Casey was confused.
She was about to get married for the second time, wanted this marriage to be successful because her first one certainly wasn’t…
But she didn’t know what a happy marriage looked like.
Her parents had been married for over 50 years and they did get along okay…
But she wasn’t sure they were happy.
And was it really possible for a marriage to be happy throughout the years?
She brought all of these questions and more to the conversation we had with her awhile ago.
Here’s some of what she discovered about what makes a happy marriage…
1. Happiness is an inside job
We create with our thoughts whether we’re happy or not and it isn’t dependent on outside circumstances or other people.
When Casey heard that, she was very skeptical.
She told us that if her boyfriend was in a good mood, she was happy…
And when he was in a foul mood and nothing was right, she was unhappy.
The whole idea that she could choose to be happy no matter what was new to her but little by little she could see how that could be true.
She could see that when her girlfriends were unhappy, she didn’t take on their upsets, even though she could still be compassionate.
She would listen and offer advice if needed but not take on how they were feeling.
When she saw this, she realized that her feelings came from her thoughts that she had to make her boyfriend happy and if she couldn’t, she was upset as well.
Casey could see how her own happiness came from the thoughts she believed to be true and not from what was happening outside her.
2. A happy marriage is created one moment at a time
When we suggested that happy marriages are created moment by moment, Casey was surprised.
She’d thought either you had a happy marriage or you didn’t…
But that wasn’t true.
A happy marriage can be a moment of true connection.
A happy marriage can be being authentic when it’s not easy.
A happy marriage can be laughing together.
A happy marriage can be not running away when you disagree.
A happy marriage can be allowing your partner (and yourself) the freedom to be who he or she wants to be.
A happy marriage can be all of this and so much more.
3. Love instead of fear creates a happy marriage
So often in relationships, we allow fear to lead the way because we think it will protect us.
All fear does is keep us tight, withdrawn, angry…
And living in the fear of the past repeating itself or afraid of what will happen in the future.
As Casey took an honest look at her fears, it was obvious that she was afraid that she would recreate her previous unhappy marriage this time around.
She saw how her fear kept her from opening to love so much of the time with her boyfriend.
She saw how her fear kept her from seeing the good in their relationship and focusing on what wasn’t going so well.
She saw that if she appreciated that fear but didn’t let it hold her love back…
New opportunities for connection with her boyfriend could happen which is what she truly wanted.
So how about you?