In taking Marriage & Family classes for over a year now, in observing marriages over my lifetime, and most importantly being in a marriage for almost 20 years I can say love, service and settling are essential to creating a happy marriage. The word settle can have negative connotations, and that is not what I mean. Your husband should value God, religion, marriage, education, work and family. He should have morals, conviction, integrity, faith, and respect for you and others. But after that, after recognizing a good man, you can’t expect them to be everything else.
So he doesn’t bring you flowers, or tell funny jokes that impress people. He leaves socks on the floor and dishes on the table. He forgets family prayer and doesn’t like your favorite frozen yogurt shop. These are not deal breakers. An unsourced quote says, “When you release expectations, you are free to enjoy things for what they are instead of what you think they should be”. You married him for a reason, remember those reasons. Realize he has shortcomings and so do you, that is one of the purposes for marriage, to help, teach and cheer each other on. To recognize the truly important things in life and let go of your vision of the perfect man. The one who doesn’t exist.
At times a marriage is smooth sailing, and other times hard work. Sometimes the husband is pulling the weight, and other times the wife. Trials in life aren’t a possibility but a surety. Commitment to the marriage and God’s plan for your family will carry you through if you are willing to do what it takes. In the text, ‘Successful Marriages and Families’ it states, “Long term commitment will carry you through the ups and down of married life. Most who consistently invest in their marriages will do very well over the long term. A lasting marriage is the reward, usually, of hard work and self-sacrifice”.
When your marriage is cemented in God and Jesus Christ, you have a much better chance of surviving the trials and heartaches of life. “Think about the multi-faceted diamond. When a diamond is completed surrounded by light every part of it shines. Think about that for a minute and compare it to marriage. When our marriage is completely surrounded by light—in other words when we’ve given every part of it over to God–we discover beauty on every side. That’s what He wants us to do. God doesn’t want us to look back. He doesn’t want us to focus on the romance we had, the kids that grew up, the job that we lost, or the home that we still can’t afford” – Darlene Schacht
I guess in the end it’s about focus. Focusing on the positives, working on the negatives and forgetting those things that can’t and don’t really need to be changed. Focus on your dreams, your goals, on each other and on God. When your focus and commitments are aligned with God and his plan for you, happiness will come.