When my husband, James, and I were dating, just seeing his face would send me reeling with happiness. Electricity shot through my body when he reached for my hand. One beautiful spring day, we were staring into each other's eyes. He asked me dreamily, "Do you know what I see when I look into your eyes?"
"What do you see?" I asked anxiously.
"I see the letters 'A, V.' Your contact lenses say 'A, V!' "
I went home and popped out my contact lenses. He was right! I couldn't believe I had found a man who looked so closely into my eyes that he knew what my lenses said.
I married that wonderful man 15 years ago. He still looks into my eyes and knows me better than anyone else. But the butterflies which characterized those early days together usually don't fly around my stomach anymore (although they do appear occasionally). You don't have to be married very long before you realize it's not your husband's job to make you happy. He's human and he will fail your expectations, just as you will fail his.
This year I'm on a quest to have a happier marriage, not by changing my spouse, but by changing me. Cindi McMenamin, author of When a Woman Inspires Her Husband, said, "For years I was praying that my husband would change and adapt to me. I finally had to say God, change me. Make me the kind of wife he needs. All of a sudden, there was a different equation. Our marriage changed for good, and I became a happy wife."
Isn't that good news? Being a happier wife isn't about waiting for your man to change, hoping for good genetics, or finding perfect circumstances. It's more about what you set your mind on becoming. Using an acronym for HAPPY, I have decided to focus on becoming more . . .
Hopeful. Hope acts as the foundation and fuel for change. When you place your hope in God, not in your husband or circumstances, you open the door for joy to flow into your life. Sometimes, if we are honest with ourselves, we don't want to be cured of our unhappiness. It's easier to wallow in self-pity or commiserate with friends over coffee about our disappointments. Setting a course for change may be harder at first, but it brings a lifetime of blessings and a much easier life later. Let hope arise in your heart. Feed hope daily by reading God's Word, listening to positive messages about marriage, reading marriage books, and spending time with couples who have strong marriages.