I belong to a website for moms. It used to be a really helpful, compassionate website where a mom, new or not, could go and ask a question and get useful answers. Criticism was constructive and intended to help, not to completely tear you down and make you feel worthless.
That site has started to devolve into...well, it's devolved. We'll just put it that way.
Often, women would have questions about their relationships. As one mom on there said, "I want to find out if what my husband and I are going through is normal, but I don't want my mom, or his mom, or my best friend, to know that we're dealing with it." The site used to be a way you could compare your relationship to others and find out that yes, this stage in a relationship is perfectly normal, everyone goes through it, and we're going to be fine.
The questions eventually just got...well, pathetic. Women wanting other women to tell them if they should stay or leave after their husband/significant other/boyfriend (whatever title they want to give him...some of them change it weekly, it seems) has cheated, hit them, hit their child, stolen something, kept a secret, lost money gambling/doing drugs/on a hooker (hey, I've seen it on there!), or because his mother drives her nuts with her advice, sarcasm, criticism, or need to take over everything. Some of the reasons they want to leave are just silly, and others I just don't understand how they don't already KNOW they should leave. (example: "My husband has cheated on me 16 times, twice with my sister, 3 times with my best friend, and I caught him having a threesome with my mom and my grandma. Should I leave?" And NO, I am not making that up! I might have the numbers a little off, but it was a real question.)
Maybe it's just me. Maybe it's because I've been in a bad marriage and gotten out of it, and learned a few things from it. The first of those things being what I won't tolerate from a man. I love D to death, and I have absolutely no intention of ever ending our relationship, but there are some things that if he ever did them, I'd be getting rid of him without thinking twice. If he ever laid a hand on me, if he ever hurt my child (beyond a simple spanking or hurt feelings because they're in trouble), if he started doing drugs, drinking too much, if we were living together or married and he was taking money needed to support our home and our family to spend on drugs, gambling, or whatever, those are all things I'd get rid of him for. Cheating...I've always said that after Sperm Donor, I'd leave the first time. Honestly, though, I love D, and I think he loves me enough that if he DID cheat, he'd probably feel incredibly guilty and not do it again. So....I think if he cheated, I'd probably give him one more chance, but with a very clear "you better not hide a damn thing from me ever again" policy. In fact, if he cheated, he'd probably choose to leave me because I'd be so demanding of what he'd have to do to prove to me I could trust him again.
But what really confuses me is that so many of these women are in these relationships, and if you go by their questions, they are just absolutely miserable. And when you read the questions, or look at their profile, the stuff they are so upset about is stuff that he has always done (or not done). Why would you marry someone, or have kids with him, if you already knew he was like this? If I'd known before I married him that Sperm Donor was a lying, cheating piece of crap who was going to do everything he could to ruin my self esteem and ignore my kids...yeah, I wouldn't have touched him with a 50 foot pole. And what's even worse, is that the stuff they get upset over is often silly stuff. No, cheating is not silly. Losing money gambling or on drugs or whatever is not silly. But asking if you should leave him because he didn't take the garbage out the last two times you asked him to (Are your hands broken? Take it out yourself)? Or because he's always on the computer (so why don't you read a book, or watch TV? Does he really have to be your entertainment every minute of the day? He'll get off the computer in a little while and then you'll spend time together. If he's truly addicted and ALWAYS on it, that's one thing, but an hour a day? Not a big deal), or he smokes (make him go outside to smoke)? These are not relationship ending issues, in my opinion anyway.
That's the other thing I learned from my bad marriage. As annoying as certain habits may be, they are not something worth ending the relationship. If I really wanted to, I'm sure I could sit here and think of reasons to end my relationship. They'd all be petty, nitpicky things, but I could sit here and list things that *could* drive me nuts about him. And I'm pretty sure that he could do the same thing about me. He's not perfect, and neither am I. But I love him, and I'd rather focus on the things that I do love about him, than concentrate on the things I don't love so much. I'd rather be happy with him. And I love him so much I even try to turn the less than wonderful things into positive. So, he snores...at least if I hear him snoring, well (a) he's there with me (always a plus), and (b) at least I know he's still alive.
And when I tried to tell one woman that when she complained that she was thinking of leaving her husband because on the two nights a week (he works nights) he's home, she doesn't sleep well thanks to his snoring, she told me I needed to "take off my rose colored glasses" and that my relationship would never last.
I disagree with her. I think that when you focus on the bad, that's when your relationship won't last. How can it, if you're always thinking negatively about the other person, and therefore making yourself unhappy? I think by ignoring the things that aren't quite so endearing and thinking of the things that are, it sets us up with a better chance of making it work. And besides, I really don't think that his cigarette and red bull breakfast habit is worth living my life without him. I won't deny that if he wanted to give them up, I'd be thrilled, but it's just not a relationship ender for me.
I just don't understand why people can't appreciate the good in their relationships, in their spouses/significant others. Why do we always have to look at the negative stuff? Why can't we just ignore that, and focus on what's good about them, and good about the relationship?
I think I'm going to leave that website, because it's just gotten to be too depressing lately. Every now and then, I come across a good question, or at least one I can answer that makes me feel good about answering it, but the bad is beginning to far outweigh the good.
Ok...now that that's out of my system. :)
Last night, C & J were running around outside while my parents and I sat around talking. Peter Pan has been kennelled for...probably close to a year now, due to his inability to stop tearing things up. We let him out to run around when someone is out there to supervise him, but otherwise he's in the kennel. He likes to try to dig his way out. We improvised some chainlink fencing on the bottom of the kennel to stop that. So, now, he likes to try to chew his way out. Last night, C came tearing around the corner from the kennel area.
"Grandpa, Peter Pan is chewing on the kennel again!"
"No, Grandpa, really!"
"Fine. I'll go check on it in a minute."
"No, Grandpa, he's doing some really impressive work!"
Impressive work? My mother and I couldn't stop laughing for about 5 minutes. At least now I know that regardless of what else he does or doesn't learn in school, at least he's getting a pretty good vocabulary...and the ability to use it correctly.