I wanted to tell you a story about a couple who were rather influential in my understanding of what it means to be married. A marriage that lasted a lifetime. On July 5, 1992, my family and I said goodbye to a man who emulated everything I wanted my future husband to emulate. I was 17 and like any girl I had my eye on the prize, marriage. I knew at some point I would be getting married. And I wanted a marriage that was easy that was a joy to be part of. In all honesty I wanted to be the Cinderella who married her prince. Or Snow white who was kissed by her prince and taken to his castle to live happily ever after. I’m a lot older now. And I know that marriage is no happily ever after kind of thing. In other words I know there is more to it than just a happily ever after. But if there ever could be I thought I saw it in my Grandparents marriage.
I stayed with my grandparents one summer. And of course if you have a couple of growing kids living with you, it is inevitable that you will need to shop for food. Grandpa dropped me and Grandma off at the door to the store. And we went shopping. I remember him catching up with us being with us while we did the shopping. However at some point he left. I remember I asked grandma about it and she said had said we would see him outside. Sure enough we step out the door and he pulls the car up and gets out to unload the groceries into the trunk of the car.
Marriage is Work
This kind of thing seems to me to be the closest I could ever get to the fairy tail. I understood that as a commoner (not a princess) I was not going to get my castle nor would I just be able to sit down to a feast that had already been cooked for me. It understood there was work to be done in life but I had no desire to have to work at love and happiness in my marriage.
Grandpa is Prince Charming
The way I saw my grandfather, is every inch the white night. The warrior who came to the aid of every damsel in distress and saved the day. And went home to his Maid Marian. It did not matter to me that is was not the time of King Arthur and the knights of the round table. My Grandfather wiled a wrench or pliers or even a hammer.
The reality is that the fairy tale didn’t elaborate on all the nitty gritty of life after the Prince married Cinderella. Or after after the prince kissed Snow White. The problem with growing up is that it is harder to see things through rose colored glasses.
Marriage isn’t easy. I’m sure on more than one occasion Prince Charming was not so charming. And I am sure putting up with those seven little men in a small hut seem much more appealing to Snow White on occasion rather than dealing with her prince. Marriage makes things so much more difficult and yet makes it easier as well. It all has to do with vulnerability.
Vulnerability means that marriage is going to be great, fantastic, fun, exciting, and enriching. And it is going to be painful, and heart wrenching. This does not mean we made the wrong choice when difficulties come nor does it mean that you did not marry your prince. That man became your prince the moment you said “I do”. Sometimes you just need to help him see that he is the prince.
If you are withholding “love” this is “conditional love” and it stifles you and your spouse’s vulnerability. Which stifles the joy, fun and excitement of you marriage. Love is a commitment. In marriage, you must commit to loving your spouse on their worst day and yours. It is easy to commit to loving your spouse on your best day and on their best day. This is why love is so sacred.
Love is not easy
Love is not easy. It is one of the hardest things we do and yet the most rewarding. I know it sounded a bit like i was talking about parenting. It is the same. Loving your spouse is a choice you make daily. Loving your kids is also a choice you make daily.
Looks Can be Deceiving
Your husband is your Prince Charming and you are his Cinderella. Your Prince Charming is waiting for his Princess. Use everyday to draw out your Prince Charming in your man. Strive daily to be a woman worthy to be his Princess.