Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ever After...

“Every fairy tale, it seems, concludes with the bland phrase "happily ever after." Yet every couple I have ever known would agree that nothing about marriage is forever happy. There are moments of bliss, to be sure, and lengthy spans of satisfied companionship. Yet these come at no small effort, and the girl who reads such fiction dreaming her troubles will end ere she departs the altar is well advised to seek at once a rational woman to set her straight.”
~Catherine Gilbert

Hahahahaha… LOVE IT!

 So I want to talk about love; that love we all dream about and all wish upon while staring at the stars. Women, men, we all picture that perfect one who will be ours… the one who will understand us… the one who will level us off. We all imagine that perfect life we are going to have because of that perfect someone we have found. It’s almost like we want, we expect the fairy tale, because we are deserving of the fairy tale. So we build up our own fairy tale, and then search for the Prince (or Princess). When we actually do meet them, we feel we have been blessed and gifted with our own fairy tale come true…
Do you remember the stories of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and The Swan Princess? As little girls we all wanted those stories to be our story. Many of us desperately wanted to spend life in a beautiful castle with a Prince Charming and live, "happily ever after." And as a mom, although I wish that fairy tale for my daughter, I have a more realistic spin on the whole “Fairy tale story”…

The reality is that there is no such thing as a life without any hardship, challenge and adversity that won’t affect our happiness. Basing your life on the tales you read while still in grammar school will absolutely not help you deal with the incessant compromising you have to do (when reality hit); the adjustments you will have to make and display when presented with new, unfamiliar situations…
So while I don’t think fairy tales are bad, I do think we need to set more realistic standards for our daughters. As they get older, we need to tell the real tales, complete with all the many different possibilities, outcomes and journeys life can take you on. We need to also let them know that the true goal is not to find your happily ever after, it’s to build an ever after with many moments of happiness alongside a few unplanned but expected disagreements, misunderstandings, silent treatments, and unexpected blows…

The fact of the matter is if someone had taken the time to tell me that marriage is no fairy tale, I may in fact have made different decisions. That - in no way - means that I regret getting married. To the contrary, I actually believe that a little foresight might have made us that much better of a wife and husband earlier on. I believe that if I had gone in with a clearer understanding, not taking happiness for granted, the journey of marriage (or any relationship for that matter) would have been an easier ride! Now to play Devil’s advocate, things could have gone differently also, given a crystal ball. If the 25 year old me had had an accurate picture of the mere possibilities of what was to come, and the work we both would have to put in to have our “ever after”. Better yet, if I had had some insight on what my journey was to be, I might have ripped the bottom of my dress off, kicked off those pretty shoes, and ran like Usain Bolt in the opposite direction of the alter - scared shitless, and potentially missing out on the monumental happies I now have in my life…
Whether your "Ever After" is happy is pretty much up to you. I have found that most of mine is happy. Is my life a fairy tale? No, but it is a tale, my tale!

All in all I wasn’t promised a life of rainbows but my young woman mind believed in the fairy tale of Happily Ever After. The point is that reality is harsher when you are not prepared…
But today I’m here, working towards my ever after, feeling blessed and appreciating all my happy moments, while working through the challenging ones.

This is actually very funny, the more I read this piece, the more I make corrections and try to rephrase my thoughts the more I realize that the reality is that I’m glad no one told me, “Rose, this is going to be the hardest, most challenging endeavour you will ever take upon,” because of the possibility that I would have missed out on the most rewarding experience of my life… being married to my amazing love, the hubby.

“I'd rather have bad times with you, than good times with someone else
I'd rather be beside you in a storm, than safe and warm by myself
I'd rather have hard times together, than to have it easy apart
I'd rather have the one who holds my heart”
~Luther Vandross

To the possibility of EVER AFTER filled with many happy moments…



  1. Rose, I am so glad you brought up this topic. Indeed, those fairy tales made all of us dream and those dreams got stuck in our little girls heads into womanhood. Let me speak for myself here. I was the one to believe love itself was enough. THAT you conquer it all just simply with LOVE. Like in those fairy tales and those harlequins I read so much.
    Indeed, I wish I was told differently, I wish I knew more. In the fairy tales it all seemed so easy right? How much preparation do we get for mariage besides the one that we incrusted in our heads as kids? Nowadays, we (Africans mostly) get a small gathering of women to talk to you about Mariage not being easy and requiring work the day or weeks before you mariage. These encounters are they enough to wipe up the utopia? Mariage is constant work while being a beautiful thing in itself. But it can`t be beautiful without the work.nothing is given. Like you, I wish I was more prepared ( boy, it would have saved a lot of energy on both part). if I were to redo it again, I would and with the same man because he is amazing. However, I would redo it knowing what I know now. The first time I had a major disagreement, argument into our mariage, I was devastated. I honnestly did not think we could overcome that. It`s him, that told me what you wrote down. He said to me,``honey`` it`s not always a bed or has thorns too...stop thinking it`s a fairy tale! that day, is the day I realized and snapped in reality!Indeed, I am now writing my own tale ;-)

    1. Thank you so much for your sharing your story, I must say that it feels really good to know that this is a share reality!


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