The Grass Isn’t Always Greener

By: T.W. Winslow

It's perfectly normal for people involved in long term relationships to, at one time or another, feel unsatisfied. Some might long for the excitement of meeting someone for the first time - the thrill of the chase, if you will. Others may miss the passion that comes with a new relationship, or the intimacy of sharing thoughts and dreams for the very first time. Whatever it is, it's important for us to remember that the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

There are literally millions of divorced people out there who bitterly regret their decision to leave their spouse. Many have been devastated both emotionally and financially by divorce - and for what? All too often their ultimate decision to end the relationship began as just this kind of a general sense of dissatisfaction. Rather than using this as motivation to work even harder on their relationship, they let it become a destructive force, undermining the very foundation of the marriage.

One of the ingredients that fuels this fire is our own inability or unwillingness to be realistic and objective. To use an example; we may feel neglected by our spouse, so we begin engaging in some "harmless" flirting with a coworker. We start comparing them with our spouse - all of the coworker's positive attributes compared to all the faults of our spouse. Soon, we're considering how wonderful a new romance can be, and fantasize about how great life would be if we were single again - experiencing new lovers, forming new relationships, spending time doing things just for ourselves, etc. The more we think about these things, the better they begin to sound, and soon, what was once just a fantasy, is now becoming a plan of action.

What we fail to realize is that fantasy, invariably, has little in common with reality. Sure, a new romance can be exciting and passionate, and not having the responsibilities that go along with marriage can sound pretty good at times, but the reality is, everything has its downside. If we'd give equal time to considering the bad, along with the good, we would wake up to the fact that our current relationships are, in reality, pretty darn good.

It's easy to get carried away with an idea when we only consider the positive. It's like going to a Mercedes dealership and picking out the nicest car in the showroom and driving it home, only to realize our mistake when the first payment comes due.

It's natural to have random thoughts and fantasies, but we must always put these into proper perspective. If we do, we can use these to refocus our attention and efforts back to our own relationships - making them stronger and more fulfilling, rather than allowing these thoughts to slowly erode our relationships until they eventually crumble and fail.

As for that greener grass, you'd better take another look at the color of the grass on your side of the fence - it might be looking a whole lot better now.

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