The other day I was listening to the Ray Charles song “Come Rain or Come Shine”. There was a line in it that went, “Happy together. Unhappy together.” That got me thinking.
In any relationship, but particularly marriage, the most important thing isn’t that we’re happy. The important thing is that we’re together. As long as we’re together, we can enjoy happiness or survive unhappiness. Too few people rely on and appreciate God’s gift to us - each other.
Our culture is one of selfishness. We demand to be happy. We are SO selfish that we don’t even recognize it as selfishness. We say things like, “I only want to be happy. Is that too much too ask?” Maybe it is. Are we with the other person only for our own happiness?
Happiness is not a right. Even here in America we are supposed to believe that we have the right to pursue happiness. Nothing is promised about finding it.
So, if happiness isn’t a right, what is it? I would submit that it’s a responsibility. If you’re married, your wedding vows probably included something like, “...in good times and in bad...forsaking all others...” They probably did NOT include, “...for as long as s/he makes me happy...”
I’m not coldly saying that if you’re unhappy, suck it up. Rather, if you’re unhappy, your spouse is most likely not ecstatic either. Maybe instead of focusing on your own discontent, which will only worsen it, you should be more selfless and see what you can do to make your spouse happier - or at least let him or her know that s/he’s important to you. Redirecting your attention away from yourself makes you less self-absorbed and will, eventually, be reciprocated.
So, next time we feel unappreciated, rather then dwelling on it and getting resentful, maybe we should take a minute and examine the ways in which we are not meeting the needs of the one we claim to love above all others. Focus on them for a change and be thankful we are together.