06 June 2016

And They Lived Happily Ever After... or did they?

I'm about to admit something pretty embarrassing, so please don't judge. I love watching reality shows. There. I said it. I know there is absolutely no intellectual value being added to my life by watching them, but that's kind of the point. After a long hard day with the kiddos, I just want to veg out and not have to think about anything of importance. A side perk is I always end up feeling amazing about my own life after watching. My favorite at the moment is ABC's The Bachelorette. After watching each episode, you will often find me telling my husband, "I'm SO GLAD I don't have to deal with the mess of dating anymore! And you are so much better than any of the bachelorette's dating options!" So again, don't be so quick to judge - it actually helps improve my personal marital happiness.

As much as I try to watch without any quality expectations and often roll my eyes during some scenes, occasionally I hear something that really makes me cringe. One statement on this season's first episode almost alarmed me. See if you can guess what is wrong with her statement:
"I’m so ready for love. I hope on that final day that there’s someone that I love more than anyone down on one knee proposing to me... I’m so excited. I cannot wait to find the person I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life with! And be done. And be happy.” - JoJo Fletcher, The Bachelorette
Little girls grow up reading fairy tales where their prince sweeps them off their feet and they live happily ever after. Some guys think once they find the wife of their dreams, all their problems will be solved and life will be easier. Other singles may dream of never again having to feel lonely, if only they could find their soulmate. If you are married, you obviously know none of this is true. Life doesn't get instantly easier once you say, "I do." The fairy tale doesn't start the moment you walk down the aisle - that's when the real hard work begins. And I probably know more married people who are lonely even within their marriages than my lonely single friends.

This idea of "happily ever after" is a grossly incorrect expectation that sets us up for failure. Spouses aren't meant to make us happy or complete us. To place all of your needs and happiness on the imperfect person you married will always leave you lacking. Thank goodness we have a perfect God who can fulfill all of our needs and give us a joy that is not dependent on our circumstances. We need to understand that our spouses are flawed and will inevitably let us down, possibly even on a daily basis. This acknowledgment actually frees us up to have an even better marriage. 

Take a moment to think about your own marriage. What unreasonable expectations are you putting on your spouse that you instead need to look to God to take care of?


  1. I think when I'm feeling stressed or anxious, I subconsciously expect my husband to somehow give me peace in my heart, which only God can do. He can direct me to God and God's word, but the peace doesn't come from my husband.

    1. So true!! And any comfort your husband could even give you wouldn't be nearly as good or lasting as if we went straight to God for that. Just is hard to remember in the moment!


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