There are three partners in a marriage: husband, wife, and relationship. If either partner focuses on his or her own needs exclusively, the relationship will suffer. Yes, there are situations in a marriage where one partner may need to make a sacrifice. The question in this drama is -- is the wife sacrificing too much?
Julie, 25 and Andre, 26, have been married for three years. Julie is a pre-school teacher and Andre is a computer programmer who has just been accepted into a doctoral program at Johns Hopkins.
Now Andre wants to move. Julie feels resentful -- her needs are being neglected. She feels that she may have to give too much -- and lose out as a result.
However, whether they should or should not move so that Andre can attend graduate school is not the real issue. The problem here is the fact that Andre made a unilateral decision. For a marriage to succeed both partners must realize that that they are not free to act as if they have no commitments to anyone else. Every decision that a partner in a relationship makes, regardless of its magnitude, affects the other. For a relationship to succeed we must be aware of the effect that our decisions and actions have on our partners.
This is a lesson that Andre needs to learn if his marriage is going to survive. You don't drop a bombshell like this on your partner. You listen to her fears and resentments and make an effort to understand her feelings. This is a big decision and emotions that accompany it must be dealt with.
The subtext to what Andre and Julie are REALLY thinking is included in the text of the drama.