Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone 75



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It might sound like a cliche but sometimes, you don’t truly know what you’ve got til it’s gone. I’m speaking from experience but mainly from watching my best friend go through it.

My best friend’s husband has broken her heart by filing for divorce but those close to the couple knew that there was trouble in paradise for quite some time. They were just different people but Mark was a devoted husband in all senses of the word. He doted on Kel and would cook and clean for her, not to mention would drive her everywhere and was extremely patient. All of this and Kel never once said thank you or appreciated it.

I remember sitting at dinner one night and she looked at Mark and told him to fetch her a drink. I laughed and said that my partner would never put up with that and she just said that it was what husbands should do for their wives. You could tell Mark was sick of it but he just wanted to keep the peace.

When Kel was a stay-at-home mum, Mark was working two jobs to provide for his family, and she would expect him to cook and clean for her as well as help with the kids. He was also studying at the time but she had no compassion for what he was going through and would nag him relentlessly. Yet when she decided to study years later, she still expected Mark to do everything as she was too busy to do it. When the roles were reversed, he still had the short end of the stick.

I think in the end that he left because his needs weren’t being met emotionally, but it’s not really my place to say. All I know is that now my best friend is devastated and didn’t know how good she had it.

It made me think about how in life, we often don’t stop to appreciate all that others do for us and that a thank you really does go a long way. We take things for granted and never realise how crucial they are in our lives until they’re taken away.

Like with my friend, it’s quite common for people to pine for what they’ve lost as you didn’t see it coming yet you had become complacent and been taking them for granted. But when they’re gone, you realise just how wonderful they were and it reignites your desire for that person.

We do it with both people and possessions and don’t realise until the situation has come and passed – one day it’s gone when we assumed it would always be there. An example for me was when my dog had to be put down, I didn’t realise how fulfilling it was to have him in my life, and regretted the times I told him to go away when I didn’t want him to sit near me. I couldn’t be bothered to pat him sometimes yet when I needed a cuddle I would rely on him.

There’s a saying my mother once told me: “People say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. The truth is, you knew what you had, you just never thought you’d lose it”. And isn’t that so true?

After seeing my friend lose someone in this way, somewhat of her own doing, was yet another reminder that you never know when something will be taken away from you and that you should take stock of your life and count your blessing. Appreciate what you have before it becomes what you had.


Tell us today, have you ever lost someone or something that you took for granted? What happened?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. we are not mind readers ,and therefore do not know what another person is thinking ,life throws up some good events and some shocks like sudden deaths ,but we cope eventually and start all over again . that’s life ,so life each day as if its your last ,don’t look back .for whatever reason good or bad

  2. The other side of the coin, is why did the husband just keep doing everything for his wife and not stand up for himself?
    Had he, earlier on in the marriage, actually put his point across as to how he truly felt about the one sided marriage, it may have gone differently.
    Two sides to the story. Both partners own 50% of a marriage/relationship. He, the husband was obviously happy to go along with the arrangement for a very long time.
    Perhaps the relationship had run its course and it was time for both parties to change the way they looked at their lives.
    It’s easy cry over “spilt milk”. Life is all about change.

  3. It isn’t surprising that your friend’s husband left. I’m surprised it wasn’t sooner. Marriage isn’t 50-50%, it’s 100-100%. If one takes all of the time and the other is forever giving, there isn’t much joy in the relationship. There is a lesson there for all of us. Never take anyone or anything for granted.

  4. I have actually watched this “taking for granted” attitude in many of the relationships around me,and wondered how they survive. It must be very sad to live with someone who never appreciates a thing you do. I then look at the relationships their parents had, and sure enough, it’s easy to see why it’s being mirrored in theirs. Gratitude is something I feel,should be taught, and saying thank you should be heartfelt. I’m sorry, but I’m seeing this aspect displayed, less and less these days,and I wish it could be addressed because I think the lack of Gratitude erodes away every aspect of relationships not only in marriage but across the work place, friendships, families and the like.

    1 REPLY
    • absolutely. many people have trouble expressing their gratitude verbally but we should let them know in other ways. From what I can see he was doing the best he could & she started EXPECTING it instead of appreciating it. BIG difference.

  5. Thankyou goes a long way. We recently had a busy weekend. My husband was not keen to socialise but at the end of the weekend he thanked me. It was very touching and meaningful.

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