It must have been over 45-minutes I spent in the greeting card isle at a local store in an attempt to find a fitting card to give to my dear friend Sarah for her bridal shower. Yet, my emotional gag reflex seemed to forcefully kick in as I read card after card that spoke of the fairy-tale idea of “happily ever after.” I knew Sarah would not relate to them, and furthermore, in my now jaded view of life I have difficulty embracing anything that perpetuates such a false concept; a denial of hardship feels like a denial of reality to me.
I opted for a blank card that day.
But it left me thinking about the many cards that Drake and I probably received for our wedding over 13 years ago that spoke of “happily ever after.” Being young and naïve when Drake and I tied the knot, I surely soaked in the idea of “happily ever after” with great anticipation of all the glorious happiness that would be our life together. Of course, we expected difficulty, but I never could have begun to imagine the pain that lay ahead for us. To think back on those days of marital expectation, I realize just how far our current reality differs from what I had anticipated. Our life together has not been “happily ever after”…
Is any marriage?
I think we do a disservice to young couples when we perpetuate the “happily ever after” ideal. If a person even subtly expects their marriage to be “happily ever after”, then when the challenges come it is likely they will be more inclined to abandon their commitment to one another believing something must be wrong with their relationship. This is false. Marriage is full of struggle.
But though my life with Drake has not been a fairy-tale, I believe our love is richer because of our struggles and pains…
Our marital bonds have deepened through our hardships. Drake and I have been fortunate to find ourselves on a sacred, committed journey together; we are painfully being refined through our relationship, but in the beautiful bounds of love, intimacy, and acceptance. Without question my hubby makes me spittin’ mad sometimes, he can bug the heck out me, and he can easily hurt me [I am sure I am none of these things to him 😉 ], but I love him to pieces.
And as we have suffered and struggled together, we have become more whole as people and as a couple…THAT is the joy of marriage…THAT is our “ever after!”