Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Happily Ever After Depends on Happy Before

posted by Michele Olson

Steven Stosny writing in Psychology Today brings up a great point from a recent posting. Do you rely on your partner to make you happy? He points out that in the age of entitlement that we live in (Also sometimes called the era of Me! Me! Me!) one of the biggest presumptions people have as they enter marriage is that the other person is going to make them happy. (As in happily ever after!) The reality is: if you were happy before you met your partner, you will likely be happy after the marriage; but if you were an unhappy before you married as a single…well you get the picture.

Stosney goes on to describe what happens in a relationship when someone comes in with negative emotions and how it affects both parties. He also includes a marriage quiz which you can take. He feels it’s a good one, because initially when he started using quizzes like this, they only served the purpose of reinforcing blame and resentment. This quiz is designed to uncover self-doubt and turn it into a motivation to heal, improve and repair.

So take this very short quiz and let us know what you found out. (Remember, you are anonymous when you blog if you choose to be.)

Do you agree? Were you happy before your marriage and still happy? Were you unhappy before your marriage and still unhappy?


collin said...

So the book he co-authored with Patricia Love, "How to ... without talking...", is I think the book of this decade (as "Men are from Mars..." was for the 1990s).

The quiz asked good questions but saying an answer was "correct" vs "incorrect" is IMO bogus. I *knew* what the right answer was, but I also know that I don't always do it. And we sometimes have some pretty substantial misunderstandings, which is why we see a counselor now and then.

Meanwhile, the "happily ever after" myth is a relationship-killer and it's good to have it debunked.

thinkmarriage.org said...

Hi Collin,
We are so on the same page! Yes his book How To Improve Your Marrige Without Talking About It is so refreshingly different and useful...I recommend it all the time which is why I'm a big Steven Stosny fan.
You're right about the test, but I think that's because it serves the purpose of even if you are answering "with the right answers" you yourself are learning and are getting the point. I think for many people it's just a gentle gateway into really talking about the subjects. But as a real quiz....true...it's like Eddy Haskell on Leave it Beaver wrote it!
Thanks for blogging and keep it up!

Jen @ After The Alter said...

I totally agree that no one else can truly make you happy. Your spouse can add to your happiness, but them alone can't make you happy...I tell my single friends all the time who look for men to complete them...I tell them to be happy alone first and the rest will come.

thinkmarriage.org said...

Thanks for the comment Jen.
It's definately not the message we get from the movies is it?
"You complete me" from Jerry MacQuire fame only adds to thinking that another person can supply you with happiness if you aren't already happy.