Growing up in a generation where divorce is commonplace and step-parents are the norm, it's easy to see how cynics can scoff at the idea of happily-ever-afters. "Marriage isn't a fairy tale", they'd say. I don't blame them. Disney really screwed us with the concept, huh?
Maybe we should redefine Happily Ever Afters. For me, "Happily Ever Afters" isn't a Disney Finale kiss at the altar. It's about the little unextraordinary moments that go unnoticed in a marriage.
Just to paint a picture...
I grew up in a nurturing home where my parents, who've been married for 37 years, have shown time and time again that they love and accept each other's crazy, imperfect, and sometimes maddening selves. Yes, they inspire me and I idolize them!
Like any home, mine experienced tough times but my parents worked together to make those times bearable. Even when they couldn't stand to be around one another. they cared for each other. It wasn't a perfect home, but it's one where I learned that the happily-ever-after moments in life isn't the kiss after saying 'I Do' or your first dance.
Happily Ever After is about...
the cool-down talk after an all-out fight, the much-needed hug on a bad day, the slap on the ass just because, the cuddle on the couch, the coffee in the morning, the impromptu dates, the inside jokes, nicknames, and all the other little moments you could think of that couples share together.
Sometimes it's the this-is-too-much-to-handle moments in a marriage when life throws one too many curveballs where couples are tested and they find out if they want to work together to fight to hold onto those moments. Or not.
While it might sound strange, contradictory, or even insane - it's the couples that work through the hard stuff trying to better themselves in order to be BETTER TOGETHER that keeps me believing in the happily ever afters.