5 Reasons Why Your Spouse Isn’t the Source of Your Happiness

When we get married, we expect that everything good in our lives will get better, and that being married will make the bad things disappear. Since our behaviors in marriage are fueled by our (often false!) beliefs about marriage, it’s important to shed light on unrealistic expectations and myths surrounding it.

One of the greatest and most common myths we tend to believe (but don’t often express) when entering marriage is that we’ll somehow be completed or made whole by our husband or wife. As romantic as that concept sounds, it’s simply not true–and resting all your hope for happiness on your spouse is a tremendous amount of pressure for one person to take on!

Happiness is a habit that each individual in a relationship must take responsibility for and learn to cultivate. Here are 5 reasons why your spouse can never be the source of your happiness:

  1. Your marriage was never designed to make you happy.

Whoa–wait a minute! What?

We like to say that your marriage isn’t a magical “happy pill.” It’s a sacred bond established by God that is meant to refine the two of you spiritually, give you a place to cultivate intimacy, and allow you to create your own family.

Is marriage capable of making us happy? Absolutely! But not without a lot of work from both spouses.


It’s neither of your responsibility to be one another’s end-all, be all. Marriages were created to glorify God, and through a God-honoring marriage, both spouses may find joy.

  1. Individual well-being is critical to marital health.

You and your spouse must both be healthy individuals for your marriage to thrive.

Our dearly-held, all-too-common myths about marriage dictate the opposite: that marital bliss creates two happy individuals, coexisting beautifully as one in a dreamlike, happily-ever-after state. Many couples are led astray by this perception.

In order to bring more balance and happiness to your marriage, the two of you must commit to getting healthy as individuals, whatever that means for you. It might mean getting your physical health in order, or participating in hobbies or activities you enjoy. You might need help becoming more emotionally healthy. Having healthy relationships with friends and family outside of your marriage could also be beneficial.

Whatever your individual needs, work together to support each other in becoming healthier people. In turn, your marriage will grow and thrive.

  1. An enmeshed, dependent marriage is toxic.

In Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts, we outline three different types of marriages. One unhealthy marriage type is what we like to call the “A-frame” (dependent) relationship. (A-frame marriages form as a result of the couple neglecting their individual well-being.)

In an A-frame marriage, the spouses lean on one another like the long lines in the letter A. This appears very romantic, especially to people on the outside looking in–even the couple idealizes and romanticizes this leaning. But once they get married, this leaning in gradually shifts to pounding down on one another.

Unrealistic expectations and co-dependent patterns emerge. Spouses point fingers and place all the blame for marital issues on one another. You might find yourself thinking or saying things like, “If you were a good husband/wife, you would do/say/feel this,” or, “Maybe I just married the wrong person.”

Eventually, one person will stumble under all that pressure, and the entire relationship will collapse.

  1. Your self-esteem is your responsibility, not your spouse’s.

Healthy self-esteem goes hand-in-hand with the concept of individual well-being, but it deserves special attention. Self-esteem goes to the root of who you are, and encompasses every part of your being and every interaction you have with the world around you.

Since self-esteem heavily influences the relationships we develop, it’s critical to pay special attention to yours. And while it’s wonderful for husbands and wives to encourage each other as often as possible, you just can’t rely on your spouse to develop your self-esteem for you.

Having a healthy, godly sense of self-esteem will help you to be able to identify unhealthy patterns in your relationship. If you’re not yet married, it will be a critical tool in helping you choose a healthy spouse, and potentially avoid creating an unhealthy marriage.

  1. God is the source of true happiness.

Our Heavenly Father is the only One who can truly complete us; no other human can do that job. But you two can certainly help one another grow!

A great verse to illustrate your roles for one another in marriage is Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

Spend time in the Word, and work together prayerfully with your spouse to shift your focus to God as the source of your joy. Get involved in your church together, have private devotionals at home, and seek out ways to help one another grow spiritually.

Shedding the myth that your spouse is the source of your happiness will actually make the two of you happier as you move forward and work together to become healthy individuals sharing a blissful marriage.

For more ideas on cultivating a happy marriage, check out our book, Making Happy.

110 Romantic Movies-400x200


  • Peris maxwell says:

    Am marred and born again but my husband is not when l got marred lwas not born again life for me was so hard becoz l got all blames from my husband till l just choose God to be my helper my husband wants nothing like church what ca l do to live a happy life am from Kenya and he is from AUS

    • Wunmi. says:

      1t isn’t unusual to face challenges in the prevailing circumstance. Get closer to God and exercise a lot of patience. Things will get better soon. God will strengthen you all the way, I’m sure of that.

    • Angela says:

      Its true I was so frustrated in my marriage because of depending on my husband to make me happy .I was too expectant of marriage until i began to see that no one can make me Happy apart from myself and God.now am so relaxed and happy. I see my husband as a human Begin who has his own errors that only God fix.

  • Leonie Sirias says:

    I was not born again when I got married but then I experience a lot of hardship so I began to go to church but my husband no.He goes out drinking alcohol every pay day leaving my kitchen empty _(without) food.

  • Zel says:

    What if your husband lied to you for years and expect you to belive it and cant apologise and you are the only one who wants to work on the marriage

    • Edwi n says:

      He lies to you because in the beginning he would only tell you the truth. But you want him to do things different to change. You believed and trusted him.
      … 1 yr
      …..4yrs………..he hasn’t apologize.

      ……then stop doing what your doing each year, and for God sake not everyday of the year.

      And that is controlling some one to catch them in lies. Believe me, and believe me – just stop

      • NWhite says:

        If a person who lies cannot be trusted, therefore circus natural to question what he or she says. To criticize falsely is wrong. To criticize frequently is wrong. To question the words of a habitual liar is the correct thing to do. When someone repents and changes it will take a long time for the spouse to trust them. This is normal. The spouse might eventually trust again. The one who committed the sin must then be patient. Too bad. That is the price of lying. People don’t trust them. It is never OK to believe a lie if you know it is a lie.

    • NWhite says:

      You can only control yourself. You cannot control anything about your husband. Do not expect apologies or truth from a person who lies. You, however, can live in truth. You can’t make him work on the marriage. You can be a wise, truthful, strong woman. You can have compassion on him and his weakness. You can protect yourself by seeing the truth in the situation. If his behaviors and lies are merely selfishness and immaturity you can begin to think of him as a child. However,your reaction should be less tolerant if he is abusing, beating, hitting, raping, giving you a disease or demoralizing you. In that case, you have a responsibility to yourself. In the case of abuse, you can separate yourself from him. When the scripture says, “God hates divorce” it is speaking to men who divorced their wives so that they (the men) could lust after someone else. In Bible times divorce was especially hard on women and put them in poverty.T his still happens. God is against men divorcing their wives for selfish reasons. Jesus had compassion or a woman who fell into sin. Imagine how much compassion Jesus has for a woman who is abused. So, pray and seek wisdom. Do you have a childish man or a cruel one? Can you protect yourself from a cruel man and stay married or do you have to leave to be safe? If the man is just childish than you can be tolerant and patient and unselfish. Remember that you are the temple of the Holy Spirit. Your body is a sacred vessel. You are not supposed to let your body (and heart and mind) be abused if you can avoid it. Be absolutely truthful with yourself and you will know which what to do.

Leave a Reply