As little girls our elders encourage us to dream about the future; about marrying our prince charming and living happily ever after... and what is wrong with this you might ask?!
How about almost everything!
Marriage is not some fairy tale. Every second of every day is not full of love and happiness. Marriage is UGLY. It's during this time that you see the absolute worst in your partner. You see them at their lowest points, at their sickest, at their angriest and when they are most vulnerable.
You begin to see past all of the things you were initially attracted to and you begin to notice the 'flaws'. The imperfections that every individual has. There comes a time when you need to sit next to your partner while they hang their head in a toilet bowl and spend the night throwing up... or worse, you spend the night cleaning up the exact thing they have thrown up all over the floor.
You learn what irritates them, you discover you dont like everything in the same way. Throw a couple of kids in the mix and then add sleep deprivation in!
You see bed hair, bags under the eyes, you smell Body and
foot odour, bad breath and more.
No, marriage is definately not a fairytale. It's hard work; Learning to look past all the flaws and imperfections and finding time every day to remember why you love the other person.
... Then you remember all the other little things... The way you catch them looking at you when they think you arent paying attention, the tears that will roll down your cheeks after hearing one of your 'in' jokes. You remember your first kiss, how you felt when you welcomed your first child into your lives and that feeling of comfort when they rubbed your back when you were sick.
You get to see their dedication to you and the devotion they have for your family. You see their smile open up and widen from ear to ear and you hear and feel their laugh go through your body like shock waves.
Marriage is the most ugly yet remarkable thing a person can encounter. It's knowing that someone loves you so unconditionally that they place your happiness ahead of their own. It's knowing that you will always have someone on your 'side' with no questions asked.
So what's my point?!
Tell your children this! Tell them that life and marriage arent always easy. A successful marriage takes time, effort and devotion yet more importantly a person needs to enter into this union with a realistic attitude otherwise they'll be set up for failure.
At the slightest hint of tough times ahead one or the other back out and question the relationship instead of embracing the changes and batting down the hatches to prepapre for the 'storm' that's on its way. A wise person knows that a storm will clear and blue skys will open up making way for a beautiful day and beautiful memories.
Teach your children that life struggles are real but the benefits of going through them with a person you love are that you will never truly be alone. You will become stronger as a couple and all of the 'trouble' will be worth it a 100 times over.
(I am so blessed to have found my piece of 'ugly' and I thank the lord everyday for this blessing)