The Story Beyond Happily Ever After

Disney and other fairy tale stories often end when the guy and girl meet, or when they get married. The stuff after marriage (not including any physicality) seems to be the … at the end of the credits. Let me tell you about a good …

We got married and we did the best that we could to get through the credits and not to step on toes and not to get ourselves mushed in the insanity known as wedding planning, getting married, and getting settled in. It feels like we’re still pretty much at the beginning. I may be odd, but time seems to have moved around us akin to the theoretic physics explanation for warp speed and how it could actually work.

I look at pictures of my husband from when I was first getting to know him (which was not that long before we got married) and we both look just a little older now, but not in a bad way. It’s like looking at a piece of paper and noticing subtleties in how it changes color over time depending upon its chemical composition and circumstances. The paper needs use to be useful. Locking it or him up in archival cold storage isn’t going to help anyone.

As for me, I love the times when we laugh with each other, which is often. So many people depend upon a wedding to be the hallmark of their happily ever after. Hollywood has been selling it that way since Snow White and before her, I’m sure. Then there are the Honeymooners, and it seems like marriage has gotten a bad enough rap that many people who are “dating” find it normal to have physical relations outside of marriage to test out their partner’s compatibility with them or just for the sheer heck of it. It’s like drinking and not expecting any hangover, ever, no matter what the substance is or how much is consumed. Commitment levels are low, selfishness levels are high, and it’s a mess.

For anyone looking for what comes after the Happily Ever After shebang, here’s the truth: You get what you put in to a marriage. Yes, it depends upon both you and your partner/companion/spouse, but if you’re not willing to love them enough to work with and for them and help and be yourself and just give it every ounce of effort and energy needed, then don’t do it. While being permanently single isn’t good for people, either, the best things in life come with work involved.

Marriage is about service.  It is an awesome and hard-core responsibility. You have yourself, your spouse, and any offspring to think about. If you’re in it because it helps you, then please rethink and get back to the basics. It’s not about you, it’s never been about you, and it’s not about them either. It’s about “we.”

I’ve lived in individualistic societies for a long time, and I’m trying to escape the mentality. Self-gratification (we’re not talking survival or getting by. We’re talking “Me, Myself and I” thinking) is the fastest way to being depressed known to mankind. I’m not a trained psychologist. I’m a common sense-icalist. The fastest way to feel better is to work for someone else’s good. It’s energizing and a lot better than power drinks. It may also tire a person out, but it’s the good kind of tired that happens when someone does something good, whether or not they get thanked for it.

I’m all about marriage, and I’m grateful for my husband and grateful that we had to wait a long time to find each other, as we appreciate each other. Yeah for the real life that happens after the happily ever after moment. Real life can become better and better even with hard circumstances.