Why “He Just Doesn’t Make Me Happy” Is An Unhealthy Thought

he just doesn't make me happy

By Lisa Kaplin, Divorced Girl Smiling Contributor, Psy. D., CPC, Certified Life and Executive Coach and psychologist

Have you ever heard this saying, “Happy wife, happy life?” Or, “It’s my job to make my husband happy?” Or, “He just doesn’t make me happy?” I so often hear people talking about being responsible for someone else’s happiness or holding someone responsible for their satisfaction in life. Think about the pressure of that statement, but also the lack of personal responsibility.

If someone else is responsible for my happiness, then what exactly is my responsibility? To passively wait for them to behave exactly the way I want them to? Not only is that lazy, but it’s also taking away all choice and responsibility for finding my own happiness in life. It’s the perfect victim mentality if you want to not own your own destiny.

 

On the other hand, what if you were responsible for your own happiness and your partner was responsible for themselves as well? Would this mean you wouldn’t do things that your partner enjoyed? Of course not. Just the opposite. However, if your partner wasn’t happy, you wouldn’t put the burden on yourself to turn that around. Maybe you’d be a partner in their happiness, but not the one ultimately responsible.

 

Katz and Stefani Family Law Attorneys

 

When we own our own happiness, we get to choose how we feel regardless of what is going on around us. My partner is angry and yelling? I don’t have to engage in that. My partner wants me to do something that I don’t want to do and thus they are upset with me? That’s their problem and not mine. I’m not saying you shouldn’t do things to make your partner happy. But rather that your partner’s happiness shouldn’t depend on you doing what he or she wants.

 

 

I remember a psychology professor teaching our class about the word and the concept of “enmeshment”. She told us it’s a version of enabling in that we are so enmeshed or entwined with other’s feelings that we take on their emotions as our own. This is not only draining, but ultimately enables them to not take full responsibility for themselves.

 

Being responsible for anyone’s happiness but our own is the biggest and most burdensome relationship lie. It’s not that we have a lack of feelings or empathy for our loved ones, but rather that we have a detached involvement. We hear them, we empathize or even sympathize, but we know and believe that their emotions belong to them and our emotions belong to each of us. It’s empowering for both people in a relationship to believe and live this.

 

So start today! Own your own happiness and let your loved ones do the same. Watch how you each will grow and thrive when you take responsibility for yourself, your feelings, and how you approach the world. Let me know how you do.

 

he just doesn't make me happy

Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D., CPC is a professional certified life and executive coach, psychologist, and professional speaker. She helps people tackle that “One day I’ll do this and then I’ll be happy” goal, today.  You can reach Lisa at Lisa@lisakaplin.com or lisakaplin.com. This article was originally published on Lisa’s blog.

Like this article? Check out, “Relationship advice: The One Thing You Can’t Give Your spouse”

 

 

Take the quiz to get recommendations Divorced Girl Smiling Trusted Partners

Sign up for the Divorced Girl Smiling newsletter to get weekly articles on divorce and dating.

Sign up
Listen to the Divorced Girl Smiling podcast! a weekly show about divorce and dating Download the Divorced Girl Smiling mobile app

Gmail

LinkedIn
The Center for Divorce Recovery
Ruthe Schwartz, Insurance and Financial Professional
Divorced Girl Smiling welcome video

Featured Expert Articles

Jackie Pilossoph Jackie Pilossoph
Creator, Editor-in-chief, Divorced Girl Smiling

20 Things I Wish I Could Have Told My Newly Separated Self

Leslie Glazier Leslie Glazier, CDRE
Real Estate Agent, @properties, Certified Real Estate Divorce Specialist

Keeping the House in a Divorce: Your Options

Tiffany Hughes Tiffany Hughes
Divorce Attorney and Managing Partner, The Law Office of Tiffany M. Hughes

10 Big Divorce Mistakes You Really Don’t Want to Make

Anna Krolikowska Anna Krolikowska
Divorce Attorney, Anna K. Law, President, Illinois State Bar Association

Filing for Divorce? What Women Need To Know Beforehand

Tami Wollensak Tami Wollensak, CDLP
Certified Divorce Lending Professional, Senior Mortgage Loan Originator, Oak Leaf Community Mortgage, a division of Mutual Federal Bank

5 Common Fears about Getting a Mortgage after Divorce

Rita Morris Rita Morris
Rita Morris, LMHC, M.A., Certified Life Coach and Parenting Coach, AParentsPath.com

5 Tips for Coparenting with Someone Who Hurt You


One Response to “Why “He Just Doesn’t Make Me Happy” Is An Unhealthy Thought”

  1. Michael Watson

    There was a time when I would not have agreed with your article, but that is a long time ago now and I totally agree with it. We each have to take responsibility for how we feel and how happy or unhappy we are. Of course, there is a degree of interdependence, but ultimately only you can be responsible for how you feel or choose to feel.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.