I was talking to my husband, Jon, the other day about an engaged couple. My husband told me the guy felt that no matter what he does, the female is not satisfied. She says that she wants something, he gets the item or performs the task, but still she complains.
Jon said he chuckled, thinķing, “Been there!”
I smiled. Admittedly, I have had to work on being content. I am certainly not where I need to be, but thank God I no longer occupy a space of mostly being discontent.
Hearing about this couple made me think, made me want to blog, to share.
Contentment is a difficult space to occupy… for me at least. Before I met and married Jon, I felt like I had just gotten to a place of contentment. I was pleased with my spiritual growth. I loved my job, my church, my friends. I was content with my life. I was happily free in this space. Were there things that I wanted, goals to achieve? Of course! All I’m saying is that I was happy with where I was. I was not pining away, or crying myself to sleep any longer because I wanted more right then.
Anyway, after Jon and I married, well after we moved in together (refer to Falling in Love, Again…), things got shaky. Because of other insecurities I started to occupy a space of discontentment. Jon, being the caring husband that he is, tried to bring me happiness, contentment. He didn’t realize it, but he was feeding a monster. There was nothing that he could do to make me content. Don’t get me wrong, his love was great, but I was unsatisfied within myself. Only me and God could fix what was broken because only we could see into me. My discontentment was eating away at our marriage.
So, how did I get out of this space? Good question. I had to go to the source of my happiness, my contentment. Christ.
One day Jon anď I had an argument about who knows what and I pushed him to the brink. He left. He said he couldn’t deal with me anymore.
I sat on the couch dumb founded. “What the what?!” I thought. “Where did he go? Is he coming back? O my God, is our marriage over?”
I cried. I cried hard. I tried calling him but his phone was off. I cried harder.
I started to pray. I said something like,
As I sat on the couch, a mess of tears, my eyes fell on a book laying on the coffee table. Simple Secrets of a Great Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend. I had never looked at it before, but the title grabbed my attention. I wanted to know the secret. The authors begin by discussing growth versus happiness stating,
“Many couples are swept up in the fantasy that happiness is the supreme goal of marriage. Now there is certainly nothing intrinsically wrong with wanting to be happy. Happiness is a good and positive thing, and a gift from God. Psalm 68:3 says, “May the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; May they be happy and joyful.O But in reality, happiness is not a good goal for life or marriage. A much better goal is growth, and one of the byproducts of growth is happiness” (Cloud & Townsend 19)