Sunday, January 31, 2016

Make Someone Happy

It took us, well me, months to pick out our wedding song.  In a typical bride manner, I would read over internet playlists trying to find the perfect song.  I would read bridal web boards to see what others were choosing as theirs.  There were a number of contenders, and with each song I would play over and over again, trying to visualize the two of us dancing our first dance. Some would bring tears to my eyes, but didn't carry the right vibe. The search continued for a good while.  

It wasn't until one evening when Steve and I were watching Sleepless in Seattle that we found the perfect song for our wedding.  

You may have missed it, but it plays at the very end of the movie when Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan walk hand in hand towards the elevator on top of the Empire State Building.  The song is Jimmy Durante, Make Someone Happy.


My first attraction to this song was the timeless, classic feel.   My second attraction was the joy this song has.  My third attraction to this song was the length...a quick 1 minute and 36 seconds.  This is what Steve liked about the song.

My favorite picture from our wedding: the dip at the end of our first dance
PS, the two dudes in the background, they are pilots (of course!)


Nowadays I usually only hear this song when I play it from my playlist.  But, it has recently resurfaced on a commercial.  When it first played I gave Steve a quick glance to make sure he recognized the importance of it.  He did.  Good man.  

The song is very simple, but speaks volumes.  The song, along with a recent article I read (Master of Love) are the motivation for this blog post: Make Someone Happy

Try to listen to the song to get the full effect.  It is light and upbeat, and simple and sweet.  It has such joy and happiness to it. 

Here are the lyrics:

It's so important to

Make someone happy,
Make just one someone happy;
Make just one heart the heart you sing to.
One smile that cheers you,
One face that lights when it nears you,
One girl you're ev'rything to.
Fame if you win it,

Comes and goes in a minute.
Where's the real stuff in life to cling to?
Love is the answer,
Someone to love is the answer.
Once you've found her, build your world around her.
Make someone happy,

Make just one someone happy,
And you will be happy, too.


I have always believe there are two things that any relationship must have: trust and communication.  After nearly 13 years of marriage, I now recognize a third must-have.  It has been there all along (since our first dance), but I never really thought about how important it really is until recently when I read the Master of Love article.  The article emphasizes the importance of kindness to your partner, which I translate to my third must-have: striving to make your partner happy.  

Think about that for a second - strive to make your partner happy.  

Take, for example, a recent tweet:


The evening of the above tweet probably went something like this: I was quite busy when Steve was at work for four days.  When he got home that evening, I sure took a load off.  When he walked through that door from the garage into our mudroom, I officially punched my time card.  I was off duty!  I grabbed a beer, sat my ass on the couch, and started to unwind.  After Steve put the kids to bed, he came down to join me....just in time for my second beer.  He gladly got my second beer, while I kept my tired ass on the couch.  

Steve is sweet to me, and is constantly trying to make me happy.  The evening described above is testimony to that...he knew I was tried, and he gladly got me a drink.  I didn't make him do it...he did it because he wanted to.  He wanted to make me happy. 

On the opposite side, I try to make him happy, too


Happiness can be as simple as nice comfort food and a beer to welcome him home from a trip. I try my hardest to set the scene in the house when he gets home.  This includes straightening the house and having a good meal ready.  When you make the effort to put happiness out there, it will come back to you.  And when it comes back to you, the cycle continues.  I have learned that if the scene is set right when he gets home, and entire cycle of his days home are set straight. 

The article I mentioned above plays into this blog post as well.  If you read through the article, the beginning basically comes down to these points: (again, taken from this article

- the majority of marriages fail

- of all the marriages, only three in ten remain in happy, healthy marriages

- through scientific research couples were marked on one of two categories: masters or disasters

- master couples felt calm and connected together, which translated into warm and affectionate behavior, even when they fought. This created a climate of trust and intimacy that made both of them more emotionally and thus physically comfortable.

- disaster couples showed all the signs of arousal — of being in fight-or-flight mode — in their relationships.  Even when they were talking about pleasant or mundane facets of their relationships, they were prepared to attack and be attacked.

- Master couples scan social environment for things they can appreciate and say thank you for. They build this culture of respect and appreciation very purposefully.

- Disasters couples are scanning the social environment for partners’ mistakes.

- after a period of 6 years couple marked as masters were happily married, while disasters were marked broken up or chronically unhappy


And here is the detail that brings me back to making your partner happy, which is a direct quote from the article:
"Kindness, on the other hand, glues couples together. Research independent from theirs has shown that kindness (along with emotional stability) is the most important predictor of satisfaction and stability in a marriage. Kindness makes each partner feel cared for, understood, and validated—feel loved. 

“My bounty is as boundless as the sea,” says Shakespeare’s Juliet. “My love as deep; the more I give to thee, / The more I have, for both are infinite.” 

That’s how kindness works too: there’s a great deal of evidence showing the more someone receives or witnesses kindness, the more they will be kind themselves, which leads to upward spirals of love and generosity in a relationship."

The article continues:
"There are two ways to think about kindness. You can think about it as a fixed trait: either you have it or you don’t. Or you could think of kindness as a muscle. In some people, that muscle is naturally stronger than in others, but it can grow stronger in everyone with exercise. Masters tend to think about kindness as a muscle. They know that they have to exercise it to keep it in shape. They know, in other words, that a good relationship requires sustained hard work.

“If your partner expresses a need,” explained Julie Gottman, “and you are tired, stressed, or distracted, then the generous spirit comes in when a partner makes a bid, and you still turn toward your partner.”

In that moment, the easy response may be to turn away from your partner and focus on your iPad or your book or the television, to mumble “Uh huh” and move on with your life, but neglecting small moments of emotional connection will slowly wear away at your relationship. Neglect creates distance between partners and breeds resentment in the one who is being ignored."

I want to highlight a line from above: the more someone receives or witnesses kindness, the more they will be kind themselves, which leads to upward spirals of love and generosity in a relationship.

And this is what I challenging you, my readers...I challenge you to be more kind to your partner - I challenge you to make your partner happy. I intended to write this post about a month ago as a New Years Resolution post, but time got the better of me.  Ah, but there is always time to better your relationship.  Strive to be kind to your partners - strive to make your partner happy

When your pilot wants to go out to watch the game with his buddies, even thought he just got home the night before, and you are tired  - let him go.  Let him have fun with this friends. 

When your pilot wants to take a nap because his body clock was fucked with from his last trip - let him.  And let him without resentment (something I always struggled with when the kids were wee-ones.)

When your pilot walks to go on a long run, even though it is hard to accept any more alone time when he is home, let him.  Exercise is always a good thing. 

When your pilot wants to go away on a guys weekend, let him.  (Which is another struggle for me.) Let him go without bitching about it to him. I will allow bitching to a best friend or sister because sometimes you just need to let it out - just don't let him hear it.  He works hard and deserves a little time away too.  

When you all just finished dinner, clear the table yourself even though it is his duty.  Let him sit with the kids for another couple minutes before getting up.

You see what I am getting at.  Even though the above scenarios are all personal to me, I am sure you can relate to some or all the above.  These are simply examples of things you can do to make your partner happy.  As a pilot wife, and a single mother half the time, it is very easy for me to get caught up in...ME.  It would be easy for me to put my needs first when Steve is home, and Steve second.  But, don't get caught up in that.  Of course you need to do what is necessary to keep yourself happy, and that is very important!  But, also make the conscience effort to make your partner happy too!  


1 comment:

  1. Many,many more happy years to you and Steve. As you have learned marriage is about each partner giving to the other and low and behold so much more comes back. God bless you both.

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