I continue to see a recurring theme among good men in relationships. I’ve had phone consults with really good men who are worried about their wives. They’re worried about their wife’s happiness or issues that their wives struggle with.
When I say good men, I’m referring to the men who are loving and supportive of their wife. These men provide a sense of peace to the relationship. These are the men who take responsibility for caring for their family.
This recurring theme, however, keeps them in a place of total responsibility for another human.
This is unfortunate.
Good men feel a sense of obligation to care for and protect their wife.
That’s great, but this does not mean that you’re responsible for her happiness.
It simply doesn’t.
Men…you’re NOT responsible for your wife’s overall happiness. If your wife or girlfriend is unhappy, even when you do everything to support her, then that’s on her.
You have not failed her. You are not to blame. It’s actually not even about you!
Do you feel like you’ve done everything possible in your relationship to positively contribute to your wife’s happiness and she’s still unhappy?
That’s not on you my friend. That’s on her. She needs to figure out how to be happy on her own.
You are only to blame for contributing to someone’s overall unhappiness if you do things that are unkind or inconsiderate.
I see it time and time again. Men put 100% of the responsibility on themselves for their wife’s happiness.
You know you get that amazing feeling inside when your wife smiles at you lovingly, right?
I see how happy it makes my husband when I tell him how much joy he brings into my life. I see how good it makes him feel when I tell him that he me makes me so happy and I can’t imagine not having him in my life.
That’s great. That’s really great, BUT guess what?
I’m a happy person on my own. I don’t NEED him to make me happy.
I only need him to love and support me.
I only need him to contribute to my life in a peaceful way.
I need him to support our children and be loving and nurturing, but I do NOT need him to make me happy.
You should aim to contribute to your wife’s overall happiness, but you are NOT responsible for it.
Yes, you are responsible for adding to her happiness. Yes, you are responsible for contributing to her life in a positive way. Yes, you should be a nice guy and be supportive of her.
She should also do these things for you!
It’s a two-way street.
You cannot make someone happy. You simply cannot. All that you can do is be supportive and ask her what she needs. Ask her if there’s anything you can do to help her, but you are not responsible for her.
Your wife is an adult. All adults are responsible for their own quality of life. If you don’t like something in your life, then it’s on you to change it.
That’s the responsibility of all adults.
Only YOU can make changes in your life that lead to happiness.
The only person responsible for your happiness is YOU.
The only person responsible for your wife’s happiness is your wife.
If Your Wife Unhappy?
Here’s what you can do.
Love her and hold her.
If your wife still seems unhappy, then talk to her about it.
Tell her you notice she’s been unhappy or not herself. Ask her why she thinks she’s unhappy? Ask her if she could change one thing in her life that would make her happy, what would it be?
Ask her if there’s anything that’s bringing her down?
Ask her what you can do to support her and then support her while she does that thing. Maybe it’s more than one thing. Be there for her, but don’t put all of the pressure on yourself.
Men, you are NOT 100% responsible for your wife’s happiness.
Let me say this again.
You’re 100% responsible for supporting and loving your wife, but not for her internal happiness. Only she can do that.
If you’re a loving and supportive husband, and your wife is still unhappy, that’s on her.
You shouldn’t be a doormat. You shouldn’t have to ask for permission to do things that every adult has the right to do. Things like…go to dinner with your friends, or meet your friends for drinks.
Of course be respectful of each other’s time . Of course check in with each other and make sure you’re tending to your responsibilities, but don’t tell each other what do to.
You’re both adults.
There’s an equation for a happy relationship.
What’s the formula for a healthy marriage?
There are actually three healthy relationships required in order to have a successful marriage.
- You must have a healthy relationship with yourself
- Your spouse must have a healthy relationship with him or herself.
- You must have a healthy relationship together.
You both must take care of yourself on a personal level. You both must be responsible for your own happiness.
You have the responsibility to yourself and to your spouse to take care of YOU so that you’re able to show up in the best way possible to your relationship.
Then, you have to nurture the relationship itself.
You must approach your relationship as its own entity.
You must protect it.
You must respect it.
There are three scenarios which lead to disruption in your relationship…
- If you stop taking care of yourself, then the relationship will suffer.
- If your partner stops taking care of him or herself, then your relationship will suffer.
- If you stop nurturing the relationship itself and only focus on the individual, then the relationship will suffer.
I know it seems super simple when stated this way, but sometimes we make it too hard.
I realize that all of us go through ups and downs. We all have times of stress in our lives. We have traumatic events.
We have health issues. Our kids have issues or other loved ones.
We are, however, always responsible for our own responses and our reactions to those stressors. We all are responsible for our individual thoughts and how we process our feelings.
We are all responsible for our own happiness. Period.
Finding happiness within is the key to a successful marriage. Finding happiness within is the key to a successful life.
Learn how to make yourself happy first, then find someone else who’s also happy. Then work to build a successful relationship together.
That’s the way it works. There’s no shortcuts to true happiness.
There’s no short cuts to achieving peace in your life.
Contribute to each other’s happiness but don’t take responsibility for another human’s happiness.
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