Tag Archives: Happiness

It’s Not About YOUR Happiness [Podcast]

forever

Society wrongly views marriage as being all about “my happiness,” and about “me feeling loved.” Consequently, if someone’s marriage isn’t making them happy, if they doesn’t feel they’re being loved adequately, then it’s viewed as “a Bad Marriage. ” The insufficiently happy spouse virtually has an imperative to leave that marriage, and look for one in which they will feel sufficiently loved and happy–and it can take two or three or four tries! This is making the commitment to “Your Own Happiness” rather than making the commitment to your spouse–and it is exactly backward.

1.  Your happiness doesn’t depend on your spouse
Like all life, marriage is fundamentally about GOD! Marriage is what God says it is.  We find our happiness within ourselves by obeying God. Much of the unhappiness we feel is often related to some sin in our life: either we are avoiding sin (as in justifying it or enabling it), denying sin (as in not admitting to ourselves that what we are doing is sin–denial), or continuing in sin when we know better (as in, “this sin feels good and I want to keep doing it!”).   So to stop feeling unhappy, admit that what you are doing is sin and stop it.  If the sin that’s making you unhappy is your spouse’s sin, then stop enabling them and look to your own self to do the right thing.

Also, our spouses do not “make” us happy, even though we hear this all the time.  Yes, our spouses can affect the environment of our home and lives, but ultimately we choose our feelings.  Do not put responsibility for yourself onto your spouse.  If you do not feel loved, then BUILD love with your spouse honorably in your marriage, BUILD healthy self-worth by reading the Bible and believing who you are (a dearly beloved child of the Most High God), and BUILD happiness by obeying God!

2. Your happiness doesn’t depend on your marriage
Each marriage vow is a little unique and yet most marriage vows have a few commonalities. Most include something about “forsaking all others” meaning that there is a promise to focus 100% of affection and loyalty on the person you are marrying.  Most also include something about “for better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness and health”…well are you happy in worse, poorer and sickness? Are you happy when the worst strikes? Are you happy eating bologna sandwiches every day because you lost your job? Are you happy when you or your spouse are ill?  NO!

Marriage may well be about suffering… and not necessarily for doing anything wrong.
Happiness (and love) in a marriage don’t necessarily just organically arrive–it’s not a feeling that just comes naturally (although sometimes it can feel easy).  Rather it is something you build by obeying and by honoring your commitment.

Marriage is a covenant to your spouse in front of friends, family and God…and it is honored by working at being soulmates, by having intimate heart-to-hearts in the warmth of acceptance, hearing the most valued praise and understanding this earth has to offer.

3. Marriage is for holiness
Marriage is a covenant…a sacred discipline designed to help you know God better, love Him more deeply, and trust Him more fully.  It is about serving your spouse (not “your happiness”) and loving your spouse (not “being loved”). Society has it exactly backward, focusing on “me, me, me!” and as a Christian, the focus is on pleasing God and spending your lifetime learning about your spouse so intimately that you can love them well.

For a man, marriage is about:

For a woman, marriage is about:

So rather than viewing marriage as if it is all about YOUR happiness and YOU feeling adequately loved–view marriage in the exact opposite way. In a lifetime of covenant commitment, good times and bad times are going to come, so come to to see marriage as all of life: as a vessel used by God for you to come to know Him better.  The bad times, when they come, are not going to “make you happy” but they will be used as life lessons to teach you to think and live in a godly way.

 

[audio:  https://s3.amazonaws.com/affaircare-podcast/2016/Edited+20160324+Its+Not+About+Your+Happiness+(online-audio-converter.com).mp3]
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Ask Affaircare: Should I Stay or Go? Can God Restore This Marriage?

AskAffaircare

The Ask Affaircare Series started because our readers have questions. About Affairs. Reconciling. Marriage. Divorce. Christianity. The Bible. And God.  Initially, we tried to answer each question through e-mail, but we quickly realized that there were many people asking many similar questions, so we started this weekly series!

It’s not our goal to make you agree with us, but rather to explore what the Bible says in thoughtful, and clear manner. Additionally, we try to write our answers in a loving but truthful manner (Ephesians 4:15) because we know there is a real person – with real struggles and dreams – behind every single question. Thank for you visiting Affaircare. Keep those questions coming!


Our question today comes two Loyal Spouses who essentially ask the same question.  Stay or Go wrote:

My man is cheating on me. I have caught him more than once but he continues to do it. Do I stay or do I go now?

and Can God Restore This Marriage wrote:

…so my husband has had several affairs over our 18-year relationship. I found out about them all at once we started going to counseling with our pastor and his wife. during that time he began cheating again. I just found out and while my pastor believes that god can restore this marriage I wonder if we have messed this up so bad. at first I was feeling like I cannot deal with this at all so I will just pretend to not know and move on. It’s been a few days and now I don’t know if I will ever be able to trust him again!

First, we have to say that when we answered “Ask Affaircare” last week, it was just a wee bit long.  This week we will endeavor to keep it shorter!

Dear Stay or Go and Can God Restore This,

We aren’t going to tell you what to do–you two are both adults and personally responsible for your choices. If you choose to stay, do so because you have made a decision to stand firm and then stand firm. If you choose to go, do so because the natural consequence of adultery is breaking the marriage covenant. Thus, if the adulterer BROKE it, they would have to be the one to REPAIR IT by coming to themselves and truly repenting. If they don’t, then divorcing is just one of the natural consequences of the choice that they made to break the marriage covenant.

In the end, the decision is yours and you will reap both the benefits and pay the costs of whatever you choose.  EVERY choice–every decision–has both a benefit and a cost, and usually people make their choices because ‘the perceived benefit’ is more valuable than ‘the perceived cost.’  Now we all know that people are sinful and that the qualities that sinful people value are not the qualities that bring glory and honor to God!  Thus, a selfish person may “value” the ego-boosting flattery of opposite sex attention over the godly commitment to the spouse of their youth.

So since we are not going to tell you what to decide, how about if we look at what the Bible tells us and help you to figure out how to make your own decision?

1.  What are you committed to?  Many people place a commitment to their own happiness ahead of their commitment to their spouse.  Many people put their commitment to ease ahead of the covenant they made before God to put the effort into loving their spouse!

So one way you can decide whether to Stay or Go…is to consider “What are YOU committed to?” Honoring your promise?  -OR- Your own happiness?

2. What did Jesus say about Divorce?  Well…let’s look! Matthew 19:8-9: Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning.   I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

So straight from Jesus’ mouth, He says you CAN divorce for sexual immorality–that is to say, you are ‘allowed’–but notice that He doesn’t say you MUST.  It’s not a commandment. So if you don’t want to divorce after your spouse is unfaithful, God doesn’t require it of us, but He does allow divorce for that one exception: sexual immorality.

3. Obviously God CAN restore–He has the ability to do anything.  He is God!  He can choose to suspend the law of gravity or choose to make the sun stand still if He wills!  So the question is not “CAN God restore this marriage?” but rather “Will He? Is it His will?”  One of the best suggestions we can give you to decide what IS and IS NOT God’s will is to read the Bible.  The more you read the Bible, the more you have the opportunity to get to know God’s mind.  The more you know God mind, the easier it is to determine if something is God’s will or not!

4.  What about forgiveness?  Many times people think that “forgiveness” means “forgetting” or “approving” — and nothing could be further from the truth.  We are never, ever told to approve of known sin, nor to just forget about it as if it never happened.  What ARE we told about forgiveness then?  Well let’s look at Luke 17:3-4 “So watch yourselves. If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”

But what if they don’t “come to themselves” or repent (meaning, act and think 180 differently and stop their sin)?  Do we have to forgive then? It doesn’t say we MUST–but it also doesn’t say we can’t! So we are allowed to forgive even if they don’t ask!

So we are still not going to tell you what to decide.  Instead we pray that this look at what the Bible tells us has helped you to figure out how to make your own decision.  We would also like to invite you to come back on Friday to listen to the podcast–either on the Affaircare YouTube channel, on iTunes or Stitcher, or here on the blog–because we’ll be going into even more detail on how to decide if you should stay…or you should go.

Happiness Month! Day 31: Vivacious

Today is Day 31 of Happiness Month and it is the last day!  Can you believe it?  This all started at the Secret Society of Happy People and if you want to pop over there and become an Amused Member, you can get a Free 31 Types of Happiness poster.  As you can tell by my daily #HappinessHappens tweets and Facebook posts, I’ve been a member for a long, long time!

Today, to add happiness to your life: Vivacious!  A person can sit quietly reading and be very happy, but today be someone who bubbles forth with life and vitality. Increase your happiness by breaking out of the “routine” and being full of life!

The word “vivacious” is an adjective, meaning it describes, and it means:

  • Attractively lively and animated; lively in temper, conduct, or spirit.

When your spouse has had an affair, it can be easy to fall into the trap of constantly wanting to “work on fixing the marriage” or study about infidelity.  But life is not about always “working” and “studying”–sometimes it’s just being full of  joie de vivre…the Joy of LIFE!!  Today be attractive.  Put some COLOR on and be lively.  Put on that KNOCK OUT red dress, those pumps (you know the ones) and some shockingly red lipstick and DANCE!  Wear a banana and some flowers on your head, wrap a sheet around into a saree, and make him laugh.  Or if your a guy, don’t be the man who analyzes the dishes in the sink or the amount of progress you’ve made in the relationship…be the guy who brings home a limo and says “Come on honey we’re going to McDonald’s for dinner!”  LOL!  For this one day, enjoy life and the person with whom you’re sharing your life.

Over the past month, we have gone over all 31 ways to Add Happiness Every Day. You know too often I hear young people say “He doesn’t make me happy” or “I wish she would make me happy” but you know what? Happiness is not something that someone else “makes” you feel. You make choices in your life that can affect your happiness….and ultimately you CHOOSE whether to be happy every day or not. You can also choose to do things that would add happiness to your life every single today.

Beholding Glory

Happiness Month! Day 30: Sweet

Today is Day 30 of Happiness Month and it is almost over!  Can you believe it? This all started at the Secret Society of Happy People and if you want to pop over there and become an Amused Member, you can get a Free 31 Types of Happiness poster. As you can tell by my daily #HappinessHappens tweets and Facebook posts, I’ve been a member for a long, long time!

Today, to add happiness to your life: Sweet!  Some days it’s appropriate to stand up for yourself and enforce boundaries…and other days it’s appropriate to be the sweet, loving person you are inside. Choose to be sweet today–and for fun share something sweet (like go out for a piece of pie)!

The word “sweet” can be an adjective (describing you) or a noun.  As an adjective, it means:

  • Having the pleasant taste characteristic of sugar or honey; not salty, sour, or bitter.

And as a noun, “sweet” means:

  • Used as an affectionate form of address to a person one is very fond of: “hello, my sweet”.

Now I realize that when people use the term “sweet” to describe a person they don’t really mean that they taste like sugar or honey!  But they may very well mean that the person is not sour or is not bitter, and they may definitely be thinking back to the day when you two called each other affectionate names.  So to add some happiness to your life today, take a moment to look in the mirror.  Do you act, behave and talk like a sour old grouch?  Do you complain or find fault with everything?  Are you bitter because life wasn’t “fair” and you didn’t get what you “deserve”?  Then today is the day to add happiness by being sweet!  Act, behave and talk pleasant.  Find one good thing in everything your spouse does or says and then say it out loud to them.  Instead of viewing what you “didn’t get” in life, look at what you DID GET!!  And demonstrate this “turning over a new leaf” by sharing a sweet dessert with your spouse while you call them by their affectionate name!  Sweet as Cherry Pie!

Over the past month, we have gone over all 31 ways to Add Happiness Every Day. You know too often I hear young people say “He doesn’t make me happy” or “I wish she would make me happy” but you know what? Happiness is not something that someone else “makes” you feel. You make choices in your life that can affect your happiness….and ultimately you CHOOSE whether to be happy every day or not. You can also choose to do things that would add happiness to your life every single today.

Happiness Month! Day 29: Surprise


Today is Day 29 of Happiness Month and it is almost over!  Can you believe it? This all started at the Secret Society of Happy People and if you want to pop over there and become an Amused Member, you can get a Free 31 Types of Happiness poster. As you can tell by my daily #HappinessHappens tweets and Facebook posts, I’ve been a member for a long, long time!

Today, to add happiness to your life: Surprise!  Be sneaky, be devious, and plan a big surprise for your spouse or your friend…enjoy their joy and the surprise on their face!

The word “surprise” can be both a noun and a verb.  As a noun, it means:

  • An unexpected or astonishing event, fact, or thing.

As a verb–that means an action where we have to do something–it means”

  • Cause someone to feel mild astonishment or shock over something unexpected.

Just like yesterday’s post about being spontaneous, it’s hard to “plan” a surprise, but we women often say how much we enjoy “the little things” and what are “the little things” if not the occasional nice surprise?  Sometimes it’s a little gift to show you were thinking of them.  Sometimes it’s wearing something your spouse has always wanted you to wear and you didn’t want to wear it.  Sometimes it’s making dinner for her or rubbing his feet for him.  Sometimes it’s writing “I love you” on the mirror so they see it in the morning.  Sometimes it’s paying a bill because you earned a little extra money.  Whatever it is, give your spouse that feeling of mild astonishment–and increase your own happiness by pleasing them.

Over the next days, we’ll be going over all 31 ways to Add Happiness Every Day. You know too often I hear young people say “He doesn’t make me happy” or “I wish she would make me happy” but you know what? Happiness is not something that someone else “makes” you feel. You make choices in your life that can affect your happiness….and ultimately you CHOOSE whether to be happy every day or not. You can also choose to do things that would add happiness to your life every single today.

Happiness Month! Day 28: Spontaneous

 

Today is Day 28 of Happiness Month and it will be continuing all month long. This all started at the Secret Society of Happy People and if you want to pop over there and become an Amused Member, you can get a Free 31 Types of Happiness poster. As you can tell by my daily #HappinessHappens tweets and Facebook posts, I’ve been a member for a long, long time!

Today, to add happiness to your life: Spontaneous!   Don’t plan. Don’t schedule. Just go on the spur of the moment, be crazy, and have fun. Be Happy.

The word “spontaneous” is an adjective.  It means:

  1. Performed or occurring without premeditation or external stimulus: “spontaneous applause“.
  2.  Having a natural, and uninhibited manner.

Some people, myself included, love the security and consistency of a plan.  I make lists of everything and then prioritize them and then I follow the list.  It’s a great way to get the “most important things” done but I lose a lot of the joy of having a natural, uninhibited manner.  So today, to add some happiness to your life, do something spontaneous.  Yes–PLAN to be spontaneous! LOL

Over the next days, we’ll be going over all 31 ways to Add Happiness Every Day. You know too often I hear young people say “He doesn’t make me happy” or “I wish she would make me happy” but you know what? Happiness is not something that someone else “makes” you feel. You make choices in your life that can affect your happiness….and ultimately you CHOOSE whether to be happy every day or not. You can also choose to do things that would add happiness to your life every single today.

Happiness Month! Day 27: Spirituality

Today is Day 27 of Happiness Month and it will be continuing all month long. This all started at the Secret Society of Happy People and if you want to pop over there and become an Amused Member, you can get a Free 31 Types of Happiness poster. As you can tell by my daily #HappinessHappens tweets and Facebook posts, I’ve been a member for a long, long time!

Today, to add happiness to your life: Spirituality!   “…the deepest values and meanings by which people live.”  Spirituality is often experienced as a source of inspiration or orientation in life.  So take time out today to pray or attend a worship service.

The word “spirituality” is a noun, and it means:

  •  sensitivity or attachment to religious values.
  •  the quality of one’s sensitivity to the things of the spirit.

This day and age, people use that term to mean SO MANY things, but since Affaircare is a site that offers Christian nouthetic counseling, I’m going to focus my comments today on Christian spirituality and how that relates to happiness.  One justification that people frequently give for having an affair is something like “I deserve to be happy” and all month we’ve been discussing how happiness is not a feeling, but rather a choice to be happy.  This whole month we’ve been talking about ways to increase your happiness every day.   But to find real happiness and truly reconcile your marriage requires more than just your will or determination.  It requires God.

The Bible tells us that all of us (including me!) are sinners and fall short of the perfection required by God–see Romans 3:23.  Yes, God requires perfection–not just “do your best” or “try really hard.”   Because we are all sinful, we are spiritually dead–see Ephesians 2:1.   II Corinthians 5:21 says that “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us” so we could be brought back to spiritual life!   Romans 5:6 tells us that while we were without strength (spiritually dead)  that Christ died for us in our place.

Envision people in a sea who are drowned, and the “sea” is the sin that we live in every day….and the drowning is the spiritual death.  We can’t even help ourselves!  We’re dead!   The consequence for sin is spiritual death–but God loved us and sent His Son to pay the penalty in our place.  Justice was served and the price was paid!  Christ’s death and resurrection are like a spiritual lifeline, and God pulls us out of the sin we’ve drowned in and brings us back to life!

You know there’s that one verse in John that everyone knows:  John 3:16For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”?   Now you know what it means!  To find TRUE happiness and TRULY reconcile your marriage after adultery requires God.

Over the next days, we’ll be going over all 31 ways to Add Happiness Every Day. You know too often I hear young people say “He doesn’t make me happy” or “I wish she would make me happy” but you know what? Happiness is not something that someone else “makes” you feel. You make choices in your life that can affect your happiness….and ultimately you CHOOSE whether to be happy every day or not. You can also choose to do things that would add happiness to your life every single today.
The Alabaster Jar  

Happiness Month! Day 24: Play

Today is Day 24 of Happiness Month and it will be continuing all month long. This all started at the Secret Society of Happy People and if you want to pop over there and become an Amused Member, you can get a Free 31 Types of Happiness poster. As you can tell by my daily #HappinessHappens tweets and Facebook posts, I’ve been a member for a long, long time!

Today, to add happiness to your life:  Play!!  Remember squit guns and merry-go-rounds and swinging so high you thought you’d flip over? Why don’t we do that anymore?

The word “play” is both a noun and a verb.  As a noun, it means:

  • Activity engaged in for enjoyment and recreation.

As a verb it is an action we have to DO…and it means:

  • Engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.

Now playing can mean different things to different people.  I’m sure some married couples can not even imagine playing with their spouse–after all, they are “grown ups” and “grown ups” don’t behave like that.  But in order to give your marriage some joy and give your own happiness a shot in the arm, it is vitally important to play with your spouse!  Dear Hubby and I happen to play several games together–our rule is that we don’t play them “by ourselves” so the game doesn’t become a higher priority that each other.  But we also go have picnics, listen to music, watch movies, read books to each other, go to classic car shows, watch football…we do ALL KINDS of fun, playful things together.  My Dear Hubby does not roll down hills or tickle–that does not mean “fun” or playing to him.  So the trick is to find out what your spouse finds enjoyable and either learn a bit about it yourself and share their interest…maybe ask them to explain it to you… or to share with them something that YOU find fun and show them why they might enjoy it as well!

Over the next days, we’ll be going over all 31 ways to Add Happiness Every Day. You know too often I hear young people say “He doesn’t make me happy” or “I wish she would make me happy” but you know what? Happiness is not something that someone else “makes” you feel. You make choices in your life that can affect your happiness….and ultimately you CHOOSE whether to be happy every day or not. You can also choose to do things that would add happiness to your life every single today.

 

Beholding Glory

Happiness Month! Day 22: Optimism

Today is Day 22 of Happiness Month and it will be continuing all month long. This all started at the Secret Society of Happy People and if you want to pop over there and become an Amused Member, you can get a Free 31 Types of Happiness poster. As you can tell by my daily #HappinessHappens tweets and Facebook posts, I’ve been a member for a long, long time!

Today, to add happiness to your life:  Optimism!  Some people have naturally optimistic personalities, but if you are not someone blessed with that trait, today is your day to practice looking at your glass as half full.

The word “optimism” is a noun, and it means:

  1. Hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something.
  2. The belief that this world is the best of all possible worlds.

Some people are born optimistic and it comes to them like breathing–that’s just how they are.  Others see things more skeptically (or they might say “realistically”) and they accuse optimists of being Pollyanna-ish or wearing rose colored glasses.  But since we know that happiness is a CHOICE and not something that someone else “makes” you feel, you can add happiness to your life today if you actually practice seeing the silver lining in the clouds.  That doesn’t mean you don’t see the clouds!  Just for today, practice the seeing the bright side of life and say it out loud.  Optimism can be extremely hard while your spouse is involved in an affair, but it can mean a lot to the recovery of the marriage if your attitude is positive, hopeful, and conveys that the future will be okay.

Over the next days, we’ll be going over all 31 ways to Add Happiness Every Day. You know too often I hear young people say “He doesn’t make me happy” or “I wish she would make me happy” but you know what? Happiness is not something that someone else “makes” you feel. You make choices in your life that can affect your happiness….and ultimately you CHOOSE whether to be happy every day or not. You can also choose to do things that would add happiness to your life every single today.

Happiness Month! Day 21: Nostalgia

Today is Day 21 of Happiness Month and it will be continuing all month long. This all started at the Secret Society of Happy People and if you want to pop over there and become an Amused Member, you can get a Free 31 Types of Happiness poster. As you can tell by my daily #HappinessHappens tweets and Facebook posts, I’ve been a member for a long, long time!

Today, to add happiness to your life:  Nostalgia!   Happiness gets a shot in the arm when you “remember when…” Remember those Christmases as a kid? Your bestest bestest friend? That first date? The birth of your first child? See that smile on your face? Take a little time to be nostalgic today.

The word “nostalgia” is a noun.  It means:

  1. A sentimental longing for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.
  2. The evocation of these feelings or tendencies.

Remember how much you were looking forward to loving someone?  Remember when you first met your spouse? Remember how handsome he was or how pretty she looked?  Remember how fun it was getting to know him/her?  Remember how much time you spent together?  Remember how you told him/her EVERYTHING?  Remember how you did all those special little things for him or her?  Remember how nervous you were when you got engaged?  Remember the wedding?  And the honeymoon!

Over the next days, we’ll be going over all 31 ways to Add Happiness Every Day. You know too often I hear young people say “He doesn’t make me happy” or “I wish she would make me happy” but you know what? Happiness is not something that someone else “makes” you feel. You make choices in your life that can affect your happiness….and ultimately you CHOOSE whether to be happy every day or not. You can also choose to do things that would add happiness to your life every single today.