In one of Flannery O'Connor's stories, if my memory is correct, a stolid and far from young woman, the kind she often portrayed, offers this observation:
A unsatisfied woman is a turrible thing in this life.
I thought of that when I read this remark in an article called The Lie I Tell My Husband Every Day To Keep Him Happy:
I know I have a great life and so much to be thankful for, but I can’t truthfully say I am 100 percent happy yet. I simply haven’t achieved everything I need in order to be absolutely happy.
If you read the whole story, it's clear that the woman is more sensible than those remarks suggest. But still, it strikes me as extremely strange that she even thinks it possible, maybe even reasonable, to expect to be "100 percent happy" and "absolutely happy." It looks like a recipe for future trouble. I wonder if she really needs to hide from her husband that she is not 100 percent happy. I'm sure he could say the same. Adults ought to understand that such is the human condition.
Aside from its unreasonableness, I wonder if an attitude of that sort is behind a rather bitter and depressing meme I saw the other day:
How many stepdads does it take to raise a child?
As many as it takes for Mom to find the happiness she deserves.
I remember being told, many years ago (back in the '70s) that I "deserved to be happy." I remember it because I thought it was such a strange idea. I suppose it's a widely accepted one now.