Before you get bent out of shape, I am NOT saying that the non-traditional family is wrong. I am simply saying that 50 years ago, the traditional family was a man and woman getting married to each other for the first time and staying together and having some kids. Thats how it became the "traditional family". I do see value in this situation. I do think that if it is possible, it is healthier and definitely simpler to have the "traditional family." I know it cuts down on drama!
My question is, why do people stray from, destroy, mess up, choose otherwise from the tradition? One possible answer is that they see the traditional family life as boring and unfulfilling--they are told by society, media, etc. that there is more--more excitement, more "life to live", more partners to have, more places to go, etc. than a traditional family can afford you. This is a lie.
I also know there is an all out assault on anything that even resembles a "normal" family in the media. Shows like Seinfeld, How I Met Your Mother, Friends and Two and a Half Men glorify the single, philandering life and even put down the family life. These characters are viewed daily as having such a cool life with a new conquest every episode and all manner of dysfunction. Teenagers see these and long for the same. There is no balance in the media either. Even the shows that have two parents frequently make the male character into a doofus. There are virtually no male "father" characters in shows that are intelligent, strong and good fathers. Why? Why do we allow this? Why do we support this? Why is this entertaining?
I don't have the answer. I just have some suggestions.
- Value the family yourself. It is noble, fulfilling and even fun
- Value the moments your family gives you. I am guilty here. I get wrapped up in work and ignore my family from time to time. I do this with the excuse that I am earning a living for them. Its just an excuse. Jonas will only be 5 for 365 days. I need to treasure those days.
- This one is hard. TRY to choose your mate wisely. DON'T select them based on superficial things. Really consider that person as your partner for the REST of your life.
- WORK on your relationship. There is no such thing as a fairytale relationship that magically happens one day and is happily ever after for all of eternity with no real effort. If you think you are the exception to the above statement, you are wrong. ALL marriages, ALL relationships need effort and willingness to work together on the problems that arise. If your partner disagrees, you should not choose that person. No life time successful marriage "just happens." They all require maintenance.
- If you do choose poorly and you know it, don't have kids with that person!
I know this blog has potential to stir up some conversation. I welcome that. Please do recognize that I speak in generalities and I know that every single situation is unique. I am not pointing fingers, I am just sharing my ideals.