Happily Ever After. The fairytale myth.

29 Jul

Fairtytales have a hell of a lot to answer for if you ask me.
What is up with that whole happily ever after lark? Frankly, it’s false advertising.

Cinderella? Happily ever after.
Snow White? Happily ever after.
Sleeping Beauty? She had a cracking snooze AND lived happily ever after.
Romeo and Juliet? Hmmm, forget I mentioned them, and they’re not technically a fairytale anyway.

Realistically speaking, Cinderella may be the exception to the rule. Yep, she possibly lived happily ever after because she married into royalty. She snagged a Prince so she probably had nannies, and housekeepers and still got her hair done every month or so and went for cocktails with the girls whenever she wanted.
Alright for some, I suppose, but even marrying into royalty would have its issues, for instance, she could never pick her nose in the car for fear of being snapped by the paps.

Snow White? Well, after living with 7 guys, albeit little ones, for months, she probably lived happier once she was just living with just one princely dude. Can you imagine how many pairs of shoes were all over her loungeroom prior to that? Or how many skiddies those 7 little bottoms would leave in her clean bathroom? She probably ate that poisoned apple because she was so over cleaning up after the dwarves. She definitely would have been happi-ER, but happily ever after?
There’s no such thing.

No one mentions how, after Sleeping Beauty has three kids and no sleep for two years, she’s always cranky when the Prince comes home from trotting about in his kingdom. He just wants to take off his breeches, scratch his balls and sit by the fire with the hounds but she wants him to help her with bath time and to fold the never ending washing.
It’s not easy maintaining a relationship when you have a family- there’s no two ways about it- but you don’t hear that in a fairytale.

In fact, no one ever said that relationships are hard work, full stop. It’s a well kept secret until after you’re married and the realisation of ‘forever’ sinks in.
Although in Hollywood people get married and divorced before you finish your cup of coffee, most people enter into the union meaning the word ‘forever’.
Marriage is rewarding, and stability is reassuring but it’s not all happily ever after at all, even if you do have a white picket fence.

When you join with someone, in marriage or in a committed way (bring on gay marriage, you bastards, enough of this silliness!!!), they talk about you becoming ‘one’.
You don’t become one at all. You’re still you and they’re still them. Two people trying to do the best thing for each other, and their families but also needing to what they need to do to keep the balance of themselves for their own life. That’s a frickin’ juggling act, let me tell you, and it ain’t always roses.

Relationships are constant work, and require more negotiation that the United Nations on a busy day and sweeter choreography than the Bolshoi. Libidos rise and fall, and not always at the same time as each other’s, so when the red, hot passion fades, you better be sure that you’re good friends. Spouses get depressed, have mid-life crises and even have affairs that threaten to tear the others heart out. Miscommunication or even just taking each other for granted can be very dangerous long term.

The thing with this whole marriage business is, you need to listen as much as you speak, it seems….. and sometimes you really need to listen to what’s not being said.
You need to be honest about your needs BEFORE it becomes a craw because it’s so much harder to fix once resentment has reared it’s ugly head.

When you get it right though, it’s beautiful to have that special ‘one’ at your side, supporting you and smiling with you when things get tough. It may not be happily ever after, but it can certainly be close.

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16 Responses to “Happily Ever After. The fairytale myth.”

  1. Fabulous Mommy July 29, 2012 at 11:05 pm #

    Having kids is a massive test of any relationship. I find it massively difficult to be careful how I phrase things and moderate the tone of my comments considering I haven’t had more than two full nights sleep in the last year. I don’t like this tired grouchy version of myself but I guess it will get better in time if I don’t let it bevome habit.

    And as a married gay… Well for feck sakes I can’t understand why the whole gay marriage thing is still such an issue in so many different countries. What is so bad about letting people chose who they want to share their “happy/unhappily ever after” with.

  2. Bunny Eats Design July 30, 2012 at 7:14 am #

    Respect is a huge part of the equation. If you don’t respect each other, any disagreements will leave either party thinking they are in the right. There are always two sides to the argument. Maybe even more.

    Being great friends helps too. You are kind to your friends. Relationships needs feeding and nurturing. Having time away from each other is good too. You should have separate interests. It keeps you from turning onto one uninteresting blob. Get some stories that you can tell each other.

    We don’t have kids, but we hang out together a lot. When we go out though, we usually go out with our own friends. It works for us.

  3. diannegray July 30, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

    It’s hard enough living with yourself at times, let alone adding another (and children) to the equation!
    I’ve been ‘happily’ married for 23 years even though when we first started dating I was warned by friends and relatives that we were “too different” and it would “never last”. There have been times through the years I thought they may have been right, but the funny thing is – the more you are with someone the more you become ‘alike’. It’s hard to explain, but it just seems to happen.
    Great post. I love the line “…require more negotiation that the United Nations on a busy day and sweeter choreography than the Bolshoi.” So true 🙂

  4. pamiejane July 30, 2012 at 10:26 pm #

    That is why they stop the fairy tales at the wedding!

  5. faydanamyjake July 31, 2012 at 3:10 am #

    I remember the first year or so after my first baby was born, That’s a tough time.

  6. rwbalzer August 1, 2012 at 3:38 am #

    We step back, take a look at the situation, take a deep breath, take time to evaluate the importance, look at the sunshine in our children’s eyes and realize, “Yes, it IS all worth it!” Then we smile and realize that time has a way of making everything right with the world.

  7. blogonmummy August 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

    OMGosh! It’s nice to know I’m not the only grumpy mummy out there! When me and hubby used to sit drunk and in love at our old dining table (used solely for entertaining and not covered in dried weetabix) I always imagined myself barefoot and smiling as he arrived home from work, surrounded by our brood, dinner beautifully laid out on the table – oh how sadly naive I was. With absolutely no sleep since out first was born, we have some days where we can barely speak to each other, as we simply have nothing left to give. Don’t get me wrong, other times we look at our little gang and each other, and know it’s all worth it, but it takes a hell of a lot of effort – way more than the fairytales let on! Your spot on!

    • midwestwritergal August 12, 2012 at 12:34 am #

      Awesome blog! I pressed it. Thanks for your honest account of motherhood.

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