The Rope

A Marriage Script that challenges couples to drop the top and come together.

He: Just an old rope that showed up one day.

She: Mary and Nick couldn’t say where it came from.

He: Neither Mary nor Nick had the energy to throw it away.

She: So there it was, and there it would stay until…

He: Welcome to WWMTW! Are you ready to rumble?! Tonight on Worldwide Marital Tug- of-War.

She: On the right side of the rope is Nick.

He: That’s me, and I will not be defeated!

She: On the left side

He: is Mary.

She: Let’s go!

He: Let’s see who’s in charge.

She: Oh, clam up, Nick. I’m going to transform you into the man I’ve always wanted you to be.

He: Very funny, Mary. You really think you’re going to change me?

She: Absolutely.

He: Quit talking trash and pick up the rope. (They pick up the rope and begin tugging.)

He: You just had to buy those shoes, didn’t you?

She: Who’s going to stop me?

He: I am! You need discipline!

She: You need to lighten up!

He: Oh yeah?

She: Yeah. You are obsessed with your budget.

He: Well, maybe I wouldn’t be obsessed with the budget if you weren’t so obsessed with spending every single dime that comes into this house.

She: You are such a hypocrite! You complain about my wardrobe when you’ve got that sound system I can’t even operate because it is so complicated? Do you know how many shoes I would have to buy to match the price of all your gadgets? (They drop the rope and become narrators.)

He: Children, don’t try this at home—not until you are members of the WWMTW.

Both: The Worldwide Marital Tug-of-War! (They pick up the rope and begin tugging.)

He: Can’t you control our son?!

She: Would you lighten up on him? He’s just five!

He: He needs responsibility.

She: Nurture is what he needs.

He: He gets it.

She: No, he doesn’t, at least not from you.

He: I don’t want him to grow up spoiled.

She: I don’t want him to grow up unloved.

He: Love is tough; love is disciplined.

She: Do you think he feels loved when you come home? You should see him. He hears the garage door go up, and he starts running around the house, shielding his rear end.

He: You are exaggerating.

She: Not much.

He: Am too!

She: Are not.

He: Everything revolves around our son.

She: No, everything revolves around YOU!

He: Get out!

She: It does!

He: Oh, please!

She: Seriously!

He: Get real!

She: Face it! (They both drop the rope and face in opposite directions for a beat.)

He: (to audience) Then there were the days when Mary and Nick stewed silently… (The two pace around the rope, à la musical chairs. Then Nick finally grabs the rope and Mary follows suit.)

He: (as Nick) You are not meeting my need for sex!

She: Maybe I’d do that if you’d listen to me and show me more affection, like hold my hand.

He: Maybe I’d listen to you and be more affectionate if you’d fulfill my need for sex.

She: I have needs, too!

He: And you think I don’t?

She: And you think I don’t?

Both: AHHH!

She: (to audience) The intensity of the tug-of- war accelerates! (They begin to pull the rope, and they get closer together with each statement until they are nose-to-nose, yelling at each other.)

He: If you’d put down the remote!

She: If you’d pull your weight!

He: If you’d use the vacuum!

She: If you’d really listen!

He: If you’d have some fun!

She: If you’d put down the paper!

He: If you’d put down the phone!

She: If you’d take some leadership!

He: If you’d follow my leadership!

She: If you’d forget the past!

He: If you’d plan ahead!

She: You’re destroying everything we’ve tried to achieve!

He: I’m right and you’re wrong!

She: I want out!

He: I do, too!

She: Fine! (They drop the rope.)

He: The rope fell to the floor.

She: Nick

He: and Mary

Both: gave up.

She: They walked away like 68 percent of married couples do, never to return,

He: never to realize the joy of the vows they spoke on their wedding day.

She: The rope cost them dearly. He: The pressure of trying to mold their spouse into their own image didn’t break the rope;

Both: the rope broke them.

She: If only they had done things differently. (They turn around.)

He: Hey, is this yours?

She: Nope. Where’d it come from?

He: I don’t know. It just kind of showed up in the kitchen.

She: Come to think of it, I saw it the other day in our bedroom.

He: That’s strange.

She: What should we do with it?

He: You know, you could get on one end, I could get on the other, and we could…

She: See who wins?

He: Come to think of it, sounds kind of childish.

She: I think I’d rather stay on your side.

He: I don’t really see the point, either.

She: So Nick and Mary decided to throw away the rope and get on with life.

He: In the midst of exhaustion and deadlines,

She: the hurried storms of the day-to-day,

He: through frustrations and disappointments,

She: breakdowns and plumbing catastrophes,

He: parenting,

She: and paying bills.

He: To walk in forgiveness and grace,

She: being one in spirit and in purpose,

He: considering each other better than themselves,

She: considering two better than one.

He: Not looking at their own individual needs,

She: but looking at the needs of the other.

He: That’s how our attitude should be.

She: Not a tug of war,

He: but a flood of grace,

She: proclaiming to the world through the vitality of our marriage,

He: that Jesus is Lord.

Both: And that the rope is gone!