If you were to ask your friends, family and partner if they want to be happy, most everyone would answer, “Yes!” Personal happiness is a very natural and common desire.

It is great when one spouse is supportive of the things that are fulfilling to the other, but this is not always possible. When this support does not occur, it’s important for each partner in the marriage to understand that their personal happiness is not dependent on their marriage, or their spouse.

If you are looking to experience a stable and sustainable marriage, it’s important to realize that your personal happiness is not the responsibility of your spouse. You are responsible for your own happiness regardless of what your spouse does or does not do.

If you are happy when you are with your spouse, that is wonderful! But, if you are not happy when you are with your spouse, it’s not always due to your partner. This to say, it is unrealistic if you are depending upon your spouse to make you feel happy. Even the best marriage partner fails from time to time in meeting their partner’s needs or expectations.

Furthermore, it’s important to stay away from the blame-game when it comes to your feelings of happiness and contentment. If you blame your partner for your unhappiness, it can do real harm to your relationship and breed resentment.

The balance to be sought is for a husband and wife to create an atmosphere of mutual nurturing while at the same time strengthening their personal identities. A healthy awareness of self creates a path for each partner to establish a sense of well-being that is not dependent upon what the other spouse provides.

Spouses should want to be together, not have to be together. A mutually submissive independence is a wise approach to establishing and maintaining a win-win marriage.

If you are looking to experience a stable and sustainable marriage, it’s important to realize that your personal happiness is not the responsibility of your spouse.

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Some things to do for the week

Day 2: Reflect on the message and scripture reading; journal if you like
Day 3: Pray for or meditate on what you think you need
Day 4: Discuss the message and scripture with your spouse
Day 5: Plan how you can best respond to the message
Day 6: Rest; don’t think about the message or the scripture; listen in the stillness
Day 7: Recommit yourself to your marriage

Applicable scripture listed under Discussion References.