You'd think after 70 years of marriage and seven children, it'd be one big celebration. Hey, we made it! We're still together! Life is goooood! But, alas, sometimes it's not that way. This sounds like a couple who should have ignored all of those "How to Stay Married" books and gotten a divorce. Even if they happened to be in their 90s. A 93-year-old man, Harry Irwin, was charged with murder after stabbing his wife, Grace, 95, to death. That's the kind of 'til death do you part that no one wants.
Despite the fact that Harry and Grace had almost reached their diamond anniversary and probably would have been the subject of many a fawning "70 years together!" articles, apparently, they didn't get along so well.
Reportedly, Harry admitted stabbing his wife to death after she "argued and screamed at him all night" and that he "couldn't take it anymore." Grace had cancer and Harry was reportedly her main caretaker. His brother-in-law said he cared for her "24/7." Perhaps he was under huge amounts of stress. Jeez, with seven kids, you'd think he'd have a lot of help. So much for having kids to take care of you when you're old. (One of my least favorite reasons people say they have kids.)
Harry then reportedly stabbed himself, but he survived. Police were called to the house by one of their daughters, who said she had received a "troubling" phone call from her father.
There's no evidence that Harry had dementia, but perhaps that was a factor too. Certainly, he must have been overwhelmed and exhausted. But perhaps also, despite the longevity of their marriage, they just didn't get along. We've all seen those old bickering couples on the street -- or the ones silently eating their food in a restaurant, not even once glancing at each other. I know one couple who entered a nursing home together -- but the wife didn't want her husband sharing her room.
We place a premium on longevity in this culture -- not on quality. However, it's not easy or even feasible to leave a spouse once they become old, infirm, and ill. But a long marriage isn't necessarily a guarantee of happiness.
Do you think this couple should have gotten divorced?
Image via Fabio Penna/Flickr