In the classic book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living, Dale Carnegie tells the story of a young man who worried himself into a nervous breakdown. He worried about everything: his weight, his hair, his money, losing the girl he wanted to marry and what others thought about him. He worried that he had ulcers. Eventually, his worry made it impossible for him to work. Something had to give, and that was when he had his breakdown.
The young man avoided everyone and cried a lot. He decided to go to Florida to see if a change in scenery would help him. When he got on the train, his father handed him a letter and told him not to open it until he reached his destination. He was even more miserable in Florida than he had been at home. Finally, he opened the letter from his father: “Son, you are 1,500 miles from home, and you don’t feel any different, do you? I knew you wouldn’t, because you took with you the one thing that is the cause of all your trouble, that is yourself. There is nothing wrong with either your body or your mind. It is not situations you have met that have thrown you; it is what you think of these situations. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.” When you realize that, son, come home, for you will be cured.”
After some reflection he realized that his father was right. It was not the world that needed to change; it was merely the lens of his mind that needed adjustment. He came home and found his father was right. I wish Fathers every where would give their sons and daughters similar letters, when their children believe that happiness is found by moving to another marriage. On a regular basis I work with men and women who find themselves in the same place that this young man found himself in.
People who believe that happiness is one relationship away, or one move away. These are people who are in a crisis and are making a mess out of their marriages and their lives. All of them ask me, “Don’t I have a right to be happy”. I say, “Absolutely you have the right to be happy, but if you think leaving your marriage, your children, your current situation is the key to happiness you are mistaken.” Sometimes they don’t listen and end up in “Florida” miserable leaving a trail of broken promises and people. But sometimes they figure it out, begin to work on themselves, discover happiness and end up having phenomenal marriages.
Today, if you find yourself heading to “Florida”, come home. Fight for your marriage, your family and you will discover happiness. If your spouse is heading toward “Florida”, be encouraged, they can and do come home. Please share this post with anyone whose marriage might be encouraged by this post. If I can ever be of service to you in your marriage, my passion is helping save broken marriages and making good marriages great.