Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Reality of Happily Ever After

Reality is so much more interesting than Happily Ever After
Grey's Anatomy

I must preface this post by stating the fact that I'm not one that buys into the Hollywood fantasy life -- I realize that behind the drama of love and bliss are lights, cameras and cue cards -- So... why would I be using a quote from one of the very shows I don't buy into? Because I love irony...

If there were ever a Romantic Optimist, her name would be Anna (that's me!) -- and if there were ever a Realistic Realist, his name would be Dan (that's my husband!) and if there were ever a couple more different... that would be Anna and Dan (that's us!) -- I would love to tell you that our days are filled with joyous laughter, sweet nothings and whispers of love in each others ears... but I won't lie -- Although my life growing up was the farthest picture from fantasy, I most certainly believed that because my marriage would be mine, I would make it picture perfect -- (do I hear laughter?)

Dan and I celebrated one year of what some would refer to as the 'Happily Ever After' time period this past weekend and I'm alive to tell you about it... that's a good sign -- As a writer, I could use a lot of fluffy words to tell you about our blissfully romantic getaway and all the sweet lovey-dovey things we did, and you might just even ooh and aah over it all, but you get enough of that on Gossip Girl, Grey's and Desperate Housewives -- I want you to see that while Dan and my life, as Chapters says, is perfect, even when its not, it's by no means a fantasy, it's reality and it's so much more interesting than Happily Ever After --

Looking back is healthy and helps you move forward if you look properly -- Sometimes I feel like we have to see where we've been to remind us of where we're going -- I see milestones, such as our one year anniversary, as opportunities to stop within the whirlwind of life and refocus our lives on what's important -- In discussing our first year together, I asked Dan what his favorite part of our first year was and he said he'd have to think about it... (surprised?) Well, being me, I'd already thought about my favorite stuff -- It came down to two things... 1) I feel more secure and stable now than I ever have... I truly belong somewhere and I'm wanted there -- 2) We've become and are continuing to become best friends --

Dan and I knew each other all of 4 months when he proposed -- Yep..... something I vowed I'd never do, I did it -- Although then I told him I wanted 4 more seasons together -- Unbeknown to us, those next 4 seasons were filled with more stresses than one should ever have to endure -- Planning the wedding, full-time school, part-time work, interning 25 hours a week, commuting back and forth to Dan's (an hour away), Dan's father dying, building a house, moving to a new city and.............. do you need more? It wasn't exactly a breeding ground for mushy gushy, although we understood if we could make it through those times, we could make it through anything --

Once we put ourselves in a situation where we were inevitably inseparable (a little something called marriage), we had the opportunity to either become the best of friends or the greatest of enemies -- Some of you may have had the luxury of being friends first -- Clearly, Dan and I liked each other and certainly loved one another enough to marry, but true friendship takes a long time to develop -- What I've discovered and now hold as my true belief is Friendship is not born out of love, but love is born from friendship -- The reality of this friendship is so much more invigorating than a fantasy wonderland relationship --

The truest and most intimate of times are when Dan and I look at each other and know what we're thinking or when I hear stress in Dan's voice and I'm able to make him laugh -- How Dan can make fun of me when I get a shit-eatin' grin on my face while watching a romantic movie or the fact that I can bust on Dan for over exaggerating and he on me for overreacting to nothing -- How we don't have to explain ourselves when we're in a poopy mood and we're short with each other and the way we laugh about nothing until we can't breath -- It's being able to need alone time without the other getting offended and asking one another about our days because we sincerely care -- It's the kisses goodbye and love ya's before we hang up -- It's really the small things that make our marriage what it is --

So, today or any other time when you're bumming about your marriage not being what you'd expected it to be, think about what really matters... think of how the real things, the small things, the behind the scene things are what's keeping your marriage alive and kickin' -- Those are the things that make up your Happily Ever After --

p.s. --

I have a little secret that's helped me along through my first year -- There is a well renown Marriage and Family Therapist I just absolutely love -- His name is John Gottman and you can find out more about him by clicking here -- He wrote a book
The Seven Principles for Making a Marriage Work and the wisdom found in these pages is incredible -- I'm not one for just do these 10 things and you'll have a perfect life kind of books, but I did read through certain sections I knew I personally had issues with and it really helped --

p.p.s. --

Dan and I went here for our one year anniversary -- It's on an island in NC called Ocracoke -- I HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who wants to truly escape reality for a few days ;0)

23 comments:

Miss Caught Up said...

Sounds pretty Happily Ever After :) Lovely post. :) The Castle at Silver Lake looks really spectacular! I want to go...

Victoria said...

Hey Anna, I loved reading your Happily Ever After. SO true that frienship takes a long time. I can say at almost 10 years we are still working on our friendship in our marriage. I loved so many things you said and several things made me laugh. I am so glad you are happy and real in your marriage.

Lindsey said...

What a great post!!! Thank you so much for this, I enjoyed reading it!

LyndsAU said...

Your posts always leave me refreshed :) This one was so great. I truly needed to hear (or read) that! It is so true! Marriage isn't always perfect, but we are perfect together so the tough times are worth it! Thanks so much for sharing!

SassyEngineer said...

I really enjoyed reading your post - it was very real and honest. I have been married for a little over three years, and though I don't regret it, we definitely have had a lot of ups and downs. I guess that is just part of the journey.

Me! said...

WOW, you only knew each other 4 months before he proposed?? Now that sounds like a Romeo and Juliet story! :-)

Enjoyed your post as usual -- it's funny how everyone sort of evolves through the same stages in marriage, whether you knew your love for 4 months or 4 years prior. And the bit about taking alone time without the other taking offense -- once you find that element, life is so much more enjoyable!

P.S. Would love to hear the story of how you two met sometime. Future post, perhaps? ;-)

Naturally Caffeinated Family said...

Great post, thank you so much for sharing! Things are definitely not always perfect but to be able to work through those things together is an awesome thing! You're anniversary spot looked amazing!

~Mrs. Guru~ said...

You are such a great writer! Love the post and I will have to add that book to my lists of books to read! Congrats on your one year!

Katie said...

Love this post! Congrats on your anniversary! I'm definitely going to check out that book!

Blue-Eyed Bride said...

such a great post! happy anniversary! you're always so open and honest and i love it.

NewlywedCentral said...

MCU -- Wish I could go back...

Victoria -- You know why I just love you so much

Lindsey -- Thank you!

Lyndsau -- It IS worth it :)

SE -- Thank YOU for being honest... it's the only way to get through real stuff --

Katie -- Thank you...



Me! -- I will write about our meeting... it is super fun :)

NCF -- Working through it TOGETHER is key... you can't be the only one putting in...

Mrs. G -- Then I will need to start writing faster! :)

BEB -- Thank you, thank you and thank you! You are always so sweet!

Amy (Metz) Walker said...

Isn't it so true, though! The reality is better than the fantasy...even when it's tough it causes you to grow!

I am dying to go to Ocracoke...I've heard great things about it!

Mrs. Forever said...

You are an incredible writer and really captured the feeling of that imperfect perfection -- the flaws are truly what makes it special. Thank you for sharing!

Elaine said...

Stumbled upon your blog today. Wow, I really needed to read this post. Thank you...

ceemee said...

That is a heartwarming post... I could totally relate as we( my hubby and I) have just recently celebrated our 2nd year anniversary.
As a kid, I've always dreamed about a Prince Charming and a happily ever after. Well, my hubby is no Prince Charming, but who wants that? when I have someone who makes me feel very loved in his own special way. Not everyday is a happy day, but there is deep down joy I feel in our marriage and everyday I thank God for giving me him. :-)

Twenty-Something said...

Sounds like a marriage built to last!

Congrats on the Anniversary, may there be many many more to come!

Cocaine Princess said...

I am sure I posted a comment; or perhaps I dreamed it.

If I can remember what I wrote?
When you know you have found the right person it doesn't matter whether you've known him/her for four months or four years. When you know, you just know.

I wish you a lifetime of love, luck and success. Congratulations.

XOXO,
CP

Megan said...

Such a great post and so true!
I have started The Shack but haven't finished it yet. I am trying to get through the Twilight series before the movie comes out. I'm a nerd!

Meaghan said...

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To celebrate the launch we are doing a ton of giveaways. If you would like to get in on it check out www.getthebean.blogspot.com

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Thanks so much!

Meg

Justin and Jenn said...

You pinned the nail on the head about "happily ever after." If only reality was Hollywood...

Me! said...

Hey! I left something for you on my blog :-D

Erin said...

Anna,

I happened to stumble on your blog through MckMamma! So I started reading and reading and reading. My husband and I are approching our first anniversary on monday! The road here has been so difficult. It is nice to hear people talk about how difficult it can be instead of putting on their fake face (which I did for a little and then realized that does no good) and saying how perfect everything is! I admire thoes that tell it true! Love your blog.

Erin

Michelle Hix said...

I'm new to your blog. I've been all over it this morning. I think you have a wisdom about your marriage, your relationship and about yourself that is very humble and will bring about a very fulfilling life for both of you. Your reflection of events and your appreciation for the good and bad and everything inbetween makes you very human and probably what makes your husband and friends love you so much. Reading about all the changes that you went through during the wedding plans and the fact that you made it through that alone is testimony to how strong you and Dan are as individuals and a couple.