himself, claiming there’s never been and never will be anything between him and Bernice. Which… may or may not be true. As I’ve pointed out already, he’s clearly comfortable with her, more comfortable than he is around his wife. He can confide in her when he leaves his wife in the dark; he can trust her where he feels he can’t open up to his wife. Isn’t that a kind of unfaithfulness in the first place? It’s not because she’s a better listener or anything like that — he’s choosing to include her in a part of his life that he bars his wife from. If it were a man, I doubt Kate’s feelings of betrayal would be any less. It’s not a sexual infidelity, but an emotional one, and Kate seems to understand that.
And it’s not Bernice, not really. She goes on to point out that he promised things would be different, promised he’d spend more time at home with his family and less time working crazy hours, yet here he is rushing off in the middle of the night, staying late past dinner, chasing down the ultimate story. Marshall doesn’t seem to understand or care much about how hard that’s been on her and Sandy.
“I’m sure it’s big, it is extremely important, it probably does warrant the amount of time and energy you’ve put into it. But what I am coping with now is the detriment that this whole thing has been to myself, to Sandy, and to the family […] we are still suffering, and that is the direct problem that I’m dealing with.”
“Kate . . . . that is what they want!”
Even now, as his wife prepares to leave him, Marshall only cares about his conspiracy theory, his story, his big adventure. Himself. He’s right in that it’s important, and he’s right in that he never asked for this to happen, but he’s handled it badly and he’s hurt the ones he loves, and all his good excuses don’t change that fact. When he stops protesting, he’s left with an overwhelming feeling of weakness, emptiness, and tears.
I can sympathize to some extent. Chaos and I are struggling with a similar problem in that there are certain things he knows, from long experience, will hurt me or seriously irritate me, and yet he continues to do them with seeming disregard for how that affects me. He doesn’t seem aware he does it; it comes down to a subconscious fear of change, and therefore an attempt to self-sabotage the relationship. But that doesn’t make it any easier for me to live with. The best intentions in the world don’t completely mend broken trust and torn feelings.
I thought I’d have something wiser to say, but I don’t.