There’s nothing like death to appreciate life. And there’s nothing like watching the heartbreak and the disintegration of a friend’s marriage to appreciate your own.
Relationships are hard work, and they can take even more work once kids come along. Work that no one has the time or patience to do.
Over the last year, I have watched my friend’s heart unravel. I’ve heard all the small ways a loving relationship can turn into a painful one. It’s been hard to witness, but it’s made me take a serious look at my own marriage. It’s helped me to appreciate what I do have, but also to pay more attention to the details that matter.
I would much prefer she wasn’t going through this at all, but it has taught me some important things. They are simple and obvious, but sometimes get missed in the chaotic mix of work and family life.
1. Laughter is the best medicine
There isn’t much laughter happening in my friend’s home right now. When life is stressful it’s harder to laugh at the small stuff.
But seeing the humour in life is what keeps humanity going. Laughter helps to expand that narrow pinprick of anger through which you are looking at the world. It gives us more perspective and everything becomes lighter.
Lucky for me, my husband thinks he’s hilarious. And while dad jokes aren’t always my cup of tea, if I take a breath and allow myself to laugh, it dissipates my anger immediately.