There have been some HARD TIMES in the MMD neighborhood over the years. As I walk the Beagle or go through the neighborhood with my kids, there is one giant give-away. It’s a distinguishing, symbolic figure that always means bad news: The lock box.
Whenever someone has a lock box on their front door, it usually means one of three things:
1) The family is moving. Likely they will be selling their house at a loss.
2) The house is in foreclosure and the bank has taken back procession of the house.
3) The couple has split up in divorce which will ultimately lead back to either #1 or #2.
A neighborhood of your peers is a lot like junior high and it doesn’t take long to find out which of these three reasons is the root cause of the change. Usually – it’s not good. But things do happen.
Out of these three reasons, I’d like to explore #3 further:
Taken for Granted:
When I see that lock box on the door and I know that another couple has bit the dust, it reminds me that maybe I shouldn’t be taking one the biggest investment I made in my life for granted – my marriage.
Why do we do this? Because it’s so easy to trivialize marriage as a commodity. Once we get married, it’s a done deal. Some couples put absolutely no effort into their marriage and they stay together until death. Others …. The lock box.
We Put Our Time Into Everything Else:
I would categorize people who read this blog as ones that take an active interest in their own personal finances. And as people who care, we spend a lot of time learning what to do with them, how to make our situation better, tweaking our plans, questioning our decisions, obsessing over our money….
And yet how many of us put the same effort into our relationships with our spouses? How many times do we plan the next special date night or weekend getaway for two with the same ambition and passion as our next mutual fund pick or stock purchase?
Maybe there are other things beside finances that distract us. Maybe instead of giving all my attention to a project at work, chores around the house, whatever is on TV, this blog, etc., I should use five of those minutes to hear what my wife has to say, ask her what she’s thinking about, how her day went, or massaging that tightened muscle in her back that is always strained from being Super Mom.
Those five minutes could prove to be one of the best investments I make all day, with a return-on-investment that is immeasurable!
Remember – From time to time, put forth a little effort. Don’t end up with a lock box on your door.
Readers: What’s your “lock box” or reminder to pay a little more attention to your spouse? Finances or not, what do you obsess over where you could probably divert a little more time back to your loved one instead?