Are you really happy in your relationship? (1)
is happiness just a state of bliss and smiles? Or is their a distinction between true happiness and just happy?
I submit that “true happiness with one’s partner comes from a state of contentment that has nothing to do with your material possession.
Consider the following: Chineme and Paul, her husband of 22 years, have struggled with this definition individually and collectively for the past five years and each of them have come to my listening ears just to get my perspective.
So, Chineme says to me as we gathered amongst friends having a good time: “Dr. NJ, what is true happiness? I am ready to call it quits this year with Paul. He doesn’t excite me, doesn’t hold my hand, and doesn’t contribute to the things that concern me. He is just there like part of the furniture, I am not truly happy with him.”
My two friends and I were disturbed as we looked up to see Paul on the other side of the living room looking very dejected as if he heard our conversation on this end. I blurted out: what do you mean Chineme?
She continued to list all her grievances with Paul – issues with the way he behaved both publicly and privately and the like. Our friend, who sat with us in the lounge, suggested that may be Chineme’s dissatisfaction was a result of her conservative nature. It goes without saying, that the modern ideas about female role within the marriage also mirror our “traditional responsibilities.” The woman should satisfy her husband and make him happy.
“So in modern times, Chineme has failed because she is too conservative and does not give Paul what he wants especially sexually and traditionally. The source of happiness lies in “what the woman is capable of bringing into the marriage: children, luck, satisfaction,” the friend said.
So Chineme is at cross roads and she is blamed even by us sitting in that room as we barraged her with the question: “what do you mean?” and our belief that may be she is at fault.
But wait a minute: many of us are dissatisfied in our own marriages too? Aren’t we tired of being responsible for everyone else’s happiness? Whose job is it to make us truly happy? Many men are just like Paul. They provide financially and demand sex just for their satisfaction, never mind that, we need cuddling, affection, and romance.
So, Chineme continues: “Paul does not really care about my needs. He does not even notice whether I gain weight or not, whether my hair is tidy or not, whether I feel sad or not, whether I have been down with a cold for the past two days. I need him to notice me.”
She adds: “When he wants sex, he just takes it and turns and falls asleep. Can’t he talk to me for 10 minutes at least? I still provide half of the income for us to live the way we do so it is not like I am completely irrelevant.”
Our other friend who had been quiet except for her initial contributions about culture and modern times then blurted out: “Wait, you are better than me. I literally finance our lifestyle, yet he still treats me like I am non-existent. I even pay for his cellphone as well as everything else, yet he does not appreciate me. He still expects sex, which I give. I must come from Mars.”
I doubt that any woman will tolerate these guys except if they were having affairs, and if so then what he does would not matter.
I listened to these two women talk about their contributions in the home and the lack of attention from their husbands and it was a no brainer to say that they are not “truly happy.”
So what is true happiness” I dared to ask Chineme. What would make her truly happy? And she said: “I don’t even mind supporting everyone if he would appreciate me and say thank you once in a while.” I noticed that she dragged the conversation back to Paul and I chimed in: if he says please and thank you, you would be happy?