By Lindy Earl
We have all met people who just didn’t seem to understand how blessed they are. Some people just need to complain about everything. Since my divorce, I am less willing to listen to people complain about their spouses. Here are some examples . . .
A woman was complaining to me about how her husband, who is a construction supervisor, leaves his jackets on the job sites. She continued to complain long enough for me to say, “Ma’am, I don’t have a husband.” It stopped her for only a moment.
“Well he pisses me off,” she explained (sorry – it’s a quote). Please know, this woman was a stranger to me. We had only just met.
“I’m sorry,” I replied.
She looked me over, then she said, “Well, your husband probably wasn’t as bad as mine.” I never told if I was widowed or divorced, but either way, it was an insensitive comment to both her husband and to me.
A better story happened a few years ago. I was volunteering at a non-profit event and became friends with the woman at the next booth over the weekend. As we were all packing up on Sunday, this very nice woman started complaining to me about how her husband surprised her by showing up to help her pack. Why was she complaining? Well, he was doing things wrong.
Wrong? Or not the way she wanted them done?
Not knowing this woman well, I took a chance and said, “I don’t have a husband. The idea that your husband loves you enough to come and help you means a lot.”
She understood immediately. Her attitude toward her husband changed and she thanked me for making her see how great he was, even if she would have to rearrange some things later.
The ones who really get me are the women who are buying stuff and saying that their husbands will kill them. I have heard this since I worked retail in school many, many years ago. My thought? Then don’t buy it! What kind of convoluted relationship do you have? Are you just looking for sympathy? Or is this some kind of bizarre bragging that you have a husband to pay your credit card bill?
I realize, and am happy, that there are as many, and probably far more, wonderful, appreciative, and grateful women as there are these ungrateful women. My encounters with them, sadly, are not as memorable.
In addition, there are men who are difficult and ungrateful, just as there are great men who do not take their wives for granted and are happy to be in a good relationships.
I know a lot of single people who would love to be in a healthy, committed relationship. I truly cannot understand why some of the great people I know, of both genders, remain single. These are great people!
There are people all around us who are the antithesis of this ungrateful woman. They certainly do not talk about their spouses leaving their jackets on job sites to virtual strangers. Yet, this woman is in a relationship, while the rest of us look on, hoping that one day it will be us.
Is this really the kind of relationship we want? Of course not. We want a happy and healthy relationship, without this lady’s snarkiness. I have made the joke that everyone should have to be married and divorced before they can get married the first time, because you learn so much in the process. I probably did take my ex for granted some times and I probably did fail to show my appreciation at times. Of course that’s not how I remember it, but I’m guessing that it’s true, because I stand here, divorced and alone. Something went wrong and I’m willing to shoulder my share of the responsibility.
The good news is that we can learn from not only our experiences, but from watching others. Having this woman decide that her current spouse was worse than my ex reminded me not to judge what I don’t know. And while I see married couples every single blasted day – sorry – every day, just because they are married does not mean that they are living the dream and living in bliss. We really don’t know what is going on behind closed doors. Some spouses are leaving their jackets at work! Can you IMAGINE? The horrors!
Okay, enough sarcasm. The point is that I never want to be an ungrateful woman, and I never want to be with an ungrateful man. This is why we remain single. We know the great person is out there, waiting for us. So we continue to grow ourselves, and learn from others, and wait expectantly, knowing that someday we’ll find the missing piece in our puzzle.
For now, it’s good to remind ourselves that single and happy is far better than coupled up and not. We can be grateful for where we are right now.
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Lindy is a Consultant, Speaker, and Writer, currently living in Atlanta, GA. She is The Business Coach focusing on Relationships through Communication, Leadership, and Corporate Culture. You will be more successful with Lindy as your Coach. Please contact her at LMEarl@EarlMarketing.com