I grew up watching Cinderella and Snow White and really believed in the fantasy that one day I would get swept off my feet, carried away and live happily ever after. But, no one made a movie based on the happily ever after and what that would look like. In three days I will be celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary. When I met my husband If elt like I was being swept off my feet. He knew how to say all the right things and make me feel safe, protected and most of all loved. And then we got married.
My marriage has been a lot like a ride on a rollercoaster. We had a lot to learn and it wasn’t always easy. He was raised to do and think a certain way based upon his family of origin and I was raised to think and behave based on mine. And let me tell you – it sometimes felt as if we came from different planets. If I was upset I expected him to know why. If he made a decision I expected him to discuss it with me first. If he made plans I thought he should run them by me and that we should decide together. Often times we would argue over the smallest of things. Like he would tell me that he was going to come home early from work. For me this meant he would work a half-day. For him…so when he would walk in the door ½ hour early I would be furious and say: “I thought you were coming home early today” he would look at his watch, then show it to me and say “I did. It is 5:30 I normally come home at 6.”
Another thing I have learned is that he does things in a completely different way than I would. For example cleaning up after dinner. My idea of this means that the sink is rinsed out and cleaned, the counter, table and stovetop are wiped, and the dishwasher is loaded and set to run (I know OCD); my husband’s idea of cleaning up means the dishes made it into the dishwasher. I used to think this meant he didn’t love me. I had to learn that his idea of clean was different than mine and it had no bearing on how he felt about me and us.
Marriage is really a lot of trial and error. It is learning how to listen differently and ask for clarification. Sometimes, you just have to breath and let go of your feelings and ask if what you heard your spouse or partner say is what he/she actually said.
It has taken 25 years to get swept off my feet, but I can honestly say that I am not sure I could have allowed or accepted what that meant or how that would feel when I was younger. Now, 25 years later my husband stepped up and planned a “surprise” trip for our anniversary. And today, when he told me that we were going away, I was able to be grateful, excited and thank him. It only took me 25 years to learn that the best way to have your husband do what you want him to do is by accepting what he does with grace and gratitude.
Dear Reader, Do you think that these movies should have had a sequel? What if we had been able to take a glimpse into the “happily ever after” of Cinderella?
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Grace, Gratitude and Happy Planning!