By Ilex Bien-Aime
What does Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Prince Charming, and the beautiful Princess all have in common? They represent fantasy about love and marriage. From early childhood we are groomed to believe that one day we will find our damsel in distress or our prince charming who will come into our lives so that we can live happily ever after but that is just not reality. When we become adults we put away the story book characters only to embrace the romantic comedy that gives an adult form of happily ever after.
This way of thinking is one of the top causes for divorce and unhappiness in marriages. We truly have a skewed view of what marriage entails and what it takes to be happy. I have heard people say that when you truly love someone, things shouldn’t be so hard but that is a lie if I ever heard one. Marriages are not easy and no reputable source will ever tell you that it is. Not even the Bible says that marriage is going to be happy go lucky, it’s a challenge.
Because we have this false view of marriage, when things go wrong, many of us decide to bail. We believe that somehow we got it wrong and that we married the wrong person. While in some cases that may be true, it is not in most cases. Many of us are looking for the perfect spouse and the perfect marriage but that is like trying to find a Unicorn, you hear about it but it really does not exist. No one is perfect and therefore no relationship will be perfect. We all come into marriages with our own personal baggage and when we put them side by side, we realize that it is not always a pretty sight.
Married people seem to look at their spouse’s bags of mess as if they have no bags themselves. Have you ever seen two married people talk to friends or a counselor about their marriage? Man it is a bunch of you you you statements but very rarely do you hear, I did this and I did that. As Jesus would put it, we are trying to take the mote out of the other person’s eye while not paying attention to the beam within our own eye. That is why happily ever after does not exist because we have beams in our own eyes and instead of dealing with these beams, we are try to perform surgery on our spouses.
The reality of happily ever after can be obtained, just not in the package that you have been trained to think that it would come in. Every dude that you start to date seems like prince charming at first until you see that he was a frog. Your husband seemed like prince charming at first as well, you wouldn’t have married him if you didn’t. The same can be said about the princess/damsel in distress. The trials of marriage will sober you up quickly but instead of running to the next supposed prince or princess, work with the one you have.
Sometimes the key to happily ever after is already in your hand, you just have to find the way to open it. We are always so busy trying to make our spouse be who we want them to be that we neglect to be who we are supposed to be. We can continue to act like children and fantasize about what happily ever after should look like or we could actually put in the work to make happily ever after a reality. As all counselors say, it starts with you. Start treating your spouse like a prince/princess and see if you get closer to happily ever after, something tells me that in most cases, you will.
Ilex Bien-Aime is an integral part of the BlackLoveAndMarriage.com team. He lives in Washington, DC with his lovely wife. He writes as a man who has seen women mistreat themselves and who have allowed themselves to be mistreated. He writes as a man who wants to give his future daughters a guideline on how to deal with men. Lastly he writes what he writes because his female friends are always asking his opinion about these situations. Connect with Ilex at Iamsayingit.blogspot.com or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.