Why Happily Ever After Should Be an Evolving Idea

Cloud Nine Can’t Be Forever

Modern myths, and our preconceived notions of what it means to be married – and live “happily ever after” – are strongly influenced by the media, by our family history, and by many other factors. What are your expectations, when it comes to marriage? What is your personal definition of happiness?

Perhaps you have set ideas, in mind, when it comes to your marriage, and what a happy marriage looks like. However, over time, there are many challenges that you, and your spouse, will face, together. A more flexible, and evolving idea, of what “happily ever after” looks like, for you, and your spouse, may not sound romantic, but, is a far more practical ideal.

After the Fairy Tale Wedding

You’re his Princess, and he’s your Prince Charming, but, once the confetti has settled, and the Likes on social media have come pouring in, married life, as a couple begins.

Yes, you may have spent two blissful weeks, enjoying the most romantic honeymoon imaginable in Hawaii, and wish that every day could be as amazing, but, reality has a way of coming crashing in. Modern life, especially if both spouses are working, is very demanding.

Busy careers, time pressures, family, social, and financial, commitments, that all need to be met. While the beginning of any marriage may feel like an extended honeymoon, the reality is, is that you need to be prepared for a tumble, off, cloud nine.


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Who has the job of picking up the dog poop?

Life will come knocking, and, there will be conversations you need to have, that are anything but, romantic. There are the bills to pay, chores to do, and the demands of daily life, together. Food shopping, picking up dog poop, your spouse’s annoying habit of leaving wet towels on the bathroom floor, the new job you’re applying for – married life may look quite different to what you imagined it to be.

The excitement of getting engaged, planning a wedding, the wedding itself, and perhaps enjoying a honeymoon vacation together are, emotionally and mentally, very stimulating, and romantic times. Being married itself is not a chore, but, it is important to manage your expectations, of what it means to be happy when it comes to the practical side of married life.

For Richer, For Poorer

Like a well-tended garden your marriage, too, needs weeding, pruning, fertilizing and watering. Your idea of happiness needs to evolve, and change, throughout the different seasons, and proverbial storms, that you will face, together, throughout your married life. This is a journey, that you are on, together.

Vows were taken, to unify your relationship; vows were taken “For Richer, For Poorer,”; vows were taken that celebrate your love, and desire to live happily, ever after, together.  Public promises were made to each other, in front of – depending on your beliefs –  God, your families, and friends, to start a new life, together. While the promises made to each other never change, your ideas about what makes a happy life, together, must.

What Does Happily Ever After Look Like to You?

Did you have visions of breakfast in bed, every day? Were you expecting life to be automatically, upgraded –  Married 2.0? The fairytale? Each marriage is unique- some couples travel, some stay at home. Happiness looks different to different people, but, within your own marriage, it needs to evolve, and change, too.

You spouse may rush home tonight, and tell you that they have been offered their dream job, but that it means moving to a new city. You can see how overjoyed they are, but, you have reservations. You’re very comfortable where you are. You have no desire to uproot your life. You discuss the pros and cons and say you need some more time, to think things through. How flexible, and adaptable, are you?

In the same way, your expectations and ideas, about a happy life, need to evolve and change. The decision to stay, or move to a new city, will be one that needs more thought and discussion, but the principle remains the same – in the same way, that jobs, cities, and where you live may change, so to must your ideals of what it means to live, happily, ever after, together.