People often view marriage as this state of perfect bliss between a man and a woman. They could not be farther from the truth. I actually believe we would have less divorce if people stopped looking for these fairy tales in our novels. I stopped reading romance close to twenty years ago so I can not give many examples from what is out there currently. But I remember what I used to think of marriage and adulthood when I was younger and I read a lot of Barbara Cartland, an English author. It was not an accurate concept and at several stages as I grew up and experienced life and observed those around me, I got several rude shocks. Marriage was no fairytale! And love took work …. I am not sure if the misconception was from our innate need for love to be perfect or the fact that the novels always ended at the point when the two characters professed their love for each other and we were left to assume they lived happily ever after. Sometimes the novel even told us that and we then had to imagine how.
A wise happily married man once told me, "Marriage is the ability to tolerate each other." Now, that was not very romantic was it? That was almost scary for someone like me who was newly married then but it was sound advice and it was true. This came from a man on his sixteenth wedding anniversary though he had been with his wife twenty years. They are still together and going strong.
I have a slightly different spin on marriage, though communicating the same basic message: "It is not a walk in the park." I believe marriage is the ability to focus on the positives about a person and to minimize the ugly things about them so to speak; the negatives. There is no perfect person. Some of the things that you consider imperfections in your partner are exactly what someone else is looking for while some of what you consider their best qualities are the things other women do not care for. It is really about compatibility. This is why it is imperative to make sure before you join yourself to that person, they have enough of the qualities that are important to you or so-called deal-breakers. At those times when you feel like packing it all up or like you can not go on, these are the things about your partner that you will need to remind yourself about to resolve to keep trying to make it work. And this works both ways.
Why else would someone be married for two months and then divorced? If you are truthful to yourself, you knew you should have never married that person. You did it just because! We need to pay attention to these issues before we tie the knot. After you have tied the knot, these same issues that you ignored prior to marriage will rare their heads and be in your face. You will then have to deal with it but without much bargaining power because you never addressed it before or maybe not sufficiently.
I believe many divorces would be avoided if we would stop placing unnecessary burdens on our partners and wanting them to be our everything. We all need to play our part to make it work. We must be a team. Marriage is a wonderful union but only when you have a correct perception of the relationship and it takes work, just like any good thing in life-like wealth, a career or business, etc. Love alone is just not enough. It is the foundation that we build everything else one. By everything, I mean trust, patience, tolerance, kindness, selflessness and the ability to admit we are wrong. These then lead to longevity of the relationship.
Marriage is not a step that we take on a weekend in Vegas. We need to think it through before we take that step and join ourselves to another human. A good marriage does not fall into your lap. It does not just happen. You create one.