After 23 years of marriage, I need to confess the truth.
My husband doesn't make me happy.
When our kids were little
|photo taken summer of 2000|
and got in an argument, we used to coach them on how to talk to each other. We didn't let them say,
"YOU MAKE ME ANGRY!"
We would explain to them that anger was a secondary emotion, something we feel because of something else . So instead we would have them say,
"I feel angry when you take my toy away."
Our goal was to teach them to take ownership of their feelings and not make others feel responsible for them.
As I've gotten older, I've come to realize that happiness is also a secondary emotion. It's something we feel because something else happened first. If my husband were to walk in the door with a bouquet of flowers,
I could say,
"You make me happy!"
or I could say,
"I feel happy when you bring me flowers."
While the two sentences may seem like they are saying the same thing, there is a critical difference. If I let him be in charge of my happiness, then he could also be responsible for my unhappiness.
I am fortunate to be married to a very good man with a kind heart.
When I text him letting him know I accidentally left my lunch behind, he texts me with "I just bought you a salad."
When I call to tell him I just missed the train home and it will be another hour before the next one, he says, "I'm on my way to pick you up."
When I call from home, to tell him I can't find my car keys, he politely says, "I last saw them on the kitchen counter by the fridge."
(In case you can't tell, I'm very absent minded and forgetful. He has never ONCE criticized me for this flaw in my personality.)
I'm also married to a man who is a human being with flaws and weaknesses. He makes mistakes, he hurts me, he betrays me, and he has even stepped on my toes (literally and figuratively). And sadly, I have done the same to him. So how could we possibly have a happy marriage?
We have what I like to call a resilient marriage. We have our highs and our lows, but one thing has stayed constant... our commitment.
Not just to each other, but to Christ.
A certain Englishman may not be the perfect husband, but Jesus is the perfect bridegroom. He willingly atoned for all the times in our marriage when we aren't good to each other. He takes away that pain and hurt. Fortunately, my husband is just as committed to the Savior as I am. That is where our real joy comes from.
I don't look to my husband to make me happy,
and it has made all the difference.