I have done couples or marriage counseling many times. At the end of a marriage–and I mean the very end, the point of no return–it’s like this: Neither partner will even tune in to what the other says. Minds are made up, and positions are hardened, like concrete. It’s over. An outsider can see it, and feel it. The hardening of positions is not a temporary emotional state, which will pass in an hour, or day or two. All good will and trust are gone. It’s not impossible that a civilized benevolence will return later. If mutual interests dictate, it probably will. But first the break must come. In fact, it already has.
This is precisely the kind of division I see politically in America today. It’s deeper than elections and politics, and it’s not just sparring politicians. It’s the people. You can sense that the divide is too great to bridge. Trust, good will — gone. Minds made up, positions harder than concrete.
People who once were united by something but who now find absolutely no common ground CAN find a way to coexist, perhaps. But the union is over. The more you try to force what no longer is, the worse it gets. That’s what happened in America. You can debate why it happened, but I am telling you: It has happened.
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