We’ve all heard it said that no one can make you happy. Or, in other words, we are responsible for our own happiness. But let’s not front. At least for me, I know I’d be lying if I didn’t expect my relationship with my husband to deliver the kind of happiness that makes me glad that I married him. If my marriage didn’t come with an opportunity for true happiness, I’d have to wonder what’s the point. You know what else? My husband feels the same way. Each of us has a spoken as well as an unspoken expectation that we will actively seek ways to make each other happy.
Of course, happiness looks different to him than it does to me. In some ways, it’s like learning each other’s love language. Once I learned what will bring a smile to his face, I started doing those things. But for our marriage to last, we each have to go a little deeper. That’s what I want to focus on in this article…deep-rooted happiness. So, what are some ways you can make your spouse happy for a long, long time? Here are three things that work for our relationship and I hope they work for yours as well.
Actively instill a sense of self-worth.
When I look in the mirror, I may not always like what I see. When I write an article, I may not like the way it turned out. When I speak to my kids, I may not be the nicest person. But, I’m my worst critic. If you’re anything like me, you are yours.
When my husband tells me I’m beautiful, he chases away my ugly. When he touches my body and embraces my curves, stretch marks, and wrinkles, he keeps me feeling young. When he backs me up on a punishment for the kids, he strengthens my foundation as a mother. When he encourages me to accept a challenge I might think is too tough, he demonstrates his belief in me. All of these let me know he is into me. He is actively engaged in my heart and mind and knows how easily I can devalue myself. So, he flips the script. He makes me feel worthy and my efforts worthwhile. Yes, it makes me happy. Do the same for your spouse and it will make them happy too.
Make them feel at home.
When my husband gets home from work, I’m usually already there to greet him. Now, it might sound corny to you, but no matter where I am, I usually stop what I’m doing when I hear the sound of the door opening. When he enters the house, I’m standing there facing him, giddy like a school girl. I jump up and down and in a sing-song voice express how happy I am that he’s home. I greet him with a hug and a kiss. If you know me, you know that’s how I roll. My man loves it and misses it when it’s not there. The tone of his voice tells me he’s happy to be home. I can almost feel him shaking off the stress of the day.
What makes your spouse happy to come home? What kind of greeting do they get from you when they walk through the door? That greeting is often followed by a nice meal, whether I cooked it or not, and an opportunity to relax for a bit before we talk marriage, and kids, and everything else. Doing this for my husband makes me happy. Figure out what it takes to make your spouse happy to be home and make it happen.
Refuse to keep score.
I enjoy giving to my husband. He enjoys giving to me. Parents enjoy giving to their children. There is joy in giving. In relationships, however, the moment one of you starts to keep score, the thrill is gone. So, give, encourage, and serve your spouse expecting nothing in return. In a healthy relationship, reciprocation may not always come right away, but it comes.
On the flip side, we all have character flaws. Don’t keep score of those either. They take a lifetime to change. But in marriage, that’s what you signed up for…a lifetime. Character change and growth will come and it will bring happiness to you both. So put the scorecards away, and just be happy.
It’s true. Your spouse isn’t responsible for your happiness. But it sure helps to have them be a part of it. By focusing on these three things, you will be well on your way to the deep-rooted happiness you crave.
BMWK, what are you doing to make your spouse happy?