Life is all about how you look at it.
For our premarital counseling, Nate and I are reading Alistair Begg's book "Lasting Love." The subtitle is "How to Avoid Marital Failure." Now, I just started the book, and I'm sure it's going to be great, but the title kind of threw me. It's great to have lasting love, but why do we have to look at it from such a pessimistic standpoint? I would much rather the book have the subtitle "How to have a successful marriage."
Marriages fail all the time - the divorce rate in this country is about 50 percent. Then how many more people are living in unhappiness? My grandparents have been married for 58 years, but they sure aren't happy about it. I would call that successful in one way, but sure not in most.
I think the reason that a lot of marriages fail is that people focus on the failures. Everyone has flaws, some big and some little. The beginning of the "Lasting Love" book gave two fictional scenarios, both with married people falling for someone else. They fell because they started to compare their spouse to someone else and focused on all their spouse's flaws. The best way to be unhappy is to focus on flaws.
I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before, but if I have, it bears repeating. I read in another book about a couple that was the happiest the author had ever seen. That was because in a conversation they had, everyone was bringing up their least favorite part about their spouse. This couple honestly couldn't think of anything, because they had decided to think only on the positives about their spouse. They had done it for so long that they didn't notice the flaws anymore. How can you be unhappy when you don't realize the other person has problems?
Life, and marriage, are all about how you look at things. Focus on the positive and you don't have anything to complain about.