Meaning Matters

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Continuing with Martin Seligman’s take on positive psychology, we come to the fourth element in PERMA, meaning and purpose.
This is defined as being part of something bigger than oneself, something that will outlast you, something that affects more than just you. It is nice to share this with your spouse, but it is not necessary. You can pursue your own connections to something meaningful, knowing it is likely to add to your enjoyment of life.
For me, being part of the marriage education movement matters. I get great satisfaction from writing this blog and giving my Enjoy Being Married teleclasses.
Others get this from being part of a religious fellowship, volunteering to improve a school, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, campaigning for a politician with world-changing ideas, volunteering to rescue animals, or being an active part of a Gilbert & Sullivan Society. Others keep it closer to home and find meaning in raising children and providing them the best possible home.
Not sure where to find more meaning? Just watch for your biggest responses to upsetting news stories. If you cannot find a group working to help these folks, ask a librarian, use your search engine, or put #IdeaParty in a tweet on Twitter asking for ideas of where to find one.
When your mate is depressed or stressed or just disengaged, you still need meaning in your life. Do not lay the blame for not finding yours on your spouse’s shoulders. Filling your life with meaning is important to flourishing, and your flourishing matters to the strength of your marriage.

About the author

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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By Patty Newbold

Patty Newbold

I am a widow who got it right the second time. I have been sharing here since February 14, 2006 what I learned from that experience and from positive psychology, marriage research, and my training as a marriage educator.

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