I don't mean you, as in the reader... It's more a general question I struggle with now and again. Am I responsible for my children's happiness? BLT? My parents? Friends? Do I do what makes me happy even if other people don't enjoy/appreciate/participate/accept my choices?
I stayed married to my X for at least five years when I was REALLY, dreadfully unhappy. I stayed because I wasn't sure if my personal happiness was more important than that of my kids and my X. My children had a very comfortable life, we lived in an affluent neighborhood. I was home with them all day, and financially we were very well off. The X was also perfectly satisfied...why wouldn't he be? He traveled all over the country for work and I stayed home taking care of the kids, the house, the pets, the cars, the bills, the yard, all our personal responsibilities like shopping for holiday gifts and visiting ill family members. As far as he was concerned all he had to do was bring home a paycheck and his marital and parental duties were performed.
But I guess that's neither here nor there. At this point it's already a done deal - the ink is dry on the divorce papers. He lost his mind and is now, and forever more, a felon. The kids and I have started a new life, a happy life. We no longer have the financial stability we once did. They no longer have their father in their lives - but I'm involved with a man I love, and we're all making this new, better life for ourselves one day at a time.
So... how much more am I responsible for? I worry about how much I have asked BLT to give up. Having him here makes me ridiculously happy. I'm madly and truly in love with him...but is it fair to expect him to build this life with me while the rest of his family and friends are several states away? Is it even my responsibility to worry about that - or do I say, "well, you're a big boy. You know what you want and you'll make the choice that's right for you." While that makes sense, I love him, and I all I really want is for him to be happy.
And how about the kids? I still have guilt about how things played out during the divorce. While I did not love the X, I never had any intention of hurting him. I certainly never wanted him to go nuts and end up in prison. My kids are now without their father.... and as shitty of a father as he was, he was still the only father they've ever known.
My parents... what is my responsibility to them and to their happiness? I work with them on a daily basis and I feel an extreme amount of responsibility towards the business and towards them. I need to do my best, I need to help grow our business so that one day in the not too distant future they can retire. They are not in great health, and while they are fairly young - they've spent 16 years sacrificing and putting every penny back into the business. What if I fail? What if my best isn't enough?
There are things I want for myself, and those things make me feel guilty on occasion. I am having a hard time reconciling what makes me happy and whether or not I have a right to go after the things I want, even if it's opposite of what my loved ones need/want. How do you balance that?
Maybe it's maternal guilt. Maybe it's personal responsibility. Maybe that's what love is really about, giving up what you really want for the sake of your loved ones. It's all so complicated, and yet so simple at the same time.
Why aren't there any clear cut answers in life?