Happily Ever After And Other Myths About Marriage

For love to last we need to adjust our expectations of reality.


In almost every Disney movie, whose plot centers around a beautiful princess falling madly in love with a prince she met only moments before, the entire movie tends to deal with the events that lead up to the wedding day. After a few magical sing-a-longs (usually accompanied by blue-birds and mice in tiny clothing) there will be scenes in which the prince rescues the princess from evil and whisks her off into the sunset to get married. Frequently, the wedding is an elaborate affair after which comes…the end. And they lived happily ever after.


Disney isn’t alone in this. Classic Hallmark movies, paperback romance novels, and the ubiquitous ‘fairy tale’ are all sources of unrealistic ideals about the topic of love and marriage. Obviously, pointing the finger at the media for setting a poor example of relationship reality isn’t realistic. However, if your marriage isn’t the magical wonderland you had hoped for, it’s worth considering what may have informed your childhood fantasies on the subject.


One of the major disservices that this idealized notion of romance has done for recent generations, is to put the focus on entirely the wrong aspect of the relationship. After a whirlwind romance and an extravagant wedding, comes: nothing. The prince and princess are never shown struggling with their children‘s behavioral issues, or facing such boring and commonplace matters as financial difficulties, communication problems, or divorce.


Actual marriage, the kind that happens without the assistance of fairy godmothers and knights-in-shining-armor, requires more than just love. In order to succeed, it needs commitment, hard work, trust, a willingness to persevere and stick it out through the bad times as well as the good ones, and, wait for it… realistic expectations.


For marriage to be successful a couple needs to understand that romance and romantic love, while enjoyable, just aren’t enough all by themselves.


After all, a marriage is made up of people, and people are anything but perfect. There is no such thing as a “perfect spouse” who will always meet all of your needs and never fail you in any way. Expecting anything else will only set you up for major disappointment.


It has been said that if only couples spent half as much time, effort and money on their marriages as they did on their weddings, the divorce rate would drop significantly. Perhaps there is some truth to this concept. People expend a substantial amount of resources on making their weddings memorable, and then flounder when the day-to-day routines of marriage fail to live up to their romantic ideals. Expectations of real life are very hard to meet when they were set by Disney and Nora Roberts.


So next time you snuggle up with your kids to watch an old Disney classic, or curl up with a cup of coffee and your favorite romance novel, remember this: Real life, while not as romantic, can often be richer and far more rewarding than any story, if only we are willing to make the effort.


That said, we are aware of the fact that life happens. Sometimes, despite your best intentions and deepest commitment, relationships don’t work out. Sometimes people end up being very different after they’ve said “I do” to what they were during the courtship period. And sometimes life hands us situations and circumstances that make staying in a marriage completely untenable.  Expectations aside, there is no point kicking a dead horse as they say.


So if you have tried your best to salvage your marriage, only to discover that it’s unsavable, we’re here for you. Some things were just never meant to be. And if that’s your situation, then don’t hesitate to call us at 517 866 1000. The experienced family law attorneys at The Kronzek Firm can help you pick up the pieces when life falls apart, and create the best possible future for your situation.