• The Hopefulist

Marriage your way

We all have these ideas about how marriage is supposed to be. We grow up believing for some reason that it will be magical with lots of romance and flowers. When it doesn't start out that way we can become disillusioned and fast. I think women get a lot of their ideas about marriage from fairy tales because most of us strive for a marriage that looks completely different than the one we grew up witnessing. If your parents had an amazing love story and you want your marriage to look exactly the same, congratulations. You had great role models. Most of us don't have that kind of example.

Growing up my parents split up when I was fairly young. I do remember a lot of fighting and tension before the official split at age 10. A few years later my mother married her high school sweetheart. It was a wonderful love story. They were engaged when they were young and my mother decided she wasn't ready to get married. They split up and went on to marry other people but came back together after both of them went through divorces. They had their prom picture on our mantel. It was like a movie. But in reality, it wasn't. They had a good marriage, I think, but it wasn't a movie or fairy tale scenario. There were times my mom wouldn't speak to my stepfather for days at a time. When they were home together they were usually in different rooms watching different shows on television. So, why I felt that my marriage, the one I had looked forward to and dreamed about for so long would be constant companionship and always having something to do. To this day I still feel like I have to entertain my husband when we are home on the weekend. I feel bad if I want to go sit outside for a few hours to read in the sun and he doesn't want to. I feel like I need to do something that includes him. He has told me many times that he can take care of himself and to not think that way but I still do. I have no idea how I got these ideas in my head. But there they are.

Are you married? Have you ever been married? What ideas did you take into the marriage that ended up being completely different from your expectations? In what ways is different or disappointing? We see things all the time about how much work marriage is if you want to stay together. It's true. But what works for one marriage won't necessarily work for another. You've heard people say; never go to bed angry. I know many people that don't follow that creed but still manage to have a long, happy marriage. Take what works for you and don't worry about what other people think or have to say.

There are some instances that people don't even sleep in the same room. Maybe because one of them snores really loud. Or one prefers to keep the t-v on all night. As long as it is okay with the both of you...you do whatever works for your marriage. We all have these pre-conceived notions about how marriage is supposed to look but the truth is that as long as you communicate, are open and honest, you can have any type of marriage the two of you choose.

My husband does all the cooking in our house. All of it. I'm not a great cook and he loves to do it. He doesn't even mind doing the grocery shopping. I know the old, traditional standards are fading away and that's good but sometimes it's hardest to let go of the ideals we have in our head. Some people choose to go on separate vacations or visit family alone. Some people have very active sex lives while other are non-existent. That will likely change through the years regardless. Whatever you think marriage should look like, wipe it from your mind. Go in with a blank slate, open to anything and everything. Talk with your spouse or soon to be spouse about their expectations and what they hope to get from the marriage. How do you both want your life to look? How can you both work toward that together? As with most things, comparison is death of joy. Don't compare your marriage to anyone else's. You do what work for the both of you. And don't let anyone to tell you any different.

It's "I wish it were cocktail Friday" Thursday. One more day until the weekend! Think about how your marriage looks? Do you like how it looks? Then keep on keeping on. It's a decision between just you and your spouse. Now, go make today, your best day yet.

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