Marital Satisfaction and Personal Happiness 

Sometimes people assume that the only way they can be happy in life is to have an ideal marriage. They believe their satisfaction with life hinges solely on how happy they are in their relationship. This sort of thinking can be dangerous and actually can be harmful to your marriage.

The Cycle

Every marriage is going to have natural ups and downs. This is normal. You won’t constantly be madly in love and grateful for your partner. It’s just a fact. However, some people equate some of the down times as being disastrous. This is where that line of thinking gets dangerous.

If someone thinks that in order to be happy in life their marriage needs to be excellent, whenever it isn’t meeting their expectation, they start to think they are unhappy with all aspects of their life. As they start to think about how dissatisfied they are with life in general, they may sink into a slump. When people are feeling unhappy with life, they don’t make very good marriage partners, which can actually make the marriage worse, hence continuing the cycle.

For example, Hannah and Doug had been married for three years. Doug was focused on building his career and Hannah was feeling like she wasn’t getting enough attention from Doug. She started thinking thoughts such as, “My marriage has really gone down hill. Doug doesn’t even pay any attention to me. Without  my marriage, I’ve got nothing.” Hannah began to dwell on how unhappy life was without attention from Doug. She spent less time with friends. She spent her evenings watching television and dwelling on the fact that Doug wasn’t home from work yet. Her unhappiness grew. Whenever she and Doug were together, she complained about not having much of a life and feeling bored and tired, which further weakened their marriage.

Hannah’s example shows how her thoughts about being unhappy led to her stopping fun activities, such as spending time with friends. This caused her unhappiness to grow. It started to impact her marriage as well. Instead of spending the time they had together doing something enjoyable, Hannah spent it complaining to Doug. This can cause the marriage to deteriorate further as it isn’t going to motivate Doug to want to spend more time with her.

People Who Are Content With Life Make the Best Partners

If your marriage isn’t currently up for any awards for the world’s best relationship, don’t let it ruin your life. It makes sense to address problems in your marriage and work on making your relationship better. However, if you allow your marital problems to cause you to become an unhappy person, it isn’t going to help your marriage.

People who are content with life make much better partners than people who are unhappy, angry, or grumpy. If you are experiencing some marital issues, make sure that you are also spending some time focusing on what you can do to make your life better as a whole. This can be very beneficial to your personal growth and it might even improve your marriage. If your partner sees you are happy, fun, interesting, and content, you’ll be a lot more engaging and enjoyable to spend time with.

Improve Your Satisfaction with Life

If your entire life has revolved around your marriage, it may be difficult to even know what to do to improve your overall well-being. If that’s the case, it is important to take an inventory of your life. Do you have interests and hobbies? If not, develop some. Consider trying some experiments to see what you like. Take a class to learn to speak Japanese. Try painting with watercolors. Join a hiking club. If you try something and you don’t like it, try something else. You might discover some hidden talents and make some new friendships along the way.

It’s also important to take a look at who you socialize with outside your marriage. Do you spend time with friends and family? Do you have positive and inspirational people in your life? If not, it is important to start finding some people who can meet these needs in your life.

Do you feel like you have a purpose in life outside of being a spouse? If not, consider examining your spirituality. This doesn’t mean you have to join a religious group. But look for ways to find meaning in your life. For some people, this may mean doing some volunteer work. For others, it may mean attending a church or joining a group.

Meet Your Own Needs

Your spouse will never meet all of your needs all the time. It is important to be able to be satisfied with your life even when your spouse isn’t meeting all your needs. This can help your marriage to ride out the waves as you experience some of the highs and lows of marriage. Learn how to meet your own needs by living a life that is fulfilling to you and it can greatly improve your overall quality and satisfaction in life, even when your relationship isn’t perfect.

One Response to “Marital Satisfaction and Personal Happiness”

  1. Amy, you are right on with your blog! I am using this latest article as a springboard with a couple with whom I am counseling. Thanks for terrific insight in marriages.

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