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Monday, 27 June 2016

Little things


I had put aside the day to write a rather important post on the little things, however, as seems to be the story of my life at the moment, I was rushed off to sit in the hospital with one child while tests were run and hours wasted away. So forgive the rush job for the first Conversation over Coffee, I promise next month to be more eloquent and poetic.

I've written in the past that happiness is made up of lots of little things but by the same token, it's the little things that can destroy a relationship or happiness. They can pile up and become a weight on the shoulders that eventually becomes too much to carry around. Those little chips at self esteem, those joking comments that are little more than insults delivered with laughter, the actions that neglect.

I'm watching wave upon wave of divorce announcements wash over many of our friends who've successfully sustained a marriage for twenty years. Sometimes it's because of big infidelity but usually, it seems, one person wakes up and decides they're tired of being an afterthought in their life. They want a partner, someone actually sharing their hopes and dreams, not just sharing the dinner table. They want someone building them up, not tearing them down. They're tired of putting their own bucket list on hold while facilitating the desires of everyone else in the family. They want to come first from time to time, not always last.

Ultimately, they're just tired. Tired of not mattering, tired of not feeling attractive or interesting, tired of silent nights in front of the tv.

One little slight is piled upon another and the resentment grows until a careless joke on Facebook feels like a humiliating insult. It's from little things, big things grow.

I never see these announcements coming. They're not couples that you think 'well, yes, that was only a matter of time'. Never any cracks that show prior to the news of the split. Which makes me think it's no ones fault, but over time we become complacent. We forget the little things we worked so hard on in the beginning.

What was more special than when someone looked into your eyes and told you they thought you were beautiful?
When you planned some alone time because it was what you wanted more than anything?
When you listened to their woes without checking your phone or changing the subject, because you wanted to make them feel better?
Remember delighting in finding them the perfect gift? In organising a surprise party for them?
Whatever those things you did when you started courting, why'd you stop? Did your partner become less important? Do you know if they FEEL like they are less important now? If you aren't doing those things anymore, maybe it's time to start again.

Kids get in the way, as does work, as does life in general but they're only little things. Very tiny things that cost no money. They cost a little time, and they cost a little effort, and they cost giving a little more of  your attention to someone who many years ago you thought deserved it.

Maybe it's time to turn back the clock. Think of the other person and what they might be needing to hear or feel more than anything in the world at this moment. Spend a little more time every day investing in your partner and your life together. Maybe it's not enough, maybe I don't really know the ins and outs of these failing marriages and it's something else entirely. It may not make a difference, but they're only little things, so there's no harm in paying a little more attention to your spouse. Words cost nothing, listening isn't difficult, taking an interest is mere politeness, so why not?

The little things mean a lot. When you add up all the little things, they make a big difference.

(For the record, I'm glad the trip to the hospital turned into a complete waste of time, just a little thing that once checked out, can be ignored...)

Linking with the very last #WorthCasing





23 comments:

  1. Hello there, so very true. There's a rash of couples breaking up when both kids get to primary school and then another in high school. Having kids is hard and keeping a relationship alive is hard too. Sometimes I joke that the fact Paul and I have been together for 20 years is a triumph of exhaustion. But in fact I am pretty proud of us, not just the time factor but that we are quite kind to each other and we both know how to apologise. We get plenty practice too.

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    1. Vonnegut wrote this line that love may fail but courtesy will prevail, and that couples that are kind to each over survive

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  2. What a beautiful post Lydia, the little things do add up to become big things - whether that leads to a negative (or positive) outcome...So glad the visit to the hospital turned out to be a little bit of reassurance and as for the marriages...I think sometimes it is the little things that matter most - with them the marriage stays together and with them (but in a different way) the marriage can fall apart...even a big leap into infidelity often starts with the little things. Thank you for linking up to #convocoffee xx

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  3. Exactly, Lydia. My husband has been working massive hours lately. I'm talking leaving at 5am one morning and getting home at 2.45am the next morning. We feel like ships in the night and it has been affecting me. He left again this morning before I woke.I opened my Notebook computer this morning to find a note written from him sitting on top of my keyboard. It was only a little thing, but it meant so much to me. Ps. I'm glad all was okay with your hospital visit.

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  4. I'm determined to always make my partner a priority. I think you're right, so often people divorce because they feel taken for granted or like part of the furniture.

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    1. I do think people can only put up with that for so long...

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  5. I've loved both yours and Josefa's posts this morning on the little things. "The little things mean a lot. When you add up all the little things, they make a big difference." Such a great wake up call. Especially since the hubster and I often feel just plain tired ...

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    1. I saw all your Vegas shots! I know why you're tired ;)

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  6. It is so true the little things hold you together when the big things come. I am glad your hospital visit was nothing. It is really hard to hold things together in a marriage when you have growing children, life, growing older, chasing dreams that all get in the way. It is important to keep the connection to each other and making sure that while you might not be chasing the same dreams you are supporting each other along the way and that everything isn't all give or take but a bit each way. Great post and a good reminder! xoxo

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  7. Such a beautiful and important post, Lydia. A reminder too, when we have so many big things going on, to stop and not overlook those little things that matter.

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  8. I'm so very glad the trip to hospital was a waste of time! And yes, it is definitely the little things, isn't it? There have been a few divorce announcements around me recently that were real shocks and I suspect a similar thing was underlying them. #TeamIBOT

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  9. Firstly, glad the hospital visit turned out ok.
    Secondly, a quote I often see, and saw just recently actually, is 'love is a choice you make every day.' I think we often forget that love is a choice - it's an action and not a feeling, and you choose to do it. In our home we regularly practice date night and I guard that night like a lion because if I don't, it would get filled up with other things, when really, taking the time to just be a couple is one of the most important things for our marriage.

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  10. Love this post and really needed to read it tonight. It's hard work being married and having kids. But having said that, doing little things with and for each other can make such a big difference to our relationship. I think sometimes we do become complacent with the ones we love and we forget about all the dreams we had together when we first started dating or were honeymooning. Thank you for putting it all in perspective. x

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  11. So pleased your hospital visit had a happy ending. I love that line "the little things mean a lot. When you add up all the little things, they make a big difference." Best relationship advice ever.

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  12. Oh Lydia I love this! The little things are so important. I started my blog as a catharsis when I realised the little 'shoulds' had built up over a difficult first six months of motherhood. I wanted to help other mothers going through the same thing. It's also a valuable cautionary tale for a young marriage. I'm going to share with friends going through something similar. Thank you so much, and I'm so glad I've come across your blog today (I'm new to all this!). It would be great to connect? Take care, Amy x #stayclassymama

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    1. Whoops - gave me a funny name. I'm Amy from @nomoreshoulds.

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  13. Thanks for you thoughts on this, the little things do add up and can destroy relationships, even with your young adult children.

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  14. Wow. I love this post. You're so right, the little things can easily build up and build up and then nobody is happy and you don't really know why. This has inspired me to do something nice for my partner tonight. We used to do cute little things for each other but since the baby was born it has been hard to have any time together besides sitting in front of the TV at the end of the day. We also just need to do things for each other without feeling like we owe the other person something. Thank you for the motivation and for sharing with #StayClassyMama.

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  15. What an insightful post!

    I'm glad your hospital visit with your child ended up being a waste of time with nothing serious found!

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  16. Lydia, very encouraging post. You're definitely right investing in the small things make for a more fulfilled life between husbands & wives. This is something many couples lose sight of while taking care of careers and kids. Thanks for sharing and it's a pleasure to meet you! I'm now following you! ;)

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  17. Thanks so much for linking up for the last Worth Casing Wednesday.

    What a thought provoking post. We celebrate 21 years of marriage this Saturday and right now in this moment, I couldn't imagine my life with anyone else. I don't always feel this way. Like when hubby is at sea and I'm playing single parent. Or when he is annoying the crap out of me. But for the most part we put our relationship first, before our three kids and everyone else. It's easier to do that now they are older. I think the main thing though we don't take our relationship or each other for granted and I hope, really hope this doesn't change.

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