What happens when your happily ever after is not happy. The “For Worse” outweighs the “For Better” part and your vows become harder to follow than you originally thought. You’ve known your spouse as your friend for a while but knowing them as your husband or wife is getting to a deeper level of their soul. A place where inner thoughts and habits like to show their light once the ring in on their finger. It’s rather odd really, as if that piece gold carries some magic power to bring out your true self. One the other might not necessarily like anymore.
The music starts to play and everyone stands. As the doors begin to open you let out a sigh that signifies the moment you have been dreaming about since you were a little girl. You look down at the perfect white dress and flowers in hand. As you take your first steps closer to your husband, tears begin to fall down your face as you dream about your lives together. You picture the moments to come. The babies, the big house, and rocking the day away on the big wrap around porch. Your glassy eyes finally meet in front of the pastor. Eyes filled with so much love and hope for your marriage. Your fairytale has come true and now you are ready to live the happily ever after part. But what happens when the babies don’t come or one of you loses your job and you are barley living pay check to pay check? Or you are praying you can get your rent check on time, let alone buy a house. And the constant fighting has you wondering if you will even make it to those precious rocking chairs.
The funny thing is when we get married we have this unrealistic idea about marriage. We believe we will do better, be better. Our love is real and we will never face the problems our “almost divorced” friends are dealing with. We are going to prove everyone wrong. We will be better because we our soulmates. We pick up this fairytale idea as kids. We believe our prince is going to come and rescue us and whisk us away down the very stairs we will lose our glass slipper on. As a kid I always dreamt about my wedding day, I wanted a black ribbon around my neck just like Cinderella. I wanted my husband to be my savior that would change my life forever.
The moment we say “I do” isn’t the end. The fairytales never show you what happens after the prince comes. That is where the movie stops. But in real life, it is only the beginning. At the end of the movies they need to say…”and they lived a life full of laughter, tears, late night arguments, regrets and accomplishments, hugs and apologies, loneliness, joy and sadness and moments they never even saw coming. Let’s get rid of “the end” because after that kiss, it is far from it.
Maybe as you are reading this you are broken and you are wondering if you made a mistake. Wondering if you were fooled into something you thought should have been greater. Did you miss the red flags? Did you see them but look the other way? Maybe what looked perfect on the outside was only the outer shell that contained the piece of Hell that was unleashed once you said “I Do.” This all may sound harsh and a bit much, but for some this is their reality. A reality that was crushed into million pieces. I’m not here to give marriage advice, to tell you stick it out or leave. I can’t do that, I can’t fix anything. I am here to say three things.
1. Toss the Expectations out the Window
Expectations are the root to many of mine and my husbands arguments. I expected him to be home on time, he expected me to want to cuddle, I expected him to want to do the dishes….and so on. You know what I’m saying. We all have them for every aspect of our lives. Here is what we CAN expect. We can expect our significant other to mess up, we can expect things to not go our way, we can expect things to get messy and we can expect the trash to not get out to the curb on trash day. So toss the unrealistic expectations and replace them with lots and lots of grace. For yourself and for your spouse. Lets live this life giving others the amount of grace that is given to us by our Heavenly Father everyday.
2. Spouse does not equal Savior
I went through the first half of my twenties just trying to get married. If only I could just get married, then my life will be better and complete. If only…..I will be happy. This is still something I struggle with today that ultimately effects my marriage in a not so good way. If only we made more money, if only we had a bigger house, if only I lost a few pounds…the list goes on and on folks. But our “if only’s” are lies from the enemy. They are temporary and fleeting. What is the truth? Our true ever lasting happiness comes from God and only HE can reveal that to you.
3. Reclaim your Identity
If you are coming out of a broken relationship that tore you to pieces, know this. You are not broken, you are not your mistakes or your spouses mistakes, you are not done or forgotten. You are loved, you are made whole and you will thrive again. Today is a new day. Grab a hold of the Grace and Hope that Gods gives us because he loves us so much and keep moving forward. Keep standing and declaring His love over you. Don’t let worldly expectations dictate your identity. Your identity is in Christ alone and only He can tell you who you are and who you will become. You are the Son & Daughter of the most High King. You are so very loved and desired.
So friend, I pray that you will hang on. Keep putting that foot in front of the other and never ever give up. It may not be what you originally thought but that’s ok. Life is messy. It is what we allow God to do with our mess that counts. Are you going to leave it alone or are you going to allow God to pick up the broken pieces and make them into something beautiful again. I pray you hand those broken pieces over to the hands of God.