The Secret To True Happiness in a Relationship

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I’ve learnt in my short life that there is no one who is responsible for your happiness but yourself.

I can hear the critics now going “….but what about your children?  What about your husband…?”  – No, you critics are WRONG because when push comes to shove, the only person who knows what will truly make you happy is yourself.  You are the master of your emotion and you choose how to react to situations and occurrences.  You CHOOSE to be happy, you CHOOSE to be angry or upset and you CHOOSE what evokes positive and negative emotion in oneself.

I went through a period in my life where I was searching desperately for happiness – and I looked at every possible scenario in search of the elusive prize….it was then that I realized that I have to make myself happy – the people I was expecting to find happiness for me are actually are unable to do it – I am the only one who can choose how I live my life and who can choose to be happy.  Who else can dictate what makes me happy better?

When I first started living with my husband (then fiancé) I compromised as I heard couples have to do – I chose to give up a lot of what I wanted and a lot of what I believed just because he disagreed with it. I changed the way I dressed & acted and changed the food I ate, the places I went to and the events I attended just to avoid argument. Do you know what?  It led to more argument – mostly instigated by me because I was lying to myself and making myself so unhappy.

It is not worth it to compromise yourself, your culture or your religion for anyone – you do this and you will never find happiness.  To be happy in a relationship you need to truly compromise, without losing the characteristics of either of you that make you the awesome, loving people you are.

I am in a mixed culture, mixed race relationship.  My husband is of a very traditional European/Canadian background that, to me, sometimes is quite restrictive in their beliefs. I come from a Caribbean culture, the country and culture of origin of the true Caribbean Carnival, a vibrant culture based on socialization – often in ways that a traditional European culture would not accept as being “decent” or “proper”.

We have had massive problems compromising, but we have both reached to a point where we realize that if we ignore each other’s culture, or try to deny it, then not only have we have lost the person we fell in love with , but we’ve denied them themselves as well.  This is just not fair to either party.  It only results in unnecessary tension in the home.

So what’s the solution? 

  1. True compromise.

Decide what you will accept, let him decide what he will accept, discuss it and come to a happy medium – one in which neither partner feels as if they are “selling out” or losing a part of what they loved about their life before they met you.

  1. Be open when discussing it.

The fact is if he truly loves YOU, then you should be allowed to be YOU.  If you truly love HIM, allow him to thrive as the person HE is.

You are the only person, in the end, who can decide how much compromise is appropriate for your relationship – but I beg you to please, please, please look deep within yourself during the decision making process and ask yourself if this “compromise” is really compromising yourself just to fit into the relationship.  If it is – then your relationship is probably not worth it.

If I haven’t yet convinced you, think about it this way – the first rule in lifesaving is you don’t save someone unless you yourself are safe.  In the same manner, if you cannot find happiness within who you truly are, you cannot find it in an uneven compromise in a relationship. 

Be yourself and love yourself for it and then you will find true love and true happiness.