The camera zooms in on the newlyweds, while the priest says “You may now kiss the bride!”. The happy but -yet- ignorant couple gives their first kiss as husband and wife and they lived happily ever after.
Or so the movie ends.
No, no, no this is not the end my dear, this is just the beginning. But what happens next? And why do all romantic movies end with the wedding ceremony and don’t show us what really happens next? I think that maybe they don’t want us to know. Maybe it’s a giant conspiracy, to hide the ugly and inconvenient truth from us. That the Cinderella fairy tale exists only in our minds. That no prince Charming, along with his white horse, is going to come and rescue you. Well maybe -if you’re lucky- he will come, but the morning after the wedding he’ll be snoring next to you, leaving his socks everywhere, your sink full of hair and the tooth paste with the lid lost, just like an ordinary person.
I’m sure Cinderella felt that too. We really don’t know what happened when the door of her beautiful castle closed behind her, do we?
Why do we get married in the first place? Marriage is like a fortress; one we all try to conquer and get into by any means and when we -finally- make it, we all try to get out again. We get married because we are in love with the person we are with, because we want to start a family, to have legal protection and make our relationship official. Nowadays marriage is a choice. Nobody forces us to make that enormous and life-changing step anymore.
Then why are the divorce rates so high?
Because we expect too much. We expect the perfect marriage. The utopia that we have in mind. But then, everyday life awaits, wears off and dissolves everything. Your spouse isn’t the superhuman that expected them to be. They are very real. And very human. They make mistakes, they have bad habits that are very annoying and guess what? They are imperfect. Just like you.
Then you start to wonder “Did I make the right decision? Did I marry the right one?” Then all of a sudden the kids take over –you wanted family, right?- all kind of problems start to appear from nowhere and if the bond of the couple isn’t strong enough to hold all that, the fortress will fall apart, like it was made out of paper.
Is there a secret to make your marriage perfect?
There is no perfect couple or perfect marriage — because, no one is perfect. And maybe that shouldn’t be our goal at all. Maybe we should start with low standards and try our best. The one thing that could save the marriage is to remind ourselves how much we love our partner. In fact, to love them despite their flaws. To admire them in any way and –try- to keep a balance in the relationship. Yes, there will be days that will come that you want to struggle them and hit them with the frying pan, yes there will come days that you won’t even want to see their face. But there will come days at you are going to thank the Lord that you have them by your side. Because you are only going to lay to each other for support.
The key is patience. Because the road is long, challenging, bumpy, filled with rocks and dirt, with many steep turns and sharp cliffs. But the view -if you manage to pass all that- is rewarding.
Perfect can be defined by a lot of things. Perfect can be defined by the times you fall and you get up and try all over again. That is exactly what makes a perfect wedding. The times that two imperfect people give themselves a chance –again- and don’t quit, so their love grows even stronger. Perfect can be defined by the love that outlasts and overcomes difficulties.
Maybe Cinderella did have a fairy tale marriage after her fairy tale wedding.
Maybe she didn’t.
Maybe she just had a lot of patience.