Friday, April 8, 2011

To Make My Wife Happy . . .

Somewhere along the line I started to believe that my job in my relationship with my wife, Diana was to make her happy.  It seemed to make sense.   I've always known that Diana enjoys sharing her life with me and that more often than not when she thinks of me she smiles.  So It seemed a natural extension that because I made her so happy that I was responsible for making her happy.  Lately I've come to realize how wrong I am to think this.

As I have l gotten older it has become increasingly clear to me that responsibility truly is a choice as I continue to encounter people  who have very different ideas of what they are responsive for as I do.  So what is messed up about choosing to be responsible for my wife's happiness? Because this choice is flawed and self- defeating and only leads to both of our unhappiness.

In order to make Diana happy I would have to know what she wants at all times and the only way for that to happen would be for me to be able to read her mind and even even if I could, Diana wouldn't really enjoy me spending my every thought and action on focused on her.  No one wants their partners to be their slave.  Moreover I can't be responsible for Diana's happiness because I'm not responsible for Diana.

If Diana gets a speeding ticket, the policeman doesn't call me up and make me pay for the ticket.  When Diana does a great job on a project, her clients don't call me.  Diana's life is her own responsibility.

While I may not be responsible for my wife I am responsible to my wife.  If Diana gets in a car accident and calls me for help, it is my job to do everything in power to help her.  Yes, this requires that Diana communicates her needs to me clearly and yes this may take a little magic out of the romance, but this is how relationships work.  If you expect your partner to know what you want and do it without you asking, you're in for disappointment.

Diana has told me that she appreciates where my heart and my intention are in wanting to make her happy and the thing she has reminded me is that part of what brings her joy is me pursuing my own happiness beyond the whole "making you makes me happy."

Diana and I have been together nine years.  In this time I've learned so much about life, love and what it means to truly share your live with another.  The single biggest revelation that made me realize about my true responsibility to Diana is how she has made me happy, not by taking responsibility for me but by listening and helping me, living her own life to the fullest and sharing her world with me.

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