Image by Mary Anne Mohanraj via Flickr
Marriage is like lawn. The grass is not greener on the other side. It is greener where it is watered, weeded, and fertilized. Take care of your lawn my friends. John Morauski
Oh – people laugh about ‘The grass is always greener” but it’s true – that nice plush green grass also NEEDS to be mowed.
It is built-in to our DNA to be curious. To want things. To see with our eyes and taste with our emotions – things that look lovely and feel so good. To pursue ‘uncharted’ territory. To obtain – gather and to conquer.
It is also built into our character to be loyal, stable, and comfortable. To build a home with someone – to ‘nest’ and stay committed.
Sometimes the two of these seem to be at cross purposes. The divorce rate is high – the highest it has ever been. But I think the problem dates back as far back as the origins of man – and original sin. I’m sure even WAAAAAAY back there – someone saw someone else (other than their spouse) and thought they looked pretty nice – and found out that they had things in common and ‘chemistry‘ with them. And wondered….’hmmmm – where have you been all my life’ Ahhhh – the ultimate seduction.
This is a complicated situation – especially if there are ‘problems’ and ‘issues’ with the one you are living with. It’s hard work to stay ‘fresh’ and ‘fun’ – year after year. Anyone else can seem so uncomplicated and easier – have all the right things to say – even be thoughtful and kind and feel like a little bit of freedom – especially if you are unhappy at home.
It is the ultimate trap of emotions. It is what was said in Tyler Perry‘s movie “Why did I get married” – ‘you end up leaving the 80% for the 20% – only to find out that once you left – you now have only 20% – and you should have stayed and tried to work on that 80%’
That is the ultimate test. That 20% still needs maintenance – and much more work. Ugh. More work???? And those nasty feelings of regret. How many times have you or I heard someone say, “I should have worked harder on my first marriage”
This is how it happens: You can have great chemistry with your spouse – at least to start out. You decide to get married. It seems like you can’t live without each other. You just know it will be okay and life will be wonderful – you won’t even have to work that hard – things seem to click and work really well. But even in the most ideal of relationships – something happens. Children, age, stress, loss of a job or a career, problems with family, loss of attraction for each other. You stop watering your lawn.
So things look better somewhere else. After all – their grass is much greener – looks well cared for – they even use fertilizer on theirs and take special care that it is mowed and always looks inviting and lovely.
It is a trap. It leaves you empty. And remember – their grass seems greener. You didn’t have to work on it with them. It is only green until you step over to their lawn – and then you can see that it needs to be mowed. From a distance it looked great.
But your grass looks green and plush to someone from afar too. Always remember that. It is only when someone comes in close – that the flaws in your lawn begin to show.
Keep your grass-green to your spouse.
Marriage needs special attention – especially as we age. You need to ‘tune in’ much more as life happens and things happen to change us along the way. Watering and fertilizing is as simple as just paying attention. Make sure that you are the one investing valuable time and energy in the relationship – not someone else.
This is important for women as well as the men. Divorce rate is up – more and more women are leaving the relationship – it used to be that just men left for a pretty ‘young thing’ at the office. Not anymore. Women who are unhappy and unsatisfied in a marriage will leave for someone who notices them and makes them feel special again – and they can be easy prey for men who are willing and able to ‘fill in’ emotionally. And men will leave for someone who understands and admires them again.
If you think you are safe – think again.
Are you putting emotional and physical energy into your relationship with your spouse? Do you take them for granted and say to yourself, ‘they will always be here – I don’t have to do anything special’. That’s what everyone has said and thought – only to have their spouse walk out on them. Don’t let it happen to you. Don’t be caught unaware.
Water your lawn. Care for it daily. Apply fertilizer to help it grow plush and green. Use your words and your gestures to make things green and healthy in your relationship. Make it your first priority. Don’t leave it to chance. Don’t leave it to someone else – who can seem to do the job better than you. Make sure you have heathy green grass to romp around in – with your spouse. And only for your spouse.
‘Take care of your lawn my friends’ – is the best advice you’ll ever hear.