If there's one piece of marriage advice that always makes me cringe, it's this: "Find someone who makes you happy." I've heard this advice countless times in countless places, and every time I hear it, it really bothers me.
It's not that you shouldn't be happy — you should — but happiness should NOT be your number one goal in marriage.
When I married my husband, I told him: "I will make you happier than you've ever been. But I will also make you sadder than you've ever been and madder than you've ever been." And you know what? I sure didn't disappoint. I've definitely made him furious on more than one occasion.
It's not that I purposely try to upset him — I really don't. But the fact is that when you are married, you are GOING to have days that don't go so well. There will be times when you feel hurt, disappointed, angry, frustrated and upset. You are going to get on each others' nerves. You are going to hurt each others' feelings. You will fight. It's life. It happens.
Now, an occasional fight would be forgivable, but what happens when those days happen more often than not? What happens when that person that you once loved so much doesn't make you happy anymore? What then? Do you just give up? Go on your merry way? Say, "I guess we were just one of the ones who didn't make it…?"
I think, if you married for happiness, you might. This person used to make you happy, but they don't anymore, and you begin to wonder why you even married them in the first place. Because when happiness is your goal, and your husband isn't making you happy anymore, it's all too easy to see other things that you think might make you happy and to start fantasizing about them instead - whatever they may be. You want to be happy, and you'll go wherever you need to go to find it, even when you know it's not the right decision.
When I married my husband, I wasn't looking for happiness
I saw him for who he was, I saw that he was a good, good man, and I knew that he was the person that I wanted to be by his side forever. When I pictured the life I wanted to have, I knew he was the one I wanted to create a life with. I never once asked myself if he would make me happy. But you know what? I've never been so happy in my entire life. I never even knew I COULD be this happy.
So whether he is super sweet and affectionate, or he's irritable and annoying (sorry, honey!), I'm going to love him all the same. Because I'm not chasing after a fleeting feeling. I've committed myself to HIM, and to making this marriage work no matter what.
Like they say … the grass isn't greener on the other side. It's greener where you water it. If you are married, don't go searching for happiness. Make it.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on Equipping Godly Women. It has been republished here with permission.
A devoted Christian, wife and mother, Brittany loves helping other women grow in these roles as well. When she isn’t busy taking care of her growing family, you can find her at Equipping Godly Women, where she regularly shares tips, tricks and encouragement to help you be the amazing woman God created you to be. Brittany also has a thriving online community on Facebook as well.