We’ve all heard it. We say it to our husbands and hope they get it. A quick google search will show that this adage, “Happy wife, happy life” is generally true (there was only one article that said otherwise). If the woman is happy in her marriage, the man is generally happy too. Yes, husband, take care of your wife. Make sure she feels appreciated, valued, treasured. Do whatever it takes to encourage her in who she is as a person, not just as a wife and mother. That is secret number 1. Actually, that is not much of a secret.
Secret number 2. Women, be happy. True happiness is not dependent on your circumstances. A perfect husband will not make you happy. In laws who are cooperative (or dead) will not make you happy. Perfect children will not make you love being a mom. More money will not make you happy. A good housekeeper will not make you someone people want to be around. There are just way too many variables in life that will screw your day. Be happy, choose to be happy. Money, fame, and fashion will not get you there.
I think as women, we let our circumstances really get to us more often than we should. “If only…” If only I had more money, if only he were more present, if only my daughter wasn’t so clingy, if only my mother-in-law had a better personality. If only…Well, hello, if only everyone were out of debt, if only everyone were thoughtful and kind and courteous, if only all the stupid drivers would get off the road, if only it would rain in California. There are just things we can’t change no matter how much we wish for it.
The more and more I look at my own household, I see how MY happiness is so central to the happiness of my family. When hubby is upset, as long as I am happy, the house is still intact. But when mommy is upset, watch out kids, watch out daddy, you all better just leave me alone. This idea that I am, in a sense, more important in the well-being of my house is enough to make my husband say, “I’d rather take on a second job then you go out and work. If I go work some extra hours, it doesn’t really affect the family that much, but if you work, everyone is highly affected.”
I also began to notice something that was a bit disturbing. I feel like it’s okay for me to nag my husband, but if he does the same thing to me (oh heck no!), he just crossed the line. As I talk with other women, I get this feeling that it’s okay for us to point out our husbands’ flaws, but they don’t have the liberty to do the same to us. Now, I think that women and men function differently and criticism has different impacts on us then it does on them, but that doesn’t mean we can nag and they can’t. So I try to ask my husband regularly, “Is there anything I can do to make your life happier?” Of course, he answers with discretion, but if I ask him that, I am quick to tell him all the things that I am trying to improve that I think might be bothering him. I’m also trying to not be too sensitive as my family can attest that I am INCREDIBLY sensitive. When I was a child, my dad told me, “You need to be nicer to your brother.” I started crying because I couldn’t handle the “criticism” even though my dad wasn’t even mad at me. Yeah, you can feel sorry for my husband now.
I believe a mother is the one who sets the tone for the house. I also believe that a wise mother will set a great tone for the house. I will always remember how kids would come over to our house and my mom would make crafts with us and tell these amazing stories and we’d all be crying because the story was so touching. The thing is, my mom can barely speak English so how she was able to draw these kids in, I’m not sure. I do know that she was incredible with kids and she is an amazing woman. Moms can set a great tone even with incredible language barriers.
Although I am not a perfectly happy wife, I decided that I am responsible for my own happiness. No one should have that responsibility except me. If I am not happy, then I need to do something to change that (I saw this amazing video of Jada Pinkett Smith that was incredibly inspiring to me). Also, I am not responsible for my husband’s happiness. He is responsible for that. For years I honestly thought I was responsible for his happiness and it ate away at me because every time he had a small critique I took it like he wasn’t happy with me and so I was failing but then I would get so mad at him because I was working my butt off trying to make him happy. So I realized that it was my responsibility to be happy and his responsibility to be happy for himself. Happy wife, happy life. Happy wife = less strife. 🙂
If only the weather were warm and sunny
If only it would now rain
If only the climate catered to me
Then I wouldn’t be such a pain
If only my husband treated me well
If only he loved me more
If only he made just a bit more money
Then I wouldn’t be such a sore
If only my wife wouldn’t nag me so much
If only she was chill
If only she would please me more
Then her spirit I wouldn’t kill
If only the in-laws weren’t around
If only they would leave
If only they were more pleasant and nice
Then I wouldn’t be mad and so peeved
If only my kids were straight A students
If only they were the best.
If only they were top of the line
Then I wouldn’t be so embarrassed
If only the house always stayed clean
If only it wasn’t a mess
If only the laundry folded itself
Then I wouldn’t be in distress
If only the cars would get off the road
If only there was no traffic
If only the idiots could read my mind
Then my life wouldn’t be so tragic
If only my friends weren’t so judgmental
If only they knew what it’s like
If only they said all the right words
Then I wouldn’t be one so disliked
If only the world revolved around me
If only I could have power
If only all my wishes came true
Then I wouldn’t be sad and so sour
If only I let the external stress go
And gave it all to God
If only I could trust Him more,
Then I wouldn’t need men to applaud.
If only I learned to be happy all day
No matter what happened around me
If only my joy was found from within
Then maybe I wouldn’t worry.
If only I decided to tackle my day
With cheerfulness and a grin
If only I lent a helping hand
Then my day would be filled with wins.