Yesterday, someone shared with me that marrying someone is not meant to be done in order to make oneself happy, but rather to dedicate one’s life to making the other special someone happy, placing his or her needs and happiness above their own.
I agreed with it and to me, that is such a beautiful foundation for a happy marriage. Of course, I am assuming that the other party reciprocates by sharing the same value and belief. Otherwise, why would I even marry this person right, if he doesn’t even share the same value system?
Do I mean that I will marry someone because I love him and I only care about his happiness and not my own, and thus even if I am not happy with this guy, I will still marry him? Of course not.
Being happy with a guy and hence the decision to marry is a ‘given’ in the equation because if I am not happy with the guy, why would I even get to the point of considering a marriage with him?
It is just that I have seen and perhaps even experienced it myself, that couples who set out for a marriage expecting to be happy and hence they get married, suffer. Because in a marriage, happiness is not the main purpose and it will never be the main point either. There will be many dark and gloomy days, many trying moments, many days you wonder why you even chose to get married in the first place. So if the main purpose was to be happy, why would one stay married since the purpose is no longer met? It is like setting out to fail. Happiness should never be expected without work.
Trying moments: Extremely annoying, difficult, or the like; straining one’s patience and goodwill to the limit. Painful? Yes.
This value of placing someone’s needs above your own and discarding our ‘self’ in the union as a basis for a happy marriage will only work if it is mutual. It will never work if only one party believes in it, e.g. ‘me’ placing ‘your’ needs above mine all the time, while you do not, but ‘I’ will be happy to have achieved that and ‘you’ will be happy because your needs are met. Sounds absolutely logical actually but why will it not work?
Because I have come to realise that unless ‘I’ am happy, ‘you’ won’t be happy. And unless ‘you’ are happy, ‘I’ won’t be happy. Because a marriage is a union and it is not ‘You’ and ‘I’ but ‘US’ and ‘WE’. So if I can’t be happy while I bend over backwards to make you happy, then we can’t possibly be happy. And the marriage will not work. So is it right to say that if I take the stance to place your happiness over mine, it doesn’t matter if you do not reciprocate and place your happiness over mine anyway since one person’s agenda ‘fits’ with another’s? No, I really don’t think so.
Of course, we are not Jesus. We are not God. We can’t love 100% unconditionally and fulfill such good values all the time. Many times in quarrels and trying times, we let our emotions take over and our ego wins. We defend, we attack, we fight for our rights and needs. And then we hurt. But if we can just remember the other person’s needs, and make the effort to fall back on this value, or at least compromise to a middle ground, things will work itself out.
Things will work itself out… right?