Erasing Old Tapes

Memories of their failed first marriages haunted John and Karen Kosman like so many bad videotapes. They had to find a way to erase the old "tapes" and start making new ones.

Karen's Side: I Tune Him Out

When John and I married, it was a dream come true for both of us. After both suffering from failed first marriages, we felt God had given us a second chance. We knew enough not to expect our lives to be perfect, but we certainly didn't expect to be miserable.

Yet just four months into our marriage, our past relationship struggles started popping up, which caused a lot of misunderstandings. It seemed we were arguing daily.

The situation reached a crisis one Saturday while we were driving home from shopping. John had been talking about something and I felt myself tune out.

When John pulled into our driveway and turned off the car, he said, "Karen, I'm trying to talk to you and you haven't heard a word I've said."

I told him I was sorry, then said, "I got distracted, but I heard part of what you said. Please start over. You have my full attention now."

But instead of starting over, John became frustrated and said, "I might as well wander off somewhere and disappear. You probably wouldn't even notice." Then he got out of the car and walked away angrily.

I was stunned and wasn't sure what to do. I felt hurt and angry. And I was tired of arguing constantly.

John's Side: She Won't Listen

That Saturday was the last straw. When Karen talks to me, I stop what I'm doing and listen to her. But she doesn't do that for me. Why is it so difficult for her to respect me by listening?

After I got out of the car, I went to our bedroom and sat on the bed, feeling lost and frustrated. The only thing I knew to do was to pray, "God, why is this happening?"

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