A ll happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” ~ Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy.
As a marriage therapist, I’m always fascinated by why couples are unhappy. From disappointments, broken trust, hard times, and addictions to outright infidelity, there is a never-ending list of things that could go wrong. That’s one of the reasons I’m a big advocate for doing the few simple tasks it takes to have a great marriage rather than trying to fix all the ways we break apart our love.
That being said, many of us are caught in a downward spiral that has no bottom. Sometimes, it seems that nothing he does is right, or right enough, to bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart. He could always be better, no? But this trajectory leads nowhere other than a broken heart and a broken life.
After 120 years in this world, a couple finds themselves standing before the Almighty in Heaven. He turns towards the man and says: “I gave you this lovely woman to be by your side, to cherish and protect. What do you have to say for yourself?” To which the man replies: “Gd, I cannot thank you enough. When I first saw her in my 20s, I knew from first sight that she was perfect for me. Each year, through the good times and bad, my love for her grew, and I appreciated her companionship and love more and more until the day I died.”
Happy, Gd then turned to the woman, who didn’t look as pleased. “Now it’s your turn,” He said. “I gave you this man to support you, protect you, and lead your family. What do you have to say?”
In bitterness, the woman began to complain: “To be honest, Gd, I could have done better. He never lived up to my expectations, never pleased me how I deserved, and honestly, I felt like I settled.”
With contemplation, Gd turned to the man and said, “I’m convinced that you fulfilled your purpose in marriage. You chose a good woman, loved her, and were happy. You can stay up here and receive your reward.”
He then turned to the woman and said: “I see that you feel like you deserved better. That you weren’t happy with the man I gave you and that you settled. No problem. Rather than stay up here and enjoy Heaven, I’m going to send you back down to try again. Maybe this time you will appreciate the man in your life, fall madly in love with him, and be thankful that another cares for you so deeply.” And with a wave of His hand, her soul returned to Earth to start all over.
That’s why I say Never Settle. Settling is for losers. Gd gave you the perfect partner to grow, cherish and connect with. Love him, appreciate him, and be happy with him instead! 🙏💚