My last blog entry, During Interview, Asylum Director Exclaims, “We’ve Got Ourselves a Runner!” , brought some interesting private conversations. Private “advice”.
I’m obviously unhappy, so I should leave my husband, and be happy.
I laugh when I logically think about this “option”. Sadly though, at times, society has lead me to the same conclusion. Thank God that I thought them through before jumping ship.
If your kid did something that makes you unhappy, would you leave them? Would you look them in the eyes and tell them you just can’t be their mother anymore? Would you get in the car, rip your rear view mirror off, and never look back?
So, why do we do this to our spouses?
But… I’m unhappy with them. I just want to be happy. Okay, sure, I’ll buy that. But, is leaving them really going to make you happy?
If you are unhappy with this one, you will be unhappy with the next. If you are unhappy here, you will be unhappy there. No matter how far and wide you search, no one but you, is in control of your happiness. You’re not unhappy with your kids. You’re not unhappy with your husband. You’re not unhappy with your house or your job or your finances or your car. You are unhappy with you.
Divorce is far too easily available. It’s easier to get out of a marriage than it is to get out of a wet paper bag.
I’m not saying divorces should be outlawed or anything. By all means, there are some situations where divorce is extremely necessary. But, those are rare situations, and really, not to offend those that I love whom have gotten divorced… but maybe, if people waited a lot longer to get married in the first place, they could weed out these bad apples that they are needing divorces from. *Shrug* Just a thought.
I’m sure everyone reading this has had, or knows someone who has had, a divorce, and they are substantially happier afterwords. So, divorce equals happiness, right?… Not so much.
When most people get a divorce they feel a deep sense of new found freedom. They explore avenues, making changes in their life, that they weren’t even considering while married. I know a handful of people that, after getting divorced, have quit smoking, lost considerable weight, found a new career path, went back to school, became involved in volunteer work, explored a new hobby, and now, they are happy. They can breathe easier… (quitting smoking will do that for ya).
Could they have not done any single number of these things while being married?
Your divorce did not cause this happiness. YOU DID. You made the conscious decision to improve certain aspects of your life that, while not being conscious of while married, were making you unhappy. You were so busy blaming your spouse for your unhappiness, that you never allowed your mind to focus on what you were actually unhappy about.
The point is, I don’t think we take enough responsibility for ourselves. Our job sucks, we blame the boss. Our finances suck, we blame the economy. Our kids suck, we blame the video games. Our relationships suck, we blame our spouses. Our life sucks, we blame anyone, everyone, but ourselves.
My last blog caused a lot of interesting advice. “You’re unhappy, leave your marriage!” “Life is too short, get out now!” (I’m going to assume this one was referring to divorce and not suicide.) The list goes on, but they all pretty much imply the same thing.
Agreeably, I am not happy with my life right now. It is not where I want it to be. My finances are a mess. My house needs so much work. I don’t even like my house or neighborhood. My kids are headed in the wrong direction. I have no idea what I want to be when I grow up (and I grew up already). I’m conflicted. I’m confused. I’m just plain unhappy. So, what am I doing about it? What am I doing about any of these things that I have a problem with? Absolutely nothing.
I’m not unhappy because I have kids. I’m not unhappy because I have a house or finances. I’m not unhappy because I have a husband. I am unhappy with ME. I am unhappy that I am undecided in college. I am unhappy that I cannot narrow down what I am passionate about that will also provide a decent income. I am unhappy that I have not quit smoking. I am unhappy that my weight loss is taking longer than I hoped (overnight would be nice.) I am unhappy because I don’t follow through on disciplining my kids. I am unhappy that I make over ambitious to do lists. I am unhappy that I don’t complete my to do lists. I am unhappy that…. and the list goes on.
No part of leaving my husband will help to fix a single one of these things that I am unhappy about.
Since that blog post, I have worked at focusing on what it is that I’m really unhappy about. I have then, focused on what I can do to improve these areas. It has been a slow process. A self reflective process. But… every single thing on my list directly involves ME. Everything on my list of solutions directly involves ME. In no way, shape, form, or part, can someone else make this goal of happiness a reality for me.
We are a society that expects someone else to provide for us what we can only provide for ourselves. We often think, “What can they do for me?” instead of “What can I do for me?” or even… “What can I do for them?”
What are YOU bringing to the table?
Being unhappy can come in many different forms of emotion; unsettled, stuck, confused, stressed, frustrated, angry, irritable. It is your minds way of telling you that something is simply not right. And, it’s an awful feeling, a feeling that can drag you down, destroying the very things around you that you truly are happy about.
Are you unhappy with your life? Why? What is really causing your unhappiness?
But mostly… What are YOU going to do about it?