My Happiness is My Responsibility

20200424_163741I am absolutely in LOVE with this man! My husband’s kindness, care, and giggles warm my heart. I really love making this man giggle. It brings a smile to my face just thinking about it. I am amazed how my happiness level has grown with him at my side. As a survivor of nearly life-long depression, I know what’s it’s like to have sorrows so bleak that even the biggest joys seem dark. My brain just doesn’t respond to good input the same way a healthy brain does. Yet, after being with this man, my brain, as well as my heart, is happier. This last bit is what surprises, and delights, me the most. My brain is happier. Meaning that my brain frequently responds more in a way that I believe a healthy brain would. When I receive input, I more often translate it in a positive way, and my brain creates those happy chemicals because I see the world in a brighter light.

I never thought it would happen. 

That’s not to say that all things are rosy in our marriage. I just want to be real. Being married, especially with stepchildren involved, is complicated. The extra responsibilities of marriage, and stepparenthood, can weigh heavy at times, especially at times when the partnership is struggling to work together. However, I would take the burdens of marriage any day over the burdens of being single. To be clear, even when things are tough I wholeheartedly believe that, as my friend, Carly, said to me when she heard the news I was engaged, BEING MARRIED IS THE BEST! And I totally agree! It is most definitely the best!

I am blessed with an amazing partner in my forever, this life and the next and whatever follows it! 

But our marriage only works because we constantly have the other’s happiness at the top of our priority list, and we, as individuals, take responsibility for our own happiness. This is real love: real love takes action, listens, at least tries to understand your point of view and failing that takes your word for it, leaves you sweet notes, makes the bed and other small things so you don’t have to, works with you, counsels with you and God about the big concerns, and holds you tight when things don’t go right.

And after all of that, our own happiness is still our own responsibility. Our job in marriage, and parenthood I believe, is to do all we can to support the other’s long-term happiness, but if the other person still ain’t happy, that’s when you get in under the covers, hold them tight, cry with them, and wipe away their tears. 

I was originally going to write an article about how Mother’s Day is tough for many of us for a multitude of different reasons. Last week I broke into tears as I bought five mother’s day cards  (among moms, mothers-in-law, and stepmommas we had a lot of cards to buy!) and was hit with the lost simplicity of mother’s day from when my own mom was still alive. The one woman I really wanted to buy a card for was the one that a card wouldn’t really work for. One poor lady walked down the aisle while my husband held me as I cried. She took quick notice and left. It made for a good giggle later as I spoke with my sister about it. We hope she got the card she needed! And my husband and I found a cute little balloon with a mama and child llama that said, “I llove you Mama!” which we all signed and put on Mother’s grave.

I know this day can be tough, but it can also be wonderful. If Mother’s Day is tough for you I hope you will take responsibility for your own happiness and find a way to celebrate it. It doesn’t have to be a joyous occasion, this life isn’t always about being over the top happy, but this day can be a special one.

 

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