How are Things at Home, Mr. President? 

If you’re looking for hot political discourse, keep clicking.  This isn’t about politics, it’s about our intimate relationships and how they shade every other aspect of our lives. POTUS just happens to be an easy case study.

Aren’t you just a little freaked-out that POTUS and FLOTUS don’t even pretend they are a team, much less committed marriage partners?  He goes to Washington.  She remains sequestered in a New York penthouse.  Gone from the media feed are the First Family moments we were raised on; the meeting of the eyes, the knowing smiles, the holding of hands.

Sure, prior First Couples have run the spectrum from those who are soulmates, to those whose marriages seem bound together more by duty and obligation than affection.  The common thread among them has been that they’ve at least played their part, giving us those images of marital solvency we need to see.  Yes, I said, need.

Remember when you were a kid and believing that your parents loved one another made you feel there was order in the world and that you were safe?  We call the occupants of our White House “the First Family” for a reason.  In some strange way, they’ve become our national mom and dad, modeling the domestic tranquility, whether real or fabricated, that makes us feel safe.  Yes, even in this cynical age, we expect the man at the top to be a “family man.”

But, why? 

Because, we know relationships matter.  No marriage is inert. A marriage trends up or down, fueling or depleting our reserves of psychic energy. In 30 years of family law practice, I’ve seen both the vacant eyes of clients who have clung to dead marriages as well as the radiance in the eyes of those who discovered relationships that feed their souls.  When I ask my clients about some of the worst decisions they’ve made, categorically, they explain that they were “in a fog,” “lonely,” or “depressed.”

I’ve reserved space here so you can tell me how the “great ones” compartmentalize: one box for this, another for that, and the two shall never meet.  Sure, we all compartmentalize, in one way or another, just to get through life.  But, such a coping mechanism is only somewhat effective and sustains us for a limited duration.  Sooner or later, the angst of the personal bleeds into the stoicism of the professional.  And, all Hell breaks loose.

Mr. President, forgive me if I have speculated.  Indeed, I hope you are buoyed and sustained by a relationship where you are truly loved and loving, in return.  From such a relationship comes peace, clarity, and creativity… things you’ll need along the way.

Sir, just let us know how things are going at home so we can try to relax.

Gregory L. Housewirth is a an attorney and a Board-Certified Family Law SpeFort Worth Attorney, Greg Housewirthcialist. He has devoted his career to helping clients through life’s most challenging times.”

Greg Housewirth, Attorney/Mediator

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