Saturday, July 11, 2015

One Simple Tip for a Happy Relationship

You might be thinking “just one tip? Does she know what she’s saying?” Believe me I do. You only need this one tip to keep your relationship happy.

For the longest time, I believed serious relationships were not built on personal fulfillment. It had to be about making the other person happy, sacrificing everything even at our own detriment to ensure they are happy. I believed successful marriages were built on 100% compromise, and because it all sounded so noble, it seemed like the right thing to do. Unfortunately, I was not the only person brought up this way. Society instilled in me and many others the idea that a happy marriage was built on sacrifice only and nothing else. To seek personal happiness, fulfillment or even material success was considered to be selfish, wrong and materialistic in every evil definition of the word.

I have been meeting with a lot of married individuals lately, and every chance I get I have probed my way into understanding how they happen to have such happy marriages, and one tip that stood out was - be happy.

At first I thought they meant strive by all means to seek the reasons why you chose this person as your spouse, and live off the good old memories, but I was wrong. One woman was kind enough to emphasize the need for personal happiness in a bid to correct my confusion. Just like it is impossible to give love if you do not love yourself, it is impossible to deposit happiness into a relationship if you are not personally happy. It sounds selfish right? Well, it is not. It is for the greater good.

Marriage is not about showing nobility; it was never intended to be that way. To show nobility in itself is a selfish move, because nobility earns the respect and admiration of others. Marriage has always been about finding who makes you as an individual happy- someone you connect with, someone whose flaws you can tolerate, and someone who understands why you do or wouldn’t do certain things. This in essence means that marriage is not about making someone else happy at your own detriment. Marriage is about falling in love with a person’s spirit, a person’s heart, and a person’s soul, so that even if the body suffers a breakdown or is hit by life’s storms, you would still find joy being with that person.

To build a happy marriage, you must be personally happy in that marriage. You should have freedom to pursue your dreams, freedom to express yourself and freedom to not do things that make you unhappy. So many people are exhausted in their marriages because they are afraid communicating their grievances with their partners will be too selfish, hence they end up frustrated and unhappy, depositing all the frustration into the marriage and causing them to drift apart. To be personally happy in a partnership, you must be ready to communicate freely, especially before the marriage- call it the laying out of the terms and conditions of your expectations, but it is a much-needed conversation.

Marriage is not simply about going with the flow to please the other person. If you are unhappy, your sacrifices will come to nothing in the end, because you will run out of sacrifices to make, and will probably end up on the outside. XOXO

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