The Myth of “Happily Ever After”

The Myth of “Happily Ever After”

“Happily ever after” is a myth. I mean what happened to Cinderella after that Prince found her shoe and took her to the castle. We ain’t heard from her since. Why? ‘Cause in fairytales the story ends after the Prince and Princess find each other. Marriage is not a fairytale. Your story doesn’t end after you say “I Do”. *Sings we’ve only just begun…*
Recently, in a FB post, a single woman posed some questions about marriage she wanted answered and I was *Clears my throat* volunteered as tribute to answer.
 
The Virtual Interview 
Q: Are married people happy? Like really happy?
A: Are you happy single? I mean like really happy. If you are unhappy single, you’ll be unhappy married.
When my husband and I first got married he said to me, in an intense argument, that he was just trying
to make me happy. I responded that he couldn’t make me happy. My happiness is my responsibility. He
can disappoint me. He can infuriate me. He can inspire me. He can support me. He can make me laugh.
He can cause me to cry. But he is not responsible for my happiness. I am. I was happy single and I am
happy married; even though this married life ain’t been no crystal stair. My advice is to not marry if you
are marrying for happiness because you still have much work to do on you. And, when you do marry…may the odds be forever in your favor.
Q: Does marriage change the connection between a couple? Why and how does it strengthen or
weaken?
A:  Marriage is not some magical spell that strengthens or weakens the people unified in holy matrimony. What strengthens any connection is the commitment of both parties to make that connection stronger and better. What weakens any connection is neglect. In marriage, you will have ebbs and flows. There will be times when you are as connected as you have ever been and you will feel as if you are operating as one.
There will also be times when you will wonder if you even know this person. I mean did he not know I
was going to eat that fried rice? Why didn’t he ask? Why doesn’t he understand his life is in danger
about this heah? Wait…My bad, I went off on a tangent…or maybe not. Some days your connection will
be contingent on whether or not he ate your fried rice.
Q: Does having kids negatively affect marriage? If so, Why and for how long?
A: Oh, this question is loaded! Those lil’ crumb snatchers do affect your marriage. Define negatively?
Children eat your fried rice too, so now your connection might be weakened because you thought it was your husband and it was frick or frack. And, this is fried rice from date night that was cut short because
frack had a 103 degree temperature and you had to get home to see if this is going to result in an emergency room visit.
Children, like marriage, are not magical creatures that make or break your marriage. They are, however, another ball to juggle. The secret is…do what works for you and your marriage, and hide the fried rice in a broccoli bag.
 
Q: Do married people get it poppin?
A: *Clutches Pearls whilst naked* Yes.
Young Black  couple sitting by glass table and trying to work through pile of bills, frustrated by amount of expenses
Q: How are bills handled?
A: This depends on the couple. Some couples keep separate accounts and each is responsible for certain
bills (I don’t like this scenario. Seems more like roommates, but hey if it works, work it.) Some have a
joint account and all bills, investments, etc. are handled out of that account. Some have a joint account,
and individual accounts. The joint account is where all the household bills and major purchases are
handled. The individual accounts are for personal use . This, like most things in a marriage, should be
discussed and handled based on what works for you.
Q: Do you all still have friends, outside lives? Do you go out? Do you still enjoy each other?
A: This made me chuckle. Do we still have friends? Ummmm, we got married. We didn’t choke kittens for
fun and then go on a shooting spree. Do you have friends when you’re single? Then you’ll have friends when you’re married. I am still friends with my high school and college friends and friends I’ve made along the way. I have also lost some friends, but that wasn’t due to my marriage. It was just that the season for those friendships had ended. Now, your friendships do change a bit. I can’t kick it with my friends the way I used to. There aren’t enough hours in the day.
Outside lives? Do I do things without my spouse. Yep!! It is essential. I have brunch. He has fishing. I go on a girls’ trip to the Bahamas. He goes to the Superbowl. We used to go to the movies together, but he likes to talk all the way through the movie and I need to hear the dialogue on the screen. Our together
time these days is usually watching a movie at home after the kids are asleep. The movies he has
introduced me to have become some of my favorites. My husband and I are like Green Acres though. He
likes farm living and I think a hotel without room service is roughing it. We both enjoy the beach, so
that’s where a lot of out trips are. We do still enjoy each other. He is one of the most intelligent men that I know. The conversations that we have sometimes have me laughing for days, but he is NOT my best friend.
Some people say their spouses are and I think that is fantastic. For me, my husband can’t be all things. I
have the same best friend I had prior to marrying him. He claims I’m his best friend, but do you eat your
best friend’s fried rice without asking tho’?
Q: Once strings become attached (Cars, homes, kids,) is the love affected? Do you begin feeling
obligated or trapped?
A: Trapped? No. Obligated? Yes. But the kids, cars, and homes aren’t why I’m obligated. It’s the promise
we made to one another. Trapped? No one is trapped. You can always leave. Some stay for whatever
reasons they tell themselves, but the only reason they would be trapped is because they are trapping
themselves. Marriage isn’t easy and it isn’t for the faint of heart. So, if being obligated to be good to
someone, work hard with someone, forgive someone, love someone, fight for someone makes you feel
trapped, DO NOT ENTER. You ain’t about this life.
Q: Is it really possible to be a legit team (Homey, lover, best fucking friends) building one another and
brightening each other’s lights?

A:Yes. Just understand you will have peaks and valleys. Sometimes you will work like a well-oiled machine and other times you will be clunky and awkward. Too many people have these ideas of what marriage is supposed to be and they end up disappointed because they are comparing their entire life with someone else’s highlight reel. Your marriage will be what you make it. You and your spouse MUST do what works for you, even if that thing doesn’t work for anyone else. Know that to be a team you must also love in the losses. There are going to be times when you don’t even like each other. I mean think about it. For an entire lifetime, you will be with this person and they will disappoint you. They will have you thinking that you are in the well-oiled machine phase of things and then eat your fried rice. Then, the very next week, you will be having a horrible day and they will walk in and say to you “I just want to thank you just for being born.” Now, don’t go thinking that after this comment the fried rice incident is forgotten. It isn’t. But it is forgiven.

Blissful couple
Q: Is it more fun than not?
A: I can’t really measure that. We’ve had a ton of fun and we’ve had a lot of not so much fun. But I didn’t
marry him expecting a lifetime of fun. I know that life doesn’t work that way. We have fun a lot. We
work a lot. What we do most is choose every day to stay married. When I clean up and rearrange all
of his paperwork, he decides to stay married. When he leaves town, and takes my son’s baseball
equipment with him and a game is scheduled for the next day, I decide to stay married. When we are
both exhausted and that one more thing comes up that needs to be handled we decide to stay married.
For 11 years, we have loved, disappointed one another, fought, forgiven one another, laughed, cried,
and most of all prayed. For 11 years, we have made the decision to keep going and keep trying. We are
in this until death do us part, so when it’s all said and done, I know I’ll be able to say we had one helluva
ride and I’m glad he’s who I was riding alongside.
Side note: I think I’m treating myself to Japanese for lunch tomorrow. I’ll be sure to get extra fried rice
though.
-KLS

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