The problem with many relationships in life: we’re oftentimes nicer to the strangers rather than the loved ones.
Need some examples?
We are hesitate to tell the hard truth to colleagues, but we feel like we can tell whatever we want (with no filter) to our families.
We try so hard to be a good employee but we are careless to be a good daughter/son.
We make times for our random cool friends, but we don’t bother to make times (a real good quality times) with our old best friends.
And this is one final example that I often find in married couples: they tried so hard to be a good husband/wife material before they get married, but then they stop trying to become ones after they truly get married.
A friend used to tell me, “Many marriage fails because they both stop trying to impress each other after they get married.” And I find it so true in many other relationships in life too! Not to mention, the closer we are with someone, the less efforts we put to not hurting their feelings too. We don’t hesitate to reveal the worst part of us to the loved ones without considering how it will break their hearts.
Can’t you imagine how awful it might feel? No more good things to celebrate, only boredom and problems to solve. In this kind of relationship, being with them ends up feeling like a burden. It doesn’t feel like home, it’s not comforting and it doesn’t make us a happy person anymore. Until finally, we end up feeling depressed with our own relationships. We either want to run away or we’ve got to hold on and bear all the pains for some things that we deem as “the good reasons”.
I know that if feels good to be surrounded by the people who manage to love us unconditionally. We want them to love and accept us just the way we are. It’s actually human… but then we forget that they are too only a human. And what’s even more concerning is that we forget how love is also a work and love has to be earned not just in the beginning, but also in every single day of our life. A happy relationship is a never ending works and it might be the hardest work we should ever do in our entire life. We only need to work on it unless if we find that it’s okay just to be alone, and lonely.
Life is all about a balance, and so is a relationship. A balance between the comfort of being ourselves and the hard work to be the very best of us for the loved ones. I know for a fact that unfortunately, reaching this “balance” is always the hardest one.
Everytime it feels hard for me to deal with the loved ones, I told myself, “I don’t owe anything to any random people in the office nor any people who only text me a couple times in a year, but I owe a lot of things to my families and best friends.” And then I prioritize my resources (times, energy, and wealth) from there.
From now on, let’s try to do better for our loved ones. If we’re willing to listen to the strangers, listen to our loved ones too. Hear them out! And if we’re willing to work hard just to be “employee of the year”, why don’t we work as hard to be son/daughter or husband/wife of the year too? When we keep trying to be the very best version of us in anything in life, we do it not only for ourselves, but also for the people we care about.