Unwanted Child By Mary Blew
The Unwanted Child, by Mary Clearman Blew, is a look into the life of this
author when she was 18-year-old and facing several unexpected, important
decisions. These decisions were regarding the path she would choose that would
ultimately map out what the rest of her life would be like. Mary marries at a
young age with the notion that marriage will bring her all the excitement and
grown up experiences that she longs for. However, her plans for her life come to
a harsh holt when she learns that she is pregnant. Everyone from her grandmother
to her in-laws seems to have different opinions about what she should do and the
new plans that she should now make. One important family member whos voice
does not really surface is her husbands.
Throughout the whole ordeal he remains
relatively silent. This is rather troubling considering that he is her husband
and they did just recently marry. There are many examples of the hard decisions
Mary has to make on her own because she and her husband do not talk about the
situation. They do not discuss and come to a mutual decision about what is best
for both of them. She has to wonder if she will turn out bitter like her mother
because her dreams have been taken away. This leads her to believe that she may
become a helpless housewife that is stuck in the same boring life every day if
she gives in to her in-laws demands.
The ultimate deterioration of their
marriage will be caused by their failure to have effectively communicated. Mary
is an equal decision-maker in the family. However, there is no mention of she
and her husband mutually agreeing on what they want to do about having a baby
and both finishing school. The two of them do not decide together, and only
together, how they want to handle the situation as a normal married couple
would. Neither one of them ever brings up the subject and talk about their
options together. If Mary and her husband were to have actually sat down
together and make their own choices for their future, the whole mess could have
a mutual answer that would please everyone in some way. Both could go to school
part-time or they could go alternating semesters.
That way everything would be
fifty-fifty. Too bad Extended Degree was not an option for them! This huge void
in their communication shows their immaturity and that they were not ready to
get married. Mary is still being treated like a child and is told what she needs
to do by her family, as well as from her in-laws. Marriage has not brought her
excitement and opportunities, it has altered them. Mary could be just like her
mother and live the life of a housewife. But she knows that she will probably
end up just like her and resenting her own child for taking away her dreams. If
she always defers to your husbands parents wishes she will be left with
resentment, and their marriage will lose intimacy in the relationship as a
result of her feelings.
Relationships suffer when partners feel their sacrifices
have not been reciprocated, as does Marys mother. Marriage does require some
sacrifice, but this sacrifice should not leave Mary as a helpless housewife if
her husband shared equally. She and her husband took on the responsibilities of
marriage and parenthood together. She did not agree to forfeit her own
development or always place her needs last if there was a child. The marriage of
Mary and her husband is very troublesome for the obvious lack of communication
so early in their relationship presents the notion that the marriage is destined
to fail. Marys husbands parents have a high control over their sons
life. It is their opinions that are being overwhelmingly heard instead of their
When they find out that Mary is pregnant, the mother-in-law immediately
steps in and lets it be known that Mary must immediately alter all her plans for
the future. Well!!! My mother-in-laws voice carols over the miles. I
guess this is finally the end of college for you! (62). It is as if since
Mary married her son she should have never even considered going to school in
the first place. Where is her husbands voice? It is as if he is just letting
his parents make the decision about the situation and how it should be handled.
Again when Marys grandmother agrees to continue lending her money for school
the mother-in-law determines that Mary should now work to support her son
because she is pregnant.
Unlike my in-laws, who have not hesitated to
tell me I should go to work as a typist or a waitress to support my husband
through college (after all, he will be supporting me for the rest of my life),
my grandmother believes I should get my own credentials (62). And even after
Mary decided for herself that she would attend college and have a baby at the
same time the in-laws are still chiming in on their disapproval and what she
needs to do. But Mary! Tiny babies have to be kept warm! But Mary! How
can you expect to go to college and take good care of a husband and a baby?
And finally, Were going to put our foot down! (73).
This all gives
reason to believe that Marys husband still feel subservient to his parents
wishes so he does not stop them from badgering his wife about their baby.
He never tells them to mind their own business and let he and his wife work it
out. His not speaking up on his wifes behalf shows that he does not feel as
if he needs to defend his wife and her needs. This disregard for her feelings
shows how the marriage is not a fifty-fifty effort on the husbands part. The
fact that Marys husband does not support her and remains silent when his
parents voice their commanding opinions about their situation reveals that he,
like Mary, was to young and immature to be married.
Also, the fact that Mary
never mentions her disapproval of her husbands silence is troubling because
he should be her biggest supporter. The blatant disregard to defend his wife,
and her lack of demanding support illustrates that communication gap between
them and their marriage. The marriage will surely fail for Mary will eventually
put her own foot down and take her husbands silence no more.