Corrine, age 72, has been married for 46 years. Marriage has not always been easy for her, and in one difficult period she even
considered leaving her husband. But her marriage was saved by one revelation: that no one else can make you happy. She went on a quest to become a happier person and that transformed her relationship. I found her advice to be beautiful and inspiring:
I think it’s a mistake to think that a person that you marry is going to make you happy.
When you’re thinking of marrying somebody, they’re going to be very exciting, very interesting, very engaging. But another person can’t make you happy. You’re either happy within yourself or you’re not. So often people have real serious marital issues because they’re unhappy and so they blame – you always blame the one you love. You think that somehow your unhappiness is caused by your spouse when you’re really not happy.
It’s that you have a discontentment with life for any number of reasons at the time. So I think you should not look or think, “Oh, I’ll be SO happy.” Like with the Cinderella story—happily ever after. I think that’s too romantic an idea.
The thing that made a real change in my life and consequently made my marriage happier was when I had a huge midlife crisis and was actually very depressed for a period of time. I went into therapy for it. That was caused by my childhood catching up to me. You know, this is what happens to you when you get into middle age. Everything that you’ve suppressed for a long time, you think is not a bother for you. “Oh, I’m beyond that!” The chickens all come home to roost at some point. And I changed my life and my husband came along—he stuck by me. We’re much happier now because I’m a happier person and I’m so grateful to him because he didn’t give up on me.
So you would be better off wondering: Is this the guy who I want to go through my life with? My companion in life? Rather than the guy who’s going to answer my dreams and make me happy.
If you’re considering marrying a person, you should ask: Does he bring out the best in you or the worst in you? Does he somehow inspire you to be a better person?
You know, it took me ten years before I was sure that I had married the right person. I wasn’t sure that I would be happy with him because I wasn’t sure I could be happy. But I thought he would always be interesting and he certainly brought out the best in me.
Source: Modern Ghana