As a newlywed, I was a bit obsessed with keeping my husband happy. To the point that I often denied my own feelings.
Husband: “Are you okay?’ Me: “I’m fine.”
Husband: “Anything wrong?” Me: “Nope, all is good.”
Meanwhile, inside, I would be struggling with anger or hurt. My motto which I adopted when I was young was, “Don’t rock the boat.” I assumed if I didn’t disagree or confront anyone, everyone would stay happy. The problem is this way of being is disingenuous, and it doesn’t build intimacy. In fact, it creates walls between husband and wife. If I have to keep someone cheerful, I can never be totally real.
The truth was, my husband wanted to know how I really felt. He wanted honesty and openness. He didn’t want me to only say what I thought he wanted to hear. I think that’s true in most relationships. Certainly, in any healthy relationship.
It’d be impossible to take responsibility for someone else’s happiness. I can do everything my husband might want as he wants it done and he can still choose to be unhappy, or he may have underlying depression or anxiety. I have zero control over his responses or mental health.
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