Happily Ever After really is a thing…

Happily Ever After! That is our plan when we stand before God and our friends and family! It doesn’t just happen like magic or a fairy godmother waving her wand around though, it is a combination of things that make Happily Ever After happen. It takes being in love, loving unconditionally, it takes mutual respect, it takes communication, it takes positive thinking and most importantly it takes having God in your marriage and in your home. Some people don’t believe in Happily Ever After! I believe as a couple you are responsible for creating what Happily Ever after is for you both, I believe having faith in God’s guidance and in his word helps you create that.

I don’t know about you but when I was younger, I didn’t understand just how important God being in my marriage would be, nor did I even know what that truly meant. As I look back hindsight is worth everything. I find myself wishing I had invested more in my relationship with God. I find myself regretting not putting effort into finding out what it all meant.

Proudly, I am so thankful and excited to be growing that most valuable relationship with God now. It is the most important lesson I have learned and it has allowed my husband and I to lay the foundation for and grow a vision of Happily Ever After each day. It takes work, and it is not all nice and neat either, some of it is roll your sleeves up, cry tears, work through anger, at times be completely vulnerable and ultimately transparent.

It requires you both to be forgiving and accepting of one another. That means understanding neither of you are perfect. We all know there is no such thing as perfect yet ironically, we stress ourselves and push ourselves to the breaking point on a day to day basis to try to reach a level of perfection. More times than not we fault our partners for imperfections that grow irritating over time. We set expectations needed to obtain gratification for a short term period for our own self, many times not even considering what our partners needs might be. We settle into every day routines that become automatic or robotic in nature leaving no room to acknowledge needs within our relationship as a couple. We tend to forget to continue to put forth effort in maintaining and growing the relationship with our spouse on a personal and intimate basis. We need to pray for our spouses and our marriages, feeding them and nurturing them just as we do our children and our pets.

I firmly believe you get out of your marriage and your relationships exactly what you put into them. As a couple it is important to talk early into the relationship about what is most important, what goals you share and what your big picture as a couple looks like. Do you pray together, attend church together, study your bibles together. Not everyone is a believer, if you aren’t, do you have alternate practices to keep your relationship your priority, do you talk about your daily struggles and triumphs, do you leave room for improvement and forgiveness? Do you take time to appreciate the things that make your partner who they are, that made you fall in love with them to begin with. These things are important whether you believe in a higher power or not.

Have you ever wondered what caused a relationship you once treasured to deteriorate? It takes two. Personally I believe it takes 3. I believe it is of utmost importance to talk with God about your relationship regardless who it is with, husband, parent, child a best friend, whomever it is with. I believe unintentionally we become selfish and inattentive, somewhat lazy within our relationships at times. We settle in to being content, leaving little room to continue to grow. This sets up any relationship for certain death.

We tend to become irritated and annoyed even bored over time with idle actions. We start using our relationships with friends or other loved ones as sounding boards, some turn to others to fill that short moment of gratification to feel what we think is love and to have that feeling of being needed or desirable. It is important to be courageous enough and love our partners enough to talk about the hard stuff. We must talk about the things that make us less than the perfection we aspire to be. It is imperative to love our spouse with the elements that help them to feel loved not how we need to be loved. For you it might be recognition for all you do in your home and within your family. For your spouse it may be affection in the form of touch. It is important to pay attention to the little details. Maybe you don’t feel important anymore. Maybe you feel less desirable. Many times we have inaccurate ideas of what or when our spouses find us desirable. I asked my husband once when he finds me most beautiful, to my surprise his answer was…. ” First thing in the morning, when we have our coffee in the quiet.”

One of my very favorite times I share with my husband is our early morning coffee and conversation, before anyone else in the house is stirring. We are focused on one another, no TV, no phones nothing other than the two of us sitting together discussing what ever it is that might be on our hearts or in our mind that day. Sometimes it is personal struggles, sometimes it might be a comment or action that was not understood or taken in a totally different context than what was meant. This time and effort from him brings me peace and balance. It is true that our spouse should be our best friend. For the first time in my entire life I share everything good and or bad with my spouse. I do not rush to take it to which ever of my friends or family that will listen as I have done in my past. If I don’t feel as if he understands what I bring to him I pray about it and seek guidance and change up my presentation until I am able to help him understand where I am. This has been one of my most appreciated aspects of our marriage. I do not speak negatively about my husband to others. I am his partner, his teammate, I am his support person and he is all those things to me as well. He has seen me cry, he has seen me angry and less than graceful BUT he never tells me what I am feeling is wrong or that what I feel doesn’t matter, I show him the same respect. This is one of the things that makes our marriage so strong and successful. We are real with each other, we are vulnerable, we lean on one another. He truly has helped me become a better person.

Everyday is not a fairy tale. Some days are hard. Some days we agree to disagree. Some days we go to bed ready for a new day, however we don’t go to bed angered with one another, we work it out. We never leave or end a conversation without saying I love you. I am never made to feel the urge to say I love you out of habit. Even when he aggravates me with his work schedule or that his mind is wandering on his pressing schedule for the next day, I look over at him and feel my heart smile. He is and always will be my Happily Ever After, because I make that choice each day.

With God’s help and the choice to love my spouse for all he is imperfections and all, every day I choose our Happily Ever After.

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