December 12, 2012

Happier Ever After?

I love happy endings. I like fairy tales, but I don't like how they create a false reality. Before hubby and I got married, we were counseled a lot. They told us that marriage was work. And even though I nodded my head, I didn't believe them. How could it be work to love someone? *insert laughter here*
Love, no matter how starry-eyed, is work. It's sacrifice and letting go. It's forgiveness and hope. It's wading through hard conversations until you work things out. It's realizing life isn't all about you. It's putting your preferences on hold to defer to someone else's. It's continuing to care even when the butterflies have a day off. It's choosing kind words when you want to spit and patience when you want to slam doors. It's walking alongside when you're not sure where the road goes. It's cleaning the kitchen when you'd rather take a nap. It's listening when you're mind is racing. It's reaching for his hand when your day's been hard too.
I think the truth about love isn't told enough. I consider my marriage to be a strong one, but we still argue. We don't date as often as we should. We get caught up in "kid talk" instead of sharing our hearts. We still hurt each other in deep ways. We sometimes get it so wrong even after all these years. But...
He can make me laugh harder than anyone. He knows how deep I love our kids because he does too. He knows my angry face and when to steer clear. I know when he needs to decompress. He gets my art. I get his football. We hope the best for each other. We both screw it up sometimes.
Love is not all good or all bad. It's both. It's difficult and sweet. And despite what fairy tales say, no one lives happily ever after . . .
Maybe, just happier.

28 comments :

  1. These illustrations (and the way you capture them) are so beautiful. The words you write here are really powerful.

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    1. Thank you, Melissa. I appreciate your sweet words!

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  2. Loved this so much! How much you ask? So much I had to pause and tell you how much, that's how much! :D

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    1. Haha, thanks so much for telling me, Valerie. :D

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  3. What beautiful illustrations! I love this style. xx. McKenna Lou

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    1. Aren't they? It's an old book I was fortunate to find at a used bookstore.

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  4. I totally agree! Beautiful post! I'm here from IP.

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    1. Thank you. Glad you stopped by, Elizabeth. :)

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  5. This is my first visit to your blog, but the way you describe your marriage describes mine as well. thank you for the gentle reminder that even if we aren't living a fairy tale life, it's a deep blessing and oh so good.

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    1. Happy it connected with you, Brenna, and welcome!

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  6. Catherine: I always bought the concept that if you love what you do, it isn't work, even though we work at it. It carried us through many years of nothing but happiness. I know I am lucky.

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  7. Hmmm... this was worth the second read for me. So glad I stopped by from IP. Marriage is work, and it's the best job I have had. The most challenging, rewarding, spiritual journey I have ever been on, and still continue to journey through. Thank you for your beautiful artistry of words.

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    1. It is rewarding work. Thank you for such sweet words. :)

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  8. Stopping by from Emily's!

    You are so right when you say marriage is not all good or all bad but both. And yes,it is work - hard work but so worth it. Our 31 years are a testament to that!

    Thanks . . .

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Carol. And I imagine after 31 years, you intimately know the work of love.
      Catherine Denton

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  9. Wow, gorgeous pictures! I love the juxtaposition of the words with the powerful imagery. I've been realising how true it is, that life in community is so much more difficult than life on one's own. Better, but painfully so

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    1. Yes, community can be as tough to live in as it is beautiful. Thanks for your thoughts, Kati.

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  10. I think it's great to write about marriage and fairy tales in the same post. Marriage, even one FULL of love, can be challenging at times. One thing I've learned. It gets much easier after 25 years. Couple should hang in there. :)

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  11. This is too true! I agree there is a false conception about marriage sometimes, and even when it comes to blogging, generally people (me included) want to showcase smiling pictures and happy antidotes, instead of being real. Kudos for your honesty.

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    1. I know what you mean because I'm just as guilty. Thanks for your honesty, Holly.

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  12. he gets your art. you get his football.

    oh friend. you don't know how i needed this today. my husband and i love each other deeply, obviously, but we are such opposites, and some days the gap seems wider than others. i needed to be reminded that other couples go through this too... bless you.

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    1. I'm thankful it encouraged you, Emily. We all need these reminders. :)

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