The Danger of Equating Marriage with happiness

From the book, The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama, I took one sentence with me:

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

The fantastic Gates announced their plan to divorce on Twitter, and we all had an opinion. I was surprised to see a great number of people relating the money and the marriage to happiness. I always thought if money doesn’t bring happiness, marriage would not bring happiness. That there is no one thing that brings happiness.

“I think that if one is seeking to build a truly satisfying relationship, the best way of bringing this about is to get to know the deeper nature of the person and relate to her or him on that level, instead of merely on the basis of superficial characteristics.”

– Dalai Lama

There are many dangers with holding onto a marriage or any relationship that isn’t working. Relationships are very important for our mental health. At the same time there are many benefits to holding on to relationships and marriages that are working. Compassion is feeling what’s good for the involved parties, including yourself and moving accordingly. Sacrificing your mental health at the altar of marriage is not noble or honorable. If your ex-spouse is a good person, there is nothing stopping you as adults from developing another kind of connection to each other – as former best friends you can become a support-network for each other. Co-parents.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s