Fox news recently did a segment about “how to keep your husband happy” where they interviewed the lovely “Princeton Mom”- author of the book Marry Smart. It was really cute. They talked about how women have become uppity princesses who need to shut their damn mouths and make their man a drink so he can be content while she cooks him dinner. So sweet!
The Princeton Mom blames feminism for the degradation of how men are treated in marriages, and her advice is that women hold onto their husbands with their little pussy paws so he doesn’t leave you a lonely cat-woman spinster old maiden. She doesn’t say you have to wait on him hand and foot, but it’s probably a good idea if you do. If the Princeton Mom is going to crown herself the queen of knowing what makes men happy, then how would she advise gay couples? Shouldn’t relationship counsel ultimately be in the universal language of love? If the rational can’t be applied to all dynamics how is it even legitimate? If you are both husbands or wives then who is making who the damn drink?
Initially I felt a lot of rage towards this Princeton Mom and the Fox News pundits egging her on, because the logic was so condescending and seemingly backwards. Yet there was an underlying message she was espousing that was reasonable – it was about kindness. Be caring towards the person you live with, parent with, and have committed yourself to. Yes! I agree with that. That is a human quality all people should strive towards because that is a decent way to behave – not because you are trying to make someone else happy.
In fact, the expectation to make your husband or wife happy is totally absurd.
It is not your spouse’s job to make you happy. That is your responsibility. Happiness comes from within because it is an esoteric feeling that passes like gas. Another person can’t make you happy any more than they can make you love yourself. In any given day we feel a variety of complex emotions, and the only way to find balance within the chaos is our own internal maturity of how we deal with the stresses of life. Happiness is not a goal to achieve but rather a state of being that comes with contentment of self.
I am pretty sure the Dalai Lama isn’t expecting some lady friend to make his ass happy after she makes him bacon and eggs for breakfast – and he seems like a pretty happy dude. Relationships aren’t about holding the other person responsible for your mental well-being. They are about helping each other with the bullshit minutia of life, and listening to the other person bitch about the bullshit minutia of life.
The only person you are accountable for making happy is yourself. And guess what? A happy person is usually a nice person to be around. They are inherently more thoughtful, compassionate, and giving because their mind isn’t clouded with anxiety or depressing thoughts. When people solely prioritize the happiness of others it makes them feel like shit, and therefor eventually act like it too. Just as you could alienate your spouse by being selfish, you could also turn out to be a bitter bride who has given her life to a man only to dream about poisoning his martini. When your own happiness is a priority it is easier to be a giving partner because you don’t feel emotionally depleted.