Fairy tale princes and princesses live happily ever after, but real couples get disillusioned shortly after making their vows. I was impressed with a recent blogger who said she didn’t notice her husband’s faults for the first ten years of their marriage. It certainly didn’t take me that long.
It didn’t take George that long, either. Within the first year he learned that I really didn’t want to work on cars with him and that my enthusiasm for fishing and hunting before our marriage was a sham. We had each put up an attractive facade during courtship and reality sucker punched us.
I don’t think we’re unusual. A friend said she knew she’d made a huge mistake when her brand-new eternal companion refused to buy her an ice cream cone on their honeymoon for fear she’d get fat. They resolved the conflict with compromise—she kept her trim figure as long as he kept his.
Our daughter, Lolly, and her husband insist that the secret of a happy marriage is to enter matrimony with low expectations. Neither of them thought the other would make them happy. And they’re right. Happiness comes from within. Even a nearest and dearest can’t confer happiness upon us—no matter how much we deserve it.
Maybe the real secret of marital bliss is not noticing a spouse’s flaws. And more power to those who can pull that off.