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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

FairyTale Part One - Happily Ever After: Expectations

I want to tell you about a journey.. one that's far from over, in fact, its only just begun.

Once upon a time, there was a young girl, let's call her Little Princess. Her parents having both come into marriage with their own baggage, had not set a good example of what marriage should be. There was no open affection shown by them and she craved it desperately. She grew up feeling that she was unlovable. The only things she ever heard about were the things she did wrong, there was no affirmation.

You know how the story goes.. she meets Prince Charming, falls in love, gets married and expects to live happily ever after. Finally, someone LOVES her and accepts her. Unfortunately, both she and Prince Charming have brought baggage into their marriage too. They've both brought expectations and dreams and their perceptions of what it should all be about.

Little Princess has brought all her insecurities and low self-esteem. She's expecting her husband's love to make her feel better about herself. She's brought all her romantic notions of how love should be, all her young ideals. She's put her husband up on this pedestal and expects him to be the hero of her own personal fairytale romance. She's wearing this sign on her back that says:


Prince Charming has brought his own baggage.. coming from a totally different background, he has different expectations.  He's brought his own anxiety about being a good  husband, fear of failure, his struggles with what being a man is all about since his own father was seldom at home. He's brought his own personal hang-ups and issues as well. His sign reads..


Have you ever noticed how a fairytale always ends with the prince and princess riding off into the sunset after their wedding? Hmm, methinks its because the real life fairytales end with the honeymoon.

That's when real life kicks in and romantic notions become just what they are... notions. These two people now have to learn to live with each other, they start seeing faults and flaws.. the pedestals come crumbling down and their rose coloured glasses get smashed.

Romantic love  has a way of making everything seem perfect..all those warm feelings and the joy in your heart seems to put everything in a soft, sweet light. The next step in your fairytale though is usually disillusionment as you start seeing the reality... your sweetheart is human and not really perfect at all. You start to realize that he/she cannot meet with all of your expectations.

Little Princess expected her husband to take care of things around the house the way her father did. He, on the other hand, never saw his father doing these things, so didn't. He believed that all he had to do was 'bring home the bacon'. She wanted him to show her respect and love by helping out and picking up after himself. She expected him to continue being romantic and showing her lots of affection, she wanted words he didn't say.

She wanted his love to complete her. She expected him to always want to be with her the way she wanted to be with him..in short she expected him to be her emotional crutch. She was determined to have a 'better marriage' than her parents. What were his expectations of her? How did she disappoint him?

Perhaps he expected her not to be so 'needy' since his own mother was pretty independent. Perhaps, he felt intimidated by all these  emotions she wanted to share. He was completely out of his element there, also coming from a background of very little physical affection being shown. His father wasn't  a 'talker'.Little Princess wanted him to open up and share his feelings, but that was against his nature and out of his comfort zone. He felt pressured.

Why was she so obsessed with how the house looked.. why did it matter so much if he didn't put his clothes into the hamper, or left his coffee cup on the counter. Prince Charming was used to being picked up after.. she was Miss  Uptight Put Everything In Its Place and he was Home Is To Relax and Not Stress About Stuff. He didn't want to be nagged about all these little things.. when did she become a nag anyway? So now they're married and she wants to control everything he does? She disappointed him and his expectations of her.

Disappointment has a way of creating a lot of hurt and resentment. 

Little Princess learned all this the hard way.. she, never having had a proper example of how married couples should solve problems, communicate and be tolerant, dealt with her disappointment with hurt feelings, angry words, confrontations. In return, Prince Charming reacted with his own anger, coldness and eventually freezing her out, putting up his protective walls.

This is where the enemy stuck his foot in the door..pride, ignorance, selfishness.. all tools he uses to systematically break down relationships.

This is where the testing of your love begins.. this is where the enemy starts his consistent attempt at breaking down your marriage. How you deal with these early days will make a huge difference to your future. 

In Part Two, we'll talk about the effective ways to deal with disappointment, disillusionment, conflicts and communication.

Hello friends, this is a little something I worked on today after attending a Marriage Preparation meeting last night.My husband and I have been asked to assist and these thoughts came to mind. I'd love to have your opinion so comment away!

Love & Blessings to all of you..shine on, shine strong for Jesus!

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Kristin Bridgman said...

OH MY! I so identify!!! After 30 years of marriage, I think we are finally getting it all figured out, but I remember those early days. I identify with everything little princess was feeling.
My post next Tuesday deals with the coffee cups on the counter, socks by the hamper, and trash...check it out:)
I think you could write a book!

Andrea said...

What a fantastic post! I can relate:-)

Lisa Maria said...

Kristin, as always you are so sweet and supportive.. definitely looking forward to reading your post.

Andrea.. thank you. Glad you visited today.

Faith said...

lol...I can sooo relate to this post! great stuff here. Guess what! I did try to email you on Wednesday but it came back to me as "undeliverable". please email me at hipeaksmom(at)aol(dot)com. thanks!

Ingrid said...

I think the "Happily Ever After" ended about the 3rd day of our honeymoon :). Been married almost 14 years. God really used WLW a.k.a. Courtney to convict me on my marriage. These past 2 years have been much better.

Lisa Maria said...

Hi Ingrid

Thanks for visiting today, I will come check out your blog soon. I love Courtney too, she always inspires and encourages me. I hope and pray that as you continue to grow in your marriage and relationship you will find renewed joy and strength in Him. (Check out Parts 2 and 3 of this series)

God Bless!