A is for Apathy: What Happens When You Don’t Care Anymore?
The months leading up to my wedding were filled with a set of adventures like no other. It was summer. The significant women in my life at that time were three that I shared an office with at work. One was a widow. The second woman was married with two young children. The third lady was cohabitating. These three appointed themselves my marriage mentors. Their words of wisdom consisted of a bunch of warnings.
“Don’t do anything you aren’t willing to do for the rest of your life.” Translation – don’t cook breakfast for him, since it’s not my thing. Even though he comes from a food loving family. I don’t intend to get up every morning for the rest of my life and fix grits, eggs, sausage and biscuits. There’s Sugar Corn Pops. That’s why Kellogg’s made cereal.
Another warning: “Don’t wear anything ‘skanky’ (was skank a word back then?) on your wedding night. Start with something elegant the first night. Revealing lingerie will be necessary, but not at first.”
Yet another warning: “Don’t let him rule you.”
They gave me all this advice, but there was one warning they failed to give. Now that I think about it, they may have told me to expect this to happen in so many words, so why guard against it.
They didn’t warn me about apathy.
Apathy, unconcern, indifference, lack of interest, lack of emotion. It’s what creeps into the marriage when one or both spouses aren’t watchful.
§ It happens when they allow the fire for each other to go out.
§ It happens when couples fill their individual lives with other people, events and interests to the point that the otherness is preferred over togetherness.
§ It’s when your husband stops chasing after you.
§ It’s when a couple shares a bed and not much else.
§ It’s when you look at him and wonder where your husband went.
§ It’s when he looks at you, and he is too exhausted to try anymore.
§ It’s when you no longer grieve when you hear about someone else’s divorce, because you personally know how it can happen.
No, my pre-marriage mentors didn’t warn me that apathy could steal the joy and suck the love out of a relationship. Of course, if they had, I would have believed my marriage would be the exception.
So how do you conquer apathy before it conquers you? By being alert and denying it access into your marriage. Apathy can attack any area, not just marriage. It’s easier to let it happen than to fight against it.
§ Decide that he’s worth the fight.
§ Minimize the effect that people, events and interests which steal your time and your mind away from each other.
§ If he’s not chasing you, then chase him.
§ Share as much time and space with him as possible.
§ Get to know him again.
§ Change your attitude and give him a reason to want to be with you.
§ Realize that a divorce is still a tragedy, and make a new commitment to making your marriage last.
Above all, love your man. Make him your best friend, if he’s not already. Have you noticed how best friends never tire of each other? And they tend to love each other no matter what.