How much do you depend on your spouse for your personal happiness? Although your spouse should play an integral role in helping you develop a happy and healthy lifestyle, depending on your spouse for this will likely lead to disappointment.
Lisa and Ryan were married for four years. Marriage wasn’t what Lisa had anticipated. She found herself feeling bored, lonely, and frustrated much of the time. She sought counseling because she was becoming depressed.
Her therapist helped her to uncover some behaviors that were likely contributing to her depression. For example, Lisa tended to go home after work to prepare Ryan’s dinner each night. He didn’t expect this of her but she thought this was her job. Ryan often worked late, leaving Lisa alone. She didn’t spend nearly as much time with friends as she used to because she felt she should be home cleaning or spending time with Ryan. Lisa hadn’t tried anything new for a few years, hadn’t been as adventurous as she used to be, and wasn’t finding opportunities to relieve stress or have fun and it was causing her distress.
Unfortunately, the above scenario isn’t unique. Many people find themselves falling into a rut and they blame their partner for their unhappiness. Life doesn’t need to solely revolve around your partner. If it does, you will likely become unhappy because not all of your needs will be met. It is important to live a rich and full life by spending time with friends and family, having hobbies and interests, engaging in interesting activities, and having a sense of meaning and purpose in life.
If you work to make yourself happy, you’ll likely make a better partner to your spouse. You’ll also probably report increased marital satisfaction. If you are feeling unhappy with your current situation, assess what is missing and then determine what you can do to meet your needs.