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Marriage Tip

Raoul’s Two Cents: March 22, 2024

Hope Gap

My wife and I watched a beautiful movie about the struggles of married life. It’s not a new movie; I’m surprised I never heard of it before … maybe because it was made in 2019 and it got lost during the start of the pandemic. It was written and directed by William Nicholson. It’s called Hope Gap featuring Annette Benning, Bill Knighy and Josh O’ Conner.

If you like the poetry of Robert Frost, you’ll like this one. It has so many quotable lines that hit home to reality. It’s British, so relish in the British pace of story-telling. (As of this writing, it is FREE to stream with Roku on the Tubi.TV channel here in the USA).

So what do you do when the love is gone? Do you walk away from 29 years of marriage? When loneliness sets in, when an accident leaves your loved one a quadriplegic, when your child is born with abnormalities, when your spouse is a narcissist or even a psychopath, when the dementia and the soiled bed sheets become an endless carousel of one-sided endurance … is it time to climb down the mountain?

We celebrate the heroism of those who tap into their inner strengths and succeed; but what about those who fail? Don’t they deserve a medal for trying their best? Who are we to judge the decisions of those who could bear it no longer?

Do we stick to the marriage at all cost? Unless there is great danger, physical or verbal abuse or infidelity, Biblical scholars say we should endure. If we divorce, the fine line says we should never remarry. Do you agree with this?

Many times our loved ones respect us too much to interfere with our decisions. And yet we forget they too struggle in the shadows around our spotlight. When we are deep in our pain, we can be so selfish at times.

The movie reminded me of my own folks. To this day I wonder if my parents would approve of some of the decisions I make. They have already passed away but often they visit in my dreams. They have shaped many of my attitudes towards life. I’m sure your parents have influenced your values as well. Some of us are products of difficult parents and I sympathize with their struggles to normality. A psychologist friend of mine who grew up with an abusive Dad; claims he was raised by wolves and, even though he understands his trauma, the permanent scars are still there to haunt him.

In the news this week, a couple went to the beach with their children. They brought some liquor and they got so drunk they passed out. When the police woke them up, their children were nowhere to be found. In another news a mother went on a 10 day vacation … leaving her 1 year old baby to starve to death. In her defense, the mother said she was too depressed and needed to get away. Oh, the crazy things we do. Sure; we live in a free society … a society where we are free to be stupid I guess.

The movie presents the struggles of everyday life. It does not dictate what we should do but it merely shows how this family coped. It leaves us pondering our own circumstances.

TGIF people!


” For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.”
— Psalm 30:5

And if you are married, stay married. This is the Master’s command, not mine. If a wife should leave her husband, she must either remain single or else come back and make things right with him. And a husband has no right to get rid of his wife.” — 1 Corinthians 7:10-11


Thanks to Tom of Pasadena, CA

Original art by Raoul Pascual.

Parting Shots

Thanks to Art of Sierra Madre, CA

Thanks to Drew of Anaheim, CA

Thanks to Tom of Pasadena, CA

I found these:

My good friend (and jokester) Terry and I came up with this.


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  1. Heather

    March 22, 2024 at 11:56 am

    Sounds like something I’d want to watch. I think the children are like a recipe and if you don’t have a good recipe the children don’t get the things they need to navigate life’s path. I think that gratitude and forgiveness are two of the most important traits that a human being can have. Having good friends that you can confide your deepest darkest secrets to and know there will be no judgment, just understanding – That’s the gift.

    We can’t go back we can just go forward and one of the best things that I ever did in my lifetime was to understand that I was the one that had to forgive myself and I’m talking especially in relationship with my daughter. I’m sure that my parents instilled in me the ability to forgive and let that locomotive go by and not jump on the thing myself.

    My oldest son came in for the weekend we spent several hours yesterday sitting at my dining room table laughing and telling stories about his youth and his life and times now with his wife MO. They are so happy together. I’ve told her more than once that she was the best thing ever happened to my son and she replied, he’s the best thing that ever happened to my life.


    • raoul

      March 22, 2024 at 6:49 pm

      When you have nurtured your family relationship, getting old is just like eating the fruits of your labor. So happy for you. God is good.

      C U Monday!




  2. Leo

    March 22, 2024 at 11:57 am

    Powerful words Raoul!

    Every pastor has to deal with divorce in the church these days and those who come with all the answers seldom have a useful thing to say to such couples. I have tried to get couples to reconcile but have not always succeeded in my attempts. I finally realized that some mountains for some people are to high to climb. The longer I was a pastor the less judgment I had for those who ended their marriage. I do not approve of divorce, but I do know that somethings in a relationship are not reconcilable in current circumstances, especially when it involves physical and verbal abuse. I have seen some horrible situations in marriages—even when the couple came to church regularly.

    Often if trust cannot be established or reestablished when one partner has failed terribly, separation may be the only thing that will help a person to find healing from a painful relationship, but I encourage trying everything before that happens. I have seen some very successful second marriages and some that were disastrous when one partner could not trust the new partner and was concerned that the problem with the first spouse was likely true in the second one.

    This is a very complex issue and does not my simplistic comments, but I am aware of the complexity that appears when one spouse begins to falter in memory or physical well-being. Thanks for bringing this up. I do want to view that movie, Hope Gap.


  3. Larry

    March 22, 2024 at 12:02 pm

    I haven’t watched a movie in years. I was always partial to silent films. Chaplin, D.W. Griffith, the classics. In the 20s Clara Bow was the “It Girl.”n In Chicago I went to the Biograph Theater, outside where the gangster John Dillinger was shot.
    Saw the 1927 Oscar-winning film, Wings starring Clara Bow.


  4. Oscar

    March 22, 2024 at 12:05 pm

    TGIF! Love to see old people married for many years and still living together and taking care of each other. I could only imagine that’s how it always is as long as at least one of them has the strength and health and room and financially prepared but most importantly have Jesus in their life.


  5. Ed

    March 22, 2024 at 3:10 pm

    Another winner…

    I sort of expected the Hope Gap would be the heart of your introduction, and was impressed how you transitioned into the loss of a spouse.

    The casual Friday battle cartoon was particularly funny…

    And the results of this addition of TGIF really did put a smile on my face…


    • raoul

      March 22, 2024 at 6:50 pm

      Awww thanks for the encouraging words. Hope you watch it. Let me know what you think.


  6. Noel

    March 22, 2024 at 3:41 pm

    funny funny LOL!!


  7. Tom

    March 22, 2024 at 6:44 pm

    Thanks Raoul. Loved the story about the movie. You do a great job with the cartoons and illustrations.
    Marriage is wonderful if lived properly and unselfishly. True Love is wonderful to experience. Tom


    • raoul

      March 22, 2024 at 6:48 pm

      Thanks for the compliments Tom.

      Indeed. When both enter with an unselfish attitude, it’s a real blessing. And even if trouble brews, to come out in one piece, is usually a better piece.




  8. Benjamin

    March 22, 2024 at 6:45 pm

    One of the best issues ever, Raoul! Thanks.


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