Is it possible to find happiness in a less than perfect marriage? Are there steps that spouses can take in order to better learn how to be a happy wife or husband in a difficult marital relationship?
Of course, I believe the answer is yes. However, most are surprised to find out that the answer is not in changing their spouse but themselves.
Who Holds the Key to the Door to Unhappiness?
First and foremost, it is more than vital for spouses to understand that the door to unhappiness opens from the inside. That is, the key to the door to unhappiness is not within the clutches of their spouse, but within the confines of their own heart and mind.
In our book, How to Fight for Your Marriage without Fighting with One Another, I go to great lengths to show couples that God’s promises only rely upon our faith in Him, not anything or anyone else.
Many spouses feel that they are in a dungeon of darkness and despair, and they are led to believe that the other person holds the key to that dungeon. Nothing can be further from the truth as God has never included your spouse’s name in His promises about joy and peace.
Romans 15:13 states:
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
What I love about this verse is that it clearly points out that our joy and peace only rely upon one of two things: our faith in Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Control What You Can Control
Spouses that feel depressed and discouraged often feel that the other person holds all the control in the relationship. However, I often encourage those learning how to be a happy wife or husband to to gain some sense of control in their marriage by establishing goals that they can meet every day no matter what type of behavior their spouse exhibits.
Think about it. Is your spouse keeping you from loving unconditionally? Can they control your faith in Christ about the marriage and the relationship? Are they able to keep you from entering into the presence of Christ on a daily basis.
Hebrews 4:16 tells us that we are to “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Once again, this promise is never contingent upon the behavior of another.
Find Joy in Giving
There are definitely times when a spouse has to show tough love, and it is possible to hurt someone with kindness. Be that as it may, it should also be said that real joy is not found in what you receive from your spouse as much as how you serve them.
Proverbs 11:25 tells us that the “liberal soul shall be made fat”. The word liberal in this verse means generous, and the scriptures are teaching that when we give to others, our emotional and spiritual cup will remain full.