“… it’s not anybody else’s job to “make” me feel better or different… whenever I’ve left the job of “Make me happy!” up to someone or something else, it ends up causing me a lot of needless suffering… happiness is an inside job.” – Mike Stewart, Life Lover
I’ve definitely fallen into this trap. In the past I would hang my happiness on the woman I was with—as long as she was loving towards me and happy, I was happy too. This was a disastrous recipe for success in relationships. No one will ever ALWAYS be happy with me, so I was essentially guaranteeing my misery by having my happiness contingent upon how she felt, or how she treated me.
These days, I’m not dependent upon the approval or expression of love by my wife (of 20 years). Don’t get me wrong, we love each other like crazy and both think highly of each other, but we all have our moments (often they have nothing to do with each other). Instead, I live the program by consistently working the daily deal to make me feel good. And then, even if my wife isn’t feeling great, instead of being needy and reactive, I can be the spiritual leader in the family by hugging her and telling her how wonderful, beautiful and special she is (which is always true). When I take care of my emotional and spiritual needs, I can be a great man to those I love, regardless of how they’re feeling. And when I do that… ILML!