You see it everywhere: husbands leaving their wives, wives cheating on their husbands, mothers and fathers alike abandoning their families. Why?
We're led to believe that life should be easy. We think that once we're married, once we have a family, it's smooth sailing from there. We don't think of marriage as something we have to work at, we believe it should just come naturally. We see harmony as something that should always be present in our homes. So when it starts getting hard and we're not as happy as we once were, we start asking ourselves why.
When we're home raising crazy toddlers, and dealing with mountains of housework, the thought, "this is not how I thought it would be" crosses our minds. We start looking elsewhere for a way to make life easy again, the way we believe it should be. Doing that is easier than actually WORKING on our marriage, or WORKING on being a happy parent. Because usually in our minds it's not us doing anything wrong, it's our spouse or our kids that are the problem.
Why do we think this way? The majority of us aren't just given a good job that pays well, we have to work for it. We aren't just given things like nice homes and good healthcare, we have to work for them. Working for these things can take years, and requires a whole lot of patience. So why are our homes and families different?
When we start dating someone, it's new and it's exciting. We think that it will always be this way, and after we're married and years have passed, it's easy to feel that the spark is gone. So we start looking for another way to feel that again, and that usually leads to infidelity and broken homes. If we're willing to work hard to give ourselves the lives we want, we should be willing to work hard to give ourselves the marriage and family life we want too.
Expecting harmony to come with the territory makes us feel that we'll never be happy again if we don't change something, or that our spouse has changed and we just can't be happy with them anymore. We can feel that parenting is just too hard, and because we didn't expect how difficult it would be, we're justified in walking away. We may meet someone new, however innocently at first, and think that we can feel that happy, blissful feeling again. We see pictures on social media of our friends seemingly perfect marriages and happy families, and crave that for ourselves.
If you find yourself in this boat, start thinking of things that you can change. Hug your wife more. Kiss your husband, and not just to say hello or goodbye. Take time to play with your kids, and tell them that you love them. Stop thinking of yourself and your unhappiness, and think of ways you can serve your spouse and children. Make your husband's favorite meal for no reason, and buy your wife flowers on a weekday. Compliment your spouse, and thank them for all they do for you. Keep a journal of the good things your spouse and children do each day, and before you know it? The grass will never be greener then right where you are. :)
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