Happiness can be a consequence of communion, but it is not its first goal. Our commitment earns for search of transparency, participation, and communion of life, which are the core of the marital relationship. Focusing on wellbeing and happiness is likely to be misleading.
John Powell, a Jesuit, psychotherapist and professor of theology, writes in this regard: (…) to be truly happy in love, you must wish unity, indivisibility, and sharing. Sometimes this involves so many painful things: honesty when it would be convenient to say a little lie, thoroughly discuss a problem when it would be easier to hide behind a grudge, to admit embarrassing feelings instead of blaming someone, staying there when you would prefer to escape, confess doubt when it would be easier to pretend safety, collide even if you prefer tranquility at any price.
None of these things, which are among the legitimate demands of love, gives immediate peace and happiness; initially, they cause pain and struggle. That is why people who chase the butterfly of happiness in love relationships will find themselves empty-handed and with a void heart. Unity, not happiness, it is the harsh law of success in love.
A couple’s relationship should never be taken for granted. Even spouses who consider themselves to be safe from any kind of danger and slippage, will find out that one needs to cultivate love, almost like a plant that grows when watered; on the contrary, if forgotten, it does not bloom and dies. Sometimes, there are plants that can die because of excessive watering; you have to find the proper and right balance.
A couple is not made for a fusional relationship nor to oppress one another. It comes into being because two beings vibrate together, complement each other, respecting each other’s personality. Perhaps, a wonderful sonata for piano and cello is a suitable metaphor to represent it: the two instruments will respond to each other, there is understanding between them, they give the best of themselves and create something wonderful. Yet, this wonder has been created, over time, through joint hard work.