“Procrastination is my sin. It brings me naught but sorrow. I know that I should stop it. In fact, I will–tomorrow”
Tom came to me, not knowing where else to go, still shocked of the news his wife gave him earlier that morning. We met at the public gardens, and when I saw his face, I knew an emotional grenade had blown him up not to long ago.
I could see my distorted reflection within his glassy eyes, and I asked him, “What is wrong?”
He spoke solemnly and said, “My wife is filing for divorce.”
I looked at him, not saying anything, I was just studying his presence, waiting for him to continue, he then said,
“I don’t understand. I was nothing but perfect to her, we never argued or fought, I never cheated, I didn’t drink or smoke, I didn’t have a temper. I just don’t understand what happened. We have been married for thirteen years, this makes no sense!”
I could see that he was genuinely confused, I still remained silent, so I could absorb everything he was saying.
I have known Tom and Patricia (his wife) for a long time. And at one time they seemed like one of the happiest couples around. They were more then just husband and wife, more then just best friends, they were a team. I was envious and happy for what they had, it just seemed their relationship was so natural. Of course, over the years, things changed.
I wanted to tell Tom what I saw, but I knew I needed to hold my tongue. It wasn’t my job to give him my opinion, or advice. My job was to listen, to put myself into his shoes and see things from his perspective.
Tom’s story paralleled a lot with the other stories Iv’e heard. I understood what happened, because he was right, it was nothing he did, it is what he didn’t do that caused the relationship to crumble. Of course, there are no such things as 100 percent blame, a relationship is not destroyed solely because of one person.
It always seemed to boil down to two things. One being not lack of communication, but the lack of the right kind of communication.
The second thing, the one thing I call the most dangerous emotion of all, being too content.
When people become too content, too satisfied, they stop growing as a person. Once Tom achieved marrying the love of his life, he stopped pursuing her, because he had her (in his mind). The problem with that notion is, nobody really has anybody.
Tom, somewhere along the line, stopped pursuing her. They used to work on projects, go to movies, dinners, travel, and all that came to a slow stop. When people stop feeling appreciation from the one they are with, they will find appreciation somewhere else.
Of course, being content just isn’t dangerous for relationships, but for everything. Their is a difference between being appreciative for what you have, and growing. We should always be pursuing, learning new things, striving to better our minds, bodies and soul. When you better yourself, you better others, and if you can better yourself with someone else, you have a love that is evolving. Being content is being stagnant.
I used to be a runner, I ran cross country for my college team, and I was pretty good, I wasn’t winning any medals, but I was alright. Anyway, I decided to take a couple weeks off running after the season was over, because I was really tired of it. And I felt I deserved it. Anyhoo, weeks turned into months, months into a year. After I took a year off, I decided it would be a good idea to sign up for a 5K race. No big deal, I could run one of those in my sleep. I remember the gun going off, and I took off….
I barely finished the race, I was so exhausted. I used to run 5:10 minute miles, and that changed to 7:45 minute miles. I was shocked when I ran through the finish line about how slow I became. The point of all this is that I was content, I stopped training and I assumed my body would attain the same power and speed it had when I quit running. Of course in retrospect that was ridiculous. And that is exactly what happened to Tom and his relationship. He thought things were amazing, because they were amazing at one point of time. Everything rots unless we give active appreciation and care to it. Just maintaining what you have takes effort and work.
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