Audrey French on Why Stability is Fundamental to a Marriage

In Chapter 8 of 15 in her 2012 Capture Your Flag interview, entrepreneur Audrey Parker French answers "Why is Stability Fundamental to a Strong Marriage?"  French shares how her parents divorce proved educational for her own relationships.  The grieving and emotional processing of her parents breakup allows French to learn from them and apply the lessons to her own relationships. 

Audrey Parker French returns to CYF for her Year 3 interview after a one-year sabbatical from work and getting married.  She co-founded CLEAResult, an energy management consulting firm.  In 2010, CLEAResult ranked #144 in the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private companies.  In late 2010, CLEAResult was sold to General Catalyst Partners.  She graduated from Wake Forest University. 


Erik Michielsen: Why is stability fundamental to a strong marriage?

Audrey Parker French: That question reminds me of my upbringing and how I was raised in a mostly stable family and then my parents got a divorce when I was a late-teen. And it really – while it was very, very painful, it also was very, very educational. In that, it had me realize the importance of stability in a marriage beyond what I knew when my parents were still together and things, you know, just – that’s just the way that things were at that point.

And in my own grief and emotional processing of my parents’ marriage ending and my family break up basically, I really had to look at what are the reasons why this happened. What are the deeper reasons? And hearing them both say, you know, “Wow, it’s really interesting how we kept things together so long ‘cause there are some really fundamental things that we were not on the same page about.”

And I was thinking, you know, over many years, like, “Huh, well, those are the things that I wanna make sure that my husband and I are really on the same page about.” We’re not gonna avoid topics that are confrontational or that we disagree upon. We’re gonna talk about those things and if we continue to disagree, we better at least respect each other and know where each other stands.

So you know, things like that, the importance of stability is not just for now, it’s for the future, it’s for what can happen. We don’t wanna be just able to make things work when things are easy, when the climate is nice and balmy and breezy and sunny. You know, most people can make something work in those circumstances. We wanna make sure that what we have is very, very stable, so that come what may, we can say, “Okay, bring it on, we’re strong. We can weather the storm.”