Miserable can be quite good. Some of C. S. Lewis’s best work was written out of misery. Miserable people can give deeply illuminating advice, too.
I harp on this because the focus on happy is precisely where they go wrong. Their vague conception is that marriage is like a continuous dose of IV cocaine — you’re just happier all the time, drugged up. Quite naturally, no actual relationship could possibly deliver on this. They even know that, so move on to some very complicated process of averaging the happy and not happy to try to come up with a single overall number: how equivalent is this up and down time to a continuous IV drip of cocaine?
It’s all deeply foolish. A marriage is a creative project, not a drug to take. It’s a form of life work. A good marriage is one that is productive, functional, accomplishes things, creates meaning. If it is happy, that is a byproduct of the fact that it is meaningful.
All these goofy people fretting about the happiness the discovered, or did not, in a given partnership have the cart before the horse. Make the marriage meaningful, and it will be satisfying. Happiness is epiphenomenal.
~seen on the interwebs