Unhappily Ever After

Relationships can be fickle things, the product of fickle people with uneducated and unrealistic ideas trying to merge their understanding of life with another person’s.

By the time you’re in your 20s you’ve probably learned to keep your guard up in pretty much every relationship you’re in, platonic or romantic. Knowing that every single relationship takes continual effort doesn’t ensure that the effort will be returned, or that the one day you’re just too tired or too overwhelmed to put forth that effort won’t be the day the other person is also too tired or too overwhelmed to be patient and understanding of your momentary showing of your humanity and flaws. It could stir up their own insecurities and in a split second words that can never be taken back escape from lips that don’t even understand why they’re saying them.

Decades long friendships have ended over simple misunderstandings. Marriages ruined over momentary slips in judgement made during weak moments filled with hurt feelings and (mis)notions of being unappreciated. Even professional relationships are terminated because the effort seems too great to expend anymore.

Every single person I know has watched in quiet (or loud indignity) as one of their relationships has burned up in flames. Many times they had no idea why things were suddenly over. Lack of communication, the bane of all relationships. With each ruined relationship the questioning of all your others becomes greater. Mistrust grows. The ability to ever feel safe in any relationship dwindles.

The whole idea of happily ever after is a complete myth. Books, television and movies lead the masses on a fool’s errand, searching for perfect family dynamics, friends forever and a Prince or Princess charming to sweep them off their feet. No one likes to talk about our ineptitude, our learning curves and our aptitude for self-destructive behavior. Psychology should be a mandatory class starting in 4th grade and being a continual requirement until graduation at least. Educate the population on their own motivations so they can learn to identify the basis for their actions and hopefully over time do better in general.

Happily ever after may be a myth but I’d hate to live in a world that only offers unhappily ever after.

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14 thoughts on “Unhappily Ever After

  1. I do agree that relationships take work, they aren’t magical. But I also believe that with a little effort we can all attain a little “happily ever after.” It 100% takes two to tango, a relationship where only one is willing to put in the effort will not produce a happy-ever-after. You seem to be sitting on the negative side- don’t get discouraged.

  2. I don’t think it’s a myth but it’s a hard work definitely. Just “perfect” is different from what we think sometimes. Fairytales just finish on “happily ever after” but we don’t know how they live. We just imagine how it should be but then get dissapponted when it’s different in real life, not how we imagined. If people helped each other more, supported, appreciated more and talked couples would be happier. And I know that but still.. I’m far from perfect in this.

      • So true.. I struggle a lot and it takes time ..I’d say a lot of time. May be it’s easy for someone to change fast.. I don’t know.

      • I’m sure it is possible, however it would be dependent on the person or situation. Slow and steady…not a bad course of action if you want long term results.

  3. Communication is one of the keys for a happily ever after. Whether it is friends, family, our partners. Also, being brave enough to disagree with another’s opinion, hoping the other person has an open mind. Instead of communicating, we back off—cut off all communication. Because we fear showing who we really are.

    I agree with the psychology being taught. Wouldn’t that be nice it we only understood each other if even a little bit.

    Another observation I have about happily ever after is to let it happen. Don’t stand in the way and give up expectations of the fairy tale.

    I think I just repeated some of what you wrote, and you’ve certainly given me something else to think about today—thanks.

  4. My first marriage ended after three years. My ex-husband suddenly found he couldn’t be married to me anymore and left leaving me confused and desperately unhappy with a 13 week old baby. He wouldn’t talk about how he felt and blamed me for ruining his life. I now know he was immature but also suffering from depression and many other mental health problems. I kept in touch with his family and am still friends with them. I insisted he visit regularly and get to know his daughter who is now nearly 30. Their relationship is fine though he still has attachment problems. I think the outcome of this failed marriage is as good as it could be under the circumstances. I met him again a few years ago and we got on really well and I rediscovered the witty funny man I had first been attracted to.
    My second marriage is a more successful one. We have been married nearly 21 years and before we married we discussed our failed first marriages and stated what we wanted and what we wouldn’t tolerate in our second one. We have our difficulties and quite a lot of baggage from the past but we continue to talk and plan and are as honest with each other as we can be. I don’t believe in happy ever after as happiness is such a fleeting thing. But we get regular shots of happiness – together and separately – and that I feel is good enough. Any relationship is only as good as the people in it and it has to be worked at.

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