In my previous life, and previous marriage, I was a very busy girl. I worked full time, took care of our child, cooked, cleaned, and more or less waited on my husband hand and foot. I tried disparately to anticipate what he might want and get it for him or get it done. I did anything and everything I could to keep him happy. Why? Life was easier when he was happy. The problem was, he wasn't happy, ever. Luckily for both of us we were so unhappy despite my best interests we called it a day and got divorced.
In my current life, and current marriage, I am a very busy girl. I work full time, take care of our child, sometimes I cook, sometimes I clean. Sometimes I don't. That said, I would do anything at all for my husband. I try to anticipate what he might want or need and it get it for him or get it done. Why? I love to make him happy. I love to see him happy. I would do anything for him. I love that man.
Same actions really - really different motivations - vastly different results. When you give to or do for another and the motivation is love, there is a feeling about that act that is pure bliss. When the motivation is anything other then love, it's never really a gift. Maybe you're trying to keep the peace, earn love, be liked, stay safe, get something from or for someone. That said, if it's not love, it's not a really giving. It's something else. I know this now, because I am blessed to have the experience of having someone in my life that I love to see happy. I am blessed with many opportunities to get to see him smile.
If I had understood this when I was married the first time I might have thought to wonder what was driving me to try to be a super woman, desperately clamoring to cater to the every need, real or imagined of a man I lived with. I might have wondered about love, life, and the pursuit of happiness. I didn't. Now I know what makes me truly happy, is the happiness of the people I love, especially the man I love - and that is probably the essence of love itself.