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Love & Marriage Love & Marriage

The Secret to a Happy & Long Marriage - What do you think the goal of marriage should be?

Posted by on Nov. 8, 2013 at 8:47 AM
  • 16 Replies
1 mom liked this

Being Selfish Is the Secret to a Happy & Long Marriage

by Deborah Cruz

elderly coupleI recently read a post by Seth Adam Smith who, after a year and a half of marriage, has declared that marriage is not for you. He says it's not something you do to make yourself happy. This declaration struck me as odd because, at least in some part, marriage is for you. When you marry someone, you are not doing him or her a favor to your own detriment, and if that’s what you think, then you probably shouldn’t be getting married to that person or maybe anyone, for that matter.

Smith says his father shared this piece of wisdom with him when he was having second thoughts about getting married:

Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.

While I believe that we marry the person who we want to spend the rest of our lives with -- waking up to, kissing good night, raising children, loving and weathering the hard times with -- I believe we choose for us. We choose someone who will make us happy, most of the time.

The person we can tolerate when we can’t tolerate anyone else. I have expectations of my marriage. I expect unconditional love always; at my best and at my worst. I expect a soft place to land when I fall. I expect a shoulder to cry on. Arms to hold me when the pain of the world is too heavy to bear. I expect someone to listen when I need to talk and understand when I make no sense. I expect everything and I give absolutely everything in return.

Smith goes on to say that he has realized that,

No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?"

I don’t know if I agree that true love is never about you; it has to be sometimes because if you don’t care about your own needs and wants, how is anyone else supposed to?

Love is not about keeping track of who does what for whom, who is giving and who is receiving. Marriage is about loving. Picking up the slack when your partner needs you to. It’s about lifting your partner up with your words and actions. It’s giving completely and knowing that you are receiving everything you ever need when you need it.

Marriage is about never being alone; in your joy or your misery. I married my husband because he made me a better person, made my life better. With him in it, my life is a better version of what it would have been with anyone else and I’d like to think his is too.

We both got a partner whom we love and they love us back unconditionally. It is a partnership in life, parenthood, and a best friend. It's not about marrying the person who just benefits you the most. It’s the privilege of spending your life loving someone who loves you back just as hard.

What do you think the goal of marriage should be?

by on Nov. 8, 2013 at 8:47 AM
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Replies (1-10):
ReadWriteLuv
by Casey on Nov. 8, 2013 at 9:44 AM
1 mom liked this

A lifetime of laughter.

BonitaM
by Ruby Member on Nov. 8, 2013 at 9:51 AM
1 mom liked this

Marriage is having a best friend to do all sorts of crazy things with.  We never keep track of who does what for whom.  He's my husband and it's his job to make my world the best it can be and because I'm his wife it's my job to make his world the best it can be.  Putting the person you love before yourself should never be difficult.

Pnukey
by on Nov. 8, 2013 at 9:56 AM

One secret is to know when to put your husband's needs first and when your needs come first. There is an ebb and flow. It's not all one sided. 

Serenity7
by Platinum Member on Nov. 8, 2013 at 2:15 PM
1 mom liked this

 There is no secret to  happy marriage. You just need to keep working together to solve your problems

GotSomeKids
by Silver Member on Nov. 8, 2013 at 2:15 PM

Finding a good balance between selfishness and selflessness.

KatLee42513
by on Nov. 8, 2013 at 2:17 PM
1 mom liked this
For us? Not having to-do lists or chores. Things will get done when they get done. Our happiness is more I.oortant then the vacuuming getting done. Life is too short to have the most clean house. We got rid of to-do lists & our marriage changed drastically.
melly_v88
by on Nov. 8, 2013 at 2:20 PM
2 moms liked this

I think the goal of marriage is experiencing the world with someone else. A witness to your life, someone to appreciate you and what you do for this world and to appreciate them as well. Someone to always have on your side, to know what your inner most thoughts are, someone who accepts you and all your flaws ... a lifetime of being with your best friend <3

beeky
by Alexandra on Nov. 8, 2013 at 8:16 PM

My goal is a lifetime of love and companionship.

Without my husband, I would feel empty.

la_bella_vita
by Bella on Nov. 8, 2013 at 9:56 PM
1 mom liked this

 We are best friends, lovers and soul mates. (That is what we always say to each other). A key to a good marriage is honestly, respect, communication and trust. Being friends, laughing together and having fun.

MomToovey
by Marianne on Nov. 8, 2013 at 10:45 PM

 What has worked best for us so far is good communication, complete honesty, and lots of quality time together :)

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