The whole philosophy of Athol Kay’s MAP is to eventually get to a point where you are happy with your life and marriage. That’s the end goal. How happiness is defined in that context is entirely individual, but ultimately, being happy is not on anyone else’s shoulders but your own. Therefore, if you are in a life situation where, despite your best efforts, you are not happy, you need to look long and hard at the options available to you and sometimes make tough decisions. Athol’s coaching and books lay out a plan to do that in a systematic way that if you need to make those nuclear decisions in your marriage (separation, divorce), you’ve at least given it everything you could to turn things around but ultimately couldn’t. It may not be either one’s fault, sometimes there’s just too many issues to overcome and sometimes two intersecting lives are too much to handle and still have happiness.
I give thanks nearly every day for the life I have, and Holly and I talk a lot about this subject. We feed off each other’s positive energy and have gratitude for being married to each other and having two great kids. Life is never going to be perfect, but we’re pretty happy most days. Several of those close to us have and are struggling and have needed to go into the next step/drastic measure area to seek personal happiness, even at the extent of family continuity. I had lunch with a very good friend over the weekend. My wife and I have been friends with him and his wife since we were all in college. They are of similar socio-economic class, have two kids nearly the same age as ours, and got married the same year. While there are other complicating factors here, essentially he felt he was not happy in his current situation and had to make changes in his life. To make those changes, he felt he needed to move out. So he did (got an apartment near his house), is focusing on his own improvement, and working through his issues. Still sees his family, communicating better with his wife, more present when with his kids.
He seems happier. This wasn’t even about his marriage per se, but about his own happiness. We think they’ll come out the other side intact as a family unit, but it may be a long process as they figure this out. In this case, it wasn’t about love or respect or sex, but differing vantage points of how they saw the world and the root of those vantage points. But those things made him miserable. So he basically said “fuck that, life is too short to continue to be miserable, especially since I make everyone else miserable too” made a decision he was going to choose to be happy even if it meant rocking the boat. The kids will be fine, they hang out as a family still, and he’s in the environment he needs.
Their situation is specific to them, but everyone has a right to figure out what is making them unhappy and work to correct that. You may not be able to make someone else get on board the happiness train, but you do what you have to do. You are unhappy about being fat? Take some drastic measures like cutting out all flour, wheat and sugar products and see if that doesn’t help. Tired of hating yourself for watching porn and not building that relationship with your wife instead? Get some help and cut cold turkey. It won’t be easy, but shame, insecurity and unhealthy living are often the key aspects of unhappiness. One day you just need to decide what needs to be done to turn things around, and jump right into the cold water. It will suck, but if you are patient, happiness will come. Focus on the destination and who you want to become, and not on the past or what you want to let go of.