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Avoiding Problems Too Long Is A Subpar Way To Live

Sidestepping problems and letting them dwell for way too long instead of confronting them head on is a subpar way to live life.

While sometimes you get lucky and the problem works its way out, this is a bad way to handle things, as some problems linger for years and years.  Some things are complicated and will require a lot of work and even some pain to get past, but the alternative (wasting years of your life) is more costly in its own way.

When you ignore such problems, this is how a problem that starts out as a molehill turns into a nightmarish, “hard to manage” mountain, not to mention the side stress of carrying such problems with you at all times.

Let’s take debt for example, oh it start out small, perhaps you are carrying a thousand dollar balance, but soon it’s two thousand dollar, then year-end it’s five thousand dollars, and before you know it, your tens of thousands of dollars in debt.  I’ve seen this happen many time with a few of my friends.  With one in particular, he and his wife have declared bankruptcy more than once, drawing down the equity that they had built up in their house over the past ten years, finally ending in divorce.

Debt is one problem, but how about a bad marriage?  I know another friend that is dragging out his marriage because of the kids involved.  With his particular story, the marriage is sexless and he and his wife live more like roommates than husband and wife.  While both are decent people, it’s obvious that neither are happy with their situation.  If it wasn’t for the fear of screwing up their kids, they would have been divorced a long time ago.  But I have to wonder if they are mistaken on the current path.  After all, when you setup an artificial environment like this where the marriage is without passion, do the kids learn that acting like a loveless robot is the way marriages should be?

Perhaps my friend and his wife are doing more damage by staying together and teaching the kids that life has no passion and basically sucks, than good by staying together?  I can tell that my friend is hurting, but since he came from a broken home he is hesitant to let the kids go through such a painful process.

Home is a Prison

While normally such problems wouldn’t interest me, once while going out for a drink with my friend, he referred to the fact that he felt like he was in prison, doing his time waiting for death to come.  To me, it seems like this isn’t a good way to live, and the best route for him would be to scrap the marriage and look for a better companion.  Actually, I think both my friend and his wife would be better off.  A little poorer, but better off.

Lately, this has had me rethinking marriage from a fairytale perspective and now I no longer look at those guys that I know who have mistresses as the evil bad guys that society (and the movies) casts them to be.  After all, both of my top financial heroes (Benjamin Franklin and Warren Buffett) had mistresses, and if they can do it, why not someone in a painful, loveless marriage who believes that the embrace of death is something to look forwards to.

I think my friend should have file for a divorce after the first few years when he realized that his spouse wasn’t a good match for him, instead of dragging it out and having kids enter the picture.

Confront and fix your problems, don’t let them ruin your life!




23 Responses to Avoiding Problems Too Long Is A Subpar Way To Live

  1. I’m personally a sucker for dragging out situations where I’m not satisfied. Your friend is in a tricky situation with the kids involved. I grew up with divorced parents and it does create its problems. Honestly though, I’m not sure which is worse. It seems that a lot of couples stick together until the kids are done high school. It may suck for the parents, but might really be best for the kids.

    • I use to think that way, but not I’m not so sure. If he waits another 10 years, he won’t have the potential to find another mate by then. Tough call…

  2. I feel that is always better to confront your problems now, rather than avoiding it and letting it growing bigger and come back to bite you in future. I suggest your friend talk to his spouse and try to work things out. After all, i believe there is a reason why they got together in the 1st place, there must have been some sparks/romance between them in the first place. They should try to find it back and make it feel like they are still in the process of dating each other.

    • I think you are right, but at the same time, I’ve learned not to intrude much in other people’s relationships. But I will mention it to him when I see him.

  3. I don’t know if a mistress will really help the situation much. If he is wealthy and can afford the upkeep, then maybe it’s a good option, but even then the kids and wife wouldn’t be happy about it. It’s a tough situation. I think staying together until the kids are out of high school is probably the best way to go too.

    • I’m not sure, he’s pretty level headed and so is his wife. Perhaps they should stay together until the kids are out of high school, as long as they don’t kill one another. Usually situations like this just keep escalating with both parties growing to hate one another.

      We’ll see..

  4. Problems never go away on their own. In fact, they get worse. As a teacher, 60-70% of the behavior problems come from children who have divorced parents. The rest comes from bad parenting! I wish more people would take responsibility for their actions and improve their performance.

  5. I would agree that avoiding problems for too long can cause you to live a life that you might end up regretting. Sad thing.

    I’d recommend that people also think very carefully before making decisions, as the decisions they make can affect them for the rest of their lives.

    • Thanks John, I agree… although I think a person is in a continually state of growth, and the more that they learn, the more they outgrow the past. I think my friend now knows that he made a huge mistake, but now he’s in a rock and a hard place.

  6. it seems like far too many people are completely unhappy with their lot, but unwilling to really address the issues and make changes..

    sometimes you have to leave your job.. or even end your relationship. you have to be willing to make changes to find what works for you.

  7. I think having a mistress could be equally, if not more painful than making an honest, clean break.

    I hold off on decisions on a regular basis, and it truly is no way to live. I spend more time contemplating things I want to be doing than actually doing them. I am making an honest effort to change that instead of watching time just pass me by.

    • I’m a lot like you Sherrian! I too over-analyze things to a point of inactivity.

      My friend has some big changes that I personally would be terrified over and I would be frozen into a state of inactivity.

  8. The best way I have found to make a decision is to envision the worst case scenario. If you can handle that, then you can choose that direction. If not, then it’s best to avoid it. With this method, you never have to worry about the choice you made.

  9. I am sure the kids aren’t benefiting from the tension between the parents in the home. Sooner or later they will split up and hopefully it doesn’t get ugly before that. The sooner they do, the better.

    • Yes, at one time in the path I didn’t believe that to be the best route, but now I’ve changed my mind.

      Plus, the kids learn from seeing, and if they see their parents hate one another, will they do the same in their relationships in the future?

  10. It’s so destructive to yourself to avoid problems, especially ignoring debt. However long you manage to dodge it, reality will come back at some point and bite you!!

  11. Fear of change is often more painful and stressful than being with the devil you know. The first step is to embrace change as a way of life and become excited by it instead of frightened of it.