Even as a child, I could tell my parents’ marriage was a mess. My mother hurled insults at my father, denigrating him for not being able to hold down a job, provoking him with stories of past lovers who would have been far better husbands. My father saw my mother as a child and, although he did not voice his feelings the way she did, he barely concealed his contempt for her.
Nonetheless, they never seemed to consider divorce. And since theirs was the only marriage I’d been able to witness firsthand, a lot of my implicit beliefs about romantic relationships came from them.