Why I’m Not Fond of the Saying, “Happy Wife, Happy Life”

The other day my husband and I were in a serious conversation. My heart was hurting and I was completely overwhelmed with life while I felt like my husband was living with no burdens at all. To me, it seemed as if all of the responsibilities of our lives were resting on my shoulders while he was living on easy street.

After we talked more (and I cried more), we discussed the expectations and standards of ourselves, our marriage, our children, and everything else in between.

During this conversation I came to realize we needed to take stock in our lives and make some changes. But as the conversation continued, it dawned on me that I needed to be more diligent in casting my cares on to the Lord, rather than on to my husband.

I also realized I was dealing with a syndrome I don’t care for. One that I was so easily deceived into thinking while I was having my own little pity party. This syndrome I’m referring to is the Happy Wife, Happy Life Syndrome.

I’m not a fan of this martial perspective because I think it does more harm than good. Maybe I feel this way because I know how deadly this deception could so easily undermine a Christ-centered marriage.

The mantra of a ‘Happy Wife, Happy Life’ is a flat out lie from Satan and it’s a self-serving way of life for me to embrace.

Does your spouse make you happy? Often in marriage, we can look to our spouse to meet all of our needs and even expect them to be responsible for our own happiness, and we end up missing out. We not only miss God's heart for marriage, but  his heart for us as well. If you find yourself there today, end the trap and pursue joy instead!

Happiness applies to one’s happenings, thus the minute our happenings change and are no longer perfect, then our attitude will change. Then we turn to our husband and expect him to change things so we can be ‘happy’ again. This is a viscous emotional cycle that is detrimental for a thriving marriage.

The premise of this saying is placing such a huge burden on our husbands’ shoulders expecting them to fulfill all of our needs so we can be ‘happy’. Not too mention the emotional manipulation game we can so easily play with our men, although they don’t know it!  It won’t take long in life for the disappointments to ensue since every human being is less than perfect.

The Happy Wife, Happy Life perspective will just lead to unmet expectations in marriage, which will lead to disappointment.  This is where I found myself the other day.

If I focus on living for and pleasing the Lord in my life then my perspective won’t be all about me. It will be about my Savior, the one who loves me unconditionally and the one who can meet all of my needs. My husband is not capable of meeting all of my needs. Some, yes. But not all. But if I go through life expecting my husband to make me happy, well that reality won’t last very long.

A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart. Luke 6:45 (NLT)

My heart is desperately wicked and it wants to be worshiped at every chance it gets. If I’m not careful to walk in discernment, my wishes could easily become an idol and wreak havoc on my marriage.

The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9

Instead of focusing on the happy wife life mantra, instead I’m going to pursue this…

“Joyful Wife, Joyful Life!”

How about you? Will you embrace this perspective for your marriage?

Blessings,

Jolene- JoleneEngle.com

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