Happily Ever After

This is the scenario, you have this picture in your mind of what marriage is supposed to be like or some ideology of what you imagine it to be.

Frankly, Hollywood has done us a disservice with their unrealistic and irrational portrayals of pie in the sky and happily ever after.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

The truth is marriage is hard work. It doesn’t come ready made like Cool Whip. Quite the contrary.

I’m sure you heard the first year is the hardest. Believe me, it is.

Two galaxies crashing together under one roof with all their quirks, baggage and what not.

Excuse me, but that ain’t easy.

Single people look at married couples with envy (or vice versa). Meanwhile, what they see is only a snap shot. A glimpse in time.

I feel like telling them to come on over when I’m having an intense fellowship session. I wonder if they’d envy me then?

They have no idea what takes place behind closed doors. Just because they’re smooching and smiling at the moment, doesn’t mean that’s the whole story.

People walk around pretending they have a perfect marriage. God forbid they should keep it real.

If you would have asked me back in the day if I loved being married, I would have looked at you like you were crazy.

For the record, no, I did not like, enjoy or think marriage was the greatest thing on earth. Quite the contrary, I wanted to run from it. It was too hard, hurt too much and it was not what I had signed up for.

The marriage is bliss thing is simply not true, so please don’t buy into the lie.

I can tell you this, I am not at the place I was before, where I simply hated being married with a passion. Where I wanted to be single again and do whatever the heck I wanted.

I had dreams, places to go and people to see. Marriage was cramping my style.

But like everything in life, you have to work at marriage. The word “work” is like the bubonic plague in our microwave society.

We want easy and quick. We don’t like to work or wait. We want everything yesterday.

The minute something doesn’t go our way, we want to run, hide, escape or… cheat.

Yes, I’ve done that too (in the past and not on my husband)… and let me tell you, cheating doesn’t solve your problems, it just adds to them. Instead of having one headache, you have two.

In the beginning, everything is great. It seems like a dream come true. You found your soul mate. Someone who completes your sentences. You feel alive, you feel beautiful, you feel like someone finally understands you… until… the bubble bursts, the nightmare begins and then… the jokes on you.

I know marriage is hard and it hurts, and you want it to give up or get out. You want the ideal situation. I understand all of this.

But marriage isn’t ‘presto magico’. Both parties have to work at it.

My suggestion for anyone at the brink of giving up, is to pray, ask for the Lord’s help and go to marriage counseling. Seriously, don’t underestimate counseling.

I’m thankful I hung in there and didn’t give up, because I can finally say… today is a new day.

Can you relate to this? Are you struggling in your marriage?

  • Great post, Pilar. We have struggled in our marriage too. It takes work, but it is so worth it when you stick through it and work to remember that you are a couple and why you are committed to each other. Great reminders.

    • Thanks, Tammy. I haven’t graduated yet, I’m still a work in progress when it comes to marriage. I’m so glad you are at a different place. That is very encouraging.

      • Oh my goodness! I certainly don’t have it all figured out either. We just continue to work at it. The one thing that I am learning to do is to say sorry faster. I used to continue to stay mad and irritated. Now I respond quicker and take the initiative to let him know that I overreacted to our conversation or the situation. I also have realized how much my husband needs to feel respected. It makes a huge difference for us!

        • Thanks for sharing this, it is very helpful. Love you friend. 🙂

        • Tammy, I agree so much with you here. Ephesians talks about not letting the sun go down on your anger and giving the devil a foothold. I used to joke with my wife that meant I wanted to fight after dark, so I had until sundown the next day to deal with my anger, but unfortunately that isn’t what it really means. 🙂 Keeping short accounts is one of the best things Barbara and I ever started doing. We literally refuse to go to bed angry at each other, even if it means staying up too late to work through an issue. This one thing has brought so much health to our marriage — hope it might help someone else too.

          • Awesome advice, Chris. Thanks so much for sharing this. 🙂

          • The fight in the evening part? 🙂

  • Beautiful. Marriage is hard but so rewarding.

  • “Instead of having one headache, you have two.” Truth.

  • Great post Pilar, what a REAL look at marriage. I hope people spread your message far and wide.

    • Thank you, you are very kind. I appreciate your support and encouragement.

  • you move me with your raw honesty… so often we feel this way and yet think we have to keep it in, hide it or cover it up lest someone know our life isn’t perfect. Thanks again, friend, for touching me 😉

    • Thank you for always encouraging me. You are a great friend. Love you.

  • annepeterson

    Yes, marriage is hard work. You don’t hear that enough. Glad you painted a realistic picture. I also think an important element is the level of intimacy you want. Townsend and Cloud in one of their books talks about how you can’t get to intimacy without conflict. Many people don’t like that. Some choose to remain on a more comfortable level, but oh, do they miss out in the long run.

    We’ve been married for 36 years. One of the best things I’ve learned is the phrase,
    “I could be wrong…”

    Before that, I thought he was always wrong, so I’d approach it from that avenue. Didn’t work well.

    • Thank you for sharing this. And congratulations for being married for 36 years! I love it!!

  • i dunno what you all have been doing wrong but my marriage has been nothing but bliss since day one. hahaha! if you believe that i have some beachfront property i’d like to show you.

    seriously, though, yes, marriage is tough. but even through the tough times, i’ve never wished i didn’t get married. i love my wife and our marriage. mainly because she makes sure i eat. in exchange, i do the laundry. we split the dishes. well, and so many more reasons, too. 🙂

    • HA HA HA!!! You made me laugh so hard!! You are funny. 🙂 I’m glad you are happily married, Tim. You are a great guy and I’m sure your wife is a great gal. 🙂

  • Oh, I can relate! My husband and I have been married for five years and it has been a rough five years.

    It’s funny that you should write this post today, as I just finished reading Beyond Ordinary by Justin & Trisha Davis and reviewed it on my blog today. Not only did I review their book, but I opened up about my own marriage struggles.

    All that to say, I’m glad I’m not alone. 🙂

    • You are definitely not alone. I will pop over to read your post. 🙂

  • Jeanne

    Although, never being married but have been in long term relationships, I agree that relationships do take work. Love the music video.

    • Hi! I agree, Jeanne. Glad you enjoyed the music video. 🙂