There are some books I've been reading that have formed the catalyst for this topic in my mind, namely: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini. These novels deal with different kinds of love between people and the way they change relationships within their stories. Two of them have to do with the love a parent has for their children and also the love they have for their partner, other family members, etc. I have begun to learn from these books that the love one has for one's friends often is just as strong as the love of family members (or even stronger), depending upon the situation, but the love one has for one's partner/lover in life is much stronger. However, the strongest and deepest love of all is the love one has for one's children. Indeed, within these novels the love of children must trump over everything because when it doesn't the parent's life is not as blessed, not has happy, as the lives of those who do value their children above all others.
However, I find that in life the balancing of such love yields the most happiness instead of focusing on one above all of the others. Our children's welfare and their happiness is of course our soul responsibility, but I also wonder if sometimes parents put their children before each other too often. A parent's role, after all, is to help his/her children to become independent and move on to find more happiness of their own. So, what are parents to do when their children find this happiness else ware and they are left alone once again? It seems to me that the love one has for each other, as parents, must be carefully fostered as well because in the end your partner in life is exactly that: a partner through out life.
It is often that I hear or read something to the effect of, "my children are my life, my everything". I wonder, are there times when parents put their children before each other when it should be the other way around?
Before children come into the picture that same quote could be attributed to a person when asked about their lover, but the story of love does not end with the uniting of two people. It continues through the monotony of each day, through raising children and being broke, through moving and changing paths, and so much more.
I love Squeaker more than I ever thought imaginable, I have changed my life and plans to better raise her in order to help her have the most happiness. I am willing to do more than I ever thought possible for her, but there are times when I know I must also think of my husband's happiness and do what I can for him as well, or even instead.
One of the books I mentioned has a disturbing scene wherein a character is willing to end his/her own life because he/she wants a child so badly and life, it seems, cannot or should not go on with just this character and the character's spouse. I felt so terrible for this character, knowing that there are people in the world right now who feel similarly. However, I find it even more heart breaking that there are characters and people who want so badly to have a child (or who do have a child), they are willing to put the child's well being before their own and the well being of the other parent too. I hope all people who want to have children are able to have them, but even if they aren't is it something worth killing themselves over? Especially when this would surely cause the psychological breakdown of the spouse as well and prevent them from having happiness too. It is so sad to me that certain kinds of love seem to be prioritized in such a damaging way.
I hope that no one has to choose between their lover/partner and their child/children. Some people might have to and all I can say is that it depends upon the situation as to what I would choose. If Husband really needed me and I know that Squeaker would be happily taken care of, then I would probably choose him. However, if Squeaker really needed me and would not be happily taken care of, especially if I knew Husband would be OK without me, then I would choose her. I don't think there is a clear cut answer when it comes to love.
Love is not simple, it is chaotic and scary, but it can also bring calm and peace. I think that even though the word 'love' is thrown around very easily in our world today and at times does not seem strong enough of a word to convey how we feel, it is the word we have to work with. More than anything else love is a feeling, one that does vary upon the relationship, but I don't believe that it has to dwindle with time or become a fickle thing. I also know that love is something that must be felt in order to find happiness and worth in life, it must be said and it must be heard. Love cannot be forced.
Do you agree that love is more of a balance than a prioritization or do you think there is a kind of love that is just stronger than any other?