Let’s be honest.
Hollywood has sold us a pack of lies.
Every romance movie ends in a happily ever after.
The man says just the right thing at the right time. The girl realizes that the one she really wants has been there all along. The bride walks down the aisle.
And of course money is never an issue.
Neither is infertility.
But the thing is…we don’t see what happens to the couple after the movie lights go up. We don’t seem them bleary-eyed at 4 a.m. arguing why the baby isn’t sleeping through the night yet. We don’t see the husband mismanaging finances or the wife meeting a cute guy at work while her husband spends all night gaming.
On the surface, we know these are “just movies”…but deep down we sense that something at least kinda like the movies is possible. And because social media is the way it is, we only see what everyone else wants the world to see about their marriages.
Enter “Happy Easter” photos where everyone is dressed alike. Don’t forget to post the photo with the hubby looking lovingly into her eyes!
So, as we ask our husband’s to mow the lawn for the 1000th time…we left thinking it all worked out for everyone except us.
While Hollywood knows telling the truth probably won’t sell out any theaters, it’s not completely impossible to have a marriage that is almost nearly like a fairytale…at least most of the time.
Don’t roll your eyes at me.
Hear me out.
YOU CAN TRANSFORM YOUR MARRIAGE INTO A FAIRYTALE ROMANCE!
Shh…you had me at “hello.”
While hiccups in a marriage are inevitable…there are some steps to take towards making over your marriage.
Believing that your marriage CAN be transformed is a key factor in whether or not it WILL!
I cannot stress this enough. Faith is the cornerstone of life. In marriage it’s no different.
Close your eyes and imagine your marriage looking like the movies. Let your mind wander. What does it look like? Now open your eyes and tell yourself that it IS possible.
As a strong Christian woman, I believe that God brings people together and that you didn’t “marry the wrong person.” I also believe that God is FOR your marriage! I believe that He knows that when two people divorce that they are ripping apart their souls because of the whole “two become one” thing. He wants you to avoid that, so he’s going to help you in your endeavor to making your marriage beautiful.
So, believe that it’s possible and believe that God is on your side!
After enough time, we develop barriers to protect ourselves from pain.
If you’ve experienced pain in your marriage, however deeply, you have probably built up walls.
These walls might look like something obvious, like avoiding sex like the plague, drinking in order to feel connected (or ignore the lack of connection) to your spouse or having male friend.
Or they might be more subtle…like shopping too much to feel like things are “exciting” in the home again or spending too much time at work.
Whatever your specific situations, you alone can deduce what are some of the barriers you may be putting up between you and your spouse.
Admit Your Own Faults
Don’t hate me. This is hard for everyone.
No one likes to admit they are wrong. But marriage consists of 2 people. And there is error on both sides.
Let’s NOT do the percentage thing…ie. he’s 70% the problem and you’re only 30%.
Because what happens is, you focus on HOW MUCH he’s being wrong…and usually conveniently forget your part in the matter because “at least your not as bad as him.”
TRUTH BOMB: You can only change you.
Repeat it. You can only change you.
All that effort and energy spent on trying to get him to change is worthless. That 70% his fault thing doesn’t even matter. Work on your 30% problem. Admit your faults…but don’t stop there. Dig in and figure out how you can stop those bad habits.
Do What You Did in the Beginning
When a man and woman first get together, they usually “do all the things.” Flowers. Date night. Long walks.
When you are wanting a change in your marriage, you have to go back to the beginning. Do the fun stuff again.
While most relationships don’t start out rocky…if yours did, I’m so sorry to hear that! You’ll have to modify your approach on this point and just do the stuff at whatever point your relationship was happiest. Or make up new ideas if your relationship has always had problems.
Lack of money and a too busy schedule can definitely hamper doing some of the things you once did, but don’t give up trying. If you are in the middle of something BIG like raising kids or a financial crisis, remember that it’s going to be hard. You aren’t alone in your struggle. It’s still possible to find some ways to start over.
Ask for Help
There is no shame in asking for help.
My favorite way to ask for help is to pray. God is always listening. He loves you and wants your marriage to succeed.
Another way to ask for help is to ask a couple that you know to give you advice.
Beware of people who support divorce. If you want your marriage to succeed you have to develop a “no way out” mentality towards marriage.
And for those needing help ASAP, there are tons of good books you can download NOW.
Here are the books I recommend for those struggling in their marriage.
Did you know that if you don’t love yourself, it’s almost impossible to love other people?
Women especially deal with self-hatred.
Listening to the voices in your own head can help you determine why your marriage might be having problems.
If you are constantly telling yourself that you are a “failure” no wonder you think your husband is a “failure”!
Loving yourself is hard, but it’s an essential step in a successful marriage
Are you holding on to that ONE THING your husband did five years ago?
Do you bring it up every time you fight?
Not because he deserves it…but because YOU deserve to be free of bitterness and anger.
And if we are honest with ourselves, we have all done things needing forgiveness. The Bible tells us to forgive so that we can be forgiven. God says that if we don’t forgive, God doesn’t forgive us. Ouch. Harsh, right? And scary, because I know I definitely need to be forgiven!
Ask for Forgiveness
No doubt, you realize your own part in the problems your marriage is facing.
Now is the time to humble yourself and go to your spouse and ask for forgiveness. Asking for forgiveness might feel hard because it requires humility. Humility hurts. We usually avoid it at all cost. But just like a muscle, if you aren’t used to using it, it will be work at first. But the more you practice humility, the better you will get at it.
Humbling yourself in order to ask for forgiveness shows our need for the other person. That might be especially hard if you are used to “doing it all” yourself. But in order for a marriage to WORK, you do actually need the other person.
Asking for forgiveness is powerful. It can alter an entire lifetime. It can mean the difference between living with a mediocre marriage and a fairytale marriage!
The Truth About a Fairytale Marriage
A fairytale marriage is possible, but there are some key truths you need to know.
A fairytale marriage isn’t one without strife at all…but one MORE full of grace, forgiveness, fun and love. The latter outweighs the former.
Fairytale marriages take work. Some marriages take more work than others.
Each marriage is unique. Comparing your marriage against Hollywood or any one else’s marriage will only rob the joy to be found in your unique marriage.