A friend asked me, 'how can you be so contended and happy?' I was a bit stumped by her question, I dont know if I should take it seriously or was it a joke?
So I replied, 'wow, that's a really heavy question.' But she was serious. I know, she's been complaining about her husband spending too much time working on the farm (they have a big farmland with cows and pigs). And after a few years of just shrugging it off, this is now getting on her nerves. With farms, you live according to the farm animal's schedules. The cows must be milked twice a day, the cows and pigs should be fed, the stalls should be cleaned, etc. I only realized this rigoruous routine when we came to visit them a few years ago.
She's been a farmer's wife for years, yet she cannot understand why her husband wont even take Sunday time off to be with the family. Oh, they regularly go to the church, but for her, this is not enough time to be really with the family. I can understand that, the kids needed to be with their papa, not just within the confines of home. What usually happens is that they plan something, and the papa had to beg off -- it would then be again, only mama and kids outing.
I know how disappointing this could be, not only for us moms, but also for the kids. Though the kids would get over it faster than moms. Another thing that irritates her is that her hubby doesnt even make an effort to buy her something for special occasions, even on her birthdays. She buys them for herself. His logic is this: I dont know what you want, so here is the money, you can buy something special for yourself. Oh, this is ok sometimes -- but when the surprise of gift giving is sacrified, it's not fun anymore. The warmth and the love contained in a personal touch is what makes a gift special.
Her gripes are a true longing for her husband's attention; and for the kids' bonding with their father. Now, what should I tell her? I am contented and happy because I chose to be. That wont go, because I believe, what she's asking for are the basic things that makes a family work: time, attention and affection.
She's really going crazy about this, and had even thought of separation. I told her to be strong not only for her, but for the kids. Since her husband doesnt realize that he is remiss with being a family man (he always told her he is working hard for the family); then she must do something. Oh, she does. She actually had a long talk with her hubby about his 'dereliction of duties'. He did promise that he would try to be there. Then she arranges for dates with her hubby and family outings, for awhile after the heart to heard talk, everything was ok.
But then, it started again, the cycle of having not enough time. Can we blame her if she is not contented and happy?
Then yesterday, my husband called up her husband. My friend and I didnt know that both our husbands talked 'for a long time,' as my husband emphasized. I teased my husband that he's got a secret. It turned out he simply wanted to discuss tractor prices. But wait, I think there's more -- as he mentioned 'I think we should go and visit them soon. I need to talk to him about his family, but not over the phone.' Hmm, cryptic words. I didnt pursue the topic, but since my friend called me up, I mentioned it to her. I am going to be optimistic -- hope is in the horizon.