It's amazing how easy it is to be complacent in life, isn't it? Sometimes we don't even realize we're doing it. But in the midst of stressful jobs, crazy hours, keeping a house (or in my case an apartment)...life can seem redundant. And that is the beginning of complacency.
I've only been married just over a year (we celebrated our first anniversary on July 24) and already I've seen how easy it is to be complacent in a marriage. We both hold somewhat irregular jobs and our hours aren't always consistently 9-5. Sometimes we get home late and are exhausted. We make a quick dinner and plop in front of the couch for the rest of the night until we go to bed...only to get up and do it all over again the next day. It's easy to get lost in the routine and forget about the fact that you're in the process of building a marriage. And in order to build that marriage, you need to work at it.
I'll admit, sometimes it scares me that I can already see how this could happen. It just goes to show how much work is required out of a marriage, day in and day out, no matter what stage of life you're at. My parents' divorce has taught me just how detrimental it is to embrace complacency and ignore the work your marriage requires. I've seen first hand what this does to a marriage and to a family.
But it's overwhelming how much work goes into being non-complacent. It's just so easy to choose the other path every day. If you do it one day and say, "I'll focus on my marriage tomorrow," tomorrow never comes. Suddenly, you find yourselves 20 years down the road with serious problems. I don't want to end up like that. Yet I am an admittedly selfish person who focuses too much on her job at times and not enough on her husband. Who comes home from work and forgets that I need to spend quality time with my husband (which means talking to him, not mumbling to him while watching TV). Do I admit I have failed many times at this? That's a resounding yes.
But if I can wake up each day with the goal of working on my marriage and avoiding complacency (knowing I will inevitably fail on many accounts, but succeed on others), then I think that's a good thing. If I woke up one day and didn't think once about my husband or my marriage, then I'd be worried (and yes, thinking about the thing he did last night that annoyed me does count as thinking about my marriage. Hey, it's not perfect). All I can ask of myself is to try.
How do you deal with complacency in marriage or relationships? Have you witnessed this in your parents' marriage? How did they overcome it? And if they didn't, what have you taken away from their failures? Feel free to comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.