Marriage offers the promise of comfortable co-existence, shared by two people who love each other, “until death do us part.” A commitment to love forever, in sickness and health, for richer, for poorer, come what may. It sounds incredible and makes many people feel safe and secure, knowing that they will have a partner for life who will be there no matter what.
It is a great concept, one that is possible, but unfortunately, far too many people approach marriage with unrealistic expectations. An old song sums it up pretty well with the words, “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden.” It’s wise to keep that in mind and to understand that promising to love you for the rest of your days is not a promise that everything will be perfect and blissful from this day forward.
There will be problems. There will be pain, grief, sickness, financial worries, struggles, and life altering events such as moving, changing jobs, having an operation, or giving birth to a child. While most of the latter events are positive changes, they still involve stress, and couples must actively work together to get through life’s challenges.
Happily ever after is possible, but it isn’t some fairy tale or fantasy. There is no magic formula. It takes work. In fact, it takes a consistent, conscious effort to build a happy, secure, and lasting marriage. It takes genuine love, selfless sacrifice, the ability to compromise, and it takes trust, respect, and plain hard work.
It is well worth the effort, but it helps to understand going into your marriage, that happy marriages don’t just happen, no matter how perfect you believe you and your beloved are for each other. You will soon find that outside influences can work against you if you aren’t working toward the same goals.