Making a decision to leave a marriage is serious and shouldn’t be made lightly. Sometimes there’s good reason to end a marriage, but believing ‘you deserve to be happy’ isn’t one of them. Happiness in marriage isn’t something you deserve.
Staying in an unhappy marriage can affect your mental and emotional health. But you don’t have to settle for dissatisfaction and mediocrity.
You can learn to see your marriage differently. You don’t deserve to be happy, but you can choose to be.
When you “deserve” something, you have an expectation you shouldn’t have to work for it. You’re entitled to it. If you’re going to have a happy marriage, you’re going to have to work for it.
When I got married, I expected to be happy. But marriage wasn’t what I had anticipated. My husband wasn’t the kind of husband I wanted. He could be selfish and inconsiderate. I didn’t know he’d eat my leftovers I was saving for the next day or drink orange juice straight from the carton. I didn’t know he’d complain about the way I squeezed the toothpaste.
I was not happy. I’m sure he had a few complaints of his own.
Do you know what I’m talking about?
Maybe your husband isn’t the man you thought you married either. Maybe your marriage isn’t developing as you’d planned.
A good marriage doesn’t happen by accident. It happens when a couple decides they’re going to be intentional about the kind of relationship they want. They choose to be happy.
Marriage is hard work. It can be difficult. It stretches you. It challenges you. It doesn’t automatically make you happy. You’ll disagree. You’ll hurt each other. You may have financial trouble. You may lose a job. These aren’t happiness-producing experiences.
You can choose to be happy through your circumstances.
If every couple divorced because marriage got difficult, 100 percent of couples would be divorced. The couples who make it aren’t the couples who don’t struggle. The couples who make it are the ones that don’t give up. They get help. They decide to be happy.
Success in marriage isn’t determined by how happy you are; it’s determined by how well you handle conflict.
When “you deserve to be happy” is the expectation, it’s easy to bail when you’re not.
Stop thinking of happiness in marriage as a right and see it as a choice instead.
When we learn to let go of the myths about marriage and embrace the reality, marriage is a lot more fulfilling.
‘You deserve to be happy is just one of the lies’ about marriage. Here are four others.
1. You do your part; he does his.
Marriage is not 50-50. It sounds like a great idea, but it never works. Someone always feels like they’re doing more than the other person. The closest you’ll get to 50-50 is in divorce.
2. You’re a mother before you’re a wife.
Raising kids is a temporary gig. You’ll be a wife long after your kids are grown and gone. Your husband should be a priority. Sometimes marriages fail when the kids leave because the husband and wife have been focused on being parents, they’ve forgotten how to be husband and wife.
3. If it doesn’t work out, move on.
Ending a marriage might seem like the easiest move. In the long run, it’s not. First, you’ll have all the emotional baggage of a failed marriage. Then, you’ll be taking the same issues into the next relationship. And your new partner will be coming with issues of his own. Work it out if you can. Get professional help if you need it.
4. You should marry your soulmate.
You don’t marry your soulmate. Your husband will become your soulmate over time. Just because he doesn’t instinctively know what you need doesn’t mean you don’t belong together. It means he can’t read your mind. As you share experiences and triumphs, your bond will grow stronger.
You don’t deserve happiness; you choose it. Debunking these common myths and developing a new perspective on your marriage will make you happy.
We’re all not so excellent in some way or another. Learn about the little things that make a big difference in marriage and in life.
As a not so excellent wife herself, Sheila Qualls shares eye-opening information that helps women discover how to thrive in marriage and in life.
After 32 years of marriage, she knows what it’s like to have a happy marriage and she knows what it’s like to have a hard one. Five years into her marriage and on the brink of divorce, she learned the secret to turning her man into a loving husband.
She’s now a wife coach and her marriage can be your classroom where she teaches you how to do life with intention and purpose.