When I meet, the one our eyes will connect from across the room and we’ll both just know each other is the one and live happily ever after. Don’t we all wish our lives could be just like a fairytale? We meet our “prince charming” and fall hopelessly in love with each other, and never look back. We all grow up with a fantasized version of what we expect a marriage to be like.
Disney, romantic movies, books and even social media teach us that relationships should be filled with romance, passion, and fun. We expect our marriage will be filled with romantic dates, and getaways. Late nights of talking to each other for hours and spending endless amounts of time together. We expect our partners to complete us. To always be there for us, to handle disagreements with us rationally, and to know our wants and needs without us ever having to express them. We expect them to be compromising, and giving, even though we aren’t always.
From the engagement to the wedding day to having our first child we expect everything to be like a fairytale. We even create a façade to show our relationship as being perfect on social media and even when talking with our friends. People rarely post about or discuss the fights they have with their spouse or the loneliness they feel in their relationship. No one wants to shatter the fantasy they have created because people rarely talk about how hard relationships really are. This leaves us wondering if we’re the only ones dealing with these issues and further increases our resentment towards our partner because the relationship isn’t as fantasized.
The reality is that marriage is hard and we only make it harder on ourselves by allowing our fantasies and unrealistic expectations to overshadow the truth. For a marriage to be successful we must constantly make an effort to make time for one another and fight for the things we need from our partner. A marriage is not an endless romance. There are going to be times when it seems like the passion and romance has completely fizzled out, when you both will be so exhausted from trying to balance, work, children and home that a date night and sex are the last things on your mind. And some days it will be a win if you both can get just 15 minutes of uninterrupted quiet time together. It is common for relationships to deal with challenges related to communication, stress, finances, life transitions and more. Marriage takes a lot of time, dedication and effort to keep strong.
Relationships are not easy and if yours is struggling counseling can be a wonderful place to begin working on it.