They differ on happy. Modern women search and strive for happiness through relationship success. Duplicating how men tend to operate, they try to generate certain relationship improvements of their own invention. Mistakenly, expecting to find happiness, they try to make over their man, to turn him into the ideal conceived in girlhood dreams. Happiness eludes women as they repeat husband-handling mistakes over and over. Their marriages crumble from good intentions gone awry. They reach again for happiness, but the next candidate has already been reduced to marital crumbs by another ex-wife (or scared off marriage by his crumbled buddies).
The truest path to female happiness is to find endless reasons to be grateful for themselves, others, and their way of life. Goals to find gratefulness produce a much better effect than improving relationships, because improvements require fault-finding and criticism. When fault-finding and criticism become habitual, improvements are frozen out by adversarial disagreement and cracks appear in the marital facade.
I call goal setting to find gratefulness as an attitude of gratitude. Out of every bad some good can be found. By always concentrating on the good and banishing the bad from one’s thoughts and considerations, beneficial thoughts soon compound into a full blown attitude of gratitude. With that attitude, a woman discovers that she’s also a happy person, which further compounds her gratefulness.
Men don’t work for or even think about happiness per se; it means so little. It may come or go, not to worry. If they need it, they’ll find it. They seek permanent pleasure in their work and temporary excitement in their play; they call it happy.
As women view happiness, the closest thing for men comes after many years of living successfully as mates. The wife sees her girlhood hopes and dreams realized. She gives husband the credit by thanking him for a good marriage, but privately she knows in her heart that the credit is hers for having turned him from Mr. GoodEnough into Mr. Right. It’s of small consequence to husband. He has a happy wife; he did a good job providing and protecting and that makes him happy. He needn’t dwell on it; he has other things to do. In her habitual gratitude-finding way, wife both defines and produces husband’s happiness, the kind she dreamed of as a girl and spent so many years producing.
1. This article summarizes. Details can be found in post 690 through 694.
2. Perhaps soon I’ll describe how an attitude of ingratitude spoils a woman’s reach for happiness and prevents her husband from ever finding what she calls happy.