I just finished reading a fascinating book on birth order because A) I have always been told I’m a quintessential middle child and I wanted to see if it was true and B) I wanted to learn more about parenting and birth order.
I learned that I definitively have middle child characteristics and so does Bart. I also learned that middle children shouldn’t marry each other. Oops, too late for that (not that knowing ahead of time would have changed my decision). When I read about why middle children shouldn’t marry each other (BTW- you actually shouldn’t marry anyone in your birth order) I laughed, a lot. I laughed because we do exactly what the author said middle children do i.e. tend to repress feelings and not communicate. Now don’t anyone get worried here, Bart and I are doing just fine, after seven years of marriage we’ve worked out a system. Plus, us middle children are very social and super easy to get along with, in fact the author states that he sees middle children is his psychiatrist office the least of any birth order.
Another reason this interested me is because we are already against the odds anyway. The divorce rate among the chronically ill is over 75%, and it is higher if it is the women who is ill. Depressing, huh? Not for myself, but for all the sick people out there who’s spouse left them in the dust.
Of course, in a “chronic marriage” the one who is sick is not the only one affected, the spouses life often has to change drastically, and many people have problems with that. Both partners must have empathy for the other, the sick person needs to understand that they are not the only one going through difficulties, often the spouse has to go through their own grieving process. I can’t say I have all the answers to the problem, though I think communication is very important. especially for us middle children!