If you are a spouse or a parent, chances are you know what it’s like to be taken for granted. Whether it’s a child who relies on you to bring to school her homework paper that she left at home or a husband who gives you an absent-minded peck on the cheek as he sails out the door for work, your being there is considered a given.
While that can sometimes feel negative, I have to say that being taken for granted can be a beautiful thing. It means people in your life are so secure in your love for them that they don’t need to beg for it or search for proof of it.
Ever noticed an old married couple out for dinner who barely speak? It doesn’t necessarily mean they have nothing to say to each other. It can also mean they are so at ease with each other that they don’t need to fill the togetherness with words. The same is true with my kids. I often drive them, especially my boys, somewhere in companionable silence. Our presence together is all that we need.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s important to expect respect from our loved ones. I also try to teach my kids to be grateful for the many blessings in their lives and to express their appreciation to us and others. When being taken for granted feels more like being a doormat, it is certainly time to set some expectations for the people we love.
I also think we need to realize that our spouse, child, parent or friend will not always be there and may even be taken away prematurely. It’s important not to assume that our time with them is unlimited. Therefore, we need to try our best to make the most of our days with our family and friends.
But I do want my loved ones to take it for granted that I will always love them and be there for them in the best way I know how.