You live with them, eat with them, learn with them and grow up with them but yet sometimes they are the hardest relationships in our lives. Family has always been important, but today they are more important than people realize. Divorce, adultery, blended families and estranged parents are becoming a normal thing. How sickening is that? What happened to finding the love you have always dreamed of and building a life together? What happened to being responsible and raising the children you and your partner helped create? What happened to Family value?
Is seems to me that people are more concerned with what outside parties think of them than what the ones who matter most think. As yourself this, HONESTLY, “Who would you rather impress, your spouse or your best friend”? The answer should be your spouse but sadly I fear most have answered your best friend.
Its easy to become complacent with the ones we spend most of our time with. I’ve heard it and said it before, “Im married so I don’t have to try anymore”. BS! You’re married so now you have to try harder. Its easy to make yourself appealing for a short period of time but try doing it as you age. Your body, opinions, views, goals, wants and dreams all change over time. All of the things that were appealing about you, CHANGE. If a boxer quits training after he wins a championship fight, he will lose that championship the very next fight. You have to adapt and mold with someone else and that is not easy. If you “give up” because you are married, your giving up on your marriage and family.
Heres another “Hypothetical” question. “If your best friend asked you to help them move at the same time your spouse or children needed you to do something with the family. what would you chose”? Again I hope it would be choosing your spouse or children over your friend. (I didn’t) Your family needs to hold the highest place on your priorities list. Friends, work and hobbies can all wait. Don’t let outside influences control your family.
I remember being young and thinking that the friends I had in school were the most important thing in the world. My mother, brother and sister would just have to “deal with it” if my friends wanted my time at the same moment as them. The funny thing is, now I don’t speak to one single friend from school (outside of the random Facebook post) but my Mother, brother and sister are still constant forces in my life. The years of neglecting them and putting things before them have caused some dissension within our relationships but they are still there.
Teach your children to prioritize family. I read an article this morning where a mother was talking to her boys after a pretty intense fist fight. The 12 and 16 year olds were fighting over a seat and pillow on the couch. (I’ve been there before). The mother asked the 16 year old what he would have done if he had taken the seat from his best friend and his reply was, “I would have apologized and moved.” The same question was asked of the 12 year old and he said, “He would be a guest in the house so I would have let him have the seat.” It’s nice and polite to accommodate the guests in your house to make then feel welcome, but its pretty messed up that these boys would do that for a friend but not their own brother. Cudo’s to the mother for recognizing it and bringing attention to it.
Children learn what they live and if you are putting other people and things before the family, they will think that is normal. Decide what kind of people you want your kids to be and be that person. Easier said than done. Friends are important to have in your life but family is more important. Don’t expect your family to be okay with constantly being put in second or third place. It’s easy to ask for more from your family but it’s not so easy to give more. Your family is an investment and if you continue to neglect it, it will not grow or mature over time. Give your best to your family and your friends can have whats left. If they are true friends then they will understand and appreciate your values and moral without questioning them or being demanding.