Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Question of the Day

From my dear friend:

"Martha, what do you do when you're giving all that you've got, doing everything you know to do, but it just isn't good enough for someone else?"

Gut reaction answer:
"Honey, nothing you do will ever be good enough for whoever that person is, so you may as well kick 'em to the curb and move on."

More thoughtful answer:
Honestly, it probably depends on how you define "giving all that you've got, doing everything you know to do" and your opinion versus the other person's opinion on what's "good enough."

For example, let's say that your husband loves his mother's meatloaf. Your meatloaf-making skills maybe aren't great, but you keep trying for his sake. Believe me when I say, you're fighting a losing battle. Your meatloaf will never compare to his mother's. And even if your meatloaf is better, he probably won't tell you that. It's not that he doesn't like it. It's that it's not his mother's meatloaf. That one, you just need to get over.

Now, if you're constantly going out of your way to be there for someone in every way imaginable, but that person just keeps demanding more, you're in the same boat as the above example. Nothing will ever be "good enough." Why? Because that person has a warped idea of what it means to share in a relationship, and the more you give, the more that person will want. Get away while you can. You will get sucked dry.

And now--kind of playing devil's advocate, I suppose--there's always the possibility that your idea of "good enough" just isn't...well...good enough. Putting it like that, it seems terrible. Maybe it would sound better like this: It could be that it's a matter of aspiring to do more and do better. There is nothing wrong with mediocrity and being comfortable in life. But sometimes, one person in a relationship just aspires to more than that. And that's okay. And it's also okay NOT to aspire to more. You have to decide what you're comfortable with and how much you value and need the relationship with that other person. How do you do that? That, my dear, is between you and that other person. Maybe it'll work out. Maybe it won't.

But I can tell you this much: No matter what you decide, you will regret it at some point. Even if you make the absolute best-best-bestest decision at the time, somewhere down the road, you'll feel a little pang of regret. That's the torture of decision-making. No matter what you decide, there's a consequence. Sometimes, that consequence doesn't become clear until much later. Just be prepared for the feelings that go along with it.

Take care, honey.


Margaret said...

"kick 'em to the curb"

That's the best part!

Cheryl said...

Very thought-provoking...In my marriage I was the one who never did it right, did it good enough, etc. He's gone and I'm doing fine.

Martha said...

Thanks for your comment, Cheryl! I think it's funny how people can feel like they're not "good enough", but then the person making the accusation is gone, and suddenly, the not "good enough" person realizes he or she is totally awesome!