The Fairy Tale is Real, It’s Just Not What You Would Expect.

My husband and I have a “puke-worthy cute” (we’ve been told)  relationship. We always kiss each other goodbye, text each other during the day to check in (“How’s your day going gorgeous?”) and hug each other randomly during the day. We ask how the other one is doing, share a laugh, and help each other cook meals. We have a solid friendship and we have worked hard to get here, in a way, and in other ways it was just a chemical attraction that clicked something inside of us and made us irresistible to the other person. I think it helped that we didn’t go in to the relationship hoping to “complete each other”. We had our own lives and interests, and even though some of our interests have merged, we still sometimes do our own thing. We are two whole people choosing to live together and make the other person’s  life better.

On our honeymoon in 2010

On our honeymoon in 2010

In fact, my friend and I were talking the other day about our marriages. We have both been married for over 5 years (and for her it’s 15!) and we were chatting about how it only gets better. As I said,

“Time alone now is dating all over again- but with all of the good and none of the awkward.”

And it’s true. It’s the history that makes it so great. The knowing your partner inside and out. The fights that you’ve resolved, the troubles you’ve faced together, the story that you two are writing together with (and for) each other.

My feeling is that people get confused when they hear couples say, “I married my best friend”. It doesn’t mean it is always easy or smooth sailing. It’s not an endless coffee date of chatter and laughter. I don’t expect my partner to dote on me or worship me.

Words like dote, worship and adore belong in adolescent love, not in adult love.

Although  I still get twitterpated when my husband walks in the room I view our relationship realistically. The danger comes when people buy in to the scenes they see in the movies. The curtain closes when the couple is still figuring it out, and there is no “and then”…. and then they had a fight about the bills, and then one of them forgot to take out the garbage, and then one of them wanted to have sex and the other was too exhausted, and then one of them got sick, and then they had to debate on parenting strategy…. It would make for a very boring movie, wouldn’t it? People feed in to the lies that a relationship shouldn’t have hard bits. OR, worse still… That when it DOES have hard bits,  it should be a dramatic blowup with someone wishing the other one dead and walking away, then all of that immature behaviour being washed away with a kiss and the adoring of each other beginning again. That is not life. That is a lie. Our culture is very much about instant gratification, romance, gifts, and grand gestures.

I get confused when people say the honeymoon period stops rather than saying it shifts and changes. It doesn’t stop, life just changes as you go through its stages and you adapt to it. I also get confused when people get “bored” or have the “7 year itch” and start to look at other people or think about cheating or leaving. These people must believe that all -consuming need for each other is true love and should last. That love should be static. Sometimes you have to roll with the (proverbial, NOT real) punches and talk it out. Sometimes you have to adapt or compromise. I didn’t get married to give up and walk away. I will do anything I can to solidify the bond.

It is when you can get through hardships, bad health, family conflict, road trips gone wrong, money problems and disagreements and you come out with a stronger bond that you know you have a mature, real love. It’s when you are arguing and you still want to be there working it out that you know you have adult love. I have never wavered in my love for my husband. When we are disagreeing I never want him to leave and I am always listening to his side. In previous relationships,  I just waited for my turn to speak and I waited for that person to leave. Now I only want to compromise or work it out. This is mature love. Wanting to do anything you can to make that person’s life easier and yourself better is love. Supporting each others crazy dreams and lifting each other up emotionally is love. Everything we have decided for our kids and the bigger picture my husband and I have done together. We “have each others backs” as they say.

True love is not liking ALL the same things in a chorus of “me toos” (every good friendship isn’t that either), because that would be horribly boring. Have you ever seen the Seinfeld episode where Jerry dates himself?? (Played by the brilliant and beautiful Janeane Garofalo). In the episode, Jerry hated it. You cannot learn and grow, (much less entertain each other,) if you are exactly the same.

There are some times when you should walk away. If you don’t have the same basic life goals in mind(one of you wants kids and the other person doesn’t), or that person is abusive in any way (verbal abuse counts too, and can be very subtle: http://consumer.healthday.com/encyclopedia/depression-12/depression-news-176/depression-and-verbal-abuse-645007.html). Obviously, this is not a healthy form of partnership and there should be no trying to compromise and work it out.

If you do have a solid love then nurture it. Talk through the disagreements, stick up for each other and keep smiling. Affection, understanding, and selflessness are key to a lasting marriage. At least, that is how mine works and I love him more each day.

 

 

3 Comments

  • Vicky Farr 2015-10-22 at 19:01

    Well Dale and I are very very much the same as this !!!!!!! we have been together 30 years and married for 25 of those and im happy to report it’s does get even better with each passing year!!!!!!!

    Reply
    • Tianna Wynne 2015-10-23 at 17:07

      That is so awesome to hear!!! 🙂

      Reply
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