The reason why those with the softest hearts end up in the happiest marriages is because they’re not afraid to tackle the hard stuff — the stuff that has the capability of breaking up even the most loyal of couples. The reason why is simple: They aim to repair what’s broken as opposed to letting the jagged pieces cut them. But it took time to get there because at the end of the day, those with the softest of hearts tend to be the ones who have been hurt the most. And oftentimes, their loveliness gets mistaken for weakness.
When I got married, I always wondered why so many people said the first year of marriage is the most difficult. In my infinite naivety, I wondered how anyone could think that living with their best friend — their soulmate — could have its downsides. But I quickly learned that every marriage, every partnership, every relationship always has them, and eventually, they will always bubble up to the surface. We fought about our in-laws and money. We fought about the distribution of the workload around the house and when would be the right time to build a family. But when the fight would end, the anger would last for, at most, an hour, with both of us sitting down and ultimately apologizing for what we said when we were heated — even if only one of us was really at fault.
See, couples with soft hearts don’t keep track of one another’s faults and blemishes. When they argue and disagree, they follow it up with a difficult conversation but the conversation to them doesn’t seem difficult; addressing their concerns isn’t hard for them. Staying angry at the other person is hard, not making up or repairing the open wounds. In these conversations, they don’t focus on what caused the disagreement on the surface; rather, they address the wound that’s been living beneath the skin for years and they’re vulnerable about it, not consumed with looking weak or insecure or concerned with the ever-changing status of their image. They’re raw because that’s the only way they can fix the wound.
Couples with soft hearts don’t want to live in constant anger, whether that be with themselves or with others. While a soft heart will recognize that anger is a natural but often fleeting part of life, that doesn’t mean they want to be controlled by it, because chances are, they’ve lived it. They’ve been a tortured soul who at one point in time carried the weight of the world on their shoulders. They were angry when their mother was diagnosed with breast cancer or when their best friend had their heart broken for the fifth time by some loser that didn’t deserve them. They were the one who answered the calls at 2 a.m. just to listen, their mind buzzing with ways they could fix their friend’s sadness. They were the ones who went on the offense in an effort to protect everyone around them.
And they got hurt in the crossfires.
The friend who they took care of didn’t need them anymore when they moved on to a new relationship.
The person they pined for grew disinterested.
The person they loved fell in love with someone new.
And their kindness was used against them. Their soft heart was attacked, ridiculed, and criticized for being too kind in a world that isn’t meant to repay kindness. The person who was on the receiving end of the soft heart’s compassion quickly set out to remind them of all the times they failed without ever recognizing all the times in which they made them feel like anything in this great, big world was possible.
But the soft heart doesn’t learn from their mistakes, because being kind in a world that’s so built on hate and insecurity isn’t a mistake.
And that’s why those with soft hearts end up in the happiest marriages; it’s not because they’re weak or insecure or even because they find themselves to be immune from the hazards of life that we all face now and again. Rather, they don’t preclude themselves from pursuing happiness just because bumps in the road exist. They don’t believe that anything life throws at them is insurmountable, and when they find themselves in a situation that requires deep faith and honest communication, they actually find themselves at peace. Because at the end of the day, someone with a soft heart is at their most content when they’re ridding the world of another problem. They’re at their most content when they’re ridding the world of another scarred heart. They’re at their most content when they help lighten the load of someone else’s baggage. Those with soft hearts have seen the worst of what the world had to offer and they don’t want to contribute to it; they want to discover the beauty of the world that lives inside every person. And all of it always starts with communication.