Choosing to BE

I can’t make my husband happy. I came to this stark realization just the other night and it hit me right in the face. Hard. I know that it’s not up to me, as in not my duty/obligation/responsibility to make my spouse happy, but I guess I thought if I wanted to I could. Nope. In hindsight, you know that 20/20 vision, I see how full of pride that thought is. And of course I understand that pride is the reason this dose of reality hit so hard. The even crazier thing about this realization is that I have said point blank to my husband that your happiness doesn’t depend on what I do or don’t do. That’s not my job.

Yet in that foolish pride I took on the task of attempting it.

It was both a disappointing and freeing moment the other night. Disappointing in the fact that I am powerless in my spouse’s emotional state, yet freeing in the notion that the weight of his emotional state doesn’t land on me. Don’t get me wrong, we as spouses have the ability to influence each other’s choice of emotional being, but ultimately it is our choice.

If you say, “you make me so angry”. I’ve got news for you, he/she didn’t make you anything. Something they did or said may have inspired your emotions, but you decided to be angry. That’s why the word says things like “don’t provoke your children to wrath” (Eph. 6:4), “do everything you can to live in peace with everyone” (Rom. 12:18), “be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to be angry” (Jam. 1:19), and “be holy even as I am holy”(1 Pet. 1:16). This isn’t just about what we do, it’s about what we choose to be. Will we choose to be self-centered or love, because you can’t be both. My influence is my responsibility and my choice in responding to someone else’s influence is too.

It isn’t only prideful, it’s selfish to think that my actions can alter any part of my spouse. It’s even more selfish to think that I am are the only influence in his life.

There are thoughts and experiences and other people that have influence in our spouse’s life in any given day that we don’t have anything to do with.

I can’t make my husband happy, but I can do and say things that inspire happiness. I can choose to love and act in loving ways that help him feel respected and honored. I have control over my choices, not his.


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