How something that makes little girls gag can prevent divorce.

My favorite kind of bar.

My favorite kind of bar.

Knowing what the other side wants from you is the key to negotiation.  You would think that this would make divorce cases easy.  Everyone should be able to walk in and tell me exactly what the other side wants, even if they aren’t prepared to give it, at least we have a place to start – heck, these people lived together, they must know each other, right?  But several times a year, a husband tells me, “I have no idea what she wants.  I’ve been trying to make her happy for years and nothing is enough, nothing I do is right.”  This saddens me deeply because this is a problem that might have been fixable several years ago, but it’s probably too late by the time they are sitting in my office.  By this time, the wife has given up on this man and he is probably not all that interested in continuing to try to make her happy anyway.

Here’s the bottom line – if you don’t know what you want, if you don’t know what makes you happy, then no one else will be able to make you happy.  You can’t hope that your husband, your family, your friends or anyone else will be able to guess.  Or they will just “get you” and magically know exactly which thing will bring you joy.  You have to figure this out for yourself.  And then you have to make it happen.  Because probably, it’s something you have to give yourself first before you will let anyone else give it to you anyway.

It’s overwhelming to be asked “what makes me happy?”.    So let’s start with a first step, “what do I want more of?”.  What are the little things that I can add to my daily life that will bring me moments of happiness?  You don’t have to turn your whole life into a happy-fest, just add a little happy here and there – the same way you might brighten your home with throw pillows or a vase of flowers.  As you start to gain these little happy moments, you will find that the bigger happy becomes more clear.

For me, an easy happy is something really yummy.  I love a really good, creamy cheese; briny, salty olives; a chunk of deep, dark chocolate – these are the things (accompanied by a nice glass of wine, of course) that can turn an evening into something special.  How many years have I eaten plain pasta with marinara with the kids?  Too many…sometimes I need the cheese that makes small children cry at the scent of it.  I’m not tempted by olives you can fit on your fingertips, I want the dark, wrinkled kind that come with a nice, hard choking hazard pit inside.  I don’t want a brownie from a box mix, I want chocolate that comes with a percentage number on the package to tell me how awesomely dark and bitter it is.  I want grown-up food.

But that’ s me.  Maybe your happy is sheets with a thread count that sounds like a great credit score.  Or someone else to do the dishes every once in a while.  How about a whole, delicious afternoon with nothing to do but drink tea and read a book? What do YOU want more of in your life?  Where can we start? Talk to me, girl, we’ve got some happy coming to us.  It’s time.

Please share your thoughts.