How can I be happy in the middle of my unhappy marriage? What can I do to be better? I think it’s a great question, and we’re going to do our best to answer that in the next few minutes.
How can I have happiness? How can I be happy in the middle of my marital turmoil? Well, I’m not sure I can tell you how to be happy, but one of the things I can do is help you have a better mindset and be in a place where the day doesn’t destroy you. If I’m going to be happy, if I’m going to be a person content with my life, I must first understand this:
I am responsible for my happiness.
See, often I speak to people, and one of the things they tell me is, “He said this, she did that, circumstances did this to me.” And here’s the four-letter word they use: it made me do this. Now, you and I know that there isn’t anything someone can make us do. I mean, they may threaten us, they can do different things to us.
But the truth is, we determine where our happiness comes from. Now, I’m not saying there aren’t influences. Trust me, there are. But ultimately, you and I decide. See, if we don’t, we become slaves to whatever’s around us. You can be in charge of your destiny and of your own life. So the first thing you and I need to do if we’re going to be happy in an unhappy marriage, if we’re going to have a life that’s content, is know that we are responsible for our happiness. And the sooner you can grab that, the better you’re going to be in moving on to the next step.
Once I can take responsibility for my happiness, then I can do the second thing.
So many times, we get up and go through a routine in our day. We get up, we do the same things regarding the shower, getting ready, or brushing our teeth. We have breakfast, do certain things and are regulated by our time. But seldom do people get up and become intentional about their goal or vision for life.
See, if you want to have a life that is a life of happiness, a life of contentment, a life that’s free from anxiety, even in the middle of craziness, you have to take that responsibility for your happiness. Still, you need to be intentional about what you place inside of the greatest influence in your life and the person you’ll listen to the most, and that’s you. Whatever you watch, whatever you read, whoever you listen to will eventually set inside of you, the bias, the view of how you see things.
I remember a time in my life where I was waking up and looking at the news every day, and then I wondered why my morning appointments seemed foul; they didn’t seem to work. Well, part of the problem was I was feeding myself with the garbage of the day, just more junk, and none of it was encouraging. So I started my day with a negative, and it took a tremendous amount of positivity to overcome that. People say that to undo one negative, it takes up to four or five positive interactions.
And so I’d start the morning negative. And then everything seemed to follow that way no matter what I wanted to do. That means you wake up every day, and you say, what do I want my attitude and heart to look like today? And then you decide at that point to do the things that bring that about. So you can’t get up and be organic and hope the day is going to work out. No, the day will be organic. You’re going to get what you get. But if you wake up and say, “you know what? I’m in the middle of turmoil, there’s a struggle here, and a lot of things I can’t control.
But what I can control is who I am. So I’m going to get up. I’m going to ingest positive things. I’m going to focus on positive things. Maybe I’m going to start a gratitude jar. Why? I’m going to be intentional about the mindset that I have.”
Don’t misunderstand me in this at all; this determines everything else that happens. So, if you become intentional in the morning, I’m not saying everything’s going to be hunky-dory. I’m not saying you are going to get everything right. Look, I’m not even saying it’s going to be a great day. What I will tell you is this: you will have more positive days and a better overall spirit if you face it with a positive attitude than you do with a negative, and it starts with what you put inside. So in taking responsibility for your happiness, peace, and freedom from anxiety, you have to be intentional.
We have to do is make our well-being a priority.
See, many times in a marriage that is going through difficulty, what we do is we focus on that other person, and we promise a lot. We swear we won’t do certain things, we will do certain things. So we start going overboard, trying to do things for this person. And we start neglecting ourselves. Now stay with me. This isn’t an either-or; this is a tension you’re going to manage, not a problem you will fix.
What happens is you’re going to be working through trying to fit in their life. And you want to be a positive influence in the life of your spouse, who may be estranged or struggling. But at the same time, you will not remain a positive influence if you’re not taking care of yourself.
So, you’ve got to place yourself first in care. You’ve heard this before, I know, but I’m going to use it again because it’s a great illustration. It’s like what they tell you when you’re in the airplane, and you’re traveling with someone who can’t care for themselves or a child. It says, “If we lose pressurization in the cabin, oxygen masks will drop. Fully extend that oxygen mask and place it over your head and mouth and breathe regularly.” And they say this: “If someone is with you who needs assistance, please do your mask first.” Why? Because in the process of helping that person, you may perish.
So you can’t lose yourself in this process. If you do, you just become a puppet. You must be intentional about taking authority over your own life and making your well-being a priority. That means physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually you are the best person you can be. And if you are doing those things, you are getting sleep, eating well, getting some exercise, and thinking about good things, right? Listening to good things, being around people that make you feel good and significant, and being consistent spiritually with your value system–that makes you the best version of yourself. It also makes you the right person for this relationship.
Not only that, it makes you everything you can be to face that day and helps you develop the last thing I want to tell you about, which is a positive mindset.
Have A Positive Mindset
See, unless you’re taking care of your PIES, being a person who physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually is at your highest level, you’re working hard on yourself, you’re never going to have a positive mindset. A positive attitude is different from positive thinking. Positive thinking is the reciting, maybe either out loud or in my mind, of famous sayings, scriptures, Proverbs, or poems that make me think on the positive or focus me on something else. You’ve got to be to a place where you look at things, and you say, it’s not just a positive word, but I have a positive attitude at life.
It looks like this: Today may be difficult, and I may have obstacles that come my way. There may be people working against me, but I know I can take care of this. I know I can handle it. See, cause I can count on me. I can rely on myself, I can trust myself, and I can do things. Am I saying you’re the ultimate? No. What I’m saying is that each human has to take responsibility for their life. Be intentional about what they put inside of them. Be intentional about taking care of themselves and being there. But also having a mindset that says, “Today may stink, it may be terrible, but tomorrow is still there.
There’s another opportunity for me to face this. It’s not over; I’m alive. I’m still breathing.” And if you can hold on to that, then when today is negative, think about it; tomorrow could be positive if we take authority over our own life. If we are intentional about what we’re putting in ourselves, that we’re focusing on things that lead us towards our victory, that we’re careful and healthy. But beyond that, we have a mindset that says this may be difficult, but there’s an answer out there. I can do this. I’m not weak.
I know you can do it. You can have peace. You can have freedom from anxiety if you’ll take care of yourself first. We would love for you to give us a buzz here at Marriage Helper. We’ll help you in any way that we can. Speak to one of our Client Representatives who can help your through your situation.