Marriage is work. Happily ever after IS obtainable. If you lower your expectations and realize that fairy tales aren't real.
I think we all expect to get married and then sit back and it'll just happen. WRONG. If you sit back and let "it" just happen. You're asking for trouble. It doesn't have to be complicated however.
My Aunt said something in a clip on our wedding video. Yes, I got married in the stone ages and our wedding is relegated to an old video tape. Someday I'll transfer it to DVD or Blue Ray. Or I'll burn it in effigy when the threads holding my marriage together finally break. I'm kidding. I have more faith in my marriage than that.
Anyway... my Aunt gave us this piece of advice. "Keep your eyes wide open before marriage. And half closed after." It makes more sense to me now. Almost seventeen years later.
Pick your battles. Or as Dr. Phil says, choose your deal breakers. (Yes I watch Dr. Phil. So sue me.) What are you and AREN'T you willing to live with. Look, everyone has quirks. Little odd things they do for their own comfort, out of habit or superstition. I still, at forty years old, make a wish every time I notice it's 11:11. I find comfort in books and rocking chairs. And I think Christmas music at the wrong time of year can raise your spirits.
I cry at the drop of a pin. Sad movies, TV shows and songs can leave me sobbing. I get it from my Dad. The man cries over EVERYTHING. I admit. being over emotional can be tiresome to others sometimes. But it's me. It's something in the very core of who I am. I can control it to some extent. But give me a break. I'm Italian. We're prone to the dramatic. My Dad can't use this excuse. He's German.
Marriage is work. You have to give a little to get a little. Dr. Phil says we should all wake up each morning and think to ourselves. "What can I do today to make my spouse/significant-other happy?" Ok, that may be pushing it a little. Besides, my husband swears all he thinks about all day is what he can NOT do to NOT piss me off. I'm not that bad!! Seriously.
You'd think after over eighteen years together he'd have figured me out by now. My expectations are so simple and basic. I don't want a lot. I'm happy with the simplest of things. It's not that damn complicated. But he just doesn't get it.
He's a man. I've referred to Bill Engvall before. I love this guy's stand up routines. Even the one's I've seen again and again have me laughing so hard I cry every time I watch them. It's so real. He gets into the things that really happen day to day between married people. And makes them funny. Basically he's my husband.
I'm not comparing my husband to a joke. Before anyone gets a bee in their bonnet I'm really NOT making fun of him. He's a guy. He thinks differently than me. We've been hearing it for generations. Men and women are different. We process information differently. We communicate differently. Our needs, while similar in some areas, are completely different.
That's the first step, I think, in finding a way to a happy marriage. Acknowledging that you are both different and going from there.