What I've Learned in 10 Years Since the Proposal

It's been 10 YEARS since JB gave me the rock on the top. ♥ ♥ ♥
(The second ring is my wedding band and the third was my Christmas present after Annelise was born: I wanted a ring with her (diamond - lucky chick ;-)) & Will's (peridot) birthstones, so JB got this one.)

[PS - I found a place here that does my Axxium manicures *AND* has the glitter colors, including my beloved "Glow It & Show It" (so I could even touch up on the bottom as it grows out!) It's not as thick & "glitter bomb" as I regularly do on my own, but the glitter in the Axxium formula is a lot thinner than the regular polish for it to go on correctly, and I didn't want them to charge me more for double the layers. :-P They almost stopped at 2, and I only asked for one more; I still love it, and I'm sure having the glitter a bit thinner will look better as it grows out. YAY!!!]

Sooo, after my "Why Am I Happy?" post, I got some awesome feedback, and a few things popped up re: spouses, so what better time than a milestone engagement anniversary to expound upon marital thoughts? :-P (As always, I'm NOT preaching that I'm perfect on this stuff 24/7, but I'm always pressing on to be better! :-))

Your spouse should not be responsible for your happiness.

They can't keep you happy. They can do things to make your days happier and your quality of life better, but happiness comes from a choice YOU make inside your own self. I'm not saying spouses don't affect us: one cross word from JB can gut me to the core, no feedback from him makes me feel like I've done something wrong, and his praise can shoot my spirits to the heavens! But being happy is about *me* making the choice to get over myself, even when I don't get what I *think I need* from him OR from BFFs or my family! It applies to everyone close to you in life: your happiness cannot depend on what they do for you, or what you do or where you go together.

One of the biggest lessons I've learned (that took me tooo long to embrace in a really dark time) is that God is more interested in changing me than my circumstances.

I was gutted when we moved from GA to MI 5 years ago, 8 months pregnant, in winter, with an 18 month old toddler, away from my family, my midwife, my perfect dance job, our first house, my home culture & climate, etc., etc. I wanted to really lean on JB to help me get happy up there, and it didn't work. Every night he had to work late (which became every single night in that wretched job) I was emotionally crushed to bits and sat defeated on the couch, because I was alone, and he wasn't there for me. It took a full year there for me to get the lesson into my head and pray for God to change my heart, so that I could actually be ready when He was ready to change my circumstances. I slowly learned to ACTIVELY look for & find happiness all around me and stop wanting JB to be an IV for my everyday living. [Excuses, excuses: I *was* breastfeeding full-time & had two babies under two, dumped off in land to which I felt exiled, so there were some major hormonal issues at play there, too; but not insurmountable.]

Yes, we BOTH prayed for change - a better move & a more reasonable job - but I knew that God wouldn't change my circumstances until I could prove that I could get happy wherever I was. It's a personal thing that your spouse can't do for you, (or even necessarily with you! JB didn't get the change in me for a long time after the fact.)

I also used to think that a good marriage meant freaking out whenever you couldn't be together. (My 2nd blog post was actually on how far I'd come on that! :-))

It's just not fair to put the major burden of your happiness on your spouse. You're supposed to do life together, not one drag the other barely functioning through. :-P We're paired up to edify each other, be sounding boards, and to share God's gifts. Negativity is poison, and if you poison your spouse, you will kill your marriage.

We've been through some horrible stuff in our 13+ years together, much worse than just the moves I often reference, (but those are easier to talk about than the near-death stuff) but so have a lot of people! And the fact that ten years after the proposal, we still fight through that junk together and have never considered letting it sink us? That is praise-worthy!!! Do we each have stuff to work on for each other? Of course, and we ALWAYS will! But we both want to, and I am so excited, even as I see us continuing to grow and get happier in our new happy place that we both wanted to get our family back to. :-) This year so far has been an answer to prayer, and I can't even imagine how much better it's still going to get!

I love you, Shoapy!!! ;-) ♥ ♥ ♥
[June 2001]


  1. Susie you are always an inspiration to me and this post is a testament to that. I've learned so many lessons in marriage and no, your spouse can't KEEP you happy, happiness does in fact come from within. God is a HUGE part of that because I feel that if your heart is not with God then nothing in your life will be as its suppose to. As a matter of fact, its all Gods will. Thanks for a great post!

  2. Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to say that!!!! AMEN!!!!! I love you! :-)


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