We all face challenges in our relationships with our spouses, significant other, our family members, and friends. One of the things I have discovered is that our ancestors are truly no different than any of us today. While their lives seem so simple, the reality is that their lives were just as, if not more complex than ours. They too had challenges with their spouses, significant other, family members, and friends.
We face many challenges in our lives, some face more than others. However as we research our ancestors and go through old documents, we need to recognize that these were individuals who faced the same things we face today. We today face many misunderstandings, financial hardships, a cheating spouse, spousal abuse, death, or simply loss of loving one another along the way. Well what we fail to recognize is that our ancestors faced these too. We tend to want to believe that life was so much simpler for them. The reality is that it was quite harsh, especially for women who had to rely on having a male figure to maintain a roof and meals on the table for themselves and their children.
Time and again I have gone through records and seen how husbands left their wives, some for other women, children dying from dehydration and high fevers, or even abuse from a parent. I've even seen violence where a man has killed his entire family. A hard thing to see in records is the suicides as things may have been difficult for the moment but things improve along the way. The hardest is seeing little girls being married off as young as 8 years of age. Seeing these young girls being raped, dying from pregnancy, and yes, being married off to their rapist. While it is not discussed openly, it has happened more than we care to admit.
So where am I going with this? It is easy to throw stones from glass houses but we don't recognize deja vu when we see things occur. So while I have questioned why would a great grandmother forgive or ignore a cheating husband, the reality is that we'll never understand what they faced until we face it ourselves. Forgiveness takes you a long way and will give you more peace than grief. 💕
So as you read many of these records, show compassion to these ancestors, whether they are ours or not.