The American Relationship

Photo for The American Relationship blog, file000854387728

In the aftermath of the Boston terrorist attack, our routine relationship problems and issues seem to pale in significance to what Bostonians have been forced to deal with. Who wouldn’t be strengthened by some of what we’ve witnessed? Strangers helping those in need, family and friends supporting each other, a unified criminal justice system doing everything they could to catch the perpetrators before they could kill and wound others. The countless acts of random kindness are all part of the saving grace in the trauma surrounding that event.

Sadly, we are getting too good as a nation in dealing with tragedies that would have been unthinkable not long ago. The very qualities that make other countries envy us – our unity when under siege, our loyalty to our ideals no matter who is President and our generosity of spirit – do seem to be shining through in each of the terrible incidents that have befallen us. We may fight with each other to the political death, but let some disaster occur – whether it be man-made in Boston or Newtown, an apparently unplanned explosion in Texas or flooding in Illinois – and we Americans come together.

While our families are struggling financially, and we disagree loudly and mightily as to how to ‘fix the economic problem,’ we somehow unite in a crisis and do not count the cost.

While we are struggling philosophically with who should be allowed to marry and how much we love or hate guns, we remain one nation faithful to a rule of law, and seek to change what we do not like through legal means.

While our families may be struggling with all the issues that pervade their lives, we devote energy to causes that are larger than our own and strive to teach our children to do the same.

We may divert ourselves too much with entertainment and gossip; we may chide ourselves for not being as ‘good’ or ‘philanthropic’ as we could be; but there is an American spirit which is undeniable and undeniably great. That spirit is part of the ‘right stuff’ of all of our relationships. Some were lucky enough to be born with it, and others immigrated here to experience it. Some sadly seek to destroy it, but they will not succeed.


About Gemma Allen

Gemma Allen is a partner in Ladden & Allen, Chartered, and has practiced family law for most of her career. Ms. Allen has written more than 50 articles and lectured on topics that include divorce, child support, maintenance, mediation, cohabitation, women and money, and reconciliation. She co-authored The New Love Deal: Everything You Must Know Before Marrying, Moving In, or Moving On! and helps you navigate modern relationships in “Relationship Gems.”