Her name was Sunandha Kumariratana. Due to a bit of an oddity in the law at the time, she was one of the queens of what was then called Siam.
On May 31, 1880 she died at the tender age of 19. Her young age makes this tragic, as does her royalty. But what made her death even more tragic was that there were witnesses.
No, it was not an execution or even a situation where people just could not get to her in time. Instead, on a boat trip to the royal summer palace, the boat capsized and two members of the royal family died, including Queen Sunandha. The reason was simply this: the law stated that no one could touch the queen for any reason, and the punishment for breaking this law was death.
Presumably, this law was put in place with the best of intentions of protecting those of the royal family. But it never crossed anyone’s mind that someone might have to touch the queen in such an emergency situation in order to save her life. When that time came, no one was willing to break that law, and her young life was cut short.
What does this have to do with marriage?
How often do we have something that is a painful area of our marriages, but we refuse to “touch” them. It’s that irritation that’s been eating away at your for years. It’s that person he hangs out with that you think has eyes for him. It’s the outfit you wish she wouldn’t wear.
But, out of “love,” we don’t say anything, and our unwillingness to communicate about something difficult or awkward is chipping away at the strength of the marriage. While it may seem like a small thing, over time either it grows or the irritation and even pain it causes grows. While it may not be the reason a marriage ends, it will be a factor, because the couple never made the effort to open up about it and deal with it.
When we refuse to touch that area of our marriage, we are not acting out of love. We are acting out of fear, just like those witnesses to Queen Sunandha’s death in 1880.
What gets left unattended can kill a marriage.
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