The Spouse Centric Marriage Ė 3. Conflict Resolution

By Bill Hamilton


Part 3 of a series on marriage issues. A disagreement has been simmering for several weeks between Emma and Chuck, without resolution.




(Chuck is standing near the bed, tying his tie when Emma enters carrying a cup of coffee.)

Emma: Morning!

Chuck: Yeah, hi.

Emma: Iím not very good at making coffee, so I hope this is okay. (puts the coffee on the bedside table and tries to help him tie his tie) Here, let me help you with that.

Chuck: Itís fine. (sits down and puts on a shoe)

Emma: Iíve got bacon and eggs waiting for you in the kitchen.

Chuck: I wonít have time to eat. Got a big meeting first thing.

Emma: Oh. (pause) So how about we try out that new restaurant tonight? Iíll call and make the reservation for ÖÖÖÖÖ..

Chuck: Iíll be working late again.

Emma: (She picks up his shoe) So youíre still mad, right?

Chuck: Iím not mad.

Emma: You seem mad.

Chuck: I said Iím not mad.

Emma: So maybe mad isnít the right word. But youíre something, thatís for sure.

Chuck: When you figure it out you let me know okay? In the meantime, can I have my shoe?

Emma: (Hands him the shoe) Itís been nearly 2 weeks, Chuck. How long are you going to be like this?

Chuck: Like what? You know, I donít have time for this.

Emma: Just what is it you donít have time for? For me? Our marriage?

Chuck: (Finish putting on shoe) Why are you doing this when Iím leaving for work?

Emma: Youíre absolutely right! So name the time and place and Iíll be there. Weíll talk about it then.

Chuck: Look, Iím not even sure I know what IT is.

Emma: Oh, I think you do.

Chuck: Well, why donít you tell me so weíll both know what youíre talking about.

Emma: Youíre still mad about what I said to your sister.

Chuck: Youíre right, I am still mad. There, you win! Happy?

Emma: Do I look happy? This isnít a game, Chuck, and neither of us is winning. Not when we go more than a week without talkingÖ.or touching. Just a simple hug would be nice.

Chuck: Hey, itís not my fault. Iím not the one who made our private life a matter of public record.

Emma: What I said was no big deal. Besides you make it sound like I told everyone. I only mentioned it to your sister.

Chuck: Telling my sister anything is just as good as making it public record. And it certainly is a big deal, to me anyway.

Emma: I know. I was wrong and I admit it. As harmless as I thought it was, I should have never have said it and you had every right to get mad.

Chuck: (Turns to leave) Good, now that weíve settled that Ö.

Emma: (Pulls his arm to turn him back) Thatís just it. Nothing ever gets settled. Iíve said Iím sorry until Iím blue in the face. I wished Iíd never said it but I canít take it back. All I can do is promise itíll never happen again.

Chuck: What do you want from me Emma?

Emma: I want you to get over it.

Chuck: Just how do I do that? What you said hurt and embarrassed me. How do I get over it?

Emma: Iím not sure, but forgiveness is probably going to play a big part in it.

Chuck: (Long pause) Look, Iíve really got to get going.

(He begins to leave, returns and quickly kisses her and leaves. She sits as he exits.)


© Bill Hamilton, all rights reserved. The script may not be reproduced, translated or copied in any medium, including books, CDs and on the Internet, without written permission of the author.
This play may be performed free of charge, on the condition that copies are not sold for profit in any medium, nor any entrance fee charged. In exchange for free performance, the author would appreciate being notified of when and for what purpose the play is performed. He may be contacted at: