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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

You Make Me Happy

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Emotions associated with happiness

You make me happy.  I used to say those words to my husband on a frequent basis.  At that time, if you had asked me what I meant by those four words, I would would have replied that I was saying that I loved him and that I was happy being with him.  I meant those words as a compliment, an endearment, an expression of love.

I don’t use those words anymore.

Let me be clear, I am very happy in my current relationship.  But he doesn’t make me happy; rather, I am happy with him.  Slight change in words, but a huge shift in meaning.

I began to realize that by telling him that he made me happy, I was putting all of the responsibility for my own well-being on his shoulders.  That is a huge burden to carry and one that was unfair to him.  I had given him the power to make me happy.  Which means he also had the power to make me unhappy.

If I had left that power in his hands, he would have packed up my happiness with the rest of his belongings when he walked out the door.  I snatched it back from him, determined to find a way to regain ownership of my well-being.

I now take responsibility for my own happiness.  I can choose how I respond and how I approach. I can choose to be happy with or happy in spite of.  That is my responsibility.

But, coffee still makes me happy:)

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13 thoughts on “You Make Me Happy

  1. You are absolutely correct in saying “You make me happy” versus “I am happy with you” are two entirely different things. I, too, made the same mistake in my first (and possibly only) marriage. I gave him all the power to make me either happy or unhappy, and he was much more skilled at making me unhappy. But, I am the one who gave him that little skill. Hopefully, the next time around, it will be different and I will be happy to be with someone as I have been in the past. Thank you for your blog. It has gotten me through some rough spots over the past year and given me hope that there are still good guys out there 🙂

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