If You Don't Mind, I'd Like To Take A Crack At Salvaging Your Failing MarriageCommentary • Opinion • Judgment • ISSUE 40•03 • Jan 21, 2004 By Gabe Mulroney Gabe Mulroney I don't mean to pry, Becca, but I couldn't help overhearing you and Jason argue last night. Sound travels really well in this building. Now, I know I'm only your neighbor, and it's none of my business, but it seems like your relationship is in dire trouble. If you don't mind, I'd like to take a crack at salvaging your failing marriage.By simply watching a couple, you can learn a lot about their deeply entrenched problems. I've noticed that you work later hours than Jason does. That's not good. The loss of quality time together can generate a lot of friction. Your marriage right now is like a car engine in need of oil. Becca, you've gotta lube up your marriage the same way you'd lube up a car. My suggestion is that you get a job with the same hours as Jason's. If that's unworkable, then how about if Jason brings a picnic dinner to your place of work a couple times a week? Or, better yet, how about you both quit your jobs and start a business together? That way, you can maximize your time together and build a tighter bond.Next on the docket: How much quiet time are you two spending together? Sure, everyone says "enough," but really think for a moment. Remember, I live next door, so it's no use fibbing. I already have some idea. In fact, I've gotten a vibe about you and Jason. You're the kind of people who are so self-absorbed that you don't pay enough attention to each other, aren't you? That's not my concern, though. I'm not here to pass judgment. I'm just here to make you love each other again.Look, I knew this potential catastrophe was on its way even before you started that argument over the phone bill. Don't downplay it, Becca. Any argument that a couple has is proof of an unhealthy bond. Truth be told, I've been watching your relationship unravel for months now. There's no two ways about it: You two are booking a vacation to Splitsville. Luckily, Dr. Love is here to give you a free prescription. Let's shine and buff that old marriage 'til it looks brand-new.Now, let's start by talking about what happened when you left for the store together last night. There was that difference of opinion about whether you needed a new coffeemaker... Never mind how I know. Isn't it enough that I'm showing a little concern?Calm down. It's not good to jump to anger. I can see what Jason means when he tells you that you blow your top over the slightest little thing. Please, just sit down. I'll get you a glass of water.There. Now, if you're ready to listen, I'll continue.I noticed last night that Jason's tone of voice was very aggressive. You seemed threatened. Luckily, I'm extremely attuned to this sort of non-verbal communication, almost like a dog. Becca, is he abusing you? That's okay—you don't have to tell me now. If you ever need someone to testify, though, just say the word.You seem very tense right now. You two have only been married nine months, so there's no reason the romance should be in the crapper. You know what would help? A bubble bath. I'm not saying it's a cure-all, but a nice, long, luxurious bath can do wonders for your mood. Go home right now, fill the tub with hot water and bubbles, maybe some scented oils, and top it all with a sprinkling of rose petals. That's an order! You need to feel sexy again! Just to make sure we're on the same page, Jason should be there too, so he can help wash your back. It's a mighty sexy back at that, if I may be so bold.Don't go away! You can't run away from the truth forever. I didn't want to have to say this, but I think that if I'm going to save your marriage, I need to be totally frank. Your husband is fat. Ish. I'd say he needs to lose at least 20 pounds. Actually, you could stand to lose a few, too. When I bump into you by the mailboxes downstairs, I see really attractive faces—probably the faces you fell in love with—but they're buried under all that fat. Maybe if you two cut down on the pizza you order in every few nights, you might get back down to your honeymoon weights.Being on the outside of your relationship gives me special insight into it. Sometimes, when you're embroiled in a dead-end marriage, you can't spot the burning forest for the trees. And, sister, the forest of your relationship is in flames. It's gonna take everything with it. It's going down fast. Can you smell it? Sometimes your nose will get accustomed to a scent, and you won't even notice it. Farmers, for example, don't even smell ordure. Then, there was that old man who squashed his dog under his recliner and didn't notice until his son came over and found the moldering remains. It's like that with you and Jason right now.But cheer up! It's not too late. It won't be easy to get your marriage back on track, but I'm here to help. Trust me, it'll all be worth it in the end. Now, let's roll up our sleeves and get to work at saving this marriage.First things first: You need to get pregnant. That way, he can't possibly leave you.