How Can I Have a Happy Marriage?

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by Susan H.

“All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you do ye even so to them.”

One year our entire family participated in a musical play which a man in our church was putting on.  My husband was an assistant to the producer; our eldest daughter, age 10, was a member of the family in the play; our sons ages 6 and 8 had little walk-on, non-speaking parts; our children ages 2 and 4 sat on the front row during rehearsals and performances sucking their thumbs and holding their blankets, and I played the piano for the chorus rehearsals.  Even our baby, only 6 weeks old, was used in the last scene.  It took four or five months of preparations and rehearsals to get ready for performance, and my husband was gone from home much of the time helping out.  Many other members of our congregation were also involved in the play, be it in the cast, the chorus, the stage crew, the publicity, or in any other way.  A lot of time and energy were expended by many people to produce it.

At last the play was performed, and it was successful and fun.  We had a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction.  After the last performance a cast party was held in a local clubhouse.  My husband went ahead to it while I gathered up the children and props we had brought.  By the time we got there, the party was in full swing, and nobody seemed to notice or care that we had arrived.  I saw my husband in a group of people gathered around the leading lady.  There were no other children for mine to associate with, so I quickly decided to leave and took my children out to the dark parking lot and car.

Once we got home, I put the children to bed.  I was not happy at all.  I felt overlooked, unappreciated, jealous, and angry.  As I entertained angry feelings about my husband, the thought came into my mind that I could practice the Golden Rule:  “All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you do ye even so to them.” I sat down in the living room to think about this idea.  I saw that I could choose to either attack my husband when he came home with a diatribe of my grievances, or I could treat him as I would like to be treated.  The easy route would be to spill out all my anger, focusing solely upon myself and my indignation.  This night I chose the more difficult but more mature route of focusing upon him.

When my husband came home, he seemed surprised to find me pleasant and happy.  I asked him if he had enjoyed the party and how he felt about the play.  I showed him affection, love, and kindness.  He responded in kind.  By the time we went to bed, I was genuinely happy.  Truly, treating others as you would like to be treated is a blessing for one’s self as well as others.  It is the way to have a happy marriage.

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