The Way It's Always Been

Relationship Design, Simplicity

boredAs you go through family and married life, it’s fairly common that you’ll fall victim to routine.
As a couple you have your chores, they have theirs. You sit the same places in the living room, at the dinner table, and you even have “your side of the bed.”
Have you ever stopped to wonder how routine and schedule take over so easily?
Simple Marriage is all about simplifying things in order to create room for more relationship happiness, and sometimes simplifying things means looking at the hurdles we face in relationship in a whole new way.
This is a story that’s been around a while in the business world, but it applies to family and married life as well …
Start with a cage containing five monkeys … Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the other monkeys with cold water. After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result – all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.
Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth.
Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.
After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana.
Why not?
Because as far as they know that’s the way it’s always been done around here.
Routine and schedules serve a good purpose in life. It creates order and provides a system for things to operate within. At the same time however, routine can create monotony and apathy.
As you seek to create simple happiness within your relationships, realize that you’ll run up against this principle. But at the same time, recognizing this as a barrier brings you one step closer to conquering it and creating the marriage and family you desire.