‘You are responsible for yourself. It is not his job to keep you happy. True happiness does not come from another, but within.’: Young woman shares love advice after 12-year long relationship

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“I’m 24 years old and newly married to the man of my dreams. And boy have I learned a lot about love.

You may be thinking to yourself, ‘She’s so young! What could she POSSIBLY know?’

And normally, I would agree with you. I do in fact have so much left to learn in virtually every aspect of life, and I will continue to learn each and every day. But I think I’ve learned a thing or two in the 12 long years I’ve dated my husband.

First, never go to sleep angry. One of two things will happen.

You’ll either wake up still angry and carry all of that negativity into a beautiful new day, or you’ll wake up and pretend it never happened.

Frankly, the latter is probably the worst of the two.

Sitting on feelings will only make the ugly grow stronger, and that ugly will someday blossom into something called resent.

Unfortunately, resentment is not something you can easily tear from the roots.

Communicate.

For so many years, I played a role.

Whenever I got angry or sad, I would hide my emotions behind the words ‘I’m fine’ and ‘nothing is wrong.’

Sometimes, I even gave the cold shoulder for hours and hours upon end, even though on the inside I was well over what happened and literally dying to speak to my partner again.

And for what? Only to get even more mad when he didn’t continue to pursue me during my acting gig.

Love is not a stage. It’s real life, and we must remember to be as real and raw with each other as we can possibly be. When the curtain closes at the end of the day, that’s all that will matter.

You are responsible for your own happiness.

As harsh as it may sound, it is not fair to our loved ones to put the pressure on them to constantly keep us content.

We must always work on ourselves and meet each other in the middle.

True happiness does not come from another, it comes from within. And I promise you will love the hardest you ever have when you have some bliss bubbling in your heart.

Never give your 100% to your partner.

You will lose yourself in him.

And you’ll be left trying to find yourself again, only this time you will have to look within – a scary place you’ve neglected to explore.

Give 90%.

The truth of the matter is that not only do you need time for yourself as an individual, but you have the right to be a little bit selfish sometimes.

You need to put yourself first here and there.

After all, what’s teamwork without a little give and take?

Finally, don’t forget to kiss one another and tell each other you love them each and every single day of your lives together.

There were days and even weeks where I realized I hadn’t done this with my partner.

I notice now it would happen during the roughest of times, and the most mundane of times.

It’s okay to have rough patches and even days where you feel bored of the routine, but a little love can go a long way.

That kiss, that ‘I love you’ will keep the light going. I promise.

And, suddenly, you’ll realize 12 years has flashed by in the blink of an eye.”

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This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Krista Scaccia. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

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