Getting To Happy

Life is not always unicorns and rainbows....

I was talking with a good friend of mine the other day and she needed a bit of advice. She’s married and is in a good place with her marriage, her kids and just life in general. The short of it is, she’s happy.

She mentioned that she had 2 different friends that were getting divorced and were calling her for support. She wanted to know the best way to support her friends but not allow the fact that they were UNHAPPY affect her happiness. She basically wanted to know how to not be affected by their negativity. My advice was to be there for her friends as a listening ear but learn to cut the conversation short when it veered into husband-bashing. I also told her to limit her conversations with her friends when she was at home with her family (which you probably would be doing anyway).

 I wasn’t trying to be mean when I gave her this advice. I have found that as women, we are quick to sit around and have good old fashioned hen sessions, which is fine. But there is a fine line, in my opinion between venting and letting off steam, and going into bashing your husband or significant other. And I think as women, we have to walk that line very carefully.  Just because some else’s spouse or S/O messed up, doesn’t mean mine did/does the same things. As a newlywed wife, it’s important to me to build my marriage in a fashion that works best for me and my husband and not let a lot of opinions from other wives get into my head. Everyone’s situation is different.

I remember when I got engaged, one of my bridemaids had just wrapped up a fairly difficult divorce after being married for over 10 years. I knew it was difficult for her to end her marriage but I was happy that she was finally free from her former spouse because he was not uplifting her as a wife. I was nervous about telling her I was getting married because I knew there was some pain she was going through.  But as a true friend does, she put aside her feelings to be happy for me, and was there for me in a tremendouse way during my engagement and wedding. She knew that I had wanted to be married for a very long time and she’d supported me during my singleness so it was a given that she would support me during this next transition in my life.

I know I am going all over the place with this post but I’ve been thinking about it for the last few days. I think all too often, we diminish our own joy because someone else in our lives is experiencing some pain or sadness. And that’s just really unfortunate because sometimes others NEED that joy in their own lives. My sorority sister was was over the moon for me. And you can have empathy for someone in a difficult situation and not feel like it has to be at your own personal expense.

I was kind of rambly, I know but I hope you were able to get the gist of what I was getting at. Did I give my friend some decent advice? What would you say??

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11 thoughts on “Getting To Happy

  1. That is great advice. I actually find myself needing to take the same advice for myself at work- listening to coworkers’ problems or complaints is good if they’re just blowing off steam… but once it just because venting and complaining, well, then it just drags me down and makes me feel unhappy 😦 Kudos for giving your friend good advice!

  2. I agree with you! She can be friends and whatnot, but she needs to cut that stuff short. And on the flip side, when things aren’t tight with you and your honey, the LAST thing you need is somebody else coming in on their complaining train.

  3. LIFE isn’t all unicorns and rainbows? Says who!! LIFE is always about Me and Ms. Smarr! 😛

    Nah, I feel you 100%. I think was supposed to read this post this morning because I’ve been struggling w/ trying to support a friend who seems to always be going thru something while maintaining the overwhelming happiness that I feel in my LIFE right now.

    I think that your advice was on point. She wasn’t the only one around here that needed to hear it. 🙂

  4. I think you gave wonderful advice full of wisdom ! Unfortunately with statistics as they are, many people will be touched by divorce in some way if they haven’t been already. Life is NOT always unicorns & rainbows & situations may lead you to need to express some bad feelings sometimes. That is human. However, negativity must be tempered with reason. I went through a rough divorce after a 10 yr marriage and I prayed continually for healing. I did NOT want to become a skeptical, negative and bitter person & I still believed in marriage. One thing that I am proud of is the fact that when I met Mr. M, he asked me some qualifying questions, that he later admitted were designed to determine 1) If I was over my divorce 2) If I still viewed marriage positively and 3) If I had forgiven my ex & myself. Him being 40 yrs old,never married, explained that he had encountered numerous women while dating, who were just too scarred by divorce for him to even consider dating at all. So for people who want to be married, even if they are divorced, seeing marriages and relationships that really work and can last is encouraging & keeps you hopeful that you what you want really does exist. Once you come out of the cloud of your pain, you can see having positivity near & around you as the blessing that it truly is.

    • I agree it is applicable to other situations. Years ago I was laid off from a job. My best friend at the time dd not tell me until months later that she had a new job. She said she felt bad because I was unemployed and she didn’t want me to feel worse. I was horrified to think that she thought that way. I would have love to had celebrated with her. Just because I was going through a temporary setback, did not mean I wasn’t adult enough to celebrate someone else’s accomplishments.

  5. Great advice. And it is also applicable in other areas as well. I remember during a time when one of my kids was acting a plum fool. I found it difficult to hear about other kids achievements. But I put on a happy face and celebrated in the joy. I have always tried not to be a “Negative Nelly” and when I encounter someone that may be inadvertently throwing shade on my happiness, I tend to pull away.

  6. I think your advice was on point. When I was going through my divorce and I needed to vent I tried my best to keep my bytching focused on the EX and not bash men in general. And that’s easy for me because I adore my Dad, Graddads and my Uncles. But for some its easy to hate the whole gender when they’ve been hurt by one. Negativity is contagious, so telling her to limit the conversations during family time is correct.

    I have two friends going through divorce now and I don’t avoid talking about my S/O or our wonderful relationship. This is the stuff that gives women my age hope that there is life to be had and love to be found after divorce.

  7. 1. I really enjoy your writing style – it’s very down to earth.

    2. I think your advice was sound and solid. I haven’t been married long (it’ll be 3 years next month), but regarding my husband and potential bashing, I’ve tried to employ the thought of “How would I feel if the shoe was on the other foot?” I’d feel pretty low if I knew he was sitting with his friends having a major session about me. In addition, I believe that friends – true friends, that is – will take joy in celebrating your highs and cry with you during your lows.

    Thank you Crystal for reading! I am glad you enjoy the posts..and I am happy I am making sense to someone out there!

  8. I think your advice was great.

    My take is that I really think it depends on the mindset of a person. Some people will always look at the bright side of things or be an optimist no matter what situation. My mom is a natural pessimist, but her outlook on life doesn’t cloud mine. I tend to remember my blessings always out number my problems, so it’s hard for me to stay down.

    I’ve had an ex tell me “I don’t want to make you unhappy.” And I have to remind him that he can’t make me unhappy just like I can’t make him be happy… as much as I wanted him to be.

    Some people do have the capacity to take on other people’s problems and energy as their own, so yes, for them I definitely think you need to find a good balance of being supportive without getting emotionally attached. So very good advice.

  9. I echo Ms. Smart’s comment. Your good news may just be a ray of sunshine that pushes through their dark cloud. I’ve had a couple of friends lately who are having relationship problems. One is divorced and trying to meander the single scene after nine years of marriage. The other is on again/off again with her guy and each time she thinks it will get better. It doesn’t. I listen provide what little advice I want to give and keep it moving. Grown folks are going to do what grown folks want to do. I know I’ve made my fair share of irrational behavior despite the good advice I received from loved ones. Continue to be there for your friend to help her get to happy.

  10. Where’d you get that pic of SoJo and I from? LOL

    I think you gave perfect advice. I’m a firm believer in not dulling your light for others. If anything, in times of struggle, they should look to your light as hope for how things can turn out good.

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