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First Things First Column

First Things First Column The Family Column is a series of articles providing helpful information on families and marriages. It is published every Sunday in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Subscribe to our  Family Column RSS Feed.

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Young people look forward to Memorial Day because it means the end of school. Many adults eagerly anticipate a long weekend. Characterized as the unofficial kickoff of summer, people celebrate the day with cookouts and pool openings. But what is the real meaning behind Memorial Day and how can families celebrate in a meaningful way?
Last week’s column told of a married couple’s struggle with alcohol and its impact on their marriage. The column ended with Ellen resolving to find David (names changed to protect their privacy), who was drinking heavily, had quit his job and left town. She was going to bring him home and move forward with divorce.
When David and Ellen* married, Ellen never suspected David might be an alcoholic. “We had a large time with friends and family,” Ellen says. “I knew he drank a lot, but it didn’t cause issues for us. I never felt unsafe. My life looked very normal to everyone around us. David was a good provider and the good far outweighed the bad in our marriage.”
Just say the word boundaries and watch what happens to people’s faces. Some immediately become suspicious and negative while others believe they are a good thing. Why does this word elicit such opposing responses?
If you currently have a teenager, you probably have some idea about the prom. Things have definitely changed over the last few years. It used to be that someone casually asked if you would like to go to prom. More than likely you said yes, and the search began for the perfect dress. The day of prom, friends would gather at somebody’s house to get ready. Dates arrived, pictures were taken in the front yard, and off everybody went to prom.