8 Things No One Tells You About Marriage
By Ylonda Gault Caviness
The surprising, enlightening, and sometimes hard truths we all face after
marriage, and how they teach us about what love really means.
"...And they lived happily ever after."
You're smart. You know life is no storybook. But admit it: Somewhere deep in
your subconscious lurk romantic visions of Cinderella, or maybe Julia Roberts.
The images may be sketchy and a little outdated, but you can still make out the
silhouette of the bride and Prince Charming riding off into the sunset.
In real life, sometimes your Disney fairy tale ends up feeling more like a
Wes Craven horror flick — and you're the chick who keeps falling down and
screaming for her life. I've been there. Let's face it, marriage is not for the
faint of heart. You want to believe your pure love for each other will pull you
through. And it does. But it ain't always pretty.
That may sound grim. But here's a secret: Sometimes it's the least romantic
parts of marriage that have the most to teach you about yourself, your partner,
and the nature of love. Read on for some simple truths that will unlock the
surprising treasures and pleasures in your imperfect, unstorybook, real-life
1. You will look at the person lying next to you and wonder, Is this it? Forever?
When you get married, you think that as long as you pick the right guy —
your soul mate — you'll be happy together until death do you part. Then you
wake up one day and realize that no matter how great he is, he doesn't
make you happy every moment of every day. In fact, some days you might wonder
why you were in such a hurry to get married in the first place. You think to
yourself, This is so not what I signed up for.
Actually, it is. You just didn't realize it the day you and your guy were
cramming wedding cake into each other's faces, clinking champagne glasses, and
dancing the Electric Slide. Back then you had no idea that "for better and
for worse" doesn't kick in only when life hands you a tragedy. Your
relationship mettle is, in fact, most tested on a daily basis, when the utter
sameness of day-in/day-out togetherness can sometimes make you want to run for
the hills. That's when the disappointment sneaks in, and maybe even a palpable
sense of loneliness and grief. It's not him. It's just you, letting go of that
sugarcoated fantasy of marriage that danced in your eyes the day you and your
beloved posed in all those soft-focus wedding photos. You're learning that
marriage isn't a destination; it's a journey filled with equal parts excitement
Waking up from a good dream to face the harsh morning daylight may not seem
like a reason to celebrate. But trust me, it is. Because once you let go of all
the hokey stories of eternal bliss, you find that the reality of marriage is
far richer and more rewarding than you ever could have guessed. Hard, yes.
Frustrating, yes. But full of its own powerful, quiet enchantments just the
same, and that's better than any fairy tale.