Tuesday, December 20, 2011

On the injustice of fairy tales

Rachel and I had our 4 year anniversary last Friday. 4 years! We had a wonderful dinner, filled with good food, laughter, love, and memories; both good and bad. Relationships are hard. Divorce rates are sky high, infidelity rates are likely higher, and broken homes are rampant in this society. Seriously people, relationships are hard work. Why then is this something that is not readily discussed? Why do we read our children fairy tales where the princess always gets the man and lives happily ever after? We, as a society, romanticize the high school sweetheart, turns marriage, turns old married couple on the porch. That is beautiful, but do we ever show the pain that exists in between? The disappointments, heartbreaks, and struggle? Relationships are hard work!

Don't get me wrong, they are pretty amazing as well. It is fulfilling, exciting, and rewarding to share your life with someone else, to find someone who makes you laugh, smile, and genuinely love. But. There is also the hurt, the frustration, the differences that lead to questioning what the hell you ever saw in each other, and pain....relationships can really hurt. I guess the balance is in finding someone who you can have a relationship with where the happiness makes the difficulty worthwhile. Someone who will stick it out through the hard times, and who you are willing to trudge through the pain with, in hopes that your hard work will result in finding the beautiful part again.

I don't mean to sound so depressing, I just had an anniversary for cripes sake! Plus, we are in the beautiful, comfortable, happy time now. The time where it all just feels right. I cherish that, I really do. We work hard, are constantly working to keep our relationship blooming and happy. But. As I type, I know we will come upon difficult times again. They are inevitable, a part of life, and therefore obviously a part of a relationship. It is these rough spots that make us stronger, that help us learn how to better deal with the next one, that help the good times be that much stronger and truer.

That is why I am posting. We need to talk about these difficult times. We need to share. Nobody should have to go through any pain alone. Particularly this though. Have you ever been in a relationship during a rough spot, only to have everyone around you claim the fairy tale in their own? It isn't true. Don't be fooled by the rose colored glasses. Relationships are hard people. Working through the difficult patches is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact, it is exactly how marriages are able to last decades. We need to be able to share in life's darkness as well as it's beauty.


Lynn said...

**pulls out checkbook, pen in hand**

How much do I owe you?

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Yes, this is so true. Relationships are a lot of work. My friends all married earlier in life and a couple of years ago at a book club, I told them their lives appeared effortless and their relationships seemed easy. Because when you take your marriage vows, along with a vow of fidelity (and other vows) you almost take a vow of secrecy. After havign this discussion, my friends said that their relationships are not easy and marriage (or any committed relationship) is work, and not every day is awesome. And their husbands do things that drive them crazy, but they don't say anything. But since then, they have been way more forthcoming about the difficulties/challenges of marriage. Which helps me because I feel like i Have a more realistic expectation for what marriage is like.

Great post! And happy anniversary!!

Heathrow's World said...

Amen Sista!

Mel's Way or No Way said...

We're in a good phase of our relationship now too, but I do remember the not so good days. I believe the only thing that saved us was the fact that we truly liked and respected each other as people outside the relationship realm.

I know relationships are hard, but I'm constantly astounded by the lack of respect I see/hear between couples; the insults, name calling and complete degradation. Those are the things people don't recover from.