I recently had a conversation with a male acquaintance. We got to talking about marriage. And in the midst of our conversation he said something I found interesting. He said that most unhappy marriages are unhappy because the wife herself isn’t a nice or happy person. He said that a nice woman will generally have a happy marriage, provided she’s married to a normal man. On the other hand, a woman who is mean and miserable will always have an unhappy marriage.

While I don’t agree that you can ever blame just one person for problems in a relationship between two people, I do think that up to a certain point the wife (the woman) sets the mood in her household. I won’t go so far as my friend did and say “be a nice wife if you want a happy marriage”. Because I think you can be a nice wife and still not have a happy marriage. After all you’re not married to a puppet that you control. But I think nice people in general have more positive experiences in their relationships.

You can take this out of the context of marriage and look at it from a general point of view. No one likes the company of people who are always in a bad mood. People who complain all the time are unpleasant to be around. No one likes people who are always judging and criticizing them. It’s hard to tolerate the company of people who are angry all the time. It’s a drag to be around people who are always depressed.

We all prefer pleasant people who make us feel nice and warm and happy and comfortable.

Home is supposed to be a place where we go to relax from the stresses of the day. Home is supposed to be about all the good things. But very often home is where people get to be on the receiving end of their loved one’s bad moods. Home is where people are more harshly judged and criticized. Home is where people let loose their anger and rage. It’s where they feel free to sink down into and swim in their depression.

It’s not just wives and mothers who contribute to making a home not as pleasant as it should be. Everyone contributes, including the children. But somehow the woman’s bad mood, her anger, her depression, her complaining seems to have a bigger impact on dragging everyone down. It might not be fair, but what would you rather for yourself and your family? Would you rather focus on demanding a more fair situation, or would you rather that you and your family were happier?

Because if all it really takes for you to be happy is for you to try to be a little more pleasant, who loses for the effort? No one loses. In fact you gain more than everyone else.

Let’s face it, there are two people in a marriage and if the marriage is not a happy marriage it isn’t because of just one of the two. Both people are responsible. But in my experience in my own home, I would say there is some truth to the suggestion that a woman can make things better up to a certain point just by being generally more pleasant and more pleasing. Do more praising and less criticizing. Smile more and frown less. Speak warmly instead of coldly. Don’t complain about everything. Especially don’t complain about harmless little nuisances. Be more patient. Be more loving. Try to be happier in yourself. Very often our own inner misery is responsible for how quick we are to respond in an unpleasant way to things that would not have affected us had we not been so angry inside.