Marriage Isn't About Your Happiness

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    Watusi's Avatar
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    Marriage Isn't About Your Happiness

    I read a blog recently entitled "Marriage Isn't About Your Happiness". At first the title took me back a little. Then I read it and found myself agreeing with the sentiment. It got me to thinking about the decline in commitment and persistence in our relationships today. I found myself in the following days thinking more and more about it and I am concerned for my kids, neither of whom are marriage age yet. I hope I have given them enough tools to develop the kind of bonds that allow them to enter into lasting, loving relationships.

    So I wonder, what really is the problem? I think we all can probably agree that marriage is not what it used to be. We have all seen the statistics, and seen the downward trends in everyday life. Marriages don't last as long, and don't seem to be as "meaningful", for lack of a better word, in my opinion. Marriage is a tough partnership at times, and it definitely takes work from both sides. Seems to me like we are becoming less and less willing to put in the work. And we are also more apathetic to towards marriage failure than we used to be. And those problems appear to magnify with each successive generation.

    Read This Blog: Marriage Isn't About Your Happiness

    According to this blog post, we have become so flippant about marriage that we have lost sight of what marriage is really about. The commitment required for a solid marriage is nowhere to be found in the "me first" mindset that permeates our society and we have evolved into a people who are ready to bail out on marriage (and lots of other commitments) at the first sign of tough roads.

    Do you agree this is true?

    So what is the problem? What got lost in translation from our parent's generation to ours, and from ours to our children's?

    And more importantly, what can we do to help our kids and grandkids to develop whatever skills or attitudes are necessary to establish lasting marriages?

    I'd like to read your thoughts on any of this. I'm all ears.
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    Watusi's Avatar
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    I think my favorite quote from the blog is this...

    "The list could go on and on, but it always ends with the same formula: You before me. And we before I."


    If it all really boils down to that formula, then is the root of the problem (which can take many forms) really just selfishness?

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    UKMustangFan's Avatar
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    I didn't read the blog, but I remember seeing something a few years ago that said that marriage isn't about your happiness, it's about the happiness of your spouse. I liked that explanation.

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    nkypete's Avatar
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    I'd love to comment but I wonder if my comments would force this thread to move to the Religion forum.

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    PP1's Avatar
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    I've always believed that marriage is not 50/50 but 100/100 and that the most important thing is not that you gave found the right person, but that you will be the right person.

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    Watusi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nkypete View Post
    I'd love to comment but I wonder if my comments would force this thread to move to the Religion forum.
    I would like to hear your thoughts.

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    My half-baked thoughts, all of which connect to each other:

    1 - I think our society is moving toward one of instant gratification. Not only can we can we get whatever we want at the click of a button, but we expect to. Marriage is in many ways the antithesis of this and requires overcoming immediate biological desires in exchange for a lasting relationship.

    2 - Social media and constant interconnectivity make this instant gratification easier than ever when it comes to relationships. That's something that's been sprung on us over the last decade or so.

    3 - Divorce rates have actually been falling for decades, but so have marriage rates. I suspect the biggest issue here is fewer people are getting married. I think marriage is culturally becoming less essential in life, and people are more willing to date around, be picky, put careers/adventure/self-fulfillment first, or have non-traditional relationships than they were even 20 years ago.

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    I'm not sure I agree that this is the way society as a whole is moving. I do think we have had generations of high divorce rates. But I look at my kids, my kids' friends, and they all are in strong, committed marriages, and most of them come from divorced parents. I know you and I are in two different places with where our kids are, Watusi. But I personally think kids today, and young adults, are much more grounded and willing to make the right commitments than people of my generation.

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    I think marriage is about your happiness. If you aren't happy nothing else really matters does it? But for me I'm happy when my wife is happy so they really go hand in hand. We both work at it and make sacrifices but in the end her happiness and mine are extremely important to make it last.

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    Colonels_Wear_Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nkypete View Post
    I'd love to comment but I wonder if my comments would force this thread to move to the Religion forum.
    Have at it, Pete.

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    BigVMan23's Avatar
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    I read this blog a few days ago. Coming from a lifetime bachelor (so far), I agree whole heatedly with the sentiment of the blog.

    If each partner goes into a marriage commitment focused on the other one in their relationship and not their own, personal...lets use the word fulfillment instead of happiness...then they will both find themselves, I believe, mutually satisfied in the relationship.

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    Its just a change in the way things are today. It goes beyond marriage into other aspects as well.

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    I want my wife to be happy , as well as me. I do all I can to have her independence and do the things she wishes, if they are different than my likes. She does the same. I ain't running half marathons and she ain't golfing.

    With that being said, if one partner is miserable and not in love any longer, I believe that person must move on from the relationship.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockmom View Post
    I'm not sure I agree that this is the way society as a whole is moving. I do think we have had generations of high divorce rates. But I look at my kids, my kids' friends, and they all are in strong, committed marriages, and most of them come from divorced parents. I know you and I are in two different places with where our kids are, Watusi. But I personally think kids today, and young adults, are much more grounded and willing to make the right commitments than people of my generation.
    Count me as one who thinks/sees the exact opposite and believes this (bolded) is the exception rather than the rule today insofar as marriage.

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    BigVMan23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bengal Maniac View Post
    I want my wife to be happy , as well as me. I do all I can to have her independence and do the things she wishes, if they are different than my likes. She does the same. I ain't running half marathons and she ain't golfing.

    With that being said, if one partner is miserable and not in love any longer, I believe that person must move on from the relationship.
    I think a point the blogger is trying to make though, is that many today are miserable/not in love any longer because they don't/haven't gone about marriage with the right mindset.

    I'll use a very simple, yet on point analogy; I have young kids quite often show up for the first time at basketball workouts/practice, and we start out with specific drills. We might start with 3-4 different dribble drills. After 3-4 minutes, I may have 2-3 kids come up to me..."coach I can't do this...coach I can't do this". Happens all the time. They want to give up at the first sign of adversity, instead of buckling down, fighting thru and overcoming, and in the process getting better. Marriage, in essence, is no different. Some want to bail the first time they "dribble one off their foot" and things get a little tough. It takes commitment, time and willingness to work to overcome with the end result of not just making yourself better, but the team. That's my specific take anyway.

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