We know, we know—we probably read too many romance novels as teenagers and have definitely seen far too many movies with Hollywood endings, but we couldn't help thinking that marriage would make us happy. After all, we'd finished the hard part, right? We'd met the right guy. We'd decided to spend our lives together. We'd even managed to survive planning a wedding. So, mission accomplished, right? We were married, we were happy, we were planning on having beautiful kids, and we were all going to stay wonderfully blissful for the rest of our lives.
This wishful emotional forecasting seems to reflect our assumption that happiness and marriage go hand in hand. If you're married, you're happy. If you're not married, you're not happy. But when we asked married women and men how happy they actually were, we didn't hear that people were overjoyed. Women said they were "medium" happy. And when we asked how they intended to become happier, they'd scratch their heads and say, "Hmmmm...hadn't really thought about that."
The most surprising thing to us was how few women were doing anything to make themselves happier. Part of the problem is that most of us aren't completely unhappy. We're not in a crisis. We're OK. Not good, not bad, just sort of so-so, and complacently accepting that that's where we're going to stay. But that needn't be the case. Your happiness, your emotional well-being, is largely up to you. If this book only does one thing, we hope it helps you to empower yourself to be happy—both for yourself as an independent person, and for yourself in marriage.