I was listening to a podcast this morning as I was on my morning walk. It was about how the science of relationships work. And one of the things that really stuck out to me was the person being interviewed kept saying, “If you want to have a happy relationship, here is what your partner needs to do.”
But here’s why that’s not helpful, and doesn’t work. Because you can’t control what your spouse or your partner does. You can only control what you do.
I’m going to explain some of the things that you can start asking yourself, and things you can do to move forward when you feel like your spouse isn’t making you happy.
So what do you do if you’re in a situation where your spouse isn’t making you happy?
The first four years of my marriage, I viewed my husband as the source of my happiness. And let me tell you what happened with that…If he would come home angry, then I would automatically wonder what I did wrong. And it probably had nothing to do with me, but I was internalizing it because I was so fixated on getting my joy, my happiness, and my hope from him.
If we had a bad day, I took that totally on myself because I was getting my self worth from him. From his actions, from his reactions. And that’s what leads to an unhealthy relationship. And it was unhealthy because I was putting expectations on my husband that were completely unrealistic and impossible for him to do.
No one person is responsible for making me happy. I can’t even make myself happy most of the time, much less someone who doesn’t live inside my body and have access to everything going on in my brain. So why was I putting so much stress and pressure on my husband? Most of which he was unaware that I was placing on him. And it’s because deep down, I believed it was his job to make me happy. That’s what we see in movies and in society. That we should be with someone who makes us happy.
Here’s how I want to flip the script on that. Here’s what research says: You can learn how to have positive emotions, how to see happiness and see joy in every experience that you’re having in your life on a day-to-day basis. You can begin to do things to make sure that you’re in the best place that you can be, without depending on your spouse to do that.
Instead of focusing and relying and depending on your spouse to do everything to make you happy, you can learn how to cultivate that within yourself. Once I discovered that, my marriage became so much better.
What we teach at Marriage Helper is the way that people can begin to do this is by working on your PIES – the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual aspects of attraction.
For me to be the best that I can be, starts with me doing things to make changes within myself. Not me sitting around thinking about all the ways I wish my husband would do things differently so I would be happy. But me actually going out and doing things to become happier in my life. I’m not talking about at the expense of your values, your beliefs, your family, or your marriage…but doing things that make you happy that are wholesome and ethical, and that are going to be what’s good for your family and for your marriage.
So for example…Going out to get a massage every once in a while, going out to spend time with the girlfriends or going to a game night with the guys, because that’s what’s going to help fill your cup. Instead of putting so much pressure on your spouse, to be the sole person who provides these things for you.
There is a false belief in culture today that if you’re not happy in this relationship, you just need to leave and find a different relationship with someone who’s going to make you happy.
But here’s the truth: No one person is going to be able to make you happy.
And if you’re unhappy in the marriage that you’re in right now, the best thing you can do is start by focusing on improving yourself. Even research shows that that has a direct correlation with increasing the satisfaction of your relationship.
Now, I’m not saying that you should just be destined to stay in a forever unhappy marriage. I hope that you and your spouse can get to the point where you create a stronger and more satisfying relationship in marriage than ever before.
But what I am saying is that I do not believe that leaving your spouse or leaving your marriage should be the first, second, third, even in the top 25 things that you do in order to seek happiness.
There are hundreds of things that can happen for you to do that will make yourself better, and make your relationship better, before even considering divorce or moving onto a different relationship.
That’s what I encourage you to do. If you’re unhappy in your relationship, begin by looking inward, because the only person that you can control is yourself, and ask what things you can begin to do physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually…That will move you towards feeling more joyful and content. Even if the situation in your marriage is leading you to feel otherwise.
And as you’re doing that, as you’re working on your PIES and becoming the best that you can be…Then a secondary benefit to this will be that it brings your spouse around. Your spouse begins to see changes in you, and hopefully wants to make changes in themselves as well. But it’s also during this process that you’re going to learn more about yourself. You’re going to end up changing, because you aren’t going to be putting so much pressure on your spouse to make you happy.
And that is going to end up making a huge difference in your marriage.
So the biggest takeaway is to see that there are possibilities for ways that you can take control of your happiness, and begin doing things that will lead you to a more joy-filled life now, and not depending on someone else to do it for you. You are responsible for your own happiness. A spouse can add to it, but it’s on you first.
You’ll want to be sure that you get this mini-course – “How To Get Your Spouse To Talk To You.”
It’s FREE. And the principles that we teach in it are so good and so applicable, no matter what situation your marriage is in. If your spouse is emotionally disengaged from you, physically gone or disengaged, whatever that might look like…The tips and tools that you’re going to learn in this free mini-course will help make change in your relationship.
We also talk even more about the PIES, like I’ve already talked about, but we also talk about how to change the communication in your relationship for the better as well.
If you want to know more, you can always call our office and schedule a time to speak with one of our client relations representatives by calling (866) 903-0990.
And if you want to get some more real, tangible tips and information on how you can work on your PIES on a daily basis, be sure to check out my podcast, “It Starts With Attraction.” Every week, I interview people, doing my own shows that I have, where I’m giving you things that you can do physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, to continue to become a better person.