Marriage On The Edge by Sandra Marton

Marriage on the Edge

By Sandra Marton

184 pages

Published by Harlequin Enterprises Limited (1999)

This novel illustrates – very clearly – what could happen to a decade-old marriage if one does not talk heart-to-heart with one’s spouse about things that are important and matters most in one’s marriage.

Gage Baron was married to Natalie for ten years, but for the past several years their marriage seemed about to fall apart. Their relationship appeared to have taken a downward turn when Gage became too busy with his hotel business and Natalie felt sidelined. Natalie felt she was not needed in Gage’s life; all these while she could feel she was just purely ornamental and Gage only came to her for sex and nothing more.

When Natalie eventually requested for a divorce, Gage was shocked although the decision was not unexpected. He had also noticed something wrong about their marriage before, but he had not thought about getting divorced. In fact, Gage loved Natalie so dearly that he found it difficult to believe that his wife would soon leave him.

Deep inside Natalie, all her resentment towards Gage actually began when she suffered a miscarriage many years ago. When she miscarried, Gage was away on work and could not be by her side when she felt she needed him most. When he returned home, Natalie was too hurt to speak to him, assuming that he always prioritise his business over her wellbeing. Gage had thought Natalie was too traumatized by the loss and may not wish to be pregnant again so soon, so he had taken steps in birth control; ironically that was what had almost finished their marriage. Natalie took his action as a signal that he had never wanted a child – and the first pregnancy was a mistake – because a child could impede his globe-trotting lifestyle.

Natalie concluded that her life goals and his life goals are worlds apart – and therefore, they would never be happy with one another. Natalie wanted to live a normal life and raise a family like everyone does. And she believed that Gage’s dream is to be on top of the world and expand his business all over the globe. And that was where Natalie was wrong. She had thought she knew her husband well enough that she did not need to talk over the matter with him. And she had decided to proceed with the divorce without even considering Gage’s point of view.

Indeed, Gage was baffled regarding Natalie’s determination to divorce him. One day Gage injured his head after a fall and he had to be hospitalized. Natalie had been worried sick about him and had cared for him while he recuperated. Natalie had even cried when she thought she almost lost him. Natalie’s actions regarding his near-death experience made Gage realized that despite Natalie’s insistence to leave him, she ironically still loved him. That had made Gage determined to find out what made her want the divorce when deep inside she still loved him.

In the end Gage forced Natalie to talk over the matter because he really had no idea what was making Natalie distant all these while. And when she did, Gage was stunned to learn that his wife had, all these while, came to a wrong conclusion regarding his actions. Worst, both of them had never bothered to sit down together to discuss the matter properly.

Gage had always wanted a child, too – he worked extra hard while Natalie was pregnant because he thought he could take a long break afterwards when the baby arrived so he could give all his attention to the baby. And after they lost the baby, Gage really had no idea why Natalie suddenly seemed so distant. He had thought he was doing Natalie a favour when he decided to use contraceptives, when his action had actually driven her further from him.

Fortunately, they had decided to have the all-important talk before their divorce process went any further. Their marriage was saved and both looked forward to trying for another baby soon. 

In the end, it was tragic that years of their marriage, which could have been filled with lots of love, were wasted for nothing. It all began when you assume you could read what your spouse is thinking based on their actions (and your suspicions) alone, and you never bothered to talk about it.


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