Kim Kardashian is preparing for a wedding with boyfriend Kanye West. Her marriage last year lasted just 72 days, as everyone knows. Her sister, Khloe (married in 2009), filed for divorce from her husband recently. And their parents, Bruce and Kris Jenner, married for 22 years, are currently separated.
“I have thought about this for a long time,” says matriarch Kris, “and I think we both just need to be happy, I really do. Isn’t that the bottom line?”
Well, no. That’s not the bottom line.
Sure, when we got married in 1984 we wanted to be happy, too. Duh. Everybody wants that. But marriage is far more than a happy pill.
“My decision to end my marriage was such a risk. But I had to take that risk to be happy.”
Like most every other couple, we swallowed the pill whole when we married. But we eventually learned that it’s a big fat myth to think that when we say “I do” we’ll have a lock on happiness. Granted, we will, for a time. No doubt about it. Marriage makes us happy.
The problem is that marriage will not make us as intensely happy or for as long as we believe it will. Studies reveal that the happiness boost from marriage lasts an average of only two years.
Unfortunately, when those two years are up and fulfilling our goal to find the ideal partner hasn’t made us as happy as we expected, we often feel there must be something wrong. Not so. It’s the common course of love. And if left unattended, if we’re not deliberately making happy together, our relationship suffers.
Happiness, for a marriage, is like a vital sign. It’s the heart rate of love. Like all vital signs, it can fluctuate. But like all vital signs, it has a set point, a level to which it strives to return.
We all know couples that call it quits and say: “We’re just not happy anymore.” Really?
Is being married supposed to make you happy? No. That’s not how it works.
We’ll say it again: Marriage doesn’t make you happy – you make your marriage happy! As the saying goes, you bring your own weather to the picnic.
A happy marriage does not depend on the right circumstances or the perfect person. A happy marriage is the result of two people committed to making a happy life of love together.
Copyright © 2014 Les and Leslie Parrott, used with permission.